Cinderella's Number One Fan



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No Bull

This cow, which is an oversized lawn ornament, was so cute I had to get a photo. I love how the proud owners have taken pains to landscape around the guy, and believe me, it is a dude.
It reminds me of the large bull we used to pass on Highway 25 every time we traveled to and from Richmond. Since graduating from high school Croucher's farm has been carved up and the bull removed from his lofty perch. Although the bull of my youth was not as cute as the one pictured above, I will never forget how I always looked forward to seeing what color the Croucher family had decided to paint the bull's balls. Most of the time they were just pink but sometimes they would be something funky like blue or orange. No matter their color I miss seeing that bull, balls and all, as I traveled from Richmond to Berea and back. Some things may improve with time, but the drive on US 25 from Berea to Richmond will never be the same sans the bull of Croucher's farm.

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Dear Dad-

I believe every serious cat farmer should have one of these by his side or under his feet. So, when would be a good time for us to get one? Because when Meg and I met this handsome fella we almost released him from bondage and piled him into the 300.
Isn't he adorable?
Dad, if we had a coon dog like this, I think we should name him Stonewall, Carter or maybe Happy after famous Kentuckian A.B. Happy Chandler. Something very Southern and noble-sounding. I also think Mary and Zu would love him and I have no doubt he would love the girls too. A dog like this would be a great companion; a worthy investment for a true agrarian.
You don't have to give me an answer today. Just think about it.
Love Your Devoted Daughter-
Amber

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My Current Read

After finishing Eat, Pray, Love I decided to try Rhoda Janzen's Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Reading Janzen's memoir is like catching up with an old friend whom you haven't heard from in awhile. The conversation, although one-sided, still seems familiar and intimate. Although I was not raised in a Mennonite family, as a Mormon, I feel like I can relate to Janzen in unique and meaningful ways.
Entertainment Weekly's says it better than I can, "A hilarious collection of musings on Janzen's childhood, marriage, and eccentric family...Janzen mines Mennonite culture for comic effect, but she does so with love."
If you are searching for a memorable summer read, look no further than Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. You won't regret it.

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Furry Family

This morning while doing a site visit in Moss Point, Mandy and I spotted a momma raccoon with her three babies. Thinking it may be a great photo opp I put the car in park and tried to sneak up on them. I have to admit, I got pretty close before they noticed me and bolted. What surprised me was the mother raccoon totally abandoned her babies at the first sign of danger, or at least that is the way it seemed. While Momma took off one way, diving into a small creek to hide in the culvert, the babies darted to the opposite side of the road. In the photo above you can see there was a small creek on that side as well.
I decided to follow the babies and snapped this photo of them scurrying up the bank. As they were climbing to safety I could hear them whimpering. I didn't know raccoons did that. They almost sounded like puppies.


Before retreating further into the woods, one of the babies gave me this look. I think his/her expression says it all. I only hope the mother was reunited with her babies shortly after my departure. I am also very glad the mother raccoon didn't attack me while I was snapping photos of her offspring. That would have made for a very bad afternoon indeed.


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Office Tradition

Lisa, my coworker, started a tradition long before I arrived in Biloxi. For each persons' birthday in our section she decorates their cubicle or work area before we arrive that morning for work. This year she asked Amanda and Hugh to help her out. I think they did a fantastic job!

I especially enjoyed their attention to detail. This hula girl was on the Diamondhead cake Amanda made for me last year. I loved it! Tomorrow she is bringing my favorite cupcakes to work. I can almost taste them now. I am a very lucky girl.


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Turning Thirty-Two

After work Thursday, I had a wonderful dinner at Houston's. Even more enjoyable was the yummy brownie I had afterward. Imagine a soft, warm brownie sprinkled with cashews, walnuts and pecans, then topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Is your mouth watering? Mine is.
From Houston's I drove directly to Oak Alley to enjoy an evening in Cabin #3. A lovely historic side- gable cabin with clapboard siding, 6/6 wood double-hung windows and a brick pier foundation that was so cozy. I loved it and wish I could have spent more time there. It had an amazing garden tub with these jets that made you feel a little closer to heaven. I would spend another night there in a heartbeat but in the Spring or Fall. The humidity in the summer is brutal. How I managed to forget that about southern Louisiana is beyond me.

There are fourteen oaks that line the allee from Oak Alley to the Mississippi River. Historically, the levee seen in the distance was not present and the second story balcony provided an amazing view of the river and boats that navigated its waters.

Oak Alley. Need I say more?
Spending my thirty-second birthday on the grounds of such a lovely home was dreamy. I hope my thirty-second year brings many more visits to beautiful historic homes like Oak Alley.




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Birthday Flowers & Birthday Showers

While the northeast is experiencing a heat wave, the Gulf Coast has been enduring winds and rain from tropical storm Alex. From Wednesday, June 30th to present we have had heavy rains daily. Although the forecast predicts the rain will end this weekend, I am not convinced.
I received a phone call at work Thursday afternoon from the OC saying I had flowers waiting for me at home. I could hardly wait to see them. Walking through the door after a long day at the office and seeing the colorful arrangement of cheery (sounds cheezy but its the only adjective I could think of) flowers was a welcome sight. Thanks Daddy! I love you!
Saturday, I received another beautiful bouquet from Steph and Rae Rae. After sleeping in Saturday morning I got another phone call from the Flower Basket (they delivered my first arrangement) saying they had a delivery for me downstairs. I rushed to meet them (I love getting flowers) and was surprised when the florist handed me this lovely arrangement complete with three Happy Birthday balloons. Thank you Steph and Baby Rae for thinking of me. If my birthday is any indication of how the rest of the year will be, I will welcome it with open arms.


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Happy Fourth!


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