• 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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A good life

I don’t normally get obituaries in my Google Alerts, but the one below, from The St. Petersburg Times turned up over the weekend, and I find it moving and inspiring, even without death, dying, and obituaries on my mind.

Books took her wherever she wanted to go
by Stephanie Hayes, Times Staff Writer
Published March 8, 2008

TAMPA – Linda Teasley experienced adventure, passions, historical moments of epic proportions. She went everywhere she ever wanted; books took her there.

When she was a little girl, it was Anne of Green Gables. When she got older, it was Chaucer and Shakespeare. She earned a doctorate in English literature from Emory University by doing a dissertation on George Chapman’s translation of Homer.

She admired Stonewall Jackson, and devoted several years to understanding the causes and the consequences of the Civil War. She found work lecturing in college classrooms including at Emory, the University of Alabama and the University of South Florida.

Wherever life took her, she was happy, as long as she had what she needed — her husband and her books.

* * *

She met Harry Teasley Jr. on a blind date in college. He adored her from the start.

They were totally different personalities. He was a take action, Type A. She was laid back. Never made lists, never fretted. Didn’t spend hours on the phone. She was friendly and social, but she kept to herself.

If there was a Type C, her family said, that was Mrs. Teasley.

But they were best friends and partners. Katherine Teasley Muth, 45, one of their three children, said she hardly ever saw her parents exchange cross words. Even when annoyed, they were careful not to spout off with disrespect.

Mostly, they wanted to be together. So when Mr. Teasley’s job as a Coca-Cola executive required him to travel, she went along gladly. They lived in Georgia, California, England, Texas. In 1991, they moved to Tampa, where they settled on Bayshore Boulevard.

Her surroundings changed, but Mrs. Teasley found consistency through reading and learning.

“She was just an intellectual person,” said her daughter. “She lived a life very much in her mind.”

* * *

For the last year and half of her life, Mrs. Teasley suffered from ovarian cancer. It robbed her energy, but she put up a brave face. She viewed the cancer as an unwelcome guest in her house – one she just had to deal with.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Teasley died. She was 68.

She spent the last part of her life escaping, as always, into books. Her son-in-law, Parke Muth, constantly sent new ones in the mail — Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. More Civil War books. A book about brain science.

And last week, she watched a movie version of Watership Down, about a group of rabbits seeking greener pastures, with her daughter.

When her kids were little, Mrs. Teasley had read them the book.


3 Responses

  1. Your blog hit my inbox because the obituary discusses Mrs. Teasley’s passing from ovarian cancer. Her life along with my little sister’s could have been saved if we only had a test. Like Mrs. Teasley, my sister Brittany just adored adored Anne of Green Gables.

    Thank you for posting this. To find out how to fund research for a test for ovarian cancer logon to http://www.ovariancancercartag.com.

    Thanks again for posting this beautiful obit.


  2. Hi Becky! I’ve tagged you for an interesting little meme if you feel up for it. No pressure though!

  3. So sad, to find a kindred spirit too late. But I still think it’s neat to see this focus Mrs. Teasley’s love of books.

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