•  By Linda Arnold


    Michael Phelps. Serena Williams.  Bill Gates.


    Now that Olympic season is here, those who are at the top of their games are in the spotlight.  And, whether it’s swimming, tennis or business, there are constant reminders all around us.


    While these role models can serve to motivate you, they can also have the effect of negative comparisons if you’re not careful.


  •  PE-can vs. pe-CON … that age-old pronunciation issue just won’t seem to go away.

    I’m an adherent to the former pronunciation, although there are those in my family who like it the other way, which is OK. (After all, there are more important and divisive issues — like how to eat grits.)

  • Brunswick County has long savored its homegrown tomatoes.

    It was just a matter of time before MaterFest came to be.

    The first local festival celebrating the delectable red fruit/culinary vegetable of summer is thus scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. this coming Saturday, Aug. 6, in Shallotte’s new Mulberry Park at 123 Mulberry Street.

  • Kernersville-based Legacy Motown Revue launched on the Fourth of July, 2010, to the delight of Motown-loving audiences everywhere, including the summer concert one coming up this Friday night, Aug. 5, in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Since touring with Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters as music director and pianist, Revue bandleader Stan Stigall had dreamed of starting a tribute to the legendary groups he grew up listening to.

  • It’s all self-explanatory.

    Brunswick Little Theatre’s latest production, “Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a musical about musicals.

    It’s described as a hilarious satire of musical theater and is being presented for its second and final weekend Aug. 5-7 at the BLT Theatre at 8068 River Road in Southport.

    One story develops into five different musicals, each written in the distinctive style of a different master of the form, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim.

  •  Helping pets find forever homes is one of my proudest passions. I began working with my local Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shelter as a teenager and continued throughout my undergraduate studies. I’ve been blessed to work with some of the most devoted, compassionate and caring folks on the planet.

  •  By Linda Arnold


    If you’re in a funk right now, you’re not alone.


    I’ve talked with a number of folks who are undergoing major challenges. And the recent rash of natural disasters, global events and political divisiveness doesn’t help.

    Maybe you’re stuck in a rut at work. Or having relationship or health issues. That creeping feeling of despair starts out in one area and, the next thing you know, it’s sinking into other parts of your life.

  •  By John Nelson

    We are talking BIG flowers here, up to eight inches across when fully expanded. Is there any larger, single flower on any plant in North America? Maybe Magnolia, but it's a close contest.

  • It’s a painting party to aid animals, and you’re invited.

    Volunteers with Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services are staging the creative Calling All Angels Painting Party “FUNraiser” from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30.

  • Marsha Morgan started her career in the entertainment business 25 years ago performing in a variety of venues.

    But first came gospel. The Asheville native started singing in church when she was 4.

    Years later, she was invited to sing in Asheville’s world-famous Grove Park Inn, and that was that.

  • A fundraiser to aid purchase of Cuddle Cots for Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center and Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at 19th Hole Restaurant, 380 Brunswick Drive at Brunswick Plantation off U.S. near Carolina Shores.

    Highlights include hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, door prizes and raffles.

    Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the 19th Hole or at the door.

    For more information, call 367-3610.

  •  Last week we covered how to prepare your home and existing pet when adding a new furry family member. This week, I’d like to share my advice on simple steps you can take to make the first few weeks as pleasant and productive for your household and pets.


    Welcoming home

  •  By Linda Arnold

    “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.” — Sir Richard Branson 

    How do you live your life? 

    Do you proactively make the most of your talents and seek out fulfilling experiences and relationships? Or do you play it safe — avoiding confrontation and embarrassment?

    Maybe there’s something that’s been tugging at you for a long time, but you keep ignoring it.


    Clues that you’re playing too small

  •  By John Nelson

    “O, how full of briers is this working-day world!” As You Like It: Act 1, Scene 3


    There I was, driving along on a recent Sunday, botanizing in rural Fairfield County just north of town here, and I went by a blaze of red. Something in my head said it was too early to be seeing fall colors, so I had to turn around. Wow!

  • The Catalinas began in 1957 and is still one of the most popular bands in the southeastern United States.

    Known for their quality tight sound and onstage energy, the longtime Statesville-based band is one of the in-demand groups for city festivals and private parties, always playing a variety of music to suit all ages.

    Though known for beach music, regionally and nationally for the mega hit “Summertime’s Callin’ Me,” they play all styles.

  • “I’d like to get another pet; I’m just not sure Brownie would accept one.”

    I had just advised Brownie’s owner to consider adopting a new puppy. Brownie was 13 years young, had gained a few excess pounds and, in my opinion, was beginning to lose a little of the spark in her bark. I was trying to reignite that furry fireball I’d treated for many years.

  •  By Linda Arnold

           In nine years of writing this column, this is only the second time my standard publication date has fallen on this date.

  •  By John Nelson

    I wish I had time to go back to Germany, and maybe spend some time in Bavaria. I’ve spent some time there, in and around Munich, which is one of the most charming cities you can visit in Europe. It’s a fairly large town, but real easy to get around in, and there’s a lot to see and do. Of course, plenty of people like to go to Oktoberfest, which is great, boisterous fun, with huge crowds. (This year it goes from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3.)

  •  By Linda Arnold


         With summer in full swing, you’re likely planning some sort of vacation or timeout. Maybe it’s a traditional trip — or a change-of-pace staycation.

         I’m always intrigued by the different ways folks use their leisure time. How ‘bout you? Do you like to be on the go, exploring new places? Or would you rather curl up with a good book in the hammock?