Week 01 – Daniel Visits

#3 Snowfall

03 January 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

We only get a day or two of snow each year, if that, so this was pretty exciting to wake up to.

The first half of the day, while we stayed in, was very Calvin and Hobbes. Little kids in our complex made sleds out of garbage can lids and kept crashing into someone’s parked pickup.

The second part of the day, when we had more errands, called for trying to pull cars out of driveways by force. A lot more Snowpiercer.

2016 has yet to fully sink in. The past few weeks have been wild ones. I’ve had visitors and I’ve been a visitor, sometimes doing both those things at the same time. With a few days to slow it way down before South Africa, it’ll be nice to let the present sink in some more.

#4 Daniel at Vero

04 January 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

So glad Daniel I could ring in the new year together, almost like Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper. Almost.

Also glad I didn’t lose my friend forever sliding down an icy mountain.

Come back to Oregon. We’ll have more donuts ready.

#5 Six Month Gift

05 January 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Got our mail that was held at the post office while we were away the past few weeks and found this treat… Some really neat card stock square prints of wedding photos from our photographer… Thanks Becky!

At the moment, here’s a few good things I’ve been thankful for.

Getting to have Daniel in town for a few days— Having visitors has always made me excited, especially while I’ve been living further away from my closest friends. I especially like it when they’re the sort of visitor I can totally be myself around.

Blue Star Donuts— Particularly for their Egg Nog Brûlée and rum donut. A brûlée donut is such a good idea, and they’re quite generous with the rum.

Getting to do another room escape— its a hot, trendy activity now, and I hope the trend is here to stay.

#6 French Baguettes

06 January 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

This year, I’ve made myself a list of 52 recipes I’d love to have mastered by the end of the year. Half of these items are basics I should really know how to master. The other half are things I’ve eaten before that I’ve thought were really yummy and wondered if I could make myself. I’ll be doing what people who do this sort of thing do, which is chronicling my challenge by blog.

Item number one of this year… the French baguette. One of my favorite simple lunches is a slice of prosciutto and a bit of brie sandwiched in a fresh baguette, so these are nice to have on hand. Plus, one of my favorite things about the middle east are the bread vendors who come around every morning with fresh baguettes. They introduced me to the wonders of a really simple but really good egg and cheese baguette sandwich. That fresh baked bread makes a world of difference.

These suckers are actually really sensitive to temperature and humidity. The dough will rise very differently from one part of the country to the next… probably from one room to the next.

Actually, that’s the great debate in New Orleans. The bread process I’m using is used to make the buns of a po’boy sandwich. But does that make it a French baguette? Some would argue that the Delta humidity alters the dough way too much that it’s its own animal.

I guess you could maybe make that argument for the Middle East’s dryness too.

#7 Jozi Prep

07 January 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Looooooonnng day. Spent most of it doing prep for South Africa.

After getting my computer ready for travel, clearing up memory on all my stuff that usually runs out of memory, making a list of things to buy before going, phone calls and other details, the pending trip is finally beginning to sink in.

And I’m really excited.

From everything I’ve heard, a TON has changed since my last visit three years ago… A lot good, some not quite as good, but probably mostly good. From the sound of things it won’t be as big of a challenge to navigate my way around as it was last time.

Also, the last microloan I gave out in October didn’t work out because the person never collected the money… So it was returned. I still want to give this thing a legit shot so I found another person looking for one.

Looking forward to seeing you again soon, Africa!

#8 Piano Man

08 January 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Coming to the end of my little bit of time in Eugene before going out to South Africa. Decided to take a break from all the trip planning and packing to spend some time with my GCF friends.

That was a good call. We ended up with Andrew on the piano, playing name that tune and just riffing off of nostalgic old ideas.

But, speaking of the South Africa trip, I am getting really excited for that. From all I’ve heard via phone calls and emails, so much has changed that will likely make this a much more productive and enjoyable visit. Looking forward to it!

#9 Running Through Amazon Park

09 January 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“Initially you’re overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it’s like a wave. Resist, and you’ll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you’ll swim out the other side.”

—The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

If these words were spoken by the Dame Judy Dench, they must be taken seriously.

I don’t like to run. I live in Tracktown, USA, birthplace of Nike and host of this year’s Olympic trials. Still don’t like to run.

I wish I could learn how to like running. I know how to run. I don’t know how to enjoy it. Deanna enjoys it.

Taking the words of Judy Dench to heart, I signed myself up for the Eugene half marathon on my birthday weekend and bought some cold weather running clothes. I figured at the very least I love wearing those compression leggings, but I think I’ve taken the plunge even further.