St. Catherine

This picture is taken from a book called Old English Churches: Their Architecture, Furniture, Decoration, Monuments …
By George Clinch, published in 1900. It tickles my fancy, even though the story behind it is not funny at all:

St. Catherine black and white from window in west wickham


I love her expression, don’t you?  I can just hear her saying, “Stop writhing, Sire, I’m not done reading.”

Mr. Clinch says of this church building:

“The series of windows at West Vickham, filled with stained glass of the fifteenth century, deserves very careful study on account of its excellent quality and comparatively perfect condition. The glass is in the windows of the Lady Chapel, north of the chancel. In the east window are representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and our Lord as an infant (Fig 81);  St Anne teaching the Blessed Virgin to read (Fig 82);  St Christopher bearing our Lord and a kneeling skeleton. In the north windows are: The Mater Dolorosa,  St Dorothea,  St Catherine of Alexandria (Fig 83), and St Christopher. There is reason to believe that the glass is the work of a Flemish artist, or at any rate that it was produced under Flemish influence but it is so beautiful and delicate that a great authority upon the subject has declared that there is nothing finer in the celebrated windows at Fairford.”

I looked for the original online, realizing of course, that for all I know, it was bombed on just gone for some mundane reason.  I am still not sure, but I did find this detail:

st catherine stained glass window cut


The story is that St. Catherine of Alexandria or St. Catherine of the Wheel,  was a young princess and a scholar of some renoun in the early 4th century in Egypt. The Emperor began persecuting Christians and she went to him to confront him.  He collected fifty pagan scholars and sent them to debate with CAtherine, who refused to renounce Christianity, but rather, converted the pagan scholars the king sent to change her mind.  He tossed her into prison and curious seekers came to visit her and were also converted and subsequently martyered, including the emperor’s wife.  Widowed, the Emperor decided to marry Catherine, and she refused him.  He tried to torture her on a wheel of spikes, but she miraculously destroyed it with a touch.  She was finally tortured and then put to the death.  The Catherine wheel is named after her- it’s now a firecracker that spins and sets of sparks at the edges.  You see the wheel in the top picture. The sword in her hand is usually considered the one that was used to behead her, and the king beneath her feet is the one who had her killed.  The idea here, of course, is that he didn’t conquer her, but she conquered him by refusing to submit to his pagan scholars or his carnal desires, even though it cost her her earthly life.

History says she never existed, or at best, was a composite of many admired Christian women who were martyed during this time period (the fourth century).

I have to say I am charmed by the idea that it is a noted lady scholar who is a composite of martyred Christian women much admired by, and an encouragement to, those who survived the persecutions.

I think the same stained glass window can be seen here at about 3.05:

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Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. If you want to say something to them, here is what to say to any Vets and Veteran’s families you know, “Thank-you for your service. I’m thinking of the fallen today, I know you are, too.”

From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary- Memorial: 1. Preservative of memory.

There high in air memorial of my name,

Fix the smooth oar, and bid me live to fame.

2. Contained in memory; as memorial possession.

MEMO’RIAL, noun That which preserves the memory of something; any thing that serves to keep in memory. A monument is a memorial of a deceased person, or of an event. The Lord’s supper is a memorial of the death and sufferings of Christ.

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K-Drama Review: Girl Who Sees Smells/ Sensory Couple

Sensory Couple- for the little to no amount of sex, language, and skin shown, I’d give this a solid G. For violence, it’s a strong PG13- it’s not that there’s a lot of graphic violence you actually have to see, but it’s kind of impossible to have a serial killer known for leaving a strange barcode on his victim’s arms (carved, not stamped) without being dark and creepy. The adorable romance part of this is ridiculously adorable and charming and very sweet, innocent, and effervescent.  The serial killer is cold, disturbing, and creepy.

The title is a weird name and in English doesn’t really communicate what it is supposed to.  This is a really adorably romantic comedy, believe it or not, combined with some very chilling mysteries, and a deeply disturbed and frightening psychopath.  It’s a weird mix, but for me, it worked.

These two character introductions have some basic spoilers, but they are all things revealed in the first episode, or even in the show write-ups and descriptions, so nothing major.

Choi Mu Gak is a doting older brother and the guardian of his younger sister. She’s brutally murdered by a serial killer, and he basically loses most of his sensory abilities. He can’t taste, smell, or sense pain.  He leaves the aquarium job he loves and becomes a cop so he can track down the serial killer who murdered his beloved little sister and last surviving family member. Fortunately, he is very smart, although his one-track mind and stolid inability to smile or show that he feels anything at all cause most of those around him to mistake him for an idiot at first.
This character is played by Park YooChun (formerly Micky YooChun), who also was the lead in Rooftop Prince and who is one of the popular members of the popular band JYJ (formerly he was in the band TVXQ). He’s also been in in the dramas Sungkyunkwan Scandal (I loved this, and he was outstanding), Miss Ripley, Missing You, Three Days (none of which I’ve watched). I like his acting very much.

Choi Eun Seol shares the same name as Mu Gak’s dongsaeng, and something else as well. She is the beloved only child of a fisher couple.  They are also murdered by this same serial killer- only, he meant to kill the whole family. Eun Seol gets away, only to be hit by a car in her desperate fight to flee. She goes into a coma for a couple of years. When she finally awakes, she has lost her memory completely, one of her eyes changes colour, and she can actually see smells. This sounds flaky and dumb, but it actually works. I really got a kick out of how they handled this in the show. One of the chief police officers in her case ends up leaving the force, adopting her and taking care of her while he waits for her to regain her memories. He gives her his dead child’s name, Oh Choi Rim. This is actually not creepy, it’s very charming and sweet. He wants to protect her most of all and while he wants her memories to return so they can identify and catch the serial killer, he doesn’t want to damage her emotionally fragile state in the process. She’s played by Shin SeKyung. She’s been in a lot of projects, but I’ve only seen her in Blade-Man. Both here and in Blade-Man she was absolutely an adorable confection of sweetness, a bit of pathos, and charm. I liked her character entirely, and she plays her very well. Not having seen her other projects, I have no idea what else she can do, but I am happy with this.

The first episode throws them together in the usual way where the lead couple start by being annoyed with each other. However, it’s fairly lukewarm hostility- they are both just frustrated by the circumstances. She helps him out of a bind she accidentally contributes to, and he agrees to help her out of a bind he’s accidentally contributed to, and he learns about her smelling ability and finds it useful for police work. She is willing to help him out from time to time because she likes what the police do, since her dad is a retired police officer.

Then the bar-cold killer starts killing again (that’s the name of the serial killer who murdered the parents the lead girl doesn’t remember, as well as the younger sister the lead male cannot forget).

There are delightful and occasionally annoying side kick cops and at least two contenders for the identity of the bar-code killer, both worrisome and scary, a sweet and doting daddy, whom we don’t get enough of, and the comedy troop that Oh Choi Rim wants to join, plus, you know, crimes to solve, romances to begin, and so on. Somehow, it really does all work together for the most part. There are a couple of instances where I thought the police were shown to be unbelievably incompetent and dumb, and OCR did not use that smell detector of hers when she should have, but over all, I liked this a lot and I thought the couple were adorable and the killer really, really creepy, just as he should be.



Most of the people at dramabeans are unhappy because we don’t get a lot of backstory on the serial killer and why he does what he does.

I agree that there were plot-holes, and I wanted to know more about some of the backstories, mainly Lt. Yeom, but not so much the killer’s.

I appreciated the subtle story-telling I thought I saw displayed here.  We do know why he does what he does, it’s just that nobody sits down and explains it as though reading a textbook to the viewers.

I thought we got the answer to why he decided to kill OCR’s parents (and anybody else), in the brief but very chilling moment when he was chatting with her and suddenly looked at her with new interest and said something like “Suddenly I’m very interested in getting to know you better and hearing more about your story.” I felt it was very clear that at that moment, he’d decided she would be his next victim, and we also were told why.  The reason the victims were seemingly so random is simply because they were people who for random reasons interested him and made him curious about their lives.

From the trauma of being adopted and taken to a new culture, to the trauma of abuse in that disorienting culture, abuse so serious that he lost the ability to distinguish human faces, this villain lost the ability to really connect with other human beings at all.  He has no back story of his own since he doesn’t know who he was before adoption and the trauma of the post adoption abuse has disconnected him from other human beings.  He doesn’t distinguish them as individuals at all, until he learns enough about them and something simply catches his curiosity. Being a psychopath control-freak with no story of his own, when they catch his interest, he wants to know their story- to own it, and in the manner of collectors, to be the only one who does own it.  Not even they can be permitted to own those stories once he’s gotten all he wants out of them, and they definitely could not be permitted to continue their stories- because their life stories are now his. So he ends them and keeps the book to peruse when he wants to.   This tunnel vision and essential selfishness is also why this bright psychopath was too dumb to have ever even considered the idea that maybe some of his victims hadn’t told him the truth about their stories at all.

And as interesting as his own story is, I think I also appreciate the point I hope the writers were making- he’s a killer, a horrible human being. He is not more interesting or worthy of attention than the decent people around him.  Bad things happened to them, too. They are orphans with murdered family members, Choi Rim survived a murderous attack not just once, and the same is true of Mu Gak and Lt. Yeom, and while it’s true that  the trauma and abuse endured by a child at the hands of people who are supposed to love him the most are incredibly damaging and long-lasting, sympathy and interest shouldn’t blind us to the fact that he chose the dark, and for the people on the side of light, the choices they made are love and affirmation and they deserve more of our attention.


Additional Spoiler: much is made of the fact that he killed his girlfriend Ma Ri.  No, he didn’t kill his girlfriend.  He killed Ma Ri, but there’s only his word for it that they were a couple.  Mu Gak ponders early on as to why nobody knew Ma Ri had a boyfriend.  That’s one of the reasons he had to have her diaries- there would be no mention of them having that kind of a relationship in them.  The second would be that he has this psychopathic need to own his victim’s lives and stories, so of course, he’d need to be the only who who has their diaries.  A possible alternative second theory is that he was grooming Ma Ri to be his next victim- after all, I think he chose his victims based on the fact that they interested him for some reason, so they were people he has some at least slight acquaintance with.

turtle dragon blog link

Dramas I’ve completed, recommend, and reviewed: see here.

K-Dramas I almost liked- most of these are  darker than I usually prefer. Some are also-rans- I thought I was going to like them, which is why I started reviewing, but they there were just too flawed.

Things to know when watching a K-drama

More Things To Know

Addiction, and why I like K-dramas

You might be watching a K-Drama if….

Where to get your fix: Sites where you can find subtitled K-dramas (and dramas from other countries, as well. I’ve watched a handful of J-dramas (Japanese) and TW (Taiwanese) dramas, but I vastly prefer the K-dramas, even though I know more Japanese – I got an A in my Japanese 101 class back in the day, when we actually lived in Japan and once I even knew both hiragana and katakana- but still K-dramas interest me vastly more).

Need to read still more about K-dramas?


Dramabeans- must reading, as long as you can filter out the point that they see misogyny everywhere, but never met a scene with a girl kicking a boy in the crotch for no good reason that doesn’t make them chortle with glee.

Outside Seoul

Noonas Over Forks

Couch Kimchi

Learn more background stuff about Korean culture from askakorean



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Free Printables

Or just feast your eyes. The design comes from a colour plate of an arch/entrance in the agra. I found the plate in an old book online, but I already deleted that window and can’t remember the title.

The verses are from Lamentations, chapter 3.

If you want to use the ink to print them, choose portrait, set margins to .5.

You can also save them and then send them to your local photo processing store for prints, magnets, or whatever.

Agra tile sign Lamentation 3

Agra tile sign and bookmark or refrigerator postit Lamentation 3


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The Dugger Scandal

I agree with those who note that there is a double standard in the media, and there are plenty of other child molesters the media knows and loves and covers for. I’m pretty sure if Josh came out of the closet as gay and it turned out his victims were little boys, many of those now squawking and gleefully pointing fingers would be gravely shaking their heads and folding their hands with steepled fingers as they spoke pseudointellectually about experimentation and gender fluidity and exploring one’s sexuality in an oppressive environment. If were a liberal film maker drugging and raping 13 year old girls, they’d give him awards.

But this is what I agree with most.

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Reading here, reading there, reading bits of everywhere

I know this is a shock, but CNN lied a whole bunch in their Feb, um, ‘report’ about white terror groups.  Must reading.


Meditation study finds that meditation and mindfulness are not the panacea we’ve been told. On study conducted in prison found that prisoners were “just as aggressive before the mindfulness techniques,” but their mood improved and they were less stressed. NO word on how stressed their victims were.

Last year the media loudly trumpeted a study on attitudes toward same sex marriage. Science magazine published it. This year, one of the two co-authors discovered his partner was a lying cheat who fabricated the data, and he asked for the study to be retracted. The media are shocked and dismayed.
A study claiming that gay people advocating same-sex marriage can change voters’ minds has been retracted due to fraud. What’s more, the funding agencies credited with supporting the study deny having any involvement. The study was published last December in Science, and received lots of media attention. It found that a 20-minute, one-on-one conversation with a gay political canvasser could steer voters in favor of same-sex marriage. Not only that, but these changed opinions lasted for at least a year and influenced other people in the voter’s household, the study found. Donald Green, the senior author on the study, retracted it on Tuesday shortly after learning that his co-author, UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour, had faked the results. Science posted an official “editorial expression of concern” — a very big deal in the science world — on Wednesday afternoon. […] – See more at:

What do I mean by saying the media are shocked and dismayed?  Well, for just one example, we were in the car on the way home from town where I enrolled our son in the community college (and created his transcript off the cuff and on the fly), and my husband turned on NPR and they were talking about it.

In dispassionate, neutral terms befitting journalists, they described the original study results as impressive, too good to be true (a value judgement of ‘good’ on the results), and even, I did you not, ‘miraculous.’  Then they discussed the retraction and chicanery in sad terms.

Did I say dispassionate and neutral?  Sorry.  I mean just like the advocates and partisans they are.  As for being sad about the retraction and chicanery, it’s pretty clear what they are sad about is that the chicanery required of them to lose one of their gay advocate talking points.

Speaking of retractions, according to this study done a couple years ago:

two-thirds of retracted life-sciences papers were stricken from the scientific record because of misconduct such as fraud or suspected fraud — and that journals sometimes soft-pedal the reason.

Why do so many scientists hate science?

The Boy Scouts of America has banned squirt gun fights. They can only be pointed at targets, not people, because Scouts are kind, and squirting a water gun at somebody is not kind.  Also, water balloons can be no bigger than ping pong balls.

The dumb here, it just coats everything.  I don’t even know where to begin.  I know that my kids would have considered it incredibly unkind *not* to be allowed to be on the recieving end of squirt guns and giant water balloons. Tiny water balloons are hard, and they hurt and don’t explode, as a friend’s son pointed out.  They just hit you, hard, and bounce off.  The giant, wriggly, squishy ones break on impact and on a hot day, it’s a treat.

And water guns are not weapons.  They are toys. These people have absolutely no sense of proportion or discernment.

Girl Scouts welcomes transgender ‘girls.’

Nixon’s tapes were missing a few minutes.  Look what Hilary Clinton’s emails are missing.


Seems like a political misuse and abuse of power to me.

The victim of ‘mattress girl’ is suing the university.


Blasts from the past:

On this date in these years:

1900 – The Associated Press was incorporated as a non-profit news cooperative in New York.

1900 – A. DeVilbiss, Jr. patented his pendulum-type computing scale.

1900 – Edwin S. Votey received a patent for the pianola (a pneumatic piano player). It could be attached to any piano.

1906 – The Wright brothers received a patent their flying machine.

1939 – Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini signed a military alliance between Germany and Italy known as the “Pact of Steel.”

1947 – The Truman Doctrine was enacted by the U.S. Congress to appropriate military and economic aid Turkey and Greece.

1955 – A scheduled dance to be headlined by Fats Domino was canceled by police in Bridgeport, Connecticut because “rock and roll dances might be featured.”

And in her journal for May 19, 1951, my great-grandmother wrote that she worked in her yard, did some housecleaning, ate dinner with Mrs. Kincaid, and noted that it was very hot and humid, the birds started singing before daybreak and they made more noise than the Harbor Trains in Chicago.


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Country Music Mashup

This is totally hilarious:

IT’s by Sir Mashalot. He’s got a facebook page and he’s planning a release of a 25 song pop mash up soon.

Songs in the same genre will sound similar because there are certain traits that fit a song in one genre rather than another. What impresses me is not the similarites, but the skill required to hear them, and then separate them out and put together a graphic demonstration that uses both sound and visuals to communicate with the audience. It’s pretty cool stuff.

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Frugal Milkshake: From the Recipe Files

2015-05-17 20.55.16


Cheap home-made milkshakes, and delicious, but not necessarily healthy, as you see.  I think the point of the corn oil is that it’s cheap, but you could use a better sort of oil. The girls used to make these frequently  on hot summer days when we lived in the little house.

I’m curious how it would work if we used coconut milk, some honey or even a bit of stevia, and a healthier oil.

Posted in cookery, frugalities | 6 Comments

More Charlotte Mason Bookmarks

These have the twenty principles as found in the front of volume 6, plus a couple extra quotes because I could fit two more on the second page.

Click to enlarge.  Right click to save or print. Make sure your paper orientation is landscape, and the margins are .5.  It also helps to have coloured ink in the printer.

charlotte Mason bookmarks twenty principles 16-20 and a bonus

charlotte Mason bookmarks twenty principles 1-16

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This Explains So Much

woman-writing-a-letterIntroverts may often make a living with their words, but they have trouble talking:

Word retrieval is a problem for some introverts because, along with deeper processing, we use long-term memory instead of short-term memory. It takes longer to access long-term memory, and we need the right association (something that reminds us of the word) to reach into our long-term memory and pull out the exact word we want, writes Laney.

If we’re anxious — which may happen when we’re with people we don’t know well, or when we’re in a high-pressure situation like a first date — it may be even more difficult to locate and articulate a word.

Why it’s easier to express ourselves in writing

Introverts “often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation,” writes Susan Cain in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

Introverts often prefer text messages and emails to phone calls. Many of us keep journals or compose lyrics, poems, or stories, and some of us make careers out of writing.

I have family members (extroverts, of course) who refuse to read anything at all about PTSD. “Just tell me,” one of them said. But that’s exactly what I cannot do. Besides the fact that it’s hard for me to just explain something verbally at any time, being unable to talk about PTSD and explain the symptoms is kind of one of the symptoms of PTSD.

I also cannot tell you how many times I’ve listened to extroverts lead a ladies’ Bible class and lay down the law about why a face to face discussion is the only Christian way to handle anything, that writing back and forth, exchanging letters or emails, is just plain wrong. After hearing this message for years from various people, I did finally ask one of them once how it is that Peter was able to communicate in writing, and Paul even chastised people in writing and yet that isn’t very Christian behavior. I was told it’s different today, but I disagree.

Where it may be easier to misinterpret or think the worst of somebody on the other side of a written communication I suspect that’s because we no longer expect charity and self-control of ourselves, and that perhaps the fault is with the willingness of the reader to take offense and think the worst of the writer. What was once a virtue we required of ourselves is now something we don’t even have on our radar- we are ‘free to think as we please,’ but:

“We are not free to think Hard Things about Others.––We may not ‘run a-mock’ in the world! To go, head down, feet foremost, for all we are worth, and run into whatever comes in our way, may be inviting, but it does not answer. Nobody is born a Hooligan; that lordly justice within our hearts is always down upon us for the claims of other people; and having considered the persons of these others, we awake to the fact that they, all of them, have claims upon us in regard to their character and reputation. Most of us know that we are not free to think what we like about our parents or other Heads, of our school household, or office. Some of us do not let ourselves think disagreeable things about our brothers and sisters, servants, or other inmates of our home. There are still a few more who are careful about thoughts regarding acquaintances and outside relations; but, having got thus far, most of us feel ourselves free to think what we please about the characters of outsiders, whether it be of the man who makes our shoes, or the statesman who helps to govern us, or an acquaintance in another set.
Justice to the Characters of Others.––Justice, holding court within, ordains that we shall think fair thoughts of everybody, near or far, above or below us.”
Charlotte Mason, Ourselves

I remember the first time I read that, and I was totally shocked. I was part of the ‘free to think what I please’ brigade, and it had literally never occurred to me that even in my thoughts I should strive to be fair and charitable in how I thought of others.

Then there’s this:

But for us introverts, the pathway is much longer. Stimulation travels through many areas of the brain, including:

The right front insular, which is an area associated with empathy, self-reflection, and emotional meaning. This is also the area of the brain that notices any errors.
Broca’s area, which plans speech and activates self-talk.
The right and left front lobes, which select, plan, and choose ideas or actions. These areas also develop expectations and evaluate outcomes.
The left hippocampus, which stamps things as “personal” and stores long-term memories.

Fascinating stuff. That noticing errors? Yeah, buddy. It’s only taken me fifty years, but I’ve finally learned to stop myself from blurting them out- it irritates other people, and they perceive it as nitpicking and looking for mistakes. I don’t look for them- they come to me with flashing lights around them.
And when I say I’ve finally learned- I mean, oh, about 25% of the time I manage to stop myself in time. But it’s hard. It’s like training yourself to trip without making any noise at all, because the mistakes to me are mental stumbling blocks.

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