Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Seven Things You Should Know How to Do


I have been thinking of things that everyone should know how to do. Some of these things I am suspecting that most of you already know how to do. But some of them I have had to learn since Richard became unable to take care of everything for me. I cannot believe how much he used to do. Especially when I would say, "It's not fair that I take care of everyone and still work full-time." If you are saying those things to the one that you love and he is doing some of these things for you, then you need to give him a big hug right now. Go on....I'll wait. Okay, now that you are back we will discuss some of these things and I will let you know how I learned to do them. I am linking up with List It Tuesday.


1. Know How to Change the Furnace Filter .....This will vary on what kind of furnace you have and where the location of your filter is. Shortly after Richard had a stroke our furnace of more than 25 years quit working. In February of course. And we had to get someone out ASAP. We did a quick fix to keep us from freezing to death but eventually had to buy a new furnace. And when I had the new furnace installed the man who sold it to me gave me a lesson in how to change the filter. As well as a lecture on now letting it get as dirty as the one in the old filter. Oops! Richard had always wanted me to learn how to change the filter. But I just told him that I wouldn't need to ever change it because after he died, I'd just call up one of my sons to do it. Ha! Ha! That didn't work out too well for me. It is important to change the filter because a clean filter traps the dirt and allergens in the air and helps your furnace run more efficiently. Your house will be cleaner and your furnace will last longer. So find out today how to change your furnace filter. My furnace guy recommended that I do it at the very least twice a year (when I change the clocks) but to be most efficient do it once monthly.

2. Check and put air in your car tires....Inaccurate air in tires can cause your tires to wear out sooner. And , as I also found out after Richard's stroke, tires are EXPENSIVE. You should be checking your tires air pressure at least once a month. I try to check mine when I fill up my car with gas. (Another job I didn't learn how to do until after Richard's stroke) Geez, I was pampered wasn't I? You should check your tires when they are cold. By this it means when you haven't been driving for awhile. Driving your car causes your tires to heat and expand. Who would have guessed that? Not me, that's who. You can look in your car's manual or on the inside of the driver's door to see what your cold tire inflation pressure should be. Mine is 30 PSI.
You then remove the valve stem cap and use an air pressure gauge to check your tires pressure. I had a hard time with reading those old standard type so I bought a digital one and it is really easy to use. If I need to add air, I try to find a place that lets me do it for free. Paying for air just somehow seems wrong to me. Then, add the air and check it again. And don't forget to replace the valve stem. They keep dirt and debris out of your valve stem.

3. Know how to check the oil in your car.....My 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora has a computerized system. As do most cars these days. So it will tell me when I need to change oil. And how much life is left in my oil. But if it tells me I am needing to add oil, then I have a problem. Or so the mechanic told me! So I now check my oil twice a month, along with checking the air in the tires. I do this when I put gas in the car. I am lucky in that I only need to gas up twice a month. We don't go anywhere! Remember! The first thing you do is raise the hood of your car and locate the dipstick. It is found in a different place in all cars. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it off with a paper towel. Look at the dipstick and locate either two lines or two dots. Then push it back into the slot where you removed it and take it out again. You want to see your oil near the upper line or dot. If is is closer to the lower one, then you need to add some oil to your car. This is really easy to do. Just make sure you put the oil into the RIGHT place. And change your oil according to when your car's manual tells you to. Or, as I do whenever my car's computer says that I need to.

4. Everyone should know how to do basic CPR.....you never know when you will be called upon to save a person's life. I recommend you take a CPR course either through the Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Either of those places offer basic CPR courses. I, of course, had to learn this as a nursing student and was required to update every year. I, fortunately never used it outside of either the hospital or the nursing home where I worked. But I would know what to do if it was necessary at a shopping mall or the grocery store until the paramedics arrived. If you don't know how to do CPR, I recommend you put that on your list of things to do. ASAP

5. Know where your water shut off valve is in your home.......The best time to find this valve is before you need it. Like if water is spewing all over the place from a ruptured water pipe! And then tell everyone in the family where it is. You will typically find it coming into your house on the side of the house that faces the street. That is if you live in the city and receive city water. Mine is located in the laundry room next to my hot water tank. Find out where yours is located and label it!

6. Everyone should know how to do basic first aid....This is something all of us need to know. For a variety of reasons. You need to know how to clean and bandage wounds. You need to know how to apply pressure to stop excessive bleeding. You need to know when to call for an ambulance and when you can transport someone yourself to the doctor. There are many good sites you can read on-line to learn about basic first aid. One of my favorites can be found here. It is The University of Iowa's basic first aid plan for youth camps. It covers everything you need to know.

7. Everyone should know how to type.....Are there really still people in this day and age who are called "hunt and peckers" at the computer keyboard. My grand kids learned typing early in their education. I learned it back in high school because I was on a secretarial career path. But you can teach yourself how to type right here on the computer. You can go to the Learning and Living in the On-line World and find 5 sites for learning how to type. I think it will help you enjoy your computer even more.

So there you have it! My Seven Things You Should Know How To do. I am sure there are a million others things we should all know how to do. What are some that you would add to this list?

22 comments:

  1. If I had to shut off the water in my house, I would be so screwed. I think I'll go home today and ask Phil to show me how to do that.

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    1. I only recently found where mine was. Thank goodness it was not because I had water gushing into the house. Good to see you Flora

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  2. Well I am happy to say that I can turn off the water, type, cpr, and first aid. I am totally useless when it comes to cars. Heck I can't even put air in my bike tires LOL. I guess it is time for me to put on my big girl panties and learn these things.

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    1. Yep you best have Frank teach you all that now. You just never know. Of course you can always take it into the dealer. They will keep your car in great shape. For a great price, of course!

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  3. Oh how I love this list. I can type, check my oil, change a tire, first aid and CPR. However I do not know how to change my furnace filter or where to shut off my water. I think I will have my hubby teach me these things this week. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Great idea. I just recently learned both of those things!

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  4. Here's my addendum to your list - if you have a front wheel drive car, you MUST have your tires rotated when you get your oil changed...or every other oil change if you are one of those people who actually do it when it is supposed to be done, not just kind of when it supposed to be done! If you don't - they will wear down on the inside where you can't see it and they have to be replaced like every year...EXPENSIVE lesson learned! I actually cried when it happened to me...and made me want to sell my car, but apparently it's like that on a lot of cars now! Luckily, I can type, know CPR and first aid, can shut off my water, do the air in my tires, pump my own gas, I just suck it up and get my oil changed, but I can check it. I even know how to check the fuses in my car and change the filters...because I am cheap and/or poor! Great list!

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    1. Yes....keep those tires rotated. We have to learn how to do things like this when we are poor.

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  5. Great list! Made me realize now that my kids are older we need to do a "House 101", showing them where the water shut-off and breakers are.

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    1. Exactly. The kids need to know these things too!

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  6. I've learned to ask where to turn off the water, because usually a repair person would come and that would be the first question they would ask and I would have to call hubby at work, so I eventually got smart and started asking before the fact.

    Your list of 7 is a great one! I have to admit there are things on that list I need to learn to do, like check the air in the tire, check the oil, etc. I don't even pump gas (but I suppose I could if I had to). You are right, it is good to have this knowledge because you just never know. On the plus side, I am an excellent touch typist :)

    betty

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    1. I am an excellent typist as well, but I didn't know a darn thing about cars and some of those lessons were expensive! I had never ever pumped my own gas until Richard's stroke 2 years ago!

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  7. Completely agree with your whole list! Only two things I'd add is how to replace the innards of the toilet tank (super simple and should never have to hire a professional for) and how to install and keep fresh batteries in smoke detectors :-)

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    1. Hey I should have included that. I recently learned how to do the toilet thing. Learned it from You Tube. You can learn anything from You Tube.

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  8. What a great list! Thanks for the reminders! I am counting my blessings that I married "Mr. Fix-it." I am so spoiled because he fixes anything! I just realized I know how to check the oil (and fill it) on MY little truck but not the family car--I have no idea where the dipstick is. I will have to have my hubby show me that and how to change the furnace filter! Interesting you should mention knowing CPR--it's been probably 15+ yrs since I took a refresher course. I will put that at the top of my list! I was going to mention fixing the toilet but Chrystal beat me to it. I struggled my way through doing it from the directions on the package of parts--I wouldn't recommend learning it that way!

    I can think of a lot of things I had to learn during my years of being a single mom with very limited income. I bought a book on home maintenance that has the 'how-to...' on almost anything you can think of. A lot of it sounds more complicated than what I would want to take on--but it is nice to have the reference in a pinch.

    I would add-:
    how to put in a molly or toggle bolt into sheet rock
    how to replace a window screen (it's easy!)
    learn ladder safety--if you are even remotely thinking of using one (there are rules & tricks to it)
    how to take apart a drain under the sink (sometimes you can find the lost earring in the trap!)
    how to unclog a garbage disposal
    how to use jumper cables to start a dead battery safely
    how to sharpen a knife, and how to sharpen yard tools.

    I wonder if anyone still remembers how to drive a stick shift? Did you ever roll-start a car with a stick shift? I bet a lot of us have some stories about our adventures in "making do" when it comes to fixing something. Or, (shudder!) close calls with danger because we 'put off' fixing something?


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    1. Thanks for visiting today MK. And this is a good list you left. I have driven a stick shift once. Well, I won't go so far as to say I drove it because we really ended up stuck in a ditch. Not pretty. You left a good list. I don't know how to do most of what you left. I better get busy learning....

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    2. Thanks Paula! I like your post today--the idea of knowing what kind of financial shape you are in is so important. And knowing where to find those important passwords, insurance papers, etc. is key too. Hope you are having a better day today.

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    3. Thank you MK. You are right. All of those things that we take for granted.

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  9. AWESOME list! My son was taking a computer class and claimed he HATED it because he had no idea how to type and he was having to learn. "Dad doesn't type right and HE makes a living." I wanted to bash him over the head with a frozen chicken! Seriously? Did you just say that to ME??? KIds are stupid....

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  10. OH, for the record, my husband took typing in high school and also in college, he types well... just chooses to hunt and peck now). Me, however, I type about 115 wpm.

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    1. Yep I can type pretty fast too! But I know that some can type just as fast with two fingers

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