Sunday, August 6, 2017

Our first month and a half have now gone by in a flurry of activity. Once the first weeks passed there was definitely a feeling that the honeymoon had ended and all that remained was a mountain of work. Each day or so that went by there was a new crisis, broken pipes, corroded water valves, no hot water, no water in the cistern, then we started to notice fine sawdust on the floors, on top of tables and realized we had critters eating the wood. After a thorough inspection, it was confirmed that we had two types of carcoma, or wood worms that were attacking our oak beams. It has taken a team of four guys almost a week to treat all of the smaller beams with three coats of a penetrating gel, and to drill and install valves into the large beams which then have the treatment pumped into the wood under high pressure. These guys have been true heroes working in 95 degree weather with long clothing and respirators.
Little by little things are progressing. We have now finished repairing and painting the large apartment's main room, demolished and rebuilt the small apartment's kitchen, and re-tiled the bedroom, and busted out the tile and cement on the main floor and installed new water valves. 
We've had many visitors including my brother and his friend, a former baker from the cafe, friends from the cafe and a friend from Estonia. It's great to have people to cook for and help out.
After a colossal rainstorm the nettles around the house bolted and we had white beans and nettles with the local sausages. Our garden has been pumping out the lettuce, tomatoes and greens as fast as we can eat them. A few nights ago some deer got in and ate our chard down to the ground but within three days it was back to it's original size. I think the combination of the heat and the volcanic soil make things grow much faster than I'm used to. 
Living in Spain there is always some kind of festival or event. A few weeks ago we were invited to the San Ferriol festival at the sanctuary on top of the mountain behind us.
It was called something like Sardinas i Vi, or sardines and wine. When we arrived, we were escorted inside to a giant hall with rows and rows of long tables filled with people eating grilled sardines and drinking bodega wine from plastic water bottles. Then came salad, grilled botifarra sausages, Cava and cake, then roasted almonds and Moscatell wine. At sunset, a large band set up outside and the dancing began. It was a great time and a chance to meet our neighbors. Everyone was very gracious and accommodating. 
During the heat of the day we have been walking down to the river to cool off. One of our neighbors has shown us a place where the river is dammed off into pools for swimming and small children. We have met many people from the village there.
Our Saturday's have been taken over by the flea market in Celra and the salvage yards in the neighboring village of La Bisbal. I've been geeking out at all of the beautiful antique tile that we can use for renovation. We have found a great stonemason and tile setter through one of our neighbors and he and his assistant have really helped to keep the projects moving forward.
This week the veterinarian will come to work on our donkeys, trim their hooves and possibly file down a spur on ones tooth.
Poco a poco as the locals say here.