Wednesday, October 20, 2021

From Dark To Dark

 The weather has taken a new course.  At 39 degrees yesterday morning, I actually had to light a fire.  This is what my morning looks like .... dark with a little warm.  I had every intention of a leisurely day followed by an early bedtime for lots of extra sleep.  My plans got waylaid.

Here's how I am able to walk so many miles every day.  Although my stock of running shoes is dwindling, I still have enough to rotate them for four days before wearing the same pair twice.  There is actually quite the investment here, since they aren't cheap, but they keep me going.  Every day you wear one pair, they squish down on the bottom.  Not wearing them every day gives them time to "fluff" back up for the next marathon day.  Yup it really works.

It started out quietly enough with making another 200 or so gem bags.  One sales girl and I filled up the pumpkin bins up front with everything we could possibly find.  It's too late in the game to find any more.  It wasn't the best of years as far as growing pumpkins and with our epic crowds, we are running very low.

A crew of expert knife wielding Vietnamese men are hired to cut pumpkins grown on this ranch.  Once cut in the field, they and a few of our guys load them into huge bins and haul them up to the back where they await their chance to make some little kid very happy at Halloween.  It's a constant battle to keep the bins in the barn full.  Every day we play musical chairs with a huge loader, moving bins around.

Then I got the call.  I should have ignored it.  The gal that promised she would work yesterday at Bingo, said she would be leaving at 6:00.  That job ends at 9:30-10:00 ... meaning they had no one to run the infernal machine. Needless to say, I was NOT a happy camper.  

Putting in a thirteen hour day working is not my idea of fun.  I showed up filthy dirty and exhausted.  Not making my job any easier was the lady counting cards who threw away pull tab payment cards ... which are DOLLARS to us.  She had to dig in the trash and pull them out.

A side note:  I just love this covered wagon ... an original still in great condition!  

Anyway, so I finally got out at 9:45 and headed home.  The night was WAY too short and OH BOY ... I get to go in early this morning for the arrival of another 250 kids.  I would love to sneak off to the barn for a nap, but that's where all the kids will be at some point.  Maybe I can get lost in the Corn Maze.

Thanks to Mr. Ed for this sign.  I think we should post this at our Patch, don't you??

Miles walked:  A measly 5.35

Total to date:  135.09

I think I need a new pair of running shoes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Pumpkin Sales Only

One more Pumpkin Patch Day is in the books.  Luckily it was a quiet one.  Mondays are the time we restock the entire front inventory.  All of these bins up front were almost empty.  You might think that is an easy job.  It actually requires a lot of back strength.

We have to bend over huge bins out back, picking out the best we can find.  After 21 days in the hot sun, many have begun to rot.  Oh yeah ... there's nothing like picking up a pumpkin and having your fingers go right through the ooey gooey messy stink bombs!  The smell does not wash off.  

We have run out of many varieties, but still have to make the front look nice in between chasing down people who duck under the roped off area.  Only the front is open for pumpkin sales ... none of the attractions.

 With approval, I showed up an hour late to find a couple sitting behind the lines having lunch.  No big deal really, but if others see THEM back there, they will follow.  Gosh ... what a magnificent lunch they had spread out on the picnic table.  That's weird, no one does that.

They said they were here for pumpkin purchases, but soon walked out with nothing in hand.  Then I watched him open her car door, whereupon she got in.  Oh .... she's driving.  Nope ... he then went and got in HIS car (parked some distance away) and they drove off.  I rather think maybe something was going on there.  No one comes here for lunch, and especially not a GOURMET lunch!!

Having discovered we only had maybe 15 bags of pay dirt left, I spent most of the day hanging over the sand box.  I think I mentioned before ..... bags get 2 ounces of Aussie stones, two magnets, three pieces of pyrite and a "real" carved dinosaur (or horse).  It's not easy measuring out 2 ounces of rocks.  Sometimes it's not even easy to remember what you've put IN the cup.

Once I had a bin full, I went outside to the mine setup and filled those 100 bags with sand.  That involves bending over the edge and scooping sand into the bag.  Amazingly, this particular type of sand has been used here for at least four years.  Over and over .... the same course sand.  

Once full, they are placed in the pay dirt locker to be sold for $8 each.  The kids scream with glee when they see all those sparkly rocks.  With enough bags full to last us maybe one night, I headed back to the barn and spent another three hours making more bags ... about 250 of them.  

The prettiest spot on the entire property is this old train station cart used to haul baggage.  It's about 10' x 4' wide and holds dozens of mums in spectacular colors.  These are all grown on the property out back under a huge shade cover.  

The colors are fabulous!  Thank goodness they put in an automatic watering system this year.  Last year we had to water these every single day.  What a chore that was.  In the growing section and here, they all get fertilizer in the water.  I've never planted any because I thought they were annuals.  Come to find out, you can chop them back and they will grow again next year.  

And so the day ended ... but not with good news.  The gal that said she would work Bingo for me tonight, says she has a 6:00 appointment.  What?  With no one else around, I have to take off work at the Patch, finish up Bingo late tonight and be back on the job tomorrow morning at 8:30 for field trips.  

My schedule for the next four days .... 8:30 am to 8:00 pm.  I should be completely exhausted in time for the biggest weekend of the month!!

Total miles walked:  5.21 .... which is crazy since I pretty much stayed in a 200 square foot area!!

Overall total:  129.74

Monday, October 18, 2021

Tales Of The Corn

Another epic day at the Pumpkin Patch is in the books.  It was a long one ... with more crazy happenings.

Right off the bat a lady lost her huge diamond ring.  With three inches of crushed almond hulls covering the property along with a good bit of sand, we expected her husband would be buying a new one.  It was the craziest thing ever when someone actually spotted a shiny thing and picked it up.  Even more miraculous, they turned it in!!  That person just got ten gold stars in Heaven.  The ring was returned to the very happy owner.

If it's even possible, there were more people yesterday than two days put together.  They came from as far away as Fresno in the south and almost to Stockton in the north.  You could barely walk around and the lines for attractions were just crazy.

Unfortunately, that also brings out the rotten apples to spoil our barrel of fun.  We spotted flying corn coming from the Corn Maze.  That means some rotten kids are trying to hit the hay ride that circles the maze.  The owner's two tall strapping boys know exactly how to catch them, but they weren't ejected soon enough.  One customer got hit in the head, which we immediately took care of.  Sadly, the Corn Maze was shut down for the night.  The rotten apples were kicked out.

This is the location of the Billykin Blasters.  See the tennis balls on the right of the picture above?  These blasters shoot those into the barn.  All those critters, including a miner and the sheriff, yell out when they get hit.  The chicken at the top of the barn squawks like crazy, the pig on the right squeals and the miner says "you got me".  

I was giving a break to the kids running it.  I must say it's pretty fun until we are out of tennis balls and have to shut down for five minutes to go collect them.  It's probably the hardest job on the property.

I can't tell you how many cell phones are lost ... maybe six or seven a day.  I'm sad to say that included mine!  Lucky for me, I just left it in the office when trying to find lunch tickets for the tractor drivers.  Oh I panicked big time trying to remember everywhere I had been, but retrieved it in record time.

Car keys are another big ticket item we are always looking for.  We found a Buick key fob in the corn maze while chasing the kids out, but never could locate the vehicle it belonged to.  At 7:30 I was on the hunt for another set of Jeep keys lost on the Hay Ride.  Those were never found and the Jeep remains in our parking lot.

I actually spent a good part of the day helping load the Time Travel Tractor with 100 people each time.  Getting that many people on and off is difficult for the 16 year old shy girl working the gate.  You need to work fast and furiously to keep the line moving.  In between those laps, I helped keep the slide moving.  I even surprised myself that I was still standing upright!!  

I'm pretty sure I will be famous on Facebook.  While training a new employee on the slide, I tried to nicely tell the lady she could not go down with her child on her lap.  That didn't go over well at all.  I then offered to measure the kid to see if indeed she was tall enough to ride.  We have a 38" minimum height criteria ... over that you can ride.  Under that, I'm sorry, but they are too small.  

She didn't even let me measure, just stomped off, coming back seconds later to get my name.  The good news is the Owners back me up.  There's always one, right?  And in this big of a crowd, usually eight or ten!!

One last panic mode ensued when the Gem Mining gal called to say she was out of bags.  I snagged every extra body I could to put rocks in the plastic bags, then fill them with sand.  We were barely able to keep up with the demand with two of us filling them constantly.  There's nothing like being bent over a big box of sand for a few hours!!

The best news ... I do actually seem to be getting stronger every day.  On other hand, I'm back to work this morning making more gem bags.  OH BOY!!

Total miles walked:   10.35

So far:    124.53   I'm cringing because I have 14 more days to go!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Record Setting Day

It was an epic day Saturday.  The parking lot is about 30 acres big and we ran out of spaces.  They were parking cars in the almond orchards trying to accommodate everyone.  The good thing is that so many people crowded every square foot that I was forced to walk very slowly.  Every little bit helps!

This is the 100 year old olive tree on the property.  On this day I only had to drag three kids from the branches.  Sometimes it amazes me how inattentive parents can be. 

Here's a shot of the new kitchen, probably five times the size I had for five years to produce all the same food.  Yesterday they could not keep up with the crowds.  What do we serve?  Hot dogs, sno-cones, absolutely awful tasting decorator Halloween cookies, chips, nachos with cheese only and tri-tip sandwiches, along with sodas and water.  Yesterday, the lines were epic. 

It started off nicely with me dodging a few remaining wasps.  It's weird that my hand has just now swollen up and begun to itch like crazy.  In spite of the honey bee frenzy due to all those sno-cones that land on the ground, there were no stings on this day!!  

The hardest part is keeping all the attractions going when kids do not show up for work.  Why hire high school kids?  Because they all get school credit for working at the Patch.  They each work 4 hours before they can go home.  Almost all of them are amazingly good, do exactly what they are told and are good customer service advocates.  

Some just stand there and never say a word.  Those are the ones I try to bring out of their shell.  Talk to people ... be friendly.  One very small sweetheart, I think maybe 14 years old, has the entire Time Travel Tractor riders under her spell.  She has them yelling with excitement before they take off into the land of the dinosaurs.  An adult in a teenage body.  I just love seeing that!!

I probably spend three hours every day giving breaks.  Wasn't I surprised when I discovered we only had four mining bags left!!  This is our sluice box gem mining station, complete with screened boxes to help find those treasures that end up in the glass on your kitchen table.

The "gems" are put in plastic bags, then filled with sand.  They get a bag-o-paydirt while we explain how they let the water run through their box, cleaning out the sand like the Gold Miners used to do.  VOILA!  They scream with excitement when they find the rocks in the bottom.  Not just any rocks, these are Australian quartz along with some turquoise, real crystals, killer magnets, several pieces of pyrite and a carved dinosaur.  We of course ooh and aah over every single find.

Even I ended up screaming while giving a break when I discovered we only had FOUR bags left for this epic crowd!  I went into panic mode filling the last few bags we had with sand, before heading to the shop to make more.  LOTS more.  I was in Heaven ... sitting down!!!!

Yup we have to measure out exactly two ounces of Aussie mix, two magnets, three pyrite and one dyno-mite piece in each cup, dump in the bag and do it again.  For an hour I got to sit down until I was shooed back out on the grounds.

I rarely ever get a lunch break, but on this day I was so tired, I snuck off to the other 100 year old tree on the property, which is full of green lemons.  Biggest tree I've ever seen.  Unfortunately, the hot dog disappeared before I could even get a picture.

I'm thinking we had maybe 3,000 people on the grounds.  Even with TWO hay rides running around the route twice as fast as normal, they could not keep up with the lines.  I was sure we would have a terrible time getting everyone to leave, but to my surprise, they were all out by 8:20.  YES!!!  Finally I can sit down and not get yelled at for slacking!!!

I don't know what today holds, but I'm thinking it's going to be another record setter.  

Total miles walked:  114.18

That means I've now walked from Tucson all the way to Phoenix with a mile to spare.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

HALFWAY ..... YAY!!!!

 Fifteen days down, fifteen to go.  Too bad for my feet, the second half only gets worse!!  Actually I'm much stronger than when we started, I just need to take a load off more often.

It started with a bang yesterday ... 300 kids and 150 adults showed up, all at the same time.  I checked them in, gathered them in a please-stay-here spot and made sure they were paid.  Bad Nancy forgot the rules and let a huge group in 6 minutes early (a no-no) just to get them out of the way.  

It was mostly home schools on this day.  I can say without a doubt, public school children are MUCH more well behaved.  These kids ... they are awful, run crazy wild and don't listen to a word anyone says to them.

I've learned to be as tough on the parents as I am on the kids, all the while smiling and being ridiculously pleasant until they do what they are told.  Customer service, and all that!!

It started with a bang when my employee kids came to say there were lots of wasps flying around the top of the slide.  I hate wasps.  So up to the top I climbed, dodging stingers right and left and grabbed the can-o-spray.  After a few false tries, I got my aim down and sprayed everywhere I thought there was a nest, along with hitting about ten flying critters.  

Too bad I wasn't a little faster on the draw.  One got me right on the back of my hand.  OUCH!!  At last they retreated and I headed for the ice chest.  

Above is the wagon that 3 year old was climbing on ... all the way to the very top.  On this day however, it wasn't the wagon, it was the olive tree.  Climbing to the top in cowboy boots is not a good idea, even if you are seven years old.  After extracting HER, I headed out to rescue all the teachers and kids lost in the corn maze.

At long last it was time for all the kids to leave, before the public arrived in force.  We had a Real Estate Company party in the barn, which meant they were bringing in supplies down our Time Travel Tractor road.  I think I said 18 times .... please, you have to move your vehicles .... to no avail.  All the while smiling of course!!  Adults don't listen much better than the children.  

Oh look .... more victims for the Corn Maze Monster!!!  It's a dead giveaway when you see pieces of corn flying out into the roadway as they play Zombie killer.  Even better when they try to take a bite of their prize!!  I can't help but laugh because this is cattle feed corn, NOT people corn.  

At long last, after 11 hours, the Patch would be closed if I could get everyone out.  That party went on until probably 10:00.  It's hard to tell everyone they have to leave at 8:00 when there's still a group hanging in the barn.  I literally followed them step by step until they exited.  

I almost think the Bingo crowd is easier to deal with than the Patch People!!!  Next week there will be not one, but THREE days of kids!!

And so ends another day of walking.

Total walked in 13 days:  104.2 miles  

Friday, October 15, 2021

A GREAT Day???

 Sometimes you just need to boost your spirits and jump start your body.  It was time for the breakfast of champions ..... ICE CREAM!!  If ever you wanted a good bit of vanilla covered in chocolate and nuts, THIS is the bar for you.  Besides that, you get 18 for $10.00.  There are still bargains to be had!!

I've decided I like Wednesdays and Thursdays best.  I don't have to be there until noon, get to leave early at 7:30 and the crowds are light in nature.  Add to that the missing Mrs. off running errands and picking up her kids, and I have time to actually take a break.  

I found this picture on my phone.  I had no intention of taking a picture of my feet, but apparently they were communicating with my brain.  I'm pretty sure they were telling me to sit my butt down!!

And so I did.  After completely stocking the entire front with new pumpkins, I actually got to sit down for the next hour when we opened to the public.  We had two big parties coming in, complete with caterers. All I had to do was point my finger ... go West folks ... to the barn!  

Then the charge iPad went down, forcing two of us to actually use our brains to figure out how to get it working again.  Our internet isn't the best, causing lots of question marks to fly over our heads.  Soon I was scrambling for change since everyone seemed to have $100 bills.

I ended up calling the Boss three times, but did it all while seated on a lovely stool.  My feet thanked me.  

At last it was off to give all 14 stations a break.  Everyone gets a ten minute reprieve from the adults.  The good news is I have found two new locations to sit down and hang out.  My legs are great, getting stronger every day.  I can even run up the slide without requiring oxygen at the top.  Yes we sell this beautiful squash, which makes yummy soup!!

The days end wasn't quite as fun.  We supply all these wagons for customers to gather up pumpkins they want to purchase and haul them to the front for payment.  Nine times out of ten, they haul their kids around in them.  It seems their location completely escapes everyone leaving the property.

I spent the last hour gathering up wagons and relocating them here.  I warned the very large adult trying to ride in it, pulled by her boyfriend, to no avail.  These are made for pumpkins ... not your sweet little pumpkin.  The front wheels came off the ground and she landed on her head.  

Doing my last full sweep for closing, I spotted two kids sitting on the very top of the large wagon.  These are not made for climbing.  Pictures yes ... climbing, that would be a big no.  I asked them to please get down.  The kids and the parents just looked at me.  

Please come down ... it's not safe.  Nothing.  I finally walked right up to them to have the mother start screaming at me "WE ARE GETTING THEM DOWN".  Okay, I appreciate that, but I've asked you three times and they are still up there while you are just looking at them.  This time they were removed from the wagon.  

So all in all, it was a GREAT day!!  I'm hoping for the same today with 400 children coming in at 9:00.  OH THE FUN!!!

Total miles walked so far:  94.2    Pretty crazy when you think about it!!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Gotta Love Those Parents!

What happens when there is a huge wind storm and no one shows up for work the next day?  The one supervisor, one sales girl and the owner's wife get to clean up the entire front of the property.  My plan to sit every time I could find a hiding place, didn't work out so well.

I don't get paid enough to clean these (which are all flush toilets by the way), so all I did was grab a hose and spray the insides.  I'm pretty sure I just made mud ... but oh well.  Oh well has become my mantra!

The screens were re-laced and hung back up at the Barnyard Bounce and the speaker rewired.  We play a loop tape of "barnyard" music that also relays the rules before anyone can go on, not that they listen.  When the music stops, everyone has to get off so the next group can climb on.  

It's pretty fun to bounce on this, except within the first 30 seconds, parents are out of breath, leaving their kids to crawl around the bottom grey rug.  This is the babysitter station ... most people drop off their kids, then wander around the property by themselves. 

On this day, Mom wasn't paying close attention and her little boy took off running at full blast to the end of the staging area.  He ran smack dab into that 2 x 6 at the end, causing a bloody nose and I'm sure two big black eyes.  The crying could be heard clear across the property.  He survived, but I bet he has a big bump this morning.  

I guess I'm old fashioned, even though raised on a ranch where we walked the tops of fence lines for hours, 7 feet high in the air.  Why would you want to make your child go down this slide when they are maybe 3 years old?  

Believe it or not, it seems to be so they can get their monies worth.  "I paid for my kid to get in and now you're telling me they are too small to ride the 30 foot high slide?"  Seriously?  Why would you think it's okay?  I fought them all day long.  Getting every ride for their dollar was apparently more important than the safety of their kids.

Insurance rules forbid you to ride with a kid in your lap and they must be 38" tall.  They pass three signs saying this before they get here.  Many 38" tall kids are still in diapers!!  They also cannot hold their hand, since heavy adults will go down much faster, dragging their kids off the rug and causing something akin to carpet burns.  

Heaven forbid the kids running the thing should let someone go without measuring.  Of course they did several times yesterday, and every other parent on the property was watching and now wants THEIR kid on the slide.  I fought with them all afternoon.

I finally got smart and referred them to the front office!!  I know, bad Nancy, passing them off like that.

Finally the day was coming to an end, and as usual, I was exhausted.  Still, I had to make one more pass through the property to be sure everyone was out.  What should I find but a man opening a locked gate so his kid could go inside with the goats.  Ummmm sir ... there's a reason that gate is locked.  How he got it open, I'll never know.  I ushered them all outside.

And so the end of another beautiful day.  This is the last thing I see every night as I leave, breathing a big sigh of relief as I head out the door to my truck.  It's a good thing I get to park close to the entrance because I don't think I could walk another 20 feet!! 

Total Miles Walked (10 days):   88.20

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Wind Damage ...

I slept late yesterday, a first for me.  An extra hour of lounging under a warm blanket assessing the sore muscles.  Cooper wasn't any help at all.  He wanted up for that Beggin' Strip treat.

Very slowly, I got my act together, fed everyone and headed off to the Patch.  I really thought the Pumpkin Patch would be open on Tuesday for pumpkin sales, as scheduled.  I was certainly surprised to find huge patches of sand missing at the entrance.  In spite of putting down a sealer and extra water, tons of sand had been moved to all new locations. 

I walked to the back to find the overhead sunscreens ripped to shreds.  That's the black heavy duty screens hanging down in this picture, taken before the storm.  Now they are torn to pieces.  

The hay ride sun screens survived with only one edge drooping, a fixable problem.  The Time Travel Tractor screens in the left of this image are just one big mess.  

The only good thing about all that is I got ANOTHER day off.  Yahoo for me!!  For the second day in a row, I barely got off the couch.  Not that I felt bad, I just wanted to suck up all the rest I possibly could.

I had opened the big shop door before finding the boss and receiving MY good news.  The door weighs a ton and I couldn't get it completely closed without running around the entire huge building twice.  I left in great anticipation of grabbing a Habit Burger on the way home.

You know how something bugs you and it's all you can think about?  I should have closed and locked that big door.  Oh it will be okay.  But what if they don't see it's barely open and someone breaks in?  Oh it's fine ... they will lock it up.  But what if ............

I drove all the way back, put forth my best effort of strength and got the darn thing closed and locked.  At least I wouldn't worry about it the entire night long.

My prize for that was this beautiful BBQ bacon charburger with cheese!!  I savored every bite!!  This one I got for free with the card they gave me for messing up my last order.  Even BETTER!!

Yes it was Magic Kingdom night and I had made arrangements for a gal to take my place.  It's a good thing I went to make sure all was well.  She showed up a little late, but I had it ready to go.  I counted cards while she worked the cash register.  All went exceedingly well until some gal came and said she didn't get all her cards.  That happens constantly!!

They come up and say they are missing stuff they paid for.  Too bad ... so sad.  BECAUSE ... they all know they are to double count their cards before they leave the desk.  Rarely do I miss anything, just because they will all come back and say they don't have one or two so they can get another card for free.  Believe me, a good portion of them CHEAT!!!  They even steal cards from another persons table!!  

At 6:30 I bowed out and left her with the not-so-good counter, but at least the worst of the peasant storm was behind her.  

A little more snuggling with Cooper and we were back in bed for the night.  It was an AHHHHH moment when I crawled in with my now plugged in electric blanket.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ...... 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Trying to Breathe .......

I can't tell you how nice it was to have a day off.  The winds started out in the 20 mph range, but quickly escalated to 30+ for most of the day, with gusts upwards of 50 mph.   The view out my back door was so ugly that all I did was make sure the couch didn't blow away.

Although I heard of trees and power lines falling all around the area, nothing impacted us thank goodness. I do have to say the air is rather hard to breathe when it's mostly dirt.

Unfortunately it doesn't bode well for the almond trees on the ranch.  The last big wind that went through took down about 1,000 trees.  Hopefully it won't be as bad this time.

I did nothing all day.  I got up long enough to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  True to my food skills, it came out rather black on one side, in spite of my intentions not to leave the stove.  Not willing to waste all that goodness, I just scraped off the black (like my Mom used to do) and forced it down.  It was a nice change of pace from the Patch hot dogs.

I rather imagine the cleanup at the Patch today will be massive.  I am thankful every day that I'm not in the Snack Shack any more.  With only screens on all sides, it's going to be awful.  All I will have to do is run the blower across the walkways and blow off the bounce pillow, maybe the slide.  As to the tractors, I'll surprise the drivers by letting them clean their own.  

Winds today will be around 20 mph, maybe even enough to get one more day off.  This is the first time ever I've actually LIKED the wind!!!

Even MORE good news ... I may not even work Bingo tonight.  Oh the bliss of the possibility of TWO days off.  This is a first I think ... me wanting to stay home and do nothing!!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Just Get It Done ....

It's always an interesting day at the Patch.  You never know what people are going to do or how they are going to react to following the rules.  I can say the same for the teenagers working there.  

I tell the kids all the time ... YOU ARE THE BOSS!  Don't let these parents run you over or not follow the rules just because they are older.  Of course we know there is always ONE ... and in this case at least TEN that think they can do whatever they want.  It doesn't help when the workers LET them.

The lady said she was going to ride the slide.  As she walked up I spotted sandals.  As stated on not one, but THREE signs, you MUST WEAR CLOSED TOE SHOES.  In spite of calling her back as she pushed her two small children up the 30 feet high stairs, she refused to come down.  

At the top the kids screamed and broke into tears, forcing me to stop the entire operation, and her to walk them all the way back down.  After having a little talk with the kids, I guarantee you that never happened again.  Why do people think they can do whatever they want?  It surprises me every time.

We were so crowded yesterday, I'm guessing anywhere from 2,000-4,000 people, that we brought out the second hay ride wagon to be pulled by the latest and greatest tractor.  Turns out it wasn't so great after all.

They asked me to drive for an hour or so, which I love.  Hey .... I get to sit DOWN ... take a load off ... rest the tootsies!  The other guy who schedules all the kids told me to park it under the almond trees when done.  I knew better than that ... nothing will make the Owner happier than breaking off big limbs on those almond trees.  When the line got shorter, I drove around the corner and made a left.  That was a very bad move, but heck ... I didn't know.

When I told the boss where it was, he said GREAT ... you can't back up and you can't get around that way. Now YOU figure out how to get the tractor and trailer back.  

Okay then ...... so I went and got the other tractor driver who drives for them all the time, a really nice guy.  He said no problem.  He drove it around the house and through the orchard.  Lucky for me!!  So I walked up to the boss and said I got it done!!!  I called the guys who work for you.  I actually got a fist bump, even though I was pretty sure I was on the firing line.  

Things went pretty well the rest of the day, but I fought with the second employee kid working the slide for letting people take kids down in their laps.  Once one person does it, EVERYONE wants to, calling us racist for not letting THEM do the same.  It just amazes me what people will do to get their way.

I completely forgot my phone, so no snack bar pictures yet.  There was a flurry of "what the heck" when they bought 2500 hot dogs and buns, fearing they would all go to waste.  Instead, they sold out of everything in one day.  

Here's my latest tri-tip sandwich tip.  Once barbecued and sliced up, they rolled the meat in a mixture of barbecue sauce and Asian hot sauce.  I'm not one for eating pepper hot food, but it was probably the best I've ever eaten.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  I'm pretty sure he was looking over my shoulder all day yesterday, but we GOT 'ER DONE and survived the eleven hour day.  That's a long time to be dealing with bratty kids and even worse parents.  No worries though ... it's all made better by the nice people who tell us how immaculate the place is, how much fun they had and how this is their first outing of the entire year.  

Miles walked:  9.7

Total miles so far:   80.2

The best news ever??  With winds predicted to be 45 mph today, they closed down completely.  


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Another One For The Books

 Once upon a time, as I hobbled through the corn field .... no wait, that's another story, although I am hobbling quite nicely.  Even with my extra cushy marathon tennis shoes, my little muscles aren't the least bit happy with me.  I must remember to take my Gatorade today.

Here's one of the little kid run around places on the property.  The hay maze is made for little legs.  You might be surprised at the number who cannot get from one end to the other.  Added to my list of things to keep up with is putting the bales back where they belong after the big kids try to change the pattern.

I can tell you that kids today are nothing like when I was young.  They run, yell, scream, fight, roll around on the ground and basically act like spoiled brats, which they are.  Parents nowadays have no control whatsoever and just let them run wild.  I spend a lot of time disciplining kids!!

On the other hand, this is a place any parent can bring their special needs child for a day outside having fun. We specialize in taking care of them.  The first ten minutes of the day had a 12 year old taking his clothes off on the Barnyard Bounce.  Dad rushed in and we helped him off, but just until he put his shirt back on.  Then it was back to bouncing.  

Here's one of the picture-taking spots.  They are located around the property and are very popular for wedding photos.  We have even had a few weddings out here.  

This is the Time Travel Tractor.  I don't know who had the brilliant idea to take old airport baggage carts and make them into train cars, but it works perfectly.  These carts were made to track very well, and so are perfect for tight turns and corners.  

My love of tractor driving is what got me started out here several years ago.  

It was completely full all day long.  We were packed to the brim with maybe 2,000 visitors.  That's a lot for an old tiny dairy farm turned amusement park.  UNTIL ...... oh no!!  I HAVE A FLAT TIRE!!!  How does that happen?  In less than ten minutes, they had a 3 ton jack, a new tire and were on the way to screaming kids.

This ride includes a mining scene with a mine and waterfall, complete with dynamite blasting off in the water, back in time to an Indian village with a real teepee, then on to dinosaur-land with an exploding volcano.  No kidding, there are probably 25 life-sized dinosaurs prowling around the back, making the kids scream.  I'm not sure if they are happy or scared.  People love it!!  I'll post a few pictures later.

This old wagon, filled to the brim with pumpkins, gives you an idea of the colorations we have.  Aren't they just gorgeous?  They are sold by the pound, with most coming to around $20.

There were a few more kinks, including kids not showing up, so I had to play the shuffling game to get all the attractions covered and the always fun ..  training more people on the slide.  So far they have been doing great.  If they are motivated enough to find a job and make a little money, they usually work out great here.  

I was rewarded at the end of the 11 hour day (with a total of maybe 30 minutes sitting down) with a beautiful sunset.  I do feel rather bad for poor Cooper though.  He sleeps all day when I'm gone, then as soon as I get home, it's off to sleep some more!!  I think he's going to dis-own me!!

I forgot to post the miles last time:     a record 10.65!!

Total miles walked so far:     79.23      

My new highest average:  8.8 miles a day.  Hush little feet ... you will be fine after your Advil treat.