Social Distancing 101: A “Restorative” Video

Today’s Social Distancing tip is to relax and watch magic for a half hour. Christine McConnell—gothic artist, creator, restorer extraordinaire—has released a half-hour episode on YouTube in which she gives new life to an old gramophone. I wouldn’t call this a ‘restoration’ as she doesn’t do anything to the actual working parts, but she performs real magic on the horn and cabinet. This was originally intended only for her Patreon supporters, but she felt we could all use a distraction. I can’t think of a better way to spend half an hour, now that I’ve watched as many of “The Repair Shop” episodes as an American is able to see. Relax and enjoy.

Need more Christine McConnell? Subscribe to her channel on YouTube.

Social Distancing 101: Deep Dive Organizing

I have recipes. Lots of recipes. Some are aging, crumbling newspaper clippings. Some are printouts from websites. Some are PDFs on my hard drive. Some are cut out of magazines. Some are beautifully written on perfect cute cards by my mom, who’s handwriting approaches calligraphy. And some look like this one:

Yes, that’s two cards badly taped together. Amazingly, I can understand the recipe, if I squint and stand on one leg. I got it from someone, possibly a friend or maybe a relative, either a decade ago or a few years ago, I have absolutely no recollection. And I’ve never actually tried the recipe.

I’ve made many attempts to organize my recipes over the years, but have never once achieved the goal of a perfect system containing everything. The goalpost has moved over the years, too. Way back, the goal was to re-copy all recipes (after testing them) onto perfect cute little recipe cards. But with advances in technology, now my goal is to scan everything into PDF files, then toss out the newspaper and magazine clippings, the printouts, pretty much everything except heirloom recipe cards written down for me by family. Those I’d tuck away with other memorabilia.

Having everything in PDF form means I can send a recipe to my tablet for ease of use in the kitchen. I can quickly share it with friends and family. And I can have a vast amount of recipes filed in an array of sub-folders on my hard drive, making it easy to find whatever I want.

Sounds like a great project to tackle now that I am housebound!

I’m betting you have a project you’ve been meaning to get at. Maybe it’s scanning and archiving old family photos. Maybe it’s finally figuring out how to transfer all those home movies from VHS tapes to something else. Maybe it’s organizing your workshop or garage. Maybe it’s arranging your designer shoes in alphabetical order by brand. I won’t judge.

Hey, if I can read that recipe card, YOU can tackle one project. Just one! When it’s all done, you’re going to feel so good about it. Just one less bit of stress/guilt to be carrying around.

And, you’ll probably have fun!