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Posts Tagged ‘California’

doves flying

We all have our own individual definitions of freedom and freedom comes in many forms. (more…)

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odd facts

Yes, I’m doing it again. I’m posting odd, bizarre, strange, weird facts that will boggle your minds. And, because I believe no zany fact is ever complete without my obscure and witty commentary, I’ve added that for your enjoyment. Feel free to pass along these tidbits of information to your friends and loved ones.  (more…)

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School’s out for summer!!

Alice Cooper is one of the creepiest performers around, but everybody loves this song and it’s so apropos this time of year. It’s one of those classic, ageless numbers that every generation seems to know.

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It’s a new year and here in Vicksburg, it still has the new year smell. I’ve been settling in here in Mississippi and loving every minute of it. Well, maybe not every single minute, we did have the hot snap in December (80 degrees at Christmas?), but for the most part, LOVING it! (The irony of that is that where I used to live in California, they had snow on Christmas day for the first time in like 12 years. Go figure.)

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Anyway, they definitely do things different here in the south. For instance, when I went to get my new driver’s license, they handed it to me right then and there. No waiting weeks for it to arrive in the mail, hoping it didn’t get lost or stolen. No written or driving test. Nothing. Just, “here you go.” I didn’t even have to wait in line at the DMV. (And – bonus – it’s right across the street so I could walk over.)

Same thing with the car registration; I walked in, handed them some basic paperwork and BAM, they handed me a bright shiny new license plate. On the spot. No waiting. No mailing. Again, I walked right up to the window. No taking a number, no standing in line, no internet appointment necessary.

I know – weird. All my California folks will know exactly what I’m talking about.

And here’s a strange thing – daily operations here cease on holidays and Sundays. No signs posted in the windows, no ads announcing holiday hours, just lights out and locked doors. That took some getting used to. If you want to go out to eat on Sunday, you have about one choice – Cracker Barrel. (Or the casinos – need I say more.) I think that’s kind of cool though. A lot of guests here at the inn don’t get it, but I’m getting used to it. Sundays are church and family days.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

I also find myself saying things here that I never imagined I’d ever say in California. Here’s a short list:

1 – There’s an alligator in the backyard. (No, this hasn’t happened but it’s entirely possible and even very probable with the river already above flood stage. Stay tuned.)

2 – We have to get ready for Mardi Gras. (That’s right, even though we’re 2 1/2 hours away from New Orleans, Mardi Gras’s a big deal here.)

3 – Are you taking the Trace? (Referring to the Natchez Trace highway. It’s basically “the back road.” Not sure why it’s called a Trace, but it is and I like saying it. For more information visit here: http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm)

4 – It’s time to polish the silver again. (Really? Polish silver? Yup. About every 3 months that stuff has to be shined up.)

5- I’m in the parlor. (The parlor? How cool does that sound? Who even has a parlor these days?)

6 – This ballroom is hard to heat. (I have a freaking ballroom!!)

7 – You want to see my outhouse? (See this post https://jansenschmidt.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-peek-at-my-rare-2-story-4-hole-outhouse/ for more details in case you missed it earlier.)

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

How about you readers, ever find yourself saying things that sounded foreign at one time, but now seem natural? Ever been on the Natchez Trace? Ever polished silver? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the Day: Uraeus

Fun fact about me: I want to host a ball. Seriously, I want to have a ball in my ballroom.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2016. Photos courtesy Google Imgaes.

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So I’m adapting to southern life relatively well. I now have my Mississippi driver’s license and license plate for the car, so I guess it’s official, I am a resident of Mississippi, Warren County to be exact.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

But, what I’m still not used to, are certain words associated with things here in Vicksburg. Stuff ain’t called the right stuff here. For instance, in California I used to go to the grocery store; here, everyone goes to the market. Okay, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to still call it the grocery store.

And then when I get to the grocery store market, I pick up one of those things to put my stuff in, you know, a grocery/shopping cart? Not here in Mississippi. Here you pick up a buggy. I know. What? Buggy? While I was checking out and unloading my – cart – the young man bagging stuff at the other end of the conveyor belt asked me for my buggy. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. After I figured out what he wanted, I corrected him – politely – advising that from now on he should call it a cart, otherwise I’d have no idea what he was referring to. I’m sure he’ll listen to my prudent advice.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

And here, no matter what kind of soda, or pop as they say in the mid-west, you order, it’s called coke. So if you want a Sprite, or a 7-Up, you order a 7-Up flavored Coke. You order a Coke and then let the wait person ask you what kind of Coke you want. How strange is that? I ordered a Coke with my lunch one day and she asked me what kind of Coke I wanted. Really? What kind of Coke? “I’ll have the coke flavored Coke please.” Weird.

Maybe calling all soda Coke is required here since Vicksburg is the very first place to bottle the fizzy beverage. Who knows. Just be careful what you order when you come visit.

All in all, Mississippi is treating me well. I’m loving it here and meeting some awesome people. Everyone wants to be my friend, everyone wants to take me to lunch, everyone wants to offer assistance. It’s so not like California in that regard. No egos here. No heads in cell phones. Just friendly smiles, waves, and people who truly want to be nice to me. What a refreshing change.

I say, come on out for a visit. I’m ready and waiting to feed you well and tell you some pretty cool stories about this old house and the crazy lady who owned it. Leona Baer – what a woman!

What strange words or phrases have you come across in your travels outside your hometown? Anything I need to know about the south before I fall into another faux paus? (Buggy. Whatever.) Please help a girl out here.

Word of the Day: Zoic

Fun fact about me: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say “ya’ll.” It just ain’t right ya’ll.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So we’re getting ready to hit the road; going to caravan about 2,100 miles with a 26′ U-Haul truck, towing a car, following another car, with a 75-year-old man who loves to nap and a 70 pound, 11-year-old Labrador Retriever, across the Mojave Desert, Arizona and Northern Texas during July. What could possibly go wrong?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, moving is a hassle. And I’m not just talking about the packing part, I’m talking about every single thing you have to remember to do. Like turning off all utilities, forwarding mail, remembering what gets auto deposited or debited into or out of a bank account that you’ve now closed. Stuff like that. Pain in the ass.

But with moving, comes excitement and anticipation of starting out new and fresh somewhere else. Finding new homes for your things, learning new routines, exploring new places. Fun, fun, fun.

Sad to leave friends I’ve had for 45 years and the town I grew up in and know like the back of my hand, but happy to discover new friends and new places.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled (in no particular order) of things that I am in NO way going to miss:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

1 – the 45-minute commute to work;

2 – the 45-minute drive home from work;

3 – wearing business professional clothes, heels and up-do’s every single day;

4 – being someone else’s employee;

5 – rationing water;

6 – the fear of a forest fire burning down my house;

7 – exorbitant taxes;

8 – extremist political leaders;

9 – everyone thinking you live in Hollywood or near the beach just because you live in California;

10 – everyone thinking you’re wealthy just because you live in California.

11 – not having to bring my own grocery bags to the store;

12 – the penchant to litigate everything.

Things I’m definitely GOING TO miss:

1 – Too many friends to mention by name;

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

2 – Disneyland;

3 – the weather;

4 – my local chapter of Romance Writers of America;

5 – my nieces and nephews;

6 – the ocean;

7 – Lake Tahoe;

8 – knowing all of the short-cuts and secret passages around town;

9 – being just 45 minutes from awesome snow skiing;

10 – some of the best wine in the entire world;

11 – The Olde Town Grill;

12 – my zumba class.

Tell me loyal subjects – uh, I mean followers, what would you miss most about your home town? What special “secret” things do you cherish about where you live? Would you travel across the desert in the heart of summer?

Word of the Day: Uncinate

Fun fact about me: I’m a planner; down to the smallest details. Yet, I love being spontaneous. Go figure.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, July 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

As you Californians know, it’s been HOT!

My husband and I bought our current home almost exactly one year ago today. The house is old, quirky, and needs some upgrading. One of the things that needs upgrading, is the air conditioning. Well, not upgrading exactly, installing. That’s right, we have no air conditioning. It’s been well over 100 degrees for several days in a row. Talk about a melt down.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Normally the heat doesn’t bother me so much, especially since I work in a nice air conditioned office building most days from nine to five and to get there I drive a new car with an awesome cooling system. But, given the recent holiday, I was lucky enough to have four days off in a row. That’s right, four whole days to WRITE! I was overjoyed. Until I actually sat down in my sweltering home office and turned on my laptop.

After four very long days of writing in a sweat box, I am proud to say that I got about 12,000 new words on my WIP (work in progress) and managed to get this blog thrown together to boot. Since I didn’t have a lot of creativity left by Sunday evening, I decided to take a more light-hearted approach to this latest post.

I needed a good laugh at the end of this miserable binge writing session and this is what I found. It’s kind of long, but it’s really funny. I dare you not to laugh. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TZhw_bOkzQc

Tell me, what do/did you do to beat the heat? Did you do anything unusual or exciting for the 4th? Inquiring minds want to know. P.S. WordPress has found it “necessary” to include an ad video at the end of this post. Sorry for that inconvenience.

Word of the day:  Cacomistle

Fun fact about me: One of my favorite breakfast foods is an egg McMuffin

Original post by Jansen Schmidt (July 2013). Photos courtesy Google Images. Video courtesy YouTube (Ellen DeGeneres show).

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