We decided to take some vacation time after the 4th of July because it looked like I was going to have to take some furlough time during that time due to the elected federal officials not being able to come to budgetary compromise and V has to schedule her time out of the office in advance. We made no travel plans, at least for the first part, as V has a project planned.
My best recollection of the conversation went something like V saying, “Let’s paint the bedroom. It won’t take all the vacation time. We can get right to moving everything out of the bedroom right after we get back from the 4th lunch over at my sister’s, then start painting on Friday morning. We can sleep in the guest bedroom during the painting and drying time. Two coats of paint including the trim and doors shouldn’t be that big of a deal. We should be completed by the time the weekend is over and we have the rest of the week then to visit a winery or two.”
I reply, “I keep telling you to stop watching the DIY Network. It just puts bad thoughts in your head. As long as we are planning our own reality show called “B&V DIO (Do It Ourselves)” you know, I want to replace that leaky faucet in the kitchen once and for all, so that has to be worked in too.”
V smiles, knowing a verbal contract has just been created, and enthusiastically says “Those aren’t bad thoughts! That’s called inspiration! And yes, you can work that faucet in too!”
I add, “We should be all the way done come Monday. Right? You remember I invited my cousin and an old school chum over for ribs that evening. I will have to go over and sign paperwork for the change of auto and house insurance providers that morning too. It is important to do that seeing how we are saving over a thousand dollars a year on that change alone and we mustn’t let the paperwork linger. The Charter internet equipment has to be returned, the Dish network box will have to be put into shipment or the savings we created from the changes we made there will be in jeopardy. Oh yeah, that trip to the Goodwill donation center was planned for that day too.”
V presciently replies, “Even if we aren’t done you can focus on the ribs and those other errands you need to get done Monday. The ribs practically cook themselves, do they not? What an incentive to get all this work done! Your babyback ribs! I can hardly wait!”
The visit to V’s sister is an emotional one for V as her sister is waging her own courageous physical war against that evil which struck V and their mom. The lunch was the traditional hamburgers and hotdogs off the grill by V’s sister’s husband. That makes him my brother-in-law for those of you keeping track at home. Accompanying the aforementioned proteins are the related salads, baked beans, chips and deserts. Among V’s contributions are the beans and her rustic crust strawberry-rhubarb pie. Strawberry-rhubarb pie doesn’t come around like that everyday, is all I can say. Maybe if you ask V nicely she will tell you her secret.
Lunch is behind us now, the video games started and completed, and as the afternoon is wearing on and not wanting to overtire the hostess, we bid our farewell.
Speaking of overtiring, we keep to our plan and upon arrival back at home we move the bedroom furniture to various rooms and create paths so no toes will be stubbed in the dead of night when someone has to get up to let the dog out. I say in my own dry manner, “Kinda looks like an episode of the reality show, “Hoarders-Not-So-Anonymous.”
V, feigning an offended look shoots back, “There is no such show and it is only for a couple days. Keep it up and no fireworks for you.”
I smile back at her, “Fireworks?” For a brief moment there I forget it is the 4th of July and I was thinking she was thinking something else.
V gives me the “Alright Mister” look and I quickly recover, “Oh yeah, those fireworks.” One of the unintended benefits of the location we chose to live in here in “The Tri” is we can sit outside on our front lawn and see both the annual “River Of Fire” fireworks from Kennewick and the ones from the “Grand Ole 4th” celebration in Pasco. Sometimes when we watch them it is somewhat like watching a tennis match because our necks turn from right to left, then left to right, then back to right to left. The sequence goes on and on. I don’t want to miss sitting out in the front yard in lounge chairs in the dark, drinking a glass of wine and holding hands, so I am on my best behavior from here on out. As good as it gets for me anyways. The fireworks are fun and provide multiple “Oooos and Ahhhs” and when both grand finales are complete we hang out in the yard loving the fact we don’t have to drive from either Kennewick or up the road here in Pasco and maybe we are just a bit tired from all the physical effort exerted as “B&V Furniture Movers R Us” to get up out of the chairs. Finally we do though as we have an action packed day tomorrow.
Day One of “B&V DIO” – V starts on the painting and I am making a run to the self, I mean home, improvement store. Once in the store I look all around for any one slightly resembling one of those “Crasher Folks.” I am sure a couple of people thought I was stalking them, but nowhere to be seen are Ahmed, Alison, Josh, Matt, or the other Matt, and the accompanying duo of a camera guy and boom microphone guy so I resign myself to actually make the decision of picking a kitchen faucet and also pick-up the trim paint V needs. All the while I am formulating excuses to explain why it took me so long at the store and actually DIO.
Day One of “B&V DIO” is completed. Faucet successfully replaced, success being defined as no leaks detected. Painting is well underway but not as far as planned. We both are sore from bending, climbing the ladder, stretching, and kneeling. We both came to the conclusion that is why those “Crashers” have all those other folks there too. Where are those guys? Dinner is leftovers out of the fridge and ice water as neither of us drank enough of that during the day and are feeling dehydrated. No wine, that is so very much not like us.
Day Two of “B&V DIO” – finishing first coats and starting second coats. The day is filled with more of that bending, climbing the ladder, stretching, and kneeling stuff. We both agree we are sorer than we have been in quite some time and will seriously deliberate outsourcing this work in the future. Dinner is pizza from the freezer and more ice water. No wine for two days, that is so very much not like us.
Day Three of “B&V DIO” is taken up and vividly described by a term from my work, “Scope Creep.” We decide to make the wall which is behind the bed a “Wood Feature Wall.” There are several packages of cedar planks in the garage which have been waiting two years now for just the right purpose as the original one seems to have come and went without fruition. The day is completely taken up by sorting through the packages, staging the panels, applying the panels to the wall, and rubbing them down with finishing oil; and more of that bending, stretching, and kneeling stuff, without the added bonus of climbing the ladder. Yippee. Dinner is taco truck tacos from a few blocks down the street from a reputable vendor and more ice water. No wine for three days, that is so very much not like us. B&V are starting to get grumpy.
Day Four of “B&V DIO” – We both agree that when we thought we were sorer than we have been in some time on Day Two we didn’t know what we were talking about. The bar and the pain level are indeed higher now. The eyelashes are even sore when they move up and down as the eyes blink. But carry on we must and valiantly do. I have errands to run and V is finishing up the painting and neither of us is as spry as we were on Day One. When I get back from the Tour De Tri, the ribs need a good rub down and refrigeration to help with the process. “My” ribs were learned from a co-worker years ago and now have become my favorite thing to cook. The process is slow, filled with subtle touches, but well worth the wait. Any more details are not going to be shared here. Sorry about that. On second thought, no I’m not sorry.
The two guests arrive, and when we talk about what wine to pair with the ribs, somehow or other Samuel Adams, Hopology Latitude 48 IPA completely immersed in ice magically appears. We don’t want to offend, which is so very like us, “thinking of the other folks” so the beer gets cracked open and when paired with the melt-in-the-mouth ribs, V’s baked beans, and broccoli slaw is about as perfect as a meal gets. It must be the inclusion of the Washington Mosaic Hops which makes the beer so tasty. Jim Koch was nothing short of brilliant in including that ingredient. The term melt-in-the-mouth for the ribs hardly describes what happens when a person takes one of those ribs in the right and left hands then put it up to the mouth, bite in, pull the hands away, and there is “No Tug” as the BBQ Pitmasters describe it. I bow my head and say a prayer of thanks that God created pork, gave me the wisdom to learn how to cook ribs the correct way, and finally created me a pork-eater.
The food – beer included, catching up on happenings in our lives, and reminiscing on life in small town Yakima Valley U.S.A. makes V&I completely forget about how sore we are. “Simply an amazing analgesic” I think to myself. Too bad V&I couldn’t put that into a bottle and market it. We would have a beach house in the Bahamas somewhere. As a second home anyways because why would we want to move from the Heart of Washington Wine Country and the Hub of Hops?
Before the lights go out on this episode of B&V DIOI look over at V smile and say “Four days without wine huh? There is always tomorrow, and if there is no tomorrow, then it won’t matter. Good night my love.”