Wednesday’s Word is fourteen.  That’s how many piglets we have so far.  Mama Lily  and Mama Speckles farrowed, just a day apart.

We had thought each sow and her piglets would keep to themselves; in their own little worlds.  But, they soon taught us about communal pig piles.  The piglets benefit from the additional heat of others.  And the sows benefit, too.

While one mama is nursing, she’s also becomes a babysitter.  The other sow is then free to go shopping for a tasty snack.  As for Natasha, she’s still a lady in waiting and hasn’t farrowed, yet.  But, she’s due any day now…



DENSE.  It means thick, heavy, or condensed.  It can also mean: unintelligent, simple-minded, or ignorant.

The first time I saw man-made coats on horses, I was in Texas.  Out of hundreds of horse ranches, I saw one whose horses wore coats.  They weren’t blankets.  And they weren’t coverings for biting bugs.  Instead, they were full-body, insulated, monogrammed, black coats.  And even though the weather wasn’t hot, it was warm compared to the 35 below zero temperatures our horses faced back home.

While I was no equine expert, I knew that horses grew their own natural coats.  And when horses are in good health, all they need is some wind protection, sufficient food rations, and a source of water.  After all, horses are innately equipped to adjust and thrive in the harshest conditions; from Mustangs that survive blizzards on sub-zero plains to Arabians that survive triple digit heat and desert storms.

So, what if the coated horses had been aged or ill?  Then I was just as dense as the hair on our horses.  But, what if the horses simply had fancy coats for each season?  Then the matter wasn’t primarily about warmth.  Instead, it was more about a horse of a different color.  And most likely, a million-dollar one.




Agape is the highest of all love.  It is an unconditional love.  It is a sacrificial love.  And it is a selfless love.  It goes far beyond friendship, family, or erotic love.  It’s a kind of love that marriages are to emulate.  It’s not a glamorous love.  In fact, it’s inconvenient, difficult, not very pretty, and often painful.

Our Valentine’s Day was one of Agape Love.  It was not celebrated with roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, diamonds, fancy clothes, or dinner at a restaurant.  Instead, Keith dressed this morning in his Carhartt’s.  He did all the morning chores, cut-up half a hog, worked a twelve-hour shift, did all the evening chores, and paid bills.  It was my day off.  So, I dressed in a stained t-shirt and worn-out jeans.  My hair was in a disarray and I wore no makeup.  I did laundry, dishes, delivered tax information to the accountant, worked on a family party for Saturday, cooked 1/4 of a hog (for another celebration), and made dinner.

Our evening meal was dished at 7:00 pm.  However, there was no room available at the kitchen table.  It is full of party preparations.  We had to eat in the living room, but first a load of clean laundry needed to be moved out of one chair.  It was relocated to the bed in our bedroom.  After dinner, the laundry was returned the chair, so Keith could go to bed.  Dinner dishes and the laundry will wait until morning.  Why?  I’ll be pulling the cooked pork.  It won’t wait.

Now, I understand that most folks don’t fantasize about such things.  In fact, I know many women that would threaten their spouses with divorce, if they spent Valentine’s Day this way; much less, everyday.  Instead, their food is grown by others.  Their dishes are done by machine.  Their laundry is done at the dry-cleaners.  Their hair and nails are done at the salon.  And any parties are catered.  I also know men that won’t work 8 hours, much less 16.  They drink or play video games; all day.  The bills don’t get paid.  Their wives have to do all the work, or it goes undone.  And let’s not forget the folks that demand or begrudgingly give Valentine’s Day gifts.  Where’s the romance in any of that?

Our evening was hectic, but peaceful.  It was tiring, but gratifying.  When Keith kissed me goodnight, our Valentine’s Day ended, the same way it had begun.  Yes, it was just another day on our homestead… another day of Agape Love.






WINDFALL: Sudden good fortune.

The word windfall has an ancient past.  In medieval times, it was illegal for common folks to cut wood from forests.  It mattered not that one’s family was freezing to death.  At the time, all forests belonged to royalty.  However, if branches or trees were blown down by the wind, then the firewood could be collected and burned.  Hence, a windfall![1]



[1] (Garrison)



HERITAGE: Birthright, reserved portion, tradition, or inheritance.

Usually, it’s parents and grandparents that gift a child with heritage.  However, this time HERITAGE was a gift from a first-born son to his mother.  My son, William gifted me this book for Christmas.  And I hope one day, my son inherits it back, wisely invested, richly used, and well loved.  In the meantime, I hope Sean Brock, chef and writer of this passionate and gratifying cookbook, and his own mother, reap seven times as much love as was sown into these pages.