How the Cookie Crumbles

I walked out of the library this morning with my hands full of books and my purse. My hair was falling in my face and my sunglasses had something on the right lens, making the world kind of half foggy. I finagled stuff around to unlock the car door and as I was getting in, I hit my purse on the door frame and heard a peculiar “POP”. Throwing the books into the passenger seat, I proceeded to scrounge around in my bag.

“I MUST clean this out!” I thought to myself as I weeded through papers, my wallet, ginger chews and dramamine (the don’t-leave-home-without-it part of my life in Arkansas), a butterscotch candy wrapper, three different kinds of lip balm, an extra pair of sunglasses…you get the picture. Finally I found the culprit. A fortune cookie from lunch a few days ago. Forgot that was in there! Not only had the plastic wrapper “popped” but the cookie had crumbled completely and now there are crumbs all over the bottom of my purse.

I grabbed the mess and threw it into the trash bag in the car, but a moment later I became curious as to what sort of “fortune” would come from such an ill-fated cookie. So I grabbed it back and carefully took out the little piece of paper.

Your mentality is alert, practical and analytical.
Oh, the irony!!!
That was the cookie that was supposed to be Jack’s, but he didn’t want it so he gave it to me. True story.

Blogging Question

Okay, so…I love getting comments, of course. LOVE it!!! And I’ve gotten some wonderful comments.

My question is, how do you respond to comments on a blog? Do I respond as a comment? If I do, with the person I am responding to ever see it? I comment on blogs and never go back.

What is blogger etiquette in regards to this?

And I thank you for your advise in advance…since I don’t know how else to do it! ūüėČ

Past Chapter

Not too far from my grandparents here in the hills of Arkansas is a little white church. It feels a bit like it’s in the middle of nowhere, about 20 minutes from the nearest Wal-Mart…so that HAS to be the middle of nowhere, right?
It’s a special little church to me. We played there when we were a band…I think three times over the years. Such sweet people in that tiny little building. They loved us. REALLY loved us. The Naylor Family Band filled up the whole front part of the building, overflowing the stage and cramming in as best we could. Not just us, but all our instruments and sound system too. Yes…it was cozy. And one of those places that we could pretty much expect to have a full house whenever we were there. Standing room only. I mean it! Such a tiny building! Those people worked hard to get a good crowd for us, and of course had an amazing potluck in the basement every time. Enough egg salad sandwiches to feed the entire state of Arkansas, plus some. And desserts…oh my. Never could you wish to see more banana pudding than at that spread. They opened their church and their beautiful hearts to us when we came. They made us part of their family. They showed support every way they could. I hope to never forget the way that felt. I hope to be that for others.
One of my fondest memories from there…after a concert, an older lady came up to me, grabbed my arm and said, “I love seeing you up there!!! I can’t hear A WORD you say, but I just LOVE watching you all!!!” I smile every single time I think of that.
I’ve been to church there a couple of times now that I’m here. They show that same love and welcome every time I come. It’s nice.
Tonight I went to hear a music group called “Proof of Mercy” play at the little white church. The memories started this morning. Thoughts like, “I wonder if this group is practicing this morning like we always did before a concert?” Then this afternoon, “I wonder how early they have to get to the church to ¬†set up and do a sound check?” “I wonder if they use a sound system and how many members are in their band.” “I wonder if they’ll get a good crowd.” “I wonder if they are nervous.”
Proof of Mercy is a three member singing group. All locals. Grandparents and aunts and parents and children in the audience. They were completely at home in the church. I watched them sing and play. I listened to them harmonize.
I recognized a couple of songs that they did as some that we did as a family.
And I missed the band.
I miss making music with my family. I miss sharing music with people who love us. I miss “belonging” to that group of people who call themselves musicians and travel around and sing and play and glorify God with what they are doing. I miss the opportunities that it affords to share about Christ.
I sat there, remembering what it was like as if being a band was a lifetime ago. Almost as if it was completely detached from me completely. Like it was someone else who did that. And it made me sad.
Just spent some time looking through old journal entries from our band’s website. A site that probably won’t be around much longer. But we DID do those things. We took those trips and met those people and had those incredible experiences. And I’m grateful. It wasn’t always fun. We had a lot of hard times as a family band. But I’d do it again. Absolutely, I would.
It’s a past chapter…but what an adventure it was!

Lessons From The Garden

I have discovered something about myself.
I have GREAT thoughts when I weed the garden. Not just good thoughts. Not even great thoughts. I have GREAT thoughts. You know what I mean? It’s just so easy to be philosophically fruitful when you have your hands in the dirt and you’re among plants. Not just any plants, of course. Garden plants are ¬†chosen specifically for what they can give. Be it fruit, vegetable, beauty, aroma, healing, life lessons, philosophically GREAT thoughts…garden plants are givers.
I weeded the garden today. Hours of GREAT philosophical thoughts…here are a few to share with you.
1. It feels really good to clean out a neglected bed. To just get in there and get dirty and sweaty and bug eaten. To ruin your nails and tear your skin while fighting the dread enemy…weeds. Gotta do that to my heart sometimes too. Not fun in the process…but the results are worth it.
2. It’s funny how something can be a coveted possession in one place…and a horrible nuisance in another. Mint, for example. LOVE that it’s growing where the mint should grow. But it MUST not grow where the rosemary grows.¬†Mint is one plant I really love to work around though. Olfactory delight, every time. Violets are some of my favorite early spring flowers. But they are taking over the iris bed…and therefore have become weeds. Crazy. I hate pulling them out. I love them too much. Yes, you can easily apply that to your heart as well. Even good things can become bad for you if you are not careful and moderate.
Violets that need to be pulled. Very sad.
3. There are so many ways to tell the same story. And presentation is everything. Case in point:

Starting in the cool of the morning, I gradually made my way through the raised beds full of lovely varieties of fragrant herbs and earthy tomato plants, past the golden marigold…lovingly tidying up the beds as I went along. Finding myself at the peach tree, I lingered under its sheltering branches and rested from the sun.¬†

Could just as truthfully be this:

It was muggy from the moment I walked out the door this morning, but at least it was slightly cooler than it would be later, so I worked hard to get as much done as I could before the heat became intolerable. I felt myself get angry all over again when I saw the poor branches where my tomatoes SHOULD have been, had not an unknown enemy stolen the fruits of my labor from me. Sweating profusely, and feeling itchy from the bugs, I found myself under the peach tree and thought I’d enjoy the shade for a few minutes…until I noticed HUNDREDS of ants all over the ground and crawling up and down the tree trunk. Ugh, how I hate bugs. ¬†

See…it’s all about perspective.

Sheltering Peach Tree
4. I like the smell of OFF better than the smell of this bug repellent that I picked up at the health food store. I hope the bugs feel the same way.
5. If you aren’t sure if something is a weed, give it an ever-so-gentle, tiny little pull. If it comes out…it wasn’t a weed.
And then the blaring sun drove all GREAT and philosophical thoughts away. I’ll have to go out again in the early cool of another morning to finish the weeding and think some more.
The apple tree is LOADED with apples. EXCITING!!!!
Her Lavender is glorious!!!
I love how my grandmother cuts flowers as often as she can to bring into the house.
Lovely, lovely lavender.
¬†How’s your garden this year?

Peanut Butter Pie Day…or…The Case of the Missing Cream Cheese

A brother of mine had a birthday a couple of days ago. And Tera made Frozen Peanut Butter Pie to celebrate. 
I wasn’t there.¬†
Sometimes that’s easier to handle than other times. Sometimes realizing my best friends are all a state away doing fun and amazing things and living life without me makes me a little bit blue…and leaves me craving things. Like hugs. And Frozen Peanut Butter Pie.¬†
So, instead of sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I decided to make a pie for the Ancient Ones and myself. And, because Facebook makes these things so easy, I declared today, June 2, the Official Peanut Butter Pie Day.
I talk to home a lot. Every other day or so, I’d say. Sometimes every day. Lately I feel myself resisting the urge to call with every single question I have. Gardening questions for Mom and cooking questions for Sarah. I call…but not every single time.¬†
For instance, today…
I went to town and picked up ingredients for my pie. Now, I distinctly remember grabbing an 8 ounce package of cream cheese off of the shelf at the local grocery store and putting it in the cart. Distinctly. But…when I got home I couldn’t find it anywhere. I checked the car. Twice. I checked the fridge, where it would naturally have been put away, ¬†and other places in the kitchen that would have been insane to put a package of cream cheese. It’s gone. The only conclusion I can come to is that someone stole it out of my cart when I wasn’t looking. Gotta watch those shoppers out there. The world is a dangerous place.¬†
Anyway…I had already made the crust, whipped the cream, opened the can of Eagle brand. And we had 3 lousy ounces of cream cheese left over from weeks ago instead of the 8 the recipe calls for. I fought the urge to panic. I determined that I would NOT drive 30 minutes back into town to buy another 8 ounces of that soft, white, mild stuff. But here I was, officially announcing that this is THE DAY for peanut butter pie! What kind of a mighty leader would I be if I backed out now???¬†
What was I going to do???? 
Call Sarah!!!! She would know what to do. After all, she’s the master chef!!! Yes!!!!
“NO!!! Come on, Sage…you can figure this out yourself. What are you going to do? Pull yourself together. Think, think, think…”
So I opened the fridge, grabbed the 6 ounce container of Chobani yogurt, peeled back the seal, closed my eyes and dumped it in the mixer with the pathetic 3 ounces of cream cheese. 
I’ve tasted the filling. It’s wonderful. ELATION!!!! This is how chefs who make up their own recipes feel! This is how generals who make the right decisions on battlefields and conquer whole countries feel! YES! Who needs 8 ounces of cream cheese anyway?

Still, I wonder where that package is???
Happy Peanut Butter Pie Day, everyone!!!
May your slice be cool and creamy, your Oreo crust not soggy and your chocolate fudge as good as Slickepott.