Sunday, October 31, 2021

Exhaustion Ensues On Last Day

 Celebrations are imminent!!  It's finally the last day of the Pumpkin Patch.  The SECOND before the last day was another epic example of gazillions of people in a small space.  It started off nicely enough with a donut!  In less than 15 minutes of walking, I was sweating like my horses when I rode them at cutting horse events.

It was HOT!  The bad news is I completely forgot my phone, so no great pictures of the crowds.  Trust me, you aren't missing a thing.  For the most part, people were very nice.  I was stopped numerous times by people saying it was their first time here, and how much they loved the place.  Of course it helps that I always tell the Time Travel Tractor riders which scenic train car to ride in.

You see if you pick the right one, and forget to wave at Sneaky Pete, he throws dynamite in the creek near you and it explodes into a watery geyser.  At the end, the volcano explodes in the same way.  They love it!!

From the day before, there was a slight oops in the handicapped parking area.  Maybe that's why they have a handicapped license plate.

No lost kids on this day, but I did have a great time chasing two hooligans out of the Corn Maze.  Why they think it's fun to throw heavy pieces of corn at others is beyond me.  This time I got a description and went in with a plan.  I went around the back side and listened until I located them.  Then I snuck up on them, said OUT NOW in my best scary voice and watched them run for the exit.  It made my day!!

One of my favorite things to do is give the Hay Ride drivers a break, mostly because it gives me a chance to sit down for about ten minutes.  Oh the bliss!  This is little Timothy who works the Barnyard Squares agriculture entertainment as I drove by.  The animated puppets play tic tac toe, like the old celebrity game Hollywood Squares.  It's pretty fun to watch and tells kids where food comes from, which amazingly most do not know.  

As usual, there were many ugly adults on the slide who were yelling and screaming because they PAID FULL PRICE and their kid was too small to ride.  They really get carried away, but I stick to my guns and send them to the office.  There are three posters they walk right by which say 38" minimum and No Refunds.  I am always sure to smile and be pleasant when I give them the news.  Why would you want your 3 year old to go down a 50' slide anyway??

For once we actually had a few extra people who helped me give breaks so I could keep an eye on the corn maze.  Not two but THREE tractor drivers ran the entire day.  I worked the slide and the Time Travel Tractor to keep it moving as fast as possible.  We were jammed until 7:45 when most everyone disappeared.

That is except the birthday party in the barn.  In spite of the warnings they had to pack up at 7:30, they sat there and did nothing.  I told our little Hostess I would take care of it.  When I'm exhausted and my feet are killing me, it's the perfect time to tell people to go home.  

Ten minutes later they had not moved.  They actually thought we should clean the entire area and stack their stuff in our wagons.  Sorry ... this is not McDonalds, nor is it the Hilton Executive Suite.  YOU clean up your mess NOW PLEASE.  I stood with arms folded, ready to call in the troops.  They finally gave up and cleaned up their mess.

So it's the last day.  Dave is right, I will probably be bored almost immediately, or at least after the first two days.  However, Monday morning bright and early, I have to drive 75 miles to get my sewing machine repaired.  I certainly picked a bad day for that.

The sign says we are open until 4:00 today, but I'm hoping it's wrong.  But wait .. there is still more to come.  The RAMP OF DOOM will be brought out today.  Instead of paying sixty five cents a pound for pumpkins, it's an all you can stuff into a wagon day for $25.  If it makes it over the RAMP OF DOOM, you get them all.  Anything that falls off is ours to keep, or in reality, ours to dispose of.

Total miles walked yesterday:  11.30.  I think that's a record, or so say my feet.

Total to date:  229.64

Saturday, October 30, 2021

I'm A Lost Boy Magnet

 I'm counting down the hours ... and now the minutes.  Only 1,140 minutes to go.  There comes a point when you are exhausted, even though I'm stronger than I've been the entire last year.  

I went in early to dry off the Bounce pillow, soaking wet from dew and fog.  That's always a fun chore!  Then it was on to the Time Travel Tractor to dry the seats.  Too bad I completely forgot the Hay Ride tractor seat because when I sat down, I got soaking wet.

We didn't have any morning kids this time, just me opening the door and selling pumpkins because the first kid was a no-show.  I restocked the smaller pumpkins up front, always an exciting adventure when you discover a rotten one by having your finger go through the whole thing.  Think dirty diaper.  Yes, I've had to pick up three of those so far.

Thank goodness they got ahold of one girl who showed up to allow me to make gem bags.  It was all fun and games until I forgot to include the most important piece and had to dig back through 20 bags.  Seems my brain kicked into neutral.

And then they came ... like ants out of that hill in my flower bed after I poured gasoline down the hole.  It started out like usual, short three employees.  Phone calls were made and the smart kids came in within the hour.  I'm over worrying about it.  If nothing else, I just work the most important one, the slide.

That's where I was when giving the first girl her ten minute break.  Suddenly someone said look at that kid!  I looked up to see a little boy running up the slide steps as fast as he could.  Wait ... he doesn't have a rug and I didn't send him up there.  I ran after him, not catching him till at the very top.

You can't be up here kiddo ... come with me.  Back down at the bottom, I kept ahold of his shirt.  It was a good thing because he tried to run off.  Excuse me, but who owns this child???  No one spoke.  No really, whose little boy is this?  Everyone said it wasn't theirs.  How the heck did he get through the line?

These are my goat kids as I was telling them this story.

I was just digging out my radio to call when someone said they saw a frantic grandma clear across the patch at the Hay Ride.  That's when the call came for a lost boy.  The description fit my little captive perfectly, which I still had not let go of.  Boy did he get a talking to!!  Turns out he was three years old and really good at escaping.  I seem to be the lost boy magnet.

Goats:  did you hear that?  He was LOST!!

After half the breaks were done, I escaped again to the goat barn for some one on one time.  I think these guys would be my new house pets if they could be little box trained.  They are so darn cute, and bah at me every time I go by.  Yes, their front feet are up on the wires so they can be closer.

The rest of the evening went well until it was time to close.  What is it with some people?  I tell a group of twelve that it's time to go, so they line up for a picture.  I'm very sorry, but we closed ten minutes ago.  You have to exit through the front gates.  They don't move, but take three more pictures. 

Please, you have to exit the Pumpkin Patch.  They move 20 feet to the next tractor and take more pictures, standing on top where they don't belong.  Now I'm getting irritated.

Just to test my patience I'm sure, they did that four more times and I followed them step for step.  At last I said "I asked you nicely, so now I'm called security".  They meandered up front where the skid loaded was already moving around with bins of pumpkins.  One of their kids ran right behind it, so I snatched her up.  They could have cared less.

We need four more pictures.  NO I said as I stood in the way of their pumpkin picture .... NO you cannot take any more pictures.  OUT!!!!!  I reached for my walkie again and they finally left.  What rude obnoxious people there are in the world ... and too bad they are teaching their children the exact same attitude.  

At long last I was headed home with another 9.08 miles under my belt, added to the 9.81 I forgot to post yesterday.

Total miles walked so far:  218.34

Friday, October 29, 2021

How Many Does It Take?

How many dinosaurs does it take to make a Time Travel Tractor?  I think there are 27, but I haven't counted them lately.  

It began yesterday with me arriving at 8:00 looking forward to a twelve hour day.  With no cover over the bounce, I had to sweep the water off and try to dry it out before all the kids arrived.  Mission accomplished, but by the time I was done, I was so hot I had to scrounge up some foo-foo juice from my truck.  Note to Nancy:  stay away from people today if possible. 

How many kids does it take to run the attractions?  Seventeen actually.  Ten showed up.  I think since getting paid for the first two weeks, they bailed.  Even though most only work a four hour shift, I rather imagine that $2000 check they were expecting, did not materialize.  Nor did the kids when it was time to show up last night.

I scrambled again getting everything covered.  With a lot of tweaking here and there, we made it through the day.  Somehow I never seem to get my 30 minute lunch OR a break.

This is a very short trip through time, back to the dinosaurs.  I barely had time to grab these pictures before the first big hurdle arrived.  These are all hand painted to look like the real thing.  We even have eggs hatching.  They really do make you look twice.

How many people does it take to change a toilet paper roll?  I can tell you, it's not one, nor is it two.  We have flushable porta-potties that have a container inside for every kind of paper product on the market.  The problem is they do not come with instructions.  

I held the door while the kid tried to unhook the metal bar.  It wasn't happening.  One of our night maintenance guys walked by and I asked him to please help.  Surely someone mechanically inclined could get the job done.  Thankfully I was right so we weren't stuck in there for twenty minutes trying to figure it out.

How many people show up on a Thursday night?  Well over one thousand.  In spite of wishing they would spread themselves out over the 30 days, they all come at the last minute.  Of course there is always one teenage employee who has to leave early.  A bit more scrambling and stealing the Hay Ride loader and we kept going like nothing had happened.   

How many does it take to run the snack bar every night?  Six girls plus one Manager.  They haven't been able to take any breaks, so I snuck in for 40 minutes and made nachos, hot dogs and snow-cones.  The old machine, on which I've made literally 1,000's of snowies every day, finally gave up the ghost.  

The new one arrived just in time to start the afternoon.  It's a PRO version, and I'm tell you that baby can spit out snowies like a champ.  Super fast with a much bigger ice hopper ... it's a blast to run!!

At long last the night was over as we swept the place for trash.  How many people does it take to pick up all the trash left by that many people?  Basically two ... the night guy and me.  I always wonder what their houses look like.  Do they just throw everything on the floor?  They must live in a pig sty.

I was super happy I didn't have to go in today until noon but the Boss said 11:00.  RATS!!  I'm going to sit on the couch until the very last second before heading out to sell pumpkins for four hours, then reopen the patch for another evening crowd.  It's going to be another long day.  Yes I really am counting the minutes.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Scrambled Eggs

Scramble, stir the pot and scramble again.  Just like making scrambled eggs, that's what I did yesterday.  My plan for the three hour slow time to take pictures didn't quite work out so well.

Another 350 kids and parents came in all at the same time ... 8:30.  We don't even open until 9:00.  I try to stay organized, but apparently I'm the only one who does.  Those in charge seem to have no clue how many kids they have and never seem to collect the right amount of money.

I scrambled to find two tractor drivers, taking the Time Travel Tractor around a few times myself.  No lost kids today thank goodness, but the bounce pillow was soaking wet from dew since all the overhead covers were gone.  That took 30 minutes to clean off so the kids could bounce.

Finally, with a big sigh, I escorted the last few groups out at 12:30.  They were told we close at 12:00.  No one ever wants to leave since it's such a nice outdoor space to be in.  One more thing?  Everyone, kids, teachers and parents, get a pumpkin before they leave.  That's 3-400 we pass out!!

I got home just in time to let Cooper out and slurp down some of my butternut squash soup.  Then I raced back to the Patch.  We were completely out of gem mining bags and expecting a record number of people at 3:30.  

Scramble scramble .... some people just walk in the door like they own the place.  I tracked down three adults coming to get pumpkins who forgot to pay.  To keep out the riff raff, we charge $7 to enter and give them a wooden coin worth $7.  They use those to buy pumpkins.  There's always three or four that try to sneak in.  

Suddenly it was 3:00 and people began to swarm the entrance.  Someone wanted to bring in their Service Dog in training.  It was a poodle.  Sorry, but no.  Another scramble when the sales girl didn't show up, and only one ticket girl arrived.  By then the crowd was about 500 feet long.  I grabbed the Snack Bar Supervisor to sell tickets when I realized the pumpkin girl needed a lunch break.  

But wait .... the party hostess didn't show up either and they let the birthday kids in without tickets.  Scramble again to FIND the tickets, but of course the party had many more than they paid for.   

About that time the tractor driver came up and said he was throwing up.  Great!!  Now I need TWO tractor drivers, a scare commodity.  

I spent some time on the slide since one of the workers for the day was terrible.  How hard is it to look up, see where the people are and send up the next 2 or 3?  I guess it's pretty difficult when your attention span in two seconds.  That's when I got the call ... some of the 55 Asset kids we let in (underprivileged teenagers), went in the corn maze, tore out the back and kicked all the scarecrows over.  Who does that?  

Scramble some more ... the tractor driver OWNER was now sick, and as you can tell, I drove the hay ride for the rest of the evening.   

That was an 11 hour day of scrambling for all I was worth.  Scheduling those teenager workers has become a nightmare, kind of like Halloween.  

OH BOY .... I get to do it all over again today!!  It's okay, I like challenges!  On the other hand, people do come up and tell me how great the place is all the time.  That keeps me going for the next day. 

Thank goodness this will be the last day of field trip kids.  I'm counting down the minutes!!  I even came home and had scrambled eggs for dinner, just because.  Then I took an extra helping of vitamins for dessert.

Miles Walked:  another perfect 10

Total so far:  199.45

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


 When you are running around after 500 kids and adults, it's hard to remember to take pictures.  I promise I'll do better today.

Yes, the disaster of that Sunday/Monday wind and rain was still there Tuesday morning at 8:30.  There were huge canyons carved in the ground running from one side to another, not to mention the entire cover of the bounce pillow was ripped to shreds.  I'm pretty sure my addition to the suggestion box of a permanent cover will be forthcoming.  

Those big shade covers were removed while the rest of us uncovered the bales of hay, restocked the hay maze and set up the hay ride.  Other than drying everything off and trying to clean up the mud, we were in pretty good shape.

Getting the dinosaurs fed .... well that was a different story.  We had 150 kindergartners and first graders ready for snack time, but the velociraptors played Simon Says instead.  Just as the kids would drive by, Simon the T-Rex would say FREEZE and they all stood perfectly still like statues.  The kids are amazed.

A little later, short one tractor driver, I climbed on the hay ride to take a small group around the corn maze.  It's big ... as in HUGE ... and people get lost out there all the time.  I was pretty surprised to see three kids run out in front of the tractor.  In three more seconds, there were ten, along with four adults and a huge baby stroller.  

I loaded them all up and headed back to the starting point.  As I was cruising along, I heard the call.  LOST CHILD!!  We immediately close all the gates and no one is allowed to leave until we find them.  There wasn't even any description other than he's wearing red beads.  What?

I stopped the tractor, walked back to remove the chain, and the first thing I saw was red beads.  I think I have the escapee!!  His teachers were none too happy with him for running off!

Surprisingly, the day went by pretty fast.  My lunch of a snickers bar went down very smoothly before tackling the musical chairs of teenage employees.  Some show up, some are late and some never show their face.

I had to train another girl on the slide, but she was a good one.  She picked it up faster than anyone.  I was almost ready to leave when there seemed to be a problem.  Mom took off first down the slide, with one daughter following her.  The other little girl just sat there.  I walked to the top.  She was very scared with a death grip on the rails.

JUST PUSH HER the mom yelled.  NO ... we are not allowed and we are not going to push anyone.  It took a few minutes, but I was finally able to get her to let go, whereupon she clung to me with both arms.  I noticed immediately she was slightly disabled as we came down the steps, with her mother yelling ... if you would just let me up there, I will push her.  

What's wrong with these people?  I'm sorry, but that's not allowed ... it's dangerous.  She screamed for a refund as she drug the little girl away.  I felt much better later when a lady approached me and said I did the right thing.  Even she could tell the little girl was scared to death.  Working the slide is SO much fun!!

On my final walkthrough, I stopped at the seed planting area for a little quiet.  Many of the school classes sign up so the kids can learn how seeds are planted and grown.  You would think in an agricultural community like us, it would be common knowledge, but it's not.

We closed at 7:30.  It's almost 8:00 and I'm still waiting for the last three people to leave the restroom area.  

Today I get to do it all over again!  WOOHOO!!  

Miles walked:  10.83 (a record?)

Total so far:  189.45   It's getting up there ........

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Comedy of Errors

 I have quickly fallen back to my old ways.  Since the weather closed down the Pumpkin Patch, I knew I would have four hours in the morning to get a quilt mailed off.  Easy peasy, right?  Go to Postal Connection, get a box and mail it.  How hard could that be?

In spite of their sign saying they opened at 8:30, it was 9:30 and they were closed.  Really??  I drove by the Post Office, knowing full well they didn't open until 10:00.  I thought maybe if I sent witchy words through the airwaves, that they would be open by mistake.  No such luck.  I drove home.

Luck did arrive however, in a text message that the Patch would be closed all day.  YAHOO TRIPLE TIMES!!  I actually get an ENTIRE day off.  I can't tell you how excited I was.  All day to just sit around. Well ..... except for the trip I need to make to mail the quilt.

The entire time I spent on the couch, Cooper never left my side.  He was very happy to have Mom home.  Jonathan, showing his appreciation, screamed and talked all day long.  

I decided to wait until 2:00 to hit the Post Office when no one would be there.  I ran inside and grabbed a $15 mail-it box and ran to the truck to pack it to the brim.  Ummmmm wait ... there's no longer sticky on the ends to seal the box?  I definitely remember sticky.  Okay then, I'll just drive home for tape.  

In a moment of brilliance, I decided to run by Postal Connection to see if they were open.  YES!!  The lights are on.  For an outrageous $5, I got a roll of tape.  No matter, I can use it.  I taped up the box and ran back inside to mail it.

Shock and surprised ensued when they told me these boxes now cost $39 to mail.  Are you kidding me??  The last time I used one it was $15.  What the heck?

I drove BACK to the Post Office, only to find the same price.  Postal Connection had offered to mail it by the measurements, saving me $9.00, so of course I drove all the way BACK to mail it for $30.00. What happened to the $15 all-you-can-squeeze-in-it box?  Entirely deflated, I drove home to sit on the couch and contemplate how I'm never using the Post Office again.

That's when I got the email saying my second box of Halloween candy, ordered from Amazon, had been delivered.  I searched and searched to find nothing by the back door as they stated.  I went online to check the tracking information, only to find it had been delivered to Louisville Kentucky.  Are you kidding me?  How could that be when the mailing address is clearly stated as California?  

I spent the next two hours on the internet and phone with Amazon, trying to get my money back from the third party seller.  I thought I was buying it from Amazon.  The nice guy from Asia who spoke very little English, finally sent them an email stating I wanted a refund.  If not received in 48 hours, Amazon will return my money, since there's no way they can ship another box of candy by Halloween.

With head hanging down, I went back to the couch and watched some stupid Christmas movies.  We all know the plots there.  SHE thinks Prince Charming has another girlfriend, but in the end she wins the guy who really is a Prince of Slovakia or something like that.

In desperation, I decided to cook up a pot of butternut squash soup.  It is cooked with squash, apples, carrots, onions and chicken broth with a little curry thrown in.  I added cream when it was done.

It was hearty and delicious, a complete surprise compared to the day's happenings.

I'll be off to the Patch early this morning.  We have schools coming in and will be short the only snack bar worker.  Hopefully I'll get a break for lunch today.  

Miles walked:   less than 2 and not counted today.  

Monday, October 25, 2021

Tornado Weather Arrives

What a day THAT was!!  Heavens to Betsy .... it was one of the craziest ever!  It was dark and overcast the first few hours, along with a cold breeze that just didn't want to stop.

Even with rain predicted all day long, people showed up in droves.  I guess it just goes to show how badly they need to get out and about.  I suppose you could say it went okay in spite of the southern wind that chilled us to the bone.

I again worked the slide most of the day since yet another rookie employee showed up.  It amazes me every day, the difference in humans who have some initiative built in and those that just stand there with a blank look on their face.    

After a couple of hours, it was time to give the gal on top a break, so I climbed Mount Corn Chute to find her very apprehensive about the wind.  I admit, up top it was probably 35 to 45 miles per hour, shaking the slide a little now and then.  The hardest part was trying to put those lightweight rugs down for the people to sit on.

It took some maneuvering, but we stayed the course and ran a couple of hundred people down the slide.  

Everything went well until the sunshades over the bounce began to tear apart.  Yup the wind was that bad.  These shades hang down about four feet in the middle, but as you can see, they are flying through the air, ripping out all the carabiners holding then in place.  The most popular bounce pillow had to be shut down.

We kept everything else running as best we could.  At last it got so bad we had to shut down the slide also.  The dust was epic!  The word went out .. close at 4:00, then wait ... the rain won't start until 7:00 so keep going, but the winds were on my side, meaning we finally closed the entire place at 4:00. YAY for me ... I got four hours off!!

Almost anyway ... soon there was a frantic race to stack all the hay and cover up anything that would get wet from the torrential rains on the horizon.

My last task was chasing a birthday party out of the barn.  The ever diplomatic Ella, a sweet girl who was trying to get them to leave at 4:00, wasn't having any luck.  I on the other hand, am an expert at ushering people out the door!!  I went in the barn at 4:20 and had them out by 4:30, thanking them profusely for their patronage.  They were actually very happy about the party, even though they ate a little sand with their cake.

Finally, completely beat up from the wind and the tornado-like sand storm, I headed for home.  I would have had dinner, but I was too tired.  

It rained all night making for fitful sleep, but the good news is I don't have to go back until Noon today.  Hooray for RAIN!!!!  I might even get the ENTIRE day off!!!


Miles walked 6.92

Total so far:  178.62

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Biggest Day In History

I think the Pumpkin Patch has been going for about eight years.  I've worked there for five.  We have never been as crowded as we were last night.  Amazingly, things went pretty well considering we are all exhausted with little patience left for anyone or anything.

Again, three kids didn't show up for work.  I was really scrambling to cover all the attractions.  The "Coach" that sets up the schedule just threw up his hands.  I started out early as a tractor driver, passed that job off to him and headed for the Corn Chute, better known as the slide. 

All of these pictures were from previous days because I literally did not have five seconds to take any more.  In no time, a big problem came up.  The slide is going WAY too fast!!  People are catching air.

The day before in the rain, the boss yelled at me to wax it since it was going too slow.  Well all that wax finally took hold on this day.  That meant standing at the top and spraying water on before every single rider.  The water actually slows it down.  Of course the new rugs didn't help either.  I spent about four hours up top, but hey ... I wasn't walking so I was happy.

Not able to give breaks, they sent a warm body to me for instructions.  She has never worked any of the attractions, so it's rather hard for her to give breaks, yeah?  No worries, I'll get that radio you just dropped from the top of the slide to the truck bed below.

Finally back on the ground, we were so busy it took three of us to keep the slide moving in record time.  It could have been better had the adults not wanted their two and three year olds to go down the slide.  They must go by themselves (and only if they are 38" tall) ... no riding in laps.  Why do you do that???  They scream, cry and bang their heads ... seriously, you think that's fun?  I just don't get it.  

After a couple of those incidences we heard the snack bar call for an ambulance.  OH NO ... but come to find out, it was for a little baby.  Two MORE ambulances came for the son (I don't know how old) who hurt his knee in the Corn Maze.  Couldn't have been too bad since Mom hung around the patch until 8:30 while picking out her favorite mums for free before heading to her car.  Really?  Wouldn't you be with your kid at the hospital?

And one more ambulance for the older gentleman who fell in the Corn Maze.  

And so it went for EIGHT hours straight without a break or even a hot dog for lunch.  I finally was able to steal Goat Girl (her name is Kaylin, but she works the barn where the goats live) to work the slide.  Although she had never done it before, I threw her to the wolves.  To my surprise, she was AMAZING!  She handled all the adults well, in spite of her tiny size, and worked as hard as I do.  She definitely got a GOLD STAR for the night.

I was able to hike to the top and give my best guy a break.  Josh has worked the top several times and thank goodness he was there yesterday.  He's another excellent worker that I never have to worry about.

At long last the slide wore down a tad and I was able to just stand at the bottom and direct people while folding up the rugs a million times.  You ride down the slide on a rug ... otherwise it's so fast, you will get a burn.  They are big and bulky, causing my hands to now talk to my feet!!

At long last I put up the "we are done" sign and we ran the last few stragglers up the stairs.  CLOSED.  Sorry, but not really sorry at all.  We all gave a huge sigh of relief.

Now to make sure everyone gets OUT.  We close at 8:00 by the way, but by 8:30 I was still chasing people towards the exit.  While doing the last bit of cleanup, I spotted a woman and four kids in the picnic area.  She had lost her keys.  I told her to wait at the front and I would look, which of course she didn't do.

I found her keys in the Time Travel Tractor in record time ... someone must have been watching over me.  She was finally escorted out the gate.    

I finally got home just in time for dinner at 9:30.  Yup that's it ... the now crushed Butterfinger I had in my pocket.  I ate it with a spoon!!

Today SHOULD be our last big crowd day of the season.  The last weekend is never as busy ... or at least I HOPE that's true.

Miles Walked:  6.98 even though I spent most of the day at the slide.

Total miles walked:  171.70

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Okay, DON'T Pray For Rain!!

I had a plan.  It didn't work out well for me at all.  I thought if it rained, we would close, but that didn't happen.  This is the weather guessers map and guess they did.  The rain began just as I walked into the Patch.

No big deal, right?  But then it began to pour and 500 kids showed up anyway.  I had twelve groups coming in and all but one showed up at the same time.  Nancy has no coat and no hat, so as you can imagine, in less than ten minutes, I looked like a drowned rat!  And I FELT like one, now freezing and soaked to the skin.

Most had not paid yet, nor did they know how many were going to show up.  It was a madhouse as everyone tried to get under the tent in front.  The main problem then becomes scheduling because three of the main attractions are outside in the rain.  

In the end, the only one they could not play on was the crowd favorite, the bounce pillow.  It's only covered with huge sunscreens which let the rain, along with a ton of dirt and dust, through the holes.   What a big mess THAT was.

They did finally open up the Time Travel Tractor, but most got pretty wet.  Here are some of the life-size critters we have roaming the property.

This guy really does have a head, but it's so tall he's hiding behind the tree.  That's when the barn door fell off the hinges.  It took three of us to heft it back in place.  At long last we were able to push them all out by 12:20 (we close at 12:00) and begin the cleanup.

It's our quiet time, three hours of pumpkin sales only.  I cleaned up the disgusting bathrooms with a garden hose ... no way I'm getting close to that! ... and headed for the bounce while everyone else went to lunch.  I knew it was going to be awful.

Two huge mops and a bucket got me going.  Exactly 2-1/2 hours later of back breaking mopping while bouncing on the soft pillow and it was not really clean, but much better than it was.  When the owners got back, I think they were pretty surprised.  A shop vac and a few towels and we were back in business.

I couldn't sit down fast enough!  I loudly stated my suggestion for the Box ... that we put a solid cover over the bounce pillow.  That way it would always be open since it's the most popular thing in the park, and it won't have to be cleaned again by someone else .... because you can bet I won't be doing it EVER again!!

We still had the evening to look forward to.  Even with the rain and cold wind, we were open until 8:00 pm.  Four employee kids didn't show up for work, making my job even more fun!!  I scrounged up everyone I could find and retrained them on the spot.

Some are talented ... some not so much.  I spent most of the night at the top of the slide, freezing.  Here's the weird part ... it was raining enough at the top to make water drip from the structure and get the slide wet, but it was not raining at the bottom.  How does that happen?

That meant the kids were having to push themselves down the slide.  I used an entire can of wax and still they were getting stuck halfway down.  Finally the mist stopped and the slide dried out.  You should have seen those people going so fast they ran off the end at the bottom.  All that wax finally began to work!!

Yes I'm exhausted, but we're open again from 10-8.  What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right!!

Miles walked:  9.65

Total:  164.72

Friday, October 22, 2021

The Calm Before The Storm

Traditionally, the storm is on its way.  This Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be our biggest days of the year.  I'm expecting twelve groups of kids today, and in most cases, the adults will outnumber the school children.  

Yesterday was a normal day for us with 300 preschool and kindergarten children, along with 150 teachers and parents.  Mostly parents.  Funny, I don't remember ANY parents being allowed on our school outings.

That means you are dealing with cray-cray .... our word for people who won't get two feet from their child.   All in all however, it was a good day with the kids.  We have one big school named Farmdale whose teachers are the best examples on the earth for how to raise children.  Obviously, we love them!! 

Everything went rather smoothly as I racked up another ten miles.  Then comes the time we hand out pumpkins to those 450 humans.  Children line up just like they are asked.  Parents just tromp on through, getting in the way and always wanting a pumpkin OTHER than what they are handed for FREE.  

Oh ... and one other thing about Farmdale .... every class is in a different colored T-shirt so they are easy to find when lost.  Smart, yes??

The afternoon began with a bang when four girls bought pumpkins and carved them on the spot.  Really cute if you ask me!  An interesting technique ... instead of going down through the top, they went up through the bottom.  It turned out to be the calm before the storm.

The evening was marred by one jerk of a guy who yelled and screamed at me because I wouldn't let his 30" tall child on the slide with a required 38" tall regulation.  I PAID FULL PRICE ... WHY CAN'T SHE RIDE?  It went on and on with him screaming at me until I finally told him to contact Management in the office.  

Let me just say that Scott is probably 6'5" tall and weighs in at somewhere around 200 pounds, all muscle.  The guy got nowhere, but hey ... he liked the place enough he spent the next three hours enjoying the entire park ..... because I watched him do it.  Then of course he wrote a bad review on Facebook.  The first Jerk Of The Year award goes to him.  How embarrassing for his family!

I really thought the weather guessers might get it right, but alas ... no rain.  It says showers from 9:00 to Noon, but that remains to be seen.  I've got a record number of kids coming this morning, so it should be interesting.  Maybe I'll even get to sit down a spell.

Total Miles Walked:  an exact TEN

Total miles to date:  155.07   and I have ten days left!!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Pray For RAIN!!!!

 It was an exciting day as thunderclouds appear across the entire sky.  Sadly, nothing came of it.  I was really hoping it would rain cats and dogs ..... meaning we could close down for a day and I could rest up.  My feet are so mad they aren't even talking to me any more!!

In order to keep the throngs of people happy, we are having field trips every morning from 9 - 12, cleanup and pumpkin sales from 12 - 3 and attractions from 3:30 - 7:30.  

Some groups are highly organized and some are not even close.  The Westside Ministry with 112 kids came in with everyone having name tags and organized to the hilt.  LOVE them!!  They took over the barn for the evening with snacks for the kids, played all night and left in an orderly manner.  Not one kid was lost, nor did any of them talk back to ANYONE!  

On the other hand, four home schools came in with unruly children and more adults than kids.  One was found wandering around looking for Mom.  I wandered with him for a time until Mom finally showed up. We probably lose 4 or 5 every year.   It causes a Code 9 where we lock down the entire park, making sure no one can leave until the child is found.  We haven't lost one yet!!

There are also birthday parties scheduled every day in every space.  This area is called the corral because it used to be a corral for holding cattle on the side of the barn.  As you can imagine, cleanup is a big chore in these spaces at the end of the night.  

It's so hard to get the people to leave at all, and then they leave a big mess.  Three of my attractions are required to do cleanup before they leave.  Last night one snuck out early for the second time, so you-know-who had to do the cleaning.  Once more and she who wears the longest false eyelashes I've ever seen, will be fired!!  

This is the Bullpen.  As the name implies, the dairy farm bulls were kept here.  It's smaller for those smaller birthday parties and Hotel Management meetings.  I know it's weird, but they love the place.

The spooky moon came out to keep an eye on the place last night.  A quick crooked picture as I chased the last remnants of people from the goat barn.  It happens at least twice a day ... people just won't leave.  They take picture after picture as I stand right behind them, refusing to budge.  Seriously, I just want to get home and off my feet.  I don't care if you have 300 pictures of your unruly child.

The second Code 9 happened when we ran out of paper towels for the dispensers.  I thought I was Attraction Supervisor, but found out I was also supposed to be in charge of everything else.  Who knew?  I discovered this when I went to notify the boss we were out.  As you can imagine, that didn't go over so well.  Hey .... no one told me to keep an eye on THAT entire section!

Lucky for me I discovered half a box in the Snack Bar, which I promptly stole from them.  Just another thing added to my plate, along with feeding the goats on weekdays and doing general cleanup during pumpkin sales.  No wonder I'm getting so much mileage!!

This is exactly what I looked like by the time I got home.  I was pretty beat up as I soaked my feet for three minutes in cold water before crashing into bed exhausted.  That siren that screamed for at least five minutes in my neighborhood last night didn't help.  Bleary eyed ... I'll be back at it this morning at 8:30.  I SWEAR I'm sitting down more today and praying for RAIN which is supposed to hit tomorrow!!

Miles Walked:  9.98

Total to date:  145.07