Friday, June 29, 2007


If you don't recognize her, this is Sissi--as she was known to her family. She was also Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Did you know she was the "Diana" of her day? She was widely known for her beauty and elegance in the 1800's--and she maintained quite of regimen to keep herself that way! She was obsessive about her exercise habits, partly because of nerves. She kept herself on a strict diet and particularly spent a long time each morning on the preparation of her hair--dark, lush and very long. Imagine an Empress with hair hanging down her back past her waist? And then imagine that hair dressed and combed with elegant ornaments placed just so by her attendants. She must have been a sight to behold and I think this particular picture reflects her magnificence.
But while she was beautiful, in many ways she was pushed aside in the Austrian court by her mother in law, who made all the decisions--even about her children. The Emperor, Franz Joseph was devoted to his sweet wife--who he married when she was only 16--but sided with his own mother over Elisabeth.
Sissi missed her family near Munich and her health suffered. The Empress didn't have much access to her own children, who were placed in a nursery located by the apartments used by Sophie, her mother in law. Frustrated, she took to traveling--and more exercise. She was glad to leave Vienna often for her trips. It was imperative for her health that she do so. She had almost no relationship with her eldest three children, but managed, finally, to have a close relationship with her youngest daughter.
Over the years there were several terrible events that haunted the Empress. What I'm relating here is just the very tip of the iceberg--I'm writing from memory. I don't want to give away too much lest you feel the need to pick up a biography of her. She did manage to maintain a fairly loving relationship with the Emperor over the years, to their credit. But I won't write any more at this time in case I spoil the story for you.
Oh!! Now this is getting off the topic a bit, but there's story I just have to tell you. If it wasn't for what I'm going to tell you, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this now. In my house we have several laptops which work off of a wireless router. As you probably know, having that wireless router allows you to move around the house with your computer and continue to get access to the internet. Well, last week our router broke. I was devastated. My 11 year old son, who's really up on all the latest technology, has an apple computer. He thought about the situation and said, "Mom, don't worry about it. I'll figure something out." Meanwhile, I sat in the corner, with the actual internet cable hooked into my computer. I knew that I'd only get a certain amount of time on the internet this way---I'd have to share it with everyone else! My son played around and set up his own wireless router, using his apple computer!!! He named the wireless internet "Viper" and connected me to it. As long as his apple computer is on, I have internet! I can walk around with no cords or wires. I know all mom's think their children are smart and precious, and they all are. I've mentioned this to a few people in the computer business and their mouths fell open. A kid his age just isn't supposed to know how to override a wireless router. I suppose if everyone could do it, the business itself would lose money.
When my son does things like that for me, I feel like a Queen.

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