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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Questions, Answers

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was willing to answer any and all questions. I was expecting more design related questions, but it seems that the majority of you wanted to know if I am related to this woman:

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The simple answer is "Yes." The more interesting answer is my great great grandfather, Lansford "James" Ingalls and Charles (Pa) were brothers. My dear friend, Miss Sandy from Quill Cottage, created an entire series of posts on LIW in June of 2008. You can find the "I Remember Laura" series in her blog archives. It covers all things LIW and will also let you know why I occasionally dress up like this:

Other burning questions had to do with school. Such as "Why am I 40 years old and in college?" and "What classes am I taking?" The shortest answer I can come up with is: Due to life circumstances I began supporting myself when I was 17 years old. I worked very hard to keep a roof over my head and took classes only if and when time and my finances allowed. My dream of becoming a college graduate became even harder to achieve once I became a mother and then of course I lived overseas for several years. (But I would never trade that time, because truthfully I learned more while traveling than I ever have sitting in a classroom.) Mr. Decor likes to tell people that I have a PhD in life experience. While that may be true, I have never given up on my dream and fully believe in this George Eliot quote:

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

Because of this I just spent the past semester totally torturing myself with College Algebra and Marine Biology. I am taking the summer off to be with my kiddos and Fall will see me enrolled in three classes. When will I graduate? I don't know. But rest assured that when I do, there will be one heck of a party.

Another question I often get asked is "Why don't I show my blog awards?" and "Why don't I specifically list certain blogs to further receive the awards?" I am always amazed and very deeply touched when someone bestows upon me a bloggy award. Most recently Robin's Blue Nest and Mary from Boogieboard Cottage presented me with the One Lovely Blog award. I am absolutely overwhelmed by your generosity ladies. Thank you. I never fail to be surprised when learning I have received such a special gift.

I imagine that I don't specifically bestow awards on other blogs because somewhere inside of me remains the girl who often was picked last. While some people would want to push this girl further and further down within themselves until she was forgotten, I like having her around. She makes sure that I never get to big for my britches. She reminds me that everyone on this earth has worth and matters. This girl thinks "Who am I to say that one blog is better than the next?" She would rather share the joy with everyone. So the girl below will always say, "Please share my award."

Lastly, I always get numerous comments on the amount of giveaways I host. Truthfully, it's totally selfish on my part. I receive tremendous joy in passing happiness onto others.
Blogging in and of itself can be quite impersonal (even anonymous). But to send or receive something in the mail is extremely personal. My blog readership continues to grow and grow and grow, and this totally blows my mind. By having a giveaway every now and again allows me to keep a personal touch on my blog. It is a small way of conveying my thanks and letting you know that I appreciate you, since I often can't respond to each individual comment.

Be blessed my friends and keep the questions coming.


Carrie said...

Wonderful post!

What a neat family to be a part of -- Ingalls.

Best of luck with your schooling.

The Cookie Girl said...

It is wonderful to read more about you. How awesome is are related to LIW
My sister and I were named after Laura and Carrie. Was Carrie really LIW's sister or was that for the movies?
My sis is Laura of course.

Linda said...

Oh Laura, Thank you so much for writing all of this! For a long time now, I had been wondering about your relation to my favorite author and it's wonderful to read about your true connection. :) I enjoyed the answers to the other questions as well ~ you're such a lovely person and I'm so glad to have met you here!

Also, I LOVE that quote and if you don't mind, I'm going to post on the sidebar of my blog as a reminder to myself and others that truly, it is NEVER too late.

I've been thinking about the giveaways, but I think I don't have enough readership yet on my blog in order to host such things. I was wondering how to get started in hosting an occasional giveaway.

Hope you are having a beautiful week. Your friend in Illinois, Linda

Blondie's Journal said...


You really show a lot of class. I hear you with the blog awards. Everyone works hard on their blogs, everyone is a winner. You had the foresight to see that. I applaud you. I also loved getting to know you a little better!!


Nancy said...

Laura, this was the most interesting post...thank you for sharing personal tidbits. I love that you're related to LIW; love that you're still schooling; and love what you said about awards. I could so relate to that girl who was picked last. Thanks!


Joy said...

Laura, what a lovely post! I truly loved reading all your answers. You are such a dear lady.

caren said...

I just found your blog and I must say I think it may become my favorite one! First of all I read your profile and I so admire your work with ovarian cancer. My Mom passed away of that horrible disease and my daughter and I have been raising money in various ways to donate.

How wonderful it must be for you to be related to LIW! What inspiration.

I will be back often!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

How awesome that you are related to LIW. I read all of those books growing up and loved the Little House show on TV. I'm proud of you for pursueing your dream of going to college. I guess the ones of us who went to college just take that for granted. I love that quote. I am adding it to my journal of quotes that I keep. Thanks for sharing with us about you! You are a very beautiful lady both inside and out! Love & blessings from NC!

Rue said...

Good morning Laura!

Finally!! I'm able to access your blog. I was so mad that I couldn't visit you... ugh.

I knew you were related, but I had no idea how closely. That's amazing! You were such a cute little girl and you grew up to be a beautiful woman, inside and out :)

Loved the bungalow posts!! The first one I could move right into LOL, but they're both darling.


Neabear said...

I was 45 when I got the degree to do what I am doing now. Took me seven years to get there and now I will have been in this career seven years in September! So you are right it is never too late.

Fun post!

Princess Of Pink said...

I too have always been wondering wether you are related to the wonderful LIW. How exciting, I have read all her books and still read them once in a while :)

Many hugs from Marian ♥

The French Bear said...

Lovely post, and so interesting, the connection.
I always dreamt that I could be in that little house, but I also dreamt I was going to dance on the Carol Burnet show too!!
I am a giver by nature too, I really want to have giveaways, it's just hard with everything I do, so i am happy that you do!!!! You are so nice!
Margaret B

Mary @Boogieboard Cottage said...

Hi Laura, Thank you for mentioning my blog. I really enjoyed reading your post, I too had to support myself and go to college when I had the time and money as well. I like that your husband says that you have a "Phd in life", some people with college degrees never attain that. I think that you are a very nice person and that God blessed you with a humble spirit! :O)

Allidink said...

That is sooo neat that you are related to her! I love genealogy! I like that you go to college too, because we have one more thing in common that most of the other blog ladies don't! haha! :) Nice philosophy on award bestowing I feel that way too sometimes! I'm like I can't pick only 5, I have a dozen more I like! LOL. Thank you for your generous giveaways :) I get so much joy form giving gifts and such too!

All the best,

Mildred said...

I remember it was through Miss Sandy's LIW posts that I met you last year. You and I have shared treasures in the mail and I agree it makes our relationship more personal to have treasures from one another to bring to mind good memories. My nephew in MN will be driving through S. Dakota this summer and will be stopping in De Smet to visit the LIW home. He has promised me pics!

Nancy said...

Laura, thanks for the tip on blog backgrounds. I checked out that site and I love the designs there! I'm ashamed and embarassed to admit it, but it's the truth. I am going to have my girl help me do some changes. Even though the directions were very simple, I still had trouble. Thank God for smart children!


Coastal Sisters said...

I loved learning more about you.

I feel the same way you about my Giveaways. It just makes my heart soar to give away some of the jewelry and other things I design. I just LOVE to give :)


LiLi M. said...

This was again such an interesting post. I think that your husband is totally right when he says that you have a phd in lifetime experience. I love your positive way of thinking and the Eliot quote too. To quote is one thing, to live up to that quote, deserves my (I cannot speak for others) admiration. Keep on going living life as positive as you do! Thanks for inspiration!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thank you for peeling away a few layers of your soul & sharing all this info with us.

I grew up reading and falling in love with the LIW books,too, and I can only echo what those who posted before me said..."How cool that you are related!"

I commend you for pursuing your dream of a college education, and your husband is right about your life time of experience.

Em @ Bunch of Scrap said...

Very cool facts about you. I think it is awesome you are going to school... I'll probably be going for ever, can never be too smart, right?

ScrappinAway said...

I always had wondered if you were related to LIW. I love her stories and have read everything I can get my hands on about her and her family. I actually found you when one day I was doing a search on her. So thank you for sharing. I was recently asked if I could meet one person past or present who would it be and I had said LIW!

Funky Junk Sisters said...

You go girl!!!(get that degree)

Linda & Dixie
The Funky Junk Sisters

ceekay said...

Welcome home! I gave up on the flowers in the pots...till October! We worked outside yesterday and cleaned things the monsoon. Your treasures from your grandma are great! Glad they came home safely. I got a month reprieve so lunch would be great. Give me an email as to when and where...

creative gal said...

SO NEAT that you are related to Laura Ingalls. . . I wanted to ask, but hated to when I first started following your blog. I love the Ingalls. It has always been a dream to visit the historical sites related to her books. . . KEEP GOING with the college!! Can't wait to celebrate when your graduate!!

Shannon @ Silver Trappings said...

I have always wondered if you were related to Laura. I'm so glad to know you are. I think that's so fun!!! I love her books.

And I think it's wonderful that you have gone back to school! I sometimes wish I could. I wish you all the best!


Jade Creative said...

Laura, you are one of my mentor bloggers. You share your vulnerability with grace.
Thank you for that.'
Have a wonderful day!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

this just proves it, you are a gem! I agree about the blog awards...while they are honoring, I think everyone with a blog should have them. And SO proud of you for following your dream of a degree. Torture...I feel for you esp. with the Algebra. ack. You go, girl!!! I will be praying you on in the fall.
xo Lidy
ps. I would pick you first, just look at that darling little girl photo.:)

Anna Lindsey Sailer O'Reilly said...

I love this post! Thanks for sharing. That answers my question about your name.

Cat said...

Laura, you are a treasure..

I received your lovely giveaway package yesterday.. I am giddy..
thank you so very much..
You know I love it..

Muthering Heights said...

It's nice to learn a little more about you!

TattingChic said...

That is so cool! I wondered if you were related to Laura Ingalls Wilder! Thanks for sharing all those lovely personal things about yourself. :)

vickysplace1 said...

I enjoyed your story. I received a degree in nursing-BSN in 1978. Trying not to date myself, but I graduated from high school in 1971. Some people it would take 4 years,but with life circumstances it took me 7 years. I encourage you to keep focused and you'll make it. Best Wishes!

Anonymous said...

"Everyone on earth has worth and matters" I knew I liked you! I try to do the same as I too remember the days of being picked last! Thank You Laura and keep on a blogging!

Mosaic*Queen said...

Great post Laura! I ditto your remarks on blogging :-)


Roxane said...

I think it's awesome that you are working towards your degree! You should be very proud of yourself :)

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Laura,

I enjoyed reading more about you and your interesting post.
Loved the photo of you as a little Girl.
I admire you going back to School and want to wish you all the very best.


Heather said...

Good for you for following your dreams! And, I loved reading about your family history! My niece has been reading all the books...about your there has been a lot of talk about Laura going on!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What a very interesting post. I had always wondered if you were related, and I am so glad to know that you are! Loved your answer about awards (kind of reminded me of something Laura Ingalls Wilder might have said!)laurie

Liz said...

I think that one of the reasons I love your blog, aside from all of the decorating knowledge that you share, is because it is sooo personal. Thanks for sharing your heart.

I love it that you are related to LIW! Of course she was my favorite growing up. I have been to her home in MO. And when my daughter was growing up we read all of her books every night. One chapter at a time. She learned to read on LIW. And of course her books share a wonderful time in our history and how far we have come.

Great Post! Thanks for letting us know. It makes since that you have that same gift for writing and sharing!


Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

Lovely lady, you are. Thanks for being you. Blessings and light,Amy

Miss Sandy said...

I love this Q&A session! I might have to borrow this idea for a blog post of my own if you don't mind. I truly love your generous heart Laura. You are such a blessing!

Whimsical Creations said...

What a wonderful post!

LOL, I was wondering if you were related to LIW. I absolutely loved her growing up and was was compared to her alot because I had 2 braids like hers forever.