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Legal advice on Home improvements in Idaho

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Legality of a hand shake agreement.
I was hired by a couple to manage a ranch in Idaho. We shook hands on one thousand dollars a month and a house on the property. they never got the house in livable condition (part of the agreement) so I commuted from a rental that I was paying for. After 209 hrs. of work they told me I didn't have to return until the house was ready, about two weeks. They hired someone else and never told me. About 9 months later they asked me to return but I would have to paint the house inside and a few other things before I could move in. I loved the area, so I decided to try again. When I returned the owner said he was sorry about my past experience with him and said it would never happen again. We shook hands, $1000.00 a month and the house. My duties were to maintain the dam and hydro plant, irrigation, the grounds around my house and his lawn. He had absolutely no equipment, not even a lawn mower and an acre of grass. I bought a riding mower which he told me he would reimburse me for when he sold some property he owned in Texas. Before my first check he told me he could only pay me$500 a month and he would make up the back pay when he sold some property in Texas. About a year later I found out that they sold property in Texas but didn't mention it to me. I was using my own trailers, chain saws, power washers, roto-tiller, chipper, lawn mower, edger and any other tool he or I used on the ranch. On or about Dec 20, of 2008 I was told that they couldn't afford to pay me but they wanted me to stay and work for the use of the house. I told them I would stay and not leave them during their financial crisis as she called it. Today Jan.3, 2009 I was notified that I was a "free loader" and that I had until March 1st to leave. These people have no intention of paying me any owed wages or for equipment that I purchased for the ranch. Is a hand shake a legal contract? I want to leave but I need more time and I want to be paid. To date equipment and wages are over $14,000.00.

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