• 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: Winter words of wisdom from Edward Bear and A.A. Milne

The more it snows
(Tiddely pom),
The more it goes
(Tiddely pom),
The more it goes
(Tiddely pom),
On snowing.

And nobody knows
(Tiddely pom),
How cold my toes
(Tiddely pom),
How cold my toes
(Tiddely pom),
Are growing.

from The House at Pooh Corner, 1928, by A.A. Milne

Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews has today’s Poetry Friday round-up here. Many thanks!

* * *

The busy holiday season is upon us. I had a Christmas party Monday evening, Laura had a 4H meeting/Christmas gift exchange Wednesday, and yesterday art lessons in the little village, getting to which by the northern back roads was rather fraught because the lack of trees and fences meant the snow blew over the roads and made the road part rather indistinguishable from the ditches. There weren’t anyone else’s tracks to follow for love or money, though the school bus had gone by in the morning. However, we were cheered considerably by the Christmas carols on the radio and, on the way home, the sight of three moose gazing at us.

Yesterday evening the Santa parade in town, and afterwards as usual we drove around town to look at all the lights. And now, two blissful quiet days at home today and tomorrow to do our baking and start watching some favorite holiday meetings. Then the parties begin again on Sunday, with a taffy pull for the kids and the big annual gathering of neighbors on Monday.

Cool runnings

Though we don’t have any sledding hills near the house, I’m told by those in the know that our snow-filled but otherwise empty silage pit at the corrals makes a dandy sledding hill and bobsled run. It also for some reason is amazingly effective at making the kids whiz through chores faster than usual. Santa has received much praise for his timely gift this snowy Christmas.

And the experiment for the day, the kids’ idea, is seeing if they can sled the mile and a half home. Davy sounded rather doubtful, but the other two persuaded him to change his mind by offering to pull him home on the sled if he can’t make it. And just in case they find the chest-deep stuff that almost defeated Tom the other week and none of them can make it, I promised to go looking for them in the next hour or so if they don’t make it back before then.

Just spotted from the window: my three Olympians high-stepping through the high snow. Time to make hot chocolate, and I think they deserve some candy cane swizzle sticks.

Digging out

We’re in the midst of another snow storm, and we’d be in big trouble if it were any colder; luckily, the temperatures are right below freezing. It started snowing again yesterday, and the wind started yesterday evening, so by 3 pm Laura’s voice teacher reluctantly decided to cancel the recital. They’ll try again next month. Overnight the snow continued and the winds picked up, so this morning we treated to even higher and more amazing drifts than before. Snow and winds still falling and blowing, respectively, with whiteout conditions. Tom and the kids set out for the corrals with the pickup truck after breakfast to do chores and as expected couldn’t go all the way with the truck. They set out on foot, but the drifts are up to Tom’s chest so it was quite the quarter-mile walk. Davy had the easiest time, since he’s the only one light enough to be able to walk on top of the drifts.

I stayed home, futilely shoveling in front of the house and probably equally futilely making meatballs for tomorrow’s 4H Christmas party and potluck dinner, which will probably be canceled (but then I’ll have some tasty last-minute meals in the freezer), and listening to An Oscar Peterson Christmas.


Digging out after a three-day snowstorm about 1913: “Standing on the roof of the James Ward home, Milton, North Dakota, Mrs. James Ward, Nellie Ward, James Ward, Hugh Ward”; photograph by John McCarthy from The Library of Congress