Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Joys, Photos, & Corn Harvest

The past couple days have been rough ones for me.  Those thoughts of doubt and no results coming from my phone calls or connections is the reason this is true.  But towards the end of the day I was fortunate to have an appointment with someone that has been a client of the office I work in for many years.  After leaving the appointment I felt uplifted and hoping to make this a "go".  I felt "this is why I want to do this", and "this is how I'd like to feel on those first appointments". I am thankful for that meeting today.

The joys of the day didn't end there.  Tonight I was lucky enough to:

  • See my daughter sitting on Daddy's lap "driving the combine" and pulling up to our backyard so she could come in the house.
  • Generations  working together to harvest the corn.
  • Cooking an entire supper for my family.
  • Doing homework with my 5 year old.
  • Having a husband that knows how rare it is to have dinner together these days, and comes off the combine just long enough to eat with us.  And I didn't tell him to, but because he knew it would make me happy.
  • Stroll over to the chicken coop to watch my little girl gather 7 eggs with excitement and deliver them to Grandma, because we have way to many at our house!
  • Have my "not so little" girl, sit on my lap while I read to her about lions, tigers, and cats!
  • Congratulation cards in the mail from someone that I know truly means it when they share how proud they are of me.
  • People who care, people who give others chances, offer advice, and open their door to me help me move forward.
  • Long pep talks from my biggest cheerleader. :)
Life is good.  It's always good, but sometimes I/we get so wrapped up in the fear and the "yucky" of life we forget.  I treasure this day, it's ended lovely.

Here are a few photos I snapped this evening.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them!

Thanks for stopping by!

And this is why we chose....
In Between the Sunsets of Life
as the blog name!

Harvest Sunset

 I love these two so much!
Silly Farm Kids!

And just for fun, when we went to get the eggs, I notice
 I was wearing my apron still from cooking supper. 
So I had PV take a photo, cause I wanted to
 document I really am a Farmer's Wife Apron and All! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Childhood Memories and Homemade Donuts

I miss my kitchen.  I know, call me crazy, but I do.  In the midst of this new adventure I've lost my time with my beloved kitchen.  It's a material thing but still, I long for it on days when I just want to be comfortable in my own skin and conquer something successfully.  (Don't get me wrong, I mess up recipes all the time, it's the journey that I enjoy as well as the end result!)

For a year or so I've wanted to make The Pioneer Woman's homemade donuts.  But the recipe was intimidating due to the fact that it spanned over two days!  I decided I'd jump right in this weekend!  You can find the recipe by clicking this link.

Saturday morning I awoke feeling domestic, ok not super domestic but my house really needed cleaned since I'm holding an appointment here this week!  I started cleaning, and pulled out the cookbook mid morning! I should have pulled the cookbook out first thing!

The dough has to rise in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. My plan was to get up early on Sunday morning at 6:00 am and set the dough out to rise for an 1 1/2 hours in hopes to have them made to take to Sunday school class.  That didn't occur.  Why you wonder, well I forgot to set my alarm.  Also the recipe calls for the cut out donuts to rise for another 1 1/2 hours.  They wouldn't have been ready in time for Sunday school.

As soon as I arrived home from church, I took the very lovely dough and rolled it out!  It really was a nice texture and rolled out quite nicely!  Then I fired up the gas fireplace so they would rise nicely! Our house retains the cooler temperatures and I didn't want them to fail now!

I think the reason I wanted to try this recipe so much isn't because I love donuts a great deal, but because it took me back to my childhood.  I recall when I was about 7 making homemade donuts with my Mother and sister Elizabeth.  I fried the donuts in the exact same cast iron skillet that we did on that day so many years ago.  Just alittle history with our 4 cups of fat to fry them in for good measure! :)  

Once we finished frying them, we smothered in them in glaze.  I must admit they were pretty tasty and they allowed me to bond with my old friend the kitchen once again.  Now I need go, because I hear a donut calling my name!

Happy Fall!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Fall September Update!

Well the hubs is back from his annual elk hunting trip which means that Fall harvest and Wheat sowing days are closer than I thought! The mighty hunter didn't snag himself an elk this year, but he still enjoys the hunt and the break from reality!  I mean who wouldn't love hanging out with his brothers and friends for 7 days, in the middle of the mountains camping with a makeshift shower and sleeping in a tent, plus chasing elk to shoot? (Me for one!)  Here are a couple shots of some beauty he took with his camera phone!  He was lucky enough to see TWO rainbows while relaxing in the mountains!


This was the storm rolling in when they left Colorado!

Back to the farm side of things now! In the fall we start harvesting three types of crops. Corn, Grain Sorghum (milo), and Soybeans.  Unlike the wheat harvest in the heat of the summer, it is spread out for more than 10 days! Our fall harvest usually runs from September and sometimes ends in November.  When dealing with three different crops, their harvest stage arrives at various times.

At the same time, my husband begins sowing wheat in the first part of October.  It's a good thing he took that little vacation because his days are about to get very long!  When he isn't harvesting a crop, he will be sowing wheat. You can sow wheat in the dark, and since he is the main one to run the drill and tractor, he will be sowing his heart out!   So in hopes that next summer we have a bountiful crop of wheat to harvest to help feed the world!

The chickens, well we found another batch of eggs in the old barn, one little lady likes to go in there and lay her eggs!  Now that Milton is home, we will probably try to keep them in their coop until noon to retrain some of them to lay in there.  We will see how that works out!

I love the fall weather, and the opportunity to entertain friends during this season.  We normally have a group of friends that are couples over and also have a landlord appreciation dinner.  I'm beginning to plan our upcoming events and I hope things go off without a hitch! This new job gig has me busy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Fall season is a blessed one!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Laughter Mondays + God's Word= Pew Sisters

There's a place I go on Monday nights.  A place where I join a few other ladies to visit God's word.  A place that I am thankful for. I like it so much that I try with all my effort not to miss one meeting! I'm saddened to think that next week I will not be able to join the ladies for our weekly "boost" of enlightenment.  This occupation has many positives but one of the negatives is the evening meetings on occasion. 

But I'm going to relish in the laughter that surrounded the table last night and hope that it gets me through two weeks verses the normal one week!  When Monday nights roll around, I know that it will be a time for relationships to grow, honesty placed upon a table, respect for others, and I will probably walk away with a new bout of information about God's word.  Which I will try to think upon all the next week and work into my life.

These "Pew Sisters" are a diverse set of ladies that range in different ages, with different experiences, with advice and knowledge to share.  I value each and every one of them and what they provide for our group.  Whether that be encouragement to tackle that struggle, comfort the hurting soul, or just silence when the moment calls for it.

Although we are a group of ladies and have laughter most each time, tears can fall at this table, and no one thinks twice about it.  No one judges for they have cried their own tears in their own time, and on some type of level can relate.  I'm thankful for this, for I have felt much love at this table of "Pew Sisters" in both tears and laughter.

God's word is the key, I do believe in our relationships being so easily formed and incredibly blessed.  It's the foundation, the common bond that takes us to a place of safety and helps us together take the evil out of our lives.  With each meeting, the growth of God's Love is in each of us to withstand the next day, the next moment, the next time the Devil decides to tempt us. 

Bring a group of ladies together and it can sometimes be dramatic, over hormonal, and many other things.  But I am proud to say, this group cares enough about one another to respectfully voice their opinions and share their knowledge in a manner that no one feels excluded.  (At least that is my perception.)  They don't hold it against me that I came to Lord late in life, shock isn't upon their face when I say things about my past that happened to me, and I can feel their hugs without them even touching me in a vulnerable moment.

I am thankful for them.  I am blessed.  I am proud to call them friends.  My bit of advice to all of you, find a group or a couple friends in Christ, start a bible study.  I encourage you to find some friends to help you put on the "Armor of God" regularly.

Oh, and if you attend our church and you hear a new baby cry and about 10 adult women giggling in unison, don't mind us... I'm sure the baby just needs to eat! :)

May your day be blessed and if you have your own Pew Sisters  (or brothers) be sure to let them know how very special they are in your life!

God bless you all!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Success of An Occupation

In any occupation there are certain things that must be done to be successful.  For example, in the occupation of a farmer the following may apply.

  • Understanding the crops , when they are to be planted, germinate & need to be harvested.
  • Continuing to educate oneself on the newest information while holding fast to the knowledge of the past.
  • Ability to work long hours during certain  periods.
  • Can't be afraid to get dirty and sweaty or get chilled to the bone while working in the snow or sleet.
These are just a few things that aide in creating a successful farmer.  I could go on but my destination isn't about farming today.  It's about my career choice.  My occupation.

Most of you know that my occupation changed recently and I am now an insurance agent.  The company I work for is a multi-line organization that has been around for many years.  Switching from being an office staff member to an insurance agent has encompassed many things.  I've learned SO much in a short period of time I feel like my brain may burst! :)

I wanted to talk about success in regards to my occupation.  I'm a person that success isn't based on the amount of money that I bring home in my paycheck.  Am I on 100% commission - Yes.  Is it scary when I think about it - Yes.  Do I need to support my family- Yes. Also, if I do not reach the expectation set forth by my company I will be unemployed. 

But I am honest when I say that my abilities play a prominent role in how I feel about the success in my career.

To be a success in my career takes the following:
  • Honesty.
  • Educating others.
  • Customer service.
  • Collecting accurate data.
  • Continuing to have activity. (Example: 20 opening appts per month).
  • Providing a solution to the problem that my client may have.
  • Calling on new prospects and marketing.
  • Time management and delegation to staff members.
  • Asking for help and doing joint work with other agents.
  • Taking time for myself and family.
  • Learning that when someone says no, they aren't saying it forever, it's a deferred yes!
  • Learning when someone says no, don't take it personally.
  • Ask for referrals, referrals, referrals!
  • God. Put my armor on from HIM daily.
  • Place a reminder of God,  in my view.  (As of this week, there is a bright beautiful blue ESV bible next to my computer).
This isn't everything but I think it's a good base.  Mastering these things will create in me successful abilities that will then in turn create a successful career.

Some of these things are easy for me, others are extremely hard.  Hard to the point I wonder some days if I made an error in this career choice.  But then there are days when I have provided coverage for what is most important to a person, and I know this is where God wants me to be.  Days when I love talking about the products and what they can do for someone, and I hear them say "thank you for this eye opening experience."

I'm only a couple weeks in, and I will be honest.  It's hard and this transition for my family and myself has us struggling some days.  I'm fortunate because I do have a husband that is supportive and doesn't mind that he has taken over primary care for our daughter and the home.  Eventually we will not be in a transition, and a new routine will feel "normal." 

From time to time, I will probably write about insurance because I do like to educate about it.  I do like to talk about it, I mean I've spent 18 years in the industry, that's probably evidence enough. I hope you don't mind this being added to our little blog! 

I'd like to ask for participation here.  What is it that  you find helps you to be successful in your career?  What small (or large) bit of knowledge could you share with me to aide me for success?  Perhaps you just have a suggestion.  I'd like to learn - from you- the followers of In Between the Sunsets of Life.

So comment here or on our Facebook page or email me privately.  I encourage the interaction!

Thanks for stopping by!

Links you might be interested in:

Farm Bureau Financial Services

Life Happens

Short video 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chickens & Corn Farm Update!

Well it's September and I still haven't had much time to blog, 
I apologize but I think it may be sometime before I get to regularly blog.  
Here's a small update on our farm!

This past week Milton realized that we had a chicken that was laying eggs
 not in the coop but instead in the tall grass next to the coop!  
They found 11 eggs in the grass! 

 He noticed one of the ladies going over there and he got to investigating.  
So now we have lots of eggs! 
 I think we may need to start selling or giving them away.  
We eat alot of eggs, but we a stockpile now!

Milton started corn harvest this evening. 
 PV tagged along since Mommy had an appointment!  
PV helped Daddy drive the combine.  

Being a Kindergartner by day and Farmer by night is hard work! 
She fell asleep while driving the combine!

Our lives are in transition right now.
Sometimes transitions are hard, 
I'm fortunate to have a supportive husband, good friends, and a loving family. 
With these things and faith in God, I know that I am blessed now and forever!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Social Media Announcements!

I debated yesterday and today about whether to post something about the "official" announcement of my professional career change to becoming a Farm Bureau Financial Services insurance agent.  

I really went back and forth and was so unsure of what I should say.  Finally I threw caution to the wind, and posted my business card on my personal Facebook page and only wrote "It's Official".  Sometimes a few words are better than alot, right?

 I am not sure why I debated so much, I mean  I am in sales.  I do have to market myself and the company and isn't social media a great way to do that!  Isn't that an avenue to spread the word about my life changing event?  

Social media can be positive and negative I know.  At the moment, I find it a positive as I was quickly "liked" and collected an array of "kind" words below the photo from friends, loved ones, acquaintances, etc.  

Once again I was blessed, alittle boost of encouragement can go a long with this lady! (Might be revisiting this photo post on days it's alittle gloomier in my office!) 

I wonder though, will the people that see my post give me the opportunity to visit with them when I call them?  Will they remember that I'm the same person I was a month ago, except I now have more knowledge, more opportunities to help, and have agent behind my name? I also wonder, will I mention or share too much insurance knowledge on my Facebook page and become that annoying "friend" they all want to hide or delete.

I like to think that most of them  know me well enough to know I have only the best intentions and want to provide the best service possible.  I've always had that attitude and I will continue being that way. Luckily,  I have more knowledge and passion to enhance the care I want to cover them with! :)

Ironically, 18 years ago on September 4th was the first time I walked into my current office.  I was walking in to start my new job as part time secretary with absolutely ZERO knowledge about insurance.  Tomorrow I will walk into the office as an agent, with more experience, more knowledge, more heart.  I just thought it interesting how September is significant in my professional career.

Thanks for allowing me to share on my blog about our life, our faith, our feelings.