March 25, 2012

It's Spring!

Spring is here!  In fact, in PA it came early.  Starting March 7th, almost every day has been at least 60°, many of them in the mid-70's.  The average high for March here is only 53°, and on Friday it was 80°.  The 10 day forecast has temps returning to something a little more normal, but still on the warm side.

As much as I think this is probably not a good sign in terms of me hating this summer, DS and I have been very diligently taking advantage of how nice it is right now.  To start, as soon as I noticed that there was no indication of freezing temperatures anymore*, I set out for Home Depot to restart my balcony garden.  This year I have three kinds of lettuce, brussel sprouts, oregano, rosemary, catnip, cilantro, and strawberries.  I plan to have more stuff as soon as I can find it, but things like tomatoes weren't even in the store yet.  I have carrot seeds too, which I'm pretty excited about.

Clockwise from top: Strawberries, Cilantro, Catnip, Oregano
I've been spending a couple days per week visiting Sarah in Franklin Square park.  She's a nanny for this adorable kid we'll call Mark who is 16 months old.  He doesn't talk yet, but he knows sign language, so we can have conversations of a sort.  As a result, and because of my secret deep love of the show Switched At Birth, I've been learning sign language too.  This Thursday is the grand re-opening of the park, where they'll open the carousel, miniature golf course, and the shake place.  Sarah wants to buy Mark a milkshake.  I'm just excited to be going to the park so much.  It's a really awesome little place.  The best is when the Chinese kids get out of school (we're right by Chinatown) and come set up their boombox for breakdancing sessions.  Mark loves it so much that he's been making up his own breakdancing moves.

"Mark" plays peek-a-boo in Franklin Square Park.  He hid for like 9 minutes that time.
We've been looking into place to climb outside as soon as we get a new rope and some weekend days that don't include rain.  Hopefully in April.  To prepare, DS and I went hiking around Birdsboro, PA.  There's an old quarry there that is now a water reservoir, and the remaining exposed rock has been bolted for sport climbing.  It was a nice little place, and I especially enjoyed the two wire cable bridges you have to cross to get to the area.

If you'll recall from the Changes and Challenges post, we had two extra cats living here for a while.  They moved out right after we got back from the snowboarding trip, but last weekend we had them again while their owner was out of town.  Aside from some superficial hissing as the cats came in, it would seem that the forced cohabitation did the trick!  We had some actual getting along, and it was very exciting for DS and I.  Our cats have never before been okay around any other animal, and look at them now!

Johann and Winston share the bed.
Progress on Sarah's couch is coming along really well, though very slowly.  I keep meaning to take a picture of it, but forgetting.  She's only about a mile away from me, which is easy walking distance.  Thursday I met her at Llama Tooth, an adorable little bar near her house, for drinks on their patio.

The patio of Llama Tooth.  There are worse ways to enjoy an evening.
Today marked six days in a row of working out.  I'm trying to vary what I do every day so my muscles don't get overly sore and I don't get bored.  I can already tell it's making a difference in my climbing.  Yesterday I conquered a beast that I thought was just too big for me, and it was so exciting.  There are quite a few climbs in the gym that seem to be set by someone about 7 feet tall, so figuring out a way to get my munchkin self up them always makes me feel very accomplished.  Their setting initials are BJR, and I think their climbs are going to be my project material from now on.  I already have the next one picked out!

So that's what we've been up to around here, sprinkled with a lot of book reading.  Hopefully I'll be updating a bit more often now that I'm caught up!

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