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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Closing a chapter.....

Today is a day of mixed blessings. It is a sad day , a painful one and one we never thought would come or that we would have to live through . BUT!!! it also the closing of a chapter in our life, as well hopefully a new beginning , a new chapter. A time to rebuild and have rebirth of our life , and start a new chapter. A time to reflect on what wonderful blessings have come our way and will continue to do so . YES, I said blessings, meaning happy, joyful, enlightening, heart warming and all the other words you could use to label our life and all that we hope and pray it will be as time progresses from this point on.

Today my husband signs the last papers at the escrow office , the last entitlement to our beloved cottage. Escrow closes Tuesday of next week. I wish I had a better pic, but I can not bring myself to go now and take one.
We moved to this lovely 1922, what is known as a Bungaloid , as it is a full two stories, nearly three years ago. I had watched this house , while we lived in Texas for many months, as the price would drop, it would drop off the listings and pop back on...I even had it as my desk top photo and on an image board...normally reserved for decor or fashion ideas. I was over the moon that when we finally could come back to CA and were ready to buy that it was still for sale.

I looked at homes for a day and a half in the area, just to make sure, but I knew. Even when friends told us the neighborhood was not the best, and the noise, being on a busy street and close to the fairgrounds and a race track and that we would not want to live there . I saw this front porch and that was all it took, I had always wanted one.
and my lovely rockers, fit just perfectly, one of the few things I brought with us from Texas when we moved back across country on a very small budget. A lot of wonderful times were spent on this porch with friends and family. We would often sit with a drink that we had gone to the corner burger stand to get , and watch the traffic go by, the world really and just dream or chat about life. Even the hottest of Summer days was spent on the porch swing with the fan aimed on us , often with a glass of wine and a snack and just spending that special time with each other.

The first year was wonderful, my husbands job was going great, and he had weekends off and was home for dinner most evenings, ( a rarity in the car business and had not happened in all of our marriage) and money was good and we had so many dreams for what we would do with our dream cottage. The first was our kitchen.

We ripped out all the cabinets, and started from scratch , redoing the walls, picking out the tile, counter tile, searching out and ordering a copper farm house sink, bronze faucet, wrought iron pulls, and even a small enough wine fridge. I had picked everything in the space, and it was designed to fit my health /physical limitations to a T. It also served us well when we would through wine dinners for our friends.
The window you see looked out on the garden with all the birds, the squirrels and a Wisteria vine that engulfed the entire area. Perfect for baking and creating my latest dishes. I would spend so much morning time there with my computer and my coffee and watch the goings ons at the bird was a wonderful way to spend my morning. So peaceful. We later painted over the brick that we had put up and it created a fresh new feeling in the space, but I loved it both ways.

While this was all being done , I was finishing up our LR and DR areas
I did what I could with the bowling ally filled with doors and windows that I you can see I even had to block one window...but it was warm, cozy and inviting, and always received compliments from those that came to visit. I had gone with a Tuscan/Wine Country/Mission mix and it really just came together for a very cohesive look. I used warm shades of the Terra Cotta , deep Bark Brown, dark Reds and Wines and then to keep it from getting too dark popped it with my fav shade of Blue....Teal in various shades. The hand blown glass sconces put a warm bath of golden light over the entire space in the evening and the thick Chenille drapes kept the hot sun out during the day and kept us warm at night , and created a feeling of richness to the space.

I do not have but one other photo of the cottage, the bathroom we stared on before we had to make the painful decision to walk away.
You can see it would have followed the same theme as the rest of the home in colors and feel as well. It and the rest of the home was a work in progress, when my husband came home one day and said that he had lost his job that had brought us to CA again. That was the beginning of the end. We continued to work on the home though for nearly a year. We worked on this bathroom, we repainted some of the rooms, and started to redo the back yard space as well , hoping and praying that before we ran out of our savings and our investments and time that something or someone would save us.

My husband had another job initially, but it too ended, and then unemployment, and then a try at switching careers that did not pan out , and then back to the bottom rung in the car business , sales. By then, 11 months later we were broke and it was time to walk away. We could have stayed all these months, recouped our cash by not paying the mortgage, dodging phone calls, showing the house during short sale....but we choose to walk away to save our sanity, and my health, as it was taking and has taken it's toll. So we sold everything we owned, or mostly, gave away what our daughter Rebecca could use and found an apartment, and have started over.

It has been a very rough ride. I will not lie, we could loose this roof over our heads as well. We do not know month to month what money will be like....we live day to day, week to week and my husband does his very best to insure we can survive another month.We have a very long way to go before we are secure, and have anything extra at the end of the day. The pay comes in, and is gone just as fast. I have cut corners all the ways that I can think of and know how to do.

I miss our old life of course, but this new one has given me a greater appreciation of what is important,and when I can afford that new decor item , to upgrade here and there , I appreciate it more so, the value of it is higher, even if it did not cost that much. This new life has opened a few doors, doors that have given me new online friends, created fun experiences that have not cost a dime or very little, thanks to the graciousness of friends and it has also started on me this journey, inserted me into the world of blogging, that has been such a great outlet and stress reliever, even with all the work it requires....and the very little pay back , often not knowing if anyone past family is reading or caring....but it has helped in so many ways get me through the tough times, that recently seemed to get tougher yet, and for that I am grateful....and feel that all we have gone through will lead to great blessings one day.....maybe even home ownership again.

Thanks for being patient and reading my post today, I am hoping that you were able to look at the pictures and gather some ideas for your own home, and that you , through reading my story about the home I loved and then had to walk away from that you will look at your own with a different point of view, one that is grateful for what you have, hopeful for what you would like to have( and patient)as well as adventitious ( or adventurous) and creative enough to achieve it , no matter what your budget.

That is what my blog is about, creating a space , a home, a life that I love , even with all the set backs, with very little money and a whole lot of creativity and thinking outside the box, cause the most wonderful things can happen when you do.


  1. Great Post Ruby. Thank you for sharing with us. This hit home for me..

    "I am hoping that you were able to look at the pictures and gather some ideas for your own home, and that you , through reading my story about the home I loved and then had to walk away from that you will look at your own with a different point of view, one that is grateful for what you have, hopeful for what you would like to have( and patient)as well as adventitious and creative enough to achieve it , no matter what your budget"

  2. Thanks Angie....oh and went back edited and added "adventurous" to "adventitious" as well...I think we need the first quality to see when to be the least after reading the definition LOL

  3. What a moving post Ruby! I have learnt over the years to appreciate that home is where the heart is (with my family) and a house is just a house even when it's difficult to leave and it seems that you have learnt this lesson too. I'm sure things will turn around for such strong and positive people as as you. Keep the faith!

  4. This hit home for me too! this is not so unlike my own personal story and it is difficult to face it unless you find the positive in this muck and mire! you have and i am proud of you. for me, i too really embraced the idea of creatively surviving! it gave me hope to try and think of ways to remake my life and dig my way out of the tough stuff! i hope things begin looking up for you, and i hope you know we have all become a wonderful little support group for each other and you can lean on us any time you need!

  5. Lovely Home.Best Wishes...

  6. Your post was so profound Ruby. Brought tears to my eyes. You know well how similar our situations have been this past 6 months. In fact... We were at our friends house only two doors down from our old home a few days back. And my three year old tugged on my hand and asked "Mommy can we go to our old house and you can take me down the slide?" And I lost it right then and there. We had a beautiful playhouse, two stories, built in the back yard and I used to take them down the slide.
    Many good wishes for your bright future!

  7. Sommer....I understand...told Robert to not ask me to ever drive down the same street , I just do not think I could ever do heart goes out to you, at least my daughters were older and two already had moved out. It was hard on our youngest, but she bucked up for us and made the best of it. That is all any of us can do.

  8. Ruby, I'm so glad you found my blog today. I know we will be great friends. My heart goes out to you. I teared up from this post. Everything will turn around, I just know it. You are an inspiration, and thanks for being so honest. That is what makes a person special. xxoo

  9. Steph, your home was beautiful as is your home now! I think we can all get a lot of great ideas from what you and Robert did and the love that you put into it! Love makes a home and it was very obvious that it is now as you are working and posting on your new space. Never give up my friend...never! Everyone, in one way or another, must endure a test of our spirit! Know that your friends love you and stand behind you to support...who can fall when we're there to catch you? Love you, Steph!!

  10. Thank you for all the love and support my dear friends old and new ! I treasure you all!<3


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