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Finally seeing an end to 2017 – Getting through hard times

Dec 22 2017 -
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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.

Joe and I are now divorced. So, here I am, having spent enough time in a dark corner just getting a grasp on my new reality so I can tell you guys about what’s going on. Grandma’s house is totally mine now… maybe how it always should have been. My entire initial plan and renovation budget and time-line was based on the fact that I was single. I regret now, of course, compromising by not putting that rental suite in the basement as I had planned. But hind sight is always that way, isn’t it? In hind sight I would have planned all of this to go down on a Friday in June so I hadn’t been sitting at my desk at work wondering how on earth I could possibly make it through the day and also worried sick about getting home to fill the wood stove. (I’m still going to be moving ahead with the rental suite when I have the funds to do so.)

I am fortunate to have an absolutely incredible family who loves me and supports me. They’ve already helped me so much from bringing in two pickup loads of wood to get me through some of the winter and so much else. There have been nights where I couldn’t deal and all I had to do was walk over to one of their houses to stay the night. I’ve already figured out how long I can be gone before I need to get back to put more wood in the stove (depending on the temperature outside etc.) Now I am tightening my belt and finding ways to be more frugal then I have ever been in my life. I brought my computer and desk from my office to my living room so I can work at night now when I get home from work and close off those doors so I don’t need to heat that part of the home.

I emptied two of my freezers and put what was in them in friends’ freezers so I could unplug my extra two. I’ve got almost everything in my house unplugged and what isn’t unplugged is now on power strips so that when I’m not home things like my internet and tv won’t be on. My friends and family have already helped me work out a plan for wood next year. No reason to keep it so far from the house when I have a 3 1/2 car garage right across from the front door. So, next year I’ll be putting all of my wood in there. A lot of my power usage right now is due to the heater I have to have in my horses’ water tank – I’m already figuring out how to cover it and insulate it better.

I have learned that this is how women (at least the women I know) deal with terrible times. There’s the old saying, “When they heard of her passing the women went to their kitchens.” Something to do. A plan. A list with things I can cross off. This is how I have always dealt with hard times and it is no different now. I am putting in extra hours at work and looking for more ways the blog can make me money. I even posted my first sponsored post just a couple of weeks ago and there will be more but I promise it will never be outside of the content you can expect from Grandma’s House DIY.

With the money situation even more dire then it has ever been any “large” projects have been erased from my lists and I’m focusing on the projects that I already have what I need to complete. And, of course, all of my future posts had to be re-written and re-worked etc. (Just learning to write “I” now instead of “we” is a very strange thing.) In the middle of all of this last month I had to switch to a different hosting provider for Grandma’s house DIY because the one I was on literally just quit working for basically a week. (A week of income totally lost.) There were times working on my new host when I thought, “Seriously?? I have to deal with this now!??!” But it was probably a good thing that I had something else to worry and think about. (Shout out to Siteground.com for helping me get Grandma’s House DIY moved over to them.)

I only have one regret in my life and that wasn’t spending enough time with the people (and animals) I loved before they were gone. Now this home will become exactly as I dreamed it would be on all those late nights alone when I was renovating it. A place all of my friends and family know they can come, stay and be welcome any time of the day or night. A place for Pictionary and amazing food and laughing so hard that we cry. A real home. A place it never quite got to be, a place it wasn’t at all in the last year. Now its time for get togethers, bon fires, whiskey and wine and cards against humanity, guitar hero and mario cart! Being surrounded by people that understand that these are the times that we work for, that make life worth living and that there is nothing more important. Finally getting the home I worked so hard for has been my one constant through all of this: my north star, my family and my Grandma’s house.

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32 Comments

  1. jan
    December 22, 2017 at 6:22 am

    I know you lost your beloved dog last year so I hope you will go adopt another if you haven’t already! Mine sure got me through the worst of times. Better days are ahead! Blessings!

    • December 22, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Jan, that is something I have really been thinking about actually. I will probably wait until spring just things are so much harder here in the winter, thanks for coming by and commenting!

  2. Terrie
    December 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    It is so hard to go from “we” to “I”. I am so sorry for the upheaval in your life. I agree with Jan that a dog makes a big difference – the house isn’t so quiet. I wish you the best.

    • December 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Thank you Terrie, every day things get a little better, I feel like I get my head and heart back a little more and my feet under me again. Have a wonderful holiday!

  3. erika
    December 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I wish you the very best for 2018, Tarahlynn. Surrounded by the love of your family and friends will get you through this season of your life’s journey and i’m sure you’ll come out a much stronger woman. God bless you.

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you so much Erika! I hope you had a lovely holiday!

  4. December 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Sorry to here your bad news but you are a survivor and I sure better times will come to you.
    Ann UK

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you Ann! I hope you had a lovely holiday!

  5. Rosie
    December 24, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    I have always been impressed with your work. Maybe you could sell some of it. Not knowing you perso ally, however you seem to be a very determined person and one who is self sufficent. Those are the best qualities to continue forward. Bless you for sharing.

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you so much Rosie, I have a few nice pieces of furniture I’ve been picking up over the years, hoping I can flip them and sell them. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

  6. Sue
    December 24, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Oh, Tarahlynn: I am incredibly sorry to learn of the unhappy changes in your life. If not a dog to help you through some of the tough days, maybe a cat (or 2)? I know my feline furbabies keep the blues at a distance and have on so many occasions. I have lost my parents, my dear husband and a son over the years, never easy times but the pain lessens in time. I, too, have a home and gardens to maintain and sometimes it’s a push to GET GOING but the end results so make the efforts worthwhile! Keep going, sweet lady…

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      Oh Sue, my heart is with you, thank you so much for your kind thoughts. My cousin said to me, “I know you’ll be ok because you’re stubborn and busy like grandma.” And she’s right, I have been busy and it does help to see the effort turn into worthwhile things. Thanks again, hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  7. December 24, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    There will be other holiday times. You will be happy again. I reach out to you from the UK with a warm hug and wish you all the very best for the next year. x

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Oh Susan, thank you! I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  8. Sandra
    December 25, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Taralynn –

    A divorce is never easy or painless. I’m glad to read that you have family and friends close by. Take time for yourself. Just because it’s the Christmas season doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good cry when you feel like it.

    Take it easy.

    Merry Christmas.

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you Sandra, there have been many good cries! But there has also been moments of laughter that remind me that I am healing and, I guess, that life moves on. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  9. Trudy
    December 25, 2017 at 2:57 am

    I an now an old woman. My husband died in April. I loved him beyond reason. I faced his loss with terror, but have found that now I am making this my home and my life. For the first time I am alone. I do not hate it as I feared I would. I must be frugal also. The first thing I did was to replace all of my light bulbs with LEDs. That made a huge difference in my electrical usage. You will no doubt have an adjustment period. You are a very strong and capable lady. You will prevail.

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you Trudy, my heart is with you. LEDs are what I’m working toward, as every bulb burns out lol. Thank you again!

  10. Kay
    December 25, 2017 at 3:09 am

    What a tough situation. Wish you better times ahead. I agree about waiting for warm weather for a dog. But sometimes God has other plans. Who knows what might be in store for you. Our dogs came about unexpectedly. Good luck.

    • December 25, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you so much Kay! Definitely feeling my heart reaching for a dog again 🙂

  11. Kathy
    December 30, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Tarah, I wish you the best for 2018. We’ve had a rough year too. Different from yours of course, but so exhausting, mentally and emotionally, all the same. I am fine with 2017 being about over and look forward to a new start next year.

    Blessings for your weekend. Stay warm!

    • January 2, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you Kathy, sounds like 2017 was a rough year in many ways for a lot of people! Cheers to 2018 and hopefully summer gets here before we know it!

  12. December 31, 2017 at 1:33 am

    I feel sad that you have to start life anew and do it standing alone for awhile. But sometimes it is the hard things that make us appreciate the sweet times. Plus, I don’t know of a strong person who hasn’t gone through and survived hard, hard things. I don’t know what I’d do without the unconditional love of my sweet dog! Really! She sometimes gets preferential treatment over humans! The journey of your renovation is amazing!

    • January 2, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Helena, I have had many folks encourage me to get another doggo especially now after everything and I really think I need you guys are right. I’ve had dogs my whole life and being without one right now, especially now, just seems wrong. I’m going to wait for spring though or at least until the worst of the cold is over. Thank you so much!

  13. Ann
    December 31, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I had not visited your site or others for a while, due to both mine and hubby’s health. I was sad to read upon my return today, of all the changes you have had to face. You are so capable and talented, I have no doubt this will be a period you will overcome, and soon have new joys to fill your days. I agree with others a dog is a nice companion. After living in the north, I also understand waiting until warm weather to bring a new pet in to adjust to the environment. I wish you all the best, and I hope that 2018 is a healthy, happy and prosperous year.

    • January 2, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      Ann, thank you so much for coming by and for your kind comment. I am definitely looking forward to spring and just getting through this winter, there’s a part of me that feels like I’ll be proving that I can make it then lol It has been remarkably cold up here, but all is well and I am keeping up with the chores etc. it is quiet and peaceful and that seems to be exactly what I need. Thanks again for your words!

  14. Lace Faerie
    January 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I am so sorry to read about this period of grief and turbulence you have been going through silently. You are brave to share the changes in your life. May the new year bring a light to your path, a lightening of your heart. Wishing you all the best as you move forward! Blessings!

    • January 3, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you Lace, I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  15. January 4, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Tarah, just reading your blog and getting to know you in that way, I know you can do this! You are a strong woman and 2018 will be so much better. Keep your head up and keep on keeping on. Sending prayers and hugs your way!

    xo Dianne

    • January 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Oh Dianne, thank you so much! It has definitely been an adjustment lol wow to say the least, but every day I feel like I find my solid footing a little bit better. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  16. January 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Going from we to I is so very painful and I understand. It’s like trying to get stable standing on ice, but that will pass. Then you realize how you may have all the work and all the expense, but also all the control and reward.

    I can see from your article that you have hit that second stage and now the best part is just starting. I look forward to sharing your journey with you this year and seeing the choices you make and the steps you achieve. Hugs and warm wishes…. Leanna

    • January 4, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Oh Leanna, thank you so much for coming by and commenting, I do feel like I am finally finding some solid ground. In the beginning it felt like I was standing on quicksand like everything I had under control and knew to be real was gone lol but things are getting better, thank goodness for family!

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Iris Nacole
Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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