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Features

  • 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.

  • I’m sure I have too much time to think when I’m riding around in the pick-up truck. Recently, I was pondering just how strange it is that the New Orleans Saints are undefeated (at least at this writing).

    I remember when Archie Manning was exiled to the Big Easy from Ole’ Miss to quarterback for the then-new expansion franchise. Now, at least one of his sons is destined for Canton, Ohio. I guess that just means I’m getting old.

  • Halloween’s bags of candy are scarcely garnered by trick or treaters, young and old, when turkey sales hit the scene.

    Pumpkins for pies replace those that decorated doorsteps. At the same time, department and grocery store workers race to remove the vestiges of both holidays to make room for all things Christmas.

    Red and green become the favored colors instead of shades of orange and brown. I watch it all and wonder what ever happened to Advent. Does anyone even recognize its presence?

  • The Brunswick Community College Foundation and Coastal Financial Associates are bringing renowned violinist Caroline Goulding accompanied on piano by Alicja Basinska and Janine Randall, with special guests The Sea Notes Choral Society of Brunswick County, to Odell Williamson Auditorium at 6 p.m. Jan. 9.

    All proceeds from the event will benefit student scholarships at Brunswick Community College. General admission tickets are $25 and VIP tickets, including a post-show reception and priority reserved seating, are $50.

  • Shanna (ID No. A014523) is a tan female Labrador retriever and Vizsla mix. The staff at Brunswick County Animal Shelter thinks she’s about 2 years old. She has been at the shelter since Oct. 14. The shelter’s adoption fees are based on age. Adoption fees for dogs are $65 for ages six months or older, and $46 for dogs five months old or younger. Fees include rabies shot, physical exam, heartworm test (for older dogs only) and spay or neuter. Female cats and kittens, $55; includes physical exam, feline leukemia/FIV (feline HIV) tests, rabies vaccination and spay surgery.

  • Nostalgic paintings by Stokes County artist Tony Craig are being featured in an exhibit, “Stepping Back In Time,” at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash from Monday, Nov. 16, through Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010.

    An artist reception for Craig is set for 2-5 p.m. this coming Saturday, Nov. 21, during which Craig will also sign copies of his book.

    Working tightly in watercolor, Craig has captured moments in time at corner stores and country gas stations—places that are quickly disappearing from the landscape.

  • Uniquely Brunswick County

    Think Outside the Beach Photo Contest

    The Brunswick Beacon wants to know what you think makes Brunswick County unique. Pick up a camera and show us in this year's photo contest.

    The contest is divided into three divisions:

    Kids Division (Ages 12 and younger), Teen Division (Ages 13-18) and Adults (Ages 19 and older)

    There is an entry fee of $5 per photo in the adult division. Kids and teens divisions are free. Participants may enter as many photos as they wish.

  • Autumn sparkles with golden yellows and vibrant reds as our deciduous trees settle in for their winter nap.

    People from across the globe make the pilgrimage to New England, the upper Midwest and even the mountains of North Carolina to enjoy nature’s spectacle.

  • The trend toward cooler weather is welcomed by most of us but it can be accompanied by some unwelcome insect visitors.

    Polistes or paper wasp colonies are beginning to die out and so some of the remaining workers (who will croak eventually) along with next year’s crop of queens are likely to start bailing out of nests.