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Appreciating Freedoms on My Watch

I didn't realize how far back the evolution of freedom went. Freedom wasn't an overnight development that happened in America in 1776. It began in England and Europe with the Magna Charta. I recently read a series of books that opened my eyes to the long history that led to 1776. While studying Medieval history using Beautiful Feet study guides I found this gem from 1896 called, The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin. This book forms the foundation of the literature based curriculum used by this company. It recites the history of the struggles between Church and State and the people in England and Europe. It details the misery that oppression brought England under tyrannical kings, and nobles in the feudal system. It follows the Reformers and the Reformation through to the days of our own founders in America, the Pilgrims and Puritans. Forgotten but fascinating stories show how the centuries worked slowly but surely bringing relief to the people by restraining church and government power. Both entities were working together while looking out for their own self interests (power) and both were mainly concerned with creatively pillaging the people and making war to aggrandize themselves. But there were some who saw that this was wrong. It began with the churchmen. It began with Wycliffe.
After reading this book, I began to read through Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking People. I am currently stalled in the 3rd volume, but they are a great supplement for this time period. A History tells the story from the perspective of government. Churchill begins with an explanation of the Roman rule in England, something I also never knew of. He touches on the ancient inhabitants of England and their freedom-loving ways. He details the brutal killing and oppression of these people, the Saxons, as the Norman kings took over the island. There are so many good stories to be told like Bruce and Wallace.
I have found that through history we can come to understand ourselves much better. I certainly understand myself and appreciate my freedoms much better now. And like the subtitle on The Story of Liberty, I have come to appreciate the sacrifices made to get where we are, and will never allow it to be lost on my watch.

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

I bought O Pioneers! off the classic shelf at Barnes N Noble since it was a fairly short fiction book. I like pioneers too. After reading it in several hours that night, I decided I need to read more well written fiction. This is definitely a Must Read!
The story takes place on the plains of Nebraska at the turn of the twentieth century- (1900's for those of you like me who get that confused.) Alexandra's father John Bergeson is dying. She is the oldest of four children and the only girl. She has two brothers near her age and one about fifteen years younger. Alexandra has been talking to her father about his struggles to farm the virgin land for the last six years. He recently paid off the loan on his land and everyone feels the irony that he should die now, just when he can see success on the horizon. But Alexandra has a brain for business. She thinks before working while her brothers Oscar and Lou don't think much and prefer to follow the crowd. Mr Bergeson calls the family together just before dying to inform them that Alexandra is to be running the show and the boys are to do as she says with the farm. All are to be equal. Alexandra works with her brain, the sons with their strength.
For a while they prosper, but soon a drought comes. Many families leave the area and give up on the lands possibilities. Alexandra won't. After hearing that a local real estate agent is buying up the farms being sold, she goes to an older more prosperous town to think and learn. She comes back with a renewed love for the land and optimism about the future. The family reluctantly decides to mortgage the farm and buy some of the properties being left behind. For such a short story there is so much more. But I will not spoil the story for you. It's just too good to give away.
Willa Cather has a way of telling the story with grace and style. She paints a perfect picture in the mind of the scenes, characters and their emotions, and the history in each phase of the story. She expertly describes the conflicts, dreams, anxieties and even blind spots of the various characters. The astonishing twists at the end are hardly predictable. And if you can predict them, they rip your heart out entertaining the thought! I ended up bawling at 1:20 in the morning as I finished the story and wished for more.


Some people are so creative!

I found this really innovative couple who began producing short video's about Mormons. They are simplified for the purpose of sharing them and creating missionary moments! Way to Go!

Making Money Naturally

I decided to take the plunge. I came across a Craigslist ad that was asking for writers the other day. It has changed my life. It took me to a website and I looked around. They wanted writers and were asking for information on an online application. I google the name of the organization and found a whole new world open up. Freelance writing information flooded my computer. I began a quest. I found that the company seemed legit, but I also found that there were all kinds of ways to earn money as a writer. Companies are begging for freelance writers to write content for websites. Unfortunately it seems they don't really want to pay much. I'm still figuring out how to bid for work, but in the meantime I've applied at three writers sites and been accepted to two, Suite 101 and BrightHub. I am taking the plunge to writing for a new type of website called Hubs. These sites exist to place articles online that will attract ads and ad revenue. Articles are about anything under the sun that people might want to look up. I can write about the things I love. That's good. There are lots of things I love.
So right now I'm researching the ins and outs of things like copyright, citations, photo's, keywords, and brainstorming ideas for what people might want to read about.
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