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Features

  • It’s cold outside and you really don’t feel like working in your garden. Those seed catalogs sitting by the fireplace look much more inviting, but the garden looks so unkempt. Well, that is just fine because those frozen perennial stalks look messy but they serve a purpose.

    The seeds of Echinacea and Rudbeckia will attract and feed the birds: There are also plants that like the protection their foliage provides for their crowns. Asclepias (milkweed), Chrysanthemums and Heuchera (Coral Bells) fare best if cleaned up in the spring.

  • I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in providential happenings. These are the events, experiences and episodes in life that occur with the sudden surprise of grace. They happen while we are busily doing something else, alerting us to the constant presence of a creative God. They cause us to exclaim, “You won’t believe what just happened!” And then, we begin our tale of the unexpected, the unusual, or the unimaginable—a saga we label coincidental.

  • Dr. Jessica Shireman and Dr. Scott Hewett were married Dec. 19 at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church in Raytown, Mo., where the sanctuary was adorned with red poinsettias and white roses for the holiday wedding.

    The bride is the daughter of Steve and Kathe Shireman of Kansas City, Mo. She was given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father.

    The groom is the son of Aaron and Lisa Hewett of Shallotte.

  • Joan Leotta and Edith Edwards first became friends through the Writer’s Block, a Wilmington-based writing group.

    They soon discovered they had a lot in common—a love of history and a penchant for writing short stories.

    It was just a matter of time for the two to collaborate on “Tales Through Time: Women of the South,” a new book of short stories the two wrote and published together.

    A reading and presentation of their new book is set for 2 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 22, at Hickmans Crossroads Library.

  • A 17-year-old violin and fiddle virtuoso wowed the crowd at the Odell Williamson Auditorium Saturday evening, bringing a blend of classical violin and traditional Celtic fiddle music to about 600 concertgoers.

    The Brunswick Community College Foundation and Coastal Financial Associates sponsored the visit from Caroline Goulding, accompanied on piano by Alicja Basinska and Janine Randall.

    All proceeds will benefit scholarships at Brunswick Community College.

  • This is a good time to review the planets; they have been on the move through the sky so it is time for a sky-wide planet roundup.

    We are losing Jupiter; well not really losing it, we are just losing sight of it.

    Jupiter is moseying into the sunset as the days pass. At least it looks that way, “danger science information ahead,” as Earth orbits the sun, we change the alignment of Jupiter and the sun in the sky. As we move, the effect is the alignment of the sun between Jupiter and us.

  • We’ve just emerged from a stint of colder-than-normal temperatures that we’ve been sharing with most of the country. I don’t know about you, but I could use a little mid-winter pick-me-up, a reminder that our short and relatively mild winter will be giving way to spring shortly.

    Luckily, all I have to do is go and hang out in the backyard to find winter-blooming plants like hybrid mahonia and edgeworthia.

  • As many plants wind down for the year, camellias come in to their own. The glossy, deep green Southern aristocrats brighten the cool season with perfect blooms. We mainly grow two camellia species here: camellia sasanqua, a fall bloomer, and camellia japonica, the “common” camellia that flowers in late fall to spring, depending on the variety.

  • Ashley Elaine Suggs of Calabash and Justin Darrell Ward of Sunset Beach were married Dec. 24 at Lighthouse Mission Church in Calabash.

    The Rev. Larry Ward officiated the ceremony.

    The bride is the daughter of David and Susan Suggs of Calabash. She was given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father.

    The groom is the son of Vicki Cayton of Castle Hayne and the late Darrell Ward.

    Mateus Buchanan of Calabash served as matron of honor.

    Flower girl was Mackenzie Buchanan.

    David Suggs, the bride’s father, served as best man.

  • When I stumbled upon a transliteration of the beatitudes by Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz, an Aramaic scholar, in his “Prayers of the Cosmos,” I was struck with awe.

  • SUNSET BEACH—When her grandchildren were small, Anne Giordano used to make up stories to tell them.

    The retired educator’s gift for fictitious license recently re-emerged in the form of a new children’s book, “Spencer, the Magic Rabbit.”

    It’s a freshly published collaboration between Giordano and fellow Sea Trail resident and illustrator Marie Munn.

    Noting it’s her first book, Giordano said “Spencer” is the print rendition of a story she used to tell her granddaughter, Kellie.

  • Shallotte now has its own celestial venue for convivial pursuits.

    Planet Fun, at 349 Whiteville Road, is a newly opened venue for fun-seekers of all ages.

    Highlights in the 50,000-square-foot entertainment center, beside Lowe’s Home Improvement, include the 32-lane constellation bowling alley, four lanes of mini bowling, a two-story laser tag arena, nine-hole black-light miniature golf, a soft indoor playground, arcade, party rooms, concession stand, pro shop and a restaurant, the Starz Grille.

  • When Pete and Linda Sundman, married and business partners for the past 20 years, moved from Atlanta to Brunswick County, they wanted to find a way to put their entrepreneurial skills to use.

    They’ve finally found their niche in a unique little drama venue on N.C. 211, and local theater fans are celebrating.

    The two, who have lived in Oak Island, St. James and now Winding River Plantation, tried retirement but found it wasn’t for them.

  • KURE BEACH—In January 1865, more than 3,000 United States Colored Troops (USCT) landed at Fort Fisher and participated in the Union Army campaign to take Wilmington.

    The impact of their presence will be reviewed when Fort Fisher State Historic Site has a panel discussion, “Black Men Bearing Freedom: U.S. Colored Troops and Their Impact on North Carolina,” at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, in the Azalea Coast Room at the Fisher Student Center at UNC Wilmington.

  • If you speak Spanish, the word to describe the weather of late is “freo.” That’s “cold” to those of you who don’t “habla the Espanola.”

    Whatever your language of choice, the temperatures have been abnormally low. So what does the cold mean for our garden plants?

    The short answer to that question is: “Not too much.” While the temperatures haven’t been pleasant for those of us who prefer the feel of sweat rolling down our backs, the plants are doing just fine.

  • Wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) is a popular landscape tree and is often grown as a dense hedge for natural screening.

    It is one of the most versatile landscape plants in southeastern North Carolina, offering four seasons of beauty and service. It is a fine textured evergreen shrub or small tree. It will quickly reach heights of 15-25 feet. The narrow, evergreen leaves are a glossy, olive green and are quite aromatic when crushed, releasing a pleasant, spicy scent.

  • Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) invites local agencies and groups to apply for a 2010 BEMC Community Grant.

    The program was started in 2003 and provides grants up to $2,500 to groups that provide: family services programs, civic and community programs, cultural and arts programs, emergency services and community development activities. Since inception, the grants program has awarded nearly $168,000 to more than 100 projects benefiting citizens all over the area.

  • Judy and Clifton Riley of Calabash celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 18, 2009. Their daughter, Susan Suggs, gave a reception in their honor at The Lighthouse Mission Church in Calabash.

  • Do you remember that ditty from years past, the one that began with the words: “Tell me a story before I fall asleep?” I do. Every once in a while, it bubbles up from the recesses of my mind, and I smile.

    I smile because life is all about telling stories. You tell me your story. I tell you mine. We share the commonality we find in them and make connections, as we can, to the larger story of humanity and divinity. This cosmic tale remains a mystery to be entered and probed.

  • Looking for something new, active and fit to do in 2010?

    Try moving your feet to music.

    Instructors are stepping up with an array of dance classes in a variety of styles, from beginner to advanced, throughout Brunswick County.

    Every day of the week, students are dancing somewhere at an area venue.