Ask the audience: What do you wish you had learned?

WinkIvy says:

First, wish Heather a happy birthday! I’m a terrible friend, she had to remind me.  Now, for the question du jour:

What domestic skill do you wish you had learned?

For me, my mother sews like an angel (an angel that sews, anyway), and I wish I had learned that. She no longer has time or energy to teach me, so I may never learn, not from my mother, anyway.  I often think about all the skills that my grandpa had, that I never had a chance to learn because he’s gone now. I’m trying to find out from my parents as much as possible, before some things are lost forever, like my Auntie’s Monkey Bread recipe.

So, tell us, what do you wish you had learned? A bonus to this: we’ll try to teach you. 🙂


  1. Counseling Course on December 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Domestic skills are overated. Being able to cook is a good skill.

  2. Monica on July 25, 2007 at 8:49 am

    For those wanting to learn to knit, I recommend the website because it has lots of online videos you can watch. It is really easier when you can *see* how it is done (pictures in a book are not the same). I knit English (more common), but left-handed knitters often prefer Continental style.

    I am trying to learn a lot of domestic things I never learned growing up. In the past few years, I have learned to knit, to sew, and to can. Of course once you have mastered the basics there is still a lot of room for improvement of skills.

    I still want to learn gardening, quilting, soap-making, candle-making, how to made braided rugs and hooked rugs, reupholstering, how to get a better ete for interior design…

  3. Taylor on July 24, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Also canning for me (but I’m going down to Alabama for a crash course in that in just a few weeks)

    And taking care of houseplants. I’m decent, but my mom is amazing. Things just flourish under her.

  4. Ifeedformula on July 23, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    I just thought of another one…driving a stickshift. My mother drove a stick for years and it always sounded awful (grinding of the gears when shifting, etc) which means nobody taught her to drive a stick properly either.

    If I ever get my dream car (a 67 VW Beetle), I’ll have to learn to drive a stick because those are stickshift cars.

  5. katie on July 23, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Well, from the first post I read, apparently I wish I had learned that I was supposed to vaccuum the refrigerator coils. Who knew?

    Really, though, sewing, canning, and growing a decent garden would have been quite helpful. And real baking – I can cook well, but baking is just disastrous. I’d love to be able to make my own bread and pie crusts that actually taste good.

  6. Tink on July 23, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    I second Rachels comment.

    Maybe it’s not really a “skill” but how about a list of non obvious chores.

    I went for years not knowing I had to change filters for my heating/air conditioning system.

    Makes me wonder how many systems I destroyed and how much power I wasted over the years..

    I also didn’t know there were filters stuck up inside my vacuum that needed to be cleaned – or, like Rachel said – that fridge coils needed to be vacuumed.

    Check weatherstripping – caulking – all that little junk that can add up to big junk if not taken care of – but that takes very little time or money to stay on top of..

  7. Random Linkage on July 23, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Domestic Skills…

    What domestic skill do you wish you had learned? asks HomeEc 101. My grandmother working as a seamstress in a factory, and I really wish I’d learned how to sew…….

  8. Home Ec 101 » Blog Archive » Vacuuming those dang refrigerator coils on July 22, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    […] comment on this post reminded me of something I had been wanting to post about for awhile.  Typically, you should be […]

  9. Rachel on July 22, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Oh, and anything that’s non-daily, non-obvious. Am I supposed to vacuum the back of the fridge? What other maintenance things am I missing?

  10. themomhalf on July 22, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Canning, and how to run a house! Actually I have figured out how my mom ran her house — she waited till all the children were in bed then she cleaned, and tossed stuff.

    My mother is one of those people who need very little sleep — she was up before us, went to bed after us, and she has no patience for watching tv, and no clue how to work a computer — so that frees up loads of time for her

    She showed me how to clean — like here is how you clean a bathroom — ONCE — and never again was I required/allowed to clean said bathroom. 🙂

  11. Pam on July 22, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    All of these skills can be learned by conacting your local extension office. Look under Government in your phone book and then ______(your county) County extension office. The classes are usually free or very inexpensive!!! Pam, South Bend

  12. Ifeedformula on July 22, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Knitting! I would love to learn how to knit, but the books I’ve read (even Knitting for Dummies) makes it seem complicated for a person who is primarily left handed (like myself) to learn how.

  13. Rachel on July 22, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Hmmm. Here we go: canning; gardening and growing vegetables (I got some of this, but it’s been years); sewing (buttons, hems, ripped seams, etc); knitting; removing stains; cooking a lot of comfort food staples.

  14. Stephanie on July 22, 2007 at 8:13 am

    I wish my sewing were better, but I think I could pick that up if I tried.

    What I’ve never learned was knitting or crocheting. That I really want to learn!

    Happy Birthday Heather!

  15. Teresa on July 22, 2007 at 7:28 am

    Upholstery. My grandma used to reupholster peoples furniture in her kitchen for extra money. Wish I hadn’t been so young when she was doing it so I could have learned how.

    Successful gardening. I’ve learned crappy gardening all on my own.

  16. Granny on July 21, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    CANNING! It wasn’t a skill passed on in my family, so if I learn it now, it will most likely be from someone younger than I am. Anybody wanna make a trip to Granny’s House with her pressure cooker?