My “A” Team: At the Helm With Mom

Remember my post, Good People Find Good People? I just can’t stop reflecting on these words. Maybe it has something to do with how blessed I am to be surrounded with family, friends, neighbors, teachers, therapists, medical experts, and creative forces who love, nurture, help, care, and inspire. Collectively, I call them my “A” Team. All contribute — or have contributed — significantly to the person I am and strive to be.

My mom and dad with Issa at her First Holy Communion.

The person at the helm of my “A” Team is without a doubt my mother. I believe anyone who truly knows her would define her as a loyal, helpful, outspoken, classy, friendly,  organized, willful, persistent, caring, selfless, generous lady who demonstrates — through action and words — love for her faith, family, friends, Irish heritage, football, the Detroit Tigers, travel, playing cards, Neil Diamond, Tony Bennett, Cheez-Itz and ice cream.

My mom’s helpful, organized and outspoken nature are the three traits I admire most. She helps so many in need — me, my children, my sister, my niece and nephew, her older sister, my dad, my husband, friends, and neighbors — no matter what — with great sacrifice to herself at times. I cannot name one other person who is a more willing, committed helper than my mom. Organization is a trait brought to the US from her Duris and Gehringer family members who migrated from various counties of Ireland nearly a century ago. I have not met a Duris or Gehringer who has not been recognized for attention to detail, hard work or willingness to question. Finally, I consider my mom to be very brave due to her willingness to speak up — even when she knows the words needed might anger or hurt. Her points are often valid and worth considering.

Related posts …

In Honor of All Mothers

7 at 12:25: Things to Know About Me and New Kreativ Blogs I Love

Being Irish and the First Day of Spring

Being Irish and the First Day of Spring

When Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, ’tis like the morn in Spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter You can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy, All the world seems bright and gay. And when Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, they steal your heart away.

— Irish Song Lyrics and Music Midi
Brought to you by The Information about Ireland Site

Happy first day of spring. My daffodils have all opened for a spectacular display of color at my front entry. It is rare for my early spring flowers to open in March. But, Southeastern Michigan has been kissed with several consecutive days of blue skies, sunshine and summer-like temps.

My Grandma with Issa in 2003
My late grandma with Issa in 2003

This weekend my family and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. My husband doesn’t really get into all of the hoopla. But, my children and I do. My late grandparents on my mom’s side are both Irish. In fact, Issa and I just studied my grandma’s ancestry for a presentation she gave at school, today. We learned my grandma’s great grandparents migrated to the United States and to Oceola Township, Mich., in 1849. This time period would have been toward the end of the Great Potato famine. While we are confident my Grandpa’s Irish heritage, his ancestry is a little more complicated to trace.

My mom, legion of aunts, and late grandparents

My mom and legion of aunts/uncles never miss celebrating Ireland’s national holiday on March 17. Each March they all migrate to Melbourne, FL where my Aunt Gerry and Uncle Jim treat everyone to a spectacular corned beef meal, spirits, March Madnesson every TV and sing-along sessions. Due to scheduling conflicts I have not attended since 2004 when Issa was just a year-old.

My sister, me, and Issa (one year) on March 17, 2004.

While the spectacular blue skies and summer-like temps in Michigan had my crew hankering for grilled steaks, I treated them to a corned beef feast, which included my infamous Nutella cookies with green M&Ms. I didn’t hear any complaints. But, I did drink a couple Smithwicks while the corned beef roasted.

Related previous post …

Nine Irish Kids and the Power Codes (kateschannel.wordpress.com)

 

Literacy For All Minds

In order to develop my own writing capabilities and to better explore literary genres, I read; or at least I try. Sometimes my daily reading is limited to elementary-level readers and picture books. But, hey,  developing a love for literacy in young minds counts for something, doesn’t it?

Anyway, Issa’s teacher has a literacy program called Book It, which I love. In collaboration with all the second-grade classrooms, Issa’s teacher uses the program to help parents and students explore literary genres, together, and to help students build a love for reading. At the conclusion of each month, students submit a book report on what they read. This month we’re reading about Ireland and about how my grandmother’s great grandparents migrated to Oceola Township, Michigan from Ireland’s Fermanagh and Westmeath counties in the mid-1800s.

Like my daughter, I consider myself to be a student; and use various forms of literature as a component to improve my knowledge of various subjects as well as writing itself. Also, I enjoy having the opportunity to chat with successful authors about their professional journeys.

Therefore, I am introducing, Book It, a spin on Issa’s school literacy program and a new blog category. It will contain book reviews. My first will be on Kate Policani’s, The Lustre.   She is a new blogging friend I admire; and she put me on her list to be a part of her virtual launch party, which includes a chance to review the story before it is released to the public. I’m busy putting up party decorations to help all of you get into the frenzy. I’ll let you know when my Book It party room is ready for all of you to have a look at The Lustre.