Culture Shock

1 Comment

A friend of mine invited me to join her in a garage sale this weekend.  I had plenty of stuff to get rid of, so I agreed.  Madeleine is from Peru.  Her husband is a businessman, and they moved here in 2000.  She speaks excellent English, she even enjoys reading in English, but she says she doesn’t get the humor in books.  At home they speak both Spanish and English.  Her husband was a good sport, he watched seven kids, serenading them with his guitar as they played in the backyard swimming pool.  We had the only garage sale in town with live music.


She told me that many of the customers would be Hispanic, and they were.  She was a huge asset to our enterprise because she could communicate well with them.  At one point, she turned to me and rattled off some Spanish.  In English it would have been, “Dowehaveenoughmoneytomakechangeforaonehundred dollarbill?”  I just stood there…trying to pick out a word or two so I could guess what she had said.  She stood there looking at me act stupid, then she laughed as she realized what she had done.  I do know the word cambio for change and cien for one hundred, but darned if I could pick them out.  I may have been distracted by wondering where the keys to the money box were.  We spent most of the day searching for those keys, because I kept leaving them random places.  Once I even lost the money box (when we were setting up).  Next time I do this, I am getting one of those key chains that motorcycle guys have with the big chain attached to my belt loop.  I have never lost my pants, in public.


The real culture shock was when she asked what Paul would like to eat.  Trying to make things easy, I said he would be delighted with a peanut butter sandwich, the national meal of our family.  She told me I would have to make it, because she had never made a peanut butter sandwich.  The rest of us had an excellent chicken stew with mashed potatoes, (Yukon Gold, I asked) and rice.  They are big on potatoes, since the potato came from Peru (or there abouts) originally.  I don’t believe I have ever eaten a meal with both potatoes and rice.


Unfortunately we didn’t have much traffic at our sale.  A shopper even commented that not many people were out garage sale shopping today.  We did have a lot of fun and I made about 100 bucks.  Another friend had asked me if I wanted to do a garage sale with her next month, so I can haul the rest of my stuff over to her house and do it again, but this time without an interpreter.


GD just came in with the mail.  Some crazy person who reads this blog apparently has mailed… Mailed me a plant in an envelope, not just any plant but a scarlet globemallow.  The dirt was pretty flat, but I think it protected the plant itself.  I stuck it in a rustic bucket that was home to an expired barrel cactus, so the dirt is more sandy than what we have here, hopefully closer to what it is used to.  I will keep you updated.


My husband just lit the grill with his hot shot.  This would be a cattle prod with a little electricity in it.  I have been shocked by one; it is not pleasant, but not really bad.  They work pretty well to get a 1200 pound critter moving.  Now a multi-purpose tool!


Ten things that made the last ten days great.

  1. I got my planner back
  2. I caught my first fish ever
  3. I got a flat tire on the day I forgot my cell phone (It was the only day of the week it didn’t rain, I was 50 yards from a house and the lady was actually home!  I had to call my babysitter to bring me the gentlemen so she could go to a softball game.) 
  4. Had a plant mailed to me
  5. I got to scrapbook twice
  6. My very first college friend found me on facebook
  7. I finally caught up on the One Year Bible (I had been slacking off a little)
  8. A young friend came to help out around the house
  9. I got to hold a new baby for as long as I wanted
  10. I haven’t had to water the flowers or garden in weeks


My not 100 list


People are posting ‘100’ lists about themselves.  I am not sure that I have done 100 things that I both remember and that would be interesting to anyone beyond me.  This is my list.  I am going to end it when it is over and not drag things out.


  1. My eye sight used to be worse than 20/200…I couldn’t even see the big E on the chart.
  2. I found a used condom in our driveway once.  I mailed it back to the previous owner with a note that children lived at our house, and would he please use the trash can – located outside the passenger side window where he was parked – next time.  Turns out his mom opens his mail.  Or she used to.
  3. I have lived in two states.
  4. I have visited 41 states.
  5. I have visited three countries.
  6. I spent nearly 3 hours a day on the school bus every day when I was in grade school.
  7. I was pregnant for 36 months (not all in a row).
  8. I can set irrigation tubes.
  9. I know the scientific names of lots of plants.
  10. I ate dinner with the president of the University of Wyoming because I got someone to donate $300 in a tel-a-thon.
  11. I can harness a team of mules.
  12. I had been driving for 10 years before I first drove a car with an automatic transmission.
  13. I once had a date to a fancy “do” and I told the guy not to be late, (he was always late).  When he did not show up, I found someone else to drop me off.  My date showed up about 10 minutes late, and was never late again.
  14. I read 118 books one year.
  15. I was in a big tornado and didn’t know it.  I promise a blog on that later.
  16. I have written three complaints to various post offices, and only once gotten results.
  17. My finger prints are on file.
  18. I have picked up three hitch hikers, including one I did not know.
  19. I still own the first vehicle I ever bought.
  20. I used to own a fighting rooster.
  21. I made it into the top 10 in our county spelling bee my 8th grade year.
  22. I kick butt at trivia.
  23. I play with my kids’ toys after they go to bed.
  24. The biggest city I have lived in is population 26,000.
  25. I used to have a four digit phone number.
  26. I have eaten rattlesnake.
  27. Someone once held a knife to my throat.
  28. I got my hair cut by an ex-truck driver once.  Just the once.  And they gave me my money back the next day.
  29. I am at ease talking in front of people, even if I don’t know what I am going to be talking about, and that happens more often than you might think.
  30. I am a night owl.
  31. I have a cutting from a Christmas cactus that my great, great grandmother owned.
  32. I have run a fire-dripping torch at a prescribed burn.
  33. I once preg checked a heifer.  The guy two critters down preg checked a steer.  Oops.  Always double check.
  34. I was our local Stockgrower’s Queen.
  35. I was assigned to write a report on a poet for high school English.  We had to write a 500 word bio, but there weren’t 500 words anywhere on Baxter Black in 1986, so I called him and interviewed him over the phone.  I got 117% from the toughest teacher in the school, and later got him to autograph my report.  He said I got better grades on his work than he ever did.
  36. I skipped a fun party to take a tour of a home that was filled with original CM Russell paintings.  It was well worth it.
  37. I rode over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter.
  38. I love to scuba dive.
  39. I have called Poison Control twice.
  40. I called the Center for Disease Control once.  I should blog about this someday.
  41. I overpay my baby sitters because I remember watching 10 kids for 6 or 8 hours and getting paid $10, and it wasn’t THAT long ago.
  42. I have never been to the emergency room for any occasion.
  43. I have put diapers on baby calves.
  44. I took a beginning piano class in college.
  45. I lived for about three years without a TV.
  46. I lived in two houses that were condemned after I left.  I was the last tenant in one, and my roommate was the last tenant in the other.
  47. I think I have voted every time since I could.  This includes off year primaries and everything.
  48. I have donated over a gallon of blood.
  49. I spent two nights on a yacht in Long Island Sound.
  50. I was driving a car once when the accelerator stuck on all the way down.  I was in the middle of nowhere and my car was drag racing by itself.  After it hit about 100 mph the cable came unstuck on its own.  If this happens to you, put it in neutral and turn the engine off.
  51. I almost got struck by lightning.
  52. I had four great grandparents alive when I was born.  My kids also have four great grandparents.
  53. My first date.  My brother’s friend kept calling because he wanted to go to the movies with him.  My brother was not home, so finally the friend asked me if I wanted to go to the movies with him.  I said sure.  I remember sitting in the parking lot and watching him shoot up insulin before we went in to the show.  He was a nice kid.
  54. I love high school football.  Don’t care much about college football.
  55. I have credits from 5 colleges but only one degree.
  56. I took a welding class.
  57. I flipped a pickup end over end.
  58. I stayed four nights in a rent-by-the-hour motel in the middle of gangland Albuquerque when I was in college. We were on a school trip and the professors were too cheap to pay for something decent.  There was nothing safe about this place, one of our classmates found drug paraphernalia in our closet.
  59. I was once the drop-off man for a friend who re-possessed a car.
  60. Another story about my re-po friend. She lived in another state and happened to be assigned to call someone who lived near the small town I had just moved to.  This was the place with the four digit phone number.  As she was speaking to the co-signer of the loan, she asked if he knew me.  He said, “Yeah, she rents the little house on my place.”
  61. One of my bosses overheard me apologizing to a customer.  He told me never to apologize, we work for the government, we don’t do anything wrong.  I told him I made mistakes all the time, so get used to it.
  62. My first boss quit two months after I started working for him.
  63. I once dated a guy who turned out to be my boss several years later.
  64. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gave a free concert for my university the night of my 21st birthday (a Wednesday).  Best. Birthday. Ever.
  65. I am out.  I can think of nothing else.

Honey Do List

Leave a comment

1.  Fix snake hole

2.  Install swingset

3.  Burn stick pile by shop

4.  Seed grass

5.  Fix screen door

6.  Install gate between house and shop

7.  Tighten legs on kids’ table

8.  Take all pets to vet for shots

9.  Birdhouse maintenance

10.  Attach railing on playhouse loft…build ladder?