Hobo Bread – JNW’s challenge


Have you ever had Hobo bread?

“What is Hobo Bread?
Hobo Bread is a moist, sweet nut bread inspired by the loaves that hobos baked in tin cans during the Great Depression.” (more here). We tried a loaf from Trader Joe’s and this bread is actually more like a dessert!  It is wayyyyy sweet – tasted like “toasted cake” – and it weighs like 20 lbs (not really, but very heavy).

hobo bread

Also, for those of you that are sticking around to blog during the holidays, here are some of my upcoming posts – well they are ones I am hoping to get to over the holiday break – which has officially started over here.

Upcoming posts to finish off 2014:

~ Short slideshow for Vass

~ UPDATE on the show we like called The Profit (and don’t be fooled by the name, cos this show is about “people, product, and process” and it has little tips for all kinds of organizations, which even applies to non-profit businesses and family life).

~ Top Ten Highlights of the Year (maybe)

~ From my inbox

~ Couple more challenges (including walk with Jo and Debbie’s LULD)

~ Jamie Smith song synced to something artsy


Okay – hope you enjoy your Friday

Thanks for the visit – and now sending you on your way with a little BREAD humor from Jim Gaffigan



This is linked to JNW’s challenge, which is taupe this week.

jennifernicholewellstaupe one word photo challenge






bread joke


Red and Green – Take Two!

Quick little post with some Red and Green from the Priorhouse:

christmas red and green - 1 priorhouse

Red and Green Fruit

christmas red and green - 3 priorhouse

Red and Green Clay (and the silky smooth texture is linked to Narami’s texture challenge.

red onions organic

Red onions..

green bananas

Green bananas can be good for digestion as a prebiotic (Check out MDA HERE)

green and red lentils

One of my all-time favorite gifts to get at the holidays… Mason jars filled with goodies like these red and green lentils…mmm and mmm.soup in mason jar

xmas list notebook, bimcoulars, and guns on piano

A red bucket on the piano – and this old random photo (from 2008) really cracks me up.

green raw pumpkin seeds

Green raw pumpkins seeds…

boys with photofunia image

A little red and green in the plant life, but really just wanted to share the photofunia creation site….

photofunia image with boys

Here is the link to PHOTOFUNIA = where you can make fun images like the one above…

made by a crafty man

Red and Green candy treat someone gave to H this week… a guy made this!

comic credit out there cartoon


calvin and hobbes xmas green and red

Mon torero and Victor Hugo excerpt

This holiday season, mon torero has some twinkling lights to adorn his stately presence in the dining room.

mon terero at xmas- twinkle photo 5

A little Christmas twinkle.

priorhouse twinkle photo 4

A little musical twinkle:

priorhouse twinkle photo 3


And here is a snippet from Les Mis:

Are you what is called a happy man?

Well! you are sad every day.

Each day has its own great grief or its little care.

Yesterday you were trembling for a health that is dear to you, to-day you fear for your own; to-morrow it will be anxiety about money, the day after to-morrow the diatribe of a slanderer, the day after that, the misfortune of some friend; then the prevailing weather, then something that has been broken or lost, then a pleasure with which your conscience and your vertebral column reproach you; again, the course of public affairs. This without reckoning in the pains of the heart. And so it goes on. One cloud is dispelled, another forms.

There is hardly one day out of a hundred which is wholly joyous and sunny.

And you belong to that small class who are happy!

As for the rest of mankind, stagnating night rests upon them.

Thoughtful minds make but little use of the phrase: the fortunate and the unfortunate. In this world, evidently the vestibule of another, there are no fortunate.

The real human division is this: the luminous and the shady. To diminish the number of the shady, to augment the number of the luminous,—that is the object. That is why we cry: Education! Science! To teach reading – means to light the fire; every syllable spelled out twinkles.

However, he who says light does not, necessarily, say joy.

People suffer in the light; excess burns. The flame is the enemy of the wing.

To burn without ceasing to fly,—therein lies the marvel of genius.

When you shall have learned to know, and to love, you will still suffer.

The day is born in tears.

The luminous weep, if only over those in darkness.

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables Volume 4 – Book 7 – Chapter 1


That snippet kind of reminds me of “Blessed are those mourn…” – because when you “know” and when you “love” – when you deeply “see” -well sometimes you grieve and ache for the hurting – you mourn because you care…but you’re also blessed because you feel with depth…and you will be comforted!

More musical twinkle:

priorhouse twinkle photo 2

music twinkle - priorhouse  6


The green lights from the pedal board add to the red lights at the start of the post, while they also show the texture of the rug, so I am linking to Narami’s blog here. This is also linked to the WPC, which is twinkle this week (more entries here).

Have a great Sunday!

Christmas Treats (the joy of sharing)

I wanted to share a Christmas Idea.

Something that has helped us enjoy this holiday a bit more.

Why not think about giving out holiday treats?

We started sharing holiday treats about eleven years ago and it has really been a rich part of our holiday.


When we moved to Richmond in 2003, we decided early on that we were NOT going to travel for any more major holidays.  We were just tired of backed up flights and crowded highways with congestion and stress.  We might travel again for some holidays, but drawing this boundary helped us enjoy a holiday peace that has been refreshing.

We adjusted our expectations and started new traditions. One of the things this led to was delivering treats to our neighbors and community workers.


About six years ago, I started to grab a quick photo of some of our deliverables – and I am glad I did!priorhouse holiday treats

Each year it changes as to what we deliver and the recipients sometimes change.  The first few years we gave out homemade “peppermint bark” in baggies with huge bows. Another year we made mixed goodie bags with five dollar gift cards and gourmet coffee. Sometimes we add an ornament, stocking, or holiday towel – it depends on what I find that year.


priorhouse holiday treats 2

Sharing holiday treats is different than giving goodies to family members – because instead – when you reach out to give to people in the community -(who are not needy or destitute) well it has a special feel because it is unexpected and can bring a certain joy that is hard to describe.  Sometimes it can lead to making a few closer acquaintances. Also, it models giving – which is so important in a culture that consumes, takes, and accumulates!  I knew we were onto something special when the one year (think it was ’05) – my son came to me a week before Christmas and said that when we delivered our plates this year, he wanted to deliver to the cul-de-sac in the back.  There was something rich about the way he was prepping his delivery plan – and the “holiday treat shares” became an official annual tradition after that.

store bought pie for a neighbor

Don’t worry if you do not have time to bake (or just don’t want to bake) – because store bought items work wonderful for treat sharing too!



A few years ago I started adding some tea bags to our plates – and added some into into our Christmas letter (yeah, we still snail mail out about 70 holiday letters each year). I stopped adding the tea bags last year, but when I was down in Florida in February, one of my cousins told me how much she loved the tea bags with the letter -and she suggested I keep doing it! :)

tea for holiday letters

So I am going back to adding tea bags with our mailed Christmas greeting, which is actually why I bought Talbott tea last month – I was hoping it would be a lightweight, gourmet bag of tea that would be a pleasant treat.  But the Talbott tea was SO terrible I decided to use a different brand.  Seriously, I would rather send NO tea rather than send something they would not enjoy.

In closing, sharing holiday treats each year has brought our family much joy.  Such a little thing, but it has been little things like this that have helped us enjoy life more. Contentment is cultivated and peace is sometimes something we intentionally bring in.  We save money and reduce stress by not traveling during the horrible holiday bustle.  And we have some stories to tell, like nine hours on I-4, snowed in overnight at O’Hare, a day on the Pennsylvania turnpike, standstills on I-95, stuck at DIA, etc.). We have less stress in our lives because we visit family during off season times – where we can sit and talk more.  Also, the little bit of money we use for outreach treats, well it brings a special joy that is priceless.


The holidays can be fun, but too often the Christmas season is NOT the “most wonderful time of the year” – and so without becoming too detached – try changing your traditions, try adjusting your expectations, and try finding new ways that you can enjoy this “mixed” holiday.

short pump chirstmas tree 2012

Linked to Kan’s Joy is challenge (20)  – because joy for us – has been sharing holiday treats!



Christmas Art

Here is a Christmas Art slideshow that I made, synced to This Winter’s Night with Kevin Marks.

It is actually a hodgepodge masterpiece compilation with an essence of Christmas.

priorhouse xmas art 2014


priorhouse xmas art collage - 2014

The shoes, painted by Vincent Van Gogh, remind me of humanity – and the paths each of us walk on our life journey.

Three-Pairs-of-Shoes-Vincent-van-Gogh-1886 shoes by van gogh A Pair of Leather Clogs - Vincent van Gogh van gogh shoes 1885


I got this little image quote from someone earlier this week – I apologize because I cannot remember where.

cost a lot like Xmas

This week I have also heard at least three people say they hate this time of year.

And those folks are NOT Scrooges either – not at all.  They are just seasoned folks who have “been there, done that” too many times and I guess they like other holidays more.

Now sure, the Christmas season can be a joyful time too… with the sparkle of lights, great music, decadent food, reminder of Christ, sharing of gifts, parties, plays, musicals, classic movies, etc.

But let’s get real for a few minutes here.

The Christmas season can also be such a crappy time of year. Stress, pressure, bad memories, traditions that choke, longer days, missing loved ones, drinking too much, shopping too much, unadjusted expectations, obligations, travel worries, depression, etc. The truth is that this hustle and bustle season can have some down sides.

So with that in mind, I want to close with an image of Starry Night Over the Rhone by Van Gogh – because this painting always reminds me to keep all things in balance.  Art historians have different takes on this work, especially because Vincent sent a description and preliminary sketch of it in a letter before he painted it.

But I like it for the simple things… the visual balance and how the two people seem lost in the vastness of the heavenlies. I enjoy it because of the glowing stars, and the entire sky reminds me of the very spiritual world we live in. It reminds me that we are not alone – because of that Christmas God came down – and how good it is that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

van gogh Starry Night over the Rhone

So… with about 11 days left until Christmas, let’s continue to find joy in some of the smaller things –  let’s stop comparing – and let’s be intentional about doing things that help us glean more of the simple, natural beauty that can easily get missed.




Gone, But not forgotten (civil war in RVA)

If there was ever a slogan for our city, “Gone, but not forgotten,” would fit well because during the Civil War in United States (1861-1865) Richmond, Virginia was the political home for the Confederacy (South).

So let me take you for a little tour to show you how remembrance of the Civil War is all around town.

First, while driving home from The Fan this summer, I decided to snap a few photos from my car window while on Monument Avenue:

back of JEB Stuart

The back of J.E.B. STUART.

Here is looking up at the Stonewall Jackson Monument – in triple shot.

stonewall jackson in triple shot

In Mechanicsville, here is Stonewall Jackson Middle school. MANY schools here have a name with a Civil War connection.

stonewall jackson middle school

Side note:  The Book about Stonewall Jackson, Rebel Yell, by S.C. Gwynne, was just listed as one of Delancey Place’s top ten books for 2014.

DP says it is was “touching and unexpected” and in an October post shared that Jackson “was perhaps the most brilliant and stalwart military leader of the American Civil War, inflicting devastating defeats upon the Union Army time and time again. He was also a deeply religious man and physics professor who was strongly opposed to the war — and who attempted to organize a national day of prayer to avert the conflict” (more here)-

stonewall jackson

wiseGEEK featured Stonewall Jackson this week too, noting that his body is buried in two places (more here).

Also, did you ever wonder what “stonewalling” means?  Well wiseGEEK tells us that it is similar to playing head games: “Stonewalling involves the use of various tactics to delay or derail a conversation” – (more here). 


Here is photo from the 4th of July 2006. On holidays, you can find Confederate Soldiers walking around and willing to stop and share factoids.

at local events - civil war soldiers walk around

This man was very hot (temperature hot) in his “wool” uniform – and so after he cooled off near the ice, my oldest son reached into our small cooler bag and gave him a semi-frozen Capri sun juice pouch. The guy (I mean Civil War Soldier) lit up with a huge smile.  (awwww)

civil war reenactment

This photo was taken a little outside of town – in Newport News, VA – but I wanted to show some readers some Union soldiers (North). 


My eldest brother is a history buff and in summer 2006, he came to Richmond to make a short Civil War documentary. I think Cold Harbor is his favorite part of the Civil War Trail.  Here are a few of his pics:

civil war doc priorhouse


In closing…

The little things scattered around RVA whisper of yesteryear and remind us of those who are gone, but not forgotten – -

while these artifacts also serve as “iconic representations of the cost of war” –  and here are two more pics from my brother:

civil war roll of honor

civil war cemetary

Civil War Cemetery in RVA: Gone, but never forgotten.


For more weekly photo challenges on “Gone,but not forgotten” – go HERE.

Have a great weekend….

and if you are yawning from this history post,  I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS HISTORY post and see you later when my next post is going to feature some more “tea” – with an idea for Christmas – :)





Christmas Green & Red (food and Black Friday memory)

JNW’s color this week is PINE, and I so I thought I would share some green with a holiday feel.

hodge podge xmas ornaments

A few ornaments.


Part 1: Green food photos:


This is Spirulina from Hawaii. For a short while I was adding it to a morning smoothie, but because it tastes like “feet” – I just can’t seem to enjoy this nutrient dense, green vitamin rich supplement. spirulina



brussel sprouts

These brussel sprouts, with a nice green, are from Trader Joe’s (for pennies) -they reminded me of the holiday stalk of sprouts in a vase over at Likeitiz – mmm.Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 5.30.02 PM


burger at burger bach

In the evening on Black Friday, we took my older son, and his lady friend, to Burger Bach.  The green side salads were just as fresh as last time – and we had the same waitress as on our last visit (Blake)-  but no video was made. The background photo behind the chili burger is a scarf my step-daughter gave me for Christmas 8 years ago (when she and her mom had a small business selling their homemade scarves).

c and j at burger bach

It is pretty cool to double-date with your son – so I am linking this to Kan’s week 19 Joy is…

kerrygold butter

Mark’s daily apple recently discussed Kerrygold Butter (green logo) so we gave it a try for Thanksgiving. A reader asked Mark, “I saw Kerrygold as one of your recommended butters, but it is not organic & it’s made from cows that do receive some GMO grain.” He answered “So what. People need to stop chasing dietary perfection. So Kerrygold cows may get a maximum of 3% of their food from GM soy and/or corn? Is that really a problem?” More HERE And we thought it tasted “okay”kerrygold butter 2

red and green post - priorhouse seaweed 1

I love snacking on GREEN seaweed crisps.  The texture made me think of Narami’s shell post this week – HEREred and green post - priorhouse seaweed 2


Part 2

Black Friday Memory 

TC Conner tagged me for “holiday touring” (HERE) -So to answer his questions about Groundhog day, first, we do not do anything on that holiday and second, we have never had groundhogs in the garden (thankfully).

To answer his third question:  If you could live one day over and over again, what day would you choose, and why?

Well TC, after thinking about that question, I came up with a handful of days – It was fun to think about (and I also recalled some days I would never ever want to live over again).

Anyhow, the day I would not mind living over again would be this fun “Black Friday” shopping day with my mom and my sis back in 2000. (Side note, I hate shopping on Black Friday, because as much as I like a good deal – it is not worth it to fight such crowds.)

We had just moved to the east coast and so venturing out to spend all day shopping with my mom and lil’ sis was more about together time. So with our small clutches and comfy shoes, we met at the crack of dawn to “do this thing.”  We bought gift sets and clothes (notice the red vests in photo below) and my sister crossed off a big ol’ list of things to get.  Some stores gave out a gift as we entered, and one store gave out chocolate bars (not bad quality either) with coupons inside the wrappers – and two of ours had 50% off any item. There was an excitement and buzz in the air that seemed pleasant and fun. We went to the mall, hit up a warehouse store, and snacked along the way. I still have some things I bought that day – like the wooden blocks that make a marble run, and a porcelain soap dish that came in a gift pack.

We ended the day with dinner out together while chit chatting about this and that.  I then drove home with my goodies and they headed back to their town to unload there. Falling in the door that night  – the hubs and boys were fast asleep – and in hindsight I see that it was one of those days I would gladly live again.  

boys at xmas

My boys wearing some fun holiday outfits I bought for them on a Black Friday sale. The little girl is our friend, Shannon, from San Jose.


When my youngest son asked to go Black Friday shopping this year, we took him to a few stores mid-morning, but there was not much going on!  I think it is because nowadays Black Friday shopping starts the night before – or at 3 a.m. -and so there was a lackluster feel with no fun buzz. My son did buy his girlfriend a heart necklace (and we found two books for my step-daughter), but we quickly headed back home to enjoy turkey leftovers. It was nothing like the Black Friday in 2000 with my mom and my sis…


xmas pics on the piano 2

Paula’s theme this week is “young” and as this post winds down, I wanted to share our Christmas picture from 2000 (left). It is nothing fancy, but I chose that October snapshot with seaweed on the shoreline because it was exactly what life felt like that year –  the raw beach (after landlocked CO) my nieces (who I had missed so much), and my very young boys (in their momma’s arms).


If you have some time to check out a few other Black Friday reads, Sherri Matthews mentioned the ubiquitous cheap televisions that people stampede to buy (HERE- http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2014/12/01/a-merciful-interview-bite-size-memoir/), Sir Spaniard CP wrote a cool little poem about Black Friday (HERE), and Jill Carattini wrote a faith based post about “Enough” (HERE).


Lastly, it is not a Black Friday special, but doggie owners might want to peek at Terrierman’s post about Home Depot’s current “deal of the week” on dog food (HERE).


Thanks for reading/skimming –  have a great day. :)

triple crossing train tracks

In late October we went downtown to enjoy some chicken wings and watch the Denver Broncos beat the Chargers (35-21). Here is the little video slideshow I made:

We had a nice little evening WALK along the way.

walk with jo downtown rva - 2014


one yellow flower

Linking to Debbie’s look up/down challenge, because looking down there were lemon yellow flowers (and JNW’s color of the week is lemon: HERE).  This is not the best quality picture, but it shows how these late fall blooms helped illuminate the path! 


The DP photo challenge is converge this week, and our evening walk was near the spot where 3 class I railroad tracks converge.

It is called the “triple crossing” and it’s the only place in North America with a triple tiered railway convergence.  

triple crossing in 1919

RVA’s triple crossing in 1919- I will try to get an updated photo soon.  info here

Our walk also included a beautiful view of the old train station on Main Street:

old main street train station


richmond train station in 1919

Richmond’s old Main Street train station is still in use today. It was remodeled in 2004 and I guess it was used as a pseudo Vienna location for the old TV show Alias.



Have a great day and I hope you are able to get out there and walk this week.

downtown walk in rva priorhouse

For more walks this week, check out restless Jo’s blog here.

chicken wing

From My Inbox (weather, dogs, street art)

Well it is time for the November inbox share…. I put the slideshow in a short video -

1. Delancey Place highlighted some good news about gloomy weather (here):

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 8.16.05 AM

drunk tank pink

2. Here is what the lake effect snow in Buffalo, NY looked like this month:

laek effect snow2

credit – The Weather Channel


Someone in Buffalo made an outdoor beverage holder:

outdoor fridge in buffalo

lab in snow at night

3. Terrierman shared that “one of the things that sets a dog’s heart aflutter is the smell of their owners.”

terrierman blog post

click image to read more at terrierman

Terrierman also provided a site for ZIP CODE data –  go  HERE to get some “adjectives” about your neighborhood.

4. Bytes daily delivered some art by Kenny Random (HERE) into my inbox (and go here for typewriter art by Paul Smith)

kenny random silhouette art from bytesdaily

Well that’s all from moi!  Have a great day everyone – and for those in the States – I hope you have a peaceful Thanksgiving.

happy thanksgiving

and for those that are still working on their novel for this month – best wishes – and keep going…. keep going…. xyabc#!#abc!


#1: Blogger lady-pinkrose posted about her experience with the lake effect storm (that was on TWC in that video) – check out her post HERE, where she says “What all of us here in Lancaster, NY have witnessed, is a Miracle. The tons of snow that was dumped on us in 2 days, was predicted to cause massive flooding. It did not. Because we experienced a slow thaw, right before our very eyes, the snow just seemed to disappear.” Thank God :)

#2 Blogger Andrea posted some awesome photos about “Snowvember” in Western New York  (HERE) where she takes through seven days of enduring (and enjoying) the epic winter storm in that area.

andrea remembers snowvember pic

She also shared this cool video HERE – and go to the 32 second mark – to see the snow MOVE in….

joy is… a trip to the store

To link to Kan’s challenge this week (HERE), I am sharing a couple of photos from a trip to the store. We were able to see Speedy again (here is the first post featuring a street photography shot of him).

speedy - in rva

At the store, there was a lady from Maryland in town – and her car had such an artsy feel because the leaves on the windshield matched the logo – and with the deep red color of the car it just had this rich fall feel!

cadillac car with

Also, I had just seen the commercial for the Cadillac 2015 model – where the guy is walking down the street in an artsy shirt that matches the Cadillac logo – and so maybe that is why I noticed the vibrant colors and logo on this car.  I am sharing the commercial here – but for the record I have heard that these Caddies are not the quality they used to be…. and also, I personally do not like such a loud color for a vehicle:


Joy is… a quick trip to the store – seeing Speedy again and then just not being too busy to notice rich colors in every day things.

And here is restless Jo’s Joy is post – check out her splashes….