My last tezukuri market at Chion-ji today was a great one. I completed my handmade sake set (cups and carafe) + a plate set, some cute keychain charms for friends, Dragonball cookies, cute postcards and more! Maybe I’ll post pics of my goodies tomorrow, but for now it’s all downstairs and I’m upstairs and lazy. Whoops. I do have some good pictures of other stands at the market though, so take a peek below. The cute thing about today was that okaa-san left before me, but when I walked in I happened to see her in line for a bread stall so she called me over and we talked for a bit. Then, maybe an hour later she found me again just after she’d apparently tried calling me, which I thought was both a great coincidence and adorable of her. I swear, she lights up when she sees me; I don’t care if it’s a random public meeting, me coming through the door just as she comes down the stairs or even one time, we were out at a public bathroom and I was next in line for the stall she just came out of. There’s always the hushed “Liz!” with a bewildered and happy expression and I live for it. So anyways, that happened again, followed by her buying me yummy ginger & honey hojicha and then running into her brother and his wife. Oh, and us walking in on some service at the temple, where we proceeded to determinedly not make eye contact with the monks as we stuffed our faces and okaa-san showed off her purchases (sorry-not-sorry my monk pals).Fun stuff!
We got home and dumped our goodies. As usual, she complemented me on my good taste (take that mom) which I always appreciate, and I gave her this cute handmade cat charm that both her and otou-san flipped out over. Score for Liz. Then she revealed the literal more than 10 assortments of bread-y goods she’d accumulated from the market before complaining about over-spending. I won’t complain. We also split kuromame pan (black bean bread) that tasted like American bread (yum!!) and yakimo (above) that was the softest, best-est sweet potato I’ve ever had. Mhmmm, what a good day for food.
After that okaa-san was in a race against time to compile her various Christmas presents for her international friends, asking me which was more American vs not (which friend should get which scarf, bag, etcetera), if this was too much or not, and generally being frantic. It was great. At one point something wouldn’t fold for one of the packages she wanted to put it into so she just stood up, said, “Hmm. Next Christmas then,” and walked away with it. Seriously? I asked her such and she said yeah . . . too much hassle. Damn if that’s not a strong attitude of too done to care – one I’m sure all my friends are sharing back home with finals (may the force be with y’all). She did end up making it in time, despite giving up on some things, having to inventory everything for customs and racing to the post office with little time. I was very impressed.
Next was dinner, delicious nabe yet again. Miao-chan wanted in on it, so she was our unofficial taste-tester. She approved. Then promptly fell asleep in her adorable way. Ohhh, how I love this cute-patoot cat!!!
After dinner okaa-san dragged out their tiny little Christmas tree with bags upon bags of decorations and got at it. She started with the ornaments before pulling out tinsel, then lights, so a lot of stuff fell off. Many times. Whoops! Luckily Chiro-chan and Miao-chan were very invested in making sure the tree was okay . . . ha, as if. Chiro-chan wanted to eat the red yarn ball ornament because it looked like an apple, and I don’t know what Miao-chan was trying to eat but it was something. Either way the tree is now perched adorably on the windowsill, gently flashing rainbow as the night wears on. It even has a cute little tree skirt.
This is probably the most Christmas-y I’ve felt besides the one time I stayed in Flying Tiger for 45 minutes just to sing along with the Christmas songs (yup, that’s my life), and it’s great. Going to bed feeling content and homey.