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!


Anyone who reads my blog knows I love graveyards, and there’s no time like autumn for walking in them.  As the year dies, it seems natural to think about our own mortality.  And the beauty of the dying leaves reminds us of the glory our faith tells us lies beyond the grave.


Finally, a week in which I can participate in Sunday Snippets, a weekly linkup of Catholic bloggers hosted by RAnn, and actually have several posts to share!

First, though, this week’s question:

Question of the Week:  Share a family sacramental memory–the cute thing the kid said, the cake at the party, you in your wedding dress, the family gathered around the baby–anything is fair game as long as it at least sort of involved a sacrament.

Here’s a fun one. First the picture, then the explanation.

Jake's BaptismThis picture was taken at the reception we had following Jake’s baptism (August 1994, when he was six months old).  Those are his godparents in the picture, and the reason they are wearing those expressions is that they just saw the little piece of paper we had tucked into each napkin, which read: “Please save the date for this same time next year for the baptism of Jake’s little brother or sister, expected in February.”  And there was yet more fun to come at this party.  John got up to make a speech, as he is wont to do.  He announced that he had just been offered a job (he had graduated from law school just months before).  Then he dropped the final bombshell, telling everyone he was planning to join the Church (something no one was expecting).  It was a big day all around.

Now on to what I’ve posted this week!

I led off the week with It’s Good to Be Insured: An Obamacare Update, sharing what a blessing this has been to our family.

Next up was Beneath the Ashes, exploring some of my lingering feelings about what we lost in the fire that destroyed our house three years ago.

Then I shared a recipe post: Low Carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup.

I wrote another installment of my series on local walks, Walking in South Knoxville: In the Homestretch.

Finally, it was back to the graveyard with The Mystery of Lebanon Cemetery.

I hope you will check some of them out!

Fall in the Garden

Summer may be over but you couldn’t tell it by looking at my garden.  For all my lack of planning, it’s still blooming happily.

On the cool side, we have Autumn Joy Sedum:

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Chrysanthemums (which I divided last year–they did great!), verbena (needs dividing and transplanting BADLY), and butterfly bush (planted last year and filling out nicely this year):

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Meanwhile, on the hot side, where there’s less space, we have crazy zinnia action, most all from volunteers, and more mums, also transplants:

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And also this silliness, which isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing but I’m hoping to end up with four nice decorative gourds, grown accidentally:



For next year, I’m planning to continue to expand the cool side out into the yard (till there’s no yard left, eventually).  I absolutely have to move some things.  I always plant everything way too close together, for one thing.  Then some things have just gotten big–the salvia, for example–or are not the right height for their current location–that would be the verbena, which needs to be at the front so it has room for all its crazy spreading action.

There’s no room to add anything on the hot side except in the shadiest part where things keep dying anyway.  So I’m going to come across the walkway and put some matching flowers there, because the volunteer zinnias and marigolds have already let me know that’s what they want to do!

Finally, I took advantage of the wet weather and softened soil yesterday to start planting these:


Lorelei and I planted 15 crocuses throughout the yard for naturalizing.  I’ll add to that each year.  We planted 25 wood hyacinths on the cool side, randomly but near things that won’t be blooming yet when they are.  And we made a start on planting 40 daffodils on a difficult-to-mow hillside which I would like to eventually cover with daffodils and wildflowers.  I had to stop after the first three because 1) It’s hard to do anything while kneeling on a wet grassy hill and 2) My yard consists of red clay mixed with gravel and it is just exhausting to dig in.  But we will persevere and see the rewards in the spring.


This isn’t my best picture of the week but to me it captures the feeling of a certain kind of wet fall day as well as the spirit of mystery and adventure that comes from driving random country roads, just for fun.

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Silent Sunday


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It’s a great title but I’m hoping that just because Google cannot tell me much about the graveyard I visited this afternoon it doesn’t mean that my local readers won’t be able to share some of its history with me.

I would never have found Lebanon Cemetery at all if it weren’t for Siri, who helpfully included it in a list of nearby cemeteries when I asked her this morning.  On this grey rainy day, I couldn’t go walking on muddy steep trails, but it seemed like a perfect day for a visit to a graveyard.  I didn’t have anywhere specific in mind, and this one turns out to be only a couple of miles from my house, but it is on a road I’d never driven down and would never have had any reason to.

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Lebanon Cemetery–whose name I know only because Siri told me so, as there is no sign on the premises–is located on Garrison Road in Byington, if you want to get super-specific.  Broadly, it’s between Middlebrook Pike and Western Avenue, pretty close to Karns.  It’s surrounded by woods, and fields beyond that.  There’s a chain link fence, which has the kind of gate you’d open to get grave-digging equipment in.  There’s nowhere to park and the road doesn’t have much of a shoulder.

What I know about its history after an hour on the internet isn’t much at all.  It was founded around 1885, and the most recent burial occurred in 2011.  A church once stood here–Lebanon Church, which was a Methodist congregation.  I don’t know exactly where it stood, or when or why it was demolished, or what happened to its parishioners, or who the people are who are still being buried here, although I suspect it has to do with family ties.

Because like so many of these old cemeteries, names are repeated again and again.  Here we have Hackneys and Cowards, Smiths and McHaffies, Kellys and Crosses.  When we left the cemetery we didn’t have to drive far to reach Hackney Road and Coward Mill Road, and a quick search of directory assistance shows that many of these folks still live nearby.

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This is a nice-sized cemetery with plenty of room for more burials.  The grass was mowed and the place looked cared-for.  There were some broken stones, but some were repaired and those that were not at least bore signs that someone attempted to straighten them up.

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The epitaph above reads “There was an angel band in heaven/That was not quite complete./So God took our darling Hugh/To fill the vacant seat.”  That’s just one of many picturesque legends I found there:

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“How sad it is not to hear his voice any more, but God knows best.”

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“He was beloved by God and man.”

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“In the cold moist earth we laid her, when the forest cast a leaf/And we wept that one so lovely would have a life so brief.”

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“Earth’s brightest gems are fading” and “Having finished life’s duties he now sweetly rests.”

I like those obelisk-like stones.  Like all old graveyards this one has stones in all shapes and sizes.  Also like all old graveyards, there are the babies.

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On the lighter side, there were some amusing . . . footstones, I guess you call them?  These are small stones that go at the food of the body, and usually say something like Wife or Mother, but in this case they used them to show people’s nicknames:

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The earliest burial I found was 1888.  There was one row of older-looking stones that I couldn’t read.

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Fall seems like the best time of year to explore graveyards somehow.  I’m excited about finding more, learning their secrets, and sharing them with you.

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