Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Last Day

I was so exhausted and feeling bad that I subtracted the miles instead of adding them.  I made it to the last day, but definitely felt like the walking dead.  I didn't even need a costume!!!  I'm pretty sure I can just open the door and scare all the little trick or treaters away!!

Determined to get back home by 10:00 am, I finally made it at 3:30 and fell onto the bed.  I arose from the dead long enough to eat an ice cream bar before crashing again.

I'll be on the couch.

Total miles walked in October ... 225.09

Next year I'll have an entire arsenal of cough syrup, advil, benadryl, cough drops, airborne and anything else I can think of.  As soon as I recover enough to drive, I'll hit up the doctor for something to kill the sinus infection I now have!!

Oh the joys of the pumpkin patch!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Winter Scarf Finally Comes In Handy

Still sick ..... taking antibiotics and benadryl.  I'm wearing that old winter scarf I have to cover my face so I don't pass on any germs.

Yesterday was interspersed with sneezing, followed by the inevitable coughing.  It's oh so fun to have your throat feel like it was rasped with my dad's best horse shoeing equipment.
It's my last day of work.  So sorry I'm going to miss the going away party.  I'm looking forward to counting the hours on the couch!!  There are a few more stories to come, but I'm just too tired to think right now.

Total miles walked so far:  216.09

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

On to the Next Phase Of Sick!!

So here's a couple of pretty flowers to distract you while I complain about being sick.  It sucks!!  I went right from sore throat to serious head stuffiness, causing a lovely headache.  To make it even worse, my eyes are leaking constantly.
I went in for 90 minutes to get the big schools in the door, then left to spend the rest of the day sleeping on the couch.  Add to that another 9 hours sleeping on and off in bed.  

For dinner, I had a choice between butterfingers minis, pumpkin bread or pizza.  I chose the pumpkin bread, but couldn't taste it at all.  It was like eating cardboard.  
I've since escalated from the nose you can't breathe out of to the heavy coughing.  It's always the worst in the morning, so hopefully I'll snap to and be able to get 400 kids into the pumpkin patch this morning before returning to my couch.

Total miles so far ... 219.19.  Did you ever notice how hard it is to do math when your head hurts??

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Pictures Say It All!!!

I think this may just have been the worst day of my life.  The air quality was something around zero.  You could feel the dirt going in your lungs with every breath.  This is a sandy area with lots of almond trees (meaning even more dirt) and no wind breaks.  In spite of spreading water on the big parking lot, it's just a big sand pile.
Add to that all the crushed almond shells (and accompanying shell dirt) and you have a recipe for disaster.  The 45 mph winds that came up around noon, didn't help one little bit.  I called my friends the Westerfields and told them not to bring their great grand babies to the Patch.  It was just too awful.

Weirdly enough, it was like a tornado.  The winds blew all morning, with a respite around 3:00 similar to the eye of the storm.  It turned beautiful and eerily quiet for all of about 30 minutes, then the winds came in even more fiercely.  It actually picked our shaved ice syrup tent clear up off the ground.  On top of that, as if it couldn't get any better, the wind chill factor was somewhere around 45 degrees in the Corn Maze Cafe.
You knew it would happen.  I don't think I've ever gone through an entire October without getting sick.  Exposure to 5,000 kids from school, 4,000 of whom are coughing and sneezing, makes for a bad environment.  I run every time I hear someone cough, but apparently not far enough.  
By the time I went to bed, I had the worst sore throat I've ever had in my entire life.  I gargled with everything I could get my hands on.  Sleeping was out of the question.  
Lucky for me, there are only a few schools heading to the Pumpkin Patch today.  I'll stay home and rest up.  Tuesday and Wednesday will be our last big days, so I'll have to buck up.  The good news is that the sore throat is mostly gone this morning.  YAY!!  Maybe the worst is over!!

Total miles walked so far:  213.55

Let the sneezing begin!!!  Ahhh-Choooo!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

More Exciting Happenings!!

There's always something new happening at the Hunter Farms Pumpkin Patch in Atwater California.  The good news is it is not always about stealing or runaway kids, nor is it about the screamers who yell at the top of their lungs their entire visit.  Those ones are usually under the age of three and just making sure they get their way.  It works for them every time.

Although the Hunters don't shut down the entire place for weddings, there have been several wedding parties come out for pictures, as I posted a couple weeks ago.  On THIS day we had the pre-wedding party show up.
Twenty family members watched as pictures were taken of each couple.  When the last couple took center stage by the water wheel, the guy reached down quickly and untied his shoe.  It was the old "I need to tie my shoe" trick.  She waited patiently when POW!!  He was on one knee with ring in hand.  
She said yes and everyone cheered!!
Although not as busy as usual yesterday, we whipped out 360 hot dogs and so many shaved ice I lost count.  We were running out of everything ... cookies, fruit snacks, chips ... and were becoming pretty inventive at making the snack bar look full.  An entire pallet of decorated cookies disappeared in record time this year.   Hopefully when I arrive back at the Patch this morning, we will have some replacement supplies.

Here's another section of the Time Travel Tractor.  Meet Sneaky Pete on the left.  Gold miner extraordinaire, he's a little sloppy with his TNT.  If you sit in the second train car, you just might get a tad bit wet when the pond explodes.
This is his partner, No-Name and his dog, Dog.  Dog likes playing the fetch game with the bones at his feet.  There's a donkey for packing supplies and several other critters hanging out around the sluice box and mine entrance.  The red barrel is full of TNT.  FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!  
Lucky me, today I either have become sick or overwhelmed with dust and smoke.  Someone was burning their trash yesterday and it was all heading our direction.  I may just have to call in sick on Monday ..... we shall see.  

Total miles walked to date:  215.69

I walked 6.74 miles, mostly in the snack bar.  

Today, I think Benadryl will be my friend.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Stealing Is A No-No!!

Wouldn't you know, there's always that one or two that ruin it for everybody.  It's surprising and amazing to me that people come to the pumpkin patch to steal.  Over the last few days, many kids have tried to steal our decorated cookies.  We've chased down several and made them either give it back or pay up.  I've even had kids steal shaved ice sitting six inches from me.
The next big item on their let's-steal-it list is corn.  I guess all these beautiful rows of corn that make up the corn maze are just too tempting to say no.  Seriously??  You really think it's okay to come to the corn maze and rip out the ears?
The joke's on them however.  One mom went in the corn maze with her huge baby stroller.  You already know where I'm going with this.  She hid over two dozen ears of corn underneath her baby, covering it all with a blanket on a hot 90 degree day.

She was actually caught in the parking lot unloading it all to the trunk of her car.  The owner tried to explain this is not HUMAN corn.  It's corn grown with all kinds of crazy fertilizers for COWS.  If she feeds it to her kids, they are going to get very sick!!  She loaded it up anyway and drove off with her license plate number firmly written down in the log.  

Night before last we caught three kids from the local Baptist Church stealing water from the closed snack bar, and two more were chased off after trying to haul pumpkins out the back gates.  They left, the pumpkins stayed.

Corn is rather a weird looking plant, so I thought I'd show you the root system.  About six inches  above the ground, these spikes reach out for water and air.  The same spikes grow underneath the soil, making it a very tough plant.  There's rarely any that fall over with that kind of stable base secured in the dirt.
It looks just like "real" corn on the outside, but the inside has much smaller kernels.  This will all be green chopped and hauled to a local dairy for feed once we close down.
Yesterday we found three cell phones, two sets of keys and one hundred dollars laying on the ground.  Too bad I wasn't the finder.  If no one claims the money, it will go to the ticket girl who found it.  I played hot dog girl all afternoon again until one of our kids got sick from too much sun.  I'm hoping it cools off this week!!  It's been so hot, all our sunflowers are dying.  
Five and a half more days ..... not that I'm counting!!!!

Total miles walked so far:    208.95   I'm now strong as an ox, but finally getting tired.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Hot Dog Girl!!

I've been called a lot of things in my life, but hot dog girl has not been one of them until now.  It worked out well however, since I was pretty tired yesterday.   I decided I should sit more often and smell the flowers.

This is the first one I took notice of, a cosmos variety.  Isn't it spectacular?  There are literally thousands and thousands of these spread around the property.
We usually only sell hot dogs and nachos on the weekends, but since so many people purchased them, we thought it might be a good idea to sell them every evening.  Unfortunately, the girl who does the employee scheduling didn't get the memo.

With two separate sides to the snack bar, there's no way one girl could run back and forth doing both jobs, not even me.  Knowing I could sit on a crate most of the time, I took on the job.  Hot Dog Girl it is!!

While another 327 kids roamed around the property, I concentrated on the dogs.  Every time I saw a teacher not only doing her job, but going above and beyond in the do-what-you-are-told department, I made a point of telling them how much that was appreciated.  227 students cleaned up their tables and threw all their trash in the cans.  I LOVE it when that happens.

Back to the dogs, I whipped out 48, wrapping them in foil and praying that I sold all of them.  Worst case, I give them away to the kids who work here, but I'd much rather my guesstimate come to fruition with cash.
I sold the last dog at 6:25.  We closed at 6:40.  It couldn't have worked out better.  I did have a few troubles with the machine when the entire inside rack fell out tossing one dog on the table.  I ate it, so if I croak today, you'll know why.  
I actually got up off my crate for one more picture of the bees hitting on all the gorgeous flowers.  This time of year the professional photographers come in for pictures.  I've never seen so many false eyelashes in my life, not to mention the shortest skirts with the longest sweaters hitting the ground.  They are all happy until they have to pick all the hay out of their behinds after the hay ride.
There were no lost children, but two cell phones and three sets of car keys from the 100 parents that came to have lunch at their kid's field trip.  All in a day's work.  

Total miles walked to date:   200.89     That's a record!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2019


That's probably what a lot of people thought back in the 1800's when they ran roughshod over the native Americans living here.  At the Pumpkin Patch, they show the peaceful side of life back in the day.

This is part of the Time Travel Tractor ride.  As they sit in a train, they go through a gold mining scene, as well as this one depicting a very tiny snippet of Indian life.  There's a mountain lion on top of the waterfall heading down over granite rocks.  The kids all scream!
They oooh and ahhh at the deer standing next to the pond.  As a driver, I salute the Indian Chief and point to the wolf hidden in the corn.  Otherwise, most would miss the best parts, there's just so much to see.  More screams ensue.
The teepee is totally cool ... I need one in my back yard ... as are the grinding stones, ducks, baby deer and other critters hanging out around the village.
The only reason I had time to get these pictures was because the Billiken Blasters (cannons that shoot tennis balls) had deposited several balls in the mining exhibit.  That rather ruins the ambiance, so I went around to gather them up, along with all the trash that was dumped out of the train.

YIKES!!  I ran straight into an ABC30 News crew filming the exhibits.  No one told me they were there!!!  I quickly disappeared into the cabin and hid until they were gone.  You never know what you will run into when traveling through time.

I spent most of the morning tractor driving, then ushered in 200 students, more Asset kids on huge tour busses.  Two hundred kids got to ride every single attraction (unlike the schools that cannot ride the slide or the zip bee), as well as do gem mining, another thing the schools never do because of the extra cost.  

To add even MORE work, the Boss decided we should sell hot dogs during the week.  That opened another whole can of worms, but didn't last long because we sold out of just about everything we had, including chips, fruit snacks, hot dog buns, trail mix and decorated cookies.  

With 227 from one school arriving this morning, I've got my work cut out for me.  Yup .. I'm counting the days.

Total miles walked so far:   194.14   Looks like I'm going to break my record of 200!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I'm Late For A Very Important Date

As usual, it was another crazy day.  I discovered quite late that after the first 350 kids, another 180 would be showing up in the afternoon.  Being short handed of workers, it was a task keeping everything running.

Around 2:00 two huge tour buses pulled in, fancy as you can imagine.  Surely that wouldn't be the 80 Asset kids.  Instantly, every employee was awake.  Surprisingly, that's exactly what it was.  I'm not sure what the government Asset program is (something about underprivileged children), but they ride in limousine-like busses, each with their own personal water bottle.

To top it off, each and every one got a shaved ice, paid for by the same government program.  Three of them dumped the sticky contents in front of the snack bar, resulting in a messy cleanup for us, and at least six threw their cups into the gold mine pond as they rode along on the Time Travel Tractor, yelling, opening the doors, screaming and standing up the entire way, all against the rules.  My what a wonderful group of children.
We later found most of the other cups thrown on the ground in the corn maze.  Every group had at least one chaperone who apparently saw nothing.  Rather maddening for those of us that had to pick up the trash in their wake.
At 5:00 I met 115 Future Farmers of America students, each one very polite.  What a difference!!  At any rate, I'm heading off early today to greet another 350 students between 8 and 9:00, plus an added 200 at 2:00, followed by gem mining for 190 students.  Oh the fun!!!!

Total miles walked so far:  185.99
Many of yesterday's miles were due to the extra trash pickup!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

California Gold Mining

Does everyone remember your classroom history lesson about mining for gold in California?  Well it's still going on to this day.  Try as you might however, you won't find any gold in our sluice box.  That doesn't keep people from digging in the sand to find that million dollar nugget.

Yesterday four adults spent about an hour sifting through all the sand in the box, hoping to find a nice chunk of gold.  Trouble is, it's the same sand we've run through the box for seven years.  There's not a nugget to be found.  Maybe a tiny piece of crystal or pyrite, but no gold.

We call it GEM mining.  The "gems" are placed in a bag, followed by several sand-filled trowel scoops and placed in the Pay Dirt box.  For $5 you get a bag-o-dirt and dump it in a small screened box.  You then wash away the sand to find cool things like arrow heads or maybe a small piece of turquoise.  In the interest of disclosure, they are not real either.
What IS real is the looks on the kids faces when they find that arrow head or the magnetic rocks.

This is what you come across as you first enter.  I bet a million pictures have been taken here over the years.
It was easy peasy as I brought in around 300 kids yesterday, until I ran head on into the disabled adult twice my size who insisted on a purple wristband.  He wasn't taking no for an answer.  I had to hide my cache, reserved only for the chaperones.  He got so aggressive, I finally disappeared into the office.  In the end, they gave him a band to keep him from having a meltdown and hurting someone.  

This is the big picture spot for the school kids.  Every teacher takes every student's picture here on their way out.  You can imagine the lineup.  When they are done, they each receive a free pumpkin just around the corner.  I've never seen so many excited kids!!!  That's truly the fun part!
I think it's day 25 now, but honestly, I'm not sure.  They are all a blur at this point.  I'm down 17 pounds and loving every minute of it.  I can actually get back in to some of those pants that have been in my closet for five years.  I knew there was a reason I was keeping them!!!

Miles walked after day 25 (or so):    176.54

Monday, October 21, 2019

Lost And Found

Another crazy busy day is in the books.  I can't even begin to explain what I do all day long, but here's an example or two.


One Grandma 
One small kid wearing a mask.  
One small kid ... one of the baby goats escaped the confines of the pen by jumping out.
Five jackets
Six binkies
Three water bottles
Three MORE water bottles
Two cell phones
One walkie talkie
Two sets of keys
Eight pumpkins
Three parents
All of my fingerprints
All of my fingernails

Grandma was found wandering the outskirts of the corn maze

Kid wearing mask was found by the Barnyard Bounce ... Grandpa who lost him was very mad!

Baby goat was caught and returned to the pen.  The hay was moved further away from the fence so he couldn't jump on top again and escape.

Five jackets, six binkies and six water bottles were found on the Time Travel Tractor.  They now live in the lost and found box in the barn.

The cell phones found between the hay bales on the hay ride were returned to the frantic customers.

One of our walkie talkies was found in the portable bathrooms on the floor.  We sprayed it with bleach and gave it back to the guy who lost it.  I'm glad it wasn't me!

The keys were found near the Zip Bee and returned to the frantic customers who couldn't leave the property because ... well, they lost their keys.

Eight pumpkins were recovered from the family who was trying to steal them, running out the back of the property.  

Three parents were reunited with their children.  How does this happen??

My hands are in water and ice so much that all my fingerprints have been erased.  That makes it very difficult to unlock my phone, but good if I'm going to rob a bank!

Every single fingernail I had has disappeared in ragged broken ugliness.  It will take me weeks to grow them all back.  

Hopefully we will all recover as soon as Halloween comes and goes.

Total miles walked after day whatever it is, because I've completely lost count:   169.71

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Few Quick Numbers

I'm trying to get my brain to work this morning.  If I say the weekdays with three to five hundred kids  are crazy, I'm here to tell you it's NOTHING like the weekends.  I'm longing for the 500 kids!!

I need to go in extra early this morning because we ran out of so much stuff.  I really need to take stock and get prepared.

This is where I stood for ten hours yesterday making shaved ice.  This machine?  It's probably cranked out over 15,000 in it's lifetime.
We went through ten boxes of chips at 50 per box and wrapped up an incredible 500 hot dogs without missing a beat or having the customers wait.  As you can see, this is a tiny operation, no more than 15 feet wide, backed up against an old cow milking station in the barn.
All that product has to be brought over from the shop and put into the three large ice chests, along with hundreds of pounds of ice.  Just out of sight is the side where we cook all the hot dogs and make up nachos with cheese and jalapeƱos.  A record 588 hot dogs were sold, which means we don't have enough for today.  We are OUT.
That's a dirty word in the snack bar business.  We've been able to keep up with most everything else, but ran out of coffee, hot water for hot chocolate and nacho cheese after using 20 gallons.  In other words, we're exhausted!!

This should be our biggest day yet.  Then I'll be very happy to be back to herding those squirrels!!!

Total miles walked to date:   163.26  

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's A Miracle

I can't believe I'm still in the upright position.  I did a bit of everything yesterday, from Zip Bee load-the-kids to Corn Chute sliding to tractor driving!  At least on Fridays we make hot dogs to sell, meaning I always get to perform a taste test.  Nothing beats Costco dogs.

I stocked and restocked the snack bar, making extra room for pumpkin bread.  Sold out of what we call trios (three cookies in a bag), we packaged two entire boxes.  Lucky for us, four cookies were broken.  NOT lucky for us, they taste terrible.  They are plain sugar cookies with a flavor I can't describe.  It's somewhere between cardboard and sand.

A group of special guests showed up all the way from Japan.  We had 20 college kids visit the Patch.  They are in the U.S. taking English classes and came out for our crazy experience.  We explained all about the California gold miners as they panned for gems in our sluice box.  You should have heard them laugh and giggle with surprise when they found crystals, magnetite and even Indian arrowheads.

About half screamed with laughter when they went down the Corn Chute (the big yellow slide).  The others were too scared to speak!!  It was then on to pumpkin carving, which they had never even heard of before.  What a treat to watch their faces!!
By noon, all the kids were gone and we were back to family entertainment.  That's when things went south.  Miss Kelsey set about cooking 72 hotdogs.  I wasn't paying attention, since my attention span has been shortened in direct correlation to the pain in my feet.  Too bad we couldn't just feed them to the dinosaurs, but alas, they were already full from the plethora of small children they ate in the morning!!

By 4:30 we still had 57 dogs in the pan.  I panicked.  The goal is to NEVER have any hot dogs left at the end of the night, two hours later.  The solution?  We had a sale!!  TWO FOR ONE became our mantra as we told everyone who walked up.
In no time we were down to six, which we packaged up for the worker's families.  Guess what's coming for dinner???  I breathed a big sign of relief.  It took another hour to clean up, pack up and get out the gate.  

Here's a forty pound example of the decorative carving pumpkins available, or at least they were until yesterday when hundreds of pounds went out the door.  
Finally home at 7:30, I played with the puppies who think I've abandoned them, fed everybody and crashed on the couch.  There's only one more week if I survive this weekend!!  The smiles I get from the kids after the dinosaur ride make it all worthwhile.  That and of course the moola I'm making!!!

Friday, October 18, 2019


Sometimes it's just so crazy, you have to laugh!!  I'm pretty good at letting things slide, but when a group of teenagers began to trash the corn maze, that was it for me.  We chased them off the property.  I don't know why people have to act that way, but it's not allowed at THIS pumpkin patch.

The day started off nice enough with unruly kids and overstressed teachers.  At least I've got the bus drivers trained to pull right up to the unloading zone by waving my arms like a mad woman!!  I even drug out my neon yellow sleeves so they could see me better.

Here's a picture of inside the barn where the kids have their lunch.  I write times and names on the chalkboard to be sure they get in the right spot.  This is the first time I've tried this, and it's working rather well.  Yay!!!  Much better than trying to move 50 kids around to the right area.
Sadly, it wasn't all good.  THIS time the kid threw up on the bounce pillow instead of the garbage can.  I have to hand it to the two young girls working there.  They immediately cleaned it up and sanitized one whole side.  They got a gold star for the day.
Another gold star went to the new cleanup girl.  You could almost eat off the floor when she was through cleaning up after four schools.  I think we're on a roll!!
This time only 30 kids came for their after-school program.  They all wanted to hit the corn maze, which covers about ten acres.  I warned them before they entered that it was huge and they might lose a kid or two.  They all went in and one minute later all came back out.  The teacher got the message.
We aren't open after dark, but when the sun goes down, we turn on all the lights until everyone has left.  It's a pretty amazing sight to see.  The huge sign at the top of the slide changes from one brilliant color to another.  

Another day, another dollar as we gear up for this weekend.  It's become so popular, we have people coming from as far away as Sacramento and Tulare.  We should have two tractor drivers back today so I get a reprieve from that job.  The best part about it is it's a sit-down job, plus I love talking to the kids about the big dinosaurs.  I've even been known to roar quite loud!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fighting Off Dinosaurs!!

Ever have one of THOSE days?  Yesterday was it for us, and I hope we got it all out of our system at one time!!

First, the night guy didn't do his job.  He must have slept through his shift.  From the very start, we were under the gun.  With 300 school kids coming in, we had our work cut out for us.  Although they should have arrived on schedule, all the buses came in the driveway at the very same time.

It's like fighting those tiny dinosaurs compsognathus from Jurassic Park.  They were running every which direction!!  I can only say I have much respect for the teachers.  I could never do THAT job!!

The tractor driver had to take over the night duties, leaving me to drive for part of the day.  No problem, I just LOVE driving through the dinosaur patch, especially when it was overcast and cool most of the day.
Suddenly we had another dino fight on our hands.  The cleaning ladies didn't show up, nor did they call.  YIKES!!  We all grabbed trash bags and cleaned the entire property including trash cans so full I couldn't even lift the bag out.  I lost that fight, ending up with a chocolate milk soaked tennis shoe and sock.  Yucky!!!
To add insult to injury, someone threw up on one can.  Too much on the Barnyard Bounce I suspect.  Then it was on to the 250 kids coming in the afternoon.  We had to band each and every one of them and of course they all came in at the exact same time.  THAT dinosaur included 41 shaved ice treats, so you can imagine what I did for the next hour.
The next fight, which we won by the way, involved the 50 teenagers trashing the corn maze.  Really??  I don't know what happened to the teachers there.  They had no control whatsoever!

The last dinosaur to test our skills was actually a teacher who insisted her 100 kids get a pumpkin.  It wasn't on any of my paperwork, but I took on the fight.  After reaching no one on the phone, I checked through the binder of reservations to find a note that LOOKED like she was right.  I double checked with the Owner (who is NOT the one taking the reservations) and we decided to give them out.  One hundred pumpkins were passed out to one hundred pumpkins in the six year old age group.
Everyone went home happy while I went back to tractor driving until 6:45.  At long last I only had one fight left.  Trying to get eight huge plastic tarps on the trailers so keep them dry overnight.  You can imagine my frustration, but luckily I beat that dinosaur!!!  I just kept thinking about my nice soft bed!!

Another 300 kids are coming in this morning.  Woohoo!!!!!

Miles walked after day 19:   150.44

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Here And Gone

Another 450 kids come and gone.  Here's how it all works.  The schools make reservations for field trips.  The cost per child is $5.00.  They come out usually by bus, but sometimes the smaller groups come by cars.  I get to meet all of them at the gate, around 5,000 in total.

We always offer a free wristband to teachers and their aids, which I get to place on each and every wrist.  I can slap on wristbands faster than lightning!!  Then they all get to come in and ride all the rides while I gather up the bus drivers (or whoever, since some bus drivers don't seem to be able to touch the lunch boxes ... must be some bad voodoo or something) and get their lunches to the correct locations.

Field trips have to include education, which is why we have the Barnyard Squares show to teach them about agriculture.  After lunch and returning at least ten lost jackets, a couple of cell phones and several sets of keys, they all head out the gate, pumpkin in hand.  Yes, every single one gets a pumpkin.

Some schools are VERY smart.  They put all the kids in the same color shirts so they are easy to corral.
At long last, usually around noon, all the kids are gone and the public begins to arrive.  We've been busier and busier every day.  
Last Sunday was the second biggest day they have ever had, with two more weekends to go.  My feet are crying crocodile tears.
I have to admit, I'm looking forward to taking off in the motorhome to the peace and quiet of Arizona, not to mention the COUCH!!!

Total miles walked as of the 18th day .... 142.63