• 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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On deck

Next up on the (re)reading list, three books saved from my father’s shelves in the West Indies:

Poems for Gardeners, edited by Germaine Greer (Virago, 2003); I could use some poetry and green growing things in my life right now.

The Semi-Attached Couple & The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden.  I’ve read this several times over the years while visiting my parents, and like it enough to want to give it a home, especially since it’s no longer in print, and I have a weakness for the old Virago Modern Classic covers.  As the late great Noel Perrin wrote in his blurb on the back, “The Semi-Attached Couple is the answer to a good many prayers.  It is the book you go on to when you have run out of Jane Austen’s novels.”

The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty by Carolyn G. Heilbrun, which I think my father must have bought because he was a keen fan of her Amanda Cross mysteries.  I still have a way to go before 60, but having to deal with all that my father left undone, or not properly done, has given me quite an education about life’s golden years.  Heilbrun no doubt will be educating as well; the book was published when she was 71, and interestingly Heilbrun had, as she wrote, “long held a determination not to live past ‘three score years and ten”.  Her book, a celebration of that extra time, is especially poignant to read now knowing that she did ultimately commit suicide, in 2003 at the age of 77.  Her son, novelist Robert Heilbrun, explained at the time, “She wanted to control her destiny, and she felt her life was a journey that had concluded.”


3 Responses

  1. Oh and Germaine Greer will be on Q tomorrow (March 2).

  2. […] On deck « Farm School. For the TBR pile: The Semi-Attached Couple & The Semi-Detached House. Becky writes: “As […]

  3. Thank you so much for the recommendation of the Emily Eden books. I had never heard of them until I saw the Bonny Glen’s link to here. I’m halfway through the first and am loving it!

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