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Today's Features

  •  This week I’m tooting my own horn a little by sharing information about Living Well Month and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). At the end of this column each week, there is a statement that says that I’m part of the Family and Consumer Science team at the Brunswick County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. I know some people reading that don’t know who we are or what we do.

  •  Nobody likes a smelly litterbox. While even the cleanest kitty condo will possess a particular perfume, how can a cat owner separate stinky from sickly? How can you tell if your cat’s urine is normal?

     

    Normal cat urine

  •  By Linda Arnold

     

    I just had a very heartwarming experience while visiting a good friend I haven’t seen for years. I’ll call her “Marci.”

    The conversation started out about her move from the mountains to a beach area, although our talk took many twists and turns — and went back to earlier periods in her life.

    Marci had been in an unhappy marriage with three children — and felt trapped. Her husband was controlling and emotionally abusive.

  •  By John Nelson

    Such weather! Two weekends ago it snowed here: big, floppy snowflakes everywhere. Of course none of it stuck, but it was pretty for a while. Cold, too. And it got colder since then! Not to belabor this essay with a weather report, but the change from last week was a big one. We broke 70 degrees, which was perfect for a field trip, and we found this mysterious beauty.

  •  The best thing about garlic is that it is available year-round, either frozen or fresh. Garlic is also available peeled or chopped, minced or creamed, preserved in oil and powdered, but fresh garlic remains unsurpassed in its taste.

    In addition to being a cook’s best friend, garlic has also been used for numerous other things, including embalming, warding off evil spirits and curing everything from the common cold to tuberculosis and broken bones.

  • The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood during National Volunteer Month, observed in April.

    Nearly 2.8 million people donated blood through the Red Cross last year. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed this spring.

  •  If you read my column last week, you know I’m working my way through Taylor Flannery’s “Eat from the Pantry and Freezer Challenge.” Flannery writes a blog about decluttering your home. This challenge was to eat as many meals from what’s on hand in an effort to get these areas cleaned and organized.

  •  Sandy, my beloved almost 15-year-old beach mutt, recently passed away after battling kidney disease. My 6-year-old Border terrier, Harry, has lived his entire life with Sandy and is struggling with the loss. I thought I’d share with you the advice I’ve dispensed for decades and strategies I’m using with Harry to ease his pain.