When I sit in the quiet
because I didn’t pay my cable bill
I realize I truly have
everything I need
but it feels like nothing at all.

My belly is full,
my house is warm,
and tomorrow is another day at work.

I’m riding in the last car
of a rickety old rollercoaster
barely hanging on
with the whitest knuckles.
The track goes nowhere
and we’ll never come to a complete stop.

Payday is never promised
but we’ll continue the ride
til darkness swallows us whole.

My daughter says all the flowers I draw look sad so I thought I would put this with my sad poem.

I think my guinea pigs know more than I think they do.

Tonight we visited my husband’s aunt. We hung out on her back deck because for some reason on December 26th in Northern Ohio it’s sixty degrees. It’s really strange.

Anyway, she has an adorable dog named Lucy. Lucy is a mutt; she’s small but not a little yappy thing either. She was bouncing around everywhere and playing with my daughter. For the few moments she would sit still I would pet her, but there was this one moment when she jumped on my lap and we locked eyes for a few seconds. She tilted her head a bit and I felt like we connected. 

I’m an animal lover and if we ever get a dog, I would want one like Lucy. The other night, I even had a dream that we got a dog, but it was just a dream. Our 950-square-foot house is already packed with five cats, three humans, and two guinea pigs. I have no idea where a dog would go.

I feel a connection when my guinea pigs and kitties look at me, too. I just wish I knew what they were thinking. I’ve posted about this before, but I am just so curious; do you think animals know more about us than we think they do? 

It seems like all my guinea pigs do is eat. Every time I step into the kitchen I hear “wheek, wheek, wheek!” from their cage. Their favorite snack is organic carrots with the greens still on them. I pick some up every time we go to the store. My husband, of course, makes fun of me when I tell him that I’m wondering what they’re thinking. He claims all they say is “Feed me, feed me, feed me!” I talk to them a lot; I wonder what they’re hearing.

I just hope all my pets are happy and that I’m giving them a good life. I wish there were more ways to communicate with them or to know what they are thinking. 

Maybe this is too much to ask of any living thing. It’s not like you can know what other humans are thinking either. I can communicate with other humans, but humans lie and steal and cheat; I just feel like animals would be more honest. 

Are an animal’s needs basic? Maybe they’re more complicated than we think they are. How would we ever know?

Am I giving them a good life? Do they know that they are giving me a better life? I’ve always had animals around me — for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t imagine living without them.

Do you ever wonder about this? Do you have a deep connection with your pets? Do you wonder what your pets think? Are they happy? Do they think they have a good life? Do they know more about us than we think they do?


Also, if you want to see something really cute, search “guinea pigs popcorning” on YouTube. It’s their little happy dance. My piggies do this when I put them in their playpen in the living room.

Happy Holidays and a Weird Flower Drawing

At work the other day there was a discussion on whether you should say, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. Ugh. Christians here will never understand what it feels like to be in a religious minority. Apparently, it’s too much to ask them to be respectful of everyone.

I didn’t say anything. I know I should speak out more but I also really like my job and want to keep it.

Why are we still having this discussion? Your imaginary “War on Christmas” isn’t real. No one is telling you to stop celebrating Christmas; we are simply asking you to acknowledge that there are other holidays and that not everyone is Christian.

Anyway, it was slow at work today so I made another weird flower drawing:

Happy holidays if or however you celebrate!

What are you working on?

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. Do you remember when I was working on my memoir? I decided to take another look at it after setting it aside for over a year. I’m pretty excited about it. That’s where my focus has been for the past week.

After my book, “Free to Roam: Poems from a Heathen Mommy” was released in 2021, Freethought House started working on publishing my memoir. However, Freethought House is no longer in business so the project fell through.

It is my goal now to clean up the manuscript and find another publisher. I had already done quite a bit of developmental edits with Freethought House which I think will be very helpful.

Wish me luck!

What projects are you guys working on? Inspire me! 🙂

New Poem — “Stay”


Past accolades faded.
Uncertainty reigns.
I never thought I’d be here
frail, fragile, forgotten.

I crave neverending hope.
I want support
but my steady strength
must come from within. 

Play a part until it becomes reality.
Darkness clings to my heels
but my outstretched arms
reach for a dying glimmer of light.

Unforgiving winds of doubt
pushed me down to a cruel, frigid earth,
and it has taken everything I have
to rise from the scattered debris. 

Silence and tears stall and pollute
but rage propels.
My words revealed the intentions
no one wanted to hear. 

Knock me down all you want;
I still want to see what happens.
I can crash and still burn bright
in the eyes of potential.

The sky tumbles
but I still have two feet on the ground,
stock in love,
and a hunger to fight.

The next day, the next hour –
the future’s in a fog but it doesn’t matter.
Time ticks by slowly
but it’s on my side.

Concrete isn’t solid
when your universe is inside-out
but a lifeline emerged
when I decided to stay.

Is it enough to just exist?

Get up. Take my daughter to school. Go to work. Come home. Sit in front of the TV. Go to bed. Repeat.

I. Want. More.

Is it possible to live a happy life in a simple routine? Is it enough to just exist and not want more? 

Sometimes I need to tell myself to calm my ass down. Sometimes my husband has to tell me that, too. I get bored easily and it’s never good. I feel guilty when I’m not actively working on something. I tend to be one of those “you only live once” people and just go for it. The clock of mortality is ticking.

But it’s okay to just sit and not do anything sometimes, right?

When I get in a funk, I don’t know whether to rest or give myself a kick in the butt. It’s really a fine line. In that moment, is it enough to just exist? I’ve had a rough year, especially health-wise, to the point where I was forced to “just exist”. The guilt and helplessness have been overwhelming.

I often hear the affirmation, “I am enough” and I understand that humans have inherent worth, but if you don’t want anything else, do you feel like you lack a purpose? Do we need a purpose? Does being an atheist affect your thoughts on having a purpose?

I’m sometimes envious of people who took a more traditional path – like things sometimes fall in place for people. I’m also jealous of people who can just be happy with what they have.

Is a simple life possible? Can you be happy in a routine? Would you even want a simple life? With everything going on in the universe, can you feel happy with your insignificance? 

Maybe I’m making too many assumptions here. Maybe no one has a simple life and you all are asking just as many questions as I am.

How do you feel? Do you have a routine? Are you happy with it? Is it possible to not want anything else?

Dr. Darrel Ray’s Presentation on Religious Trauma and How It Affects Your Brain

I just wanted to share a link to the Kansas City Oasis program this morning. Dr. Ray gave a really fascinating presentation on religious trauma and how it affects your brain. He also gives some really good resources at the end. You can check it out here. It is a recording of a Facebook live event.

Update: If you don’t have Facebook try this link. Click the “X” on the sign-in pop-up and you should be able to watch the video.

My Annual “I Hate Christmas” Post/Share Your Secular Holiday Traditions Here!

Last year I watched my next-door neighbor march all her pumpkins out to the trash can bright and early on November 1st. Later that day she had her Christmas lights up. I just watched out the window and chuckled.

I’m sure our neighbors are cringing this year because it’s December 1st and we still have Halloween inflatables in our front yard. My husband keeps saying he will take them down but at this point, I think we should just throw some Santa hats and scarves on them. 

I’m always irritable at this time of year. I really hate Christmas. The Christmas shit in the stores. The Christmas music playing everywhere. The crowds. It’s the most annoying holiday. But that’s the thing…it’s a holiday. It’s supposed to be one day but instead, it starts in October and lasts until New Year. You just can’t escape.

What’s hard is my daughter is now seven and she’s really getting into Christmas. A couple of nights ago, she wanted to build a “winter house” so we cut up an Amazon box to look like an open dollhouse. She made a Christmas tree, presents, and a reindeer from some of the cardboard scraps from the dollhouse. She’s a very creative kid but Christmas just keeps creeping up all the time.

She asked me yesterday if we can “finally” get a Christmas tree. My husband and I didn’t put up a Christmas tree until our daughter turned three. That year we broke down and bought one and my daughter decorated it with her hairbows. Her idea. Like I said, she’s a pretty creative kid. I guess it’s about time to put one up. I just wasn’t going to do it before Thanksgiving. 

My daughter also still believes in Santa. I’ve always been iffy on the whole Santa bit. When I was little and found out the Santa wasn’t real I was mad that all the adults in my life had been lying to me.

We did buy our daughter a Pokemon advent calendar. She’s obsessed with Pokemon and she was excited to open the first little door today. It was kind of fun.

Anyway, the point of this post is I want to hear how you celebrate Christmas when you can’t get away from it. How do you keep it secular? How do you keep it joyful for your kids when you are irritable and annoyed at a religious holiday that unfortunately lasts for two months? Please share your secular Christmas traditions!