Friday, October 20, 2017

The Real Mata Hari

From The Guardian:
She was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle into a prosperous family in the capital of Friesland, Holland, in 1876. Despite her father’s relative wealth as the owner of a millinery shop, his speculation in oil shares ended in financial disaster and, penniless, he departed for the Hague. Her mother died when Gretha was only 15 and she was sent to live with relatives, away from her twin brothers. At 18, she responded to a lonely hearts ad in a newspaper and, four months later, was married to Rudolph “John” MacLeod, who was almost twice her age and a hard-drinking officer in the East Indies army. According to a relative, “she passed from the hands of a caddish father into the hands of a caddish husband”. (Read more.)

How Socialism Ruined Venezuela

From the Mises Institute:
In order to understand the disaster that is unfolding in Venezuela, we need to journey through the most recent century of our history and look at how our institutions have changed over time. What we will find is that Venezuela once enjoyed relatively high levels of economic freedom, although this occurred under dictatorial regimes. But, when Venezuela finally embraced democracy, we began to kill economic freedom. This was not all at once, of course. It was a gradual process. But it happened at the expense of the welfare of millions of people. And, ultimately, the lesson we learned is that socialism never, ever works, no matter what Paul Krugman, or Joseph Stiglitz, or guys in Spain like Pablo Iglesias say.

It was very common during the years we suffered under Hugo Chávez to hear these pundits and economists on TV saying that this time, socialism is being done right. This time, the Venezuelans figured it out. They were, and are wrong.

On the other hand, there was a time when this country was quite prosperous and wealthy, and for a time Venezuela was even referred to as an “economic miracle” in many books and articles. However, during those years, out of the five presidents we had, four were dictators and generals of the army. Our civil and political rights were restricted. We didn’t have freedom of the press, for example; we didn’t have universal suffrage. But, while we lived under a dictatorship, we could at least enjoy high levels of economic freedom. (Read more.)

The Perfect Mom?

From Making Her Mama:
People do judge us, though not usually as harshly as we judge ourselves.  In today’s culture, we are obsessed with perfection and it holds us to a level that isn’t realistic; with our bodies, in our homes, for our children.  We want to be the perfect mom, but this goal can be really overwhelming and isolating. And then you add in all the mom bashing that happens online, behind closed doors, and even face to face. It’s easy to feel like everyone is just doing better;  that others have it all figured out….and maybe there are some moms that do.

But, I’m not one of them.  I am not a perfect mom.

In my teen years, many people called me a baby whisperer.  I could calm any crying child and put kids to sleep without even blinking an eye.  And then I had my own children. Without strings attached, anyone can walk in and do something effortlessly for several minutes or even hours.  It’s a lot harder to do it day in and day out; especially when you aren’t sleeping well (or at all)!

If I’ve ever looked at your circumstances and thought to myself that I could do it better, I’m sorry.

I have run a daycare in my home and cared for multiple children on a daily basis.  I LOVED this job, it was busy, fun, crazy and great for my kids.  It made me want to fill up my house with little feet all belonging to me.

But, until I had 2 children of my own close together in age, I didn’t understand the demands on a mother of having little ones all the time.

I love them dearly and I am so grateful that I get to stay home and raise my children.  However, I apologize to you because I really didn’t understand before just how demanding and physically tiring it can be.  It’s a job that leaves all hope of being a perfect mom in the dust. (Read more.)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Harvest Bounty

I tried the Roasted Onion Soup recipe and it was delicious. From Victoria:
As the afternoon sun begins to soften—gilding every leaf over hill and dale—loved ones gather for an alfresco fête. A pastoral setting provides an idyllic escape for experiencing the delights of fall. Counter an evening chill with the warmth of Roasted Onion Soup, garnished with fried shallots. Culminate the celebration with Roasted Butternut Squash Tart, where a thick cinnamon-molasses crust is crowned with a whipped cream-cheese filling, slices of the vibrant gourd, and walnuts. (Read more.)

Hungary Hosts First Ever Government Conference for Persecuted Christians

From The National Catholic Register:
It is time for Europe to free itself from the shackles of political correctness, speak the truth, and face the facts about the violent persecution of Christians, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday. In a hard-hitting speech delivered at the opening of the first major conference ever held by a government in support of persecuted Christians, Orbán said that the “forced expulsion” of Christians from parts of the Middle East and Africa are “crimes” against the people and communities concerned that also “threaten our European values.”

“The world should understand that what is at stake today is nothing less than the future of the European way of life, and of our identity,” he told the delegates in Budapest. Over 300 participants from 30 countries, including Christian leaders and representatives from think tanks and charities, gathered for the Oct. 11-13 international consultation on Christian persecution — “Finding the Appropriate Answers to a Long Neglected Crisis.” (Read more.)

Corregidor Island

From Historical Nonfiction:
Corregidor Island, a small island at the entrance to Manila Bay. It is an important strategic point – whoever controls the island, controls Manila. And with it the Philippines. Since the Spanish first built a base on the island in 1570, Corregidor has been captured, and held, by the Dutch, the British, the Americans, the Japanese, and the Americans again. It was taken in May 1942 by Japanese forces after months of near-constant bombardment. Corregidor marked the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese Empire. When American forces retook Corregidor in February 1945, it was another marker of the long, slow, and inexorable island-hopping campaign to push the Japanese back into Japan. That 1945 battle was the last action that Corregidor saw. Today, it is an open-air museum. All across Corregidor are the ruins of the World War II military base, with bomb-ravaged buildings left as they were and many large guns still in place. (Read more.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Osterley Park

From Regency History:
Robert Child and his wife Sarah Jodrell were extremely wealthy. As well as Osterley, they had a house in Berkeley Square in London and a hunting lodge in Warwickshire. They lived in their Neo-classical show home at Osterley Park from May to November. They had one child, a daughter Sarah Anne (1764-1793).

John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, asked to marry Sarah Anne, but Robert refused. Robert wanted his heir to take the Child name and also feared that his fortune would be squandered by the Earl who was known as ‘Rapid Westmorland’ because of his gambling habit. The Earl of Westmorland took matters into his own hands and eloped with Sarah Anne. They were married on 20 May 1782 at Gretna Green.

Robert Child was so angry that he cut his daughter out of his will, leaving Osterley Park and his entire fortune to Sarah Anne’s second son or eldest daughter provided that they took the name Child. (Read more.)

Elements of Glow

From the Trianon Health and Beauty Blog:
The secret of timeless, ageless beauty is in your lifestyle and diet, as well as in what you put on your face. So when I found the card (above) I had to share it. I would also like to share some tips on maintaining one's mental health and emotional equilibrium. When a woman has many people who rely on her for their well-being, it is important for her to protect herself emotionally from those who would drag her down. It is not being selfish to have boundaries. (Read more.)