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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Our Pretty Peonies

I love our peonies that come up every year in May! I have to share them each spring! It's been pretty rainy lately, but although the weather can't decide what to do right now, one thing's for sure: the peonies are really doing well!

We have 2 peony bushes now - one in front near the road that's been there for years, and another on the side of the house by the driveway, which we planted maybe 5 years ago or so.

These photos are of the newer peony bush by the driveway. It has really taken off this year! 

This is a photo of the same bush just a couple of years ago when it was first starting to come up in the spring:

It was so little! When I first got this peony bush, I think it was really only one lone peony bloom. At first it would get mowed over, and never really bloomed much. Now we have more pretty blooms like this one in the yard:

It's really similar in color to the one out front. When they first bloom they look like a pretty blush pink. As they open up though, they get white and start to lose most of the pink color.

I think they're prettiest right now, when they're starting to open up. 

It rained today, so they're even sporting tiny raindrops on those petals. They are so nice to come home to everyday! 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Planting This Year's Garden

Hey guys, what a week! Through the crazy busy-ness that was this past week, we managed to make time to get the garden planted! Trent had to take his truck in to get repaired, so I had to pick him up from work at the end of the week. Then we saw Luke Bryan Friday night, and went to a birthday party yesterday! Today we're finally home again getting things done around the house.

We had gotten the veggies to plant last weekend, but didn't have time to plant them all until Tuesday night. We got it all done just before dark though, and so far it's looking much better than last year's garden at this stage.

We even got some rain this week which helped to get those plants going once they were in the ground. And we're trying a new rabbit-proofing system this year, but I'll get to that a little later. :)

So, on to what we planted. Last year, we went all certified organic and started mostly from seeds. This year, we have a mix of organic and conventional, and are starting mostly from plants.

We have a few different types of tomatoes: organic Red Beefsteak and Husky Cherry Red tomatoes..

Cherokee Purple and Romas..

As well as organic Better Bush tomatoes. We'll see how all of those tomatoes do this year. I think they'll do a little better, since these plants are a bit more mature than those we planted last year.

We have another watermelon plant this year...

Butternut squash, Cucumber...

Red Bell Peppers, and Sweet Potatoes! We're kind of excited about these sweet potato plants. This might be the first time we've done them, though I can't remember for sure.

And finally, we did get a couple of seed packets. Sweet corn and these interesting Kaleidoscope carrots that Trent picked out...I'm not sure about these, but we will see how they are I guess!

Trent did the majority of the digging and planting, while I got the plants out of their containers and prepared them to be put into the ground. Many of the containers we got were actually the decomposable kind that you have to soak first, remove the wrappers, and cut the bottoms off before planting. Then you leave the decomposable paper containers around the plants when you put them into the ground. This is supposedly to help the plant with transplant shock.

We had old tomato cages from previous years that we put around the plants.

The garden space we have out back is pretty large, so we were able to space out the plants pretty far apart this year, which is especially nice for the cucumbers that tend to spread out quite a bit.

The tomatoes are on the far left end, followed by the cucumber plant, peppers, and butternut squash. Then there's the row of sweet potatoes, and a couple of rows of corn and carrots, then a mound for the watermelon.

We also finally got to plant my wildflower seeds at the end of the garden. I'm excited to see if these will grow into beautiful flowers this summer!

Now, here is the rabbit-proofing method we decided on for this year's garden: We got a roll of chicken coop wire, about $10 at Lowe's. Then cut sections of it and wrapped them around each of the plants we put into the ground. 

We are hoping this will prevent little critters from getting in there and eating our veggie plants, which happened quite a bit last year!

We'll probably take these barriers off once the plants get larger and established, to make room for them to grow. I think we had about 15 total plants to wrap the wire caging around.

It was getting dark by the time we finished all of our cages, but they're all done!

We ran the hose out back after finishing up, and started the sprinkler on them for a little while, just to make sure the soil got nice and wet.

Then Saleen wanted to check out the garden, too. I think she approved, though her face said she wasn't quite sure...

I'm glad the planting stage is all over! Now our next step is just to put down a little weed preventer, pull the inevitable weeds this summer, and wait for our tiny plants to grow into some yummy veggies! Should be a better crop than last year's!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Flowers In Planters

Summer has started early this year! Man, it was a hot one this past weekend. We picked up a bunch of flowers at Lowe's on Saturday, and since we were home all day Sunday, I decided I would plant them all in my pots. 

As soon as I started planting - in the sun, in black cut-off leggings and a t-shirt - I realized it was much hotter than I expected! I went in and changed to shorts and a tank top, which was much more appropriate for the heat. We even had to pick up our new living room air conditioner this weekend (the old one bit the dust last year), because it was about 85 degrees yesterday, and is supposed to be even hotter today. That hot weather came up pretty quickly!

But despite the heat, I got all of my flowers transplanted into pots. This year, I planted a total of 14 pots to put outside around the house. All of the pots I used were leftover from previous years, and I even have more I didn't use!

I also didn't have to buy any new soil, fertilizer, or flower food. I was able to use all of the soil leftover inside the pots, which was nice. So all I had to do was plant the flowers!

This year I planted Petunias and Dusty Miller. Those two always do really well for me, so I'm sticking to them! I did also end up getting a few Celosia (not pictured) for one of the planters, but the flowers look very "stemmy"- I'm hoping they spread out a little more. Usually the celosia I get is shorter, so I'm waiting to see what they do.

I stuck with the same flowers as last year for these big planters by the garage. These planters were leftover from the wedding, and we just kept them to plant flowers in every year by the house.

I realize now looking at the below picture of the planter from an "above angle", that I could have spaced out those petunias a little more in the front. Oh well! These guys usually spread out pretty well. :)

I'll have to share more pictures of the pots on the front porch and around the house, especially once they start growing and taking over their assigned pots. They are usually over-flowing by July!

We are hoping to get the vegetable garden all planted this week. We didn't have time over the weekend, but have gotten all of our veggie plants for it. Will share those pictures once we get our veggies in the ground - and a rabbit control system in place! Last year was a doozy. ;)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Aaron and Jenna's Wedding and Our Ohio Trip

Hello all, hope everyone had a good weekend! We returned from Ohio last Sunday, but I'm just now getting to telling you all about it. :) Our reason for going was that Trent's cousin Aaron got married, and Trent was a groomsman in the wedding. So we took a little trip there for the wedding and to see Trent's family.

And yes, we took Saleen on this trip! We just couldn't leave her for 4 days, since her allergies have been starting up again, and she wasn't feeling the greatest. We wanted to have her with us as much as we could. 

So Saleen got a little road trip, from western Illinois to central Ohio! And she really liked it for the most part (before she got tired and started sleeping the rest of the way).

It's fun for her to get out and explore other places, and going on car rides is a fun adventure for her! She likes to see new sights and smell new smells. :)

This is the longest trip we've taken with her, and we stopped a few times along the way, but she did really good in the car!

She also liked our hotel room a lot. She discovered herself in the mirrors there. Who's that other dog??

We arrived in Marysville, Ohio, where the wedding took place, on Thursday night. Friday we hung out with Trent's family, ate at Rooster's in Marysville, went to Costco (!!), and took part in the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. 

It poured rain all day Friday, and it was windy, and in the 40's! We were all praying for better weather on Saturday for the wedding. Luckily, the weather did clear up, and it was nice all day, just a little chilly. I think it may have been in the 50's, but no rain!!

The wedding was at a place called the Brown School Barn. There wasn't heat in the barn, so it was a little chilly. Trent stood up with Aaron and the other guys as a groomsman - he's the short little guy in the photo below! Hehe.

It was a beautiful wedding - these two are the cutest couple and they are both so funny. Instead of lighting a unity candle, they made a unity peanut butter and jelly sandwich and each shared a bite of it. :)

The dinner was inside a tent right next to the barn. They had a couple of heaters inside the tent, which made the cold more bearable. Isn't it so pretty?

I loved all of their little details and the decor. They included their engagement photos in all of the centerpieces, along with baby's breath and candles.

I think Trent looked pretty nice in his tux, too!

We enjoyed watching Aaron and Jenna get married! They are such a cute couple.

I think Aaron almost cried when he saw Jenna walking down the aisle, too. Aren't they adorable?

We had to get a selfie, too! It was a fun wedding, and a fun little trip.

The next day we drove back home, and we ended up stopping at Buck Creek State Park along the way, so Saleen could have some fun exploring.

The park is in Springfield, Ohio, which isn't too far from Marysville, the town we were at for the wedding. There was a nice, big lake there which would have been even nicer if it wasn't so chilly! It was the perfect area for a little walk with our pup, though!

We watched the geese, and just walked by the lake enjoying the scenery and letting Saleen explore.

I think she liked sniffing around and feeling the breeze in her fur.

All around another fun and successful trip to Ohio!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Headed to Ohio

We are headed to Ohio once again, this time for Trent's cousin Aaron's wedding! We are leaving today, hopefully before noon. I am all packed, and just waiting for Trent to get ready now. :)

We are actually bringing Saleen with us on this trip, so wish us luck! It should be an adventure. The longest trip we've taken with her was to Missouri last year. She loves riding in the car with us, but we have never traveled this far before with her, so we will see how it goes! We decided to take her with since it's now allergy season and she's been licking and biting at her skin pretty badly, so we want to keep an eye on her.
Monday was her 14th birthday, so she's getting up there! Luckily, we are staying in a hotel that is pet friendly, so we should be able to take her into the room with us without an issue.

Well, we will be leaving pretty soon, and are getting excited for Aaron and Jenna's wedding on Saturday! Aaron was Trent's best man at our wedding, and Trent will also be a groomsman for Aaron, so it should be fun.

They are cousins who are close in age and have been best buds since they were little, even though they've always lived pretty far from each other.

It's supposed to be pretty rainy this weekend, but we are hoping it dries up a little for the wedding. We'll see! Will share more when we get back from Ohio! :)

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