Thursday, September 4, 2008

Miscellaneous: Fall, Scarf, Bean Stains, and My Rebuttal

The scarf from the other day, finished. I thought of it this morning because it actually, truly feels like fall today. I just turned off the ceiling fans and am considering putting on a sweater. Imagine that... cool weather in Texas in September. Unbelievable.

See the shirt behind the scarfed mannequin? I have to tell you this story. Last week, I had the pleasure of joining a friend and Leigh McLeroy for dinner. As in, I rode with them to this white-cloth Mexican restaurant, we ate, and while our friend ran an errand, Leigh and I went to the bookstore and did that, "Have you read this? What did you think of ...?" thing that girls do in a bookstore. I had to blink a few times just to be sure: was I really there talking books with the author of A Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary? Yep. Unbelievable.

But back to the restaurant. I ordered chicken something with rice and beans. It came and I ate carefully, trying to avoid the water spills or roll flingings I am famous for. (Scott - remember the time my buttered roll flew from my plate and hit Senator Sam Nunn in the back of the head?) Oh yes. I was carefully eating and thankful they don't serve rolls at Mexican restaurants when suddenly a forkful of refried beans dropped, in slow motion, on my beautiful new shirt. There was no getting around it gracefully: in front of my favorite writer I had dropped a glob of beans on my bust.

But it gets worse. I was in a bad way, also, that day, and so when the car stopped at Target so our friend could run in to look at bicycles, I knew the following: that I really needed some Kotex and that our little grocery store would be closed by the time I got home. I had to get it then. Had to. So I slipped the neon green package in my little carry-around basket and plopped a big book on top and was relieved to have it done. Of course, at the checkout I had to explain that yes, I had beans on my pretty shirt and yes, I was having to buy some bathroom things. Sorry, Leigh. I had to laugh and welcome her to my messy, thrilling life. What else could I do?

But I digress. Fall. Aren't you glad it's almost here? (I'm ready for the cooler weather and the sweaters it mandates, if for no other reason than they're great for covering up bean stains.) Yes, autumn. Soon I'll be planting garlic and lettuces. Harvesting pumpkins and green tomatoes. (Excuse the gardening talk. This is, I'm told, an "art and gardening" blog.)

Speaking of. Here's a quick word about the weekend blogging that took place on my site: I am deeply touched by those rushed to my defense... or at least the defense of folks who enjoy the right to say whatever they wish on their respective blog(s). (Isn't that freedom what makes blogs so pleasing? That we all have different ideas, opinions, projects, and causes?) To those who disapproved of my mention of politics and "religion" on this site, I can only assert that I make no apologies for my political position, faith, or my decision to frankly discuss the issues and beliefs I hold dear. I am appalled by the readers who tried to put me or this blog in a box of their own expectations. I am disappointed by the insinuations that women who create and garden can't also be women who advocate and campaign. What an infuriating, one-dimensional view of a woman's capabilities and rights!

(Also, it was interesting to note that some of those who chose to comment did so anonymously without signing their name. How awful to have opinions but not be bold enough to put your name to them! Therefore, for the purpose of fair and open discussions, I have disabled anonymous commenting on this forum. It saddens me because some of my favorite commenters: my Aunt Mindy "Auntie M" and friends Sara, Amber, and Grace, all commented anonymously.)

Whew. Okay. So now you're up to date: the weather's cool, the scarf is done, the bean stain's off my shirt, I've responded to both my clan and my critics, and I explained the changes to my comment forum. Anything else?

Oh yeah. Sarah Palin. I cried and clapped during her speech last night. Wasn't she... and her message... wonderful?

*We now return to our regularly scheduled art and gardening blog.* Grin.


lulusparkles said...

i cried too
and can not
get this big smile
off my face.
as always you have taken the high road with grace
have the happiest of days brin~
you deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen! First and foremost, this is your blog. Your words, your thoughts. Shame on others for putting you in a box. And Sarah Palin! LOVED the pitbull with lipstick analogy.

You know, there's something I never understood. My grandmother tells me all the time that you don't talk religion and politics with others. I told her that I can't live by that motto because God is my life. In all that I do. And as for politics? If we were all silent the world would be a completely different place. And not a better one I'm afraid.

Cheryl said...

Yes, she was wonderful. And so are you for sharing your messy,thrilling life with us. You mean I'm not the only one who owns blouses that double as food magnets?

debbie bailey said...

Amen to that, simple fancies. You are so right. Brin, you're a dear. Don't ever change except where the Lord leads you.

One thing about commenting anonymously. I used to do that before I had a blog, because I couldn't figure out how to sign in! Maybe that's the case with them? I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially relatives!

Amanda said...

sarah palin was wonderful. i cried too. love the scarf. and love, love, love fall!! it is still 90 degrees here, south of Houston; but there is no humidity and it was about 65 this morning. That was wonderful for me. Just a little taste of whats to come....

The Ramblin' Rat said...

That scarf is gorgeous Brin! You inspire me to want to learn how to knit. I just need to find someone in my area to teach me.

As far as Palin...Goosebumps I tell ya, GOOSEBUMPS!!! I'm so thrilled with her and I cannot wait to vote in November!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Amen to all of that!! You have the right to say anything on your blog, it's still a free world, righ? lol How lucky are you to know the author of A Beauitiful Ache, I cherish the copy you sent me! I love fall, we have the same weather, got 6 inches of rain here so far but a chill is in the air, can't wait! The scraf is lovely, just like you! I was glued to the TV last night, loved Sarah's speech, she's just what we need in Washington! Don't ever change Brin, we love you just the way you are!

betty r said...

Love that scarf Brin..I just may knit one for myself!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I'm glad to see there was someone else laughing and crying at the speech!

As Mr. Rogers would say, I like you just the way you are.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

She was brilliant and I was elated! I am trying to figure out how to post as transparently as you do on your blog on politics and things controversial. Your rebuttal is terrific. See? This is one of the reasons why I love Palin...she reminds me of you!

Terri said...

Your blog is delicious! I have no idea how I orginally found it but I surely enjoy it. I loved Sarah's speech last night too. She is amazing!!!

Sue said...

Oh Brin, I could not wait until my all day meeting ended so I could check out your blog! I knew as I sat in PA watching Sarah you were watching her in Texas! I have emailed friends back and forth after last nights marvelous speech. We are thrilled! My husband and I sat together watching, laughing, crying and smiling from ear to ear! What an energizing breath of fresh air she brings. I am not a bumper sticker person but I WANT ONE! I can just see me parked in my liberal work lot with that sticker on my car :)

Cori G. said...

Hi Bren,
You should never have to apologize concerning something close to your heart.
My hubby and I only saw part of Palin's speech, but what we saw both inspired and excited us. She is such an amazing speaker who is not afraid to buck the system. It look like an exciting election year.
have a wonderful day.
Oh, don't you hate when you spill beans on yourself?

Meredith said...

Smart move removing anonymous comments. It can and may get even more interesting. In my own blog experience-- Try closing your blog and getting emails from people telling you what you should have done or should do etc. to keep the blog open. My blog really had to do with quilting I left just about everything else out and was sent rude emails. Yes rude emails about quilting. I still laugh about it. Write what you want when you want. Not like you don't know that..........thank you for making me laugh today.

J. said...

Loving the weather, love your cozy red scarf, loved your bean stain story, and loved your rebuttal.
Are ya feelin' the love?!

btw, I LOVED Palin last night, too! She has brought such an energy to this election, I can't wait to see what she will offer for "we the people" when she is elected as VP of the USA!
Happy to sign,
Jenn in Joy

Grace =) said...

She (Sarah Palin) was awesome! And she makes me excited about this election.

I looked for Leigh's book at our Borders and couldn't find it. I may have to look it up on Amazon. Glad you had fun, even though parts of your visit were...messy. :)


BecMama said...

Yes I truly enjoyed her speech. She held my attention which is impressive as I'm not big into politics. You're evening out sounds like a clip ofrom my life only for me it would have been raining and I would be soaked to the bone--and laughing through it all. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they so brighten my day and help me escape to a world I'm trying to create for my family: warm cookies, new fall knits, home-grown goodness, and cozy nights with a board-game.

Lallee said...

I have been on a high ever since I heard Sarah Palin speak the other day. My husband and I cannot stop talking. So amen.

I would love to meet Leigh in person, even if I had to wear beans on my bust. Thank you for the introduction to her books back when.

Super banner, Brin!

linda t said...

Come read my post about Sarah's speech. I was sobbing even before she spoke her first word!!

Good for you Brin! I was hoping you would say the very things you just said about the weekend comments. Don't let anyone put you in a box Brin!! Umm, like anyone could!! You're brilliant!

Lovely Lady Laura said...

I'm saddened to learn that you've received negative comments. Blog reading is a voluntary endeavor and if I every come across one that offends me in any way--I either let it go--or choose not to read that blog again. It would NEVER occur to me to send a negative comment to someone.

But it's funny to hear your blog referred to as an "art & garden" blog because I follow your blog for totally different reasons: travel, devotions, open talk about being the hurt a woman feels when she's divorced, the hope a divorced woman has for her future, cooking, sewing,and believe it or not, reading recommendations. I always LOVE the books you recommend!

So just keep doing what you're doing. Just keep being yourself and all will work out! Be encouraged and of good cheer!

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

That scarf is so pretty, love that color and it will look great with your hair. Sarah Palin *sigh* just think she's the cat's meow. Is that comment dating myself? :)

Good for you, Brin, to delete comments that try to put you down or judge you. I do the same thing on my blog. I allow the anonymous comments, but delete the ones I don't feel are nice.

You are a beautiful, loving soul and we, your readers, are glad you're there sharing your Messy, Thrilling Life with us. Oh, and why is it that I always drop food on my blouse when I'm with my favorite person? Never any other time but when I'm with him. Nerves maybe? :)

Brin said...


What? Oh no. Let me be clear: in my almost three years of blogging I have only deleted three or four comments off this blog... and ALL but one of them were terrible, personal attacks from my husband during and immediately after our marriage ended.

I would NEVER delete comments just because someone criticized or disagreed with me. I welcome input in whatever form it arrives. (When I was a reporter people would send me death threats and dried sperm. A few nasty blog comments are nothing; I view them as entertainment.)

I'm not sure where the idea came from that I delete comments, but rest assured I do not, and that anyone's view - as long as it's not spam or explicit - is welcome.


Lynne said...

Yes, your blog is your domain to monitor, and delete messages as you feel necessary. I monitor comments and have comment moderation enabled on my blog, but only to block out spammers and the like that tend to hit my blog on a regular basis. I don't need links to strange websites appearing in insincere comments on my blog. People who disagree with me are not banned from commenting unless they get nasty and totally out of line.

However, if you want to draw different people to your blog which is public domain, and you choose to voice your own political opinion, you leave yourself open to debate. Which I am not entirely certain you don't want to entertain here or you (in all your ex-reporter-type -personality) would not have brought up if you didn't want the opinion of others.

We all have the right to our own opinions and beliefs. Mine do not match yours. However, that does does not mean I need to belittle your beliefs; nor you mine. I think people have the right to disagree with you while not being disrespectful to you. That's what makes this crazy world go 'round. If we all thought alike it would be pretty freakin' boring.

By the way, the yarn for your scarf looks so orange in the previous pic and yet it appears red in this entry.

Randi said...

Agree or disagree, I love your blog. Keep writing whatever you want to write. Those who don't like it don't have to stop in.

Kristie said...

The whole Sarah Palin thing the other day just makes me love your blog even more!! I'm glad you disabled the anonymous thingy...if a person can't sign his or her name to something, they shouldn't write it!!

The more I see of Sarah...the more I like!

The scarf is cute!! I'm learning to knit...partially inspired by you! I even made a cute little scarf for my pug Lily.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Brin, I totally agree with you about Sarah. She did a super job and I am so excited about this election. It's your blog and you can share what you want to share. I don't think we should ever hold back on talking about how we love the Lord and I think He wants us to be proud of our relationship with Him. I loved your story about your visit. What a treat to spend some time with your favorite author! you go girl!!

Debe said...

It IS your blog and that is why I follow you! Sarah did us all proud, I think. I was heartened to hear a woman speak who did not make me cringe (as HC did). I can't imagine commenting as anon. I am me and you are you and isn't is nice to be able to be free to express our feelings? Yeah You!

kali said...

Amen Sister!!! Thank you for saying what needs to be said. I absolutely love this blog and it has changed my life! I'm not kidding!!! I am so excited that you got to go to lunch with your most favorite author.
I'm going to go order her book...

Anonymous said...

I loved her speech and I thought she did a very good job giving it! I was also very moved by McCains speech, how could you not be? :) I didn't like that they felt the need to bash Obama in so many small ways, I thought they could do better than to go there. But I loved their conference.

Abortion is my 1 exception with Palin. She thinks even medical, health, and rape/incest related abortions shouldn't be allowed that's worrisome and hurtful to me. What does that mean? That a woman should be forced to endure that kind of torture? Or if you so happen to have discovered you have cancer while pregnant and you can either save yourself or save the baby, that the mother should have to die because aborting the baby would be ilegal? How about children that happen to be born without a brain and they spend their short life suffering and in pain? Or pregnant women who carry babies who's blood types are incompatible and it may end up killing the mother and the child to carry the child full term?

I'm curious what Pro-lifers think of these matters because I never could understand. Do you feel the mother should die along with the child? Is that why you believe in zero exceptions to being anti-abortion?

Respectfully inquiring :).

Your scarf turned out lovely Brin! I hope to be able to knit as beautifully as you do someday soon! How do you knit in a circle like that?? I've GOT to learn! :D

A said...

I agree with Lynn. I could not disagree more with Sarah Palin, but I won't get in an argument about all the reasons why. I don't feel like it makes me less of a Christian or a woman because I'm a Democrat (I'm actually an independent). I enjoy your blog, and it's your right to post anything you want. But I'd be lying if I said that I'm not disappointed that you, someone who loves nature so much, support someone who is most definitely not an environmentalist in any way, shape, or form.

Rachel at

Anonymous said...

Dear Brin,

I have stumbled by your beautiful space through my roaming around the web. I, too, feel that you should be able to express yourself in your "blog" the way that you are led.

Politics can become so nasty. We tend to believe a great deal of what we read, and especially what we are told by the media.

Your choice for the president should be quite personal since your criteria and standards are different from everyone elses.

I,like millions of others, tuned in to see Sara Palin speak. I was not dissapointment. I don't know that much about her to form an intelligent opinion and I also do not allow myself to be persuaded by others. I was actually impressed with her poise, her delivery, and the fact that she is a mother.

Thank you for your honesty, your wit and your ability to laugh and enjoy life for all its worth.

many blessings,


Twyla and Lindsey said...

Brin, I respect you on so many levels. You are an inspiration to me ALL the time, whether you are telling us how to knit, garden, cook or your views on politics. I feel that our blogs are the chance to get to know one another as no other women had in times past. We are lucky to have this forum. Thank you for saying what's on your mind! Twyla

ajinman said...

You go girl!!!I stand and applauded loudly.

auntie m =) said...

I have stayed anonymous because I don't comment too often even though your lively writing often inspires me to (comment). You are the cat's pajamas! =) That's one of your grandmother's favorite expressions. As others have already commented, I, too, think Palin has brought the best change to the elections than I've seen in a long, long time. I couldn't wait for the R-Con to start each night. I watched every night except the night Gustav blew too close for comfort. I surprised myself and look forward to voting. Press on grasshopper. Love ya!

Amy said...

I thought she was amazing...but my DVR didn't see that her speech was going longer than the 1 hour allotted to the RNC so I didn't see all of it. I fixed that problem for McCain and was very happy.

Love ya!

Erica said...

I read your blog often and just love it. First off, your red scarf is amazing. How I wish I could knit. As for all of the crazy comments that have been floating around your blog - Congrats on taking the high road. It is YOUR blog and you can write whatever YOU'D like. Keep the great posts coming, I look forward to them!

Victoria said...


Love your scarf on your gardening blog! LOL!

Love Sarah Palin, have enjoyed learning more about McCain this week too!

I read your blog because it isn't just about one interest. I never know if you will post a Freeman house post, sewing post, trip/vacation post, spiritual insight, etc! I am glad that you shared your political beliefs in your blog and believe more of us need to do it.

Lindy said...

Not only has Sarah Palin won my heart... so has her family. Especially her youngest daughter, Piper. Did you see how she licked the palm of her hand and then used it to smooth her baby brother's hair? What a priceless and adorable moment! It was so cute... I had to search for it on Youtube. lol

And when Gov. Palin introduced her baby, Trig... she said that he was "perfectly beautiful." My heart melted... and I couldn't agree with her more. :)

A family of boys said...

I just have to say that you totally and completely rock. I don't even know you and yet I didn't find your political statement out of line at all. It was you.

I just have to say that I love your blog. I miss you when you're gone and always look forward to your returns. Reading your words give me just a few moments of peace in a chaotic day with my boys.


traci said...

that kind of stuff happens to me!! good for you!! it's your blog isn't it - you can post whatever you like. and i have always felt that you should never put anonymous on anything.

Jenny said...

You rock, Brin. As does Sarah Palin. I want to be like her when I grow up, lol. Oh, wait. I think I am grown. Physically, anyway.

Anywho, I applaud your comments and your sticking to your guns.

Personally, I think SP gave the best speech of anyone this convention year. How have we not heard of her before?

Tina said...

Love that you share your opinion. I'm new to the blogging world and I thought that's what we're suppose to do. With regard to Sarah Palin...I have to tell you I am so proud to be a 44 year old Christian American woman.
We need to pray for her and keep her protected during the coming months.
Thanks for sharing!

shannon said...

I love your blog and your creative, spiritual insights.
Since you asked, wasn't her message wonderful? I have to answer, not to me. She acted like a cheerleader making fun of the smart black guy. She made fun of smart-talking and Barak so many times that it detracted from her speech. The drill, baby drill chant was also scary. And comparing herself to a pit-bull- why would you want to be like a pit-bull?
Thanks for asking- I'm glad to know what smart, creative women are thinking and so glad you brought it up and glad for the chance to voice my disappointment with our first woman vp candidate.
Guns, drilling and not caring about what the rest of the world thinks about America nor about sounding "smart" does not reflect my values as a woman or a mother.

Kim said...

Shannon...Geraldine Ferraro (sp?) was our first woman VP candidate. She was a Democrat, too.

Nice blog, too. I have been enjoying it for a long time. I'm a fellow east Texan.