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Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

Singing River Electric Power Association

Nov.-Dec. 2011

I N

M I S S I S S I P P I

s p i t Survival HOLIDAY

Simple, low-cost ways to give, share, enjoy and remember


2 I Today in Mississippi I November/December 2011

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS Quality Tools at Ridiculously Low Prices R ! PE ON SU UP CO

FACTORY DIRECT TO YOU! How does Harbor Freight Tools sell high quality tools at such ridiculously low prices? We buy direct from the factories who also supply the major brands and sell direct to you. It’s just that simple! See for yourself at one of our 370 Stores Nationwide and use this 20% Off Coupon on one of our 7,000 products*, plus pick up a Free 9 LED Aluminum Flashlight, a $6.99 value. We stock Shop Equipment, Hand Tools, Tarps, Compressors, Air & Power Tools, Woodworking Tools, Welders, Tool Boxes, Generators, and much more. • Over 20 Million Satisfied Customers! • 1 Year Competitor's Low Price Guarantee • No Hassle Return Policy! • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! Nobody Beats Our Quality, Service and Price! R ! PE ON SU UP CO

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 1 Free item only available with qualifying minimum purchase (excludes price of free gift item). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if free item not picked up in-store. Coupon cannot be bought, sold or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the offer. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE 50%

9

$ 99

REG. PRICE $19.99

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 6 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

OSCILLATING MULTIFUNCTION POWER TOOL CUT FLOORING

REMOVE GROUT

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

CUT METAL

CUT PLASTIC

SCRAPE FLOORING

7 FT. 4" x 9 FT. 6" ALL PURPOSE WEATHER RESISTANT TARP

WIRELESS DRIVEWAY ALERT SYSTEM

SAVE 53%

1399

REG. PRICE $29.99

MOVER'S DOLLY

SAVE 46%

49

7

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

12" RATCHET BAR CLAMP/SPREADER LOT NO. 46807

SAVE 77%

1

$ 99

REG. PRICE $8.99

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

10/2/15 AMP, 6/12 VOLT SAVE BATTERY CHARGER/ 50% ENGINE STARTER

4

2999

$

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

90 AMP FLUX WIRE WELDER

SAVE $60

99

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 4 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

WEIGHS 74 LBS.

RAPID PUMP® 3 TON HEAVY DUTY FLOOR JACK

64

REG. 99$99PRICE .99

LOT NO. 68048

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 3 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented instore, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

ELECTRIC CHAIN SAW SHARPENER LOT NO. 68221

NEW!

800 RATED WATTS/ 900 MAX. WATTS PORTABLE GENERATOR

LOT NO. 68887/98871

LOT NO. 95275

SAVE 46%

SAVE $35

REG. PRICE $59.99

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

REG. PRICE $74.99

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

LOT NO. 66783

REG. $ 99 PRICE $7.99

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 5 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

39

REG. PRICE $299.99

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 3 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented instore, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

$

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 6 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

$

14999

$

$14.99

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 3 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

3 GALLON, 100 PSI OILLESS PANCAKE AIR COMPRESSOR

SAVE $150

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 9 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 8 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE 37%

SAVE $50

INCLUDES: • 6 Drawer Top Chest • 2 Drawer Middle Section • 3 Drawer Roller Cabinet

REG. $ 99 PRICE

LOT NO. 90764

PRICE 99 REG.$99.99

LOT NO. 93888

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 7 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

32 PIECE SCREWDRIVER SET

LOT NO. 68146

1000 LB. CAPACITY

3

Requires one 9 volt and three C batteries (sold separately).

2000 LB. ELECTRIC WINCH WITH REMOTE CONTROL AND AUTOMATIC BRAKE

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

$ 49

LOT NO. 93068

$

19

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 5 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented instore, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LOT NO. 877

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 8 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

$

Item 68303 shown

PLUNGE CUTTING

ANY SINGLE ITEM!

REG. 99$59.99 PRICE

$

SAVE 66%

11 DRAWER ROLLER CABINET

LOT NO. 67421

LOT NO. 68303/67256/68861

8 Functions: Sanding, Cut Flooring, Cut Metal, Scrape Concrete, Remove Grout, Cut Plastic, Scrape Flooring, Plunge Cut

REG. PRICE $6.99

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

20%

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 1 Use this coupon to save 20% on any one single item purchased when you shop at a Harbor Freight Tools store. *Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on any of the following: gift cards, Inside Track Club membership, extended service plans, Compressors, Generators, Tool Cabinets, Welders, Floor Jacks, Campbell Hausfeld products, open box items, Parking Lot Sale items, Blowout Sale items, Day After Thanksgiving Sale items, Tent Sale items, 800 number orders or online orders. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store to receive the offer. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

SAVE 50% Grinding wheel sold separately.

ON ALL HAND TOOLS!

OFF

ITEM 65020

REG. PRICE $6.99

SCRAPE CONCRETE

LOT NO. 95578

WITH MINIMUM PURCHASE OF $9.99

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

3-1/2" SUPER BRIGHT NINE LED ALUMINUM FLASHLIGHT

SANDING

4-1/2" ANGLE GRINDER

FREE!

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Item 68887 shown

NO GAS REQUIRED!

8999

$

REG. PRICE $149.99 HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 5 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE $60

LOT NO. 66619

89

$

99

REG. PRICE $149.99

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 4 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented in-store, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

4-1/4" GRINDING WHEEL INCLUDED

2999

$

REG. PRICE $49.99

SAVE 40%

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS - LIMIT 4 This valuable coupon is good anywhere you shop Harbor Freight Tools (retail stores, online, or 800 number). Cannot be used with any other discount or coupon. Coupon not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Coupon cannot be bought, sold, or transferred. Original coupon must be presented instore, or with your order form, or entered online in order to receive the coupon discount. Valid through 3/5/12. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

370 Stores Nationwide Order Online at HarborFreight.com and We'll Ship Your Order


November/December 2011 I Today in Mississippi

Dad was the best kind of Santa Claus; I try to be, too y editor wanted me to do something personal in my column about Christmas. I told her I wasn’t a very personable fellow, but she sent me to my office to write. I have always enjoyed Christmas. It is, by far, my most favorite time of the year. For a month people are full of cheer and goodwill, slow to anger and quick to lend a hand. For one short month, we actually act the way we should the other 11 months of the year. I also love Christmas traditions, especially decorating, though from year to year that does cause some angst in my home. My wife is more of a Martha Stewart or Better Homes and Garden decorator, while I subscribe to the Clark Griswald theory of decorating. (How many LED lights does it take to blow a fuse?) But my favorite tradition, one still carried on today with my children, started about 35 years ago when my father walked into my room and asked me to clean out my old toys to make room for the new ones I would soon receive. I was around 10 years old and it sounded like a great idea to me. I had several toys I no longer played with and a very big wish list that year, mostly made up of “Star Wars” action figures and the vehicles that accompanied them. I carefully selected my toys, all of which were in pristine condition due to the fact that I was an obsessive compulsive only-child who would not share with the other children in the neighborhood. I placed two large boxes of toys in the back of Dad’s truck, where I noticed other items—shoes, clothes, blankets and food. Dad told me to get in the truck and off we went. We rode several miles down the highway and turned onto an old gravel road before arriving at a small house. It had a look of neglect and I wasn’t sure it would stand a strong gust of wind. Dad and I got out of the truck and carried the boxes to the front of

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On the cover You could ask Santa for an elf to help you through the busy holiday season. Or, you could save yourself some headaches by resolving to keep things simple and manageable. Our story on page 4 offers some low-cost pointers to help enrich your family’s celebration and turn up its joyful noise.

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Our Homeplace

My Opinion Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO EPAs of Mississippi

the house. Suddenly, a woman and two small children appeared at the door. The mother told the kids to go back inside, and Dad sent me back to the truck. Dad and the mother talked for a while. She began to quietly sob and then gave him a hug as he walked away. As we drove off, I saw the two little boys looking out the window of the old house, trying to understand what was happening. I turned to Dad and asked, “Is Santa not coming to see them?” He looked at me and replied, “He just did.” From that point, every Christmas I would “clean out my toys” to make room for the new. I kept up the tradition through college and my first years of marriage by getting children’s names from churches or the Salvation Army���s Angel Tree. Then when my son Michael was old enough, I shared the experience with him. We now shop as a family, Michael, Katlyne, Victoria and me. (Sometimes we bring Mom along, but she can be a downer. Let’s face it, Clark is more fun than Martha!) Each of my kids chooses a child close to his or her own age and the same gender. We get the presents, bring them home and wrap them. I remind my kids how important it is to remember those who are less fortunate than us, and that the Bible teaches us that to whom much is given, much is expected— something we should remember and practice 12 months of the year. So to everyone, have a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Today in Mississippi

Vol. 64 No. 11

The Official Publication of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi

This time of year a single leaf can stop us in our tracks, its showy seasonal color commanding our attention. This sweetgum leaf did just that, in a Jasper County forest.

Mississippi is . . . ... waking up before sunrise on a cool fall morning in one of our many campground parks. Sitting by a campfire with a hot cup of coffee, waiting for the sun to rise and cast its reflection over the mirrored lake as it slides upward into the morning sky. Trees that line both sides of the lake are brilliant with the beautiful colors of fall leaves. What can be more beautiful, peaceful and breathtaking as a fall morning in Mississippi? Only a setting sun in the western sky, while warming up by the same fire, beside the same lake, in the same park. Oh, can you visualize this view? If not, come and see for yourself and let the Mississippi mornings and night falls take your breath away! — Linda Edwards, Yazoo City I love the childhood memories of cotton fields white in September, a rare snow and sled ride in December, of going barefoot in May. Then it was time to cut and bale hay, harvest oats in early June and shell purple hull peas until noon. Then off swimming we would go, across the Bartahatchie or Yellow Creek so low. Home again to eat watermelon until full, then time to milk the Holsteins and feed the bull. Summer nights were June bugs, homemade ice cream and watching TV on a black-and-white screen. I love the hot days of summertime and the cold winter nights when the stars brightly shine. I have lived and visited many places on this earth, but my heart belongs to Mississippi. It is my home, my happiness and the place of my birth. — Wanda Wakefield Kain, Steens

OFFICERS

EDITORIAL OFFICE & ADVERTISING Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is 601-605-8600 a cooperative newspaper published Acceptance of advertising by Today in monthly by Electric Power Associations Mississippi does not imply endorsement of Mississippi, Inc., P.O. Box 3300 Ridgeof the advertised product or services by land, MS 39158-3300, or 665 Highland the publisher or Mississippi’s Electric Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Power Associations. Product satisfaction Phone 601-605-8600. Periodical EDITORIAL STAFF and delivery responsibility lie solely with postage paid at Ridgeland, MS, and Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO the advertiser. additional office. The publisher (and/or Ron Stewart - Senior Vice President, Co-op Services • National advertising representative: its agent) reserves the right to refuse or Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services National Country Market, 800-626-1181 edit all advertising. Jay Swindle - Manager, Advertising POSTMASTER: Send address changes Debbie H. Stringer - Editor Circulation of this issue: 447,478 to: Today, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS Abby Berry - Communications Specialist Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year 39158-3300 Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Visit us at: Linda Hutcherson - Administrative Assistant

Darrell Smith - President Kevin Doddridge - First Vice President Brad Robison - Second Vice President Wayne Henson - Secretary/Treasurer

www.todayinmississippi.com

What’s Mississippi to you? What makes you proud to be a Mississippian? What do you treasure most about life in our state? Please keep your comments brief and send them to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158, or e-mail them to news@epaofms.com. Submissions are subject to editing for space and clarity.

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Today in Mississippi

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November/December 2011

Tips for making your celebration more meaningful, more affordable and less stressful

By Debbie Stringer TV advertisers would have you think otherwise, but you can enjoy the holidays without spending a bundle. Try focusing instead on three S’s: simplicity, sharing and savoring. Whether you celebrate quietly or with a crowd, you will be merrier if you refuse to overspend, be thankful for what you have, avoid unrealistic expectations and share your blessings with others.

Get personal Some of the best gifts come from your imagination and cost very little. If you are planning to cut back on spending for gifts this year, here are some lowcost ideas to get you going: • Make a personalized cookbook to share with family members, newlyweds, neighbors or friends. Include recipes notes and memories. Print the pages on a computer printer and bind in a notebook. Make a special title page with a photo or a child’s artwork. • Create a scrapbook for loved ones. Include photos, letters, special events, newspaper clippings, artwork and so on. As a gift for a grandparent, ask your

treasure that! • Count on family photographs to provoke smiles and laughs. Swap framed photos of the kids among adult family members. Make collages with old photos. Make a customized CD collection of photos to share with each person on your list. • Use your unique skills to make a gift. A world of options awaits those who can bake, sew, crochet, photograph, build, weld, preserve foods, write or paint. • Use a homemade gift card to give a few hours of computer troubleshooting, yard work, housework, cooking, home repairs, car mechanics, knitting lessons, baby sitting, etc. Seniors, especially, appreciate help in taking care of tasks around the home. • Make a CD of the recipient’s favorite music. • Scour flea markets for fun gifts for those who appreciate vintage items. For the gardener on your list, for example, look for something that could make a decorative planter or yard art. • Fill a small tackle or tool box with inexpensive art supplies for a child. • Personalize a 2012 calendar or date book for a nursing home resident by filling in family birthdays, anniversaries, upcoming special events, etc.

Keep it safe child to write (or dictate) some specific memories of the grandparent to include in the book. What grandparent wouldn’t

Nothing ruins a holiday celebration like an injury or property loss caused by carelessness. When safety considerations come first, peace of mind follows.

Remember these tips: • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and wearing expensive jewelry while shopping. Be aware of your surroundings in parking lots. If someone is lurking near your car, head back to the store. • A working home smoke alarm with fresh batteries is a must year-round. Check yours and your elderly relatives’ smoke alarms. • Space heaters are a common cause of house fires in Mississippi. Keep draperies, furniture, clothing and all other combustible items at least 3 feet away from a space heater. Don’t dry clothing on a space heater. Never leave children alone in a room where a space heater is in use. • Keep candles away from live Christmas trees and all other combustible materials. Do not leave children unattended in a room with lit candles. • Avoid using candles at a party. If smoking is allowed, check upholstered furniture and trash cans for smoldering cigarette butts. • A heated room will dry out a live tree, making it highly flammable. Keep the tree stand filled with water to keep it fresh. And move it far away from the space heater and other heat sources. • If you use an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled fire retardant. • Never leave food cooking unattended on a stove or in a small appliance.

• Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours of preparation. Food that has been left out longer should be thrown out.

Remember others Mississippians are known for their generosity year-round. But this time of year presents special opportunities to share with others beyond our family and church circles. Charitable giving enriches the Christmas experience, regardless of the amount or item donated. Organizations that serve struggling families are expecting a strong demand this holiday season. They need your help to prepare. Some ideas: • Giving doesn’t necessarily require money. Consider donating unwanted coats, warm clothes, blankets and shoes to a local shelter. • Pick up a few nonperishable food items to deliver to the local food pantry or Salvation Army. • Nursing homes may appreciate inexpensive gifts to hand out to residents at the Christmas party. Ideas include a box of all-occasion cards (and stamps), largeprint crossword or other puzzles, books and magazines, personal care items and slippers with non-slip soles. Check with the home’s staff before buying. • Collect donations among your family or co-workers for the Salvation Army, the local animal shelter or other nonprofit organization.


November/December 2011

• Help your kids select an “Angel” from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree or participate in the Marines’ Toys for Tots drive. Kids enjoy picking out toys for other kids. • Send a greeting card to a local soldier serving overseas. • Offer to rake the yard, hang (and take down) decorations or perform other useful chores for a neighbor or relative whose mobility is limited. Ask if you can pick up items at the grocery store, pick up medication or deliver bill payments. • Those in their senior years appreciate the gift of time spent with family members and friends. Take a sweet treat and enjoy a leisurely visit with

the seniors in your family. • This may be our best holiday tip yet: Turn off the TV at the family gathering. Play outside with the kids, take photos and share funny stories. Treasure the time you are spending together.

Happy holidays!

Expert’s tips for holiday spending Don’t let holiday overspending ruin your New Year! Resolve to make better financial decisions for 2012, starting now. For practical advice in holiday money matters, we consulted Nancy Lottridge Anderson, assistant professor of finance at Mississippi College and the author of “Tough Talk for Tough Times: Real Conversations for Real People About Money and Finance.”

How can consumers avoid the burden of post-holiday debt? Budget for Christmas. It comes one time a year, so it shouldn't be a surprise. If you prepare limits beforehand and stick with them, you'll avoid the painful aftershocks! If you happen to get in over your head and end up with a Christmas credit card hangover, set up a payment schedule to clear out the balance in three to four months. You don't want to still be paying for Christmas 2011 in 2012.

What’s an idea for a financial gift for children? Start school-age children in a DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment Program). This is where you buy a dividend-paying stock. Each time there is a dividend, the money will automatically be reinvested in more shares. Choose a company that the child knows—like Disney, Coca-Cola or McDonald’s.

What about budgeting for the holiday feast? I don't think this is the place to scrimp. As long as you're cooking and eating together, you're making memories. Cut back on toys, but don't cut back on family time in the kitchen or dining room.

How can parents get the kids involved in charitable giving? Have children help pick out gifts for charity. Encourage them to use some of their allowance to donate to good causes. Give "charity" as a gift— e.g., "A gift to Make a Wish has been made in your honor."

How can parents use the holidays to teach kids about money management? Set limits. Explain the limits of your family income in a good way. Show gratitude for what you have. Anderson is a regular panelist on the Mississippi Public Broadcasting radio call-in show “Money Talks,” which airs each Tuesday at 9 a.m. on local MPB stations.

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Today in Mississippi

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Electric power association employees who assisted in Guatemala are, kneeling from left, Jonathan Sanders, Singing River EPA; Stan Rucker, EPAs of Mississippi; Barry McCool, Southern Pine EPA; Jeremy White, Southern Pine EPA; Buck Williams, Singing River EPA; Pat Linton, Pearl River Valley EPA; standing, from left, Gerald Williamson, Pearl River Valley EPA; Marce Goforth, East Mississippi EPA; Nathan Sanders, Yazoo Valley EPA; Lee Hedegaard, Singing River EPA; Kenneth Kitchens, East Mississippi EPA; and Eric Woods, Yazoo Valley EPA.

Cooperative effort means safer electric service for Guatemalans Operating and maintaining a safe, reliable electric distribution system is challenging under the best of circumstances. For an impoverished city in Guatemala, with its untrained work force and little to no materials and equipment, providing electricity safely takes a near-miracle. In October, electric power associations in Mississippi sent a team of 12 volunteers on a two-week mission to help the city of Jalapa take steps to modernize its primitive electric distribution system. The trip marked the third consecutive year electric power associations have assisted Jalapa in line upgrades. Improving electrical safety topped the volunteers’to-do list. Team members worked alongside the local linemen to move a major power line built dangerously close to homes and businesses. In one instance, the line hung within inches of a resident’s roof-top clothesline. “Their service truck is a The volunteers also extended electric service to two nearby vilmotorcycle, with a guy lages in the scenic mountain valley. One resident told the men she riding on the back carrying had been waiting 13 years for electric service. a ladder.” East Mississippi EPA, Pearl River Valley EPA, Singing River EPA, - Stan Rucker Southern Pine EPA and Yazoo Valley EPA each sent two volunteers, mostly linemen. They were joined by Lee Hedegaard, general manager and CEO of Singing River EPA, who provided engineering expertise, and Stan Rucker, vice president of Safety and Loss Control for the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, who conducted safety training for the Jalapa linemen. Jalapa’s electrical system was built without the benefit of professional safety and reliability standards. Line workers have no protective gear, few tools and no experience in outage-prevention measures. They clear rights of way with a machete and set utility poles by hand in the rock-hard earth. “Their service truck is a motorcycle, with a guy riding on the back carrying a ladder,” Rucker said.“But their biggest problem is the lack of knowledge. They have not had any training—none.” The Guatemalan line workers welcomed the volunteers’efforts with cooperation and appreciation. Rucker said they were eager to learn new construction methods and safety procedures from their Mississippi counterparts. For the volunteers, the experience was gratifying. “I was honored to have participated. It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my career,” said Buck Williams, manager of Risk Management and Right of Way at Singing River EPA. In addition to hands-on assistance, electric power associations in Mississippi and electric supply vendors donated some 38,000 pounds of line construction materials, including a hydraulic auger for mounting on a previously donated truck. The mission was funded by NRECA International, a subsidiary of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, whose rural electrification programs have provided over 100 million people in over 40 developing countries with electric service. Electric power associations are grateful to the following vendors for their donations in support of this project: Cooper Power Systems, 4-Way Electric, Garner Lumley Electric Supply, Gresco Utility Supply, J.S. Iupe’s, Southwire, Stuart C. Irby, T & C Specialty Distributors and Terex Utilities.


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Today in Mississippi I November/December 2011

Mysterious legend leads to geological adventure nn Saucier emailed me the other day asking for help finding some information concerning a geographic feature called the Brandywine Wall. Her sons had just added about 600 acres to their Copiah County hunting land and while exploring it they discovered a large outcropping of limestone. And since huge exposed deposits of rock are a little unusual in this part of the state, someone suggested it might be a part of the ancient Brandywine Wall. Now, I have lived in Mississippi all of my life. Mississippi But I have never Seen heard of the by Walt Grayson Brandywine Wall, although there was a spark of recognition in the back of my brain when I first saw the name. But I never could fan that spark into a flame. So, I went to Google. There I found an old New York Times article from November 1900 about a stone wall dis-

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covered near Brandywine Creek in Mississippi. An archeologist said the broad rock expanse was flat in relation to the rolling earth around it. He said it was made of sandstone blocks skillfully fitted with cement and was wide enough for two wagons to pass side by side. His conclusion in 1900 was that this feature was created by some heretofore-unknown ancient superior culture. He named it the Brandywine Wall after the nearby creek. When Ann’s son, Stacey, showed me the limestone on his land in Copiah County, we agreed it was an unusual formation. Three parallel rows of stone, exposed for about 75 yards, configured in bleacher-seat fashion from the top of a creek bank downward toward the stream. We also agreed it was 100 percent natural. But Stacey’s rocks were in the wrong area of the county to be a part of the wall described in the old article. So I pulled out my map and drove to the store at Pleasant Hill on Highway 28, near where the map showed the creek to be, and asked a few questions. The customers and clerk were helpful in pointing me to the old Brandywine Methodist Church, the last building left of the once

These chunks of sandstone are a part of the rock formation near Brandywine Creek that were thought to have been placed here by a prehistoric race according to a 1900 newspaper account. They look like a natural outcropping to me. But they do make for a pretty good legend. Photo: Walt Grayson

sprawling community of the same name. A neighbor to the church told me there were rocks where he used to swim in Brandywine Creek as a boy. There I found a stone ledge that made a little waterfall, but nothing resembling a wall. I had started toward home down a back road parallel to the creek when I topped a little ridge. I saw a yard off to the right completely fenced by rocks. Huge rocks. Slabs, in fact. I pulled into the drive. Jeff Leonard came out to meet me and explained he and his dad spent years when he was a youngster breaking up these rocks from a formation behind the house near Brandywine Creek. He said that as far as you wanted to dig into the bank, there would be rock.

Join Walt and many other Mississippians as they open their life albums and share their memories in words and photographs. This collection from the readers of Today in Mississippi prompted Walt to pull related tales from his vault of experience, collected while living in and traveling throughout his home state. “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories with Walt Grayson” will be a valued Christmas gift, and the book is sure to become a collector’s item.

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Maybe this was a part of the same formation the old newspaper article claimed was a wall laid down by a vanished race. Of course, what Jeff showed me was a natural outcropping—as was undoubtedly the original Brandywine Wall itself. But it does perk you up, knowing that no matter how long you’ve lived here, on any given day someone might bring up some brand new adventure you’ve never even heard of, for you to sharpen your wits on. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.”


November/December 2011 I Today in Mississippi I 7

Christmas gifts for the outdoors t is once again the time of year when we give and receive gifts. Doing each is always a genuine pleasure. For those giving the gift, the chore of locating some item to give can be daunting. There is often just too much “stuff” from which to choose. With that in mind, let’s take a look around in an effort to narrow down the choices and still come up with a quality gift that will more than likely be much appreciated by the one who receives it. And while this will center on items for the outdoors, many of the things covered here can be more generally useful. And the things covered won’t spoil the budget. I will do my best to recommend items that are relatively inexpensive yet viable. And most if not all can be found locally. That is always a plus. I hope this helps solve your gift-giving dilemma. Portable lighting comes in handy in a variety of situations, particularly when camping, fishing or hunting. And lighting is essential around the house as well. So, a light source, in whatever persuasion, could be a good gift. Never before has there been such a wide assortment of lighting instruments offered. Chief among these is the flashlight, and like many things throughout

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the years, these units have experienced a terrific boost in reliability as a result of technology. The trend is now toward smaller and more efficient rigs. No longer is a powerful light source housed in only a huge flashlight. Many of the new models will fit easily into a shirt pocket, yet give Mississippi off a strong, farOutdoors reaching beam. Good ones with by Tony Kinton LED systems are not inexpensive, but they are certainly affordable. Lighting can also expand to lanterns. The same said for flashlights applies to lanterns. There are some true marvels available. Rechargeable rigs, battery units—they all work wonderfully well. But don’t overlook the old reliable propane or dual-fuel lanterns. They serve well in camp, tool shed or the back yard. This is the day of GPS. But a GPS can be somewhat expensive and requires batteries. For finding your way around, a good compass still works as reliably as it ever did. And a compass makes a sensible companion to the GPS. Satellite or battery failure won’t plague a compass.

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A small propane stove is good to have around. Whether camping or just cooking on the patio, a little single- or double-burner stove can save the day. They are lightweight, compact and definitely not expensive. And since cooking has been mentioned, look into all the cooking and food-related gear now available for those who like to prepare wild game or fish. Friers, griddles, camp grills, grinders, sausage makers, jerky kits and tenderizers have become regulars. And they work well, allowing the wild-game/fish chef to accomplish his or her task in an organized manner. Any one of these should make a good gift. While on that topic, don’t forget the seasoning. Sausage and jerky seasonings are available in a host of flavors and many are packaged complete with flavoring spices, curing blends and applicators. They are inexpensive enough that two or more different flavors can be chosen/given without much cash outlay. Books have always been a favorite. And books are in good supply, books on every subject imaginable. If there is someone on your gift list who has a bent for history, particularly if that bent leans toward the outdoors and tools generally associated with the outdoors in various pursuits, University Press of Mississippi has recently released two books that may

Portable lighting in any persuasion is a solid gift. Photo: Tony Kinton

be of interest: “Weapons of Mississippi” by Kevin Dougherty, and “Panther Tract” by Melody Golding. I close with the following list of additional items for consideration: soft gun case, gun-cleaning kit, shooting bench sandbags or other type rifle rest, game calls, scales for weighing big game, personal floatation device, full-body safety harness for tree-stand use, duffel bag, fishing reel, reel oil, monofilament line, fishing shirt/pants/hat, pocket knife, pruning shears, packet of assorted swivels and/or fish hooks, tackle box. All good. And with that I say merry Christmas. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. His books, “Outside and Other Reflections,” “Fishing Mississippi” and his new Christian historical romance novel, “Summer Lightning Distant Thunder,” are available in bookstores and from the author at www.tonykinton.com, or P.O. Box 88, Carthage, MS 39051.

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8 I Today in Mississippi

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November/December 2011

Lee Hedegaard, General Manager & CEO Lorri Freeman, Manager of Communications Amanda Parker, Communications Specialist For more information, call 601-947-4211/228-497-1313 x 2251 or visit our website at www.singingriver.com

Go green... sign up for paperless billing!

Member Services Rep. Jeff Gray gray@singingriver.com

Visit www.singingriver.com and click on “Paperless Billing” in the upper left-hand section of the main page. This will lead you to an instruction page with simple instructions to sign up for paperless billing. While you are at it, save a stamp and pay online too.

www.singingriver.com

Paperless billing is the fastest and most convenient way to receive your bill by e-mail as opposed to printed paper by mail. It is easy, free and reduces clutter all while saving trees. Once signed up for paperless, you will receive e-mail reminders when your bill is ready. You will be able to view and pay your electric bill securely online. And you will reduce the chance of identity theft by reducing paper bills. Simply follow four easy steps: 1. Click “Pay Bill” to log in to your Singing River Electric account. 2. Click on the "Stop/Start Print Bill" link on the left sidebar. 3. Uncheck the box that says "Send Me a Statement by Mail." 4. Make sure the e-mail address you use to log in is the same you want to use for paperless billing.

Stop Infiltration

Winter and cold weather will be here soon. Did you know that heating accounts for 45 to 55 percent of your electric bill? Little changes can help make your home more efficient in the winter, including opening blinds during the day, installing a programmable thermostat to lower your heat when you are away and sealing your home to keep out air infiltration. Cold, outside air can seep in through cracks, plumbing penetrations and more. This makes you feel colder and makes your heater work harder and your electric bill increase. There are several ways to reduce infiltration. Seal around exterior doors with weather stripping. Install door sweeps to stop threshold leakage. Caulk around the outside of windows. Install foam gaskets under plug and switch plates. Seal all exterior holes in your home with foam sealant or caulking. Don’t forget the heater closet. Sealing the heater closet will keep cold winter air from entering the home from the attic. Heater closets for electric heaters and heat pumps should be sealed with sheetrock. Also, if your home is built off the ground, seal all plumbing and electrical holes in the floor. Install skirting around the outside perimeter to keep cold wind from under the home.


November/December 2011

I

Today in Mississippi I 8a

Improving life in Guatemala

Above: In 2010, Singing River Electric employees were part of a crew that helped bring electricity to this woman, a village leader, in Jalapa. From left are a Jalapa lineman; the village leader (homeowner) and her children; Lee Hedegaard, general manager of SREPA; and Jerry Furby, SREPA substation technician. Top right: One year later, her child is able to watch television in his home, thanks to the hard work of the EPA linemen. Right center: Because she now has electricity, the local villager is able to set up a small store in a room of her home. Bottom right: The woman’s store even has a refrigerator, which allows her to sell the only cold drinks available in the village. At left: Singing River Electric construction foreman Jonathan Sanders works to build power lines in village near Jalapa.

Above: The linemen stop for a photo before leaving the village. Back row: Gerald Williamson from PRV, Jeremy White from SPEPA, Buck Williams from SREPA, Jonathan Sanders from SREPA, Nathan Sanders from YVEPA, Eric Woods from YVEPA and Kenneth Kitchens from EMEPA. Front row: Pat Linton from PRVEPA, Lee Hedegaard from SREPA, Stan Rucker from EPAs of MS, Barry McCool from SPEPA and Marce Goforth from EMEPA.

Twelve employees from six different electric cooperatives recently returned from Guatemala where they were able to improve the lives of many people. The trip was organized and funded by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International. The crew departed on Sunday, October 9, and returned Saturday, October 22, 2011. During their stay, they built power lines in the villages, across mountains and in Jalapa City. They also engineered a more efficient power line grid and taught safety and firstaid skills to local linemen. Shortly after arriving in Jalapa, the crew met up with the leader of one of the little villages outside of the city who had received power to her small home a year ago. Singing River Electric lineman had been a part of the crew last year to help bring her electricity. Electric power has changed her life. She told the lineman how she had been able to expand her small home by

adding three bedrooms. She also bought two refrigerators and added a small store to the front of her home. She now sells dried goods, frozen chickens and cold drinks to support her family. “We do not know the blessings we have in this county,” said Singing River Electric General Manager Lee Hedegaard. “Most people live on 12.5¢ a day in the rural villages outside of Jalapa. Nurses and teachers may make $200 per month.” Electricity really makes a difference in their lives and in their livelihoods. They are better able to live and take care of their families. They have a real quality of life for the first time in their lives and they value the little things. “Singing River Electric employees were blessed to have a small part in this trip and for NRECA International sponsoring the costs of travel,” said Hedegaard. “We helped our neighbors and made a real difference and it feels good.”


8b I Today in Mississippi I November/December 2011

Cooperative University Singing River Electric hosted its first Cooperative University in conjunction with its Youth Leadership Program interviews on Wed., November 9, 2011 at its headquarters office in Lucedale. All high schools serving Singing River Electric’s service territory were invited to nominate one member of the junior class to represent the school at the Cooperative University and interview. Student nominees were required to have a minimum 3.0 grade point average, be involved in extra-curricular activities, be active in church, civic and community activities, and receive electricity from Singing River Electric at their main residence. During the Cooperative University, students visited with each other and learned about electric cooperatives including how power is generated, transmitted to substations and then distributed to member homes, safety rules and guidelines, energy efficiency and careers in the electricity industry. Speakers were South Mississippi Electric communications specialist Sara Peterson along with member service representatives Nick DeAngelo, Jeff Gray and Stan Mills, manager of human resources Annette Riley, manager of risk management and ROW Buck Williams, system engineer Tom Davis, safety coordinator Jason

Havard, manager of communications Lorri Freeman and communications specialist Amanda Parker. Each student also participated in a 10 minute interview during the day, moderated by a panel of out-of-town judges from electric cooperatives across the state. Following the Cooperative University and interviews, 2 students were selected to represent Singing River Electric at the Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson on February 29 – March 2, 2012, as well as the Youth Tour of Washington D.C. on June 1622, 2012.

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Two stu in the Ele National “Thirte service ar “An out Lucedale The top Byrd S c

tion of Sh ning non Center. “Congr selected Freeman standing

At right: South Mississippi Electric Communications Coordinator Sara Peterson describes how power is generated. Below: The students stop for a photo before Cooperative University begins.

Top photo: SRE Cooperative University students participating in “Get To Know You” games. Above: SRE System Engineer Tom Davis shows students how outage calls are handled quickly and efficiently with the Outage Management System.

Past win

2009

Glenn Ferre Tiffany Wils

2010

Stephen Be Jessica Brou Taylor Lowe


November/December 2011 I Today in Mississippi I 8

High school student leaders honored

students, out of 13 high school juniors, were chosen to represent Singing River Electric Power Association Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson in March 2012 and the al Youth Leadership Tour to Washington, D.C., in June 2012. teen nominees were selected by their school counselors from the 19 schools in the Singing River Electric’s area,” said Lorri Freeman, Manager of Communications. ut-of-town panel of judges selected two winners during an interview process held in November at our le office,” she said. op two applicants chosen by the judges were: Sydney Spradlin of East Central High School and Harley Byrd of Perry Central High School. Spradlin and Byrd will represent Singing River Electric Power Association on both trips and will have a chance to be chosen as the state representative on the National Youth Leadership Council. During the state youth workshop, students will tour the Mississippi State Capitol, meet with state legislators and visit the legislative galleries, where they will witness debates on legislation issues. They will learn about electric cooperatives, hear dynamic speakers and take part in several group exercises, aimed at building cooperation, trust and leadership skills. Later, Spradlin and Byrd will travel to Washington, D.C., in June for a seven-day sightseeing trip. While there, the students will visit the major monuments and memorials, the 2012 Winners Smithsonian Museums and Mount Vernon, the historical home of George Washington. The students will also enjoy a theatrical producShear Madness, one of the longest runon-musicals of all time, at the Kennedy gratulations to all nominees for being d as leaders in their schools,” said n.“We are proud to honor these outg young leaders.”

Sydney Spradlin East Central High School

t youth program ners include: 9

2011

rell, Ocean Springs High School ilson, George County High School

Lauren Lott, Richton High School Chanler Booker, Moss Point High School

2012 Co-op University Students Students represented their high school based on leadership and community service.

Paige Garland Fruitdale High School

Sydney Gibson Gautier High School

Ty Riley George County High School

Elizabeth Nash Greene County High School

Sarah Glenn Moss Point High School

Anna Claire Allison Ocean Springs High School

Harley Byrd Perry Central High School

John Williams Presbyterian Christian High School

Taylor Blackburn Resurrection High School

Brianna Smallman St. Martin High School

0 Benn, Moss Point High School ouckaert, Ocean Springs High School we, Resurrection Catholic High School

Danielle Bergeron St. Patrick’s High School

Karim Khan Vancleave High School


8d I Today in Mississippi I November/December 2011

Look for lumens, instead of watts, when choosing lighting options When shopping for light bulbs, compare lumens to be sure you are getting the amount of light and level of brightness desired. The 2012 Lighting Facts Label will make it easy to compare bulb brightness, color, life and estimated annual operating cost. Choose Lumens, Not Watts Watts measure how much energy the bulb consumes where lumens measure how much light is produced. Lumens are to light what pounds are to bananas or gallons are to milk— they let you buy the amount of light you want. Remember, more lumens means a brighter light and fewer lumens means a dimmer light. What Should I Look For? The Lighting Facts Label To help consumers better understand the switch from watts to lumens, the Federal Trade Commission will require a new product label for light bulbs starting in January 2012. The labels will help consumers buy bulbs that are right for them. To learn more about lighting options and other ways to save energy at home, visit singingriver.com, energysavers.gov or lumennow.org.

Visit www.singingriver.com and www.lumennow.org.


November/December 2011 I Today in Mississippi I 9

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas

Singing River Electric NHN grant helps Gautier Elementary School

Just a reminder...

Singing River Electric Power Association

Gautier Elementary School was awarded a $2,500 Singing River Electric Power Company Neighbors Helping Neighbors Community Grant. Pictured, from left, are fourth graders Aaron Hardiman, Arionna Williams, Natalie Metzger and Kevin Mendenhall; second row, music teacher Dr. Marie DeYoung, who applied for the grant; Betty Carter, from Singing River EPA; and Principal Michelle Richmond. The grant monies will be used to concrete and beautify the area surrounding the school's flagpole.

will be closed

Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving, Dec. 23 and 26 in honor of Christmas and Jan. 2 for New Year’s.

Singing River Electric NHN grant helps new JC Women’s Shelter

Far right, Singing River Electric manager of communications Lorri Freeman presents a NHN grant check to (l to r) Gulf Coast Woman’s Center for Nonviolence Shelter Director Stacey Myers and Shelter Services Manager Amanda Johns to help with Adrienne’s House, a new women’s shelter for Jackson County.

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Today in Mississippi I November/December 2011

Garden gnomes can add fun, personality

e’ve all seen garden gnomes in other people’s yards—the creatures of woodland legend that represent the spirit of the earth. Maybe it’s time you put one in your own garden. Gnome is a derivation of the Greek word for “earth dweller.” Garden gnomes were first used in German gar-

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dens in the mid-1800s. Made out of terra cotta, they were painted and clothed like miners of the day, with outfits that included the cute little pointed hats. From Germany, garden gnomes spread to France and England. In parts of Europe, a garden gnome was a status symbol. Today, often mass-produced and plastic, they are found all over the world.

Much garden lore centers on these legendary creatures. Garden gnomes are said to bring good luck and goodwill to the garden and the gardener who invites them in. According to the story, they enhance the harvest and look after the other creatures that occupy the garden. The gnome is even said to be the actual caretaker of the garden in which it lives. Some believe that at night, the gnomes help out with some of the smaller garden chores. The animated movie “Gnomeo and Juliet” is based on this concept. The blue gnomes and red gnomes come to life when their owners are not looking. Just hoping these stories are true is enough reason for some gardeners to have at least one gnome in their yard. Other gardeners simply enjoy garden gnomes for their ornamental value. If you’re thinking about getting one, be assured that garden gnomes are com-

Southern Gardening by Dr. Gary Bachman

pletely self-sufficient. No additional care or feeding is required. All they need is a little shade and light rain on occasion. It doesn’t hurt to give them some gentle encouragement every once

in a while. Garden gnomes tend to appreciate language skills, so try referring to your gnome in a foreign language. In Norway, gnomes are called Nisse, one who protects the farm animals. In Albania, they are called dude, which I think sounds a lot like a greeting you might hear in California. Yard art is a fun way to express your personality to the world. So when the weather gets cold and there’s not much you can do outdoors, consider shopping for a garden gnome to get your yard ready for the coming spring. Dr. Gary Bachman is MSU horticulturist at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

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November/December 2011 I Today in Mississippi

Thanksgiving brings a change become a veterinarian), Hunter’s going ho says you can’t with his daddy to the deer camp, and I change your mood need to stay here with Lealand. They’re from gloomy to glowing with the touch of a growing up, Mom, and make new plans. We want to come, but we’ll button? And have to make new traditions a nudge from your husband? as life changes. I’m sorry. When I touched the Sirus Besides, Dawn can’t come radio music button in the car, from Utah. We’ll all be an older song rang out, together Christmas.” “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” She hugged us good-bye That precipitated a discussion and away we flew like the with my chauffeur that led to down on a thistle. And down a new approach to my Grin ‘n’ came my tears like an unpregloominess and...well, I’ll Bare It dicted summer rain. My manstart at the beginning. by Kay Grafe of-all-trades and I drove to Last week-end in Saltillo our campground in silence— (next door to Tupelo), we were in the car ready to leave our daugh- except for my sniffles. He hooked the car to the RV and we headed back home. I ter Babette and family’s home. I said, expected a pep talk, since he had always “See you in Lucedale for Thanksgiving.” tried to make things right for me when I A peculiar look came over their faces. was sad. “We can’t make it this year. Everyone He reached toward the radio. And has plans.” I was speechless, which is rare for me. like a miracle from God, the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” began playing. Mr. When my voice returned I said, “We Roy looked at me and smiled. He said, always have Thanksgiving dinner at our “Let’s talk about this situation.” house. This means our families won’t be “Okay, so talk,” I said. together. Hunter and Lealand will be He took a swallow of his coffee. “As home from college—it’s a tradition. Your family comes to our house Thanksgiving for Trey and Hunter wanting to go hunting together, that’s what my dad and I and we go to yours Christmas. What’s did every Thanksgiving. It’s good that more important than family?” they’re close. I would give anything to go Babette said, “Family is very important, but Lealand promised she’d work at hunting with my dad again. “As for Lealand...she’s fortunate that the vet’s office (she worked there two the veterinarian thinks enough of her years in high school; she hopes to work to want her back during the holiFORTRESS MAUSOLEUMS days. And you know Babette wouldn’t Est. 1997 Clean, dry, above-ground burial leave her at home by herself. Besides, Made in Mississippi think of all the other blessings and memories of Thanksgivings past.” I recalled the years when our family was larger. We had parents, grandparents and our little girls playing with cousins, Delivered and installed in your cemetery or on your land climbing trees and building pine straw (228) 669-3578 www.tombs.us huts in the woods near Dog River in email us at: contactfortress@gmail.com Forest.

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A light-bulb idea settled above my head. “You know, Mr. Roy, let’s invite people over for dinner that are alone too. We can also take food to shut-ins and feed the homeless, like our minister, Jeff Pruett, suggested.” Within a few minutes we were excitedly planning a number of activities we could do that would help people, and thanking God for our abundance of blessings and memories. Moments earlier

“Picture This” is a reader photo feature appearing in the January, April, July and October issues of Today in Mississippi. We invite readers to submit photos illustrating a given theme and select a few for publication. Our next “Picture This” theme is Portrait of Mississippi. Focus on people, places, events, nature, sports, arts, landmarks—anything that depicts our Mississippi lifestyle or heritage. Submissions must be postmarked or e-mailed to us by Dec. 5. Selected photos will appear in the January 2012 issue of Today in Mississippi. Photographers whose photos are selected for publication are eligible for a $200 cash prize, to be awarded in a ran-

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my mood was dismal. Roy and I smiled at one another and began singing, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Note: Thank you, dear readers, for your letters and emails, and for inviting me to speak at your churches and many other organizations. God bless you. Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95 plus 3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.

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dom drawing in December. Photos are selected for publication based on their overall quality, relevance to the given theme, visual impact and suitability for printing on newsprint paper. We look for bright photos with good contrast and sharp focus. Submission requirements • Photos must relate to the given theme. • Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer (of any age). • Send prints or digital photos, but all photo must be in sharp focus. • Digital photos should be high-resolution JPG files. The images may be cropped but please do not use photoediting software to adjust colors or tones. • Please do not send any photo with the date appearing on the image. • Photos must be accompanied by identifying information, including photographer’s name, address, phone and electric power association (if applicable). Include the name(s) of any recognizable people in the picture. • Submit as many photos as you like, but select only your best work. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail. How to submit Prints and digital photos are accepted. Mail prints or a photo CD to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Or, email (as an attachment to your e-mail message) photos to news@epaofms.com. If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one e-mail message, if possible. Question? Call Debbie Stringer, editor, at 601-605-8610 or e-mail news@epaofms.com.


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Today in Mississippi I November/December 2011

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Type or print your ad clearly. Be sure to include your telephone number. Cost is $2.50 per word, $25 minimum. Deadline is the 10th of each month for the next month’s issue. Mail payment with your ad to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Have any questions? Phone (601) 605-8600.

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November/December 2011 I Today in Mississippi

David Conway 662-392-9269

I

13

Chad Conway 662-392-0902

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14

I

Today in Mississippi

I

November/ December 2011

Dressing for Fruit Salad

Mississippi

Cooks FEATURED COOKBOOK:

Magnolia State Bluegrass Association In the fall of 1974, a group bluegrass musicians and fans met in Taylorsville to create a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of bluegrass music. The Magnolia State Bluegrass Association (MSBA) has since expanded to include an estimated membership of more than 1,600 “pickers, singers and fans” in Mississippi and many other states. The organization sponsors an annual music festival and other events, and works with bluegrass associations in other states to promote the traditional music they all treasure. A current project is the publication of a cookbook, simply titled “Magnolia State Bluegrass Association.” “Funds from the sale of this cookbook are being used to help our association purchase a historical marker to be placed in Taylorsville, where the association was founded,” said Bertie Sullivan, of Hattiesburg, vice president of MSBA. The cookbook may be ordered for $15 plus $5 S&H per copy. Send a check or money order for $15 plus $5 S&H per copy to Magnolia State Bluegrass Association, c/o Bertie Sullivan, P.O. Box 16778, Hattiesburg, MS 39404-6778. For more information about MSBA, visit the website at www.msbga.org. Browse our recipe archive at www.todayinmississippi.com.

1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream 1/4 cup orange juice

1 Tbsp. honey 1 tsp. vanilla 1/4 tsp. grated lemon zest

Combine all ingredients and stir until blended. Cover and chill. Serve over fruit, canned or fresh.

Hot Cider 2 qts. apple cider 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 6 whole cloves

6 sticks cinnamon 1 sweet orange, unpeeled, thinly sliced 2 thin slices lemon

Combine ingredients in a large boiler and heat at low temperature for about 3 hours. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

Roasted Asparagus 1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed and patted dry 1 Tbsp. margarine

1 tsp. lemon juice 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 425 F. Coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Spread asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet. Spray slightly with vegetable cooking spray. Roast 10 minutes, or until just tender and tips begin to brown. In a small pan, combine the remaining ingredients. Cook 1 minute over medium heat, or until margarine melts. Drizzle over asparagus and gently roll to coat the spears.

Vegetable Wraps 2 pkgs. 6-inch flour tortillas 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese 3/4 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream

1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix Vegetables, finely chopped: green onions, cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.

Heat tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds, or warm in the oven for 2 minutes at 350 F. Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and dressing mix. Spread on tortillas. Sprinkle with your choice of vegetables. Roll into a wrap and serve.

Velveeta Fudge 1/2 lb. butter 1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese 1/2 cup cocoa

2 lbs. powdered sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 3/4 cup chopped nuts

Melt butter and cheese in a double boiler over low heat or in a microwave. In a large bowl, mix powdered sugar and cocoa. Pour the hot butter mixture over the sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly. Add vanilla and nuts. Press into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before cutting.

Apple Crunch Dessert 1 stick butter 1/4 cup water 1 can apple pie filling

Cinnamon 1/2 box yellow cake mix 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

In a saucepan, melt butter in water. Pour apple pie filling into a 9-by-9-inch buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with yellow cake mix. Pour butter mixture over top. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes, or until bubbly and light brown on top. Note: Other pie fillings can be used in place of the apple and cinnamon.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning 1 (26-oz.) carton salt 2 (1-oz.) containers cayenne pepper 1/3 cup pepper

1/3 cup chili powder 3 Tbsp. garlic powder

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in airtight container. Use to season pork, chicken, seafood, steaks or vegetables. Makes 3 1/2 cups.


November/December 2011

Mississippi

Events Submissions should reach us at least two months prior to the event date and must include a phone number with area code for publication. Mail submissions to Mississippi Events, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 391583300; fax to (601) 605-8601; or e-mail to news@epaofms.com. Event details are subject to change. We recommend calling to confirm dates and times before traveling. For more events, go to www.visitmississippi.org.

“Native Splendor” Exhibit, through Nov. 30, Hernando. Native American art and artifacts. Banks House. Details: 662-404-3361; www.desotoarts.com. Senior Art Exhibitions, through Dec. 12, Columbus. Mississippi University for Women. Details: 662-329-7119.

Annual Country Store, Nov. 19, Jayess. Arts, crafts, food, homemade soup and cornbread, and much more; 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tilton United Methodist Church. Details: 601-587-1513. The Depot Artists, Nov. 19, Philadelphia. Neshoba Artists’ Guild show; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Train Depot. Details: 601-656-1000.

29th Annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, Nov. 19, Kosciusko. Arts and crafts. Free. Details: 662-289-4809, 662-289-4607. Backyard BBQ Competition, Nov. 19, Picayune. Team Picayune event; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Jack Read Park. Details: 601-273-2322. Natchez Gun Show, Nov. 19-20, Natchez. Details: 601-498-4235; www.bigpop fireworks.com. Beekeepers Workshop, Nov. 21-22, Forest. Learn how to build bee equipment and the three R’s of beekeeping; 6-8 p.m. Free. MSU Extension office. Details: 601-469-4105; pewatson3014@att.net. Christmas in the Park, Nov. 24 - Dec. 31, Tylertown. Drive-through tour of colorful lighted displays; open daily 6-8:30 p.m, weather permitting. Admission. Holmes Water Park. Details: 601-876-4911;

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Today in Mississippi

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www.walthallchamber.com/Christmas. 13th Annual Southern Lights, Nov. 25 - Dec. 31, Southaven. Drive-through park with 100,000 lights and Christmas Tree Farm. Admission. Central Park. Details: 662-8907275; www.southaven.org. Nick Trees for Blair E. Batson, Nov. 25 - Dec. 17, Brandon. Fresh Christmas trees, wreaths, Nick’s Winter Wonderland. Details: 601-8290800; www.nicholsenterprisesllc.com. 28th Annual “Christmas at the Village,” Nov. 26, Laurel. Working homestead, music, Confederate encampment, blacksmith, wagon rides, crafts and much more. Admission. Landrum’s Homestead and Village. Details: 601-649-2546; www.landrums.com. Breakfast With Santa, Nov. 26, Meridian. Santa time, face painting, tatoos, craft time, character autographs and reindeer food making; 8:30 and 10 a.m. Meridian Little Theatre. Admission. Details: 601-482-6371. Mid-South Swap Meet and Flea Market, Nov. 26-27, Southaven. Free. The Arena. Details: 901-481-0876, 901-481-0875. “Candy Canes and Christmas Carols” Christmas Parade, Dec. 1, Ackerman. Parade 6 p.m.; silent auction. Downtown. Details: 662-285-6251. Eighth Annual Christmas in the Park, Dec. 1-31, Collins. Drive-through tour with thousands of lights and displays. Free. Bettie D. Robertson Park. Details: 601-765-6012; www.covingtonchamber.com. Chimneyville Crafts Festival, Dec. 3-4, Jackson. Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi members. Preview party 7-10 p.m. Dec. 2. Mississippi Trade Mart. Details: 601-856-7546; www.mscrafts.org. Christmas Parade, Dec. 3, Lucedale. Begins at dark at Winter and Main streets. Free. Details: 601-947-2082. 23rd Annual Christmas in Holly Springs, Dec. 3-4, Holly Springs. Tours of historic homes,museum; Christmas cantatas daily. Details: 888-687-4765; www.visithollysprings.com. Christmas in Weir, Dec. 6, Weir. “The Night Before Christmas”; 6 p.m. Registration deadline Nov. 30. Front Street. Details: 662-5476123, 662-547-6834. Studio 115 Dance Concert, Dec. 8-10, Hattiesburg. Admission. University of Southern Mississippi. Details: 601-266-4161. 13th Annual Ovett Community Christmas, Dec. 10, Ovett. Noon until. Free. Ovett Baseball Field. Details: 601-344-8784. Christmas in Osyka, Dec. 10, Osyka. Parade, photos with Santa, fireworks. Free. Details: 601-542-5994. Mississippi Coast Jazz Society Dance, Dec. 11, Biloxi. Hard Rock Casino; 2-5 p.m. Admission. Details: 228-392-4177.


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Today in Mississippi Singing River November/December 2011