Monday, October 21, 2019

Lost And Found

Another crazy busy day is in the books.  I can't even begin to explain what I do all day long, but here's an example or two.


One Grandma 
One small kid wearing a mask.  
One small kid ... one of the baby goats escaped the confines of the pen by jumping out.
Five jackets
Six binkies
Three water bottles
Three MORE water bottles
Two cell phones
One walkie talkie
Two sets of keys
Eight pumpkins
Three parents
All of my fingerprints
All of my fingernails

Grandma was found wandering the outskirts of the corn maze

Kid wearing mask was found by the Barnyard Bounce ... Grandpa who lost him was very mad!

Baby goat was caught and returned to the pen.  The hay was moved further away from the fence so he couldn't jump on top again and escape.

Five jackets, six binkies and six water bottles were found on the Time Travel Tractor.  They now live in the lost and found box in the barn.

The cell phones found between the hay bales on the hay ride were returned to the frantic customers.

One of our walkie talkies was found in the portable bathrooms on the floor.  We sprayed it with bleach and gave it back to the guy who lost it.  I'm glad it wasn't me!

The keys were found near the Zip Bee and returned to the frantic customers who couldn't leave the property because ... well, they lost their keys.

Eight pumpkins were recovered from the family who was trying to steal them, running out the back of the property.  

Three parents were reunited with their children.  How does this happen??

My hands are in water and ice so much that all my fingerprints have been erased.  That makes it very difficult to unlock my phone, but good if I'm going to rob a bank!

Every single fingernail I had has disappeared in ragged broken ugliness.  It will take me weeks to grow them all back.  

Hopefully we will all recover as soon as Halloween comes and goes.

Total miles walked after day whatever it is, because I've completely lost count:   169.71

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Few Quick Numbers

I'm trying to get my brain to work this morning.  If I say the weekdays with three to five hundred kids  are crazy, I'm here to tell you it's NOTHING like the weekends.  I'm longing for the 500 kids!!

I need to go in extra early this morning because we ran out of so much stuff.  I really need to take stock and get prepared.

This is where I stood for ten hours yesterday making shaved ice.  This machine?  It's probably cranked out over 15,000 in it's lifetime.
We went through ten boxes of chips at 50 per box and wrapped up an incredible 500 hot dogs without missing a beat or having the customers wait.  As you can see, this is a tiny operation, no more than 15 feet wide, backed up against an old cow milking station in the barn.
All that product has to be brought over from the shop and put into the three large ice chests, along with hundreds of pounds of ice.  Just out of sight is the side where we cook all the hot dogs and make up nachos with cheese and jalapeƱos.  A record 588 hot dogs were sold, which means we don't have enough for today.  We are OUT.
That's a dirty word in the snack bar business.  We've been able to keep up with most everything else, but ran out of coffee, hot water for hot chocolate and nacho cheese after using 20 gallons.  In other words, we're exhausted!!

This should be our biggest day yet.  Then I'll be very happy to be back to herding those squirrels!!!

Total miles walked to date:   163.26  

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's A Miracle

I can't believe I'm still in the upright position.  I did a bit of everything yesterday, from Zip Bee load-the-kids to Corn Chute sliding to tractor driving!  At least on Fridays we make hot dogs to sell, meaning I always get to perform a taste test.  Nothing beats Costco dogs.

I stocked and restocked the snack bar, making extra room for pumpkin bread.  Sold out of what we call trios (three cookies in a bag), we packaged two entire boxes.  Lucky for us, four cookies were broken.  NOT lucky for us, they taste terrible.  They are plain sugar cookies with a flavor I can't describe.  It's somewhere between cardboard and sand.

A group of special guests showed up all the way from Japan.  We had 20 college kids visit the Patch.  They are in the U.S. taking English classes and came out for our crazy experience.  We explained all about the California gold miners as they panned for gems in our sluice box.  You should have heard them laugh and giggle with surprise when they found crystals, magnetite and even Indian arrowheads.

About half screamed with laughter when they went down the Corn Chute (the big yellow slide).  The others were too scared to speak!!  It was then on to pumpkin carving, which they had never even heard of before.  What a treat to watch their faces!!
By noon, all the kids were gone and we were back to family entertainment.  That's when things went south.  Miss Kelsey set about cooking 72 hotdogs.  I wasn't paying attention, since my attention span has been shortened in direct correlation to the pain in my feet.  Too bad we couldn't just feed them to the dinosaurs, but alas, they were already full from the plethora of small children they ate in the morning!!

By 4:30 we still had 57 dogs in the pan.  I panicked.  The goal is to NEVER have any hot dogs left at the end of the night, two hours later.  The solution?  We had a sale!!  TWO FOR ONE became our mantra as we told everyone who walked up.
In no time we were down to six, which we packaged up for the worker's families.  Guess what's coming for dinner???  I breathed a big sign of relief.  It took another hour to clean up, pack up and get out the gate.  

Here's a forty pound example of the decorative carving pumpkins available, or at least they were until yesterday when hundreds of pounds went out the door.  
Finally home at 7:30, I played with the puppies who think I've abandoned them, fed everybody and crashed on the couch.  There's only one more week if I survive this weekend!!  The smiles I get from the kids after the dinosaur ride make it all worthwhile.  That and of course the moola I'm making!!!

Friday, October 18, 2019


Sometimes it's just so crazy, you have to laugh!!  I'm pretty good at letting things slide, but when a group of teenagers began to trash the corn maze, that was it for me.  We chased them off the property.  I don't know why people have to act that way, but it's not allowed at THIS pumpkin patch.

The day started off nice enough with unruly kids and overstressed teachers.  At least I've got the bus drivers trained to pull right up to the unloading zone by waving my arms like a mad woman!!  I even drug out my neon yellow sleeves so they could see me better.

Here's a picture of inside the barn where the kids have their lunch.  I write times and names on the chalkboard to be sure they get in the right spot.  This is the first time I've tried this, and it's working rather well.  Yay!!!  Much better than trying to move 50 kids around to the right area.
Sadly, it wasn't all good.  THIS time the kid threw up on the bounce pillow instead of the garbage can.  I have to hand it to the two young girls working there.  They immediately cleaned it up and sanitized one whole side.  They got a gold star for the day.
Another gold star went to the new cleanup girl.  You could almost eat off the floor when she was through cleaning up after four schools.  I think we're on a roll!!
This time only 30 kids came for their after-school program.  They all wanted to hit the corn maze, which covers about ten acres.  I warned them before they entered that it was huge and they might lose a kid or two.  They all went in and one minute later all came back out.  The teacher got the message.
We aren't open after dark, but when the sun goes down, we turn on all the lights until everyone has left.  It's a pretty amazing sight to see.  The huge sign at the top of the slide changes from one brilliant color to another.  

Another day, another dollar as we gear up for this weekend.  It's become so popular, we have people coming from as far away as Sacramento and Tulare.  We should have two tractor drivers back today so I get a reprieve from that job.  The best part about it is it's a sit-down job, plus I love talking to the kids about the big dinosaurs.  I've even been known to roar quite loud!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fighting Off Dinosaurs!!

Ever have one of THOSE days?  Yesterday was it for us, and I hope we got it all out of our system at one time!!

First, the night guy didn't do his job.  He must have slept through his shift.  From the very start, we were under the gun.  With 300 school kids coming in, we had our work cut out for us.  Although they should have arrived on schedule, all the buses came in the driveway at the very same time.

It's like fighting those tiny dinosaurs compsognathus from Jurassic Park.  They were running every which direction!!  I can only say I have much respect for the teachers.  I could never do THAT job!!

The tractor driver had to take over the night duties, leaving me to drive for part of the day.  No problem, I just LOVE driving through the dinosaur patch, especially when it was overcast and cool most of the day.
Suddenly we had another dino fight on our hands.  The cleaning ladies didn't show up, nor did they call.  YIKES!!  We all grabbed trash bags and cleaned the entire property including trash cans so full I couldn't even lift the bag out.  I lost that fight, ending up with a chocolate milk soaked tennis shoe and sock.  Yucky!!!
To add insult to injury, someone threw up on one can.  Too much on the Barnyard Bounce I suspect.  Then it was on to the 250 kids coming in the afternoon.  We had to band each and every one of them and of course they all came in at the exact same time.  THAT dinosaur included 41 shaved ice treats, so you can imagine what I did for the next hour.
The next fight, which we won by the way, involved the 50 teenagers trashing the corn maze.  Really??  I don't know what happened to the teachers there.  They had no control whatsoever!

The last dinosaur to test our skills was actually a teacher who insisted her 100 kids get a pumpkin.  It wasn't on any of my paperwork, but I took on the fight.  After reaching no one on the phone, I checked through the binder of reservations to find a note that LOOKED like she was right.  I double checked with the Owner (who is NOT the one taking the reservations) and we decided to give them out.  One hundred pumpkins were passed out to one hundred pumpkins in the six year old age group.
Everyone went home happy while I went back to tractor driving until 6:45.  At long last I only had one fight left.  Trying to get eight huge plastic tarps on the trailers so keep them dry overnight.  You can imagine my frustration, but luckily I beat that dinosaur!!!  I just kept thinking about my nice soft bed!!

Another 300 kids are coming in this morning.  Woohoo!!!!!

Miles walked after day 19:   150.44

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Here And Gone

Another 450 kids come and gone.  Here's how it all works.  The schools make reservations for field trips.  The cost per child is $5.00.  They come out usually by bus, but sometimes the smaller groups come by cars.  I get to meet all of them at the gate, around 5,000 in total.

We always offer a free wristband to teachers and their aids, which I get to place on each and every wrist.  I can slap on wristbands faster than lightning!!  Then they all get to come in and ride all the rides while I gather up the bus drivers (or whoever, since some bus drivers don't seem to be able to touch the lunch boxes ... must be some bad voodoo or something) and get their lunches to the correct locations.

Field trips have to include education, which is why we have the Barnyard Squares show to teach them about agriculture.  After lunch and returning at least ten lost jackets, a couple of cell phones and several sets of keys, they all head out the gate, pumpkin in hand.  Yes, every single one gets a pumpkin.

Some schools are VERY smart.  They put all the kids in the same color shirts so they are easy to corral.
At long last, usually around noon, all the kids are gone and the public begins to arrive.  We've been busier and busier every day.  
Last Sunday was the second biggest day they have ever had, with two more weekends to go.  My feet are crying crocodile tears.
I have to admit, I'm looking forward to taking off in the motorhome to the peace and quiet of Arizona, not to mention the COUCH!!!

Total miles walked as of the 18th day .... 142.63

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Up In The Clouds

Sometimes you just have to laugh out loud.  With a new tractor driver to train, I spent way too much time yesterday driving to get any pictures.  I feel bad about that, but I have a couple of stories that might make you laugh.

We have a kid named Jake that's been working most every day.  A very nice quiet TALL kid.  One day I said to him ... HEY ... what's your name?  You are just so TALL I'd like to know you.  With a sly smile, he handed me his business card.

It says ... Jake Guerrero

Yes I am very tall
I am 6'7"
Yes I play basketball but I don't play for any teams
The weather is the same up here as it is down there
No my family isn't tall.  I'm the only one.  Thanks for asking.

Best laugh of the day!!   To make it even better, he has picked more pumpkins out in the field than anyone else on the property.  Jake is a cool dude, probably all of 17 years old, with a great sense of humor.
My next story involved a girl that came up while I was making shaved ice.  She started to take one when I asked if she had paid for it.  No she said, they are free.  I'm sorry, but you have to pay for them.  Did your mom pay for one?  She looked at me for a second and lied.  YES!!!  I didn't believe her.

I asked the girls ... the answer was NO.  Where is your mom?  She's over there (pointing to the other side of the snack bar).  I don't think you paid for it.  Go ask your mom for $4.  She ran off to her mom standing about 50 feet away with four kids in tow.

Sneaky these kids are.  Now she's got me wondering just how many shaved ice kids picked up that they DIDN'T pay for.  Thinking back, there were three times I was short on an order and didn't know why.  I guess I figured it out!!!
Just for giggles, here's some numbers from the weekend snack bar.

720 hot dogs and of course buns to match
16 giant bags of nacho chips
9 gallons of jalapeƱos
28 cases of 36 bottles of water
18 large cases each of pepsi, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up and Diet Coke
24 boxes of chips, 50 per box

Total miles walked after day 17 ...  133.74

I'll be back at it in three hours with 300 kids coming in to play.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The NO'S Of Pumpkindom

We started out with basically no rules.  Then the people came.  Then we needed rules and they all involve the word NO.

NO you may not run alongside the zip line holding your child on the rope as it zips down the hill.

NO adults can not go on the zip line, you will drag your bottom all the way down the hill.

NO you may not go down the slide with your child between your legs.

NO you may not go down the slide backwards.

NO you do not get a free pumpkin with your entrance fee.

NO you do not get free food with your entrance fee.

NO you do not get a hot dog meal with your entrance fee.  See above.
NO you cannot have three cups to share between three children, the one shaved ice you purchased.

NO you cannot drive the tractor.

NO you cannot drag your baby carriage the size of your car on the hay ride with you.

NO you cannot pick a huge bouquet of flowers to take home.

NO you cannot pick the corn.  It's cattle feed, not human feed (as I throw away ten ears of corn they already picked).

NO you cannot put your child on the goat's back for a picture.

NO you cannot take your child out back for a picture sitting on a dinosaur.

NO you cannot have a free shaved ice.

NO you cannot have a free shaved ice.

NO you cannot have a free shaved ice.  I'm thinking of putting this on a T-shirt I can wear.

NO you cannot do backflips on the Barnyard Bounce.

NO you cannot do front flips on the Barnyard Bounce.  It's called BOUNCE, as in up and down.

NO you cannot have an entire cup of jalapenos to take home.

NO you cannot have two hot dogs to one bun.

On a side note, NO I do not have fingerprints any longer.  My hands are in food service gloves so long my fingers will no longer unlock my phone.  At night, I wake up and think I still have gloves on.

My feet are now two sizes bigger from walking so many miles every day.

The good news ... my black eye is gone, but I can't say as much for the bump and blackness on my forehead.  I'm thinking it's permanent!

Total miles walked after 126.38

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Movie Night At The Patch

I'm a woman of few words this morning.  I'm going to try and get a few more minutes of shut-eye before heading back to the Pumpkin Patch.

It was movie night and I think we set several records, mostly due to the full moon.  Surprisingly, we were completely able to keep up with the snack line that started at 10:30 in the morning and never stopped until we turned them away at 7:30 last night.
We sold 275 hot dogs and something over 450 shaved ice.  I was making them so fast I lost count.  We used over 10 gallons of syrup and sold case after case of water and soda.  It was crazy, to say the least.

The worst part was running out of the six gallons of jalepenos and getting five more gallon CANS.  The can opener broke with the first turn of the knob.  Have you ever tried to open a gallon can without one?

Eleven hours later, I plopped on the couch and crashed with the puppies.  Oh wait ... the movie was Hotel Transylvania.  Everyone brings their chairs and watches it on the big screen.  Super fun for the kids.

This morning will be all about restocking and cleaning the hot dog machine the girls forgot to add water to.  Other than that, we had not one single incident.  It's a record.

Total miles walked to date:  120.63

I think I'm headed for a record too!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Grandmas ... You Gotta Love Them

I'm completely out of new pictures.  It was pretty hectic yesterday and I didn't have time for a single one.  To start the day, my snack bar girl overslept.  She's the absolute best, so I took her place until she arrived.  No biggie since I had 30 minutes before the buses began to arrive.

First up .... 182 wild eyed little cherubs (not really) ready to tear the place apart.  Every single one had a schedule to follow which included gem mining.  That takes a little time to dump your bag of pay dirt into a screen and run it through the water in the sluice box, only twelve kids at a time.  Once they had their gems, the girls had to clean the box of sand.

Later when cleaning up, the girls didn't know NOT to add more water to the box.  They used the garden hose to clean out the sand.  In no time, we had a disaster on our hands when the box overflowed the extra 20 gallons of water all over the ground.  Oops!!!!!
If I'm lucky, this next week I'll have another Grandma come to work ... an 85 year old lovely lady!  She will be my field trip third hand.  I can't wait to see her again.  
The next Grandma came in with her daughter and three kids.  The kids got wristbands to ride everything.  Grandma got a $5 food token.  Here's the thing.  If you don't have a wristband, you do NOT ride the rides with the kids or shoot the blasters.

One of the children was too small to shoot the huge cannons we have, so she wanted to do it for them.  She complained VERY loudly.  Not wanting bad publicity, I let her help.  I found out later, not only is it not allowed, but she was TOLD that when she first arrived.  Grandmas ... you gotta love them!!

In the end, she was caught doing the same thing on every ride.  Come on Grandma ... you're teaching the wrong things to those grandkids!!!
By noon we had a big party come in, Octoberfest for the Realtors.  Several problems ensued.  They nailed two big banners on the barn doors so we couldn't open them to allow access to the lights.  I used my trusty knife of 62 years to remove the signs.  I can't believe I still have that knife!! 

When the caterer arrived, she had a big Silverado with an even bigger trailer and was afraid to drive it  around the slight turn.  With our help, she got in, but couldn't get out.  Nope ... I'm NOT driving it out, even though I could have.  I'm not interested in the liability one little bit.  The owner had to drive it out for her.
It was the typical Friday night ... loads of Grandmas buying tons of pure sugar for their kids.  The most popular product we sell?  Flaming Cheetos!!  Wasn't there something about that red dye?

In no time the sun set and we closed up.  I only put in 11.5 hours.  Today will be MUCH more fun since more Grandmas are off work!!  Stay tuned ... it's getting busier by the day!!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Another Ten Miler

If you told me when I was training for those marathons that I could walk eight to ten miles every day, I would have said you're Crazy with a capital C.  It was all I could do to finish the 8 mile practice runs on Saturday.  Yet here I am walking many more miles and every day in a row.  It's totally weird that that's possible.

At any rate, it was an absolutely crazy day with 505 kids arriving almost at the same time, accompanied by maybe 30 teachers and at least 250 parents.  I'm not adding that all up because I don't want to know!!

I bagged and tagged every single parent.  Of course there was one who tried to sneak in, but my field trip girls caught him coming IN the OUT gate.

My new plan of setting up chalkboards with school names for the lunch areas, worked out perfectly.  Everyone found their space.  YAY!!!

The Time Travel Tractor Ride is of course the most popular, being it has dinosaurs and all.  With 500 kids and parents in line (I don't know why they all wanted to go on that first), I got the driver to stay on the tractor while we loaded and unloaded, asking him to drive just a tad bit faster.  We ran them all through before I headed off to the front where we gave out 505 pumpkins.  WHEW!!!
At long last, around 1:00 all the kids were gone and the place quieted down.  Weekday afternoons are a breeze.  All except for those two ladies who put their five kids in the wheelbarrow full of goat poop so they could take a picture with one lifting the handles.  

Oh ladies .... there's nothing less stable than a one wheeled wheelbarrow.  She almost dropped them all on the ground.  Now we have to hide the wheelbarrow in the cornfield.  Two more kids ran straight across the grounds into a cable that makes up the waiting area for the Zip Bee.  The owner and I tracked down some flags and attached them to the cable.  

Honestly, it's like this all day ... one thing after another.  It's why I visit the goats and admire the sailfish in the sky in the above picture.  It quiets the impulse to scream!!

We ran out of fruit snacks, potato chips and nacho chips, coffee, hot chocolate and candy bars, as well as discovered a hole in the pan that holds water for the hot dogs.  All in a hard day's work!!
At the end of the night, I closed down all the attractions, herding people to the exit gates, a job usually completed by the Mrs. of the Pumpkin Patch.  This day her son had a swimming meet.  Another day, another ten miler.

Total miles walked as of day 13?? ..... 107.10     My feet are talking to me.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Zipping Right Along .....

I must finally be getting really tired.  I slept like a log without waking up, something that hasn't happened for months on end.  I didn't even walk funny when I got up this morning.  That's a FIRST!!

Only 350 kids showed up yesterday with almost as many parents.  Adults pay $10 instead of the usual $15 and get to ride all the attractions with their kids.  I find that parents are usually WORSE than the kids when it comes to doing what we ask of them.

THIS is the latest attraction, the Zip-Bee.  It's for kids, as in anyone we think can sit on a big round disk and hang on tight when it hits the stop at the other end.  It's zip-lining for little ones.  Moms and Dads weigh too much to ride these cables, but that doesn't keep them from trying!!
The long cables are strung up a 15 foot hill.  Kids grab the string at the bottom of the disk and pull it up the ramp.  Once we load them up, they take off and ride it to the bottom.  You can see one little girl getting off.  The kids love it, as in they will go around and around through the line 25 times or more.

Parents are also too tall.  All we need is to have a broken leg, right??  I now have a lot more respect for the kid at the top who has to pull down on the rope hard enough so the kids can get on.  In two minutes, my knuckles were screaming and half the skin on my hands was gone!!  All worth it seeing the kids have SO much fun.
It was a very long day, but thankfully we had two tractor drivers so I didn't have to do that too.  I made a quick stop in the barn to rest my feet and was greeted by my kids!!  I just love these guys.  Like a puppy, they are always SO happy to see you!
Today is going to be a long one.  There are 505 kids arriving between 8:30 and 9:30 this morning.  Since I had a disaster yesterday at lunch time with the schools not going where they were supposed to for lunch (we even walked the teachers by the areas so they would know), I spent 30 minutes making up signs marking each lunch location.  I'm hoping that makes it all better today.

Let's be realistic ... many of the teachers are as bad as the kids at not listening.  They also seem to be very demanding, which I totally understand.  After all, they are working with all those kids!!! 

Total miles walked day (whatever it is, I've lost count) .... 97.02

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Before Salad

Another crazy day at the Pumpkin Patch has passed.  I racked up 10.1 miles yesterday and my legs were talking to me, not to mention my feet.  In spite of the soft cushy crushed almond hulls that cover the property and my marathon tennis shoes, I can still feel every step.  It's worth it if only to see these amazing flowers.
I mean really, where in the world do you see things like this?  I think most are all variations of zinnias, but don't hold me to it.  This one happens to be an errant one growing in the corn field.
We ushered in over 300 rather good mannered little kids, along with one group of the home schooled variety.  I have to tell you, those home schooled kids are more rowdy than ever.  I just don't pay any attention, choosing to hang out with the flowers instead.
Unfortunately that means hanging out with the critters too.  I'm pretty sure this is a stink bug.  They have decided to invade our little kitchen in spite of the screened in space.  I've also encountered three huge praying mantis.  Those we catch and release.  Maybe they are there to eat these guys!
Just look at the variation in colors on this flower.  I can get easily distracted.  Anyway, I tracked down the only man on the property who knew how to fix the Billyken Blasters (huge cannon like guns you shoot tennis balls out of) so he could bring me up to date.  His day off today was going to leave us stranded.  I'm happy to say I can now repair the blasters!!  
I've been living on cookies, cheese and nuts for the last week, so I made a quick trip down to pick up some protein.  I love their new logo.  
Yup ... I got a barrel of that oh-so-delicious fattening chicken for my eating pleasure.  In spite of all the junk food, I'm now down 15 pounds.  For sure, it's all the walking!!
The days go pretty fast as the sun set and we closed up for the night.  No one got lost, but two jackets and a toy truck ended up in the lost and found, along with one cell phone.  I'm sure they are in panic mode about now.
Four hundred kids are coming in today and I will wristband around 75 teachers and chaperones.  Lucky for me both tractor drivers will be there today so I can hide out in the barn and rest my feet.

Total miles walked so far:  88.82

If I didn't have a GPS watch, I wouldn't believe it!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Cat Is Away ... Mice Can Play???

Another day in the life of a Pumpkin Patch.  This week's problems come from the fact the boss is gone, not one or two days, but all week.  YIKES!!!  This is NOT going to be fun.  He's the guy that makes it all work ... fixes everything ... makes all the decisions.

Now it falls to his wife and I.  Trust me, there will be no playing of the mice.  We are ordering supplies, getting teenagers to work according to the rules, and keeping the customers happy.  In other words, I'm back to herding squirrels.

Luckily we only had 60 kids yesterday to help us warm up to the problems that may occur today with 300 squirrels arriving.  My GPS watch said I walked a tad over seven miles yesterday.  Twice I had to run to catch kids heading off down the tractor roads.  The sign says ENTER HERE, but apparently they cannot read.

These are the wagons supplied for free to haul your pumpkins, meaning your kids, AND your pumpkins you want to buy around the property.  Strollers don't work so good in the crushed almond hulls.
I came upon two lost parents and one very sad lost little boy.  No problem ... we found his parents, their kids and two cell phones, not to mention three jackets, one ring and a binky.  
I worked the Barnyard Bounce, the Super Slide and drove both tractor rides while keeping the snack bar stocked.  Every night, I come home and literally fall into bed.  

Here's a not so good picture of the beautiful 100 year old barn.  It was already getting dark when I remembered to snap a couple of pics.  
So I'm off at 7:45 this morning for another day of fixing the nacho machine that ate the bag-o-cheese, pouring the hot wet stuff into the gears.  With one tractor driver off, I'll be keeping that going too.  Oh .... and we have yet another tractor.  Every single one works differently.  If you don't have all eight gizzies set up perfectly, it doesn't go.  What ever happened to just a plain clutch and brake??  OH THE FUN!!!!

Monday, October 7, 2019

This Day Was Awesome ... Or Maybe Horrible!!

It all depends on your outlook at the time.  Happily, I'm all still intact with no more black eyes, goose eggs on my forehead or cut fingers.  My feet think I sold all my furniture however.

It started off nice enough with a wonderful craft fair taking over the Pumpkin Patch.  I could smell the Sensy candles (or whatever they are called) most of the day.  I arrived early to switch out one leaky ice chest ... those huge ones that can only be filled up with 144 bottles of water.

My only goal for the day was to be sure I had enough of everything!!  That worked out well with one exception.

Once the water was ready to go, my girls began to show up.  That was a good thing, because by 10:30 we were swamped with people at the snack bar.  I know you've seen all these pictures, but there was no time yesterday for anything other than making shaved ice.

The machine is right behind those chips on the counter.  I stood there for eight hours straight, making shaved ice with absolutely no breaks other than to help another customer.  For six of those eight hours our line was about 25 yards long.  Where did all those people come from?
I had to call for help twice to keep up.  With eight girls and boys working, we still barely made a dent in the line.  We sold out of hot dogs completely around 3:00.  Those girls put together over 300 dogs and close to 500 nacho trays of that horrible cheese and chips.  Not my favorite thing to eat.  
I worked like a mad woman making over 500 shaved ice cups.  Never in the history of this place have we been so busy.  Well, maybe once.  Word is getting around I suppose.  It's the biggest, best and most kid friendly patch in the country.  They called in ten more working teenagers to keep up.  It was literally a madhouse.  Now I know what Disneyland feels like!!
Thank goodness they didn't schedule many schools for today.  We have 30 big picnic tables to return to the barn and only 50 kids and adults coming in at 10:30, meaning I get a short reprieve this morning.  I may even have time for a nap before I go in.

It should be a very slow day.  At least I can hope.  I might even have time for more pictures.

Total miles walked day nine:  70.81

That's almost THREE marathons!!  Most all of yesterday's 6.99 miles was in a 20 foot square area!!  My tennie sneaks are getting a workout!!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Things You See At The Patch!!!

Good news!!!  My bathrooms are back in working order!!  No more running to the farthest one in the house!!  My super duper repair kits came in the mail.  I'm sure they won't last long since they are again made of plastic, but at least they work.
It took less than two minutes to install each one.  It took five minutes to figure out HOW!!!
It was complete chaos at the Pumpkin Patch yesterday.  It started out nice enough and is usually not crowded on this weekend.  Word has gotten out I guess.  We opened at 10:00 and by 11:00 the snack bar was swamped.  We had people backed up almost 50 feet waiting for goodies.  NEVER have we been this busy this early in the season.  

By noon I was frantically running back and forth for supplies.  We went through 250 hot dogs, 200 nacho plates and I made over 250 shaved ice.  Right in the middle of all that, everything came to a screeching halt as we ushered a bride and her party of 20 around the entire park for photo ops at all of our stations.
In the meantime, the University of Merced set up their barbecue out by the Time Travel Tractor, scorching just a tad bit of corn.   They took up the entire place with a party.  In no time, music was blasting and wine was flowing.  No, I didn't get any.  A last minute birthday party took up all the rest of the available picnic tables.  

It got worse.  With only four of us girls in the snack bar, I had to call for help.  That's when the nacho cheese machine bit into the bag-o-cheese and dripped into the mechanism completely unnoticed until it ran out.  What a mess THAT was!!  I left it to the boss.  
I probably should have stayed around to fix it, but honestly, I was up to my eleven hour mark and my feet were killing me in spite of my very best marathon-running tennis shoes.  I spent another 30 minutes scheduling more people for today before heading home.  Three bites of a quick salad and I was in bed.

More good news ... I've been able to see several friends that I haven't seen in almost ten years.  Not that I had time to talk, but at least we made contact.  You never know who or what you will see at the Pumpkin Patch!!  

We expect today to be even busier!!  

Total miles walked day eight:  63.82