2â€ƒ FEBRUARY 2012
Researching the past
A panel of experts will present proven methods for researching geneaology from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in Monroeville at the Old Courthouse Museum and Claiborne Masonic Lodge. Registration is recommended. Cost is $30 and includes lunch. Call 251-575-7433 for more information. Feb. 1-29
Black Heritage Tours
Heritage tours will be given from 9 a.m. until noon Feb. 1-29 in Old Alabama Town in Montgomery to honor the sacrifices endured by Alabama’s early African-Americans. The structures on site include an 1850s slave quarters, 1880s shotgun-style house, and an 1885 church which housed the First Presbyterian Colored Church of Montgomery. Self-guided and guided tours available. Admission is free. Call 888-240-1850 for more information. Feb. 23-25
The Andalusia Civitan Rodeo will be Feb. 23-25 at the Covington Center Arena in Andalusia. For more information call Bert Champion at 334-818-1263. March 9-11
Weekend of learning for outdoor enthusiasts
The Alabama Hiking Trail Society (AHTS) will be hosting their annual statewide conference March 9-11 at the Alabama 4H Center in Columbiana. The three-day event will include several notable speakers who will focus on hiking and backpacking in Alabama, the state’s beautiful outdoor landscapes and wildlife, and history. “While the weekend will focus on hiking and backpacking, there will be something for all outdoor enthusiasts,” said Joe Cuhaj, President of AHTS. The weekend also features entertainment, prizes, and a storytelling contest. A complete list of speakers, events, and registration information is available online at http://con2012.hikealabama. org or by calling the AHTS office at 251-279-0801.
For more Alabama Events, visit page 29.
Alabama Tourism Launches “The Year of Alabama Food” Website
The Alabama Bureau of Tourism has launched a new website to celebrate this year’s theme, “The Year of Alabama Food.” Dishes including “Baked Grits” at Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” at Lulu’s in Gulf Shores, “Chicken with White Sauce” at Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur, “Fried Chicken” at Martin’s in Montgomery, and “ribs and white bread” at Dreamland in Tuscaloosa are just a few of those listed in the updated version of the “100 Dishes to Eat Before You Die” brochure which will be available for download via the website. “The new website is top-notch and we are sure it will be a great experience for those seeking the great culinary dishes our state has to offer,” said Lee Sentell, tourism director. “We think it offers something for every taste whether it’s fine dining, a meat and three buffet, or BBQ. It’s also a great way for folks to search the 300 plus food events happening in 2012.” Alabama’s top restaurants can be explored from its small towns to its biggest cities. Another feature on the site allows visitors to search for Famers Markets across the state. A click on the map will help locate more than 130 markets across 67 counties. The website also offers five culinary trails from each region of the state. The Coastal Cuisine trail offers fresh Gulf Coast seafood while the Heartland Trails takes travelers from historic restaurants to college towns with down home cooking and BBQ. The Lower Alabama trail offers a variety of eats in the Mobile area, the Magic City Trail offers everything from meat and threes to fine dining in Birmingham, and the North Alabama trail takes diners through Huntsville and the Shoals with offerings from a Harvey Milkshake to BBQ and steak. For more information about the Year of Alabama Food visit www.yearofalabamafood.com.
Support Our Troops Taxpayers can demonstrate support through the Alabama Military Support Foundation 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.
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Manufactured Savings How to boost efficiency of mobile homes By Brian Sloboda
Manufactured homes, sometimes dubbed mobile homes, often log disproportionately higher energy bills than traditional wood-frame or modular homes. But you can take steps to help manage energy costs and increase comfort. Manufactured homes come in several configurations: singlewide, doublewide, and triplewide. Doublewides and triplewides require a crossover duct to provide air flow between the sections—a major culprit in air leaks that contribute significantly to wasted energy. Manufactured units must also be transported to a site, and movement can disrupt the integrity of the original construction. Also, homes that sit on jack stands or blocks allow air to flow underneath. There isn’t a magic bullet to lower the energy consumption of a manufactured home. It takes time and hard work to troubleshoot all of the possible causes of energy loss. The most common culprits are: Belly board problems—In most manufactured homes, the belly board holds the insulation in place under the floor and serves as a vapor barrier. Plumbing that runs under the floor is on the warm side of the insulation to keep it from freezing in winter. However, the belly board can be damaged by animals, deteriorate over time, or become torn, allowing the floor insulation to become moisture laden or to simply fall out, exposing ductwork and dramatically increasing energy losses. Air leakage/infiltration—Infiltration of excessive outside air can be a major problem. Specific problems include deteriorated weather stripping; gaps in the “marriage wall” that joins multiple units making up the home; holes in the ends of ducts; gaps around wall registers and 10 FEBRUARY 2012
behind washers and dryers; and unsealed backing to the electrical panel. Crossover ducts—Sealing the ducts that run under the sections making up your mobile home will result in tremendous energy savings and increased comfort. Crossover ducts are often made of flexible tubing and are therefore prone to collapse and are easy for animals to chew or claw into. Crossover ducts made of thin sheet metal can leak heated or cooled air to the great outdoors, which is what happens when ductwork connections are made with duct tape. Lack of insulation—Insulation levels and associated R-values in walls, floors and ceilings in manufactured homes can be woefully inadequate. Uninsulated ductwork—Ductwork itself may not be wrapped with insulation, allowing heating and cooling losses. Single-glazed windows and uninsulated doors—Most manufactured homes come with single-glazed windows and uninsulated doors, which have a low Rvalue. That means the rate of heat transfer between finished interior spaces and the outdoors is higher than what’s ideal. Savings of up to 50 percent have been reported in manufactured homes that have been properly sealed and had old electric furnaces replaced with new electric heat pumps. The key is to start hunting for the savings lurking under and inside your manufactured home. Brian Sloboda is a program manager specializing in energy efficiency for the Cooperative Research Network, a service of the Arlington, Va.-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Sealing your manufactured home, or mobile home, may take a few weekends and a few hundred dollars, but what you’ll save on energy costs will be worth it. Source: Touchstone Energy
Radon test kits Radon is a naturally occurring gas that you can’t see, taste or smell but is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. The gas can be found throughout the United States and can get into any type of building. Radon test kits are available through the mail and at hardware stores. There are also professionals qualified to test the air in your home. For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at http://www.epa.gov/radon/ pubs/citguide.html.
Avoiding Air Invasions Properly sealed, insulated homes lead to comfort, lower energy bills By Magen Howard
We all know the symptoms of a house that’s leaking air. Drafty halls in the winter lead to rooms that suffocate in summer. Then there’s the most uncomfortable pain of all–high electric bills. Talk to an energy efficiency expert from your local electric cooperative, and one of the first things he or she will do is ask about insulation in your house. What type do you have? Is it in the attic, walls, and floors? How about the basement or crawl space? Chances are leaky homes aren’t properly insulated. But it takes more than a roll of the familiar pink fiberglass to stop air invasions. Sealing the Envelope=Zipping Your Coat
“The biggest culprit to high energy bills remains an uninsulated, unsealed building envelope,” remarks Michael Kelley, manager of safety and loss control with the Alabama Rural Electric Association. “You can lower home energy bills—you just have to identify and stop air infiltration.” A “thermal building envelope” separates you from outside elements. It’s like wearing a coat when it’s cold: If you zip up your coat, it’s nice and warm, but if it hangs open, you’re left freezing. By properly sealing the building envelope and creating air barriers, and then installing insulation, you keep hot air out in summer and cold air out in winter. Sealing your home’s thermal envelope involves applying caulk and foam to cracks and gaps and correctly install-
ing insulation. If the insulation isn’t put in well, it’s not doing its job. Typically, incorrectly placed insulation leaves gaps between walls and doors or windows, or where the ceiling meets the walls. If there’s a gap in insulation, heat gets through. “It comes down to finding quality installers,” Kelley stresses. It’s All About Air Infiltration
Understanding air infiltration is only half the battle. You have to find and stop the invaders. If your local electric cooperative offers home energy audits, take advantage of them. Your co-op’s energy advisor will determine if your home needs a blowerdoor test, one of the best ways of finding out how much air goes in and out of your residence every hour. If a thermal imaging camera is available, the auditor can pinpoint exactly where your home loses air. Typical culprits include the roof, around doors and windows, recessed can lights, attic hatches and pulldown stairs, and unfinished basements or crawl spaces. Don’t overlook the obvious—check where ceilings and floors meet the walls, too. Do you routinely have to clean a cobwebby corner? That’s a good indication of air infiltration because insects like fresh air. “What you don’t see could be costing you a lot,” Kelley warns. Caulk, weather stripping, and expanding spray foam should take care of those problem areas listed above. You can also make a box of rigid foam board for the attic pull-down stairs.
Magen Howard writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the service organization for the nation’s 900-plus consumerowned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.
Choosing the Right Insulation for Your Home Your home, depending on its age, generally has one of three types of insulation: material fibers such as fiberglass or rock wool, cellulose, or foam. Each has a different R-value—the rating system for insulation’s effectiveness. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation will prevent heat transfer between indoors and out. Foam has the highest R-value and creates an air barrier, but it’s also the most expensive. Cellulose is behind foam in R-value, followed by fiberglass and rock wool. But if you create an air barrier with fiberglass or cellulose, that increases the R-value. However, how much insulation and what kind you choose largely depends on where you live and whether you have a newly built home or an existing home you’re looking to retrofit. The right insulation also depends on your payback period. Here’s a general primer on insulation: Batts or rolls: These are the fiberglass or rock wool types. They are generally made to fit between wall studs. Loose fill: Fiberglass, rock wool, or cellulose can be blown in, which makes it ideal for attics and other cavities, like walls. Fiberglass and rock wool require an air barrier before insulation installation, which means the cavity needs to be filled with caulk and foam. Cellulose does a better job of blocking air flow by itself. Rigid foam board: This works for placement against exterior walls and shared walls with attics and must be sealed into place with caulk or foam. It’s typically more expensive, but good for colder climates. Foam in place: This foam insulation is sprayed in and is ideal for cracks and gaps, such as spaces around windows and doors. Use low-expansion foam in these narrow spaces. See the insulation Zip code calculator on EnergySavers.gov to find out how much insulation is right for your area.
Source: EnergySavers.gov FEBRUARY 2012 11
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative’s Charles R. Lowman Power Plant, Leroy
Electricity’s Fuel Alabama has lower electricity costs than the rest of the country. Coal and natural gas are the reasons. By Scott Gates
Y Alabama’s electric cooperatives relied on coal for roughly 53 percent of all generated power in 2009.
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ou can’t go far down an Alabama road without crossing a bridge. More than 77,000 miles of rivers and streams flow through the state, enough to circle the earth three times over. As a result, Alabama is one of the top producers of hydroelectric power east of the Rockies (second only to New York), with more than two dozen dams churning out electricity – largely on the Alabama and Coosa Rivers. And yet, all of that power amounts to only a fraction of what Alabama residents use every year: Hydropower accounts for roughly 5 percent of the state’s electricity generation and 9 percent for members of electric cooperatives, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a part of the U.S. Department of Energy that tracks national energy use. www.alabamaliving.coop
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Diversity Key to Fuel Mix Southern Company subsidiaries Alabama Power and Southern Power provide wholesale power to electric municipalities and cooperatives in Alabama. Almost 60 percent of Southern Company’s electricity comes from coal-fired power plants. Nuclear power, oil- and gas-fired power plants, and hydropower round out the mix. “The impact of rising energy prices on our economy underscores the importance of fuel diversity in ensuring a low-cost, reliable supply of electricity to our customers,” says Ted McCullough, Alabama Power senior vice president and senior production officer.
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So what keeps the lights on if not hydropower? The majority of electricity used in the state – more than 60 percent – is generated by burning natural gas and coal. Coal is the dominant fuel source, making up 40 percent of the mix, according to EIA data. Alabama’s electric cooperatives use a higher percentage of coal, relying on the fuel for roughly 53 percent of all generated power in 2009. But regulatory pressure on coal plant emissions may change that in coming decades. “Coal is an affordable and abundant fuel source, which helps keep Alabama’s electric rates below the national average,” says Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA) CEO Fred Braswell. Electricity cost Alabama residential ratepayers about 7 percent less than the national average, according to EIA. “But as a result, we’re concerned about what seems to be an all-out effort to do away with coal-fired generation in this country.” State lawmakers support coal as an energy source, Braswell says, although
a recent string of federal regulations are targeting emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is behind the regulations, and many states and power providers are concerned that some coal-fired plants would not be able to meet new standards under tight deadlines. Resulting plant closings – enough capacity to power more than 22 million homes, according to an Associated Press survey – could make electricity more costly and less reliable for consumers. “We need to learn to burn coal more cleanly, but it has to be done using technology that makes economic sense,” Braswell says. “This shouldn’t be an all-or-nothing type of project. We have to make improvements incrementally, in a reasonable way.” For power providers in the state, this means making plans for new generation resources years in advance. “A long-term, well-designed power supply plan is the foundation upon which we provide a reliable, affordable
wholesale power supply for our members,” says Damon Morgan, vice president of Power Supply at PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, the Andalusiabased generation and transmission cooperative. “The power supply plan accommodates uncertainties about fuel price volatility, environmental policy, and global competition for fuel, commodities and construction materials.” PowerSouth supplies power to 16 electric cooperatives and four municipal electric systems in Alabama and northwest Florida using a mix of fuel resources. Currently, more than 95 percent of PowerSouth’s electricity comes from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. The co-op plans to trim that to 70 percent by 2030, with 26 percent coming from nuclear reactors in Georgia. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the federally owned corporation that
provides power to electric cooperatives serving northern counties in the state, has an Integrated Resource Plan that lays out generation options over the next two decades. The plan takes into account various possible federal regulations. “Diversity proved to be the most prudent course in meeting future energy needs in all the various future scenarios we studied,” TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said in announcing the plan last April. “A variety of electricity sources, rather than heavy reliance on any single source, reduces long-term risks and helps keep costs steady and predictable.” Following the plan’s release, TVA announced an agreement with EPA to retire, or take offline, older coal-fired generators at three power plants – two in Tennessee and most of the units at Widows Creek Fossil Plant near Ste-
venson, Ala. The shut-downs, which include about 2,700 megawatts of coalfired capacity, mean TVA will have idled or retired nearly 16 percent of its coal-fired capacity by the end of 2017. Such efforts can be costly: TVA has invested more than $5.3 billion to reduce coal-fired power plant emissions since 1977, with an additional $3 billion to $5 billion in plant upgrades expected in the next decade. The capacity will be replaced with renewable energy, natural gas, nuclear power and energy efficiency efforts, according to TVA. “The current economic downturn has lowered electricity demand and provided an opportunity to plan for future generation,” AREA’s Braswell says. “Although diversity is important in ensuring reliability in coming decades, affordable coal power will continue to play a central role in Alabama.” A
“Coal is an affordable and abundant fuel source, which helps keep Alabama’s electric rates below the national average.” – Fred Braswell, CEO Alabama Rural Electric Association
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Pattie Ruffner Jacobs An Alabama woman became a leader in the national suffragist movement By John Brightman Brock
n 1915 Alabama’s suffragists wanted the Alabama Legislature, which was meeting every four years, to pass a referendum to let voters decide if women ought to have the right to vote. And they put on a marvelous campaign, says Dr. Marlene Rikard, a retired history professor at Samford University. “They wrote columns in the newspaper, wrote letters to the Legislature, they got a sponsor to present the resolution in the House and Senate,” she says. “All they were asking was to send it to the voters and let them decide. Then, their sponsors backed out on them.” Alabama suffragists, known for wearing their trademark yellow ribbons - their badge - were devastated. Missing the needed three-fifths vote, the suffragists knew the Legislature wouldn’t meet again until 1919. It’s not going to happen in Alabama, they concluded. “We were not a democracy when we were founded,” says Dr. Rikard. “There were too many people excluded… and with half the population being female… you had a broad group who were excluded from the government and not represented in taxation. They had no voice.” However, she adds, if you focus on the South, the Civil War tended to change things for women. Sometimes they were the sole survivors left to run the plantation. Or, they were already out working in the field as the wives of their husband-farmers. Many times, men came back from the war mentally or physically crippled. Or they didn’t come back at all. “So you are left with a lot of women who were widows or who have husbands who are incapacitated,” Rikard explains. “Plus, there were young women who simply couldn’t find a husband.” 16 FEBRUARY 2012
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Rikard says. “And the Yet, nationally things major push came in were changing. Mis1915.” sionary societies formed Jacobs became an in the late 1880s, and advocate from the women soon began goSouth for a federal ing to college in increasamendment to the U.S. ing numbers, forming Constitution. In doing literary clubs and studyHer conclusion? The only way to so, she broke with other women who ing world and national affairs. change this was if women had the were worried about states losing their Several women began to speak out. right to vote. And to gain this, she and authority and the implications on civil One was Pattie Ruffner Jacobs from others had to come into the suffrage rights for black residents. Birmingham. movement through the back door, Ri“So she bucked the trend,” Rikard Educated in Nashville at Wards kard says. “They came into the movesays. “But she convinced them.” Seminary, Jacobs’ family had little ment in order to get what they needed Jacobs became a leader in the money. Her parents separated, and done. And they needed to vote.” National American Women’s Suffrage as a teen she lived with her mother No national organization was Association. She testified bein Birmingham, accounts of which are detailed in her di“We were not a democracy when we were founded. There were fore Congress, and pushed for too many people excluded… and with half the population being that federal amendment to go ary found years later. female… you had a broad group who were excluded from the through. It passed Congress “She had this idea that marriage was not going to be government and not represented in taxation. They had no voice.” in 1918 – the 19th Amend– Dr. Marlene Rikard, retired history professor, Samford University ment – and it was sent to the the salvation of women, and states for ratification. Thirtyshe was hampered by the fact six states were needed for ratification, that she could not get an education,” dedicated to women’s rights until and Tennessee was the state to tip says Rikard. “She was beautiful, and the late 1860s, a movement stronger it over. Alabama didn’t immediately ended up marrying Solon Jacobs, who in the North where the abolitionist ratify it, but it didn’t matter. was older than Pattie and a businessmovement had been prevalent. When Women actually gained the right to man who was well-established.” national organizations began to form, vote in the 1920 presidential election, With newfound financial security, it was primarily by suffragists who Rikard says. The Alabama Equal SufJacobs began to involve herself in civic wanted to amend the Constitution. discussions. She worked against child And that presented a problem in the frage Association transformed into the League of Women Voters. And Jacobs labor and tuberculosis, and promoted South, due to concerns for preserving became its first national secretary. She art in Birmingham schools. However, states’ rights. also became Alabama’s first national she often came up against politics “But of all the women getting inDemocratic committee woman. A that were aligned against her. volved, Jacobs is the most prominent,”
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Worth the Drive
Giovanni’s Italian food that the regulars rave about
To help celebrate Alabama’s 2012 “Year of Food,” each month freelance writer Jennifer Kornegay will take you to an out-of-the-way restaurant worth the drive.
Jennifer Kornegay 20 FEBRUARY 2012
he average American eats about 50 slices of pizza each year, or approximately 23 pounds. And while pizza is obviously not a Bamabred specialty, judging by the number of local pizza parlors and national chain locations across the state (you can even get it at your local gas station), pizza is pretty popular in the heart of Dixie. But, since we’ve established that you can get pizza almost anywhere, why should you venture very far to get a slice? The simple answer can be found in just one big bite from a slice of a Giovanni’s Special pizza, a taste explosion created by every topping imaginable piled on a not-too-thick, not-toothin, slightly chewy crust with just the right amount of savory sauce (never too much), smothered in several layers of gooey, melted cheese. Where can you find such a delight? Well, as suggested, Giovanni’s Special awaits you at a restaurant named (you guessed it) Giovanni’s, located in the little town of Oneonta (population 5,576) in northeast Alabama. Driving on Interstate 59 between Birmingham and Gadsden, you’ll pass the exit for Oneonta, and it’s highly likely that unless you live or work there, that’s exactly what you’ve done: gone right past Oneonta. But Giovanni’s is well worth an excursion off the interstate. Opened in 2001 by Gus and Linda Gondevas, Giovanni’s in Oneonta is actually the second location of the eatery. The first was opened in Albertville in the late ’90s by Gus’ brother Michael Gondevas and his wife, Anthula. Gus and Linda owned and ran a restaurant in New Jersey for 26 years before the building above their ground-floor space collapsed, destroying their livelihood in mere moments. The couple had visited Michael and Anthula in Albertville and really liked Alabama, so they picked up and headed south, settling in Oneonta and opening their Giovanni’s. In 2008, Gus and Linda retired, sell-
ing their spot to Michael and Anthula and another partner. The other partner was running the Oneonta location, but just a year later, he up and left, leaving loyal customers (who had come to regard the four Gondevases as family) begging to have Gus and Linda back in charge. In response, the couple came out of retirement and are now working to ensure the business they built stays successful. As with any good restaurant, the food is the star at Giovanni’s, and not just the afore-mentioned pizza. Other delicious Italian dishes including thick, hearty lasagna, calzones filled to the bursting with fresh ingredients, stuffed shells, fettuccine alfredo and Linda’s personal favorite, baked ziti, are featured on the large menu. As Linda says, “Everyone raves about our food. I could eat our baked ziti every day, and our pizza is a huge hit.” The cozy, homey place is always packed with locals, many of whom come time and time again. But plenty of others drive from Trussville, Birmingham, Gadsden and even farther for the Giovanni’s experience. The food is great, but so is the service, consistently friendly and attentive and very family friendly. There’s nothing noteworthy about the basic décor, but the atmosphere is warm and inviting, thanks to the regulars who often have conversations across tables, and Gus, who comes out from the kitchen to shake hands and check on his patrons. The Gondevases love their new hometown and its citizens and get real joy out of seeing the satisfied smiles and hearing the happy, full sighs of their customers. And Oneonta has returned the love. “The people in Oneonta really accepted us right away,” Linda says. “That makes me feel so good. It’s a small town, and coming from the North, we were outsiders. It could have been different, but everyone was and is so friendly.” And there’s more. In addition to www.alabamaliving.coop
scrumptious food and stellar service, Giovanni’s prices are quite reasonable. In fact, with the restaurant’s perpetual “buy one, get one free” pizza deal, you’d be hard-pressed, if not completely stymied, to find pizza as good for any less. So next time you’re craving pizza and have a little extra time, try traveling out of your way and stop in Giovanni’s for a slice (or two, or four). You and your taste buds will be glad that you did. A
Oneonta Giovanni’s 912 2nd Avenue East Oneonta, AL 205-274-0777
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Another Option Beets come in all colors and are full of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants By Katie Jackson
Garden Tips: February • Order seed for spring and summer crops. • Prune summer flowering shrubs, though wait to prune spring bloomers until after they flower. • Divide and move perennials. • Plant roses. • Replant hardy perennials. • Transplant deciduous shrubs and trees this month unless the buds have begun to swell. • Start warm-season vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers and summer bedding plants, in cold frames or indoor settings now. • Clean bird feeders and keep them full. • Plant dormant fruit and landscape trees and shrubs this month, and start new strawberry plants. • Clean up fallen limbs and other winter yard debris.A
Katie Jackson is associate editor for the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Contact her at email@example.com
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As Valentine’s Day approaches, red roses will likely be the most popular botanical gift of love. If my husband could choose his own gift, though, he’d forgo the flowers and ask for another red option – beets. Okay, they aren’t exactly a box of chocolates, but for those who love the taste of beets, they can be muchadored treats that are chock-full of healthy substances (vitamins, fiber and antioxidants, to name a few), low in calories and can help lower cholesterol and fight heart and other diseases. What better way to say “I love you,” right? Beets, by the way, come in colors other than the iconic beet red/deep purple. White, yellow and orange varieties are available and the combination of these on a plate can be stunning. Every inch of a beet is edible, from its leafy top to its earthy roots, and can be enjoyed raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted, grilled, pickled and, of course, as the famous Eastern European soup, borscht. A surprising array of beet recipes can be found in cookbooks and online. While beets are available at most grocery stores and other retail produce outlets this time of year, the best beets are the ones right from the garden and it just so happens that February is a great month for planting beets. Granted, they won’t be
ready to harvest by Valentine’s Day, but a nice crop of tender little beets should be ready to dig within seven to eight weeks after planting, and the leafy tops can be harvested even sooner. If beets are not exactly what you have in mind for a Valentine’s Day gift, there are lots of other garden- and plant-related gifts to give, from cut flowers to potted plants, from gardening tools and books, to seeds. In fact, this is a great time to give and plant other winter/ early spring crops (in addition to beets), such as garden peas (snow, sugar snap and sweet peas), all sorts of lettuces, mustard, spinach, turnips, Swiss chard, radishes, cauliflower, cabbage, bulb onions and Irish potatoes, all of which can be seeded in February. With most of these crops, it is best to wait until mid-February or a little later in the month to plant. Don’t plant them in frozen ground, and be sure to locate them in a sunny area on well-drained soil. If a hard and prolonged late winter freeze occurs after seedlings have emerged they may need to be protected with a plastic or cloth cover or straw mulch. For those gardeners who are truly serious about growing winter crops, investing in a cold frame or hoop house may be just the thing (or those may be great gifts for the gardener you love). A www.alabamaliving.coop
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Gary Finch Outdoors
Game Tables Are fish and game activity tables accurate? By Steve Layton and Gary Finch
ne of the questions I often get is whether or not Solunar or Vektor tables are really valuable at predicting game movement? My answer has always been, and continues to be, a resounding “yes” and here’s why. Unlike other animals, we humans have tried to manipulate our waking hours to be constantly productive, rather than following the natural rhythms of the day. Solunar and Vektor tables accurately predict peaks of animal activity as well as those slumps of the day. In contrast, humans have built a multi-billion dollar business sector of trying to combat these natural patterns in our own lives. We have coffee and energy drinks to wake us up during the sagging hours of the day, and products that help us sleep during those restless hours of the night. Watch the daily activities of small game like squirrels, birds, your pets, or livestock in the fields. What you will see is that their rhythms of activity and rest are more evenly spaced throughout the day. Now, match those observations to what you see on a chart, almanac, or your latest phone application. Wow! What you get is an entirely new appreciation of nature that becomes apparent, yet has always been right there in plain view. This isn’t something new. It dates back
to the very beginning of time. Native Americans followed these patterns much more closely to determine hunting, planting, fishing and harvesting times. They were much more “naturally” in-tune with sun and lunar phases than we are with all our charts and electronics. Another item that has recently reinforced my thoughts regarding game tables is the invention of the “game camera.” Now, with the widespread use of these cameras, hunters are not only seeing game, they are getting a time and date stamp to correspond with the activity. On my own lease we have recorded peak periods of deer activity that amazingly matches our charts. It’s hard to make yourself go out and hunt in the middle of the day when the tradition has always been a routine that is restricted to morning and afternoon hunting. Seeing game camera photo proof of a racked buck feeding in the noon-day sun offers some incentive break with tradition. I really became a believer in following the charts after taking an eight-point that was aggressively working a scrape during a crisp clear Saturday at 11:45 a.m. I had researched the “peak period” of activity for the day, and decided to continue my stalk hunting to correspond with it. For many groups this is lunchtime, not hunting time.
Gary Finch is host of television show ‘Gary Finch Outdoors.’ Visit www. garyfinchoutdoors.com
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The Solunar or Vektor table is not an absolute; nothing in hunting or fishing is. There are also the factors of weather. Barometric pressure movements, radical changes in temperature, wind direction, and storm fronts also have to be entered into any hunting equation. That’s why many hunters have taken to keeping a hunting journal that records all the factors and results of each outing. These journals aren’t limited to deer hunting. Many small game hunters record their outings as well. When everything comes into proper alignment for a successful hunt, it’s certainly something any hunter would want to duplicate. I know of one hunter who has kept his journal for well over 20 years. He guards it more closely than any 16-year-old girl would guard her diary! Over the years, his success in the field is a testimony to the time he has spent and the information gained. Smart hunters want as much information as possible before planning an outing. The idea that history can repeat itself on an annual, seasonal, monthly, daily, or even an hourly basis, is powerful information. Sometimes tapping into that information is as simple as opening our eyes and becoming aware of the world around us. A
Correction The photograph of a bird that accompanied January’s Outdoor Spirit article on snipe hunting was incorrect. An accurate photo of a snipe accompanies this correction. We appreciate the readers who called to point out our error, and regret any confusion this may have caused.
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
FEB. 16 8:46 4:31 1:01 9:16 17 9:46 5:01 2:31 10:01 18 10:31 5:16 3:31 10:46 19 11:01 5:46 4:31 11:16 20 11:31 6:01 5:01 11:46 21 - - 6:31 12:01 5:46 22 6:46 12:16 12:46 6:31 23 7:01 12:46 7:01 1:16 24 7:16 1:16 7:46 1:46 25 1:31 7:46 8:31 2:16 26 1:46 8:01 9:16 2:46 27 2:01 8:16 10:31 3:46 28 2:16 8:31 - - 4:46 29 - - 9:01 - - 6:16 MAR. 1 - - 09:46 - - 07:46 2 9:01 4:31 12:31 8:46 3 9:46 4:31 2:16 9:31 4 10:16 4:46 3:16 10:16 5 10:46 5:01 4:16 10:46 6 11:16 5:31 5:01 11:31 7 11:46 5:46 - - 5:46 8 6:16 12:01 6:31 12:16 9 12:31 6:31 7:31 1:01 10 1:16 7:01 8:16 1:46 11 1:46 7:31 9:31 2:31 12 2:31 8:01 11:01 3:31 13 3:01 8:31 - - 4:31 14 1:16 9:16 - - 6:01 15 10:46 3:01 - - 7:46 16 9:01 3:46 1:01 8:46 17 9:46 4:16 2:46 9:46 18 10:16 4:31 3:46 10:16 19 10:46 5:01 4:31 11:01 20 11:16 5:16 5:16 11:31 21 5:31 11:46 5:46 11:46 22 - - 5:46 6:31 12:16 23 12:16 6:16 7:01 12:31 24 12:46 6:31 7:46 1:01 25 1:01 6:46 8:16 1:31 26 1:31 7:01 9:16 2:16 27 1:46 7:16 10:16 3:01 28 2:01 7:46 - - 3:46 29 12:16 8:01 - - 5:01 30 8:31 2:46 - - 6:31 31 8:46 3:01 12:01 7:46
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Cook of the Month
Mediterranean Coffee Becky Terry, Joe Wheeler EMC
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest 8-10 tablespoons ground coffee
2 tablespoons grated semisweet chocolate 1 tablespoon sugar Whipped cream (optional)
Allow orange zest to dry for 1 hour before using. Measure ground coffee into medium bowl. Add the chocolate, orange zest and sugar. Mix well. Using a tablespoon, measure coffee into drip basket with paper filter and brew. Serve coffee with milk and additional sugar if desired. Top with dollop of whipped cream. Serves 8-10.
4 family style tea bags, steeped in 4 cups of boiling water for 15 minutes 2 cups water 2 cups sugar
2 cups orange juice ½ cup lemon juice 2 cups cold water Fresh orange slices for garnish and added flavor* Bring two cups water to boil, add 2 cups sugar and stir to dissolve thoroughly. Combine tea, sugar water, orange juice, lemon juice and cold water. Keep warm in crock pot until ready to serve. Can be stored in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes approximately 3 quarts. *Add orange slice to individual serving. Brenda Rabren, Baldwin EMC
26 FEBRUARY 2012
Spring is just around the corner, but if you are like me then you are still enjoying the brisk, frosty Dixie weather. I love to start each morning with my favorite cup-a-joe and my little girl “helps” make my coffee. Granted I have a single brewer coffee machine so changing the little cartridge cups are not difficult at all. But at 2 years old, she believes she is creating a masterpiece in a mug. She pushes in one of our breakfast room chairs and directly positions it right in front of the counter where the coffee maker lives. Then she climbs up, grabs a mug out of the cabinet, carefully pours in two sweetener packets, places the mug under the drip, then watches as her masterpiece comes together. Her favorite part is carefully taking the mug off its perch, setting it close to her so she can grab a spoon to stir the mixture and watch the steam come off the top of the coffee mug. One day she persuaded her daddy to get her some mini marshmallows out of the pantry to add to it. How could I not love it? I enjoy my masterpiece in a mug every morning. Because it’s made with love.
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.
4 cups cherry juice cocktail 2 cups apple juice
1 cinnamon stick ½ cup dried cherries
In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a low simmer. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Serve in mugs. For adults only, 2 cups of red wine may be substituted for the apple juice. Anna Clines, Sand Mountain EC
Chocolatte Brew coffee of your choice. Add cocoa mix* to your mug and pour coffee almost to the top. Stir well. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings. *Easy Coca Mix 1 6-ounce package (4 cups) nonfat dry milk powder
1 8-ounce can (1½ cups) presweetened cocoa powder 1 3-ounce jar (3/4 cup) non-dairy creamer
Mix well and store in a covered container. Makes enough for 19 servings. Amy Smitherman,Tallapoosa River EC
Cranberry Tea 32 ounces cranberry juice cocktail 6 cups water 2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks 4 cups apple juice 1 tablespoon whole cloves ¼ cup lemon juice
Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Take out spice and add 1 cup orange juice. Store in refrigerator. Heat and serve. Janice McCraney, Pioneer EC
Tropical Tea Warmer
6 cups boiling water ⁄3 cup sugar 1½ cups orange juice 1 orange sliced, unpeeled
6 tea bags 2 tablespoons honey 1½ cups pineapple juice
Pour boiling water over tea bags in slow cooker. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Stir in sugar, honey, orange juice, pineapple juice and orange slices. Cover and heat on low for 2 to 3 hours. Remove orange slices. Refrigerate unused portion. Sue Jernigan, Central Alabama EC Alabama Living
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FEBRUARY 2012 27
4 bags of black tea (English Breakfast works nicely) 6 cups boiling hot water
½ cup evaporated (can) milk 1 cup brown sugar
Steep the tea bags in the water for 4-5 minutes (fairly strong). Remove bags and add sugar and milk. Stir and serve in a big mug. Serves 4. Kimby Chapman,Wiregrass EC
Caramel Apple Cider 1 1
⁄3 cup light brown sugar ⁄3 cup heavy whipping cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups apple cider Caramel sauce
Stir together brown sugar and whipping cream in large saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat 2 minutes or until bubbly. Stir in vanilla and apple cider. Cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and cinnamon. Tastes like apple pie.
1 32-ounce cranberry juice cocktail 1 quart apple cider or juice
¼ cup lemon juice 1 ⁄3 cup light brown sugar 2 cinnamon sticks
Bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes. Sip! Kim Lee,Wiregrass EC
Elaine Carr, Joe Wheeler EMC
Wassail 1 gallon apple cider juice 1 orange, thinly sliced 1 lemon, thinly sliced 3-4 cinnamon sticks ½ cup brown sugar 8-10 whole cloves
1 container Aspen hot cider ¼ cup red hots (optional)
Mix all ingredients well together. Simmer in crock pot. Serve piping hot. Refrigerate leftovers and heat in microwave. Also makes your house smell wonderful. Susan Jones, Baldwin EMC
You could win $50! If your recipe is chosen as the cook-of-the-month recipe, we’ll send you a check for $50!
Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: April Apple Dishes February 15 May Strawberries March 15 June Seafood April 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. 28 FEBRUARY 2012
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.
Market Place Miscellaneous WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www. wallbedsofalabama.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 CUSTOM MACHINE QUILTING BY JOYCE – Bring me your quilt top or t-shirts. Various designs available – (256)735-1543 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org, (888)211-1715 CHURCH FURNITURE – Does your church need pews, pulpit set, baptistery, steeple or windows? Big sale on new cushioned pews and upholstery for hard pews – (800)2318360 or www.pews1.com PUT YOUR OLD HOME MOVIES, SLIDES OR PHOTOS on DVD – (888)609-9778 or www.transferguy. com 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, www. sawmillexchange.com NEW AND USED STAIR LIFT ELEVATORS – Car lifts, Scooters, Power Wheelchairs – Covers State of Alabama – 23 years (800)682-0658 FREE CREATION SCIENCE INFO – WWW.CREATIONANDSCIENCE.NET – Adults, teens – Box 508, Fairhope, AL 36533 PEACE IN YOUR HOME: Defeating Addiction and Restoring Sanity in Your Family. 64 page book by Dr. Mary Holley of Mothers Against Methamphetamine. DIVORCE MADE EASY – Uncontested, lost spouse, in prison or aliens. $179.00 our total
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fee. Call 10am to 10pm. 26 years experience – (417)443-6511
Special - Call (866)316-3255, www. hillshideaway.com
COMPUTERIZED LONGARM QUILTING – Numerous patterns available by quilter, many others available online – Hand binding available – email@example.com, (256)747-1469
ALABAMA RIVER LOTS / MONROE COUNTY, AL – Lease / Rent – (334)469-5604
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 - www.naturesbest.scentteam.com EARN $75,000/YR PART-TIME in the livestock or equipment appraisal business. Agricultural background required. Classroom or home study courses available. (800)488-7570, www.amagappraisers.com PIANO TUNING PAYS – Learn with American Tuning School homestudy course – (800)497-9793
Vacation Rentals GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@ centurytel.net, (256)599-5552 www.vacationsmithlake. com – 3BR / 2BA home w/ 2 satelite TV’s, gaslog fireplace, central H&A, covered boat dock $75.00 night – (256)352-5721, email firstname.lastname@example.org PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, pool table, 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, email@example.com GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE LUXURY CABIN – 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, home theatre room, hot tub, gameroom – www.homeaway. com/178002, www. wardvacationproperties.com, (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Day
HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – sleeps 2-6, 2.5 baths, fireplace, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – www. cyberrentals.com/101769 - (251)9482918, email email@example.com GULF SHORES BEACH COTTAGE – Affordable, waterfront, pet friendly – http://www.vrbo. com/152418, (251)223-6114 PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house for rent $75.00 a night – Call Bonnie at (256)338-1957 PENSACOLA BEACH CONDO - Gulf front - 7th floor balcony – 3BR/2BA, sleeps 6, pool – (850)572-6295 or (850)968-2170 GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Pet Friendly, NonSmoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131 ORANGE BEACH / GULF SHORES VACATION HOMES AND CONDO RENTALS – www.3palmsrentals.com for your next beach getaway. Great Rates! (251)980-7256
$9OO.OO A Month, plus half of utilities – Summer rental $850.00 a week, sleeps 6 adults – Call (251)540-7078. GATLINBURG CONDOS: BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN AND SKI SLOPE VIEWS - Book your Smoky Mountain getaway now. Taking reservations now in GULF SHORES and DAYTONA BEACH. Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at 1-800-314-9777. www.funcondos.com. Non smoking. Alabama owned GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool, beach access – (334)790-9545 SMOKIES - TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR/2BA, secluded log home, fully furnished. Toll free (866)4486203, (228)832-0713 GULF SHORES PLANTATION Gulf view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 SMOKIES – PIGEON FORGE, TN CABINS – (251)649-3344, (251)6494049, www.hideawayprop.com GATLINBURG, TN CHALET – 3BR / 3BA Baskins Creek – Pool, 10 minute walk downtown, Aquarium, National Park – (334)289-0304
DISNEY – 15 MIN: 6BR / 3BA, private pool – www. orlandovacationoasis.com – (251)504-5756
ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226
GUNTERSVILLE – SMALL COTTAGE: 2BR, full kitchen, w/in 300 yds of boat ramps - $80/night call (334)361-2459
PET FRIENDLY PIGEON FORGE / GATLINBURG CABIN – Plan your Easter or Spring Break. Great Rates! (865)712-7633
FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com
CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, brow view, hottub – For rent $100/night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177
MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 10 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.
CAMP IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS – Maggie Valley, NC –
FORT MORGAN BEACH HOUSE - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, HDTV, WiFi – www.homeaway.com/178244, www. wardvacationproperties.com, (251)363-8576 GULF SHORES RENTAL BY OWNER – Great Rates! (256)4904025 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE CABIN - Sleeps 8, full game room/ hot tub – (256)630-9122 www. vrbo/281154.com GULF SHORES / FT MORGAN BEACH HOUSE - 3/3 . A short walk to the Gulf of Mexico - WINTER rental
Camping / Hunting / Fishing
Real Estate Sales/Rentals NORTHERN COOSA COUNTY – 6,000sqft home, 55 acres partially fenced, nice lake – 1,600sqft shop / barn. Great potential for horse farm. Many Extras. (256)259-9187 ALL YOUR COMMERICAL AND RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE NEEDS - Timber, Mining and Land Sales Consultant - Rated A-Plus by the BBB - Jim Johnson Broker #46880, Jim Johnson Realty #71809 - www. sesore.com, 256-602-4565
GULF SHORES – WHY RENT? Own a great condo 4.7 miles from Gulf beach – (251)948-8008, www. colonyclubgulfshores.com
Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954
Musical Notes 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 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, PMB 767, 6630 West Cactus B-107,
Glendale, Arizona 85304. http:// www.ordination.org
Critters ADORABLE AKC YORKY PUPPIES – excellent blood lines – (334)3011120, (334)537-4242, bnorman@ mon-cre.net MINITURE CATTLE-ZEBU BULL, 2 Cows & 1yr Heifer. firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-609-6602 CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Tiny, registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893
Fruits / Nuts / Berries OLD TIMEY WHITE AND YELLOW self pollinating SEED corn – (334)886-2925 GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , half dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants . Free color catalog. 1-800-733-0324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934 www.isons.com
How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): April 2012 – deadline February 25 May 2012 – deadline March 25 June 2012 – deadline April 25 -Ads are $1.65 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 email@example.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.
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Our Sources Say
The ‘good ol’ days’ Although they were simpler times, today’s world calls for a new, balanced, technological age that keeps electric bills affordable
Phillip Burgess is communications and government relations director for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Over the holidays, my family reminisced about the “good ol’ days” of previous Christmas celebrations in Boaz, where I grew up. On my way home from the family gathering I passed a vacant lot where Needmore Grocery used to be. And more memories of the “good ol’ days” came flooding back as I remembered selling watermelons from my daddy’s patch under the pecan tree near the store and sitting around a pot-bellied stove eating parched peanuts. I recalled the serious discussions local farmers had when they routinely “held court” there to discuss politics, cotton and corn prices and football. Those were simpler times. Today, our world is much, much different. The country store has been replaced by super centers where you can buy your groceries, get your eyes checked and do your banking business, all at the same place. Few young people have ever sat under a shade tree and sold a watermelon or two for a dollar apiece. And instead of gathering around a pot-bellied stove at the store to discuss the issues of the day many folks now communicate in small bites on Twitter or on Facebook. Electric cooperatives are not immune to our changing world, either. Back in the “good ol’ days” there were less politics, technology and regulations to deal with on a daily basis. Today, your local electric cooperative operates in one of the most complicated, rapidly changing industries in the world. Yes, there are still lines, poles and substations. But there’s much more. How about fuel cost adjustments, smart meters, automated meter reading, outage management, energy efficiency, demand response and time of use rates? For the average consumer this new energy landscape is very confusing. It could even make one long for the “good ol’ days”. I recall seeing a postcard sent to an Alabama cooperative many years ago from an elderly gentleman whose
power had gone off. He politely asked them to please restore his power the next time they were up his way. Today, we can’t afford to be without electricity. Our reliance upon it means that your electric cooperative is working hard to embrace these new emerging technologies in a way that is effective and efficient. At the same time regulations affecting how an electric utility operates are being considered and approved at a rapid pace. For instance, few, if any, new coal-fired generating plants are being constructed because of concerns for the environment. Finding an appropriate balance between protecting the environment, guaranteeing a reliable supply of power and keeping electric bills affordable amid all these changes is critical. No, it’s essential. From time to time we’ll be visiting with you here in Alabama Living. Our intent is to explore many of the issues that could affect your power bill. We hope to help you better understand them. In the meantime please rest assured that your electric cooperative isn’t living in the “good ol’ days.” It may be a good place to visit, but living and working in this new technological age is where the focus is squarely placed.A
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Alabama Snapshots 1 2
Staff favorites Photos from Alabama Living staffers
Submit Your Images! april Theme: “Spring
Send color photos with a large self addressed stamped envelope 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. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. 38 for: FEBRUARY Deadline Feb. 29 2012
1. C r e a t i v e D i r e c t o r M a r k Stephenson’s family with Big Al in front of a C-130 airplane 2. Editor Darryl Gates’ photo of boats docked at Mentone 3. A r t D i r e c t o r M i c h a e l Cornelison’s sons, Wesley and Jackson
4. M a n a g i n g E d it o r Me l i s s a Henninger’s son Winston and his gal-pal Sara Ann Headley 5. Recipe Editor Mary Tyler Spivey’s daughter Campbell and her friend Ruby Anne Sprayberry www.alabamaliving.coop
Two Exclusives from Alabama Living ORDER YOURS FOR THE NEW YEAR!
Southern Occasions 19
Alabama Living’s latest cookbook containing recipes from four years of Alabama Living magazine. COOK BOOKS @ $19.95 each _____ CHURCH BOOKS @ $32.95 each _____ TOTAL: ___________ shipping included
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A beautiful pictorial history of Alabama’s churches ranging from small rural churches to towering urban cathedrals.
Churches Alabama SHIPPED
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