Some long-winded personal excuses
I've been meaning to return to this blog for a long time but have had a difficult time being near my computer for any length of time without endangering it. Flour from cutting fat into pie pastry, dough from sticky rich doughnuts or sweet breakfast breads, mop slime, icky rags of goo from cleaning bathrooms, dustily dusty dust from the pharaohic collections under the sofa and chairs, ashes from the fireplace or wood stove, greasy dishwater every night after the evening meal... from all these things I have saved my computer. I'd say I've also done the same for my phone, but that is untrue. I dropped him into a sinkful of dirty dishes two weeks ago. Yes, he is still alive and well (this proves that my God has an extraordinary capacity for grace towards the simpleminded, absentminded, and forgetful).
This man has an excellent mustache.
My spare time is spent listening to the bible on audiobook and spinning or knitting, or trying to meditate. Somehow I have remained ridiculously highly-strung despite my efforts to the contrary and all my sacrifices of other activities I enjoy so much. But I like scribbling here. I am determined to pick it up again. Stop laughing! I really mean it this time!
A word about St. Ambrose and his treatise 'Concerning Virgins'
Being a single woman and a virgin, and a Christian of a peculiar sort, I have been reading bits of things that might explain more about how I ought to live my life. I don't have anything negative to say about it, but you must admit that outside of monasteries and nunneries there is little to recommend a single religious life to history. So I've been searching. There are several different ways to go about looking for this in medieval literature. I like saints' lives. They read a bit like case studies, with a dash of Indiana Jones in the middle and the end is always a bit Vincent-Price-ish. There is also the didactic side of things, which tends to be more intellectually stimulating though not always logical as we would think of it.
From somewhere in the National Gallery of Art--rare-ish to see a medieval woman's sleeves rolled up, no?
Ambrose uses both sides in 'Concerning Virgins': a short didactic piece and then a few case studies, interspersed with lots of bible verses taken out of context and a lot about how unfit Ambrose himself is to write anything at all. While I appreciate his noting that the holy figures closest to God were promised but not married, and all the Pauline stuff about it being okay to be married but better to be single, I wish he had gone into more depth. There is only a short part of his work that actually talks about how a virgin ought to live. Perhaps I am asking too much? I suppose I have already accepted that it is good for me to live as I do, and don't really need a reiteration of this justification. Also I could have done without the apocryphal stuff about Mary and the heathen martyrs. Hmm.
On knitting, spinning, baking, and other homely crafts
I have before mentioned that I have been working though a book of vintage sock patterns. I am about six patterns deep into the 24 offered in the book. That should surprise the knitters amongst you, but be ye not dismayed! I am only going so slowly because I have had other projects (mostly for new babies). I will try to post pictures appropriately.
Dad's Christmas socks.
I am also learning to spin, which has proved very amusing indeed, and much more time-consuming (though since I spin while listening to my daily bible study I get a surprising amount of things done). I am going to purchase my first wheel on May Day, and she schall be named Katheryn. I shall spin flax in the summer and wool in the winter, and maybe even post a video every now and again. I didn't think I'd like it so much, but the whole process is very relaxing and people keep buying me fiber so I can spin it into yarn for them (very efficiently providing two presents at once!).
My first handspun.
My baking endeavors have been praised to the heavens and my victims have licked their fingers. This makes me happy and joyful. I also have pictures of these things and have also been getting into the spirit of American holidays by baking for them. Hopefully pictures will be about this too, if I can ever get them done and uploaded.
What happened to the medievalist that used to scribble here, and the degree you got, and all that work you were agonizing over... ?
I don't really know. Actually I do, but the story is too long for here. My life outside of academia has been more rewarding than my life in it. I am starting to take Latin classes again, though. Soon. I am taking off work to do that. More soon, I hope:)