2016 in Review (favorite photos, memories, 2016 RIP, and least favs)

Lost in Translation’s TS this week (here) is to share 12 of our best photographs from 2016. I had to join in, and I will also share a few more FAVORITE things as I look back on what was a really great year here at Priorhouse.  A few little hurdles, but overall one of my favorite years ever.

If you do not feel like reading the commentary – as usual, feel free to skim the images and move on.  🙂 

I know many of you pick a word of the year (WOTY) and I have written about it recently. Kristen Rybandt has another great post about WOTY and she picked perspective (here).

 I sometimes think of a second word for my year – a word after I have looked “back” on the year. The summary word is always different from the word I started with.  

MY “looking back” summary word for 2016 is DECOMPRESS.  

2016 was a decompression year for me personally….. 

Okay, so now here are some top photos from 2016:

#1: Looking out through love. This photo grabs the vibe of a fun road trip and I also like the double meaning – where in life I want to look out with love as my concern for others increases. I also like the composition here: three lights on an angle, verticals with trees, fog, letters and two posts, flower bed, etc.
#2: The fresh blue eggs were discovered on a walk the day after our beloved pet died. The many “small beauties” we discovered helped us move through grief. By day six, I had really found my way through the shock of the unexpected loss. I also like this photo because the tree has memories for us. This flowering cherry is boring for most of the year, but for about a week, it has gorgeous pink blooms – which leads to pink snow – every spring. We have some fun pictures over the years showing the short burst of spring pink – and it will always be a memory of this home and raising children here.  Can you see a few leftover blooms and the lichen? This tree is one of the last remaining “builder trees” on our property. Many of us think the builder in our area put in some “bad plants” on a few houses (because so many trees and shrubs had to be replaced). This front tree has been holding on every year, but it might need to be removed this coming year – we’ll see.


#3: My favorite black and white photo for 2016. It has a feeling of freedom to me….


#4: My favorite street shot of 2016. This little girl kept smiling at me when we were filling up our gas tank in Charlottesville, VA. She’s so cute! I think this photo reminds me of the human connection that makes life rich. This photo also makes me think of what I was “maybe” like at that age. I have always had this weird mix of extrovert and introvert – and when I was a young girl -I bonded with some construction workers who were doing a job near our house. They bought me a cake for my birthday and they all signed the box top – my mother was so touched and she saved the top of that box top for many years…. I guess that I told the guys I was going to be 7, but I was really turning 6. ha! The little talkative me, at such a young age, might have been very similar to this little sociable girl from the gas station.
#5: Favorite party shot: My mother-n-law remarried in June 2016. This photo reminds me of the celebration. I was not even sure I was going to the wedding until a few days before we left. I am grateful to have gone. Also, the union here is a reminder of how “waiting” for the right person can pay off. My mother-n-law is the kind of woman who really wanted a partner, but she would rather be alone than be with the wrong person. You might say that is true for everyone – but come on now – we know so many people who settle because they don’t want to wait it out. Then, later they usually regret it…. Anyhow, my MIL could have anchored down with a lot of “good” catches, but she never settled.  She waited and found contentment while doing so. And then when her sweet “gift” of a guy arrived – which took more than a decade – it was so worth the wait. Does this resonate with anyone? Maybe you are feeling anxious and would prefer to be partnered up by now – well let me remind you that “waiting is worth it” and you are doing the right thing by NOT settling. Be encouraged and keep doing what you do while you wait. 🙂


#6: Favorite food photo. Also special because of the way these delicious French pastries layered into our special anniversary month this year.
#7: Favorite Virginia culture shot. This photo was taken at our favorite outdoor amphitheater – we were rained out for three other events during summer so this successful event was nice. This opera event was not a big family fav, we enjoyed listening to some of it and then we discussed music on the ride home. We enjoyed the fresh air at the outdoor venue and we also had fun observing some of the stuffiness (if you know what I mean). There are also different ways that people dress in different cities – and here in RVA, this young couple seemed “so Richmond” as he had a bow tie and she had that dress. Oh – she was also 9 mos. pregnant and life was soon to be very different for that couple.
#8: My favorite selfie- with a sweet dude I interviewed in South Carolina. The interview was unplanned and it was fun.
#9: Favorite flower photo of 2016
#10 : Favorite art piece is this “move” one (post is here).  Turquoise has been a special color around the Priorhouse in 2016 (I recall when it was a popular car color in 1992).  I also like the simplicity of this painting and the use of space. The word “move” is paired with this piece because of the geese, but it also ties into a year of decompressing, or actually any year of living, because we succeed when we keep moving and keep finding our groove. And this does not really relate to my year, but did you know that there is another “F” word to add to the “Flight or Fight” response. The word is “Freeze” – and so while there is a flight or fight response, sometimes there is a freeze response. So this little art image, with the word move, could apply to anybody who might need to get moving. Now of course there are times for a pause, or a time to make still assessment, but there are other times when we have to “move to do what we do we do.”
#11: Favorite Shroom


#12: Favorite Door Photo



~~~~~ There is still time to join in and share your top 12 photos for 2016.  Check out Lost in Translation here for more info ~~~~~~~~

Part 2: Favorite Night Out:

Chicken wings with my awesome nephew: I made this into a collage because when I was in Buffalo, NY in October 2016 – the highlight of my trip was this night out with my nephew. It was my last night in town and it was last minute. There are so many reasons as to “why” this night was special. Well my nephew visited us in Colorado back in 1996 and so at one point I was reflecting on that visit (when I took him to snowboard at Buttermilk). I also reflected back to when we were both in Florida summer 1993 (visiting grandma K. in Plantation, FL) and how different we both are now.  Sitting there with him in 2016 led to this rush of reflecting and then feeling grateful. I also love when we I get to enjoy chicken wings in Buffalo. We went to this place called Doc Sullivans (fb page is here)- I told my nephew that I might not want to dine there. I warned him that we could walk in and I might have to go (you know how it is – can’t eat at a place we are not comfy with). If this did not work out, we were going to Duffs and then Anchor Bar was our third choice. Well not only did we stay at Doc Sullivans, but we had their GREAT wings and it was fifty cent wing night.  The waitress was friendly and efficient, but not too intimate. And the restaurant let us order all these different flavors of wings. Five of this kind, ten of that kind. We had 40 wings on six plates come out with different style wings (took some home). Every plate had celery and plenty of their homemade blue cheese. Now some places could get stingy on some of those trimmings – seriously- you eat out and there are side charges and up-charges for everything. But they generously plated the items with pride; seemed more concerned about quality and presenting their wings with excellence then worried about losing a few cents on extra blue cheese. And side note – I don’t really like the taste of blue cheese – but their homemade blend was so good that I enjoyed “some” with the wings and celery. If you go to Buffalo and have wings – forget the “Anchor Bar” and go to Doc Sullivans.  Also, be sure to try wings with celery and blue cheese – especially Doc Sullivans’ homemade creamy bleu cheese. We also sent my hubs a “teasing” video – because my husband loves Buffalo food so much and wings are one of his favorite foods – so that was fun to have technology to send a video of my nephew eating wings (could not do that in 1993 or 1996). Okay – there was more about the night, like the laughter and chatting with my nephew, the photobomb from nice folks out front, the two games that were on (Sabres and Cubs game #6), the atmosphere with rich wood and enormous photos of Buffalo’s historic waterfront, and then outside on the main street -I had memories of walking in that area as a young cheerleader in 5th grade. But the final highlight had to do with the two guys near us. The waitress accidentally gave them a plate of our wings – and remember we had all those sampler plates coming out. The waitress caught it before she set it down, but then I sent the guys some wings down. They then bought us drinks and some fun chatting ensued – ending with a selfie.

Part 3: RIP 2016:

A: RIP DK: Speaking of Buffalo, the reason I went back in October was for the funeral of Darrin K. Darrin lived down the street from our family during my childhood. We went to different high schools, but we hung out a lot. We never dated, but we shared friendship. You see, for some reason, Darrin and I were able to sit out at night (on my front porch) until 2 or 3 in the morning. I am not sure how it all unfolded, or how many times we actually sat out, but sometimes we would be talking while out with a group of friends and he would ask, “Are you sitting out tonight?” – Other times I would be coming home, see him somewhere, and I would ask him if he was coming down later to talk. I remember some nights when I would look out the door (at around 10 p.m.) to see if he was coming. He would start walking down the street and then show up, with his pack of smokes, pale blue Levis, “Agree shampoo” smelling blonde surfer hair, and sweet demeanor. Darrin was always chill. I sat on those small front porch steps with many folks during my early years, and the times with Darrin were so special. I lost touch with most of my friends from Buffalo, but on one of my trips back (in 2008) I had a chance to see “some” old friends, but never connected with Darrin. He was good friends with my brothers and my little sis was on his fb page, but I never really thought of Darrin until early October of 2016 – and I was telling my spouse some more about the special little talks and how it connected to the Big Log song (other post for that song is HERE). In early October 2016, the Big Log song from Robert Plant came on like a blast from the past. Someone said it was a fall 1983 song, but that song came on when Darrin and I used to sit on my porch chatting so I knew it was summer. We were friends who sat, talked and smoked cigarettes (stupidly) on a small porch under a starlit sky.  Friends enjoying the gift of fellowship.  In Late October 2016, when I received the phone call that Darrin died, it was eery because of the way he had been on my mind all month – and the way he had even come up in conversation. I  guess Darrin was in hospice for a while, and his new wife, Sue, was nurturing him.  As Darrin was preparing to leave this world, I was hundreds of miles away thinking of him for weeks. I am kind of sad that I lost touch with most of my friends in Buffalo, but it is what it is – and sometimes life meanders into new paths with new friends that are more in sync with “who” we mature into; but friends from seminal years of growing up will always hold a special place in our heart.  Always.  And I know I am a better woman today because of the many hours Darrin and I conversed.  The needs that it likely met for both of us were a fun gift at the time and the richness of the experience trickled into our adulthood. I am very grateful for my porch chats with Darrin K. Rest in peace my friend, and looking forward to seeing you again – someday


B. Our dog Cody passed away this year – he was 11 (or 57 in dog years). And I had fun integrating some of his photos into posts. Cody died under a pink moon and the top photo (an entry for Visual Venturing’s ABF) showed how Cody’s pink moon showed up here and there. The middle photo showed something special Cody started doing six months before he died. Cody used to place his paw on my foot as I journaled in the morning.  I am not sure why he started to do this – but it was in Fall 2015 when he started doing it and he was so relaxed and would just leave his paw there.  I finally took a few photos of it because it was so cute.  Anyhow, he was a great dog and I hope he is on my welcome team when I get to heaven (along with Darrin K and many others who have gone on before me).

Part 3: Miscellaneous Favorites of 2016:

Misc. #1: Favorite comic of 2016. I think so many of us look in the mirror and wonder how congruent our outside is with our inside. Do you know what I mean?


Misc. #2: Favorite Delancey Place Book: Railroading Economics – here For those that don’t know, one of the areas I like to study is the topic of “work” and work motivation.


Misc. #3: Favorite Lemonis scene. Now of course it was tough to select just one favorite scene from my favorite show (The Profit), but this yellow dress made us laugh. In this scene, Lemonis was checking out all of the different styles and when they found this dress, he asked if she had been drinking.  But you see, this sliced yellow dress is also an example of “creativity in action” and we need a big umbrella of grace for ideas that do not work out.  Also, this episode of the The Profit matched the writing process for the book we recently finished.  It is called “The Lady by the River” and it will be available on Amazon later in January 2017.  The book is a compilation project (about perseverance) with 8 other authors and while editing it, I had to really explore to discover my chapter contribution.  I was focussed and filled with energy and creative ideas, but so many of my attempts at a chapter were scrapped.  ulgh. I told my spouse that it felt like I was trying to find an “outfit” and it was like I experimented with 30 different dress styles. Almost as if I pulled out a ball gown, a nautical look, a flapper dress, a suit coat chic look, and more – to then raise the white flag and finally choose a simple black dress.  Seriously, when I finished my chapter, I came downstairs and used that exact fashion analogy – I said it was like I tossed out everything in my closet and after many different options, I hung clothes back up and went with a Ralph Lauren dress with simple diamond earrings (a simple clack dress is always a neutral win).  After I finished, my reward was to catch up on a few things.  The Profit’s Susana Monaco (S4E11) was the episode I indulged in first and it was crazy how the content of that episode matched my dress analogy from earlier that day.  (This is another example of how this show is so often in sync with my life.)  Anyhow, at the end of the show, with a streamlined design focus, the designer came walking out, hand in hand with a lady who was wearing a simple black dress! And the black dress was quite similar to the one I had in mind with my chapter analogy.

Part 4: Top Three Contrast Pairs:

a: These two photos are what I call “two worlds” – and I will let the two photos speak to you without adding commentary (photos taken May 2016).



b: These photos also depict “two worlds” – both couples seem to be having fun (both photos taken 12-31-2016 at The Jefferson Hotel) and both ladies are smiling.
c. These photos show figure art from two different worlds. The top photo shows gas station glass art figurines priced between five and fifty dollars. The bottom photo shows a private collection of figurines with some worth more than 10,000.  (I have a few other contrasts posts like this sunset one here).


Part 5: Least Favorite things of 2016:

EMOJIS were OVERDONE in 2016:

I am sick and tired of seeing emoji “stuff” everywhere. I like using them still, but after Oxford’s word of the year was an “emoji” back in 2015 (here), it seems like 2016 answered with a surge of consumer items.  I hope to see this wane in 2017.

These next Least favorite things carry over from other years and pertain to how people assume we read “all” of their (1) Facebook pages, (2) blog posts and (3) reader comments.

First – Facebook:  

Just because you post regularly – please don’t assume that we are all reading regularly.  In fact, most people cannot.  This is not because we are not interested – it might be, but it is usually more a matter of time – and sometimes it is a matter of monitoring what we read.  Many people could lose their own essence if they kept reading and reading blog posts and fb pages for hours everyday.  Well sometimes we are super enriched from reading these wonderful shares – I know I sure am – But my point here refers to the people who “assume” that because they wrote it on fb – it is now common knowledge.  A few years ago, there was a lady at our church who got very upset because nobody visited her spouse when he was sick in the hospital.  We told her that nobody knew he was ill.  She angrily said, “It was all over our Facebook page!”  Well noone knew he was sick.  People – how about assuming we don’t read the pages and then move from there?

Second – Blog Posts:

Not to sound crabby, but please don’t get mad if someone does not fully read a long blog post you have created.  It is not rude – it is a time thing.  Now if they comment and pretend to have read – that is one thing – but if they leave a comment on just a photo (and you can tell they did not read the post) try not to get crabby because this is not an insult and there are good reasons for it (it might be time or they just might “not” want to read) – Don’t take it so personal! Also, we might not be able to read “all” of your posts every month, but we might really still love your blog. 

Third – Reader Comments:

Okay, some blogs and fb sites have tons of reader comments.  You know the blogs – the ones we have to scroll and scroll just to reach the reply box to drop in our few thoughts.  I have had a few of my posts generate some fun comment conversations over the years – and it is super fun when it happens – but omg – there are some blogs (and fb sites) that just seem to have a friggin party in the comment section – all the time!  It still amazes me – and now I know many new bloggers look at that and wonder about it…. I still wonder myself –  it might be the personality of the blogger, the pacing of their posting, the content of the post, etc.  And sometimes those bloggers spend a lot of time interacting with others to build a rapport.  Who knows, but my point is that those of you with all of those comments – PLEASE don’t assume we all read them – we don’t.  And just because something unfolded in those comment conversations –  don’t assume that all of your followers know about it.   



Happy New Year 2017!

Let me end this 2016 Review with two New Year comics:














40 thoughts on “2016 in Review (favorite photos, memories, 2016 RIP, and least favs)

  1. I enjoyed your post so much. It was really long and I kept thinking I would stop, but I couldn’t. 🙂 My favourite things from your post: 1) the photo section at the top, and 2) the rant section at the bottom. The eggs in the tree – love it. And the B&W wings. And I agree with you that the composition of the first photo, along with the prominence of the word LOVE is so nice. I’m sorry to hear you lost your dog and you lost Darrin. And I’m delighted that “fave shroom” is a category. Have a fabulous 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Crystal you made my day! I did not really expect folks to read all of it (once I got to typing it flowed…) and so your words were music to my ears.
      and the rant at the bottom was a long time coming…. and seems universal to most years.
      have a great night and thanks again….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Yvette. You posted some lovely photos. I love the blue eggs in the nest. I admit I didn’t read all of your post. It’s a time thing. But I did read all of Part 5 – Least favourite things of 2016; and I agree with them all! Well said! I look forward to reading more of your posts in 2017. Best wishes. Norah


  3. What wonderful photos and recollections. I especially loved the part where you described “sitting out” with your friend Darrin. I remember Big Log well and will be adding it to a playlist. So many memories, and how lovely for us that you shared them here. Happy new year, Yvette!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much K…. and add the song “in the mood” to that list – I’m sure you know it/ but another great jam from the moving picture album!
      And your post about WOTY was awesome and I hope folks take the time to check it out – ahhh -have a great day and ttys


  4. Decompress is such good advice for the end of year. I love those robin’s eggs- and your tribute to Darrin- sometimes we don’t realize the lasting affect someone has on us until years later. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks L- and sorry about your losses over the last couple years – and it was pretty cool sharing he Darrin story with my spouse – he said I mentioned the porch talks back in the 90s – because I used to have a lot of photos from those days and it led to stories – but to have the memory come up weeks before his passing was cool.
      Also – because I am out of the loop for that city – I sometimes don’t hear about deaths until months later – like a good friend died at only 36 and I never even knew until two years later – so to hear about it the day he died was also special –
      And side note – the entire year was a decompression restorative year for me and I am also grateful for that….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how you combine themes in one, well done, Yvette!
    I enjoy reading it and viewing these cool photos of 2016. Wow, that’s a lot of work…
    Is your Friday Food still on? Just checking. 🙂
    Happy 2017, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy – yes – my Friday food is still on and thanks so much for joining in. It runs until October 2017 and I will fix the page this week – I am kind of winging it (with my 365 days of art) so be back in touch
      And regarding the themes within this post – purely accidental – I was not going to post until January 3rd (catching up from holidays) but Paula’s challenge prompted me (and I am so glad because it was a gift to look over the year and quietly reflect) – I selected the photos and then the next day spent a couple of hours crafting the post – so not too much work – I wanted to add my favorite movies/ shows – like just watched “sneaky pete” with Bryan Cranston over the holidays – and forgot to mention the favorite song of the year (die a happy man by Thomas Rhett and performed by nelly) – but did not feel like spending the time to include all this extras – but I get to mention a couple right here – win win !


  6. Hello Y! Enjoyed your post, the pics and the accompanying commentaries. The freedom bird is the one that stayed in my mind, the blue eggs and the little girl and her heartwarming smile. Hope you have a wonderful year ahead 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks DawD – and the those three things you noted are some of my top favs from this compilation post…. and the wing shot might be my very fav of the year – plus because I was with my mother when I took those photos so there is some warmth there….
      Have a great day


  7. A nice long post to read on the second day of 2017. Great pictures and their descriptions you collected from 2016 year. Love your compositions in them especially the blue egg picture. The few pictures of Cody are so cute. They are such warming heart to see. I could not agree more about the only fault of dog live.

    Happy New Year 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you took a look back and that you shared your thoughts with us. I remember some of these from during the year. I think it’s good to reflect and to package up the year that was. Weather and work combine to make January not the best month for me to look back or ahead. Still, we are conditioned by the calendar. I’m still got a little sad about Cody.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well thanks for remembering Some of the pics Dan…. and sorry January is not the best month – that is how December is for me – well maybe it is different – but I like November a lot – and not so much December.
      And you are so correct about the conditioning

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very nice post, Yvette, and I read 99% of it. However, here is the other problem, even though I read 99% of your post, if you quiz me about one of the details six months from now, uhmmm, I probably won’t remember it. Yikes. So then comes the philosophical question. Was it worth the time to read it? Absolutely. It helps us get acquainted and develop a relationship. 🙂 Happy 2017, and may we be even better friends this year than we were last year! 🙂 emoji, emoji.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Well hopefully the 1% you did not read were my typo parts – hah!
      I still need to fix a few of those typos.
      And I know exactly what you mean – I have a “short memory” for some things too – like sometimes blog posts and sometimes sport events – “who played who in the playoffs?”
      Well thanks for taking the time to read and cheers to 2017 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        1. well thanks – and that is another reason to maybe not TWEAK too much – ha. and thanks for linking – looking forward to connecting in 2017 my blog friend.


  10. I liked the little girl at the gas station and your own personal story of how you touched the lives of construction workers! So sweet!
    Your MIL story also meant the world to me! I’ve been single a decade now. I have possibilities often, I am dating a nice younger man but I never know what tomorrow will bring. I invented on my blog a word combination: “hopeful” romantic! Take care and sorry I fell behind in blog visiting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well thanks for your visits my friend – and super glad to have inspired you with my MIL’s story. It really is inspiring to see how she waited and waited and waited it out….
      worth it!
      and yours will be too – I just know it – or hope so at least.



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