Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Can Traditional Women Do To Change Things For The Better?

Someone asked me a question: "But what can we do? How do we improve the situation around us? How do we return to the traditional way of life?" This made me thinking. Indeed, what is to be done? Many alternative blogs seem to promote doom and gloom, and even in the church the attitude seems to be, "why polishing the brass on a sinking ship?"

I don't believe the situation is so hopeless as they present it. The darkest hour is the one comes just before the dawn, the old proverb says. You can bend society only so far, before the pendulum swings the other way. What passes for modern liberalism is built on lies, and the lies can only bring you so far. In the end, truth always triumphs.

So what can a simple housewife do to change things for the better? While I believe that open political action is more suited for men (though there are exceptions, of course), a woman has a soft, feminine power which is just as much important.

The housewife's power lies in her home and her children. The handle that rocks the cradle, and all that. Americans are very lucky in this respect as they have the possibility to homeschool their children. However, even if your child goes to shool, he still will spend the considerable amount of time with his parents, and if his mother stays home, with her. Never underestimate the power of indoctrination:)

Unfortunately, with a TV set in every household (and nowadays it's often more than one), the good influence of parents can get totally counteracted. I believe the other side would never have made such progress without the influence of the TV. Even if the program is good, it will be completely ruined by some stupid advertisement. Kill the darn thing. TV is for those who can't read:) Constant watching of the TV makes your IQ one standard deviation lower.

Another strategy is to substitute modern liberal entertainment with old-fashioned traditional one. That's why I keep posting links to the old films available on YouTube. While those movies are not all of them works of art, they were not made according to the standards of political correctness and promote the traditional values. Especially concerning the male-female interaction. There are also still some nice new films made which are worth watching. In short, a DVD-player and YouTube are good substitutes for the TV.

Another way to influence others is by the way we dress. Nowadays we have grown women dressing and behaving like teenagers. I'm sorry, but a t-shirt with a slogan, "I'm cute", written in glittery letters on a 50-year-old looks ridiculous. While I'm not that big on the whole "sexy" concept, at least in young girls it's understandable. They are trying to find a man. Why would a married woman and a mother want to look like this?

The other extremity is wearing boring unisex clothes and styles. I believe we as women are the queens of our castles and should dress and behave accordingly.

Masculinity is under attack as well, so it's very important to treat your husband with outward respect and defer to him as the head of the family, especially in the company of others. Poor guys nowadays are confused as to what women really want, seeing that MSM tells them one thing, while the common sense says something totally different. The wife is meant to be her husband's helpmeet and assist him in his daily struggles, not to hinder him. Others will notice how you treat your husband. Our world is success-oriented. There is no better way to promote traditional family, than to have a harmonious household, instead of a dysfunctional one.

I also believe that we should try and support other ladies who are homemakers and encourage those who want to be one. It's not a secret that it's often other women who will give you a hard time over the decision to quit working. Many housewives experience mild forms of harrassment, often from their own families, they feel isolated and undervalued. If you know someone like this, invite her to tea and give her encouragement.

That leads me to my next point. I think it's a good idea to create traditionalist networks, that is, to try and connect the like-minded families in the area. They can offer support to each other in more than one way, including financially, for instance, by providing employment.

More on the financial aspect, I believe we should put our money where our mouth is. People complain about outsourcing of jobs but will buy the cheap Chinese stuff. Of course, sometimes you have no choice, or may be no money, but if you do, why not trying to buy locally produced stuff? For instance, last year I was searching for a new washing machine. I could buy one produced in Korea, which was also a hundred euros cheaper but went for Bosch produced in Germany because I believe in supporting our own. I want European men to have jobs so that they can feed their families.

Another problem of modern times is consumerism, which often leads to debt, and debt is little better than slavery. It must be quite surprising to my American readers, but among our circle of acquaintances, we are the only ones in possession of a credit card, which we use but seldom. Why not paying cash and reducing your consumption? We all tend to buy too much stuff which we don't need.

Well, it's getting rather long, so I'd better stop. If you have any more ideas, feel free to share.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Day Of The Triffids

Today I watched a 1962 British film "The Day Of The Triffids" based on a 1961 novel with the same name, by John Wyndham. "The Day Of The Triffids" happens to be one of my father's favourite books, and is well worth reading.

 The story goes as follows: one day nearly all the population of planet Earth goes blind after having watched a spectacular meteor shower the day before. The resulting crash of the civilisation is made worse by the confrontation with three meter tall man-eating plants called triffids which can walk and think. The main character William Masen who kept his eyesight by a lucky chance and some others are trying to survive and rebuild the lost civilisation.

The 1962 film bears but a slight resemblance to the original book as it changes all the significant details about the characters and the relationship between them, and the story line itself. For instance, in the film the main character is a sea captain who at first knows little about triffids. Triffids are seen as innocent plants which were brought to Earth by a meteorite. In the book, triffids' origin is obscure, but they are supposed to be experimental plants created in the laboratory. Men use them for industrial purposes but are well aware that the plants can be dangerous. William Masen has worked with triffids and knows all about them etc.

My father tells me there was a much more detailed BBC series from 1982 and recently they made a new adaptation which was on TV over here. I stopped watching right after I saw a woman who was large, in charge and barking orders to men.

Though the 1962 version is very different from the book, I still liked it exactly because you don't see such sort of things in the old film. In 1962 adaptation, women who encounter the walking monster plants scream and panic, while men fight valiantly and slay the dragon that is, the triffid. In the end, it's a man who discovers how to destroy them.

The film tells two parallel stories, one about the sea captain who travels through Europe with a little girl he saved in England trying to find some vestiges of civilisation, the other about  an alcoholic scientist living on a small isolated island with his wife who is forced to grow up and assume the responsibility when the couple's survival is at stake.

Unlike similar modern movies, it doesn't concentrate on blood and gore but more on the relationships between the characters and in a quite politically incorrect manner, shows that in the absense of civilisation women need men to survive. Another message of the film is that you must never surrender, but always fight to the last because there is always hope. In the end, the survivors go to church to offer thanks for their nearly miraculous rescue. To sum it up, though not a masterpiece, it's a nice film!

Watch it on YouTube: The Day Of The Triffids 1962

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer 2013 Decoration Trends

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that some magazines seem to specialise in publishing articles which denigrate housewives. Luckily, this trend started reversing and nowadays there are also some ladies'magazines which promote domesticity, especially the German ones. That's why every time I go there on vacation I can't help buying a whole lot of them, like this:

So today I\d like to tell you about the new interior decoration trends for 2013 according to Lisa Wohnen. For instance, all those who have cats will probably like this original idea for the cat toilet:

It's a DIY project which you build yourself and just place above the normal litter box. Isn't it cute?

The colour of the year is emerald green:

Another trend is flowers:

The magazine had a remodelling project for the bedroom after seeing which I decided to change a couple of things in our master bedroom, too. Since wicker furniture is also one of the trends, I substituted this boring plastic chair

with the one from the attic and I also bought new trendy cushions for it, like this:

Don't you all agree it looks much better? I also bought a couple of ornaments to hang above the bed, so that the wall 'doesn't look so bare any more:

Now I'm planning to paint the two closets we have in our bedroom a different shade of gray and to buy a high side table instead of a very low one, and the new look will be complete:) When I'm finished I'll post the pictures, so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

That's Why I Like Them, Too.

The readers of this blog have probably noticed that I often post links to retro movies on You Tube. I will freely admit that I prefer old movies to those recently made, though, of course, now and then I watch new films as well, mostly if I hear from someone that they are worth seeing. It appears that I'm not the only one.

Thinking Housewife recently had posted a letter   from one of her commenters about classic movies. He does a great job explaining what exactly is so special about them. Here is an excerpt:

"In such motion pictures, you will see no adolescent-witted people, feminoids, or boy-men.  You will see no women in pants. You will see no one in blue jeans, T-shirts, and baseball caps.  You will see grown-ups acting and speaking as grown men and women ought to act and speak – and once did, in life as well as in motion pictures. They do not crash automobiles, blow up buildings, launch revolutions, or perpetrate mass murder. Instead, they talk. But they do not talk the way cool people talk. Their speech is disciplined and measured. They do not stoop to profanity or the kind of smarmy, smart-aleck wisecracking without which Modernists would cease to exist. They speak beautifully and effectively, in complete sentences, with precision and restraint. There are segments of extended dialogue."

I'd add to this that old films also were based on traditional morality and evil was never allowed to triumph in the end.  Men and women were shown as complimentary to each other and the traditional feminine role was respected, not denigrated. Men were tough and in charge, and positive characters of both sexes were expected to behave honourably. Not all vintage movies were masterpieces but they all shared some standard of decency which can't be said about the entertainment of today.

Somewhat off topic, I really wanted to write about it yesterday, but the events in England  left me totally speechless. The worst thing about this whole gruesome attack was, imo, the fact that no one tried to stop the attackers. Not one person interfered except, as I heard, one lady who saw the lifeless body and tried to help. It's mind-blowing.

Well, I don't want to make this blog too negative, so I'll leave the discussion of what's going on in France for another time. I wish you well, dear readers:)

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm Back!

We just came back from our short vacation. We have been to Germany for the Pentecost weekend and despite the weather we still had a great time! Actually, it wasn't that bad, and on Saturday and the first half of Sunday it was even quite warm (at least, +16*C feels really warm after +8*C the day before:). However, all the good things come to an end, and so did this long weekend.

Here are some pictures my husband took:

Some old houses:

A castle on the hill:

Yours truly (for the newcomers, I'm the one with long hair with a white sweater on my shoulders in the left corner:)

 Flowers on a rock:

The view from the mountain:

A rustic corner:

I thought this song would go nicely with the pictures:

I hope you all had a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How To Enjoy Homemaking

A lot of modern housewives seem not to take pride in their occupation. When you ask them what they do they will tell you, "I'm just a housewife," in an apologising tone, as if they are secretly ashamed of themselves. Some women even will go so far as to say that they are searching for a job (though as years go by they still seem not to be able to find it). It's probably not surprising at all, considering the low status which homemaking currently enjoys.

However, while it's easy to point the finger at the state of society which doesn't value the family and traditional marriage as it should, the blame partly lies at our own feet. As housewives we should hold our heads high and be proud of the profession we freely chose. Others will judge all the homemakers by the way we behave and present ourselves. Staying home and managing the household should feel not like drudgery but like a privilege, so I decided to offer some tips on how to enjoy homemaking.

The first thing to do is to remember that the grass is always greener on the other side. Stop comparing yourself to career women. Their life may seem glamorous on the outside but you have really no way of knowing how it is on the inside. It may very well be that while you are envious of their freedom from domestic chores and that extra money they are secretly envying you because you get to stay home with your kids all day and don't have to spend your time listening to the office gossip. As for drudgery, it exists in every occupation.

Consequently, you should not spend too much time in company of people who make disparaging remarks about housewives or make you feel inferior in any way for not working outside home. Friends should respect each other, if your friends don't respect the choices you made, you'd probably be better off without them. Avoid negative people in general. A person like this may ruin your whole day. I'm not talking here about someone who just had a bad day, but about a person who consistently makes negative remarks about everything and is never happy.

Be careful in what you watch on the TV and the magazines you read. Unfortunately, modern media seems to take perverted pleasure in attacking the homemaker. One article I read went so far as to say that if you quit your job, you will die from heart attack in a half year time, from boredom. If any MSM personality is by any chance reading this blog, yes, that's the reason I'm not wasting any money on your trashy "ladies" magazines. I'm not subsidising people who hate me.

The same is true about many TV shows. A housewife must really have masochistic tendencies to watch the programs which constantly attack her and tell her how worthless and stupid she is. You'd spend your time much better  watching I Love Lucy or I Dream Of Jeannie or some other show like this where homemakers are respected.

Stop comparing yourself to other women. We are all different and each of us has her own strengths and weaknesses. You may never have such a spotless house as the lady next door, but may be you really can cook much better than her. While the housewife should take care that the house is looking neat and the meals are ready on time, there is still room for personal preferences in housekeeping. May be ironing is not your strong point, but your garden really looks great.

If you have children, teach them to help. You are the Queen of your castle, not a domestic servant and you should not allow your children to treat you as one. Of course, when you delegate certain tasks to the children, their age and abilities should be taken into consideration as well.

The next point to consider is that you are not a robot and need some time to rest. You'll probably accomplish more in one day if you  regularly take tea or coffee breaks. Try to plan your work so that you have some time left in the afternoon for a creative hobby, such as knitting or for reading a book in the garden. Working at home is not the same as working at a factory. You plan your own day and you can afford to slow down and relax sometimes.

It could be so that you feel rather lonely at home. Lots of women choose to work part-time for social contacts. However, it's not necessary to seek regular employment to meet people. You can join a gym or go to a swimming pool, you can become a member of a club, you can organise afternoon tea in your own home, or become friends with mothers at your children's school or with neighbours. The possibilities of meeting other people are endless, and it's all up to you.

The last thing I'd like to talk about today, is money. If you don't have an income, other people may look down at you because you don't contribute. It's typical for our materialistic times that we only value people for material benefits they bring. There are two things to consider, however. First, not everything can be measured in dollars and cents. Creating a cosy home for your family is certainly an achievement, even though you don't see it reflected on your bank balance sheet. Second, a good housewife is also a prudent manager and this will benefit her family materially as well.

Finally I'd like to say that our life is what we make out of it. Some people have a disposition to always be unhappy, in whatever circumstances. Try to look at the bright side instead. There are so many interesting things to learn and to do at home, especially now when we have internet and other modern conveniences. If you are bored at home try studying trigonometry instead of watching Oprah. I bet it will help!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's Coffee Time...Again!

My husband sent me an email yesterday. It contained the Starbucks coffee and cake recipe book. I got the hint and decided to bake something for coffee today. Since there still was one package of cranberries left in the freezer I decided it was a good opportunity to utilise it with this delicious cranberry cobbler as a result:

The recipe is economical since there are no eggs used. You will need:

1/4c butter, softened
1c sugar
1c flour
2tsp baking powder
1c milk
2c frozen cranberries
3/4c any clear juice

Cream butter and sugar. Combine flour and baking powder, add to butter mixture alternately with milk, stir until moistened and pour into a greased square baking pan. Put cranberries on top and pour juice all over. Bake at 350* F (175*C) for 45 to 50 min, serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream.

The recipe was adjusted from the blackberry cobbler recipe. You can substitute cranberries with any other sort of berries, fresh or frozen. In this case, cut the amount of sugar and milk to 1/2c. The cobbler is easy to make and can be eaten with tea or coffee or served as a dessert.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A 19th Century Glamour Girl

For the last couple of days I haven't been feeling well so that I had no energy for a long post , but as I'm now feeling better I'd like to  write about Empress Sissi, both the film and the historical character.

The Sissi-trilogy was made in the 1950s and it tells us the highly romanticised version of the real events in life of Elisabeth of Bavaria, later Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She is played by Romy Schneider, while Karlheinz Boehm plays Emperor Franz Joseph. There is also a new film about Sissi made in the 2000s which gives a much more detailed and realistic portrayal of her life and is, consequently, less pleasant to watch, as despite all the attempts of the narrators to present Elisabeth as a victim, one can't fail noticing that her character and manner of behaviour were far from perfect.

The old films follow the classic fairy tale pattern, where the girl meets the prince of her dreams and marries him, triumphing over an evil female adversary (a wicked stepmother, which in Sissi-trilogy turns into the wicked mother-in-law), and they live happily ever after (except that they don't). In the end of the last film Sissi overcomes a grave illness and reunites with her husband and her daughter.

Sissi is shown as a free spirit raised by loving parents to live in harmony with nature, while her evil mother-in-law is constantly trying to undermine her, apparently due to her in-born wickedness. In reality, her mother-in-law Princess Sophie was a woman who dedicated her whole life to her family and the Austrian monarchy, whose most important principle in life was doing her duty, in contrast to Elisabeth, who always did whatever the heck she wanted to do at the moment.

As for Sissi's parents, far from being an exemplary couple, at one point in her life her mother tried to get a divorce using the fact that her eldest daughter was engaged to the king, which circumstance made the king break the engagement (though in all probability he wasn't especially keen on this marriage from the very beginning.)

However, nobody is really interested in all those boring facts, and Sissi is remembered as a glamorous and tragic figure from the Victorian age. She was so much obsessed with staying thin that she never dined with her husband as she was following a special diet. The last years of her life they basically lived apart till her tragic death at the age of 61.

In the film, Franz Joseph's mother warns him against marrying Elisabeth, but he refuses to listen, and it is shown as the triumph of love over prejudice, but with years I have come to conclusion that she was probably right. Franz Joseph is one person I have  tremendous sympathy for, especially when one considers how his life was full of tragic events.

One of his daughters died young (partly due to Sissi's stubborness when she insisted on taking the sick child with her on a trip against the doctor's wishes), his son committed suicide (though nowadays there is information that he was probably murdered), his brother was executed in Mexico and his wife from whom he was separated was murdered in Switzerland by an Italian anarchist.

However, all these tragic events are not shown in the 1950s trilogy. It concentrates on the positive things in their life and promotes motherhood and family values, with beautiful costumes, splendid scenery and a happy-end. I would recommend it to anyone, young and old.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother, Home And Heaven by Mary J. Muekb:

Here are three words that sweetly blend,

That on the heart are graven;
A precious soothing balm they lend
They're Mother, Home and Heaven!

They twine a wreath of beauteous flowers,

Which, placed on memory's urn,
Will e'en the longest, gloomiest hours

To golden sunlight turn!

They form a chain whose every link

Is free from base alloy,
A stream where whosoever drinks

Will find refreshing joy!

They build an altar where each day

Love's offering is renewed;
And peace illumes with genial ray

Life's darkened solitude!

If from our side the first has fled,

And home be but a name,
Let's strive the narrow path to tread,

That we the last may gain!

Quoted from Golden Thoughts On Mother, Home And Heaven.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Value Of Staying Home

During the last discussion on my blog I got the following comment:

Even for the housewife, there will be times when she is spread quite thinly (babies, moves, illness, etc.), but when she is at home all day, even with many distractions, it really shows. (emphasis mine)
The lady who wrote it expressed a profound truth in one short sentence: the woman's presence in the house is important, even if she can't do much on a particular day (e.g. due to sickness).

There have been so many discussions lately on housewives vs. working women and it nearly always comes down to money, while the other aspect is totally overlooked. The biblical command for women to be keepers at home didn't mean that they never can try and generate some additional income, but it did quite literally mean that home is the place where the married woman is supposed to spend the chief part of her life.

Take, for instance John Calvin's commentary on the meaning of Titus 2: "...That they should also be tarriers at home, that they should be gentle and subject to their husbands. Whereas he saith that they should be tarriers at home: it appeareth to be a virtue that women ought to like well enough of, without any exhorting of them thereunto. For nature showeth it: and even the heathen men could well tell the same, insomuch that they made a great lesson of it in painting, (as a man would do of the shepherds Calendar,) likening a wife to a Tortoise or Snail, which carrieth his shell always with him on his back: even so, wives, ought not to desire to be gadding abroad. For why? If they be disposed to occupy themselves as God commandeth them: surely they shall always find enough to keep them occupied. For though they have never so small a house to look unto: yet shall they find business enough, so they be not willing to be idle. If they have a great household, then must they take the greater pains, if they mind to do their duty as they should do."

(Read the rest of the sermon over here ) It was by no means only his own point of view, but rather the general understanding of the meaning of the verse. Compare it with Matthew Henry:

Chaste, and keepers at home, are well joined too. Dinah, when she went to see the daughters of the land, lost her chastity. Those whose home is their prison, it is to be feared, feel that their chastity is their fetters. Not but there are occasions, and will be, of going abroad; but a gadding temper for merriment and company sake, to the neglect of domestic affairs, or from uneasiness at being in her place, is the opposite evil intended, which is commonly accompanied with, or draws after it, other evils. 1 Tim. v. 13, 14, They learn to be idle, wandering from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. Their business is to guide the house, and they should give no occasion to the enemy to speak reproachfully. (Read the rest here)

John Gill was a famous Bible scholar from the 18th century who also consulted Jewish sources in order to understand the Scriptures better. Here is what he writes on the issue:

Keepers at home: minding their own family affairs, not gadding abroad; and inspecting into, and busying themselves about other people's matters. This is said in opposition to what women are prone unto. It is reckoned among the properties of women, by the Jews, that they are twynauwy, "gadders abroad" {x}: they have some rules about women's keeping at home; they say {y}, "a woman may go to her father's house to visit him, and to the house of mourning, and to the house of feasting, to return a kindness to her friends, or to her near relations—but it is a reproach to a woman to go out daily; now she is without, now she is in the streets; and a husband ought to restrain his wife from it, and not suffer her to go abroad but about once a month, or twice a month, upon necessity; for there is nothing more beautiful for a woman, than to abide in the corner of her house; for so it is written, Psalm 45:13 "the king's daughter is all glorious within.""

And this they say {z} is what is meant by the woman's being an helpmeet for man, that while he is abroad about his business, she is tybb tbvwy, "sitting at home," and keeping his house; and this they observe is the glory and honour of the woman. The passage in
Isaiah 44:13 concerning an image being made "after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house" is by the Targum thus paraphrased: "according to the likeness of a man, according to the praise of a woman, to abide in the house."

Upon which Kimchi, has this note: "it is the glory of a woman to continue at home, and not go abroad." The tortoise, which carries its house upon its back, and very rarely shows its head, or looks out of it, was, with the ancients, an emblem of a good housewife.

(Read the entire chapter over here)

Somewhere I read a Catholic sermon on keepers at home which basically stated the same thing, but I lack time to search for it now.

While cleaning the house, shopping, meal preparation and other housekeeping tasks are certainly very important, the mere presence of the wife and mother at home greatly attributes to her family comfort. People who disagree with the traditional roles for women, often use the argument that with modern equipment housework can be done quickly and that's why when children reach school age mothers should go back to work (for women with grown children and childless homemakers there are apparently no excuses to stay home at all).

Those who say it don't understand that homemaking is more than just doing the laundry, which can be done by anyone, even by a hired help. Cheryl Mendelson explains it best in her Home Comforts, the modern housekeeping Bible:

"...what a traditional woman did that made her home warm and alive was not dusting and laundry. Someone can be hired to do those things...Her real secret was that she identified herself with her home...her affection was in the soft sofa cushions, clean linens and good meals; her memory in well stocked storeroom cabinets and the pantry; her intelligence in the order and healthfulness of her home, her good humor in its light and air. She lived her life not only through her own body but through the house as an extension of her body; part of her relation to those she loved was embodied in the physical medium of the home she made." (p.9-10, Scribner 2005).

Homemaking is not just an an occupation, it's a lifestyle. You can't identify yourself with your home when you spend the larger part of the day out of it. Have you never noticed how strange it feels when you return to an empty house after the day off with your family? There was nobody to keep the fire burning because everybody went away and you notice it when you come back. That's the traditional woman's role, to keep the home fires burning. That's why there is value in staying home in whatever situation, even if you have the live-in butler and maid, because homemaking is not only about scrubbing and cleaning. And if your children live on their own, or you have none, you still have your husband to create home for.

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home, and it's up to the wife to create it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Vintage-Inspired Entertainment

Below is a review of my book by a gentleman who read it:

Here is a review of  The Long Way Home, a book written by Sanne Wijker.
TLWH is a novel from Sanne Wijker, It is a mixture between  SF and Fantasy and takes place in the future and in another galaxy.
The book is about a young aristocrat man, his loyalty to his country and  friendship, with christian values. The home planet of the main character is a lot like victorian England with all the romance while the other planets are rough.
The book is separated in 3 parts, the first part is chiefly about the introduction of the main characters. The characters are described very well and you will learn a lot about their feelings, thoughts and backgrounds.In the second and third part there is a lot more action than in the first part, there are intrigues, fights and romance. well described , in a  way that you as a reader feel that you are a part of the book.
The main character falls in love with a girl who was a  former slave , but later finds out that she got married to another man.  At the same time his friend's sister falls in love with him. which makes it all more difficult. During conversations with an old lady, who reminds me of Miss Marple, the main character learns more about his background and this will influence him in making his decisions.
Some parts are described in full detail, here you notice that the author did some thorough studying on the subject before writing it down.As a man I found it a very captivating book with a lot of excitement, there are thrilling adventures but also some moments with fighting.
I can also recoment this book to women, because there are a lot of romantic moments in the book, like afternoon tea ceremony or a moment that they were playing the piano, old mansions, girls in long skirts. When you start reading it, it is difficult not to think of the Victorian England.
The book is in a handy format, and not to long, so you can pick it up easily during a coffee or tea break or when you have some spare time.
 As a Christian I found the book very pleasant to read because it has a message in it and the main character has his own thoughts about things like  duty,loyalty or marriage, just the way the Bible teaches us.
If you click on the icon on the right, under recommended reading , it will take you to the site where you can read the first chapter of the book.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Vintage-Inspired Life

Christian homemakers have often been accused of living in the past and wishing to recreate the Little House On The Prairie lifestyle. Well, it's probably partly true (though I'd like to point out that the Biblical command for married women to be keepers at home was not only meant for Victorian pioneer ladies).

The reason for this is that while nowadays housewives are generally denigrated (though it may start changing in the near future), in the past a homemaker was a respectable occupation and married women who chose to be one were spared the indignity of answering questions like so what are you doing the whole day? and when are you finally going to search for a job?

Consequently, the ladies'magazines instead of publishing tips about pleasing your 123d boyfriend in bed and twenty s8xy blouses to wear to work, or choosing a good daycare for your 2-month-old, had articles about menu planning, taking care of one's husband, instilling proper values in children and cultivating ladylike hobbies, such as gardening, knitting or embroidery. Advertisers were catering to housewives, too, and often showed a neatly dressed lady performing one or other housekeeping task.

Homemaking is actually not only about cleaning and cooking, but about creating a home. And, according to an old saying, "home is where Mother is." (Another good one is, ''man makes a living, woman makes the life worth living). The housewife is the center of a little domestic universe, when she leaves home for an outside employment, home disintegrates. In the times past they seemed to understand it better than now, and that's why we seek inspiration in old books and vintage magazines.

Add to this that the life was less chaotic, and people were generally content with less (an idea of a good vacation for children was a couple of weeks spent in the house of your aunt by the seaside), and you will understand the appeal of the vintage lifestyle for so many. Before someone points out that the past had its own problems, I'm fully aware of it (and our society is hardly ideal, either), but it doesn't mean that we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. While I'm glad about our modern dental care and other things, I think our society would only improve if we returned to the old idea of the woman as an angel in the house.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Busy As A Bee...

Have you ever noticed how the time flies? I always wonder at those women who complain about being bored at home, as I never seem to be able to find time for anything these days. With the weather finally  becoming warm I have been really concentrating on my spring cleaning and as a bonus activity I decided to catalogue our home library, and that is plenty of work.

I started with the books in the attic and so far did the two upper shelves of an antique finish bookcase made by my own dear husband. There are still three to go but at least I won't have to climb the ladder any more. I hope to be able to finish the job next week, so that I can move to the books in our bedroom, which are a lot!

Today I also accomplished something I wanted to do for weeks, namely, to plant some flowers on our terrace:

Don't these petunias look lovely? I also changed the winter bedspread for the summer one, which, by the way, I made myself:

Now I can finally wash the other one and store it away, hopefully till November at the very least, but with the weather nowadays one can never be sure. This summer bedspread has been my attempt at quilting, just as the tablecloth below:

Please pay attention to the table runner and the doily on the cupboard behind the table: they are a present from my neighbour and were crocheted by her mother. Aren't they beautiful? Here is a closer look:

I have several more of them, for instance this one in the living-room: 

In my opinion, hand-made things always add character to one's house, don't you agree? Yesterday we watched a great film which I hope to write about tomorrow or on Monday. Since I'm rather in a hurry, I'll keep this short. Have a nice weekend, all of you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wearing Dresses

The dress I bought with my birthday money.

Yesterday while watching the coronation ceremony I noticed that TV hosts were especially interested in the dresses the ladies were wearing. Just like royal weddings, it was a fashion show of sorts. Lots of women are glued to their tellies when a thing like this happens and afterwards all those beautiful clothes will be discussed at length.

Modern women seem to be very much interested in dresses, but by some reason they prefer watching them on the TV to wearing them. Isn't it strange? Dresses don't have to cost a fortune. In fact, you can buy a decent looking, knee-long summer dress at the market for as little as 15 euro. Shops are full of them, too. We are actually blessed to live in the times when there is so much choice.

Contrary to what some people think, you don't have to always wear heels with your dresses. A nice pair of flats will look well, too. If the dress is too low-cut, you can always wear a shirt underneath. Sleeveless dresses can also be nicely combined with cardigans. Dresses are cool in summer and in winter you can wear them with woolen tights/leggins and boots, and you will look smart.

I find it weird that for many people wearing dresses seems to be a religious issue, as if you have to belong to a certain church like Mennonites to wear them. Until the 1990s when grunge style took over, dresses were just normal feminine clothes for every day, and nobody stared if you wore them. I find them infinitely more comfortable than pants, especially tight jeans which will show every extra ounce of fat which you have.

When we visited Paris we stayed in a hotel and all the ladies of the hotel staff wore dresses. It was just normal uniform for women. and they cleaned the rooms and worked in the kitchen all while wearing a dress. Nobody seemed surprised at this, except us.

In fact, there are few things which you can't do in a dress. As shown in my post on  Victorian women and sports and the one on retro casual  a woman can do a variety of activities all while wearing one. And why should we copy men in the clothes we choose? Why should we not be proud of our femininity? Let's be honest, the popularity of historical drama and TV series like Poirot lies partly in the fact that the costumes they wear are so beautiful. Most women like frills and lace, but don't dare to wear them in everyday life.

Dresses, by the way, are very much in fashion. Burda Style alone has sixteen pages of dress patterns available. Even if you never wore one before, you could give it a try!