We give thanks that, last week, with the help of four Franciscans, one of the boys living away and two nieces, we got two of the three yearling steers and four hogs cut, wrapped and in the freezer.  The bacon isn’t brined yet, and I won’t render lard until Advent is over and I can make doughnuts at the same time, but the bulk of the job is done.  Just a few more seasonal chores — ten, or maybe twenty — and we can turn our winter focus to Shakespeare, clay, and our book, for which we now have a publisher — and for that let us greatly give thanks!