Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Smoldering Embers of Weaponizing Gratitude

Me and My Sailor, Christmas Day, 2019

When we went on a Very Merry Christmas Cruise over Christmas in 2019, My Sailor had concerns. What would we do about presents? What about a tree? What about all of the expectations of extended family?

No doubt, they were legitmate, but I wasn't honestly worried about any of it. As much as I love traditions, I love adventure more. Needless to say, we had no idea just how much of an investment in our sanity that trip would be. 

Today, I put on my hoodie and I noticed that it was from Oktoberfest 2019 - the last time I traveled with my Mom. 

In June, I got to spend some time with my family in California. 

I am not in dire need of housing or food or any necessities. 

(And, ya know, there is a pandemic going on.)

I am very grateful for all of those things and more. I am deeply truely 100% grateful. (Okay, not for the pandemic. Rona can go F* itself. I'm so over that...)

But that does not mean that I am not alos feeling a million other things. 

Here's my cold hard pandemic realization. 

I can be completely grateful for all of the comforts of my life - I have an essential worker in my life. I'm at no risk of losing my home although I stand at constant risk of losing said family member. I have a job I love and clients I can bolster through this storm. I have an awesome kid whos medical issues are considered mild. I have friends local and abroad who care about me. I have a lot of reasons to feel gratitude. And I count my blessings throughout my day. 


I am frustrated with my inability to confidently book a family vacation! I'm accustomed to coping with the insane Navy scheduling I have to contend with to make these relationship building trips a reality, but this time, I also have the state of the world during a pandemic to consider. So far I have 4 plans, and I can act on any of them, depending on what the world looks like then. 


I am terrified by the current state of affairs. I told my kiddo, who was bouncing around the house as she does in the late afternoon, that she needed to be careful. She asked why and I am always honest with her. "We might not be able to get help quickly if you smash your head into that window. The doctors and hospitals are very busy right now. There might not be help for us for a while." Our local ER has been seriously backed up. She understood and toned down her bouncing a bit. 

Now, The Impossible Girl's medical issues are mild. Her stutter, her speech, her asthma, and her Central Sleep Apnea and newly labeled tachycardia. are all considered very mild. We go to speech therapy to help with her speech. We have an inhaler for asthma should we need it. She sleeps with an alarm that goes off and wakes her up if she isn't getting enough oxygen. The tachycardia is her body's way of getting enough oxygen to her tissues when her O2 levels drop. It's all stuff that someone else might just assign away to "My kid has never been a good sleeper." But we dug deeper and we know why now.

That's all stuff we can do something about - even a little thing. 

We don't have to use her inhaler much at all, since it's viral induced asthma. 

Read that again friends. Viral Induced Asthma.

That means that when she gets an upper respiratory infection, it's likely to turn into pneumonia. 

If you haven't held a 6 month old wracked with pneumonia, let me tell you - the experience stays with you. The sweating, the shaking, the coughing that doesn't stop... Scary is an understatement. And it literally happened over night.  
Since then, she was diagnosed with pnuemonia 2 more times before she turned 5. Luckily, since that first time made us cautious, we know the signs and catch it early now, and once the world closed down and people started wearing masks, she got sick a lot less. It gives her developmental stuff a chance to catch up. Her sleep and her neurological ticks are closely linked. 


I am exhausted. I've been dealing with the majority of the pandemic on my own, knowing that My Sailor is out there protecting our family. Between the political upheaval of the last 2 years, the pandemic, the deployments, the old house, and keeping a small business alive during all of this, it's been a hell of a lot. And sometimes I'm just plain exhausted doing it all myself. Sure, I ask for help from my few local friends. I call my mom weekly to chat, and I connect with friends when I can - and I am generally not one to complain about being lonely. I made friends with that strange emotion decades ago. 

But I am a mere mortal, and doing all the things, all the time, is just plain exhausting. I do believe we as a family and we as a society will find a way through this, but some days I'm too tired to do much than sleep on the promise that 'tomorrow will be better'. And sure, solo parents are dealing with the same thing all the time. I get it. I should count my blessings, and I do - which brings me to - 

 More than one thing can be true. 

We are beautifully complex beings. I took some time today to recognize all of it - grateful, frustrated, angry, confused, exhausted and terrified. Yes, you can still be an optomist and see the world for what it is. It's feeling all the feelings and deciding to choose hope when you can - while completely honoring the other emotions as valid. 

Me? I'm looking forward to other gatherings with my entire little family some day. I realize I am privledged to be able to look forward and scream "I need a break!" despite having had some days away in June.  I realize all of that, but it doesn't change the fact that some part of me is angry and exhausted. 

All of that is equal and valid. 

 For tonight - I'm grateful for the memories we've made, frustrated by the state of the world, and exhausted enough to go to bed. 

Stock photo

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Raising a Super Hero - Seeing Her Super Power

If you've followed my blog for any length of time (ye brave, ye few), you'll know a few things to be true.

You probably know... I am a wall flower in large groups of people, when I am not the host. I do my best work and socializing one on one. Bring me into a situation with over 5 people, and I'm likely to keep sipping at a beverage to avoid conversation. 

You probably also know that ... my daughter doesn't like to talk to just anyone. She has her 'people'. She has always had her 'people'. What makes someone one of her 'people' is a complete mystery to me, but I've always respected it. As she's gotten older, her circle of chosen people has gotten bigger, but if you're not in it, you won't get more than a nod or a shake of the head. Maybe you'll get a 'yeah' or a 'no'. Maybe.

You also know that... The Impossible Girl also has a stuttering impediment and some speech fluency issues. She'll have a few lucky days where you'd never know but there are also days where every other word is a visible battle to get out. She answers questions with, "I don't know" when she can't find the words to answer them, or she'll get so tangled up that she gives up and starts crying.  While most kids stutter for a few weeks or months as they grow, this has been ongoing for years and isn't getting better. While speech therapy has significantly improved the fluency, at this stage it's very likely the stuttering will be a life long thing. At least, it's best to be prepared for that outcome.

You also know that... I spent significant time of my life doing theater, so speaking in public doesn't bother me. But to her - it's a really big deal, every single day. I ached to know how hard it can be for her. I can help her with it, but I can't fix it for her. And that sucks.

To ease the ache in my heart when I hear her struggling, I wanted to  needed to find a way to see things differently. Could this even have an upside? Can I see this as a super power? 

ETSY Maker's Shop Link

nd then, I got my answer...

We were shopping for a gift for a friend of hers when she mentioned that a classmate (we'll call her A) also had a birthday recently. The Impossible Girl wanted to get a gift for her classmate as well. In the interest of cultivating thoughtfulness, I told her that was a great idea. She picked out a unicorn hooded towel for her friend, and a Paw Patrol hooded towel for A. 

It turned out that hooded towel was a hit with A. 

Now, that may not seem like a big deal until you realize that A and The Impossible Girl knew OF each other at school, but their interactions were pretty limited. They knew of each other, but basically traveled in different social circles. 

So how did The Impossible Girl know that a Paw Patrol towel would be a great gift for this girl  she barely interacted with?

I tested the theory out later that day. We roasted marshmellows over candle flames on the deck and I started the test- 

Me: "Hey. Let's play a game. You close your eyes and I'm going to take something off the table. Then you have to tell me what I took off." On the table were a pair of bamboo skewers, 3 candles, 1 napkin, the lid to the 3 wicked candle, a bottle of water, and 2 small plates. 

So we played. I'd take something off the table and she'd have to tell me what it was. 

She was wrong once out of SIX rounds. ONCE! She got zero prompting from me.

Etsy Shop Link
She may stand back and watch, but she sees EVERYTHING. 

I'm finding new ways to encourage that memory and cultivate her observational skills. So she may not speak the same way we expected, but she has a super power.  

Monday, June 14, 2021

Breathing Among the Trees - The Preschool Adventure Among the Trees that Grew Us (The Day the World Paused 463)

**When The Impossible Girl came to Magnolia. She wouldn't talk to anyone. 3 or 4 weeks in, she finally talked to a teacher. Her words? "No, I don't want to eat lunch." Her voice was celebrated. This video is about a year later - singing her own song on a stage the kids made**

To say I've ever pursued a 'conventional' life would be a lie. The idea of 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence has never been a dream of mine. But as a parent, many of those ideas shift. It's easy to want the safest, most comfortable environment for your kids. Our job, first and foremost as parents is to keep them alive through those first few years when all they need is everything you are all the time.

Now, I may write another whole blog about the challenges of motherhood as a self-employed 41-year old military spouse, but that's not this blog. 
This one is about the other side of that. This one is about our adventure in Forest Preschool and the people there taught us to breathe among the trees.

The Impossible Girl the morning of her first day of Preschool at Magnolia Forest School
Age 2.5

  When looking for preschools, my options were limited. It was basically the Co-Op preschool (which require volunteer hours which would have gone further into killing my career) or keep doing what we were doing and hoping for the best.

What were we doing? 

Child Care at the YMCA offered 15 hours a week in 3 hour a day increments. During a typical day, My Sailor would work in the mornings while I saw a few clients and used the Child Watch time, and then we'd high five as he walked in the door in the afternoon, have 2 hours of 'family time' before he'd be on parent duty and I went to work for the evening.  Tag team parenting worked for a while, but we needed more - not just more child care time but The Impossible Girl needed more too. She needed to be able to establish relationships beyond drop-in child care. We needed support as a family. 

We found it in an unexpected place. 

 While searching for affordable preschool options, I stumbled across Magnolia Forest Preschool. They offered a summer camp program for 3-4 days a week, 4 hours a day in the mornings. It was affordable so we tried it out for a week. 

That week long relationship turned into 3 years. 

At the first day of drop off

Now, when I started telling people about Forest Preschool they largely didn't get the concept.  Most of my friends were enrolling their kids in Spanish or French Immersive Preschools, or some academically advanced version.

 When they found out The Impossible Girl wasn't focusing on learning to sing her ABCs, they were stunned

Kids out playing in the woods all day? Even in the rain and the snow? Don't they get cold and sick? Don't they get dirty? Won't they wander off and get lost? Won't they fall from trees and get hurt? Won't they poke someone's eye out with a stick? 

I could go into my long winded answers to those, but I'll just drop their FAQ here and just go into detail on a couple of my favorite questions.

 My short answers to the ones above are: Yes. Yes. Not really. Yes. No. Maybe, but it's not common. No. 

Family and friends were stunned to learn that The Impossible Girl wasn't learning to recite the alphabet or learn a second language or some other academic feat. She was just 'playing'? How would she learn? What do you mean she isn't enrolled in other extra curriculars outside of school?! 

Well, the verdict is in. Here we are about to enter Kindergarten and she can sing her ABCs just fine. She's learning to write because she learned through drawing with a stick in the dirt that what she draws has meaning. (Okay, she also scribbled away happily in a composition book at school.) 'Just playing in the woods' has helped her develop traits I think she would have lost out on had we done this early childhood learning any other way. If she needs to 'catch up' academically, I have every confidence she can. She is coming out of preschool with a great set of skills.

Forest Preschool seemed so 'out of the box' and unusual, but let's think about it. Why is that? Why is it odd to think of kids 'wasting their time' playing in nature?

When did we forget that being out in nature and moving is more normal and natural to our bodies (including our brains) than being stuck in a chair behind a desk? 

When did we decide that book learning was the only kind that makes a person a valued member of the planet? Some of the greatest geniuses of all time often found their fame through creative thinking. Both are valuable. 

 I field questions like, "How will she learn to stand in a line or sit still?" These are things life teaches us. She doesn't need a special lesson on it. She experiences it at the grocery store, or in the car while we're driving from place to place. She sits still when she's hungry and wants to eat or someone is telling a story of interest, or her legs are tired, or she wants to scoot her way up a tree, etc. 

Another favorite one I heard a lot over our years was, "Does she bounce off the walls at home because she doesn't understand boundaries?" Um.. nope. Not at all. She has found ways to manage her energy and an understanding of her emotions that rivals some adults, thanks to her time in the woods.

Yup, she gets dirty and occasionally gets a scrape or a bruise. It turns out kids are pretty good at risk assessment when they get to make up the game and aren't forced to do things a certain way. When they can explore and find their own way, they grow. I read something in The Last Lecture that has stuck with me. It's something I follow as I help adults build self-esteem and confidence: 

"He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop [self-esteem]: You give them something they can’t do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process."

It works the same way with adults when I'm teaching them to do something new. She knows when to ask for help, and these wonderful adults in her life have helped her grow by leaps and bounds. She is confident with what she can do in her body. 

 The kids learn quickly that boundaries aren't there 'because an adult said so'. They are there for safety. The kids haven't gone all Mogli or Lord of the Flies.

But I don't want to talk about the kids. They kids are amazing, don't get me wrong. The Impossible Girl has made some awesome friends. The adults that make these kids lives amazing are the real rock stars. 

Serious rock stars.

When this pandemic slammed things shut - these adults showed up for these kids in big, personal ways. From one of the founders going full digital with online 1/2 hour lessons (which helped organize our day in BIG ways) to PHYSICALLY SHOWING UP when I messaged them 'hey, we are in your area kinda - want to go outside and meet us?' We got to spend some one on one time with four of her teachers. Each one came without a single qualm. The school was open by donations only. THEY COULD HAVE SAID NO. They could have been too busy. Instead, they OFFERED to meet us or do video chats with the kids if they needed it. And let me tell you, pandemic+depolyment+Just us= WE NEEDED IT!

A socially distanced play date with a favorite teacher on the spur of the moment.

Virtual Preschool - art classes, yoga, and this one "find your quiet place"

Another socially distance beach meet up with one of the Founders of the school

If you know me in person, I treat the advice of professionals I respect like a cattle prod. More experienced people know more than me and I want to learn from them.

 One of the things her teachers have taught me early on was "Be a Sports Caster, not a Referee" (Here's how it works for me.). Through their actions and the way they treat the kids, they reinforced what it means to actually 'hold space' for someone. I've learned how to let my daughter come to me and discovered this mutual ground of respect. One of the gifts I've found of being adopted is that my parents got to know me as a person, without expecting a 'mini me' from me. It's a gift I want to share, and this team of professionals have reinforced. Getting to know these humans who have chosen to be teachers has not only changed the Impossible Girl's life for the better, but mine as well. 

They have held The Impossible Girl when her words get tangled and she can't get out what she's trying to say and she cries and in frustration. They have held space for her when My Sailor is away and all the complicated emotions that come with it. They have been the people she needs - and the people we need in our lives.  

We still have weeks of summer camp before we leave our space in Magnolia for another family. We've watched the school grow from a tiny group of kids in a group camp site, to a fully fleshed-out outdoor home for a diverse group of kids. Now? They have several campuses and a waiting list.

The talents of these special people will change and shape families for years to come. 

And I for one am glad we took the chance on this unconventional route. 

Any future kids will be sure to learn to breath among the trees as we have.

Final School Picture - Fall of 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

When the World Paused - Day 408 - Meltdown Day

Military families (like mine) sign up knowing that deployments are part of work. The kids born into military families don't have a choice. They learn the coping mechanisms along the way. They learn to let go and hang on to an invisible bond that can't be reinforced every day. They don't understand the danger that comes with many deployments, but The Impossible Girl is getting older and learning more and more about My Sailor's job. 

Last week, we watched snippets of a submarine special that is on youtube. She saw what it looks like where daddy sleeps, eats (she was especially facinated that they can COOK under water), and a little bit about what his work looks like. So even when we're far apart, she has some point of reference she can draw from. (She also wants to go on a submarine someday "just like daddy". I encouraged her dreams - as always.)

This week, we took a break and headed to Great Wolf Lodge for 1 night. We only do the water park and come home, especially during Covid. It was my first time chasing a 5 year old around a water park, but The Impossible Girl is did really well. Despite an unpredictable start to the day - an absence seizure on her way out of the car at school - the trip went very smoothly. She listened to all instructions and followed all the rules with no complaint. She was thrilled to pop in the wave pool and add her gleeful nonsense words into the din of crashing waves. We didn't have a melt down...
Until we were on our way out.
 As we were packing up to leave the water park (which she delayed as long as possible), we were talking about coming back someday. I mentioned to her that I'd talked to My Sailor about coming back for TWO nights when he gets home, so she can do the water slides with them. That triggered the reminder that he wasn't there with us. For the next 15 minutes or so, she quietly cried, repeating 'Daddy daddy daddy' over and over again. I scooped her into my lap and hugged her. This was the melt down I had expected when he left months ago. For some reason, it needed to happened now.

She didn't stop crying quietly, murmuring 'Daddy' as we walked back to the room hand in hand. I'm sure people nearby thought Dad was at the snack stand or something, but Dad was much farther away.  I sat down on a towel on the floor. She pulled off her mask and opened her mouth in a silent scream. I opened my arms and she ran into my lap and sobbed for 15 minutes, unable to get out more than a sob and the word 'Daddy'. I asked her if she was sad because we were leaving. She shook her head no. It was what I thought. "Are you crying because you miss Daddy?" She nodded and sobbed. We hugged and rocked and shed some tears together for a while. I reassured her that we'll have days like this and it's okay to hurt. It means you love him. I assured her we're going to be okay, and that if she ever feels like this again, she can tell me (or a teacher at school) and we can hug it out until it passes a bit and she feels ready to move on. 

We got home and there happened to be a package waiting from a Disney pal, which included some tea and "Emergency Tiaras" because sometimes we all need them, right? 

These are the day to day challenges. It's normal to see behavior regressions and a flurry of emotions. Sometimes the flurry is more like an avalanche... 

Monday, March 29, 2021

When the World Paused, Day 378 - The Impossible Girl gets a Rare Diagnosis

 I'm going to start with a 2020 Winter Recap. Right now, that's easy to write. Scroll down if you want to see how the title comes into play. 

The holidays went by in a flash and I spent a good chunk of time piecing together another package of cards, letters and photos for My Sailor's deployment. This time, it was hard to find photos that didn't include us masked up. It's become a true sign of the times for 2020 and 2021, so far. My Sailor has been vaccinated and it's back to me and The Impossible Girl, who has grown by leaps and bounds. As she nears six years old, I finding a mixture of shock and delight when she shows me what she can do now, that the 4 year old Impossible Girl couldn't do. Speech therapy has become a weekly commute we look forward to, and she's been working on using those mental tools she's learning there to help her speech. 

Speech Therapy has been an enlightening experience for both of us. There are motor issues that take some training. We work on it much like I work with clients to train their bodies to do things they didn't think were possible. Only in The Impossible Girl's case, it's learning to get her tongue to touch behind her teeth for a proper "el" sound, or learning to break down works and elongate the "S" sound in words like "Stop" or "spoon". We have a long way to go, but there is lots of progress too. It's a 'big picture' kind of thing. I'm glad we have a President who battles stuttering now. It's something we can share with her as she gets older as proof that it shouldn't hold her back (while we work on strategies to get around it at the same time). I know most 5 year old kids don't look at the President as a role model, but maybe someday it will come in handy. 

The Impossible Girl and I have instituted some rituals to make the days a bit more distinctive from each other. Friday is Family Movie Night. I work weekends, but it is a nice way to look forward to spending some time cuddling up and introducing her to some classics. Titles have included The Last Unicorn, Muppets Most Wanted, the Aristocats, Peter Pan, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
I built a shed to keep working with the lousy weather. They Y DID reopen, but with all the rules still in place, many clients are more comfortable coming to my little space to work out. My evening clients currently have to come to my little space, as child care for a high risk kid during Covid is hard to come by. We still rarely go into stores (her especially). Curbside pick ups are our norm, so when we do stop into a store, it's a quick treat. She's a wonder at wearing a mask without an issue and a wonder about not touching things. Sanitizer is a normal thing now. 
February bought a weekend of being snowed in. Everyone enjoyed that.

And My Sailor and I spent lots of time playing table and card games before he left as well. 

The Impossible Girl went back to Forest School, and, at the time of press, has visited the campus' Kindergarten classroom. She was very excited about it and quick to tell me all she learned on just that one day.

For my 41'st birthday in January, we spent a night in a hotel in Seattle and I spent the Disney gift card I got for Christmas at the Disney outlet store the next day. Usually I'd save it for a trip, but since we have no idea when we're going to be able to get back into the parks, I needed a fix. It was nice to just be out of the house for an evening. 
And that takes us all the way back to December. We decided to go ahead and get The Impossible Girl's tonsils and adenoids removed while My Sailor was around to help with the rough recovery.
She was a trooper. We did spend Christmas Eve in the ER when her nose wouldn't stop bleeding - and she was in a lot of pain for about 11 days. Come day 12, she was MUCH better.
Waiting at the outpatient Surgery center. Due to Covid, no overnight observations are allowed.
Reading a new book while she waits to get taken back
Recovery room watching cartoons
surgery only stopped the snoring. A recent sleep study showed that the sleep apnea is still present. However it's not Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It's Central Sleep Apnea

What is Central Sleep Apnea?

To sum up all that Google will tell you - it's a condition that occurs when your brain stops telling your lungs to do their job while you're sleeping. Her case is mild, but I've learned a lot in the process.  Central Sleep Apnea is rare. 1-4% of children have sleep apnea to begin with - so it's not common. Less than 1% of the general population in the US have Central Sleep Apnea, so it's very rare in children without another severe illness. For now, she'll be getting a ring to wear on her thumb when she sleeps. It sends an alert to my phone if she desaturates for an extended period of time, and gives us more information to see if she grows out of this rarity, or if it'll require more earnest treatment. 

Usually Central Sleep Apnea comes with other, bigger, more serious baggage. Our style doesn't seem to follow that pattern. Is this somehow all possibly connected to the weird hormones she may have going on, being born with Ovarian Cysts? I don't know. I doubt we'll ever have an answer.

But I'd be lying if I said the news didn't rattle me. It rattled me. Significantly.

 In her history, The Impossible Girl has come down with pnuemonia starting at 9 months old. Nearly once a year since, she'd get some upper respiratory thing that has sent us in for chest x-rays and medications for pnuemonia. (The excluding years were 2019- 2021 so far.) The reoccurring bouts left us with a mild asthma (likely triggered by viral infections) diagnosis. 

Right now, everything is mild and sleep is still better than it was pre-surgery. Honestly, if I had it to do all over again, I probably would have made the same decision. They likely wouldn't have uncovered the Central component until the surgery was done anyway, and her rough recovery is now a distant memory.

As scary as it is to send a kiddo with some questionable respiratory stuff to school during a pandemic, for her mental health, she needs other people in her life. We have a wonderful village of humans in our lives - and connecting with them keeps us sane. She needs people outside of me and My Sailor.

So we plan for the future! The Impossible Girl and I have Covid safe Spring Break plans, and I'm looking forward to a safer future as the world continues to spread the vaccinations around.

I call her The Impossible Girl for lots of reasons. But she isn't just Impossible. She's Remarkable.
And that's always a good thing.

When The World Paused - Day 243 - It's STILL 2020?


 So since I last blogged a LOT has happened - and absolutely nothing has happened as well. Buckle up and I'll see if I can make it make sense. 

The Impossible Girl has changed campuses twice - and are again on a short break from school (calling it a rest, since stricter restrictions are going into effect this week and the Thanksgiving break was coming up anyway). 

 This time it was hard on her to take a break from friends . She has a lot of transition of the adults in her life (My Sailor - aka her dad) goes in and out on deployments with work. There is a noticable sag in her shoulders when she asks, "Daddy's at work?" and I answer, "Yes. Dad's at work." Though she occasionally growls at him and isn't sure she likes having 2 adults keeping her in line during the day, it's clear they are bonded and she misses him when he's away. She misses her friends as well. But at least we all have each other right now.

She has lost a her two bottom teeth now and we've been to several doctor's offices. She's finally enrolled in Speech Therapy. It's about 90 minutes round trip, but it's well worth the commute. She likes it and they were able to get us in without the normal 6-9 month waiting list locally.
We also have an updated sleep study scheduled for spring to check on her sleep apnea. If it's still present, we'll likely be heading to a tonsillectomy in the summer. Hopefully that will solve it.

Halloween was simple. We threw a little party at the house, let her hunt through for candy, and did a drive through - no contact trick or treat event at a local church. She didn't miss the bigger events at all. Things were just different. 

So obviously I've tried hard to dip deep into my pool of resourcefulness and pull out every tool I find in there. But getting a $200 pay check is supremely humbling. And it's not because I'm bad at my job or anything. The Y's I work out of will be closing until at least mid December. I was just able to get back in there and get to work! I've lost a few clients to their own job loss, gone virtual with a few others, and focused on nutrition with still others. The latest guidance says we have to work out outdoors. In Washington, it's dark by around 4:30pm, and usually rainy, windy, and hovering around 40 degrees. Some stalwart folks have stuck around for it. We're building shelters and sheds to try and make it work. It's a crazy mess. I've had clients have to cancel for 2 weeks once they have been exposed to someone with the virus, and I've had to close down when my husband was exposed at work. And when I don't work, I don't get paid. There is no aid for little guys like me. 

It's been a crazy time. But here's to living one day at a time and paying attention to what's ahead.