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The Pretty New Girl

Some of the “obstacles” Grandma—or Geri—faced growing up was constantly moving and her younger sister. Geri was more proper, and her little sister was more laid back. A memorable experience was when Geri was called to the school office once. It turned out it was because her little sister was going by the name, “Honey.” Was that actually true? The school officials wanted to know. “No, her name’s not ‘Honey,” said Geri. Her sister said Honey was her name because, “That’s what everyone at home calls me.” Little sister hadn’t meant to embarrass Geri.

It would have been tough switching schools so often. Grandma was involved with school activities. One icebreaker seemed to be band.

A member of the band

A member of the band

She was a clarinet player. I call her the “pretty new girl.”I could picture students saying, “Have you met the new girl?” “Her name’s Geri Evans.”

The prettiest girl at every school

The prettiest girl at every school

This was backed up by Grandma herself when I told her how pretty she is in her pictures. She smiled and said people often told her that when she was growing up. She then told me she went to the movies with a boy in fourth grade. My jaw dropped. According to her and my mom, the church didn’t have strict rules about dating. But still, I was in shock. “Grandma!”

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Children, Courage, and Voting Your Conscience

I work at a school. I evade political conversations but listen to them if students engage in the subject. A student looked me in the eye and said, “Well I don’t want Trump. Trump is bad.” She looked down, made sure her shoe was on all the way, and then looked up. “But Hillary’s done some bad things…”

At that moment, there was a certain peace. I was assured I had done the right thing. The subject changed to something else, but I wonder if this student would be proud of my McMullin vote.

Children remind me of what I stand for. I voted my conscience. Many will say when it comes to voting, it’s more important to vote strategy. But it isn’t about that. Voting is about your choice—not a party’s or majority’s choice. Voting your conscience tells you what you stand for and don’t stand for. What you want to be.

I hope I showed courage like the American heroes today’s children are learning about. Those heroes that took a stand when they were in a minority.

I strive to be honest, true, and virtuous. I’m not perfect, but sometimes when I make choices, I think of my nieces and nephews. What type of example am I setting for them?

I hope posterity will view Sarah Patten as someone who chose to do the right thing even if it wasn’t popular. I hope they see that my beliefs reached to all aspects of my life—including voting.

 

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Whatever Happened to My Vote?

Whatever Happened to My Vote?

(Put together by Sarah Patten—inspired by “Whatever Happened to My Part” from the musical Spamalot and the 2016’s presidential election)

Whatever happened to my vote?
It counted and was worth to note.
Now the election is soon
And I don’t know what to do.
Third parties are stringing me along
As the debates go on and on
This is one unhappy voter
The race is getting grosser
Here’s a soul searching poem in my post
Whatever happened to my vote?

I am sick from what I read
What I see on the TV
What I hear on podcasts and Nancy.
The Democrats are still corrupt
Republicans will self-destruct
Do we think a Ross Perot should lead?
Ross Perot!

Whatever happened to my voice?
Once I could choose
Now there’s no choice
We’re with a pervert and a crook
Who are polluting Facebook
We might as well elect a dog
At least I’d follow Fido’s blog
If you think that sounds bitter
Just go and look at Twitter
The true and lying tweets give me a headache.

Whatever happened to my—
—I’ll get a passport, Sammy!

Whatever happened to my—
Not Trump!
Not Hillary!
But my vote!

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My Angel

Who said angels have to be people?

This post is dedicated to Angel on her birthday.

 An Unexpected Gift

Christmas Eve day in 2004 was a very special day. I was slow getting ready, and I believe I was staring at the Christmas tree when the phone rang. My older brother answered it and then quickly hung up.

“There’s a lab at Save Mart who needs a new home!”

With that, my family and I went from lazy to rushing to meet up with my mom.

When my family met up with Mom, she was with a mother and two little girls holding a black puppy.

A puppy?

I wanted a young adult dog. But my expectations changed as we took turns holding her.

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My family outside of Save Mart with our new “edition.”

We quickly found out she was named after her mother Angel. She was most likely part Labrador Retriever and Australian Shepherd. She had been born September 22. My family had fallen in love. Mom paid the previous owners, and we carried a very scared puppy home.

Angel hardly moved, wouldn’t eat, and ignored us when we got home. We had her rest in my  brothers’ room. I was in the hall trying to get her out. I gently talked to her. She would start approaching me and then go back in the room. Then she finally came and curled up in my lap.

Best Friend

Angel’s eyes show compassion when she knows you’re sad, and so she sits with you. She use to jump around when she could tell you were happy. She prefers sitting down now and wagging her tail. My dogs have always tried to make people happy.

As I mentioned before, Angel was very shy when we were brought her home. Her shyness was one of the probable reasons why she was the last pup of the litter to find a home. I had just returned from school and taking the winter off. Most of my friends were out of town going to college, and my family had their busy lives. I worked some, but I was basically alone. I think that’s why Angel and I became so close.

Angel’s Other Friends

Though socially awkward, Angel had a chance friendship with two dogs behind our yard. People love to see her. She’s come out of her shell. One person who broke through to her was a five-year-old girl. She’s thirteen now and is kind of like a second owner to Angel and my other dog. Angels also loves the girl’s little sister. Angel opens up more quickly to people she senses have gentle souls. She especially adores little children and babies.

Angel has aged quite a bit now. I don’t know how long she has to live. But she has had a good life. One individual that kept Angel going and probably preserved her life is our very energetic Australian Shepherd, Zane. He makes sure she gets plenty of exercise!

And of course, my parents. Angel has a harder time being around men, but she loves my dad. Angel really loves my mom.

I’m not there to take care of Angel, but I can rely on my mom to take care of the dogs.

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My mom shows so much love to the dogs.

And that is not always easy. The dogs are mischievous and have a new—and delicious— diet because of Angel’s special needs.

Angel easily makes me happy. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I believe Angel was sent from above.

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Happy birthday, Angel!

 

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The Return of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast

Being three decades old, I know it’s hard when people give advice freely—especially about marriage. There was a recent meeting/discussion about the topic. I liked what was said, but it made me think of two past posts I wrote. I hope those in the discussion will read this as well as those who contacted me right after I posted those articles! New readers of course are always welcomed.

Last year, I compared myself to the (non-Disney) Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beauty. In the Little Mermaid post I told how I related to the little sea princess mainly because past hopes and heartbreaks. I would also like to add the reason I have a problem with the story is she died after that heartbreak. That’s an easy way out. It’s harder but to live. That’s where my comparisons with her stop.

As for Beauty and for the Beast, it was about how I fell in love with myself by coming to the realization I have surprising accomplishments. (They’re surprising to me anyway.) And how it’s important to live.

The thing is, I still am connected with all these fairy tale characters.

Like the Little Mermaid, I have a fascination with discoveries and sometimes wonder too much. There are times I wish I could be more like her—take risks. Yes, caution is necessary but I think there are situations when it’s appropriate to step into the unknown.

As for Beauty and the Beast, I still see the beauty and ugly in me. I’ll never forget the night when I came to the unexpected conclusion that I loved myself. I’m telling you, it’s a wonderful experience falling in love—even if it is with yourself.

I guess I have no real advice about finding the one—which can be refreshing. Hopefully, though, my story will help others.

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The Extraordinary Mark Twain According to Susy

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I got this from a school book fair. $5 was the final and fair price.

The Extraordinary Mark Twain According to Susy, by Barabar Kerley and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, had a creative narrative and brilliant illustrations with little inserts of what Susy, the real life daughter of Mark Twain had to say about him.

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Funnily enough, a couple years ago, my dad said we should write short biographies of each other! Susy ended up writing over 130 pages about her dad!

In regards to Susy herself, I think it’s very appropriate and entertaining to write your own family member’s biography—especially in their life time so they can get more of a say. Susy wrote when she was thirteen, “It troubles me to have so few people know Papa, I mean really know him.” She made a good case for her papa and added unknown dimensions of him. From her portrait of him, I still saw a narcissistic man, but I felt more sympathy with how insecure and just how loving he was.

While I like what all the creators of the book did, I found my mind wandering, and it was hard to concentrate. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I recommend that classrooms should get their own copy.

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20 Questions with Sarah

Thank you to all my readers who continue to show interest in Her Storyline. I think it’s time that I answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

  1. What made you want to start up this website?
    Women are often misrepresented in history, but something that really motivated me occurred on one Tuesday night. I came back from a class, and my mom was watching a movie about an extraordinary heroine that took place during World War II. I wondered why I never heard of her. I thought of more stories that get missed in history, and I wanted to help bring them to the surface.
  1. How do you decide who you’re going to write about?
    I decide when knowing that a certain person won’t get out of mind until I write about her.  That’s when I know. There are so many people I want to write about, but there’s so little time!
  1. Are you the only person who works on this site?
    I do a lot of it, but I have my own inspirational support crew. They edit, write, give honest feedback, and are there to make suggestions. A special shout out to Jenny, Brenda, Lynn, Kyle, and Dad.
  1. So you do take suggestions?
    I do, but I can’t take them all unfortunately. However, I do like hearing them. They’re very uplifting.
  1. Where do you find your subjects?
    All over! Like I said, I take suggestions. Lots of times I feel like I’m led to them. I like history in general. Random books, shows, and footnotes make me curious. I’ve made the most discoveries, however, while doing research about someone else.
  1. Who’s been your favorite?
    I can’t say. That’s like picking a favorite child! It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
  1. Who do you like least?
    The majority of the time I love whom I’m writing about or I wouldn’t be writing about that person! However, there are people within their stories that I would like to have a little chat!
  1. Like whom?
    Hmm…the top two are King David and Robespierre. I don’t think they would like to talk to me though!
  1. Out of the women, who would you like to interview most?
    Whoever I’m writing about! If I had to pick one, though, I’d choose Anne Neville, wife of King Richard III. Hopefully, she would tell the truth about herself, her husband, and what really happened to those poor princes in the tower.
  1. Why don’t you post more often?
    It can take a really long time for me to research and write the posts. Sometimes I get too nervous. And I admit that sometimes I don’t make time.

11. Who’s surprised you the most?
        Definitely Marie-Antoinette and the Kennedy clan.

  1. Who would you like to be friends with most?
    I would have to say Michal. It sounds weird, but in a way, I feel like I’m already friends with her. I’ve spent the most time with her. If I met her in real life, I hope she’d let me in.
  1. What’s the biggest lesson you learned since starting this website?
    That extraordinary people exist now and all around us. Everyone really does have a story and contributes so much to society—even if they don’t think they do. As great as it is to learn about people in the past, it’s also good to learn about the people in the present.
  1. What’s the most frustrating thing about keeping up this website?
    Getting sad. Sometimes I can hardly bear the sorrow that these women went though. And to be totally honest, it’s also difficult for me to keep going when those who are near and dear to my heart roll their eyes at my efforts. Thankfully, I’m blessed with more supporters.
  1. What does “remember the ladies” mean?
    It’s what Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John, when he met with the Continental Congress in 1776. She wanted women to have a voice—almost 150 years before American women could actually vote!
  1. Will you write about Mormon pioneer women?
    I hope so! They are very extraordinary!
  1. What’s your favorite time period?
    I enjoy the intrigue surrounding the Wars of the Roses. I also love the Tudor era. Think about it—even if you don’t give a hoot about what was going on at the royal court, there’s something for everyone like religious reformers and martyrs, exciting world discoveries, and odd fashion.
  1. Who would you be most nervous to meet?
    King David because I haven’t been very complimentary toward him. I would still like to meet him, but he’d literally want to kill me! Out of the women, Charlotte Corday. Even though I believe she did the right thing, I wouldn’t want to upset her!
  1. Are you married?
    No.
  1. I didn’t like what you wrote. Can you change it?
    I take these requests seriously. Maybe. Maybe not. I try to be classy as well as honest.

 

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Heroines in the Star Wars Movies Resemble Real Life

Have you seen the Rogue One trailer yet? It’s intense. What’s another first impression—another girl?

Darn right another girl. The Star Wars thing is reflective on current affairs and wars that have left long lasting effects. Darth Vader’s captains and guards from the original Star Wars resemble Nazis. George Lucas also made the Nazis the bad guys in the Indiana Jones movie.

The last few decades many are fighting against terrorism. Many people have to leave their homes, defend themselves, and are without family. The Force Awakens seems to touch on that. When I saw the preview for Rogue One, I couldn’t believe how the movie seems to parallel with reality—particularly when it comes to women soldiers.

Perhaps the filmmakers didn’t have a specific group in mind, but I thought of the Kurdish women soldiers. How they’re going up against ISIS. A big motivation for them is that ISIS is afraid of being killed by a woman. ISIS believes that if a woman kills them, they’ll go to hell.

The world is full of brave people—women included. You can’t win a war without them.

More informations on Kurdish female soldiers:

Kurdish women on the front lines against ISIS by Trudy Rubin 

Kurdish women fighters wage war on Islamic State in Iraq by David Simm

 

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Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Last Friday, Rosemary finally came! Beforehand, I had noticed her on Amazon’s best sellers’ list, researched her online, placed a hold, and researched her a little more. I couldn’t wait to read about JFK’s remarkable sister. Finally I was alerted Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson had arrived.

It was a quick read.  As soon as I started reading Rosemary, I felt like I was being introduced to a new friend. Whenever I had to do something else, I closed the book, looked at the cover with Rosemary’s  portrait, and promised I’d be back.

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The book starts out with Larson dedicating the book to those with disabilities and their families. Larson narrates Rosemary’s story the way she sees it. It’s honest, heartbreaking, and hopeful.

I watched videos of the author on her book tour, and Larson is more frank with her opinions. However, in the book she gives the reader more lead way to decide if Rose and Joseph Kennedy Sr. did the right things for their daughter. Their concern for perfection and family seemed to be a constant conflict.  The Kennedy family cares a lot about image, and they worked hard to include Rosemary while strategically positioning her in public or hiding her so no one would notice their gorgeous daughter’s learning disabilities and mood swings. At the same, Rosemary also wanted to please her parents—from adjusting to multiple schools to the fateful lobotomy.

I enjoyed reading about the love between Rosemary and her siblings—especially Eunice who was especially talented when it came to calming down Rosemary. Whenever Eunice appears, you feel safe.

I’ve always had reservations about the Kennedy family—and still do—but have a new respect and admiration for them. Learning about how Eunice Shriver  founded the Special Olympicsis of course impressive. But I was happy to learn how much they personally cared and didn’t (and still don’t) do this charity work at a distance. The last part of Rosemary’s life, the Shriver family put a lot of effort into strengthening bonds with Rosemary. They made sure that Rosemary made frequent visits to their home. The visits could be challenging but also uplifting. The visits seemed to have inspired the Shriver children to be better people, and they would continue to be involved with the work their mother started.

I texted my mom right after I finished reading Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter. I highly recommended the book to her and recommend it to you. Rosemary is so compelling—so get to know her! Place a hold at the library.  Read this book. It sounds cliché, but you won’t regret it.

Recommended Videos:
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter 

Timothy Shriver Remembers His Aunt Rosemary Kennedy | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

Eunice Kennedy Shriver discusses her life and legacy

Recommended Sites:
https://bestbuddies.org/

http://www.specialolympics.org/

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Book of Mormon: Women of Sherrizah

I believe the Bible is true. I believe the Book of Mormon is true. I shudder at scriptural fiction about specific people that existed though. I get upset because the doctrine tends to get skewed  and people get misrepresented.

That being said, I really do find scriptural fiction exciting–as long as the main character isn’t someone who’s named in the scriptures. That’s why I am begging someone to write a novel about the women of Sherrizah from the Book of Mormon.

It would be a daunting task. The author would have be brave and spiritually in tune.

These women are the women in Moroni Chapter 9–the most gruesome chapter in the entire Book of Mormon. Both the Lamanites and Nephites do the most horrific acts. Mormon recounted the incidences in the letter to his son, Moroni.

First he wrote what the Lamanites did to the people of Sherrizah: 

And now I write somewhat concerning the sufferings of this people. For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron, behold, the Lamanites have many prisoners, which they took from the tower of Sherrizah; and there were men, women, and children. And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them. (vs. 7-8)

Sadly, it didn’t stop there. The Nephites showed horrid brutality as well:

And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery. (vs. 9-10)

If someone did write a novel about Moroni 9, I pray they wouldn’t get too graphic. There has to be a way to get across what happened though. Perhaps it can be told from the survivors’ point of view.

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Yes. I didn’t notice the survivors till recently.

And again, my son, there are many widows and their daughters who remain in Sherrizah; and that part of the provisions which the Lamanites did not carry away, behold, the army of Zenephi has carried away, and left them to wander whithersoever they can for food; and many old women do faint by the way and die. (vs. 16)

So the surviving women were left without provisions. The old women (many–never said all) seemed to have died quicker than the younger ones. They must have been exhausted. But all these survivors of the towers must have been tough. The old women might have been very heroic in aiding the younger ones.

As for the younger women, how did they live the rest of their lives? Were they left alone?

Like totally alone?

Remember that at the beginning of the letter, Mormon tells his son he doesn’t know the full story  For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron (vs.7)  And where did Amoron receive it? It seems like the worse things were, the quicker people heard about them. It is puzzling, however, that they did know some women eventually “escaped.” That forced cannibals had little to drink. That old women died by the wayside. Interesting details. Makes me wonder if Mormon and Amoron met some of the women. What would their conversations have been like? It’s heartbreaking that Mormon’s army couldn’t protect them or themselves.

And the army which is with me is weak; and the armies of the Lamanites are betwixt Sherrizah and me; and as many as have fled to the army of Aaron have fallen victims to their awful brutality. (vs. 17)

The women who survived were too few to be numbered. What could these women have lived for?

I think recognition of all the women in Moroni 9 is long overdue. We have to remember them somehow.

I really like the article that http://www.womeninthescriptures.com/ wrote about these women. Please read it. I like how the author includes words of hope that Mormon offered his son at the end of Moroni 9. I wish to quote verse 25.

My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever. (vs 25)

I hope the author who writes a novel based on these events includes the theme of hope.

But one day, perhaps in heaven, we’ll know the exact truth of what happened to the survivors of Sherrizah.

 Images:

The Mighty Fallen tree photo by Stanley Howe

Traditional Roman Catholic depiction of the Anima Sola (“lonely soul”) praying in the fires of Purgatory. From an old holy card.

Remember The Ladies