quejimenez Marmalade. || Summer gets all the fruit glory, with berries and stone fruits. And winter, cold and frigid seems to offer no fruits, until you remember citrus. Full of vitamin C when we most need it, citrus is downright heavenly in the cold winter months. When you live in California's citrus belt, miles from a large, family-owned citrus grove with good, decent growing practices, you buy 75lbs of citrus for marmalade making, gift-giving. I have a few Meyer lemons ripening on my own little farm, waiting to join these Cara Caras, Navels, and Ruby Red Grapefruits. 8h

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quejimenez Christmas Cookie Classics. || The house smells so good! Front to Back: Honey Peanut Butter, Molasses Sugar, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. 1d

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quejimenez Tamales. || Freshly steamed, savory & sweet. Chicken/Sweet Potato/Pineapple-Coconut w/ raisins. We were up till 5 am Christmas Eve making tamales (140) and wrapping the kids' gifts. Tiring, sure, but yesterday & today's easiness makes up for it. Family game night with fresh baked cookies for dessert. This downtime, enjoying E and the kids is my favorite thing about the holidays. I honestly can't get enough of the three of them; I'm seriously in love. 1d

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quejimenez Merry & Bright. || All we feel is love & abundance & light & joy. From our family to yours--Merriest and Brightest Christmas. May you all be well, joyful, and feel infinitely loved and cherished. || Plant: Red Round Turnip Transplants 2d

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quejimenez Tamal Making. || This morning without E, but full of wonderful gratitude of all the time we'll have together enjoying these later. Grateful that I am well and able to tackle this act of love alone till he comes home. Grateful for my beautiful children, offering their little hands to help Mama. Grateful for life--mines and yours. Peace be with you today. #merrychristmas 4d

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quejimenez (Flowering) Hon Tsai Tai. || Feeding bees, and myself, with light and mustardy greens. If I stand in one place long enough, the bees and words come hungry. I was once afraid of things with wings, till I started to grow my own. 5d

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quejimenez I know my words. || I know the words I need to speak. I know them, intimately. They are like marmalade
on my tongue. Silky jelly, chunky toothsome, bitter then sweet words. "Deliver them on thick, sourdough toast. Bitter, thick burnt sienna crusted words shatter--against my teeth when I speak." I whisper to my own ears. I know these words; I've lived these words nearly 38 rounds.
I am these words. I am--fully.
Perfect in all the scars scraped across my body, laid on my tongue. Let me taste these words, these words I know. Oh, I know these words everywhere it hurts.
So I taste them, roll them about in my mouth, beneath the edge of my teeth before I heal, I speak this, I am the one healing this story. ---end impromptu #poem---
Today I return to my life, literally and figuratively--to this novel, I'm calling "The Women" for now. I have 244 pages to read, to start outlining and move into the final process of finishing this first draft five years, thus far, in the making. I needed a pep talk. I'm missing my tall E, my garden, my house is a mess after nine days of MFA residency and living out of a car, my body is recovering from it all. So I wrote myself a poem, reminding myself--Something inside me knows the path to the end. I am well and good. The soul knows how to release and heal itself. Blessed Winter Monday Morning to you. #amwriting
6d

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quejimenez City Colors & Sky. || I am in love. With tall him and sky bellyful of clouds. Graffiti lines and colors. Power lines that offer rest to traveling, hungry pigeons. Sky-scooping, Sky-catching buildings that swallow the morning light in their window skin and show Los Angelinos how to lick and spit light. :: Residency, Day 7 [Morning Commute]. || Impromptu Poem. #DTLA #poem #poetry 1w

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quejimenez Dear Queen. || We can be beautiful with our lines, our muddy blue black brown, our graffiti banked rivers, and high (rise) songs screaming set it off, to the rain clouds long gone. You be so beautiful, the city only knows how to call out streets--Hoover, Vermont, Century--beg you to dance home. :: Impromptu poem. Residency, Day 6. #losangeles #la #poem 2w

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quejimenez Nick Flynn. || I'm filled with gratitude today to learn from one of the many writing voices, authors I greatly admire. It is important for me to note, he was so down to earth, generous, funny--everything his writing is. I learned a great deal in our seminar and he kindly signed and inscribed my books, and took the opportunity to connect to me and not just rush a signature. Great to see great writers, artists, who are also great people, great spokespeople and advocates for our arts. By the way, we meditated for seven minutes in class before writing. Yeah, zen, writing rockstar behavior. #writelife #writer #amwriting 2w

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quejimenez Morning Love Letter: Los Angelinos. || I fall in and out of love with you, Los Angeles, Los Angelinos, riding your dirty, pot holed, graffiti lined streets. Constantly coming and leaving home. I'm not sure, when I love you, if you are still my home. Riverside is home too. But you birthed me, taught me Double Dutch, fed me LAUSD coffee cake, Naw'laters, and cherry Kool aid pickles. I love your colors, the Blacks, Browns, the cobalt blue houses with lush potted gardens, Burger joints with plaster giraffes eating fries on roofs. Your strip malls and power lines where grey pigeons sit, then swoop. Your laundry mats that cleansed me. I love you. I do and don't. I do. || Residency, Day 5. Morning Commute in Rain. 2w

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quejimenez Dinosaur Licks. || Brassica Oleracea Lacinato, Nero do Toscano, Lacinato Kale--of all the names, Dinosaur Kale is the name I call out in the garden. It's not so much that I know what dinosaur tongues, or food, or plants look like, but for the aged skin these greens wear. The leaves are warty, the way I hope my winter squashes will grow. Bumpy and rolling like my local foothills strewn with rocks. Old skinned kale. I wonder what the wind feels, or the rain sliding over her many wrinkles and grooves. She's a she, too, with all those mounds and rounds and valleys. A woman knows another woman. I miss her and the others in the garden. The cold snap and rain we've had this past week quiets my heart; they all are growing sweeter, juicer as I am too. || Residency: Day 5 #kale #kalelove 2w

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quejimenez Day 4, Residency; Morning Drive. || Listening + Sonnet Reading + Holding His Hand + Snoring Kids in Backseat = Deep Gratitude for this Life & Everything, Everybody Good in it. That includes you! Blessed Monday to you! 2w

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quejimenez Residency, day 3. || On the road. Always on the highways. This morning The longing for normal life crept in to me as we drove by the market and I watched shoppers busily go about gathering their groceries. As I put my lipstick on this morning, the neighbor's kids laughed wildly out back. What are they all doing this December Sunday? We came home last night to see the neighbor's lawn decked out in suburban Christmas decorations. You know the style--the netted lights that hug shrubs, and the inflated, fat Santas who jig in the wind. The great thing about residency, I told the kids, is when it's all over we come back to our lives with gratitude for the mundane, the everyday, the waking up Sunday to Papi's egg breakfast and garden/farm work. The nothing and everything and all of our simple lives. I am so happy to be alive and that you, too, are alive. We are here, living. 2w
  •   thepeacelovelifeyogi Aww looking lovely as always sis! Love u guys 👭 2w
  •   cali_farmer Well said @quejimenez Enjoy the adventure you all are on. 2w
  •   sandrae014 Hey pretty lady! When your done with school I want you to bring your family over for some laughs. 2w
  •   fedricka Love that lipstick on you! Beautiful 2w
  •   quejimenez @pr0actiff Thank you lady for your kind words! ️ Namaste. @dreadedbaker Oh, so the truth! I love the thought of 'creating normal' we must always create and stay true to the constant change life brings and create new normals when needed. @thepeacelovelifeyogi Thanks sis! I saw your beautiful face in the mirror yesterday morning. Love you all too! 2w
  •   quejimenez @cali_farmer Thank you! We will! Watching sunsets and sunrises daily for a week! @sandrae014 Hey cuz! The kids would love, love that (and us big kids too!). It's been too long since we've seen you all! Give everybody my love and when I come Im bring jam! 2w
  •   quejimenez @fedricka Thanks bestie! 2w
  •   kitchenbutterfly Gorgeous. 3d

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quejimenez Residency Day 1: Feeling bright eyed and bushy tail despite all the rain, the car repairs, the new kitchen window that sprung a leak this morning. I have this man by my side, holding my hand, taking care of me and promising me I will not have to do anything alone. And, I get to see my people, my framily, my friends who are so talented and supportive, and loving, and smart. This woman is filled with gratitude and prayers grace, humility, joy & love. Wishing you all a beautiful earth soaked day! #gratitude #mfalife #AULA #residency #us #love 2w

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quejimenez Cabbage Petals. || Cabbage is so sensual, so beautiful and feminine, the way the stiff petals ruffle and scallop around the edges. A beautiful balance of strength and fragility. The sky is calm, telling nothing of the big 'Pineapple Express' storm coming our way tonight. I carefully tied up my Mexican Tarragon, overturned stray pots, pulled as many cabbage loopers, and sprayed as many aphids I could spot. I always worry about my plants in tough weather, but they always end up standing quite tall and stately after the rains. The growth they put on after, makes me smile and ask God whatever is throwing down from the clouds? I hope it waters me and mine, and you and yours too. 2w

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quejimenez Before the Storm. || Heading into 10-day Residency and packing garden time into my relax and restore time. This is one of the most hectic, stressful, and tiring times of my MFA life, but also the most rewarding. So much growth, bonding, learning happens in such a small amount of time. I feel so deeply blessed to have been gifted such a supportive, conscious community of writing artists I love fiercely. After this residency, I may never see some of these beautiful souls again. So this res will be bittersweet, melancholy, but full of deep heartfelt gratitude for "my people." I have found "my people." || Picking cabbage loopers and spraying aphids, telling my veggies to be good till I 'return.' 2w

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quejimenez Greens. || Winter is all about greens. Come summertime there is color abound--tomato reds, and oranges, yellows, purples. Color is everywhere. Winter is different. The garden is full of all these beautiful shades and tones of greens. The variation is equally as beautiful as summer's hues. And the lead shapes, gosh, don't get me started. Look at how nature gets down. She shows up and shows out. 3w

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quejimenez Shimmy. || Dishwashing demands Bellydancing to Kendrick. Because I love myself and myself loves shimmying, loud hip scarves, LA, hip circles & undulations, and of course her loose hips that carried two babies. #metime 3w

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quejimenez Yard Long Gita Beans. || Yesterday we picked a fat handful of foot long beans and a mini zucchini (not pictured). Both these vegetables are heat loving, summer vegetables, but our winters are so mild, they are growing deep into fall. The beans self sowed from summer, and the squash is a late succession plant. Though they are not prolific, they are both doing much better now than they did in the height of summer. The beans were favored by aphids and the squash didn't produce during our deep heat wave. The ideal temperature for most plants is somewhere between 65-75 degrees, and we are just about there all year, summers being much hotter. Even still, I find fall an odd growing season. It isn't very hot, or very cold, but jumps here and there between temps. Is not my Mexican tarragon in the background beautiful? 3w

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