They say happiness isn’t a goal or a state – it’s a journey. It’s all in the adventure of life: being surprised by little things every day, discovering new things, building stuff, making things work. It’s the lemon in the dishwasher, the little chicks that grow big and try to fly in their cage now, the ugly concrete of the house making way for nice stones and floors, the blossoms on the trees,… I realise when people ask me how I’m doing, I often say “I’ll be happy when the house is finished” but truth be told, I’m pretty happy now as well 🙂
We are getting impatient though – in the most positive way: the house is starting to look more beautiful every day and we both can’t wait to start our new lives in it! Yesterday we had some people over to take the final measurements for the kitchen – I can see myself standing in my nice new kitchen baking a fig pie, canning the vegetables from our garden, making almond milk,… The kitchen in our current rental house is more than just nice (it really has everything, from a big counter to a lot of extra accessories), but I imagine (or hope?) I’ll have more time for experimenting when the house is done. Counting down: only 2 months to go!
The house is looking pretty good already – we’re all crossing fingers and keeping our thumbs up for the windows to arrive. Could be next week: the window guy said “in 3 weeks” 2 weeks ago, but then again it’s Spain and you never know. Could just as well not be. Once the windows are in though, the guys will be able to finish the tiling on the first floor and start the tiling on the ground floor – and we’ll be able to move our belongings onto the first floor (that’s where our bedroom and the living room are anyway).
Meanwhile, we’re preparing our land for spring. Many seeds have been sown (both in the greenhouse and directly on the land), vegetable patches are being cleaned up (it does look gorgeous with all the green weeds, albeit a bit overgrown), and our team of volunteers have been digging like crazy to get the rainwater to go the way we want it to… now all we have to do is wait for some (more) rain. The weather is kind of crazy; after a very dry winter, we finally got the odd frosty night and rainy day lately. Enough to make the garden grow, (thankfully) not enough to kill the almond blossoms.
And then there’s our “chicken factory”. We’re currently “chicken-sitting” Sanchez & the Sanchitas: 4 hens and a rooster of a generic egg-laying breed. About 4 weeks ago, we realised their owners would be coming back soon, so we decided to get an incubator and hatch our own chicks. We did not realise it would be so much fun / so fascinating / almost addictive: so far we have hatched 2 “batches” (the 3 chicks from the first batch are now 3,5 weeks old – and last night, 4 more were born), and the next group is going in tonight. This time, we’re hatching a local heritage breed: they are called Gallina Serrana de Teruel, and we got a chance to admire a few of them yesterday when picking up the eggs – they are gorgeous! Very much looking forward to a garden full of chickens we hatched and raised ourselves…
Of course, we need housing for those chickens; since we want to be able to semi-free range them, we (mainly Axel and Sarah) built them a special coop. Free ranging is nice, but we want the chickens to sleep in a coop so we can protect them from predators and don’t have to search for eggs like it’s Easter every day. We found building instructions for a “chick-shaw” (like a rickshaw, but for chickens) online and built our own version of it; it’s a mobile coop that we can easily move it from terrace to terrace. It’s almost finished – when it is, I’ll dedicate a blog post to it!
Sometimes life seems to go so slowly, and it feels like we’re doing so little. When I really look closely at everything we’re doing here though, it’s amazing how much we’ve accomplished in so little time! And how much we’re still doing, every single day – even on a “lazy day” when the sun is shining and we almost feel like it’s Sunday…