Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Do-It-Yourself Long-Term Goals

Thinking about my previous post on Popular Mechanics 25 skills, I would like to acquire several hands-on skills which aren’t on the PM list but that I think are important for me to eventually learn. The main five are:

1) How to safely handle & shoot handguns and rifles. I used to shoot about 2-3 times a year with my family but that hasn’t happened in a long while. I think it’s important to know even if you never plan to own a gun. You may get into a dangerous situation involving guns and this knowledge could help you handle it.

Goals 2-5 below cut.

2) How to defend self (hands only). Notice a theme of self-defense? I’m a smaller-build woman living alone. I don’t want to ever be mistaken for a ready-made victim. Knowing self-defense is a good way for me to prepare myself just in case. That way anyone who attacks me gets some rather unpleasant surprises. And at this point, I’m not ready to purchase a gun so hand-to-hand self-defense is a more comfortable starting point.

3) How to preserve my own food. I’ve been gardening since I moved out on my own but apartment kitchens aren’t really a good size or layout to do preserving. And my family has always done things like make their own salsa, jellies and preserved vegetables. It would help me waste less of what I grow and I can indulge in the hands-on activities I most like: cooking and gardening.

4) How to Sew. I’ve tried it but it always looks terrible. My sole attempts to sew have involved repairing ripped seams on backpacks and making lame pillows for Girl Scouts (waaaaayyy back). I’d like to be able to at the very least repair my own buttons. Possibly learn how to use a sewing machine.

5) How to remodel your own kitchen. I know, it sounds a bit odd. But the number of home-repair skills required to remodel a kitchen is huge (plumbing, electrical work, cabinetry, tiling/flooring, appliance selection/install, lighting). So if I can remodel my kitchen, I can also do a whole bunch of other stuff around the house. Of course, right now I can barely keep my kitchen clean much less attempt a remodeling.

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