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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mardi Gras??

Sometimes I think Stephanie stays up at night thinking of unusual assignments for me.  A few long time readers may remember way back to October of 2010 when I was assigned to help man a booth at the …

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I had the pleasure of listening to a day of lectures on growing alfalfa and hay and keeping your cattle healthy.  I was actually there to get ranchers to sign up for a grant that would help them eliminate feral hogs on their ranches and farms.

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The real bonus that day was attending the hay show, and being able to see the Texas state blue ribbon hay bale!  Not easy to forget an experience like that!  Winking smile  I was also given a nice rain gage and a poster showing the different breeds of cattle.  What more can I say?

So I had high hopes for today.  My assignment was to be at a booth at the Civic Center in Beaumont to talk about the refuge.  That’s like asking a bear to eat honey!  The reason for the gathering was the kick off of the Celebrating Seniors, Mardi Gras Style activities for the weekend.  It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would.

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To begin with, I was denied entry at the vendor’s door because Anahuac NWR wasn’t on the list.  What??  Eventually that was straightened out, and I had a bare table all to myself.  All the other tables were decorated for Mardi Gras, and all I had was a stuffed Cooper’s hawk and some maps of McFadden and Anahuac refuges.  That table in the bottom middle picture above is where I was supposed to be, but there was no room.

The seniors arrived by the busloads and swooped down upon us.  It appeared they were there for one reason, and that was to gather as much free stuff as they could.  Many brought their own bags, and some even had suitcase like bags on wheels to fill with free handouts.  I was not prepared for that.  I had no candy, or pencils, or pens, or beads, or anything.  One thousand seniors were expected, and I perhaps spoke to six of them. 

It reminded me of the raucous Mardi Gras parade I was in in Mississippi a few years back.  Parade watchers clamored at the sides of the float screaming for handouts.  While these folks didn’t get as nasty as the parade watchers, it was obvious that they didn’t have time to talk to someone who only had information rather than junk to hand out.

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Many of the attendees, and vendors, dressed for the occasion.  (Notice the bag the gentleman brought with him.)  And the other booths at this affair?  I was flanked by a Hospice table and an Alzheimer's table!  Other vendors were from health care units, assisted living, cemeteries, and a heart hospital.  Now there’s a real celebration of life!  Disappointed smile

Since I didn’t have much of a crowd at my table, I decided to take a walk around to find the ladies room, and view the other tables.  First, I packed away the bird books and binoculars that I had on display.  I was afraid someone would take them if I left them out.  I did miss my big chance though, while I was walking around.  I decided not to put my name in for a free drawing of a $650 headstone!  Surprised smile  Uff-dah!  This was so bizarre to me that I’ve just been chuckling all evening.

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While on my little walk about, I went outside to the senior petting zoo.  It had been announced that seniors could go outside to see a couple of horses.  This provided hands on activities.  You could pet or curry the horses, or even help with the horse apple pick up.  Confused smile  I must admit that I enjoyed the horses more than the cemetery, extended care, or hospice booths.

I’m thinking the refuge probably won’t participate in this Mardi Gras thing next year.  I’m also thinking that I’d rather attend a Beef Symposium.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

27 comments:

  1. daaaahaammmm that thar' is funny... I don' car' who you R

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  2. Uh, yeah. That headstone would've been quite the prize. Sheesh

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  3. Yup, I think i would be out with the horses too!

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    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
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  4. Now that sounds like an exciting day! Add that to the tour you conducted for the seniors after their luncheon and you will have a New York times best seller! Sure wish I were there. sighhh

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  5. And the seniors were actually excited to be there????? Amazing.
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    Colleen
    Traveling with the Longdogs (Blog)
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  6. What a chuckle I had reading your post! Thanks Judy!
    I can see why the horses were the best part of your day!

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  7. Oh Judy, this takes the cake !!!! Talk about a "DOOR PRIZE" !!!!
    Be careful what you wish for !!!! And just think of the contrast in the blog land family adventures and this venture .... What a riot ...
    Made me think of the seniors on the bus tour also .... Oh well,
    sure hope the next assignment is the flip side ..... Thank God for your sense of humor !!!!

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  8. Wow a headstone giveaway..couldn't have been a very big stone for $650

    Bookmarks, if you go next year make informational bookmarks about the refuge. I have used that as a give away at the museum and people seem to like them and they are not too expensive to make:)

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  9. I don't think I 'd want to go back next year. There must be more productive use of your time and expertise. But it is a funny story.

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  10. The way the hay is kept makes people attracted. Beautiful pictures!!

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  11. I just love the way you tell a story. What in heaven's name will they do with all that junk? Makes me cringe for the landfill. Wish you'd seen the "lucky winner". You do have some mighty fine adventures.

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  12. All in a day's work... or rather, a day's volunteering. Kinda interesting the events we go to to promote the refuge system, isn't it?









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  13. Just getting back to reading blogs I follow. Its been about a month I and must say I am so very impressed with the wonderful blog you write. I missed you, I hope my wife doesn't read that remark and get the wrong idea. The photo's and stories that accompany them are truly wonderful. Thanks, thanks so much for sharing.

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  14. Did that headstone included free shipping :) Too Funny. Visiting the horses looks like the right idea.

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  15. As I always tell my son, when bad things happen, it's just fodder for your Great American Novel. This makes me think you might want to do a book someday about your experiences. This was truly hilarious. My mom would probably have been there but her hernia decided it was time to get operated on, so she's in the hospital now. I do recall her saying there were very good boudain balls there last year. (Mmmm... boudain...)

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  16. They sure do find some interesting assignments for you; thanks for the laughs.

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  17. Hay show? I thought we attended some strange shows, but never attended that one.
    The definition of Mardi Gras is a carnival. I have never attended a carnival that include funerals, headstones or a Hospice table. How old were those seniors anyway? I wonder if anyone did an exit interview to find out what those seniors thought was the most fun thing they did at the "carnival."

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  18. I lived in east Texas for 35 years and we had a tree there which was called a "horse apple". The real name was apparently Osage Orange, but it was rarely called that. When you commented on cleaning up the "horse apples", I got really amused.

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  19. Great story, but not much fun for you. The Roman emperors learned early that it is necessary to keep the crowds happy or things got ugly quick. The standard formula for centuries was free bread and entertainment which mostly included watching gladiators slaughter each other. I doubt any of the booths you were surrounded by would have been a big hit then either:)

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  20. I use to work a local Health Fair for the Optometrist I worked for..I found out in a big hurry that if you don't give away free stuff, no one cares a hoot about your booth!!

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  21. Obviously the fair organizers didn't do a very good job of providing you guys with information as to what was going on. It is true, the free stuff is all most people want at anything like this. Can't believe they were holding a raffle for a free headstone...really! For seniors? Better to have a raffle for movie tickets or boat rides, or even flowers and books! These seniors don't look like they should be worried about headstones anytime soon.

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  22. Just saw this on TV.... http://workinghands.com/ might work for your cracked fingers!

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  23. When I worked at the Ophthalmology office a few years back we had a table set up at a Health Fair. Turns out a health fair is a thousand seniors with address labels looking for free goodies and signing up for raffles. Oddly enough we raffled 3 free pairs of sunglasses and only one stopped at our office to pick up their prize...I couldn't believe how much candy we gave out!

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