What’s YOUR Laura story?

Hay Twist Station at Adult Laura Day
Hay Twist Station at Adult Laura Day

This year I will once again be hosting an episode of the podcast as an
On Air Birthday Party for Laura Ingalls Wilder, on Thurs., February 7, 2013. What I would like to include this year is people’s stories either about their favorite Laura related story (maybe they made molasses on snow candy, maybe you won a Little Miss Laura contest, attended a special Laura event, figured out how to make a haytwist, or sewed a quilt with your grandmother) or just the story of how you became a Laura fan in the first place. You can call into the show live or if you rather you can write it up and leave it as a comment here, send it through e-mail info@trundlebedtales.com, message or post it on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter. Please go ahead and share now, it will be Laura’s birthday before you think.

UPDATE: This new model for the birthday party has gone over very well, with the exception of being a little nerve racking for the host (will anybody call or not?). In fact I’ve had requests to extend it to an hour next year and to add one for Almanzo too. So if you’re interested please check the schedule for an episode on next Feb. 7th and plan on calling in. And listen to past episodes at the links below.

  • Feb. 7, 2011 –Episode 5 Laura’s On Air Birthday Party – We talk about the history of how Laura’s birthday has been celebrated through the years.


  • Feb. 7, 2012 –Episode 27Celebrate Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Birthday On Air
    Originally aired February 7, 2012
    Join us for our second annual Laura Ingalls Wilder birthday celebration. This year we are sharing our favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder related memories.
  • Feb. 7, 2013 –Episode 40 – Laura Ingalls Wilder’s On-Air Birthday Party
    Originally Aired Thursday, February 7, 2013
    Welcome to our third annual on air birthday celebration for author and pioneer Laura Ingalls Wilder. Last year we talked about the history of celebrating birthdays, this year we want to talk about how Laura Ingalls Wilder effected our lives and our favorite Laura related memories and experiences.
  • Feb. 7, 2014 –Episode 52Laura Ingalls Wilder’s On-Air Birthday Party
    Originally Aired February 7, 2014
    Welcome to our fourth annual on air birthday celebration for author and pioneer Laura Ingalls Wilder. We started out with informational episodes, one year sharing the history of Laura’s birthday in particular and one about the history of 19th century birthdays, but last year we tried a different format. Laura fans were invited to call in and share either the story of how they became a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan or their favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder related experience. I was very pleased with the response last year and so we’re going to try it again. Please consider calling in and sharing your story and if you missed it in 2014, start working on your story for 2013. If you want to share your story, but don’t want to talk on air, you can send a story to me ahead of time or in the chatroom live during the show. Live callers or chat get time before sent in stories.

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 acting 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.


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Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

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.

11 thoughts on “What’s YOUR Laura story?”

  1. My Laura story started when I couldn’t get enough of her books as a child. I read them over and over until I remember her childhood better than my own. I was more than a fan, I was obsessed. I grew up in Iowa, but never got to visit Burr Oak when I lived there. Thirty some odd years later, I finally took my “Laura Trip” with my father and visited all the sites in the midwest area and wrote about it as my Creative Writing thesis. That was a year and a half ago, and I can’t wait to get the chance to do it again! Seeing the locations she lived in was amazing, especially Burr Oak and DeSmet. Those were my favorites because they felt the most real to me.


  2. Laura has impacted the direction of my life in numerous ways, but the following experience provided a highlight.
    In the year 2000, after 12 years of providing a program for schools and libraries , titled “Laura Ingalls Wilder; the story behind the stories” I received a very meaningful gift.

    I had just completed speaking to a group in a library in Canton , Ohio. In the back of the room, sat a woman about my age, and after the presentation, she approached me with compliments, then quietly asked, “I have a letter written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, would you like to have it?”

    Stunned, speechless, shaking, are just a few of the words describing my feelings. She explained, that she was relocating to The south, and and while downsizing, she came across the letter. She had two sons who expressed no interest in it, so she wanted it to be in the hands of someone who would share it.
    That was 12 years ago, and since, thousands of children have held the ( well protected) letter in their hands.
    It has become the centerpiece of my program. I display oodles of artifacts directly related to Laura’s stories, but they are replicas and reproductions. This letter is real, and provides a connection to Laura that is palpable.

    So, Thank you Karen Harding. I will not forget your generosity.


  3. A notoriously picky eater (texture-wise) as a kid, I thought my mother’s eyes would roll completely out of her head when I announced I wanted to try Fried Apples and Onions (Farmer Boy). It’s been 40 years and we still make them at Thanksgiving! Mom figured out a recipe because the Little House Cookbook had not yet been published.

    Mom’s Fried Apples and Onions

    Fry up some bacon (we go with one slice per person, and pepper bacon if you like a bit of spice!) in a cast iron or heavy pan. Choose a pan big enough to eventually hold all of the apples and onions.

    While the bacon is frying, core and slice apples (we never peel, we’re big fans of apple peel!) Granny Smiths are our go to but almost any apple will work. Number of apples depends on size and number of people.

    Peel and slice or chop onions (depends on whether you like rings or little bits). Number of onions depends on size and number of people. We like an even split of half apples and half onions.

    Once the bacon is fried, remove from pan to drain and cool. If you made a lot of bacon you might want to drain some of the fat before the next step.

    Throw apples and onions in the pan with the bacon fat and cover. Cook until soft, occasionally stirring. Depending on how big a batch your making, it can be anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.

    Serve hot with the bacon crumbled in.

    I often wonder why such odd-seeming combinations come about. I’m guessing that Fried Apples and Onions might have been an easy way to use up some slightly withered apples or perhaps use apples when there wasn’t enough flour make a pie.


  4. I come from a family of good cooks and bakers, and have many family recipes I’d hate to ever lose. One recipe I cherish is Laura’s for Gingerbread Cake. I found it in a book several years ago, and now it’s not too hard to find, just google, but I’ve written it out on a pretty recipe card, to look like to had been given me by an aunt or good friend. The hand is mine, but I like to think Laura would have written it for me gladly. It’s a recipe she was known for, her go-to for a potluck or birthday. And she recommends it covered wtih chocolate frosting. I love that gooey, rich detail. I reccomend it with chocolate frosting too, and make it every year around her birthday.


  5. I got the little house books for Christmas when I was 7, and I refused to read them. My mom told me to, my dad told me to, but I never did. Then when I was 12 I was bored during the summer because I had nothing to read at all! “Why don’t you read those Little House books? You never read them.” So I dug through my closet and pulled them out. Once I read the words, ‘Once upon a time, sixty years ago…’ I was hooked! I finished the rest of the books in two weeks, and became a huge fan! Now I’m 13, have a collection of sunbonnets and prairie dresses, homade posters covering my walls, and a few bookshelves full of the books and things related to them. I may have just started becoming obsessed, but I am a true fan. I have read These Happy Golden Years 87 times since August. Everything in my life relates to Laura, and I even held a concert for friends and family with me playing old songs Pa would play, but on my harp! Happy B-Day Laura! (And happy b-day Almanzo, 3 days after that!)


  6. I’ll be celebrating on Laura’s birthday, as it’s also my own birthday! As a child, I loved reading about Laura’s rural adventures on the prairie and beyond, checking out her books in my elementary school library, then ordering my own set through Scholastic book clubs. There was just something so cozy about the Ingalls’ homestead, sewing by candlelight, Ma’s china doll, Pa’s fiddle. So different from my life in ’80s NYC! Now, as an elementary school teacher, I treasure that moment each year when one of my students discovers Laura’s books in my classroom library. I created a thematic unit on Laura, complete with a quilt block math project, for my master’s degree. When my students eventually inquire about my birthday, I tell them I’m a writer who shares my birthday with two wonderful writers, but I leave them guessing… they have to research if they really want to know about Laura Ingalls Wilder and Charles Dickens. One of these years, I’d like to visit the LIW museum and Walnut Grove…


  7. Where do I begin? My uncle got me the boxed set of books when I was in grade school but I had started reading them before then. I loved watching the tv show (sorry Allison but I too hated Nellie, but find you hillarious now) and my best friend from Jr High on and I still quote that show to each other. When my mother was an elected official I made comments about her dress and bonnet she wore to celebrate Wisconsin’s sesquecentennial being straight out of Little House. And – because I am me with no life – I got bored one Saturday and drove to Mankato from the Twin Cities because I had nothing better to do. I loved going to Heritage Hill in Green Bay because it was a sense of what Laura’s life must’ve been. I adore that series of books and show. I read Rose’s book as well.


  8. A Youngster Defines Death

    We’re sitting on the sofa in the living room in Scranton PA. It’s the mid-seventies—and it’s early afternoon—the time when I always read aloud to my preschool-aged daughters. We’ve gotten to the chapter in the Little House books that describes the death of Jack, the dog. As the girls sit close beside to me, they absorb the story. The sadness makes my voice crack a bit. At the chapter’s end, we pause in silence. One of them, Bess, takes my hand.
    “Does this mean that Jack will not be in any more chapters?”
    “Yes,” I reply. “No more chapters for Jack.”


  9. Reblogged this on Sarah's Notebook and commented:

    This was originally for the Laura Ingalls Wilder birthday party in 2013. In my last update I added links to this and other episodes and I don’t think I have anything else to add. People really enjoy it, so take a listen if you haven’t and be sure to check out the original post for the comments.


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