Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I am almost as Irish as an American Irish person can be. All of my ancestors, with the exception of one who came from England, came over from Ireland during the potato famine. I was born Colleen Garry and I married a man who is less Irish than me, but carries a more obvious Irish name, Corrigan. When we got married my brother told me that my new name, Colleen Corrigan, sounded like the name of a leprechaun. St. Patrick’s Day, which is this Thursday, is a day that I look forward to every year. I’m not quite sure what it is that I like so much about St. Patty’s Day. I’m not exactly a big fan of parades; I find them to be just okay. However, there are certain parts of the St. Patrick’s Day parade that I do enjoy, like the step dancers and the bag pipers. We actually had a bag piper play outside of the church on the day we were married. And, when I was little I used to be an Irish step dancer and dance in the annual parade on Staten Island. My husband is currently a New York City fireman and unless he has to work, he usually marches in the parade in Manhattan every year. Before my kids were in school, it was fun to take them into the city to watch him march. When I was growing up, St. Patrick’s Day was the one day of the year when Irish music and the smell of corned beef and cabbage swarmed the house and now, I enjoy carrying on the tradition for my children every year. I love to bake and March is the one month when I make several loaves of Irish soda bread. I actually made five loaves on Sunday and I will probably make a few more before Thursday. I love listening to the Irish music, the warmth of an Irish knit sweater, the little kids all dressed in green and how everyone is just a little Irish on that day. It’s also a reminder that spring is just around the corner. It’s a fun day and I’m looking forward to celebrating it again this Thursday. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!!


Ancestors (noun) – a person from one whom one is descended

Leprechaun (noun) - a literary figure found in Irish folklore represented as a little old man who will reveal the location of a hidden crock of gold to anyone who catches him 

Exception (preposition) – exclusion of

Parade (noun) – A large public procession, usually including a marching band and often of a festive nature, held in honor of an anniversary, person, event etc…

Bag Pipe (noun) - an instrument consisting of a melody pipe and one or more accompanying drone pipes protruding from a windbag into which the air is blown by the mouth or bellows

Bag Piper (noun) – A person who plays a bag pipe

Corned Beef (noun) – beef cured or pickled in brine

Cabbage (noun) – the head or leaves of a plant, eaten cooked or raw

Potato Famine (noun) – a historical event between 1846 and 1849 a fungus infected the potato crops in Ireland, causing massive death and emigration throughout the nation.

Practice: Fill in the blanks with the vocabulary words from the list above.
  1. Her _________ came from Germany. 
  2. With the __________ of his aunt, the entire family went to the wedding. 
  3. The school band marches in the _____________ every year. 
  4. The ________is a difficult instrument to play. 
  5. The __________played a beautiful song during the ceremony. 
  6. He cooks the _____________ in a slow cooker. 
  7. I like to eat corned beef and ___________.
  8. My children believe that if they are ever lucky enough to see a ________ he will lead them to a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
  9. The ________  _________was a difficult and tragic time for the Irish people.
Grammar Point:
Verbs are action words needed to make sentences. Can you list all of the verbs I have used in my blog? Think of a holiday in your culture and write five sentences about it using at least five of the verbs I have used in my blog.


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