Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In honor of the American Royal I will miss

Although I am very grateful for my new job, I do have one major complaint.....not one of the very serious nature, but rather I have to act like an adult and stay home and work while Ben gets to travel to one of my favorite pastimes - livestock shows.

While I'm spending the next three days in "New Staff Orientation" - Ben will get to catch up with our friends in KC at the American Royal, spend time with Craig and Regina, roam around the expo center and....oh yeah, see some great livestock in the meantime. I'm sure that my displeasure won't last once I get that nice paycheck and the security of one for many month (and hopefully years) to come.

In honor of my absense, I'll pay tribute to one of our most favorite pasttimes. In September I did hop in the NDSU judging van for a trip south to Kansas. Who in their right mind would pass up a trip to a) Kansas, b) see your family or c) see good livestock? Certainly not me. During this trip my cousin Shelby competed in her final (I think) Kansas Junior Livestock Show.

The wether show was held on Saturday - concurrent with the collegiate livestock judging contest - leaving Ben able to spend time with me and my family and watch 2 Diamond W Club Lambs compete. Below is a few pictures from the weekend.

This lamb is out of their "Skunk" buck (clink for a link to his picture listed on their website). If I had been thinking - I could have saved interim pictures we took over the course of the spring/summer to show this lambs progress. Dad, Dena and Shelby came to Indiana and purchased lambs, 2 or 3 of which were out of this buck. To say the least (as noted by the next picture) - we were all very pleased with the lambs from this buck.

This lamb won an intermediate weight natural class, and although my pictures do not do this lamb justice - he was in his prime. The lamb had a good touch and a good big hip. I could very well be mistaken, but I think this lamb was near the 125 lb. mark at the KJLS show.
The next two pictures are from the second wether lamb in Shelby's lineup. I am uncertain of his pedigree - but this lamb was an early pleaser. He peaked earlier in the season and didn't quite have enough lower leg to compete with the big boys. However, like I said - all were pleased with how they performed.

We've yet to hear final word on whether Shelby will compete one more year in 4-H (since she is a freshman at Hutchinson Community College) but we still have the two young'ins to think about. I'm certain that the Williams' will have many Kansas' lambs over the next 12 years!
So I shall say - good luck to all those competing this weekend AND hello to all those I won't get to catch up with this time! We'll see you in January!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way!

As most of you know...I spent a good amount of time at home from August to mid-October this year. Another fact most of you are aware of is my need to continuously doing something (that is - in between my "oh-so-necessary" nap breaks). I have been following several "do-it-yourself" blogs and spending time browsing through local stores for the next ultimate project. If you remember, I successfully refurbished my "tag-sale" trunk earlier this summer - so I was looking for a similar project.

Christmas time is quickly approaching, if you don't believe me - take a stroll down to your local Hobby Lobby where you can find 12 aisles of Christmas decorations seasonally and appropriately priced at 50% every-other week. In these aisles is where I found the makings of the biggest craft under-taking I've worked on since the corsages and groom's flowers from my wedding. My goal - create personal, inexpensive Christmas ornaments for our 1st ever tree (yes, alothough we've been together for more than 4 years - we have yet to buy a Christmas tree).

While I respect traditional Christmas trees, and may revert to one once we have a family to adorn such ornaments as "Baby's 1st Christmas" - my favorite tree is my mom's, hands down. Her's is trimmed in raffia bows, matching country Christmas ornaments and it very much feels like a country Christmas cottage when we go to their place for the holidays.

For my version:
I found plain, wooden Christmas craft ornaments in the DIY section and continued on to the scrapbooking section. There I found, what I considered, country-inspired prints that slightly complemented one another and matched the already established color-scheme in our humble abode. Finally, I picked up some cranberry, gold and copper paint and headed home.

This picture is a sampling of the prints I found to use. The back side is painted one of the three coordinating colors, along with the side edges. If you have questions about this project, let me know. I decided not to bore you with the details.
I had left-over wire, mod-podge and various other supplies from the wedding and used those to create stars, christmas gifts and little "W" for our tree. I hammered the holes for the hooks in with a hammer (probably a better way to do this is available - I was using tools I had already). Also, from the wedding I have enough raffia to to create the world's largest ball of raffia - from which I constructed 20 bows (shown below). Finally, left-over burlap from a Christmas gift project from Mom last year - I made a tree-topper in the shape of a heart and out-lined with some braided cord I picked up at Walmart in the craft section.

In this picture you can see a hint of a heart in the corner. This is double braided wire with rustic heart cutouts that were also leftover wedding decorations. I'll probably use this as my substitute to garland - or I have lots of ribbon that needs a project. In my most recent trip to Hobby Lobby, I picked up 28- 1'' rustic jungle bells that I'm planning on using as Christmas bulbs.
I was anticipating this project taking at least a few days, working in shifts. However, I got in the zone and finished 30 ornaments in about 4 1/2 hours. Very do-able on a Saturday afternoon.
If I'm to be considered in true Godsey holiday tradition, my Christmas tree will be up the day after Halloween. However, I have yet to receive any inticing offers from my craigslist request for a "cheap and in good condition" used 6-7 ft Christmas tree. Here's to another day with my fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lot One: Labor Day Wedding

A few weeks ago (okay more than a month, but whatever) my good friend Andrea (remember from an earlier post?) took the plunge at got married. Now I wasn't blessed with the photographic chops as some of my family and friends - but I did capture a few shots of their reception. I included the good ones and Andrea - hopefully I can get these printed and sent to you soon.

The one picture I was sad I didn't get was the one with my date and I. My dad doesn't get to excited about flashing camera bulbs and I wasn't able to get one off before he darted. He was uncharacteristically quiet at this wedding (the first one since mine) he must have dealt with flash-backs and nightmares. Just kidding, I'm the last person Dad needs to get grief from - Love you Dad! (And of course, you too Mom).

I've veered from my topic, let's rescend:

I loved all the personal country touches, including this picture from their engagement session. I'd credit the photographer - but I'm not sure who it was! If you peak back to my teaser post you'll notice the wooden background behind that gorgeous cake - if I'm not mistaken, Lance (the groom) made that himself. I wish I had a better picture of the table decorations - but I'm sure the Wilson's wheat crop was slightly less than a typical year in preparation for her wedding. I loved the wheat chaff and candles as centerpieces. Plus the little chocolate favors were very cute! Oh, oh, oh - and the burlap (the source will remain anonymous for safety and no other purpose) draped across the wooden ceiling beams were genious. Lots of creativity went into this wedding - your wedding decorator should just change her name to J.Lo and charge for her service (most of you won't appreciate the inside joke - just ignore it and move on).

The newly proclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Kendig at the reception. The sweet corn was the best treat. After putting up a meager 8 dozen myself in early September - could I truly appreciate the effort it took to feed more than 200 people!

I tried to steal a sweet moment for the newlyweds. Mission failed, my flash is delayed....this is what I got. Nevertheless, she looked beautiful. Very classic bride indeed!

I always like the Father/Daughter Dance and the Mother/Son dance. I think its one of the most important traditions carried out at the wedding dance. Its a nice moment, after all the chaos, to share a moment with one of your biggest fans. I'm glad Andrea got to share that with her dad.

Of course, a final rite of passage involved in the wedding celebration. I got the shot at a PC (politically correct) angle - "ALL FUN, NO GUN". I just hope her's won't become a permenant fixture on one of her husband's buddies rear-view mirror. How embarrassing!
You didn't think I'd reveal all our news in one blog did you? You'll have to keep checking back on the other stories (This gives me a reason to close my office door, turn up the music and unwind during my lunch hour - indulge me).
Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A sneak peak.....

I have been able to steal some time away during my lunch hour to upload pictures from the last month or two or THREE. I wanted to give a brief "teaser" of some blog material to come in the next week or two. I have had so much to report on - but no picture story to tell.

Hopefully I've sparked your attention. Keep checking back for updates on the "Scoop"!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A turn away from the ordinary

While I have no intentions on turning this into a recipe blog - I cannot find a place in Fargo (with the exception of purchasing a laptop of my own - in due time people, in due time) that can upload photos from my digital camera memory card to provide you with more "personal" material.

Hence, I wanted to share a new (not really new, but new to me) recipe my mom recently shared with me. It has officially become soup season in Fargo (we've not exceeded 55 degrees all week). I grew up on "comfort food" - a traditional meat and potatoes kid from central Kansas. However, while these entrees leave you feeling slightly nostalgic - they do absolutely nothing for your waistline. In an effort to help eat those foods that make us feel good and warm - I'm exploring soup options rather than the full meat and potatoes meals that feel like you've ate Thanksgiving dinner everyday.

I have already made enough homemade noodles to feed a small army for the world famous Godsey family chicken and noodle. Our chicken and noodle is not considered a soup, rather we serve it over mashed potatoes and there are no vegetables. This recipe, however strays from the traditional Godsey C/N.

Bacon and Baked Potato Soup
(Serves about 4; 30 minutes)

Melt butter in large pot and saute onion and celery:
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped celery

1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 milk
2 medium baking potatoes (cooked in microwave and divided into 1/2 inch cubes)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Bring mix just to a boil; stirring constantly. Slightly crush potatoes with the back of a spoon. Reduce to medium low; simmer for 5 minutes and stir frequently.

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 c cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. green onion
1/4 c sour cream

2 options are available: serve immediately or put in crockpot (at the lowest setting) for serving later. I would suggest the crockpot; it allows the soup to heat completely through and thicken.

Just prior to serving add 1/2 of bacon, cheddar cheese, green onion and heat until cheese melted.

Allow people to add remaining bacon, cheese, green onion and sour cream as topping as desired.

Hopefully soon I can get some pictures uploaded to return to more meaningful posts - but in the meantime, enjoy the soup!