During April, join Jessica and her desire to work with herbs in this new short story – It’s an Herb Thing.
This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘race.’ You can check out the other wonderful snippets at Tuesday Tales here.
The next few weeks were a hectic mess. Besides working in the sales office full time, tending to two children – also full time – and dealing with a mostly absent, but always cranky husband, some days Jessica thought that she was working full speed on all cylinders and she was going to explode.
But she kept at it. She couldn’t devote as much time as she would have liked to her slowly growing herb business. During the week she couldn’t do much at all. But the upside to having a hubby that liked to spend his weekends hanging out with friends was that he wasn’t around for much of Saturday or Sunday. He’d head out in the morning and Jessica would give the house ‘a lick and a promise’ cleaning, toss a load of laundry in the washer, and then get to work on her dream.
She couldn’t manage many craft fairs, but two or three through the summer kept her going. Christie, at six years old, got bored too fast and it was easier on craft fair day to have her spend the night and the day with Grandma. Amazingly, Allen, at eight years old took a shine to those days. He felt like such a young man, helping his mom at the booth. He was quite the little salesman and had the ladies swooning over ‘the help.’ It made for a good mother-son day together. Lots of work, but still time spent just the two of them. Jessica always brought lunch, snacks, and drinks in the small cooler for them both. But when she let Allen go across to the hot dog or taco stand, whichever food concession was within eyesight of where their booth was, Allen thought he’d won the lottery.
Gradually the business kept building. A few sales here and a few sales there. The classes through the city’s recreation department, usually one class a month, were taking off and she usually had ten to fifteen students in each class.
Some days she’d grumble to Laurel about the business not growing fast enough, or sales not being enough to let her quit her day job yet.
Laurel’s response was usually the same. “Slow and steady wins the race.”
One day at lunch with Laurel, she mentioned the idea of starting a monthly newsletter. “I’m debating between monthly or quarterly. Then I could share recipes, gardening tips, and craft ideas without the person having to sit in a class. I could start developing a mailing list. I could offer specials through the newsletter and maybe pick up a few additional sales. And of course, I’d charge a subscription fee, so I’d earn a few dollars that way too.”
“What would you call it? You have a name for it yet?”
“You and your names.” Jessica swatted at Laurel’s arm. “That’s always your first question. But, yes, I do have a name already picked. ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a ziplock baggie filled with cookies. “These Rosemary Cookies will be one of the first recipes in the newsletter.”
Jessica kept at it, plugging away. One sale at a time. One new customer at a time. One subscription at a time. One class at a time. She researched and found new soap recipes to expand her current line. She discovered new class ideas to add to her repertoire. She kept following her dream and knew that one day she’d have it – her own little herb and garden shop where she’d delight in the hours spent surrounded by herbs of every fashion.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
Combine all ingredients, except rosemary, in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. If dough appears sticky, add a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time. Add rosemary and gently mix into the batter.
Form into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 375°. Check after 6 minutes. Turn pan and bake another 2-4 minutes until cookies are pale golden brown and firm to the touch. Baking time depends on how large you form the cookies.
Makes 6-8 dozen cookies.
You can check out the other Tuesday Tales snippets here.