Sunday, July 20, 2014

I mentioned below I have been reading Chesterton's America. The editor, Mr. Bennett, has done a very interesting thing. While Cecil Chesterton's text forms the backbone of the book, he brings in commentary on each period of history from other Distributists' writings; for example, we find passages from G.K. Chesterston, Hillare Belloc, Herbert Agar, and other intertwined with the main text.
 
It is interesting to read an outside view (an English view at that) of American history. I have read several things already which we never heard in school. Just to name three: That New England relied heavily on slave trade for their economy at least until the mid-to-late 1700's. Related, that the view in the South that the African slaves were somehow sub-human was not introduced and not widely held until into the 19th century. And thirdly, the whole "No taxation without
representation" rationale for the American Rebellion was somewhat of a sham. In fact some 80% of British subjects were taxed without representation at the time. The matter was more complicated ....
 
But MOST surprising to me is that fact that I am reading Cecil and GK side-by-side and finding I like reading Cecil more than GK. Who would have thought?
 
Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I am still working on Chesterton's America (see post below) however in the mean time I read and finished The Virginian. I am surprised I never read it before. I was inspired to read it by #2 son and #2 daughter who both read it recently. Glad I did. Those who have read it may appreciate my comment to #2 son after I finished reading it: "I almost missed the gunfight, it being so subtle." (Supposedly it is the first gunfight written in a fictional western.)
 
Garden update: Harvested the first corn from our last plot of sweet corn. I think we will have another picking. Green beans have been coming on. Tomatoes increasing by the day. Zucchini still coming (first year with no squash bug damage-could it be the winter lasting so long?). Okra and peppers doing well too. I think the sweet sorghum has been saved by our last rain. I was worried we were losing it even though it is supposed to be pretty drought resistant. Our acre of peanuts looks good, but we need to keep up with the pigs weeds better. They have been especially prolific this year.
 
A friend of ours saved some cantaloupe seeds from his dad's garden in Nebraska 30 odd years ago. Last year he planted them and 5 plants came up and fruited with some of the sweetest cantaloupe I have ever tasted. My friend gave us one of these treasured cantaloupes. I saved these seeds and planted them this spring. We harvested the first ones this week. Boy are they good. The best I have ever tasted. Guaranteed we are saving more seeds!
 
Great to have (almost) everyone home this summer. But summer is short and many are going their own ways in mid-July and August.
 
Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

My son wrote this song for me for my 50th birthday. I told him he should have played it after I died so that he would be the one crying instead of me.
 
 
 
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chesterton's America

Got this book in the mail today. I was inspired by this review by my favorite editor.
 
 
Can't wait to get started ... and by the way the Chesterton in the title is not GK, but his brother Cecil.
 
On another note, we picked 9 gallons of blueberries today in Chesterfield. These should last us a little while.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Corn & Rain

The annual precipitation in Bethune, SC is quoted (and has been quoted to me) at 45 inches per year. First, that measurement is actually for Bishopville, SC-which 19 miles south of here, and Bishopville always gets more than us. But you can't tell some people some things.
 
Typically, we watch rain clouds pass over our fields, cross the road and let go over the Lynches river about 1/2 mile away.
 
That being said, we finally got some rain today. It has been quite a while. Our cantaloupe was just about burned up. We have already lost our first two plantings of sweet corn. Actually, we picked enough small ears today between showers for one meal! One meal, I am grateful for.
 
We have one small patch left of sweet corn, with the rain today, may still have a chance to make.

**********************
 

Yesterday, the AC was in trouble at the house. We called our regular AC tech and they sent someone down. The tech checked a few things and then disappeared under the house. 45 minutes later he was still under there. My youngest son checked on him and came back chuckling: "He's asleep!" But Mrs. Curley wasn't so sure. She called me (I was working off homestead yesterday) and I told her if he wouldn't wake up, she needed to call 911 (it has been in the low 100's all week.)
 
He wouldn't respond so she called 911. 911 told Mrs. Curley to have someone pull him out from under the house. Number 2 son showed up and proceeded to do so .... This woke him up! I guess he was alright after all.

***************************
We've been out of pork for a while (Mrs. Curley cooked it all secretly for my 50th birthday party.) So Friday night we put down a 275 pound pig and butchered it (starting at 6:00AM) Saturday morning. Even though it was hot, we got both chores done in record time (slaughter and evisceration in 75-80 minutes; butchering in an hour flat.)

This should last us until cooler weather.

************************

The world seems pretty crazy these days. May the Lord have mercy on us!

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 09, 2014

The   Deliberate Agrarian writes a few days ago in an essay commenting on the saying "Freedom isn't free":

If our military, under the direction of whoever directs them (ostensibly, the President), were defending the personal freedoms of Americans, through various military actions all over the world, especially in recent years, then why am I less free that I’ve ever been?
 I find myself asking the same question.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 06, 2014

With 1/2 my siblings

As mentioned a few posts ago, we had a great time over here on my 50th celebration. Amazingly 6 of us (out of 12) were able to be here. It was great to see so many friends and family. Here's the group shot of us siblings.
 
I am so blessed to have such family and friends.
 
 
It struck me that this picture has some Catholic features: We have a picture of the Sacred Heart, a Crucifix, the Angelus, an icon of St. Stanislaus Koska, a nun, a beer, and (in the background) a baby!
 

Oremus pro invicem!
 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Planting and Marriage (?)

Finished planting the sweet sorghum today. Working on keeping the acre of peanuts hoed.
 
My zucchini plants are big and beautiful-but no flowers. Can't figure that one out. The ground is rich, but no livestock has been on it for a year.
 
Good to have the boys home from college for the summer even if we don't see them much because of their jobs. We joke that they seem like they lost some smarts in the past year-but in reality I am impressed by their confidence and knowledge. (Thanks Wyoming Catholic & College of St. Mary Magdalen - NH).
 
********

Recently I finished reading (again) Dietrich Von Hildebrand's book on marriage (Marriage - the mystery of Faithful Love [Sophia Institute Press]). One of the theses: the primary end of marriage is procreation, but the primary meaning of is love.
 
Some consequences to this; one of which, interestingly enough, (this book originally published in 1929 in Germany) gives a concise but powerful reason for one to understand why homosexual marriage is impossible. Here's some excerpts from this section (Note, it is not all about sex and biology, but more about the spirit):
 
The special character of conjugal love is, furthermore, marked by the fact that this love can only come into being, between men and women and not between persons of the same sex, as is the case with friendship, parental love, or filial love.
 
It would be quite wrong, however, to reduce this characteristic to the sexual sphere and to say that conjugal love is just friendship plus sexual relations, presupposing a difference of sex. It would be incredibly superficial to consider as a mere biological difference the distinction between man and woman, which really shows us two complementary types of the spiritual person of the human species.
 
Certainly, man and woman have ultimately but one task, "to be reborn in Christ," and to glorify God by their sanctity. Yet man and woman represent two different types of mankind, both having their respective significance according to the divine plan, and their special value quite apart from their procreative function. .......
 
... At any rate, for the human species this difference represents two manifestations of. the person, analogous - if this comparison be admissible - to the various religious orders, which although they are identical in their aim, represent different ways in the imitation of Christ. These two types, man and woman, have a unique capacity for complementing each other. Their meaning for one another is something quite unique. They are made one for the other in a special way, and they can, purely as spiritual persons, form a unity in which they reciprocally complement one another. Marital love - involving the gift of one's own person, whose decisive character is that the partners form a couple, an I-thou communion, in which the whole personality of the beloved is grasped mysteriously as a unity in spite of all outer obstacles - can exist only between two types of the spiritual person, the male and the female, as only between them can this complementary character be found.
 
Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, May 30, 2014

I turned 50 this year and we had a small family party back in April. I had been teasing Lori a bit these past few months as she had surprised me with parties on my 30th and my 40th birthday, but I knew she wasn't in the position to do anything for my 50th. Little did I know she was planning again.
 
Last Saturday I was greeted by many family and friends who had found their way to Bethune-some for the first time. I was overwhelmed.
 
I have much to be thankful for. But more importantly I still have time in my life to work on being a better husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend.
 
Oremus pro invicem! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

They don't make them like they used to ....

This light was installed in my parents house when the house was built in 1963. It has the original light bulb (for years we have wondered how we would change the bulb as it is in the entrance-way in a split ranch. We have speculated we would either have to go into the attic or rent scaffolding. In any event, after 51 years (albeit it is no longer used everyday anymore) the same bulb still works after 51 years!



This is hard to explain, to say the least.

Oremus pro invicem!