Friday, June 10, 2016

Men with Machines + Beautiful Peonies

When I was growing up, my parents always seemed to have people who helped them around the house - you know - house painters, plumbers, electricians, handymen and as they got older, men who mowed the lawn. They were always so appreciative of the men (and they were always men) who showed up and fixed things. My Dad gladly paid them because he was the absolutely least handy person. He really couldn't fix things and often broken things were fixed by my Mom. If Mom couldn't do it, she would call someone to fix it for her.  

Mark always teases me about my "people." He grew up in a Yankee family in the country where everyone tried to fix broken things themselves. I think many country people can't justifiably think of calling someone to fix something. It's not in their DNA - they just live with it broken because why/how are they going to pay someone when they may possibly one day fix it themself? 

When something breaks around here, it is just in my DNA to want to get it fixed and fast. I have to pay dearly for that though. Just recently both my dryer and my dishwasher broke within a week of each other. I called one of my "people" - Greg from the appliance repair place. He showed up when he said he would. I had 2 broken timers. It took another visit to the farm and more money - the dryer is fixed but the dishwasher can't be. It has a broken timer and it is too old to fix - no parts are available. I am limping along with it - it still goes just not by itself. Eventually I'm going to have to break down and buy a new dishwasher. I will call my friend Mike the plumber and he will come and install it. For now, I am saving my money though and doing it the country way -  advancing the dial manually and putting up with less than sparkling glasses. 

At this time of year, Mark is incredibly busy harvesting the first cutting of hay. He is on pins and needles - watching the weather - fretting about clouds and possible rain. Julia and I are getting sick of haying season because he is so grumpy. Yesterday, he broke a big part on the mowing machine. He is going to have to call his "people" to fix it because he is, like my Dad, pretty useless in the fixing department. Nothing some more money can't fix. 

Yesterday, a great old guy named Doug came with his truck, a trailer and his tractor. I think Doug is somewhere in his late 70's. 

Doug tilled my veggie/cutting garden. I used to beg Mark to do it for me but I gave up on him last year because he is too busy and doesn't have big tiller. It's better for our marriage if I call my "people". Doug arrived with a smile. 

The garden had grass and weeds 2 feet tall in it. Doug took it slow, looking behind him all the time.

The sheep were really intrigued and watched Doug till. 

The dogs thought it was pretty exciting too. 

Beau dug some huge holes in the tilled soil.

In less than an hour, my garden is ready to go. Thank goodness for men with machines. It would have taken me forever. Thank you Doug. I'm so happy you are around for me to call!

What about you - do you have "people" who help you fix things or do you try to do it yourself? Do you live in the country or the city? When you were growing up, did your family call someone or did they fix it themselves? Would love to hear because I think it is an interesting conversation. Has the way your family dealt with fixing things continued on with your generation? 

I'll end this post with some photos of the peonies that are blooming now. Oh, they are just so gorgeous aren't they? 

Did you know that you can store peonies in the fridge and force them to bloom later. Here is how you do it

Have a great weekend everyone! BTW, Craftsy is having a fantastic HALF OFF SALE on all their classes - embroidery, sewing, art, drawing, quilting, knitting, crochet, baking, cake decorating and way more. Here is an affiliate link to use:
Maybe there is something you have been dying to learn to do this summer. Here's a chance to save some cash. 


geekette said...

You might be able to find your dishwasher timer on eBay, oddly enough. We fixed my father in law's 50+ year old push button stove with new buttons and elements off eBay!

Carolyn C. said...

I grew up in Eastern Massachusetts where we shared the fix it yourself mentality. Of course, back in the 40s and 50 there were not a lot of appliances to break down - think Ice box, wringer washer, and a pa of soapy hot water for the dishes. Now I still try to fix things, ask a family member to help, and in desperation, call a "people". I live in a city in the west where the people never show up on time and can be grouchy.

Corina Sahlin said...

OH YES! I'm luck to have a husband who can fix anything, which is handy since we live in the wilderness. We homestead and raise goats, pigs, ducks, chickens, and a huge garden. He also built our house by himself. I never would know how to do all the fixing and repairing that goes along with running a homestead. Super grateful!

Auntie Shan said...

80-year-old MOM [only girl of 4 brothers] "owns" the POWER-TOOLS in our Family! And, despite the fact that "construction"-Genes run on Dad's side, he doesn't touch them without "supervision"! -- Then again, at their age and "health", I try to keep them BOTH away from the "TOYS" these days...

Except, for yard-sale sewing machines. Mom can repair those suckers with her eyes closed!

As for breakage, we've been "LUCKY"! so far... However, with big appliances, we usually spring for new ones if need be. - Although, we do have a knack for going through microwaves like some people go through toasters! [more than once, I've had to pop over to a store to get a new one in-the-middle-of-making-Dinner!!] And, don't get me started on old VCRs!

Meanwhile, as to the rest of the house... Well, nothing that a massive Lottery WIN and a bulldozer wouldn't cure!! ;-}
Fortunately, we have a Neighbour across the street that does construction, so we can usually call upon him for the odd "minor" fix that I can't do. [I don't do ladder climbing!] Otherwise, we tough it out, unless it's really something major..., a SINKHOLE in the middle of Downtown!! ["Someone" must of heard that I needed *space* for my STASH!]

Brenda said...

My dad is 85, and when he was younger, he could do anything---roofing, plumbing, cement work, car repairs, you name it. In just the last five years or so, things has really changed and he has lost that ability. It breaks my heart---I have always loved to work with him on projects and be his helper---we made a really good team. My mom bought a TV stand at Wally World that had to be assembled last summer, and it took us two days to finally get it together---I had to figure it out and my dad helped me. In a way, I don't mind hiring things done because I know that other people need the work.

Becky Bell said...

I grew up in Bernardston down the road from Mark. My Dad was of the same mentality! He would try to fix everything himself. Sometimes it would take forever! Me on the other hand, have "my people" come to fix it. That is if I can't figure it out first!

Anonymous said...

My dad and mom could fix about anything. My brothers also. Me, not so much. We have a list of 'guys' we call. Started when we moved here by asking for names and references at the locally owned hardware store. Helen

Vermont Grand View Farm said...

We are a DIY family. I am married to an engineer who is able to fix, build, design just about anything. I am not sure how he knows all this stuff-he never ceases to amaze me. This winter he remodeled our bathroom, re-channeling plumbing in our old house, installing toilet, shower, lights, wiring, trim board.....The only problem is that he lacks the time to do all that a busy farm needs doing because he works 50-60 hour weeks for an engineering company. When we ask our son if he wants to help his dad do this or that, and learn how to be "handy", he replies, "no need, if I ever need to know how to do something, I will find it on You Tube." There is some truth to this, as a month ago, even my husband found You Tube helpful. My washing machine had some funny code flashing across it. After a little googling time and You Tube watching, we figured out it was the pump. We ordered a new pump, watched a video on how to install it, and within 30 minutes it was working again.

Denise said...

My father is a design engineer by profession, and extremely handy. He could fix anything, he installed a new kitchen in one of our houses when I was a kid, he could fix the car. I thought that was what a man did! I was very disillusioned the first time I asked a guy friend about a problem with my car and he said he knew nothing about cars!!
Now if something needs to be fixed I call dad.

Ettenna said...

I grew up on a farm/ranch and live on a farm/ranch. Nothing in the house gets fixed because #1 no one wants to drive out here to fix it & #2 Household items are way low on the priority list...there is always a tractor or pickup or SOMETHING that needs fixing on the ranch!
I can't even imagine being able to call someone to till the garden.
But when I wake up I look out at beautiful mountains, amazing skies, and no one for miles (except my daughter's family and the man that works for us). My children & pets ran free with no worries.
Life is good.
Bless your day!

Linnea Priest said...

I at least try to fix everything myself. You Tube and Google are your friends if you are a do-it-yourself type. I am too frugal to just call a fix-it guy. I replaced the bearings on my dryer, ran wiring through a wall, and replaced two toilets. Toilets are easier than faucets, since you don't have to contort yourself under the sink for a toilet.

LannieK said...

Hi ya, Kristin!
Lucky you! You have a somebody to call to till your garden!!

We live in the country ~ kinda, city is 15 minutes and encroaching fast. Luckily, my DH fixes most things. However I wish there was "people" to call to mow the acres and that they would show up and that they would do what you asked.... it's getting to be a problem.

When we were growing up, dad fixed most everything. Of course, I was the dishwasher, and still am!

Best of luck with the hay and the garden! I am off to do some planting of my own.
BTW, I planted sunflower seeds this year :-)
Thanks for the inspiration!

Adaliza said...

Some things are just the same in the country - whatever the country, it seems! My old Dad has 'men' but whereas I just look online, look at reviews and give them a buzz Dad has to 'know them' or 'know somebody else who knows them'. It drives me mad! He has lots of his friends who help him when light switches go or overflows start to drip etc. I've got a decorator in at the moment who is doing a grand job redecorating the house. Unlike you, I'm going through a 'neutral' phase and am loving the bright, fresh walls which I can then jazz up with stunning artworks. Love, love, love it - bring me more men who can 'do stuff'!

ellen kirkendall said...

My mother was our fixer, learned from her dad. I am our fixer, and The Little Woman takes her lessons from YouTube. Here on Cape the repair guys all know each other and come with their sons in tow, learning the trade.

Anonymous said...

Grew up on a farm and I don't remember having anyone come fix anything, but some things sat for a long time broken. Now my husband and I live on smaller farm, bale hay, have horses, things break but I married a mechanic that can fix anything! Still takes awhile to get things fixed, but I think we have had one man come in the last 40 years. Jackie