Somehow I missed out on the Little House books when I was growing up. Perhaps my mom recommended that I read them, but as I was no fan of the show (Michael Landon used to creep me out - I think it was the hair), I never picked up one of Laura's books as a child. Now that I am reliving my childhood through my children, I am insisting they listen to the stories Ms. Wilder had to tell. So last night, we sat in front of the fire and read our second junior biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the first few chapters of The First Four Years.
The relationship between Laura and Manly enthralls me. When listening to Farmer Boy on CD, I thought about how much Laura loved Manly and what an interesting task it must have been for her to tell his story, how many stories he shared with her about his upbringing, all the details she gathered to make his family come alive in the heart warming book. Oh to be Mrs. Wilder (the first), with a loom to weave broadcloth with which to make long underwear and suits for her boys. And how sweet it must have been for Laura to be courted by an older man, who went out of his way to deliver her to her family each weekend while she taught away from home (and you know he took the long way home).
Last night, as Laura told Manly all the reasons why she didn't want to be a farmer's wife, and as she rode off to the minister's house in a horse drawn buggy to be married, the children built their own prairie homes from Lincoln Logs. The fabric roof on Avery's little shanty reminds me of the temporary canvas roof Pa put on one of the many homes he built for his family (I forgot which book or which house - sorry).
Speaking of plastic, and far off the subject of prairie life, I discovered a new craft yesterday. Homemade Shrinky Dinks! That's right, folks, you don't need to go to the store to buy special plastic, just go to your recycling bin. #6 plastic, drawn on with Sharpies, and baked at 300 degrees for a few minutes yields the same results as real Shrinky Dinks.
And just look what you can do after the strawberries have been consumed (preferably with fresh cream from good ol' Betsy the cow). Ooh, not the best picture, but it is hard to take a picture of such small items with my old camera.
The three Shrinky Dinks on the right are from #6 plastic, which worked much better than #1 plastic, which you can see turned white and curled in on the edges, but Avery didn't seem to mind. She made many little trinkets to give to her friends and teachers. We'll be needing to replace our Sharpies if interest in this craft continues.
Just one more awesome thing to share: Pandora.com. If you haven't already heard about this great site from a friend, mate or coworker, it is a free internet radio service that allows you to create your own station based on an artist or song. I am currently listening to my very own Alison Krauss station, but I also have a Rilo Kiley, Liz Phair, and Pixies station set up for when I am in the mood for non-prairie sounds. Perhaps I will create a Doris Day station too.
May your weekend be filled with many good books read in front of the fire, some quality crafting time, perhaps a little playing with toys and some good tunes; and if you are a prairieophile like myself, a few hours of Prairie Home Companion come Sunday afternoon.