January 2023 Clarke-Washington

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January 2023 Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News Experience our state from A to Z! Junior chefs in the kitchen ClarkeWashıngton ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORP.

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.


9 Scouting

Being a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout benefits both young people and their communities, as this month’s snapshots confirm.


Mural trail


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


Food of the seasons

Jim Smith, known for his stint on “Top Chef” and as Alabama’s former state chef, enjoys letting the seasons speak through his food.

Junior cooks

The love of cooking can begin at an early age, as you’ll see from some of the recipes submitted by our younger readers this month.

Alabama is blessed with an abundance of places and events worth exploring, so we decided to create an easy list, from Auburn landmarks to ziplines, from rockets to amusement parks, to inspire you to check them out in this new year!

24 34 VOL. 76 NO. 1 JANUARY 2023 DEPARTMENTS 11 Spotlight 29 Around Alabama 32 Outdoors 33 Fish & Game Forecast 34 Cook of the Month 42 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop 18 JANUARY 2023 3 WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! ONLINE: www.alabamaliving.coop EMAIL: letters@alabamaliving.coop MAIL: Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117
long known as the literary capital of Alabama, is now also home to more than 25 murals that make up the smART Moves Mural Trail.
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Manager Steve Sheffield Co-op Editor Sarah Turner

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


P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 P.O. Box 453 Chatom, AL 36518


During normal office hours at our Chatom and Jackson offices. Phone (855) 870-0403 Online www.cwemc.com Night Deposit

Keeping pets and energy bills comfortable

Given the overwhelming response to Sarah’s Furry Friends pictures from our annual meeting, I couldn’t help but follow up with a column about pets.

I don’t know about you, but I consider my four-legged companions part of the family. Our dogs are Elsob and Brutus, and I can’t imagine life without them. I know others feel this way, too. That’s why during the winter months, we make sure our whole family, including our four-legged members, is cozy––without taking a big “bite” out of our budget.

Even though we are experiencing potentially record heat as I write this column in December, I’m sure we’ll have some cooler weather before the season is over. So, I’d like to share a few simple ways you can make your home more comfortable this winter, which can ultimately help you save on energy bills.

At the onset of the cold weather season, we replace the HVAC filter for better air quality and to help the unit operate more efficiently. You can also keep your home cozier by caulking and weatherstripping windows and doors. If your home is particularly chilly, you can tape or affix heavy, clear plastic to the inside of your window frames to create an additional barrier against the cold. Ensure that the plastic is tightly sealed to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

We know winter can be “ruff,” so we set our thermostat at 68 degrees, a “purr-fect” temperature for people and pets. This is especially important for smaller, short hair and senior dogs––not just for warmth, but for their general health. Puppies, kittens and older pets with arthritis or other ailments may have a harder time controlling their body heat and need the additional warmth when it’s chilly out.

Pets that sleep close to the floor can be subject to cold drafts that enter your home through windows and exterior doors. If your pet’s bed is near a window or door that feels drafty, tightly roll up a towel and place it near the bottom of the door or window to eliminate the draft. Cutting down on cold drafts helps everyone feel more comfortable during colder months.

If possible, elevate your pet’s bed so it’s not placed directly on a cold floor. An old chair or sofa cushion works well. If you don’t use a dog bed, take some old blankets and create a donut shape on the cushion so the dog can snuggle and “nest” within the blanket. You can do the same for cats but on a smaller scale. Blankets enable pets to nestle into them, even when they aren’t tired, and provide a comfortable place for dogs and cats to curl up.

During the day, open your blinds and curtains to allow sunlight to warm your home. Close window coverings at night for an added layer of insulation.

At Clarke-Washington EMC, we want to help you save energy and money. Check out our website at www.cwemc.com for additional energy-saving tips.

We can’t control the weather, but we can provide advice to help you save energy and keep your family and furry friends more comfortable during the winter season.


Pay where you shop at any Dollar General, Family Dollar and CVS Pharmacy.

24/7 at Jackson & Chatom CWEMC App Available from the App Store and Google Play Bank Draft
4 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop
Steve Sheffield General Manager

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.

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.

- Opportunities to network with fellow educators.

Learning about Energy can be Energizing!

CWEMC pays property taxes

In December, Clarke-Washington paid $447,560.46 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.

The cooperative paid $206,998.70 in taxes based on the assessed value of the cooperative’s assets in that county.

Taxes paid to other counties included: Clarke, $193,275.28; Monroe, $24,299.04; and Wilcox $22,987.44.

Art Dees pays Wilcox County property taxes to Sonia Young-Mack. Steve Sheffield pays Clarke County property taxes to Josie Faith Polly Odom pays Washington County property taxes to Mary Ann Dees. Art Dees pays Monroe County property taxes to Elizabeth Saucer
| Clarke-Washington EMC |
ARE YOU A K-12 EDUCATOR? REGISTRATION DEADLINE FEBRUARY 10, 2023 *limited availability EM P O W E R DATES JUNE 4-7, 2023 6 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop








If you are a junior attending high school in Clarke, Washington, Wilcox and Monroe counties, you are eligible to apply.


Four students will be selected to attend the Montgomery Youth Tour on March 14-16, 2023. Students will visit with their state representatives, meet students from other cooperatives, visit Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, hear motivational speakers and learn about rural electric cooperatives. Those selected to attend the Montgomery Youth Tour will be awarded a $500 scholarship.


Of the four students selected for the Montgomery Youth Tour, two of them will be chosen to also attend the Youth Tour in Washington D.C. Those two students will visit their national representatives and meet students from across the country. They will also visit monuments and get a firsthand look at our nation’s history. The two students selected to represent Clarke-Washington EMC at the Washington D.C. Youth Tour will be awarded an additional $500 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. Clarke-Washington EMC has joined other cooperatives throughout the state of Alabama to create the Electric Cooperative Foundation. This spring the foundation will be awarding scholarships across Alabama for students to continue their education at post-secondary and vocational schools.

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 later than February 17, 2023. (NOT POSTMARKED)

Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 7
NOVEMBER 30, 2022 FRUITDALE/TIBBIE TORNADO 8 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop

SUBMITTED by Melissa McClellan, Oxford.

My grandson, Charles Courtney, with members of his Troop 237 after placing 100 American flags in Vestavia Hills for Veterans Day 2022.

SUBMITTED by Kay Courtney, Demopolis.

Online: alabamaliving.coop | Mail: Attn: Snapshots, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124

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.

Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 9
March theme: “Family Heirlooms” | Submit by: January 31
Melissa McClellan and her granddaughter, Annabell Harrell, a Daisy with Troop 23162.
| Alabama Snapshots |
Ray Unger rappelling in Little River Canyon with the help of True Adventure Sports. SUBMITTED by Dennis Unger, Wetumpka. My grandson, Cooper Hayes, holds the trophy he won at the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. SUBMITTED by Debby Boyd, Addison.
Daisies, Brownies and Juniors at a World Thinking Day celebration in Auburn. SUBMITTED by Jackie Lucas, Montgomery.

Bo Bikes Bama charity ride date announced

Alabama sports legend

Bo Jackson, founder of Bo Bikes Bama, has announced the date for the 2023 charity bike ride to be held in Auburn. The date will be April 23, 2023, and registration and fundraising will open on Jan. 19, 2023.

The cost to participate is $90 for a 60-mile ride and $70 for a 20-mile ride. A $60 at-home option will also be available to supporters unable to travel to Auburn.

Jackson started Bo Bikes Bama to honor the lives lost during the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak, and to help the state of Alabama recover and prepare for the future. It became an annual event in 2013, and over the past 12 years has grown to attract more than 1,000 cyclists annually and has raised more than $2.3 million. The Bo Bikes Bama initiatives support the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, which has repaired hundreds of homes and funded community storm shelters throughout the state.

For more information, visit BoBikesBama.com

Social Security

General enrollment period for Medicare Part B

If you did not apply for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) within three months before or after turning age 65, you have another chance each year during the General Enrollment Period. The period runs from January 1 to March 31 every year.

If you don’t enroll in Part B when you’re first eligible for it, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage. Your monthly premium will increase 10% for each 12-month period that you were eligible for Part B but did not sign up for it. Your coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up.

To learn more about Medicare, please visit our Medicare Benefits page at ssa.gov/benefits/medicare. You may also read our publication at ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10043.pdf

Please share this information with your friends and loved ones who may need it – and share it on social media.

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

Whereville, AL

Coosa County landmark restored

The “milk carton” on U.S. Highway 231 in the Stewartville community (between Sylacauga and Rockford) was our Whereville landmark in the January 2020 issue. At that time, the block structure had fallen into disrepair and needed some TLC.

Our readers gave us the back story: It was once the site of Dark’s Dairy, opened around 1946 by Lillian and Ruben Dark. Many readers thought the dairy operated until the 1980s.

Now it has been restored, and Pam Weathers sent us some current photos. She says newly elected Coosa County Commissioner John Forbus headed up the project.

Shown are the photo we ran in 2020, and a photo Weathers sent to us recently. We like to see communities pull together to save and restore landmarks!

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 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative, if applicable. 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.

Contribute a photo you took for an upcoming issue! Send a photo of an interesting or unusual landmark in Alabama, which must be accessible to the public. A reader whose photo is chosen will also win $25.

December’s answer: This life-sized pig oversees the parking lot at the new Conecuh Sausage gift shop, which is just off Exit 96 on Interstate 65. The iconic pig, which adorns much of the brand’s merchandise, is a popular backdrop for selfies and photo ops of folks on their way to and from the beach. (Photo by Lenore Vickrey of Alabama Living) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Melinda Marston of Baldwin EMC.

10 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop Spotlight | January

Find the hidden dingbat!

Did we make it too easy to find? Our December “Find the Dingbat” contest generated mostly correct answers from our readers, including from Cameron Lagle in Buhl, Alabama, who found the Christmas stocking as part of the colon punctuation mark after the capital “A” on Page 26. Cameron writes, “Publications like this are diamonds in the rough and I’m so glad I found y’all. Keep up the EXCELLENT work!” Thanks, and we will! Kendra Williams of Brundidge, a member of South Alabama EC, writes, “When I got the mail today and walked into my home, the book fell on page 26 and I looked and saw the oh-sored Christmas stocking in the colon by the large letter A!! What are the chances of the magazine falling on the correct page!” We like your odds, Kendra! Flo Cofield of Flomaton writes that once she receives her magazine, “there is no rest till I find the dingbat. Then I can settle down, read the articles and work the crossword.” Sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon to us!

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. Be sure to include your name, hometown and electric cooperative, and the location of your photo.We’ll draw a winner for the $25 prize each month.

1.3 million

Congratulations to Gary W. Curtis of Woodville, a member of North Alabama Electric Cooperative, who was our randomly drawn winner for December. He wins a $25 gift card from Alabama One Credit Union.

This month, we’ve hidden a New Year’s party horn blower, so before you party too much ringing in the New Year, see if you can find the dingbat! Good luck!


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

By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com

January is blood donor month

January is the beginning of a new year, and the perfect time to observe National Blood Donor Month. Due to increased seasonal illnesses during the winter months and inclement weather, donations of blood and platelets decline and demand increases.

The American Red Cross and the Blood Banks of America encourage everyone who currently donates to continue, and those who have never donated to make an appointment to do so. Blood donation is safer than ever and saves lives.

Someone needs blood every few seconds in the U.S., and more than 4.5 million Americans would die every year without lifesaving blood transfusions. Visit redcrossblood.org for more information.

Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 11 January | Spotlight
Sponsored David and Julie Roark of Orange Beach took a Caribbean cruise last year with a stop in St. Vincent. Members of Baldwin EMC, they took their magazine to the  St. Vincent Botanic Garden in Kingstown, the oldest botanic garden in the western hemisphere. Doug Miller, a member of Baldwin EMC, sent us this photo from his trip to Santorini, Greece, where he says the city “may have some competition from Alabama azaleas.” Paul Davis, Beth Jernigan and Keith Rolling travelled 1,200 miles with their copy of Alabama Living from Pike County to Mackinack Island, Michigan. They are members of South Alabama EC. Robert and Charlene Taylor of Sulligent, members of Tombigbee EC, visited Arches National Park and Zion National Park in Utah and took their magazine along. David and Carol Aderholt from Cullman, left, and Christian and Johanna Clemmons from McCalla and Smith Lake, all members of Cullman Electric Cooperative, enjoyed reading their magazine while visiting the Hoover Dam. The dam, on the Nevada-Arizona border, generates enough hydroelectric power to serve people each year, providing municipal water for urban centers including Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tucson. Mike and Dennie Sandefer of Guntersville took their Alabama Living with them on a trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina. They live on Lake Guntersville where they are members of North Alabama EC.

Experiencing Alabama is as easy as A, B, C

Whether you’re new to the state or have lived here for a lifetime, there are many uniquely Alabama experiences, places and events that are worth exploring. Need some inspiration for some upcoming travels and insight into some of our history, speech and art? Read on!

Ais for Auburn landmarks and traditions: A trip to “the loveliest village on the Plains” isn’t complete without a visit to the War Eagle Wall (great for selfies) and Toomer’s Corner, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks that dates to 1896. The historic Samford Hall clock tower has been the backdrop for generations of grad uation photos. Another tradition to experience: the tradition of “rolling” Toom er’s Corner after an Auburn athletic victory, when every stationary object is covered in toilet paper.

Bis for Beaches: If you’re new to the state and haven’t yet visited some of our sugar-white sand beaches, make plans now! Some of us think the cooler months are the best times to visit Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Dauphin Island and more (fewer tourists and cheaper lodging).

Cis for Cheaha: Alabama isn’t a mountainous state, but it does have a high point: Mt. Cheaha in Clay County is the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 feet. The surrounding Talladega National Forest and Cheaha Resort State Park offer a variety of hiking adventures, so grab a backpack and water and head outside!

Dis for depot museums: The rich histories of the railroads in Alabama are still preserved in several cities and towns, including Cullman, Fort Payne, Bridgeport, Selma and Hunts ville. Many depots have been restored or renovated and offer a glimpse into the time when train travel was popular and affordable.

Eis for environment education: Connect to nature, explore conservation efforts and learn about Alabama’s diverse ecosystems. The Alabama Nature Center at Lanark in Millbrook; the McDowell Environmental Center in Nauvoo; the Alabama Aquarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab; and the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College are just some of the educational facilities dedicated to our precious environment.

Gis for golfing: Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (known as the RTJ) boasts 468 championship holes at 26 courses in 11 sites all around the state. The Trail has been heralded by major media outlets, including The New York Times, as having “some of the best public golf on earth.”

Fis for football stadiums: BryantDenny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, home of the Crimson Tide, and Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, home of the Tigers, are two of the most iconic sports facilities in the Southeast, in any sport. Bryant-Denny has a seating capacity of 100,077, and JordanHare’s is 87,451; to be in the stands of either stadium on a fall Saturday (particularly for an SEC matchup) is an electric experience. But both are popular attractions to visit during the off-season as well.

12 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop

His for history: The State Archives and the Museum of Alabama in Montgomery, across from the state Capitol, is the state’s government records repository, has a special collections library and research facility, and offers educational tours of the museum, which features rotating exhibits.

Iis for Iron and Steel Museum of Alabama: Located at Tannehill Iron Works Historical State Park in McCalla, this museum provides visitors with exhibits and activities that explore 19th-century iron making in the area south of Birmingham. The museum includes displays illustrating production techniques and more than 10,000 artifacts, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.

Jis for Joe’s farm: Conservationist Christopher Joe, owner of Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours in Hale County, keeps his family farm flourishing and highlights some of the natural beauty of the Black Belt for visitors. “You don’t have to go around the world to see something amazing,” Joe told Alabama Living in 2021. His family farm is open for one-of-a-kind birdwatching and nature walks and tours.

Kis for Kentuck Art Center and Festival: This “experiential arts and culture economic engine,” according to its website, is in historic downtown Northport. Kentuck is likely best known for its annual Festival of the Arts in October, but the center provides year-round programming, “with the mission to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist.” The annual festival is nationally recognized and attracts more than 10,000 visitors. Kentuck.org

Lis for lakes: Freshwater is one of Alabama’s greatest assets; our many lakes provide for navigation, drinking water, agriculture, flood control and more. But most folks associate lakes with recreation: Lake Guntersville, our largest lake, covers 110 square miles and is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the state. Lake Wheeler near Decatur is a birdwatcher’s delight, with bald eagles, herons, egrets and other species. Lay Lake, not far from Birmingham, attracts many recreational boaters. There’s also great fishing at the 23 Alabama Public Fishing Lakes in 20 counties across the state; many are family-friendly, park-like areas that offer bank fishing, picnicking and walking areas.

Mis for Minor League Baseball: Catch some of the rising stars of Major League Baseball as they make their way through the minor league system. The Birmingham Barons are a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox; the Montgomery Biscuits are the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays; and the Rocket City Trash Pandas in Madison are the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. Each ballpark offers a season full of family fun.

Nis for native American sites: Moundville Archeological Park was once the site of a powerful prehistoric community that, at its peak, was America’s largest city north of Mexico. Located on the Black Warrior River south of Tuscaloosa, the park preserves the 29 massive flat-topped earthen mounds constructed by the Mississippian people. Bottle Creek, located on Mound Island in the heart of the Mobile Tensaw Delta, was occupied from about 1250 and was an important site for local Indians. Moundville is operated by the University of Alabama, and Bottle Creek is administered by the Alabama Historical Commission; both are open to the public.

Pis for “Peanuts

Around Town,” the public art works all over the Dothan area that pay homage to the peanut, a commodity that is significant in the Wiregrass. A collection of approximately 50 fivefoot fiberglass peanuts are decorated by local artists and highlight various businesses and locations. Dothan hosts the annual National Peanut Festival each fall, and the city is known as the “peanut capital of the world.”

Qis for the Quad Cities of Alabama (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia), also known as “the Shoals.” This area of northwestern Alabama is home to a wealth of attractions, including Ivy Green (Helen Keller’s birthplace and home), the picturesque campus of the University of North Alabama, recreational opportunities on lakes Pickwick, Wilson and Wheeler, the Rosenbaum House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) and, most notably, an amazing musical history. FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway have had songs recorded by music royalty and are open for tours; the W.C. Handy Home and Museum, named for “the father of the blues,” features a summer music festival.

Ris for RV parks: Our readers who enjoy the RV lifestyle have several favorites. Gunter Hill Campground outside of Montgomery has a nature setting on the backwaters of the Alabama River; south of Montgomery is the Kick Back Ranch and Event Center, which has an RV park and other amenities. Foscue Creek Campground is nestled on the forested lake shore of Demopolis Lake, the largest on the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway. Many of the state parks have RV camping; Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores is a fa vorite.

Ois for OWA: The 520-acre OWA (pronounced OH-wah) Parks and Resort is a family fun destination in Foley (near the Baldwin County beaches) that features a 23-ride theme park, an outdoor wave pool, and the region’s largest indoor water park. Just outside the ticketed area is Downtown OWA, a pedestrian-only streetscape that features dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities. It’s owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek

Sis for safari parks: Looking for a drive-through adventure? Make some new animal friends with a trip to Alabama Safari Park in Hope Hull (open year-round), or the Harmony Park Safari in Huntsville (open March through November). Hope Hull’s park is 350 acres, and in addition to the drive tour, there’s walk-about to the giraffe feeding tower and a petting area for your farmyard favorites. Huntsville’s park is a federally licensed nature preserve of free-ranging exotic and endangered animals. AlabamaSafariPark.com and Huntsville.org

Tis for “To Kill a Mockingbird”: Make the pilgrimage to Monroeville, hometown of author Harper Lee and the inspiration for Scout’s hometown of Maycomb. Begin a visit on the square with a tour of the Old Courthouse Museum, where you’ll get a glimpse into the life of Lee and her friend Truman Capote. Check out visitmonroevilleal.com for information on the annual stage adaptation of the book, which is in April.

Uis for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center: Based in Huntsville, the center is a Smithsonian affiliate, the official visitor center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and the home of Space Camp. It features one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia on display anywhere, features traveling exhibits from all over the world and has immersive astronomy shows, live entertainment and theater experiences in its state-of-the-art planetarium. The authentic Saturn V rocket, one of only three in the world, is located in the Saturn V Hall of the Davidson Center for Space Exploration. rocketcenter.com

14 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop
Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 15

Vis for Vulcan and other noteworthy statues: Statuary help tell the story of a time or place and bring a sense of community to small towns and big cities alike. The Vulcan statue is the city symbol of Birmingham, reflecting its roots in the iron and steel industry. Other notable statues (worth a stop for a photo, if you’re driving around) include the bird dog statue, confirm ing Union Springs’ status as a field trial destination; the Boll Weevil statue in Enterprise, which is less about honoring the cotton pest and more about the diversification of agriculture in that area; and the larger-than-life sculpture of country music icon Hank Williams, which stands across the street from the museum dedicated to his legacy in Montgomery.

Wis for waterfalls: From gurgling brooks to raging rivers, Alabamians fall for waterfalls, so head out with your camera and do some exploring. Among the most well-known are Noccalula Falls in Gads den (pictured), Little River in Fort Payne, DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park, the falls in Chewacla State Park in Auburn, Dismals Canyon Rainbow Falls in Phil Campbell, Moss Rock Preserve and Falls in Hoover (yes, in the city of Hoover) and Mardis Mill Falls in Blountsville.

Xis for extreme milkshakes: Got a sweet tooth? Several restaurants and shops offer these massive shakes that take the cake. The milkshake is merely the foundation for myriad embellishments, including sauces and drizzles, candy and candy bars, crushed cereal, marshmallow fluff, whipped cream and even entire wedges of cake, all precariously perched atop glass jars. Check out The Mason Jar in Auburn, K&J Elegant Pastries and Creamery in Alabaster and The Yard Milkshake Bar in Gulf Shores, Fairhope and Madison (among others).

Yis for y’all: Probably the bestknown word in the Southern vernacular, this pronoun is a contraction of “you all” and is properly spelled “y’all.” It’s a second-person plural that sounds so much more comfortable than something like “you guys.” Though some outside the South may perceive a speaker who uses “y’all” to be backwards, to Southerners it’s warm, inviting and hints at one of our treasured traditions: Southern hospitality.

Zis for zip lines: Looking for a little treetop adventure? Check out the zip lines at three of Alabama’s state parks (Lake Guntersville, Wind Creek and DeSoto) or at others, including Butter and Egg Adventures in Troy, and The Vision Zipline Tour in Huntsville. These and other places offer other outdoorsy fun, so check out their websites for hours and days of operation and make the most of a day out.

16 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop

Murals combine art, health in Monroeville

The perfect selfie destination might be in Monroeville, Alabama.

The Literary Capital of Alabama is home to more than 25 murals that make up the smART Moves Mural Trail. The mural trail is a collaborative project between Monroeville Main Street, the Monroeville/Monroe County Chamber of Commerce and Alabama Extension at Auburn University’s ALProHealth program.

ALProHealth is an obesity prevention and reduction program funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) High Obesity Program. ALProHealth is focused on increasing community health in 13 Alabama counties with an adult obesity prevalence of 40% or greater.

Why murals?

As one of ALProHealth’s communities, funds were available to Monroe County to promote physical activity. Creating a mural trail gives residents a fun reason to spend more time participating in physical activity and enjoying their community.

Anne Marie Bryan, executive director of Monroeville Main Street, and Penelope Hines, executive director of the Monroeville/ Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, led the ALProHealth community coalition to bring the selfie mural trail into reality.

Playing off the state’s desire to add more murals in local communities, Bryan felt that utilizing local artists and community members to add a splash of color to the county would incentivize residents to get outside and walk around the downtown area.

“Placemaking is a key part of our Main Street mission, and art is vital when creating a sense of place,” Bryan says. “Art trails appeal to people of all backgrounds, spark conversations and encourage people to get out of their cars and walk around our beautiful downtown. By hiring all Monroe County artists for the selfie murals, we created community pride through local connections.”

Hines felt the mural trail would give visitors another reason to explore downtown Monroeville and its surrounding communities, boosting tourism and adding an economic development component.

“Adding quality local art to our historic downtown appeals to people of all ages,” Hines says. “Furthermore, it encourages tourists to stay overnight, shop in our unique stores, and eat in our local restaurants.”

Partnership with ALProHealth

When ALProHealth Program Manager Dr. Ruth Brock heard the mural trail idea, she was on board from the start.

“Murals are a great way to bring people outdoors to see and experience their community while also increasing physical activity in a new and interesting way,” Brock says.

Monroe County Extension Coordinator Anthony Wiggins said it was great to see the many partnerships come together with the community coalition and turn the mural trail into a reality.

“I have been impressed with the artwork and the talent of these

18 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop
From top, murals by Ethan Nall, Jayson and Olivia Shadburn and Sharon Owens pay tribute to the many facets of life in Monroe County.

local artists,” Wiggins says. “Everyone involved with this effort took pride in their role, and it shows in how great the murals look and enhance Monroeville and surrounding communities.”

Calling all artists

The first step was figuring out what to call the trail. The community coalition created a contest for local students to name the trail, leading to the smART Moves in Monroe County Mural Trail. Madelyn Flummer, a fifth grader at Excel Elementary School, submitted the winning name.

Once they had a name, it was time to paint. Monroeville Main Street and the Monroeville/Monroe County Chamber of Commerce put a call out for artists and received about 60 to 70 pieces of potential artwork. Artists ranged from professionals to high school students.

A committee selected the artwork for each community within Monroe County. Hines said many of the murals have significance to their respective community, and others allowed the artists to show off their creative side.

Monroeville has a large mural titled “Literary Giants” by Johnna Bush to celebrate Monroe County novelists Harper Lee, Truman Capote and Mark Childress, as well as other former Monroe County residents and connections. In Frisco City, there’s a mural of a red caboose as a tribute to a retired red caboose in the center of the town. Also, at the Red and White grocery store in downtown Monroeville, a mural commemorates Houston Texans’ offensive tackle Tytus Howard, who played football at Monroe County High School and Alabama State University.

In all, there are 26 murals throughout Monroe County.

“Our county has a rich and diverse history from the southern farms to the railroad, to the diverse outdoor opportunities in the northern timber land,” Hines says. “From a tourism aspect, it was important for the project to include our rural communities with art that would encourage visitors to stop and explore.”

Leveraging grants

Bryan knew she wanted the mural trail to be a starting point for encouraging residents to spend time in the community and attract more visitors to Monroeville and Monroe County.

Leveraging the success of the mural trail, Bryan has obtained two AARP grants in Monroeville. One grant secured wheelchair-assessible chess and checker game tables along with benches and trash cans downtown with additional tables in several parks throughout the city. The other grant will install water fountains with bottle refill stations and a 24-panel storybook trail near many of the murals in the city.

“ALProHealth and AARP’s Community Challenge grant missions go hand-in-hand creating a natural segue for the grants to complement each other,” Bryan says. “The mural trail, along with the storybook trail, create multiple activities encouraging people to move throughout our historic square, the benches and tables create comfortable resting spots, and the water fountains/bottle fillers provide free healthy hydration.

“These grants projects create a domino effect, adding momentum to the positive energy in our downtown, supporting healthy activities, and spurring multigenerational community connections while simultaneously promoting our diverse and unique rural community.”

For more information about ALProHealth, contact Brock at rlw0031@aces.edu. For more information about Monroe County Extension programs, call Wiggins at (251) 238-2007. To contact Bryan with Monroeville Main Street or Hines with Monroeville/ Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, call (251) 743-2879.

20 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop
From top, murals by Johnna Bush, Tim Vaught and Melissa Wilson use bursts of color and artistic elements to convey the spirit of living and history in Monroe County. Anne Marie Bryan, left, and Penelope Hines helped make the mural project happen.

How electric vehicles impact the


Last year saw a record increase in electric vehicle (EV) sales, and experts are predicting that by 2035, many major vehicle manufacturers will only produce electric models.

A 2021 study by the Department of Energy showed that increased electrification, or replacement of direct fossil fuel use with electricity, would account for a 38% increase in electricity demand by 2050––and EVs will play a major role in this increased electrification.

The need for more electricity will have a major impact on the nation’s grid, which means power supply and grid infrastructure must be carefully planned to accommodate the increased need for electricity.

EV charging presents new challenges in maintaining the electric grid. Fully charging an EV battery requires the same amount of electricity needed to power a home during peak energy use times. However, EV charging is a concentrated pull of energy over an extended period, which can add stress to the local power grid by increasing the amount of electricity a utility has to provide. Additionally, the neighborhood transformer needs adequate capacity to handle the increased load. EV charging can shorten the lifespan of transformers by straining and overloading their capacity if they are not matched to a neighborhood’s energy needs.

Electric cooperatives are currently identifying ways to manage this new pattern of electricity use, though exact strategies will vary based on each utility’s unique needs. Analyzing energy load patterns or identifying where and when the local grid has spikes in demand can provide electric co-ops with data on where to place higher-capacity transformers. This analysis can also provide a picture of overall energy use and patterns to help forecast ener-

gy consumption for the future. Planning system maintenance and upgrades are also part of that long-range forecasting; however, this has been recently complicated by supply-chain issues with transformers, with wait times that are upwards of one year.

EV owners can play a role in reducing energy costs and system stress associated with charging. Check with your local electric coop to see if they offer an EV charging rate. Typically, an EV rate incentivizes charging during the night, when electricity demand and wholesale energy rates are lower. Charging at night is also a great way to ease demand in your neighborhood, even without a special EV rate.

Another potential change on the horizon is a new energy peak time. EV drivers who plug-in to charge as soon as they return home from work would create even more electricity demand during this busy time of day. But if EV drivers use a timer to schedule charging at night, the electricity demand could be spread over a longer period to reduce stress on the grid. This would be especially beneficial for neighborhoods with multiple EV drivers.

EVs are only expected to increase in number. Electric coops and EV owners both have roles to play in accommodating increased demand. If you own an EV, let your electric co-op know so they can better plan energy demand for you and your neighbors.

Katherine Loving writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.

22 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop
Experts are predicting that by 2035, many major vehicle manufacturers will only produce electric models. PHOTO COURTESY FORD Fully charging an EV battery requires the same amount of electricity needed to power a home during peak energy use times. PHOTO COURTESY DCBEL, UNSPLASH
Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 23

Chef lets the seasons speak through food

Chef Jim Smith sums up the driving force behind the food found on the menu at his Mobile restaurant, The Hummingbird Way, succinctly: “Start with best, highest quality local and regional ingredients, and let the seasons speak,” he says. With its bayside locale and the glittering Gulf of Mexico nearby, seafood is often a bright star at the eatery. In fact, proximity to fresh fish, shrimp and oysters is one reason the former executive chef of the State of Alabama chose Mobile for his first foray into restaurant ownership.

Smith’s affection for the ocean’s bounty and those who raise, harvest and catch it is evident in his role as chair of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. But he gives the same care and attention to every item that comes into and goes out of his kitchen, ensuring that The Hummingbird Way’s dining room is always buzzing with happy diners. Smith shares how he made it through Covid, what he learned from his time on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and as chef to Alabama’s first family, plus why biscuits are a staple on his restaurant’s changing menu. –Jennifer Kornegay

How did you first get interested in food and cooking?

I was in college at Samford University in Birming ham and took a job at a restaurant while going to school. I was not in the kitchen, but I just fell in love with the restaurant world, all the food and wine and the culture of it. That changed my mind about my future, and I ended up go ing to culinary school at Johnson & Wales University.

What led you to open The Hummingbird Way?

After culinary school, I helped open Dyron’s Lowcountry restaurant in Birmingham, and it was there I met Gov. Robert Bentley and his wife; they were regulars right before he was elected. Mrs. Bentley was asking my advice on handling food for state functions and such, and in those conversations, she decided to create a state chef position. She encouraged me to apply, and I got the job. I was in that position for a little over eight years. I served Gov. Kay Ivey in that time too and competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” The job was re warding, but I wanted more people to enjoy my food. I wanted to serve a wider audience, so that’s why I opened my restaurant.

What did both your “top chef” experiences (as state chef and on the show) teach you?

Both required a lot of thinking on my feet and execut ing at a high level. When you’re put in a situation that re quires quick thinking, you have to get creative but also stay true to yourself as a chef. On the show, I learned a lot just being around and interacting with so many other great chefs. And my main takeaway from the governor’s mansion was a focus on Alabama ingredients. I made wonderful contacts and relationships with farmers, fishermen, people making various food products, and I’ve kept them. They’ve been invaluable.

What do you want guests to find at The Hummingbird Way?

Great food, of course. But we also want to ensure that guests are receiving the best experience possible from the moment they walk in the door. We want them to shed away the troubles of the day and be embraced by all the restaurant has to offer, so there’s an equal emphasis on service. I have a great staff to accomplish this; most have been with me from the start.

Looking back at opening your restaurant right before the pandemic, what stands out?

It was a scary time. When you put everything you have into something and then see something so giant and out of your control threatening it, it’s hard. But staying true to what we do and working

| Alabama People | Jim Smith
Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 25

Gardening with style: 2023’s hottest gardening trends

year’s gardening trends. Climate and environmental concerns are behind a burgeoning interest in environmentally friendly gardening practices that use less chemicals, fossil fuels and water and in native plants, which are more resilient and better adapted to local ecosystems. It’s also driving changes in landscaping choices.

“I see a lot of people cutting back on their large lawns,” Trace says, noting that swaths of turfgrass are giving way to wildflower meadows, garden plots and raised beds. Some folks are removing lawns to make room for another 2023 trend, a growing interest in creating outdoor “rooms” and spaces to serve as gathering spots for family and friends.

store,” turning them into all kinds of functional items, including container gardens.

Speaking of which, interest in container gardening and in vertical gardening — the practice of growing plants on trellises, arbors, fences, in hanging baskets and as living walls — is expected to keep growing in popularity, particularly for people with limited outdoor space for gardening.

Greek, Scandinavian and Victorian garden designs, landscaping with natural materials like stone and collecting unusual houseplants are also on the 2023 garden trend list so there’s lots to try in the coming year. And according to Trace, experimenting with new ideas is fun and can be as easy as planting a small trial garden in containers or in a garden bed. Before committing to a major makeover, however, he recommends asking yourself these questions:

 What’s my budget?

 How much time and effort am I’m willing to put in the project?

 What are my growing conditions?

 What am I going to have to battle — deer, for instance.

According to the style pundits, 2023 will be the year of — drum roll, please — the Mediterranean garden, the cottage garden, the native plant garden, the water-wise garden, the edible garden, the vertical garden …

As you can see, it’s quite a long and varied list, and there’s a lot to consider in these trends, which is why I sought advice from Alabama’s very own style guru, Trace Barnett. A nationally known cook, artist, designer, blogger and author from Gold Mine, Ala., Trace is also an accomplished gardener who has his finger on the pulse of emerging design and lifestyle trends.

According to Trace, the changing climate, which gardeners are experiencing firsthand as seasons and growing conditions shift, is influencing many of this

What’s wonderful about this trend toward more sustainable and useful gardens is that we don’t need to give up style and beauty to have them. For example, Mediterranean-themed gardens, which are expected to be all the rage this year, not only provide an opportunity to run wild with 2023’s hippest color, terra cotta, they also use lots of evergreen, heat-loving, and drought-tolerant plants, many of which work well here in Alabama.

Cottage gardens, which are filled with an informal and often fanciful mixture of flowers, food plants and herbs, are also gaining in popularity. “I think this is a great idea because it creates a mini ecosystem,” Trace says, explaining that cottage gardens provide fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables for humans and much-needed habitat for pollinators and other wildlife species.

According to Trace, this emphasis on sustainability is also leading more and more gardeners to reuse and repurpose items in the garden. “It’s super easy to do,” he says. “You can re-envision things that you have on hand or find at the thrift

He also suggested getting help from local experts, including those on social media. “You’ll get better advice from someone here in Alabama than someone in Connecticut,” he says.

Follow Trace on Instagram at @thebittersocialite or check out some of his favorite Alabama-based Instagram influencers: @Urbanfarmstead, @Thehappygardeninglife and @Houseplantclub. And if you’re looking for a delightful mix of recipes, gardening tips and wonderful stories, get your hands on Trace’s book, Tracing Roots: A Modern Approach to Living Off the Land 


 Plant onion sets and cool season crops like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and leafy greens.

 Plant trees, shrubs and hardy annuals.

 Clean and sharpen garden tools.

 Get a soil test and add compost to garden beds.

 Clean and fill bird feeders and baths.

 Order seed for the coming season.

26 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop | Gardens |
Alabama style guru Trace Barnett says sustainability will be a gardening trend in 2023. Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.
Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 27
28 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop Answers on Page 41 January crossword
Across 1 New Year’s pledges 7 German for a 9 Fresh 10 Recollections 12 Steeps with flavor 15 Escapade 17 Angler’s gear 18 ___ Paulo, Brazil 20 Words to the music 23 It’s sung on New Year’s Eve, 3 words 25 Appropriate 26 Celebratory ceremonial procession 27 Charades expert 29 See 1 down Down 1 Celebrate the start of another 365 days! Goes with 1 down, 5 words 2 Viewed 3 Green citrus fruits at the bar 4 Where the New Year is celebrated on TV, 2 words 5 Rowboat equipment 6 Watch 8 Small area of land surrounded by water 11 Retirement account, abbr. 13 Formerly known as 14 Measurement of distance, abbr. 15 Army rank, abbr. 16 Celebration 19 Glow 21 Toasting word 22 ____ Ninja Turtles 23 “Killer” piece of software 24 ____ bears, kid’s candy 28 Business degree, abbr.





Decatur Festival of Cranes, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. More than 14,000 sandhill cranes along with several pairs of whooping cranes spend the winter each year here. In celebration of the birds, the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association hosts an event offering a variety of activities for experienced birders and anyone who would like to learn more about birding and other wildlife. Storytelling, photography workshops, music, live raptors, children’s activities, films and more. 256-350-2028.

20-22, 27-29

Lake Guntersville Eagle Awareness Weekends at Lake Guntersville State Park. Live bird demonstrations, programs from naturalists, guided safaris for viewing eagles in their natural habitat and more. The park offers special packages for weekend stays (the final weekend is Feb. 3-5). Visit alapark.com and click Lake Guntersville State Park or call 800-548-4553.


Foley Third annual OWA Arts and Crafts Festival. Coastal Alabama’s newest arts and crafts festival showcases the sights and sounds of local arts, music and handcrafted goods. This family-friendly event is free. Visitowa.com


Dothan Seed Swap and Garden Expo, Stokes Activity Barn at Landmark Park. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities will include trading seeds with fellow gardeners plus info and demos on beekeeping, backyard chickens, getting started with your home gardens, rain barrels, food preservation, composting and more. Free with paid gate admission ($5 adults, $4 kids, free for park members and children 2 and under). Hosted by Landmark Park, Wiregrass Master Gardeners Association, Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Wiregrass RC&D. LandmarkParkDothan.com


Millbrook The Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade. Festival grounds open at 9 a.m.; parade begins at noon. More than 60 vendors will be on site, with fun rides for children of all ages. The parade staging is at Mill Creek Park on Main Street; the theme for the parade is Laissez les bon temp rouler, or “let the good times roll.” MillbrookRevelers.org


Orrville Road to Freedom Wagon Tour at Old Cahawba, 10-11 a.m. One hundred years before the 1965 Voting Rights March in nearby Selma, a brave community of recently emancipated African-Americans gathered around an older courthouse in Cahawba. These 19th century “foot soldiers” exercised their right to vote and – for a brief time – gained political power. This wagon tour tells the story of Cahawba’s African-American majority and traces their path from slavery to freedom. $10. Search for the Old Cahawba page on Facebook.


Mobile USS Alabama living history crew drill. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. See history come to life when WWII re-enactors tell the stories of the original crewmen of the battleship USS Alabama and submarine USS Drum. Presentations and demonstrations throughout the day. Be on deck at 1 p.m. when the “call to battle stations” is sounded. All activities are included in the day’s admission. USSAlabama.com


Orange Beach 31st annual Orange Beach Seafood Festival and Car Show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wharf. Food, 100 artists from throughout the South, music for the whole family on two stages, kids’ zone with activities and car show featuring antique, classic and hot rod vehicles all along Main Street. Free. OrangeBeachAl.org


Decatur Greater Morgan County Builders Association Home and Garden Show, Ingalls Harbor Pavilion. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The latest trends in custom home building, remodeling ideas for every room in your home, home decoration, landscaping and more. 256-318-9161.


Andalusia Meredith’s Miracles Cookies with Characters, Covington Center Arena and Kiwanis Building. More than 90 characters will be on hand to greet fans, with souvenirs, photos, jumpy houses, princess carriage rides, limo rides and more. Saturday has two shows, at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday show starts at 3 p.m. Event is a fundraiser for Meredith’s Miracles, a non-profit organization that helps families financially during medical emergencies. For online tickets, visit CookiesWithCharacters.com

Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 29
January | Around Alabama To place an event, e-mail events@alabamaliving.coop. or visit
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Learn about the sandhill crane and birding in general at the Festival of Cranes Jan. COURTESY OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

New year, smarter home

ability. They can help save energy both in the winter and summer by operating based on the temperature of the room or a preset schedule.


You’ve probably heard the term “smart home” a lot in recent years. If you’re curious about what makes a home smart, how it can boost energy efficiency and help you save money, you have come to the right place.

“Smart” was originally an acronym for self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology. This refers to technology that can be programmed for automation or controlled remotely using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi from a smart phone app or online. A smart home is one with automated control of appliances and systems, such as lighting fixtures and heating and cooling systems.

There are multiple reasons people choose to automate their homes, including convenience, energy efficiency and security. Just because a product is smart, don’t assume it’s energy efficient. Added connectivity, lights and touchscreens can actually increase your energy use. Always look for the ENERGY STAR® logo when shopping, which certifies the products meet standards for energy efficiency.

Energy savings typically come from automating the systems, devices and appliances in your home to use less energy or use energy when it costs less. Here are a few ways you can start implementing smart technology at home.

Smart upgrades for the entire home

Because heating and cooling account for the most energy use in a home, these systems are the best place to look for energy savings.

Smart thermostats offer features and functionality that can help you save energy and money without thinking about it, including learning preferences and automatically setting temperatures. Geofencing is a feature that uses your phone’s location to gauge your distance from home and adjusts the temperature accordingly.

Smart thermostats also let you control the thermostat from anywhere with an internet connection, and automatic software updates use new algorithms to maximize energy savings. Features vary by product, so be sure to choose the one that’s right for you.

Smart window coverings are increasing in popularity and avail-

Smart lighting can help you remotely control lights in your home, based on occupancy or a preset schedule. Lighting also can be paired with home security systems.

You can use smart outlets and power strips to control devices from outside the home or manage use based on load. For example, you can plug your computer and devices into a load-sensing power strip that turns off peripheral devices, such as monitors and printers, when your computer is not in use.

Smart streaming for the living room

Many people use Wi-Fi to stream TV shows and movies. Smart TVs with built-in streaming functionality offer the most efficient way to stream content. If your TV cannot connect to the internet for streaming, opt for a streaming media player, such as Roku or Apple TV. They use 15 times less energy than a gaming console to stream the same shows and movies.

Save on suds in the laundry room

Smart washing machines can be scheduled for off-peak energy times (when people in your community use less energy), which is helpful if your electric rate is based on the time of day energy is used. Smart clothes dryers can shut off automatically when your clothes are dry.

Smart savings in the kitchen

There are many options for smart appliances in the heart of the home. Smart refrigerators offer energy-saving features, such as notifications when the door is left open. Digital screens that show the contents to keep you from opening the door.

Smart ovens let you preheat when you are on your way home or check if you forgot to turn off the oven when you are away. Toasters, range hoods, microwaves and countertop ice makers are among the growing list of additional smart kitchen gadgets available.

More smart home technologies are on the horizon, bringing more ways to operate the various systems, devices and appliances in your home.

As you think about ways to make your home smarter, remember to look for products that use the same smart home apps, which will make these new technologies even easier to manage.

30 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop | Consumer Wise |
Q: Are smart home technologies energy efficient? Will making these technology upgrades save me money?
Miranda Boutelle is the vice president of operations and customer engagement at Efficiency Services Group in Oregon, a cooperatively owned energy efficiency company. She also writes on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. Smart window coverings, such as these Serena Smart Roller Shades, can help save energy in the winter and summer with app capabilities and preset schedules. PHOTO COURTESY SERENA BY LUTRON

Giant geese come back from the brink of extinction

Well before daylight, we pull into a driveway leading to a stately house. Perhaps we’re picking up another hunter to join our party, I thought. No, we didn’t stop. Instead, we drove around behind the mansion and across the well-manicured lawn to a pond bordering a golf course.

Over the years, I hunted many types of terrain from snowy mountains to deserts, prairies, swamps and marshes, but never anything like this. I half expected someone to come out with a shotgun while all of ours rested unloaded in the back of the truck with the ammunition. That didn’t happen, but we did roust quite a few ducks and geese from their slumber. Unseen in the darkness, they rose off the water with a raucous condemnation of our intrusion.

Except for a few trees around the house and between the pond and golf course, not a shred of cover higher than an inch grew along the shoreline. We erected a portable blind, placed decoys and waited for shooting hours to begin.

We bagged a few ducks at first light. Then, nothing moved in the sky for hours. From the blind, we watched bass chasing their breakfast in the placid mirror-like pond. I wished I had brought a fishing rod. As the sun rose higher, we spotted golfers playing in the distance beyond the wooded area across the pond.

Just about the time I wanted to call it a day, we heard it! From the golf course erupted a sonorous honking that grew louder and more intense with each second. Then, the largest flying birds I had ever seen, with the possible exception of a few turkeys (and that’s debatable), began heading our way. The seductive notes sounding from calls in our blind welcomed the birds to our side of the pond.

Propelled by powerful, broad wings, these massive fowl flew deceptively fast. Crouching in the blind, we tightly gripped our shotguns as the first wave of noisy feathered overcast approached ever closer and lower. Finally, our guide yelled, “Take ’em!”

By the early 20th century, overhunting and habitat loss greatly reduced the population of the giant Canada goose subspecies.

Wildlife managers thought this magnificent bird became extinct by the 1950s. Fortunately, someone discovered a small flock in Minnesota.

From that remnant, wildlife managers across the nation began breeding and releasing the huge waterfowl. Raised in pens, the original offspring and their progeny did not migrate. In the past few decades, exploding populations of gigantic resident honkers have become pests at many parks and golf courses.

“We brought the giant subspecies of Canada geese here decades ago to bolster the population,” says Seth Maddox, the Alabama Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Migratory Game Bird Coordinator. “They’re much bigger than the ones that migrate from Canada. These were never really migratory, but they do move around the state and cross into adjacent states.”

In the summer, geese molt, or shed their old feathers. At this time, they become flightless and vulnerable to predators so they seek safe havens like large waterbodies, golf courses and parks. By August, they replace their feathers. As fall approaches, they split into smaller groups to look for ripening grain to eat.

“In many areas, Canada geese become a nuisance,” says Jared Knight, a state wildlife biologist in Spanish Fort. “They eat crops. Their scat builds up in places. Farmers hate them.”

The state opens goose season during September each year to help trim the population of non-migratory giant Canada geese. The 2022-23 late goose season runs from Dec. 3. 2022, through Jan. 29, 2023.

“Giant Canada geese are here all year long,” Maddox says. “The population is growing and expanding in Alabama. We now have giant Canadas in all 67 counties. We estimate more than 60,000 birds across Alabama. People see them in parks or ponds near cities. Other than Canada geese, we don’t get many other goose species in Alabama.”

Most Alabama sportsmen seldom see geese other than giant Canadas. Some snow and blue geese, really just a darker color variant of snow geese, winter along the Tennessee River and other rivers like the lower Chattahoochee River. People might spot a few white-fronted or specklebelly geese in fields in parts of Alabama.

Many farmers welcome goose hunters to come on their properties. Someone who sees geese in a field might ask the landowner for permission to hunt. The request might be greeted enthusiastically.

32 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop | Outdoors |
John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He also hosts an outdoors tips show for WAVH FM Talk 106.5 radio station in Mobile, Ala. Contact him at j.felsher@ hotmail.com or through Facebook.
Canada geese fly over a lake. Nearly extinct in the 1950s, the giant subspecies of Canada goose made a dramatic comeback during the past few decades. PHOTO


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Fr 27 3:30 - 5:30 3:54 - 5:54 9:57 - 11:27 10:21 - 11:51

Sa 28 4:18 - 6:18 4:42 - 6:42 10:45 - 12:15 11:09 - 12:39

Su 29 5:06 - 7:06 5:30 - 7:30 11:33 - 1:03 11:57 - 1:27

Mo 30 5:54 - 7:54 6:18 - 8:18 NA 12:45 - 2:15

Tu 31 6:42 - 8:42 7:06 - 9:06 1:09 - 2:39 1:33 - 3:03


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Sa 4 9:54 - 11:54 10:18 - 12:18 4:21 - 5:51 4:45 - 6 ;15

Su 5 10:42 - 12:42 11:06 - 1:06 FULL MOON 5:09 - 6:39 5:33 - 7:03

Mo 6 11:30 - 1:30 11:54 - 1:54 5:57 - 7:27 6:21 - 7:51

Tu 7 NA 12:42 - 2:42 6:45 - 8:15 7:09 - 8:39

We 8 1:06 - 3:06 1:30 - 3:30 7:33 - 9:03 7:57 - 9:27

Th 9 1:54 - 3:54 2:18 - 4:18 8:21 - 9:51 8:45 - 10:15

Fr 10 2:42 - 4:42 3:06 - 5:06 9:09 - 10:39 9:33 - 11:03

Sa 11 3:30 - 5:30 3:54 - 5:54 9:57 - 11:27 10:21 - 11:51

Su 12 4:18 - 6:18 4:42 - 6:42 10:45 - 12:15 11:09 - 12:39 Mo 13 5:06 - 7:06 5:30 - 7:30 11:33 - 1:03 11:57 - 1:27

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- 2:39 1:33 - 3:03


- 3:27

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Su 15 5:54 - 7:54 6:18 - 8:18 NA 12:45 - 2:15
Mo 16 6:42 - 8:42 7:06 - 9:06 1:09 - 2:39 1:33 - 3:03
Tu 17 7:30 - 9:30 7:54 - 9:54 1:57 - 3:27 2:21 - 3:51
Tu 21 11:30 - 1:30 11:54 - 1:54 5:57 - 7:27 6:21 - 7:51 We 22 NA 12:42 - 2:42 6:45 - 8:15 7:09 - 8:39 Th 23 1:06 - 3:06 1:30 - 3:30 7:33 - 9:03 7:57 - 9:27 Fr 24 1:54 - 3:54 2:18 - 4:18 8:21 - 9:51 8:45 - 10:15 Sa 25 2:42 - 4:42 3:06 - 5:06 9:09 - 10:39 9:33 - 11:03 Su 26 3:30 - 5:30 3:54 - 5:54 9:57 - 11:27 10:21 - 11:51 Mo 27 4:18 - 6:18 4:42 - 6:42 10:45 - 12:15 11:09 - 12:39 Tu 28 5:06 - 7:06 5:30 - 7:30 11:33 - 1:03 11:57 - 1:27
We 15 6:42
8:42 7:06
9:06 1:09
Th 16 7:30 - 9:30 7:54
9:54 1:57
2:21 - 3:51 Fr 17 8:18 - 10:18 8:42 - 10:42 2:45 - 4:15 3:09 - 4:39 Sa 18 9:06 - 11:06 9:30 - 11:30 3:33 - 5:03 3:57 - 5:27 Su 19 9:54 - 11:54 10:18 - 12:18 4:21 - 5:51 4:45 - 6 ;15 Mo 20 10:42 - 12:42 11:06 - 1:06 NEW MOON 5:09 - 6:39 5:33 - 7:03

cooking with kids

Kady, age 12, patiently baking her recreated TikTok Spaghetti.

| Alabama Recipes |
Erin Schulze, 10, with a finished loaf of her Basic Bread Recipe. Brothers Brittin Turner, 8 and Elliot Turner, 6, preparing to make their Magic Mousse. Natalie Brosseau, 10, with her Peach Pies.
34 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop
David Crowder, 4, mixing his Easy M&M Cookies.

Many of us got our start in the kitchen as youngsters, watching our parents or grandparents cook family favorites and then following their examples. Nowadays, young cooks can watch YouTube or TikTok videos of children their own age, whipping up cookies, pies and even like our winner this month, “TikTok Spaghetti.” We were impressed by the submissions we received, and we’re ready to join these young cooks for a meal anytime!

Basic Bread Recipe

1 egg plus warm water to make 11/3 cups together

2 tablespoons oil

1 rounded tablespoon sugar

1 rounded teaspoon salt

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

21/4 teaspoons yeast, sprinkled over

Add ingredients to a bowl in the order listed. Stir until all mixed together. Knead a few times to shape and place in a well-greased loaf pan. Let rise 45 minutes or until it’s at the top of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes or until golden brown on top and bottom.

Erin Schulze's favorite way to eat this is straight out of the oven, sliced and buttered. But it also makes very yummy toast when left over.

Peach Pies

11/2 cups frozen peaches

1 refrigerated pie crust

21/2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch cinnamon

Defrost the peaches. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a 4-inch bowl or cup as a guide, cut circles from the pie crust. A 9-inch refrigerated pie crust usually makes 5-8 circles. Roll out slightly, then place on a baking sheet. Crush graham crackers to make crumbs. Place 1/2 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs in center of each crust. Using a plastic knife, cut thawed peaches into chunks. In a medium bowl, mix peach chunks with sugar and cinnamon. Divide the peaches among the crusts. Fold the edges of each crust up and over the peaches to form small pies. Bake 30 minutes or until the pies are golden brown. Let it cool before serving, about 5 minutes. Tastes delicious paired with ice cream or topped with cool whip.

Natalie Brosseau, 10 years old Wiregrass EC

Cook of the Month:


Graham Arab EC

Kady began cooking and baking at age 4. Now 12, she independently cooks and bakes 'from scratch' recipes, making delicious desserts, salads and dinner dishes for her family and friends. Kady saw this spaghetti recipe on TikTok and recreated it. She passed it 'up' the generations as she showed her mother and grandmother how to make it. It has become one of her family's favorites. Submitted by her grandmother, Sandy Kiplinger of Union Grove.

Kady's TikTok Spaghetti

1/2 cup olive oil

20 ounces grape (or cherry) tomatoes, washed and sliced in half

1 8-ounce block Feta cheese Salt and pepper, to taste

5 leaves fresh basil, chopped 16 ounces thin spaghetti Extra crumbled feta cheese, optional for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 3-quart glass oblong baking pan, place block of Feta cheese in the center. Place grape (or cherry) tomatoes, cut side down, around the cheese. Drizzle olive oil over the feta and tomatoes. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over cheese and tomatoes, to taste. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes. While the cheese/tomatoes are cooking, break the spaghetti in half or thirds and cook in accordance with package directions. Coordinate cooking times so the spaghetti is finished at the same time as the feta-tomato mixture. After removing the feta-tomato mixture from the oven, while still hot, use a potato masher to mash and then mix it together. After draining the cooked spaghetti in a colander, mix it with the feta mixture. The optional feta cheese can be sprinkled on top and it is ready to serve.

Alabama Living

David’s Easy M&M Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup M&M’s

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla and white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and add to the butter mixture a bit at a time, mixing after each addition. Fold in M&M’s and drop by heaping tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.

David Crowder, 4, says he is going to be a veterinarian when he grows up, but cooking has always been his favorite hobby.

Some of my best childhood memories are from being in the kitchen with my momma, grandmother and aunt. They taught me how to love cooking, enjoying what we create in the kitchen, and how to love others with food. I think it’s important to get kids in the kitchen early, even if it’s just to roll out biscuit dough. But have some fun, too! This recipe for Bears in a Blanket is easy enough for kids of all ages and is also pretty yummy! For more great recipes, head over to www.thebutteredhome.com.

Bears in a Blanket

2 sheets puff pastry

12 Hershey’s mini chocolate bars

12 Teddy Grahams cookies

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whip egg lightly in a small bowl. Cut each sheet of pastry dough into six equal pieces. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Snap each Hershey bar into two pieces and lay them near the top of the pastry rectangle, like a pillow. Place a teddy graham on top of chocolate and fold bottom end of pastry up halfway on top of bear.

Crimp edges with a fork and brush pastry with whipped egg. Repeat for each pastry rectangle. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

Magic Mousse

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 small box (1.4-ounces) instant pudding mix, we use chocolate

Wash your hands. Empty pudding mix into a bowl. Add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Makes four servings. Refrigerate any leftovers.

The Turner Brothers Brittin, 8 and Elliot, 6

Fran Turner Baldwin EMC

Cook of the Month wins $50! Recipes can be developed by you or family members. You may even adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Chosen cooks 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.

36 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop
Coming up next... May Healthy Substitutions Deadline to enter February 3 More upcoming themes and deadlines: June: Burgers | March 3 July: Tomatoes | April 7 August: Pears | May 5
website: alabamaliving.coop
us: recipes@alabamaliving.coop USPS mail: Attn: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
Carol Sposato (David's "Memama") Dixie EC
Alabama Living JANUARY 2023 39

The rest of the story

The older readers here will remember Paul Harvey. Most probably remember him well. For many years he hosted a daily radio program that addressed the issues of the day, and he also had a daily segment called “The Rest of the Story.”

Mr. Harvey would tell a story in those sessions and, at the end, provide more information to make clear to listeners the rest of the story. It was clear, surprising, entertaining, and usually enlightening.

The United Nations recently concluded its annual Climate Change Conference in Egypt. There have been so many climate conferences that they’ve adopted a persona and language of their own - this one being called COP27. The past 26 COPs have focused on enticing, bullying, begging, shaming, and threatening countries of the world and their leaders to implement fossil fuel and carbon emission plans and limitations. Thus far, the results have been mostly unproductive. Very few countries have made any progress on meeting their goals. Most emerging countries, like China, have only agreed to limitations that will not begin for more than a decade. Additionally, global political actions like the Russian-Ukrainian War frequently change any actions taken to reduce emissions.

Reality must have finally set in on the U.N. and its climate crusaders. While the climate movement tag line will never change from “fossil fuels will ruin the world” and “action must be taken now to save the planet,” and the effort to eliminate fossil fuels will continue for years, the focus of COP27 has shifted from unmet carbon emission goals to a new program calling for economically developed countries to provide aid or climate reparations to developing countries.

It should be clear to anyone paying attention that implementing energy policies focused on reducing fossil fuel usage and wearing hair shirts to atone for the sins of carbon emissions (in exchange for a more modern and comfortable lifestyle) has lost much of its momentum. Spreaders of climate dogma, like the mainstream media, have subtly shifted their message from a direct correlation between fossil fuel reductions and the world’s survival to a message that wealthy countries must compensate emerging countries for climate change damage.

With inside information, or reading the tea leaves better than he normally does, John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Climate, provided a preface to the COP27 conference, saying, “…I refuse to feel guilty toward the developing world.”

However, with the change in direction of the conference, developing countries made their pitch for trillions of dollars in climate reparations from the developed world. Even Nicolas Madura, Venezuela’s president, despite his horrendous civil rights and environmental record, requested billions of dollars in climate reparations for damage caused to his country.

There was no mention of technological advances made possible by the abundant, cheap energy fossil fuels provide. Also, there was no mention of the efficiencies and conveniences of life these technological advances provide. There were no thanks for the miracles of cheap energy in providing cleaner and cheaper water, air conditioning, modern communications, and better transportation for employment opportunities that give emerging countries opportunities to finally develop their economies. And, of course, there was no offer of compensation to developed countries for those conveniences.

There was also no credit offered for the faster growth of global wealth in comparison to the expected costs of climate change. There was no recognition that the lives of almost everyone in the world have improved immensely through the use of fossil fuels. Finally, there was not a single commitment from any emerging country to use climate reparations to reduce carbon emissions or their reliance on fossil fuels – gasp.

Despite Mr. Kerry’s pre-meeting denial of guilt, the European Union and U.S. Administration apparently did feel guilty, and they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the conference’s closing moments by agreeing to establish a framework to provide climate reparations to emerging countries. China did not agree to participate in the reparations. They most likely will not. The details of the agreement will be fleshed out in the near future, which will result in a heated debate in Congress about how climate reparations will be paid.

It is increasingly clear that reduction in worldwide fossil fuel use is immune to political action. Technology and the growth of the world’s economies, not politicians and diplomats, will dictate fossil fuel use and resulting carbon emissions. These groups will be left to redistribute wealth among their friends and financial dependents caused by climate reparations. The people wh= may be injured and burdened by climate change will receive little help for their problems. Hardworking Americans will again pay the price for our leaders’ guilt.

And that, my friends, is the Rest of the Story.

I hope you have a good month.

40 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop | Our Sources Say |
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.



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Riding your thumb

Here’s a bit of trivia for you.

In 1937, roughly one out of ten American men had hitchhiked at some point in their lives.

Makes sense when you think about it.

Back then, Depression was in the land, and men looking for work stood by the road with their thumbs out, hoping for the ride that would take them to a job.

For some folks hitchhiking was a matter of convenience.

When I was a boy, we had a “farm” about 12 miles west of town. During the winter it fell to me to ride the school bus out to see that the cows were fed. Then I would hitchhike home.

Drivers knew my family, and we knew them, so I never had trouble catching a ride.

When I got to college it was another matter. I did not have a car, so on weekends I would head for the highway and hitch.

Soon I began to calculate what it took to get someone to pick me up.

What you wore mattered.

For example, a uniform. Folks who lived through WWII considered giving a serviceman a lift to be their patriotic duty. My ROTC uniform got me many a ride.

I learned to pick my spot carefully, making sure that there was a place past me where a driver could pull over. A location in a lower speed zone also improved your chances.

Often it was not possible to make the whole trip with one ride, so a hitchhiker had to piece together rides to get to where they were going. Sometimes the rides didn’t appear. Once I got stranded and it looked like night would catch me on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Then a family from my town drove by, recognized me and stopped. They were in a pick-up and the cab was full of parents and the kids. About two hours later they delivered a wind-blown me to my Mama.

Looking back I can say that I met some interesting people, only one of whom ever made me feel uncomfortable – not threatened. I was just glad when we got where we were going.

You don’t see many hitchhikers today. Not sure why. Maybe because more people have cars. I’d be willing to bet that there are more two-car families than no-car families.

Maybe the highways are to blame. Hitchhiking is prohibited on the interstate. On other roads folks drive faster and there seem to be fewer places to pull off to give a guy a lift.

But mostly I think it is us. Hitchhikers have been demonized, and maybe they should be. We have been told that it is dangerous to pick up someone you don’t know. On the other hand, getting into a car with a stranger doesn’t seem wise either.

Maybe it is just as well that this part of the American past is, well, past.

Would I have wanted my son to stand on the side of the road, thumb out, waiting to see who or what might stop?


But back then my parents did, though I am sure that Mama prayed me all the way home.

42 JANUARY 2023 www.alabamaliving.coop | Hardy Jackson's Alabama |
Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hhjackson43@gmail.com Illustration by Dennis Auth

Happy New Year!

from the Electric Cooperatives of Alabama
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