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Baldwin Electric Membership Corp.

Your Touchstone Energy® Cooperative

Alabama Living


Fields of “Southern Snow” in Loxley Page 8


| JANUARY 2011 |


Baldwin Electric Membership Corp.

Alabama Living JANUARY 2011 Vol. 64 No. 1

Co-op News. . . . . . . . . 4 New Year, Same Direction

Around Alabama . . . . . . 9 “GRITS,” the musical

Consumer Wise. . . . . . . 12 Energy-efficient dishwashers

Discover Alabama. . . . . . 20 A man bonds with a buck

Alabama Outdoors. . . . . 22 Learning from the “oil bullet”

20 Under Pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Alabama’s electric cooperatives work to keep electric bills affordable as challenges grow

The Old Federal Road. . . . . . . 14


Glimpses of a major highway of the early 1800s are still evident throughout Alabama

Fish & Game Forecast. . . 23 Alabama Gardens. . . . . . 24 Keep your garden’s history

Safe @ Home. . . . . . . 25 A home safety check

Cook of the Month. . . . . 26 Chicken lasagna

Recipes . . . . . . . . . . . 28

‘The Vision of Leadership’. . . . . . 18

The Main Street Alabama program continues to bring new life into the state’s historic downtown areas

Oodles of noodles

Alabama Snapshots. . . . . 38 Winter in Dixie

Next month

On the cover Fields like this full of white cotton are a common sight in Loxley. Photo by: Rebecca Shobe

Read about the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

A l a b a m a R u ra l E l e c t r i c A s s o c i a t i o n Fred Braswell, AREA President • Darryl Gates, Editor • Mark Stephenson, Creative Director • Michael Cornelison, Art Director Jay Clayton, Director, Marketing & Advertising • Mary Tyler Spivey, Recipe Editor • Ronnie Fitzgerald, Production Assistant 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. ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail:


National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181

USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


FROM THE chief executive officer:

NEW YEAR, SAME DIRECTION Peggy R. Vanover President District 6

J. Thomas Bradley Vice-President District 1

Tommie Werneth Sec. / Treasurer District 4

Joseph Coleman District 2

Aubury L. Fuller District 3

Jack Taylor District 5

Jimmy LaFoy District 7



| JANUARY 2011 | Alabama Living

to help you save money whenever possible. That’s because now, more than ever, co-ops and consumers need to work together to keep electric bills affordable. Recent federal regulations dealing with coal ash, even more stringent controls on other power plant emissions, and state renewable energy requirements could lead to higher costs.

E.A. “Bucky” Jakins, Jr. Chief Executive Officer



t’s hard to believe that we’re already at the start of 2011. This will be Baldwin EMC’s 74th year of operation, and my 11th as its chief executive officer. A lot has changed over the past decade. Technology has paved the way to more efficient operations and improved customer service. Things that were once done by hand are now carried out by computer. Jobs that used to take a day can be done in a matter of minutes. I’m proud to say that many of the faces are the same, even if their surroundings are a bit different. While most of the changes we’ve seen have been for the better, there are some things that are best left unchanged. We are still committed to providing our customers with the best in service, reliability and affordability. But just like most Americans, we do have a New Year’s resolution. We’re resolved to finding and embracing new ways to enhance your Baldwin EMC experience even further and

New regulations won’t be the only culprit. Prices for fuel, materials, and equipment will continue to rise. Although the recent economic slump and corresponding drop in electricity use provided some much-needed breathing room, soon we will need to build new power plants, requiring a significant, long-term investment of time and money. No matter what comes our way, we’ll continue to put you, our members, first. Baldwin EMC is member controlled and locally operated. Member control means we are accountable to those we serve. Your needs determine our direction, not just in 2011, but every year. These days, Americans from all walks of life have come to recognize the value of that cooperative approach, meaning members work together to achieve benefits. That approach is just as effective here at the start of 2011 as it was when it delivered affordable power to rural Americans seven decades ago. Some things are different today than they were back then. But some things have and will always stay the same. 

Beginning this month, the monthly column featured here on page 5 will rotate between the chief executive officer and the Board of Trustees. Both will provide updates and insight into the direction of Baldwin EMC. Happy reading!

baldwin emc news:

The “Power” of Giving Community kindness shines brighter than ever.

Vision Statement: Baldwin Electric Membership Cooperative will be the leader as a customer focused, efficient and community involved cooperative. Office Hours and Locations: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday Headquarters: 19600 State Highway 59 Summerdale, AL 36580

Baldwin County Humane Society Executive Director Sonja Presley (second from left) accepts a pet food donation from Baldwin EMC employees (from left) Michelle Ricard, Teri Nelson and Sonya Dunn.


The pint of blood that came from Baldwin EMC Right of Way Technician J.P. Shiver was one of 95 collected during the Power of Giving Drive.

aldwin EMC hosted its fifth annual Power of Giving blood drive and health fair on Thursday, Nov. 18. The results were overwhelmingly positive – 95 pints of blood were donated, along with 650 pounds of non-perishable food and 300 pounds of pet food and cat litter.

The pet food and cat litter contributions were donated to the Baldwin County Humane Society. The organization says these contributions are vital, because they do not receive any government funding. They rely solely on individual donations for their service to animals.

The blood donations were collected to benefit LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. Representatives from the organization said that the need for donations has been critical, and the Power of Giving drive gives their supply a huge boost.

The Power of Giving drive also included a health fair, where participants visited with medical professionals to discuss topics such as blood pressure, hearing disorders and chiropractic health.

The food donations were packaged up and delivered to Catholic Social Services in Robertsdale. The items will be distributed to needy families in our community during the holidays, a time when need seems to be more prevalent than ever.

Karen Moore, Baldwin EMC’s vice president of member services and public relations, says that the Power of Giving drive is just another way the cooperative serves its members. “Our goal is to improve the lives of our members. We do that by providing electricity, but also by supporting our community and those in need.” 

South Baldwin Office 21801 University Lane Orange Beach, AL 36561 North Baldwin Office: 47525 State Highway 59 Bay Minette, AL 36507 Call Center Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday (251) 989-6247 or (800) 837-3374 Automated Outage Reporting Line: (251) 989-9999 or (800) 287-5809 Automated Bill Inquiry Line: (251) 989-0202 or (800) 287-5809 Storm Restoration Updates:

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


What a Blessing Baldwin EMC completes energy makeover at the home of Michael and Julie Walz.


ichael and Julie Walz weren’t expecting the surprise that arrived at their front door on Sept. 24. They had been told that Baldwin EMC needed them to sign some paperwork regarding their recent application for the cooperative’s Home Energy Makeover contest. Instead, when they opened the door, they were greeted by Baldwin EMC representatives carrying balloons and an oversized check. They had been named the Home Energy Makeover winners, and they were about to receive what they would call “a huge blessing.”

Making the Application Julie Walz said that the couple applied for the contest at the urging of her sister, who had seen it promoted on a Baldwin EMC bill insert and in Alabama Living magazine. They were ideal candidates. Their home had a 30-year-old air conditioner, a second-hand washer and dryer, and leaking windows – just to name of a few of the areas that needed improvement. The Walzes say they were elated to be the


| JANUARY 2011 | Alabama Living

contest winners. “What a blessing!” Julie said. “It pays to be a member of Baldwin EMC for the past 30 years.”

Making the choice Melissa Vaughn, an energy marketing specialist for Baldwin EMC who helped choose the contest winner, said the Walzes were a good choice because there was definite room for improvement at their home, changes they needed Baldwin EMC’s help to make. “They are a hardworking couple, but like a lot of people, they don’t have a lot of extra money to devote to home improvements,” Vaughn said. Energy Marketing Specialist Tim Hobbs, who also helped carry out the makeover, said that’s what the project was all about. “We wanted to do this for someone who might not have been able to do it for themselves,” Hobbs said, “Now they can reap the benefits of the makeover without being hindered by the costs.” According to Michael Walz, the couple had recently looked into doing some home renovations, such as replacing their leaking windows on their

own, but had to put them off due to the cost of the estimates they received.

Making the Makeover The makeover began at the start of October, and was completed by the end of November. The renovations made at the Walz home included the installation of efficient window glass and ENERGY STAR rated ceiling fans and appliances, along with a high SEER heat pump and an ENERGY STAR rated heat pump water heater. The makeover team also changed out incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights, upgraded the home’s insulation to sprayed-in foam and caulked around windows and doors. “We worked closely with local contractors, who made the project cost-effective for us, and got the job done quickly,” Vaughn explains. “They were all so

happy to help – the support we’ve received from these local businesses is what made the makeover possible.”

Making Notes Baldwin EMC employees will monitor the changes to the Walzes’ electricity use to record the improvements the Home Energy Makeover has had on their home. The Walzes say that with the improvements, in particular the new heating and air conditioning unit and the replacement windows, they are already beginning to notice a difference. The outcome of the makeover and the differences that have been made will be reported here in Alabama Living magazine, as well as on Baldwin EMC’s website, Co-op representatives say that other homeowners can use the Walz house as a model for projects they can do in their own home to see similar results. 

The Home Energy Makeover Consisted of:




Tests such as an energy audit and blower door test were conducted by Baldwin EMC employees and local contractors. The results were evaluated to determine where the most effective improvements would be.

New appliances were installed, energy efficient windows and ceiling fans were put in, the insulation was upgraded, incandescent bulbs were replaced with CFLs, and windows and doors were caulked and weatherstripped.

Baldwin EMC employees will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the renovations made at the Walz home. The home’s energy use was recorded prior to the makeover, and a comparison will be made at the end of 2011 to determine the improvements.

Baldwin EMC’s Home Energy Makeover was made possible by support from the following businesses: South Baldwin Home Builders, General Electric, Great Kitchens, M&M South Baldwin Electric, Inc., Robertsdale Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., Glass, Inc., Mayer Electric Supply, Energy Solutions, and Polk Plumbing, Inc.

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Baldwin County The Biggest Little Town in Baldwin


he town of Loxley calls itself “the biggest little town in Baldwin.” When you add up all the elements that compose the town, you’ll understand why that name just might be a good fit. Although by many standards, Loxley is indeed a “little town,” it’s an important part of Baldwin County’s history and its current development. The town has played a key role in many of the events that shaped the county’s past. For example, in World War II, according to the “Encyclopedia of Alabama” website, Loxley was home to a satellite prisoner of war camp, one of 24 that housed 16,000 German soldiers who had been captured in the course of battle. Loxley was one of only two towns in Baldwin County to house these German soldiers, whose presence brought a first-hand look at a war being fought oceans away. Loxley has also helped promote two of Baldwin County’s most popular home grown exports: pecans and cotton. According to the “Encyclopedia of Alabama” website, Loxley contained one of the first areas to be planted with pecan trees for commercial export in the early 1900s. The area is still home to several pecan groves being harvested by second and third generation farming families. The southeastern United States is also among the world’s most active cotton producing regions. Alabama, in particular the Loxley area, is a large contributor to that production. Although the cotton farms and pecan groves give Loxley a rural nature, the area has many modern


amenities that attract visitors and transplants to Baldwin County. According to the town’s official website, Loxley has the largest planning area of any community in Baldwin County, giving the town significant room for growth. Visitors also come to Loxley in droves every year for the annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival. The 20-year-old event, which is held at the town’s Municipal Park, attracts local food and arts and crafts vendors by the hundreds and spectators by the thousands. All the proceeds from the April festival benefit the Association of Retarded Citizens of Baldwin County and Loxley Elementary School. Loxley is additionally home to Steelwood, one of Baldwin County’s most exclusive residential hideaways. The development, which is nestled snuggly on beautiful Lake Steelwood, also includes an award-winning golf course. Although it’s been part of the area for many years, even locals are sometimes surprised to learn it’s there. Spots in this gated community are available for a weekend or a lifetime among 1,400 acres of “unspoiled countryside,” and draw in everyone from young couples to retirees looking to settle into their golden years. Being “the biggest little town in Baldwin” doesn’t come easily. But with all of these elements working together in one area, that’s a reputation the town of Loxley has truly earned. 

Correction: In the December 2010 issue of Alabama Living, in the article titled “Christmas Way Back When at Fort Morgan,” the population of Alabama in 1905 was incorrectly reported as 2,000 people. The number should actually have been 2 million.

| JANUARY 2011 | Alabama Living

Around Alabama Elba – January 13

Elba High School – 7 p.m.

Reminisce about sittin’ on the front porch, travelin’ with your best friends, celebrating with down home meals and the “Do’s and Don’ts” of being a proper southern gal. It’s four women, four generations and four different views. It’s your mother, your sister, your grandma, your best friend. It’s sweet tea, collard greens, fresh tomatoes and banana puddin’. It’s stories you’ll recognize and tales from the past. It’s Rainsville – January 6 Gospel Singing Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center at 1571 McCurdy Ave. N – 6:30 p.m. Comedy by Tim Lovelace with music by The Trammels, New Ground & The Taylors Ticket Prices: $10 Contact: Chris at 256 528-4939 Elba – January 13 GRITS – The Musical Elba High School – 7 p.m. Admission: Charged Contact: Coffee County Arts Alliance 334-406-ARTS (2787) or

country music, jazz tunes, old time blues and toe tappin’ rock. It’s the old, the new and some things in between. It’s about love and laughter, revelation and grace. It’s “Girls Raised in the South (GRITS): The Musical” Admission: Charged Contact: Coffee County Arts Alliance 334-406-ARTS (2787) or visit

Dothan - January 22 & 23 Gala Art Auction and Exhibit - 188 Park Street Saturday admisson $10 - preview 6 p.m. Second chance Sunday 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Contact: Anne Sidique at 334-792-5001 or

Gulf Shores – February 4 Cool Change GSUMC’s South-Campus auditorium (WinnDixie Shopping Center) – 6:30 p.m. Admission: $5 Contact: GSUMC 251-968-2411

Gulf Shores - January 22nd & 23rd ACOUSTIX in concert Gulf Shores United Methodist Church – 7 p.m. Tickets on sale at church office. Contact: 251-968-2411

Monroeville – February 5 10th annual Genealogy Workshop Old Courthouse Museum Registration & introductions at 8:30 a.m., programs end at 3:30 p.m. Registration fee of $30 includes box lunch. Contact Monroe County Heritage Museum at 251-575-7433 for advance registration and further information.

Greenville – January 14 and 15 Fort Dale Academy Deer Hunt Admission: $700 Contact: Drew Gaston at 334-782-3225 or

Gulf Shores - January 22 Market Place Bazaar, Sponsored by the United Methodist Women of GSUMC. GSUMC south campus at the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crafts, lunch, bake sale, frozen casseroles, books, decorator’s corner and more! No admission. Lunch Tickets: $8 Contact: GSUMC at 251-968-2411

Dothan – January 14 & 15 “Death By Chocolate” Presented by the Dothan Cultural Arts Center Show times: Fri. – 7:30 p.m., Sat. – 1 p.m. Admission: $15 Call 334-699-2787 for reservations and information.

Pell City – January 29 Glenn Leonard’s Temptations Revue – 7p.m. Pell City Center All Tickets $35, available at the Pell City Center at Contact box office at 205-338-1974

Mobile - January 15 Panther Pride 5K Murphy High School - 8:30 a.m. Contact LRH Productions at (251) 401-8039

Gulf Shores – February Entertainment Series · American Big Band - Feb. 11 · The Kingston Trio - Feb. 7-9 · Patti Page - Feb. 14 and 15 · Riders in the Sky - Feb. 28 Doors open 7 p.m. Showtime: 7:30 p.m. Erie Meyer Civic Center, Gulf Shores Price: Ticket Prices: $28 preferred, $24 Contact 251-968-1172 or visit

Jackson – January 16 Indian Artifact Show Jackson Community House on 500 Vanity Park Dr. 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free and open to the public. Contact Bimbo Kohen at 251-542-9456 or .

Decatur – February 19 3rd Annual River City Charity Chili Cook-off Ingalls Harbor, 701 Market St. NW 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The entry fee is $250 per team with each team consisting of 4 individuals. Admission: $5, children 8 and under free. To register, call 256-227-2953 or for more information, visit

Alabama Living on Go to and click on the facebook link at the left and you’re in. It’s a great way to interact with other readers, get sneak-peaks at upcoming content and see pictures and stories from your favorite publication.

Fo r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n o n t h e s e a n d o t h e r ev e n t s c o m i n g u p a ro u n d A l a b a m a , v i s i t w w w. a l a b a m a l i v i n g . c o o p a n d c l i c k o n t h e A ro u n d A l a b a m a b u t t o n . To place an event, fax information to 334-215-8623; mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; e-mail to (Subject Line: Around Alabama) or visit

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. Follow Alabama Living on facebook


Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Local electric cooperatives work to keep electric bills affordable as energy challenges grow



By Megan McKoy–Noe

lectric co-ops are facing multiple pressures, and co-op members may soon feel the effects. Pressures from new government regulations, rising fuel and materials costs, escalating demand for electricity and required investments in both adding generation as well as upgrading existing power plants have been increasing over the last decade. While the current economic downturn released some pressure – such as causing electric demand to dip – this temporary relief may just mark the “calm before the storm” when financial fortunes rebound and pressure builds again. Let’s explore the different pressures impacting your electric bills:

Pressure Point: Growing Electric Demand

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts by 2030 residential demand for electricity will increase between 16 percent and 36 percent above 2007 levels. Historically electric cooperative demand rises faster than the industry average – before the recession hit coop sales increased by 4.4 percent, while industry sales only increased by 2.6 percent between 2006 and 2007. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts industry demand will rebound by 5 percent in 2010 and estimates that with strong economic growth, electricity prices will jump 19 percent by 2035. However, forecasters fail to factor in added costs of complying with new federal regulations aimed at curbing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, from power plants.


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Pressure Point: Added Regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin regulating greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, this month – an action made possible by a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Massachusetts v. EPA) that gave the agency a green light to consider imposing such controls. In late 2009, EPA declared that six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, “endanger the public health and welfare” of current and future generations. Although carbon dioxide grabs the headlines, the cumulative impact of new federal mandates for handling coal ash, water and limiting hazardous air pollutants along with state (and perhaps federal) requirements for renewable energy generation could become a much more expensive hurdle. During the past 20 years EPA has used the federal Clean Air Act to slash nationwide emissions of nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog, by 54 percent, and

cut acid rain-causing sulfur dioxide emissions by 42 percent. That’s an impressive reduction, considering electricity use rose 64 percent over the same period. However, proven technology existed to achieve those results – something not currently available for removing carbon dioxide and other areas under scrutiny. “The Clean Air Act as written was never designed to deal with carbon dioxide, and it could be awkward at best and probably a disaster, at worst,” says Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). “We’re entering an era where regulatory activities are going to play a more significant role in the electric industry than what happens on the legislative front,” adds Kirk Johnson, NRECA vice president of energy & environmental policy, noting Congress has debated climate change policy for more than a decade without reaching a clear consensus. “Environmental statutes that have been on the books since the 1970s, especially the Clean Air Act, are like a one-way ratchet: They only tighten.” Tighter emissions standards could have a multi-billion dollar impact on the cost of doing business for Alabama’s electric cooperatives, adding more pressure to electric bills.

Pressure Point:

Need for New Power Plants Even as new regulations are announced, utilities must be ready to make quick decisions on moving forward with power plants to meet

growing electricity demand – especially since the number of operating plants may start to fall, not rise. “Because of these new rules, we’re expecting a number of current power plants to go offline and retire,” says Johnson. “The cost to comply with the rules may simply be too much.” The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), which oversees the reliability of the bulk power system covering the United States and most of Canada, estimates that by 2017 peak demand for electricity will jump 135,000 MW – equivalent to the current amount of power used by the entire western half of the nation. Planned new generation resources will only provide another 77,000 MW, far short of the amount of energy Americans will need. Electric cooperatives are working hard to relieve some of this pressure and delay the need for new plants through energy efficiency programs. Alabama’s electric cooperatives, for example, offer energy efficiency education through Alabama Living, websites and other communication channels. Many take this a step further; 77 percent provide residential energy audits while 49 percent offer financial incentives for members to make efficient choices. But these measures can only go so far. “When the economy turns around, co-ops will resume growing faster than other electric utilities,” says English. “We’ve got to be ready for that development and have new power plants planned and largely ready to go. However, co-ops must

Power use mirrors the economy

For a quarter-century America’s electricity consumption climbed steadily, making it fairly easy to forecast and plan for power needs 10, 20, or even 30 years down the road. That changed in December of 2007 with the first signs of a recession. As the nation’s economy slowed, electricity sales dropped 0.8 percent in 2008 and another 4.2 percent in 2009 – the greatest single decline in six decades. Commercial and industrial use was the hardest hit. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, net power generation nationwide in 2009 sank below 2004 levels. Electric co-ops primarily serve residential members so the downward trend wasn’t as severe,

first know how carbon dioxide and other rules could impact the price of power to make prudent decisions.”

Pressure Point: Cost of Materials

Every year that investments in new power plants are delayed jacks up the final price tag. Worldwide, steel prices soared 42 percent between 2009 and 2010 while costs for other construction supplies like nickel and concrete jumped as well. Materials costs for distribution co-ops are also climbing. Prices for copper, a critical raw material used for wire and to ground electrical equipment, reached a 27-month high at the end of 2010. Between 1990 and 2010 in the north-central part of the nation the price tag on utility poles, towers and fixtures skyrocketed 98 percent while line transformers spiked 154 percent. “Electric cooperatives have an obligation to keep the lights on and electric bills affordable at a time when the costs for fuel and raw materials to build new generation are steadily rising,” says English. “Combined with costs of additional regulatory compliance, these are just some of the pressure points that will affect electric bills in years to come – all of which are largely beyond the control of local coops.”

but it was still apparent. “With the economic recession affecting electricity demand, forecasts of future demand have resulted in greater uncertainly for both short- and long-term planning horizons,” states a 2010 report from the North American Electric Reliability Corp., an organization charged with overseeing reliability of the United States’ electric grid. Further illustrating uncertainty, EIA released two different forecasts for the next 25 years hinging on the nation’s economic growth – predictions that don’t take into account the cost of impending federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |




Energy-efficient dishwashers save hot water and help trim energy bills

This stainless steel exterior has thin coating of glass for easier cleaning. The interior tub is also made of stainless steel.

Send your questions: James Dulley Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Drive Cincinnati, OH 45244 You also can reach Dulley over the Internet:

James Dulley is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati.


| JANUARY 2011 |

Q& A

My 12-year-old dishwasher is noisy and does not have many cycle options. I think it’s time to replace it. What are the important efficiency features when I compare models? Is hand washing dishes more efficient? - Sandi T.

The good news is using an automatic dishwasher is typically more efficient than hand washing dishes (although if you take your time and are very miserly with water usage, hand washing can be more efficient). But your old dishwasher probably does need to be replaced because it has already survived longer than most typical dishwashers. No matter which new dishwasher you select, you can be certain it will use less electricity and hot water than your old one. The vast majority of dishwashers made today exceed the Energy Star efficiency standards. Over the life of the new dishwasher, the energy and water savings as compared to your old one can payback its initial cost. The majority of the cost of using a dishwasher is the energy to heat water. A portion of this energy is used by the home’s primary water heater, the rest by an internal heater in the dishwasher. With this in mind, if a dishwasher design consumes less water, less energy is needed to wash a load of dishes. Always compare the overall water consumption specifications for an average load cycle among models.

Of course the most important feature is how well a washer cleans dishes. If it does not clean well, people tend to run it on the heavy cycle when normal will do, or they hand rinse the dishes first. Rinsing can use more than 10 extra gallons of water, and if hot water is used, more energy is being consumed. With a good dishwasher, a simple hand-scraping of dirty dishes should be adequate. Top-of-the-line dishwashers offer many cycle settings to fine-tune the process to the cleaning needs of the specific load. This is a nice feature, but most families can get by with three basic cycles: light, medium and heavy (for pots and pans). Newer electronic controls offer greater convenience and efficiency. Hidden digital electronic controls – which typically run along the top edge of the door – look good when the door is closed, but you cannot watch the progress of the cycle and see the time left. A dishwasher I recently selected has exposed controls, which I find easier to see and use. Newer dishwashers are also much quieter than older ones, accomplished by better motor and pump design, and higher levels of insulation – both for noise reduction and for better efficiency. Also, automatic dirt sensors measure the turbidity (cloudiness) of the water to determine when the dishes are clean and how long to run the cycles.d

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


If you listen... The haunting sounds of hooves and carriage wheels still linger from a bygone era along Alabama’s Old Federal Road. In the early 1800s, when you stopped for the night at one of its roadside taverns, the darkness of this Indian territory made the eerie silence almost deafening.

Imagine ... “Alabama Fever” was soon to infect thousands in North Carolina who would give up depleted soil for rich land in Alabama’s cotton belt. In a few years’ time, majestic-looking riverboats would line up near shore to gather huge white bales. It was a life that was there for the claim-


The Old Federal Road

ing. But the Old Federal Road

Glimpses of a major highway of the early 1800s are still evident throughout Alabama

would have to take you there.

By John Brightman Brock

| JANUARY 2011 |

Land hungry From 1806 through the late 1830s, the road’s wellworn path carried thousands of settlers, and most times without incident. A horse path that stretched from Georgia to Mississippi, the Federal Road first brought mail, troops and munitions; it then became an artery for land-hungry settlers. Among those taking on this adventure – by carriage in 1825 – was an aging Frenchman who documented his tavern-to-tavern journey. This came many years after a young Gen. Marquis de Lafayette used the road to help the Americans defeat the British. And on an earlier, more infamous occasion, a team of horses carrying a treason-charged Aaron Burr pounded the hardened dirt through the state’s woodlands and plains and onward to trial, where he was acquitted in 1807. Burr, the third vice president of the United States, had been charged with treason in an alleged conspiracy regarding capitalization on a possible war with Spain. Often, leather mail envelopes were tucked inside satchels on horse and rider teams as they strained to carry the mail from Washington to New Orleans. The Old Federal Road – cutting through Alabama’s stream-ridden topography – became the nation’s link to the far-flung port city of President Thomas Jefferson’s newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.

Treaty of New York A major treaty laid the foundation for the road. Retired Maj. Gen. Will Hill Tankersley in his “Pintlala Warrior” column in the Montgomery County Historical Society Herald writes: “The first treaty of the United States with a foreign power was made during the second year of George Washington’s presidency in 1790. It was called the Treaty of New York, and was concluded with the Creek Nation headed by its chief, Alexander McGillivray, who lived just south of present day Wetumpka.” The treaty ceded vast Indian hunting grounds to the United States. The United States allowed Creeks the right to punish non-Indian trespassers on land they retained, but not to punish those who committed crimes

on that land. Creeks gained approval to import goods through the Spanish port of Pensacola without paying U.S. duties. As trouble with Great Britain was expected, U.S. troops and heavy munitions clamored along this road in 1812. Also, it was here that Gen. Andrew Jackson fought the English and their allied Red Stick Creeks about the same time, and won. Travelers along the Federal Road could see evidence that their “highway” was actually an aged Creek footpath. When the floodgates began to open for settlement, Indians and settlers at first co-existed in a mostly peaceful relationship, though “incidents” occurred and were taken care of by the offending group.

A long haul Postal riders, travelers, adventurers, soldiers and settlers coming to Alabama had to first pass through Milledgeville, Ga., then that state’s capital. They proceed literally headlong into Alabama’s unregulated lands. Travelers could see it was brimming with Indians who had set up, sometimes along with settlers, taverns every 20 or so miles to provide water, food and a place to sleep. The already established Natchez Trace road – then the link between Natchez, Miss., and Nashville, Tenn. – had been good. But connecting to the Federal Road saved 10 days off any journey from Washington to New Orleans. The postal route soon turned into a military road for the War of 1812, and had to be widened. Benjamin Hawkins, a Creek Indian agent, negotiated the right to build the road through the Creek Indian nation. But when the Creeks heard the United States wanted to widen the road even further, they said no. War followed. After the War of 1812 and the Creek War, the Creeks ceded all land in south, west and central Alabama to the United States. Land from Montgomery County westward was opened up for settlement. In 1834, the road was surveyed. Pintlala photographer Mark Dauber has traced and photographed sites of the original road for 20 years. He is working on a soon-to-be-released book about the road. 

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Dauber first read the book “The Federal Road through Georgia, the Creek Nation and Alabama 1806 -1836.” Then he set out to see first-hand the rural areas of Alabama where the road is easily seen. He walked parts of it, coming to areas like Fort Deposit in Lowndes County that had been built along the road. But the original roadbed is not easy to follow. “All I wanted to know was where to go to take some photos,” Dauber says. So in order to find where the original road ran, he took old surveys and overlaid them on current-day maps. At the grassroots level, the Old Federal Road is majestic, he says.    “It traverses old county highways, two-lane blacktops, but occasionally, there are stretches that are still dirt. It takes you through some rural, even more or less forgotten places,” he says. “And imagine, all mail through the new Indian territory came hand-carried. Someone on a horse was brave enough to traverse it.” Photographs by Mark Dauber. For information on prints call 334-538-4677, or visit The Dauber Gallery, located in the Alley on historic Commerce Street in downtown Montgomery. The gallery features artwork by both Mark and Margaret Dauber, including crafted Giclee prints in pigment-based inks on canvas and paper, and oils and watercolors by Margaret.


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Historical trail efforts An effort begun by the Alabama Legislature in 2007 as the Old Federal Road Task Force seeks to raise awareness of the old road, possibly as a historic trail. The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) is part of this effort. “In understanding the story of The Federal Road, you see a history of American and Indians relations through time,” says Ed Bridges, ADAH director. “It’s a place that’s still there where interested people can see relics of the Old Federal Road today. You don’t just have a story about it. You can actually, physically see it. Lafayette’s carriage came along in this place. Aaron Burr was brought along here after he was arrested, and (then) carried back for trial.” “In many ways, it encapsulates the story of a century and a half of communication between the American settler and the Indians of Alabama,” Bridges says. “After that, when the Indians were defeated, it became the artery through which settlers came into the state – wave upon wave of settlers coming along that road.”

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Ann Welch of Nunnally’s in Anniston

‘The Vision of the Leadership’ Main Street Alabama puts new life in historic downtowns

By Atticus Rominger


tore clerks roll the tall wooden ladders along the wall shelves at the R.W. Harris Store, pulling items off of high shelves much the same way clerks have done since this iconic Winfield business opened 125 years ago. In those years, the name has changed once, the building has been replaced and the business model has shifted. But the general store’s spot on Main Street, and in the hearts of the people of Winfield, has held firm. “Mr. Huey Box, 90 years old, came in the other day,” says store owner Boyd Pate. “He says, ‘I remember my daddy bringing me here when I was just a little boy.’” But decades of tradition almost came to a stop four years ago. The Harris family made arrangements to liquidate the store’s antique furnishings at auction and sell the building. Pate, a Harris family friend, decided to buy the store, considering it more


| JANUARY 2011 |

of a duty to history than an investment. “My main thing was to try to not see the building cave in. It felt like for downtown, there are not many businesses that date back to 1885. We needed to try to preserve it.”

Nunnally’s has been here 30 years Across the state, in the decidedly larger downtown Anniston, the building that once housed that city’s version of a general store, a Woolworth’s, sat empty and boarded up until a young couple decided to move their restaurant from nearby

Jacksonville. Classic on Noble brings as many as 600 people downtown on a Sunday for brunch, and it’s considered a “must-visit” for businesspeople entertaining guests. More than that, economic development agents like Spirit of Anniston Executive Director Betsy Bean, consider the Classic the “anchor” of Anniston’s downtown shopping district, spurring on continued renovation and investment in an area still scarred by the white flight of the ’60s and ’70s. “It’s really our anchor, just like Dillard’s is for the mall, because it just brings so many people down here who otherwise wouldn’t come,” says Bean. Nunnally’s Custom Framing has called downtown Anniston home for more than 30 years. Four years ago, after experiencing the impact of Classic on Noble, owner Ann Welch moved out of a rented storefront

and into her newly renovated space next to the bustling restaurant. “To a great extent we were inspired by them and we purchased this building across the street, and have redone it in a way that (Classic owner) David sort of set the standard,” Welch says. Classic owner David Mashburn is flattered by the thought that he’s been a catalyst for change, though he shares the credit with all those who have rolled up their sleeves and invested in the area. “I met someone just yesterday who just purchased an old building that’s been on the market as long as I have been here,” he says. When people see that happening, other people jump on the bandwagon also.” In 2010, a group of preservationists, planners and economic development agents revived Alabama’s statewide Main Street program, which was shuttered under budget cuts in 2004. The fledgling organization is providing support to as many as 14 existing Main Street programs across the state which are, in turn, supporting businesses like R.W. Harris and Classic on Noble. The programs follow the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s four point approach to economic development on main streets: organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring. Mississippi serves as an example of what a program like this can achieve. “In 2009, the Mississippi Main Street Association generated $661.6 million in private investment in Mississippi’s small towns, created more than 2,300 jobs and improved 226 buildings, adding significantly to local tax rolls,” says Charles Ball, director of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham and acting chair of Main Street Alabama. “With adequate funding and staffing, Main Street Alabama can match and even surpass our neighboring states’ successes.” Back in Winfield, the challenge of Main Street Director Gail Spann is

not luring businesses and customers back downtown. Spann’s challenge is keeping them from leaving in the first place. “Most downtowns are not busy anymore but Winfield has been lucky to keep so many stores downtown,” she says. Businesses like the R.W. Harris Store have been key to that success, but in order to sustain that success the new owner is adapting to the changing market. Ironically, that means bringing back some of the goods and services, like feed and seed, that the store was founded on. “We have added a lot more merchandise,” says owner Pate. “We kept saying we need to put a nursery out back, so we called it the Outback Nursery. That’s gone over pretty good.” More than that, Pate is working to position the store as a tourist attraction, recently joining a tourist association for north Alabama. The future Interstate 22 now passes just north of Winfield, bringing Memphis-to-Birmingham travelers within miles of an historic treasure. “I think anytime you have a building that’s 125 years old – and the inside looks just like it did 125 years ago ...I think people might want to come down to the small town to see what a store looked like 125 years ago,” says Winfield Main Street Director Gail Spann. Nationally, the Main Street program reports every dollar spent generates $27 in its community. In part, that’s because a main street’s reach extends outside of a town’s core. Economic developers like Anniston’s Betsy Bean say a town’s main street is a symbol of the area and its people and, when preserved, is a powerful tool for regional economic development. “They often say that even if corporations or outsiders are looking at a community to build in an industrial park, they look to see what you are doing downtown to know if they want to invest in a community as a whole because it symbolizes the vision of the leadership locally.”

Diners at Class

ic on Noble

Anniston’s Nob

le Street Festiv

al in the spring

Downtown Ann

iston’s historic


Anniston Winfield Next Month:

More on Main Street Alabama’s young, successful history.

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


First Light

A man bonds with a mighty buck in dire straits


he day was waning when I returned from work and headed down the old farm road to home. My dogs raced to meet my truck. They were eager for a country walk, and the afternoon spared still enough time for a short ramble. Grabbing my trusty walking stick, we hit the trail. The sun slipped low in the tree tops as we approached the big hardwood grove along the creek. Near a decaying log the dogs rousted one of the many marsh rabbits that inhabit the bottomlands of my farm. Rousting rabbits is standard occurrence on our walks, though the rabbits have little cause for concern. Only my beagle Buddy gives earnest chase, and he is no match for the


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rabbit’s speed and agility. My lab Turkey and my pointer Boss always engage dutifully in brief faux chase, but are quick to rejoin me and watch for other curiosities. This time, however, Turkey and Boss did not come back. My guess was they had caught scent of something other than the rabbit, maybe a fox or a raccoon, which kept their interest a bit longer. Moving softly, I listened for any signs of excitement that might give clue to the prey and the location. From deep in the woods came the yelps not of adventurous chase, but of dogs in trouble. I took straight bearing and hurried to the hidden spot, which turned out to be a shallow sandy bend in the creek. In the middle

By Doug Phillips

of the creek stood a large 10-point buck, his hind side backed up to a pile of submerged brush, his front side surrounded by my three dogs, who seemed surprised and confused. No doubt, the dogs had rushed in thinking the deer would bound like lightning and invite them for happy pursuit. Instead, my dogs found themselves in an unexpected stand-off, face to face with a challenging foe who was very big and sharply spiked.

Blush of Sunset

It was a scene for the artist’s palette – my dogs nervous and panting, the creek waters swirling angrily around them, and the blush of sunset casting an amber glow as

‘As I drew nearer, the buck turned his focus from the dogs to check my intentions. His eyes met mine and his expression changed from defiance to pleading desperation.’ the buck stood ready with his antlered crown defiantly poised. Descending the creek bank, I realized why the buck was standing ground instead of sprinting for quick getaway. His left front leg hung limp, the result of a poorly aimed gunshot. Deer hunting season opened earlier in the week, and this deer, freshly wounded, had escaped to my farm in flight for his life. Now he braced to fight for his life. As I drew nearer, the buck turned his focus from the dogs to check my intentions. His eyes met mine and his expression changed from defiance to pleading desperation. He showed no sign of resistance and seemed to accept my presence. His gaze conveyed a quiet wisdom, a silent understanding that he and I share a primordial connection in the Grand Design. I immediately warned the dogs away and they promptly complied, sensing from my voice that this was not a fair contest. The dogs retreated obligingly into the woods and waited while I examined the deer’s condition. It was worse than I first thought. The rifle round had punched a small entry through the deer’s leg, but also grazed the lower chest behind the leg and ripped an ugly bleeding exit on the other side. The extent of the wound confirmed my hunch. The buck had come to the creek for immersion in the cool water to stop his bleeding. And, apparently, the buck’s injuries were bad enough that he couldn’t run when my dogs found him. I walked the dogs homeward as the autumn evening began to chill. Thoughts of the wounded buck weighed on my mind. The night for him would likely be a long spell of pain and suffering. Coyotes might find him. If so, they would deliver him from his plight, though most certainly with a terror and trauma unfit for this majestic creature.

A Quick End?

the creek, his efforts growing more labored. He was becoming weaker, and now almost oblivious to his wounds. If I was going to use my rifle to end his suffering, well, too late – the timely need had passed. The buck climbed tenuously back atop the sandy mound and fixed his eyes on me. He seemed no longer concerned with what might lurk in the woods around us. I felt as though he was bidding me a final goodbye, with maybe a hint of gratitude for sticking by him through the night.

Probably, I thought, the best thing to do for this noble fellow would be to take my rifle in hand and put a quick end to his ordeal. It would be a merciful act. I knew that. The odds of the deer overcoming his wounds were slim to zero. But something dissuaded me from chambering my rifle with the appointed lethal round. The buck’s eyes, his gaze, the rare moment of seemingly transcendent connection between us, all pulled at my heart. I needed some time to think. The dogs, now fed and bedded down, were resting peacefully in their pen while I paced the floor in front of my rifle. Finally, I grabbed the gun and slipped stealthfully back to the creek, hoping that nature had preempted my terrible task and already dispatched the ailing animal. I stepped cautiously to the edge of the creek and discovered the buck resting on a sandy mound beside the stream. He was lying down, but appeared alert, comfortable, and in no distress. So, I decided that maybe watchful vigilance would be in order, to let the buck continue resting until morning at least – and at least to keep the coyotes away during the hours of their nocturnal prowl. I gathered a pile of leaves and arranged my bed for the night on the bank just above the buck. He gave me an occasional friendly glance, but kept his senses keen to the surrounding darkness. From the other side of the creek, a screech owl let loose its shrill scream. In an oxbow nearby, a couple of barred owls conferred in lively chatter. Sometime later, when all else was hush, the inevitable chorus of howling coyotes entoned in the distance. The night wore on and I occasionally dozed, to be awakened at first light of morning by sounds of splashing water, as the buck again sought to staunch his bleeding. Soon, he pulled himself slowly from

Spent Spirit

The warm soul in his eyes dulled to cloudiness as he weakly lifted himself and made for the creek once more. Nearing the middle, his spent spirit collapsed. He raised his head from beneath the surface and looked back at me with a last fading glimpse, then gracefully let go of life, his able leg kneading the creek with a gentle stroke. The creek, now calm in the morning mist, responded with an enveloping embrace. In Southern culture, a man had best be careful about openly expressing heartfelt feelings for a wild animal. But I will confide, the dark moments shared with this wounded deer touched me deeply. The fresh light of morning bore a different aura than the day before, and seemed to summon a new reverence for nature’s spectacle. I can make no claim of special insight about the order of creation – these are difficult matters – but who among us can deny the marvelous intricacy of creation? And who can fully fathom the wondrous mystery of our fellow creatures?

Doug Phillips is host of the Emmy-honored television series Discovering Alabama, a production of the Alabama Museum of Natural History/The University of Alabama in cooperation with the UA Center for Public Television and Alabama Public Television. Visit the series at

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Dodging the Oil Bullet Until now, we have taken Gulf Coast fishing for granted


fter closing all fishing off the Alabama coast for weeks, the state waters opened back up to “catch and keep” fishing on Aug. 9. And shortly afterward, on Sept. 3, a large portion of the federal waters south of the Alabama coast opened up as well. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council decided to open our red snapper season for several weekends beginning Oct. 1 in order to allow the catch of our yearly allotment of these tasty fish. That’s all well and good and most folks are breathing a huge sigh of relief, while keeping a watchful eye out for any signs of long-term damage to the gulf ecosystem that may have been undetected. I think there is a large lesson to be learned from our unfortunate experience with this event. And I think it is worth repeating over and over and passing this lesson on to our children. We all learned two major things. The first lesson is that we, in general, have taken this resource for granted. Nothing I’ve ever experienced has caused such a knot in the pit of my stomach as the thought of losing the privilege of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico for years to come. It’s not that I’m an avid offshore fisherman, either. But I’ve en-


| JANUARY 2011 | Alabama Living

joyed the fact that it has always been available to me, anytime I had the desire to go. I never dreamed that could change. The second lesson we should remember is that nature is an awesome creation. Crude oil is a natural substance, and it seems that mother earth is well prepared to deal with it. Microbes found to be present in the gulf is thought to have “eaten” most of the oil that was spilled there. We should have had a little more faith in the earth (and the Creator of the earth)

to take care of itself before we introduced millions of gallons of man-made chemical dispersant into the waters. I predict that if there are any long-term ill effects from this oil spill, it will most likely be caused by man’s remedy to the problem rather than the oil itself. Now that the fishing is once again available along Alabama’s beautiful coast, we should do everything we can to support the people who depend on fishing for their livelihoods. Consider making it a New Year’s resolution to book an offshore or inshore fishing trip this year. And always ask for local seafood when purchasing it in the market or in a restaurant. Let’s take better care of our own hard-working Alabama fishermen and the businesses that support them. Visit the web site of the Orange Beach Charter Fishing Association at www. to see all the offshore charter boats available.

Wildlife Management Tips for January Plant fruit trees for wildlife. Early January is the best time to plant trees and get the best results. Make sure you plant them strategically in areas around food plots, fields, roadsides and other areas that will provide adequate sunlight. Disk along roadside, around old fields and in thinned pine plantations to enhance quail and turkey habitat. Strips 10-30 feet wide will stimulate natural desirable quail and turkey food such as partridge pea and beggarweed. You should do this every other year. Fertilize selected roadside areas to increase nutritional value in native browse. Look for places where honeysuckle, greenbriar and other wildlife friendly plants are growing. Apply about 200 pounds an acre. Late winter is a great time for prescribed burns. Nothing helps more than controlled fire to enhance wildlife habitat. Make sure you obtain the proper permits.

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

Jan. 15 09:16 05:16 01:46 09:46 16 10:01 05:31 02:46 10:31 17 10:46 06:01 03:46 11:01 18 11:31 06:31 04:31 11:46 19 - 07:01 12:01 05:16 20 07:31 12:31 12:46 06:01 21 07:46 01:01 01:31 07:01 22 08:16 01:31 02:16 08:01 23 08:46 02:16 09:01 03:16 24 02:46 09:16 10:31 04:16 25 03:16 09:46 - 05:31 26 01:16 10:16 - 07:01 27 04:31 11:16 - 08:16 28 08:16 05:01 12:31 09:16 29 09:46 05:16 02:01 10:01 30 10:31 05:46 03:01 10:46 31 11:01 06:01 04:01 11:16 Feb. 1 11:31 06:31 04:46 11:46 2 - 06:46 12:01 05:16 3 07:01 12:16 12:31 06:01 4 07:31 12:46 01:01 06:31 5 07:46 01:01 01:31 07:16 6 08:01 01:31 08:01 02:16 7 01:46 08:16 08:46 02:46 8 02:16 08:31 09:46 03:31 9 02:16 08:46 11:31 04:31 10 02:16 09:16 - 05:46 11 - 09:46 - 07:16 12 - 11:16 - 08:31 13 09:16 05:01 01:16 09:16 14 10:01 05:16 02:46 10:01 15 10:31 05:31 03:46 10:46 16 11:16 05:46 04:31 11:31 17 11:46 06:16 - 05:31 18 06:46 12:01 12:31 06:16 19 07:01 12:46 07:16 01:16 20 07:31 01:16 08:16 01:46 21 02:01 08:01 09:16 02:46 22 02:31 08:16 10:46 03:31 23 02:46 08:46 - 04:46 24 01:31 09:16 - 06:16 25 - 10:01 - 07:46 26 09:16 04:31 12:16 09:01 27 10:01 04:46 02:01 09:46 28 10:31 05:16 03:16 10:31

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Alabama Gardens


The ‘Perpetual Gardening Record Book’ keeps up with what works for you

By Katie Jackson

Garden tips for


3 Prop your Christmas tree in the garden as a winter sanctuary for birds, then in spring trim off the limbs and use it support vining vegetable plants such as cucumbers, peas and beans. 3 Feed birds and keep birdbaths full of water. 3 Prune most deciduous trees and shrubs. 3 Clean dust from the foliage of houseplants and keep them in a warm spot away from cold windows and doors. 3 Clean and sharpen garden tools you plan to use next spring. 3 Order plants and seed for spring planting. 3 Have your soil tested and apply any amendments before time for spring planting. 3 Start transplants indoors or in a protected location.d 24

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It’s my perennial New Years gardening tip: Ring in the new year by buying (and using) a brand new garden journal. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a journal that could last for several years? Lauren Graves of Waverly thought so, and based on that Top: Book copy idea, created the Bottom: Lauren “Perpetual Gardening Record Book,” an efficient and even inspiring way to document how our gardens grow. Graves is a native of Alabama who grew up in a gardening family, but never planted a garden of her own until a few years ago when she settled in Waverly after years of living out of state. A year or so after moving back to Alabama, Graves literally put down roots by planting her first vegetable garden. It was quite a success, thanks in no small part to the advice she got from her garden-savvy family. However, perhaps the best piece of advice – keep a garden record – was one she never got around to that first year. By the following year, though, Graves recognized how valuable those records – from rainfall and temperature measurements to fertilization and irrigation schedules – could be in helping improve the next year’s garden. So she began jotting notes on random slips of

paper until she had too many and knew she needed an actual recordkeeping book. But the record book of her dreams did not exist, so Graves made her own. She used brown craft paper and set up two-page spreads with 10 days’ to two weeks’ worth of dates on each spread. None of the dates were assigned a year or day of the week, so they can be used for several years. Printed locally on recycled paper, the “Perpetual Gardening Record Book” offers extra pages for garden sketches, growing charts and resource lists. But what makes this book especially appealing to many people is the personal connection to Graves’ grandmother and her gardening notes. To see samples of the book, visit or contact Graves at 334-821-6675.d

Katie Jackson is associate editor for the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Contact her at


SAFETY CHECK Take time to conduct a home safety check for the well-being of your family With the beginning of the new year now is a good time to create a home electrical safety checklist to help ensure a safe winter of indoor activities for you and your family. While some of the benefits of a checklist include energy efficiency, the most important benefit is family safety. Even a professional home inspector, who had wired his own hot tub, should have had a professional analyze his efforts. Investigators attributed the electrocution death of the man and a second person to the unreliability of the wiring. The Washington state deaths in 2009 were just two of the more than 400 electrocutions that occur in homes each year according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC says about 45 percent of those electrocutions can be attributed to large appliances, 20 percent to exposed wiring, and another 9 percent to power tools. The CPSC offers these suggestions to help make sure your home is up to the task of preventing electrical injuries and eliminating some of the 140,000 fires annually that are attributed to electricity. Make sure all switches and outlets are cool to the touch and working properly. Unusually warm switches could indicate a problem, and they should be serviced by a qualified electrician. Check to see that plugs fit snuggly into outlets. Loose plugs can cause overheating and fires. Ensure that all three pronged adapters in the house are

being properly used, with the wire or metal tab on the adapter connected to the center screw of the outlet. Make sure all outlets have faceplates to reduce the danger of electrical shocks by accidentally sticking a finger or another object into the socket. Place safety covers on all outlets if there are small children in the house. Check the bathrooms to make sure appliances there are not plugged in when unattended, and that they are in good working condition. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in appropriate locations like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and garages, and that Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are installed in appropriate locations. Always use a qualified electrician for jobs like these. Make sure that all kitchen countertop appliances are unplugged when not in use, and that all cords are clear of hot surfaces like stoves and toasters. Also make sure those appliances are located away from sinks. Also: w Make sure all lights have the correct wattage bulb for the fixture. If unsure what wattage to use in a fixture, don’t put a bulb rated at more than 60 watts. w Inspect the fuse box to make sure fuses are the correct size for the circuit. Turn off and on the freezer, refrigerator and air conditioner circuit breaker three times to ensure they are not stuck and are in good working order.d

Send your questions: Safe @ Home Alabama Living 340 TechnaCenter Dr. Montgomery, AL 36117 334-215-2732

Jason Saunders & Michael Kelley are certified managers of Safety & Loss Control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association.

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Alabama Recipes Cook of the Month

Oodles of Noodles

White Cheese Chicken Lasagna Beth Ellis, Sand Mountain EC 9 lasagna noodles ½ cup butter 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups chicken broth 1½ cups milk 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided 1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 2 cups ricotta cheese 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

Souped Up Pasta

2 pounds ground beef 1 bag shell noodles 1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix

2 cans stewed tomatoes 1 can water Mozzarella cheese Parmesan cheese

Brown beef and drain. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain. Simmer together tomatoes, soup mix and water for 5-10 minutes. Mix all together in casserole dish. Sprinkle cheeses generously over top. Bake at 350 degrees until cheeses are melted, approximately 30 minutes. Donna Tucker, Southern Pine EC

Easy Lasagna

2 pounds hamburger meat 1 24-ounce jar spaghetti sauce 1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 bag (2 cups) of Velveeta cheese 1 bag (2 cups) of mozzarella cheese 8-10 lasagna noodles, cooked

Brown hamburger meat and drain. Add spaghetti sauce, soup and Velveeta cheese. Heat thoroughly. Layer noodles and meat sauce twice in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Patty Shaw, Baldwin EMC


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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiled water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour and salt; simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth and milk. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Season with the basil, oregano and ground black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Spread 1⁄3 cup of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish, layer with 1⁄3 of noodles, the ricotta and the chicken. Arrange 1⁄3 of the noodles over the chicken and layer with 1⁄3 of the sauce mixture, spinach and remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining noodles over cheese and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes. Uncover last 10-15 minutes. If you have ever been on the fence about sending in a recipe for possible publication in Alabama Living, let me encourage you to send it in. Our monthly recipes come from kitchens all over the state and are submitted by readers just like you. Just make sure your recipe is legible and has the correct ingredients. Each month we will let you know the upcoming themes that will run in the magazine so if you have a dish that is sure to impress, write it down, put a stamp on the envelope and send it to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124, or you can email it to I look forward to hearing from you and seeing your recipes in the magazine. Don’t forget the Cook of the Month gets a $50 prize.

You could win $50! If your recipe is chosen as the cook-of-the-month recipe, we’ll send you a check for $50! March April May

Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: Chicken/Poultry January 15 Puddings February 15 Oriental Treasures March 15

Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124 or e-mail to: recipes@areapower. coop. Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your cooperative.

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.


32 95*

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Creamy Cheese Chicken Noodle Soup

Vada Gentry, Central Alabama EC

1 8-ounce package egg noodles 1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 green bell pepper, chopped Olive oil 1 small can tomatoes

ating Tailg Late Time Party Endin

1 pound hamburger Salt to taste Dash cayenne pepper 1 can whole kernel corn 1 can ripe olives, with liquid 1 to 2 pounds cheddar cheese, grated

Cook noodles according to package directions, drain. Fry onion, garlic and bell pepper in a small amount of olive oil until tender, add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add noodles. Brown hamburger with salt and red pepper in 2 tablespoons of olive oil (you may omit the oil if desired). Add noodle mixture and corn; cook for 10 minutes. Chop ripe olives, reserving 4 or 5 to place on top of the casserole. Add chopped olives and half the olive liquid to the noodle mixture. Add about 2⁄3 of the cheddar cheese to the casserole. Mix well. Put into a 2 or 3 quart casserole dish, sprinkle remaining grated cheddar cheese on top and garnish with reserved whole olives. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1-hour. Yield:  10 Servings. Larry M. “Doc” Hudson, Southeast Alabama EC









ck Potlu

Boil chicken until tender, remove chicken from broth and remove from bone, chop well and set aside. Cook noodles in chicken broth 10 minutes, stirring often. Add soup, butter, sour cream, cream cheese and Velveeta cheese; stir until all cheeses are melted and add salt and pepper. Lower heat to simmer add chopped chicken and simmer 20-25 minutes. Stir often.


8 ounces sour cream 4 ounces chive and onion cream cheese spread 4 ounces Velveeta cheese 5 tablespoon butter Salt and pepper, to taste

te Favori


2 large chicken breasts with skin, chopped 1 large can cream of chicken soup 1 12-ounce bag wide egg noodles

Snacks Night

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Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Pasta Pancakes and Gravy

Cheesy Shrimp and Pasta

½ large box Velveeta cheese 1 16-ounce package spiral veggie pasta 1 can Rotel

2 3-ounce packages chicken ramen noodle soup mix ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided 2 tablespoons allpurpose flour

3 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 small onion, diced ½ cup chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 garlic clove, pressed

Cook soup according to package directions; drain noodles and reserve broth. Whisk together 2 tablespoons oil and flour in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add broth; cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Set gravy aside and keep warm. Stir together cooked noodles, eggs and next 4 ingredients. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon ½ cup of noodle mixture into hot skillet and cook in batches 1-2 minutes each side until golden brown, adding remaining 1 tablespoon oil as needed. Serve with warm gravy.Yield: 4 servings.

1 can cream of mushroom soup 1½ to 2 pounds shelled and deveined shrimp

In a large microwave safe bowl, dice cheese and mix with Rotel and mushroom soup. Put in microwave for 5 minutes. Put large pan of water on to boil for pasta, after water comes to a boil add pasta and stir occasionally. Take bowl from microwave, stir and return to microwave for 5 minutes. When pasta is almost done add shrimp. Boil approximately 5 more minutes. Drain and place in serving dish. Add cheese mixture and stir well. Cover and let set 5-8 minutes. Serve hot. Virginia Little, South Alabama EC

Becky Terry, Joe Wheeler EMC

Touch of Irish Casserole ¾ (8-ounce) batch fresh egg pasta noodles 1½ cups cooked corned beef, diced, or 12-ounce can of corned beef Sauce: 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 2 tablespoons allpurpose flour

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated 4 green onions, thinly sliced ¼ cup slivered almonds, for topping

1 cup chicken broth 1 cup rich milk, or half and half Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta, drain and put into 2-quart baking dish with cubed corned beef, cheese and green onions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sauce with butter, flour, broth, milk, salt and pepper. Heat until sauce thickens and pour over pasta mix. Top with almonds and bake for 45 minutes.Yield: 6 servings. Doug Palmer, Baldwin EMC

Pasta Salad

1 package multicolor pasta twists, cooked and drained ½ cup frozen small English peas ¼ cup red onion, chopped ½ cup black olives, sliced 8 ounces cheddar cheese, chopped

8 ounces boiled ham, chopped 1 green onion, chopped 3 boiled eggs, chopped 1 large tomato, chopped 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 5 dashes Tabasco sauce 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix mayonnaise, Tabasco, Dijon and salt and pepper. Toss pasta and remaining ingredients except tomatoes. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Add tomatoes at serving time. Harold Batchelor, Covington EC


| JANUARY 2011 |

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken

1 16-ounce package ¼ cup chicken broth penne pasta 2 cups (8-ounces) 1 pound boneless skinless crumbled Gorgonzola chicken breasts, cut in cheese ½-inch pieces 6-8 fresh sage leaves, thinly 1 tablespoon olive oil sliced 1 large garlic clove, Salt and pepper, to taste minced Grated Parmigiano¼ cup white wine Reggiano cheese 1 cup heavy whipping Fresh parsley, minced cream

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in oil on all sides.Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer then add wine, stirring to loosen brown bits from pan. Add cream and broth, cook until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the Gorgonzola cheese, sage, salt and pepper. Cook until cheese is melted. Drain pasta, toss with sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley. Norma Jean Roberts,Tombigbee EC

Beef and Mushroom Lasagna

1 cup cream of mushroom soup 1/4 cup milk 1 pound ground beef 2 cups mushroom spaghetti sauce

9 lasagna noodles, cooked 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Stir soup and milk in small bowl until smooth. Cook beef in skillet until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Drain off fat. Stir in sauce. Layer 1/2 beef mixture, 3 noodles and 1 cup soup mixture in a 2-quart shallow baking dish.Top with 3 more noodles, remaining beef mixture, remaining noodles and remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover baking dish. Bake 30 minutes or until hot. Uncover baking dish. Heat in broiler. Broil 4-inches from heat 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes and serve. Jackie Harbin, Arab EC

Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are sub-

Horner House Four Cheese Mac-n-Cheese

1 8-ounce box elbow macaroni ½ cup cottage cheese 1 cup Velveeta cheese, shredded 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 1 teaspoon parsley

¼ teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon salt 1½ cups milk 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1⁄3 cup bread crumbs

with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing

Cook macaroni according to package instructions; drain. In a large mixing bowl combine cheeses, spices and pasta. Mix well. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13-inch casserole dish. Combine milk and eggs. Pour milk mixture over macaroni. Top with bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until bread crumbs are lightly golden.

any recipe.

Cathy Horner, Cherokee EC

mitted by our readers. They are not kitchen tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Classifieds Miscellaneous CUSTOM MACHINE QUILTING BY JOYCE – Bring me your quilt top or t-shirts. Various designs offered – (256)735-1543 SAWMILL EXCHANGE: North American’s largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial equipment for woodlot owners and sawmill operations. Over 800 listings. THE place to sell equipment. (800)459-2148, WANTED – OLD HIGHWAY SIGNS, STOP SIGNS ETC. with embossed letters. I will pay postage – (256)974-8222 FREE BOOKS / DVDs – Soon government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let the bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771,, (888)211-1715 DIVORCE MADE EASY – Uncontested, lost spouse, in prison or aliens. $149.95 our total fee. Call 10am to 10pm. 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 AEROMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers – call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 SHOPPING CART SEAT COVERS FOR BABIES – Custom Made – Leave a Message (334)335-5111 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025,, www.alabamamattressoutlet. com I BUY OLD CLOCKS – Grandfather, Wall and Mantel – Call (256)3632476 KEEP THE FISH ALIVE clean the ponds with our aeration windmills and pond supplies. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850 WORK CLOTHES – GOOD CLEAN RENTAL TYPE: 6 pants and 6 shirts, $44.95 – Lined work jackets, $10.95 – Denim jeans, $6.00 – Call (800)233-1853, – 100% satisfaction guaranteed

Business Opportunities START YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Mia Bella’s Gourmet Scented Products. Try the Best! Candles / Gifts / Beauty. Wonderful income potential! Enter Free Candle Drawing - NEW! GROW EXPENSIVE PLANTS, 2,000% profit, Earn to $50,000 year, FREE information, Growbiz Box 3738-AB1, Cookeville, TN 38502 LIMITLESS INCOME POTENTIAL – Ready to take control of your health, finances and future working from home? (805)621-2466 MOMS, READY FOR A CHANGE? Fun, flexible business at home. No parties, inventory or risk. Visit for more information. BEAUTICONTROL – A beauty business specializing in personalized skin care, anti-aging, glamour and spa parties. Become a consultant. Training, flexible hours, excellent income – or (256)764-9102


| JANUARY 2011 |

Camping, Fishing & Hunting ANDALUSIA AREA RV CAMPGROUND FOR HUNTERS / FISHERMAN – on Point ‘A’ Lake. Reservations (334)388-0342

Vacation Rentals HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – sleeps 2-6, 2.5 baths, fireplace, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – - (251)948-2918, email PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house for rent $75.00 a night – Call Bonnie at (256)338-1957 GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – pet friendly, nonsmoking – $675/wk, (256)418-2131 SMITH LAKE VACATION HOME – 3BR / 2BA, 2 satellite TV’s, deep water - $75 night / $500 week – (256)352-5721, www.vacationsmithlake. com APPALACHIAN TRAIL – Cabins by the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE LUXURY CABIN – 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, hot tub, gameroom –,, (256)363-8576 PRIVATE COTTAGE ON CEDAR LAKE – Russellville, AL. - Waterfront, Furnished. (256)436-0341 GATLINBURG and PIGEON FORGE CABINS – 3BR, hot tub, gameroom,WiFi ($149 - $295 / night) –, (205)6633697 WEEKS BAY – Waterfront, 3/3, boat dock - $100 / night – (251)2690634 MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps fourteen –, (850)766-5042, (850)661-0678.   SMOKES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, secluded log home, fully furnished. Toll Free (866)448-6203, (228)832-0713 GULF SHORES RENTAL BY OWNER – Great Rates! (256)490-4025 or FORT MORGAN BEACH HOUSE – 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, HDTV, WiFi –,, (251)363-8576 GATLINBURG $185 TOTAL PRICE for 3 days and 2 nights – Condos and cabins available in a beautiful mountain resort – Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at (800)314-9777, DISNEY – FLORIDA: 6BR / 4.5BA, private pool – VRBO#234821 $1,500 / week - – (423)802-9176 GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool, beach access – (334)790-9545

ADVERTISING DEADLINES: March Issue – Jan. 25 April Issue – Feb. 25 $1.65 per word May Issue – March 25

For Advertising, contact Heather: 1-800-410-2737 or - Subject Line: Classifieds

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GULF SHORES BEACH COTTAGE – affordable, waterfront, pet friendly –, (251)223-6114 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 – Call today toll free (866)316-3255, ALABAMA RIVER LOTS / MONROE COUNTY, AL – Lease / Rent – (334)469-5604

Real Estate WE PAY CASH for SELLER FINANCED NOTES, Trust Deeds and Commercial / Business Notes, Nationwide! Free Quote / Fast Closing. Call (256)638-1930 or

Education BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7549 West Cactus #104-207 Peoria, Arizona 85381. WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – Year round enrollment. Everybody homeschools. It is just a matter of what degree. Contact Dr. Cerny (256)705-3560 or website. 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, 7549 West Cactus #104-207 Peoria, Arizona 85381.

REAL ESTATE INVESTOR looking for buyers (334)875-9591 or (877)288-9824, AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY AVAILABLE – High resolution aerial photography available from 1956 to present day. Photos cover the entire USA. Photography is perfect for viewing hunting land, developments, farms, cities, lakes, golf courses. Delivered on disc or printed. Sizes available up to 30”x40”. Call Will @ (205)242-2932 or email

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Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |




| JANUARY 2011 |

Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


electricity theft: not worth the risk Unauthorized meter use means breaking the law and risking lives


very year, electric cooperatives across the country cope with thieves— folks who deliberately misuse their electric meter to obtain power. Not only is this practice extremely dangerous, it’s a serious crime that results in hefty fines and jail time. Baldwin EMC has unfortunately had to deal with several cases of unauthorized meter use in its service area. These involved cases in which consumers interfered with the operation of a meter or jumped power to elsewhere to lower or avoid paying electric bills. Any methods that people use to get around paying for the power they use are dangerous and all illegal. Not only are these individuals hurting their fellow co-op members they’re also risking their lives and those of Baldwin EMC workers. According to the Cooperative Research Network, a division of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, power surging through a compromised meter can cause an electrical catastrophe. A short circuit could produce an arc flash bright enough to cause blindness

and powerful enough to launch fragments of shrapnel-like, redhot debris. Serious injury or death from electrocution, explosion, or fire often results from unauthorized meter use. Only trained Baldwin EMC personnel wearing the appropriate safety attire should work on meters. “Anytime an individual lacking proper training attempts to get into a meter base, there is a serious risk involved,” comments Shane Ellison, Baldwin EMC’s loss control coordinator. “With an arc flash, somebody could get killed or seriously injured.” Electricity theft is not a victimless crime. Your not-for-profit cooperative loses revenue and expends resources to investigate tampering. These costs are then passed on to the entire membership. National estimates vary, but The Washington Post cited revenue protection officials who claim between $1 billion and $10 billion worth of electricity is stolen annually from utilities across the country. Since everyone pays for lost power, let us know if you suspect meter tampering. Call Baldwin EMC at (800) 837-3374 or (251) 9896247 to report possible theft of service. All information can be given anonymously. 



| JANUARY 2011 | Alabama Living

It’s OK not to like the look of your electric meter. We know they aren’t the most decorative-looking devices, but please don’t try to hide them. It’s important that your meter is free and clear of landscaping such as trees or bushes, or structures like fences or dog houses. Our meter readers arrive at your home once a month to record your electricity use and it’s vital that they have a clear line of sight to get an accurate reading. If your meter box has been damaged in any way, please contact Baldwin EMC at (800) 837-3374 or (251) 989-6247.

I DON’T LEAVE THE TV ON FOR THE COFFEE TABLE. WHY HEAT AN EMPTY HOUSE? It only makes sense. My house shouldn’t have to work so hard when I’m taking it easy on vacation. So now I adjust my thermostat, turn off my water heater and unplug as much as I can before I pull away, and those simple acts save me some serious money. Money I can spend on things like vacations. What can you do? Find out how the little changes add up at


Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Our Sources Say

WHAT IS IMPORTANT? The funeral of a young child has a way of putting problems in perspective I attended a funeral last week. It was a funeral for a 9-month-old young girl – a beautiful baby girl – that I never met during her tooshort life. I was not at all prepared for the experience. If you have lost a loved one, you may have noticed the rest of the people in the world seem to give little thought to your loss. They go about their lives and take care of their business without an acknowledgement of your pain. I attended the funeral last week in that way, with thoughts of my own issues. And there are plenty of issues to occupy my thoughts: employee problems, fuel prices, new environmental regulations and all the other things that consume the life of someone like me in the electric utility industry. However, those thoughts disappeared with the pictures of a beautiful baby girl with absolutely crystal clear liquid blue eyes, the playing of “Jesus Loves Me,” and a video made shortly before her death telling her Mother “bye bye.” I, like everyone else in the service, was totally consumed by the emotion of the family’s loss and grief. The experience led me to think

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

The late Olivia Charles Prickett, great granddaughter of Covington EC General Manager Ed Short and his wife, Gloria. about life and death, losing a child or a parent. Most of us don’t think about losing someone close to us very often. They are not good thoughts, and we avoid them when possible. We certainly don’t think of losing a child as young as 9 months, not a beautiful, healthy, vibrant child with her whole life in front of her. We also don’t think about the impact on the ones that suffer such a loss. When experienced, the pain is real – maybe the most real emotion ever experienced – but we don’t think about it until we experience it. A few months ago, I wrote about my daughter’s birth, my father’s death, and the circle of life. We are young and grow older. We all pass on at some point and leave the future to our children and grandchildren. We are in the circle of life, but we spend the majority of our time concerned about business issues, material comforts, our next acquisition or vacation. It is easy for me to get caught up in business issues about electricity costs, generation

outages, insurance costs and the other issues that consume my time. How about you? Do you spend enough time with your family and friends? After all, when life is over – and it will end for all of us at 80 years or at 9 months – relationships are all that really matter. I regret it took the funeral of a baby girl to remind me of what should be important. Olivia Charles Prickett is the great-granddaughter of Ed and Gloria Short. She is the namesake of her great-grandfather. She was born Jan. 21, 2010, and passed away as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome on Nov. 6, 2010. It was obvious that she was loved by all that knew her. Her family provided the following poem at the service. As her great-grandfather said, “Olivia continues to spread her smile in many unusual ways.” I did not die young. I lived my span of life, within your body, and within your love. There are many who have lived long lives, and who have not loved as me. If you would honor me, then speak my name, and number me among your family. If you would honor me, then strive to live in love, for in that love I live. Never, ever doubt that we will meet again. Until that happy day, I will grow with God and wait for you.d

| JANUARY 2011 |


Alabama Living | JANUARY 2011 |


Winter in Dixie

r, submitted by p Lane, 5, & Yelle an Beth Daniel, Cullm

March Theme:


p Dallas County, su bm by William & Vicki Di itted xon, Mobile

Send color photos with a large SASE to: 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.

We cannot be responsible for lost or damaged photos.

Deadline for submission:

e & Richard p Col. Robert Le Sand Mountain of ey “Frog” Nunl EC, Rainsville


| JANUARY 2011 |

Morgan Grimes, submitte d by Sammy & Suzanne Alverson, Tal ladega

Chris Hanna, lineman for Central Alabama EC, submitted by Darlene Hanna, Kellyton

January 31


Melanie Adam Submitted by Clio

Alabama Living January 2011 Baldwin EMC  
Alabama Living January 2011 Baldwin EMC  

Alabama Living January 2011 Baldwin EMC