•   By John Nelson

    Walking around in a salt marsh can be a challenging experience. You have to select the right trousers and footwear, of course. In the summer, you must consider no-see-ums, flies and other visitors. Without a strong breeze, and in hot weather, the aroma of the marsh may become stifling. Then there are the issues of protection from the sun, and dealing with treacherous substrates. Pluff mud and oyster shells can be encountered. And of course, you have to pay attention to the tides!

  • Brides-to-be are invited to a free bridal show Jan. 31 at Silver Coast Winery.

    The Silver Coast Bridal Show will take place 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, at Silver Coast Winery, 6680 Barbeque Road off Longwood Road.

    Local wedding professionals will be on hand to help brides-to-be make their wedding day extra special and there will be an abundance of giveaways. Admission is free.

    Participating vendors include caterers, photographers, officiants, cake bakers, DJs, event and limo rentals and event planners.

  • Steve Chapin and Big John Wallace of the late Harry Chapin’s band will perform a benefit concert for New Hope Clinic at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Southport Community Building at 223 E. Bay St.

    Donations are $25 each, with proceeds to go to show expenses and the remainder to New Hope Clinic.  

    Harry Chapin, who died in 1981 following a car crash on Long Island, is best known for his 1970s hits, “Cat’s In the Cradle and “Taxi,” but he was also renowned for his beautiful stories.

  • Super Bowl Sunday means SOUPer Bowl Saturday in Shallotte.

    It’s almost time for that super delicious weekend once again.

    For the seventh year, the GFWC-South Brunswick Islands Woman’s Club invites the public to its annual SOUPer Bowl Saturday fundraiser the day before the Super Bowl, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 6 at Shallotte Presbyterian Church at 5070 Main St. behind Rourk Library.

  • SHALLOTTE — It was late winter 1963 or early spring 1964 when the first phase of establishing Shallotte Presbyterian Church got under way.

    The originators were mostly Presbyterians who were actively involved with Camp United Methodist Church at the time, according to history posted on the Shallotte Presbyterian website, shallottechurch.org.

    Other initiators included people who had recently moved to the area because of retirement or business interests.

  • Get ready for another round of fun and games in Vegas, N.C.

    The Shallotte Rotary Club’s 11th annual Las Vegas Night is pulling out all stops Saturday night, Jan. 30, with an array of food and Vegas-style games.

    The annual fundraiser is from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Brunswick County Realtors Building at 101 Stone Chimney Road in Supply.

    The catered event, hosted this year by WECT-TV’s Jon Evans, will once again feature a cash bar plus tableside cocktails, dinner, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and cake.

  •  Common kitten questions 

    Cats are curious critters. They’re fiercely independent, notably nocturnal and difficult to discern. In other words, they’re probably cleverer than most humans. Here are some of the most common kitten questions I get from cat people.


    How long do cats live?

  •   By Linda Arnold

    As I write this, there’s a national lottery jackpot up for grabs to the tune of $1.5 billion.  With a “b.”

    Maybe there has been a winner, or winners. Maybe it was you. If so, please send me an email to the address below. If not, read on.

    It’s fun to get caught up in the “what if” frenzy that’s sweeping the country, and to imagine what you’d do with all that money.

  •  By John Nelson

    Ancient and very beautiful, a plant group that has always fascinated humans: the ferns.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia.

    He delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech Aug. 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

    He was assassinated at 39 while rallying on behalf of black workers on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

    During the month of what would have been his 87th birthday, area events will once again celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is officially observed this year Monday, Jan. 18.

  • The next best thing to the Bee Gees is a Bee Gees tribute.

    That’s just what’s happening on the main stage of Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College, where “Night Fever: An Evening of the Bee Gees,” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21.

  • Wine from France, Italy, Spain, and Argentina and food from one of the finest restaurants in the area will highlight an evening to help further the cause of literacy.

    The Brunswick County Literacy Council is hosting a Wine and Dine experience at 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, at La Cucina Italian Grill at 1780 Chandlers Lane, No. 11, in Sunset Beach.

  •  A new scientific study published in Nature concludes dogs will share treats with other dogs, even if it means giving up their own goodies. Austrian researchers evaluated “pro-social” behaviors of dogs and found, to their surprise, that dogs offered goodwill gestures toward other dogs, especially if it was a familiar pooch. This study will help veterinarians and pet owners better understand canine behavior and makes me wonder how much my two dogs really like each other.


  •  Good news for all you New Year’s resolution makers,or those of you who set any goals for 2016.


    If you’ve kept up your commitments to this point, you only have one more weekto beat the odds of keeping them.


    That’s right: If you can make it past Jan. 17, you’ll have beaten the national average! I’ve remembered this date ever since fitness expert Cindy Boggs relayed it to me a few years ago.


    Tick tock




    By John Nelson

    “Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.”— George Bernard Shaw, 1903


    This is the leaf of a very strong oak, and there is one of these growing in my front yard here in Columbia, S.C. It’s a wonderful tree, must be 70 feet tall, with a rounded, spreading crown. The trunk has a circumference of 9.5 feet, and a diameter of about 3 feet, or so (d = c/π, as I recall).

  • Silver Coast Winery is showcasing the work of artist Niki Hildebrand.

    Born in London, England, Hildebrand lived and worked in Belfast in Northern Ireland before moving to Wilmington.

    Her portfolio spans ideas of “memory, collective consciousness, humans and transience of what we don’t see and their connections.”

    Engaged by the human condition, her work captures sensory parts of existence, creating a play between solid visuals and indefinable matter.

  • For the past six years, Shallotte has enjoyed its own celestial venue for convivial pursuits.

    Launching into its seventh year for 2016, Planet Fun, at 349 Whiteville Road, is Brunswick County’s largest entertainment center and an especially cool (and warm) place to be this winter.

    Highlights in the 50,000-square-foot entertainment center, beside Lowe’s Home Improvement, include 32 lanes of constellation bowling, two-story laser tag and bumper cars arenas, a bounce house and arcade, party rooms, a concession stand and a pro shop.

  •   By John Nelson

    Shocking, vile, outrageous, repellent, bizarre or just plain gross —take your pick of any number of adjectives for this thing. The scientific name may be translated as "disgusting" and "red."


    By Linda Arnold

    I need to exercise more.  I need to cut down on sugar and alcohol.  I need to be more patient.  Why can’t I stay committed?

    If you find similar thoughts swirling in your head, you’re not alone. Whatever the category is, the feedback loop is the same. You know certain things are good for you, yet you resist them.

    Familiar excuses

  •       Congratulations! Many families woke up Christmas morning with a package of furry joy underneath their tree. Sharing your home with a new puppy is one of the most exciting — and rewarding — relationships you’ll ever experience. To help you and your new bundle of bliss establish a lifetime of healthy habits, I’ve assembled my top reasons a puppy’s best friend is your family veterinarian.

    1. Just because a puppy looks healthy doesn’t mean he can’t be sick.