• 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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Under the (Spring) weather

After three nutty busy days at the beginning of the week (library board committee meeting, semiannual teeth cleaning and checkup, and music lessons, and that was without two meetings I couldn’t squeeze in), Daniel and I got sick. For me that was aside from the three consecutive days of headaches — first migraine, next day headache, and then just plain run of the mill. Daniel awoke at 3 a.m. Tuesday with a bad earache, was unable to sleep until about 7, when he feel asleep for the rest of the day. Wretched mother that I am (blame the sleep deprivation), I bundled him into the truck Wednesday afternoon and drove his unconscious little body around town as the others made it to lessons and I ran Spring/Easter errands. Payback came when I awoke, if you can call it that, the next morning feeling all achy.

Today is the first day I’ve been out of bed, and out of pyjamas, and I have to say I did pick a dandy time to get so out of commission for the first time in years. Thursday the kids took wonderful care of me and occupied themselves, from making and bringing hot beverages, to doing their math in bed with me. Tom stepped in on Friday. Daniel, though, hasn’t rallied, and hasn’t slept much since 3 a.m. this morning.  He asked earlier today if I could leave a note for the Easter Bunny to please hide his eggs indoors. Poor kid. But again, nice to have a quiet, slow, long weekend to be sick and, with luck, recuperate too.

Fortunately, I have all the Easter candy already for the big hunt. I have a frozen ham from the neighbor’s hog we just had butchered, and some of last fall’s apple cider to defrost tomorrow, some fresh asparagus, tulips on the table, and I am going to see if I have enough energy to bake some brioche bread for tomorrow. I am also going to try to make some homemade cherry ice cream, which seems springy (the cherries are the bottled kind from Hungary). I boiled some eggs this morning for the kids to color; they’re excited that for the first time in their memory, they have white eggs to color, thanks to three very productive white Leghorns we adopted this summer. Laura and Davy have written a play about Peter Rabbit, complete with elaborate set (in a corner of the living room) and hand-printed program. The performance will be tomorrow.

No promises about more blogging any time soon, so Happy Spring and Happy Easter. Oh, speaking of estrus and fertility and all that, we’re up to six calves now — Frank, Ricky, Asterix, Obelix, Patty (the calf born closest to the 17th), and one yet unnamed heifer. Laura’s 4H heifer is getting awfully close (and enormously big), and Laura is getting quite excited. There’s also a good chance that one of last summer’s kittens, who was in heat the other week, is pregnant. More farm babies — just as it should be this time of year.

Off to the kitchen…

9 Responses

  1. A live theatrical performance and cherry icecream…does it get any better? I hope you all are back to normal soon! Feel better.

  2. Hope you are feeling better soon. Have a happy Easter.

  3. This has been one of the worst years I can recall for flu-type illness. I hope you’re all doing better soon. If you’re really set on baking a brioche-type bread, here’s a really simple one from Beard On Bread that is pretty much stir, wait and bake.

    Happy Easter.

    Brioche Bread:
    3 1/4 teaspoons dry (not instant) yeast
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 cup warm water
    1 cup melted butter (hey, I never said it was health food)
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    4 cups all purpose flour
    4 eggs
    1 egg yolk mixed with 1/4 cup light cream for wash

    Combine yeast, sugar, and water. Let proof. Mix melted butter and salt. In a large bowl combine flour eggs, melted butter, and yeast mixture. Beat by hand until smooth. Place in a buttered bowl and let rise until doubled. Punch down and shape into two loaves. Fit into buttered 8x4x2 pans and let rise again until doubled. Brush with wash and bake in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for 30 minutes or until deep golden brown and hollow when tapped. Cool on rack.

  4. Thanks, you three!

    JSM, too late but thanks. I’m already on the second rising (of three) for the Silver Palate recipe. I know that one works, and it uses about twice the flour — which means the ravenous hordes get twice the bread. One of these days, possibly even tomorrow, I just might make Anne Rosenzweig’s recipe from “New York Cookbook” by Molly O’Neill, which calls for six cups of flour, and 10 (10!) eggs. Of course, it’s meant to go along with AR’s lobster club sandwich, sigh…

  5. TEN EGGS! All I can say is mmmmmm. I LOVE brioche. I hope you have some 80% bittersweet chocolate to go with that…

    Sorry you got so sick. That really sucks. I was thinking of you when we did the Hot Eggs from Full Circle – fun but OUCH! And I’m just off to make Hot Cross buns from Nigella and Martha’s truffle eggs. Hippy hoppy Easter!

  6. I hope you both feel better soon and that no one else catches it!

    Happy Spring Becky, and thanks for sharing that post – I miss our farm – and Spring is a BIG reason why… it’s nice to read about your appreciation of it – despite all the hard work you know is coming (and there’s joy in that too, I know).

    As for here… still about a foot of snow and 28F – but I remain hopeful that temps will climb soon (please oh please!).


  7. Hope your holiday is a good one and you feel better soon.

    Thanks so much for adding me to your blogroll.

  8. Happy Easter, Becky. I hope y’all are better. I got hammered by a sinus infection myself this week.

    Dyeing brown eggs is difficult, we learned. Well, maybe just different rather than difficult. The other hen’s white eggs came out much better!

  9. Sheila, I thought I replied the other day but maybe I wasn’t as healthy as I thought! I think I still have some good chocolate leftover from my Christmas stocking, but I really like my brioche toasted with homemade jam : ). I made Martha’s chocolate filled egg shells, which were a big hit with the kids. Maybe truffle eggs next year — I’ll ask you for hints then!

    Penny, thanks — so far so good! The work doesn’t seem so hard when the rewards are so high : )

    Ruth, thanks so much for the good wishes. I had thought I’d done the adding sooner, ugh. My apologies.

    Susan, thanks, and hope you’re feeling better too. The brown eggs did take some getting used to for me, but I think now I prefer the off-kilter, more natural-looking colors. The kids have found they like brown eggs with either a very light dip of color, or a long steep. The white eggs and bright colors were a revelation this year!

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