Last week Kirkwood Community College presented Beyond Rubies. It’s a woman’s conference that’s been going for years. The name comes from the Bible verse about a virtuous woman being valued beyond rubies.
I did 3 sessions this year. One was on Laura and I did two more for the first time. My new presentations were on Introduction to Oral History and Introduction to Genealogy. They went really well and I think people really enjoyed it.
Sheep LOVE bad weather to lamb in. I don’t know what it is, but a good storm is all that’s needed and you’ll be sure to get at least one. Here’s something I bet you don’t know. Sheep only have two teets. Sometimes they have triplets or more, but then they just have to share. Sometimes the odd triplet out fights back in and does fine. Sometimes it does fine, IF you supplement it with some bottle feedings. Sometimes the odd triplet out dies immediately. Sometimes the mother just out right rejects it or lets it get too cold and then you have to rescue the lamb. It becomes a bottle lamb and has to be feed at least every 3 hours.
Our first set of triplets this year picked the night of a big ice storm. We saved two of them. The next set of triplets didn’t even have the bad weather excuse, but we got the odd lamb. Last night, it had been in the 70s during the day and the temperature had dropped like a stone and the wind came up. This signaled two sheep it was time to lamb. One of them decided to try to push two lambs out at once (one facing each way) and we had to call the vet, Chance, who was at our house by 11:30pm. The long and short of it was two more rescued lambs. The inside of their mouths were freezing cold. From 10pm when the first one came in until they were finally warmed up enough for the night at 12:30am, it was towel rubbing, hair dryer blowing, bottle feeding, and all the rest. In Australia and maybe on the big ranches out west ,they throw them to the wind and who lives lives, but around here you fight for every lamb. They both made it, I’m glad to say, but this makes 5 bottle lambs for at least a week. I don’t know how we’ll cope every 3 hours.
UPDATED March 3 2018: I added the photo.
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.
One of the ladies involved with the Affluenza special, now has a TV Show on PBS called Simple Living. A recently broadcast
episode from season 3, shows a little bit of the Masters Hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa and talks about reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. Find episode descriptions and a way to buy DVDs on http://www.simplelivingtv.net . It isn’t available as a single episode, but it is included in the season 3 set.
Her website is now dead, but the TV Guide website has a deal with Hulu so for now anyway (in April 2014) you can watch the episode for free. Click here to watch it. I did buy Season 3 on DVD before her site closed down. I doubt you can still find new copies, but if you’d like one of your own keep an eye out on used book/DVD sites.
While searching for an image a few weeks ago, I accidentally pulled up the archive of This American Life out of WBEZ Chicago and their description of their August 20, 1999 episode (#137). The show has a theme each week and then presents four profile-type news stories that relate to the theme. The theme for this particular episode was “The Book That Changed Your Life.” In Act 4 “Little Sod Houses for You and Me,” Writer Meghan Daum goes to De Smet, South Dakota and finds it to be remarkably similar to what Meghan had pictured before she went: the people seem like they are genuinely trying to hold on to the values Laura Ingalls Wilder writes about in her books. (15 minutes)
This time capsule from 1999 features interviews with Tim and Joan Sullivan and Marian Cramer among others. While some things have changed, (in 1999 the pageant was still mimed to a tape recording) it gives a good feeling for what a visit to De Smet is like.
To find this story scroll down about a third of the way down the page or to Act 4 to the correct story. Or, for about a dollar, you may download from Audibles.com or iTunes.com. I ordered it as a CD which comes in what looks like a classic record sleeve and is very cool.
WARNING: The De Smet Pageant story is in Act 4 of the show. While I also enjoyed Act 1 about Moss Hart’s autobiography and Act 3 about collecting Lewis and Clark books, Act 2 is about “David Sedaris describes what happens when he finds a dirty book in the woods and shares it with his sisters.” I got about minute in and decided I didn’t really care to hear any more of this story. The story is also published in the author’s book Naked.
UPDATED March 22 2017: I added the photo of their logo, my signature block, doublechecked the links and made a couple of minor edits to the text.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.
I crossed off another minor Laura site off my list of places to visit this weekend. On the way to a conference near Chicago, my mother and I stopped at St. Charles, IL and tracked down Laura Ingalls Wilder Road. It’s the only road not in one of the homesite towns or part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway that I’ve found named after Laura. Does anyone know of any others? If you want to find it also, it’s right off LaFox Road. It’s the first road as you enter the housing development by the first entrance, near the old farmstead on the hill. Happy hunting!
The Seeking Laura Ingalls Wilder Letters project is beginning to pick up a little steam. The press release appeared in Involvement the newsletter of the Heritage Agency on Aging and I did interviews this week with both the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Iowa City Press-Citizen that should appear in the next couple of weeks. Keep the momentum rolling, please pass the word on to someone you know today!
This came across one of my library listservs and it’s too funny not to share. The original is in Norwegian, so you don’t need the sound. The English closed captioning is on the top and the Norwegian closed captioning is on the bottom.