• 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

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    "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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General Christmas unblogginess

Apologies for the lack of posts.  I’m just not feeling very bloggy of late.  We’ve jumped into our family Christmas celebrations and preparations, since the weather (we were up to -20 C for a few days, but this morning was -30 C again.  Brrr…) made us think of staying indoors and baking and decorating and making soup and hiding behind closed doors with rustly papers and snipping sounds and making tunnels and factories and graineries out of Kleenex boxes and tin cans to add to the train set.  The kids also dug out the Running Press Hanukkah Candle kit — which I bought on deep discount a few years ago at Winners — the other day and set to making enough candles for all eight days.  They are beautiful — colorful and glittery.

I gave myself an early Christmas present.  My aged Apple monitor (if I recall correctly, Apple calls them displays) starting acting up for the second time in several months, celebrating the holidays by turning various shades of blue, green, and purple, interrupted by horizontal hiccups.  Very festive but rather worrying.  When I looked at Apple displays (cinema displays, no less) earlier in the year, I had a heart attack at the prices and was relieved to know that having a Mac Mini didn’t mean I was committed to an Apple monitor.  So I looked at the Dell website and was delighted to find something for much, much less.  So I know have a 19″ flat screen monitor, the first one that is wider than it is deep. I don’t know what to do with all the space.  And once again I’m delighted for the modern conveniences that make it possible to shop without setting foot in stores.

Today we made some more cookies.  I dug out my December 1995 issue of Gourmet magazine (hurray for Gail Zwiegenthal), and we made two variations of the butter cookies from Leslie Pendleton Glover’s article, the Jelly Bowl cookies with our homemade golden plum jam, and the very, very tasty Raspberry Hazelnut Triangles, which are indeed like “bite-size Linzer-tortes”.  For the first time, I used my grandmother’s old rolling pin, one of the things I brought back from our NYC trip, and I taught Davy how to toast hazelnuts in the oven and then rub the skins off, the way my grandmother once taught me.

If anything, the blogging will become more sporadic from hereon in.  Sunday we go into the woods for the tree, and Christmas Eve is our big celebration with the extended family.  What I will try to do is post some fun links below, and as I can in the next while post some holiday repeats…

Fun links:

Via the papercraft blog Paper Forest, striped paper ball ornaments (there’s a video tutorial at another nifty blog) and also a sweet Holiday Paper Village that would be just thing to make after Christmas.

Cassi at Bella Dia has a round up of all the free printable gift tags she’s collected over the years.  Cassi also has the perfect gift for the person who has everything.

The first of the holiday repeats, from December 2005, my first blogging Christmas: Christmas in the Country, Part 1 and Christmas in the Country, Part 2, a lovely essay by Justin Isherwood


4 Responses

  1. Happy Holidays, Becky! We are not quite as cold as you, but are expecting 8-10 inches of snow today. We’ll be staying in to make cookies and wrap presents, too, so thanks for the pointers to the recipes–new ones always welcome. Stay cozy!

    ~Christina in MA

  2. Sounds fun (except for the hazlenuts, yich). And you folks celebrate the same time as we do, cool. My Ukey friends here (of the garden annex) are doing Christmas on Jan 6th (well, the 7th because her mother is coming from BC a day late and… well lets just say that there are a lot of jokes flying about the calendar). We’ve been invited so we get 2 Christmas dinners, reasonably spaced.

    Have a great one.

  3. Have a wonderful holiday.

    I thought my holiday baking was complete until I was reminded that I’d failed to bake gingerbread children. Swell.

    Sunday we’re going to hook up the transformers and track to grandpa’s train set and see if we can get it going-that ought to be great fun.

  4. Happy holidays, Christina, and enjoy the snow!

    Merry Christmas x 2, JoVE!

    JS, have a wonderful time too. No gingerbread kiddies here, but the real kiddies now have a gingerbread house. And at this point if they want a certain type of cookie that I’m not baking, they can do it themselves! Have fun with that train — ours has provided endless hours of pleasure already. Now I just need to locate some liquid smoke drops or smoke pellets…

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