Tag Archive | herb fesitval

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 #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.

Thyme for Love #1

For Tuesday Tales, I’m starting out the New Year with a new story. Thyme for Love takes place in Oak Grove Square, the tiny Texas town where Victoria and Toby met, fell in love and lived happily ever after. This time Cupid has another unsuspecting target in mind. Join us to see what happens next …

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


Thyme for Love

An Oak Grove Square romance

Heather sashayed to the front of the room and pivoted in a move any model would be proud of. “Welcome,” she called to the merchants, in her usual soft, breathless manner.

“I’m surprised she stopped fawning over Hank long enough to attend to business,” Victoria whispered to Marie and Sally, sitting on either side of her. Marie, from Three Tarts Bakery, and Sally, from Crafters Cottage, stifled giggles, especially after Heather turned and glared in the ladies direction.

The usual cast of business owners from Oak Grove Square filled the small conference room at City Hall. Since they’d formed their merchants association after the beginning of the New Year, they’d met regularly since and had a full slate of activities planned to generate interest in their tiny town.

Victoria owned Serendipity, an antiques and collectibles shop on the north side of the square. She was one of the newest business owners, recently moving from California to this small north Texas town. She’d doubted her decision at first, but after falling head over heels in love with Toby when he wandered into her shop one day to sell an old antique trunk filled with miscellaneous treasures, she knew that this move had been for the best.

OGS_walking shoesMarie and Three Tarts tempted the business owners and the entire town with baked goods and delicacies. The scents wafting from the bakery filled the town with yeasty, fragrant aromas. Victoria was not the only one summoned by the delightful whiffs. Many found that their breakfast was a fresh baked croissant, donut or cinnamon roll. To ward off the unwanted pounds, a few of the ladies started walking together before opening for the day.

Sally seemed to be the only one in town immune to the tempting treats at Three Tarts. She rarely indulged in the bakery goods, sweet or savory. But she did enjoy a nice brisk walk, so she began joining the others, usually munching on a fresh apple or pear while they walked.

“I don’t know how you have the will power,” Carmen, from Java Time, commented one morning while they were walking. “If I didn’t have to be at the coffee shop so early, I’d be eating my way through the morning at Marie’s bakery.”

“I’m just not that tempted by sweets,” Sally replied. “Oh, now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a nice soft cookie for dessert every now and then.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet. Every now and then. Like never. Where I’m eating every time I turn around,” Marie said. She pinched a handful of flesh around her belly. “That’s why I have this. And you don’t.”

Sally sighed. “But I’d trade it all in to have a sweetie. Will power keeps me out of the bakery. But it still doesn’t do a thing for me between the sheets. Every time I see Victoria and Toby walking around town holding hands I just want to die. I’d love to have someone in my life like that.”

“You’ll find someone.” Victoria patted Sally’s shoulder. “When the time is right. Hey, I wasn’t even looking. I wasn’t going to get involved with anyone ever again. Until my Toby came waltzing into my life. Don’t look for him. That’s when he’ll turn up.”

“I haven’t been looking. I’ve been so busy getting Crafter’s Cottage off the ground and going that I haven’t had time to look. All my time and energy is spent on this darn business. Creating products, working with vendors in the different booths, and then all the paperwork that goes along with a store and twenty six vendors.”

With a shake of the head, Sally brought her attention back to the meeting and away from the conversation she’d had with her friends on their walk a few days earlier. Business … think about business, not the lack of a man in your life, she cautioned herself.

She brought her focus back to Heather droning on at the front. “So the Council decided that with all the other farmer’s markets in the immediate area, we wouldn’t have enough draw – either from the growers or the customers – so they nixed the idea of a weekly market. However, there was consensus that a one-time summer herb festival may be a viable event.”

OGS_herb festival“We just need to coordinate so that we’re not in competition with the others,” Carmen advised. “The lavender farm in Gainesville has an annual event in May. And I think May is when the botanic gardens herb festival is. So we’ll want to check on what dates they’re planning their events.”

Marie raised a hand. “We don’t want to do it too late though. By then we’re roasting here and it’s hard to get people to come out in the heat.”

“We’ll need someone to take the lead on this. They can coordinate the date and start looking for vendors. Any takers?”

Without thinking, Sally thrust her hand in the air. “I can. I’ll head up the committee for the herb festival.”

Her friend’s heads swiveled in her direction. “What?” they whispered in unison.

“Hey, when you don’t have a love life, there’s plenty of time for work,” Sally muttered back to them.