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Today's Features

  • As a continuation of last week’s column, following are other factors to consider in caring for indoor plants:

    Humidity

    In a moderate humidity range of 20-40 percent, it is possible to grow a variety of plants; however, cacti and other succulents do well in a humidity range of 5-15 percent.

  • All that one hears these days is a doom and gloom tale of woe, from Wall Street to Main Street and back again.

    The market is dropping, sales are down, money is scarce, foreclosures are rampant, and retirement funds are racing downward. Crisis is the word of the day and the power that fuels nightmares. Henny Penny is having a field day.

    As a result, some choose the path of avoidance and denial. They sit before a television set watching football games or soap operas, or “reality shows” that have little to do with the reality around them.

  •  Staff Report

    Get in the holiday spirit with an array of festive events planned this weekend and in the coming week in Brunswick County.

    The roundup of upcoming holiday happenings includes:

  • You walk down any aisle of a grocery store and you will see products labeled “no cholesterol” or “low cholesterol.” What does this mean?

    In some respects, it is a marketing gimmick. In fact, stores could put a sign above the entire produce section that says, “Cholesterol Free” because cholesterol is only found in products that originate from animals. Plant-based products have no cholesterol.

  • You survived Thanksgiving with all of the food and relatives. Brave souls may have even ventured into the chaos that is shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. If all of this holiday hustle and bustle has you popping Lexapro like baby aspirin, take a break and go play in the garden. Believe or not, there are some garden chores that need to be done right now.

  • Just after Thanksgiving and for the next two weekends, it will be the busiest time to purchase a Christmas tree. Early shoppers will pick from the best available trees on lots or in fields.

    Locally, it is difficult to find a choose and cut operation. For our area, it usually means going to a tree lot to select a tree that has already been cut and shipped into our area.

  • Almost any indoor environment is more pleasant and attractive when living plants are part of the setting. In apartments, condominiums, and single-family residences, plants add warmth, personality, and year-round beauty.

    There are other uses for indoor plants that include: enclosing space into separate areas, reducing glare and reflection from artificial lights or sunlight entering through a window and screening to block out undesirable views or to create privacy. Also, plants provide oxygen for our environment.

  • Advent has come again. The four-week spiritual preparation time for Christmas is often lost in the frenzy of commercial preparedness.

    Many fall prey to a hectic countdown against a sales clock that marks the birthday of the Prince of Peace as an ending, rather than a beginning.

    We become people holding all kinds of expectation instead of being people of expectancy. As a result, we are more often disappointed than excited, discontent rather than enthusiastic.

    We lose our sense and commission to be People of Peace.

  • This is the third year the North Carolina Division of Public Health is promoting a holiday weight challenge.

    All North Carolinians are encouraged to maintain their current weight during the upcoming holiday season. The challenge will be referred to as “Eat Smart, Move More... Maintain, Don’t Gain.” You can join the six-week online challenge for free at: www.MyEatSmartMoveMore.com.

    You will receive a free weekly newsletter full of tips, ideas, recipes and other helpful tracking tools. To help you get started for the holidays, try the following tips:

  • Get in the holiday spirit with any of the array of events planned this weekend and in the coming week in Brunswick County.

    The roundup of upcoming holiday happenings includes:

    • “Bethlehem to Patmos”—Live nativity by Anointed Vessels Ministry at 7 p.m. Dec. 4-8 in 300-seat outdoor amphitheater. Admission is free but seating is limited. 3255 Liberty St., Ash. For directions and information, call the Rev. Diana Payne at 287-4267.

    •Shallotte tree lighting, 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, Rourk Gardens, Main Street, Shallotte. 754-6644.