Friday, February 27, 2015

The Spanish Third

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

(Translation courtesy of this site )

Read about Tercios over here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Don't Be A Brat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay classy, ladies!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

From The Home Front

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Real Luxury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

More On Living Out Of The Pantry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Short Note

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Bus Trip Through 1950s Europe

I especially liked watching women in this short documentary: not only they managed to do all sorts of things while looking like women, but apparently, Patriarchy let them out of the house!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Story Of Regulus

Marcus Atilius Regulus was a Roman consul and general, who was taken prisoner by Carthaginians in 255 B.C. and charged by them with negotiating peace, but instead he pointed out their weakness to the Roman Senate and urged for war.  He had sworn to return back to Carthage, and this he did, knowing full well what it meant for him.

He was subsequently tortured to death (crucified by this account ) and has been remembered since that time as an example of Roman virtue (later historians claimed his wife avenged his death by killing two Carthaginian prisoners in the same manner).

Regulus served as an inspiration to the Roman poet Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus), who dedicated one of his odes to him:

...'Twas this that Regulus foresaw,
What time he spurn'd the foul disgrace
Of peace, whose precedent would draw
Destruction on an unborn race,
Should aught but death the prisoner's chain
Unrivet. “I have seen,” he said,
Rome's eagle in a Punic fane,
And armour, ne'er a blood-drop shed,
Stripp'd from the soldier; I have seen
Free sons of Rome with arms fast tied;
The fields we spoil'd with corn are green,
And Carthage opes her portals wide...

...His wife's pure kiss he waved aside,
And prattling boys, as one disgraced,
They tell us, and with manly pride
Stern on the ground his visage placed.
With counsel thus ne'er else aread
He nerved the fathers' weak intent,
And, girt by friends that mourn'd him, sped
Into illustrious banishment.
Well witting what the torturer's art
Design'd him, with like unconcern
The press of kin he push'd apart
And crowds encumbering his return...

(Quoted from here) You can also watch in on YouTube where it's read aloud in the original language:
Horace, Ode III.5, Regulus. 

Regulus has inspired Kipling to write a story with the same name, about a boys' boarding school. He is also mentioned in one of Laura Ingalls' "Little House On The Prairie" books, as she and Mary learn his speech by heart. Those two are probably the most famous examples, however, there seemed to be an 18th century English tragedy dedicated to him, which can be read over here.

Below is an excerpt, featuring the farewell speech of Regulus to his son (I changed the spelling slightly):

If Rome should raise thee to her highest Service
(As thou hast Merit  to expect her Honours)
Serve her for Love of Rome, and not of Interest;
Let Glory be thy second Motive only,
Thy Country´s Love be ever first, and dearest;
In Liberty´s Defence fight constant, single
Die with her - ´tis no Life if you survive her;
The greatest Glory of a free-born People,
Is to transmit that Freedom to their Children.

Search out for hidden Worth - and then reward it:
The noblest Prospect to a Roman Eye,
Is Greatness, lifting Merit up to Fame.

Let Falsehood be a Stranger to thy lips;
Shame on the Policy that first began
To temper with the Heart to hide its Thoughts!
And double Shame on that Inglorious Tongue,
That sold its Honesty, and told a Lie!

And that is the story of Regulus.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Day Links

A Valentine card from Lillibeth who blogs at The Pleasant Times:
A Valentine

Lady Lydia from Home Living demonstrates her annual Valentine Lunch for the ladies' Bible club:
Good Morning

Another good post from Lady Lydia:
Spiritual Benefits Of Leisure

Be grateful for what your husband does for you, says the lady from Happy Housewives Club:
Love, Love, Love

The next post will be interesting for those who are looking for new ideas to save money:
What we learned when we had to live out of our pantry

Aaron Clarey from Captain Capitalism writes about how the modern society disregards the needs of the children:
Debby Turrentine and the Child Outsourcing Industry

Related: Daycare appears not to be so good for children after all!
Children who spend time in nurseries "more likely to develop behavioural problems"

With Fifty Shades Of Grey hitting the theatres this weekend one pastor decides to baptise the book's copies:
Megachurch Pastor Ed Young to Baptise Copies of "Fifty Shades Of Grey"

What's Wrong With Equal Rights does a movie review:
Swiss Family Robinson

I wish all my readers a Happy Valentine Day!
P.S. Today is our wedding anniversary...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Advantages Of Being Married To A Housewife

I think the most popular post on this blog has been so far "The Advantages Of Being A Housewife". However, men who are married to housewives also have certain advantages. For instance, yesterday I was searching for tips for Valentine Day, and came across an article which suggested, among other things, asking your wife's boss for permission to come to her working place and read a poem.

Well, when your wife is a homemaker, you don't need the permission from other men (or women, for that matter) to read poems to your wife whenever you wish to! Her working place is her home and she has no other boss but you:)

Definitely something to think about.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Apple Chocolate Cake

This is an ideal recipe for those on a budget since it's very economical. The recipe is adapted from an American home cooking magazine, which, I'm told, is discontinued.

You will need:

1 1/2c flour
4 tbsp cocoa
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
+/- 1c water
4tbsp vegetable oil
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp vanilla extract
2 medium size apples, peeled and chopped
2/3 c sugar
cinnamon to taste

In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine water, oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract, add to the dry ingredients, stir until combined (add a bit more water if necessary). Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon, add to the batter. Transfer to a greased baking pan, bake at 175*C (350*F) for ab. 35 min.

Makes for a good dessert or a tea treat.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Pernicious Theory Of Human Sexuality

It's not a secret that I often find ideas for new posts by simply browsing the net. So some time ago I read a news site where folks were discussing ISIS (they come often in the news as of late) and related issues. One man was wondering how it was possible that there were women who would choose this type of guy and want to have a relationship with him. His curiosity sounded genuine enough but there was more than curiosity in his attitude. He saw women giving attention to that type of man as "reward" and wondered how can any woman reward a "bad" guy with her love.

I don't know how old this guy was but honestly what I find surprising is that there are so many men who are totally clueless about the way human sexuality works. If they are honest, they'll admit that men are attracted to certain physical attributes in women and that women who are perceived as "hot" are getting much more male attention, even if they have nasty attitudes, than girls who are more pleasant but plain. They understand the laws of attraction when they relate to men, but somehow think that it works different with women.

This ignorance is probably partly explained by the fact that at least since Victorian times (male) authors were writing books where women who had a choice between several men, invariably chose a good if boring guy to his dashing arrogant rival. This was portrayed as a reward for the said boring guy's great moral qualities. I vividly remember reading similar books as a teenage girl and always wondering why my sympathies were all for handsome scoundrels and not for boring "good guys".

Just to give you a couple of examples, one book was a story set in medieval England where the heroine was a daughter of  a Jewish convert to Christianity and his English wife, engaged to her English cousin. She got kidnapped by a handsome dashing Spaniard, an illegitimate son of a duke and an Arabian princess with ambitions for the throne of Spain. Predictably, she chooses her boring English cousin, because the other guy "is a scoundrel.'' She also bosses this said cousin around which made him even more beta in my eyes. Well, at least, he was good with the sword even though he normally worked as an accountant.

Another story is probably more famous as it was made into a movie called Quo Vadis. I watched it long ago and also read the book long ago, so I may be mistaken in some details, but the plot goes as follows: a dashing arrogant aristocrat Vinicius who is an army officer falls in love with a girl who is a hostage in Rome and a Christian convert. The girl rejects him because of his wickedness. Later he converts to Christianity and suddenly starts worshipping the ground on which the girl walks and later they marry. Well, personally I always found the arrogant wicked Vinicius in the beginning of the book much more attractive than the grovelling one.

What I'm trying to say is that the idea that women only get sexually attracted to "good guys" is just as ridiculous as an idea that any man would choose a virtuous but plain girl over a wicked "hot" one. Just like men, women are sexual beings and there are certain qualities in men which they find attractive, such as dominance, ambition, confidence and the like; in the same way that men find certain physical attributes attractive in women (we all know which). When you look at it this way as a man, you also won't get bitter because (some) women choose "bad boys". Sexual attraction is neutral, the same way men react to a beautiful woman, without even knowing what her character and morals are.

Now human attraction is, of course, a complex thing, and there is a difference between finding someone sexually attractive and a suitable marriage partner, for instance. You can also socialise both boys and girls to look beyond superficial sexual attractiveness to things which really matter in life; however, the danger lies in the fact that too many people, both men and women see female choices as moral in themselves, i.e. they are taught to believe that a woman will always choose a man based purely on his good morals, and not on other qualities, which appeal to her lower nature.

They effectively deny that a woman can possess this "lower nature" in the way the man does. As a result, we have the situation when grown-up men are surprised that some woman, any woman can "reward" unworthy man with her love. It's never good to deny reality. Let "the pretty lies" perish!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Feminine Manner, Part 2

Helen Andelin devotes the whole sub-chapter to the discussion of refinement. Refinement "implies good social breeding", otherwise knows as good manners, that is, such qualities as courteousness, consideration of the feelings of others, good taste, tact etc. (Fascinating Womanhood, p.260, Bantam Books, 1992).

A refined person is never impolite, crude or vulgar. Such a person won't interrupt other people speaking, monopolise the conversation, bring up the embarrassing subjects, or speak only about oneself.

A refined lady won't swear or use profane language. She will avoid doing certain things in public, such as blowing her nose. Another thing to avoid is to openly demonstrate your affection for your husband in public, by stroking his hair, for instance. This and similar displays of emotions belong in the private sphere.

Mrs Andelin reminds us that refined taste is shown in the way we dress, style our hair, use make-up, but also in interior decorating of our homes. The way to cultivate the refined taste is to study fine art and listen to good music. Refinement means basically being courteous in the company of others and avoiding to hurt other people's feelings unnnecessary.

We should also try not to impose on others, for instance by fishing for dinner invitations or constantly borrowing things from other people. Helen Andelin points out that a woman doesn´t need to be beautiful to be feminine. You still can attract men by being ´tender, soft, fun~loving...innocent and pure` even if you are not a classical beauty (idem, p.263).

Helen gives a couple of real life examples of the women who had improved their marriages by following her teachings. One story is that of a woman who was raised like a boy, worked hard on a farm and `never had any frilly feminine things` and used to think that `perfume...and frilly lingerie were for fancy town women who never did anything useful...´ (idem, p.265)

When she got married she went on to dominate her husband and to boss him around and he allowed her. As a result, their relationship deteriorated, they kept fighting about money, the dissatisfied wife found a job and started preparing for divorce. Fascinating Womanhood changed her life as she finally understood that the man needs his `freedom, acceptance, praise...and love` and that `feminine wiles and ways` are a better way to motivate him than aggressively pushing him into doing things. (p.266).

In the end of the chapter, Mrs Andelin reminds her readers that outdoor parties should not be seen as occasions to behave unfeminine, which is especially facilitated by wearing casual clothes (pants) and cautions against such actions as slapping men on the back, yelling, roaring with laughter and the like. She then sums it all up by providing a list of do´s and don´ts.

Next time I´ll discuss feminine nature.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Kipling

I remember this poem produced a lasting impression on me when I first read it as a teenager. It's considered one of the most significant of his early works:

 Danny Deever

"What are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.
"To turn you out, to turn you out", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes you look so white, so white?" said Files-on-Parade.
"I'm dreadin' what I've got to watch", the Colour-Sergeant said.
For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
The regiment's in 'ollow square -- they're hangin' him to-day;
They've taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away,
An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

"What makes the rear-rank breathe so 'ard?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's bitter cold, it's bitter cold", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes that front-rank man fall down?" said Files-on-Parade.
"A touch o' sun, a touch o' sun", the Colour-Sergeant said.
They are hangin' Danny Deever, they are marchin' of 'im round,
They 'ave 'alted Danny Deever by 'is coffin on the ground;
An' 'e'll swing in 'arf a minute for a sneakin' shootin' hound --
O they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'!

"'Is cot was right-'and cot to mine", said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's sleepin' out an' far to-night", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"I've drunk 'is beer a score o' times", said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's drinkin' bitter beer alone", the Colour-Sergeant said.
They are hangin' Danny Deever, you must mark 'im to 'is place,
For 'e shot a comrade sleepin' -- you must look 'im in the face;
Nine 'undred of 'is county an' the regiment's disgrace,
While they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

"What's that so black agin' the sun?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny fightin' 'ard for life", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What's that that whimpers over'ead?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny's soul that's passin' now", the Colour-Sergeant said.
For they're done with Danny Deever, you can 'ear the quickstep play,
The regiment's in column, an' they're marchin' us away;
Ho! the young recruits are shakin', an' they'll want their beer to-day,
After hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

Text quoted from here

Monday, February 2, 2015

From The Home Front

Today we had to put down our cat, Frodo. He's been sick for quite some time and finally the decision had to be taken. He was only 7 years old.

R.I.P. Frodo, we will never forget you!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pathfinder, A Review

Speaking about Lappland, today we watched a great movie called Ofelas/Pathfinder from 1987.

Ofelas is a Norwegian adventure story about the conflict between Sami people and Chudes. Chudes in the film are depicted as a band of merciless robbers which kill anyone who comes into their path, man, woman or child. The main character is a young man called Aigin who comes home from the day hunting only to find his family slaughtered by them.

Though wounded, Aigin manages to escape on one ski and is later rescued by another group of Sami, led by a wise shaman/pathfinder in whose village he meets his love interest, the girl who takes care of him while he is recovering from his injuries. Aigin is determined to avenge his family and tries to encourage the men to stay and fight, but they think differently. Chudes are trained killers, with better skills and weapons, and a group of hunters is hardly a match for them...

What you will see in this movie is very beautiful Nordic nature in winter, with lots of snow and ice, some of the old traditions of Sami tribes, bear hunting, skiing, scenes of daily life in a tribal village, and in general, quite realistic portrayal of how cruel men can be to each other when it comes to it.

What you won't see in this movie will be unrealistic fighting scenes lasting 20 minutes, warrior females in fur bikinis besting men twice their size, and anything overtly sexualised.

Here is the link to YouTube trailer. The movie can be watched whole on YouTube in Norwegian (called Veiviseren), and there is Part 1 available currently with English subtitles.