Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Meme Challenge

If you are reading this now, if your eyes are passing over this, this is your challenge.

Write up some real, useful, concrete thing that you know how to do that the "average" person doesn't know how to do. Like making mozzarella cheese (which is what got me to thinking about this). Or cutting a tree down with an ax (from which book the new quote in the sidebar comes from). All scouts should know how to set up a one match fire, so while I would count that, I would count it as too easy. Likewise, recipes generally wouldn't count, except for something so basic and so not made at home usually as cheese. And useful though they might be, fortune telling and reiki and preaching and coordinating and intervening and the like definitely do not count.

What real and skill do you have to offer the community? If you post it on your blog, please leave a comment here, or feel free to post your skill in the comments for this post. I bet you folks have some very interesting and useful skills! so I'm really looking forward to this.


madcapmum said...

Well, I'm pretty handy with a needle and thimble. I can mend, and hem, and put a strong, tidy edge on a quilt. I know how to sort good quality fabric from bad. I just stitched my husband's big winter gloves back together so we'll get another year or two of use out of them.

I can do basic maintenance on a sewing machine. I can even make simple clothes if I must. (Though I prefer 2 dimensions to 3.)

Other than that, the regular domestic skills of cooking and cleaning, the stuff of daily life. They might be "easy", but in my sphere they're becoming less and less commonly familiar.

Oh, and I can make yoghurt without a special appliance. Does that count?

Lost said...

I can actually make moccasins. Strange as that sounds lol. Don\'tcha love night school?

the Contrary Goddess said...

oh gawd, I'm laughing at the yogurt madcap! I can make rice without an appliance too! But you are so right about the every day domestic chores becoming unknown.

And I love the moccasins lost! I have a book on making shoes, simple ones like jesus sandals and moccasins, but I haven't done it yet.

Here's a truly silly one: I once knew a man raised in Florida. In West Virginia winter he, another friend and I went to a state park and went running around on a hill with snow on it. He kept falling, couldn't keep up. "How are you climbing that hill?" We turned out our feet but it was a technique he, being from flatland, didn't know.

madcapmum said...

Dang, I forgot my rice-making prowess! I'm a flippin' pioneer!

H. Stallard said...

Question, if you please. Do you want a list of things we can do or do you want us to set down and write out in detail actually how to do it? If the latter, when you publish them all in a book do we get a cut of the profits?

Anonymous said...

Profits? She's probably planning on saddling you with the liability when someone kills themselves following the instructions.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, Harold, it depends. I like more instruction, especially on interesting things.

But it may be as Eleu says and I'm spreading blame. You know how much I'm into blame.

Although, truly and truthfully, I believe that anyone who really knows anything at all shares it freely. That of course doesn't preclude writing books (where would any of us be without John Jeavons?) or the giving of lessons for hire, but anyone who HAS to be paid to share their knowledge, power, or gift is a fraud. IMO of course.

Walter Jeffries said...

Well, I just wrote this week about how to keep chickens snug outdoors in our northern Vermont mountain winter at http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2005/12/winter-hen-coop.html. Does that count?

the Contrary Goddess said...

very cool, errr, warm Walter!

Laura said...

I was raised a long way away from my elder relatives, and my parents were always busy and hurrying. Maybe I'm just kinda down, but I can't think of anything real that I contribute to the community. I guess I can probably swing a scythe better than the average person, but definitely not well enough to put up hay. I know a few good knots and can put them to effective use. I can tune a guitar, and replace the strings when needed. I can boost a car, wire in a new electrical outlet, and trace the problem with our phone system to an ancient bit of cable that somebody snipped and taped off instead of disconnecting from the terminals at the service block. I can find my way to a farm on these Canadian prairies given the land description (quarter, section, township and range). I recognize numerous different native plants on sight, but so what? I can avoid poison ivy, and use stinging nettles and cattail pollen to supplement my diet. But all the above are things that anybody could figure out in about a half hour, given access to a basic library or an Internet connection. Too easy. About the only skills I have that couldn't be picked up quickly just by getting your hands on the right book, are Tai Chi, playing piano, and... well that's probably about it. But those, "useful though they might be...definitely do not count."

So for me the challenge is not to write a little how-to blog post, but rather to go out and learn something useful. Meanwhile, if anybody else is feeling, er, expendable, they can always stop by my blog to cheer me up. I'll definitely count that as a contribution to the community.

the Contrary Goddess said...

I don't know laura, but most of those things are not unlike, say, making cheese. I learned it from a book 1st, then from doing. Knots are terribly useful, and the wiring stuff, so many people wouldn't even *consider* tracking it down.

Here's one of the things I consider of biggest use to "community" -- the example that it CAN be done. Even if no one else chooses to. There are, it may be, so many choices possible in this ole world.

Laura said...

Thanks, CG. All the best of this season of growing light to you.

LuceLu said...

Laura, I think playing the piano is a great skill that not everybody knows how to do.

I can access veins with needles and start IV's which is something that is not common in basic first aid. I can also read blood pressures although that is pretty easy to learn. I also give good shots.

I can sew, make quilts and clothing.

This weekend I figured out how to put extra shelves in my pantry (ex broomcloset) with the use of power tools and scrap wood. If I didn't have the power tools it would have been difficult as I tried to hammer the supports but the space was too small to get a strong momentum. I also kept the fire going starting with one match and continuing on with live coals. I also made my own laundry detergent but I used already made soap and boxed washing soda and borax. I didn't make it from my own lye.

Last month I figured out how to fix a lamp switch.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Sorry lucelu, I'd say your medical stuff actually gets in the way of any real healing skills. The times when access of veins would be helpful would be, hmm, almost never.

Excuse my smartassness please. But truly, allopathic medicine is SO harmful.

Anonymous said...

A friend and former coworker of mine who is a research scientist for a pharmaceutical company came to visit all full of excitement over a new cancer treatment he was working on. That job isn't good for him, I invited him to do as I had done and become a broccoli farmer. When the local plant dissolved, freeing me from the last vestiges of Babylon, I came back here on this mountainside to raise broccoli. I have long preached the Gospel of Broccoli, research after research shows how long term indulgence in broccoli is mighty as a cancer preventative.

On his visit about the variation on the treatment he was party to researching, I asked him frankly, "Which of us is going to relieve more cancer, me the broccoli farmer or you the pharmacolotist?"

I too have a tendency to discount allopathic medicine as an honorable skill. In a few cases, perhaps, but I think it causes more harm than it cures.

Since people bandy about those heretical loose Bible paraphrases, I though I might as well come up with my own:

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills (of vegetables) from whence cometh my help,
My help cometh from Broccoli which preventeth cancer and stroke."