Packing Up: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’m posting a more in-depth description of one of my programs each month.

Check them all out. Which one would you like to see most?

Packing Up 3

Packing Up

This was my first successful alternative to the General Laura program and it remains really successful. It’s slightly shorter than the General Laura program and includes more storytelling. It also offers even more chances for children to come up on stage to directly join in than the General Laura program.

It is staged for Laura as a young farm wife and includes props packed up in a trunk.

Program Specifics

It’s 1894 and we find Laura, Almanzo, and their daughter Rose living in a small house a couple of blocks from Ma and Pa’s Third Street house. Disaster and disease have pushed the Wilders around the country from South Dakota to Minnesota to Florida and back again. Now they are back in De Smet to regroup before they take one more fresh start in Mansfield, Missouri. Find a rich description of this time in the forward of the book On the Way Home and the short story “Grandpa’s Fiddle” from an adult Rose.

We find Laura a week or so before they leave going through an old trunk to see if there is anything they can leave behind. Each thing she pulls from the trunk reminds her of a story. Through these stories she tell about her life.

While it is a good choice for any age group, this is the program that I most often recommend to groups with a younger audience or to an audience that doesn’t have a lot of previous background on Laura. I can change the level the information is pitched at and I’ve presented it to great applause from early elementary school to adult groups.

Alternatives for Presentation

I appear in costume as Laura in the 1890s and it is done in the first person (I speak as if I was Laura).

This program can be done both with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation and without one when presented in areas where projection wouldn’t work well. When done with the PowerPoint which includes photos taken at all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites and museums, it requires the ability to present in PowerPoint which means being inside, with electricity and a place to project. I can bring my own projector along or I can use yours.

For both versions I need a table up front and space to move around it.

The program is a live show so length can vary, but it normally takes between 45 and 50 minutes. I prefer to have at least 10-15 minutes for questions afterward, but that is optional and if I need that long, longer, or shorter depends on whether it’s a talkative group or not.

Sound interesting?

If this sounds interesting to you, ask a local museum or library to have me come and present Packing Up: the Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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

Mentions March 2017

In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City
In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City

This month’s mentions of me and Trundlebed Tales that appeared in the news during March 2017. The first article talks about doing my In the Kitchen With Laura program in Marshalltown, Iowa and the second is advertising my program in Clarksville, Iowa on April 1st, 2017. The final article is based on some suggestions I made to a follow up for a story about Field of Dreams with some additional book suggestions.

Jordan-Heintz, Sarah. “Cooking on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder Topic of Presentation.” Times-Republican [Marshalltown, Iowa], 24 Mar. 2017, http://www.timesrepublican.com/news/todays-news/2017/03/cooking-on-the-prairie Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder Celebration Planned.” The Courier [Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa], 26 Mar. 2017, http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/laura-ingalls-wilder-celebration-planned/article_a0db2b0a-2959-52f5-b847-31b043296af7.html Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Field of Dreams.” Monday Morning Eye-Opener [State Library of Iowa]. 27 March 2017, p. 3.

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

Top Ten Posts March 2017

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too. :)

Laura and the Half-Pints
Travel Times Part 2 Disney Books
T-Shirt of the Month March 2017
This American Life Radio Show
Schedule of Presentations
This American Life Radio Show
Registration is Open for South Dakota Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference
Birthdays
Anderson House 2017
Cassandra Cooper Writes Another Book
Laura Ingalls Wilder Events Around the Country
Program Descriptions

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

April 2017 Presentations

April is always a busy month for presentations and this year is no acception. Check and see if there is a program coming near you.

  • Clarksville Public Library – Clarksville, IA – Packing Up – Saturday, April 1, 2017 – 10:00 am
  • Clinton Women’s Club – Clinton, IA – In the Kitchen With Laura – Thursday, April 6, 2017 – 12:00pm
  • Roland Public Library – Roland, IA – A Day in a One-Room School – Saturday, April 8, 2017 – 11:00am
  • One-Room School Program for classes Monday, April 17, 2017. (Not open to the public)
  • Des Moines Public Library, Central Branch – Des Moines, IA – In the Kitchen With Laura – April 18, 2017 6:30pm
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Not open to the public)

That’s it for this month so far, but it’s not too late. If you’d like me to come present near you make sure to tell your local library, museum or civic group.   Learn more here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/booking-a-program
Find descriptions of the various programs available:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/program-descriptions

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

T-Shirt of the Month March 2017

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 new monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt each month.

Clothes are one of those things that I once kept as a firm line not to cross as part of my efforts to restrict my Laura collection to a reasonable size. That totally failed when I discovered how great it is to have a Laura t-shirt on when traveling. It really makes it feel like your trip has already started once you get in your car.

Nellie's Restaurant T-shirt
Nellie’s Restaurant T-shirt

One of the things the actual town of Walnut Grove has done to mirror the TV town is to call the local restaurant Nellie’s. On the show Mrs. Oleson opens a restaurant to give Nellie something constructive to do. It ultimately brought in the character who would become Nellie’s husband. The real restaurant doesn’t look much like it’s TV counterpart.

Nellie's Restaurant Exterior
Nellie’s Restaurant Exterior

It was on my list of things to do to eat there, but I hadn’t made it for several trips. When I finally made it, I made sure to buy the t-shirt.

Sarah at Nellie's Restaurant
Sarah at Nellie’s Restaurant

It was a fun mom and pop style restaurant. I had a lovely breakfast. I hope you make it on your next Walnut Grove trip.

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

Top Ten Posts February 2017

Here are the blog posts that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too. :) I’ve added a couple of extras this time because I like them and I removed one because the page and the post have the same information and I didn’t think we needed both.

Sarah on Ingalls Homestead in April
Sarah on Ingalls Homestead in April
Registration is Open for South Dakota Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference
6th Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder On-Air Birthday Party
February 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events
Mary Kopsieker RIP
Laura Ingalls Wilder Events Around the Country 2017
In the Kitchen With Laura Project February 2014
Black Squirrels
Trading Card 2017
Where did Albert come from?
Registration is Open for CSAA 2017
Almanzo Farmstead Events Malone 2017
Homestead Images on Quarter
Oregon Trail the Game
Oregon Trail Again
What comes next?

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

Trading Card 2017

Drumroll please! It’s time once again to reveal my trading card for the year.

I started working on this project in 2011, but due to some issues I didn’t get it rolled out as early as I hoped and card number 1 and card number 2 both came out in 2013.

Previous Card Countdown

Card Number 1 shows me as young Laura ringing a school bell to bring Laura fans to my Laura Ingalls Wilder building, standing in the doorway.

Trundlebed Tales Trading Cards 1 and 2
Trundlebed Tales Trading Cards 1 and 2

Card Number 2 shows me as young Laura again, this time it’s fall and I’m wearing a wool shawl made on a loom. I’m holding a tin punch lantern like the one Laura describes in Little House in the Big Woods. This was a night shoot and took some experimentation, but I think it turned out well.

Card Number 3 shows me in the basement kitchen of the Masters Hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa. I’m once again as young Laura, but I chose this location in honor of my new program coming out In the Kitchen With Laura. That program is set in the 1930s, but I wanted the connection anyway.

trading card 2014

Card Number 4 shows me in the other kind of Laura clothes — a Laura t-shirt and shorts. I’m doing one of my favorite things in Walnut Grove, Minnesota and wading in Plum Creek.

2014

Card Number 5 has me in a Laura t-shirt, but this time I’m in front of a little house…a very special little house owned by “seven tiny little men” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride on our family trip to Walt Disney World. I only had one Disney t-shirt so I wore my Laura shirts the rest of the days and got many positive comments on them. So let’s make that a thing. After all you could say Laura is Disney’s prairie princess, she was on The Wonderful World of Disney. Let’s see your photos of wearing Laura shirts at Disney or other non-Laura vacation spots.

Sarah in front of Snow White Cottage

And Announcing the 2017 Card

This year’s card is a little different since the place that I got them printed before doesn’t have that template anymore. The photo was taken last July on DeSmet, South Dakota on the Ingalls Homestead. It’s outside their dugout which faces the Memorial Marker. I’m wearing my 1890s Laura outfit. I was there giving my “Pioneer In the Kitchen With Laura.”

Trading Card 2017

I won’t be printing any more for previous years, but I still have some available of the collector cards from all years. Want some? I send some each year to each of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites. Ask when you visit. Or come see me present. I always have them available.

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