You know you're "Little House" obsessed when…

Many fine folks read this blog who are not “Little House” obsessed. Many people enjoy the books, or even the television series, and maintain enough of an interest to follow a blog like this one without letting “Little House” take over their lives.

But I’d venture to say there are quite a few others of you who are certifiably “Little House” obsessed. It’s always so refreshing to voice your obsessions with others who totally get it, especially when most of us may have spent much of our lives feeling like we were the only ones.

But what qualifies one as obsessed? I thought it might be a lot of fun to make a list together. Add a great reason taken from your own life in the comments — and feel free to comment multiple times throughout the conversation to tell additional stories!

I had one of these moments just this week, so I’ll start.

You know you’re “Little House” obsessed when…

…you have a good heartbreaking cry with your child over the supposed death of a dog who lived 150 years ago — even though you know the dog was perfectly fine!!!  (Little House on the Prairie, “Crossing the Creek”)  (And yes, after sobbing through the chapter together and attempting unsuccessfully to comfort her, I had to read the next one so she wouldn’t have to go to bed distraught! This chapter never bothered me as a child! I think I’ve made the Ingalls family a bit too live and personal!!)


Your turn!

Posted in Cultural Impact, Little House on the Prairie
66 comments on “You know you're "Little House" obsessed when…
  1. Feeling pissy that I can’t find a Little House bumper sticker that is to my liking!

  2. Eddie says:

    I had one last week. A friend was describing a deadly-serious film she’d been to see – about drug-addiction, I think – and happened to mention it was set in the Ozarks, to which I yelped “That’s where Laura Ingalls Wilder ended up living”. In my head – but not, as it turned out, anyone else’s – this was ESSENTIAL information.

  3. A number of years ago, I wanted to make popcorn. I didn’t have a popcorn maker and I didn’t want to eat microwave popcorn anymore. So, I asked myself, “What would Laura Ingalls Wilder do?” Suddenly, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I took out a pot, put oil on the bottom and some salt, added in 1/2 a cup of kernels, turned on the stove and shook the pot. I know that in Laura’s day, she probably would have had to light the stove, but, I figured that I was close enough.

    • Deborah Crowe says:

      actually in a book full of hers and roses letters back and forth about the trip to san franscico, it was discussed that MANLEY was the popcorn freak and made it every night.. it appears he was somewhat rigid in his evening rituals, one of which was making a HUGE pot of popcorn.. and he would sit and eat each one piece by piece carefully examining each one noticing each shape, just like when we look at clouds.. just thought i’d share.

  4. Renee Mongillo says:

    You know you’re “Little House” obsessed when…you make your mom sew you a red, white and blue pioneer dress including sun bonnet for the upcoming Dress Up Day school parade so you can say that you’re Laura Ingalls Wilder. Very important stuff! By the way, this happened in 1976 (8th grade). I got tongue tied when the judges asked me who I was and I forgot to tell them I was Laura. They passed me over and two girls dressed up in military gear won. It was the school’s U.S. Bicentennial Parade. Bummer! After all, what could be more patriotic than Laura Ingalls Wilder?

    • Deborah Crowe says:

      i agree! it was my love of little house that got me started sewing aprons and desiring to make pinafores.. just adorable.

  5. Naomi says:

    …. you buy copies of the books in foreign languages that you can’t even read. (And wish they were available in MORE languages. If they can traslate Harry Potter into Latin, why not Little House?)

  6. Laura Welser says:

    …during your last remodel of the living room, you turn it into a Laura Ingalls Wilder museum with your ever growing collection and the overflow starts going into the kitchen…and your bedroom…and your office. The bathroom is already decorated in outhouses to pay homage to the place that the Ingalls family NEVER visited. 🙂

    And…I’ve always cried when Jack dies. Even though I know what probably happened and have been reading that chapter for 40 years!

    • Laura says:

      Hmmm, I never thought about using the outhouse theme as a tie into all things Ingalls. Wonder if I can get that one by the husband? I’ve beening wanting to redo the bathroom…….

  7. LauriOH says:

    You see an email saying one musuem may start carrying a reproduction of Laura’s engagement ring, and you think to yourself, “I have to have that. How awesome would that be as a right hand ring.” since there’s no chance anyone is going to be proposing in the near future.

    • Laura says:

      I also thought I have to have that ring!

    • Carla Banks-Williams says:

      LaurieOH, I’m convinced my own grandmother’s ring was the exact same, by the description! I was angry when my aunt gave it to my cousin’s daughter!

    • Deborah Crowe says:

      srrsly i am going to google this ring now.

      • Kathryn Sanderson says:

        My husband and and I went to an antique shop to pick out my engagement ring…because I wanted a pearl and garnet one like Laura’s. The pearls looked a little grayish and worn, so I got a ring with garnets and white

  8. Judy Green says:

    Ok, so I too, get a catch in my throat when re-reading BtSoSL when Jack finally expires, and I already own an engagement ring replica, ( but don’t forget to have it sized to your index finger, like I did.) I think I crossed over into obsession when I found myself making a grave rubbing of Charles Ingalls headstone. It is framed and hangs next to my bed. ( I have a very understanding husband).

  9. Kelly Kathleen Ferguson says:

    Probably when you put on a prairie dress and retrace Laura’s entire pioneer journey. That might be a sign.

  10. Marilyn says:

    I wore my prairie dress to church after returning from Laurapalooza and everyone called me Laura.

  11. I would guess it’s when you name your daughters Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace.

  12. Jaime Brooks says:

    You know your Laura obsessed when, for the entire year of 6th grade every single book report done was a Little House Book. You even create a Prarie Hen Burger for a project related to the book report.

    • Lynne says:

      When your grandparents move to an assisted living in Oconomowoc, WI and you immediately know the town from the Ingalls connection. Also, when your other grandmother passes away on a Feb 10th and you know right away that LIW also passed away on Feb 10th, you might be a bit obsessed.

    • Laura C says:

      I did this from third grade to sixth grade. When my teachers suggested I branch out, I moved on to the Rose books.

  13. Dr Laura says:

    You know you are Laura obsessed when:

    You ask for and are excited to receive a butter churn for your birthday
    You make your family go to every homesite with you
    You own several books that Laura mentions in her writings
    You have an email address and a license plate that contains the word halfpint
    You go to Little Big Horn and wonder what the Ingalls knew about the battle
    You get excited when you learn that your house sits only a few yards from the northern boundary of the Osage Diminished Reserve
    You own so many Little House artifacts that you begin to think one bedroom might not be big enough and consider building a little house in your backyard.

    I could go on but I’ll leave something for the rest of you


  14. Patty Collins says:

    In 2008, Bill Anderson visited my community to do a LIW presentation and share the Dean Butler Almanzo film. Due to attendance, we were forced to move the program from the Library where I work to a nearby auditorium. After the program, Bill came by the Library to see the exhibit on loan from the Mansfield Home. When he looked at the display case of my personal “artifacts”, books, dolls, lunch boxes, etc, he placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “I think maybe you might need some help!” At that moment, I realized what I thought was a passion, was probably an obsession! 🙂

  15. LauriOH says:

    When you go to a concert and a speaker talks about manna and gathering only our daily bread, you turn to your friend and comment that Laura and Almanzo bought a bread plate for their first anniversary that said “Give us this day our daily bread” then say I haven’t got a reproduction … yet

  16. Sue says:

    Gee, I’m not even close to obsessive, based on some of these comments. 🙂

    I was reading a non-fiction book for a book group — I can’t remember the name of it, but it was the story of a woman who walked across the country in 1896. Anyway, it talks of her early married years, living in western Minnesota and the hard winter of 1880-81. Laura’s long winter. The book talked about the blizzards that stopped the trains and how the small town barely survived, etc. When I got to the book group, I got so animated talking about that one small section of the book because it was the first time I had ever seen reference to the long winter anywhere else.

    Much as I’d love a replica of the engagement ring, what I really want are the hats from These Happy Golden Years.

  17. Eliza Jane says:

    Reading Happy Golden Years for the 10,000 time and feeling bummed because it seems like such a fairy tale ending, but now you know all the terrible hardships that they had to endure after the fairytale ending. Reminding yourself that things really did turn out ok in the end, after years of struggle.

  18. Linda S. says:

    You know you’re a fan when you start planning your first trip to all the sites and talk about it ALL THE TIME- enough to drive your co workers, neighbors, family and friends crazy!

  19. Sheila says:

    How about when at the age of 10 (30 years ago…) the summer reading program at the library is to read the Little House books and fill in several pages of questions, and I sat down and filled in the whole thing the first day, without looking in the books once, and got every single one right?

    Then there’s the fact (which drives my children crazy…) that I relate as many dates as possible to Laura’s life. Civil War ended two years before she was born, my mother was born six years before she died, my daughter was born 130 years after LIW…I even remembered a PIN I had for awhile by remembering how old Laura would have been that year!! Oh, and my best friend’s telephone number inlcudes the year of Rose’s birth, which is how I remember her number. My youngest daughter’s first name may or may not have anything to do with Laura’s middle name…we chose to use “s” instead of “z” partly so that no one could claim it did.

    On the other hand, after reading some of the things on this site, maybe I’m not obsessed after all…

  20. Donna Raub says:

    I read the Little House books when I was young in the ’50’s- 60’s, and then read them all again, multiple times, to each of my three children, 2 daughters (Chloe, the younger of the 2 girls, is currently in De Smet visiting the Ingalls homestead and linked me to this site!) and one son. I guess I’m obsessed (I know Chloe is!) because when I read them to our son, the youngest, by then I’d read the chapter where they believe Jack has drowned, a dozen times at least, but ALWAYS cried and could hardly get through reading it!

  21. Laura C says:

    You know you’re “Little House” obsess when…

    * You drive hundreds of miles out of your way and take a prolonged lunch break (i.e. all afternoon) on a business trip to visit one of the Laura sites. Twice in one summer.

    * You argue with your friends that “Pride and Prejudice” and “Jane Eyre” are not the most romantic stories ever written, but make a strong case for “These Happy Golden Years.” Then you write a multi-part blog series about it.

    * You can only play three songs on the piano by memory. One is “Heart and Soul,” and the other two come from the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook.”

  22. Tam Diep says:

    I’m obsessed after I have been trying to search on the Internet for the tune of the song “Old Grimes”. Many websites present poem reading, and some sites present this song in the tune of “Auld Lang Syne”!

    I’m more obsessed with a similar search for the tune of the song “Kitty Wells”. I found sites presenting Kitty Wells as a famous singer, not as a song that Pa played.

    • Sarah Uthoff says:

      Old Grimes is indeed sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne.” If you look at the end of Little House in the Big Woods when Pa plays “Auld Lang Syne” Laura even says it’s the same tune as “Old Grimes.” It’s what’s called a traveling melody when the tune of one song is often used for others. Another example is “Oh Christmas Tree” which is the tune for “Iowa, ‘Tis Iowa” and “Maryland, My Maryland.” Another is “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” which is “God Save the King” and also the disused “God Save the Czar.” For Kitty Wells go to, click on the pump organ keyboard icon at the bottom and scroll down alphabetically to Kitty Wells.

  23. Carrie says:

    You travel 8000 miles to collect a bottle of water from Plum Creek, which you carefully nurse and beg customs officials to allow entry into your home country, while tolerating their sniggers. You then allow it to take pride of place in your bookshelf alongside the rest of your LIW paraphernalia!!!

    • Jennifer Morris says:

      Without a doubt, YOU WIN!!!!!!!!!!! And you rock!!!! Just curious, where did you travel from? Super idea. Now I need to explain how to my family that we need to take a little trip north and visit a little creek (we live in florida:))

  24. Teresa says:

    You are talking to your husband and you state that if you won the Lottery, you would buy up a big section of land and recreate the entire Little Town where the Ingalls lived and become a closed community that lives almost entirely like they did when Laura lived there (with a few small modern conveniences). All of the Little House obsessed fans could flock there just as they did in De Smet. You could make money by encouraging tourists to visit and hold workshops. How fun!!
    I live in Australia so this is pretty out there!!

  25. Krystal says:

    you know u are LHO when u:

    1. Write your first college English paper about how LIW has changed your life.
    2. Reread the books more than 20,000 times
    3. Found a metal bread plate in a GoodWill store that read “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” and bought it.
    4. Think to yourself daily: “What would Laura do?”

  26. Tracy Sapp says:

    You know that you are Little House obsessed when you can take something that happens today in the news or something else that you see on tv & relate it to something that happened to Laura & her family. For instance- The news was reporting that people are having “Chicken Pox Parties”. This is when one child has chicken pox & other mothers send their children to that child’s house for a “party”, that way their children are exposed to the virus & catch it. They are doing this in leiu of having their children vaccinated for the chicken pox. I told my husband the story of Laura & Mary having the measles when they lived in Burr Oak & how some of the mothers in town sent their children over to the Ingalls’s home to play with Laura & Mary so that they would be exposed. Another example is a weekly show that was on this winter that was about building the transcontinental railroad through Nebraska. I was constantly pointing out the discrepancies in the show or the similarities it had to the stories of the railroad found in the Little House books. I do this all the time. My husband probably rolls his eyes every time I do it.

  27. Marilyn says:

    This may be an old post, but I’m still obsessed!!

    You know you are a Little House addict when you return from LP 2012 and begin reading everything you can lay your hand on that has anything to do with Laura, including reading the books while listening to the cd’s. I’m still reading and LP was almost 3 months ago!!
    You read EVERY post from the beginning of Beyond Little House and every comment that accompanies the post. (Believe me, this takes quite awhile and I’m enjoying it very much.)
    You read a new related book (Farmer Boy Goes West) with a group of online friends and discuss it among the group and them post all of the chapter reviews at another fan site. (I think we need another read along here. How about LHBW???)
    You feel guilty for reading the LH books and thinking of Laura and not so much time in the Good Book. Laura would not be happy with me, she loved the bible.

  28. maggie says:

    Hey Marilyn, Just curious what the other websites were that you were reading Farmer Boy goes West?

  29. LauriOH says:

    At youth group, the jr. high were discussing YA literature that they and the leader read and who would make a good boyfriend. One of the girls laughed “Almanzo”, so I said I’ve had my picture taken with the actor who played him – because is there any other Almanzo in literature? Then I had to explain that I met him at a conference about LIW as the girls looked at me half in awe and half in pity – but hey the sr. high know me well enough that there’s only pity anymore.

  30. LauriOH says:

    I have to add another thing here.
    You read who’s appearing at a homesite and realize you already have those autographs and at least half the presenters are your Facebook friends.

  31. Jennifer DeAngelo says:

    Obsessed? Me? Never?
    * got a butter churn and mill for my 25th birthday this year. (I told my husband that I am getting my own gift, but it is from had to be just right)
    *Planning a LIW trip to all the home-sites with my mom this year.
    *Have all of Laura’s books and almost a complete collection of the extension books (Rose, Martha, Caroline, etc)
    * My decor whispers Laura’s name
    * I read nearly every blog/website that even mentioned Laura
    * I could go on and on……

  32. Jennifer DeAngelo says:

    And let me add….googling “Little House on the Prairie, obsessed” and finding this post and many other interesting things….

  33. Adkmilkmaid says:

    You know you’re obsessed when one of your ewes gives birth to a runt twin, only 4.5 lbs, which with the weighing sling is 4 lbs 11 oz. … and reading the dial you immediately think: “Laura Ingalls was 4’11” as a grown woman!”

    Since the lamb is obviously “nothing but a half-pint of sweet cider half drunk-up,” I now have a tiny orphaned lamb named Cider.

    I am sure it won’t surprise anyone to learn that she’s as strong as a little French horse!

  34. Anonymous says:

    You know your obsessed with Little House when you imagine your’e talking to Laura and Almanzo
    and when you spend 10 minutes talking about Laura’s life with your cousin.
    I know I’m a little obsessed lol.

  35. carrie aadland says:

    You know you’re obsessed:

    I will have my ashes scattered in DeSmet SD in the same cemetery as the Ingalls, and with a view of Pa’s cottonwoods.

  36. Janet says:

    …you read the entire Little House series every winter for 9 years in a row, lingering over all the parts about the long, cold winters (especially poor Pa’s escapades!) as a way of not feeling so badly about the minor inconveniences of seemingly endless winters in the mid-Atlantic!

    • Sheila says:

      Janet, I was just linked to this on Facebook today, but I had to tell you that I have had the same experience as you. I picked up the Long Winter at the grocery store during a particularly rough winter in central Pennsylvania. Reading it was inspirational and made my own struggles lessen by comparison. I then followed with reading the entire series. Like you, this was my pattern for many years. I firmly believe the Ingalls family’s example helped me to overcome many hardships.

  37. Carla Banks-Williams says:

    All through my life, I’ve been obsessed. Classmates made fun of me in school. I started asking for things like tin cups and sunbonnets for Christmas gifts. I made my parents take me to an honest-to-goodness General Store. I started scouting antique stores for butter churns and molds, sewing boxes (my older sister bought one) lap writing desks, etc. When I saw an honest-to-goodness covered Conestoga under the St Louis arch ad a grown adult in my 30s, I actually cried. My mother grew up in the Depression era, in the SERIOUS backwoods, and when I read the books aloud to her, I’d demand to know if she did any of those things. (Some she actually had! I thought I had the coolest mother in the world. I did. I still do.) I’m now 53, and as I told a niece, on my bucket list is to take Laura’s Trail one summer, the covered wagon one, and see all her homes. Especially Kansas and DeSmet. When my daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I had one answer: the finished Pioneer Girl project book. It’s the only thing I asked for.

  38. My mom says I have o.c.d…….I live in malone, ny, the setting for laura ingalls Wilders second book, Farmer Boy. Most of my life while growing up, I played, fished and swam in trout river right close to the wilder farmhouse. I lived about a 5 minute walk to almanzos boyhood home. Not to mention I went to the academy school in malone. New school sits on the original site today.the square mentioned in farmer boy is still at the original spot, it was redone several years ago. I go by here everyday. The county fairgrounds almanzo, I’m looking at it as I write this.i live 30 sec from this site…wow I could go on for ever……so let’s see….my laura ingalls wilder..Farmer boy collection, actually fills my livingroom from floor to ceiling room walls. I’m now up to about 20,000 dollars worth of memorabilia…including 1000 l.i.w. related books. My scrapbook….Farmer boy….now weighs over 100 lbs, and has close to 1000’ll be donated to the almanzo wilder farm museum.oh by the way,,,, my children went to school with big bill ritchie great great grandchildren.. their fathers name is also bill ritchie. I think I have the biggest disorder if anyone would like to correspond with me and chat laura ingalls wilder, please feel free to get in name is kevin andrews… thanks. Kevin malone, ny…Farmer boy country.

  39. Angela Williamson says:

    When you use Laura Ingalls Wilder quotes for your personal vows in your wedding.

  40. Duane L. Herrmann says:

    When you want to erect a billboard in front of your new house when you have just discovered that Laura traveled past your home on her way to Richland, KS – and create a personal historical society to “sponsor” the sign, saying, in foot tall letters (or taller): “Laura passed by here” and state the date from her diary.
    Doesn’t everyone want and need to know this vital news??

    (my wife didn’t agree!)

  41. Suzanne Obuchowski says:

    When you come up with a list of words that only appear once in the entire series of books – my sister and I did this!

  42. Brenda Lucian says:

    You know you’re “Little House” obsessed when: you asked your mother to make you a sunbonnet and proceeded to wear it every time you watched an episode of the show;you’ve read the books about a million times; part of your wardrobe consists of long-sleeved,high-necked floor length calico dresses,homemade petticoats, and laceup granny boots; you have made 3 sunbonnets but just use them for decoration.

  43. Max says:

    I can’t say I’m “obsessed,” but the stories are an inextricable part of my life. My parents had read the Little House books when they were kids. My older sister loved the Little House books dearly, and they were among the first real novels I read. Furthermore, I went to a Waldorf school where the teachers read all the Little House books aloud to us.

    As I read the books time and again, the Ingallses and the Wilders became like an extended family. As a grown man of 46, the stories and their factual basis still pique my curiosity. I find sites like this one and gobble down every morsel of info the way Almanzo gobbles down a plate of fried apples ‘n onions!

  44. Deborah Crowe says:

    when u make your adult daughter agree to take a trip with u to visit all the sites or at least some of laura’s life (now adding rose and gilletes apartment in san francisco to that) and going on youtube to find anybodies posting of their trips to see the little house homes AND commenting on all those and asking people questions AND actually getting ONE lady to commit to trying to get indoor pictures of one of the places if she can for “next time”..

  45. Carolyn Tainter says:

    You know your LITTLE HOUSE obsessed when:
    You blindfold yourself to be blind like MARY and try to navigate around the house.

  46. Stacy says:

    I am russian, and it is only 5 parts in my native language. So I’m trying to read other parts in english. It is very hard for me because I know english very bad, but I don’t leave attempts to translate. The idiomas are hard to understand especially. I do this despite lack of time because I LOVE this books so much 🙂
    Sorry for my grammar, I did my best.

  47. Karen Sue says:

    You know you are obsessed when, as a child, I made all of my barbie dolls wear prairie dresses and matching bonnets, some made of lawn, mostly calico dresses, also made crinolines and always put their hair up. I wish my daughter shared my enthusiasm.

  48. WilderLovelaceBrontëFan says:

    Laura C., LOL on the These Happy Golden Years being more romantic than Jane Eyre; I wrote my diss on C Brontë’s novels and have the same mention-itis obsession about her–when my BFF was describing a fam trip to Ireland and UK, I’d chime in occasionally w/ C Brontë visited there/met this person etc.–but am nearly as obsessed w/ LIW’s works and talk about the clothes and quote Pa’s comments on technology in LW when Ma’s talking about making a light and when my folks and I are having pancakes I’ve been known to bring up the subject of buckwheat pancakes and melted brown sugar . . . . I’m about the same level of obsession w/ Maud Hart Lovelace.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the readalongs! When are y’all gonna do the first books, plus On The Way Home, West From Home, etc.???