So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, March 3, 2013
Beer and frugality
While settling back into our home I discovered the makings for a batch of beer. Home brewing beer shows faith in the future. It won't be ready for a bit, but there will come a warm spring day when a beer will be just the thing.
This is the first batch I've brewed since I got the cook woodstove. It's great that the big stockpot is in full contact with stove top. There's even room left for the big tea kettle and a couple fry pans. Dinner and brewing can be done at the same time.
In previous posts I've touched on how I can live frugally. Friends have pointed out that much of what I do would be difficult to impossible while working a full time job. They are absolutely right. A married couple, working full time, would be hard pressed to do much extra.
Even something as simple as heating with wood can stretch the time budget. The only way to really save money is to process the wood yourself. Then there is the care and feeding of the woodstove. When I worked a full time job, I'd load up my big woodstove, set the dampers, and hope for the best. It never gave me any trouble, but I did worry about it.
My home repairs and improvements, cooking from scratch, handling waste veggie oil for the van, all these things keep me busy. Of course, I do get a lot of free time by not watching TV. Then again, that time probably goes into Internet surfing.
My lovely wife used to have a full time job. The money was nice, I must admit. One day I woke up with the idea that by reducing our expenses she wouldn't have to work. Soon after is when we started traveling in the winters. My lovely wife would quit her job in the fall and reapply in the spring. They always said she had no guarantee of being rehired, but she always was. Even if they didn't hire her, we'd get by.
That was put to the test when my wife had to leave work for medical reasons. We went a year and half before her disability was approved. At the same time, one of my daughters and my granddaughter moved in with us. We got by. There wasn't much extra, but nobody suffered.
Which brings me back to beer. Like Ben Franklin said, “Beer is proof that there is a God and he wants us to be happy.”
Sure, I enjoy a beer now and then, but what I enjoy more is sharing with friends and family. It's one more way to keep the tribe together. Well, the fermenter's been cooling outside in the snow. The temperature should be just about right for pitching the yeast. Spring is coming and I'm going to be ready.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.