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Three Cups Later Posts

Under Pressure

The good news is my proposal for the next anthology has been accepted.

The bad news is, we’re selling our house and moving closer to my workplace and everything is chaos on the homefront with multiple disruptions and no flow time.

This isn’t abnormal. I’ve worked under this kind of pressure before, but it also isn’t optimal. I’ve started hand-writing the outline to rattle out ideas as that is one of the ways I work on short-form fiction when I don’t necessarily have a lot of spare time at home.

Also, this story may come with a recipe? Look, I don’t know, it’s too early to say, but it indicated it wanted me to include a recipe. If not in the story, than as a bonus piece on this website. You’re welcome.

No title yet. Probably won’t have one until we get closer to the final edit.

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Giving It Away

About six months ago, my therapist looked at me and said, “You give away your power a lot, don’t you?”

“Um,” I said, and then babbled out something that got me a skeptical look.

Honestly, I didn’t have a good answer for her then, but six months on, I do now.

Yeah, I do. All the time.

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Don’t Get Mad, Get Civil

Zo’s seatbelt got stuck, and that’s when the trouble started.

We pull up every morning to the line in front of her school. One way in, one way out. I throw the car into [P]ark, and I wait for her to unbuckle, grab her things, open the door, and get out. I am not allowed (according to copious signage in multiple languages) to get out of the car and help her.

But her seatbelt buckle got stuck, and from the back of our four-door sedan I hear, “Mama, help?”

So I unbuckled and with my shortie short lady arms I managed to wrangle her out of her booster seat. After that she truly is on her own, getting her unicorn backpack, her unicorn lunchbox, Elsa-from-Frozen jacket, and an adult-sized Nissan Altima door open. Thwew. I don’t know how she does it. I admire her for it every day.

I admire her for it. The mom sitting behind us in the hulking black truck — does not.

HONK!

Zo started as I said, “Ignore her, just go. Go. Go.” And off she went, sprinting for class, even though she wasn’t late. I cast a glance at the truck, and then I saw her. I saw the Other Mom.

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A Saturday Well Spent

Things I found at the farmer’s market:

  • White guava
  • White sapote
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Purple tomatillos
  • Fresno chiles

Things I’m making tomorrow because I found them at the farmer’s market:

  • Fermented hibiscus-fresno chile sauce
  • Tomato jam

And I admit I stared at the purple tomatillos for a very, very long time but did not buy them.

“How long is the harvest?” I finally asked the purveyor.

She gave me a smile.  “Not long.”

Crap.  She’s got my number.

“First frost,” she went on, “and they’re gone.  Could be soon.  Could be late.  Probably…soon.”

I relaxed when she said that, feeling I was perhaps being given the hard sale.  Because…okay, no.  Unless she’s growing about 150 miles out (which is possible, let’s not assume anything, BUT), the first frost probably won’t be until late October in the growing regions, and even then the weather patterns have been getting so warm lately it’s unlikely.

I also have to question how likely that enticing purple blush will stick around after I cook them, as I do in my tomatillo salsa.  Purple carrots stay purple when you roast them, but purple wax beans don’t.  So do purple tomatillos?  I guess I could google and find out.  Or find an application that doesn’t require high heat, like fermentation.

But.  But.  But.  Purple tomatillos.

I already have too much on my plate for the weekend between the chile sauce, tomato jam, and a couple other projects.  I decided to gamble, and moved on.

Other things I learned today:

Xander likes Early Girl tomatoes, green smoothies, and flaky croissants. I project he will someday be an amazing life coach and yoga instructor.

What he doesn’t like are perfectly ripened guavas and he will spit them out at a speed that shatters windows in a one mile radius around you.  It is, to my knowledge, the only fruit he has ever rejected.

When we got home we found some of the sapotes a little smashed, and if I’d let them sit they’d have gone bad fast, so Zo and I stood in the kitchen devouring them over the sink.  She has become my partner in exotic fruit crime, because I have done my job as a parent, thank you very much.

What is sapote, anyway? They’re delicate and thus hard for grocery stores to stock, so usually they cost too much and no one buys them, which is why you never see them. Tastewise, they’re difficult to describe — something like a cross between banana, pineapple, and custard, with hits of apple and large to medium stones throughout.  Tropical-creamy.  That they were two dollars a basket is astounding.  I still have three left.  We’ll eat them slowly over the next couple days, and maybe there’ll be more at the market over the next few weeks, but the season is narrow and ending soon.

Cherimoyas should also be coming in, and they’re just as good, and very similar.  And soon, my favorite, my bae, my beloved: persimmons.  Aw yiss.

As for those purple tomatillos….

We’ll see.  I trust the farmer to know her frost dates.  I’m just a gal eating smashed sapote over a sink.

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Two Years of You

Sunday night as I put your sister to bed, she held up the little heart-shaped scrap of cloth I gave her the day after you were born, what she calls her “Lovey”.

“That’s two years old now,” I said.

“What?  No it isn’t,” she said.

“Yes it is.”

“But you gave it to me after he came out of you!”

“Yes.  Today is his birthday.”

She stared at me.  “Wait, what?”

“That’s what a birthday is, Zo.  It’s the day your brother came out of me.”

What?”

“Yeah, good night, sweetie.”  I kissed her head.  “Pleasant dreams!”

She was still whispering Whaaaaaaaat? as I shut the door.

And thus do we lovingly scar our children, especially our eldest.

Last night I asked you to say “love”, one of the few words you can say, and you shook your head against my shoulder.  No.

I asked you to say “mama”.  Again that gentle shake.  No.

So I pointed to the projection on the ceiling, put there by the little lit-up turtle we have in your crib, and asked you to say “moon”.

“Moooonnn,” you whispered.

How do I love you, my boy whose favorite things are trucks, tea sets, and sticking bits of sausage down his pants?

How do I love you, my unexpectedly tow-headed mercurial whirlwind, king of the smile and the side-eye, who sings along without words?

How do I love you, my bookworm who insists on plunking down and paging through The Very Hungry Caterpillar every time we change your diaper?

The question really isn’t how do I but how couldn’t I?

Like your sister, you bring light wherever you go.

You may have been born under a full moon, but you will always be my sunshine.

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