A Little Lost

I have to admit, I must be the worst blogger out there. I have spurts of time where I am posting every single day, sometimes more than once per day. Then I can go a year or two without posting at all. It does not make for a very popular blog.

I do not know why I am like this. That’s not true, I do know. It is my BPD. I get super involved in a project and focus all of my available time on that one thing. Then I suffer from burnout syndrome and need a break. The problem comes in when that break takes months and even years to correct and find my way back.

I love to write. I love sharing my stories with whoever chooses to read them. I love writing poetry especially. So why is does there seem to be such long-lasting lapses in time where I don’t write even one word of type?

The only reason I am even here today walking down memory lane is that a fellow classmate of mine (Thanks Pete) asked me for the correct link to my blog so he could read some of my work. I had to come to the blog to get the link for him. This in turn took me down a deep rabbit hole of rereading some of my posts.

I am ashamed at how long it has been since I last wrote. I am ashamed of the last post I posted, being one stating that I was finally publishing a book and asking for support for a Kickstarter campaign that I TOTALLY forgot about. I have not done a thing with that Kickstarter at all. In fact, I don’t even know if it is a valid campaign anymore. I have no clue how to sign into it or even get to it.

Needless to say, I am also ashamed that I lost the files to my poetry book I was working on and never published it. Again, it is a depression/BPD thing. Part of my personality that I have come to just accept. I start projects and never finish them just like I start school and never seem to finish it. I have good intentions when I start these things. You could say I am full of “High hopes” my dreams lead me down a path… and getting trapped inside my own head stops me dead in my tracks. If something starts to get hard, I quit. I am a quitter! I hate that part of myself. I don’t even know if anyone can relate to this side of me.

How can I learn to start something that I actually finish? I really have a strong desire to publish that poetry book. It is a dream of mine. But now I have to start all over from scratch and try to find and compile all of my poems again. So can I do it? That is the question.

I am Finally Publishing a Book

Hello to all of my followers,

You asked for it, so now I am working really hard to accomplish it. What you ask? Well a Poetry Book! I have finally compiled a book of poetry and have gotten a quote from BookBaby to publish it. I have also started a Kickstarter Publishing Campaign in efforts to get this book funded.

Here is where you come in. I need your help and support to make this happen. Living as a widowed single mother on SSD, I just do not have the funds necessary. The Kickstarter campaign is my only hope and only option.

I am asking for your support in sharing the link and for a small donation of any size to fund this book. 100% of the donated money will go towards this process along with fulfilling the donation rewards.

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for this support! You all mean so much to me! http://kck.st/2ohiOR8

Tonya aka: cheynoa

Walking in The Shadows

By: Tonya Ross

© August 19, 2019


My eyes do not conceal

What’s hidden deep inside

And if my tears could talk

Oh, the stories they would confide


Cause all I ever think about

Are the memories of my past

Years of trauma have been my guide

This depression’s here to last


To others, I am a broken soul

To be forgotten and left aside

So, loneliness becomes another burden

I must carry with me and try to hide


Though in shadow’s I forever walk

With footsteps heavy as they be

To take it one moment at a time

This, is my solemn plea


Music Has Power

For my Advanced Composition course, we have been working on a 10-page research paper. To go along with this paper, we had to condense the main points and create a powerpoint presentation to present these points. I chose the topic of Music for my paper/presentation. I am very proud of how this presentation turned out and have decided to share it with you here. Oh, yes I did receive an A. I will share my final paper after it is complete.



Vickie Brennan and The Help and Hope Closet

vickie brennan


At the address of 78 Maryland Street, Battle Creek, Michigan does not just sit an ordinary home. Small and humble, this gray structure is as large in its reach as those who inhabit its walls. Upon parking out front you will see no signs informing you of the wonders inside. For it looks quite normal. Yet on this little piece of property, you will find the home of a cheerful, radiant woman of exceptional and extraordinary nature welcoming everyone with a warm heart, smile, and a hug. Vickie Brennan, the adoptive mother, and grandmother to all who cross her path saw a desperate need in a city plagued with blight and poverty and decided to open her home as a place of hope and comfort. Starting a Facebook page in 2015 called “The Help and Hope Closet” Vickie appealed to the masses stating she would take their donations of any unwanted and gently used items.

It did not take long before a few bags of donations showed up on her doorstep. At this point, thrilled at the prospect that she was actually doing something to help her community, she enlisted a few family and friends to help dump and sort the clothing right on her kitchen table. After disposing of the battered and stained unuseable items and washing the rest, Vickie then opened for business letting the community know they could come to her home and go through the items donated taking anything they had a need for.

Fast forward to present day 2018 and even Vickie will tell you she had no clue how quickly her little home-based organization would grow. Battle Creek, Michigan, known as “The Cereal City” is the third largest city in Michigan measured by square miles.

With the median income reaching only $38,216 it is not hard to understand why 20.8% of its population lives in poverty (United States Census Bureau, 2010-2017).

Surprisingly, in a city of this size, help for the less fortunate is very hard to come by. When you do find it, usually it is not of an adequate nature to provide a lasting effect. When I asked Vickie to describe to me what prompted her to start The Help and Hope Closet, she had this to say, “I got tired of seeing people turned away. Places were picking and choosing who they would help. That is not right, it’s just not right.”

As I sat and listened I could not help but feel as emotionally connected as she was to this topic. Having moved here to Battle Creek, Michigan only a few months ago myself and seeing the difference between the help offered in the area I came from, compared to what is offered here, I was astounded at the lack of viable options to seek out such help. If one is lucky enough to find help out here, those sources have very limited resources to give out. You are only allowed to go once per month and they are only open a handful of hours in the middle of one day per week. They apologize and give you a sheet of paper with the names of other places you could call such as 211 for a referral to other food banks. You will then have to obtain access to some sort of phone service so you can call 211 give them information and gain that referral. Next, you have to accomplish the task of securing transportation to an from the next location on the appointed date and time given to you. This entire process seems like it was developed in the dark ages in a time when it was not necessary or commonplace to help your local community grow, improve, and prosper.

While our community is desperate to see reform of a broken system, we find a glimmer of light in Vickie Brennan and The Help and Hope Closet. In her three years in operation, Vickie has watched the donations pour in taking over each room, basement, and garage of her tiny little non-assuming home. She has expanded to take donations of food, toiletries, baby items, diapers, formula, essential items, clothing, and medical supplies. All of which she personally stores, sorts, washes, and gives out.

Over the years, volunteers have come to help, some staying and some short-lived after their need has been met. Lacking a permanent building other than her private residence to set up shop, each day Vickie and her volunteers have to open up the garage and pull out tote after tote, table after table. They set everything up in her driveway so that the community has access to come and go through it. Some days she goes through this process alone.

No transportation to get to Vickie’s place? No worries, there are volunteers to come pick you up and transport you back and forth. They will even deliver items to you if you prefer.

Vickie is the perfect example of what it means when you hear that one person can make a difference to many. It is contagious and sparks an entire community that cares. One that takes matters into their own hands based out of human need and suffering then acts upon that need. I asked Vickie one final question as I was wrapping up my interview and tour of her home. I wanted to know if there was one thing she could tell the entire community, what would it be? Vickie smiled at me, nodded her head and replied, “That EVERYONE is welcome. I don’t care who you are where you’re from or what your need is, I am here to help anybody night and day.”




(United States Census Bureau, 2010-2017)

Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/battlecreekcitymichigan/PST040217

I Cry

I cry because I feel like a failure in life.

I cry because I am getting a 4.0 GPA in my college courses at the age of 45.

I cry because I have had so much happen out of my control.

I cry because I have survived that which would have broken me.

I cry because my finances are in ruin.

I cry because I am mindful of my budget and working to change my future.

I cry because I live every day in physical pain.

I cry because I can still get up and move and walk through that pain.

I cry because my house is falling apart and looks horrible.

I cry because I have a home to live in and we are not homeless.

I cry because my 16-year-old daughter has to get up at 5 am to go to school then after school work from 4 pm to 11 pm just to help us survive.

I cry because my daughter sounds like an angel when she sings.

I cry because my children have never had the life they deserve.

I cry because I have provided for my children despite our difficulties.

I cry because the love of my life betrayed me and abused our daughter and broke our family apart.

I cry because I stood up to stop the abuse once I knew.

I cry because I miss being in love.

I cry because I am learning to be independent.

I cry because I am medically disabled and this is not the life I would choose.

I cry because my disabilities have not prevented me from living.

I cry because I am lonely, oh so lonely.

I cry because I know what morals and values are.

I cry because my mother does not know how to truly love her children.

I cry because sometimes, sometimes my mother at least tries.

I cry because my father abandoned us when we were kids and does not care about us.

I cry because my father at least sometimes talks to my siblings.

I cry because my relationship with my son is sometimes strained.

I cry because my son is following his dreams which is what I always wanted for him.

I cry because I don’t know how to share my pain and no one would even care.

I cry because some days are good despite the pain.

I cry because I feel helpless and hopeless.

I cry because I am working through those feelings.

I cry because I don’t know how to stand up for myself.

I cry because I have not hardened my heart.

I cry because I have always been stressed to the max.

I cry because I have learned to be inventive.

I cry because I feel little joy in life.

I cry because my children help me smile.

I cry when I am sad.

I cry when I am happy.

I hide the tears I cry in an effort to be strong.



Fast Food: Good Management or Horrible Boss


The following letter is addressed to Carrols Corporation Upper Management. For those of you who do not know, Carrols Corporation owns and operates over 800 fast food restaurants better known as Burger King. It was written by a concerned parent regarding an issue that happened when her daughter tried to call in sick to work.

The following image is a screenshot I took right from the about page on the Carrols.com website. It gives you a clear idea of the image that Carrols wishes the public to perceive of them.

carrols 1.4


My intention for this post is to get my readers involved in analyzing this situation. I want an open-ended conversation on this letter and the duty and responsibility that our food service workers have to society. As well as the responsibility that managers have to listen to and be concerned for their employees and customers alike. All identifying information has been blacked out to provide the parties involved safety and privacy.


carrols 1.0


From the first part of this letter, it sounds like the minor had a pretty serious illness going on. Looking at it from a neutral standpoint, she did the right thing by trying to call in and even going as far as to drive across town to talk to the manager for her daughter.



carrols 1.1


In this next section of the letter, the parent explains the situation and even breaks it down into some very valid points. She brings up some great questions on what is and is not acceptable from managers in the food industry. It also shows a level of responsibility for the young employee’s part for actually calling in and not showing up for work in that condition to spread germs onto the customers.


carrols 1.2


Further going into details we see that the employee and the parent made every attempt possible to inform the manager of how serious the situation was with the minor’s illness. As well as trying to inform them of her absence because of it. The question remains:

  1. Did the manager handle the situation appropriately?
  2. Would you have handled this situation the same? Differently and how?
  3. What would you have done as the parent in this situation?
  4. Did the parent handle the situation at the location and furthermore with the letter in the correct manner?
  5. What would you have done differently?


carrols 1.3


In the conclusion, this parent gives solid evidence on her background and shows she is looking at the situation in a rational and logical manner not just as an angry parent wanting to complain. She is considering all sides of the issue here and giving reasonable suggestions as to how to resolve the issue.

Taking the ‘about us’ section into account on Carrol’s website is this the type of behavior they desire and expect out of their managers? What do you think?





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