Women of History: Marie Curie

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Science intrigues me. I get so excited after reading my physics lesson, or chemistry. Strange, I know, but that’s just me.

Most scientist that come to mind are men: Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Louis Pasteur, Isaac Newton, George Washington Carver…But today we’re going to talk about the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields.

Maria Skłodowski was born in Poland in 1867, the youngest of five children. Her mother died when she was ten, and less than three years before that, her oldest sister passed away. Her mother was a devout catholic, but her father was an atheist, so after her mother passed, she became agnostic.

Maria and her older sister both wanted to pursue their educations, but due to lack of funds, they came to an agreement. Maria would work and pay for her sister’s education, and after her sister graduated, the sister would do the same for Maria.

In 1891, Maria (or Marie, as she would be known in France) left Poland for Paris, France, where she studied physics, chemistry, and mathematics. She began her scientific career by investigating the magnetic properties of various steels. That same year Pierre Curie entered her life, and the two bonded over science. It didn’t take long for Pierre to purpose to Marie, but she refused, wanting to return to Poland and pursue her career in her native country.

That dream was quickly destroyed when she was refused a place at a university, due to her gender. She received a letter soon after, from Pierre, that convinced her to pursue her Ph.D. Pierre had already received his doctorate, and was promoted to professor. In 1895, Pierre and Marie were married.

During this time, William Roentgen discover X-rays, which lead Marie to studying uranium. From this study, she discovered polonium and radium. She went on to develop methods of separation of radium from it’s radioactive residues with enough to be able to study its qualities.

In 1903, Pierre and Marie were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics, for their study of radiation. In 1911, she received her second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, in recognition of her radioactive work.

At this time, people didn’t understand the dangers of radiation. They encouraged people to use radium to help relieve suffering int WWI, radium was put in toothpaste, and in many other daily products. Due to constant use of radioactive equipment and study, Marie became ill and died in 1934, at the age of sixty six.

I skimmed over a lot of Marie’s life, because I wasn’t sure how much would interest my readers. If you’re intrigued with science, by all means, go do a more detailed search of Marie. Her work is so exciting to learn about and it’s crucial to understand the history of medicine.

~~Amie~~

Women of History: Queen Elizabeth I

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“Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock which bends to no wind.”

The women who spoke those strong words was the one who gave the English empire a place on the map. Queen Elizabeth the first, one of the four queens in the 1500s to rise up and shake tradition. A political genius, incredibly smart women, and someone who knew her limitations, and yet pushed herself beyond them.

Elizabeth Tudor was the second daughter of King Henry the VIII and the first daughter of Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth never knew her mother, as was custom of the time, being nursed by another woman, and sent to a different castle at only a few months old. Anne was killed when Elizabeth was two years old.

As Elizabeth grew, she never seemed to miss her mother, or perhaps, even at a young age, she understood that politically, it wasn’t safe for her to mourn her loss. Elizabeth resembled her father in looks, and tried to resemble him as much as possible in attitude, knowing that only by her relation to her father could she hope to rise to the throne.

Elizabeth was extremely close to her younger brother, Edward, though she was only tolerated by her older sister, Mary. She also befriended King Henry’s last wife, Katherine, remaining Katherine’s friend and living with her, until Katherine died.

Intelligence was one of Elizabeth’s gifts. She was able to speak and write six languages. By the end of her formal education, Elizabeth was one of the best educated women of her generation, able to rival any man. It is rumored that she might have been able to speak three other languages as well, though it isn’t confirmed.

Elizabeth’s younger life was never easy. Ever in displeasure with some royal or political figure, she soon learned that the only way to survive and keep her head was to remain silent and sober, hidden in the shadows. She spent years in solitude, with only her nurse, tutor, and a few servants.

In March 18, 1554, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the tour, durning the reign of Mary, her sister. Mary, a staunch protestant, had sentenced Elizabeth without much evidence to support her doing so. The supporters of Elizabeth were able to convince Mary to let Elizabeth free, and so Elizabeth went back to her quiet lifestyle in the countryside of England.

On November 17, 1558, Bloody Mary died due to cancer, and Elizabeth the I ascended to the throne.

In the 1500s, it was unheard of for a queen to rule a country without a husband. Even Bloody Mary had a husband. It was part of culture and politics to marry the women off to good political and monetary matches.

But Elizabeth would have none of that.

“I would rather be a beggar and single than a queen and married.”

Now, to understand completely Elizabeth’s repugnance of the thought of marriage, I need to explain what royal marriage was like. In a royal marriage, the men were in charge of everything. Everything. And the women were to parade in social gatherings, and bear children.

From a young age, Elizabeth knew that she wanted to be the Queen, King, and leader of the country, not some human giving birth to future kings, and princesses that would be married off to continue the cycle.

Nope, Elizabeth decided to be a world changer, due to the protestant upbringing and education she was given.

Due to her years of education, and her incredible wit and intelligence, she was ready and able to take on the political games that were played. She was more “moderate” than her father and half-siblings, giving protestants and catholics alike freedom from persecution, as well as building the English empire and refilling the royal treasury that had been sadly drained.

Two interesting things happened during Elizabeth’s reign. The death of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Mary was Elizabeth’s cousin, younger by ten years, and Queen of Scotland and France. She lost her Queenship of France at the young age of 16, when her beloved husband died at age 15.

A staunch catholic, and fully involved in the cultural marriage games, Mary made a serious mistake that lead her in the end to being taken to the Tower for 19 years before finally being beheaded.

While the Spanish Armada was built by King Philip of Spain. The same Philip that was married to Bloody Mary. (Yes, all the relations are mind boggling and disgusting.) Elizabeth’s privateers, Sir Frances Drake and his men, made short work of one of the biggest naval fleets at that time in history.

Elizabeth died March 24, 1603, after a few years of intense depression. She was lamented by many of the English people, and has left historians with both favorable and unfavorable opinions of her.

I think we can all say that she was “mere English” and trusted in God, honest advice, and the love of her subjects for the success of her rule. She should inspire us to flourish in spite of hardships, isolation, and times that look bleak. Because ultimately, God has a plan for us and for history.

~~Amie~~

Women of History: Hannah More

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Hello, folks! It ’tis the beginning of March. And if you live under a rock, or in another country and did’t know, March is women’s history month in the US.

If you also did’t know, I’m obsessively obsessed with history. To the extent I would gladly waste time and money on getting a doctorate in history. Except I have common sense, and won’t be pursuing that path at the moment.

I’ve always thought that other people weren’t interested in hearing me rant about history. But after a lot of doubt, I finally posted this post, on the Civil War, and y’all seemed super interested in what I had to say.

So this month, every Tuesday, you’ll be receiving a post about a woman in history that more people should hear about.

Before you get on your high horse, my point with these posts isn’t to show that women should rule history, my point is that the world is a better place when men and women work together, just like Adam and Eve worked together in the garden. So are you ready? I am, so let’s get started!

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The year was 1745, and a little girl came into the world. A girl who would grow into a woman. And this woman wasn’t afraid to voice her opinions or stand against society’s cultural bounds. Known for her memory, wit, and sharp tongue, this little girl grew with a thirst for knowledge. A thirst her mother praised and fed.

Hannah More was known through her teen years for her intellectual gifts. She was able to speak French, she studied Spanish, Italian, and Latin, spent most of her time reading, and attended lectures and the theater.

But her favorite intellectual employment? Writing.

Now, everyone says that in the 1700s, men suppressed women writers, so there weren’t any. My friend, set down your man-written history book, and dive into biographies and autobiographies of the 1700s, and you will meet Hannah More, Maria Edgeworth, and Phillis Wheatley, all geniuses in their own rights.

But you’re right. Everyone is right. As More said herself, the women writer “will have to encounter the mortifying circumstances of having her sex always taken into account; and her highest exertions will probably be received with the qualified approbation, that it is really extraordinary.”

Ah, but like many of the women that we should admire in history, More turned that obstacle into an opportunity. Her goal was to succeed in getting esteem, and she was blessed with a natural talent and an eloquence that influenced her entire culture.

At age eighteen, she wrote a play called “The Search after Happiness,” which sold 10,000 copies by the 1780s. More went to London, where she spent her time with the literary elite, which in turn, happened to be men, though she also became a prominent member of the Bluestockings. The Bluestockings were an elite society of women who engaged in intellectual conversations, as well as polite conversation.

More wrote a tragedy, called Percy, which produced by the Covent Garden Theater, and later was produced at theaters across England, in France and in Austria. The famous actress Sarah Siddons played the leading role of Elwina, and Percy was even produced in Vienna, where Mozart might have been in the audience, a copy of Percy having been found among his books upon his death.

Despite the success that came to Hannah, in 1785, she left the glitz and glamor of social life to devote her to writing religious tracts, short stories, teaching girls at her sisters’ school, and standing up for a larger cause than the theater.

Abolition.

More was behind men such as Henry Thornton, William Wilberforce, and other men in the Clapham Sect. Men that would change the England as it was, by the help of Hannah More’s fiction works.

More remained single her whole life, though she was engaged before her literary works took off. Her fiancé, however, backed out of the engagement three times. More resigned herself to her single lifestyle, and soon realized that by being single, she was able to devote her time and energy to important things, such as writing and abolition.

In 1808, More published a novel anonymously. Within a few days, the first print was sold out. The public wanted to know the author, and guess what? The publishers caved, much to More’s dismay, and the whole world knew who wrote “Coelebs in Search of a Wife.”

Like most authors in history, More struggled with illnesses, mostly linked to her mental health. Critique to her work often brought on spells of intense, debilitating illness. But More’s sisters and friends rallied around her when she struggled, and she came out of her depression with a new burst of energy to pursue her passions.

More’s last years were spent in writing, and ended her life as a successful woman, standing against culture in her faith, standing against culture in her singleness, and in her passion for educating women.

Having read More’s plays, I can understand why the public fell in love with them. I can also see how in a world that valued wit and intellect, More was able to overcome the fact that she was a woman, and be able to engage in intellectual conversation with the literary elite of that time.

To be honest, her life astonishes and encourages me. If a woman could have done this in the 1700s, why can’t both men and women do it now? Why can’t we stand strong, face the world head on, and show people that history can be shaped by words, by art, and by those who put their trust in God.

~~Amie~~

 

Debunking 8 Myths on the Civil War

I’m a history buff.  Once upon a time, I listened to a historical fiction audio drama, and since that fatal day, I’ve been a goner.  One of my favorite eras in history is the American Civil war.  Some people call it The War Between the States, while others prefer the title of The War of Brother against Brother, and some very strange people like the title of The War of Northern Aggression.

Today I’m going to give you a bit of my thoughts on this sad time in American history.  Or, in better words, I’m going to be debunking some of the thoughts that I’ve fallen across during my learning, because my dear people, don’t believe all you read in a history book…Or online.  Please, use your brain and THINK.

(Note: I do not have a degree in history or anything close to that.  I’ve just read a lot, heard a lot of talks on history, and observed other history lovers.)

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1. You are either a souther or northern sympathizer.  There’s no middle ground.

When you read a book about the Civil war, or you hear a speech, you need to recognize one plain factor.  There is no middle ground when it comes to the Civil war.  Some may say, “I don’t agree with either side.”  Regardless of how much you agree, you agree with  one side more then the other.

The speaker/writer/person will have a side that they lean to in their argument.  I mean, we’ve all seen this when we’re fighting with our siblings.  Our parents never have partial interests, they always lean to one side or the other.

This was recognized all over the United States during the war, it was recognized in the years of reconstruction, and somehow in the years following, it has been lost.

My dear friends, in this fight, there was no middle ground.

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2. Both Sides Were Wrong.

WHAT?  Yes, both sides were wrong.  Because both sides had sinners on them!  The South as well as the North, and the North as well as the South.  Every “cause” besides the cause of Christ has been wrong in some shape or form, because the people behind the cause are sinners, just like you and me.

Both sides had good stands and bad stands, just like politics today.  Both sides had brave men, and both sides had cowards.  Just like in any war today.  One of the huge faults of people learning history now-a-days is the fact that we tend to forget that however much of a genius they were, they were still human.  Humans are humans, whether they’re a 10-year-old Confederate drummer boy, or the 55-year-old general of the Federal army.

I admire both sides of this war, and different people on both sides, but each person has faults.  History doesn’t often guild this faults, instead, it makes them all the more evident.

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3. The South Wasn’t Christian.

Again, I hear you Southern Sympathizers gasping.  Anyone who told you that the government of the Confederate States of America was Christian is a lier.  In fact, most Confederate politicians were crafty men that loved bribes.  (If you think you can be a Christian and accept bribes, please, read the book of Proverbs.  Thank you.)

Guess what?  They were politicians, after all.  Politics hasn’t changed much since the beginning of American history, and it certainly hasn’t changed in the past 150 years.  The politicians in the South were headstrong and stupid, as well as being terrible when it came to war tactics.

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4. Abraham Lincoln Wasn’t A Hero

There was a man that came out of the Illinois wilderness, and became the hero of America overnight, right?  Well, he did become a hero overnight, but it wasn’t when he was elected.  It was when he died.

Abraham Lincoln wasn’t well loved by the people or by the politicians of the North.  The people were well tired of him by the time 1863 rolled around.  It was only by Sherman winning the Atlanta campaign that Lincoln was able to be re-elected.

The politicians didn’t like Lincoln for many reasons, some being his stupidity when it came to war matters, others because of his beliefs in both religion and politics, while others disliked him because of his insane wife.  (I could write a whole articles about Mary Todd Lincoln, but I think I’ll refrain.) Needless to say, Abe Lincoln wasn’t viewed as a hero in the North until he was dead.

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5. Jeff Davis Wasn’t a Hero

No one angers me more in the Confederacy than Jeff Davis himself.  The people who elected Davis as President of the Confederacy made a grave mistake.  Davis was as bad as Lincoln himself when it came to war matters, and he wasn’t a very good people person.  He wasn’t impersonal when it came to officials, and he wasn’t very good at smoothing the rough spots in the Confederate government.

He was often blinded his personal likes or dislikes of people.  (Take for example his liking of Braxton Braggs, which led to the fall of Atlanta.)  Jefferson Davis is one of those men that you read about, and you just aren’t able to say if he was just sadly stupid, or if he did all that he did on purpose.  Regardless to say, Jefferson Davis never was, and never will be, a hero.

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6. The South would never have won.

I heard more Southern Sympathizers gasp.  I’ve often heard people say, “If this had happened in this battle, the South would have won.” Or they say, “The South could have won if this person did this.”

I’m here to shake your beliefs, people.  The South never would have won, because the South never was ready to win.  The South never even had time to consider what they would do if they won.

I already spoke on the state of Southern politics.  That is just one reason why the South would never have been able to win.  The South had no Patrick Henry, no Thomas Jeffersons, and certainly, they had no John Adamses.  Instead, they had a bunch of men that squabbled like children over each of their assumed rights.

Also, the South had no economy to support them if they won.  They were an agriculture country that heavily relied on slaves.  Even if they had won, the North would still have had some control over the slave trade and shipping their products to say, England.  The South was unable to support itself.

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7. The North Needed Better Soldiers

People look at the North, and see superb politicians.  But unfortunately politicians are not the only people who win battles.  Not only did the North lack brilliant and courageous generals, they also sadly lacked moral in the common foot soldier.

Let me put it this way.  In the South, the boys were fighting on their land, their country side, and in front of their homes.  The Northern boys had no fear of the Confederate Army marching into Pennsylvania or Ohio and destroying their homes.  So?  Many Northern boys didn’t go.  There wasn’t honor or much glory in the idea of leaving sweet hearts and families to get a stray bullet in the chest.

Many of the soldiers in the Northern Army were vagabonds and men in for the money.

Please remember I said many.  There were men like Arthur MacArthur who were courageous and risked their lives for others.  But if the Northern Army had had the moral and generals that the Southern Army had, they would have won the war much earlier.

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8. The South Needed Better Politicians.

The men from the South were mostly hardened planters.  Men that came from English, Scottish, French, and Spanish stock.  They were used to heat, used to sweat, and used to hardships, and they were fighting for the land that gave them food.

Many people forget to take religious beliefs into consideration when it comes to the Civil war.  I’m going to show you something interesting.  In the 1840s and 50s, the church in America split, and there became Southern Baptists and Southern Presbyterians.  The split of the church in America was evidence of the oncoming struggle, and played a rather large role.

The men of the South experienced a great revival in their camps during the war time.  Men that had always been brave and courageous, now laid down their lives at the feet of the cross.  This not only boosted determination in these men to protect their lives, but also gave them courage to give them away on the battle field.

Unfortunately it isn’t just soldiers and generals that win battles.  You need smart, brave, and upright men as politicians to win a war and change the world.  It was these men that the South was lacking.

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What should you take away?

If you had to take away anything from this post, I want you to take away this simple thought.  In America today, we often dwell on the individual.  We can hold our own, we each must fight for our own freedom, but I’m here to tell you something.  We can never buy our own freedom.

The freedom that you and I enjoy today has already been bought for us.  We shouldn’t fight for our freedom, but for the freedom of those who come after us.  Christ paid the price for the ultimate freedom from sins, but in this life on earth, as Christians, we are called to fight for freedom from earthly tyranny.

In order to fight and win, we need to study the mistakes of those who have gone before us.  We need to be well grounded in history, so when our turn to fight comes, we can remember what worked for those before us, and what didn’t.

~~Amie~~

Another quick fiction

Hello, guys!  I felt like I should share this short story I wrote yesterday.  Haha, and that’s only because I didn’t want to take any pictures, or spend a long time on a post.  Enjoy!

Operation Killer

The heavy morning mist came up from the ground as we stood.  All two hundred of us looking the same, and yet, not the same.  We wore the same uniform, carried the same weight, and were on the same mission.  There was a bond between us that none could break, no, not even death.

I rested the a hundred pounds of dead weight I had to carry on the ground.  All together, I was trusting a parachute to carry roughly two hundred and fifty pounds to safety on the ground.  Well, I didn’t like to think of it that way, and neither did my comrades.  We trusted that we’d make it safe, like we had the millions of times before. 

“In a brown study, eh?” Asked one of my comrades, Phil Jensen.  He was briskly bouncing up and down, his thumbs slid under the straps of his gear.  He was cocky, full of spice, and occasionally annoying. 

“No,” I answered quickly.

“Aw, Ed, we all know that death isn’t something to take cheerfully,” Phil continued.  I winced just slightly.  We were the trained 17th Ranger Regiment after all, we should face death with a feeling of steel, shouldn’t we?  Trained in Georgia, and sent out to all the special and elite missions, we were the top notches.  Similar to the Navy SEALS.  

Not only did I wince at death, but I couldn’t stand to be called Ed.  My whole life I was Ned, and whenever someone shortened it to Ed…Well, it got on my nerves.

“You’re a brick, Phil,” I said, my voice heavy with sarcasm.  I looked at the sun, that rose in splendor above us.  The sky was streaked with orange, red, and a blush pink, and it all reminded me that we were soon to be packed like cattle into a C-119 “flying boxcar.”  

“Thanks,” Phil grinned his crooked grin, before turning his attention to another paratrooper.  I was dreading the flight.  Once the jump was over, all was well.  Perhaps you had to attack the Chinese and Koreans, but you were full of adrenaline, and you had already been trained for that.  It was the long, stuffy ride that made me sick to my stomach.  

At least I wasn’t one of the men that vomited.  Many a time I had to ride 170 miles with someone’s lunch in my lap.  We were packed so close together, that those in charge would walk on our laps to get from one end of the plane to the other.  At times, the pilots delighted in make our stomachs churn with the spins they would make the plane take.  By the time it was time to jump, you were more than ready.

Now, we were facing Operation Killer.  I always thought that name was fitting.  On this mission, there were 700 Rangers, and over 2000 paratroopers.  We were to go behind enemy lines southwest of Seoul, the capital of South Korea.  The village was called Munsan-ni, and we were facing not only the North Koreans, but the Chinese “volunteers.” 

We were to be dropped on rice paddies, and the goal was to trap the Chinese and North Koreans.  The date?  Why, it was Good Friday in 1951.  If we seceded in our mission, it would indeed be a good Friday. 

We were marshaled into the planes, and the trip was long.  Many of the men squirmed as the plane went higher and higher.  The constant drone of the plane’s engine was soothing, at least to me, but the altitude was making my ears to pop. 

Before I was ready, we were told it was time to jump.  One after another, we were rudely shoved out the door if we didn’t jump fast enough.  As I waited for my turn, I steeled my nerves.  These weren’t people I was fighting and killing.  They couldn’t be.  They wouldn’t do this if they weren’t.

But I knew they were people.  And I knew that this wasn’t the way God had intended for people to resolve their conflicts.  Before I had finished my prep talk, I was rudely shoved out of the door.  

For one moment, panic lurched in my throat.  I reached for my parachute, and pulled the string.  Suddenly, I wasn’t dropping, but slowly floating.  Quickly, I shoved my gun from me, and released my pack.  There, all was done, and I could watch my comrades flying around me.  I would be all right…As long as I landed rightly.  And the strings didn’t break that were attached to my gun.  

The parachuting was all too short, and yet it seemed to last hours.  Suddenly, I touched the ground, and was covered by my large parachute.  The ground was wet, and my boots sank in the mud.  I took off my parachute in a hurried frenzy, and followed the strings to my pack, and my gun.  The relief of about forty pounds of parachute off my back was wonderful, but now a purpose was rooted in me.  There was only one thing to do to get out of this alive, and that was to make sure they didn’t get out of this alive.  

I looked around me and saw my comrades going through the same process. The steel in my blood spurred me onward.  The battle had begun. 

The gunfire started, and soon the pristine mountain air was clouded with the smokey gunpowder smell.  The ritual of firing continue.  My trusty M1 Garand pinged with every bullet I let fly.  After so many bullets, it was time to reload.  I was a fast reloader, and soon I was again in action.  

During the blood boiling scene, I felt a hot searing in my left calf.  Without realizing it, I fell to my knees.  The shock was etched across my face as I continued to topple downward.  I couldn’t catch myself.  My leg wasn’t responding. 

As fast as the searing had come, it left, but only to have pain that returned with a gut-wrenching quality.  I lay on the ground, my comrades jumping over me, or avoiding me.  I was alone, watching the battle take place from the ground.  I propped myself up, and scooted myself to a rock.  I must keep fighting.  A Ranger always fights until death.

As I managed to get to a rock, I started to think.  Why did God allow this to happen?  And as I thought I remembered my mother, who always said, “Never fight a war unless you know it’s just.”  Was this war just?

The pain made me see spots, and I looked down to see my pant leg a dark red, a red so dark it was almost brown.  I began to think about all the wars in Scripture.  Usually they didn’t seem just.  What was a just war?  Was there such a thing?

My mind drifted back to Sunday school, and the garden of Eden.  Suddenly, I paused before I pulled the trigger.  The reason we were all like this was because of sin.  It was sin, and the world would always be polluted by sin.  There never would be a just war, and there would never be an end to war in this world.

But there would be a world where there was an end to wars.  Would I be there when it happened?  Just as sharp as the bullet that had torn my leg was the feeling of guilt that pierced my heart.  I was the reason that Jesus was hung up there on that tree.  It was my fault.

There, in the bloody battle field, I had my heart washed white as snow.  Washed with the crimson blood that Jesus shed on Calvary.  I was picked up off the field later that day.  We had killed over 300 of the enemy, and had captured 131, but that didn’t matter to me.  I was saved, not from being a POW, but from being lost in Hell forever, where the fire burns continually.  

I continued as a Ranger, but my view of death was not the same.  I was purged by the blood of Jesus, and I knew where I was going if a bullet did find it’s mark.  I was saved. 

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What did y’all think?  Do you enjoy short stories?  Would you like more?  What is your favorite kind of post on Crazy A?

~~Amie~~

What’s on My Bookshelf? (pt. 2)

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And welcome to the second part of what’s on my bookshelf.  If you haven’t seen/read the first part, go check it out here.  Now we are moving on to the second shelf.  This is mostly historical fiction and books that mean a lot to me and are non-fiction.  (Okay, besides one of my favorite mystery series.)

First up we have…

Vogue Sewing

*Cough* I would not have this book at all, except that my mom has a degree in fashion design and insists every seamstress must have a vogue sewing book.  So, my mom has one, and so do I.  I think mine is a newer edition, though.  Anyway, the moral of this rambling is that if you’re a seamstress like me, you probably need this book.  (According to my mom.)

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon

Great book, y’all.  I like his other book, Seven Days Left much better, but that’s not on this bookshelf.  It’s an amazing tale of a pastor who is shaken out of his apathy by one simple question: What Would Jesus Do?  No one expected that one question to change the lives of these people in such a drastic way.  I encourage you to read this book!

The Boxcar Children Mysteries

Oh, I love these books (Even though they’re for nine-year-olds, and I’m a teenager)!  Don’t get the newest ones.  Only get up to number 50, because the rest are so-so.  I got these old editions from the thrift store, and I instantly fell in love with Henry, Jesse, Violet, and Benny.  I love these mystery books because they aren’t that cliché, and the characters remind me of my siblings and I.  Since I have roughly 25 books, I won’t give you the details.  The only thing that puzzles me is how they stay the same ages for five summer vacations.  Hmm, strange.  Anyway, next book!

The Last of the Mohicans (Abridged)

I think I have this so I can hand it to my brother next time he comes begging for something to read. 😉  No, not really.  I enjoyed it when I was younger, though I can barely remember the plot line.  Maybe I should request the actual book from the library?  (I have this feud with abridged novels.)

War in the Wasteland by Douglas Bond

Ooh!  What an AMAZING book!  Towards the end of WWI, Nigel finally enlists.  Once he is in the trenches, he battles not only the enemy, but loneliness, illness, and his fellow soldiers.  Along his journey, he meets up with a young lieutenant known as Jack Lewis.  Join the adventure as Jack and Nigel fight together, and are wounded together.  This really is another must read!

(Note: This really is more of a boy book, so if you’re a girl who doesn’t like war, or illness, or rotting feet, please don’t read this and blame me for calling it amazing.)

Faith and Freedom Trilogy by Douglas Bond

Guns of Thunder…Wait, I’m missing the second book!  I’ll have to check my brother’s room.  *Goes into the cave*  *Comes out red-faced* Okay, so I couldn’t find it in my brother’s room, and he’s not here at the present, since he’s at work, so I’ll have to look up the title.  Guns of the Lion, and Guns of Providence.  (I am now really upset I can’t find that book.)  So these deal with the grandchildren great-grandchildren of the characters in the Crown and Covenant series, and they’re set in the revolutionary war.  Really good books.  I need to read them again.  Oh, and it’s such an exciting adventure the boys go on.  I really enjoy books about adventurous kids, but especially boys, if it’s a historical fiction.  Girls for some reason bring the romance into the book, and it’s just not as edible, you know?  Maybe you don’t know.

Crown and Covenant Trilogy by Douglas Bond

Yep!  I do like Mr. Bond’s writing.  This book takes place in Scotland during the 1600s when King Charles the 2nd was on the throne.  The Protestant church (or Kirk, as the Scots called it) was being persecuted by the Catholics, and the Scots had the bravery and valor to stand for what they believed in.  These books are amazing, because Mr. Bond makes the characters talk in brogue.  Aye, an’ ye didnae think it could get better, did ye?

Heroes in History by Douglas Bond

I have Hostile Lands and Hand of Vengeance here on my shelf.  Hostile lands is very fascinating for me, since I can speak a bit of Latin, and it’s about a Latin parchment written by a Roman Centurion.  Very interesting read.  Hand of Vengeance is about vikings, and I can’t really remember what that one is about.  (I know, terrible.)  So, you should really go look Mr. Bond up.  The only book I would tell you NOT to read of his is The Betrayal.  It gave me nightmares for weeks.  *Shivers*. Even that book was just a bit too gruesome for me.  (Or maybe I’m too imaginative.)

Ten Girls Who Changed The World Series by Irene Howat

Um, I really liked these when I was nine.  They’re good history books for young girls, but I haven’t read them in years.  Just reminds me of when I was little. 😉  These books have short chapters about famous women, from Florence Nightingale to Patricia St. Johns.  So, in the series it covers 50 women all together, and each book has ten women in it.  It’s a pretty neat little book series.

Caddie Woodlawn by Carolyn Ryrie Brink

Carol Ryrie Brink is a superb author, even though some of the books she writes are questionable.  (Why do I know so much about the authors?  If I like an author, I go a request all their books from the library until I’ve had my fill of the author.  😂)  Caddie Woodlawn is a dashing story of an elven-year-old in the year of 1864.  The end of the Civil war is in sight, but that doesn’t affect young Caddie’s life in Wisconsin.  She and her two brothers, Tom and Warren, have grand adventures.  One day they’re visiting an Indian camp, and the next they’re plowing a field.  It’s a sweet book about the author’s grandmother.  I’d highly recommend this book, and the sequel, Magical Melons.

Abigail Adams by Evelyn Witter

A wonderful book about a wonderful woman.  It’s a book for a younger crowd, complete with engaging sketches, and adventures.  It’s about Abigail Adams, from her life as a young girl to her life as the wife of the second president.

Annie Henry and the Secret Mission by Susan Olasky

Ooh, another fun book!  I always wanted the rest of the books in this series, but I never got them.  Annie Henry, the daughter of Patrick Henry, is anxious to hear what is really happening between Britain and the Colonies.  When she hears her father state the well-known words, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Annie decides that she too will do her part for her country’s independence.

The War Rages On by Cecelia Schmidt

I love these books!  My friend, Cecelia, wrote this trilogy, and I’m hoping to do a review in the hazy future.  Anyway, the first book, The War Rages On, is about Grace Johnson, a sixteen-year-old Christian girl.  Her father is not a Christian, and that complicates things when Grace falls head over heels for the preacher’s boy.  Life is rocky as the peace of the country and the peace of her home hang on a thread.

The War Within by Cecelia Schmidt

Well, okay, I probably can’t tell you much without it being a spoiler for the first book.  Grace finds trouble, or trouble finds Grace at the end of the Civil war.  The newly started Ku Klux Klan is threatening Grace, and those she loves.

The War’s End by Cecelia Schmidt

This is my favorite out of the three.  It’s the longest as well.  Fifteen years have passed since you last visited Grace, and now she is a mother to her own children, and an adopted child.  This adopt child battles with heart-break as she learns a secret that involves her past.  To make matters worse, two outlaws show up in town, determined to destroy the town’s peace.

Toddy by Jane Peart

It’s 1890, and Toddy is in a crowded orphanage where her mother left her a few years before.  One day, a man and a lady come saying they want to bring some children out west for people to adopt.  Toddy and her three friends are chosen, and that starts an adventure of a lifetime.  Who will adopt Toddy?  What will her life be like?  Will anyone actually love her?  Read the book to find out!

Laurel by Jane Peart

Laurel and Toddy were two of the three musketeers at Greystone orphanage, and together they all adventured out west.  Laurel was really an orphan, her father and mother both dead, when she steps on the hissing train.  When she reaches her destination, she is adopted by a doctor and his grieving wife.  Will she ever reach her new mother’s broken heart?  Will she ever be able to pursue her dreams?  Or is she still stuck in her past?

Kathleen’s Shaken Dreams by Tracy Leininger Craven

Ooh!  I always wanted the other books in this series, but I’ve never gotten them.  I usually hate Life of Faith books because they take books and abridge them (Like the Elsie Dinsmore series!!!!), but I don’t think this book is abridged.  Anyway, Kathleen lives happily in her family, full of dreams for the future, and contentment with the past until that fateful day in 1929 when the stock markets crashed.  After that day, all Kathleen’s dreams come crashing down.

If The South Had Won the Civil War by MacKinlay Kantor

Oh, this is one of my old books.  Published in 1961, this book is kinda missing it’s cover.  Before I begin anything else, I must say this book isn’t exactly politically correct, so read at your own risk.  If history had just had a few changes in it, what would the fate of this nation look like?  What if Grant had been thrown from his horse during Vicksburg, causing him to die?  What if Stuart had eliminated certain cavalry group? What would have happened?  This humorous account of how the South won, and what the South did once they one is worth an afternoon of reading.  🙂

Anne Frank’s Diary by Anne Frank

Wow, this book is TERRIBLE!  Can you believe what happens in this book?  Not only what happens, but how Anne processes it all?  Before I move on to the second reason not to read this book, I’ll give you the first.  The whole time Anne is in the secret room, she’s only thinking about herself.

Sure, a few times she thinks about Peter…But only in the way of how he affects her, and why she needs him, and why he needs her.  Often she writes that she wishes she was better, but she never becomes better.  Even if it’s a great biography of a Jew during the holocaust, Anne doesn’t realize her danger, or what is going on beyond her own little world.

I don’t think anyone needs to read it.  Here, even though I risk copy right, I’ll add an excerpt.

Sometimes I have the same feeling here with Peter [referring to physical attraction], but never to such an extent until yesterday, when we were, as usual, sitting on the divan, our arms around each other’s waists. (p. 217)

Pause just a minute.  Do you see what I see?  This young girl and young guy, are ALONE sitting in a room, and they’re hugging each other. If that doesn’t sound wrong to you, please listen to this verse before I continue with Anne.

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)

Do you think sitting on a couch together, arms around each other, is fleeing youthful passions?  Now, we shall proceed and skip a paragraph.

He came towards me, I flung my arms around his neck and gave him a kiss on his left cheek, and was about to kiss the other cheek, when my lips met his and we pressed them together. (p. 218)

Um, Anne, didn’t you know that you’re supposed to keep yourself pure?  Where is your dad?  Why haven’t you told your parents?  And kids are supposed to read this book in school?  We (Americans) admire Anne Franks.  Every girl I know that goes to school loves this book.  Look at what they do!  And they don’t stop there, but I’m too ashamed to have it on my blog.

Please spare yourself.  Don’t read this book.

Unless, of course, you have no value for the purity of your heart and mind.  This book does not in any way, shape, or form fit up with Philippians 4:8.  I actually refrained from throwing it away so I could give it a review on my blog.

It’s (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

What a fitting book to have right after Anne Frank.  This book is for all young women out there.  As it says on the cover, “How to relate to guys in a healthy, sane, and biblical way.”  This is a book EVERY girl needs in her teenage years.  I’ll just quote the back of the book for y’all.

“Ever been confused about friendships with boys?  How to handle crushes?  How friendly is too friendly?  How close is too close? What to do when a guy is being too friendly?  What guys think about all this?  What it means to be a “sister, in all purity”? Guy-girl relationships have always been complicated, but perhaps never more so than today.  It’s (Not That) Complicated is a humorous, hopeful, and deeply thought-provoking new look at guy-girl relationships in our times.  Dealing practically with such complications as online interaction, Hollywood expectations, undefined relationships, and unrequited love, the Botkin sisters offer enduring biblical principles that can make it all much simpler.”

Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson

Ooh!  This is a GREAT book.  One you can’t put down, even if you ain’t a duck hunter.  This book is full of good life lessons, basic principles, and Phil’s love for God.  Read the story of a drunkard being turned into a millionaire by God’s redeeming love, and a simple love for ducks.  It’s one book you’ll never regret reading.  (For some reason this guy really reminds me of my dad.  😂)

Growing Up Duggar by Jana Dugger, Jill (Dugger) Dillard, Jessa (Dugger) Seawald, and Jinger (Dugger) Vuolo

Another splendid book for girls, and even for boys.  My mom made my older brother read this so he can understand “us girls.”  I’m sure you’ve heard of the Duggars, with their crazy (not so crazy) 19 children.  This book is full of stories from their growing up years, and biblical advice about your relationship with: yourself, parents, siblings, friends, boys, God, your country, and the world.

The Complete Works of Hannah More by Hannah More

Ah!  A book full of biblical and hilarious plays, all written in Elizabethan English. I suppose if you really wanted to use them besides reading them, you could change all the thee’s with you’s.  My favorite is “The Search After Happiness.”

Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior

A biography about Hannah More, a poet, reformer, and abolitionist.  I have a lot of friends that really admire her, and use her as an example for modern-day abolitionism.  It’s a great, inspiring book, but I find the part of her writing plays much more inspiring than the last part of her life.  And what was her big deal with disliking men?  Anyway, it’s a good book if you’re into that kind of stuff.  Maybe I’ll read it again someday.

And that is all the books on my second shelf of my bookshelf!  Next week, hopefully, you will see what is on my third and final shelf.

Adieu!

~~Amie~~

P.S. Have you read any of these books?  Did one of them prick your interest?  Have you ever read Anne Frank’s diary? Do you enjoy sewing?  What are your thoughts on Vogue sewing book?

P.P.S. Check out this reading challenge! 

P.P.P.S I really should have included this in the post, but sorry for a pictureless post.  It takes so much longer to search up those pictures.  🙂

The Body in Franklin

(All conversation is fictional, as is the owners of the house:  But this really did happen! Look up Colonel William Shy.)

“Ready for bed?” Mrs. Landen asked her five-year old son.  It was Christmas Eve, 1977.  John Landen looked up at his mom with a funny face.

“Nah, it’s too early.  The sun’s still up.”

“I know, I’m just teasing,” Mrs. Landen pinched her son’s cheek before walking into the kitchen.  Looking out her kitchen window which over looked her yard, she gasped.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Come in?  We have a murder,” a policeman stood over the casket in Mrs. Landen’s yard. Turning to Mrs. Landen herself, he asked, “How long has it been like this?”

“I truly don’t know,” Mrs. Landen’s face was pure white.  In front of her was a body–Without a head–stuffed halfway into a metal casket.  The casket had to be the old casket of Colonel Shy…but he was long gone.  The dirt on the bottom casket proved that.

The body was well dressed, surprisingly.  A black tuxedo and a ruffly white shirt covered the headless body.  The officer spoke into his radio before turning back to Mrs. Landen.

“I’m sorry for this inconvenience.  We will take the body to the Corner now.”

“All right,” Mrs. Landen nodded before returning to her house.

~~~~~~~~~

“The man has been dead for around a year.  I doubt we could find who killed him,” the doctor shook his head.  “Would you like his weight and height?”

The doctor’s friend nodded.  “Probably necessary.”

“5’11”, and weighs 175 pounds.  I’d assume he’s in his mid twenties.”

“All right, that’s documented.  Are you sure there’s no hope to find the murderer?”

“No, but maybe we can identify him once the Nashville Corner comes.  They might be able to tell more.”

“Let’s hope,” his friend nodded.  In a few days, more doctors had come to look at the strange body.  They too could not identify it.  At least they all agreed he had been dead around a year.

A little later, a museum curator came by to see the mysterious body of Franklin.

“Strange,” the man brushed his facial hair meditatively.  “I’m sure you’re correct in your estimated time of his being deceased, but his clothes catch my attention.  Either he was involved in  reenactment, or he decided to dress up for his death.  These clothes are from the mid-nineteenth century.”

That caused quite a stir in Franklin.  The murdered man wore clothes from the Civil war area?  Who was the murderer?  Did the murdered (headless) man reenact?  Why was he dressed like he was?

A while later, a skull was found…One that had a hole straight through it, indicating a bullet.  The doctors thought they might as well try the skull with the body.  To their surprise, it fit!  This body, that seemed to only be dead for a year…

Was the body of Colonel William Shy!

And he had been dead 112 years!

Colonel Shy’s body had so much arsenic (used for embalming in those days) that his skin still appeared pink!  And he hadn’t even started to decay.

Once the townsfolk found out that it was the hero Colonel Shy, instead of some strange murdered man, there was a sigh of relief.  They reburied Colonel Shy, and now his original casket is on display.  Previously, it was at the Carter house.  However, the Carter house leased it somewhere else for three years.

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What do you think?  Surprising?  How would you like to have a mystery like that in your hometown?  Would you like more history?

~~Amie~~

To Nashville! (and beyond!)

November 30, 1864.

Slowly, I pull my bare feet forward.  I hardly have the strength to go on.  We all know that — Hood is going to kill us yet.  I just pray to God that it isna here.  That it isna here.

March 7, 2018

I hug my coat closer and wish I had looked at the weather.  Who knew it would be snowing?  I stomp my feet and wish I hadn’t worn my cowgirl boots.  And yet, it was better than bare feet…and it was better than dying on this field.

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Where have I been all week?  In Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee!  Studying about good homeschoolers and battles bravely fought and bravely won.

It was so much fun, and so thrilling to learn about those men in Tennessee, and about the Generals…and to meet new friends.  I wrote about it so I would remember everything.  Before I get started, please realize half of the houses you couldn’t take pictures of the inside.  (I know!  I was totally bummed out.)

Stop #1: Rippavilla

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“They got away?  You were supposed to close the road!  You were supposed to stop them!  You were supposed–“

“Sir? Would you like more coffee?”

“Coffee?  When an army just snuck through my grasp?  Well, perhaps.”

In the yard of this stately house, the skirmish of Spring Hill was fought.  General John B. Hood had strategically placed his men to entrap the enemy…But somehow that failed.

To be honest, this house wasn’t my favorite.  The outside was beautiful, but the inside?  Eh, if you like mansions and work, this was your house.  I just like the magnolia trees and the yard.  It even had a gazebo!

Since it wasn’t my favorite spot, we’ll move on.

Stop #2: Observation Hill

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Hood stood next to me, irate as ever.  On his long face, his beard seemed to prickle.  “We attack them here.”

The Union army of 2,000 troops walked straight through the Confederate army of the same strength on the night of November 29. It was reported that several Union troops were caught while lighting their pipes in Reb fires.  We are not exactly sure why the Union army wasn’t stopped.  One Reb walked to Hood’s headquarters and informed him of what was going on.  Hood insisted he had told Cheetham take care of the matter–The only problem was that Cheetham was a drunk.

The Union forces ran all the way to Franklin, hoping to cross over the river and into the safety of Nashville.  However, that was not to be.  The bridges had washed out.

Hood chased the Union army to Franklin, where he realized he had to make his move before the bridges were built–before the Union army got to Nashville.  It seemed to be a now or never moment for Hood.  But Hood’s officers disagreed.


Standing in the same place as men like Hood, Forrest, and Cleburne was amazing.  I enjoyed learning about the men while I was there, and seeing the view.

Stop #3: The Carter’s house

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I closed my eyes.  That couldn’t be Uncle Todd.  It couldn’t have happened.  The doctor looked up and said, “Please hold that candle steady.”  I will never forget it.  Never, even though I am but eight.

The sad story of the Carter house stands out in my thoughts.  Maybe because the house itself was my favorite…maybe because the family reminded me of my own.

The Carter house was inches away from the Union strongholds.  In fact, the Union lines broke right at their house.  They have a small shed out in the back that is riddled with bullet holes.  There’s a cannon hole in the side of the house.

The family stayed in the cellar during the attack, as they didn’t think that the Rebs would actually attack in Franklin.  Would you attack men that had dug six feet into the ground and made breastworks?

The whole battle, minus forty-five minutes, took place in the dark.  It was hand to hand combat in the smoky darkness.  One survivor said that the smoke was so dense, he couldn’t pry his eyes open.  When he did, it was only to save his own neck.

The saddest part of the battle is that Fountain Carter came out of his cellar to see bodies everywhere…and then a Reb came up to tell him that his son, Todd, was lying injured on the battlefield.  This same son was supposed to be in a Union prison.

They found Todd…and three days later…he died.

Stop #4: Carnton

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“Your house will be used as a Confederate hospital.  I’d expect the men to arrive in fifteen to twenty minutes.”  And maybe they won’t ever leave–In fact, they might stay buried in your yard.

I’ve been to Carnton before, so it wasn’t as exciting.  How many have read The Widow of the South?  What?  None of you?  Okay, if you’re over thirteen, go read it immediately.  It’s amazing and it really makes you think.

I’m not going to dwell on Carnton too much.  If you like graveyards, go to Carnton.  If you like looking at dead soldiers names…go to Carnton.  If you like stories of brave women during wartimes…go to Carnton.

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Wait!  I’m not done with my visit, but I’m going to give you some human sides of this.  Like, what I did and thought.  I slept with my little sister, Rose, the whole trip.  She likes to cuddle.  And sleep in the middle of the bed.  Very annoying for me, since I do not like cuddling.

Here’s the quote of the trip.  (Credit to my younger sister)

Did you know the night is so long?  It’s longer here than at home.

My judgement on coffee during this trip.  At the first hotel it was so bad.  It smelled like charcoal.  And it tasted like stevia.  But, the second hotel’s coffee was so good, that I risked my life to go and get it at ten at night.

I enjoyed the tour, but the conference?  Well, I liked the vendor hall and meeting new people and seeing old acquaintances.

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Stop #5: Shy’s Hill

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IT SNOWED THAT NIGHT!  It had flurries all Wednesday, but Thursday it actually snowed on the ground.  It was a dusting–But still!

Shy’s hill was beautiful.  The story of courage, of fortitude, and of danger is thrilling.  Colonel Shy was told to hold this hill during the battle of Nashville.  When they saw a regiment of Minnesotans rushing up the hill, half of Shy’s men ran for their dear lives.  However, Shy stood firm and fought like a true man.

When shot in the head at point blank range, the hill was taken.  Shy’s body was the only body out of those Tennesseans that died there to be shipped home.  In fact, Shy’s body has a funny story to it.  However, I don’t have time or room to tell.  If you’d like to hear it, comment below.

Stop #6: Tennessee Capital

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Well, this is actually stop seven, but I don’t feel like telling you about stop six.  Anyway, we learned about Jackson, Polk, Johnson, and Sam Davis here.  Each man has an interesting story in his own right.

The statue above is of Jackson.

Did I know all this before the trip?  Um, most of it…Only because I read about it in a book about the Army of Tennessee.  You would like to learn more?  Read Company Aytch by Sam Watkins.

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Now, ready for the last bit of news?  *Grins really wide*. You won’t guess it.

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Did you say bunny?  A new bunny?  Now where did you get that idea?  Well, Snowball got a friend…his own blood brother to be exact…and we’ve named him Hedgcock, after our favorite author.

Sadly, Snowball would run away as soon as I got out the camera, but Hedgcock enjoyed posing for me.

What more history?  Think Hedgcock is cute?  Been to Nashville?  Comment below!

~~Amie~~