Tuesday, April 29

Culture Shock 18

No one talks much about what the weather is in Mississippi.

The conversation is more about the direction it is coming from. With that information, you know what it's gonna feel like and there isn't much more to say about it.

You might hear talk about the UNUSUAL snow or past conditions such as hurricane Katrina. Small talk just doesn't consist of weather talk much out here.

Note : My husband made the observation that weather isn't small talk here in Mississippi. It's a big deal!

Culture Shock 17

Camouflage is a big sell in Mississippi. I couldn't resist writing a second post about it since this part is also a shock.

California: where is it ok to put on your camo? School. Hunting. Maybe the store if it's your last t-shirt clean.

Mississippi: where is it ok to wear camo? School. Hunting. Store. Church... yes, church.  If you can wear it to church, you can wear it anywhere!

{As I'm sewing up some camo sunhats for my boys, I'll make sure NOT to make myself one!}

Hat For Her

LOVE THIS PATTERN! From Oliver +S, it is easy to follow.

It was simple and turned out great!

I made this for my friends sweet 9 year old. I hope she likes it! I want to make one for me! And another one for my niece! I really like how these turned out!

Culture Shock 16

I'm speaking in generalities so bear with me!
My husband has had a bit of bad luck with bosses. I mean to say that he has had quite a few bosses that didn't care about anything but work.  For example, he almost got fired for not coming into work when he was sick or not wanting to work the 8th Saturday in a row because he wanted to spent time with his new bride. He has been hired to manage and then had his abilities questioned because he wasn't obsequious enough.
These experiences, I realize, are just people and can happen anywhere, but for us, they happened in California.
Since moving to Mississippi, we have had a very different experience.
FAMILY COMES FIRST! Your boss understands if you leave work early every Tuesday and Thursday during soccer season. He might even push you out the door to get you to your kids game on time. HE EVEN misses half a week at least during baseball season.
Your boss treats you like family and expects you to take care of yours.
How different and refreshing from the fast paced world of California. We are blessed!

Monday, April 28

Culture Shock 15

In south Mississippi, most EVERYONE asks what church you go to.

Happy to say I have an answer!

In California, depending on your age range, the most common questions are:

•What grade are you in?
•What is your major?
•Where did you graduate from?
•Where do you work?

Friday, April 25

Culture Shock 14

This last year left me with my first experience of Deer Hunting Season.

Hmm. Not sure how to relate this to anything in California.  Oh wait! My husband working 12 hour days with a total of 4 hours a day commuting. He made good money but we weren't much of a family. In fact, I felt like a single mom for 2 years.

Welcome to hunting season!

No one in MS understands why you are complaining that your husband is out hunting again. It's expected that you be a single parent during this time of the year.

My husband did "get one" 2 days before hunting season ended. I'm still working on the lingo here!

Saturday, April 19

Culture Shock 13

One night when my son was 4, I asked him if he wanted me to close his bedroom window. It was a bit stuffy in the house, but the traffic along highway 4 in Brentwood is constant, even at 11:30 at night. It was also only a few feet from our dwelling place.

My son sat up in bed and I could only imagine the look of "Yeah right, Mom," on his face in the dim room illuminated by the hall light. My now 8 year old has loved the noises cars make since he was 4 months old. No, silly me! He would never want the noise of hundreds of cars passing by to be muffled.

I, on the other hand, am a light sleeper. The noise from HIS bedroom window was making me crazy. I finally ended up with a fan going in my room.

The shock? Every morning here in Mississippi reminds me of waking up at camp with the redwoods looming overhead and the birds chirping good morning.

Wow! I get to wake up like that every morning. Not just for a week long summer Bible camp at RCP. I feel like I am on a retreat though! Quiet time. Nature time. Friend time. Amazing worship at FBC in Summit.

Did I mention quiet time!? I don't miss those cars at all!

{Note: as I was proof reading, my neighbors were revving the engine to some loud muscle machine. Geesh! It's still only once in awhile, though!}

Friday, April 18

Culture Shock 12

Homeschool. Home School. Unschool.
Many ways to spell one idea. Many ways to implement this one idea. Maybe it's a million ideas put into one. Or one idea split into a million directions. Anyway...

Say "homeschool" in California and again in Mississippi. There are two distinctly different reactions.

People tend to question your sanity if you suggest homeschooling in California. They question your credentials, your moral judgement, your intentions, your motivations. Many people believe that public school is the place for all children. Many people, by choice or by circumstance, put their kids into the public school system.

I make no judgements. It is a personal choice or a choice dictated by culture or, again,  circumstances. Or maybe all of those things put together.

When I mention to fellow Mississipians, (am I one of them already?) that we are homeschooling, most of the time I hear, "Good for you!" "Are you connected with a group?" "Do you know so-and-so?"

I don't want to spark a debate. I was just overwhelmed by such opposite reactions to a personal decision. I don't mind my loved-ones asking me questions and helping me clarify my thoughts. Homeschooling is something I have ALWAYS wanted to do. I had this opportunity and I took it. As a family, we hope we can continue but time and situations will be telling.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 17

Easter Dresses

Found 4 matching skirts at the thrift store. SCORE!

4 beautiful ladies to sew for!
Hope they fit and hope they are liked.

Made my own patterns which is always risky when the recipients are 2200 miles away from my sewing machine.

Sizes left to right: 18mo. 2T. 6. 8.

Sunday, April 13

Culture Shock 11


In California, when it rains, it is cold. Looking out the window to determine your attire for the day never fails.

Sunny: no jacket.
Windy: jacket. scarf.
Cloudy: cold. jacket.
Rainy: cold. jacket. umbrella.
Sunny: no jacket!

In Mississippi, I have been known to bundle the kids up only to find it a balmy 75° outside. Uck and ick. Just because it's cloudy, doesn't mean it's jacket weather or even worthy of a turtle neck.

Culture Shock 10


Burn piles.

The smell of smoke in the air.

A few smoke columns on the horizon.

Any time & any where.

California has many regulations regarding fire. Mississippi has a few... I think... maybe.

After 9 months here, I finally don't start praying for the family that might be effected by the black smoke I see up yonder!

Tuesday, April 8

Culture Shock 9


It takes over an hour to travel 20 miles.

There are no alternative routs.

If there is an accident,  everyone walks in to work an hour late.

Most everyone will be brought to cursing and/or praying.

People think it's worse in Los Angeles until they drive in the Bay Area.

{Press like and share if you agree!} jk.

Below is a picture of traffic in Mississippi.
Culture shock? Oh yes. But I am so much more relaxed! (Until a slow vehicle gets in front of me and I can't get around. It's so easy to revert to above behavior of cussing and shouting. Oops.)

Sunday, April 6

Culture Shock 8

In California,  there are some restaurants attached to gas stations. There are Arby's and Subways that connect to the little convenient snack stuff of some pump stations.

I do not recall those food chains claiming to be the best in town though. I have yet to get food from one of these places. They are all different and the locals claim that some of the best bbq in town is at the gas station down the street.

This weirds me out. It just doesn't seem like the cleanest of options for dinner. No offense. I'll pass for now, thanks!

Wednesday, April 2

Valentine Shirt

Probably the last shirt that I make that I will actually get over my sons head!

I had the sewing-bug in February and pulled this together quickly.

This was a camouflage shirt that was getting too small. I added some length, still able to use the hem of the orange shirt.

He likes it but the first thing he did was ask Daddy if it looked store-bought because that's the look he was going for!

Culture Shock 7

Bugs. Bugs. More bugs.
Not much more to say than that.

My 8 year old catches june bugs, ants, wasps,  cockroaches, stink bugs, lady bugs, catidids, caterpillars, moths, butterflies, did I mention wasps?

Due to the decreased amount of pesticide usage, bugs are allowed to breed and they spread. Everywhere.

Thanks, California,  for getting rid of the bug population. I don't agree with that, but I sure miss NOT having bugs in my drink and the sound of NOT having june bugs buzz around my head.

(Photo courtesy of an 8 yrs old's bug collection.)

Tuesday, April 1

Culture Shock 6

"You know. Down by the old washateria."

People don't give directions when you enter a smallish town. They've never been the new person and forget that you don't even know what a "washateria" is!

I've gotten directions as clear as, "two turns past where the bowling alley used to be." Thanks. Very helpful. I'll try to google that.

GPS. That might work.  If you have an address and not just a family name.  It MIGHT work if google has recently been down these old country back roads. It JUST might work if you get decent reception out here. These three things fail daily.

Culture Shock 5

People talk slower. When I get asked to repeat myself, I'm not quite sure if it's because of my accent or my speed.

I remember a phone call while working at Sylvan in California. A man called from out of state on behalf of his grandson. He commented on my secretary speaking too fast and asked me no less than 4 times to please slow down!

Culture Shock 4

The clouds in Mississippi move fast! The weather changes faster.

Now, the clouds in California might move fast, but typically people don't pay attention. In my experience, they just move lazily across the sky.

In Mississippi, where there are possibly tornadoes, you pay attention to the sky.