Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wow, what a week. It is cold again and icy. We haven't lost a tree yet, but I am sure we will by tomorrow. It's in the 20's and been raining/icing since late last night. It is almost stopped now, but supposed to go down to 17 F overnight.

I know this is nothing like New England where I grew up, but having been away for 15+ years, it is hard to get used to.

Big Spot (pictured here a few weeks ago) is due to farrow this week. She isn't due for a few days, but am anxious that the cold and ice may stress her into an early delivery. She had a litter of 16 in July. She's even bigger this time and looks to be starting to bag up.

Broke down about 1 mile from home last night in the G30 van. I forgot to take the cell phone and Mrs. Curley was busy with dinner so didn't notice my tardiness. The van just quit. Instead of pushing it off the road, I decided to try my hand at pushing it home. There is one (up) hill on the way, but it follows a steep downgrade, so I figured I had chance, especially if Mrs. Curley showed up with the strong backs of my boys. Turns out my neighbor showed up first with a car dolly-but after I pushed for some 1/2 mile. It took a while to get the van loaded, but it's home now, just ready to be worked on. (Not a battery or a belt, so we'll look at the fuel pump and distributor cap.)

More later. Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sorry for the absence; been getting work done. We finished the new farrowing area and hut for Big Spot (Duroc/York/Hamp sow), due 4 February. Mrs. Curley painted the hut and did some painting on some other hog shelters.

We got Big Red (Duroc/Tamworth cross gilt) bred this weekend, and finally bred back our Jersey milk cow. She will be due in October. I would have rathered early September, thus having her dried off in the hottest months of July and August, but this will do.

I can't believe it is almost February. I think I did my first planting in mid-February last year. Boy, I am not ready yet.

Yesterday Mrs. Curley and I walked around the property and figured out our plans for this year-where we will keep the turkeys, meat birds, rabbits (yes, we will try them again-and to boot, rabbits are not regulated.) etc. I think we have a good plan. Now to get it working.


Am working today also to make sure Requiem Press book Catholic Laity in the Mission of the Church by Russell Shaw gets back into print. We sold the last copy of the 2nd printing this past fall. We hope to have it back for sale by mid-February.

And we have at least one other book targeted for early 2010. More on this later.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, January 18, 2010

pigtures to share

Appropriately on the weekend enclosing the feast of St. Anthony the Great (patron of swine-herders), we slaughtered and butchered two hogs. Of course we had some help and some beer (which also helped.)

Here is number three son with one of the skinned hogs, just before evisceration. Not to brag (well, okay maybe to brag) but, the hog I helped to skinn, we took the skin off in one piece with the head; so it looked like a pigskin rug. The picture is too blurry to include, but take my word for it-it's a work of art.

The deep freeze was too much for some of my greens. With two weeks of deep freeze (not to mention us being under the weather for one of those weeks) some things have gotten behind. We need to move some pigs, build some fence, and resurrect a farrowing area (due in Feb) in addition to playing catch up on other maintenance. Lots to do.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just one demonstration that we are doing much better: Number 4 Son decided to do some sliding on the ice this morning (instead of tending his chickens) and wound up falling and having his front teeth go completely through his lower lip. His comment? "I hope the blood stains don't come out of my pants and gloves."

So, thankfully we are almost back to normal. A few coughs linger.

It is still cold, but we are supposed to get a break today. One thing about homesteading in SC, you don't just bundle up in the cabin and wait till spring. You can grow year-round. Although I think this recent deep freeze probably ended at least some of the greens.


Changing gears, reading this piece at Inside Catholic on booing in Church reminded me of something I read in Monti's life of Thomas More (albeit the subject is different). Erasmus writes of More's children:

And if the priest has babbled something foolish, something impious, or something otherwise improper for a preacher-which we see happening frequently nowadays-they know whether to laugh or to ignore it or to express their indignation. Now that's the way to hear a sermon! -Eramus letter dated 1521

It would seem from context that the "indignation" is openly expressed. I have read (although can't place my hands on where) of other saints standing up during a homily and correcting a priest for uttering heresy during a sermon. I believe the situation in the link may have been somewhat different, but touches on the point of what is appropriate during Mass. Do we keep quiet in respect for the Eucharist even if the preacher is disrespectful in preaching heresy? Is this the proper "English" thing to do? Fortunately I haven't faced this situation in years.


Speaking of Thomas More, a few years ago Requiem Press was going to come out with a new (never before published in the states-but reprinted from an English work) biography of my favorite saint. We are hoping this is the year this effort comes to fruition. Stay tuned.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, January 08, 2010

So, the kids have been sick (low fever, high cough) for a week or more now. Mrs. Curley and I have undertaken all the livestock chores during that time. We've had fun working together alone. We've been working hard, and our tired old bodies are feeling a little sore. (It is good for us to do all the work occasionally. It lets us see how much work the kids do, and what improvements shoudl be made to the system.)

With the cold weather, we've been breaking up ice and lugging water to the pigs and chickens 2-3 more times per day than is usual. And we've been constantly refreshing the straw bedding in the livestock housing to keep all the animals warm during this cold snap. (Our hay supplier had extra straw and has delivered several round bales to us for free this past week.)

Last night snow (flurries) were predicted, but we got barely a sprinkle. For the first time in a week, the water troughs were not frozen this morning.

We hope the kids are on the mend, cause Mrs. Curley and I are fading quickly with our own coughs (no fevers yet.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


At least for SC. And it is supposed to get colder-down to 10 overnight on Sunday. (A neighbor claims it was 8F early this morning-but not here.)

Now that the 12 days are over, I may start posting a bit again. In the cold weather, keeping the livestock's water from freezing-even during the day has been a challenge. We don't have heated waterers...afterall, it is SC.

We still have not mailed Christmas cards, but I figure we have til February 2nd to do so. Our tree will be up until then at least.

To work! Oremus pro invicem!