Wednesday, July 16

Culture Shock 44

Front doors.

We all know what they are.

Very few people here use them. I think they are for decoration or to let light in. Or they just come with the house. I'm not sure.

Our front door is actually enclosed within the front porch. We call it the screen room.

My husband works in peoples homes and says it can be confusing to find the door a particle family actually uses.

I thought front doors were for walking into the house.

Wednesday, July 9

Culture Shock 43

Time Zones

I am not liking this time zone difference. My family is 2 hours behind me here in Mississippi. That means that when it is 6:20 here, where we are done with work and dinner, it is only 4:20 in California. My sisters are not home from work nor have they considered dinner yet. My parents are probably thinking of dinner which means it is not a good time to call.

Same thing in the mornings. I get up st 7. By 9 a.m. I am ready to call my friends who are just getting up because of the time difference.

Friday, July 4

Culture Shock 42

How do you celebrate Independence Day?

For 14 Fourth of Julys, my husband and I have celebrated by going to a fireworks show. Fireworks are illegal to set off in California without special permits and licenses. We always brought snacks to munch and blankets to sit on.

One year, we bought fireworks in Washington to set off at a family reunion in Oregon. I believe they are not legal in Oregon either. My dad used to tell stories about setting some off down by the train tracks when he was a kid.

For the last 2 years, we have had our own mini show in our front yard here in Mississippi. So fun! This year, my little guy was awake enough to ooo and ahh over the mortars and bottle rockets. We are very careful, Grandpa! Our neighbors across the street have joined us and it's been really fun!

My husband and I started dating on July 4th, 1998. 17 times we have celebrated Independence Day together, even though two of those years were over the phone.

It's different for us here. Lots of state laws that are not the same have caused us pause. People ARE different out here, but mostly that has been a wonderful, refreshing change from the hustle of California.

I hope you had an amazing time with your family this past weekend!

Thursday, July 3

Culture Shock 41

Everything is bigger and better in Texas!

I remember hearing this as I grew up in the 80s. Bigger hats. Bigger DQ icecream sandwiches. Bigger trucks. Bigger houses. Bigger hair! Always bigger.

Now I can say that about California. Bigger highways than Mississippi.  Bigger towns than Mississippi.  Bigger buildings and stores. More people.

But Mississippi has it's glory too! Bigger families. Bigger yards to play in. More churches. Bigger trailers for hauling the bigger atv or bigger horses or bigger tractors.

Each place has it's charms. It's been a year; 365 days ago that I flew with my kids to be here with my husband. We are still adjusting, still learning, still missing California.  But we are glad to be a family that is together.

So, I've actually never been to Texas, but everything is definitely better when we are together!

Wednesday, July 2

Culture Shock 40

Roadkill!

While driving on the west coast, I have hit squirrels and birds. I've seen possum and a gray fox ran in front of my moving vehicle once. I even sliced an already dead coyote in half. (Sad but true: the guy behind me was tailgating me and didn't see the body come flying at his vehicle. He got a flat tire.) Oh yeah, skunks too! Lots of skunks.

I know these animals are part of North America and can be spotted dead or alive just about anywhere.

But, here in Mississippi,  I've seen bunnies, snakes, turtles, and a baby armadillo, who was alive when I saw him!
The amount of roadkill is higher here. Cats and dogs mostly. Actually, my 9 year old and I  passed this dead red fox on the way home for a couple weeks.  We would check out its state of decomposition.  (Hey! Homeschool science!)

Friday, June 27

Culture Shock 39

Nothing like waking up on a Friday morning to a tick walking across your arm. YUCK! I am officially grossed out.

I know this testifies to my prissy, non-farmgirl status; that I'm skirmish at the sight of a bug. But it was in my bed!

I can now kill a cockroach on sight. I can smash a spider without screaming, as long as it hasn't touched me. I can swat a wasp out of midair.

BUT A TICK IN MY BED? I have to draw the line somewhere.

I feel like they are all over me right now. Gotta go change the sheets...

Wednesday, June 25

Culture Shock 38

THINGS I MISS FROM HOME:
(Not counting people!)

Dollar movies during the summer.
A dry summer.
A park to walk to.
Trader Joes.
Grandma's swimming pool.
Free babysitting, thanks Grammie & Grandma.
Brentwood Community Band and playing my saxophone.
Flute Choir.
Burritos.
Kettle Corn.
Farmers Market just around the corner.
Baby clothes swap.
I didn't own an umbrella.

Sunday, June 22

Culture Shock 37

It seems that weather is a HOT topic for me! It's so different out here and effects me in so many different ways.

I haven't said much about tornadoes. They terrify me. I've learned the difference between a tornado "watch" and a "warning." We've had 2 warnings since I've been here. We have our little shelter ready in the middle of the house.

A little bit of thunder has never scared me. Actually, a lot of thunder never scared me... until now. In California,  I lived in the hills. Even while at college, my house backed up to the mountains. I say that because the hills must have blocked sound waves. The thunder here in Mississippi rolls on and on and on. Not quietly; not soothingly; not gently. It's magnificent. It has woken me from a dead sleep twice in one night. It's made me jump and drop my utensils while cooking. It's made me grab on to my babies a little tighter! IT IS LOUD!

We have to turn off and unplug our computers and tvs when the lightning gets severe. That is new! Not a complete SHOCK (pun intended!) But still different.