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Today's Features

  • During these cool days of winter, take time to prepare for spring. Get your soil tested and avoid the spring rush and keep compost turned and watered.

    The garden soil population of over-wintering insects can be reduced by turning soil and exposing the slumbering plant-eaters to the cold weather. Feed and water birds during the winter; they are a gardener’s friend and they will love the insects from the garden when the soil is turned over.

  • I am sitting in my home office, gazing into space. It’s one of those times when the day was filled with all kinds of irritations and annoyances.

    There were bits of good news interspersed with the sudden death of a friend who had come through dangerous surgery successfully only to succumb to a massive stroke. So, I had been riding a rollercoaster of emotions for a number of hours.

    Serious questions about life and death meandered in and out of my mind. My natural optimism was subject to erosion. I was trying hard to keep a balanced attitude.

  • Rowdy (ID No. A003222) is a 4-month-old male Norfolk terrier pup seeking a good, new home at Brunswick County Animal Services in Supply. The shelter’s adoption fees are based on age. Adoption fees for dogs are $65 for ages 6 months or older, and $46 for dogs 5 months old or younger. Fees include rabies shot, physical exam, heartworm test (for older dogs only) and spay or neuter. Female cats and kittens, $55; includes physical exam, feline leukemia/FIV (feline HIV) tests, rabies vaccination and spay surgery.

  • When it’s just you or the two of you, it can be a real challenge preparing meals when you were used to preparing for an army, as my wife can attest.

    What works well for many of us is making a large casserole and eating half and freezing the other half. You can also divide it into two smaller baking pans. Bake one right away and wrap and freeze the other, leaving you with leftovers for another day.

  • There’s a slob and a neat freak sharing an apartment, a loudmouth cop and a disastrous double date with a couple of upstairs neighbors, but the Brunswick Little Theatre’s latest production of “The Odd Couple” is not what you’d expect.

    This year, longtime BLT member Thom Clemmons decided to direct playwright Neil Simon’s female version of the popular play, which Simon rewrote for a female cast in 1985.

  • Wilma, right, is a 1-year-old brown tabby with beautiful orange eyes who has been at Cat Tails for quite a while awaiting a new home. She has a brother named Fred. Wilma is playful, loves attention and gets along well with other cats and people except she would not do well in a home with small children. To see her and her brother, call Cat Tails at 253-1375 or visit its Web site at www.cattails.org. You can visit Wilma and Fred, as well as all the other cats and kittens available for adoption, at Cat Tails in the Corner Stone center at 6622 Beach Drive in Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the ultimate fast food for family and guests—quick to prepare and low in fat. However, you can substitute chicken thighs for most any recipe calling for breasts, especially if your preference is dark meat.

    I’ve seen many articles claiming more than 100 ways to prepare chicken. I’m sure it must be at least 10 times that amount, but before I share a few of my favorites, let’s go over the ABC’s for sautéing chicken breasts for tender, juicy results.

    Sautéing Chicken Breasts

  • During a class last week, one of the students asked me what I considered an elegant garden. Elegance is, of course, in the eyes and mind of the individual. I have visions of graceful Japanese maples, stacked-stone retaining walls, fountains and outdoor kitchens with enough BTU’s to make Lucifer envious.

  • Last week, we had an introduction to pruning giving you some basic reasons for pruning, what to prune and how to prune.

    There are always the 4Ds of pruning to fall back on whenever you are trying to decide whether to prune or not to prune. If you don’t need to prune, then don’t. The 4Ds are basic. You need to prune away any dead, diseased, dying or damaged tissue.

  • Late fall through winter in southeastern North Carolina is a great time for planting fruit trees. There are several kinds that work well in backyard landscapes; however, not every fruit tree will grow and reliably produce in our area.