Tribute to Bob Brimacomb

Still remembering Bob

Sarah's Notebook

I’m home again and the flood waters are receding. They have left a big mess to clean up. It’s still too early to know just how much of a loss it will be.

On a happier note, I missed the Laura Days in Burr Oak, but they went on as scheduled. Bad weather didn’t really hit until mid-afternoon on Sunday, so I don’t think it caused too much trouble.

As many of you may know, the Burr Oak Laura museum lost one of its best friends last summer. Bob Brimacomb was the husband of Ferneva Brimacomb, the former director of the site, who did such an outstanding job. Bob was with her every step of the way. He always helped them with the Days celebration and often lent a hammer or an idea when something was needed around the museum. He traveled with Ferneva to many Laura events, including the…

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Brandon IA

Have you made a stop yet in Brandon, Iowa?

Sarah's Notebook

Catching up on some delayed stuff. dsc001322I always think of Laura and the spider frying pan she describes in Little House on the Prairie when I see the advertisement for the world’s largest frying pan along I-380.

The World’s Largest Frying Pan

The town of Brandon hosts a yearly pancake breakfast for the town with a cowboy theme, hence the giant, metal skillet. You can’t see it from the Interstate. I was surprised it was on the opposite side of town from the Interstate in a park next to the Brandon community center. As much as they advertise it I would have thought they’d have had it close on. That community center partially paid for with money from the pancake breakfast.

Brandon, Iowa Today

It’s an odd town. They have some beautiful buildings including two simply gorgeous old bank buildings (now other things). The cemetery at the top of the…

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Lore Spring-Summer 2010

Here’s a reblog of a report on an issue of one of the Laura homesites newsletters. I haven’t done this too much over the years. Would a report on what’s in the latest issue be interesting to you? Should I do this on a regular basis. Plus this issue is a great individual issue. you can get back issues from the Memorial Society.

Sarah's Notebook

If you are not yet a subscriber to Laura Lore (and why aren’t you if you’re not?), you will want to get the current issue. Founder and editor, William T. Anderson takes almost the entire issue to talk about the early development of De Smet as a Laura site and his own early efforts in Laura fandom. It’s well worth reading for any Laura fan.

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Food History Conference in Ann Arbor

Remembering a great conference that still influences my work.

Sarah's Notebook

For those who wondered what I was doing on that ferry, I was heading to Ann Arbor for the Second Biennial Symposium on American Culinary History: Regional and Ethnic Traditions. 

trading card 2014Conference website via Internet Archive

It started Friday morning with a trip to Zingerman’s Deli. A place not to be missed, and one I had been looking forward to getting to since my brother shot by it without stopping coming home from ALHFAM at Henry Ford a few years ago. They had a special tasting set up with different cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, etc. We were one of the first to arrive and were escorted upstairs by Ari Weinzweig himself. After that we braved the town’s parking ramp system, and finally found a place we were allowed to legally park. Luckily all of the U of Michigan students we asked for directions over the weekend were very nice and knew…

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Trundlebed Tales Joins Twitter

Revisiting joining Twitter. Have you joined the Twitter party yet?

Sarah's Notebook


I signed up for Twitter and Facebook this week. Look for me there.

Here I am on Twitter:

Join the group!

UPDATED April 14 2017: I thought it would be time to remind people I’m on Twitter. Also you can read the feed from the link above without having a Twitter account. I also added a photo showing my Twitter numbers and my current signature block.

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

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Tornado Weather

Revisiting tornado preparedness, as tornado season starts.

Sarah's Notebook

The De Smet News this week has an article warning about tornadoes as the kick off to Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Although tornadoes can happen anywhere in the country, the Midwest is particularly susceptible. A tornado watch is when conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur.  A tornado warning is when an actual tornado has been spotted. Many small towns, like Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and De Smet, South Dakota, have sirens which alert the town to possible problems. These sirens go off in a pattern of starting and stopping for a fire and in 1 steady blast to warn of a tornado. Most of these towns also have the sirens go off at set times during the day (9am, noon, & 5pm are the most common times, with the noon whistle being by far the most common). These time sirens are a single blast, a few minutes, but then…

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St. Ansgar, Iowa and its Blue Belle Inn

Looking back at one of the bed and breakfasts with a Laura room.

Sarah's Notebook

A Lovely Bed and Breakfast

Just approximately 25 miles from Austin, MN, St. Ansgar, Iowa is barely off the Laura Ingalls Wilder trail. While there wasn’t anything on my life list to cross of in St. Ansgar it is a very well preserved and still active little town. Its active main street (complete with antique shops and a soda fountain) and neighborhoods of big Victorian homes (still with the large trees lining the street), look much like the old photo postcards you see of DeSmet, SD.

While I was there, I stayed at the Blue Belle Inn, a bed and breakfast that also serves as a tearoom at lunch time. The outside is painted in the colors of the blue belle flowers (probably closer to the Virginia variety of blue belles which is what we grow at home rather than the Texas version). The rooms are decorated after classic children’s books…

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