Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Last Day Of The Pumpkin Patch

You probably can't see me jumping up and down with excitement!!  At long last (and it has been a LONG month), the Pumpkin Patch will close today at 5:00.  It's been the weirdest year ever and I'm glad to see it come to a close.  Working 9-10 hours a day every day can be a chore, although the people really do make it fun.

After making a list and checking it twice ... no wait, that's Santa Clause ... after checking my storage containers and finding them almost empty, I made up my daily we-are-out-of list and passed it on to the big boss for procurement.   I expect to run out of everything today.

 I base my projections on what we did the day before.  About half that number magically arrives in my container three hours later, meaning we are always running out of tortilla chips and hot dogs.  

It was a weird day, back to very hot and looking like smoke.  I truly wished I had my big camera when I saw the moon coming up over the corn.  It was fabulous, but my now miscreant phone wouldn't capture the true beauty.

Lucky for all of us workers, there was no movie night this time, nor was there even a second that I could sneak away to visit the goats.  I barely kept up with the huge soda and water ice chests, let alone everything else.  What I AM happy about is how excited people were just to get out of their house and visit us.

MANY people came from over two hours away, just to be outside.  We were at capacity again, having to actually shut down the entrance.  I expect today to be no different.

Almost all of the little ones are wearing their costumes.  You should see them!  I would love to post pictures, but you know how that goes.  Most people do not want pictures of their little kids on the internet and nowadays, they are right.  

Although my cold has now moved down a few notches and I'm starting the coughing stage, it's holding off enough for me to head out for the last day!!  I am SO looking forward to getting to know my couch again tomorrow, because tonight is Halloween-get-your-candy night!!!

Total miles walked to date:  216.81

Friday, October 30, 2020

Good Morning Glory!

I'm greeted every morning at the Pumpkin Patch with a wall of glories ... morning glories to be exact.  It's eight feet tall, about three feet wide and maybe 50 feet long.  Covered with flowers, although the seeds can be deadly, they bloom the entire season.

 October is finally coming to an end.  It sure seems like it went by fast, although I do remember thinking it would last forever.  Last night was sadly the last tractor drive for me.  Our socially distanced hay bales will be hauled off on Sunday with all the green chop corn maze for cattle feed. 

 Two more days of scrounging up gloves, towels to wipe things down and trying to make the hot dogs equal the buns.  For some weird reason, that never seems to work out right.

 My cold is better, but not gone, not helped along by packing huge ice chests full of soda, water and ice.  I've actually lost my fingerprints almost completely.  I can no longer open my phone with a print.  I think my newly won dollars will have to purchase a new one.  It's so old many of the new apps won't even work on it.

It was a beautiful last night of driving with the almost full moon rising over the orchard.  We really weren't all that busy, but the second garbage detail guy just HAD to drive.  I guess he thought if he dogged me all night, I would speed up.  It didn't happen.  I'm there to give people a nice hay ride, not whiplash like he does.  My slowing at the corners and the rough spots landed him on my tail EVERY SINGLE ROUND.  

He had to stop and wait for my trailer to unload and load up again before he could unload.  You would think he might have figured that out at some point, that if he just slowed down a bit, it would fix his problem.  He never did GET it.  No surprise.

 I'm determined to get some goaty-goat pictures today.  I talk to them every time I go by the barn, but have been too busy to spend any time with them.  I would probably enjoy that much more than the "kid" employees.  

Here's a late shout out to Mr. Dan Chance who just had another birthday.  He's my RV go-to for everything "what the heck is this" or "how do I fix this".   HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN!

A nap would be nice this morning before work, but I HAVE to clean up the house and puppy prints on the floor before company shows up again.  Two days ... Friday and Saturday ... and the Patch closes for another year.

Total miles walked to date:  211.66

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Things That Disappear At The Patch

It's a wonder, although it IS Halloween after all.  Spooky things seem to come out at night and make things disappear.  Take for example the box of gloves required to work in the hot dog tent.  Poof ... they disappeared.  

 I spent the first half of the day with the last of the field trip kids.  I realize they don't want to leave, but I had to tell their parents FOUR times that it was time to go.  Oh we want 5 more shaved ice and oh ... we want to take pictures now.  I try to be nice, but it's difficult when you've got the boss sitting on the heavy loader with a bin of pumpkins that he can't set down until they are all out of the way.

I watched as a couple disappeared into the corn maze.  It was only time for pumpkin sales.  I waited patiently until they came out tossing their tokens up into the air (proof they were in the wrong place).  In other words, they should not have even been NEAR the corn maze.  I escorted them back to the allotted area.

 Time to get those hot dogs going.  It's a process to set up the roaster and get the dogs cooking, then heat up three bags of nacho cheese, in between which I run for tortilla chips, those missing gloves, ketchup and mustard.  Uh oh ... where's the box of packaged mustard??

I counted the hot dogs in the fridge ... we seem to have lost a package of 36.  I KNOW I counted those right.  That's when I found $20 on the ground ... something someone ELSE lost.

I tried to be cool when the crowds came streaming in.  Losing my mind now would not be a good thing.  We pumped out 100 hot dogs, 84 nacho trays and 200 shaved ice.  Luckily the crew of teenagers who come to work are amazing, wonderful girls ... I just can't say enough good words about them.  Yeah they forget to wash some things, but they really are awesome.

So this is the only picture for the day ... me in the barn trying to look cool in a mask while my head screams SNEEZE SNEEZE!!  I'm still hanging in there while constantly eating horrible tasting cough drops.  Tonight I'll be on the tractor ... maybe that other driver kid will disappear too ... while the girls run the snack bar alone, which they've never done before.  Hopefully they will be able to keep it stocked.

Then I will disappear into my comfy electric blanket covered bed.  Only three more days.  YAHOO!!

Total miles walked:  206.61   No wonder I feel so much stronger.

Total pounds lost:  this part I LOVE ..... ELEVEN!!  Now that's something I LOVE to see disappear at the patch.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Meanwhile, Back At The Patch

 THIS is how you catch a cold.  No fever, no real aches and pains, just a nose you couldn't hammer a nail through.  It's one of those not bad enough to stay home things, but by the end of the day you wished you HAD stayed home.  

The field trip kids were amazing yesterday.  Yes ma'am, no ma'am, please and thank you.  No one was running amok and NO ONE got in trouble for anything.  It was one of the Christian schools that has been open for about two months.  No sick teachers, no sick kids.  Amazing how Covid has completely left them alone!!  All the other teachers in the County are refusing to go to work. 

 Anyway, here's a good example of the bug that bit me.  I'm hoping he's completely dead now and I'm on the mend.  The only bad thing is sneezing into a mask can be messy.


After the kids were on their way into the patch, I opened the snack bar and got to sit for a couple of hours.  At least I'm not alone.  The Pastor's wife has the same cold and passed on her supply of cough drops.  Horrible tasting, but they actually helped clear my nose a tad so people could actually understand what I was saying.
We opened to the public at 3:00 and I immediately had customers on the hay ride.  Cool ... I can mindlessly drive the tractor till 7:00.  Today's story involves an employee ... a would-be tractor driver.  He will drop everything "cleaning" (which is his job), to drive the second hay ride.
Trouble is, he's doesn't know xxxx ... well you know.  I give the people a good ride.  He was screaming around the corners so fast people had to hang on, then coming up behind me and hitting the brakes, causing heads to flop around.  There he sat for five minutes loaded with people while I loaded my trailer.  
I asked the girl who helps us to tell him to slow down.  Next round, he says "I" need to speed up.  Well ... you can just imagine my reaction.  You buddy have been driving tractor for about a week.  I've been driving for 65 years.  It's not a race track ... it's about giving the customer a nice ride.

After some urging from me, he finally slowed down, but his takeoffs and landings were atrocious.   I laughed when the girl told me he always took off with a hard jerk.  Apparently there was no clutch finessing.  She asked him why I always took off so smooth.  He was aghast!!  How could that be?

Maybe if I'm feeling it, I'll teach him how to use a clutch.  With no one in the cue, he just kept driving around empty.  I finally called him off by radioing his "boss".  He was so sad.  I was so happy!!

So this was me this morning.  I shooed the puppies out of the bedroom so I could sleep another 30 minutes.  That was a big mistake because it took me an hour to clean up the mess I found when I opened the door. 

Today - field trips and snack bar.  Too bad for me the owner wants to serve hot food every night now.  That means longer hours.  RATS!!  I thought I was getting closer to the end.  

Total miles walked:  199.81   No tractor miles included.  Hard even for me to believe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Counting The Hours

 I tink I got a code.  That's proof that masks don't work.  I've worn one all day, every day and STILL caught a cold from one of the lovely children who run around sneezing and never cover their mouth.  I'm hoping to skinny through to the end, which will be Saturday.

We usually close at noon ... then it was 3:00 (I could probably force myself) ... but now it's 5:00.  I'm pretty sure I'll hit my limit at three.

Here's some of the cutie pie pumpkins we sell.  Perfect mantle decorations for about two months.

We did have one fiasco at the snack bar yesterday.  We ran out of gloves.  Heavens to Betsy ... no gloves to make the most popular shaved ice.  On a saunter through the tent, I discovered the problem and had to bring sales to a screeching halt.  There was a mad dash to the shop to steal gloves from the cleaning crew, whereupon we were back in business.  

 Next up, we lost an entire family of children in the corn maze.  I don't go in there.  It's spooky and I always get lost, not to mention I have to stop and pick up tons of trash people just throw on the ground.

They were found out back in the almond orchard, walking the wrong direction.  

At noon I made a break for the border ... and ended up at KFC for an entire bucket of chicken ... minus the fries.  At least I'll have something to eat the rest of the week.  By the time I get home, I literally fall into bed. 

There were the usual complaints ... this pumpkin rotted away and I want it replaced.  Hmmm, looks to me like you dropped it and it smashed completely.  They don't fall apart like that in two days.  I never saw her again.

Why aren't the attractions open all day?  Because the Governor won't let us.  Take that up with him.  But your website says you open at 11:00.  Yes, but if you read three more words, it says "for pumpkin sales".

Then there was the family that invited another family to come with them and drove over 60 miles to get here.  Nothing was open except (again) pumpkin sales.  You really must read the website.  I told them it would be more fun for the kids to buy pumpkins and have a carving contest at home.  The kids were ecstatic and they did just that.  

I tell everyone else to hit the dollar menu at McDonalds and come back at 3:00.

And so the day went rather nicely until 6:00 when we had a missing 5 yr old child.  The gates are locked and kids immediately posted at every corner of the property until we find the lost one.  No one is allowed to leave, especially if they have small kids.  Eventually she was found sitting all alone in the barn.  I'll just leave it at that.

In the meantime, I took my "man" out of the garage so he would be ready for porch duty.  He scares the you-know-what out of me every time I walk by the door, thinking someone is in my house.  More pictures later.

 Here's hoping nothing weird happens the next five days.  I'm on the tractor tonight after I corral 40 kids and 50 adults for their field trip.


Monday, October 26, 2020

Another Epic Day

This picture is the calm before the storm.  We had another epic day at the Pumpkin Patch.  Imagine 2000 people standing there.  Oh things happened ... like the wheel fell off the water truck, putting it out of business for awhile.  My good old hay ride tractor decided to play race car and took off like a shot.  Luckily, that's what clutches are for.

It was so busy ...... how busy was it? ...... we built another parking lot in the middle of the pumpkin growing field.  This entire thing is a labor of love, not a money maker.  Finally this year, I think they make a dollar or two.

 I walked almost 8 miles keeping the snack shack going.  We ran out of everything from hot dog buns to nacho chips to soda.  Although I ordered big, they didn't want to BUY big for fear of being stuck with tons of product.  No worries there ... they kept having to go back to the store.

 Amazingly, there were no arguments or fights this year.  There was one small glitch when the birthday party played Do The Macarena a little too loud ... the neighbors a mile away could hear it ... but other than that, the crowds were very well mannered.  Unusual, to say the least.

This morning I'll be back at it.  Pumpkin sales are open at 11:00, giving me one more hour's rest.  Saturday night I didn't think I would make it ... Sunday I felt really strong.  Go figure.  Tuesday through Thursday we'll be teaching seed planting on the hay bales here in the barn. 

 I'm not sure this video will work ... I had a hard time getting it from my phone to my computer.  It's the 100 year old windmill they restored for the patch.  It's squeaks quite loudly.  The most interesting part, which you may not be able to see ... as the winds pick up, it goes faster and closes up.  As the wind dies down, it opens up like a flower.  Pretty cool.

 Five more days and I'm counting every minute.  When done, I'll be parked on the couch for at least three days!   I'll also be ten pounds lighter with a big smile on my face.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Breaking Records

We expected a crowd.  In our little area, there is not only nothing to do, but the two things you COULD do have been closed down forever due to all the Covid stuff.  It's sad to see so many businesses go by the wayside due to our Governor's crazy demands.

We usually sell about 2000 shaved ice from Friday night to Sunday night.  We expected the crowds to be minimal due to low attendance, but we were wrong.  So wrong that we ran out of everything.

Here's my goat buddy giving me solace as I explain what happened.

 We had almost 3,000 people show up on ONE day.  Ecstatic would be a good word to describe it, followed quickly by exhaustion.  The parking lot was full ... the overflow parking was full and people were parking on the highway.  From 9:30 am until 7:00 pm the line to get in was almost a quarter mile long.

Luckily we eeked through with snacks, going through 11 boxes of Lays chips, 15 boxes of Doritos and 9 boxes of Flaming Hot Cheetos.  I think there's 50 to a box.  We ran out of cookies and fruit snacks at 6:00.  By 6:30 we had no hotdogs, no nachos and no tri-tip sandwiches.  Talk about good timing.  

We now have no soda left and no cups for shaved ice.  Amazingly, the new ice machine (just installed Thursday morning) was able to keep up with us.  Shaved ice .... 1500 in one day.  We usually sell that much over a three day weekend.

They finally had to close the entrance and only let people in as some people left.  There just wasn't room.  We broke all previous records and had an exhausting day.  I literally went from ice chest to ice chest trying to keep them full of water and soda ... ALL DAY LONG.  

Thank goodness I had a kid to run for supplies because I STILL walked 6.74 miles just in the snack bar.  I think people would have bought the floor mats if we offered them up.

And so it goes again today.  I'm up early to check my supplies so hopefully we will keep going until the owners can get to the Costco.  

By the way, I also got paid.  YAHOO!!!!  That's the best part of all.


Total miles walked:  181.23


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Keeping Everything Straight As A Circle

 My lungs haven't quite been able to keep up with my legs.  It doesn't help when you have to wear a mask the entire time you are at the patch.  I run for lots of product and supplies ... literally, I run.  It makes for little air actually getting in to your lungs.  "They" keep saying there's no problem with exhaling carbon dioxide and then breathing it back in.  I'm here to say THEY are wrong.

So every chance I get to drive the tractor where you don't have to wear a mask, I jump all over it.  We were so busy last night I had to make a few rounds on a second hay ride just to keep up.  We played chase and I lost.  My second little tractor just couldn't keep up.  The best part is the fun I have with people when they find out it's a woman tractor driver.  Look look ... it's a GIRL!!!  If I lose anyone, please scream out!

 The mornings are relegated to field trips, 11-2 is pumpkin sales, all the while trying to keep them in their allotted areas ... and at 3 we open to the public.  Those field trips kids and their parents have been a problem.  They don't seem to want to stay sitting down on the rides.  I finally stopped the tractor and just sat there.  They got the message for all of 3 minutes. 

 The best part of the day was Taco Bell.  Bet you didn't expect to hear that!!  The Pastor's wife brought a burrito to me for lunch.  It was DELICIOUS!!  That almost made up for the fact I was on my feet for 11 hours yesterday.  In my absence, someone thought they would keep the snack bar open for another hour.  That thought lasted about 20 minutes until my return, whereupon we shut down. 

There were three reasons for that.  One, my feet were cursing me ...  two, my girls cannot work that long without a break and three we sold out of hot dogs and nachos.  Our straight arrow is more like an S curve, but I try to keep it moving.

 The funny for the day ... we caught three kids in the corn maze trying to hide until we opened so they could get in free.  To do that, you have to remain very quiet.  Pictures on Facebook do not help your case.  We heard voices coming from the corn and it wasn't ghosts.  They were expelled.

This morning I get an extra hour on the couch before heading out for more torture ... I mean fun!!  I plan on sitting down every chance I get.  That shouldn't be too hard since my "muscle" will arrive at 10:00.  Now HE gets to do all that running around.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Walmart Lies and Boots

I've worn cowboy boots all my life.  When I was a kid, the doctor told my mother to keep me in them.  I never really knew why.  When marathons came around, I switched to well built running shoes with no problems at all ... ever.  Now it seems all that running may be coming back to haunt me.  How appropriate it does so at Halloween.

My left foot has been giving me fits.  Time to get back to boots.  That's an easy transition since I'm walking through mud and dust all day long ... with no pain whatsoever in my foot.  Must be something about the heel angle.  Anyway, I drove the tractor yesterday from 3:00 to 7:00 with hardly a flinch.

 My second notation of the day is that Walmart lies.  That ambro ant stuff was supposed to be delivered yesterday.  This morning I got a message it will be the 29th.  Why do they give you a date when they know it won't happen?  Liar liar pants on fire!!

My 25 kids and 28 adults showed up for their field trip yesterday.  Everything went off like clockwork ... a broken clock.  Then I chased off ten people who were in a restricted area ... they just wanted pictures they said.  

I was a little surprised when I found the boy and girl making out behind the pine tree.  Time to go kids ... we're closed until 3:00.  At 2:30 I watched an entire family head out into the pumpkin field where they do NOT belong.  I think they thought they might find free stuff out there.

The rest of the day was driving.   Take off and don't run over the kids going to the corn maze, 90 degree right turn and down to the almond orchard.

 Another 90 degree turn pulling a 40 foot cotton trailer and down the long stretch.  This is where you make up time when you have too many people in line.  I get to play race car driver at 5.5 mph.

 A big U-turn lands me behind the goat barn where I talk to the goats.

 Lastly, a big long S curve to the finish line.  This is where some kid ran out of the corn maze and along behind the tractor.  I saw him (in my rear view mirror) jump up on the steps, then jump down again.  I stopped.  He of course ducked down and ran back into the maze.

There's only one way out of the maze ... and it crosses in front of my tractor.  I waited ..... pretty soon here he came along with his dad.   I had already radioed the boss and the kid got the royal treatment ... escorted out of the park.

At long last the night was over and I raced home to check on Cooper.  I can't believe he was so good.  Every time he had a mishap, it was on the paper I had laid down.  I don't think that's happened in his 11 years.  

I of course, went straight to bed.  This morning I do it all over again, only with 200 kids.  No worries, I've got my boots on!!




Thursday, October 22, 2020

Up All Night

Isn't that a song?  I've been up all night long?  They probably didn't have in mind what I did however.  I have a sick puppy with diarrhea.  Let me tell you, there's nothing worse.  All three of us went to bed early because I couldn't stay awake on the couch.  

In two hours I heard whimpering and taps on the shoulder.  I have to give him credit for that part.  Poor Cooper couldn't run to the grass fast enough.  Finally ... back to sleep.  That lasted two hours.  Tap tap tap.

Big sigh.  I was up every 90 minutes the rest of the night.  That meant the craziest dreams you can imagine.  Things like my bad husband turning into a can because I wished him to go away.  I kid you not, a big can that creaked and crackled because he could no longer talk.

Next up a weird walk through the mall where some guy was hanging from the wall to demonstrate how passionate he was about cowboy gear.  

Next ... well they just get worse.  

The good news is that the ants have dissipated, after I spent another hour killing them one by one last night.  I went online to order the Ambro stuff, but Amazon refused to send it to my address.  I finally found it at Walmart of all places, and they are not only shipping it but it should arrive today.  Hoorah!!!

In the meantime, here's a picture of our field trip seed planting class.  Everyone gets a cup, dirt and two corn seeds.  They germinate even in the dark, so it's a sure thing for kids.   Sadly, they will never see any corn because it won't get pollinated.

There's no new news on the skunks, thank goodness but I seem to be inundated with pests.  What's up with that?  The weather is supposed to hit in the mid 80's day ... finally a cooler day.

 Too bad the skies have not been looking like this.  It's been too smoggy to even HAVE clouds. This picture is from last year.

 I did get to give a personal tour of the patch to a couple from Mariposa who came down just to see what an American farm looks like.  This is not only a pumpkin patch, but a working almond ranch.  The elder gentleman was very proud of the fact he was 88 years old.  Also that he had a 64 year old sister and a 5 year old son.  Yessirree ... a FIVE year old son along with his wife and mother-in-law.  He could barely walk, let alone do any of the activities.  The five year old certainly had a good time though.  You just never know who is going to show up at the door.

This morning after shuttling 100 kids around the Patch, I'll be taking a long lunch hour to check on the puppies, then hit the tractor for four hours.  Yeah I'm pretty tired, but am taking every opportunity to sit down.  I retired from getting supplies and now make the younger girls do it.  Finally my brain kicked in.

Total miles walked to date:  159.72



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Invasion Of The Ants

 It was a normal day at the Pumpkin Patch ... full of run fast, sit for two hours, then play crazy catch up.  With only 75 kids coming in, it was an easy morning, at least until we discovered the boss was out of gem mining bags.  

Each kid gets a bag-o-dirt they place in a screen to dunk in the water whereupon they find ...... wait for it ..... not gold, but GEMS!!  WOW!!!  Sometimes there are arrowheads or small rock dinosaurs.  OH MY!!  We are all appropriately amazed at what they find.

 Next up, my two hour stint in the office explaining to everyone at the window that we are only open for pumpkin sales until 2:00.  That's when we close, allowing the "crew" to set up the attractions.  At 3:00 we are open again to the public. Of course they are all coming for the attractions.

During that one hour of rest, I'm stocking the snack bar with water, soda, cookies, chips, ice, cups and everything snow cone.

 In between, I run back to the barn to the Ag-ucation center to be sure the puppets are put to bed.  This entire section of agriculture education (where does your food come from) used to be performed by Farmer Scott with a magic box.  A little abra-ca-dabra by the kids, turned tomatoes into pizza sauce and corn into tortillas.  Can you imagine doing that for 600 kids a day, 5 days a week?  The mechanical puppet show was a good investment.

 At 3:30 I jump on the hay ride tractor and drive for 3-1/2 hours non stop.  Oh I get to jump off ... every single round ... and entertain the crowd as I load them up.  Due to the distancing thing, we have half the hay bales to sit on, so there's lots of finagling to get everyone on.  I ask girlfriends to sit on husbands laps .... oh wait ............  no, that's boyfriends laps!!  There was a sliver of a moon last night that turned into a blob for my camera.  

It's interesting to note that going 5 mph during the day seems fast, but at night it feels slow as mud.  At long last it was time to close up. 

 I'm so tired when I get home, I really pay no mind to anything.  I'm only interested in my ice cream cone dinner and my soft bed.

This morning I had a very rude awakening.  I went to feed the dogs and found this ... a three inch wide trail of ants heading straight for the dog food bag.  Really?  It's not even sweet!!

THEN, with my trusty ant killer spray in hand, I discovered that trail led all around my entire laundry room ... something like 30 feet long ... to the washer water pipes.  I'm exhausted ... I don't need this problem right now.  So I sprayed them to death ... literally.

This after I discovered another much smaller trail in the kitchen last week.  I envision my house completely covered with ants. 

 I'm guessing this isn't going to get cleaned up any time soon as I'm off again for another day of kids, heat, sore feet, broken fingernails and fun with great people.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

I Love My Couch

Although I sometimes wish I wasn't sitting on the couch so often (like the last nine months), yesterday I LOVED my couch.  I got up, fed the dogs and hit the cushions.  I even took a break from my cushion sitting to eat one of those Reeses candy bars I got for free.

 Pretty soon, although rested a little, I required a trip to the grocery store.  The kids were out of necessities.  I had plenty of lean cuisines for me, but Jonathan seeds and puppy food were at a minimum.  It was eye opening to discover just how tired I was.  Maybe it was lack of brain cell usage, but my ATM pin number escaped me.  

Talk about a senior moment ... I had to use my credit card.  Of course just as I signed my name, I remembered the number.  I'm sure that was from lack of use.  It's been over a month, which means I need to get back to shopping.  Overuse will surely help me remember.

My latest treasure trove of phony coffee did not come from that trip.  Quite by accident I found a package of four at Walmart Online.  You could order two, which of course I did.  Then I did it again and again until my cupboard was full.  I was ecstatic since I was down to three cans.


Back to the couch I went where I lounged for most of the day.  That's when I remembered to check the skunk trip.  Was I successful?  Wait for it ......................... YES!  The trap was sprung!  My first thought was what the heck do I do now?  Where am I going to take it?

I picked it up, hearing nothing.  I walked all the way back to the house to get a flashlight so I could see inside.  Oh DARN!!  Nothing.  The sly creature had escaped.  The good news is there were no more holes in my fence line.  I reset the trap with peanuts this time.  I think maybe the skunks are smarter than me.

And so my long day of rest ended.  I wish I had three more, but there are small 50-100 kid schools coming every day this week.  It will be 8:30 to 7:00 for the next twelve days.  I just keep thinking of the money and how fun it is to drive the tractor.  



Monday, October 19, 2020

Sunday Fun Day

I can't believe I survived the weekend.  The parking lot was almost full when we opened at 10:00 Sunday morning.  The crowds rushed in and spread out over the property like ants on sugar.  Speaking of which, we completely sold out of the decorated cookies in two weeks.  

They did not order the usual five thousand cookies since they didn't get Health Department approval until a week before opening.  That has caused lots of stress for me trying to get product to sell.

 This time I hijacked a kid to work the supply line with me, but he was a dud.  Slow ... no initiative ... couldn't see anything that needed to be done ... you know the kind.  I fired him at noon and received a second recruit who would get a $50 bonus if he did a good job.  Voila!!  A go-getter!!

Lucky for me, I didn't have to carry those 35 cases of water nor those 30 cases of soda.  I did have to cut them open and put them in the ice chest, but that was the easy part.  That meant my hands were in freezing ice water the entire day.  I'm sure I lost a pound from each hand.

 This picture shows the dilemma of the day.  I counted 1008 hot dogs.  We sold 400 which should leave 600 or so.  It was distressing when I counted only 400 left.  I accounted for 100, but 100 seem to have disappeared. 

 We keep track of all this stuff by selling tickets, which we then collect when the product is delivered to the customer.  My phone is full of ticket pictures to track the numbers.  With three girls selling four different colored tickets, it can get pretty crazy in the snack bar.  One of those is usually me trying to get the line down.

 Oh ... the boss was able to fix the snow cone machine.  Darn ... I was hoping for a little respite from the long lines.  We were up and running Sunday morning, dishing them out to the tune of 1,120.  It was so hot we could hardly cool the soda down.

The ice machine was working as fast as it could, but couldn't keep up.  It was finally relegated to snow cones until the owner took every ice chest he could find and filled them with ice from someone else's ice machine.  We were literally down to the last cube when we closed at 6:30.

Here's my story for the day.  This is the bounce pillow.  It's full of air and fun to bounce on for about ten seconds.  You'd be amazed at how much effort it takes to jump up and down.  For sanitary reasons, you have to wear socks, which we sell in case you forgot yours.  

When the lady came in late, she said her washing machine had died.  I felt bad for her because she seemed pretty upset.  When I let her in, she noticed her son had ditched his shoes and socks for flip flops.  She actually burst into tears.  Now I felt REALLY bad.  It's okay, we sell socks, but she had no money and the tears flowed.

I always keep some bills in my back pocket just for this kind of occasion.  I paid for the socks and escorted her to the bounce pillow.  The tears finally stopped with a free cup of coffee.  That's what we do here at the patch.

 I'm closing in quickly on 150 miles of walking in spite of having help to haul stuff from the container to the snack shop. 

Total miles walked to date:  146.17   My feet are not the least bit happy.  

Today I'm doing nothing.  Absolutely NOTHING!!!


Sunday, October 18, 2020

It Was Crazy At The Patch

I knew Saturday was going to be a beast.  I was proven right over and over again.  There was nothing typical yesterday.

First I ordered candy from Walmart to give out at Halloween.  It was terribly difficult NOT to open one for myself ... and so I did.  This is what I found.  Melted and looking terrible, but tasting just fine.  I can't give out this candy to the kids.

Irritated, I went online and did a return on all 3 boxes.  It said I could return it on Monday.  That's good because I've made sure I have Monday OFF.  When I hit the final button, it said to just keep the product.  Really?  60 Reeses peanut butter cups are mine?  Good grief ... there's probably 45 pounds I'll gain just sitting there!!

 I hit the Patch running at 9:30 and never stopped until 8:00 at night.  I lifted over 45 cases of Costco water, along with a dozen gallon jugs of snow cone syrup.  We have never seen so many people.  I mean to tell you, it was CRAY CRAY!!

We sold over 400 hot dogs, 500 nacho trays and a record setting 1100 snow cones until the machine finally broke.  Fifteen huge boxes of chips went out with the hotdogs along with around 20 cases of Costco soda.  It was epic.  So was the time I spent on my feet.  At this rate, I'll be stronger than ARNOLD (Schwarzenegger) in no time.

Today I'm sure will be another record-setter after the bosses frantically hit the stores to buy up everything they can get their hands on.  Yup .... I'm almost burned out, so I told them I needed Monday off.  I'm also begging off on the morning session every day this week.  I'm going to need a little more rest if I'm to make it to October 31.

Miles walked to date:  137.99

Saturday, October 17, 2020

A Typical Day At The Pumpkin Patch

 Yup ... the Patch is alive and well.  The employees?  All tired, and we have two more long weeks to go!!  It takes a lot of work to keep everything up and running to meet the biggest crowds we've ever had every single day.

My first priority is getting the snack bar stocked to the brim.  I've finally learned to pack all the small stuff myself in the wagons we provide for pumpkin sales.  When the "boys" come in (all teenagers), they are immediately conscripted into hauling the water and sodas.  Once everything is well stocked, at least for the next couple of hours, I head off to the tractor.  It's the best part of the Patch for me.

 Although the sun does beat down on our 90 degree days, it gives me time to get an amazing farmers tan.  I also wave at the scarecrows every time I pass by ... it's good luck.

 Around the corner of the corn maze and into the goat barn area.  To the left is the puppet show Barnyard Squares, a takeoff on Hollywood Squares.  It's the "education" part for the kids.  I'm pretty sure even the parents learn where food comes from.  Surprisingly most people don't know.  Weird, yeah?  Check out the flowers.

 We had about 150 kids and adults yesterday morning where I did triple duty.  Driving, snack bar and bouncer.  There's one or two in every crowd.  

Once they have all left at noon, I get to sit in the office and sell entries to pumpkin buyers until 2:00.  This part I REALLY like ... there's air conditioning.  I consider this my lunch break, although there's no food involved.

From there, I'm back to stocking for the 300 hot dogs I have to make, along with 250 nacho trays.  I made a big mistake yesterday.  Because there was a big party with 25 hot dogs at once, I stayed in that area to make sure they were ready.  Sadly, I got stuck there where it was 25 degrees hotter than anywhere else on the property.  What a sweat shop!!!

Another movie night kept us open until 7:30.  I don't care if I EVER see another hot dog, although one did taste pretty good for dinner.

There's another 30 minutes of cleanup and sanitation before heading to the office to check out.  I got home at 8:30 and hit the hay.  THIS morning I'll do it all over again, only I'm going to take an hour's nap before I go.  

Distance Walked to date:  128.94 miles