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Home, Sweet, Home!

It's been quite the journey....! Lets roll it back. 2020 was a landmark year for all of us, for sure. I can tell you that, even though tests for Covid were not available, Michael, Dylan and I had it. It took me two months to feel my strength again and I had a dry cough for a good year. In March of '20 Dylan's school shut down. We had already

started grading the lot behind us.

We were officially building a house from the ground up and neither Michael nor I had any experience doing a job this big. Yes, Michael is a skilled carpenter/contractor but to oversee a home build was new to him.

I had some experience budgeting a project (Thanks Open Book!) but I knew nothing about what would actually be IN the budget for a build like this. I urged Michael to reach out to a Contractor friend and pay him to help us build that budget so, ya know, we'd have a clue. We did just that and it was invaluable. Now, there were plenty of workers since businesses were closed. However, the supply chain was thin and we were doing flips to get what we needed. We managed and, being a hyper proactive person, I was ordering well in advance to make sure we would hit our deadline. If you know construction loans, there's a 12 month window that you have to pay the loan off or convert it. So, delays were scary!

Meanwhile, Dylan was home. At first, it felt like an early summer vacation. He gamed with friends at all hours of the day and night. I was working on the house and trying to find ways to stay physically and mentally fit. Fortunately, we live in an area of California that has beautiful weather most of the time. Not too hot. Not too cold. And plenty of hiking trails! At some point, maybe a couple months of "home boundness", Dylan sat next to me and told me he was having a hard time and would like to talk to a professional therapist. I was so proud of him that he would talk to me about that. I tried finding someone but everyone was booked. Not wanting to wait too long for help, every day we sat together and wrote. Well, I wrote and he talked. I set him up with Final Draft, a writers software, and he spent his time writing...One amazing script after the next! We still plan to produce his script, "Isolation". I'm not going to down play this. I was scared for my kid and I'm sure you might have a similar story to tell coming from those difficult times. Creativity has a tremendous power to heal.

We powered through 2020 with our really good at washing my hands properly (Anyone else still hum Yankee Doodle Dandy when washing?) and found my walks and park picnics so soothing. In October of '20 we moved out of our family home. It was the first of 5 that we would do in the next 15 months. We had to remove a part of the house in order to build the appropriate driveway to access our spec house. We pre-sold the Spec in July but didn't close on it until December 2020, 4 weeks past our maturation date for our loan. Fortunately, we have a great relationship with our lender although that didn't stop the stress.

The house was completed and sold and we were living with a neighbor, renting out two rooms, a bathroom and use of the kitchen. Just like that, we were off trying to get our house started! Here comes 2021!

I'll stop here for now....But its a start, eh?

Thanks again for being so supportive and coming along for the ride! I so appreciate each and everyone of you!

Take good care of yourself and loved ones!!

Chin UP!




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Busy, stressful, scary, successful times. Happy for you and your family as you continue to love and support each other. it Is a testament to how close, strong and safe your sons feel knowing they are able to reach out and know they will get the help they need. I wish you and your family continued success and love. Looking forward to hearing, seeing or reading Dylan’s work some day.


What a journey Crystal Ms Chappell

you are a true inspiration, remarkable business women , one of kind rare to find , and a priceless Mother !

Its been a very challenge 2 years but you handled remarkable well with mr Sabatino !

I have to applaud Dylan for his courage to come forward with his feelings what a moment for this young man to sit with his Mom to talk about such a difficult topic ……I hope his is doing well now and excited that one day we all might be able to read his script ( Isolation) Hi is such a brave young man this world needs more youth lessons like this .. you did a amazin…


Big hug to Dylan ❤️!

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