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

Poetry Friday: An autumn repeat

It’s been a long and busy week so not only am I late with my Poetry Friday post but I have a repeat of a favorite poem. In other words, I’m choosing “Choosing Laughter” again.

The morning started with the first snowflakes of the season, ugh. It’s warmed up a bit, to all of 2.4 degrees Celsius, in other words, barely above freezing, so now we have cold rain. Bah. In other news, the little chicks we brought home from the fair in late July grew so well that yesterday when we took them to the nearby Hutterite colony for butchering, they dressed out around 10 to 12 pounds each. I’m thinking that chicken pot pie would be a wonderful Saturday night dinner. When talk turned to where on earth we would put 63 broilers, Daniel earned his keep by remembering that he had seen in last week’s paper an ad for a deep freeze, free to a good home. It turned out that the older owners were looking for a way to get the old deep freeze, still in good working order, out of their basement. Tom, a brother-in-law, Davy, and Daniel were happy to oblige, and now I have a collection of five deep freezes.

The kids picked all of their little pie pumpkins, which also grew well and most of which turned orange on the vine, a first for us.

I potted up the rest of my garden plants that I couldn’t bear to let the frost take. They’re on the windowsill of the bedroom now, adjusting to their new indoor surroundings. I’ve started making some applesauce out of the remaining apples. Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, and Tuesday is election day.

In history reading, we’re up to the Civil War, and I can finally take out the little Playmobil soldiers I bought years ago on sale at a Winners store and tucked away.

I’ve realized that my lovely little Kodak EasyShare C875 is probably broken, with autumnal pictures inside.  Recharged, and then new, batteries don’t seem to help.  I’d been having trouble moving pictures from the camera to the computer, and tried even harder over the weekend so I could share the moose we saw on the way to the pumpkin festival.  No luck.  I have no idea where around here to get it fixed, of they’re fixable, so it may well have to wait for NYC next month.

Here’s part of my Poetry Friday post from last autumn; I left out the biographical sketch, which you can find in the original post.

* * *

I’ve always liked the idea of Barbara Howes’s “carnival hour” so much better than the “arsenic hour” I started hearing about when my three were tots. As the Poetry Foundation’s wonderful online biography notes, Miss Howes’s “verses paint a world of family, natural surroundings, and the wisdom inherent in natural inclinations” (emphasis mine).

Early Supper
by Barbara Howes (1914-1996)

Laughter of the children brings
The kitchen down with laughter.
While the old kettle sings
Laughter of children brings
To a boil all savory things.
Higher than beam or rafter,
Laughter of the children brings
The kitchen down with laughter.

So ends an autumn day,
Light ripples on the ceiling,
Dishes are stacked away;
So ends an autumn day,
The children jog and sway
In comic dances wheeling.
So ends an autumn day,
Light ripples on the ceiling.

They trail upstairs to bed,
And night is a dark tower.
The kettle calls; instead
They trail upstairs to bed,
Leaving warmth, the coppery-red
Mood of their carnival hour.
They trail upstairs to bed,
And night is a dark tower.

from Poetry for Pleasure: The Hallmark Book of Poetry (1960), selected and arranged by the editors of Hallmark Cards, who did a surprisingly good job, all things considered

* * *

Children’s author Anastasia Suen is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog Picture Book of the Day.  Thanks, Anastasia!

2 Responses

  1. That one was a bit hard to read. Can’t quite work out how it scans. Been acquiring more resources to help with my poetry disability (including the Koch book you recommended). They may be more helpful if I actually read them…

  2. […] Write For a Reader (Meet Danitra Brown) 45. Jules, 7-Imp 46. Becky (Review of Goodnight Goon) 47. Becky at Farm School (Choosing “Choosing Laughter” again) 48. Kelly Fineman (The Raven) 49. Christy Lenzi (”If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda) […]

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