Monday, February 15, 2010

This Sunday, Father suggested we look at our life and see what we are doing that gets us closer to God what doesn't. Although Father didn't mention it, it is a good preparation for Lent.

And, I read in CWR the following by Annie Calovich:

My sister, Celine, had been insistent that our mom not go into a nursing home, and she had prepared her daily for death, saying the rosary and other prayers with her at set times of the day, keeping holy images in front of her eyes and the TV out of her room. ....

Since we should always be preparing for death (St. Paul says that our day of salvation (or not-JC) is closer than it has ever been) perhaps we should heed the same practices.


Something to feast your eyes on before the meatless days which are soon to come before us. (Part of the hind quarter during the butchering of Bucky.)

Finally, a clip from the recent snows. (Aside, my boys have worked recently for a local horse trainer: exchanging their work putting a roof on his barn for a horse. Horse was delivered a week or so ago. They are still working for a saddle and tack.) Here is Number 2 Son taking a ride in early morning after the snow this past week. (The background sound is undoubtably Big Spot calling her litter to nurse.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beef is back on the menu!

Finished butchering today after the 6 inches of snow had let up and melted some. We had rib-eye steaks for dinner tonight-our first homegrown Jersey beef .... delicious. Geeta Dardick (author of the BEST book on the subject: Home Butchering and Meat Preservation) warned that we should have low expectations as our beef isn't grown in a feed-lot. May be they were low, but were greatly exceeded.

Time and taste will tell whether we do this again soon, but thumbs up for now. Groovy man!

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow! and the end of Bucky

It is snowing as I write-coming down pretty hard. Accumulation is expected to be 3 inches overnight. We haven't had snow yet this year.

We slaughtered our first cow yesterday. Boy, what a job. It takes a bit more than a hog. I will wait to see how it tastes before commenting on whether we shall do it again.

Pictures here show the breast bone being split and a c0-conspirator working on salvaging the cheek meat and tongue.

I wish I had a picture of us splitting the carcass with an old axe we were given. When I brought the axehead down to our local hardware store to get it fitted for a new handle, the owner was excited: the head was old and she asked if she could weigh it ... 6.5 pounds. They told me to take good care of it. I figure if I use it as a working tool, it is more likely to last.

We were pretty much done except quartering and moving the carcass into the barn in 3 hours. Not bad. Of course Bucky was probably only 650 pounds (a Jersey).

We are making much of it ground beef, but are hanging part of the carcass for a couple days as weather permits and drying aging some of the cuts in the fridge.

I'll report on the taste in a day or two.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, February 08, 2010


In the wee hours between the 6th and 7th of February, Big Spot had her 2nd litter of 16 piglets for us. No pictures yet as the digital camera is on the blink. 1/2 are black/black&white and 1/2 are "blue butts": white with dark area on the butt and a few spots area around the head.

We've been loading up the farrowing area with lots of straw to keep these piggies warm.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"Schooling," [the priest] told me, "has not changed the people for the better. This is the pain in my heart. Those educated want nothing to do with their animals. They just want to leave. Education should not be a reason to go away. It's an obligation to come back."

While the setting for the quote is Africa, it is also true here. It struck me and reminded me of my 91 year-old neighbor telling me that the family farm has died because his generation's children wanted things.


My car radio only works when it rains. This is a good thing on my weekly commute to the city as it gives me time to pray and think. It is also good because the radio often upsets me, as it did yesterday when it rained and the two top stories on NPR were how the Obama Administration was set on making 'family planning' a key aspect of all foreign aid - and it seems the Republican party (at least those quoted) were not too upset by this. And secondly, news on the whole 'don't ask, don't tell' thing. Of course having female soldiers (writing 'female soldiers' truly seems to offend nature) on or close to the front lines in close quarters with male soldiers has some of the same ramifications, doesn't it? Not the way to start the day!


"Big Spot" hasn't farrowed yet and is not likely to do so tonight. I am hoping she farrows before the rain coming on later in the week.

On a lighter note, here's Number 2 son with a turkey we had tonight. Very tasty!

Oremus pro invicem!