zondag 1 maart 2015

Allow Yourself To Be Domestic

My new centerpiece.

Here is a close-up:

The wood pieces were all grey originally, so I painted them using some old watercolours.

Domesticity is so much more than simple housekeeping. One can keep a decent house and to cook regularly and still miss something, something which makes the house really feel like home. Women nowadays aren't supposed to be overtly domestic. I once joined a ladies' craft group in a friend's church, and all the ladies with one exception were in their 60s and older. In fact, I was the youngest.

Domesticity isn't only knitting or cross-stitching, of course. It's just taking a general pleasure in making your home beautiful and cosy, attending to small details, arranging flowers, lighting the candles when your husband comes home in the evening, stuff like that. My friend tells me it was quite normal for women in the 1950s and 60s to be interested in beautifying their homes and their lives, until you-know-who arrived and started telling women it was silly.

Nowadays men are taught to discover their soft feminine side, while women are taught to be strong and independent, which apparently means wearing ugly clothes, having messy homes and avoiding any traditional feminine occupations and hobbies as a vampire avoids garlic.

Another friend once told me how she was alone at home knitting when a postman came along to deliver a package. She felt embarrassed that he saw her sitting there with her knitting needles "as an old lady." Of course, young ladies aren't supposed to be home at all during the day-time, they must be working at a job, so it's only logical they won't have time for creative hobbies.

Even many Christian homemaking sites only write about the practical side of homemaking and child-rearing and encourage women to use their free hours for establishing home businesses. The truth is you won't really enjoy your life at home if you never allow yourself any time for a more creative part of housekeeping, namely, establishing a cosy and beautiful home. It doesn't have to cost much money, either.

One of the blogs promoting domesticity is Mias Landliv, which I link to. Another one is Home Living from Lydia Sherman. Domesticity isn't boring or silly, it's essential for a good home life. Remember, man makes a living, woman makes life worth living.

vrijdag 27 februari 2015

The Spanish Third

With our souls united for the same faith
 Let the blood flow protecting our Kingdom
 The cross from Borgogna, flying in the wind
 Sons of Santiago, our tercios are great
Pikemen squadron, protecting the wings,
The only free men are those without fear.
 Fight for your brothers, die for your kingdom
Live for the peace of this huge empire.
We won't be defeated, if we're captured.
We will only capitulate when we're dead.

(Translation courtesy of this site )

Read about Tercios over here.

donderdag 26 februari 2015

Don't Be A Brat

There is one thing most men hate and it is dealing with an overtly emotional female who is prone to fight over every trifle. In fact, they hate it so much, they write articles about it (WARNING: language, content).

There was time not so long ago, when people, both men and women were taught to control their emotions, and never let themselves go. You still find the references in old books, like Little House On The Prairie, for instance, where girls from an early age were taught that "crying is shameful" and that they should always behave like ladies, which included not throwing temper tantrums like two-years-old.

Being able to control your temper has been traditionally considered a mark of class. Nowadays we are taught that it's OK to vent and "to blow up steam", and women in general are constantly taught that they are victims and should moan about everything, including their own children. 

In reality, complaining has never made anyone attractive, and it won't make your own husband more in love with you. If something, constant complaining will encourage people to avoid you. I heard about men who worked long hours to avoid the society of their nagging, complaining wives.

Bad as constant nagging is, the situation described in the first article is even worse. A woman screeching like a banshee because her husband forgot to do something trivial demonstrates one thing, the total lack of class, manners and good breeding. I don't care whatever nonsense the MSM is pushing right now, the stereotypical behaviour of the underclasses is not something one should be aspiring to.

In marriage, both husband and wife should respect each other and give each other (some) personal space. For women, it means not acting like your husband's conscience  (seriously, the idea that the husband must leave his own home in order to watch a TV show that so many women enjoy or is forced to sleep in another bedroom because his wife doesn't agree with his choice of entertainment is simply insane. Anyway, the wife refusing marital bed to her husband for such a trivial reason was, is and should be grounds for divorce).

For men, it means not micromanaging your wife and giving her some choice in how she runs the household, which clothes she wears and space for personal hobbies and friends.

In a healthy relationship, problems should be solved without shouting, screaming and stomping one's feet. My husband would never tolerate me screaming at him. He normally doesn't raise his voice talking to me, either.

Stay classy, ladies!

woensdag 25 februari 2015

From The Home Front

So I have been fighting a nasty virus for about two weeks now, one of which I nearly constantly spent in bed unable to do much. I spent much of this time reading and also watched some movies and I thought I´d write a February movie and book review. WARNING: it will contain some spoilers.

One of the books I read is called The Heights Of Zervos by Colin Forbes, a British author (his real name was Raymond Harold Sawkins). It was one of his first books, written in 1970. He kept writing novels until his death in 2006 and I can´t say anything about his later works, since I haven´t read them, but The Heights Of Zervos is quite an interesting story.

It takes place in April of 1941, right before German invasion of Greece. Several men are travelling by boat from Turkey to the Greek island of Zervos, two British officers in disguise and several Germans. One of these people is in reality a British secret agent. When the boat is overtaken by German troops planning to use it for the invasion of the island, he starts to act...

Now a lot of men nowadays are complaining that modern entertainment is full of strong independent womyn and thusly not really entertaining. Well, I can heartily recommend the book to them, as not only it doesn´t contain strong independent womyn, it has no women at all. Only men doing normal masculine things, like blowing each other to pieces. If you like WWII thrillers and anything by Alistair MacLean, you´ll enjoy this one.

The second book I´d like to write about will be interesting for ladies. It´s a story I read on Project Gutenberg called Lady Cassandra. Written somewhere before WWI by a British writer Mrs George de Horne Vaizey, it tell us the story of a married woman, Lady Cassandra who falls in love with her friend´s fiancee, a retired Army officer. He asks her to elope with him, but duty is stronger than love. Not quite Anna Karenina, but the novel has nice descriptions of quiet life in the country and discusses the importance of keeping your husband interested in you for a good marriage.

My friend recommended me a 2015 Hallmark movie Surprised by Love. Much as I dislike modern movies, I watched this one and it was O.K. Surprised by Love is really a romantic comedy about a woman in her early thirties working for her father´s corporate empire. She wants to get married, but her stuck up parents don´t approve any of her boyfriends. Her last fiance, a sleazy business type, suggests that she brings home an old schoolfriend who makes his living by selling driftwood in the park so that her parents will compare the two and finally approve of her wedding. His plan backfires, as the girl realises that it´s not him who she really loves.

The movie has no explicit content of any kind and is what you call family~friendly, however, there were two things I disliked about it. First, when the heroine´s uptight mother finally understands that keeping up appearances isn´t the most important thing in the world, instead of deciding since now on to keep a home, not a showplace, she promptly declares she´s going back to work (she is a homemaker throughout the movie). Of course, it gives the heroine an opportunity to resign and `follow her dreams` which brings me to my second point. It´s nowhere hinted how her high school flame is planning to support the family. Surely not by selling driftwood? 

Another movie recommended by a friend was Frontier Gal from 1945. She described it as a bodice ripper, and it is. It´is also a western and a comedy. Lorena is a spirited (but decent) saloon owner who falls in love with a handsome arrogant stranger called Johnny. Johnny is after a man who killed his partner and he also has a fiancee, a schoolteacher `and a real lady`. He is obviously planning to amuse himself with pretty Lorena who takes it all seriously and expects him to marry her. When she finds out the truth, she forces him into marriage. After one night spent together, he is hauled away to prison for manslaughter. As he comes back after 6 years, he hopes to get a divorce but finds out he is now a father...

One thing I can say about the movie, feminists will not like this one! It´s also interesting to compare how the attitudes to fatherhood and family have changed (not for the better, imo). I really enjoyed it, and so did my husband (though he wouldn´t admit it:)

Well, it´s about all for today, have a nice time watching/reading!

zondag 22 februari 2015

The Real Luxury

Among the comments to one of my previous posts was this one from a Finnish lady:

It was really sad to hear today when a lady I know said that she has to go back to work after maternity leave -baby is then 9 months. They do not have enough money, she said...
The problem is, of course, that she doesn't want to give up smoking or expensive gym membership or having two cars or such. Well, it is none of my business, but one hears so often that same thing; mother would like to stay at home, but it is "financially impossible" -which usually is not the case.

One of the problems with our modern society is that we cannot any more distinguish needs from wants. Often the family will tell you they can´t make it one income alone, but if you look at their expenses, you´ll see they go on vacations two or three times a year, own several cars, live in huge houses etc etc. Some women work so that they can pay for a maid and a nanny, others start working because they need to pay for their children´s travelling costs to the school of their choice.

There is in itself, nothing wrong with all these things, and, as the lady remarked so well, it´s really none of other people´s business, but let´s be completely honest and admit that all these things mentioned above are choices. They are wants, and not needs.

The simple truth is that our society is a sterile consumerist one, which encourages both husband and wife to work so that they can buy all the luxury stuff which they really don´t even have time to enjoy. Home is reduced to the place where you can have several hours´ rest and admire your gadgets before you go back to work to make more money to buy more stuff which you don´t really need but at least, you´ll keep up with the neighbours. One thing which nobody has nowadays, is time to actually socialise with other people, family and friends, and to actually get to know your neighbour, because making money and buying stuff is a tiresome and time~consuming activity.

Even conservative Christians are busy with promoting their own variant of the consumerist lifestyle, as they push wives and mothers into working in home businesses and criticise them for taking time to drink a cup of tea with a neighbour lady, which could be more productively spend by trying to make a buck.

Is making money the only thing which matters?  Is the abundance of gadgets the only luxury in life? People who make a commitment to live on one income will often have less material possessions, but they will have the luxury of more time for their children, family and friends, and for themselves since as the same lady wisely remarked:

Couple also has much more common time when all the housework is done when husband comes home. If both worked, the second shift would just start there. So hubby has also more time for his hobbies.

The traditional family structure benefits men, women and children. Consumerism benefits `economy`. You can choose what you like!

vrijdag 20 februari 2015

More On Living Out Of The Pantry

Some time ago I linked to the post about a family who had to live out of their pantry for a couple of months in order to save money on groceries. Luckily for them, they had put aside a lot of supplies. This article made me think how handy it is to keep a full pantry.

Now I always have stored away some things such as canned soup, meat, vegetables and snacks which is pretty convenient if one day you don´t have time or desire to cook, but by no means as much as the lady who wrote that post, however, her example encouraged me to try and do the same.

Last week on our wedding anniversary we visited IKEA. I´ll say honestly I don´t care much for the shop itself but I really like their food.Of course, nearly all of it is frozen convenience food, and warming it up doesn´t really count as cooking in my book, but all the same, we like it:)

That time they had sale, so we bought a bag of Swedish meat balls, plus some other things:

Lingon berries compote and stuff which I never buy normally, like the powdered sause for the meatballs and frozen mashed potatoes.

It turned out to be a lucky deal since a couple of days later I came down with flu and couldn´t do shopping. It does feel like cheating a bit, but it´s still better than a takeout (certainly much cheaper). It still can be served nicely, like this:

I´m not trying to advertise (I´m not an IKEA affiliate:),
however,  I was reminded yet again how important it is to keep some supplies at home for the times like this. My husband had to cook several times but at least he didn´t have to do shopping after work!

donderdag 19 februari 2015

A Short Note

I´m down with a nasty flu. Normal posting will be resumed when I´m able to sit for at least half an hour:)