Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?

As far as quotable phrases go, isn’t “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” perfection?

Stanley and Livingstone in miniature (just the thing for your locket)

We are loving our African explorers unit!  Last night my son and I read about Dr. David Livingstone (discoverer of Victoria Falls), his frightening disappearance of three years, and his subsequent rescue by H.M. Stanley, of the “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” quote. (Years later, Stanley mapped Lake Victoria and was able to confirm that it was the source of the Nile. Note: Victoria Falls and Lake Victoria are about 2,000 miles apart.) ANYWAY, the explorations of Livingstone and Stanley form the template for any adventure novel.  At every turn there is malaria, slave traders, dying guides, deserting guides, hippo attacks, storms, robbers, uncrossable rivers, bloody battles, and cannibals!  Riveting!

Tomorrow night – Marco Polo!

As if you couldn’t tell, this explorer unit is so A+++!  We are reading from The Usborne Book of EXPLORERS.  Side note: every Usborne book we have read has been well researched and interestingly presented. USBOURNE BOOKS is a direct sales company (think Mary Kay or Discovery Toys).  I have no idea who, in my neck of the woods, sells Usborne books, but I can usually find a copy of what I am looking for through Amazon’s third party sellers.

Our Farmer Brown story problem was all about butter.  We calculated how much butter Farmer Brown would need to purchase for his “corn on the cob” booth at the county fair, and how much the butter would cost.

Parlez-vous française?  Or Japanese or German or Spanish or Vietnamese?   We can count to 10 in each of these languages. Last night, I verbalized 20 different numbers in one of the above languages and my son would find each number on our iPad language software app. Counting to ten isn’t really the goal; I just want my son to have an awareness that many languages are spoken throughout the world.

Classical Music – It was Franz Schubert night! Poor Franz!  He was short, chubby, wore glasses, and his so-called friends called him, “Mushroom”.  To sort of top it all off, he died of syphilis at age 31. But, oh, his music legacy!

  • Serenade – written when he knew he was dying, it’s all about crushing sorrow. A beautifully executed composition.
  • Ave Maria – Yes, THE “Ave Maria” that you are familiar with! Schubert wrote it!
  • Marche Militaire – a completely polished work. This is one of those pieces that is thoroughly likeable on first listening.  It might sound familiar – it was used in the Disney cartoon, “Santa’s Workshop”.

Welcome to the best part of my day!

– Jane BH


  1. Dr. Livingston in my locket. I am loving that for a book title. I would imagine you probably needed a calculator for the butter problem because it is OUTRAGOUSLY priced right now. As always…I am truly loving your blog! Keep up the great work.


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