January 6, the day recognized as the day the Wise Men came to visit the Holy Family. It marks the end of the Christmas season and many people call it "Little Christmas." It's also, I believe, the day the Eastern Orthodox Catholics celebrate Christmas (or so David's Ukranian godfather has been telling us for years).
However, today was my "little Christmas."
We are leaving tomorrow morning for Santa Barbara and will be gone a week (and Ashley with her 3 dogs will be moving in here, so all you would-be thieves, look ye elsewhere for your targets!). My mother won't travel any more and even if she were able to make the 400 mile trip to Santa Barbara there is no way she could tolerate staying there a whole week, so she will be having a quiet Christmas with her stepson.
So today was my Christmas with her.
I went down in the early morning and we had a nice visit before time for lunch. We went to a lovely place called Chalet Basque which is small and intimate with lots of greenery planted around the windows so you can't see the highway which is just a few feet from the front door.
I ordered a Croque Monsieur, which I had never had and wasn't sure what it was (a toasted ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with additional Swiss cheese melted on top) and it was tasty. My mother had a salad.
When we finished our lunch, my mother asked with a twinkle in her eye if we were going to get dessert. Truth to tell, I was stuffed, but who am I to turn down a chocolate mousse...
...and this one was perfect, very light and creamy. Of course I was still full by dinner time!
My mother was sleepy when we got back to the house and wanted a nap, so I left and decided to visit Ikea in Emeryville, since I hadn't been able to get to the store in Sacramento the other day. I was trying to find child-hand sized puppets, since all I could find in town were great puppets, but really made for an adult hand. Ned's sister-in-law told me that she thought Ikea carried what I was looking for.
I had been to Ikea in Emeryville once before and it had been a disaster. The place is huge and it is brightly colored and it is right along side the freeway, so I had no trouble knowing where it was. What I had trouble was finding the right street that would lead me there. It took half an hour going up and down and around and could always see it off in the distance but couldn't find the damn street that would actually go to the store. By the time I found, I had only half an hour to search for what I was looking for, and, this being my first time there, I didn't know that furniture was sold unassembled...and hadn't thought about how I was going to get an unassembled (or assembled, for that matter) bookcase into my little car.
That was my only previous experience with Ikea. Today I found it unerringly and had no time constraints, so I could explore. I was disappointed, though, because I didn't find any puppets, except finger puppets, but I figured those would do better than nothing, so I picked up a couple of packages and sent Walt a text message that read "finger puppets."
Then I continued to walk around and on some piece of furniture, I found one child-hand sized regular puppet. I texted Walt "Puppet!"
I figured where there was one there must be others and walked around looking until I came to a bin. I texted Walt "Puppets!!!"
I picked out a few puppets and returned the finger puppets and then went on. Around the next corner, I found this.
I texted "More puppets!" I also texted "I may move in here."
Around the next corner I was in the kitchen section and barely made it out with minimal purchases. I have made "learning about Ikea" on my list for things to do in 2011.I finally went to the exit, picked up a couple of packages of Swedish meat balls and headed to the car. I was a happy camper, and I even got out of Emeryville ahead of rush hour traffic, which is somwhat of a miracle. All in all a very good, very positive day.