This morning I woke up at 5am and did my morning pages. I’ve started The Artist’s Way for the second time, and doing The Artist’s Way involves writing three pages each morning. The pages can be about anything. This morning I wrote about the florescent blue sky and sound outside my kitchen window. …

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

We all know how challenging it is to find good childcare, especially since Covid has changed our lives so drastically. I decided to write this piece from a nanny’s perspective (I actually prefer the term childcare provider). I’m a professional childcare provider, with over two decades of experience. I’ve also worked as a firefighter. I have an advanced degree and am also a writer. That said, many incredible nannies don’t have degrees. I work full-time with one family.

I live in a large west coast city, and my job comes with all the benefits of a good full-time position: PTO…

For four years, I worked as a hotshot, an elite wildland firefighter. Hotshots are crews of 18–22 initial attack firefighters, often the first to arrive on fires and charged with working closest to the flames. They typically work over a thousand hours of overtime each summer. Training is rigorous, and the job is grueling.

Every summer I endured a predictable battering of my immune system. In March I’d be well rested and ready to go, but after only a couple “rolls” on fires, (fourteen to twenty-one days of firefighting), my body began to fray at the edges. I gauged my…

Fighting fire. I’ve said this phrase countless times. I worked as a wildland firefighter but never stopped to consider the phrase fighting fire.

Since the late 1800’s wildfires, or any agricultural fires in the United States, have been perceived as destructive. Few explorers who came west were able to see fires for what they were- part of the natural environment, and integral to ecological health. When the Forest Service was established it was done so in a climate of “timber famine.”

In some ways the concept of timber famine was helpful. Conservationists used the fear of excessive logging to preserve…

Many people are unaware that there are two different “types” of sunscreens out there. That makes sense, because there are also a myriad of brands and price points to choose from. Navigating all of the information regarding which sunscreens are the safest can be a daunting task. As a nanny, I’m passionate about keeping the kids I watch safe, and choosing the right sunscreen for them is part of that. But why should we only be careful when it comes to kids?

There is research supporting the claim that many chemical sunscreens are killing coral reefs and harming our environment…

Photo by Samuel Zeller

By now most of us have seen the heartbreaking pictures of how human plastics consumption is impacting our oceans. The pictures of beached whales with their stomachs gaping to reveal pounds of plastic debris; photos of tiny fish with bands of plastic tightly wrapped around their delicate bodies, seabirds dead by starvation because they’ve swallowed too much plastic, a sea turtle carrying a plastic bag in its scythe-like beak.

There is no denying it. Our addiction to plastic, and to convenience, is irrevocably harming the world around us.

And it’s not only our oceans. According to a recently released article…

Stacy Selby

Stacy Selby is currently writing a book about their experiences as a hotshot. They live in Seattle.

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