Monday, January 30, 2012

Something to think on ...

From Friends & Strangers by John Medaille over at Front Porch Republic :

I start my meditation with a true story that will serve as a parable. On his 21st birthday, the nature writer Francis Thompson was presented by his father with a bill for all the expenses of his upbringing including the costs of his birth and delivery. Francis paid the bill, but he never spoke to his father again. ...

We are immediately repelled by this story, yet at the same time, we have to concede a strange kind of justice to it. There is no doubt that the father was correct to point out to his son the obligation that he had, but in quantifying that obligation, he converted it into a debt, for that is the difference between an obligation and a debt: an obligation becomes a debt when you can put a number on it. “I owe you one” is an obligation; “I owe somebody $10″ is a debt. Obligations bind people together even after they have been “paid.” But debts bind us only for as long as the debt exists. The relationship dies on payment of the debt. We might say that obligations bind us together, while debts drive us apart. By quantifying the obligation, Thompson’s father offered him the opportunity to dissolve it, to discharge it, and in doing so to end their relationship; his son took the offer and was no longer his son.

I never thought of the difference between a debt and obligation in these terms, but in contemplating it this morning, I have found it to be true. I am so happy to be involved in so many obligations (one way or the other) among my friends and in our rural community.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm tired of ...

calls from Mitt Romney and postcards from the superpac supporting him. It must be nice to run a positive campaign while having a superpac doing a hack job on everyone who might take a vote from you.

Unfortunately all the M.R. calls are recordings so I can only hang up. I can't get the satisfaction of telling the caller I will never vote for Romney.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, January 09, 2012

From The Church and the Land by Fr. Vincent McNabb:

It would be well to enumerate these primary needs if only for the sake of realizing how far we are from finding them provided by the present Industrial System. Our primary economic necessities are: (1) Food - i.e., bread, vegetables, milk, meat, malted liquors, etc.; (2) Clothing - i.e., woollen, linen, and cotton stuffs, well tanned or untanned leather; (3) Housing - i.e., a home of sufficient rooms, a homestead, fresh air, etc.; (4)Fuel; wood, coal, etc. All other things belong to man's secondary needs.

Now it may be startling to some men to be reminded that the present Factory System of Industrialization produces none of the primary needs of human existence. The land and the land alone gives us the simplicities of Food, Clothing, Housing, Fuel. Factory methods cannot give us these necessities of life; but they can give them a quality which makes them controllable by a small group of men who wish to make money by controlling them.

Well, we are far from relying solely on the land for our primary economic necessities, but we are farther along than we were 8 years ago. Virtually all our meat and 70% of our vegetables come from our land. Most dairy comes from our land. Bread .... well we don't grow or grind our own wheat, but we make at least some of our own bread. Clothing ... well, here is progress. Number 2 son had been hard at tanning deer hides this winter. Not much clothing has appeared, but it is in the works. And this year we are on all wood heat for the first time.

It is not that I believe one has to obtain all of his primary economic needs from the land as opposed to from the Industrial System, but doing so, or knowing how to do so as much as possible does provide some freedom.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy Christmas!

Yes we are still celebrating. Mrs. Curley bought me a wonderful and useful gift: a Rapid Brew brand coffee percolator. We are also sporting a new red heeler puppy. Mrs. Curley also got me a book I have been longing to read: The Church and the Land by Fr. Vincent McNabb. Have just started reading it, I surmise it won't take me long to get through it.

Cold weather came in today. The pot belly stove is keeping up.

Not to brag, but I made a delicious duck sausage with lots of sage and a roasted garlic paste, courtesy of the book Charcuterie. It's a great resource. Several months ago I made some Canadian bacon also relying on Charcuterie.

This is really hog slaughter weather now-although we do it year round, we really get going now. And many new recipes to work on once the pork is in the freezer.

Oremus pro invicem!