Thursday, August 27, 2009

Through the week in Feminine Dress

Well, three days into it and the Week in Feminine Dress is already out in the wash. I owe you all four days, but you might not get them until next week. Too much going on around here to keep up. You will get them though, promise.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Through the week in Feminine Dress

Tuesday is Laundry Day. Among other things.

Thinking...About projects and goals and what I want to do with this coming week.

Thankful for...For having wonderful, amazing, insightful friends.

Cooking...Nothing. We have to either eat those leftovers or toss them, so tonight is leftover buffet

Baking...Nothing. Wednesday morning the husband makes pancakes, so we don't need bread for breakfast.


I can hear you all thinking Ummm...feminine...Well, what would you wear to the gym? A tank top and shorts are utterly appropriate. These cover everything that needs covering, and don't stand out. Being so covered as to be inappropriate can be just as immodest as being uncovered.

However, when not in class I do add a batik skirt, which makes for a very feminine outfit

No, the cat did not go to class with us.

Creating...I'm still working on my nightgowns. This one will be done as soon as I finish this.

Going...To a Tai-chi class this morning, at the YMCA. I don't know about Tai-chi, it seems rather hard on the knees. But I need to do something to shake up the workout routine and get more flexible.

Reading... The Quest for the Holy Grail. Sigh

Hoping...I can get all the laundry folded tonight, and that the movie is a good one.

Hearing... A podcast of Merlin Mann interviewing David Allen. You can listen here

Around the house...Laundry day, always fun. And we're working out the kinks of the pantry system tonight.

One of my favorite things...Long, white, lace trimmed cotton nightgowns in the summertime.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Through the week in Feminine Dress

Not a clue what I'm wearing yet. Odds are a skirt and shirt, as it's going to be over 90° today.

Thinking...Quite a lot after my morning appointment. It went an unusually long two hours, but was remarkably helpful

Thankful for...Finally having an absolutely excellent therapist to help me sort out the ideas in my head that are just not helping at all.

Cooking...Nothing. We went out to our favorite restaurant for dinner.

Baking...See above. Every other Monday I get a day off from the kitchen. My husband cooks breakfast on his days off, which he enjoys, but every other Monday I don't have to do dinner either. And we always have leftovers for lunch.

Wearing...Yes, I ended up in a skirt and tank top

(This is what 20+ years of PCOD and psuedo-Cushing's looks like. It has nothing to do with sin or vice or even lazy living, as you will see.)

Creating...It was knitting night, so I spent several hours at Starbuck's visiting with the ladies and working on my sweater. It's a kimono style, in a dark red wool.

Yes, there is fellowshipping outside of church. Sadly V had to go to work, she's an emergency room nurse and was called in at the last minute, but she did stop by to bring us all some chocolate from her recent trip to Europe. M was there, still concerned about her brother's upcoming wedding. As usual she brought E, who is our youngest member at 12, and whom we once again had to remind that she is far too young for R-rated movies. L is working on a remarkable new project, a stole-type thing that can be folded and buttoned and tied into a remarkable number of different items. And A is hoping to be expecting...well, we're keeping our finger's crossed.

Going...and going and going. We found treasures at Goodwill, I stopped to poke about in a sales rack at a favorite store and found something...unmentionable that had been $25 and was now $5, so it came home and then our usual running around.

Reading... The Quest for the Holy Grail, still. I keep falling asleep on it.

Hoping...After therapy, a lot

Hearing... The laughter of friends. And a background of Alice Di Micele, one of our favorite local musicians

Around the house...Nothing on a Monday

One of my favorite things...Finding treasures at Goodwill. Including a set of knitting needles in the perfect size and material, for all of $0.50

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Through the week in Feminine Dress

Graphic from The Graphics Fairy. So is the one up top.

I decided to do a week of posts because a lot of you might be wondering what does an atheist "rebel" homemaker do with her time. How does it differ from those good Titus 2 mentors anyway? How does it look? How does it feel? What can you expect?

I plan to follow a specific format every day, and put in pictures where I can. The idea for the format was taken from The Simple Woman's Daybook (which is another lovely place to visit, for views into lots of other lives). No day is actually finished until I start the next one, as I may add pictures through the day.

Well, I'm getting a late start in the day with this, so I may do Sunday twice. Hopefully an average week here or there might give you an idea of what to expect from one variation of a life of "rebellion". There are lots more. In fact, it could be everything you ever dreamed of.

But we have to start somewhere. So, we shall start here.

Today I am...

Thinking...That if this helps one young woman find freedom and happiness it's worth the effort.

Thankful for...My wonderful and supportive husband

Cooking...Chicken and dumplings for dinner

Baking...A loaf of whole wheat bread in the bread machine

Wearing...My first jumper

It's McCall's #2316 and is the first I made after I married, so it's about 9 years old. I used to wear it teaching, but now it's rather old and worn so it's become a cottage dress. Under it I'm wearing a plain white t-shirt. And over it

My pink calico apron. The pattern for this used to be on the Martha Stewart website, and was called Aprons with Cindy, but it has since been taken down. I have a few apron patterns I plan to try in the future as well.

Creating...some new nightgowns. This one was finished yesterday...

It's Simplicity #7944, made without sleeves for the summer. I used quilt binding around the arm holes instead, and eyelet material for the front of the top. I also put a band of eyelet lace where the top met the skirt, and the same eyelet lace around the hem.

I'm hoping to finish another tonight. If so I'll post a picture.

Going...nowhere. Which sounds horrible, but today is one of my husband's work days, when we don't usually go out. He was out of the house before I got up this morning, but will be home for supper by 6:30.

Reading... The Quest for the Holy Grail

Hoping...I finish that book tonight

Hearing... The Illiad by Homer. A Librivox podcast while I sew

Around the house...I have laundry to fold tonight after supper

One of my favorite things...Lace, lace and more lace. At least today

A few plans for the rest of the week: To finish this project. Also to finish setting up the pantry system and finish these nightgowns.


Tomorrow is our errand day, which ought to mean lots of pictures. Then later in the week I'll share what happens on a usual stay-home day as well.

You might ask, "It's Sunday, what about church?" Well, if my husband wasn't working we might go down to the UU church for services, mostly to visit friends. But he works week-ends, both because it frees up his weekdays for school and because he gets extra pay for working on "The Lord's" day, so we just don't bother. And our lives are the slightest bit the worse off for it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lady Lydia speaks...kind of

Image of "The Standard Victorian" from Homeplace Structures.

Or something.

"Lady" Lydia Sherman over at Home Living and Guard The Home decided to lock her Guard The Home blog, more than likely because she couldn't take the criticism.

I am not surprised.

For those "rebels" out there who are being hurt at home, you are not alone. You do not deserve to be beaten, at any age, for any reason. Not even if they don't leave bruises. You do not deserve to be scorned just because you're not male. Being a "helpmeet" does not mean being a surrogate wife. Training up a daughter does not mean anything sexual. Ever. *

Your parents are wrong. Parents can be wrong.
But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
- Matthew 18:6
If you need help, call the nineline.


This will get you to the Covenant House nineline. They have a Christian mission to help abused children.
We who recognize God's providence and fidelity to His people are dedicated to living out His covenant among ourselves and those children we serve, with absolute respect and unconditional love. That commitment calls us to serve suffering children of the street, and to protect and safeguard all children. Just as Christ in His humanity is the visible sign of God's presence among His people, so our efforts together in the covenant community are a visible sign that effects the presence of God, working through the Holy Spirit among ourselves and our kids.
- The Covenant House Mission Statement. (Found here)

You are not a rebel. It's not your fault. You are not, not ever to blame.

I a "rebel" as well. If you want to talk, reach me at


* And while we're at it, you also deserve to choose your own spouse, earn and keep your own money, have your own friends, and have as much education as you like. Just to be clear on that too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another child-loving Christian

In case you're wondering, right under the ultrasound it reads -

"Well, lucky, lucky me, I'm having yet another piss-spraying, fist-wielding, shit-smearing, son. Yeah, how 'bout that? He TOLD ME to conceive, I obeyed, and my blessing is to get screwed on the girl I really wanted."

A loving god sends a child to a mother like that? Or tortures a woman with a child she clearly doesn't want?

Give up on the whole god myth thing and take responsibility for your self already. If you don't want children take the pill, tie the tubes or keep your legs closed. If you want to try for a girl accept that you have a 50-50 chance of a boy and either live with it or give him up for adoption. There are thousands of couples in this country that will absolutely cherish that boy.

But you watch, as a good Christian she will keep him home and ruin his life and her own with her hatred. Because "God wants it that way".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perhaps I should explain

Sometimes in the morning, you realize what you wrote in the night was entirely inappropriate. And so I will be re-writing this post, perhaps, at some point in the future. Sorry.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Oh bollocks

I consider myself a feminist. I think the fight for equality is not over. However when you say any choice is wrong for women, including that of housewife, you are repressing women. I am a woman, and this is my choice.

The Australian version of 60 Minutes did a piece on secular woman who choose to be housewives.* They intercut it with an interview with Germaine Greer, which just stood my teeth on edge. Go and have a look here. I've pulled a few quotes out of the transcript to fisk.

ELLEN FANNING: Sophie is one of a new wave of women who DON'T want it all. Sick of struggling to achieve the seemingly impossible balance of work, home and family. So despite greater career opportunities, better pay, even sexual liberation, last month, a landmark US survey found women are less and less happy. Many want to live more like their grandma - spend less time at work, and more time at home with the kids. These are young women who don't want to turn into their own frazzled working mothers, or don't want their kids, to be juggled in the way they were.

Guess what, being a latchkey child is a bitch. Women have always worked, my grandmother and her sister both worked, sometimes 50-60 hours a week or better. But my mother and her cousin went to their grandmother's house, where there was someone home to take care of things and keep them safe. Having to fight all day between school and daycare, or coming home to an empty house is no picnic. And don't even get me started on "sexual liberation". I have to find the source but I believe something like 65-70% of sexual abuse is committed by a mother's boyfriend or a stepfather. **

Sorry second wave*** feminists, we're not selfish or self-centered enough to do to our children what you did to us. The only ones I know of are the ones who listened to you and got way over their heads in debt, usually student loans, before they realized what they were doing. And they know it, and are miserable.#

Moving on

SOPHIE BACIC: I'm cool with that because I'm not out working all day. You know, I get my housekeeping every week.

ELLEN FANNING: So, when you say Frankie gives you the housekeeping every week how does that work?

SOPHIE BACIC: Oh, Frankie just gives me a certain amount of money.

ELLEN FANNING: So does he decide how much you get, or do you decide together?

SOPHIE BACIC: No, I didn't have a choice in that.

This is the one disagreement I have with the homemakers in this piece. Decide together. He needs to know what things cost, so he can make an honest determination of priorities. And if something does happen to him you need to know what the finances are about. This is not something you should do like our grandparents did. Look at the money together.

GERMAINE GREER: If you make somebody else responsible for you, then you've given up your life. You're not having a life.

How does being a housewife = someone else being responsible for you? Last I looked I was an adult, quite capable of making my own decisions. And accepting responsibility for them.

GERMAINE GREER: And the women would say, "Oh I don't know, you'd have to ask my husband," and I'd think, "Oh what do you have to do to get into these women," you know. What's two and two? "Oh I don't know, you'd have to ask my husband."

You have to hear her voice to hear what kind of a bullying, teasing asshole she sounds like. Seriously.

GERMAINE GREER: We want to think they'd never watched 'Desperate Housewives'. They're going to turn into that housewife who gets everything right and who is murderess in her heart. What you would probably say to somebody who has that rosy notion, that she can have the tickety-boo house, is that it's an illusion. It was never there.

ELLEN FANNING: But what if you're just doing what grandma did?

GERMAINE GREER: You don' really know what grandma did without asking grandma, and she might turn out to have some very bitter reflections.

Or she might have been quite happy. Or, like 99% of the world, she might have had good and bad times to remember. How the f*ck do you know it was all horrid? And why exactly can't you have the tickety-boo house? I do, and I work my ass off to keep it that way, thanks.

(For the record, I want to be Bree. Only.....saner, and less conservative)

GERMAINE GREER: I agree. When people say to me, "Nowadays young women have it all, what have you got to say to them?" And I say what I've got to say to them is, "They've got all the work, that's the only thing they've got all of."

ELLEN FANNING: Well some of these women say that's your fault.

GERMAINE GREER: No they don't.

Yes they do. This one does. You and Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and all of the rest of the second wave feminists who encouraged our mothers to give up their homes and marriages and families and do things your way. This mess is your collective fault.

ELLEN FANNING: They've tried it and they can't have it all, and they're cranky with you for saying they could.

GERMAINE GREER: But I never did. I never argued for a career. Never. What I wanted for women was a different thing, a life, and there are lots of different ways of having a life.

As long as your life isn't that of a housewife, is that what it is? So, you ought not to have a husband, or a home, or a career, than what are you to do? Sex worker? Is that the only thing liberated enough for you?

At this point they go on to interview a woman who runs her own company. They also speak to her husband. They seem fine and happy, and she's clearly quite thrilled with her life. I do notice they don't speak to the children though.

Then they go back to a housewife.

ELLEN FANNING: Sonia used to be an accountant, but now spends most of her day doing domestic chores for her family, and actually resents the years she spent at university and the thousands of hours in offices, climbing the corporate ladder, only to find it completely incompatible with motherhood. What about a young women saying, "Well, I don't want to give up my career, "he doesn't have to give up his career, "why should I have to give up mine?"

SONIA WILLIAMS: And that's where, that's where the crossroads is, isn't it? Is that like what happens to the children? And you've got two partners there who are competing with careers, but what about the children? Like, who's going to raise them? And that's the conundrum that the feminists haven't really covered, is that ultimately, whilst the women can have their career, someone has got to take care of the children.

Now look, I don't believe that women absolutely, positively have to stay home with their children. I've seen families where they father stays home, families where an aunt stays home, families where a grandparent stays home, families where they have hired help. I've seen large, poly families where one wife stays home. I've seen co-op style housing where one person in one apartment stays "home" and is paid by the others. In everyone one of them someone is home cooking the meals, doing the laundry. keeping track of the kids, and in general making sure everything runs smoothly.

I've also seen families where all the adults work, and it works and everyone is happy. ## But for every one of those I see 9 more where something is always falling apart. And it usually ends up being something with the kids.

GERMAINE GREER: Women are good at guilt. We're capable of feeling guilty no matter what. We weren't juggling, we'd be guilty that we weren't juggling. We are juggling, we're guilty that we are juggling. Everything that goes wrong is our fault and we've got a whole nation of psychotherapists who will tell people that everything that goes wrong with our children is our fault.

ELLEN FANNING: So you can't win?

GERMAINE GREER: No. You're a woman, take it as read.

Um, I don't feel guilty. The housewives in that piece certainly don't seem guilty. Methinks the lady doth project a bit.

ELLEN FANNING: But older feminists are going to be tearing their hair out listening to you.

SONIA WILLIAMS: Oh, if I could get a hold of the older feminists, let me tell you, what a crock. They set us up for a fall. How were we to know that we were going to have these careers and then have to sacrifice? Until you actually decide to become a mother you don't realize that huge sacrifice that you do make and that's where the dilemma comes in and that's what the feminists never told us.

Amen, sister!

GERMAINE GREER: She'll soon find out that housework is a crock, I'm telling you. You get to 50 what then? You're going to live another 40 years lady, what are you going to do with that?

Any damm thing I want to.


I may fisk the full interview with Germaine Greer. But right now my stomach hurts.


* Correction, I can only assume they were secular because a) no one brought up god every 5 seconds, b) there wasn't a ton of religious goop in their houses and c) most of them were wearing pants.

** For the record, just in case it's overlooked, I'm not against sexual liberation as in the gay rights movement. Nor am I against the freeing up of the morals around kink. But regardless of who you are or who you do or how you do it, if you think your desires are more important than your children's safety, I'm sorry, you're wrong. Find away to do it that doesn't endanger your children, or don't do it. With logical exceptions like spousal abuse, drug abuse, or other criminal acts, this may well include putting off re-marriage or even divorce until they hit college. Think toys.

And for those who say "It's the man's fault. He ought not to be going after the children" I say yes, you're right. And you're wrong, because parents are responsible for protecting their children, and bringing a stranger to spend the night in your home isn't a real great way to do that.

*** There is first wave, second wave, and third wave feminism. Learn this, it matters.


# Note to K & B, yea, I know, you two are the one out of the ten. This isn't about you. *g*

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

More Christian violence

Did you hear about the shooter in Pittsburg, PA? He shot up an aerobics class in a gym.

Part of his diary (h/t to AboveTheLaw)

August 3, 2009: I took off today, Monday, and tomorrow to practice my routine and make sure it is well polished. I need to work out every detail, there is only one shot. Also I need to be completely immersed into something before I can be successful. I haven't had a drink since Friday at about 2:30. Total effort needed. Tomorrow is the big day.

Unfortunately I talked to my neighbor today, who is very positive and upbeat. I need to remain focused and absorbed COMPLETELY. Last time I tried this, in January, I chickened out. Lets see how this new approach works.

Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus. At least that is what I was told. Eternal life does NOT depend on works. If it did, we will all be in hell. Christ paid for EVERY sin, so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for a sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid. People judge but that does not matter. I was reading the Bible and The Integrity of God beginning yesterday, because soon I will see them.

I will try not to add anymore entries because this computer clicking distracts me.

This is the result of Christianity. Of all religions. This.

A response to Lady Lydia

Lilac Time by Lee Dublin

I've posted a response to "Lady" Lydia Sherman on her blog Guard The Home. As she has comment moderation on, I will be pleasantly surprised if it actually appears there. So, here's a copy for the record.

First off, while I understand that your policy of anonymous commenting is designed to protect the commenters, I prefer to put my name to my comment. I prefer to own my words and take responsibility for them, for one, and for another I am not afraid of people coming back to my blog and posting comments of their own. I believe a comment reflects back to the commenter, for good or ill, and not the blog owner. However, since this is your blog, if you prefer to take my name off, I will not complain.

That said, I finally have to respectfully disagree with you, and your description of "rebels".

I have been quite happily married for nine years now. For seven of those I have been a keeper in my home, taking care of my husband and our little nest. He is well employed, a proud military veteran, and is currently studying to be a civil engineer. We're not wealthy, but we are self-sufficient and comfortable. My in-laws, who have been married almost forty years and are active members of their church, are quite proud of us and the lives we lead, and have said so both to us and to other friends and family members. We are all quite close, and even though they love several states away we visit a number of times a year.

And yet, I do believe you would consider us rebels.

For one thing my husband has never taken "headship" in our home. We make decisions equally. discussing each one until a mutual decision has been agreed upon. I do not "submit" to him in any way, shape or form. I do what I do around the house not because it is my duty but because it suits the common good or because it will make him happy. And he does things for me for the same reason. Yes, I do consider myself a feminist, and at times have been politically active as such, as has my husband. We are currently working for the right for homosexuals to marry, and a number of our friends who are close enough to be called brothers and sisters are both homosexual and married. And yes, our marriage is as strong as ever.

For another, I have very little contact with my family, especially my Mother. I do not "honor" my mother, simply because she does not deserve it. She's been through three marriages, each one more abusive than the last, and I cannot trust her not to cause us harm by bringing another abusive man home. Her lifestyle is utterly against our values, such that we cannot even go over to her home. And she is usually combative and manipulative when we have dealings with her. She's repeatedly told me she wished she had aborted me, but her mother prevented her from doing so, and that she doesn't consider me her daughter. For the sake of our mental health and marriage it's much better for us to avoid her whenever possible.

Finally, as you might have guessed, we are not members of any church. In fact we are both atheists. I do consider my self a Unitarian Univeralist, and affirm the seven principals, and my husband follows a philosophy based on Buddhist teachings. But neither of us believe in any sort of a supreme being, or that the bible is anything other than fiction, and we do not care what stand it takes on any issue.

And yet contrary to what you espouse, we do not live in a car. Neither of us has ever done drugs or an STD, and I've not had an abortion. We don't commit crimes, or live lives of poverty or ugliness. I hold a dual degree in computer networking and education, have held a teaching certificate and taught third grade for eight years. My husband is late getting his degree as he joined the US Marine Corps after high school, and spent eight years serving his country before starting college. We live in a comfortable apartment, as we see no reason to go through the trouble of home ownership until we decide where to settle. We love to read and listen to jazz and create things for our home. I am currently working toward Masters certifications from both the Knitting and Embroidery Guilds of America, and he is learning woodworking during his breaks from school. In fact, at the moment he's outside building a rocking chair for me so that I can enjoy the lovely weather from the patio. Our lives hardly fit your description of the "rebel", and yet in your world we most certainly would be exactly that.

So I am afraid I must disagree with your portrait of the "rebel", Lady Lydia. Just because children disagree with their parents, that doesn't mean that they are home wreckers, living in misery and destroying lives all around them. It can mean that they are adults, with differing opinions and differing ways of looking at the world.