Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Holy Souls

When Requiem Press was still around, in November especially I would remind readers that our booklet Daily Prayers for the Church Suffering was a good (and cheap) way to remember to pray for the souls in Purgatory every day of the year - not just in November. 

We have been out of booklets for some years now, but I have plans to resurrect it sometime this year as the need is still great.

This is the 23rd anniversary of my father's death. While I have hopes he is in Heaven, I know my prayers for him won't be wasted.

Eternal Rest grant to them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them!


This past weekend I was doing a demonstration and leading a discussion at a homesteading conference in North Carolina. St. Joseph's Farm is a microdairy and holds father-son retreats as well as homesteading conferences. You should check them out: St. Joseph's Farm

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, October 21, 2022

New Boar

We went to the SC State Fair on Sunday. I headed to the livestock shows - just to look. But I came away with a new Boar from Kewanee Farms out of Georgia. I have now purchased 3 boars from Kewanee. They are the best I have had. He is a Hampshire like my first boar (Tarzan).

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

How do you measure success?

How do you measure success? On one hand, we grew a small plot of popcorn for the first time which yielded 12 pounds of kernels to pop. Success by any measure - we will be hard pressed to eat that much popcorn in a year.

On the other hand, I planted many cantaloupe seeds in the garden. One seed germinated; one fruit grew on the one plant. Carefully watered and cultivated, it was harvested and tasted; we feasted on the most flavorful cantaloupe imaginable. One cantaloupe from all that effort would not seem a success - but the seeds it came from go back 3 generations from a state almost 2000 miles away. Saving the seeds from this one fruit for the coming years guarantees the variety will survive - success. (I have referenced these seeds before: Bethune Catholic: cantaloupes and cats - long story, but the ones I had this year were about all I had left after a few dismal summer garden years due to lack of rain.)

Measuring the success of students however is much more difficult. If they succeed in my Astronomy or Physics course would be one measure, but ultimately it is whether they succeed in life. My contribution is extremely small in that endeavor. AND in most cases I never know.

On the homestead we can measure success every time we light a fire in the wood stove or open the pantry or chest freezer. As an adjunct, it is not so easy.

Of course the ultimate success is not on the homestead or on the ball field, but in every endeavor which brings us closer to salvation.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Jersey Beef - nothing like it!

We put down a young  Jersey steer a week or so ago- (not so young as the pictures. The steer we put down was about 6 months old.) We ground up the hamburger today. 

I cooked some medallion steaks from the loin for supper tonight. Boy, that meat was tender and flavorful. Nothing like Jersey beef.

We thank God for the bounty from our homestead this summer!

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, July 25, 2022

pigs and popcorn

Red had pigs this weekend. Historically she is a good mother.

We also harvested our popcorn this weekend. I had taken a couple ears a few weeks back. I popped them in our Whirley Pop and it was great - so time to harvest the rest. 

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, July 01, 2022

More pigs

Sad Update: Well we lost the litter and the sow. Turkey vultures came after a couple. I drove them off - I think permanently, but then we noticed that Rusty (sow) was eating or moving around much. Then her piglets started to get lethargic - due lack of nursing. We put the most energetic with Floppy's litter and it seem to take. In the meantime, we found a rupture in Rusty which was unrepairable. We transferred the remaining two energetic piglets of her litter to Floppy and put Rusty down. This morning, the transfers were dead. We tried, and Floppy tried, I am not sure she could handle 3 more.

Update: Or 8. or 9! Everytime I go out, there is one more! I think she is done now.

Under a tremendous (and tremendously needed) rain, Rusty had her litter. Only 7, and one is really tiny. I don't think it will make it. 

Red is not due for a few more weeks.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Update: More pics of Floppy and litter:

Came home from Mass yesterday to find that Floppy has 14 live births. So far all are still well, although I had to save one this morning - Floppy had trapped it between her back and the fence. This is her 2nd litter. 

Rusty is due with her 2nd litter any day now also.

Picking tomatoes, patty pans (or scallop squash), cucumbers, kale, Swiss Chard. 

We got behind around here because of illness. I was sick more or less for a week - highly unusual for me. 

Lots going on with Turkeys growing, our first set of meat chickens in the brooder, and baby pigs dropping.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Summer work

All my summer classes at two institutions have been cancelled due to low enrollment. I guess Physics and Astronomy are not so popular. Lots of time now - but not the $$. Isn't this the case?

But this is also an opportunity. Certainly the homestead and gardens have never looked better (if only rain will come!).

But I am thinking of resurrecting some old business projects, getting back into publishing a couple booklets we did before and maybe getting back into making wooden boxes.

I have started to layout the Daily Prayers for the Church Suffering booklet, which we can print ourselves in limited quantities. Too bad I didn't save the layout files. I am sorry we didn't have more. Recently I was at a wake and met an old friend who told he and his wife do those prayers together everyday.

Stay tuned.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Back again!

We were licensed for foster care in 2016. After numerous children over 6 years, in March we decided to stop doing foster care and closed our home. 

Wouldn't you know that the last two children we had in care (siblings) for 27 months, came back into the system right after we closed our home. 

However, we scrambled around and reopened so these children could have a familiar place with us again.

The joy is here!

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

I was supposed to get up early today and butcher at least 1/2 the hog I put down on Saturday morning... but I slept in just a little bit, and then had coffee, and then went outside and could feel the heat coming on. We will try again on Thursday.

We did get to the scrap metal place today. Metal was selling for $10 per 100 pounds a month ago. Today it was only $7. 

We also planted some more tomato plants (Roma's) moved a pig and fixed some fencing.

My last day of classes and final exam is this week. Then I get 10 days off before the summer session starts.

Planting was a little late around here. (I still have to get my cantaloupe in), but we are picking lettuce, swiss chard and peas. 

I guess there is lots to comment about in the news and politics. I am just not that motivated. It is funny, when Mrs. Curley and I were first married, I was writing letters to the editor and losing sleep over all kinds of outrages. Mrs. Curley didn't understand why I got so animated. Now the roles are reversed.

Oremus pro invicem!