Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Travelling Man

I spent last weekend (2 weeks ago) in Dallas visiting number 3 son. This past weekend I spent in Lander Wyoming with number 1 son and his new bride. (The numbers refer to age and not to any other quality!)
I don't have pictures of Dallas, but share two from Wyoming. Both weekends were fantastic. I miss these boys of mine. (Not limiting it to these two. I miss my number 2 son and my number 1 & 2 daughters just as much.)
This is the part of the restored Ghost Town in South Pass City in Wyoming. Don't miss Atlantic City just up the road either.

This waterfall was part of our 6+ mile hike at Johnny Behind the Rocks near Lander, Wyoming. We did "climb" to the top of the falls by a path just out of view on the left of the falls.
I think I will be staying put for a while. My family (not to mention our homestead) needs some tender attention. I am certainly looking forward to this.
Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, October 23, 2017

My Antonia

Just finished Willa Cather's My Antonia. It is a book I liked but did not give total satisfaction, if that is the right sentiment. Certainly it was not all satisfying in the way a popular novel is. The ending is happy, but there is some melancholy - things that should or could have been different, the fact of mistakes made even by good people,, but a resilient spirit can overcome?
Is the difference between literature and the majority of novels not just the quality of writing, but that literature captures life as it is with all the bumps and bruises and sometimes the regrets and not just an adventure with a happy ending?
One line caught me towards the end. The narrator asks:
I wondered whether the life that was right for one is ever right for two!
While my answer to this is in the affirmative, not everyone always experiences this, either due to chance or choice. 
But more, the line reminded me of a thought of Dietrich von Hildebrand about marriage itself, and not the more material life. I paraphrase the thought below, which is a paraphrase from my own blog entry of 2005 - so it possible it is a little distorted from the actual writing of DVB as I don't have his text with me.
Dietrich Von Hildebrand says in his book Marriage – the mystery of faithful love (Sophia Institute Press) that all marriages have the purpose of attaining the highest possible communion or mutual love possible between the spouses. Some marriages in particular are truly made in Heaven and have the potential of being a true living example to the world of Christ’s spousal love. In the other extreme, one spouse must forego receiving the love of their spouse and must spend their life “primarily in sacrifice and renunciation, in care for the salvation of the other” – who is not participating in the love of the marriage. Thus the purpose of every spouse in every marriage, no matter the nature of their particular marriage, will not be realized until that spouse truly lives in a spirit of sacrifice - fully embracing his vocation.
By the way, if you want a really good analysis (as opposed to mine) of a classic novel (not this one) you should venture here to read about the correlation between sin and death as portrayed in Crime and Punishment.
Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, October 16, 2017


We only have one sow left. We sold our last other two in the spring. A few years ago we selected the best gilt from our best boar and sow and raised her to be our remaining sow. She has done well - not our biggest star in the past 10 years - but okay. She usually averages 10-12 pigs per litter, and loses few.

"Polly" had her fall litter this weekend: 5 pigs.

Of course, the low number is likely "Thor's" fault (the boar). We've had him 2 years. I have to say, I think his two predecessors, Red and Tarzan, were better boars.

In any event, may be its a blessing. For the first time, I had trouble selling off the spring litters. (We had two.) I have 7 pigs left from those litters, and I have no need for so many. These guys are getting pretty big, and yet I have 2-300 pound pigs from last winter's litter to put in the freezer. I am just waiting for the weather to cool.
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Right now I am reading (actual books) two books. One is My Antonia by Willa Cather which a friend of mine was amazed I hadn’t read before. I am some 50 pages into it, and so far so good.

I am also reading Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, which I won as a door prize at the Adjunct faculty conference at the tech school where I “instruct”. Basically it is a study of why high school boys – well, the title gives the purpose. I have multiple interests regarding the education of young men and am hoping I gain some insight – however, my hopes are tempered by the source of the information.  

But of course I am always listening to something in my long commutes 3 days a week. One of my favorite listens (as reported here before) are audio books by Louis L’Amour. My son forwarded an article about him from a website called The Art of Manliness. A couple of L’Amour quotes stood out.

First: The idea of education has been so tied to schools, universities, and professors that many assume there is no other way, but education is available to anyone within reach of a library.”

Of course this observation based on the premise (more prevalent in the past than today) that education is not a utilitarian pursuit of employment. Colleges and universities are often (but not always) in the business of job training as opposed to education. I can truly say I have learned more about just about everything from my own reading habits than I ever learned in school,/college the exceptions being in math/calculus and some areas of science.

The second quote I also find very true:

A book is less important for what it says than for what it makes you think.”

Some may my following observation is a bit strange, but one reason I enjoy many John Grisham novels (surely light fare) is that they really make me think about things-plight of peoples, relations, state of law etc. Obviously there are books written to make one think-and I read those. But often I find light fiction does the same.

Oremus pro invicem!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Two Pictures

Usually I walk in the late afternoon. But yesterday I started my walk just before sunset.

First, as I was passing my hogs, I was struck by the "3 generations", the boar being in the foreground. 2 hogs from last years litter next, and if strain your eyes, you can see this years litter in the background. The picture isn't that good as it is from my cellphone.

The next picture, just around the corner from the hogs is even less clear, but the color that did come through is beautiful.

Oremus pro invicem!