Friday, July 30, 2010

I Am Like A Bird

While I was mowing today I found yet another feather. It was laying at the base of the Switchman's sculpture. I have noticed that birds love to perch on that sculpture and survey the area, so I was not surprised to find physical evidence of their presence. It appears to be either a hawk or owl feather, although I think maybe the latter. When I worked at the railroad job, there was a resident hawk that we often saw and he/ she regularly hunted a grassy hillside very near to the job. He would perch on some low hanging power lines to scan for mice and such and it was easy to get a close look at him. The Switchman and I loved to watch the hawk and would always point him out to each other if we had the opportunity. We were enchanted at how the hawk just seemed to dismiss the lumbering engines despite their noise and heat. I have not seen the Switchman himself in some time now.

Work work (as opposed to home work) continues 6 days a week now, so progress on the house is on hold for a little while. My pantry cabinet is ready however and I must find a way to go pick it up. I may have to enlist Allen, as he is here in town during the business day. I am very excited to have that because the pantry can be completely finished shortly. Well, I'm off to sleep!

*Nelly Furtado

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Look at this!! I found this today growing just behind the house; you can see it from the kitchen windows. I have no idea what it is. I just said tigerlily because that is what it reminds me of, but I wonder if this is some wild, native species? I never planted anything in this area because I'm still doing dirtwork here. In fact, I could see the last cut I made with the Bobcat and I just missed this by about 18 inches. And, as far as I know, this area was never part of an old homestead.

It is so pretty and exotic looking. I'm sure somebody out there can give me an ID on it. I'm going to keep my eye out for any more of these plants. The stem is very distinct as the main part grows straight up from that circle of leaves near the bottom. That's kinda odd.
I have just been astounded at the variety of flowers that have popped up here since I have cleared some areas. I wonder how long they have laid dormant, just waiting for enough rays of sunlight to coax them forth. Just like most all things in our lives have their own time and circumstances before they are ready to come into being.

*Natalie Merchant

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

She Has No Time

Hey everybody! I have really been trying to get some time to post again but things just keep going on. Which is good but I do actually have some decent posts in mind I think. Not a lot has been going on at the house. It is so freaking hot here I have somewhat taken a break from outside work. Gonna see if it will cool down just a bit in a week or so before I get back up on that roof. I have been piddling around in the garden and a few things like that. Mostly I have just been working and we were told today that we will be on 6 days a week until the end of the job most likely. However, the end of the job is only in about 5 weeks so that's not really that long.

That's okay with me because we don't know what is going to happen after this job and I want to make all the money I can.
The man I went to dinner with this past weekend visited one afternoon this week and I have a dinner with some friends tonight, so it's almost like I have a social life! Well, the man is interested in installing solar power also and we have been experimenting with a panel and equipment, seeing what we can do with it. Been listening to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan lately. If you are not familiar, or even if you are, do yourself a favor and go to this link and have a listen. Just beautiful.

This is my view on part of my way home from work. I am scrapping for pics lately since I haven't been working on the house or anything. I thought the clouds were pretty cool. Okay! Got to go shower and scoot! Be back soon hopefully!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sweetheart(s) Like You

I think it's kinda funny that I end up using a good many of Bob Dylan's song titles when I don't really care for his music. Maybe I like his music but just not his singing of it, if you want to call it singing. At any rate, he does have a few songs I can tolerate and most all of them have interesting commentary hidden beneath his caterwauling.
Thank you all for the kind comments from the last post. I tried to answer everybody's comments on that one. I forgot to mention that while I was sick and down with my back, my computer also crashed and so I was without Internet access until about Tuesday. That was just about as well as I couldn't really sit up at the computer for any time to speak of. It's just been a barrel of laughs lately around here.
I also meant to post again right after that last post but I've had company both evenings and just haven't had time. Now, before anybody gets all worked up, it wasn't anything like what that might sound like! Dammit. Fred had some relatives visiting from California and they wanted to come see the house after I got home from work on Friday. They were wonderful, friendly folks and I enjoyed visiting with them. Then, I had to work yesterday, which is crappy working on a Saturday for straight time, but I needed to make up for Monday anyway. I did actually go out to dinner and a movie with a real, live, human male last night though. So see, I do get out and have some semblance of a social life when a decent offer arises. I am not dead set on working my life away.
The photos are just a few things I saw of interest this morning while out on a short walkabout before the heat became too oppressive. I liked the shadows cast by the ferns on that piece of flagstone.

My dragonfly population is enjoying a resurgence lately. This is very good because for a while the deer fly were becoming a nuisance again but they have fallen back down due to the constant monitoring of the dragons. Wonderful creatures they are. The dragons that is. I love these green ones and their glass-like wings.

The cayenne peppers I showed ya'll a while back are starting to turn. The green one just fell off; I didn't pick it. These are some of the largest I think I've ever grown. And finally, a picture of my hand and it's not caked with mud or grease or some other grime! I can clean up!

While I was out hanging a load of fresh laundry out to dry, I noticed this tiny feather on the ground at my feet. I was kinda fascinated with it because it's blueness varied according to what angle you were viewing it from. It was perfect in it's simplicity. I always think of feathers as little gifts from the birds. A little token from the feathered spirits to us earth-bound creatures to remind us to keep trying and looking up. It takes the sum of the bird's feathers to make it able to fly; it can't do it with just 3 or 4. In the same way, it takes the sum of all our small accomplishments to eventually get us to our goals. All the things we want to do in life are just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again, to just keep striving. Luckily, just as the bird won't fall to earth if he loses a few feathers, a few failures on our part won't ruin us for life either. We might fly kinda wonky for a little while but things will straighten up. Funny thing, I have found several pristine feathers lying on the ground lately.

I also mentioned in a recent post that a friend had brought me some fine whiskey lately. It was actually two bottles; my fav #12 George Dickel and the Knob Creek. I also got a sample of the Marker's Mark '46', which is excellent. This is in addition to the excellent home brew that our crane operator likes to bring me. This bottle of cognac was given to me yesterday by the superintendent for the electricians. I've never tried the stuff so don't know much about this. I'm beginning to wonder though what kind of vibes I must be sending out to be receiving all this liquor as gifts. I swear, I don't go around talking about it and these men don't read my blog. While I do have an occasional shot of a good whiskey, my days of having to hold on to the floor are over. I only got that drunk once and that was enough. And I was married at the time so that kinda explains that.
Now, a fine liquor, if they know you drink, is an old, traditional gift in construction, at least among the older craftsmen. It's how they show their appreciation and admiration, so I guess it proves that I am truly accepted among the men. That or they're trying to get in my pants,... hell, I don't know. Ah well, either way I get some good gifts! heh!

*Bob Dylan

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Here I Am

Hey Folks! I didn't mean to be gone so long. It's a long story but about the time I made that last post I came down with a very bad summer flu, I guess, and was really out of commission for a few days. Then, over the weekend while I was still very sick, my water system finally made it's last gasp and I was forced to drag myself out of bed to hand dig the well back out. Thankfully I had brought a gas powered water pump home from work, in anticipation of this happening, and was able to keep the water down low enough to work. Allen and I took turns descending into the well to shovel muck out. The water in that spring is so cold my feel actually went numb from the cold, but, on the bright side, I have plenty of water now. And if that wasn't enough, when I was carrying the pump down to the spring, I slipped and fell and me and the water pump went bouncing down the hill together. I didn't let go of it for some reason and also ended up cutting my knee open. That wasn't that bad, believe it or not, but between the fall and the digging I severely aggravated my old back injury also and had to spend most of Monday laid up on a heating pad. So, I've just been out of sorts and wore out lately. Plus, when it's just you and you're sick, things like the dishes and clothes don't get washed and I have spent a couple of days getting all of that back in line. But everything is okay now.
But ya'll know me; I ain't right. When things get discouraging sometimes I tend to wander off in the woods by myself for a few days to think about things. I was going really good and making some progress on the house and then it all just blows up. I haven't made any progress on anything the past couple of weeks but it will come around again.
I've been a little unsure what to write about anyway. Often times I feel like the 'Giant Rat' of the blogosphere fair. You know, just something silly and slightly amusing to pass the time. I have been trying to put together some ideas for some posts of more substance. Something that really explains what I am trying to accomplish here. Anyway, time for bed now and I've partaken of a bit of some fine whiskey a friend brought me, so my thought s are wandering everywhere right now. Just wanted to drop a line in case anybody was wondering where I dropped off to. I'll be back.

*Al Green

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Free To Be Me

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

~ David Whyte ~

A friend sent this to me today. It was kinda just what I needed to see. I liked it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Subtle Lament

Thought I'd show a few pics of what going on around here with the garden and such, since I haven't made anymore progress on the siding. Hopefully that will change this weekend at least. However, I'se not feeling so good tonight so this is going to be a quick post. My heart has been showing it's 'O' today and that combined with welding in this heat has got me tore down a little.
My cayenne peppers are really kicking some pepper butt though! I only have two plants but they are both loaded. I like to dry these and use them throughout the year in cooking.

My two blueberry bushes are showing promise by already putting out new shoots of growth. You can see this by the much lighter colored tips.

This is a native plant I have shown on here before but I think it's really cool this time of year. I did not edit the colors in this photo now. It really is almost white on the upper tips and then gets darker as it goes down. It's almost like it's frosted. This is what we refer to as Mountain Mint. It can be use medicinally and has a wonderful aroma. It grows very prolifically here and so I let a few sprout up in my driveway flower bed. The deer won't touch it.

It gets it's whitest coloring right before it flowers in mid-summer. The flowers are tiny but very pretty and the bees seem to like it. The plant can get around 5 feet tall.

Now, here is some garlic I harvested recently. It is some heirloom type that was given to me and that's all I know. You see I got 4 nice, regular looking bulbs there but then there were scads of these humongous, single clove bulbs. Are those just immature bulbs? Should I have left them in the ground? I can just replant them in the fall, can't I?
Alright, I'm going to crash in my new bed, which is great by the way..

*Duke Ellington/ a beautiful song; one of my favorites.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

High Hopes

This is what I spent so much money on this weekend! I know it's probably not anywhere near what you were imagining either, heh. You know, all these self-help gurus and such always say you have to imagine and prepare for the life you want; go on and proceed through life as if you already have what you want. So, this is a new queen-size, fancy-smancy Serta bed. Natural latex padding from real trees even. Big enough for me and a good size man. Kinda like the 'build the baseball park in the cornfield kinda thing'. You know, build it and they will....okay, there is no way I can complete that sentence without it sounding nasty. Anywhoo, you get the idea! Haha! It's a joke people!! Sorta.
Actually, my back has really been in a bad way lately and I was sorely overdue this bed. The back pain was actually waking me up before my alarm. That's not good. If my back is out of commission then I'm out all together so I just had to bite the bullet and get this while I am still working and can easily afford it. And do you know, that after spending all this money I didn't even get one of those cute little sheep with the number on it's side. I love those things!

I admit I did not hit one lick at putting the siding up this whole weekend. I did go buy what I believe will be enough for me to completely finish though. I worked my butt off in the garden and yard, cleaning up and mowing and weed-eating. Just generally taking care of lots of little maintenance issues. Maybe during the week I can muster the energy to do a little siding work.

*several people have done songs with this title.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Still Crazy After All These Years

Holyyy moleee, I spent some money today. Despite being female I just don't like spending large sums of money. Damn thing better do me some good. I'll show ya'll later.

Grendal insists on sitting in my lap now every time I get on the computer. That would be okay if I could teach her how to type, so that I could just sit here and dictate and she would do all the work. She doesn't seem too interested in that so far.

It's very boring on Saturday nights if you don't have anything to do. What are all of ya'll up to?? Anything exciting? I've thought about getting my nose pierced.

*Paul Simon

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Oooh, lots of wonderful things have been going on around here lately. Well, maybe not all of them wonderful but at least productive. I believe I have recovered from the burn-out I suffered last year and have really been enthused about finished many things. I didn't get much garden planted this year but aren't these maters pretty! They are doing really well. I may even try canning some in the following weeks.

Is this not a thing of beauty? One thing though, that is kinda odd, is that this is supposed to be a Rutgers and the Beefsteak tomatoes, which are kinda supposed to look like this, are generally small and smooth. Oh well, they taste fantastic. Makes you want to go into a grocery store and just start slinging all those tomato-like things they sell against the walls and run around screaming "Anarchy!"
What? Ya'll don't have thoughts about doing stuff like that? I bet you do.

I also had a very nice man come out and grind three stumps for me. This was a big one very close to the house that I needed out of the way so I can start installing the flagstone patios and walks. Yay!!! But I'm not sure what to do with the 'leftovers' from these stumps. It is pretty evenly mixed dirt and wood fibers. I thought it might make good garden soil after the wood decomposes? Anybody ever used this stuff before? What did you do with it? I want to remove it, since it will partly decompose, and fill the hole with just dirt so it will compact good. Oh! I also had another nice man come out and give me an estimate on what he would charge to build my kitchen cabinets. I'm just going to have him build the pantry cabinet now, as that is what I can afford right now. It will be about 3 weeks before he is able to start though, so you'll have to wait some for pics.

I got quite a bit done on the clerestory siding over the holiday weekend but I ran out of material once more. I'm very excited; I think it's going to be great! I will be so glad to get off that roof! But at least my butt is getting a good workout going up and down that ladder so much.

I also started on mortaring and stacking this stone wall for my kitchen/ herb garden. I've still got to come up another 18 inches or so to be high enough though. Allen had a good idea to make it tiered. I think that will look good and then the front won't have to be so high.

Wow, that seems like a lot after writing all that down. Well, got to burn this energy off somehow and since I haven't met a nice guy lately and thereafter proceeded to get into his pants, I guess manual labor will have to do. LOL! Heck, if that's any indication on things, I may finish this house by the end of summer!
I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday; hope ya'll have a good day.

*Stevie Wonder

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Different Drum

After reading some comments and such from "Story Of My Life", I was afraid that maybe I had come across as bitter or blaming towards my parents for my childhood and I just wanted to clarify that was not the case. Like I said, it was what it was. I didn't have the best childhood but I wasn't abused either; I always had enough to eat and clothes to wear and in a lot of ways my having to be so self-reliant has aided me greatly now. I just wish sometimes I had not felt so alone back then and I'm afraid now that that feeling of being on my own, forever, affects me subconsciously. I believe sometimes I inadvertently give people, especially guys, the idea that I want to be alone. That's not it at all, it's just all I know.
What I was trying to say, in addition to what I believe made me how I am now, is just that about everybody in this world is dealt at least one crappy card. It might be your health, your family, your position in life or whatever but you can't let that one, or even more, crappy cards dictate your life. With enough determination you can many times turn that crappy card into an advantage even. I had two friends growing up that were sisters. Now, they had a rough go of it. They had a horridly, abusive childhood. I saw it with my own eyes and even suffered through some of it with them, unknown to my own family. I recently found the two of them through the wonders of the Internet. The oldest one, that is my age, has done well for herself and has a good man and looks like, two sweet kids. The sister is a year younger than us and she is just the opposite. She has had her kids taken from her and is in and out of rehab all the time. Now, I am NOT putting her down. I still love my friends and feel so badly for her. If anybody has a reason to still struggle with things, it's these two. But at some point you have to just determine that you are not going to let those bad things rule you anymore. Yeah, shitty things happen to good people but you have to find a way to pick yourself up and say, well, I didn't deserve that, but I also don't deserve to suffer the rest of my life. Now, some of you may say, that's easy for you to say, you didn't have an abusive childhood and you would be right. But I have suffered through several staggering blows in my life at any rate. I paid and provided, albeit unknowingly, for my own brother's preferred method of offing himself. Have that happen and see how bad it screws with your brain. And I succumbed to it for several years. But then I said I have to go on. It was not my decision for these things to happen in my life but it is my decision in what I do now.
It may seem that I'm a little off topic but really it's still the same. When my own family said, "you should have just been born a boy" or "if you are going to be like this, you don't even need to get married" and on and on, it hurt me for a long time. I couldn't understand what was wrong with me and why they felt so determined to point it out. Just let me be me, I'm not a bad person because I can weld!! But I finally realized this was my life and they didn't have to be me, so it was up to me to make my life what I wanted. And they could stuff it if they didn't like it.

On another note, turns out I was even more correct about the 'faulty genetics' than I thought! After writing that post I just happen to stumble upon several articles about a genetic disorder that affects infant girls before they are born. Turns out, I am just one, big birth defect! I'll tell ya'll what I mean later but it does help explain 'me' quite a bit.

*Linda Ronstadt

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Stars And Stripes Forever, Babeee!

Okay, I took a little liberty, ha!, no pun intended, with the title of that great work but it's one of my favorites! I hope all of my fellow Americans are enjoying and celebrating this wonderful holiday and remembering what it's all about. I have mostly worked on the house here by myself but did go have a nice lunch with Fred and Allen and another friend and then Allen and I rode around and visited a couple of other friends for a little while. So, I have taken a little time just to relax. I'm going to watch the Boston Pops special later; I always enjoy their performances.
I would recommend two other posts by fellow bloggers on this day. Jim over at Coffee With The Hermit has a good one and the annual 4th post that Ed at Riverbend Journal puts up is great. It brings me to tears every time I read it. And last but not least, Beatrice and Grenville at Frog and Penguin have loads of great pics of 4th festivities up their way. Check them out!

So, God Bless America, land that I love!!!
Oh, and you gotta check out Google's header for today; it's cool!

*John Philip Sousa

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Story Of My Life

Well, first I've got to show ya'll what I accomplished today! See that? With those windows being trimmed out, all the exterior trim is done!!! Yay!! I'm so happy. I got that finished and then proceeded to get the siding started on the clerestory face. What a pain in the butt. I got into a wasp's nest (didn't get stung), I accidentally drilled a hole in my leg (don't ask; I'm not even sure how I did that) and I messed up 6 feet of siding before I got the first piece to fit BUT I did finally get the first run started and going. I cursed so fluidly and with such veracity as to make proud the heart of any construction worker, young or old. Ol' Dominecker would have saluted me.

Of course, as soon as I finish the clerestory I've got to top out this piece of a gable. It shouldn't be too bad though.

Now, back to our discussion. Thanks so much for your answers and they did shed some light for me. I think Deb, who is only a year older than me, had a good point about our generation. I think ours was the first generation that the principles of equality for women were actively applied to public schools. The 60's and 70's had fought for equal rights and pay etc. but it didn't really come into effect until about the 80's. I remember in junior high the boys and girls took turns with Home Ec. and Shop. Each gender got half a year of both. I don't remember my older sister getting to take Shop so I think this was a new policy. It pissed me because, although we could take shop and use tools, they still wouldn't let the girls weld. I have often wanted to go back and shove my welding certificate in their face. Pfffftt! Take that, you bastards! heehee, just kidding. Then in high school there wasn't much talk of getting married and kids. The girls were encouraged and given the same options as the guys. College or join the military. ROTC was popular and many of the girls joined. In fact, several of my friends joined the regular military after high school. I think there were so many options available to us girls that many of us did 'wander' a little and there is nothing wrong with that. I went on to college because it was expected in my family but proceeded to wander after that and I am glad I did really.
As I've said, I don't have a problem with being 'abnormal', if indeed I am, but the extent to which I have taken self-sufficiency does sometimes get in the way of things. A lot of it is the social conditioning of the South. Melody, you are right. To me, women here get a real mixed message. You are supposed to be feminine and love dresses and tea parties and then at the same time, if you can't put the fear of God into some man if he dares to treat you unkindly, well, they just aren't going to respect you. Kinda that 'tomboy hiding behind high heels kinda thing'. Chicory is very correct in that it will take a very secure man to stay around me. (and I can't wait to see your studio too!) In fact, I had one carpenter sit me down and explain to me that I was too self-reliant. I give the men no opportunity to "come to my rescue" and apparently many Southern men need this in order to feel manly. As one 'ex' told me, "there's nothing I can do for you (that I can't do myself) and nothing that I can say to you (that some other man hasn't already told me)." I can assure any man however, that I will gladly let him be Bug Squasher Supreme, build all stuff he wants and take care of my truck if that makes him happy. Even the glorious Switchman told me one time at the end of that job, "I thought it was really cool when I first saw that a woman was out here doing this kind of work but after I saw the kind of work you actually have to do, it makes me feel bad. I don't like to see you work like that". Well, honey, I would gladly give it up if a decent man were to come along and want me to hold a more 'genteel' job, as my heart doctor keeps lecturing me to do. Driving 100 stakes in packed gravel in 100 degree weather lost it's adventurous appeal long ago. I'll stay my ass in the kitchen and bake pies!

I think what it boils down to, is that I simply turned out to be the perfect, horrid combination of faulty genetics, an unbridled mind and a crappy attitude. You see, I was born with not only a heart defect, but a reproductive one as well. An imbalance of the estrogen and testosterone did not allow my organs to develop and keeps me from carrying a pregnancy. As best I can tell, this imbalance also provided a stronger upper body than most women, larger and stronger hands and an attitude closer to a man's when it comes to life. But yet, I like men. You know, I like men. Heehee.
FloridaCracker asked if I was encouraged to 'step outside the box' when I was growing up. Well, I wasn't actually encouraged to do much of anything but I wasn't discouraged either. My parents were told frequently that there was something wrong with me, that I was mentally handicapped but instead of trying to take extra time with me I think they just said, the hell with it and just kinda let me do my own thing. Maybe not the best way to go about it, but it worked. Because I was not guided a certain way I grew up with no preconceived notions of how things were 'supposed' to be for a girl. Now, socially this can be a problem but educationally this was great I guess. If I wanted to learn anything I just tried it. They could tell I was different and if it kept me quiet to give me a hammer to play with, then that was fine. My mom did buy me a little tool set when I was about 5 or 6 and any kind of crafty things to make stuff with. I do remember being tested often in elementary school. They would take me out of class and ask me crazy questions like, "what is the main ingredient in making glass?" I was six but I knew the answer. It's sand or silica. I used to read encyclopedias when I was little, that's all. I don't remember telling my parents about the tests. So, my mind was just free to wander and no one tried to guide me a certain way. Now, initially this might sound pretty good but at a very young age I also realized that I was basically on my own. I remember once when I was about 7 or 8, I woke up one night after a very bad storm when my sister came back in the room. A tornado had come very close to our house and my parents had gathered up all the others but me. I was left alone during the storm, and many other times also, and this kinda became the pattern for my life. I taught myself to tie my shoes, to swim and ride a bike. I taught myself to drive and got my license on my own. When a friend's mother took her to take the test, I just went along for the ride. Her Mom asked me if I wanted to take my test while we were there so I said 'why not' and passed. None of my family asked me about such things and I'm not saying this to sound pitiful; it's just the way it was. I did learn a bit in school besides the academic stuff. They taught me how to keep a check book and cooking and a few other things and if I ever had trouble in school I worked it out myself. I told my parents about some stuff but they didn't seem concerned, so I learned early that my life was basically up to me. I had the good fortune of having some very nice teachers and guidance counselors that helped me, so I learned who to ask for help. I became very proficient at watching other people to see how they did things. Now with the Internet, I can see how different my upbringing was when I read other's blogs about their life and see how they interact with their kids. I mean, I think it was about 2 weeks before my father realized I had moved off to college. I'm not kidding. Sometimes I look back now and think I did pretty darn good to get this far.
And yes, sometimes I have a crappy attitude. I get very impatient with men. Just let me do it my damn self. I know what I want, just get out of my way. I'm trying to work real hard on changing that. I realize most other women my age are married and simply don't have to do the things I do. And, as Beatrice suggested, maybe they underestimate their ability to do such or are discouraged by men. That's why they don't learn to weld or drive a trackhoe. Hell, I wouldn't do some of it myself if I had someone else willing to do it. I'd still want to weld though!
So, the combination of all these things is what made me. Good or bad. But, I figure if I've learned all this maybe I can learn that when a man tells me I look nice, to smile sweetly and simply say "thank you", rather than "what the f**k do you want?" Maybe?

To answer some of the other comments: Hayley, you CAN learn carpentry or anything else. Most all states, maybe even Alaska, have technical colleges where you can go to take courses in welding, carpentry or any of the trades. I realize where you are now may limit you to what schooling you can get however. When I was an apprentice, Bessemer Tech in Birmingham was where we went but the courses are open to anyone and you don't have to be actively employed in the trades at the same time. The YWCA in Birmingham also offers trade schooling for women only, at little or no cost, and most union halls offer schooling to anyone interested, so there are lots of ways for women to get training in any of the trades. If any of you women are truly interested in learning more, check out your local resources. Call some local construction companies and simply ask where their craftsmen get their training. You can usually audit courses from colleges also. You don't get hourly credits for the course, like if you were getting a degree, but you get to take the entire class for a greatly reduced price.
FloridaCracker, you can look here and here to see what circumstances directed me into the construction industry.

Keep Talkin'

Hey Everybody! thanks so much for all of your great, insightful comments and discussions. Keep them coming if you feel like it! Instead of answering them all in the comments section though, I want to answer and discuss in another post, which I will get to soon. However, the weather has turned so delightfully cool here that I'm outside as you read this, trying to get as much done on the house as I can. I am very close to finishing the siding and we actually got our 3-day weekend for the 4th! Yay! Anyway, I haven't left ya'll and after the sun goes down I'll try to get back to the blog. Unless some handsome man spirits me away on a romantic adventure. Ha! yeah, and I'm going to sprout wings and be able to fly up on the roof to work. I'll be back soon.

Oh, and Grenville, I did respond to your suggestions about the pantry shelves in the comments section of that post. Thanks!

*Pink Floyd

Thursday, July 01, 2010

It Never Entered My Mind

So, I try to be pretty informative on this blog and do a good many 'how-to's' and such but now, I have a request of you all. I want to know something. I had a new reader ask a while back, "what made me the way I am?" Now, heh, that's a loaded question for sure but I have thought about this for some time and have formulated a theory for my current state of being, which I'll explain later. I realize truly that I am not like 98% of women. I know I'm very different. Hell, even among female construction workers I'm different. Thru the networking of Facebook, good or bad, I have 'met' quite a number of women carpenters, welders, pipefitters and so on. I have come to the conclusion that I am one of maybe three straight, female construction workers on the earth. Of course, I'm exaggerating (a little) but the vast majority are gay. I'm very straight. And I know there are tons of women that do physical things around their house; taking care of animals, gardening, even building a little shed or such. But how many you know that formed and poured the foundation for their house and welded the structure?
When I was interviewed for the newspaper article, the lady asked me what made me consider building my own house? Or something to that effect. I thought, well, why wouldn't I? It never occurred to me not to. Now, I've said many times I had lots of help, so it's not like I did it all by myself, but I have done it basically all, since blacking it in. So, my question is: why would a woman not consider doing some of the things I do? When I talk to many other women it's like it never occurs to them that they could, when it's just the opposite for me. Why is that? Women? Is it a question of physical strength? social conditioning? just not interested in such stuff? like to just see men work? lol!
Men? Do you prefer your wife not do such work?
Now, I don't really wish I were not like this but I feel many times it has made me into a bit of a social outcast and I'll explain more on this later. And everybody says, well, be proud you're different and all that, and I am, but that's easy for you to say, you know. I'm here alone for all my life and after so many years I begin to wonder, maybe I shouldn't have gone down certain paths. Maybe things would be different for me if I knew how to be more 'normal'. Now, whether that is something to be desired or not is open for debate, but I often wonder why I don't meet many other women on this path. I get a lot of women who say they wish they could do what I do, but hardly any that actually want to try. Anybody want to explain this to me?