vrijdag 20 oktober 2017

The Importance Of Having A Clean House

I keep hearing stories about people whose houses are incredibly messy, like the dishes are left unwashed for long periods of time, dirty clothes and wet towels are thrown on the floor and stay there for weeks, dogs are allowed to do their thing in the back yard and it's never cleaned, this sort of thing.

A filthy house can be a sign of mental problems, such as depression, or addictions, such as drug abuse, but more often than not its owners are just incredibly lazy. The point is, however, that a messy and filthy home can constitute health hazard and if small children live in it, it could even be a reason for CPS to interfere, like in this story. It's not just bad housekeeping, it's considered "neglect", whether we like it or not.

If you do a Google search, you'll find plenty of articles discussing health problems which can arise from not cleaning regularly. Granted, most of them include ads of cleaning companies, yet though they are advertising, they are largely correct. If dust is not removed regularly and bed linens are left unchanged for longer than 2 weeks, it can trigger allergies and asthma attacks, dirty kitchen and bathroom lead to spreading of harmful bacteria, messy cupboards will attract pests etc etc. I guess those are facts most people will agree about.

Yet, a house can be relatively clean and still cluttered to the max, which is both a fire and health hazard as well, so it should be regularly decluttered. Now the problem is that doing all this stuff on a regular basis takes time, and that is something which modern two income households often lack. Also, modern people often vaguely associate cleaning (and cooking,  but that's a story for another time) with patriarchal Stone Age cavemen and some even appear proud to never engage in something so reactionary, which is, of course, ridiculous considering all the info on the connection between a clean house and good health, including mental health.

Folks nowadays won't hesitate to spend exorbitant sums on eating out and vacations but would never think of hiring a cleaning company which could be a solution for busy dual income couples. If money's really tight and still they both have to work, they should divide chores as best they could and try to do them more or less regularly.

Unfortunately, there are women who call themselves housewives whose houses are messy as well. I know it can be overwhelming at times, and feels like fighting a losing battle, yet the benefits you reap are worth it. Here is a good article on this very topic:

If your house is a mess, so is your life

I'd like to add a few words about schedules. On the internet, you can find all sorts of free housekeeping advice, some of it from Christian homemaking sites, some from commercial cleaning companies or TV persons like Martha Stewart. A lot of it is good and helpful, yet sometimes it can lead a homemaker, especially a beginner, into another extreme: doing too much. There are such things as priorities and common sense. Since homemaking has been out of fashion for quite some time, some of this advice comes from old manuals which suggest rigorous dusting schedules and ironing socks and underwear. If you try to follow it to the letter, you risk getting so overwhelmed you'll be tempted to skip dusting altogether for the next thirty years.

Personally I find Darla's schedule a good common sense one and easy to adjust to one's personal needs. It'll also leave you with enough free time to enjoy life. If you have any tips or suggestions, feel free to express them in comments section!

maandag 16 oktober 2017

How To Trigger A Feminist

It's really easy since they get triggered by the most inane things, like someone making a sandwich for her husband:

WHEN young Sydney mother Maddie asked her closed Facebook group of 26,186 mothers for some tasty alternatives to sandwiches for her husband’s lunches, she wasn’t expecting the backlash.
“I would love to hear what other mums make their hubbies for lunch and snacks throughout the work day,” she posted on Tuesday. “We are getting over sandwiches.”

You would think she’d asked for a hemlock recipe, judging by the torrent of scolding which erupted.
She was nothing but a “slave” and a “1950s housewife”.
She was “weird” and no one in their right mind or a “pink fit” would do something so demeaning as make their husband lunch. Let alone snacks.

“Your husband is a grown up and you’re not his mother”, wrote one member of the North Shore Mums Facebook group.
“My husband can make his own damn lunch.”
“I make my husband the same thing he makes me. Nothing!!”
“Stuff that, hubby is a grown man. I already do his laundry and keep his children alive.”
“Our advice is to stop making his lunches.”
“My role is childcare during working hours and that’s it.”
“He’s lucky if I decide to make dinner some nights”.
“I was married for twenty years and my favourite packed lunch for my husband was called a Get it Yourself with a side order of I’m not your mother.”
“Nope, I didn’t sign up for that at the altar. But in the spirit of being helpful… pickled onion stuffed in mandarins.”

The attitudes above kinda help bring MGTOW in proper perspective, don't you think so? Read the whole article over here:

When making a sandwich is a crime against feminism

vrijdag 13 oktober 2017

Modern Hobbits, Pt. 2

This is a quite interesting docu even though after watching it for the second time and reading comments I realised that the guy featured in it has a place to stay in town, where his wife and kids live. Still, it's fun to watch and can be used as a reminder that a simpler life is possible:

dinsdag 10 oktober 2017

Fall Fashions 2018

The pattern I used for my skirt comes from this magazine:

It's German and the only name it has is Leuke Snelle Naaimode (Nice Quick Sewing Fashion:)

As you can see, it offers quite a few dress patterns. I'm planning to try the one on cover, since it's second easiest one; and if I ever feel sure of myself, may be, I'll try the one in the middle. Like the coat on the left, too:

zondag 8 oktober 2017

What Would You Sacrifice For Your Career?

Many women would sacrifice spending time with their husbands and children, it appears, but the two mentioned in this Guardian article went well beyond and above the call of economic duty and sacrificed their lives for it:

Miwa Sado, who worked at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Tokyo, logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month leading up to her death from heart failure in July 2013...

Matsuri Takahashi was 24 when she killed herself in April 2015. Labour standards officials ruled that her death had been caused by stress brought on by long working hours. Takahashi had been working more than a 100 hours’ overtime in the months before her death.
Weeks before she died on Christmas Day 2015, she posted on social media: “I want to die.” Another message read: “I’m physically and mentally shattered.”

It used to be that men joked about dying at work, now there are women doing it. Young women at that. Well, it's Japan so may be, they had no choice. Luckily, we still do...

zaterdag 7 oktober 2017

A New Skirt

I've decided to try my hand at sewing again, after a rather long break, here is the result:

The pattern was very simple, yet I had problems with size again. The finished skirt was way too big and hanging like a sack of potatoes so I had to make it smaller which took me another day. At least, if I try another of their patterns I know now which size to choose:)

donderdag 5 oktober 2017

Obesity Kills!

Another proof of it in a new CDC report:

An unhealthy diet may affect more than just your waistband, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ‘Vital Signs’ report shows. In a press release on Tuesday, the CDC stated that 40 percent of all U.S. cancer diagnoses can now be linked to overweight and obesity...
Out of all cancer diagnoses, nearly 55 percent of female cases and 24 percent of male cases were linked to overweight and obesity. These cases statistically affect older adults, mostly between the ages of 50 and 74-years-old.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has identified specific types of cancers that are related to obesity and overweight: meningioma, multiple myeloma, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, and cancers of the thyroid, post-menopausal breast, gallbladder, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovaries, uterus, colon and rectum (colorectal)...

Read the whole article here

woensdag 4 oktober 2017

My Sourdough Bread Adventures, Part 2

This Monday, I've made a second try, the result is above:)

I was asked why I keep my starter in the fridge, the reason is that I went away for a week and that's the recommendation they give on one of the websites I linked to. Anyway, staying in the fridge didn't cause my starter any harm, quite the opposite - it was much more bubbly and smelled more sour, if you know what I mean:)

This time I simplified the process as follows: I didn't make any leaven, just put the starter in a clean container, fed it and let stand at the room temperature for a day. The I used the half of it for my next loaf, the rest went into the fridge again.

I loosely followed the instructions by Clever carrot and added olive oil, but less flour than he called for. I also only used normal wheat flour, a mixture of white and whole grain. I let the dough rise overnight and it rose quite well, but after I shaped the loaf it deflated and stayed pretty much deflated even after an hour or so when I put it in the oven. I have come to the conclusion that next time, I'll let it rise until it doubles or close to it.

As a result, even though I find that my second loaf tastes much better than my first one, it's still quite stodgy inside:

I also discovered that it tastes much better the day it was baked  than afterwards and doesn't keep that well. Also, Housewife Outdoors, thanks for the baking tip, I baked it on a tray this time with some water in a bowl for moisture. It's much more convenient (and less dangerous:) to bake it like this!

vrijdag 29 september 2017

I'm Back!

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

woensdag 27 september 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:)

maandag 25 september 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:)

zaterdag 23 september 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!

dinsdag 19 september 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:)

zaterdag 16 september 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:)

donderdag 14 september 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?

maandag 11 september 2017

zaterdag 9 september 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:

vrijdag 8 september 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.

woensdag 6 september 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

vrijdag 1 september 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...

woensdag 30 augustus 2017

Charles Darwin And Marriage

Charles Darwin is known for his theory of evolution which many Christians disagree with. While he was a religious liberal of his age (even though in the beginning he believed that the Scriptures were literally true), his marriage was pretty conventional, and exactly according to the prevailing morals of the Victorian age, something which modern progressives who appear to somewhat worship him, often fail to mention.

The girl who he married was his first cousin by the name of Emma Wedgwood (yes, both she and Charles were grandchildren of that Josiah Wedgwood, the one who founded the famous Wedgwood company) and at the time of their marriage she was nearly 31 years old. Now, I often read stories how women's uteruses all fall out at the age of 25 and then they become barren yet Emma Darwin went on to produce 10 (!) children (the last one at the age of 48.5), 7 of whom lived to adulthood.

It probably has something to do with the fact that she married as a virgin and we can presume that Charles did, too, since nothing is known about any affairs he could have had before he met her. Emma lived the life of a typical middle class Victorian housewife, taking care of her frequently ill husband, nursing and caring for her children, helping the parish poor and being ready to assist her husband if the need arises.

(In one of his letters, her husband entrusted her with publishing his works, if he died suddenly. I should add that before her marriage she was quite content to stay home, play the piano and take care of her handicapped mother and sister, though she did have a decent education and had traveled through Europe with her father. She also taught Sunday school to village children. Despite the famous Victorian oppression of all things female, she somehow practiced outdoor sports and became quite proficient at archery).

Darwin wasn't initially convinced whether he should marry at all (he was nearly a year younger than his wife, by the way) since he was afraid that marriage would hinder his career, restrict his freedom, reduce his financial circumstances and make him visit relatives. On the other hand, a married man would have a companion in his old age ("better than a dog anyhow":), children ("if it Please God" - somehow folks back then did understand that children were something you get, not something you take), and "a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire and books and music."

In other words, even though he was top intellectual and stuff, his ideas about marriage included the traditional Victorian domestic bliss, not equal partnership with two breadwinners and shared housework (one of the reasons to marry for him was to have someone to take care of the house) and he basically acquired it, too; despite all the problems he and his wife had to live through, their marriage lasted 43 years. His wife survived him for 14 more years and died at the age of 88.Unlike many of our contemporary cultural icons, she wasn't remembered for her debauchery, but rather for "her patience and fortitude."

maandag 28 augustus 2017

A New Dress

There is something vaguely Victorian about it, don't you think? Since the selfie wasn't particularly successful, I thought I'd ask my husband to take another picture:

Though now the weather is much more like summer than autumn so it'll have to wait a bit more in the wardrobe:)

vrijdag 25 augustus 2017

(Don't) Drink!

OK, I realise some folks will probably find it offensive but I happen to find it rather funny, especially this line:

But I'd rather live my life in rags than chained to a desk with a wife that's a hag...

You've got to admire the spirit:)

DISCLAIMER: I hope all my readers are mature enough to understand that alcohol abuse can lead to serious health problems and even death. Nobody should overindulge, but especially women of child-bearing age. That said, I still find it funny:

P.S. Also note what happens to girls who get drunk - that's why you don't do it:) In the end, they all nicely sit at the dinner table again, so that was probably just a dream anyway...

woensdag 23 augustus 2017

A Sense Of Community

is what so many people miss nowadays. A real, organic community of the sort you read about in mid-20th century mysteries, when people living in villages and small town had time to drink a cup of tea with their neighbours and the family all came together for Christmas and kept in touch in between.

And when you get down to it, it's usually women who created it since men, even of the wealthier kind still had to provide a living or were busy with other pursuits of non-domestic nature. Women kept the home fires burning and the families and communities together and once the majority left home, the whole traditional system came down with a crash.

Domestic pursuits nowadays are considered boring and something for elderly folks and stay-at-home wives and mothers often feel marginalised with nobody to talk to during the day. I guess it's worse in the USA, from the stories I hear about my relatives living there since here we still do our daily shopping in nearby stores and women who bring kids to school have an opportunity to chat with other mothers. We also keep in touch with the neighbours more and it's not uncommon for parents and their grown-up kids to live in the same city their whole life.

Yet the nuclear family is under heavy assault from the forces of darkness modernity and extended family has deteriorated even further. I think it's a common problem in the West. Houses are getting bigger yet fewer people live in them. People only socialise at work and have no time for each other outside of it.

Luckily, on the other hand, we have a new sort of movement where people reject the debt-fueled life style, cut on their working hours and just try to enjoy their life and teach their children that there is more to it than being a serf for a big corporation. There are lots of encouraging videos on YouTube  dealing with it. I think it'll do us all good to always keep in mind that people are more important than stuff. Materialism is soo last century...

zondag 20 augustus 2017

The Importance Of Manners

It dawned on me recently. Though nowadays most people live either on their own or with their spouse and/or a couple of minor children, and the houses are big and spacious, not so long ago even wealthier among us often had to share their house with relatives and servants, and the children were often quite numerous and stayed at home much longer than now.

In books like those about Miss Silver you can see that this Victorian habit of living all together survived even into late fifties and it was not uncommon for childless couples and singles to share a small family type hotel where each would have his separate room/s but would share meals and bathrooms.

In a situation like this it's of crucial importance that people don't become too familiar with each other and keep some privacy while on the other hand, they always stay polite and neighbourly, otherwise you can expect all sorts of nasty fights and general unpleasantness. It also helps when folks share some common concepts like the hour at which they eat their meals, for instance, otherwise you have a chaos when each household member eats at his own time and the kitchen is always a mess.

Another thing that helps is tolerance of others. It's strange that though our society supposedly increases in tolerance each day, people actually hardly tolerate each other any more. They prefer to socialise with their computer or TV set, they seldom talk to their neighbours, they drop their friends whenever it suits them and hardly even care about their own blood relatives, when they can't extract any profit out of them.

It has become fashionable to criticise egoistic baby-boomers who spend their time and money going on luxurious vacations now they are retiring yet nobody asks why they should keep the inheritance for their children and nephews/nieces when they hardly get any attention from them, either. There used to be a time when people hanged out with their second and third cousins, now they probably don't even know their names. So may be, we don't need manners, after all?

donderdag 17 augustus 2017

I'm Back Again (Sort Of:)

Well, my visitors are gone and life is slowly coming back to normal. I'll try to put up a new post soon!

maandag 14 augustus 2017

From The Home Front

I'm still here, sort of, just incredibly busy. Our visitors will stay with us till Wednesday so I'll try to write a normal post after they leave. Still recovering from a nasty flu and driving around with fever certainly doesn't help:)

See you all later!

woensdag 9 augustus 2017

Do People Overuse Prescription Drugs?

I've been reading about the abuse of legal opioids such as fentanyl which are apparently freely available in some countries and prescribed for even minor pain issues. Here it's more difficult to get a prescription for this sort of thing, unless you are over certain age or have serious health problems, such as cancer.

Yet I've heard of someone who was very old and had persistent back pain, but was otherwise overall healthy. The person got hooked on morphine for pain issues, developed some nasty complications and died quickly afterwards. I know that at this person's age it was hardly a surprise, but there still appears a connection to me.

In general though, doctors seem to dole out certain medications like candy. There are folks out there who use one medication to go to bed, another to wake up, and yet another to deal with anxiety issues. I'm not talking war veterans over here, but young people in their twenties. Of course, I'm not a doctor, but it looks excessive to me.

Antibiotics abuse has got so bad, with resistant strains which keep popping up, that the doctors here hesitate to give it even for pneumonia sometimes. There are many home remedies available yet we've seemed to develop a culture which tells us to look for easy solutions to our problems, as in fixing everything with pills.

I will freely admit that I'm probably biased since I can badly tolerate even simple medications and prefer not to use them if at all possible, so I'd like to hear other opinions. You are all welcome to comment!

zondag 6 augustus 2017

What's The Use Of Crafting?

An embroidery set I bought in Germany.

Women nowadays are often taught that crafting is basically a waste of time (as opposed to the fine arts of facebooking, twittering, and other forms of attention-wh*ring online) and something for old women. A friend was ashamed once that a repairman came and saw her through the window engaged in (gasp) crocheting. Yet, doing things with your hands, like knitting or cross-stitching (or drawing or playing a musical instrument) is good for your nerves. It makes you more relaxed and helps you fight depression and even dementia.

Don't believe me? Here is what science says:
Crafting: A Cure For Depression

I can testify to the fact that I recently cured a splitting headache by just engaging in cross-stitching:)

Here is a British lady who gives you 9 reasons to start crafting:
9 reasons crafting is good for you

As for me, I'm off to tend to my guests, so see you later!

woensdag 2 augustus 2017

A Short Note

I'm sick. Like in having flu. Plus, I'm getting some visitors who'll stay with us for a couple of weeks so posting will be scarce.

Here are a couple of videos to entertain you:

How to make pine needle tea

Why you don't need a huge mortgage (the one thing which keeps so many wives in the workforce):

Living in an 8m2 apartment in Japan

Canadian homeschoolers living off the grid

Well, maybe it's too extreme, but you get my point:)

woensdag 26 juli 2017

More On Babylonian Laws: Babylonian No-Fault Divorce

There is a certain similarity with Biblical laws, for instance, the principle of lex talionis, though there were differences as well, some of them significant. For example, as you all probably remember, the Bible states that God is not a respecter of persons and there will be one law for all members of society, including foreigners with legal status, though slaves were treated differently in some cases. In contrast, Hammurabi's Code made a distinction not only between slaves and free persons, but also between aristocrats and common folks.

They also had a rather liberal use of death penalty, which was used for crimes like theft, burglary, assisting a runaway slave, and in general, all kinds of things, excepting curious enough, various forms of incest; though incest between mother and son was punished by being burned alive. Adultery was punishable by drowning, though the husband had the right to forgive his errant wife, in this case the king had to forgive her paramour.

Babylonians were sure preoccupied with the problem of providing for women. They also knew very well the distinction between being married and shacking up, for the arrangement to be recognised as marriage the contract had to be signed. Interesting enough, though folks had no trouble with drawing this distinction 4 thousands years ago, some still don't understand the difference now.

The wife had to be provided for in the case of divorce or her husband's death. The husband could divorce her at any moment but had to restore her dowry, provide her with an income and give her the custody of the kids. She would also share the inheritance after his death. If she had no children, he had to pay her an equivalent of the bride price. The wife was free to remarry but it apparently didn't change the arrangements.

While Babylonian no-fault divorce was available only to the husband, both husband and wife could use the fault version of it. If the husband could prove in court that his wife was a bad wife, he could send her away keeping the children and the money, or reduce her to the position of the household slave, in which case he was still obligated to feed and maintain her. If the wife could prove domestic abuse and neglect, she could obtain a legal separation and her dowry, however, the husband could file a counter-suit and if he succeeded in proving her to be a bad wife, she would be executed.

Curious enough, if the husband left his wife without any money while, e.g., going to war, she was allowed to live together with another man who would take care of her financially, and it wouldn't be considered adultery, but she had to return to her husband when he came back. The children of her second union would stay with their father, however. If she could prove that her husband willfully abandoned her, or if he was exiled, her marriage was declared null and void, and she could do whatever the heck she chose.

This is all in contrast to the Assyrian laws that were generally very unfair to women which explicitly stated that the husband didn't have to give anything to his wife at all if they divorced, though they had a provision for widows. I'll talk about widows, inheritance and adoption next time.

maandag 24 juli 2017

What To Do When It's Too Hot

My husband saw it on Facebook originally.

Here it's not too hot, though, far from it - it's more like +16*C and raining, the whole day! When it was something like +30* last week...

zaterdag 22 juli 2017

The Story Of Sarah And Abraham

Sarah is often criticised for giving her maidservant to Abraham to bear his child (strange enough, Leah and Rachel are never criticised for doing essentially the same), yet what she did was fully in accordance to the laws of the region they had originally inhabited.

The ancient Mesopotamian society was chiefly monogamous, yet the exception was allowed when the wife couldn't bear children. In this situation, she could give her husband a maid whose children were then considered as belonging to the lawful wife, while the maid was considered only as his mistress and could be degraded back to slavery for bad behaviour (kinda of what happened to Hagar), though she couldn't be sold.

If the wife refused to do it, her husband could take a concubine who was a free woman with full rights and would be considered as equal in status to the first wife, so it's quite obvious that Sarah's choice appeared logical to both her and her husband.

If you want to know more about Babylonian laws, click here.

vrijdag 21 juli 2017

woensdag 19 juli 2017

Some Of The Vacation Pics

I don't really have that many. In general, we've had a very nice time though the weather could have been better. The first week it was above +30*C, the second week it was +14*C a couple of days. We've done lots of things regardless so that I came home more tired than when I'd left it:)

One of the things we did was to visit this castle:

Standing there since the 13th century (I think), unfortunately destroyed by French in the 17th:

You couldn't come there by car, so we had to climb and it was a heck of it, especially considering the fact that two days before I had climbed the highest mountain in the neighbourhood and was still recovering:)

At least, we weren't the only crazy tourists as there was another family with two small children and some random guys, too!

Definitely made me feel less lonely up there...

maandag 17 juli 2017

KIng Arthur by Henry Purcell

One thing we did during our vacation was to attend an opera. (Semi-opera is a correct name, but who cares:)

Ours wasn't so indecent exciting, though. It was just a concert with the girls (they were all musical students) in evening dresses and guys in suits. This one is French, I suppose. The acting is really funny tho.

zondag 16 juli 2017

I'm Back!

We are back from vacation and we've had a great time! Regular posting will be resumed as soon as possible. Comments moderation is back to normal.

zondag 2 juli 2017

A Short Note

Since I'm leaving, all comments will go into moderation until I return.

See you all:)

zaterdag 1 juli 2017

donderdag 29 juni 2017

Intelligent vs Stupid

Have you ever thought that the behaviour often lauded as "intelligent" nowadays is actually quite stupid? For instance, women are told that if they spend their best fertile years at school and later climbing a career ladder, and chasing multiple "bad boys" (and STDs), they are intelligent even though later on, they often lament that they can't find a husband or can't get pregnant. In the same manner, women with children out of wedlock are "courageous, strong single moms" while married housewives raising their children well are somehow "Stepford wives"?

Or take the debt issues. Apparently, "intelligent, successful people" all take huge mortgages which causes both father and mother to work full time, while an institution or grandparents raise their children, while "losers" acquire a modest house or even rent. Yet, the loser's wife is at home with their kids and they probably save more by the end of the month!

When I hear of parents bragging about their children buying a bigger house than children of someone else, that's the dialogue I imagine:

"My children owe the bank 200 000!"

"Well, my children are way cooler than yours!!! They owe the bank 300 000!!! Isn't it just great???"...

maandag 26 juni 2017

Weekly Housewife Goes On Vacation!

Not now, but next week, so there will be a break in our programming:) In other news of today, the weather came back to normal, so right now it's sunny and moderately warm. I hope all of you are having a nice day! The summer has officially begun, so I thought it was time to change my dinner table centerpiece, like this:

 It's white on white, but who cares! There can't be too much white in summer:)

The book of the week is The case is closed, a Miss Silver mystery by Patricia Wentworth:

Now this is a book I can recommend to everyone, just like all the other books of this series. I've written about Miss Silver on this blog before, and I liked the stories so much that I have decided to re-read them all again! The case is closed was written before WWII and tells us about a guy framed for murder by his own relative. Luckily for him and his wife, her niece is determined to find out the truth and then Miss Silver appears just in time to save the day.

Speaking of the 1930s, how do you like this picture?

That was an example of a casual outfit...

Speaking of outfits, here was mine for today:

I'm really not planning to turn this blog into a personal photo album, but I've noticed that blogs about "one week in a feminine dress" appear to be quite popular so I thought I'd try to do something similar. However, since I'm not really that vain, I restricted myself to only one personal photo this week and decided to post the pics of Tarl instead. A couple of days ago he decided to climb on top the wardrobe, I really don't know why! A cat under the ceiling:

His eyes are really blue, though, it's just flashlight! Here is one more:

Since he lost all interest in women and fighting, he's getting fatter and cuter by the day:) Though he still spends quite a lot of his time outside.

Speaking about going outside, I have been wondering whether we as a society are growing too protective towards our children? I know, some areas in the USA are quite dangerous for the little ones to travel or even play outside alone, but here it's still relatively safe and yet, helicopter parenting becomes more and more popular, while, on the other side, more parents than ever neglect their children (and yes, daycare, while necessary sometimes, is certainly a part of this trend). 

Behold the video about independent kiddies in Japan:

Japan's independent kids

Quite shocking to our Western sensibilities, isn't it? I'm not sure whether I agree with letting a 7 year old to go alone by train, but on the other hand, it seems to work for them, so who am I to judge?

The food of the day is mustard. Actually, the article linked also discusses ketchup and hot sauce. Isn't it nice that there are at least some health benefits to something that tastes so great???

It's getting quite late over here and I've had a busy day which is far from over since I still have laundry hanging outside and the kitchen has not been cleaned after dinner yet, but before I say good-bye, I'd like to draw your attention to aspirin. It's long been recommended as a blood thinner, to reduce the chance of stroke or a heart attack, but it apparently improves your fertility, can help prevent pre-eclampsia  and even reduces the risk of getting cancer!

DISCLAIMER: Since it's a blood-thinner, it can cause bleeding in some situations, especially high doses (that's why baby aspirin is usually recommended) and long-tern use. Please consult your doctor and remember that I'm not one and bear no responsibility for the consequences of your decisions. I'm just sharing  public information!

See you in three weeks!!!! (But, of course, I'll post inbetween, too...)

vrijdag 23 juni 2017

Redwall, A Tale Of Feminist Mice (and other creatures, too!)

It's not really a proper review, just my impressions. Since I mentioned the book in a previous post, I felt obliged to write a follow-up:)

For those who don't know, Redwall, written in 1986, is a children's book about a heroic mouse who lives in a Redwall Abbey, a strange sort of monastery which apparently includes both male and female mice. The monastery and its surroundings are threatened by a barbaric rat army and the whole story is about the war between them and Matthias's (that's the protagonist's name) quest to recover an ancient sword which will bring the ultimate victory to the forces of good. It's the first book of the series by the same name, too.

Well, I'd had my doubts about it and I was right:) Feminists will love this one. Not only does it feature plenty of "fierce, strong female warriors" of all sorts, but also a complete role reversal with a mother squirrel going out to war while her husband works in the kitchen and takes care of their son. Plus a warrior sparrow queen, replacing an evil king!

The plot is quite complicated so the story obviously wasn't meant for very little children, yet most of the females hardly exhibit any distinctly female character traits, with the exception of a mouse called Cornflower, which Matthias has hots for and later marries. Most of the time, she just works in the kitchen with Mr. Squirrel, but during the final battle, she saves the day by putting a tower on fire burning lots of enemies in the process, and earns great respect of everyone.

Obviously, the author (who was a man, by the way) considered the enemy-slaying abilities in the female of the species as much more important than her nurturing skills. No such Victorian nonsense as "an angel in the house" for him:)

Naturally, one could expect so much from a rather modern book, though personally I found first two Harry Potters (I only read two of them), which were written much later, less feminist than that. But the point is, I saw this book recommended as good reading for children on a "right-wing" site and a pretty hardcore at that. How can anyone with reactionary leanings give it to their children, I can't comprehend, but may be, it's just me. Others have different standards, of course, so by writing this, I don't mean any offence,  I just feel that the parents should be informed:)

woensdag 21 juni 2017

Summer Solstice

Today is the summer solstice or midsummer, though most Christian churches have always officially celebrated it on St John's Day, the 24th of June, or rather, a day before, on St John's Eve. Midsummer is still a very important holiday in Sweden and is observed also in Germany. It's rooted in pre-Christian European traditions and is a part of our cultural heritage. It's usually celebrated by bathing in a river which has to do with heathen purification rituals but also with St John baptising people, and lighting a bonfire. In some countries, people decorate their houses with greenery.

It was also time to gather medicinal herbs and to celebrate fertility and pray for a good harvest. You can read more about it over here.

maandag 19 juni 2017

Weekly Housewife: Feel Good Edition

Summer in the Heat Street. It's HOT today. Like 30 degrees hot. It was hot yesterday, too, and it's going to be hot tomorrow. Heaven knows, with the way things are progressing, there is little to feel good about, but we will try nevertheless. While Merry Old England is appearing to slide further on the slippery slope, things look much brighter in Eastern Europe: this video features firemen saving little ducks and reuniting them with their mother.

Speaking about parents, yesterday was Father's day, I hope you all had a great time. We spent the whole day outside, it felt like a vacation:)

The second feel-good video is out of the "amazing seniors" category. Who said that once you hit a certain age, life should be dull and spent behind geraniums??? Here we have a 78-year old nun hover-boarding around and enjoying herself. It's never too late to try something new, as long as you live:)
Keeping it all in mind, I decided that the book of the week will be Redwall.

Yeah, I know it's a kids' book. I'm not going senile yet (at least, I hope so!). I just missed it somehow growing up and decided to fill up this lacune. I'm also always hunting for good books for children. I've heard about the series being all praised up by the equality brigade, but surely those from the 1980s should be safe? There is but one way to know, and that is, to read it:)

BTW, The Virgin In The Ice was really good, I liked it much more than some other of her books, but then it's probably impossible to write 21 books on the same topic which are all equally interesting.

Since it's so unbearably hot, the outfit of the day looks like this:

Complete look includes a cute apron:

I normally don't pull my hair up into a granny's knot, but with the weather like this....

All ready to go outside:

The last thing I want is to get sunburned on my shoulders. I've got enough of it yesterday just from driving with a window open:) With the weather like this, it's important to stay hydrated, so don't forget to drink regularly!

In other news, the basic (should be primary in English, I guess?) school teachers are going to get on strike soon. Schools will begin one hour later on a certain day!!!! OMG!!! I guess all the children will be heart-broken:) Seriously, it's only seen as any kind of a problem because so many mothers work nowadays. Otherwise, hardly anyone would notice it. But, if they want to go on strike, they could be better doing it right now. Or, at least, tomorrow:)

You shouldn't think I'm against school, of course, like some American homeschoolers. I just favour the school system described in The Little House On The Prairie, when schools enforced disciple, but on the other hand, didn't function as free baby-sitting services and it was up to parents when children would attend. Most people at that period viewed it as a blessing and were grateful that their children could get an education.

The last thing I'm going to talk about today, is food. Just a simple lunch idea:

Artisan bread with virgin olive oil, some salad leaves with cucumber slices and crumbled soft cheese (and mayo, but whatever, I like the stuff:)) and water with a slice of lemon. The water idea isn't really mine; yesterday at an event which we visited, a lady was selling water bottles with slices of lime in them. I decided to copy it and wasn't disappointed!

And here I'll quit, wishing you all a great Monday and the coming week!  Greetings from what feels like Mediterranean cost at the moment:)))