Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A Tour of The Almanzo Wilder Homestead

   On July 3, a small group of ladies arrived in the little town of Burke, New York. They slowly slid out of the van and ambled over to the general store. One of their number had a rather large, black camera, which she held up frequently, snapping pictures of the visit. She paused at the counter to ask about the picture-taking rules, which were pretty much non-existent; the only thing she couldn't do was take videos. 

  She strolled through the general store...

and made her way to the other end of the building, which was the museum. Before she got there, however, she paused to stick a pin into the visitors' map; she and her sister were the first visitors from Maine for the year!

  Once she finally made her way into the museum, she marveled at the artifacts from the Wilder family (that were behind glass, of course) including Eliza Jane's Latin textbook...

...Almanzo's reading glasses...


...and a first edition of Farmer Boy, signed by Laura Ingalls Wilder herself!

  Once the tour guide arrived and made some introductory comments, she headed to the South Barn. (The original barns were struck by lightning, and burned to the ground, twice! So these were not the original barns, only replicas, but on the same foundations.)

 These showed the newspaper clipping of the first barn fire, and a list of the crops/animals they had had.


She walked past all the stalls for the animals...

She was intrigued by the light filtering through the barn windows!😁

  In the Big Barn, they had the calves' stalls (Star and Bright) and Starlight's stall. This was Starlight's stall; she was allowed to go in and see how dark it was made to be.

 This would be what Almanzo's milking stool would have looked like:

This was where Father exercised the cattle on cold winter nights:

  She went through the buggy shed, the sheep-shearing shed, the chicken house...but here's the pumphouse, which turned out best...

    From here, she moved on to the garden behind the house. They tried to plant vegetables that were from the time-period...she even got a sneaky picture of the gardener! (ha ha)

  Then, she moved on to Almanzo's house. (This is the original house, with a bunch of renovating done inside and out. Here she is on the front porch:

  Before she toured the inside, however, the tour guide drew her attention to the approximately 200-year-old tree in the yard, that was probably there when Almanzo lived there:

  She toured the kitchen (only part of it is in this picture):

  This was how big their bathtubs were back then!

    An air castle, like Alice made, hung in the kitchen window:

   She toured the dining room, but didn't get a very good picture of it, sadly...nor did she get a good one of the wood room. But the pantry deserves a couple photos...this is the original floor of the pantry:

  Remember when, in the Farmer Boy book, Father and Mother went away for a week, leaving the children at home? Mother told them not to eat all the sugar, but they ended up using all but a bit around the edges. Well, this is how big the barrel of sugar would have been! (The tour guide wasn't sure how accurate that part of the story is.)

  Here are a couple views of the parlor:

  Did you notice the wall in the first picture, where the stove is? That's the wall where Almanzo (in real life, it was his younger brother Perley) threw the blacking brush and made a black streak, right near the middle of the wall. They actually found it while renovating the house! The tour guide had a couple pictures of the streak:

  There were a few 'forbidden' places that she couldn't explore, such as the cellar and the attic, but she was able to peek in:

  Finally, she wended her way up the steep flight of stairs to the bedrooms. She toured the boys' bedroom...

...and the girls' bedroom, which had a huge loom in the middle:

  There were a couple smaller bedrooms, one of which had a blanket woven by Almanzo's mother herself!

  There was one more stop on the tour to make: a replica one-room schoolhouse:


       After the tour, she wended her way to Trout River, where the Wilders' had washed their sheep before shearing:

  Last of all, she stopped at the general store again, and made a purchase to remember her visit by...a clothespin doll!

  She hopes you enjoyed your tour!😁

Friday, July 1, 2022

I'm...Just Like You

 Surprise! You're not the only one who blinks her eyes, twitches her nose, and raises her eyebrows. I do it too. While you blow your nose, comb your hair, and scratch that bug bite, I might be doing the same things too. I'm...just like you.

    I was formed out of dust, shaped in my mother's womb, and born into a sinful world, the same way you were. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I slept...and so did you. I also had messy diapers, spit up, and got into trouble, the same way you did.


    Yes, sometimes I pop my pimples, just like you do. I lick my lips, drool on my pillow at night, and even stick out my tongue, waggle my fingers in my ears...you know. Just like you do!


    I've sat there and wondered what God's purpose for me in life is, as you do. I've had thousands, millions, of thoughts cross my expanse of brain, cried buckets of tears, laughed my head off, or talked a blue streak. You do it too.

    I'm as needy as you are, as much in need of God's grace as you are, as sinful as you are. I've needed forgiveness just as many, if not more, times than you have. Been just as impatient. Felt just as helpless, just as hopeless, just as broken.

    Let's come to the Savior together, friend, and find grace to help in time of need. Grace that you need; I need it too.

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Winter Is Past

     "For, lo, the winter is past,

  the rain is over and gone;

  the flowers appear on the earth;

  the time of the singing of the birds is come,

  and the voice of the turtle [dove] is heard in our land..." (Song of Solomon 2:12)

  I found it interesting that it normally rains instead of snows in winter in Israel (at least back then), and that the turtledove's call is more like a voice than a call. Every word in the Bible has meaning!

  If that verse were written in Maine, though, I would have to say "the snow is over and gone" and "the voice of the red-winged blackbird is heard in our land."😀

  And in case you want to hear the turtledove's voice, here's a link:



  Happy Spring!

Monday, December 13, 2021


   After having this blog for over two years now, I'm wondering about those who read this. I'm sure there must be silent readers out there, or those who might have an opinion. So...

  What would you like to see more of? More pictures?

  More thoughts from my life?

  More essays/poetry?

  A giveaway or two?

  Or would you rather me be quiet altogether?😀

  I'd be glad to hear anything you'd like to share in the comments!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Buster and Snookums

   Since our black-and-white cat, Hope, disappeared in February, we got two little kittens on May 31. We named them Buster and Snookums.

  This is Buster; he has a brown dot beside his nose.

  And here is Snookums; she's the one with the beard.

  Sometimes they fight...

   ...and sometimes they sit placidly, side by side.

  Sometimes they even dance!😄


   They like to follow us to the mailbox, as you can see by the silhouette.

    We enjoy our new cats; we miss our old cats. Here are a couple of them:

Shuffles; Hope