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Today's Features

  • Santa can’t be everywhere—that’s where area animal shelters, rescue and support facilities come in.

    They provide food and care for homeless pets until, it is hoped, someone steps in to offer a loving heart and a good, forever home for an adoptable dog or cat, puppy or kitten.

    Now might be a good time to pay one of the facilities a “Santa visit” of your own.

    Most facilities in Brunswick County are filled to capacity and welcome visits from all who may be in search of the perfect canine or feline companion.

  • Day of sharing set for Dec. 13

    New Hope Outreach Ministry will host a day of sharing at Rourk Gardens, behind the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce on Main Street in Shallotte, from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.

    There will be free toys and candy for kids, free gloves and coffee mugs for adults and free food for everyone.

    Indoor yard sale set

    Sweet Water of Life Church, 149 Mulberry St. in Shallotte, will have an inside yard sale beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.

    Christmas performance set at Sharon

  • Harold and Katie Varnum of Holden Beach celebrated 50 years of marriage Dec. 5. Harold is retired from Brunswick Community College, and Katie is retired from Union Elementary School. They have two children, Tina Carlyle and Harold Varnum Jr., seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

  • Mixing sour cream with one of those dry onion soup mix envelopes was a staple at parties at our house a decade or so ago. It was a cheap and easy way to make a pretty yummy dip. And, with a bag of nacho chips and a bottle of wine, the dip would make the occasion festive.

    Then one day, I read the label on the onion soup mix envelope. The company suggested mixing their onion soup with ground beef for an onion meat loaf. It really added some zest to it. I decided to ask some friends what they used it in.

  • For those of you suffering from an overdose of family, friends and holiday cheer, there’s another way to warm up on the short, chilly days of December. Get out and play in the dirt.

    Purists (and soil science professors) bristle at the mention of “dirt,” but “playing in the soil” doesn’t roll off the tongue. The stuff we grow plants in is soil. Once it’s under your fingernails or you track it into the house, it’s dirt.

  • If a lovely North Carolina Christmas tree is part of your home’s decorations this season, we have some tips to keep it looking its best:

    1) Keep the Christmas tree and all holiday plants watered and protected from hot or cold drafts. Christmas trees may take up lots of water the first day or two so keep a close eye on them. Christmas trees are not dangerous as long as they are green and pliable. If they dry out, they become dangerous.

  • 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.