Remember your favorite museums on Giving Tuesday

It’s that time of year when everyone wants something, and, in turn, everyone feels obligated to buy, spend, acquire, wrap, send, deliver, bake, host, feed, comfort…WHEW! That’s a lot of work. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

But, here’s an idea: in lieu of buying useless junk for the people in your life who already have whatever they could possibly need, keep it simple. Take the money you’d normally spend on joke gifts and ugly ties and, instead, donate some of it to your favorite places. Museums and charitable organizations that focus on the human experience are a fantastic place to start!

And, when you need a creative gift for someone who perhaps doesn’t get out much but loves exploring new places, why not offer a gift certificate or membership to a place you already love, and you just know they’d love too?

Museums in particular are often overlooked in charitable giving, but they are exactly the kind of institution where donors can see the good their dollars are doing. When you give to a museum, you see the new coat of paint or the upgraded security system or the climate-controlled display cases that your money helps to buy. But that’s not all. Museums give so much back to their patrons, in the form of unique experiences.

Museums offer respite from stressful daily routines, and provide a calm, go-at-your-own-pace learning environment. Museums allow the visitor to experience incredible art, ideas, and events from our collective past, and frequently offer a window to the potential of our collective future. Museums offer demonstrations of lost skills, and hands-on classes to explore your own artistic ability. Museums bring great thinkers and creators to a wide range of audiences who might otherwise never get the chance to ask a pointed question of an expert in their chosen field. Museums give everyone a chance to discover new things on their own terms and in their own time. But most of all, museums give us so much for so little of our hard-earned money. And they do it with a smile.

Think about it; where else but at a museum can you see priceless artifacts for a little pocket change? Or, in many cases, for free? Where else but in museums can you spend an entire day staring at the same object, painting, or manuscript without anyone disturbing your concentration? Where else can you spend the day or week contemplating the same re-constructed dinosaur or investigating the contents of an original homesteader shanty without anyone questioning your sanity?

You guessed it! At your favorite museum.

So why not take a little time today, on Giving Tuesday, to say thanks to all your favorite venues that welcome you all day, all season (or all year) for just the price of a latte or a single taxi fare?

Most of these beautiful repositories of history and art receive little if any grant funding, and no tax dollars at all. That’s right, NO TAXPAYER SUPPORT. Yet a lot of them let you in the doors for free, or almost free, admission. Most of the employees are working at or just a bit above minimum wage, yet a large percentage of them have a Master’s degree or PhD–or more! These are experts in their field, with a vast wealth of knowledge and skill, yet they work for virtual peanuts. And most museums are also heavily dependent upon the generosity and hard work (for no pay!) of volunteers and interns. Think about it: how much does it cost to have a nice meal out at your favorite restaurant? How much for that entrance fee for ONE DAY at Disney? Can you spare little for your favorite nerdy getaway?

Here are some suggestions:

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Association/ Almanzo Wilder Farm, Burke, NY:

http://www.almanzowilderfarm.com/join.htm

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Tourist Center, Walnut Grove, MN:

http://walnutgrove.org/store/page17.html

Little House on the Prairie Museum, Independence, Kansas:

http://littlehouseontheprairiemuseum.com/Little_House_on_the_Prairie_Museum/Support_LHOPM_This_Winter.html

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum, Burr Oak, IA:

http://www.lauraingallswilder.us/membership/

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Pepin, WI:

http://lauraingallspepin.com/a-special-message

Spring Valley Methodist Church Museum, Spring Valley, MN:

http://www.springvalleymnmuseum.org/wilderinfo.html

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum, (aka Rocky Ridge Farm) Mansfield, MO:i

http://www.lauraingallswilderhome.com

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, DeSmet, SD:

http://www.discoverlaura.org/donation.html

Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA:
http://www.osv.org

https://www.osv.org/donations

Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, NY:
http://www.gcv.org

https://www.gcv.org/Support/Donations

The Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, Grand Island, NE:

http://www.stuhrmuseum.org/give/annual-fund-drive/

Keystone Historical Society, Keystone, SD:

http://www.keystonehistory.com/contactus.html

Historical Society of Cheshire County, Keene, NH:

http://hsccnh.org/join-support/donate-now/

American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA:

http://www.americanantiquarian.org/support.htm

Mark Twain House, Hartford, CT:

https://www.marktwainhouse.org/support/support_us.php

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, CT:

https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/support/

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Concord, MA:

http://www.louisamayalcott.org/contribute.html

…Oh, and, let’s not forget the academic organization that honors every aspect of Laura, and brings us together every few years for the one and only LauraPalooza:
Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association (LIWLRA):

http://beyondlittlehouse.com/about-2/join/

…just to name a few. Feel free to add your suggestions, below!

Thanks for reading, and thanks for keeping the doors of your favorite institutions open with your generous contributions. Together, we can all help these happy places stay alive, and thrive!

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Pioneer Girl Still Available

Melanie:

The Annotated PIONEER GIRL has been in so much demand since its 17 November 2014 release that the stock of the first printing is already running low. The Pioneer Girl Project blog explains, and offers that a second printing is already in the works:

Originally posted on The Pioneer Girl Project:

On November 17, the South Dakota Historical Society Press began shipping Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. Since that time, enthusiastic reviews in places such as Foreword Reviews, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times have helped to make the book highly in demand. Already we are near the end of our stock from the first printing.

If you would like to buy a copy of Pioneer Girl, we encourage you to order as soon as possible, and while we cannot guarantee pre-Christmas delivery using our normal media mail rate, you can call us at (605) 773-6009 to arrange first-class shipping. Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

In addition, we would like to announce that a second printing is in the works.  We promise that Pioneer Girl will be in print as long as readers want to explore…

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From Cup to Curl: How to Get Fabulous Historical Hair Using Straws

Melanie:

One of my favorite bloggers, Liz, at The Pragmatic Costumer, has posted another fabulous installment about historic hairstyles. This time, the subject is all manner of curls:

Originally posted on The Pragmatic Costumer:

Big Hair was a Big Deal Long Before Dallas and Dolly Parton!

Those of you that browse my rambling frequently are well aware that I am hair illiterate. Indeed, I know next to nothing about taming my crispy, unruly mane. Yet, I am slowly teaching myself a few tricks here and there, and the internet has been a boon for my boring locks.

As a strong adherent to the old cliche that “every curly-haired girl wants straight hair and every straight-haired girl wants curls,” I have dreamed of lovely curls since childhood. When I was very young, my mother had tightly permed 1980s poodle hair (her words, not mine!), and I remember playing with her pink plastic hair pick, pretending I had a perm that needed fluffing, too. I am infinitely envious of those glamorous 1980s superstars like Bernadette Peters and Whitney Houston who had curls so luscious no scrunchie…

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Pioneer Girl is out!

Melanie:

Without further delay…PIONEER GIRL is here! (…and it’s Annotated…) Let the rousing discussions, debates, and reactions of knee-jerk-disbelief begin!

Originally posted on The Pioneer Girl Project:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThank you to everyone who pre-ordered Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography from the South Dakota Historical Society Press. We are glad to say that the books will be arriving on your doorsteps in the next few days.

On Friday, November 14, the long-awaited Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography made it safely to our warehouse. As pallets of boxes were brought off the semitrailer, sod-house-like structures began to form and Press staffers Lisa Nold and Rodger Hartley quickly lost their sense of time and place.

However, they soon gathered themselves in preparation for the big sendoff beginning DSCF0259November 17.  That Monday, as if jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself were looking over our shoulders, box upon box was packed with care to be sent off across North America. The project of packing pallets to be shipped to our national and international distributors and bookstores had also begun. Boxes were hauled from one…

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Slate reviews the long-awaited publication of Pioneer Girl.

In anticipation of the (Finally!) soon-to-be-released Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s circa 1928-30 memoir-cum-manuscript which became the basis for her “Little House” children’s series, Slate has offered the following glowing review of the long-awaited publication, edited and annotated by a team from South Dakota State Historical Society Press, spearheaded by recent Wilder biographer Pamela Smith Hill.

In 2010, Hill was a featured speaker at the first academic conference of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association (lovingly known as “LauraPalooza”: go to http://www.beyondlittlehouse.com for information about the upcoming conference in Brookings, South Dakota, July 2015). She is particularly known as the author of 2007’s insightful Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life. Hill has spent the last several years combing through archives and artifacts of various Wilder homesite museums, state archives, Wilder’s papers at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, and compiling some details from the research of a bevy of additional sources, including several independent researchers’ previous publications.

In addition, Hill is currently teaching the first-ever open-access online college course devoted solely to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Offered via Missouri State University and the Canvas Network, and entitled Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring her Work and Writing Life, the 8-week course was offered free of charge and attracted thousands of enrollees; it concludes 1 December 2014.

Pioneer Girl is currently available via pre-order from South Dakota State Historical Society Press (www.pioneergirlproject.org) and the various homesite museums devoted to preservation of Wilder’s legacy, including:

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Tourist Center, Walnut Grove, Minnesota:
(www.walnutgrove.org/store/
or call 888-528-7298)

and
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, De Smet, South Dakota: (www.discoverlaura.org).

I ask that, as fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder, you remember that where you make your purchase matters. Your purchase made directly through these museum and archive outlets will benefit the museums and archives most directly related to the Wilder legacy; purchases from the giant corporate behemoth retailers do not. So, if you want to make certain your purchase will benefit the places which protect the integrity, conservation, and very survival of the vast collections of Wilder papers and artifacts, please purchase directly from one of the Wilder homesites or the SDSHS Press.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2014/11/little_house_nonfiction_laura_ingalls_wilder_s_memoir_pioneer_girl_reviewed.2.html

Lovely Limbs: Modern Stockings with Historical Style

Melanie:

The Pragmatic Costumer has done it again! This time, Liz explores her love for centuries of embellished stockings…and I have a new favorite place to shop!

Originally posted on The Pragmatic Costumer:

Completely Hosed on Hose

Some women are obsessed with shoes. I love them, too, but my love affair with shoes is more practical than fantastical. My love of stockings, however, has grown exponentially over the years. Not only are they fun, they completely alter the way shoes fit. A shoe that is too big or even too small becomes much more comfortable with the right stocking. Keeping you warm as the weather turns chilly is a huge bonus as well.

Kittens and tea also help greatly.

When I talk about stockings, I don’t mean our modern idea of stockings– the sheer, skin tone nylons or the cutesy sock-shapes we hang up at Christmastime. Though they are both rooted in historical stockings, they are like the two seperated halves of the stocking story. Stockings in the past were knit or sewn, and while silk can be made very sheer, our ancestors…

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Discovering Almanzo Wilder: Rachel McMillan Guest Blogs

Melanie:

Newly-minted Laura fan Rachel McMillan guest posts on blog of longtime Laurati, Melanie J Fishbane. Obsession with the Manly One ensues:

Originally posted on Melanie J. Fishbane:

Rachel McMillan and I met through social media. We’ve travelled in the same circles for a number of years, but didn’t physically meet until this past summer when I finally was like, “Dude, you write, I write. We like the same things. We should have food and drink together”–although I probably didn’t use “dude” but I’m sure she would approve.

Since then we’ve explored Niagara on the Lake, Leaskdale, and Norval, and talked about Maud, Dean Priest, and–yes–Almanzo Wilder. Watching Rachel discuss re-reading the Little House series on Facebook and then falling in love with Almanzo Wilder was not only delightful, it also reminded me of my past posts on the subject and what I hope to discuss this summer in Laurapalooza (if they love my proposal enough and if the money all comes together.)

daisy and rachelRachel  works in Educational publishing in Toronto. She is an aspiring author and spends a lot of…

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