Saturday, we went to visit some friends in Wisconsin. They live on a farm, have horses, donkeys, etc. It's nice to know people who don't live in the stepford that we do. So we got there, played outside for 20m, and then we packed up. They had a party for the club that the dad is in.
It's a tractor club. These guys are fans of old tractors. Most of them buy old broken down tractors and rebuild and repaint them. I'm not sure what purpose it serves, but who am I to judge when maniacal sports fandom is my main hobby?
So it was us, our friends and their two daughters (3 years old and 1 year old), and about 40 sexagenarians. Old school. Any couple could have been stand-ins for my grandparents who were all farmers. Not a pair of shorts among them. All wearing plaid long sleeve shirts and farmer hats.
It was like being transported back to my childhood visiting my grandparents' farms. Except hotter. And I was chasing 2 kids around the sand for 2 hours becoming more dehydrated by the minute.
BigBrother worked up the nerve to take a ride on one of the tractors, and 1937 Allis Chalmers. Which is impressive, because I would have thought twice about it - the thing was so loud.
On Sunday, we hung out at my parents. For some reason, the TV thing popped up again, and I tried to apply reason to DearWife. Ok, it popped up again because I brought it up. It's not even the TV so much as it is that she won't listen to what I'm saying. There's no negotiation. She just doesn't want to spend the money.
Also, we were getting ready to go, and she was a little irritated with me. I know, I know, you're all thinking "How could she be irritated at Khyle? He's so funny and nice, so inconspicuous." But there can be times when I can be trying.
During the 5 minutes when she was irritated at me, she asked me a question. What she said was "Would you rather do A or B?" I said I didn't care. She responded, and I'll paraphrase, "Make a decision you pansy."
So I decided to make some decisions. I'm going to start doing more stuff around the house. I think our housing market is high enough so that any damage I do will be offset by the raising cost of buying a house in our subdivision.
Project A) Build a retaining wall in the front of our house. On the left side of our house, we have a pretty steep grade. It makes landscaping (and mowing) very difficult. The mulch keeps falling down the hill. So, I am going to edge the front of the bushes with brick. Then as the ground falls off, keep the brick level, adding new levels of brick downward to do so. I think it'll look great, and it's much needed. I'd like to wrap it all the way around to the back patio, but I think my back would give up and give out. So that'll have to wait.
Secondarily, I've made the decision to buy the TV, and put it in the basement. Before the TV can be delivered, I'm need to get the area ready. Which means repainting much of the basement, and creating faux-walls around the area to protect my TV space.
A side benefit to this that I'll actually be able to work at home functionally. Right now, I do not. Ground level is out because the kids are always running around, and I cant' be on the phone with a major national bank when BigBrother comes up and asks me if we can play Thomas on the computer.
So cleaning up the area, preparing for the new HD TV will make a nice work space too. I've decided that I'm going to paint Navy Blue, with an Orange stripe around the center of the wall. If I get ambitious (which is doubtful) I will paint a large orange C in a prominent place. Once the TV is installed, I will have a great place to spend Sundays. The next step is to clean out all my crap. DW is doing her part, so now I have to throw out about a thousand old PC games, computer books, etc. That should clear some space for the kids to have a basement play area, which will have the kids downstairs during gametime on Sundays. So I can watch the game and kids.
I'll be sure to keep everyone abreast of my progress.
--> Metaphorically ducking when DearWife reads this post. <--
In other news, I have an actual full week of vacation scheduled for the beginning of August. Day 1 of vacation will be spent in Bourbonais, home of the Bears training camp. After that, DW wants to go to water park, Great America, etc. Which is cool. But I want to go somewhere else, anywhere else for at least a couple days. Take the kids overnight and break the routine, see different sites.
We're limited in travelling options, due to the fact that my patience with gleeful screaming from the backseat of the Camry is very limited. So we're thinking of Madison, Wisconsin. They have a decent zoo, botanical gardens. So hopefully, we can get a suite up there, let the kids sleep, and have some fun.
I get the feeling that I'm going to be in charge of making accomodations, which reduces the likliehood of this happening by 25%. But I'm motivated.