A Bit of Distasteful Poetry

some people just need

To the Ex Who Lost His Balls Along the Way
By: Rhonda Farabee

     Trust is always an issue. Once again I grab a tissue and wipe the stains of the pain which remind me that I miss you. I cry so hard that my cheeks are scarred, but I always have a friend in Jack Daniels. My heart can’t handle this melting candle that’s always fighting reigniting; always burning out and then relighting. Burning my flesh with every caress of this hateful flame.

Lies cause pain that’s self-inflicted. You kicked me out because your new bitch got evicted. And now you feel conflicted since your girl wasn’t exactly who you predicted.I had four years invested, four years that I protested my love for you. With your disrespect and what now is regret you left me blind from the hindsight of lies to disguise who you really are. Another drunk in a bar with a beer bottle scar. I trace it back to the fact that you lost your balls along the way.

Only a player can play the game. Displacing the blame to hide your shame for the reputation that follows your name. I should have known about your lack of a backbone. Coming home with empty eyes. I realize the true meaning of loves demise. I kept trying to revive it, but it faded too fast. Now it’s just a memory of my past and a reminder that true love never lasts.

The Strange Misfortunes of Love

The Proverbial Pie of Love

By: Rhonda Farabee

love and amnesia

Once, my life consisted of being a half to a whole, just a piece of the proverbial pie of love. I thought that if I could just hold on to that love, that maybe, just maybe, I would find what I needed to be whole on my own. However, as most of us have experienced, love is a lot more complicated than pie.

I’ve always been a different kind of girl.

I was raised like the great saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” For many years I lived with my mother, my grandmother, at least two aunts (occasionally three), and a cousin (sometimes up to four of them). None were married and it was a rarity to hear them talk about relationship love. But, I had always dreamed about it. I thought that someday I will find love and that happiness would overflow into the hearts and soul of my family and perhaps open their hearts to the idea of it as well.

As I grew older, unfortunately I saw first hand why the walls were placed around my family and the idea of finding my soulmate slowly began to fade away and eventually it died. As I rolled through my teenage years, I was determined to find out who I really was. I wanted my own identity completely free of a male dependency. Most girls were wearing mini skirts and low cuts tees, I was wearing pants decorated in chains and band shirts. Most girls were wearing make-up and curling their hair, I was a fan of ponytails and never woke up early enough to “put on my face”. Even as a grown adult, make-up is barely a friend of mine. Most girls looked forward to school dances, I enjoyed dancing in the park with headphones that might as well have been sewn into my ears. Overall, I was hardly a girly girl.

Now at 26, I look back at my last relationship and how much it hurt to see it fail as miserably and painfully as it did. It was the lesson that my family tried to teach me from the very first time I felt butterflies in my stomach because of a boy at school. They wanted to protect me from the hurt that they knew followed from caring about someone so much. But, like all good lessons, I had to learn it on my own. The same thought always ran through my mind; I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t look pretty enough or feel cool enough. I lacked a bubbly personality and I always spoke my mind. I couldn’t help but think that these were the reasons why love has never worked for me or my family. No one ever really loved us for who we truly were, people always wanted us to change.

This time something is different within my soul. I realized that I will never fully be whole because the people you allow into your heart are the ones that help fulfill the proverbial pie. Each slice is dedicated to a hard taught lesson, and baked with the real love in life. My prince charming may not have been MY prince after all, but my dreams for love have resurfaced. The drive has ignited a passion in me that I thought I lost long ago. It is up to me to feel worthy of being fully loved. One day someone will be strong enough to love me at my worst, not just at my best. One day a man will find it sexy that I prefer hard work over handouts. The sway of the leaves on a sweet summer day is more appealing to me than a manicure or an hour of covering up my natural look. Relationships take work, not love. Truly loving someone should come without condition, it should be effortless and honest.

Someday, love will not be more complicated than pie.

Finding Your Path


The Hidden Path is located at 71 Terrace St., Suite 101, Struthers, Ohio.

The Hidden Path is located at 71 Terrace St., Suite 101, Struthers, Ohio.

STRUTHERS-In July of 2003, a new store was introduced into the Struthers community. April Elliott and Linda Hiner opened up a shop that was not only unique, but also majestic, bringing forth new flavors to the city.

For almost nine years now, The Hidden Path is still beating in the heart of downtown Struthers and it’s just bursting with innovative and creative ways to broaden customers physical, mental and spiritual horizons.

The locally owned establishment started with a personal objective; self discovery and healing. Along with millions of other people, Elliot shared that she too, had struggled with anxiety. “It was almost agoraphobic. I was hiding, and that is how the Hidden Path got started.” she admits. “We all walk our own paths and they are all hidden, but we all have the same common denominator–a beating heart.”

The Hidden Path is much more than just your ordinary corner shop, but what is it about this local business that makes it different than all the rest? For starters, there is a personal touch to their customer service. “We want people to feel like they fit in. I’m a listener and there is a lot to listen to–I learn a lot from people.” states Elliott.

Upon entering the locally owned business, you can’t help but notice the vast array of herbal teas, incense, candles, music, jewelry, etc., and it doesn’t stop there. Workshops have become a recent addition to accommodate customer’s needs.

Valerie Dearing has been teaching Yoga for five years. Much like April Elliott, her journey also started out as a personal quest. “I had a really bad year; one of the lowest periods of my life and the very first class I took was amazing.” Dearing comments. She would later start teaching her own classes and as fate had it, she landed on the road that would lead her to The Hidden Path. “I love this place, it was a mutual attraction. I just fell into it and when you fall into it that easily, it’s always meant to be.” says Dearing.

Yoga does many wonders for the mind and body. Dearing comments, “It opens the body to the possibilities of being: physically, mentally and spiritually.” At the end of each session Valerie shares the Savasana pose. “It is a deep relaxation and it allows everything that we did in class to come into the body and mind.” she states.

There are many exceptional workshops that are provided at the shop and when you look at the calendar of events, it’s easy to find one that fulfills exactly what you are looking for.

The entrance hall is always decorated for every season and holiday. Along with owning the business, both April Elliott and Linda Hiner make crafts, decorations, and jewelry.

The entrance hall is always decorated for every season and holiday. Along with owning the business, both April Elliott and Linda Hiner make crafts, decorations, and jewelry.

Cindy Wellman, who is a Psychic Medium and a teacher of Reiki explains, “The word Reiki is made up of two Japanese words: Rei, which means “Gods wisdom” and Ki, which means “life fore energy,” “Mikao Usui developed the Reiki universal healing energy system after years of studying spiritual healing of many kinds.” She converses, “He received the ability to heal with Reiki energy during a spiritual initiation after long fasting and meditation on one of Japan’s many sacred mountains.”

Similar to yoga, reiki provides the opportunity to learn more about the inner-self and aids in natural physical healing. “Reiki can help alleviate suffering whether it is of a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual nature.” says Wellman. “ It helps cleanse the body of energetic and physical toxins.”

Amongst the various classes taught at The Hidden Path, you are sure to run into many of the open-minded and open-hearted people that work within the shop. Meichelle McClellan, who is an ordained minister and Psychic Medium, also teaches at the Path. Her Positive Manifestation and Spiritual Enlightenment workshops are offered every two weeks. “It’s to know and understand that anything we put our minds to we can achieve, and that does mean anything.” she explains.

“I have always been a pretty optimistic person and have a deep passion for helping others. Sometimes it feels like people happen to just fall into my lap.” says McClellan. In terms of her own personal past experiences, she undauntedly has overcome many hardships and now she wants to help others who may be going through some hard times of their own.

“The reason I do what I do is because I would hate to see anyone have to go through some of the things that I have endured through my years on this planet. I don’t want them to feel like there isn’t someone who really cares or that they are alone and that there is no way out or that there is no help available.” states McClellan.

Today’s world is plagued by the stress of just simply surviving. There are limited outside resources that can take those struggles and relieve them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rebuild your strength from the inside. Try meeting new people and learning new things because you might be surprised at how wonderful new explorations can feel. Having an open mind can go a long way, but having an open heart goes even farther.

The Hidden Path is far from an average store, but it’s a place where anyone can go and feel welcome. So the next time you are seeking a new journey in life, find the road that leads to The Hidden Path, you might just find what your searching for.

This is the main shopping area. However, there are other rooms that are designated for workshops. Also, they will be expanding to across the hall where it lounge area has been created.

This is the main shopping area. However, there are other rooms that are designated for workshops. Also, they will be expanding to across the hall where it lounge area has been created.

The Hopewell Furnace in Yellow Creek Park


The Hopewell Furnace and the Impact on the Mahoning Valley

By: Rhonda Farabee

STRUTHERS – Yellow Creek Park is well known for its charming trails and beautiful wildlife, but it is also the home of Ohio’s first blast furnace; the Hopewell Furnace.

According to the archives at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, the use of the blast furnace was established in Europe in the 17th century and eventually found it’s way into North America. The very first one was built in 1802 by Daniel and James Heaton. It  was the first blast furnace west of the Allegheny and was utilized until 1812. This furnace marked the beginning of the Iron and Steel industry in the Mahoning Valley

Dr. Donna DeBlasio, a History Professor at YSU, explained, “The Mahoning Valley became the second largest steel producer in the United States. One major improvement made to the furnace was that instead of blowing cold air into it, they used hot.” “This meant that it would burn hotter to melt faster.” She continued.

The Hopewell Furnace, which was built behind Lake Hamilton, needed the lakes power. DeBlasio stated, “They needed a water source and also the run-off.” “This is also used with iron furnaces and steel mills too.” She added. The location of the furnace was part of the efficient strategy needed to operate it. Lake Hamilton was a source for iron which was needed to work the furnace.

Also, Julie Pantelas, who is the park manager at Yellow Creek also commented, “It was important that there was a hillside behind the furnace.” “They could dump the fuel from the top to get the heat hot enough and they had molds that the metal would be put into.” she continued.

So why did the Hopewell Furnace halt production?

Dr. Thomas Leary, who is an Assistant History Professor at YSU, explained that the use of the furnace came to an abrupt end when the resources ran out. “The iron-making only lasted as long as the forest. Once the forest was gone there wasn’t enough resources to keep it going.”

Since the landmark was a stone-stack charcoal furnace, there were three elements needed to operate the furnace: iron ore, carbon based fuel, and flux, all of which were put into the top. Air would then be blown into the bottom of it to produce molted metal. Leary explained that there was also an accidental “blow-out” of the furnace and there is a theory that land ownership was also a big problem that aided in it’s demise.

DeBlasio said, “Europe was the first to experience the lack of resources, but here it was easier to make charcoal to mine the coal and coal was more efficient.”

The Hopewell Furnace impacted the city of Struthers by bringing jobs to the area. Families began moving into the area because the work was good and it was a nice place settle down in. If it wasn’t for the Heaton brothers, Struthers might not be the populated city it is today. “The impact of the Hopewell Furnace was massive. Not just for Struthers, but for all of Ohio.” DeBlasio specified.

However, hard times still fell upon the old furnace. Resources began running scarce and this was a cause for concern. “We kept making it even though we were running out of the natural resources. This had a huge impact on iron production.” DeBlasio stated.

Although the historical landmark has seen better days, there are still some remnants that reside in Yellow Creek. Pantelas says that the site is still among interest to many people even though most of the furnace is now gone. “Every summer, at least once a week, people inquire about the furnace, but there is a problem; thieves.” Pantelas explains, “Someone removed two really large pieces of the furnace that were still intact. They looked so heavy and I can’t even comprehend how they did it let alone why.”

Even though there are few artifacts left, there is still evidence of the existence of the furnace and Yellow Creek is always ready to share the history with anyone who may be curious. Many Struthers residents know of the Hopewell Furnace, but surprisingly not all of them have actually seen it. When the water is at a low level, the streams are easier to cross, providing a clear path for inquiring visitors. With Lake Hamilton just up the hill, it’s a wonderful experience for everyone.

The Hopewell Furnace has been a monument to help educate students about the city’s local history. John R. White, who is now deceased, was involved in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at YSU. He led three seasons of excavations at the site and his research on the Hopewell Furnace has been a helpful resource to anyone interested.

For more information regarding the Hopewell Furnace, you can contact the Mahoning Valley Historical Society at (330) 743-2589. To visit the furnace, contact Yellow Creek Park at (330) 755-7275.


We All Need A Little Inspiration


We All Need A Little Inspiration
By: Rhonda Farabee

     We all struggle to survive. At some point and time in our lives we all feel alone and afraid while trying to walk along this road called life. Often we are found wandering around aimlessly looking for answers to questions we never ask. Powerless to the universe and the everyday emotions of the complex human soul, we frequently find ourselves contemplating just how much more we can take before we buckle under pressure.

No one will ever have the answers to the internal inquisitions that we seek. The only solution is to answer your own questions. Signs are posted all over the world and yet most of us are so busy running through life that we never stop to see the beauty in the natural phenomenon we live in. Miracles are so profound and many of us are afraid to believe because we worry that something beyond our understanding can be real. Second guessing is part of our nature and breathing in the pain of living is often our first instinctive reaction.

Why is it that we are so quick to believe when something bad is happening yet we are so reluctant to appreciate the goodness that is around for everyone to enjoy? Some people do not find perfection in nature because perfection is often described as something that is unattainable. However, who is to say that perfection can only be seen? To me perfection is something you feel, inhale, taste and marinate in. It’s what snaps us back into the reality of truth and honesty because the universe never lies.

Can we change these adaptations that we created as defense mechanisms? Is it possible to still have hope when all that surrounds us is fear and disappointment? The next time you see something that grabs your attention, really look for the beauty. The hidden message is there. Even in the grime of life there is beauty to be found, we just need to take a closer look. In every swamp there is life. In every bit of trash there is treasure. In darkness there is light.

The hardest part of surviving isn’t continuing to live but in allowing yourself the freedom of knowing you choose to. There is always something more to be found and this divine treasure hunt is meant to help us not hurt us. ALWAYS stop to take in the essence of sunset over water or the smell of a blooming flower. Look at everything you can because one day you may have to rely on what you remember because sight is a gift that not everyone is lucky enough to have forever. Walk the extra mile while you still can because there will be a time when you will no longer be able to. Be sure to say hello to your neighbor because we are all in this world together, we co-exist in every way possible. Last but not least, do something good. Help make this living experience great for someone who is dragged down this road instead of given the choice to walk it because someday you may find yourself in the same situation. Give to others because you can not because you must and always smile because happiness is contagious and we could all use a little inspiration. If you feel alone today, don’t because I have enough love to share and acknowledge that someone out there loves you! It’s unconditional and free. Pass it on my friends.


The slivers of light burn my eyes.

I despise the cycle of the sunrise on days like this.

Another buzz from my old friend snooze

who is definitely the worst enemy

of my fun friend booze.

When torn between the two,

I choose to lose just 10 more minutes.

Once awake my mind is already racing

and pacing between the hardships that I’m facing.

Skip breakfast,

speed to class.

Cuss out the dumb-ass

who parked like a jackass

and complain about the rain

and it’s ill predicted forecast.

Then the bank called to announce,

that my work check bounced,

which made my rent check bounce

which means that the amount in my account

is marked insufficient.

Call it a “broke girl’s intuition”

But I’m destined

for a mac n cheese expedition.

Leave campus, arrive at work.

The next 6 hours I’m simply a desk clerk.

Filing papers, making calls,

staring blankly at tired walls.

Finally home, the day is done.

Just in time for the setting sun.

The slivers of light burn my eyes

and I despise the ways of the sunrise on days like this…


By: Rhonda Farabee

So…Who Is This Crazy Girl? :)

My name is Rhonda, and I am a student at Youngstown State University. I am a Professional Writing and Editing major, but I admire the art of writing in all forms. Choosing any kind of writing as a career can be a bitter-sweet journey, but it’s worthwhile if you take it in the right direction.

Oddly, I chose Psychology as a minor. I am fascinated with the whole idea of understanding behavior and the complex mind.

I am a musician. I don’t play music because I want the fame that comes along with the rock star life, I play because I feel it. I enjoy the way my body energizes when I hear it, how my soul soars and my heart throbs. Music is the love of my life. I would marry it if possible. I play the drums, have tried my hand at the guitar and occasionally I pick up the keyboard just to see if I can create anything worthwhile. Music has been a passion of mine for many years. I played the clarinet in elementary school and in junior high.

I enjoy games. I like challenges and learning strategies. No, I do not play Dungeons and Dragons or Risk, but I am quite the fan of Mario games, zombie killing games, cards and Rock Band. One of my all time favorite games is the board game Clue, but for some reason no one ever wants to play it.

Lastly, I guess I should tell you that I am creating this blog for fun. I know that as a Professional Writing and Editing major I should take all of this seriously and I do. However, I believe that writing is important and you have to be interested in writing it in order for people to read it. It is my goal to write at least one thing that will interest everyone. What can I say, I have big dreams! Until I can accomplish this goal, I will continue to try for as long as I live.


Rhonda M. Farabee