Things have been intense.

As I mentioned, I was accepted to UFV to study Agricultural Technology.

It’s a really exciting move for a lot of different reasons.

The program itself seems amazing. Part of it includes a certification in Livestock production with many of the classes involving actually working hands on with different animals. So far everyone I’ve met in the department is really nice and helpful. When I was visiting my boyfriend, they even showed us around the school barn building where they had piglets and chickens, and a whole greenhouse full of student grown projects.

It would mean a chance not just to learn about farming both from the technical side and business side, but also means a chance to make connections with the agricultural community itself which could mean opportunities to fulfill my dream of a little piece of land to farm and live on. Continue reading “SO MUCH TO DO!”


The Facebook page for Splain You a Thing was taken down and I don’t know why


The saga seems to begin with a post written by Sunflower punk, after her child was harassed by men while walking home frm school. Her child is nine years old, and yet was deemed an appropriate target by adults. They scared her, and took away from her some of her freedom.

The post auto-posted on the page like all our posts, and there was no problem. We weren’t notified of any issue. People who shared the post, however, suddenly found themselves having the post removed from their walls.

Still, we were not notified on the page that there were any issues with the community standards. The only reason we even knew about the post having been removed elsewhere is because friends of ours let us know.

Then one morning, suddenly, the page was unpublished.

I went to the page, and saw a bar announcement over-top of the back-end of the page saying that the page had been unpublished for violating page terms and conditions. There was no explanation of what the specific violation was, nor did the actual terms page provided yield any insight. We had not even had a post removed from the wall, the page was just completely unpublished.

We suspected it was because of this previously mentioned post.

The pop-up offered the option of filing an appeal, so I clicked on it. I was offered no space in which to ask questions or offer any sort of rebuttal or anything. Only a button saying filed appeal. Click. Appeal filed. Still, no actual idea of what exactly we had done to violate the community standards.

Then one morning, both of us are logged out of Facebook and upon re-login there is a notice saying that this picture violated community standards.

A cartoon picture of Ania and Sunflower Punk holding spoons and a banner that says social justice garden. Sunflower punk is a Latinx person with sunflowers on their dress, and Ania is a white woman with an onion on her dress. The cartoon avatar is surrounded by words saying that this post violates their standards.

There was no specification of how it violated the standards, or what those standards were. The picture is one I made myself, I am the artist and so have complete license over the picture. The picture is directly related to the blog, it’s right there on the logo. The picture is not showing nudity, it’s not showing anything offensive, so what exactly was wrong with the picture.

This time, there is no option to appeal.

I go to try to find the page and it’s gone. I can’t even access the unpublished back end. There is no record of complaint, or appeal, nothing in any support inbox, no indication of what the bloody hell happened. Pictures we had on the page are gone. Comments, messages, reviews, and otherwise, gone. With no explanation as to why.

Since when is one post or picture enough to get a whole page unpublished? What about this picture violates standards? If I did violate standards because of some misunderstanding regarding the standards, or by accident, why am I not allowed to know how or what it was that did so, so that I can avoid triggering the same problem on future pages.

Why is my, and other writers for this blog’s, livelihood being threatened and why are we not allowed to know the reason? Why is there no record of any of this on our profiles? Why is there no notification or record of the decision on the appeal, or any record of the page even existing.

What exactly is going on?

The Facebook page for Splain You a Thing was taken down and I don’t know why

Patreon Update

Hello Everyone,

For the last few months, I’ve only been posting my posts and guest posts to my Patreon account. I’ve also been trying to work with both of our new blog members to create their own Patreon accounts; however due to all three of us dealing with issues of spoons and too much to do, we’ve been delayed somewhat in our ability to create the necessary content for their pages.

All three of us struggle with poverty issues related to disability – issues which can make it difficult to write and can make depression worse.  Additionally, even if the Patreons were set up, it can take months to build up donations. For all of us, the situation is near desperate. The social programs we rely on are not enough to live on since it doesn’t cover enough for us to be able to have housing and internet at the same time, and you can forget about replacing clothing that is falling apart, buying a winter coat, or even in some months, having groceries.

Continue reading “Patreon Update”

Patreon Update

Messes and Mayham

The past few months have been a struggle. As you know, my ex and I split this summer after 7 years. Over the past few years, I’ve come to rely on my partner to help me with household chores I find difficult because of pain. Being newly single has meant trying to handle those tasks despite my impairment.

The result has been varied.

Things like laundry, in particular, are difficult to manage. Between the actual motivation barrier imposed by executive dysfunction as well as ADHD, and the physical burden of carrying a heavy load downstairs, bending over to both pull out clothing from the hamper and to put it into the machines, transferring the whole thing into dryers, hauling it back upstairs, and then standing and folding – it’s been a hassle and a half trying to get it done in a reasonable time period. This week even, I had to ask for help in getting it done, since my back just couldn’t handle it.

Other things have managed to become a bit easier thanks to the help from my new roommate in making things more accessible.

For the past month, we’ve been working on trying to consolidate our things while still leaving enough room in the kitchen to actually prep food. This has meant countless hours, designing and building shelves, installing pegboards, trying to figure out appropriate storage containers for all and sundry. Because of my new roommates schedule, it’s been a strange mix of two days a week of being able to unpack and consult together, followed by the rest of the time being the only one home to try and make sense of things.

In addition to trying to organize and manage the common spaces, I am still working on my room/office. Trying to organize things so that I can easily manage by ADHD, work on writing, switch to artist mode, work on some home improvement task, and record videos, all while keeping in mind my difficulties with frequent bending, lifting, and also making space for things like sleeping and having clothes, has been a challenge. Trying to balance all that with still having to get things done involving my various art supplies, has been particularly entertaining to navigate.

I feel like I’ve been living out of boxes and mess for months, though I haven’t stopped working on cleaning and organizing in all that time.

Continue reading “Messes and Mayham”

Messes and Mayham

New Beginnings

The summer is drawing to a close and the new school year is about to start or has already started. For as long as I can remember, September has always felt more like the “New Year” for me than New Year’s ever did. Every new school year was a chance to reinvent yourself somewhat. It was a new beginning.

It’s fitting then that the public announcements of the big changes that have taken place this summer coincide with this time.

Continue reading “New Beginnings”

New Beginnings

Bit of an Update on Us

It’s been a bit of a rough month. For those following along at home, I went to New York at the end of July to help a friend who was dealing with criminal levels of negligence from her doctors and therapists, which was interfering with her ability to put her life back together. Returning back home, I had a plan for August, to make back some of the money we had lost to the trip by working on promoting my book and art, and looking into additional income streams.

Coming home, I got to work doing just that, only to be met with several unexpected expenses: a flat tire, an unexpected credit card fee that led to a whole bunch of additional charges, and so forth and so forth. At the beginning of summer, I had been hoping to use some of our money to be able to can some of the local produce we get here in Ottawa. Help us eat healthier and more local over the upcoming winter. Instead, we ended up in a situation where we couldn’t really do groceries and so are working off the store of food that we do our best to stockpile when we can.

Continue reading “Bit of an Update on Us”

Bit of an Update on Us

Hi! We’re Out of This World!

Alyssa and Ania Splain You A Thing is our blog where we discuss social justice, disability, poverty, feminism, gender identity, history, medical marijuana, and geography and how they relate to politics, talk about fish (yes really), and a whole host of other fun and interesting things.

Not just that but Ania and Alyssa are good people in their own rights. If you want to learn more about us specifically, feel free to check out our “Who Are We” page.

Alternately, here are a few highlights that should give you some idea of who we are as writers:

Ania Bula: 

Book: Young, Sick, and Invisible: A Skeptic’s Journey with Chronic illness (May, 2016 Release Date)

Top Blog Posts:

Alyssa Gonzalez: 

Top Blog Posts:

You should also check out her pages, where Alyssa collects similarly-themed posts:

  • Animal Form and Function: Eight sets of images, videos, and anecdotes Alyssa uses as instructional aids during a lab course she teaches every winter.  She takes this time to introduce her students to the weird and wonderful animals that populate each group they encounter during the course.
  • Apocalypse of the Week: Various groups, religious and otherwise, around the world have quarter-baked ideas about how the world will end, and they are usually pricelessly funny.  Alyssa lampoons twelve of them in this series.
  • Shifty Lines: Many world conflicts are at least partially caused by post-colonial borders failing to reflect the on-the-ground reality of which people see themselves as a distinct group from which other people, with their own national identity.  This series explores various world conflicts through this lens, and imagines what the world might look like if a serious effort were made to solve them with this in mind.
  • Quotidian Science: Alyssa occasionally writes about science in a way that tries to bring the specialist’s thinking to people outside of specialized fields.  Whether it’s evolutionary biology, aquarium keeping, pest control, or non-Euclidian geometry, those posts are here.

The Fur Babies Say Hello!

Grey schnoodle holding pink octapus
This is Tsuki. She is our older schnoodle at 11 years old. She has some anxiety issues, but she is a cuddle bug and sweetie.
Little Chihuahua puppy
This is little CJ. She has a big job ahead of her. One day she is going to be Ania’s service dog and help her know when she needs to take her meds, or take a nap, and sometimes it’s her job to help her mommy feel better. She’s still a baby right now, so for now, we’ll just focus on the naps.
Black and White Kitty
This is Agora. She knows she is fabulous. She keeps the dogs in line, but is always down for a snuggle and some nice head scratches.

Watson, our little black kitty has declined having her picture taken at this time. She wants to be purrfect.

The fish and turtles promised to appear later.

Hi! We’re Out of This World!

The Move from Hell

At the beginning of October, Alyssa and I moved from our old apartment, to a new one. There were a lot of reasons why we decided to do so. Main among them was the continuing declining quality of the building we lived in. When we first moved is, the building was well maintained. There was a tenant run library where many neighbours would congregate. We knew our neighbours, something I had never had happen in an apartment building.

Over the years however, the frequently changing property managers and rental agents, some of who were not well disposed to running a building of that size, led to things being dropped. The tenant library was closed, first we were told it was temporary, but finally it was revealed that it would in fact be permanent.

We ended up with a mold problem in our unit, and rather than dealing with it, the managers tried to blame us. During this time, I learned that the whole building was experiencing problems with black coloured mold spots in their units. Despite this, we were still blamed for its presence in our apartment. We finally had to hire a professional who was able to identify that the problem was systemic and not a result of anything we had done.

While the professionals were there, they measured the air quality levels. Their machine detects dust, mold, and pollen particles in the air. A level of between 200 and 600 thousand was ok. The level in our building was seven million. While living in that building, I dealt with increasingly worse allergies, and now I knew why.

When we finally moved out and I came back a week later to clean, I had my first asthma episode since I was 12. I’m on puffers again, after having previously outgrown asthma.

We were really excited for our move. Because the location was further from downtown, we were able to scrimp up for a 2 bedroom apartment. Finally I could set up an office and maybe use that fact to help motivate me to focus better. Our new community also offers some great amenities, including more accessible recycling, community gardens, and so forth.

Thanks to the generosity of friends, as well as a credit card, we were able to hire movers. Something we were excited for, since my disability makes it difficult, even dangerous for me to lift heavy items. Alyssa also has been dealing with enough, that the prospect of heavy lifting was extremely daunting. The movers would help make the whole situation less stressful. Little did we know, our choice of moving company would turn this whole experience into the move from hell.

To start with, the whole move took over 16 hours, spread over two days, and wasn’t even done at the end. I still don’t understand how they managed to drag it out that long. After almost 8 hours of moving out the apartment, the truck was half empty, and yet we were being told that they would have to charge us a second truck fee. Why? Because they had packed the pantry first, putting bags of food at the bottom back of the truck. They couldn’t put anything on top of it or it would be destroyed.

When they finally arrived the next day to continue the move, it turned out our lift-top table, the one piece of furniture I splurged on when I finally received disability, had been stolen. Along with everything that had been stored inside it. That wasn’t the only thing we lost. In the end we were missing my office chair, as well as Alyssa’s jewelry box, as well as some miscellaneous items.

They made Alyssa carry items, so that we could “save money”. That first day, she didn’t sit once for over 8 hours. The move took so long, that we missed both breakfast and lunch, having expected to go to Tim Hortons on the drive between apartments. I too ended up having to move more than I should have health wise.

During the second day of the move, they refused to start until I paid for the day before. Clever, since I had no intention of paying that much for what was clearly an incompetent move. Still, I needed to get my move finished. After some negotiation, we agreed that I would pay for 9 hours, total.

What followed the transaction going through was a completely expected, but still exasperating, flaking out on work. One of the movers was apparently so sick, that he had to stop working. I took him at face value. Since they were saying he needed to go to the hospital, I offered to drive so they wouldn’t have to take the truck. Imagine my surprise when they insisted that it was ok, they would finish unpacking the truck with what they had packed first. They left with a half empty truck, leaving behind several items in the public hallways as well as all over the floor.

By the time it was all done, Alyssa and I were so exhausted we could barely function. I spent most of October with severe spinal pain. I could barely walk all month. The stress made my Crohn’s flare.

We’re still not completely unpacked, though we are getting a bit more done every day. I can’t wait till we are finally settled and things can get back to normal. Needless to say, neither of us have any interest in moving for a very, very long time.


The Move from Hell

We Will Light the Way With the Bridges We Burn!

Ania Cartoon Hugging a Spoon


It is with great excitement and eagerness that I would like to announce that Alyssa and Ania Splain You a Thing will be joining a new blog network!

For the last several months both Alyssa and I have belonged to a support group of women and non-binary folk. This is a group of people devoted to an intersectional pursuit of social justice. Our frequent discussions have led to the creation of several posts and other media.

Much of our group falls into different spheres of oppression, and like many in these spheres, a significant portion of us have also had difficulty maintaining gainful employment. For some, it is various disabilities that get in the way. For others, prejudice plays a role in minimizing the opportunities available in a struggling economy.

Determined to improve our situation, while also interested creating a space that would discuss different issues and dreaming of having our own publishing house inspired by a social justice approach to literature, we decided to start Burning Bridges.

What makes our network unique?

For one thing, all our writers and content creators are women and/or non-binary folk. While we acknowledge that there are some good male writers out there, we want to highlight voices that are not always given priority in public settings.

Our writers come from very diverse backgrounds. By combining such different perspectives, we hope to encourage discussion of how the various spheres of oppression often intersect. To look at how any given issue can actually exist along different planes of oppression. Some of our writers are parents, single or otherwise, some are or have recently been homeless, many live in different levels of poverty, they have diverse disabilities, both cognitive, physical, and mental, both visible and invisible, many are obsessed with cats, or dogs, or even fish. Many of our content creators do not exist along binary gender lines, some are transgender, they belong to different races, with different educational backgrounds. Some are atheist, some are Christian, others are Muslim, but all of them believe in a multi-intersectional approach to issues that can affect any one of us.

We are looking to offer multimedia services to cater to diverse preferences. Some of our content creators are artists, others are looking to develop regular web comics that focus on various issues. Many of our contributors are interested in starting or redeveloping existing podcasts and video casts. Many are interested in some combination of different styles in addition to their on-going writing.

It’s not just for the non-fiction enthusiast. Many of our writers are also accomplished fiction writers. Social justice doesn’t just stop at the real world. We believe in highlighting characters in minority populations, whether people of colours, disabled, trans, queer, or non-male. We would love to help promote writing that explores various issues through the lens of fiction, whether speculative science fiction, fantasy world building, myths, poetry, short stories, or any of the various possibilities out there.

The blog network is just a foundation and stepping stone for the creation of Burning Bridges Publishing: a start-up press with a mandate towards promoting writing through a social justice lens. I personally would love to see about publishing anthologies of stories on individual matters likes race, disability, poverty. I would love to see more new and emerging writers see a chance at being published. I would love to highlight stories written by those in the same circumstances.

I would love eventually to open spaces for at risk youth, whether in difficult neighbourhoods, or youth who are LGBT, where they can explore their creative voices in different media. This is a dream that I would really love to see happen, but we need your help. We need investors to help get us off the ground. To make sure that we can offer a great product off the ground. Please donate what you can, and if you cannot, please share it widely. Together we can make this dream a reality.

Thank you.



We Will Light the Way With the Bridges We Burn!

It's Finally Done!

Earlier this week, I finally managed to finish editing my book Young, Sick, and Invisible: A Skeptic’s Journey with Chronic Illness. What does this mean? It means I have successfully written a book! It means that now I have a product that is ready to start being sent out to potential publishers in the hopes that I can find someone who wants to turn this into a real book. It means that I managed to prove to myself, and other’s who said that I couldn’t, that this is a thing I can do. That this is a thing I’ve done. I can call myself a writer without question now. This on the heals of submitting my first short story for publishing earlier this year.

It might not seem like something that I would need to prove to myself, but self-doubt is something I’ve lived with for a long time. There is a voice in my head that tells me that I cannot do this, that I never finish anything, and it is a voice I recognize from my life.

I’ve done it!


plastic bound printed copy of Young, Sick, and Invisible.
A Hard Copy of my book, just for me to hold. It’s so pretty. It has words and those words are mine! My words!
It's Finally Done!