Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun.

And remember: 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!

Are you exhausted and drained from hassling with your children? It can be maddening to spend our energy and patience in a never-ending cycle of defending, arguing and explaining. When your children talk back to you, test you by throwing a temper tantrum or defy your authority, it may be an attempt to show their personal power. Don’t argue with kids. When you argue with your child, you give them power. Instead focus on making the behavior powerless and then give them consequences to hold him accountable. Avoid power struggles, arguing with kids will get you trapped in a no-win situation! 

This beauty is Tiffany, a 1-year-old Siamese mix with crystal blue eyes. She is this week’s Humane Society of West Alabama’s Pet of the Week!

I was a good student in high school and college. Mostly A’s in high school and then A’s and B’s at UA, as I pursued a degree in mechanical engineering. School was definitely challenging. There were often times each semester I thought there was no way to finish the coursework and keep my sanity. 

UPerk officially opened its doors in August 2017, but community manager Jamey Hamm says it was established in 2016.  

“Though we opened just this August, we have 2016 on the wall, because that’s when Pastor James Goodlet had the UPerk idea,” said Hamm.  

Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa held its first annual CEO Build on Oct. 31. More than 20 local business leaders and community volunteers converged on Juanita Drive to help build a home for the Teyunna Harris and her two young children.  

Druid City Living always wants to recognize our great local businesses. To the new businesses - welcome to town! Remember: Shop local.

Not surprisingly, this week’s community calendar is a little on the light side. Given that this is the week leading up to Christmas Day, fewer events are being held – but that does *not* mean great opportunities aren’t around for family holiday fun. Check out Holidays on the River – go ice skating! Or just wander around the Tinsel Trail and admire all of the gorgeously decorated Christmas trees with your family.

One of the best ways to really understand your child is to get to know his/her world. Hang out with your child. Children are not always good about telling their mom or dad what their worries might be.

You can get in touch with your child’s needs and at the same time nurture a healthy relationship by:

This pretty girl is Juliette, a 9-year-old German Shepherd/corgi mix. She is this week’s Humane Society of West Alabama’s Pet of the Week!

“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”Clark W. Griswold

If you are reading this, then most likely there is a reminder in your immediate vicinity that Christmas is coming. Soon.

Happy Holidays! Like everyone, we’re busy here in the Poore home, getting ready for Christmas. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have time to sit down and enjoy a great meal. This shrimp and grits recipe is fantastic, if I do say so myself. I used my delicious Sumter County Shrimp for this, and it’s sure to please. Also, for those with a sweet tooth, this creamy cherry trifle is a gorgeous option for any holiday table. You can make them individually, too! 

Ah the holidays … one of my most favorite times of year. Yes, I love family, and sure I love gifts, but good gracious do I love the food. There’s something about the Christmas and holiday season in general that provides a platform for specific types of dishes. It seems un-American to prepare a large roasted turkey in the middle of summer, so of course we’ve got to take advantage of the bounty of food brought to the table in December. However, if we’re watching our weight or health in general, the holidays may make us feel uneasy about overdoing it.  

On Thursday, Dec. 14, Nick’s Kids Foundation hosted its 6th Annual Teacher Excellence Awards Luncheon at the Tuscaloosa River Market, honoring 49 elementary and middle school teachers from the Tuscaloosa City and Tuscaloosa County School Systems, as well as private area schools.

A chilly breeze, a warm fire, the chance of snow (or cold rain if you live in Alabama), loved ones all around, and a good book make for a wonderful winter night. It is the time of year where the list of to-dos can be pushed aside, in favor of spending time with family and reading those well-known stories that have shaped many childhood memories year after year. Not only is it the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ to recite these stories, reading to young children has many benefits.  

Research backs this up. According to the National Education Association, 26 percent of kids who were read to 3-4 times weekly recognize the letters of the alphabet. Among kids read to less frequently, that number drops to 14 percent. 

Gwen Pascal, a Children’s Librarian at the Tuscaloosa Public Library is passionate about reading to children and encouraging them to read. Over the years, she has compiled a list of some of her favorite holiday stories. 

Olive, the Other Reindeer is one of my favorites,” said Pascal. “He’s a dog who’s wrapping gifts, listening to Christmas music, and trimming the tree, and he hears the line ‘all of the other reindeer,’ and thinks, ‘oh, I’m a reindeer.’” 

Pascal enjoys reading to children that come to weekly story times at the library every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Anyone who walks into Pascal’s office can see the impact she has on the children who visit the library, as her desk is decorated with cards from children she has read to ever since infancy. 

“I’ve been doing this for 16 years. I have kids that came in when they’re young, and now they’re graduating high school and going off to college,” she said.

Services offered at the Tuscaloosa Public Library give local children many opportunities to read classic holiday stories. A children’s book table highlights a variety of seasonal books to choose from at Main library. If you want to check out some Christmas and holiday books, head to the library quickly – they are popular choices this time of year.  

The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority (TCIDA) has elected H. Dean McClure, president of TTL Inc., chairman for 2018. McClure succeeds Claude D. Edwards, president of Bryant Bank, who completes his term on Dec. 31.

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun.

And remember: 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!

Navigating the holidays means dodging stress.  Season induced stress is all around us.  Lines at the mall, blaring commercials telling you what items you need and want, buying the perfect gift, sending the perfect card, decorating, baking, hosting the perfect party or attending events or maybe being alone and feeling lost.  The holiday season creates stress for many of us.  Managing holiday stress is important.

Meet sweet Samantha – she is this week’s Humane Society of West Alabama Pet of the Week, and she really needs a home. Samantha came to the HSWA when her owner went into a nursing home. She was a much-loved pet.

By Amy Poore 

Happy Holidays, everyone. I’m sure many of you have traditional recipes you like to use for Christmas dinner, so I thought I’d offer up a fun treat that's easy to make. These mistletoe kisses are the perfect thing to leave out for Santa if you want something a little different (though cookies are certainly the Jolly Man's favorite). Enjoy making these colorful, festive, chocolate delights!

Mistletoe Kisses 

Ingredients:

One bag of square pretzels 

Hersey Hugs 

Hersey Kisses 

Red and green M&Ms 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250.  

Place pretzels on foiled line baking tray.  

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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