Today's Features

  • “Pack a smart lunch” was the topic of my Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class this past week. This is a topic in this class series because eating lunch is important if you’re trying to lose weight.
    Do any of these statements sound familiar?
    “I ran out of the house this morning and didn’t have time to pack my lunch.”
    “I didn’t have anything to pack for my lunch anyway, because there was no food in the house.”

  • As noted by the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, the traditional period in the Northern Hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is Jan. 18-25. Proposed in 1908, these dates bridge the dates for the feasts of the Chair of Peter (Jan. 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (Jan. 25), and therefore, have symbolic significance.

  • I love cooking with balsamic vinegar, from the less inexpensive varieties used in
    cooking and dressings to a few drops of the very best aged balsamic (i.e. expensive!) with some well-aged Parmesan (see below), a traditional combination to end a perfect meal.
    Balsamic from Modena and Reggio, Italy, are the only true balsamic vinegars in the world. The vinegars produced in those provinces in Italy are truly the finest one can buy.

  • Willis Richardson Players & Co. will have a second round of auditions for the theater drama production, "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men," from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Hannah Block USO/ Community Art Center, 120 S. Second St. in Wilmington.

    The center is at the corner of Second and Orange streets.

    The play will be presented April 25 and 26 at Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. in Wilmington.

    For more information, call producer/director Daren Beatty at (910) 352-6247 or Rodger Aiken at (910) 762-5167.

  • Recently, I attended a funeral for a parishioner who had requested the singing of “This Little Light of Mine” as the opening hymn. The song was both an unusual choice and a heart-rending one. It evoked smiles on the faces of the attendees, mostly retired. Here we were, aging adults, singing a children’s song, alive with rhythm. I guess we all felt it was inappropriate to clap our hands, but the song surely begged our indulgence.

  • With our weather beginning to cool down into winter, I start thinking about flavorful and hearty soups that are perfect for this time of the year.
    Many of my favorite soup recipes can be successfully adapted to a slow cooker or crockpot if you just follow a few simple rules. Try not to lift the lid of the slow cooker while cooking. Peeking will only increase the cooking time by 20 to 30 minutes.

  • One of the most challenging aspects of aging is isolation and loss of social interaction. Whether homebound because of physical challenges or illness, many senior citizens may begin to feel cut off from the outside world and struggle with depression. Those feelings of loneliness can lead to stress, anxiety, and medical complications. A new study proves that pets can cheer up lonely seniors and enhance quality of life — but we pet lovers already knew that.

  • Sabrina Varnam and Davis Cottrell of Morehead City are the proud parents of a son, Chandler Davis Cottrell, born at 6:24 a.m. Nov. 26, 2013, at Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 19-1/2 inches in length.
    Maternal grandparents are Ronald and Jenice Varnam of Varnamtown.
    Paternal grandparents are Kenneth and Sue Hicks of Raleigh and Ken and Sousin Cottrell of Rural Retreat, Va.
    Great-grandparents are Pearl Stump, Bea Varnam, Tabatha Barbour and Kenneth Cottrell Sr.

  • Last week was full of New Year’s resolutions and goals for folks to be happier and healthier this year. I bet food safety resolutions weren’t up there on your list, but I do have a couple ideas on how you can easily help keep your family and home safer when dealing with food.
    First, I suggest that you purchase three simple items that can make this task easy: regular chlorine bleach, a quick-read food thermometer and a refrigerator/freezer thermometer.

  • It seems everyone is offering ideas this week for New Year’s resolutions we should be making. I don’t know the statistics on how quickly people break their resolutions, but I am sure that someone on the Internet will tell us. Resolutions don’t need to be something that’s easily dismissed.