A Woman in a Man’s World

Melanie S.:

One of my favorite bloggers, the woman behind “My Bright Spots,” has some wonderful insight to how women sometimes find themselves behaving against their own personality when working in a male-dominated field…regardless of how talented and experienced we may be, there are times when we don’t speak up, or take a needed break, because we are the sole (or one of a very few) representative of the gender.

Originally posted on mybrightspots:

I’m a woman who works with men most of the time. Always have. When I was a teenager, I was active in Explorer Scouts, an extension of Boy Scouts of America. It was co-ed, but still mostly guys. I went on to college where I majored in Electrical Engineering. By the last half, I had settled in with a nice group of 4 or 5 girls, but most of my classmates were men. Then I got a job in Software Engineering, again, men.

This has never bothered me, particularly. I get along with my male coworkers. I’m not a high-strung woman that takes offense easily. I’m not overly girly in my speaking or mannerisms. I wear jeans and tennis shoes to work, just like any of the other guys.

But I’ve been having this strange awakening lately. It’s come partially from interacting with more female coworkers and partially from reading…

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Hello, Gorgeous!

Hello, Gorgeous!

This pattern, with a few slight modifications, will be the foundation of my Fall/Winter “Best” Dress for Meet Laura Ingalls Wilder presentations. The fabric and notions are chosen, and now comes the long process of muslin mock-ups and several rounds of decision-making. On tap: sleeve volume, cuff width, belt and collar dimensions, “one petticoat, or two?” and “which hat frame will make the best icing on the cake?” I already am in love with it, and have indulged in enough extra yardage to make a special modern-day piece to wear when I’m not portraying Mrs. Wilder. Debut scheduled for September, 2014, but sneak previews will be forthcoming along the way.

Ignorance and Arrogance

Melanie S.:

I once had a debate with a classmate over William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. He said Innocence and Ignorance are exactly the same thing. I said they were nuanced and distinct from each other despite sharing similar features; that is, they are two separate states of being. Over at My Bright Spots blog, the writer poses the question of whether Ignorance and Arrogance are two sides of the same coin, or whether Arrogance is a “special” kind of Ignorance. I wonder what Laura Ingalls Wilder would say? Please read the reblog here, and my next entry will cite LIW’s thoughts on this intriguing question. Let me know your thoughts, too…

Originally posted on mybrightspots:

We took our kids, aged 13, 10, and 5, backpacking in the Grand Canyon this past week. The older two carried backpacks with all their own personal gear plus some crew gear. Hal carried his sleeping bag, a few snacks, and a small bottle of water. It was my husband’s and my fourth trip into the Big Ditch, our kids’ first.

I have several blog posts planned about our trip, but for whatever reason, the inspiration to write has been migrating backwards from the end of the trip to the beginning. So while I have three posts ready to go, I can’t run them until I get the ones that belong before them written. Plus, I’ll be a guest blogger on another blog tomorrow – a first for me! – and I don’t want to break up the Grand Canyon series. So I’m holding off. Ironically, the guest post is…

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In the Kitchen With Laura Project February 2014

Melanie S.:

Here is a wonderful tutorial about the parts and use of a late 19th century cookstove, by my friend Sarah Utoff. Sarah is a librarian, historian, interpreter, blogger, and the owner of Trundlebed Tales. She has been presenting about living history, one-room schoolhouses, and Laura Ingalls Wilder for many years, and she is currently the acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

This the second in my series of monthly projects that I hope will get you excited about In the Kitchen With Laura. I want to thank my friend Susan Odom of Hillside Homestead (a 19th century immersion  experience bed and breakfast in Michigan) for the use of the photos I edited in this post. Most kitchens are organized so it’s hard to get a nice clear shot of the stove, but luckily hers isn’t. Odom gave me this additional information about her stove: “It is a Round Oak Range by the Round Oak Company of Dowagiac, Michigan. It is the style R9-20. and it was manufactured likely in 1908 or 1909. I don’t know what the R stands for, but the 9 is for the burner plants that are 9 inches in a diameter and the oven is 20 wide. and another there is a cool musem in Dowagiac that…

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