Monday, July 24, 2023

Hym of Saint Kassiani


"O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, perceiving Thy Divinity, fulfilled the part of a myrrh-bearer; and with lamentations she brought sweet-smelling oil of myrrh to Thee before Thy burial. 'Woe is me,' she said, 'for night surrounds me, dark and moonless, and stings my lustful passion with the love of sin. Accept the fountain of my tears, O Thou Who drawest down from the clouds the waters of the sea. Incline to the groanings of my heart, O Thou Who in Thine ineffable self-emptying hast bowed down the heavens. I shall kiss Thy Most Pure feet and wipe them with the hairs of my head, those feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise and hid herself for fear. Who can search out the multitude of my sins and the abyss of Thy judgments, O Savior of my soul? Despise me not, Thine handmaiden, for Thou hast mercy without measure."

Friday, July 21, 2023

Boy oh Boy!!

3rd grandchild born early this morning!!!!!! Everyone doing well. Praise be to God!


Precious Cantaloupe

I have told the story before about our cantaloupe seeds.  We planted some this year, but few seeds germinated. We got one fantastic plant, but so far only one fruit, which I didn't spy until today, as you can see why. It is wedged in and won't budge. Should I break the cinder block?

My fault for not paying closer attention. UPDATE: I freed it from its bonds!

From the small holding in Bethune we praise God this morning!

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Well, the bounty from the garden continues. Usually, I get some projects done while Mrs. Curley is away, but there is soooo much produce to put up I haven't had much time to start anything. Some things are starting to slow down. We have picked most of the spaghetti squash. The green beans are slowing down as are the tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. But not the cucumbers. We are picking an average of 30 a day plus the ones I missed from the day before which are only good for the pigs.

We did cut some wood today and Monday and split and stacked it. It is a little late in the season for doing it, but I want to make double sure we have enough for the coming winter.

While Mrs. Curley has been away, in the evenings I have been trying my hand to finish a book about our life here I started a few years ago. I have 24,000 words and think I am just about 'done', whether it is finished or not. I have some organizing to do and must figure out a decent way to close it out. Other than that, I don't think I have much more to say. 

We have a litter of pigs for sale. About half are gone. Usually it takes only 24-36 hours after advertising to sell them all. But the days have been so scorching hot, that I figure folks don't want to spend the time making a pen in this heat. 

From the small holding in Bethune ....

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, July 13, 2023

We need to keep saying it.

It does bear repeating over and over: Phil Lawler says it again with respect to Cardinal Dolan's recent examination of conscience:

So the People of God were denied the sacraments. Sinners were not shriven, lovers were not married, babies were not baptized, the dying were not anointed. How many souls were lost because of that lack of pastoral care? How many strayed from the Church— and have not returned— because they were encouraged to accept the government edicts that religious worship is not an “essential” activity?


Yesterday I made more cherry tomato pasta sauce, blanched and froze more green beans, shredded and froze more squash. 

Over the weekend I pureed and put up several bags of tomatoes.

Today is ketchup day. Ironic as I don't eat ketchup either. But what to do with all these tomatoes?

The corn is done. The squash keeps looking like is done, but then one plant revives and puts out another patti pan.

I am starting to pick spaghetti squash and eggplant now. 

And the cucumbers just keep coming!

From the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, July 10, 2023


Daughter Bernadette made 31 jars of pickles this weekend! As she was in process I brought in another couple dozen cucumbers from the garden. She looked daggers at me. "Look" I said, "I don't even like pickles. You are to one who made me promise to grow tons of cucumbers!"

I spent my share of time in the kitchen also this weekend, making another batch of cherry tomato pasta sauce, pureeing several gallon bags of tomatoes and freezing, and freezing trays of cherry tomatoes.

I think I have enough green beans to blanch and freeze another bunch. Plus I am still behind on the tomatoes, having four baskets full to put up, not to mention the patti pan squash. So I know what I am doing today!

We have been getting short rains and it looks like more today.

We also sold some ducks and one pig. 

From the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Putting it up

Mrs. Curley is out of town for a couple of weeks trying to help our 3rd grandchild be born, at least helping out.

Of course this means I have lost my produce-putting-up partner. Beans I handled no problem. Freezing whole cherry tomatoes, no problem.

Making cherry tomato pasta/pizza sauce, big problem. I can follow a recipe, but since I can't stand any type of tomato sauce, I have no way of knowing if what I made is any good. But I made a quart plus of it yesterday anyway. Gregory says it's great, but anything edible is great to him.

The cherry tomatoes are plentiful. I am picking 4 or more pints a day. What to do with them all? It was fine when they were dribbling in, but now? I am thinking of putting up a sign out front to sell them. 

Last night I also started putting up the patti pan squash. I have much more to do, but I think the plants are starting to wind down.

But today we put up more corn. We probably won't have more to put up after today, but will have a few more meals. 

From the small holding in Bethune -

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, July 03, 2023

2 photos today

Yesterday, we finished our novena and installed my grandmother's Infant of Prague statue in the shrine with song and prayer. It was a long time coming.

We have been picking produce in increasing quantities over the last couple weeks. Today we had the most green beans and cherry tomatoes and cucumbers of any single day yet. 

I blanched the green beans for freezing after supper tonight. 

Mrs. Curley is away helping with preparation for our 3rd grandchild, so I am doing the kitchen stuff. She left me instructions on how to deal with the tomatoes. Will be doing that tomorrow. 

As to the cucumbers .... and we have tons even after Mrs. Curley pickled as many as she could before she left ... my youngest daughter needs to take care of these. I can't even stand the smell of pickles.

From the very blessed smallholding in Bethune,

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, July 01, 2023


Some few years ago I made a promise to erect a shrine to the Infant of Prague on our property. Every year it was a "priority" which never happened. I think this is going to change tomorrow.

The site is ready for the statue to be enshrined tomorrow. Son Gregory has been helping me all week to prepare the shrine.

Despite my procrastination on keeping my promise, our Lord has blessed us tremendously anyway.

From the small holding in Bethune ... Oremus pro invicem!