• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 17/Grade 12, 15/Grade 10, and 13/Grade 9.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Speaking of cold blood,

cold hair, and cold skin, this is what 46 below zero C looks like.

An arctic ridge blew in yesterday, bringing the cold, blizzardy winds, and more snow. The wind and cold are supposed to stick around til the end of the week. You can get an idea of the general blizzardyness here,

And here are some attractively styled ridges on top of the snow drifts,

Anyway, that’s what Laura looked like around 11 o’clock this morning. I apologize for the quality of the photo, I left one pair of gloves on and the wind was whipping about considerably. Not to mention that my face was as frozen as hers. Tom took the morning off work to help with chores, since we had to plow our way through two-and-a-half foot drifts with the truck, and haul some hay bales out to the fields for the cattle. Knowing yesterday that the storm was coming, Tom and the kids moved all of the cattle out of their pens, where there’s not much shelter from the wind. But then we can’t feed them at the fenceline feeder.

Just for comparison, this is what Laura looked like half an hour earlier, just as we left the house,

Definitely more fluffy, less frosty.

The sparrows didn’t like it much either. They usually spend their time in the trees, looking down and chattering noisily. Today we found them hiding and huddled in the open front shed where we keep the chicken feed. They didn’t even fly off in any hurry when I approached.

And then there were two.

Just for fun, some picturesque views around the farm yard,

And now if you’ll excuse me, we’re going to gather on the couch to read some Story of the World (the end of volume three is nigh, finally, after two years) and see if we can also come close to finishing The Indian in the Cupboard. And then to make a big pot of restorative chicken curry.

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10 Responses

  1. 46 degrees below zero? I’m still in shock. Here’s wishing the warmth of spring comes soon for you!

  2. Oh my word. I’ve had frozen hair before, but it never turned white. GREAT pictures. Stay warm.

    We’re expecting -35 wind-chill Tuesday and Wednesday. Dang.

    Think spring.

  3. hpw, it’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s brief, it’s temporary, and as Westerners never tire of telling you, it’s a DRY cold!

    Frankie, it was cold enough that the nostril hair was freezing today. I think you must be getting what we have. I don’t know about Spring, but I’ll take some nice 40-50 degree weather!

  4. Yeah, it got down to 46 here last night, too, but that’s 46 above zero, Farenheit. Pretty darn cold for Ft. Lauderdale, FL! The kids and I had to dig out the long pants today. Seriously, I did my master’s at Northwestern, outside Chicago, so I remember what it was like where Farenheit and Celcius cross. Brrrrrrrr!

  5. I seriously can not imagine weather this cold. Unbelievable. I love comparing the two photos!

  6. We have your blizzard here, just in case you were looking for it. Love your farmyard pics. I should post some of ours more often. By the way, I gave you a little award on my blog. :-)

  7. I’m so glad you got your camera cranked up, Becky! Neat picures.

    How’s your Alice bio going? I watched the author speak on CSPAN’s book show while back in FL, her enthusiasm was contagious. What an interesting woman, that ARL.

  8. Ellen, I’d sooner have -46 and no Republicans than +46 and riddled with ‘em!

    Mrs. G., here’s to intrepid daughters!

    Audrey, that’s okay thanks, you (and Frankie) can keep it. Not blizzardy anymore, but still ridiculously cold and nothing, including the tractors and electrical water heaters, wants to work. Ugh. Thanks for the very warming award, I’ll have to post soon! And yes, please, take pictures of that yard!

    L., it was being temperamental about accepting new batteries. Alice is going well. It’s the sort of book I start to read in bits so it’s not over too soon. And I think finally ARL has a proper biography that doesn’t make her look like a loony, willful crank with a sharp tongue. In fact, I think a juvenile biography would be just the thing, a real life “Daring Book for Girls”.

  9. Hi Becky!

    Actually, Fahrenheit and Celsius cross at 40 below, rather than converge. So -46C is -50.8F (according to the converter on the US Weather Service website from Buffalo, NY.

    I remember when I was in college (30 years ago) going shopping in downtown Montreal and coming back to find out it had been 40 below outside. No wonder I felt a little chilly.

    Now, here in balmy upstate NY, I can’t get the kids to put on their gloves and hats because it’s barely dipped below freezing so far this winter.

    Enjoy the cold while it lasts!

  10. Kathy, sorry for my shorthanded sloppy blogging. I meant as the points on our brass/glass thermometer, where you can see the mercury “meet” at the same level. The kids always find that pretty neat, and fortunately it happens rarely enough to still be interesting once or twice a year. And then that our main thermometer, the brass/glass one, doesn’t go below -40; we found that the one in my husband’s new truck doesn’t register below -40 either. But every so often, as I did the other day, it’s oddly comforting to see how low the digital one can go. And handy for keeping up with the neighbors, who enjoy country living one-upsmanship.

    In fact, the kids and I found this

    http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=193540

    the other day, which has been a good way to explain things. And more fun than the usual math lesson this time of year.

    I always laughed at college in Vermont as soon as the temperature got into the 40s F after a long winter — students would be wearing their Irish fishermen’s sweaters with shorts, which makes you realize it’s all relative anyway…

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