Sometimes, just occasionally, I’ve been known to go a tad over-the-top when it comes to do-it-yourselfing.

My husband’s a good sport, but he’s been a much-needed balance when I come up with a new lofty idea.

For instance, several years ago, he (and every gardening book I read) warned me that I should start with a nice, small, manageable vegetable garden for my first few years. (Of course, I did exactly the opposite and predictably regretted it.)

And occasionally when I’m giddily filling my husband in on a new craft that I’m eager to tackle, which might require the purchase of a loom or something, he is good about gently reminding me of a certain short-lived obsession I had with making mosaics several years ago. It lasted, oh, about a week and a half.

And while my husband has been on board, I’ve noticed a certain look cross his face when I’ve insisted on making the pizza dough, the sauce, and all of the toppings from scratch; or baking all of our bread; or adopting four baby chicks when we were already overwhelmed caring for an infant and 3 cats; or making my own herbal tinctures; or fermenting kombucha on our counter-top.

So yes, over the years, I’ve been known to get a tiny bit carried away with do-it-yourselfing, and fortunately my husband has been here as a voice of reason…

Until he started brewing beer.

Of course, I was thrilled that he was embarking on a do-it-yourself hobby that may also save us some money.

He started by brewing a few pre-prepared kits from the brewery store. Great.

Then he began buying his ingredients separately and mixing up recipes from books. Splendid.

Then he discovered an old folded-up recipe in the back of a book he found at a yard sale, and decided he needed to tackle that one. Okay.

And now he’s talking about tearing up half of the backyard to plant barley, buying a temperature-controlled refrigerator, and learning how to malt barley in the garage. Uh oh.

I’m a tad terrified. But I also can’t help but admire his can-do spirit.

This post is for Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Blog Challenge.

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About Abby Quillen

Abby Quillen writes fiction and magazine articles. Her articles and essays have appeared in YES! Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Colorado Central Magazine, and on Common Dreams, Nation of Change, Reader Supported News, The Daily Good, Truthout, and You can find more of her writing at


  1. This is so funny! This is exactly my husband and I… “please build me a root cellar in our daughters room… what do you mean we can’t get a goat…greenhouses CAN run from a bike I ride for 30 minutes everyday!!!…yadda, yadda, yadda”:)
    Glad to know I am not the only one! Came across your blog from Steady Mom – great stuff!

    • newurbanhabitat says:

      That is hilarious. All of those ideas sound excellent to me. I can’t imagine why your husband wouldn’t be on board.

  2.! That is funny!!!

  3. Your tale made me smile. Your husband sounds a lot like mine, only my husband hasn’t started brewing yet. I guess I should brace myself for that day.

  4. love it! i can totally relate.

  5. I’m a terror for a new found desire to do stuff from scratch and had never thought about my husband’s beer brewing in the same way. Hmmmm, his conviction to drink homebrew appears to be more solid than mine to bake from scratch. As a result we have a beerzebo (a pergola like structure) complete with a one regular fridge adapted to be a kegerator and a commercial size fridge for storing yet more beer. Luckily (or unluckily), the climate in Arizona is not conducive to barley growing or particularly to hop growing (we’ve tried the hops already). Then you end up with structures like this in your yard

    Good luck!

  6. I like this! You two are so cute. That’s going to be some good beer.

  7. Love it! I know exactly the look your husband gets over your projects because mine gets the same one — right down to the cast iron pizza pan so we can make our own! πŸ™‚ Great minds and good company here.

  8. that’s cute. i’m generally the project starter in our household. but my boyfriend would love to experiment with brewing beer, though we’re waiting till we have a bigger place so the dogs wouldn’t be able to get all up in the beer. but i think eventually the beer brewing would go the same way as his kombucha experiment…forgotten and ignored till it has to be thrown away.

  9. Sarita Pagita says:

    Oh goodness, you sound just like me! I am queen of the exciting new project and thankfully my hubs is mostly supportive (only because the new endeavors always seem to cost a lot). I would love it if he would take something on because he never has. But then again, maybe I don’t πŸ˜‰

  10. In marriage, they say we become more like each other with time! You remind me of my sister….passionate and eager. I think those are fabulous qualities that keep living fun and fresh.

  11. Funny ~ my guy is like that too. He hates beer but loves home improvement projects. We plan a project out, we both work on it for a while, and then he “doesn’t need my help anymore.” πŸ™‚ Next thing you know he’s showing me additions on an AutoCad drawing he whipped up! Good luck and keep us updated.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to subscribe to your blog. Hope this will do it!


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