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This month’s column is about life’s most valuable commodity. We sacrifice it for the possibility of something better – or because we think we have to. We thrive when we hoard it. We suffer when we neglect it. The world dictates it. 

I am talking about sleep.

SATURDAY, OCT. 1  SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:  

Alcorn State (1-2) at Arkansas (3-1, 0-1 SEC),  Series: First Meeting, 11 a.m. CT • SEC Network Alternate Channel, Little Rock, Ark. • War Memorial Stadium (51,120)              

Florida (3-1, 1-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-1 SEC), Series: UF leads, 37-10-2,  11 a.m. CT • SEC Network, Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (40,350)

Louisiana-Monroe (1-2) at Auburn (2-2, 1-1 SEC), Series: AU leads, 9-0, 2:30 p.m. CT • SEC Network Alternate Channel, Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)    

Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 SEC) at Georgia (3-1, 1-1 SEC), Series: UT leads, 22-21-2, 2:30 p.m. CT • CBS,  Athens, Ga. • Sanford Stadium (92,746)                                

Texas A&M (4-0, 2-0 SEC) at South Carolina (2-2, 1-2 SEC)   Series: TAMU leads, 2-0,   3 p.m. CT • SEC Network,  Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)     

Kentucky (2-2, 1-1 SEC) at Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC), Series: UA leads, 36-2-1, 6 p.m. CT •  ESPN), Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)  

By Stan J. Griffin: September 28, 2016

The youth movement is alive and well with the No. 1 University of Alabama football team as the Crimson Tide has rolled to a perfect 4-0 start.
And this is especially true on the offensive side of the ball for Nick Saban's team.
Freshmen and sophomores have played an integral role thus far in the success of a prolific Alabama offense that is currently averaging nearly 47 points per game while also tallying just over 483 yards per game.
Some of those talented underclassmen include Jalen Hurts and Blake Barnett at the quarterback spot, Damien Harris, Joshua Jacobs and B.J. Emmons at running back and Calvin Ridley and Trevon Diggs at the wide receiver spot.
Not to be forgotten, however, is the Alabama offensive line, where Ross Pierschbacher, Lester Cotton and Dallas Warmack are just three of the first or second-year players that have seen extensive playing time in that critical area of the Tide team.
A true freshman who has already established himself as a consistent leader on the UA line is right tackle Jonah Williams, the 6-foot-5, 296-pound native of Folsom, Calif.

How can flower gardeners help reverse the current decline in pollinators, and why is this important? Autumn is an excellent time for planting most trees, shrubs, and perennials, so their roots may mature during the winter, before their resources are needed for the growth spurts of spring.

By Stan J. Griffin: September 26, 2016

The top-ranked and 4-0 Alabama football team had its most complete effort of the season this past weekend in romping past Kent State 48-0, a crisp, efficient and clean performance in which many players saw action, including all four Alabama quarterbacks.
During his press conference on Monday, however, Saban said it is still time for his team to elevate its overall game significantly as Alabama is about to begin a stretch of six consecutive Southeastern Conference games.
Homecoming comes to UA Saturday as the Crimson Tide hosts Mark Stoops' 2-2 Kentucky Wildcats at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT, and the contest will be televised by ESPN.
"Now that we're back in SEC play, I think it's time that we build on (the effort against the Golden Flashes), build on the momentum, play faster, be more crisp, practice better, play with confidence, use the right technique, not talk about paying attention to detail or being casual or finishing or any of those things," said Saban. "If we want to be the team that we're capable of being, I think it's important for everybody to buy into that and do that. The SEC's a tough league, and every game you play in this league is an important game, as this game will be against Kentucky.

By Stan J. Griffin: September 24, 2016

After having survived a grueling marathon of a contest in its previous outing against Ole Miss, the University of Alabama football team was hoping for a much less physically and mentally stressful day at the office Saturday as it collided with Kent State.
And fortunately for the top-ranked Crimson Tide, that came to fruition as Alabama experienced very little difficulty against Nick Saban's alma mater, topping the Golden Flashes 48-0 behind a fast start and breakout performances by freshmen tailbacks Joshua Jacobs and B.J. Emmons among others.
Alabama improved to 4-0 before a sellout crowd of 101,821 at a steamy Bryant-Denny Stadium. Paul Haynes’ visiting Golden Flashes, meanwhile, fell to 1-3.
“Our goal for this game was to start fast, and to play a complete game and start fast and finish, and I think we probably did that as well as we have all year,” said Saban. “The players were focused and we had three straight scoring drives right off the bat, and the first play on defense we probably didn’t execute exactly right, and they made a big play, but we got a stop. I am very pleased with the fact that we got to play a lot of players. Maybe there were a few more we wish we could have played as well. But overall, pretty pleased with the way we played. It was the plan to play (Barnett) in the second quarter, regardless of how it was going in the game, for his development as a quarterback. He may have to play at some point down the road, so I thought he did some good things while he was in there. I thought (starter Jalen Hurts) played well.”

On the Tide’s opening drive of the game, Alabama marched 70 yards in eight plays, mainly on the ground. Hurts capped the drive, which consumed 2:46 off the clock, with a 20-yard keeper to put Alabama up 7-0.

By Stan J. Griffin: September 23, 2016

Above photo: Alabama coach Nick Saban during his playing days with the Kent State Golden Flashes

Take a drive around Tuscaloosa, and you will not find a host of parking lots swamped with hundreds of RVs at this point, even with Saturday's Alabama/Kent State game less than 24 hours away.
Let's face it, the game has tons of sentimental significance to Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban due to the fact that he once suited up for the Golden Flashes, but otherwise much of the football talk by Alabama fans for this weekend actually involves other games such as Auburn/LSU and Tennessee/Florida.
Alabama/Kent State, meanwhile, elicits mainly yawns and golf claps.
The buzz concerning next week's Alabama/Kentucky contest will only be moderately higher because of it being an SEC game and also due to it being Homecoming at UA.

The Alabama hunting seasons for 2016-2017 are significantly different from the past, with changes in the season dates for several popular species and the adoption of the mandatory reporting of deer and turkey harvests through the Game Check system.

By Stan J. Griffin: September 22, 2016

We have just passed the three-week plateau of the 2016 college football season, and the landscape has already been littered with big upsets as well as a host of near stunners.
This includes Iowa falling to North Dakota State, Oklahoma State falling to Central Michigan and Mississippi State falling to South Alabama, as well as teams such as Tennessee and Georgia narrowly avoiding catastrophic upsets against Appalachian State and Nicholls State respectively.
Nick Saban, the 10th-year coach of the Alabama football program, knows better than anyone what can happen if a "big-name" school does not prepare well against a huge underdog opponent,  and fails to treat that opponent with the respect it is due.
And he sends that message to his No. 1 Crimson Tide team early and often, usually utilizing the media to do so.
That was the case again earlier this week when discussing the Tide's game Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium against Kent State, his alma mater.
The Tide (3-0) and Golden Flashes (1-2) are set to clash just after 11 a.m. CT, and the game will be televised by SEC Network.
Alabama is a nearly 44-point favorite, but Saban noted that he hopes his team is more focused on continued improvement, eliminating mistakes which have plagued the Crimson Tide up to this point and playing to its standard in order to avoid becoming a victim of the upset bug.

When my three-year-old son was first born, my husband and I decided against buying a bassinet to place in our bedroom, in large part because we were gifted with a great crib from my mother-in-law. However, when it came down to his falling asleep, and me having to actually leave him alone in his crib – well, I struggled. His bedroom was located directly across the hall, in full view from my master bedroom, but it seemed extremely far away. What if he cried and my husband and I didn’t hear him? What if he rolled over and suffocated in his pillows? 

SEC FOOTBALL SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24:

Kent State (1-2) at Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC),  Series: UA leads, 1-0 11 a.m. CT • SEC Network, Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)            
Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1 SEC), Series: UGA leads, 32-12-1,  11 a.m. CT • ESPN, Oxford, Miss. • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (64,038)          
Mississippi State (1-2, 1-1 SEC) at UMass (1-2,), Series: First Meeting, 2:30 p.m. CT • ESPN3,  Foxborough, Mass. • Gillette Stadium (68,756
Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at Tennessee (3-0, 0-0 SEC), Series: UF leads, 26-19, 2:30 p.m. CT • CBS, Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium (102,455)                      
Delaware State (0-2) at Missouri (1-2, 0-1 SEC), Series: First Meeting, 3 p.m. CT • SEC Network, Columbia, Mo. • Memorial Stadium / Faurot Field / (71,168)     
Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1 SEC) at Western Kentucky (2-1), Series: VU leads, 3-1, 3:30 p.m. CT •  CBS Sports Network,  Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith Stadium (22,113)       
 LSU (2-1, 1-0 SEC) at Auburn (1-2, 0-1 SEC),  Series: LSU leads, 28-21-1, 5 p.m. CT • ESPN,   Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)                         
South Carolina (2-1, 1-1 SEC) at Kentucky (1-2, 0-1 SEC), Series: SC leads, 17-9-1, 6:30 p.m. CT • SEC Network, Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium (61,000)      
Arkansas (3-0, 0-0 SEC) vs. Texas A&M (3-0, 1-0 SEC), Series: ARK leads, 41-28-3, 8 p.m. CT • ESPN, Arlington, Texas • AT&T Stadium (86,798)   

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK FOLLOWING WEEK 3:

OFFENSE:
Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama
The freshman quarterback led the Crimson Tide with 304 yards of total offense, throwing for 158 yards and rushing for 146.
Helped the Crimson Tide overcome the largest deficit in school history (21 points) in a 48-43 win at No. 17 Ole Miss.
Became the first Alabama quarterback to rush (146) and pass (158) for more than 100 yards since Tyler Watts in 2001. It was also the fifth most rushing yards by a QB in school history.
Completed 19-of-31 passes without an interception while completing five explosive passes for 17 yards or more (45, 30, 22, 18, 17). He also accounted for seven first downs through the air.
 Produced eight rushes of 10 yards or more and seven rushes that produced first downs.

School is in full swing and Labor Day has come and gone, signaling summer’s lazy crawl has come to an end – but that doesn’t mean it has to end for you. With summer rates dropping as the offseason approaches, the beach in the fall is perfect for anyone looking to visit some sandy shores without the crowd.  

By Stan J. Griffin: September 20, 2016

A 2017 University of Alabama baseball schedule which features 37 home games will allow Crimson Tide fans not only plenty of opportunities to experience the second season of baseball in the beautiful,  modern and fully-renovated Sewell-Thomas Stadium, but also the new era of Alabama baseball under first-year coach Greg Goff.
The University of Alabama and Goff announced the Tide’s official schedule for the 2017 baseball season Tuesday.
UA’s schedule consists of a total of 56 total games.
The 2017 schedule is also a very competitive and formidable one, as it features eight teams that advanced to the NCAA postseason in 2016, including four Super Regional hosts and one College World Series participant.
“I’m really excited about our schedule, especially having the opportunity to play 37 home games this season,” said Goff. “Our team is looking forward to getting to play in front of our great fans and inside our beautiful stadium every opportunity we get. I hope to see “The Joe” packed out every night to provide us with some extra energy and help us build a home field advantage unlike any other.”
Alabama will open 2017 with 20 consecutive home games to begin the season, with the Tide playing host to the Presbyterian College Blue Hose from Feb. 17-19 to open the 2017 schedule. Alabama will follow with non-conference weekend series against Oral Roberts (Feb. 24-26), Louisiana-Monroe (March 3-5) and Arkansas Pine Bluff (March 10-12).

The 14th Annual Canine Classic 5K road race to benefit the Humane Society of West Alabama will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, at Kentuck Park in Northport. 

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we so appreciate all the support from our local businesses as sponsors, and the community, for turning up to run or walk,” said Betty Freeman, race director and HSWA board member. “All proceeds go directly to the welfare of all the animals in our care and to helping more in the Tuscaloosa community.”

The riveting 48-43 win by the No. 1 Alabama football team over then-No. 19 Ole Miss Saturday in Oxford will not soon be forgotten,  as the Crimson Tide had to survive a thriller filled with big plays by both sides, a host of momentum swings and a late rally by Hugh Freeze's Rebels to remain undefeated in the early season at 3-0. 

Morning hassles...nagging, prodding, lost socks, and spilled milk...all as we rush out the door to start our day.  You don’t have to feel rushed and irritated; get in control!  With a little problem solving and advanced planning, morning routines can become just the right start for a great day!

Okay, so it’s not technically fall just yet – but we’re getting closer to it, and no doubt many of us are running around town, busily balancing kids, work, you-name-it. Wouldn’t it be nice to sit down with the entire family for a nice meal? With that in mind, I thought I’d suggest this wonderful chicken parmesan entrée. Make it, and watch every member of your busy family gravitate to the table. Never fails. 

And for dessert? These avalanche bars are always a huge hit. White chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallows? Yes. Please. 

Have a great month, and bon appétit!  

Chicken Parmesan 

  • 4 chicken cutlets 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce 
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs 
  • 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon water, whisked together 
  • 10 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked 
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • Dried basil for garnish 
  • Salt/pepper 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour (both sides), shake off excess. Then dredge in egg mixture (both sides), shake off excess. Finally, dredge in breadcrumbs (both sides) and press into chicken. 

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken on both sides (3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through). Move to paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. 

Place cooked noodles in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with marinara, reserving 1 cup to top the chicken. Arrange chicken breasts on top of noodles, followed by remaining sauce across the chicken. Evenly sprinkle cheese on top of chicken. 

Baked uncovered for around 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

Sprinkle with basil before serving. 

Avalanche Bars    

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate chips 
  • 2 heaping tbsp. creamy peanut butter 
  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal 
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows 

 

Place white chocolate chips and peanut butter in glass bowl and heat for 45 seconds, remove and stir until smooth. If chips are not completely melted, heat in 10-second increments until they are totally melted/smooth. 

 

Gently stir in crispy rice cereal until totally combined. Let sit for 10 minutes to cool. 

 

Add mini chocolate chips and marshmallows. Stir to combine. 

 

Gently press mixture into a greased 7x11 baking dish.  

 

Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until hard, and cut into bars.

We hope everyone had a great weekend. This week, be sure to get out and enjoy everything our area has to offer. These are just a few of the events and happenings – if you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Enjoy your week, T-Town. And ROLL TIDE!

Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra Presents “Orchestral Splendor”: Sept. 19, 7 p.m. Moody Concert Hall, University of Alabama campus. Tickets are available at tsoonline.org or by phone at (205) 752-5515. 

UA Theatre and Dance Presents “Doubt”: Sept. 19-24, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 25, 2 p.m. Allen Bales Theatre at Rowand-Johnson Hall, University of Alabama campus. Follow Sister Aloysius and her doubts about the morality and faith of a new young priest in this award winning drama. Admission: $10. For more information, call (205) 348-3400 or visit ua.tix.com.  

Bama Art House Films Presents “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years”: Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $8 general, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for Arts Council members. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit bamatheatre.org. 

 

The Tuscaloosa City Council meets regularly every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 2201 University Boulevard. Council committees meet Tuesday afternoons beginning at 1:30 p.m. in various conference rooms in City Hall. Occasionally, special meetings are also called and these agendas are posted separately.

By Stan J. Griffin: September 17, 2016

The No. 1 Alabama football team was able to break its two-game losing streak to Ole Miss Saturday in Oxford, taking a thrilling 48-43 win over the No. 19 Rebels before a loud, stadium-record crowd of 66,176 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
But this task was not accomplished until the Crimson Tide navigated a treacherous path.
That path included self-inflicted offensive wounds, a prolific performance by Ole Miss senior quarterback Chad Kelly and a late Rebel scoring barrage, breakdowns at times defensively and numerous momentum swings in a game filled with high intensity and even higher emotion.
Alabama (3-0 overall, 1-0 in Southeastern Conference play) ultimately was able to escape Oxford with a huge win, however, due to a breakout performance by the Crimson Tide running game, a poised effort by freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts in his first true road start and a Tide defense that bent much of the contest but also provided big plays at crucial periods that contributed heavily to Alabama remaining perfect on the season.
Hurts became the first Tide signal caller to rush for more than 100 yards since Tyler Watts in 2001 (110 vs. Ole Miss on October 13, 2001). The Channelview, Texas native accounted for 146 yards on the ground and threw for 158 more to accumulate 304 yards of total offense on the day.
Overall, UA gained 492 yards (334 passing and 158 rushing), picked up 22 first downs, and averaged 6.2 yards per play. Ole Miss totaled 239 yards (216 passing and 23 rushing), along with converting 12 first downs and averaging 4.0 yards per play. Ole Miss outgained Alabama 572 to 492, in total offense.
With just over 13 minutes left in the first quarter the Rebels scored the first points of this riveting affair as Akeem Judd scored on a 23-yard run to cap a 7-play, 75 yard Ole Miss march.
The Tide tallied its first points at the 5:54 mark of the period as Adam Griffith capped a 61-yard Alabama drive by hitting a 32-yard field goal to cut the home team's advantage to 7-3.

Lake Tuscaloosa Living (LTL) is the premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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