Grandma's House DIY
From: The Blog
I'm Tarah, a single gal living in northern Minnesota. It took my sixteen long months on my own to gut and renovate my grandparents' 100 year old farmhouse. I moved in in 2015. And though there is still a ton to do here I absolutely love my home and my life! This is my blog on how I'm making it, how I could afford my dream home at 30 years old and how I do it all myself and how you can too!

Sep 29 2019

The Last Harvest – Pickles, Pellets, Hay and Cooler Days

Saying goodbye to summer, embracing cooler days, harvest, pickle, harvesting the last of my garden and preparing for winter with hay and pellets

The last harvest. September for us Minnesotans is about winding down and truly preparing ourselves for winter. Most of my family and friends think I hate winter. But that’s not exactly the case, I just really LOVE summer! And after shoveling snow for six months last winter I can honestly say that I did not look forward to September this year at all. Nor did I look forward to filling my closets with pellets for my stove. Or filling my horse shed with hay. Or harvesting the last of my garden. Read the rest of the post »

Aug 25 2019

Updating my Horse Shed – The Dog Days of Summer Winding Down

Updating my Horse Shed - The Dog Days of Summer Winding Down. Adding a wall of plywood, shelves and hay storage for my horse shed along with a solar light!

Updating my horse shed with plywood, a solar light and shelf and my tiger lily photo gallery! With August sliding away I am thinking along with the rest of my fellow Minnesotans: Where the heck did summer go?! August has always been my favorite month of the year. Maybe because I was born in February I am cold blooded – I wish I could take a heat lamp everywhere with me like I’m an iguana. There is literally nothing I hate more on this planet than air conditioning and, considering we shoveled snow for 6 months this last winter, I think my feelings are quite reasonable. Read the rest of the post »

Jul 28 2019

Summer Planning for Winter and My GLORIOUS Peonies and Gardens!

Summer vegetable garden and updates on the farm, eating dinner in the garden, blooming perenials of every kind and a ton of peony, peonies, blossom, bloom!

2019 Summer Updates – one happily tired girl reporting in! We have landed in the time of year now when all of us Minnesotans have to start thinking about winter… in JULY! Its a travesty! When I got the letter reminding me that it was time to buy pellets for my stove I just wanted to sit on the ground and throw a tantrum. Not long after that I got the call from my hay guy letting me know he would be dropping off my horses winter hay soon. There was no denying it at that point but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it! Read the rest of the post »

Jun 23 2019

2019 Spring Gallery – My June Farm, my lawn actually went to seed! lol

2019 spring photo gallery, garden, beats, lilacs, apple trees and blooms of dandelions on an old farm with a broken barn and old horses grazing

2019 Spring Photo Gallery. So I kinda spaced out the mowing situation at my place this spring. Mostly I just don’t care but, also… I really just don’t care. I did kinda want my dandelions to do their thing for the bumbles and also wanted to see how well the clover I planted last year came in this year. Fortunately I do not live near town and my neighbors also don’t care lol… or, at least they don’t care enough to complain. Gotta love country folk we really just ignore our neighbors doing their thing in the hopes that they’ll also ignore us doing our thing lol. Read the rest of the post »

Jun 09 2019

Moving the Stock Tank to a Safe Place in the Back of my Garage

Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019

In May of 2015 we had electricity run from my main power pole to the barn because there was a water hydrant out there (dug many decades ago) hooked up all the way underground to my water in my basement. We brought the horses home in June of that same year and, initially, that’s simply where they hung out, that’s where I fed them, where I put up their red fence corral, where I stored their hay and where their water tank was. We cleaned out the old lean-to off the back of the barn for their shelter too. Sadly though, as many of you already know, this last record breakingly awful winter was too much for my old barn (and thousands of others) which means it is truly no longer safe. Read the rest of the post »

May 12 2019

Spring updates and, of course, I have a Summer to do list!

Summer to-do-list finally finishing my garage, putting in raised beds in my garden and replacing the stone on the outside of my house with siding!

Summer is actually on its way! OMG for real I think most of us Minnesotans began to give up hope that spring would ever get here! But, thank the universe, it has arrived and of course I have a list lol! Now, unlike My Winter To-Do-List my summer to-do-list I actually might finish THIS summer. I never really thought that I would get through my ENTIRE winter to-do-list this last winter, but this horrible winter did mean I was trapped inside for nearly five months so I did get through a lot of it! Read the rest of the post »

Apr 19 2019

2018 Recap of yard work, completed rooms & a new home for my horses!

I have FINALLY finished cleaning up my yard and I fixed my garage's soffits and moved my horses' into their new shed and hauled hay bales

2018 Recap! I was freaking out last week about a couple of things I need to get done ASAP now that spring is finally here. When I get stressed I get snippy and very vocal with lots and lots of words generally through messenger. Fortunately I have people who put up with me and know that, in less then 30 seconds, I will be apologizing. How I deal with things is to tackle whatever is in front of me and basically forget anything that’s finished by placing it behind me forever. But, from time to time, I remind my family (and they remind me) just HOW MUCH we have done and just how incredibly far we’ve all come. Read the rest of the post »

Mar 16 2019

I am so very sorry to say that my old barn had a couple very bad nights

After the worst winter in weather records my ninety year old barn's back broke. I am so very sad and so very sorry to say that part of her went down.

I am going to start this post out with the exact same thing I told my Mom that morning this week when I called her, “I’m fine, don’t panic! But… I think something… happened to the barn.” We talked for a minute. I told her I did not want to approach whatever it was alone and she said she’d be over soon. If I EVER call my family they know that it is a life or death situation. I DO NOT answer calls nor do I call anyone. Truly, I almost just messaged her but I didn’t want to miss her before she left for work. Read the rest of the post »

Mar 10 2019

My Birthday Present to Myself: A Stay-cation to Work on My House!

My Birthday Present to Myself: A Vacation to Work on My Kitchen! Painting away the smoke stains, moving forward with my remodel, how we faired this winter!

For the first time in the nine years I’ve been at my day job I took more than four days off in a ROW. I took the 21st-26th off over my 33rd birthday in late February. Everyone asked me, “Where are you going?” Because, during February in Minnesota, if you take that much time off, you are almost certainly going somewhere South. Even my family was like, “We’ll feed the horses and fill the pellet stove! It would be so great for you to get away!” Read the rest of the post »

Feb 02 2019

The Coldest Spot in the Nation – My Backyard!

Living in the coldest spot in the nation during the January 2018 polar vortex in northern Minnesota. Horses water, being sure to stay safe and warm.

Well, it was officially announced on Thursday morning that my spot was the coldest in the entire nation. Yay. No, that’s not something we want to be known for. Five miles off my back deck (as the crow flies) is my little home town and at the airport they officially registered -42 real temp and somewhere around a -65 degree windchill. Its enough to turn a grown woman like me into a pouty toddler whose hungry and needs a nap. “Really!?” That’s so cold its impossible to really comprehend! Read the rest of the post »

Jan 06 2019

Winter photo gallery – Learning the importance of doing NOTHING

Winter photo gallery of my northern MN farm This year winter really slammed us. Officially, as of right now, we've had snow for FOUR months. 2019 new year

This year winter really slammed us here in northern Minnesota. Officially, as of right now, we’ve had snow for over THREE months as we saw our first snow at the end of September. Right before new years we got hit with 16 inches of snow in less than 48 hours and then on new years day I woke up to a temperature of -24 degrees and a -45 degree windchill at 8am. Read the rest of the post »

Dec 30 2018

Harman Pellet Stove Review – The Work, The Cost & The Upkeep

My harmon pellet stove is incredibly clean burning, how I clean it, the glass, maintain it and the work involved in owning a pellet stove, I love it!

My new Harman Pellet Stove. First I have to start this post with a disclaimer. After living with a wood stove for three years and hauling wood 300 feet from my shed to the house alone last winter I am about as biased as they come. Is having a pellet stove as easy as adjusting the thermostat to a furnace? Absolutely not. Is having a pellet stove a cake walk compared to what I was doing? Absolutely! Read the rest of the post »

Dec 16 2018

My Winter To-Do-List… OMG winter might not be long enough!

My Winter To-Do-List just keeps getting longer lol. There is so much I'm planning to do in my home and I am SO excited to get started!

My Winter To-Do-List just keeps getting longer lol. There is so much I’m planning to do in my home and I am SO excited to get started! The first one is the glaring one that has been staring at me ALL summer. I really need to finally tackle my workshop and get it complete. I spent literally this entire summer looking for that one tool I could never find. Read the rest of the post »

Nov 12 2018

My Farm Fall Photo Gallery and that I made it to November!

Spiked cider a Bon fire and Someone to Cuddle with: Fall Photo Gallery. Autmun has descended on my farm in northern Minnesota, good company for the cold

Fall Photo Gallery. My farm falling into autumn and just the fact that I made it to November of 2018! I learned a lot of things over the last twelve months of my life. #1: If you want a job done right and on time tell a woman she can’t do it. #2: Its ok to be totally unreasonable and sometimes it is absolutely necessary. And #3: I also learned that the people who truly love us already forgive us for doing whatever it is we need to do to heal. Read the rest of the post »

Oct 22 2018

Filling my Pit of Doom with Dirt… Just call me PACK MULE

Ok, that's what I thought because apparently I AM A PACK MULE and my new middle name is MANUAL LABOR. Filling a well shaft with lots of dirt before winter

Have I mentioned that I’m starting to feel like a Pack Mule? Maybe thirty or forty times already? Ok, that’s what I thought because apparently I AM A PACK MULE and my new middle name is MANUAL LABOR. So its not like I didn’t see this job coming before winter… its more like I just pretended it wasn’t on the way because… Giant pile of dirt is my nightmare. Read the rest of the post »

Oct 08 2018

Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My (updated) 1, 2 and 10 year plans!

When I wrote the first Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: plans post back in March I was SO excited to finally have control of my finances again. But, like with everything, the true extent of my freedom had not totally sunk in yet. I had just ended a relationship and was still finding my footing as a single gal. Well, I have officially found my footing lol Read the rest of the post »

Sep 24 2018

My greener, healthier lifestyle & products that made my summer awesome!

My far more frugal, greener and healthier life (since my divorce) eliminating all toxins, creating a green energy efficient home, cleaner eating and living.

I think a lot of people understand what its like to be the only person in a relationship (or family) who is health, frugal or eco conscious. It can be a HUGE struggle! Whether its to save money, do things that are greener for the environment or, just plain, trying to live a healthier life. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been doing this summer and a couple products that made my life awesome! Read the rest of the post »

Aug 27 2018

My horses moved into their new shed and I finally fixed my garage!

I have FINALLY finished cleaning up my yard and I fixed my garage's soffits and moved my horses' into their new shed and hauled hay bales

My horses are moved in and I also got my garage fixed finally! I had four things on my list that I HAD to get finished before winter and I officially have three of them checked off. Early this spring I got my horses’ water tank moved into the barn and wrapped in insulation, I have a new way to heat my home and I now just hauled my leftover hay bales down from the barn and covered my septic line that ran under my deck. Read the rest of the post »

Jul 30 2018

Pellet Stove: A Final decision on how I’m going to heat my home (I am SO Excited!!)

Behind the scenes here at Grandma's house things have been very hard. As a writer I've thought about writing my memoirs, starting back when I was a kid and working my way forward but before I can ever start I always hit something that I'm just not ready to write about. Divorce

Why a pellet stove turned out to be the answer to all of my worries. Well, it happened, we are well past the halfway point of summer and everyone I know (including my chipmunks, birds and especially myself) are flying into a panic screaming, “WINTER IS COMING!!!!” I still have one heckuva long list to complete by the time the snow flies but one of the only things that HAD to be done is in the works! Read the rest of the post »

Jul 09 2018

Cleaning up my yard and doing some serious closet organization

I have FINALLY finished cleaning up my yard and serious closet organization, emptying shoe closet and adding shoes shelves for a great entryway, clean yard

Cleaning up my house and yard. Reaching full on adult hood because a huge empty closet totally made me thrilled! OMG I was beginning to think I would never get here lol! Last update I posted I had only one last pile of crap my ex left for me around my old “tack shack” which is now my new wood shed. Well, I finally got it all hauled off and thrown away! Ugh my poor back is SO sore, why is it that everything I do turns me into a pack mule?! Read the rest of the post »

Jun 11 2018

Learning to pace myself & enjoying the two days we had of spring

I was so excited to get pictures of all of my lilacs and trees blooming but then I blinked worked really hard on my yard and have to learn to pace myself

I was so excited to get pictures of all of my lilacs and apple trees blooming but then I blinked and BOOM, spring was over. It was like we went from -20 degrees to 90 in less then a month… Oh wait – I think we actually did that! Our trees and bushes literally bloomed, pollinated over night and dropped it all the next day. Everyone I know who has ever had an allergy said this was the WORST spring they’ve ever experienced! Read the rest of the post »

Jun 08 2018

My poor foot! Doggo sitting for my best friend and my Happy Horses!

Always wear work boots no matter how hot it is because you might just drop a fence post pounder on your poor foot! And Dog sitting for my best friend! dogger kisses, cuddles and spoiling my two god pups absolutely rotten. Do you know what kind of bird this is?

So I hurt my foot. Well it does seem to happen no matter what I do and no matter how careful I am. As my best friend Rachie always says in shock at me, “You kicked your own ass!” SO TRUE! I am VERY good at beating myself up. To be fair to myself though it was a really warm day and we were only pounding in fence posts so it wasn’t that dumb of a choice to wear tennis shoes instead of boots. Read the rest of the post »

May 14 2018

2018: Tackling my spring to-do list, a happy heart and very sore feet!

Tackling my 2018 spring and summer to-do list, cleaning out the wood shed, preparing it for hay and making a pile of trash to take to the dump. Cleansing my life with fire, purging myself from a horrible and toxic relationship by burning what he left behind.

Back in early March I wrote a post called Operation: BLISSFULLY HAPPY that detailed my plans over the next 1, 2 and 10 years. I’ve also been updating and tackling my to-do list for my entire home as I go here with the weather causing changes and adjustments. When spring FINALLY arrived I hit the ground running and put myself to work starting with my wood shed! Read the rest of the post »

Apr 30 2018

Black and White. Old photos, my farm, my home, my heart.

Black and White. Old photos, my farm, my home, my family pictures throughout the last seventy years. My grandparents farm left to me in their passing has gone through numerous changes over the years from renovations they did to my own giant renovation to make this farm my forever home.

Old photos of my farm. The history here may be the best thing about living on my grandparents’ old farm. My mom’s cousin came and visited us and always our conversations turn to olden times and the old photos come out. Knowing so many people loved this place over the years and being able to hear their stories adds so much to my life here. We put together a family reunion a few years back and meeting family I had never met before was really cool but the neatest part was picking up their old family photo albums and seeing old photos of my farm! Knowing people I had not even ever met were sharing memories of this place from years upon years ago was absolutely incredible. Read the rest of the post »

Apr 27 2018

Spring is finally here: This weekend at Grandma’s House!

Spring is finally here: This weekend at Grandma's House! Moving my horses water tank from the pasture to the barn, moving shelves and more things from my basement to my new workshop. Tackling my big yard plan and reminding myself that nothing needs to be done right now, I am literally without deadlines.

As most of you have probably figured out already patience is NOT one of my strong suits – when I want to do something I do it right NOW and with spring finally here I have literally had to grab hold of myself and remind me that: “There are NO deadlines! Stop freaking out!!” Of course that kind of pep talk only goes so far and I am literally sitting on my hands at my day job because being behind a desk just FEELS SO WRONG! Because, finally, after that endless ridiculous winter, spring is here! Read the rest of the post »

Mar 30 2018

Bad things come in threes and spring has FINALLY arrived!

Behind the scenes here at Grandma's house things have been very hard. As a writer I've thought about writing my memoirs, starting back when I was a kid and working my way forward but before I can ever start I always hit something that I'm just not ready to write about. Divorce

Well that was one hell of a winter! I wrote a post awhile back called When it Rains it Pours and I really can’t begin to describe it better then that. This winter attacked me and I attacked it in every way possible. Things I wanted to save up for forced me to deal with them RIGHT NOW. I haven’t mentioned any of this yet simply because I was so fed up I didn’t want to talk about it! Read the rest of the post »

Mar 23 2018

New site design! Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma’s House!

Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House! Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House! With my divorce finally ending it was time to give not only my home and my whole life a makeover but it was just the right time to give this blog a new site design too!

With the commencing of my Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY a lot has changed here in my little farmhouse and ALL of it has been toward becoming, you guessed it, BLISSFULLY HAPPY! Storyhardt Farm became my farm’s new name with a new sign to go with it so it only seemed right to give my blog a facelift too! I hope you guys like it and I hope it works better for everyone now, makes it easier to get around and, most importantly, I hope it gets you to what you’re looking for faster than ever! *breaks a figurative champagne bottle on the side of her monitor* I christen you: Storyhardt Farm! Read the rest of the post »

Mar 16 2018

Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My 1, 2 and 10 year plans!

Making a financial plan after a divorce, finally being able to implement the decisions required to meet my 1, 2 and 10 year financial goals for both me, my home and my entire life. Freedom in finally being able to work toward what I have always wanted in my life plan!

Now commencing operation: BLISSFULLY HAPPY! The last blow my ex dealt me was when he was forced to write down his income in the divorce papers. After telling me for our entire relationship that he was barely getting by it turns out he had more money in his account that December then I had made in the ENTIRE previous year. I had been paying for everything I could which was all but one of our household bills and truly believed that we were barely staying afloat. He called me then, when he was filling out the divorce papers, because he was really worried a judge would try to give me some of his money. If there was ever an example of the kind of person I never want to be in my life: It was him on that day. Read the rest of the post »

Feb 09 2018

When it rains it pours . . . or, because its winter, it snows!

After finding out the financial lies my ex husband had been feeding me I was staring at my bills watching all of my dreams shatter before my eyes. But, sometime during one of the very worst months of my life, my little blog absolutely exploded and the only real explanation is that I removed him from my life.

When it rains it pours… I am a firm believer that if it can go wrong it probably will which all adds up to a pleasantly surprised attitude when things actually go right and a roll-up-the-sleeves-to-fix-it attitude when things go wrong. So, when things started going right here at Grandma’s House it didn’t really make any sense to me… especially considering how I just got a divorce and so December 2017 was one of the hardest months of my life. Read the rest of the post »

Jan 11 2018

Finding my new footing and keeping up with the wood stove

Winter in Minnesota after a divorce while heating with a wood stove. Finding my new footing and my new reality with wonderful friends, loved ones and people that support and flock around me. Keeping the house warm, the horses fed and finding peace.

With temperatures plummeting into the negatives I am learning how to keep up with my wood stove in my new reality after a divorce. I saw a meme on Facebook the other day, it asked: “If you could have anything in 2018 what would it be?” My immediate answer was: PEACE. A million dollars would be great too lol but my heart is still just utterly and completely exhausted. In the last month I’ve devoured over 30 books on my kindle and there is no hope of that slowing down any time soon, thank goodness my family purchased me several more books for Christmas! Read the rest of the post »

Dec 22 2017

Finally seeing an end to 2017 – Getting through hard times

Behind the scenes here at Grandma's house things have been very hard. As a writer I've thought about writing my memoirs, starting back when I was a kid and working my way forward but before I can ever start I always hit something that I'm just not ready to write about. Divorce

Finally seeing an end. Behind the scenes here at Grandma’s house things have been very hard. As a writer I’ve thought about writing my memoirs, starting back when I was a kid and working my way forward but before I can ever start I always hit something that I’m just not ready to write about. And I understand in that moment that I may NEVER be ready to write about it. Things have been getting worse here for months but until the final day happened, and I got some distance, I knew I wouldn’t be able to talk about it here on the blog for awhile. Read the rest of the post »

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