Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Best of Times

We had a very enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, Gill's brother came on Sunday and we had a cookout. Uncle Pat is a superstar here. :-) On Monday we visited a little lonely country graveyard called Union Cemetery. It's tucked way back in with the tiniest little sign, if you didn't know it was there you'd drive right past. There were tons of veterans there, more per capita than any other cemetery that I think I've ever visited. And children, lots of children. There is something gut wrenching to think of little ones lying there, forgotten by everybody who knew them. One small stone marked the grave of Rosina, she died in 1845 at the age of 2. I wish stones told how people died. Was she sick? A farm accident? A fire? I wonder about her, not just how she died but what her life was like. Ohio was fairly wild in the 1840s. History becomes more and more interesting to me the older I get.

Today, however, it Katie's 18th birthday. EIGHTEEN! We're not celebrating today, trying to get her to ask for anything is like pulling teeth. She says her trip to Tennessee was the best present she could have had. :-) We'll celebrate this coming weekend which gives me a few more days to figure out what to get for a girl that's satisfied with what she already has. I can't believe that she's all grown up, it tempts me to say some cliche' like "where did the time go?" So, I'll spare you that and just say that I'm so proud of her, I couldn't ask for a better daughter than what she is. She's industrious, accomplished, friendly, witty and enthusiastic about a simple country life. What more could any parent want? So, Happy Birthday Katie! I love you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

While I'm On The Subject

I found a short essay on why some Southerners are ashamed of their heritage. Though I'm sure there are many reasons for why people do what they do I think this is a very well written essay and holds a lot of truth. You can read it here.

Enoch Hooper Cook Jr., private 38th Alabama Infantry

Unreconstructed Rebel or I'm A Good Old Rebel

Originally printed in 1914 in Collier's Weekly. The words are by Major Innes Randolph, a member of J.E.B. Stuart's staff.

Oh, I'm a good old Rebel

Now that's just what I am

For this fair land of freedom

I do not care a damn.

I'm glad I fought against it

I only wish we'd won.

And I don't want no pardon

For anything I've done.

I hates the Constitution

This great Republic too

I hates the Freedmen's Bureau

In uniforms of blue.

I hates the nasty eagle

With all his brag and fuss

But the lyin', thievin' Yankees

I hates' em worse and worse

Three hundred thousand Yankees

Lies still in Southern dust

We got three hundred thousand

Before they conquered us

They died of Southern fever

And Southern steel and shot

I wish they was three million

Instead of what we got.

I can't take up my musket

And fight' em now no more

But I ain't a-goin' to love' em

Now that is certain sure

And I don't want no pardon

For what I was and am

And I won't be reconstructed

And I do not give a damn.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Your past shapes your present

I have an ancestor, William Traylor, who owned a 3,000 acre plantation on the Appomattox River. He was born in 1674 in Hampton Parish, England and had immigrated to Virginia at some point, land was patented to him in 1702 so he arrived before that date at least. His plantation called Oakhurst was probably located across the river from Namozine in Amelia county because William was contracted to run the Namozine Ferry and received 600 pounds of tobacco as annual payment for this service. He was a slave owner and deeded the majority of his holdings to his oldest son but in 1753 he reserved "one girl Sall about eight years old now in the possession of my son John, and save my old negro fellow, Jack, which I give to my son Humphrey Traylor after my decease."
William had six sons, the second of which, George, was born in 1706. George married Elizabeth Gill in an interesting twist of fate. "Gill" is Mr. G's first name, the surname of a not-too-distant relative of his, meaning that he and I are possibly relatives. :-) In 1771 George dated his will and bequeathed the plantation that he lived on to his son Field Traylor along with one slave. George doesn't appear to have the wealth his father did, but he was a second son which helps explain this.
Field Traylor married a woman known only as "Sandal" around the year 1779, he too was a slave owner and fathered 12 children, including 7 sons. His 10th child was Bedford Traylor, whom we named our last child for, Asa Bedford. Bedford was an overseer but not a slave owner as far as I can tell though he worked for a slave owning relative. Bedford's wife was Airy Blankenship.
One of Bedford's sons was Edward who fought with the 14th Virginia. He was a P.O.W at Five Forks on April 1, 1865. He swore the Oath of Allegiance and was released on June 20 of that year. He fathered seven children including my direct ancestor Alice Rebecca. Alice married a Northerner, George Northrup and so from this point on my ancestry becomes Northern.
I'm proud of my Southern heritage, there isn't any of it with which I look to with shame or embarrassment. My ancestors were slave owners, they held other people in bondage which is something that we in the 21st century view with a very different lens than they did in that era. I don't condone slavery, I don't think blacks deserve to be held as less than whites, but I also refuse to judge actions of people long dead against a standard that was unrecognized in the era they lived in. The past is what it is, like it or not, and as history it deserves to be preserved untainted by modern sensibilities. So I'll celebrate that I come from a long line of wealthy Southern stock and teach my children that who and what they are today is at least in part derived from who their family was. We all have a heritage that we can be proud of. If I were black and had ancestors that were slaves I would be in awe that a people who suffered so much still survived, I'd be proud of who they were and who I was.
I dislike the term "Lost Cause", it tends to trivialize and mock beliefs that are still strong 150 years after that war ceased. I believe that the majority of what the South stood for was absolutely right; I believe in State's Rights and smaller limited government. I believe that your average Southern soldier was fighting for the right of self determination, the right not to told what to do by a serpentine Federal government. Slavery was a vestige of a by-gone era and would have been short lived in the South even if they had won. Enough leaders saw the evils in it, I believe. If the South's only goal was to perpetuate slavery then the best way to accomplish that would have been to stay in the Union where slavery was legal. No person is going to go to war to secure a right to something that's already legal, there had to be more to it then that. I believe that they rebelled against being forced, on unequal terms, to capitulate to the will of Northern industrialists and that was what the conflict was really about; which explains why so many people are still drawn to the Southern viewpoint. It resonates with us today, a beleaguered minority fighting against a tyrannical majority, we love an underdog. I also dislike the "you lost, get over it" mentality. Try that with a Jewish concentration camp survivor, the logic is the same isn't it? Jews lost big time in WW2, they got slaughtered, so give up an ideals about survival or "never again". Admit you were wrong, accept your defeat, and graciously live with the humiliation. Somehow, that sounds a little, oh I don't know, WRONG to suggest that, doesn't it? The principles that motivated the South are the same principles that motivate many people today and there isn't anything wrong about revering a people who had the moral courage to stand up and be counted. I'm proud of that and you should be too.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

College Education: Largest Scam in U.S. History

I didn't write this article but I agree with it 110%. We have never pushed college for our children and thankfully they see the system for what it is. What was once an investment is now the equivalent of indentured servitude. I personally know far too many people with worthless degrees, tons of student loan debt and unable to get a job.

College Education: The Largest Scam in U.S. History

College education is big business, and with easy Federal loans, prices for everything from tuition to text books is going through the roof. Once degreed, the majority of college grads are ill-equipped to handle the current marketplace. Many of those who entered college just five years ago simply can’t find work in a 21st century economy that’s imploding on all sides. What college grads are left with are massive loans that can’t be repaid and a room in mom and dad’s basement.

This latest video from the National Inflation Association should be viewed by parents and potential college students alike.

At one time, college was an investment. Today, it’s become, as one interviewee in the documentary suggests, indentured servitude.

For parents and teens looking at colleges, we suggest taking a close look at the amount of money that will need to be spent and borrowed, compared to the benefits that will come out of the degree pursued. Thirty years ago, a bachelor of business would have been a desired degree to hold. In an economy with over 20% unemployed, one must ask: how many business administration and management jobs will there be four or five years from now, especially if we continue to lose production capacity to cheap foreign labor.

If you’re dead set on sending your kids to college, or you yourself are preparing to enter higher education, look at the future to determine what you should be learning. China will be the leading economy by the end of the decade – perhaps consider becoming fluent in Chinese. Seen the prices of commodities lately? With monetary printing, a growing global population, and the possibility of major weather changes (natural or man made) we suggest take a close look at careers in resource-based (food, energy, water) industries.

Most importantly, prepare your mind for a post-college environment where, rather than finding a job for someone else, you are able to invent your own.

For those who have chosen to avoid college, perhaps the best route to take is some type of modern-day apprenticeship in a field that will thrive during a recession or depression. Learn to farm, to purify and treat water, carpentry, metal works, and other jobs that produce physical goods needed by society. You may not end up being rich (but you might), however, you’ll be much better off than the guy in the basement with no idea about what to do with a degree an employer couldn't care less about.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wow, it quit raining

Asa had the most terrifying experience today. We went to the car wash and.......vacuumed the truck. He cried hysterically, in all of his almost 20 months he has never heard anything as frightening as that. Poor baby. We don't own a vacuum cleaner so he's never heard one before. :-)

We came home and Katie took him outside, his favorite place to be.

Chicks dig Asa, he's scared of the Momma though. We have turkey poults too, but they're in a different shed.

Dirt is a nice playground for little boys.

What happens after you spend the morning racing around outside, come in and eat lunch, get cleaned up and changed, and then rocked to sleep.

The gardens are still not tilled. We had record breaking rainfall here for the past month so it will be a late start this year. Things will hopefully get planted in the next week, it's so nice to see the sun again.

Monday, May 9, 2011

10 Great Reasons To Have Another Child

Congratulations to the 2 Jennys, both of whom delivered happy, healthy babies with unmedicated labors. The world will be a better place with Braeden and Gracie in it! Congratulations to John and Wendy, expecting their first reversal baby this Summer!! And Congratulations to any other bloggers who are expecting or waiting to be blessed!!!

Ten Great Reasons To Have Another Child

1. Have another child to join with God in the creation of an immortal soul.

Parents are given the incredible opportunity to assist God in the creation of an immortal soul. As the late Cardinal Mindszenty said, even the angels have not been given such a grace.

“The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body...Even the angels have not been given such a grace! What is more glorious than this—to be a mother.” Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty Reason

2. Have another child to bring joy into your life.

There is no joy like the joy of welcoming another child into your life. You will marvel anew at how perfectly formed your little one is, and over how quickly you will fall head over heels in love with him. You will be enchanted with every tiny aspect of her appearance. The color of her hair, the shape of her nose, and the winsomeness of her smile will occasion endless happy debates about from which side of the family (yours, of course) she got that adorable trait.

The birth of a child will bind you to God more tightly than ever before, in awed gratitude. “She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life,” Whittaker Chambers wrote about his new daughter in Witness. And in the lives of most of us.

I thought that one day
I would be a famous artist
and create great works of art

Instead, God made me a mother,
and my children are His masterpiece.

The design of their lives
will live on after me.
What is painted on their hearts
will last an eternity
- Anonymous

3. Have another child to grown in holiness and virtue.

For those who marry and have families, children are the primary means God uses to help them grow in holiness and virtue. Children teach their parents patience, perseverance, charity, and humility. They give their parents the opportunity to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. They come into the world naked, and we clothe them, hungry and we feed them. Thirsty, and we give them drink. All of the things that we are required to do for the “least of these our brothers,” we do first and foremost for our own children. St. Catherine of Siena once had a vision in which God took her to a roomful of crosses and told her to pick one. St. Catherine went to the largest, heaviest cross in the room and would have chosen it. But God told her that it was not for her: That was reserved for the parents of large families.

“Mary gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes.” Luke 2:7

4. Have another child to help end abortion.

When Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked by a young mother about the best way to proceed with pro-life work, she responded emphatically, “Have a big family. That is the best way to end abortion!”

How this works is not difficult to understand. As children become more rare due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, whole segments of society become less and less familiar with the sense of joy and hope that only babies and children can give. In this climate, contraception and abortion feed on themselves, as the increasingly selfish few further reduce their number.

By having another child, you demonstrate once again to the world that children are God’s greatest gifts. “Children build up the life of the family and society,” as Pope John Paul II has said. “The child becomes a gift to its brothers and sisters, parents and entire family. Its entire life becomes a gift for the very people who were givers of life and who cannot help but feel its presence, its sharing in their life and its contribution to the common good and to the community of the family.”

The more children there are in society, the more pro-life that society will become, and the easier it will be for the great evil of abortion to be eradicated once and for all.

“Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19

5. A) Have another child so your sons will have brothers and your daughters will have sisters.

Children who have siblings learn early to share. They learn to take turns and to put the needs of others before their own. The bond formed between brothers and sisters is lifelong, and stronger than the bond between the closest friends.

“How good it is, how pleasant, where the brothers dwell as one!” Psalm 133:1-2

B) Have another child so your sons will have sisters and your daughters will have brothers.

Boys who have sisters learn the dignity of women. They learn to treat other girls and women with respect, as they consider how they would like their own sisters to be treated. Girls who have brothers learn the complementarity of men and women, both fashioned in the image and likeness of God.

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones—the ones at home.” Mother Teresa

6. Have another child so you (and your parents) won’t be lonely in old age.

People who have children don’t have to rely upon strangers to care for them in their old age. Children also become the parents of your grandchildren. Grandchildren bring joy, happiness, and laughter, while still allowing you to get a good night’s sleep! “Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their parentage.”Proverbs 17:6

7. Have another child because people are our greatest resource.

Humans are blessed with the gifts of an intellect and free will. It is human ingenuity that discovers creative solutions to the problems which confront us. People without children should remember that it will be someone else’s child who will become the doctor that performs their life-saving operations. Someone else’s child will become the firefighter that saves their house. Someone else’s child will become the railroad engineer.

“How can there be too many children? That’s like saying there are too many flowers.”
Mother Teresa

8. Have another child to contribute to the economy.

Families with children are fuel to the economy, purchasing houses and cars and college educations. Without young people to enter the workforce, social security systems fail. Without children to attend school, teachers are jobless. Many industries, from fast food restaurants to toy stores, obviously rely heavily upon business from and for children to stay in business. But ultimately the whole economy does.

“Like a fruitful vine your wife within your home, Like olive plants your children around your table. Just so will they be blessed who fear the Lord.” Psalm 128:3-4

9. Have another child to counter global depopulation.

Anyone who has traveled from coast to coast in the United States and seen the vast empty spaces should know that America is not overpopulated. In fact, the entire population of the world could live in the state of Texas, in single-family dwellings with front and back yards. Fertility rates are falling everywhere. The world’s population will never again double. If current trends continue, world population will peak by the middle of this century and then begin demographic freefall. Our long-term problem is not too many children, but too few children. Having another child will help offset the coming population implosion.

“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth.” Genesis 1:28.

10. Have another child to help populate heaven.

The child that you and your spouse have been generous in accepting from God was created to return to Him, after a life of love, service, and obedience on earth, to spend eternity with God in heaven. Our Lord Himself said that there was plenty of room for those immortal souls. There is no overpopulation problem in Heaven!

“There are many mansions in my Father’s house.” John 14:2

“Ten Great Reasons to Have Another Child”
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