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.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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.
Monday, October 18, 2021
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.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
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.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
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!!
Friday, October 15, 2021
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!!
Thursday, October 14, 2021
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!
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
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.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
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 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
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.
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.
I HAVE THE DAY OFF!!!!!
Sunday, October 10, 2021
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.
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.