Husbands: How Would You Like Beer Always Stocked in the Fridge?

What if your wife always kept your favorite beer stocked in the fridge?

To some wives, it may seem like a crazy thing to do. Buying beer may not something “ingrained” into the way some women think – and it may even require a detour from their comfort zone to go to the beer section of the grocery store or even ::gulp:: to the beer distributor.

Would it make you feel loved, though, if she did?

It would let you know that she cared about the things that were important to you after a hard day’s work. It would let you know that she valued your contribution to the household, and that, rather than handing you one more thing for you to do when you get home, she’d find a way to be a blessing to you instead.

Consider this —

When you pick up your clothes vs. leave on floor for wife to clean, your actions tell her that you respect her time and personhood.

When I tweeted this earlier, my Twitter bud @Kuma said,

“You assume that his leaving [clothes] for wife is a conscious choice. As a single man I can tell you it is genetically ingrained. We will get to it when we need to. It’s just that women’s ‘need to’ threshold is so much lower.”

I definitely agree with Kuma that leaving laundry on the floor is a tough habit to break.

To clarify, I do not assume that, just because clothes are left on the floor, although it may feel like it to a lady with lots of housework on her to-do list, it is not usually the conscious intention of a man to stick it to his wife.

As Kuma alluded, many men may have had well-intentioned mothers who cleaned bedrooms for them since early childhood, and dirty laundry was whisked away as if magical elves lived in the crannies with the dust bunnies. (And yes, dear, if you’re reading this… I am sometimes guilty of this…. especially when the Realtor is en route!)

Part of what makes relationships special, though, is doing the things that aren’t always convenient.

In fact, when someone goes out of their comfort zone to honor someone else, it means much more than doing something that comes naturally.

Sure, it’s just a sock.
Or, a piece of underwear.
Or your clerty (kinda clean + kinda dirty) shirt.

For the woman you’d travel to the ends of the earth to woo, just picking up a piece of laundry shouldn’t be that big of a deal… right?

Now, for those of you wives who are reading this, before you forward this post to your laundry-leaving husbands, consider all of the wonderful things they already do for you.

Without any expectations of change, change your own heart first.

Picking up his favorite beverage shouldn’t be that big of a deal… right?

For husbands who do clean up their laundry or are considering making this change — know that it is a gesture that is much appreciated. Picking up your clothes is one of many subtle ways to underscore how much you care.

To make everyday married love work, you have to put love in the everyday.

Photo credit : Anders Adermark and Jeezny.

Winter in Aomori Prefecture: 2009 vs. 2010

This is the view from our front yard, a random mall amongst the rice fields. (You may recall the view from our back yard, Mt. Iwaki, from my post a few days ago. Quite a contrast, eh?)

Last night, another foot of snow fell onto our town. This photo was taken at 9am this morning. There were a bunch of snow plows in the mall parking lot (if you click on the photo to enlarge, you can see two plows, covering the front section of the lot), frantically trying to clear the snow before the 10am opening.

I am beginning to realize that last year’s winter was pretty mild. The first storm of winter hit the day we arrived. It snowed more here than back home, and it seemed like winter would not let up. Now, I cannot imagine what it would have been like for us if it had snowed as much last year as it has this year. I had no idea how bad it could be — and I have heard it can get even worse than this!

Even with more snow, we are better off this year.

Here are some reasons why:

This time around, we know where the laundromat is located. Last year, we had wet clothes for seven people drying in random places around the house.

We know the roads a little better. Last year, we drove around but everything was snow covered and difficult to visualize where we were. We had to re-learn the roads when everything thawed, as they looked much different.

We found a closer onsen for when we need to get clean AND warm. Last year, we drove to one about 30 minutes away as we were able. Our bathroom is not heated — you can see your breath in there! I realize that most of my friends back home cannot relate to going to a community bath, but during winter months here, onsens are a life-saver.

Last year, we did not know about local events until it was too late to book a hotel. This year, we have our accommodations booked for next month’s Sapporo Snow Festival. (I am looking forward to drinking warm sake and taking photos of all the ice and snow sculptures!)

Last year, I did not have a decent pair of boots. This year, I am sporting these tall Bogs waterproof boots. Mobilized, baby.

Last year, never having experienced the amazing spring and summer months, I felt pretty hopeless about our new location. This year, I know that this part of Japan does in fact warm up, and I am eagerly looking forward to spring.

Clean Bunny

Leah's bunny played with her in the mud puddle. Now, Usagi-chan is clean.

Leah’s Usagi-chan involuntarily played in a mud puddle yesterday.

She’s all cleaned up and, hopefully, will be dry before Leah’s bedtime tonight…. or else I’m in a heap of trouble!

Rice… It’s Everywhere!

I just finished hanging our wet laundry on the drying rack in front of the kerosene heater.

Our washing machine isn’t very efficient when it comes to laundering clothes, but at least the soapy film and rice particles it leaves behind make for interesting aromatics while baking in the living room.

Rice! Rice! It’s everywhere!
On your socks and underwear

On the floor and in her hair
Rice! Rice! It’s everywhere!

No Shells

I guess we’re having quiche for dinner!

Leah’s Surprise Quiche Recipe
(Created 9/17 with ingredients on hand!)

6 eggs – no shells!
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
4 slices of American cheese
3/4 c. sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp McCormick Italian seasoning

Pate Brisee , made according to the directions (you can freeze half of the dough or halve the recipe. Either way is a morally acceptable decision). Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees to set.

Blend together all ingredients (except for the Pate Brisse:) ). Pour into baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

Snow’s Reminder

Dear L&F,

I miss seeing you! I hope that you are having fun in this lovely snow. The snow is perfect packing snow – not too powdery and not too slushy. Have you attempted to make snowmen yet?

Sadly, I am sick with pneumonia. That means that there is mucous in my lungs. It’s sort of like drowning from within. So, I haven’t been able to go out with my children in the snow yet this year.

BUT — I did look out this morning from my bedroom window and saw the sun glistening over our snow covered yard. It reminded me of Isaiah 1:18:

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they are like crimson, the will be like wool.

I don’t know if you have ever had the experience of retrieving the laundry from the wash, only to find that a red sock found its way into the white-wash and all of the laundry has turned pink as a result. There is nothing that can be done, either, to effectively get the red out. The clothes are permanently pink.

The Bible compares sin to this. Even in Bible times, red dye was especially staining and permanent. Just one “little” sin – just like one little red baby sock – eternally stains our soul. It is ruined like the stained laundry. But, God forgives us and cleanses us so that all traces of sin are washed away, white as snow.

As you look at the snow, take a moment to thank Jesus for shedding His blood for you so that our souls can be cleansed. What a beautiful reminder we have, right at Christmastime, as we think of Jesus’ birth, to also have snow on the ground to remind us that our sins are forgiven.

I love you both very much and I’m thankful to have you and your whole family as friends.

Much love,
Mrs. Albrecht