Thursday, April 29, 2010
So excited in fact that we've:
1. Purchased the dining room kitchen table and chairs.
2. Pre-planted some veggies for the garden (with the help of the extension horticulturalist in my office).
3. Started a honey-do list of all the projects I want Ben to work on.
4. Started looking for advertised fall livestock sales.
I know, its ridiculous. Can you blame us?
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
a) who's going to pay for the removal of our house-guests (the hornets living in attic)
b) a new septic system (we have a high water table up here)
c) a closing day (we just booked our last free weekend in June with work-related activities!).
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The bulgogi, of course, was very very good. The boys liked my spicy california MUCH MUCH more than I did (one bite and I almost got sick to my stomach), but the other dishes were excellent.
We probably never would have chosen this place on our own, but we were very pleased with our meal. It was fun to try something new, especially with another couple that had quite a bit of sushi expertise! We'd definitely go back, four stars!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Seriously, I'm kidding. Don't get your panties in a bunch.
Monday, April 12, 2010
My new pillows that I just blogged about weren't even my first "yellow" invasion project. This one I'm about to describe was.........
Thanks to the gals I work with, I've renewed my love for thrift store shopping - turning someone else's trash into my treasures.
A few weeks ago I purchased a hunter green shelf/wall hanging with a wall papered farm scened back-panel for $4.00 during a Sunday afternoon visit to the Dakota Boys Ranch with Ben.
During the shopping trip for the pillow fabric, I picked up another 1/2 yard of this material.
It is similar to what I used for the pillows, but not close enough to be "matchy-matchy".
I also picked up a "sunflower" shade of yellow paint and a white "primer" from the craft paint aisle at Hobby Lobby for about $2.00 total.
We got the back panel removed from the rest of the wall-hanging, peeled the wall paper off and then "re-papered" the panel with my fabric. It took some spray adhesive and a little hot glue to get the job done.
It took a full coat of primer followed by two coats of paint to remove the green tint left by the previous hunter green.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I wish it had been required, then I would have learned how to sew, cook and care for a newborn.
Mostly sew. I think the others can be self-taught with experience.
Every few years I've tried to dabble in sewing by making blankets for dad, Grady, Kait, Kenya and Ben for Christmas; helping with my patch-work quilt wedding centerpieces and a few random craft projects here-and-there.
This time, I set out to make new "springy" pillows.......I picked out the fabric, see below.
I purchased a cutting mat, rotary cutter, thread and pins (all equipment I've seen my grandma or mother-in-law use for their projects). They, along with Ben's sisters have taught me some basics about sewing and I thought I could give these pillows a shot. I might also mentioned that I decided to fore-go the pattern I found to help me because it cost more than my fabric and thread........I have a master's degree, I can surely sew a couple pillows without a skinking pattern.
Using some of the algebra skills I've learned over the past 16 years in school, I deduced for a 18" square pillow and the pattern I picked, I'd need 18" square inches of the red gingham (for the back) plus an extra inch on each side for the seams, 2 - 6X20" inch strips of yellow material and 1-11X20" inch strip of the flowered material for the focal point.
Ben taught me to use my rotary cutter including a quick safety lesson including the switch, much like the safety on his shotgun that should hopefully prevent an emergency room visit. Since I'm an amateur sewer, I realize that my medium-sized cutting board was a mere 2-inches shy of the 20" goal, so I spent alot of extra time 'guestimating' the actual dimensions of the pillows.
The extension office has three small BROTHER sewing machines that were used to teach sewing classes to 4-Hers - so I borrowed the machine to get a test run before I made the investment. It took about 45 minutes to thread the small bobber and then get it back in the bottom of the machine - - - - small challenge, but I managed without looking it up on the internet, calling home or asking Ben to do it for me.
I first sewed the front panel, making sure to get the seams ironed and pinned down so they all laid in the same direction and away from the light yellow side. Somehow I managed to keep all fingers intact and only minor puncture wounds from my encounters with the pins.
After I finished the first pillow (way past my work week bedtime) I launched myself (pillow in hand) through the bedroom door, up onto the bed screaming at Ben, "Monkey, look........I did it! Do you like it?" Much to my dismay - I was greeted with a dirty look, half-hearted slap across the arm and a quick turnover with a snide 'I'll look at it in the morning' rather than the "Wow dear, that awesome" that I was hoping for.
The whole project took a few hours, maybe less but my attention span never lets me sit still long enough to do the whole project in one stretch. Plus, it was my bedtime.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Maybe a couple of lifetimes.
We think we may have found one that fits most of our requirements:
1. Rural Cass County (being an ag. extension agent in this county - I think I should live where in the same county my check is coming from).
2. 5-10 acres of good, usable grass for livestock (not alot of trees, gravel or dirt l0ts that a horse would starve on).
3. 2 bedrooms with the possibility of more with some creativity and ambition.
4. In a price range that allows us to eat, drive and enjoy simple luxuries without eating Ramen Noodles and Mac-n-Cheese for the next 30 years.
So - - - - - we thought it was purrrrrfect. Enter the banker.
In a state so rich in agricultural heritage you think it would be relatively easy to finance a young couple trying to establish themselves as producers in a rural setting, right?
WRONG. Most lending companies are unwilling to finance these types of properties because they consider them "risky, health hazards with a un-likelihood of resale."
What they don't know is that we are in-it-for-the-long-haul and our concern for resale is minimal. But they don't know that - we're just file #1543666 white causacian male/female couple with X dollars available for a downpayment and Y dollars in revolving debt looking to purchase property D which as no exact comparable listings within one mile."
We don't even have a neighbor within one mile of the property. Jeez, this is complicated!
I should restate - our banker has been wonderful, our realtor has been awesome! We couldn't ask for better service from their end.....my qualm is with the lending/financing industry beyond our local banks. The people who are financing home loans are on my list. But it is what it is - we'll just learn how to play the game.
We think we have our bases covered, we're going to make an offer to the seller tonight based on some contengencies upon the type of finanching we want - which will require him to completely gut and replace the septic system (along with public health certification) and replace some windows, downspouts, etc.
Our shining light is that the banker assured us that this property would not be financed by ANY bank in the country without this improvement. So unless a buyer has about $200,000 in cash on hand - the buyer MUST, MUST fix it.
I think there's a pretty bright light - and these two moths are gravitating toward it!
In the meantime, if anyone has some great advise - send them our way! Positive thoughts are good too! Or cash, loads of cash is always welcome.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
During this time we had the opportunity to meet other extension agents in the state, idea swap and receive training on using facebook, picasa, twitter, blogging, video conferencing, moodle, etc. to expand our audiences.
At the end of conference our director of university extension showed a video that puts our usage of technology into perspective. I thought I'd share this video with you......