Monday, December 26, 2016

Brand New LHOP Fan Flash Fiction: The Clock by Cheryl C. Malandrinos



The Clock

LHOP inspired fan flash 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.

Laura glanced up at the clock on the mantle when it chimed. Oh, how she enjoyed that beautiful present Manly had brought home the day before Christmas. She hadn’t expected any presents this Christmas. Just three weeks ago, Laura had given birth to a healthy girl. She didn’t remember much about the birth, but precious money had been spent on doctor bills and medicine. How could they afford such a beautiful clock?

“I traded a load of hay for it,” Manly told her. This put her mind at ease, especially when he told her he couldn’t have sold the load because they weren’t shipping any longer.

Nearly two feet tall, it had a sold walnut base and a glass door that covered a face wreathed with a gilt vine on which four gilt birds fluttered. Laura loved it at once.

“Whatcha thinkin’?” Almanzo said from his seat in the rocking chair across from her. His blue eyes twinkled and she could just see the uplifted corner of his crooked smile.

Laura snuggled little Rose next to her as the embers in the fireplace began to dwindle. “Just how thoughtful it was of you to buy the clock.”

“We needed it.”

She nodded. “That’s true. We could have done without something so elegant, though. It looks perfect on the mantle.” Laura sighed. “I know it’s wrong to pay too much attention to worldly things, but so many people have commented on it when they come to visit.”

Laura’s mind wandered through her childhood and she recalled Ma’s insistence that the place they lived wasn’t a home until the china shepherdess sat on the mantle. She finally understood what she meant. She wasn’t sure if they would always live here, but Laura was certain that the clock would find a place on any mantle in every spot she called home.


Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Little Town on the Prairie Most Iconic Book Set in South Dakota



Featured on MSN Lifestyle today is a list of "The Most Iconic Book Set In Every State." As I browsed through the slides I discovered many books I knew and some I didn't. When I landed on South Dakota, I discovered Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder won that honor. You can check it out here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Little House Myths at Discover Laura Blog



The Discover Laura Blog written by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet, SD shared a post recently titled "Little House" Myths. Find out what myths they discussed at https://discoverlaura.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/little-house-myths/

Friday, September 16, 2016

Laura's "Sweet Memories" Historic Home Open House on Saturday, September 17!

Photo property of RE/MAX FARM & HOME

"Beautiful Victorian Folk home just off the town square of Mansfield, the hometown of Laura Ingalls Wilder. This home boasts 3,200 sq. ft. and sits on approx. 1/2 acre lot zoned for residential and/or commercial use. The home is made up of 4 large bedrooms, 3 baths(one bath has the original claw foot tub), parlor, (with classic rock fireplace), dining room, country kitchen, library, and antique shop( with large bay window). There are LOTS of closets and storage, beautiful original staircase, decks, and covered front porches. The whole house is served by central heat and air. There are many possibilities such as a B & B, coffee shop, store or personal residence. Call today to view this well preserved piece of history!"

Address:  107 N Business 60, Mansfield, MO 65704

Open House: September 17, 2016 from 11am-2pm

Listing Agent:  Andrew Koehn, RE/MAX FARM & HOME: (417) 926-5552, DIRECT: 417.349.2163

Saturday, September 3, 2016

We Did It!: Plum Creek - The Little House on the Prairie LEGO® Ideas Project Moves Forward!



We did it! As of the end of August, we reached 10,000 votes for The Little House on the Prairie LEGO® Ideas Project to move forward. Now the project goes onto the Review Stage, which according to the website, can take several months. After that, we will know if LEGO decides to develop and sell a product based upon this idea.

You can read more at https://ideas.lego.com/projects/108635

Way to go, Bonnetheads!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Almanzo and Laura!


Do you think Almanzo and Laura ever thought that long after they were gone there would still be people talking about them?

Do you believe that Mama Bess could even fathom that nearly sixty years after her passing people of all ages would be celebrating her legacy to children's literature? 

If it were not for Laura Ingalls Wilder's classic books would Bess and Manly simply be known as the parents of Rose Wilder Lane? 

In many ways, young Laura and young Almanzo are no different than kids are today. They grew up under the guidance of their parents and moved on to create lives of their own. Similarly, as young adults and then parents, they struggled to find their place in this great big world, to raise a daughter, and worked hard to survive. 


Just like their TV counterparts would portray decades later, they experienced joys and sorrows and health and sickness. Life on the prairie, just like modern day life, is not always a cup of tea. 

What Wilder's books and the film adaptations based upon them have always meant to me is that family and faith is the focus of all we do. In the end, it is our family and our faith that will carry us through the good times and the bad. That is what I see as the essence of what Wilder attempted to portray while giving readers a glimpse into what life on the prairie was like. 

May Laura and Almanzo continue to live on for new generations of fans across the world. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing your life with us. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review: Pioneer Mixology: Switchel, Sack Posset, and Shrub by Robynne Elizabeth Miller


After reading Robynne Elizabeth Miller's book titled, From the Mouth of Ma: A Search for Caroline Quiner Ingalls, the author contacted me to let me know another one of her books, Pioneer Mixology: Switchel, Sack Posset, and Shrub, was available for free in April. Having enjoyed From the Mouth of Ma, I downloaded the free book.

If you're interested in the history of the pioneers, then Pioneer Mixology is a book you should add to your e-library. The author explores the numerous beverages of the times. They are broken down into three major categories: hot, cold, and alcoholic.

What is so neat about this book is that each section explores the different types of drinks in each category, explains how they were made, and even offers recipes. You could easily use this book for a home schooling lesson or just for an experiment of what it was like to make things the way the pioneers did.

From buttermilk to eggnog to mulled cider and more, you'll enjoy learning more about the liquids consumed back then and how resourceful pioneers were considering the limited availability of ingredients.


File Size: 926 KB
Print Length: 102 pages
Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press (March 11, 2016)
Publication Date: March 11, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B01CVKX8CI

I downloaded a free digital copy of this book from Amazon. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Trip to the Lake: LHOP Inspired Fan Fiction by Cheryl C. Malandrinos



A Trip to the Lake

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.

The seat rocked Laura back and forth as Barnum pulled the buggy in the direction of the lake. She and Almanzo rode in silence, their newfound relationship making the ride uncomfortable, unlike the others they had been on. She had never ridden alongside him as her beau. She assumed that's what Pa and Almanzo had been talking about when she had seen them in the yard.

"I was surprised to see you this morning," she said.

He glanced over at her. "Were ya now?"

Afraid she might have offended him, she added, "But it was a pleasant surprise."

A crooked smile crept across his face. "Did ya have a good time last night?"

"Oh yes." Laura felt the warmth of her blush and covered her cheeks to hide their scarlet color.

"I was hopin ya did."

"I didn't know you could dance."

Almanzo shrugged. "With three sisters in the house I didn't have much of a choice. They were always using me for practice."

"They taught you well."

"Thank you."

Laura wanted to reach out and touch his hand, but he was busy driving Barnum. As if he read her mind, he switched the other rein into his right hand and picked up her small, white hand in his. He brought her hand up to his lips and then ran his thumb over the back of it, before placing her hand down on the seat and switching the rein back into his left hand.

Should she ask. It was driving her crazy not knowing. "What were you talking to Pa about this morning?"

"I was askin his permission to court you…if ya want me to." He looked at her out of the corner of his eye.

Her heart skipped. Could this finally be happening? It would be awful if she woke up and found it was all just a dream. "I do."

"Well, now that's settled, why don't we enjoy the day."

Laura couldn't imagine how she would find any fault with this day after taking a ride with Almanzo as her beau.

After tying up Barnum, he led her by the hand to  an area of grass alongside the lake. It was a cool afternoon, but the bright sunshine would make it comfortable enough for them to enjoy their picnic.

Almanzo laid the blanket down. He had tucked one away in the back of his buggy. They sat down on the blanket, the basket between them. She didn't dare reach for the contents of the basket. She was so nervous, she was certain eating would make her ill. Almanzo began sharing his life in Malone, NY where he grew up. He spoke fondly of his parents and the farm where his mother spun wool and he had broken in his first colt.

"What was your brother, Royal like?" she asked.

"Typical older brother, I guess. He knew everything, and did everything better than me. I hated it when I was growin' up, but now I look up to him."

"Sounds like Mary. She was smarter and prettier than I could hope to be. She had boys lining up to carry her books home from school every day. She liked to sew and always wore her bonnet. She sure knew how to do the right thing all the time."

"And what about you. Beth?"

Laura shook her head when she thought back to some of the schemes she had played a part in. "Me — I was always in trouble. I got into a fight with Nellie Oleson on my first day of school."

He smirked. "I can understand how that might happen."

She slammed her hands down in her lap. "My temper always gets the better of me."

"Ya, don't say."

"And what are you smiling at?" She puckered her lips up like a pouting child.

"Seems I've seen that temper a couple times myself."

Laura blushed thinking back to her theatrical performance in the parlor of the Wilder's house, screaming how she was a woman and that she hated all of them. Again, a blush rose in her cheeks. "I was distraught over how Nellie's trick forced me to fail my test."

"U-huh."

She crossed her arms over her chest. "And of course there was that part about you calling me a little girl."

He glanced away. "Yeah, I thought we'd get to that." Almanzo pulled out a glade of grass and twirled it in between his fingers. "Does it help knowing I don't think of ya that way anymore?"

"Yes," she admitted. "Just don't go punching any more of my students."

His cheeks went instantly red and she knew he was thinking of Chad Brewster. He quickly recovered and pulled her against him into an embrace. "What a pair we make."

After lunch, they took a stroll along the shore. Laura threw some bread crust she had saved from her sandwich to the ducks. She knew they would be flying south soon, and the green grass and autumn colored leaves would be replaced by the beauty of a white winter.

"What are ya thinkin about?" asked Almanzo.

"A frozen lake with its ice shimmering in the sunlight, surrounded by barren trees decorated with snowy white leaves."

"Would ya like to go on a sleigh ride this winter?"

Now it would be her turn to tease. "Depends on who's doing the driving."

"What if I was doin' the driving?"

"Then I'd be happy to go," she said, "...as long as Pa agrees."

Almanzo nodded. "I have a great deal of respect for your father."

The young couple walked hand in hand, admiring the beauty of nature and thrilling in the joy of being together. Clouds had slowly moved in and the sun disappeared. The breeze had picked up too. Laura noticed just as the first few drops of rain hit  her hair. The shower quickly turned into a downpour and they ran towards the buggy.

Almanzo, whose feet were close to the shore, slipped on the wet grass and tumbled sideways into the lake, bringing Laura down with him. He jumped up and helped Laura out of the water.

When they were on solid ground Almanzo tried to brush off her wet, muddy dress. "Oh Beth, I'm so sorry."

Laura glanced up at him and then back to her dress before busting out in laughter. The sides of her stomach ached by the time she was able to stop.

"What in the heck is so funny?" he asked.

"Once again, you get to see me looking graceful."

They laughed together, thinking about how Almanzo had brought Laura back to his place to dry off when she had that terrible mud fight with Nellie Oleson over failing her test.

He pulled her in closer. "I love you," he said before placing a small kiss on her cheek.

Her gaze fixed on him and she whispered, "I love you too."

Their lips met in a passionate kiss. The rain continued, but she didn't notice. Laura had waited two years for this. She had tried so hard to make him see her as a woman, and in the end it had all been worth it. As she shivered in his arms, she felt protected and loved.

He pulled away and gazed into her eyes, the rain slowing to a steady shower. He reached over and removed the pins holding her bun in place. He tucked the pins into his pocket and began to unroll her hair. She shook her head to help him. When he was done, he stepped back and stared at her, his eyes blinking away rain drops.

His actions confused her. "What?"

"You're beautiful."

"Like this," she said, making a face at her wet dress.

"Yeah, like that."

He cupped her face in his hands and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. "I should get ya home," he whispered.

"Let's go slowly." Laura didn't want their time together to end.

On Almanzo's arm she strolled back to the buggy. He helped her up and then jumped in himself. He gave her his coat, which he had left on the seat. It was drier than everything else and would keep her warm until they arrived back at the Ingalls farm.

As Barnum pulled the buggy back towards the little house on Plum Creek, Laura leaned against Almanzo's shoulder. He kissed the top of her head. Her stomach was filled with butterflies and her heart was filled with joy. She didn't know how she was going to leave him tomorrow to go back to her teaching job in Curry.

Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!


Our Independence Day celebrations may be a far cry from the ones Laura Ingalls Wilder celebrated as a girl, but it's still important to recall the birth of this great nation and to remember all who have died to protect our freedoms. 

The Little House books often shared the importance of this holiday. In this article on Bustle, you'll find the author believes the old fashioned Fourth of July celebrations are one thing that draw readers to the books. You can check it out at http://www.bustle.com/articles/41693-8-little-house-on-the-prairie-scenes-that-still-make-us-want-to-be-pioneer-girls

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Reminder: Vote for LEGO® Ideas Plum Creek - The Little House on the Prairie

Reminder to vote at the LEGO® Ideas project page for a fan-created Plum Creek - The Little House on the Prairie. It is gathering support. At 8009 votes, we're a bit shy of the required 10,000 votes.

Visit https://ideas.lego.com/projects/108635 for more details and to show your support.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Investors Business Daily Article on Michael Landon




In the Leaders and Success section of Investors Business Daily you'll find this article on Michael Landon and how his largest role was in fostering family values on TV. Check it out at http://www.investors.com/news/management/leaders-and-success/michael-landon-parented-family-values-on-tv/

Friday, May 27, 2016

New Book for Laura Fans Coming in 2017 from State Historical Society

Found on the South Dakota State News site is the following press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2016
CONTACT:  Jeff Mammenga, Media Coordinator, (605) 773-6000, jeff.mammenga@state.sd.us

New book on Laura Ingalls Wilder coming in 2017 from State Historical Society

PIERRE, S.D.—To celebrate the 150th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder in 2017, the South Dakota State Historical Society will release a new book on the writer’s legacy.

In 2014, the South Dakota Historical Society Press released Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography,” edited by Pamela Smith Hill, which became a national bestseller. The new book, “Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder,” edited by Nancy Tystad Koupal, will bring together writers from across the continent to explore the impact that “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography” made on our understanding of one of America’s most iconic authors.

“Readers want to know more about Wilder and her creative process,” said Koupal. “This book will gather important voices on topics like Wilder’s collaboration with her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, the influence of Wilder’s personal politics in her personal voice and her lasting place in children’s literature. The national response to ‘Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography’ shows how keenly readers want to dig deeper into these topics and others.”

Sales for “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography” shot past original expectations, and the book is now in its ninth printing with 165,000 copies in print. A contract for Japanese translation rights is underway between the South Dakota Historical Society Press and Taishukan Publishing.

In addition to “Pioneer Girl Perspectives,” two more volumes dedicated to sharing Wilder’s publishing journey are being planned. The first, slated for publication in 2018, will examine the edited typescripts that came after Wilder’s original, handwritten manuscript and will constitute a rigorous study of Rose Wilder Lane as editor. The second volume will utilize manuscript material leading readers directly from Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl” texts to Wilder’s rough draft of “Little House in the Woods.”

Preorders for “Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder” will open in November 2016; the book will be available in the spring of 2017. Wilder was born Feb. 7, 1867, and died on Feb. 10, 1957. More book details will be released by the Pioneer Girl Project on its website pioneergirlproject.org in the coming weeks.

Koupal is director and editor-in-chief of the Pioneer Girl Project and the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Since 1997, the Press has served its readers and authors with award-winning books and gained a national reputation for excellence. Koupal has over 30 years of editorial experience. She is also a board member of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet, S.D., and did postgraduate work in American literature at the University of Wisconsin.

“Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography” is available for $39.95 plus shipping and tax through www.sdshspress.com.

-30-

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

Monday, May 2, 2016

New Release: Visiting Laura's Little Towns by Sandra Hume


For Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, there is nothing quite like going to the scene of the story. Every year—roughly May to October—thousands of fans descend upon the spots the Ingalls family called home in Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. They even visit her husband, Almanzo's, childhood home in New York as well as Mansfield, Missouri, where Laura lived out her adult life. And because the Little House books are for children (even though we adults read them), for generation after generation, these sites are the quintessential family destination.

"Family vacation" sounds idyllic, but parents know that the reality of traveling with little ones doesn't often match the dream. As a parent, traveler, and Laura Ingalls Wilder scholar, Sandra Hume has perfected the art of family travel to the Little House sites. Her "Visiting Laura's Little Towns" series addresses family concerns for this kind of travel. From how far in advance to reserve to what to expect to eat to the must-sees of each site, she guides families through the land of Laura Ingalls Wilder every step of the way.

Visit Laura's little towns ... because you want to go where Laura went.

File Size: 2046 KB
Publisher: Not the Critic Press LLC (May 20, 2016)
Publication Date: May 20, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B01EXKAORQ


Purchase here!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum Opens in Mansfield

Check out this article about the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Mansfield, MO: http://www.ky3.com/content/news/New-Laura-Ingalls-Wilder-museum-376797461.html

This is one of the few sites I have visited. Maybe I need another road trip.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Free for Kindle: Pioneer Mixology:: Switchel, Sack Posset, and Shrub by Robynne Elizabeth Miller


A quirky survey of Pioneer beverages. Recipes, tips, and a bit of history explaining the how and why behind what the settlers drank. From clarifying coffee with the swim bladder of a fish (um, YUCK!!) to making coffee substitutes with everything from grape seeds to sweet potatoes, this book examines period beverages and how many of them came into being. A fun, sometimes irreverent (but extremely well-researched!) book perfect for history buffs, homesteaders, beverage aficionados, fans of the prairie lifestyle.

File Size: 925 KB
Print Length: 102 pages
Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press (March 11, 2016)
Publication Date: March 11, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B01CVKX8CI


Purchase here!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Laura's Wedding Cake Recipe on the LHOP Site


Spring has sprung, which means wedding season is in full swing. The Little House on the Prairie website is sharing Laura's wedding cake recipe made the traditional way and with a blueberry topping.

Check it out at http://littlehouseontheprairie.com/lauras-wedding-cake-recipe-traditional-and-blueberry-topping-variation/

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder Available for E-Readers!



This is the day Little House fans have been waiting for--HarperCollins Publishers released the series for e-readers today!

It looks like they are only offering a 5-eBook set on the HCP website, but if you visit:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
GooglePlay

you will find all nine books available in digital format.

What would Laura think of this new way to read her books?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Review: From the Mouth of Ma by Robynne Elizabeth Miller

One chapter at a time, author Robynne Elizabeth Miller seeks to learn more about Caroline Quiner Ingalls--Ma from the Little House books.

In From the Mouth of Ma, Miller indicates that readers didn't get a chance to know Caroline Ingalls very well. Much of the close relationship Laura Ingalls Wilder had with her Pa (Charles) is written into the pages of her Little House series, but Ma remained a bit elusive.

Each chapter--except the first two, which are dedicated to outlining the purpose of the book and providing a bit of background on Caroline Quiner Ingalls--shares a little piece of Ma with readers: how practical and traditional Ma was in her daily life, her matter-of-fact opinions, how she valued honesty and forthrightness, what a devout Christian she was, how pragmatic she was while holding onto a dose of optimism, and more.

Miller discusses some things that bothered her about Ma from the Little House books--like her seeming lack of compassion for her children after the prairie fire that threatened their home in Kansas. She also dives into the many platitudes that Ma's character used in the books to help her--and readers-- understand more about who Ma was.

We end up with a well-rounded portrait of Ma with her unwavering love and devotion to her family and her desire to teach her children important and valuable lessons. Caroline Quiner Ingalls did not live an easy life out on the prairie, but as the author states, she navigated through it with grace and strength. For me, this book served to grow my admiration for a woman who embodied those characteristics and a pioneering spirit that helped create the country we know today.

Paperback: 84 pages
Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press; 1 edition (November 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692580654
ISBN-13: 978-0692580653

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Upcoming Release: The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson


Available for the first time and collected in one volume, the letters of one of America’s most beloved authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder—a treasure trove that offers new and unexpected understanding of her life and work.

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a vibrant, deeply personal portrait of this revered American author, illuminating her thoughts, travels, philosophies, writing career, and dealings with family, friends, and fans as never before.

This is a fresh look at the adult life of the author in her own words. Gathered from museums and archives and personal collections, the letters span over sixty years of Wilder’s life, from 1894–1956 and shed new light on Wilder’s day-to-day life. Here we see her as a businesswoman and author—including her beloved Little House books, her legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom, and her readers—as a wife, and as a friend. In her letters, Wilder shares her philosophies, political opinions, and reminiscences of life as a frontier child. Also included are letters to her daughter, writer Rose Wilder Lane, who filled a silent role as editor and collaborator while the famous Little House books were being written.

Wilder biographer William Anderson collected and researched references throughout these letters and the result is an invaluable historical collection, tracing Wilder’s life through the final days of covered wagon travel, her life as a farm woman, a country journalist, Depression-era author, and years of fame as the writer of the Little House books. This collection is a sequel to her beloved books, and a snapshot into twentieth-century living.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Birthday, Almanzo!

Today Almanzo Wilder would be 159 years old. Just like we did for Laura's birthday, I would like to dedicate this post to many favorite episodes from Season Six through the end of the Little House on the Prairie television series to celebrate this occasion.

Season Six

This is a tough one because Almanzo's character is introduced in Season Six and has a lot of great storylines. While "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not," is my overall favorite, there are so many others that are close seconds:


  • "Back to School" because this is where Laura falls head over heels in love with Almanzo and accidentally calls him "Manly." He is also sweet to Laura when she fails her teaching exam. 
  • "The Werewolf of Walnut Grove because we see him acting as a protective brother to Eliza Jane and admits to his young friend, Laura, how much he will miss her when they leave Walnut Grove. 
  • "Wilder and Wilder" because we see what a responsible, capable young man he is and he finally starts to notice Laura is maturing. 
  • "Sweet Sixteen" because this is where Laura and Almanzo's courtship begins; he finally sees her as someone more than a "young friend" and he even makes an idiot out of himself when he fears Chad Brewster is making advances toward her.
Season Seven

"Laura Ingalls Wilder" is a definite favorite, probably for most fans. Almanzo loses his crop to a drought and can no longer build his house of dreams for Laura. His stubborn side rears its ugly head when she wishes to take a job in Radner to help him get back on his feet. Their engagement is broken off more than once, but eventually the two reconcile and they marry at the blind school in Sleepy Eye.

Season Eight

"Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow" is an important Almanzo episode. It finds him devastated with the loss of his crop, battling diphtheria, suffering a stroke, and retreating into a deep depression. The poor guy can't even enjoy the birth of his first child, because he's stuck in a wheelchair. It isn't until Laura finally gives up that he realizes he must fight to gain back his life and begin making plans for the future.

Season Nine

While my favorite episode of Season Nine is "A Child With No Name," my favorite Almanzo episode is "Welcome to Olesonville." Harriet Oleson finds a bearer's bond in Lars Hanson's old house (Yes, I know it burned down in an earlier season, but just go with it.) and uses her power to try to get Nels Oleson elected mayor of Walnut Grove. Some people encourage Almanzo to run, but it isn't until Harriet insults him that he decides to do it.

What are some of your favorite Almanzo episodes? 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Everyone's favorite pioneer girl is celebrating her 149th birthday today. Wow! How amazing is it that someone from the past has touched so many lives.

While I often share excerpts from the Little House books to celebrate, today I want to share my favorite Little House on the Prairie episodes from each season, because if Laura had never written such wonderful books, this now classic television show would never have been produced and I would never have met so many wonderful people.

Season 1 - "Christmas at Plum Creek" 

As Christmas approaches, members of the Ingalls family find themselves short on cash but full of secrets as they work hard to make the holiday special for each other.

Season 2 - "A Matter of Faith"

Caroline's decision to stay home alone while Charles takes the girls on a trip nearly proves fatal when a scratch on her leg becomes infected.

Season 3 - "Little Girl Lost"

Carrie falls down a mine shaft while tagging along with her sisters during a school assignment.

Season 4  - "Here Come the Brides"

Love is in the air when Nellie Oleson falls for pig farmer Luke Simms and Miss Beadle finds herself attracted to the boy's father.

Season 5 - "There's No Place Like Home"

After trying to live in the city of Winoka, the Ingallses, the Garveys, and the Olesons head home to Walnut Grove to rebuild the town.

Season 6 - "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not"

When Charles tells Almanzo he and Laura must wait until she turns 18 to marry, Almanzo forces Laura to decide between him and her father.

Season 7 - "Laura Ingalls Wilder"

When Almanzo's crop is destroyed by drought, he loses the land he was going to build a house on for Laura. Their wedding is postponed and their fighting threatens to end their engagement.

Season 8 - "A Christmas They Never Forgot"

The Ingalls family and Hester Sue celebrate Christmas together by sharing stories of Christmases past.

Also Season 8 - "Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow"

Pregnant with her first child, Laura is distraught when Manly turns ill and she finds out they are deeply in debt. Things go from bad to worse when a stroke paralyzes Almanzo. His sister's visit to Walnut Grove only makes matters worse.

Season 9 - "A Child with No Name" 

Almanzo and Laura's son dies and she blames Doc Baker, which leads to the entire town turning against him.

What are some of your LHOP favorites?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Miss Beadle (Charlotte Stewart) Wrote A Book!



Actress Charlotte Stewart, who played Miss Beadle on Little House on the Prairie, shared the cover of her upcoming book on her Facebook page. We'll post more news as we have it.

Now, if I could just get Dean Butler to write a memoir all would be right with my world.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Paramount Set to Make Little House on the Prairie Movie



Though Sony was originally set to produce the Little House on the Prairie movie, The Hollywood Reporter announced yesterday that the project landed at Paramount. You can read all the details at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/little-house-prairie-movie-lands-859422

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: Michael Landon's Legacy by Cheryl Landon


Michael Landon's oldest daughter, Cheryl, shares what she feels is her father's legacy alongside seven key principles she believes can change your life and the world in Michael Landon's Legacy: 7 Keys to Supercharging Your Life.

The book opens dramatically with an account of the car accident that almost killed her. Cheryl talks about her addiction to pain killers and a suicide attempt, crediting Michael Landon's unwavering love as crucial to her survival.

This is a book I borrowed from the library on a whim because I saw Michael Landon's picture on the front. I had heard some of Cheryl's story in discussing plots for Little House on the Prairie episodes with other fans of the show, but I knew very little about the author before reading Michael Landon's Legacy. 

In many ways, her story is amazing. A life of hardship until her mother married Landon, she suddenly knew the grass to be greener. That didn't mean, however, she was promised a happily ever after. Problems plagued her after that near-fatal car wreck. His sudden illness and death, along with last-minute will changes that tore the Landon family apart, could have left Cheryl bitter; but the seven keys found within the book's pages changed her life and she shares them now with millions as a motivational speaker.

Since it is titled Michael Landon's Legacy, I thought it would be more about his contributions to the world. While the author talks about Landon and how she feels what she is doing honors his legacy, this book mostly focuses on these seven keys:
  • Trust in God
  • Choose love over fear
  • Believe in daily miracles
  • Take action now
  • Believe in truth between people
  • Build bridges
  • Don't judge each other

The tone of the book is New Age and Cheryl admits she follows the Church of Religious Science; though she also says she is a born-again Christian. No matter what faith she identifies with, these keys are good principles to live by.

Not my favorite book by any means, but I'm glad I read it to see how a family member viewed the iconic Michael Landon and to know that the author has dedicated her life to making a difference in the world.


Hardcover: 172 pages
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company (February 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1571742859
ISBN-13: 978-1571742858


I borrowed this book from my local library. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.