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

Oct 08 2018
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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

Honestly, when I made those plans they were on the hope that they were even possible. Of course I felt pretty damned certain they were possible but, until things start moving, you never really know how things are gonna work out!

A lot has changed since I laid those plans too. Mostly the changes occurred in me as a person. It is amazing how we get so caged mentally and emotionally by other people.

Things that took years to build are not just going to disappear over night even if the source is gone.

Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My updated 1, 2 and 10 year plans! Paying off my home mortgage within ten years, putting in a VRBO rental suite in the basement

I feel as though in the last 8 months I have slowly bloomed, one petal at a time, after having closed up as tight as I could. And, with every petal, it seems my horizons have broadened as well.

I had no idea how sad or lonely I was until I gave myself this opportunity to live.

This summer was not easy but it was also some of the most wonderful times I have ever had. I have learned that no matter the labor or the work or the tears “Happy” is a damned good reason to go through absolutely ANYTHING.

The first plan started with my getting my “new” car paid off by the end of 2018. I got her paid off by September! *dances* With the divorce I no longer had to pay for someone else’s bills – he had simply not allowed me to save anything.

Getting control of my finances and being able to work toward financial goals has been absolutely INCREDIBLE!

Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My updated 1, 2 and 10 year plans! Paying off my home mortgage within ten years, putting in a VRBO rental suite in the basement

I wanted to give my horses part of my wood shed and have the rest of the shed for their new hay storage. It was a TON of work but I got it all done! I emptied all of the wood out of there and cleaned up decades worth of trash.

When I wrote my first Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY post I had planned on moving my wood storage to my garage which meant covering the inside of it with steel to protect the walls.

Not anymore.

With my new financial freedom I bought myself TOTAL FREEDOM FROM THE HEAT OF MY HOME. I am no longer going to be hauling wood, no longer going to be heating with wood, no longer ever again going to come home to a cold house and I am no longer ever again going to have to be there every six hours to fill the wood stove.

I bought myself a pellet stove and installed real electric backup heat and, besides kicking my ex out, it was absolutely the best decision I ever made.

My other plan had been to empty my basement by moving my wood workshop to my largest extra bedroom. With the help of my best friend I got that done right away! I still have lots to do in my workshop but my basement is now totally empty and ready.

Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My updated 1, 2 and 10 year plans! Paying off my home mortgage within ten years, putting in a VRBO rental suite in the basement

I had made the plan to have a rental suite down there within a couple of years. That is still my goal and I am still working toward it but my plans have changed slightly. I decided that I don’t want to have a real “rental” in my basement instead, I’m going to be going with VRBO.

I’ll have guests maybe for weekends, or for only a day or two, or a week at a time. It frees me up from big rental contracts that kind of terrify me.

(I had nightmares of signing a 1 year rental contract and then, within a month, realizing my renter was not a good fit!)

With the pellet stove installed and things moved, changed and cleaned out, I now have several really fun changes to make to my house! I’ll be taking out one of the closets on my main floor and putting in a day bed. I’ll be doing some work in my kitchen as well and all of it I am really excited about.

The basement plan will be to install sheet rock on the walls and put in a drop ceiling.

But before I can start in on saving for the basement I want to pay off my pellet stove first. I’m setting myself the goal of having it paid off within a year and a half but, of course, I’m hoping to get that done much sooner too!

I’m still a few years away from financially being able to start paying off my home but my plan is still to be debt free within 10-15 years!

Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My updated 1, 2 and 10 year plans! Paying off my home mortgage within ten years, putting in a VRBO rental suite in the basementOperation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My updated 1, 2 and 10 year plans! Paying off my home mortgage within ten years, putting in a VRBO rental suite in the basement

To quote my first post: “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!

When I wrote that I was feeling, “This is awesome and it WILL be awesome too… hopefully… OMG!!!!” Because, honestly, I was terrified. I was scared about the money situation and I was just flat out freaking out about everything.

I took that jump off a cliff knowing I had no other choice but the fall still took my breath away. I really had absolutely no idea where (or if, or how) I was gonna land!

But maybe there is no landing, maybe life is just one big fall.

There are still days when I look around and can’t thank the universe enough for where I am. Every terrible night, every awful word that man ever said to me or about me, if that’s what it took to get here than I’ll take it.

Life can be so hard sometimes but it is worth it.

(BTW aren’t my tiger lilies from my Grandma’s garden gorgeous? I transplanted them a couple of years ago to my flower bed and they did absolutely incredible this summer!)

Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY: My updated 1, 2 and 10 year plans! Paying off my home mortgage within ten years, putting in a VRBO rental suite in the basement


  1. October 8, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Hello hello! What a lovely post! I can feel your joy and I wish you more of it. Pleased to see you are going to do some kind of holiday rental in the basement. We are still doing that and we love it. Get to meet really interesting people that way. And if you are not happy having certain kinds of people stay, then say so at the outside. If I lived in the US I would be sure to be your first guest!! Good luck with future plans – and I can’t wait till you do the daybed thing! xx

    • October 8, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Its always so good to hear from you Susan! Yes I am super duper excited about all of my upcoming projects. The basement will be my last big job on my current list and I am crossing my fingers to actually be able to hire some of it out lol this DIY chicka is kinda tired and dang it I hate sheet rocking!

  2. October 9, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Ah go on – have the winter off! :o)

    • October 9, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Oh if only! I’d go crazy without something to work on though lmao

  3. October 10, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Hi Tara,
    Thanks for sharing this post. I love your line about life being one big fall. We never really know what lies ahead do we? My desire is to just face life with grace and hope. Of course sometimes I am better at that than others. Good luck with all your projects.


    • October 10, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Thank you Cindy! Hope you have a wonderful fall!

  4. October 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    I know you can do anything you set your mind to Tarah! I think the hardest step was kicking the ex out. And after that realizing that you are actually free to do anything you want without having anyone looking over your shoulder. Good luck and look forward to a bright future.

  5. October 11, 2018 at 5:37 am

    I can feel your happiness coming through your post. What a joy to read! Loved your flower pictures. You are going to be glad you bought a pellet stove. We had one for years in our old house, and I absolutely loved it! Such a great, efficient way to heat.

    • October 11, 2018 at 9:33 am

      Thank you so much Laurie! Unfortunately our weather has already turned snowy here in northern MN so I got to find out right away if I liked my pellet stove. I absolutely love it! And it is SO easy to clean too!

  6. October 13, 2018 at 9:18 am

    It’s so nice to read about happiness…we all need more of it in our lives! I can’t wait to see what the future brings for you, Tarah. Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJs!

    • October 15, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Thank you Ann for coming by!

  7. Toni
    October 14, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Tarahlynn – I’m glad you decided on the short term rentals! It’s a great way to make money, and has the bonus of meeting wonderful folks from all over the world. We met some of our very best friends when they rented from us. I’m still amazed you are able to do all the things you do and hold a full time job! Very cool lady!
    Best wishes, Toni

    • October 15, 2018 at 8:06 am

      Thank you Toni, I’m still a ways out from tackling my basement but I am very excited at the prospects!

  8. Lucy, Kent ~ England
    October 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    I only recently found your site and although many years (I’m 61) and miles separate us I don’t think parts of our stories are so very different.
    I spent years in an abusive marriage, abusive on every single level and it took me a long time and the unconditional love of a very special man to realise that I am a person and that I am valued and loved. My marriage followed an extremely abusive childhood and so it took much longer for my beloved SO to convince me that what I knew as `truth’ was in fact a pack of lies.
    On his sudden death I was left floundering and with increasing disability and the death of my twin I have been co-caring for my widowed Brother in Law who I am now nursing through terminal Cancer.
    Soon I am moving into a bungalow and even though there are restrictions on it as it is Social Housing for the first time in my entire life it will be somewhere where I make the decisions as to decor, furniture. I can design the garden my way!
    It won’t be easy, I’m wheelchair bound and I will get lonely at times, but I will have a home I can invite others into. I will have a place that is mine and safe.
    I wish you well on your adventure, I believe life is a series of falling off cliffs. From what I’ve read you’ll succeed because you have the knowledge that you can and you are so worth it.
    Good Luck

    • October 15, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Lucy, it is so wonderful to hear from you, thank you for sharing your story with me. Following a difficult childhood it is virtually impossible to not bring that with us into adulthood. Once I saw my SO’s true colors the truth was I not only married my emotionally abusive father but actually someone far worse. Fortunately, because my mom and I both were able to get out from under my father, I saw the signs and I got out of my own relationship as soon as I could.
      Of course that is not without saying that damage had been done. I still struggle with self esteem and the echoes of how he treated me but I just try to breathe and work through it. It is amazing what one person can do to us.
      I am so excited for you moving into your own bungalow! This house has helped me so much over these past months in finding myself, reclaiming my spaces and making my surroundings a place that I can be proud of and love. I don’t think there’s enough said about how important our homes are to our well being!
      Thank you again for sharing your story *hugs!*

  9. Koleta Scott
    October 14, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Both of your Grandmothers in Heaven are beaming down on what you are getting done. The way you love your flowers and your pictures of them are amazing. I have some plants from my Grandmothers and they are by far my favorite in my gardens. Your home is so beautiful too!

    • October 15, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Thank you so much Koleta, those flowers always make me feel so close to my Grandma! Like she’s right here every time they bloom and reminding me she’s looking out for me!

  10. Heather
    October 15, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Just love this post of yours! I admire your passion and your love of all things home! You will LOVE your pellet stove. We bought one a few years ago and don’t know what we’d do without it… Fill up the stove and good for 24 hours. A nice heat and no worries of hauling in wood and inconsistent heat. Sending hugs and best of wishes!

    • October 15, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you Heather! I’ve been using the pellet stove now for nearly a month and so for it is just awesome! So much less work omg! And cleaning it too is such a breeze, no more hauling buckets of ashes etc. it burns so completely and so cleanly its almost hard to believe.

  11. October 15, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Tarah, I’ve been where you are and the changes are such a relief and yet so frightening at the same time! I can say that 20 years later looking back, it is the best decision I could have ever made! God will take care of you and your needs as He did for me! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger’s Pit Stop!

  12. October 17, 2018 at 7:48 am

    So glad you have turned it around. Your Grandma’s tiger lilies are beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  13. Suzanne M.
    November 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Can u write more about the pellet stove? Never heard of that. We had only wood heat for years (16) in our log cabin. We froze to death in winter, with 2 stoves burning. I finally had central electric heat put in & still use wood stove in basement when it is really cold, like Jan. & Feb. We live in Allons, TN. Some winters are brutal. Thanks, SM

    • November 19, 2018 at 11:43 am

      Hi Suzanne, I have a review post coming up at the end of December about my Harman Pellet stove. So far I absolutely love it, I’m in northern MN and used to heat with wood and would NEVER go back to wood. The pellets come in 40 pound bags and I simply fill up the back of the stove with them whenever it runs low. It has its own thermostat so I simply set the temp to what I want it to be and the stove does the rest. It does make a pretty little fire and does require about ten minutes of maintenance a week which, as you know, in comparison to wood that’s just awesome lol it only produces about 3 cups of ash a week!

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