January 2022 Clarke-Washington

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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News January 2022

ClarkeWashıngton

ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORP.

Making a difference

in the community and the State House Legislative preview

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Manager Steve Sheffield Co-op Editor Sarah Turner 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.

Tooling up for 2022

26 F E A T U R E S

VOL. 75 NO. 1

JANUARY 2022

Pets in clothes 9 Pets wearing human clothes can

make for some pretty cute photos, as our readers prove this month.

ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

AREA President Karl Rayborn Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Law Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Danny Weston Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Production Coordinator Brooke Echols

January may be a slow month in the garden, but it can be a busy and productive month in your garden shed, garage, basement or wherever your gardening tools are waiting out the winter.

Magic Moments 18 This statewide organization helps

make wishes come true for children with serious illnesses.

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Baking bread

Many of us took up baking bread last year as we found ourselves spending more time at home. Our readers shared their favorite recipes.

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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

D E P A R T M E N T S 11 Spotlight 21 Legislative Directory 32 Outdoors 33 Fish & Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 42 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER

Look for this logo to see more content online! Printed in America from American materials

State Rep. Jeremy Gray of Opelika, a former college and pro football player, business owner and community advocate, knows how to build support across the political aisle. Story, Page 12. PHOTO: Julie Bennett

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

ONLINE: EMAIL: MAIL:

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

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Office Locations Jackson Office 9000 Highway 43 P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 (251) 246-9081 Chatom Office 19120 Jordan Street P.O. Box 453 Chatom, AL 36518 (251) 847-2302 Toll Free Number (800) 323-9081 Office Hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday (Drive-thru Hours)

Payment Options Mail P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 P.O. Box 453 Chatom, AL 36518 Office During normal office hours at our Chatom and Jackson offices. Phone (855) 870-0403 Online www.cwemc.com Night Deposit 24/7 at Jackson & Chatom CWEMC App Available from the App Store and Google Play

Working with our elected officials “All politics is local.” This observation by the late Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr., former Speaker of the House of Representatives, means that even national politics have a local impact, and people care most about issues that directly affect them. Indirectly, this famous adage underscores the importance and value of local politics.

As the Alabama Legislature kicks off a new session and debate continues in Washington on critical issues related to the utility industry, we’ve dedicated a section of this month’s magazine to our elected officials. Change is inevitable, especially in politics. The state is required to redistrict political districts following each new Census which occurs every 10 years. So, there will be changes in political districts across our fourcounty service area. At Clarke-Washington EMC, we think it’s critically important to develop and cultivate relationships with our legislators because they craft, introduce and vote on legislation that impacts the local business climate, the environment and quality of life for our community. That’s why we work closely with our elected officials. After all, our purpose is to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy, but our mission is to help our community thrive. Clarke-Washington EMC is a local business that powers economic development and prosperity for our region. As a cooperative, we have deep roots here, and we listen closely to our members to better understand the needs of the community. Our leadership, board members and employees live and work right here in the community we serve. We strive to be an advocate for our community, ensuring that legislators know, understand and act on the issues that are important to our area. As a practical matter, we recognize that most legislators are “generalists,” yet they vote on a wide range of issues. Their expertise may not include the changing energy industry, which is why Clarke-Washington EMC and other electric cooperatives across the country provide guidance and expertise from subject matter experts who’ve been in the energy industry for many years. Today’s energy landscape is an increasingly

complex topic covering not only the traditional engineering and vegetation management aspects of the industry, but also technology, cybersecurity, the electrification of the transportation sector and more. Changes in federal regulation have resulted in the closure of many coal-fired power plants including PowerSouth’s Lowman Power Plant in Leroy. This has caused a greater dependence on renewables and natural gas for generation. Unfortunately, natural gas prices can be extremely volatile resulting in instability in prices. As a result of recent increases in the cost of natural gas, we made a slight adjustment to our wholesale power cost adjustment from 43 to 46 mills. Our experts provide briefings and background information to legislators, committees and staff, and we offer expert testimony for hearings and other legislative or regulatory meetings or gatherings. And because we’re involved in economic development and we know local community leaders, we can provide insight on how issues and policies under discussion might impact our region. We strive to be a trusted resource on energy issues. Because of our deep roots in the community, we have a firm understanding of local issues and needs. We will continue looking after the long-term interests of our consumer-members and trying to protect against policies that threaten affordable and reliable power. This means we are able to cultivate and foster positive, productive relationships with legislators who know and trust us, because we’re advocating on behalf of the community we serve. We’re proud to power your life and bring good things to the community. We hope you’ll continue to advise us on matters of importance so we can continue to advocate on your behalf and improve the quality of life for all.

Steve Sheffield General Manager

Bank Draft CheckOut Pay where you shop at any Dollar General, Family Dollar and CVS Pharmacy. 4  JANUARY 2022

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Service Awards 2021

| Clarke-Washington EMC |

DAVID ATCHISON 45 YEARS

LEROY MITCHELL 20 YEARS

AUSTIN ROBERTS 15 YEARS

KATHY BROWN 10 YEARS

BLAKE DUNAGAN 10 YEARS

DALE NEWTON 10 YEARS

HAROLD HOVEN 40 YEARS RETIRED

STEVE BRANNAN 32 YEARS RETIRED

Thank you for your service and commitment to Clarke-Washington EMC members. Alabama Living

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| Clarke-Washington EMC |

ARE YOU A K-12 EDUCATOR? If you are a K-12 educator interested in teaching your students more about energy, EMPOWER is for you. This Energy Education Workshop provides an exciting opportunity to learn about electric generation and distribution, with a focus on energy education and fun ways to integrate it into your classroom, using curriculum designed for your students.

Learning about Energy can be Energizing!

REGISTRATION DEADLINE FEBRUARY 28, 2022 *limited availability

Other benefits: • Continuing Education Credits for each participant who completes the workshop. • Excellent materials, including a NEED Science of Energy Kit, a class-set of NEED Energy Infobooks (at grade level), access to all NEED Curriculum Guides and supplemental resources.

EMPOWER DATES JUNE 26-JUNE 29, 2022

Interested? Please Contact

• Opportunities to network with fellow educators.

Sarah Turner at CWEMC 251-246-9081

CWEMC pays property taxes In December, Clarke-Washington paid $440,261.94 in ad valorem taxes in Clarke, Washington, Wilcox and Monroe counties. The taxes are based on the assessed value of property, plant and equipment the cooperative owns in each county. The largest tax amount was paid to Washington County Revenue Commissioner Mary Ann Dees.

Steve Sheffield pays Clarke County property taxes to Tyler Montana Prescott

Polly Odom pays Washington County property taxes to Mary Ann Dees.

Art Dees pays Wilcox County property taxes to Juanita Kendrick.

Art Dees pays Monroe County property taxes to Elizabeth Saucer.

The cooperative paid $203,115.10 in taxes based on the assessed value of the cooperative’s assets in that county. Taxes paid to other counties included: Clarke, $190,085.86; Monroe, $24,224.02; and Wilcox $22,836.96. 6  JANUARY 2022

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO: • Tour our state and national capitals, • Make friends from around the country, • Meet your U.S. Representatives and Senators, • Learn more about your local electric cooperative • Experience the trip of a lifetime? If you answered yes, apply for your chance to be a part of the Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Students selected to attend Montgomery Youth Tour will receive a $500 scholarship and D.C. Youth Tour winners will receive an additional $500 scholarship. To find out more information, contact Youth Tour Coordinator Sarah Turner by calling (251) 246-9081.

2022

JANUARY 17 JANUARY 25 MARCH 15-17 JUNE 19-24

ESSAYS DUE INTERVIEWS MONTGOMERY YOUTH TOUR D.C. YOUTH TOUR

Electric Cooperative Foundation Scholarship Are you graduating from high school this spring? Are you a dependent of a member of Clarke-Washington EMC? If so, you are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Electric Cooperative Foundation. This spring the cooperative will be awarding eight scholarships across the Clarke-Washington EMC service area for students to continue their education at post-secondary, vocational/technical and linemen school. For more details about this scholarship, obtain a copy of a scholarship application from your high school guidance counselor, visit cwemc.com, or call: Sarah Turner, Clarke-Washington EMC (251) 246-9081. Don’t wait; applications with all required attachments must be received, no postmarks, no later than February 18, 2022.

Alabama Living

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Five ways to stay cozy this winter When you’re feeling chilly at home, there are several budget-friendly ways you can keep comfortable without turning up the thermostat. Here are five easy ways to stay cozy this winter. Whether you’re experiencing extremely cold winter temps or you simply “run cold,” an electric blanket can deliver quick warmth like a regular throw or blanket cannot. Electric blankets can include a variety of features, like timers and dual temperature settings (if your cuddle buddy prefers less heat). This winter, consider an electric blanket instead of turning up the heat, and your energy bill will thank you. One of the easiest ways to stay cozy at home is to keep your feet warm. Our feet play a critical role in regulating body temperature, so when your feet are warm, your body automatically feels warmer. Try a pair of comfortable wool socks or house slippers to stay toasty. On winter days when the sun is shining, take advantage and harness natural warmth from sunlight. Open all curtains, drapes and blinds in your home to let the sunshine in––you’ll be able to feel the difference. Another way to make your home cozier is to use a humidifier. Cold air doesn’t hold water vapor like warm air, so by adding humidity inside your home,

you can feel a little warmer. A favorable level of humidity inside your home can also help clear sinuses, soften skin and improve sleep. Beyond adding visual appeal to your home, area rugs can also provide extra insulation and a warm surface for your feet on cold winter days. Use large area rugs in rooms where you spend the most time. You’ll enjoy the new colors and textures of the rug, and the additional warmth will help keep your home comfortable. These are just a few ways you can stay cozy this winter without turning up the thermostat. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!

SUDS and SAVINGS 1. WASH WITH COLD WATER. TRY A COLD-WATER DETERGENT FOR A BRILLIANT CLEAN!

2. WASH FULL LOADS WHEN POSSIBLE. 3. DRY HEAVIER COTTONS SEPARATELY. 4. USE WOOD OR RUBBER DRYER BALLS TO KEEP CLOTHES SEPARATED FOR FASTER DRYING. 5. CLEAN THE LINT FILTER AFTER EACH DRYING CYCLE. 8  JANUARY 2022

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| Alabama Snapshots |

Dressed up pets

Axil in his p.j.s. SUBMITTED BY Miranda Byford, Hartselle.

Hannah, age 9, loves to dress up all our animals, including Rosie the chicken! SUBMITTED BY Debbie Wingo, Lincoln.

Lola says, “There is no doggone way that the Braves wouldn’t win the World Series!” SUBMITTED by Krista Habron, Ashford.

March theme: “Baby Farm Animals” Deadline to submit: January 31. Online: alabamaliving.coop Mail: Snapshots P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 Alabama Living

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Chunky Luke Mushroom dressed up as entertainer Bruno Mars. SUBMITTED by Jennifer Triolo, Madison.

Jessica Stephenson with Stark in matching Tennessee Vols jerseys. SUBMITTED BY Alabama Living Creative Director, Mark Stephenson.

SUBMIT to WIN $10!

Include your social media handle with photo submissions to be featured on our Facebook and Instagram!

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 and Instagram pages. 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 | January 'Travels with Darley’ tours Alabama civil rights sites Alabama will be in the media spotlight in the PBS TV series “Travels with Darley,” which takes viewers around the world with six-time Emmy Award-nominated host Darley Newman. Using locals as guides, she helps viewers experience culture, cuisine, history and outdoor adventure. Darley’s tour of Alabama highlights civil rights sites in Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery as well as local food destinations in each of the cities. Darley interviewed foot soldiers, museum directors and executive chefs during her visit. The Alabama Tourism Department helped coordinate a production team from the show when they visited Alabama in 2021. The Alabama Civil Rights Trail episode will premiere this winter and will be the series premiere for the ninth season of “Travels with Darley.” Visit darley-newman.com.

Gov. Kay Ivey introduces the Drive Electric Alabama initiative at an event in Birmingham. PHOTO COURTESY HAL YEAGER/GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

Learn more about EVs with Drive Electric Alabama Drive Electric Alabama is the state’s electric vehicle education and marketing program, which was officially launched Nov. 29. The program is designed to raise awareness and advocate for the eventual adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Alabama by engaging and educating residents about the benefits of EVs, both in their everyday lives and the state’s economic future. The initial marketing campaign, known as “Electric Gets You There,” stresses the cost savings associated with EVs as well as their functionality. The campaign will include TV, radio and digital advertising, as well as billboards and events aimed at increasing Alabamians’ awareness surrounding EV technology, affordability, charging and other topics. The initiative is headed by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). For more, visit driveelectricalabama.com. 10  JANUARY 2022

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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

‘Raisins’ column brought back memories

Your short story (Hardy Jackson's Alabama, December) resonated so deeply to my most cherished memories of childhood and Christmas while growing up in Troy, Alabama. At Christmas, the children received a new pair of shoes that Santa had removed from the box and sat beside the box. The shoebox for each child contained delicious goodies that were sparse until Christmas. The box contained apples, oranges, tangerines, peppermint candy, orange slice candy, bon bons (yellow, white and pink), brazil nuts and walnuts. The most coveted, wished for and long-awaited best treasure was “raisins on the stem.” I loved the ones with seeds. We grew up, I attended Troy State in my hometown, and Daddy and Mama continued to purchase raisins for the Christmas goodies. They became harder and harder to find. The corner store on the square in Troy closed, but he searched the nearby town of Goshen and located some. Daddy died in 1996 and my mama and mother-in-law continued the search. Mama passed in 2008. My mother-in-law last found some in 2013. She died in 2015. They say stemmed raisins aren’t processed anymore. So unfortunate and sad. They were a part of everything that said, “It’s Christmas.” Thank you for sharing that very special memory. Annye Jewelle Jones-Allen, Montgomery

Dumplings in heaven

Your Aunt Anne, Daddy and raisins story in the December issue brought a sweet memory to me. It is very similar to ours. My sweet grandmother lived in South Mississippi and was known for her yummy chicken and dumplings. She made them almost every Sunday and if there was a potluck or dinner on the ground everyone expected and looked forward to “Miss Vernie’s” chicken and dumplings. My mother made them exactly like my grandmother, so all of my life I enjoyed them and it became one of my very favorite things. In 1985 we moved from Arkansas to Alabama with my husband’s job. One trip home, I asked my mother to make them for me and after taking the first bite, I closed my eyes and said, “I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.” Of course, my mother loved that. Then I asked her, “Mother, will there be chicken and dumplings in heaven?” She said, “Honey, if your grandmother is in heaven they are having chicken and dumplings.” Something else to look forward to when we get to heaven. Thanks again for the memory. You’ve not only brought a smile to my face but a sweet and emotional memory of both my grandmother and mother who are both in heaven today. Glynis Steele, Decatur www.alabamaliving.coop

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January | Spotlight

Take us along!

We’ve enjoyed seeing photos from our readers on their travels with Alabama Living! Please send us a photo of you with a copy of the magazine on your travels to: mytravels@alabamaliving.coop. Please include your name, hometown and electric cooperative, and the location of your photo and include your social media handle so we can tag you! We’ll draw a winner for the $25 prize each month.

Laura & David Lazzari, members of Baldwin EMC, took their magazine to Companeros in Dorset, Minnesota. Dorset, a small town known as “The Restaurant Capital of the World,” has four restaurants and a population of 23, but employs just short of 200 in the summer.

Danny and Sandy McKinney took their magazine to Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, while celebrating their 40th anniversary. They are from Russellville and members of Franklin Electric Cooperative.

Find the hidden

dingbat!

Cary and Rusty Phillips of Montgomery and their grandchildren Emerson and Rowan traveled to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. They are members of Dixie Electric Cooperative.

Jeannie and Danny Russell, members of Baldwin EMC from Hampton Cove, attended a Cubs vs Cardinals game at Wrigley Field in Chicago last July. Sponsored by

First, to all of you who wrote us that your magazine arrived too late to meet the deadline for submitting your “Dingbat” answers, no worries. With printing and mailing delays that seem to occur every month, we always allow a few extra days for everyone to get their entries in to us. The gingerbread man was hiding on page 25, but several readers found a similar gingerbread man on the tree in the advertisement for Alpine Helen on Page 27. Remember, we will never hide the dingbat in an ad (this one was pure coincidence). We enjoy hearing from all our readers who enjoy the contest, including Jessica Morris, who writes that her children, age 5 and 8, Alabama Living

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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 Jan. 10 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the February issue. Submit by email: whereville@ alabamaliving. coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Do you like finding interesting or unusual landmarks? Contribute a photo you took for an upcoming issue! Remember, all readers whose photos are chosen also win $25! December’s answer: This “iron man” was one of many metal clones commissioned around the 1920s by a Bessemer pharmacist to sell his liver tonic, VegaCal. Of all the other “iron man” statues, this one in Morgan County, at the intersection of Ironman Road and Highway 36 west of Hartselle, is believed to be the lone survivor. (Photo contributed by Jim Plott of Prattville, Ala.) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Paul Daniel Carroll of Joe Wheeler EMC. (Due to the late arrival of some magazines, we extended the December deadline for responses.) hunt for it together. “This month our 5-year-old found it by himself in about 2 minutes. He ran outside to tell my husband as my husband hung Christmas lights. Then he circled it big and told his sister it was taken care of and he’d share the prize with her.” Linda Barefoot, a member of Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative, said her 89-year-old client loves to look for the dingbat and found it without even using a magnifying glass. Congratulations to our randomly drawn correct guess winner, Barbara Lawson of Robertsdale. This month, we’ve hidden an ice skate. Good luck, and send in your guesses by Jan. 10. By mail:

Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com JANUARY 2022  11

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From hometown to the House Lawmaker builds on legacy of giving back, public service By Allison Law

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n March 2019, Jeremy Gray – former college and pro football player, business owner, budding community advocate – was preparing to enter yet another realm: state politics. Gray’s predecessor in District 83, state Rep. George Bandy, died in early 2018, and Gray was elected that November. The 2019 session was set to convene March 5. Gray, one of the youngest members of the state House of Representatives, knew he had a lot to learn. The lessons came at him hard and fast. On March 3 – two days before the 2019 session – an EF-4 tornado with winds up to 170 mph devastated the area near Beauregard in Lee County, in the heart of Gray’s district. Twenty-three people were killed, with 90 people injured. “If I was scared of anything, when that tornado hit my district two days before I went into session, any (fears) I didn’t have anymore. I was literally on the ground working, in helicopters trying to help people, doing interviews, trying to raise money, trying to just find ways to really help Lee County. “If I was going to be a little timid or shy, I didn’t have the opportunity to be.”

Leaving home

Gray grew up in Opelika, in what he recalls was a true community. The watchful eyes of church members, business owners and older relatives were enough to keep everyone safe. His mom kept him busy with sports, knowing it would help keep him out of trouble. But she made it clear that to play, he had to do his schoolwork. “You had to get your education, but you also had to perform and stay out of trouble,” he says.

State Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika, in the garden at the Curtis House, the non-profit he created to be a ‘resource hub’ for the community. It’s named for Gray’s great-grandfather, who he says had a servant’s heart. PHOTO BY JULIE BENNETT

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It was almost a given that Gray, a standout three-sport athlete at Opelika High School, would play for Auburn. But he was recruited by other schools, including North Carolina State University in Raleigh. His mother and the Auburn coaches were disappointed that he chose to leave, but he says it was “a gut feeling.” “When I think about me being a very shy child, not really wanting to speak, an introvert, I think (going to N.C. State) really blossomed my personality,” he says. After graduation, he played Arena football and Canadian football for a few years. But football, he says, is “a short part of your life.”

A life of health and wellness

in Alabama is just a relationship builder,” he says. Another point in his favor: He really is a hometown kid. “(Republican State Sen.) Randy Price’s son and I were on the same football team, right? So I have a relationship outside of politics where people … know me in a different light.” Part of that different light for Gray is his commitment to good health. He’s a vegan (he doesn’t eat meat or dairy), and he and a couple of other legislators work out every morning during the session. And he’s an avid practitioner of yoga. Even if you don’t follow politics, you probably heard about “the yoga bill.” That was Gray’s doing.

He returned to Opelika and started Elevate Your Grind, a Getting bills passed For three years, Gray introduced a bill to end Alabama’s ban for-profit sports training business. But it’s more than training. on yoga in schools; his bill finally passed in 2021. The bill allows “It’s kind of like a lifestyle. It’s a community. It’s health. It’s wellschools to offer yoga as an elective class or activity, and is limited ness. It’s sports. It’s being a better you.” to poses, exercises and stretching techniques. When he decided to create a non-profit, it made sense to marry Gray told al.com at the time that yoga can help children with his message of health with community advocacy. His non-profit their mental health, clarity, stress relief and concentration. The Curtis House is built on land once owned by Gray’s great-grandlaw does not allow chanting or mantras or religious instruction. father, Lottie B. Curtis, in Opelika. Curtis was a World War II vetWhile that may have been Gray’s introduction to much of the eran, church deacon and sharecropper, but above all was a comstate (and the nation), he is munity servant, Gray says. also proud of the work he’s This current structure is done as a member of the Ala “resource hub,” Gray exabama Innovation Commisplains. Free legal services sion. are provided twice a month. That statewide group was It hosts a mentoring and created by Gov. Kay Ivey tutoring program for K-12 in 2020 to focus on entrestudents. Once a month is preneurship, innovation wellness weekend, with a 1.5and technology. The group mile walk/run and healthy brought together private secfood distribution. Festivals tor experts and state policycelebrate the holidays while makers to develop policies feeding the needy. to support job creation and “It’s the Curtis House, but workforce development. it’s really the community’s Two bills came out of the house, right? Anyone can commission, both of which come here who needs help. Ivey signed. Gray sponsored Kids come over here all the HB609, which creates the time to hang out. We just want this to be a safe haven Gray, second from left, stands behind Gov. Kay Ivey at the signing for two bills Innovate Alabama Matching Grant program to promote in the community.” put forward by the Alabama Innovation Commission. PHOTO BY HAL YEAGER/GOVERNOR’S OFFICE research and development. It was the process of get(The other bill, HB540, esting the Curtis House off the tablishes the Alabama Innovation Corporation, which would ground that sparked his future in politics. Even though he knew a primarily be charged with making Alabama a hub for technology lot of people, he was constantly seeking help. He felt that the area and innovation and supporting activities and initiatives that enneeded someone to run for public office to be a real liaison to the hance this growth.) community. “We also have to have an education portion, where we’re actu“So I wasn’t looking for politics. It was more like a calling, ally helping kids excel in science and math,” Gray says. And that right? It was just a need, and I just wanted to be that person to includes recruiting more science and math teachers, especially in actually show people that you could do anything.” rural areas. After Bandy died, he thought, “maybe that’s a sign that I’m doPerhaps because of his youth – Gray is 36 – he felt very attuned ing what I’m supposed to do.” to the goals of the commission, especially in terms of how the At the State House state can attract and retain young, forward-thinking people. He Gray has cultivated a rapport with members on both sides of sees the need to cultivate young people who want to build ideas the aisle. Part of it is his affable nature, but he knows the political in the technology and business spaces. reality: His district is Democratic, but he’s surrounded by Repub“We need those professionals to really guide us and direct us licans. Being in the minority party means that forging relationon what will really help Alabama move forward in technology.” ships with the other side is critical to getting any business done. His sports background has been a huge help. “Sometimes sports For more of this story, visit alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living

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Productive session in the forecast for Alabama Legislature By Minnie Lamberth

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hen the Alabama Legislature begins its regular session on Jan. 11, the budgets that fund education and state government should be in good shape. “Both education and general fund will probably be the strongest budgets we’ve seen,” says Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, who serves as House Majority Leader. “Because of the amount of federal money that’s been put into our state — I think some $46 billion over the past couple of years — the numbers that we see in our budgets are going to be larger than they normally would, so we’ve got to bear that in Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter mind. But we’ll have two good budgets this year, and we certainly look forward to working with those and trying to figure out what needs to happen with them.” In addition to funding education and public services for the next fiscal year, legislators will consider bills addressing a variety of other topics of interest, including second-amendment protections, anti-rioting measures, mental health initiatives, and personal property taxes. “The personal property tax issue has been looming for a long time, and I think that’s a tax that’s unfair to businesses,” Ledbetter says. Legislation that he believes has a good chance of passing “is going to allow small businesses and family farms to be exempt from the first $40,000 in personal property tax.” In addition, the education system will get attention in legislation introduced by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, intended to improve test scores in math. Ultimately, Ledbetter says, “I think this will be a very, very productive session for the people of our state.” Federal funding from the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, the legislation signed into law by President Biden on Nov. 15, will also be a key concern as legislators consider opportunities for Alabama. Ledbetter says that they’ll be looking especially at the electric vehicle (EV) component. “The automotive sector in our state has over 40,000 jobs. We’re one of the top automotive manufacturing states in the country, so the investment in EV research is going to be big in our state.” Funding to build a network of EV charging stations in the state is also included in the new law. 14  JANUARY 2022

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High interest in broadband expansion

The expansion of high-speed internet access is another area of high interest. “It looks like we’ll get somewhere around $100 million for broadband,” Ledbetter says. In previous years, when allocating state funding to expand broadband, Ledbetter says, “We’ve been very successful in partnering with companies around the state.” By using a grant structure, companies have been able to apply for those funds and then use them for broadband expansion. Though nothing is concrete, Ledbetter adds, “I would expect this could be something similar.” The need is vast, depending on location — whether in unserved rural areas or underserved metropolitan areas. In the latter cases, Ledbetter says the bandwidth isn’t as great as it should be, especially now that people use high-speed internet to stream entertainment, to work from home, and to participate in virtual school when necessary. Altogether, he says there are 350,000 people in the state who aren’t being served by broadband, and the numbers in underserved areas are even higher than that. “The $100 million is certainly going to be a boost, but it’s still a long way from where it needs to be.” The state will also see $400 million a year over a five-year period for roads and bridges, while additional resources will be dedicated to clean drinking water, protecting from cyber attack and a number of other areas. “It’s a broad range of lots of things, and as time goes, we’ll see how it all plays out,” Ledbetter says. The resiliency of the state’s electrical grid is another issue to keep in sight. “I think in Alabama we’re blessed. We’ve got companies that look out for our ability to deliver over the grid. Some states not as much.” However, he adds, “The federal government has mandated that there be so much renewable (energy) down the road that we’re not making electricity with natural resources such as coal and gas like we were. I think that creates a problem with our grid when we don’t have the stability of those products that we once had.” Some states have a heavy reliance on wind turbines and sun, though Alabama is not in that position. “I think we’ve probably tried too quickly across the country to go to renewables,” he says. “We’ve been able to keep Alabama stronger, but the more regulations the federal government puts on, the harder it’s going to be,” Ledbetter says. “As far as the Legislature, we’ve got to help our companies make sure that they are able to keep a strong, reliable grid, with legislation that is proactive for them.” www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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Group strives to brighten the lives of seriously ill children

PHOTOS COURTESY MAGIC MOMENTS

By John N. Felsher

M

ost people grow up with big dreams of becoming a movie star, astronaut or pro ball player, but very few achieve those goals. Later in life, many people scale back those lofty dreams and create more reasonable “bucket lists” for what they want to accomplish before their time comes. Not everyone gets decades to fulfill those dreams. For young people and their families struggling with serious medical issues, those dreams and wishes could boil down to just one good wish. To most people, that one wish sounds as routine as riding a horse, going to an amusement park or a ball game. For those children and their 16  JANUARY 2022

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families struggling with life-threatening medical issues, such “magic moments” can make a huge difference in their lives. Fortunately, some people want to help make those wishes come true for seriously ill children. One such Alabama organization, Magic Moments, tries to arrange for those children to experience that one thing they really wanted to do in life. “Our mission is to provide non-medical wishes, what we consider ‘magic moments,’ for children in Alabama,” says Sandy Naramore, executive director of Magic Moments. “The wishes are for children ages 4 to 18 years old who have chronic, life-threatening conditions. Our goal is to

bring happiness to a child. It could be a trip to Disney World, a puppy, horseback riding lessons and many other wishes. Whatever the child wants, we try to accommodate that wish.” Based in Birmingham, Naramore made a career of teaching special education classes. She also served as a school administrator and assistant principal. About 15 years ago, she retired from the school system to run a center for children with autism. “Getting involved with Magic Moments was my calling,” Naramore says. “When I retired from the school system, I ran Mitchell’s Place in Birmingham. It’s a comprehensive center for kids on the autism www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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spectrum. I did that for nine years. During that time, I got to know the mission of Magic Moments. I had always said there was only one thing in Birmingham that could get me to leave Mitchell’s Place, and it was Magic Moments.” Founded by Shelley Clark and Buffy Marks, Magic Moments began in 1984 with the goal of bringing happiness to chronically ill children. Clark had a daughter with a serious illness. That first year, they helped grant the wishes of three children. Since then, they’ve helped more than 5,000 children enjoy a magic moment. Hospital staff, social workers and others refer children to Magic Moments. Magic Moments staff evaluates the case and works with the child’s doctors to see what they can do to put a smile on that youngster without endangering that child. “At Magic Moments, we are not medical people,” Naramore says. “We ask the family detailed questions, get the child’s diagnosis and history. We love to hear their stories. Then, we try to grant their wish, if possible.” Over the years, Magic Moments has taken many children to places they wanted to visit, let them experience many activities and arranged for them to meet their heroes. For example, one child wanted to go on a family camping trip to Colorado and learn how to fly fish. Another little girl wanted to experience life as a pastry chef. Magic Moments arranged for her to visit New York City and get private pastry lessons where she learned how to make cakes in the shape of a purse. “We’ve had some fabulous requests,” Naramore says. “One little girl from the Mobile area was a ballerina. When she learned she had cancer, she could not perform or continue her lessons. She wanted to go to New York and see The Nutcracker at Christmas. We arranged for her to go backstage and meet the dancers. Another boy wanted to become a pianist. Ellis Piano in Birmingham worked with us on the price and shipped it for free.” In Alabama, Magic Moments usually does more group than individual activities. Around Halloween, they take children

trick-or-treating in their hospitals. Sometimes, they go to a ball game or an entertainment park. They take the children to Children’s Harbor at Lake Martin every year for Memorial Day. “We spend three days and two nights at a family camp,” Naramore says. “About 350 people will attend that camp because it’s for the whole family. At Christmas, we do a breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus. At ‘Bama Lights, Lisa Settembrino and K.C. Komer, two incredible people, decorate their property with Christmas lights and collect money for us. We do a reveal there with Santa Claus surprising a child with his or her magic moment. At Easter three years ago, Gov. Kay Ivey invited our families to an Easter egg hunt at the mansion.” In the past, Magic Moments took children to Hawaii or sent them on Caribbean cruises. However, they no longer take any children outside of the continental United States for safety reasons. “When a child has a fragile medical condition, goes far from home and becomes ill, it creates a very difficult situation for the family to get needed medical services and to get back home,” Naramore says. Every wish takes money and people. The average “magic moment” costs about $5,000 and the organization hopes to grant 100 every year. Magic Moments does fundraisers throughout the year, but the small staff can use help every day. Magic Moments relies heavily upon volunteers to help with various projects and other efforts. “Doing something for a child is so unbelievably rewarding to us adults,” Naramore says. “It’s so heartwarming, but unfortunately, it’s also very hard on us. We become very attached to our families and get to know them like our own families. We see them throughout the year and visit the children in the hospital. We take them some goodies or do whatever we can to brighten their day.” To get involved, call 205-777-5700 or send an email to info@magicmoments.org. Or visit the website at www.magicmoments. org. On page 16, a Magic Moments family enjoys a trip to OWA, the amusement park and shopping area in Foley; this page, from top, Auburn cheerleaders and Aubie celebrate an upcoming trip to DisneyWorld with a Magic Moments child; a family has some special time at Children’s Harbor on Lake Martin; Sandy Naramore and a young friend at Children’s of Alabama; and a large group outing at OWA.

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www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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www.alabamaliving.coop

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State of Alabama Senate

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To contact Senators: (334) 261-0800

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Emails via: legislature.state.al.us

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Alabama’s 2022 State Senate and House of Representatives and their respective legislative district numbers are shown on the following three pages. A listing of all senators and representatives by electric cooperative is on Page 24. JANUARY 2022  21

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State of Alabama House of Representatives

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Speaker of the House

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Huntsville Area


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Montgomery River Region

To contact Representatives: (334) 261-0500

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STATE SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES BY COOPERATIVE Arab Electric Cooperative Inc Senator Garlan Gudger

District

Covington EC District

4

Clay Scofield

9

Will Barfoot Donnie Chesteen

9 11 22

Tommy Hanes, Jr. Kerry Rich Wesley Kitchens

23 26 27

Representative

Representative Scott Stadthagen Randall Shedd Ritchie Whorton

Senator

Jeff Sorrells Chris Sells

Baldwin EMC

Cullman EC

Senator

Senator

Greg Albritton

22

Chris Elliott

32

Representative Harry Shiver Brett Easterbrook Alan Baker Thomas Jackson

64 65 66 68

Joe Faust Steve McMillan Matt Simpson Napoleon Bracy, Jr.

94 95 96 98

Arthur Orr Garlan Gudger Proncey Robertson Scott Stadthagen Randall Shedd

Dixie EC

Senator

Senator 21 22

Malika Sanders Fortier 23 Bobby Singleton 24

61 62 65 67

Thomas Jackson Kelvin J. Lawrence A J McCampbell Ralph Howard

68 69 71 72

Tom Whatley Clyde Chambliss

27 30

Kelvin J. Lawrence Ralph Howard Reed Ingram Ed Oliver Wil Dismukes

69 72 75 81 88

Representative Rodney Sullivan Rich Wingo Brett Easterbrook Prince Chestnut

Central Alabama EC Senator April Weaver 14 Malika Sanders Fortier 23

Representative Mike Holmes Ben Robbins Van Smith Russell Bedsole Prince Chestnut

31 33 42 49 67

Cherokee EC

25 29

Jimmy Holley

31

87 90

Rhett Marques Mike Jones

91 92

Randy Price Malika Sanders-Fortier Will Barfoot Kirk Hatcher

Greg Reed

7 9 11

Corey Harbison Tim Wadsworth

9 10

Del Marsh

12

Kerry Rich 26 Nathaniel Ledbetter 24

Vacant Ginny Shaver

29 39

Tom Whatley Billy Beasley Clyde Chambliss Jimmy Holley

27 28 30 31

69 74 75 76 77 78

Joe Lovvorn Chris Blackshear Pebblin Warren Jeremy Gray Berry Forte Wes Allen

79 80 82 83 84 89

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64 65

Thomas Jackson Kelvin J. Lawrence

68 69

18

3 4

Larry Stutts

6

11 12

Shay Shelnutt

17

3 7 8

Scott Stadthagen Randall Shedd

9 11

8

Clay Scofield

9

11 26 27

Vacant David Standridge

29 34

8

Clay Scofield

9

22 23

Kerry Rich Wesley Kitchens

26 27

Representative

Representative 29 30 32 33 35

Randy Wood K. L. Brown Corley Ellis Jim Hill

36 40 41 50

Ritchie Whorton Tommy Hanes, Jr.

TO CONTACT LEGISLATORS Email via www.legislature.state.al.us | House: (334) 261-0500 | Senate: (334) 261-0800

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Prince Chestnut Thomas Jackson Kelvin J. Lawrence

25

Chris Sells Mike Jones

90 92

Clay Scofield

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Wesley Kitchens Ginny Shaver

27 39

27 28

Jimmy Holley

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84 89

Chris Sells Rhett Marques

90 91

67 68 69

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Representative Tommy Hanes, Jr. 23 Nathaniel Ledbetter 24 Kerry Rich 26

South Alabama EC Senator Tom Whatley Billy Beasley

Representative Berry Forte Wes Allen

22

Malika Sanders-Fortier 23

64 66 68

Chris Sells Mike Jones

90 92

13 27

Billy Beasley

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35 37 38 79 80

Ed Oliver Pebblin Warren Jeremy Gray Berry Forte

81 82 83 84

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Larry Stutts Gerald Allen

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Tracy Estes

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Donnie Chesteen

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85 86 87

Rhett Marques Mike Jones Steve Clouse

91 92 93

Representative Harry Shiver Alan Baker Thomas Jackson

Tallapoosa River EC Randy Price Tom Whatley

Representative Steve Hurst Bob Fincher Debbie Wood Joe Lovvorn Chris Blackshear

Tombigbee EC Senator Garlan Grudger Greg Reed

Senator Steve Livingston

Will Barfoot

Senator

North Alabama EC

Senator

Vacant Craig Lipscomb Barbara Boyd Ben Robbins Steve Hurst

Randall Shedd Kerry Rich Wesley Kitchens

89 93

Malika Sanders-Fortier 23

Greg Albritton

Representative

Coosa Valley EC Jim McClendon Del Marsh

Steve Livingston

Wes Allen Steve Clouse

Senator Jamie Glenn Kiel

Senator

Representative

84 85

Southern Pine EC

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Senator Malika Sanders Fortier 23

Berry Forte Dexter Grimsley

Steve Livingston 13 23 25 26

Marshall DeKalb EC

22

31

Sand Mountain EC

Joe Wheeler EMC

Andrew Sorrell Proncey Robertson Terri Collins

Jimmy Holley

Senator

Clarke-Washington EMC

Harry Shiver Brett Easterbrook

12 14

Representative

Arthur Orr Garlan Gudger

District

28 29

Representative

Representative

Representative

Greg Albritton

5

Senator

Proncey Robertson

District

Senator 3 4

Franklin Electric Cooperative Larry Stutts

Billy Beasley Donnie Chesteen

Pioneer EC

Representative Kelvin J. Lawrence Charlotte Meadows Reed Ingram Patrice McClammy Tashina Morris Kenyatté Hassell

Senator

Representative

Senator

Senator Clay Scofield Andrew Jones

District

Representative

Black Warrior EMC Gerald Allen Greg Albritton

Pea River EC District

Representative Tim Wadsworth Kyle South

Wiregrass EC Senator Jimmy Holley

Representative Dexter Grimsley Paul Lee Jeff Sorrells

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VE District

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25 90 92

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29 91 92 93 Alabama Living

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| Gardens |

Tooling up for 2022:

Curating the best basic gardening implements

J

anuary may be a slow month in the garden, but it can be a busy and productive month in the garden shed, garage, basement or wherever your gardening tools are waiting out the winter. These tools, whether they are people-powered shovels or gas-powered lawnmowers, are essential helpers in the yard and garden, but getting our hands on the right ones can be a challenge. Beginning gardeners who are just starting a tool collection can be overwhelmed by the sheer diversity of choices, and seasoned gardeners who have gradually amassed a substantial number of tools may find their collection is now a jumbled mix of both useful and useless items. This month, however, is a great time to curate those collections, whether you’re starting one from scratch or trying to organize an existing array of implements. It’s also a good time to buy garden tools and supplies, which may be on sale before gardening season really takes off. Start the curating process by focusing on simple but indispensable hand tools for digging, cultivating and maintaining any garden or landscape. Here’s a crash course on some must-have basic tool options. Shovels, spades and trowels: A curvedblade, long-handled shovel is ideal for serious digging of any kind, especially when planting trees and shrubs. (And not too bad for leaning on, too.) A spade, which has a shorter handle and a long, flatedged, boxy blade, is perfect for edging and shaping. A hand-held trowel is just the thing for digging small, shallow holes for transplants in garden beds or pots. You probably want one of each of these. Rakes: A garden rake has flexible tines arranged in a fan shape and is ideal for gathering leaves and other garden debris without gouging the soil or lawn surface. Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

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January is a good month to get your garden tools organized for the spring.

It’s a must-have. You may also want a hard rake, the kind with short, heavy-duty tines that are useful for grooming and smoothing soil in garden beds, among other uses. Garden forks: these petite pitchforks are perfect for loosening soil, digging around closely spaced and tender plants and incorporating organic matter into garden beds or fluffing and removing mulches. Get one! Pruners and loppers: pruners (which require the use of one hand) and loppers (two-handed devices) are priceless tools in the yard and garden. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles, but the important thing to keep in mind is blade type. Bypass blades sweep past one another as they close, making them ideal for cutting live plant material. Anvil blades close against a plate, which makes them perfect for cutting tough dead wood.

Having a bypass pruner and an anvil lopper is a good place to start. As you shop for tools, make sure to try them out before purchasing them to ensure they are the right weight, length and style to fit your physical traits. Once you have these basic items in hand (literally and figuratively), you can add more tools as needed, such as a hoe, a pruning saw, a wheelbarrow or cart, a garden hose (or two and more) and power tools. You can also stock up on gloves, rain gauges, power tools, garden aprons, kneeler pads, hats and the like. Now is also the perfect time to get all your tools in organized and to discard unused and extra tools (donate them to a fellow gardener or to a local community garden or other garden-related nonprofit). It’s also the season to get tools in tiptop shape by cleaning and repairing them so they will be your best friends once gardening season arrives. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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Be safe when working alone outdoors Story courtesy of Alabama’s TREASURED Forests magazine, a publication of the Alabama Forestry Commission

A

nyone who owns and works on their forest or farmland knows there are times you will find yourself working alone. For all of us “do it yourselfers,” working alone can be enjoyable and rewarding. If you’re an introvert, you enjoy your own company and might rather work alone. However, keeping company with yourself can have its risks, too, and that’s in the area of safety. In today’s world of technology, most everyone has a cell phone, GPS (Global Positioning System), or similar device on hand. However, as we all know, those devices only work if you can get a signal from a tower or can connect to the satellite. Cell service in many rural areas is spotty or non-existent, and the same is true under a closed-canopy forest. Many of us have also experienced dead or dying batteries. You might not be able to rely on an electronic device for communication or an emergency. Some of the rangers, foresters and field associates with the Alabama Forestry Commission often work alone outdoors, sometimes for most of the day. As a result, they have developed their own checklists of things to take along or do to ensure safety on those one-man jobs. They share some of their best safety practices here:

Location, location, location

Let someone know when and where you will be working. Establish a check-in system if you plan to be working alone for an extended period. If you plan to work in multiple locations, leave a detailed itinerary with someone. Include such items as landmarks, addresses or GPS locations of the sites or areas you’ll be working. Give an estimated time of arrival when you expect to return. When you exit your vehicle, leave a note face up on the dash detailing the time you left, direction of travel, and when you plan to return. If needed, someone will know where to look for you. When working on unfamiliar property, flag the path you take as you go along and follow it back out as you leave. If you’re unfamiliar with the property, carry a compass and a map. That way, you won’t have to rely on your cell phone (and it’s possibly dying batteries). If you happen to get lost, find and follow a road, creek, old fire break, forest road, utility right-of-way, etc. They all lead somewhere, and you can orient yourself or find help from there.

Communication

Have redundant communication methods. A cell phone and two-way radio are good choices. A sports whistle or small air horn are good tools for signaling for help, especially if you’re hurt. The horn on your vehicle is also an effective way to signal for help.

Situational awareness

Always be aware of your surroundings. When you arrive at the site where you’re going to work, look around for hazards. Is there a leaning tree or overhanging limbs that might be unsafe? Mitigate any problems before you begin. Look around the ground for loose rocks, slick leaves, slick moss or pine straw that may affect your footing. When crossing streams or creeks, watch for slick rocks, moss or mud. It may be wiser to walk up or downstream to find a better place to cross. The same goes for deep ditches and gullies. 28  JANUARY 2022

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Whether working alone by necessity or by choice, following basic safety practices can help ensure a safe outing.

Always be on the lookout for snakes, fire ants, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and other critters and creepy-crawlies. Also look for poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Park your vehicle in a location as close to your work site as safely possible. Consider parking your vehicle pointing out; that will make it easier to leave quickly in case of an emergency.

Always be prepared

Plan your work event and bring any tools or equipment you may need to do the job safely. Make sure all your tools and equipment are in working order before you begin the job at hand. Bring everything plus a little extra of essentials, such as fuel, oil, blades or saw chains, saw sharpener, etc. Carry personal protective equipment (PPE), such as snake leggings, hard hat, leather gloves, safety goggles, insect repellant, etc. Always keep a first-aid kit on hand. If you’re allergic to plants or insects, carry Benadryl, an Epipen or other medication. In summer, wear light-colored clothing and wear a sun hat. Spray clothing and any cloth or canvas gear you’ll carry with you before you leave the house or office; insect repellants need time to work. In winter, dress in layers so that you can remove outer clothing if needed. Wear a cold weather cap or hat. Bring plenty of water and snacks if you’ll be working for an extended period. If you take midday medications, bring them with you to take during a lunch break. If the job or task requires it, establish an escape route and safety zone when you first arrive on site.

Other advice and words of wisdom

Never leave home without a light source. A flashlight in your vehicle won’t help if you’re stranded in the dark away from it. Always carry a penlight in your pocket or field pack. A field vest, with its many zippered pockets, is a great way to carry a cell phone, pen or pencil and paper, flagging tape, a billfold, etc. Always carry a knife. Whether a pocketknife, belt knife or multitool, a good knife can be the best tool you have. Carry a lighter. If you’re hurt and alone, you can build a fire for warmth. It gets dark in the woods faster than anywhere else, so plan ahead. If you don’t have a light and don’t plan to stay overnight, leave the work site 30 minutes before sunset. www.alabamaliving.coop

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SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security benefits increase in 2022

A

pproximately 70 million Americans will see a 5.9% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2022. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). The CPI-W rises when inflation increases, leading to a higher cost-of-living. This change means prices for goods and services, on average, are a little more expensive, so the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) helps to offset these costs. We will mail COLA notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. But, if you want to know your new benefit amount sooner, you can securely obtain your Social Security COLA notice online using the Message Center in your

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

my Social Security account at ssa.gov/myaccount. If you prefer to access your COLA notice online and not receive the mailed notice, you can log in to your personal my Social Security account at ssa.gov/myaccount to opt out of a mailed COLA notice and any other notices that are available online by updating your Preferences in the Message Center. Did you know you can receive a text or email alert when there is a new message waiting for you? That way, you always know when we have something important for you – like your COLA notice. January 2022 marks other changes that will happen based on the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax in 2022 will be higher. The retirement earnings test exempt amount will also change in 2022 and you can view that at ssa.gov/ news/press/factsheets/colafacts2022.pdf. Be among the first to know! Sign up for or log in to your personal my Social Security account today. Choose email or text under “Message Center Preferences” to receive courtesy notifications. You can find more information about the 2022 COLA at ssa. gov/cola.

January crossword Across 1 Country great from Butler County, Hank _____ 5 Famous radio host born in Tuskegee, ___ Joyner 8 Gordon Mote’s instrument 10 Former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza 11 Contents of a BBQ pit, often 12 Crock-Pot concoction, perhaps 15 Religious holiday 17 Alabama junior senator, ____ Tuberville 19 Alien in film 20 Chinese principle 21 Friends star from Jefferson County, Courteney ____ 22 NBA player and commentator, Charles ___ born in Leeds, Alabama 26 Civil rights heroine who was born in Tuskegee, 2 words 29 Data storer 31 Heavyweight boxing great from Chambers County, 2 words 32 US soccer star born in Selma, Mia ____ 34 Lab procedure 35 Country music star born in Birmingham, ____ Harris Down 1 Renowned engineer and scientist known for his work in magnetism and superconductivity, born in Evergreen, Conecuh County, ____ Henry 2 Contemporary sculptor born in Prattville, Alabama, Charlie _____ 3 Providing that 4 Member of one of gospel music great singing dynasties, Mattie ___ Clark, born in Selma 5 21 Jump Street star from Cullman County, Channing ____ 6 Single item 7 Cuts the grass Alabama Living

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9 Exists 13 Was introduced to 14 Apple CEO born in Mobile, Tim ___ 16 __-Mex cuisine 17 Asphalt surface material 18 Cry of success 20 Teacher’s assistant, abbr. 21 Mercedes, for one 23 ___ Paul, guitar great

by Myles Mellor 24 Baseball great born in Mobile, Hank ____ 25 Comedy actor, Sandler 27 Olympic gold medal winner from Lawrence County, Jesse ____ 28 Looking-glass girl 30 Pro wrestling manager and personality, born in Mobile: ____ Bearer 31 Swift plane 33 Radio band

Answers on Page 41 JANUARY 2022  29

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| Consumer Wise |

The power of energy efficiency

You can save year-round by adjusting your thermostat. During the winter, set it to 68 degrees when you’re home and dial it back 8 to 10 degrees when you leave the house or go to sleep. PHOTO COURTESY MARK GILLILAND, PIONEER UTILITY RESOURCES

By Miranda Boutelle

Q: A:

Do energy-saving measures in my home make a big difference?

For the average household, it depends on your home’s efficiency and your habits. Your energy use is based on your home’s equipment and how you use it. You might already have an efficient home and good energy use habits, or you might have room for improvement. Energy keeps us comfortable in our homes, and our monthly bill is the associated cost for this energy use. To make energy-saving measures work in your home, it comes down to preventing energy waste while maintaining personal comfort in your home. Let’s take it back to the basics and see if we can find opportunities to save energy in your home. Filters, LEDs and thermostat settings are great places to start.

Replace filters

If your home has a forced-air system, you have a filter. The filter needs to be checked regularly and replaced when it’s dirty. A dirty filter can cause heating and air-conditioning systems to use 15% Miranda Boutelle, director of operations and customer engagement at Efficiency Services Group, is the new energy columnist for Alabama Living, replacing Patrick Keegan who retired in 2021. Her company partners with electric utilities to provide energy efficiency services to members. She writes on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. For additional energy tips and information on Collaborative Efficiency visit: www.collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips.

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more energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Since heating and air conditioning make up almost half of your energy use, replacing your filter when it looks dirty is a habit that can reduce energy waste.

Upgrade to LEDs

Upgrading your lighting to LEDs is a simple, low-cost way to cut energy use. Depending on your budget, you can do it all at once or change bulbs out over time. If you are going to replace a few at a time, prioritize the lights you use the most. There are many LED options available. One major variation is the color temperature, which is listed on the packaging in Kelvin. I recommend 2700K because it is similar to incandescent lighting. I also suggest ENERGY STAR-rated products because they meet strict quality and efficiency standards, use up to 90% less energy and last 15 times longer than standard bulbs.

Adjust your thermostat

It’s amazing how much difference a few degrees can make. By adjusting your thermostat to your home habits, you can save year-round on heating and cooling costs. For winter months, the DOE recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home and dialing it back 8 to 10 degrees when you leave the house or go to sleep. For summer, the recommendation is 78 degrees when you are home and 8 to 10 degrees warmer when you are away. Using a programmable or smart thermostat will allow you to set it according to your schedule. Making these small changes in your routine will help improve your energy efficiency while maintaining comfort in your home. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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| Outdoors |

Little bird attracts small but fervent following

W

eighing only a few ounces, woodcock commonly exand any slightly higher ground bordering lake or river shorelines. plode from cover almost under the feet of hunters. They A clear-cut regrowing with vegetation or the edges of a bottomrush off screaming through the woods, flying so erratiland creek running through brushy forest also make good places cally that they can easily embarrass even the best wing shots. to look for woodcock. The diminutive birds of boggy bottoms with the extra-long bills “Woodcock prefer really dense cover,” Maddox says. “They are attract a small, yet fervent following from dedicated upland hunttypically found in early successional hardwood habitat like boters because they offer sportsmen challenges that far outweigh tomlands close to water. Streamside management zones in fortheir size. Exciting fliers, the splotchy brown and gray puffballs ested habitat are very good because they’re typically a little more become almost impossible to hit when zigzagging through thick grown up. Anywhere that woodcock can find a stream or a water cover as if guided by super-smart navigation radar. Few Cotton source with thick cover would be a good place to look for them.” State sportsmen intentionally seek woodcock, but some people When scouting for woodcock, look for “probe holes” and white shoot an occasional bird while pursuing quail, squirrels, rabbits “splashings.” Woodcock like rich, damp soil where they can use or other game. their long nimble bills to probe for their favorite food – earth“In Alabama, we only have a few hundred dedicated hunters worms. With tremendously high metabolic rates, woodcock feed who chase woodcock,” says Seth Maddox, the Alabama Departabout every eight hours around the clock. Although they can eat ment of Conservation and Natural Resources’ top migratory bird their weight in earthworms each day, woodcock might also grab biologist. “Most of the birds are probably shot incidental to other insect larvae, slugs, snails, insects, and some seeds. They partictypes of hunting when ularly like blackberries. someone just happens Woodcock use their to jump one. Woodcock outstanding camounumbers have been deflage to virtually disapclining for years, but pear among the leaves hunting pressure on and other debris on them has also been dethe forest floor. Their clining.” large eyes set high and Like with most mifar back on their heads gratory birds, weather give the birds excellent patterns determine how night vision and one of many come to Alabama the best fields of view each year. During cold of any animal. They can years or preceding a see predators coming major front, birds fly from practically any diall the way to the Gulf rection. Coast. In mild winters, In thick cover, fewer make the com- Weather patterns determine how many woodcocks come to Alabama each year. well-camouflaged plete journey. When woodcock frequently they do arrive and find good habitat, woodcock often congregate remain motionless until forced to fly. When flushed, they burst in great numbers and frequently return to the same places year from cover with wings twittering and the bird screeching unforafter year if nothing changes. gettably while zigzagging through nearly impenetrable thickets “Alabama is kind of a funnel for woodcock,” Maddox says. with ease. “Woodcock migrate to Alabama, usually between October and “When woodcock flush, they are incredibly hard to hit,” MadDecember, to escape the harsh winters up north. The birds in Aldox says. “They’re extremely agile in the woods. They have to get abama are coming from Minnesota all the way over to Quebec through that thick understory in the habitat they like, so they’re a and Newfoundland. We do have some that are more residential tough target to shoot. They are really difficult to hit in a place with in nature and breed in Alabama.” a lot of small trees in the way when trying to swing a shotgun and Short and squat, woodcock thrive in hardwood bottomlands shoot. It’s definitely a tough bird to hunt.” with damp soils and dense underbrush that gives them good covThe Alabama woodcock season runs through Jan. 30, 2022, er. Although they don’t like flooded swamps or marshes, they do with a limit of three per day. Any wildlife management areas feed on low ridges and dry spoil banks running through wetlands with soggy soil and bottomland forests might hold birds, especially along the Tennessee, Black Warrior, Alabama and Tombigbee river systems. Some of best public hunting occurs on the John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer who lives in Barbour, Black Warrior, Blue Spring, David K. Nelson, Freedom Semmes, Ala. He also hosts an outdoors tips show for WAVH FM Hills, Geneva State Forest, the Jackson County WMAs, James D. Talk 106.5 radio station in Mobile, Ala. Contact him at j.felsher@ Martin-Skyline, Oakmulgee, Seven-Mile Island and Upper Delta hotmail.com or through Facebook. WMAs.

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DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST

2022

JANUARY

Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

FEBRUARY

Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo

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

EXCELLENT TIMES A.M.

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

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

MOON STAGE

PM

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

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

GOOD TIMES AM

4:21 - 5:51 4:48 - 6:28 5:09 - 6:39 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51 9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 1:57 - 3:27 2:45 - 4:15 3:33 - 5:03 4:21 - 5:51 4:48 - 6:28 AM

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

PM

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

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

The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 40 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, a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. To order the 2022 Moon Clock, go to www.moontimes.com. Alabama Living

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| Alabama Recipes |

Bread

The taste of homemade

Food styling and photos: Brooke Echols

B

aking homemade bread became a regular pastime for many of us during the many months of COVID-related restrictions, and our readers were no exception. They sent us recipes not only for yeast-based breads but also sweet breads that are more like cakes, baked in a loaf pan. We’re printing a variety of bread recipes this month, with most calling for all-purpose flour or bread flour (which has a higher protein content and adds structure to your bread). Let us know how these recipes work for you at recipes@alabamaliving.coop.

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Cook of the Month:

H

omemade bread is a real delicacy. For many, including me, the art of making a beautiful sourdough or long-rise bread is a task Brooke Burks that has proven hard to master. My daughter mastered sourdough starter during the quarantine of 2020. Me? I could never get it right. She even gave me detailed instructions and the starter to boot! We can’t all do everything, so I resigned myself to just enjoy the glorious homemade bread that she made for me! I learned a long time ago that this wasn’t my strong suit. Give me biscuits or cornbread and I could make them perfect every time. So, if you are like me and enjoy the idea of a warm loaf of homemade bread, I am going to share my secret with you. This Rosemary Beer Bread has no rise time, no quick yeast and comes out just as good, in my opinion. Feel free to omit the cheese and rosemary for a plain bread. You can also substitute with other cheeses and spices to make any flavor of bread under the sun!

Photo by The Buttered Home

Rosemary Beer Bread 1/2 cups self-rising flour 2 3 tablespoons sugar Pinch of salt 12 ounces beer, room temperature 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, rosemary and cheeses. Use a whisk to sift together. Slowly pour in beer. Mix well just until combined. Do not over mix. Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and remove and allow to continue to cool on a wire rack. Alabama Living

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Victoria Rogers, Baldwin EMC

I

t took her two tries, but Victoria Rogers finally got her Parmesan Herb Artisan Bread to taste the way she wanted. She developed her recipe as part of a culinary class taught by Kristen Madsen at Gulf Shores High School. “We did a unit on yeast breads, and this was our last project of the section,” she says. “I developed the recipe by taking a traditional artisan bread recipe and adding flavors that I felt would complement the bread nicely: parmesan and rosemary. I also decided to add some basil and oregano to balance out the strong flavor of the rosemary.” The result was a delicious bread that was chosen as our spotlight recipe this month. Victoria says the bread is good on its own (and we would agree!), “but serving with a cheese or dipping oil elevates the flavor.” –Lenore Vickrey

Parmesan Herb Artisan Bread 2 teaspoons instant yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1¼ cups warm water 3 cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons salt 2½ cups parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons dried rosemary 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon garlic powder Add the yeast, sugar and warm water to a bowl and wait until the yeast starts bubbling. Add the flour, salt, seasonings and herbs. Mix together until fully combined. Oil the work surface and your hands and knead for 10 minutes. Once kneaded, place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and prove for 1 hour until doubled in size. Sprinkle the work surface with flour and tip the dough out onto the flour. Knead and shape dough. Continue until the dough no longer sticks in place. Turn the dough over and use your hands to finish off rounding it out. Place the dough in a well-floured bowl seam-side down. Cover and prove for 30 minutes. While proofing, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When the dough has finished its second proof, remove the cover. Very carefully take the hot Dutch oven out of the oven and remove the lid. Carefully lower the bread into the Dutch oven. Place the lid on top and place back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before serving.

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Oatmeal Bread 1 cup oatmeal 2 cups water 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons yeast 1 tablespoon sugar 1/3 cup warm water (110-115 degrees) 1/2 cup wheat flour 5 cups bread flour (and more as needed) Cook oatmeal, water and butter on the stove top. Add brown sugar and salt. Cool. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let mixture set for 5 minutes. Add cooled oatmeal mixture and yeast mixture to a mixing bowl. Add wheat flour and bread flour (1 cup at a time). Knead in mixer thoroughly. Add small amounts of bread flour if the dough is sticking to the side of the bowl. (Dough should be slightly sticky but not actually stick to your fingers.) Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover with a thin towel and let rise until double in size. Punch dough down and form into 2 loaves on a floured countertop. Place in greased bread pans. Cover again and let rise for 20-30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and sides spring back when touched. Brush tops with butter. Remove loaves from pans and rest on cooling racks. Cook’s notes: The dough should be slightly sticky but not stick a lot to the bowl or your fingers; add the full 5 cups of flour accordingly. Create a warm rising place for the bread by turning the oven on for 2 minutes and then turn it off. The temperature should be warm enough for the bread to rise without prematurely baking the dough. Sheila Copenhaver Covington EC

Hobo Bread

Dilly Casserole Bread

Hobo Bread

½-3 cups flour, divided 2 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 teaspoons dried dill weed (fresh dill can be substituted using 2 tablespoons) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 egg 1 package active dry yeast 1 cup cottage cheese, creamed ¼ cup water 1 teaspoon butter, softened

2½ cups leftover coffee or prepared instant coffee 4 teaspoons baking soda 2 cups raisins 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup brown sugar 1½ cups pecans, chopped 4 cups flour, sifted ¼ teaspoon salt

Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, onion powder, dill weed, salt, baking soda and dry yeast. In a saucepan, heat cottage cheese, water and butter until mixture is warm. Add egg and warm liquid to the flour mixture. Blend at lowest speed with mixer until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and place in a well-greased 8 or 9-inch round casserole or a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Let rise again for 30-40 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Brush with butter.

April: Pecans | January 7 May: Beef | February 4 June: Summer Salads | March 4

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Dorothy Sapp Arab EC

Nancy Sites Sizemore Baldwin EMC

Themes and Deadlines:

3 ways to submit:

Bring coffee to boil. Remove from heat, add baking soda and raisins. Cover and let stand overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 3 one-pound coffee tins. (Loaf pans may be substituted for coffee tins as pictured above.)To the coffee-raisin mixture, add nuts, flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Mix well. Divide batter among the 3 cans; filling each slightly more than one half full. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes. Let cool in can for 15 minutes before removing. If necessary, tap cans on bottom to release loaf. Turn loaves on side and slice into rounds for serving.

Online: alabamaliving.coop Email: recipes@alabamaliving.coop Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

to the winning

Cook of the Month!

50

$

Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications. www.alabamaliving.coop

12/16/21 3:55 PM


PET HEALTH

Raising a puppy:

Nurture the mind, the body will follow

T

he holiday seasons are over, and many of us have acquired a puppy. Great fun! Now the hard work of raising a puppy begins. And yes, it is hard work. I have been there several times. There was a time about 10 years ago when four of our friends and I were raising puppies at the same time. These all were high-driven puppies and it was not easy. We used to talk on the phone and tell stories of our sorrows; how many ways these pups had challenged our sanity the week before! Anyone who has ever raised a puppy and did not second guess their decision, in my opinion, is not being honest! But, as we all know, it is all worth it. Now this is a good time for my usual plug. I am aware that I may rub some folks the wrong way, but that is not my intention. I (and many others) just do not want to see another throw-away dog. I have never bought a puppy; I’ve always rescued them. For our last two, I didn’t even go and look for them – one was picked up from a parking lot and the other one from a cold, desolate and dark road! If possible, instead of buying, please rescue an unwanted, castaway soul. Most rescued mixed dogs are intelligent, grateful personalities and are less likely to display breed specific diseases. Let the fancy people get their fancy vanity breeds! You and I are “real” and self-assured folks and we don’t need a pedigree behind their name to judge the value of our companions! And please don’t be mad at me – it is all about the creatures we love! Back to the task at hand of raising a puppy. Some background info: We never had an outdoor dog and our dogs sleep on our beds, beg for food and jump on unsuspecting guests; thus by default “bad” dogs! But I can explain myself and my “bad” dogs. We are mostly happy with each other!

Love and patience

In the modern times, a dog is more of a companion to us than Goutam Mukherjee, DVM, MS, Ph.D. (Dr. G) has been a veterinarian for more than 30 years. He owns High Falls Holistic Veterinary Care near Geraldine, Alabama. To suggest topics for future discussions, email him at contact@alabamaliving.coop

Alabama Living

AL STATE JAN22.indd 37

a guard or decorative ornament in the house. A happy well-adjusted dog makes a better companion. I think all companionships should begin with love and patience. When your new friend arrives home, remember the sudden isolation they feel coming away from their mother and siblings where they had 24-7 contact. This has to be a painful and lonely time. I encourage people to forgo “discipline,” at least in the beginning. I suggest that in the beginning, we should work toward giving them love, lots of body contact and developing a trusting relationship. Training and discipline can come a little later. Assuming that we are seasoned pet owners, I suggest waiting for puppy training a little later than 12 weeks. Many people crate train their dogs, but I like them to sleep with us. I believe that the more time we spend with them and the more body contact we give them builds confidence rather than creating a dog riddled with separation anxiety. Confident personalities make for easier training and create a deeper relationship. From my comments, you could easily conclude that we don’t discipline our dogs at all. Of course, we do. It is an absolute must to have a good bit of control, especially if you have a large powerful dog like a 100-pound Rottweiler. I am just suggesting keeping the “no, no bad dog” to a minimum. When telling them what not to do, be sure to let them know everything they do that pleases you, thus reinforcing good behavior. One can exude kindness and exert control at the same time. When I adopted a 4-month-old Rottie Gandolf from Philadelphia SPCA about 23 years ago, I could not raise my voice at all as he would mope for half a day. Eventually he could care less how much I hollered at him for being bad. He understood my love and he also understood my mock anger. He walked by my side without a leash on our neighborhood streets and stayed by my side. There are endless books on how to raise a puppy. My favorite at this point is The Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Non-violent Guide to Early Training and Care by Paul Owens. A used copy of this book can be had for only about a dollar plus shipping on Amazon. Remember smiles.amazon.com and donate to your favorite animal charity. I’ll continue this discussion in March’s column. JANUARY 2022  37

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| Our Sources Say |

Is anyone happy? T

he 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP26, convened in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 13. COP26 is the 26th U.N. Conference on Climate Change; these conferences are held to discuss policies intended to reduce the impacts of climate change. These meetings are normally held annually, but COP26 was delayed a year because of COVID restrictions. More than 25,000 delegates from over 200 participating countries attended, including approximately 120 heads of state. Among them were: U.S President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Absent, however, were: China’s President Xi Jinping, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and the prime ministers or heads of state of South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Malaysia, and the Vatican City. The notable absence of both Xi and Putin was obvious. Former U.S. President Barack Obama (who attended) criticized them for lacking urgency in addressing the climate change crisis. Around 400 private planes brought the aforementioned and others, such as Jeff Bezos and Prince Charles, to Glasgow for the conference. President Biden was transported around Glasgow in a 26-vehicle convoy. These actions incited criticism from commentators and climate change campaigners, who referenced publicity that had promised a carbon-neutral conference. All those jet setters really will be unhappy if the campaigners get their way, meaning fossil fuels are completely eliminated and there are no more private planes. Videos of President Biden napping through some of the climate presentations have been widely distributed on social media. Climate campaigners and Biden critics were not happy with the President’s lack of attention. Biden supporters were displeased with the negative publicity. I completely understand the President napping. Two weeks of climate discussions and presentations would put me to sleep, too. He woke up to ask Saudi Arabia to increase oil output in hopes of reducing the cost of gasoline. Climate activists did not like that request. Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg recently spoke at a “Fridays for Future” protest of thousands of, largely, school children supporting immediate and extreme action on climate. She criticized the conference for being just like prior COPs that

have led nowhere. Parents were unhappy that schools would have to be notified of their children’s absences to avoid punishment. COP26 was expected to be the first since the Paris Agreement to make enhanced commitments toward climate change mitigation. Climate change campaigners hoped for the first time to obtain an accord that would set a deadline among countries to completely phase out unabated coal power and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels. Expectedly, coal producers, coal users, and countries still interested in coal-fired electric generation were not pleased with the campaign to establish the end of using coal. China and India intervened late and advocated for “phasing down,” rather than “phasing out,” coal. Climate campaigners were despondent about such an action, which weakened the movement to end coal electric generation and fossil fuel subsidies. The action resulted in the adoption of a less-stringent-than-anticipated resolution that includes a pledge to explicitly commit to more urgent efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and the use of coal. COP26 President Alok Sharma was so affected by the interventions of India and China that he was in tears as he announced the accord, and he apologized that stronger language was not a part of it. Emerging countries came to COP26 with the hope of formalizing a $100 billion pledge to assist in covering the cost of coping with climate change. They were understandably unhappy that the developed countries refused to formalize pledges of financial assistance. A number of climate initiatives were adopted by the COP26 Conference. By most accounts progress was made towards adopting strategies to reduce climate change. However, the parties involved in the debate are so diverse, from so many different agendas, that it will be impossible to please all of them. And because of the divergent agendas, the efforts will primarily just be political. As any previous reader knows, I am not a fan of dramatic action on climate change. The best way to increase quality of life in the world and end poverty is through cheap energy. A more prosperous world would undoubtedly be a cleaner world. Instead of adopting near-empty goals to satisfy numerous climate and political agendas, why not look to provide the world with the cheapest forms of energy? Doing so would make the world more prosperous and cleaner. As a more prosperous people, we would ultimately be in a better position to adapt to climate change. I hope you have a good month.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

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| Classifieds | How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): March 2022 Issue by January 25 April 2022 Issue by February 25 May 2022 Issue by March 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.

Miscellaneous WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA - SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE – Outdoor Rockers, Gliders & Swings, HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 - ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www.wallbedsofalabama.com, www.alabamamattressoutlet.com HEARING AIDS TOO EXPENSIVE? Do you qualify for help or low payments? Hearing Aid Helpline (866)479-1519, www.careconnectusa.org FREE MATERIALS: SOON CHURCH / GOVERNMENT UNITING, suppressing “RELIGIOUS LIBERTY”, enforcing NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW, Be informed! Need mailing address only. POB 374, Ellijay, GA 30540 – thebiblesaystruth@yahoo.com, (888)211-1715

Business Opportunities EARN $60,000 / YR PART-TIME IN THE LIVESTOCK or FARM EQUIPMENT APPRAISAL BUSINESS – Agricultural Background Required – Home Study Course Available – (800)488-7570 or www.amagappraisers.com

Vacation Rentals GULF SHORES / ORANGE BEACH / FORT MORGAN – Choose from hundreds of beach houses and condos! Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. ALAVHR.com ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie552@gmail.com, (256)599-5552 GULF FRONT PANAMA CITY CONDO – Splash Condominiums – Owner Rental – 1BR / 2BA w/ hallway bunks, Sleeps 6, 18th Floor Balcony View of Ocean – (706)566-6431, bjeffers3@hotmail. com LAKE HOMES / CABINS – Verified Owners. No Booking Fees. ALAVHR.com

BUILD YOUR NEXT SANDCASTLE ON OUR SPACIOUS SUGAR WHITE BEACH and come play in our waves! www.jettyeast.com, (800)3680222 Where the child in you comes out! OWNERS – Join the fastest growing regional site in Alabama. Low annual fee. Verified Owners, no booking fees or commissions. Alabama Vacation Home Rentals. Locally Owned and Operated. (251)333-6500, ALAVHR.com

Land, Lots & Real Estate Sales QUALITY CUSTOM HOMES BUILT ON YOUR LOT! Watermark Builder offers Affordable pricing and amazing standard features. We make building easy! Schedule your FREE design consultation now! Call (334)512-9866 or visit BuildWatermark.com 3 CANAL FRONT LOTS on EAST BAY RIVER in Navarre Florida - $9,500 Each – (850)549-5716

MENTONE, AL LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN COTTAGE RENTALS – Best brow views, River Front – cottagesofmentone.com, Call or text (504)4818666

Education

PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)7900000, jamesrny0703@comcast.net, www. theroneycondo.com

Farm / Agriculture

PET FRIENDLY – Save $$$ by booking directly from Verified Owners. ALAVHR.com GULF SHORES PLANTATION BEACH CONDO – 2 Bedrooms / 2 Baths. NO pets, NO smoking. Max 6 people. (205)344-3810 GULF SHORES GULF FRONT CONDO UNITS – 2BR / 2BA or 1BR / 2BA. Spring, Summer openings. Private rental saves agency fees. (256)352-5721, amariewisener@gmail.com

FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to P.O. Box 52, Trinity, AL, 35673

TRACTOR SHADE CANOPIES, sturdy fiberglass and steel construction, Custom made for your tractor. By Cole BoatWorks (334)318-1986 or kcole@elmore.rr.com GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , half dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants . Free color catalog. 1-800-733-0324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934 www.isons.com

MILITARY / SERVICE DISCOUNTS on dozens of rentals. No Booking Fees. (251)333-6500, ALAVHR.com

Answers to puzzle on Page 29

CECIL PIGG STEEL TRUSS, INC. P.O. BOX 389, ADDISON, AL 35540

WE SELL: Steel Trusses • Hay Barns Lumber • Equipment Sheds Building Material Packages Painted Metal • Work Shops Insulation • Kneebraces Galvalume Metal

STEEL TRUSS BUILDINGS BUILT TO YOUR SPECIFICATIONS

256-747-8178 • FAX: 256-747-8760

Alabama Living

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| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Oh, those tombs I was strolling one day in a lonely grave yard When a voice from the tomb seemed to say “I once lived as you lived, walked and talked as you talk. But from earth I was soon called away.” ­— Early 19th Century folk song

W

e Southerners treat our dead differently than folks do in other parts of the country. We bury more often than cremate, so it stands to reason that if you want to learn about a Southern place and its people, go to the local cemetery. Walk through that “marble orchard,” pay attention, and learn. Notice the dates, how many fall heavily into months like January, February and March – cold and damp months when pneumonia, the “old folks’ friend,” carried so many away. And there are the markers themselves. They tell you a lot about the person buried there. I recall one carved in the shape of a log truck (a major occupation where I grew up). Another was decorated with deer -- the late-lamented was a hunter. There are those with angels or lambs to tell us that a baby who was a parents’ pride is “safe in the arms of Jesus.” There are the graves of young people, sometimes with the same date of death, to remind their friends when the car crashed. And husbands and wives, who could not live long without each other, so they didn’t. There are family plots, some full to overflowing because the mother buried there told her children that no matter how far they Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hhjackson43@gmail.com

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Illustration by Dennis Auth

roamed they had better make arrangements to be brought back and put down by her. She believed in the bodily resurrection and when Judgment Day came, she had no intention of rising up, looking around, and seeing a bunch of strangers. Over under a pecan tree is a grave that never has flowers on it – he didn’t like flowers. He liked Auburn and Mardi Gras, so every football season the stone is festooned with orange and blue, while during the week before Lent it is hung with masks and beads. Here is the empty grave, with a simple marker saying how the young man who, according to his yearbook, was president of the senior class, captain of the football team, best looking and “an all-around good sport” died in 1944, fighting in France, and is buried over there. Out in the country is the little family cemetery with the road curving around it. The road would have gone through, but when the county tried to find out who owned the land, they discovered that the property had been deeded “to the dead” and the dead weren’t about to sign it over. Hence the curve. In addition to being markers to memory and loss, these graves are also affirmations and celebrations. Over the years I have seen enough of them to know that despite the uniqueness of each plot and the person buried there, there is a sameness that reflects the character of the South – its nobility, its flaws and its foibles. There is always that one grave to remind us of the really important things. My favorite reads simply, “I am not here. I live in my children.” And she does. “Oh, those tombs, lonely tombs, Seem to say in a low gentle tone, Oh, how sweet is the rest, In that beautiful, heavenly home.” www.alabamaliving.coop

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