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:)))

zaterdag 17 juni 2017

Jesus Kicks Merchants Out Of The Temple

WARNING: contains graphic images




The current idea that Christianity is all about being "nice" is not scriptural!

donderdag 15 juni 2017

Victorians Were Right

I don't mean to say they were right about everything. In fact, there were some things they were definitely wrong about, but they were absolutely correct when talking about keeping a stiff upper lip.

The point is, sometimes it's good to talk about your problems, but nowadays folks are encouraged to talk about their problems all the freaking time! We are supposed to let everything hang out and to bare our souls to perfect strangers.

In my opinion, it's wrong on several levels: first, it teaches people to complain and feel themselves victims and to relish this feeling, second, it discourages privacy and encourages familiarity, and as we all know, familiarity breeds contempt; and finally, the worst thing about it all is the fact that once you let yourself go, once your self-control breaks down, it's often too difficult to get it back. Once you start feeling yourself a helpless victim you establish a pattern which is often nearly impossible to break.

Further on, I have never noticed that when you are miserable, talking about it helps. In fact, the more you talk of it, the more miserable you feel. I also don't get it when those suffering from some dangerous disease and their family members are encouraged to attend meetings where the experts will keep informing them about how much more worse it's going to become in the near future. But, I guess, to each its own. Apparently, misery really likes company:)

maandag 12 juni 2017

Good Morning, America

And my readers from all other countries, naturally. Though it's not morning over here in Western Europe. More like afternoon.

It doesn't really matter though as you favourite Weekly Housewife is with you today. I can't promise you daily, but weekly? One could always try.

We are going to start our day with some music. Originally published on Lydia Sherman's blog, this song is dedicated to a homemaker. Probably overtly sentimental, it's still nice to know there are men out there who honour housewives.

At night she puts the kids to bed
She's making sure their prayers are said...
...she's not seeking glory on this Earth
Cause she believes in honesty and
the joy of giving birth.

Amen to that.

Now on to other things. The weather is windy and cloudy (sunny right now tho), the temps lie around 20*C.  The book of the week is The Virgin In The Ice by Ellis Peters:

Can't say that I'm a great fan, but it's generally decent reading. I like some of her books better than the others. This one should really be read during winter months:) Well, never mind!


The outfit of the day which I chose to remind myself that despite piercing wind, it still summer. Or nearly summer:






All ready to go outside:





Down to the sensible shoes:





You will have to excuse me but I only wear heels on official occasions. Such as going to an opera. Not like I've been much to the opera lately. In fact, last time I can remember was several years ago in Budapest. Def something to think about. Probably making a mental note that we should go again in the near future. Or, at least, watch one on YouTube.

We all know the importance of mothers staying home with their (young) children. In fact, as documented on this blog recently, even liberal newspapers like HuffPo run articles criticising daycare. However, being a housewife encompasses more than that. I'd like to recommend to your attention a post by a fellow blogger where she describes coming home out of he workforce.

Some highlights:

Me being at home isn’t so much about my relationship with my child as it is about my relationship with my husband. It’s not about being a “stay-at-home mom.” I’m not a stay-at-home mom, I’m just a traditional wife. And this will hold true even when our daughter is fully grown.

I couldn’t reconcile the beliefs and desires of my heart with having paid employment- even part-time employment. Part-time employment is still employment.

The same people who talk about two incomes being “necessary” are the same ones who talk about how they could never give up their independence, and the women who say they wish they could be at home are the same ones who turn around and start talking about how they could never just “sit at home” depending on a man and how they love to cash in those paychecks. You do the math. I believe modern women work because of ideology, not necessity.

The last sentence is especially true. Women in much poorer countries that those of the modern West chiefly manage to stay home somehow. In the end, it all comes down to the Enlightenment values, but it's the talk for another time. Right now we are going to move to a lighter stuff. We are going to talk vegetables.

The veg of the week is cucumber:





Why, will you ask? Well, why not! Cucumber is a versatile vegetable which is mostly eaten raw nowadays, but could be stewed and has some amazing health benefits, according to this article. It will protect you from cancer, ease your heartburn, stabilise blood pressure and even, I heard increase your fertility. It's very cheap too, so go at it!

The last thing I'm going to discuss today is apple juice. No, seriously, have you ever thought about apple juice? I don't do it all the time, but today I did. When in the supermarket, I was wondering whether to save money and buy apple juice or pay more for orange juice which, at least, is supposed to have some vit C in addition to sugar. Stinginess won but coming home I was relieved to find that  it has polyphenols (supposed to be awfully good for you) and vit C, too!

Three cheers to myself for saving 30 cent:)

Well, it was all for today. The next installment of your favourite internet edition will be next Monday.
Have a great day, everyone! 




zaterdag 10 juni 2017

Daily Housewife

Wouldn't it be nice if someone started a newspaper called Daily Housewife? It could be read online and would feature recipes, crafts, an outfit of the day, inspirational videos, child-rearing advice and all other topics so dear to the heart of an average housewife? Something to check up early in the morning which will provide you with validation and give you energy for another day of battling domestic entropy? Something with concern for home and all thing pertaining to housekeeping and shilling on behalf of the homemaker instead of big banks and corporations?

I wonder why haven't anyone thought of it yet???