Do You Know What a Mugwump Is?

I didn’t until, not being able to come up with a slice, I took an email break and discovered mugwump in my Word of the Day email. The origin of the word is in the Massachusett and Wampanoag Native American languages. It meant war leader. Surprising, right? It just doesn’t sound warlike at all. It sort of sounds like an inanimate lump, which is closer to the modern usage.

Now it is used to name a person who can’t make up their mind on a controversial issue,
especially in politics, or a person who is neutral on a controversial issue. There may be some tough choices about issues in this election year. The politically-minded among us are already passionately debating the issues and the candidates. The less political cannot be mugwumps this year. We all need to get involved, get educated, and make some choices. Let’s be voters, not mugwumps!

*Word of the Day comes from

Posted in random thoughts | 2 Comments

A Little List of Celebrations

Here’s a random list of little (and maybe a big one or two) things to celebrate:

1. Although we still have two more weeks of school, this is a 4-day weekend! We had yesterday off and will be off with the rest of the country for Memorial Day on Monday.

2. I had a great time with my second sister yesterday. We took her 92-year old momma out for lunch- yum, strawberry shortcake at MCL Cafeteria. After we took momma back home, then we went to the dollar theater to see “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” for the second time. It’s not a classic or anything, but we did laugh just as much as the first time.

3. My daughter’s fiance has a birthday this weekend. We met with a bunch of family and friends last night for a birthday dinner. My daughter paid for my dinner. Wow. A new occurrence- that was the second time this month.

4. Thursday at school I went on the annual bowling field trip with the 4th-6th graders sponsored by our P.E. teacher. Everyone had a good time, and we received compliments from the bowling center staff on the behavior of our students. The bowling scores ranged from 11 to 128.:)

5. Excitement is in the air in our city this weekend as we anticipate the 100th running of the Indy 500! I grew up with Memorial Day picnics with a sound track of the race on the radio. My high school band got to march in the parade one year. I have been out to the track a few times through the years, though never on race day. My school is only a couple of miles from the track, and all throughout May, we hear the whine of the engines during practice days. Even though I am not a true race fan, you can’t help feeling the excitement in May and indulging in some home-town pride.

There are moments big and small worthy of celebrating that happen every day. Pausing to write about some of them feels good!

I am looking forward to being at AllWrite for the first time this year! Hope to meet some of you there!

Posted in celebrations | 12 Comments

It Was Just One of Those Days

We all have good days and not so good days. It happens at school, too. I recently wrote about a great moment. But today was not a great day. I was called on to sub at the last minute. It was in a class I have worked in often during this year. But today we just couldn’t get on the same page. It was disappointing.

How do you recover from a bad day?

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

A Great Classroom Moment

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working with fifth graders as they craft “Where I’m From” poems. Our mentor is George Ella Lyon, a poet laureate of Kentucky and author of many books for children.

Friday afternoon in one class the students were sharing their finished poems. We heard some memorable lines along the way, unique lines, and lines so familiar we could have written them ourselves, read by the bold and brave students who volunteered to stand before their peers.

We were almost out of time when I saw another boy who seemed to raise his hand. It was so tentative, I couldn’t be sure. I asked him if he wanted to share his poem, and he nodded his head, stood, and came to the front of the room. He is a shy guy, a special ed student who struggles to get assignments finished. But he really wanted to read his poem. His voice was strong, though a little hesitant. He read each line deliberately, methodically. A time or two his nerves got the best of him, and he turned to me to help him with a word, but he kept going. This was his story and he wanted to share it. The class applauded at the end. His classmates shared comments with him just as they had with others. They pointed out how they could identify with the “bossy sister” he mentioned, that he had used some rhyming, which they liked, and his ending was kind of a surprise ending.

I was proud of everyone. I have to admit, I was teary-eyed walking down the hall when I left their classroom. What a moment to celebrate!

Posted in celebrations, school, school and writing, writing | 7 Comments

Still Celebrating

I am still on cloud nine, beaming with pride, after attending my daughter’s college graduation on Saturday. What a wonderful day! You can read about it here, and see a couple of pictures, too.

Then on Sunday was Mother’s Day. I miss my mother very much, and yet, I love a day to think back on good memories. It was also a day to make new memories. My daughter and her fiance took me and his mother out for dinner. I enjoy these times of getting acquainted. Conversation was easy, and we shared a lot of laughter.

Moments with family are treasures to keep in your heart. You can always find a smile when those treasures are right there. You will be still celebrating every day.

Posted in home and family | 12 Comments

Celebrating My Girl

Seeing her "walk" today brought tears of joy

Seeing her “walk” today brought tears of joy

Seeing the message she carried ...more tears

Seeing the message she carried …more tears

What joy to see my daughter graduate from college! She had a surprise for me, too… she decorated her cap using the movie “Up” for her inspiration and added the messages:

In Loving Memory Of
Grandma & Grandpa
Uncle Kenny

I was so happy she chose to honor those important people from her life (and mine) and make them present with us.

Posted in celebrations, home and family, memories, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Flan at Chile Verde

Rich and smooth
custardy goodness-
Perfectly shaped,
precisely placed
in the center
of a gleaming plate-

Drizzled with
caramel sweetness,
Topped by
green ribbons of
creamy frosting,
sprinkled with
sugar crystals for
just a touch of crunch-

satisfying finish
to your meal.

Posted in poems | 5 Comments