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

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

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

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."


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, " 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.