Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Spring is in full swing here in New England, as temperatures peaked up above 70 degrees in Boston over the weekend.  After a dreadful winter, with historic snow totals, every single citizen of the region is ready for Spring.  An annual tradition, across the globe, is the practice of Spring cleaning.  Out with the old and in with the new.  Or, if you are a Think, Act, Prosper reader, then let's try to make it just out with the old.  If you really need something new, lets carefully consider the options and make sure that it is something you need critically before purchasing, quality over quantity.

Spring cleaning is generally the time when you clean your entire residence from top to bottom, every nook and cranny.  As you go, you will come across a number of items that have long outlived their welcome and need to be disposed of.  Think of it as another time to declutter.  This year, take a critical look at items that you have not used, and likely won't use again.  Even if they have some sentimental value, but literally no practical value, they should probably be purged.  If you see things that could be repurposed, make sure to set them aside!

I like to start with big jobs first, and for my family that is the kitchen and bedrooms.  The kitchen is used every day, since we much prefer to make our own food than purchase take out food.  This means that the oven, microwave, and cupboards get dirty.  Obviously, we spot clean as needed, but the spring cleaning ritual is a great time to do a more thorough cleaning than we typically would.  Next, each person is responsible for cleaning up their bedrooms, and we will aggregate all the items that are no longer needed to dispose of them in the proper manner.  Another perpetual junk collector is the garage, take special notice for items that might have value to someone else, and give them away!

I am not going to put together a guide, because I actually think Martha Stewart's checklist is quite solid!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Local Breweries: Hill Farmstead of Vermont

Last weekend my wife and I made a trip to one of our favorite places in America, Vermont.  My primary desire was to replenish my stores of Hill Farmstead Brewery.  This brewery is widely considered the best in America, and some would say the best in the world.  Sean Hill, the brewer, is not a specialist, he makes world class hoppy ales in addition to sour, dark, farmhouse and everything in between.  He is committed to a sustainable business that can support itself and although he has grown rapidly, there is a target size for the company that he does not want to exceed.  This goal allows him to focus on doing the best possible work he can, which results in amazing beer.  He utilizes growlers so that he can ensure that his beers remain fresh. I much prefer to support a "local" brewery than one of the large conglomerates.  Also, Sean goes to great lengths to respect his community and helps support other local businesses.  He takes great pride in working in a remote area, and although you have to actually go to the brewery to buy his beer, he avoids wasting resources on things like distribution to stores.

The brewery

My haul

Edward - Flagship Pale Ale

Single Hop Pale Ale - Mosaic

Society & Solitude #5 Double IPA