• 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."
    Cicero

    "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.

Happier and better

Melvyn Bragg, who’s been popping up around here lately, on his friend and neighbor — and “Libertarian and quaffing socialist” — John Mortimer, who died today, in The Guardian:

I’ve known him for years. I made a film about him and never had a dud moment with him. It wasn’t only the jokes and the stories and the roguish malice but the unshakeable core of the man. The pillars of his mind were in the liberties of England, which had to be defended at all costs and extended wherever possible. And in literature. He was soaked in Shakespeare, steeped in Dickens, an everyman library in the great writers and the great laws of this country. …
I sometimes disagreed with him, I never fell out with him. There are an enormous number of people whose lives he made happier and better by his writing, by the stand he took on public causes, and by the irradiation of his remarkably complex, but completely charming, English character.

Read the rest here.

Three years ago I was lucky enough to find myself in the same house, my parents’, with a copy of John Mortimer’s Where There’s a Will: Thoughts on the Good Life, which I blogged about here.  As I wrote then, “The book amounts to a curmudgeon’s — and why does curmudgeonly increasingly seem to be a synonym for common sense? — last will and testament of advice to leave behind…”.

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