• 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."

    "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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Poetry Friday: Burma-Shave

Not much time for Poetry Friday this week either but I’ve decided that if I choose something short and sweet, I can swing it. And so……

The Poetry of Burma-Shave:

Shaving brushes
You’ll soon see ’em
Way down east
In some

To kiss
A mug
That’s like a cactus
Takes more nerve
Than it does practice

We’ve sold
Six million others
We still can’t sell
Those coughdrop

Prickly pears
Are picked
For pickles
No peach picks
A face that prickles

If you
Don’t know
Whose signs
These are
You can’t have
Driven very far.

This is not
A clever verse
I tried
And tried
But just
Got worse

For Benjamin Franklin types:
Early to bed
Early to rise
Was meant for those
Old fashioned guys
Who don’t use

For Shakespeare types:
Said Juliet
To Romeo
If you
Won’t shave
Go homeo

Some patriotic entries:
Hinky dinky
Parley voo
Cheer up face
The war
Is thru
Burma-Shave (1930)

Let’s make Hitler
And Hirohito
Look as sick as
Old Benito
Buy defense bonds
Burma-Shave (1942)

Maybe you can’t
Shoulder a gun
But you can shoulder
The cost of one
Buy defense bonds
Burma-Shave (1942)

More than a few warnings against drinking and driving:
If every sip
Fills you
With zip
Then your sipper
Needs a zipper

Sleep in a chair
Nothing to lose
But a nap
At the wheel
Is a permanent snooze

Don’t lose
Your head
To gain a minute
You need your head
Your brains are in it

To car
Gates ajar

A girl
Should hold on
To her youth
But not
When he’s driving

From Burma-Shave historian Frank Rowsome (see below), an unofficial entry, c1965:
Farewell, O verse
Along the road
How sad to
Know you’re
Out of mode

And an appropriate way to end this, from the 1949 advertising campaign:
Just this once
And just for fun
We’ll let you
What we’ve begun
? ? ?


For you youngsters, Burma-Shave was, at the time of its 1925 introduction, a newfangled brushless shaving cream developed by Clinton Odell’s Burma-Vita Company. It was promoted with humorous verses on newfangled billboards, in staggered sequence, along newfangled highways for newfangled automobiles . But while the ad campaign was one of America’s most memorable, and the company at one point the second most popular manufacturer of shaving cream, by the 1960s faster speeds on four-lane interstate highways did in the jingles and then, the company, which was sold to Phillip Morris in 1963, and then became an operating division of a subsidiary, American Safety Razor Products. Which for some reason now sells under the Burma-Shave label a soap-and-brush set. And this is progress? But I digress.

I found my rhymes in an old copy of Frank Rowsome, Jr.*’s The Verse by the Side of the Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles, still in print, hurray, hurray; You can buy the book or find all of the jingles online at this website, where you can even register for the jingle of the day. For more on the life and times of Burma-Shave, here are links to an NPR story (don’t miss the picture of penguins in Antarctica perusing the signs), and another book, Burma-Shave: The Rhymes, the Signs, the Times by Bill Vossler.

Now if I could just figure out how to put a nickel in my computer and get out a piece of pie

*The versatile Mr. Rowsome was Managing Editor of Popular Science Monthly, head of the Technical Publications section at NASA, and also wrote Trolley Car Treasury, They Laughed When I Sat Down: An Informal History of Advertising in Words and Pictures, and Think Small: The Story of Those Volkswagen Ads.


Susan at Chicken Spaghetti has today’s Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Susan!

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