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!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Today's Present

This morning "Betsy" gave birth to 10 piglets. This was her first litter and a mistake. She wasn't supposed to be bred, but the boar scaled fences and defied my wishes. In any event, here she is with her pigs.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Constant stories in the news about self-indulgence in America and the West: legalizing marijuana the the businessmen licking their lips, LBGT...xylmnop.... everywhere, recent movie releases which celebrate exploitation of women and gratuitous pleasure.
On the other side of the world, Christians being martyred and kidnapped. War ravages.
Nero fiddles as Rome burns?
A not so modest proposal: Christians are fleeing the Middle East, the Holy Land. What if 10,000 or 20,000 Western Christians sold their belongings and moved enmass to formerly or presently Christian-occupied areas in the Holy Land. We wouldn't be an army, except an spiritual army bringing prayers, hope, and solidarity.
Yes I know there are problems (which I can enumerate) with such a proposal, but how can we personally (at personal sacrifice) show solidarity with these Christians who are suffering?
Lord have mercy on us!
Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nap time

Sunday when we got home from Mass, inside the house was in the 50's. I wasn't feeling real well. Someone started a fire in the stove, but I just needed a nap. So I bundled up on the living room couch and the kids did their part and gave me more insulation - see below.

Apparently someone thought is worth recording. It was a goooood nap!

Since then we have all been down with some kind of bug. Due to the freezing rain Monday night, fortunately my Technical college canceled my evening classes on Monday and all classes on Tuesday. Much needed down time here. Back to work today as we begin Lent.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching

As indicated in a previous post, most reviews I have seen of Anthony Esolen's book Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching (Sophia Institute Press ) have been extremely positive. There was one exception which I also noted. After finishing the book, I am convinced that the negative reviewer either didn't read the entire book or was so looking for certain information outside the scope of the book, that he missed the point.
Many who write about Catholic Social Teaching (CST) are seeking to promote a specific interpretation of CST, i.e. Distributism, agrarianism, relief of the poor, criticism of (or justification of) capitalism, or justification of the welfare state.
But Dr. Esolen is starting back at the beginning. He draws heavily not just from Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, but many of his other writings on marriage, the family, and the Eucharist. This is not to say that Pope Leo XIII's writings are the beginning of CST. Dr. Esolen argues that CST has a long tradition-going back to Christ in the Church. Pope Leo is taking the time to restate it and flesh it out in the light of a world in political and industrial revolution.
Dr. Esolen does not propose an economic "third way" between Capitalism and Socialism, but defines the right relations between man and God, the family, community, employer/employee, and the State.
Thus, the economy (in the right sense) is concerned with the family not industry and investors. The State (in right relation) is in service to the family, not a policeman of the family.
Before I began reading the book, the word in the title "Reclaiming" misled me to think I was going to read a detailed plan to apply CST. Instead, I got a better understanding what CST actually is. Thus the "Reclaiming" is a reclaiming of our understanding of CST. It is not a political or economic (in the commonly understood sense) agenda. However, it is a plan in the sense that a true understanding of CST should inform our response. 

And in the final analysis, Dr. Esolen does give a plan-the same plan which is the solution to all our individual and world problems-Christ, especially Christ in the most Holy Eucharist.
Highly recommended! Thanks Dr. Esolen for this effort.
Oremus pro invicem!