Mother and Daughter Country Sweethearts Aprons

Source: Mother and Daughter Country Sweethearts Aprons

It saddens me that so few women wear aprons these days. It may seem a small thing, in a world in which so many terrible things are happening (this very day, a radical Islamic terrorist from Uzbekistan ran down and killed at least eight people in Manhattan with a truck, while shouting “Allahu akbar!”), but it is both a symbol and a thing itself.

Aprons are attractive and feminine, as well as being useful for keeping a woman’s clothes clean (and if they have pockets, carrying needful items for sewing, cooking, or wiping the tears of a sobbing child). But they are also a uniform, of a sort: the uniform of a woman who takes caring for her home and family seriously – a priority, not just one among many possible tasks, that she may, or may not, do if she has time.

And if she has a daughter, and they are wearing a matching mother-daughter set like this one, she is both setting an example and encouraging solidarity and emulation on the part of the rising generation. That is something which has always been important, but now that it is no longer taken for granted, no longer a given, is perhaps more vital than ever!

A woman who puts on an apron is girding herself for battle with entropy, chaos, and dissolution. She is taking a stand against disorder on the domestic front, and in so doing, she is also taking a stand against disorder in the wider world. That may sound excessively cosmic, but I think there is real truth to it. So I am happy to see these! Hope they encourage more women to “put on the uniform,” and take up the fight.

 


 

(The others on the page are lovely, too. The only thing I wish is that the pictures showed an actual mother with her daughter! Although I suspect she’s probably the one taking said pictures…)

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The Death of Eros by Mark Regnerus | Articles | First Things

Something strange is going on in America’s bedrooms… The trend is most pronounced among the young. Controlling for age and time period, people born in the 1930s had the most sex, whereas those born in the 1990s are reporting the least. Fifty years on from the advent of the sexual revolution, we are witnessing the demise of eros.

Source: The Death of Eros by Mark Regnerus | Articles | First Things

Interesting! Not everyone will agree with this, of course, but it’s based on academic social science research (so it can’t be simply dismissed as the ravings of those “deplorable” religious types…) and at the least, raises some issues that are worth pondering. Among them:

Despite all the talk of the “hookup culture,” the vast majority of sex happens within long-term, well-defined relationships. Yet Americans are having more trouble forming these relationships than ever before. Want to understand the decline of sex? Look to the decline in marriage…

A decline in commitment isn’t the only reason for the sexual recession. Today one in eight adult Americans is taking antidepressant medication, one of the common side effects of which is reduced libido. Social media use also seems to play a part. The ping of an incoming text message or new Facebook post delivers a bit of a dopamine hit—a smaller one than sex delivers, to be sure, but without all the difficulties of managing a relationship…

If these were the only causes, the solution would be straightforward: a little more commitment, a little less screen time, a few more dates over dinner, more time with a therapist, and voilà. But if we follow the data, we will find that the problem goes much deeper, down to one of the foundational tenets of enlightened opinion: the idea that men and women must be equal in every domain.

Social science cannot tell us if this is true, but it can tell us what happens if we act as though it is. Today, the results are in. Equality between the sexes is leading to the demise of sex.

Follow the link for more details. As I say, this idea won’t be popular, or even acceptable, with many people. I would modify it to say that identicality, rather than “equality” per se, is the real issue: the idea that men and women are basically interchangeable, rather than being different but complementary, and excelling in different roles. But however you want to parse it, it’s at least worth considering, rather than merely dismissing.

11 (12) Traits of A Quality Woman

A Sunny Girl - beautiful redhead

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives; the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

In this article, we focus on some of the common traits of quality women. We hope that the content is entertaining and insightful; perhaps even useful.

Source: 11 Traits of A Quality Woman

Here are 11 common traits quality women share:

To which I have added a twelfth, at the end! I have also included comments [inset, like this one] where I felt them to be warranted. This is referring, of course, to women who are worthy of not only dating and forming close relationships with, but also – hopefully and ideally – the lifelong bond of matrimony. So what are these traits? They may not be limited to, but certainly include, the following: Continue reading “11 (12) Traits of A Quality Woman”

“The Friendly Village” china pattern – a family memory, “Made in England”

A thread I was following elsewhere today, on the subject of family china patterns, reminded me of my family’s “everyday” pattern, “The Friendly Village,” by Johnson Brothers:

Friendly Village china pattern - Johnson Brothers

It is an English pattern, thus my decision to post this on The Anglophilic Anglican. The pottery itself is known as “transferware,” but is apparently (hard to find detailed information on the subject!) based on the Johnson Brothers’ process for producing a type of durable vitreous earthenware known as “White Granite,” celebrated for having the look of fine china but being tough and chip resistant like ironstone. Indeed, most people simple refer to it as “Johnson Brothers ironstone.”

Following WW II, the Johnson Brothers gained Royal Warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother. I seem to recall seeing those on the backstamps of our set; they are missing from this one:

Friend Village "Made in England" backstamp

But I may be misremembering. For more details, please see the excellent, interesting, and photographically well-illustrated essay found here, at Nancy’s Daily Dish.

The Friendly Village first appeared in 1953, and it was probably around that time that Ma and Pa purchased it – Pa, actually, as this was a simpler and economically more robust time, when a family could survive and thrive on a single income: the husband was the “breadwinner,” and the wife not only mother but “homemaker,” as it was called. It is a lovely, rustic, and charming pattern, and I am fortunate enough to have inherited it! Sadly, it is – along with much else – languishing in storage at the moment, until I have a place where I can properly exhibit and utilize it. I miss it, along with many other things that are currently stored!

Here are a few more pictures, gleaned from the internet:

 

The set pictured at the upper-left is very similar to ours – including the oval-shaped serving plate – with the exception that our set has the teacups, as pictured to the right, rather than the larger coffee cups. We also have two oval serving bowls, not pictured, that I was not able to find on the net. Our family set also has the creamer (small pitcher) and, I think, a sugar bowl, although I’m not certain about the last.

The gravy boat, pictured at the bottom, is somewhat unique in that it’s not fastened to its under-plate! As as result, one has to be careful that it does not slide around or even off, depositing the gravy on the table or floor, rather than the food… For some reason, we have two of them; we never, to my recollection, used both at the same time – and despite occasional slippage, never had a significant spill.

At any rate, a fun (if somewhat bittersweet, under the circumstances) romp through family history and eating traditions!

Live and Let Die – Maccabee Society

 

What does the decision of Charlie Gard say about society today? Parents should have every right to save their children. How did this become negotiable?

Source: Live and Let Die – Maccabee Society

I have not heretofore chosen to say much about the Charlie Gard situation, in which the parents of a child with a rare and typically-fatal disease were prevented by the authorities in the British health system from seeking experimental medical assistance which – though without guarantees – might have extended, or even saved, his life, if tried soon enough.

They prevented this even though the family had received more than ample donations to ensure that there would be no cost to the state, and even though the child, Charlie, had been granted permanent resident status here in the States, where doctors waited to do what they could for him.

And at the end, they even prevented the parents from taking him home to die – despite the fact that their argument had been, originally, that he deserved to “die with dignity.”

A British professor of law and legal ethics even went so far as to argue, in an op-ed piece in The Guardian (UK), that “children do not belong to their parents,” asserting that parents have no rights with respect to their children (!!!), only duties – “the principal duty being to act in their children’s best interests.”

Well, even if one buys the whole “no rights” argument – which I emphatically do not – the fact is that Charlie’s parents were attempting to do precisely that: since he was an infant, and not able to speak for himself, they were attempting to give him the best possible fighting chance for survival. In this they were actively, emphatically, and repeatedly hamstrung and blocked by the authorities.

Stemming from these specific circumstances of Charlie Gard, this Maccabee Society article points out the wider implications of this incident, and the precedent it has set. I found this an especially cogent warning:

“The cause for alarm behind the death of Charlie Gard lies in the fact that the court actively stopped the parents from seeking treatment. This marks a shift in attitude from one of permitting a parent to kill his or her child to one that orders the parent to kill the child. This obviously sets a dangerous precedent: if the state does not think it is worth it to save a life, even if it does not bear the cost, it can deny treatment.

“This bodes nothing less than death for so many others, especially the majority who do not have the moral and financial support that Charlie’s parents had.”

It is very far down the “slippery slope” to go from “you must not kill your child” (traditional viewpoint / classical Christian morality) to “okay, you can allow your child to die (‘death with dignity’) / kill your child (abortion) if that’s what you think is best,” to “you must allow your child to die, and you may not seek treatment to prolong his life!”

What are we becoming? May God help us.

Fathers Day reflections: in food is remembrance…

General-Tsos-Chicken-6

It is not unusual for me to get Chinese carry-out, especially for the midday meal on a Sunday: going to a Chinese restaurant for Sunday dinner – always in the middle of the day, as was de rigueur in the old days – became our family tradition, especially once Ma was getting older, and no longer had the energy to put together her classic Sunday meal of pot-roasted beef, with onions, potatoes, and carrots (broccoli or cauliflower on the side, and usually a gelatin salad). But even before that, we often went out for Chinese on special occasions.

My father was a Far Eastern specialist in his work for the Federal government, and frequently traveled to the nations of the Pacific Rim. On some of those trips (I later learned, although of course my mother knew it at the time) he carried with him that special little pill, that would prevent – permanently – America’s enemies from getting any information out of him, should he have been captured.

As a code-breaker and signal intelligence analyst – and in his later years with the NSA, a rather senior one – there were powers in the world at that time that would have loved to have gotten hold of my father! Consequently, we were not allowed to know anything of the details of the work he did; but oh, the travelogues he brought back, the photographs captured on 35mm slide film, the detailed accounts of the things he had done and seen when he was not working. And that included the food! My father loved to eat, a trait that seems to have been passed on to me. And he came to love Asian food.

In those days, Chinese was about all you could get, in the Continental U.S. (during our time in Hawaii, Japanese food was fairly common), so we ate a good bit of it. And if Pa said a particular Chinese restaurant had especially good food, it was from a basis of personal knowledge and experience! So as I consume my carry-out General Tso’s Chicken – which overtook Sweet-and-Sour Pork as I got older, and came to appreciate spicy over cloyingly sweet – on this Father’s Day, I think of Pa: his travels and travelogues, his skill as both a provider and a raconteur, and his dedication to preserving the secrets that would keep America safe. Continue reading “Fathers Day reflections: in food is remembrance…”

Happy Mother’s Day (U.S.)!

Happy Mothers Day - Facebook profile pic.png

Wishing any and all mothers who may be reading this a truly happy and blessed Mother’s Day!

And at the same time, remembering with deep love and appreciation my own dear mother, who went to be with her Lord and ours in February of 2007 – ten years ago this year. I still think of her and miss her, every single day.

Ma 1975
   Jean Elizabeth “Betty” (Reamer) Harbold, c. 1975 – my beloved “Ma” (1927-2007)

If your mother is still alive, tell her how much you love her, how much she means to you! Because you never know how much longer, or shorter, will be the time you can spend together. And if your relationship with your mother is not all it could or should be, then please, if it is possible, do what you can to repair it.

Again, we don’t know how much time we have, and – unless she is a truly vile person, which is blessedly rare – I know of no one who thinks, looking back on their life, “Gee, I wish I hadn’t spent so much time with my mother…”

Again, Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! And thank you for the work you put in to your families. May God bless and keep you!