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Features

  • The Shallotte Junior Women’s Club will present its second annual Stand Up For Charity benefit comedy show featuring comedian Bobby Collins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, in Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College.

    Collins’ brand of humor is described as heartfelt and witty, engaging audiences with a “clever blend of characterizations and hilarious observations.”

  • For little ones wishing to receive a response from Santa Claus by Christmas, they’re asked to bring their letters to Santa of the North Pole Mailbox at the Museum of Coastal Carolina by Dec. 18.

    Scott Kucera, executive director the Ocean Isle Museum Foundation, which includes the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach and Ingram Planetarium at Sunset Beach, says children who bring their letters by the museum by Dec. 18 will be able to have their letters sent to the North Pole and back, all in time for Christmas.

  • For Mary Brown, becoming a minister was a journey from a life of poverty, drugs and incarceration to a new life.

    That’s what led the West Virginia native become active in ministry in Shallotte and to move beyond her old life into a new one—starting a small church and providing inspiration to those in need.

    Two years ago, Brown started House of Deliverance Worship Ministry on Tryon Road in Shallotte, and although the church has a small number of regular visitors, she continues to do what she feels God has called her to do.

  • Winter is on the way. Autumn is fading. If you look around, you will notice the trees have shed their bright fall colors and the grass is turning brown.

    Birds are once again visiting backyard feeders for a meal. Christmas decorating is at a frenzied pace with everyone decking the halls.

  • Ask most folks about a plant at Christmas and they’ll mention poinsettias or Christmas trees. Both of those are traditional parts of our holiday celebrations, but neither usually sticks around much past early January.

    If you want a great Christmas plant that will do great year after year, consider what is now called a “holiday cactus.” These natives of the tropical rainforests of Central and South America boast colorful blossoms in shades of pink, red and white at the tips of each arching stem.

  • It is that time of year again when most of us have either bought or received a poinsettia for the holidays.

    First, a little history lesson. When Joel Poinsett was ambassador to Mexico in the early 1800s, he saw these beautiful plants and decided to bring them back to the United States. This is how the poinsettia came by its name. This plant is now one of our most endearing holiday decorations and has produced a business into the millions.

  • When I heard the buzz about “Precious,” a movie based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, I was determined to view it. I also decided I’d not do any previewing or surfing the Internet for reviews so my own insights would not be unduly influenced by those of others.

    All I knew was the movie’s focus was on an overweight, under-educated 16-year-old—Clareece Precious Jones—a girl who wished to be identified by her middle name, Precious.

  • The town of Shallotte has scheduled its annual Christmas tree lighting and parade for Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, officially ringing in the holiday season in town.

    The town and the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the annual Christmas tree lighting beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Rourk Gardens.

    The event will begin with welcomes from Shallotte Mayor Gerald Long and chamber president Cathy Altman.

  • The holidays are a great time to stop and reflect on the things that have happened over the previous 12 months.

    While the economy has struggled, 2009 wasn’t a bad year in the garden. Rainfall and temperatures were close to normal. We weren’t pounded by any tropical storms. So, what plants were the winners and losers this year?

    Two new Knock Out roses were released in 2009—Sunny and Whiteout. After planting several of each in different locations including my own garden, my initial impression of these proved correct.

  • For many, real Christmas trees and poinsettias are basic ingredients for a successful Christmas season; however, buying right and then caring for your trees after they enter your home is critical for the success of this recipe. Yes, poinsettias are small trees. Our goal is to keep the trees looking good for as long as possible.

    Christmas trees

    With a real tree, you can smell and feel its presence compared to an artificial one. The magic ingredient to prolong this feeling is water, whether the tree is cut or live with a root ball.

  • One of the most profound questions one can ask or hear is this: “Who are you?”

    There are days when I look into the mirror of life and am astounded at what I see. I stare curiously at an image I cannot believe is real and ask: “Who are you?”

    Who is this person who has reacted with swift and sure anger at a remark innocently made or a question naively asked?

    Who is this woman who speaks confidently of non-judgmental, unconditional love and then becomes perturbed when things do not go as planned?

  • LONGWOOD—For the fourth year in a row, trains are pulling into the station—the one encompassing the Grissettown-Longwood Volunteer Fire Department, to be exact.

    The department’s annual Christmas Train Show is set for 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 at the station at 758 Longwood Road.

    The annual yuletide whistle-stop at the rural fire station has grown since the first one in 2006, when a couple of model railroads were set up on tracks in a training room.

  • The Brunswick Beacon sponsored a "Taste of Home Cooking School" Saturday, Nov. 21, during which the crowd received numerous door prizes from local and national sponsors and learned some short cuts for tasty holiday dishes.

  • Falling stars are a beautiful sight, as they race across the sky. I hear the excitement in everyone’s voice as I listen about an experience people had viewing a falling star.

    I love to watch the show of falling stars. In addition to watching, you could, as the saying goes, make a wish upon a star and see it will come true. Personally, I prefer saying a prayer but not only as I see a falling star.

    One reason not to make a wish on a falling star would be a falling star is not a star at all but dust left behind by a comet.

  • Sweet iced tea is as southern as magnolia blossoms and chopped pork barbeque. It’s probably blasphemous to admit, but I, as a redneck southern boy, don’t like sweet tea. That’s almost as bad as admitting that I don’t particularly like grits. Even though I may not appreciate all of the southern cuisine, the leaves of a camellia are the source of green, black, oolong and white teas.

  • The time is here for planting trees and shrubs. Review your existing trees at this time. Damaged and diseased trees should be cut down, but we need to think about the value of trees in our environment.

    Trees help provide oxygen, keep our soils from eroding, and keep our yards shady and beautiful. Just remember, if you take down a tree, please replant one or two in its place.

    When it comes to planting trees, there are some vital steps that must be taken to ensure the tree you plant will successfully grow and provide years of shade and pleasure.

  • It is so easy to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving when all is going well. It’s not even that difficult when we perceive this is as good as it gets.

    Typically, at Thanksgiving services, we pause to render gratitude for all that God has done in us and with us and through us and for us during the past year. We conjure up memories of all the wonderful happenings we have experienced, the glorious graces we have received. And then we pray our appreciation.

  • “It’s all about the family and the views,” Island Home Tour homeowners agree. That’s why they built their homes.

    They have agreed to open their homes for the Island Home Tour because they want to support the Museum of Coastal Carolina and its contribution to education, environment and entertainment for the area.

    The home tour takes place from 3-5 p.m. on Dec. 5 followed by an Island Good Time reception and auction at the museum from 5-7 p.m.

    Bell House

  • Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits—Sundays are “world famous” gospel brunch days at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Every Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the entertainment venue at 4640 U.S. 17 S., the brunch crowd is served an extra heaping helping of food and live gospel music.

    While feasting on an amazing buffet to feed body and soul, diners are treated to a live performance by gospel trio Glory.

  • The Palm Reader (compiled by the Southeastern Palm and Exotic Plant Society) indicates “not all plants that look like palms are palms.”

    In everyday speech, the term “palm” can refer to just about any large-leafed evergreen bush or tree. One non-palm that really looks like a palm is the Sago Palm (Cycas revolute), commonly sold in coastal areas of the Southeast. The Sago Palm is actually a cycad. Cycads are an ancient group of plants that are closely related to cone-bearing trees such as pine and spruce.