•  By John Nelson

    “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” (Macbeth. IV:1)


    That’s right, friends, it’s that time of the year again, when the darkness comes early, and mysterious scurryings greet us at every turn. Jack-o’-lantern goes scratchily scraping by in the breezy night and craggy owls hoot and watch us more closely. In the moonless gloom, furtive imps and amazed spirits are on the land, all answering to foul hags and their charms. It’s Halloween time!

  •  By Linda Arnold


    If you’ve already worked today’s Sudoku or crossword puzzle, try this brainteaser. 

    See if you can rank the following habits, which people say they want to quit, on a scale of 1 to 20:

  •  There have been recent reports of distemper virus in wildlife in southern Brunswick County. While discovering distemper in foxes, raccoons and skunks is no surprise to most veterinarians, many pet owners are worried by this news. I’ve been getting a lot of questions from worried pet parents about this disease. Here are the facts you need to know to keep your pet safe.


    What is distemper?

  •  By John Nelson

    “If the fruit be not ripe, it will draw a man’s mouth to much torment.”— attributed to Capt. John Smith of Jamestown


  • Living historians will demonstrate what life was like in 18th century Brunswick Town during Port Brunswick Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the historic site overlooking the lower Cape Fear River.

    Visitors will have opportunity to try their hand at the militia drill, visit with a colonial dentist, take a turn in the stocks and pillory, dip their own beeswax candles, stencil and quill-write, make their own tricorn hats and other assorted activities that were a way of life in the colonial settlement during the 1700s.

  • Spooky fun awaits those daring to cross over to the Old Sunset Beach Bridge during Halloween at the Old Bridge from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at 109 Shoreline Drive West in Sunset Beach. Come to the bridge with your favorite ghosts and goblins and enjoy the festivities including games and treats. If you have questions, or in case of inclement weather, go to the Old Bridge Facebook page or website, oldbridgepreservationsociety.org, or call 363-6585.

  • Just in time for Halloween, Brunswick Little Theatre is conjuring up Noel Coward’s sophisticated romantic comedy, “Blithe Spirit,” in six stage performances starting Oct. 23 and continuing through Nov. 1.

    A hilarious show launched in London's West End in 1941, “Blithe Spirit” tells the story of upper-crust novelist Charles Condomine, who commissions an at-home seance with clairvoyant Madame Arcati as entertainment and research for his next book.

  • Author J. Peter “Pete” Hoyer will be at Hickmans Crossroads Library at 1040 Calabash Road at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, to sign copies of his new book, “Characters on the Green: Everyday Golfers are the Real Characters of the Game.”

    The book is described as witty, sarcastic and humorously captivating, showcasing “real episodes with real golfers,” and deemed “real funny.”


    By Linda Arnold


    Yesterday is history. Tomorrow’s a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

    If only we’d heed these wise words from cartoonist Bill Keane, we could experience such contentment in our lives! When you’re depressed, it’s because you’re living in the past. And when you’re anxious, it’s because you’re living in the future.

  •  I know you do it. Most people occasionally give their pets “people foods.” Contrary to what you may have heard, feeding people foods to pets isn’t always a bad thing, especially if you’re giving healthy options. Here are five of my favorite super foods for dogs. You may be surprised at what you can safely –– and nutritiously –– feed your dog from the table.

  •  By John Nelson

    This week, two mystery plants –– a pair of plants that fit perfectly into the season at hand!

  • October means Oyster Festival in Ocean Isle Beach.

    The 35th annual North Carolina Oyster Festival is unfolding this weekend, Oct. 17 and 18, in the Brunswick Islands town, same times and place — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on the island between Second and Third streets.

    The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce is staging the 35th annual North Carolina Oyster Festival, presented by Novant Health.

  • For many years, The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra, aka TUKUO, has been crossing the pond to entertain United States audiences.

    Brunswick County will be added to the mix when the quirky British band of small-time strummers bring their “I Got Uke Babe!” talents to the next subscription series concert at Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22.

    It’s unbelievable such a small instrument can create such an enormous sound, artfully exemplified by the traveling orchestra.

  • The Coastal Harmonizers, a group of melodic men who love to sing barbershop harmony, are tuning up for their inaugural concert, “Barbershop Goes Broadway.”

    The concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, in Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, and admission is free.

  •  Atul Gawande, medical doctor and skilled writer, has the medical field abuzz with chatter—both positive and critical—about his book BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End. It helps to know he has made the New York Times bestseller list, but it is even more beneficial to know his work is being read and discussed in multiple and diverse venues across the nation. Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center led the parade locally, followed by Lower Cape Fear Hospice, with presentations being planned by church groups.


  •  In your everyday life, do you tend to run on autopilot much of the time?

    Like most of us, your mind and body have gotten accustomed to dashing around and crossing things off your to-do list. A certain rhythm has been established, and you’re off to the races.

  •  Science is once again confirming what many dog lovers suspected: Our dogs know our smell, and they love it. Recent research by Emory University’s Dr. Gregory Berns used advanced brain-imaging to prove dogs recognize our scent even when we’re not present. Even more interesting is how the canine brains responded differently to the odor of other dogs and humans versus their own human family. You are your dog’s favorite smell.

  •  By John Nelson

    A flash of brilliant red-purple: one way nature reminds us it’s time to say goodbye to summer.

  •  By Linda Arnold


    I’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to the times I jump to quick conclusions. 

    Sometimes it seems like I’m on autopilot. When I’m able to catch myself, though, I stop to ponder that I may not have all the information.


    What did I do wrong?

  •  New research from University of Florida warns dog owners to avoid warm ponds and lakes in southeastern U.S. because of the potential of deadly parasitic spores.