News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

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DAILY Photo by Patrice Stewart
Bride-elect Dana McArthur from Decatur, center, who will wed Lars Porter of Birmingham on Dec. 2 at Westmeade Baptist Church, recently was honored at a bridal tea at the church. From left are her sister, Amy McArthur Balch; her mother, Nancy McArthur; the bride-elect; and Sue Grogan and Brinkley Porter of Birmingham, the mother and sister of the prospective bridegroom. Hostesses for the tea were Barbara Burney, Carolyn Seal, Bonnie Mink, Nita Johnson, Debbie Miller, Melanie Smith, Mary Ann Hardin, Connie Speegle, Charlsie Montgomery, Dee Dee Jones, Cathryn Berry, Nita King and Kathy Hogan.

Jimmy and Barbara Smith are 2007 Art for Heart honorees

Democracy was in full swing this past week as we exercised our American right to vote and let our voice be heard. I trust you did your part.

Whatever side of the fence you were on and whether or not your candidate won, the point is you took part.

We are truly a blessed nation, unlike so many throughout our world. Congratulations to each of our elected officials. I challenge you to uphold your campaign promises and to wholeheartedly put the interests of the people of the great state of Alabama and the United States at the forefront of your every decision.

Now let's see what the "chatter" is for today . . .

Art for Heart

Plans are under way for the annual Art for Heart benefiting the American Heart Association. Jimmy and Barbara Smith were recently announced as 2007 honorees and will be recognized at the Feb. 9 event at Burningtree Country Club.

"The Smiths were selected for their dedication to our community and having both experienced heart disease," said co-chairwoman Sissy Graves. "We all are working hard and looking forward to a great night of good food, entertainment and beautiful art benefiting a worthy cause."

Look for these Heart Guild volunteers wearing promotional red shirts around town: co-chairwoman Sara Watkins; Jenny Parker, art procurement; Annette Clark, donations; Amy Hamilton and Barbara Bartlett, security/food/entertainment; Ann Price and Carolyn Stewart, visual design; Shelley Sedlak and Melanie Moore, decorations; Lila Tourney, invitations; Leigh Ann Blankenship, hospitality; and Becky Turner, treasurer.

Julie Patton and Jerica Wood of AHA are also assisting with the event.

Anyone interested in participating in the Guild, donating or painting for the auction should call Graves, 351-0424. Look forward to additional details about this evening spectacular as the date draws near.

Hospice of the Valley

Hospice of the Valley's Community Bereavement Center and AARP present Hope for the Holidays luncheon for the Widowed Persons' Support Group at noon Tuesday in Hospice of the Valley's Toray Room. Lunch will be provided by Hospice of the Valley by reservation only. Call Kristin Gilchrist at 350-5585.

The bereavement center again will offer Hope for the Holidays at 5:30 p.m.

This is a free community program that will focus on dealing with the upcoming holidays and the loss of a loved one. For more information call Gilchrist or Carol Ozier at 350-5585.

Women's Chamber

It's not every day you mark a 67-year commitment, but Decatur Women's Chamber will celebrate this historic benchmark of community service to Decatur and Morgan County on Friday during its annual Thanksgiving luncheon at Decatur Country Club. The meal will begin at noon. First American Bank will present the meeting. Cheryl McCorkle will give the devotional.

The program will feature Sara Alice Godwin presenting "Decatur Past." She is a well-known Decatur historian and speaker, and will give interesting and little-known details of Decatur history.

Mary Virginia Roan, historian, and Jayne Kissam, membership chairwoman, have prepared a PowerPoint presentation that will play throughout the meeting, educating guests on all that has happened during the past 67 years. Everyone is invited to arrive early, enjoy a cup of coffee and learn about the history of this vital and valuable women's group.

Chamber members are participating in the Volunteer Center Christmas Hope Chest Project. Members are encouraged to bring their decorated boxes (Hope Chests) for a child, newborn to 17 years old. The Chamber board is also encouraging gifts for older children, ages 14 to 17.

A new cookbook, "Appetizers and Party Foods," is now available and sales are already going great. A second and third printing of the past two cookbooks — "Tour of Cookies" and "Tour of E-Z Cakes" — provide an opportunity to have a complete set. At $5 per book, these are the best buy in town and make great holiday gifts, so plan to buy several. Proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels. In 2005, $5,000 was presented by Women's Chamber as a result of the project. This year's goal is $10,000.

Purchase cookbooks at Friday's meeting or call Gail Holbert at 353-2924 to place an order. They also can be mailed as a gift for an additional fee.

Lunch is $11 and may be paid at the door. Advance reservations are needed and the deadline is Wednesday. Call Brenda Hartman, 351-6581.

Herb Society

Morgan County Herb Society met recently. President Anne Edmonds called the meeting to order with an inspirational Thanksgiving quote. Elizabeth Vinzant read a song of devotion, "What Gifts Can We Bring?"

The club remembered Vice President Julie Dutton while she is in Birmingham for medical treatment.

Doris Caver gave a program on thyme, reporting there at least 250 varieties, from sweet and citrus flavored to pungent. Thyme is native to the Mediterranean and is one of the most versatile of herbs, complementing meats, vegetables and desserts.

MCHS will have a Christmas party at its Dec. 6 meeting. There will be an ornament exchange. Everyone should bring a covered dish.

The herb for the January meeting will be scented geranium. Nancy Crosier, Edmonds and Mary Dory provide the program.

That's all for now. It's been great "chattin' " with ya!

Let me know what is going on in your little corner of the world. If it's special to you and features any of the great people who live in our community, then it will make a great Chatterbox item. E-mail me at or call me at 350-5730

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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