30 January 2010

Chez Poulet - Decorating

Jumping ahead just a bit to the decorating phase of La Petite Maison des Poussins Urbaines - found the perfect fabric today for window treatments (not that they'll be noticed by the inhabitants). Was not actually shopping for chicken decor, but French chickens on fabric?! Couldn't resist!

25 January 2010

Chez Poulet - Phase One

or La Petite Maison des Poussins Urbaines commence!
or City Chick Cottage gets underway!

I have recently been researching owning sheep. But alas, the City of Dallas will not allow me to have them in my small backyard. I suppose it would be impractical since they'd graze the whole place clean in one day. They will come to larger land in due time.

I can apparently have city chickens. There are only vague references to this in the City Code (sec. 51A-4.201 discusses agriculture) but I am assured by the kind folks at Dallas Animal Services that it is OK.

It has been many years since the little playhouse in the backyard has been played in. After a thorough sweeping out and a quick posting of old stuff to craigslist, I believe we are ready to roll! Next steps include screening the windows and building a door, nesting boxes and roosts.

I am reading two books that are quite helpful:
Keep Chickens - Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs and Other Small Spaces by Barbara Kilarski
Living with Chickens - Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Flock by Jay Rossier

07 January 2010

Local and Thrifty

I have taken to purusing thrift stores in recent months for both the savings and the thrill of the hunt -scanning the racks for fine fabrics and well made seams. My conquests include Betsey Johnson, TSE Cashmere and Earl Jeans. Re-purposing still usable items of clothing is certainly a sustainable choice. I would like to also think of these things as locally grown to some extent.  Yes, they have likely travelled far and burned a big carbon footprint in their first life, but in their new life, they have only travelled across town to the donation center.

This year I intend to shop locally and thriftily as much as possible.
I will support local farmers by purchasing local food, real food.
I will purchase building materials from salvage and surplus stores.
I will barter my services for what others can offer me.
When locally made choices are limited, I will buy my non-local goods from neighborhood merchants.
I will continue to shop in antique, consignment and thrift stores for unique re-claimed finds.

There is an Hermes Birkin bag waiting for me in a thrift store somewhere.

03 January 2010

Blue Moon New Year Soup

Warm and cozy for the cold winter ahead. It was a big hit on NY Eve and we've been enjoying the leftovers. This is what went into a big pot on the stove. You should add and subtract ingredients based on what is on hand. Most of my ingredients were organic.

Canned tomato sauce
Canned diced tomatoes
Canned mixed beans (black, kidney, pinto)
Fresh black eyed peas
Fresh onion
Fresh assorted potatoes (russet, sweet, new)
Frozen corn
Frozen mix of corn, black beans, onions. red and green bell peppers
Vegetable bouillon
Olive Oil
Italian Herb Seasoning
Mexican Seasoning

Any frozen ingredients go in first (I chop and freeze fresh veggies, especially onions and potatoes to have on hand), then everything else. It all sits and simmers for a few hours; add water as needed. Serve it hot and steamy in a big mug. Mmmmm....