Monday, November 29, 2010

The Truth about Photography

All of the extended Brier family headed to Houston on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate with Barry's side of the family. We arrived at Barry's brother, Mike's, house on a drizzly Thanksgiving afternoon. We all got to meet Baby Dash who was in Houston to spend Thanksgiving with us. I managed to get a photo of him with my iPhone.
I felt this is all I could do since the battery did not charge for my camera. We had Barry's camera. However, it was in the car, and neither of us wanted to exert ourselves to go get it. There is an even sadder part to this story. When we got ready to leave, I went to get my purse, and there was Barry's camera bag. Barry nor I had any recollection of carrying it into the house. Scary, huh? So due to the apparent onset of dementia, this photo of Dash is the only picture taken Thanksgiving Day.

Friday morning we woke up to cool, rainy weather. We all met over at Joanie and Jacob's house. As the sun started peeking through the clouds, it was decided a trip to the zoo was in order. First, we stopped at James Coney Island for lunch. After I took this picture of Ben, I decided to give up my crusade for a new camera. There is only so much any camera can do for a photographer with this kind of skill.

This photo in the zoo parking lot was the only photograph I managed to get of all three grand kids together at the zoo.

Photography is hard. And that's the truth.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thank You, Barry

Not only did I have a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, I won a bet with Barry. In a moment of weakness, he bet me an iPad I was wrong about something. You would think by now he would know I am not wrong. You would think my children would realize I am not wrong either when I tell them something. But, I digress. Long story short, I am now the proud owner of an iPad.

However, I told Barry we would share it, so it is our gift to each other this year.

I have other things to blog about this past weekend, but I wanted to try out my iPad.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We are thankful for family and friends. 
Happy Thanksgiving to all. 

Monday, November 22, 2010


There were four entries to the Container Store gift card giveaway. People must be busy, because The Pioneer Woman only had around 1450 entries in her ipad contest.
No one had all the correct answers (or at least the answers, I deemed correct), so two names were drawn for the gift cards. Thanks to all who participated.

And the Winners Are:  Donna and Michelle-Congratulations!

And the Answers Are:

 Who started a campaign in 1827 to set a national day of Thanksgiving?
Sarah Josepha Hale
 Name one of the top producing sweet potato states.
North Carolina, California, Misissipi, Louisiana
 Which president was the first to officially issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation naming the last Thursday of November as the National Day for Thanksgiving?
Abraham Lincoln
What cartoon character balloon has been in every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades?
This ended up being a question I should not have used. I have taken it out of the quiz.
Name one of the top pumpkin producing states.
Ohio, Illinois, California, New York
Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey our national bird. One statesman, in particular, opposed him on this matter. To spite this statesman, Franklin is said to have nicknamed the male turkey “Tom”. Who was the statesman?
Thomas Jefferson
Name one of the top cranberry producing states.
Wisconsin, Massachusetes, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington
Name one of the top turkey producing states.
North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia,Minnesota, Arkansas, Indiana, California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
Which President moved Thanksgiving up a week in November to make the Christmas Shopping season longer and thus boost the economy?
Franklin Roosevelt
 Who won the Throwdown with Bobby Flay in Bobby Flay vs. Ree Drummond?
Ree Drummond

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Productive Barry

While you are busy answering the quiz questions, I thought I would catch you up on a few things.

1. I wanted to brag on Barry. This past week he had an Eagle (not to be confused with our national bird)  on #1 of the Oak course. Three beautiful shots in a row.

2. The Diet Coke ban is not going well. I fell off the wagon a little less than a week ago. I am going to give it another try though.

3. The Artist Formerly Known as Barry has finished his paintings for Ava's room. Joanie says he needs to come out of retirement. I see a request for the new baby's room on his horizon.

4. I have bought the paper for my craft project. Maybe I can get Barry to complete it for me. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Giveaway Quiz

Everyone knows the story of the Pilgrims. We all know how the Pilgrims would not have survived if it hadn't been for the Wampanoag Indians and their chief, Massasoit. However, we also know that things did not turn out well for the Wampanoags. That is a downer to think about during these festive times, but if you hear of a group that uses Thanksgiving Day as a National Day of Mourning, now you know why.  That little tidbit is not on the quiz and no Pilgrim /Wampanoag questions are either. I decided to start this quiz in more current times, like 1827. 

The first person to answer all the questions correctly will win a $10.00 gift card to The Container Store.

All other CORRECT entries will be entered in a drawing and the winner of the drawing will win a $10.00 gift card 
The Container Store. 

Be sure you read through the rules on the previous post and good luck.

1.Who started a campaign in 1827 to set a national day of Thanksgiving?

2. Name one of the top producing sweet potato states.

3. Which president was the first to officially issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation naming the last Thursday of November as the National Day for Thanksgiving?

4. What cartoon character balloon has been in every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades?

5. Name one of the top pumpkin producing states.

6. Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey our national bird. One statesman, in particular, opposed him on this matter. To spite this statesman, Franklin is said to have nicknamed the male turkey “Tom”. Who was the statesman?

7. Name one of the top cranberry producing states.

8. Name one of the top turkey producing states.

9. Which President moved Thanksgiving up a week in November to make the Christmas Shopping season longer and thus boost the economy?

10. Who won the Throwdown with Bobby Flay in Bobby Flay vs. Ree Drummond?

Speaking of Ree Drummond, she is having a giveaway on her blog tomorrow. Her prizes are much nicer, but she has a lot more readers, a best selling cookbook, and the largest ranch in Oklahoma.  Enter her contest too, but trust me you have to be really fast and really lucky. You will be playing against about 35, 000 others, including me, but you can't win if you don't enter. Here is what she has on her site today and the link. (I am not sure if this is legal to place on my site, but I am just trying to help her out.) She is also giving away a stand mixer on this page-enter by noon, pacific time tomorrow. If you happen to win and have both of these items, you can share them with others. Mabye me.

Posted by Ree in Smartypants Quizzes
Smartypants Quiz – Study Up!

If you’re bored, lonely, floating in space, itchy, disenfranchised, twitchy, clammy, or otherwise feeling devoid of purpose and meaning Saturday evening, drop by and participate in an exceedingly challenging Smartypants Quiz! Prizes will be awarded and it’ll make your brain twitch violently. What could be more fun than that?
Smartypants Quiz: Saturday, November 20 – 6:00 pm Pacific Time.
Topics may include geography, history, literature, pop culture, science, math, art appreciation…any topic at all is fair game.

I won’t tell you what first prize will be, but I’ll give you a tiny clue:
It starts with an “i” and ends with a “Pad”.
Oh, and it looks like this:


But that’s absolutely all I’m going to say.
Study up – see you then!

        Thanksgiving Giveaway Rules

        Following are rules for The Container Store gift card giveaway contest.  
        1. The contest will begin at 6:00pm CST on Friday, November 19th.  
        2.  The contest will end at midnight CST on Sunday, November 21st.
        3. The first person to answer all the questions correctly will win a $10.00 gift card.
        4. All other CORRECT entries will be entered in a drawing and the winner of the drawing will win a $10.00 gift card.  
        5. Answers must be sent to this email Do not place answers on the blog page for others to see.
        6. Participants must comment on the Inside The Brierpatch blog page something for which you are thankful. If you say you are thankful for my blog page, it will be appreciated, but will not increase your chances.
        7. I will be using answers to the questions that I have deemed the most correct. (sometimes those historical facts gets a little convoluted) Oh the power!
        8. One Entry per person
        9. Enjoy!

        Thursday, November 18, 2010

        Thanksgiving Giveaway

        The other day, I received a little flyer from The Container Store. It had all these cute little stocking stuffers in it. How cute is that little mouse and who couldn't use another storage container?

         So I decided another Giveaway Quiz was in order. Brush up on your Thanksgiving facts, because the quiz will be posted soon and the winner will receive a gift card to The Container Store.

        Sunday, November 14, 2010

        Got One!

        While I was in Houston, the Brett Brier family was staying at our house. They were having some work done and their kitchen was off limits. Ben and Scarlett stayed an extra night in order for their parents to put their house back together and for me to get to see them.

        Saturday morning the unexpected happened. I captured a picture of Scarlett.

        Admittedly, it may look like Ben is holding her. But all is fair in love and photography.

        Then, she got loose.

        On Wednesday, I drove to Houston to visit the Esparza family. I left early and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.

        Joanie and I had big plans to create some wall art for Ava's room. This is not to be confused with my craft project. We headed to Hobby Lobby (which Ava pronounces so cutely). We bought the canvases, paint, and some paper. We headed home ready to dive into our artistic endeavor. There was only one problem with our plan-neither Joanie or I are especially artistic. We both know what we like and can see how things are made, but actually having the talent to create it is another story. We painted the canvases. Then, after much consideration, we decided that I would bring the canvases home and ask The Artist Formerly Known as Barry to help us.

        In case you don't know about The Artist Formerly Known as Barry, here is the short version of the story. Years ago, Barry, Chris, and Tom F. would ride in the Enchanted Circle Century in Red River, New Mexico. They went to Taos one evening for dinner and also walked through some art galleries. Barry kept saying he could paint many of the paintings that they saw, so Chris and Tom called him on it. Barry began a short, but admittedly, not bad, phase as an artist. He gave himself the title, The Artist Formerly Known as Barry, but did find that too long for a signature on his art. He should have come up with a symbol. TAFKAB has been on hiatus for some time now, but I believe he might be persuaded to paint again for Joanie and Ava.

        Joanie and I also attended the Nutcracker Market on Thursday. We enjoyed it, but it was very crowded and  neither one of us is that crazy about fighting through crowds. The funny thing is right as we got to the car to go home, a very soft little sprinkle of rain started. Then, just as we were trying to open the car doors, the bottom fell out and it poured down, so our backs were soaked. It was only funny because we were getting into the car at the time. The people walking to their cars with all their purchases were not laughing at all.

        At this point, you are probably wondering why I have not posted a picture of Ava. Well, I left my camera at Joanie's house. So all my pictures of her are still in Houston. Keep checking back, because I am sure they will be posted at some point. She's a cutie, but is never still. So, I am hoping for at least one good shot.

        Friday afternoon, I headed home with my three purchases from the Nutcracker Market and the canvases for Barry to complete. As I was driving on I-45, this message popped up on my navigation screen. This kind of message gives one pause, but what do you do? First of all, I was not sure where Henderson County was, but I guess I was in or near it. Secondly, was I driving into it or was it just near me? Throwing caution to the wind, I drove on and everything was fine. Nothing like the deluge in the parking lot at the Nutcracker Market!

        Sunday, November 7, 2010

        Game Day in Aggieland

        Since the weather has been so nice, Barry decided (on Wednesday), we should take the RV out again. This time he hoped to head to College Station and maybe attend the A&M vs. OU game. Barry called a friend, Sid, whom he knew RV’d at every A&M home and away game. Barry was just going to ask Sid where he used to RV before he got his site at Olsen Field. Olsen Field has 45 spots. It is across the street from Kyle Field, has electricity, water, and an ice machine. These sites are hard to come by. Sid and his wife, Lou, were on the waiting list for ten years before they got their site. Their kids had graduated by that time, but Sid and Lou thoroughly enjoy every game, and the friends they have made tailgating at A&M. Side note: There is a family of skunks that live at Olsen Field also. However, I feel they are fairly used to people and appreciate the ongoing food frenzy of the tailgaters. Being smart skunks, they have kept their relationship symbiotic by not spraying anyone yet. 
        As luck would have it, the people that own the site next to Sid’s were not going to be using it this weekend. Better yet, (for me, anyway), the group had already decided on meals and everything was already done. We were told to just come and enjoy the weekend. 
        So we headed the Cozy Cottage down to College Station. We backed our RV into our spot. The Cozy Cottage looked like the other RV's had had a baby. 

        The rest of our weekend went like this:
        We ate dinner.
        We slept.
        We ate breakfast.
        We drove around.
        We listened to live music.
        We ate lunch.
        We attended the game and the Aggies beat OU!
        We ate snacks after the game. 
        We slept. 
        Let me add, all of this was enjoyed in weather that happens very infrequently in College Station-low 70’s-upper 40’s and no humidity.

        We also met some very nice people. One was the A&M band director, Dr. Timothy Rhea. He, his wife, Jennifer, and parents were tailgating with us anytime he was not working. I told him the lady sitting next to me at the game teared up when the band performed. He said the band makes him cry sometimes, but not in a good way. About an hour or so after the game,  Jennifer, got a call from Reveille's handlers. Jennifer had told them to come by so we could meet Reveille VIII.

        Believe it or not, Barry and I declined breakfast at Denny’s Sunday morning and headed over to Research Park to take a little walk before heading home. We are not total tailgate potatoes.

        Thanks to all the RVers at Olsen Field for a fun weekend. 
        Here are a few photos from the weekend. 

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        Thursday, November 4, 2010

        Craft Idea

        I read the Pioneer Woman blog everyday. My husband says I have a blogger crush on her. She does SO much. She cooks, writes books, schools her children, exercises, decorates, sounds like a terrific wife, and has great giveaways.  The only problem is that there are about 35,000 entries for every giveaway. Apparently, many others love her blog too.

        One of her blogs was on blogging. She said that if you are going to blog, you should write something every day. I have failed at that and one of my few, dedicated readers is now complaining about the lack of blogs I am writing (bless your heart, Michelle). But in my defense, I think it is because I need a new camera. Yes, I know taking a picture is not writing, and I also know that my picture taking skills really don't warrant a new camera.

        But I digress. Today is a craft idea for you all. I attended a demonstration day at Paper Planet one Saturday and came home so inspired. Then, my daughter-in-law, Shannon had a craft day at her house. More inspirations. I have begun a bowl made out of paper mache', but it is far from done. Paper Planet had made this cute one for Halloween.

        Mine will not be a Halloween bowl as that ship has sailed. Right now I am thinking Christmas or just something general. I will keep you posted.

        Paper Planet also made this cute little tree out of ribbon. Basically you get a cone shape, cut ribbon, fold it in half, and start  hot gluing. Start at the bottom and go to the top covering the piece where you glued below. If you look to the right of the picture you can barely see the beginning of one of these trees.  I believe this was user error on the photographer's part. I don't think she looked to see exactly what was in the picture. However, I feel a new camera would help her with that issue.

        Then I saw this one in a magazine from Anthropologie made with feathers. I am sure it is the same process. Now that I have attended two craft days in one month, I know these things.

        Downy Mini Tree

        Do you have any craft ideas or camera techniques or any camera recommendations?

        Tuesday, November 2, 2010

        Thanks for the Memories-and Keep 'Em Coming

        The headline in the Star-Telegram said “It Was Still a Dream Season” and it was!

        Those of us who grew up in Arlington remember when we had a semi-pro team. Many a summer night was spent rooting the home team in Arlington. Then, when Tommy Vandergriff brought in the Rangers, that was BIG. 
        I can’t tell you how many nights over the years, I have spent at Arlington Stadium with family and friends. Lots of good times and lots of good memories. I remember going to a season opener with Ed and Cindy. It was FREEZING! We were wrapped up in blankets watching the game, but mainly trying to stay warm. I remember going to a Ranger/Astro game in Houston and running into sorority sisters from Arlington. I remember how my mom always moaned when the game tied, because she didn’t want it to go into extra innings. 
        I hope my children will remember the time when twenty-five families from Mansfield tailgated, watched the game, and saw the Beach Boys. The kids would Congo Line around the stadium with hats made out of drink holders on their heads. Yes, we wanted to make sure everyone knew that MANSFIELD was there. 
        When Nolan Ryan achieved his strike out record, Brett was watching the game at his grandparents' house. Watching him cheer on Ryan was the best part of the game for them. I could go on and on, but my point is, it didn’t matter in all those years if the Rangers won, it was just fun to go to the ball game or watch your home team.
        So, it was just icing on the baseball diamond that Barry, Brett, Miles, Michelle, Chris, and Joe were able to go see the Rangers play in the World Series. Even though everyone would have loved to see the Rangers win, it was just a continuation of fun and great memories at the Ballpark in Arlington.