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

(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.
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.

Saturday, June 21

Culture Shock 36

Ants. Yes. California has ants. There are even some pretty decent sized ones if you go up into the redwoods.

But OUCH!! We all learned the hard way that the ants in Mississippi bite!

I used to mess with ant colonies as a kid. Not here. NOT HERE!

There is not much else to say about that.

Culture Shock 35

I'm the foreigner here. That is the shock to me. Thank goodness everyone is sweet enough to see my learning curve.

Though it can be difficult for me to understand an accent, children look at me as though I'm not even speaking English.

I am forgiven when I say "freeway" instead of "highway. "

When I say the name of a town with the wrong inflection, people just stare at me until they can interpret what I've said.

If I say "Costco" or "Trader Joes" or "In N Out," I'm the weird one. (Even though I secretly think ya'll are weird for not knowing what those are! JK!)

Culture Shock 34

I'm wearing a tank top. The boys are in shirts and flip flops. All is well and hot outside.

We step from the store to find the ground soaked, our car wet, the sun out as we are getting sprinkled on.

Did I mention that it was a sunny day? Even as we got wet from the sprinkles,  the sun shone down and dried everything up.

Friday, June 20

Culture Shock 33

Kroger, really?

My milk does not need a plastic bag. First, it's too heavy and the bag breaks anyway. Second, a milk jug has a handle built in.

I totally forgot I bought a reusable grocery bag until I got home from Kroger this afternoon. Really, Kroger? You bagged my bag? Kind of defeats the purpose...

Tuesday, June 17

Culture Shock 32

We had an amazing time at a birthday party this past week. Jumpy house, water slide, cake, ice cream, feeding the horses, driving an atv, piñata smashing.

Speaking of piñatas, I was worried that my 9 year old would bust the thing open before the younger ones got a chance to swing.

All went well. My 18 mo. old even swung the bat and had fun.

The shocker:

As my son goes up to swing, I hear from the back of the line of kids, "Beat it like it's your son!"


But the most shocking part was that no one acted like they heard. Not one adult made a move or a snicker. Friends from California, tell me that you would have reacted! Tell me that you would have at least laughed out loud! No one made a peep!

Later that evening, my husband mentioned it. He had been at a different location than I was. If he and I heard it, I know others did too! I'm still laughing!

Sunday, June 15

Culture Shock 31

Have you been following?

These past 30 posts have not all been shocks, but some differences I have found in the last 11 months; comparisons if you will of California verses Mississippi.

As it is fast approaching my year anniversary of moving to Mississippi, and subsequently my 17th year dating my husband, I can only describe it all as an adventure.

The link following is more about southern California culture, but I lived there for 4 years so I still thought it relevant. Here is the link. It's the Top 11 Ways you know you are from California.

YES! I miss In N Out Burgers.
YES! California Dreamin' by the Beach Boys is still an old favorite.
YES! I never said "Cali" 'til I moved out of state.
YES! I said "Dude" A LOT in jr. high and high school. (But I have still never been surfing!)
YES!  The one about driving is true!

Saturday, June 7

Culture Shock 30

My nine-years old's observations about Mississippi:

  • Color-changing lizards are common here.
  • Traffic, or lack there of.
  • We had to learn about Brown Recluses.
  • Our house is huge!
  • There are so many toads. (He just caught a very tiny one!)
  • Our yard is HUUGE!
  • We can't always find a fast food place to eat while running errands.
  • I can catch pets from our backyard, like snakes and lizards.
  • There are fireflys / lightning bugs.
  • It's warm when it rains (mostly) and we can play outside in it.
  • Snow! (It snowed this last winter for the first time in a long time here in McComb.)
  • Fog doesn't mean put on a sweatshirt like it does in California!

Friday, June 6

Culture Shock 29

When I meet new neighbors here in McComb, it's not, "See you around." It's more like, "Come on over!"

In California, my husband and I lived in an apartment where our only dealings with our neighbors was to call the police when we heard the wife get thrown against the wall.  We lived in one apartment for 2 years, met the couple upstairs as they moved out and the new family never came down.

We lived in Brentwood for 4 years where we absolutely loved, and miss terribly, our neighbors there.  Typically, though, we lived in close proximity to many people yet only met and established friendships with very few.  This could very well be our own fault.

In contrast, I have been in Mississippi for 10 months and have met and been invited over to our neighbor's house already.  Mind you, we only have 2 or 3 neighbors out here in the country, but it is so friendly and encouraging.  We are in the Hospitality State after all!

Tuesday, June 3

Culture Shock 28

Compared to California, this town does not have as much diversity in skin tone. I grew up around lots of different cultures. Even in college, there was quite a variety of ethnicity.

There are very few people of Asian decent around these parts in Southern Mississippi. A few people can be found with ancestors from Mexico but not many Canadians venture this far south.

I don't know all the history yet, but racial tensions have been high in the past here in McComb, so I've heard. I see black and white folks inter mingling now.  Our church is growing in diversity, but it's still only  a few. There are places with railroad tracks and you don't want to be on the "wrong" side. I don't know if that is more to do with race, crime, poverty, or all of the above. (This blog is not the place for that discussion.) I'm just saying it's different than what I grew up with.

This isn't really a shock.  I lived in Atlanta through the years 2000 - 2001.  I know that racial tension still exists.  It exists far less where I come from than here.  That's all.

(I have tried to be elegant and sensitive as to not offend.  I am simply trying to point out some differences between the west and the south.)

Culture Shock 27

Beer. Alcohol. Two different things.
NOTE: I don't drink. Forgive me those that I might offend by my lack of drinking etiquette.

In Mississippi, you cannot buy alcohol at the grocery store. No wine. You have to go to a liquor store. And you can't buy beer at a liquor store. WHAT!

Just learned this week that you can't buy alcohol at a restaurant on a Sunday. Oh. I had no idea. BUT you can order a beer. Just no wine or margaritas or mixed drinks.

This doesn't effect me but was definitely a shock to learn! It has to do with the percent of alcohol. Something like 8% and above isn't allowed on Sundays.

Crafting signage

Garage sale find that I painted up last night. My little guy's room is whales and fish so this is perfect! I will sing in Dory's voice every time I see it!