Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brin's Top Five Bloggers

I'm telling you, blogs are amazing. Aren't they? The next time I come down with a monster illness of some sort I'm going to defrost a mixing bowl full of homemade chicken soup and pile up in bed and read blogs all day. Maybe I should just rush out and get a flu shot this week. Seems as though the years I get one I always get violently sick. Sicker than the years I don't.

Where was I? Oh. Blogs. Gosh they're cool. I thought today I'd talk up a few of my favorites. (And invite you to share a few favorites of your own.) Sound cool? Cool.

A few weeks ago I got an email from a lady who said she took two days off and read my blog from start to finish. (That means she read 540-something posts in 48 hours. Wow.) Goes to show you that blogs can really suck you in. I don't know about you, but there are a few bloggers who I would love to meet. Seriously, if any of these people ever invited me for coffee or paintball-ing I would never ask for anything for Christmas ever again. A few of these people, in no particular order, are:

1. Gayla Trail. Author, gardener and blogger Gayla Trail. That's her, above, with the garlic. She's a countless source of inspiration and encouragement to gardening girls like myself. Gayla's the one who taught me that tomatoes dig milk. She's the one who taught me how to recycle toilet paper holders to start squash seeds. Short of my Dad, she knows more about gardening than anyone I know. (Except maybe Neil Sperry. I used to anchor the news breaks on Sundays during his show in Dallas. Whenever I think of Santa Claus and the nicest "old" man ever, I think of Neil Sperry.) But Gayla. I could spend two days reading her blog. She's impossibly cool.

2. Alicia Paulson. I know many of you read her blog as well. Like her legions of other fans, I adore Alicia. While I may disagree with her on what makes a good lasagna... and while I couldn't see copying her beautifully eclectic style in my own home, I find myself enamored with Alicia's life and home. One day I'm going to Portland and stalking the fabric stores until I run into her.

3. Lisa Fain. The Homesick Texan. That's her picture of her Wacky Cake, above. While I sometimes get lost in the recipes of folks up north (Lobster Pot Pie, Corned Beef, Clam Stew, New England Boiled Dinner), I can always count on Lisa to set things "right". From homemade biscuits and chocolate pie to beef jerky and pico de gallo, Lisa's recipes call to mind a southern Sunday pot luck or the spread at our family reunions. Only better.

4. Donald Miller. And not just because I've read Blue Like Jazz three times or recently got upset with a Barnes and Noble employee over my $39.99 mis-ordered copy of Through Painted Deserts. No, I'm crazy about Donald Miller because his faith (and subsequent practice thereof) is real. He questions. He doubts. He walked away from his Christianity only to return - more convicted and more convinced. He's edgy. He's impassioned. He's disrespectful. (He's also campaigning for Obama and doing some light railing against conservative Christian Republicans [that's me], which shocks me and makes me cringe... but also makes me grudgingly respect him all the more.) I'm going to a meeting with Donald Miller in a few weeks, and jokingly stole a classic Tom Hanks line and told a friend that if Mr. Miller is half as attractive as a mailbox I could want to marry him. My friend rolled her eyes and said, "I've heard he's crazy. And I think he smokes. There's a picture online of him smoking." And I thought for a minute and said, "Huh-uh," and then followed that up after another minute with: "So. So what? "

5. While I'm talking about guys, here's my final blogger: Chris Weisinger, the founder of Southern Bulb Company. (Southern Living did a great piece on him here.) While at Texas A&M, Chris and a buddy did a class business model that centered around locating, propagating and marketing bulbs unique to the southern climate. It must have been a winner. Once Chris graduated he and some friends began their company (about an hour from Freeman House, no less), and now sell heirloom bulbs to gardeners across the south. Chris is passionate about his business - about preserving native southern flowering bulbs and educating gardeners - and honest in his faith (he's also a Christian). His blog is journal-like and it has videos. I like the videos...

So there you have five of my favorite bloggers. Hope you aren't bored to tears. And hey... how about a few of yours? Which blogs do you get lost in every week? I'd sure hate to miss out.... -Brin


Linda Z said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Brin. You always have good taste in... well, everything!

Hehe... you and Donald Miller would totally be a You've Got Mail Scenario. Somehow I could see it!

My favorite reads are you :) and a couple of California moms...

Flipflops and Applesauce


The Best Days of My Life

Vee said...

Interesting list.

You're a better woman/Christian than I. I had to give up on Donald Miller's irreverence to save my sanity. Just wish that my niece would stop gifting me with his books. Now if I could just pick and choose my way through his writing, perhaps I could develop a sincere appreciation for his work.

You're right! Who doesn't love Alicia?

Now I must check out the remainder...thank you for the links.

What you saying about New England cooking??? :D

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Brin, I was just like that lady, I found your blog - liked your style, and Had to go to the beginning and read all the way through. It was like the best novel! You have such a talent for writing. My favorite story was the one about the 'organ donor'! There are many of us who admire you from afar. You are a hero to me. Twyla

Pof5 said...

For her home living tips, Pleasant View Schoolhouse:
For her down home recipes, Pioneer Woman:
And because I dig all things England (and now she has moved to the USA) and because I'm following her 365 days of self portaits, Nin:

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go check out your favorites! I love "The Pioneer Woman".

karen said...

jane over at Yarnstorm
the dogs over at Sister's Choice Quilts
Alison at Brocante Home (her dating escapades are hilarious)

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Besides you, of course. :)

I follow a number of lovely blogs on Bloglines but my favorites below.

I love The Pioneer Woman, too.

My friend Jewels at

And for cooking and entertaining...

Harbor Hon said...

You are in my favorites list as I visityou every day. I'm sure you already knew that. Like you, I go to Alicia's blog. I visit Pioneer Woman quite a lot. You've also been to mine when I asked about the pocket pies. Check out my favorites list sometime. xxoo

Sharon said...

Hi Brin I am new to blogging but I am so addicted. Just whe I think that's enough do some work, go to bed etc I start reading another blog and get hooked and then that connects me to another 10 and on and on it goes. I'm thinking I need to get organized and do some time management or I will never have any work done but I will know what everyone else is upto on the other side of the world and thats important...The trouble is I am getting all enthused to do stuff but then I don't have the time because I'm too busy reading blogs he he This post isn't helping my addiction with all these new blogs to check out.. thanks I enjoy your blog immensely and its what got me started..
Some blogs Hi Brin I am new to blogging but I am so addicted. Just whe I think that's enough do some work, go to bed etc I start reading another blog and get hooked and then that connects me to another 10 and on and on it goes. I'm thinking I need to get organized and do some time management or I will never have any work done but I will know what everyone else is upto on the other side of the world and thats important... I get all enthused to do stuff and I don't have time because I am too busy reading blogs. Your post is not going to help my cause with all these new blogs to check out.
Yes I did the same with your blog when I came across it I had to catch up on old posts. You have a gift for inspiring and you write so well ... Who needs novels I will try and do some blogs I'm following later...

Sharon said...

whoops not sure how I managed that a double whamy but lets just say I'm gifted and still learning...Sorry to take up so much space...Some blogs I follow

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Brin, give me a holler if you're ever in New York, and I'll invite you over for some chocolate pie.

traci said...

thanks for the list of favorites. i will definately be visiting the homesick texan again.

Patsy from Illinois said...

Just requested Blue Like Jazz from my library. I am 4th on the list for requests so I should have it soon. Sounds like it should be a good one.

Unknown said...

Brin, your my all time favorite blog, you had me from day one and I'm still totally hooked! I keep saying you need to turn it into a book so I can cherish it anytime without waiting on dailup! I read a couple on your list but will be checking out the others, esp. the gardening one! Thanks for sharing!

Cathy said...


I'm a new blogger and stumbled upon yours the other day. I have to admit that I'm adicted to your blog. Your home is beautiful... Thanks for my few hours of entertainment :)

Shelby said...

Those are some fantastic blogs that I never visited before.. I shall now have great adventures there.. like Donald Miller and have ready some of his books, didn't know he had a blog.. I read about the bulb guy in Southern Living and remember being so very interested in that! Now I lear he has a blog too.. I'm so excited!

T.L. said...

Thanks for showing the way to Southern Bulb. I let my subscription to Southern Living run out(for shame) and missed that one. Now maybe I can find a tulip with some staying power.

Sharon said...

Another great blog particularly if you like to cook and entertain.

Anonymous said...

Most of these bloggers are new to me, so I am excited to check them out. My Top Bloggers are: Soule Mama (as I am a mommy to a 4 and 2 year old) she helps me remember all my blessings (although I doubt she is Christian), your blog (you remind me of myself before marriage and kiddos, and during a time when I was limping along my life after my heart got nuked) and By Sun and Candlelight (a homeschooling Catholic mom living in New England - of which I am neither - I work part-time and I am a Methodist living in Atlanta)but she inspires me and shows me all the wonderful things I can teach my girls at home. Okay so that is my list - no one who is exactly like me but who all touch on parts of the person I am or wish to become.

sherry said...

Hm. Donald Miller has some serious doctrinal/spiritual challenges, in my opinion. As to him stumping for it the Marxism or Infanticide that reels him in? Gotta wonder.

I spend time at:

Eyes of Wonder
Sea Cottage
The Inspired Room

Brin said...

(This comment was emailed to me and I wanted to share it... -Brin)

Hi Brin,

Sorry, I didn't just leave a comment, but I have no blog. Something I need to find the time to do. Instead I am busy reading everyone else's!

Here are a few I thought might interest you.

A Friend To Knit With
House on Hill Road
Pleasantview Schoolhouse
Anna Maria Horner

Love those and had to pass them on.

Thanks for your wonderful blog!


(Thanks, Julia! I think Anna Maria Horner's blog is tops, but hadn't visited the others. Great suggestions...)

And thanks to all of you who've chimed in with your favorite sites! Aren't they fun? Y'all have given me some great new ones to get addicted to, much to Millie's chagrin. She already seems to think I spend too much time holding a laptop and not enough time holding a leash! :D

Love you all. -Brin

Terri said...

Your blog is awesome! I so love the adventures of Millie and Brin as I call it. I could not stomach that Donald Miller blog though, I am too pro-life ( long story there). I also love pleasantview schoolhouse, yarnstorm, Mabel's house, Daisy Cottage and cupcakes at home and, and, ok I need serious therapy, can anyone say addiction??

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

I love so many ... yours is one of my very favorites. I also love The Crafty Crow ( ... I love to do stuff with my kiddos), Oh Happy Day (, and Pleasant View Schoolhouse (sounds like your other readers love her too).