Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I should have written this post 3 weeks ago, but I wasn’t writing about TV again at that point so I didn’t, but here it goes.  You should be watching Survivor, it’s only 2 weeks into the season and the third episode airs tonight, so don’t miss out (you can catch up online as well).  In my opinion it is hands down the best reality show on TV.  It has been on since 2000 and in that time it has had 24 season.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I have watched every single one of them.
The reason you should watch Survivor is that it is the only show out there when you can see real human emotion.  True the cameras are rolling all the time and I’m sure that the contestants are aware of that, but as the days go on the show becomes more real.  These people are forced to compete in harsh conditions with little sleep, little water, less food, poorly built shelters and a $1,000,000 prize dangling in front of their nose.  
If you’ve never watched Survivor the premise is pretty simple.  24 people are sent to a remote location with only the clothes on their back and are divided into two tribes.  Once divided they must build a shelter and a fire, find food and clean water.  Each episode the tribes take part in one or two challenges, sometimes a reward challenge and always an immunity challenge.  The losing tribe of the immunity challenge must go to Tribal Council and vote one of their members off.  Eventually the two tribes will merge and then it all becomes about individual immunity.  At that point people are eliminated until one person is left and wins that prize.  
The reason I’m writing about this show, 24 seasons in is that despite being on for that long it remains fresh and exciting season after season.  It’s great to watch what the possibility of $1,000,000 does to a person.  Do yourself a favor and watch Survivor, you will become hooked in no time.
Not much new this week but I am really loving this season of Justified.  It just might be my favorite show that is on right now.  We are three seasons in, and if you haven’t been watching I don’t know that you could just jump right in and pick up on what’s going on, but take my advice and add season’s 1 and 2 to your Netflix queue.  You will be happy you did.

From jan- A few of you have sent me or commented about your favorite shows. I will make sure Joe gets the list.  If anyone else has a list email me or list it in the comments.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Bigger and Better Birthday

Today is a special birthday for me. Barry wanted to get me something really outstanding. Although he could care less about cars, all my family knows that I love them. The sportier the better. My dream car was always this corvette.

But, no one really needs a corvette, especially when they are raising a family. 
When our last child was leaving for college several years ago, I decided to go to the dealership and check the corvettes out.
The snotty salesman told me in no uncertain terms that this was not a car to (and he strongly implied the term "old lady") drive to the grocery store. 

Well, guess what snotty salesman?

This corvette is going to the grocery store with an even older lady driving it!

Barry totally surprised me with the car of my dreams. What a guy!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Lost Post

First, let me admit that the lost post from a few days ago was lost due to user error. I don't want any of Steve Jobs technology to take the blame for it. I actually just pushed the wrong button.

Although it was not a riveting post (which Barry tells me is a horrible way to start a story or joke), I am going to post it again.

We were in Las Vegas for The Western State Veterinary Convention. Barry attended meetings, and I participated in fun activities. First was a wine tasting at a store called Total Wine. This is a huge store that will be opening in Texas soon.

They held a tasting of Napa Valley wines for us.

The next day Wolfgang Puck invited me to a cooking class.

Okay, he didn't actually personally invite me. But, his chefs at Trattoria del Lupo held a cooking class for us. They are so kind and a lot of fun.

First, Executive Chef, Eduardo Perez showed us how to make several different risottos.

The mushroom and truffle risotto was my favorite.

Next, Pastry Chef, Kenneth Magana showed us how to make a pastry cream base to use in desserts of all kinds.

Next, we made our own pizza with instructions from the pizza chef.

After we tried all that food, they fed us a private lunch. Basically, I ate from 11:00am to 3:00pm that day. Dinner was not necessary. Nap time was.

Also, it just so happened there was a big photography convention in Vegas during this time. Me Ra Koh was kind enough tell me where to get a free trade show pass.  I was able to hear some photographers speak and watch a few of them work.

Me Ra was there. (she is a Sony Artisan). When she finished her session, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer used her as his model. I felt like this whole session ended up being quite comical.

If you have ever seen Me Ra on Nate Berkus or read her blog, you know that she doesn't take a zillion shots of the same thing. If she feels like she has a good shot, she moves on. She also uses natural lighting when at all possible. This man had someone holding lights for him and special lighting on his camera. Trust me, I am not critiquing his photographic ability. Every shot he took was great, but I couldn't help think that Me Ra just wanted to say, "that's enough." He must have taken over three hundred shots of her posing.  Here's a shot I took of her with my iPhone during the session.

I bet that impressed the Pulitzer Prize photographer!

Barry and I took time this trip to go to the aquarium at the hotel.

I don't know why I took a photograph of the Komodo dragon, because frankly, they just give me the willies. I don't think they should be allowed in this country. They could eat you.

We went on to the fish tanks. However, I did not think that the Komodo dragon area looked secure, so I kept an eye out for him. In case you haven't guessed, I am afraid of Komodo dragons. Strange, huh?

Here is proof that Barry was there. He is much cuter than the rays, fish, or Komodo dragon.

One of the best exhibits was of jellyfish. They were beautiful and interesting to watch. I just couldn't get a great photograph. Trust me, I tried.

Jan's photo

Then, Barry walked up and took a super photograph with his iPhone.  He captured it perfectly.

Barry's photo

That is frustrating!  I will forgive him for showing me up, because, I have this photo of him in his freebie sunglasses from Worthington Bank. He loves them, but I wouldn't let him wear them in public. 

But, I have really flat hair in Vegas. I don't know which is worse.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Drumroll, please!

We have an official guest blogger. Let's call it a merger, if you will. It is one of my favorite people writing about one of my favorite pastimes. I know you will enjoy his insights and takes on the many facets of television entertainment.

Meet Joe!

 JoeOnTheTube/Inside the BrierPatch

There are no two ways about it, I love TV.  I watch more than I should.  I talk about the shows I love and the shows I don’t.  It is rare that my DVR isn’t filled to near capacity.  I have at least one show that I watch every night of the week.  Some of them are must watch shows meaning that I have to watch them that night and then there are others that might sit on there for a few days. 

I love TV so much that I used to write about it on a daily basis on my site JoeOnTheTube.  That was before my son came along, and I started my own business.  Those two things just didn’t lend themselves to watching 4 hours of TV a night and then writing about all I watched So in January of 2010, I shut it down.  That didn’t change my love of TV or the critical way I watch it. 

I think we are in a golden age for TV.  There has never been such a wide selection of quality programing on.  Of course we used to only be able to count on the networks for great shows.  This all changed in the 90’s when HBO became a major player and raised the bar for the rest of TV Land.  Now we have almost every major movie channel producing great TV and many of the basic cable channels doing the same (that’s not to mention Netflix and Hulu throwing their hat in the ring with original programing).  

Jan and I talked about me writing a weekly post on Inside the Brierpatch about what’s going on in TV, what I’m watching, what you should be watching and why there is no reason to  get off your couch and drop $40 to go see a movie anymore.

This is just a short post to say hello and let the readers of Inside the Brierpatch know what to expect.  Leave a comment and let me know what you are watching, what shows you would like to talk about.  Ok, gotta go.  Parks and Recreation comes on soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You Should Have Seen It

I wrote a post yesterday. It was about this,


and this.

You would have enjoyed it. But, I lost it when I tried to post.
So, this will have to suffice for now.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where Have All the Posts Gone?

There are several reasons behind the lack of my posts. 
I procrastinate. 
This blog originated as a way for our family to follow us on some RV trips. It is not to pontificate or be political, so sometimes, current events take over the day to day things that pass through my head. Then, I find I don’t have much else to say. It’s not that I don’t want to comment on: 

  1. Iran
  2. North Korea
  3. TCU
  4. Chris Brown
  5. Whitney Houston
but, this is not the venue. ( I do have the right to change my mind on that, though.)
The Satellite Sisters had a terrific podcast about women. I know I have told you, dear readers, about them. I will continue to tell you about them. Give them a listen and tell me what you think. If you still haven’t listened to the North Korea podcast Julie gave, I just don’t know what to do with you.
But then, I sit down to write and my blog seems so blah. However, so far this year, many of the blogs I follow have been a little dull. Most of them are written by younger women, and right now they all seem to be dieting, exercising, or writing a book. I am just going to say judging by their blogs of late, there must not be any fun in those activities.
The other reason there are not many posts is that I have to spend a great deal of time guarding the dogs. 

While I was on the phone with Joanie the other day, I realized my life has come full circle. The weather was very pretty and warm. Joanie was outside watching the girls play in the yard. I was watching Bingo and Magic play in the yard. Yes, the dogs have a sitter day and night, just like a toddler. Joanie is just making sure Ava and Lucy don’t hurt themselves. I am on Coyote Patrol.  I have been hoping, at least, to get a photo of said coyotes. But when one walked nearby the other day, I didn’t have my camera. Plus, coyotes aren’t into posing. They are kind of snotty.
So, you will have to be happy with the hawk that was checking out the bird feeder this morning. I had my camera handy, but not the correct lens. 

Last, but not least, is Downton Abbey. 

First, I had to watch Season One on Netflix. I don’t know where I was last season. Now Season Two is almost over, and I am sad just thinking about that. Maggie Smith is just one of the wonderful actors in this series. She has the best lines. I loved this one. Cely posted it before I could, so I will just borrow her photo. (with credit, of course). 

Yikes, was I being a defeatist? I will buckle down, have the camera at ready, and post more!

This brings me to a blog I miss. The Unfiltered Ramblings of a DVR Addict by Joe Jenkins. I certainly cannot do a whole blog on television shows, but maybe I could post something on shows I watch a little more often. Is anyone interested in that? 

Stay Tuned,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bank On It-

I went into the bank today to handle a transaction. I admit, I am probably one of the worse when it comes to just using the Internet or the drive- thru for banking.

Oh my. How banks have changed. I am losing my faith in you banks.

I know that must sound like a weird statement, or maybe just an old person statement. You must realize from whence I come. My father was a banker. He was in the banking business for 40+ years and retired early because it was changing. So, it is not like I am just realizing banks have changed, but I still can't wrap my head around the banking business of today.

First of all, Barry and I have had an account with this bank for a long, long time. Yet, when I went into the bank today to handle this transaction, we apparently had no signature card on file. No one could tell me what happened to the original signature cards. Of course, there wasn't anyone there that could have possibly been born when we signed those signature cards. Actually, Barry was on the check signature card-not me. Neither of us were on the savings signature card. I am now on the checking and savings account, but not Barry. Hey Barry! Are you worried?

In my father's day, everyone would have had a banker that knew who they were by sight. He would have been monitoring any unusual activity on their account daily. I know this, because my checking account was one that my dad monitored, and he was always very upset when I was overdrawn. Names of overdrawn accounts were read aloud at the morning meetings. Unfortunately, that was frequently, until he told me he would close my account. My dad did not make threats, he just told me what would happen and did it. But, really, everyone's accounts were watched by their banker. There was a daily transaction sheet that they reviewed.

Bankers knew their clients and their needs. I remember stopping by to visit my dad after school one day and a customer of his was asking for a $25.00 loan. His family was going on vacation, and he had saved all the money for the trip, except for that $25.00. I never took a dollar needed by hard working people for granted again after that.

I don't really think there was a problem with identity fraud back then, because your banker knew you.  The two young ( I really want to call them little, but it is not their fault they are young and inexperienced) were professional in their 2012 way. They, at least, didn't say "no problem" to me like the last time I spoke to someone at the bank. They did ask for ID, but come on, is that really safe? I had a whole billfold of ID. Get my drift?

I have always just wanted to keep my money in my sock drawer. I did that when I was young. It was not only handy, I felt it was very safe. Please banks, do something to instill my faith in you again. I actually don't have that many socks anymore.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012