Did you enjoy the weekend sunshine as much as we did? It was all blue skies and bright sun and green grass in central Pennsylvania from Saturday morning waffles through Sunday night taco salad.
We totally took advantage of the spring temperatures and added more green to our front porch garden. We planted peppers and tomatoes and dill alongside basil, parsley, cilantro, and chives. I noticed the need for color, too, and will remedy that later this week with daisies and dahlias. (Because you know how much I love them.)
(Yes, those are tomato vines hanging upside down. Has anyone had success with this technique? Our fingers are crossed.)
Our humble porch garden will have to suffice until we have a spacious backyard like my parents have. Meanwhile, I’ll just have to augment our homegrown produce and herbs with baskets full of theirs. (My dad and my sister and her boyfriend had their own busy spring Saturday, as evident in this photo. So. Jealous.)
After a full day of outdoor activities, we enjoyed a family cookout that night. Nick’s aunt and uncle and cousins live just a few miles from our house, and another aunt and more cousins were visiting from Pittsburgh. We shared one of our favorite spring side dishes, broccoli slaw, and it was a hit. (The addition of cranberries and almonds makes it so delicious.)
Before dessert (from The Meadows, of course), we took little Estella to the park. I followed her lead from the slides to the swings and back again — at least five times. She is a sweetheart — and a bundle of energy! We hope to see her (and her yet-to-be-born sibling) again soon.
We spent Sunday morning cleaning house before hitting our favorite running trail. We logged close to four miles, which is the furthest I’ve run since my nagging knee injury began. It felt good, but I’m still apprehensive — no scheduled races in my near future.
We then washed up and went in search of patio furniture and a new grill. I’m happy to report that after visiting at least four stores, we located both at Sears. Though here is a bit of advice: Do not wait until mid-May to look for such things. Most of our favorites were out of stock and/or discontinued. Which leads me to the “Rain” part of this post.
Yesterday both felt and looked like a Monday, didn’t it? It was rainy and foggy and temperatures barely broke 50. Neither Nick nor I wanted to get back in the car after our long commutes, but we did. We drove an hour southwest to Johnstown (ironically, part of Nick’s sales territory) to pick up our cast iron bistro table and chairs from Sears. Yes, we like to drive long distances in the name of good furniture.
Nick was excited to show off one of the western Pennsylvania towns where he spends his workdays. Johnstown is industrial and gritty. It’s home to the world’s steepest vehicular inclined plane and a museum to commemorate the 1889 flood. We drove past doctors’ offices and hospitals Nick visits and through neighborhoods we casually googled when he first got the job. Just check out this charming abode — and you won’t believe the price.
After loading our new furniture into the Subaru, we drove to the Boulevard Grill for dinner. The Creole Bourbon wings were excellent, and my stacked “Philly melt” was insanely good. Grilled marble rye bread, Provolone cheese, stacks of shaved sirloin, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and steak sauce. They also had an extensive local beers list. It was totally our kind of place.
One more stop before we headed back to D-ville: TJ Maxx. And not just any TJ Maxx, this was a TJ Maxx and more. We bought a red pitcher and a blue vase and green microfiber kitchen towels. I also broke my self-imposed rule of “no more cookbooks” and purchased Cooking Light, Cooking through the Seasons. I couldn’t resist! And just wait until you see what I cooked tonight.
I sure hope the sunshine returns soon so we can put that furniture and grill and seasonal recipes to good use.