Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's probably not the best idea we've had, but whatdoyado?

While we haven't officially heard if the house is ours yet..............we can't help but get a little excited.

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

Just a little teaser.........

You'll have to check-out my facebook page for all the photos. We just a couple steps away from finally calling this place home! We've got a few things to hammer out like:

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)

and finally

c) a closing day (we just booked our last free weekend in June with work-related activities!).

Last Thursday, we had our home inspection. It was hard to get me back to town afterward....the crazy had set in. All it took was the sound of no cars, a few mallard ducks in the creek and a hammock in the tree to trip it off. The next thing you know, I'm lying in the grass - broken hammock under my butt (did you know you're not supposed to swing around in circles in a hammock) and a very embarrassed husband explaining to the inspector that I'm not really his wife as he ushered me to the car for a time-out.
Can you imagine how the rest of this story went?
Check out the pictures on my facebook page!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Last night we met up with our friends the Newman's for some drinks and dinner downtown. The night started at Old Broadway for drinks but then decided the atmosphere was not one to try and enjoy the company and food. They suggested going across the street to a good Thai/sushi joint they've eaten at a few times before.

Ben and I have never eaten real sushi before, the closest we got was the ahi tuna we had in KC a few years ago. If it had been our choice, we probably would have choosen the wood-fire grill or a burger joint - but we've been trying to expand our horizons and try new things.

The restaurant was called WASABI and specialized in sushi rolls. After twenty minutes of conferencing, we decided to all order something different and then pass our plates around to sample everything else on the table. Since we had already had a few drinks, we passed on the sake bombs and went for the pitchers of water.
For starters, we sampled a bowl of edamame which is cooked soybean pods seasoned with salt. I think we'll be visiting the section of the specialty grocery store for these every so often. They were wonderful - - maybe the best part of the meal.
Our meals came with a complimentary bowl of miso soup. It takes about as appetizing as it looks. It was filled with seaweed, tofu, green onion and broth. Ben and I obviously haven't ever tried tofu and now we know we haven't been missing out on much!
We ordered:
Corineah: Amego roll (jalepeno, cream cheese, crab, cilantro topped with shrimp salsa) and the spicy california roll (not sure, but it had raw fish and spicy mayonaise).
Ben: Crunch munch roll (spicy crab, asparagus, and crunch topped with shrimp and spicy mayo) and te philadelphia roll (fish, cream cheese and delicious). The picture is fairly similar to Ben's crunch munch roll. Next time I'm just going to order the same that he does, he always has an eye for the good dishes!!
The Newmans ordered the Alaska roll (salmon asparagus, crab, tempura fried then topped with avocado) and the beef bulgogi (marinated beef fried with garlic, mushrooms, green onion and bell peppers). The below picture is an Alaskan roll very similar to what we had last night.

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

Since she already shared, I don't have to keep it a secret anymore!!

Well, I (we) were trying to be courteous and respectful of some very exciting news we have to share regarding our family on the Williams' side - but I see that she just spilled the beans on the Owens' family it's fair game, right?

Drum roll please...............................................................................................................................STOP!

We just found out that we're going to be an aunt and uncle again! Ben's sister Lyndsey (the brunette) and her husband Matt are expecting a little rascal just before Christmas time!!

Just so Lyndsey knows, I'll construct a short list of names that are "not available" for their use for their reference when they start name searching, along with an even shorter list of physical characteristics that her kids are not allowed to possess (I've got dibs on the red hair and freckles, missy). Now truly, I have no claim to the red hair and freckles, but I'm hoping that at least one of our future, un-conceived children will also possess these features sometime in the future. Is that weird? I don't care if you think its weird.

Anyway, we're totally excited - mostly because there is nobody more entertaining in Ben's family to undergo this experience first than Lyndsey......she always has us rolling in laughter with her stories, but undoubtably we're excited to spoil another neice/nephew in the process.

I know the damage is technically done, but we do have 2 neices on the Godsey side, so if you could make this one a boy - it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Lyndsey. (and Matt). My only request is that if your baby is fortunate enough to be this good looking, you give him/her away.

Seriously, I'm kidding. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another home makeover project..................

I've really started to appreciate the color yellow. I'm constantly trying to incorporate it into my decorating. I'm not sure if its because I'm getting homesick for the waving golden wheatfields of Kansas or I'm getting soft honeysickle baby-fever.

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.

I had also previously popped off the nobs for hanging things on prior to by paint job to keep their character. Using some small 1/8" nails, I hammered the panel back on and then re-inserted the brackets to hang it on the wall.
Here's a quick close-up of the paint and fabric.
My hope is that we'll soon be proud home owners and I'll have a special place in the house we're I can let all my yellow-loving projects puke all over the place! Until then, I'll happily let it sit against the wall in the ever-so-crammed spare bedroom.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Becky Home-ecky

I never took a "home-ec." class in high school. I think I was too busy learning about animal body parts, farm business management and snapping photos for the school yearbook.

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.

The only thing to finish on these pillows is the small hole you leave open to stuff the pillows. I can't quite remember the stitch Grandmas taught me - so each pillow has a small 1" hole that I cleverly disquised by turning those corners away from the immediate view of the camera.
I originally thought the new pillows would complement the old suede brown ones but they don't match the way I intended. Thankfully, I bought a full yard of each material, so I have plenty to make matching pillows and store the suede ones until the fall.
It's not that hard to make pillows, but I think I'll gradually transition into harder projects like curtains, quilts and re-upholstry.
I have a few other home-improvement projects to share, but I'll save those for later.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

We've been in this house hunting business for quite awhile......okay, only a couple of months but it feels like a lifetime.

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 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

Did you know......

Last week we attended our Spring Extension Conference in Bismarck (sorry for no posts).

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......

It's unreal.