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By Roz Rogoff

A Merry Chocolate Christmas

Uploaded: Dec 17, 2013

Dominique Yancey, Contra Costa County DA, member of the Parks and Community Services Commission, and all around great person, invited me to a Chocolate Christmas Party on December 15th. The invitation said to bring friends, so I invited my neighbor Sally and she offered to drive. I was glad she offered to drive, because even though Dominique lives close by in Canyon Lakes, I don't like driving after dark and I get lost easily.

Sally got lost too. First she turned on Canyon Woods Drive, which goes into a gated community. Canyon Lakes is a gated community but I wasn't sure we could get there this way. Sally showed the invitation to the person at the booth. She said it was not there so Sally made a U-Turn and went back to Alcosta.

I told Sally I thought it was off Bollinger Canyon Road. I remembered that Mayor Abram Wilson lived in Canyon Lakes. I had gone to his house several years ago either to drop something off or pick something up. I don't recall what but I remembered he lives in Canyon Lakes. I mentioned that to Dominique when I accepted her invitation and she said he lived four doors down from her.

Sally wanted to go to Crow Canyon Road, but I insisted she turn on Bollinger. I recalled that Abram spoke at one of the meetings over the Sycamore Trees on the Bollinger Canyon hill. He said he drives that way to get home and doesn't want those trees cut down.

I was right about going up Bollinger, but wrong about the direction when we got to the top of the hill. I told Sally to turn right, so we went into the Canyon View gated community. The gatekeeper told Sally it was the other direction off of Bollinger, so she turned around and went the other way past that little shopping area across from Club Sport.

We got to the gate to get in and two cars were ahead of us. The first one opened the gate, but it closed by the time they pulled up to it. Someone got out of the second car and punched in the code, and the gate opened again and the first and second cars went through. Sally was going to punch in the code, but the gate was still open, so she just drove through it. I was afraid it might close on us before we got to it.

It was very dark and hard to tell where we were. Sally was concerned because all of the house numbers were in the 2000's. Dominique's house is in the two-hundreds. So Sally phoned Dominique to get directions.

When we got to the house, two cars (I don't know if those were the two ahead of us at the gate) were parking in the cul de sac near Dominique's house. Sally parked behind them and we went in.

Dominique greeted us warmly (as she always is). Sally commented that she's beautiful, which she also is. I envision her in a TV Series, "Dominique Yancey, DA" starting one of those 50-something actresses like Dana Delany in "Body of Proof," whose careers were revived playing mature, sexy professional women. Now that "Body of Proof" has been cancelled, Delany would be perfect casting for Dominique.

I thought I'd meet Dominique's husband Dan, but the party was all female. The only man there was the bartender. The invitation said to bring your own beverage, so I brought a bottle of Redd's Apple Ale, which is really hard cider but sells better marketed as Ale.

I said "hello" to Esther Lucas and Nicole Blazin from the Parks and Community Services Department but I didn't recognize most of the other people there. The spread of chocolate goodies was incredible. Sally said Dominique baked everything herself.

I'm normally allergic to chocolate. I have been since I was a child. That doesn't stop me from eating it, but I gave up eating chocolate 15 years ago after developing terrible sores on my legs from a chocolate rash that became infected and wouldn't heal.

I was diagnosed with chronic venus insufficiency, which meant the blood in my legs didn't circulate properly and that's why sores didn't heal. I was told to wear compression hose and move around every hour or two to keep the blood circulating. I also stopped eating chocolate so I wouldn't get rashes on my legs, but I figured I could keep any rash under control with antibiotic ointment and compression hose.

Dominique made a few non-chocolate items, like gingerbread and cookies with raspberry jam in the center. I expected the cakes and cookies to be more Christmassy, but there were no Christmas tree cookies or jingle bells, or chocolate Santas (not even in white chocolate to appease Megyn Kelly).

After taking my dish of everything chocolate, and some gingerbread, Sally found chairs in the back. Barbara Hudson, Councilman Dave Hudson's wife, came over and joined us. We chatted about the election and the City Council, and Jim Livingstone's tribute to Dave at the swearing in ceremony. Barbara wondered why the other Councilmembers didn't support Dave. I don't know either, and I plan to ask Scott Perkins about that the next time I see him.