•  For many Americans, the days after major holidays should be called “leftovers.” For many American pets, it should be called “GI upset.” That's because too many pets will be fed too many leftover foods that will result in too many, er, potty problems. To help your pet avoid the “leftover runs” or worse, follow my holiday food rules for pets.


    Pace your pets

  •  By John Nelson


  • Pope Francis has long returned to the Vatican. Once an icon for media contemplation, he has all but disappeared from the scene, save for a few memories of poignant moments shared here and there, mostly among church folks. However, to refrain from remembering an invitation he continually proffered would be sad, if not disastrous. Pope Francis fairly begged us, all of us everywhere, to engage in a culture of encounter.

  •  It started with a goofy carol parody. My staff knew of my love affair with silly animal songs; it was time to unleash my unique melodic enthusiasm with Calabash.

    “On the first day of Christmas, my owner gave to me

    “A puppy for company.”

  •  By Linda Arnold


    I feel trapped.

    I’m bored.

    We’re growing in different directions.

    I hate my job.

    The kids are driving me crazy.

    I never have enough time for myself.

    What’s the point?  He’s never going to change.

    I don’t have enough money.

    I can’t start a new career at this age.


  •  By John Nelson

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, for your late autumn enjoyment, I am proud to present a plant that is common as dirt … and a member of the sedge family!

  • ‘Tis the season and week for Christmas parades, especially in Calabash and Shallotte.

    The 20th Anniversary Calabash Christmas Tree Lighting and Spirit of Calabash Parade are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4.

    The Spirit of Calabash Parade rolls out with a variety of participants including the Shriners’ Hillbilly Truck and Sudan Daredevils.

  • Join Greenlands Farm at 668 Midway Road in Bolivia for its fourth annual Winter Farm Fest from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

  • If you seek an out-of-the-ordinary setting for a holiday experience, look no further than the Museum of Coastal Carolina, Ingram Planetarium, Battleship North Carolina and the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

    From the traditional to the unusual, you’re sure to find an event to put you in a festive mood while learning more about our area and all it has to offer.

    Museum of Coastal Carolina

    The Museum of Coastal Carolina is hosting several activities designed to enhance the spirit of the holiday season.

  • Celebrate Christmas at the Old Bridge in Sunset Beach at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, at 109 Shoreline Drive West.

    Highlights will include music by Linda Ladrick, Mandee Williams, The Seaside Belles with director Kathryn Parker and West Brunswick High School Show Choirs, Harmony in Motion and Sweet Harmony directed by Annette Horton.

    Festivities include a Christmas carol sing-along and light refreshments consisting of Christmas cookies and wassail.

    For more information, call 363-6585.

  • Model trains are rolling into their respective stations at two venues this holiday season.

    The first event has been making whistle-stops during November, including Thanksgiving weekend at Calabash Marketplace at 10050 Beach Drive.

    The marketplace is partnering with the Intracoastal Model Railroad Club to expand train exhibits during the month of Thanksgiving.

    Highlights include eight operating layouts. Thanksgiving weekend, the club will be hosting workshops and clinics.

  • The Saturday after Thanksgiving is always super in Ocean Isle Beach.

    That’s the day residents and visitors converge for festivities to kick off the holiday season.

    The fun begins with the Super Saturday Christmas parade at 2 p.m. Participants will meet for judging at 1:15 p.m. in the parking lot of the Museum of Coastal Carolina at 21 E. Second St.

    Participants gussy up vehicles, golf carts, bicycles and themselves with holiday decor and attire.

  •  By Linda Arnold


    Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday — only surpassed by New Year’s Day, the ultimate new beginning (but that’s another column)!

  •  “Sweet is the swamp with its secrets, until we meet a snake;

    ‘Tis then we sigh for houses, and our departure take.” Emily Dickinson.


  •  Sometimes it’s tough to be grateful. It’s easy to forget the good in our lives when we see so much bad in the world. An encounter with a seemingly petulant pet owner reminded me how thankful we should be that we share our lives with animals.

  • Ingram Planetarium at 7625 High Market St. in Sunset Beach invites the public to a Star Party scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20.

    Participants will have access to the planetarium’s telescopes to view the moon, constellations and deep-space orbits. Planetarium staff will be on hand to assist. Event-goers can also bring their own telescopes.

    The event begins with a short presentation inside, then will proceed outside to hopefully view the Moon, Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor and other wonders of the night sky.

  • The Brunswick Concert Band will present a seasonal concert, “Fall Into Winter,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at Hatch Auditorium in Caswell Beach and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, in Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College.

    Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help support the band and its music students assistance program.

    For more information, go to http://brunswickbands.org.




  • A variety of vendors are scheduled for the second Holiday Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at Shallotte Farmers Market at Riverside Park at N.C. 130 and Main Street.

    More than 20 vendors will offer winter vegetables, baked goods, sauces, jam, jewelry, pottery, handmade goods, goat’s milk soap, army and navy supplies, scarves and products including Tastefully Simple, Px4Gear, Avon and Dixieland Kettle Corn.

  •  I love curling up on the couch tangled up in kids, dogs and cats sharing a colossal bowl of popcorn while watching a good movie. While the human family relishes the film, I’m pretty sure my dog’s main interest in movie night is the popcorn. That’s OK with me, because popcorn can be a healthy snack for cinema-loving canines.

  •  By Linda Arnold


    “Seasons change, and so did I. You need not wonder why.” Those lyrics from an old song by The Guess Who speak volumes. You may think the current change of season has to do with falling leaves, football and cooler temperatures, although there’s much more.

    Cycles and rhythms — they’re all part of nature, as well as our lives. 


    Reason, season or lifetime