Thursday, March 29, 2012

The latest at CL

Just a little article on Catholic Lane that I wrote. Here's a snippet:

But to go back to those healthy couples who choose to surgically or artificially limit the love in their families, I want to ask them: What if God limited His love, that is His creation, to just Adam and Eve? Those first two, after all, were a troublesome pair. They didn’t obey very well.

Read the whole thing here.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Plowing the field

Update: Here's some pictures:

We’ve started plowing the field with our new walk-behind turn plow. I will say it is easier on the horse. He can plow more land in a session.

But it IS NOT easier on the plowman. If I keep plowing, I will lose a hunk of weight and get in better shape. It’s a real workout.

Will try to get some pictures this week.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I made corned beef from the brisket of the dairy cow we had to put down this past August. I used the recipe in Charcuterie (rapidly becoming one of my favorite books-borrowed from a friend) minus the garlic.

I have never been a big fan of corned beef purchased from the supermarket, it is just too salty; you can’t soak or boil enough salt out of it. This corned beef was just right. I think it is the first time I really enjoyed it.

We also had pigeon this weekend. A friend was thinning out his racing pigeon herd and told us they were good to eat. They were okay. I think I overcooked them, but even so they were okay, very dense meat. Half of them I wrapped in homemade bacon and baked. The other half I soaked in milk and then battered flour and spices and fried. I think the one wrapped in bacon turned out better-but what else would you expect?

We started plowing a portion (~ ¼ acre) of the field we are leasing this week. I expect we will be planting some peas there by weeks’ end. Today I am purchasing a walk-behind horse/mule plow board with a turn plow, sweep, and shovel attachments. It is very good working order and reasonably priced. He had another which possibly had never been used, but it didn’t have all the adjustment features as this one does.

Our horse does a good job with the forecart plow, but it is an awful lot of weight to be pulling. We are hoping that the walk-behind will conserve some of his energy so that we can actually plow more territory in a day. However, this will present some new challenges. I believe a mule or a calmer horse would walk straighter lines than does our quarter horse. When plowing with the forecart, it is fairly easy to keep the wheel in the furrow, but once we get to cultivating, the horse doesn’t seem to want to walk those straight rows. So we will see how it goes. If we can get him to walk straight rows, the new sweep attachment will greatly assist us in cultivating and keeping the pigweeds down.

There is a big working horse and tack auction in Troutman, NC this coming weekend. Many of the horses/mules are Amish trained. AND I am told if you wait around towards the end, you can get some great deals on dead broke to ride and pull animals. Unfortunately I don’t think our budget will allow it this spring.

It has been so warm we took a chance and put a small patch of sweet corn 2 weeks ago. It is up now and looking good. We put in another patch this weekend. In another 2 weeks we will put in our final bit of sweet corn.

The warm spring makes me think we are behind in planting, but really we are doing okay with peas, lettuce, broccoli, radishes, etc already in and up.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weaned some piglets this weekend. Put the sow in with our new boar. If he works out, we can bring some of Tarzan's daughters into the herd and expand from our best sows (if that's what we decide to do.)

We should start getting our leased land ready this week. First we will cut down the tall, but dead weeds, remnant from last year. We will rake (plow) the field and then start plowing in earnest. We will start with a small portion and get in some early peas and then get going on the rest.

Am thinking of taking a small engine repair course this spring. I work on our cars now, but usually with lots of local advice. It would be good to become very good at small engine repair and get some income fixing mowers and chainsaws and tillers etc. Of course many around here to a lot of their own work, but I think this may work out.

Speaking of chainsaws ... this being a mild winter was a blessing since it was our first using only wood for heat. I hope I have enough wood cut later this spring to get us through a tougher winter next year. Here's a picture of Number 4 son with wood and a not so good pic of our stove taken during the Christmas season (as should be obvious from the background).

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Thanks for all the prayers regarding our "big decision". Don't you all know that I haven't let loose with the news to keep readership?

Without going into all the mechanics of it, because the whole process (not our doing) dragged out much longer than human patience can imagine, late last week we decided to stay here. I immediately approached our neighbor about leasing 6 acres again this year (affirmative answer).

God then immediately blessed us through two local farmers who offered us the equivalent of 10-11 truckloads of turnips from their fields if only we would harvest them. (Not a complete diet for the hogs, but every bit helps.)

Again, thanks for the prayers. The whole process made us revisit why we are here and how to go forward. God has been very good to us.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, March 05, 2012


on a Church (I think Methodist, but it could have been Luthern) billboard on the way home from Mass on Sunday:


It’s not just for bellybuttons!

Now, for most of us, this just doesn’t make sense. However (and it may be peculiar to the midlands of SC) there is an common accent which renders the short “e” sound as a short “i”. Therefore, for example: “pen”, is pronounced “pin”.

So here, “Lent” is rendered “Lint”, and thus how it makes sense-at least to some. We had a laugh because of the occasional miscommunication that has resulted with our friends over this regional accent peculiarity.

In truth we didn’t get it right away. We did a doubletake and then got it.

Oremus pro invicem!