Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Few Things

Good morning on this wet and dreary Saturday from Portland.

I just wanted to share some little housekeeping things that I have done with my blog and let you know how the first day of the Rose Festival went.

Housekeeping ~

1. You no longer need to do word verification on my blog when posting comments. I have heard from a couple of you that sometimes this is a hassle so I have taken that off.

2. I am now moderating my comments. Why you ask? The answer is simple ~ I have had a couple of not very nice comments left on my blog by an anonymous visitor and I have no way to follow up with them. Very frustrating not to be able to communicate with them and respond to their comments.

How are week as gone so far ~

1. Ron worked set up on Tuesday and Wednesday in the rides department.

2. Alice worked on Wednesday helping to set up the burger booth with Wendy and Joel. Spent a lot of time washing windows ~ not a favorite thing to do but it needed to be done and it is a job.

3. Thursday we had off except for an 8:00 a.m. meeting. The meeting was a huge waste of time. They didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. You know the standard rules ~ no fighting ~ it's a firing offense, whre the laundry area is ~ show shirts always have priority, no driving private vehicles in the bone yard ~ not a problem for us as our only vehicle is the motor home and it is parked in the bone yard. The one thing they didn't mention that has been mentioned at every other meeting is no drinking ~ guess they thing we know that rule. After the meeting Ron and I came back to the motor home and visited a little while with friends. I then took a nap and Ron spent time on the computer. While I was napping Ron also walked over to the RV place that is right next door. He bought a new end for our plug and then replaced it. After I woke up, I walked down to the laundry area to see if the washer/dryer was being used. It was not, so I quickly did one load of laundry. I also made a nice dinner of ham with pineapple, brown sugar and mustard glaze, broccoli and scalloped potatoes. Pretty much we had a relaxing day.

First day of the Portland Rose Festival ~

1. It rained and rained some more.

2. It was muddy and muddy. When walking from one place to the next it was like walking through a muddy slip-n-slide. One little girl slipped in the mud and her Grandma came and got some paper towels to clean her up a little bit. The little girl was quite upset because her new skirt got all muddy and even with the reassuring comments from her Grandma that it could be washed she still shed quite a few tears. Another young woman with stelleto shoes on took a step and her shoe stayed in the mud ~ that was quite funny to see.

3. Business was slow and I mean slow. Wendy said that she has never seen it that slow on the first night of the Rose Festival even with all the rain. It made for the night to take a long time to pass. Hopefully today will be better. Weather wise it is supposed to rain off/on this morning with clearing this afternoon and evening. I sure hope that holds true.

4. I enjoyed working for Wendy and Joel. It is definitely different then selling tickets. Wendy made lots of cotton candy (pink & blue). I had one little bite, the first since we have been with the carnival. I love the taste but know that it would not be a good thing to eat one of those bags so I keep telling myself it is expensive and I don't really need it. Only four more months of telling myself that. But I do plan on buying some for the grands the last day of the season in Puyallup. Won't their parents just love me???:) I learned how to run the cash register and yes, I did make a couple of mistakes ~ hopefully that will get better today.

5. Ron worked the Mardi Gras. It is a mirrored fun house for the little kids and even some big kids go through it. He is not sure if he will be working in the same place today or not.

I think that's about it. Hope you are not too bored reading about our life here with the carnival. Well it's time for me to get ready for work so I will close for now. Wishing you each a grand day. Talk to you again soon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Moving Day ~ from Ft. Lewis to Portland

Praise the Lord! We drove from Ft. Lewis to Funtastic Shows in Portland without any problems. We pray before we leave to travel any where and we know that the Lord is keeping us and our motor home safe. We did have one scare after we left Costco on our way to Winco. A man walked across the street right in front of the motor home. Ron slammed on the brakes and we came to a stop without hitting the man.

Thought I would share some pictures I took today as we leave Ft. Lewis and move to Portland for the next three weeks. Hope you enjoy them. Comments are by each picture.

This is the view out of our front door at the bone yard at Ft. Lewis. Kollin is in red, Ruben in light colored sweatshirt and Tom in the dark.

Another picture of Kollin in front of her condo on the right behind her.

My first attempt at taking a picture from a moving vehicle. I was trying to get the statues that are on I5 down by Chehalis on the East side of the freeway.

This is going over the bridge from Washington to Oregon looking west as we are headed south.

Another view of the river, still heading south looking west.

Hope you can read this. It says "Her & Ron" and marks the spot where we park the motor home at the bone yard.

This is Marva in front of her condo door. She works both rides and games.

This is what happens when Ron is driving the motor home and slams on his brakes because some person decided to walk across the road right in front of us. He missed the guy, thank goodness. This is a tote that is usually full of books and cards that sits on my nightstand. Beside the bed.

This is the corner where the bed ends, more stuff from the tote.

This is the rest of the stuff that was tossed out of the tote when Ron slammed on the brakes of the motor home.

This is a peek into one of the showers that is in a semi truck trailer (in the shop building) where we will be showering for the next three weeks. We can only go about 10 days without dumping our holding tanks and we will be here till the 14th of June. So that means we will be using these showers. Each shower room has a shower, small dressing area and a sink.

This is a side view of the showers. I was so glad to see the stair rail by the stairs as the steps are pretty steep. This is Albert showing us around.

This is in the bone yard. The donakers (porta potties) are at the end of the row of condos and rigs. The yellow trailer is a set of condos. Don't know what unit these belong to.

This is the view of the bone yard looking north from the drive way into the shop parking lot. We are parked two trailers over from the yellow trucks on the right hand side. You cannot see our rig from this photo.

This is what you see when you first enter the bone yard. The yellow Funtastic Show semis and the white & gray show vans. I don't know if Ron will be driving one of those or not while we are here. I am not even volunteering for that job. The thought of driving around Portland with all the one way streets does not thrill me.

This is another view of the semis when you first come into the bone yard.

And this is what the corner in my bedroom is supposed to look like. Ron helped me pick everything up off the floor and then I reorganized all my cards and books.

This is the cleaned up floor at the foot of our bed. Looks so much better doesn't it?

And these are the flowers that Ron bought for me when we were at Costco. I don't usually have fresh flowers in the motor home because of all the traveling we do. They look pretty and smell wonderful sitting on my kitchen table.

After we got the motor home all set up and the mess in the back cleaned up I made dinner. We had roasted chicken with red beans & rice. It was pretty tasty. Tomorrow I am going to use the left over chicken and make a chipolte ranch pasta salad. If it turns out maybe I will take a picture of it. That is if anyone is interested in seeing some of the dishes I have been making for us. I am planning on making a ham with mustard and brown sugar glaze with scalloped potatoes for Wednesday night. May try to make some homemade biscuits to go with the ham.

I heard comments from some of you that you want more pictures of where we are and what we are doing. I don't know what our work schedule will be like while we are here but I do plan on taking my camera to work with me and will try to send it with Ron so he can get some pictures of what he is doing as well.

Well I need to go track down Wendy to find out when I start work this week. Ron found out that he has to be ready to leave for work at 7:00 tomorrow morning. He will be gone all day. If I am not working tomorrow I plan on catching up with some emails that I need to respond to and do a little cleaning of the motor home.

Hope you have enjoyed this peek into our day today. Looking forward to talking with you all again soon.

**Note: one piece of business. If you post a comment on my blog, please sign your name so I know who is visiting here. If you do not identify yourself I will delete the message. Thanks.**

Trying Something in My Blog...

As I mentioned in my previous blog "Sunday Night at Ft. Lewis" about Carol K and her hubby Dave and hat they each write a blog but I didn't know how to link to it. I sent an email to a couple of people who I have seen do links in their blogs. I heard back from one on how to do it so I am going to try it here. If it works, you should be able to click on Carol K's Journey and go right to her blog. Make sure to put your mouse on Carol 's Journey and then right click to choose to open the link in a new window or tab, whichever you prefer. If you are so inclined to try this for me and let me know if it works it would be so appreciated. So here goes...

...Carol's blog is called Carol K's Journey. Carol and her husband, Dave, have just returned from a trip to Utah and other surrounding states.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Night at Fort Lewis

Hello on this cool evening from Ft. Lewis.

It has been a very long week here though we got very little hours. Ron worked set up on Tuesday and Wednesday, finishing up on Thursday morning. I set up the ticket box on Wednesday ~ it took me about an hour to get it ready for Thursday.

Tuesday night Kollin and Ruben joined us for dinner. I made BBQ pork sandwiches on onion bagels, peach jello w/fruit cocktail and red beans & rice. It was a nice evening. Ron and I are trying to have different people over at each location to get to know them a little better. I am thinking that while we are in Portland I am going to make a ham w/pineapple slices and glaze of brown sugar & mustard with scalloped potatoes. I will have to wait and see what looks good at the grocery store on our way to Portland.

Wednesday morning I was rudely awakened by one of the guys swearing and yelling. After I got up and moving I opened the door and the guy was standing right there across from our door. His room in the condo is parked right across from us here at Ft. Lewis. Right after I opened my door someone else was swearing quite loudly and I stepped out and said I did not want to hear that kind of language and I especially did not appreciate being woke up hearing that kind of talk. It immediately got quiet in our area. I am happy to say for the most part the yelling has stopped.

Thursday both Ron and I worked at the carnival selling tickets. It was "wrist band day" translation ~ you can ride all the rides all day long for $20 rain or shine. And boy did it rain. We had numerous down pours but people still came. A couple of the rides, Dragon Wagon ~ a small roller coaster that looks like a dragon and the Convoy Racers ~ a variety of vehicles going around a race track and up a small incline, do not do well in the rain so some little ones were disappointed at times. We were open from 3:00 to 9:15. It was so cold when we got back to the motor home I had Ron get the hot chocolate out of the storage compartment. Let me just say, I don't think I have enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa as much as I did that night.

Friday Ron had the day off though he went over to the lot for the safety meeting. The meeting lasts about 15 to 20 minutes and covers a variety of topics. I usually take the minutes for the safety meetings. The main topic of discussion was about our upcoming time in Portland for the Rose Festival. First off the bone yard is actually at the Funtastic Shows shop. It is the same place we went to in February for our interview. Topics that were covered were security, laundry, acceptable behavior ~ which may be hard for some of the people as there is absolutely no drinking allowed there, rules about parking personal vehicles ~ not allowed on the shop property, people must park on the street and carry their groceries from the street to their condos or rigs as well as haul their laundry from their condos or rigs to their cars on the street. It was explained that there are security cameras every where. Rick reminded everyone to "mind their P's & Q's" while there. He does not want anyone from our unit, the blue unit, to get fired while we are there. He said that last year one person was fired at 2:00 a.m. and told to leave the property right then and that one person working in Portland this week had already been fired. I think he said the word "fired" at least 20 times in 20 minutes. Rick could not say it enough ~ be mindful of your behavior both at the Rose Festival and in the bone yard. People are watching (along with numerous video cameras at the shop) so nothing goes unnoticed. After the meeting Ron & I said we are so glad we have our sweet little home to go home to each night.

I worked Friday from 2:45 to 8:30 p.m. It was a pretty slow day and once the rains hit in the evening we had absolutely no one at the carnival. Ron watched movies and read during his time off. Friday night we borrowed a couple of movies from Albert & Shawn. Ron watched S.W.A.T. and we both watched Rumor Has It.

Saturday morning we got up and walked over to the laundromat. It is about a half mile walk. Laundry here was really cheap compared to the last couple of places we have been. $1.25 to wash and a $1 to dry. While waiting for the laundry to get done we walked around the little mall that was next door. They had a furniture store, a game store, the Class 6 store - otherwise known as the liquor store, the clothing store and a delightful little candy shop. Of course we had to go into the candy shop. They had 14 different kinds of licorice, some old time favorites like Big Hunk and of course the gummy type candies ~ one of which was a gecko. They also had some different kinds of chocolates including truffles. I had a dark chocolate raspberry truffle and Ron had an amaretto truffle.

Ron had to be at work at 11:45. I had the day off. I did some much needed cleaning here in the motor home. Things had kinda not been done while we were in Sequim and Port Townsend as we spent our time off there walking around and enjoying the area. I then spent time reading blogs that I follow, writing a few emails and reading a book. Ron said they stayed pretty steady at the carnival throughout most of the day. He got home about 9:30 p.m.

Today has been a pretty good day too. I went to work at 12:45 and worked till a little after six. We had pretty good weather, the first day without rain since we have been here. We never did have a big rush but just stayed pretty steady. The carnival was open from 1:00 to 6:00. It took me all of about 10 minutes to clean things up inside the ticket box and get it ready for travel tomorrow to Portland. Ron had the afternoon off. He was kept busy with getting the motor home ready for our trip tomorrow. He took the window cover off the front window, put away the area rug that we call our patio, put the lawn chairs up on top of the motor home in the carrier, put the bikes up on the back of the rig, hooked the TV up to its holder for traveling and even did the dishes. He is such a sweet hubby! Ron started work at 6:00 doing tear down. The guys are hoping that it will be done by midnight as we have an early morning tomorrow. We are all hoping to be up and on our way to Portland by 8:30 a.m. The drivers are supposed to be here at 8:00 in the morning to move the condos.

We plan on making a couple of stops on our way to Portland: Costco and Winco to get groceries. Because we will be in Portland for three weeks we want to stock up as much as we can since we don't know our full schedule and whether or not we will be working the same shifts. We don't know about grocery runs or what is even within walking distance.

One of the things we are looking forward to during our time in Portland is meeting Dave & Carol K., fellow RV'rs who live in Vancouver, WA. I have gotten to know them through their blogs. I don't know how to insert their links here or else I would do that. They are pretty interesting to read and both show great pictures of the trips they have taken. Carol and Dave have invited us out for dinner as well as a place to do friends and I don't have to go to the laundromat! They have even offered to pick us up at the bone yard! It couldn't get any better. We will be spending time with them on one of our days off. Thanks Carol and Dave for the invites and we look forward to meeting you in person.

I have been asking Theresa all week for the schedule for the rest of the season. Today she told me that there are still some possible changes in the schedule so she just told me where we are going the next few stops.

Monday, May 24 ~ drive to Portland for Rose Festival. The festival runs from 5/28 to 6/13. Closed on June 1, 7 & 8. The carnival will be set up at the Waterfront Park. Ron will be working rides and I will be working with Wendy in the Hamburger Palace.

Monday, June 14 ~ drive to Marysville for the Strawberry Festival. The carnival is open 6/17 to 6/20 and is being held at the Marysville Middle School.

Monday, June 21 ~ drive to Puyallup for the Taste of Tacoma. We will be parked at the Puyallup Fair Grounds for this event. The Taste of Tacoma is from 6/25 to 6/27 and is being held at Point Defiance Park.

***Note: we have been told we have a few days off between the Taste of Tacoma and the 4th of July. If we do we will be off from 6/28 to 7/1. IFFFF....we have off those days we plan on going up to Blaine to see our kids, granddaughter and friends. I will keep you updated about this. As soon as we have more info I will post it.***

Thursday, July 1 ~ drive to Puyallup Fair Grounds where we will be parked for the 4th of July which the carnival will be at Ft. Lewis for a one day show.

Monday, July 5 ~ drive to Kent, WA for the Kent Cornucopia Days which is being held July 8th to 11th.

that is the schedule so far. I will give updates on where we are parked at each location as I get it. The typical work week is Monday is a travel day, Tuesday and Wednesday is set up days. The guys usually work 8 to 5 on Tuesday, maybe a little later on Wednesday. I usually do the set up for the ticket box on Wednesday afternoons. Sometimes Ron has to work Thursday mornings if there is last minute stuff to be finished up for set up. Thursday the carnival usually opens at 3:00 p.m. Friday's hours vary depending on the location. Saturday we usually open at noon and 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Praises and Prayer Requests ~~

~ praise that Jamie and Suzanne bought themselves a 31' travel trailer and will no longer be living in a 22' Class C motor home.

~ praise that we have had a good week here at Ft. Lewis even though the work hours were few.

~ prayer for safety for the guys as they do the tear down tonight. They are hoping to be done in six hours.

~ prayer for safety for us and no problems with the motor home as we travel to Portland tomorrow.

~ prayer that we will settle into our new jobs and catch on real quick to our new duties.

~ continued prayer for Danalyn and Brandon and that Danalyn will be able to return to work soon.

Sorry this post has been so long but I seemed to have lots to write about. Hope it didn't bore you too much. I enjoy writing about what we are doing and where we are. I just hope you enjoy reading it as much as I like writing it.

Wishing each of you a good week this coming week. If you stop by and read our updates drop me a note to say hello. I love to read and receive comments from those who visit Ali's Page.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random Pictures - What do we have here?

Here are some pictures...sure hope you enjoy them. Comments are under each picture.

This is Ron in the yellow sub (ticket box) in Lacey. The swings in the background are called the Lolli's. Ron sets up and tears down the Lolli's at each location.

This is Alice driving the motor home from Port Townsend along Highway 20. This was taken shortly before Ron yelled at me to move over. Seems I was too close to the right side for his comfort. Something about a deep ditch nearby.

This is Alice in the yellow sub in Lacey. Behind her is the scrambler. New rules out now that there are no single riders and you must wear the provided seatbelt for safety. There was an accident last year on the East Coast where I child stood up in a scrambler bucket and was tossed out and was killed (SAD). Funtastic Shows theme song is Safety, Safety, and Safety for customers and employees alike.

This is a buffalo for a carousel that was hand made by a fifth generation carver. It is in the local ice cream & candy shop in Port Townsend.

This is the bottom of the hill that we had to climb to get to the post office. There is a beautiful view from the top of the hill overlooking the water.

This is the post office, built in 1893. It is at the top of the hill. This picture was taken from down below in the town square in Port Townsend.

This is the front of the post office. The front stairs to the far left are blocked off. You have to enter from the side of the building. It is three stories tall.

In the left corner is the side of the post office. The big house on the right is James House Inn. It was built in 1896. It appears a young family is running the inn now as there is all sorts of playschool play yard equipment in the side yard. We counted 4 fireplaces in the place.

That's all the pictures for now. I will try to take some of the carnival set up here in Ft. Lewis this weekend. It will depend on the weather. Today has been rainy, then sunny, then rainy, then sunny...I think you get the picture.

Hope everyone is having a great day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Port Townsend to Ft. Lewis

Greetings from Ft. Lewis...a beautiful day for sure.

Our time in Port Townsend went super fast. The carnival was only open for three days. Thursday was very busy, Friday was very slow and quiet. Saturday was much better. Ron worked in the ticket box by the office by himself. He said at one point Friday he found himself falling asleep! Glad nobody caught him. On Saturday from his ticket box he could see the parade coming down the hill. The parade went for over two hours. I was in the yellow sub ticket box. They call it the yellow sub because it is big and yellow. I will try to get some pictures of it this week.

Our time in Port Townsend was nice. We had beautiful sunny weather every day. We could step out of the motor home and watch the ships out in the Sound. We did a lot of walking. One day we walked up the hill to the Post Office and then back into town. One day we walked into town and went through many of the shops. Port Townsend is such a sweet little town. One morning Ron and I went on a part's run to the other side of Port Townsend. It was nice to just be the two of us driving around.

Ron worked tear down on Saturday night to Sunday morning. He got off at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning and then slept till noon. Once he got up we went and did laundry. Only cost $7.00 this week for laundry. A whole lot better than $12.25 from the week before. After finishing up the laundry we sat outside enjoying the view and visiting with our co-workers. It was an enjoyable afternoon.

We woke up early this morning and was on the road by 8:30 a.m. Ron drove from Port Townsend to Ft. Lewis. Our only obstacle was that we could not get the GPS to locate Ft. Lewis. Good thing we knew where we were going. We got to the base. We had heard stories of how the guards search through every nook and cranny when you come onto the base. That was not our experience. Ron pulled up to the gate and handed the guard our ID cards, the insurance document and our pass to get on base. She walked to the back of the rig and then came back and handed us our documentation, told us how to get to the PX (where we were to meet everyone) and told us to have a good day. We found out later that Rick & Theresa, Albert and Terry each had their rigs gone through. Yeah for us!!

We then drove to the PX and no one was there. All the rides were there but none of the condo's or private rigs. We called Albert to find out where everyone was. Found out we had to go to behind the stadium and the gym. We got parked and settled in. The back of the motor home faces a playground with base housing on the other side of it. It was a joy to hear the little kids playing outside today.

After getting all settled and the electrical and water lines run, Ron went for a bike ride. This evening we went for a walk over to the PX, past Weller Hall, through a field and then back to the bone yard. Now we are going to settle in for the night and watch Marley & Me.

Praises ~
~ for a safe trip to Ft. Lewis from Port Townsend
~ for continued good health for both of us
~ for getting paid from our last customer in Blaine

Prayer requests ~

~ for safety as the guys set up on Tuesday and Wednesday
~ for us to continue to enjoy our jobs and to be a light for the Lord

That's all for now. Wishing everyone a good week. I will make another post tomorrow of pictures.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Random Thoughts ~~

Random Thoughts ~~

My mind has been wandering all day. So thought I would just write whatever comes to mind. Maybe after writing my mind will settle down a little bit.

Scripture and devotion from this morning ~ Acts 6:1-7 A reminder to work as a team. As I was working this afternoon setting up the three ticket boxes someone made the comment "Alice, I didn't know you worked." I was so surprised by that comment and hurt as I work hard and give more than 100% when I am working. I thought about the scripture I had read this morning and working as a team. That guy is definitely not a team player who likes to ridicule those he is around. I knew that of the guy and so I moved on to what I needed to do next and kept my mouth closed. I then thought about the conversation Rick, Ron and I were having after lunch today. Rick said to Ron "you are a team player and it shows." I was thankful that Rick sees that in us. It helped to have heard that before the smart alec comment from the ride guy.

Ron came home from work this afternoon with a set of keys to the show van. Rick gave them to Ron for the rest of the season. He can take people to do grocery shopping or to do laundry and doesn't need to call Rick to ask for permission. Another sign of trust that Rick & Theresa have of us. Sure makes us feel good.

Today would have been my sister, Kathy, birthday today. She would have been 56. It is hard to believe she has been gone for a year and a half already. I sent a note to my niece to let her know I was thinking about her and her dad today. I know Christi struggled with Mother's Day and knew today would be hard for her. I miss my sister yet I am sure my loss is nothing compared to Christi's ~ that of losing her mom at a young age.

I also thought about my sister, Joanie, today. I miss having a relationship with her. I don't know what the issues are that has caused this major rift in our lives. I wish I could do something about the situation. Yet I know I have done everything I can. I pray for her and hope that she is having a good life. I miss her too.

Have thought a lot about Brandon and Danalyn today. Danalyn had surgery today at noon. The doctor told Brandon the surgery went well. Now we pray for a speedy recovery physically and for God's love, comfort and peace to surround that little family as they deal with the loss of a precious little one. I will be calling them this evening to see how they are doing.

Talked with Jamie briefly yesterday. I am sure the last couple of days have been hard on him and Suzanne as well as it brings up memories of their loss of Emerald. I pray for them to feel God's love in these times too.

I looked through the memory book that I got for Christmas two years ago from the kids. I am missing Opal, Christopher and Max. I know being gone from them for six months is not all that long to us but to them it is like a lifetime of days. Ron said the other day, he knows that Max will not forget him but what about the little ones. I said that they will know us, that is why it's important for us to send them cards and phone calls often while we are traveling.

I am enjoying our time here in Port Townsend. The weather has been beautiful and the scenery is awesome. This morning I looked out at the ocean and a big Navy ship was going by. A few minutes later the ferry came in. We are planning on going for a walk along the water this evening. It is so amazing to see God's handiwork. I need to remember to take my camera so I can get some pictures. I will post some next week once we are at Ft. Lewis and have a better internet connection. I need to remember to ask Theresa for the rest of our itinerary. I know we go to Ft. Lewis on Monday, May 17th and then onto Portland on May 24th. We will be there for three weeks. We go to Marysville on June 14th. After that I am just not sure. I will try to remember to ask Theresa tomorrow for the schedule and then I will do another blog post with the rest of the itinerary.

I thought about things I am thankful for today. I am blessed in so many ways. I have a wonderful husband and we have a great marriage. We have had our troubles, who hasn't, but we are stronger and more in love than ever. I thank the Lord for holding us together during the difficult times and rejoice that we have great times together. I am thankful that my children are happy and blessed even during days of trials. They both know the Lord and for that I am thankful. I am thankful for the two women they have chosen to be their spouses and the mother of their children. Danalyn and Suzanne are very special to us and are two of the best mommies I know. They each love their children and show it in so many ways. I love my three grandchildren. They are each special individuals who brings us much delight. I look forward to spending time with them again in the Fall. I just wish their parents would send us some updated pictures, hint, hint!

I am thankful for the work Ron and I have and the relationships we are building during this season of carnival work. I pray that we will continue to be a witness to them of the Lord's love and how he is working in our lives. We both enjoy our work and at the same time enjoy our time off. We are enjoying this season we are in. When I think about the carnival I never imagined the amount of work it takes to get a carnival ready for the customers to enjoy or the amount of work to get it set up or tore down. Working for the carnival is definitely not an easy job. But it does have its benefits ~ it is so fun to watch the little children as they arrive with anticipation and the fun and excitement as they climb on board a ride or get ready to play a game. It is so fun to watch the kids win prizes at the ducky derby. Even the littlest of little ones can play that game.

I am thankful for friends and family. We are so richly blessed and are shown in many different ways that we are loved and cared for. It is very comforting to know that we can share our prayer requests and praises and know that we are lifted up in prayer when needed and that we can celebrate the good things together.

We have faced many trials in our lives and yet we can truthfully say that through it all the Lord has been right there beside us. That is what I am most thankful for - that I am a child of the King! and with Him nothing is impossible. He has steadfastly been by my side during the darkest of the dark and the brightest of the bright moments.

Guess that's all for now. It has been a good time of reflection for me. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the things that have been on my mind.

Wishing each of you a great rest of the week. Talk to you all again soon. Alice

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sad News to share

It is with a heavy heart I write today...we just got a call from Brandon. Danalyn lost the baby she was carrying. We would so appreciate your prayers for Brandon and Danalyn as they deal with this hard loss.

We wish we could be with them but alas we can't so we are thankful that we serve a Savior who stands by them and brings them comfort at this time.

Alice & Ron

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Did It! and so much more...

Well I DID IT! I drove the motor home from Sequim to Port Townsend. I did really well except for the two times that Ron yelled at me...both times when I got too close to the right side of the road. The second time scared me! I told him not to yell any more. He said he was sorry but that I scared him...there was a big ditch on the side of the road and he thought I got too close. I was a little nervous starting out but felt okay behind the wheel. I did take the curvy windy roads on Highway 20 at about 35 miles per hour but I made it and that is good. I even drove through Port Townsend and they have very narrow roads. I know now that I can drive the motor home and that is a good feeling.

Pictures ~ I have some pictures from today and our time with the carnival but have a very slow connection here in Port Townsend so I will add the pictures when we are in Fort Lewis next week.

Carnival life is a lot like Peyton Place especially this week...

~ two people have been fired; one for breaking some company rules (don't know what they were but must have been bad) and one for assaulting some one in the bone yard.
~ one got arrested and is spending the night in the local jail, supposedly he should be released tomorrow
~ couples together and then not

Ron and I try to stay out of those issues. It is just much better that way.

Sequim was nice once we got there. We had to walk about a half mile from the bone yard to get to the carnival lot. It felt almost like camping since we were parked in a grassy lot behind the Boys & Girls Club. I only got 25 hours this week but Ron worked 50 hours. This week will probably be much of the same since it is another three day carnival.

Here in Port Townsend we are parked really close to the water. After we arrived here we found out we could not go into our spot yet as there were a couple of cars parked in the bone yard in our assigned spots. So we went for a walk, had lunch at T's Restaurant. Ron had salmon eggs benedict and I had fish and chips. It was a delightful lunch though pricey. After our walk I took a nap and Ron went down to the beach. After napping, we went and did laundry. Cost $7 for two loads of laundry. About 5:30 we were able to get into our spot in the bone yard. This week we are parked between Diane in Games and Richard in Rides. We don't have much of a view...just some houses and boats in dry dock.

Tomorrow is our day off and we don't have to drive any where. We are planning to walk into town. I am hoping we can find a mail box as I have some stuff for the grandkids. Ron has to start work at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday and will be doing set up then and Wednesday. I have to report to work on Wednesday after lunch to set up the ticket boxes. The carnival opens Thursday late afternoon.

Speaking of grandchildren we found out today we are going to be grandparents again! Danalyn and Brandon are due to have a new addition to their family on December 12th! What a nice thing to find out about on Mother's Day. It has been a nice day for me. I feel good about knowing I can drive the motor home, got phone calls from both Jamie and Brandon, taken out for a nice lunch by Ron and received two messages from friends wishing me a Happy Mother's Day.

That's about all from here. I will write more later.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday Night and We are in Sequim!

Tis good to be in the bone yard once again.

It has been a long day for Ron. He was up at 6:00 this morning and on the road at 6:30. I got up with him when his alarm went off to make sure he had everything he needed for the day. I packed him a lunch with a couple of extra snacks and 3 bottles of water. He gathered his hard hat, heavy jacket and work gloves and headed out the door for the 51 mile drive to Sequim. He wanted to make sure he had plenty of time to get there.

After Ron left I crawled back into our warm bed, it was chilly in the motor home so I went where it was warm. We don't run the furnace at night when we are sleeping. I read for about an half hour before falling back asleep. I woke up at 10:00 from a dream where I was scrambling to get to the ticket box to sell tickets. Guess my mind was thinking about work.

The mechanic worked on/off on the motor home for most of the day. He finally finished up about 3:00. The owner had the mechanic drive the motor home out of the repair shop lot and around the block and parked us in his driveway facing the street. Since we didn't know what time Ron would be back to pick me and the motor home up he wanted us to be where we could get out as they lock the repair shop lot each night (though the last two nights they just closed the gate and hung the lock so we could get out if necessary). I went and paid the bill ~ it was $642. I then called Ron and told him how much it was so he could call the credit union and move some money around to cover the check. That bill has wiped us out. We are praying that there are no more repairs needed for a long time.

I went back to the motor home and readied it for the trip to Sequim. And then I waited. And waited some more. While waiting I thought this is ridiculous ~ IF I knew how to drive the motor home I could just drive to Sequim saving Ron a return trip to Suquamish and then another trip back to Sequim. I sat and thought for awhile and came to a decision ~ I AM GOING TO LEARN HOW TO DRIVE THIS DARN MOTOR HOME AND DRIVE IT WITH CONFIDENCE! I shared this decision with Ron when he arrived at the motor home. The plan is for me to drive the motor home from Sequim to Port Townsend on Sunday. If you think about us on Sunday afternoon, pray that I will not be nervous about driving and will tackle this challenge with courage and confidence.

Ron called at 5:15 and said he was on his way. He arrived at the motor home at 6:40 and we were on the road in about 10 minutes. One minor glitch, when the mechanic parked the motor home he did not turn the key all the way off and so we had a dead battery. Ron quickly jumped the motor home off the house batteries and we were on our way. Once we got into Sequim I went to the gas station to fill Albert's car and pick up some Sprite for Shawn. He had called Ron and asked him if he could pick him up a 2 ltr bottle. Since I was stopping for gas I got the Sprite. Ron went on ahead to the bone yard. By the time I arrived at 8:30 Ron had the electricity hooked up, the motor home leveled and was ready to go back to work. I don't know how late the guys will be working or what time they start again in the morning.

I then called Theresa and told her the wayward ticket sellers were back. She was glad to know that the motor home was fixed and we made it without any more problems. We talked about work for tomorrow. I am going to meet her at 10:00 to set up the ticket booths. It should take about two hours and then I will have a break before we start again at 3:30 in the afternoon. The carnival is supposed to be open from 4:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. tomorrow. I don't know the start times for Friday or Saturday. Tear down will be Saturday night.

One thing we are looking forward to is Sunday. Since we only have to move from Sequim to Port Townsend, about 25 miles, we are going to find a church to attend here in Sequim. It will be so nice to fellowship with like believers and hear a sermon. If you know of a good church in Sequim drop us a note before Saturday night so we can check when services are.

Well it is almost 9:45 so I should get off the computer and go to bed so I am well rested for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.

Please join us as we give thanks to the Lord that the motor home was repaired, Ron was able to put in a full day's work today and that Albert graciously loaned us his car for 2 full days. We ask for continued prayer as we work for the next three days here in Sequim and that we don't have any more problems with the motor home. Also, don't forget me on Sunday when I drive to Port Townsend. I know I can do it with the help of the Lord.

Thanks for reading my blog and all the notes that you have sent our way the last few days. They are all truly appreciated.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Night Update

Hello on this crazy Tuesday.

The mechanic took the drive shaft to be welded and balanced. They had to order a new yoke and could not find one locally so they have ordered one and it will be delivered tomorrow by the UPS man. This means we sit one more night in the mechanics yard. Tomorrow they will put the drive shaft back on the motor home along with changing all the U-joints. The estimated cost of repairs is $500. We are thankful it is not more than that as we have that much in savings.

While waiting for the mechanic to do whatever he needed to do we decided to go and do laundry. Did four loads of laundry for $12...$3 a load is not bad since at some places we have spent $5 a for a load of laundry. After we found out that the yoke for the drive shaft would not be in till tomorrow we decided to go for a ride. We drove into Bainbridge Island and spent about an hour walking around the town. Found the post office so bought stamps. We also picked up some postcards for the grandchildren. When we went on our Fall trips last year we decided to collect hat pins. They are small yet nice. We found one in Bainbridge Island with a Washington Ferry on it. I will add it to our collection.

Ron called Rick and Albert to let them know what is going on. Rick told Ron there was no reason to come in for the 5:00 p.m. shift today but to plan on coming in on Wednesday. So the plan for tomorrow is that Ron will go to Sequim (50 miles from here) and work from 8:00 to 5:00 and then Albert and Ron will drive back to Suquamish to pick me and the motor home up and then we will all drive back to Sequim and get settled in the bone yard. I will probably have to work Thursday morning to get the ticket boxes ready to go. The carnival opens on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

I plan on spending time in the Word and writing out the postcards to Max, Opal and Christopher. I will also do some cleaning of the motor home. Today we did do a good sweeping throughout as we had collected a lot of sand and dirt in Wenatchee.

Thanks for the notes of encouragement last night and today. They are all appreciated.

Praises and Prayer Requests ~

~ praise that the part was found to fix the motor home and that it can be delivered tomorrow
~ praise that we are in a safe place again for the night
~ praise that we were able to borrow a car for these days that we are broke down in Suquamish
~ pray that the money owed to us will come in as the expenses of this repair wipes out what little we had in savings
~ pray for safety for Ron as he drives to Sequim in the morning and then again as he and Albert come back to Suquamish to pick up me and the motor home
~ that the repairs can be made to the motor home without any surprises to be found by the mechanic

Guess that's all from Suquamish for today. I need to make a lunch for Ron to take with him tomorrow and we are going to have an early night since we have to be up so early. I will post another blog entry tomorrow night once we are all settled in Sequim.

Love and miss you all!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Maddening Monday!

Warning: this will not be a very upbeat blog post tonight.

Ron worked from 12:30 yesterday afternoon till 5:00 this morning with a half hour break which was used to get me a strawberry frozen juice and change his clothes for the tear down shift. He came in the door of the motor home about 5:10 a.m. He was very frustrated and told me he had lost his cool with some of the guys a few hours before. Guess the help was wasting a lot of time doing nothing and there was a bad accident during the tear down of the Tornado. One of the regulars told a spot help to hold some part and the guy dropped what he was holding causing one of the chairs to fall rapidly causing a piece of equipment to crash into the spot helps arm. This caused a huge cut. The guy was taken to the ER and got 25 stitches in his arm. Another issue was people just standing around when there was so much work to be done. Tear down should have only taken about 8 hours and instead took 13 1/2 hours. Ron tried to give the van key to the ride supervisor and he wouldn't take it. Said I needed it as I was driving the show van to Sequim. First time we had been told that, especially since Rick told me on Friday I was not driving. After working a rough night Ron took a quick nap of two hours before we had to get up to pull wires and leave for Sequim.

I got up at 7:30 and Ron got up at 8:00...Tommy, one of the ride people, was sounding the call to pull wires. and woke up Ron. I had been trying to let him sleep because I knew he was super tired.

While we were getting the motor home ready to leave from the bone yard, I saw Rick getting his truck ready to leave. Ron went over and talked to him about the ride supervisor not accepting the show van key and asked if it was true that I needed to drive the show van. Rick said yes. Ron then talked to him about taking the show van on the ferry as we wanted to drive through Leavenworth and over Stevens Pass, catching the Edmonds/Kingston ferry and then driving to Sequim. Rick said no problem going that route as long as the people in the van knew that was how we were going and that they had the money to pay to cross the ferry. We checked with the seven people riding in the show van and all said they had the $7 it would cost to ride the ferry. We finished what needed to be done to be able to leave. We left the bone yard about 9:30 and got on the road at about 10:45 after stopping at Safeway to get gas.

While pulling into Safeway we had our first glitch of the day. As Ron pulled into the Safeway parking lot the cap on the holding tanks popped off and the gray water tank rapidly began spilling water on the roadway. All I can say is that I am so glad it was not the black water tank!

We then drove from Wenatchee through Cashmere and then through Leavenworth and then headed up to Stevens Pass. About five miles out of Leavenworth the snow began to fall. It quickly went from a light dusting and little snowflakes to huge snowflakes covering and sticking to the road. It took us about an hour and a half to get up and over the pass. At times it was very slow going as we hit some areas of white out with barely able to see the tail lights of the car in front of me. A few times the car in front of me started to spin out. I stayed a fair distance behind that car. We saw one car that had spun out and was in the ditch. A few semi's had even pulled off the road. Needless to say by the time I got up, over and down the pass I was white knuckling it and my shoulders and arms were pretty tensed up. I had Kollin, one of the ride people riding in the van, call Ron who was in front of us to tell him to stop at the McDonalds in Sultan. I needed a break from driving. Three of us rendevoused at the McDonalds for lunch and a much needed break.

We got back on the road and headed for Edmonds to catch the ferry. While driving on I5, I got a call from Theresa saying the ferries weren't running. We stopped at the rest area so Ron could empty the black water holding tank. While stopped there Ron called 511 to find out what was going on with the ferries. We found out that the Kingston ferry was not running at 12:45 but the Edmonds ferry was running on time. We pulled into the ferry line at 2:15 for the 2:20 ferry crossing. Before boarding the ferry, we heard from Richard, one of the ride guys, that while he was driving over the pass his trailer hit the guardrail and tore up the awning and side of his trailer. As we boarded the ferry, Richard called again to say he was in Monroe having just had a tire blow on his Blazer. He didn't know if he would be able to find a tire that would fit his car.

The ferry ride was very enjoyable though a bit rocky due to the high winds. It was nice to have a break from driving. It cost Ron $54.60 for the motor home and driver. The van was $14.85. The passengers in the van had to pay $6.90 per person. By taking the ferry we saved driving about 70 miles and avoided the Tacoma traffic. Just as we got off the ferry and turned onto the main road, Ron heard this grinding sound and felt a jerk with the motor home. He quickly pulled over. I followed suit with the van, and Albert did the same with his jeep and trailer. We must have been quite a sight ~ as soon as each vehicle stopped the passengers jumped out. There were 12 people on the side of the road. Ron and Ruben looked under the motor home and saw the drive shaft on the road. It was supposed to be connected from one end of the motor home to the other. Ron quickly got on the phone to the Emergency Roadside Assistance that we have with our insurance. Thank goodness we have a great policy as we have used it numerous times as many of you know. It was decided that Ron would stay with the motor home, Albert would drive his jeep and trailer and I would take the show van and all the passengers into Sequim. We were about 50 miles from the bone yard in Sequim. I am happy to say that the rest of the trip to Sequim was event free!

After pulling into the bone yard and getting Albert's trailer set up. I went and talked with Terry, one of the games managers told me that while they were driving from Wenatchee to Sequim one of his side windows was blown out. Guess it made a huge mess inside his fifth wheel trailer. Terry then asked me where our motor home was. I told him our saga. He responded with "oh no." I then knocked on Rick & Theresa's door. When Rick answered I asked him if he wanted the good news or the bad. He said it didn't matter ~ just tell him what was going on. I said the good news was that the show van made it safely from Wenatchee to Sequim with no problems. The bad news was that Richard was stuck in Monroe with a blown out tire and Ron was on the side of the road in Kingston with a broken drive shaft. Rick's response was "oh, no. Do you need a ride back to where Ron was?" I said I didn't know yet. I was going to see if I could use Albert's car once he got his trailer all settled. Rick said to let him know and he would give me a ride if I needed one. I thanked him and told him I would let him know.

After multiple phone calls from Ron I knew that I needed to find a ride back to Kingston because Ron and the motor home were being towed to a mechanic about 5 miles out of town. Ron had also talked to the mechanic, Del, and he would put out an electrical cord for us for the night and that he would be at the shop at 7:45 in the morning to begin working on the rig. I talked with Albert some more and he graciously loaned me his car for the night and tomorrow morning. I then called Ron and said I was getting back on the road. We talked about five times in the 45 minutes I drove back to Kingston. He was giving me directions to where to meet him and the tow truck driver. We met up in Kingston and I followed the tow truck and motor home to the mechanics. Another uneventful trip ~ yeah!

So now we are settled into the motor home for the night. We have electricity from the shop and fortunately water in our holding tank. We had chicken noodle soup for dinner (sounds better than Top Ramen). It is now 9:00 and I think we are going to bed soon. It has been a very long day for Ron with working through most of the night and then driving all day. I am doing much better than I was about 3 hours ago when I was in the midst of not knowing what was going to happen with the motor home or where we would be staying for the night.

As I am ending this post I do have many things to be thankful for:
~ that we made it safely over Stevens Pass
~ that the drive shaft did not drop when we were going 70 mph down I5 ~ it easily could have caused a major accident
~ that we have a great Emergency Road Service plan with our insurance coverage
~ that Ron feels confident about the mechanic after speaking to him both on the phone and in person about the drive shaft and what repairs need to be done
~ that Ron and I have a safe place to lay our heads tonight and we are not stuck on the road somewhere

Prayer requests:
~ for the repairs to be made quickly tomorrow so that we can get back to work. Ron is due to be on the carnival lot at 5:00 p.m. to set the lot for Wednesday's set up
~ that we will both get a good night's sleep
~ that the expenses are not more than the amount of money we have available

Thanks for reading about our day and keeping us in your prayers. We do appreciate all your prayers and words of encouragement. I will write another update tomorrow night, hopefully from the bone yard in Sequim.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Super Sunday!

I couldn't think of a wonderful title except Super Sunday! Hope everyone is having a great day.

We have had a good week here in Wenatchee. Monday through Friday we worked from around 4:00 to 10 or 11 at night. Monday through Thursday was kinda crazy at it was wristband days at the carnival. You know where you pay one price, $25, and get to ride all the rides you want. Thursday night was our busiest day ever for the carnival. I was doing cash pick ups every 45 minutes or so and Ron was busy going from one of three ticket boxes checking on the ticket sellers, restocking the booths, and making sure there were no problems.

Friday was a piece of cake compared to the previous four days. In fact, it was kinda slow Friday night but we still stayed open till after 10:00 p.m. Saturday was another busy day and the carnival stayed open till after 10:30 p.m. I was so tired by the time we got home that I went right to bed and slept for 9.5 hours straight.

We did have a few lost kids this past week. Happy to say that all the lost kids were reunited with their parents. I did have one bad experience with a customer while I was doing customer service. It was a kid of about 14 or 15 who had bought a Fun Card for $15 and then decided he didn't want to go on any rides or play any games. He wanted me to give him back his money. We have signs posted all over the ticket booths that there are no refunds. I stood my ground about not giving him back his money. He got pretty foul mouthed at me but when I did not react to him, he stormed down the stairs of the customer service trailer. I watched him as he walked away still grumbling that I would not give him back his money. The other issue I had to deal with was a ride employee who left his ride to come to the ticket booth where I was putting on wristbands for customers to tell me how to do my job. I told him I knew how to do my job and it was not his place to give me orders. He also got pretty mouthy with me. I told him to return to his ride and he went off grumbling and swearing at me. I told Kenny, the ride supervisor, what happened as well as Ron. Kenny said he would take care of things and Ron made sure the guy didn't come around me any more. This same guy also got into an argument with Rick this afternoon. I don't think he will be around much longer.

Thursday late morning Ron went for a walk to Memorial Park, which is about 5 blocks from where the bone yard is. They had lots of food booths and a stage where a group was singing gospel songs. Ron listened to them for over an hour. He said they were a good group. I had stayed home because I was not feeling too well, once he told me about the music I wished I had gone with him.

Today was a short day for the carnival to be open. We were only opened from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Then the guys started the tear down. We pull out early tomorrow morning for Sequim so Rick wanted them to have plenty of time to do tear down. Besides business was really slow. After the carnival closed and we got the three ticket boxes cleaned out I went to work in the office and Ron began the tear down part of the ticket boxes. He has to bring all the computer monitors in, make sure the printer boxes and scanners are velco'd down and all the garbage is out of the boxes. When he is done with the ticket boxes, then he helps with the actual tear down of the rides. I spent about two hours in the show office counting the money from the tills. I then had to count quarters. Thankfully they have a coin counter so all I have to do is push the coins through the machine so the quarters drop into the bags. I bag them into $10 batches. We go through a lot of quarters each day. When I was done with counting money and there was nothing else that Theresa wanted me to do I caught a ride back to the bone yard. I only worked 4.25 hours today.

I have been back in the bone yard since about 5:15 p.m. It is so quiet right now as most of the crew is still at the lot doing tear down. It is quite nice!

Tomorrow we move to Sequim. We hope to be on the road no later than 10:00 a.m. so that we can stop in Leavenworth for about an hour. We are going to caravan with Albert. Our route is to go west on Highway 2 through Leavenworth to Everett and then catch the Edmonds/Kingston ferry. Saves us about 65 miles of driving.

Update on my blood sugars ~ since I have cut my insulin from 30 units to 20 units at night I have not had the major drops in my blood sugars in the middle of the night. We are so thankful for that as it is quite scary when I wake up with super low blood sugars.

Some of you know that our friend Shawn, one of the ride people, lost a cousin in a horrible bus/pedestrian accident in Portland last Saturday night. Shawn went home last Monday to be with family and to attend the memorial service for his cousin. Shawn will be joining back up with us in Sequim. His father, I believe, is driving him up there on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Thank you for praying for Shawn and his family during this difficult time. He let us know that it has been good to be with his family this past week.

Our week next week looks like this ~

~ Monday we drive to Sequim
~ Tuesday, Ron starts work at 5:00 p.m. The guys will be setting the lot for the carnival rides and games to go up on Wednesday morning. This includes getting the generators in the right spots, electrical and water lines laid out and the rides & games in place.
~ Wednesday morning the guys will get all the rides & games set up and operational. I go into work to set up the ticket boxes on Wednesday afternoon.
~ Thursday the carnival opens at 4:00 p.m.
~ Friday and Saturday will be full days at the carnival and then tear down is Saturday night. On Sunday we move to Port Townsend, all of 25 miles away. I am hoping that we can do something fun on Sunday as it is Mother's Day. Maybe we will go out to dinner...something we have only done once since starting to work/travel with the carnival. I know I will be missing my kids and grand-kids.

Praises & Prayer Requests ~

~ thanking God for a good week of work and rest
~ thanking God for being with Marva, one of the game people, who had emergency surgery earlier this week due to polyps on her vocal chords. She will get the results of the biopsy on Monday or Tuesday. There is a possibility that the polyps could have been cancerous. Please keep her in your prayers as she awaits the results.
~ praying for a safe and uneventful trip to Sequim on Monday.

Thanks for reading about our life as we work and travel with the carnival. Talk to all of you again soon.