• 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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  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

Poetry Friday: A very sad sonnet

We’re in the third day of what’s supposed to be a five-day heat wave, with temperatures over 30 Celsius (in the 90s F). We don’t have an air conditioner or even a ceiling fan, so the trick here is to close all the windows and pull the shades and curtains around 10 a.m. before the heat of the day comes wafting in. I open everything up around 8 pm, though the sun is still shining. Supper tonight will be vichyssoise (and no, the leeks aren’t particularly local) and some more wild raspberries the kids discovered are ripe for the picking.

Tom is working just south of our house, on a house in the woods at the acreages, so the kids spend their days biking back and forth, helping Tom, filling his water jug, fetching popsicles from our freezer for the hot and sweaty builders.

A neighbor of ours had promised the kids a cat, but it wasn’t until the kids were in the truck with the cat in their laps that the neighbor casually mentioned Kitty was pregnant. Davy renamed her Ann Miller, Laura named her Judy (Garland), and I suggested Judy Ann as, apparently, a not very good compromise. She’s settling in nicely despite the name confusion. According to Davy, the kittens will be named, depending on sex, Frank (Sinatra), Gene (Kelly), Fred (Astaire), Ginger (Rogers), Debbie (Reynolds), etc. This from the kids who named some of this year’s calves Roy (Rogers), Dale (Evans), Frank (Butler), and Annie (Oakley). Never a dull or modern moment around here.

Very Sad Sonnet
by Arthur Guiterman (1871-1943)

When as I count the many years I’ve risen
And bathed and brushed my teeth and
shaved and dressed,
How many years within this earthly prison
I’ve slaved and toiled, how many years
oppressed
By social obligations, borne the numbing
Persistency of transcendental bores,
How many years I’ve bothered with the
plumbing,
The window-screens and countless household chores,
How many years, with problems to unravel,
I’ve faced all kinds of sorrow, pain and care —
The income tax return, the ills of travel,
The awful doubt of what one ought to wear —
Oh, then I think, befogged with dark misgiving,
How much I would have saved by never
living!

* * *

Arthur Guiterman was an American poet and writer of light verse. He was born in Vienna, of American parents, in 1871. The family returned to the United States, where Guiterman graduated from the College of the City of New York (present-day City College) in 1891. He was a cofounder in 1910 of the Poetry Society of America, serving as its president in 1925-26.

Today’s Lucky 13 Poetry Friday Round-up can be found at Chicken Spaghetti. Thanks Susan!

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