Friday, February 1, 2013

Top 10 - Things I want to do upon my return to the U.S.

With my COS (completion of service) looming in the near future, I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I want to do most when I come home from Ethiopia. A few of these things may not mean much to readers who haven’t lived in places where these things aren't possible or available, but they are things that I have missed doing for these last two years. They are things that creep into my dreams, usually very frustrating dreams in which I still cannot do these things. But, now, with the end of my service in sight, I’ve begun to think more seriously about how to go about resettling into my life in The States. This is a list of the top ten things I have planned to do when I get to go home.
1.            Eat Super Nachos from Mi Pueblito – Super Nachos with everything with Al Pastor and tomatillo salsa. Either Root Beer or Dr. Pepper to drink, with lots of ice. On the next trip I will have shredded chicken enchiladas, and after that, two ceviche tostadas with a side of guacamole. In my humble opinion, Mi Pueblito (in the Park Falls plaza, near Walmart, in Ukiah, Ca.) is the only place to eat fresh delicious Mexican food outside a Mexican Household.
2.            Drink a non-fat, no-whip, iced, hazelnut mocha, at Starbucks and knit for no less than three hours. Realistically I will probably have two or three drinks during this Starbucks knitting extravaganza. There is coffee here in Ethiopia, of course, and it is really really good, but there is nothing like a Starbucks Iced Mocha, and I desperately miss sitting there, knitting, without people staring or pointing or inviting themselves to my table. Oh yes, to be drinking a delicious drink and knitting with a delicious yarn, in public space, without feeling like a dancing monkey. This then leads me to #3.

3.            Knit with bulky and/or super bulky yarn. I don’t know yet what the project will be. Maybe the Burberry Inspired Cowl by Julianne Smith or Sylvie by Mari Muinonen but either way I demand bulky yarn. After two years of knitting and crocheting with fingering weight yarn and small needles, I’ve got a major hankerin’ for some big-ass yarn and some big-ass needles. Oh, the wonderment that is thick, delicious yarn. This brings us to #4.

Sylvi by Mari Muinonen

Burberry Inspired Cowl by Julianne Smith

4.            Dive head deep into my yarn stash and knit it down so I don’t feel quite so bad about going on a yarn buying spree. I’m not going to force myself to knit my entire stash before I go on this spree. That would be cruel. I am, however, going to go through all of it and either pair what I’ve got with projects to cast on, or give it away if I’m not feeling it anymore. I’ve been listening, these two years in Ethiopia, to the Doubleknit and Stash & Burn knitting podcasts, unable to get my hands on my own stash. The stash burning mojo has accumulated and I’m ready and itchin’ to tackle the stash!

5.            ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!! I want to spend some quality time with my siblings. Nothin’ like hours in the car together and stops at low budget roadside tourist traps to get to know each other a little better. This trip will start by collecting my younger brother and sister and end in Seattle where our older sister has grown roots. I’m also hoping that our older brother will be able to come and play too.
6.            Cook cook cook cook cook! I miss cooking. Now, I can cook here, and do cook here, but the ingredients and tools are very very limited. I want to cook whatever my heart desires with a real stove, oven, and all of my kitchen toys that have been locked away in storage while I’ve been in Peace Corps. “Who will eat all this food?” you ask. Well, my friends of course! I’m planning on having my friends over and near me for quite some time. They’ll be more than happy to eat the banquet I will provide. Part of the fun in all this cooking is going to the grocery store. I do miss a proper grocery store. Isles and Isles and thousands of choices!
7.            Have a Twilight Saga movie marathon. The plan is to watch all of the movies leading, of course, to the very last one which I will not have seen yet. This marathon will also include lots of food, lots of friends, and most likely a little liquor as well. Can’t ask for much more!
8.            Spend a full weekend, Friday through Sunday, on the coast. I want to sit on the shore with my feet buried in the sand, and knit, snooze, eat, read, etc. Fish’n’chips at Captain Flint’s in the Harbor (Fort Bragg, Ca.) is also part of the deal. They make the only coleslaw, in the world, that I actually like.  I’m not sure if this excursion will include others. I think it’ll depend on how I feel at the time.
9.            Spend a few quality days in San Francisco with my pals. I miss them so! I may include an adventure to the Winchester Mystery house. No, it’s no in SF, but it is in the bay area and I think my friends would be down for a day trip. It’ll be nice to be able to do this before I have to return to a regular job as I’ll be able to sleep in, stay up late, and traipse around San Francisco at a leisurely pace without having to worry about getting a bunch of stuff done before such and such time. I think I’ll do a ghost tour, and maybe even a little visit to Alcatraz.
10.          Create works of art. I don’t care what I’m using or making as long as it’s artistic. Knitting, quilting, painting, drawing, decoupage, paper arts, photography, cooking, baking, etc. I want to make as much art as possible with all of the tools and materials I need at my very fingertips and shops nearby to get what I don’t have. Woo hoo! I love art! Let’s hear it for uninhibited self-expression!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The ten items are not by any means in any kind of specific order.  They’re simply the things that are priority for me. Obviously some are going to be more expensive to complete so the time it takes in which to fulfill my goals will depend on how far and long I can make my budget stretch. Fingers crossed! At some point, sooner rather than later, I know I’ll have to buckle down and get a job and a car, especially if I’m planning on a road trip, but for now I’m focusing on the free time I will have to reacquaint myself with western life and reconnect with my friends and family.

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