Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lots of economics ...

TS has been posting a bit of economic stuff lately (much pulled from elsewhere). Economics has been on my mind, so I will quote and comment. Number 1 (From Zippy via TS):

Every 'human resource' in the company is an asset, and assets that do not appreciate in value over time actually lose money for the company when measured against inflation; so they have to be gotten rid of...

People who enjoy what they do and want to do it for the rest of their careers and live like human beings may be made miserable by that situation, but they aren't the ones who will contribute large leaps of growth to the business anyway, so they don't matter. It is more profitable to get rid of them and staff with the other kind of people.

My take: Another instance of the capitalist system viewing people as tools to make money. Another reason I hope we can build a sustainable and viable family economy here instead of returning to the corporate grind.

Number 2 (From Gilbert Mag via TS):

So imagine a world without usury. The end of all growth? Nonsense. Even lending would still be profitable. Borrowers do do things with their money. If Coca-Cola shares would bring exactly the same interest rate as a startup bookstore down the street - zero -, where would you put your money? Which would give you a greater tangible benefit? No more free money, true, but you might get a free bookstore. Down the street. And it'd be the sensible, good stewardship, warm-fuzzies-of-maturity thing to do.

My take: Here it is. Living life by creed not greed (who coined that, Peter Maurin?). Life can be better if everyone isn't chasing money and profits. This is the way it should be, and CAN work. But some people have to sacrifice some things for the better good. Alas there is no Utopia in this vale of tears caused by original sin. But still there is a "third way".

TS' take:

"But I do really like that bookstore example. Quality of life could be much better under some other form of economic model, though I suspect any other model is unworkable in real life. "

Number 3 (from the radio via TS):

"Mike, the thing that was sort of shocking to me is I would deliver a pizza to a trailer, and the person who answered the door has no teeth, and they'd tip me five bucks. But I'd battle my way into a gated community and the millionaire would tip me two bucks. I firmly believe if you want even a shot of going to heaven you tip the pizza guy five bucks."

Another angle on this, when I was delivering papers as a kid, I got my biggest Christmas tip in my Catholic neighborhood from my Jewish customer. You never know where true charity lies, but it often doesn't come from where you expect or where it should.

So what does it all mean? I think it means that there are alternate ideas out there on how to run an economy and people generous enough and sacrificial enough to make it work-albeit a minority.

More later...including a surprise...our latest attempt to build and sustain a family economy here at our small holding in Bethune will be unveiled very soon.

Oremus pro invicem!


The boys are selling our excess chicken eggs with a sign on the side of the road "Fresh Eggs $1.50/Dz." However, they were a bit late in getting the sign finished. As our chickens lay some 2 dozen eggs a day, we had a major surplus of unsold eggs.

So this morning, after raising the crew from slumber, I hit the kitchen and decided to scramble up a few dozen to give to the pigs...

Well Mrs. Curley comes down with a big smile, "Ooooh, you're making breakfast!"

"Er, not really; well sort of; these are for the pigs!, says I (who apparently hasn't been married long enough to recognize a make or break brownie point on the fly)

(By the way, the pigs gobbled those scrambled eggs up-only peanuts get them more excited. And yes-I did go back in and scramble some eggs for the family.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Passion Play 2008

Our annual Passion Play was played on Holy Saturday. For the first time a Curley boy did not play Christ. The young man who played Christ did an outstanding job with performance and lines. A smaller cast than some years-but just as good. Here are some pics.

The betrayal

Jesus before Herod

Jesus before Pilate

Behold the Man!

Christ is nailed to the cross

On the cross

The Cast

He is Risen! Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You may have noticed a few new links on the sidebar (if you ever scroll down that far). With the direction of my current and recent reading, combined with the general direction of the economy, the secularization of the culture, and the destruction of the family, (not to mention the pending White House run in '012), I figure that I will be commenting (or at least lifting material from others) more on these issues, with the Church's social doctrine as a background.

Just to start, here is an excerpt from Aims and Means of the The Catholic Worker Movement:

A decentralized society, in contrast to the present bigness of government, industry, education, health care and agriculture. We encourage efforts such as family farms, rural and urban land trusts, worker ownership and management of small factories, homesteading projects, food, housing and other cooperatives--any effort in which money can once more become merely a medium of exchange, and human beings are no longer commodities.

Sounds a lot like what I have been reading about. As a matter of fact, reading, the whole document (which is short) on the Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker is worth the time.

The reason to be of the matter is contained in the last bit: human beings are no longer commodities. Because that is what we have become-tools to make money (either as producers for Big Corp or as Consumers)-not made in the image and likeness of God.

Oremus pro invicem!

Feast of St. Catherine of Siena

I grew up attending St. Catherine's school in Norwood, MA and coincidentally now am a member of St. Catherine's parish in SC.

St. Catherine was a towering character in her time: combining great love for the Church and the Pope, but not afraid to offer fraternal correction. She had a great desire for martyrdom, but was preserved for other tasks (God's will be done!).

The only book I have read about her was "Lay Siege to Heaven" by Louis De Wohl (recommended).

St. Catherine of Siena-ora pro nobis!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Reading ...

I haven't quite finished James Herriott's "All Creatures" but am in the home stretch. And I am in the middle of a couple other books, but I picked up Beyond Capitalism & Socialism: A New Statement of an Old Ideal (IHS Press) this weekend.

I have met the editor Dr. Tobias Lanz several times as we used to attend the same parish in Columbia, SC. I have not kept in good contact with him in recent years. In any event, I had been waiting for an opportunity to purchase this book. A few days ago I needed to buy a reference book for raising pigs (our renewals at the library having expired) and saw a chance to get free shipping if I only added a certain amount to the bill. The price of this book fit neatly...

I am not reading the book in order, which is a series of twelve essays. The first I stumbled upon was by Dr. William Fahey (formerly of Christendom College in VA and now of Thomas More in NH). He describes the slaughter of a pig-but not in the usual manner. And he describes perfectly my great affection towards my pigs-about 40 days out from our 'event':

Faintly, modern men still know some of the ancient affection that a farmer might hold for his animals. The love of a city dweller has for his Siamese is overly sentimental and a result of the displacement of children, but felt truly enough. Rarely, though, do his feelings have that depth which can only come for something that lives side by side with you, that has required considerable time and sacrifice to raise, that shares the regular cycle of the day, that lives under the power of the elements, and that brings some material blessing to the entire family. The story of the Good Shepard is increasingly inaccessible ....

Or this from Fr. Lawrence Smith:

The key to transforming the world is to transform the individual soul and then the family. It is the father within the family who must decide the direction of such a transformation. There is no coincidence that the destruction of the family began not with forcing women into the workplace or putting children in compulsory public schools or taxing income and non-productive real estate, but in removing the father from the family farm or the family trade. Much of the cure to what ails us is dependent on returning the father to his proper place a the head of the family and in the home. (emphasis in the original-jc)

The last essay in the book (by Dr. Lanz) is particularly good-but I will clip some of that later.

Now to work ... Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Beauty, Fun, Work, and Heavenly Pleasure

First, to the beauty. I missed the picture by a couple days. Two days earlier the pink in the peach tree was more vibrant. We are almost ready to thin the peaches. The crop looks plentiful at this stage.

Now, let's have some fun. We certainly did at our square dance a few weeks ago. We didn't get many pictures, but someone snapped this one of Mrs. Curley and I doing the Virginia Reel after the rain had cleared. Boy, that was fun. (I guess this pic combines fun and beauty!)

Some more fun is playing music with the kids. Here I am (in the mustard hat) playing harmonica with number one son on guitar. (By the way, the mustard hat is officially no longer for formal wear. You can view car grease on it if you look closely.)

Now to some "work". I planted these carrots in September, and here they are harvested on April 6th! I would have had more (large ones) if I had thinned them.

More "work": the pigs. The first two shots were taken in late March. This is their new pen with their new shelter. We didn't get to paint this one, but will for the next batch.

The last pig picture was taken 2 weeks later (4/14). This shows (off) their new pig trough. They haven't tipped it once.

Finally, we move on to the Heavenly Pleasure: what I would like to be doing now-or at least once my work is done today. (Did you know that a Guinness can-by virtue of its widget-will stand like this at certain levels of consumption? It's a center of gravity thing. This picture was taken in my house.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Picked up 3 rolls of film last night, so get ready. We have the pics from our DC pilgrimage as well as our annual Passion Play, and some other shots from around the small holding. I won't do it all in one post, but just be warned ...

The Pilgrimage

Here's the kids camping out on the floor of my sister's apartment. Not everyone is visible-but you get the idea.

The next few pictures show the waiting to get into the Nationals Stadium. One is a picture of my crew, minus yours truly.

Here are a couple pictures of my crew waiting in the stands. You can see from the postures that it is a bit cold (around 7:30 AM). Later in the day it would be warm-I got a sunburn on my head.

Okay-here's the Pope. You can see the pope-mobile in the distance.

We almost got a great picture...but Mrs. Curley cut the Pope's head off-well not quite, but you see what I mean.

Here's a shot during either the opening or closing prayer. We didn't take an other pictures during Mass.

And finally, (and maybe our best shot) is Pope Benedict XVI leaving the stadium

We also had some fun on the way home in the less-crowded Metro. You can see some of the ties are off-but there are some vestiges of our fatigue at the long trip and the long day.

The whole pilgrimage was about our connection to the Universal Church-our connection to Peter-and therefore our connection to Christ. When waiting for 10 hours in the off-and-on rain to see John Paul II so many years ago, it was different. The Church had been in some very dark ages and John Paul was a hope and a Shepard for lost sheep. He came to gather lost children from around the globe. We may not be completely out of the dark ages, but I feel that Pope Benedict comes to a more mature (but still hurting) flock. Our catechesis may not be great-but at least there is something there now to work with. We listen more intently.

I express the thoughts in my heart badly, but we saw Peter last week and that is enough.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Funny to say, I have never read anything by Wendell Berry-until today. I came across an essay of his on local economies at The Briarpatch. Here's the excerpt:

Of course, everything needed locally cannot be produced locally. But a viable neighborhood is a community; and a viable community is made up of neighbors who cherish and protect what they have in common. This is the principle of subsistence. A viable community, like a viable farm, protects its own production capacities. It does not import products that it can produce for itself. And it does not export local products until local needs have been met. The economic products of a viable community are understood either as belonging to the community’s subsistence or as surplus, and only the surplus is considered to be marketable abroad. A community, if it is to be viable, cannot think of producing solely for export, and it cannot permit importers to use cheaper labor and goods from other places to destroy the local capacity to produce goods that are needed locally. In charity, moreover, it must refuse to import goods that are produced at the cost of human or ecological degradation elsewhere. This principle applies not just to localities, but to regions and nations as well.

Rod Dreher talks today about an WB essay appearing in the May issue of Harpers. I'll have to read it. I think I need to read more of Mr. Berry.

Oremus pro invicem!

Car notes and more important things

My car travails are becoming epic. We finally got the serpentine belt on late yesterday. I had to loosen the tensioner assembly to do it. We take it on a test drive. We have driven about 2-3 miles. I reach over and shake number one son's hand in congratulations on a job well-done, and Voila!, the belt pops off.

Of course the new belt is ruined. Turns out the tensioner pulley has seized. There is a slight wobble in idler pulley also. These should be easy replacements. And I happen to have an extra $30 dollar serpentine belt....


So, Hilary Clinton wins Pennsylvania. We have ourselves a major problem looming. Let's look at the what's going on: the country has a financial crisis looming; food prices and oil prices are rising; we continue in an unpopular war; and moral decay is increasing.

So who do we have to select from? John McCain, who admits the economy is not his strong point. The war is his strong point.

On the other hand we have Obama who should NOT apologize for saying that people cling to God (actually he said "religion" not God) because they are bitter-because 1. he believes it, and 2. it seems that he is bitter also. In this environment of moral decay-who or what should be cling to? Oh yes, we still have the resurgent Hilary Clinton...

The reality of such choices should tell us something about America. Unfortunately what it seems to say is that we are either fools or selfish-or both.

Is McCain a compromise candidate because the Republican party is so split-or is he the true face of what the Republican party holds most dear?


I am not exactly sure where Pope Benedict XVI said this during his trip, but I lifted it from Annunciations:

My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers; its influence grew – infiltrating schools and civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion – before it was fully recognized for the monster it was. It banished God and thus became impervious to anything true and good. Many of your grandparents and great-grandparents will have recounted the horror of the destruction that ensued. Indeed, some of them came to America precisely to escape such terror.

If it weren't for the fact that we know Benedict is talking about the Nazi regime, you may think he was talking about the rise of secularism today. With it, we may be heading down the path towards persecution of believers.

It's ironic that Obama believes people cling to religion because of bitterness and then Pope Benedict tells us that our HOPE is in Christ! Which one is right? (You know who gets my vote!)


Finally, will there be a distributist conference?

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Weekend

Well, number one son competed honorably in the Colgate Country Showdown on Saturday. He didn't win, but was well received. We went on and watched some of the tractor pull and later the rodeo.

Sunday morning we lost our serpentine belt on the way to Mass. We nursed the car home-and now I have another car thing to do. Thank God it didn't happen at 3:00 AM somewhere on Route 95 on our trip last week.

I measured the pigs again last evening. Now they can gain 1.5 to 1.8 pounds a day at this point, but still I think I need more practice with this measurement. Anyway, here it goes in order of smallest to largest: 107 lbs, 136 lbs, and 144 lbs.

To work: Oremus pro incivem!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chicken Strut!

The Bethune Chicken Strut is back. Tonight there is a carnival and a rodeo-as will be tomorrow. Tomorrow also features the "Colgate Country Showdown". My eldest son is competing and has talked me into playing back up for him on the harmonica. (Please pray for us.)

I'll give you the lowdown on all the events as they happen (almost-live blogging).

Oremus pro invicem!

The Papal Mass-Wash DC

Update: There is a comment below regarding distribution of Holy Communion (I had said there wasn't enough priests helping out.) The commenter has a good point, which I saw evidence of-that is people hanging out in the concourse during Communion and not following the instructions of the ushers. The

I'll try to relate the day in order-so if you're looking for something in particular, scroll down-I'll put headings on. I have purposely NOT read any other coverage.

Getting there

The Metro did a pretty good job of moving people when we went. We left my sister's at around 6:00 AM. We boarded the Orange Line a few stops east of Vienna. It wasn't too crowded-but when we changed to the Green Line at L'Enfant Plaza-it was very crowded. The Metro personnel were out in force and moving people to right areas to board. When we got out a Navy Yard, a block or two from the Nationals Park-it was wall-to-wall people. I wish I had taken a picture of the escalator up to the street level.

Getting in the Ballpark-the setup

Security moved people through the metal detectors pretty quickly. At this time (7:20 AM or so) the crowds weren't too bad in the park. They had a tent set up for confessions with some 30-40 priests. There were lines-ushered by the Missionaries of Light-of about 20 people each waiting for confession. My two oldest boys and myself got in line at 7:57, but were told confessions were closing in 3 minutes. We got in anyway. I am told that at least 4 priests were still hearing confessions when the Mass started at 10:00.

Our seats were in section 131 L (row T)-just by first base. The altar was in center field. It was a long way for my eyesight. There was plenty more room on the field for chairs than were used; I don't know why more people weren't allowed on the field.

The music before Mass was very loud. There was a wonderful rendition of Ave Maria by Denyce Graves (as well as other songs.)

Everything started on time. (I got a sunburn on my head because I removed my had once Mass started.)

The Pope

The crowd was enthusiastic (not wild as in Boston 1979 with John Paul II in the rain) for Benedict XVI when he circled the field in the Pope-mobile. We got a great view of him as we were only 18 rows from the field.

The People

Many, many priests and religious were present. Mrs. Curley commented that there were many more sisters in habit than out of habit. I asked her exactly how she could tell that. She replied that she can spot a nun (sister) out of habit a mile away.

Many young priests (and/or seminarians) were there. You should have seen them run to the area Pope Benedict was passing on the way out. It was warming to the heart to see that enthusiasm.

The Mass

Let me preface by saying that my only experience of this kind in the past was 1979 on the Boston Common. I don't remember the music. I recall it being a Mass in the pouring rain-not overly orchestrated. Yesterday at the Nationals park it seemed like an entertainment extravaganza. (Do Americans automatically clap at everything just because they are in a ballpark?) It was WAY too much. The Mass is the Mass-it doesn't need to reflect every cultural and music tradition known to man. It needs to be centered on the Eucharist. We (even my older kids made similar comments-before I said anything) all felt this way.

Pope Benedict may decide not to do any more of these open air Masses based on this experience of what I saw and heard, and maybe that is not a bad thing. He could have come in and made the stadium tour-given a talk and left. It would have been easier on him and on us!

(When Placido Domingo sang Panis Angelicus -I thought to myself "That guy's pretty good-he sounds a bit like Placido Domingo". I hadn't read the credits on the program.)

The Mass program was included in the bag we were handed-and they stuck to it. Everything was on time.

They didn't have enough priests distributing Holy Communion. Some people in our section were just receiving during the final blessing. There were hundreds of priests there-only a handful of them distributed Holy Communion.

What Benedict XVI said

The Pope addressed numerous issues: the history of the Church in America, the scandal, the rise of secularism, attacks on life and marriage, etc. But it came down to one thing he said for me: How does the Hope Christ gives change our lives?: the way is through Penance (both the sacrament and practice of) and personal holiness. That's what I heard

Getting out

A nightmare. No one could leave until the Pope had left the stadium-but no one was told this, so there was a crush at the gates. Once out, they had opened half the street to form lines for people waiting on buses and then closed the sidewalk. People (like us) who were trying to walk to the Metro were forced to push through the crowds waiting for buses. We got separated once-but found each other again. (I'm sure my straw hat helped everyone center on me.)

Once we got to the Metro, (which took almost an hour to go 2 blocks), things settled down again. The Green Line was crowded, but after that it was clear sailing.

The Catholic Standard had pictures of the Papal Mass in a special coverage print edition which they were handing out on way out of the stadium. Pretty quick work.

We met a few priests (one from Texas) on the Metro. One of them gave their 'gift bag' (better than one we got) to our youngest daughter. We really had a great time on Metro. The kids became pros. I gave out and collected their all-day passes every time we needed them.


"Awesome to see the Pope in person."
"I would do it again." (i.e. travel 1000 miles-up and back in 48 hours to see the Pope.)
"I liked seeing him wave out the car window, (most priests don't do that.)"
"I think (from seeing him myself) that Pope Benedict likes bringing Christ to the people but would give up the job in a second if he could."

We had a great time. The kids were exceptionally well behaved the whole trip and stuck close to us. We left DC for home at about 5:45 PM. There was a drunk driver who almost hit us twice on the way home on I-95. We finally lost him. (He passed us.) Several miles later we were stopped for big accident. We were sure the drunk driver caused it. But he didn't. He was in the traffic jam and then almost hit another car when we started out again. The State Police noticed he was driving with no headlights (and erratically and arrested him.) We stopped in SC at around 1:00 AM and I slept for 2 hours. Then we made the final push home-arriving at 4:15 AM.

This morning when I fed my pigs, I rubbed their bellies and they laid down on their sides like dogs. They must have missed me.

I will post pictures of our trip in a few days. Could to be home.

Oremus pro invicem!


We got home at around 4:15 AM. We were held up by a traffic accident and then I pulled over and slept for 2 hourse. Since I don't have a digital camera, I won't post pictures for a few days (what kind of Catholic blogger am I?). But I will give a detailed account of our experience and impressions later today.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Okay, we're here

We left later than planned, got sidetracked in NC, but we got here last evening with no major problems or too much traffic. Right now the kids are camped out on the floor of my sister's apartment outside of DC. In a few minutes we will be getting them up and dressed-hopefully out the door before 6:00 AM.

We have good seats. We are on the first base line in the lower section.

The Nationals park opens at 5:15 AM. Confessions start at 6:00 AM.

We can't bring food in-so we'll eat as we go. We have books-and I'm bringing my harmonica. Besides I bet there will be many people to visit with while we wait.

We are very grateful to all the people who helped us get here. There are some special intentions to pray for too.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Frost last night-unexpected-didn't cover anything. Boy I hope we didn't lose our peach crop.

More importantly...we're gone! Will pray for all my readers and friends on this pilgrimage!

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

a thought

Heard on the radio this morning these lyrics ...

Livin on love, buyin on time
Without somebody nothing aint worth a dime
Just like an old fashioned story book rhyme
Livin on love
It sounds simple thats what you're thinkin'
But love can walk through fire without blinkin'
It doesnt take much when you get enough
Livin' on love

Seemingly nice sentiments to be sure, but it got me thinking ... is the American dream to buy on time (that is by credit)?


Finally made a larger feeding trough for the pigs. This one is 7 feet long. They may not be able to tip it over. (Pictures to follow...someday).

If I rub the smallest pig's belly from underneath, she will lay down next to me.

This past weekend's Gospel on the Good Shepard hit home for me, the pig herder-my pigs rush to the gate when they see me coming. Sometimes they follow me around the pen when I am cleaning it. I'll be they would follow me outside the pen also....


More preparation for Pope Benedict. I am hoping to blog from the road and report on our journey.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Taxes done and mailed today! I actually found a mistake on my state return from last year (we jipped ourselves a few quid).

Now, we're getting ready to see the Pope! ... Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Way (back)

Is it possible? As readers here know, I am a fan of the small is beautiful perspective. I read this from Stephen Hand this morning:

Family members are worth more together in every sense than apart. Like the proverbial bundle of sticks which are not easily broken (unlike individual sticks) family members who are willing need not make high wages to pool their collective resources into the homestead, a real home and piece of land, held in trust by all; and overseen according to the natural law by the elders in the family. Such a home could be added unto by the family as more and more children are born. Then as the children take on families of their own they might consider staying too (the security of Love!) as all contribute to building more sections unto the home. The industrious could develop veritable cottage industries to assist those who work away from home, a home that would be paid off much quicker than most individualists are now. Small farming is one possibility, but not the only one (but chickens in the yard and gardens at least, yes!). The elders can teach the young roundly at home (both trades and academics!), the well can take care of the sick and aged. Problems could be addressed in family counsels.

Read the rest here .

I can see wanting this to happen here on our small-holding (although we may eventually need a couple more acres-which I bet I can find.) But I also know the tugs of other opportunities or even vocations will pull some away. Some of my children love the life here and the animals-some love being from the country, but want to end up in the city. And...I need to work on patience. I am sure there are times my sons would rather a more patient and teaching father when it comes to working around here.

Is it possible? I don't know. Can it become a movement? I think our numbers are very small. And besides, familial influences may discourage the idea (I think half my family thinks I'm crazy already.)

Another thing we would need in the long-term is closer sacraments. (I still think the old abandoned motel in town would make a great starter monastery.) I absolutely love going to St. Catherine's in Lancaster, but it is a long haul and takes a bit of cash. We couldn't ask for a better priest than our pastor as Steven Riddle can also attest.

But to hear someone else talk about this makes my heart sing. I wouldn't mind sitting down with Mr. Hand (or Mr. Culbreath of Orland) sometime over a stout. We may part ways over the direction of the Church, but the discussion would be great.-Hey, I may be in his neck of the woods sometime....

Usually I don't post much Saturday morning-but the taxes are putting me off... Oremus pro invicem!

Pigs and Taxes

I got a more accurate measurement on two of the pigs this morning: 119 and 82 lbs. The largest (which I reported on a few days ago) is undoubtably more than 120 lb, but probably not yet the 140 lb reported.

Now to do finish my taxes-started in February. It is going to rain here today, so its not a bad thing.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 11, 2008

An excellent post on salvation from TS. Here's the crucial point:

There's also the pious sentiment that "only God reads hearts, so only He knows who is saved" but I would argue it's exactly the opposite. Only God knows Himself, and so only He knows who is saved. It wouldn't matter if we could read hearts because we wouldn't know where to draw that line between saved and unsaved. It's not heart-reading that matters, but the line between Judgment and Mercy (is there one? or will they 'kiss'?), and only God knows where to draw it. Man would have to know God and man doesn't.

Read the rest too. There were several sections I wanted to quote, for example, the Baptist preacher scenario on salvation.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


New brake pads, rotor, etc finished and passed the test drive---finally! Wrong parts kept (and the fact we are 30 minutes away from a parts store) kept this project going much longer than anyone dreamed. Thanks little brother for your help!

Now back to regularly scheduled schedules.... Oremus pro invicem!

No one for Charleston ...

Little Rock, Des Moines get their bishops with auxilaries for San Antonio, Denver and San Francisco. Let's keep praying: Our Lady of South Carolina, Our Lady of Joyful Hope ... pray for us!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Rumor is ...

(From Annunciations) that four new bishops, including one for Charleston, SC will be appointed tomorrow!

Our Lady of Joyful Hope ... Pray for us!

This just in ...

Did my first pig weigh-in (by the string method). I only measured the largest, and I may have some error, but the estimate is about 140 lbs. --Getting closer everyday.

It's funny, Mrs. Curley noted how the pigs crowd the gate when I come-they associate me with food... AND I THEM.

Gotta go-still struggling with the brake "project". Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More car stuff

As we get ready to go to DC to see and hear Pope Benedict XVI, we have preparations to make: a brake job on the big van.

With my brother helping we successfully took everything apart-but found it needed more than new pads. One of the rotors (too thin to turn) had deep grooves. The other rotor looks okay.

Trying to order the correct rotor was a challenge. They wanted us to open the rear drum brakes to make measurements to determine the correct front rotor. Added to that, two stripped caliper bolts, and well you get the idea, it is one of those simple jobs turned into a project.

We'll get it done-hopefully today.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday on the way to Mass the car broke down. Talking to my friend after Mass, he suggested we nurse the car to his house and have a look. It turns out the transaxle was bad; he and I had replaced it recently. It had a replacement warranty, so we went to the parts store. The service lady was skeptical: "Usually these things don't go bad". But she got one from the back: it had a torn boot-so she had to get another one and didn't say another word.

It is still overcast-but hasn't rained in since Saturday.

Back to work... Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Steady rain all night and all day. Got some work done.

More reading .... from All Creatures Great and Small:

I was beginning to learn about the farmers and what I found I liked. They had a toughness and philosophical attitude which was new to me. Misfortunes which would make the city dweller want to bang his head against the wall were shrugged off with "Aye, well, these things happen."

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 04, 2008


My brother (visiting from NH) and I took the dead pine tree down this afternoon. We had about a 20 degree angle of play in dropping the tree, but we put it right in the center. (Dog pen, pig pen and chicken house were obstacles to be avoided.) Part axe and part chain saw did the job.

Then I planted two rows of spinach and a row of potatoes in the old pig pen. I have radishes coming up in both the usual garden and the pig pen garden. The pig pen radish leaves are at least twice as big-they were planted the same day.

And, the actual tickets for the Papal Mass in DC arrived via FedEx today!

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I think if I had read James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small 20 years ago I would have become a country vet.

The Bethune Chicken Strut is on again this year. (Last year it was off. You can read our past experiences with the Chicken Strut in the April 2006 archives-yes, I'm too lazy this morning to create the link.) Rodeo, carnival, parade, tractor pull, and the Colgate Country Showdown.

We will miss the locals' night at the carnival (we'll be seeing the Pope!), but should be home for the rest. Number one son is pursuing an entry into the Colgate Country Showdown.

Back to work!

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Yesterday was another Tuesday working on the road. Gotta pay the bills you know. But it makes Wednesdays that much harder to catch up with everything. But here I am.

My brother's family is coming to visit tomorrow-so we are in a mad dash to clean up. It shouldn't be too bad because we had the mad dash on last Friday (Square Dance on Sat), the mad dash the weekend before (Holy Saturday Passion Play and Easter), and the mad dash two weeks before that (my aunt visiting). So that's a lot of clean up. Things should be sparkling.

Back to work .... Oremus pro invicem!