These little guys were just everywhere today while I worked on siding, although these pics depict just one. I was checking how much propane I still have left and he was checking to see if I was going to try to eat him. Their little fingers and claws are so delicate. I like having them around.
Some of the comments on my post about how stupid I was, got me thinking some more about why I post some things and I guess, why some people don't. I came to the conclusion that I feel somewhat obligated to tell the whole story. Let me explain....
I get tons of women all the time telling me that they wish they could do some of the stuff I do and how they wish they had my skills and all that, so I try to use this blog to encourage and show women (and some men I guess) that they CAN do what I do, if you put your mind to it. Of course, I'm going to show when I make mistakes or whatever because that is part of it and you shouldn't be ashamed of making a mistake. Be ashamed of not ever trying.
But when it comes to safety and being honest about just what you are getting into, I feel very obligated. See, if I'm going to get up here and call on women to pick up the tools and do stuff, I've got to tell the whole truth about what else might be involved. And in that line of thought, I would encourage most all women to do more around the house, learn to use tools and all that but I don't know that I would actually encourage many to do what I do for a living. Not that I think I'm some kind of Superwoman! It's just that my line of work can be very dangerous and I just happen to start out young enough that my body grew and adapted to that kind of work. Not always a good thing either, by the way.
I'm reminded of an incident a few years ago where a YWCA in a nearby big city started a program to train women in the trades. You know, teach them how to be plumbers and carpenters etc. Now, I'm all for that. It would help a lot of disadvantaged women get decent paying jobs without a college degree and this was their objective. So, they contacted me to teach a class for them. That was fine with me and they asked me, as someone who has worked in the trades for a long time, if there was anything else I thought they should be teaching these women. Well, after talking to the directors for a while, I realized that they were not being entirely honest with these women. They were promising them instant jobs as soon as they completed the course and pay at a commercial journeyman's rate; not as a residential apprentice, which they would be, IF they could get hired. Women are not unheard of in the trades but it is a hard break to get, to get one of the contractors to take you seriously.
So, I voiced my concerns to the directors and told them exactly why. They should also have courses on safety and such and proper behavior on a job site, i.e how to dress and conduct yourself on a site with 100 men.
Well, I guess they didn't really want to hear the reality of the work (and didn't want the women students to hear either) because I never heard from them anymore. I often wonder just how many of those women actually got jobs after the course or did many of them just become discouraged and go back to working at McDonald's.
At any rate, here on this site, I'm going to tell you that if you chose to do some of this work that I show, you must know that it can be dangerous and, at times, incredibly physically demanding. More than one man has run his fingers lightly over my arms (and other places, heh!) and asked about the scars that adorn them. But the work is also very rewarding and empowering. Especially welding! Talk about giving you a great sense of power! I am proof, if nothing else, that you can do just about anything you put your mind to, even by yourself. There may be a little more head scratching involved but you can find a way.