Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bargain E-Book: A Prairie Girl's Faith by Stephen W. Hines

The first in-depth look at the spiritual path of legendary storyteller Laura Ingalls Wilder.

With her extraordinary God-given pluck, the creator of the epic Little House series survived the harshness of frontier life—from the heartbreak of sudden crop losses to murderous storms to unrelenting loneliness. Yet in every season, Laura found strength through her relationship with God.

Now, several generations later, Laura’s insights about work and rest, trust in the face of hardship, and the value of faith are more relevant than ever. Through Laura’s discerning newspaper pieces as an early advice columnist, interviews with people who knew her personally, and extensive investigation by Stephen Hines, we witness an authentic faith that comes not from pretending all is well but from growing through difficult times.

With photos and authentic recipes from the Little House era, A Prairie Girl’s Faith also opens a wider window into the lives of pioneers as it offers a revealing look at the beliefs, character, and culture into which Laura was born and grew to maturity.

Praise for A Prairie Girl's Faith

“Because of my father’s role in the Little House on the Prairie television series, I have long admired Laura Ingalls Wilder and the values she portrayed so memorably in her books. It’s no secret to her readers that faith was central to the Ingalls family. This compelling discussion of Laura’s spiritual journey is most welcome and satisfying.”
—Michael Landon Jr., actor, director, writer, and producer

File Size: 28544 KB
Print Length: 215 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook (February 6, 2018)
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Sold by: Random House LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B072812TYM

Order from Amazon or other online retailers.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Little House TV Cast Reunion in Walnut Grove

Did any of you get a chance to attend the Little House TV Cast Reunion in Walnut Grove. I heard Stan Ivar and Hersha Parady were unable to make it, but based upon all the photos on the Facebook page and from fans, it was a blast. 

Watching all this unfold online made me miss my divas and wish that we could have all gotten together like we did in 2014.

Well, maybe we will make the 50th reunion. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Through Eyes of Green: LHOP inspired fan fiction by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Through Eyes of Green

LHOP inspired fan fiction by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Disclaimer: I do not own the Little House on the Prairie television series, book series, or any of the characters.

Almanzo saw them at the bottom of the school steps. Laura smiled and laughed with a young man he didn’t recognize. He tensed up when he saw her put her hand on the boy’s shoulder. They chatted as they walked towards the Feed and Seed.

“Hi, Manly,” Laura said when she reached him.

“Howdy, Beth.” The boy seemed close to Laura’s age. “Who’s your friend?”

“This is Dylan Walters.”

The boy extended his hand. “Almanzo Wilder,” he said with a nod.

“He just moved here from Minneapolis with his pa,” explained Laura.

Dylan stood with his books slung on a strap over his shoulder. “Yeah, Pa wanted to get out of the city for a while.”

Laura peered up at him, her lips opened in a wide smile. “Can you come over for supper tonight, Manly?”

“I wish I could Beth, but I gotta finish working on the barn.”

She sighed. “Maybe Sunday after church then.”

Almanzo nodded. She was clearly disappointed, but she knew what farm life was like. “Sunday it is.”

She turned to face her friend. “Would you like to come over tonight, Dylan? Ma’s apple pies are the best in town.”

He shrugged, as if he hadn't a care in the world. "Sure. Pa’s in Sleepy Eye and won’t be back til late. I woulda gone with him, but he didn’t want me missing school. Wasn't looking forward to cooking for myself. I’m pretty bad.”

Laura laughed, making Almanzo wish he hadn’t turned down her invitation.

“Why don’t you come home with me now then? Maybe Albert and you can go fishing later.”

“Sounds good. Your brother is a nice kid.”

“See ya later, Manly.”

“See ya, Beth.”

Almanzo returned Dylan’s wave. He watched as Laura passed her schoolbooks over to him. He heard the boy say, “Why does he call ya Beth?”

“I’ll tell you on the way home, but I have to stop off at the Mercantile for a slate pencil first.”

Almanzo stared at them for a few moments. Dylan seemed awfully friendly around Laura. He wondered if the boy was interested in more than just friendship. He couldn’t wait to get done his work so he could ask Eliza Jane about him.


Eliza Jane didn’t understand why Almanzo was so interested in Dylan. He had never shown a burning desire to talk about her other students.

“How much time does he spend with Laura?” asked Almanzo.

Suddenly aware of why he was dying to know about the young boy she replied, “Surely, you’re not jealous,”

He shifted in the wagon seat. “No, course not, it’s just…” He glanced over at Eliza Jane who was trying to stifle a laugh. “Well, maybe a little.”

“That’s ridiculous." She pursed her lips together as she often did when she found something funny. "Laura only has eyes for you.”

That didn't mean Dylan didn't have eyes for Laura. Of course, he trusted her, but she could be a bit naive at times. “And how do ya know that?”

“Almanzo, she brightens up the minute you walk into a room. Haven’t you ever noticed the way she looks at you?" She shook her head. "You don’t have anything to worry about.”

He prompted Barnum into a trot, only half convinced that Eliza Jane was right.


Laura rode home with Almanzo Sunday after church. “Is everything okay?” she asked.

“Yeah.” He focused his eyes on the road.

“Then why are you so quiet?”

He shrugged. “Nothing wrong with being quiet.”

She placed a hand on his shoulder. “No, but it usually means something is on your mind.”

She already knew him so well. That made him feel a bit better. “What’s the story with you and this Dylan kid?”

“The story?” The skin on the bridge of her nose crinkled. Confusion was a good sign.

“He sure likes spending time with ya.”

“Well, he’s a bit behind in school and I’ve been trying to help him catch up.”

That made sense. “Oh.”

She leaned back and stared at him for a few moments. “You didn’t think there was anything else going on, did you?”

Yikes, this was not the way he had wanted this conversation to go. “Of course not,” he rushed to say. “It’s just…ya know…” Flustered, he blurted out, “Did ya tell him we were courting?”

“It never came up. We talk about schoolwork mostly. That and his ma. She died last year. That’s why his pa moved out here. He’s trying to get away from the memories.”

“That’s too bad,” Almanzo said with genuine sympathy.

“I don’t know what I would do if I lost Ma or Pa.” She glanced over at him. “Or you,” she added with a kiss on his cheek.

That was just what he wanted to hear. “Don’t worry, Beth, I ain’t going nowhere.”


Dylan figured it might just work. He had asked Laura to tutor him until he was caught up at school. Of course, he never planned to catch up. And the more time they spent together, the more Laura would see that she belonged with him, not that annoying Almanzo Wilder. He pretended to like him to stay in good favor with Laura, but he was a rival for her affections and, as such, Dylan despised him.

The weather had gotten colder at the beginning of November, but there were a few nice sunny days which could fool people into thinking spring was on its way instead of winter. On such a day, a frustrated Laura sat on the school steps with Dylan, instructing him on what he needed to do to improve his grades. She obviously didn’t understand why his work hadn’t gotten better since the tutoring sessions began two weeks ago.

“How about we go down to the lake to study today?” he suggested.

She raised her eyebrows. “I don’t know. I’ve got a lot of homework to do, and I need to finish my chores before I go out with Almanzo tonight.”

Ugh, him again. He was so tired of hearing about Manly. He flipped out his lower lip into a pout.Maybe being silly would sway her. “Aw come on. My pa let me borrow the wagon so we don’t have to walk.”

Her hesitation told him she was considering it. She was probably too polite to really say no. “Well, all right, but let’s stop by the Feed and Seed so I can tell Almanzo where I’ll be.” He shook his head, but drove her there without a word.

“Howdy, Beth.” He glared at the boy next to her on the wagon seat. “Ya bringing Laura home, Dylan?”

A self-satisfied grin spread across the boy’s face. “Naw. I’m takin her down to the lake.”

She smiled. “I should be home in plenty of time to go out with you tonight.”

His eyes remained fixed on the boy when he responded, “Can’t wait to see ya. I’ll be by about five-thirty.”

“I’ll be ready. See ya, Manly.”

Dylan chirruped to the horses and Almanzo watched the wagon pull out of town. He didn’t like the glee he saw in the boy’s eyes. That boy was up to no good. Almanzo tried to go finish his work, but thoughts of what Dylan was planning distracted him. After twenty minutes he ran to the schoolhouse to see Eliza Jane.

He took the stairs two at a time and pushed open the door. “Hey Sis, can ya walk home today?”

“Certainly, are you going somewhere?”

“I gotta find Laura.”

She stood up from her desk, concern etching her face. “Is something wrong?”

“I dunno. She went out to the lake with Dylan. Can’t explain it…he just looked like he was gonna cause trouble.”

“Now Almanzo, you shouldn’t let your jealousy make you think ill of the boy.”

He clenched his hands by his sides. “I’m trying not to Sis, but he seemed real happy to see how bothered I was when he told me they were going out there.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Are you sure you didn’t imagine it?”

Enough of this. He was wasting precious time. “We’ll talk about this later. Right now I have to find her.”

Almanzo jumped into his wagon and slapped Barnum into a gallop. He couldn’t ignore his instincts. He just hoped he would be in time.


Dylan sat close enough to smell the perfume Laura had dabbed on that morning. He was confident as he pretended to pay attention to her conjugating verbs that she would find him a much better suitor than Almanzo, who was too insecure and awkward for someone as feisty and strong-headed as Laura. She needed a man who could tame her wild nature and make her into a good wife and homemaker.

Laura slammed her palms down on the book in her lap. “Dylan, you’re not even listening to me.”

He widened his eyes to appear contrite. “I’m sorry Laura, you just smell so good.”

Laura blushed. She didn’t feel comfortable when he spoke that way. “Thank you, but you really need to focus on your English.”

“I’ll try.” He did his best to sound sincere when he really had no interest in schoolwork.

Laura leaned in to show him what she had written on the slate. She could see Dylan staring at her and chose to ignore him. “Now, if you look at the verb “extract”…”

She pushed Dylan away as soon as she felt his lips on hers. “What are you doing?”

“Aw, come on. You know you’ve been wanting me to kiss you.”

She stood as the heat of anger flushed her face. “How dare you!”

When he stood up, he was several inches taller than her. “What’s the matter? Almanzo never kiss you before? Wouldn’t surprise me none if he was too afraid to show you some love.”

A loud smack filled the air as her palm slapped his cheek. A bright red splotch appeared. "I’ve had enough of this. Consider your tutoring over.”

Laura picked up her things and turned to walk away. Dylan grabbed her arm and squeezed it.

“Let go of me,” she ordered.

“I’m just trying to show you how much I care about you.”

Both her arms now in his grasp she struggled to free herself.


From his wagon seat, Almanzo could see Laura trying to pull away. He slapped Barnum.“Ha Barnum! Ha boy!” he hollered.

Laura turned to see a wagon coming up fast. She didn’t care who was in it. She just wanted to get away as quickly as she could. She pushed hard against Dylan which caused him to lose the hold he had on her left arm. She slid her dinner pail down into her hand and swung it at his head. He reeled backwards, holding onto his head with both hands. Laura ran towards the wagon, seeing Almanzo on the seat.

Almanzo pulled Barnum to a stop and jumped down. He caught Laura in is arms and held her close. “It’s all right, Beth. I’m here.”

“Oh, Manly,” she panted as she tried to catch her breath.

“Did he hurt you?”

She shook her head. “He just doesn’t like to take no for an answer.”

Imaging what must have transpired Almanzo became incensed. “Stay here,” he said.

“Almanzo don’t.” But he never heard her. He was half way to Dylan, who was scrambling up into his father’s wagon. He pulled the boy off, tossing him to the ground. They wrestled, but Dylan was no match for the stronger, larger Almanzo.

He straddled the boy and held him by the shirt. Pointing his finger in Dylan’s face he spoke through clenched teeth. “You stay away from her.”

“I’m not afraid of you,” he taunted.

“You better be. Because if I see you near her again, they’ll be picking pieces of you off the ground.”

He leaned on Dylan with all his might as he stood. The boy grunted. He walked back towards Laura who was standing by his wagon.

“Manly, look out!” she screamed right before Dylan tackled him to the ground.

Almanzo tasted blood when his chin hit the dirt, causing him to bite his lip. He flipped Dylan off his back and grabbed Dylan and pulled him into his fist. Then he dumped the boy on the ground.

He pointed at him. “Don’t ever try anything like that again.”

Dylan swiped at his bleeding lip with contempt. “This ain’t over, Wilder.”

“Oh, yes it is,” replied Almanzo. He wiped away the blood dripping down his chin. He glared at the boy before helping Laura into his wagon.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

He nodded. “I’m fine. Let’s get you home.”


When Almanzo stopped his wagon in front of the Ingalls's farm, Laura embraced him. She touched his swollen lip. “I’m sorry about all this.”

He shook his head. "You got no reason to be sorry.”

“You knew what he was up to all along." She lowered her eyes. "I should have seen it.”

“No, I was plum jealous is all.” He caressed her cheek. “The thought of another man laying his hands on you…” Almanzo shook his head. “It just drives me crazy.”

“I understand.”

His eyes widened. “You do?”

“Do you think it never bothered me when you were courting those other women? I spent a lot of time wishing I were older so you would notice me.” She smiled in embarrassment. “Christie Norton had to be the worst. Knowing you were together made me dislike her even more.”

Almanzo allowed himself to chuckle at her admission. “None of them could hold a candle to you. They don’t have your fire.” He pulled her close and kissed her. 

A creak from the barn door interrupted them.

“I didn’t know Almanzo was bringing you home, Half-pint. You’re late.”

Admitting she had been foolish in trusting Dylan was nothing compared to explaining things to Pa. “He wasn’t supposed to. I got into a bit of trouble today and Almanzo rescued me.”

“What kind of trouble?” he asked when he saw Almanzo’s lip.

Laura wasn’t quite sure what to say. She was embarrassed to admit what had happened, and feared how he would react. “Can we talk about it when I get inside?”

“I gotta go anyway,” said Almanzo. “Eliza Jane is probably sick with worry after how I rushed off earlier. Can we have supper in town tomorrow night instead?” He glanced at Charles. “If it’s okay with you, Mr. Ingalls.”

“From the look of that lip, I say you both deserve a night out. Laura can go if she wants.”

“Thanks Pa.” Laura hopped out of the wagon. “I’ll see ya tomorrow, Manly.”

“See ya, Beth, Mr. Ingalls.” Almanzo tapped his horse and headed towards home.

Laura told her parents what happened with Dylan and how Almanzo showed up just in time.

“Well, I’m going to ride out to talk to Mr. Walters,” an angry Charles said.

“Please don’t Pa. It will only make it worse,” said Laura.

“Half-pint, who knows what would have happened if Almanzo hadn’t showed up.”

“But he did, and I’m fine. Really I am. Besides, I think Almanzo scared him off. I don’t think he’ll be bothering me anymore.”

Charles looked at Caroline for advice. “Why don’t we give the boy a few days to apologize before we go talk to his father? Who knows, maybe he regrets it already.”

Charles pulled the pipe out from between his lips. “I won’t say a word for now, but if that boy touches you again, I want to know.”

Laura nodded. “Yes, sir.”

Caroline squeezed her shoulders. “Why don’t you go upstairs and relax for a bit before supper?You’ve had quite a day.”

“I think I will.”

Caroline watched Charles’s eyes follow Laura up the ladder. He gazed over at Caroline with a frown and then disappeared outside. She knew it was taking all his self-control not to drive to the Walters place. She had a good mind to go over there herself. Thank God for Almanzo.

“Laura,” Caroline called up the ladder.

“Yeah, Ma.”

“Why was Almanzo at the lake this afternoon?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m just glad he was.”

“Me too.”


Two days later, Laura stopped by the Feed and Seed on her way out of town.

“Hi, Manly.”

“Oh, hi Beth. You stay after school for something?”

Laura wasn’t sure if she should tell him, but he would probably find out sooner or later. “Mr. Walters stopped by to see me.”

Almanzo jumped off the platform. “What did he want?”

“To tell me he’s taking Dylan back to Minneapolis." She sighed. "I guess this isn’t the first problem he’s had with him since his mother died.”

He stood with both hands on his hips, the way Laura often saw him stand when he listened. “How did he hear about it?”

“He saw Dylan’s swollen lip. He told his pa some of what happened and I filled in the rest. Dylan’s never come back to school.”

“I’m glad we won’t be having any more trouble with him.”

She nodded. “Mr. Walters wanted me to pass along his apology to you.” She wasn't sure she should ask, but she simply couldn't keep her curiosity from getting the better of her. “Manly, what were you doing out at the lake that day?”

He shuffled his feet nervously and diverted his gaze when he answered, “Didn’t like what I saw. He had you in that wagon and he looked at me with this …I don’t know…mischief in his eyes, kind of like daring me to stop him. I got scared about what might be happening between you two." He shrugged. "It was foolish, I guess.”

“Yes it was,” she said matter-of-factly. “When are you going to learn that you’re the only man I want to be with?”

He flashed her a crooked smile and pulled her into a sweet kiss.

Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Credo: The Rose Wilder Lane Story by Peter Bagge

The life story of the feminist founder of the American libertarian movement 

Peter Bagge returns with a biography of another fascinating twentieth-century trailblazer--the writer, feminist, war correspondent, and libertarian Rose Wilder Lane. Following the popularity and critical acclaim of Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story and Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story, Credo: The Rose Wilder Lane Story is a fast-paced, charming, informative look at the brilliant Lane. Among other achievements, she was a founder of the American libertarian movement and a champion of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in bringing the classic Little House on the Prairie series to the American public.

Much like Sanger and Hurston, Lane was an advocate for women's rights who led by example, challenging norms in her personal and professional life. Anti-government and anti-marriage, Lane didn't think that gender should hold anyone back from experiencing all the world had to offer. Though less well-known today, in her lifetime she was one of the highest-paid female writers in America and a political and literary luminary, friends with Herbert Hoover, Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis, and Ayn Rand, to name a few. Bagge's portrait of Lane is heartfelt and affectionate, probing into the personal roots of her rugged individualism. Credo is a deeply researched dive into a historical figure whose contributions to American society are all around us, from the books we read to the politics we debate.

'It's irresistible to try and imagine what Hurston would make of this book, and inevitable to conclude that she'd approve.' - NPR Best Books of 2017

'A bright, highly moving introduction to a figure who is no longer obscure, but the full range of whose accomplishments we have yet to take into account.' - Los Angeles Review of Books

Peter Bagge is the Harvey Award–winning author of the acclaimed nineties alternative-comic series Hate, starring slacker hero Buddy Bradley, and a regular contributor to Reason magazine. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, he got his start in comics in the R. Crumb–edited magazine Weirdo. Bagge lives in Seattle with his wife, Joanne, their daughter, and three cats.

Hardcover: 108 pages
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly Publications
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Audience: Ages 16+
Subjects: Comics Graphic Novels Literary Nonfiction Biography Memoir Autobiography
EAN: 9781770463xxx

Order here!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Month of Love Brings Birthdays Too

In addition to being American Heart Month, the month of February has some very special days, including:

  • Wave All Your Fingers at a Friend Day - 7
  • Make a Friend Day - 11
  • Valentine's Day - 14
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day - 17
  • Love Your Pet Day - 20

American Heart Month and Valentine's Day definitely remind us of love, so what better month to be host to birthdays for a special couple? Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867 and Almanzo James Wilder was born February 13, 1857.

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if these two never met? What if Pa didn't move the Ingalls family to Dakota Territory? What if Royal and Almanzo Wilder never left Spring Valley, Minnesota? What if they met, but never courted?

Just think: no August 1885 wedding, no Rose Wilder Lane, and likely no Little House books. That would mean no Little House on the Prairie shows and movies and probably no books on Ma's life or the other novels written about Laura's relatives.

What an awful thought! Thank goodness they did move to Dakota Territory and found each other.

Wishing Manly and Bessie a blessed birthday month.

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Special Gift: LHOP Inspired Fan Fiction by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

A Special Gift

LHOP inspired fan fiction by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Disclaimer: I do not own the Little House on the Prairie television series, book series, or any of the characters.

Almanzo wanted to get Laura a special gift for their first Christmas together. After months of eyeing it in the jewelry case at Oleson's Mercantile, he could finally afford to buy it. He hopped up the front steps, whistling as he opened the front door of the mercantile. Almanzo strolled up to the counter with a smile on his face, removing his hat.

"Good afternoon, Almanzo," said Nels Oleson.

"Afternoon, Mr. Oleson."

"What can I help you with?"

"I'd like to buy something out of your jewelry case."

"Sure, let me get it for you."

Nels placed the case down on the counter. Almanzo's eyes moved to where the item had been every time he came in to glance at it, but all he saw was an empty spot in the blue velvet.

His face fell. "Where's the brooch that was in the case?"

"I sold it," Harriet Oleson said from the far end of the counter.


Harriet slithered over to where he stood. "I sold it just yesterday."

"Why? I told ya I wanted to buy it."

"Mr. Wilder," Harriet said in her trademark condescending tone, "you said you wanted to purchase it, but couldn't afford it."

"But I said I was workin' on getting the money," he said through clenched teeth.

"Be that as it may, a fine looking gentleman came in yesterday and he had more than enough money to purchase it. I had to decide if I wanted to go for a sure sale or risk having it left in inventory."

Almanzo felt the angry heat rising up his face. "That brooch was gonna be my present to Laura for our first Christmas together."

"Harriet, how could you do such a thing?" Nels shook his head. "Almanzo, I'm awfully sorry. Perhaps I can help you find something else for Laura."

"Yes," interjected Mrs. Oleson. "Maybe something more suitable for her, like an apron or a new cast iron pot. It pays to be practical when you're short on cash."

Almanzo glared at her. "No thanks. I'll just go to Sleepy Eye tomorrow. I'm sure Mr. Crowley's General Store has a better selection." He yanked his hat on and stomped out, then slammed the door behind him.

He kept the horses at a slow trot. He wanted to let his anger cool before he reached home. Besides, he needed to figure out what story he would tell Laura for his unplanned trip to Sleepy Eye in the morning.

Laura thought Almanzo seemed unusually quiet during the supper. He must have something on his mind.

"Manly, are you all right?"

"Yeah," he answered shortly.

"Are you sure there's nothing wrong?"

"Nothin's wrong," he answered in a sharp tone.

Laura shrugged. "Okay, if you say so." She stared into her plate and picked at her chicken.

Almanzo reached for her hand. "I'm sorry, Beth. I had a bad day and now I gotta go to Sleepy Eye tomorrow."


"Mr. Oleson needs me to pick somethin' up at the train station. It's a rush order."

"Oh, all right. Are you going to leave first thing in the morning?"

"Yeah, I wanna get back home as soon as I can."

"Well, I'll pack you enough for three meals and a few snacks."

"Thanks sweetheart. You're not mad that I'm leavin' so close to Christmas are ya?"

"Christmas is three days away. You'll be back in plenty of time. Besides, it will give me a chance to work on your present," she said with a smile.

Almanzo tried to hide his disappointment when she mentioned presents. He still couldn't believe Mrs. Oleson sold the brooch.

In the middle of the night, Almanzo jumped out of bed and rushed to the window. The wind howled through the trees and big snow flakes smacked against the sides of the house. Almanzo sighed. "Looks like I won't be goin' to Sleepy Eye in the morning."

Almanzo plodded through a foot of snow to do his chores as the sun came up. His warm breath caused puffs of smoke to fill the cold air. He tended to the animals and then rigged a rope from the barn to the house in case the snowfall became heavy.

Hours later, Walnut Grove got pummeled by the first blizzard of the season. The winds rattled window panes, the snow slapped against everything, hurting exposed skin when Almanzo went outside for more firewood. Traveling away from home — even into town — would be dangerous. So after bringing the firewood inside, Almanzo sat in his chair in front of the fireplace with Laura on the other side of him.

She hummed 'Silent Night' as she darned his socks. Almanzo ran his right hand through his wavy mane, deep in thought. What could he give Laura for Christmas? He didn't want anything practical. He wanted a special token of his affection.

There was no way he could go to Sleepy Eye now, and by the time the roads were safe for travelers it would be too late. He guessed he would have to swallow his pride and buy Laura something from Oleson's. But what? The brooch was perfect. He didn't want to buy her something just for the sake of having a present to hand her on Christmas morning.

Almanzo thought about Laura's gift all day as he listened to the blizzard rage outside. Having feed the stock for the last time that day, he made his way back from the barn, holding tightly to the rope to avoid losing his way.

When he finally settled into bed, he still had no idea what to buy for his young wife. "Maybe if I sleep on it, something will come to me," he whispered to himself.

The next morning was Christmas Eve. The snow still fell, but the flakes were tiny and light. The storm would be over soon. But the three feet of snow delayed Almanzo's intended trip into town. He wouldn't have a gift for Laura on Christmas morning.

He moped around the house most of the day, causing Laura to ask him several times what was wrong. Almanzo always said, "Nothing," but the longer he sulked the more concerned Laura became.

At the supper table, Laura ate in silence. Almanzo pushed his food around his plate, barely eating any of it.

"I saw a purple cow in the yard today," she blurted out.

"That's nice."



"You didn't even hear a word I said."

"I'm sorry, Beth. What were ya sayin?"

"Never mind about that. I want you to tell me what's wrong."


"Manly," she said in a tone which made him look up, "You've been moping around here for two days. You barely speak to me. I know something is wrong. What is it?"

Almanzo sighed. Now was as good a time as any. "I don't have anything to give ya tomorrow. I mean…ya see…I saw this pretty brooch at Oleson's a few months back, but I didn't have the money for it. When I went in there the other day to buy it, Mrs. Oleson had already sold it. That's why I planned on goin' to Sleepy Eye. I wanted to find you something special to show ya how much I love you."

Laura smiled. "Oh Manly, you're so sweet." She reached over and hugged him. "But I don't need a brooch as a token of your love. You show me every day how much you love me."

"I do?"

"You work hard to provide for us. You treat me as your equal." She blushed for a second. "I love when you sneak a kiss and I'm not expecting it. No piece of fine jewelry could mean more to me."

"Aw, Beth, I love ya," he said, caressing her cheek.

"I love you, too."

Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Little House Years

How many of you recall "The Little House Years," which was a clips episode where Laura shares the Ingalls' journeys around the Thanksgiving table? According to the IMDB, this episode takes place in 1882. I would have to dig out my old tapes to see if that date is mentioned. Any idea if that is true?