Sunday Snippets

Sunday SnippetsIt’s time again for Sunday Snippets, that weekly linkup of Catholic Bloggers from across the web hosted by RAnn of This, That, and the Other Thing.  Sadly, this is the last week for Sunday Snippets but I hope to find some new linkups to join.
Things were pretty busy on the block this week!  I started off the week with a new graveyard post.
I shared some old but still popular posts this week too, of particular interest to Catholic readers. This one was for St. Patrick’s Day.
This one was in honor of St. Joseph.
Do you think fear might be ruining childhood?  I do, and I wrote a post about that.
I participated in the #1000Speak campaign, writing about bullying.
Finally, I shared the exciting news that my daughter had a story published in an online literary journal!
Thanks for visiting!  Please check out the other participants in the linkup.  You might find a new blog to enjoy!

Sunday Snippets

mary conceived without sin
Thanks for joining me for Sunday Snippets, a weekly roundup of posts by Catholic authors from around the web, hosted by RAnn.  If any of you would care to join in, please visit the link for instructions.
Partly because of snow days and partly because I’ve been away for the weekend, I’ve been able to write every other day this week.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:
I started off the week with my latest graveyard post, this one about a small family burial ground in the Smoky Mountains.
Next, I wrote a little tribute to Leonard Nimoy on the event of his death.
Finally, I wrote about lessons I learned from watching The Godfather.
I hope you like what you read and want to come back for more.  Please check out the other blogs at the link above.

Sunday Snippets

Welcome to Sunday Snippets, a roundup of Catholic bloggers from around the web hosted by RAnn of This, That, and the Other Thing.
My content is not explicitly Catholic this week (unless, of course, you consider celebrating the beauty of God’s Creation to be Catholic!), but at least I do have some content!  Being snowed in all week helped.
So, first up I did a roundup post about all the places my daughter and I walked in the fall that I had not gotten around to writing about yet!
Next, I wrote about our big success in finishing up 42 miles of trails in the South Knoxville Urban Wilderness.
Finally, I shared some of the places we have been walking since then.
That’s a lot of writing about walking in a week in which I have barely set foot off my porch.  I hope that you enjoy them and that they inspire you to get out there to do some walking yourself as soon as it’s safe to do so.  Happy Sunday and please check out the other blogs in the linkup!
mary conceived without sin

Sunday Snippets

Since I actually wrote a few posts this week, I’m linking up with Sunday Snippets, RAnn‘s link up of Catholic bloggers from around the web.  Here’s what I published:
I started off with some tips for increasing followers and engagement on Twitter.
Next, I continued my series on my family’s experience with Obamacare.
Finally, I posted a long-overdue cemetery story.
I hope you enjoy my posts, and that you will give the other bloggers a look as well.

The Year in Review: Your Favorites, My Favorites

I’m shamelessly stealing this idea from another blog.  I’m going to share the year’s five most popular posts (according the the stats provided by WordPress), and then I’m going to share five of my personal favorites (difficult to do because, frankly, I am a fan of my own writing, and I’ve already wasted way too much time today re-reading posts).


1.  And This Is Why They Call It Gallaher View

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How fitting that my top post should be about a graveyard, a subject to which I devoted many hours this year.  This particular post owes its popularity to the enthusiasm of the wonderful Facebook group, “You Know You Are from Knoxville If . . .” which never fails to suck me in whenever I risk visiting.

“Entering a new graveyard is always a little adventure.  There are almost always surprises, stories, mysteries.”

2.  Rocky Hill Baptist Cemetery:  Appearances Are Deceiving

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The number two post owes its page views, unfortunately, to a misunderstanding by someone who was offended by what I wrote.  Ah, the price of fame. 🙂  Seriously, I hate to hurt anyone’s feelings but I was gratified that most people who read what I had written did not see it that way.

3.  Songs of Innocence and of Experience

innocence and experience
I wrote this in 2011 and I have no idea why so many people are still reading it–or clicking on it, at any rate.  Rereading it today, though, it seems almost prescient, given that it was written shortly before our family passed through the literal flames of experience.

“So in my paper I talked about innocence, experience, and wisdom in Blake’s poetry, in William Wordsworth’s Prelude, in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and in Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield.  I defended it successfully, and I got that Honors degree.  Did I understand what I was writing about?  Probably not.”

4.  The Living and the Dead

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This post was written in response to the furor over #2 above.  In it I talk about WHY I write about cemeteries, and how I approach the task.

“If I’m in a smaller cemetery, I try to read every gravestone.  I think about the people there, wonder about them.  Sometimes, especially if they are babies, I pray for them or even talk to them.  I tell them that today, even if only today, they are remembered.”

5.  The Terrifying Teens

My teenagers sample fried gator while visiting my sister and her husband in Texas
My teenagers sample fried gator while visiting my sister and her husband in Texas

This is another old post–from 2010!–that is still very close to my heart, so I’m glad it’s being read.  After the mid-point of February, I’ll be down to just one teenager!  I had three when this was written.  Making it through their teen years was even harder than I thought it would be when I wrote this.

“I don’t think teenagers are terrible at all–I enjoy mine very much; it’s exciting to see the beginnings of the adults they are slowly on their way to becoming.  But I don’t look too hard for the light at the end of the parenting tunnel for fear that it may be an oncoming train.”


I’m only going to pick from ones I posted this year.  I tried to pick a variety of representative posts.  Another time perhaps I’ll do a roundup of my favorites of all time.

1.  Obamacare:  My Latest Update

I wrote a lot of posts about Obamacare this year and you’ll be hearing more about it this year.  I’m proud of these posts which are relevant and also personal, and which I realize open me up to some judgment and criticism.

“There shouldn’t be a set of assumptions about people who are on TennCare which influences the care they receive.  There shouldn’t be different levels of care for people who have insurance and those who don’t.  But that was our reality, and Obamacare has changed that for our family.”

2.  Cuttin’ Footloose

footloose kevin bacon
I love this short story of the memories and feelings a favorite movie can evoke.

“Maybe it wasn’t the movie itself.  Maybe it was just the joy of being young and with close friends, out alone at night under our own steam, having friends who were driving and a couple who even had their own cars.  But for me the way I felt that night is inextricably linked to the movie and always will be.   I felt . . . empowered.  Like I could do anything.  Like life was good and all of it was ahead of me (that part at least was true).”

3.  Back Home Again

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This is the third of a three part series on the college reunion I attended this year–my 25th.  I love Georgetown.

“The Eucharist is the source and the summit of all that we do as Catholics, and the Reunion Mass is the summit of the weekend for me.  I worry sometimes at the naysayers who proclaim Georgetown is not “Catholic enough,” until I come back and see and feel how very Catholic it is.”  

4.  Forty Years of Yo-Yo Dieting

Me at age two, before hopping on the diet treadmill
Me at age two, before hopping on the diet treadmill

This was very personal and hard to write, and I shared it as part of my writing on my journey toward being healthier.

“What that first diet was I don’t remember . . . Some of them worked better than others, but I never lost ALL the weight.  I never weighed the magic number the weight tables told me I should.”

5.  Dust to Dust

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This was the beginning of my cemetery posts.  I’ve enjoyed visiting them, photographing them, learning about them, and sharing them with my readers.  Expect many more of these posts in the new year.

“See, as long as your name remains visible on a stone, and as long as someone comes by to read the names, and wonder about the people who bore them, how they lived, why they died–you are still a part, albeit a small one, of the living world.  It’s important to me, that these dead people be remembered.  That the living remember where we come from.”

If you enjoyed this sampling of posts above, please feel free to share this with anyone else you think might enjoy this blog.  Thank you for reading and special thanks to those who take the time to comment.  Happy New Year!

12 in 2014: A Year in Pictures

So, I’m linking up with Dwija at House Unseen, Life Unscripted  and posting one picture for each month of 2014.  I did this last year, but this year it seemed much harder to choose.  I’ve taken an insane amount of pictures this year, for one thing.  And then I had to think about what I was trying to present:  My best pictures? The ones that were most representative of each month? I went for a mixture, as you will see!


January’s picture was taken at the Knoxville Depot, which nowadays is a reception venue.  The little kids and I were looking at the old trains outside after our parish’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch.  I took a lot of pictures, and was just really pleased with the way the one above turned out.


We got some snow in Knoxville last winter, y’all!  I really love the way Mary looks in the snow, in the green tint from the porch light which we never changed back after Christmas.


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I don’t think I ever blogged about the walk Emily and I took downtown in the early spring–our first of many, many walks this year!  I love this shot of Church Street United Methodist Church and the forsythia in bloom.


The annual Easter egg hunt!  I caught Lorelei in mid-leap.


Lorelei wading
This was taken at Melton Hill Park on Mother’s Day.  I like to get Kentucky Fried Chicken and have a picnic on that day.


Lorelei getting wet at River Mountain Park at Volunteer Landing in downtown Knoxville.  We had all kinds of fun summer plans.  Oh well, at least we started off well!


Taken from our front porch on the 4th of July.


food tomatoes
A veritable bounty of tomatoes given to us by our landlady, and beautifully complementing my red kitchen.


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A mountain bike ramp on one of the trails at Anderson School, part of the 40-mile Urban Wilderness trail system Emily and I hiked from May through November.


William's garden
I could have posted so many beautiful photos for October, but decided to share this friend we found in “William’s Garden,” the patch of pokeweed, morning glories, and other assorted wild things growing on the side of our house around the air conditioning equipment.


I’m not exactly a fan of graffiti, but this touched me when I saw it downtown one day.


On the outside looking in at our Christmas tree.  I love the weird effect produced by the outdoor lights.  I promise our windows are not painted electric blue!
And there you have it!  Thank you for following along this year, and be sure to check out the other posts in the linkup.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival

I fell off the NaBloPoMo wagon in a big way, even failing to participate in my usual linkups.  So I missed Sunday Snippets last week, and will make up for it by listing two weeks’ worth of posts this week.
Sunday Snippets is a gathering of Catholic bloggers sharing their posts with each other and with their readers.  Please check my posts for anything you may have missed, and visit RAnn’s blog for the rest of the links!
First up is another post in my South Knoxville Urban Wilderness Hiking series.
Next I wrote about starting to write letters again!
Then I did a post about a very disturbing trend in assisted reproductive technology.
I wrote about a great new online shopping find.
Then I wrote about the May/Murray Cemetery.
Last night I wrote about a strenuous hike in Mead’s Quarry.
This afternoon I posted another short cemetery story.
And finally, I just added a picture to the My Sunday Photo linkup.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival

I’m linking up with RAnn of This, That, and the Other Thing for Sunday Snippets, that weekly famous gathering of Catholic Bloggers sharing their week’s posts.  This week there is no question of the week to answer (and yes, RAnn, I DO miss it!) so it’s straight on to the recap:
It’s the first full week of NaBloPoMo, and I’ve done pretty well–I did miss one day this week.
I led off the week with this post  about the elections. (Yes, I voted!)
Next I posted a little homeschooling update.
I wrote about another cemetery.
And because what I wrote upset some people, I wrote about it some more.
Then I wrote about another cemetery.
Finally, I participated in a weekly photo linkup.
I hope you will take a look at any you may have missed this week, and that you will check out the other linkup participants.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival

Hello, and welcome to Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly at This, That, and the Other Thing to share our best posts with each other.
Question of the week:  Who is your favorite saint?
Hard, hard question!  But I’ll go with St. Peter.  Why?  Because he was a gloriously imperfect human being who God used to accomplish amazing things.  Peter is constantly making mistakes but he has faith in abundance and that is the rock on which Jesus built the Church.  Peter is a reminder to all of us that as long as we have faith God can use us to further His will.
Posts for last week:
I started off with a piece on a local African-American cemetery and the importance of names.
I wrote a brief post to announce my intention of participating in NaBloPoMo, which means that my Sunday Snippets posts will have at least seven snippets throughout the month of November!
I linked up with My Sunday Photo.
Coming up this week:  more graveyards, more autumn walks, and perhaps a little something on voting . . . and who knows what else?  Thanks for reading!

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival

It’s been a lovely day and a busy Sunday which is not over yet, but I’m taking a few moments to link up with RAnn for Sunday snippets, a weekly gathering of Catholic bloggers sharing their week’s posts.
Question of the Week:  Have you ever tried the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office)?  Why or why not, and, if so, is it something you pray regularly? 
No, I have not.  I don’t have any kind of formal prayer routine, which is something I would like to remedy at some point.  If there is one things I would wish it is that I could be more holy. Sigh.
Now for the round up:
I was out of town from Tuesday night until Friday night, visiting my sister in Dallas, and despite good intentions I did not write a word while I was there.  I did, however, post a few things at the beginning of the week, which I hope you will enjoy!
A post about what’s going on in my garden right now.
Two photo posts, for new linkups I am participating in:  Silent Sunday and My Sunday Photo.
Thanks for reading!