My DIY Fixer-Upper She Shed

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Sherry’s She Shed

Have you ever longed for a place to call your own? Maybe it’s a place to escape. A girly place you can play soft music, sip wine, sip tea, drink coffee, relax, unwind,  read novels, or all of the above. Go braless, shoeless, and not feel one bit of guilt. Then you need your self   a She Shed! Its all the rage! Here’s how I got mine: Sherry’s She Shed!  In  my case it was all of those things I wanted to do in my She Shed, but more importantly I wanted    a place to write my stories and my many future  books I dream of writing.   If you are like me, darn it, you often put your dreams at the bottom of the list. Someday, you say. Someday. But what if someday never comes?

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I love it. A wonderful Christmas present from my daughter-in-law, Tina, for my She Shed!

Or, in other words, you may be like me and  procrastinate, letting life get in the way.  Maybe you don’t mean to but next thing you know, you’ve moved  far from  the dream. Moved on.Lost sight of it….all a big fog.

The first leg of my story began to unfold a number of years back––I think five. ! I had finally  decided I had arrived as  a writer  and I needed a real honest to goodness place to write.  Writing in my office was difficult. Extremely hard to focus.   All I could think of was the bills stacked up on the table in front of me. Or the bookshelf in front needing  organized. I couldn’t focus.  Or worse, the next thing you know, I’d be rummaging through things distracting   me from writing.

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Things just kept getting in my way.

Finally, I decided way back then I wanted a writer’s cabin. And I set the ball in motion. I made a deal with one of our horse boarders at the stable to buy her 8′ X16’ three sided, cedar sided  run in shed for horses that she no longer had a use for.  I teetered with whether I should spend the money on this, on ME, but when Linda unexpectedly offered to sell it to me the second time around for the reduced price of $500  I knew the purchase was meant to be and two days later, here came my shed on a big trailer—my future writing den. Have you ever had those surreal moments when you know its just meant to be? 

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This was the original shed after the floor and door were installed.

All was going well, at first. Quickly I had my son install a floor and a sliding glass door before the weather turned cold. Inside, I strategically placed my table-desk facing a lovely southern meadow view. I remember writing my first story from that space, a chilly morning—much more chillier than I expected. I actually could see my breath even though it was sunny and rather warm outside. So next time I waited until it was a bit warmer, a sunnier afternoon. Warmer, yes, but still chilly. So I decided winter was here, so I’d wait until spring for warm weather. But I soon found out it was a hot box on a sunny day. More like an easy bake oven.

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We had several piles. One for painting, one for using, and one for junking. And all the garden stuff went to the barn.

In other words, I needed heat and air conditioning and I still had no electric. Realizing that was going to cost a lot of money to transform it into a livable space, maybe my office space in my house was going to have to suffice for now. My dream was DASHED. And with that, the wannabe writing den, for all intent and purposes located adjacent to the garden, became none other then a garden shed. And once that first garden item was placed inside it was over. It was however handy as such but not what I wanted.

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And I guess,  in not so many words,  I gave in. At least it served a useful purpose. I decided.  Just not the purpose I had in mind. But it was disappointing to say the very least. My dream was dashed, and every time I went near, or looked at it, or went inside I was reminded of that dashed dream. Oh, well, maybe next year I’d think each year until  one year turned into many.





Then, one day, out of the blue, my daughter Christi knowing how disappointed I was in myself for “not following through with my writing den all those years ago” sends me a few cute little Pinterest pictures one evening that sparked a fire. “See! you were on the right track!” And there in my message was a picture of what is now referred to as the woman’s man cave: The She Shed!

With that nudge, I felt a twinge, like a woman going into labor. “Wow! I like this pic!” I wrote back; selecting one of the pics she had sent that had a farmhouse table with iron legs just like the one I had underneath all my now very unorganized gardening junk. I was on the right track, after all, I thought.  And that certianly  ignited a fire from an ember in a desolate fire pit of ashes and despair.  Now I was ON FIRE  to get back on track! And with that, a realization,  my incubation period was over.  Five  is a lucky number, right? No, not really, but yes, for me.  It was now my time.

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The coffee bar area. I just love it. And the things to do is a DIY chalkboard paint project. Avah did it! Even the things to do.

“I want to help you do this, Mom. If you let me do it, it will be my Christmas present to you,” my daughter Christi messaged me. I pondered that only for a moment not trying to come up with a prepared plan of “how” or “we have to wait for spring, it’s almost winter,” or “ do you know how much garden crap we’ve stuffed in there in five years time?” but instead I said,   “Let’s do it!” allowing it to unfold naturally. Get out of the way, Sherry!

“ I want to do it next Saturday?” she adds. Yikes, I thought… one week? How’s that going to work? I thought.  But instead  I said “Let’s do it!”  —the first Saturday in DECEMBER, mind you.

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I love this sign. Totally created by Avah. Totally.

The seven  days leading up to the transformation was phenomenal!  Filled with our thoughts and visions and pictures rapidly going back and forth between our phones—practically exploding them. (Lol!) I have this. I need this. Do you have this? And so on. We budgeted only $250 dollars for the project for knick-knacks as I had most furniture pieces   around the house. I even had a five-gallon bucket of white paint my son  had given me once upon a time he had left over from a job. Some say I’m a pack rat. But I keep “useful things” right, for future projects like this. And this time by golly it paid off.

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We chuckle over “painting things.” This was her idea to paint the tray and the walls. And, all in all, I now love it. Try new things. Its  rejuvenating.

We tackled the project a   December morning at ten o’clock. Christi mapped out the  plan to  have the reveal by 4 PM.  The weather turned out beautiful, and warm enough mid afternoon to only need a light sweater. God must have known how important that day was going to be for me and fixed the weather nicely. I mean after all, the incubation period was up. He had to deliver, right!

Embarrassingly, I helped carry out gobs of garden stuff  into the yard. And true to my word, there was a lot of it. But many hands make quick work, I always say, and it really  does.

At 4 o’clock, just as she had scheduled that morning, came the reveal. We laughed as she said, “Are you ready to see your fixer-upper. I was so ready. And when I stepped inside, my, oh my, the transformation was stunning. No way was this a three-sided run in horse shed anymore or a garden shed for that matter. The conversion was spectacular. . My jaw dropped. I was amazed.

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Can you believe daughter found these chairs, with covers, on Marketplace.They are perfect. $50.

From the coffee bar area, to the writing area, to the lounging area, to the custom signs, the overstuffed chairs and ottoman  it totally took my breath away. I had just walked into my dream. It was surreal—and better than I had ever imagined it before back in the day seven years ago. Now I had, what else, we dubbed it Sherry’s She Shed! Those men and their man caves have nothing over on us girls with a She Shed. It’s the rage!

The two of us plopped down in the comfy over stuffed chairs and reminisced of our beginning to this ending. I’ve been instructed, “not to add anything else.” “Keep it clean and simple. This is your space to read and to write and to meditate in. That’s all!” Christi advised me with a tip of her head. We laughed in agreement.

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My 2018 Workspace. The coffee bar is on the right, the comfy chairs on the left. My decorating budget was $250. Marketplace, spray paint and furniture on hand made that possible.

And, in case you are wondering how this time I am going to contend with the HVAC/electric  problem this time around… well its very simple. (I’ve had seven years to think about it, right?) I’m going off grid with it. And that too  always has been a desire of mine too, but that’s another story in the making. If you have a desire for a she shed in your future, all I can say, is time is wasting. Get to it! You deserve it.

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I dreamed of having a place to sip coffee, daydream and write. I never dreamed it would be this good.
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So Here’s the Thing: Truth was, I had lost my way. Veered off course.  Gave up too quick. Other things—like grieving my Dad’s passing changed my focus. Giving up easily at the first hurdle, instead of deciding on ways to make it work—like how I now am making this HVAC problem work for me now.  And more importantly, instead of feeling like a failure, beating myself up in despair, I’ve changed the way I look at it now. I much more prefer to say it was my “incubation period.” It simply wasn’t the best time before now to be born. Before now would have been a premature birth. It’s God’s perfect timing anyway isn’t it? Now I can proudly say, with a little help from my motivating daughter. I’m pretty proud of my little fixer-upper and we all know it’s pretty marvelous, but we’d venture to say JoJo would be proud of it too. After all, her decorating ideas were the inspiration for Sherry’s She Shed!

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