Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
I neglected to give the full title of Dr. West's book yesterday in my discussion about "you're going to put WHAT in WHAT?" The proper title is Maidenhood and Motherhood or Ten Phases of Woman's Life. The phases covered in this gem of a book published in 1887, include:
The Infant, The Child, Puberty, The Maiden, The Wife (if she survives the honeymoon); Maternity, Confinement (we'll get back to this); The Mother, Mature Womanhood and Celibacy (we'll definitely get back to this one)
Let me just say this about the chapter on Confinement. Those of you who have had a child in the last 30 years would be completely unfamiliar with this term. Insurance companies rule in all cases of hospitalization, treatment and recovery. You're lucky they don't hunt you down and toss you out of the hospital within 10 minutes of giving birth - along with any baby that just happens to be within reach at the time. (Just take it and get out. We'll deal with the rest later.) You're confined to the car on your ride home - that's you confinement. Take it or leave it.
In the days of yore - all the way through the 1940's the woman was treated as though giving birth were an illness. Women of means, that is. The woman of little or no means did their thing, plunked the kid in a laundry basket and went back to work.
My mother was given a ride home in an ambulance after the birth of her first child in 1944. This was a normal birth with no complications whatsoever. She was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks.
According to the good doctor West on the subject of confinement:
It is highly recommended that "She must not get out of bed for at least nine days" and "the recumbent position for the mother should be most rigidly held and an upright position should be strictly enjoined for several days. Her shoulders must not leave the bed."
I could so that now if I want to.
The mother of means actually had several people to attend to her every need. And bring the baby to her when it was hungry. And make the husband a sandwich now and again while he mulled over the whole mystery of the baby thing. (How do you suppose that all happened? And why did she have a girl? I told her I wanted a boy, and Heck, I don't suppose she's going to want to... uhm...you know....for a while)
Let's move on to Dr. West's ideas on Spinsterhood. Turn to page 547, Celibacy, Advantages and Disadvantages. He appears to be assuming celibacy here for some reason. I can't really think of any good ones. Can you?
The chapter begins with "It is not good for man to be alone." So you know where he's going with this. He is kind enough to discuss both sides of the issue. The advantages include: Escaping the drudgery of a house hold, the liberty to come and go as she will, and escaping the pains and dangers peculiar to maternity and the ravages such trials make upon the system. Plus if she wants she can be a teacher of a stenographer.
Now the disadvantages are many. Consider these few from his list if you will:
1 She cannot remain young - where married woman never grow old in mind.
2 The acid disposition and censorious spirit is attributed to the spinster of 40 or more.
3 She takes the risk of becoming sour, exacting, and disagreeable.
4 She misses out of the profundity of happiness which comes to the wife and mother.
5 misses out of the serene calmness and holy joy of the wife and mother.
Don't you just like totally agree with everything he said? Me neither. Especially the calmness and holy joy of the wife and mother. There may be a few days of that here and there, but raving maniac comes to mind on some of the other days. And then there's laundry day and I need 42 cupcakes for my class tomorrow, Mom, day.
Oh, sorry - I may be getting ahead of myself. The good Doctor has pages and pages of discussions about the kinds of hysteria that women are prone to. And there are many. I can agree with that. I may get hysterical a little later today if I feel like it. Like if my pasta doesn't come out au dente at dinner time or if we are going to be watching Monday night football tonight.
So. This important information is in a book, on a printed page and I felt obliged to share it with you. You may now go on with your serene day laden with the joy of the delightful tasks of homemaking, motherhood and tracking down Dr. West so we can hang him from a tree at dawn. I'll bring the tar and feathers and a sheet cake.
We'll discuss Puerperal Insanity and Insanity of Lactation along with the 34 other insanities and the trestment thereof that can be easily achieved during Maidenhood and Motherhood at a later time.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Soulbrush and Karla are two of my very newest blog buddies. They both participated in our Indian Summer Picnic and joined in on all of the fun and frolic of the day! It was fun spending time with you and I enjoy my regular visits to your imaginative blogs. Thank you, Soulbrush and thank you Karla!
I saw no information limiting or "un-limiting" the artistic bloggie buddies that I may award this to. If I may, I would like to share this with the following bloggie buddies who each in your own way brighten my day with your delightful artful blogs: Willow, Lavinia, Stevie, Shelly, Janeen, Kalianne, Trish, Sharon, Marie, Betsy, Bibi, Poeticat and Aunt Jo.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
So she spends her long engagement filling her hope chest with linens, nightgowns, intimate underthings, handkerchiefs and then finally the big day arrives.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Click on his name, or on the book to find out more about it. I've heard him read excerpts and know he was already writing it four years ago when I attended his Contemporary Novels workshop at the first Writer's In Paradise at Eckerd College. This is not a commercial - I just don't want you to miss out on a great novel.
I'll set my alarm so I won't forget to blog - or feed the dogs- or eat dinner, and I promise not to give away the ending. If you need me for anything, I'll be the one curled up on the sofa with my nose in a book!
If Jennifer ever ran into a masher she didn't report back. She did run into a sleaseball at Books-A-Million once and reported back on that, but sleazeballs are in a whole 'nother league, don't you think?
You may very well wonder what a masher is. The (slang) word masher came in use around 1860. It probably went out of common use around 80 to 100 years ago, for all I know, but it's a wonderful word and I still use it.
There are several definitions for masher.
Dictionary.com: a man who makes advances, esp. to women he does not know, with a view to physical intimacy.
American Heritage Dictionary: A man who attempts to force his attentions on a woman. On the notion of "pressing one's attentions,"
Word Net: a man who is aggressive in making amorous advances to women, Synonym: wolf
Webster: A man who persistently makes overtures to women unacquainted with him.
The 1960's TV program Laugh In had a perfect example of a masher. Ruth Buzzy and Arte Shaw appeared in skits as Gladys and LaMonte. Gladys, who appeared to be virginal and untouched by human hands, would be sitting on a park bench, minding her own business. LaMonte, a confident dirty old man of the world, would come along, sit down next to her and attempt to strike up a conversation. Gladys would hit him with her purse and slide over a bit. LaMonte would persist. He would slide ever closer and in his gravelly voice, make offers of some sort of tete-a-tete. Gladys would respond with disgust, adjust her clothing more closely about her and hit him with her purse. She would slide even further over on the bench.LaMonte, undaunted by her lack of willingness, and dazzled perhaps by her fresh beauty, would sidle over to her and continue with suggestions of intimacy. Gladys would let him have it again. Eventually LaMonte thought better of continuing his pursuit. Usually due to unconsciousness.
I don't know about you, but I for one don't see mashers on the same level of sleazeballs. To prove this to myself I looked up sleazeball. There were two definitions in Wicktionary: Sleaze bag and cad. That's odd, I thought, because I had not thought of a cad as being at the same level of slimeyness as a sleazeball, have you? So I looked up cad. Hold on to your seats for this one:
Cad: 1) One who stands at the door of an omnibus to receive fares. An idle hanger on about innyards. Short for caddie. (Why I believe I am suddenly swept over to the land of the Queen!)
2) a low bred presuming person. A mean vulgar fellow. A seducer.
The second definition sounds more like a libertine, doesn't it?
What ever. I'm getting away from myself here. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Watch out for mashers, now that you know what they are, and have a lovely day!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Lacking a major subject of huge importance to write about, I did a poll of 10 semi- random people today. It was kind of a sanity check to see if, when I generalize about Americans being geographically challenged, I'm not giving us a bad rap. ( See yesterday's blog about Zeeland)
I asked each of these 10 people one of the following questions:
Have you ever heard of Zeeland - or
Where is Zeeland
7 replied: Don't you mean New Zealand
1 replied: I don't know but it's probably very far away
1 replied: Never heard of it
1 replied: I've heard of it, but only because I lived in Holland for 3 years.
So there it is.
I am not giving us a bum rap. It's a true statement, general or not. Whatever. That's why we have Atlases, National Geographic and travel agents. Oh, and Wikipedia, thank goodness.
With all of these resources available to us we can at least can say: Well, lemme just check on that and I'll get back to ya'll in a sec. Taking time to check a resource or call a smart friend would be a much better reply than "Don't you mean New Zealand?" Or stating that the capital of Australia is Perth which is another whole subject in and of itself.
So, America, lets pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and unite on this one item. When asked a geography question let's all just pretend we have some important thing we have to attend to and say: Well, lemme just check on that and I'll get back to ya'll in a sec.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The very handsome Mr. Peck.
A little geographical clarification for the Americans attending yesterday's picnic. As you all know, Americans are notoriously geographically challenged. And proud of it. The 3 main reasons for this inherent problem are:
1) sleeping through geography class
2) countries often change their names and we are not personally notified
3) plate tectonics constantly move countries, continents and major cities at random.
My reason for bringing this up is, we enjoyed the company of several people from Zeeland yesterday. The Americans were understandably confused. They thought the visitors were from NEW Zealand and they just don't say NEW when speaking of their homeland. The visitors were asked several questions about kiwi birds and kiwi fruit. There is in fact a province called Zeeland - which means sea land in Dutch. It is located in the Netherlands. The four fingers of land in the SW corner by Vlissingen is the province of Zeeland.
There is, of course, a country called New Zealand. I was surprised to find it is still located over by Australia. The Dutch originally named it Zeeland and then somewhere along the line they added the NEW and then made a typo that was never corrected and now it is New Zealand. Somehow the Brits got hold of the place and now the Chief in Command is Queen Elizabeth - much to the chagrin of the Maori people who have always thought they owned the place.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I think I have tired out the comments feature - my computer started freezing up every time I attempt to leave one. So for the rest of the evening I'll sit here - with my partially frozen computer - by the bonfire while we watch fireworks and sing camp songs. Stay as long as you like and come by in the morning - someone mentioned a sleep over and cinnamon rolls just before I started having computer problems. I just happen to have my jammies with me - so although you may not hear from me - thanks to the computer - I'll be singing along and having a wonderful time! Enjoy!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I live in Florida where one season just blends into the next. If it is cold outside it must be winter. If it's hot, well, it could be any day of the year. So I've created the magic of autumn! The picnic table is ready - it's right under the maple trees!
Just over the hill is a beautiful pond dappled with sunshine and waterlilies! We can cool the cider here!
Can't you just smell the apples? They are as crisp as the autumn air and they still smell of sunshine.
Sit down and enjoy an apple while I unpack the picnic basket.
Did you come in the wagon? We can use it for a hay ride later today.
Everything is laid out for you. Make yourself comfortable and let's eat. We'll start with some delicious pumpkin soup with roasted pumpkin seeds. Tastes like autumn! I didn't use too much salt, did I?
I've made fried chicken! Delicious! This is Florida, after all!
I've also mulled some fresh apple cider with cinnamon and apple pie spices. It's hot! Be careful!
The vegetables are roasted corn and oven roasted potatoes with olive oil, lemon, fresh rosemary and salt and pepper. They're so easy to make and the lemon gives them a tangy flavor.
To make the potatoes: I just washed and cut the potatoes and put them in a bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary, a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir the potatoes so they are evenly covered with the oil and seasonings. Then you put the potatoes in a baking pan - single layer - and bake them at 375 for about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir them 2 or three times while baking so most of the cut sides are browned. That's it!
I hope you have room for dessert and coffee!
Will you try a piece of maple pecan pie. The north and south kind of meet in this dessert, don't they?
Another choice, if you prefer, is a baked pear with maple syrup, raisins and pecans. No calories in this one. Oh and a pumpkin cappuccino!
I couldn't eat another bite either! I'm glad you enjoyed lunch. Ready for some fun? We have a big day ahead of us! We'll be travelling all over the US and the world today including Serbia, Australia, Turkey, France and our neighbors in Canada! This picnic may have already started in some time zones and it will continue all day and evening. Are you ready?? Let's go!
Hop in my airplane - there's plenty of room.
Put on your goggles and one of these wonderful silk scarves.
We're on our way! All of these bloggy buddies are hosting this picnic too- just click on the names and you'll be there before you know it! I've listed them in semi-alphabetical order. Sort of.
We'll have a great time!
Have I missed anyone??? If I have, it may be that you have posted your RSVP elsewhere. Just leave a comment on this post and say "Stop By My Picnic Too!"
I'll add you to the list as soon as I find you in the comments. We don't want to miss anyone!!! Thank you all so much for contributing to another bloggyvent!
EVERYONE is welcome, even if you aren't posting a picnic today, so put on your traveling shoes and celebrate the first day of autumn today!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I've been blessed with good health, so whenever something new and different overtakes me I assume the worst.
This time I had it narrowed down to 4 things:
Well, okay, 5 things:
5) Bubonic Plague
I figure if I am conscious and nothing explodes I'm going to recover without medical intervention.
Besides. By the time I decided I had some deadly disease the doctor's office was closed for the weekend.
You only have until noon on Friday to see the doctor. After that you're on your own.
This morning, when I woke up I was pleased to see that I was alive.
And, I am happy to report, I am completely recovered. From whatever it was. Probably nothing.