Cover Art – TOUGH! (wpc)

cover art - wpc- priorhouse 2014

For the “cover art” challenge – this photo from my summer garden stood out to me.

This crackled cement pot reminded about how as we age, we may get knicked-up and scratched, but we are also resilient and tough.

Also, when we take chances and try things, we may end up with even more dents, dings, and loss -

but I say it is worth it.

I say scratches and dings are the marks of a life well lived!

Life is too short to always play it safe, and so my cover art would be for a book that encourages people; a book that gives little tips for wellness and strength.


Life is tough…

but so are you!



A life well lived is a precious gift
Of hope and strength and grace,
From someone who has made our world
A brighter, better place

It’s filled with moments, sweet and sad
With smiles and sometimes tears,
With friendships formed and good times shared
And laughter through the years.

A life well lived is a legacy
Of joy and pride and pleasure,
A living, lasting memory
Our grateful hearts we’ll treasure

(author unknown)


Live your life!


More cover art entries HERE.

From my INBOX (update, comics, pink floyd jam)

I have some miscellaneous things to share from my inbox, which includes comics, Hannah update, and some old video footage of my husband and his daughter strumming a Pink Floyd song in summer 2013.

I put it into a slideshow to share:

Artwork by Victor Nunes (From Bytes):

Victor Nunes bytes daily

victor nunes - 3

victor nunes - 2

Nunes 10


From Terrierman:

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 8.05.14 AM


From Delancey Place:

delancey place history snowball fight

Probably the most fun the soldiers (of the Civil War) had that winter were the snowball fights.                                            Many of them had never seen snow before -


From MDA we have another post about wonderful walking:


and if you need more inspiration to get out there and walk – why not join Restless Jo and her weekly walk challenge? (here)


dale terry said it was divine intervention

Dale Terry says they were about to leave when he just felt to go back and look again…

Update on Hannah Graham: As most know, the  remains found last week were confirmed to be hers, and so as we all pause to remember, I thought I would share a local news clip from Channel 8, which did not make international news:

Channel 8 News report about the Chesterfield County Sergeant who led up that team:

“He says that they were actually finishing up their assignment, about to head off to a different location when something told him to keep looking…

We were on our way back to our vehicle, and I just decided to keep going.

And so we sloped a different area and luckily, we um,

We just came upon what we came upon…

But again, Divine intervention, is the only thing I can of….

Lastly, cleaning up some “save folders” in my inbox, here is some footage from summer 2013:

c and his daughter

My husband strumming to some Pink Floyd with his daughter – 7-2013

Also, have been hearing from some Denver friends, and really missing the Mile High city this month:

missing denver

sempe comic man dreaming about girl dreaming about him - 1985

sempe’ 1985

Well that is it from me – and as you go into this day – or night – remember to not take your life for granted.

Every day is a gift to be enjoyed…

no matter what is going on…

make the most of it!

brown and night (photo challenges)

I know some folks do not like combining challenges, but sometimes we just have to – especially when themes connect so naturally. So in today’s post, I link up with Paula’s “of the night” challenge, JNW’s chocolate brown color, and Kan’s Joy is….


I have this chocolate brown lamp…

It is artsy and has some nice woven texture.

It serves as a night light at the base of the stairs.

warm glow - priorhouse - 2

Right above this lamp, is a metal art sculpture that I bought locally in 2009.

This metal art piece has 16 fish on three iron rods – and it has some faith symbolism to me, but that is for another time!

For now, I wanted to just show you how the uplight highlights this metal work of art.

warm glow priorhouse 3

As most know, light placement is so important when it comes to art and I used to have an oil painting above this light, but I wanted to have this fish piece in a more prominent place and so I moved it here just to see.  It worked.

Side note about light and art.

Did you know that the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. changes affect depending on the light source?

lincoln memorial in dc with different light sources

Source: Core Knowledge Foundation: Downlight on the Lincoln Memorial gives us a thoughtful contemplative look, whereas uplight exudes a surprised and softer feel. The artist (David Chester French) intended for the figure to be viewed with downlight.

Additional Lincoln Memorial info HERE and  HERE


I am not sure if you remember my bulls’ eye art target post, but the bridge in this next photo is just down the trail from the art wall in downtown RVA.

We were here the night the bridge reopened after some construction and the lights in this shot have a special “of the night” feel….

lights in rva - bridge in trail walk

This next of the night photo has a silhouette of one of RVA’s “dog art” figures.  Our city has these dog art statues that can be seen all around town.

lights in rva - at station 2 restaurant

Lastly, these night pics have some chocolate brown in the wooden booths and beverages, but they also remind me of what a joy family is….

joy is dinner with family - priorhouse 2014

Joy is… dining out with teens!

In closing, let’s end with some more Switchfoot!

I want to share this awesome Isak Dinesen quote from the Switchfoot Fading West movie:

“The cure for anything

         is salt water –




the sea”

Lastly, two people have told me that Slipping Away was their favorite song from Switchfoot’s Fading West album, so I thought I would include this song, just in case you have time to listen:

Also, the words fit into the feel of this post:

Remember coming home at four in the morning
Before the sun was up
Back when the east was a fire of gold
Just waiting for the rest of the sky to fall in love

Our hope is just a metaphor, of something better
For all of our dreams tonight
And fear is just a shadow of the things that matter the most
And I fear that I’m losing hope tonight

Oh oh
I feel like I’m dreaming
Oh oh
Staring up at the ceiling
Oh oh
It’s four in the morning
I can’t sleep and it feels like a warning…

Have a great day. :)

Check out these links for more challenge photos:


joy is…

paulas challange

of the night…


chocolate color…

WPC- Refraction – mon torero

The WPC is refraction this week, and so to join in, I had some help from Señor Torero.

mon torero - refraction photo challenge - priorhouse 2014

Refraction 1 ( amo a mi torero)

bullfighter jacket colors in candlestick refraction photo challenge - priorhouse 2014

Refraction 2 (amar los colores)

Today is also Singing Saturday over on Love Happy Notes…


and so to join in on her challenge, I would like to share a Switchfoot song. This band reminds me of two bloggin’ friends: K from Vastly Curious – and T from Other Side of the Trees! :)

We just watched a show about Switchfoot’s Fading West album and the Goo Goo dolls singer, John Rzeznik, was interviewed about Swicthfoot and what a small world it felt like.

Anyhow, here is probably my favorite song from Goo Goo Dolls – you know, because it is Singing Saturday after all.

Have a nice weekend – and to see more refraction pictures- go HERE.

Fiesta after Siesta (Dreamy and Throwback Thursday)

For Throwback Thursday and for the “Dreamy” weekly photo challenge, I started with this chandelier photo taken ten years ago at the Jefferson Hotel in RVA. The clouds are so dreamy… dreamy chandelier from jefferson hotel I also stumbled on this old photo from ten years ago – and I had to laugh – because the kid’s are pretending to be asleep and the whole feel of the photo is “dreamy” to me.

I can’t recall all of the details of this day – but we had friends over and after swimming, doing stuff, and having lunch – the children had to “take siesta before they could have fiesta” – And isn’t this important life wisdom to live by… “Fiesta after Siesta!” ha! Part of our fiesta this day included these cookies: cookies for fiesta after siesta These cookies in particular will always remind me of that summer because in early June of that year, there was a HUGE sale on some all natural cookie mix KITS, which included the gelatin gummies and frosting too.  So we made shortbread cookies a lot that summer – and this is my favorite kind of baking – just add butter and eggs – and then find the right pan. (Side note, knowing what I now know about refined sugar – well I would not have bought these kits and would instead have maybe had chocolate covered fruit – coconut caramel goodies –  or something with some “sweet and nutrition”  ….)

Anyhow, this last photo also says “dreamy” to me too. It’s the one bracelet I really like, which was a gift, and it says mother in seven different languages.

dreamy mother bracelet

I took this photo last spring, when the bracelet was just sitting on the sideboard. The way it was sitting there caught my eye and it gave me a little smile. :)

Well that’s it – I hope you find something “little” to smile about today. And remember – fiesta after siesta! ~ If you have time and want to check out some other “dreamy” photos, go HERE. ~

Light and Shadow (Rembrandt – Henri Nouwen)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I wanted to share a few quotes from Henri Nouwen:

“Being is more important than doing”

“The heart is more important than the mind”

“To give and receive love is at the center of humanity”

“It is better to be together than to be alone”

the return of the prodigal son rembrandt - priorhouse 2014

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt, 1669


I finished reading Henri Nouwen’s book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, this past weekend and when David Crowder’s “Shadows” song came on, well it all lined up so well I had to use it in a slideshow:

Normally I do NOT like religious art, especially the excessive paintings from the Baroque period (just not my preference), but Nouwen’s writing gave me a new appreciation for The Prodigal Son –  the painting and the story.

henri nouwen's book

In his book, Henri Nouwen reflects on and critiques Rembrandt’s painting of the lost son who comes home – and he uses the story to discuss changes in both Rembrandt’s transformed life and his own.

 “When Rembrandt painted the Prodigal, he had lived a life marked by great self-confidence, success, and fame, followed by many painful losses, disappointments, and failures.

Through it all he had moved from the exterior light to the interior light, from the portrayal of external events to the portrayal of the inner meanings, from a life full of things and people to a life more marked by solitude and silence.

With age, Rembrandt grew more and more interior and still. It was a spiritual homecoming.” (p. 64)

Rembrandts 1636 etching

Rembrandt’s 1636 etching of the prodigal son


Nouwen shares about his own homecoming:

“The return was also from my complaining, comparing, resentful self to my true self that is free to give and receive love.

And even though there have been, and undoubtedly will continue to be, many setbacks, it brought me to the beginning of the freedom to live my own life and die my own death.

The return of the “Father from whom all fatherhood takes its name” allows me to let my dad be no less than the good, loving, but limited human being he is, and to let my heavenly Father be the God whose unlimited, unconditional love melts away all resentments and anger and makes me free to love beyond the need to please of find approval.” (p 83)

Rembrandts 1642 drawing

Rembrandt’s 1642 drawing of the prodigal son

Nouwen also shares that the Father of the returning son carries a new and mysterious light by which he sees.

“It is an inner light, deeply hidden, but radiating on all pervasive tender beauty. 

This inner light, however, had remained hidden for a long time. For many years it remained unreachable for Rembrandt. Only gradually and through much anguish did he come to know that light within himself, and through himself, and in those he painted. Before being like the father, Rembrandt was for a long time like the proud young man who ‘got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money.” (p 30)

Although Rembrandt would never become completely free of debt and debtors, in his early fifties he was able to find a modicum of peace.” 

Rosenberg writes that as Rembrandt aged and was sculpted through hard times, “he began to regard man and nature with an even more penetrating eye, no longer distracted by outward splendor or theatrical display.” 

Have a great day – and remember – we all go through hard times and each of us will have different things to endure and work through – but quite often the setbacks and hard times are a gift – because they can humble us and allow us to see — and appreciate — what really matters!

Beautiful Waterfront- Buffalo, NY- (JMW)

For my walk with Jo this week I am taking you on a little stroll along the beautiful waterfront in Buffalo, New York.

priorhouse walk with jo - buffalo new york

These photos were taken in 2007, when my husband and I took a sunset stroll in downtown Buffalo.

walk with jo in buffalo - 2

Buffalo is famous for snow, steel and chicken wings…

but it is also noted for some other things!

like gorgeous sunsets with pink in the sky…

and a waterfront area that is warm in July

walk with jo in buffalo 3

walk with jo in buffalo

The origin of the name Buffalo is from the French words beau fleuve, meaning beautiful river.

And there really ARE days in this town when you do not shiver….

priorhouse walk with jo - buffalo ny - 3

There are other theories about the origin of the name, but I like beautiful river because it highlights the great water access, as well as the important role that Lake Erie played in the early development of this city; in fact, the major streets all radiate from the downtown waterfront area – see the maps below:

buffalo ny streets radiate from downtown

Buffalo’s waterfront is also home to several decommissioned US Naval vessels, which are part of The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

priorhouse walk with jo - buffalo ny - 1


And for the last part of the walk with Jo – in good ol’ Buffalo -

I have to share a story from this quick summer before I go-

One of the days we took a group of kids to this playground that was in a “decent” neighborhood.

We noticed there was some graffiti in a few spots, but overall things looked pretty good…

priorhouse walk with jo - buffalo ny - 4

Seven of the cousins were playing that day- while we were chatting with grandma in the shade.

Suddenly, we heard my nephew “sounding out” some inappropriate terms.  We did not realize that there was swear word graffiti up on the slide and once we realized it – we left!  It was time for lunch anyway, but this photo reminds me of how much we laughed that day – because my nephew was confused – he was a new reader at the time and he was completely bewildered as he was sounding out a few of the words… and we were shocked by what we heard….


In closing my walk with Jo this week –  HERE is a song by Buffalo’s Goo Goo Doll’s – called Broadway- and this street is one of those major arteries that radiates from downtown.  I also bought my first car from a used auto lot that was on the corner of Broadway and Bailey (that lot has gone for a long time and there is now Tim Horton’s coffee shop there)

For more walks with Jo – check out her blog HERE, where this week Jo takes us to visit Studley Royal.

Also, did you know there is another city with crazy weather that can also be quite beautiful too?  Well Jill takes us to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand – where I guess it rains horizontally and has the “sort of weather poets fill anthologies with…” more HERE

Have a great day!

early morning nature…

To join in with Kan’s “joy is” challenge this week, I had to share some bird sounds from out back.  The bird chirps were a pleasant sound when I opened the door to let in some early morning autumn air….

Here is what I heard:

Check out “all about birds” for identifying bird sounds -


The early morning chirps reminded me of a few other blog challenges this week:

There is a nature theme over at “lensandpensebysally” -

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 3.45.33 PM

This sweet visitor was captured thanks to having quick access to an iPhone

and this single leaf connects to NW frame of Mind’s One World Project:

the single leaf on ground = nwframeofmind one world project

go HERE for more 10 a.m. shots


and lastly, to join in on Cee’s Wednesday Which Way challenge, here are two phone photos I grabbed while walking part of Richmond’s pipeline trail (more about this nature trail here)

RVA's pipeline trail - priorhouse 2014

On part of the pipeline trail in RVA, you actually walk right on top of a pipe!

Have a great Wednesday and get out there and enjoy some nature….

WPC: Signs (Jazz band and Speedy)

I went to the store to buy some Aztec clay

different bulk clays for sale

I saw “street sign” furniture along the way

table made out of recycled signs tables made from old signs


Then I met Speedy, who was willing to say “Hey…”


While some musicians were wrapping up informal play…

musicians out to play


here is a short video I made:


I hope you have a nice day-

and click here to see other “signs” today.






pink petunia gift…

I have really enjoyed the colorful pictures going around for JNW’s fuchsia photo challenge this week.

As we were leaving the house to take my son to get his cast taken off of his arm today, I looked down at the front path and realized I had some garden flowers that would fit right into this pink challenge!  Here is a bit of the beauty:

priorhouse flowers

I like perennials because they come back every year and I have had the Sedum Autumn Joy since 2008. However, sometimes with Virginia’s mild winters – annuals will also come back each year – and the fuchsia Petunia (bottom photo) was a gift of a flower to me this year because this little ol’ annual showed up in a very barren area of the garden in early summer.


priorhouse flowers in pink - growth is not always visible

When this little pink petunia started growing in this bare spot, it reminded me that sometimes we just do not know what is going on beneath the surface.

Sometimes many great things are happening when things seem rather plain!

So remember… we should NOT be moved by what we see on the surface because many times growth – or change – is not always visible to the naked eye!


Have a nice day!

For more fuchsia entries, or to join in with your own photos, go here.