Archive | January 2015

Thyme for Love #5

Tuesday TalesThere’s a new story for the new year. Thyme for Love takes place in Oak Grove Square, the tiny Texas town where Victoria and Toby met and fell in love last year. This time Cupid has another unsuspecting target in his sight. Sally, a devoted business woman and owner of Crafter’s Cottage, just met an organic farmer interested in being a vendor at the upcoming herb festival.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘stutter’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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“No. Just me, myself, and I. No helpers. No wife.” Izzy laughed and his eyes twinkled as he replied. “Why? You know anyone willing to apply?”

“Uh … no … for a wife? … I mean … or the helper? N-n-nooo … I …” Sally broke off before she embarrassed herself any more. A scarlet flush crept up her face. “Oh god,” she muttered more to herself than to him. “You must think I’m a moron, not able to speak a coherent sentence.”

CNJ_cowboy rearHe chuckled softly. “Naw. I think it’s kind of cute.” He handed her his completed forms and pulled a wallet out of his back pocket. “Is cash for the booth okay? Or do you need a check?”

“Cash is fine. Let me get a receipt for you.” Sally fumbled under the counter for a receipt pad.

Izzy stood holding a hundred dollar bill in his hand as she was writing. Glancing around the counter packed with gift items and small impulse buy temptations, he spied a card holder. He took a card and looked it over. “So,” he asked. “Is there a Mr. White that goes with Sally White?”

It was Sally’s turn to laugh. “No. No Mr. White. Just me, myself and I,” she tossed his prior statement right back to him.

A lopsided grin brightened his face. “So, Ms. by-yourself Sally White, how about if I treat you to some of Hank’s mouthwatering BBQ for lunch or dinner one day? You know, to go over where you want my space to be, and what kinds of herbs and plants you’d think would be best for the festival.” He hesitated. “Unless you eat there too often and are tired of it, being right here in town and all.”

“Oh no! I can never get enough of good BBQ. Hank’s pulled pork sandwiches are the best I’ve ever had. I’d love to join you.” She rushed to add, “To discuss the festival, of course.”

“Of course,” he replied. “Just a friendly business meeting. With the beautiful fair organizer.”

She swatted at his arm. “You smooth talker, you. You’re just trying to get the best booth space by flattering me.”

He looked her square in the eye, a dead serious look on his face. “No. No, ma’am. That’s one thing I do not do. I say what I mean and mean what I say. My daddy taught me that. Life is too short to have to cut through the bull shit. The only words that come out of my mouth are true ones. Believe me. I’ve met some snakes that don’t know how to speak a word of truth. They wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the rear. I don’t aim to be one of those fellows.”

Her opinion went up a notch. It wasn’t often that she heard a man speak so honestly. She found herself looking forward to getting to know the man standing before her – an odd mix of long haired hippie – farmer boy – cowboy hat wearing Texas boy. Maybe there was more to life than just work, work, and more work. “Dinner sounds delightful. At Hank’s. Any particular night?”

 

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Thyme for Love #4

Tuesday TalesThere’s a new story for the new year. Thyme for Love takes place in Oak Grove Square, the tiny Texas town where Victoria and Toby met and fell in love last year. This time Cupid has another unsuspecting target in his sight. Sally, a devoted business woman and owner of Crafter’s Cottage, just met an organic farmer interested in being a vendor at the upcoming herb festival.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘ruthless’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets.

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Once inside Crafters Cottage, Sally headed behind the counter. Keeping her back turned on the hunk of masculinity that followed her in, she composed herself while she shuffled through a stack of papers. She turned and handed him an envelope. “Here’s the vendor packet for the herb festival. You can look it over and mail it back if you’re interested in being a vendor.”

“Oh, I want to be a vendor.”

She stifled a laugh. “You don’t even know what the entry fee is. That may put you off.”

CNJ_paperwork“It’d have to be pretty high to deter me. I don’t think Oak Grove Square’s first herb festival will be charging rates high enough to keep me home.”

“No. You’re right. It’s pretty reasonable, depending on the size space you want.”

“Mind if I look it over here and get it right back to you?” His caramel colored eyes gazed up at her, making her feel distinctly uncomfortable, in a pleasant unsettled kind of way.

As he leaned over the counter, scanning through the pages, Sally kept sneaking peeks. He’d absentmindedly tuck a strand of long hair behind his ear as he read. The unconscious gesture caused soft fluttery feelings in the pit of her stomach.

He finished looking through the pages and nodded. “Have a pen?”

As he started filling the form out, Sally’s curiosity got the best of her. Adept at reading upside down, after all the years of dealing with her craft vendors, she squinted to see his name. “Izzy?” she questioned.

He nodded and kept writing. “Yes ma’am. Izzy. A nick name I got in school. Short for Isaiah.” He kept filling out the form while Sally watched each pen stroke on the page.

Finally she couldn’t stand it any longer. “So, how’d you get into farming?” she blurted out. “You don’t look like what I picture a Texas farmer looking like.”

CNJ_austin tree“I was going to school down in Austin. I started out to be an accountant. But I couldn’t stand the thought of being locked into an office or a cubicle all day long. I got into organic foods when I was there and it took off from there. I decided I wanted to farm and work with nature and the outdoors, using organic and responsible methods. There’s so much we could … But don’t pay attention to me. I could get on a soapbox all day long about what we’re doing to our planet with our toxic practices and the chemicals and pesticides we’re using. And, don’t even get me going on the local fracking.”

Sally was taken back at first. He was so intense when he got going on a streak. Still, he was awfully cute though. She chuckled softly. “You could almost be a hippie if you weren’t wearing that good ole’ cowboy hat.”

He returned the laugh. “Yeah, I have an inner hippie I channel a lot. The herbs and vegetables seem to like it.”

“So … how’d you get from Austin to up here?”

“I wanted to stay down there. But land is more expensive and the organic competition is ruthless. I got a farm here three times the acreage than what I could have afforded in Austin or San Antonio. I just have to work a little harder to get my products out there. That’s why I was so excited to hear about the herb festival here. Nice and close; I like that.”

“Well, Oak Grove Square is excited that you’re excited. We’re happy that you’ll be one of our vendors in what we hope will be an annual event. So … for events like this … do you have helpers for the day … employees … or a wife?”

Thyme for Love #3

 Tuesday Tales

There’s a new story for the new year in Tuesday Tales. Thyme for Love takes place in Oak Grove Square, the tiny Texas town where Victoria and Toby met last year, fell in love and lived happily ever after. This time Cupid has another unsuspecting target in his sight. Join us to see what surprises are ahead for Sally, of Crafter’s Cottage. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Snippets are short – only 300 words for the picture prompts.

TT_January 2015 picture prompt

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The two women halted mid stride and stood gawking in the middle of the street. The sight of the muscular man lounging against a black Ford pickup truck, framed by the typical Texas cowboy hat, had both ladies momentarily speechless. “Oh my! If that’s an organic farmer, I think I just became interested in farming,” Victoria finally muttered after composing herself. “Yum. Now, wouldn’t I like to find that wrapped up and under my Christmas tree,” Sally agreed. “I believe that organizing the herb festival just became a very pleasurable task.” Victoria volunteered, “Maybe I should go with you. You know, to chaperone. “No. That’s quite all right. I have this handled.” The smirk on Sally’s face was a dead giveaway. She was looking forward to the exchange with the farmer boy – and possible vendor of the town’s upcoming festival. She bounced away towards Crafter’s Cottage, her ponytail bouncing away in time with her eager step. The fresh faced stranger brushed his long hair off the nape of his neck, adjusted his Stetson and appraised the woman approaching his truck. As she got closer, he moved away from the Ford’s hood to meet her at the doorway. Tipping his hat he ambled up. “Howdy ma’am. Are you Sally?” He stuck out his hand in greeting. “Um … yeah … uh …” She shook her head to regain her senses. Looking at his still outstretched hand, she finally remembered to put her hand out for a shake. A jolt of electricity tingled down her arm and she almost pulled her hand back. “Uh … sorry about being late. Believe me … I’m not usually this speechless. It’s just … you know … the walking and all … and …” She’d never felt so flustered in all of her life.

Thyme For Love #2

There’s a new story for the new year in Tuesday Tales. Thyme for Love takes place in Oak Grove Square, the tiny Texas town where Victoria and Toby met last year, fell in love and lived happily ever after. This time Cupid has another unsuspecting target in his sight. Join us to see what surprises are ahead for Sally, of Crafter’s Cottage.

Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘gray’.

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Thyme for Love
An Oak Grove Square romance

Episode #2

A storm entered from the west, coating north Texas with rain for three days in a row, unlike the usual thunderstorms that furiously blew in, boomed, dumped and blew out. It was several days before the ladies all had a chance to walk together without the chance of being drenched. The others almost couldn’t get a word in with Sally blabbering on … and on … about the upcoming herb festival.

“… and some of my vendors from Crafter’s Cottage already signed up for a booth space. The woman that makes the handmade soaps and bath salts will be there. The lady that makes jellies is already experimenting with a lavender jelly to sell. Another one found a fabric with herbs on it. She’s making up borders on dish towels. They’re just charming. Four more people called and left a message that I need to call back today. I need to decide how many vendors we can accommodate. And where they’ll be set up. And then …”

As she paused for a breath, Victoria jumped in before Sally kept on. “Is there going to be anything for the rest of us to do? Heading the committee doesn’t mean you need to do it all. There are other merchants in town you know.”

“Oh, I know,” Sally answered back. “It just gives me something to keep myself occupied. I can’t go home and just sit. I have to stay busy, so I’ve been making some calls. I’m trying to get ahead of the game, so the festival is a success for all of us.”

“That’s great,” Marie piped in. “Just make sure to leave some tasks for us.” She tipped her head and added, “If you had a man in your life, you’d have a place to use all that excess energy you have. Then you wouldn’t need to be looking for things to keep you busy.”

Sally’s chest heaved with a giant sigh. “Don’t I wish I had a man to … um … spend some energy on.” She winked to the others. “Yep. I have a few thoughts in that direction. But, finding a decent, hardworking man that I enjoy being around isn’t the easiest thing.”

“There’s lots of fine hardworking men around,” Victoria said.

OGS_john deere“Ha! If you want a farmer. I’ve seen some of these boys roll into Hank’s BBQ. Blue jeans or overalls and paunch hanging over. Riding a John Deere around all day doesn’t do wonders for some of those good ole’ boys.” She stopped mid stride and glanced at Victoria. “Now, if I could find a clone that looks like your hunk, Toby. And one with his work ethic, that doesn’t spend his time lazing around all day, now I could go for that.”

“Maybe you need to ease up a little, and do a little lazing around yourself,” Marie suggested.

“Nope. I’ve got to stay in motion. Especially on these gray, dreary days like this.”

Victoria took a swig from her water bottle. “That’s why you’re thin as a rail, all that constant moving.”

“Oh dear!” Sally took one look at her watch and started to take off. “I’ve got to go. Speaking of farmers – I’m meeting one at the shop … about five minutes ago! He’s an organic farmer outside of Justin and he grows herbs too. He’s picking up an application.”

Marie slapped her thigh and laughed. “Yeppers, there’s your ‘John Deere’ guy!”

The frosty glare Sally aimed in her direction only made her laugh harder.

“I’ll head back with you,” Victoria volunteered. “I need to make a few calls before I open up.”

OGS_truck and cowboyTwo scurried back towards town, leaving Marie to leisurely finish the walk at her own pace. As they rounded the corner where they’d split up, each going to their respective stores, they spied the pickup truck parked in front of Crafter’s Cottage. And the vision they each saw was not that of a tractor riding farm boy.