Archive for February 2011

Shownotes – Red Riding Hood Minicast

Posted 27 February 2011 by
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What big eyes you have!

The better to see you with…

What big ears you have!

The better to listen to this Little Red Riding Hood mini-cast with!

(Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Little Red Riding Hood by Annie Rodrigue (used with permission) We LOVE this illustration!!

For this minicast, we talk about the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood.  Oral history puts the origins way back in the 14th century Europe. Some versions starred werewolves, some with ogres or wolves, but similar tales of a little girl fooled  and led to a dire situation by a masculine animal creature were common throughtout rural Italy and France.

<em> <strong>(Click here for more fabulous shownotes!)</strong> </em>!

Surprise! Bonus minicast is coming soon!

Posted 26 February 2011 by
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We just couldn’t wait. We were all inspired by last week’s subject – and though this one has very little to do with history, per se… it is a nice companion piece to tide us all over until next week.

Here is a clue:

Not for a million dollars, my friend.

Episode 3: Cinderella

Posted 21 February 2011 by
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Once upon a time, in ancient Egypt, a princess was born. But before her happily ever after, she had to live a challenging life of servitude, duty, and a deep belief in her own character. The long life of the woman that we discuss in this episode not only crosses cultural, territorial and social lines but in terms of fashion, she has quite a shoe collection to help her dance through all time.




True Love!


Surely, you see why we picked this woman as our first fictional character?

Cinderella, the iconic persecuted heroine, began life as the oral tale of Rhodopis, in ancient Egypt about 500 BC. Given her nickname for the color her fair skinned cheeks turned in the desert sun, she was a Greek slave brought to Egypt in this rags to riches tale. Her special rose colored dance slippers were given to her by her Master, and spirited away by the god Horus, in the form of a falcon, to be deposited in the lap of Pharaoh, her future groom.

<em> <strong>(Click here for more fabulous shownotes!)</strong> </em>!

Episode 3 – Cinderella (Audio)

Posted 21 February 2011 by
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Episode 3 – Cinderella

Episode 3 Clue

Posted 18 February 2011 by
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This one is very very tricky...

Little House Minicast – Shownotes

Posted 15 February 2011 by
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We try to keep the podcasts to an hour, and well…we got rather chatty about Laura Ingalls Wilder and didn’t cover all of the Little House Books in review. So, during this mini-cast we finish the final three books of the series. Beginning with Little Town On The Prairie, and ending with The First Four Years – which was published, unedited, posthumously in 1971.

In addition to the brief book summaries, and several tangents, we got so involved  talking about oranges that we forgot to mention the SECOND major thing that happened to Laura on the day of Ben Woodworth’s party – she experienced electricity for the very first time! Was, in fact, ZAPPED, by it – not sounding too fun from over here.  Here is a machine from about fifteen years after this party – when you got to PAY for your torture- er, curing what ails you.

Ow. Ow. Ow. Wonder why you don’t see these around anymore?

Because we just can’t drop the oranges, here is another tidbit:  Laura  had mentioned having an orange just once before this: At the church Christmas tree in Walnut Grove, each child received a little bag of popcorn with an orange at the bottom. However, this was edited out of the final manuscript!

Often times  we are so organic in our discussions, we like to have the chance to clarify, you know, round out the information. For instance, Nellie Oleson was a completely fictional character based on three separate “mean girls” from Laura’s childhood:

  1. Nellie Owens was, in fact, from Walnut Grove, had a brother named Willie, and her parents ran the mercantile.
  2. Genevieve Masters took over the nastiness in DeSmet – she’s the one who boasted about having come from “Back East” and who made friends with “Lazy Lousy” Eliza Jane Wilder.
  3. Stella Gilbert’s role was rather innocuous – she wasn’t mean to Laura, but did pursue Almanzo at the same time that he and Laura were courting. Innocent Almanzo felt sorry for her and invited her to buggy ride with Laura, thinking that they were friends. Au Contraire, Almanzo!!

When asked by children after the books were published “What happened to Nellie,” Laura often referred to Genevieve Masters’ move back East and her early death from pneumonia – so we’re going to give the “Nellie Oleson” title to Ms. Masters… but how much of the bad behavior was based in fact, there’s just no way to know.

Our parting advice: Be nice to your elementary school friends, kids! You never know who just might write a book!

As always, music for our podcast comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at

Episode 2 – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Posted 7 February 2011 by
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Channel your inner pioneer. Think tall plains grasses, humble and hardworking people who knew what it meant to carve a life out of the rugged terrain.  The woman we talk about this week is remembered for romanticizing her childhood and for sporting a really, sweet bonnet. But her reality was not all about fiddle playing and homesteading- it was a difficult life. One that was full of failure, and some controversy, on the road to literary success .

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867, the second child of Charles and Caroline. Her childhood began in Wisconsin and then took off as the family was led by her Pa’s roaming spirit around the then just establishing Midwestern states. It was a hard life  of danger and self-reliance, but also an exciting life of new frontiers and conquering the unknown.

The history of Laura’s early life is outlined in the beloved nine-book, Little House series. One of the books, Farmer Boy, is a recounting of the early years of her husband, Almonzo Wilder. The last book in the series , The First Four Years,  gives an idea of what early married life was like for the couple. But these books are fictionalized accounts written for children. They talk of the hardships of the times in a most simple fashion, and major heartache is omitted entirely.

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Episode 2 – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Posted 7 February 2011 by
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Episode 2 – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Episode 2 Clue:

Posted 7 February 2011 by
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An unbelievably dear and historic location!