Halloween Hangover


We were spoiled this year with many treats from America that simply cannot be purchased here.  Candy corn, Halloween Peeps and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to name a few.  Brent hates all of these.  I suppose these flavors, along with root beer, are not for everyone.

We had a huge beef sale day on Halloween.  Brent delivered in Toulouse, returned to the farm just in time for me to hop in the frigo and head to Bordeaux.  Great fun and happy customers.  I had a most exciting tour through the heart of Bordeaux.  I’ve always wanted to see the streets of Bordeaux.  Bordeaux is very animated on a warm Halloween night at five in the evening on a Friday.  There was a moment there when two bicycle cops told me to get off the phone, did a skid and ( I thought ) were going to hunt me down through the pedestrians, goblins and fancy cars to write me a ticket.  After wading the frigo through the sponge of walking peeps, I think I shook off les gendarmes.

The kids were waiting for me to return to begin the candy festivities, but I was a bit longer than planned.  The kids popped over to the neighbors for some Halloween scare, joy and candy which they enjoyed very much.  I rushed back just in time to give my husband a wedding anniversary hug.  Then he face planted.  I stayed up with Zelie who, after a powernap and a Ghost Peep, stayed up until I convinced her that sleeping at one-o-clock in the morning might be fun!


Minty: What’s for breakfast?

Me: candy

Minty: What’s for lunch?

Me: candy

Minty: What’s for dinner?

Me: candy

Minty: UH! I want real food!!

Of Zombies and Chokos


Big sister has taken to face painting.  Last night, right before bed, she did ” Black. ”  Brent didn’t know about Black until he saw Z in the morning.  Black migrated and built little colonies away from her face.  Huge cities of Black on her arms, neck and legs. Face completely clean.   Amazing the transient qualities of Black.  He gave her a bath.

This day was ” Red. ”  Red lasted until we visited a friend.  Z will do anything to go with Mommy.  Wiped her face, put on her shoes and peed in the potty ( even though there was ” no pee in me! ” ).  Halloween approaching.  ‘Tis the season to be Zombie.

Below are Chayotes.  I have NO idea what to do with them.  They were given to me.  I always love fresh veg.  They’ve occupied my kitchen for a few days now.  Yesterday, I noticed they were sprouting.  They’re growing tentacles.  When I cooked the duck confit, I felt their presence.  I looked back to make sure they were still there.  Stirred the Blanquette de Veau.  Looked back and their tentacles grew another inch.  Not sure where to go from here.  I can plant them or eat them.  Otherwise, they might become mobile.


Les BON BON!!!


Moving out to France with the family also means leaving American holidays.   A lot of holidays are celebrated around the world with slight variation and enthusiasm.  Halloween, I assumed, would be tuned to day–of-the-dead rather than trick-or-treat.  I wasn’t sure if the children of France dressed up in costume.  So, I prepared my daughter as Halloween grew close, not to expect to dress up and go out trick-or-treating.  Instead, we could have a little costume party and eat candy and cakes at home.  But that was all before we received the note from her school about the Halloween Train.  Which in my newbie French read, “A l’occasion de la fête d’Halloween.  Les enfants … Invités … de bonbon … en petit train”  and was signed, “Merci, La Sorcière.”  For those following along in English, a local witch invited the children to wear a costume and ride a little train around the village for candy!   Voila!


Halloween at last arrived after many demands from the children for it to come early.  Lucy, Otto and Clementine got in costume and we were off to see what this train business was all about.  The train was a white, tractor sort of thing pulling three covered carts.  There were piles of balloons to be blown up along with pumpkin streamers and hanging plastic decoration.  Parents brought cakes and juice.  After the train was decorated, we got on our way to yell at the village to come out and give us candy.  The train would stop at each house, the children would chant from the train at the top of their lungs, “LES BONBON!!!! LES BONBON!!!”  (Actually, they never really stopped yelling LES BONBON and after a couple hours on a train with forty or so chanting goblins and witches, I can still hear it ringing in my ear.)  At last, a person emerged from their home bearing a bag of candy and sometimes juice for the train to take with them.  After a large cheer, we’d move along circling around the village finally ending up at the village hall.  The whole experience was joyous and energetic.  Kids ran around, yelled and screamed eating cake and candy.   The event was spectacular, but it wasn’t until it was all over that I realized that it was actually magical.   This Halloween party never had a committee.  No one was in charge of decorating the train.  No spreadsheet was used to figure out who brought what.  No flurry of email passed through the PTA inbox with progress and concerns.  The Witch told us where to be and what to wear letting the rest unfold naturally.  Everyone arrived.  The train got decorated.  The cakes were brought.  Fun was had by all.  Further, the trick-or-treat experience was turned into a community event. Bags upon bags of candy were collected and then mixed and bundled for the children to take home after the party.  My American children were boggled.  They’re used to hitting the streets on their own, everyone out for themselves not knowing many of the neighbors.  Complaining that so-and-so got a Mars bar while they only got a bag of gummy bears.  On the train, each child left happily with the big bag of mixed candy.  And the villagers got one visit by all the children who cheered at them.   I left having chatted with all the parents, the kids played with all their buddies we all cleaned up and enjoyed the rest of the evening.   What I enjoyed was the community.