Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Kitchen!, Some Musical Delights, and A Chicken House

Finally! We have created a glorious expanded kitchen space, complete with a non-dirt floor (cement), some cabinets and sinks, drainpipes, patio roof, and plenty of sitting space for watching the rainstorms and animals! This has been a long time coming, and we are so happy to have it up and comfortably in use.
(The photos are not so good, as our camera has decided to add a solarized flare to the images, and we can´t find anyone in town to help us fix it. So for now, you have to squint a little...)
This is with the roof extension just as we were working on the patio floor. Trying to keep the dogs, chickens, and cat off the newly smoothed surface was next to impossible! We had to trade off doing Floor Guard Duty, and even that didn´t work out completely. So, we have some paw marks and scrathes for a little added personality. Here´s Lulu lounging dangerously close to the fresh kitchen floor.
And us lounging in the sun on our new patio floor. Ahhhh...
The floor turned out to be in 3 levels --kitchen up high, patio in the middle, and storage/seed saving space lowest. We built a small brick retaining wall (materials from a neighbor brick-maker), then filled in the space with the dirt from our well hole, packed it down, and topped it off with a thin bit of cement and added iron oxide paint-- red, of course! Have I mentioned how glorious it is?? After 10 months of dirty powdery muddy slopey slanty sloppy frustrating un-fabulous floor, we will never take this luxury for granted!

Let´s see, the kitchen has been our main focus for a while now, but in our "free time" we managed to get up a chicken coop too (a little late for the kitchen floor). We had to round up all the chickens and roosters from the jungle trees and entice them with corn into their delux coop. The volunteers built a really cool simulated jungle branch entanglement for their perching delight, and they seem to really be at home now... even giving us an egg or two now and again.

While we worked on the floor, we had to move out our Big Bertha cook stove, but that didn´t stop our dulce de leche making (from Paloma´s milk). Here´s a delcious vat on its way.
The Yoga Shala has also been receiving extra love. We have added some exterior details and will keep working bit by bit to fancy it up too.

Also, we have been expanding our learning sphere into the musical realm. We have some great musician folks who are patient enough to teach us to play some songs on the instruments of our choice. Kim is learning the Quena (a traditional flute from northern Argentina) and Marcelo is reuniting with the guitar, plus we invite percussion, voices, and anything else others want to add to our musical menagerie.

And the long drought seems to be over-- our spring is full again, the plants are greening up, and our garden is ready to hold more veggies. The recent wonderful rainstorms make us all rejoice!