"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

Spring is in Bloom.

Our cherry trees decided to take the peach trees' lead and blossom out today.

Spring flowers always remind me of my favorite Albert Laighton poem:

They are autograph's of angels, penned
In Nature's green leaved book, in blended tints,
Borrowed from rainbows and the sunset skies,
And written everywhere--on plain and hill,
In lonely dell, 'mid crowded haunts of men;
On the broad praries, where no eye save God's
May read their silent, sacred mysteries.

Thank God for flowers! they gladden human hearts;
Seraphic breathings part their fragrant lips
With whisperings of Heaven.

The poem is aptly named "Flowers". :)

On the homesteading front we've been easing into the spring rhythm of things.   We have several plants started and ready to go.  DH plans to till the garden tomorrow and then Oldest, Middle and I will work to transplant the seedlings into the garden over the next day or two.   Chandler is itching to get to work clearing the garden of all the typical garden pests.   We're still working with Cookie to get her fully trained in that department but she's making big strides.  I think we'll be able to let her loose in the orchard by the end of the month.   Both of them worked together yesterday to snuff out one of the many voles that has taken up residence in our yard.   They made pretty quick work of him. 

 Typically, when the dogs are working, they run through our orchard at the farm and our garden here at the house barking incessantly into each hole created by some rodent until we give them the commands to stop. The trick is getting them to bark and dig only at the rodent holes, not just dig up the entire garden.  We'll do that every day for about 3 weeks at the beginning of Spring.  Ordinarily that harrassment is enough for the rodents to leave for the remainder of the season but these voles in our yard are particularly stubborn.  They aren't doing as much damage as they were when we first moved in but they aren't gone yet either.   The stress must at least be interrupting their mating cycles because the number of vole tunnels has decreased significantly and Chandler isn't dragging up as many as he had done in years past.  

We've purchased new floors since our carpet has gotten to the point of no return.   Even though it wasn't my first choice, we opted for laminate floors simply because of the durability issue.   We wanted a floor that would withstand the hazards presented by children (ie. matchbox cars being dropped onto it, roller skates speeding across it, juice spills, mini wrestling matches, among other things) and the dangers posed by pets (nails scratching across it at a high rate of pace while two dachshunds attempt to rocket themselves towards a squirrel sitting outside of a window).  With those things in mind, we decided that laminate really was our best option.   Hopefully we'll have that installed within the next couple of weeks.

On the crafting front things have been pretty quiet.   I saved the egg cartons from the Easter egg dying extravaganza and plan to let the kids to a couple of projects with them over the next couple of days.   I've gotten some work finished on The Afghan from Hell and some done on Youngest's sweater.   I also have 2 pairs of light summer pants for Youngest and Middle cut, pinned and ready to be sewn so hopefully I'll be able to get that done within the week although it may be a little dicey considering the moving and packing that will have to be done in order to get the floors in.