Posts Tagged ‘Mardi Gras’

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Today is the first day of the March Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by the Two Writing Teachers blog. A group of teacher-bloggers join in a community of writers to write each day of March. I’ve done this challenge for many years. I can’t remember how many. Nine, maybe 10? Every year I feel daunted by the idea of writing every day, but I also know at the end of the month, there is satisfaction in having written. And the writing builds community and connection.

Thomas, 2.5 with beads

Today is also Mardi Gras Day which in South Louisiana is a big deal. This year the celebration is back after a hiatus for the pandemic. We have the week off of school, so I am traveling and visiting family. This weekend I was in New Orleans with my daughter and her toddler son. Above, he’s curious about the beads hanging from the porch railing. Beads can be found everywhere, in the trees, on fences, and even on a fire hydrant.

Beaded fire hydrant in New Orleans

My sister and I drove up to Jackson, MS to visit our parents. She brought a taste of New Orleans in a traditional King Cake. When she cut pieces for Mom and Dad, she said, “Watch out for the baby!” and sure enough, Dad got the baby. He is certainly royalty to us! You can read about the tradition of the king cake in this article.

Pop with the king cake baby

Read Full Post »

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

In addition to the Slice of Life Challenge, I am writing a poem each day with a Facebook group for Laura Shovan’s annual birthday project.  This year we are writing about food.  The prompt yesterday from Laura herself was sourdough bread.  Not having much experience in sourdough bread, the baking or the eating of it, I took the option to write about any bread.

I am currently in New Orleans with my girls celebrating Mardi Gras.  A staple pastry during the Mardi Gras season is King cake.  King Cake is symbolic of Epiphany, the season of the church year following Christmas.  On Epiphany, the three kings arrived to worship Jesus.  The dough is baked in a circle symbolizing unity of faith.  The frosting is colored sugar in purple, gold, and green.  Gold represents power, green is associated with faith, and purple illustrates justice. (Southern Living)

Of the many Mardi Gras traditions, this is one of my favorite.  In our small town of New Iberia, there is a donut bakery that makes King Cakes like a donut.  My son-in-law brought one yesterday that he swears weighs more than his 2 month old.  It’s infused with cream cheese and strawberry jam.  There are two more on the kitchen counter each with its own flavoring and pastry recipe.  The tradition is that a plastic baby is placed inside the King Cake to symbolize the search for baby Jesus.  Whomever gets the baby in their piece is obligated to buy the next King Cake for the next celebration.

I’ve decided to forego my no carb diet just for this weekend.  Let the good times roll!


Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Jone at Check it Out.

A week off to enjoy family, friends, and food.  I’m sharing my week in verse.

Throw me somethin’ Mister!

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2018

Mardi Gras after the rain
Parades roll, beads fly,
Hands waving high.

Open doors,
chicken fingers,
Chili Fritos,

Costumes, blue hair,
and happy laughs,

Marching bands,
King cake,
Vodka and La Croix.

Come on in,
stay right here,
Bacchus is rolling soon.

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2018

Houston in the rain
heavy trucks spray
hold on tight.

Find a friend.
Sit a while
comfort in just being.

Glasses of wine,
flat bread pizza,
gather around the table.

Ukulele playing,
out of tune singing,
cuddles with the dog.

There is love here,
not over the rainbow yet,
but healing will come.

My friend Sarah is fighting the battle for her life.

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Ashes to ashes,
we are but dust,
miserable wormness,

Yet now is the time
to reach out
to reach in.

Be alone with God
to realize you are
never alone.

Spread the fruit
of your solitude.
Translate cynicism to Joy!

I am but dust.
Life is a gift.
Existence is grace.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Japanese magnolia blooms
along my walking route,
sending pink fragrance into fog.

My mind wanders as I walk,
thoughts of children
whose lives were shot short.

My voice speaks to neighbors.
Can I trust my words
to be kind?

We are all wandering
on this lonely path
questioning God’s grace.

Find meaning in a moment,
Joy in a conversation,
Light in a dew drop.





Read Full Post »

Slice of Mardi Gras

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.


Happy Mardi Gras, y’all! I know that many of you have heard the news about the tragedy at the Endymion parade on Saturday night. My girls and my sister’s family were just blocks away. They didn’t hear anything until they started getting frantic texts from friends and family. When I spoke to my cousin’s wife who is an emergency room doctor, she said the system they have set up for dealing with these types of emergencies worked. She received texts. Hospitals around the city were prepared and let emergency responders know which ones could take patients. She said it was handled smoothly.

Accidents are scary, but they are accidents. There is no predicting when something awful could happen. So I didn’t hesitate to travel to New Orleans on Sunday to meet up with my family to celebrate.

My sister has a friend who lives near St. Charles and the parade route. Perfect jumping off place complete with clean bathrooms, food, drink, and the sweetest yellow lab you have ever seen. Our corner on St. Charles was crowded, about 5 people deep. We were surrounded by families. When my sister caught a little container of Playdough, she handed it to some little girls nearby. They played with it for hours making beads, fake purple noses, and whatever else their creative minds could conjure up. I enjoyed watching them.


Throws are a huge part of Mardi Gras. These include beads, of course, but there are also unusual throws like feather boas, cups, footballs, stuffed animals, and more. I don’t work too hard for throws. But I do hold my hands over my head. It’s all part of protecting your head from the wayward bead. Once I was looking at a guy on a float holding an ugly stuffed rat. He must’ve read my mind, “Who would want that ugly rat!?”, and he threw it right to me. Yes, it’s going to the classroom as a new class pet.

Mardi Gras crowd.  You see it all!

Mardi Gras crowd. You see it all!

The best story of the day was when my nephew and his dad were throwing the football across the street between parades. The football flew over my nephew and landed near some horse poop. Earlier, the people around that very horse poop had covered it with a box top and warned marching bands, “Watch out!” But when the football landed near it, Jack turned right around and said, “No way.” My brother-in-law retrieved the football and minutes later, a man in a dragon suit crossed the road to offer wipes to clean it. My sister posted this picture on Instagram with this caption, “Why did the dragon cross the road? To bring us a wipe for our football that landed in horse poop.”


To me, this is the spirit of Mardi Gras. It’s a community event with a community pride. Yes, there are rowdies and drunks and accidents, but there is also a spirit of fun and celebration. I’ll be back next year!

Read Full Post »

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

This week started with a celebration. My daughter, Maggie, is turning 30 this month. She created her own party to celebrate on Monday, Lundi Gras, in New Orleans. Friends and family came and enjoyed meeting each other. The greatest gift for me was having all three of my daughters together and happy.

HBday Maggie

Mardi Gras has a reputation for being quite the wild party. I hung out with my sister and her family. (See Slice of Life post from Tuesday.) We found a spot on St. Charles where families gathered. Everyone around was considerate while cheering for a happy celebration. My daughter’s boyfriend saw a prized LED mask fall at his feet. He knew my nephew would love it, but when he picked it up, he saw this girl atop her father’s shoulders. He handed her the mask. She put it on and wore it for the rest of the night. Practice random acts of kindness.

light up mask

Nephew Jack sports a celebration mohawk and dangles beads in his father's face.  All part of the fun.

Nephew Jack sports a celebration mohawk and dangles beads in his father’s face. All part of the fun.

Lent has now begun. I had the traditional ash cross smudged on my head. I am preparing to celebrate a holy Lent, 40 days of reflection and meditation. A quiet celebration.

meditation candle

Read Full Post »

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.


Many people decorate fences and trees with beads.

Many people decorate fences and trees with beads.

Photo Challenge for this week from Kim at Thinking Through my Lens: Spirited.  There is nothing more spirited at this time of year in South Louisiana than Mardi Gras.  I came to New Orleans to spend time with family (my sister and hers from Texas, and my daughter home from Chicago).  Of course, while I am here, we ventured out to a day of parades on St. Charles.

With my sister’s family, I wrote a list poem of the variety of throws.

Mardi Gras Throws, a List poem

Krewe of Tucks
Animal house rules
toilet plunger, toilet paper,
toilet glasses, too.

Krewe of Thoth
purple fedora
super-duper stuffed banana,
beads, doubloons, and cups.

Big Bacchus
Bacchasaurus, Bacchagator,
Bacchawoppa whale,
Laser lights, beads fly,
masks of flashing colors,
where the wild things are.


Toilet paper hangs like ornaments lit up by Bacchus lights.

Toilet paper hangs like tinsel lit up by Bacchus lights.  Confetti looks like snow.

Bacchagator catches throw backs.

Bacchagator catches throw backs.



Hands up, beads flying

Hands up, beads flying

Read Full Post »

Mardi Gras Time

Slice of Life Day 3.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 3. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

I am spending time with my sister and her family in New Orleans. Happy Mardi Gras! Yesterday we spent the day on St. Charles watching the crowds, catching beads, and dancing with the passing bands. Two of my daughters met us. I love coming when Beth is here because we stay at her mother-in-law’s home in Kenner, eat her fabulous Indian food, and my brother-in-law drives us to parades. The best way to do Mardi Gras, in my opinion. I made an Animoto video of our day. Hope you enjoy!

Read Full Post »