Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cows, Colonialism, and Christmas prep

Okay, it's been a few days since I've hung around here, and it will be a few more before I stop in again. So here's the catch up.

First a few pictures of our cow(s) and cowboys. These are all during the first week we had the calves. Of course one didn't make it. Pictures speak for themselves-no comment necessary.


For many years, I think, the people of rural America have been struggling with the realization that we are living in a colony. It is an irony especially bitter for Americans that, having cast off the colonialism of England, we have proceeded to impose a domestic colonialism on our own land and people ...The economy of a colony exports only "raw material" and imports only finished goods. It buys and sells on markets over which it has no control; thus both markets drain value from the colony. ... Thus, local life becomes the dependent-indeed, the victim-not just of the food industry, the transportation industry, the power industries, the various agribusiness industries, and so on, but also of the entertainment, the education, and the religion industries-all involving change fro goods once cheap or free to expensive goods having to be bought. - Does Community Have Value, Wendall Berry 1986

This comes towards the end of the essay. The beginning, defines community and gives a practical example is worth including in its entirety-but due to space limitations, you will just have to find it yourself.

Mrs. Curley and I have had an ongoing conversation (for years) about what (in terms of consumer goods and technology) we need, what we want, and what we get sucked into and need to purge.

The goal isn't self-sufficiency by yourself. It is a self-sufficient (or largely self-sufficient) community. Your neighbors are your insurance.

I have one anti-technology son. He is only 8, but he is dogged about it. Every time the car breaks he lets me know this wouldn't have happened if we used a horse and wagon. The other day in the shop he was watching as I built some boxes. On these I have to cut a rabbet (rebate or recess in the box sides to accept the bottom of the box). I can do it with the tablesaw (the second cut can be dangerous without the proper jig, which I haven't made, but I often do it), or I have a rabbet plane. In honor of mr. anti-technology, I took out the rabbet plane. I forgot how much I love using it. Funny thing is, it is an expensive tool (not quite as much as my old and inexpensive tablesaw) but it doesn't require electricity.


I got in the shop late this year, but still have accomplished a couple things. All the shopping is done (except we forgot to get white candles but think we can pick some up down town.) We bought our tree earlier than ever this year, but decorated it with purple and pink ribbon until the 4th Sunday of Advent. The ribbon came off and the lights went on. (I must say we have a pretty tree. Icicles are a must!).

Today, as in the past, I get my phonograph out and play records while I conduct the wrapping marathon.

Christmas cards... well we haven't got to them yet. For many years it was an every other year accomplishment. The past few we've done okay. This year...well the Christmas season is just starting....

This evening we will go caroling. The location is still undetermined. The past 4 years we have carolled at the Dollar General or Exxon across the street from DG in Bethune.

The Lord is Coming! Oremus pro invicem!

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