Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flat Rock Park on Lake Wedowee

News to Know
Story by Amanda Causey


If you go online and search Flat Rock Park, you won’t get too many results. It’s no secret that Flat Rock sees many visitors though. On any pretty summer day the park is bursting with activity.

“We had 813 visitors on Fourth of July weekend.” Park attendant John Powell said.
He and Bob Wood were keeping their eye on things the day I stopped by to speak to park visitors. Since May of this year the park has seen 22,265 visitors. 

“About 40 percent of our people are from Georgia. You’d be amazed of how many people come from that area.”,  Wood said. As he spoke those words a vehicle from Heard County, Georgia passed through the gates. 

Flat Rock Park is part of the Piedmont Plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey to central Alabama

This graphic shows the Piedmont Plateau region.

 On the day of my visit it was overcast and the chance of rain was looming in the air. That did not stop visitors from piling in.  

Cousins Dakota & Brittney have fun playing in the
waters around Flat Rock.

“We come about an hour early so we can get a good spot.” Daniel Smith, of Anniston, said.  “The people here are always nice and everyone keeps to themselves here. You don’t have to worry about your kids here, you can relax and enjoy.” 

This is the Smith Family’s second visit to the park. 

 “Flat Rock Park is a lot nicer than some of the parks closer to our house.  It’s very clean." said Daniel’s wife Amber. 

“It’s also easier for disabled people to come and enjoy. They can drive their cars right down and it’s easy to get in and out of the water. That’s another reason we like coming here.”

Brittany Green enjoys bringing her small children to Flat Rock. 

Brittany Green & Family splash around at Flat Rock on Memorial Day Weekend.

“It’s a great place to come and have a birthday party for your children, or to come and grill hotdogs and hamburgers.” Green said. “We came out on Memorial Day to let the kids swim. We were out boating and pulled up so they could have a shallow area to stand.”    

Flat Rock is a day-use park with swimming, picnicking, fishing, and nature trail. It is open open May-September 9 am-8 pm. The park is located at 7115 Co. Rd. 870, in Lineville. Regardless if you are a property owner or not, Flat Rock Park is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with the family on Lake Wedowee. 

The park is managed by The Alabama Power Company. Call 256-396-2338 for more information.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Creative Crafting - Homemade Dog Biscuits

Creative Crafting

By Amanda Causey

Homemade Dog Biscuits           
         Years back when there was the major dog food companies recalled their dog food and snacks my family, like many others in the country, did not feel safe letting their four legged family members eat just any old dog treat out there.

We found this recipe in a neighborhood cook book and made them for our dogs. Yes, it is much easier to go buy dog biscuits at the store, but knowing that your pet is getting a healthy treat is just as important as your child having one!

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
yield: 36 medium sized biscuits 1 cup Low-fat Peanut Butter
1 cup Nonfat Milk
1 tsp Fish Oil, optional but it promotes healthy skin and fur 2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat
1 TBS Baking Powder
Bone Shaped Cookie Cutters, from Martha Stewart                

preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. In a large bowl add the peanut butter. Slowly add the milk while whisking simultaneously. Whisk until combined and smooth. Add fish oil if using.

2. In a separate bowl combine the whole wheat flour and baking powder. Pour the peanut butter mixture on top and use a large spoon to combine.

3. Divide dough into 2 portions. Flour a work surface and rolling pin, and roll to a 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes (or cut into small squares).

4. Cover two baking sheets with parchment and place the cookies on top. Cookies can be close as they should not spread.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until hard and crisp. Let cool before giving to your pet.

Summer Chill Out Homemade Orange Sherbert

Simply Fabulous

Story by Darlene Bailey l Photo by Kelly Caldwell

Just how much higher will the temperature gage go?  Man oh man is it  hot or what?  Flowers,grass and gardens are pleading for rain and pets are  hiding in every shade they can find.  The place to be is on the lake  either splashing in the water or in a boat with the breeze in your face.   Cooking  is not my friend right now.  By the time I sweat to death in the kitchen, I've lost my appetite.  Something light and cool is on the menu at my  house.

My family looks forward to summer because when May arrives I break out the ice-cream freezer.  Every Sunday night I make a homemade freezer of ice-cream.  By summer's end everyone has had their turn at their favorite flavor.  I will be sharing a recipe for Orange Sherbet.   It is the easiest and most refreshing pleasure ever!  So break out the freezer  and Let's Get Chillin’.

1 2 liter bottle Sunkist Orange Soda
1 can eagle brand milk

Blend together well in a blender.  Pour up and freeze as usual. (see  easy!) *you can also use other flavors like pineapple, strawberry or lime.

Please let us know what you think of our recipes. You can email me directly at baileydp1@aol.com. I love feedback.

Glass Slipper Events


Keep Your Pets Safe While Visiting Lake Wedowee

News to Know

Story by Amanda Causey

Does your dog tag along with you wherever you go? For many dog owners, their dogs go where they go because they are a member of the family, whether it’s on their motorcycle, in their wedding, or on the boat. Boating with your dog seems a safe and enjoyable activity; however, it can be quite dangerous for your four-legged friend. Practice these dog safety tips while enjoying summertime activities with man’s best friend.
Rob  & Magnolia Germany enjoy a sunny
afternoon on Lake Wedowee.

Dr. Sam Shelnutt of Main Street Animal Hospital in Roanoke is our local veterinarian. When there are emergencies after hours he refers all his patients to his former classmate Dr. Barry Nicholls with Animal Medical Center in Anniston, Alabama.  I visited Dr. Nicholls to get some expert advise  on how to keep your pet safe during the hot summer months.

Howie Carter relaxes in the shade after a
morning of fishing on Lake Wedowee.

 The first topic of discussion was heat exhaustion. Dr. Nicholls stated that he sees a lot of pets who are suffering from the symptoms of heat stroke. Warning signs of heat exhaustion are heavy panting, pale gums, increased heart rate, and disorientation. If your dog starts to experience these symptoms immediately cool your dog down by submerging them into  water and keeping them cool. Seek medical help if symptoms do not lessen.
Wedowee Marine has a full line of pet products.
Another great tip Dr. Nicholls practices with his own pets is to groom your pets every summer, even if your breed does not typically need grooming. “I like summer haircuts,” he stated. “It lets us see fleas and ticks easily.” Looking for fleas and ticks, and keeping your pet cool are not the only reasons to trim the winter coat. Venomous snakes are a major threat to dogs, especially those who spend time around and on the water. Having a shorter mane will allow you to easily see if there is a bite. “Last year we  lost 5 animals to venomous snake bites.” said Nicholls. The three snakes that would cause a threat in this area are the Water Moccasin, Copperhead, and Coral snakes. If you see a snake near your pet and suspect a snake bite, take a photo of the snake and head to the vet. Knowing what type of snake will help in the treatment of your dog or cat. If you can catch the snake to bring along with you that will also help.  Symptoms of a snake bite are swelling and pain.
Dr. Nicholls advising his technician during surgery.

More specific to boat safety is the issue of life jackets. Is it a necessity? Dr.  Nicholls recommends that all dogs who are going to spend time on a boat have a life jacket. “Knowing if your dog can swim is the first step to protecting your pet. Get in the pool or shallow area of the lake and practice, just like you would with your child.” Also having a  doggy boat ladder will help your pet be less anxious in the water. “Practice getting onto the boat and they will remember the way.” explained Nicholls.  When buying a life vest ensure that you get one brightly colored so other boaters will be able to see your pet. Watch out for fish hooks and lures while on the boat. Keep any hazard out of their reach. Particularly fishing lines for cats.
Another good point that Dr. Nicholls made was “Be cautious when your pet jumps from the front of the boat into shallow water. There could be broken glass or sticks that can hurt their paws. We do tend to see a lot of foot lacerations.”
Being around the water is not always some dogs’ favorite thing to do. In the event you have a dog that gets anxious about boat rides there are solutions. Most anxiety can be controlled by behavioral training. There are also medications that can help, but it is always best to try other options. Nicholls said there is a new product called a “Thunder Shirt” that helps a dog feel secure and has a calming effect. He stated that he had seen a difference in behavior during thunderstorms and boat rides. 
Dr. Shelnut and his staff are available for your small animal needs Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m.—12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.—5:30 p.m. and on Fridays 8:30 a.m.—12 p.m. (334) 863-7111
Dr. Nicholls and his team of veterinarians and technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have an emergency give them a call while you are in transit to let them be prepared for your situation. 256-236-8387.

Local collection on display at regional Museum

News to Know

by Kelly Caldwell

Local residents Gary and Martha Price are collectors. It doesn't matter if its sports memorabilia, Barbie Dolls, glassware or hats... If they think it has value either now or in the future, they keep it. However, they take more pride in one collection more than the rest.

The pair began collecting folk pottery from East Alabama in the 1980s and haven't stopped since.

There collection of pottery from Rock Mills, Bacon Level and Hickory Flats will be showcased at the Julie Smith Collins Museum of Fine Art in Auburn beginning August 6 and running through November 26.

These are a few pieces of local folk pottery Gary and
Martha Price have collected over the years. Their collection
will be on display at the Julie Smith Collins Museum of
 Fine Arts in Auburn beginning August 6.

“Alabama Folk Pottery has been around for more than 200 years,” Gary Price said. “The early settlers to this area came from the Carolinas and Georgia and with them they brought their trades.”

The first settlers came to what would be Alabama after the removal of the Native Americans in the 1830s. Back then, pottery was made to be used and the style was reflective of the purpose.

“Most of the pottery from this area is utilitarian in nature,” Price said. “Churns, jugs, pitchers and other crockery were made for the potter’s family and community. All of the pottery was meant to be used and very little of it was decorative.”

Some of the more well-known potters from the area include William Hudson Boggs, “Charley” Brown, Cicero Demosthenes Hudson, John Frederick Lehman, John Davis Leopard, William Davis Pound, Zachary Taylor Ussery and Jesse James Weathers.

“These potters used homemade glazes in the early days, which included whatever they could find,” Price said. “The ash glazes were used until the railroad came to the area. Then salt was added to the mix to give a different effect.”

Making pottery was a family tradition for these people and it was something that was passed down from generation to generation with little deviation.

“The Ussery family was one of the best known pottery-making families in Alabama,” Price said. “The heirs of Robert Ussery learned the trade and continued to pass it down to their children and grandchildren.”

Zachary Taylor Ussery, grandson of Robert, remained in Randolph County and was known to use the potters mark ZTU. He also made “Alabama Churns” which have two strap handles on one side.

Gary and Martha Price have been collecting Rock Mills
Pottery as well as other local pottery since the 1980s.

“Alabama Folk Pottery is distinctive and highly collectible,” Price said. “We first began collecting in the '80s and have learned so much about the families that created these pieces.”

Pieces of Alabama Folk Pottery from this area are on display at the High Museum in Atlanta as well as the Birmingham Museum of Art.

“Collectors began coming to the area and 'picking' probably in the early '70s when folk art became popular,” Price said. “At that time, most of the people around here didn't think much of the old pitcher in the cabinet so they would sell it for a couple of hundred dollars... Then those 'pickers' would turn around and sell it for thousands of dollars.

“I know there have been pieces of Rock Mills pottery to sell at auction for more than $75,000,” he said.

“So my best advice to people that think they have Alabama Folk Pottery is not to sell it to the first person that comes calling. Do your homework and it could be worth a lot more than you think.”


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