I am a Tech.
I fix things.
Computer things, electrical things, furniture, plumbing, toys, books, clothes, carpets, cars, roofs, doors, windows… if I can fix it,it’s not really broken. It’s like a puzzle I must compulsively solve. I like to help other people fix things too, even if it’s not something I know how to do. Either you know how and you’ll teach me, or neither of us know and we’ll learn by doing. Both are good for me. Learning new things, fixing things – I get lots of satisfaction. The best is when I get something that has been discarded as broken, something I need, and make it functional again. It gets to do the fun things it likes to do, rather than brokenly rot. I have to be careful or I will fill my house with broken but easily fixable things I need and run out of time necessary to actually fix them. I had to sit down and make a project calendar in order to finish what I have, and make a rule: ‘No more in until what I have is done.’ What I have is almost done!
I also like to make things.
I have busy hands when I am nervous or anxious. I occupy them by weaving, drawing, knitting, sewing, painting, carving, sculpting, origami, beading… whatever I have around becomes my project. I’ll take apart an old magazine and fold the pages into strips and make a basket suitable to hold pencils and pens, or an old desk calendar woven into an unlikely set of not very useful but very curious slippers. Discarded wrapping paper saved from birthdays and Christmas become ornamental dragons and stars and cranes. There isn’t much on my desk, most of this I give away or I’d drown in it. I like the making, and for the most part (but not always) I am not really attached to the finished product. I take pride in my work, but if you like it and say so, most likely I will give it to you. I can always make another one. Unless I need it, then I’d help you make one, or make a different one for you. I have been hand making gifts for my family members lately. I ask, “What do you want for Christmas”, or “for your birthday” if they say “nothing” (as often is the case) – then it becomes a challenge to make them something they’ll like. I am not always successful. Here too I have lists of makeables instead of supplies in case a ‘busy hands’ frenzy overtakes me. I do have some art/crafting supplies, but mostly I’ll be going about my day, see an old shirt and think – I could make an excellent tote bag out of that, or ya know, that ugly sweater could be reknitted into an assload of cutie cat toys, and scrunchies, and washcloths, and off I go.
I am not a very good cook. My cooking is not that bad – it won’t kill you right away. I can follow a recipe and get passable results, but I haven’t got the art of grabbing a bit of this and a chunk of that and making something awesome. It usually turns out gray and mushy and bland. Or grey and mushy and too salty. I will still eat it, but you’ll probably order a pizza instead. I wouldn’t blame you. I think I need more practice, more experience actually cooking. My husband is really picky and extremely critical about food, so much so that I straight up quit cooking and let him do it his own damn self. He would call my description harsh. I think I am dead on. That said, I can bake pretty well, though I don’t bake often. My baked goods are indeed good.
Since I have meandered into things I am bad at, I also sort of fail at ceramics. I can sculpt with clay, but I haven’t the arm/hand strength for the potters wheel. My cups and bowls are sad, deformed, and lopsided. I try to fix them up a bit with outsized handles and spouts – so they lean to a more whimsical bent. I like them, but I’ve gotten more than a few raised eyebrows at my Seussian pottery. I also probably just need more practice here, more time at the wheel. Possibly also need mushy-er clay. It’s something to think about.
I used to be good at housekeeping, but I have gotten lax and angry about it. I blame my husband, and my cats, but I mostly blame myself. It is a question of motivation; it’s difficult to spend a hours/days fixing something that gets SO thoroughly trashed in minute. Ugh. Also difficult when you’re the only one interested in upkeep. Double Ugh. Imma stop here but I could whine about this shit for days. Should spend that time instead scrubbing the damn floor. Again.
I have a yard and garden that I fight with my Mom about. She wants to do my yard and gardenwork. By do it, I mean she wants to put permanent berry bushes in my vegetable plot, get rid of the rabbit fencing, and mow the rest down. She has her own garden, and her own yard, her yard is way bigger and her garden way smaller, but she’s obsessed with mine. I like berries, don’t get me wrong, berries are good – but I don’t use that many berries, I don’t eat much jam, and letting them stay out there and get eaten by birds is just as bad as not weeding. She is really very set in how things SHOULD be done and WHEN they should be done, and if you’re not doing it that way then you’re clearly a lazy idiot and get the hell out of the way. I’d rather have vegetables, but I am not that great a weeder, and halfway through the season she will lose her shit and rip everything out of my garden, weeds, plants, onions, catnip whatever. Crazy. Last year I put in my garden without her and she was bewildered. It’s hard work, tilling and planting, doing it alone is unthinkable. She came after, pulling out last years shed stalks and flowers and branches and whatnot from my yard/flowerbeds and put it all into my garbage bin. I wasn’t home, didn’t see it happen. I only found out when I got the big fine from the city for putting yard waste into the municipal trash. I also got a warning that my compost heap was too close to the house, which is a fire hazard. Compost heap? My trash bin was sealed shut with a big blaze orange sticker and an additional blaze orange flag was stuck into a huge refuse pile heaped against the garage wall. I sat with my charcoal grill that day and had a tidy little fire fed with roots and sticks and woven knots of leaves and twigs until both the compost heap and trash bin were clear. I kept the fire little and fed it bit by bit so as not to make a hazard of myself. It’s amazing how little ash all that made. The ash went back into the garden, and I had a talk with Mom about fines and boundaries. She offered to pay, but no no, that’s not the point – I will pay the fine, but just don’t, okay? Let me do it. I love you, let me do it. I am sure I will wake up to her at the back door with a shovel and a rake and an exasperated look on her face this Spring. Maybe I can have the garden done before that. I am going to experiment making seed tape out of toilet paper, to try to space out my seeds better. I feel awful when I have to thin out the vegetables, why should they have to die for my inadequacy? The vegetables want to live! Also it ‘should’ help me make straight rows. My rows have a bit of wiggle going on if you know what I mean. I want them to be straight, but usually they aren’t. I also want to paper and mulch between the rows so I don’t have weedpocalypsemania like last year. I tried once but the newspapers blew around too much. Imma experiment with a gluestick making long rows and multiple layers of newspaper so it doesn’t blow around so easily. Though, the neighbors do find it a little amusing to see me chasing paper through the yards. Maybe I can seed some slow release fertilizer in between the plys? Too ambitious? It would weigh it down a little more and save me a step in the blazing heat of Summer. I got a bunch of automatic watering equipment to set up too. I am hoping for no weeding, no watering, all vegetables. It is good to have goals. I also have a tomato bed along the side of the Garage, outside the garden proper. Tomatoes don’t need rabbit fencing, rabbits don’t eat tomatoes. Tomatoes are HUGE plants that will take up much much space in your garden if you let them. I put them outside, they’re easier to manage.