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Sunday, November 3, 2013


My initial plan had been to write about my trip to Grapevine last weekend, but despite having a great time, it did not contain as much material as the rest of this week!  Halloween in Austin is not much different to any other day, as far as apparel is concerned, but the decorations give a clue to the date.

I didn't start my work week until Tuesday and the weather was very turbulent.  By Wednesday the storms were heading towards us with great speed, and there was a lot of anticipation about the impending precipitation, as parents of younger children were hoping the inclement conditions would would last through to Friday morning, so they would not have to go 'Trick or Treat'.  We left the office and headed home, arriving just as the first lightening strike hit.  The rain started to fall, and the severity of the storm was being reported on the television.  Each programme was interrupted by chief meteorologists giving advice, and showing maps covered with different colours, showing the different levels of brutality.  Reports of the devastation were abundant on Thursday morning, and many roads had been closed, including the intersection between my house and Samantha's.  The weather channel was repeating its electronic advice of 'Turn around, don't drown!'  The traffic was very heavy, and we sent Joe a message to let him know that we were not going to be at the shop for coffee.  What a day to miss out on a treat!  However, by the time we arrived at the office, the sun was shining and there was little evidence that there had been a shower, let alone a tremendous thunder storm!   It looked as if Trick or Treating was not going to be cancelled, and I was not looking forward to the day for more than one reason!  This was the second time I had made an appointment at the dentist for All Hallows Eve!  Although I believe that I am quite able to drive myself to the tooth technician, if I have to have any treatment, the nitrous renders me unfit to be behind a wheel for the return journey.  However, most agree that if I was allowed to drive myself, I would a) get lost, because I am in a state of panic, or b) get lost, on purpose.  Samantha had already offered to be my chauffeur and had come equipped with things to do as she presumed the wait would be quite long.  Considering that for years, the kids at the school where I worked thought I was the tooth fairy, I feel that I have not set a very good example!

It is hard enough going to the dentist on any day, but when the surgery is decorated like the Little House of Horrors, it does little to ease my angst!  Samantha, of course, having assimilated into the culture, was in her home-made dinosaur outfit, and had no problem walking into the building dressed in the green costume.  I was greeted with the usual enthusiasm.  Dressed in my usual business attire, my costume was probably considered equally as good!  'It's Miss Tracie!' came the shout from behind the counter. Fortunately, the very friendly dental nurse is well aware of my inability to show any emotion other than abject terror when coming for an appointment, and was not offended when all I could muster was half a smile in return. However, her fervor was not to be dampened, and she continued to 'whoop' and 'holler' over Samantha's greenness!  I was man-handled into a seat in the waiting area, by my Jurassic companion, who then helped me fill in a very uncomplicated form!  Before long, I was called to the chair.  I got up to walk into the cubicle, but my feet seemed to have a mind of their own, and would not walk one in front of the other, but more of one step forward, two steps back!  Once seated, I was at the mercy of the hygienist, who spent sometime letting me know what she was going to do.  I sat and stared at a speck on the ceiling, making affirmative sounds when she appeared to have finished speaking.  What I really wanted to say was, 'I am here now.  Do what you have to, and quickly!'  Half way through the cleaning, the doctor came into complete her examination.  The hygienist commented on how I had been very brave, and had not needed as much as a sniff during the past hour's torture (my words, not hers), and the doctor sat down next to me staring at the pink mask that I was grasping tightly in my hand.  As she went to take it away, as apparently they no longer use this method to filter the psychedelic gas into the body, the hygienist shouted, 'No!  Don't take away her security blanket!'   I felt a little silly, but then thought, 'If it works........'.  I was informed that my wisdom tooth, that had been impacted for nearly forty years, had managed to erupt, and was sitting pretty at the back of my mouth, doing nothing!  My joy in hearing that it was a perfectly healthy tooth, was turned to anguish when I was informed that it was causing a problem to everything else, and it would be within my best interest to have it removed.  Dental surgery!  It appears they were considering sedation not only for the operation, but also for the receiving of the news!  I wondered why before the announcement, everyone had been outside in the corridor pulling out straws!  Once I had composed myself, and asked the same question approximately 35 times, (are you sure it has to be removed?) I settled back for the hygienist to finish me off!  Still smiling, she showed me a new tool, and let me know that she was simply going to take some pictures of my teeth.  It was at this point that I finally flipped.  With all the anxiety that had built up, I started to giggle. All I could see was my technician walking around town with a long coat, saying, 'wanna see some pictures of teeth'. 
Eventually, I was told it was time to go, and I paid the bill!  This gave 'Trick or Treat' a whole new meaning.  What a trick to play after you have been treated!  The new receptionist then gave me two estimates for my impending torture.  One was simply for the removal of the tooth with regular pain relief, and the other was for complete sedation.  Going back into a trance, Mrs T-Rex recognised the symptoms and came round to take charge of the situation.  'Put her out!' she said, without a second thought.  I could feel myself looking totally blank, and suggested they ask the very friendly nurse, who had greeted me when I first arrived.  'She will know what's best!' was all I could add!  'What's happy about it', I mumbled, as they all chanted 'Happy Halloween'.  My prehistoric companion helped me back to the car, assuming that I had been given the nitrous, as I was apparently looking slightly pale!  Who needs a costume!
We drove back to the office, and Samantha went to the Courthouse for the afternoon run.  Keeping Austin very weird, she walked through the scanner and up to the Clerk's office, where she was given celebrity status! 

With the drama of the day behind us, Friday was comfortingly non-eventful.  I was ready for the weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed the monotony of housework.  Although my routine is fairly lax, the first weekend of the month always means 'extra'.  I went out on to my balcony to sweep the debris from the recent storm.  Leaves and tiny twigs had huddled together in the corner, behind the wicker chair that sits unused!   I looked around the covered area, and checked for wasps, as we have had a few floating around all summer, but there was no sign of a nest.  Everything seemed to be quiet, so I moved the chair so I could sweep clean.  Fortunately, I was a little cautious when removing the seat, as I thought it might be home to an arachnid or two.  I found the source of the buzzing fliers!  The size of a baseball, the nest was stuck tight to the back of the woven high backed stall and I moved quicker than I did on Thursday to retreat from the area!  Emerging with my faithful can of spray, I soaked the infected area, and watched from behind the safety of the glass door.  A couple of stray insects managed to find their way inside my bedroom and were sent to meet their maker rather quicker than they had expected!  The red backed insect that appeared to have its legs tucked tightly up inside, was whacked with a large shoe, and bounced off the carpet doing somersaults before landing on the table.  On closer inspection I realised I had just killed a cranberry tablet, but I had no regrets! 

Samantha and I had not been on our regular Saturday outing for a month, and had a lot to do once on the road.  Before eating our way through the samples at Costco, we visited Target, where she returned a couple of items bought earlier in the week.  As we reached her car, I stopped to look at the back wing.  I was not sure whether it was a scratch or a bit of dirt, so I licked my finger, and wiped the mark.  'What are you doing?' shouted my daughter, looking quite disturbed.  I told her that I thought there was a slight chip in her paintwork, and was just checking to see if it was dirt of damage.  She stood, as only my daughter does when reprimanding her mother, and announced, 'That is not my car!'  Hoping no one else had notice, I hurried to the other vehicle and complained that at least with the mini, I could not mistake her make and model of transport! 

The clocks went back today, a week after England, and we went out for a very scrumptious breakfast as the sun was rising.  We took advantage of the only weekend in November that does not have an agenda.  Veterans Day weekend is seven days away, and the following Sunday is Formula 1 race day, for which Samantha and I have tickets (oh yes!) and then before we know it, Thanksgiving will have given way to the beginning of December. Fake snow has already been sprinkled around the stores and before long Felice Navidad will be played continuously!  I am going to brave the elements and perhaps take a last swim for the season (although this is Texas, so we may have a heat wave next weekend).  Halloween is over for another year, officially, although not necessarily evident along 6th Street, and as I am expecting a list of dates from horror headquarters it seems to be hanging on for slightly longer!  I don't really care what kind of trick they try to treat me, but I am hoping that ultimately I will be too out of it to even consider .... another story!

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