Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I got a catalog in the mail today from "The Catholic Company". I couldn't believe this:

The plush First Communion bear is a cuddly way to commemorate a young child's reception of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The small bear comes with a miniature bible containing the scripture quote from John 14:6, “I am the way and truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Did you get that? It could be interpreted that the BEAR is "the way, the truth and the life". Obviously, most (99.99%) seeing this won't take it this way, but either way, this is just silly!
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

New pigs!

Woke up yesterday morning to find that Sam had farrowed her litter. It looks like 8, which is a low for her, but not to worry. We aren't a high production operation! They are big, almost equal the length of the 3-week old pigs of Betsy's litter. Here is the first picture-better ones should come later. (some are under that hay.)

A comment below about what I am (economically/politically) is too long to answer in a comment box, so I give below a brief (and incomplete) outline. Here goes (most of this has been posted here at sometime in the last 10+ years) ....

I guess you could call me a Distributist, however the name is misleading to some-thinking that it is some kind of socialism, which if most definitely isn’t. Distributism condemns both socialism and unfettered capitalism, in that both big government and big business are ultimately bad for families, local communities, and traditional values, and argues for an economic structure based on the widespread ownership of wealth via strong local economies.

If you ever have a chance to read Catholicism Protestantism and Capitalism by Anmintore Fanfani you may come away with the idea (as I did) that Capitalism has to eventually become Socialism in the final analysis, as the Government has to eventually highly regulate everything to protect the interests of big business. The regulations become so burdensome that the government is the only entity which has the resources to support such a regulated structure. Thus the government has to begin consolidating industries under itself. (Eventually this too will collapse under its own weight.) This is trending in America today-slowly but surely. 

In America we value the ownership of private property. This has become to mean that we own our own home. But few of us really do, as many have found out in recent years (and with property taxes and inheritance taxes, even if you “own” your home, really you are leasing it from the government). 
Ownership of private property also should mean that we own the means to production. The goal should be that as many as possible of the citizens should be owners of property-real property, that is, the means of production: ownership in land, in buildings and equipment, in farms, factories, mines, in commercial enterprises, and in machinery. Workers themselves (Note Well, NOT a socialist or communist government “in the name of workers”)  should own the means of production instead being the tools of production.

Our economic system has come to a point where workers are merely tools for greater profit, to be acquired or discarded as the quarterly numbers dictate. Workers have a dignity which is not respected by too many corporations. Corporations must remember that they exist not just for profits but to provide fulfilling work and wages for their workers.

Increasingly big companies simply use their employees as commodities (even professionals) to be used up and tossed out. Workers often don’t have dignity and respect. Large companies often squeeze and squeeze the benefits and continually do more with less workers. Some of these large companies (effectively subsidized by government policies) only offer part time work so they don’t even have to give benefits.
Politically, I believe in subsidiarity; that is governance should be done at the most local level possible. The role of the government should be in service of man, or if you will, in service of the family. Increasingly central control, whether it be in business, education, or government, robs man of freedom and self-determination. Government in recent years acts more in the service of commerce than in the service of man.

Both major parties favor entitlements: Democrats for the poor; Republicans for the rich in the form of tax breaks and corporate deals and subsidies (think agriculture and roads)-the latter which enrich the owners of the means to production. Government handouts insult the dignity of man, at both ends of the spectrum. 

So we need a system which encourages family unity and encourages the widest distribution of the means of production. These are complementary goals. 

Much more to flesh out, but this is a starting point.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reading ....

Tractatus de Societate by Nathan Freeman.

Quotes to come .....

Update: Just to clarify, the title is in Latin, but the book is in English!

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Roads in SC

So everyone agrees that the roads in SC are in a state of major disrepair. Governor Nikki Haley proposes that we raise money for the roads by raising the gasoline tax (Of course no one will notice because gas prices are so low!). But Governor Haley insists that any tax increase is offset by a tax cut of the income tax.

Two questions for the Governor:

1. Doesn't it mean we already have $$$ for roads if you are offsetting taxes?

2. Doesn't a raise in the gas tax affect everyone equally, but cutting the income tax help everyone EXCEPT the working poor, who drive to work, but pay little in income tax?

Just asking ......

Oremus pro invicem! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Those boys!

This morning I had a lot to prepare for class and I had a car with a broken upper radiator hose and needing a new thermostat.
I started working on it, but was frustrated that this car with 243K miles on it had never had its thermostat replaced, and thus the original thermostat was staked in.
With much to do, I called my boys to finish taking out the hose and then grinding off the stakes.
When this was done, I went back out and guided them in replacing the thermostat; they did the hose.

I am proud of them. What responsible and skilled young men I have.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Now reading ...

... Paul Thigpen's Final Thoughts of Catholic Saints & Sinners.

This one struck me:

Sir Everard Digby(1578-1606) was an English Catholic convert who was hung, drawn and quartered for his part in a plot to blow up Parliament and overthrow King James I, who persecuted Catholics. When the executioner cut out his heart, and held it up saying, "Here is the heart of a traitor", Digby managed to summon up the strength to respond "Thou liest"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

God's Training for us

I am into the last book I got for Christmas: Finding God's Will for You by St. Francis DeSales (Sophia).

Many good quotes, but here is this mornings:

Although the difficulties, temptations, and different events that occur in the course of carrying out our plan may cause us some uncertainty as to whether we have chosen well, still we must remain firm and not consider all such things. ... furthermore we do not know if God wills us to be trained in consolation or in desolation .....

On this feast of St. Joseph, Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Break

It has been a busy few weeks. Last week Connor was on Spring Break from Northeast Catholic College. We also had friends visiting for a few days. We took the opportunity to put our bull down (hoping he had already bred both Mabel and the heifer). We had steaks last Saturday night and it felt distinctly like a non-Lenten meal. (We aged the loin in our refrigerator and hung the rest of the beef in a friend's walk-in refrigerator.)
Usually by March I have most of the wood we need for the next winter at least on the property, if not cut, split, and stacked. This year I hadn't even started. But on February 28th, [again with the help of visiting friends-quite possibly they won't be back as we worked them the whole time they were here :)] we cut 4 truckloads of wood from a neighbor's downed trees.
This week I am on spring break from my 4-day a week teaching job at the local technical college. More cutting firewood from another neighbor, a little splitting, fence-building (we have a sow due to farrow and needed a new farrowing pen), and some garden tilling. I am hoping to put at least part of the spring garden in today.
We also finished butchering the beef yesterday in our friend's cold room.
I haven't done this much physical work since the semester started. It makes me yearn for more physical work and less teaching/desk time. But at the same time I have just agreed to teach 2 summer courses.
My body is sore with muscles not used to all this activity. But it feels so good.
God has provided us another winter with free firewood, beautiful weather this week, great friends, and everything else we need.
Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Requiem Press

I haven't mentioned Requiem Press in some time - mostly because we are no longer publishing. I still get author inquiries from time to time - more query letters in a year than books sold these days, however.
The only reason I mention it at all is because we still have inventory left on a few titles. I haven't pushed them much, but a couple times a year someone finds the website and orders a book or inquires about a book which we've sold out of.
The remaining books in inventory each sell and ship for a combined price of $5 - no hidden costs. And if you want a whole bunch of any one title, I will work out a better deal.

Titles left are available at the link above or on the sidebar. (The image is of one of our first books - we have plenty of these!)
Readers of this blog have been extremely supportive of this effort when we were an ongoing business, roughly from 2004 to about 2008-2010. I still have a few books I'd love to publish in print or electronically, but the family, the homestead and paying work take up so much time.
I am working sporadically on two of my own titles-one dealing with the slaughter and butcher of hogs, and the other stories from our life on the homestead (many of these related or alluded to in the archives of this blog.) No doubt I will announce it here first if either comes to fruition.  
Now back to regular programming .....

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, March 06, 2015

The Yield of the Land

Last night I came home to this:

This loin came from a 145 pig we put down on the feast of Cyril and Methodius. So the loin isn't as big as usual. It was sliced open and stuffed with sausage. On the outside (being bacon-poor this week), Mrs. Curley took a couple slices off a ham we had just finished brining and dressed the loin with them.

It was delicious. One shouldn't enjoy such meals during Lent. (Of course if I was a Melkite, I couldn't.)

Oremus pro invicem!