I Did It All by Myself!

One of the things that’s been frustrating to me since I’ve lived out here at the Hermits’ Rest is that there are a lot of things that need to be done on a ranch that I simply can’t do. I’m a smaller than average person who has never had a lot of arm strength, even with all the yoga I used to do. I wish I were better at lifting heavy objects and reaching high things. I can’t do much about that other than practice.

Sometimes I feel as competent as a dead shrew.

But what I can do is keep trying to do things I’ve never done to try to get more self-sufficient. Today was one of those days, and I am very proud of myself. I’ve been trying to help out with more stuff outside, and I really wanted to get myself a little wagon to pull heavy things around (I was using my poop wheelbarrow for the time being). Lee got me a wagon that can carry 800 pounds at Tractor Supply, but it was “some assembly required.” I’d asked a couple of people to help me with it, but they were all busy with their own projects, and I appreciated all that work, so I understood. But I did want the wagon.

My very own wagon

So today I finished a big work project and rewarded myself by letting myself put that dang wagon together. The only help I got was Lee moving the box to where I could access it and my son telling me to use a smaller wrench to hold a nut steady. I assembled every bit of it myself. Like a champ.

You can take the sides down to carry wide things. Handy.

I have assembled a lot of furniture, but mostly I have used hex keys. For this, I had to go find wrenches. I found where the socket wrench set was and managed to find ones that were the right size. Then, I figured out how to assemble and use the wrench. I tightened bolts! I even had to find larger and smaller socket things (no idea what those are called), and I managed to do it.

There they are, in the drawers.

Then I put on wheels! Lee had to tell me how to bend a cotter pin (I forgot that earlier), but there they are, and they turn! The handle works. The sides go up and down. I made a wagon. Myself. That’s not much to some people, but I sure feel competent in the tool usage department.

I used some of these, too.

Of course, other work is getting done around here. I opened the door to my future tack room this morning to discover that all the walls are up and the entire ceiling is insulated. Wow! I’ll soon be able to put the feed in there, which will be great with as much as I have to feed Drew these days. The guys all did a good job. It feels fine in there, even without electricity!

I also took all the outdoor furniture in last night before more bad weather came (mostly just wind). Today I moved it back out and stuck some fake geraniums by the front door. Why fake? Because of everything in the front of the house being vulnerable to herbicides in the field across the road (but yay, it doesn’t appear to be planted in cotton this year). I did bring out my indoor/outdoor plants, too. It makes the front porch look more cheerful, I think.

The dogs seem to like it.

I’m on a quest for calm and cheerfulness around the house. I need it to become my safe place, since it’s my only place now. Having the tools I need and more beauty in the ranch environment helps. I’m still getting used to what is good looking at a ranch as opposed to a suburban house, but I’m getting there and am happy to see how many great tools and work areas we’re getting. Ranches are a work in progress, and ours is moving along well.

The dining set my friend Carol painted for me sure looks nice.

I hope I can continue to make small contributions to the work around here. It makes me feel better about being a part of the family, not just the irritating resident who doesn’t have much of a purpose.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

4 thoughts on “I Did It All by Myself!”

  1. I, too, am impressed and inspired! I like to do stuff like that, but feel incompetent. So when I do accomplish something, like you did, I feel so great, so I think I know how you feel! And I love your red outdoor dining set!

    Liked by 2 people

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