I Love Handy Guys


I was up at 4 a.m. this morning to take Morgan to the high school. I am dead tired. I apologize to all the other drivers on the road in Roane County. I need someone to show me how to turn off the high beams on the truck. This was the first time I have ventured out with my stick shift in the dark. Today is the last day of school here and everyone who didn’t get a BIF (I have no idea what that stands for but it’s not good) “won” a trip to King’s Island, which I think is an amusement park in Cincinnati. Long drive. We left at 4:30 so I could have her to the school well enough before the 5:30 departure. They will be back at midnight.

My cousin volunteered to pick her up because I will be in a coma long before then.

Since I was already in Spencer and didn’t want to waste gas going back again later, despite being still half asleep I went to Wal-Mart. There is no waiting in line at Wal-Mart at 6 a.m. Good time to go! I picked up a few things for the studio then I ate breakfast out! At McDonald’s! In my truck in the parking lot. It was very fancy. Mostly, it was to pass some more time, but it felt like a treat since I hardly ever eat out.

Then I sat in the parking lot at Hardman’s (hardware store) waiting for it to open at 7 and watching the contractors pull up because nobody is at Hardman’s before 7 a.m. but contractors. I bought buckets of roof sealer and roof brushes because I’m getting the barn roof resurfaced!

It’s very exciting!


I love my barn. We have a deep and fulfilling relationship and I want it to last for a long, long time. I’m trying to take care of it.

Not long after I (finally! after leaving at 4:30 a.m.) got home, Adam and Robbie, the handy guys who are going to do the roof, showed up with the sad news that it’s expected to rain later today. No roof sealing today.


We have other business at the barn. They are also building my milking parlor!

First, they moved in some rock to level the floor.

While they were at it, Adam fixed the tractor. Every time I have someone use the tractor, I have to get out this doohickey (screwdriver) from the back of the tractor, wave it vaguely below/near the steering wheel, and say, “You stick this thing in there to press something down and then you can start it.” I’m not real clear on this, but it has something to do with a neutral safety switch that is out of adjustment. Or something.

I went out there about an hour later after they’d moved some rock and Adam said, “I fixed your switch for you.”

Blink. I said, “Really????”

He said, “I only had to start it once to decide I wasn’t putting up with that. It only took about a minute to fix it.”

I love handy guys!

Now all you have to do is turn the key and the tractor starts. Since I never could figure out how to start the tractor by myself using the doohickey method, I’m one step closer to actually driving the tractor myself! Only about 2,499 steps to go!!! But at least now every time someone comes out here and uses the tractor to do something for me, I don’t have to wave the doohickey at the tractor and leave them to figure it out.

Back to my milking parlor.

I’ll have a milk stand for cows to the left and a milk stand for goats to the right. The milk stand for the goats will be raised up on a platform with two holes cut out for the milking machine to attach up from underneath. (There will be a cover for the holes that fits in place so that the goat can’t step in the holes when getting up on the milk stand. I’ll uncover it once she’s in place.)

There is a light in this stall, but it’s insufficient, so two new lights are being added with a convenient switch at the door. An outlet is also being added for my milking machine so it can be plugged in right here.

The top of this stall is open all around, so that is being covered with wire to keep out chickens.

Wire going up:

(This view of the milking parlor is from the “storage” side of the barn where it looks down into the milking parlor stall.)

Since Cookie Doe is in milk right now, she will be the first to try out my new milking parlor. I’m ordering the special inflations (attachments for goats) for my milking machine. I’ll try her out as soon as the parlor’s ready!

And now I think this is too much excitement for me today and I need a nap. But not till I get Adam to show me how to turn off my brights.


  1. lattelady says:

    Please, please, please, buy that guy a new shirt. It is past the rag bag stage. πŸ˜‰
    You are coming along wonderfully well. Things are falling into place so very nicely.

  2. amateisgal says:

    That’s funny – when I saw that guy’s shirt, I had to laugh, too. Guys and their work shirts! I swear, they will wear them until there’s nothing left!

    Take a nap this afternoon, Suzanne. You earned it!

  3. doubletroublegen says:

    Oh how I wish I had known the importance of knowing a good country boy before I married!!! They are priceless!! Make sure you tell Morgan those city boys will only be a disappointment to her if she decides to befriend one! :moo:

  4. stacylee says:

    BIF is a “B in French”! Just kidding, I have no idea. I think Adam/Robbie needs a woman to go through his work shirts and get him some new ones, that’s my job at home because he’ll wear them until they are threads otherwise.

  5. HobbyHillFarm says:

    Funny – we had our doohickey fixed on our Ford Tractor. I had to use the screwdriver as well to start it. I do not need the screwdriver but I do have to push together 2 wires to seal the connection. The wires separate when you pull out the kill switch. At least it runs good when it turns on. :woof:

  6. mds9 says:

    If you ask one of your Handy Guys about the high beams they can show you where they are. Could be a button on the floor left foot side, or on the steering wheel left side. Or Google Truck make model year “high beams”. good luck

    I don’t understand what was wrong with the boys shirts?

  7. Spinners End Farm says:

    I’m sure that fellow loves that shirt…it is probably nice and soft and broken in exactly the way he likes it. My husband has shirts like those…well worn, you can see skin through the fabric, mere molecules holding it together…probably 30+ years old. My Mother is always nagging me to throw them away, but I know in time (perhaps another decade or so) that they will end up in my rag bag. For now, he enjoys recalling those days of his youth when that T-shirt actually covered his body and had that ozone smell of sizing. πŸ˜‰

  8. STracer says:

    BIF Behavior Identification Form – basically handed out when a kid breaks a school rule. My husband used to hand out a bunch of them. Now the kids respect him and he has less paperwork. πŸ™‚

  9. Dawn says:

    :sheepjump: I too love handy guys but made the mistake of marrying one I had to teach how to fix things – the result is my now grown son can fix some things but not mechanical auto type things – but – when I get stuck I have the advantage of being able to look it up in the owners manual that came with it – if you don’t have one you could probably order one or check on line as one comment suggested. I like paper and books sooooo. anyway – how nice when your milking station is all done – you will be able to do it so much more easily – it is great seeing everything coming together for you after all the struggles at string town rising – I have been “reading” you since you first started to get animals there so can really appreciate the new and improved of this farm. luv ya – db

  10. Old Geezer says:

    Tim Allen’s stand-up comedy routine has a great line, supposedly from his mother (of five boys), about why she puts up with his father after all these years (and five boys):

    “Lawn care and vehicle maintenance.”

  11. MissyinWV says:

    My guess is that your switch to your brights is a button on the floor board of the truck that you press with your left foot while driving.Press it once to turn them off and once to turn them on. Its silver and easy to find. You can’t miss it. Good luck! Love the barn, glad your taking good care of it πŸ™‚

  12. whaledancer says:

    I think it makes sense to wear a shirt that’s ready for the ragbag when you’re going to be resealing a roof, because by the end of the day, that’s all it’s going to be good for. It’s a sacrificial shirt. Personally, I have one old raggedy, stretched-out tee-shirt that I save solely for painting, because I know whatever shirt I wear while painting is going to end up spotted with paint.

  13. wildcat says:

    Your milking parlor is going to be great! But whenever I hear the word “parlor,” I think about relaxing on a chaise lounge. Like in the olden days,when women used to get “the vapors.” LOL I know that’s not exactly what happens in a Milking Parlor, but still, it makes me giggle to think about it. πŸ˜†

    Aren’t country boys awesome! I wonder if I moved my city-boy husband out to the country, if he will magically turn into a super handy country guy. No? Darn it. Hehehe

  14. countryfarmgirl says:

    Personally speaking, when you wear WORK CLOTHES (translation: well worn, broken in, stained, with or without holes or tears, and proven), you are magically transported to another dimension where you are more productive and in the right frame of mind to work hard. You don’t mind getting down and dirty to accomplish something. Wearing anything else diminishes the productive work experience because you are then worried that you will stain, wear out, rip, tear or otherwise “ruin” your clothing. More often than not, I think the best real work clothes are the ones that are pulled out of the rag bin. Try it sometime, you may be surprised at what you get done.

  15. yvonnem says:

    You are so much better off now (without a man) than when you were at Stringtown (with a man)! You have everything under control and know what needs done and how to get the right people to get it done. This makes me happy to know you are happy.

    Hardman’s Hardware Store….may be a distant relative. My grandfather was a Hardman from that area. Interesting.

    Oh, and I sit in my Sorento and eat McDonald’s in the KMart/Kroger parking lot in St. Albans when I do my grocery shopping on Saturdays. Not so much a treat for me as it is for you since I do it more often!

  16. gingergoat says:

    :sun: I`m glad that you love your barn. Even tho my barn isn’t as big as yours, I still love it. Farm girls must have a thing for barns. My barn is smaller and not red, but it has a story. Hanging from the rafters is an old hammock. A neighbor told me that the family who lived on this farm some 70 years ago had a black man, a former slave, who worked for them and lived in the barn.That does seem right as there are two small rooms that are finished with wooden paneling. When repairs were being made to the roof I made sure the hammock was left undisturbed.

  17. holstein woman says:

    Honey, you’re on bright all the time, I wouldn’t worry about lights. :hug: :wave: :airkiss:

  18. Diane says:

    To find the high beams refer to the owners manual if there one. Or as I like to do Google it!! Look up the make and model and year of the truck and type in where is high beam switch? lol. This is how I figure out what is wrong with our cars lately. Reading though those repair manuals are a pain in the butt. Not that I can fix a car but I like to tell hubby and/or the garage people what is wrong so that they can just get it fixed faster.

  19. KarenAnne says:

    I keep an owner’s manual in the glove compartment, so that if I need to know something when I’m out on the road, the info is right there. For my two old cars, I bought each owner’s manual off the web.

  20. joykenn says:

    A pickup truck and a tractor! All you need is a horse trailer and you’ve got it ALL! All the needs of a farmer.

  21. SarahGrace says:

    The shirt with the pink on it became that way on a day that my daughter calls, “The Best Day Ever!”. πŸ˜€ The pink you see is actually my 8 yr. old daughter’s hand print. She and Robbie had a paint fight that left her, Robbie, and Adam covered in paint so much that all three had to go to the creek to wash off. I wouldn’t let them in the house! Robbie and Adam are great workers and I’m so pleased with all the work they’ve done for me. I hope you’ll be pleased as well, Suzanne!

  22. Dumbcatluvr says:

    I accidently flagged a comment. I don’t even know which one it was.Sorry.I’m using my new tablet, and my finger slipped.Not used to it yet.

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