Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blankets with a Blessing Delivery

First Lady Dianne Bentley Delivers “Blankets with a Blessing” to SafeHouse of Shelby County

COLUMBIANA—First Lady Dianne Bentley donate fifty-five blankets to the SafeHouse of Shelby County as part of her “Blankets with a Blessing” initiative to provide new quilts and blankets to homeless and displaced families during the holiday season. “Blankets with a Blessing” has provided thousands of blankets since the initiative began in 2004.

An avid quilter herself, Mrs. Bentley donated a handmade blanket to the cause.

“It was heartwarming again, to see the response from Alabamians as we came together to reach out to care for one another. The blankets will serve as a source of comfort for those living in SafeHouse,” said First Lady Dianne Bentley. “The ladies at the center were so appreciative for the blankets and were honored that the people in their care could be the recipients of such a loving gift. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to use my position as First Lady to help those in need and I hope in the years to come I will be able to further help the people of Alabama.”

Located in Columbiana, Alabama, SafeHouse of Shelby County is a full-service domestic violence and sexual assault center that provides emergency shelter while empowering victims of abuse through support and advocacy. Through the initiative, Mrs. Bentley was able to provide a blanket for every woman and child currently housed in SafeHouse.

Kathy Wells, Executive Director said that the blankets will remind the women and children of the blessing they received at SafeHouse.

“We are so grateful for Mrs. Bentley’s donation of blankets through the Blankets with a Blessing Program. These blankets truly are a blessing. They not only keep the women and children warm physically but also provide the warmth of knowing that someone cares. The blankets often go home with the women and children as a reminder that they found safety and unconditional care at SafeHouse,” said Kathy Wells, Executive Director.

Christmas Tours

Last night concluded the Christmas Candlelight Tours at the Alabama Governor's Mansion for the 2011 year. Guests were welcomed by the Chilton County Queens, volunteers from the Governor's office, and docents as they toured the historic home. The Bentley's were honored to continue the tradition of open house tours and hope that everyone will join them again next Christmas season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A New Christmas Tradition

First Lady Dianne Bentley has a tradition of cooking during the holiday season and no exception was to be made during her first Christmas at the Governor's Mansion. She worked alongside Chef Jim Smith, the winner of this year's Great American Seafood Cook-off, to help prepare the food served at each Mansion event. Staff members commented that it was refreshing to spend such long and enjoyable afternoons with Alabama's First Lady, and each will take away special memories from this Christmas season with her.

The First Lady has many recipes that are popular during Christmas but one of the most savory is the recipe for bread pudding. The instructions to make it are below.

Bread Pudding

16 slices of white bread torn into pieces
9x13 pan sprayed with Pam

1 stick of margarine, melted
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 quart regular milk

Spread bread pieces evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 pan that has been coated with Pam. Mix the above ingredients and pour over the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon if so desired. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

White Chocolate Sauce

12 ounce bag of white chocolate chips (you will only use half the bag)
1 stick of margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Melt half the bag of chips with margarine in the microwave, about 2 minutes.
Add 1 Cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and 6 teaspoons of water. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour over the hot bread pudding and let rest about 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

Governor and Mrs. Bentley wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Candle Signing

Last week, First Lady Dianne Bentley sat in the Governor's Mansion Gift Shop to sign candles from the new Mansion candle line. The First Lady is happy to promote the candles because they are poured and produced in Alabama. There are five scents offered and they can all be purchased in the shop located on 30 Finley Avenue. The First Lady, The Mansion, Chef Jim's Gingerbread House, The State Flower, and The State Fruit are on display, everyone is welcome to stop by and pick their favorite.

Governor and Mrs. Bentley like to support Alabama products and people however they can. As the holidays get closer and people are buying gifts, they encourage people to support their state and buy local. The Governor's Mansion Gift Shop and the Goat Hill Gift Shop in Montgomery both offer a great selection of Alabama products.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Candlelight Tours

Last night was the first of three Christmas Candlelight Tours at the Alabama Governor's Mansion. A special thanks to Joel Gregory and the Montgomery Youth Chorale for helping us celebrate through carols in the Hill House. The voices of children are so precious and every tour guest was in awe of their talent.

This year designers from around the state were asked to come in and decorate for a traditional Christmas. Each person captured a different sense of tradition and every room is breathtaking. Scot Wedgeworth, who will be starring in an upcoming reality TV show on the Food Network called Bama Glama, was responsible for the Garden Room. He captured the spirit of Alabama and used all Alabama products. He used bales of cotton, apples, live garland, a live tree, and red ornaments to design his space. He said he wanted to show every visitor how "fabulous" Alabama is. He is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Jerry Thrash from Rosemont Gardens in Montgomery, Alabama, designed the Music Room. He wanted to showcase the natural history of the room and placed the live tree in between the infinity mirrors that are original to the Mansion. He used various shades of gold and silver in his space which enhance the natural beauty of the room. The tree is from Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farms in Wetumpka and is a twelve foot Murray Cyprus.

Vesta Taylor of Vesta Taylor Interiors in Greenville, Alabama, decorated the First Lady's Parlor. Her goal was to give her room a more feminine and light feel. She chose the colors blue, silver, and white. Her room also includes a nativity scene to remind guests of the true meaning of Christmas.

The dining room was done by the designers at Belle Bouquet Florist and Gifts in Saraland, Alabama. They decorated with the reds, greens, and gold of the Christmas season. They highlighted the mantels and buffet with poinsettias and decorated every chair with a wreath. It was important to leave the dining room functional as well as beautiful for all events at the Mansion during the season.

Every room has a different sense of style and every person that came into the Mansion has their own favorite space. The Governor and First Lady hope that many more people will come through during the next two weeks to see the Mansion and pick out their own favorite room.

Tickets are complimentary and can be picked up at the Mansion Gift Shop on 30 Finley Avenue in Montgomery. Tours are for the Hill House and for the Governor's Mansion and will be on December 12th and 19th from 5:30PM- 7:30PM.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Goat Hill Museum

A secret treasure in Montgomery that deserves recognition is the Goat Hill Gift Shop located in the bottom of the Captiol on the Union Street side. This shop houses work produced by Alabama artists, books about Alabama, and many other fascinating objects. The First Lady enjoys spending time browsing the shelves because each trip brings a new discovery. Right now, the Goat Hill Gift Shop is decorated for Christmas and can help anyone find that unique gift for the person who has everything. It is a hidden jewel that anyone in Montgomery should stop by to see.

John Blue Hill House Dedication

Wednesday, First Lady Dianne Bentley gathered with members of Friends of the Mansion, the Governor's Mansion Authority, and other friends in the community to recognize and honor the Smith Lanier family for their contribution to the state of Alabama. Scott Moreland, President of Friends of the Governor's Mansion spoke first and shared the history of the home and its impact on the community. Mrs. Bentley also contributed by thanking the Lanier family on behalf of the state of Alabama. A formal introduction of the family was given by Ms. Rennie Vainstein which can be read in the following lines:
It has now been some years since I first met Betty & Smith Lanier.  We worked together in a very different capacity from their public life.  I grew to know them as some of the warmest, genuinely thoughtful and gracious people I had ever met.    They exemplify dedication to the practice of generosity in every aspect of their lives from personal to professional, civic, social and spiritual.   They make every effort leave the people they meet and the places they’ve been better off.
Smith is Chairman Emeritus of J. Smith Lanier & Co.  He returned from active duty in the Korean War to purchase his family’s insurance business in West Point.  With Betty at his side, he has led J. Smith Lanier & Co. to be the 6th largest privately owned insurance brokerage firms in the country.  Just this year it was named the “No. 1 Best Place to Work in Insurance.”
Smith has been a founding director of 5 publicly traded companies and in 1998, he was named National Small Business Person of the Year.   Smith is now retired with his nephew, Gaines Lanier at the helm of the family business.
Over the years, the Laniers have been strong advocates for far too many wonderful causes to list, from healthcare and business leadership to civic interests such as this magnificent home we are standing in. They have generously supported education in Alabama at all levels from the founding Springwood School in Lanett, AL to serving Auburn University with extensive time, their talents and gifts.  They are both life members of Auburn Alumni Association and the new Auburn Christian Fellowship building is named for Betty.  In 2000, the University honored Smith with an International Quality of Life Award at the United Nations.
Smith & Betty have 3 married daughters and 8 grandchildren aged 10 to 22 years.
The Lanier family’s generosity of spirit is a blessing to all of us, especially to the Friends of the Governor’s Mansion as well as the people of Alabama. It is with great pleasure that I introduce Smith Lanier and his wife Betty.
The Laniers added their gracious and humble words to the ceremony and spoke of how blessed they feel to be a part of a project like this. They dedicated the home to their grandchildren.

At the conclusion, guests were invited to join a reception in honor of the occassion in the John Blue Hill House.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turkey Pardoning 2011

To continue with tradition, Governor Robert Bentley pardoned Clyde the turkey for the 2011 Thanksgiving season. The ceremony was hosted at the Alabama Governor's Mansion in the foyer. Johnny Adams, President of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association spoke, as well as Mr. Bill Bates, Governor Bentley, and First Lady Dianne Bentley.
Following the pardon, Mrs. Bentley discussed her Blankets with a Blessing project and was presented more blankets by the Poultry and Egg Association. Then Riverchase United Methodist Day School kindergarten students presented their own quilt made of squares that each student drew. They also sang several songs to Clyde who happily walked around the foyer to greet all of the guests.
The Bentley's both stated their thoughts on the importance of the Thanksgiving season and the need for everyone to find at least one thing to be thankful for. They hope to continue this tradition as the administration continues.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blankets with a Blessing

First Lady Dianne Bentley Continues “Blankets with a Blessing” Tradition

MONTGOMERY—First Lady Dianne Bentley will continue the initiative “Blankets with a Blessing” that provides new quilts and blankets to homeless and displaced families during the holiday season. “Blankets with a Blessing” has provided thousands of blankets since the initiative began in 2004.  Beginning November 3 through November 15, new quilts and blankets will be collected from businesses and citizens across the state and distributed during the winter months to homeless families and those temporarily displaced by the April tornadoes.

An avid quilter herself, Mrs. Bentley will donate a handmade blanket to the cause.

“As we approach the cold winter months, it is important that we remember those who have lost their homes, or have no permanent place to call home. In the days after the tornado outbreak in April, we saw Alabamians unite to help neighbors in need," said First Lady Dianne Bentley. "As we approach the holiday season let us continue to help each other with warm blankets during the cold months.”

Donated new blankets or quilts can be mailed or dropped off at the Alabama’s Governor Mansion Gift Shop in care of Heather Hannah, 30 Finley Avenue, Montgomery, AL 35104. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

First Annual Tacky Tea

Yesterday, First Lady Dianne Bentley went to the First Annual Tacky Tea sponsored by Goodwill Industries Volunteer Services. This tea helped raise money for Goodwill and the causes it supports. The celebrity emcee was Twinkle Cavanaugh, Public Service Commissioner, who joined the effort by wearing a hat purchased from Goodwill. Participants had been asked to wear their tackiest outfit and whoever was the most tacky was awarded a prize. Three ladies placed for tackiest but first place won a gift certificate for a makeover at a local salon.
During the event, ladies enjoyed tea and refreshments, but the highlight was the Vintage Show "A Day and Night on the Titanic." This show featured fashions from that era and gave history about life on the ship. The GIVS volunteers added comedy to the routine which made the day memorable for all participants. At the conclusion, door prizes were given away, thanks to local businesses making donations.
The First Lady was honored to be in attendance and hopes to attend in the future. She is always happy to support efforts which improve the lives of Alabamians.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

University Place School

A teacher from University Place Elementary School in Tuscaloosa requested a visit from the First Lady, so last Friday Mrs. Bentley went. Since this was one of the schools destroyed in the April 27th tornadoes, she felt that it was important to go and encourage the students. Although their school had been moved into a new building, the school felt united. The teachers and students were all thankful to be together. The Principal shared about how they were affected, as well as how comforting it was to realize that all of the teachers and students were safe. Some had lost homes and family so the school became a home away from home.
The First Lady shared with the students and let them express their feelings about the storm. They were open and honest with their emotions. After their discussion, Mrs. Bentley read a story to them about family and sticking together. It will continue to be a journey toward recovery in all areas affected by the storms but it is important for all Alabamians to remain united.
After she left the library, Mrs. Bentley noticed a garden outside. This garden is planted by the students at the school and during the week, classes get to go check on the plants and learn about nutrition, growth, and hard work. After harvest, the school has a garden stand that allows people from the community to come and purchase what has been grown. This money goes back into the program for next year to fund continued learning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

King of the kitchen: Chef brings local foods, flavor to the Governor's Mansion

Chef Jim Smith works with Sarah Soares, Cory Martin, Ariana Wilson and Jarod Harris in the kitchen at the governor's mansion. The students are part of the 4-H cooking team from St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs, Miss.
Chef Jim Smith works with Sarah Soares, Cory Martin, Ariana Wilson and Jarod Harris in the kitchen at the governor's mansion. The students are part of the 4-H cooking team from St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs, Miss.
Montgomery Advertiser
Written by: Teri Greene
Jim Smith, Alabama's execu­tive chef, recently earned that coveted title at the 2011 Great American Seafood Cook-Off event in New Orleans. And now he's spreading his love of Ala­bama seafood, as well as pro­duce, game, grains, honey -- you name it -- throughout the South and beyond.
Recently he was joined in the governor's mansion kitchen by some fellow Seafood Cook-Off champions, the 4-H team from St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs, Miss., which took first place in the 4-H divi­sion. Smith took the helm of the steamy kitchen as seniors Cory Martin, Ariana Wilson, Jarod Harris and Sarah Soares fol­lowed his intricate instructions, preparing a three-course meal for first lady Dianne Bentley and her guests.
Smith, who graduated at the top of his culinary class from Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., has studied food, wine and service under acclaimed chefs Chris Has­tings and Frank Stitt; was wine director for the "Best of Bir­mingham" James Beard Din­ner; and, most recently, worked as a chef at Dyron's Lowcountry in Birmingham.
Now, his mission is to lead Gov. Robert Bentley's efforts to support Alabama food and workers, but he balances his ambassador's duties with pre­paring food for the first family and inventing and carrying out elaborate menus for state-spon­sored events.


Going it alone

It's easy to imagine Smith overseeing a large staff, but most of the time, he goes it alone in the kitchen.
"There are times when it's just me preparing for 20 to 30 people," he said. "It's very dif­ferent than a big staff of 10 people in a kitchen making one plate. In some ways, there is more stress, but in some ways there is less stress. It's a very interesting job. It presents it­self with a very different set of expectations and results than working in a restaurant."
But on this day, his student chefs, all of whom plan to fol­low him into careers in the cu­linary arts, helped him serve up a fall menu.
On the coasts of Southern states and their outlying re­gions, seafood is king. If you're ever in search of "The King of Seafood," you don't need to look far.
The first course was Alaba­ma Grand Bay Oysters 3 Ways: raw with lemon zest, baked with garlic butter and herbed bread crumbs and Thai mari­nated with sesame crisp. The second course featured Bayou La Batre Shrimp and Fall Qui­noa Salad with Mississippi Sweet Potato, Kale and Lemon Herb Mayonnaise. The third course -- Gulf Flounder en Pa­pillote with Garden Herbs, Blood Orange and Lemon Chil­ton County Arugula and Mari­nated Red Potato Salad.
The first lady said the meal, sponsored by The Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation Inc.'s Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition, represents the kind of food regularly served at the mansion whenever she and the governor host dinners.
"When Jim came, I asked him to feature Alabama foods and food from the local farm­er's market," Bentley said.
Boosting the state's fish, shrimp, crab and other seafood was another primary goal, in the wake of the Deepwater Ho­rizon oil spill of 2010, which re­sulted in a dearth of Gulf Coast seafood.
"Last year, I think every­body realized how important the seafood industry is to Ala­bama," she said. "This year, it's come back bigger than ever."


Becoming king

The meal that earned Smith the "seafood king" title couldn't be served on this October day because its ingredients in­cluded summer staples such as Chilton County peaches and lady peas.
"The only guidelines were that your seafood had to be fresh and raw and you had to bring your own produce," Smith said of the 2011 Great American Seafood Cook-Off. And every bit of it, Smith noted, "was from the state of Alabama except the olive oil and the butter that we used to cook it."
Just two days before the contest, he traveled around the state gathering fresh ingredi­ents, including a stop to the docks in Mobile to pick up live blue crabs and "the biggest, most beautiful Alabama shrimp I'd ever seen."
Turned out all that road-run­ning was worth the effort. The prize-winning menu also in­cluded squash puree and lady peas -- "I cooked them just like I would cook them for Mrs. Bentley," he said of the first lady's favorite dish.
The goal was "to take all those great Alabama ingredi­ents and put an international twist on them."


Fresh and local

Smith said what is most im­portant is taking pride in your chosen ingredients, under­standing where they came from and how they are con­nected to you, and treating the ingredient with respect, in a way that best shows it off.
Why are these priorities?
"One thing is that you sup­port your neighbors, the people who live next door to you. Why wouldn't you spend your mon­ey with them first? Secondly, you can always guarantee that if food is local, it's fresh, and you can see how they're treat­ing it. You know that they're more likely to treat it a way which would make you proud of it," he said.
Those factors are something he takes into account when de­signing a menu for an event at the mansion.
"The first lady and I will sit down and talk about a menu, about what's in season, figure out what's available at the farmer's market, and then we'll just go from there," Smith said. "If there's something that she has a craving for or something that I've been wanting to test out, we start from there. We do a lot of traditional Southern foods, and we try to keep it healthy and local."
The highly touted fresh-and-local mindset may seem like a trend right now, he said, but it's a way of approaching food that is here to stay. And with Smith in the kitchen, Alabama ap­pears to be at the forefront.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 6: Read for the Record

Each year, the JumpStart Program partners with the Pearson Foundation on an event called Read for the Record. This day focuses on one book and encourages people across the nation to read it. For each book read, a book is donated. This year the featured book was Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.

Mrs. Bentley participated in events at two schools. That morning she traveled to Hope Hull, Alabama to read with students at Pintlala Elementary. This school has students ranging from Pre-K to sixth grade. They met in the library and all of the students gathered around a rocking chair to listen to the First Lady share the story.

Later in the afternoon, Mrs. Bentley traveled to Prattville, Alabama to read to Prattville Kindergarten. There are five hundred students at the school. In order to read to all of them, the students were divided up into four groups and each group came to the library for the reading. This school took it a step further and even had a llama brought up to visit the students.

The First Lady enjoys promoting reading and spending time with children. She also appreciates the schools in Alabama for their creativity and diligence to make learning fun. She appreciates the opportunities she has to emphasize the importance of education and will continue to work to improve the lives of Alabamians while she is serving the state as First Lady.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alabama Women's Commission

The Alabama Women's Commission is in place to improve and advance the lives of women in the State of Alabama through research, education, and public awareness. They work to influence legislation, policies, and programs that related to lives of women.

Today, First Lady Dianne Bentley attended the first luncheon of the Alabama Women's Commission. This luncheon was called Impact: Celebrating Alabama Women. The honored guests were the two women in Alabama's Congressional Delegation, US Representative Martha Roby and US Representative Terri Sewell. Mrs. Bentley introduced these two women before they opened the floor for a panel discussion. Economic issues were discussed as well as how Alabama compares to other states.

Mrs. Bentley was proud to be among so many outstanding women from the state of Alabama and hopes that the Women's Commission will be able to continue positively affecting the lives of women in the state.

Below are photos from the event. The first pictures Mrs. Bentley with US Representative Roby, US Representative Sewell, and the leadership of the Alabama Women's Commission.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gadsden Woman's Club

Yesterday First Lady Dianne Bentley traveled to Gadsden to speak to their Woman's Club over lunch. She was featured in an article by the Gadsden Times which can be seen below.
Thank you to the Woman's Club for hosting the First Lady of Alabama and thank you for your generosity and kindness during her time there.

Alabama's First Lady Speaks in Gadsden
by: Lisa Rogers, Staff Writer

Dianne Bentley said she was encouraged by the outpouring of support she saw across the state less than 100 days after her husband became governor of Alabama and she became the first lady.
On April 27, the state was hit by devastating tornadoes, and Bentley found herself at her husband’s side as they crossed the state, seeing the damage with their own eyes.
“We were blessed with the stories of survival,” Bentley said when she spoke Tuesday at the Gadsden Woman’s Club luncheon.
“In every town, every day, every person brought new stories, and we cried with them,” she said.
She said the storms could have crushed everyone’s spirit, but said God prevailed.
“God conquers all,” she said. “We can’t dwell on the negative when we’re blessed.”
Bentley chose to promote volunteerism across the state as one of her roles as first lady. However, she said after seeing all the volunteers across the state after the tornadoes, she knew she would not have a lot of work to do on that project.
“After I saw all the great work from so many volunteers, I was so proud of Alabama,” she said.
“I saw everyone helping before government help arrived.”
She said when President Barack Obama visited Alabama, he expressed similar sentiments.
“He said, ‘Alabama will take care of itself,’” she said.
She said as she has been at her husband’s side, she tries to do the things he can’t do.
“I believe he called us for this,” she said. “No matter where the future leads, I’m with my husband to make a stronger Alabama. I want to thank everyone for electing my husband as governor as we continue to lead Alabama."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Favorite: Grape Salad

First Lady Dianne Bentley loves seasonal recipes. With fall in the air and tailgate parties every weekend, this next recipe from her kitchen will be sure to impress all. Her secret hint is to make sure the grapes are sweet and at this time of year, they are just right.

1 (8oz) sour cream
1(8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
4 c seedless green grapes
4 c seedless red grapes
1/2 c chopped, toasted pecans

Mix sour cream, cream cheese and white sugar. Fold 1/2 of mixture into grapes. Pour into 9x13 dish. In a small bowl, mix pecans and brown sugar. Spread reserved 1/2 mixture over grapes then top with brown sugar and pecans. Cover and refridgerate overnight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The following is from a Turning Point Devotional by David Jeremiah:

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Psalm 37:23 An unknown author once described his journey of giving God control of his life as a tandem bike ride with Christ in the front. He said, “When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring but predictable. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long trails up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on. Even though it looked like madness, He said “pedal!” I was worried and anxious and asked “where are you taking me?” He laughed and did not answer, and I started to learn to trust. And I am beginning to enjoy the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Christ. And when I am sure I just can’t do anymore, He just smiles and says, “Pedal.” Though we may fear and doubt where He is taking us, when we give Him control, our life will never be the same. We will begin to find adventure in the midst of adversity, and peace during times of pain. All we have to do is let Him steer our life while we simply pedal. “Give your life to God; He can do more with it than you can!” Dwight L Moody

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Retirement of Corporal Cynthia Hardy

Today First Lady Dianne Bentley attended the retirement of Corporal Cynthia Hardy. Corporal Hardy, better know to the First Lady as Cynthia served the state of Alabama for twenty five years as a state trooper. Her service on the road and in her role as Dignitary Protection for the First Lady will never be forgotten.

In order to keep the mood light, Mrs. Bentley shared some funny memories and personal stories with the crowd. If you do not know Cynthia personally, they will not mean as much but for the many of you that do, please join the First Lady in wishing Corporal Cynthia Hardy a happy retirement.

David Letterman’s Top Ten Reasons we are going to miss
Corporal Cynthia Hardy better known to us as the “Blue Light Special.”

10. I will miss her fashion statement vest. It was months before I learned she wore that
 to cover her weapon.

9. Who will take us to the best, good, local, Mexican restaurants? OOPS- forgot I
cannot go to those anymore anyway.

8. Who is going to give me advance notice that Dillard’s is having its
 70% off sale?

7. Who will give Heather lessons on how to buy “chocolate ice cream” at
the Exxon?

6. I will miss all of her “kin” folks in Montgomery. We never went anywhere
that she did not know someone she was related to.

5. That special laminated parking pass that she put in the wind shield that
allowed us to park any place.

4. Who is going to lead my singing of “This Little Light of Mine” when I go to
 the schools to read.

3. I cannot find that secret source of ribs and hamburgers that are
in the areas that I am not allowed to go.

2. She can get to Tuscaloosa in one hour and thirty minutes instead of the
 two that it takes me.

1. Who is going to direct all those people who need directions at Dillard’s
 and Wal-Mart?

BONUS: personally from the First Lady...

We will miss her SMILE!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering September 11

Yesterday on the tenth anniversary of September 11th the Governor and First Lady of Alabama joined others across the nation to remember the events of 2001. Governor Bentley spoke a few words then joined his wife in a moment of silence and prayer.

First Lady Dianne Bentley reflected on where she was ten years ago and remembers watching Charlie on Good Morning America. She said GMA was her morning routine and all of the sudden they broke to news of the terrorist attack. She was riveted by what she saw on her television. She thought it had to be an accident but as she sat, glued to her tv, she watched the rest of the days events unfold. Mrs. Bentley soon realized it was truly an act of terror. The Governor was still practicing medicine at that time and had to hear from patients about the attack. He came home for lunch and the couple ate in silence as they watched the news.

The thoughts and prayers of the Governor and First Lady are with those who lost loved ones in the attack and are thankful for the lives of the survivors and first responders.