Dispatch from Rock City (2006-12-03 - 9:14 a.m.)
Hello from Rock City! That's right, I'm back in Rocky Mountain House for a whirlwind weekend of choclate-making. It's a family tradition that I've managed to miss for the past two years due to gallivanting. A giant box of chocolate is bought and everyone makes centres (except Tim and I this year - slackers!) and then we spend the afternoon dipping them. From what I remember this used to be an all-day affair lasting until about 7pm, but this year we were completely finished by about 4pm. Such efficiency!
I didn't even attempt to bring Mabel this time, as I have wimped out every single time there was a possibility of taking her out of the city on winter roads. After that last experience, I just don't want to put her through that, poor lamb. (Plus I don't entirely trust her on skiddy roads - no offense, Mabel). One of my aunts rented a car, which seems like a much more sensible plan.
We only left for Rocky on Saturday morning, so true to form I went out Friday night anyway. Started with a potluck at the International Centre, where I hung out with Song-Yi, my Korean student, and one of her friends. They made this delicious Korean pancake thing, for which I intend to get the recipe.
Then on to Feast - a very quiet one. When I walked in the door, Remkes told me, "There's soup on the stove. It's pretty bland, though - I'm not too impressed." So I took a big mouthful and just about choked. Bland it was NOT. When I finally managed to sputter this comment out, Rem said, "Oh yeah, that's Hot and Sour soup. The other ones's the bland one".
After waiting around for Rene (late as usual) we went to a housewarming party at the adorable home of one of the math grad students. He had wood floors and a huge fireplace and a bathtub on legs! So I curled up in an armchair by the fireplace and did not move all night.
Last night, in contrast, was the Rocky Parade of Lights. Everybody in this town has a truck in their backyard (some bigger than others - as long as a city block, for example) so they string lights on some of them and parade down Main Street. My favorite included the lit-up replica pumpjack, compressor and separator, and the tilted, drunken-looking Santa on a Harley advertising the Tamarack bar. (Known locally, Tim tells me, as the Tabernac. No wonder the Quebecois don't like us much!)
The grand finale was Santa, drawn by eight reindeer. Or rather, eight horses in reindeer antlers and little red booties. Still rather effective, though, I thought.
Got my birthday present from my parents. A giant toolbox! So next time you need something ratcheted, you know who to call.
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