Today I had lunch with Hugh. As the menu demonstrates we chose to eat at Hooters (the Hwy 49 location). I really like Hooters' cobb salad but the salad I had today left much to be desired. However, we had a cute, blonde, perky waitress with adequate "hooters" or is it "hoots?" To his credit, Hugh behaved like a complete gentleman.

But, as this picture illustrates, Hugh enjoyed lunch much more than I did. One of the many reasons it's great to be back!

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Home for Christmas

Christmas for some, "is the most wonderful time of the year." Others equate Christmas as a time to spend with family and friends. Some celebrate the holiday in traditional ways, i.e. opening gifts, preparing and enjoying a large meal followed by movie viewing or game playing.
Others prefer to totally relax during the holiday, avoiding the stress of holiday shopping and gift giving like an unwelcome illness by booking trips to tropical climes to escape the commercialism that Christmas has become.
Christmas, for me, has become a time to endure. A day, I honestly, dread because I don't know how to celebrate the holiday anymore. Things are different now and I can't seem to recognize the holiday in a way I feel comfortable with. In a way that will leave me feeling warm inside, instead of empty and depressed.
Last year I tried to celebrate in a more traditional way with family, gifts and a large dinner. Instead of feeling happy and content the holiday ended in frustration and sadness.
This year, I am trying to approach the holiday through service.
As an alternative to laying around on Christmas day, which always bores the hell out of me, Dad and I are scheduled to play Bingo tomorrow at the Kenwood nursing home. We'll see how that goes.
In the days leading up to Christmas, Dad and I have occupied our time with errands and housework. One thing we accomplished was applying a veneer to my bedroom doors. Now all I need is an antique handle and a sturdy lock.
I have to admit when Dad described the doors to me, prior to my seeing them, I was a little nervous. But as you can see the doors are perfect. I absolutely love them! My Dad has excellent taste when it comes to certain things like women, jewelry and, as it turns out, doors.
Each time I come home, the house looks different, a living organism that continues to evolve in new and exciting ways. I am grateful to have a space of my own to help create and decorate. A room I hope will house many happy memories in future days.
I also hope 2010 will be the year I rescue my belongings from storage and find a place to "put down roots." No matter where that will be, or how I decide to celebrate future holidays, it's nice to know I have a place where I can always come home for Christmas.

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Field Photos 12.16.2009

Mandy and I noticed this bar while we were working on Wednesday in Kiln also known as "the Kill," Mississippi. After seeing "The Broke Spoke" I can't imagine how this backwoods Mississippi town got its nickname.
Ever wondered where the world's largest rocking chair is located? Lucky for us, Mandy and I discovered it on Wednesday while driving Harrison County. If you were looking for an excuse to visit Mississippi, search no further. Seeing the world's largest rocker is something you shouldn't miss.

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Field Photo 12.10.09

Photo courtesy M. Richardson
Meg and I spotted this today while surveying. It made us laugh. Hope you enjoy it too.

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Field Photo 12.04.09

This afternoon Meg, Hugh and I completed our survey of Joe Avenue, which is a small enclave of bungalows located behind the Wayne Lee supermarket in Pascagoula.
I have noticed bungalows, located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, predominately have three roof types: hip, side-gable and front-gable. Jerkinhead roofs are rare on any house or building type along the Gulf Coast, it seems, so we were pleasantly surprised by this house which has an intersecting jerkinhead and side-gable roof with a smaller projecting jerkinhead roof on the main facade. Jerkinheads are also referred to as clipped gables because it looks like the point of the gable has been clipped creating an unfinished look.
Meg, a new member of our team, and I were having a discussion about architectural elements that "turn us on." I confided that houses with three or more dormers, "turn me on." I don't know why but I LOVE dormers. In fact, each time Mandy sees a house with dormers she says, "looks there's Amber's house."
I then asked Meg if there was an architectural element that particularly excited her. She responded, "jerkinhead roofs." It only took us a few seconds to identify the double entendre. Sharing our epiphany with Amanda all she could say was, "Amber you're always a little slow on the uptake." This time, however, I wasn't the only one. Just one of the many reasons why I am so happy Meg has joined our team.

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Field Photo 12.03.09

This baby girl rounded the corner just as Meg and I were surveying our second house of the morning. As soon as I saw her bounding toward me I knelt down, threw my arms open and welcomed the shower of licks this little one offered. I have no idea what her name is so I called her Hershey Kiss or sometimes just Kisses. Afraid she would wander into the street Meg and I tried to keep her occupied which was not easy. Surveying requires two hands and a good measure of concentration, neither of which were possible with this sweet thing biting our pant legs and pulling at our jacket sleeves. I have several small holes in my RL sweatpants as a reminder of our time together.
She stayed with us until it was time for us to break for lunch. Afraid she would follow my car into the street, I ran her to a nearby home and asked the resident to distract her while we drove away.
Thinking she would be gone by the time we returned we were pleasantly surprised to find her waiting for us. The fun ended when a neighbor who knows the owner spyed her near my car. We gladly turned her over to a warm, safe home, relieved she would be safe from street traffic but regretful we couldn't play with her longer. Perhaps we'll see her again tomorrow.

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Field Photo 12.02.09

This afternoon as we were surveying Pascagoula Street we were approached by Mr. Daviddson a native son of Mississippi. Mr. Daviddson will be 90 in January and has been married to the love of his life, Annie, for 64 years. Mr. Daviddson spoke to us twice while we were surveying, praising his wife each time for being an excellent manager, meaning she didn't "go on shopping sprees," a good cook and a skilled housekeeper.
In addition to being a charmer, he referred to Meg and I as "Suga", "Darling" and "Sweetheart" repeatedly, he had a Southern accent that I could listen to forever.
Best wishes to Mr. Daviddson and his lovely bride Annie. May they defy the odds and enjoy many more years of wedded bliss together.

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