This book was very generously given to me by a fellow Tadeno fan (Thanks again, Att!). It's my favorite of the 4 (plus an anthology containing a story by her) Tadeno books I have, and I'm posting my 2 favorite non-licensed stories from it here.
If you like Tadeno's work, she has a book out in English from ALC Publishing, Works. Also, she has a wonderful story in the upcoming Yuri Monogatari 5 (info here and here), currently available for preorder from ALC Publishing (That isn't meant to be a shameless plug for ALC's new book, honest. I thought Tadeno's story was excellent--not to mention a refreshing change of pace from the average yuri manga--and if you like what I'm posting from Lavender of Romance 6, I think you'll agree. In fact, the story in YM5 is from LoR6.).
If you want to buy Tadeno's books in Japanese, you might be a bit out of luck; last I checked, she seemed to no longer be taking orders through her website (I don't think she was at Comiket 72, either), though I suppose it's possible that her stuff will pop up at Yahoo Japan auctions or in used bookstores. Oh, and if you happen to be going to Yuricon 2007, it's possible Tadeno books will be available to read in the library there, though I don't know for certain.
"The 30th Christmas," about two old ladies. I loved this story to pieces.
Ryouko is singing Christmas carols, but she's mixing them all together. Naturally, Kazuko comments that Ryouko doesn't remember her Christmas carols. By the way, Kazuko and Ryouko address each other with the "-chan" suffix. It's kind of sweet. :)
Ryouko is about to leave for work, and Kazuko tells her not to bring KFC or a cake or anything home with her--they'll get in trouble with the doctor. But of course Ryouko has already reserved one (a cake, I'm guessing), lol. She points out that it's a special occasion, but Kazuko counters that with the fact that they're Buddhists.
In the narration, Ryouko informs us that this Christmas is special.
One of Ryouko's co-workers asks her if she owns her home, and she says that the apartment she lives in belongs to the female friend she lives with. Her co-worker comments that any woman who owns a house must be an old maid. This pisses off Ryouko, who calls her co-worker an old bag (in the privacy of her mind, of course), then has to concede that she's one, too (her co-worker is 72 and she's 65). The narration comments, "I wish I could say that in the course of 30 years, I'd gotten used to this sort of thing, but..." Still fuming, Ryouko thinks to herself that she and Kazuko are a proper married couple.
They've been together since Christmas 30 years ago.
Both of them have worked for the same company for over 40 years now, though Kazuko retired two years ago. Ryouko continues to work because she wants to fulfill her dream: She wants to buy Kazuko a certain black pearl ring.
But as she's looking at the ring, a man comes and steals her bag, which contains all the money she saved up to buy the ring.
At the police station, the police are being less than helpful. A policeman tells Ryouko that this is unfortunately a common occurrence at the end of the year, and that it may be difficult to catch the culprit. Ryouko is understandably upset--she's been saving up this money for 10 years, and it's very important to her. The policeman patronizingly calls her "obaa-chan" ("old lady-chan"), which ticks her off further,
and says that old people are careless in carrying around large sums of cash on their own--when she needs to make a large purchase, she should have one of her kids come with her, or use a credit card. Ryouko protests being addressed as "obaa-chan." The policeman suggests "Missus" as an alternative, to which she replies that she's single. She then points out--rather angrily--that nobody's going to offer a credit card to a 65-year-old cleaning lady. Just then, Kazuko walks in.
Kazuko asks why Ryouko had such a large sum of money on her, and Ryouko says that ever since Kazuko had to sell things off to purchase the apartment, Kazuko hasn't had any expensive jewelry. Kazuko says that that was just because she didn't care much about jewelry. Ryouko replies that even so, she wanted to buy Kazuko that black pearl ring.
Kazuko asks Ryouko to hold out her hand.
Kazuko gives Ryouko a ring, and says that she had a matching pair made from her mother's earrings, which were the one piece of jewelry she kept. She had the rings made for their 30th anniversary. Awwwww!
One of them points out that their situation almost ended up being like The Gift of the Magi. lol Meanwhile, the police have called and left a message on the answering machine--they've found Ryouko's money!
Yay for sweet, happy endings. <3
"The Decision to Live Our Lives Here."
Hikaru kisses Mai, which annoys Mai because she's right in the middle of mixing up salted rice bran paste (for pickling). Hikaru apologizes, saying she just couldn't resist because Mai was dressed so sexily. Hikaru then proceeds to brag about the pot she made (and the dye Mai made for it), but Mai tells her to go pick some tomatoes and cucumbers.
Just then, Mai's sister Ayumi turns up. Eep!
Her visit is quite the surprise, and it turns out that she got in trouble with her parents when they found a pregnancy test in the trash. Oops.
Thankfully, she isn't pregnant, but her parents are pissed off and the guy she was with blew her off. So she's planning to stay with Mai for a bit.
Hikaru gets amorous with Mai while Ayumi's sleeping, and Mai freaks out (she hasn't told her sister that Hikaru is her girlfriend). Mai runs out of the house, and Hikaru follows her. When Hikaru catches her, she asks her if she's ashamed of the fact that they're going out. Mai's reply: "Don't say that! But... if I could come out as easily as you did, we wouldn't be living out here in the middle of nowhere!" (literally, in the mountains)
Crying, Hikaru tells Mai that the reason she's living out here with Mai isn't so they can hide from the eyes of society--it's so they can make things together out of the materials that are here.
Mai thinks to herself, "Why am I living here......?"
The next morning, Ayumi marvels at Hikaru's creations. Hikaru tells her that she sold the best pieces. Then she shows Ayumi one of Mai's pieces, which she used grass and flowers from the mountain to dye. Ayumi's impressed by it, too.
When Mai comes in, Ayumi apologizes for imposing on her so suddenly and says that she's planning to return home that day.
She says that after seeing Hikaru and Mai's works, she was ashamed of her own half-assed efforts to play in a band and her sleeping around with guys. She promises to come visit sometimes.
Mai gets up her courage and comes out to Ayumi, telling her that Hikaru is her lover, not her friend.
Ayumi's reaction? She already knew--it was obvious just from looking at them together. In fact, all their relatives know, but since Ayumi's an artist, they figure it kind of comes with the territory. lol
Ayumi leaves, telling them to take care and that she'll be doing her best.
Ayumi comments that it was kind of a let-down, and they go back to the house and have some pickled vegetables. lol
Ah, what a lovely ending.
A stand-alone illustration. The text says that it's of a couple that Tadeno wrote a story about for Anise's (a lesbian magazine that stopped running years ago) Winter 2001 issue.