May the Fourth Be With You – I Love You More Than Star Wars

May 5, 2016

Every May the Fourth is Star Wars Day. It’s because May the Force/May the Fourth (I love a good pun.) It’s especially appropriate this year with the great Force Awakens promising future quality movies once again. I’m sorry I’m a little late this year, but I hope you’ll still take another “May the Force be with you.”

Me and Darth

Me and Darth

This is me and Darth Vader courtesy of our local Drug Town about the time of Return of the Jedi.

So in honor of Star Wars Day, here’s a song from a couple years ago that I keep coming back to.

Also check out the time they saved Tattooine and the time the US government built a UFO.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

T-Shirt of the Month May 2016

May 4, 2016

When I post my video diaries I always get comments about my Laura clothes. No, not my period dresses, but my Laura Ingalls Wilder t-shirts that I wear for travel and Laura trips. I thought everyone might enjoy a closer look at them. So enjoy our new monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt each month.

Clothes are one of those things that I once kept as a firm line not to cross as part of my efforts to restrict my Laura collection to a reasonable size. That totally failed when I discovered how great it is to have a Laura t-shirt on when traveling. It really makes it feel like your trip has already started once you get in your car.

Loftus Store t-shirt

Loftus Store t-shirt

This is one of the many t-shirts I’ve bought from the Loftus store. They tend to have unique t-shirts and tend to get new designs frequently. Sadly this one isn’t available anymore, but I love the design with the silhouette of the lady sewing with such a lovely background and props. I bought this on my second trip to De Smet which was when I was traveling with my boss from Ushers Ferry to update my program for the Ushers Ferry Girl Scout event. I just think it’s one of my top two prettiest shirts, so I hope you enjoy it.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

May 2016 Presentations

May 3, 2016
Uthoff Storytelling Without Children

Uthoff Storytelling Without Children

Only two presentations this month so far, but a couple more are pending.

  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, May 9 and Monday, May 16, 2016. (Not open to the public)

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

May 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

May 2, 2016
Masters Hotel

Masters Hotel

May is when many of the homesites open up so watch for a post later with a list of them. Other than that there are a couple of actual events this month.

Burr Oak IA

Find out more about their events.

Advent Christian Church Open House (the church by the cemetery at the top of the hill, you drive by the cemetery on the way into town but you have to go through town to reach the parking area and the church) – May 30, 2016 (Memorial Day) 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Spring Valley MN

Find more about their events.

Wilder Fest – May 13-15, 2016

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Book: Thomas the Tank Engine

April 30, 2016

Revisiting Thomas the Tank Engine.

Sarah's Notebook

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13872542

The BBC offers a report on where you can catch part of Thomas the TankEngine around Great Britain. A full size Thomas the tank engine – smiling face and all – makes the rounds of train museums around the country including the Boone and Scenic Country Railroad in Iowa.  http://www.scenic-valleyrr.com

There’s also some information in the article on the book series author, Reverend Wilbert (WV) Awdry who published the first book in 1945. His son Christopher has just turned out the 42nd book in the series which includes the engines delivering and installing a bust of their creator in his father’s honor. I discovered Thomas through the live action cartoons, which sadly are being overtaken by the computerized version that are just creepy in comparison.

UPDATED April 29, 2016: Tweaked one sentence, added my signature block, and double checked links.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind…

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Summer Weather Kit for Your Car

April 27, 2016

Parking SignsEvery winter we hear the local news do a story about making sure you have a winter weather kit in your car, with things like blankets, cat litter or sand, candy bars, a way to melt snow, etc. but have you put together a summer weather kit for your car? I think it can be just as important.

Summer Emergency

The need for summer supplies was really brought home to me a couple of years ago at an outside church service when a member of the congregation went down with heat stroke.  Even though the owner hosts events there all the time he had absolutely nothing to help, no water on site or nearby, no first aid kit, not a backboard or a bandage or a fan or a landline phone.

But my point was it sent me to my car for supplies while we waited for the first responders and I had next to nothing that was of use. I did have a bottle of water, but some more supplies could be helpful.

Supply List

These are some things I’ve thought of, there are probably others. The incident made focus on ways to cool down, but I’m sure there are other things to include.

1. Bottles of Water

2. Small to Medium sized towels

3. Bucket to carry water and soak towels

4. Hand Fan

5. Gatorade

6. Large umbrella for shade

7. Bandages

8. Phone (and a way to charge it)

9. Portable Weather Radio

10. Wasp/Bee Sting Kit, Itch Medicine

11. Fire Extinguisher

Heat Stress Danger

Most of these assume Heat Stroke or Heat Stress. Here is the PubMed directions for dealing with heat stress:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000056.htm
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to print this out and add it to your kit.

My Reasons

The bandages should already be part of your first aid kit normally carried in the car, but the outdoor activities that often become more frequent in the summer make the need for bandages better. If you haven’t checked your supply lately, do it now. Cheap bandages can dry out and refuse to stick when needed.

The phone is call out if there is trouble. I have now called 9-1-1 four times in my life and those experiences have taught me that you want to be more proactive in calling rather than less. That’s especially true if you are away from an urban area where response might be delayed by travel time. My sister-in-law is an EMT and she always says they’d much rather go out and have it be they weren’t needed, rather than have you wait and it’s too late to help by the time they arrive. Make sure if you’re to an area you’re not used to being in like a campground or a park that you can give clear directions and be prepared to meet the first responders at a major landmark or gate to guide them to where the person is in trouble.

The portable weather radio is important to give warnings because a sultry summer’s day can stay that way or can quickly turn over to severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. The weather radio can keep an eye on such things for you and alert you if there is any change.

The fire extinguisher won a permanent place in my trunk after I saw a car catch on fire.

Your supplies might need to be different depending on the medical needs of your family, but always carrying these basics can be a huge help if you get in trouble while enjoying the summer weather.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Time for a New Theme

April 25, 2016

Last year I poked around with the idea for a new theme, but the only response I got was to keep the old one. I checked around for the free WordPress themes again and I think I found a few I like better. Ignore the blue circles with pencils inside those are just pointing out elements that you can edit. Which one do you like?

My blog with Capoverso

My blog with Capoverso

This is the one with probably the least change, but it does a nice job of having what I want at the top. I don’t think this is the one, but it’s a definite possibility.

My Blog in Chalkboard

My Blog in Chalkboard

This one has a bit too much of the blog information at the top, but what themeing! If any theme ever said Laura Ingalls Wilder/one-room schools this is it. It also has great contrast with the white on black which I find easier on the eyes than black on white. However, the writing is a bit childish and maybe hard to read. What do you think?

My blog in Fictive

My blog in Fictive

I really like how it puts my photo at the top and not only does it do a nice job of keeping all my finding aides intact, it also moves them to the right hand side which has been found to be more user friendly for most web people who tend to read in a F-pattern. A downside is that I’m not sure how colorblind friendly the top is. This is a strong contender though.

My Blog in Flounder

My Blog in Flounder

Again major concerns with color choice for colorblind accessibility, but I like how most important links are on the left, but it splits some to the right not to look too crowded. Plus I love the circle around the blog name.

My Blog in Quentin

My Blog in Quentin

Personally I think this is the prettiest one, but it keeps everything on the right and I do think it would be better on the left. Still it’s so pretty.

My Blog in TwentyFifteen

My Blog in TwentyFifteen

I added the background photo on the left. It can be anything. I think it’s a nice graphic element, while still moving the navigation stuff on the left which I’d really like to do.

So that’s it. Those are the ones I’m looking at to change, please let me know which one you like in the comments below.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Home from Independence

April 23, 2016

Flashback to the “Little House on the Prairie Museum” outside Independence, Kansas in 2011.

Sarah's Notebook

Laura Ingalls is a good teacher Laura Ingalls is a good teacher

I’ll have more photos and news from Independence, Kansas and the Little House on the Prairie Museum. But I wanted to share that I was home safe and this great message that one of the little girls in the audience left after my program.  (Photo by Michelle Martin used with permission)

If you missed my roving reports from Independence they are short, but I think give you an on the spot feel and I’ll do a couple more when I go to Burr Oak, Iowa later this month to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days there.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2011/06/11/report-from-little-house-on-the-prairie-museum-1

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2011/06/12/report-from-little-house-on-the-prairie-museum-2

UPDATED April 22 2016: I enlarged the photo and added my current signature block. I hope you enjoy a flashback to Independence 2011.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and…

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Vacation Podcast Round-Up

April 20, 2016
De Smet New Perspectives

De Smet New Perspectives

It’s that time of year again. If you haven’t planned your Laura Ingalls Wilder trip for this summer you are starting to think about a dream Laura trip. This is a subject I’ve returned to several times on my podcast. Here is a round up of all my Laura Ingalls Wilder vacation podcasts. Look for one about packing for a Laura Ingalls Wilder trip sometime soon.

You can stream these archives directly through the Blog Talk Radio website or you can download them as a mp3 file for free through the podcast section of iTunes. If you’re an iTunes user, please leave a comment to help up the number of people who find it there.

 

Episode 3 Laura Ingalls Wilder Vacations
Originally Aired January 17, 2011
Planning a Laura trip? Get some thoughts and information to help start your planning.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2011/01/17/trundlebed-tales-ep-3–laura-ingalls-wilder-vacati

Travel Times I Know Nothing About Laura Ingalls Wilder Trips
Originally Aired April 23, 2014
Want to take a Laura Ingalls Wilder trip, but don’t know where to start? I’m going to do a dual Travel Times Trundlebed Tales episode where I give a background that will be help visiting any of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite trips.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2014/04/23/travel-times-i-know-nothing-about-laura-ingalls-wilder-trips

Ep 60 – Travel Tips for Laura Ingalls Wilder Vacations
Originally Aired October 30, 2014
Tonight we’re calling on fans and hope we get a lot of response. As people start planning their Laura Ingalls Wilder trips for next year we want to give them the best advice and we’re counting on YOU! Call in and give your best Laura related travel tip. Which route do you take? What’s your favorite Laura trip related discovery? Is there a cool store everyone should visit? Where’s the best play to stay? Which homesites are best for adults only? Which homesites are best with kids? Single stop or big circle route? Should you do back to back pageants?
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2014/10/31/ep-60-travel-tips-for-laura-ingalls-wilder-vacations

Do you have a suggestion for a topic you’d like to see Trundlebed Tales take on, please let me know.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

National Poetry Month Paul Revere’s Ride

April 18, 2016

Paul Revere's RideApril is National Poetry month. I hope you enjoyed our earlier post of Summer by Rhea. Today I’d like to share another poem. Last year I celebrated by recording me reading Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. I recorded it Elocution style, like you would for a program in a one-room school.

Paul Revere’s Ride

Take a listen, hear the poem and some extra information. Read the poem.

Exercise Your Memory

I have a long connection with Paul Revere’s Ride. When I was a kid I read a book that made the very reasonable argument that memory is like a muscle and recommended memorizing Lady of the Lake. It wasn’t my favorite so I decided to do it with Paul Revere’s Ride instead. I can still do big swaths of it and the whole thing with a little prompting. Ask me if you see me. Take up the challenge yourself.

Complications

Although most people know it as a stand alone piece, it’s actually part of a longer poem which is where the The Landlord’s Tale you sometimes see connected with the title comes from. It’s generally taken as literal fact, but Longfellow improved the story. There were actually two other men involved in the ride and Revere was captured before the ride was complete.

And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?

I also talk about a great children’s book And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz. It is based on the story that came down in Revere’s family about how he told the story to his grandchildren. Whether that’s true or not, it’s a great story by a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winning author.

Grant Wood

The poem was also the inspiration for one of the most famous paintings by Iowa’s own Regionalist painter, Grant Wood. If you aren’t as familiar with it as you are with Wood’s American Gothic, I think you’ll enjoy it. Check out The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.


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