First Friday Art Walk Dec. 2


 

Friday, December 2, 2016

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Join us for Downtown Tuscaloosa’s

FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK

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And step over to

CARPE VINO for a Holiday Wine Tasting

Enjoy Special SAVINGS on Clothing

at Alli Ray Boutique

Jeans, Tops, Belts, Jewelry, 50-80% OFF

 

#allisonpadams on Instagram-

@artallie on Twitter

$10 for Wine Tasting

#Firstfriday

SEE all of the Galleries and shops open on Friday by clicking here

Water for Life


 The lake outside my window has taken on a whole new life. Mother nature has dumped gallons of water across the Southeast, making us all take notice of the power of water.

Here on the lake, not only is the beauty, the million dollar homes, the leisurely lifestyles and the fishermen who flock here the focus, but so is the quality of the water and the love for nature shown by those who will gather in the next weeks to clean her shores.

Water brings with it the gift of life. The stored treasure beyond my yard fuels our children, quenches Tuscaloosa athletes, bathes us as we prepare for each day. It flows freely from the lake to filtering systems to our faucets. We work to conquer our little empires, meet our goals, and work to afford vacations to other waterfronts across the world.

As we gathered over burgers on the back porch, the value of that water we take for granted took on new meaning. I learned of groups from local churches venturing to Haiti and the Dominican Republic 6-8 times a year, carrying water filters into the hillsides where families with million dollar views live in three dollar shacks with no clean water. Each year 3.4 million people die from water related illnesses, almost the number for the entire city of Los Angeles.

A group there worked with Church of the Highlands to hike into the jungle, going door to door in Voodoo country taking 600 free filters to families.  Volunteers visit each home, placing water filled with mud into the filters and and out comes water that the team drinks in front of them.

On a particular trip, a mother had recently passed after giving birth. Four other children remained with a father, who was terminally ill. The team took him to the hospital for treatment and has arranged for the children to be taken care of.
“The needs are so great,” a local participant said. “We cannot do it all, we know that. But it is like those starfish that you throw in the ocean. Some of them DO make it back. We return as often as we can to find those starfish.”
There are teams working on adding space in their building there to take in children who are orphaned and have nowhere to go. They also are sponsoring children for school. Education is the key to their escaping this life.

I recently met a sweet girl who ran the Mini Cooper tour business there. Twenty four, bright, educated, but unable to ever leave the country. We offered to host her here. She now has a baby and will probably never leave.
As I stand on the hillside and look out across the Caribbean beauty on a recent vacation with my family, it is hard to express what hides among the hills with the best views.

It is this groups goal to find each one and bring them the fountain of life that we here in America expect to simply drip from our faucet, straight from our freshwater lakes.

I!f you are interested in learning how to get involved, contact info@filterofhope.com or visit your local church to find a trip you can be a part of!  www.churchofthehighlands.com has a number of ministries across the world for you or your child.

Dock of the Lake by Allison Adams

Dock of the Lake by Allison Adams

http://www.adamsacrossamerica.com

 

Happy National REALTOR Day


Today is National REALTOR Day.

I  began my real estate career in 1994 after working ten years in commercial interior design. My last day of work as a full time 8-5 employee was just a few days before I went into labor with my first child. He is now 21.

Being a REALTOR (the title is trademarked) means you are a real estate agent who is a member of the Association of REALTORS and complete education and professional requirements every two years to be up to date on laws, marketing information as well as technology.

I, like many who ask me about being a Realtor, believed this career would provide me with a flexible job that would work well with my “child rearing responsibilities”. I got my license shortly after he was born thinking I could “be at home more” with him. Little did I know the time and effort that goes into a transaction.

Back then, there was barely an internet. The REALTOR was the gatekeeper with all of the secret information, your guide, your counselor. We scheduled our appointments by telephone, fewer times by cell phone. We drove our clients around in our vehicles. Today buyers like to be in their own vehicles for the most part. We printed out paper to show the home information and delivered contracts by hand. Fax was the fast way and usually a response came a few days later.

As far as flexibility of schedules are concerned, my first years in real estate I often had a two and four year old in the car eating cereal snacks and watching a VHS tape of Barney in the small TV I had rigged to play in my Suburban. It was not the glamorous or predictable lifestyle I had dreamed of. Quite often, people wanted to see the properties just as they were getting off work or on weekends in the middle of soccer practice.

Today, my schedule is still flexible, and thanks to the internet I can email a response as well as a dozen photos in a few minutes. The difference now is that I might be making deals at night with a response expected immediately. Technology is a must for today’s Realtor. I also have a child who is older than my two back then, and more adaptable as well.

This generation of buyers is much more savvy and you can bet they have done their homework. They usually know what they are looking for or have researched the schools or narrowed down to a location. In fact, sometimes they find properties that we are not aware of, thanks to some of those mega information sites that may or may not provide accurate information.

Many families choose to sell their homes themselves, making the job of the Realtor more challenging as there is not a uniform cross section of data for us to use while making a home search for our clients. Most home sellers are also savvy and are willing to work with agents who represent buyers.

A most awkward moment occurs for a for sale by owner seller when the buyer decides to make an offer. Perhaps the items being negotiated for that were not spelled out in a document such as we have through MLS (multiple listing service) that lets you know grandmother’s chandelier will be REMOVED at purchase. These are the things that a Realtor can help a buyer address, as well. We are also required to update the status of properties promptly so if you use www.realtor.com you are assured to have up to the minute information.

Sites created for sale by owner advertising provide an avenue for pictures as well as general information, but they lapse in the service that has again become the thing that attracts clients to the Realtor. That is the renewed definition in the role as the gatekeeper.

With valuables being in the home, medications that are often targeted, and safety concerns it is important for homeowners to be wary of the risks of opening your home to a complete stranger.

As a Realtor, I take it as my responsibility to meet with a client if possible before showing a home. A qualification from a bank helps the client know exactly what our target market is and gives them confidence in a firm offer. This also avoids our bothering homeowners that might not be in that price range but whose property may be of initial interest to the potential buyer.

In addition, I usually ask for a copy of a drivers license. We cannot be too careful, for ourselves or our client’s who are opening their homes as they offer them for sale.

While Realtors are still defining their roles in the world of home buying and selling, the best plus for a home seller is the marketing expertise they receive. With Realtors networking weekly, having caravans and open houses for fellow professional members of their boards of Realtors, you can assure when you hire one Realtor, you are getting the force of the membership behind you as well.

Whether you sell by owner or hire a REALTOR, remember we are all working for the same goal, to help you or someone else enjoy the American dream of owning their own home.

I hope if you see a Realtor today who is rushing to and fro, obviously working a deal on a cell phone at dinner with their family at a restaurant or at the soccer field, give them a big hug! They will gratefully appreciate it!

Blessings to my REALTOR friends who raise the bar each and every day!

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Allison Adams

Allison sells real estate in Tuscaloosa, home of Alabama’s Crimson Tide and writes her Lake Living Column for Druid City Living Newspaper from Lake Tuscaloosa. Get info on properties available in her area of Alabama at www.allisonadamsrealtor.com

EZULWINI AFRICAN PRESERVE


 

This photo contains small photos of our trip.

This photo contains small photos of our trip.

My husband and I bid on a trip at a charity auction a few years ago and had the opportunity of a lifetime. We bought a trip for a Safari at Ezulwini Game Preserve. The only way to visit is to purchase by donation to a charity.

While talking to a friend, I soon learned that she had lived in Johannesburg for two years and shared her love for Cape Town, South Africa. My husband and I were determined to add it to our trip.

We flew into Johannesburg directly from Atlanta (an 18 hr direct flight) The couple who bought the Safari the year before us flew into Amsterdam with a layover for a night while celebrating their honeymoon and then continued into Johannesburg a day later.

We stayed in “Jo-Berg” overnight at an American Hotel Chain and enjoyed an incredible meal.  It was a late flight so we ate there, had a bottle of wine (all for about 40 bucks including a steak…be ready to spend tiny bits of money for elaborate meals in South Africa~ and no scrimping on the quality) and turned in.

There is a lot to see in Jo-berg but it is dangerous at night. We were just ready to sleep to get ready for the new day and adjust to the time change. A little prescribed Ambian on the plane is not a bad idea either. I usually do not take anything ever….but as someone who already creatively gets my days and nights mixed, I thought it best to get on the same schedule as my traveling companion.

We rented a four wheel drive car (recommended) and drove to Ezulwini’s main camp the next morning. It is a beautiful drive but if you are not comfortable exploring and ending up on roads that lead to nowhere, then you might want to arrange public transportation.

Some people took a short flight from Johannesburg to the place they recommend near Ezulwini and Krueger National Park.

I believe it was a four to six hour drive through mountains and on back roads and once we ended up at the end of a road after a wrong turn in a township which was a bit scary but that is how we roll.  Let me also note that there ARE signs at exits that say HIGH HIGHJACK AREA DO NOT STOP.  WE whisked through that one looking LEFT RIGHT LEFT…NOT GOOD AS YOU DRIVE ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD SITTING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CAR. Luckily THEY stopped as we entered oncoming traffic to the left.

Do not let that deter though. South Africa is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and that includes most of Central Europe, Costa Rica, Mexico and across the U.S.

We DID make it and as we drove through the huge gates into the property we were all alone in a car passing monkeys, elephants, giraffe and some hippos on the way in. Imagine the excitement of that!

Driving from the city we were able to get an idea of the industry, huge diamond mines and mills along winding cliffs and fields coated in dark black stones with cattle grazing among the rock. We began to wonder how South Africa can be so poor yet so rich at the same time.

We stayed at Ezulwini’s main lodge for two nights and Billy’s Lodge three nights.  I would recommend that combination. Each night others who have bid arrive and together we enjoy shared dinners around the table cooked by the staff at both places.  It is incredible to meet people from all over the world who have also won the trip through a donation to a charity. We each had an individual “hut” that was airtight (sealed from the critters that include scorpions and other things I had not studied up on) but they make sure to sweep out each night and there are nets to give you the feeling of security from things that bite. Again, I have to admit, Ambian became my nightly friend.

There is a pool at the Main Lodge and open air bar that is a fun place to look at all of the photos of others who have passed through, write in a journal, sit around and meet the locals who work there or you can wait for the sunset views from the tower overlooking the watering hole.  You will not be disappointed by the facilities. It is more like visiting someone’s home than a resort. The Billy’s location has more of an open air/ hotel feeling. There they have long overlook walkways and some of the homes have private pools. Ours did not but our neighbors were so sweet to share it one day when they were out exploring. There we were, sunbathing overlooking the bush as animals roamed just in front of our feet in the valley below.

They DO recommend you be escorted at night anywhere on the grounds, as in all camps there because WE are prey to lions and many times those animals pass through. There is also the thing I did NOT research and that is the BLACK MAMBA. So it is not for the faint at heart but we even had an elderly woman with cane-like walker who did FINE on the trip and rode in the vehicles on all of the drives. She had no problems.

Our first night at Billy’s Lodge the owners were there. They invited us to their private wine cellar located in a luxury cave that still had line drawings etched in the walls from hundreds of years before. There was a complete bar and a staff member to serve us.  He shared the history of the places. They emphasized that they only allow those who have a heart of giving to be a part of their preserves.  We never met a person we didn’t love getting to know as they all had various philanthropies and the same urge to explore the world while also giving back.

After that we travelled to Cape Town by plane and will both say that is the most incredible place in the world.  It is wine country that competes with California in climate and sophistication. The beaches have white sand and are clean with crystal blue waters. Whales pass through seasonally and there are seals that make their home on the nearby rocky shore. The hotel we stayed in was just beneath Table Mountain and first class. I think it was Harbourview, a name that later in my life became significant. The pools were oriented, as well as the entrances, so that you felt you were there all alone. Community dinners gave us an opportunity to again make friends with a couple from London who later went to dinner with us at a local restaurant that served the freshest food and some of our favorite wines to date. We ended the night in a pub where karaoke soon rang out with a little “Sweet Home Alabama” twang.

We had drivers take us around in Range Rovers as you can quickly end up in a township that is best explored with someone guiding you.

Ezulwini’s owners also own an incredible house tucked beneath a mountain overlooking the sea just about an hour outside of Cape Town. Here is the LINK to Maritime on Moonlit Bay.  It is remote on the end of a peninsula overlooking a lighthouse and not much else. Baboons roam free there across the roads. We travelled out there by car and they were so kind to just tell us “stay, really stay”. It was a private house when we were there but that is how the owners are. There is also another private home with security.  They are incredibly generous and just want the world to know how great South Africa is.  Everyone in Cape Town speaks ‘LONDON ANGLISH”. BEING FROM THE SOUTH, I GOT A KICK OUT OF THAT.

If you want to visit contact them for information.

Website Click HERE

Follow Ezulwini on Facebook.

Twitter

Trevor and the guides update the hunts as they happen. We just saw that the lion king of the pride died since we have been there. Big Boy. So as you see, even two years later we are connected to what goes on there.  We saw all but one of the big 5 (Cheetahs were off in another area but some others the day we got there had seen them) on tours that were made twice a day.

The unique experience here is that they are a part of an innovative group taking down fences to ensure a natural environment for the animals to have free range on private lands.  A number of the owners in the area work together to see that they have more open range. Many are fenced.  There is NO hunting on this preserve, but the photos and memories are priceless!

 

 

Alabama Women Bloggers Introduction


I am a new writer for Alabama Women Bloggers and am so glad I ran across them on a quiet rainy night and have joined the team!

As a note of introduction to each other we are doing a “link up” of our members…..hope you will pull up a chair,

send me a link, and lets get to know each other!

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A Taurus with a recent birthday on May 3~ I am rounding up towards the big number with lots yet on my bucket list!

I was blessed to get a taste of the Birmingham Blogging life where I wrote for MagicCityPost.com before moving to Lake Tuscaloosa with my husband of ten years~ Chad (back near home in West Alabama~ Livingston).  That is where I jumped off into the world of regular blogging.

Both of my B’HAM favorites are hosting meet ups soon. Javacia Bower is hosting a Blogista Mini Conference on June 19 www.thebloganistaconference.eventbrite.com
(www.seejanewrite.com)

and Wade Kwon (a male but I met him through See Jane Write~ so hope that counts)

The social media conference is sponsored with Southern Company and called Y’all Connect –  in Birmingham on June 13.

If you can’t make the conference he usually offers follow up information afterwards.

I had a blog in 2000, before it was called blogging and have since written for newspaper, Montgomery Living Magazine (I was an interior design major) and Southern Beauty Magazine as SOUL Editor doing cover interviews with LeAnn Rimes, Emily Proctor and other celebs.

The thing about blogging…we don’t fly anywhere anymore for the “story”….it is all by phone or email, but still just as exciting as we want to make it! I am dodging internet bursts as I post this from the beach!

I have a son, 20 (musician (brentmccolloughmusic.com), an 18 year old daughter who is headed to Bama next year, a step daughter recording in Nashville and a nine year old prissy blonde haired little girl who loves softball and has a Black belt in karate.

I’d love to connect on Google 

I love ALABAMA and have lived in Montgomery for eight years, lived on the white sands of the Alabama Beaches for four years and after evacuations have decided I am hoping to be on the rock of Lake Tuscaloosa as my “forever home base” where I can cheer on the Tide each fall. I also frequent forestry meetings at Auburn as I am a REALTOR with Duckworth Morris Real Estate.

I still cry when I watch Forrest Gump, more for the brilliant mind of the writer than the actual show as I am half way through writing a novel.

I sell my paintings at festivals in the South, particularly on the coast, hopefully soon to be in Seaside. I am also working on a series of photography on canvas.

ALLISON ADAMS ARTIST SITE

I thought I was having a heart attack two weeks ago…..and Bell’s Palsy…I was healed 🙂 another story for another day.
Still dragging around songs, I have written that my musician son calls “poems”, but after thinking I wouldn’t be able to talk or sing.

I’m not the best but hey, I have the songs in me! This year I will be getting them out one way or another!

I am ready to live every day like the last and embrace who I am…work on the bad, embrace the good and instead of
complaining….just try to be a better person!

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Watch out for THE WORLD WIDE WEB


Watch out for THE WORLD WIDE WEB

 

I have been caught up in the world wide web.

Last week, I found that my brain and body finally said “ENOUGH”!

We ALL need to take time to rest, to re-charge.

My body, actually my face, said, “Enough is enough” and shut down, literally. They call it Bell’s Palsy. I had never heard of it. When I mentioned it to people I got common responses.

“My brother had that for six months! My sister has that.”

Come to find out, the bug man’s brother still has it and it has been a year.

Bell’s Palsy is a virus many of us carry, but stress seems to stir it on. I thought until now, “I thrive on stress!”

Two real estate closings and a major city event I was taking charge of later (The first ever Bark in the Park with the REALTORS Association) has changed my thinking!

There are so many things that tug at us day after day. We have to sift through the important ones and learn to say NO. I am saying this to myself as much as you.

So this year, as my daughter graduates from high school, I am accompanying her on her senior trip to a destination with NO phone service, NO internet and no deadlines. Just sand, surf and relaxation (as much as can be done with teenagers!).

On the flight home I am praying to come back refreshed, with clarity on the next step for me here in this busy world.

I wear many hats, a mom to three, loving the arts, craving the ink on the page and enjoying real estate here in Tuscaloosa and my column with Druid City Living Newspaper about Lake Living.

A special love I have for the state of Alabama I am planning on sharing in a new Blog Post each week for ALABAMA WOMEN BLOGGERS as their SWEET HOME ALABAMA Coordinator.

Yes, I know, to you it sounds like I am not planning on slowing down at all, but I can assure you, I will be picking the projects I love and that have meaning.

For your TO DO List as summer and kids and busy schedules try to seep in….

1) Carve in some time with your kids that enriches YOU as well,

2) Make a date night with your hubby once a week if possible (or yourself),

3) Take time to soak in a hot tub with lavender, some bath salts and YOUR favorite music (music does soothe the soul),

And every morning…wake up THANKING GOD for the blessings.

I am thinking him that my lesson only lasted a few hours and that I was healed…more on that later!

Have a BLESSED summer!

 

Allison Adams

 

 

It is the creative POTENTIAL that is the image of God


It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God. Mary Daly

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12201047/?claim=kbhsb343x7w”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

Bloglovin’ on a Thursday~

Free Spirit


Free Spirit

I sold this one this week at the Druid City Art Festival

The first official wordpress post~ about the butterflies~ but not my first rodeo


This WORDPRESS blog is a creation I never thought I would get to.

One year ago today I had the goal of creating a website.

I completed that task. CHECK on the old to-do list.

I was pretty pleased with it. It was a free site.

It was beautiful~ graphically FLASHY….still speaks with photos…

with a rotation of my paintings flipping across the screen.

THEN I attended a seminar (5 weeks of incredible content) by Mitzi Jane Media.

During one of those presentations I was sadly informed that if I wanted to become a serious blogger,

I would need to use wordpress…that due to the flash on my other, I would never be read, never be seen.

I didn’t sleep that night. I had already begun (or attempted to begin) THREE WordPress websites.

The flash one is still alive though…

www.allisonpadams.com

If it leads you back to here, well that just means I am thinking I am on the right track to blogging world!

But for now I am hanging on to it…

This girl does not go down without a fight.

YOU are witnessing round THREE….and I vow to conquer!

I hope you enjoy the posts that I plant here each week.

I also found, while milling around..that WORDpress is just a big bully…

with experts who scared me into thinking I couldn’t write my own content.

Guess what…(and don’t penalize me wordpress…I am beginning to love you)

THERE WAS A WAY TO IMPORT ALL OF MY POSTS FROM MY BLOGSPOT SITE.

I hope you will comment on the content, the design, acknowledge that I am growing and learning as I

am creating this ALL ON MY OWN.

(and if I call in a consultant, I will be sure to give them accolades!)

Please feel free to add links to helpful tips or suggestions, great sources for information.

I will try to do the same here as well as soon as I learn how to add my categories!

I have chosen a butterfly as my background theme.  As I approach 50

(I NEVER thought I would say that as I still think I am 39! ok my kids would say 29~ that I THINK I am 29)

I feel more like a butterfly about to burst out of a cocoon.

I have harbored up information, blogs, tweets, books, articles, products that are just dying to burst forth.

Here I will combine all of my loves into one big happYmess….

Welcome and I hope to have you back soon!

Allison