Monday, January 26, 2015

Wicked Divas

via Italian from Latin: a goddess, from dÄ«vus divine

Two wicked Divas: Lou Ann and Kathy

This past Saturday night found Kathy and me at the Historic Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Fort Philharmonic show was "Wicked Divas," and the performance lived up to all my expectations. 

Guests artists, Emily Rozek and Julie Reiber, lit up the house with their singing renditions from My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Ragtime, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and many more.

I thought of my dad during the show as he is the one who took me to all of the above shows. One of the ushers at the end of the program said to me, "You really had a great time. It looked like you knew all the songs."

I answered her back, "I did. My dad took me to every show possible in New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, and of course, Fort Wayne." She told me I was a very lucky girl. I aleady knew that.

When my Dad died I inherited boxes of his Playbills from all around the world. He would have loved the concert.

As it was, when I returned home in the early hours of Sunday morning I sat down at my piano and played the same show tunes until I was ready to fall asleep at the piano keys. 

Here's looking at you, Dad!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

We will never be the same after the Poe journey...

The Poe Journey comes to an end. We pull into the Amtrak station in Waterloo, Indiana early in the morning...time enough to get home, drop the  bags, and get to school.

Whenever I travel I know everything mind, my emotions, my life. So here I am back home ready to take on the Winter with renewed energy and a new love and appreciation of Poe.

The above article is this week's column. As always, thank you for reading!

This was outside of the Poe House in Richmond.

This was again taken at the Richmond Festival.

Poe's grave at night. I took this before I placed a rose on the grave.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Finally, the Poe pilgrimage is well underway...

Here is the link to last week's column...heading to the 48 hour Poe Pilgrimage. Perhaps some of you have done the same, and if so, please share your stories.

We had time to visit Washington on the way, and it was a beautiful day!

Enjoy, and as always, thank you for reading!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

So, what does your snowman do at night?

Winter is definitely here to stay for a while. So, I have decided that it would be great fun to have a writing contest for kids. This would be a great thing to do on those snowy afternoons when the mittens are drying and the cookies are baking. Any child can enter the contest even if it doesn't snow where you live!

You can read all about it in this week's column. Just click on the above link and there you go. 

Now pass this along to a child in your life! 

Until tomorrow.

Friday, January 09, 2015


I know most of my readers do not live in northern Indiana, but I wanted to tell you about this class anyway.

My daughter in law, Karen Homan, will be teaching a beginner's ballet class at Fitt4Life in Angola, Indiana beginning on Monday, January 12. The class will be offered twice a week: Monday at 8:30 and Thursday evening at 5:30. Both classes will be the same so you can choose which one fits into your schedule.

I will be taking the class on Monday. You do not need any experience to take this class, which is lucky for me!

Karen has a lot of dance experience. She was the lead dancer for Celine Dion at the opening ceremony in Atlanta several years ago. Karen has spent the last twelve years raising her two sons, but has now decided go back into dancing. I am so excited to be taking this class.

I imagine we won't have a recital, but then one never knows!

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Snowbound with a little Eyster and Whittier


Photo used with courtesy from Bill Eyster.

I always believe that winters belong to artists...the poets, writers, painters, and photographers of this world. Perhaps because of the cold and snow we are forced to stay indoors with the tea kettle whistling, candles flaming and our art soaring.

I spent the morning working on a new series of stories, a phone call with a painter friend of mine who was working away in her studio, and an in-depth conversation with a poet...not bad for a day when the temperature does not rise.

My photographer friend, Bill Eyster, took this photo this morning. Bill used to live in town in a lovely old house, but has relocated to the country with his wife, Annie. His photography has definitely taken on a different look with nature outside his back door. This lovely photo made me think of John Greenleaf Whittier and his poem, "Snowbound." 

Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts in the parlor.  His first poem was published by abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison encouraged Whittier to study poetry and the English language...and that he did.

He eventually became a shoemaker and a teacher. He continued to send his poetry in to newspapers and magazines and began to make a name for himself. It was his poem "Snowbound" that brought him the money to live comfortably until his death in 1892.

I have added a short clip of the poem at the end of this blog. (The original takes over an hour to read!)

Please enjoy, and perhaps on a snowy night you could actually read the entire piece out loud by the fire with friends.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Happy Twelfth Night

Happy Twelfth Night

Happy Twelfth Night to all of you. Today is the last day of Christmas if you go with the 12 days of Christmas, and I do.

It is said that today is the day the Magi reached the Christ child with the gifts. It is a time of celebration for eating small cakes, giving the last of the Christmas gifts and lighting the tree for the last time.

I put candles on my tree as you can see in the photo. On this night I light them for the last time, sing the last of the Christmas songs, and say my blessings into the Holy Darkness. I love this special day although it means time to take down the Christmas greens and dim the lights in preparation for the bleak mid-winter.

I hope you have a lovely custom for this day. Perhaps you would like to share it.

So one more night of lights and singing and small cakes. Tonight when I go to sleep I will count all the Blessings of the New Year before I drift off into the dark and cold.

I added this lovely version of the song, In the Bleak Mid-Winter. Enjoy.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Winter Windows

winter's aching moon
shadowed behind icy clouds
crescents on my floor

Dear Friends,

It seems as if the bleak mid-winter is definitely upon us. When I arose this morning and went out early to get my paper, I was greeted with the familiar greeting of Jack Frost. The art was splendidly arrayed on all my windows. The only thing I could do was to get my camera for a photo. Each windows pane on my porch was different as is each snowflake, so they say.

When my children were small they used to draw on the winter windows with thimbles. Once I had a salesman call asking me if I needed to windows. He guaranteed there would never be frost or ice on the inside of the glass. I asked him if children could draw on the windows, but again he said no.

I told him that I was not interested. Frost on the windows...a lovely sight for a cold winter's day.

Lou Ann

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Perhaps Indiana is in need of an official dance...

The above photo is my first square dance band, the Grass Creek Band. They have since changed their name to The Jug Huffers. I love to call dances with this band, but sometimes I have to go solo as in this week's column.

Please click on the above site for this week's column about square dancing, which was alive and well on New Year's Eve.

As always, thank you for reading, and enjoy!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Let there be a peace that’s strengthened everywhere -

Last night I helped ring in the New Year at Pokagon State Park teaching and calling square dances at Potawatomi Inn. It was a great family night with dancing, music, magicians, artists, movies and even rooms of Bingo! (I won a great prize!)

I loved spending my evening at the park with families and folks who were happy just being together. On my way home this morning I stopped off at one of my favorite places just a mile from my house. I took a short walk on the trail and took my first photo of the New Year.

I wish all of you a happy and safe New Year. I have some dear friends who need a new start so I hope you can write some new chapters for your life.

Here is the link to this week's column on New Years as well. Enjoy. Just click on the above link, and again, Happy New Year.