The things I have observed (online and in online and phone chats) that my friends are doing to get through this in relation to home management and economics are very interesting and many are very positive. It makes me hope after we are through this, some of this is incorporated in future activities in schools and online and supplies are made more available that seem difficult to obtain at this point in the quarantine. So here is what I am talking about.
I see people baking breads, cookies, and other interesting things, resurfacing these activities in the kitchen that they may have done years ago or seldom do and they are teaching their children more about this.
I see some people teaching their children more about sewing, quilting, and cooking.
I love how many sewists and quilters have pitched in to make masks and hats. I have always loved how they pitch in when people somewhere face a disaster, making clothes and quilts.
I myself am trying to develop a very small deck garden using vegetables from my kitchen (potatos, tomatos, lettuce that came with the roots) and I want to add herbs and flowers when I can.
I am cleaning more than I usually do. It isn’t a great deal more, but my “someday” list has shortened lately. I have developed almost a daily bit of short periods that don’t overtake my work in my studio and have accomplished a lot really.
I greatly appreciate how much sharing of quilting, sewing, and cooking is being done online. Great whole classes and I am spending a little bit most every day learning something. I think many are doing it for free, but a lot of us would pay to watch these great teachers. I just discovered that King Arthur Flour, for instance, is running a series of videos called The Isolation Baking Show!
So here is what I hope happens after we are through this. I hope to see many of these things continue. I would love to see our school system give a lot of thought to the fact that school is as much there to prepare the children for living life through thick and thin in the real world as well as how to get into college (and maybe introduce consideration of a trade for their career). I hope they will emphase learning survival skills. I mean survival through a quarantine, a war, a great depression, a natural disaster, a family emergency, or individual financial difficulties people sometimes have, and how to enjoy life even in the face of these things. Some of these things can begin with the very young, and then skills can be built through the school years. Some of us, like myself, should continue to learn or improve these skills even when we get to what one might call “elderly”. I am not saying your children’s or grandkid’s schools don’t, but I have the impression that there could be improvement in many schools across the country, especially, and also continuation and development of more online sources for classes in:
- Buying and maintaining your computers, how to stay safe on the Internet, and how to be a responsible person on the Internet, how to organize your computer files, and shop safely online (I have a friend that needs a lot of help in this, and I do too sometimes)
- Sewng and quilting, including what to look for in buying a machine. Maybe even making costumes for cosplay, which would teach a lot, and repurposing clothes in the closet you no longer wear or you find in a thrift store, for instance, and what you should keep on hand even if you aren’t much of a sewist.
- Managing your wardrobe with an eye on the budget, including how to wash, clean, repair, and press it and the properties of fabrics
- Making a budget and watching out for problems and what is a financial advisor anyway
- Gardening, even if all you have is a window or a deck and you grow herbs
- Cooking and baking and figuring out how to capture and maintain wild yeast for sourdough, how to join things together to eat even when you have what I think of as a pantry that has odd things that don’t necessarily fit together because you are snowed in or quarantined
- What a properly stocked pantry should always contain and how to prepare regardless of your eating choices (yes, I lean towards being a prepper, if you will, and will eswpecially continue doing so after this). I recently learned from King Arthur Flour, for instance, that you can freeze yeast and use it direct from the freezer, making it good for a decade at least.
- DIY home repairs suitable for the everyday person…repairing a leaky faucet, a small hole in the wall, preparing your home for winter, or living in a desert, repairing or constructing a lamp, safely using a ladder, power washing your home, replacing a towel rack, and so forth.
- What tools and items one should keep on hand for DIY home repairs
- Basic safe carpentry skills
- Maintaining your home in general. How to tell when to call in a professional and when to do it yourself. Cleaning and organizing your refrigerator and pantry. Changing the bed linens. Properly disinfecting the home on a regular basis.
- Home decorating, art, and music, because we really do need to have beauty in our lives as well as practicality, and sometimes we may need to make this ourselves
- Maintaining your car (Although I can do this, I turn this one over to my youngest son)
- And perhaps we should all give some thought about how to care for family members who become ill from one thing or another while trying not to catch it ourselves.
So Grammy BJ (my alternative personality…LOL) surfaces again. But it is something I have been thinking of a lot lately.
Sew happy everyone. What skills have you resurfaced, added to, practiced, or learned since the great quarantine began? What do you plan to continue developing or doing?