Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Crisis

Probably the crisis in America to which almost every other ill can be traced is the absence of fathers in our families. Why doesn't our democracy work properly now? -The absence of fathers. His role can not be over stated: (from The Thinking Housewife via Jeff Culbreath

The ideal citizen in any high-functioning democracy is the father. He is more important politically than the mother; more important than the young man without children or the single woman; more important as a type than even the property owner. If I were to build an infant republic, I would limit the franchise to fathers, possibly making ownership of property an additional qualification.

.....For a woman, the world is too personal and parochial; she seeks security first. For the man without children, the future is sterile; even property or personal wealth will not make him care for those who will live many decades from now. The father is more apt to possess both public-spiritedness and loyalty, dispassion and compassion.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, November 28, 2011

What a glorious week full of blessing-too numerous to account. Praise God!

We have heat! After heroic efforts by my sons, the flue system in the chimney was taken down and a new Class A chimney installed. The potbelly stove arrived and was hooked up. As our Thanksgiving guests can attest-we have heat.

Our sow Sal gave farrowed last evening, giving birth to 13 live piglets. These piglets are the composite of the best of our herd. We are very excited about them.

Thanksgiving week was eventful with loads of work early and loads of fun late. Our turkey had not quite reached full size, so we supplemented the 14 pounder by adding a duck to the mix. Not much leftover turkey, but it was good and tender.

Our annual Turkey bowl with the boys ended in a tie. But Saturday everyone got in on the action. Mrs. Curley threw the winning touchdown pass to number one son (over my head and my coverage) to pull out a victory. Lots of fun.

We had several special visitors this year, but most special was having my Mom here at the homestead for the first time. She didn't hold any piglets, but she provided much joy, laughter and warmth to our holiday. (And just to avoid any confusion, my Mom was NOT the Mrs. Curley who threw the touchdown pass.)

Now to Advent!

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Here is my latest at http://www.catholiclane.com/ .

In other news, my town recently had a town council election. Living outside town limits, I do not get a vote, however the election reports were very interesting. The article stated that the top vote getter received 78 votes. The last sentence in the article stated that there were 73 registered voters. A misprint? or small town voter fraud?

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Waiting over

Mabel calved Friday night around 9:35 PM - a bull calf. She licked him and licked him. We got in there and dried him off a bit too. It was really cold out. I think it got down to 28 F that night. We saw him stand, but we went in before he found her udder. Saturday he couldn't figure out how to get milk out of the udder until late in the afternoon. We tried to teach him or get him to drink from a bucket, but he is a slow learner.

Harry the sow farrowed Saturday afternoon. We think she had 13 live births, but will confirm this morning. The sun was going down as she was finishing. Harry is a trooper. I think this is her fifth litter. We raised her from a weaner.

The other things we are still waiting for. The boys are manually taking the masonry flue out of our chimney so the new Class A chimney can fit. We are hoping to finish the installation and have heat by Monday night ....

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The difference between blarney and baloney via Fulton Sheen (paraphrased):

When meeting for the first time a woman of 40ish:

Baloney: You don't look a day over 18!

Blarney: Tell me your age so I know that age when women are most beautiful!

Another way he puts it:

Blarney is flattery so thin you love it. Baloney is flattery so thick you hate it.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, November 14, 2011


.... for Mabel to calve (due on the 10th, but nothing yet).

....for Harry the sow to farrow-any day now, but not overdue.

... for my wood stove to come in (due tomorrow), but first we have to finish installing the chimney and masonry.

... for the peanut harvest to end-making progress everyday, but the frost last week hurt the hay yield.


This weekend we started the simple chore of replacing our front door with one given us. The new door had a window which will hopefully lighten our electric bill and bring some much needed sun in on cold winter days. Alas, we found a whole lot of old termite damage. But there was a hidden blessing. After ripping out all the damaged wood, we had an opening large enough for a double front door. What's more, someone else had given us a set of double French doors which were sitting idle in the garage. So while the job isn't completely finished, the doors are in and so is a lot of light. Thank God for hidden blessings and generous, helpful neighbors!

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Feeding Hogs Dairy

From Pork Production (1928 by William Smith):

The by-products of the dairy are more highly prized by hog-men than perhaps any other form of protein supplement. The value of skim milk and buttermilk is such as to make pork production a valuable adjunct to profitable dairying when either of these products are available for swine feeding.

...or in other words 4.18 pounds of milk had the equivalent of 1 pound of corn. (for weight gain-ed)

We don't feed our hogs much pure corn. However, an added incentive for feeding milk is the taste of the pork. The pork from hogs feed milk as a supplement has a sweet creamy taste not found elsewhere.

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Why Peanuts

I have mentioned frequently we are harvesting peanuts from 4 acres leased from our neighbor. Why peanuts? Here are some reasons from Practical Farming For the South (1944 by B.F. Bullock):

Peanuts belong to the great soil-building legume family, and are one of the most useful crops grown on American soil. ... Peanut hay that has been properly harvested and handled in a way to preserve the leaves will rank along with any of the other legume hays as a high class roughage for dairy cows. Hogs will develop more rapidly on peanuts than on any other single crop grown on the average farms. ... Chickens are also very fond of peanuts and will thrive on them. In fact every creature on the farm, from the children to the watchdog, likes peanuts and will thrive on them if not permitted to eat too many.

So there you have it.

Now remember to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory everyday, but especially during November.

Oremus pro invicem!