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ToolBox TomGirl Talk

June 14, 2010

Welcome!  I’m Jo Ellen Soesbee, your ToolBox TomGirl.

Just a typical woman on a typical mission: To put a hammer in the hand of every woman and teach her how to use it.

This is where I share my adventures as a DIY woman, and as owner of a woman-run and operated residential and commercial repair service. So, there’s A LOT to talk about.

Mostly, I look forward to two things:  Sharing the secrets of becoming an independent, toilet-fixing, weather-stripping, money-saving Do-It-Yourself Woman, and learning more about you. What inspires you to DIY, what you get from the experience and how I can support you.

It’s all part of my commitment to help women become more independent; to help all of us easily say: “Honey, would ya hand me that hacksaw?”

Kind of rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?

To women holding hammers,

Jo Ellen Soesbee, the ToolBox TomGirl

  1. April 1, 2010 6:59 pm

    Being the1st woman to become a member of operating engineers union in 1978 I am proud to know how to operate bulldozers to swing a hammer and stay feminine all the while we as woman have so many inner so talents that most think are for men only so open up our pink tool boxes ladies & lets get to building !!

    • April 1, 2010 8:43 pm

      That is very impressive. I do not know how to operate BIG machines like a bulldozer. Of course, I can swing a mean hammer! You will have to send me some pictures to post of you working. I would love to show other women (especially young ones who are still deciding on what to do with their lives) that we can do whatever we want to do. You rock!

  2. April 2, 2010 7:30 pm

    Thanks there have been many stories of how some men who believed i belonged in a kitchen & not out as part of the crew they tryed many some bad things to get rid of me which just made me stronger lol now i design jewelry but would love to share w the yoinger woman up & coming … Power to the pink toolboxs ladies!

    • April 7, 2010 12:19 pm

      I understand that. There should be no rules as to what either men or women can do. Men can cook and clean and women can perform repairs. It’s all about teamwork and keeping your skills active (along with your mind).

  3. MLS permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:03 pm

    I have used a hammer for quite some time.I teach but I wish I had gone to a trade school because I love working with my hands and repairing things. My biggest accomplishment was replacing an idle pulley and drum belt on the clothes dryer. With a picture and the right parts and tools I can succeed. I do what repairs I can in the house but I usually have to go online to get lots of info. Right now I want to replace the motor of my oven hood. It is old but found the motor and 100 other parts at the manufacturers website. I figure it is easier to replace the whole motor then to decipher what part may be broken. I have a few more projects and you may hear from me with a few questions. So glad you are here.

    • April 8, 2010 2:37 pm

      You sound like you are a DIY’er already. Good for you! I agree that with good instructions (and pictures when possible) we can do almost anything. I love fixing and creating projects and feeling that sense of satisfaction when it is completed. It’s a drug free, food free high that nothing else can come close to. Thanks for being part of my community. I look forward to hearing from you again. TBTG

  4. MLS permalink
    April 8, 2010 5:52 pm

    I like your 25 Top Tips. About the directions of the ceiling fan. The upstairs always feels 10 degrees hotter than the first floor. I know heat rises but if I am pushing it down what is happening to the cool air that is coming out of the vent that sits on the lowest part of the wall? Does it ever make it to the middle of the room?

    • April 9, 2010 8:41 am

      I am glad you like the tips. The ceiling fan question is a good one. The upstairs IS always hotter because hot air rises. That is why it is good to pull it to you in the winter and push it away from you in the summer. The air is always flowing around the room, even with the blades moving in a different direction, but by moving the hot air down you are forcing it to the duct (return) that will take it from the room. The duct that gives you the cold air (supply) will also have the air flowing from it moved around by the fan. You are more using the fan to direct the hot air than the cold at this point. I know you will feel the difference and the benefit is that you will be saving energy. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

  5. July 4, 2010 2:09 pm


  6. July 5, 2010 10:51 am

    Having done my share of home repairs and remodeling along with engine repairs on my car I can really appreciate what you are doing here! I love how you combine the gruff of home repairs with the flair of humorous writing and it’s in PINK – you go girl! I just had the wonderful pleasure of digging up and cleaning out the leech lines of my septic system – that was such a FUN job I hope I never have to do it again! I’ll bookmark this blog, so the next time I tackle some home repairs and need some advice I’ll know where to go!

    • July 5, 2010 1:51 pm

      Oh Anita – can I feel for you! I grew up where we had a septic system and I had to help dig “dry wells” every year. And….one year I was riding my bike through the yard and fell into a septic tank (we only had boards covering the opening). I will NEVER forget that experience! I am glad you appreciate my work and writings. You are doing a great job. I know NOTHING about cars…..(I do know how to take it to the shop and say “it’s making this weird noise – sort of like a washing machine on the blink.”

  7. July 5, 2010 2:42 pm

    I”m so glad I found this blog. It’s going to be a lifesaver for me.
    And I like your pleasant, fun and informative writing style.

    • July 6, 2010 1:10 pm

      I am glad you found me also. Feel free to send me any questions you have. I write from my experiences so I am glad you enjoyed it.

  8. July 13, 2010 10:43 pm

    Thank you for your nice comment. Let me know if you have any questions you would like me to discuss.

  9. mls permalink
    July 26, 2010 10:19 pm

    I need to bang some nails asap. Gotta get some stress relief.

  10. swissknifev permalink
    October 5, 2010 3:22 am

    Impressive blog. I am from India and a male. What you say makes more sense to me. Ma’am I do know that women are capable of technical understanding and sometimes they amaze you and defy common perceptions. Unfortunately we don’t have a business like yours in India. Yours is a fantastic concept. Divorcees, single women, widows, the poor, the abused – all of them can benefit with new technical skills and confidence. In India labor is cheap so most women prefer hiring technical services. However, I feel, poor women can get into this area to set up their own enterprises. I also feel that women take up to computers and IT easily. That’s an area where we can really empower women and that includes Mobile cell technology. You have given me a brilliant idea and inspiration. We need someone like you here. It also means the blessings of a million women. Fantastic. You’re a pioneer Ma’am. Not just an innovator.

  11. swissknifev permalink
    October 6, 2010 7:13 am

    Thanx Ma’am I am going to share this thought with people. I’ll ask them to log on to our site. Geat site. Great Idea. Thanx Ma’am

  12. April 18, 2011 6:17 pm

    Hi! I think I would be classified under one of those who at least knows how to opperate a hammer! But that’s about it!

    • April 18, 2011 8:51 pm

      Stephanie – It is a good place to start. Some women are afraid of hammers. Start with a hammer and move on to the next tool. Small baby steps and the next thing you know you will have a power saw!

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