• 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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Nine is fine

Today is Daniel’s birthday and it’s a fine sunny Spring day.  The frogs are singing, the birds are twittering and making nests, and the gophers are poking out of their holes.

One of Daniel’s presents this morning was the Marty Robbins CD Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (1959) which we listened to with breakfast (pancakes, bacon, strawberries, and homemade chokecherry syrup); the purchase was prompted by an interview I heard with with Corb Lund, one of the kids’ favorite singers, about the release of his new album full of story songs, inspired and influenced by the many balladeers and singers of story songs, from Marty Robbins to Johnny Horton.  Since my father introduced the kids to Johnny the other year with great success, I figured it’s Marty’s turn now.

One of my favorites on the new CD is “A Hundred and Sixty Acres” (you can listen to a snippet here), which, if you substitute “prairie” for “valley”, seems to be a dandy theme for a boy newly nine:

I got a hundred and sixty acres in the valley
Got a hundred and sixty acres of the best
Got an old stove there that’ll cook three square
And a bunk where I can lay me down to rest.

Up at dawn to greet the sun
I’ve forgotten what a care or worry means
Head for home when day is done
With my pocket money jinglin’ in my jeans.
I’ve got a hundred and sixty acres full of sunshine
Got a hundred and sixty million stars above
Got an old paint hoss, I’m the guy who’s boss
On the hundred and sixty acres that I love!

Up at dawn to greet the sun
I’ve forgotten what a care or worry means
Head for home when day is done
With my pocket money jinglin’ in my jeans.

I’ve got a hundred and sixty acres full of sunshine
Got a hundred and sixty million stars above
Got an old paint hoss, I’m the guy who’s boss
On the hundred and sixty acres that I love!
Got an old paint hoss, I’m the guy who’s boss
On the hundred and sixty acres that I love!

*  *  *  *

Tom is working around here today, starting on a new pole shed at our corrals.  Daniel is delighted with the day’s schedule, and the kids will be outdoors most of the day, helping Tom, halterbreaking calves, and inspecting the new kittens born yesterday.

*  *  *  *

I’m happy to say that the performances of “Joseph” went very well, especially after the minor technical glitches of the opening night performance were sorted out, and by Saturday and Sunday the cast and orchestra came together beautifully.  A full house for all three performances, too.  And it was lovely to be able to spend my birthday at the theater (not to mention cake when we finally got home, starving).  Sunday, after the final show, I ducked out of the set dismantling and cleaning up effort for 15 minutes to run to the greenhouse before it closed, to pick up a flat of pansies.  And yesterday I planted my sweet peas.  Nine is fine, and so is 44!

8 Responses

  1. A belated happy birthday to both you and Daniel. We must all be almost birthday buddies — I turned 45 on the 25th. Glad to hear that ‘Joseph’ was such a success!

  2. Happy Birthday to all!

  3. Let me second the Birthday wishes.

    We’re still getting frost down here (a good 800 miles to your south), so my seedlings are still in the sunny window. They are predicting 80 degrees tomorrow, and forty the day after. Insert comment about crazy messed-up weather here________.

  4. Happy Birthday to both of you! I was 44 yesterday, too.

  5. Thanks, everyone!

    Miranda, many happy returns to you I can’t think of a better bunch of birthday buddies : )

    JSM, we’re still unseasonably cool here. The blizzard slowed everything down. The seedlings in my sunny window are getting bigger and bigger. I may take a chance in the next week or so and plant some out, and reserve the rest in case I need them as replacements. Here’s hoping for more seasonable, and moderate weather.

    JoVE, happy birthday to you! I hope you had a lovely day.

  6. Happy Birthday to you and to Daniel! I’d send you a special cake if I could!

    Gophers, eh? We’re in the middle of reading Charmed Lives, and there is a scene with one or 4,000 gopher holes in it that impressed the kids.

    Glad Joseph went well. Exciting stuff. So are pansies, mind you, but I don’t know if it’s warm enough for my sweet peas. They are still languishing in the cold frame. There is a cold wind here that just won’t go away. We’ve even taken to pollinating the plum trees ourselves, because there don’t appear to be a lot of bees around yet.

  7. Happy belated Birthday Daniel!!

  8. Thanks, Sheila and hornblower! Sheila, the sweet peas haven’t jumped out of their little seeds yet. I just plant them directly, haven’t had much luck with transplanting them so far.

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