The Tiny and Highly Functional Kitchen


4a835-traditional_household_small_functional_kitchenOne doesn’t need lots of space to have an elegant, organized kitchen like the one pictured here. Things just need to co-exist in coherent fashion. Large, white appliances combined with lemon yellow, orange and lime green  cookware can give a unified appearance;  I call the effect “harmonious clutter”. All the many tools in this kitchen are used frequently, so there really is no wasted space.

@M-J de Mesterton, May 2017

Please Visit M-J’s Traditional Household  for tips on kitchen essentials.


Montage of Misshapen Muffin-Topped Maidens

It’s almost fall-fashion time, and, unfortunately, my 2013 post on idiotic style is still relevant. Don’t let “fashion” dictate your look. Rise above the ill-clad crowd and look taller by wearing your garments at the actual waist, which is located about an inch above the navel.~~M-J

Elegant Survival News

Why go around short-legged, double-gutted, and half-assed when you could simply wear your trousers or pants at the waist, solving  all three self-imposed problems at once?  Ridiculously high heels don’t help.
Since 2006, I have been writing about the sort of misguided clothing-choices pictured in this photo-montage. Garments that only rise to that area just above the groin cause both the grotesque “Muffin-Top” and the risible anomaly known as “Plumber’s Crack”, yet every year, THEY’RE BA-ACK!  Resist sinking into fashion-victimhood, and stop risking your pants falling down. Wear your pants, trousers and skirts up at the waist,
and you will not look this idiotic. SIMPLE, isn’t  it?
©M-J de Mesterton 2013

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Christa Black: God Loves Ugly

Christa Black, Musician and Author
Christa Black, Musician and Author

Christa Black: Violinist, Composer, Inspirational Author

Excerpts from

A natural-born performer, Christa Black’s life embodies the entirety of the modern artist. Multi-platinum-selling songwriter, mesmerizing entertainer, powerful speaker, and popular blog-author, Christa has travelled the world and shared the stage with renowned artists from the Jonas Brothers and Michael W. Smith to Jordin Sparks and Israel Houghton.

While Christa’s effortless singing and accomplished violin and song-writing abilities have attracted critical acclaim, she is much more than just a musician. Her passion for speaking and writing have inspired thousands to find freedom from addictions, eating disorders, shame, and self-hatred.

Christa’s book, God Loves Ugly, chronicles her personal journey out of destructive cycles into a life of freedom. Unashamedly transparent, she describes her painful struggle to find personal peace from the monsters of insecurity, self-hatred, sexual abuse, depression, and eating disorders. She takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery, exposing the negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions that can lead to paths of bondage. Her conversational style and light-hearted storytelling will leave you laughing at her mistakes, challenged by her teaching, and crying with her pain, inviting the reader into practical steps towards healing and freedom.

Both the book and CD God Loves Ugly coincide, pairing chapters with songs that represent each topic addressed.

An avid communicator, Christa’s speaking is as captivating as her singing. Her enthusiasm for releasing people into wholeness and freedom is evident in everything she does, whether it’s singing in front of thousands of people, speaking to inspire, writing a song that reflects her heart, or taking a stranger out to coffee and hearing their story.

“So many people get the microphone and have nothing relevant to say,” says Black. “In fact, I lived that way for a lot of my life, desiring fame and recognition out of insecurity and a need for approval. Performance comes from perfection, but excellence comes from identity. I want people knowing their worth and value—their true identity—and that it’s their absolute right and inheritance to live full and free.”


Amusing Paraprosdokians

Amusing Quotes, Tragically True
True and Tragic Ticklers
PARAPROSDOKIANS  (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which  the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

1.  Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2.  The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my  list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some  people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left..

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

10. Buses stop in bus stations.  Trains stop in train stations.  On my desk is a work station.

11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

12.  In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case  of emergency, notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR.’

13. I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.

14.  Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind  the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

16.  A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

17. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

18. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

19. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get  away.

20. I used to be indecisive.  Now I’m not so sure.

21. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

22.  To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

23. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

24.  Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

25.  Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than  standing in a garage makes you a car.

26.  Where there’s a will, there are relatives.

Past is Prologue: Hitler’s Austria

Setting: Austria
By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or will ever
read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that
Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected
him by a landslide – 98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in any American publications.

Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took
Austria by force. In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third
of our workforce was unemployed.
We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young
people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t
want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs. My mother was a Christian
woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle
of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting
each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were
destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government
to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had

been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment
or crime, and they had a high standard of living.

Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise.

We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria.

We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family.

Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.

Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to
Germany and have Hitler for our ruler. We were overjoyed, and for three days
we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades.
The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a
miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was

The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.
Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women.
Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home.
An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his
family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they
could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.
The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our

The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my
schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi
flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we
wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang “Deutschland,
Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents
were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told
that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the
first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of
$300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours
consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As
time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports
equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about
the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me
out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do
that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There
was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political
indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it.
Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends,
and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their
loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By
that time unwed mothers were glorified for “having a baby for Hitler”.
It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly.
As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I
wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

“Equal Rights” Hits Home

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was
rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same
time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you
didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to
death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any
marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for
young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps.
During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned
to their barracks for military training just like the boys.
They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps.
After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.
When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends,
most of these women are emotional cripples because they just
were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.
Three months before I turned 18, I was in an air raid attack.
I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into
the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family through Daycare

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government
immediately established child care centers. You could take your
children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7
days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole
generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of
the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this
time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we’d been had.

Health-Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors
trained at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, health care was
socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem
was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for
everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were
already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you
needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn.
There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine.
Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best
doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for health-care, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income.
Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household.
We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free.
High schools were taken over by the government and college
tuition was subsidized.

Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps,
clothing, and housing. We had another agency designed to monitor business. My
brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government
officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because
people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have
additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business
with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of
business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones
existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy.
Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency
specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the
live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce

“Mercy Killing” Redefined

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The
villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter,
were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people
inter-married and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told

there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did
good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor
of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others
getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an
institution where the State Health Department would teach them a
trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a
little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits
would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people
died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected
what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all
died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

The Final Steps – Gun Laws

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns.
Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by
matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and
dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms.
Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to
turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was
futile not to comply voluntarily.

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the
government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested,
not only Jews,but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly; it took 5 years from 1938 until

1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my
countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had
creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea
sounds almost unbelievable–that the state, little by little, eroded our

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped,
preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the
Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could,
dismantling whole factories
in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit,
and what they couldn’t destroy,
they burned. We called it The Burned Earth.

Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women
hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who
couldn’t, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today,
dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians.

This is an eye-witness account. It’s true…those of us who sailed
past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and
opportunity. America truly is the greatest country in the world.
Don’t let freedom slip away, because after America , there is no place to go.

By Kitty Werthmann

Kitty Werthmann’s presentation, “Socialism vs. Freedom” | South Dakota Family Policy Council
This information is provided by PURE PURSUIT INTELLIGENCE CENTER,
as a service to Military and Air Defense Communities with the purpose of
offering relevant and timely information on (open source) defense,
aviation, emergency, law enforcement and terrorism issues.

Remember the Waist?

Where Is the Waist? Editorial by M-J de Mesterton

Posted on September 14, 2010 at 1:29 PM
Where is the waist? That’s what I wonder every time I look at photos of the newest “fashions.” What is new about the same old tragic clothing-concepts bobbing up again, masquerading as innovative?
For the past ten years, pants and skirts have consistently been manufactured without even coming close to the waist, yet they are touted as the “latest.” To paraphrase General Honoré of Louisiana, someone’s “stuck on stupid.” I thought last spring that the tide of bad clothes was turning, but having perused some catalogues this month, it is apparent that clothing designers  are still denying their customers ample fabric to cover their “plumber’s cracks.”

Snide cracks about “mom jeans” and thoroughly ignorant comments calling anything that indeed does come just up to the natural waist “high-waisted” are still being heard  and read by those of us who actually remember where the waist is located on the human corpus: the place for belts, sashes, snaps and buttons is an inch or two above the navel, depending upon one’s height. The designer of the human body gave us the waist as an elegant way of keeping our pants, skirts  and trousers from falling down; also to enhance our corporeal proportions. The true waist never comes below the navel, and it certainly cannot be found two inches above one’s crotch. Garments are falling down from where they rest on the hips, and the fashion world has insisted on staying down in the gutter after what seems to be a devastating, permanent fall from elegant, figure-enhancing style.

Fashion-victims are afraid now to go against the hideous dictum that you must wear your clothes no higher than the hip. This is a big mistake, because if one follows the lines of his or her body, they will see that clothes descending from the waist lengthen the legs, while clothes that only come up to the hips turn even the slimmest among us into pot-bellied, short and sloppy -looking people who would have been laughed-at throughout the previous decades and centuries.

Wearing six-inch heels to compensate for the bad deeds done to your figure by stingy clothing manufacturers and designers does nothing but make one look even sillier. Extra-high heels will damage both your feet and back, and will not give back the height robbed from you by idiotic torso-stretching trousers and skirts. For men, extra-long trousers do not visually lengthen your legs; rather, they make you look dumpy.
The fail-safe, time-tested method of developing real glamour and style is to dress in natural, luxurious cloths and fabrics from the waist-down; wear two-to-three inch heels if you are a woman, and keep your trousers from heaping into a puddle on top of your shoes if you are a man. And don’t forget the stockings and socks. No one will notice that you are not blindly and self-destructively following bad fashion. But, they will wonder why on earth you look so good, while their trousers are slipping into the mire together with all sense of style.

Now, there is the waist, at the center of the torso–our anchoring feature of elegant style. Pants, trousers and skirts constructed without it are a waste!

© Copyright M-J de Mesterton; September 14th, 2010

Waist-to-Height Ratio and Your Health: an easy-to-use page that tells you how to find your waist, recommends its ideal measurement for your height, gender and age, calculates your body-mass index and displays one’s optimum daily caloric-intake.

    Click Here to Read M-J’s Main Website, Elegant Survival

Schwimmer’s Movie TRUST is a MUST for Teens and Parents

Trust, directed by David Schwimmer, is a very tastefully-done film about the dangers for children and teenagers who  participate in social networking. It is just graphic enough to depict events, but not so much that parents will wish they hadn’t invited the kids to watch. There are a couple of anatomical references, but probably nothing that today’s school children haven’t already heard in the halls.
Also see the movie, Trade: what follows is my piece on it from 2008.

30 MARCH 2008

The Movie, Trade: a Cautionary Tale

It’s important for parents of children to see this movie. It’s also important for those who believe that travel to Mexico is romantic, and for the high school girl who pleads to go on a Natalie Holloway-style senior trip (that’s the kind from which they never return), to view this serious, sad, and intriguing film about a burgeoning criminal culture that is world-wide. I don’t want to give away the exciting ending….From the website:
TALK IT UP – EXPOSE THE TRUTH ABOUT MODERN-DAY SLAVERY: Talk with your family, friends, colleagues, and classmates about the issues of human trafficking and expose the reality of modernday slavery through one-on-one discussions and small group conversations. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth awareness raising! You can write op/eds for a local paper, write about trafficking in an online blog, and let others know that human trafficking is a cause that you care about!

Philadelphia Mayor Tells Toughs the Truth

Bravo, Mayor Nutter–let’s hope your words are heeded, because they are extremely uplifting and wise!

In an appearance on Sunday, August 7th 2011 at his mainly African-American home church, Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania addressed the problems of local black youth, most of which are self-inflicted, with the following truthful advice to his city’s violent flash-rioters–but hey, they are TOUGH enough to take it:

  • “Take those God darn hoodies down, especially in the summer. Pull your pants up and buy a belt, ’cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt. Nobody.”
  • “If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ’cause you look like you’re crazy!”
  • “The Immaculate Conception of our Lord Jesus Christ took place a long time ago, and it didn’t happen here in Philadelphia. So every one of these kids has two parents who were around and participating at the time. They need to be around now.”
  • “Parents who neglect their children, who don’t know where they are, who don‘t know what they’re doing, who don‘t know who they’re hanging out with: you’re going to find yourself spending some quality time with your kids in jail.”
  • To fathers: “If you’re not providing the guidance, and you’re not sending any money, you’re just a sperm donor.”

Mayor Nutter is not about to give in and say, “Let my people go…” down the drain with the nihilistic rap-culture thugocracy. He is practicing TOUGH LOVE. And I wouldn’t be surprised if his helpful, truth-laden advice is squelched by the press. After all, it is sensational and great for sales to cover riots, is it not?

The fact that the rap-culture media is dominated by white moguls in the recording and newsprint fields should be a tip-off to those who mindlessly follow its dictum of bad style in both speech and dress. The irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife (or box-cutter, the street weapon-of-choice)–young people are squandering their hard-won civil rights and opportunities for the benefit of an evil industry that keeps them enslaved to failure.

Remember Rational Standard Dress-Sizes?

Remember normal-sized clothing for women, before the American fashion industry started distorting sizing in order to flatter the anorexia cult? Standard sizing no longer exists–a dress with a 36-inch bust is now labelled as anything between size 4 and size 14, depending upon whom the maker is targeting. And today’s size 12 is now sometimes distorted by being labelled “plus” for the purpose of  charging more for it.  Some of the styles offered by New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman in 1948 started at size 12, and went up to size 20. Originally, “plus sizes” were anything above size twenty. In 1948, this black silk dress was offered at Bergdorf Goodman in sizes 10–16. If a woman wanted something smaller, she had to shop in the children’s section.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

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