At the end of each blogging year, I like to look at my WordPress stats and do a post about my five most-read posts of the year.  Many times this list will include some evergreen content from years gone by–last year not a single 2016 post made the top five!  Therefore I also indulge myself by highlighting the (six, because I couldn’t decide) posts I liked the best myself!  Shall we begin?


Dear Mom in the Pew

This post from 2013, originally written for the now-defunct Mom Pledge blog’s “Dear Mom” challenge, is perennially popular.  I re-run it frequently on Facebook to provide encouragement for mothers with little people who sometimes misbehave in church.

So ten years from now–tomorrow–there will be big quiet kids in your pew and you will be able to pray again.  No one will be staring at you except to admire your lovely family.  You will be the one smiling indulgently at the cute toddler playing peek-a-boo with you over the back of the pew.

But until then, remember, you are doing a wonderful job.

An Open Letter to My Friends Who Want to Repeal Obamacare

This letter of a totally different sort was written in January 2017 and got quite a boost when it was tweeted out by Gates McFadden.

An Open Letter

Remember that there are suffering people who see your Facebook posts, people who are frightened, for whom this isn’t about politics or partisanship or finances but about staying alive.  Remember that, and if you care about those people, watch the tone of your posts.

Bookwalter Cemetery: Pretty but Not Peaceful

This post was one of only two graveyard posts I wrote in 2017, and owes its popularity to my fans on a local history Facebook page.

Bookwalter Cemetery_ Pretty But Not Peaceful

The peaceful silence one associates with cemeteries was notably absent.  In addition to traffic and train noises, I was assailed by the sounds of barking dogs, blaring radios, and bawling babies.  Most disturbing of all, at the back of the cemetery I was transfixed by an argument going on in an adjacent neighborhood, where a landlord was banging on the door of a rental property and making telephone calls to his renter who was evading his attempts to collect rent.  I could not tear myself away from this troubling drama  of the living unfolding just yards away from this not-so-peaceful resting place of the dead.

Five Favorite Marriage Tips

This is from 2014 and I’m glad the advice seems to be holding up!

It’s hard, hard work to live day in and day out with another person, someone who is not your blood relative and who you are bound to by choice.  There are bound to be times when you don’t get along at all.  

Woman Enough to March

This is from January of this year, a time when I was writing a LOT of political posts.

Woman Enough to March_

I’m so tired of being marginalized for one reason or another.  I am sick at heart over the notion that there is only one kind of feminist–our pro-life feminist foremothers be damned!–that the right to unlimited abortion apparently trumps all and that some of us are not woman enough to participate in a Women’s March!  As I posted on Facebook, “It’s like you are not an actual woman if you are not pro-choice.”


My Catholic Uniform

Another political post, specifically on the duty Catholics have to welcome the stranger.


I don’t wear a red plaid jumper any more, but I have made myself very visibly Catholic on Facebook and elsewhere.  Not just because people who know me in real life know that I am Catholic, but because I often write on Catholic topics and (try to) explain Catholic doctrine.

Iris, Resurrected

My only gardening post of the year, something I hope to make up for in 2018!

Iris, Resurrected

I often think of Mima (who died nine years ago) when I am in my garden.  I feel close to her then because it is a passion that we shared, and if such things are genetic, then my love of gardening is an inheritance from her.

How I Am Rocking Motherhood

A response to a challenge.

How I Am #RockingMotherhood

Because it IS a challenge, in a society that’s hell bent on making mothers feel that they are never quite good enough, to focus on the positive.  And it can be intimidating to toot one’s own horn, especially since I just did not long ago.  Plus I am a perfectionist, and am far more likely to be berating myself for my motherhood failures than congratulating myself on my wins.

A Front Row Seat

In which I wonder why people pay extra to sit up front at concerts while lurking in the back at Mass.

A Front Row Seat

Sitting so far back, I didn’t feel like a full participant in the Mass.  I felt like a spectator.  “It was like being at a concert,” I said later.  You know the kind–where the performer on stage could almost be anyone if there were no Jumbotron to display closeups.

Just Like That

A tear-inducing reflection on the departure of my middle child from home for real.

Just Like That

But here’s the deal:  we aren’t trying to be bossy or irritating or to minimalize the work and stress of coping with small children–we just want you to realize what we didn’t; we want you to fully experience the joy of what you have, because we would give anything just to have one more day of it.

A Confederate General’s Great-great-great-granddaughter Speaks Out

My contribution to the Civil War statue debate.

A Confederate General's Great-great-great-granddaughter Speaks Out

As his descendant, I disavow and repudiate the Unite the Right protesters and anyone who shares their hateful beliefs in the strongest of terms, and I call upon all descendants of Confederate soldiers to join me in condemning them.  They don’t represent the South and we don’t need these modern-day Carpetbaggers to tell us how best to preserve our heritage.

My collections from prior years are linked below:


I’m linking up with Revolution of Love where you can see collections from other bloggers.  It’s a great way to discover new blogs to follow.



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