Remember how I said before that I like to imagine that everyone in my mom's area of town is happily baking ginger cookies?  Well, that's because it distracts me from having nightmares.

My mom's house is in the suburbs.  It's a nice house, in a nice area, in a nice town.  All is right in the world.  Or so it seems...

When I go out for a walk, no one is around.  Not a soul.  I walk along a line of big houses and everything is quiet.  A dog barks and is instantly silenced.  By who?  I am unsure.  House after house, street after street, I see no movement.  Where are the people?  

The sun glints off the rows of plastic garage doors, blinding me for a second.  Did something just move?  I blink and notice a car running in the driveway.  Still, no one is around.  I continue my walk, noticing how similar each house is; plasticy white siding with blue trim, the odd pinky-brown stucco house thrown in for variety.  The sameness of it all makes me shiver.

I finish my loop and head home.  Oh no!  What's that!?  The running car is still running.  I mean, I've been walking for like 15 minutes since I saw it last.  It doesn't need to warm up for that long!  What could have happened to the people who started it?  Did they just get distracted?  Or maybe...

What was that noise?  Maybe someone's in trouble!  Could it be vampires?  Some sort of murderous cult?  Is someone getting their legs pulled off in a gaint underground ritual!?  WHERE IS EVERYONE!!

And so I run back home and hide under my bed.  True story.  Not a bit of exaggeration at all.  You can understand why I like to imagine happy families and ginger cookies.  

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you are all having a great holiday.

Guess what I got for Christmas?  Boots!  They're nice woolen ones with big buttons on them.  I'm a big fan of footwear, although my personal shoe collection is not quite brag worthy.  It's all rather utilitarian: a pair of hiking boots, running shoes, work shoes, and a crappy set of "yah, these look okay, and I'll wear them everyday, but they probably aren't so good for the knees" shoes.  I have a secret wish for red high heels.  

I'm excited because my new boots are going to replace my crappy everyday shoes.  Shoes are important if you are going to walk everywhere.  "You gotta invest in the proper support!" orders my dad.  Back when he was my age, he used to run miles in work boots and now his knees and feet are kicking him in the butt for it.

Hey, if you have any foot related pain, this website looks pretty helpful: 
It even talks about foot odor - important for people who own hiking boots and go into hostels and stink up the entire room so that everyone else can hardly sleep without gagging (It wasn't me!  It was ... yah, it was me).

Goodness!  I bet you didn't expect to hear about foot odor on Christmas!  This is a very un-Christmasy blog entry.  Santa.  Snow.  Blinky lights.  Eggnogg.  Carols.  Jingle bells! 

So the crazyness that was the end of my first semester is over and I'm back in my hometown of High River.  Did you know that a bunch of Superman 3 was shot in High River?  (That's what I tell people when I try to brag about my town.  I also tell them that it's Joe Clark's hometown and they say "Joe who?"). 

Do you know what else is cool about HR?  There's a cookie factory here; "Anna's Cookies".  Perhaps you've tried them before?  They're gingerbread flavored, super thin cookies.  When I used to walk to work in HR, everything would smell like gingerbread.  It was pretty festive.  I used to imagine that all the houses were filled with happy families, everyone baking gingerbread at the same time.  In Montreal, sometimes the street smells like pee. Or, when it's snowing, exaust. So, Montreal doesn't really compare on that front.

Another thing I noticed when I arrived in Alberta is how open and wide everything is.  When you live in a city, the farthest you can see is across the street.  In Alberta, you can see all the way to the mountains on a clear day.  

I guess in some ways I'm a prairie girl at heart.  But living in HR is difficult when you don't drive and it's minus 25 outside.  But have no fear!  I am still walking.  I walked all around downtown yesterday and I even felt warm because of the workout.