Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I hate to keep harping on the same subject

But this just in, from my home province, where ALL of this stuff is going on at once (the snow scenes are from this morning). Kinda makes one think Armageddon might be around the corner. The flooded house and acreage in this news clip belong to our good friends, which makes it extra sad for me (and them, of course).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Sultan spells it out

Even human monsters are human. They explain things in terms of their egos. They are always defending themselves against some form of oppression and looking for someone to sympathize with their outrage.
Muslim terrorists are no different. The Taliban just poisoned a girls school as part of their campaign to defend Afghanistan from women who can read and write. Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus in defense of Palestine. Tamerlan Tsarnaev put down a bomb next to an 8-year-old boy in defense of Islam.
Islam, as one of the great world religions, has a long history of needing to be defended against small boys, blind female poets and elderly cartoonists.
 Western liberals like to think of Islam as a private religion, in the tradition of most of its extant religions, but it isn't. Islam cannot function for very long as a private religion just as Communism could not function for very long as a private experiment on a few communal farms. It is an all or nothing system. Its fundamental expression is public. In private, it withers and dies.
The private Islam need not be defended with bombs. The public Islam must be. And as with so many totalitarian systems, when it speaks of freedom, it means slavery, when it talks of peace, it means war, and when it claims defense, it means attack.
As I've said, he's the Jewish Mark Steyn.

Daniel Greenfield. Read it all. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Because you never know when those 'artistic' skills will come in handy

Just EWWWW. From my local paper:

Horrifying, not least because somewhere on the planet, it's happening. Pretty much every day. Not simulated. And not with beach mats. God help us.


I kid you not

At this moment we are being hammered with a blizzard. The wind is howling diabolically and you can barely see outside, for the snow and ice pellets. This. Is. Not. Funny. Anymore.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Love history? Love shoes?

Welcome to Nirvana. American Duchess, manufacturers and purveyors of historical feminine footwear.

For even more fun: there's an American Duchess blog! Historical costuming, shoes, etc.

h/t another bit of loveliness from Oh So...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mainstream media not covering Gosnell trial

Because they still can't figure out how to spin headlines like: "Abortion doctor on trial for killing babies" without it sounding too weird or dangerous. Or something.

In debt?

Be glad you don't live in Ireland. We are nearing the end of civilization as we know it. As if last week hadn't already convinced you of that. And the week before that. And the week before that. And the week...

Irish borrowers struggling to meet their loan repayments may be banned from taking vacations and face limits on how much they can spend on food under guidelines published by the country’s personal insolvency service.

ht/ End of your arm.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Now it's all making sense

I've been watching the fascinating series Wartime Farm. Though it's not an explicit message in the series, most striking to me was the sense that while WWII-era Britain was fighting for freedom, the country was being run like a totalitarian dictatorship. Now I know why. Daniel Hannan:
Churchill had become prime minister because he was the Conservative politician most acceptable to Labour. In essence, the wartime coalition involved a grand bargain. Churchill was allowed to prosecute the war with all the nation’s resources while Labour was given a free hand to run domestic policy.
 The social-democratic dispensation which was to last, ruinously, for the next four decades – and chunks of which are rusting away even today – was created in an era of ration-books, conscription, expropriations and unprecedented spending. The state education system, the NHS, the Beveridge settlement – all were conceived at a time when it was thought unpatriotic to question an official, and when almost any complaint against the state bureaucracy could be answered with “Don’t you know there’s a war on?”
Oddly enough, the war effort demanded more of some than of others. There were lots of crooks (in and out of government) who got rich while Joe and Mary Farmer and Factory Worker had to scrimp, save and do without. Some things never change. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Can this be real?

From the Friday files. I challenge you to watch this without weeping (either with laughter or "Dear God, make it stop" civilizational despair). It's a fusion of the Anti-ABBA, Stark Trek, lyrics that would make The Onion writers blush, and Richard Simmons fitness video dance audition rejects. It makes the Trololo guy look like high art.

And it makes me think we should start a new category on DOH: It's Just Too Easy To Make Fun of the Seventies (IJTETMFOTS for short, not to be confused with the IKEA sofa of the same name).

I thought this had to be satire, but these people are real, and they had a show on Swedish TV in the 70s.  They are Armi and Danny.

h/t my teen nieces and daughters, who (like their aunt/mother) should spend less time online and more time reading Shakespeare

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Kudos to the editor/typesetter of the local paper for using quotation marks correctly.

Who knew there was such an entity as a Don Cherry impersonator? Yet there is. And it gets better: Mr. Robertson's business/act is marketed as clean comedy. Good for you, sir!

The real Don Cherry
The real Clark Robertson, as "Don Cherry"

Jar Joy

I was inspired by this little post at Oh So Lovely, so I decided to put up my own pictures of my jar storage. I like storing foodstuff in jars (as opposed to opaque bags or plastic tubs) because not only is it practical (you can see the contents), it's also lovely. I enjoy the variety of colours and textures behind the glossy glass.

1 litre (quart) jar on right; 4 litre (gallon) jars on left

Where, you ask, does one find a 4 litre jar? You buy them at Costco, or other local wholesale store, and they are full of dill pickles. The scariest part is that my family went through three of those (plus two 3 -litre jars of Vlasic pickles) in a surprisingly short amount of time. I guess we love our dills. The rustic wood background (above) is the back of this cabinet:

...an old "screen cupboard" built by my husband's grandfather, circa 1930. I love it, and much to my father-in-law's incredulity and amusement, it's going to be a feature of my Rustic Industrial* kitchen reno.

*Rustic Industrial = free stuff from my brother-in-law's century old farm, plus cheap stainless steel track lighting and shelving from IKEA.

I made up (or so I thought) that particular design aesthetic, while in an ironic mood, since it is, in my view, oxymoronic, self-contradictory and whatnot --only to open up a house-and-home magazine two days later in the dentist's office and see that it actually did exist. I should see if "Urban Barnyard" has been coined yet.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Long have I loved thee, Saskatchewan

But for the first time in my life, I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea to retire somewhere else. Where they have never heard of snow. We have had nearly SIX straight months of winter, and that is enough. I am so so so so so so tired of bad to impossible driving conditions. Today, we almost did not make it home from music lessons (which happen in a town 20 miles away). When we set out this morning at 9:30, the temps were below zero (Centigrade) and the wind was blowing like crazy. Which meant that it was blowing snow across the highway, but since it was cold, the snow was not sticking. By noon the temperature went above zero, which meant that the snow WAS sticking. And piling up and piling up. Long story short, by time we came home at 4:00 p.m. (yes, it was a long day, including piano lessons for 4 girls, vocal lessons for 2, and choral practice for music festival), some sections of the highway were completely buried in deep heavy snow. One curve on the highway was down to one lane of traffic--nothing quite so scary as driving on the wrong side of the road, but having no choice because your side is under 3 feet of snow. The small road that leads from the highway to our town will soon be completely impassable. Blocked, like the pass in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In April, the month formerly known as "spring." Forecast for the next three days: snow, wind, rain, wind, freezing rain, wind, snow.


A lovely picture for December, but not April

If spring ever comes, and I'm ever able to get out of my house again, I think I'll go far far away for an exotic vacation, to somewhere more pleasant... like Siberia.

Update: On nearly every road in the west central part of the province, the local highway advisory has issued Travel Not Recommended warnings. And the wind continues to howl like it's the middle of January... in Siberia.

Eats shoots and, leave's

The grammar nazi in me could not resist. The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks.  Enjoy.

h/t Pundette

And it just had to be: there is also a blog entirely dedicated to the apostrophe. And thank goodness.

Mrs. B. chimes in:

Speaking of signs, I didn't even have to go to the internet for this one. I spotted it in a curling club last year.
Bysides, we drangk them oll at are sign makeing partY!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Grumpy Bunny

Another perfect storm of high art and culture internet memes: a mashup of Cake Wrecks and Grumpy Cat.  Mrs. B, a devoted fan of both, will approve.


Yay! Because if there's one thing no one ever talks about, it's the environment! Kudos to the bishops for taking a break from all that incessant talk about eternal salvation. A meta-reflection covers a multitude of sins (oh, except that "sin" doesn't exist anymore).


More guilty pleasures from Seraphic.

She slays me.
the overemphasis on the squished up breasts suggests that the girls think deep down all men want to bring a stripper home to mother.

Which is why I keep going back, even though I Don't Belong (since I am an Old Married Lady). But even old married ladies need style. And a way to pass on that important information to the single ladies in their lives.
We can wail all day long about how it isn't nice to judge, but the truth is that everybody judges everybody by our clothes. [...] What you wear does "send a message" whether you mean it or not, and although the message may not be "I am a loose broad," it may be "I don't belong here" or "I couldn't care less about myself" or "I hate people."

Monday, April 8, 2013

A sweetheart to the end

Rest in peace, Annette.

Love, pray, eat, sew.

The important things in life. This past weekend, my two youngest daughters wanted to sew some doll clothes. I could have whipped these together by machine (in much less time), but the girls wanted them made entirely by hand, and they wanted to do it themselves. I had to help with the trickier parts, but they did pretty well. These were their first projects.

 Gown by Miss P #6

 Blouse by Miss P #7
(skirt purchased)

(BTW, these are the Liv dolls, which are by and large no longer available in Canada, and which stupid, stupid Amazon.com won't ship from the U.S.! Cuz, like mail can't cross the border or something.)

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Arouse the voice of the cosmos" or "comfortable and serviceable"?

When it comes to church music, I think you know which one I would pick.

So Pope Francis is talking "simple liturgy": I am all for that. Which means no uber-creepy giant puppets, liturgical dancers who rumba during Eucharistic processions, or greying-ponytail composers with their "contemporary" (ie. circa 1972) campfire songs need apply.

Hey, how about THIS for starters: priests who face God during the Mass, and lead us in worshipping Him, instead of Jay Leno wanna-be's who strut around the sanctuary in their flowing polyester robes, talking too loudly and trying to entertain us with jokes about how fat and egotistical they are (which is really important, cuz otherwise... how would we know?)

Fr. Z's take on James MacMillan's take on Pope Francis's take on a leaner, humbler liturgy. Read it.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Before he was Pope, Joseph Ratzinger said: “A Church which only makes use of ‘utility’ music has fallen for what is, in fact, useless … for her mission is a far higher one. As the Old Testament speaks of the Temple, the Church is to be the place of ‘glory’, and as such, too, the place where mankind’s cry of distress is brought to the ear of God. The Church must not settle down with what is merely comfortable and serviceable at the parish level. She must arouse the voice of the cosmos and, by glorifying the Creator, elicit the glory of the cosmos itself, making it also glorious, beautiful, habitable, and beloved.”

"Mankind's cry of distress" sounds like my state of mind on a weekly basis. "Comfortable and serviceable," on the other hand, sounds like appropriate criteria for toilet paper. Nuff said: gather us in!

But I can't leave you with that unappealing thought. Here is a YouTube video of the Sequence. It was sung in our parish this year (albeit in English) by a young lady. And it was (I'm sorry to say it) one of the very very few moments of true sublimity in the entire Triduum/weekend.

Ye gods of global warming, hear my prayer

Do I have to sacrifice a hockey stick to be heard? Freezing rain last night, which made our sidewalks and streets and roads like a skating rink. And so, I won't drive anywhere, not even to First Friday Mass.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Because I need it

I have posted most of these before, but I need them today. I am SO SICK of winter (which is technically over, but not factually). We are still sitting under three feet of snow everywhere. I need to be reminded that there is still sunshine and colour and beauty in the world.  

Heck yes, it's technically a flower picture. 


The Obamacare Flow Chart.
But I shouldn't laugh. Canada's would look just like it. I haven't studied this too closely, but I wonder if there's a box labelled "Dying while on a waiting list."

h/t  Michelle Obama's Mirror

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I can see the NYT headline already.

"Dumb Old Housewife resurrected into heaven due to excitement over link to blog"

Thanks, Pundette!

Here's Steyn's take on the story. I think the writing's on the wall for you, New York Times. Which means, in the ancient terms of your "faith tradition", that  Keyboard Cat is about to play you off.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"This veneration of motherhood"

1950s mom, complete with the gloriously ubiquitous chocolate layer cake...

Funny. And yet not. Feminists write long, long, long articles acknowledging (yet bemoaning) the fact that even intelligent, educated, lib-lefty, self-described feminists want to stay home full time with their kids, and (gasp) find homemaking fulfilling. "The Retro Wife" at New York magazine.

h/t American Spectator's Nicole Russell, who writes in "The New Feminism":
An Atlantic piece on the New York magazine story said it this way: “In this context, domesticity is reinvisioned [sic] as a valid, creative, politically powerful, even feminist choice. After all, we’re not talking June Cleaver vacuuming in pearls here…”

Vacuuming in pearls? They say that like it's a bad thing. It is totally my dream to be able to dress like Harriet Nelson whilst I do my housework. I just need the 25-inch waist first.

Last word goes to Nicole Russell (though I might argue that there was no such thing as a "pure root" to post-suffragette feminism):
The true, pure root of feminism wasn’t about schlepping your child to daycare at 6 a.m., working at an insurance company for $35,000 a year, heading home in time to throw dinner on the table, rush through homework and tuck them into bed. It was about choice. In my grandmother’s day, few women had the choice and some — the Melissa Mayers’ ancestors no doubt — yearned for it. Now many do. Some women choose to be at home; others choose to go to work — both reap the consequences. Can’t we let them do that without analyzing and arguing and bemoaning the so-called failure of a movement that rallied for just that?

Well put.

I guess it's no sillier than camping

But then again, MY kind of camping involves hot running water, a queen size bed, and somewhere to recharge my iPod. It's just not what comes to mind when I think "hotel".  Score one for the savvy entrepreneur who thought of this. I have a feeling my mom and dad have an untapped gold mine in the shacks we used to construct in the middle of our chokecherry "forest" on the family farm. But then, they don't live in Scandanavia.

h/t Nordic Thoughts

Monday, April 1, 2013

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3: 1 - 4

Even couples of different faith traditions can celebrate Easter harmoniously

And here's proof.

Happy April 1st