• 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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The princess and the pea

I know you’re supposed to replace a mattress every eight or 10 or 15 years.  But for the first eight, 10, 15 years and even longer, the mattress was just fine.  So fine that we didn’t think about it, though every so often the idea would flit through my brain, only to be dismissed by  concerns that, with my history of  back trouble, a new unknown mattress wouldn’t be as good as the old one. And that our sheets wouldn’t fit the new, thicker mattresses.  Last year the mattress started poking us, as if to say, “Hey, remember me?” and we knew then that we had run of out time.  But family emergencies and too many trips away from home meant that we weren’t getting to the nearest mattress venue — the Sears store in the little city an hour or so away — any time soon.

We finally got there the other weekend, while the kids were curling in a bonspiel.  It was an awfully long afternoon, though the choosing would have been much faster if we had been told at the beginning of the mattress testing process rather than at the end that one of our choices had been discontinued by the manufacturer, harumph. I made a point of avoiding the euro- and pillow-tops and focusing on the “slimmer” mattresses. After about an hour, we left, having paid for our new mattress and boxspring and arranged for delivery.  Since we live in the country, the mattress set would be shipped to our local Sears pickup depot, from where we’d collect it in the truck and bring it home.  Which Tom did at lunchtime today.  Which meant that about 10 minutes later, we were all standing around our lovely Henredon mahogany sleigh bed, staring UP at the mattress and boxpring that looked like something from the story of the princess and the pea.  It was all just so very high, so very tall, so much closer to the ceiling.  Too high, too tall, and quite odd.  Sitting in bed, my head is well above the top of the table lamp on the nightstand, and when I sit on the bed, my feet no longer touch the floor but dangle in the air about 12 inches off the ground. I think I’ve figured out that what we need is a “low profile” boxspring, so we’ll have to order a new new one and return the old new one.  It’s either that or a set of Victorian bed steps and a good memory from my perch in the middle of the night when I’m half asleep and in need of a glass of water. With any luck, our only difficulty will be exchanging the bedspring, and the mattress itself will be suitable.  We have 60 days to find out, with Sears’ return policy.

We still do much our reading aloud in this bed, and when the kids were little they would pretend we were on an island.  This is truly an island now, and I fear for books, the television remote, and especially my laptop should they happen to fall from on high. In the meantime, now that I can reach the ceiling fixture by standing up on the mattress, I may as well take advantage of the situation and change the lightbulbs.

UPDATED to add: The kids measured the old mattress/boxspring set and the new one, and the difference is 10 inches.  Yikes.

PS Oh joy, more snow on the way. Four inches.  Gah.

6 Responses

  1. This happened to us too! I sent it all back and bought a futon. What is UP with those high mattress/boxspring sets? (bad pun intended) They are so weird!

  2. Penny, what is up at the moment is me, wayyyy up. If I didn’t love my wonderful sleigh bed, I’d be tempted by a futon (or a sleeping bag on the floor)…

  3. Hello,
    Loved your bed story. This past Christmas my husband & I stayed overnight at my nephew’s, who had just gotten a new bed. And was it high!

    My husband & I had trouble hefting ourselves up onto it, & I feared we might fall out during the night. But we survived it! (I always say, there’s nothing like your own bed, even if it’s a bit lumpy & old. Like me.)

    Again, loved your post.

  4. We had to get the slimmer box spring too. We have an antique bed with a headboard. The mattress and standard boxspring covered half the headboard. I felt like I was Edith Ann sitting off the side of the bed.

  5. We just replaced our mattress a couple months ago & same story. I feel like a little kid with my feet dangling off the edge when I sit up. But……it’s SO comfortable. I love it.

  6. hornblower, the slimmer/thinner boxspring finally arrived and it made a world of difference. I find the new mattress proper a bit soft for me — have always been used to a hard one — but think my husband *loves* it! It is definitely very soft for sitting on and reading/watching TV, which has taken some getting used to. I seem to have a permanent indentation near my pillow from sitting up!

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