Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What are we doing?

Good morning!

Whew! I think I can finally take a breath. Let's see last time I checked in we were still in Eugene. What a week we have had.

Jump from Eugene to Salem. The guys worked from Sunday morning at 9:00 till Monday morning at 11:00. As soon as the guys were done on Monday Ron and I got the motor home ready to head out to Salem. We left Eugene about 12:30 p.m. Ron drove to Salem 65 miles away. Our first stop was Winco. I was in there for an hour ~ Ron slept while I picked up groceries. Next stop was Costco. Never one to miss free samples Ron joined me on that errand. Then off to the laundromat ~ what an experience. Ron slept while I was doing the work ~ a much needed nap for him. First the washer didn't work. Then the second washer didn't start. Finally got the clothes clean but then the first dryer didn't start. After 1 hour and 45 minutes later and three trips to find the gal working at the laundromat I got that necessary job done. Woke Ron up so we could head to the bone yard. Found the State Fair grounds, found the bone yard and learned that we could take this big ole beast 4~wheeling. We are camped in a grove of big oak trees and the ground is bumpy to say the least.

We got parked and set up and then I remembered we did not stop and get propane! So we undid everything and went in search of a gas station. Found two right across the street from each other. One was $2.99 per gallon for propane and the other was $2.85 per gallon. Of course the one with the cheaper propane was not the one we were at so we had to drive around the block and then pull in. Got the propane and headed back to the bone yard. We had not gotten propane since the middle of May when we pulled into Portland for the Rose Festival ~ we were surprised we had been able to go that long between fill ups. Got back in the bone yard and set everything up again. Time for our usual jump day dinner: Costco rotisseri chicken, garlic bread and salad. Had a great dinner and then went to bed about 8:45 ~ it had been a long day.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Ron did set up of the rides. He worked 8 hours a day and so we had some time to relax in the evening. One evening we spent talking with Eric & Diane until the mosquitoes arrived for their dinner. We didn't feel like serving them dinner so we retired to our motor home and headed off to bed. Tuesday I worked 5 hours and then just a couple of hours on Wednesday and Thursday.

The fair opened at 11:00 Friday morning. We had a pretty uneventful day as far as the carnival went. I did have one problem. I got reamed out by someone for something I did not do. She yelled at me for a good ten minutes. I held the phone away from my ear. Later I talked with Ron about the situation. We decided we are going to talk to Rob next week when he gets back from New York. We have decided if it happens again we will be quitting. I will not work in a place where I am treated like a little child and basically called a liar. On Saturday I was told by Mr. B that I would have off most of the day. I was pleasantly surprised and looked forward to having some time off to enjoy the fair.

Later I found out why I got the day off. Someone told Mrs. B that I was way into overtime so they pulled Debbie off of her job and made her cover customer service for the day. This was another lie as up to Saturday I had only worked 23 hours. Ron and I talked about what happened and decided we will be bringing this up with Rob also. On a positive note I did enjoy my time off. Another gal, Claudia, from the White Unit also had off so we spent the afternoon walking around checking out the exhibits. I bought a cool ice cube tray from the Tupperware lady ~ it has a flat top with an opening to fill it with water. Once the ice is frozen I can pull off the top and voila I have ice cubes ~ great for us for when we travel we don't have water spilling all over.

I also bought Ron a surprise. As many of you know we had to get rid of our dog, Charlie Brown, to come work for the carnival. I had seen these little dogs that sit in their own bed and run off a battery. When they are lying there it looks like they are breathing. Most places have been selling them for $20 - too much for me. But this one lady had about 20 of them left and is retiring after this fair season so she had lowered them to $10. I decided to buy one and put him on the top of the printer where Charlie Brown used to sleep. I told Ron I bought him a surprise but did not tell him what it was. He didn't find it Saturday night and was getting frustrated on Sunday when he couldn't figure it out. So I played the hot/cold game with him. He finally found it and just laughed. So now CB JR has a home on the front dash watching over our rig. It was a great way to spend $10 and get a big laugh from Ron.

Sunday was a much better day for the both of us. Ron is getting more responsibility now. He now breaks five guys on their rides, does maintenance each morning on two rides and checks the scan guns in/out each morning. Customer service is going well. On Sunday afternoon I got a great compliment from Mr. B ~ he said he heard that our time in Eugene was pretty uneventful and that there were no major problems at Customer Service. He thanked me for doing a great job.

Yesterday was our first special at the carnival. The tickets were $0.35 each instead of $0.75. We had a steady crowd all day till it completely died around 10:00 p.m. We close at 11:00 p.m. I did have to be rescued from a customer by Rick once and by Ronnie B once. It was after the special went off ~ the discount tickets were stopped at 5:00 p.m. The first time one lady came up very angry. While she was buying her tickets the sale went off, she was only able to buy 3 cards at the sale price. It was not fair. I tried to explain to her that the sale ended at 5:00 p.m. sharp and the computer is programmed to stop selling at that time and there was nothing I could do. She got real beligerant with me and finally after about 10 minutes Rick came up to the window restated what I had been saying and said there was nothing we could do. She just looked at Rick dumbfounded and stomped down the stairs.

About 6:30 the second incident happened. These two ladies came up to the window. One whipped out a wad of bills, a ticket card and two receipts out of her bra. She said they had a problem. She went on to explain that she bought two cards but the cashier only gave her one card and two receipts. I put the number of the card (got it off the receipt) that she said she did not get into the computer system so I could cancel the card. But wouldn't you know it. She bought the card at 4:16 and it was used at 4:24 by three people going on rides. Ronnie asked her how many kids were in her party. She said 3 and quickly said, no we have five people in our party. I showed her on the computer how the card had been used at multiple rides for three persons each. I explained there was nothing I could do. It had been over two hours since she supposedly was not given the card. Her story just did not make sense. She had three kids, each ride was done by 3 people and it had taken over an hour to do those rides. She got quite angry at me. Wanted to speak to the owner. Ronnie said he was the owner. She wanted his name. He told her Ron. She started yelling. She was going to the fair board, we had ripped her off of $42. She was calling her congressman, the newspaper and the TV news to tell them Funtastic ripped her off of $42. Now her kids would not be able to enjoy the fair. And then they both stomped off the deck of Customer Service.

Other than those two incidents Customer Service went well. Now to start another day at the fair.

Some of you have asked about Ron writing a blog post so you can get a taste of the fair from his perspective. I will try to get him to do a blog post sometime in the middle of next week while doing set up at the Puyallup Fair when we work just eight hour days.

Well, it's time for me to head out the door for work so I will close for now. Thanks for reading about our adventure.

Prayer Requests ~

1. We have a dear friend who's son was involved in a very bad motorcycle accident early last week. Colby was on the motorcycle when he was hit broad side by a van. He is now at Harborview with many broken and fractured bones. He is on a ventilator and a morphine drip for pain. Please keep him and his family in your prayers as he struggles to get well and the family surrounds him 24 hours a day. The Moulaison's are a strong God loving family and are trusting the Lord for healing for Colby. Please also pray for strength for Kris, Eddie and the rest of the family as they are there with Colby.

2. Continued prayer for us as we finish up here in Salem and make the jump to Puyallup on Tuesday, 9/7. We open in Puyallup on Friday, 9/10. It is a 16 day fair. Pray for strength and safety for us as we work long hours and 16 days straight.

Thanks for all your support and love during our adventure of working with the carnival. I will do another update either Monday night or Tuesday once we are in Puyallup.

Thanks for reading. Don't forget to leave a note and let me know you were here.

Alice




Monday, August 23, 2010

Musings ~ Customer Service at Lane County Fair, Eugene, OR

Thoughts while working the Customer Service Window at Lane County Fair, Eugene, OR

~ seeing the rainbow, not in the sky but someone's hair color; nicely layered in rainbow colors
~ teal blue hair
~ bright purple hair
~ a couple of near altercations, one was quite loud the other one was two groups of teenage boys
~ one super angry customer who through his military ID at me, asked me if I was going to apologize. Told him I had said nothing that I needed to apologize for. He then asked one of the managers if he was going to apologize. Nothing was said from either of us. Was told by same man, he served his country in Iraq and he should be treated better by me. His issue, supposedly told by someone that the ride bracelets were good till 11:00 pm when the signs at all the ticket boxes clearly state that the ride bracelets ended at 5:00 p.m.
~two gals who kept praising me for a good job. I told them to tell that to the guys in the white shirts and ties. Didn't realize they were standing behind me (on my left side). The gals started saying in loud voices "Alice is the best! She knows how to do her job! Alice really helped me!" and then as they walked down the stairs they turned around and came back up and said "Alice is the best customer service person we have met." Made my day, especially when the guys told Mr. B about the ladies.
~ watching a little girl, about 9 years old, win at the Ring Toss game right across from the Customer Service window. She won a bike. I don't know who was more excited the little girl who won or the game operator.
~ a little boy, about 7 years old, lost his card. Stopped the card from being able to be used, gave him back his money to go buy a new card. He told me thank you and had a huge smile on his face. His parents also thanked me. Felt good to help someone who appreciated it. And make a little boys day have a good ending.
~ being yelled at because the bracelet special ended at 5:00 p.m. and that it should not end till the carnival closed. Thought about Ron's statement "does your business have discount specials every day?"
~ seeing so many happy little children enjoying themselves and seeing the parents enjoying the happiness of their children.
~ watching twelve or so clowns running through the midway laughing and joking with passerbys
~ listening to the show managers joking around
~ being fortunate to get a break the same time as Ron; enjoying our time together working and wandering around the fair

Hope you enjoyed some of the thoughts and observations made from the Customer Service window.

Alice

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Week in Graham

Good morning on this beautiful sunny morning.

First off, thanks for all your prayers for us this past week and your words of encouragement and comments. All were so appreciated.

Got woke up to a text message at 5:23 this morning. Don't know what's with my cell phone service. Kollin sent the message at 10:30 p.m. last night. Couldn't go back to sleep so finally got out of bed at 6:30. Watched the news and got caught up on emails and Facebook. Thought I would let you know how our week went in Graham.

The weather was nice though it got quite hot a couple of days especially in the ticket box. The fair ran Thursday to Sunday. The carnival didn't open till noon each day so we were able to walk around each morning and check out the fair as the fair itself opened at 10:00 a.m. each day.

Found some cute things for the grands and also a new slim purse for me and a wallet for Ron. They are both leather. The gal who owns that booth is retiring this year so she had lowered her prices which was nice.

Wednesday we talked to Jamie and Brandon as well as Max. It was great to connect with them. Max was excited because they were flying home on Thursday from Hell, Michigan, where they had been for two weeks, and then Friday morning his PawPaw was picking him up in Lewiston and taking him to Boise for two weeks. Dan & Lynda (Danalyn's folks) have a pool and Max loves to swim. Plus he will be able to see his cousins during his stay. Brandon starts work today at his new school in Orofino. He will be teaching English this year as well as Head Coach for the Boys Basketball team. I think he is more excited about the basketball then the new teaching position :) Jamie says all is well on the home front with him, Suzanne and Opal. They are hoping to get her enrolled in a Special Needs pre-school in Bellingham. They should hear soon if she gets to attend there this year.

Saturday was not a pleasant day at work. I had computer problems from the get go. It would not connect to the server and once it did it would kick me off at random times. At one point Ron said I could not go on another break as every time I tried to log on after my breaks the computer would not work. At one point, I called Theresa and told her I quit and was crying...my computer did not like me. The funny thing is that on Sunday I had absolutely no problems. Who knows what was going on on Saturday.

Sunday & Monday was a better day than what we had anticipated. Work went well, tear down was done at 2:45 a.m. and we were on the road by 3:30 a.m. Ron drove to Tenino and then I drove to Vancouver where Ron took back over. He drove through Portland and boy was I glad...at 6:30 in the morning traffic was already a little crazy. I took over just south of Portland and drove the rest of the way to Eugene. I even exited off the freeway, drove to KMart in Salem and then got back on the freeway and continued on to Eugene. I had one small mishap. I had put the wrong address in Maggie (our GPS) and ended up on the wrong side of the fairgrounds. Plus I had one small bump in the road ~ I knocked over a garbage can. After I turned the corner and came upon a small round-a-bout Ron said he would drive the rest of the way to the fairgrounds. Geez...one little booboo and he takes over.

We got settled in Eugene. In the early evening, Albert needed to go to the store so we bummed along and they dropped me off at the laundromat to do the weekly laundry. Only took an hour to do two loads. Back to the bone yard and a raucous evening ~ and at our place no less. We had the awning out and people just gathered in the shade. At one point we were twelve people. We shared stories and heard stories about times past here in Eugene. The one downside to Monday was that Kenny did not get here till after 10:30 p.m. and so we had to use our generator to run the fridge and even the AC has it got to almost 95' in the motor home. We are now on city power and all is well in the rig.

Well I just noticed the time and I need to be at work at 9:00 so had better get off here and get ready. Sure hope everyone is having a great day. Talk to you all again soon.

Alice

Monday, August 16, 2010

Answered Prayer - Safely Arrived in Eugene, OR

Another quick post before I go crawl into bed for a much needed nap.

THANK YOU for your prayers. God is faithful and that makes us thankful.

I slept for about 4 hours though I was interrupted twice ~ the first time Eric was yelling at Diane he could not see her. He was backing their truck up to their fifth wheel so they could be ready to leave at 5:00 this morning. I was woke up with a start and jumped up off the couch and yelled out my door "Quiet out there. Some of us are trying to sleep!" It took me about 30 minutes to fall back asleep. About 12:30 a.m. I was woke up by Albert's car alarm that was honking with lights blinking. Rumor has it a raccoon tripped the alarm. I am not sure ~ all I know is that the alarm went on on on for over six minutes. It not only woke me up but also woke up Rick and he was six rigs down from the car. I was right next door. It took me another 45 minutes or so to fall back asleep. Ron finished tear down about 2:45 a.m. He took a quick shower, went and got Marva and we were on the road by 3;15 a.m. Ron drove from Graham to Tenino and then I drove to Vancouver. Ron then drove through Portland when I took over the driving. I drove to Eugene with a stop at KMart so Marva could pick up a ratchet for Terry. I picked up a couple of sun shades for the driver and passenger windows. I then drove to the street by the fairgrounds with only one mishap ~ I knocked over a trash can in the road. I will try to post that picture in my next post. Ron took over driving into the actual fairgrounds. We found the bone yard and where we were to park. Ron backed us right into our spot.

We then got the motor home level, the awning out, the rug in place, two lawn chairs out. I then went to McDonalds with Scott & Marva. While I was gone Ron got the TV set up and the satellite up and ready to hook up. We finished setting up the satellite after we ate lunch.

Ron is now napping, Marva and Scott are off to set up the games and I am getting ready for a much needed nap. I think I already said that. I just wanted to let everyone know that we made it safely. I drove the major part of the trip and Ron was able to sleep for about 3 1/2 hours of the trip. He must be getting comfortable with how I handle the motor home.

I will update again either tonight or tomorrow when I want to add some much over due pictures.

Alice

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A quick post and prayer request

Good morning Everyone!

Just a quick note to ask for prayer as we finish up here in Graham with the Pierce Co. Fair. We work the carnival till 6 or 7 p.m. and then Ron has tear down all night. Once he is done there we will be getting right on the road to go to Eugene, OR for the Lane County Fair that opens on Wednesday.

I will be driving the first three or four hours so Ron can get some shut eye. Please pray for safety on the road for us.

Love to you all.

Alice

Sunday, August 8, 2010

7 Weeks to Go

Can you believe it...we only have seven weeks to go + one or two weeks of tear down and the carnival season will be done for this year. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago we made our way to Kelso and our first carnival. We have met so many people, learned some new language (bone yard, lot, show van to name a few) and have seen the Lord's hand in our lives.

Before I begin my ramblings about this past week I need to wish a Happy 33rd Birthday to Jamie. This morning as I sat reflecting over the past 33 years I kept picturing that tiny little guy. He weighed in at only 3 lbs 12 oz and was 18" long. Being eight weeks early things were touch and go for a while. You sure can't tell that now as he is a strapping 5' 10" guy with a sweetie (Suzanne) of his own and a delightful daughter (Opal). We have been so blessed having him in our family. Thanks for being you Jamie. We love and miss you tons!!!

It is now Sunday night and the guys are busy doing tear down. We had lots more changes this past week. First off, we are celebrating the return of Rick & Theresa. As I posted earlier, Theresa does NOT need chemo or radiation and for that we are giving Praise to the Lord! She does need one more surgery which is yet to be scheduled. She goes back to the doctor in Portland tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for all your prayers for Theresa's health and for the blue unit as we dealt with changes, new bosses and routines. All have been appreciated. Because Theresa & Rick are back, Debbie has gone back to the white unit. After working all night Sunday night/Monday morning she had to drive to Roseburg, OR.

This week began like any other. We made a successful jump from Hillsboro, OR to Longview, WA. We decided to leave Hillsboro on Monday morning. I am so glad we did. We arrived in Longview to peace and quiet in the bone yard. We slept from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and then got up, ate dinner and watched a little TV. We headed back to bed about 9:30 p.m. and slept till 9:00 Tuesday morning. People started arriving from Hillsboro about 10:00 a.m. and along with them came noise, lots of noise. I talked with Marva when she arrived and she said she was woke up 4x Monday night. I was so glad we were not in Hillsboro and just had a quiet day & night to ourselves. After all the condo's, personal trailers and the blue unit crew arrived the guys started set up. They worked till about 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday I worked for a couple of hours with Kristy (Rick & Theresa's daughter). We cleaned the show office and hired about 30 people. Ron continued to help with set up.

Wednesday I made a trip to the laundromat and Safeway. I was so glad I had our GPS (thanks Jamie & Suzanne) as I had been told the laundry was only two blocks away but the one I found was 3 1/2 miles from the fairgrounds. Once I finished up there I put in Safeway and promptly made a wrong turn. I turned right instead of left. After Maggie (our trustful GPS) recalculated the route and I got turned around. I made my way to Safeway and then back to the fair grounds. Theresa called me at 5:30 to let me know the ticket boxes were finally spotted in the right place on the lot and I could do the cleaning, organizing and readying for opening day on Thursday. It took me just over an hour to get them set up. We had two ottobockers and the yellow sub. We would be four ticket sellers this week. Ron & I, Cheryl and Barb.

Thursday and Friday were the crazy days of the carnival as they were both wrist band days. You pay $25 for a wrist band and you can ride all day long as many rides as you can. You can ride from noon to 10 p.m. but we quit selling them at 8:30 p.m. Ron and I are so amazed at how rude people can be. One instance was a lady came Friday night about 8:45 p.m. She got all bent out of shape, yelled at me that the website said the wrist bands were good till 10 p.m. I tried to explain to her that they are good till 10 you just had to purchase them by 8:30. She wanted to know what time they would be on sale on Saturday and I explained that we were not selling wrist bands Saturday or Sunday. She yelled at me that was ridiculous. I calmly told her she could take it up with Customer Service. I watched her walk to the show office and go up the stairs. I don't know how long she talked with Theresa or Kristy but when she came back to the yellow sub, she stood off to the side and had her daughter buy their tickets. Later Theresa said the lady was quite rude to her too. Some people just don't get it.

Saturday we answered many questions about why we didn't have wrist bands. One person even asked what was wrong with us...don't we know people have to work during the week and need the discounts on the weekends.

One neat thing that happened on Saturday was that Ron kept saying he wanted to go to the Rodeo and we all kept telling him no. He whined to everyone who would listen. Late in the afternoon, Theresa told me that after my break she would send Ron to the Rodeo at least for a little while but it would be a surprise for him. So at 6:45 Cheryl came to the yellow sub and gave me a break. I took a very quick one to the bathroom. When I came back Theresa had me tell Ron to take his cash box to the office as there was a major problem with the ATM and he needed to fix it. He looked so puzzled when he walked across the lot. Cheryl and I were just laughing. When Ron got up to the office window Theresa took his cash box and then asked him for his scan card. He looked at her in puzzlement. She told him to get outa there and go to the Rodeo. He could only go for about 45 minutes but that was enough for him. As he walked back past the yellow sub he waved at us and had the biggest grin on his face. I was so glad that Theresa made it work out for him to have an extended break and see some of the Rodeo. I think we all enjoyed bringing some joy to Ron.

Today was not a good day as a ticket seller. People were grumpy, angry we didn't have wrist bands or a special deal for them. Ron even thought of asking one person what she did for her job and did they have half price day or specials every day of the week. He refrained but really wanted to ask someone that. The carnival closed a little after 7:00 tonight. Since Theresa is back and Kristy is here I was not needed in the office. Believe me, I am not complaining. I did fine last week working 72 hours but am much more comfortable with a 49 1/4 hour work week. So tonight I ate a nice dinner of a cobb salad and then balanced my checkbook so now I can pay bills tomorrow. I must say, it does feel good to have the money to pay our bills. Just one more reason we are thankful for our work with the carnival right now.

The guys are busy with tear down right now. The word is that they should be done between 3 & 4 in the morning. We plan to get on the road between 9 & 10 tomorrow morning to go to Graham for the Pierce County Fair. Set up will begin Tuesday morning. The plan right now is that I will help in the office on Tuesday as Kristy has to go to Canby, OR to do the hiring for the fair there next week. Because of Theresa's surgery I will do the cleaning of the office and help to get the ticket cash boxes ready, also help with getting all the paperwork ready for the week: we have inspection sheets for each ride, a weekly summary report and a few other things. I enjoy working in the ticket box as well as in the office.

I found out that I will be doing Customer Service in Eugene and working in the Ride Time office in Salem and Puyallup. Ron will be working rides in Eugene, Salem and Puyallup. The reason for the changes is that in Eugene we have two units (the blue ~ us and the white unit together) and in Salem and Puyallup all three units will be together.

Here is the schedule for the rest of this carnival season ~~~ if you are in any of these places we would love to connect with you.

Monday, August 9 ~ we go to Graham, WA for the Pierce County Fair. The fair runs from the 12th to the 15th. Thursday is special day in the carnival where you get 7 rides or games (in any combination) for $15.00. This works out to be about half price for the rides.

Early in the morning on Monday, August 16th we drive to Eugene, OR for the Lane County Fair. The fair runs from the 18th to the 22nd. Wednesday is $1.50 per ride or game day. What a bargain as the rides are normally $3.75 or $4.50 per ride. Friday is ride bracelet day and is good from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bracelet costs $25 per person.

Monday, August 23rd we jump to Salem for the Oregon State Fair. The fair runs from August 27 to September 6.

Tuesday, September 7 we will be up early and on our way to Puyallup, WA for the Western WA State Fair. The fair runs from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 26. On Monday, September 27 the final tear down of the season begins. We have been told it can take a week to a week and a half. After that we will make our way to Lewiston, ID to see Max, Christopher, Danalyn and Brandon. We are planning on being there for two weeks before heading back to Blaine, WA.

** Note ~ for more information on any of the fairs where we will be just click on the highlighted name and it will take you to the correct fair page.** (At least that is how it is supposed to work.)

Before closing I would like to share a prayer request with you. We would appreciate prayer regarding our work plans for the winter months and also next year. As I have said in earlier posts, each week we ask ourselves when we make our weekly jump if Rob asked us right now would we do it again next year and so far the answer has been a resounding yes. Working for the carnival has been good for us in so many ways and we are truly thankful for how the Lord opened doors for us. Now we are contemplating what to do next. Selling Christmas trees has been one thing we have been thinking about. What we would like prayer for is winter work for us. If you have a lead on a job, please don't hesitate to send it our way. We know and believe the Lord is in control and knows the plans He has for us...we just need to know where He is leading us. We trust that He will open doors for us ~ we just have to have our eyes open and willing hearts to go wherever that is. Thanks for lifting us up in prayer.

Thanks for reading my blog and as always, comments are appreciated and welcome. Take care everyone and I hope to talk to you later in the middle of the week once we are in Graham.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Terrifically Quiet Tuesday!

So enjoying the QUIET of the bone yard this beautiful Tuesday morning. Maybe you are wondering how it can be quiet...because we left the bone yard in Hillsboro yesterday about noon and drove to Longview for our next carnival stop. The only ones here are Rob, Terry and us. We set up our motor home and crawled into bed after working 25+ hours straight...but I am jumping ahead of myself so let me back track.

Our week in Hillsboro was a very busy one. The weather was gorgeous all week. Never too hot but sunny and delightful every day. Monday morning I got up early and did laundry before we left Portland and headed to Hillsboro. You can read about our little adventure from Portland to Hillsboro two posts back. Monday afternoon Ron worked set up. I cleaned and organized the motor home for another week of work. Tuesday morning started by my giving Ron Happy Birthday wishes! He is now officially double nickels - 55! Tuesday morning I got up early to put pork ribs in the crock pot for dinner. I started work at 7:30 a.m. We started hiring people at 8:00 a.m. I think we hired about 50 people. Ron worked set up all day. We both finished about 5:30 p.m. After a delightful dinner of wild rice, bbq'd pork ribs, corn and green salad we celebrated Ron's birthday with our co-workers. They gathered at one condo and walked through the bone yard singing Happy Birthday to Ron until they reached our motor home. We all then had birthday cake and visited for a while. It was definitely a great day.

Wednesday was another day of set up for Ron and I worked in the office getting everything ready for Thursday. It was a busy yet not overwhelming day. In the evening we walked around the fair grounds checking out the different vendors and looking at the animals. It was kinda fun to walk around in the cool quiet of the evening watching everyone busy getting ready for opening day. We found a vendor that makes wood signs. We are thinking of getting a sign that says "The Wandering Workentins."

Thursday morning Ron and I discussed the sign for our names. He will order it today. We opened the carnival at noon on Thursday. It was wrist band day - a very busy day. We have eight ticket sellers here in Hillsboro and all were kept busy. We had two sessions of the wrist band. The first one ran from Noon to 5:00 p.m. and the second one went from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The carnival stayed home till 11:00 p.m. Ron sold tickets in Kiddyland. The busiest ticket box. I worked in the office and sold tickets, giving breaks to all the other ticket sellers. It was definitely one of the busiest days we have had.

Friday and Saturday were busy days for the carnival. I had been told that Friday would be a pretty slow day but in the office that was definitely not true. Friday the carnival closed at 11:30 p.m but Debbie and I were in the office till 12:30 a.m. Saturday was another busy day. Busy days are good as it makes the days go by quicker. Saturday night the carnival closed around 11:45 p.m. Debbie and I finished in the office about 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Sunday morning I started work at 9:30 a.m. We still had money to count, reports to be completed from Saturday. It was definitely going to be a busy day. Ron started his day about 11:30 a.m. He has to get the ATM filled and in operation before the carnival opens. On Saturday he had to add money to it twice during the day. Sunday was definitely a long day. The carnival closed at 11:30 p.m. Tear down starts right away. Ron first has to close down each of the ticket boxes. Here at Hillsboro we had five ticket boxes. The yellow ticket box, we call the "yellow sub." We had it set up for four ticket sellers. Then we had three white ticket boxes we call the "ottobockers" or as I called it early on the "ottoboxers." Two were set up for one seller and one was set up for two sellers. Ron has to pull all the monitors from each ticket box, close out the ATM and ready the ticket boxes for travel. This includes laying down all the chairs, closing the voice boxes and securing all the printers and scan guns. When we first started with the carnival it would take about 30 minutes just to close down the yellow sub. Now Ron can close down all the ticket boxes in about 45 minutes.

After doing the ticket boxes Ron went and changed his clothes, grabbed a sandwich and headed for tear down of the rides. He worked all night till 10:00 Monday morning. I worked with Debbie all night in the office. We had to count money, make deposits, do all the books for the show for the week and then do payroll. After all the money stuff and books were done we started payroll at 6:00 a.m. I stopped long enough to go with Rob to the bank at 5:00 a.m. Because we had such a large deposit to make we had to have two people go to the bank. Back at the office we started payroll. We finished transmitting about 8:45 a.m. and then did the quickest tear down of the inside of the office we have ever done. We were done in 15 minutes!

I had worked 24 hours straight! It is funny how tired I wasn't. I was amazed though at how giddy we both were by the time we were done. Debbie and I walked back to the motor home and Debbie got ready to head to her friends place where she had been staying. Debbie still had a long day ahead of her. She had to do laundry and then drive to Roseburg, OR about 5 1/2 hours south of us. She then hoped to sleep for a couple of hours as she had to then enter all the people that Althea and Jamie had hired and be ready for opening at 8:00 Tuesday morning. Kristy (Rick & Theresa's daughter) and I will be doing the office this week here in Longview.

After Debbie left I got the inside of the motor home ready for travel. Ron got off at 10:00 a.m. After talking he readied the motor home on the outside. We decided that we would drive to Longview then instead of staying in Hillsboro for the night. It was a good decision. We arrived here in Longview about 1:15 p.m. Talked to Rob and got our motor home parked and level. We then crawled into bed about 2:00 p.m. and slept till 7:30 p.m. We both felt much better once we woke up. We then set up the satellite dish, ate dinner and then I went back to bed around 9:30 p.m. Ron spent some time on the computer before he went to bed.

I woke up at 8:45 this morning feeling so refreshed and ready to start the day.

Today we start hiring at 1:00 p.m. Right now, the carnival lot is empty. I can look out the motor home window where the carnival is supposed to be set up and there is nothing but field. It is now 10:10 a.m. and people are starting to pull into the bone yard. Just spoke to Marva. So glad we left Hillsboro yesterday. She said she got woke up 4 times in the night due to people yelling for some reason or another. Guess I had better get off the computer and eat some breakfast before the work begins again.

I want to close with some good news. Heard from Theresa & Rick yesterday. She does NOT need chemo or radiation! Join us in giving thanks to the Lord for healing in her life. They hope to join us next week in Graham for the Pierce County Fair.

Bye for now. Hope to catch up with you again soon.

Alice


Sitting Here

This morning as I sit at my laptop working on weekly reports and thinking about finishing up our daily logs for this week,  my heart ache...