2015 in Review: Your Favorites, My Favorites

As I did last year, I’m going to do a little recap here, showcasing the five posts YOU, the readers, liked the most this year (according to my WordPress stats), as well as the five posts I, the writer, liked the most.  Please feel free to check out any posts you missed and share this with anyone you think might enjoy my blog.

YOUR FAVORITES

Too Much Stuff: An All-American Problem

TOO MUCH STUFF

This post was kind of a phenomenon for me.  It was shared hundreds of times on Facebook, which is as close to viral as I’ve ever gotten, and was also featured on BlogHer.  Yet it was a simple, short post that owed much of what was interesting about it to another blogger whose post I was reacting to.

What Not to Say to the Parents of a Picky Eater

What NOT to Say to the Parent of a Picky Eater

This will probably be the only “things not to say” post ever, because in general I don’t like that kind of thing, but this is a topic that is very personal to me.

All Dogs Go to Heaven, and That Other Thing Pope Francis Never SaidPope Francis follows the Church

Most of the views on this post came from Reddit.  I probably would have picked this as one of my favorites from the year myself, since people failing to investigate the various claims on the internet before resharing is a major pet peeve of mine.

Stoney Point Baptist Cemetery

Stoney Point 11

I’m disappointed I didn’t get to visit more cemeteries in 2015.  My visit to this lovely, well-kept graveyard was delightful.

Dear Mom in the Pew

Picture of IC that looks like a painting

I wrote this post years ago and am thrilled that it’s still so popular and that mothers find it helpful and affirming.

MY FAVORITES

Why I Love My Lawyer

##LoveYourLawyerDay

This post is dear to my heart because it’s about my husband and he richly deserves every word.

Giving the Gift of a Good Death to a Good Friend

RIP Balthazar

I still can’t read this account of our dog’s last day without crying.  Maybe I will never be able to.

Love and Fear

Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.- Marianne Williamson

This is a sobering reflection on the troubling times in which we live and how we allow them to affect our relationships with each other.

Violence in Baltimore

violence quote

This post is special to me because it was my first to be featured on BlogHer (or anywhere for that matter!).  It was widely read and remained one of the most popular posts there for several days, and engendered lots of good discussion.

Spring Fling

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a

This post is just eye candy–a collection of pictures with quotations that I made to celebrate Spring.

I’ve linked this up with the ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter.  There are more great posts to read there!  As always, thank you for reading and Happy New Year!

It All Boils Down to This

It’s New Years Day and y’all know what that means, right?  Black-eyed peas and greens, at least for us Southerners.

new years peas
As long as I can remember, my mother forced us to eat at least one bite of black-eyed peas each New Years Day, “For luck,” she said.  Later I learned that greens are also required, if you want to make money in the new year.  And who doesn’t want that, right?

new years greens 2
Luckily in this house a majority (read:  everyone but the little people) like either the peas, the greens, or both.

I’d never realized until this year that this tradition is strictly a Southern one.  I looked up its origin this afternoon while I was cooking and learned that it started post-Civil War, when supposedly those affected by Sherman’s March to the Sea were left with precious little to eat except for the black-eyed peas which the Union soldiers (who called them “cow peas”) assumed were only good for fodder for the Southerners’ long-gone cattle.  The erstwhile Confederates grew strong again on this minimalist yet healthy diet, and the foods eventually morphed from a generic “new beginnings” meal to one symbolizing future luck and prosperity.

As I perhaps have mentioned, I am an English major so I found additional meaning in today’s meal.

Just look at these collard greens, y’all.

new years greens
I don’t know if you can tell but that’s a LOT of greens. (And for only .99 at Kroger, too!)  It’s three enormous bunches which were too big for the plastic produce bag and took up the entire bottom shelf of my refrigerator.  It probably took me an hour to wash and rip them up so I could cook them.  The picture of them in the pan?  That was less than half of them.

Yet after ten minutes cooking, we were left with this:

new years greens 3
Yes, that’s what they boiled down to.  So that’s the source of that saying! I thought, cleverly, to myself.

But I also really did think, and announcedto my husband, that I am going to try to apply the lesson of the greens to any situations (I won’t say problems yet) that arise this year.  Whatever big tangled things I have to deal with, I’m going to envision them as a big mess of greens that haven’t been cooked yet.  I’m going to know in advance that really there’s just a little kernel at the heart of whatever it is that I really have to deal with.  Before I get all worked up and confused and overwhelmed, I’m going to think about what it all boils down to.

Happy 2014 to you!