Blessing of Food and BACON!

I’m over at Catholic Rural Life today, talking about community, food blessings, and bacon!

Since the beginning of time, human social interaction, community, has centered around the shared table.  Hospitality.  We welcome friends to join around the table, toast to the joys and woes, break bread together.  Food is not just for the sustenance of humans.  It is community, connection, love.

Read the rest here.

We Know Who Wins

On this Feast of St. John Paul the Great, I’ve been thinking of three of his most famous words.  “Be Not Afraid!”  Considering that he spoke many, many words and ALL of them were worth hearing, it’s ironic that we can boil it down to these three.  But these three words are so relevant for us today.

I have no intention or desire to wax eloquent of this tumultuous election season, but I do think that Christians are, at times like this, gripped with fear.  I hear everyone plotting their run to the hills.  Let’s be self sufficient, let’s abandon society.  But we have to remember that we have been called to be IN this world.   Yes, not of it, but most certainly in it.  We also have to remember that this is the journey, not the destination.

I heartedly embrace the idea of self sufficiency.   The ability to grow food, defend our families, and function apart form the “they” are all necessary skills.  But they aren’t the end itself.  Faith, God, Our Heavenly home is the end.  We must have the knowledge necessary to carry on in this world and the faith to withstand the trials.

Those of us who grew up as children of the late twentieth century were raised knowing John Paul as THE pope.  Not a pope in a line of many, but the one and only from the time we were born and into adulthood.  That’s a unique position to be in.  I believe we are the first generation in history to grow up with the same pope.  His important words, Be Not Afraid, ring in our ears.  They are the armor he gave us to withstand this time.

Be Not Afraid of what is to come.  We must prepare, but we also must not run.  Don’t be foolish; fill you larders, save your seeds.  But never sit back in fear.  We are called to move forwards, bravely, to fight this good fight.

We need to arm ourselves with knowledge and console ourselves with faith.  God prevails.

(Mis)Adventures in Pigland

Yesterday was….pigalicious.  And that doesn’t mean we got to eat a great deal of pork.

For the most part, raising pigs is a fun and exciting, albeit strenuous, good time.

Yesterday, not so much.

We were scheduled to take our biggest hog in to be butchered, but he saw through the ruse.  And staunchly refused to get into the trailer.  Have you ever seen a huge pig run?  It’s comical, to say the least.  They also jump and squeal and snip.

We pushed and cajoled and begged that animal to get into the trailer.  His friends would go in!  And back out again.  It was full of his favorite treats and a cozy bit of straw.  What wasn’t to love about it?

The end destination, I guess.  Is there a sixth sense of pig-hood?  This guy has it, if there is.


Our clock was ticking.  The drop off window at the butcher was quickly closing and school was getting ready to start.  I guess Christopher was going to miss biology class.  And probably Algebra, as well.

What’s a fat pig plus strong man squared divided by trailer?  A hot mess, that’s what.


After pleading and prodding, literally, the old beast won.  He gleefully waved farewell and went back to munching his acorns.

Later that evening, strolling with a well deserved cold brew, Andrew and I turned the corner of our woods and came face to face with a big black hog, proudly strutting on the wrong side of the fence.

I’m joyfully looking forward to my calendar full of butcher dates.