Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Results Of A Trip To Germany

So yesterday we went to Germany to make acquaintance with our new cat. On the way back I couldn't help buying some nice German magazines, as you can see.

The one on top is called Wohnen & Dekorieren (Living And Decorating) and besides decorating tips, it also features summer fashions:

DIY projects:

and Bavarian cooking:

Another magazine is called Wohnen & Geniessen (Living And Enjoying):

and basically covers the same topics: creating a cozy home, outdoor parties:

and housekeeping tips:

The last one is called Einfach Hausgemacht (Simply Made At Home):

and besides all sorts of recipes including homemade noodles, it also has ideas for the Easter centerpiece:

and a reportage about the Easter brunch:

Since our weather is about as nasty as one can imagine (we are having a storm and the barometer keeps dropping), and the outdoor parties of any kind are something I can only dream about at the moment, I'm eagerly looking forward to at least, reading about such things, and, of course, enjoying the beautiful photography and searching for the ideas.

Happy Palm Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How To Be Pleasing To Your Husband

It used to be that simply being a wife, a married woman was considered a job in itself, even without children present or with grown children, but not now any more. There is nothing more shocking to the mind of a feminist as the idea that it's the wife's job to make her husband happy, or to be generally pleasing to men. They react to it in the same manner as the vampire reacts to garlic. So in the light of the national "Offend A Feminist" week I'm presenting you with this article.

There are certain things which men usually find pleasing. They like a neat, well-organised household where meals are nutritious, smell nice and are served more or less on time. Keep your husband well fed and he won't waste family money by eating at a restaurant, as some do. While preparing the meals, keep in mind that men can have different taste in food than women.

As Mrs Andelin points out in The Fascinating Girl men like such things as "beef stew, roast beef and potatoes, fried chicken and biscuits, crisp green salads and apple pie with ice cream." They also like "homemade bread, rolls and muffins" and any food with "a savory aroma" such as "chicken soup, homemade bread and cinnamon rolls." They usually don't like "casseroles, wieners, cold cuts and prepared foods". (F.G., p. 105)

Men like women who keep their figure even after childbirth, have long hair and dress and behave femininely. They like their wives to be careful with money, to economise and to be good financial managers, but at the same time, to be reasonably well-dressed (nobody really likes slobs and it's a low class behaviour, too).

As we have already established on this blog, they don't really enjoy picking up housework and they generally resent honey-to-do-lists (really, what can be more emasculating than being bossed around by your wife as some sort of domestic help. If you really can't cope with housekeeping, ask him to hire you one, most men are open to the proposition if the finances aren't very tight).

Men like some romance in the bedroom, so try to find a reason to wear this nice lingerie set he bought you several years ago, and arrange for the bedroom to look inviting. In general, the man likes to be treated like the King of his castle. He likes it when he comes home from work and you meet him with a cup of coffee, looking fresh and cheerful (there is a lot to be said for the custom of taking a bath/shower and changing for dinner).

Now you are going to ask me why you should be doing all these things. The reason is twofold: first you owe it to your husband, second, you owe it to yourself. If you have a traditional marriage, your husband is likely out there working more than an average amount of hours to provide. Since he makes a living, it's your duty to make his life worth living (and to keep him from straying, too).

You owe it to yourself, because he may be the king, but you are his queen. A well-bred, high status woman won't have a messy home and won't look and behave like a slob. It's a matter of self-respect to look refined and dignified and not to allow your dwelling place to turn into a pigsty. Plus, excercising and eating well will keep you healthy and go a long way to preserve your looks (at least, partially), into your forties and fifties.

It's also a matter of character, because more often than not, it's laziness that keeps many women from achieving their goals. Be a domestic goddess and your husband will treat you like one, and that is the point:)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Clash Of The Titans, 1981

It's time for another movie review. This post will be about the original version of this movie, from 1981. There also exists a 2010 remake which I haven't watched, so I can't say anything about it, good or bad.

Clash Of The Titans is a fantasy story, loosely based on Greek myths,which depicts the adventures of Perseus, Zeus' illegitimate son, and his quest to save his fiancee Andromeda and to rid her kingdom of the horrible sea monster Kraken, the last of Titans.

Andromeda had been once betrothed to Prince Calibos, who was turned into an ugly satyr by Zeus, the chief of the Olympian gods, for his cruelty. By way of revenge, he puts a curse on her, which prevents her from marrying any man except the one who can give a correct answer to a riddle which changes every day. If the suitor fails, he is burned at the stake. Perseus fights with Calibos, cuts off his hand, learns the answer to the riddle and saves Andromeda from the curse. Unfortunately, in doing so, he also angers the sea goddess Thetis, the mother of Calibos.

During the wedding ceremony, Andromeda's foolish mother boasts that her daughter is more beautiful than Thetis herself, thus giving the goddess the perfect reason to ask Zeus for retaliation. Andromeda must be sacrificed to Kraken, unless Perseus will find the way to save her (which he does).

The movie was rated PG, and outside of brief nudity has virtually no offensive material of any kind. Unlike similar fantasy stories like Conan The Barbarian and Red Sonja it features no female warriors (if we don't count the monstrous Medusa, that is) and is developing along pretty conventional fairy tale line. The knight in shining armour (with a shining shield really) rescues the damsel in distress (who is pure and virginal and very beautiful) and marries her. He has to fight hideous monsters (some of whom female) and to prove his manhood before he gets his kingdom. They beget sons and daughters and live happily ever after.

I can safely recommend Clash Of The Titans to anyone interested. Here  is the link to the original trailer. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

In Defence Of "Marriage Of Convenience"

I'm probably going to shock you all with my suggestion that we should give the marriage of convenience a chance. Marriage of convenience has acquired an extremely bad reputation throughout the ages, especially with the Romantic movement rising into prominence. Women marrying out of convenience have been universally stigmatised as gold-diggers and worse. The only true marriage we are told, is one based on romantic love, pure and undefiled. Is it really so?

What is the greatest problem with marriage in our modern society? I believe it's the high divorce rate. Yet even in the 19th century divorce was still considered outrageous by the society and in many cases prohibited, or at least, severely restricted, yet nowadays we have no-fault divorce and most people find it perfectly normal. How did we come to this?

Well, it all started with changing the meaning of marriage. Since people in the West came to believe that the only true and sacred marriage bond was the one based on the feeling of romantic love, the next logical step was to conclude that if one of the partners stopped experiencing this feeling, it would be immoral to force him or her to stay with some they didn't love any more.

Marriage used to be viewed as a contract, or a covenant, if you prefer this word. It was like joining the army. You exchanged solemn vows in the presence of witnesses, to stay together for better for worse, till Death do us part. It was considered despicable to break one's vow, in the same way it was considered despicable to be a deserter.

If you exchanged the vows in a proper way (which was somewhat different in different countries), you were considered married before God. Once you consummated your marriage, you were married before men. Whether you felt properly in love during these ceremonies or afterwards, didn't legally matter at all. Once you gave your word, you were in for it.

Since feelings weren't considered the centre point of marriage, something else was, and more often than not, I'm afraid, it was very unromantic pecuniary considerations, especially among society's better circles. You married someone who belonged to a good family and well established in the world. For a woman, it meant a man capable of providing a decent living, on the level she had been accustomed to, or better if possible. Most women didn't marry the Prince Charming of their dreams and didn't expect to, and because they had no unrealistic expectations, they were seldom disappointed.

Nowadays women are taught to "follow their heart" (which, I'm afraid is a polite euphemism for following one's lust) and then once married, to expect their whole life one exciting adventure. What is worse, they are taught that it all depends on the man, not the woman, and their overworked husbands who come from work and are more often than not met with honey-to-do lists, should treat them as the princesses they are. It's not the wife's job any more to keep her husband, it's the husband's job to keep his wife.Yet those modern sophisticated egalitarian marriages fall apart with the rate of about 40% (in my country).

In the marriage of convenience, on the other hand, both parties discuss beforehand what they expect of each other. A woman knows very well she got herself a good provider and that there are other women who'd like to have him,too, so she'll do her best to keep him. I personally know several such marriages which are quite successful, while all those love matches are falling apart left and right. Because "I love you, you pay my rent'' goes a longer way than "I'm a strong independent womyn with my own paycheck, hear me roar" and the disinclination to divide and thus diminish common property is often a darn good reason to overlook those small faults in your significant other.

And before you all start attacking me for promoting gold-digging, well, it was written tongue-in-cheek, but only partly:) 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Fashions 2015

I guess I belong to the sort of people who never learn, or I must be hopelessly optimistic as I bought this magazine once again, despite all my misfortunes connected with it:

As you can see on the cover, it has various dress, skirt and accessories patterns, such as detachable collars.

I particularly liked this dress, though it's quite complicated:

It funny how they suggest that their models are suitable for office wear or leisurely activities, but there is not one of them promoted as suitable for a homemaker to go about her duties. Apparently we either don't exist, or should go around dressed in rags. Well never mind, at least they are promoting feminine styles. The magazine has, in fact, only 2 patterns for trousers, one for shorts, the rest are all skirts and dresses, so how can someone claim typically feminine clothes aren't in fashion, is beyond me:

If dresses are really not your thing, it has an abundance of skirts with variants of what can be done with one pattern:

They have shorter, straighter, more businesslike and less frivolous skirt patterns as well as jackets and blouses, to go together with them, too.

It's now difficult to say whether with me it stays by watching, or I'll try my hand at something. If I do, I'll probably start with the model above, since it's an easy pull-on skirt with elastic waist, which nicely corresponds to my general abilities as a seamstress, though I like the red dress as well. Would make it slightly longer, though.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sick Note

aka Murphy and the Bricks, aka the Bricklayer's Song

Since March is kinda an Irish month:)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stress And The Modern Woman

We all have to deal with stress at one time on our life, however, I believe that modern society contributes greatly to this problem by the demands it places upon us.

In the times past, people generally were aware of the fact that there existed certain differences between the sexes rooted in biology. Women were on average considered more fragile, "the weaker vessel". Though they didn't discuss various female conditions such as menopause during dinner parties, like they are doing now, everybody was well aware of the fact that female reproductive system is more complicated than male and basically affect the woman's whole life.

Then the feminists came along and started their song about "strong independent women" and how they had been always kept down by men, without explaining how it was possible for one sex to oppress the other if those sexes are equal. Women were told to "man up", and female weaknesses became the incessant object of ridicule, like the proverbial Victorian fainting couch.

Now, granted, some exceptional women probably profited from certain restrictions being removed and went out and achieved in the male world and stuff, however, I'm fairly certain that the majority of average women lost society's understanding and protection when it comes to certain specific female vulnerabilities.

The simple fact of nature is that while I don't entirely agree with the statement that biology is destiny, it certainly affects us to a much greater degree than egalitarians allow us to believe. For instance, women have about 20-25% lower lung capacity than men which means that a female in her prime will have lung capacity comparable to a man in his fifties and sixties. PMS has its own Wiki article 
and hot flashes can be so debilitating that they require treatment. You may consider this information sexist, but it's a plain fact of life that women are, on average, weaker than men and can suffer from the whole range of conditions because of their biological makeup.

Since we collectively choose to ignore these uncomfortable facts, women are taught not to whine, to pop a pill and continue performing their duty to economy, which, I'm sure, is the chief cause of so much stress among modern women. The whole life pattern of a modern woman is based on this of a man. First she goes to school where she is expected to perform on the high level, because otherwise she won't be able to get higher education and to compete with men in the workplace.

Then comes the college and university, years working at a job 40 hours a week, then you are allowed to take a break for a couple of kids, than back to work you go, until 65 (in some countries 67 and 68). Ambitious parents push their daughters into competitive sports even though the girls suffer sport~related injuries more often than young men.The madness went so far that we now have pregnant women running marathons, never mind the fact that they may suffer incontinence later.

We are told that it´s OK because some (dirt poor) women delivered their babies in the field, though those pushing it conveniently forget to tell us how many of them died from sepsis, bleedings and various complications.

I could go on and on but I guess you see the picture. Women are supposed to be exactly like men and just keep on going until...well, I guess until they break down completely, mentally and physically. Christian sites aren´t much better as they keep convincing women how they must all have 10 kids, homeschool, make all their meals from scratch and run profitable home businesses inbetween making all their own clothes and changing diapers.

With the exception of Lady Lydia I hardly know anyone who is advocating for women to rest and set some time apart every day for just enjoying life instead of making money or serving in some ministry. Men don´t show much understanding, either, which is not surprising, when we consider the conditioning they undergo in modern society. I always chuckle when I read how yet another man says that all women with children of the school age should start working because there is really nothing to do at home, `since housework is so easy`.

First, they freely admit that they do less housework because they see some of it as pointless. Second, of course, it´easier for a man, since he is also much stronger.

I know I´m not going to convince those who don´t believe in the `gender` differences to agree with me, but that wasn´t my original point in writing this post. I just want to support those ladies who feel they can´t keep up with the insane modern pace of life and allow themselves to sit in the garden on a sunny day, to drink a cup of tea with a dear friend and to stay in bed an hour longer when it´s possible. You may feel attacked by the neo~puritan `Arbeit macht frei` brigade, but your health will thank you years later.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Finally...It is So Far

As with all my craft projects, it took me several months but finally I finished it:

I changed the pattern slightly as I was supposed to knit a separate band, to twist it in a particular manner and to sew it to the lower part of the vest. It was a lot of headache so I gave up and added the finishing touch with the help of a crochet hook.

Here is how it was supposed to look:

Not exactly the same thing, but in general, I'm content!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Are Men Doing Their Fair Share?

If you probably remember, we had to put down our cat last February, after about three weeks of fighting for his life. Since my husband works, this whole affair was solely my business and I had to take the final decision (though I phoned my husband at his work, just to share the responsibility a little).

I did feel somewhat resentful because it wasn't mine cat, it was our cat and my husband probably loved him more than me. It wasn't the first time, either, since it was the same story with our previous cat. When I was talking about it with a close relative, she said: "How typical for men. They are never doing their fair share, always letting women deal with all the unpleasant things."

At that time I didn't know what to say, but I kept pondering her words and then I thought that my husband was doing his fair share. He went to work every day so that there was enough money to pay the vet bills (which were very much on the high side) and that I could stay at home and deal with this and other problems. Men providing the income are doing their fair share!

When you are the one staying home it's easy to feel resentful sometimes. Since the husband is away during the day, managing the household and dealing with the children, relatives and pets is largely your responsibility. Feminists have used this discontent to create discord between husbands and wives, and men and women in general.

Our society keeps criticising men for being "workaholics" and that they are never there for their families and children, and thus are lousy husbands and fathers. Just yesterday we were watching a TV series about WWI where one character was telling his story to someone and mentioned how unhappy his mother had been and how she had left her husband in the end because he was only interested in working and making money. Never mind that with this money he paid for his son's expensive education while other boys had to start working at 12 in those times. We are supposed to sympathise with his wife who broke her wedding vows.

Here is a novel thought: men and women are different and they contribute to the welfare of the family in different ways!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

An Introduction

Some new members of our household:

Since we still have to wait several weeks for our new kitten, my husband went and bought me some guinea pigs. He says there is a girl who made a lot of money by posting YouTube videos about the life of guinea pigs, so may be by posting these pics I'll find a new source of income:)

Here are close-ups. This is Vigga:

She has red eyes and is very naughty.

This is Freya, there in the corner:

She didn't like being photographed. She also bites and damages wallpaper, as you can see. All my friends like them, they are really funny if somewhat (or even a lot) stupid. Guinea pigs are easy to take care of and don't cost much. Children usually like them too, though I never noticed they return the affection:)

Can be ideal pets for a busy family. Don't you  all think mine are like super cute?:)))

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"A Cat Would Be A Better Mother..."

That I believe is what Rhett Butler once said about Scarlett O'Hara. I remembered these words while looking for a kitten on the internet. Most people who are trying to sell kittens mention in their advertisements what a wonderful mother their cat is. She takes good care of the little ones, never leaves them alone etc etc.

I thought how crazy it was that our society understands very well what makes a good mother when talking of cats and yet encourages young mothers to leave their babies in the care of others and go back to work as soon as possible.

The other thing which folks mentioned in their ads, was that the father was present or known, and you could even see his picture if you wished to. Again, we seem to understand the importance of fathers when it comes to dealing with animals, yet women are told by the liberal society that fathers aren't important when it comes to human children.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ganz Schoen Pastell

A book review.

Ganz Schoen Pastell is a German title of a book on interior decoration which originally was published under the name Pretty Pastel Style in 2013. I bought it last year in Aachen. The authors are Selina Lake and Joanna Simmons, the photographs were made by Catherine Gratwicke.

As its name says, the book deals with decorating your house in pastel colours, and it is divided into three parts. Part 1 gives examples of how pastels can fit with different styles, such as modern, vintage, minimalistic and so on.

Example of Pastel Vintage:

Part 2 discusses such things as the choice of furniture and accessories, the fabrics, the lighting and how you can combine all these details into one whole.

In Part 3 the reader is taken through different parts of the house, with suggestions for every room: kitchen, living room, bedroom, home office, bathroom, children´s room and finally the garden:

Some of the pictures were taken in private people´s houses while others were staged specially for the purposes of giving an example of a certain style. The book provides links to the blogs and websites of the individuals and businesses featured in it (though some of them disappeared or were deleted). Most were/are Scandinavians which is not surprising when we consider how popular Scandinavian style in interior decoration is nowadays.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and it gave me some nice ideas on changing things in my own house. The photographs are great and the text is down to the point. The only two drawbacks were the book´s price (it was quite expensive) and the fact that I had to deal with the German edition of it and my German is not so good, though I could read it.

I could recommend this book to everyone interested in modern trends in interior decorating.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Are You Sure You Want A Traditional Marriage?

It has become rather fashionable nowadays to complain about the females of the species and their unsuitability for marriage, and also about the fact that marriage itself has changed as an institution.

It's true that traditional marriage had certain specific "gender" obligations, but they didn't apply only to women, but to men as well. Namely, a man seeking to marry had to prove to the girl's father that he belonged to a good family, was healthy and capable of providing an income.

Here is an extract from a Dutch 1930s book on the rules of decorum concerning marriage proposal (translation mine):

If both young people agree, the young man has to ask permission by the girl's father...
Sir, says he, I came to ask your permission to get engaged to Marietje. I understand that you, of course, want to know everything about myself, my family and my circumstances.

The young man sums up: names on father's and mother's side of grandparents and parents, the profession of father and grandfather, and the possible famous personalities which belong to the family. Further, his age, health, religion, education...diploma's, work, income, future prospects and names of persons with good reputation who can vouchsafe for him. 

It wasn't just a formality, either, since you weren't allowed to marry without the parents' permission till the age of 30. The law was abolished only in the 1960s.

Feminism emancipated women from their traditional obligations, but it emancipated the men also, as the majority of them get married nowadays with the full expectation that their future wife will help provide, at least, until children come. As I have previously pointed out, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Science Proves What We Know

Men don´t like doing housework.

According to the latest research done in this egalitarian paradise, Sweden, as married men take on the traditional feminine chores, they grow dissatisfied and tend to view it as unfair. Even though in all those `egalitarian` countries women report on average that they are still doing about 75% of all the housework. According to men, though, their share is 31% . As you see, the numbers don´t add up and both sexes feel themselves put upon.

I´m glad to report that my country didn´t make it to the list of the top feminist countries where men report doing their 50%:) Of course, USA, UK, Australia, Sweden and strangely enough, Poland and Mexico appear to be the countries with the most feminised men. The more egalitarian the country is, the more dissatisfaction the men show with the division of domestic chores and the more they complain about unfairness. Men in more traditional countries, like Japan, don´t complain that much if they have to help around the house. According to a feminist researcher, the reason for this is that Japanese men are less aware that housework exists.

Personally I believe that in Western countries people tend to be much more obsessed with fairness and equality. Of course, it could also be that men feel themselves more emasculated by the society in general, hence they protest.

Women in egalitarian countries aren´t happy, either. They are less satisfied with their family life, which is logical, since they have to juggle their traditional responsibilities with earning a living and nagging their husbands into doing their fair share of housework. So here you have it, straight out of the mouth of the feminist itself: egalitarian family life is lousy, leaves both men and women dissatisfied (and will eventually bring you to the divorce court), but it´s apparently a small price to pay for the building of an utopia.

The god of gender equality is a jealous one. 
 men are more likely to be unsatisfied with their share of household duties as they report taking on a greater share of household chores,

Read more at:
married men are more likely to be unsatisfied with their share of household duties as they report taking on a greater share of household chores,

Read more at:
married men are more likely to be unsatisfied with their share of household duties as they report taking on a greater share of household chores,

Read more at:
married men are more likely to be unsatisfied with their share of household duties as they report taking on a greater share of household chores,

Read more at:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Allow Yourself To Be Domestic

My new centerpiece.

Here is a close-up:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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