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

Apr 19 2019
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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.

It is a good reminder! Kind of like the quote that basically says that we’re alive so we literally have a 100% success rating of dealing with and getting through everything that life has thrown at us at this point.

2018 for me started off with the kind of bang no one wants. I found out some really terrible things about my husband and that, coupled with his increasing violence and anger, left me with no choice but to file for divorce. And I did it and so I was finally “allowed” to see my friends and family again.

To say the least, when my divorce went through on December 15th, we celebrated!

Divorce can be a spectacular thing but that will never change the fact that its not something anyone wants. It feels like a failure. I was made a fool of and that was embarrassing and shameful.

A year later we celebrated again on the 15th of December and I was just stunned that 2018 (a whole year!) was gone and now, when I’m writing this, its nearly a year and a half!

With him gone my life opened up. I had no idea how little I had been “allowed” to do by the end – it was like going from living in a closet to being able to live on the whole world again!

It was really really exciting!

I had lists! I tackled all of them!

In the year after I was finally rid of him I literally accomplished more then I had accomplished since the renovation and really EVER in a year in my life. This 2018 recap is my reminder that dammit no matter what it is: we can do this, we all can! No matter how stressed we are about something one day it will literally just be another thing on the crossed off list!

The beginning of 2018 really felt like nothing else could POSSIBLY go wrong for me. I was heating my whole house with wood in the god awful wood stove my ex insisted on putting in. My living room was NEVER much above 40 degrees. My car quit. My septic froze. The water hydrant out in my barn (to fill my horse’s water tank) basically exploded and died.

All of that in the first two months! It was a lot!

But there was one truly INCREDIBLE thing that also happened. With him gone this blog’s income more than quadrupled and I still have no explanation for it. Perhaps my new age friends are right: maybe if we allow someone in our lives that wishes bad for us they can actually cancel out good things from happening.

Regardless, this blog made it possible for me to be able to afford a “new” car and to fix the water hydrant out in the barn and even, later that year, to get rid of that awful wood stove for good!

All of 2018 can be summed up for me pretty simply. OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW!

I think I spring cleaned my house about 30 times! There wasn’t a corner I left untouched but every single time I found more things to give away or throw away. (And, every single time, I got new ideas of what I wanted to do and better ways to improve my home!)

I made sure not a single thing with his energy on it remained. But I also wanted to minimize down and I returned back to the hope that someday my basement could become a rental suite again.

My workshop had to come out of the basement so I converted my biggest bedroom into my brand new workshop! It is AWESOME!Last year at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!

So my office became my guest bedroom/library and I think it turned out just BEAUTIFUL!Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!

My office moved to my entryway/dining room and I love it so much in the main living area of my home!Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!

Upstairs I tackled my entire second floor and made my master bedroom, bathroom and closet my own.

Last year Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!Last Year Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!

Of all the work I did on the inside of my home though it was outside where I put in the most time. The remaining trash and endless garbage was just unbelievable. My ex truly never bothered to throw anything away or clean anything up. Just like in my house there was not a single corner of my lawn or property that I didn’t touch at least a dozen times that year!

I filled my old car with trash and took so many trips to the dump that, after twenty five trips, I just stopped counting and remained single minded on the task. I was just so fed up and I will admit that I pushed myself too far a couple of times and paid the price for it.

I sold a ton of stuff on Craig’s list, gave a ton of stuff away and just kept at it.

2018 was my year of purge!

I had a load of dirt dropped off at my barn so, one night after work, I rolled up my sleeves and got to shoveling. And I did it, my back hurt, but I did it! I filled the sixteen foot deep well shaft that had been a terrible safety hazard for years. The job was also mandatory to insulate my new outdoor hydrant.

At that point I started calling myself “pack mule” lol!

My own craziness wasn’t the ONLY reason I tackled my yard though. It was also for my silly horses who absolutely refused to use the old lean-to off the back of the barn for shelter! Their hay was also getting moldy in my old barn as well and they just plain needed a new spot.

My Grandpa’s machine shed my ex had trashed and called his “wood shed” was the absolutely perfect, south facing, answer to their needs. Cleaning it out took me several full weekends but I did, eventually, get there!

2018 Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!2018 Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!2018 Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!2018 Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!

I moved the big round pen fencing down from the barn, creating a coral for them and giving them one of the three stalls to use to get out of the weather. I brought all their food down and anything “horse” related I organized and tucked safely into my grandparents’ old well house that was handily close.

Besides that I also totally expanded their horse pasture, encompassing another acre of my yard and bringing them right up behind my garage. I love having them so close and, maybe not surprisingly, its pretty much their favorite area to hang out in the summer time. Its breezy and shaded under dozens of towering pines.

Outside I built and dug my VERY OWN outhouse!2018 Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!

I love it and I totally don’t care how weird that makes me! And I also started in on the HUGE job that is my garage too (another place my ex totally trashed). The outhouse was just a stepping stone to my plan of having family gatherings here around my bonfire and in my yard.

As much as I love my 700 square foot deck, bon fire area and open floor plan obviously I built myself a party house lol I don’t need all that space for just me!

I’m on the board of directors of a local non profit publishing company (as well as their book designer and co-editor) and I just can’t wait to have summer writers’ retreats here someday too. Of course, I am a couple of years from that possibility but it remains one of those dreams that is getting closer and closer to my reach every year.

Phew, that 2018 recap actually made me feel better. I think its important for us to do that every now and again, remind ourselves that no matter how daunting the problem is before us, it will, truly, just be one more thing to look back on!

2018 Recap at Grandma's House DIY. Do it yourself yard work, completed rooms, furniture transformations and a new home for my horses!

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12 Comments

  1. April 19, 2019 at 9:37 am

    It’s just amazing what you’ve done in a year, Tarah. It must feel cleansing make this place your own again and have it exactly the way YOU want it. Your property looks so special, like it really has a heart and soul. I can tell your work is a labor of love. Your horses are beautiful!

    • April 22, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Thank you so much Heidi! It really was a cleansing experience, I felt like I was working toward making things “right” and its just amazing the feeling of being home now! Everything really became mine in the cleaning up and fixing, it felt so good and was SO healing!

  2. April 19, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Many hugs and bravo’s Tarahlynn. Read right back to your why and how you regained yourself. You are brave, loving, kind and wonderful and a very hard working and clever woman. Such hard physical labour and YOU did it. You reclaimed your home and all that involves and made it yours again and worked your plans and designs towards your goals.
    Joy

    • April 22, 2019 at 8:54 am

      Thank you Joy! It was exactly what I needed to heal, I felt like I was healing my home too!

  3. Liz
    April 19, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Tarah,
    This recap is the perfect post to be my first subscription email! I only just found you a few days ago after searching for DIY kitchen cabinet ideas – my fiancรฉ and I just bought a mobile home that we’ll be gutting to the studs and starting fresh. I’ve been skipping around your website, out of order, oh so inspired by it all. There’s a big job ahead of me, and your year of progress truly serves as encouragement.

    ~Any thoughts on how to brighten a room with small windows other than light-colored walls and ample artificial lighting?

    Thank you for sharing all that you do on here!

    ~~Liz

    • April 22, 2019 at 9:02 am

      Oh Liz, good luck on your project I am SO excited for you! Make sure to keep me updated on how its going! ๐Ÿ™‚ I find sometimes that with dark rooms embracing it can be the easiest way to make it feel bigger and deliberate. It makes me think of my master bedroom, it looks big and bright but its not at all, its actually only a half floor and the only windows I have up there are shaded by serious trees. I think what really helped was the contrast I have of the dark walls and trim color.

  4. April 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Give yourself a pat on the back from me! Well done Tarah, and I know you will have an even better report to make next year.

  5. TERESA DALEY(UK)
    April 21, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Well done you, I know just what you mean about getting rid of the atmosphere. For me it finally went when I had a new roof put on the house.

  6. LINDA MARTIN
    April 22, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Keep up with the good work Tarah! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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