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Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

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Spark My Muse

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Show notes –
Spark My Muse podcast: Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

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Photo by Brett Bastello – Personal Creations (click for link)

Today’s episode covers the skinny on wine spritzers and also how friendship fuels our creative muse.

This episode is brought to you by
the book Dog in the Gap
10 essays inspired by the life lessons learned while befriending with the family canine. Heart warming, full of wonderful photography and good humor. Click the links to learn more to get a copy.

The Bonus Edition is just a $1 more and it contains lots of extras and goodies.


What is a wine spritzer exactly and why now is a good time to make one?

First, what’s up with the word “spritzer”?

The word “spritzer” comes from the German spritzen “spatter, squirt, spray, sprinkle”.

(additional note: just saying it involves some spritzing, right?)

The wine sprizter is just a simple drink combination of chilled wine and something that sparkles, such as sparkling mineral water, club soda, or seltzer water.

It’s consumed more for refreshment than anything else!

(It’s easy on the liver.)

• Drinking wine in warm weather or in the hot sun is always a bad idea. The spritzer is a good choice for summer because of its lower alcohol content, less calories, and being less inexpensive than straight wine consumption. Serving them is a great a way for you or your guests to not drink too much before the hambergers are ready at your cookout.

Too much wine (or any alcohol) during the summer will dehydrate you and you can quickly feel tired or ill.

Spritzers are mixed in various ratios and sometimes fruit juice is added.
The two most common are 50/50 or,
1/2 cup club soda to 1 cup of wine.

• The Spanish use red wine, fruit, and lemon soda. That sounds delicious!

I think wine or juice Spritzers are the go-to outdoor party beverage that provides a less expensive refreshing treat for outdoor entertaining and outdoor fun, sunny get-togethers, and bonding with friends. (They can be made without alcohol for teetotalers or children too–just skip the wine and add more fruit juice.)

• For parties, you can fill a punch bowl with the right ratios.

Some of my favorite wine spritzer recipes!

The Super Simple Spritzer

Just two ingredients:
6 ounces of a reasonably priced of white wine – or a blush wine–
plus 6 ounces of 7-Up (or try sprite or ginger ale).


Sublime Citrus Spritzer
2 lemon slices, 2 lime slices, 5 ice cubes.
4 ounces of your your favorite white wine and 2 ounces of lemon-lime seltzer.

Peach Dream Party Bowl Spritzer

6 quartered peaches and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Mix into a blender and puree. Place in a pitcher and chill for about two hours, then mix in a bottle of white wine, and stir well.

Finally, add a liter of cold sparkling water or seltzer.

Garnish with mint and extra slices of peach.


Citrus Ice Cube Party Pitcher Spritzer
2 lemons, zested
2 small oranges, zested (or 1 large orange, zested)
1 bottle white or blush wine
3 cups sparkling water
Place the zest as a mixture into an empty ice cube tray, add water and freeze for 3 to 5 hours.

In a large pitcher, combine the wine and the sparkling water and then the citrus zest ice cubes.

Stir and serve.


White Wine and Fruity Sweet Party Spritzer
1 bottle of sweet white wine
3/4 cup white grape juice or apple juice
1 liter bottle desired-flavor low-calorie sparkling water, chilled.

(optional and delicious Assorted fresh fruits (such as raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, sliced kiwifruit, blueberries, lemon slices, lime slices, halved strawberries, or red grapes)
1 In a large punch bowl combine wine and grape juice.

Just before serving, slowly pour in sparkling water.

If desired, garnish individual servings with fruit. Makes 10 (6-ounce) servings

SPARK MY MUSE: On friendship….

David Whyte:

Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.

Little Prince

(previous entry)

C.S. Lewis

Friendship, unlike cooperation, is unnecessary to human survival.
Friendship, like philosophy and art is one of the things that gives value to survival.
how friendship differs from the other three types of love by focusing on its central question: “Do you see the same truth.”

Anne Lamott

In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.

My essay:

Pertaining to sparking one’s muse. Good friends, that offer selflessly the balance of honesty and gentleness, toughness and acceptance, encouragement and motivation breath life into our lives and our art. Being social creatures, as humans, we crave social bonds even though they inevitably cause us pain at times. Isolated, for too long, we shrink into ourselves with self-delusion, self-absorption, unwarranted loathing and aggrandizement.

Aloneness is a dread for many or a craving for those misfit. And even those misfit hope, sometimes, to find someone else in the dark that might recognize him and name him and finally tell him he is well enough and valuable. Only in the mirror of friendship can we have solid footing and might be drawn out into our best selves. Erotic love has too much fire and entanglement for that. Agape love too much work and abdication. Brotherly love too much responsibility and duty. Only a soul friend can birth you into your actualization most purely.

Friends and confidants help us be continually born into the next stage of development. We risk with them and they with us and the synergy makes us stronger. At its best it is a fountain of grace sourced in Originator of Love and Goodness.

Do you have a question or do you have an idea for the show? Please let me know! :)


Thursday at #STORY2012

Thursday at #STORY2012

QUICK update from STORY….

I just heard Erwin McManis speak and it was honest and powerful. Some of us had to overlook his 3 slighting comments toward the feminine. Nerves?

I’m still not quite sure why his son (Aaron?) was featured on stage in an Oprah-like segment. You can’t even google him.

He spoke about finding pain in the process of creating and what he learned from it. Success was harder to handle than failure.

This is maybe why he makes handbags now?

So many fascinating people and creative types all over. Also more skinny jeans than you can shake a stick at!

The photo is of a steam puck style bike. It’s a festival atmosphere here.

I’m pretty excited about Anne Lamott, I must say.

Check my facebook and youtube for more.

My traveling Adventure & 36 Social Media Rules

My traveling Adventure & 36 Social Media Rules

Starting very early Wednesday I’ll be traveling several thousand miles and going to the conference of a lifetime. #STORYchicago.

I’ll update everyone following along with many ensuing adventures which also include solo navigating my way several hours to BWI airport (Baltimore) and around Chicago on public transportation (yes, there’s STILL 30,000 public school teachers striking and over 350,000 school-aged city kids on the loose….hum. Things could get interesting).

PLUS I’ll be staying at a commune with hippies….seriously, the Original so-called “Jesus Freaks” (Jesus Movement) of the early 1970s, and obviously absorbing good vibes. I’ll be finding good coffee whenever possible, eating Chicago style pizza, and meeting and cavorting with lots of cool friends who are writers, artists, filmmakers, creators, and creative types, some of whom you’ve likely heard of… but I’ll skip the name dropping, at least for now.

I’ll include videos and photos too mostly on my twitter, the special youtube channel and Facebook outlets.
Click and link up.
So I hope you’ll follow along and see how things go… Trying circumstances, good laughs, bonding…it’ll be great.

Another thing I’m planning to do goes against popular convention…Especially for writing types. I’m only taking a carryon (no checked baggage), and I’m leaving my laptop at home. This will be a test of my smart phone skills and iPhone 3GS battery life. This means I will try to post here too if time allows and the technology gods smile upon me.

OKay! More on that tomorrow… For now, How about some nifty tips?

Want to get better at using Social Media?
If you Learn the Rules you’ll do better.

I found this gem at Fast Company. They made these rules from some great input. Those sources are referenced at the bottom.

Please let me know if you liked them!


Blogging as Spiritual Journal

Blogging as Spiritual Journal

click for photo attribution

Today’s post comes from Doug Jackson. Professor Jackson is a bona fide man of letters and a teacher of spiritual formation. He also blogs. He’s not the kind of expert that touts his CV. Rather, he’s a man acquainted with his humanity in a way the endears you to him right off, and a wisdom that can change you.

Blogging as Spiritual Journal
Doug Jackson

“For I am the sort of man,” Augustine once declared, “who writes because he has made progress, and who makes progress – by writing.”

Christian bloggers should rework Jane Austen’s dictum, “Write what you know,” and state it as follows: Write until you know. If we understand blogging as a process of self-discovery and even of self-formation, we may tread this track with greater gratitude and greater care.

Gratitude and care: Keeping an internal diary has long been seen as a spiritual discipline, from Augustine’s Confessions to Wesley’s journals to Mother Teresa’s recently published papers. The Internet tweaks this ancient practice by offering the perilous privilege of publication.

I say privilege because blogging encourages journaling by offering the incitement of instant readership. Journaling has never been one of my own spiritual practices because I am too much of a writer (or perhaps too little of a Christian) to stand the sound of one keyboard clattering. Writers write to be read, and while perhaps saints do not, most writers are at best saints-in-process. Tradition tells us that Abba John the Dwarf, at Abba Pambo’s direction, watered a stick every day for three years until it burst forth in fruit. I, however, simply will not chase the dead stick of writing if there is not a carrot of being read dangling somewhere on the end of it. George Bernanos’ country priest begins his Diary with the promise that after twelve months he will use it for kindling; by the end of the first chapter he amends it to “I’ll stuff it all away in a drawer to re-read it later with a clear mind.”

So blogging offers an incredible privilege: Writers who in the very recent past would have no outlet for their work can now find instant publication – and instant motivation. Anne Lamott notes the value of this kind of work:

I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do – the act of writing – turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.


But the privilege comes laced with peril: the deadly sin of wrath.

Blogs are self-edited and self-published. I can say whatever I want. Blogs are also released to cyber-space: I can’t unsay anything, even if I want to. This makes a blog a great place to get angry, but a poor place to repent. When I played football we often drilled using foam shields known as “air bags.” I noticed that guys who avoided physical contact at all costs suddenly went Jack Lambert on us during these sessions. We dubbed such selective warriors “Air Bag All Americans.” A blog can be a playground for Air Bag Martyrs who speak boldly from the behind the bunker of their firewalls.

But wrath is a deadly sin for a reason. Jesus equated insults with murder. People often ask me, “Does that mean calling someone a jerk is just as bad as killing him?” My standard reply is, “Not to him.”

Which is largely the point and takes us back to blogging as self-discovery: My anger may or may not harm my targets (with a readership like mine, probably not), but it tells me something about me. “The pleasure of anger,” explains C. S. Lewis, “the gnawing attraction which makes one return again and again to its theme — lies, I believe, in the fact that one feels entirely righteous oneself only when one is angry.

Then the other person is pure black, and you are pure white.” Ranting blogs probably reveal very little about my airbag victims, but they should tell me something about the state of my own soul.

And then there’s the temptation of attention: Wrath translates to readership because everyone loves the vicarious thrill of an Internet takedown. If we write to be read, we must take care lest we automatically write what people like to read. Donald Kaul once closed a review of Robert James Waller’s chick-lit romance “The Bridges of Madison County” by admitting, “I still don’t know what Waller has, but if I thought it was contagious, I’d kiss him.” If cyber-sneering and digital drive-by’s mean viral results, we’re too quick to kiss – well, whatever needs kissing.

Harry Farra’s “Little Monk” begins keeping a journal early in his vows, and later finds it to be “a valuable record of a soul tamed by God.” Toward the close of the book, he abandons the volume to the care of a young woman. She shares it with her wayward son who finds that it changes his heart. Perhaps that should be the goal of the believing blogger: the charism of being overheard. An old joke says, “Live in such a way that you would not be afraid to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” I would amend it to: Blog in such a way that you would not fear to have your words read by a seeking soul in danger, one whom you may never meet.

I write these words as one more unknown note in the mighty symphony (or cacophony) of the blogosphere. My URL does not appear on big-time blog rolls. No one has contacted me to offer a book deal. Christian universities do not invite me to speak. But I don’t think I need the caffeine of fame (though, quite honestly, I’ll take it if it comes); what I need is the liturgy of writing. And who knows – maybe that is what someone who reads my blog needs as well.•

After twenty-five years as a pastor, Doug Jackson finally made it to Tarshish as an assistant professor in the Logsdon Seminary program of the South Texas School of Christian Studies in Corpus Christi, where he teaches spiritual formation, pastoral ministry, and Greek. In addition to his teaching, Doug writes “Sermoneutics,” a weekly devotional and sermon-starter blog based on the Revised Common Lectionary:

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