Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

I've just finished cooking and devouring the last meal of 2011. Alderwood salmon with potlatch pilaf, sauteed spinach and rosemary roasted sweet potatoes. It was amazing, which is indicative of how wonderful 2011 has treated us.

We're saying goodbye to this year quietly. Just my husband and I, Casa Crustante, and a few bottles of Belgian beer:

Leffe brune, the one we drank with every meal while we were in Belgium, La Trappe Quad (my personal favorite), Delirium Tremens, La Fin du Monde, La Chouffe (the traditional style along with a holiday bottle), Duchesse de Bourgogne, Ommegang, and various friends.

I get pretty emotional anthropomorphizing our little house. Last year it sat here, all alone, gutted, holes in the walls, no insulation or electricity. And this year, we're living in it, and it has been such an amazing home to us that we hate to leave it for a single night. The simplest chores have become acts of love, little tokens of our affection for our tiny domicile. It makes us so happy. It is limited in space, sure, but it is completely full of love.

Happy New Year from those of us at Casa Crustante! Rest assured that we will raise a glass in your honor.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It's a blissfully quiet night at our house. I'm trying to choke down some eggnog (I hate the stuff- but each year I attempt to drink it to try to be festive), and I'm basking in the joy of giving and receiving.

This year I've particularly have so much to be thankful for. A new car, a new house, my beautiful chickens and my productive garden. I have my family and my health- I've just been given the go-ahead to stop my medications. After several years of beta-blockers to treat hypertension, and surviving the resulting depression and fog-brain that those types of medication cause, I finally feel awake. Alive, even. Here's to hoping it stays that way!

*raises a glass of eggnog*

Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Day Has Come..

...The chickens are outside.

And now they have names. Daisy, Hyacinth, and Violet. Yes, they're named after the ladies on Keeping Up Appearances.

And it's quiet in the house. And I'm worried about them. But the last I checked (about 15 minutes ago) they were sleeping soundly and NOT huddled together in the throes of extreme cold. As much as it pains me to think they could be chilly, I know that I built that coop well enough and these little birds have a very impressive down coat. And super lush beards. And incredibly feathery feet. It's like they're rocking scarves and boots! Stop worrying, Julie. It's going to be alright...


I wouldn't leave you guys without photos of the Henitentiary!

Check it out, I found decorations for it, too! Tomorrow I plan to build a chicken swing, hang up their food, and give their new home a little swagger. Solar lanterns and a giant rooster? Lucky hens, indeed!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Thanks to my father-in-law, we have a roof!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011 changes!

Chickens are almost all grown up! Kinda. We're at 6 weeks now, and we've got most of our feathers (photos are about a week old now). The boys went to a great new home on the 26th, which was a relief.. So much more space now for these little ladies!

The run isn't done yet. We're hoping that it'll happen this weekend, as we'll have an extra set of hands around. The ladies seem pretty happy with the setup, I haven't had a lot of fighting and they're pretty easy keepers, so I'll definitely be a bit sad to see them leave the house. It's comforting to hear their trills and chatter. Such expressive little creatures!

We survived Thanksgiving on our own. I baked my first full turkey. It turned out well, and we were able to devour all of the leftovers, miraculously. I'm amazed that my little tiny fridge could handle a full turkey dinner and the leftovers that resulted from it.

And in other news, I have embarked on a juice fast. I did visit the doctor beforehand to make sure I was healthy enough to do it. So far it has been a really positive experience. I'm on day 6, and so far I've learned that kale + lemons taste like burnt rubber, kiwis + sweet potatoes are surprisingly delicious, and that spinach + cucumber make an incredibly refreshing drink. It's a learning process, for sure.