Friday, July 30, 2010

Answered Prayer

Yeah for answered prayer.

We got word yesterday that after a two week waiting period Theresa does NOT need chemo but will just go through radiation! Thank you to everyone for your faithful prayers for Theresa. God is good.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Portland to Hillsboro

Hello on this beautiful Thursday morning. The sun is shining and the air is cool. It is supposed to be in the high 80's today.

Our time in Portland was a different kind of week for us. I ended up being off Monday thru Friday. I spent my time reading, relaxing, reading blogs, cooking nice dinners, doing a little shopping and one afternoon we went for a ride and found a covered bridge in a suburb of Portland. It was a good week.

Ron on the other hand worked Tuesday & Wednesday helping to clean up the hill behind the shop. It had been taken over by a fairly large group of homeless people. The Burback's had the police remove the group of people and for two days a large group of the ride guys cleaned up lots of garbage. The comments heard from the guys were that it was a pretty disgusting area and looked a thousand times better when they were done. After they finished on Wednesday afternoon, Ronnie Burback took all the guys to Izzy's for lunch. It was a pleasant surprise and enjoyed by the guys.

Thursday the guys worked around the shop in the morning and then had off Thursday afternoon. That is when Ron and I found the covered bridge.

Friday was set up day for the carnival. We were at an Hispanic Festival in downtown Portland under the Morrison Street Bridge. The festival ran Saturday and Sunday. It was a very slow carnival. We kept being told by those in charge of the festival that Sunday would be a very busy day as they were having some well known Mexican bands and singers but that never happened. It was very slow and super hot. It made for two very long days.

Tear down Sunday night went very fast. Debbie and I finished the office and was out of there by 12:45 a.m. Monday morning. The guys were done with tear down by 2:30 a.m. and home by 3:15 a.m. It was about a 30 minute drive from the carnival to the shop but they had to stop at 7-11 as many people were hungry.

Monday morning I woke about 8:15 and took advantage of the very quiet bone yard. I gathered up our laundry and put in two loads of clothes. I then went back to the motor home and cleaned up things and readied the inside for our move to Hillsboro. Ron woke up about 9:00 so I stripped the bed and did a third load of laundry. By doing it at the bone yard/shop I saved about $12.

We left Portland about 12:15 p.m. and headed to Hillsboro. I asked Ron before we left did we need to stop and get gas. "No, we are fine" was his reply. About 4 miles from the fairgrounds in Hillsboro the motor home started acting like it was not getting gas. The conversation that followed did not include the words "I told you so" but could have. Ron crossed three lanes of traffic pulled into a shopping center parking lot, dropped me off at Safeway and went to the gas station. After $145 and change the gas tank was full. We had NO problems the rest of the way to the fair grounds.

We are camped at the campground right at the fairgrounds. It is so nice to only have to walk about 75 ft to the show office. After getting the motor home set up it was time for the guys to go to work. They worked 4 hours on Monday afternoon.

Tuesday morning I was up early as I had to be at the show office at 7:30 a.m. ready to hire people at 8:00 a.m. We hired close to 50 people for this spot. Set up continued on Tuesday and Wednesday for the rides. I also worked Wednesday getting everything ready for opening day - Thursday.

Wednesday evening after the guys got off and Ron had showered. Ron, Albert and I walked around the fair grounds. Independent vendors and the barns were still hopping ~ all getting ready for opening day. The fair opens at 10:00 a.m. each morning. The carnival opens at Noon each day. On our walk, Ron got excited to see a booth that sells bloomin' onions. He has been looking for one of those since we have been on the road. I know where he will be at least once this week.

The schedule for the carnival ~

Thursday - is wrist band day with two sessions. The first session is from noon to 5:00 p.m. and the second session is 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This means double work for us. We have two different colored wrist bands and two different colored stamps. The wrist band is $26 per session.

Friday thru Sunday is regular priced tickets.

The weather for the carnival is supposed to be in the low 80's each day after today. Should be nice. We are definitely enjoying the sunshine and think the rain is behind us.

Tuesday we celebrated Ron's 55th birthday. Jamie & Brandon both called Ron to wish him a great day. He also received birthday greetings via email and Facebook. Tuesday evening about 7:30 p.m. a group of our co-workers gathered at one of the condos and then walked through the bone yard/campground singing Happy Birthday and finished when they reached us at the motor home. I had picked up a chocolate cake with chocolate filling and frosting to have a little celebration for Ron. As we were getting ready for bed he said he had had a good day and it made him feel good to have a group join us for the evening. We definitely know we are liked and cared for by those we work with here at Funtastic.

Sorry it has been so long since I have written. Once last weekend hit we have been busy. I hope to be back again on Monday after our jump to Longview.

Next week we will be in Longview, WA for the Cowlitz County Fair. After that we go to Graham, WA for the Pierce County Fair. The onto Eugene, Salem and then Puyallup. We only have 8 weeks after we are done here in Hillsboro. Hard to believe that the season is on the downswing and that we have worked for four months with the carnival already.

One more thing...yesterday Rob came into the show office and asked me if I remembered him asking us why the carnival? And I said yes. We wanted to travel, we thought working with the carnival would be fun, and Ron's plumbing business was almost non-existent. He said he was so glad we were older, responsible, pleasant to work with but surprised that a church secretary would want to work for a carnival but he was thankful that we did. He enjoys working with us and knows that when he asks us to do something we do it and that we are not afraid to work. Our working here has helped to alleviate some of his stress about the running of the office. I made the comment that we just followed where the Lord opened the door. He didn't say anything to that and just went back outside to check on something. When we have been asked about how we got here we always say, we just followed the Lords leading and are where He wants us at least for right now.

We give thanks to the Lord for putting us in the blue unit. The red and white units have some major issues (more than us) in the bone yard and with some of the workers. We know we are where we are supposed to be.

That's about it for now from us. We hope everyone is having a great summer. As always, we enjoy hearing from you and love to answer your questions.

Take care and God Bless.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week in Olympia, jump to Portland and plans for this week.

Hi Everybody! Sure hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather wherever you are ~ we have had beautiful weather since we arrived in Kent and we haven't looked back. Sure hope that summer is here for good now.

Another question: why do we hire so many people? Depending on the location and what the fair or festival is and the amount of rides and games we have at each spot is how we decide how many people we hire. For example at Ft. Lewis we did not hire any spot or green help. At Kent we hired only 6 people. Like I posted last time we hired over 60 people for Lakefair in Olympia. Will find out on Thursday how many we hire for this spot.

Thanks for questions, keep them coming ~ I love to hear from you all.

Our time in Olympia ~ went well though we did not get the hours that we have been getting. We were straight ticket sellers last week though Ron did help with set up and tear down. Tracy cut us loose one evening at 8:30 p.m., another evening at 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday we did not start till 5:00 p.m. Sunday, as usual, was our longest day. We did take advantage of having most of a day off by going to the fair and carnival to play. We asked Rob on Wednesday evening when we found out that we had off Saturday during the day if we could go on the rides. We are not allowed to go on the rides or play games on days we work. When Ron explained Tracy was giving us the day off he said no problem and to come see him on Saturday for some ride passes. So that is what we did. Saturday we got to the park about 10:20 and walked up the hill for the kids doing their go cart races. We watched quite a few of them. Some looked pretty cool whereas some of them were very plain. We then walked over to another park where they were setting up for a Kid's Day with lots of free activities. We then made our way back to the carnival and vendor areas. Rob was standing at the foot of the customer service trailer and told us to hang loose for a little while. We did and about 15 minutes later he brought us each out a ride pass for 10 rides. At $4.50 per ride for the big kids ride that was a special treat for us. We spent our time walking around and checking out the different vendors and food booths. All the food booths that were not Funtastic booths were non-profit organizations. Throughout the day we had roast beef sandwiches and curly fries. A special treat since we try hard not to eat the food at the carnival. There were about 30 vendors for the fair. We picked up a few freebies for the grands. I try to send a package every two or three weeks for them. Hope to get one ready this week to put in the mail on Friday.

We went on a few rides. Our first ride was the Scrambler. I like that ride but Ron felt a little queasy at the end. We then went through the Haunted Mansion, not scary at all just very dark. Next up was the Grand Wheel (96 ft high ferris wheel). We actually went on the ride twice, first facing one direction towards the Capital and Kiddy Land and then the other direction facing the big kid rides and the water. We also went on the Simbad twice. The first time I kept my eyes closed I was so scared and held onto Ron's hand for dear life. That ride goes 60 ft up in the air. The second time I kept my eyes open and what a view you have of the area. Our last ride was the Starship 2000 which actually did Ron in. It is kinda like the Roundup though totally enclosed. As soon as we got off the ride Ron walked over to the fence behind the ride and leaned over. He says he actually never got sick but I don't know. I do know he was done with the rides from that point on. We still have 7 ride passes left. I hope to use them when we are in Eugene, OR. We also spent an hour or so listening to a country-western band. All in all we had a terrific Saturday and I even got a slight sun burn. It wasn't too bad as it is turning into a tan.

Sunday was the looonnnnng day for Ron. We started at 11:40 a.m. and finished selling tickets at 11:15 p.m. Ron then switched into his tear down clothes and walked me to Albert's car. He let me use it to go home since the bone yard was in Lacey and the fair was in Olympia ~ about a 15 minute drive. Ron's first job for tear down is to put all the computer monitors back into the show office. After that he worked on the Tornado with Albert, then Sinbad with Ruben and Kollin and then helped Rudy finish up the Lolli Swings. The guys got back to the bone yard about 6:30 a.m. After taking a shower, Ron crawled into bed and slept till 11:00 a.m. I had gotten up at 9:00 a.m. and went and did laundry and made a stop at Cash & Carry to pick up some groceries. After I got back to the bone yard, people were starting to stir and starting to tear down the bone yard for the next jump. On a negative note, we had a Blue Unit ride jock quit at the end of his shift Sunday night. Not sure what or why he left but many of the guys were upset that he didn't even stick around to help with tear down. Even though we hired spot help, having regulars to coordinate the tear down is a big plus and does help to make things go smoother. Don't know if they are going to try to find someone else to travel with us for that position.

The Red Unit is going to Enumclaw this week and the White and Blue (our unit) headed to Portland. Just as Ron and I were getting ready to pull out of the bone yard Kenny came up to me and said I needed to drive a show van to Portland. We had two vans to move and only one driver. Ron was not too happy about that as we had planned to stop at Costco and Winco to get groceries. I had only one passenger in the van. Rudy, a ride jock, who runs the Lolli Swings was my passenger. I asked him if he minded if we stopped at Winco on our way to the Portland shop ~ he said no, he would pick up some groceries while there too. Ron led the way in the motor home and I followed him. We stopped at the rest area just outside of Vancouver, WA to dump our tanks. What we found was a motor home being hooked up to a big tow truck in the dump station line. There was also a small tow truck to tow the boat that the motor home had been towing. Fortunately they were at the first dump station so Ron pulled in front of them and backed into the dump site. I just pulled the van in front of Ron. While Ron was dumping the tanks I got on Maggie (our Magellan GPS) to get directions to Winco. Once done at the rest area we got back on the road and went to Winco before heading to the Portland Shop. We arrived at about 6:15 p.m.

We saw one bad accident while on the road. A large motor home pulling a Volkswagon Bug had rolled over into the side ditch along the freeway. They had already pulled the VW out of the ditch and the big tow truck was checking things out to see how to get the motor home out of the ditch. It appeared there was a lot of damage to both vehicles. We did not see any aid cars or police there so just hoped that the people inside the motor home were not hurt. Definitely not a good thing to see on the road.

We got ourselves settled and hooked up to power in the bone yard and then visited with a few people before calling it a night. Ron talked to Kenny and was told there was a 7:00 a.m. call this morning. All the ride guys were on garbage clean up. Behind the Portland Shop the Burbacks own some acreage that had been taken over by a large group of homeless people and it was filled with lots of garbage. The police came around last week and again yesterday and today to tell them they had to leave the property this morning. There were a couple of stragglers that wanted to hassle the guys but the police got them to finally leave. The guys worked till 3:45 this afternoon with an hour off for lunch and will go back tomorrow morning and continue to do clean up in the area. Guess the Burback's and the owners of Curtis RV (the other owners of the area behind the shop) are trying to figure out how to block the area to keep the homeless from camping out there again. The guys found lots of nasty things including needles filled with drugs, bags of white powder, knives, hammers and other things. The drugs/bags of powder were turned over to the local police department. The guys are not looking forward to going back to do more clean up tomorrow but they are all glad for the hours this week.

We are doing a two day Hispanic Festival at the Portland Waterfront on Saturday and Sunday. We set up Thursday and Friday. Not sure how many games/rides will be put up. All I know is that I work Thursday, Saturday and Sunday & Ron works every day this week. Once again we will tear down on Sunday night and jump on Monday. We go to Hillsboro, OR for the Washington County Fair. The fair runs Friday to Sunday. Not sure if they will set up on Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday next week.

Next Tuesday Ron turns 55 and we are having a birthday party for him in the bone yard. I plan on stopping at Costco on Monday on our way to Hillsboro to pick up a birthday cake.

Praise & Prayer Requests ~~~~

Thanksgiving that we had a good week in Olympia. We did have two ride guys get hurt, one broke his hand and another tore the muscle in his shoulder. Glad that the injuries were not more serious and both should heal completely.

Celebrating that Theresa and Rick were able to join us for a few hours each day in Olympia. Theresa's next step is to begin chemo but the doctors are having her wait a couple of weeks to build up her strength. Please continue to keep them in your prayers as they travel this uncertain journey.

Thankful we had another jump without motor home problems.

Enjoyed conversations with Jamie, Brandon and Danalyn. Also heard from Opal and Christopher over the phone - they both told me "I love you Grammy"....sweet music to this Grammy's ears. Max was in the shower so didn't have a chance to talk with him. Hopefully next time.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers for safety for us as we work especially on Sunday/Monday when we can work 20+ hours straight.

Thanks for your prayers, phone calls, emails and blog comments. We always like to hear how things are going at home and with all our friends and family.

Well that's all I know for now. I hope to get pictures downloaded to the computer tomorrow. If I do I will post some on the blog.

Hope you enjoyed reading this update on our time working, traveling and living with the carnival.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Answers, updates and goings on!

Hello Everyone

What a week we had in Kent and the beginning of our time in Olympia.

But first to answer a question:

Does that end the carnival season for the winter, and are you guys planning on doing it again next year? Yes, the carnival season ends for us after the Puyallup Fair. September 26th is the last day of the fair and then there will be one to two weeks of tear down and then we are off to Lewiston, Idaho.

Thanks for your comments to last weeks post. Sorry it took so long for me to get the comments posted...time on the computer was definitely at a minimum.

Kent ~~~ was HOT! and then VERY HOT! for the first two days of the carnival. Saturday and Sunday was a lot better weather and attendance wise. We are definitely into the carnival/fair season which means hot weather and long days. Thursday and Friday we did not start till 1:30 but Saturday and Sunday work began at 10:30 a.m. and did not end before midnight on Saturday and 3:00 a.m. Monday morning. We are holding up well and are thankful for that.

Jump to Olympia actually Lacey for the bone yard and Olympia for Lakefair. The bone yard is at South Sound Mall in Lacey. We are parked right where we did the carnival the end of March. Our day was long with little sleep. We finished up and got back to the bone yard in Kent at 3:30 a.m. Fell asleep about 4:00 a.m. The alarm went off at 7:00 and Ron did all the stuff to prepare for the move outside (we had done the inside stuff when we got home at 3:30 a.m.). Ron told me to go back to bed knowing I had to be at work at 11:00 a.m. The next thing I knew we were driving down the road and I jumped out of bed and asked "did you close the windows?" No, he forgot. So as Ron drove down the road I closed all the side windows. If they are open while we drive it causes havoc on the road. I laid back down on the bed till we got to Cabela's in Lacey. Didn't sleep but did rest. After stopping to dump the tanks at Cabela's we made our way to South Sound Mall and the bone yard. We had been told to be there early as the private rigs are along the fence line and the condo's are in front of us and then we are surrounded by chain link fence with brightly colored plastic covers over the fence. I will try to get some pictures if we can get the camera to work. I think we have to buy a new one as we can't keep the batteries charged to keep the camera working long enough to get more than four or five pictures before needing new batteries. Will be talking to Ron as soon as he gets home from work see if we are taking a trip to the store this evening.

Back to Monday...we got set up by 9:00 a.m. and then waited for Albert & Shawn to arrive so I could get to work. They arrived at 9:45 unhooked their trailer (thanks James for moving the trailer into place) and we hopped on the freeway for Olympia. Arrived at 11:05. Late by five minutes and then had to wait till 12:45 for the trailer to be spotted on the lot and readied for us to use. I could have slept!!! But that is life. While I was waiting with Debbie and Kristy (Theresa's daughter), my personal driver (Ron) went for a walk, found a sandwich place and a cool place in the shade for a nap.

We readied ourselves to begin the hiring. People had been lining up for most of the morning at one trailer (around the corner from where we were at in our show office trailer). Kevin, the white unit show manager, walked over to where they were waiting. Ron was talking to Kevin by then and Kevin asked Ron if he wanted to see something interesting. Ron said sure. So together they walked over to the steps of the trailer where all the people were standing. Kevin said the hiring would be around the corner at the yellow trailer in front of the Burger Kitchen. Kevin and Ron just stood there as a hoard of people turned and ran to our show trailer. Ron described it as watching a herd of cattle on the run. We (Debbie, Kristy & I) knew they were coming as we heard them running and the trailer started to shake. We waited till they all arrived and then Debbie demanded quiet and gave our hiring speel: we hand out the applications and then choose who we want to hire. We do not necessarily hire the first person in line, we hire the people we need to do the jobs that we have available. She told them they had to have two pieces of ID (preferable Drivers License & SS Card) and the requirements for working: clean shaven men, no facial piercings, no long hair on guys and clothing requirements for working: dark blue or black slacks, no jeans, white t-shirt, no writing on the shirts. And then our work began, handing out applications (lost all 10 of our bic pens that we handed out) and then processing them. We hired approximately 80 people for this spot. It took us from 1:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. to hire and process all the new hires. The three of us got a little goofy at times due to our lack of sleep but we made it through the day. Ron worked set up from 1:00 to 5:00 and then hung out under the shade tree waiting for me till about 5:45. At that time I sent him back to the bone yard to get the motor home set up as we just dropped it off and got it level before heading to Olympia. Debbie said she would give me a ride back to the bone yard.

Back at the bone yard Ron got power and water to the motor home as well as set up the satellite dish for the TV. I think luck was on his side as he set the satellite from the top of the motor home without any help. Hmmm....maybe I won't have to help with that job any more :).

I arrived at the bone yard about 8:15 p.m. I was starving and so we walked over to Applebees and had a delightful dinner and just relaxed. It was $5 burger night so I had a Philly Steak burger with a house salad and Ron had the Cowboy burger with seasoned fries. After a nice dinner we walked back to the motor home and settled into bed. It was 10:30 p.m.

Ron was up at 6:00 this morning as the show van was leaving at 7:00 a.m. to go back to the lot to finish setting up the rides. I did not have to work today as there are only two computers set up so Debbie and Kristy made plans to be at work this morning at 6:00 a.m. so they could be out of there by noon and have some time off this afternoon before the rush starts again tomorrow.

I knew I was tired but did not realize how tired I was. I slept till 10:00 this morning and then got up and made a trip to Albertsons. I told the guys I would make a good dinner for them for tonight. I picked up stuff to make potato & macaroni salad, a watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and a ham to put in the crock pot. I turned right out of the parking lot when I should have turned left so had to drive about a mile out of the way to find a place to turn around. Made my way back towards the bone yard stopping at Target to pick up some socks and t-shirts for Ron. Also found a couple of white tank tops for me. Then back to the bone yard to put the ham in the crock pot. Finished that and crawled back into bed about 11:45 a.m. and went back to sleep. Woke up about 3:00 p.m. when the power went off. I jumped out of bed and wondered what was going on. About 5 minutes later the power came back on ~ yeah my dinner was saved. I felt so much better and ready to start my day.

Right now our jobs this week will be as ticket sellers. We are flexible though and will do whatever jobs we get assigned to.

I finally got back on line ~ the first time since Saturday morning. I have posted a couple of posts on Facebook via my phone just to let people know what we were doing. If you want to be my friend on Facebook under Alice Nelson Workentin. Send me a friend request for another way to connect with us.

I read all 75 messages waiting for me in my email account and then decided to catch you all up with a new blog post.

We will be in Lacey/Olmpia till next Monday morning. The carnival hours are long here: we open at 11:00 a.m. each day and go till sometime between 10 & midnight each day so don't know if I will be able to post a blog or not. I will update as soon as I can.

Better close for now and put the final touches on dinner. Expect to hear from Ron soon that they are on their way back to the bone yard. I am sure they will be hungry after working all day.

Praise & Prayer Requests ~~~

Praise that the weather cooled down on Saturday & Sunday and that we had a couple of good days with the carnival.

Praise that there were no injuries in Kent. Always a concern after working all day and then having to tear down all night.

Praise that the report about Theresa was good this week. Last week her and Rick went to the ocean for a few days before she started her chemo. She had her first chemo treatment yesterday. Her and Rick are hoping to be able to bring the trailer up for the weekend but that will depend on how Theresa is doing. Thank you all for your continued prayers for them. It was good to catch up with Kristy yesterday. She said there have definitely been some rough days but also some good days and for that they are thankful.

Please lift our friend, Deb Cummins, up in prayer. She is battling a rare cancer and has recently been told that there is nothing else the doctors can do for her. Please pray for strength for her to deal with things as they come and to continue to put her hope and trust in the Lord. She is in great spirits most of the time and we are thankful for that. Deb is a friend of ours through the Blaine School District.

Continue to lift Theresa and Rick up as Theresa begins her chemo treatment. Many of us try to send her uplifting and funny cards and words of encouragement.

Thanks for your continued prayers for Ron and I as we continue on this journey of working/living/traveling with the carnival. Specifically pray for our stamina. That we will have the energy to do what we need to do and to do it with a joyful and pleasant heart.

Thanks for visiting with us again. Hope all is well with each of you. Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you down the road.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Itinerary for the Rest of the Season

Hello on this beautiful sunny day! Three days in a row ~ maybe summer is finally here. I sure hope so.

Thank you all for your comments. Sorry about the size problem last time. I didn't realize I had changed the size. Regarding the color - I will use only dark colors from now on. As always I enjoy hearing from you.

I finally got our itinerary for the rest of the carnival season. We are definitely going to be busy...

Monday, July 12 we jump (move) to Olympia for Lakefair. The fair runs from July 14 to 18. Wednesday the special at the carnival is 7 rides or games, in any combination, for $15. This works out to be about half price for each ride. Thursday is wrist band day, you can ride as many rides as you want for as many times as you want for $25. Lakefair is right on the capital grounds on a grassy knoll by the lake.

Monday, July 19 we jump to Portland, OR. The bone yard will be at the Funtastic Shows Portland office on SE 108th Avenue. We have heard we are doing a two day show somewhere in Portland but we do not have the details yet.

Monday, July 26 we jump to Hillsboro, OR for the Washington County Fair. The fair runs from July 29 to Aug. 1.

Monday, August 2 we head back to Washington. We will be in Longview for the Cowlitz County Fair. It runs from August 5 to 8.

Monday, August 9 we jump to Graham, WA for the Pierce County Fair. It runs from August 12 to 15.

Monday, August 16 we jump to Eugene, OR for the Lane County Fair. The fair starts on Wednesday, August 18 and goes through August 22. This will be the hardest jump for us. They call it a circus jump as we work on Sunday, the 15th, tear down the night of the 15th/morning of the 16th and then have to get right on the road to drive the 7 hours to Eugene, OR. Set up will begin Monday evening and then start up again early on Tuesday morning the 17th. All this so we can be ready to open on Wednesday, August 18. We would really appreciate your prayers for those few days.

Monday, August 23 we jump to Salem, OR for the Oregon State Fair. The fair runs from August 27th through Labor Day Monday, September 6th.

Tuesday, September 7 we make the jump back to Washington and head for Puyallup for the Western WA State Fair. It runs from September 10 to 26.

We have been told that tear down from the Puyallup begins on Monday, September 27 and takes about a week or so. Our plan after we are done at Puyallup is to get on the road once more and head to Lewiston, ID. We plan on taking two days to get there and spend a couple of weeks with Brandon, Danalyn, Max & Christopher. After our time in Lewiston we will be returning to Blaine, WA.

Right now we don't know what our winter plans will be. Ron is wondering if we can get a job selling Christmas trees. We really don't know what we will be doing.

Answers to questions & comments ~~ Thank you for your comments and suggestions. No, I am not offended by them and I am happy to make changes when I can.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for us as well as Rick & Theresa. We found out yesterday that Rick took Theresa to the Oregon Coast for a few days rest and relaxation before she begins her chemo treatment next week. The doctor decided she needed one more week of recovery before starting the next phase of her treatment. As I get word I will continue to update you all.

We continue to thank the Lord for his provisions as we travel on this new journey of carnival life.

As always thanks for reading and sharing in our lives.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sunshine, beautiful sunshine!

What a beautiful day we are having here in Kent, WA. Woke to beautiful sunshine and it is supposed to be like this all week.

A few things ~~

Welcome to all my followers! I so like to have people stop by and read my ramblings. And I really like comments. I enjoy reading lots of different blogs and try to leave comments when I have the time so feel free to leave me comments too.

I have been asked recently "what is the bone yard?" In a nutshell it is the carnival lingo for where the trailers (condo's for employees), travel trailers and motor homes are parked for a carnival site. You can read more about it and see some pictures from the Lacey boneyard in archives of my blog (not sure if late March or early April). I will try to get some pictures of the bone yard while here in Kent. We are on a grassy spit that runs along Willis Road right off of Highway 167. The carnival (lot) is 7 blocks from here.

Kent Cornucopia Days ~

The carnival opens on Thursday at 3:00 p.m., Friday at 2:00 p.m., Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday at noon.

4th of July at Ft. Lewis ~~

What a long and busy day we had. We left for Ft. Lewis at 8:45 Sunday morning. We arrived at the base at 9:20 a.m. I started work right away. First thing on the agenda was to get payday out of the way. About half of us have automatic deposit, which is really the way to go as we get paid on Friday's, and the rest get checks that we pay on Sunday's. After getting that out of the way we got on to the business of the day...making a fun 4th of July celebration for everyone. We opened the carnival at 11:00 a.m. with overcast skies but no rain in sight. We had heard rumors that it was supposed to get to the 70's...don't know how hot it actually got as the sun came and went throughout the day. But no rain fell ~ something we were all thankful for. My day consisted of working in the office, selling tickets, giving breaks to Ron & Tressa (the other ticket seller), and Debbie in the office. We were steady ALL day long. It was definitely a good day for the carnival. During my lunch break (30 minutes) I walked around to some of the other vendors that were there. It was fun to see what people were selling. I didn't buy anything but it was still fun to look.

I am happy to say that Wendy came back on Saturday. Everyone was so relieved to see her. Wendy & Kollin made lots and lots of cotton candy. In the Burger Kitchen was Wendy, Joel, Kollin, Sophie & Nicole. I was prepared to work in there if needed but the five of them handled the crowd really well. The kitchen was busy from the time we opened till we closed at 11:30 p.m. A couple of times I saw Wendy & Kollin making more cotton candy. No telling how many bags they sold but sold them they did. Debbie & I asked Wendy to bring us something to eat at the end of the day if there were any leftovers ~ I am happy to say there were none ~ that makes for a good day in the Burger Kitchen.

The best part of 4th of July for me was watching the fire works that were displayed. Debbie & I stepped out of the office and watched the spectacular show. Ron heard them but could not see them from the ticket box. I wished he had been able to stand with me and watch but it was not to be. I think this was the first year since 4th of July 1996 that we did not watch the fireworks together. Maybe next year.

Once the carnival closed at 11:30 p.m. Debbie and I counted money, made deposits, did the books and finished payroll. It takes just as much work to put on a one day show as it does a 3 or 4 day show as far as paperwork goes. At 4:10 a.m. we were ready to send payroll and the books via email to the corporate office when we lost power! Not a good thing. Debbie called Kenny on the radio, yelled we needed power. Kenny then yelled at Tom, get that generator back on, payroll needs to be transmitted! We never saw anyone move so fast as Tom did at that moment. Later we found out he thought we were done in the office and people were standing around so he gave them something to do. Believe me, he will never cut power to the show office again without double checking with us. We can laugh about it now but we were not laughing at 4:15 in the morning. Once we had power back on we redid the email and sent it on its way, closing the door to the office at 4:40 a.m. Debbie was on her way to her friends and I headed to the show van to wait for the guys. About 5 minutes later Ron asked me if I had the keys to the show van....NO, they were locked in the office. I quickly called Kenny and then called Debbie to come back. She was almost out the front gate of the base when we called. She quickly turned around and came back so we could unlock the office and get the keys to the show van. Believe me, I won't forget those keys again. At 5:00 a.m. we headout the gate of the base back to the boneyard. Another successful show and some very tired workers. We had been up for 22 hours by the time we crawled into our nice comfortable bed.

Monday and our move to Kent ~~

Ron and I slept till 10:00 a.m. when we got up to hearing Kenny say "I need to talk to Alice about driving the show van to Kent." Ron and I just looked at each other and up to start our day. Four hours of sleep brought some relief but we were still a little tired. I went and talked to Kenny. I had heard him right...Shawn had his own truck and so I was needed to drive the show van to Kent. No problem I thought. Ron & I readied the motor home for the move to Kent. He headed out of the bone yard making a stop to dump our tanks. I headed to the post office to drop off a box to Verizon (our wireless card was not working correctly so Verizon sent me a new one and I had to return the old one ~ thank goodness for prepaid mailers). Rudy was my only passenger. He has worked for the carnival since 1990. He runs the Lolli Swings and he and Ron are the primary ones to set up and tear down the Lolli's at each site. After a couple of missed turns I found my way to Highway 167 and headed to Kent. What was supposed to be a 20 minute drive took me 30 minutes. I drove right to the bone yard and was surprised that Ron was not here yet. I quickly made a phone call, thinking what happened now. Well, Ron saw Safeway and decided he needed some of their cookies (his favorite) so he stopped. He was a nice guy though and bought me a bag of cherries. Only $1.99 a lb with your club card, $5.99 a lb without it. Ron arrived about 10 minutes later. Ron backed the motor home into the spot Terry had assigned us but we were on such a tilt that he moved us to another spot. We are on a lovely flat spot with a tree right outside our door. If it wasn't for the noise of the traffic on Willis Road I would think we were parked in a nice grassy campground. I am very aware of the noise on the road during the day but it sure didn't bother me in the night.

This morning we woke to beautiful sunshine...can I say that enough...I just love the sunshine! And hope it stays for a long, long time. Heard rumors that it is supposed to get into the 80's this week. I sure hope so. We slept in this morning and then had a lazy morning of reading in the sun. After a lunch of tuna sandwiches Ron headed off to work - set up time for the carnival. I decided to balance my checkbook and pay some bills. I am so thankful we are back on track with our bills. Thank you Lord for providing us work.

Tonight I am making bbq'd chicken with a pasta salad and green beans on the side. Tomorrow we will both be working finishing up set up for a Thursday start. I am definitely enjoying my day off.

Praise Report & Prayer Requests ~~

1. For safety at the 4th of July carnival for all the workers and attendees.

2. For coninued good health for Ron & I. We both weighed in today and we have both lost 20 lbs since 3/21 when we left Blaine. It feels good to get in our walks and to see the numbers on the scale going down.

3. For the many opportunities the Lord is giving to us to share about Him. Debbie gave each of us a lanyard that says "I love Jesus." Ron's is blue and mine is pink. We wear them while we are working as it holds our scan card (employee card for Funtastic Shows) along with our daily time sheet. While working the ticket booth on Sunday I received a few comments from people saying they liked my lanyard. Just another way to spread the news of Jesus Christ.

4. For the wonderful break we had at home last week. It was so good to see family & friends, get lots of hugs from Miss Opal and have a few days of relaxation.

1. For continued safety for all of us as we set up, work and tear down another carnival. This week the Red Unit is joining us to give us an extra hand so we are about 40 people.

2. For Theresa as she begins her chemo treatments this week. She had a good week last week and even worked a few hours on Saturday and Sunday in Salem, OR. And for Rick as he stands by her side during this journey they are facing.

3. For more opportunities to share God's love with fellow co-workers. Yesterday, one of the ride jocks gave me a big hug and told me I reminded him of his Momma, a Jesus loving woman. Made me feel good that His love shines through me.

Where we go from here ~~

Next Monday, July 12th, we go to Olympia for Lakefair. The fair is at the Capital on the lawn by the lake. Sorry I can't be more specific but I can't find the address.

The schedule for the week is a busy one. We will set up Monday afternoon and Tuesday. The carnival is open Wednesday thru Sunday.
Wednesday is 7 rides or games for $15.00
Thursday is unlimited rides for $25.00 - will definitely be a busy day for us.
Friday thru Sunday regular cost $0.75 a ticket. Best to come Wednesday or Thursday for the best prices.

After Lakefair we go to Portland for one week. All we know at this time is that we will be back at the Portland Shop. Not sure what venue we will be working. As soon as I know I will post it.

Guess that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by and visiting for awhile. Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment. Remember due to past spam messages I now moderate my comments. I post them as quick as I can.

Take care and God Bless. Alice

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday in Puyallup - Catch Up Time!

Boy have we had a busy week. Our time at home was filled with lots of visiting and great food.

We arrived home on Monday afternoon and got set up at NACO. We then made one of two trips to the storage unit. Ron was so excited to get the satellite dish up and on. Monday evening we had an enjoyable evening with Judy & Kathy and sharing a meal at Bob's Burger & Brew. It was good to get caught up with them. After dinner we went to Jim & Mei's for dessert and more visiting. We laughed a lot and watched a beautiful sunset on the bay.

Tuesday found us up early doing laundry and then off to lunch at Big Al's with Jamie, Suzanne, Oliver (Suzanne's nephew) & Opal. The food was good and it was fun to get caught up with them. Tuesday evening we went to dinner at Gerald & Sandra's. They are such great cooks. Dinner was bbq'd pork chops, squashed squash, mashed potatoes and sliced tomatoes w/onions in a balsamic dressing. Pastor Charles joined us for dinner. It was so good to get caught up on what's happening in their lives and to tell stories of our time with the carnival.

Wednesday started off early as Ron went to the Men's Bible study at Blackberry House. He said it was a good time reconnecting with some of the men from church. Being involved in the Bible study is something Ron dearly misses. While Ron was at Bible study I went to Wood's for coffee and more visiting with Dee. It was fun to catch up with her and get lots of hugs. We then went over to Jamie's. He wanted to show us the 31' travel trailer they had just bought. So much more room then the 22' Class C they had been living in. After being at their place for an hour or so they came back to the motor home to pick up something for their trailer and of course, more visiting. Ron made a trip to Pacific Builders to get our screen door and living room window rescreened. While he was doing that I had a visit with Stacey. After that I was able to sneak in a nap in the afternoon. All that visiting was tiring me out. In the evening we went to The C Shop for dinner and more visiting. It was so good to see John (Ron's brother), Kristen & Coral (Jade was at camp), Gerald & Sandra, Patrick & Patricia, Jim & Mary, Sarah along with Kiera & Ryder, Glenn & Marla along with Odie, Lucy & Milo, and Keith & Beth. Also got a chance to say hi to Keith & Saara. We had lots of pizza and even more visiting. Ron and I appreciated the opportunity to share about our time with the carnival: our jobs, people we are becoming friends with, an update on Theresa (please keep her in your prayers as he has started her chemo) and most of all just being together with friends for an enjoyable evening.

Thursday we readied the motor home for our return trip to Puyallup along with one more visit with Jamie, Suzanne & Opal (I promise pictures to follow soon). We visited till about 10:30 and then it was time for them to head out and us to get on the road. Our first stop was dropping off the suburban at Marquez & Nicole's and then off to Bellingham to lunch with Jerry & Lynda. It was fun to catch up with them and hear about their trip to Columbia. After a couple of hours of visiting Ron said we had to get on the road. We left Bellingham and headed for Puyallup. We arrived about 7:00 p.m. and got all settled into our spot at the bone yard. It felt good to be back "home" with our fellow travelers and workers.

Friday dawned early as the show van (with Ron driving) headed to Ft. Lewis at 7:00 a.m. I stayed snuggled in bed till almost 8:00 a.m. I did a little around the motor home till Debbie picked me up at 9:45. Ron worked on setting up the ticket box, Sinbad, Zero Gravity, the show office and the Lolli Swings. I started out with Debbie in the office and then Rob told me Wendy had quit so I needed to go help Joel in the Burger Kitchen. After I got the inside set up I went back into the office to finish getting things ready for Sunday as well as doing the time sheets from tear down the past Monday. Once we were finished with that Debbie and I cleaned the ticket box. It looked like a hurricane and flown through it. Once done with that I went and joined Sophie in doing a thorough cleaning of the Burger Kitchen. I must say we did a great job and it is sparkling now. Rob informed me that Ron & I would be taking the health class/food handler's permit class on Saturday evening at 6:00 along with Sophie, Kollin & Nicole. A lot is up in the air about what I will be doing on Sunday. I will start out in the office handing out paychecks and readying the ticket sellers. I will be available to work in the office, sell tickets and help in the Burger Kitchen ending with finishing up in the office doing the time sheets and books for Ft. Lewis. As I told Rob yesterday I am flexible and will do what needs to be done. I think he was glad to hear that and see that I have a positive attitude about working.

After finishing up at Ft. Lewis we arrived back at the bone yard to find out Richard had made a full dinner for us. He bbq'd pork chops, brats, had baked potatoes, watermelon and grilled vegi's along with homemade beans that Tammy provided. It was such a nice treat to not have to cook after working all day. We visited for awhile in the evening. After retiring to the motor home it started to rain and rain some more. It was a very heavy rainstorm even knocking out the satellite (bummer for Ron as he was getting ready to watch a movie) so we called it an early night and headed to bed about 9:30.

We slept in this morning and then had a nice breakfast of bacon & eggs, a treat I don't make very often. Today is mostly a day of rest, though we do plan on going into town to pick up some more of the Chocovine - as I have told people it is like drinking chocolate milk with a kick. This evening we have the class at Ft. Lewis and then tomorrow we have our long day starting at 9:00 with the carnival opening at 11:00 and going till 11:00 p.m. It is a lot of work to set up the carnival whether it is for a one day show or a 5 day run. We have 8 games and 6 rides: Sinbad, Zero Gravity, Torpedo, Bear Affair, Lolli Swing and Dragon Wagon as well at the Burger Kitchen. And then comes tear down and our next jump to Kent for the Kent Cornucopia Days.

That's all for now. Sure hope you have enjoyed catching up with us. I will be back soon.

Love and miss you all! But relishing in the memories of our recent visit home and seeing friends & family.