Today's Features

  •   By Linda Arnold

    Does it seem everywhere you look there are images of happiness and glee — anticipation of close family gatherings and chestnuts roasting on an open fire?

    You’re not exactly feeling it, though, and you don’t know why. Holidays can do that to us. Internally, there are huge emotional triggers. And, externally, it’s hard to sustain that level of heartfelt awe in the Folgers coffee commercials and Hallmark movies.

  •  For many Americans, the days after major holidays should be called “leftovers.” For many American pets, it should be called “GI upset.” That's because too many pets will be fed too many leftover foods that will result in too many, er, potty problems. To help your pet avoid the “leftover runs” or worse, follow my holiday food rules for pets.


    Pace your pets

  •  By John Nelson


  •  For the last couple weeks, I’ve been getting daily emails from the Holiday Challenge. These messages offer tips, suggestions and reminders on healthful living. The whole concept of the Holiday Challenge is to help people not gain weight during this festive season filled with eating. The Holiday Challenge is part of the Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina program.


    ‘Tis the season of home baking, be they cutouts, bars, slice-and-bake, spritz or drop cookies. Whether you’re like me and dig through a stack of yellowed recipe cards to find that favorite heirloom or prefer trying out some new exotic version of peanut butter cookies, it’s time to dust off those cookie sheets and preheat the oven.

    And what aroma better captures the fragrance of the season?

  • Pope Francis has long returned to the Vatican. Once an icon for media contemplation, he has all but disappeared from the scene, save for a few memories of poignant moments shared here and there, mostly among church folks. However, to refrain from remembering an invitation he continually proffered would be sad, if not disastrous. Pope Francis fairly begged us, all of us everywhere, to engage in a culture of encounter.

  •  It started with a goofy carol parody. My staff knew of my love affair with silly animal songs; it was time to unleash my unique melodic enthusiasm with Calabash.

    “On the first day of Christmas, my owner gave to me

    “A puppy for company.”

  •  By Linda Arnold


    I feel trapped.

    I’m bored.

    We’re growing in different directions.

    I hate my job.

    The kids are driving me crazy.

    I never have enough time for myself.

    What’s the point?  He’s never going to change.

    I don’t have enough money.

    I can’t start a new career at this age.


  •  What are you doing for dinner today? I hope you’re planning a nice meal at home with your family in celebration of “Dine-in Day.” Thursday, Dec. 3, marks the second annual Family and Consumer Sciences “Dine-in for Healthy Families Day.” In observance of this day, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) and the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) are asking families to plan, prepare and eat a healthy meal together.

  •  By John Nelson

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, for your late autumn enjoyment, I am proud to present a plant that is common as dirt … and a member of the sedge family!