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Tombigbee EC - We’re here for you, our members APRIL 2015

Tombigbee Electric COOPERATIVE

Winter Storm 2015 Page 6-7

Facts about our facility Page 5

C3 Quick Facts Page 8



FIND US AT: 3196 County Hwy 55, Hamilton, AL 35570

PHONE US AT: 205-921-6712 or 800-621-8069



Steve Foshee CO-OP EDITOR

Kay Marshall 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. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. 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.



VOL. 68 NO. 4 APRIL 2015

5 Our Facility

A fast facts article with photos.

6 Snow Storm Report

A technical look at Winter Storm Thor and TEC.

20 Refresh your decor for garden magic

ON THE COVER Winter storm of 2015. Trees and power poles are no match for Nature’s hand.

If a quirky sculpture or fountain brings you joy, it belongs in your garden.

34 Montgomery Youth Tour 2015 High school juniors from 18 Alabama electric cooperatives took part in the annual Youth Tour in our state’s capital in March.


340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: advertising@areapower.com www.areapower.coop

When you see this symbol, it means there’s more content online at www.alabamaliving.coop! Videos, expanded stories and more!


National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

We’ll see YOU at I-22, Exit 14!

DEPARTMENTS 9 40 41 42 46

Spotlight Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Bookshelf Cook of the Month

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015 3

Tombigbee Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees Jim McRae Chair

Manager’s Comments

Winter’s Fury Steve Foshee Manager of Tombigbee EC

David Collins Vice-Chair

Curt Morris

Secretary Treasurer

Terry Gosa Greg Guin Sheila Gunter William T. Hulsey Chad Williams Warren Williford

Visit our website www.tombigbee.org

Headquarters: 3196 Co. Hwy 55 Hamilton, AL 35570 205.921.6712

4  APRIL 2015

This month we make a transition from winter to spring and winter did not want go away easily. In February, record snow was experienced here with more than 12 inches falling over most of our system. Because this was such a wet snow, it stuck to our pines like glue. The pine trees couldn’t hold up to the weight of the snow and either fell into our lines or bent over onto them causing over 7,800 of our meters to be without power. These meters cover over 800 square miles which is enough power lines that if laid out straight would take you from here to California. Normally snow creates very little problems and typically it isn’t cold enough to stick, but this year was different. Not many in this area have seen it snow this much in such a short time. By operating within our cooperative principles and using cooperation among our fellow cooperatives, our workforce went up by some 400 percent. With help from South Alabama Electric Cooperative, Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, Dixie Electric Cooperative and Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation, we were able to restore power to everyone in just over 54 hours. Calling in this help isn’t free or cheap though. We spent somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000 on labor, transportation, meals and housing during this snow storm. While we try to plan for events such as these, this event is outside of our typical storms and has really blown our budget. Members ask why their power goes out when they can’t see anything on the lines. The answer is the tree(s) causing the problem is likely a few miles away. There were a number of times during this snow storm,

our men had to clear the road just to get to the trees causing the outages. Cutting trees and clearing paths is a very time consuming job and this is why we called for additional help. I have been asked why we don’t just cut the trees away from the lines. In fact, we do. We have a right-of-way given to us by the membership which is 15 feet on either side of the power line. When we have a large number of pine trees reaching 30 feet tall or more falling on the line, this 15 foot right of way just isn’t enough clearance. We would love to have a larger right-of-way but most landowners would rather not give it to us. Another question we commonly hear is how do we choose whose power is restored first? Power has to be restored at the substations first. From there, the main feeder lines have to be repaired and then the individual lines branching off of those feeders. It is these individual lines that feed each of your homes. These individual lines could be up to 30 miles from our substation. This order of restoration cannot be changed. Even if we tried, the power wouldn’t come back on to the individual lines if there is something wrong on any of the lines feeding it. We understand clearly that electricity is vital to all of us and we treat it very seriously. However one thing is certain, we cannot prevent what God has put into motion. I am not sure if He is or is not interested in our electric power needs, but He did create this world we live in and try as we might, we cannot help but be humbled when things such as this storm event happens. A -- sfoshee@tombigbee.org

TEC Facility Review

Our Facility

LED lighting for energy efficiency and reliability.

Photo courtesy of Allison Griffin - AREA

Article by Brenda Overton IT and Members Services Manager

As an electric utility, it is extremely important that the cooperative be able to operate in any and We are very excited to all situations so planning be operating in our new for emergency situations facility located at 3196 was extremely imporCounty Hwy 55, Hamilton. tant. The site has a diesel The staff of Tombigbee powered generator capable was pleased to present of providing electricity to the building to those who our entire building during came out to see us for our power outages. open house on January 20, but for those of you who There is a 1500 gallon couldn’t join us, we have fuel tank attached to the pictures and information generator which will keep here for you to see. the building powered for 3 days. The total square footage of our new facility is apThe warehouse is big proximately 50,000 sf. This enough that it serves is made up of 16,250 sf for multiple purposes. All our office and museum material needed to mainand another 33,750 sf in tain the distribution our warehouse. With this system is stored inside new facility, Tombigbee the warehouse and all of also has just over 21 acres the company vehicles are of property which will be parked inside to protect used to park visiting line them from the elements workers during storm of the weather. In storm events and for future situations when it is necesgrowth possibilities. sary to bring in crews from other co-ops, the wareWhile planning and house could also serve as building this facility, the shelter for those helping board and staff, worked reget power restored. ally hard not only to look at the needs of today, but The employees of Tomto also take the cooperabigbee are very proud of tive easily into the future. the new office and we hope The building contains state you are too! A of the art technology and security as well as 100%

CEO, Steve Foshee, on tour of warehouse. Photo courtesy of Allison Griffin - AREA

Foshee shows extra storage space in warehouse. Photo by Tombigbee staff

Plently of room for visiting crews that come to our aid. Photo by Tombigbee staff

Ample room for visiting crews, their trucks and supplies. Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  5

Snowstorm 2015 Report Information by Mark Carden Engineering & Operations Manager Photos by Tombigbee staff

Not since the 1980’s has there been a snow storm to rival the event in on February 25 and 26. From all over our service area 10-12.7 inches of snow fell. As the snow continued to accumlate on trees the weight of it caused enormous damage to trees, power poles and line. In order for customers to receive power, electricity must flow down the line from the starting point - at the substation - to the main feeder lines and then to the taps off the main feeder. Tombigbee maintains a 15 feet on each side Right of Way in which resides the poles and lines. We trim and cut trees and limbs which are in that right of way. During this snow storm we experienced wet and heavy snow. This laid on tree limbs causing the trees to lean into the right of way and on the distribution lines. This caused the protected devices to open and, in return, the power went off. Some trees were cut off but others caused the lines to break. These lines had to be repaired.

HERE ARE THE STATISTICS OF WINTER STORM ON OUR COOPERATIVE Number of workers including TEC and outside help for snow storm -87 Tombigbee Electric Cooperative -27 Alabama Electric Cooperatives – 46 WA Kendall (Tree Trimers) – 14 Total Bucket Trucks – 32 Total Pickups – 15 Total Derrick Trucks -2

Right of Way Tree Trimmers WA Kendall (Right of Way Contractors) headquarters in Lawrenceville, GA Tree Trimers -14 Bucket Trucks -5 Pickups -2

OUTAGE SUMMARY SNOW STORM 2-25-2015 Tombigbee EC THROUGH 2-28-2015 Employees - 27 (including office) Bucket Trucks -6 Peak Outage Numbers on Thursday Derrick Trucks – 2 morning 2-26-2015 at 9:30 am was Pickups – 7 7,908 Customers Affected The first outage was reported at Six Electric Cooperative crews that assisted us with restoring power dur- 3:43 pm on Wednesday 2-25-2015 at 2335 Co Road 10 in Millport, AL ing the snow storm and the last outage was restored at Black Warrior EMC Demopolis, AL 2-27-2015 at 10:20 pm at 234 Rock Hill Road & Summer Wilson 285 Lineman -12 Rock Hill Road in Haleyville, AL. Bucket Trucks -5 Total number of protected devices Pickups- 2 that were out due from the snow Central Alabama EC Prattville, AL storm was 124 devices. Of those 124 protected devices 121 of the outages Lineman – 12 was caused from trees. Wet heavy Bucket Trucks – 6 snow that had accumulated on the Pickups – 2 trees causing them to lay over on the power lines resulting in outages. Coosa Valley EC Talladega, AL Lineman – 7 Tombigbee Electric Cooperative serBucket Trucks -3 vices over 2,200 miles of distribution Pickups – 1 lines in Marion, Lamar and Fayette Counties. During the snow storm Dixie EC Montgomery, AL there was over 1,200 miles of distriLinemen - 6 Bucket Trucks - 3 bution lines affected. A

After power was restored Friday, February 28th, we still had trees that continued to fall through the night into Saturday and Sunday which created fourteen additional outages. The following days we worked tirelessly to visually check all of the distribution lines and cut any leaning trees Pioneer EC Greenville, AL that might fall and cause more out- Lineman – 4 Bucket Trucks – 2 ages to the system.

South Alabama EC Troy, AL

6  APRIL 2015

Lineman -5 Bucket Trucks -2 Pick up -1

We thank you for your patience during this winter storm event and we are especially grateful to the crews from the other cooperatives.


TEC Snowstorm ‘15

HOW TOMBIGBEE APPROACHES RESTORATION PROCESS DURING STORMS: 1. The substations have to be energized by the transmission provider. 2. The main three phase distribution feeder has to be energized first. 3. Then the main single phase lines have to be energized. 4. Then the fused taps off the main lines have to energized. 5. Then the individual customers. Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  7

TEC C3 Fast Facts

Fast Fact # 7 DID YOU KNOW Successful Companies and the C3 Region Fit Together Like “Hand in Glove.” Showa Best Glove located in Fayette is our nations only remaining manufacturer of nitrile examination gloves used by hospital staffs and other healthcare providers. The plant, in operation in the C3 Region since the mid1960’s, produces approximately 12 million gloves per week, or over a half billion per year. To achieve this, 280 skilled employees are required to manage the 24/7 non-stop production schedule. Allow us to prepare a hand-in-glove proposal that fits your company’s needs just right. Fast Fact # 8 DID YOU KNOW Four major universities are within a one-hour drive of the C3 Region. Bevill State Community College also operates two campuses here. With workforce training and development assets like these, it’s not surprising that companies from around the world have found that they can successfully oper8  APRIL 2015

ate in the region. NTN Bower (subsidiary of Japan-Based NTN Corporation), Showa (of Japan-based Showa Glove), Steel Dust Recycling (owned by Mexico-based Promax Industrial Group), and Sitel Worldwide (part of Canada-based Onex Corporation) are each enjoying the regions environment FAR from their corporate home, but still feeling right at home. As an example of our supportive successful environment, Sitel is currently adding 300 employees to their Hamilton workforce, essentially doubling their employment. Let us help you join our progressive global group of industries, HERE in Northwest Alabama! Fast Fact # 9 DID YOU KNOW Many of the C3 Region’s original community assets have renewed themselves and grown, remaining vital to the area. Winfield’s Pastime Theatre and Fayette’s Civic Center/Art Museum are wonderful examples. Hamilton’s arts council stays busy producing plays (at the Hamilton Bevill State campus), as well as the annual JBAF. Be sure to watch for the upcoming play at Winfield’s Pastime of

“Into the Woods.” Some of our oldest corporate citizens have grown and expanded, too, and are equally vital assets! Since 3M in Guin broke ground in 1954, its facility has expanded nine times, employment has grown eightfold, and the physical plant is now 6 times its original size. If you do the math, that’s 60 years of continued success! In fact, 3M was named Alabama’s 2013 Manufacturer of the year. We couldn’t be prouder! Fast Fact # 10 DID YOU KNOW The C3 Region is rich with natural resources? The agribusiness sector is crucial to our economy. Lamar County’s 60 year old Gilmer Dairy Farm is a great example. Co-owner Will Gilmer was named a National Spokesperson for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). Gilmer is one of four farmers initially selected in USFRA’s Faces of Farming and Ranching Program, as a way to identify farmers and ranchers who are proud of what they do and are eager to share their stories. Check out Gilmer Dairy Farm on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube! A www.alabamaliving.coop

Spot Light

In April APRIL 18-19

A step back in time


When they think of Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park near Wetumpka, most folks think of the annual Frontier Days event, in which tens of thousands of visitors and schoolchildren come to learn about pioneer life in early Alabama. But the annual French and Indian War Encampment each April is equally special, focusing on the military forces of France, Britain and their American Indian allies. Re-enactors will be dressed and equipped as they appeared in North America during the mid-18th century. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children 6-18. Search “Fort Toulouse-Jackson Park” on Facebook or call 334-567-3002.

Send us a photo of your favorite historic markers in your hometown! What’s your favorite historic marker in your hometown? Tell us in 100 words or so why, and include a photo, if possible. Email your info to agriffin@areapower.com. Deadline is April 30. We’ll publish a selection of historic markers in our June travel issue.

APRIL 23-25

Writers, scholars converge on Monroeville This year’s Alabama Writers Symposium will feature some of the country’s favorite writers as well as students and scholars – all of whom share a love of the written word and the state’s literary heritage. They’ll lead discussion sessions, readings and workshops on themes ranging from literary gumbo to murder, mystery and mayhem. Among the literary luminaries scheduled to attend this 18th annual event are Rick Bragg, Rob Gray, Rod Davis, Frye Gaillard, Chantel Acevedo, Ravi Howard, Jeanie Thompson, Nancy Anderson and Cynthia Tucker Haynes. All events take place on the campus of Alabama Southern Community College, the Monroeville Community House and the Monroe County Museum downtown. Visit www.writerssymposium.org or call 251-575-8223 to register by April 3.

Follow the smells on the Alabama BBQ Trail The Alabama Tourism Department has a new tool to help you discover the state’s best barbecue restaurants. The new Alabama BBQ Trail smartphone app will also track the places you’ve tried, as well as set up alerts to sound when you’re near a restaurant you’ve wanted to try. The app is available for iPhone and Android; visit http://alabama.travel/bbq-app to download.

Want to see more events or submit your own? Alabama Living

Visit www.alabamaliving.coop to submit an event and view our calendar or email an event to events@alabamaliving.coop.

APRIL 2015 9

Power Pack

Spring into a stress-free retirement April has arrived, and spring is here! As we say “goodbye” to winter weather hardships and “hello” to gardens budding with vibrant color, we welcome the season by celebrating Stress Awareness Month. Did you know that stress, also called the “silent killer,” could cause heart disease and high blood pressure? Recognizing the sources of stress is the best way to understand how you can start eliminating factors in your life that put unnecessary strain on your body and mind. Social Security wants to make your retirement planning as stress-free as possible, which is why we have a number of online tools available for you. You can create your own secure, personal my Social Security account from the comfort of your living room and avoid unpleasant traffic and a possible long wait in one of our field offices. Once you have a my Social Security account, you can view your Social Security Statement, verify your earnings record, and find out what to expect in monthly benefits if you retire at ages 62, 67, or 70. Once you begin receiving Social Security

benefits, you can use my Social Security to check your benefit information, change your address and phone number, change your electronic payment method, and obtain an instant benefit verification letter and replacement SSA-1099/1042S. You can easily sign up for my Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. If you’re thinking about retiring at an age not shown on your Statement, reduce the stress of the unknown by using our Retirement Estimator. The Retirement Estimator allows you to calculate your potential future Social Security benefits by changing variables such as retirement dates and future earnings. You may discover that you’d rather wait another year or two before you retire to earn a higher benefit. Or, you might see that this is the season for you to kiss that work stress goodbye and retire right now. To get instant, personalized estimates of your future benefits, go to www.socialsecurity. gov/estimator. When you decide it’s time to start re-

ceiving your retirement benefits, the application process is far less stressful now that you’re prepared. You can securely apply online without picking up the phone or leaving your house. Simply go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline, and, in as little as 15 minutes, you can breeze through our online retirement application. Our website and online tools are always available. You can enjoy Social Security’s stress-free retirement planning tools any time of the year, giving you more time to enjoy these warmer months. Doesn’t that put a spring in your step? A

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

Down memory lane with Pages from the past Co-op history book presented to local schools In the April 1985 AREA Magazine, predecessor to Alabama Living, several editions carried the news that local cooperatives had presented a copy of The Next Greatest Thing, a book commemorating the 50th anniversary of the beginning of rural electrification, to schools and libraries in their area. In this edition of the Covington Electric Co-op magazine, staff assistant and member services director Ed Short (now Covington’s president and CEO) presents a copy to Nelson Whitehurst, principal of Goodman Junior High School. At right, Alan Thrash, member services representative (now vice president, operations), presents a copy to James Johnson, principal of Fleeta Junior High. The book, published by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, took its 10 APRIL 2015

title from a statement made by a Tennessee farmer in the 1940s, shortly after his house received electricity for the first time: “Brothers and sisters, I want to tell you this. The greatest thing on earth is the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.” A

Letters to the editor Dear editor, Michael Cornelison’s articles about Jason Isbell and Spooner Oldham, etc., in this month’s edition (March 2015) are wonderful. I LOVE Spooner and am so happy to see he’s still alive and (hopefully) well. He is a brilliant musician and has made some beautiful music over the years! Thanks for the great features! Nancy Carrell Dallas, Hartselle Thanks to all who’ve written us! If you’ve got an interesting Alabama fact to share, email us at agriffin@ areapower.com


Still looking for de Soto with the help of pig bones In October of 1540, at the Indian town of Mabila, soldiers of Hernando de Soto clashed with the forces of chief Tascaluza. When the fighting was done, one Spaniard estimated that between 2,500 and 5,000 Indians lay dead. If the count is anywhere close to correct, this was the bloodiest battle fought on North American soil until Union and Confederate armies slaughtered each other at Shiloh. Mabila was in Alabama. We don’t know where. Soon we might. A few months ago, a three-university archaeological expedition set out to find where the battle was fought. It won’t be easy. We are not even sure of the route de Soto traveled. Back in 1939, a national commission was set up to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Spanish invasion. It identified what it felt was de Soto’s route and put Mabila down in Clarke County, where I grew up. Locals were so tickled with the honor that they named a Boy Scout Camp after the battle. Then, years later, a cadre of anthropologists, archaeologists, and

Alabama Living

historians did another study, and concluded that Mabila was likely located farther north, where the Cahaba River empties into the Alabama, near the site of Cahawba, Alabama’s first state capital. Couldn’t be, one critic claimed. The Spaniards wrote of meeting Indians who wore hats made from palmetto fronds and ate chestnut bread. No palmetto and chestnut at Cahawba. Then someone produced a picture of palmetto-covered wetlands at the site and pointed to a nearby plantation called “Chestnut Hill,” which was obviously not named for the pines on the place. The critic pouted. Meanwhile Clarke County rejected the new findings and continued to claim Mabila as its own, an intransigence that reveals just how much it means to a community to know that history once touched it. Towns all over the state would like to attach “de Soto slept here” to their city seal. Now if the folks leading this new expedition asked me, I’d suggest they take a look at the route-tracing scheme devised by Doug Jones of the Alabama Museum of Natural History.

You see, we have only a few sites where we know de Soto camped. At one site archeologists found pig bones. Jones suggested that scientists extract DNA from de Soto pigs and clone modern pigs that would have the route imprinted in its genetic structure. OK, I don’t understand either, but it sounds good. Then the cloned pigs would be released and following them would confirm, once and for all, the route de Soto took. On that route they would find Mabila. Now the expedition may already be using this approach. If they are, I hope they do as Jones proposed and when the pigs reach their destination, throw a wing-ding barbeque. I hope I am invited. A Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson is retired professor emeritus of history at Jacksonville State University whose most recent book is The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera, featured in the January 2013 Alabama Living. His work appears in the Anniston Star and Northeast Alabama Living. He can be reached at hjackson@ cableone.net.

APRIL 2015 11

Home & Garden Special

Festivals celebrate the lovely, fragile Cahaba lily

Rivers in bloom Story and photos by David Haynes

12 APRIL 2015



ven though the camellia is Alabama’s state flower, the rare and wild-growing Cahaba lily is almost certainly the most recognizable bloom found here in the Heart of Dixie. Photographs and illustrations of this beautiful white spider lily (Hymenocallis coronaria) adorn everything from license plates to coffee mugs, so much so that most Alabamians could identify its distinctive white-on-white blooms before those of the camellia. Named the Cahaba lily here due to large populations in the shoals of the Cahaba River in central Alabama, the same flower is also found on other streams in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and parts of North Carolina, where it’s known as the Shoal lily or Shoals spider-lily. In fact, this lily was first observed by renowned naturalist William Bartram in 1783 in the Savannah River near Augusta, Ga. Whatever the name, these unique aquatic plants require clean, swift water and rocky shoals to thrive. When they bloom in May and June (usually between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) each year, thousands of people make pilgrimages to canoe or wade into Alabama’s shoals to take in a spectacular panorama. In good years I’ve seen a waterway turn almost solid white for as far as the eye can see, as hundreds of thousands of these three-foot-high blooms merge together, like a new snowfall covering the stream. Many locations for the Cahaba lily are somewhat remote and getting to them can be a logistical challenge involving canoes, kayaks or other watercraft, plus shuttling vehicles back and forth

at put-in and take-out points. But we Alabamians are fortunate to have some of the easiest access to view these lilies up close at the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge near West Blocton in Bibb County. Here these unique lilies are literally within view of a gravel road that parallels the Cahaba River for a mile or more. This is also home to the Cahaba Lily Festival, which will be May 16 in West Blocton and at the Cahaba Wildlife Refuge a few miles away. Farther south in late May, the Hatchet Creek Festival offers a two-day paddling trip to see the lilies in Coosa County (see story, page 14). Myrtle Jones, an original volunteer organizer of the Cahaba Lily Festival, says this will be the 26th annual event. Events will begin with an 8 a.m. registration at the Cahaba Lily Center in downtown West Blocton, followed by programs featuring speakers from the Cahaba River Society, Alabama Fish and Game, Wildlife Rescue and other festivities, including the crowning of the 2015 Miss Cahaba Lily. Samford University professor Lawrence Davenport, considered the world’s leading authority on the Cahaba lily, will again be the featured speaker, as he has been for each of the previous 25 festivals. “That first year it was pretty much just me and my slide projector at the First Baptist Church,” Davenport says. The Cahaba Lily Festival is the first such festival to be established to honor a flower. However, in the years since the festival in West Blocton

Cahaba lilies, shown here on Hatchet Creek in Coosa County, bloom for just one day during their season, which is generally from May through June.

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015 13

Mike Duffey of Rome, Ga., paddles through a stand of Cahaba lilies.

For additional information on the Cahaba River Festival, visit any or all of the following websites: • Cahabalily.com: www.cahabalily.com/cahabalilyfestival/ • Facebook: www.facebook.com/cahabalily • Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge: www.fws.gov/ refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=43665 • Cahaba River Society: www.cahabariversociety.org/recreationrecreation-on-the-cahaba/the-lilies/

Even though the camellia is Alabama’s state flower, the rare and wild-growing Cahaba lily is almost certainly the most recognizable bloom found here in the Heart of Dixie. began, similar events have been established in both Georgia and South Carolina celebrating the same lily, he says. He notes that the Cahaba lily is found in the shoals of the Cahaba River from its headwaters near Trussville all the way downstream to Centerville. Other places in Alabama where the lily is found include tributaries of the Black Warrior, Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, he said. Davenport wrote an article for the Encyclopedia of Alabama about these striking blooms, which open in the early evening when they are most fragrant. Unfortunately, human activities threaten the survival of the Cahaba lily, including the damming of rivers for navigation and power generation. More recently, the lily has been threatened by increasing levels of sediment from development, logging and mining. The best hope for the lilies’ survival may be increased awareness of its fragile habitat, thanks to public events like the Cahaba Lily Festival and the Hatchet Creek Festival. Jones explains that the event has grown each year since the first festival in 1990, when it consisted of Davenport, a few enthusiastic West Blocton volunteers, several home-baked cakes and a program at the First Baptist Church. Today the Festival involves more than 30 volunteers and is attended by more than 400 people each year from around the United States as well as from other countries. Following lunch, a bus shuttle will be available to ferry attendees from town the five miles or so to the Cahaba River National Nature Preserve, where large stands of the blooming flowers are near the gravel road that parallels the river. Randall Haddock, field director for the Cahaba River Society, tells me that group will have rental canoes available that day for festival-goers who want to do more than get their feet wet. He adds that while the shoals that are beside the road usually have lilies blooming during the festival, the more adventurous can also take a 20-minute hike farther downstream to Hargrove Shoals to see one of the largest blooms on the entire river. A

Paddle Hatchet Creek to see more Cahaba lilies in May For those with a more adventurous spirit, an overnight paddling trip on Hatchet Creek in Coosa County will carry participants through several wide shoals choked down with Cahaba lilies in late May. Registration for the Third Annual Hatchet Creek Festival on May 30-31 is open through April 30, but space is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. The $40 registration fee for this 2-day float on Hatchet Creek in Coosa County includes a Hatchet Creek Festival 14 APRIL 2015

t-shirt, shuttle service, campgrounds with limited amenities, snacks, Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast, music, games, fishing and more. Participants are responsible for providing their own canoe or kayak. Hatchet Creek is a beginner level run, but does have numerous shoals and a few rapids. For information on how to register, call Beverly Bass or Tom Bass, 256-207-3353, or email hatchet.creek.festival@ gmail.com. www.alabamaliving.coop

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  15

Home & Garden Special


Gardening that’s for the birds By Kristen Hannum


ardening with an eye to attracting birds, plus the butterflies and bees that come along with them, means gardening with a completely different mindset than we’re used to. So why do it? The joy of creating a lively home for a wide variety of colorful, lively birds turns out to be reason enough for most gardeners. But there’s more: Gardeners report that an amazing satisfaction comes with doing something to help threatened birds. The Audubon Society and the U.S. Department of the Interior say there’s been a 70 percent decline in populations of common backyard birds since 1967. If everyone made just a corner of their yard more bird friendly, that could help turn those declines around. “So many problems seem beyond individual action,” says Dr. Stephen Kress, vice president of bird conservation for the Audubon Society. “But we can make a difference for birds.” The best place to start, says Dr. Kress, is in your own backyard. It’s not difficult. Simply think in terms of being a good host, making sure that your little guests have refuge, food and water, and that you don’t accidentally poison them with pesticides or herbicides.

Bird’s eye view

A birdfeeder is a good beginning, a first hop toward seeing your property from a bird’s point of view. The busy little birds

16 APRIL 2015

at the feeders near a window are undeniably entertaining. Birdfeeders can also help wintering birds make it through the coldest days. Birdfeeders, however, are perhaps a bit more for us than for the birds. Both Dr. Kress and George Adams, author of Gardening for the Birds, How To Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard, say it’s far better to landscape with a variety of native shrubs, trees, flowers and grasses that provide a year-round supply of food for the birds. “Birdfeeders tend to attract the noisiest and bossiest birds, birds that attack or chase away the beautiful, small songbirds,” says Adams. Birds’ names can be a guide to what to plant for them. Cedar waxwings love the little berries on red cedars; that is, eastern junipers. Pinyon jays will seek out piñon pines for their delicious little nuts. Yellowrumped warblers used to be called myrtle warblers because of their taste for wax myrtle berries. Adams’ book has a guide to regional plants and birds, with specific advice for different species. Your state Audubon Society can also help with specifics. Plan a garden that will produce seeds and berries for the birds year round.

Caterpillar baby food

Native shrubs area also important because they host native insects. We’ve all become accustomed to thinking that insects need to be wiped out, but that’s completely wrong from a bird’s point of view. Cater-

pillars are the major source of protein for many nestlings, making the native plants that host caterpillars especially important for baby birds. (Not to mention butterflies!) Those native plants are the ones that birds depend upon for food, refuge, and homemaking. Again, says Adams, the birds’ names sometimes tell you what to plant. The little cactus wren depends on cactus thorns to discourage predators from reaching its nest. Pine warblers usually build their nest in pines, binding pine needles together to make a cup-shaped nest. When native trees aren’t available, birds are forced to live in exotic trees. That makes them and their nests more vulnerable to predators. Birds do not thrive amidst endless acres of chemically treated lawns, which are dangerous, unprotected food deserts that provide neither food or shelter.

Location, location, location

Suitable nest boxes can be one of the simplest things you can do to increase the variety of birds on your property, although just putting out a nest box and forgetting about it isn’t helpful. Just like teenagers’ bedrooms, nest boxes need to be thoroughly cleaned out at least once a year. Don’t choose a birdhouse by its cuteness scale. That darling Victorian may be completely wrong for the birds you’re hoping to attract. Bluebirds, for instance, need doors that are one and a half inches in diameter. That discourages larger birds, namely agwww.alabamaliving.coop

gressive starlings, from moving in and taking over. Another feature to look for in a birdhouse is a hinged roof. Once you’ve tried to clean out a birdhouse that doesn’t have a hinged roof, you’ll find yourself a convert to that type. Dr. Kress says that just as in the human real estate market, location is key to successful birdhouses. For bluebirds, that means out in open habitat, so that pushy little house sparrows don’t take it over. Gardeners in rural areas, like so many of Alabama Living’s readers, are especially well equipped to help birds because so many of them also favor rural life. Nestwatch.org gives great advice on birdhouses, and the Audubon Birdhouse Book: Building, Placing, and Maintaining Great Homes for Great Birds is another excellent resource.

Bird-size puddles

Birdbaths really are for bathing. Cleanliness is key to staying warm, cooling off and flying right if you’re a bird. A birdbath is an easy and often beautiful addition to the garden. Buy a pedestal type and put it near protective shrubbery to keep the birds safer from cats. Birdbaths are especially important in arid areas, but even if you live near a lake a puddle-sized birdbath will attract visitors. “Puddles are more their size,” Dr. Kress says. Water with a dripping action is especially popular. Adams urges gardeners to take on the difficult challenge of providing thawed water for birds in the winter. Winter sun may do the trick, but he advises going for guaranteed results by installing a stock tank de-icer or heating element especially designed for birdbaths.

The magic of doing good

Keeping fresh water in birdbaths and putting in native plants may sound like work, but it’s satisfying work. “I know a lot of people who started out with sterile backyards and transformed them into great bird habitats,” says Dr. Kress. “They talk about how much fun it is.” One of Adams’ readers reported how easy it was to change their boring backyard into a bird haven. “The result was almost CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: American Goldfinches. PHOTO COURTESY KAY HOME PRODUCTS; magical,” that gardener wrote in a review Northern Cardinal male. PHOTO COURTESY KAY HOME PRODUCTS; Eastern Bluebirds. BY LAURA on Amazon. “The more things I planted HATHCOCK/COURTESY CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY; Ruby-throated Hummingbird. PHOTO COURTESY KAY HOME PRODUCTS; Carolina Wren. BY LAURA FRAZIER/COURTESY CORNELL LAB OF the more birds showed up.” A ORNITHOLOGY; Downy Woodpecker. PHOTO COURTESY KAY HOME PRODUCTS.

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015 17

18  APRIL 2015


Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  19

Home & Garden Special

The Fearless Gardener’s Guide to décor By Kristen Hannum


e’ve all seen scary garden décor. Moldy naked concrete statuary, gnomes caught in private acts, random junk painted in neon colors. We’ve also smiled as a friend sneered over a piece of garden décor— say, the face of a Green Man in a tree or a life-size ostrich cleverly made of twisted wire—that we actually sorta liked. Liked a lot, actually. And we worry that it’s a slippery slope, that our graceful bronze crane standing amidst the hostas might, in a few years, multiply into a backyard where it’s hard to see the Kniphofia through the kitsch. Or worse, a front yard in that condition. Here then, is a brief guide to garden décor and how to fearlessly add a few eccentric or classic touches to your garden. We begin with the four great truths of garden décor: 1. Trust your taste. 2. Find inspiration everywhere. 3. Don’t let your garden décor overwhelm your garden. 4. Refresh and cull your garden décor so it can work its magic.

20 APRIL 2015

Trust your taste

Garden décor and art have nothing to do with snooty art critics. It’s rather about whether a fountain, sculpture, mural or that quirky little wooden hedgehog in the pansies makes your heart smile. If it brings you joy, it’s right. It may even be art. “Some people might think they’re kitschy, but I don’t care,” says longtime gardener Tracy Johnson about the metal woodpecker on a tree outside her kitchen window and other salvage metal pieces. “I love them.” Think of garden décor as an opportunity to build your confidence in your own personal style. Just because a critical friend doesn’t like your Buddha statue or your giraffe theme doesn’t mean it’s not exactly right for your garden. It’s just not right for hers. That said, if you’ve got qualms, trust them too. Put the piece (or pieces) in question in the backyard instead of out front. And if it turns out that the planter you repurposed from a wrought iron bed makes you feel annoyed or

self-conscious rather than joyful, make it the star of your next yard sale.

Find inspiration everywhere.

Don’t just flip the magazine page past that brightly painted wooden chair that makes your heart flutter. Tear it out and add it to your inspiration collection. Do you love your neighbor’s idea of using an old bed’s headboard for a gate? She doesn’t have a patent on it; tell her you love it so much you’re looking for a headboard of your own. Begin a scrapbook or Pinterest board with ideas and inspirations. Even if you never find that perfect headboard or get around to painting a chair for your own porch, collecting ideas is fun and it gives you a better understanding of your own style. Your scrapbook, either on Pinterest or on paper, will probably reveal a pattern in what you love. That’s your style. Whether it’s mostly whimsical, formal, Southwestern or English cottage, you can use it to give your garden a theme that will hold it together. www.alabamaliving.coop

Don’t let your garden décor overwhelm your garden.

Dale Chihuly’s “Perennial Fiori” glass art, left, and below, at the Denver Botanical Gardens, opened a new window on how garden décor could be true art. PHOTOS COURTESY DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS

More readily available for your yard are, clockwise, a wagon filled with potted plants, a whimsical “shovel man,” a raven fountain, rising sun plaque and a metal rooster. Bottom right, a gargoyle presides over a fern garden. PHOTOS COURTESY TRACEY DELFEL JOHNSON AND SPI HOME

Alabama Living

Garden décor, whether humorous or classic, gives our gardens distinction, just as the décor inside our homes does. Don’t let it become clutter. Just about every town has an example of garden décor gone overboard. Use that as a touchstone for what’s too much. Think of that house crowded round by so many concrete fountains and statues that it looks like a display yard for a store. In fact, maybe it is a display yard for a store. Garden décor should please the eye with its beauty or be a whimsical surprise. It shouldn’t overpower its surroundings. That doesn’t mean you need to forgo collections of objects—colorful birdhouses on newel posts, displayed tools on a shed wall or galoshes filled with flowers on the fence all can be pleasing in an artful arrangement.

Refresh and cull your garden décor so it can work its magic.

This last pointer is actually a strategy for achieving the first three goals. Your tastes evolve just as you do, and your garden is the perfect place to live out those changes and grow your style. Do your best to see your garden with an artist’s or photographer’s eye. Infuse yourself with some of those ideas from your inspiration scrapbook, slow down and then take a look at your garden as if for the first time. What do you want to rearrange? What needs to be cleaned? What simply needs to go? Would a birdbath please you more than the sundial? Then get to work. You’re creating a unique sense of place, a garden that will be like an outdoor room with your own personal style. No one can do it better. A

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Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  23

Home & Garden Special

Garden Anywhere: Small spaces make beautiful places By Katie Jackson


rom Baby Boomers who are downsizing their lives to Millennials who have yet to upsize theirs, more and more people are living in small spaces, which often translates into less and less space for traditional gardening. But you don’t have to have a yard to be a gardener. You just need sunshine, water, a good soil mixture and a little ingenuity. While we typically think of gardens as outdoor spaces, the term “garden” refers to any space where plants and nature are shown, grown and enjoyed, including tabletops, rooftops, driveways, walkways, alleyways, parking lots, highway median strips, balconies, walls, windowsills … you get the picture. Houseplants are, of course, the easiest way to bring something green and growing into your life and there are oodles of beautiful tried-and-true options to fit any décor, lighting and indoor climate condition and level of gardening skill. Or tap into the latest everything-old-is-new-again trend: terrariums of all shapes and sizes! But why stop there? Many ornamental landscape plants can also be grown in containers (pots) and, thus, grown successfully inside or in small outdoor areas. Azaleas, roses, gardenias, vibur-

24 APRIL 2015

nums, aucubas, hollies and jasmine are just a few of the common landscape plants that do well in pots. Bulbs and other herbaceous perennials and annuals also can be tucked into pots or planted in small patches of open ground such as along the edges of driveways or walkways, in medians or around mailboxes. Truth is it’s easy to find a plant to fit almost any environmental condition and space as long as you can provide them with a good quality growing media, protection from extreme temperatures and the right amount of sunlight and water. Ingenuity comes into play when you’re trying to adapt to the design needs of your small space, but there are lots of options for that as well. For example, raised beds and tiered planters can be installed almost anywhere, from the rooftops of apartment buildings and houses (and I even saw a dog house with a garden on top) to balconies, patios or concrete driveways. Not only do raised beds make gardening easier on your back (less bending and stooping required), they also allow you to create your own soil rather than relying on the quality of existing soil, thus providing your plants with the very best of growing conditions. If you have only a tiny corner or a wall area to use for plants, consider growing things vertically


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— espaliers, trellises, arbors, plant towers or frames built against fruit trees and shrubs can be grown in pots or espaliered against a wall can take your gardening to new heights and planes. a wall. Gourds, grapes, blackberries and other climbing plants Need to move your garden around? You can buy plant sau- can be grown on a trellis. And all sorts of herbs can be grown cers on wheels, fill a child’s wagon with potted plants or put in pots indoors or out. wheels on old garbage cans, buckets, boxes and other interesting If you need ideas for your small space try a Pinterest or a planting containers. Web search. The opWant a more whimtions found there sical garden? Use an are so plentiful they old birdbath filled may overwhelm you. with potting mixIf you want some ture to create a little detailed professional raised garden or use advice on how best a sealed pot or founto maximize your tain to make a water garden space, check garden. Want someout the books Square thing that requires Foot Gardening: The less water? Create Revolutionary Way a rock garden filled to Grow More In Less with cacti and sucSpace by Mel Barculents. tholomew or ApartIf you’re craving ment Gardening: freshly grown fruits Plants, Projects, and and vegetables, don’t Raised beds can be installed anywhere, as long as you’ve got the right growing conditions. Recipes for Growdespair! You can grow many of these as well in small spaces. The ing Food in Your Urban Home by Amy Pennington. Your local same raised beds and containers used for ornamental plants can county Alabama Cooperative Extension System office and plant become home to everything from tomatoes to corn to squash. nurseries are also great sources of information. Hanging baskets make great pots for strawberries and peppers. One way or another, you can make space in your life for plants Lettuces and other greens will grow beautifully in pots. Many and keep your gardening going no matter where you live. A

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Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  27

Home & Garden Special

Ladybugs are beneficial most of the time By Emmett Burnett

“Cute as a bug’s ear” is an odd saying, because insects have no ears, per se. And bugs aren’t cute, except for ladybugs. In fact, little red riding beetle is one of few insects we love. People bomb flies with insecticide, run for their lives from spiders, and will blast cockroaches with a cannon. But the ladybug is revered because it’s beneficial, most of the time. That’s right, I said most of the time, because this polka-dotted cutie has a dark side. “They can’t stand cold weather,” says Charles H. Ray, Ph.D., an entomologist at Auburn University. “Ladybugs seek warmth in winter, and that warmth can be your house” - hence the expression, “Snug as a bug in a rug.” But snug can become “ugh.” “Problems occur when large numbers invade the home,” added the Auburn professor. “When disturbed, frightened, or agitated, ladybugs secrete a foul smelling liquid from their legs. It smells pretty bad, especially in closed quarters.” Think of tiny six-legged skunks in your living room. But wait, there’s more. “The worst ladybug infestation case I ever experienced was in Anniston,” Ray recalled. “It was so bad, the homeowner couldn’t sleep.” And with good reason: He kept waking during the night with ladybugs crawling in his ears, nose, and mouth. “I suggested he vacuum the ladybugs for removal. Unfortunately, he had burned up three vacuum cleaner motors trying to do just that.” The Anniston situation was an extreme case. Usually a few ladybugs meander where not wanted, but a full-scale siege is rare. Their good outweighs the bad. “Ladybugs eat aphids and other garden pests,” noted Mallory J. Kelley, regional Extension agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Wetumpka. “They are beneficial in gardens and prefer the outdoors.” Actually, if the wayward scarlet beetle can’t find a way back outdoors, it will starve to death. “There is no food source inside,” Mallory says. “Their survival 28 APRIL 2015

depends on getting out of your house.” Of course it’s best if ladybugs never gain entry. “Seal any cracks and crevices in your home, including windowsills and underneath doors.” And don’t panic; it’s not an invasion. Though you may see dozens, even hundreds, ladybugs are solitary nomads and do not communicate with each other like ants, bees, or termites. Nor do they bite, sting, carry disease, or eat your food. But here are some things that may bug you: “Ladybugs are attracted to the color white,” Kelley says. White windowsills and baseboards, white carpeting, white countertops, anything white, transforms your home into a ladybug bungalow. Ironically, the insect attracted to vanilla-boring white is one of the most colorful creatures in critter land. But ladybug beauty is more than a fashion statement. Good looks save its life. The combination of vivid reds with black spot patterns is nature’s barcode warning label. “The colors send a message to predators, ‘Tastes bad! Danger! Stay away! Poison!’” Ray says. Combine that with a hard, difficult to swallow shell, and ladybugs have limited enemies other than other insects, some birds, tree frogs and the vacuum cleaner. Of the 5,000 worldwide ladybug types, two prevail in Alabama: the multi-colored (from Asia) and seven-spotted (Europe). These two little guys have almost eliminated Alabama’s native species. And though they prefer a banquet of aphids and scale bugs, when primary food sources diminish, some ladybugs will munch crops but seldom do significant damage. Life isn’t easy for a boy named “Lady.” But the moniker applies to both sexes, which is good, as male or female is distinguishable only by scientists, microscopes or ladybugs in love. Tip: The ones laying 10 to 15 eggs daily during springtime/summer are female. But life is good for ladybugs. Though no firm population numbers exist, according to Auburn University, only our native species are endangered. The import models are doing just fine. The scarlet insect is a token of good luck in Asia and a garden asset in Alabama. We are graced by ladybugs. A www.alabamaliving.coop

Around Alabama APRIL 2-4, 7-9 • Attalla, Tigers for Tomorrow 2015 Spring Break Tours at Untamed Mountain. This year’s tour showcases the four color variations of tigers: gold, tabby, royal white and snow. One tour a day begins at 1:30 p.m. Admission: $15 adult and $10 children. Information: 256-524-4150 or www.tigersfortomorrow.org. 10-11 • Dothan, 19th Annual Spring Plant Sale at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-2p.m. Admission is free. Contact: Cheryl Hatcher at jhatcher@graceba.net or 334-798-1034. 10-11 • Dothan, 10th Annual Tri-State BBQ Festival at the Houston County Farm Center. Friday 5-10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Adults $10, children 6 and under free. For information, band schedules and details call 334-699-1475. Www.TriStateBBQ.com. 11 • Columbia, Columbia Historical Society’s 2015 Walk in History. Columbia City Cemetery, 5-7 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, schoolage children and younger are free. www. columbiahistoricalsocietyofalabama.org. 11 • Fredonia, 65th Annual Fredonia Barbecue. Community Clubhouse on Chambers County Road 222, near the crossroad at Chambers County Road 267. Tickets are $9. Event begins at 5 p.m. and food served through 8 p.m. For ticket sales or directions, call JJ Frickert at 334-499-0115. 11 • LaFayette, 18th Annual LaFayette Day for Valley Haven School. On the Square, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission. Contact: Craig Brown, 334-756-2868 or Lynn Oliver 334-219-1890. 11 • Pinson, Pinson Bicentennial Celebration at Rock School Center, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Exhibits will focus on Native-American, African-American, and EuropeanAmerican inhabitants in the early years of the 19th century. Free admission. www.thecityofpinson.com. 11 • Greenville, Healthy Kids for Kids 3rd Annual 5K/10K Run to raise awareness in the fight against child abuse. The theme is superheroes and costumes are encouraged. Registration is from 7-8:30 a.m. with races beginning at 8:30. Contact: Susan Lowman, 334-371-2104 or slowman.healthykidsal@gmail.com.

11-12 • Enterprise, Piney Woods Arts Festival at Enterprise State Community College. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 12-4 p.m. Free admission. www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com. 11-12 • Ft. Deposit, 44th Annual Calico Arts and Crafts Fair. Hosting approximately 150 quality exhibitors, continuous entertainment, kids petting zoo and food vendors. Admission charged. www.calicofort.com. 11-12 • Loxley, 28th Annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival at Loxley Municipal Park, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Car shows, pageant, music, crafts and strawberry shortcakes. www. baldwincountystrawberryfestival.org. 11-12 • Hartselle, Tennessee Valley Farm Tour, 2-6 p.m. each day. A self-guided tour of small farms in the Tennessee Valley. $25 for a map and directions to participating farms. Proceeds go to local farmers. Information: Karen Wayne, 256520-2400. www.rositasfarm.com/farmtour. 17 • Fairhope, “Under the Stars” fundraiser for CARE House, 6:30 p.m. Features food, music, dancing, drinks, silent and live auctions at Oak Hollow Farm. Tickets $50 per person. CARE House provides resources and services to child victims of abuse in Baldwin County. www.bccarehouse.org 18 • Furman, Spring Pilgrimage, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Homes, churches and historical sites in the towns of Furman and Snow Hill. Admission is $20 adults, $10 students and children 6 and under are free. Contact: Don Donald, 334-6829825 or email grsouth@frontiernet.net.

18 • Wetumpka, 3rd Annual Craterfest at Gold Star Park, 2-7 p.m. The festival features music, entertainment, arts and crafts, food, and educational crater activities. www. wetumpkachamber.com/craterfest.

18 • Fairhope, Bald Eagle Bash at Tonsmeire Weeks Bay Resource Center, 4-7 p.m. Enjoy a “Taste of Weeks Bay” with live music by The Modern Eldorados. Tickets: $40 advance, $45 at the gate (beverages included with admission). Call 251-990-5004. www.BaldEagleBash.com. 18 • Montgomery, 14th Annual Walk of Life 5K and Mighty Kids Dash to benefit the Joy to Life Foundation. $25 5K pre-registration fee (ages 6 and up); $10 kids dash (ages 3-8 only). Contact and registration: www. walkoflife2015.org or 334-284-5433. 18-19 • Guntersville, 54th Annual Art on the Lake at the Guntersville Recreation Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. More than 125 exhibitors with food, fun and entertainment for the whole family. $2 admission, children 12 and under are free. www.artonthelake-guntersville.com. 23-26 • Selma, Battle of Selma at Battlefield Park. The 1860s come alive with hands-on instruction and period music in the living history school tours. The Battle of Selma and Grand Military Ball is held on Saturday and the 150th Battle of Selma Re-enactment on Sunday. www.battleofselma.com. 25 • Arab, “Back When Day” at Arab Historic Village, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The Historic Village celebrates the daily life of Arab as a young rural farm town in the 1920s and ‘30s. Admission is free. Information: call 256-586-6397 or 256-550-0290. MAY 2 • Decatur, Colors for Christ Motorcycle Rally at the Point Mallard Expo Pavilion. Featuring a bike show, bike games, music, silent auction and a ride supporting the Wounded Warrior Project. www.colorsforchrist.org. 2 • Union Springs, 36th Annual Chunnenuggee Fair in downtown Union Springs. Fine arts and crafts, fresh food, live entertainment, games and rides. Vendors call Elizabeth Smithart at 334738-8683 or email esmithart@yahoo.com. 2 • Valley, 39th Annual Hike/Bike/Run at Valley Haven School. Registration starts at 7 a.m. EDT, events start at 8 a.m. EDT. Events include a 1 or 5-mile hike, 10 or 20-mile bike ride, and a one-mile, 5K or 10.5K run. Contact: Tony Edmondson at Valley Haven School, 334756-7801 or email valleyhaven@vhsarc.org.

To place an event, e-mail events@alabamaliving.coop. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations. Alabama Living

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APRIL 2015 29

Alabama Gardens

‘Listing into Summer’ Developing a gardening to-do list


his time of year, as the number of gardening chores and opportunities increases with the temperatures, trying to keep up with all the garden projects we want and need to tackle can be difficult. But there is a special, almost magical, gardening tool that always comes to my rescue: the gardening to-do list. For me, a to-do list helps weed through the clutter and, when I get to check things off as complete, offers me such a sense of satisfaction. And though I firmly believe that listmaking should be a personal endeavor, sometimes it helps to have examples as starting points, so here’s a glimpse at how I “organize” my to-do lists—and a glimpse into how list-obsessed I am. I begin my listing process in January by developing an annual garden manifesto that chronicles all the things I’d LIKE to accomplish in the coming year (which is not to say I WILL accomplish them). I also keep a short, cryptic month-to-month list that reminds me of the major things I need to focus on each month. For example, January is my “Plan and Prune” month, April is “Plant and Fertilize” month and November is my month to “Winterize and Organize.” I post both the manifesto and month-to-month list near my desk as

Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.

30  APRIL 2015

constant reminders of what’s coming up and I also keep copies of each in a spiral-bound notebook (I still like to hold paper in my hand, though more techsavvy folks might do this on a computer) and use that notebook to make and keep more lists—yes, MORE lists. Among those additional lists is a masterlist of all the typical garden chores that might occur in any month, which I divide into five categories: Prepare, Plant, Maintain, Monitor and Enjoy. Not a very clever list, but one I can use throughout the year to develop my monthly plans. Here’s my philosophy behind each category: Prepare. I list all the things I need to do before I get started with a project or chore such as work and enhance the soil, get equipment and tools ready for use or select and buy plants, seeds or other supplies. Plant. This category includes a list of all the things I want to plant during the year including fruits, vegetables and ornamentals, and a list of general planting dates for each of them. Maintain. Here I keep a list of all the chores that are likely to be necessary in the coming month—water, mow, prune, mulch, weed, deadhead and the like. Monitor. In this category I list all the things I need to keep an eye out for during each month—bugs, weeds, disease, nutrient deficiencies, new growth, ripening fruits and vegetables, etc. Enjoy. This is actually my favorite category. It’s where I list ways to enjoy the garden more, including events I may want to attend, the dates of full moons (I love looking at the garden in moonlight), names of books or publications I may want to read and all the

things I should appreciate each season in the garden such as birds, blooms, changes in weather, etc. A

April Gardening Tips d Clean out garden

sheds and storage areas. d Begin to mow lawns regularly as needed. d Sod new lawn areas. d Plant summer and fall-blooming bulbs, summer annuals and bedding plants. d Plant berries (strawberries, blackberries and raspberries). d Start seed for heatloving vegetable crops such as beans, corn and melons. d Transplant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potatoes into the garden. d Get a copy of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System publication “Planting Guide for Home Gardening in Alabama” to help determine planting dates for summer fruits and vegetables. d Keep track of rainfall amounts to determine the moisture needs of your plants. d Feed the birds. d Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and National Arbor Day (April 24).


Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  31

Worth the Drive

Delectable dining at the home of the West Indies Salad By Jennifer Kornegay


ne of the main draws of a beach “My wife and I would go out and eat ad plenty of places, it’s not quite the same. trip (at least for me) is the ac- seafood, and I’d bite into a fried shrimp Bill explained why. cess to an abundance of fabulous and get nothing but the batter, and I “The key is using cider vinegar. You fresh seafood. And the saltwater species I thought, ‘I could do better than this,’” he can’t use white vinegar,” he said. “And you enjoy most is crab. Buttery sautéed crab said. So he did. “I decided to re-open the have to put the oil in first, then the vinegar, claws, fried soft-shell crab, crisp-tender place. That was 20-something years ago.” otherwise the oil all goes to the top.” Just-caught crabmeat from the Gulf is crab cakes, herb-laden crab stuffing piled He stuck with what had worked before, on top of a blackened fish filet: They’re all adding a few items, but keeping most of another essential ingredient, and that’s all respectable options. the classics, including West Indies Salad. Bayley’s ever uses. “I never use frozen crab But the best way to eat this sideways- “It knew we had to keep that, and boy, we or crab that came from somewhere else,” Bill said. skittering crustacean is in a uniquely Ala- sell a lot of it,” he said. Sometimes, this can prove bama dish, the West Indies problematic. “If I can’t get it, Salad. It’s basically a bowl of I don’t serve crab,” he said. “I crabmeat, lightly embellished had some folks walk about the with vinegar, onion and oil. other night because we couldn’t Only in this unadulterated get crab due to the weather.” preparation can you truly West Indies Salad is defitaste the crab’s delicate sweetnitely Bayley’s signature dish, ness and appreciate its silken but it’s not the only thing texture. And only at Bayley’s worth eating there. In the Seafood Restaurant in Theo1960s, Bill Sr. came up with dore can you eat the original and served his lucky customincarnation of this treat that’s ers another first: fried crab become an icon of coastal claws. Today, they are Bayley’s cuisine. bestseller. Other crab creations Bayley’s is a humble spot, Bayley’s West Indies Salad: The key ingredient is cider vinegar. Freshinclude the crab omelet, baked a low ceilinged, tiled-wall caught Gulf Crab is, of course, essential. PHOTO BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY crab and crabmeat au gratin. seafood restaurant of the Not so crazy about crab? Go for the old school that puts the bulk of its attenHe shared how the now-famous dish tion and energy into its food. Bill Bayley made it onto Bayley’s menu. “It was back fried oysters. Wearing a scant coat of seaSr. opened the first version of Bayley’s in in the ‘40s. Dad just whipped some up soned cornmeal, each bite delivers a burst 1947, but closed it in the early 1980s. His one day and brought it out to a customer, of briny deliciousness. Or you could opt for fish. “We sell a lot son, Bill Jr., who had no desire to be in the a dentist from Mobile, for him to try,” Bill restaurant business, was working in the said. “He loved it and told dad to put it on of flounder, but we only do it whole, no construction industry at the time. the menu. Now, you can get it other places, filets, and we do a whole flounder stuffed with our crabmeat stuffing that’s pretty but it’s not like ours.” Jennifer Kornegay unique and something my dad taught me His dad never hid the recipe. He even travels to an out-ofgave it to the local Junior League, and they how to make,” he said. “And we do fresh the way restaurant destination in Alabama published it in their cookbook. But Bill Jr. mullet too, but those are the only two fish every month. She is right. While you can get West Indies Sal- we do.” may be reached for comment at Next time you’re near the beach, make j_kornegay@charter. net. Check out more your way over to Bayley’s, an institution of Jennifer’s food of good eats in our state. And order the writing, recipes and Bayley’s Seafood Restaurant recommendations West Indies Salad, an Alabama original 10805 Dauphin Island Pkwy on her blog, Chew that’s still done best at the place that did Theodore, AL on This at www. Theodore jenniferkornegay.com. (251) 973-1572 it first. A 32 APRIL 2015


Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  33

Montgomery Youth Tour, sponsored by your local electric cooperative and the Alabama Rural Electric Association, is part of a grassroots program to educate high school juniors on the electric cooperative program and the cooperative ideas for which it stands.

Representative Mac McCutcheon discusses issues with the youth tour delegates at the State House.

Selected students, who participate in local competitions at their electric cooperative, are invited to travel to Montgomery in March, where they join more than 140 other high school juniors representing electric cooperatives all over the state of Alabama. These students have the opportunity to take part in educational ac tivities, such as Q&A sessions with representatives about topics that interest them and their respective cooperatives. They also tour sites of historical interest, such as the Civil Rights Memorial, the state Capitol, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Alabama Voices exhibit at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the State Judicial Building. They even spend some time rubbing elbows with state lawmakers.

A d d i t i o n a l l y, the trip includes a dinner dance and cosmic bowling, where students h ave a c h a n ce to get to know representatives from other cooperatives. 34 APRIL 2015


Alabama Living

APRIL 2015 35

Forty-six students from Alabama travel to Washington, D.C., for the all-expenses paid, weeklong tour, joining more than 1,600 students from states across the nation. The tour is jam-packed with fun-filled activities and visits to America’s most popular and historic places. Stops along the way include the U.S. Capitol, the Korean and Vietnam war memorials, the Kennedy Center, Arlington Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial and the Smithsonian, among countless other museums and areas of interest.

Jo Bonner, vice chancellor for the University of Alabama system, engages the Youth Tour participants in the importance of politics and staying involved.

Af t e r M o n t g o m e r y Yo u t h To u r, s t u d e n t delegates have the opportunity to interview for the chance of a lifetime -- to attend the Washington Youth Tour, which is June 12-18.

[ Senator Clyde Chambliss meeting with delegates.

Rep. Elaine Beech and Rep. Alan Baker answer students’ questions at the State House.

36 APRIL 2015


For more information about Alabama Youth Tours, please contact your local electric cooperative or Mary Tyler Spivey, Youth Tour Director at mspivey@areapower.com.

The purpose of the Alabama Youth Tour and the National Rural Electric Youth Tour is simple: To help students develop a greater understanding about their electric cooperative and its leadership role in their community. The event also allows delegates to make new friends from across the state, who share their pride in their local communities. This is a unique opportunity to educate the leaders of tomorrow about electric cooperative ideas and the workings of state government. Cea Cohen-Elliot challenges the delegates to make a difference in this world.


Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  37

Home & Garden Special

Before you jump in, know the basics of walk-in tubs By Carole Howell


long hot bath and water jet massage with less risk of falling sounds like a dream come true. A walk-in tub system that allows easy entry and exit, along with therapeutic jets, can be the best solution when traditional bathing is difficult. They’re designed for individuals with limited mobility, arthritis or chronic pain, or for anyone who wants a spa-like experience in a limited space. A walk-in tub is simply a taller-than-average bathtub with a low step. To use a walk-in tub, a person enters and shuts the door behind them. They then fill the tub, which takes several minutes. After bathing, the person remains in the tub while the water drains. The door will not open as long as there is water in the tub. Walk-in tubs come in a variety of styles and sizes. Special options include various types and upgrades of the water jet massage and quick fill and drain. Specialized tubs, such as bariatric tubs for larger individuals, and wheelchair accessible tubs, are available. To find out if a walk-in tub is the right fit for you, educate yourself before you take the plunge. THE COST: Total costs with installation can easily exceed $10,000, and Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the cost except under very special circumstances. Your health insurance may or may not cover any part of the cost, so check your policy first. THE INSTALLATION: Professional installation is highly recommended, and most full service installers offer a complimentary home visit to help you determine what you’ll need for the tub’s intended purpose. A licensed contractor should be able to manage every aspect of the installation including demolition and reconstruction, and sub-contract for additional electrical or plumbing needs. “To select a walk-in-tub franchise or a contractor, we encourage people to research the company online,” said Elizabeth Garcia, president of the North Alabama Better Business Bureau (BBB). “The BBB website also allows searches by zip code to help find a contractor and read consumer reviews. Get three estimates, and ask the company for two or three local references.” THE CONTRACT: Garcia advises buyers to get an itemized list of the costs, additional charges, shipping, installation, and return policies. Also, make sure that you have all the guarantees and warranties in writing so that you know beforehand how you will address prob38 APRIL 2015

lems and who will do the repairs. She adds that in Alabama, building and remodeling jobs of $10,000 or more require building permits and inspections. Also make sure that the contract specifies the payment schedule. “Be suspicious if you’re asked to pay everything in advance,” said Garcia. “As protection, add a lien release clause so that subcontractors cannot seek payment from you if the contractor fails to pay them.” IS A WALK-IN TUB RIGHT FOR YOU? David Lisenby, president of Lisenby Construction, Inc. of Montgomery, is a Certified Aging in Place specialist and a Certified Graduate Remodeler. He says he talks to many people who are thinking of retrofitting their bathrooms or installing a walk-in tub during new construction. “While these tubs can be great for people who need them for therapy, they’re not recommended for people with dementia, especially if they’re unsupervised,” said Lisenby. “And they don’t work really well as a shower. The water tends to get out around the curtain, causing a wet floor and a slipping hazard.” As an alternative that’s more versatile and less expensive, he often recommends replacing a traditional tub and shower with a low-threshold, full size shower with grab bars. A removable shower chair, along with a handheld showerhead should be all you need for safe bathing. When others want to use the shower, simply remove the chair. The features and upgrades you choose simply depend on your needs and budget, and thousands of people have been pleased with their decision install a walk-in tub. The choice is yours. Do your homework before you buy, so you can truly relax as you soak. A www.alabamaliving.coop

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  39

Alabama Outdoors

Abundant small scrappers, a.k.a. ‘panfish,’ offer big action By John N. Felsher


ractically all anglers start their catch more than a dozen panfish species in record with a 1.75-pound fish that came piscatorial pursuits by tempting Alabama, most people simply lump them from a small farm pond. panfish, and for good reason. Just all together as “perch” or “bream.” Commonly called shellcrackers because about anyone can catch these abundant “The Tennessee River lakes offer great they relish snails, redear sunfish look simand widespread, if diminutive, scrappers. panfish action,” Darr says. “The Tombig- ilar to bluegills, but with orange to red “Panfish are very common throughout bee River around Demopolis is also a very highlights on their “ear flaps.” ShellcrackAlabama,” explains Doug Darr with the good area for panfish. Lake Eufaula is an- ers occur throughout the state, but thrive Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries other really good bream lake. The Little in southern Alabama, particularly in the Division. “Our 23 state public fishing lakes River, Tallapoosa River and Coosa River Mobile-Tensas Delta. Jeff Lashley caught (www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/fresh- can also provide good bream action.” the state record, a 4.25-pounder, while Among the most common and wide- fishing a park pond. water/where/lakes) are stocked with bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel “In south Alabama, redear catfish. They offer some of the finsunfish begin bedding in March, est bream fishing in the country.” but fishing usually peaks in May,” Fishing for panfish, from the Darr says. “If we get a couple bank, dock or a boat, offers an exwarmer days in a row in the cellent way to teach children, and spring, bream start moving into novice adults, about the outdoors. the shallows.” To start fishing for panfish, anglers As water warms in the spring, don’t need much complex, expenpanfish head shallow to lay eggs sive gear. Many people use cane in nests. In a good spawning flat, poles without reels. Add a few anglers can spot these nests, dark hooks, bobbers and some bait to depressions fanned into the botthe list and start fishing. tom. Highly prolific panfish may Thread a worm or cricket onto a breed several times from March hook dangling under a bobber and through October and frequently drop it next to a stump, fallen tree, return to the same beds every grass bed or other cover. Wait for year. the bobber to disappear under the In many bedding areas, several Savannah McKinney shows off a panfish she caught while fishing water. Then, watch the expression off a dock. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER hundred bream may congregate, on the child’s face as it goes down making such places great spots to and the youngster sets the hook on a fat spread panfish, bluegills occur throughout fish. Anglers can tempt panfish with many bluegill. Pound for pound, or more appro- Alabama. They derive their name from the baits including worms, crickets, grasshoppriately ounce for ounce, few fish outfight navy blue “ear flap” near their gills. Slow pers, bread, crawfish and other morsels. panfish, so called because they fit nicely in rivers, farm ponds or lakes with abundant For those who prefer artificial lures, a a frying pan and taste great. vegetation offer excellent places to look beetle spinner or a small jig make excelIn just about every freshwater system in for bluegills. A bluegill can weigh nearly lent enticements. Alabama, anglers can find enough delicious five pounds, but few exceed one pound. For the ultimate fun, try a fly rod. Bluepanfish to make a meal. While anglers may T.S. Hudson landed the state record, a gills and other panfish readily strike flies, 4.75-pounder, while fishing Ketona Lake streamers and nymphs, but small floating John N. Felsher is near Birmingham. “popping bugs” make deadly topwater a freelance writer and photographer One of the most distinctive panfish, a temptations. Some better surface enticewho now lives in warmouth looks similar to a bluegill in ments include foam or cork creations that Semmes, Ala. He color, but with the shape and mouth of a resemble tiny frogs, crickets, grasshoppers, co-hosts a weekly outdoors show that is bass. Also called a goggle-eye, these thick, dragonflies or other natural prey. syndicated to stations dark fish love swamps, shallow weedy Although bream anglers won’t land any in Alabama. For more on the show, log on to lakes, sluggish streams or canals with monsters, they may fill limits with great www.gdomag.com. thick vegetation. A warmouth may weigh tasting fish in just about any Alabama waContact him through his website at www. more than two pounds, but few reach one ters. This spring, think small for really big JohnNFelsher.com pound. Jimmy A. Barfield set the state action. A 40  APRIL 2015


Got an outdoor/hunting product or offer a service that people need to know about? If so, this space is where you should be advertising.

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major

APR. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 MAY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

04:31 05:01 -12:16 01:01 01:31 02:16 03:01 04:31 -09:01 09:16 09:46 03:31 03:46 05:07 --12:52 01:37 02:07 02:52 03:37 04:52 10:37 08:07 09:07 03:22 04:07 04:37 --12:52 01:37 02:07 02:52 03:52 05:22 07:22 08:52 09:22 02:37 03:07 03:37 04:07 04:37

Alabama Living

10:46 11:31 05:31 06:01 06:31 07:01 07:16 07:46 08:01 01:16 02:01 02:46 03:01 10:01 10:31 11:52 05:22 05:52 06:22 06:37 07:07 07:37 08:22 09:07 12:52 01:52 02:52 09:52 10:37 11:22 05:07 05:37 06:07 06:37 07:07 07:37 08:07 08:52 09:52 01:22 02:07 09:52 10:22 10:52 11:22 11:52

11:01 11:46 06:46 07:31 08:16 09:16 10:31 11:46 --12:31 02:31 03:31 04:16 10:31 11:52 06:52 07:37 08:07 08:52 09:37 10:37 11:52 --12:52 02:37 04:07 10:37 11:22 06:52 07:37 08:22 09:07 09:52 10:52 11:37 12:37 -12:37 02:52 04:07 09:52 10:37 11:22 12:07

05:01 06:01 12:01 12:46 01:31 02:01 02:46 03:46 04:46 06:01 07:16 08:16 09:01 09:46 05:01 06:22 12:07 12:37 01:07 01:37 02:22 03:07 03:52 04:52 06:07 07:37 08:52 09:52 05:07 06:07 12:07 12:37 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:07 03:52 04:37 05:22 06:37 07:52 08:52 04:52 05:37 06:22 06:52

Alabama's largest consumer publication is offering premium advertising space next to our Outdoors section But hurry because space is limited! THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH MORE THAN one MILLION readers every month. Advertise with us and see WHY ALABAMA LIVING IS THE BEST READ & MOST WIDELY CIRCULATED MAGAZINE IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA. Still thinking about it? Consider this:

97% of Alabama Living’s readers say they trust the advertising in our publication over any other source

85% of our readers have read 4 out of the last 4 issues they’ve received

48% of our readers own a garden 85% of those garden owners purchased maintenance items last year 41% own more than 3 acres of land Contact Jacob Johnson 800.410.2737 advertising@areapower.com APRIL 2015 41

Alabama Literature

ALABAMA BOOKSHELF Each month, we offer a summary of recent books that are either about Alabama people or people with Alabama ties, and/or written by Alabama authors. We also occasionally

highlight book-related events. Email submissions to bookshelf@alabamaliving.coop

The Alabama Book Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year on April 11. Alabama’s largest literary event hosts more than 35 authors and exhibitors in Montgomery’s historic Old Alabama Town. The family-friendly, free event on April 11 includes book-related activities, including author readings and signings, for children and adults. Highlights of this year’s event include appearances by Alabama native Rick Bragg, whose most recent work is the biography Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, and award-winning novelist Ravi Howard who will discuss his new historical novel, Driving the King.

There will also be writing workshops on creative writing, graphic (pictorial) writing and getting work published. Food vendors will be on site. The Alabama Book Festival features writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s and young adult books. To see a complete list of authors and exhibitors, visit www. alabamabookfestival.org

Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters, by Frye Gaillard, NewSouth Books, Spring 2015, $23.95 On the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, author Gaillard reflects on the war, and how it’s remembered today, through the lens of letters written by his family members, two of whom were Confederate officers. To these voices from the past, Gaillard offers a personal critique of the haunted identity of the South, one informed by his perspective as a civil rights journalist. Southern Made Fresh: Vibrant Dishes Rooted in Homemade Flavor, by Tasia Malakasis, Oxmoor House, $24.95, March 2015 Tastemaker Malakasis, a native of Alabama, grabbed the attention of state and national media with her award-winning Belle Chevre goat cheese company based in Elkmont, and later with her first book, Tasia’s Table featured in Alabama Living December 2012. With this new work, she wanted to update the flavors she remembered from her childhood and to celebrate the South and its wonderful food. The book highlights farm-to-table cooking and simple ingredients. 42 APRIL 2015

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  43

Market Place Miscellaneous USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – BUY / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)4592148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – www.sawmillexchange.com LUMBER FOR SALE: CIRCULAR SAW Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each - Loring White (334)782-3636 (Tallapoosa) 18X21 CARPORT $795 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739 DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by www.careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1ST QUALITY, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www. wallbedsofalabama.com, www. alabamamattressoutlet.com

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CANE SYRUP FOR SALE – VARIOUS Prices – Call (334)374-8299, Conecuh County

GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us

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HUGE SELECTION OF QUALITY FABRICS AND TRIMS AT DISCOUNT PRICES - Delivered right to your door. WarehouseFabricsInc.com - phone: (205)487-8040. Or visit our store, Betty’s Fabric Gallery in Winfield, AL phone: (205)487-2239. Save 10% with coupon AL10


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GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552 PIGEON FORGE, TN: 2BR/2BA, HOT tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, Homeaway#241942 WWW.GULFSHORES4RENT.COM – BEAUTIFUL AND GREAT PRICED condos on West Beach in Gulf Shores – Call (404)219-3189 or (404)702-9824 GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, hhideaway401@aol.com ORANGE BEACH CONDO 2BR/2BA,OCEAN FRONT VIEW, Sleeps 6 - Call (662)571-1101 or email jfulton451@aol.com for Special Spring & Summer Rates. PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, jamesrny0703@comcast.net, www. theroneycondo.com SMOKIES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, Secluded Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, Wrap-Around Porch, Charcoal Grill – (865)320-4216. For rental details and pictures, Email tncabin.lonnie@yahoo.com GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool, beach access – (334)790-9545 MARCO BEACH, FLORIDA – ONE week in Two BR/2BA Villa at Eagles Nest on Marco Beach. Rental is from May 8-May15. Unit has living room and dining area with screened-in porch overlooking pool. Access to beach is short steps away. (334)271-5096. RESORT MAY BE viewed at http://eaglesnest.hgvc. com/gallery GATLINBURG, TN – FOND MEMORIES start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway

WATERFRONT LOTS FOR RENT LARGE RENTAL LOTS ON SMITH Lake off Highway 278 ready for your weekend getaway. $175-225/month, includes water/sewer. Public boat launch within 1/4 mile. (256)734-4830, (205)272-4345. DESTIN, FL OWNER CONDO RENTALS – Pat Green-Bush, Owner – patsdestincondo.com, greenbush@ knology.net – (334)312-6630, (334)244-6581 GULF SHORES GULF FRONT – SEACREST CONDO – 1BR / 1BA, KING bed, hall bunks, free Wi-Fi – Summer week $1,077 – VRBO #435534, amariewisener@gmail.com – (256)352-5721 WWW.HIDEAWAYPROP.COM – CABINS, PIGEON FORGE, TN: Peaceful, convenient location, owner rates – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049 HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – SLEEPS 2-6, 2.5 BATHS, FIREPLACE, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918, www.homeaway.com/101769, email jmccracken@gulftel.com DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www. orlandovacationoasis.com, (251)504-5756 PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 BEDROOM, 2 bath house – Walking distance to parkway, light# 1 - $85.00 / night – (256)309-7873, (256)590-8758 GULF FRONT CONDO, ORANGE BEACH – WINDWARD POINT – 3/2 – Owner (251)626-6566 AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL. Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners. Lowest Prices on the Beach – www.gulfshorescondos.com, (205)752-1231, (205)556-0368, (251)752-2366 CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100 / Night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDOS – Beachview sleeps 6, Beachfront sleeps 4 – (251)223-9248

Real Estate Sales AUBURN, DUPLEX AND LOT, SALE OR RENT – 3 Bedroom each side – (256)878-1782 BY OWNER – 2/2 GULF SHORES BEACH CONDO - $130,000 – NO Realtors! (601)636-5524 1,000 CONDOS FOR SALE STARTING AT $75K – Go to: www.gulfshoremls. com. The beach is waiting for you!

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.

44  APRIL 2015


Call Steve Warren and Jamie Mogan at (251)948-1249 RE/MAX of Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 LAKE WEISS WATERFRONT – 3BR / 2BA Manufactured Home – (770)4271201, bob.f.pollard@gmail.com ORANGE BEACH CONDO – 2/2, Fully Furnished – Gulf & Bayou View $171,900 – Call Destiny (251)786-5200 NICE 3 BR, 2 BATH FISHING, HUNTING & RETIREMENT HOME on river in Dallas Co. - Recently remodeled with hard wood floors &

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Alabama Living

color walls, galvanized roof, 1 framed opening, 1 walk-in door.

APRIL 2015 45

Cookies Alabama Recipes

Cook of the month: Jennifer Hallmark, Joe Wheeler EMC Mama Lander’s Tea Cakes 1 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 2 cups self-rising flour

2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt shortening in microwave in large bowl and let cool for five minutes. Mix all ingredients and roll into small balls. Roll each ball in sugar, then press the top with a fork on cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees until lightly brown on bottom. Serves 2 dozen.

Southern Pecan Cookies 2 cups of broken pecans 1 egg white

⁄ cup of brown sugar (light)

Beat egg white until frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until egg white melts the sugar. Add pecans and stir by hand until well blended. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Drop by teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet (I use Pam spray). Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet before you remove them. Makes 24 to 30 cookies. Beverly Danford, Pea River EC

Why do we eat cookies? I asked myself this question and came up with a few thoughts. Cookies are small and easy to eat. You only really need one hand. They are fairly easy to prepare and the possibilities for ingredients are endless. They are perfect to make for a quick bake sale, or just to brighten someone’s day. Preparing cookies can be a great way to spend time in the kitchen with kids. The older I get, the more I realize that spending time with my children is far more important than the “stuff ” they accumulate. At the end of every day I ask my oldest daughter what was her favorite part of the day. She most always answers when she spent time playing or talking with another person. It’s rarely about “things.” Let that serve as a reminder to get together and spend time with the ones you love. How about starting with making one of the cookie recipes in this issue? Let me know how they taste.

Mary Tyler Spivey is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied history and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at recipes@alabamaliving.coop.

46 APRIL 2015

Coconut Honey Bits ¾ 1 2 1 1

cup honey cup coconut tablespoons milk cube butter cup flour

2 cups Rice Krispies 1 teaspoon vanilla Maraschino cherries Additional coconut

Cook together over medium heat the honey, coconut, milk and butter. When hot, add flour. Stir until mixture leaves sides of pan. Add Rice Krispies and vanilla. Form balls. Roll in additional coconut. Make a thumbprint on top. Top with ½ of a maraschino cherry in thumbprint. Enjoy! Lorena Wilson, Black Warrior EMC

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Loved the Pound Cake I would like to give a big shout out for the Peanut Butter Pound Cake recipe that was in this month’s issue. I made it Sunday and it was FANTABULOUS, a big hit at home and office! Keep those recipes coming! Angela Woodruff-Swarts, Montgomery

You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: June July August

Dad’s favorite dish Sandwiches Cool drinks


April 15 May 15 June 15

online at alabamaliving.coop email to recipes@alabamaliving.coop mail to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Want to see recipes, feature stories, and other Alabama happenings during the month? LIke Alabama Living on facebook and don’t miss anything!


Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles 1 cup creamy peanut butter 4 ounces cream cheese 1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup crushed pretzels 1 12-ounce package chocolate chips

Line a baking sheet or tray with waxed paper. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter and cream cheese. Microwave, uncovered, on high (100% power) for 30 seconds or until mixture is slightly softened, stirring once. Stir in powdered sugar and pretzels. Shape the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls. Place balls on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and freeze for 15 minutes or until firm. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe container. Microwave at half power or defrost setting for 30 seconds. Stir thoroughly until smooth. Using a fork, dip balls into melted mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Place dipped balls back on baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Robin O’Sullivan, Wiregrass EC

Orange Slice Cookies 2 cups shortening 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar 1 cup sugar 3 eggs 3 cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking soda 1¼ teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons water 3 cups quick cook oats, uncooked 1 3½-ounce package flaked coconut (sweet or unsweet) 1 bag (about 20 pieces) orange slice candies, finely chopped

With an electric or stand mixer, in a large mixing bowl, cream shortening. Next, gradually add both sugars beating at medium speed until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. In a large bowl, combine flour, soda, and baking powder. Slowly add by thirds to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in water and mix in oats, coconut, and orange slices. Bump up speed to medium to mix the batter just until combined. It will be really thick. Chill batter for about an hour. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes or until browned. Dough can be refrigerated up to a week or you can freeze unused dough up to 6 months. Summer Magnus, Dixie EC

Malted Munchies 1 cup butter (no substitutes) softened ¾ cup packed brown sugar ⁄ cup white sugar 1 egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons baking cocoa 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups malted milk balls, coarsely crushed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla and mix well. Combine the flour, baking cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Add crushed malted milk balls to dough and mix thoroughly, being careful not to over-mix. Shape (do not roll) into 1½-inch balls. If you roll, the cookies won’t have that nice crackly appearance. Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets or use Silpat baking mat. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown on edges. Cool for 1 minute before removing cookies from pans to wire racks.Yields about 3 dozen. Cyndi McConnell, Baldwin EMC Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015 47

Double Chocolate Cookies 1 cup butter or margarine, softened 1 cup sugar 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2¼ cups all purpose flour ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa 1 teaspoon baking soda 1-1½ cups chopped white chocolate

Beat butter until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla, beating until blended after each addition.  Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda.  Add to butter mixture until blended.  Stir in chopped white chocolate.  Drop by tablespoon full onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes.  Remove to wire racks and cool completely. Victoria Black, North Alabama EC

Catch A Man Cookies 1 cup butter 1¼ cups dark brown sugar ½ cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups flour

Nutella Cookie Cups 1 cup uncooked rolled oats ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup white chocolate chips 1 cup chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until melted. Remove from the heat. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt and cinnamon and mix together. Stir in the white chocolate chips and chocolate chips. Roll by hand into 24 medium-size balls, or use a scoop, and place on a light-colored cookie sheet. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Pamela Martin, Arab EC

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed ½ cup granulated sugar 1 egg ½ tablespoon vanilla extract

1¾ ½ ½ 1

cups all-purpose flour teaspoon baking soda teaspoon salt cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup Nutella, melted or softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard size muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside. In another bowl cream together butter and sugars for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat for 2 more minutes. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until all combined and well-incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips. Place Nutella in a microwave-safe bowl and warm up the Nutella in 30 second intervals in the microwave until you achieve a smooth and runny consistency that is easy to spoon out. Using a medium cookie dough scoop, scoop out 1.5 - 2 tbsp. of cookie dough, flatten it to the bottom of the muffin tin. Repeat with the dough until all 10 of the muffin tin bottoms are lined with cookie dough. Take a tablespoon of the warmed up Nutella and place in the middle of the dough that’s in the muffin tin. Then, take the remaining cookie dough and cover the Nutella layer. You don’t have to push it down hard, it’ll make the Nutella ooze. Just a gentle tap will do. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are brown. Immediately run a paring knife around the cookie cups when they come out of the oven so you can loosen them for easy removal later. Pamela LaRue Martin, Arab EC Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.

48 APRIL 2015


Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  51

TEC Tips

50  APRIL 2015


TEC Energy Store

It’s foolish to keep an old, inefficient appliance.

Get smart and stay efficient with a new appliance from your Energy Store! For information on our in-stock merchandise please call our office and ask for Energy Store Rep, Cristi Vaughn, at 205.921.6712 - ex. 245. Financing is available to our members, with credit approval. Just tell us to “Put it on my bill!” Remember, you do not have to be a cooperative member to purchase.

Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  51

Our Sources Say

Renew Our Rivers one way neighbors are helping neighbors


hen you live in the country, good neighbors are espe- Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has restored more than 26,000 acres cially important. of longleaf pine ecosystem and established more than 6,500 acres The Tombigbee Electric Cooperative understands of new longleaf forest. this. And so does Alabama Power. This has enabled us to protect the endangered red-cockaded In the 1930s, Alabama Power began working closely with co- woodpecker, which relies on the longleaf for its survival. You can operatives to provide wholesale electricity. Thousands of miles of watch a video of nesting sites through http://youtu.be/PehAUiamGrural lines were built, serving tens of thousands of new customers. Dk. That spirit of partnership is just as strong today. We’re still good Our Power of Flight partnership also helps restore endangered and threatened bird populations. In addition we’ve worked with the neighbors. Good thing, too. Today our responsibility goes beyond keeping the lights on and Alabama Bald Eagle Restoration Project for over two decades. You prices low. It’s not enough to conserve energy. We must also con- might see an eagle or two on the West Alabama Birding Trail, which serve our state’s natural resources. crosses Lamar and Marion counties. Alabama Power licenses more than 80,000 acres for recreational Some might be surprised by all this activity from a power comhunting. We manage more than 3,500 miles of shoreline created by pany. But these creatures are our neighbors, too. Take the tale of two turtles. One is the flattened musk turtle, our hydroelectric dams. which lives only in the Black Warrior Sixteen years ago, a lone Plant Gadsden employee decided to clean up trash River system. We’re working with fedfrom the Coosa River. That inspired eral agencies to protect and enhance its the Renew Our Rivers (ROR) program, habitat – its neighborhood. The second is the gopher tortoise, which now spans four states. Last year a protected species. While building 17 volunteers collected more than 380,000 miles of new transmission lines through pounds from Alabama waterways – a southeast Alabama last year, we protectfive-year high. ed their habitat and even safely relocated At least 30 ROR cleanups are scheduled for 2015 across the state; several several tortoises. We are also developing a gopher tortoise mitigation bank are in western Alabama. Volunteers are always welcome. You can learn more at in southwest Alabama that should be available this fall. www.renewourrivers.com. Kayakers clean up the Tallapoosa River as part of the Finally, we’re restoring more than 220 We want everyone to appreciate Ala- Renew Our Rivers program. bama’s beauty and bounty. acres of fire-suppressed and degraded Last year we launched Brighter Minds, an initiative that supports pine savannah wetlands, because sometimes nature needs a little conservation education, among other priorities, through grants help. provided by the Alabama Power Foundation. Energy efficiency is also key to conservation. It can help restore The Foundation also provides Students to Stewards grants to hope in a community devastated by natural disaster. create outdoor classrooms and field studies. For younger students, When the deadly tornadoes of April 2011 destroyed the Wranwe distribute “Message in a Bottle,” a conservation-themed color- gler jeans distribution center in Hackleburg, we worked with Gov. ing book. Robert Bentley, the C3 Northwest Economic Development Alliance Alabama ranks fifth in the U.S. in diversity of animals and plants. and others to rebuild it and make it more energy-efficient and costMore than 300 species of freshwater fish swim in our rivers and effective. streams. An hour away, in the town of Berry, the same ill winds destroyed We are working to enhance that diversity. numerous large trees. With a grant from the Alabama Power FounOur Longleaf Legacy program, a partnership with the National dation’s Good Roots program, volunteers are planting new ones. It’s a small thing. But it illustrates how interconnected we are. Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching bring over $2 billion a year to Alabama. So environmental protection leads to economic growth. And economic growth, in turn, leads to new opportunities. We look forward to working with Tombigbee and other cooperatives to improve people’s lives -- and way of life -- in every comMatt Bowden is vice president for environmental munity. affairs at Alabama Power. We always do better as a team – and as good neighbors. A 52  APRIL 2015


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Alabama Living

APRIL 2015  53

Alabama Snapshots




7 8 4



“My Favorite Pet” 1. Tyde Tucker and Little Girl. SUBMITTED BY Lisa Graham, Cullman. 2. Jason Smoak and Alex, a 9-yearold Great Dane. SUBMITTED BY Laura Smoak, Dothan. 3. D a i s y D u k e t h e B e a g l e . SUBMITTED BY Ashley Giddens, Silverhill. 4. Rosco. SUBMITTED BY Patty Bender, Florala.

54 APRIL 2015

5. Emma Grace and her mini donkey she named Cam Newton. SUBMITTED BY Denise Ramsey, Eastaboga. 6. Judson and Ruby. SUBMITTED BY Deborah Morris, Hillsboro. 7. Argin Dooley and Yeller. SUBMITTED BY Angela Dooley, Hanceville. 8. Harper (2 years old), with Sprinkles, her Barred Rock Hen. SUBMITTED BY Brittany Henderson.

Submit Your Images! JUNE THEME:

“Vacation Selfies”


Photos, Alabama Living, 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 www. alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR JUNE: April 30


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