OTTUMWA — When the weather forecast says "slight chance of thunderstorms" all weekend, you can make two sets of plans. Have a set of activities to enjoy outdoors, but have a backup plan for staying in out of the rain.
1. Outside: Get your landscaping in order. All of the garden stores have big, beautiful plants available now, so stock up and get to work. There are so many varieties and so many fun projects to tackle, so ask the experts while you're there about what will work best in your yard. Then "dig in," plant your favorites and enjoy your work all summer long.
2. Inside: Ready, set read! Several summer reading programs are set to kick off this coming week. This is the perfect time to head to the library and get started. Choose some for yourself, some for the kids and some to read together. And don't forget that the library also has magazines, movies and music to check out, too. Make a day of it at the library, then make a weekend of it at home.
3. Outside: Spend the weekend on the water. While the sun is out and it's hot and humid, head for the water. Swim, fish or just dip your toes in the ripples. Look for frogs, see how many bugs you can catch and skip stones across the surface of the water. Or spend the day at The Beach and enjoy the slides and wave pool. That will make the heat and humidity a little more bearable.
4. Inside: Plan some family time. Pull out all your board games and see who can be the grand champion. Have a movie marathon of your family's favorite titles. Cook a meal together and then have a picnic on the living room floor. We're almost halfway through the year — time is going by too quickly to not enjoy it together.