Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Unforgettable Fire

Bottom photo: Todd Foster


Does not exist
In its natural form
Exists by consuming
Another form
It transforms from one
Form to another form

Fuels our passion
Leaves everything ashen
Duels the darkness
Heaves on compassion

Fire, constructively destructive
Fire, destructively constructive
Fire, living death
Fire, dying life 

Anand Dixit

My unfinished home burnt to the ground just before Thanksgiving.    My dream of a book about it and marriage went up in its smoke.

No one was hurt.  This is the best thing.

Like with any setback in life, time soothes.  Already I’m planning a new life, a new home, somewhere else.  I can forgive.  This is the other best thing: washing my soul of anger.

The irony is I’ve made a fairy tale home so many admire and wish they could live in.  Myself included.

I wrote about it for The Women’s Eye if you want to read the long version stuffed to the gills with metaphor.


Star of Wonder, Star of Night

Stars.  Sparkle, glitter, dreams, fire, light.  Last Christmas, my life was starry as a clear sub-zero winter’s night in the Catskills.  This Christmas, my life is as dark as a grave.

This Christmas:

  • I’m divorced
  • my unfinished new house (a real house, not my little shabby streamside studio) burnt to the ground
  • and the homesteading book about it and my once enviable life obviously is nixed
  • my Maltese dog Belle is dead
  • I’ll see my 3 babies - my dogs - for a few hours in December
  • I paid $600 for dental work my Maltese Zuzu
  • and $900 in car repairs
  • I gained 10 pounds

Without my old dreams, I’m disoriented.  Without a home, I’m dispossessed.  Without my husband, I’m not constantly infuriated but I’m also missing my dearest friend.  It was he that accidentally caused the fire with the woodstove.  The guilt sears and tortures him.  He said he lay on the cold ground and cried the next morning.  I lay on the cold ground and cried when I got home from the lawyer’s office filing for divorce the next day.

The last 10 years of my life were spent working two full-time jobs a 4 hour drive south from the Catskills so I could arrive where I was last year: a simple life without a mortgage.  My husband and I clashed terribly over the years concerning our living space and earning income.  He’s a clutterer with hoarding tendencies, I’m a neat freak.  He started businesses that didn’t work out, I put my dreams of being a photographer/stylist/author on hold while working good (but unfulfilling) jobs with benefits.

I was homeless as a teen.  All I’ve ever wanted was a little refuge to call my own. 

I built it, I unexpectedly got a lot of press on it.  My dreams finally were coming true.

My new side career blossomed, my unemployed husband’s depression worsened.  Most ‘ditch the city for the country’ stories you hear about are of well-heeled individuals that left six-figure jobs or sold six-figure homes.  I ain’t one of them. 

My refuge in the form of a real home is like a flake of down in the air.  The moment I reach it, it sidesteps away.  I’m not materialistic, I’m proud to own few possessions, but my sentimentalism for some makes it difficult to accept their loss.

This lantern’s light once lit our table at our wedding, then our little campsite on our honeymoon in the Catskills.  I used it in the very first magazine feature I sold.   I lost five matching 19th century porch columns I bought for $25 at a yard sale.  It will cost me $380 at a salvage yard to replace them. 

It looks like a tiny house for tiny money.  But, I make tiny money.  For someone a tick or two above living paycheck to paycheck, the fiscal setback is monstrous.  Especially in light of the fact I need $7,000 in photography equipment, and my $5,000 Visa is maxed.  That’s where I’m at.

So, I’m living with Mom, looking for a night job.

I seek the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s always dark.  Holiday scenes that once inspired me pain me.  Christmas music guaranteed to cheer me saddens instead.  I visited my old studio on the hill to get a few shots for a magazine feature.  The old comfort is there, and irony.  Like millions worldwide, I wish I could live there.  I’d never afford the road, the addition, and the septic system making $20K a year up there.

Like the Grinch, my “heart is full of unwashed socks”.  (Last year, I wrote a bubbly post to 'be understanding of Grinches'.  Life.)  The spark of creativity in my heart doesn’t ignite.  I’m uninterested in designing vignettes and shooting.  Or even putting up a tree.

Then, a star appeared.  A design star.  A prominent author/stylist/photographer contacted me to be in her upcoming holiday book.  Another (also doing a book) commented on my blog and we got to sharing, too.  Their compassion buoyed me, their burning passion for what they do heated my blackened heart.  And it’s lit anew.

Neil Peart wrote of losing his daughter, wife, dog, and career in his memoir Ghost Rider, and one passage stays with me.  In the West, we say, “once burnt, twice shy.”  But in Africa, they say, “wood once burned is easier to light.”

Another great Canadian writer’s final sentence in her novel Cat’s Eye stays with me as well.  Referring to stars, Margaret Atwood wrote, “It’s old light, and there’s not much of it.  But it’s enough to see by.”

I go out in the warm un-Christmasy evening.  The sun, our nearest star, sets.  It is cloudy.  Stars can lead us home if we navigate by them.  I cannot see the stars.  I am lost.  I know they’re still there.  But I’m still lost.

I return to the place in the woods two mere weeks ago I cut larch branches for holiday styling and shooting. 

They burnt along with my house.

There are more branches.  Their seeded cones are lovely along the dainty twigs.  I remember some seeds need fire to germinate.  I weep.


I'm still blogging about my studio, don't worry!

Until next time, stay shabby!

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153 comments: said...

I've been in a few very bad spots in my day and even though for awhile it seems like it's the end of the road it isn't. Do not give up, your going to come back and have everything you had and more.
Hang in there. You are sooo very talented. Something special is waiting for you.

Gam said...

Oh my gosh, My heart is breaking for you! What a horrible year for you. Please know that you are in my prayers. I pray for strength and grace to see you through this next months. Grief does dim and lights will brighten. A Tx friend.

Gayla said...

Never give up... There is much magic in you... It shines like the stars in the heavens. Saying a special prayer for that light in your darkness.

Sandie said...

I'm gutted for you but, know you must be like the Phoenix, rising from the will get there, I believe in your strenghts to do it! Go Girl!


Sandie xx

Kay Shelton said...

You are very talented and I know there will be better days ahead for you. Its alright to go through the grieving process for your marriage and your home. This will enable you to move forward. What does not kill us will make us stronger and "this too shall pass". God bless you and I hope you continue to inspire me as you've done in the past. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Shabby chic Sandy said...

This post brings tears to my eyes. You have inspired me so much. Why do bad things have to happen to good people? I am very so saddened by the break up of your marriage and I hope you and your husband can find yourself in a place of friendship. I am so sorry about the fire..the death of your dog..I had no idea you were suffering so much. I know you do not pray, but I will pray for you. I believe in good energy and your little studio and blogging has brought so much hope and good energy to my life. Any place can become a beautiful refuse if you have the vision...that is what i have learned from you. Thank you for sharing this and hopefully some healing will come. Please keep us posted on what is next for you. I think I can speak for most all of your followers, we all care so much.

Jennifer Rizzo said...

Sandy, you are in my prayers. Sometimes great adversity brings wonderful things even though we don't understand it at the time. There are amazing things waiting for you.

LindaSonia said...

Oh my, I wept at your post. I'm sooo very sorry to read what's happened. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers and I know hope springs eternal.


A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Dearest Sandy,

So very sorry to read about this. I was tearing up as I was scrolling through your post just now. Sending over many hugs & prayers your way!!! I know it's hard to stay strong, but do keep your head up and high and keep doing the things that you LOVE - and only good things will come your way, I just KNOW IT! :) If I could, I'd give you a real hug! :)

XO's, & Blessings,

Japolina said...

Sometimes lots of bad stuff has to happen before you move on to the really good stuff. Hope this is a great year for you.

Sizzle and Zoom said...

My heart goes out to you. You have been so honest about it all. It was painful to read about someone that I've come to admire and love. Your blog has been an inspiration and comfort to me. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Debby said...

I am so sorry that all these things have happened. I almost couldn't believe what I was reading. I am so sad for you. Please stay strong and give yourself some time to heal. There are good things in store for you. You bring us all so much joy and peace.........I hope we can send you some. (((((HUGS)))))

Kathy said...

Dearest One,
Your pain is so raw, you have opened your heart and shared your life with all of its secrets with us. Believe it or not that is part of healing. No one, nor fire or proverty can take your dreams, ideas, grace and creative ways from you. You have magic inside you, your life will just take another path. I hope it gives you comfort in knowing that many of us have taken a similiar journey and we send prayers and kind words "It will get better". All things are possible through Christ. Kathy

Anonymous said...

Rise like a phoenix from the ashes now free from the physical and emotional burdens you were carrying.

It is time for a new playhouse perhaps in a gypsy wagon! You are free to make lots of new choices and reshape a life of joy for yourself.

Find investors and put together a B & B of recycled cabins for them. Write a book about doing that.

à la parisienne said...


I'm sorry to hear about your enormous losses, and I appreciate your honesty about your situation.
So many times, we bloggers paint idealistic of our lives and no one lives in an idealistic world.
I pray that you and your husband will be able to mend your relationship and that you will be able to rise from the ashes, as a stronger, wiser woman (something we all need to become.)

With love,

Posy and Co. said...

There are no words that will lessen the sadness in your heart right now. The passage of time, and only time, is the only remedy for such grief and sorrow. At the age of 12, we, too, lost everything in a house fire. It isn't the loss of material things that brings forth the sadness, yet the emotional connection we have to our space and the sentimental objects within. As for the loss of your marriage, may fond memories of better times and the hopes of a sustainable friendship get you through. Much love, Lisa

erin said...

i am so very very sorry for all of your tragic and very difficult times lately....something that helps me in times like this is a saying a ran across...

"what seems to us as bitter trials, are often blessings in disguise."

things will get better, i promise...

JCHokie said...

I am so terribly sorry to hear all of this. I've admired your studio for quiet some time. It was amazingly beautiful. Please don't let this setback define your future. You are much more than this and it doesn't change who you are. You have great readers out there that are 100% behind you and supporting you. Praying for brighter days for you.

ann said...

I am so sad for you. Yet you are a strong woman who will rise from the ashes and meet the challenges of rebuilding your life stronger and better.

NanaDiana said...

It's times like these when I wish I had unlimited income..Income that I could share with you- to help you find your dream. The truth is that your dreams are normal dreams- that of wanting a home to call your own...a life that is enriched and blessed by someone you once loved.

My heart aches for you. I have been through some very troubled waters in my time. Don't look down...just keep looking up...and try to pray.

You will find your way. I know you will. You found your way to that little hideaway and you will find your path again because you are young and strong and have a good heart.

I am always just an email away if you want to cry your heart out- xo Diana

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

I'm shocked, and so sorry to hear about your trouble, but I can see another fire burning in your writing. You're going to make it through. My best heartfelt wishes for you.

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

Usually if one door closes, another opens to bigger and better things. Be so thankful that your blog, the adorable shabby cottage and your wonderful fun contents you shared with us is still available as treasured memories thru your blogspot.
You have a special talent in design and capturing our hearts so be positive and continue with the things you love and have dreamed of.
All of this is truly a heartbreak, but you can find a silver lining and I wish you the Best for 2012 and finding your way back to that magical fun you have within yourself.

marian elizabeth said...

I've love looking at your Blog and your Beautiful little shabby house. I'm sorry for your pain. You will survive, you are talented and young. I never thought I would survive the near death of two of my Children, I thought it would end my marriage, and my life. It didn't, I thought nothing is worse than this. It's funny how life throws everything it can at you and you can survive. It made me appreciate everything and everyday I have with them. Love got me through it. You are in my prayers, and I know we will see more wonderful things from you coming our way.
My Best to you!
Marian elizabeth

Whimsey Creations said...

I'm so sorry about what happened to your home, your beloved dog, and your marriage. It's hard to see when you're in that dark place but light still exists and you'll get there eventually. Please know that you'll be in my prayers. Hugs!

skulptress said...

A new broom sweeps clean. Your path is now clear for bigger and brighter things. I don't think it is the things we miss so much but the loss of the dream. Bless you and thank you for all the inspiration.

skulptress said...

A new broom sweeps clean. Your path is now clear for bigger and brighter things. I don't think it is the things we miss so much but the loss of the dream. Bless you and thank you for all the inspiration.

Eileen @ Cottage Beach House said...

Sandy, I am so sorry to read about this hardship.
The fire, your marriage, your doggie Belle.
Hang in there, I know things will be good again for you.
Your are such a sweet and inspirational woman. More good things will come to you.

Svetik said...

Как же грустно...Очень вам сочувствую.И верю что все возвратится и будет еще краше прежнего)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Oh Sandy I am so sorry. I just saw this post... I don't have words of wisdom to help heal your heart but please know I am thinking of you, saying a prayer and sending you much love & hugs.

Keziah said...

My sincerest condolences to you. I believe in my heart that good will come from this, life always goes on. And none of us know what is in store for our future. Keep you candles bright...breath in and breath out...I KNOW this will pass, and that things for you will be better.


kerrie of sea cottage said...

This seems unreal. I can't believe this has happened to you. I am so sorry. The home that burned was not your streamside studio or it was? The photo looks like your studio but your words sound like it was another. If it was your studio I am cannot believe it is gone. I send you my compassion. I will be praying for you. Do not ask the why's? you might go mad. Just get up everyday and try to do what you can. Go outside so you can hear nature...let the tears flow so your heart can be washed. Beauty will come from this...from these ashes. love you ox

Quilters Cottage Norfolk said...

Hello Sandy,
You are an amazing women to share all that you do with the world. You inspire in so many ways, even sharing this news of your life! I could not imagine how it feels right now. Your writing is amazing and your photography atmospheric and magic,continue to share.
You have built before so you can do it again. Continue to share with us, it's even more important for you and us, who share with you, to see your route to happiness again.
All my thoughts and best wishes,
Jane C

Christelle said...

A la lecture de ceci , je suis de tout ♥ avec vous .

The English Romantic said...

Hello Sandy,
Such a sad story this morning.
You will survive and thinggs can only get better.
I've been in this place and know that time does heal. You have lots of wonderful ideas to move forward with.
We are all thinking of you!!!
Hugs, Angela.

Vicki said...

OMG, Sandy. Sandy. I am sitting here trying to compose myself. I am so, so sorry for your losses. I don't know what to say. Out of ashes can be reinvention, I do know of that. I can't imagine the strain you've been under for so long. I have all these things swimming in my head, like what will happen to the property and your studio. The dogs. You're really smart and creative; you'll figure it all out. Why does life have to be so complicated. One thing for sure, do not lose your momentum. Hang on tight to new dreams and believe in possibilities. You've worked really hard to get yourself known. Find some way to approach it from a different angle and carry on. You are not going to just survive, Sandy; you are going to thrive. Believe it.

It's me said...

What a sad sad sad post my darling Sandy !!...wishing you strength and positive energy to come this true......i feel so sad for you....if their is anything i can do...please let me know !! from

Vicki Again said...

When "the old way" can't continue any longer and it's barely hanging by a thread...when we're brought to our knees; the hardest of times. Mine was a terrible battle with infertility, which I lost. The miscarriages were awful, and I lost my will to live when I lost my babies. I lost myself. A family counselor helped me tremendously. She specialized in grief therapy. She told me I wasn't losing my mind; I was in emotional overload. She said that sometimes, everything has to fall apart so it can come together in a new way. And she was right. The strongest people can be brought to their knees with stress and hopelessness, but we get back up and we stand strong, because that's just what we do. When my dad was dying, I asked him how he'd gotten thru the tough times of his life, of which he'd had too many and he said, simply, "You live. You just live." That's what you'll do, Sandy. Keep your eye on where you'll be one year from right now. Time works wonders.

snede said...

I almost fell of my chair,ths is so so sorry :(

Amanda said...

I'm shocked too. You are so talented and I'm so glad the authors got it touch with you, let them guide you. Take care.

Alice said...

My jaw dropped in shock. I had no idea this had happened. I'm saddened at all you've been through.

Give yourself time to grieve for the losses. Let all of your feelings flow, even the negative ones. But also remember to look for, and see beauty in the little things. Journal your thoughts, photograph the things that make you smile, find a friendly shoulder to cry on.

You'll come out of this stronger than you ever thought you could be. In the mean time, I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Rhonda said...

You are an angel and I know many will be praying for your happiness and success.

I've had the rug pulled out from underneath me and when I least expected it. It made me stronger.

If there is anything I can do, sweet Sandy, give me a holler. xo Rhonda

Pam said...

OH, sweet Sandy!!! I couldn't believe this post. I am stunned and heartbroken for you. I am speechless. I truly wish I could be there for you. I would share DH's salvage to help you rebuild!! I know DH and I would be there to help out since your cottage inspired the Victorian potting shed DH built for me.

My parents lost their store (outside of Phoenix) in a fire when I was young. They came to Arizona with $50 and built up a great business and income. It was terrible at the time -- they were about to finish the last mortgage payment and my father decided to cancel the fire insurance to save money. Although it devastated us at the time, it was a blessing in disguise but it was years before we realized it.

Out of my saddest moments, God has shown me so many lessons I could not learn otherwise. I know that doesn't mean much to you now, but know that all of your friends who follow your blog are with you in spirit. We are surrounding you with our love. Know that you are in my prayers, dear Sandy. You are strong and you are wonderful. You have worked so hard and I know that you WILL succeed. I look forward to your bright future.

Love and hugs,
Pam in Indiana

The*Thrill*Of*It*All said...

You poor darling,

You've been through so much! Thank goodness your mama is there for you. You are not alone, especially when so many people across the world admire & care about you. Please believe that!

I think that sometimes people only have a certain amount of time they were ever meant to be together, & that time just came to an end.
You are brave, Sandy. Some people keep going in a relationship that is over because they think they cannot face the difficulties ahead.
You are real, you are honest, you are strong, & I am so proud of you.

Yes, too much has happened at once, but I just know you will go on to equally beautiful & inspiring endeavours when your heart is lighter. Your dreams will return.
Don't worry that you don't feel like creating & photographing vignettes now. You are using that creativity & drive to gather strength & bring about a new beginning.

Remember even the most exquisite butterfly had its time in the chrysalis before emerging to dazzle us all!

Sending love from Australia,
Michelle x

Betsy@ coastal-colors said...

I'm so sorry for your losses! I have you in my thoughts and prayers! You have had the weight of the world on your small shoulders. I'll pray for beauty from ashes and strength to see you through. You have touched many with your grace and elegance and I know you will continue to do so.

Katherines Corner said...

I have no words to express my sincere heartfelt feelings for this tragedy. Other than to say I am happy you are both safe and I place my hand firmly in yours. xo

Melkorka said...

I am so sorry to hear this - I always look forward to your dreamy and escapist posts you are very talented and have a very unique voice - I really wish you the best and that the darkness passes.

Sweet Old Vintage said...

Oh my... this post is a good knock of reality and I also had no idea of what has been taking place... With the talents God has given he is opening a new door ..... of this I am sure.... I anxious await with you as the suffering mends and brightness once again come through...Life holds many changes.. and I can assure you nothing lasts forever... but I know there are good moments awaiting you....

Dawn said...

What a terrible experience for you, no wonder you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, But it IS there, so keep travelling till you can see it. I really believe things happen for a reason, and next Christmas you're post will be full of happiness again XX

Ozma of Odds said...

...oh my dear Sandy...
i am truly sorry for your loss on so many levels...a home...a husband/friend...a most beloved pet/friend...a dream/home/book...

sometimes in life, it seems like just when we finally reach the door to our dreams and turn the handle to all the anticipated joy ~
our world disintegrates before our very eyes...
and there are no words, to explain the lonely, bottomless sorrow a broken heart feels in that moment...
yes, rage...pity...blame...self doubt...the list goes on.

i believe that there are no coincidences in life.
and perhaps in order for you to walk through that door of your hearts dreams ~ all these other things needed to fall away...

YOU are a surviver dear Sandy!
and YOU WILL emerge an even more beautiful butterfly than you already are! and you will once again, flutter about spreading your magical fairy dust on us all ~
stronger...wiser...more determined than ever! and nothing will stand in your way ~ and you will come to see that your impact will have been greater than even your wildest imagination!!

i believe in you...
YOU matter and your heart will feel love, joy and peace again...

sending all the fairy dust magic my wand has in it to YOU!
xo, Rosemary

Sandi said...

Oh Sandy I am so sorry to read all the things you are going through. Praying for a little light at the end of your heartbreaking tunnel. This I know...God is good and life is good so I know you will persevere!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Sandy, I'm so sorry... I'm so thankful nobody was hurt. I hope you can derive a bit of comfort from the blogging community that you have so inspired.

Jade said...

Oh Sandy, my dear friend, i´m so sorry about this.......i have tears in my eyes!!!! But i know, you will make your way and there is a better life waiting for you!!!! Believe in you and your dreams........they will come true!!!!!!! I´ll pray for you and i send you all my love and all my thoughts!!!!!

Hugs and Love, Jade

Simply Debbie said...

Dear Sandy,
You don't know me but I follow your blog. I cannot even imagine how you must feel. Being one who has endured much in my life, I cried reading the words of your broken heart and prayed for God to give you a perfect peace and open doors for you.
May the tears of the blogging community who loves you so, water your broken spirit so in due season you SHALL BLOOM AGAIN.
There are no words at this time that I can say, that will bring you comfort but know I will be praying for you.
Do you plan to stay where you are at or would you be willing to relocate......
hugs to you my friend
an Oklahoma friend

Anonymous said...

Sandy, I am heart sick for you. No one should have to endure what you are going through. I will keep you in my prayers.

Tiki said...

Oh gosh Sandy, I just am at a loss of words for you. You are the only one that helped me in the beginning with my blog and here I sit unable to help you at this moment!! I too am a person of divorce tho it was long ago so I can sympathize with you.
Hang in there dear, your world will get better...if there is ANYTHING a michigan girl can do for you ...well you just email me anytime...I truly truly mean that!!
Love and prayers are going out to you!!

Melanie said...

I am so sorry to hear about the rough time you are going through. Life just sucks sometimes, but I can tell you will get through it. You are strong and motivated! All this will be behind you soon. Good luck and take care.

LizlovesVintage said...

Hi Sandy,
When we spoke last,I didn't know what to say. I thought time would heal. Again, I'm sorry for what you are going through. I wish I could make you feel better and brighten you day in some way. It's a New Year!! I hope in the next few months you find a way to forgive and move on... I know you will and that light at the end of that tunnel will shine even brighter. Hold on my Friend :)
xoxo Liz
PS. You know where to find me if you need me!! I'm not that far..

Hampton said...

Muchísima suerte y fortaleza, Sandy. De las cenizas resurgió nuevamente el Ave Fénix y tú eres una luchadora que sabrá remontar.
Muchos besos y saludos desde Madrid.

KAthy said...

oh non it's not possible ?
i'm very sad for you and i know that God will come to help you
Now, you have to beginn another one more beautiful
don't give up ! you are the best !
kiss,KAthy, the frenchy girl
a best year now....GO!

Angels by the River said...

I just heard of your trouble. My sister you have given me such comfort because your life looked a lot like mine. My blog is still just beginning Please view it and you will see. Forgiveness is the key to restoration but you aready know that! I will pray for you everyday. I dont know how you stand on Jesus but I promise He is the way!!!! With all my love!

Shabbyfufu said...

Dear Sandy....I haven't been by here to visit your blog in awhile, saw your piece in Rachel's book and was coming over to congratulate you. Instead I'll just send you some love and hope.
All things truly do happen for a reason. It's hard to see the light when you have setbacks in life, I know this as well firsthand. You are a survivor and new paths will be paved going forward.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sad for you. I love very much your blog et I'm sure there will better days ahead for you !
Kind regards from France.

Véronique from "Le Grand Tour"

Julie L. Light said...

I just said a prayer for you. Keep your head up, you have to go with your gut and do what is best for you. Things will be okay and will get better for you, it just takes a little bit of time.
I really enjoy your blog and you and your blog are a great inspiration to me and many others!
Warmest Regards,

Jeana said...

My heart is breaking for you! You've been handed a hard lot in life but you are so determined to rise above. You do have a special gift evident by your blog. Thank for for sharing your gift with us. I will keep you in my heart and in my prayers. Keep us posted.

kitty said...

I just started reading your blog months ago.My heart aches for you.I don't know what words to say that would help.I am so sorry that this happened.So many things it is all so sad.
I will keep you in my prayers.You are so talented I know good things WILL come your way.

Petite Michelle Louise said...

i am so very sorry for your loss..your heart break..your sadness. i will keep you close in thought and prayer.

Lisa Gatz said...

Dearest Sandy, I really feel your pain. Seriously. You write about it so succinctly. I have been a fan of you and your studio for some time now.

I know what loss is: I've had a lot of it in the past 7 years. I'm taking hope from you, though. I see that new things are cropping up for you already. It doesn't ease your pain but life still marches on, doesn't it? Sometimes I feel like the most monetarily poor person that I know, especially with the high hopes for beauty and style that I have. I feel not so alone now.
I will say a prayer for you. I know that you will persevere. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Anonymous said...

Sandy, I have just recently found you and enjoyed your blog so much that I went back to the beginning. You have lost so much but not the thing that makes you you! your heart and soul. Stay shabby always and continue to create. I love your work.

Anonymous said...

I read of your loss a few days ago and I must say, it has haunted me.

I have looked for your postings weekly, enjoying experiences in life that were so near my own, which made the successes so much sweeter. To hear about the fire is devastating.

I have been compelled to write to ask you to look at what is the most important in your life though. You have been a survivor through all your trials and tribulations and have built skills and abilities you would not have it you had been blessed with a bank account. I know, because I can see the same in myself. I learned to do these things because I had not choice...would I if had did not have too - the honest answer is no.

The part of you that has touched so many of us is that you have done it without spending lots, which has encouraged us as we face each payday wondering if the pennies left will be enough to keep the checkbook from bouncing. But you have encouraged us to attempt those things without waiting for "enough money" and created wonderful experiences and memories without that.

It is with the deepest sadness though that I learned of the terrible cost to your marriage. I too spent years arguing over what was my dream...when would it be my turn...why could other women have what I couldn't. Then one terrible night - I sat alone in a hospital waiting room from someone to come out and tell me if my husband was going to live. I waited nearly two hours longer than they said it would be...and faced a future alone. At that point I realized that all the things I had been fighting for were useless without my best friend and that I would gladly trade any of them for one more day with my husband.

It has been six years since that terrible night - and my husband has recovered. I have spent every day reminding myself that all the beautiful homes, the kitchen of my dreams, would be nothing if I didn't have him to share it with. And have found that since I have forgiven him for all those past has been a time of great healing. My marriage is stronger than ever, not because he changed, but because I did.

I will be praying that you will come to a place of forgiveness. You have the strength to create beautiful things out of nothing. And even if you cannot heal your marriage, forgiving your husband for the loss and for the past will be as much for you as for him.

We who have read your blogs so faithfully and have felt your kindred spirit, have great faith in what is yet to be for you.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

This would totally wipe many people out ...the only thing that will help or heal is time.. but I see you have a new spark and will continue to work towards your dream. I just want to give you a hug (()) and will look forward to seeing how wonderful your life will be from now on.

EVA said...

I am so deeply sad reading about your hardships. One person should not live through so much, and all at once.
I really hope that you will find strength in beeing on the path to making your passion your livelyhood.
I am sure if you make setup a Pay-Pal account - many of your readers will happily donate to you. I know I will. T(S)elling your story to major news papers could also be a way of moving on.

Hope all brightens for you in 2012.

Hege Sletsjøe Morris said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your terrible news and so many things at the same time. Stay strong and creative! Love, Hege

Curtains in My Tree said...

Honey I live pay check to pay check also but I am willig t share a little money with you and I am sure others would send money also to help you out.

let us know how to do this.

Janice Dauksch

Anonymous said...

Dear Sandy,

I have just learned of this, and my heart is shaken.
Please, please know that all of us whom you have touched with your enormous, joyful, inspired, beautiful, loving vision are surrounding you with our angels. They are sent and hovering, warming and loving you until your are back in your new, beautiful nest. May your tears be transformed into miraculous diamonds, and may they be gathered by our angels and brought to those who need a miracle. Nothing bad stays bad. Always, always God brings good from it!

with love,


Shell said...

Sometimes really bad things happen to us like a wave. I know that from experience that something what we think is "bad" turns into gold for us. Know that soon a wave of more beauty, prosperity and love is coming your way to make up for what you lost.
Sending you much love and wishes.

Candylei said...

I feel heavy hearted for you. When I got to the end of your post the thought came to me, "You can't keep a good person down." No doubt you uncertain, but I hope that time and love will heal everything. Bless your mother for opening her loving home to you! You deserve it and much, much more. Sending love, Candylei

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sandy,
Somehow I missed this post until now. I am so sorry.
You wrote that most who share
"ditch the city for the country’ stories" are rich. We weren't. We still are not. We had lost everything in the city. Our jobs. Our home. Everything. I was heart broken, lost, and even had trouble walking from the depression that overwhelmed me.
There is a very old Japanese quote that helped me to get through.
“Barn’s burnt down – Now I can see the moon.” ~Masahide
Slowly, one day at a time, things improved. Strangers who were kind had no idea how very much they'd brightened my day. Family helped when they could. Hope returned. What I lost was replaced with something better.
You are so very, very special. Please know from someone who knows - things will improve.
Sending you hugs,

Cricket said...

:( My heart is so heavy and sad for you!! I live my dreams through you....and I know you will come back out on top...bigger and better than ever before!!!! I think there are sooo many people that dream of having a shabby streamside studio like you....I know I am one of them!! May God bless you this upcoming year and magical things begin to happen!!! Please don't give uP!

Fishtail Cottage said...

Oh Sandy...i am praying for you as i write this to give you the strength to move forward and share with us your journey as it is unveiled. What may feel like your 'darkest hour' sounds to me that you have been given a clean slate to start fresh with so much opportunity laid out before you. You have such a talent that so much of us are inspired by and i know in my heart that what ever is in your future is only beautiful and magical! Great big Hugs are being sent to you from me....xoxo, tracie

ArtigianoJewelBox said...

I hope that your talents, hard work, good will and tenacity will see you through this difficult time and that when you are ready, new opportunities will abound... and like so many, I will eagerly read about all of them here.

Regina Nottingham said...

My heart breaks for you! I'm so sorry for your losses! You truely are gifted and will have the most beautiful whitest shabbist cottage ever someday. And we all can't wait to see it! I can't even tell you how much it has meant to me to see all your beautiful photos of your studio and such it just brings such joy to my heart. Like someone else said in their comment, there IS majic in you!

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

Oh my, I had no idea. This is horrible. It seems like too much loss all at once. I am sorry for your many losses. I do believe God has a plan for you to give you hope and a future. May God heal your wounds and hold you in his loving arms.

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

I posted a link to this post here!/pages/Cedar-Hill-Ranch/194162480629331

Cindy said...

Sandy, you are so talented and so nice! DO NOT give up on your dreams! I know some day you will look back at this time in your life and know that it made you stronger! You are going places girl! I just know it!

Angela K said...

Oh my. I am so sorry! What a tragic loss but I have no doubt that you will turn this around for good in some way! Thoughts and prayers are with you!!

Theresa said...

I am so very sorry for your losses. I hope that you find a new normal soon and that you feel inspired to create once again... you have inspired so many.

Tardevil said...

So very sorry for the loss of your home, marriage, and little furry friend. The good news is, when you're at a very low point, things can only go up, so something better will have to be just around the corner. As Jimmy V said, 'never, ever give up!' There WILL be BETTER days! (((HUGS)))!!!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I am so sorry Sandy! I am praying for you that you are back on your feet soon.
Big hug

jeanne@juNxtaposition said...

My heart breaks for you, I am sorry to say that I have no words, other than..believe it or not..this too shall pass..really it will...even if it doesnt feel like it now...
(i am renovating a 110 yr old house, 700 sq ft...and your little studio is my inspiration...and i too am not one of 'those' is short...but i persevere for the final result) keep on keepin' on !
you CAN do day at a time.


My heart is so sadden for you. May an angel tuck you safely within her heart and lift your soul upon her wings!!!

Barb in California said...

Dearest Sandy,
I am just learning of the fire and your divorce. I am soooo very sorry! I read about Belle just after you had posted and thought how much it hurt me when our old Golden died in 2005. I still miss Skeeter; he was my running companion and later my walking buddy for 14 1/2 years.

My husband and I are finishing year six in what will end up being at least seven worrying/money- struggling years. We spent two years trying to save our house. We were blessed that our bank refinanced our loan for the remaining 25 years. We had two cars die -- lost an engine in one and a transmission in the other.

Then, last year at the end of 2010 (sorry, still thinking it is 2011), our daughter wasn't doing well and tried to kill herself. That made saving our home so unimportant. You are totally right. People being alive and having our animals around us is som much more important, but it still rips us part. I have two friends at work who have had homes foreclosed on (we live in Riverside County, California, one of the worst hit places in the country for foreclosures and home prices crashing). It stinks. No one can sell a home for what they bought it for without losing $100,000.

Anyway, I know you will rebuild. You just need some time to heal. We promise to help by being here, your surrogate counselors :)))) but, from my new experiences with my daughter, do seek out a counselor or a good friend to talk things over with. They are really helpful. I ended up going to one, too, to learn how to help my daughter and to get rid of my own fears and worries. We are both doing better one year later.

I read another blogger friend's message and I wanted to share that perhaps this is God's call to you saying He is here for you. Sometimes we don't search Him out until the lowest times in our life. He has been there all along and is usually just there waiting for us to turn around and see Him waiting there to comfort us in our sadness and grief. Remember Footprints? The saying that was popular twenty years ago? That and a book about sharing tea with friends, If Teacups Could Talk by Emilie Barnes, are what brought me back. Thought I would share this with you. God is hope;that's why He died on a tree for us.

I hope this isn't preachy as I don't mean it to be. Just a friend's loving comfort for you. :-). My heart is hurting to hear that you are in such pain and I hope the little studio can help in the healing.

Let us blog friends know if there is anything we can do, or if you want to privately let us all know where we could contact you with donations. I am still struggling but the light is brighter than it has been in a while. I am sure we could all help you get new camera equipment for your soon-to-be forever job.

Always in my prayers as you have been a happy light in my darkest days this last year,
Your friend,
Barb Chapman :)

Lana said...

I am so sorry for your losses. It is alot all at once. I hope you feel the support from all the people out here who wish all the best for you. I know something wonderful will happen for you in the future. I am glad you are feeling some new hope.

Deb said...

I've followed your blog for a long time but never commented. I am so sorry to hear of the fire and your divorce. The strength of your talent is astounding! I don't even know you, but when I see pink rainboots in photos, I think of you and your blog. You've created a personality, a brand and the *most amazing inspiring space.* Your talent has created a space that untold numbers of people would love to visit in real life, kick back and relax, and enjoy the wonders of nature all around. If only for a night or two. I love the idea shared by a commenter above of investors enabling you to create B&B cabins like your streamside studio!! Many little dreamworlds within four walls. I know your dreams will eventually come true for you -- you've already built so much!! -- although in a different way now.

Carole said...

Sandy I can hardly believe what I'm reading. I know you must feel that things can not get any worse. Life will get better. Someone like you, with your talent will come out of this. Look at all you have accomplished with so little. You now have the connections to make a better life for yourself. I hope you can forgive your husband someday. I don't think he did it maliciously...accidents happen.

take care and I wish you all the best.


Susan said...

Oh gosh, Sandy, I'm just seeing this post now. I'm so sorry to hear about your marriage and house coming to ends. Such a difficult time for you - it's just not fair.
Please know how much your talent and kind words have always inspired many of us. Despite your well-earned accolades, you have always remained approachable and generous with your thrifty advice, considering not all of us can afford outrageous prices on beloved vintage.
I will pray you hold onto that spark of hope, and that your dreams will all come true. Your talent is meant to be in books for sure!
- Susan

Cheryl~ZanyMayd said...

Dear Sandy, I've just read the devastating news.... I am So Sorry for your loss, I know saying sorry doesn't do much, but know You will remain in My Thoughts & Prayers~

Cindy said...

Holy Crap!
I see you have many prayers going on for you... ok, and i will have your stuff all mixed up in my energy tonight too, i just found out about this...

but what can i do that will really physically help right now... I don't have much money, but i bet if everyone sent $20.00, it would help.

Send me your address if you want, and i will send something... and you better damn well not be to proud to accept it!

big hug and kisses from me, someone you don't really know, but you've brought beauty to my life


Jojo said...

Cindy, you had the best idea and Sandy, I hope you agree. In addition to prayers and messages, let those who can and want to help.

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

I missed this post, how can this be??? I sent you a comment about sweet peas and you kindly wrote back...all the while this is happening?? I am so sad for you Sandy. Such a hurdle for you. Oh this is a very sad thing, I just don't know what to say except I am thinking of you and sending my good wishes for a bounce back to a place you never could imagine you would reach. Life will start anew, but for now there is so much hardship, and I am sorry.

Ter'e said...

This is the most beautiful and touching blog I have read in a long long time. You have such a beautiful gift, for all your talent. I hope you will remain tightly held in God's hands..............until you can heal and be whole again.
My heart and soul just ache for you and your story.
I know you will emerge, whole. Different.
I agree with Gayla ----- you are magical.

Lili said...

Even though I just now learned of the nightmare you have been living through I wanted to express my sadness for all you have lost. Like so many others on here I admire your style, your talent and your accomplishments and I hope somehow you are finding a sense of comfort with the shear passing of time and knowing how many people care for you. Please add me to the list of people who you know will be thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts. I wish only the best for you Sandy. xo ~Lili

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

I haven't visited in a while, and am so sad to read of your terrible woes... I am so sorry about the fire devastation of your little house, the death of your little dog, and your divorce. It's always darkest before the dawn, so I will say a prayer that the dawn arrives quickly for you.

fanette des champs said...

Je suis vraiment vraiment désolée de ce qui vous arrive et j'espere que vous pourrez reconstruire quelque chose qui vous plaira d'avantage. Amitié

Anonymous said...

So sincerely shocked and sorry to hear what's happened. Keep your dreams alive, so they'll be there when you can see the path that leads to them, clearly again.

Sending you hugs.

michelle said...

I am so very sorry, this just breaks my heart. I am so glad that everyone was ok and I wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You will find that light and with support from family, friends and the blogging community I have seen people rise out of the dark.
You are so talented and just take one step at a time.
Blessings to you.

Karen said...

Dearest Sandy, I'm so sorry for all of this. I hope your recovery is near with a complete healing of your heart and soul. This I truly believe, when one door closes another one opens. Things may seem bleak now but I now with everything in me great things are in store for you.

Marti said...

What trying experiences you have had to endure! But like the seeds that need fire to begin life anew, your fire will be the start of a new life, different from the old, but full of wonderful experiences. Will say a special prayer for you.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

You can still build your dreams in your mind. No one can take them away from there. Please do not let go. Journal them...draw them. You will build once again. To start, plant a garden on top of the ashes. Even a few flowers to bloom in Spring! You will be bringing the beauty back to your life. Our community will support you. I am your newest follower. God Bless!

June said...

Hi Sandy, I wanted to come over to tell you how very sorry I was to hear about this. You have and will continue to be in my prayers.
sending hugs...

Donna said...

Hi Sandy,
It's my very first time visiting your blog, I just read a post about you over at my friend Nana Diana's blog. Please know that I am deeply sorry for all of your losses. I am going thru a rough patch myself right now. But I have faith that both you and I will pull thru, and be stronger and better than ever! Saying prayers for your peace, and that you will get your creative groove back soon!

Beach House Living said...

Dropping by via Kerri at Seawashed. I had read about your little studio but don't think I knew of your blog. I am sorry to hear of all your troubles which happened at once....

Angie@slipcoveredgrey said...

I am visiting from Nana Diana's blog. Very thankful she brought me to you. My heart aches for you! You are an amazing writer, and from your post, I can tell you are extremely strong. I am a new follower. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

bj said...

I came over from Nana's blog...
So very sorry for the loss of your house and the things in it...but mostly for your broken marriage. That is a hard thing to get over.
I am so glad that you are with your mom...they have a way of helping us heal.

With all the talent you have, I know something wonderful is waiting for you and I can't wait to see what it is.:))

Sweet Tea said...

Hi Sandy, NaNa Diana directed me to you. I would love to help in any way I can. Is there some sort of fund where donations can be sent? I'm thinking there are many who would love to contribute and together we could find joy by helping you get back on your feet. <<<>>>

Heaven's Walk said...

Hey sweet Sandy - I just wanted you to know that I continue to pray for you. I pray that you will feel an abundant overflowing of love and comfort from friends, family, and most of all...God above. Please let us know how we can help you. We are here for you. Sending you hugs ~

xoxo laurie

Monkey At A Typewriter said...

Your story inspired me when I was very down and in a really bad way. It gave me hope, and I included it in my little blog.

I am in a dark place again, and going over it again I realized that in this modern, industrial cookie cutter world you are uniqe, like that one red rose that looks like all the rest but is different..

I will leave you with some quotes from The Litte Prince.

If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Hang in there. You are not alone.

Marydon said...

No words can comfort you ... so I shall say a prayer for you & send you lots of love. I see strength & greatness ahead of you ...


Marydon said...

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." Henry Ford.

Forgot to add this to previous post, sweetie.


Suzann said...

Hello Sandy,
You don't know me but I follow your blog. I am so sorry to hear about the fire and your sweet pet and also for your pending divorce.
I wish I had the words to make you feel better and I see you have several followers that care so much for you and your well being.
My 2011 is nothing compared to yours but I just keep hoping things will be better for me in 2012.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted you are such an inspiration to us all.
Suzann ~xoxo~

Trollmora said...

Hang in there! We are many strong women who have had bad years but it's turning! Just look for that little sound, that perfect image suddenly appearing, that growing unknown feeling of bubbly laughter..... all to give you a sign telling you that everything will turn for the better! Trust that!
Hugs from Norway

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to leave another comment with this post and say that you are in my prayers, Sandy.

Jacqueline said...

Dearest Sandy,
I've only just read your devastating news, followed by each and every comment that is full of love and overwhelming support for you. I am completely stunned, and desperately searching for words that go beyond cliches to reach that place of pain deep within you. I'm so very sorry that you've lost what is immeasurable: the promise of a home, a long-standing relationship, a sanctuary, a path that felt so right and so familiar to you.

It feels so utterly empty to pour more words into this little space. I can't imagine any that would fill you with all that you need right now. Please trust that those of us who have felt our worlds and ourselves collapse under the weight of loss, know and respect your grief, have tasted that anger, and have struggled to move through the dark. I offer you my deepest condolences and want you to know that I'm here should you ever wish to talk.

Your readers adore you and marvel at your honesty and your strength (no matter how wavering). Please let us know what we can do to help. You are so very loved!

Jacqueline xxx

Sunday Ruffles said...

Bless you dear girl!! Hold on. Hold on so tight it hurts and know this for sure. Days with a brightness you have never seen before and could never have imagined are coming soo. Faith and patience, NEVER GIVE UP !!! xoxox

ChiPPy!-SHaBBy! said...

Dearest Sandy...
My eyes are as big as saucers... - AM I READING THIS RIGHT??? I keep going over and over your blog entries and comments... I just can't believe this has happened!*!*! I am soooooo sorry to hear this devastating news... Hang onto all the LoVE that's been pouring your way from Blog-Land... YOU have YOU and your health most importantly... A New Year... A clean slate filled with "possibilities"...
Much Heartfelt L*O*V*E...
Jeanine Burkhardt

Villa Klaraberg said...

Dearest Sandy. I haven't been visiting your blog for a while and I am so sorry to read all the sad things that happend to you. You are in my thoughts. Take care. Many hugs from Jorunn

Carolyn said...

I am so shocked and sorry to hear of all you have been through.I am not good with words but I will keep you in my prayers and I firmly believe good will come from all of this.I admire your talent.
Take care,

Julia said...

I do not always get to read your blog. I just read about the fire & divorce. I read some of the posts & scanned through them-
I would like to know if anyone has set up "relief" fund or if there is an address where a donation could be sent? I am sure there are a lot of other women who would be more than willing to lend a hand.
Regardless, would you email me an address or P.O. box where I can send something to you-
My thoughts are with you-

Cat & Cricket said...

I am going through post after post.. bc your "little cottage" is what I want my "mermaid cottage" to be... I too..lost my Golden Retriever...out of no where..2 spinal surgeries... getting divorced... moved across the country... lost friends..but i guess they really weren't to begin with... My father is dying of a brain tumor.. I had to sell my camera equipment bc "the man" cut me off at the knee's and credit was destroyed... Now I just totaled my car 2 weeks ago in my very first car accident at 41 years of age.. guess who took collision off the policy? Girl... are you sure we somehow aren't related? I have to smile..bc I don't have any tears left.. and I figure..God gave me humor for a reason, but I think he needs to forget about me for awhile... I need a breather....
Sending you hugs and prayers..

Shelley Noble said...

You have the life force of creativity in you and that can't be diminished.

Your creativity will catch again. And when it does, you'll be lighter (less dead wood) and ready for all good things coming to you.

fifichic said...

Hi Sandy, i only just found this post and am so sorry for what you have gone through recently. i just wanted to say that i have had a certain amount of good luck in the past and had made quite a comfortable life with my husband till a couple of years ago we couldnt work in property anymore and our money dried up slowly, the bills mounted up and finally we have had our house taken etc. I have to say that if this hadnt happened to me i would never have realised how much i can do or how strong i can be, i coasted along before but with two kids and no money coming in started looking for ways to pay the bills, i made cupcakes but it didnt earn enough, i went outside my comfort zone and did photography, i built a fairy backdrop from fake plants and toured childrens playcentres doing photos!! I finally started my business doing shabby chic and vintage furniture and learnt on the job how to paint, the photography came in handy for pictures and i have always liked styling things! Every time i got slightly ahead a leak would start or my car would die but i carried on because i wasnt sure what else to do!! I did shout cry and swear sometimes though!
But reading your post i wanted to say to you, please remember you always have YOU, you are strong, you are talented, you are a natural creative spirit and there always things you can do, no one can take that away from you, try to remember that you are starting from a place of great strength because you are amazing in what you can do.I know you will find something amazing to do with all that talent, it just doesnt always feel like it when the bills arent getting paid! and i know what its like when other people dont realise that your life isnt how they imagine it!! It will get easierxfiona

Cami said...

Praying for you, Sandy <3
My heart breaks for you..but you seem to be an amazing, talented lady - you will do great things - all things that you dream of!

<3-Cami from First Day of My Life

Cottage and Broome said...

Sandy, I wish I had magic words to help ease your pain. You are a talent woman, with so much to offer. I hope a year from now your post will be very different. Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayer. Laura

Shabby Jen said...

I've walked through the shadow of the valley of death, the devil has knocked me down. BUT I am still here and I am still standing. I pray for you, peace, hope, joy and love. My heart is sending them all to you.
xxxooo hugs to you Sandy!

Cindy F. Adkins said...

I want to write something to you...although I'm unsure what to say. I've been through divorce, too, and this new year found myself very near being homeless. I lost my freelance job, and since I work as an independent contractor, I'm not eligible for unemployment benefits. It's very scary to be alone and in a situation like this. I understand. I remember so well the first time I read about and saw photos of your little studio - how I envied you. We're all connected - this I know. I don't even know if I'm making sense...I just wanted to say I feel your pain and I'll pray for you. You are such a talented, special soul. Don't ever give up.
Hugs, Cindy @Art,Books,Tea

Todd Foster said...

Hello Sandy , I am So glad to see the outpouring of love and support that you are getting from the blogosphere. We can rebuild. We can both heal. I am in tears reading so many of these posts...I can not express the depth of my sorrw for the damages I may have brought to you. I am confident that you and the talent tha is brimming over in you is going to catapult you into a brighter future. I too dream of this happening for me. My road is not at all clear right now...right now there is only forward. Please know that I am willing...hoping to help with what ever you shall always be...My always...all my love Todd

Jeannie said...

You have been an inspiration to me Sandy. the first time I saw the studio you created I was dumbstruck. It was obvious to me this was created by someone extraordinary. I have followed your blog for some time now and feel like everyone else, that you are exceptional. It may seem like you are dispossessed now but the essence of who you are will find its way back and we will all be here cheering you on. Wishing you all the blessings and peace the universe has to offer.

summersoul said...

I just found your blog this morning and am without words as I write this. You are clearly such a special and strong woman. You have a defined talent. But I am sure that doesn't give you solace at a time like this. I will keep you in my prayers and happy to be following.


Cristina said...

Dearest Sandy
I don´t have a blog of my own and I´ve never posted on your pages, but know that you have all my sympathy in these hard times. Having experienced the grief of divorce myself, about the same time my beloved grandma and cat passed away, I can easily relate to your present situation. The only thing I can say is, when life gives you painful experiences, you always discover you had more strenght than you thought. So hang in there! And all the best to you from world´s end (aka Chile). Take care, Cristina

Anonymous said...

Sandy, It must be quite obvious what an inspiration you have been to so many people. Myself included. You have definitely been through a lot in your life, both good and bad. But there has to be a reason for everything that has happened, don't you think? I think that God has something really really magical waiting for you. All you have to do is "say I'm ready Lord, bring it!" I for one can't wait to see what lies ahead for you. You are strong, talented, and amazing. Blessings dear friend, Marcia

Denise said...

Oh Sandy, I am so sorry. I just lost my dog right before Christmas and it hurt so bad...I can't imagine how hurt you must be with so much loss...what I can tell you it something so cliche...but very true..."when one door closes in our life...another one opens" will pick yourself up and regroup, start anew. You have more strength than you know. Be kind to deserve kindness ((((((((HUG))))))) Much love and healing to you.

Becky said...

Dearest Sandy,
My heart weeps for you....I have gone through a divorce myself. I have survived severe post partum depression, and I still battle depression. But I have survived. You will, too. I wish I could help you in some way!!! I wish I could be there for you, even though we don't know each other. I wish I were financially in a position to help you rebuild your life. I will be thinking of you. I promise it will get better. I promise......

an angel at my table said...

This is one of the most touching posts I have ever read. I you are in my thoughts and hope that everything will work out for you! I am sure that it will because I can see that you have the fighting spirit!!
All the best from Sweden

PamLuvsPink said...

I felt the same way after a sexual assault in Sept. 2001. You see my first marriage I walked away with a deaf left ear due to being beaten by my husband. Packed up my 5 wk. old baby and left filing for a divorce. Three yrs later I moved to BC. The light at the end of the tunnel was great to see, but, it went really dark again in 2001.

Time does heal. In my case the light is there, but, I'm not out of the tunnel totally.

They say the rough things in life
makes us a better, stronger person. I know this of you. Your gorgeous, smart, maker of beauty. You WILL have that little cottage again and I can't wait to see what beauty you will make of it. Good like my friend.

All the best is prayed for you.

Lynn said...

Oh my dear, I just read this post. I am so sorry for all you are going through. At 39 I lost my hearing, totally when my children were only 5, 10 and 12. I had been an active mom in their schools, church and recreational activities and then my world turned upside down. My hearing "friends", except for two abandoned me because they simply did not have the time to talk to me by writing for me. My then husband could/would not draw a circle of love around all 5 of us and allow signing to be learned so everyone could communicate with mom easier. He instead, drew a circle that shut me out in my own home. 6 years into this deafness I was divorced. Oh my dear, I have as the rest of the world has read almost everything article on your beautiful little cottage. You created such beauty from almost nothing with work/time/love/grit and from the ashes of your new unfinshed home/marriage you will start again. I am Christian and my Faith in Jesus as Lord was what I clung to when I lost so much. I met a normally hearing man who thought nothing of learing signing to communicate and taught me. Then 5 years into our marriage I found that I had been misinformed by a specialist and that the cochlear implant was made for my type of deafness. That was 12 years ago. After 5 years of marriage I heard my husband's voice for the first time. My son was 5 and the next time I heard his voice say I love you mom, he was 18 and graduating from Basic in the Air Force. I heard my daughters repeat their wedding vows, heard each of my 5 grands cry the first time I held them and every single day I hear my husband's sexy laughter. I have always looked at you from the pages of your blog or articles about you/your cottage and marveled at your talent, your creativity, the beauty you create. You have given so many people such a gift in being yourself and bringing beauty into their lives. This will come back around to you, all the love, caring, the beauty will come back into your life, perhaps like mine when you very least expect it. I will add you to my prayer list. Blessings.

Voluptuous Muse said...

I experienced a fire first hand. My niece, Mary's apartment burned and my heart ached as I watched her pace up and down the fence unable to do anything. I had no idea how much loss and anger a fire causes. I cried as I listened to Peggy Lee and Chaka Khan sing "Is that all there is (to a fire)".

In the midst of the ugliness, sadness and rawness...we still rise and you, my dear niece, will do the same.

Love from Atlanta, GA!

Nicole Tadgell said...

My love, prayers, and help are with you all the way...

Dee said...

I have followed your blog for ages & on facebook and like many, have really loved your quiet, beautiful space you created.

Words cannot express my sadness & shock at reading your post - may 2012 give you peace & way forward after all the turmoil you are facing! You are strong & creative & an sure something beautiful will come out of it.

Stay strong ♥

Joan said...

When I read that your furbaby died my heart broke for you because that alone is devastating...and you've suffered much more. Right now I'm going through one of those bad spells too, my dog has terminal cancer (I'm still trying with chemo). I spent 8 hours in emergency with him last week thinking about how miserable my life was. Then I thought about you...if she can get through it I can. Your strength is an inspiration. Bless you Sandy!

Savy Couponing said...

Dearest Sandy, I am just reading this post. I am so sorry for your loss. My you be brightened by all the love and prayers being sent your way by so many. I came upon your blog a few years ago just as before you were on the Nate Show, I have loved it and loved following. Been away for a while and come here in shock. I pray that if you and your husband are not able to work things out that you will at least be friends and be able to forgive. It will be better for you to forgive and move on than to hold it in. May you both be able to move on from here. But, you are both in our prayers.

Savy Couponing said...

Dearest Sandy, I am just reading this post. I am so sorry for your loss. My you be brightened by all the love and prayers being sent your way by so many. I came upon your blog a few years ago just as before you were on the Nate Show, I have loved it and loved following. Been away for a while and come here in shock. I pray that if you and your husband are not able to work things out that you will at least be friends and be able to forgive. It will be better for you to forgive and move on than to hold it in. May you both be able to move on from here. But, you are both in our prayers.

Melanie said...

I am your newest follower. I have been so inspired with your beautiful little cottage and only just came to realise what has happened to it.
Life certainly hands out curve balls sometimes doesn't it.
If I do know one thing though and that is, good things will always emerge from bad. Perhaps happiness you could have only ever imagined will arrive for you now. May you find some peace in your heart.Pick yourself up and dust yourself off and merrily skip forward into the unknown because good things will come of this. Your heart will come through intact eventually and your creative mind will bloom once again. Angels watch over each and every one of us and I just bet that yours is walking right along side of you holding your hand. Blessings to you, sending you a warm hug x

Anonymous said...

Ciao Sandy
ho visto spesso il yuo bellissimo cottage in foto sparse sul web, sei stata bravissima...ora leggo le tue tristissime parole e sono così dispiaciuta.
Siamo in tante a vivere situazioni difficili e il sogno di creare un posticino delizioso che ci faccia stare bene è così importante! Ricostruirai con la tua forza tutto quanto, ne sono certa.
Coraggio, mi spiace per tutto quello che ti è successo, ti auguro un mondo di bene!
un abbraccio dall'Italia

tibby said...

I just read this that I guess happened just last X-mas & the other day I sent you a mail, 'cause I really couldn't help it, saying how wonderful your fairy house is. And reading all those awful things than were happening to you don't make it less so, but I envisioned you in the happily ever after state. You were able to produce such a beautiful place, and I'm sure many more I haven't seen, so I'm sorry to tell you, but you have the GIFT, yes with big, huge, humandgoes(?) capital letters. So you'll do it again. And I really hope so, I couldn't love your settings more. WE couldn't love them more. I've sent the pics to everybody I know here in Spain, and in Mexico, Japan, ... and they adored everything.
Sorry about my rambling, today I've learned that a neighbour jumped from a 9th floor window and is dead. I didn't treat him much, but I've known him all m life and it always afects you.
Anyway, you're gifted with a great vision for romantic, clean settings and you've to help us mere mortals to have wonderful cozy homes.
Never been married, never been divorce, but I've been left several times and it washes away, after a longer or shorter while, but it does.
Cheer up and move on. You deserve it and you're worth it.
Looking forward to seeing and buying your book!! (I've you in bloglovin soI'll know)


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