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

Mar 16 2018
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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.

My family purchased me a 6 month supply of toilet paper for Christmas because I was so worried about getting by, the next day I heard about how my ex had bought himself a brand new snow mobile and ice fishing house. The same man that took all of the paper plates with him when he left because he said, “I don’t know how I’m going to make it, I don’t know how I’m gonna afford to get a place, I’m going to have to sleep in my truck.” (Fortunately, he had already exhausted my pity, there was no lie he could have told me at that point that could have convinced me to let him stay. Girls, always follow your gut instincts.)

Memorial day weekend at Grandma's House DIY, old barn watching a storm come in, blooming lilacs, farm spring photo gallery 2017

Ever since I renovated and moved into my Grandma’s house my goals have been the following: pay off the house within 10 years, get wind or solar power, live happily ever after with dogs, ducks, friends, family, horses, eat, drink, laugh, love, be merry and live happily ever after! My ex did not share these goals with me (obviously…) so, now that he’s out of my life, I can finally work toward them. Its amazing to finally have control of my finances again! (Picture Braveheart screaming FREEEEEDOMMMM! Minus the whole dying and torture scene.)

So, operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY has commenced because making plans and executing them is ridiculously one of my FAVORITE things. Firstly, I can’t start paying off the house early yet instead any extra income I have in 2018 is going toward two things. The first thing had been to save up over the next few months to purchase a “new” used car to replace my old girl but, sadly, she got sick 🙁 So now, instead of saving up to buy a replacement car I have already purchased my “new” used car! So, now my plan is to simply have her paid off by the end of this year.

(My old car is still running as I did get her fixed but when you start having to duct tape the doors shut you know you’re on borrowed time – she’s not going anywhere though, she is my FIRST car, she’s been with me 12 years, I put over 80,000 miles on her and she is now going into her retirement with 240,000 miles on her as my little farm car 🙂

Flower gallery of northern Minnesota wild that bloom in the summer perennials, daisies and many others in the farmyard and barnyard at Grandma's House DIY

If you’ve been following along then you know my plan had been to abandon the barn this summer. I wanted to do this because the water spigot in the barn has been leaking for years causing it be a royal pain in the butt… unfortunately said little leak exploded this winter. (There was no BLISSFULLY HAPPY that day just a whole lot of swear words and a strong drink!) I hired a local company to fix it and now that its working perfectly it seems silly to move it. So, my horse’s water is going to stay at the barn and I’m more than a little relieved that I don’t have to dig up my whole yard to move the water this summer.

(The other reason I wanted to move my horse’s stuff out of the barn was because my old barn has seen better days 🙁 So, I may still move all of their hay and grain out of there to the soon-to-be-empty wood shed just to be on the safe side. That would leave only the water spigot out in the barn (and the electric run out there to keep the water from freezing in the winter) so then I will no longer be driving home wondering what I would do if the barn collapsed on all of my horse’s food…)

I need to rip off the steel from the falling down lean-to that’s off the back of the barn and use it to cover the back wall of my garage. Then I need to move any wood I have leftover from this winter into my garage along said back wall. This will eliminate THOUSANDS of steps hauling wood for me! Speaking of wood: I am SO sick of heating entirely with wood! Its not even the work of hauling it that is the real bugger it is the CONSTANT worry every single day of getting home to put wood in the stove and, not to mention, starting a 700 degree fire and leaving it to burn all day, by itself, in my kitchen! It is literally crazy!

Flower gallery of northern Minnesota wild that bloom in the summer perennials, daisies and many others in the farmyard and barnyard at Grandma's House DIY

So, my second major cost in 2018 is the following: I have a large off peak electric storage heater sitting in my garage (along with two smaller ones) that will be affordable to run that I never got installed because my ex decided we only needed wood heat and that was the end of that. Well, not any more, 2018 I am going to hire an electrician to get my off peak panel and meter up and running and get my heaters installed like I had planned for this home all along! Will I still heat with wood? Absolutely! But it won’t be my only source of heat ever again!

Everything I just highlighted is going to make my life SO much better next winter! Even just the new car has taken such a worry weight off of my shoulders and to not HAVE to be home every 6 hours to fill the wood stove is going to be like a whole new life! My back and shoulders alone are just so excited not to have to haul so much wood so far ever again. A lot of this I can’t do until the weather comes around (winter is STILL here even though I used flower pictures from last summer in this post) so, on to what I can work on:

Over the next couple of months I’m going to be moving my wood workshop out of my basement and into my old guest bedroom and totally designing myself my own personal workshop! (No more having to go downstairs for a screw driver YAY!!!) Completely emptying everything I own out of the basement is working me toward my 2020 goal of: finishing my basement rental suite! When I first started work on this house I had planned to always have a renter in the basement until my ex told me otherwise. Well now it is definitely going to happen! Fortunately I installed a bathroom, kitchen and everything needed down there now I just have some purchases to make and work to do like sheet rock, flooring, painting etc. Which is why that’s going to be my 2020 goal.

Preparing for harvest on our farm at Grandma's House DIY, fall has come and its time to get organized, preparing for deer and produce!

After that my goal is simple from 2020 on – I am going to throw every extra dollar I have at my mortgage until I pay it off. If all goes as planned I will be mortgage free by the time I’m 42 years old and will have saved over $60,000 in interest and that, of course, makes me BLISSFULLY HAPPY!

It is SO good to finally be able to make my own choices and goals again!

Of course, all of that is great, but its the dancing in my kitchen and the bonfires, and the games with friends and my family getting to come over any time that they want that really is what life is made of. Unfortunately I did not have someone in my life who enjoyed any of those things but that’s OK. Turns out BLISSFULLY HAPPY is not always what we expect… but it sure is awesome!

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!


  1. jan
    March 16, 2018 at 6:40 am

    You go girl! Even though the past has created some challenges you will experience a much greater joy and appreciation for where you are now!

    p.s. I still think you should get your dog!

    • March 16, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Hi Jan, you’re right I am starting to really think seriously about getting one (or two!) adopted doggos this spring or summer!

  2. Sandra
    March 16, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Tarah –

    Spring is coming and everything is turning out better. As for your ex, my ex-husband pulled the same financial crap/con on me (led me to believe we were barely scraping by). Before he walked out, he cleaned out the checking and savings. I had $10 in my purse to support myself and our son. He bought himself an Austin Martin (yeah, it’s that expensive. The car cost more than my annual salary.) Five years after our divorce, he tries to take my tax refund. Had to hire a lawyer. That’s when the lawyer finds out that he and his current wife owed BIG money to the IRS. (He owed more money to the IRS that I had grossed in the previous 5 years after our divorce). The attempted grab of my tax refund didn’t work and my lawyer put the “legal fear of God” into him as to what would happen if he ever contacted me again. As my friend’s mom used to say, “Time heals all wounds and wounds all heals”.

    So my dear, it’s a new year and spring is coming. Deep breath, shoulders back, stand tall and stride forward with purpose.

    • March 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Oh Sandra, maybe I’m naive but WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!? I’m still finding out more and more the depths of his lies and deception. I told a friend of mine, “I wonder if I’ll ever know all of it?” And she said, “You probably don’t want to.” And she’s right, it just makes me sick and SO angry. How can people do things like this to those they claim to love? I’m so sorry you had to go through that but I’m also very glad we both made it out!

  3. Sandra
    March 16, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Tarah –

    Thank you for your thoughts. Your friend is right about it is really better not knowing about the depths of the lies and deceptions (to me it would be like hitting the same bruise repeatedly).

    I am going to guess that you live in a small community. If that is the case, then word has already spread about the lack of character of your ex-husband.

    As long as you can pay your bills each month and sleep at night and surround yourself with friends and family the rest of the time, then life is good.

    • March 16, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Sandra, you are very right. I have my family close and a small town of a lot of friends who have been just incredible for my healing and health! Thank you for chatting with me and sharing your story *hugs*

  4. Sandra
    March 16, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (Who’s making the corn beef and cabbage????)

    • March 16, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      You too Sandra!!! Having a green beer tonight lol

  5. March 17, 2018 at 2:18 am

    I cannot wish you enough luck, Tarah. You deserve all you get, but happiness most of all.

    • March 17, 2018 at 7:53 am

      Thank you Susan, have a wonderful St Paddy’s day!

  6. March 17, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Yes, YOU GO GIRL. SO sad people choose to lie and deceive, but then there’s karma 🙂 Hopefully the judge will throw some green your way! Great plans, and is the off peak panel solar or infared?

    • March 19, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Thanks Nancy! Yuppers, karma will have its day with him I’m just really glad he’s out of my life now and I never need to think about him again! Have a great week!

  7. ann daley
    March 18, 2018 at 9:15 am


    ANN (UK)

    • March 19, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Thank you Ann! Have a wonderful week!

  8. March 18, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I am happy for you…and all your goals you want to achieve In 2018. I’m sorry you had to go through so much grief and sadness to get where you are today. The snow mobile and toilet paper part of your story about sent me over the edge. I say “good riddance” to him. Maybe he can sleep in his snow mobile or ice fishing house. You are an amazing young woman and I admire you for your strength! Much love to you from Colorado.

    • March 19, 2018 at 8:45 am

      Oh Jill, thank you so much! It is SO true when they say that sometimes the best things that happen to us is when our plans DON’T work out. For sure that is true of me and that relationship and the plans I had made with him. I am still just in shock at the depth of his lies etc but it all just makes me relieved to have him gone!

    • March 19, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Oh thank you so much Jill! Every day I find out more of the depths of his lies and deception and it all just makes me SO glad to have gotten out of that. It was not easy in the beginning figuring out how to do it alone etc, but I found out pretty quick that I had actually already been doing it alone when he was here. Thanks again, have a wonderful week!

  9. Twila
    March 18, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    You are amazing! You are strong and resilient and have what it takes to achieve your goals. Your readers will be cheering you on!

  10. March 20, 2018 at 1:40 am

    What an up lifting story! Men can be jerks can’t they? My sister divorced her jerk of a husband as he is just like your ex…..she was paying fir everything, working full time and trying to be a good mum to her 3 little children. It breaks my heart to think back o that time. She now free of him and he is living with his parents and never really sees his kids. She, meanwhile is living her best life and enjoying every minute if it. You go! Your house is so lovely because it’s a home. Good luck. Xx

    • March 20, 2018 at 9:15 am

      Oh Thank you Sophie, I am SO proud of your sister! Thank you for sharing her story with me I can’t imagine having gone through this with little ones too, there were days I didn’t get myself dressed! lol, things do get better though!

  11. March 21, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Tarah I am so happy for you. You are getting your life back one goal at a time and feeling all that dead weight drop off! Hugs and kisses to you my friend!!! I cannot believe this man took your paper plates. Shame on him!!

    • March 21, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Thank you Mary! Gosh I look back on some his actions and just shake my head, its all starting to seem so ridiculous and silly now so that’s how I know I’m healing. If I can look back and laugh at all! Thanks always for your support and comments have a great week!

  12. Hope
    March 26, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Hi Tarah…
    I would like to say how proud I am of you and how resilient you are proving to be. You have been through A LOT and are able to ‘cut your losses’ and move forward in a positive way instead of hanging on to the past and wondering “why”.
    I LOVE how close you are with your family…they will get you through the toughest of times and you will come out stronger than ever.

    In the end, it is truly Joe’s loss!! What a jack-ass! I hope karma has something very special planned for him.

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Oh Hope you just made me smile so hard! Thank you so much for all that you said, its been a LONG winter but I’m getting there, finding my happy again, I can’t even imagine the life I was living before this as the life I have now feels like a treat! Have a wonderful week!

  13. April 2, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Hi Tarah: Also start charging for the otherwise free work you do for other people who are not as computer literate as you are.

    • April 2, 2018 at 10:16 am

      lol oh Tom! Hope you guys had a lovely Easter weekend!

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