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

May 12 2019
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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!

Already on the blog you’ve seen some of my winter work that resulted in my newly completed workshop, my brand new Laundry room and my new Entryway reveal.

And now, over the next several weeks, are all the steps it took me to fully remodel and complete my kitchen as well! (SO excited about that you guys, it was a TON of work, but I think you’ll love the results as much as I do!)

Hello Summer, we have missed you!

With “spring” finally here, I’ve already done a couple of things to get ready for summer. I moved my Grandma’s 8,000 year old hydrangea bush and I can tell you that after that ordeal I care a lot less about its survival now. Sorry, no pictures of me covered in dirt while angrily pouting over my broken entrenching shovel that snapped clean in half.

Honestly, by the end I was yelling, “Its either you or me, Bush!”

I do hope I didn’t kill it but, really, it needed to move, it wasn’t doing well where it was and it was going to be in my way later.

Besides that I did something I SHOULD have done last fall but couldn’t bring myself to. I sold my Toyota Corolla and really got choked up about it! I had her over a decade, she was my first car and I put over a hundred thousand miles on her.

At one point she was all I had and everything I owned was inside of her. She never let me down dozens of times across the country and she got me home for good. In her, I lived thousands of good memories and so many bad, her steering wheel saw hours of my tears and break downs. That was tough, it was the right thing to do, but damn ๐Ÿ™

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!

That Corolla was such a symbol for me. Everyone in my neighborhood knew me for that car. She was my first step into independence and, honestly, selling her kind of felt like laying my 20s to rest. (I will never forget driving her through Kansas one summer when it was 110 degrees! AC on high and all the windows and the sun roof down blasting Shinedown lol!)

It is the end of that era for real for me and, though I don’t miss my 20s at all, watching her drive off was much harder than I thought it would be!

Now: On to my summer list!

First thing is first, I am going to garden this year! Last spring/summer/fall, after the divorce, I tackled my property and focused on “HAD TO FINISH” things which meant I sacrificed having a vegetable garden to free up time for other work. (Check out my 2018 Recap here!)

It will be wonderful to have some time this year for a vegetable garden after all that cold and stuck inside for so long – I just can’t wait to plant something! Seriously, I NEVER thought I would say this but I am so sick of my house! I need to get outside before I lose my mind!

I love the little garden I built a few years ago but the first job on my list is to make it better. I’m going to build raised beds in it and add DIY “irrigation” to make watering a lot less messy and way easier too.

From there I will be tackling my garage.

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 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!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 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!

(Photos taken on the first decent day we had this spring. It felt INCREDIBLE to be outside in shirt sleeves and moving around even if I was doing manual labor! I took these pics at the tail end of all I did that day. Everything in the middle of the garage had been lining the walls of it.)

My garage has looked like this for over five years and I HAVE HAD IT. This summer I plan on putting in outlets, lights, wood storage, a buffet for parties, a bar, seating, a regular access door and (drum roll please) electric garage door openers! (Never thought I’d become such an adult that electric garage door openers would be the most exciting thing to me on that list!)

I plan on TRULY finishing the garage so that includes insulation and wall board etc. so for materials I’m looking at nearly $1,000 and that’s something I’ll need to bite off a little at a time. Even doing things entirely myself still costs money lol

Now with the tragedy of my poor old barn I have added another thing to my garage list and this one is an ASAP. I need to get my stock tank out of there so I plan on moving it into the back of my garage because I don’t have electricity anywhere else for the stock tank heater.

I’m also going to bite the bullet and do one other thing to make it even more convenient to have my tank in the garage. I’ll be adding an outdoor frostless spigot to the front of my house. I have water close to where I need it so that makes it an easy job except that its in my crawl space with only about two feet of wiggle room lol. (Good thing I lost some weight this winter!)

(You guys may remember how the winter before last I spent a pretty penny to put in a brand new outdoor yard hydrant in the barn… and now I’m abandoning it. Not to mention I paid for (and moved by hand) several yards of dirt to fill in around that hydrant and fill up an old well shaft. It just goes without saying that that ALL JUST SUCKS.

But there is no choice and there was just absolutely no predicting this last record breaking winter. I honesty believed the barn was gonna hang in there a few more years for me… But its not like I’m ACTUALLY abandoning anything, I will still use the hydrant to water my garden etc! The barn is still there lol)

Besides moving my tank there is only one job though that I actually NEED to get done this summer before next winter that is more urgent than anything else on my list. It is also the job that I am looking forward to THE LEAST.

The stone my ex installed around my home is falling off. He did not remove the 100 year old stucco or fix the rotting wood behind it, just slapped the stone up and called it a day.

He didn’t even bother to grout half the stone he put up and he only did the front and the back, not the length of stucco across the south side of the house. (Actually, in this case, his laziness is working for me as that is stone at least I won’t have to remove.)

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 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!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!

I wanted to get this job done last year but I simply ran out of time and our early winter cut my outdoor work down by nearly two months.

And I’ll be the first to admit that I have been procrastinating on this horrible job because that is what its going to be.


Remember last year when I started calling myself a pack mule? Well, this job is going to take that to a whole other level. Every last piece of stone, mortar, grout and stucco will have to be hauled away.

I’ve hated this stone since he put it up. Its FAKE.

Putting fake rock on a 100 year old farmhouse was not something I was EVER OK with. Would I have lived with it if he had bothered to actually install it properly? Yes, probably… Though I also probably would have painted it.

But it was not installed properly. Every moment I wait I am risking water damage to my structure. (I did look into putting vinyl siding right over the old stucco but that would include basically just as much work to do that correctly.)

It ALL needs to go.

So, one of these days I am going to have to figure out how to write a blog post without using every swear word that exists in the English language. And, also, without losing my damn mind to RAGE.

Oh and, also, try not to hurt my back while I’m at it!

I am going to take every last piece of stone from my property and put it in a stack by the road with a big FREE sign beside it.

I just cannot wait for it to be nothing but a memory.

This job has been such a huge worry on me for the last three years too, I’ll be SO relieved when I get it done. But what I’m looking forward to more than anything else is not writing about my ex again!

This isn’t just me removing and fixing shitty work done to my house but a true RECLAIMING of my home. Which, I guess in that regard, I could even try to think of all this as an opportunity.

I would not have fixed anything that had been done right so his imprint would have remained. Now every aspect of my property will truly be all of MY work and at least that is a damned fine thing! (Even though I am outrageously, and rightfully, crabby about all of it!)

Fortunately I knew I would use it so I ordered a bunch of extra siding when I remodeled the house so this will cost me very little! In the front (where people will actually see it) I’m working on some ideas for something different there but we shall see how my budget is fairing at that point!

Thank the skies that spring is finally here!!

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!


  1. Darlene
    May 12, 2019 at 9:19 am

    You go girl, you deserve every bit of compliments you get. It is so hard to get on with life after a divorce. Have a son who has done it.. just bought a house after sixteen years of paying support for a wife and three boys. My mother lost two husbands and was left with three girls to raise and did it wonderfully. Keep up the terrific work. Kudos to you๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    • May 13, 2019 at 9:28 am

      Thank you Darlene! Its been tough and so frustrating but I am FINALLY starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel lol, a couple more big jobs!

  2. May 12, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Hello, Tarah! Glad that spring has arrived at last for you. Your lists are too big, girl! I only every tackle one job at a time (the same as you) but generally I only have one thing on my list until I finish it! Wish you luck with removing and carting away the stones…. I wonder, do you have a town notice board? or access to Gumtree/Craig’slist? If so, perhaps someone wants what you have and would be willing to come right up to the house to haul the stones awayj(oreven actually remove them from the walls!! Whatever happens, good luck with it. Take care of the back. xx

    • May 13, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Thanks Susan! I’m trying to do one thing at a time too lol that never seems to work out though! I’ve been thinking about that too actually, once I get the stone off the house I think I’ll post it to my Facebook page for free and, hopefully, one of my friends or family might want it and will come and get it!

  3. May 12, 2019 at 11:49 am

    You’ve got your work cut out for you, Tarah. I can’t wait to see what you do!

    • May 13, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Thank you Ann, I’m so excited to see these projects done!

  4. Pamela
    May 13, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Put stone on Offer Up website, they come and haul off they can have it. Save your back. I’m a do it yourselfer too and you are doing good work. House is looking great.

    • May 13, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks Pamela! And that’s a great idea, I was thinking about posting it on Facebook, I’m sure I’ve got some family or friends who might want it!

    May 14, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I would love to have your fake stone as it matches all of ours! LOL However, it would be a LONG trip from Az. to pick it up! ๐Ÿ˜ Best of luck this summer.

    • May 14, 2019 at 10:07 am

      lol that would have been awesome Linda! I hate that this has given me such an awful opinion of stone, its totally unfair to stone!

  6. May 14, 2019 at 11:08 am

    That sucks, sloppy work. Oh well… someday you’ll be done ๐Ÿ˜

    • May 14, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel lol! This time next year I hope to be looking back like: OMG I got all that crap done!

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