Cooking at Ushers Ferry June 2019

Sarah in 1890s Outfit Baking
Sarah Baking in Usher House Kitchen

Are you looking for a fun project for Wednesday, June 20th? Then come on out to Ushers Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids.

Ushers Ferry is where I got my start in living history and first and third person historical interpretation. In the last couple of years I’ve returned for a couple of events and gotten a chance to cook on a wood cookstove again.

I’m going to be heading back next week.

Stop by:

Wednesday, June 21, 2019 between 5:30 and 8:30pm, tour Ushers Ferry and stop in to see me cook!

I’ll be in the Usher House.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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National Rose Month

Revisiting Rose Month!

Sarah's Notebook

Pink single blossom rose Nearly Wild Rose

June also is National Rose Month (actually it’s a very long list). They mean of course the flower, but I’d like to think of it as Rose Wilder Lane Month. Please read something by or about Rose this month.

If you’d like to have something close to the prairie roses she was named for, look for the Nearly Wild Rose at your local garden center. I’ve had one for about three years now and it blooms more constantly than any other variety of rose that I’ve already had.

UPDATED June 21 2019: I added a photo of the Nearly Wild Roses and my current signature block.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest…

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Quote Do you compose all your own music

In the August 8, 2018 issue of the UK’s The Guardian carried a feature on fanfic (fiction written by fans of a particular movie, TV show, comic book series, book, etc.). I must admit that I write and read a bit of fanfic myself (honestly there is A LOT of bad stuff out there in fanfic land dark, nasty, and poorly written, but some of it is kind of awesome). I honestly think it can help people who produce it, even if nobody else wants to read it. Frankly I always felt like I was kind of wasting my time, but I feel MUCH better about it after reading this piece. Go on. Read it. I’ll wait. (Confused by what I mean by fanfic? Check out my description in my review of Star Trek (2009).)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/08/fanfiction-fifty-shades-star-trek-harry-potter

The quote I’ve pulled out is actually a paragraph but it is such a great metaphor I had to use it all. It’s true you do use other people’s music and interpret when you play an instrument. It’s so apt a comparison.

[Naomi] Novik scorns the idea that published authors should turn their back on fanfiction. She recalls being on a panel where one member said he couldn’t understand why someone would waste their time writing it over an original work:

“I said, ‘Have you ever played an instrument?’

He was like, ‘Yeah, I play piano’.

I said, ‘So, do you compose all your own music?’”

The article also talks about using already established characters as training wheels for learning writing skills with a pre-built community who wants to talk about it, compares how classic works often “borrowed” characters and situations from earlier works in the vein of fanfic (just by people you have to read in Literature class), and – this is something else I hadn’t thought of before – is looked down on as pink collar.

Fanfic Primarily Women

Fanfic is devalued in part because it is primarily created and read by women.

There is an undercurrent of misogyny in mainstream criticism of fanfiction, which is widely accepted to be dominated by women; one census of 10,500 AO3 users found that 80% of the users identified as female, with more users identified as genderqueer (6%) than male (4%). Novik has spent a good deal of time fighting against fanfiction’s stigma because she feels it is “an attack on women’s writing, specifically an attack on young women’s writing and the kind of stories that young women like to tell”. Which is not to say that young women only want to write about romance: “I think,” Novik says, “that [the popularity of fanfiction amongst women is] not unconnected to the lack of young women protagonists who are not romantic interests.”

Honestly, except for copyright I’d copy the whole thing. It’s just brilliant, read it.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Living History Links

Kitchen in Pepin Museum
Kitchen in Pepin Museum

I used to use the link section of my blog quite a bit. Honestly I don’t often anymore and some of my favorites are no longer active. I wanted to shorten my super long left hand column, but not lose the links although, so here are what I previously had linked.

ALHFAM – Association of Living History Farms and Museums is the professional organization for living history historic sites and historians who reenact daily life. Although to get the full benefit of the organization you need to be a member, including access to articles by yours truly, this blog keeps you up to date on living history. Please consider joining and attending a conference.

Ben Franklin’s World – A great history blog on early American and colonial history.

Collectors Weekly – A website with posts about a different collectibles by experts.

Footnoting History – Footnoting History is a bi-weekly podcast series dedicated to overlooked, unknown, and exciting stories plucked from the footnotes of history.

Greenfield History – A Tour of Greenfield Village, part of the Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI. Sadly it was last updated in 2016.

Historical Sewing – A blog and podcast of a historic sewer.

History Myths – Urban legends about history that never was, debunked in posts that take on things people get wrong about history and look for the truth. Currently she’s reposting updated debunks, but they’re still worth reading and sometimes she does new ones. Got a pet peeve history myth? Let her know!

Know Your Own Bone – A resource for creative engagement in museums and cultural centers.

Living History Farms – The living history museum in Des Moines, Iowa features different farms and a town along a timeline. This is their blog. However, the most recent blog post is from 2017. Between 2012 and 2014 they maintained a separate blog specifically about the Flynn Mansion (the restored home of the man who donated all the land that now makes up Living History Farms. In 2015 they combined the two blogs, but left the old Flynn Mansion blog up.

Uncommon Book – A blog for independent historians.

Way of Improvement Leads Home – John Fea’s essays and reviews on the history of American culture.

Genealogy Basics

Revisiting Genealogy Basics.

Sarah's Notebook

Me and the author Me and my great-grandparents

I’ve been accepted to present a session entitled: “Genealogy for the Non-Genealogist Librarian” at the national Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference this fall. It’s going to be based on a beginning genealogy from a librarian viewpoint program that I originally developed for Beyond Rubies, but have done several times at libraries around the area. In preparation for that I’ve updated the pathfinder (a handout to help people who are just beginning a topic know where to look for basic information) that I use in the presentation. It was a major update, probably it’s 70% different now.

Find it here:
http://www.trundlebedtales.com/beginning-genealogy.html

I also took this opportunity to convert it into a LibGuide which is a version of the same thing with lots of formatting bells and whistles and is mobile friendly.

See it here:
http://guides.kirkwood.edu/Genealogy

And if you are interested in more of my pathfinders…

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Top 10 Posts During May 2019

Standing in 19th century outfit in front of a screen showing a project title slide
Packing Up – Courtesy of Sarah Shaw Almond

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. I did skip a couple in the rankings that were about events that took place in April since they’re already over. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too.

I got a late start on this for May. These are the top 10 for the month before June 10, 2019.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Events Around the Country

Oregon Trail Again

Laura Ingalls Wilder Events Around the Country 2019

June 2019 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

One-Room School Lunch Survey 2018

Plum Creek Park Camping

Schedule of Presentations

Jack Benny in Bloom

TV Show The Big Bang Theory Finale

Trundlebed Tales Rolls Out New Brochure for 2019

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help?  Attend one of her programs,  schedule one  yourself,  watch her videos,  listen to her podcast,  look at her photos, and find her  on  Facebook ,  Twitter ,  LinkedIn ,  SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Laura Homesites Open for the Season 2019

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Season has officially gotten underway again. If you plan a Laura trip before they open, make sure you call ahead. The homesite museums that are not fully open, may or may not be able to accommodate you by opening the museum, etc. or giving lists of what there is to see.

Although you should double check before making a special trip, homesites tend to open on very similar, if not the same, dates every year so use this to plan for next year.

Wagon Ride at DeSmet Pageant
Wagon Ride at DeSmet Pageant

2019 Opening Dates

Pepin, WI
– Opens May 1, 2019

Independence, KS
– Opened April 1, 2019

Walnut Grove, MN
– The visitor/gift shop stays open all year round with reduced hours in the off season.
April 1, 2019 the ground open and the hours expand to include weekends.
(Mon.-Sat. 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Sun. 12 Noon-4:00 pm)
May 1, 2019 they expand weekend hours again
(Mon.-Sat. 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Sun. 12 Noon-5:00 pm)
June 1, 2019 hours extend to 10:00 am – 6:00 pm daily.

Dugout Site normally not open until sometime May. The date is dependent on weather conditions, if there is still snow or if it’s flooded it won’t open as early. Call ahead and check. But it’s now open for this year.

Burr Oak, IA
– Opened May 1, 2019 MonSat limited hours through May.
(Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm –Last tour 3:  on all days– Sunday: Noon – 4:00 pm) Hours expand with Memorial Day, May 28, 2019
(Monday-Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm-Last tour 4:00 pm- Sunday: Noon – 4:00 pm Last tour 3:00 pm)

DeSmet, SD
Memorial Society – Opened limited hours in January – April, expand to Saturday during May (Monday thru Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
Goes to 7 days a week June 1, 2019 (Monday thru Friday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm)

Ingalls Homestead – Opened Memorial Day Weekend for regular hours 9:00 am – 7:00 pm every day with activities from 10:00 am -6:00 pm. They host school visits M-F through May so if you plan on a visit before they officially open next year, you may not be out of luck.  Visitors are welcome to join up with a school group, but should call or email first to get specific times as they vary daily.  800-776-3594 – mail@ingallshomestead.com

Mansfield, MO
Opened March 1, 2018 (Monday thru Saturday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday: 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm)

Malone/Burke, NY
 – Opens Sat., May 26, 2018

Spring Valley, MN 
Open Daily starting June 1, 2019

Keystone, SD
– Opened May 15, 2019

Vinton, IA
– As of now the school remains closed. The School for the Blind was combined last year with the The School for the Deaf and they moved to Council Bluffs (which honestly I still don’t understand how that was legal).

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.