Friday, September 29, 2017

I'm Back!

Hi everyone! I'm home again and comment moderation is switched back to normal. Will post again soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Present Day Hobbits

The video below tells an incredible story of a man diagnosed with a debilitating disease who went and built his dream house in a cave, in exact same location that first gave J.R. Tolkien his ideas about hobbits:

His cave is a rather luxury abode, but in the next installment of my wonderful house series we'll talk about the guy who lives underground on 5000 a year:)

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Short Personal Note

I'm leaving for a couple of days, so all the comments will go into moderation until my return. I planned a post which will go up during my absence though, so stay tuned:)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What I've Been Up To

No, I haven't disappeared, I just had an incredibly busy week. One of the things I've done was baking sourdough bread.

For starter, I used this recipe, however, later I switched to the instructions from here.

I was rather creative in following them, so it took me a longer time to create a starter of my own, plus I used a lot of wholegrain spelt flour I had which wasn't exactly a great success, imo. Luckily, I don't have it anymore:)

This was enough for two (smallish) breads:

Bread number 1 didn't quite rise enough after about 4 hours. As you see, you have to bake it in a pan so I used a cast-iron one:

Which again, wasn't a great success since the enamel started melting!

The result is above, not very glamorous and quite sticky inside, but eatable, my first sourdough loaf!

The second loaf spent the night in the fridge and rose better as a result. I also switched to stainless steel pan. It also turned out considerably better but still on the sticky side:

As you can see, it's much more plump. Next time, I'll probably try adding some rye flour instead of spelt!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Should We Bring Back Dueling?

The last official duel in France was fought in 1967. Yes, you read it correct:) One politician called another a name during a debate and refused to take it back, and thus the duel ensued. It was filmed, and can be watched on YouTube:

It just made me wonder. Should dueling be legal? Wouldn't it be fine if politicians nowadays could be officially forced to answer for their words and deeds in a similar manner? And not only politicians, but anyone who has a habit of shooting his mouth off? What do you think? After all, it's a longstanding Western tradition, more or less:)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Homemaking Is A Healthy Occupation

as opposed to sitting in the office for hours on end:

Sitting on one's butt for a major part of the day may be deadly in the long run — even with a regimen of daily exercise, researchers say.
In an analysis that pooled data from 41 international studies, Toronto researchers found the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death, regardless of regular exercise.
"More than one half of an average person's day is spent being sedentary — sitting, watching television or working at a computer," said Dr. David Alter, a senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, who helmed the analysis.
"Our study finds that despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, this alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease."

Read the whole article over here and don't forget the comments from offended desk job types, they are pure gold:)

Of course, a housewife can be at risk, too, especially if she is older and has no small children to take care of, or if she spends most of her time in her car, driving to various activities. Spending the whole time locked inside with your TV/smartphone or in your car is not healthy! There are lots of things one can do to improve the situation, like walking or bicycling instead of driving, taking a dog to keep you active if the children left home, gardening or having another hobby which will keep you outside at regular intervals, and, of course, don't forget that housework, cooking and baking can also count as a workout since they will keep you on your feet. A housewife is the primary caregiver of the family, often including extended family which means we should take trouble to be in top physical condition! Men, children and pets depend on us:)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

You Know It's Autumn...

...when you've spent the whole weekend making preserves:

In what my mother called "my Jane Austen dress"

It's getting too cold for it, though...

The bottom-feeder:

We are kindly people, we didn't kill him:)
How are you preparing for autumn?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Harry Brown

Harry Brown is a British movie from 2009 which can be best described as "revenge p*rn". The plot is rather simple. Harry Brown is an elderly gentleman in reduced circumstances which means that he is forced to live in a "bad" part of the city where criminal "youths" fight, deal in drugs, weapons and prostitutes and occasionally commit murder.

Harry's daughter died many years ago and his wife is dying. Besides her, the only person he appears to be attached to in this world, is his old friend Leonard, and he is threatened and harassed by the criminal gang running the neighbourhood. Soon afterwards, while Harry is still mourning the passing away of his wife, the police knock at his door to inform him that Leonard was murdered. Yet, it doesn't take long for the suspects to be freed to roam the streets again, the all too common situation in many Western countries.

Then one night Harry is attacked on his way home from the bar where he was getting plastered the whole evening. However, there is one thing the attacker doesn't know, namely that Harry Brown isn't just some random old guy, he is a retired Royal Marine and he has killed before...

The movie is short, dark and to the point. It succeeds in depicting the social decay of a modern city and the whole atmosphere of hopelessness and degradation, and it doesn't glamourise the criminals like some Hollywood productions are prone to do, but instead shows them as irredeemable scum the only way to deal with which is to eliminate it which makes the film essentially very illiberal.

The main character is fully prepared to unleash his inner savage and to fight fire with fire and cruelty with cruelty; and yet, despite the overall darkness of the film, you get a shot of positive energy when you finished watching it because it makes you believe that if one man decides to stand up and fight, things can change for the better, and the fact that this man is elderly and sick and not some superhero only adds to this feeling.

Speaking of men...another thing which distinguishes Harry Brown from many American films is the way the female police inspector comes across. She can be irritating at times, she kinda sees the light in the end, but the fact is that she reacts and behaves like a woman. She gets scared. She doesn't turn into Rambo in the crucial moment and she doesn't save the day with karate kicks and machine gun fire. She gets rescued by men. This alone will probably make the movie worth seeing for some:)

So if you are into dark European drama, you should definitely watched this film, however, the subject matter and graphic violence make it unsuitable for kids.

Here is the trailer:

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Dangers Of Veganism

I have wanted to write this post for a long time since I've been doing some research on nutrition and experimenting with my diet. I was never into veganism or vegetarianism, but there was a period when I cut on meat and dairy which led to dental and other problems. The only vegetarian I knew in real life (not a strict one, mind you, as she ate fish, eggs, milk products and occasionally, liver) developed fatigue and was diagnosed with anemia even though she was older (you know what I mean). Now she eats meat occasionally and feels better.

Here are some articles to make you think:

From New York Post:
a young woman develops amenorrhea, gets death threats after declaring on her blog that she quits veganism

 A blogger decides to eat only raw vegan foods, with predictable results. Also touches on dangers of extreme weight loss fixation

A baby dies from malnutrition, vegan parents accused of child neglect.

From New York Times:
vegan parents whose child died convicted of murder

An Italian baby severely malnourished, vegan parents lose custody

A case of animal cruelty, from HuffPost:
a kitten fed strict vegan diet nearly dies, saved by meat

Vegetarian diet not necessarily more healthy, a study

And, it can cause mental health problems

Vegetarianism promoted by certain  religious denominations and what the Bible says

I'd like to put a DISCLAIMER, that what you eat is naturally your own personal business. There are enough sources promoting vegetarianism and veganism, it's interesting to look on the other side.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

China Rethinks Feminism

Feminists predictably upset:

Recently, state media and some local governments have publicly campaigned about the virtue of “women returning home.” Quoting expert opinions, a February 2016 article by the state news agency Xinhua said women being at home was, “not only beneficial to the growth of children, the stability of the family,” but also had, “positive effect on the society.” A recent article by the government-controlled China Youth Daily said women were, “more suitable to stay at home and look after children.” In 2015, the Beijing government hung a poster in the marriage registration office: “Being a good housewife and good mother are women’s biggest achievements.”

Can you imagine the horror?  Read the whole article:
China tells women to go home and live well

Friday, September 1, 2017

Have You Noticed...

...that women talk to their own children in a different manner than to children of somebody else? Even if they in general like these children, there is still a difference so that one always can distinguish between a caregiver and a real mother (DISCLAIMER: I'm not talking about foster parents, which is quite a different situation).

It's sort of like nurses who always try to address their patients in that pretend cheerful tone:) They mean well, but no one ever talks to his family in this way...