Top Ten Posts of 2016 & a Glimpse into 2017

Top Ten Posts of 2016 & a Glimpse of

2016 on the blog was a great year, for awhile.  I learned a lot, and posted a lot.  And then, life got in the way.  A few lengthy absences. Life behind the scenes got a bit challenging. As a result, the long and short of it is I got sick. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right? Journey with me behind the scenes of the Top Ten Posts of 2016.

When mom gets sick, the kids still have to be fed, the laundry done, the school drop off/pick up goes on, you know the drill. But when dad gets sick, everything grounds to a stop.  Maybe you can relate! Well, this time, though I am a mommy, everything ground to a halt.  Because I was too sick to do any of that.

It all started on a lovely day in April; birds were singing, and the sun shone brightly. Temperatures were warm, and it was a perfect day for a walk around the beautiful campus of the university where my oldest was in orchestra practice.  My youngest, too young yet to be in orchestra, was running on the grass with her little friend.  Her mother and I were also friends, and she was my walking companion. Ironically, she is a family practice physician, who said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I think something is wrong with your feet. You need to get it checked.”

With her gentle prodding, I did get it examined.  ‘It’ turned out to be a brain tumor. And by this time, April had turned into May. A local neurosurgeon strongly encouraged me to have it taken care of within 6-8 weeks.  Because he was a friend from church, I put a lot of stock into his words. I was to be sent to San Francisco, where the best surgeon in the world was.

I underwent some tests by various specialists to see how far it had progressed, prior to being established in San Francisco. Unfortunately, this took some months to accomplish.  Thankfully, we had caught it early; I was just suffering from ‘wide feet,’ which my friend had noticed. Consequently, shoes and I were barely on speaking terms. Wearing a pair of flip flops as far into winter, and as many places as I possibly could was not uncommon.  I know. I know. Unbelievable!!

September arrived.  Finally, after meeting with the surgeon, we learned that while it wasn’t affecting my life much now, eventually my heart would get bigger and bigger until it took my life. So we scheduled surgery for the end of the month, so I could celebrate my birthday the week before. Furthermore, I was looking forward to weeks of recovery. Yeah, right!

But. It. Was. Not. To. Be.

Ten days before the surgery date, I experienced a bad headache. Unusual for me, I soon couldn’t keep anything down. At an urgent care, medical professionals thought I had an upper respiratory infection. Half of the weekend passed with everything going both ways. Within a couple days, I was seeing double. By this time the nurse practitioner in San Francisco suspected the tumor had bled, a very rare condition.  We were sent to the local emergency room, then I would go by ambulance to San Francisco.  Most noteworthy, the suspicions were correct.

Consequently, I spent my birthday in the hospital.  Happy Birthday to me.  The kitchen sent me a cupcake.  Grateful to be having another birthday, I knew that if I hadn’t been already been established with the surgeon in San Francisco I may well have died because no one in my local emergency room knew what was going on.

Surgery went on as scheduled, and the surgeon was able to remove all of the tumor.  In case you are wondering (I would be!), he used an existing hole, i.e. my nose, and I was able to retain all of my hair! A small blessing in the shadow of a bigger one! I was to spend the next six weeks holding down the couch, which was difficult due to being a mommy, as some of you well know, there is always much to do!

As a nurse, I am always educating on the theory of recovery from major surgery, but now I got to experience it!  The textbooks just don’t do it justice!  For months post surgery I had about as much energy as a marathon finisher!  Laundry, dinner, dishes, and cleaning bathrooms sapped any energy I had.

Furthermore, just when I thought I would get back to blogging, my little one thought she would stop taking naps.  Consequently, this was not amusing, for this was my writing time. Have you ever tried to write when you had a little one saying, “Mommy, mommy,” every five seconds? I had to find a solution without sacrificing my writing opportunities. As a result, we bought her a set of books for Christmas, My Bible FriendsThey are full-color, hard-cover books, perfect for a little one, who can be hard on books.  In addition, we got the audio CD’s to go with it. Uncle Dan and Aunt Sue have done a kids’ radio program for years, and read the stories, in addition to sound effects, such as trumpets blowing and cows mooing.  She loves it.

Finally, now that you know I have not forgotten you, without further adieu, the top ten posts of 2016, as chosen by you!

Top Ten Posts of 2016

10. Turmeric: The World’s Best Herb

Turmeric: The World's Best

Starting off our Top Ten Posts of 2016 is a reader favorite!  One reader shared her experience growing this herb!  Most have cooked with it, either using the powder or the root!  Others have used it medicinally with good results!

9. Thyme for Tea

I find it a bit ironic that this post made the list, as it dates back to 2015.  Written early on in my blogging experience; you can see how things looked then!  Be the first to comment and let me know what you think!

8. Rose Hips and Their Secret to Health

Rose Hips and Their Secret to Health-

Featured over at the Homestead Blog Hop, readers note that they didn’t know that rose hips had medicinal uses, and are grateful for another use for the many rose bushes they have!

7. Lime Tea: Nixing That Winter Cough

After trying everything, winter cough sufferers shared their relief in finally finding this simple remedy.  In addition, readers lamented that while there is no medicine in the house, apparently they have limes!

6. The Medicinal Value of the Pumpkin

The Medicinal Value of the Pumpkin-

Most noteworthy was this was a featured gem over at the Art of Homemaking Mondays in a special pumpkin edition. Peeps loved this fall favorite!  Readers commented that they knew of the pumpkin’s nutritional benefits, yet medicinal uses was news! Apparently it made the front page!

5. Bay Leaf’s Medicinal Use

Bay Leaf's Medicinal Use-

Most readers united in the dark regarding the bay leaf’s many benefits. It was refreshing to note about these amazing leaves is they are known and loved.  So nice to share the love!

4. Grease-Cutting Dish Soap 

Readers shared their struggles with traditional dish soaps and the havoc it wreaks on their hands in this well-loved guest post. In, addition, comments bubbled with eagerness to try this natural alternative! Maybe you would like to try it?

3. Mustard Plaster: Your Recipe for Congestion

Mustard Plaster: Your Recipe for Congestion-

Featured over at the Art of Homemaking Mondays, many said this brought back memories.  Most noteworthy was its inclusion in movies such as “Little Women”, it has made its rounds, and now lives on in our history books.

2. Vanilla and Its Greatest Battle

Vanilla and Its Greatest Battle-

Widely read, this post made the list, perhaps because most peeps like vanilla in some shape or form. Or maybe just vanilla ice cream? Perhaps readers have brain freeze from their beloved vanilla ice cream, and as a result, are speechless! Be the first to comment and let me know what you really think.  Or I will just have my own opinions, yet not necessarily to myself!

And, finally, drum roll, please… Number 1 of the Top Ten Posts of 2016 is….

1. The Dying Truth of the Dandelion

Written in 2015, I found it fascinating that it made number 1!  An old favorite, it has stayed around for the long haul.  Maybe it will go down in history!  Readers loved that this amazing health food was great for salads.  Some even used it for a cleanse, which lots of peeps are thinking about this time of year!

Finally, looking ahead to 2017, I will be implementing some changes. Not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, yet I do think it’s a great time to start fresh and to see how different things work. Therefore, readers and fans can expect a longer, weekly post.

My Final Thoughts:

Writing a New Year’s Top Ten Posts is one of my favorites.  Perhaps because its always interesting to see how it will shake out.  I do put some recipes on this blog, yet none of them made this post.  At any rate, it is nice to see the Top Ten Posts of 2016, in numerical order, complete with the world’s take.  After all, readers don’t get to choose what appears.

Wishing a Happy New Year to all; I hope that you will enjoy health in this fresh new year.  Health, the natural way.  It is my desire and the purpose of this blog to assist you in any way possible. Have a taste of it in the Top Ten Posts of 2016! Remember, what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger!

Let’s Talk…

Do you agree with this Top Ten Posts of 2016? Let me know in the comments.

This post was shared over at Across the BoulevardLife of Faith, Squishable BabyNourishing Joy, The Modest Mom,  Strangers and Pilgrims,  Small Town Homestead, April J. Harris, Born Again Farm Girl,  Urban Naturale, God’s Growing Garden, Linda’s Lunacy, Classical Homemaking, Not So Modern, Jann Olson, Saving 4 Six, Katherine’s Corner, Oak Hill Homestead, and Faithful Homestead.



Share This:


  1. Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook says:

    Wow, what a year you had!! I can tell you’re a mom because your sidebar indicates that you managed to post SOMETHING every month! I was in a car accident in 2015 and took about a month off from posting to my blog (as well as 3 weeks off from my full-time job) but it was hard for me to do; the sense of obligation and enjoyment of writing are both really strong.

    Here’s my top 10 if you’re interested.

    I’m off to learn about limes and pumpkins!

    • Sarah says:

      Very interesting about your book reviews! I’ve never done one, though I love to read. I guess I am mostly spending my spare time blogging, though I swapped it out for reading when I was recovering from surgery. It was interesting to note that your kids are almost the same ages as mine, 3,11.

  2. April J Harris says:

    Oh my goodness, you really have had such a year! I am so glad you are now recovering and I wish you a very Happy, Healthy 2017! Shared your post on Twitter. Thank you for being a part of Hearth and Soul.

  3. Jann Olson says:

    Oh my! I am so thankful that your friend noticed and realized that there was something wrong. Also thankful that you were able to make it to the hospital in time. I have learned so much from the posts that you shared in ‘2016’. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

Leave a Reply