Occasionally you might hear Michelle or me complain about being busy every weekend. In fact we often overflow into the work week with house hunting, wedding planning, bike racing, and unfortunately work itself. Michelle absolutely loves relaxing and re-filling her batteries, but I’m the complete opposite and can’t sit still for a minute. Even as I’m typing now the dog and the refrigerator are getting just as much attention. Attention would be the name of the game though this weekend as we had more than enough items that needed it.

The first item of business came early Saturday morning. Over the winter Michelle scored an amazing deal on a random craigslist find and upgraded her road bike for next to nothing. However, with poor weather and a focus on running she hasn’t been able to ride it much. Well Saturday morning turned out to be warm and dry, and we set off for the Schuylkill River Trail. The trail was crowded, and I hate getting passed by triathletes, but an hour on the bike with my fiancee was worth it. After turning around to head back, I challenged Michelle to beat our time heading out. She beat the split by 5 minutes so I’ll blame her for blur in this picture.

Next on the agenda was our first appointment with a venue. This is a big deal because we actually have to make decisions now and write things down. Of course we picked our favorite to see first and invited the parents along for the tour. I don’t want to reveal too much of the venue though. Let’s treat the next few photos as the theatrical trailer:

“I’m gonna be on the blog!”

Don’t be too disappointed about not seeing much of the venue. I’m positive Michelle will be featuring more details as we go along. It pretty much blew us away though and was exactly what we’ve been looking for, but don’t take my word for it.

Lunch was at Ironhill Brewery which is another local craft brewery/restaurant. I didn’t take any pictures there mostly because I was busy slamming food in my face, but also because we were on a tight schedule with four houses to see in the afternoon. Michelle and I had seen one of the houses previously and arranged to see 2 others that are nearby for comparison. There wasn’t much comparison though as these places were in considerable distress (blue carpet!).

The good news, however, is that all of our parents liked the first place, and it’s incredibly affordable compared to other places we’ve seen recently. With a full day winding down, my parents hit the road, and we rushed back home to catch the hockey game. This picture isn’t from Saturday’s game but gives you a good idea of how it turned out.

Today was another full day, and Sammie made sure I was up early enough by jumping on my face and sandwiching himself next to Michelle. A couple weeks ago we came across a great DIY on Don’t Burn the Garlic which explained how to make a Bucket Garden. We don’t have a backyard at our apartment, but we do have a large balcony which gets plenty of sunshine.

After making a short list of the supplies we needed, I got Michelle moving and we headed out to Lowe’s. The store was bustling even early in the morning as families (men sent out by their wives) picked up all kinds of garden essentials. It took us a little longer than planned to find all the items, but we eventually found everything and loaded it into the RAV4.

“Don’t put the dirty side down!”
“But I have to get a pic for the blog!”

Since our trip to Lowe’s took a little longer, I quickly got started on project #2 once we got home. I had coated these ribs in a pork rub earlier in the morning and just had to get the grill set up. Here it’s set up for off-set cooking with water trays and hickory wood chips under the grate.

While I was sorting the grill out, Michelle and Sam got started drilling out some drainage holes for the buckets.

After the holes were drilled, she filled each bucket with about two inches of river rock to aid the water drainage. Only five minutes into the project the gardening gloves had become a good investment.

With the grill smoking and the buckets properly supervised, I started on another area that needed attention. CTC did some mean stuff to my legs, but it was even worse on the bike. On Friday I had the shifters adjusted, and today it was time to clean that drive-train. I picked up this de-greaser at BikeSport and it worked wonders.

The next part of the bucket involves a mixture of potting soil and manure. Remember those gardening gloves? She wasn’t even going to get them until I suggested it.

For some reason the most confusing part of the whole project was the seeds. We weren’t sure what would grow best in the buckets and our climate, so we just picked some of our favorite vegetables and hoped for the best.

I know he just wanted to be part of the project, but eating a bunch of fertilizer doesn’t help anybody.

Despite off and on showers the grill kept going too. I wanted to pull the ribs and finish them in the oven, but Michelle encouraged me to quit being a wimp and cook the ribs like a man.

The showers eventually passed, and we finished all of our buckets. We should have full plants in about two months so stay tuned!

The ribs also finished cooking conveniently around dinner time. This was my first time doing ribs and I managed to get a nice smoke ring and finish them before mid-night. At six hours I mopped a layer of bbq sauce over them, and here they are ready to eat at seven hours.

It’s been another busy weekend for sure, but I feel good thinking we got some things accomplished too. I was also happy to hear that people are enjoying the blog.

Thanks for reading!