zondag 23 april 2017

Does Misogyny Really Exist?

I dunno about the real life, but one can find anything on the interwebz nowadays:) Some of it is probably a reaction to misandry, but one thing important to remember is that two wrongs don't make a right.

I'll give you some examples to illustrate my point. Exhibit number one, a double standard: a wife gets bored, divorces her husband: what a horrible woman, stone the adulterous harlot immediately. A husband gets bored, divorces his wife: what a horrible woman, what did she she do to drive him to this?

Exhibit number two, generalisation: according to (radical) feminists if one woman gets abused, it means that "men" in general are abusers. According to meninists, if one woman falsely accuses a man of a crime, it means that ALL WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT! Men-haters will tell you that "men" (in general) are pigs. Misogynists will tell you that all (Western) women are trash, period.

Exhibit number three, objectification. On the woman side, we have a gold-digger who sees a man as a walking ATM. On the other side, we have sexual market value talk, reducing a woman to a sum of breasts and legs.

This attitude is hardly helpful, since men and women shouldn't hate each other. Taken to a logical conclusion, it means that no next generation will be produced, since a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, and men should go their own way. I wonder if both statements have the same nefarious origin?

The Art Of J. Vermeer

vrijdag 21 april 2017

On White Knighting

White-knighting is a term often thrown around nowadays which usually means defending a person just because she is a female. I'd say that for me, white knighting means automatically jumping to defend a female regardless of her behaviour.

Never in the history of Western civilisation were women automatically given respect just because they were women. "Decent" women were respected, decent meaning chaste. Before sexual revolution, a woman was automatically presumed chaste until proven otherwise, but on the other hand, everybody knew the difference between a girl you brought home to Mother and all the others. Nowadays women are presumed to be sexually emancipated and "equal" to men.

"Decent" women in the times past signaled their chastity by the way they dressed and behaved. They were supposed to be modest, ladylike and demure, and to adhere to certain standards, for instance, a lady (meaning a chaste woman) wouldn't be seen drunk in public. She wouldn't use certain type of language etc etc. Nowadays lots of women want to signal otherwise, and are proud to demonstrate how immodest and "risky" they can be (this site  shows a nice contrast between then and now, and though I don't endorse them, it's difficult to disagree with the point they are trying to make).

White-knighting for undeserving females is not traditional in any way or form. In traditional Western society these types of women would have been shamed, ridiculed and shunned and not so long ago. The idea that a traditional man should always take up the side of a woman regardless of the way she behaves is not only ridiculous, it's downright insulting to those women who still try to be ladies because it explicitly tells them that men really don't care how debauched you are.

Then there is this pernicious idea that a man should never strike a woman. A man should never abuse a woman, or another man, it's true. However, if a man is attacked and fights back, I don't see a problem with it. Women should not go around starting fights and attacking random men and then trying to pull a "I'm a delicate fragile lady" card. A lady doesn't get drunk and start bar brawls with bouncers, she stays home and does cross-stitching or plays the piano or reads a classic novel or something along the lines.

Women can't both have their cake and eat it, too, and trashy slatterns give ladies a bad name. And for those among us who still believe in "grrrl power", this might be helpful.

donderdag 20 april 2017

Christians And Health Insurance

I live in a country where "basic" health insurance is mandatory, and the government sets the minimum deductible too, though you can opt for a higher deductible to pay less on your insurance policy. Plus, we can buy more insurance to get the dentals covered, at least, partly. People under a certain income level get government subsidies.

Well, the subsidies get lower every year, while the insurance prices grow, and deductibles only get higher. Right now it's about 800 euros for a family with two grown-ups. Children under 18 are covered for free, but after 18 they have to pay their own insurance costs. Since health insurance is mandatory, there is no way out of it.

The regional authorities started their own program of partly covering the costs of "low-income" families who they define as those with an income higher (!) than the government determined minimum. While the regional taxes paid by businesses and home owners are rising and those barely making a middle class wage are getting broke on paying their mandatory health costs, the welfare recipients and those working at a low wage get everything nearly for free.

At the same time, in countries like UK people get free medical care since NHS is financed by the taxes so they never have to worry about losing their job and not being able to pay the doctor. The quality is often better than in my own country plus they have a possibility to visit a private clinic, too.

That all made me think. In America, lots of folks are against "socialised health care", but the truth is that healthcare is already more or less socialised in every Western country. The modern insurance system is only good for making insurance companies richer, it has really nothing to do with any "market in health care" or any such thing. I've never though I'd say it, but as of now I'm ready to support our local socialists who advocate for the National Health Fund with low premiums.

It's interesting to me that while conservative Christians in the USA are often the most vocal supporters of stay-at-home mothers, they are also those who object the most against a single payer system, or however it's called. It's hardly a secret, that a lot of American women only keep on working for the health insurance. The system as of now is hardly family-friendly.

We can all wax romantic about the times past when you paid the doctor out of your pocket, but with all the modern high-tech treatments it's utopian to think we can go back to them good old days. And as long as programs like Medicare and similar exist, and emergency rooms treat people for free, the health care is already socialised. Right now, middle class folks are punished the most which strikes me as unfair.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

dinsdag 18 april 2017

Housewife Not A Business Lady

I enjoyed this post by Lydia Sherman. She quotes a letter she received from someone which says, among other things:

...I remember when I first started to read blogs written by ladies filled with delightful inspirational articles on homemaking and homeschooling and encouragement to live a sweet, contented Godly life as sisters-in-the-LORD...

... However, I don't feel so much at home anymore because the ladies who author those sites have turned their blogs and websites into a money making business.  And to top it off some of the ladies who started out encouraging other ladies to "come home" from their jobs downtown to learn contentment in homemaking, relying on God's means of provision through their husbands - Now those same ladies are tutoring other ladies on how to make an income through blog writing.

Blogging can be a creative outlet or a ministry, but blogging full-time to make money is hardly different from holding a regular job, imo.  The lady further comments on the (in)famous Proverbs 31 woman:


It is true that the ideal woman described in Proverbs 31 is a shrewd industrious woman who re-invests her husband's capital to make a profit, but I believe she acted more as a steward of her husband's provision than the women in the church today who work to bring in a second income to add to their husband's provision.

My thoughts, exactly. What is more, while there are some very talented ladies out there who have found their corner of the market and are able to earn considerable sums, for most of "home business" owners, it costs a lot of time and sometimes money (earned by their husbands) and brings very meagre results, but hey, at least, they aren't just some dumb housewife like the woman next door, they are entrepreneurs!!! 

The letter continues:


The resulting message of all this is confusing to our daughters and granddaughters because we tell them to come home and focus on homemaking and then we set before them examples of homeschooling moms who are making thousands of dollars on their computers.  The only thing we've done is to change the geographical location of their work desk from downtown to their office at home.

Again, there is something which many folks apparently don't understand: you can't physically and mentally be in two places simultaneously. If you spend most of your time behind your desk in your "home office" it doesn't count as running a household. If you provide a daycare at home, you aren't busy being a homemaker (and you encourage other mothers to work). All these things are probably better than working outside home every day, and could be a compromise if money is tight or some emergency arise but it's not an ideal situation by any means.

Because, as the lady who wrote the letter so rightly notices:


Their attention is divided and they certainly aren't learning contentment and how to trust in God's means of provision through their husbands.

I''d say amen to that. 

vrijdag 14 april 2017

On Food Demonisation

Have you noticed how hardly anything is safe to eat any more? Because any group of food apparently will give you all sorts of nasty diseases? Milk will make you infertile and give you breast and prostate cancer (One time it's full-fat dairy which is the culprit, next day it's low fat variety, or cheese, or yogurt so it's obviously never safe). Meat will give you cancer. Fish is good, but on the other hand, full of mercury and contaminants. Butter and eggs will give you high cholesterol, heart attacks and diabetes. Sugar is the Devil incarnated and is strictly to be avoided in any form. And God forbid, you enjoy toast, it'll give you cancer, too.

Thusly, you are reduced to eating grains and plants, but don't be too happy as yet that you finally found something you can enjoy. Because, the proponents of the new paleo theories will tell you that eating grains, beans, potatoes and too many vegetables isn't safe, either, and you should eat tons of bacon, lean meat, dozens of eggs etc, but no dairy, except for butter. Then there is the famous fat controversy. One paleo group suggests you choose lean meats, while others state you really need fat, lots of it, including dairy fats. So in the end, there is apparently no food which is really safe to eat for anyone under any circumstances, right?

The truth is, that most of the theories circulating on the internet about food safety are just that, theories. There is too much scaremongering around and too many "experts" giving their opinion and pushing their own agenda. Take toasted bread, for instance. There is a theory that slightly burned toast will give you cancer because it contains acrylamide which some scientists speculate theoretically could lead to cancer.

In practise though,  evidence from human studies has shown that, for most cancer types, there is no link between acrylamide and cancer risk. Some studies have suggested a higher risk of womb cancer, but the evidence is weak and inconsistent, so we can’t be sure if this link is real. Even food industry workers, who are exposed to twice as much acrylamide as other people, do not have higher rates of cancer.

Eating tons of burnt toast is probably still not a good idea, but there is sure a lot of noise about something which can't be really linked to anything sinister after all the research. Let's now move on to dairy. From the same official UK website on cancer research:

 Studies looking into the link between cancer and dairy products have not given clear results. There is evidence that dairy products could reduce the risk of bowel cancer, but we cannot say for sure that this is the case. There is no strong evidence linking dairy products to any other types of cancer. We need further research to find out more about the links between dairy products and cancer risk.

Again, no links have been proven to exist, except that dairy can probably protect you from the bowel cancer, but it doesn't stop the campaigners. I have been asking myself whether it has something to do with anti (North) European sentiment prevailing nowadays. I think it's really lousy that people outside of Northern Europe are often lactose-intolerant but I'm not going to let myself to be guilt-tripped into not drinking milk out of some mistaken and misplaced solidarity.

Hormones in the milk could be a problem for the inhabitants of the USA, but not for Europeans, since In some countries, a hormone called bovine somatotrophin (BST) is used to speed up or increase the production of milk or meat. In the UK and the rest of Europe, farmers are banned from using this hormone, and the import of meat from countries, including the US, where this hormone is used is also banned. This ban is on animal welfare grounds and not because there is any proven effect on human health. Independent health bodies including the European Union Scientific Committee have reviewed the evidence on BST and found it does not pose any harm to human health.

Now let's look at sugar. Does it really make you fat? No. Overeating does. As in stuffing yourself with too many calories daily. And for all those meat-lovers who claim protein won't make you fat ever, excess protein turns into glucose in your body. But to return to sugar, even WHO jumped on the bandwagon of demonisation even though the only thing they could prove is that consuming too much sweets leads to caries (as if we didn't know!). Apparently, there is an international agenda behind anti-sugar campaign, which has to do with environmentalism, anti-corporate movement and similar concerns. EU sugar producers reacted to WHO new guidelines in the following way:

We note the clarification in the report that WHO has retained its recommendation that “free sugars” can provide <10% of total energy intake.
We believe that before a <5% value can be included in official recommendations,  extensive debate must take place, as called for by WHO, especially because the data this value is based on, was deemed to be of very low quality by both WHO and the dental health review authors[2]. In practice, such a threshold would be exceeded for instance with the drinking of a mere glass of orange juice...

It should be noted that the WHO intake recommendations are based purely on dental health data. The authors of the WHO-mandated systematic review on “free” sugars and weight gain concluded that any effect of sugar on weight gain is purely due to the consumption of excess calories and not a specific effect of sugar per se[3]. This review highlights the fact that obesity is an extremely complex and multidimensional problem, and preventing obesity requires the balance of managing calorie intake coming from all foods, including sugar, with energy expenditure. Therefore, simply advising an individual to decrease sugar intake without taking into account overall diets and other factors will not solve the current obesity crisis. The WHO recommendations notably have to be put in the context of each country’s food culture, which has an impact on individuals’ food patterns.

(Read the whole thing over here).  Again, it's probably not a good idea to consume too much sugar, and fizzy drinks containing 1000+ calories each, but if you are not suffering from diabetes, sugar in moderation, preferably eaten with the meals, appears to be all right.

Now, if all these foods don't give you cancer, what does? Well, the risk factors are all known and have been for a long time: smoking, obesity and overweight, alcohol, not enough physical activity, too much sun exposure, not eating enough vegetable and fibre, and processed meat. Yes, chemicals in bacon can give you bowel cancer, and eating to much red meat is also suspect, too much being defined as more than 500g cooked red meat a week, which can be easily avoided by eating fish and poultry 3 times a week.

But really, it's all about using common sense, isn't it? 

woensdag 12 april 2017

The Story Of Horatius

Publius Horatius, that is.

Horatius was an officer in the Roman army which defended the city against the Etruscan king Lars Porsena. Together with two other officers he was defending the bridge against superior enemy forces, allowing other Roman soldiers to evacuate and destroy the bridge. 

Though several times wounded, he managed to swim back to safety and was crowned as a hero.His story became an inspiration for a famous poem by T.B. Macaulay, an (early) Victorian poet:

But the Consul's brow was sad,
          And the Consul's speech was low,
     And darkly looked he at the wall,
          And darkly at the foe.
     "Their van will be upon us
          Before the bridge goes down;
     And if they once may win the bridge,
          What hope to save the town?"

           

     Then out spake brave Horatius,
          The Captain of the Gate:
     "To every man upon this earth
          Death cometh soon or late.
     And how can man die better
          Than facing fearful odds,
     For the ashes of his fathers,
          And the temples of his gods,

             

     "And for the tender mother
          Who dandled him to rest,
     And for the wife who nurses
          His baby at her breast,
     And for the holy maidens
          Who feed the eternal flame,
     To save them from false Sextus
          That wrought the deed of shame?


 Read the whole poem at Wikisource and the story of Horatius at Wikipedia

maandag 10 april 2017

Traditional Family In Early America

Puritan women, though they didn’t receive a college education, were generally literate and often well-read. The only respectable female vocation in Puritan America was managing a household. But that “household” generally included large numbers of children, servants, apprentices, and even single men and women (who were required to live with families).

Quoted from here

zaterdag 8 april 2017

My Computer Saga

So several weeks ago my laptop died, with all the important data on it. We managed to extract most info from hd and then decided to go for a second-hand notebook, to save money. In the mean time, I had to share with my husband, which was a bother for both of us. We visited a pawn store in town, but they had nothing special so we turned to the internet.

We found what we were looking for (or so we thought) and ordered it last week Monday, paid in advance, too. It would be sent to me within 1-3 days but by the end of the week, there was still nothing. So we phoned them next Monday, and they told us the model was sold out, but they would get new ones the very same day, and send it the same day.

Three days days later, nothing. My husband phones again and they say that they only can offer us another type laptop, for the same price, but with a smaller screen. Or we can opt for cancelling the order but it will take at least three weeks or longer before we get our money back. We discuss it together and I think we should go along with it, because we start getting a sinking feeling about the whole situation. So we agree.

Next day, no computer. So we phone the store again. They promise to phone back. They finally phone me instead of my husband and say that I'll get it next day. Friday comes - hooray, I finally receive an email telling me my computer arrives soon and it does. It has no DVD drive and a really small screen. I decide to wait till my husband comes home before trying it out.

He comes from work and turns it on. THERE IS NO SOUND! He spends the whole evening trying to make it work. No such luck. We discuss our next steps and both come to the same conclusion - if we send it back, it'll only cost us more money and we start doubting that we ever get anything decent in return at all. We have neither time no energy to go to court with them if the need arises and the store is like 3 hours driving from where we live.

My husband takes the laptop to the computer specialist he knows. The guy also has second-hand stuff in his shop. He promises to look into it but is not sure of success. I suggest to my husband to try and sell the darn thing to the man and may be pay something extra and buy a refurbished notebook from him, if he has one.

In the end, it's exactly what my husband had to do. It cost him 100 euros more but he came home with a functioning laptop which has a DVD drive and a normal size screen. So now hopefully my problems are all solved and I'll be able to answer all those emails that kept waiting:)

I'm also writing it as a cautionary tale - don't order second hand computers on the internet, especially when you have to pay first! In the interests of privacy, I won't name the store on this blog but we both agreed it's our citizen duty to write a 1-star review and warn other potential customers. 

UPDATE
This is funny: we've had such horrible communication problems with these folks, but half an hour after my husband had written a negative review on their site, they contacted us on Sunday! Said we'd get our money back or a new computer real quick which may very well be true but still doesn't really change my opinion about buying second-hand computers online. May be, if you can afford waiting a month or two - otherwise patronising your local computer shop is a much better option.

dinsdag 4 april 2017

Female Police Officers Enormous Success

In Sweden. Don't believe me? Just watch the video!


Christians And The Great Commission

Some folks believe that the Great Commission has been fulfilled  long ago, while others disagree. I have found a rather balanced article on the issue, called Mission Accomplished.

Here is an interesting quote:

However, I have witnessed some Christians who are very zealous about foreign evangelism use the Great Commission passages in such a way as to try to make brethren feel guilt or remorse for not traveling to some other country to preach and teach. They make comments, whether from the pulpit or in conversation, that would make one think they should question their own faithfulness for not being eager to travel to Africa, or India, or the Philippines, or wherever. Shame on anyone who dares one make his brethren feel guilty for not engaging in foreign evangelism! Are the lost souls in Africa more precious in the sight of God than the lost souls in our own town? Of course not!

(emphasis mine)

Personally I think that even if the Great Commission wasn't fulfilled in the 1st century AD, it has been surely fulfilled by now. Plus, we have the internet so that anybody anywhere can read the Gospels online and before someone objects that all Third Worlders are poor and have no access to it, I regularly get visitors from India, African countries etc. So the wealthier people in these countries who have access to the internet can convert from reading the Bible (I did, without anyone preaching to me personally) and then go and enlighten their country folks. It's not uniquely a European Man's Burden, after all! 


zondag 2 april 2017

Beautiful Music For Sunday

I still have no computer of my own...So instead of a long post, enjoy this:


donderdag 30 maart 2017

Some Thoughts On The Story Of Odysseus

I have actually read it long ago, but having recently watched again an old Hallmark movie from the 1990s, I wanted to comment on it. Though the movie simplifies it somewhat and omits certain details, it's still gets the gist of it correctly, as far as I can remember (I feel too lazy to be bothered to read a Wiki article on the topic:))

The Odyssey is cool on so many levels. It's the greatest story of married love ever told. The wife who keeps faith with her husband for 20 years. The husband who strays and falls for seductresses but in the end returns back to her to grow old together. Feminists must hate it, after all, Penelope does nothing much besides staying home and weaving (in the movie she works at an olive press though), running the household and raising her son while Odysseus goes out into the world, fights, travels, has adventures and meets beautiful women.

As all really great stories, it has a literal and a figurative meaning. Penelope is a woman which every man dreams of. One he can trust implicitly. One which will stay true to him even when he strays. One which will keep her chastity and her heart intact, waiting for him for years while he is out there slaying dragons. One which will raise his children well even in the absence of their father and keep the home fires burning. Frailty thy name is woman is not applicable to her.

It also shows where the real danger lies for a man: Odysseus survives the perils of war and other dangers only to be kept prisoner by scheming women, one of whom is famous for actually turning men into pigs! No, it's positively politically incorrect, for not only it upholds a double standard (men's honour is courage, women's honour is chastity) but also shows that there are two types of females: one which you take home to Mother and...all the others.

Now when you think how the Trojan War actually started and compare Helen to Penelope, you'll see how much misery a woman can bring into the world when she breaks her marriage vows. Again, something which we'd rather not dwell upon in our enlightened times. I guess nowadays some folks would wonder why did Helen's husband (whose name escapes me at the moment, was it Menelaus?) begin a war for her? Beautiful though she was, there were undoubtedly other women available to him, too. Some would probably accuse him of "oneitis".

I will admit, for a long time I couldn't really comprehend it myself, and neither why Odysseus slaughtered all the men seeking Penelope's hand but finally it dawned on me.

Helen was Menelaus's wife. She belonged to him. She was his queen and not some slave girl. Paris not only violated the sacred laws of hospitality but stretched his hand to something which as far as Menelaus was concerned, was his and his only; and yes, it did constitute a casus belli.

In the same manner, the men seeking to marry Penelope were invaders, who tried to steal something which didn't rightfully belong to them. In the movie, Odysseus accuses them of trying to steal his world, something he and his ancestors before him built, fought and toiled for. There is only one punishment fit for such a crime. There is somewhere in it a lesson for modern men, too. If you are not prepared to fight for what is yours, you will surely lose it as this world is a ruthless place...

woensdag 29 maart 2017

The Point Of No Return

Theresa May vowed to restore Britain's 'self-determination' as our historic EU divorce letter was finally delivered to Brussels today - including a stark warning that trying to punish the UK would be a 'costly mistake'.
The Prime Minister delivered an upbeat vision of a country whose 'best days lie ahead' as she confirmed her envoy Sir Tim Barrow had handed the formal notification to European Council president Donald Tusk in Brussels...

After 44 years inside the bloc, the point of no return was reached at 12.20pm today UK time, as the handover between Sir Tim and Mr Tusk happened at his HQ in the Belgian capital.

Read the whole article over here:

dinsdag 28 maart 2017

Women And Alcohol

I may have posted about it before, but it was probably long ago, so who cares:) Also, it's funny.

As you all know, I possess a number of vintage magazines, including some Libelles (a still existing women's mag, which was pretty liberal already back then,  especially compared to the Catholic one I'm currently reading). They did include some useful advice on housekeeping, less useful on motherhood (mostly along the lines of let your teenagers figure it out for themselves, kids are very intelligent), stories about (generally) working gals who land themselves rich husbands and articles about fashion, glamour and life in foreign countries.

Their chief investigative journalist was one Caty Verbeek, who specialised in going to different countries and writing about life there and also brought fashion reports from Paris etc. Well, in one of her journeys she went to Sweden and one of the things which attracted her attention was alcohol. Apparently, Scandinavians had a difficult relationship with it already back then:)

The government invented a creative solution to the problem. Instead of forbidding it altogether, as they had done in the USA they forbade it to be served apart from meals (outside of beer), but that was not all. The breadwinner who paid his taxes and supported his wife and children was rewarded for his good behaviour by a coupon which allowed him to buy 4 liters alcohol per month.

Single men who worked properly got the same allowance, but apparently, not the adult male children who still lived at home so that the father had to share. Women, on the other hand...

Women who visited a restaurant could only get a very little portion (a half quantum) and only if they were accompanied by a man and he agreed to it. Actually, they "got it from him". However, if they were a head of household, that is, they lived on their own, they got a small alcohol allowance, too ("a small part of the man's portion").

Ms Verbeek found it all extremely interesting which finally prompted her female colleague to borrow her father's coupon book and treat her to some local liqueur. It wasn't so simple, however. First, they had to stand in a long line so that an official could check whether the father hadn't used all his allowance for that month, then there was another long line to actually buy a bottle of it.

My, but women had it difficult back then. Quelle discrimination. Luckily, we have all progressed since that dark age of reaction. (Don't click if you have a weak stomach:).

zaterdag 25 maart 2017

Then And Now

I'm still without computer so that posting is rather sporadic plus it's difficult to concentrate so I'll keep this short:) I'm still reading The Count Of Monte Cristo, which I will review in due time. It presents a rather interesting picture of the French society of the first half of the XIXth century, with lots of interesting details on daily life of different social classes, from bandits to counts.

One of the characters relates a story about his family, describing how his brother was murdered as one of the supporters of Napoleon after the emperor's defeat and how he had to take care of the widow, his sister-in-law, "because the poor thing (who must have been in her early thirties and childless) was all alone in the world."

I keep reading how modern women have changed so much for the worse, but what about modern men? How many of them would provide for their sister-in-law when they don't even want to provide for their own wives and send them out to work?

Before someone writes a comment about how people really had it so much better 200 years ago and could live like kings on one salary, the guy in question hardly had a fancy job. In fact, he was a smuggler:)

donderdag 23 maart 2017

Stay Fit!

If they could do it, you can do it, too:)

A 70-year old lady pole dancer

Note: I'm not normally a fan of pole dancing and female semi-nudity in public at any age, outside of a beach setting, but this is just amazing. 

Never, ever give up!

A disabled vet's story

P.S., as usual, I deleted the previous post since I don't want to dwell too long on negative things.

maandag 20 maart 2017

The Man Who Killed The Bank

Mr Trump appears to be quite a fan of Andrew Jackson, known among other things, for killing the bank:


vrijdag 17 maart 2017

A Strange Life Of Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte is mostly famous for her Jane Eyre, a somewhat feminist novel (the plot of which is widely known so there is no need to go into detail), though from what I read she appears the least radical of the three sisters (and the only one who ever got married). Yet probably not everyone is aware that the novel in question is highly autobiographical which may explain some of its peculiarities.

Charlotte was one of the six children of an Irish clergyman whose real name was Brunty and who came from a lower class background and worked himself up, marrying a daughter of a well-off tradesman. She thus belonged to a lower middle class background and though she had a good education, the family were poor and lived in apparently unsanitary conditions.

Charlotte was sent to school for the children of the clergy together with her three sisters where the eldest two quickly died from tuberculosis. The school and its experiences became the basis for the famous Lowood institution with its horrors (it has later undergone a name change and became a prestigious private school for girls).

It's noteworthy that all the six Bronte children died quite young from the same disease, though in Charlotte's case there are speculations that it also could be typhus or pregnancy-related problems. Charlotte was also a small thing, about 1.45m tall which makes her practically a midget by modern standards. The reason for this, undoubtedly, was poor nutrition: the lack of vitamin A and all that, (again described in Jane Eyre) which would also explain why the sisters succumbed so easily to common colds which eventually led to the dreaded lung disease.

Charlotte later worked as a school teacher and a governess and though some sources claim she liked her work others say she was resentful of her only brother who was apparently pampered by her father and allowed to get a better education while she had to work for her keep. The brother in question, Branwell had artistic leanings (but not in the way you thought:) as he habitually abused drugs and alcohol and started an affair with the wife of his employer who was fifteen years his senior. He died soon after being dismissed from his teaching position, due to the combined reasons of chronic alcoholism, drug usage and lung problems.

Branwell appears to have been a piece of work (and looked like John Lennon in his later years according to his self-portrait). Though Wikipedia is silent on this topic, it could very well be that the nasty brother in Jane Eyre was partly inspired by him (the episode with the book thrown happened when Charlotte was working as a governess - she must have had charming pupils).

Though Jane Eyre laments women being restricted to the world of embroidery, stocking-knitting and pudding-making,  it wasn't entirely true in Charlotte's own case as she was allowed to travel to Brussels and to enroll at school to learn French where she promptly fell in love with her tutor. Unfortunately, he was already married - does it ring  a bell? The rest of Jane's description fits her to a t - she was plain, poor, not very fashionable and shy. She lost all her siblings and her aunt who took care of them after her mother's death.

Yet, despite all this and her ripe old age of 38 (attention, men, the famous wall probably doesn't really exist) she still managed to inspire enough passion in her father's curate Arthur Bell Nicholls (he was several years her junior,too), which infuriated her father who considered him "not good enough" for his "famous daughter".

Yet, the young couple soon overcame his objections and got married. This fact upset her best girlfriend so much that later she accused the unhappy Arthur of causing his wife's death (the friend in question was determined to die a spinster in which she succeeded and as we know, misery loves company, plus she was probably resentful of the fact that Charlotte had refused her own brother's proposal on the account of him being boring - St. John anyone?), and indeed, their wedding bliss was but of a short duration. Charlotte died 8 months later, carrying Arthur's child. She was nearly 39 years old.

Thus ends the story of Charlotte Bronte and it probably explains some of her idiosyncrasies.

woensdag 15 maart 2017

Forced Hiatus

Monday the 13th, full moon - the day my laptop crashed and died....And yet they say it's just a superstition:)

I'll try to resume posting as soon as possible so stay tuned!

maandag 13 maart 2017

IKEA Adventures



It's SPRING over here plus we are still busy with our renovation project so it means less time behind the screen, which is actually good:) Last Saturday my husband suggested going to IKEA to check the furniture for our new added room in the attic which is supposed to be a living/bedroom/guestroom. We were looking at some settee beds ( I hope I'm using the word correctly:) but opted for two chairs instead which if placed together will make for a double bed. However, when we went to collect them, we found they were sold out!

We had to drive to another store which cost us about 50 minutes since we lost our way and there finally we got nearly the last two exemplars. We then spent 30 minutes searching for our car in the parking garage but it's another story altogether and at least, we ate quite a decent dinner at an IKEA restaurant later. Now, isn't it a beauty???:))))

woensdag 8 maart 2017

dinsdag 7 maart 2017

Finished At Last!




Sorry for the quality of the selfie, but it was the best I could manage:) This skirt took me something like 4 months and I had to start all over again 3 times, because I had to adjust the pattern to a much smaller size. it's still rather baggy by the hem but I decided that it gives me the necessary freedom of movement and and is of the fashionable "ballon" style. It's quite warm but the temperatures are still lower than double digits so I can wear it for some time.

zondag 5 maart 2017

An Incident At Home






A couple of days ago I noticed a strange smell in our bathroom. Actually, it was a horrible smell. First, it reminded me of burnt red cabbage combined with something industrial like turpentine, but through the day it grew stronger and became positively vile. No, VILE, like rotting flesh.

My husband came home, smelled the air in the bathroom (I kept airing it and the adjacent bedrooms as the smell started spreading there, too; but the moment I closed the bathroom door it came back). My husband agreed it was vile and payed a visit to the neighbour who had been remodeling his house. The neighbour had no smell in his bathroom and neither did he work with any strong chemical substances.

Our next thought was our sewerage system, after all it's an old house we currently live in (I probably should say "vintage" as it's from the 1930s). I suggested that a mouse crept into a pipe to die or something even worse, while my parents who phoned at that very time, were talking about the sewer gas. We checked the plumber trap by the sink and it was full of water. We plugged both the sink and the bathroom but the smell didn't go away. We took the washing basket contents apart and smelled them but noticed nothing in particular. It didn't come from a garbage can, either.

I said it must be the ventilation system and my husband said it couldn't be because the bathroom and the WC below are connected but there is no foul smell in the WC. He asked me why women were prone to being hysterical about some minor stuff. I asked him why men are so obstinate and think they know everything better. He said it's because he does know everything better. By this time, were were both talking rather louder than normal.

I went inside the bathroom and started sniffing. I noticed the smell was the worst by the door. Then it dawned on me. I picked up a mat and voila, it smelled. No, stank. It was wet, too, but then someone had just taken a shower. I took it out and placed it on the radiator in the spare bedroom, closed the door and opened the window, but the next morning the whole bedroom stank. The mat was dry by now and when I examined it, I suddenly understood what it was all about. The cat had peed on it!!! I remembered him sneaking into the bathroom the day before.

And so the riddle of the horrible smell was solved by me. I'm not quite a Miss Marple, but getting there:)

BTW, I saved the mat, too, by washing it at 60*C though it did come out rather wrinkled (it's supposed to be washed at 30*C I think), but at least, it smells decently now!

vrijdag 3 maart 2017

There Is Still Some Masculinity Left In Europe

In the Eastern part of it:)




Now before you start writing indignant comments about Korwin's sexism (love the name btw, reminds me of one of my favourite literary characters), which I won't publish anyway, here is a disclaimer:

As the previous video showed, the wage gap is largely due to women's choices. While an average woman isn't really more stupid than an average man, the top tier  intellectuals are mostly men. It has to do with the bell curve, IQ distribution, these sort of things (just google it, if you don't believe me). I guess few would disagree that men on average are stronger. They are also more aggressive and ambitious, work longer hours, do the most of really dangerous jobs, hence are often paid more.

While it doesn't seem correct for women to be paid less for doing exactly same jobs, higher salaries for men would enable more married women to stay home. It used to be called "married men wages" and there was a time when social feminists approved of it.

"Led by Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins and Mary Anderson of the Women's Bureau, the "social feminists" of the New Deal...sought...the family wage (which) would spare mothers from working and children from day care that social feminists rejected...If 'the provider for the family got sufficient wages,' said Mary Anderson, 'married women would not be obliged to go to work'..."

(Quoted from Domestic Tranquility by F. Carolyn Graglia, p.105).

In the comments to the vid above I read that the politician in question is largely supported by women. Now I wonder why? Do they want by any chance to be saved from "the drudgery of a cotton mill" (idem, p.104)? Something to think about...


donderdag 2 maart 2017

Women Won't Fight Your Battles For You

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man...there shall not be upon her any "instrument of a man"..., any utensil of his which he makes use of in his trade and business; as if she was employed in it, when her business was not to do the work of men, but to take care of her house and family...and the word also signifies armour...and so here forbids women putting on a military habit and going with men to war...

Here is a novel idea for all the keyboard warriors who, while doing nothing in real life themselves expect women to man the barricades and defeat feminism: traditional women generally aren't the type to go out and fight. They are too busy taking care of their families and keeping the home fires burning, and what's more, a traditional husband most probably won't like his wife getting involved in political battles of any kind. I seldom post anything overtly political on this blog exactly by this reason: my husband asked me not to do it and especially, avoid certain topics.

A Christian traditional wife believes in being a keeper at home, not a social reformer. She won't fight your battles for you so don't hold your breath.  In general, there is a certain weakness in any man who expects a woman/women to fix society. One would expect it from liberals since they believe in egalitarianism, but anyone who claims to support patriarchal institutions should know better.

Traditional women do their part by being good daughters, wives and mothers and living a counter-cultural life which does take a lot of courage nowadays. Their battlefield is their family and fighting for the minds of their children. They lead by showing good example, by prayer and Christian behaviour, by reaching to those in need and ministering to those around them, in the circles of relatives and friends. Their world is more private then public-oriented.

The idea that they should abandon their families and go out into the streets and fight is preposterous, unless their husbands are political activists themselves and ask for their assistance. May be, these men who are discontent with the way things are should actually start doing something like organising a protest, for instance, instead of nagging on the interwebz?

dinsdag 28 februari 2017

Housewife Radio

This is a new project of Lydia Sherman from Home Living, and it's really great. Her second broadcast features a guest speaker who shares her experience of quitting her job and becoming a housewife.

You can listen to it over here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4baBwdDBZg&app=desktop

maandag 27 februari 2017

Feminism Doesn't Exist

 

If you watch this video, you'll see a male teacher losing his self-control when some teenage boys point out that the famous "pay gap" is largely due to women's choices, not discrimination. So you will probably think: "how can it be the proof that feminism doesn't exist? Of course, it does and the teacher is the example of it!"

It's all very true, but what I'm trying to say it that contrary to the popular myth, feminism isn't some grass root movement. It's a state ideology enforced from top down, as the video demonstrates. Besides government school system (at least, Americans have the right to homeschool) it's mainly enforced by the MSM, like TV shows, newspaper articles, advice columns etc etc. It's a part of liberal egalitarian dogma, not some organic movement. And we have all recently learned the concept of "fake news"...

It's not to say that feminists don't exist. Feminism plays on the insecurities of women and many get trapped, which isn't at all surprising, considering the brainwashing poor girls undergo since the earliest age. However, most women are followers, not leaders. Take away the indoctrination and they will return to the traditional pattern of falling in love, marrying, having children. There is an old saying, "there are no atheists in the foxholes". If the economy collapses and cushy office jobs + government welfare disappear overnight, how many feminists we'll still have?

zondag 26 februari 2017

Chocolate Muffins






I'm afraid it's the best photo I have, they went so hard:) The original recipe was published in LandIdee, but as usual, I changed and adjusted it. As time goes by, I find out that I hardly follow the recipes any more, but they sure give me ideas!

So to make 12, you will need:

ab. 3/4 c brown sugar (they won't be very sweet)
1c or a bit more flour mixture (I used ab. 1/2c spelt+barley+whole grain vs 1/2c of plain white flour)
4 heaping tbsp of cocoa powder
2 heaping tsp of baking powder
3 eggs
4-5tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp or more (goat) milk
ab. 20g dark chocolate, rasped

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add eggs, oil and enough milk to make a thick dough. Add rasped chocolate, mix well and spoon the dough into a prepared muffin pan. Bake at ab. 165*C for 20-25 min (check for doneness). The muffins will be on a small side. You can slice them and eat with butter and jam, like scones.

donderdag 23 februari 2017

Lydia Sherman Reviews My Book

Lydia Sherman from Home Living was kind enough to review my book! That's what she writes:

Do you remember when reading a book of fiction lifted you from life's heavy concerns and took you away to another place and time? The Long Way Home does that. It contains action, a bit of mystery and some romance...

If you are an American, you will be attracted to the British type characters of yesteryear; the kind that held the stiff upper lip in times of stress, and, do not forget the tea. We all love the Brits with this type of description, and this is exactly what Sanne Wijker has developed into her main character. Though the hero of the story lives quite sacrificially, he wants to save a few things: save his country, save his own neck, and save his girl.

Read the whole of it over here: A Book Review - "The Long Way Home"

I'm especially grateful to Lydia for calling me young - it's a great compliment for this "young-ish" Gen X housewife:) Thank you, dear friend!

Now about the sequel she mentioned: I'm working on a new book which is set in the same world, but several years earlier and it features the same character (though not the main one) and the same planets. My book is currently available in print by by both Lulu and Amazon, as a PDF by Lulu and as an EPUB also by Lulu. I'm planning to purchase new ISBN numbers which will allow me to offer  the EPUB version on Amazon as well. 

I understand that some folks may have their reservations in ordering from Lulu as it's not so famous but I've done it several times myself and never had any problems. The quality of the print was good, too. Unlike many others, I don't put any ads or other commercial content on this blog and I have never panhandled. I'm not really in the need of money but I certainly would appreciate it if those who read and enjoy my blog would read and enjoy my first novel, too! Thanks in advance. 

woensdag 22 februari 2017

Legalism In The Church

Have you noticed how modern churches (here I should probably say churchians:) avoid preaching certain doctrines, like Titus2, but compensate inventing all sorts of rules not found anywhere in the Scriptures?

Some examples: it's not OK to put your child in daycare for a Christian woman. But to leave him with a nanny is fine. Married Christian women shouldn't have careers. However, it's perfectly normal for her to work to pay a huge mortgage so they don't have to live among those sinners in a poorer neighbourhood.

Women shouldn't wear men's clothes like pants. Wearing a long t-shirt with a belt and a pair of leggings underneath qualifies as a dress, though. Women should dress modestly which means only dark colours. A black miniskirt is modest while a long dress with a cheerful pattern is obviously sinful.

We aren't going to preach against easy divorce. This would hurt the feelings of divorced people. Never mind that according to the Scriptures, God hates divorce. We''ll try to guilt-trip people into eating less meat instead, because it's bad for the environment and also, maybe progressives will like us more.

We should give a lot of money to the Third World. It's very spiritual. We shouldn't help our married children or family if they need it, let their wives work instead. God will understand. Well, I could go on and on, but I guess you get the picture. If you have any other examples of modern church hypocrisy, feel free to post it in the comments section!

maandag 20 februari 2017

Dog Dancing

Maybe I'm behind the times but I only learned about this new sport because my mother's friend is going to take part in a competition with her dog.  It's actually quite funny and cute, just what one needs on Monday to cheer up:


zondag 19 februari 2017

International Adoption In The News Again

Save the children: stop child trafficking!

FBI raids international adoption agency.

From the article:

The investigation found that European Adoption Consultants and its providers used false documents and made false statements to influence the government decisions here and overseas. These decisions affected adoption cases and the accreditation of agencies.

The report also says the Strongsville company did not properly supervise providers overseas to ensure that the providers followed each country's laws. It says the providers did not act in the best interest of children, especially to prevent the sale, kidnapping, exploitation and kidnapping of children.

The agency also failed to follow various international treaties and laws by soliciting bribes, fraudulently obtaining birth parent consent, and lying to birth parents, the report says. It also failed to seek accurate information about children, and withheld or misrepresented important information about children.

Children are not a commodity. If you can't have children of your own, you aren't entitled to stealing those of other people. Foster care is a good alternative to international adoption as there is much more control over the system. 

vrijdag 17 februari 2017

In Defence Of Women

God knows, there is probably little to defend in modern women. They dress, look and behave unfeminine, they are often domineering and aggressive, they despise homemaking, they are attention wh*oring on social media, they have too many partners before they decide to settle down somewhere at the age of 37, they often aren't even good mothers etc etc and still...

Still, the shrill internet voices accusing women of these and other sins often sound just as hysterical as feminists seeing patriarchy everywhere. Do these folks really think that women just woke up one day in the 1960s, decided to burn their bras and won a revolution without firing a single shot? If you really believe it, you are extremely naive, to say the least.

That it had nothing to do with the banks, big businesses, media manipulating public opinions and the governments all over the world pushing for more equality? Take single mothers, for instance. They are often meninists' scapegoats. They apparently give in to their Female Imperative having s*x with "alphas" (more likely some unemployed loser but any guy who has s*x with women is alpha in their eyes) and then after the child is born, the father disappears and the government comes with a paycheck, due to the same Female Imperative which runs the government, too.

Of course, the real story is that there always used to be a stigma against illegitimacy, that's why "bastard" is so terribly offensive, yet after UN was created, the members signed a declaration calling to erase all the difference between children born in- and outside wedlock. "Women" didn't march in the streets demanding it. Since many women still aren't interested in politics, the majority probably didn't even know about it. I only found out because while researching something, I stumbled upon this information. It was progressives behind it, not some nebulous FI.

Just like feminists have their own creation myths, so do their male counterparts. Actually, it's even more simple. Feminists came up with a caricature of the traditional Western societies, where women had less rights than slaves, and these guys took it to heart and said that it was good and proper.

No, women in Western Europe didn't usually marry at 18. Some did, others didn't, that's why an average marriage age for women in England used to be 26, not 16. No, your uterus doesn't fall out after you turn 30. Yes, obesity makes women unattractive, but it does the same to men, too. No, divorce isn't always the woman's fault. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Finally, if you are any form of a Christian, to constantly harp on people's "market value" whether sexual or not, is just, well, not comme il faut. It's an incredibly nihilistic way of looking upon society. It makes you no different from progressives with their worship of economy and reducing human beings to global consumers. There is more to human beings than just being economic units and there is more to the relationship between the sexes than shallow materialism.

donderdag 16 februari 2017

dinsdag 14 februari 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!



(free image courtesy of this site)


Happy Valentine's Day everyone and especially myself since it's my wedding's anniversary!!!

zondag 12 februari 2017

Feminism As A Weapon Of The Elites

French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon and his British-born wife Penelope will be indicted for fraud this week and could be sent for criminal trial immediately.
The 62-year-olds are currently under investigation for a range of charges including embezzlement after helping themselves to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of taxpayers’ cash by setting up a series of allegedly fake jobs.
Mrs Fillon, a solicitor’s daughter from Wales, has been ‘fighting tooth and nail’ to prove she was secretly a high-powered parliamentary attaché and literary consultant for decades.
But she has provided zero ‘material proof’ to financial prosecutors, who will indict the couple this week, according to leaks from the enquiry published today by the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

(Read the whole article over here )

One of the reasons some European countries used to prohibit married women from working was to avoid the situations like the one above. While lower class women are supposed to enjoy working some mundane, low-paid job, the elites' own wives get paid hundreds of thousands for doing nothing. Literally.

zaterdag 11 februari 2017

The Death Of A Politician

Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician's corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.


Quoted from Here

woensdag 8 februari 2017

The Advantages Of Marriage for Men

Once in a while you come across an article which makes you stop and think, like it happened to me when I read the one published by FoxNews trying to lure more men into marriage. Marriage rates are dropping across the USA and beyond, which is actually little surprise considering the fact that Western governments have done their best to reduce what used to be a bedrock of Western civilisation to "roommates with extra rights" relationship. What is surprising is that people keep marrying still, despite all the odds.

So the lady author points to a research project which says that married  "men enjoy more money, better sex, and better health when they are married" compared to those who stay single. How true are these claims? First, from my own observation, marriage, outside of religious communities, has pretty much become a middle and upper class phenomenon. They will have more money on average per definition.

According to the article, better health comes partly from "better eating", which is again, typical for people higher on the social ladder. Lower classes, unfortunately, care little for nutrition, whether married or not, are addicted to fast food and many women don't cook, outside of warming up microwave dinners once in a while. It used to be that a man would marry to have someone prepare his meals, nowadays the chance is big he'll do the cooking himself, married or single.

Considering sex, while the report claims that more married than single men are satisfied with their love life, 51% is still quite low. In more traditional cultures, women are taught never to deny their husbands unless there is a medical reason, but apparently, 49% of the wives of the respondents don't put out nearly enough. Of course, in the times before reliable birth control, separate bedrooms weren't considered something really shocking, but then the husband could visit ladies of easy virtue and nobody would bat an eye, either.

But it was the part about money which especially drew my attention. I'll quote it in full:

Married men earn more, save more, and generally have access to a second income.  The typical fifty-something married man has three times the assets of his unmarried peer, about $167,000 compared to $36,000 for never-married and $48,500 for divorced.

Three things come to mind. First, correlation isn't causation. Since marriage is more typical for the wealthier among us, it's only logical that their income is higher. Married men also often will work longer hours because they have to, not because they particularly like it. They are more likely to own a big house which counts as "assets", I guess. Second, it's quite cynical to focus on the lower incomes of divorced men, when they often lose so much financially in the event of divorce (including and particularly, "assets"), especially considering the fact, that, to quote the article: The report notes that a majority of first divorces are initiated by women (though I'd like to point out that the one who initiates divorce isn't necessarily the guilty party).

The best part is, of course, this: Married men...generally have access to a second income . I wonder if the lady who wrote it considers herself any sort of a conservative, as this is really the last nail in the coffin of traditional marriage in the West: men marrying so that they could get a cushy lifestyle provided by their wives.

The report gives advice to the husbands how to avoid divorce:

“Men who do their best to hold down a stable job, who don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, who are sexually faithful, who attend religious services regularly with their wives, and who make a regular effort to be emotionally engaged in their marriage are less likely to divorce.”

It used to be that women got advice from their mothers on how to hold your marriage together, now men are supposed to do it. The report doesn't give advice on what's a man to do if his wife commits adulteries against him, divorces him and gets half his stuff because all divorce is no-fault. Role reversal is practically complete with onus on the men to keep their wives, not vice versa. 
No wonder that marriage rates keep dropping.

Liberal egalitarian individualism promoted in the current Western society is detrimental to marriage and articles like this are just a Band-Aid, nothing more. You don't treat gangrene with Band-Aid. 

maandag 6 februari 2017

February Links

Feminine Maternity Clothes
(it doesn't have to be "maternity pants", you know)

Justice And Death Penalty
for blood...defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. 

Thomas Aquinas On Inequality 
The real diversity

Boyscouts Of America
Cthulhu always swims left

Sugar And Spice And Everything Nice?
Not really. The mean girls of Australia

Saving Money On Luxuries
You don't really need to eat out every day.



zaterdag 4 februari 2017

Healthy Fruit Cake






And very tasty, too!
It's my version of a recipe from LandIdee, a Dutch magazine.

You'll need:

about 300g of dried mixed fruit (mine included plums, apricots and apples)
hot tea of your choice (I used red bush variety)
ab. 20g butter + 4tbsp olive oil
3/4 c cane sugar
1 egg
ab. 2c or a bit more flour (I used barley and wholemeal in addition to plain white flour)
2 full tsp of baking powder
1 tbsp fruit syrup of your choice

Pour hot tea over dried fruit and let it stand for a couple of hours, take the fruit out with a slotted spoon but save the liquid to use later. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, olive oil and sugar, mix well. Add the egg and flour + baking powder, then the fruit + enough liquid to make soft dough, stir until combined. Transfer the dough to a greased and lined cake pan, use a spoon to make the surface level. The chance is big it still will be a bit crumbly, so pour syrup all over it.

Bake at 165*C for ab. 1 hour or less (Mine was ready in 50 min + extra 5 min needed to heat the oven). Enjoy!

vrijdag 3 februari 2017

The Beginning Of A New Season?





It's been so warm the last couple of days that I ventured to sit outside with a cup of coffee yesterday (actually, it was cocoa, but who cares:). It was windy though so I didn't stay long but it does feel like an early spring. I wanted to say it's just like in Italy, except that the weather in Italy is so bad at the moment they stopped sending us spinach and different salad sorts, so it's actually better than Italy! Unfortunately, it's just for a couple of days...

We are still busy upstairs, here is a pic of the progress we made:

And I still have a cold...

donderdag 2 februari 2017

Brexit Becomes A Reality

Somehow all the time I keep saying "breakfast" instead of "Brexit" :) It appears that UK crossed the point of no return yesterday evening:

Historic moment for Britain as the BREXIT Bill is passed by MPs.

woensdag 1 februari 2017

The Dangers Of Women

 A public health announcement.

(Not all women, but only of the wild variety, of course:)

Did you know, that Alexandre Dumas, senior had had as many as 40 mistresses and fathered several illegitimate children? Despite being one of the highest-paid novelists in France of that period, he was quite often insolvent because of spending so much money on them. Which made me think of this:




150 years later and we have men still complaining that wild women cost them while chasing the said women. Gentlemen, you have been officially warned, wild women and whiskey will drive you crazy and insane! And don't get me started on the dangers of smoking, either...Consider this post as written in the interests of public health:)

Here are the lyrics.

dinsdag 31 januari 2017

Kärcher WD2, A Consumer Review






I have been planning to write about it since forever but felt no inspiration. Last year my vacuum-cleaner broke down unexpectedly so I had to buy a new one and this model was the only decent one  I encountered at the shopping mall.

On the positive side, it was cheap. It vacuums quite good and it looks like R2D2. Here is a close-up:





The bags are expensive, but they are huge and can be reused at least once. If you take the bag out, you can use WD2 for water (after all, it is a Kärcher):





(Yes, my drying rack isn't in optimal condition, either:)

On the negative, first the cord is short. Like, really short, which makes vacuuming the stairs very uncomfortable. And I have three of them in my house, so it's now mostly the task of the housekeeper who doesn't come that often. You can't regulate the suction power, either, which isn't good from the point of saving electricity and your money.

The only attachments it has are those shown in the pictures. Finally, the thing is clumsy and prone to falling. When it falls, the bag moves and suction power goes down to zero, so you have to open and reassemble it.

Would I buy it again? Probably not, but I'm more or less content with it, except for the short cord. It really is a bother. I hope this info will be  helpful to some of you!

maandag 30 januari 2017

A Feline Criminal

My mom watched a TV program featuring him. I seldom watch TV myself so had to use UTube:



zaterdag 28 januari 2017

A Clean House Contributes To Mental Health

Here is an interesting article discussing dopamine and the ways to increase it naturally.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and low levels of it cause such symptoms as fatigue, sleep problems, mood swings, feeling hopeless and memory loss. Besides healthy food and exercise, dopamine is increased by such creative hobbies as knitting and sewing and also by setting and achieving short and long-term goals:

They can be as simple as trying a new recipe, getting caught up on emails, cleaning a closet, or finally learning how to use a new app for your phone. (emphasis mine).

Procrastination lowers dopamine levels, which causes more procrastination, so it's a vicious circle.
On the other hand, having a well-organised, well-run household boosts your dopamine levels and is good for your mental and physical help.

woensdag 25 januari 2017

From The Home Front

We've had a winter of sorts last week. Here are some pics we took Sunday on a lake close-by:


























By now, all the ice and snow are gone and the temperatures are firmly above zero, which may be for the best since I got a nasty cold last week (I'm afraid I'm not as tough as my Viking ancestors, lol:)

A good acquaintance died from cancer last week so this Monday I had to go bring my condolences. She was only 2 years older than my parents which is, imo, not old at all.

It's a busy week for me, with lots of visiting and my husband taking a free day on Friday. He's planning to work on finishing our home extension which seems to be a never-ending project for us. Hopefully, it'll be finally ready this summer, but I don't hold my breath.

Today is rather gloomy which apparently means we will have a lousy year, oh well...

vrijdag 20 januari 2017

Then vs Now



While reading Katholieke Illustratie from 1935 for my research purposes I came across a story by one J. Peerdeman which I thought illustrates nicely the difference between the society built on traditional values and what we are witnessing nowadays, even though in the 1930s it was already crumbling.

The story features a girl who pretends to have a headache so that she can stay behind while the family go visiting and meet her boyfriend. She knows that "a Catholic girl isn't supposed to do such things" but she tells herself that as a modern woman she shouldn't be held down by silly conventions and after all, they are only going to play the piano and talk about Mozart. Surely, there is no harm in that?

Well, the maid has the same ideas and meets her fiance in the kitchen thinking that no one is at home, but they get caught by the girl while eating chocolate pudding left over from the family dinner. The servant confesses and the mistress wants to warn her about falling into sin and good Catholic girls not meeting their boyfriends while nobody is home but realises her own hypocrisy and leaves.

What's a girl to do? It's too late to phone the guy and tell him not to come as he is on his way. In the end, she goes down into the kitchen and tells the maid not to allow the visitor in as it would be indecent for her to receive a man while her parents are not present. The servant takes a hint and does exactly as she's told. Virtue won this round.

It was then. As for now...Well, we all know  the difference even though we are trained to notice it any more.

dinsdag 17 januari 2017

Men, Women And Housework

Doug Wilson recently wrote a post on preachers being afraid to criticise women which turned into a heated discussion on who should be doing the dishes (and other things as well). It appears to be a hot topic, so I thought as a resident housewife I'll comment on the issue, too.

Our age is the age of confusion, since the concept of equality as understood nowadays demands that everybody is treated the same. And even Pastor Wilson himself, while touching on the subject of "lazy housewives" stated that Bible teaches women to be domestic. Being domestic doesn't necessarily mean a housewife, as many people are perfectly able to understand (and some even pointed it out). And then the subject of doing the dishes was trotted out and it turned into yet another male-female spat on the interwebz.

Of course, the traditional understanding of the female role was that the lady of the house was supposed to spend most of her time there, attending to the household management, though not necessarily performing all the tasks herself. If she was wealthy, she could very well afford enough household staff to never ever bother with washing the dishes. The traditional society wasn't only about the division of labour within the household, but also about the fact that the primary role of the woman was within home while the man participated in the broad society.

Here is John Gill's analysis of Titus 2: Keepers at home: minding their own family affairs, not gadding abroad; and inspecting into, and busying themselves about other people's matters...And this they sayF26  (Jewish religious teachers) is what is meant by the woman's being an helpmeet for man, that while he is abroad about his business, she is יושבת בבית, "sitting at home", and keeping his house; and this they observe is the glory and honour of the woman...

John Calvin and other Reformers thought similarly and as far as I know, traditional Catholic teaching wasn't much different. Alexis de Tocqueville while visiting the USA in the XIXth century noted that Americans had equal respect for the work of both men and women, but the spheres of their activity were totally separate:

In no country has such constant care been taken as in America to trace two clearly distinct lines of action for the two sexes and to make them keep pace one with the other, but in two pathways that are always different. American women never manage the outward concerns of the family or conduct a business or take a part in political life; nor are they, on the other hand, ever compelled to perform the rough labor of the fields or to make any of those laborious efforts which demand the exertion of physical strength. No families are so poor as to form an exception to this rule. If, on the one hand, an American woman cannot escape from the quiet circle of domestic employments, she is never forced, on the other, to go beyond it.

It's significant because we know that the USA in its early stages prided itself on having Jesus Christ as their King and following the Scriptures. One thing stands out when I read this passage: while American women were quite restricted in their life choices, on the other hand, they were never forced to perform "rough labor" or do anything strenuous. No families are so poor as to form an exception to this rule, writes de Tocqueville. If you ever read Little House On The Prairie, you'll remember Nellie Oleson boasting that her folks weren't so broke that she'd have to take a job, as Laura did. And she wasn't even married at that point in her life and yet, the families tried to shelter even the unmarried daughters from employment outside home.

This attitude is quite different from present-day situation when the husbands often expect and encourage their wives to work. You can't expect a lady to be "domestic" when she works full time outside home, and even when she works part-time more than a certain amount of hours.

One thing that many people don't seem to understand is the difference between the world online and real life. When I write a post, I'm talking about general principles, yet I'm well aware that lots of folks live in a less than ideal situation and have to make the best out of it. The argument of whether God wants the husband to help with the dishes is really utterly pointless and reminds me of medieval discussions on how many angels could dance on the head of the pin.

Ideally, I believe that the wife should stay home and do the dishes and the husband should go out and earn the living. Yet, they could be in debt to their ears and both have to work in which case he'll have to pitch in. Or maybe, she is home and just had a new baby or is chronically sick or something. Some families can afford hired help, others can't. In some situations the husband will have to help, whether he likes it or not.

On the other hand, I think it's time housewife became a respectable occupation again and women started taking pride in a well-managed house and home-cooked meals. Living the life of sloth shouldn't be anyone's ambition, whether male or female. So much for lazy housewives:)