Anything in 3 Easy Steps!
by Tess Pennington
by Tess Pennington: The
Sweet Life: Sugar Alternatives for Your Homesteading Needs
There is always
a learning curve when we begin something new. At times this learning
curve can be quite intimidating, but, if you stick with something
long enough, you tend to get the hang of it. This holds true to
anything you set your mind to learning.
Many of us
are taking time out from our busy schedules to learn new skills
that will either prepare us for surviving an extended, long-term
emergency or we are wanting to learn skills that we can use to live
a more sustainable lifestyle. When developing new skills overwhelms
you, remember, you can break them down into three easy steps:
steps are the basic outline to learning how to do ANYTHING.
day, I thank my lucky stars for the internet. With it, I can learn
just about anything using YouTube videos, websites and forums. Information
is free for the taking, and not only can you read about it, you
can print off the instructions that seem the most valuable.
the wide range of the internet, dont forget the importance
of paper technology: books! Add to your how-to library on a dime
by picking up books on a multitude of topics from library sales,
thrift shops, book store clearance sections and yard sales.
from others. Tap into the knowledge base of older neighbors and
family members, many of whom already possess the skills that you
want to learn. Spend time interviewing them, watching them and asking
questions. Most of these skills were originally passed down by word
of mouth, so keep the oral tradition alive!
Once you have
decided upon the skill that you want to learn and researched it,
you need to gather the supplies required to learn it. Some skills
require no particular supplies. Like learning to forage in the woods
for food you can simply use your research materials to pursue
the skill. Others, like making a rag rug, for example, require things
like fabric, a sturdy needle and carpet thread.
I keep a running
list of specific supplies that I am looking for and keep it with
me when I hit the thrift stores and yard sales. Ive acquired
things like sewing supplies, jars of buttons, an axe, how-to books,
gardening tools, canning jars, and many many more items that others
no longer have a use for. As well, think about sources like Craigslist,
Freecycle and the classified section of your local newspaper. Sometimes
all you have to do is ask to catch the interest of someone who wants
to clear out some space in his or her basement.
supplies so that they are grouped together by skill you dont
want to start a project only to have to stop and search for a necessary
item for half an hour.
With a new
skill, you dont learn how to perform it simply by reading
about it. You have to put the skill into practice to truly be proficient
at it. This is true of anything from canning to sewing to chopping
If you are
lucky enough to have a mentor for the skill you are learning now
is the time to invite her over for tea! She can watch what you are
doing and point out ways to make it easier or identify mistakes
before they become habits!
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joined the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess
worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and
is well versed in emergency and disaster management and response.
You can follow her regular updates on Preparedness,
and a host of other topics at ReadyNutrition.com.
Best of Tess Pennington