Monday, December 31, 2012

Season 3 episode 6: Journey in the spring

day 6

This is the episode where Charles brings his Pa back to their house in Walnut Grove after Charles' Ma dies.

This one's a 2-parter, so the synopsis will be rather long.
The episode begins with Lansford Ingalls (Charles' pa) and Charles' Ma Laura receiving a letter from Charles Ingalls, inviting them to come and stay in Walnut Grove with them. That day Charles' Ma passes away. When Charles Ingalls receives that letter, he decides to go and get his pa. After a couple days of persuading, and one suicide attempt on the part of Mr. Ingalls, Sr., Lansford is finally convinced by Charles to come back to Walnut Grove. When he meets Laura Ingalls Jr, he is elated to discover that she is just like his wife was. Later, however, sadness strikes. While Laura is showing off her horse to her grandfather, she charges him through a barbed wire fence. Bunny has to be shot, which breaks Laura's heart, not only because she loved Bunny, but because Lansford had promised that Bunny would be well again and that Charles would not hurt Bunny. Bitterness stays between Laura and her Pa until the next day, when the family returns from a picnic to find that Lansford (who had decided to stay home so that he would not get between Laura and her Pa) has run off. The next day, after a hard night of searching, they awaken to find that Laura and their Christmas money (upwards of 4 dollars) were gone. Laura has gone to the Springfield train station to try and find her grandpa, who had been found lying by the railroad tracks after trying to get into a boxcar on a freight train the night before. When Lansford refuses to go back to Walnut Grove, Laura starts to buy a ticket to Boston, but is stopped by her grandfather, who finally agrees to go to her house and stay until Winter is over.

Doc Baker looks grim: NO
Pa broke a bone: NO
Somebody cries: YES ( Laura x2, Lansford)
Pa cries:YES (x 6, because his ma died)
 Crop failure: NO (but Charles wrote about 'unless we have crop failure' to his Pa, so IT IS COMING.)
 Runaway Wagon: NO
"Oh, Pa!": YES (Please don't shoot bunny!)
Pa punches someone; someone punches Pa: NO
Reality Check: NO
Mr. Olsen bullies Mrs. Olsen into behaving like a human being: NO
Unexplained absence of a main character: NO 
My personal feelings about this episode:
This is a very sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad SAD SAD SAD SAD episode for me as a horse lover. I have loved these things since I was two, and I cried my guts out when Bunny died. I had to have my mom hold my hand and hide the screen. YES I KNOW I AM A TOTAL BABY AND YOU KNOW WHAT I DON'T CARE. (-:

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another craft project completed.

Yesterday I started fabric cutting on cloth that I got 3 years ago for the purpose of making a tote bag. This morning, during 'The Empire Strikes Back'  I pinned and did the final cutting. Then I started sewing. I started at ten-ish and, after quite a few interruptions, I finished at 3:15. I was really surprised by how quickly this went and how nice it came out. Here are some pics:
Here it is, by itself.

 Just a little close-up of the SO-CUTE cloth
I used some of my Mom's old muslin to line it and make pockets.

< here I am holding it up to give you some perspective on the size.

Season 3 episode 5: The Monster Of Walnut Grove

Day 5
This is the Halloween special.

The episode begins with Laura telling the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman to her little sister Carrie. The two oldest girls leave for soaping the Olsen's windows right after that. Laura goes around the corner from Mary in order too get to windows without soap already on them. While she is away from her sister, Laura sees Mr. Olsen and hears Mrs. Olsen fighting over the budget and whether the sword that Mr. Olsen had bought was real or not. In his anger, Mr. Olsen appears to chop off Mrs. Olsen's head with his sword. When Laura tells Mary, her Ma, and her Pa, none of them believe her. She decides to walk to school with her friend Carl, whom she is distressed to find does not believe her, either. Throughout a series of circumstances, Carl, Laura, Willie, and Nellie are all briefly (but extremely - They think they saw Mr. Olsen carry away the body in a black bag [ he was carrying off a new dummy]) convinced that Mrs. Olsen is dead. Then Nellie and Willie find out the truth - that Mr. Olsen cut the head off a dress maker's dummy - and decide to use it to their advantage. Willie tells Carl and Laura that he heard his father digging in his cellar and that he found an apron covered in blood (really, it was red sauce) in his kitchen. He asks them to come to his house to go in the cellar with him, where Nellie is waiting to play a ghost. The trick goes very well for Nellie and Willie, in fact, it went even better than they imagined, for Carl and Laura, coming out of the cellar, saw a rather haunting Mrs. Olsen standing outside the house looking in. Later, after having the truth told to them by a rather startled Mr. Olsen, they drop the dressmaker's dummy's head down  into the cellar with Nellie and Willie, which frightens them both very much. The closing shot is of the Headless Horseman galloping through Walnut Grove.

This was a very boring episode for the Trope Tracker (literally, NOTHING ON IT HAPPENED), and, other than the whole ghosts-are-fake and Mr.Olsen-is-way-too-nice kinds of things, there wasn't really a thing for Reality Check. Sigh.

Quote Of The Episode:
"I'm afraid of feet" Carrie Ingalls.

My Personal Feelings about this episode
Well, my feelings about this episode now are way different than my feelings about it when I watched it for the first time in the ER when I was six. Then I was scared out of my skin. Especially in the nightmare scenes. Really, I was terrified by this episode. But now, on the other hand, I kind of laugh at this episode. Their attempt at making this a short movie that would scare a ten-year-old is kind of weak, and it makes me laugh. I am sorry if anybody who reads this is genuinely scared by this episode.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: Where I Belong, Gwendolyn Heasley

Where I Belong, by Gwendolyn Heasley, is about 16-year-old Corrinne Corcoran, who lives every girl's dream in New York. But all her happiness is supposedly ruined when her father gets laid off, so she and her brother have to go to Broken Spoke, Texas, to live with her grandparents.

I started this book because I thought it would be a good book about a city girl who adapts to country life, but it really is not a very good book and I didn't like it. I mean, she always talk about wanting to go to bars where they don't card so that she can get drunk with her friends, she lusts after a cowboy who is a rock star and doesn't realize that he is not a good boy for her to be with, she disrespects her grandparents, and there are a couple S and D words. She actually hates her mother and flips the bird at other people quite a few times. She worries too much about calories, whether 'cute' or 'hot' boys like her, and she disses her best friend and her parents and grandparents a bit too much for my taste, and she just makes me a  little sick how she constantly talks back to others and she talks too much mess about the country life (like Sonic being a big deal. Hello, if we had a Sonic where I live I would be talking about it to all the new people!) for my taste. On the one bright-ish side, later in the book, she is a little changed and doesn't want the punky, whining cowboy who works with her in the barns, to like her anymore (although that is mostly because she thinks he is cheating on her with her friend Waverly). Overall, I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 14, mostly because of some of the bad values and morals that Corrinne's story encourages. Sorry if  I have offended anyone who likes this book.

Season 3 episode 4 -- The Race

Day 4

This is the one where Laura and Nellie race in the 3rd annual Hero Township horse Race.

This episode begins with Laura's horse Bunny throwing a shoe while she is exercising him for the Big Race in two weeks. When she goes to get him re-shod she finds out that - even at Mr. Dorlfer's lowest price - it would cost an amount of money that she could not possibly afford, because her family can't even afford to get their own children's shoes. The next day, however, Laura asks Mr. Dorfler if she can work for him to pay it off. While she is working, Nellie and Willie come in chanting 'Laura smells like a dirty horse' but she deals with that by covering them both in poopy straw. After a breakdown at her dinner table, Nellie says that she wants a new horse. So her disgustingly doting mother goes to Minneapolis to buy her a thoroughbred horse. After a very inexperienced test ride, she picks a very pretty bay horse, named Sparks. There is a lot of drama about how Nellie will lose because of her extra weight, so Willie is going to race, but Willie eats 6 candied apples so Nellie has to race, but Bunny just ran a long ways very fast, so Nellie will win, but Bunny is a natural-born competitor, so Laura will win.... In the end, Bunny wins the race, but Laura gives Mrs. Olsen the cup back, so Nels makes Mrs. Olsen give them new shoes.

LHOP Trope Tracker

Doc Baker looks grim: NO
Pa broke a bone: NO
Somebody cries: YES ( Laura, Mrs. Olsen, Nellie)
Pa cries:YES (When Laura wins the race
 Crop failure: NO
 Runaway Wagon: NO
"Oh, Pa!": YES (Bunny can't possibly race!)
Pa punches someone; someone punches Pa: NO (Laura came very close to punching Nellie)
Reality Check: Only about one in a million horses could possibly run about five miles going maximum speed and then sprint two miles and win a race without ever getting passed by a well-exercised Thoroughbred, even if his load is 5 lbs lighter.
Mr. Olsen bullies Mrs. Olsen into behaving like a human being: YES
Unexplained absence of a main character: NO   

Quote Of The Episode:
OK, Willie and Nellie have just walked into the barn chanting 'Laura Smells Like A Dirty Horse'. Laura pitches hay onto them. Laura:
 "Don't We All?"

My Personal Thoughts About this Episode:
Um... I like this episode because it has horses in it... and also, Mrs. Olsen gets bullied out of being a bully, but it is a little tiny bit crazy... There is a recurring thing on this show where once there is a streak of things being nice, they are all the way nice. Like in the race, Bunny never gets passed, even though he just ran a five-mile stretch at top speed about half an hour ago (That sort of thing would be good in real life, but it never hardly ever happens). 

Season 3 episode 3 - Bunny

Day 3

This is the episode where Nellie mistreats Bunny and gets in an accident and over exaggerates her pain. Or rather, her not pain.

In the beginning of this episode Laura picks an apple and gives it to Nellie's horse, Bunny (it used to be Laura's). Later, Nellie is riding Bunny and mistreating him badly, so bunny takes off running. He goes under a branch that whacks Nellie in the face, causing her to fall off of the horse and have a bloody nose and a small concussion. She pretends to be paralyzed in her legs. Her mother orders the horse to be shot, so Laura steals him to her house. To make up for what she thought was her part in the accident, she does all of Nellie's homework for her, sacrificing her own grades. After school one day, eleven-year-old Laura makes a "date" with 12-year-old Jason, whom Nellie and Laura have fought over for a long time. Nellie witnesses this and tells Laura that she will hate anybody who ever ever 'shines up to' Jason, so Laura doesn't show up to go fishing with Jason, which makes him mad (oh, the horrible suspense! Will they make up, or will they forever be crushed souls who used to be friends? [for the words 'boyfriend and girlfriend' are far to strong for this])  Later, when Mrs. Olsen is thanking Mr. Ingalls for the wheelchair he fixed for Nellie, she sees that Laura has Bunny in her barn. Laura makes a run for it - straight to the Olsen house, where she witnesses Nellie standing up, and takes her for a ride in her wheelchair up to the top of a hill over a pond. When she sees mrs. Olsen go by on the road below, she pushes Nellie down the hill into the pond, forcing her to stand up. Mrs. Olsen faints and falls on her head, and Laura gets Bunny back.

LHOP Trope Tracker

Doc Baker looks grim: Yes
Pa broke a bone: NO
Somebody cries: YES ( Laura [x2], Mrs. Olsen)
Pa cries: NO (Almost, though. He almost cried of laughter when Mrs. Olsen fainted and fell on her head.)
Crop failure: NO
 Runaway Wagon: NO
"Oh, Pa!": YES (Please don't make me go in there!)
Pa punches someone; someone punches Pa: NO (Laura came close to punching Nellie)
Reality Check: Laura could have seriously injured Mrs. Olsen or Nellie (I wouldn't have cared. I would have laughed. But.) and she got in zero trouble. 
Unexplained absence of a main character: NO

Quote of The Episode:
Laura Ingalls: "Would I ever lie to you, Nellie?" Yes. Yes she would.

My Personal Feelings about this episode:
HA HA HA HA HA!!!! This is one of the FUNNIEST EPISODES EVER. But I do have mixed emotions about it because I first saw it years ago when I was about six in the Emergency Room waiting room at ten o'clock at night when my dad needed stitches in his wrist. But it still makes me laugh SO MUCH!! It must have been so satisfying to Laura to push that chair down the hill.... Excuse me, I have to go laugh, and I don't want to shatter the computer screen.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Season 3 episode 2 -- I'll Ride the Wind

 Day 2
This is the episode where John Jr. (Grace & Isaiah Edwards' adopted son) engages himself to a thirteen year old and receives a college scholarship.
OK, so this episode starts out with John Jr. and Mr. Edwards in a field pitching hay. He meets Mary and finds out that he has been offered a scholarship at the University in Chicago. Claiming that he is now a man, he asks 13-year-old Mary to marry him, and she accepts. When he goes to visit Mary, her Pa keeps trying to get a 'talk' with him, but John always gets off to talk to Mary. Because Mary is upset that Johnny will be gone for 4 years although he comforts her that they will still see each other twice a year, he makes the decision to not accept the scholarship, which makes Mrs. Edwards very mad, but Mr. Edwards (and, at first, Mary) very happy. Soon they start construction on their house. One day, a sobbing Mary has the realization that John would be much happier at the University, and after another bout of sobbing, she bids him farewell on the train platform.

LHOP (sadly not Little House Of Pancakes) Trope Tracker for This Episode:

Generic Neighbor House used: NO
Doc Baker tries to heal dog: NO (in fact most of the townspeople weren't even there, and  I kind of missed them. All except the Olsens. Whom I never miss.)
Pa broke a bone: NO (surprisingly, because there was house building going on)
Somebody cries: YES (Mary [x2] MEGA monologue cries)
Pa cries: NO
Crop failure: NO (But they were planting a crop, so you know crop failure is coming!)
Runaway Wagon: NO
"Oh, Pa!": YES (Mary, for once)
Pa punches someone; someone punches Pa: NO (But it looked like it might go that way with J.Jr.!)
Thing that TOTALLY would not fly today that miraculously flew in the 70s: YES (Thirteen-year-old girl [Mary] gets engaged to a fifteen-year-old boy and the parents are fine and happy. SO CREEPY!!!!)
Unexplained absence of a main character: NO

Quote Of The Episode:
"Well, boy, she's here, she's yours, and you can go to work on her tomorrow!" ~ Mr. Edwards, talking about land, with his fifteen-year-old son and his (son's) thirteen-year-old fiancee in a strong embrace.

My Personal Thoughts About This Episode:
This is one of the creepiest episodes of all time. Wait. There are seven or eight more seasons to go. Maybe I shouldn't say that yet. But anyway, it's especially creepy for me, as a thirteen year old girl, to think of all the fifteen-year-old boys in my acquaintance and picturing myself setting up house with any one of them... ughhhhh! This is what happens when producers want a show to have a certain story, when the show  has no proper fitting characters for that story (Because this episode would have been kind of touching if Mary had been 16 or 18). The result can be very very creepy or very random.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Season 3 episode 1: The Collection

(I am starting with Season 3 because I got it for Christmas yesterday and I haven't watched it in a while, whereas I watch season one all the time. I will finish the series from here and circle back and do the less-ridiculous first two at the end.)

This is the one where:
Caleb Hotchkiss (Johnny Cash) attempts to rip off Walnut Grove by posing as a preacher and collecting 'donations for Gray's Corners'.

This show is over thirty years old and I am going to spoil the heck out of it. If you can even call that spoiling.
Caleb finds Reverend Alden sick in a wagon speeding down the road (Classic Little House moment). He later finds out that Rev. Alden was on his way to Walnut Grove to collect donations for the people of Gray's Corners who had recently suffered a very large fire and crop failure, and he volunteers to collect instead, but his intentions are to steal from everybody in the town for his own personal gain. He takes the Reverend's clothes, hat, and engraved watch. Later in the episode, after Caleb is pretty much reformed by his own (at first forced) kindness to and praying for other people, his greatly pressured wife (played by June Carter Cash, Johnny's real wife) reveals his scheme to the Reverend. In the end, Caleb is reformed in front of the entire congregation, and the donations go to the place for which they were originally intended.

LHOP (sadly not Little House Of Pancakes) Trope Tracker for This Episode:

Generic Neighbor House used: YES (Peabody sisters)
Doc Baker tries to heal dog: YES (Edwards' pup)
Guest Star sings: YES (But I'm glad, 'cause it's Johnny Cash)
Pa broke a bone: NO (surprisingly)
Somebody cries: YES (Mrs. Hotchkiss)
Pa cries: NO
Crop failure: YES
Runaway Wagon: YES
"Villain" reformed by kindness: YES
"Oh, Pa!": NO
Pa punches someone; someone punches Pa: NO
Comforting crackpot theology: YES. (Caleb tells Alicia that her dog will go to heaven, but only after they bury him.)
Thing that TOTALLY would not fly today that miraculously flew in the 70s: YES (Preteen girl [Mary] gets on a horse w/ total stranger to take him to her house [STRANGER DANGER!])
Unexplained absence of a main character: NO

My actual feelings about this episode:
This is a hard one for me to pick on. It actually gets me a little choked up, to watch this and think about Johnny Cash's song 'Hurt'. (If you haven't seen its video, now is the time. It's embedded below.)