Monday, October 16, 2017

OK ..... I'm SICK!!!

The long and short of it .....
I'm sick.
Those little critters whose parents send them to school when 
they should really stay home, got to me.

It's kind of a bronchitis thing
that makes me cough and sniff a LOT!!

I have 12 kids for seed planting
then I'm coming back home. 

It's day three ...
I imagine I have several more to go!!

So far none of my self-medicating is working.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

It Was BOUND To Happen!!

Good Morning Kids ... welcome to .......... oh wait, I actually have a day off.  It's a good thing, because (as I KNEW would happen) the little buggers have given me some kind of sickness that will probably be the death of me.  Yesterday consisted of coughing fits, all of which originate in my chest.  

Unable to get in to a doctor, I'm self-medicating (not really, just benadryl and advil).  Since it's viral, there's probably nothing they can do anyway.  Hopefully it's a combination of dust and smoke from the last three days.  It was BOUND to happen!!

This was BOUND to happen too .. I'm surprised it took this long.  I know you don't believe me when I say I can't cook, so here's the proof.  Anyone care to guess what these once were?  They were supposed to be little take-along snacks I could stash in the fridge at the pumpkin patch.  I cooked these brussell sprouts just a tad bit too long.

My oven needs fixing ... when I set it for 350, it barely reaches 250 according to the little temperature gauge inside.  So I set them at 450.  Unfortunately I got a little distracted making the bed and cleaning my bedroom.  At the exact instant I remembered, the house alarms went off in every room.

With sirens screaming, I grabbed the pan and raced outside, thankful they didn't burst into flames.  Next, I turned on all the fans in the house.  Luckily the sirens ceased in about a minute.  I should have just stayed on the couch.
As you can imagine, my house doesn't smell old any more, like when I'm gone.  Now it has the sweet smell of burned cabbage.  I turned on every candle device and plopped myself on the couch.  It was going to be a LONG day!!

Later in the afternoon, I kept looking at that box of rice krispies, trying to decide if I wanted to tempt fate.  Well yes, I did ... so I whipped up a batch, then dipped them in chocolate for added calories.  I can say they are very tasty, but really, I should have left the chocolate off.  At least I didn't burn the marshmallows, so I feel a little vindicated.
It's going to be another couch day, which isn't too bad since the Cubs are playing the Dodgers.  Being a Giants fan you KNOW I'm rooting for the Cubs.  So I'll be here .... napping in between coughing spasms.  How exciting!!  Hopefully if I DO have any seed planting classes tomorrow, they will be short and I can return home quickly.  I sure don't want this crappy stuff to get the best of me!!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Things Kids Say

Okay, I'll admit it.  I'm REAL tired this morning.  See the nice, calm, quiet, empty yard?  It didn't last long at all.  Three schools bussed in 600 kids at 8:30 am.  It was a madhouse!!

I caught two parents trying to sneak in without paying the required $5.  They all like to come with their kids on the field trip and get in free, ride all the rides, then go home.  For their $5, they get $5 worth of food or $5 off any pumpkin.  Teachers are free ... parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and those extra four kids have to pay.  I even caught one lady trying to sneak around to the bathrooms to enter, saying she had already paid ... but she couldn't produce the required wrist band.

After helping get all the classes going SOMEWHERE, three classes at a time went to the Learning Center.  That meant three classes at a time ended up at Seed Planting.
Honestly, I'm not sure why the schools schedule this for such a young class, but undaunted, I began my little spiel.  In no time at all I discovered not a single student spoke English.  Well THIS is going to be fun!!  With lots of parent and teacher help, we finished in record time.  NEXT!!!
Another 50 kids came in and we did it again.  In the end, when I asked for questions, there was one boy who kept looking at the two calves right behind our group.  HOW DO THOSE COWS HAVE BABIES?  The teachers rolled their eyes.  I looked straight at him and said I didn't know.  The cows were all taken care of by Farmer Scott.  All I knew was how to plant seeds and grow corn.  Thank you children ... the exit is to your left!!

A little later while manning the Snack Bar, a five year old little girl came up and peaked over the counter.  "I'm hungry!"  I'm sorry honey, you should ask your teacher for something to eat.  "I want a cookie."  I'd love to give you a cookie, but they cost $3.00.  "I WANT A COOKIE!"  I can't give you one for free, you have to ask your teacher.  "WHY NOT?"  Because they cost money.  If you had some cookies, would you give them all away for free?  "No .... (almost a tear ... she was using her best moves)."  Well that's why WE can't give them all away for free.  I think I hear your teacher calling .........

I never realized you have to think so quick around these little guys.  For the most part, they have been very good at following directions, except for the "quiet please" part.  I did have to get after a couple who wandered over to the gold mining section, NOT included in any school schedule.  They started splashing water on each other and pretended to be deaf when I said to stop.  Pretty soon, there were 25 kids with their hands in the dirty water looking for GOLD!  "Sorry, this is just for looks ... there's no gold here" did not deter them one bit.   

It was a pretty crazy afternoon as all the kids left and the families began to come in for Movie Night.  Hocus Pocus was being shown on the outdoor screen.  In no time the snack bar went through twenty packages of hot dogs and a load of nachos.  As the sun set, it was time for me to bug out.  
I'm looking forward to a full day on my couch with the puppies and my wonderful bottle of Advil!!  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Goat Kisses

With the smoke finally gone, it was a beautiful day at the Pumpkin Patch.  The sunflowers they planted are blooming beautifully all around the yard.
I get to spend quite a bit of time every day with the goats, getting lots of kisses.  Last night they played King Of The Mountain as they butted each other off the top bale of hay.  Honestly, I think this is the biggest "kid" attraction out here.
I didn't notice these beauties until yesterday while driving the Dinosaur tractor.  We only had two schools, which was a good thing.  I have to give it up for the teacher ... when those kids got off the bus, she clapped her hands (never said a word), the kids clapped their hands, got in line, and were quiet as mice.  Weird, right?  

Later when I saw them taking a picture, she put her hands on top of her head.  Those ruffians snapped to, did the same, then all smiled for the picture.  Trouble was, every other second, they went absolutely crazy, screaming and yelling and NOT following orders.  Worst class I've ever seen.  I chased some out of the corn field, found three sneaking into dinosaur land and returned two more that tried to get on the bounce pillow when everyone else was leaving.  
By the time they left, I was exhausted, so I contemplated these nice quiet bees on a beautiful sunflower.
This is the same rowdy class of 50 I had to teach about planting seeds.  Luckily I got them just after arrival.  I clapped my hands like the teacher and they were quiet while I spoke.  I also now enlist the adults to help pass out cups and write names.  Makes my job SO much easier!!

It was a late night as one of our local schools held a "family night", providing a catered dinner.  I try really hard not to get special treatment in front of the working teenagers, but the Owner is always throwing me bags of Fritos or cookies.  Last night, he brought me a full plate from the catered dinner, which I couldn't eat because I was driving the tractor.  

Not wanting to make the paying customers wait, I placed it on the transmission beneath my feet and drove while trying to stab the salad with a fork.  Not exactly the best way to do it.  The food was delicious!!  Later, I saw the second catered group had roast beef!!  RATS!!  I got lasagne, but it was very good lasagne!

Today is a biggie ... I've got 110 for seed class and over 500 kids will arrive by 10:00 am.  I'm putting on my Patience Hat and zipping my mouth shut!!  It's also Movie Night at the Patch.  They are playing Hocus Pocus on the outdoor screen, so we'll be even MORE busy ... if that's possible!!  Keeping my fingers crossed ... after all, it's Friday the 13th!!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Another Day Another Dollar

Bright and early, I was up and over at the Pumpkin Patch getting ready for the school kids to come in.  Only 250 this particular morning.  Scary, right??  We shipped half off to the Time Travel Tractor (dinosaurs) and the rest to the Magic Oven show.

Farmer Scott spends about 20 minutes teaching kids before sending them over to me for Seed Planting 101.  I'll try to get pictures, but I've been so swamped, I've barely had time to breathe!!
Only four classes for me today, along with a MOMS group of littles.  Maybe 3 out of 12 listened, so I figured we would feed the goats, as I've done with other classes.  Much more fun!!

Once done, they all hit the bounce pillow.  This thing is HUGE and a kick in the pants!!  Even the adults have a blast.  It's actually held up by something akin to a leaf blower.  You could easily hit the overhead shade cover if we let you!!  I think the kids like it the best of all the attractions.
I loaded kids on the Time Travel train, drove the Hay Wagon tractor and sold snow cones and pumpkins most of the day.  By the way, every school kid gets a free pumpkin.  That's how they roll.   If your school can't bring you to the patch, they will take the patch to you with a truckload of pumpkins to hand out.  The morning flew by.  When lunch time came around, this was all I had time for.
As much as I THOUGHT I was volunteering, I ran into two guys more stubborn than me.  Their excuse?  I was working too many hours (which they were highly appreciative of) and making them feel bad.  I'm now on salary.  I feel okay because it's not hourly, and they feel better because they are paying me.  It's a win-win.

It was a horribly windy, smoky day at the Patch.  You couldn't see anything all morning from what the wind blew in all the way from Santa Rosa and Napa fires.  Finally the smoke cleared enough for the evening visitors.  I continued to drive tractor, but to be honest, every time I came around that corner, I was praying there was no one in line.  Unfortunately, there was a group every time for another two hours.  

One last look at the barn as I finally headed home about 7:00.  The puppies were happy to see me.  Especially Miss Jessie who got sick all over the bathroom ... and I mean ALL OVER.  I've no idea what caused it.  I'm sure she didn't eat any of the same cookies "I" had!!
So I'm off again today, looking forward to an early return home.  I haven't gotten a single thing done around here and it's starting to show.  Happy Fall everyone ... it's finally cooling down!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Long Hours Equal Happy Customers!!

Wow have I been putting in some long hours.  I just love interacting with the kids that come here on the buses.  It certainly would make things easier if they came on time and stuck to the schedule, but as you can imagine, it IS a bus load of kids.  The 8:45 group never showed up, the 9:00 group came at 10:00 as did the 9:30 group.

We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  With everyone so late, I had to jump on the Hay Ride tractor for most of the morning.  In a ten minute break in the action, I gave my Seed Planting Class to a group of disabled youngsters in wheelchairs.  It didn't go over so well.  I've never had so much respect for teachers who work with these kids.

So I finished in a flash and decided we would feed the goats instead.  They were a BIG hit!!  Everyone got to hold grain in their hands while the goats licked it up.  The kids were happy campers!!  Once they come out of the barn area, most all the classes stop here for a picture.
As the day wore on, it got even worse.  Although the kids finally found their way back to the buses and left, the second tractor driver forgot to read the schedule.  He left at noon instead of sticking around until 4:00.  That left me with TWO tractors to drive, running back and forth across the yard, along with giving lunch breaks to three kids.  

In the middle of all this, I'm always trying to teach the teenagers how to relate to the customers and not just stand there like a lump on a log.  Have fun ... talk to people ... be nice.  So far it's working pretty well.  I've heard MANY comments from the public about how nice the workers (14-17 year olds) are and how they've made it a much nice experience than some of the other pumpkin places they've been.  YAY!!

Those of you who wear Fitbits tracking your steps, mine were over 13,000 for this day.  Six miles to be exact.  I'm going to be back in marathon shape in no time!!

Here's another of the "kid" attractions.  In fact, it's one of the most popular, because what could be more fun than digging in the dirt?  There are dinosaur bones buried here for the kids to find, along with paintbrushes to be sure they don't damage anything.  Not really, these concrete bones aren't going anywhere and can't be damaged unless you have a big hammer.
I finally got off early enough to hit the Magic Kingdom of Bingo for a night of fighting and ugly looks.  One of our workers has become a problem, causing lots of discontent among the people of the village.  On the other hand, one passed out lovely chocolate chip cookies.  I passed ... no use tempting fate after my last cookie encounter!!

I'm off for a KID class (not the goat kind) again this morning with 73 seed planters coming to see me at 9:00.  Let's hope they are on time today!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Aliens In The Sky

Now THAT was a busy day ... Monday that is.  We all forgot it was a holiday!  I started off with 12 kids who were a joy to work with ... the kind that actually listened to the teachers.  In fact, their teacher was so good, I watched him take individual time with each and every student before buying them all a snow cone and cookie out of his own pocket.  That was not an inexpensive deal.  It was so nice to see someone go above and beyond!!
The sky began to get a little weird by the time I hit the tractor.  The crowds piled in at 3:00 and continued up until dark.  At least driving the tractor, I got to enjoy the weird formations.  One young gal told me we all needed to hit the casino.  WHAT??  She said in her culture the fish scale clouds meant it was a lucky day.  I'm guessing maybe that meant the fishing would be good, but she said her Mom makes a beeline for the casinos every time!!  
All of a sudden, this one small area opened up into an alien bug, complete with feelers and large eyes.  Kind of looks like a grasshopper to me.  At any rate, it stayed there for almost thirty minutes before being eaten up by the clouds.  
I'm pretty sure I'm up to 65 laps around the corn maze and I could do it in my sleep.  The Patch was so crowded, I hated to just leave, so I stuck with it until 7:15.  That's pretty close to a twelve hour day.  In spite of my willingness to continue, I know I better scale that back a little.  It's only going to get worse as the month goes on!!

This morning I have the best assignment yet!  Critter Corral!!  Some of the schools signed up for a tour of the animal pens.  Course the tour only requires I get them TO the pens.  It's pretty self explanatory!!  I wonder if baby goats can be RV trained??