maandag 30 september 2013

Is It Weird To Wear Dresses?

Only if you are a guy:) The title of this post is actually the Google search which brought someone to my blog. Wearing Dresses and The Advantages Of Being A Housewife seem  to be the two most popular articles so far. I guess I have written enough about housewives for now, so it would be nice to say a couple more words about dresses.

I won´t bother you with religious texts about distinctions between male and female clothes, but just give my opinion. No, wearing dresses for a woman is not weird. What I personally find weird is that so many women nowadays choose to wear what used to be men´s working clothes day in day out.

Recently I went to a funeral and to a wedding. The wedding was more of a society affair and nearly every woman wore a dress (with a couple of exceptions), while most men wore suits. The funeral, on the other hand...For the life of me, I can´t understand how on Earth can women of a certain age come to a solemn ceremony dressed in denim miniskirts and leggins, and I strongly suspect that some of the ladies don´t possess even one skirt in their wardrobe. Some people seem to have lost all the sense of distinction between formal and casual attire, not to forget about shoes. By formal female clothes you wear heels, whether you like them or not.

Some women openly declare that they refuse to wear skirts because they are emancipated, and don´t want to be like fundies (yes, I have met types like that, in the church of all places), while others will tell you how skirts and dresses are inconvenient and expensive. I have never experienced any inconvenience in a dress, but may be it´s just my personal preference, however the claim that dresses are expensive, or more expensive than pants, is certainly not true. Not all dresses are formal dresses, there are many casual models on the market, and they don´t have to cost a fortune.

Take for instance, this dress which I bought in a second-hand store



It cost me all of 12 euros, even though it´s a brand. The dress is soft, comfy and versatile, and can be worn with a different colour blouse every day. One advantage of buying second hand clothes is that they are cheap and you can pass them on to someone when you get tired of them without any guilt feeling about wasted money.

I actually always hesitate to put pictures of myself on this blog, but the reason I´m doing it is because I´d like to inspire other ladies to dress more femininely. Your husband and children will appreciate it, and it will do wonders for your self-esteem, too!

donderdag 26 september 2013

Housewife And Politics

Should a housewife be interested in politics? Well, yes and no. A housewife doesn't live isolated from her community. She goes out, she meets other people, she may be involved in some charitable projects, she has family and friends. She is not an island. A popular idea of a housewife is some slovenly looking person who is either chained to her sink or is spending her whole day in front of the telly watching soaps. This is, of course, not true. A housewife participates in society, in different ways and naturally she should be concerned about the way the society is going.

However, I personally don't believe that politics is something which a lady at home should be obsessed about. As a friend of mine pointed out, it will not only interfere with her domestic duties, but can also negatively influence her health and destroy her peace of mind.

I will admit that I have a lively interest in politics, and that I have strong opinions on some subjects, but so far I have refrained from expressing them on my blog mainly because I want to write about positive things, but also because I think that public discussion of political affairs is something more pertaining to men. I don't think it's really very feminine to spend the whole day in heated political debates with strange men on the internet as some ladies are doing. I'm not trying to judge anyone, to each his own, as they say, but it's just not for me.

A traditionally minded woman can absolutely change society for the better, she'll just do in ways different from men. Her influence will be chiefly indirect, through her children, her husband and other male relatives. The most important political statement a lady can make is to stay married, support her husband and raise her children well.

On the other hand, it doesn't mean that a housewife should be empty-headed and only interested in scrubbing the floor. On this blog I'm trying to write about a variety of subjects; fashion, style, health, movies I have watched, sometimes I discuss politics or try to draw readers' attention to an article which I find interesting by some reason. In my own way, I'm trying to fight a good fight, as every Christian should. I don't close my eyes to problems all around me, I just refuse to dwell on the negativity as too many others are doing.

I'm back!

Hi everybody!
I'm back. We've had a great time, the weather was warm and sunny and actually it was a pity that we had to go back so soon, but duty calls...

When I have sorted the photos, I'll post some of them. Normal posting will be resumed as soon as possible!

zaterdag 21 september 2013

Kenya

My thoughts and prayers go to all the victims of the terrorist attack in Nairobi and to their families:

Massacre In Kenyan Shopping Centre
(Warning: graphic content)

This could also happen over here.

donderdag 19 september 2013

The Day Of the Jackal

The Day Of The Jackal is a 1973 adaptation of a book with the same name by Frederick Forsyth. I read it long ago but never watched the film until recently. The story takes place in France in 1963 and is partly based on real events as it shows the struggle between OAS and General De Gaulle.

OAS was a French secret paramilitary organisation created during the Algerian war of 1954-1962 whose aim was to keep Algeria French. They used what could be described as terrorist tactics committing political assassinations and sabotage and made several attempts to assassinate De Gaulle, though unsuccessfully. The organisation was ruthlessly suppressed by the French government, with some of the leaders executed, while others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, only to be amnestied later.

The film starts by showing the most famous  attempt on De Gaulle's life planned and organised by Jean Bastien-Thiry and the execution of the latter, which are both historical facts, but then wanders off in the direction of fiction as it shows how the demoralised leaders of OAS living in exile come to the conclusion that the only thing which is left for them to do is to hire a professional killer.

Since that moment the story centers around a blond Englishman who is only known under the name Jackal and the attempts of French secret police to find and eliminate him. Both parties are shown as sufficiently ruthless, with French government being not above using torture and extrajudicial killings which sometimes makes one wonder if they are really good guys.

Since it was made in 1973, the film is actually relatively bloodless compared to the modern productions of the same genre, nevertheless it keeps one in suspense until the very end (though we all know, of course, how it will end). It shows Paris still looking like a European city, with people wearing decent clothes, women being feminine and no one is overweight!

On the negative side, they shouldn't have chosen such a cute guy for the lead. It makes one sympathise with him, and of course, we all know it's immoral to sympathise with a murderer...

The film is not on YouTube, but you can probably find it on Netflix. Below is the original theatrical trailer.


dinsdag 17 september 2013

Should You Send Your Daughter To College?

I'd like to draw your attention to this article. The author, a Catholic gentleman, gives eight (originally six) reasons not to send your daughter to college. The article received a lot of venomous comments from the group of people who normally preach tolerance day and night (until you dare disagree with some of their ideas). There were few attempts to refute his arguments point by point, instead, he got a lot of emotionally charged attacks and name-calling.

I don't necessarily agree with his reasoning and I don't regret getting an education, but I thought that he raised some interesting points in his article, which deserve a closer look. Take for instance, this statement:

But the penalty for the woman as a result of the fall was pain in childbirth (which requires having babies), not to work.  Sending our wives out to work should be a very last resort, a misfortune, so it shouldn’t be part of a plan for young ladies before they even get a start at family life.  Keeping a home, being a loving wife, and being a nurturing mother are of immeasurable dignity to a woman and not something to be farmed out to servants.  The feminist world has twisted this so that a job (career) appears elevated, and homemaking is denigrated.  This is the evil work of Satan and devastating to families.

Those who advocate for married women to stay home are often asked who is going to be school teachers and nurses. Those types of jobs in Catholic countries were traditionally done by nuns, as the author of the article points out:

God has always given women abilities to bring value and service to their neighbor, which is what people with jobs do.  But to distinguish, as Catholics anyway, it was rarely that a wife and mother did this until the last couple of generations, and look at the impact on family life.  Before, it was nuns who did these things buildings convents, hospitals, schools, etc etc

 In Protestant cultures we had female schoolteachers who were single ladies. They usually quitted working when they married. The same was true about nursing, however, before the 20th century, nursing was often done by women at home, as described in such books as "The Little House On The Prairie" series. In one of the books, the Ingalls family get malaria and the neighbour lady comes and stays with them during the period of their sickness and later returns home. Nowadays, there is also a possibility to homeschool your children in many countries, which allows women to use their talents at home:


 Generally women will marry and have children so are gifted by God with the natural abilities to nurture (feed and raise) as well as educate children.  Today’s society has a very accessible conduit for that ability that is very conducive to family life:  homeschooling.  Educating and caring for children is the most valuable calling of a married woman and requires accomplished abilities.


The author, Mr Alleman then proceeds to state his reasons for not sending your daughter to college. There are two of them I want to comment about. His number one reason is that a lady with a degree will often attract a male golddigger:

I share the common concern addressed to us, again mainly by angry women, that there are so many lazy men in our society.  But what mystifies me is why girls continue to marry them and then live to complain about them, along with their parents.  So what normally happens with this setup is that those lazy men who are looking for a mother-figure in a wife are very attracted to this responsible, organized, smart woman who has it all together along with a steady paying job with benefits.  So if he wants to go to work he can, but if not he can always fall back on her income.  Or if he “doesn’t want to have to answer to anyone” he can start his own business, and it doesn’t matter if it fails or succeeds or makes enough income because again she’s there to help. The bottom line, HE is only supplementing HER income, but he’s supposed to be the provider.  

Again, I don't necessarily agree with his reasoning about college (my husband, for instance, thinks that girls should go to college and learn some professional skills), but I think that Mr Alleman is certainly right while warning women about a type of man NOT to marry. He is also right about the fact that the husband is supposed to be the family provider and not expect his wife to pay the bills. 

Probably the most important reason of all is his number 3, the girls are not taught to become wives and mothers. Here is what Mr Alleman says:

Often when a career woman discerns the possibility of giving up her career, she faces the reality that she has had no training in homemaking and often has the thought “What would I do at home all day.”  

That is certainly a problem for many women who are accustomed to spend their life in various institutions. However, the good news is that there is plenty to do at home, and that homemaking is something every lady can learn. Mr Alleman admits that homemakers contribute something very valuable to society:

 Stay-at-home mothers are actually very busy industrious women and do absolutely beautiful marvelous things.  Surely the business world severely undervalues those things they do, but the value to a family is beyond monetary compensation. (emphasis mine).


Take a look at the last sentence. I think it expresses the essence of homemaking. A homemaker chooses to serve her family, not because of monetary reward, but because she wants to do what is the best for them and to fulfill her God-given role.  

Instead of sending your daughter to college, you can better send her to Lichtenstein. According to this 
brochure, it has a median monthly wage of 6 257 CHF and 42.9% of population which is single. Sounds like an ideal country to search for a husband!:)

 Seriously though, the education of children, both boys and girls is a serious matter and something which should be discussed by the parents before the decision is taken. Articles like the one above are useful because they provide the opposite point of view to the default modern position of everyone going to college and create an opportunity for discussion, which is always good, provided there are actual arguments used instead of insults and emotional abuse. 


And I like how the guy defends housewives. Ladies, it's time we started to be proud about what we are doing. 

zondag 15 september 2013

Girls And Tattoos

Have been thinking about getting a tattoo lately? (well, I hope not, but just in case...)

Check this article by Vox Day:
Tattoos: the obviously poor choice

and don't forget to read the comments to have an idea of what (most) men think about girls with tattoos. It seems to be a hot topic, since the comment thread counts 295 comments.

Here is an excerpt:

The increased popularity of tattoos and other forms of body decoration are visual reminders of the gradual decline of civilization in the West...It's more than a fad, it is a sign of the descent into savagery.

He stated it so well, there really is nothing I can add to it. 

donderdag 12 september 2013

Mozart And Housewives

Some time ago I read a book about Mozart. It was not a real biography, but rather a collection of short stories about different events in his life. It had a chapter about his wife, Constance.

As you probably know, Mozart's father was adamantly against their marriage because he disliked the family the girl came from. Apparently, they were bohemians, and the girls also ambitious golddiggers to boot. Mozart, being of age, did not officially need his father's permission to marry, but being a respectful son, he didn't want to take such a serious step without his blessing. Since they lived in different cities at that time, he kept writing letters to his father, trying to persuade him to agree to his marriage with Constance Weber.

In his first letter on the subject, he explains why he needs a wife, by naming the drawbacks of being a bachelor. He is not accustomed to care for his clothes and laundry, and to keep household accounts, so he needs a respectable wife who will be a wise housekeeper, practice economy and create a peaceful home life for him.

In one of his following letters, Mozart describes the domestic virtues of his prospective bride: she has a serious disposition, and doesn't like luxury. She can make her own clothes  and she doesn't need a hairdresser as  every morning she does her own hair. She is an ideal housekeeper who knows how to save money etc etc. 

It's interesting that the book was written in the 50s, in the supposedly unenlightened patriarchal times, and yet the man who wrote it rather indignantly states that such ideas about women are more suitable for a clerk than for a great composer and tries to persuade us that we should not take Mozart's words seriously.

According to him, one can draw the conclusion out of the letter that the composer was searching for a good housekeeper and not for a loving wife, but that was really not the case. While I don't doubt that Mozart loved his wife deeply, I don't see how those two things are mutually exclusive. Just the opposite is true, in my opinion, as one of the quialities of a good wife is also to be a good homemaker. The book unfortunately shows that already in the 1950s homemaking was considered beneath the woman.

It's no wonder that we got feminism in the 1960s.

woensdag 11 september 2013

Tarte Tatin With Nectarines

Specially for the lady in Finland!:)

I baked it on Monday. The recipe is from a German magazine, with slight changes.

Here is what you need:

ab. 2c flour
1/2c + 2 TBSP sugar
Salt
150g butter
1 egg
ab. 800g nectarines

Knead flour, 2 TBSP sugar, salt, butter, egg and 2-3 TBSP cold water till soft dough forms. Cover it and keep in the fridge until you need it.

Wash the nectarines, cut in half and remove the pits, then cut them in slices. Place the nectarines in a greased baking pan (d26 cm). Caramelise 1/2c sugar and 5TBSP water, pour over the nectarines.

Roll the dough out (d28 cm) and cover the nectarines. Bake at 200*C for 25-30 min.Take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before turning onto a pie plate. It's a nice way to use nectarines, the pie won't be very sweet, so if you wish, you can use more sugar than suggested.


dinsdag 10 september 2013

Indoctrination At School?

Below is an interesting video which suggests that children as old as 6 are subject to a subtle form of indoctrination during English lessons:



First graders are taught how to use emotionally manipulative language to advocate for "social justice", and "to use their voices to advocate solutions to social problems" (Is it even something which children of six should be thinking about?)

The textbook featured in the video learns children how to use "emotional words" with such nice examples as "My Mom always nags me to clean my room." (Sounds downright disrespectful to me.)

Or how about this example of finding solutions to social problems?
Students are taught how to create the feelings of anger and fear in their readers to solve the problem of the lack of books in the library:

"The major got a raise, but the kids do not have books!"

While I wouldn't go so far as to call it indoctrination, it's still manipulative and I understand why parents are concerned. This does make homeschooling sound like a good option, doesn't it?

vrijdag 6 september 2013

Decluttering

Well, it looks like summer is finally drawing to the end. Yesterday it was +31*C, a record temperature for this time of the year, and it was supposed to be nearly as hot today, but then we got a thunderstorm and it has become considerably colder. The shops are busy selling the remnants of their summer collection, but some already switched completely to woollen sweaters and tweed skirts. The length seems to be slightly above the knee, in contrast to the floor length summer dresses. I've seen longer skirts, too, though.

The colours of the autumn are emerald green, yellow, dark red and dark blue, at least based on what I have seen so far and I have found a set I'm planning to buy. It's a tweed skirt and jacket, and  as you probably know, I have a weekness for tweed. When I came home I was possessed by a strong urge to declutter and decided that vaccuum-cleaning and other chores could wait till Monday.

I think I wrote about decluttering before but I just want to remind you that now it's really a good time for it. Stuff tends to accumulate, especially in families with children. Thrift is fine, but none of us (hopefully) are really so poor that they need to wear the same things for years. Some classic styles are always in fashion, but otherwise it changes practically every year.

The rule of the thumb should be, if you haven't worn it for more than a year, you probably are not going to wear it at all, so get rid of it. It is possible to turn a profit on old clothes, toys, DVDs and other stuff. For instance, my neighbour sold all the clothes her children didn't wear any more at a flea market. If you have some expensive brands, there are second-hand shops which will sell them for you. If you don't need money and don't want to bother, you can pass them to your friends or donate them to a local charity.


Clothes and toys are not the only things which tend to accumulate through the years. There are also old magazines, postcards, letters, home ornaments etc. If you don't make a conscious effort to keep clutter under control it will take over, and your nice home will be turned into chaos. Remember, a streamlined house is easier to clean!

maandag 2 september 2013

It's This Time Of The Year Again!

Time to go out and pick blackberries and make jam! Don't forget about the importance of  looking glamorous while doing it:)

We gathered about 1.5 kg yesterday, if you bought all these berries in the supermarket it'd cost you about 20 euros!Yesterday I put half a kilo through the blender together with the equal amount of sugar, the result was delicious. The blender died though, but it was old anyway so who cares:)

Today I made jam out of the rest of the berries:

 Making blackberry jam is very easy if you have jellified sugar, unfortunately I couldn't find it so I had to substitute normal sugar for it and just cooked the mixture longer, for about 10 minutes. Monday is always a busy day in my household so this will be a short post.

I'm leaving you with some Brahms (Blackberries are called bramen in Dutch:), so enjoy:

Braaaaaaamms