• 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, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)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"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "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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What to give the man who has everything

Okay, Tom doesn’t have everything, but he’s a pretty content guy who seems to have everything he needs and wants, which makes finding Christmas and birthday presents for him an annual difficulty for me. He doesn’t collect anything other than tools, about which I still know next to nothing (I bought him a lovely English chisel set from Lee Valley for our first Christmas together, only to find that he already had three similar sets), and isn’t interested in much that’s technological, so that rules out a whole host of giftable “toys.” (Which, of course and thank goodness, is what gives me the freedom to blog about it lol.)

I tend to think that a book is always the perfect gift (especially because it’s the one I most like to receive). But though Tom loves books and loves to read, between long days of building and farming he just doesn’t have the time to read as much and as often as he’d like.

Well, I just figured out how to give him time.

Last month he finally bought a new, okay, newer, truck to replace his collapsing 1978 Ford pickup. It has a moonroof, controls to move the pedals, heated leather seats, and all sorts of other luxurious and handy dandy features, including — ta da — a six-cd changer. One of the first days driving the new truck, he happened to hear part of a CBC rebroadcast of Ronald Wright’s A Short History of Progress. Unable to hear all of it, he asked if I could get the whole set from the library. I did, and we were able to listen to the entire thing, with very patient kids in the back seat, on our six-hour odyssey to pick up the laying hens.

So it occurred to me the other day that for Christmas I could get Tom a cd holder, maybe binder style, and fill it with audio books he would enjoy and could listen to while driving. I’m thinking of Krakatoa by Simon Winchester, Collapse by Jared Diamond, A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong (which I hope to blog about when I get the hardcover from interlibrary loan), and (the unfortunately abridged) Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea by Thomas Cahill, which I would love to be able to discuss with Tom. That should get him through the first part of 2006.

If and when I figure out how to give myself the gift of time, you’ll be the first to know lol.

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