One of my favorite authors is Ray Bradbury, and I love his October Country stories. I am re-reading them for about the hundredth time & I still think they’re great.  And the stories are like a doorway to Halloween. I’m not crazy about the cold, and the gray, winter weather makes me want to crawl under my covers & stay here – but I love Halloween, I love the spooky scary silliness – I love jack O’lanterns, candy corn, kids in costumes trick-or-treating, and the full moon half hidden by tattered clouds.

It also makes me remember the Halloween parties my kids had – and the trick or treating in out old village, and when the twins killed Halloween. Halloween has died out here in France. Some villages still have it, and some kids still dress up and go out asking for candy – but after a brief spark of interest, it has basically faded away. The pumpkin farmers are still doing well though – in France we all eat pumpkin – baked and in soups and stews – it’s very popular and sold year ’round in stores. We just don’t have any canned pumpkin (and no pumpkin spice Anything – thank goodness!) The other day I went to the farm and got a couple small pumpkins – one is a jack O’lantern and the other went to make a yummy pumpkin – squash puree!

Today I took the jack O’lantern to the office and put it on my desk. Two patients were absent, and it made a half hour hole in our day – so I did something I never did before – I lost my temper and called the patient’s mother and explained that she was not being responsible, that her children were absent more times than they showed up, that we couldn’t go on like that, and that they’d have their braces until they were thirty if she didn’t get her act together and bring her kids in. Now. Today. This instant. “Put them in the car and get them over here right now,” I said, and hung up. She called me back, told me they were on their way, and wrote me an apology as well. I feel bad about losing my temper, bad about telling her she wasn’t taking her children’s treatment seriously – but the result was more than satisfactory. (And she paid up what she owed.) But I still feel bad. I’m usually very laid back, appreciate our patients, get along really well with everyone, and bend over backwards to accommodate. Maybe, Anne Marie suggested, I am too nice and people are taking advantage of me. (I hope not. Oh well. Hell. Probably. LOL.)

I also got another job offer today – from a dentist – to be a dental assistant. I thought that was nice – it’s flattering to feel you’re wanted. But I said I wasn’t interested in leaving. I love my job, Anne Marie and I get on really well, and I truly do like our patients. This Saturday, for Halloween, I’m dressing up for the day – and will have a bowl of candy (I know, terrible, lol) for the kids. Or maybe if I have time I’ll make cookies. I must have Mandy’s pumpkin cookie cutter around somewhere – and some orange food coloring for the frosting! Happy Halloween everyone!