Home > Old fashioned skills

Old fashioned skills

January 30th, 2022 at 07:35 pm

Handwritten notes, button sewing, and leftovers -- what do they all have in common?

I believe they are old fashioned skills.

A week or so ago, a friend and I were talking about writing thank you notes and how we still like to send and receive those thank you notes in the mail. Recently I read an opinion column where a man said writing thank you letters as well as letters to companies have resulted in some grand things for him. He complained to a CEO of a company that he had had the repair people out over and over and eventually had to fix something himself. He said he didn't get nasty or threatening, but wondered if the CEO would at least reimburse him for his doing his own repair. The CEO apologized and went a step further and not only paid what it cost the man for the parts, but gave him some of the money back he had paid them initially. 

I think we can agree with the cost of food going up due to inflation, we are trying to squeeze more and more meals out of what we buy and make. I've always used leftovers either for lunches or what I tease DH as our buffet dinners. Some of the meals you get when you out are so huge, so not bringing the leftovers home is almost wasteful. I see lots of recipes for making use of stuff and I know that is going to be the case for us tonight. I made a huge pot of vegetable soup this week. We have had one meal already. We plan to have another tonight. A couple of days ago I fixed spaghetti and I don't put the sauce with the spaghetti, but serve them separately. We didn't eat all the spaghetti so I will chop it into small pieces and will add it to the soup as well as the little bit of leftover sauce. It will make the soup a little different than what we initially had. I am predicting we will have enough soup to freeze for another meal as well. I know I keep a bag in the freezer for leftover vegetables, you know a spoonfull of cooked carrots, or a few green beans, and I often use that to make vegetable soup with the other stuff. 

I recently ran across an article about sewing on buttons. Here is the url if you want to read it:

Anyway, I just can't imagine taking it to someone and paying them to sew on a button. I cut off buttons of stuff that is no longer wearable and keep them in case we lose a button so I can hopefully find one that will work. A few years ago a woman I worked with popped the button off her slacks. She said she would be throwing them out and buying new. I told her to bring the slacks and the button and I would sew them on, but she refused. I thought it was wasteful. Before teachers were required to do all the state testing and basically regimented on what they had to teach and when, I used to do an art project where we would "decorate" felt Christmas trees by sewing on buttons. I figured that was a sneaky way of teaching a life skill. I would ask my friends for any stray buttons they had and I would teach the kids how to thread a needle and sew on buttons. I had to stop doing that since administrators felt since it wasn't on the state test, it wasn't a worthwhile thing to teach. 

I like reading articles on different skills and what people used to do. So  many were to save money and make do with what one had. 

4 Responses to “Old fashioned skills”

  1. Lots of Idea Says:

    I have a box of buttons but it pales in comparison to my mother and grandmother’s boxes. I wonder if there is an age cutoff for buttons.

    My mother kept a pile of ‘mending’ that Grammie did when she came to visit. I don’t know if my mother needed the help, wanted her mother to feel needed, or if it kept her out of things my mother didn’t want her ‘helping’ with.

    I tried to get my mother to do my mending by asking her ‘how’ to do something and she would usually say ‘give it to me.’

    I wear very little with buttons anymore. Or anything that needs ironing…

  2. Wink Says:

    My mom was the same. She was a seamstress and made most of our clothes when I was young. She taught me the basics, but I just didn't have her talent. I'm glad I know enough to be able to replace buttons, zippers, and hem. Although these days I'm usually in leggings and hoodies in winter.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    These days you can learn to sew a button on by watching a youtube video. If people have the internet, they have no excuses for throwing something away just because it loses a button. I remember when you told that story when it first happened and how appalled I was about it.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I sew on buttons, keep a button box, write thank you notes, make soup out of leftovers -- I'm very old-fashioned!

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