Thursday, July 24, 2008


Well, the kids ended up coming back the day after they left. It's a long story, but...some things have happened that require I make some changes to this blog. Before people ask in comments, let me say that I won't discuss the reason publicly.

However, as a result of the things that happened, I need to run this blog a bit differently. For one, I'm no longer going to post public slide shows of the kids. For the foreseeable future, I need to honor Pdaddy's wishes on that because of circumstances being what they are. I really hate that I have to do this. I know part of my goal with this blog was to allow people to see how normal secular families are and/or how secular children can grow up healthy and happy. I'll still talk about them, but I have to find a better way to share the pictures with a more limited audience.

One option I've considered is moving to a paid livejournal account. I've had a blog there for almost ten years, so I know the ends-and-outs. But, SixApart (the company who owns LJ) has some iffy wording in their ToS that makes anything written on their software their property. They also have some interesting guidelines and powers (including the power to suspend accounts for content they deem inappropriate). I'm also not sure if there's an RSS feed capability there.

I have really enjoyed using the Blogger software. But, I am disappointed by the safety features. On LJ, you can set certain entries to be open only to certain people. There are people here who I know in real life and who use this to keep tabs on our sucks that I'm not going to be able to post pics here. I need some sort of system where I can make pictures password protected or viewable only to those I authorize.

If you have any ideas, then please leave them. I suppose I could also create my own website. But, I honestly have no idea how I would do that. I would need a lot of help. Please, please share any advice you have.

In the meantime, I hope all is well with everyone else. I'll try and make a post tomorrow.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Unbelievable, I can only guess but I have a good idea. Let's see it involves a theist with no sense of propriety.

I think you might be able to set up a wordpress page and password protect certain posts.

You could have a domain name and host it yourself.

I am no expert but I think you could probably work it out given a little time.

yanub said...

That's just dreadful, but I can't say as I am surprised. This is why I won't post pictures of actual people on my blog.

Your kids are lovely, but you adequately describe them and the joys of your family life without needing to show pictures of them. You could always just share your pictures with your friends and family via Flickr or Picassa or something, and leave the rest of us with your word portraits.

Monday said...

Oh no! I really enjoy reading about your family. It is so refreshing to see/read about a secular family at work/play.

I think I speak for a few of us readers when I say please tell all the possums that I have really appreciated their guest appearances and, whilst I will be sorry not to see them any longer, I understand and respect the decision.

I have no idea how these cyberspace things work, but good luck with finding a solution that works for you all.

Enshoku said...

you sound sad and dissapointed, Pmomma. Please don't be...

I can solve your photo problem quite easily. go to then create an account on it by clicking register. Then go through those stupid registering questions that everyone loves so much, and create the account. Log in, click the options link under the header, scroll down to album settings, and set it to private. Under that there is a line for a guest password. Input a password that isn't guessable, one you could only know if told specifically(like omgwtfnoezjumeanie). Give out this password to all the christian haters on your blog, and make sure you e-mail no possum zone your children's school and your home address.

As for blogger, I think you could subsection it, like with your book club. Make a possummomma2 or possummomma private blog, and in it go to blogger< settings < permissions< blog readers< only people I choose. You could write a small post on your main blog informing people that there was a new private entry available.

please don't go to live journal, their html system is horrid, it makes myspace look goo... never mind, not even Satan could make myspace look good.

Varjosiili said...

How horrible! Not to mention infuriating. The web is full of family blogs which have no problems - but just because you're a SECULAR family your blog brings troubles to your KIDS lives? I don't have words for how awful that is.

Despite how unfair this is, I hope the Possums wont let this ruin their summer!

cockingasnook said...

Hugs to the Possums!

The mountains will still be there and they can take an unannounced trip. Since that's what it apparently takes to ward off crazy people.


Seven Crows said...

How terrible. I am so sorry this happened. But I suppose not surprised. I know of people with what one would think were totally innocuous blogs who were harassed in various ways. (You'd be surprised how much ire a knit blog can arouse)

I hate to lose your personal posts but you need to do what is best for your family. If you decide that any other choice is too risk for the kids then so be it.

Man, though, I would like to smack whoever it is in the head for bothering children. Honestly how mature!

lesliepear said...

Ugh. If what I think happened - it was unspeakably rude - hope the children aren't upset.


Baal's Bum said...

I can only agree with the others, I love reading of your family and think you and your family are a credit to america not just the unbelieving part.

Carrie said...

I am so sorry to hear that things went poorly for the possums. I hope they're all okay.

I have a friend who uses snapfish for her blog. She posts pictures that she doesn't mind the public seeing on her main blog, and will also occasionally note that new pictures are up on the snapfish page -- which requires a password. It sounds similar to some of the other suggestions here already... there are definitely ways you can share your pictures with those you know and trust and hide them from the anonymous public.

Juju said...

I agree with yanub. Use flickr. You can set pictures there so that only friends, only family, or only friends and family can see them.

You could link to them from blog posts, but only certain people would be able to see them.

redd said...

I hope the kids are fine, and whoever caused this situation fell off the mountain and broke both legs.

I agree with do a marvelous job of describing your family.
The verbal snapshots are just fine for me, and will help protect your family from the A-holes of the world.

But of course, you need to feel comfortable with whatever you do, so I hope you find a solution that works and is easy for you.

SWE said...

I hope everyone is okay. Children are off-limits. Always. Grr. Stay safe, Possums.

Will miss seeing your beautiful kids, but will feel better knowing the creeps of the world can't either.

Poodles said...

That sucks! I am with Sean, I can only guess the asshattery behind it. But I totally understand it.

You can also create a separate blog that is just a "family" blog, you can then invite your friends and family to be able to read it, and noone else can.

I think you just need to choose private in your settings for it.

Wordpress alows for private posts, but then only you can see them...not much help.

Send me an e-mail if you need more help.

Ami said...

I'm glad all the kids are okay.

I use Snapfish, but I have to send an email to people when I've uploaded an album. They have to get that email from me to be able to access the photographs. It works for me, but that's because I have to send it to fewer than six people.

I'm not sure how well that would work for you.

cognitive dissident said...

You've been doing a wonderful thing by sharing your family life with us. It's a shame that you have to change that, but--as many people have said already--your family comes first. I trust that the P-community can help you find a workable solution.

Why is a secular family's good example so threatening to some people?

Enkidu said...

Depending on how technically minded you are, you can use Wordpress on just about any web host you want. I do that for my class website, and it gives me as much control as I could ask for. You could assign different levels of access for different people, create private pages or posts that aren't indexed, so you could mail the link to people you wanted to share it with. Of course, you really are in charge, and with more control comes the need to actually exercise that control, so it's less automagical!

Logic Lad said...

I am sat here trying to think of something to say that doesn't sound trite and shallow. Sometimes the written word is not up to the task,

I hope that all is now well, or at least better, and that you can continue to entertain and educate those of us who come to this blog in a spirit of friendhship.

cognitive dissident said...

My two-cents'-worth: Check out Movable Type and TypePad (from You can get a site with either platform pre-installed for you, and (if you don't mind the learning curve) you can do pretty much anything you want with them via plug-ins.

Helen said...

Hope the kids are okay - you and PDaddy, too.

Flux said...

wow... this was not at all what i was expecting to read today. sorry to hear that the kids' trip was cut short. how ridiculous that your family is harassed because you share openly about them and because you don't share the beliefs that some others do. shows that human beings aren't as socially evolved as one would hope. hope the possums are all okay, and that whatever happened is something that they overcome quickly.

Humanist Mama said...

How horrible...I will miss hearing about your kids and your family, but I totally understand the need for privacy in that area. I hope this will all work out OK and that everyone is/and remains safe.

jimmy said...

I am mostly a lurker here, and while I am not an atheist per se I love reading your posts PMomma. Sadly, although I am not surprised - I always thought you were brave to include pictures of your beautiful children - I am very saddened. I can only imagine what happened, and my sincere hope is that it was nothing serious. I hope you and your family stay safe, and I look forward to reading posts from you in whatever form they take. Good luck. I hope your kids know what an amazing mother they have.

Calladus said...

My sister keeps a livejournal blog. I have an RSS feed to it - so that works. She's also posted some edgy pieces to it without getting her account suspended - but hey, there's always a first time - right?

Having said that, I really don't like the format. But it does work.

Stay safe pmomma, and hug your kids for all of us.

And for you religious people out there - this is an example of why Atheists hide. It is because we are AFRAID of you. Sadly, this would make most fundies pretty happy with themselves.

Muffin said...

While I'm pretty much just a lurker, I read your blog frequently as it is one of my favorites. I am sorry to hear that you will be unable to post more family oriented posts due to whatever it is that happened. How horrible it is that someone would cause this concern for you.

Cogito said...

I can imagine what type of thing happened, and I'm sad, scared, and angry about it. I think you're doing the right thing.

Most religious people are good and non-threatening, but there is something about religious belief that lends certain asshats the willingness to break all bonds of decency. This is why I'm paranoid about keeping all my stuff anonymous.

I'm sorry this happened to your family. Give everyone a big hug.

CAE said...

I hope all the possums are OK and not freaked out by whatever it was that happened. I'll miss seeing their photos but I think you're doing the right thing by limiting access to the photos in future.

Joanne said...

I too am just a lurker. I couldn't possibly express my feelings any better than JIMMY did.

Berlzebub said...

But... but I thought "atheists pretty much get a free pass when it
comes to reporting on their belief systems.”

It's a shame that you can't share the joys of being a secular family without someone thinking that you're too happy about it. Apparently if you aren't afraid of being hypothetically punished in some unproven afterlife even your family is fair game. I hope you are yours are okay.

By the way, I'm going to call you this evening, P-Momma. I've been planning to, but my days (afternoons and evenings) have been more busy than normal.

Lev P. said...

Years ago, as a Jewish boy in Ukraine, I was always told by my Grandmother that there always will be bigotry and discrimination, and that one should be prepared for the worst situation.

This way, when, for example, you meet someone who is not an antisemite, it's a miracle (tm) (in a Jewish sense - see Fiddler On The Roof) and you will have a reason to be happy.

I feel that this approach helps me to this very day (I am American, immigrant, Jewish, atheist and a liberal - not a good mix anywhere in the world).

Gaining skills to being prepared mentally and, if the need be, physically, for adverse conditions/people may be one positive outcome from this experience.

In much the same way, "whatever doesn't kill us just makes us stronger" - they will have better, stronger personalities than most, another positive outcome.

Anyway, my kids, being sad for Possums upon my explanation of circumstances, have suggested a different trip, such as here (to New York) or at least a consolation gift.

Having looked at the ticket prices, I think the latter might be easier to fulfill.

So, NYPD/FDNY/I(heart)NY/etc. swag
or something else local? (Sorry, NY pizza may not be a good idea.)
Or should I pick from Amazon list (Mythbusters DVD was my children's first choice)??

-- Lev P. (the one with vaguely Russian name ;)

Ginny said...

I haven't read the comments, but my suggestion would be to have a 2nd blogger blog on this same account. Then have it open only to invited readers. You could use that one for pictures, daily life etc that you wouldn't want to share with regular readers.

I'm sorry you are having problems again, such a shame!

invisible dragon said...

I am so sorry to hear that your possums had to come home early; that just sucks. >_< Par for the course from certain types of theists, though. The possums' safety always comes first, but I have greatly enjoyed seeing your photos and I will miss that.

August is Reach Out And Smack Someone Month; I will add all those religious wingnuts to my smacking list.

Take care; hugs.

heathenmommy said...

Wordpress allows you to password protect posts. Also, like some of the others suggested, lots of photo hosting sites allow photos to be private and only those invited can view them.
Good luck, I hope nothing too serious is going on!

Jim said...

Since you'd prefer not to discuss the situation in depth, I may be off-base here, but if your family was harassed or threatened - in any way - local law enforcement should be involved immediately. California has a number of provisions that may apply to the situation.

aimee said...

Sorry to hear that some fucktard felt it was their place to interject themselves into your kid's lives, especially while they were on a vacation. Don't feel bad for doing what you need to do to keep everyone safe.

Dawn said...

Oh, Pmomma! I am so very sad to read this. How very horrible for the little (and not so little) possums. To have their trip spoiled like that really is lousy.

I stopped writing my blog for a long time and have been thinking about going back, but it's hard to write and not expose your family. I have always thought you were very brave to name your kids and show how beautiful they are in pictures.

I will understand if you set up a private blog, but if you do, please allow invites so I can keep reading. Hugs from the East Coast.

Robin L. said...

Just a lurker too, but I wanted to give a show of support. I hope to start my own secular family soon and you and yours are an inspiration.

Terra said...


I'm sorry to hear we won't be seeing slideshows anymore, but I agree with others that your family and your comfort level in re: their safety comes first!

Don't abandon blogger just yet. Picasa I KNOW lets you have private slideshows. We could email you to be added to the list and you could send out an email when there was a new show of pics. I (personally) have some really major issues with Flickr and why change if you don't have to? Picasa is in my opinion (for what that's worth!) the best around. If you want to post pictures, just make a short list of email addresses of those you trust/know and only send the invite to those people. Yes, it won't be on this blog, but who cares? We'll keep coming back for the non-family related posts regardless.

Whatever you decide, good luck! I wish your family the best and hope there wasn't any lasting damage done by the nut.

Uncle Sam said...

Wordpress has a function where you can password-protect any post, even with individual passwords for each post. It's a free package, and pretty easy to use.

Sorry to hear about trouble. I hope it all works out.

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

I am so sorry. I have always found it humbling to see you and your family put through so many trials for what you believe. And every trial leaves me thinking how important it is to continue to break down these misconceptions about atheists, so that in the future our children won't have to put up with so much of this crap. I'm appalled and nauseated by the behaviour of so many theists toward you, and I understand and agree that you have to put your family's safety first.
Here's hoping for a future in which people don't have to make such an awful choice.

Katie said...

Pmomma there is a whole atheist LJ community, where we can get pretty raunchy at times, and sixapart has never taken our community down for any reason. You can RSS feed livejournal as well and i know a lot of artists who use it for their blog and have it redirected to their own url.

I'm so sorry to hear about the unfortunate trip! I hope everyone is safe at home, and not shaken up by anything too kool-aid crazy or just regular crazy.

@lankr1ta said...

I hope you cntinue to blog here...
You can make your pictures private...

ashen_butterfly said...

I am one of those folks that have been trying to keep tabs on you and your family on here - long time reader - first time commenter - I am sorry that your life has been disrupted in such an awful way. So terrible.

Stargazer1323 said...

I would just like to join all the other lurkers in saying how very sorry I am that this blog brought trouble for you and your family. Your posts are always the highlight of my day, and will continue to be even without pictures of the possums. As a future atheist parent, I can only hope that I will be able to raise a family as amazing as yours, and all your wonderful stories and advice have become invaluable to me.

Berlzebub said...

@ everyone:

I talked to P-Momma last night, and the family is doing okay. Since it's personal, I'm not going any further into it, but she's touched at the show of support she's gotten.

The incident has the P-Parents a bit shaken, but otherwise everyone is fine. She's just taking some time to regroup.

Still, anyone who wants to leave some support is more than welcome.

Jen said...

I am deeply saddened. Your blog has been an inspiration and a guiding voice (and I hope it continues), no matter you will always have a fan here in Boone Iowa.

Eat Well (was Teresa R) said...

I haven't been around as much in recent months, but that doesn't mean I don't think often about the good work you do in showing how one can be religion-free and a fantastic human being. I've enjoyed reading about and seeing photos of your lovely lil possums, but I completely understand why you'd need to go private with your kids. In fact, given that it's a bit of a scary world, I'm surprised you haven't done it sooner.

I agree with the poster who suggested doing an invitation-only version of your blog on Blogger. That can be your full-blown blog, and you can edit out the family photos and private stuff for the version for this public blog. I think that might be the least amount of work involved.

I hope your kids weren't hurt in the incident you alluded to. Hugs to you all!

FuzzyOne said...

If you need a hand I can set a blog up and host it for you, I'm sure I emailed before if not, my OpenID pages has my email, or you can catch me over at Atheist Nexus (username: FuzzyOne)

graylor said...

Harrassing children on holiday--now that's the best spokesperson for religion I can imagine. *massive eyeroll*

I hope your kids weren't frightened--and that they get to go camping in peace soon.

Livejournal has settings so you can age lock your posts--anyone who wants to see something you've declared "Adult" has to click to claim they're of age, for instance. I write fanfiction which occasionally rates that good old NC-17 rating and am rather dreadfully pro-choice and quite snarky about it. I've had no problems and nothing of mine has ever been yanked.

I don't *think* atheism is scarier than Harry Potter smut, but, then, I'm not scared of atheists or porn and really can't imagine why anyone would be... logically.

Best wishes, crs

Dark Heart said...

Another delurking to give my suport of you and your family. I cant understand the type of person who would think that bothering someone that they have might have seen on the net. Unless you really know someone then you really should not bug them in RL. And if it was fundies then its even worse.

Lots of HUGGLES for you and your family and I hope you still keep posting about otherthings.

MnM&miniMnM said...

I'm sorry to hear the possums were harassed on their trip. I really enjoyed to pics of them. You do what you need to to protect your family.
back into lurk mode

Taxman said...

sorry to leave a comment that is off the subject of post, but I wanted to send you an email to ask a question and I don't see an email address. Can you please post the address where I can send my question. Thanks.


Erin said...

I'm sorry to hear that there are such asshats in this world. Really, really sorry.
I believe you can set up a wordpress account with varying levels of access. Or you could always just post the kid-related posts in your LJ. (Or maybe I'm just saying that because I miss you on LJ ^__^)

aimee said...

Totally off topic, but the Duggar's have themselves some competition.

Wonder which baby machine will come up with #19 first. On your mark, Get, Get pregnant!

aimee said...

I meant, *Get set*, arg.

quiltednana said...

Just want you to know that I do miss your family posts on LJ, I am able to keep up with you here. So, should you leave here and go sokmewhere else, keep me informed.


quiltednana said...

I do miss you and your posts on LJ. Catching you here, makes my day. So let me know if you go somewhere else.


ozatheist said...

Sorry to hear you and the family have had problems.

Take as long as you need to regroup. We'll still be here.

Roy said...

We love you PMomma.

You have a great blog and it is too bad there are so many ignorat bullies out there.

I hope the little possums are ok and not too dissapointed.

Good luck,

Sharon said...

Long time lurker but just had to respond - I am so sorry for your family that something so bad has happened (whatever it was). I do hope you find some way of keeping up your postings while keeping your family 'off-radar' so to speak.

Best wishes and lots of hugs flying over the pond from the UK

Corbie said...

Woof! I'm off-line for surgery for a bit and the roof falls in!

I hope you, P-Daddy and the Possums are all okay. Not that you need me telling you this, but you do whatever you need to do to keep everyone safe.

If you do decide to do your own website, I'd be glad to help. I've got some experience in that direction.

Take care.