Thursday, December 8, 2011


I broke yesterday.

My energy and battery was drained,
all of my parts were malfunctioning.
I was no longer working properly.
My brain was short circuiting.

This has been a hell of a week.
My car broke down, which landed me carless.
Then this?!

Today, my house flooded.
A water main broke, and filled up my bedroom window.
The house was under 4-5 inches of water in 4-5 minutes.
But, that's not when I broke.

Everything in my bedroom was floating.
Cords, shoes, socks, clothes.
I didn't break then either.

My workshop was under water.
Paintings were wet, yarn was soaked.
Supplies ruined, irreplaceable things.. gone.
yet, I was still functioning at this point.

We called for help. They came within the hour.
We were told we couldn't go back home for a few days.
First carless, then homeless.
That's when I broke.
(The hallway and bathroom)
I'm over 20 orders behind with my hat shop.
I've got a lot of work to do before this non refundable vacation.
And now, I'm not allowed back in.

I was broken.
I didn't feel a thing.
I didn't cry, I didn't laugh.
I just was.

I put the pets in their safe warm beds.
I got my most important things and put them in a safe place
I packed up all my supplies,
and piled them on the couch so the carpets could be sucked dry.
I took down the Christmas tree,
 put all the wet presents in a safe spot.

Hours of hat making time, wasted.

(Putting things in a safe spot.)

Then I snapped.

It all hit me.
I wanted to melt onto the floor.
Like a puddle of water.
I didn't want to fight this anymore.
I just wanted to spill myself onto the ground.
I would match my surroundings. 
Disheveled, chaotic, messy.
That was me.

But then I remembered..
I don't give in.
Not me.
I will continue to fight.
I will kick this trial in the butt just like the last one.
If the universe is going to keep giving me trials,
I will succeed.. because I'm a tough girl.

(I was bare foot in the cold water since all of my shoes got soaked)
I've heard people say "This is going to be my Year."
Or month, or even week..
But life doesn't give us a whole year or even a week.
Life gives us moments.
Moments  of triumphs.
Moments of ups.
But also moments of downs.

We don't get a whole week of greatness.
We don't get a whole week of downfall.

We only get moments.

And while this week has seemed like one giant wreck…
It hasn't all been bad.
Even when I broke for a bit. 
I was able to laugh about it later, and even see a bright side.

If we weren't home when it happened, it would have been a lot worse.
Even 5 minutes would have made a difference.
I consider myself lucky to have caught the flood before it got very very bad.
I consider myself lucky to not have died from all of the cords and electricity floating in the water.
I consider myself lucky to have a warm bed to sleep in, even if I have to share it with Charlie. 
(Who farts and snores all night.)

(The water finally started to soak in my bedroom)

Today, I equipped myself with a stiff upper lip and water proof mascara.
I went back into the house to see my losses.

Several of my favorite things, broken.
Over 25 original paintings, ruined. 
All of my clothes, and shoes, soaked.

I've moved my shop into Brad's Mom's house. 
I'm staying there with the doggies for a bit.
The house won't be back to normal for a few weeks, 
all that matters to me right now is that I get my orders out.
Then my own stuff in order.
It's been a hell of a week..
I'm still planning on going to California, 
because.. goodness knows.
I need a vacation.
(where my shop used to be)


  1. oh my!

    Rachael, I'm so sorry. I hope you're not paying rent on an apartment that can't be lived in! My heart dropped while reading this, let me know if I can do anything to help. You are one of the strongest people I know. I love that about you.


  2. Thanks Erica!
    Our landloard isn't charging us this week since we aren't living there, and he offered to give us money for a hotel. He's a really great guy.

  3. I've been thinking about you since I heard all this happened. I'm sending you good thoughts, vibes & prayers. Posts like this are the reason I am a reader. You are absolutely right, we only get moments. You definitely need & deserve a vacation with many, many good moments in it!

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  5. wow, this is so awful! not sure what i can do to help... i hope things get better, and fast!

  6. so sorry this happened to you, sweet girl. ((hugs))

  7. Im so sorry. I hope you still have a great trip! Try not to think about it. i went to Disney world when Hurricane Irene hit the east coast. A tree fell and our basement was flooded and no one was home. The only thing you can do is stick it in the back of your mind and have fun. Its not everyday you go to California so enjoy every minute of it!

  8. Dude, such a bummer. I can totally relate, I've had my house, car, and office all broken into this year with some costly things snatched, all I've got to say is that insurance (renters/car) is totally worth every penny. Hope life settles back down, 2011 is almost done. Thank goodness!

  9. it's been a hell of a week sounds like an understatement! i'm sorry. so so soo soo sorry. california is much needed for you.
    sending good vibes your way to get everything done.

  10. oh my gosh.....I'm so sorry hun. That's awful! =( Keep that positive spirit of yours! Everything will work itself out! :hugs:

  11. I've had just the same sort of week. One vehicle is gone w/ a blown engine, the other is going back into the shop tomorrow for the 3rd time in a very short amount of time & they've taken all our savings & most of our checking.
    My mom has just found two lumps, one on her abdomen & one on her thigh. My fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue are going haywire. I had to miss 2 days of school this week because of the cars & I love school, I feel safe there, people love & comfort me & they are there. When I can't get there it hurts.
    But in all that pain & hurting I try to hold onto the fact that I am loved. That there are people I love. I snuggle my dog Suki & breath deeply when I cuddle my horse, who is now for sale because we're broke. I cry into his mane at the thought of having to let him go. I watched him be born, I raised him, and he is so much a part of me I'm not sure I can do this thing everyone keeps telling me needs done.
    I'm waiting for this stage of my life's journey to be out of the valley & back on a mountaintop. I wait for this lesson to be learned and experienced so I can look back & remember how I struggled to stay centered, how it made me stronger & that I made it through.
    Hang in there Rachael, this too shall pass!

  12. OH MY GOSH WOMAN!!!!! That is just crazy! I don't know what to say other than I am so so impressed with your attitude toward the whole thing!! This just made me SO VERY grateful that none of my current problems matter as much as I've been making them matter. You DEFINITELY need a vacation. And I'm sure you'll get caught up, you're a fighter for sure! I wish there was something I could do to help! You are going to have so much fun in the Magic Kingdom!

  13. You deserve a vacation! I am so sorry about all of this, it must be so overwhelming and frustrating.

    I hope everything gets sorted out as soon as possible so you can have a break!

  14. Have fun and don't think about it when you're on vacation. Even the strongest and fiercest people break, it's what you do to get back on your feet that counts (even if that means you just survive for a while). Keep positive and do what you love, and if you need help we're always here for you. :)

  15. there once was a famous woman who said...

    "a woman is like a tea bag...she doesn't know her own strength until she's in hot water"

    Eleanor would be proud of you. Chin up..
    now everyone knows what to give you for Christmas:)

  16. I'm so sorry this happened to you, you are such a nice person. Hopefully your customers can understand the delay in getting the hats made. I hope things get better soon, you are in my thoughts.

  17. That is absolutely crushing news. Not only with the flooding and the car-loss, but all the personal affects that have been, well, effected.

    I had slight flooding at my house a few years ago and, until then, never realised how devastating it was.

    So glad to hear that you've been bolstered (as much as could be hoped for at such a terrible time) by your unflappable positivity. You're a shining example to us all!

  18. Oh Rachel, that's awful! You take what life swings at you and swing right back though, and that part is awesome (the part that is you). Good luck getting the orders out and everything sorted!

  19. I can't even relate to such crappiness. I'm so sorry. Take that vacation bc you def deserve it.

  20. oh no! My heart goes out to you Rachael! But I love how you always persevere and find your footing again (even if it's a little soggy).

    I know how devastating it is to lose your work. Things like insurance don't really help creative people.

  21. Disneyland definitely seems like a well deserved vacation! I remember your basement flooding once in grade school, you can get through this one! Just snuggle those puppies and Brad and soon enough you will be in California in the warm sunshine!

  22. Hey Rachael, My name is Antonietta (but everyone calls me Annie!), I'm a student/musician from Ontario, Canada and I've been following your blog for a few weeks now. This is such a bummer, but please try and remember everything happens for a reason. While this does not seem like a good situation I promise that with some hard patience and a good cup of calming tea (preferably camomile), everything will work itself out and piece together. I also felt like this was probably the best time to tell you how much I love your work artwork. You have inspired me like I can't even begin to explain to start painting again (and at a funny time too, I am in the middle of exams haha). The way you talk about painting and how much it means to you, just makes me so happy inside! I walked into your blog just when you were beginning to explain how much your life has turned around this year. Try and remember that through these couple of gross looking days. You said it yourself, you're surrounded by people who love you! And when you wrote that, I applied it to my own life, as I'm going through a rough patch myself! With Christmas around the corner, you'll find yourself happy again soon. Thank you for sharing your life's adventures with all of us. I only felt I owed it to you to do a bit of the same :). Keep your head up, tree talker! And tell those spoiled paintings that you can recreate them with 10x more passion!
    Much peace and happiness,
    Annie :)

  23. I'm so sorry this happened to you, Rachael. You're so right though - life doesn't give us weeks or months, moments is definitely more like it. I in no way can say I understand about the loss of your things - especially your artwork! - but I definitely know what you mean when you say that life can be up one moment, and down the next, and vice versa. I will definitely be thinking good thoughts for you, your house, your shop orders, the doggies, and all of the logistics of getting all of it sorted out. Stay strong.

    xoxo Erin

  24. Goodness knows life is a bitch sometimes. You have all the rights in the world to break down. Sometimes it's good to just fall apart. Then afterwards you can start picking up with a clean(er) mind and soul. Hold on girl, the sunny moments are up ahead.
    And damn well you should take that vacation!!

  25. This whole week has been a wreck. But on Wednesday, I told myself that everything is going to be fine. Then I went to sleep and woke up yesterday at noon. Even though I was supposed to be at school by 8 I just didn't care. I am extremely tough on myself and think that sleeping in is just wasting valuable time but I couldn't be happier that I got just 4 hours more of peace. I think you should not stress yourself with hurrying to complete your orders, you just need some time to yourself, to rest and meditate.
    I wish you the best :)

  26. oh rachael,

    i don't know what to say... other than i am so so sorry. like you said, life gives us moments -- and THIS MOMENT will pass.... you're a strong, strong woman and you can take anything the Universe throws atcha!

    p.s. - your blog is snowing! i love it!

    chin up... hugs from Richmond, Va :)

  27. So sad to hear this. Saying a prayer for you.

  28. That sucks. Destinee told me about that yesterday and I immediately thought about your art and crossed my fingers that everything would be ok. Sam and I are around if you guys need help with anything, just let us know.
    Do you have renter's insurance, or will your landlord's home owner's cover anything? It wouldn't help your art, but it could help with other stuff.

  29. oh darling!! I am so sorry!!! Thank goodness for Brad + his family!!! I hope all goes well and that you are back in your own home soon!!!
    Lots of love dear!!

  30. Hang in there. :) My sister had the same thing happen this spring in her apartment, and she's also a visual artist, so I know how hard this must be. BUT, you have the important things-- petbabies, Brad, your life, etc.-- and the rest will be okay!

  31. Last night, I saw a cardinal outside my back door. It flew right past and landed in the trees behind my house. It's vivid red color stood right out from all the snow. I thought of you as I watched it. I think this is a sign! I'm wishing you good luck with all your troubles!

  32. Oh Rachale, I'm so hearth tocuhed... I'm very very very very sad about your week...
    I hope all of the people here that are writing to you are sending enough good vibration to you... I'm so sorry for all your favorite things, your beautiful paintings...
    Today I was going to send you some things about the beautiful package I've received, with my brand new cute hat, the sweets, the lipstick (how do you know my favorite lipblam-taste was watermelon?), the little precious gifts you sent to me for the contest... And my new beautiful painting. Thank you for all those things...
    I hope you'll find the power to face this... You're very wise always Rachael, when you can find to be lucky in all of your troubles... When you find something to "laughing" about (the farts and snores thing) It makes my really cry the bad luck that runs behind you this last week. I can't stand to see people suffering, expecially when they're very very very special persons like you. You don't deserve this... I send you all my prayers and best wishes... I'm so sorry Rachael.
    I hope you'll go anyay to Disneyland! You need a break!!!

  33. I'm so so sorry! I understand how you feel though. Several months ago our dog flooded our apartment. I walked in to 2 inches of water cover every room of the house. My 3 year old and I pulled out everything we could and we had to live in a hotel for over a week. It gets better though. Things I thought were lost to water we were able to save. You're going to pull through this. You have you and your loved ones. That's all that matters.

    I hope for a speedy home recovery!!! <3

  34. So so sorry to hear this! My thoughts are with you!

  35. oh honey!! this is so horrible!!! im sentimental, the paintings and original things would be the hardest for me too! hopefully it will get better for you soon!!! sending you love!!

  36. What happened to your car? I know what it’s like to live without a car, even if it’s just for days. How are things going now? I hope your car is fixed already.

    -Michelina Douglass


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