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I’m working on my Christmas gift list. I’ve seen some beautiful gift ideas made from antique sheet music. But if you know me well, you know there’s no way I could ever cut up sheet music, any more than I could cut up a book, unless it’s a book no longer worth reading (falling apart, or so definitely badly written that using it for something else is a blessing to the poor paper it’s printed on.)

I was able to find some images of vintage sheet music, especially some beautiful Christmas songs. I’m going to try my hand at making some of the ornaments to use as part of gift decorations. Then they can be used next year on the tree. I’m excited to learn some new craftiness – I never know how these things are going to turn out. 🙂

Pictures may follow!


One of my favorite places, out around the loop. It always makes me think of a song by John Denver, called Cool and Green and Shady. Here are the lyrics:

Saturday’s, holidays, easy afternoon
Lazy days, summer days, nothing much to do
Rainy days are better days, for hanging out inside
Rainy days and city ways make me want to hide
Someplace cool and green and shady.

Find yourself a piece of grassy ground
Lay down, close your eyes
Find yourself and maybe lose yourself
While your free spirit flies
(musical interlude)

August skies, lullabys, promises to keep
Dandelions and twisting vines, Clover at your feet
memories of Aspen leaves, trembling on the wind
Honeybees and fantasies
Where to start again
Someplace cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady

Words and music by John Denver and Joe Henry

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town,nostalgia


This old water tower is behind town hall in Rutledge. It was erected in the early ’50s and was used for many years to help provide water for the folks in town.

But like many things, it was no longer useful- two bigger water towers were put up in other parts of town. Because of regulations on how municipal water towers are maintained, it didn’t hold enough water to make the costs to keep it in shape worthwhile.

So now it sits behind town hall, waiting.  The town would love to see someone take it and make something useful out of it. Maybe sit on someone’s ranch or farm, and maybe like the one in Montgomery that graces the area where some swanky downtown restaurants are.

Do you ever wonder if you’re useful or not? Look around- maybe you’re just in the wrong spot!

Gen. 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town

New Babies


Several months ago, Randy added an outside wall to our carport – probably I should say bikeport, but that sounds funny. We park our bikes under the carport, and he figured closing it in would help protect the bikes during bad weather, and it would also give us some more storage space, since he added shelves to the inside of that wall.
A few weeks later, he was changing out some parts on the bike, and left an empty box on the top of one of the shelves. Then one day, I was working in our living room and looked out the window onto the carport and noticed a bird was carrying twigs and leaves. As I watched, she went into the box, the box shook a bit, and then she popped back out. I kept watching over the next day or so, and she eventually finished the nest she was working on.
I’ve worried about the nest, because we have two cats who like to play in and around the bikes; one actually takes a nap on one of the shelves. At one point, we thought the nest had been abandoned, but when Randy picked the box up to throw it away, the bird came flying out of the box – I don’t know who it startled more, Randy or the bird.
Then over the weekend, Randy picked up the box to see if it was still being used, and guess what he saw? Three little mouths open wide, waiting for lunch.
I’m still a bit nervous about the cats- they are champion hunters, and love to go after noisy little animals. But hopefully the mama bird is watching them, and the box itself is in a spot that would be hard for the cats to reach. I’m just going to trust that God will keep His hands on the babies until they can get out on their own.

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town

Moon in the Trees
Originally uploaded by bethmrogers

I don’t know why I’m so enthralled by the moon, but I will chase images of her for more time than my husband likes to think about.
I was walking Cookie the shih tzu last night before bedtime, and I looked up and saw the moon among the limbs of this pecan tree. The clouds were slipping over it, like the tide over shells in the sand. I spent about 40 minutes trying to get just a few images of the moon while she appeared from the clouds.
As I said in an earlier post about the sunsets I see most days, I have such beauty in my own yard. My sister-in-law, Linda, feels the same way- she’s got a beautiful place in the county, and I’m sure she could spend hours just walking around her own yard, seeing beauty in hidden places within a stone’s throw of her backdoor.
I found a lovely picture of the moon during a lunar eclipse and it’s pushed me even harder to get good images of the moon and the night sky.; Phil Hart is extremely talented and I want to learn from his lovely work.

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town,photography

Lucky Me…


Water Tower #2
Originally uploaded by bethmrogers

I’m one of the most fortunate people I know. I live in a beautiful area of southern Alabama, and within a ten mile radius of my house, I have wonderful country to photograph. And this beautiful view is what I can see every afternoon, just by standing in the middle of my front yard.
I got this shot just last week; I was walking by a window while getting some work done, and happened to look out- and there it was.
The only thing that could make things better, would be to have a beautiful lake in my front yard. While that’s not going to be possible, one of my dreams/goals for this year is to put in a small goldfish pond in front of my house, and turning it into an outdoor living room- I’ve got all kinds of beautiful plants that can be moved around it, including confederate roses, grapevine, hydrangeas, wisteria and all kinds of day lilies.
It will take some planning to get all this done, because I want to make sure we don’t mess with any water lines, but I know it can be done.
If you’ve got dreams, write them down- and turn them into plans, by writing down all the details that will have to be done to make it a reality. The more real a dream is to you, the more likely it will become a plan.

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town,time and money

Rutledge Loop


Early Morning Lake
Early Morning Lake
Originally uploaded by bethmrogers

If you ever wonder why I call my blog (and my website) Around the Loop, here’s the reason – I live near the Rutledge Loop, in Crenshaw County. It has got some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. Pastures with cows and horses, old homesteads and barns, beautiful flowers (including a lovely garden of cannas at my friend Charlotte’s house), and a great woody swamp complete with a wooden bridge. I get the urge to drive through and just ride with my window down, looking and listening. This morning I took a short trip through and found some butterflies and wildflowers (see my flickr page for more).
This area is such a pretty place, and I’m so thankful I live here.

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town,photography

Take a Chance


If you’re like me, you pass through towns all the time, headed somewhere else. They’ve got some interesting place, store or park, but you tell yourself, ‘I’ll stop next time.’ And of course, the next time, you don’t stop either, because you’re headed somewhere else, and you just don’t want to take the time.

Well, Florala is one of those places to me. Our oldest son and his family live in Crestview, and we usually either go through Florala going down or coming back. Every time we pass through, I’ll tell HB (Honey Bunny, aka my dear husband) “One of these days, I’m going to stop and look around, especially that wetland area on the lake.”

I finally took the step – I had to bring two of our granddaughters back to their mom, so we decided to meet in Florala at the Wetlands Park, which is about half-way. As we started down we noticed two bikers coming up behind us, so L’il Red (youngest daughter, who just got her permit – Yay!) got out the camera and took a few pictures of them- they noticed and of course, had to speed up to check out who was holding the camera…

After we got the girls swapped over, L’il Red and I headed over the walkway. It’s a very simple wooden walkway, with handrails, running through the wetlands area. The walkway itself is anywhere from one to two feet above the ground, so the plants and water run under it and aren’t damaged by people passing through. Although some folks have dropped trash, for the most part, it’s a lovely spot.

The walkway runs close to the water’s edge, and is under shade for its entire length. Some trees have moss, and there is also lots of other plant life. I didn’t see any animals, but I’m sure there must be some there. Four or five gazebos are spread through the walkway, so you can stop and take a break, if you like.

I did get to take a few shots, but my camera batteries are getting old, so they ran down before I was ready to quit. The next time I go back, I’ll be more prepared.

The town also boasts a lot of interesting shops, too. I’ve seen Elvis standing in front of one building, just waiting for someone to come up and take his picture. The store he represents is supposed to have all kinds of goodies inside – I’ve heard their ads, and I’d like to browse for a while – not enough time this trip – again, maybe next time.

We did eat at a little café called Corbey’s Ice Cream and Deli- it used to be a drugstore, and the sign is still hung on the back wall. They’ve got old-fashioned metal stools and high tables; the food is great. They had some wonderful homemade potato salad, and the ice cream is great too! I asked if they were ‘biker friendly’ and the lady told me that she and her husband ride when they can – she said if the bikers behaved, so would she!

There’s also a bike shop in town called Biker’s Choice- the sidewalk in that part of town is actually higher than the street level, and they’ve got bikes parked right outside the shop, on the sidewalk. Makes an eye-catching display- you really don’t think about the sidewalk being up that high, and your first thought is ‘how did they get that bike up there?’

So, I took a step and stopped in Florala – now I know what I want to see the next time I’m down there…

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town,time and money

Before the lawnmower
Originally uploaded by bethmrogers

I know, I know – I’m crazy for even taking pictures like this. And DH agrees- imagine a grown woman laying in the grass, shooting a picture of weeds!
LOL- that’s OK- I see beauty in all things, even weeds. God did such a good job creating all things, even weeds… of course, there are some things I don’t quite see the reasoning behind, but that’s OK – God knows why He does all things, and I’m going to praise Him for it. Even weeds that make a crazy lady happy.

Author: Beth R - Categories: country life,my home town,photography

My Main Ride…


Our part of Alabama has been under some pretty dry conditions for most of this year, and we were behind on rain last year too, so I’m always thankful for rain. Hurricane Faye really poured it on us late last week, and the ground is still damp; meanwhile, we’re expecting Gustav to visit us early next week.
All this to say that between the weather and tasks around here (plus some minor health problems), I haven’t been able to ride my bike as much as I’d like for about a week now. That’s not to say that I don’t ride in the rain – I love the smell of wet asphalt rolling under my wheels. I just had no desire to scrape myself and my bike across the road during some of the rain we had last week. My husband drove home behind a guy on a bike one afternoon, and even though he was riding on a straightaway, his bike was leaning like he was in a long curve.
I hope that changes in the next few days and weeks – Colors for the Cross is this weekend, and we plan on going over early Saturday morning and spending the day.
Then September 13 is our group‘s fall benefit ride. We’ll tour Crenshaw County on a poker run, with registration at the park. For more information on that ride, see our site. The ride will benefit a ‘families in crisis’ fund that will help families in and around Crenshaw County who need assistance.
Then in November we’ll head out for a weekend trip to somewhere in Alabama. Right now we’re talking about Ave Maria Grotto, but nothing is set in stone yet. That’s one thing about riding- most of the time, it’s about the ride itself, instead of the destination. To see some pictures from last year’s ride, see this page.
Of course, I won’t wait til those organized rides to get some miles in- sometimes I just have to ride around town to get my mind back in gear.
Meanwhile, I need to go out and crank my bike- she’s been pouting the last few days, and she needs to know that I haven’t forgotten her. For those of you who don’t ride, a bike is different than any other vehicle – most bikes have a name, and most are considered either male or female.
My SUV is just a truck, as far as I’m concerned, but my bike? well, she’s my bike- she is mine, and I am hers. Vroom! Vroom!!!!

Author: Beth R - Categories: bikes and bikers,country life,humor,my home town
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