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S01.E13: The Lord Is My Shepherd, Part 1 / S01.E14: The Lord Is My Shepherd, Part 2

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This was my favorite LHOTP episode when I was a kid! I was amazed that Laura could climb that whole mountain by herself.

As a parent, if my daughter told me about a strange old man she'd been camping with after having run away from home, but who suspiciously disappeared when I showed up, my first thoughts would be a whole lot darker (and more murder-y) than either angels or hallucinations.

I love your comments about Nels, Kim. I never had much sympathy for him, since presumably he was not forced at gunpoint to marry Harriett, and since a lot of his problems are of his own making. Grow a spine and do some actual parenting, Nels! But I hadn't noticed his extreme jealousy of Charles/love for Caroline until you pointed it out.

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I still haven't gotten over the day I got to college and had a roommate from Minnesota who told me that there in fact, no mountains in Minnesota. Or even big hills. Because of this episode. 

 

Why is Ma even boiling milk for the baby? Would she not breastfeed? Were baby bottles even really a thing on the frontier then? Like why would these people be using up milk and bottles when they have milk for free?

 

Even as a kid I remember being amazed at what a dick Pa was about boys vs. girls. It's not even just in this episode.

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I still haven't gotten over the day I got to college and had a roommate from Minnesota who told me that there in fact, no mountains in Minnesota. Or even big hills. Because of this episode. 

 

Why is Ma even boiling milk for the baby? Would she not breastfeed? Were baby bottles even really a thing on the frontier then? Like why would these people be using up milk and bottles when they have milk for free?

 

Even as a kid I remember being amazed at what a dick Pa was about boys vs. girls. It's not even just in this episode.

Maybe she had a medical issue that kept her from producing milk. But, I think the real reason is that this was filmed in the 1970s when breastfeeding was not in vogue.

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This was my favorite LHOTP episode when I was a kid! I was amazed that Laura could climb that whole mountain by herself.

As a parent, if my daughter told me about a strange old man she'd been camping with after having run away from home, but who suspiciously disappeared when I showed up, my first thoughts would be a whole lot darker (and more murder-y) than either angels or hallucinations.

I love your comments about Nels, Kim. I never had much sympathy for him, since presumably he was not forced at gunpoint to marry Harriett, and since a lot of his problems are of his own making. Grow a spine and do some actual parenting, Nels! But I hadn't noticed his extreme jealousy of Charles/love for Caroline until you pointed it out.

My favorite Nels parts are when he does take charge. Like in The Talking Machine when he spanks Nellie over Harriet's objections. Or when he sent their nephew over to stay with the Ingalls over the summer (again over Harriet's objections) so that Harriet wouldn't turn him into another Nellie.

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Just now, Katy M said:

Maybe she had a medical issue that kept her from producing milk. But, I think the real reason is that this was filmed in the 1970s when breastfeeding was not in vogue.

Definitely that's the real reason I think. It reminds me of the ep of I Love Lucy where she pretends to have a baby on a plane flight (really it's a large cheese...) and there's all this shock and horror that she hasn't brought a bottle to feed him, but of course she can't even pretend she's going to breastfeed him because in the 1950s that would probably be considered too obscene for TV!

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1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

Definitely that's the real reason I think. It reminds me of the ep of I Love Lucy where she pretends to have a baby on a plane flight (really it's a large cheese...) and there's all this shock and horror that she hasn't brought a bottle to feed him, but of course she can't even pretend she's going to breastfeed him because in the 1950s that would probably be considered too obscene for TV!

Absolutely. Especially because Lucille Ball was the first pregnant woman ever to appear on TV and it was a scandal at that.   

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8 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

I still haven't gotten over the day I got to college and had a roommate from Minnesota who told me that there in fact, no mountains in Minnesota. Or even big hills. Because of this episode. 

MN resident here. I mean technically there ARE mountains but they're up north, near Lake Superior and the BWCA and such. If the closest big city is Mankato? Hell to the no. 

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24 minutes ago, Molly Cule said:

MN resident here. I mean technically there ARE mountains but they're up north, near Lake Superior and the BWCA and such. If the closest big city is Mankato? Hell to the no. 

When I went to visit her I was amazed at how actually obvious it was how flat the area around Minnesota was. Not the same place but I could definitely understand why she always found the show so frustrating the way it looks nothing like that on the show.

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A friend once told me some news over lunch while I had a fork halfway to my mouth and I held the fork there for at least a minute while I was in shock over what she said. At one point I realized I was still holding it and felt like an idiot. Yes, I am a TV trope.

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LHOTP episodes (or multi-part episodes) that take place over a time period of many, many months always fascinate me.  Like instead of having Ma find out she's pregnant in one episode, have her give birth in a episode six months later, and then have the baby die in another they just shove it all in one episode.  Is nothing else happening on the prairie at this time?  Or do you think Ma is pregnant in the background in other episodes and it's not mentioned because they save all the baby having stuff for the baby episode?  Like Ma's actually gestating while Laura's in love with Johnny Johnston and Mary's trying to win a dictionary but it's just not mentioned because people didn't talk about stuff like that then.  

Seriously the timeline of this show fascinates me.  There's one occasion where the Ingalls abandon the farm and go west to prospect for gold and it all happens in just one episode but, of course, had to have followed a time period of at least three or four months.  And then they return home and they haven't planted any crops but, somehow, they later have crops and don't starve during the winter!

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1 hour ago, lefawn said:

 Is nothing else happening on the prairie at this time?

Probably not.  In reality, most of our lives go on for months with nothing TV show-worthy going on in them.   

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I was both a melodramatic and (inexplicably) pious child, and so I remember this episode as being the most epic and spiritually moving thing I'd ever seen on television, when I was around 9. Oof. 

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On 6/20/2017 at 0:08 PM, sistermagpie said:

Why is Ma even boiling milk for the baby? Would she not breastfeed? Were baby bottles even really a thing on the frontier then? Like why would these people be using up milk and bottles when they have milk for free?

 

The boiling of the milk happened after the doctor expressed concern that the baby wasn't gaining weight, so my assumption was that she was supplementing her own milk with the cow milk as an effort to get him to eat more.

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The scene where Pa finds Laura and they're both sobbing always killed me. Michael Landon could man-sob like nobody's business!

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12 hours ago, swimmyfish said:

The boiling of the milk happened after the doctor expressed concern that the baby wasn't gaining weight, so my assumption was that she was supplementing her own milk with the cow milk as an effort to get him to eat more.

Yes! Doc Baker told her to switch over to regular milk to help the baby gain weight. 

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I remember watching a very late in the run episode where Jason Bateman almost dies and Pa takes him to a mountain to pray to God to save him.  Or maybe it was a cabin in the woods. I mean, it's been a few decades, but I remember being 9 and being like "Whoa too much."  Anyway, nice plot recycling, guysl

Also, count this east coast girl for never doubting there were mountains in Minnesota. 

Edited by purpleyoshi
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7:12: "Little Charles is sleeping in a SIDS factory."

Shame on me, but I laughed at that for a full minute. I'm enjoying the hell out of these podcasts while I sit here at my boring desk on a boring Thursday, doing my boring work.  Great job!

Edited by SuzyLee
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Kind of a funny episode, if for no other reason than its topographical and scientific liberties. I chuckled a little when Edwards mentioned that Laura was heading towards “high country”. For anyone that has Google Earth installed on their PC, try zooming in on Walnut Grove Minnesota some time (It’s flatter than Kevin Jame’s lawn chair, and for as far as the eye can see around it :D ).

Pasteurization of milk, and microbiology; oh my! Those prairie bumpkins certainly were an enlightened bunch :D

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2 hours ago, wanton87 said:

Kind of a funny episode, if for no other reason than its topographical and scientific liberties. I chuckled a little when Edwards mentioned that Laura was heading towards “high country”. For anyone that has Google Earth installed on their PC, try zooming in on Walnut Grove Minnesota some time (It’s flatter than Kevin Jame’s lawn chair, and for as far as the eye can see around it :D ).

 

I had a roommate in college from Minnesota who said that's what always drove her crazy about the show--especially this one. I said, "Maybe it wasn't really a mountain, it was just a big hill." She was like...yeah, there's no big hills either. When I went to visit her at home I was shocked at how obviously true it was. So so so flat. I've never been anywhere that flat. 

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1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

When I went to visit her at home I was shocked at how obviously true it was. So so so flat. I've never been anywhere that flat. 

It's definitely a big difference compared to where I live in the west, where we have almost no flat land. But Walnut Grove does look like it's a pretty area.

I was looking up dugout shelters a while back, and lo and behold, up came this short video clip on the Ingalls dugout site (I wasn’t actually looking for it). The original dugout is no longer there, but the area is marked off so that you can see how large it was. It’s tiny, and doesn’t appear to be any larger than a walk in closet. Yet they managed to shoe horn in what would have been a family of 5 at that time. I hope they got along really well :D

Jump to about the 3 minute mark if you only want to see the dugout site. The entire video is about 5 minutes long.

Little House on the Prairie: The Dugout Homesite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ct2_gclbTc

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4 hours ago, wanton87 said:

For anyone that has Google Earth installed on their PC, try zooming in on Walnut Grove Minnesota some time

I just did. What a tiny little town! Interesting to see Sleepy Eye is so close, also a little town, but it looks nicer, at least on Google Maps. 

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42 minutes ago, Superclam said:

I just did. What a tiny little town! Interesting to see Sleepy Eye is so close, also a little town, but it looks nicer, at least on Google Maps. 

It’s kind of interesting that of the places they lived, many were small towns at the time, and really, haven’t grown much since then. Walnut Grove, De Smet, Burr Oak; all sparsely populated areas even today. What’s funny is that if Charles Ingalls had his way, he would have ended up further west (As I recall, he wanted to move on to Oregon) where the overall population would have been much higher than where he ended up settling.

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Also on looking at the map - they mentioned Mankato many times, which appears to be about 80 miles away. And they've been to Chicago and New York, both very far from Walnut Grove. But did they ever go to Minneapolis? It's about 120 miles directly, and 150 miles by current highways. I don't remember them talking about Minneapolis, but it's been over 20 years since I've really watched the show. 

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I don’t recall Minneapolis being mentioned in the show either. But it’s also been several years since I first saw it, even though I’m just now going through it again (Just got the DVD set from Amazon, all 9 seasons) but I’m still on season one.

Edited by wanton87 · Reason: wording
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