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Working for peanuts

Faith, optimism carry peanut farmers through hard times By Peggy Ussery Hatcher Farmers are an optimistic bunch. They have to be, because natural disasters, depressed peanut prices and the threat of trade wars are not for the faint of heart. “Farmers, you know, we’re very optimistic and that’s what keeps us rolling,” said Joel Sirmon, […]


Sign up for Medicare and estimate Medicare costs

Affordable medical coverage is something everyone wants, especially as people age. Luckily, our nation has safeguards for workers as they get older. Millions of people rely on Medicare, and it can be part of your health insurance plan when you retire. Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, as well as younger people […]


New laws to help electric cooperatives offer broadband service

Alabama’s electric cooperatives are closer to being able to provide broadband access to their underserved members, following passage of two major pieces of legislation by the Legislature.   HB400, now the Broadband Using Electric Easements Accessibility Act by Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview, will allow cooperatives to use their existing easements and infrastructure to deploy fiber […]


This Month in Alabama History: July 4, 1861

Representatives of Winston County met at Looney’s Tavern and drafted a declaration demanding that the “Free State of Winston” be left out of the Civil War. Located in an area unsuitable to plantation agriculture, most of the county’s population supported the Union and desired to remain neutral. While the county never attempted secession, it served […]


THE Food Network

Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network builds a stronger farm and food system By Katie Jackson For most folks, the term “food network” likely conjures up images of frenzied chefs, stylish culinary gurus or dive-loving tattooed foodies. Within the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, however, “food network” represents the many diverse but dedicated souls who are working, literally […]


Program to stock Florida bass benefits Alabama anglers

Decades ago, the Florida strain of largemouth bass gained a reputation for giving anglers better opportunities to catch monster bass. Since 1974, Alabama stocked more than 16 million Floridas in state waters, most about one to 1.5 inches long. Did the effort really produce larger bass? “In the past 45 years, we’ve had mixed results […]


Bladder problems in cats common, but not well understood

In the May issue, we talked about bladder pain and blood in the urine for cats. In most cases, there is no infection and it’s called Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC), or Feline Sterile Idiopathic Cystitis. The triggering causes for idiopathic cystitis are not fully understood. “Idiopathic” is a catch all word, meaning … we do […]


Not my ‘ultimate southern food’

A couple of years ago, during “March Madness” when folks into basketball were printing off the NCAA brackets to figure which teams were most likely to make it to the Final Four, some enterprising Southerners decided to bracket things that Southerners eat.  Then participants would vote and the winners would move on, round after round, […]


Apollo 11 50th anniversary

Where were you when man walked on the moon? Alabamians who were alive on July 20, 1969 generally have no problem remembering where they were when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Many of our readers, who are in their 60s, 70s or older today, responded to our call to share a memory of […]


Plant something, Alabama!

Gardening may not be for everyone, but plants sure are. That’s the idea behind Plant Something Alabama, a new statewide educational and informational campaign designed to “inspire, educate and encourage” gardeners and nongardeners alike to get more plants in the ground — and in their lives. Launched in April by the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association […]


WTD: Bahama Bob’s

Story and photos by Emmett Burnett Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship. No, not that tale and not that ship. This is the story of Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe, the Gulf Shores restaurant, the man, […]


AL People: Frazine Taylor

Studying history and making it Wetumpka native Frazine Taylor, librarian, archivist and longtime member of the Alabama Historical Association (AHA), became that organization’s first African-American president at its recent statewide meeting. The AHA is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes exploration and study of all aspects of Alabama’s history, and sponsors the state’s historical marker […]


Light It Up

It’s hot! And if you can’t take the heat, why not get out of the kitchen? Firing up your outdoor grill instead of your oven and stove will help you keep your cool this summer. BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY There are places in our country where people use the words “grilling” and “barbecuing” interchangeably, as if they were […]


Snapshots: At the beach

Submit Your Images! September Theme: “Team Spirit” Deadline for September: July 31 Submit photos online: www.alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ or send color photos with a 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. Photos may also be published […]


Keeping pets (and energy bills!) comfortable

We love our pets, and we love saving energy! This month, we’re taking a look at three common energy efficiency questions from pet owners By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen Q: We’ve thought about installing a pet door. Will this impact my energy bill? A: Pet doors are convenient for pet owners and pets, but […]