• 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 16/Grade 11, 14/Grade 9, and 13/Grade 8.

    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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These days

Yesterday was my birthday and when I wasn’t thinking about how for the first time my mother wouldn’t be telephoning, and my father wouldn’t be emailing a Jacquie Lawson card and sending the usual box of books, it wasn’t too bad.  The kids and Tom made a heroic effort to distract me from my orphandom (is that even a word? orphanhood?).  Okay, it was awful and what did help was a quick trip to town to pick up some last-minute things for Daniel’s 12th birthday on Friday.  Much easier to concentrate on someone else’s festivities, especially when I need to figure out how I can co-opt some wedding printables for birthday purposes.

This morning dawned much better and happier, especially with all sorts of new birds back, and the yard positively vibrating from robins’ song. And the swallows are back and swooping around the window frames trying to figure out where to make their nests.  And here I’ve only more or less started the exterior spring cleaning — after just having finished, more or less, the indoor spring cleaning — and have yet to attack the window screens the swallows made such a mess of last summer. Must clean off old mess before they start making a new mess.

But then I checked my email and there was a merchandising come-on for Mother’s Day,

“be a hero to your hero! Great gift idea’s for Mom on eBay”

and, aside from the momentary pause to sigh about the dolts in charge of punctuation at eBay, it occurred to me that these next few weeks are going to be very, very hard.

Fortunately, part of my birthday present from Tom is a greenhouse — similar to this hoop-style greenhouse covered with poly, though Tom wants to make it more A-frame style with 2×4′s for ease of construction — and I am hoping that by May 8th I will be suitably distracted, or at least in a more suitable place to commune with the spirit of my parents, since my mother loved nothing better than filling the house with spring flowers (branches of pussywillows, forsythia, and lilacs) though she wasn’t in the least interested in how anything was grown, and my father was happiest puttering among his plants in his shade house.

Onwards. Upwards.


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5 Responses

  1. Happy Birthday!!! I now have that in my calendar so I can forget to send something next year :-)

    Also, how did I miss that Daniel and I share a birthday. I’m trying to ignore that wedding thing, personally. Our plans for the day include visiting a sheep farm (that also has Dexter cattle so I can get a look at those) and picking up our chicks.

    We built a hoop style greenhouse last year and it was pretty darn easy. Mat found some plans online and if we can build it, Tom sure can. :-) What a great present for you.

    Sorry your orphanhood is weighing on you. Hugs from afar.

  2. JoVE, thanks for the birthday wishes and hugs, and happy belated birthday (from last year!) to you! I don’t know how I missed the fact that you two share the day. Odd.

    Sounds like very good plans. I will probably find myself watching some of the wedding for my mother; she was quite the royalist and died last fall on the day the engagement was announced, which would have thoroughly annoyed her.

    I found online plans for a hoop-y one (in fact, a fellow Albertan with a gardening blog), but between Tom wanting something that would use materials on hand, and me wanting something more linear (frankly, more like this lol,

    http://www.bcgreenhouses.com/hobby_greenhouse_kits/traditional_series.php )

    we are foregoing hoops. Just realized yesterday that I can drag in some chairs and a table and make myself a hideaway…

  3. Happy Birthday! Why didn’t you mention this when we still had all those Easter petit fours sitting around? I would have been delighted to stick a Will & Kate crown on one and send it to you! I’m watching that wedding – given that I am usually awake and listening to the BBC at 3am, why not get up go the whole hog? Besides, I can’t get enough of those British hats. A hat and a greenhouse and I’ll be happy. Speaking of which, I am having Travails with mine. Blah.

    I realize that we are all going to be facing this familial quagmire sooner or later, but it sucks that you are in the front line right now. I will cross my fingers that spring comes early for you, so as to distract you a bit.

  4. Sheila, thank you : ). It’s that residual Victorian Englishness that keeps me from tooting my own horn lol.

    I will be watching too, though just watch — the one night I don’t have trouble sleeping will be tonight!

    I think I may have to get a fancy wedding hat to wear in the greenhouse. When you say travails with yours, do you mean your hat or greenhouse? I suspect the latter but want to be sure.

    I think, and rather hope for others’ sakes, that our quagmire is rather worse than the usual. We have the business and enormous Caribbean retirement house in the mix, and our geographical situation, spread across four countries, is a bit out of the ordinary too…

  5. Happy Belated Birthday, Becky. I’m sorry that it was so difficult for you. I wish I could be of some assistance. Rita

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