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

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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! :)


Hate labels? [When unexplainable becomes a blockade]

“Fear of the unexplainable has not only impoverished our inner lives, but also diminished relations between people.” -Rilke



We like categories. We like labels. We like things defined.

A common statement among plenty of people (born after the 1960s?) is to claim: “I don’t like labels”. The closer thing is to say instead that, “I don’t like being confined to a box I can’t alter when I want to.”

We all instinctively use and adore labels…(If we didn’t, bringing it up wouldn’t cross our minds.)

“Not liking labels” is of course a label. It’s a classification.

It’s a way to distinguish an individual. It’s a category we hope people understand. We like the differentiation, but that same differentiation can be it’s own prison, and soon. It is not only a prison, but a blockade from human interactions and healthy bonds.

But, this is because Without categories, we have fear. Our world is much harder to navigate and make sense of without them. Without labels we venture headlong into the “unexplainable” again and again. This production of fear has a halting power.

I don’t know the remedy for it. There may be none. It may help, though, to just admit that we are often afraid. The funny thing is the being afraid draws us closer to each other…when it is not busy destroying us.

Ben Witherington on the Imago Dei

Continued from my last post…this is Part II of summary of insights I gleaned from the Wesley Forum lecture at Evangelical Seminary, featuring Dr Ben Witherington. He gave us three presentations on the topic of the Imago Dei (image of God).


The 2nd lecture was about the Imago Dei in Jesus.

Here are some snippets I enjoyed:


(Yes, it’s the original of our English word “character”).

It refers to the impressionable wax seal used by a king to imprint his royal signet ring.


God’s charakter is manifest in Jesus and includes these qualities:

1. Heir of God, the King

2. Co-Creator

3. Perfect Reflection

4. Exact Imprint

5. He sustains by his word (logos: Jesus was and is the word)

6. Purifies sin

7. Rules over all

Witherington says that Romans 3:23 is better translated as this:

“For all have sinned and lack the glory of God.”

(This verse refers to the effaced but not erased Image of God in humans.)

SALVATION: the behavior & pattern of life.

I was saved.

I am being saved.

I will be saved.

Church is not a collection of individuals.

It’s a family and an identity centered on community, not individuality.

(In ancient times who your daddy was and who your clan was told everyone who you were. Only secondarily was your individual identity noticed (unlike how modern, North Americans experience identity).

The Imago Dei is a royal seal.

We have the imprint.

You embody the word; you become it.

• Jesus gave us the “what” – Great Commandment


(The chief imperative is forgiveness and is a Christian distinctive that breaks the cycle of bitterness and violence.)

• Jesus gave us the “how” – Great Commission

(go and tell, and make more like me– which is discipleship)

• Jesus gave us the “goal” – Great Doxology

(praise) Live in the wonder and love of God.


When we pray in Jesus’ name we must always consider this question:

“Would I sign Jesus’ name to this?”


The next post will conclude my notes on the final lecture of Dr Witherington.

You won’t want to miss it!

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Learn Transformational Leadership Theory in 15 Seconds

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 8.33.53 AMI’m writing the last paper for my class in Leadership and Administration. I’m concentrating on Transformational Leadership Theory.

Here’s the crash course for you!

30 years ago Transformational Leadership got some traction and it focused on something nothing else had: Followers.

What motivates and develops Followers created a paradigm shift in Leadership Studies that continues to be researched and written about quite a bit.

(The image shows 5 factors Transformational Leaders employ.)

The 4 Main Components that define Transformational Leadership

The four key components in play[1]:

  1. Intellectual Stimulation – In Transformational Leadership the leader challenges the status quo, encourages creative solutions, and leads followers toward exploring new ways of doing things while offering new opportunities to learn and grow.
  1. Individualized Consideration – In Transformational Leadership the leader offers support and encouragement to individual followers that help to foster supportive relationships among the team, and endeavors to help followers keep the lines of communication open to more easily share ideas. There is also recognition of team members’ unique contributions.
  1. Inspirational Motivation – In Transformational Leadership the leader has a clear vision that is articulated to the followers. With this clearly articulated vision followers may share and experience similar passion and stay better motivated to see the vision through to completion.
  2. Idealized Influence – A Transformational leader serves as a role model for her followers. She exemplifies the values she hopes to engender. This builds trust and respect for the leader. (This had been called “charisma” but has grown more nuanced.)

[1] Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations by Bernard M. Bass (1985)

The Book that started it all:

Updated and expanded in 2005

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