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Central Alabama



Forward Together CAEC’S

2019 Annual Report

Join us August 14 for our Virtual Annual Meeting

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OFFICIAL NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MEMBERS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE In order to comply with the Center for Disease Control & Prevention's guidelines of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAEC 2020 Annual Meeting will be held virtually. Visit www.caec.coop/annualmeeting2020 for more information and to particpate on Aug. 14, 2020 at 4 p.m. for educational sessions and at 6 p.m. for the business meeting.

Annual Meeting


Or listen by phone at: 1-844-890-7777 Access Code: 183436311 Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, at 4 p.m. with the business session beginning at 6 p.m. for the following purposes:  Presenting reports of trustees, management and auditors.  Installing trustees.  Acting upon such other business as may properly come before the meeting. Mark Presnell, Sr., secretary/treasurer

Election of Trustees At a meeting of the board of trustees on March 30, 2020, a committee was appointed to nominate candidates for trustees of the cooperative for the coming year (Article IV, Section 4.05, CAEC Bylaws). No petitions were received this year. The following members were nominated by the committee and accepted the nomination as candidates for trustees: District 4: Terry Mitchell of Stewartville District 6: Jimmie Harrison, Jr. of Maplesville

CANDIDATES NOMINATED FOR CAEC BOARD OF TRUSTEES Below are this year’s candidates for trustee election. Remember, every member has the opportunity to vote for each trustee. Your ballot/registration form is included in the center of this magazine. This year C. Milton Johnson was nominated to serve the next three-year term for District 1; however, due to his untimely death and the short time before the annual meeting, the Board of Trustees has determined that appropriate time be taken to fill the position. Following a proper search and qualifying process of candidates residing in District 1, the position will be filled to serve until the election at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Members. In this case the position would then be filled to cover the remaining two years of the three-year term.

Terry Mitchell District 4

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Jimmie Harrison, Jr. District 6

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Or listen by phone at: 1-844-890-7777 Access Code: 183436311 Register by mail & receive a $5 credit on your September bill & chances at door prizes including a $500 cash grand door prize Attend the virtual business meeting & receive an additional $10 bill credit



4 p.m.: Charged up about electric vehicles

Begins at 6 p.m.:

4:35 p.m.: Expensive home problems & how to pay for them

Statement of quorum Audit, officer & management reports Certification of Trustee election

5:00 p.m.: Central Access broadband update

Unfinished business

5:30 p.m.: Broadband availability and your role

Grand prize drawing

New business Adjournment

Also streaming live on: www.caec.coop/annualmeeting2020

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Central Alabama Electric Cooperative 103 Jesse Samuel Hunt Blvd. Prattville, AL 36066 www.caec.coop

ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014. ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Law Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Danny Weston Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Brooke Echols ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 For advertising, email: advertising@areapower.com For editorial inquiries, email: contact@alabamaliving.coop NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

American MainStreet Publications 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.AMP.coop www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311


Made in the shade

. This time of year, there’s nothing like spending time in a shade garden, and with the help of a few well-selected plants, any shady spot can become a garden.



snapshots 9 Sunflower Summer is the perfect time for

taking photos in our state’s beautiful sunflower fields.

Worth the drive 22 Cahawba House pays tribute to

traditional Southern cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh produce and local traditions.

Pleasing pound cakes 30 Mix butter, sugar, eggs, flour and your

favorite flavoring and you’ve got the makings for a classic southern dessert. And don’t forget some delicious Chilton County peaches on top!

Printed in America from American materials

11 Spotlight 26 Outdoors 27 Fish & Game Forecast 30 Cook of the Month 38 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop




Central Alaba ma


CAEC’s Virtual Annual Meeting will be held on Aug. 14, 2020 at www.caec.coop/annualmeeting2020


Forward Together CAEC’S

2019 Annual Report

Join us Augu st for our Virtu 14 Annual Meet al ing CAECAug20Wrap

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www.alabamaliving.coop letters@alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

Get our FREE monthly email newsletter! Sign up at alabamaliving.coop August 2020  3

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ON THE COVER Look for this logo to see more content online!

VOL. 73 NO. 8  August 2020


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Executive Report

Forward Together Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) does more than just provide reliable electricity; we also strive to enhance our communities. Being proactive in our operations, staying focused on our goals and planning for the future were actions that drove our initiatives in 2019. Anticipating ways to serve our communities and members to ensure their voices are heard played a crucial role in 2019. Last year, our Board of Trustees adopted new board district lines, adjusting for the changing population in the areas we serve. Maintaining equity between districts is required, and we will continue to adjust as necessary for the benefit of our members; giving them an equal voice in how the cooperative operates. Our voices have even more power when we work collectively. CAEC members, employees and board members joined with thousands of cooperative families from across the country to advocate for the passage of the RURAL Act of 2019. By doing so, together we helped ensure protection for electric co-ops when it comes to valuable community resources and grants for disaster relief, broadband service and other programs that directly benefit you, the member. When we move forward, it’s often built on work done in the past. When the headquarters building in Prattville was built in 2015, we had a vision of housing other businesses to provide jobs for our community. In 2019, this vision came to fruition when Professional Billing Inc. (PBI) leased available unfinished space with plans to grow their employee pool, bringing more valuable jobs to our area. When we began researching the need for rural broadband in 2018, it became drastically apparent how the lack of service

Charles Byrd Chairman, Board of Trustees

affected our communities, which was only intensified by COVID-19. Fortunately, last August, we began construction on a 400-mile fiber-optic ring to serve our substations and offices. From that ring, Central Access, CAEC’s broadband subsidiary, began building out to members close to that 400mile corridor. And while there is much work to be done, today we are installing services to those who would not have had any options if we hadn’t began the initial work just two years ago. As the project progresses, we’re ready to connect many more homes and businesses. COVID-19 not only emphasized the need for rural broadband, it impacted our daily business at the cooperative. We had to close lobbies and stagger our workforce in our facilities for safety reasons, but because of past planning and the technology-based systems that were in place, we have been able to continue providing the service our members have come to expect and deserve. We have also worked with members who may have been left in a tight spot due to the pandemic, and we’ll continue to work together in the coming months to weather this storm. Lastly, our 2020 Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Day will have to be modified due to COVID-19. As a cooperative, democratic member control is one of our principles, and providing our members with information on the status of the cooperative is one of the goals, but this year, facilitating that process will be done—virtually. Please join us on August 14 at www.caec.coop/annualmeeting2020 beginning at 4 p.m. for informative sessions and at 6 p.m. for the business meeting. If you haven’t yet voted in the Board election or on the proposed Bylaws changes by mail-in ballot, look in your July issue of Alabama Living, or contact Customer Service today (800-545-5735). Whether we’re moving forward in our operations, communities, member programs, broadband or economic development initiatives, our goal is to enhance the lives of our members. On the following pages, you’ll read about some highlights from 2019 as we remain committed to moving forward together.

Tom Stackhouse President/CEO

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To M

CAEC Forward Together

Together We Can Move Forward Last year provided opportunities to work together with other cooperatives, teachers, students and one another to serve. Some of those occasions were planned, such as our annual educational programs and community service projects, while others, thanks to unpredictable weather, were not. Planned or unplanned, last year brought chances for us to live out our core principle of commitment to community. On March 3, deadly tornadoes ripped through the service territory of our sister cooperative, Tallapoosa River, leaving a path of destruction and over 2,000 people without power. We sent 16 linemen to the heavily impacted Beauregard, Smiths Station and Lake Harding communities. On the morning of October 28, we sent 10 employees and seven trucks to assist Tombigbee Electric Power Association in Mississippi with their outages after strong winds from Tropical Storm Olga left them with 19,000 members without power. Our way of lending a helping hand did not stop there. Each year CAEC employees select a charitable cause and last year, employees worked collectively to raise $4,339 during a Hog Raffle and t-shirt sale benefitting Project Lifesaver, an organization that assists individuals with Alzheimer’s. We also worked hand and hand to raise $2,541 during our annual Tide vs. Tiger food drive that provided 16,431 pounds of food for those in need.

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Another key part of our community involvement last year occurred in the education sector, working together with teachers and students through our youth and educational programs. Last year through our Bright Ideas Grant Program, teachers, students and area schools were awarded $24,000 in grants to fund various educational initiatives for 6,500 students across multiple counties. This funding filled an educational resource gap allowing teachers and students to carry out projects and initiatives not covered by school funding. Another investment we made in our classrooms was through the Empower Energy Workshop. We were able to sponsor 28 teachers who attended the Empower Energy Education Workshop to learn educational tools and activities that will help them better educate their students about electricity. We also hosted an Empower Alumni Luncheon for educators who had participated in the previous two years to allow them to network, trade ideas and provide feedback about the program. Investing in our future leaders also takes place outside the classroom. Last year, we sent 16 high school juniors to join over 150 other students from across the state on the Montgomery Youth Tour. Here they toured important landmarks, attended leadership training sessions and had the opportunity to visit the State House where they were able to engage with elected officials and ask questions while also learning about local political issues. Five of those students were selected to participate in the Washington Youth Tour where they joined over 1,500 students from other co-ops across the country to learn about the important role of co-ops, see their nation’s history and observe the House in session. Hope Johnson of Prattville High School was one of those five students, who then went on to serve as the Youth Leadership Council Representative (YLC) from the State of Alabama representing all of Alabama’s Youth Tour students on a national level. As a cooperative, we know the power of working together, and we hope to accomplish even more for our communities this year.

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Working Together to Help Our Members Working together is a huge part of what gives us the ability to serve our members effectively. It is also the underlying factor behind every significant accomplishment in 2019. Those successes include forming Central Access, CAEC’s broadband subsidiary, receiving excellent customer satisfaction scores and enhancing our members’ overall experience through multiple convenience options.

Working Together to Bring Broadband to our Members Providing high-speed Internet access to our rural communities through Central Access required collaboration among every department. This joint effort gave us the ability to officially begin construction on Aug. 7, 2019, and we marked the milestone by throwing a celebration with Governor Kay Ivey in attendance. The governor was essential in moving Central Access forward by signing HB400, also known as the Telecommunications, Broadband Using Electric Easement Accessibility Act. Ivey also signed SB90, which expanded the eligibility definition of an “unserved area” for grant funding, increased the percentage of eligible project costs for grant funding and broadened the permitted use of other federal and state support.

Working Together to Provide Excellent Customer Service In addition to making broadband a reality, we worked together to provide exceptional customer service. Almost on a daily basis, our customer service and engineering and operations departments interact with members in a variety of ways, from repairing security lights to reporting outages. Since 2005, we’ve been tracking feedback from these interactions using a measurement called the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score. This economic indicator measures the satisfaction of consumers across the nation with various industries. CAEC has scored an 87 for the last four quarters. By comparison, Chick-fil-a, who’s known for its customer service, averages around 86.5. Without the cooperative’s departments working together cohesively, accomplishments like this would not be possible. This commitment to customer service has driven us to implement convenience options that make it easier for our members to do business with us, and the numbers show that these options are being utilized. Last year, out of a total of 758,406 transactions, 64,215 were made via kiosks located at our service centers, another 129,314 came through the text and Interactive Voice (IVR) system. The smart app represented 164,094 transactions and 90,109 were made through the website and autopay. At CAEC, we are always working together to find ways to offer more convenient options for our members.

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Out of 758,406 transactions, our most used convenience options were:


Kiosk 64,215

Website & Autopay 90,109

Text & IVR 129,314

Smart App 164,094

Moving Our Communities Forward Forward Together Developing our Communities We are dedicated to assisting our communities by partnering with local, state and federal government leaders. We understand the commitment people have to grow their communities because our employees are among them. Moving forward together with our friends and neighbors guarantees a better quality of life. Last year when tens of thousands of co-op leaders, employees and members from across the country rallied to advocate the passage of the RURAL Act of 2019, members of Congress listened. This important piece of legislation offered protection to the more than 900 electric cooperatives throughout the nation from the risk of losing their tax-exempt status following acceptance of government grants for disaster relief, broadband service and other programs that benefit co-op members. The Senate’s vote to approve the legislation came two days after the House approved it as part of a year-end financial package and President Trump signed it into law on Dec. 20. This success would not have been possible without the action that ACRE members took to contact their elected officials and the meetings that our state and national legislative teams held with members of Congress. Thank you for your support of ACRE and working together to address these challenges.

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Forward Together Partnering with Businesses CAEC is committed to supporting our communities by partnering with businesses. We want to support the desire people have to work in their own communities. Moving forward together with other businesses strengthens the economic wellbeing of our communities. After our Board of Trustees approved plans in 2013 for the headquarters building off of Highway 31 in Prattville to include available tenant space, work began for encouraging job recruitment in our service area. Last year, these plans came to fruition when Professional Billing Inc. (PBI) leased available space on the second floor of the headquarters building. PBI has been in business in the Montgomery area for over 30 years; they employ more than 50 full-time workers and hope to grow to 80 in the near future.

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Statement of Financial Condition

as of Dec. 31, 2019


Total Utility Plant Less Accumulated Depreciation Net Utility Plant Value Equity in Associated Organizations Cash Temporary Investments Accounts Receivable Prepayments Material in Inventory Other Current and Accrued Assets Deferred Charges Total Assets

Statement of Operations $269,183,691 (63,140,979) 206,042,712 46,023,483 1,172,855 319,124 9,759,663 372,155 1,768,545 6,659 2,193,262


Liabilities & Member Equity Membership, Equities and Deposits Long-term Debt Non-current Liabilities Notes and Accounts Payable Other Current & Accrued Liabilities Deferred Credits Total Liabilities and Member Equity

$103,843,437 127,457,521 2,934,021 5,343,368 10,544,213 117,983


Revenue Electric Revenue $91,492,646 Other Operating Revenue 2,291,073 $93,783,719 Total Revenue

Expenses Cost of Purchased Power $53,911,697 Distribution & Operation Maintenance 12,096,626 Consumer Accounting, Service & Sales 6,819,860 Administrative and General 733,877 Total Operations & Maintenance Expense $79,562,060 Depreciation Expense 6,953,366 Interest Expense 4,877,192 Other Deductions 14,743 $91,407,361 Total Cost of Electric Service Total Operating Income $2,376,358 Interest Income 59,093 Income from Equity Ownership (245,403) Capital Credits from Associated Org. 1,848,321 Patronage Capital $4,038,369 Note: The Official Audit Report for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019, will be presented at the Aug. 14, 2020 Annual Meeting.


(Pictured from Left to Right) Terry Mitchell, Stewartville; Jimmie Harrison Jr., Maplesville; Nicole Law, Titus; Mark S. Presnell Sr., Secretary/Treasurer, Wetumpka; Charles Byrd, Chairman, Deatsville; Van Smith, Vice-Chairman, Billingsley; Patsy M. Holmes, Wetumpka; Mark Gray, Clanton; and Chase Riddle, Prattville MANAGEMENT TEAM (Not Pictured)

Tom Stackhouse, President/CEO Julie Young, Vice President, Business and Administrative Services; Chuck Billings, Vice President, Customer and Energy Services; Jimmy Gray, Vice President, Engineering and Operations; Damali Clark, Vice President, Corporate and Financial Services; Chris Montgomery, Vice President, Central Access

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| Alabama Snapshots |

Sunflower fields



3. 6.


5. 1. Aplin Farms in Dothan. SUBMITTED BY Allison Lumbatis, Dothan. 2. My granddaughter, Caroline Vaughn. SUBMITTED BY Peggy Morris, Stevenson. 3. Kaitlyn Jones Johnson. SUBMITTED BY Jolene Holloway, Geneva. 4. Clarabel Richerson in a beautiful Baldwin County sunflower field. SUBMITTED BY Gwen Windham, Robertsdale. 5. Cecil, Melanie, Hunter, Macie, James Camden and Maggie Davis at Dallas Ragan Sunflower Fields. SUBMITTED BY Macie Davis, Bridgeport. 6. Harmony and Marshall. SUBMITTED BY Amy Mosley, Loxley.

Submit “Fall foliage” photos by August 31. Winning photos will run in the October issue. SUBMIT and WIN $10! Online: alabamaliving.coop

Mail: Snapshots P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Alabama Living

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RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook page. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to have photos returned.

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Spotlight | August

Whereville, AL Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Aug. 7 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the September issue. Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.

Help the state identify gaps in broadband service Alabamians are encouraged to take a broadband internet speed survey at alabama.speedsurvey.org to help the state locate gaps in broadband service. The information gathered will be used for planning efforts to help fill those gaps. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs  administers the Broadband Alabama program, which includes the Broadband Accessibility Fund created by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey. It was created to assist broadband providers in extending high-speed internet service for households, businesses and community anchors in unserved areas of the state or in areas lacking minimum threshold service. Many Alabama homes and businesses are likely receiving less than the current federal definition of broadband service, which is 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed and three Mbps upload speed. The information gathered from the speed survey will help pinpoint the specific areas that lack this coverage. Your address will not be made public and the information will be used solely for the state’s planning efforts.

CORRECTIONS The military title for Janet Cobb, the executive director of the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, was incorrect in the Alabama People feature on Page 24 in the July issue. Her military title is retired Major General, U.S. Army Reserve. The crossword puzzle on Page 30 of the July issue had an incorrect number of spaces provided for one of the clues. The clue for 11 across, “Alabama city known for its fine white marble bedrock,” did not have enough spaces for the correct answer, which is Sylacauga. The city, in the answer key on Page 45, was misspelled. 10  AUGUST 2020

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July's answer

In mid-2018, DeSoto State Park naturalist Brittney Hughes conceived the idea of installing an ambitious public art project at DeSoto Falls – transforming the plain cement stairs leading to the viewing platform into a mosaic work of art. On each of the 43 risers is a mosaic of colorful stained-glass pieces, giving the effect of a cascading river flowing down the steps. The lower steps feature a quote from famed naturalist John Muir: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” (Information from the Little River Arts Council website) Photo submitted by Morgan Haynes of Cullman EC; the randomly drawn correct guess winner is Mary S. White of Joe Wheeler EMC.

Letters to the editor

E-mail us at: letters@alabamaliving.coop or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Inspired by snapper article

I enjoyed your article (Outdoors, May 2020) and decided to go fishing for the first time in 25 years. Caught a whopper of a red snapper. Thanks! Beverly Haslauer Orange Beach Beverly Haslauer and her husband, Ed, with fresh catch

Enjoyed column on Kathryn Tucker Windham

I so enjoyed your piece on Kathryn Tucker Windham! (Hardy Jackson’s column, June 2020.) My mother loved her and followed her to many storytelling festivals. She would come back and try to retell the story, but she would always say, “I can’t do it justice like she can.” I lost my mom 5 years ago, but articles like this make me smile as I know she would have appreciated it. So glad you made the memories you did with Kathryn while she was here. My favorite: “If it didn’t happen that way, it should have.” Ha! I’m going to use that line with my writing club! Audrey Barker Opelika

Fan of Hardy Jackson

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your column in Alabama Living. I just read your story about “Remembering Cousin Kathryn” and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish I had met her in person! Also, I wanted you to know that you’re included in my book, Amazing Alabama: The Bicentennial Edition (pages 248-249). I quoted your story about “Bicentennial Beers” in this “tour-able history” book. It was listed in your magazine (Alabama Bookshelf, June 2019). Thanks for being so entertaining! T. (Theresa) Jensen Lacey  Fairhope www.alabamaliving.coop

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August | Spotlight Take us along! Thanks to all our readers who’ve sent us photos of their travels. We realize due to the pandemic, no one’s doing much traveling these days due to the statewide “safer at home” orders, but we enjoy seeing your pictures from past travels. We’re including several on this page. If you have any past photos send them to mytravels@ alabamaliving.coop. We also want to see where you’re reading Alabama Living at home! Send us photos of you or a family member reading the magazine in your favorite home location. Send to athome@ alabamaliving.coop. We’ll draw a winner for a $25 prize each month, so let us hear from you! Dave and Lavina Thompson of Foley traveled with a group of veterans to the battlefields of Vietnam in March. Members of Baldwin EMC, they returned to the sites where each veteran served and brought their copy of Alabama Living to show their new friends where they live. Donna and Clyde Barksdale of Section, members of Sand Mountain EC, took their magazine on a Caribbean cruise on the Crown Princess. Donna is shown at the cruise port in Antigua and Clyde is in front of the Parliament Building in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Don’t enjoy exercise? Look for options to get moving Having trouble getting in enough exercise? People rarely exercise if they don’t enjoy it, even though they know it’s good for them. Here are some ways to get in some physical activity, courtesy of HealthMed Inc.: ■ Nature trails and walking: Find a trail close to your home. Being outside can do wonders for your mood too. ■ Group fitness classes: Many gyms and fitness facilities have reopened with strict safety protocols in place. Zumba, cycling, yoga and more offer a chance to socialize (and socially distance) as well as get healthy. ■ Meet up outside: Take a friend or your child to an outdoor green space and toss a football or baseball around, if it’s not crowded. Just ensure you can stay six feet away from people you don’t live with. ■ Walk and talk: Need to catch up with a friend? Take your phone along on a walk around the park or your neighborhood. You may be a little out of breath, but you’ll at least get to socialize!

Find the hidden dingbat! We may have outdone ourselves hiding the dingbat in July, as our submissions were not as plentiful as in past months. Nevertheless, about 200 of you correctly found the fireworks burst on the green balloon in one of the Alabama Snapshots on Page 9. Rachel Bailey of Bay Minette, a member of Baldwin EMC, wrote us a poem: I found the dingbat on page 9, In a green balloon under the “I Made A Mess” headline. The balloons were a celebration of those who had cancer beat, Tandy Hoover was the runner, with a beautiful smile & wings on her feet. She carried an umbrella, but no rain could dampen her shine. These pictures of our human spirit warm my heart with every issue, every time. We sent John Fender of Foley on a page-by-page search with his magnifying glass for the fireworks, and he wrote us a delightful account of his travels, from the stargazing pages, to the bookshelf, to the Bamahenge photo, to an ad (off-limits, as he remembered) to finally, after starting over at Page 1, he found it: “By this time, the sun had gone down and I turned my lamp on, and the way the light struck the magazine, it popped right out at me on the green balloon.” Thanks for your persistence, Mr. Fender! Congratulations to Polly White, a member of Cullman EC, whose name was drawn as the winner of the $25 prize from the correct entries. This month, it won’t be hard to find this bright yellow sun, something we’re guaranteed to see plenty of in August. Deadline is Aug. 7. Good luck!

Pamela Nowden of Montgomery picked a beautiful day on the Chattahoochee Riverwalk in Columbus, Georgia, to read her magazine. She’s a member of Dixie EC.

Alabama Living

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By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com

By mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 AUGUST 2020  11

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hey’re off the beaten path, or right on your front porch. Sometimes they’re the first thing in the morning, other times they’re in the quiet of the concluding day. And some feature young ones in the first few years of life, while others feature those in their sunset years. The photos entered in this year’s contest were all of these and more. We asked readers in the March and April issues and on our Facebook page to gather their best photos to enter into the annual contest, which was open on alabamaliving.coop for the month of May. We received more than 200 entries in four categories: Capture the Beauty, Discover the Past, Making Memories and Rural Landscapes. Our judge again this year was Phil Scarsbrook, a professional photographer with more than 40 years’ experience in photojournalism, fashion and product photography as well as wedding and portraiture. He did not know the identities of the entrants. The winner of each category receives a $100 prize. Enjoy this year’s winners and keep an eye out for next year’s contest! – Allison Law

photo contest winners

Capture the Beauty

First place:

Drew Senter of Oxford, Ala. “I took this photo in April at Bains Gap on a rainy day. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed me to re-explore the wild places nearby, just to find some sanity. The spring greens in the photo really made this location pop.” Judge’s comment: “Beautiful image. Well composed and exposed. Long exposure very effective use of ‘silking the water.’”

Honorable mention:

Lindsey Green, Arab EC “I took this from my front porch. … it shows how much beauty surrounds us every day if we just take a second to look around.”

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First place:

Richard Brown, Central Alabama EC “This is Winter Place in Montgomery. ... One of my most memorable experiences with this photograph was meeting one of the former residents and having them explain the splendor of this home.” Judge’s comment: “Created excellent framing and depth by using the tree limb in the foreground. Very nice toning and use of black and white.”

Discover the Past

Honorable mention:

Sophia LaPalme, Baldwin EMC “I found this old rusted silo with a ladder in the fall of 2018 in Loxley, Alabama. I found the angle and perspective as well as the colors interesting.”

Alabama Living

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Honorable mention:

Sacha Green, Marshall-DeKalb EC In this photo of Tim and Corbin Frasier, “every time Corbin comes over to Papa’s house, he constantly wants to drive the lawn mower. He loves it! Such great memories for both involved.”

Making Memories

First place:

Emery Little of Birmingham, Ala. In this photo of Ronald and Bonnie Payne, the photographer says, “I have always been fortunate to have wonderful grandparents … they’ve always lived life to the fullest, and this is a great example of how full of life they are.” Judge’s comment: “Wonderful facial expressions evoking memories of summer days on the porch.”

Honorable mention:

Keri Fike, Joe Wheeler EMC “It was such a beautiful morning with just a touch of fog and the sun rays coming through. It really made me take a moment and marvel at God’s handiwork.”

First place:

Drew Senter of Oxford, Ala. “I took this photo several summers ago on a warm evening in Oxford, Alabama. The sun’s rays were just perfect that night!” Judge’s comment: “Nice capture. Love the ‘God rays’ streaming through the clouds.”

Rural Landscapes

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Alabama Living

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College football:

Just what the doctor ordered By Brad Bradford Editor’s note: As of press time, the Southeastern Conference had not made a decision regarding the 2020 fall schedule.


o say that 2020 has been in turmoil is sort of like telling Notre Dame quarterback Steve Beuerlein that Cornelius Bennet can knock you into next week. The coronavirus pandemic stopped the football world from turning. No spring training; no off-season workouts; no media days. So, everything related to college football is based on two factors: 1. That we have football in some form this fall. 2. Predictions and assessments are based on what we know from last year’s teams. Without spring training, depth charts can be hit or miss. ALABAMA: Tide fans puff out their chests every year when the recruiting rankings come out. Bama is always in the top 3; often number 1. Nick Saban had BY FAR, his greatest recruiting news earlier this year. It had nothing to do with fuzzy-faced high schoolers. It was the fact that six starters, who were eligible for the NFL draft, decided to come back for their 4th year. This was not big; it was HUGE. On offense, running back Najee Harris, ultra-productive wide receiver DeVonta Smith and first round lock at left tackle, Alex Leatherwood. From the injury-plagued defense, All-American linebacker Dylan Moses, 6th year linebacker Josh McMillon and defensive end LaBryan Ray. The big question mark for the Tide is how QB Mac Jones is going to lead the offense, since record-setter Tua Tagovailoa is now with the Miami Dolphins. Mac Jones had the third highest passing efficiency rating in the SEC last year. Number 1 was Tua and number 2 was Joe Burrow. Strengths: Running back, offensive lineman, linebackers. Concerns: Secondary and kickers. Schedule analysis: Georgia will be breaking in a transfer quarterback from Wake Forest and has to come to Tuscaloosa in the 3rd week. Defending champ LSU lost everyone on the team but the water boy. Auburn comes to Bryant-Denny after playing a physical LSU team the previous week. Prediction: 12-0, SEC champion, football playoffs. AUBURN: Freshman quarterback Bo Nix proved that he was a winner last year. He will only get better. The big question has to do with Gus Malzahn and the offense. Gus hired exArkansas coach Chad Morris to run the 16  AUGUST 2020

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offense. Will Gus turn the keys over to Morris? Will he continue to have his finger in the offensive pie? Will he pull the string and take over if the offense is struggling? Last year, defensive lineman Derrick Brown decided to come back for his 4th year. He made all the difference and ended up as the SEC defensive player of the year and 7th overall pick in the draft. As long as the Tigers have Coach Kevin Steele running the defense, their defense will keep them in all games. The big question mark for Auburn is going to be the offensive line. They lost four of five starters. How long will it take new O-Line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. to mold them into a cohesive unit? Missing spring training and the off-season really affects these players as much as any position. Auburn returns all four linebackers from last year, led by All SEC K.J. Britt. Their go-to weapons on offense are wide receivers Seth Williams and speedster Anthony Schwartz. Strengths: Quarterback, linebacker, kicker. Concerns: offensive line and secondary. Prediction: 9-3 with losses to Georgia, LSU and Alabama. SEC WEST: 1. Alabama 2. LSU 3. Auburn 4. Texas A&M 5. Ole Miss 6. Mississippi State 7. Arkansas. Alabama gets its 2 toughest, Georgia and Auburn, at home. LSU has depth from last year but lost way too many, 15, to the NFL and both coordinators. Auburn has its two toughest on the road against Georgia and Bama. Malzahn has never defeated either one on the road. Playing LSU the week before the Iron Bowl will be a challenge. SEC EAST: 1. Florida 2. Georgia 3. Tennessee 4. Kentucky 5. South Carolina 6. Missouri 7. Vandy. The Georgia-Florida game will determine the champions of the East. Florida gets a rebuilding LSU at home as their crossover game. Georgia has to go to Alabama. The Bulldogs have very little margin for error. Jeremy Pruitt has Tennessee headed in the right direction. Their annual crossover game with Alabama will be tough as well as an early road game to Oklahoma. Wait until next year. PLAYOFFS: Three teams are locks: Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson. The remaining slot will come from Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida, Penn State and Oregon. CHAMPIONS: Bama defeats Ohio State, 35-24. Brad Bradford is former football staff member at Alabama and Louisville. His wife, Susan Moseley Swink Bradford, is a former Auburn cheerleader. His daily blog about Southern Life can be found at hairinabiscuit.com. www.alabamaliving.coop

7/17/20 11:31 AM

Alabama Living

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Cooped up?

Booksellers have some recommendations Story and photo by Jack West


ith the number of coronavirus cases in Alabama climbing every day, it is beginning to look like many people will be spending the rest of their summer — and possibly a lot of their fall — quarantined, socially distanced and likely bored. Netflix, movies and hours scrolling through Twitter and Facebook have become coping mechanisms to stem the tides of boredom. The problem is that now, nearly six months into the coronavirus pandemic, even those options can seem dry. For those looking for an alternative to the internet for readable content, there are plenty of good options for your bookshelf. If you don’t know where to start, we talked with two book buyers and reviewers for independently run bookstores in Alabama who gave us some suggestions. Ashley Warlick, a novelist and writing professor, is in charge of buying books for Auburn Oil Co. Booksellers, a locally owned bookstore in Auburn; and Anderson McKean is the buyer and reviewer for Page & Palette, a third-generation family-owned bookstore in Fairhope. Here is their list of new books, old books, summer books and fall books that are topically, geographically and timelessly relevant.

The Secret History by Donna Tart

According to Warlick, this literary thrill-

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er novel is a great choice for someone who might have had a few years go by without reading a book. “It opens with a circle of friends standing at the top of a cliff and the fifth friend dead at the bottom,” she says. “It’s a fantastic book, and it’s a fantastic book to pick up when you might miss your own college friends.”

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

McKean says that this book, which comes out in August and is about a girl’s determination to follow the migratory patterns of arctic terns, is incredibly hard to stop reading. “It is one of those books that, once you start it, you literally cannot put it down,” she says. “Throughout the novel, you literally feel like you are out on this research vessel. You can smell the sea; you can feel the spray coming against your face, and you just are just completely transported on this journey of this woman.”

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison

This award-winning novel is the first in Jemison’s Broken Earth trilogy. It is a great option for fans of fantasy novels, but also has an appeal to readers outside of the genre. “[It’s a] fantasy world that is built on the language of geology and engineering, and the sort of magical entities in the trilogy move earth with their brains,” Warlick says.

“It’s exciting, and it’s super smart. I had the best time, and I don’t read that genre ever.”

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Written by the same author as A Man Called Ove, Backman’s newest book is set to come out in September. According to McKean, the characterization and loving atmosphere in Backman’s novels are, among other things, a good reason to keep reading. “(Backman’s novels) are filled with these quirky, endearing characters that you feel like could be your family, your friends, your neighbors,” she says. “You just find yourself wanting to give all of these people a hug by the time that you’re finished with this novel.”

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

In her new novel, Gyasi, who was born in Ghana but raised in Huntsville, Alabama, explores the origins and realities of addiction. “The novel is about a young Ghananian medical research student who is studying mice for their addictive patterns,” Warlick says. “In that, she is trying to uncover the roots of addiction and pain and difficulty in her own childhood.” For more information on any of these and other books, check with your local booksellers, your local library or online resources. www.alabamaliving.coop

7/17/20 11:32 AM

Alabama Living

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| Alabama People |

Anna Brakefield

From field to fabric In 2012, Anna Yeager Brakefield took her graphic design degree from Auburn University and headed off to New York to work with high-end clients in the advertising industry. A couple years later, she returned to the South, moving to Nashville to continue her career path. But in 2016, she brought her skills and experience back home to Lawrence County, Ala., and partnered with her dad, longtime cotton farmer and innovator Mark Yeager, to create Red Land Cotton, a farm-to-home textile company. RLC creates heirloom inspired bedding, bath and loungewear made from cotton grown on their family farm. The company’s luxury linens are made in the U.S. and made exclusively with cotton sourced directly from the family’s north Alabama farm. The company made headlines after the COVID-19 pandemic, when it partnered with other Alabama businesses to create masks for communities as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. The effort was never for profit, Anna says, but was just one small way they could help. Now, she’s eager to talk about what’s next for the Moulton-based company. – Allison Law Talk about RLC’s new collection. This fall, we will be launching a new line of blankets. It’s a completely new production line that we’ve put together. The blankets are woven in Maine; they’re 100 percent cotton from our farm. The yarn is being spun in North Carolina, then it’s all going to Maine where they’re finishing, cutting and sewing it. Our blankets will range from baby size to king size for the bed, in white and natural. I hope they’ll launch around September. We’re also going to be launching a bathrobe, made from the same terry cloth as our towel. We started 2020 with some good vision about these new things that we wanted to bring to market. A lot of that was put on hold earlier this year, but fortunately factories have gotten back to work, and we’re really hopeful we can get these new products out in time for Christmas. PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON

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And you’re also working on a new facility in Moulton. We’re super excited. Over the past two years, we’ve really grown, which has been a huge blessing. We’ve outgrown our little storefront/fulfillment facility in downtown Moulton. We’re building a massive distribution facility as well as a cut and sew facility right next to our cotton gin in Moulton. We’re hopeful we’ll get in there by September, before that Christmas rush, and this will allow us to hire more people. Maybe 30-35 people to work in the cut and sew or in our distribution facility. I know you started this venture with your dad – is he still involved in the business? Oh, yes. His focus is still primarily on the farm. When we’re starting up a new supply chain, he is very, very involved in that. He’s extremely involved in this new building and how that is structurally going to look, how it’s going to function. He’s not as much into the day-to-day weeds as I am. He’s quite literally in the weeds, on the farm, when it comes to the day-today. We speak at least 10 times a day on the phone. It’s a good partnership. Even though sometimes working with family can definitely be challenging, overall it’s a good thing. Both of my younger brothers, they farm with my dad. My sister-in-law works with me. She’s my go-to person as far as managing inventory at the store or at the distribution facility, making sure orders get out the door. It’s a big family involved venture. And I’ve read that Red Land takes its name from the north Alabama soil?  Yes, ma’am. It has no political affiliation whatsoever! My dad named his farm Red Land Farms I think in 1983. That was really important to him that we named this business to be very close to the farm in that regard. Not everything is political!  Talk about your company’s commitment to manufacturing in the U.S.  That is essential to who we feel like we are. Hopefully it will never come to this, but I can’t see us going outside of the U.S. to source any of our products. If there is a way to make it here, we’re going to make it here. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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| Worth the drive |

Fresh produce, local traditions star at Cahawba House Story and photos by Miriam C. Davis


n 2015, Tim Essary worked for severHe’s grateful for all that he’s learned al chefs in Atlanta. His sister, Tara Esfrom the ladies in the kitchen. “A couple sary-Studdard, was a mixologist in south of months after opening, I realized that if Florida. But when they returned home to I continue to hire people way smarter than Montgomery for Christmas, they agreed me and bring in talent I don’t have, we can they were both tired of working for other grow into something I couldn’t do all by people and wanted their own place. myself. By bringing in different flavors, different backgrounds and ethnicities, we can “We saw the development taking place in showcase not only Southern food but the Montgomery,” says Tim, and with a strong South’s rich melting pot.” push from their dad, “we decided, ‘Let’s Tim says he’s picked up family recipes do this!’” They moved back home, found from staff, such as smoking a turkey himan empty restaurant space downtown, and self and adding it to collards. Recent menus Cahawba House opened in the fall of 2016. have featured oxtails and gravy with mashed The name pays tribute to Cahawba, the potatoes and pot likker soups, created from site of Alabama’s original capital. The food boiling turnip or collard greens with turkey pays tribute to traditional Southern cuisine, tail or ham hock for hours, soaking up all with an emphasis on fresh produce and local traditions. the flavors. “We wanted to Breakfast features biscuits and showcase not only choice of local the local cuisine,” honey, jams, and says Tim, “but also jellies, and a prolocal farms and tein — Conecuh businesses.” When sausage, scrambled they set up their eggs, or apple wood restaurant, Tim and smoked bacon. You Tara deliberately can add gravy, varcultivated relationships with nearby ious cheeses, fried farmers. They get green tomatoes, their purple hull Tim Essary and his sister, Tara Essary-Studdard, and veggies of the peas from Clanton, are committed to safety for their staff and day. Lunch includes customers. the collards from salads, sandwiches a family farm in with hand cut fries, Tuskegee, and fresh eggs are delivered by and the traditional meat and three. “a sweet little red-headed lady” from tiny Cahawba House’s good food has been Pine Apple, Alabama. Jams and jellies come recognized nationally. The New York Times from a farm near Auburn and the coffee recommended it in an article on things to from Prevail Union, a craft coffee shop do in Montgomery. USA Today declared around the block. that it had the “Best Breakfast Sandwich” in Their menu changes according to what’s Alabama. available. If it’s fresh and in season, Tim says The walls are loaded with black-andthey try to work with it. “I might not necwhite photographs, ink drawings, and oil essarily need a bunch of rhubarb,” laughs paintings, many of downtown scenes — Tim, “but I’ll find something to do with it.” and all the work of local artists. While Tara manages the restaurant, Tim When the pandemic hit in mid-March, is in charge of the kitchen where he draws Tim and Tara quickly pivoted: “We had on local talent, too. When they established to change our business model overnight,” Cahawba House, he had a number of recipes says Tim. They moved the tables out of the from his time in previous restaurants. Then restaurant, installed shelves, stocked up on he started hiring local cooks, many of them bread, produce, toilet paper, and other necessities and dubbed their new grocery the African American women who brought “Bama Bonafide Bodega.” their own cooking traditions with them. 22  AUGUST 2020

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Now, the restaurant is open again, but things have changed. Diners order at their tables rather than standing in line at the counter; tables are six feet apart and there is more terrace seating. Everyone wears a mask. Surfaces are constantly disinfected. “We are adamant about being safe,” says Tara. Customers are trickling back. The Paycheck Protection Program allowed Tara and Tim to rehire their old employees, and plans for a new bar are going ahead. They’re optimistic that things will pick up as people start travelling again. “We are ready for it,” says Tara. “We’ve got to have faith over fear.”

Outside seating has been expanded to keep diners safe.

Homemade meatloaf and black-eyed peas are among the lunch entrees.

Cahawba House

31 S. Court Street Montgomery, AL  334-356-1877 Montgomery Cahawbahouse.com Hours: 6:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Monday-Friday. The owners plan to be open on weekends starting in August, but check to verify. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Three healthy financial habits to start now By Jacquie Johnson and Cecilia Waits Developing healthy financial habits can do wonders for helping us achieve our goals. The earlier you start, the better! Here are three habits you can start today.

Keep a journal

Budgeting is the foundation of personal finance. The first step to successful budgeting is to keep a journal of what you spend; even that $1.50 drink you bought at the gas station. Budgeting is not about limiting what you do with your money, but tracking to maximize the money you work hard for every day. Those little “impulse” buys add up to a lot more than you would think! If you have trouble remembering to write everything down, guess what: there’s an app for that. Alabama Rural Electric Credit Union’s mobile app has tools to help you track your spending, and there are a variety of free apps to promote healthy money habits. We’d love to point you towards some!

Pay yourself first

When it comes to managing your finances, give yourself permission to be a bit selfish. Paying yourself first, by transferring some of your paycheck into a savings account, is vital to having a successful financial future. No one can avoid unexpected expenses or financial emergencies, but you can help yourself prepare. Most employers make it easy for you to save by offering direct deposit options, so that a portion of your paycheck is put into a savings, investment, or retirement account each pay-period. This method of saving disperses your money before you see your check, so it’s likely you won’t even miss it. You can also set up automatic transfers – right from your phone with ARECU.

Set financial boundaries

Ignoring the “Joneses” can be one of the biggest battles when making practical decisions regarding your finances. Spending outside of what your budget can handle will push you further away from saving money and deeper into debt. Consider implementing the “50-20-30 rule.” Experts state we should spend 50% of our monthly income on necessities: utilities, food, and rent or mortgage. The next 20% is allotted to savings and debt, such as paying off loans or student debt. The last 30% of your income is for personal purchases, such as your phone plan, internet/cable/streaming services, clothing, and personal care. Staying within these guidelines can help establish financial boundaries which will cultivate a healthy financial future. Alabama Rural Electric Credit Union is committed to helping you achieve financial wellness. The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to be a stressful time. If you or a loved one has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 virus, our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness can help. Call and speak to a certified financial counselor free-of-charge. Jacquie Johnson Contact our Financial Wellness TEAM! finwell@arecu.net For financial wellness resources and free counseling, visit: arecu.net/financialwellness or greenpath.com/aocu

Cecilia Waits


A redesigned retirement benefits portal that works for you


e are excited to tell you about our redesigned retirement benefits portal at ssa.gov/benefits/retirement. Keeping you informed about our products and services, and helping you prepare for making decisions that will affect your benefits is very important to us. Preparing for retirement is one of the most important decisions you can make. Our website has helped millions of people get ready for and apply for retirement. But we heard your feedback that you also want to: • Find the information you need without reading through too many pages. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

• Learn about the benefits in a clear and concise way. • Be better prepared to apply for retirement online. • Learn how to manage your personal my Social Security account online. We made our redesigned retirement benefits portal more user-friendly and easier to navigate, whether you are ready to learn about, apply for, or manage your retirement benefits. You’ll find the new portal eye pleasing, informative, and optimized for mobile devices. We also improved how we list our information on search engines to make it easier for you to find outside our website. The new Retirement Benefits portal is just the first of several steps we are taking to improve your experience on our website. Visit our new retirement benefits portal today at ssa.gov/benefits/retirement to learn, apply, and manage your retirement benefits and subscribe to receive retirement information and updates. Stay tuned for more exciting improvements and services.

fy. Alabama Living

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| Gardens |

Ferns are made for the shade — and more


his time of year, there’s nothing like spending time in a shade garden, and with the help of a few well-selected plants, any shady spot can become a garden. The list of shade-loving plants is extensive and includes annuals (such as impatiens), perennials (think hostas and caladiums) and a variety of shrubs, vines and trees (hydrangeas, clematis and Japanese maples, for examples). But the most iconic made-for-the shade plant is one of Earth’s most ancient plants — the fern. Ferns date back more than 350 million years when they blanketed the Earth even before dinosaurs roamed and rumbled through their fronds. In the eons since, ferns outlived dinosaurs and many other creatures and fellow plants by adapting to Earth’s ever-changing and diverse environments. Today more than 10,000 fern species exist worldwide, some 120 of which are native to Alabama. Among those thousands of ferns are species capable of growing in some of the harshest conditions in the world — from frozen tundras to arid deserts — and in almost any location in our yards, from shade to sun. Ferns also come in a diverse array of sizes and styles, which means there’s a fern for almost every garden design need. Ferns can be grouped for mass plantings, tucked into woodland settings, singled out as specimen plants, intermingled with other plants in garden beds or potted for use inside or outside the house. Their foliage, which ranges from soft and delicate to broad and leathery depending on the species, adds texture to a landscape. And though they don’t flower, ferns exhibit a wide range of colors in their foliage, including bright neon to dark greens and hints and hues of red, cinnamon, dun and silver. So why don’t we have ferns everywhere? Probably because they have a reputation as finicky shade-only plants. According to Eleanor Craig, however, that reputation is undeserved. Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

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Plants that love the shade include ferns, perennials such as hostas and caladiums, and a variety of shrubs, vines and trees. PHOTO BY KATIE JACKSON

Craig owns Fern Ridge Farms in Cherokee County, a nationally acclaimed nursery located between Centre and Cedar Bluff that produces a wide array of native and nonnative hardy garden ferns (65 different varieties at last count) along with a selection of tropical ferns and other fern companion plants. According to Craig, ferns are not all that persnickety, especially about sun. “Most ferns actually don’t like deep, dark shade,” she says. “They prefer early morning sun or dappled sunlight. And there are ferns that love full sun.” While they do need sufficient moisture, many do fine in drier settings as long as they have the right growing conditions (especially some of our native ferns), which can be enhanced using proper planting techniques. “I’m a big proponent of fall planting — September through November,” Craig says. That’s because there’s usually plenty of soil moisture that time of year to give ferns a good start, and they have time to establish root systems that help them tolerate summer heat stress. “Make sure to dig a hole that is wider rather than deeper,” Craig says, noting the fern’s crown should be above soil level so it won’t rot. “I like to mix in composted leaves or pine bark soil conditioner and

add a handful of lime as I plant, too.” Once in the ground, ferns need little more than sufficient moisture and occasional pruning to remove dead or damaged fronds, which gives plants more energy to grow new ones. They also need little to no fertilizer. And ferns have what Craig calls “one really big plus. Deer hardly ever eat them!” Nor do many other types of wildlife and insects. Who could ask for more? Want to find out more? Craig is happy to help. Though she enjoys speaking to groups throughout the Southeast, she’s staying safer at home these days; however, she welcomes visitors to Fern Ridge. Checkout her website at fernridgefarms. com to learn more.

AUGUST TIPS • Plant fall vegetables such as cabbage,

collards and broccoli, and fall-bearing beans and peas. • Plant seeds of cool-season flowers such as snapdragons, dianthus and pansies in flats or in the garden for fall blooms. • Order fall-planted bulbs. • Remove spent annual plants from garden beds. • Keep potted plants well-watered. • Keep fresh water in birdbaths. • Find some shade!


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August Across 1 Alabama ___: band with the hit single “Hold On” 4 Meat-and-___, a favorite lunch dish 8 Radio voice for the Crimson Tide, Eli ____ 9 One of Alabama’s most important row crops 11 Grumpy’s dwarf colleague 13 Up, in baseball- 2 words 14 February in Alabama is a great month to plant these beautiful flowers 15 Group of bees 17 Unified 19 Former Surgeon General of the United States, ____ Benjamin (from Mobile) 21 Orange ____ : dish famous at the All-Steak restaurant in Cullman 23 ___ Shannon, singer of “Runaway” 24 Move to and __ 25 Type of offense in football, 2 words 27 American Idol runner-up (from Helena)- Bo 29 Assam and pekoe, for example 30 Now a Tennessee Titan, he played for Auburn H.S. and the Tide, Rashaan ____ 31 Winners of the 2010 BCS Championship game


by Myles Mellor

6 Wrong __ of the stick 7 City where Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed 9 Kind of medical scan 10 Radium symbol 12 “Three Times a Lady” singers from Tuskegee University 13 Hardwood tree 16 Mode or carte (2 words) 18 Conger or moray 20 Mobile was originally founded by colonists from this country 22 Fries and coleslaw, for example 23 Mobile-Tensaw ____ , an ecological wonderland 24 Tuskegee Airman, for example 26 Gp. in charge of condominiums, perhaps Down 27 Energy meas. for 1 Bowl game won by the Crimson Tide in 2018 cooling systems, 2 NASCAR great from Hueytown, Bobby ____ abbr. 3 Former 28 Pineapple chunks 5 Alabama’s largest city by land area holder Alabama Living

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Answers on Page 37

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| Outdoors |

Hunting, fishing licenses help state’s conservation efforts A bobwhite quail walks through cover. A habitat enhanced project that benefits quail would also benefit endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, song birds, rabbits and many other species, including some endangered ones. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER


hen sportsmen buy new hunting and fishing licenses, they help ensure that future generations will enjoy Alabama’s abundant natural resources. “We cannot provide services without those license dollars. We receive no general tax funds,” says Chuck Sykes, director of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, which is one arm of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The ALDCNR uses proceeds from fishing and hunting licenses and permits to pay staff salaries, buy equipment and do other necessary functions to keep the department operating. In addition, the state buys or leases land for public use; builds or maintains boat launches that provide access to Alabama waterways; raises and stocks fish; and many other efforts to enhance outdoor recreation. In addition, the state does research and monitors game and fish populations to determine season and bag limits. With proper management, wildlife species can thrive, despite hunting pressure. For instance, few people in Alabama ever saw deer or wild turkeys just a few decades ago. Biologists captured deer and turkeys from places where they still existed and released them in unoccupied habitat. Now deer and turkey, two of the most popular game animals, thrive almost everywhere in the Cotton State. “Proper management of property and wildlife benefits both game and non-game species,” Sykes says. “All animals and fish, whether hunted or fished or not, prosper from proper management. Sportsmen fund a lot of research we do on many non-game species such as gopher tortoises, indigo snakes and golden eagles as well as help restore populations of non-hunted game animals like black bears. Public access allows people to enjoy the fruits of those management activities.” Part of the funds collected go to improve habitat, not just for popular game fish and animals such as whitetail deer, turkeys and largemouth bass, but all species. These funds also directly or in-

John N. Felsher lives in Semmes, Ala. Contact him through Facebook.

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directly benefit some endangered species. For example, a habitat enhancement project to benefit bobwhite quail would help songbirds and other species that also use that habitat. “Recently, we applied for grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase property in the Red Hills region of Monroe County,” Sykes says. “This property is home to the endangered Red Hills salamander. We hope to be able to de-list this species very soon. Not only did this purchase conserve and protect critical habitat for an endangered salamander, but it also will provide additional public hunting opportunities. Also, our indigo snake recovery project verified the first wild reproduction this year.” Besides license sales, the state also receives revenue from federal programs that collect excise taxes on a national basis. The federal government disburses these funds back to the states, based upon the geographic size of the state and the total number of hunting and fishing licenses sold in that state. For every dollar a state collects in license sales, the federal government pays back three dollars. The more hunting and fishing licenses that a state sells, the more money comes back to the sportsmen and anyone interested in the outdoors in that state. Most of the money to support conservation comes from hunters and fishermen. But others can do their part to preserve and enhance habitat to help wildlife by buying a wildlife heritage license. This license directly helps finance conservation efforts as well as increases the amount of matching federal dollars Alabama will receive. “Hunters and fishermen have been bearing the burden for everyone for a long time, not just in Alabama, but all across the country,” Sykes says. “People who don’t hunt or fish, but enjoy hiking, bird watching, canoeing or otherwise enjoying public land are not contributing to the upkeep and maintenance of that property or future purchases of public land unless they buy a license. The wildlife heritage license was designed for people who do not participate in hunting or fishing, but who do want to contribute to the system and continue enjoying recreation on public lands.”  More than 260,000 Alabama resident fishing licenses and 150,000 hunting licenses expire at midnight Aug. 31, 2020. New licenses will go on sale in late August. For more licensing information, see outdooralabama.com/alabama-license-information. www.alabamaliving.coop

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

10:54 - 12:54 11:18 - 1:18 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 A.M.

10:06 - 12:06 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 10:54 - 12:54 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06



11:18 - 1:18 11:42 - 1:42 12:06 - 2:06 NEW MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 PM

10:30 - 12:30 12:06 - 2:06 FULL MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 11:18 - 1:18 12:06 - 2:06 NEW MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30


5:21 - 6:51 5:48 - 7:18 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 AM

4:33 - 6:03 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 5:21 - 6:51 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03


5:45 - 7:15 6:11 - 7:41 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 PM

4:57 - 6:27 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 5:45 - 7:15 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27

The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 36 years ago by Doug Hannon, one of America’s most trusted wildlife experts and a tireless inventor. The Moon Clock is produced by DataSport, Inc. of Atlanta, GA (www.moontimes.com), a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. Alabama Living

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7/17/20 11:32 AM

| Consumer Wise |

Sealing air leaks, step by step By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen


I love my older home, but it’s drafty and uncomfortable at times. What can I do to reduce drafts that won’t cost me an arm and a leg?


This is a common problem, particularly in older homes. In many homes, about half of the conditioned air leaks to the outside every hour. The good news, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, or if you’re hesitant to invite contractors into your home right now, is that you can seal air leaks on your own with a little time and effort. Here are three steps to get you started. Keep in mind, there’s much more to learn about sealing your home than we can cover in this article, so consider researching trusted websites for additional tips and tutorials.

Step 1: Find the leaks

The first step is a thorough visual search of the interior and exterior of the home. Look for gaps and holes in exterior walls, flooring and the ceiling. These will often occur where different building materials meet, such as the top of cement foundation walls or around windows and doors. Another common source of air leaks is where pipes or wiring penetrate a wall, floor or ceiling. Ductwork located in unheated crawl spaces or attics can also contain air leaks. Exterior doors and windows that open deserve your attention. Open each door or window and place a dollar bill between the door or window sash and the frame. If you can pull the bill out easily when the door or window is closed again, the seal is not tight enough. Also, a window that rattles when it’s closed or when it’s windy probably isn’t sealed sufficiently. The best way to find all air leaks is to hire an energy auditor to do a blower door test. The blower door is a large fan that is mounted in a doorway to depressurize the house. The auditor can then find the leaks and may even be able to recommend ways to seal them. It’s also possible to conduct your own whole-home pressure test. The Department of Energy provides detailed instructions at Patrick Keegan writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Write to energytips@collaborativeefficiency. com for more information.

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Step 2: Gather the materials you’ll need

Here’s a quick list of materials to get you started: • Caulk: You’ll need a caulk gun ($4+) and caulk ($4 to $10). We recommend indoor/outdoor waterproof silicone or latex caulk that is water-soluble until it cures and is paintable when dry. • Expanding spray foam: One can typically costs $4 to $6. This is an effective way to plug leaks, but keep in mind, it’s a messy job. • Weather stripping: Prices vary depending on type and length of the materials, but there’s a wide variety of weather stripping options made of vinyl, metal and felt, or open-cell foam that works for most situations. • Pre-cut foam socket sealers: You can typically purchase a pack of 24 sealers for about $3. • Chimney plug balloon: Prices range from $50 to $90. You may need a

chimney plug balloon if your chimney flu doesn’t seal well. Buy a square or round one to match the shape of your chimney flue. • Adhesive plastic window insulation sheets: Prices range from $2 to $14 depending on size. You may need insulation sheets later in the year for windows that can’t be sealed and don’t have storm windows.

Step 3: Do it!

If you are unfamiliar with how to apply any of these materials, we recommend watching online tutorial videos. Sealing air leaks is one of the best ways to boost your home’s energy efficiency. Whether you’re a DIY pro or novice, with a few simple steps (and low-cost materials), you’ll be well on your way to a sealed, more efficient home. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on sealing air leaks, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips.

Some of the most common areas for air leaks may not be where you think they are. PHOTO COURTESY ENERGYSTAR®


7/17/20 11:32 AM

Alabama Living

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| Alabama Recipes |

Pleasing Pound Cakes Photos: Brooke Echols

Grandma's Pound Cake

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o to almost any cookbook on your shelf, and chances are there are multiple recipes for pound cake. In the popular Calling All Cooks Two, (Telephone Pioneers of America, Alabama Chapter 34, 1988) we found 49 recipes for pound cake alone, with variations involving flavorings, the number of eggs, and types of glazes. There are recipes using cream cheese, sour cream, almond extract, vanilla flavoring, orange juice, milk, and even bourbon. Cecil McMillan, owner of the famed Blue Moon Inn in Montgomery, includes a six-ingredient recipe for “Easy Pound Cake” in his cookbook, noting, “You can let your children make this.” His “Sour Cream Pound Cake” was “so popular at Georgia Baptist Hospital,” he writes, “that we often served 24 lbs. a day in the cafeteria.” The earliest pound cakes are believed to have originated in Great Britain in the 1700s, and as the name suggests, called for a pound of each key ingredient: eggs, flour, butter and sugar. Cooks later modified the original recipe to their own needs, adding baking powder and flavorings so the cakes evolved into desserts their families liked and preferred. The name “Pound Cake” endured, however, and the popularity of this basic cake has lasted for generations. Our readers confirmed this by sending us more than 40 different recipes. Enjoy the ones we’ve printed here, and save us a piece! – Lenore Vickrey www.alabamaliving.coop

7/17/20 11:32 AM

Photo by The Buttered Home Buttermilk Pound Cake


uttermilk Pound Cake is a real treat for the Brooke Burks old-fashioned pound cake lover. Traditional pound cakes are made with lots of butter and eggs. This creates a texture that any good pound cake lover knows is next to heaven. Adding buttermilk to the recipe makes for an even more moist cake that cuts the sweet just enough, making room for any type of delicious sweet berries or even a glazed topping. You won’t be able to get enough!

Buttermilk Pound Cake 2 cups cake flour 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 cup softened, unsalted butter 11/2 cups sugar 3 eggs 2 teaspoons baking vanilla 1/2 teaspoon butter extract 3/4 cup buttermilk This cake starts with a cold oven, so no preheating! Prep a bundt pan or tube pan with butter or cooking spray. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer for three minutes until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and butter extract and mix well. Alternate buttermilk and flour on low speed until all incorporated. Do not over-mix! Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Turn out onto cake plate and enjoy! Especially good served with lemon curd or berries!

Alabama Living

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Pecan Pound Cake

Grandma’s Pound Cake

1 cup butter or margarine 3 cups sugar 6 eggs, separated 3 cups cake flour ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup sour cream or yogurt 2-4 cups pecans, chopped

6 eggs, room temperature 1 pound butter, room temperature 1 cup milk, room temperature 3 cups sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon almond extract 4 cups all-purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside about ¼ cup flour. Combine remaining flour and soda, add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Fold in stiffly beaten egg white. Dredge pecans in reserved flour and fold into batter. Spoon batter into greased and floured 10-inch tube or bundt pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1½ hours. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Wanda Monk Cullman EC

Family Favorite Pound Cake 1 pound butter, room temperature 1 pound box confectioner’s sugar 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted ½ teaspoon baking powder 7 large eggs, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla to mixture and blend well. Sift flour and baking powder together and add to the mixture. Beat at medium speed 1-2 minutes. Pour batter into greased tube pan. Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for one hour or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Debbie Spurlock Pea River EC

Cream butter, sugar and salt. Add almond extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating really well. Add flour and milk a little at a time and beat well until batter is smooth. Grease a 10-inch tube pan well and dust with flour. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour 40 minutes. Carmel Icing: 2 cups brown sugar ½ cup half and half 6 tablespoons butter Cook all ingredients slowly in heavy pan until it forms a soft ball when tested in water. Remove from heat and beat by hand until it starts creaming. If icing hardens before you are finished, you may add a little more half and half to keep it spreadable. Edwina Faith Bell Clarke-Washington EMC

Cream Cheese Pound Cake 3 sticks butter 3 cups sugar 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese 6 eggs, separated 3 cups plain flour 2 teaspoons vanilla Cream butter, sugar and cream cheese thoroughly. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and add creamed mixture. Beat egg white until stiff. Add flavoring and egg whites. Pour into a 9-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 1½ hours. Ceffie Peterson Dixie EC AUGUST 2020  31

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Lemon Pound Cake 1 cup butter, softened ½ cup solid shortening 3 cups sugar 5 eggs 2¾ cups + 1 tablespoon flour 3/4 cup milk ¼ cup lemon juice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon lemon extract Zest of 2 lemons ¾ teaspoon baking powder Cream together butter and shortening. Add sugar and continue to cream until perfectly smooth (about 10 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended. Add flour a little at a time. Slowly add milk, then extracts and lemon zest. Add baking powder last. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. If a tube pan is used, cut a piece of wax paper to fit and place in bottom of pan. Pour cake batter into pan and place in a cold oven. Turn temperature to 340 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Remove cake from the pan. When completely cooled, glaze cake. Glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar 1 lemon, juice and zest Add juice to powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar or juice until desired consistency is obtained. Stir in lemon zest. Slowly pour over cake. This cake freezes well. Slices can be reheated in a microwave oven.



Cook of the Month

Themes and Deadlines: Nov.: Pies | August 7 Dec.: Cinnamon | September 4 January: Winter veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, collards, turnips, etc.) | October 2

3 ways to submit: Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: recipes@alabamaliving.coop Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Please send us your original recipes (developed or adapted by you or family members.) Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” once per calendar year.

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Lemon Pound Cake

Cook of the Month: Susan Harrison, Dixie EC Susan Harrison found a recipe for “Selma’s Virginia Pound Cake” in an old cookbook several years ago, and tweaked some of the ingredients to give it the signature taste of her Lemon Pound Cake. “I substituted lemon juice for some of the milk in the batter,” she says, “and I added the lemon zest, and instead of almond extract (used in the original recipe), I used lemon extract.” She also added lemon zest to the glaze, “and that really makes a difference.” The lemony flavors have made her pound cake a favorite of her family. “I make it a lot for my family and often keep one in the freezer,” says the retired home economics teacher and State Department of Education administrator. “It freezes so well, and it’s really best when you warm a slice in the microwave.” We’re ready for a piece right now! – Lenore Vickrey

Mail order form and payment to: Best of Alabama Living Cookbook P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124-4014 COOKBOOKS @ $19.95 EACH: (Shipping included)


Name: Address: City:



Phone Number:


7/17/20 11:32 AM

Chocolate Pound Cake

Red Velvet Pound Cake

Cynthia's Banana Pound Cake

3 sticks butter or margarine 3 cups sugar 5 eggs 3 cups flour ½ cup cocoa ¼ teaspoon salt 1¼ cups milk 1 tablespoon vanilla ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cups unsalted butter, room 1 temperature 3 cups sugar 5 large eggs 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup cocoa ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup whole buttermilk 1 1-ounce bottle liquid red food coloring 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cups shortening 1 2 cups sugar 4 large eggs 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (6 medium-size bananas) 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 11/4 teaspoons baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Cream butter and add sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Add vanilla before last flour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake in greased and floured tube or bundt pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cook’s tip: I like to heat a can of chocolate icing and drizzle over cake. Optional: garnish with peanut butter cups. Beth McLarty Cullman EC

Amaretto Butternut Pound Cake 2 sticks lightly salted butter, room temperature 6 extra-large eggs, room temperature 3 cups sugar 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sour cream ¼ teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur 2 tablespoons Southern Flavors butter nut flavoring Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare pan with butter and flour. Sift 3 cups flour. Measure again and place back into sifter with baking soda, sift again. Cream butter, add sugar, cream again. Add eggs one at a time. Blend in sour cream. Add flour mixture, blend. Add amaretto and flavoring, blending gently. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Turn into prepared pan. (Cook’s note: I use an angel tube pan, bottom lined with parchment paper.) Bake for 1½ hours. Remove from oven. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup bundt pan with baking spray and flour. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beat in 1 at a time. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, alternately with wet ingredients. Beat at low speed just until combined after each addition. Bake about 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze. Cream Cheese Glaze: 3 ounces cream cheese, softened 1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted 1 tablespoon milk

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Combine bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Combine flour, soda and salt; add to shortening mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove cake from pan, and cool completely on wire rack. Janice Bracewell Covington EC

Mix and drizzle over cooled cake. Linda Lee Cullman EC Chocolate Pound Cake

Helen G. Johnson Central Alabama EC Alabama Living

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The World has changed. internet speed & reliability matter more than ever. We’re using Internet to bring us together in new ways. Business meetings are held in kitchens, living rooms have turned into classrooms and patios are taekwondo studios. But what hasn’t changed is our goal of providing lightning-fast, reliable Internet to people in central Alabama. We’re building a state-of-the art fiber network to help you connect to the world. Don’t miss your opportunity to take advantage of affordable, reliable Internet brought to you by people living in your community.

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No contracts. No data caps. No expiring promo rates. No surprises.

Visit www.centralaccess.com to see if your address falls into Phase I of our broadband project. Phase I is currently under construction and services are being installed!

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7/16/20 2:02 PM

Is your voice being heard? From renewable power to the lack of broadband internet in rural America, there are a lot of issues being discussed both locally and on the national stage. Are you part of it? You can join the 30,000+ individuals already working together on the Action Committee for Rural Electrification® (ACRE). Membership in ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action® is easy, and for a couple of dollars a month, you can have a great impact on an important dialogue. Simply give us a call at (800) 545-5735. After you join, your electric bill will display a monthly ACRE membership fee of $2.08.

Complete form and mail to: CAEC, 103 Jesse Samuel Hunt Blvd. Prattville, AL 36066

Yes! Enroll me in ACRE so that MY voice can be heard in our nation’s capital! I understand a low membership fee of $2.08 will be added to my monthly electric bill.

Name______________________________ Account Number_________________ Address____________________________ Phone Number___________________ E-mail_____________________________ Signature________________________

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7/16/20 2:02 PM

| Our Sources Say |

Lessons from Admiral Stockdale T

hese are very unsettling times. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world, the country, the state and all of our communities very hard. Maybe you know someone, maybe a loved one, who didn’t survive the virus. I have been very fortunate thus far, in that I haven’t known anyone who has become a victim of the virus. We possibly haven’t yet seen the worst. The virus may have receded to some degree (and doctors know more about it and how to better treat those with it), but we don’t know if there will be a recurrence in the fall or winter. We will not be in the clear until there is an effective vaccine or effective treatment readily available and distributed. Equally important, we are just starting to experience the severe economic and societal repercussions of the COVID pandemic. Economic recovery will likely prove to be a very long road back. We are not sure what impacts the COVID pandemic will have on us, our businesses, or our lives, and what changes may result. The future is as uncertain as I have ever known. I was thinking about the future and how to cope with the present when I came across a story on Rear Admiral James Stockdale that I thought was pertinent to our situation today. The story is from an interview of Admiral Stockdale by Jim Collins that is included in Collins’ outstanding management book, Good to Great. Admiral Stockdale was the highest-ranking U.S. military officer held prisoner in the “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp during the Vietnam War. From 1965 to 1973, Stockdale was tortured at least 15 times, lived out the war with no prisoner rights, with no set release date, and with no certainty as to whether he would even survive or see his family again. One of the first questions Collins asked in his interview was how the Admiral dealt with those eight years — the uncertainty of his fate, the brutality of his captors. The Admiral answered, “I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.” “Who didn’t make it?” Collins asked. “Oh, that’s easy,” said Stockdale. “The optimists.” “The optimists? I don’t understand,” Collins said, now confused, given what Stockdale had said just moments earlier. “The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christ-

mas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.” Then, after a long pause, Stockdale said, “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be.” “To this day,” Collins wrote, “I carry a mental image of Stockdale admonishing the optimists: “We’re not getting out by Christmas; deal with it!” Admiral Stockdale wrote books on courage and leadership, including Courage Under Fire and In Love and War. He was obviously a fighter. He refused to compromise. He refused to give in, regardless of the cost. He disfigured himself with a stool and a razor, so his image could not be used to portray him as a well-treated prisoner of war. He attempted suicide because he was scared of being weak and giving up the secrets of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to the enemy. In his summary, Collins writes, “A key psychology for leading from good to great is the Stockdale Paradox: Retain absolute faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. And, at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality whatever they might be.” How then does the Stockdale Paradox, a business principle, relate personally to all of us in these days of quarantine, disorganized businesses, disrupted plans and possibly health challenges? How do we maintain through the COVID-19 crisis? The paradox offers this insight: Instead of saying optimistically, “It’s going to be over by such and such a date,” and wasting the days and months ahead of us because this situation can’t last long, we should rather face the harsh reality that no one knows when the end will be. We can’t allow the situation to destroy our will. We must confront the brutal consequences of the disease with discipline and resolve that with God’s help and an absolute faith we will prevail in the end. We have the opportunity to turn the experience into a defining event of our lives, which, in retrospect, we would not trade. Hopefully, this is a worthwhile lesson from an American hero. I hope you have a good month. Stay strong and safe.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

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7/13/20 2:43 PM

| Classifieds | How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): September 2019 Issue by July 25 October 2019 Issue by August 25 November 2019 Issue by September 25 Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower.com; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

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Answers to puzzle on Page 25

Alabama Living

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| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Illustration by Dennis Auth

Festivals in the age of social distancing


outherners have always liked to get together. Family reunions, church socials, birthday parties. We can even turn a funeral into a gathering. We particularly like festivals, and down in the South we have some humdingers. For example. Every year the town of Sally, South Carolina, hosts its annual Chitlin Strut, where everyone has a dandy time eating fried and boiled pig guts. Then there is the Marlington, West Virginia, Road Kill Festival, which features a cook-off where creative chefs prepare dishes which, according to the rules, Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hhjackson43@gmail.com

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“must have as their main ingredient any animal commonly found dead on the side of the road.” However, festivals are not always about food. Though eating something you would not normally eat seems to be an important criteria for having an event, these gatherings are often about doing things you always wanted to do but didn’t because your Mama probably wouldn’t approve. Like hollering. Which is what they do at the National Hollerin’ Contest held at Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina. A few years ago the winner was on the The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and you can still find it on the internet. Something more wholesome to do than trolling politics and porn. Pikesville, Kentucky, has Hillbilly Days, where local folks do all sorts of things they believe they would do if they were really

hillbillies. The main thing they do is shake down city slickers who pay big bucks to attend and who buy all sorts of doodads that local folks pass off as the real thing. Up north and out west they also have festivals, but they lack something. Out in Pullman, Washington, they have the National Lentil Festival, which promotes healthy eating. Sally, South Carolina, does not fear the competition. In California there is the Tarantula Awareness Festival, which features a “hairy leg contest.” OK, it is California where “awareness” is a big deal, but I’ll take a pass. Alabama is loaded with festivals – Google Alabama Festivals, pick one, and go to it. The Big Bug Fest in Tuscaloosa gives folks an opportunity to appreciate insects and even eat one – on purpose. There are festivals devoted to gospel music, the blues, and tacos. Talk about diversity. For years a group of civic-minded hunters down in Clarke County held the Armadillo Gourmet Society Wild Game Supper. The hunters cooked what they had killed. Their wives made desserts. Tickets were sold. Politicians showed up and contributed. And the money went to the Sheriffs’ Boys’ Ranch. Meanwhile, down on the Gulf Coast, some folks heard of an Oklahoma cow chip throwing contest, and decided to throw a fish instead. The result: Alabama’s most widely known contribution to the festival frenzy – the Flora-Bama International Mullet Toss. I have been there, done that, and got a T-shirt. But not this year. The virus that has done so much damage to the nation has caused festivals to be canceled in Alabama and beyond. Someone suggested that wearing a mask could keep out the smell of chitlins as well as any germs lurking around, but it is kinda hard to eat when your mouth is covered. As for tossing fish, anyone who has ever been to the Flora-Bama wing-ding knows that social distancing just ain’t gonna happen. With that in mind, organizers of the event have postponed the throwing until a later date. They are not alone. All around the state concerned folks are putting up TBA postings to let everyone know that the future is uncertain. So, we must wait it out. Meanwhile those who can should fire up the grill, turn some ice cream, and make the best of a bad situation. Something Alabamians are good at. www.alabamaliving.coop

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CALL FOR ENTRIES Alabama Rural Electric Association’s

11 Quilt Competition th

Our 2021 theme is: First responders

Mail, or E-mail form below for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is January 29, 2021.

Name:_________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________ City, State Zip:___________________________________________ Mail to: Linda Partin AREA E-mail:_________________________________________________ 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 Phone:_________________________________________________ Cooperative:____________________________________________ or Phone: 334-215-2732 E-mail: lpartin@areapower.com (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)

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Proposed Bylaws Changes for 2020 Annual Meeting When Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) was first incorporated in 1938, the foundational document that governs the affairs of the Cooperative, commonly called Bylaws, was established. During our nearly 82 years of existence, the Bylaws have been amended in order to maintain their relevancy in a changing utility business environment. The last changes were made by the members at the annual meeting in 2015, and now, following a review, the board is recommending changes for another vote by the membership. The following summary explains the changes; however, if you’d like copies of the current and proposed Bylaws, you can call (800) 545-5735, come by one of the service centers or go online at www.caec.coop and click on the Bylaws link. Spanish versions are also available. Article I, Sections 1.01, 1.02, 1.06, 1.08, and 1.09 mainly contain modernizing language and clarification changes. It recognizes updated business entities and authorizes, and if approved by the Board of Trustees, the use of electronic agreements for membership applications as authorized by Alabama law. Article II, Sections 2.02 and 2.03 contain clarification changes to existing language as to the procedure for holding a hearing and deletes the use of the antiquated phrase “central station” for electricity services. Article III, Sections 3.01, 3.05, 3.06 include additions that offer more precise language to conform to existing provisions. Article IV, Sections 4.07, 4.08, and 4.12 include either a rearrangement of wording to better reflect the meaning or clarification of wording. Article V, Section 5.06 is a new section entitled ‘Electronic Communication Participation.’ The wording reads: “When such electronic communication participation by a trustee is otherwise authorized by a policy or resolution adopted by the Board, the members of the Board may participate in meetings of the Board of Trustees by means of conference telephone or other means of electronic communication by which all trustees participating in the meeting can hear each other during the meeting, and participation in a meeting in accordance herewith shall be deemed to constitute presence in person at such meeting for these Bylaws and all other purposes.” Article VI, Section 6.05 clarifies the duties of the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Article VII has no changes. Article VIII, Section 8.02 includes clarification wording either through additional words or by the rearrangement of the current wording. It also makes clear the timing of the retirements of patronage capital is determined by the Board of Trustees. Article IX contains word additions for better understanding. Article X has no changes. Article XI includes a word addition. Article XII, Sections 12.02 and 12.03 updates the language regarding the effectiveness of the proposed amendments if approved by the members.

Remember to vote on these proposed Bylaws on the ballot in the July Alabama Living magazine or by requesting a ballot

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Or listen by phone at: 1-844-890-7777 Access Code: 183436311 Register by mail & receive a $5 credit on your September bill & chances at door prizes including a $500 cash grand door prize Attend the virtual business meeting & receive an additional $10 bill credit



4 p.m.: Charged up about electric vehicles

Begins at 6 p.m.:

4:35 p.m.: Expensive home problems & how to pay for them

Statement of quorum Audit, officer & management reports Certification of Trustee election

5:00 p.m.: Central Access broadband update

Unfinished business

5:30 p.m.: Broadband availability and your role

Grand prize drawing

New business Adjournment

Also streaming live on: www.caec.coop/annualmeeting2020

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Profile for Alabama Living

August 2020 Central Alabama  

August 2020 Central Alabama