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

Tombigbee Electric COOPERATIVE

2014 TEC Scholarship More on page 5.



Preparing for our move with more payment options for you! Read more on page 6.

Meet your representatives Page 8.



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.



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

VOL. 67 NO. 1 JANUARY 2014


5 TEC 2014 Scholarship

It’s time again for the yearly scholarship competition. Learn more on page 5!

16 Who’s the best in Alabama?

We asked, and you told us your favorites, from the best state park to the best place to satisfy your sweet tooth! See if your favorites made it to the top spot!

ON THE COVER Wishing you a Happy New Year! Art by Kay Marshall.

26 Top bass anglers heading to state

Lake Guntersville, one of the premier bass lakes in the nation, will be the site of the 2014 Bassmasters Classic in February.

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

DEPARTMENTS USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

9 22 26 27 32

Spotlight Alabama Gardens Alabama Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 3

Tombigbee Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees Jim McRae Chair

David Collins Vice-Chair

Curt Morris

Secretary Treasurer

Terry Gosa Dennis Harbor William T. Hulsey Chad Williams Sheila Gunter Warren Williford

Visit our website www.tombigbee.org

Headquarters: P.O. Box 610 Guin, AL 35563 205.468.3325

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Manager’s Comments

A busy and wellplanned 2014 Steve Foshee Manager of Tombigbee EC

Typically in any new year, we make our resolutions and by the end of February most of us have forgotten them. In business, we make plans as to how we will operate from both a production as well as a financial standpoint. It is difficult to plan very long term as there are simply too many changes taking place in almost all areas of business. That is very true in the electric utility business. We draft out a detailed budget process for the next twelve months and it is through that effort that we plan and determine what the rate structure needs to be to pay our bills. While costs have risen dramatically in the last four years, we are very proud of the fact that we have only increased the rates by one dollar per month in that period of time. It has not been an easy task. For this year’s budget we have recommended another dollar increase per month due to wholesale power and labor cost increases. For most of the last five years we have absorbed increases by reduction in costs, including cost of labor, by having fewer and fewer workers. But there is a limit to that and, as they say, maybe we are cutting to the bone. Growth would certainly help us but it will not happen until our county attracts more jobs. In the last ten years, we have invested over two million dollars in pole replacements alone. We have been very proactive to reduce our outage rates and increase the safety to the public. Such things are not cheap but rates did not increase for that purpose. Rather, we simply worked harder

with the money we have. Tombigbee has also invested over one million per year to keep trees away from our lines. That again is not cheap. Keeping the lights on is job one but to do that rates were not increased. We understand how difficult it is on everyone and your cooperative is doing its part to keep costs low and reliability of power high. Will the new facility increase our rates for 2014? The short answer is no. We have planned on this project for many years from a financial standpoint. While I cannot say what the impact will be in the longterm, I can say it will be very low. In fact, if one considers the costs of operating in a 63 year old building, it may be none at all. There are many other things we plan to do in 2014. We plan to work on our substations, improve communications to you our owners, work on power lines, and much more will be done. I have heard it said that one does not plan to fail, they just fail to plan. Your cooperative is heavily involved in planning for months, and sometimes years, in advance. I hope each of you will have your very best year ever in 2014. One thing is for sure, time is marching on. For our children’s sake, we here at Tombigbee and our local, state and national leaders hope to responsibility leave what we have in better shape for our children. I am hopeful that this will be a great year for your electric cooperative and that it will be a great year for you personally, as well. A sfoshee@tombigbee.org

TEC Scholarship 2014

Once again it’s time for the 2014 Tombigbee EC scholarships. We are delighted to bring this opportunity to the students in our service area and urge you to contact our office for your application form today. Deadline for entries is March 14, 2014.

To receive an application simply contact your high school guidance counselor or send an e-mail requesting an application to: 205.468.3325

info@tombigbee. com You can also call our office and request applications too!

Deadline for applications: March 14, 2014

Alabama Living

205.468.3325 (ext. 224) Good Luck, Seniors! JANUARY 2014 5

Preparing for our move with more options to pay Article by Brenda Overton Technology/Member Services

2014 is going to be a very busy year for Tombigbee. Our projected move date is in June and this is going to bring about a lot of changes for our membership. These changes include our mailing address, our phone number and locations where payments can be made. Some of these things are easy to fix, but others bring about some concern for our membership and we want you to know that we are doing everything in our power to help! One way we are going to do this is by allowing payments to be made at some of the local banks in the community. As many of you are aware, we currently take payments at People’sTrust Bank in Hamilton and beginning January 2014 we will begin accepting payments at State Bank and Trust in Guin. We plan to make this option available in more communities soon. There are still a lot of arrangements to be made for the move and as we go through all of the steps, we will keep you informed. We plan to do so with articles in this magazine and bill stuffers, so keep an eye out for what’s to come!


-- Choose the method you wish to pay • Credit/Debit card • E-Check • Draft


Mail your payment to us. Tombigbee Electric Cooperative PO Box 610 Guin, AL 35563 But remember: this address will soon change!

3. PAY BY IVR Call us at (205) 468-3325 or (800) 621-8069 -- Choose option 2 - Automated Member Service System -- Choose option 3 - Pay by E-check or Credit/ Debit card -- Enter your Tombigbee Account Number

Visit us at www.tombigbee.org -- Click on My Energy Account -- Log in using your account number or username and password

6 JANUARY 2014


TEC Technology update

Kid’s Valentine Drawing Contest! Calling all artists! TEC invites you to show us how much you love Tombigbee by submitting your child’s drawing to us by mail or via Facebook. Deadline is January 10. Winning drawings may be included in the February issue of Alabama Living magazine! If submitting via Facebook please make sure you have a very high quality photo of the drawing! Thanks for participating in our Kid’s Art Contest!

Payments can be taken to the following locations: 4. PAY IN PERSON Visit us Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM 7686 U.S. Hwy 43 Guin, AL 35563

Tombigbee Electric Cooperative


State Bank & Trust

**NOTE**Payments made at bank locations must be made on or before the due date, the coupon must be brought with the payment and the payment must equal the amount due. A

Guin, AL 35563

Alabama Living

7686 US Hwy 43 Guin, AL 35563

7370 US Hwy 43

People’s Trust Bank 1281 Military St. S. Hamilton, AL 35570

JANUARY 2014 7

TEC Community

2014 Legislative Issue

Representative Mike Millican District 17

Representative Mike Millican Representing Marion and Winston counties. Mike Millican (R) elected in 1990. He received his B.S. Degree from Athens State University. He is a member of numerous civic clubs and boards that service both counties, including the Winston-Marion Community Action Assoc. and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Marion County Extension Service. State House: 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7768 Home Address: 995 Country Estates Drive Hamilton, AL 35570 Home Phone: (205) 921-3214 Fax Number: (334) 353-3350 Email: mike.millican@alhouse.gov

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Representative Daniel Boman District 16

Representative Daniel Boman Representing Fayette, Lamar, and Tuscaloosa counties. Daniel Boman (D) was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives on November 2, 2010. He is a defense attorney who received a B.A. degree in psychology from Auburn University and a J.D. degree from the Birmingham School of Law. State House: 11 S. Union St. Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7600 Work Address: 55314 Highway 17, Suite B, Sulligent, AL 35586 Work Phone: (205) 698-1114 Cell Phone: (205) 999-2904 Fax Number: (205) 698-1116 Email: daniel_boman@thebomanfirm.com

Senator Roger Bedford District 5

Senator Roger Bedford Representing Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion and Winston counties. Roger Bedford (D) is serving his sixth term in the Senate and is the Senate Minority Leader. Educated at the University of Alabama and law degree from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University. He is an attorney, a conservative Democrat, member of the Alabama Bar Assoc. and numerous civic clubs and boards. State House: Room 730-B 11 S. Union Street Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-7862 Work Address: P.O. Box 370 Russellville, AL 35653 Work Phone: (256) 332-2880 Fax Number: (256) 332-7821 Email: senbedford@aol.com


Spot Light

In January

JAN. 11

Festival of the Cranes returns to Decatur for second year

A day of nature walks, live raptors, and refuge tours is planned when Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur holds the second annual Festival of the Cranes. Set for January 11, the celebration of sandhill cranes and whooping cranes will bring together experienced birders and those who would like to learn more about birding and other wildlife that call the Refuge home. More than 12,000 sandhill cranes along with several pairs of whooping cranes spend the winter each year at Wheeler National Wildlife The whooping crane population was down to 16 birds in the early 1940s due to human activities. The population is enjoying a comeback through conservation efforts. Refuge. Hosted by the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Above: Sandhill cranes fly in formation. PHOTO BY GEORGE LEE Association, the Festival of the Cranes kicks off at 6 a.m. with a Sunrise Breakfast in the Visitor Center p.m., Joan Garland, education outreach coordinator for the classroom. Following breakfast, Refuge Manager Dwight International Crane Foundation, will speak on the efforts Cooley will lead an to restore a migratory flock of whooping cranes to eastern early morning birding North America. The whooping crane is on the verge of walk to see cranes and a comeback after nearly becoming extinct due to human other waterfowl arrive activities. In 1941, the last migratory flock was reduced to in the fields to begin only 16 birds. Jules and I their day of feeding Additional activities include two showings of “Hope wanted you and loafi ng. Breakfast Takes Wing,” a film by and about Operation Migration to know just is $5 per person chronicling the history of the whooping crane, and two how much and participants are presentations by Auburn University’s Southeastern Raptor we appreciencouraged to wear Center to teach about birds of prey and offer an up-close ated the comfortable walking look at owls, hawks, falcons and eagles. From 11 a.m. to 1 beaushoes and to bring p.m., there will be a pizza lunch with proceeds benefitting tiful binoculars and a the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association. The daylong photos and article you featured camera.Th roughout event concludes at 5 p.m. Th e Wheeler National Wildlife on the cover and interior of the the day, the enclosed Refuge Visitor Center is located at 3121 Visitor Center magazine! [June, 2013] It was Wildlife Observation Road in Decatur. For more information on the Festival of the best article written to date Building will off er the Cranes, visit www.friendsofwheelerrefuge.org or call that truly told our story! views of thousands Teresa Adams, supervisory ranger for Wheeler National We are still getting people comWildlife Refuge, at 256-350-6639. ing into the tasting room telling of sandhill cranes, along with whooping how they found out about us cranes, ducks, geese, through the mag! They loved Alabama Living in your inbox raptors, and maybe the story and photos! I’ve had Get a sneak peek each month at the a bald eagle. There so many people wanting copies people, places and things of will be bleachers too. Alabama! Our monthly email and spotting scopes The cover looked like a coffee newsletter features a preview available along with table mag! of each month’s magazine, volunteers and staff Becky Berta plus links to tasty recipes members on hand to Jules J. Berta Vineyards and more, so sign up today at answer questions. At Albertville alabamaliving.coop/newsletter/. 10:15 a.m. and 2:15

Letters to the Editor

Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 9

Power Pack

Time is precious when responding to a stroke By Dr. Jim McVay

(Ed. Note: This is the first in a series of periodic columns that will explore health topics of interest to our readers.)

On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and every 4 minutes someone dies from one, according to the American Stroke Association. Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability and the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. While strokes can occur at any age, the risk doubles every decade after age 55, and three-fourths of all strokes occur in people over age 65. African Americans are at a disproportionately high risk and have almost twice the risk of first-ever strokes compared to whites, yet fewer than half know at least one stroke warning sign. The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke, caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain. Deaths from ischemic stroke are predicted to nearly double between 2000 and 2032. With ischemic stroke, patients can sometimes be treated and a stroke completely reversed by the use of a clot-dissolving stroke treatment called tPA. However, just as with heart attacks, timing is critical. This life-saving medication must be given within a few

hours of the onset of symptoms to be effective. Patients who receive tPA within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost three times as likely to have McVay favorable outcomes three months after a stroke than those who do not receive tPA. Remember the word FAST, what its letters represent, and how they can help you to identify the signs of a stroke. F = Facial Weakness Can the person smile? Is it uneven? Have his or her mouth or eyes drooped when attempting to talk or change expressions? A = Arm Weakness Can the person raise both arms? Is one arm slightly lower? S = Speech/Sight Difficulty Can the person speak without slurring words or see clearly and understand what you say? T = Time to Act If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 immediately. Patients must be transported to a hospital capable of performing a rapid exam to determine the type of stroke

and then treated when appropriate. A system that has resulted in a vast improvement in stroke care in the Birmingham area over the past 13 years is now operating in 18 counties in southeast Alabama. The Southeast Regional Pilot Acute Stroke System is helping save lives and reduce the burden of stroke. This voluntary network works with Emergency Medical Services providers and the Alabama Trauma Communications Center using an organized plan to route patients with signs of stroke to the closest hospital that is ready to care for them. This system is similar to the Alabama Trauma System, which has been effective in reducing motor vehicle-related fatalities in Alabama by 36 percent. In addition to early treatment, many major risk factors for stroke can be prevented and controlled. Talk with your health care provider about ways to reduce your risks. In a future article, we will explore the “ABCs” of cardiovascular disease prevention. To learn more, call 1-888-4-STROKE or browse www.strokeassociation.org or www.adph.org. Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is director of the Bureau of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease of the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Ring in the New Year with a COLA By Kylle’ McKinney

Many people ring in the new year with champagne. People who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) get to ring it in with a COLA. This year, more than 60 million Americans are receiving a 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) in their monthly benefit payment. The 1.5 percent COLA begins with increased benefits for more than 57 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2014, and payments to more than 8 million SSI recipients in late December 2013. The estimated average monthly 10 JANUARY 2014

Social Security payment to a retired worker is $1,294 (in 2014), up from $1,275 (in 2013). The average monthly Social Security disability payment for an individual is $1,148 (in 2014), up from $1,131 (in 2013). The basic monthly federal payment for SSI is $721 (in 2014), up from $710 (in 2013). Some other changes that take effect in January each year are based on the increase in average wages. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $117,000, up from $113,700. Of the estimated 165 million workers who

will pay Social Security taxes in 2014, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum. The amount of earnings needed for one credit of Social Security coverage has gone up as well, but all workers can still earn up to four credits in a year. It takes 40 credits to be fully insured for retirement benefits. Information is available at www. medicare.gov and www.socialsecurity. gov/pressoffice. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs specialist, can be reached at 866-5930914, ext. 26265, or at kylle.mckinney@ ssa.gov. www.alabamaliving.coop

‘Under Age, Under Arrest’ aims to curb underage and binge drinking By Eddie Lard

A lot of people only know the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board from the state liquor stores it operates. But the responsibilities of the ABC Board go far beyond selling spirits through its stores. The reason Alabama has an Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is to guarantee there are safeguards in place to govern the responsible sale and use of alcohol. Used irresponsibly, alcohol can destroy and ruin lives. It is the job of the ABC Board to regulate the distribution of liquor and other alcoholic beverages for the benefit and safety of the public. It does that through regulations, licensing and, yes, state liquor stores that generate much-needed revenue which help pay for state operations ranging from health care to child services. Education is also a part of what the ABC Board does in its “control” role. Recently, the ABC Board launched a new statewide educational and public awareness initiative aimed at reducing underage and binge drinking. The initiative is called “Under Age, Under Arrest,” and is designed to drive home the point to students and parents alike that underage drinking and binge drinking come with serious consequences. It is against the law in Alabama for people under the age of 21 to consume or possess alcoholic beverages. It is also illegal for adults to provide alcohol to those under the legal drinking age. Penalties include fines, possible jail time and, for minors, the loss of their driver licenses. Despite the law, underage drinking and its offshoot, binge drinking, remain far too common and pose serious threats to the public’s safety and wellbeing. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, by age 15, half of all teens have had at Alabama Living

The ABC Board has launched a new statewide educational and public awareness initiative aimed at reducing underage and binge drinking.

least one drink. By age 18, that number grows to 70 percent. In fact, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 26 percent of young people age 12-20 reported consuming alcohol within the past month. Just as troubling, when youth drink, they are more likely to drink to excess. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 90 percent of alcohol consumed by those under the age of 21 (illegally, of course) is in the form of binge drinks. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks (four for females) at one occasion. In Alabama, 41 percent of 18-20-year-olds report binge drinking. Public safety nightmares This is especially alarming since binge-drinkers are 14 times more likely to drive impaired. Underage and binge drinking are public health and public safety nightmares. • Every year, about 5,000 people die from car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning and other injuries directly related to underage drinking. • More than 190,000 people under

the age of 21 go to an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries. • Studies show that young people who start drinking in their teen years are four times more likely to become problem drinkers or alcohol dependent than those who start drinking later. Aside from the social costs, there are economic costs as well. NIAAA estimates that underage drinking costs U.S. citizens more than $60 billion each year in medical are, work loss, and pain and suffering. In Alabama, the toll is more than $1 billion. Underage and binge drinking kill, ruin lives and burden our economy as well as public services. That is why “Under Age, Under Arrest” is so important. The goal is to make the “Under Age, Under Arrest” slogan as synonymous with underage drinking as the “Click It or Ticket” campaign is with wearing seatbelts. The ABC Board is focusing this educational and public awareness initiative on schools and college campuses. The launch event was held last November before about 1,000 students at Prattville High School near Montgomery, followed by a similar event at McAdory High School in the Birmingham area. More events are being planned for schools across the state. These events are being held in partnership with other state agencies such as the departments of Public Health, Mental Health and Education as well as law enforcement and religious and community organizations. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Alabama Citizens Action Program have been instrumental. The ABC Board believes such partnerships are the key to effectively spreading the message about the dangers of underage and binge drinking -- and saving young lives. For more information about “Under Age, Under Arrest,” go online to www. underage-underarrest.com. JANUARY 2014 11

A conversation with Alabama’s First Family Alabama’s 53rd governor lives in the historic Governor’s Mansion, but he never forgets that he once lived in a rural Alabama home with no electricity.


t’s not an easy task to get Gov. Robert Bentley and First Lady Dianne Bentley together at the same time, in the same place, but Alabama Living was able to snag the duo for a morning interview recently. Our conversation wasn’t political, but more about how their lives have changed since they moved into the Governor’s Mansion in 2011, and how they make time for family and keep their privacy while in the public limelight. As we learned, it’s not always easy. Gov. Bentley was a dermatologist in Tuscaloosa for 36 years and served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives before becoming Governor. Mrs. Bentley, a homemaker who raised four sons, often drove her husband to and from campaign stops in 2009 and 2010 as they traveled the state. But as the First Lady, she’s not as free to jump in the car and run to the grocery store for a quart of milk as she once was. That’s just one of many ways their life has changed in the past three years, as we learned during our conversation.

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PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON See more of our interview with Gov. and Mrs. Bentley at www.alabamaliving.coop


children. They just throw Alabama Living: How has life changed you into (situations where in the past three years you’ve lived in the you learn) how to handle the mansion? press, and other things. They Mrs. Bentley: For me, it’s been a drastic change. He was a dermatologist in Tusca- gave you helpful advice because they have been though loosa and his office was maybe two miles it. I loved that. from the house. He would come home at AL: How long have you been lunch, have a light lunch and rest a minmarried? ute and then go back to work. It was just Mrs. Bentley: 48 years. We us, and I was a stay at home mom with were married July 24, 1965 four sons. Then grandchildren started at the First United Methodcoming and they all lived close by so I As she has grown into the role of First Lady, Mrs. Bentley is more at ease with public appearances. ist Church in Montgomery. could carpool or go by and pick them up I grew up in Montgomery and PHOTOS BY JAMIE MARTIN whenever I wanted. To come down here, went to Lanier High School. We and it’s a positive, but you’re surrounded problems. Some are tougher than others. had our 50th reunion two years ago. I by people from 6:30 (a.m.) on. We have a AL: I’d asked your wife how life has invited my classmates over here for a tour changed since you moved into the staff of ten. I learned my first week when and they were just totally appalled. One I came downstairs in my bathrobe that Governor’s Mansion. When you were a of my classmates said, “You never said a you don’t come downstairs until you’re dermatologist, I understand you got to fully made up and dressed. People ask us, word in high school.” I said, “I know, I’m come home for lunch. “What’s your favorite room?” Well, I don’t really shy and here I am in this job!” Gov. Bentley: That’s right. I’d come home roam around down here; this is the public AL: But you’ve really blossomed. about 11:30 and I’d fix me a diet Lean area. So it’s hard to adjust to people being Mrs. Bentley: Well, thank you. Cuisine pizza that I’d eat every day. It was around you all the time. You know they’re AL: How does that make you feel, knowonly 330 calories. I’d rest for about 20 good and they’re necessary. I’m not saying ing that no one ever expected you to be minutes and go back to the office about it’s a negative, but sometimes you just like here when you were in high school? 12:30. So I would have usually an hour Mrs. Bentley: Well, it’s a good feeling. I your space. or 45 minutes. My office was very close. AL: Tell us more about living in the man- was so scared during the campaign, I told Sometimes I’d sit down and try to relax them, “I’ll show sion. The upstairs for 10 minutes. up, I’ll be there but is family quarters, Mrs. Bentley: He’s good at taking power don’t ask me to right? naps. He learned that in his medical speak.” Speaking Mrs. Bentley: The school days. He can do that for about ten just scares me to upstairs is famminutes and wake up refreshed. I can’t do death. So I did two ily quarters. When that. I think that’s what’s helped him. speeches and my we have friends AL: And no power naps now? knees were going over, we take them Gov. Bentley: No, except Sunday we just like this, and upstairs. A lot of went to church, and Diane thought I was once we got here, people ask to see asleep and she punched me. I said, “OK, Lord, the upstairs but it’s Mrs. Bentley: He’d just gotten in from this is a part of this not anything special Japan and Saturday we thought he was job. You put us like the beautidoing good, but it was a 12-hour flip. He here. You’ve got to ful architectural slept late and I had to go wake him! And give me the power design downstairs. I looked over there (during church) and to speak. And He There are two guest he was nodding. has just blessed me. Gov. Bentley: I was praying. rooms, my office People say, “You’re and a bedroom AL: Do you go to one church? a lot better now we use for a living Mrs. Bentley: Whoever invites us, we go than you were” and there. I grew up in First Methodist and room. Not anything I don’t know how Mrs. Bentley enjoys speaking to interesting for a that’s where we were married. It’s really children’s classes. to take that! tour. Now the first kind of fun, we bop in and surprise them. [At this point in our interview, Gov. lady of Mississippi lets people tour her One Sunday, our pilot was telling us Bentley joined us after a busy morning in “Ya’ll need to come to church” (with whole house. his office at the Capitol.] AL: Do you know her? him), so we went to Hayneville Baptist. AL: Thank you for being with us. I know Mrs. Bentley: Yes. We belong to the NaThere were probably 90 people there. tional Governors Association. They divide you’ve got a busy schedule. Gov. Bentley: We go to Frazer (MemoGov. Bentley: I’ve just got a lot of things you into 2 groups; one goes to spouse’s rial United Methodist) a lot, First Baptist school and the other to governor’s school. going on. But I love it, I do. I love solv(Montgomery) some, First Baptist Prating problems and we’ve got some real Some have their own careers. Some have tville. Of course, when we’re home we Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 13

always go back to First Baptist You know, I learned a long time Tuscaloosa. I go to a regular ago there are no tricks to losing Sunday School class and Diane weight. You either burn it off still works in the nursery. with exercise or just normal AL: So that’s how you keep the routine activities or you don’t eat home ties? it. It’s calories in, calories out. I Gov. Bentley: Yes. do it the real way, which is, I eat AL: Who does the cooking? You less calories. Dianne and I like to have a cook, don’t you? walk. We haven’t lately because Mrs. Bentley: We have a cook I had surgery about a month and he cooks during the week. ago, but I’m doing great. I had a And for receptions and parties hernia repair. for us, which is fantastic because We walk right out here in that would overwhelm me. On that circle, which is one-tenth of the weekends, I can’t cook in that a mile. So we walk 15 times. A kitchen. It’s like a commercial mile and a half, 3, 4, or 5 times Gov. Bentley grills Conecuh sausage for a cookout at the kitchen. This weekend I burned a week. We do it at night. Our Governor’s Mansion. the soup. I’m not used to cooksecurity guards stand out here ing in there. We have a great and they watch from the street. Gov. Bentley: No, they weren’t sweet begrill. So he’ll (the governor) grill hot Sometimes people will stop. Sometimes I cause there was too much rain. We had dogs and hamburgers and things like that. some squash. And a lot of tomatoes. just want to speak to them. Some are riding by on their bicycles and they stop and We do simple things on the weekend. Mrs. Bentley: We had so many tomatalk and we talk to them. AL: Do you have a favorite thing she/he toes I was threatening to set up a stand AL: How do you find time for each other? cooks? out here on the street and sell them. We Gov. Bentley: Oh yes, Diane makes the Gov. Bentley: When we get home at could raise money for this old mansion, best cornbread of anybody. I love her night, I try to get home by 6, maybe selling governor’s tomatoes! vegetable soup and cornbread. She fixes 6:30 or it may be 7. Then we eat, and AL: We want you to have your very good chicken and dumplings, I like that. go out and walk. Sometimes I’ll have own copy of our Alabama Living cookShe makes good chili and good spaghetti. book, a compilation of recipes from five several phone calls I have to make before Mrs. Bentley: One thing he likes to do years from the readers of Alabama Living. bedtime. We honestly don’t have the time is to have a garden and we’ve had a gartogether that we’ve had in the past. Now Do ya’ll ever get to see our magazine? den every year. He loves fresh tomatoes. we’re here together, but we’re busy… but Mrs. Bentley: Oh, yes, I tear out recipes Last year we planted cream peas, and zip- all the time. we are in the same room together. per peas, and froze them. We love fresh Mrs. Bentley: Sometimes I’ll send him AL: What’s a typical day like for you? vegetables. an email. What time do you get up? Gov. Bentley: We had two large gardens Gov. Bentley: Or she’ll send me a text. Gov. Bentley: We get up a little after 6. this last year, one behind Hill House over She’ll say, “Hey, look over here at me.” I wake up but I still have an alarm. Then here and another large garden by Winfield. I get to the office. I try to leave a little AL: I know you told our quilt ladies that We had peas, corn, two strains of okra, you both like to watch “Dancing with the after 7. and watermelon – a lot of watermelons. Stars.” AL: What do you eat for breakfast? Mrs. Bentley: But they didn’t do very Gov. Bentley: We do like to watch that, Gov. Bentley: I eat the same thing every good. although I’ve never danced in my life. day. I eat Grape Nuts. We really don’t watch a lot of TV. We Mrs. Bentley: will usually watch the news at night. I That shows age! hate to say it because that will tell what Gov. Bentley: It kind of fills me up. we’re watching but we watch the 9 o’clock news, then I watch Andy Griffith. That’s I do pretty well my favorite show. I saw one last night I until I eat lunch. never had seen. I’ve been on a AL: Do you have a favorite episode? diet lately. I’ve lost Gov. Bentley: I like Ernest T. Bass. I like nearly 20 pounds. the earlier ones that had Barney on. The AL: Was that later ones were not that good. It usually through Scale tells a kind of a moral story. It’s light Back Alabama? Gov. Bentley: No, humor. And you know what? It’s just like people I grew up with. I grew up I joined that last year and gained 10 The governor visits Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s pounds! (laughs) Continued on Page 28 Wetumpka office with President and CEO Tom Stackhouse. PHOTOS BY JAMIE MARTIN

14 JANUARY 2014


Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 15

Best of Alabama!

And the winners are….


ast fall, we asked our readers to vote for the best places, products and entertainment venues in Alabama, and you told us! We’re proud to present the winners of the very first Alabama Living “Best of Alabama” contest in this issue. We received several hundred entries from across the state, and some of the winners were a surprise. Congratulations to Kenny Baskins of Arab who is the winner of a $250 cash prize for entering the contest! Rev. Baskins is the pastor of the Arab First United Methodist Church and is a loyal Alabama Living reader. And now, presenting the winners…. Sheri, Daniel and Kenny Baskins.

Best Public Garden Bellingrath Gardens

12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road Theodore, Ala. 36582 251-973-2217 www.bellingrath.org Runner-up: Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, Ala. 35223 www.bbgardens.org

Best Alabama Band Alabama

101 Glenn Blvd., SW Ft Payne, Ala. www.thealabamaband.com The Alabama Fan Club Headquarters is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays and major holidays. Runner-up: Alabama Shakes www.alabamashakes.com 16 JANUARY 2014


Best Author Harper Lee

Author of To Kill a Mockingbird Runner-up: Kathryn Tucker Windham

Best State Park Guntersville State Park

7966 Hwy 227, Guntersville, AL 35976 256-571-5440 www.alapark.com/lakeguntersville Runner-up: Gulf State Park 20115 State Hwy. 135 Gulf Shores, Ala. 36542 800-252-7275 www.alapark.com/GulfState

Best Historical Site Fort Morgan

51 Alabama 180 Gulf Shores, Ala. 36542 251-540-7127 fortmorgan.org Runner-up: USS Alabama 2703 Battleship Pkwy, Mobile, Ala. 36603 251-433-2703 www.ussalabama.com

Best Alabama-Made Product Conecuh Sausage

P.O. Box 327 200 Industrial Park Evergreen, Ala. 36401 800-726-0507 www.conecuhsausage.com Runner-up: Alaga Syrup Whitfield Foods, Inc. 1101 N. Court Street P.O. Box 791 Montgomery, Ala. 36101-0791 334-263-2541 800-633-8790 www.alagasyrup.com Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 17

Best Kid-Friendly Destination Gulf Shores/Orange Beach www.gulfshores.com

Runner-up: U.S. Space and Rocket Center One Tranquility Base Huntsville, Ala. 35805 800-637-7223 rocketcenter.com

Best Antique/Flea Market Collinsville Trade Day

1016 South Valley Ave. Collinsville, Ala. 35961 888-524-2536 www.collinsvilletradeday.com More than 800 booths, open Saturdays 4 a.m. until dealers go home.

Best Golf Course Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

(Cambrian Ridge, Greenville; Capitol Hill, Prattville; Grand National, Auburn-Opelika; Hampton Cove, Huntsville; Highland Oaks, Dothan; Lakewood Golf Course, Pt. Clear; Magnolia Grove, Mobile; Oxmoor Valley, Birmingham; Ross Bridge, Birmingham; Silver Lakes, Anniston-Gadsden; The Shoals, Muscle Shoals.) www.rtjgolf.com Runner-up: Deer Run Golf Course 1175 County Road 100 Moulton, Ala. 35650 256-974-7384 cityofmoultonal.com/deer_ run_golf_course/index.html

Best Trail (Run/Bike/Walk) Desoto State Park

7104 Desoto Pkwy. NE, Ft. Payne, AL 35967 256-845-0051 www.alapark.com/DeSotoResort Runner-up: Oak Mountain State Park 200 Terrace Dr. Pelham, Ala. 35124 Phone: 205-620-2520Â www.alapark.com/oakmountain

Runner-up: Mountaintop Flea Market, Attalla 11301 U.S. Highway 278 Attalla, AL 35954 800-535-2286; Open every Sunday, year-round, 5 a.m. until... www.lesdeal.com

Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Duchess Bakery 222 1st Ave SE Cullman, Ala. 35055 256-734-0684

Peach Park 2300 7th St. S. Clanton, Ala. 35046 205-755-2065

Best Festival National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores Coastal Alabama Business Chamber 3150 Gulf Shores Pkwy Gulf Shores, Ala. 36542 251-968-6091 Oct. 9-12, 2014 myshrimpfest.com Runner-up: National Peanut Festival, Dothan 5622 Highway 231 South Dothan, Ala. 36301 334-793-4323 nationalpeanutfestival.com 18 JANUARY 2014


Best Non-Franchise Restaurant Nolan’s Restaurant & Lounge

1140 Gulf Shores Parkway (One block south of Fort Morgan Road, next to the Gulf Coast Zoo at Sawgrass Landing) Gulf Shores, Ala. 36542 251-948-2111 www.nolansrestaurant.com

Best Local Performing Arts Site

Runner-up: Mountain Parkway Grill 85 Overlook St. Sand Rock, Ala. 35983 www.mountainparkwaygrill.com

Alabama Shakespeare Festival 1 Festival Drive Montgomery, Ala. 36117 800-841-4273 www.asf.net

Runner-up: Princess Theatre 112 Second Ave., NE Decatur, Ala. 35601 256-350-1745 www.princesstheatre.org

Best Beach Destination Gulf Shores


Best Mountain Destination Mt. Cheaha

2141 Bunker Loop Hwy. 281 Delta, Ala. 36258 256-488-5115 www.alapark.com/CheahaResort

Best Alabama Lake Lake Guntersville

Runner-up: Mentone DeKalb County, Ala. mentonealabama.gov

www.lakeguntersville.org www.alapark.com/lakeguntersville Runner-up: Smith Lake (21,000 acres in Cullman, Walker and Winston counties) www.smithlake.info

Best Kept Secret Little River Canyon

4322 Little River Trail NE For GPS, use: 472 Alabama Highway 35 Fort Payne, Ala. 35967 256-845-9605 www.nps.gov/liri/index.htm Runner-up: The Secret Bed and Breakfast 2356 AL Hwy 68 West Leesburg, Ala. 35983 www.secretbedandbreakfastlodge.com

Alabama Living

Runner-up: Orange Beach www.cityoforangebeach.com

Best Fishing Spot Weiss Lake

(30,000 acres in Cherokee County) www.lakeweiss.info Runner-up: Lake Eufaula www.outdooralabama.com.info JANUARY 2014 19

Worth the Drive

Don’t ‘steer’ clear of Sweet P’s in Pike Road By Jennifer Kornegay

“Happy Plate:” three scoops and a cupcake.


dd this to your 2014 New Year’s resolutions: Eat a cow But what about that pink cow smiling at you from the rug patty at Sweet P’s Eats & Treats in Pike Road. It may not when you enter the restaurant or from the mural behind the be the most appetizing name for a dessert, but its rich, cupcake display? Where did she come from? decadent layers of moist chocolate cake glued together with but“My two-year-old daughter Raley,” Kadra says. Kadra married tercream and enrobed in cooked cocoa icing are so endorphin- into the Parkman family that owns Parkman Cattle Company, so eliciting delicious, you won’t care what it’s called (or that checking cows are a big part of her and her children’s lives. While strugthis item off your list actually negates that other resolution where gling to find the right logo for her new venture, Raley’s passion you swear off sugar). for pink and their proximity to pastures saved the day. “We are Plus, dubbing their chocolate extravaganza a “cow patty” is just off the beaten path, so I knew our logo had to be memorable,” one part of the clever marketing campaign that is centered on this Kadra says. “Raley loves pink, and we were riding down the road, bakery and sandwich shop’s mascot, Sweet P, the pink cow. And passing some of our cows, and she just kept saying, ‘Pink cows not just the cute cartoon version of a pink cow that’s in Sweet P’s mama! Pink cows!’ I thought, ‘That’s it!’” logo. She’s a real live cow who is Pepto-Bismol pink and, if you’re And so Sweet P was born, the P standing for Parkman. They lucky, she’ll be at the restaurant to greet guests during your visit. had a designer draw the happy heifer for the logo, but Kadra The Sweet P story started with owner Kadra Parkman’s burgeon- wanted to go further. “I wanted to use a real cow, too,” she says. ing baking business. She was making cookies and selling them from They picked a pure white female out of some cows being delivher home for a few years, but as demand ered to the cattle company, one who was grew, so did her need for more space. gentle and had a “perfect pink nose,” to Her husband Brendon owned a building be the official Sweet P, a role the same on a bluff overlooking Highway 231 that cow is still cheerfully playing. “She is so was the former home of Partridge Pines docile, and she actually poses for picrestaurant, so she began work there. The tures,” Kadra says. She doesn’t stay pink original idea was to use the commercial though. She’s re-colored with a safe, kitchen for her baking and use the front non-toxic hair dye made each time she’s of the restaurant as a little shop that was called upon for an appearance or photo only open during summer to lure folks in op. When she’s done with her close-up, for something sweet while they were on she is hosed down and the bubble gum their way down to or back from Florida’s “Simple food, simply sweet” is the motto at Sweet P’s. hue washes right off. beaches. Whether it was the spark kinIt’s fun to meet Sweet P the cow, but dled on the couple’s first date years ago at Partridge Pines still linger- the true “sweet” P may be Kadra herself. Funny and bright, she’s ing in the air and adding something special to the food or simply also practically dripping with the kind of tempered warmth that Kadra’s strengthening culinary skills, when the doors first opened defines a Southern lady. Her hard work and determination are in July 2011, the positive response was overwhelming. So much so obvious in every facet of Sweet P’s, from the fabulous foods made that Kadra almost instantly decided to stay open year-round and to using recipes she’s developed and those given to her by family and add sandwiches and salads to the menu of baked goodies. friends, to the colorful local art she’s procured for the walls, to her Today, Sweet P’s is bustling, especially around lunch, when it most recent successes, the bottling and sales of her Sweet Vinaiappears plenty of people have zero problem going out of their way grette Dressing – she’s sold 100 gallons in the last nine months to get their midday meal there; Kadra’s savory items are threaten- – and the equally stellar sales of her refrigerated cookie dough. ing to surpass her desserts’ popularity. Her personal favorite is the Sweet P’s motto, “Simple food. Simply sweet,” describes the French Dip sandwich. The “Happy Plate” is another great choice pure basic delights you’ll find there; there’s nothing too fancy or and aptly named; a scoop each of sharp pimento cheese, peppery contrived. Yet the saying belies the massive effort that Kadra and chicken salad and potato salad with a kick of bacon plus a little her family have put into creating something really good and sharcup of heaven you can hold in your hand (a cupcake in the flavor ing it with others. Simple, yes. But an authentic simplicity that’s of your choice), should leave you feeling just fine. not so easy to achieve. A

Pink Power Sweet P’s Eats & Treats 11775 Troy Highway Pike Road, AL 334-288-4900 Pike Road www.sweetpseatsandtreats.com If you want to find out when Sweet P will be at the restaurant, check her Facebook page. You’ll also find info on daily specials and the current cupcake flavors available.

20 JANUARY 2014

Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures of Walter and Wimbly: Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at j_kornegay@charter.net. See more about Sweet P’s Eats & Treats at www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 21

January Gardening Tips

Power Plants


A green thumb at your fingertips


ardening is often a way to escape the fast-paced world of technology. We can get our hands dirty instead of wearing out our fingers swiping and typing. However, the time may have come when we may actually want to take technology with us to the garden. These days, I admit I never fully escape technology when I garden. I tuck my smartphone into my gardening apron along with my clippers and gloves so that I can still take phone calls or listen to podcasts and music as I work. But I’ve begun to realize that my phone is more than a source of distraction; it can be a useful gardening tool that lets me tap (literally and figuratively) into gardening resources and expertise through the ever-widening selection of gardening applications. Curious about just what apps are available to gardeners, I did a simple Web search for the term “gardening apps” and was linked to all kinds of articles and lists touting the latest garden-related apps,

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

some of which are free and most of which are less than $5 to download to smartphones and tablets. Got a gardening question or need? There’s probably an app for that. Among the options are apps that help you identify plants, pests and birds (with photos even!) in the garden; apps that help you design a landscape plan; apps that let you keep an electronic garden journal or remind you when to do seasonal gardening chores; and apps that calculate soil management and watering needs. A number of the apps are available directly from national and regional gardening magazines or blogs and from seed and plant companies. Some apps focus on specific types of gardening—vegetable, ornamental and organic gardening, for example. Others help you learn new (and old) gardening techniques: There are even applications that teach you how to plant by the moon. And gardening technology does not stop with apps, either. My Web surfing unearthed a wide array of high-tech gardening gadgets. Among them are sprinkler systems that automatically come on when soil moisture levels are low; robotic lawnmowers that cut the lawn by themselves; and garden drones that ward off pests from our yards. Granted, some of these are out of the typical home gardening budget or beyond our needs, but it’s interesting to explore the options.

d d d d d d d d d d

Plant shrubs, trees, fruit trees and roses. Prune fruit trees and summerblooming shrubs. Service lawnmowers and other motorized lawn equipment. Shop for outdoor tools and furniture that may be on sale this time of year. Keep newly planted trees and shrubs watered if winter rainfall is limited. Keep those birdbaths and feeders full. Start selecting and ordering seed for spring and summer planting. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Dust the leaves of houseplants and look for signs of insect or disease problems. Set out cabbage plants and hardy annuals. Plant basil and other culinary annual herbs in pots and keep them in a warm sunny spot in or near the kitchen.

For me those options are both exciting and frustrating. For example, I don’t want to download every app (especially the more expensive ones) and clutter up my phone with unused icons and programs, but I do want to find some that are truly useful to my personal gardening needs. With that in mind, I’m kicking 2014 off by spending some cold winter days and nights at my computer or with my tablet or phone in one hand and a warm cup of something in the other and really researching the capabilities of all this technology. Who knows, while I’m at it I may finally learn how to use Pinterest to organize my gardening schemes and dreams for the coming year! And, to be perfectly honest, I also plan to let my fingers do some leafing the oldfashioned way: through the pages of printed catalogues and books. A

Apps to Try

Below are a few of the many gardening applications available for smartphones and tablets. These are constantly being updated and revised and there are many others to choose among so let your fingers—and thumbs—do some walking to check out the ones that are right for you. General Gardening: Gardening Toolkit – $1.99, for Apple devices Garden Snob – free, for Android devices Pocket Garden – free to $0.99, for Apple and Android devices Vegetables: Vegetable Gardening Guide - $1.99 for Apple devices; $2.99 for Android devices Mother Earth News Food Gardening Guide – free for Apple and Android devices

22 JANUARY 2014

Plant/Disease Identification: Landscaper’s Companion - $6; for Apple devices; $5 for Android devices Garden Compass – free for Apple and Android devices Leafsnap – free for Apple devices; under development for Android devices Journal/Record Keeping: Gardens – free, for Apple devices Gardener – free, for Android devices

Games: Plants Vs. Zombies – free, for Apple and Android devices Pocket Garden (game), free, for Apple devices Other: Moon Gardening - $1.99, for Apple devices The Gardeners Calendar - $1.61 for Android devices



Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 23

Safe @ Home

What to look for when selecting a portable heater for your office Safety Features

Always look for these labels: UL, FM, or NTRL. These labels are indicators that the product has gone through testing and that it meets specific safety standards. Thermostats are generally considered the most important feature customers consider before buying a space heater although the constant heating and cooling of a receptacle can greatly reduce its life expectancy. Manufacturers equip heaters with safety features to reduce the risk of fires and overheating. These are a few items to look for when selecting your office/cube heater: • Tip-Over Protection Switch: Automatically shuts off the unit if it’s accidentally knocked over. • Cool-to-the-Touch: Portable heaters equipped with heatresistant exteriors can eliminate the risk of burn injuries caused by touching the unit. These models feature nonflammable, cool-touch cabinets. • Overheat Protection Switch: This switch acts as a sensor, detecting when the heater’s internal components reach an unsafe temperature. When a pre-determined temperature is reached, the unit will shut off automatically.



s the weather gets colder, more people look towards portable heaters to stay warm while in the office. It is important to realize that not all portable heaters are created the same and some should never be used in an office environment. Using the wrong portable heater can become a fire and or electrical shock hazard. In this article I hope to clear up some of the confusion concerning the proper heater and things to look for when using a heater in an office setting. First, you do not have to break the bank when purchasing a portable heater. Anyone should be able to find a perfectly good portable heater for under $30. Many office managers have created policies forbidding personal heaters because of breaker overload as well as increased fire danger. Some of the more important factors when looking for a heater are safety features, watts and heater placement.

Randy Glaze is manager of Safety & Loss Control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association.

24 JANUARY 2014

Most portable heaters will come with a wattage listing stamped on the product label. Without getting too complicated, the average heater has a rating of 1500 watts and most office breakers are rated for 15 amps. What this means to you is this: 1500 watts will normally draw around 12 amps. This will leave your 15 amp breaker with only 3 amps to spare. If you are sharing a space such as a cubicle with a fellow employee, you will more than likely be sharing the same breaker. So when choosing a heater for a very small space, you should look for a heater that has the safety features along with a very low wattage. Due to the demand for lower wattage heaters, the marketplace now has many 600 watt and below heaters to choose from. A

Heater placement

Most portable heater manufacturers recommend that you place your heater at least three feet from any combustible material. A few other heater safety tips are: • Don’t leave space heaters unattended. • Turn off or unplug space heaters at the end of the work day. • Older-style heaters with exposed glowing red radiant wires should not be permitted in any office environment. • Never use an extension cord with a space heater. • Stop using the heater if the heater cord becomes hot. • Always plug space heaters directly into an outlet. Never use a surge protector as a plug for a heater.


Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 25

Alabama Outdoors

Best anglers to fish one of the best lakes By John N. Felsher


he best anglers in the world will compete on one of the best largemouth bass lakes in the world at the best time of the year for catching giant fish when the 2014 Bassmaster Classic visits Lake Guntersville on Feb. 21-23. “Without a doubt, Lake Guntersville is one of the premier bass lakes in the nation,” says Mike Iaconelli, the 2003 Bassmaster Classic champion. “It’s an amazing numbers lake, but can also produce giant bass. In most lakes, we try to get about a 3-pound average in a tournament. On Guntersville, I’m not happy until I get about a 4- to 5-pound average.” Lake Guntersville ranks Number 4 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. Every year, Lake Guntersville produces many bass exceeding 10 pounds and countless largemouths in the 3- to 8-pound range. Charlie Bertus of Huntsville, Ala., holds the official lake largemouth record with a 14.50-pound lunker he caught on Feb. 21, 1990. Duanne McQueen of Stockbridge, Ga., landed the lake record smallmouth, a 5.85-pounder that he caught near the dam in 2010. The lake also holds Kentucky spotted bass approaching five pounds. “The lake has always been a great bass lake, but in the past few years, it’s really exploded for big bass,” says Jonathan Henry (256-647-3532, guntersvillebasswhacker. com) with BassWhacker Guide Service in Grant, Ala. “It’s incredible how many big fish come out of that lake. I know of at least one 13-pounder weighed in during a 2013 tournament.” Lake Guntersville snakes 75 miles along the Tennessee River through northeast Alabama into Tennessee. The largest lake in Alabama covers about 69,100 acres and John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com.

26 JANUARY 2014

drops to about 60 feet deep in places. Some better bass creeks include North and South Sauty, Siebold Creek, Brown’s Creek and Town Creek. “The majority of fish that win tournaments on Lake Guntersville come from North Sauty Creek down to about Brown’s Creek,” Iaconelli says. “Guntersville is such a great lake because it has so much grass. With so many vast grass flats, much of the lake looks the same. I look for ditches. Water depth doesn’t really matter as much as depth change. It doesn’t even have to be a radical drop. Just a drop of a foot or two might make a difference.” Some people punch through grass mats with heavy jigs. What might look like a

Jonathan Henry, a guide for BassWhacker Guide Service in Guntersville, Ala., shows off a largemouth bass he caught on an Alabama rig. With multiple baits, an Alabama rig, also called an umbrella rig, resembles a school of baitfish swimming through the water. PHOTOS BY JOHN N. FELSHER

dense, imposing raft on the surface may provide bass abundant maneuver room beneath the canopy. Frequently, thick mats limit sunlight reaching any other submerged vegetation growing beneath them. “Bass feed heavily upon bream in the mats,” explains Gerald Swindle, a bass pro from Warrior, Ala. “In low light, I fish a ½-ounce jig. As the sun gets higher, I’ll switch to a ¾-ounce and fish the thicker clumps. For the jig color, I stick with browns or greens. I like to fish the main river channel and flip the edges where hydrilla and milfoil mix with a little current

moving through it.” Besides grassy flats, anglers can also fish ledges, drop-off edges, humps, natural rock piles and docks. Bridges and riprap offer more cover. In the backs of creek, throw shad-colored crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Bang crankbaits off the rocks or work over the area with shaky heads or worms.

Big bass hang around the bait

“In the winter, big bass frequently hang around the bridges because that’s where the bait goes,” Henry says. “Find the bait and that’s where the big bass will be. In the winter, the best technique is to throw an Alabama rig. Anglers can also catch good fish on single swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits. Another good technique is a lipless crankbait.” In late winter, bass begin moving from the depths to the shallows where they spawn in saucer-shaped beds hollowed out from the bottom. The smaller male bass typically begin moving shallow first to prepare the beds. The bigger females generally follow about two to three weeks later. A healthy female full of eggs could weigh several more pounds in February than in June after dropping her precious cargo. “Winter through early spring is the best time to catch monster bass on Lake Guntersville,” Henry says. “In February, fish will be surprisingly shallow. Most bass will be in less than 10 feet of water, usually in two to eight feet of water. They’ll be staging before going to the spawning beds. The bigger fish start spawning around mid-March.” While spawning, bass do not eat. However, before spawning, bass gorge themselves on shad and other baitfish to build up energy and strength for the arduous spawning process. For this reason, fishing fans should see some awesome catches during the Classic in February. The professional bass anglers will compete for the $500,000 top prize and possibly millions in endorsements. After fishing, the anglers will haul their catches to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in downtown Birmingham each day for the public weigh-in. For more information on the Bassmaster Classic, see www.bassmaster.com/tournaments/2014bassmaster-classic. A


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

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04:31 12:01 12:31 01:01 01:31 02:16 08:16 09:16 11:01 --12:31 01:46 02:46 03:46 04:46 12:01 12:46 01:31 08:01 09:01 10:16 ---12:46 02:01 03:01 03:46 04:31 05:01 12:16 12:31 01:01 07:31 08:16 09:16 10:46 ---01:31 02:46 03:46 04:46 --

11:46 05:01 05:46 06:16 06:46 07:31 02:46 03:46 04:46 06:16 07:31 08:31 09:31 10:16 11:01 11:46 05:31 06:16 07:16 02:16 03:16 04:01 05:16 06:46 08:01 09:01 09:46 10:16 10:46 11:16 11:46 05:46 06:16 07:01 01:46 02:16 03:01 04:01 05:16 06:46 08:01 09:16 10:01 10:46 11:31 05:31

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Continued from Page 14 always take me out and I Medicaid commissioner, and I were always check to see how my roommates in medical school and we pine trees are doing. Nobody’s grew up in Columbiana together. They living on it. In fact, when I were engaged. And Bob said, “I need fly over in my helicopter I someone to ride back and forth to Tuscaloosa with me to keep me awake. I want can identify it. There’s a small you to meet Jeanine’s roommate.” It was a lake my daddy built in 1960. blind date. We met in late October 1964. There’s a fire tower close by. I will always keep it. I was born On December 31, I asked her to marry me. there. AL: You knew her for two months? I really don’t care if anything is ever named after me Gov. Bentley: Two months. I gave her a in this state. But in Columbiring that cost $248 on March 12. Then we ana, they have made the sign, got married July 24, 1965. “Welcome to Columbiana, AL: You move fast. home of Gov. Robert Bentley. ” Gov. Bentley: I did. She did, too. Governor visits with students in the robotics wing of Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City That’s the only thing named Mrs. Bentley: We say we were older and in July 2013. PHOTO BY JAMIE MARTIN after me. That to me is an we knew what we wanted. honor, that’s my hometown. Gov. Bentley: We weren’t old! in Columbiana in Shelby County. 1,800 AL: So you can really relate to people AL: How old were you? people. So I know every one of those in Alabama who grew up the same way. Gov. Bentley: We were 22. We just (characters), I knew the barber, all of Gov. Bentley: Oh, yes, there are so many thought we were old! those. people who grew up the same way, a lot Mrs. Bentley: I was a science major and AL: Do you get to go back? of people my age and older. I grew up just had taken an elective, a course for Gov. Bentley: I go back as often as I after the depression. My brother grew up fun called “Marriage and Family.” At can. I was actually born back up in the during the depression. I can well rememthe end of the course, you had to write woods about 10 miles outside of town. ber we had a mule. We plowed. We raised your biography and put down your goals We lived there with no electricity and no our own food. We would dry our own for your future husband. Well, I hadn’t indoor plumbing until I was school age started dating him then. I listed all these when we moved to town. I was around 6 fruit, the apples and peaches. We would dry our own fruit on a tin roof and you’d goals. Then he gave me the ring, and or 7. That was the first time I’d ever had cover them over so the flies wouldn’t get I thought, ‘Oh, what have I done?’ So electricity. on there. My mother would dry those I went and got those goals and he met We had kerosene lamps and obviand put them in a paper bag and keep every single quality on there I had for a ously heated with coal. We did not have them during winter. She would make husband except one: He doesn’t dance. a refrigerator, so every Saturday we’d go apple tarts. Gov. Bentley: to town to Columbiana and buy a block Mrs. Bentley: But I do like of ice and put it in the icebox. It truly She made the “Dancing with was an icebox. It would last till Thursday. best fried apple the Stars.” We kept all of our milk in there. In fact a pies. Mrs. Bentley: lot of our milk we kept in the well; we’d AL: How did So I said God lower the milk in the well and it would y’all (you and put us together keep the milk cool. I still have the churn Mrs. Bentley) and he had a that my mother used. We had a cow. We meet? plan for that. He made our own butter. She cooked on a Gov. Bentley: matched every wood stove. We didn’t really one of my other I still have my old home place, the meet in college desires. He was land. The house was blown away by a even though we a Christian, first tornado. But I still have the land. It’s 40 Gov. Robert Bentley embraces reading coach Tracey Gregg during a visit to Center Point started college at of all, and he acres. I’d already bought 20 acres from Elementary School, heavily damaged by a the same time. loved children my daddy. The day before he died, he tornado in 2012. PHOTO BY JAMIE MARTIN I remember and family. said, “Son, I want you to have that other Dianne because we were in physics class Gov. Bentley: What was funny was her 20 acres. And I said, ‘Now daddy, it may together. It was an early morning class professor, who later became one of my upset the others. (I was one of five). I and she was still almost asleep. We did patients, wrote on the paper. What did he promise you this, I will buy the rest of not date at that time. write? the land from all the others and I will Mrs. Bentley: He gave me a grade and at always keep it and I will never sell it.’ And Mrs. Bentley: I am not a morning person! the end of the paper, he wrote, “Ha ha, it’s still there. I clear cut it, I replanted it. Gov. Bentley: She roomed with Jeanine good luck.” Years later, I wanted to say, It’s just good hybrid new loblolly pines. Mullins. Bob Mullins, who was my first “Ok, I did it!” A When I go back to Columbiana, they 28 JANUARY 2014


Around Alabama January

Standard Relay Team is hosting a Frozen Foot Race. 25 DoThenotGreenville be intimidated by the title; this is a 5k race but participants are Greenville • Frozen Foot Race

welcomed to walk, too. You can pre-register for the race until Jan. 13 by coming office of the Greenville Standard, located at 606 East Commerce Street, Greenville, or register online at active.com by going to www. active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2104229. Late registration will also take place at Confederate Park on January 25 from 7 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration cost is $20 and late registration is $25. There will also be a Tot Trot for children 6 and under, free of charge. After the race, the team will be cooking out in Confederate Park where 5K participants will eat for free. An awards ceremony will take place in the park following the race. Prizes will be awarded for each age category. There will also be awards for participants who prefer to walk. All proceeds will benefit the Butler County Relay for Life. Come out and walk or run in memory or in honor of someone you know. For more information please call 334-371-9900.

9 • Elba, Suzy Bogguss Concert. Elba High School, 7 p.m. Suzy Bogguss is an award-winning singer/ songwriter and one of the most acclaimed female country singers of the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Performing country, traditional folk and western swing. Adults $25, students $23. Information: David Deal, 334406-2787 or www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com

25 • Elberta, The 2nd Annual Heritage Arts &

Camellia Festival will be Jan. 25 (rain date Feb 1) on the grounds of the Baldwin County Heritage Museum in Elberta from 9 a.m - 4 p.m. There will be crafters, heritage arts demonstrators, camellia arrangement and bloom contest. No admission - contact Museum at 251.986.8375.

25-26 • Dothan, Gala Art Auction and Exhibit 188 N. Park Dothan, Al. Sat. 6 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. Admission: $10 Contact: 334-792-5001


15 centerpiece Alabama Voices, the highly anticipated permanent exhibition and of the Museum of Alabama at the state’s Department of Archives

will be included in the exhibit. Representing Alabamians from every walk of life, Alabama Voices is an inclusive overview of our past, a full telling of the struggle, achievement, conflict and cooperation that created the Alabama we know today. The exhibition will be the product of a collaboration involving Archives and History staff, a panel of historical and archaeological advisers, and a host of designers, fabricators, artisans, and artists.


woodworking, sewing, paintings, cooking, woodworking, sewing, sculpture and more. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for viewing. Dinner and program will begin at 6 p.m. Activities will include dinner, silent and live auctions, a raffle and various door prizes. Proceeds raised by the auction support the library by matching grant funds and expanding educational and technological resources to fund the popular summer reading programs for children, and broadening the library’s catalog of materials for the visually impaired. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased from the library or any Friend of the Library member. For more information, contact (251) 847-2097.

Montgomery • Alabama Voices Exhibit Grand Opening

and History, is slated to have its Grand Opening Feb. 15. Alabama Voices will tell the story of Alabama from 1700 to the turn of the 21st century through the voices of the people who shaped its history. Taken from diaries, letters, speeches, songs, and other sources, these voices will provide context for more than 800 artifacts and hundreds of images that Chatom • 21st Annual Washington County Art Auction and Dinner

Friends of the Washington County Public Library proudly present an evening of enjoyment at the Chatom Community Center. The theme for this year is ”Spark a Reaction” and you will see unlimited talent on display for your selection. You will find books, jewelry, food,

To place an event e-mail to 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.

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Market Place Miscellaneous - 11 18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739 DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 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 / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www.andyswallbeds. com, www.alabamamattressoutlet. com AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 COMMERCIAL ROOF LEAKS STOPPED QUICK – Even in the rain – Dealers (573)489-9346, azteccollc@ socket.net KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850 FREE BOOKS / DVDS – SOON government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – thebiblesaystruth@yahoo.com, (888)211-1715 USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – BUY / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)4592148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – www.sawmillexchange.com FLOORING FOR YOUR HOME! 1ST Quality – NO Seconds: Hardwood, Laminate, Carpet, Luxury Vinyl Tile & Planks, Sheet Vinyl, Ceramic Tile – In Home Estimates and Professional Installation available – ProTrax Flooring (334)531-3020, protraxinfo. gmail.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)

30 JANUARY 2014

How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Business Opportunities - 4 WIREGRASS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE INC., a 23,000 meter rural electric cooperative in Southeast Alabama, is seeking candidates for the position of CEO. Minimum qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years’ experience in the electrical power industry. The successful candidate will likely have proven management, leadership, planning and communication skills. He or she will have a broad understanding of the industry and be able to plan and implement strategic goals to advance the mission of the Cooperative. The CEO must be a person of integrity and maintain open communications with members, employees and the Board of Trustees. Based on experience, the salary range for the position is $110,000 to $140,000. Interested parties should send resumes to Elizabeth Glasgow P.O. Drawer 2228 Dothan, Alabama 36302. Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, Inc. is an equal employment opportunity employer DR POWER EQUIPMENT WANTS YOUR IDEAS! Earn $300 for qualified new ideas for property tools and equipment. Go to www.drpower. com/300 and submit your idea CHRISTIAN VALUE GREEN TECHNOLOGY COMPANY seeks mature business professionals for PT/ FT business opportunity. Home based office. Career level income potential. Apprenticeship style training/support – (800)972-6983 to schedule phone interview. PIANO TUNING PAYS – LEARN WITH American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793

Vacation Rentals - 25 PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. mylittlebitofheaven.com GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, hhideaway401@aol.com PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, jamesrny@graceba.net, www. theroneycondo.com 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

Closing Deadlines (in our office):

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 PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 BEDROOM, 2 bath house – Walking distance to parkway, light# 1 - $85.00 / night – (256)309-7873, (256)590-8758 GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Wi-Fi, pet friendly, nonsmoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131, www.originalbeachhouseal.com 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 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – CABINS BY the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   GULF SHORES, GULF FRONT – SEACREST CONDO: 1BR / 1BA, KING bed, hall bunks, granite countertops, free WiFi – (vrbo#435534), (256)3525721, amariewisener@gmail.com DAUPHIN ISLAND CONDO – BEACHFRONT, 2BR / 2BA, SLEEPS 10 – www.vrbo.com/159790 DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www. orlandovacationoasis.com, (251)504-5756 GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us PIGEON FORGE - COZY CABINS FOR Rent by Owner (865) 712-7633, vrbo. com/483181 GULF SHORES COTTAGE – WATERFRONT, 2 / 1, PET FRIENDLY – RATES AND CALENDAR ONLINE http://www.vrbo.com/152418, (251)223-6114

March 2014 – Jan. 25 April 2014 – Feb. 25 May 2014 – March 25

GULF SHORES PLANTATION - GULF view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 CABINS / PIGEON FORGE: JAN – MAR LOW WINTER RATES – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049, www.hideawayprop.com ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 VACATION RENTALS – MENTONE and GUNTERSVILLE – Hottubs – www.mentonelogcabins.com, www. vrbo.com/404770 - (256)657-4335 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552 SMOKIES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, Secluded Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, Wrap-Around Porch, Charcoal Grill. (865)320-4216, rmmtn@aol.com

Travel - 1 CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954

Musical Notes - 2 PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982 PIANOS TUNED, REPAIRED, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503

Education - 2 FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to 23600 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, AL, 35673 BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Road, Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381. http://www.ordination.org

Critters - 1 CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. REGISTERED, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893

LEWIS SMITH LAKE – NICE 3BR / 2BA house on deep water, covered dock, satellite TV’s, Central heat/air - $100 / night – (256)352-5721, amariewisener@gmail.com


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.

The Alabama Military Support Foundation seeks your support as you start working your 2013 Alabama State taxes. You can demonstrate your support for Guardsmen and Reservists by making a contribution by using a check off box on the bottom of the Alabama State tax form. The mission of the foundation is to educate employers on the active role played in the defense of our nation by Guardsmen and Reservists, and to inform them on their legal rights and responsibilities. Funds donated to the foundation will be used to educate and recognize outstanding employers who go above and beyond to support employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Your financial contributions to the Alabama Military Support Foundation will be greatly appreciated.

Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 31

Alabama Recipes

Soups and Chilis Cook of the Month: Loucrecia Hollingsworth, Cullman EC

Santa Fe Soup 3 cans shoepeg white corn (I sometimes substitute 2 cans Lilly White whole kernel corn) 1 can black beans 1 can kidney beans 1 can pinto beans 1 can Rotel tomatoes 1 can diced or chopped tomatoes 1 chopped onion

2 pounds ground chuck 1 package taco seasoning 1 package ranch dressing mix 2 cups water sour cream shredded cheese of choice tortilla chips or hot cornbread

Brown ground chuck and drain. Mix all ingredients together and cook until heated through. (I love to throw mine in the crockpot in the morning and let it cook either 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.) This is great served with sour cream and/or shredded cheese, tortilla chips or hot corn bread.

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is 2014. I know some of you are already trying to stick to your new year’s resolutions, but don’t stress over them too much. Last year one of my resolutions was to take 5 minutes a day for myself. Just to be by myself, doing something just for me. One would think it to be an easy task to fufill every day, but sometimes I go a week and forget about making specific time, which is hard in the midst of my everyday routine. I feel it’s important to regroup and take a deep breath to enjoy life every day, the good along with the stressful times. I hope you enjoy these soup and chili recipes. Thank you to our cooks who share their special recipes for us to share with our readers. Submit your recipes online at alabamaliving.coop and check us out on Facebook for Mary Tyler Spivey is a graduate of updates throughHuntingdon College where she studied out the month. history and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at mspivey@areapower. com.

32 JANUARY 2014

Sausage corn chowder ½ pound sliced Kielbasa sausage 1 onion, chopped 2-3 large potatoes**cubed with or without skin 1 small can chopped green chilies

1 small jar chopped pimentos 1 can cream-style corn 1 cup half and half ½ teaspoon garlic ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper

In a large pot, brown sausage slices and chopped onion. Add potatoes and water to just cover. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender. Add chilies, pimentos, corn and half and half, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat on low until soup is steaming; do not boil. Serve with crusty bread. **Can use leftover baked potatoes, cut in cubes. Victoria Motyka, Baldwin EMC

Want to win $50? Send us your recipes! Upcoming issues: March - Recipes with Bacon April - Freezer Meals May - Party Foods

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.

Cream of chicken and artichoke soup 1 pound of chicken breasts 1 - 6 to 7½ ounces of marinated artichoke hearts ½ cup of butter or margarine 1 tablespoon of lemon juice 1 small onion, diced

⁄3 cup of all-purpose flour 4 or more cups of water (for cooking chicken) 3-4 chicken-flavored bouillon cubes 1 teaspoon of salt ¼ teaspoon of pepper 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1

Add bouillon and enough water to cover chicken breasts in a 5-quart pot. Bring to a boil, then add chicken breasts. Cook until done. In the meantime, drain marinade from artichokes and chop up into bite-size pieces; then set aside. Remove chicken breasts from pot and shred or cut into bite-size pieces; set aside. Reserve 3½ cups of chicken broth and set aside. In the same 5-quart pot, add butter or margarine, lemon juice and onion. Sauté over medium-low heat, until onion is tender. Once onion is tender, stir in flour until blended; cook 1 minute, stirring the mixture constantly. Gradually stir in the 3½ cups of chicken broth, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Stir in salt, pepper, shredded chicken, diced artichoke hearts and cream. Reheat just until soup is boiling.

The best chili I ever ate 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 pounds any ground meat 1 cup diced onion 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 16-ounce can tomato juice 1 16-ounce can pork and beans 1 16-ounce can kidney beans 1-1½ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 2 cups corn meal mix 1 15-ounce can cream corn ½ cup milk (add more milk if batter is too thick) ½ cup sugar

In a large pot, brown meat and drain. Add onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, tomato juice, pork and beans, kidney beans, salt, garlic, chili powder and red pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate bowl combine cornmeal, cream corn, milk and sugar. Pour chili in a deep 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Pour cornmeal mixture evenly over top of chili. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, or until cornbread on top is golden brown. Serves six. Shena Blocker, Covington EC

Lisa Killen, Arab EC

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili 1 1 1 1

can black beans can corn, undrained can Rotel, undrained package ranch dressing mix 1 teaspoon cumin 1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon onion powder 1 8-ounce package light cream cheese 2 chicken breasts, frozen or thawed

Drain and rinse black beans. Place chicken at bottom of pot, then pour in whole can of corn (undrained), Rotel, and black beans. Top with seasonings and ranch mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir cream cheese into chili. Use two forks to shred chicken. Stir together and serve. Melissa Couch, Marshall-DeKalb EC Alabama Living

JANUARY 2014 33

TEC C3 event

You are Invited! You are invited to attend C3 of Northwest Alabama’s Third Annual “State of the Region” Meeting to be held Thursday, January 30 at the Bevill Building on the Hamilton campus of Bevill State Community College. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m for registration and refreshments with the program starting at 9:00-a.m. and concluding at 11:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker will be Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce; discussing workforce development will be Dr. Mark Heinrich, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. We will recap 2013 accomplishments and plans for 2014. All are invited to attend. Please R.S.V.P. via e-mail by 34 JANUARY 2014

January 18 to rshirley@NorthwestAlabamaEDA.org or call 205-468-3213. As a reminder to the communities we serve -- if you are interested in starting a business the Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network, or AERN, is a program to enhance business development throughout rural Alabama.

with agencies in rural counties. It provides centers all over Alabama to help people get a business started and learn how to make a business plan. Stop by any of the three AERN Centers now strategically placed in Fayette, Vernon and Gu-Win. If you are expanding an existing business call our office, or let us know of new business prospects (leads) that we may contact.

The AERN CENTER is directed through the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration in partnership

For more information contact C3 of Northwest Alabama at 205-468-3213 or find us on the web at NorthwestAlabamaEDA. org. Happy New Year! A

Join Us! Third Annual “State of the Region” Meeting Thursday, January 30, 2014

RSVP to 205/468-3213 or rshirley@NorthwestAlabamaEDA.org


Energy Store

After Christmas Sale at your Energy Store!

Savings on all in-stock merchandise. Now throughout January! For more information on our in-stock merchandise please call our office and ask for Energy Store Rep, Cristi Vaughn, at 205.468.3325 - 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

JANUARY 2014 35

36 JANUARY 2014


Market Place


Alabama Living

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Alabama Snapshots 1 2

6 3


5 4

Submit Your Images! MARCH THEME:

“Me and someone famous”


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 FEBRUARY: Jan. 31

38 JANUARY 2014

Winter fun 1. Jimmy and Tiffani Morrow make snow angels SUBMITTED BY Carrie Morrow, Baileyton 2. Lewis Wilhelm’s Jeep that he drove to the frozen fire tower (which he climbed!) in Flagstaff, Ariz. SUBMITTED BY Mary Ann Gove, Cottonwood 3. Paul Lowrey isn’t afraid of the cold! SUBMITTED BY Pauline Lowrey, Atmore

4. “Seizing the moment with a kiss in the snow” SUBMITTED BY Tim Smith, Albertville 5. Noah Morrison SUBMIT TED BY Garrett and Jamie Morrison, Vernon 6. Nathan Anderton and furry f r i e n d S U B M I T T E D B Y Ta m my Anderton, Moulton


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