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Today's Features

  •  Nobody wants to suffer. Nobody likes it, even if it is inevitable and must be endured. We’d much rather sing a happy tune, wear a smiling face, and pretend there is no ache in our hearts and lives. Yet, if we are honest with ourselves and truthful with our reflection on life, suffering is always present in one form or another.

  • The third week of September 1978 marked the start of an era, the launch of The Fantastic Shakers, now renowned and touted as the “South’s Finest Show Band.”

    Since the beginning, the Lincolnton-based band, which graces Calabash’s summer concert series stage starting at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, June 28, has performed more than 6,000 engagements from New York to Florida.

  •  By Linda Arnold

         I just returned from an amazing retreat at the Omega Institute in upstate New York that really helped to recharge my batteries.

         It was definitely food for the soul.  I attended workshops with experts in the mind/body/spirit arena, spent time in nature, practiced yoga and meditation and treated myself to some soothing massages. Just what the doctor ordered!

     

    Doing the work   

  •  By John Nelson

    It has gotten really hot this week … suddenly. Fortunately, yesterday afternoon we had a tremendous thunderstorm that dropped plenty of water on the garden, filled up my rain barrel and cooled everything off considerably. Wonderful! But it’s not even summer yet, technically. I guess we have some cooling thunderstorms to look forward to.

  •  When I was kid growing up, I remember the commercials for spinach featuring “Popeye the Sailor Man” with his pronounced muscles attributed to his eating of spinach. Spinach may have provided Popeye with superhuman strength, but its real life potential is far less lofty. In fact, its nutritional reputation is somewhat inflated.

  •  One of my favorite CDs (I know, so ‘80s) is a compilation of hits by The Temptations. While few singers will ever come close to matching the skill and emotion of David Ruffin, I will have to disagree with him when he painfully intones “I wish it would rain.” We’re about 4.5 inches above normal for the year, so let’s leave the gloom behind for a little Katrina and the Waves “Walking on Sunshine” action. How’s that for an obscure 1980s song reference?

  •  In last week’s column, I talked about the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). These are nutrition and health recommendations for all Americans over the age of two from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The DGA committee looked at the typical American diet and the latest research in nutrition. They identified eating strategies that promote overall health and helps prevent chronic disease. It is estimated that two-thirds of all chronic diseases can be prevented by lifestyle changes, specifically diet and exercise.

  •  Every year during late spring and early summer, I get the same question from many pet parents: “Can my dog or cat get sick from ‘kissing bugs?’” The short answer is, “It’s extremely rare, but, yes, and you can get it, too.” The longer answer is, “Yes, but it’s really rare and incredibly complicated. There’s a little more to Chagas disease we need to discuss.” Let’s discuss kissing bugs, Chagas disease, and the potential threat they pose to dogs, cats and people.

  •  By Linda Arnold

    As I’ve been reflecting on this Father’s Day, I see lots of cases of happy family connections. I also see examples of strained relationships — and situations of raw emotions stemming from lost family members.

    Fathers and sons

  •  Pender County is hosting its 13th annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival this weekend Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, in historic downtown Burgaw.

    Attracting more than 30,000 people annually on the third Saturday in June, the festival provides an opportunity for people to enjoy a full day of family entertainment, while experiencing the southern hospitality of a small town. More than 20 events ranging from entertainment to a car show, a street fair, recipe contest, barbecue cook-off, a 5K run and special exhibits are staged by more than 100 volunteers.