This Weekend is the SOUTHERN VOICES Festival


Congratulations TONIGHT to MELANIE MORRIS for being the official artist for the Southern Voices Festival, taking place this weekend.

Tonight is the reception, rain, snow or ice!

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She will unveil her newest work and it will be displayed through the next month at the Hoover Public Library following the event.

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Visit her facebook page to get the current pics!

Wally Lamb, author of She’s Come Undone will be the main speaker and hopefully will share his experience with his volunteer facilitation at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison located it Niantic, Connecticut. With his guidance, women were able to express their frustrations and craft the experiences into something unexpected and beautiful. Those publications are Couldn’t Keep It to Myself and I’ll Fly Away.

The full syllabus for the event and the authors who will be sharing their expertise on Saturday, February 28 from 9:30-4:00 pm is located at http://www.hooverlibrary.org/sv

Nearly ten years ago Melanie started a Christian small group for artists when it was all we could do to claim the phrase, “I am an artist” while blushing showing us that ANYONE WHO CREATES IS AN ARTIST, as taught in the books we studied over the course of six years.

Some of those are listed here:

The Creative Call, Janice Elsheimer

If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat

Scribbling in the Sand, by Michael Card

Other inspiring books on creativity:

The Vein of Gold A Journey to Your Creative Heart, Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way

Unlocking the Heart of the Artist, Matt Tommey (Purpose Driven Life for Artists)

Walking in This World, Julia Cameron

Finding Divine Inspiration, J. Scott McElroy

Melanie paints using a palette knife. She layers vivid color masked with muted tones that create vibrant landscapes and some of the most vivacious trees I have ever seen.

If you haven’t signed up for Southern Voices and want some tidbits from the festival, you can watch for my summary on my website, www.allisonpadams.com

Speakers will be:
Wally Lamb (author of She’s Come Undone, I Know this Much is True and We are Water)
Karen Abbot (American Rose)
Chelsea Cain (Heartsick, Sweetheart, NPR’s list of top 100 thrillers ever written)
Amy Greene (Bloodroot, Long Man, 2010 Tennessee Writer of the Year.
James Scott (The Kept)
Jon Sealy (The Whiskey Baron)
Thrity Umrigar (Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, The Weight of Heaven)
Meg Wolitzer The Ten Year Nap among others, and two that became movies, This is My LIfe and Surrrender Dorothy starring Diane Keaton.

Whether you attend or not, the books mentioned will surely fuel your creativity. Simply celebrate and explore the work of these writers with published works. Let that inspire you to press on with your blog, poetry or whatever creative endeavor is inside you. Let it burst forth to life!

And if you want to jump into painting and are in the Birmingham area, try one of her workshops!

She is the one who taught me to undercoat in red for every painting and to use the palette knife! You are sure to have some fast and furious FUN!

Fast & Furious Florals with Melanie Morris

Alabama Art Supply
Birmingham, AL

Cost – $100

Saturday, March 7 (Full with wait list)

10AM – 4PM

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Saturday, March 21 (New)

10AM – 4PM

Happy Creating and Blessings for Unleashing your Creativity!

Coco Love

Coco Love and painting “Dock of the Bay” by Allison Adams

Allison Adams

Follow me on twitter : Artallie

Lake Living: Gardening on Lake Tuscaloosa


I like to focus on lake topics, bringing ideas of nature to your mailbox in Druid City Living Newspaper in the Lake Living Column each month. This month, I’m writing about a challenge that applies to many of us: how to have a beautiful garden.

Rule one: Sun is required. I have discovered that the raised garden at our new home is in the shade most of the day. I wish I had realized that last year when…

I planted seeds that yielded tiny, Barbie-sized squash and melons, dangling from nearly brown stems.

Another issue is water. We have irrigation, but last year I watered in the late afternoon because, well, I am not a morning person. Keep disease at bay by watering in morning.

I am not yet a gardener, but I am a newly adopted member of the Ceres Garden Club. This week, I received two Knock Out Rose bushes from Peggy Babbs, after a meeting in her magical rose garden. The month before, Renee Holloman with Holloman Farms shared her expertise on Daylily plants. Later, a sweet neighbor gave me more “divisions” from her yard. This week, Wayne Ford, a former County Extension agent cheered us on with helpful hints.

I have been told that the largest hurdle, besides the rock that lies less than four inches below my “grassy looking stuff,” is the deer. I discovered there are some pretty plants the deer are not fond of, including burgundy blanket flower, verbena, butterfly weed, globe thistle, Jacob Cline bee balm, butterfly bush, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, thyme and crepe myrtle. If deer concern you, fence in the plants, or use bone tar oil.

While trying to “keep up with the Ceres,” I’ve been reading The Impatient Gardener by Jerry Baker. It has some amazing tricks for those of us who are “horticulturally challenged.” Who knew plants love beer and dishwater? (They help to keep flowers disease-free). I didn’t clarify how much left over beer is too much. Proceed with caution.

All of this new information inspired me. I rushed to Lowe’s, bought two green planters, soil, fertilizer, two rose “topiary style” trees with mixed color, grabbed a multi-mix basket of flowing verbena and petunias and began planting (after a stop to get the important part, beer). After planting two Knock Out Rose bushes, daylilies, and putting seeds in pots that I had started last month after the first Ceres meeting (it’s how I roll), I sat hunkered under a fluffy blanket, serenaded by the waterfalls as they deliver the overflow from recent storms to the lake. Lightening bugs flickered. A red bird swooped into a tree. A bat hovered as I dodged mosquitos. One by one, I noticed more stars. I was overcome with the stillness.

Genesis 1:29-30: “Then God said, ‘Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as good for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground – everything that has life.’”

Nature is for all of us. May we all come to find our little slice of Heaven. For now, I am starting with the slice I can possibly conquer: The deck!

Disclaimer: if you burn up your plants with beer and soap, don’t blame me, I’ll be right there with you. But if it works, tell the neighbors I told you so!

Photo: Allison Adams

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Creative Call


As Church of the Highlands begins small groups I wanted to share this from my small group while in Birmingham. Now that I am in Tuscaloosa hoping to start a similar group. Message me if you are interested!

Allison Puccetti Adams

Painting with a group can propel you to another level when working on finding your creative style.

In recent years, a group of women artists joined each week to study the book, Creative Call, by Janice Elsheimer. The book provides inspiration so that we may become the artists God made us to be.

Each week we gathered to share information, to encourage each other, to listen to praise and worship music and to explore our gifts of painting- in a attempt to wake up the creative spirit that lives within us.

Goal one is to come to the realization that because we create, we ARE artists.
Our first semester brought us to a comfortable place in our new title as ARTISTS.
Semester two we studied Scribbling In the Sand by Michael Card.

Other books of interest:
The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have…

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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!

 

 

happYmess Entertaining Recipe Appetizer With “What’s in the Fridge”


 

Mix ingredients together with olive oil or coconut oil adding salt, pepper and spices of choice to items such as peppers, onion, mushrooms or whatever you have in the fridge. Shrimp or Steak might be a good choice too!

Mix ingredients together over heat with olive oil or coconut oil adding salt, pepper and spices of choice to items such as peppers, onion, mushrooms or whatever you have in the fridge. Shrimp or Steak might be a good choice too!

All food looks better with a little cheese on top and garnish.

Quick and Easy with little planning. Did I mention that these were toasted hotdog buns cut and flavored with a bit of garlic?

Dr. Oz has lots to say about the great effects of these ingredients for healthy living.

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It’s all about what is in the fridge! Make the most out of all of your ingredients.

Easy entertaining.

Any food looks better with a great view!

Get artsy with the simple things

Bon Appetit!  Hope you enjoyed this little taste of “happYmess cooking” from a creative who loves to have fun in the kitchen!

Hope you will share some of your favorites as well!

Allison Adams

 

Visit my weekly posts at http://www.alabamawomenbloggers.com on Thursdays for all things “SWEET HOME ALABAMA”.

 

 

Artist Exhibits in Central Alabama


As an artist I enjoy viewing work by other artists. We are particularly blessed in Alabama with a variety of places to experience diversity in artistic styles.

A recent piece in the Montgomery Advertiser features a number of those near Montgomery.

CLICK HERE to see the article which features information on shows at The Elmore County Museum, The Rosa Parks Museum, Tin Man Studio and Gallery, The Georgine Clark Artist Studio in RSA Plaza and river art at the Montgomery City Hall Gallery Space.

Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is showing off Audubon Collections.

I lived in Montgomery for nearly eight years, when my oldest (teens) were only toddlers. Those connections were some of the first in my quest to discover my inner artist.

As a past Jr. Board member for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art I want to go see the recent exhibition by 32 artists from the South in the 19th Century entitled “Romantic Spirits”. This paired with Battle Drawings from the World Wars will give you and your “lover” something to talk about. (This runs through July 13).

Montgomery Artists, Mose Tolliver, Julia Starke, Camilla Armstrong, Jeannie Maddox (Dothan), Clark Walker, Nan Cunningham, Jenny Lou Greene, were some of the first influences on my love of art.

Hope you will make a stop at one of these or send me information on any others across the state that I can add to my column at Alabama Women Bloggers in the Sweet Home Alabama Series I am heading up this summer. Summer is about fueling the craft. Take some time to meander into someone else’s way of thinking and creating. You might just find a nugget of inspiration that will last a lifetime!

Allison Adams

Black Bear in Alabama


About twelve years ago in Mobile I attended a meeting of the Alabama Black Bear Alliance.

I had heard about bears in Alabama, and was especially interested when I found that the organization had been tracking some that roamed between Mobile and the Bay area and one of them had been hit by an automobile near Creola. Bears can roam as far as 40,000 acres, so it is not uncommon for those in the Florida Panhandle to wander to our coastal states.

This week, a bear was spotted walking the railroad tracks in Selma. Out of curiosity I decided to revisit the Alabama Black Bear Alliance website to see what the progress has been and decided to share it here:

http://www.alabamablackbearalliance.org/history.htm

Chris Jaworowski, Wildlife Biologist, Lowndes WMA wrote an article about Alabama Black Bear that is also interesting: 

http://outdooralabama.com/hunting/hunterresources/articles/truthbears.cfm

READ the RECENT ARTICLE ON THE BEAR SPOTTED IN THE SELMA AREA by clicking here:

http://www.selmatimesjournal.com/2014/06/23/black-bear-spotted-travelling-through-orrville-monday/

ANOTHER unique thing I love about the state of Alabama. The Bears are on a comeback!

Allison

 

Tuscaloosa BARK in the PARK Event May 17


First Annual BARK in the PARK by the Tuscaloosa Realtors Association

First Annual BARK in the PARK by the Tuscaloosa Realtors Association

 

We invite you to come out and bring your FOUR LEGGED friends for a celebration of the Will May Dog Park.

Visit the FACEBOOK page to get involved!

 

 

The Magic of the Musician


 

I recently watched the PBS Special on Muscle Shoals. It reminded me of the diamonds we have here in Alabama, in terrain, beautiful cities, country lanes, beaches and mountains, and then there is the music. Watching acts like Bono, The Almann Brothers and the Stones talk about the “magic” in Alabama almost brought tears to my eyes.

I got the same feeling recently when I got to hear Chuck Leavell speak his heart about music and forestry in the South.

Chuck was guest speaker at the Savannah Book Festival, which I was able to read at during the Ossabaw Island Writer’s Retreat. His love for forestry won my heart. He and his wife share a special bond of love for nature and forest landowner as a profession as well as stewardship for the US.allisonpadams.com.

By Allison Adams

Chuck Leavell is no stranger to America. World tour keyboardist for he Rolling Stones, a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award winner for work with the Almann Brother’s Band and in recent years, Chuck has been pianist on John Mayer albums, with Eric Clapton and even Miranda Lambert. He is also no stranger to Tuscaloosa, where he grew up after moving here at the age of nine. Many remember his band, the Misfitz, who performed on Friday nights at the YMCA just blocks away from The Bama Theatre when Chuck was back in town on November 8 with the Randall Bramblett Band to play a benefit concert for the Bama Theatre Restoration Fund.

The vibe was electric as Chuck sang a few Rolling Stones favorites and his originals. From the balcony to the stage, fans sang along. His fingers were in overdrive on songs like “Jessica” and the communication between him and fans in the audience resembled that of “coming home.”

Chuck and his wife, Rose Lane, who have been married more than 40 years, greeted guests, old friends and chatted with some new fans after the show while he showcased his newest passion, writing. 

His latest, “Growing A Better America,” was showcased at the Savannah Book Festival. Songwriters such as John Denver, Jackson Browne and bands like U2 have been singing to the world about global issues, and like these, Chuck and his wife live out their message. They live on Charlane Plantation, 2,500 acres outside of Macon, Georgia, that were left to his wife by her parents. After years paying inheritance taxes to “buy back what was theirs,” they vowed to have it as a self-sustaining property. They have won numerous awards through the state of Georgia for their research and stewardship, and Chuck has been made an honorary Ranger.

“Growing A Better America” highlights his research and ideas to make more productive in developing our greatest asset, land, with examples of projects that “do it right”. As a Georgia resident, it concerns him that the state is losing 19,000 acres of natural land a year. He has co-founded Mother Nature Network with 222,000 followers on Facebook. 

In recent months in Alabama, a “secret” private investor acquired 73,000 acres of prime timberland mainly used now for hunting and timber surrounding Birmingham. Perhaps that will remain green but who is to say? Unless we all take heart, we too may find ourselves without green places to roam.

Alabama has the third most timberland acreage (22.9 million acres/ nearly 68% of the total land area) behind only Georgia and Oregon, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission. Being one of the only states with navigable waters that flow to the Gulf, there are also logistical advantages.

Alabama is in the forefront for reforestation (begun in Alabama by pioneer E.F. Allison with Allison Lumber Company in Bellamy) as well as game management tactics he devised to assure that dwindling populations would turn into the boom of deer populations we see today. Timber expansion in Alabama is ahead of removal by 23 percent with 1.1 million acres since 1978 when numbers were at 650,000 acres according to amazingalabama.com.

In Alabama, everyone has the opportunity to experience the woods, aspire to own land and cultivate the green space that God has given us. If we each, according to Chuck, just consider our individual carbon footprint we can make great strides in the right direction. To learn more about Chuck’s book or his endeavors, find him at chuckleavell.com or charlane.com.

Author Allison Adams is a forest landowner, photographer/writer and Realtor with Duckworth Morris in Tuscaloosa. http://www.allisonpadams.com

Photo credit: Allison Adams

Ed and Fred designed the guitar straps for the Rolling Stones.

Ed and Fred designed the guitar straps for the Rolling Stones.

My son, Brent, is a music major in the New College at Bama with an emphasis in Production.

My son, Brent, is a music major in the New College at Bama with an emphasis in Production.

 

Quality REALTORS in Tuscaloosa


 

As a writer, it is sometimes hard to pay the bills, so we fall back on the things we know. When I was a young girl I sat around at our hunting camp and overheard a group of men talk about some girls in Coatopa whose parents had passed away.  “Those girls have no idea what that land is worth” rang in my ears all of my life. As a daughter of a single mom who had land, I vowed to always stay ahead of the curve. I know. I have quite a bit to learn, as real estate is always changing, but I encourage any woman to seek help before selling ANYTHING and I will be happy to help!

While I have been in Real Estate nearly 20 years, being a newbie in Montgomery, having a company with a partner, then owning my own company on the Gulf Coast during the peak times, I wasn’t sure after my third child was born that I would continue. After moving to Tuscaloosa I met the group I am with now and am loving being a part of the Duckworth team. Not only is this family entrenched in all things Tuscaloosa, but they are the “good guys” in Real Estate. It is comforting to find a place with such moral character.

Since being in the Tuscaloosa Area Association of Realtors I have come to know many of the Realtor members through a charity event I am involved in for Bark in the Park, which will be held at the Will May Dog Park at PARA (Park and Recreation Authority) in Northport.  Tuscaloosa, as Jo Bonner shared in our recent membership meeting, is blessed to have a Realtors group that works together.

Joe Duckworth, Jr. is on the board of PARA. I am amazed that a small community has such incredible riches in extracurricular activities. The amenities there are unlike any I have seen. It is all because of volunteers such as he and his family who make these things possible.

This Dog Park is named after Will May, a young boy who was killed in a hunting accident. The May family is in the veterinarian business and dogs were Will’s soft spot. The weekend before Bark in the Park, there is also a 5K Run in his memory. This community continues to pull together to support this family and see that his memory continues to make Tuscaloosa a better place.

The website for the event on the 17th is HERE.

Beside the dog park is a full fledged PUBLIC horse riding rink and facility for shows or practice. Across the street, are private stables and training facilities for students to take classes.

Rounding out the park is the Model Aircraft field (see former story) as well as a full fledged baseball park.

PARA has a number of locations with gym memberships, art classes, pools and events for children of all ages throughout the year.

Tuscaloosa is an EASY sell for families, making Real Estate a comfortable place to be if you are simply spreading the word about all of the GOOD things in Tuscaloosa, in addition to the sports.

New Members are being added each term.

Visit http://www.tuscaloosaassociationofrealtors.com for recent members.

These were the November Inductees who joined the ranks with me.

I recently sold a house for someone who tried a “by owner” approach prior to letting me help. She told me it was “so easy it made her nervous.” I take that as a GOOD review. I encourage you to use a professional, any here. With all of the continuing education we receive, many times FREE, there are plenty of knowledgeable agents. This membership has given me twice the number of hours I need this year just because I enjoy them so!

I also invite you to visit Duckworth Morris realty at www.duckworth.com to search for YOUR place in Tuscaloosa or to sign up to take the Real Estate pre license course.

New Tuscaloosa REALTORS sworn in:

During the Tuscaloosa Association of REALTORS Luncheon at Indian Hills Country Club, the new REALTOR Induction and Swearing in Ceremony was conducted by Brenda Wallace, with designated brokers presenting pins to: Allison Adams, Duckworth Morris; Kirk Eaton, Corder Real Estate; Rachel Ellison, Duckworth Morris; Matt Farris, Farris Real Estate; Nick Hardy, Realty Executives; Erica Jones, Russell Realty; Leslie Knox, Hamner Real Estate; Rhonda Mosley, RealtySouth; Brandon Roberts, Duckworth Morris; Karen Schille, Realty South; Josh Smith, Prudential Pritchett-Moore; and Ken Worley, Patton Realty.

NewRealtors1NewRealtors2

Uh, that is me, stage right. The Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors is a cohesive group of friends helping families.

Uh, that is me, stage right. The Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors is a cohesive group of friends helping families.

 

Jo Bonner UA Vice Chancellor Addresses the Tuscaloosa REALTORS Association


 

UA Vice Chancellor Jo Bonner discusses economic development in Tuscaloosa

By Allison Adams

The Tuscaloosa Area Association of REALTORS hosted Jo Bonner, University of Alabama Vice Chancellor and former U. S. Congressman, to share his views on Tuscaloosa’s economic development.

Bonner addressed nearly three hundred Realtors with a question: “How effective do you think the growth here in Tuscaloosa is progressing?” The room raised their hands after he asked how many thought it favorable.

“How effective do you think the economy is progressing as a nation?” he proceeded. There were only a few hands.

“How many of you want your taxes to increase?” he asked. No hands. Bonner informed the group of a recent talk he did where 80 percent of the crowd answered “Yes,” before quoting a recent Arkansas Democratic Gazette article which stated that the “U.S. must increase the national debt before it is too late.”

Bonner spoke of the many challenges facing our nation, stating that sometimes we just want to turn off the television. He encouraged all Americans to continue, as Tuscaloosa has, to push through with great strength, as shown by Nick Saban and his football team, as well as through activities such as the coat and can drive that went on just before he spoke to help those around us.

“America knows Tuscaloosa. Not only for great football, but as we know, we can all be in need in an instant. The Tuscaloosa Tornadoes showed the world how great this city is as they pulled together and not only re-built, but made it better,” Bonner said.

Jo Bonner thanked University of Alabama System Chancellor Dr. Robert Witt for bringing him to Tuscaloosa four months ago to join in what he called a “most impressive community.”

“Be very optimistic,” he praised, as he shared statistics on Tuscaloosa’s unfounded growth, as shared by Grayson Glaze, Associate Director of Alabama Center for Real Estate, at the University of Alabama System.

In 2008, 151 residential homes sold just before the recession began. Last year, 131 homes sold in the Tuscaloosa area. This year 180 sold. When America saw “anemic policies in Washington” in 2009 and 2010, there was actually a growth pattern in Alabama and Tuscaloosa not seen elsewhere. When an average house price here was $156,000 in 2009, it actually increased to $168,000 soon afterwards. Today, there is a $10,000 gap in average sales since 2008, with our average home price today at $178,000.

Bonner also spoke of great things regarding industry in Alabama, with Mercedes-Benz having a 20 year anniversary this year being in the United States and on Alabama soil. Today, Alabama is the fifth largest automotive state because it took a $250 million gamble. Growth projections are showing Alabama as the third largest in the next five years.

Airbus Alabama is making a stake in U.S. production in Mobile. 55,000 jobs exist now in the automotive industry that did not exist. The C-Class will join the ranks of U.S. manufactured Mercedes inventory.

Bonner spoke humbly of his upbringing in Monroeville and the blessed opportunity to work with an institution such as The University of Alabama.

“The University is the largest employer in the state,” he said. “And Tuscaloosa is the only city in the state to be home to a governor, two members of congress and an impressive young mayor making big changes in Tuscaloosa’s position in this state.”

When Dr. Witt came to the University there were 28,000 students. This year, there are 33,000, with an 81 percent growth in a decade. No flagship in America has achieved this. Bonner spoke of the quality of students at the University of Alabama with 28 percent of them never making a B. The faculty has increased by 47 percent, with goods and service needs trickling out into our neighborhoods and retail stores.

“Don’t sell your profession or the need for your relationships in the community short,” he told the Realtors Association. “You are helping people make the largest purchase of their lives and the next decade promises to be even better than Tuscaloosa’s past.”

Nikki Simmons, Executive Vice President of TAR, accepted the MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD presented by Moody Radio on behalf of the 370 realtors and 85 affiliates who make a difference in our community. The group collected coats and canned goods for area residents in need during the meeting.

“I am so proud of our members and the difference they make in our community and that they received the recognition they deserve,” Simmons said.

To find a REALTOR member in your area visit tuscaloosarealtors.com.

Photo Credit: Allison Adams

Allison is as REALTOR member of the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors and a Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce and would love to help you take part in owning a piece of Tuscaloosa and West Alabama. Two O Five-914-2400 or allisonpadams AT gmail dot com.

 

 

Holy Spirit School presents ‘Alice in Wonderland’


 

My neighbor happens to be the director of this musical, Annie McClendon~

I was amazed and am including all photos I can. I also did one of the sets for them. I don’t have children at this school..but anything to help a friend.

Holy Spirit School’s Fine Arts department presented Disney’s rendition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland Jr. on November 15 and 16. The production was directed by Liz Berta, with music direction by Anne McClendon and choreography by Kate Berta. A packed house was on hand for opening night. Maggie McGuire played the main character of Alice, with Maria Phelps as Tall Alice and Madalyn Mitchell as Small Alice. Emily Mitchell performed in her thirteenth production performance as Rabbit.

Other cast members in Holy Spirit’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. included: Henry Pitts (Dodo), Kate Berta (Doorknob), Zan Jones (lead Caterpillar), Allie Albea (Cardsman), Brooke Bassett (Cardsman/Fish), Thomas Berta (Cardman/Lobster), Elizabeth Boykin (Flower/Tea Party), Ava Cicatiello (Flower/Tea Party), Pearl Davis (Two of Clubs), Eva Farrish (Flower), Cailyn Garrett (Flowers/ Tea Party), Taylor Higdon (Mushroom), Alyssa Higdon (Mushroom), Norah Hope (Caterpillar Body), Maddie Kirkland (Mushroom), Charli Kyser (Flowers/Tea Party), Catherine Kung (Flowers/Tea Party), Avery Lake (Lobster/ Cardsman), Sophie Livaudais (Caterpillar Body), Sarah Martin (Caterpillar Body), Sadie

McClendon (Tea Party/ Octopus), Bailey McLaurine (Mushroom), Mindy Mitchell (Flowers/ Tea

Party), Sailey Nichols (Lobster/Cardsmen), Dillan Olvera (Lobster/Cardmen), Anna Robbins

(Mushroom), Kate Robbins (Mushroom), Elizabeth Shore (Sea Creature/Cardsmen), Marie

McKane (Cheshire Cat 1), Nichole Louw (Cheshire Cat 2), Lisa Maggi (Cheshire Cat 3), Kate

Pitts (Tweedle Dee), Anna Pitts (Tweedle Dum), Danika Louw (Marche Hare), Mary Hope (Mad

Hatter), Reese Seale (Queen of Hearts), Sarah Williamson (Matilda), Rebecca Melton (Daisy),

Olivia Melton (Rose), Madison Dunton (Petunia), Izzy Sullivan (Violet), Audrey Shore (Tea

Party), Cecilla Walker (Lobster/Cardmen), Aden Walton (Caterpillar Body), and Berkley Young

(Flowers/ Tea Party).

Our neighbor and Ann Kats best friend in the hood is the little blue creature.

Our neighbor and Ann Kats best friend in the hood is the little blue creature.

Many volunteers helped make this production a great success, including the crew: Donny Mills, Ryan

Rainwater, Kiersten Schellhammer, Kat Robertson, Olivia Kapera, Leah Clark, Marian Cook,

Blanca Muniz, and Zach Davis.

The actors ranged in age from six years old to senior students, and the choreography was impressive. All of the age groups blended together beautifully with the help of stage manager Augusta Elebash.

The lighting design/tech direction by Donny Mims and Ryan Rainwater gave dimension and

made you forget you were in a school gymnasium. The sets and stages were all built for the production. Sets were created by the director and music director, parents who created costumes, friends and the Holy Spirit art department students.

This was the backdrop I painted. You can't have Alice without a BIG mushroom. These were painted on four foam core panels similar to the stuff that wreaked havoc in real estate in the 90's.

This was the backdrop I painted. You can’t have Alice without a BIG mushroom. These were painted on four foam core panels similar to the stuff that wreaked havoc in real estate in the 90’s.

Sponsors included Brian Prince Transmissions, Simply Twistin, Boyd’s Hairstyling, Body

Works Salon and Boutique, We Service Autos, Legal Shield, Stuart D. Albea Attorney, Norris

Radiator & Service Center, Southeaster Spine and Joint Specialist, Tuscaloosa Ear Nose and

Throat Center, Violins by Ray Leicht, University of Alabama Community Music School, Allison

Adams (painted mushroom set), LOS Construction and Roofing, Paragon Management Group, and Bama Bounders.

Photos: Allison Adams

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Video images helped create magical transitions.

Video images helped create magical transitions.

 

 

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