Posted in Farm Girl, Highlight & Contest, Natalie

Highlight & Contest: Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is coming soon and I decided that this is the perfect time to have our first ever contest!

Contest Info:Valentine’s Day is about two weeks away and love is in the air in Florida, Massachusetts! But a couple of people are too afraid to tell their feelings to the person they like so they sent anonymous Valentines! Who likes who? Its up to you to find out!

So what you have to do is figure out who sent the Valentine and to who. Comment your answers but chose wisely you only get one chance! It should look like this: Valentine X was given to Blank from Blank.

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All of the Valentines!

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Valentine A

My heads in the clouds

My heart’s in my throat

I’m walking on air

Handing you this note!

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Valentine B

Love is patient.

Love does not envy or boast.

Love is not arrogant or rude.

Love never fails.

Love never rejoices at wrongdoing.

Not irritable or resentful.

Love does not insist on its own way.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love is kind so be my Valentine!

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Valentine C

Take all my love.

Take all my kisses.

But there better be a ring.

If you want me to be your Mrs.! 

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Valentine D

I have just one Valentine’s Day wish.

That you’ll be my Darcy and I’ll be your Elizabeth!

So what do you say?

Will you make my Valentine’s Day?

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Valentine E

Roses are Red.

Violets are blue.

I never know what to say around you!

I’d like to convince myself there’s no one left to ask.

But the truth is I only want you!

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Valentine F

I know we’re young.

I know its soon.

But I think I’m in love with you!

There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear.

So I’m just going to say it.

Please be my Valentine till the end of time!

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Valentine G (two people receive this Valentine)

You’re amazing.

Did you know?

I’ve crushed on you.

Since long ago.

So here’s my heart.

And here’s my soul.

I think its time you should know.

Will you be?

Can you be?

Could you think of me?

That way?

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Valentine H

Roses are Red.

Violets are blue.

I never know what to say around you!

I don’t want to blurt it but since its Valentine’s Day.

I think I should tell you that I like you in that special kind of way!

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Valentine I

Left you once.

Lost you twice.

Now its the third time.

So I’m not going to take any chances.

Please be my Valentine and my wife.

Who ever gets them all right (or gets the most right) wins the contest! I will announce the winner and PRIZE on Valentine’s Day! Good Luck!

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Eighteen

“Yes, yes you did,” Zach said. His voice sounded shaky.

“Fowler, its been more than ten years. Its not his fault that Gavin crashed his car and killed his wife,” Ms. Donna said.

“A Stewart looks out for a Stewart,” Mr. Stewart growled. “Its all his fault that Gavin is sitting in jail right now.”

“Its not my fault that your son drove like a maniac, crashed his car, killed his wife, and lied to the police about it,” Zach said with a little bit more confidence in his voice.

“A Stewart looks out for another Stewart,” Mr. Stewart repeated.When you found the wreckage you should have come to be first before calling the police!”

“I thought I was helping when I found Tami’s body in a car in the woods,” Zach said. “I had been told that she had gone missing after Gavin got into a brutal attack.”

Mr. Stewart growled.

“Why are you back? I told you to never come back to Berkshire County after the trial so why are you back?” Mr. Stewart asked.

“Fowler!” Ms. Donna shouted. “He’s a grown man. He can do whatever he wants!”

Mr. Stewart gave a laugh that scared the life out of me.

“We’ll just see about that,” Mr. Stewart said with a smile on his lips. “Donna, I want a Sea Food Salad to go.”

Ms. Donna quickly made him his salad and Mr. Stewart left.

“You’re a Stewart?” Abby asked Zach.

“I’m NOT a Stewart!” Zach shouted. “So what if my mother is his niece and my grandmother’s maiden name is Stewart? The name Stewart is not on my birth certificate so therefore I’m NOT a Stewart.”

“Zach,” Abby said. “You can’t deny what’s in your blood. Mr. Stewart is your great-uncle.” Zach looked angered.

“You know each other?” I blurted. Abby nodded.

“I designed a building for his company last Spring,” Abby said. She looked sadden at the mention of last spring. Zach too looked sad at the mention of Spring.

“I’m not a Stewart,” Zach said. “I refuse to be. I refuse to be part of a clan of thieving, dirty, and tricky people!”

Zach ran up the steps and Abby looked sad. Jaci sighed.

“He has to learn to overcome the fact that he’s been born into such a line,” Jaci said.

“No. He has to realize that he’s a Stewart,” Timmy said. “But he’s not like the rest.”

Jaci smiled at Timmy.

“Who’s hungry?” Ms. Donna asked. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be mentioned the rest of the night but one way or another I was going to find out what this was all about.

**

“Momma?” I asked the next day after school.

“Yeah?” Momma said looking up from the table she was cleaning.

“Can I visit the Rivers?” I asked.

“Sure. Why not? Tell Joan that I want her to be a bridesmaid no matter how fat she is,” Momma said to me as I put on my coat.

I promised her that I would tell her and hobbled out the door towards the Rivers’ cabin.

“I was just wishing for some company,” Mrs. Rivers said when she opened the door. Mrs.Rivers hadn’t gained a lot of weight in the past couple of months but she starting to show.

I smiled at her and hobbled into the house.

“So what brings you here?” Mrs. Rivers asked as she took my coat.

“Ms. Donna has a new boarder. His name is Zach Davis,” I said.

“Zach Davis is back in town? Mr. Stewart won’t be happy about that,” Mrs. Rivers said taking out some brownies.

“He saw him yesterday at the B&B. He said that he had told him to never come back to Berkshire County,” I said.

“Mr. Stewart and Zach don’t get along too well. They never did. Zach hated the fact that he had any relation with the Stewart family. Mr. Stewart tried his hardest to make him like being a Stewart and nothing worked. And after Zach told the police about finding Gavin’s car in the woods there was no hope of a relationship between the two of them,” Mrs. Rivers said getting out some hot chocolate.

“Why did Mr. Stewart want to make Zach a Stewart? I mean he was born into the Davis family right?” I asked.

“True but Mr. Stewart wanted Zach to help him out at the law firm,” Mrs. Rivers said. “When Zach told him that he wanted to work with children, Mr. Stewart was disgusted.”

“No wonder he doesn’t like to be called a Stewart,” I said.

“Its sad but if you’ve ever had any relationship with a Stewart present or past people can be a little prejudice. I should know,” Mrs. Rivers said getting out some marshmallows.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“In high school I went out with Gavin,” Mrs. Rivers said.

“You did?” I asked. Mrs. Rivers nodded.

“Tom hadn’t come to Massachusetts yet and well Gavin was popular. He was known for driving fast to impress a girl and all sorts of crazy stuff. For two months in my junior year of high school I lived the fast life. Sneaking out at night, going to wild parties, asking Gavin to drive dangerously over the speed limit. It took a long talk to get me out of it,” Mrs. Rivers said. “To think I could have been the one in that car. I could be dead by now.”

I sat and thought about this for a minute.

“Why is Gavin in jail. That’s what I don’t understand,” I said.

“He was driving way over the speed limit on an icy day. He crashed his car and killed his wife. He was nervous and worried that the police would think he murdered her that he went to the police and told some story about taking a drive and some people pulling them over. He said he got in a bad fight with them and that’s what his scares were from. He said that they had taken his car and his wife,” Mrs. Rivers said. “When Zach found the car crashed and knowing Gavin’s reckless driving history, the police got curious. It was soon relieved that Gavin’s scares and injuries were from a car crash.”

I nodded.

“But why does Mr. Stewart hate Zach so much? Its not his fault that he found the car. He had been told that someone stole the car. He would be thinking he was helping and not hurting,” I said.

“Mr. Stewart needed a good reason to be angry at Zach. He never really did like him and it gave him a good reason to give him a job in Boston,” Mrs. Rivers said. “Mr. Stewart is a purebred Stewart. They have more grudges then everybody in Massachusetts.”

“How does Mrs. Stewart feel about her nephew?” I asked.

“She loves and adores him more than her own son. Zach was always so well behaved. Gavin was always getting into trouble. Who could blame her? Zach was defiantly the perfect ‘son’,” Mrs. Rivers said.

Mr. Rivers came bursting through the house.

“There’s a terrible accident on the Mohawk Trail!” Mr. Rivers shouted. “They need all the help they can get.”

“Where’s the accident at?” Mrs. Rivers asked.

“Right around the area where Gavin crashed his car. That place is a crash magnet,” Mr. Rivers said.

I felt like crying. Nobody had to tell me that Zach was in that car. I had a strange feeling that this was in connection with my father’s car crash and my mother’s recent one.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Seventeen

**

“How do I look?” Jaci asked me in the morning. She was going to take a standardized test to get her high school diploma. She was wearing the same pale pink dress she had shown up in.

“You look fine,” I said. “Don’t worry.” Jaci sighed.

“Do I look professional and serious?” Jaci asked. I nodded.

“JACI! Timmy’s here to pick you up!” Ms. Donna called.

“Pray for me!” Jaci hollered as she ran out the door.

Momma walked into the family room.

“Can you help me get off the couch?” I asked. I threw the quilt off me.

“What’s that?” Momma asked pointing to a large gift wrapped in bright Christmas wrapping.

“Secret Santa strikes again!” I shouted trying to reach the package.

“Who’s Secret Santa?” Momma asked handing me the package.

“I don’t know. That’s what Regina calls him,” I said opening it.

“And do you have any idea who this guy is?” Momma asked with sparkle in her eyes.

“No,” I said pulling out a Christmas Clipboard kit.

“How sweet,” Momma said looking at it. She started to open it. I laughed.

“Oh! I’m sorry,” Momma said handing the half open kit to me.

“It’s ok,” I said placing it on the table. Momma helped me get up.

“Me want bacon!” Megan screamed running down the steps. She ran towards Momma.

“Morning, honey. I didn’t know you were up,” Momma said.

“Silly, Mommy!” Megan cried. Momma picked her up and walked into the kitchen. I followed.

“Where’s Jaci?” Megan asked looking around the room.

“She went to school,” Ms. Donna said to her.

“Why?!” Megan cried madly.

“She’s trying to get her high school diploma,” Mr. Steve said picking up his coffee cup. Megan pouted.

“The bus is here!” Darcy called. He pulled my arm.

“But I haven’t eaten breakfast!” I shouted as he pulled me towards the door.

“Ms. O’Donnell hates it when students are late!” Darcy called.

“At least let the girl get her backpack,” Ms. Donna said handing me my lunch and backpack. Darcy blushed.

“What’s your problem?” I asked hobbling out the door.

Ugh. The bus was at the stop before ours. Darcy hobbled out the door.

“Seriously?” I asked pulling out some bacon from my lunch bag.

Darcy didn’t answer me. What was wrong with HIM?

**

“Class,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “This is Virginia Powers.”

“Hello, Virginia,” The class chimed.

“And this is Natalie Baldwin,” Ms. O’Donnell said, “Both will be joining our class today. Most of you know Natalie but Virginia is new to Florida. Why don’t you tell us about yourself?”

“Well I’m from Virginia,” Virginia said laying on her Southern drawl. “I’m a farm girl. I have an older brother who is in high school and two younger sisters.”

“Thank you Virginia that will be all,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “Natalie, would you like to tell the class a little bit more about yourself?”

The look on Virginia’s face told me that she had more to tell but she didn’t dare go against Ms. O’Donnell.

“Well I moved here about a month ago. I live at the Sunshine B&B,” I started. What else could I say? I mean everyone in the room knew just about everything about me.

“I have a younger sister Megan and will have two steps sisters as soon as my mother marries Steve Matthews,” I said. My heart hurt a little to call Megan my sister.

“I love Christmas as my name implies,” I quickly added. That was something not too many people knew.

“Thank you, Natalie,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “The two of you may take your seats.”

I decided to let Virginia pick the first. There was an empty seat next to Darcy and a guy named Leo Logan. For some ridiculous reason I really hoped Virginia wouldn’t sit next to Darcy. Virginia looked at me and winked. I tried to act surprised. Darcy looked happy as Virginia walked towards the back. She sat next to Leo and shook his hand.

I sat next Darcy. He gave me a smile and what could I do but give him a silly stupid smile back.

**

“Look at this! Look at this!” Virginia shouted shoving a Valentine in my face.

“What is it?” I asked. I was sitting at a lunch table with Regina, Nelson, Darcy, and surprisingly Emily. She hadn’t uttered a word since she sat down.

“This is so rude! So ridiculous! I would punch the boy who gave me THIS piece of junk!” Virginia screamed.

“Calm down,” I said taking it out of her hands.

It read:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I don’t know what to say around you

“What’s wrong with that?” I asked.

“I don’t know what to say around you? What kind of cheesy line is that? It might as well read ‘Roses are red. Violets are blue. I really don’t want to give a Valentine to you.’,” Virginia said sitting down.

“I don’t see what’s wrong with it,” Darcy said. Virginia gave him a look.

“This is being marketed as a Valentine to give to someone who you really don’t want to give a Valentine too! Dozens of poor girls are going to receive this terrible Valentine!” Virginia said.

“VIRGINIA!” Aunt Jane screamed running into the lunch room.

“What now?” Virginia muttered.

“I didn’t give you a lunch before you took off,” Aunt Jane huffed. “I’m sorry.”

“Thanks,” Virginia said taking it. Aunt Jane smiled.

“Somebody get their Valentine’s Day out of the way?” Aunt Jane asked picking up the Valentine.

“No,” Virginia said. “I just found out that my desk partner is selling these!”

“Then sell them back,” Aunt Jane said.

“Huh?” The table asked.

“You make Valentines bigger and better,” Aunt Jane said.

“That’s a wonderful idea!” Virginia shouted. “I’ll beat him at his own game!” Aunt Jane nodded.

I looked over at the table where Leo was sitting.

I looked at the look on Virginia’s face. This was war.

**

I stared at the tall stranger sitting on the couch.

“You must be Natalie,” The young man smiled. “Your mother told me about you.”

I looked at the new boarder. His name was Zach Davis. Something about his broad shoulders and his face looked familiar.

“And you must be Darcy,” Zach said offering his hand to him.

“Hi,” Darcy said shaking it.

“I see you’ve met my new boarder Zach,” Ms. Donna said walking into the room.

“Here’s your coco,” Jaci said walking into the room. Timmy wasn’t far behind but he didn’t look like he was comfortable.

“Thank you, Jaci,” Zach said taking the hot chocolate and drinking it.

“The restaurant opens up in five minutes. I’m sure the town will want to meet you,” Ms. Donna said smiling. She walked back to the kitchen.

“I’m up!” Megan screamed walking down the steps. She looked at Zach and her eyes widened.

“You!” Megan shouted. “You!”

She didn’t sound mad. She sounded like she was happy to see him. Zach looked like he had no idea what to do.

“You must be Megan,” Zach said. “Your mother told me about you.”

Megan flew into his arms. Jaci snickered. Zach walked into the restaurant with Megan in his arms.

“She can walk,” Momma said taking Megan out of his arms.

“She just flew into them. I guess that means she likes me,” Zach said.

“LET ME IN!” Someone screamed pounding on the restaurant door. Ms. Donna unlocked it. Abby ran into the restaurant and tripped. She flew right into Zach’s arms.

“I guess I’m a magnet today,” Zach joked. Abby looked stunned.

“I’m so sorry!” Abby cried. “I guess I was so excited I tripped!”

“That’s all right,” Zach smiled. I looked at Regina. She returned my look. If I read her look correct she also thought this guy was developing a quick crush on Abby.

“Riley, look at this fabric!” Abby shouted. She pulled out a scrap from her purse.

“It’s a beautiful shade of pink!” Momma cried looking at it.

“I couldn’t wait until the weekend to show it to you,” Abby said.

“I could make bridesmaids dresses out of it!” Jaci shouted taking the fabric out of Momma’s hands.

“I like that idea,” Momma said.

“Oh please let me make your wedding dress!” Jaci cried. “I won’t fail you.”

Before Momma could answer Mr. Stewart walked into the restaurant. He looked at Zach.

“I thought I told you to never come back to Berkshire County,” Mr. Stewart said flatly to him.

Posted in Farm Girl

Farm Girl- Installment Two

**

A red truck pulled up in Aunt Jane’s driveway. I ran to the window to see who it was.

Timmy Stewart got out of the truck. He opened the passenger door and Jaci Matthews got out.

“Virginia, it’s not polite to spy,” Aunt Jane said when she saw me peeping out the window.

“Timmy Stewart is with Jaci Matthews,” I said.

“What is she doing with that boy?” Aunt Jane asked looking out the window. I laughed on the inside.

Jaci saw me in the window and waved. I felt my cheeks go red.

Timmy rang the doorbell and Aunt Jane opened it.

“Timmy Stewart, what are you doing here?” Aunt Jane asked as she let them in.

“I thought that maybe I could show Andrew around the high school. He is going to Drury High School right?” Timmy asked.

“He is,” Aunt Jane said. “How….thoughtful.”

“I’m taking a standardized test!” Jaci shouted.

“Standardized test?” I asked taking some eggs out of the refrigerator.

“Mother homeschooled me so I never got my high school diploma. Father says I have to take standardized test to get a high school diploma. If I don’t pass he’ll enroll me next year,” Jaci said. “Timmy’s driving me.”

“I’ll go get Andrew and tell him that you’ve offered to show him around,” Aunt Jane said walking up the steps.

“So how’s Florida so far?” Timmy asked me as I made the eggs.

“All right I guess,” I answered.

“Do you like chickens?” Rachel asked Timmy as she got out the oatmeal. Jaci and Timmy burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?” Rachel asked.

“Timmy used to be a chicken shooter,” Jaci laughed. Rachel looked horrified.

“I don’t shot chickens anymore,” Timmy said ruffling her hair. I took the eggs off the stuff and took the oatmeal from Rachel and started making it.

“Why did you shot chickens in the first place?” Rachel asked.

“That’s a very good question,” Timmy said. Andrew walked down the steps.

“Aunt Jane says that you’re going to show me around the high school,” Andrew said as I handed him his sandwich.

“I FORGOT TO MAKE SOME BREAKFAST!” Aunt Jane hollered running down the steps with Caroline in her arms.

“I got it Aunt Jane,” I said making Rachel a sandwich.

“Ya’ll better get going,” Aunt Jane said looking at the clock.

“Buy four chickens,” Timmy said as Andrew and Jaci walked out of the house. “I didn’t give you two for Darlene.”

He closed the door.

“He killed YOUR chickens?” Rachel asked a little outraged. Aunt Jane just stared at the door in awe.

**

“Class,” Ms. O’Donnell said in a disgusted voice. “This is Virginia Powers.”

“Hello, Virginia,” The class said.

“And this is Natalie Baldwin,” Ms. O’Donnell said in a nicer tone. “Both will be joining our class today. Most of you know Natalie but Virginia is new to Florida. Why don’t you tell us about yourself?”

“Well I’m from Virginia,” I stared. Ms. O’Donnell looked like somebody was stabbing her in the back.

“I’m a farm girl,” I said. “I have an older brother who is in high school and two younger sisters.”

“Thank you Virginia that will be all,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “Natalie, would you like to tell the class a little bit about yourself?”

“Well I moved here about a month ago. I live at the Sunshine B&B. I have a younger sister Megan and will have two steps sisters as soon as my mother marries Steve Matthews,” Natalie said. “I love Christmas as my name implies.”

I had no idea how her name implied that.

“Thank you, Natalie,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “The two of you may chose your seats.”

There were two empty seats, one in the back and one in the front. I loved being in the front row. The seat that was in the front row was next to Darcy Edwards. I knew that Natalie would want to be desk partners with Darcy.

I sighed on the inside and winked at her. She gave me a surprised expression. I walked towards the back and caught a glimpse of relief in Darcy’s face.

“Leo Logan,” My desk partner said offering his hand.

“Virginia Powers,” I said shaking it.

 

Posted in Natalie

Natallie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Sixteen

**

The sound of chickens clucking filled my ears as I walked out of our van. An ice cream party when it was below freezing seemed crazy to me.

“Me want ice cream!” Megan cried as we walked towards the front door. Was I the only one who thought this ice cream party was crazy?

A scrawny looking red haired girl answered the door. She was tall. She had a sour look on her face. She had her hands on her hips. Her body language told me that she did not want to be here.

“Hello,” Mr. Steve said to her.

“And who might you be?” The girl asked looking at all of us. Everyone at the B&B had come and since Timmy was there he tagged along.

“I’m Steve Matthews. Who might you be?” Mr. Steve asked her.

“Virginia Powers,” The girl said taking her hands off her hips. “Farm Girl.”

Ok…………..

Jaci smiled at her as if she thought what Virginia had said was funny.

“Hello, Virginia, I’m Jaci Matthews,” Jaci said with a huge smile on her face. How she never got tired of smiling I will never know. Virginia gave an awkward nod.

“Sunshine B&B clan….and Timmy,” Aunt Jane said walking up to the door. “Come in! Come in!”

“Sunshine B&B clan?” Virginia asked as we filed into the house.

“We all live at the Sunshine B&B,” Darcy explained. “Expect for Timmy.”

“So your name is Virginia?” I asked. It wasn’t to be rude or anything. I thought Virginia was a nice and pretty name. She gave me the awkward nod she had given Jaci.

“Natalie Baldwin,” I said offering my hand. I thought of something.

“Miami Girl,” I quickly added. Everyone in the room but Virginia laughed.

“Virginia, I think you and Natalie are going to get along. Natalie just moved here from Miami, Florida,” Aunt Jane said. Virginia gave another one of those odd nods.

“Oh! Where are my manors!” Aunt Jane shouted. “You’re probably wondering who all these people are. Virginia, meet Riley Baldwin. She’s Natalie’s mom and she’s engaged to Steve Matthews. He’s the tall guy. The short girl is his daughter Jaci. The tall auburn is his other daughter Abby. She doesn’t live at the B&B. She lives in Boston. Then there’s Darcy. He’s the black haired cutie. Timmy Stewart is the tall blonde one with a side bang. The little girl in Riley’s arms is Megan. She’s like two. The blonde girl is Regina Drew and the dirty blonde boy standing next to her is her twin brother Nelson Drew. The brown haired woman in the blue coat is Donna Edwards. She’s Darcy’s mother. The tall older looking lady is Mrs. Walters. The two other people or Mr. and Mrs. Drew. They’re Nelson and Regina’s parents. Oh and the baby boy in Mrs. Drew’s hands is Fred. The ice creams in the kitchen.”

“Ice cream?” Virginia asked. I let a snicker escape me.

“We’re having an ice cream party! The whole town is invited!” Aunt Jane shouted.

“But it’s like seventeen degrees outside!” Virginia shouted. Yes! Finally someone else who thought this was a crazy idea.

“That’s what I said,” I laughed. I gave Aunt Jane my coat and hobbled off towards the kitchen.

“Hello,” A little black haired girl said to me. “I’m Rachel Powers. I’m seven and I moved here last night. That’s my brother Andrew.”

The little girl pointed to a tall blonde boy. He was looking at……..goat sections.

“I like the white one!” Rachel shouted pointing to the screen.

“I like the grey and white one,” Andrew said. Rachel gave him a mad face.

“Where’s the kitchen?” I asked. “Aunt Jane told me I’d find ice cream there.”

“Ice cream?” Rachel asked. She ran towards the kitchen.

In the kitchen I found Darcy scooping chocolate ice cream.

“What happened to your knee?” Rachel asked.

“Natalie hit her cast on my knee,” Darcy said nodding his head towards me. He didn’t say it like he was mad. I couldn’t be sure but I thought there was a hint of laugher in his voice.

“Why would she do that?” Rachel asked confused.

“Because I tripped her and that caused her to break her foot,” Darcy joked. He gave me a smile. I felt my eyes pop out.

“That was mean,” Rachel said scooping strawberry ice cream.

“She didn’t do it on purpose,” Darcy said getting a spoon.

“Did you trip her on purpose?” Rachel asked. Darcy didn’t answer. He just walked out the room. I sighed and shook my head.

By the time I decided what ice cream I wanted and where the spoons where the party was in full swing. Most of the people from town where there.

I saw Timmy introducing Emily to Virginia. Poor Virginia.

“Natalie!” Ms. Ross called. She had a tall looking woman with her.

“I would like you to meet the seventh grade teacher Ms. Shelby O’Donnell,” Ms. Ross said. “I’m sad to say it but I talked with Principal Helga and she thinks that you can move up a grade in everything.” Ms. Ross looked like she was praying hard about something.

I was surprised. I hadn’t moved up in Math because Ms. O’Donnell didn’t want a ‘limited sixth grader’ in her classroom.

“Hello, Ms. O’Donnell,” I said giving her a polite smile.

“She’s a little short and just a little bit scrawny,” Ms. O’Donnell said.

I was not that scrawny.

“But I just love the touch of British accent in her voice!” Ms. O’Donnell shouted. “I thought you were from Miami.”

“I am,” I said. “But my father was from England.”

“Your father?” Ms. O’Donnell asked. “I thought your father was Steve Matthews.”

I gagged.

“I think Shelby got the story confused,” Ms. Ross said interrupting. “Steve dated Riley in high school then Riley ran away and then he married Abby and Jaci’s mother. She ran away when Abby was a little baby and she had Jaci up in Charlotte, Maine.”

“Oh,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “And where is your father.”

“He’s dead,” I said not wanting to think about how his accident wasn’t an accident.

“I’m sorry,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “See you Monday morning.”

She walked off and towards Aunt Jane. I walked over to Darcy.

“How do you put up with her?” I asked him.

“Who?” Darcy asked.

“Ms. O’Donnell,” I said.

Darcy burst out laughing.

Posted in Farm Girl

Farm Girl-Installment One

Hush Caroline, Everything is gonna be fine

Even thou its night I know the light is not far away.

So let your dreams take you to a faraway place

But keep in mind, we’ll get there someday

If we gotta fly, I’ll grow wings

We’ll just take our time and let God do all the healing

If we gotta go by boat

God will calm the sea

Hush, Caroline, go to sleep

My baby sister Caroline stared at me. She gave me one of her sweet smiles. She wasn’t falling asleep. I had already sung her several times but she wasn’t falling asleep.

I heard footsteps on the steps. For a second I thought it was Momma. I tried not to cry as I looked at Caroline. She looked so much like Momma.

Aunt Lisa opened the door. She stood in the doorway and smiled at me.

“Don’t worry about Caroline. I’ll put her to sleep,” Aunt Lisa smiled. “Go downstairs. Your Uncle Danny wants to talk to you.”

I gave her to my Aunt Lisa. I wondered why Uncle Danny would want to talk to me. I heart wrenching thought came to mind as I walked down the steps. Uncle Danny and Aunt Lisa we’re sending my brother, two sisters, and I away.

Nonsense, Virginia! I thought in my head. Uncle Danny knew how much I loved living on his farm. His farm was so much like that one Papa and Momma had run before they died. This was the fourth relative’s home my siblings and I had lived in since our parents died five months ago. We’ve been here for two months so far and I can’t possible think of any reason Uncle Danny and Aunt Lisa would want us out of their house.

As I walked into the family room I thought of a reason. Their children. They had four children of their own. What if four more was too much to handle?

“Where’s Rachel and Andrew?” Uncle Danny asked.

“Upstairs,” I answered sitting down on the couch. “Probably getting ready for bed.”

“Rachel! Andrew!” Uncle Danny called. My older brother Andrew and my younger sister Rachel quickly came down the steps.

“Yes, Uncle Danny?” Rachel asked sitting in my lap.

“Now, I know you kids have been shifted around quite a bit these last few months,” Uncle Danny said. I looked at his hands. His knuckles were shaking. Papa told me that whenever Uncle Danny’s knuckles shook that meant he had to do something he didn’t want to do.

I nodded and added, “But I like it here.”

A sad look crept into Uncle Danny’s face. I felt mine fall rapidly.

“I’m sure you’ve heard about your Aunt Jane,” Uncle Danny said getting out a photo album. “She’s your dad’s older sister. She’s my younger sister.”

“Yes, we’ve heard about Aunt Jane,” Rachel said. “Papa said he thought she was slightly crazy.”

Uncle Danny gave a chuckle.

“She was always coming up with crazy ideas and getting in trouble for them!” Uncle Danny said taking a picture of Aunt Jane out.

“So what about Aunt Jane?” Andrew asked impatiently.

“When she was twenty-two she moved away up North. She had gotten into Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts. She moved to Florida, Massachusetts a town less than thirty minutes away from North Adams and she’s lived there ever since,” Uncle Danny said. “She studied language. She didn’t want to be a farm girl. Mom and Pops were disappointed but they encouraged her to follow her heart.”

I wish he would just get to his point. I heard all of this before. Traitor. Once a farm girl, always a farm girl.

“I got a phone call from her two weeks ago. She asked how you were doing,” Uncle Danny said pausing.

“Is she coming for a visit?” Rachel asked.

“No,” Uncle Danny said. “Its kinda like the other way around.”

“We’re going to visit her. But it’s the middle of the school year!” Andrew shouted. I rolled my eyes on the inside. Andrew loved going to school. I did not.

“You’re not going to be visiting her,” Uncle Danny said. “Your aunt Jane has decided that she wants to adopt you. She said, ‘Andrew, Virginia, Rachel, and Caroline all four of those little angels!’”

It took me a minute to let all of this sink in.

“What!” I shouted. “But…But…she lives in Massachusetts. That’s like a million miles from here!”

“Not quite a million. It’s not even a thousand miles from here. It’s a little more than ten hours from here,” Uncle Danny said.

“Why would she want to adopt us?” I asked outraged.

“I don’t know,” Uncle Danny said. “She’s family. Maybe she wants to do something for her brother.”

“Well I don’t want to go!” I cried. Uncle Danny sighed.

“You leave tomorrow and that’s that. Now go upstairs and get ready for bed. Your bus leaves at nine.”

Wait, did he just say bus?

**

I sat on the steps determined never to leave Uncle Danny’s farm. If they tried to make me it would be against my will and that would be kidnapping.

“Virginia, what are you doing?” Rachel asked me when she walked down the steps in the morning.

“I’m not leaving and that’s that,” I said recalling Uncle Danny’s words from last night.

“Virginia! How did you get my handcuffs?” Andrew cried when he saw that I had handcuffed myself to the stair’s railing.

“I just walked into your room,” I shrugged.

“Boy, is Aunt Lisa and Uncle Danny going to be mad,” Rachel said sitting next to me.

“It will prove a point. I don’t want to leave and I’m not going to leave. Nobody is going to make me,” I huffed.

“You’re crazy,” Andrew said. “I think you and Aunt Jane will get along just fine.”

I stuck my tongue out at Andrew and Andrew walked down the steps.

“Baby Caroline is all ready to go…..Virginia, what are you doing?” Aunt Lisa said when she came down the steps.

“I’m not going,” I said flatly.

“Oh, yes you are!” Aunt Lisa shouted. She handed Caroline to Rachel and walked up the steps. She gave back down with a lock picking kit. She picked the lock and pushed me down the steps.

“Virginia, I love you but you are leaving today,” Aunt Lisa said handing me an egg and oatmeal sandwich.

“But I’m a farm girl not a small town girl!” I cried.

“Why can’t you be a farm girl in a small town?” Aunt Lisa asked handing sandwiches to Rachel and Andrew.

“Because it doesn’t work that way,” I said. What? It was the best I could come up with!

“Who’s reading to go to Florida, Massachusetts?” Uncle Danny asked coming down the stairs with our suitcases.

“Are you coming?” I asked.

“You didn’t think I was going to let three children and a baby ride a bus all on their own did you?” Uncle Danny asked.

“Here’s your sandwich, hon,” Aunt Lisa said handing Uncle Danny his sandwich. I wanted to laugh. Uncle Danny’s hands we’re full with luggage.

“I’m sorry, deer!” Aunt Lisa cried. She let Uncle Danny but the luggage in the car and came back inside for his sandwich.

“Love you all!” Aunt Lisa called as we got in the car. I felt like screaming back, “Well if you loved us then you would let us stay!”

As Uncle Danny’s farm faded away I muttered so low I’m positive no one else heard me, “You can take the girl off the farm but you can’t take the farm off of the girl.”

“Wait that doesn’t sound right,” I muttered smacking myself on the head.

**

It was cold and some white stuff was falling from the sky.

“Snow!” Rachel cried outing her nose on the bus station window. I tried not to scream. Aunt Jane was late.

“OUT OF MY WAY! I’M LATE!”

I turned to the voice and saw a red haired woman running like her life defended on it. I looked at Caroline who was in my arms. Please don’t tell me that THIS was my Aunt Jane.

“Sorry, kids!” Aunt Jane shouted. “I’m so sorry! I plum forgot! I’m your Aunt Jane Powers.”

Aunt Jane’s jacket was covered with snow. She had sandals on which I found strange.

“Hello,” Rachel said smiling.

“Aren’t your feet freezing?” I asked not being able to get over the whole sandal thing.

“I put on the wrong shoes! I wanted to get a quick bit at the Sunshine B&B. I was in a hurry to leave because I also wanted to have a talk with Fowler Stewart about his grandson Timmy Stewart. That is all worked out now,” Aunt Jane said. There was a look of wonder when she said the words Timmy Stewart.

“How was your trip?” Aunt Jane asked picking up our suitcases and walking towards the exit.

“Horrible,” I said remembering, “Somebody coughed and sneezed all over me.”

“Gross!” Aunt Jane cried shaking her head. “There’s nothing like a sick person to ruin a perfectly good bus ride. You’ll probably want to take a nice long hot shower when you get home.”

It would take me another ten hours to get home and I needed a shower now.

“This is your car?” Andrew asked pointing to the car Aunt Jane had stopped at.

I was wondering the same thing and not because her car was a Ford Explorer.

Her license plate was FARMGURL.

That was far from true.

**

Ok, so maybe not TOO TOO far from true.

Aunt Jane had chickens in her backyard.

And at this moment she ordering a pig, a goat, and a lamb.

“I just love animals!” Aunt Jane shouted as she placed her order. We hadn’t even been here one day and she was ordering farm animals.

There was a knock at the door.

“Virginia, could you get that please?” Aunt Jane asked. She started to chuckle. I went to open the door.

“Hello,” A tall brown haired man said when I opened the door. As far as I could tell there were thirteen other people with him.

“And who might you be?” I asked with my hands on my hips.

“I’m Steve Matthews,” The man said. “Who might you be?”

“Virginia Powers,” I said taking my hands off my hips. “Farm girl.”

A short brown haired girl that I assumed was Mr. Matthew’s daughter, smiled at me.

“Hello, Virginia, I’m Jaci Matthews,” The girl smiled. I nodded.

“Sunshine B&B clan….and Timmy,” Aunt Jane said walking up to the door. “Come in! Come in!”

“Sunshine B&B clan?” I asked as they walked into the door.

“We all live at the Sunshine B&B,” A boy with dark hair and blue eyes said. “Expect for Timmy.”

“So your name is Virginia?” A dirty blonde haired girl asked me. I nodded.

“Natalie Baldwin,” The girl said offering her hand. “Miami Girl.”

The Sunshine B&B clan laughed. Aunt Jane gave a faint chuckle. I had no idea why this was funny.

“Virginia, I think you and Natalie are going to get along. Natalie just moved here from Miami, Florida,” Aunt Jane said. I nodded.

“Oh! Where are my manors!” Aunt Jane shouted. “You’re probably wondering who all these people are. Virginia, meet Riley Baldwin. She’s Natalie’s mom and she’s engaged to Steve Matthews. He’s the tall guy. The short girl is his daughter Jaci. The tall auburn is his other daughter Abby. She doesn’t live at the B&B. She lives in Boston. Then there’s Darcy. He’s the black haired cutie. Timmy Stewart is the tall blonde one with a side bang. The little girl in Riley’s arms is Megan. She’s like two. The blonde girl is Regina Drew and the dirty blonde boy standing next to her is her twin brother Nelson Drew. The brown haired woman in the blue coat is Donna Edwards. She’s Darcy’s mother. The tall older looking lady is Mrs. Walters. The two other people or Mr. and Mrs. Drew. They’re Nelson and Regina’s parents. Oh and the baby boy in Mrs. Drew’s hands is Fred. The ice creams in the kitchen.”

“Ice cream?” I asked. Natalie snickered.

“We’re having an ice cream party! The whole town is invited!” Aunt Jane shouted.

“But it’s like seventeen degrees outside!” I shouted.

“That’s what I said,” Natalie laughed.

Soon a whole bunch of people from town poured into Aunt Jane’s house. I met some girl named Emily Stewart. She’s supposed to be Timmy’s sister but she’s nothing like him. Timmy seemed way nicer than Emily was. I heard their grandparents (the people who raise them) where there but I didn’t care to meet them.

My ice cream party wasn’t that bad and I almost let myself enjoy it up until I met the meanest woman in the world.

Ms. Shelby O’Donnell.

“Virginia, I would like you to meet your seventh grade teacher Shelby O’Donnell,” Aunt Jane said. Aunt Jane  looked like she was praying hard about something.

“She’s scrawny,” Ms. O’Donnell said.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“She’s tall but scrawny. She’s only said a couple of words and her Southern drawl annoys me,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “We’ll have to do something about that if she’s going to be in my class. Maybe we could put her Ms. Ross’s sixth grade class.”

“Excuse me?” I repeated.

“I’ll have to have to see how my teacher’s assistant and eighth grade teacher Diana Smith feels about her,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “DIANA!”

An older looking lady with graying brown hair walked up to Ms. O’Donnell.

“This is our new student,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “Speak.”

I looked at her strangely.

“I said speak, child!” Ms. O’Donnell shouted.

“Hi,” I said unsure what to say.

“Ugh! Her drawl is so very unbecoming. Wouldn’t you say so?” Ms. O’Donnell asked.

“Shelby,” Ms. Smith said. “Her drawl will not be a problem.”

“You fatten her up, Jane. She’s too scrawny,” Ms. O’Donnell said. She looked at me with disgust and walked away. Ms. Smith smiled at me and walked away.

I refused to have her for a teacher. I wondered if Andrew had anymore handcuffs.

Posted in Verse of the Day

Verse of the Day

Romans 5:12-13

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men  because all sinned–for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

Posted in Farm Girl

COMING SOON: Farm Girl

Coming Soon: Farm Girl

You can take the girl off the farm but you can’t take the farm off of the girl……Wait that doesn’t sound right.”

Meet Virginia; a farm loving girl who never wants to leave her Uncle’s farm. And against her will she has to move to Florida, Massachusetts to live with her slightly crazy Aunt Jane. Her brother and her sister don’t seem to care at all that their no longer ‘farm people’. But Florida’s not too too bad. With her Aunt’s crazy ideas, hanging out at the Sunshine B&B, a mysterious noise coming from the B&B’s attic, and the occasional match making, a farm girl could get used to this.