Friday, May 20, 2016

Goings on ...

So, the peanuts are planted. Hoping to plant sorghum and pumpkins in the next week.
We are harvesting peas, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce. I think we will be picking corn in a couple weeks.
We inherited about 20 chickens in eggs this week, so supplement our 3-year old 1/2 dozen layers who are definitely on the downside of laying.
Our game hen hatched a small clutch, so meat birds are on the way.
I am back to work teaching Physics for the summer session at York Tech. I had 10 days off and visited my mother in Massachusetts and picked up number 2 son (Northeast Catholic College) for his final summer college break. He will be with us for a few weeks before heading back north to work.
I listened to (via ) The Black Arrow and The Master of Ballantrae both by Robert Louis Stevenson on the trip North. Right now I am listening to The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper.
Number 3 son (seminarian) is with us for only one week before he goes to work a Catholic summer camp in Texas for the rest of the summer.
Number 1 son (Wyoming Catholic) is on mission trip, building a church in Nicaragua and will be home for a month or two for his final summer college break.
Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


We didn't plant peanuts last year due to a perceived lack of manpower. But this year we are attempting it. The past few days we have been harrowing and plowing the small plot where the peanuts will go. I think one more session with the horse and we can have it done. (Because he doesn't plow much, the horse is out of shape and thus we need to work him slowly.)
 Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Sam's pigs

Sam farrowed today, and it was a long process. Her first was born around noon. The last around 4:15 PM.

She had 14 born alive and 5 dead. Will have to see if she can handle the 14. In the past she has had trouble managing that many. But we will see.

Here she is:
It has been an exciting day! We started plowing the field for peanuts, and Old Man did just fine. A grand litter of piglets, rain over the weekend (bringing up beans, and squash, and etc.)  Thank God for His bounty!
Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 29, 2016


Polly dropped her pigs sometime last night. They all take after their daddy.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I teach Physics as an adjunct at a "local" technical college. Last night I showed 2.5 minutes of a video in which Newtonian gravitation is maligned in favor of Einstein's bending space.
Of course I am teaching Newtonian Physics. It called to mind a recent quote I had never read before which I found at the Northeast Catholic Student Blog:

...Werner Heisenberg, who begins his work by saying: “Science is made by men, a self-evident fact that is far too often forgotten.
It is an interesting quote, especially noting (ironically) it is by the author of the Uncertainty Principle - (that a particle's position and momentum can not known be simultaneously-or that the more closely you know the position, the less accurately you know the momentum.)
In any event, what followed in the last lecture of the semester, was the most interesting one as we discussed how scientific theories, even accepted ones, change as we acquire new knowledge; going through Ptolemy to Copernicus and Galileo, etc.
Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 25, 2016

The work weekend on the homestead

Got a lot done this weekend. Friday it was drizzling so I decide to put in our tomato plants. No sooner were we started then it started to rain hard. No matter. We were already wet.

We tilled up the patch where the cantaloupes will go. We cultivated the corn. We tilled another garden section where pigs and turkeys used to live. This will be our main summer garden.

I picked and ate our first two pea pods of the spring.

And ... we finished building a small, temporary pen among some tree-killing vines and relocated the runt from the last litter there (picture below). She will eat the greenery and dig out the roots of these vines. When I took this picture, some 4 hours after the move, she had already put a noticeable dent in the vines. Sometime soon she will then hit the bbq pit, being about 110-120 pounds. We have a good feel for her weight because we carried her from her old pen to her new digs. (Well I use the term "we" sort of loosely. A friend and son Thomas did most of the lifting while I "organized".)

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Communism and Freedom

I noted below that I have read The Soul and the Wire from The Gulag. Now I am back to reading the rest of Part III of the same, which I had put off to read Part IV. Reading about the women in the work camps has to be one of the most depressing things I have ever read. The total loss of humanity that these women experienced may not be the worst atrocity in history, but it is still most difficult to read.

My children are reading Animal Farm together (school) and listening in, I think it surely relates to what is happening today or at least what may be starting to happen in our own "land of the free" country. Our freedom to speak and even think about what we believe is surely going the way of the wild buffalo.

Related in a way is this article  about some comments Ted Cruz made about who should legislate same-sex adoption. Not particularly to pick on Ted Cruz, but the article addresses the conservative/libertarian notion that only states (as opposed to the Federal government) should legislate moral issues. Here is the essence of the article:

Cruz may take for granted that states have rights to legislate on every issue. He and his followers might disagree with such a characterization, but if the legalization of homosexual adoption of children is not outside the authority of individual states, then one cannot possibly know what else is. One should seriously question the idea that states contain within themselves some innate right to weigh-in on every issue. Questions relating to the Natural Law should be considered outside the scope and competency of state legislatures, at least in a non-defensive sense. In other words, states only have the duty to defend the Natural Law, not make positive laws to destroy it.

For example, most reasonable people would agree that states should outlaw rape, while at the same time agree that they do not have the right to legalize murder. States have the duty to use their power to defend these moral concepts, but not to violate them.

 All things to consider .....
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pigs are coming!

We have 3 litters of pigs due in the next few weeks. Polly is first-due any day now as you can see.


Thor (below) is the sire. Becky (not shown) is due in a few weeks. We are interested in seeing the coloring in the offspring. Often the boar's coloring will dominate, but sometimes you can get red piglets with the white stripe. We will know in a few days.

Sam (right) is due 26 April. The sire is Red who we sold some weeks ago. This will be the last litter Sam gives us as she isn’t that great of a mother. She drops 10-12 piglets consistently, but only weans ½ dozen.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I was just thinking ...

... that I hadn't seen anything from Anthony Esolen in a while, but then this appears; setting things straight .....

No, there is no comparison. Rock stars are far more important than pastry bakers, in the same way that school principals are more important than parents, inside traders are more important than truck drivers, journalists are more important than people who read books to find the truth, and politicians are more important than everybody. They are more important because they hold the hammer.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


From The Gulag .... (Solzhenitsyn)

Here is a rewarding and inexhaustible direction for your thoughts: Reconsider all your previous life. Remember everything you did that was bad and shameful and take thought-can't you possibly correct it now?

Yes, you have been imprisoned for nothing. You have nothing to repent of before the state and its laws.

But..... before your own conscience?

I don't have the Gulag for a purgation on earth. Is it a pity or a blessing when considering eternity?

Oremus pro invicem!