America, Culture, Family, Fashion, Funny

Name Dropping 

Sometimes I wonder if other people notice what a spaz I am, or if it’s just me? I feel like it’s pretty noticeable. I trip over things, spill stuff on myself, get my words confused, ask unnecessary questions, and the list could go on. I always hope that it comes off as endearing. If not, atleast my intentions are pure. That counts right? 

There are a few areas where I shine though. I make friends easily, so that’s a positive. And, I’m usually good with remembering names. Also very useful. I’m afraid my skills might be lagging a little bit lately, though. 

I don’t usually run deliveries for Skyline. There are a few reasons for this:

1) I’m bad with directions. And when I run deliveries, I have to string together a bunch of different places into one cohesive drive so that I’m not back-tracking. It’s a difficult task for me, to say the least. Which is to say that I back track a lot. 

2) I’m the one who sits behind a desk all day and answers emails for all of the customers that we make the deliveries to. So, it’s hard to get away at the time that the deliveries need to be made.

But, occasionally, I’m the one who has to go out. Which happened this week, twice. 
I had to go one day to meet with a teacher that saw us at the Teacher Expo. He’s a spry, little old man, with wire rimmed spectacles. I hope you’re getting a good picture of him. His name is Leroy. He’s sweet and called me to talk for 10 minutes about his robotics team that he needed to order polos for. We had a good chat and I told him I’d bring by some samples. 

Fast forward to me walking into the school. I walk up to the desk in the office and they ask me to sign in. The secretary informs me that they would usually scan my driver’s license, but the machine is broken. (Which was good for me, seeing as how I had forgotten my driver’s license at home that day and was driving around all day without my ID. What was that about being a spaz?) So, sign in. Check. 
Then, she asks me: who are you here to see? 

At this point, I remember his name is Leroy, but I can’t think of what his last name is. So, instead of just saying that, I say the first last name that pops in my head. 


Leroy Brown. 

As in the baddest one in the whole town. The one who is meaner than a junkyard dog. 

(If you’re not following me, check out Jim Croce’s album: Photographs and Memories. One of my favorite albums, lots of classics.) 

The secretary looks at me and I’m not even sure she understood my accidental reference. Instead, she says his correct last name questioningly, to which I say, yes! and take off towards his classroom. Like a spaz. 

Next up: an elementary school to deliver 5 cases of shirts. This is a whole new level of obstacles for me. We have a little cart that folds up nicely and fits in my car. But, getting it out and unfolded to haul the boxes in? Not very easy. 

I get it out, stare at it for a few minutes in the parking lot, trying to decipher how all of these parts work together, finally get it unfolded and load 4 of the boxes on, and barely make it in the door without all the boxes spilling off in the entryway.

I bring them into the office, the secretary instructs me on where to put them and goes to take care of something else.

As I’m unloading them in the designated area, the principal (who I’ve never met before) walks by. He greets me and thanks me for delivering them as he’s walking into his office, right by my boxes. So, I respond conversationally, still moving boxes around. He had just walked into his office, when I heard him say: and your name is who?

So, I respond by saying my name. 

I hear him say again: your name is who? 
(I realize this isn’t exactly proper grammar, but we’re in Arkansas and it actually is a “what’s your name?” phrase that can be used.) 

So, I respond again, saying my name more loudly this time. 

He, then, comes out of his office, laughing. And he says, Brittney, I’ve got a student in my office. His name is Who.
Guys, I’m officially giving up the name game. If you need me, I’ll be at my desk. 

America, Art, Canada, Culture, Family, Funny, Outdoors, Summer, Travel

For Hire

I’m not quite sure how we ended up in Toronto of all places, but we’re here. I assumed we’d fly through Chicago then north into Canada from there. That seems the most direct route. But, we were routed through Houston, then had a direct 4 hour flight from there.

Have you ever been bumped up from an economy flight to first class? Yeah, me either. 

But, apparently, if this happens to you, when they scan your economy ticket at the gate, the screen lights up and it makes a happy little sound and you know you’ve hit the jackpot. The reason I know this is because it happened to Jake, who was standing in line in front of me.

 I hoped my ticket would make that happy little sound too, but it made the regular scanning noise, sealing my fate for my cramped little seat at the back of the plane and a lukewarm coffee, if I was lucky. 

Jake politely reveled in his win of the day, while the Frenchman behind me tried to talk him into trading seats. But, two minutes later when we boarded the plane, the Frenchman and I decided economy wasn’t so bad after all. 

Jake happened to have won a seat right next to a screaming infant. The Frenchman and I bid him adieu and made our own jokes about how he had to sit by the be’be.  

As usual, I was seated on the last row of the plane. And as I took my seat, I could still hear the little guy next to Jake yelling. 

Some people might not expect this of me, but I’m not really great with kids. Kids are okay, I don’t dislike them. And they don’t dislike me. We generally get along. They smile at me and I smile back. We make small talk with each other. They hold my hand and look at my bracelets. But, I just don’t really know what to do with them. 

I’m fine with little babies, they pretty much just eat and sleep. If they’re crying, you have about three options for what they need. They’re pretty predictable.

But, from around 1 on to about 7, kids kinda baffle me. They can almost take care of themselves, but not really. They’ve got strong little personalities they’re developing. They don’t like coffee, they generally don’t like vegetables, they’re just not really that compatible with me. 

Jake, on the other hand, loves kids. He knows exactly what they want, he knows how to talk to them on their level, he can engage them, and they love it. If there is a kid in the room, they naturally gravitate towards him. 

I settled into the flight, talking to my new French friend, and putting on my headphones to watch a movie. As the flight attendant came to ask me what I wanted to drink, I took my headphones off and noticed that the be’be had finally quieted down. 

I resumed my movie, until something caught my attention. 

Jake. Walking up and down the aisle, carrying the now content, be’be, also known as Peter. 

Apparently, Peter’s mom couldn’t get him to calm down, so she handed him off to Jake. Peter’s dad and older sister were sitting in economy and as Jake walked by carrying Peter, the dad thanked him for helping out with the boy. 

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Peter had been throwing a fit in first class, in the seat between Jake and his mother. His mom had tried calming him to no avail, but Jake grabbed him up, set him on his lap, and he became content. “Peter likes you, Jacob” was the mother’s consent, and thus, Jacob and Peter were a pair. 

The family was Nigerian, and from what I could tell, the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” is used in the most literal terms there. 

Upon getting off the plane, Jake told me that he had been commended by the flight crew for making that flight enjoyable for them and the other passengers around him. He also informed me that he had been invited to Nigeria, in case we ever wanted to visit. 

I don’t think we’ll be going anytime soon, but I am having him add Nigerian Nanny to his list of job experiences on his resume’. I’d hire him any day. 

America, Family, Farm, Funny

Wednesday, March 2

Let me tell you what I’m not doing right now. I’m not searching for my phone. Because I didn’t lose my phone. My brother lost his. Which never happens. I’m always the one who loses my phone and goes on an elephant hunt back through my day to figure out at which point I set it down and forgot about it. And when this happens, I’m always given a lecture about how I shouldn’t be constantly losing my phone and how I need to keep track of my stuff. But, now, the aforementioned lecturer has lost his phone. And am I lecturing him? 


I am relishing silently in this glory, basking in his frustration at having to figure out where he irresponsibly laid his phone down at. Because for once, it wasn’t me. 
Let me tell you what I am doing, though. I am in a narrow stairwell, having Jake take a passport picture. Why the stairwell? Because we need a white wall for a background and a two foot wide stairwell seemed to be our best option.. Which basically means his phone (which has been located) is right in front of my face, which causes me to laugh because this situation is just so ridiculous and results in a passport picture that looks like a cross between a mugshot and an emoji. He took a decent one, but I’m pretty certain he’s currently in the process of printing the mugshot emoji one. 

Wednesday, March 2 was not an eventful day for me. I currently babysit on Wednesdays for a friend, so my day consisted of bottles and diapers and rockers and all things baby. Me and the baby have developed a good working relationship. We have mutual respect for each other, understand our roles, and perform our jobs to the best of our abilities. We’re all business, no drama.

However, Wednesday, March 2 was eventful for my brother. Which he relayed to me at the end of the day. And I took such a liking to the story, in all of its ridiculous detail, that I told him he should write about it. 

The thing about me and Jake is that we both love stories. I love to be told stories. And I love to tell stories. But, vocally telling a story is not my forte. I become too bogged down in the details and lose the point too easily. I like to write stories, it’s more organized and detailed. It suits me better. 

But, if you have ever heard Jake tell a story, his medium is definitely vocal. He does impressions, voices, mannerisms, he’s a mockingbird, including every detail in the way he tells a story. It’s enjoyable. In fact, he made me laugh so hard at a story he was telling the other day that I choked on my coffee and was fairly certain that I was going to end up with pneumonia from aspirating liquid down into my lungs. 

So, he obliged me and wrote the story down. Which really has no point except for that I found it amusing. So, here it is, in Jake’s words:

The week prior to leaving on a trip is always chaotic, however I think…. “we’ve done this enough that we should have this down to a science.”  If only life were that simple.

My grandpa lost his cell phone in the field a week or so ago while feeding cows and has been off the grid when he leaves the farm to run errands. This is driving my grandma insane because she had become accustomed to picking up the phone and calling him to remind him he had a funeral that day, the baptistry needed to be filled up while he was out, or that they were out of Bran Flakes (her current favorite).

In a cataclysmic turn of events, their home phone and internet services have also been on the fritz this week.  Let me just say, it’s been several phone calls back and forth to CenturyLink.

Wednesday’s are an odd day of the week for us at work because Brittney is out of the shop.  It also happened to be that my mom had an appointment with her eye surgeon that my dad needed to take her to. This meant that it would only be 1 person coming into work for the first part of the day. 1 out 3, it’s hard to pass with 33%, imagine trying to take a self portrait with a tripod that only has one leg.. You get the point.  Any other time, I would sit this morning out, except this was not possible, remember, three days until we leave for Vietnam.

One man shop


(8:30 am) My day started with slow single person tasks and as I was mid-first monogram of the day, my grandpa came in the shop looking for my dad.  I told him he was gone this morning, what did he need? Their home phone went out again, he needed to borrow a cell phone to call CenturyLink. After waiting 15 minutes on hold, he gets through and then the phone call cuts out. What is it with Maysville and glorious telecommunication services?  (aside: #MaysvilleLivesMatter). 

 Another call back to CenturyLink and passing the phone off to me, I get a few instructions to troubleshoot their problem.  My grandpa felt equally confident that he could do as the lady instructed and also that what she instructed would not fix their problem, so away he went.  In the meantime,  I text my dad to get them a cell phone card for a cell phone my aunt gave my grandparents.

Morning embroidery

(10:30 am) My dad called for me to meet him in Gentry (20 minutes away) to pick him up as he was going to leave my mom’s car with her at her work. I told him we needed to grab lunch at McDonald’s because we didn’t have time to sit down and eat lunch at home and we were already sitting for 20 minutes in the car on the way home. (Note- even in an apocalypse, efficiency is the key to survival.)

(11:30 am) When we got home from Gentry,  we went directly down to my grandparents house (1/4 mile down the dirt road) to setup the minutes on the cell phone they have because my grandma had an appointment to get a perm that afternoon. My grandma said the phone in the kitchen on the charger, unfortunately, it was the charger to their old phone. Also unfortunate was the fact that the new cell had enough battery life to appear functional.  I read the directions on how to load the minutes and as soon I loaded the minutes, my grandma asked if I could make that phone have the same number as the old phone (which, remember, is sitting somewhere out in a hay field). It dawned on me that I didn’t even know what phone number this phone had so I read off the number to my grandma.  She reread the number out loud and then looked surprised, “that’s Sherri’s number (my aunt)… not our number”.  The minutes didn’t load on this phone and the phone still has the same number as my aunt’s current phone. What a debacle. We still aren’t sure where the minutes went but put Net10 on the growing list of telecom people to call.

(11:45am) Back to work, I was only halfway through our first printing order of the day when I got a phone call from CenturyLink. The guy was on his way out to setup our internet/phone in the shop, but at this point I’m wondering why bother? Anyone got a tin can and a string? I’m about ready to kick it old school and tie hand quilled invoices to doves to deliver and hope they bring back payments.

I quickly finish the job we’re working on because I knew there would be a pause when he got there. My dad saw him pull through the gate and as soon as he said “he’s here” my cell phone rang…. It was Lisa, my grandma’s hairdresser. 
(Remember #1 This is Arkansas #2 I love Nanny- my grandma we’re referring to here and #3 I’m central contact point for Maysville, apparently.) Back to Lisa’s call-
Lisa:  “Hey Jacob, have you talked to your grandparents today? I’m worried something happened, they didn’t make it to their 12 o’clock and I can’t get a hold of them- that’s not like her…”

Jacob: “Yes, I was just down there and their phone is out and he just lost his cell… But don’t worry their appointment was at 2, right? That’s what she told me just 15 minute ago and they are planning on being there”

Lisa: “Is there anyway you can go tell them they missed their appointment? Maybe they can borrow your phone to call me back and reschedule.”

Jacob: “Uh-oh, oh-no and okay”

At this point my dad hears my end of the conversation and says “Do I need to go tell them they missed it?” sort of hastily, I said yes confused as to why he was in a hurry. I look out the window to see the CenturyLink guy is stopped in the road talking to my grandparents, who are now leaving to go get their hair cut, permed, and washed. The CenturyLink guy comes on out to the shop as I watch my dad, seemingly in slo-mo, take off across the yard to catch them.

(11:55am) Sorry it took so long to account for 10 minutes of my life, but wow.  So the CenturyLink guy asks me if I’m related to “Mr.Scott”? To which I say “Yes, all of us.” Because he had then met all three “Mr.Scott’s” of Maysville.

He continues (imagine this in a cyber native Arkansan accent):
“Yeah, his phone line… I fixed it last week when it went out. The problem with his line is that it runs through the other way…”

(Aside- our property lies between two telecom lines and also two power companies, our home and shop phone line comes in from the south while my grandparents comes from the north)

“… That darn line is so chewed up and bad. I’m trying to get CL to come run a new line for them. Their line now runs through two creeks and it floods every time it rains, then that makes all them mice and rats nest up in our service boxes. That’s what’s making their phone and Internet go out. I cleaned out two mice nests up in that service box last week but I’ll back and clean it out again.”

Basically what he was saying is: If CenturyLink doesn’t fix the problem, this morning may be repeated for you on a weekly basis. Ahhh…

Wednesday’s are also a short day for my dad and I in the shop because we have to quit around 4:45 so he can go get ready to drive the church bus and pick up kids all over the tri-state. So a quick recap of the rest of the day… My dad caught my grandparents at the mailbox, they used his phone and sweet talked Lisa into fitting them in that afternoon. My dad then got a call from a friend and had to leave quickly to go help him. Somehow through the chaos of the day, we still ended up getting about 500 prints done, which is a semi-normal day.

All in a day’s work


I text Brittney and said “God is calling me to be a comedian because he is giving me so much content today, I don’t even know what to do with it all.”  I told it all to her when she got home, who I’m sure found it more amusing and humorous than you just did, and suggested I guest post on her blog. Sorry if you find yourself saying “Geez, that was a great read for wasting 10 minutes” and you’re welcome if you needed to waste 10 minutes reading someone’s mundane recollection of Wednesday, March 2nd.

Farm, Food, Funny, Garden, Health

Peas, Please!

Is it bad that going to the dentist this week feels like a spa treatment? You get to lay back in the chair and zone out for awhile, so that’s kinda like a spa, right? I think it may just be because this week has been so hectic that I just needed the 20 minutes it took for Sydni to clean my teeth (yes, my dental hygienist and I are on a first name basis) for me to re-evaluate my life. Now, my teeth are clean, my life is back in order and I can continue on about my business.
We got a few boxes in today.

We got a few boxes in today.

You know the smell of jalapeño that’s just been picked and brought in from out in the hot sun? That spicy, fresh, warm smell. Nostalgic. Probably because that’s the first thing I remember growing and probably what we’ve grown the longest. It would be a close race between jalapeños and tomatoes for what’s been grown the longest. It’s also a classic summer scent because I’m the salsa maker, so I am the one who usually cuts and cleans all the peppers.
I haven’t done very well at keeping up with everything that’s been growing lately, so I’ll give a quick update.
Sugar Snap Peas: the first thing that started producing, these are the sweetest little guys. And, I am obsessed. I eat them raw, steamed, every which way and they’re so good! And pretty too! Actually, I was on a delivery the other day and it was lunch time and I was crunched and couldn’t take time for a proper lunch, so I grabbed a bag of fresh peas to eat in the car. What I didn’t consider is that it is apparently a little strange to be eating snap peas while sitting in traffic. I finally did consider this as I was sitting in the car doing so and getting a few odd glances from the other drivers around me. Oh well, not the strangest thing I’ve done in public. Well, to be honest, my views of “public” places get a little bit skewed. This is being said by someone who found it absolutely necessary to brush her teeth at a semi-abandoned carwash one time. It really was absolutely necessary, it’s a long story, but trust me, it was. But, semi-abandoned means not public, right? So it’s okay? Who decides these rules of etiquette anyway? Is your car considered a public place when you are sitting in traffic?  Nevermind, look at these peas!
Sugar Snaps

Sugar Snaps

Cauliflower: I’ve never grown this before and we’ve ended up with nearly 10 heads of it. It’s one of my favorite vegetables so no complaints here. My favorite thing to do with it? Eat it with guacamole instead of chips. Did I mention that I’m the chief guacamole maker too? I wear many hats, I know. Really, though, I feel like instead of wearing salsa and guacamole making hats, I should just carry a dip making umbrella and forego the hats. Is everyone liking all my analogies today?
Pretty, right?

Pretty, right?

Broccoli: I’m quickly realizing that I’m just a veggie freak because I love this too. I’ve never successfully grown this before, so we’ll count this year as a minor success. A few of the plants flowered early, but we salvaged what we could. I have no interesting analogy, anecdote, or story of inappropriate “public” behavior for this one, the picture will have to suffice.
Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 4.20.02 PM
Raspberries: I’m pretty sure everyone is so tired of hearing about raspberries from me. I planted 8 plants last year and they are producing so abundantly this year. Last year, they produced some, nothing outstanding. So, this year, I wisely decided to transplant from the roots and those are doing beautifully. All 31 plants. So, let’s do the math. I planted 8 last year and they are now producing faster than they can be picked. And, there are 31 new plants that are thriving out in the big garden. So, just shy of 4 times the amount that I started with. No big deal. I cannot even imagine the bounty that those will be producing next year. Who wants to come pick raspberries? Any takers?
Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 4.22.08 PM
I finally got all of the sweet potatoes in the ground. 105 slips total. We did 25 slips last year. I think I planted nearly 40 slips from a purple sweet potato. Want to know what a purple sweet potato tastes like? Yeah, me too. I’ve never actually tasted one. I went to the store and thought it sounded good. I mean, anthocyanins, right? I knew that’s what you were thinking, too, when I said purple sweet potatoes. You can never go wrong with anthocyanins. I don’t know why, when I was at the store buying the potatoes for the slips, I didn’t get an extra one to bake and eat before I planted a zillion plants of it. Pre-planning has never been my strong suit. But, I’m assuming, if you know me at all, that’s pretty obvious by now. If it wasn’t, the teeth brushing at the carwash should pretty much seal that up for you. On a positive note, Sydni (remember her, my dental hygienist?) said my teeth looked very good at my check up and that I should keep doing what I’ve been doing. Looks like that carwash brushing wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
{Personal note: I am not homeless. I do not regularly brush my teeth in strange places. It was a one (maybe two) time thing that was absolutely necessary. It should just be a sign that I am dentally conscientious and dedicated. And, sorry again, Mom, for sharing too much in a public forum. Wait, is a blog post considered public?}