Cat’s Meow Stage 2

My Cat's Meow Collection

Cat’s Meow 1998

Back in 1998, a company called Cat’s Meow started a new thematic set of painted house figurines. They had many new designs coming out every year. They had themes like the Henry Ford Museum or L.M. Montgomery. This time they had partnered with the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites to portray these homesites.

These classic pieces are:

  • Surveyor’s House (DeSmet, South Dakota)
  • Third Street House (DeSmet, South Dakota)
  • Brewster/Bouchie School (DeSmet, South Dakota)
  • Church (DeSmet, South Dakota)
  • Rocky Ridge Farmhouse (Mansfield, Missouri)
  • Rock House (Mansfield, Missouri)
  • Ingalls family portrait

Back to the Future

In summer 2019, Lauri Goforth contacted the company because there had been a burst of new interest. They responded by roling out a new set of figures based on more historic landmarks.

The new figures are:

  • A map showing the Ingalls family travels
  • The cabin in Pepin, Wisconsin
  • Ma slaps a bear in Pepin, Wisconsin
  • The cabin in Independence, Kansas (original replica version)
  • Pa’s well in Independence, Kansas

And the more generic:

  • Covered Wagon
  • Outhouse

Unboxing

Take a look with my Unboxing video from having gotten the whole set:

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.

Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2019

Whether you are looking for the perfect present for the Laura Ingalls Wilder fan in your life or just what you want to know what to put on your Christmas want list, check out these suggestions!

This is the ninth year I’ve put together a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. Read that first and use this post to look for new items, other ideas, and a list of which Laura homesites are offering Christmas mail order and the cut off dates for shipping by Christmas this year. Trundlebed Tales encourages you to do at least a little Christmas shopping from the Laura homesites because they are all local museums, highly dependent on admissions and gift shop revenue to stay open and preserve the homesites for Laura fans, so do your part. If you are buying from Amazon, make sure you go into Amazon Smile and they’ll donate part of cost to your selected charity – select a Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite.

And don’t forget you can also get your Laura fan gift memberships to the museums or a donation in your Laura fan’s name! Most of the presents that I suggested in 2011 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 , 20162017 and 2018 are still available so take a look at previous shopping posts for more ideas.

Keep Laura in Your Thoughts All Year

Once again the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites have put out a calendar. It includes glossy full color photos of the homesites. Some photos you will have seen before others that are brand new. The calendar also features dates from things like the pageant dates to birth and death dates of family members. They are available from most of the homesites.

Put the China Shepherdess on the Mantle

Last year’s big return was a china shepherdess replica. I was shocked a couple of years ago when all three of the homesites that were selling different versions had stopped due to separate production issues. Last year 3 of the homesites (Mansfield, [as of 12/7/19 they’re on sale] Walnut Grove, and Independence) each introduced their own new version of the shepherdess. They cost about the same. Watch me unbox the shepherdesses from Independence and Mansfield.

Selected Laura Letters

Does your favorite Laura fan have a copy of The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson yet? If not, make sure they get a Christmas copy! Find it at any of the homesites.

With Rings on Her Fingers…

Walnut Grove has been offering a duplicate of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s engagement ring for sometime. It’s designed following what’s believed to be the one Almanzo bought her from the Montgomery Ward catalog. The cost is a little expensive (much more than Manly paid), but as many complements as I get when I wear mine, it’s a perfect gift! I thought it was worth another shout out!

Cat’s Meow!

Lauri Goforth is the Cat’s Meow star! At least she should feel like she is because it was her efforts this year that lead the company to roll out a new set of Laura Ingalls Wilder figures to go with what they originally had in 1998.  Mansfield is still selling their two set pieces from the 1998 batch.

Watch me unbox them!

HarperCollins

Cover of new edition of Little House Cookbook in front of a Xmas tree
Little House Cookbook – New Edition

HarperCollins hasn’t put anything new for this holiday season, but last year they rolled out a new edition of the Little House Cookbook. The new edition is hardback and replaces the hardback version that has been available since 1979. Its design follows the book design of a trio of books in the series released with an introductory essay by a famous woman. The design of the text is different and the Garth Williams illustrations have been replaced by full color photographs that are lovely, but I’m fairly confident what they cooked to photograph wasn’t done by a historic cook. A lot of focus is put on these photographs that are either full page or 2 pages. The book is printed on half-chalked paper (which is in vogue for all kinds of books right now for some reason) which is traditionally used to give a better surface for photographs. I should warn you that the use of chalked paper also makes the book much, MUCH heavier than you’d expect. The paperback version will continue to follow the design established in 1979 by the original hardback edition and themed to the gingham covers version of the books which came out in the early 1990s. Walker herself has told me she prefers the Williams edition, but the actual content, apart from the illustrations and design (font, etc.) are identical.

You can buy the first 5 books in the “Little House” series as an ebook package from HarperCollins for use on the BookShout App only. This ebook package actually came out in 2016, but has missed the list until this year.

A Rose and a Prayer

I want to point out two books that I got copies of this year. The first is the graphic novel style nonfiction Credo: The Rose Wilder Lane Story by Peter Bagge. I still haven’t written a review of it because I’m still mulling it over, but I will say that I think overall he has a pretty good idea about how Rose saw herself and none at all about anything about Laura. If you read it, let me know your take. I was surprised by not really seeing it in many of the giftshops this year. It may have to be a bookstore purchase.

The other one is A Prairie Devotional by Wendi Lou Lee. A devotional is a book that gives you a story and a prayer every day. Lee, who was one of twins who played Grace on the NBC series, fills in with stories of the show and working with cast members. She also dealt with some serious health issues she talks about in-depth. I think it’s a read that is aiming at a particular audience and if you are it, you’ll love it. It was available through several different giftshops.

Queen’s Treasures

When Friendly Films and their Little House on the Prairie TV show started authorizing products again one of the first things licensed was a set of dolls and accessories for a Laura doll. They have everything from a covered wagon to all the miniature equipment you need to fill it up. You can outfit your doll in a typical pioneer dress or in one based on Laura’s good dress from the TV show. This fall they rolled out a second doll so now you can purchase both Laura and Mary.

Some Homesite Highlights

Honey Bear and Maple Syrup Cabin Containers
Pepin Label Honey and Maple Syrup

One of the most exciting additions to Pepin’s store for fans of the “Little House” picture books is that Pepin now is selling high quality prints of Renee Graef’s illustrations. There are several and appear in different sizes. Another cool thing is that they are now selling private label honey and maple syrup.

Pepin also has The Ingalls Family: The Pepin Story by William T. Anderson. It’s back in print as the most current update to his original book published in 1967.

If you’re looking for normal trip stuff to bring back between the stuffed animals, specialty coffee, and candles you’ll find all sorts of that kind of thing with a Laura theme at the Independence store. The are connected with one of those make everything custom printing places which gives plenty of choices. I should warn you though I bought a t-shirt there this summer and it not only was very light weight, it tore the very first time I wore it.

Walnut Grove Limited T-shirt of 2019Walnut Grove also has some of its 2019 Little House on the Prairie Cast Reunion t-shirts. They are my favorite color – red! With a real pretty design. Whether you attended the reunion or not, you’ll want one of these limited supply t-shirts (scroll to bottom of online catalog page) for your collection. Another product are the Beadle Bags created by Charlotte Stewart each is unique. If you have a TV show fan in your life, they’ll probably want one.

 

Two tin-punch lanterns that say Laura Ingalls Wilder
Photo courtesy of Kitty Latane

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet had Kitty Latane make some specially designed tin lanterns. A hot new item there is the sweatshirt blanket. It’s available in different colors with an image of the Surveyor’s House. Their next china ornament out this year features a design from On the Banks of Plum Creek. Also find a quilt for your favorite Charlotte doll! Finally if you don’t have a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Education in Kingsbury County by Nancy S. Cleaveland, you need one.

The Ingalls Homestead is having a special on right now. Between now and December 11th they are having a special sale. 10% off on everything online and if there is anything you remember seeing in person that isn’t on their online store, call and ask. They also are offering free regular shipping as part of the sale. Used the code word “Suspenders.” Order by Dec. 16th if you’re using the free shipping for Christmas delivery. Order by Dec. 20th for priority shipping.

Luggage Tags
Photo Courtesy of Ingalls Homestead

Two new things the Homestead are offering are a wooden bookmark featuring Laura’s signature and a brand-new and a redesigned crate holding a set of the original series. Personally I’m excited about their luggage tags. I’d been bugging them to get these for years because I love my Disney ones and I’m excited they got them! The tags aren’t online yet, but give them a call, they’ve got them!

Mansfield is focused on its metal ornaments. Originally they came out year by year, but if you don’t have them all your tree is sorely lacking. 😦 My favorite thing in their gift shop was the fiddle shaped flashdrive! They also have t-shirts specifically for the Wilder Days fiddle-off. One thing Rose and I agree on is loving huge cups to drink out of. Get one in a Blue Willow pattern from the gift shop. The most unique product is a Valentine’s meal for two that includes a tour of the farmhouse. Or registration is open for the 2020 season of Pioneer Camp for your kids.

If you love “18-inch dolls” aka “American Girl Doll Size”, Thimbles and Acorns has been printing dress patterns for specific doll dresses. There are publications of various lengths and with patterns around various themes. Most of the homesite giftshops have them now.

Malone has continued to offer limited products in the Almanzo Wilder farmstead  Facebook shop. Malone is offering branded maple syrup bottles. They have a red stocking ornament with Almanzo’s name. They also have a fundraising raffle. The grand prize is a quilt made to Linda Halpin’s pattern.

When I teach one-room school sessions I’ve been surprised by questions about where to buy McGuffey’s Readers after I tell them they are still in print. (100 years of reprints and counting after they fell out of print for about 20 years.) You can find them online at Pepin (under Books keep clicking show more until they show up it’s a long way down), Walnut Grove (scroll down linked page), and Mansfield (note the covers that are all brown are the 1830s ed and the blue/orange-ish covers are 1890s-ish).

Also find some interesting fabric projects. You can get prints directly from Renee Graef. If your budget is really big you can get original Garth Williams art.

I recommend contacting the sites by e-mail or online store instead of by phone, except where noted. Even places that have been easiest to contact by phone in the past I’ve had trouble calling, but most responded quickly by e-mail.

Check out the shipping dates from the United States Postal Service, if you have a question about shipping dates.

Pepin WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Best to order online, but can also reach by phone 715-513-6383, or by sending a letter. Neither museum nor gift shop is open during the winter.
Last Day for Priority – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Independence KS

Little House on the Prairie Museum
Online Store
Last Day for Priority Mail – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Walnut Grove MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-800-528-7280
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 18, 2019

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Online Store
Phone 1-800-880-3383
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 18, 2019

Ingalls Homestead
Online Store
Phone: 1-800-776-3594
Last Day for Regular Shipping – December 16, 2019
Last Day for Priority – December 20, 2019

Mansfield MO

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-877-924-7126 (Toll free)
Last Day for Priority – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm
Online Store
Facebook Store
farm@almanzowilderfarm.com
Last Day for Priority – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Spring Valley MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum (Store not online)
wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com
Recommends using e-mail to order for Christmas, but you may want to include your phone number in the e-mail so they can get back to you with questions quickly.
Last Day for Priority – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Online Store
Last Day for Priority – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

The best way for people to shop during the winter is through the website gift shop and then pay through Paypal. You can email the museum with questions. They are no longer accepting checks for orders because of some bad check incidents.

 

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 ,  TwitterLinkedIn ,  SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

T-Shirt of the Month November 2019

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 monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt.

Shirt of the Month

Here’s this month’s shirt:

Children's Literature Festival Shirt

Marshfield has long held an annual event where national speakers with family connections to history and classic TV shows and books come to speak. Rev. Nicholas W. Inman leads the event and now has taken over the directorship of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum so it was natural that they joined forces in 2019. Previously the museum had sessions/fundraiser tied into the event, but now they are a full fledge partner with a conjuction event. The participants traveled to Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri, where they toured the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home at half-price and took part in a Scavenger Hunt in the Museum gallery.

After a very successful 2019 they are branching out on their own in 2020. They are going to be in the fall, specifically November 5-6, 2020, 9am to 3pm each day. It’s going to be a similar event this year. Author signing be will in the the community center in Mansfield – 205 N Missouri Ave, Mansfield, MO 65704.

They had some great stuff for merchandise including this great t-shirt. I think it’s one of the prettiest in my collection. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for when they announce next year’s! Catch my unboxing video that features 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 ,    LinkedIn ,   SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Girlfriend Getaway Mansfield MO

As part of a series a group of women from the Ozarks Live TV show went on a road trip and ended up in Mansfield. The segment originally aired on June 18, 2019. The crew also stopped other places including the Alley Spring Mill which is on Missouri state quarter. It’s the 38th coin overall in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program. They also recommend the Dairy Shack restaurant in Eminence, Missouri.

Appearing live in front of the Rocky Ridge farmhouse they interview Vicki Johnston (Museum Supervisor) and Clint Jackson (Wilder Home Manager).

#GirlfriendGetaway: Day two wraps up in Mansfield, Ava, and West Plains

They have approximately 30,000 visitors a year. Summer hours are between 9am and 4:30pm with a tour leaving every 30 minutes. Tours include the museum, Rocky Ridge farmhouse, and the rock house. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Literature Festival was near the end of April in 2019. They are looking at moving to the first week of May for 2020. The 2019 event was the first and they hoped to have 150 people — they got 703.

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.

Wilder Days TV 2019

Take a look at two videos from the local Springfield TV station near Mansfield. Whether you want to know how this year went or want to start planning for next year, this is what you need to know.

The part about Wilder Days starts at 3:20 into the video. Previewing the 2019 Wilder Days event which was the 46th year of the event. It’s the 6th year of the fiddling contest. They discuss in-depth how the fiddle competition works.

Host Chat/Wilder Home – 9/13/19

It starts out talking about Wilder stuff right at the beginning. This one is less focused on the fiddles and talks about how they are running the festival at Rocky Ridge. It’s the 125th Anniversary of the On the Way Home trip. Laura lived in Mansfield for 63 years.

Wilder Day Festival – 9/16/19

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.

Walking the Rocky Ridge Rock House Trail

Although the Rocky Ridge Farmhouse and the Rock House face different roads, they aren’t that far as a crow flies. In fact at the time they were built they were connected with a walking path. They’ve worked for awhile on recreating the path. Now you can follow the walk between the houses yourself.

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.

August 2019 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

My beautiful picture

It’s August and it’s the last harrah of summer with a few more events at the homesites.

De Smet SD

  • The Ingalls Homestead is hosting a Plein Air Event (painting in the open air) in conjunction with the Harvey Dunn Society. Find more details about a previous event. –  August 9, 10, 11, 2019

Spring Valley MN

  • AG Days Town Celebration – August 15-18

Mansfield MO

  • August 2, 2019 7:00pm – Sunset Serenade with Pa’s Fiddle

Malone/Burke NY

  • Annual Cultural Festival– Fete du Quebecois – August 24, 2019

Celebrating the French Canadian heritage of the area in the mid 19th century with traditional food, music, demonstrations, craft vendors, and more!

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.