Life is Worth Living

Ode to My Box Wine – Splendor of My Refrigerator

Anyone in need of a little lighter fare?

Remember when I wrote that Ode to my Coffee Pot?  Well, I have something else that I’d like to honor and call to your attention.  It’s my Box Wine.

Without any further ado, here is my Ode to My Box Wine in modern, “free” verse.  (Whatever that means.)

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Got this one on sale the other day for $17.  There’s the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine in that thing.  O joyous Safeguard of sanity! O Splendor of my Refrigerator!

Ode to My Box Wine

Even though you take up much needed space in my refrigerator,

I praise you, Box Wine,

for you are gloriously and wondrously made.

O Hope of desperate mothers!

O Comforter at the end of an exasperating day!

Just one glass is enough to fill our hearts with gladness.

After a day of cleaning up urine all over toilet seats, floors, and walls,

and scrubbing feces from onesies and seat-holders,

and wearing spit-up and drool,

You are my Illustrious Reward.

O Vessel of Joy!

Some things must be prioritized to allow for your presence:

Ketchup or Box Wine?

5th gallon of milk or Box Wine?

Sauerkraut or Box Wine?

(Oh wait, we’re German and cannot actually live without sauerkraut.)

Water pitcher or Box Wine?

Some things just have to go.

For you are our Solace in the midst of woe.

O Bestower of Buzzes!

And Terror of Bad Moods!

You are the Splendor of my refrigerator.

May you live a long life

and never run dry!

May you be as a Stone Jar at the Wedding Feast of Cana!

O Happy Box of Brilliance!

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She fits right in.

 

Have a friend who needs a glass of wine?  Be sure to send this post along.

 

Life is Worth Living

Haircutting Day. Line Up Y’All.

I’ve never paid for the children to have a haircut.  Or my husband.  We just line ’em up and start clipping.

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Child on the right is done.

Early on in our marriage, my husband bought a clippers and begged me to cut his hair.  He hated wasting time at a salon and despised fancy haircuts.  All he wanted was his hair to be buzzed off as short as possible.  So, I snapped on a #1 and went at it.

There are eight attachments with our clippers that are numbered 1-8.  1 is the shortest; 8 is the longest.  My husband insists on a #1 for him.  The boys, however, don’t care.  I generally buzz the bottom off with a 1, shear the top with a 3, and blend the edges with a 2.  I learned that trick from my sister.  She went to hair school and worked in a salon for a few years.

Now normally I do all the clipping, but occasionally my husband likes to “help out.”  He thinks it’s funny to tonsure all the boys first and then chase after them with the clippers to finish it off.  (Don’t know what a tonsure is?  Click HERE.)

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Tonsured boy on the stool.  Run-away-boy on the left.

The Girls?

And how about the girls?

Every now and then I trim the girls’ hair, but that’s trickier and requires a bit more skill.  Again my sister showed me a few haircutting tricks, but I’m just not that good at it.  So, every year or so, I bribe her with coffee to fix their hair, which she gladly does.  (May God bless her soul.)

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This is my sister.  She’s cutting her son’s hair.

 

And what about me?

I’m the only spoiled rotten one in this family.  So I go to a salon where my hairdresser washes, cuts, and styles my hair beautifully.  If I lived anywhere near my sister, however, I would bribe her to cut my hair too, but alas, she’s 6 hours away.  And when I do see her, I’ve got so many girls with uneven hair that there just isn’t time for me.

Parting Advice

If you don’t own a clippers, buy one.  I promise it’s a lot of fun.

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Gotta love that tonsure.
Life is Worth Living

Ditch Fire!

“Hey, Mom, look!”  Yelled my 9-year-old son while riding his bike up and down the driveway.  “The top of the electric pole is on fire!”

“Where?”  I asked, while strapping the baby on me for a little walk.

“It looks like fireworks!”  Yelled the 7-year-old son.

The grass is on fire now!”  Reported the 9-year-old.

And that’s how the little ditch fire started last Friday night.  Across the gravel road from our house, the top of an electric pole somehow overheated and burst into flames.  It soon died out, but the sparks from it began a fire in the tall grass below.

Now there were 3 things to be thankful for at that moment:

  1. No one lives on that side of the road, so no houses were in danger.
  2. The wind was not blowing.  (Miracle.)  So it was a very slow moving fire.  And
  3. We happen to be not in a drought.  (Also a miracle for where we live.)

Had this electric pole decided to burst into flames exactly a year ago, the entire Waterfowl Production Area would have been gone in very short while.  Last summer, our fire department was kept very busy with wildfires, with one of them way too close for comfort – a mile away.

But this year, not a problem, yet.

Anyway, as soon as I saw the little fire, I called 911 to report it, while my husband grabbed a rake and ran over to it.  He had some experience putting out fires in Montana during college as part of a wild land firefighting crew.

Meanwhile the children thought this was all very awesome.  We watched from the other side of the ditch while the Sheriff and the Firemen pulled up.  By this time my husband had mostly put out the little fire, and the firemen had commenced spraying everything down.

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“Mom, I want to be fireman, just like these guys!”  Note the blackened ditch behind the firetruck on the left.

My 7-year-old wants to be a fireman now.  Because they’re manly and tough and get to be outside doing cool stuff like spraying water from massive hoses and driving sweet-looking trucks.

And you know what?  They are cool.

Life is Worth Living

A Bad Habit, Broken!

Dear Readers, the last few weeks, I’ve been stuck in a bad habit.  In my defense, I’ve been suffering from insomnia nearly every night and have been too exhausted to do much about it, but today, I said, enough is enough.

I will get my curling iron out, I will put mascara on, and I will wear something other than that ugly black shirt with capris.

And I did.  I curled my hair, put my mascara on, and slid into a bright pink shirt.  After breakfast, I’m putting my lipstick on.

I already feel better, by the way.  I walked out of the bathroom door and my 5-year-old daughter said, “Oh, Mom!  You look soooo beautiful!

Anyone else stuck in a bad habit?

Happy Monday Everyone!

Life is Worth Living

Time for Cocktails!

As this is summer, I am wondering what you all are enjoying in the evenings?  I like a glass of wine* or two, but every now and then, I like a cocktail too.

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This is a Classic Martini.  2.5 oz. dry gin, .5 oz dry vermouth, and an olive.  I hate Classic Martinis.  Yuck.  My husband loves them though.

Summer Drinks

The other night, my husband and I enjoyed a Lemon Martini (on the left) and a Rob Roy (on the right).

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As the famous Fr. Z asks, “which is mine?”

Lemon Martinis

Some of you have asked how we make our Lemon Martinis?  (By we, I mean my husband.  Who are kidding?  I don’t make the drinks around here.  I just drink ’em.)  My husband pours equal parts freshly squeezed lemon, dry vermouth, and vodka into a shaker with ice.  Then he shakes it violently and pours it into my martini glass.

So of course, it isn’t a true martini, as it has no gin.

And what’s around that rim?  It’s sugar.  He does this by wetting the rim with the lemon wedge and then tipping the glass upside down onto a plate of sugar.  It’s worth the extra minute of two waiting.

Rob Roy

The second drink, my husband’s drink, is a Rob Roy.  This is two parts Scotch, one part dry vermouth, and two dashes of Angostura bitters.  Rob Roys can also be made with sweet vermouth or even with equal parts of both, but my husband prefers dry.

This is also poured into a shaker with ice and shaken.  Then it’s poured into a martini glass and enjoyed.

Helpful Tools

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My husband loves his Drink Tool shown above.

When making cocktails, it’s helpful to have a cocktail shaker and something to measure shots with.  A simple shot glass will do, or if you have a nifty tool like the one above, you’re good to go.  You’ll notice that on this tool, on the left, is a little measuring cup while on the right are other useful things – most notably the extended stick used as a juicer.  This juicer gets a lot of use in our house for drinks requiring lemons or limes.

What are you all drinking this summer?  Drop a line in the comment box!

*One of my favorite scripture verses involve wine.  The following one comes from Psalm 104:14-15.
“You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man’s heart.”
Notice that?  Wine to gladden the hearts of men and bread to strengthen us.  Two of the best things ever.  God is good!
Life is Worth Living

Caught in the Act!

Strider’s on the loose again.  This time I caught him in the act.  Really, it takes a lot of talent to catch these flying beauties.

It’s like watching Planet Earth, with the big, mean predator sneaking up on its helpless and defenseless prey.

Ever watch Planet Earth?  My kids love it.  I do too, I guess.  Even though I mostly save these short episodes for the ten other colder months of the year.

The world is truly a beautiful, awesome place.  There’s some propaganda in Planet Earth though.  You know, like human beings are all terrible destroyers and polar bears are all dying out etc., etc.  But it’s worth it.  There are two seasons out now.

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No birds are safe around here.
Life is Worth Living

Welcome to the Family!

Dear Readers,

I can’t help but spread a little cheer.  My brother has just announced his engagement to the lovely lady in the photo below.  They both have suffered a lot through previous “marriages,” which have been annulled.  God is giving them a second chance to do things rightly.

All I can say is, congratulations!  And welcome to the family!

And then I have two bits of advice for all Engaged Couples.

Advice for Engaged Couples

  1. Start praying together now, if you aren’t already.  (This goes for you married couples too.)  This is so important.  Not only will it help you when things get tough, but just think of the example you are setting for your children.
  2. Go to confession.  We are all sinners, and we all need to frequent this sacrament.  (Married couples included.)  So, go to confession!
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Here is my brother and his new fiancé in front of the oldest cathedral in the United States.  Quiz:  Where are they?*

 

By the way, I understand that my brother’s fiancé is 100% Italian.  This is exciting for our family because we are mostly German and Norwegian, with a little Dutch sprinkled on top.

But the Dutch part is very important, as I will never forget my Grandfather explaining his heritage and last name.  “You see, Kim, our last name used to be ‘Van Dubbelden’ in the Old Country, but now it’s Dubbelde, which is a little more American.  But don’t you ever forget,” and here he stopped, looked me straight in the eye, pointed his finger at me, and said, “If ya ain’t Dutch, ya ain’t much!

Well, I’m glad I’m Dutch.  But, I look forward to having an Italian in the family.  I love their wine.  (After all who ever heard of a Dutch wine?  Or a Norwegian wine?)

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Cheers!  From my husband.

 

*Answer:  St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.  Not built by the Dutch or the Italians, but by the French of course.

Life is Worth Living

Strider’s in the Dog House

Now really.  Enough is enough.

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Got ya.

What is with this cat catching and eating birds?  I suppose I should be happy this one isn’t a robin?  And that he didn’t drag it into the garage.  But why can’t he be satisfied with field mice or voles or gophers or something else rodent-like?

Nope.  Lately it’s all birds.

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This little bird is a brown thrasher.  I’m kind of sad about that.  And he brought it into the garage as proud as a peacock!  Naughty Cat.
Life is Worth Living

This is How You Sell a House?!

The night before our open house a few days ago, Child #3 chucked a chair down the stairwell and this is what happened:

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See the nice hole?

Now, I’d like to say that I handled this situation well, but that would be a lie.  We were frantically trying to clean for this open house, and it was stressful.  So I cried, but I didn’t yell.  And that’s an improvement for me.  This particular child felt badly enough.  I didn’t need to make him feel worse.

What was one to do?  There was clearly a visible hole in my wall.  Well, I did three things:

  1. I called my adept father-in-law, as my husband was at work, and asked if he might want to fix a hole in the wall?  Of course he did.  He came right over.
  2. I was making supper, so I stopped all necessary prep-work and popped a bottle of wine.  All situations improve with a glass of wine.
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You know, there’s a reason why Jesus turned a bunch of huge stone jars from water to wine.  It just tastes better.  And life gets brighter.

After all, God is going to sell this house in His own good time, with or without holes in the walls.  I might as well relax a little bit.

3.  I blasted out Louis Armstrong.  My absolute favorite song of his is When You’re Smiling.  Click HERE for it.  Just listen to that trumpet solo!  It’s at 2:20 in the video.  Now if that doesn’t put a gal in a better mood, I’m not sure what will.

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When Armstrong was asked what religion he was, he’d apparently answer, “I was raised Baptist.  I wear the Star of David.  And I’m friends with the Pope.”  Hmmm…
Life is Worth Living

Praise For My Blog

Now I don’t like to toot my own horn, as the saying goes, but I thought I’d pass along a few comments I received about my blog, as I found them interesting.

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These guys love my blog.

Praise for Musings From the Home*

“Your blog has the elegance of my minivan after I took the kids to a McDonald’s drive-thru.”
“It’s like a cross between gas station coffee and chili dogs.  Nothing but class here!”
“It smells like my gym locker after football practice.”
“You call this a blog?!”
“It looks like a kindergarten classroom after play-do time.”
“It’s like riding on a tractor inner-tube down a drainage ditch.”
“Your blog has the nutritional value and substance of a twinkie.”
“You’re like the pink, plastic flamingo in my grandmother’s front lawn.  Just scrappy.”
And finally, “I like it, mom.”

So, if you too should happen to like my blog, be sure to pass it along.

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These two, however, are not so sure about my blog.
Ok, fine.  Those comments above are all from my husband, except the last one.  That one came from my 5-year-old who can’t even read.