Vegetable Garden : Expanding Our Garden

This year, we were hoping to expand our garden a bit. At the beginning of Spring, I got to work... I built two new raised beds (same plans as last year). I saved a bit of money by using 2x4s from a neighbor, but still purchased the cedar fencing planks to match our other beds. We filled it with dirt we still had from last year and took our sweet time loading them up. The girls like to dig around looking for worms, so they entertained themselves while I did most of the actual work.

Before all the weeds could grow in, I started working on cutting back some of the brush out in the back. I cleared a space so I could dump all of my yard waste (our town has a yard waste pickup day and can purchase stickers or bins for weekly yard waste pick up, but I'd prefer to just toss it in the back). I cut down a bunch of honeysuckle and trimmed some other areas. I also worked on tearing down a lot of the weeds next to the fence. I discovered multiple piles of brick covered in vines. I've been gathering those up and saving them for some small paths through our garden beds. I was hoping to tear out everything along the fence and plant some sunflowers, but I'm finding a lot of bricks, broken concrete, and glass so it is a bigger project than I anticipated.

Around mid-april, we started our seeds. I lay out our seeds on a damp paper towel. I fold them in half and put them in a plastic baggie to let sit for about a week. We have been so busy this spring that I kind of forgot about them. They sprouted nicely and eventually we transferred all the little sprout babies to small pots. I kept an eye on the weather and moved them inside on cold nights.

Early May, I started moving the plants to the garden beds. Because it was such a busy month, we forgot to do daily checks on the garden... and it did just fine.

Around the beginning of June, we started some watermelon, pumpkin, and bean seeds to fill up the other two beds. We hoped to make a little pumpkin patch between the raised beds and the garage, but the weeds were taking over too quickly so we'll push that project off for another year.

Last year, we had deer steal some of our veggies and we're already seeing some deer activity so far this year. The original plan was to finish enclosing our yard with a privacy fence in the spring, but our last couple of months have been insane and I have yet to submit for a permit. Since I've pushed the fence plans off, we still need to have a plan against the deer. I started a small fence around the garden before I realized I had significantly less chicken wire than I thought I did. Projects these days take way too long, so I also purchased some sort of Deer spray for the garden area. I'm hoping that will be enough to ward them off a bit, but we will see.

Lately, we have enjoyed lots of small picnics out near the garden. There are nice pockets of shade throughout the day, so it is a perfect spot to relax. The girls love having me pull them out there in the bike trailer so they can sit and watch me water and weed. I'm loving our little outdoor space as we expand and learn and play out there... and we can't wait to see where the rest of the season takes us.


Cincinnati Art Museum - No Spectators

We like to make a trip to the Cincinnati Art Museum every couple of months to check out new exhibits. When we saw pictures of the Burning Man exhibit, going to the museum moved to the top of our list.
The girls and I got there right when it opened (maybe a couple minutes before) and headed straight to the mushroom room. There weren't that many people there yet, so the girls and I had the room mostly to ourselves for 10-15 minutes. When the ring turns green, you can step on it and activate the movement of the mushroom top. After the initial scare of the movement, Cora really got into going around the room and activating each pad... and Ida held tight and was very cautious about enjoying the display. We went back to this room on our way out and it was pretty crowded.. I recommend going early so you can get this space to yourself for a bit.

All of the No Spectators pieces were scattered throughout the museum so we zipped around the entire place to make sure we wouldn't miss anything.  We passed the Rosenthal Education Center, which previously we either didn't have time to check it out or Cora wasn't very interested, but the girls beelined in there as soon as they saw it. They had a blast trying out some crafts and playing dress up. This place had so many great activities... and its all FREE!

Cora was most excited to see what she called the "Ice Princess". She asked about 100x times to go upstairs so she could look at it.

There were a bunch of other great pieces and it was neat to interact with them. The girls and I had a lot of fun and we definitely plan go go back for phase 2 (starting June 7th).

This was the first thing we crossed off on our 2019 Summer To Do list and we're looking forward to all the other activities.

2019 Summer To Do List

We've never really done a seasonal bucket list before, but figured this is the time to start. My schedule is more flexible than ever and our kids are at an age where it is much easier to get out and about and enjoy activities as a family. I had a couple things around town that I wanted to try and I added some of our favorite places we like to go. It was fun to get Cora involved in making the list and seeing how many pool/sleepover combinations she could come up with. I'm looking forward to seeing if we can fit all of this in our 11 weeks of summer break. I'll be updating with links as we complete activities.
+ Pool (purchase passes)
+ Bike Riding
+ Cincinnati Art Museum (Burning Man Exhibit) Phase 1 and Phase 2
+ Ault Park and hiking
+ Highfield Discovery Center
+ Zoo Trip
+ Sharon Woods, Gorge Trail, and Root Beer Stand
+ River walk and Smale Park (carousel?)
+ Lemonade Stand
+ Taft Museum (Patrick Dougherty sculpture)
+ Cookout
+ Bike Riding
+ Sleepover with Grandparents (double sleepover)
+ Picnic
+ Parade (4th of July)
+ Louisville trip
+ Farmers Market
+ Movie in theaters (or drive in?)
+ Dye hair mermaid colors
+ Face paint
+ Play date
+ Sleepover with aunt and uncle
+ Paint inside play cottage
+ Vacation... Cottage!
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