Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hi, my name is Melanie . . .

Hi, my name is Melanie and I am a bookaholic.

Several years ago I wrote this post, Too Many Books? I talked about taking pride as a librarian in encouraging the use of our public libraries. I talked about how I limit the books I buy, and yet, when I look around my house there they are -- stacks of books that NEED to be read.

Every room in my house has at least a portion of one bookcase dedicated to "books I'm going to read next". Somehow I forget about those bookshelves when I finish the current book, and I go out and buy another one at the local used book store, or worse yet, order a brand new one from Amazon. It's possible that I am single handedly funding Jeff Bezos retirement plan.

Yesterday a friend of mine posted the above illustration on her Facebook page. I could so relate, and yes, she's a librarian too. We should know better, but we don't. Maybe it's just that overwhelming love of books and reading that made us choose our profession. It compels us into bookstores and online book sites. 

As Thomas Jefferson wrote so eloquently to John Adams, "I cannot live without books".

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yahweh Shalom

warning: triggers

I retrieved my shawl and crochet basket from my room and moved to the screened in porch. 

As I sat with several others in silence, I began to work on the Danish shawl I am making. I thought about the warmth of the bamboo hook and the yarn gliding through my fingers, and I remembered I was raped with a metal crochet hook, and truth be told, that is why I don’t use metal hooks. 

The thought caught me up short. I closed my eyes and turned away from the others. I touched my survivor pendant, and remembered the verse from this morning – Ps 91:14 – 

He loves me. He will deliver me. He will protect me. He will answer my call & bring honor to me. He will show me his salvation. 

I began to breathe Yahweh Shalom. 

Beauty from ashes – the irony of the joy, pleasure, and comfort I feel while crocheting. He has truly redeemed what could have been lost, and made it something beautiful and of value.

linking up with imperfect prose

Wordless Wednesday

linking up with Wordless Wednesday & The Jenny Evolution

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 29, 2013

Outside my window . . . . there is a dense fog and drops of rain clinging to the cherry tree's branches.

I am thinking . . . that grief and aging can be difficult things to bear. Praying for those struggling today.

I am thankful . . . for a good day yesterday; for a more positive attitude about myself; and for the strength to continue moving forward.

In the kitchen . . . a chicken in the crock-pot yesterday means so many options for dinner tonight.

I am wearing . . . my floral gown and plaid flannel robe. As always, a fashionista in the mornings.

I am creating . . . shawls. And looking at baby sweater and poncho patterns for a friend.

I am going . . . to my bestie's house today for crafting and talking. It's always a good way to spend a Tuesday.

I am wondering . . . about the future. I have a picture of the way I assumed things would be, but I recognize there are no guarantees.

I am reading . . . A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2) by Louise Penny.

I am looking forward to . . . continuing my path of healing and learning.

I am hearing . . . total peace and quiet. Tranquillité.

Around the house . . . I need to dust so badly it is ridiculous!

I am praying . . . for peace, contentment, comfort, and understanding.

One of my favorite things . . . is checking the stats on my blog. I know. I am quite shallow sometimes.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . it's a calmer week, thank you, Lord. Just one item today, tomorrow, and Thursday, with nothing currently on the books for Friday or Saturday. Yay!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
the view from my window this morning

for more visit The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vegetable Barley Soup

It got really cold here last week. We had a couple of those days in the low 40s with 20 mile winds gusting from the north. The only solution to that in my mind is a big pot of soup. I picked up a bag of barley when we were in Amish country a few weeks ago, and I had gotten a package of pre-cut asparagus, red onion, and mushrooms at Trader Joe's, so it was time to create!

3/4 cup barley 
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, chopped 
1 onion, coarsely chopped
8 oz. asparagus, red onion, mushroom blend
2 potatoes, chopped
3 15-oz. cans of diced tomatoes 
1 cup of Melanie's Bean Soup beans, quick soaked and drained
64 oz. chicken broth
kosher salt and black pepper, after cooking if needed (mine didn't need anything)

Place all ingredients in your crock pot. Set pot to high and cook for 4 hours. Reduce heat and cook until beans are tender, maybe 2 more hours -- it will depend on your crock pot. Enjoy with hearty bread and a light dusting of Parmesan cheese. Heats up well if you have leftovers. Makes 8 hearty servings.

linking up with Made by You Mondays

Saturday, October 26, 2013

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, October 25, 2013


. . . a: in or into one place, mass, collection, or group -- b : in a body: as a group 

In one accord we slept, ate, did yoga, meditated, prayed. We smiled, we nodded, we waved, but we did not speak.

A weekend of silent, meditative, directed prayer and yoga. Eighteen of us stretching our bodies and minds and souls together, but in silence. No speaking, and yet understanding some of what each of us was experiencing. Reading the same scriptures. Praying our own needs and interpretations of those scriptures. Some of us crying. All of us feeling the rejuvenating power of God's word and time to absorb it and linger with it.

At the end of the weekend, sitting in a circle together, no longer in silence. Sharing experiences, emotions, revelations, feelings. Sharing with people whose voices we hardly knew, but whose hearts we had connected with so strongly.

And I know these people. I may never see them again, but I know what their hearts carry, because we carry it together.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Yaya the OCD Dog

Several years ago I finally got a lap dog. Her name is Yaya and she is a terrier papillon mix. We got her from a rescue program that matched inmates in a local prison with dogs to train, groom, and care for. It was a really cool program which is, unfortunately, now defunct.

Flash forward to maybe a year ago. Yaya is now around 10 or 11 years old (we're not sure of her exact age). She has always liked to lick your feet when sitting on the sofa, and she's not classically a lap dog. More of an under your butt dog, as she likes to be squished up right next to me when I'm sitting on the sofa. Anyway, she started doing this thing where she'd lick her blanket when getting settled on the sofa. A little weird I'll grant you, but whatever, you might be weird too if you'd been abandoned, then shipped off to live in a prison, and then paroled into our household.

Overtime the licking has become more time consuming. And it's spreading. She' always liked to lick our other dog's ears, but now she's doing it so much that she's annoying Squeaker, our black dachshund/beagle mix. If Yaya's not on the sofa licking her blanket, she's on Squeaker's bed licking it. When she gets on the sofa, she licks and licks and licks until one of us bops her on the nose and firmly says, "No". Then looking a bit dejected she'll lay her head down and go to sleep. Or wait a few minutes and start it all over again.

I've Googled it. I've talked with the vet. We've offered her toys and playthings. We've gone on walks and played ball. But she keeps licking. Part of me is ready to just give it up. She's old. It's a quirk. So what? The problem is when you're sitting next to her the noise suddenly becomes incredibly grating. That little tongue scratching against fabric can take on enormous volume. 

I'm open to suggestions here. My husband has threatened to remove her tongue, but I see a lot of other problems with that approach, the least of which is the cruelty of it.

So are there meds for my OCD dog? 

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 22, 2013

Outside my window . . . . the sun is shining over the rooftops of downtown Knoxville, TN.

I am thinking . . . about acquiring a new study Bible. I've been looking at The Interpreters Bible (NRSV). I'm also interested in reading the New Jerusalem Bible.

I am thankful . . . that dh and I had a safe trip here last night. 

In the kitchen . . . is not my problem today!

I am wearing . . . my white batiste gown and my favorite shawl. I'm still in bed with a glass of water and a cup of tea while I type this.

I am creating . . . still working on shawls, but a friend asked me about doing a poncho or sweater for her new granddaughter, so I've got some yarn to play with on that as well.

I am going . . . to putter around the hotel and Market Square until dh is done with his meetings and then we'll head back to Nashville.

I am wondering . . . about making more structured time for writing.

I am reading . . .  I am reading A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle in bits and pieces. Lately it seems as if I pick up crocheting rather than reading.

I am looking forward to . . . the Michael Buble' concert tomorrow night with dd.

I am hearing . . . traffic down on the city streets and the housekeeping crew beginning their work in the hotel.

Around the house . . . I left things in pretty good shape. Dh is building us a new bed frame since we upgraded to a queen size bed. I'm looking forward to getting that installed once he's done with staining and sealing.

I am praying . . . for a friend who's daughter is having knee surgery; two friends suffering from brain cancer; my dh and some meetings he has this week; dd to finish her paper on time; and ds who is away at college.

One of my favorite things . . . is walking with dh. I didn't grow up doing much walking just for the sake of walking. We never went on walks or hikes. I joke and say the only time we went outside was to get from the house to the car! 

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . heading home today, Michael Buble' tomorrow night, my 5 year old friend Thursday afternoon and evening, shopping with dd on Friday, and Fun Girls' Day on Saturday.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
dh's craftsmanship

for more visit The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, October 21, 2013

Whole Wheat Craisin Muffins

Made these Saturday night to have with our frittata and cabbage salad. It was a tasty dinner if I do say so myself!

1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (I keep powdered buttermilk on hand)
3 tbsp applesauce
1/2 cup craisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in a smaller bowl, and stir until well blended (I used a fork). Pour liquid mixture (including craisins) into dry, and stir until combined. Portion into prepared tin, and bake for 17-20 minutes.

Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Mondays

Saturday, October 19, 2013

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Yesterday was laundry day, and I just didn't feel it. That's not a very good reason for skipping an assigned task. The hubs and I have been talking a lot lately about what the next phase of our life is going to look like. We've got one kid done with college and another well engrossed in it. I've been a stay at home mom for most of 23 years, and now I'm a stay at home mom with no kids at home. Hmmm. . . .

Truth be told, I'm enjoying this time of my life. My schedule is mine to make and keep with few interruptions or must dos. I do the laundry, grocery shopping, cook meals, pack my husband's lunch, do a little housework, and use the remainder of my time to try out new things, do some crafting, yoga, walking, writing, errands, Bible study, reading, and helping others. 

So I'm looking at laundry to do on a Friday, and wondering about going back out into the workplace. And I'm scared, because I know how to do laundry, but I'm pretty sure no one's going to pay in the range I'd like for a full-time laundress. 

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, October 17, 2013


When I was little I was afraid of the dark. This is a fairly common fear for most children. I have no idea when I started being afraid of the dark, but I do know until I got married I had to have a nightlight of some sort to be able to sleep. By the time I was in high school it meant leaving the hall light on all night. The argument could be made that this was in case I had to get up in the middle of the night to pee, but that wasn't the reason, because I was so afraid of the dark I wasn't getting up for anything short of throwing up!

After my husband and I married, it became quickly apparent that his ancestors were cave dwellers, and so I learned to snuggle close to him and close my eyes, hoping that he would intervene with any monsters or intruders lurking in the dark. I acclimated pretty well, but returned to the hall/bathroom/living room light scenario once children were born -- you know so I wouldn't stumble and fall taking care of said children. But mostly it was just a relief to have some light again. My kids were the only thing that could ever get me out of bed in the night without fail. That maternal instinct really kicked in overcoming my latent fear.

Now the kids are grown, and recently husband and I went away for the weekend. He wanted to take a stroll around the garden of the inn -- at night. I agreed, grudgingly, but quickly became panicky. He apologized and returned me to a lighted area. Last weekend I went away for the weekend myself and tried the dark room, quickly discovering that the bathroom light left on with the door ajar was a good idea. As was propping the desk chair in front of the door. (Did I mention I was staying at a retreat center run by the Catholic Diocese of Memphis?)

So in answer to the question -- yes I am still afraid of the dark. Which explains all the flashlights and candles in my house. Don't judge.

linking up with writer's workshop

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Because I Am Bound to You in Love

Because I am bound to You in love,
therefore will You deliver me;
         You will protect me, because I know your Name.

I shall call on You, and You will answer me;
         You are with me in trouble;
         You will rescue me and bring me to honor.

With long life will You satisfy me,
         and show me Your salvation.

                                    Ps. 91:14-16 (pronouns changed)

Lucy knew God’s name. From an early age she had learned about God and His love through Sunday school, hymns, and Bible readings. She was surrounded by people who professed a love for God. And so in those awful and terrible times, He was there to deliver and protect her.

His protection was not what many would have expected, but God is not a magician. He was with her through all the torment, and when it became too much for her mind to bear, He provided her with deliverance and protection in the form of dissociation and repression. When she could no longer bear the things that the Gene-monster was doing to her in the study, God led her from the room, leaving only her body – her shell – behind. He led her to the backyard and the cool grass where they sat together in peace and comfort. He allowed her to feel the breeze on her face; to feel the cool grass beneath her legs, and to hear the little dog barking in the yard next door. She watched the clouds in the sky, feeling peace and comfort, with all the fear removed. And when she felt drawn back to the darkness, He shone a light around her to fight off the darkness.

When the horror was over and done with her, He kept her mind protected while she was bathed and dressed for bed. And He gave her sleep, and the ability to forget and leave it all behind.

And when it happened again with the Gene-monster and with the Janet-monster, He was there to deliver and protect her -- to take her away from the terror and pain, and lead her to a place of peace, safety, and comfort. Over and over again He rescued her and provided her with comfort. He was there with her in all of the trouble, never leaving her side.

When the time came for her to retrieve the memories, He was with her still. Providing a shield of people to guide her through the treacherous memories. He reminded her that she knew His name, had always known His name, and this had brought His protection. She called on His name, and He answered her with the gift of a loving husband, compassionate counselors, and enduring friends. And in telling her story and sharing what had once been kept a secret, shameful memory, she has gained honor. God has brought me to honor. The time frame was very different than I would have envisioned, but it was in God’s time, which is always perfect in a way we cannot understand. He continues to satisfy me with a long life, and will show me His salvation as He has promised.

(Lucy is the name I use for myself as a child, as I am still unable to talk about the abuse in 1st person most of the time)

with thanks to Gail Pitts at Dovehouse Ministries

linking up with imperfect prose

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 15, 2013

Outside my window . . . . it's a bit overcast and 65 degrees. We are supposed to be in the 70's again today with rain and cold front moving in later.

I am thinking . . . about how hard it can be to hold onto peace and contentment in the swirl of day to day life.

I am thankful . . . for the weekend retreat. I needed the quiet and contemplation. I am already missing that lifestyle! I've said it before, I could be a very good hermit.

In the kitchen . . . last night was pasta with Italian chicken. Tonight is pot roast with potatoes and carrots, and green beans.

I am wearing . . . my cotton batiste gown and summer weight robe. Tomorrow will apparently be a different story.

I am creating . . . still working on my shawls, but I whipped a little cowl yesterday based on Wink's pattern at a creative being. I made mine a bit larger than hers because I don't like things tight around my neck.

I am going . . . to enjoy a day of yoga, talking, and creating with my bestie, LBB here at the house. I so enjoy these days regardless of what we actually do.

I am wondering . . . how compassion can sometimes get in the way of doing what is best for others. I feel too much sometimes. I think the psychological term is enabler. LOL!

I am reading . . . I got my hardcopy of Daring Greatly, but haven't gotten back to reading it yet.  I am working on  A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle and am enjoying it thoroughly.

I am looking forward to . . . a stretch of cooler weather. I'm planning homemade ham and bean soup for tomorrow as the high is predicted as a cool 61 degrees.

I am hearing . . . birds chirping and plane flying over my house. 

Around the house . . . I suppose it's time to put out some Halloween decor. I'm not a big fan of Halloween these days. It's taken on too much darkness for my liking. 

I am praying . . . for so many people right now. The list just seems to go on and on. There is so much pain and struggle in this world. I am understanding more and more the longing for heaven.

One of my favorite things . . . is time and quiet to think and process. My silent retreat over the weekend was so refreshing as a time and quiet to complete thoughts and linger on issues, topics, and scriptures with no interruptions at all. And having all the meals prepared for me was such a luxury!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a meeting this afternoon and another in the morning, some walking and yoga, Bible study on Thursday. My 5 year old friend is coming to visit on Thursday. Worship on Sunday, and then I'll be playing chauffeur to the hubs on Monday. 

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
the view from my room on retreat

for more visit The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, October 14, 2013

'Tis a Gift . . .

A week ago Saturday I stood in the meeting house of a Shaker village. The building is acoustically perfect. After the crowd had left, my husband and I stayed behind. He began to sing, and I realized that I wanted to sing in that place of perfection. I stood in the center of the room (the sweet spot, if you will) and I sang any hymn that came to mind. One of the staff came from across the road to see what was going on, and I apologized. She told me it was lovely and that was what had drawn her there.

My husband and I continued to sing, and a group of visitors came in to listen. I didn't stop singing, because I wanted to sing. 

Singing used to be my primary form of communication with my own heart. Over the years, I let it fall to the wayside. I'm not sure why or how that happened. Maybe it was just the cumulative affect of all the struggles to get through each day. Maybe it was one too many critics - internal and external. Maybe it was my need for perfection, or my belief that I couldn't sing without an audience. Who knows. What I'm learning now is that I can sing for myself - for my own enjoyment. And if it's not always perfect, that's okay too, because as emily wierenga wrote recently:

In his memoir, All is Grace, Brennan Manning recalls words that Brother Dominique Voillaume said to him: “You are on the threshold of receiving the greatest grace of your life. You are discovering what it means to be poor in spirit. Brother Brennan, it’s okay not to be okay.”

It's okay not to be okay. What a relief.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

linking up with SouleMama

Friday, October 11, 2013


ordinary -- with no special or distinctive features; normal

Ordinary is one of those adjectives I craved for years. I thought normal would mean everything was all right -- the way it was supposed to be. But really look at that definition -- with no special or distinctive features -- I mean come on, is there anyone who fits that kind of description?

What I was really craving all those years was to be seen fully. I wanted people to know the real, honest to goodness me, but I was so terrified of being rejected that I worked constantly on trying to figure out what those others wanted me to be. I strove to be something I wasn't. I tried to appear to be the perfect Christian girl, but I didn't feel any of it. It was all just an act to try and get by. 

Ordinary is a lie. Real is the truth. And real is messy. Real isn't based on comparisons with everyone else. Real is opening up to God and saying "I'm a mess, and I need your help". Ordinary says everything is easy and constant. Life follows a predictable plan. And anyone who's lived even one single day knows the lie in that.

So I'm throwing out ordinary and normal, again. 

I am me. I am unique. I am who God made me to be. I just need to learn to trust Him more to see the beauty of what He created.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, October 10, 2013

If This Is Thursday, I Must Be in Nashville

It's been a crazy, mixed up week, and it's beginning to look as if the the whole month may be this way.

Alan and I had a little get away over the weekend that we extended to Monday. It was quite lovely, but there was a fair amount of driving involved, so I was very tired Monday night.

Tuesday, Alan had to be in a meeting in Franklin, so I got up and drove him. We thought we'd be there an hour or so, but of course things ran long, and the outcome was not what we had hoped (sorry to be vague, but that's all I can say).

Claire took care of overseeing the removal of the mattress from hell on Tuesday morning in anticipation of delivery of our new mattress that evening. It was to be delivered between 4 and 7 Tuesday evening. I called the store about 5:15 to make sure everything was still on, and found out there'd been a miscommunication between the store and delivery people. No mattress. The lady was very nice and discounted part of our purchase, but that still left me with no bed for the night.

Claire graciously gave us her bed and slept in her brother's room (although she did have to clean it up before she could get to sleep!). 

Wednesday morning brought my weekly appointment and grocery shopping. The new mattress arrived just as I was cooking dinner, but Alan was here to oversee. Once we had eaten and made up the bed, we kind of collapsed on the sofa until bedtime. Slept well. Fingers are still crossed.

The outcome of the Tuesday meeting was that Alan has to make a trip to Los Angeles. He's not thrilled given that he has serious bum issues (can't remember the exact name) but sitting is agony. Our hope was that I could go with him for moral support, but of course I have Michael Buble tickets on the same night he needs to leave for LA. We talked about me flying out the next morning to meet him, and I thought that was all set, but it fell through this morning. 

This weekend I'm heading to Stanton, Tennessee for a yoga and meditation retreat. Then it looks as if everyone is home for the following week, with a visit from the 5 year old on that Thursday. The following Monday I'll head to Knoxville as Alan's chauffeur and come home on Tuesday. Alan leaves for LA on Wednesday (apparently alone). Claire and I will go to the concert on Wednesday night. Alan will be in LA for a couple of days probably and then fly home by Saturday. 

I like traveling as much as the next person, and most of these events are pleasant (with the exception of LA), but I'm ready for an extended, boring stay at home. I'd enjoy having a day with no one in the house but the dogs and me to just do some housework. 

A girl can dream . . . 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 8, 2013

Outside my window . . . . we went down into the 40s last night. Today's high is predicted for the mid-70s, but with a strong northerly wind. Autumn :)

I am thinking . . . about the trip Alan and I returned from yesterday. We had a lovely time staying at the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg, KY. I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in that area.

I am thankful . . . to be home and resting. Also I am thankful that things seem a bit calmer this week than last week.

In the kitchen . . . leftovers last night (pork roast, polenta, cabbage salad, and asparagus). Tonight is probably going to be some grilled chicken with roasted tomatoes and basil. Not sure what else beyond that.

I am wearing . . . brown straight leg pants, a white t-shirt, denim jacket, and a scarf. And my new fun shoes --

I am creating . . . two different shawls. The Danish shawl I showed you last week, 

and I'm having to do a bit of reworking on a shawl I started earlier in the summer. 

I didn't have enough yarn on hand to complete, and when I went to get more, I learned that it had been discontinued. So I'm trying to complete the pattern with 2 coordinating yarns that I found. We shall see.

I am going . . . with my husband to court this morning. Nothing major, but I'm serving as chauffeur and moral support.

I am wondering . . . how to find time for all the reading I want to do! I am often torn between my love of reading and my love of crocheting.

I am reading . . . Daring Greatly on the recommendation of a friend. I gave in and bought the hard copy because I just couldn't bear not being able to underline things. I also picked up a few books on vacation (as usual). I started reading A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle while waiting for my copy of Daring Greatly to arrive. It's been on my to read list for quite sometime.

I am looking forward to . . . another weekend getaway. This time I'll be on my own at a meditation and yoga retreat through Dovehouse Ministries.

I am hearing . . . the tea pot heating.

Around the house . . . we are awaiting the delivery of a new mattress and box springs. You may recall we bought a new set about a month ago, and it has been a nightmare of discomfort for me. They are taking that one away this morning, and a new queen size set will be delivered this evening. Keeping my fingers crossed that this one works out better for both of us.

I am praying . . . for a child who lost her parents over the weekend in an accident. She was adopted by a family here in the states and now faces being orphaned a 2nd time. So incredibly sad.

One of my favorite things . . . is driving my convertible with the top down. We had lots of opportunity to drive around in Kentucky this past weekend taking in the autumn weather, and it was just lovely.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . helping the hubs today, a meeting later in the afternoon, another meeting on Wednesday, some exercise, Bible class on Thursday, and then heading out for a quiet, thought provoking weekend.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
Alan in his favorite environment --
taking photos :)

for more visit The Simple Woman's Daybook