Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Front page of the local paper

My tribute to my brother has turned into a Pay it Forward event that has exploded locally and even gone across to the other coast.



You Brew Your Own Beer? Pretzel beer?

I am taking a break from brewing starting January so I can prepare for my Professional Engineer exam in April. I have some backstock ingredients so I have been working them down. Today I brewed an experimental beer that I hope reminds me of pretzels.

Here is the recipe for 1.5 gallons:
10.00 g Sea Salt (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 –
1 lbs 10.4 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 69.5 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 10.5 %
4.0 oz White Wheat Malt-toasted (2.4 SRM) Grain 4 10.5 %
2.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.3 %
0.30 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 6 23.1 IBUs
1.6 oz Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 7 4.2 % post krausen

I did a step mash, biab, stovetop. The first rest was 122F for 30 minutes. The second rest was 152F for 60 minutes. I did a 90 minute boil. I didn’t have any beer yeast, so I used a packet of Montrachet. Hopefully it rips through the sugars, I’m not looking for yeast character on this one anyways. Hopefully the acid malt gives the hint of sourdough, the salt, well salt, and the toasted wheat that toasty outer crust of a pretzel. The wort tasted pretty good going into the fermenter.

I used a 5 gallon paint strainer for this BIAB on my stovetop

The mash, really light with the white wheat

Sleeping bag wrap for the rests

Almost the scale of steeping grains in extract brewing…

Back to the kitchen sink cooling

While I was brewing, some other things were going on at Little House on the Sandpit…

Panels for gingerbread houses were made

I tried some pine needle and spruce tip tea

and our sick chicken started to feel better, she can stand without falling over now.

Fichin’ not catchin’ but still feedin’

Went fichin’ with the boy at the Canal today. We were still fishermen, not catchermen. But next to us a guy hauled in a few. His last one while we were there was a keeper. He asked Justin if he wanted it, which of course was a resounding yes! Feed my family? Yes please! People can be really great sometimes.

The views are just horrible, no?

If the lure ain’t in the water, it can’t catch no fish

Horrible, horrible views.

RIP Mr. Bradbury

Rest in peace Ray Bradbury. I lift my glass of dandelion wine in remembrance of all the time I have spent reading your work over the years. May your eternity be as sweet as dandelion wine.

2011 Dandelion Wine

Smells sweet yet earthy, a bit of an alcohol nose still (it is sill a bit young).
Looks coppery yellow, very clear.
Tastes really interesting. It is a bit hot still, but not overly hot. Warms your throat delayed after swallowing. The taste is hard to put a finger on, it is sweet and has a flower taste, maybe a little citrus.
I have no idea how it is supposed to taste. This was a small bottle, I’ll let the other bottles rest until August at least to give it 1 year age and give it a try again. But I will enjoy this bottle pretty well.

Mahmahmallow Potty Time!

My 3 year old son loves marshmallow (mahmahmellos). Did I say love? He LOVES them. He doesn’t like going potty on the toilet yet. Got me thinking… marshmallows and potty have got to be a good thing. It works!

We go on the potty.
We flush the toilet.
We wash our hands.
We get mini-mahmahmallows for #1 and a big mahmahmallow for #2.
He actually asks to go potty most times now.
Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches with children.
Last diaper days soon?

Bad News

My son has ADHD-bad. My little brother had it bad too so it isn’t surprising. Many people don’t believe in ADHD. I agree that there is probably over-diagnosis with many children who don’t have ADHD being diagnosed with it. But believe me, my son has it. The difference when he is on his medicine and when he is not is night and day with him. You want to throttle him when he is off.
One thing that has bothered me is that his medicine is Adderall which is an amphetamine. They put young children on this. My brother was on Ritalin and my parents fought to move him onto lesser medication when he got older. We started that battle too. Our Dr. suggested Strattera. One issue with Strattera is that is can affect the length between heartbeats, called QT length. So before children go on it, they run an EKG at the pediatrician’s office. My son did his. BAD NEWS.
The Dr was concerned with the QT length he had already so immediately contacted a Children’s Hosptial branch for an appointment with a children’s heart specialist. Scared.
At Children’s they were really concerned about his QT length and said he had Long QT Syndrome. Looked it up. SCARED. They want to put him on a 24 hour heart monitor. Ordered him to immediately be taken off all medication. And ordered him to go to Boston Children’s Hospital.
So off his meds, we want to both throttle him and hug him at the same time. It will be a trying week until he goes to Children’s. If I could take his place I would. Cross your fingers for him, and if you pray, we’d appreciate the thoughts. Hopefully his medications did this and taking him off will reverse it all and he is a normal, healthy boy.

Crosby “Bing” Clifton Hurd 1915-1997 WWII Veteran

As I brew Boumpy’s Beer today, I will be keeping all the great memories I have of my grandfather we called Boumpy. I wish he were around to meet his great grandchilren, they would have loved that jolly round man I knew as Boumpy. He’ll forever be my secret Santa Claus or as we called him (to keep the secret from the other children) Boumpy Claus.

Crosby Clifton Hurd (“Bing”), born June 9, 1915 in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Parents were Byron Edmund Hurd of Brockton, and Ida Frank (Bates) Hurd, also
of Brockton.
He Graduated from Brockton High School in 1935.
His first job was at the local Comet Market. Then he went on to be the Assistant
Chef at the State Hospital in Lakeville. After that he went into the business of turning
lasts for shoes and worked for many local companies, being loaned out as he was needed.
At the start of World War II he was drafted to turn out gun stocks. Also he was deaf in
one ear, with no ear drum. However, he got his “greetings” three days before his
He was married to Olive May Lenihan, of Brockton, on September 30, 1942, at
the Warren Avenue Baptist Church. He played semi-professional basketball and coached
many teams at various times. Bing also won the Golden Gloves for boxing in Chicago in
1942, while he was in the service.
After the war Bing had a home bakery delivery route for a couple of years, then
went on to manage the canteen while the Brockton V.A. Hospital was being built.
Finally he came full circle and went back to last turning, retiring from Vulcan Last
company in 1979.
While in Brockton Bing was active in the Warren Avenue Baptist Church and
held many positions, being a Trustee for many years. He was also a charter member of
the Beacon Lighters of the church.
After living at 523 Summer Street in Brockton for 35 years Bing moved to
Cranberry Village, a mobile home park in South Carver, Ma early in 1978. There he has
been active in the association and manager of the clubhouse (with no pay, but keeping
peace in the park.) Bing now has the main room in the clubhouse named “Bing Hurd’s
Room” in appreciation of his efforts.
Bing is now a member of the First Congregational Church of Wareham where he
has served on boards, been President of the Congregators for two years and of the Men’s
Club for two years.
In Carver he has served on the Finance Committee, the SeaMass Committee, the
original North Carver Fire Station Committee, and as Chairman of the Shurtleff Park
Bing started the South Carver Lions Club in 1986 and served as President for
three years. He has been on many boards and committees and the Hearing Foundation
for 5 years. In 1995 Bing was named a Melvin Jones Fellow.
During Bing’s three years in service he was a radio mechanic and operator in
Deanthorpe, England, and he flew in nineteen missions, being shot down over France
once. His one good ear started to fade shortly after he returned to U.S. and has steadily
decreased since then, due in part to an explosion he was involved in at the base.
For about ten years Bing was Carver’s own Mr. Santa Claus, going to schools,
nursing homes and other groups.
In 1945 we purchased land in Indian Mound Beach in Wareham, Ma. And built a
cottage there, which we lived in from the day school was out until the day before school
began in the Fall. We sold this in 1965 and started camping with a tent as our first
choice. We graduated to a tent trailer and finally had three different trailers, each one a
little larger. In 1966 we purchased land in Freedom, New Hampshire, and eventually
built on it. We loved the mountains but the responsibility of having it and taking care of
Olive’s mother was too much of a conflict, so we finally sold it.

-Excerpt from “Olive May (Lenihan) Hurd’s Life…In her own words.”