Sleepy Time in the Big Woods

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By Design. The late craftsman J.

Big House in the Big Woods is a large inland home, perfect for a Northland retreat.

Blunk built his Marin County cabin by hand: a holistic expression of an artistic life. A totemic sculpture by Blunk in the corner of the master bedroom. Credit Credit Lisa Eisner. By Amanda Fortini. Blunk built entirely by hand. The integrity of his vision — a total embrace of the handmade — is evident upon first entering the yard. Two towering arches loom over it all.


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  3. Big House in the Big Woods is a large inland home, perfect for a Northland retreat..

The first was carved by Blunk from a single piece of redwood circa For Blunk, art and life seamlessly coexisted. Beyond the heavy, ponderous redwood door, the sort one might find in a medieval castle, is a simple open-plan home with a sleeping loft, all of it illuminated by sunlight pouring through picture-frame windows. We sit at the kitchen table Blunk carved from a massive slab of redwood and drink tea out of ceramic cups that Blunk fired in his kiln. His pedestals, columns, stools, chairs and sculptures, with their clean lines, allusions to the human body and affinity for hollow spaces, are all around us, the California cousins of Brancusi and Henry Moore.

He sometimes used cypress, but his preferred material was redwood, the soft, claret-colored wood of those majestic sentries indigenous to the area. He salvaged huge chunks of it that washed up on beaches or remained from building and clearing projects, often using massive burls that loggers left behind. Night in the Woods looks like a cross between a point-and-click adventure and a platformer. It's neither: it's a well-written piece of Night in the Woods looks like a cross between a point-and-click adventure and a platformer. It's neither: it's a well-written piece of interactive fiction.

It pivots around the conversations between its socially maladjusted protagonists, and is pushed around by scripted sequences and a handful of minigames.


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The experience feels more like reading a novel than playing a game. It is, however, a good novel. Don't be mislead by the cute graphics. Night in the Woods collected awards for venturing where others games wouldn't, into serious themes such as mental health and social desease. The dialogues between the college dropout Mia and her quietly desperate small-town friends elicit a lot of chuckles, but each chuckle is counterbalanced by a tiny heartbreak.

Charles Ingalls

One way or the other, it's hard to play through this game without feeling emotionally involved with its cast of lovely jerks. Many people loved this game, and many were touched by it. Unfortunately, the story derails in the last act, suddenly shifting from understatement to throwaway maximalism. It's like the authors didn't dare write an entire game centered around intimistic dialogues, and felt the need to spice it up with some implausible action.

Even with that gratuitous fourth act spoiling the soup, there is no denying that Night in the Woods is a courageous game. That's what independent games should be. It's a well-written game with a weak ending.

Big Woods by May Cobb

Feels tiresome by the lack of active moments neither having a rich and diverse exploration as a It's a well-written game with a weak ending. Feels tiresome by the lack of active moments neither having a rich and diverse exploration as a Point n' Click or action as a platafomer or even flexible as an intimate life-sim like Animal Crossing and repetition of the same routine, heavily compensated by the quality of the writing and the fun little mini-games.

The ending was really a let-down. This is the book that hooked me, as a child, on Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wanted to be a pioneer girl like Laura. I wanted to experience sugar snow, and a country dance, and the sense of security that came from being inside a snug cabin on a Wisconsin winter night. Young Laura is captured on the page as a real, complex, endearing child. Most of the time she is obedient and happy, but she also struggles in ways that are wholly believable and spot-on for a child her age.

I also sympathized when, later in the book, Laura slaps her sister Mary.

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Mary is often portrayed as perfect. There is much to admire in Ma, but her role in the hair color debate has always annoyed me. When Aunt Lotty comes to visit:. Half-way there Ma snatches up Laura and runs the rest of the way. Then she takes the sleeping baby Carrie from bed and sits in the rocking chair.

I missed the nuances as a child, but now, I understand why Ma wanted to hold the warm, drowsy child in her lap. While Ma and Mary are not my favorite characters, author-Laura drew them well. Pa plays games with Laura and Mary, and plays his fiddle at night so they can fall asleep. His character also emerges as complex and, overall, appealing. They could never be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago. Is it the depiction of a lifestyle that appears, at least, to be simpler? I now know that it was not. Only another true Little House-lover could understand what the books had meant to her as a child.

Laura had been a faithful friend when no one else understood.

How about you? What was your reaction to reading Little House in the Big Woods? To learn more about the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mysteries, please visit my website.

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And what could be more fun for Laura fans than having a chance to chat about the books? First up, of course, is Little House in the Big Woods. Thanks for joining me for a blog tour of Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites! Replica of the Ingalls family cabin near Pepin, WI. Many decades later she immortalized the location in the first book in her Little House canon, Little House in the Big Woods.

For those steeped in the setting Laura described, the initial glimpse of the Pepin homesite can be a bit of a shock. She pulled into the small lot and parked. Then the inner happy wiggle subsided. The Wayside was a grassy picnic area, with a replica cabin representing the home were Laura was born. The few saplings sprinkled through the grounds were too young to provide shade. Picnic tables were scattered about, most occupied by other Laura sojourners wearing sunglasses and hats.