Spring time days are often spent outside with my Girls and Mr. Burrito, my mini-mule. I feel the energy of the sun’s bright light so I am outside from dawn until dusk. Raking the flower beds, washing Merlin…but not Burrito the mini-mule, for I could lose a knee cap doing that! I scurry around the house, the yard, the stable, I’m all over the place. I dig, plant, fertilize, paint, clean, mow, put pots of flowers out and start making lots of salads for dinner….the list goes on, I kid you not. This is the time of year that I buzz around and never tire, not always in an organized fashion because nothing is really ever “done.” The problem is, everything and everyone is also buzzing around in the Spring-time sun. All of a sudden the teenagers emerge from their rooms of winter hibernation and darkness (how else do you play video games?) With renewed drive to get in shape for the warm months of tank tops and shorts they must workout EVERY DAY, play tennis EVERY DAY and see their friends… well you get it by now. Driving only consumes 4 hours of EVERY DAY and the rest of the day is spent tending to the other beings that inhabit and try to dismantle my forward momentum towards traditional home perfection. My beautiful Virginia farm-state was left in a bit of disrepair for about 4 years when we bought it. Desperately, I try to do what I can to make it really pretty again. I call our slice of heaven “Tranquil” a farm-state. I don’t really live on an estate, though it came with a fancy name and sign, and it isn’t really a farm because I have a lawn and well…I’ll show you some pictures and you’ll understand the conundrum. But for now it is a farm-state, which I believe is a new word. Anyway, the free range hens are very light driven group of girls. In the darkness of Winter their egg laying production slows way down. More sunlight equals full nest boxes of beautiful, nutrient rich eggs. Our Girls, I do believe, also enjoy basking in the warmth of Spring and in their happiness they must dirt bathe and my favorite activity to watch, dig for grubs. Where MUST they bathe and dig? In the light and loamy soil of my flower beds. This is their preferred spot to fill their feathers with dirt to deter lice and other vermin. And you guessed it, this happens, EVERY DAY. Now I won’t go into the mini-mules antics when he is allowed free rein on the farm-state like the hens. The path of turmoil is frustratingly messy. He insists that although we are surrounded by at least 20 acres of open land that he must drop his manure on the driveway. Just yesterday he dug up a topiary rose and ate all of the leaves. Just lovely huh? So, while I love the warm energetic hours spent outside, so does every other thing. My idea of how those days should be spent conflict often. I’d rather get it done and move on, but I feel like it’s a never ending cycle, rake, preen, put it all back, Again! I know the silver lining thing…but not all good stories are made up of happily every after. Sometimes the frustrations are real and we have to share them or at least I do…remember I am out here on a farm-state?…and you, my friends, are my neighbors next door.