• 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.

  • LOCKWOOD FOLLY--Friendly competition, camaraderie and fun are the main reasons people enjoy shooting pool, and for a group of friends in this golf course community, another reason is neighbor Bob Marston’s new billiards room.

    The group of about a half-dozen Lockwood Folly residents plays three nights a week, and Marston’s friends say the night they enjoy most is when he hosts the game.

  • CALABASH—Sunset River Marketplace is featuring paintings by watercolor artist Richard Staat in a show titled “Watercolors with a Transparent Touch,” from Jan. 11 through Feb. 20.

    The eclectic exhibition includes figural pieces as well as landscapes and coastal scenes. A reception, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16.

  • The December meeting of the Coastal Carolina Camera Club combined a potluck dinner with a juried competition of members’ photographs representing “December Holidays.” Winners were chosen in three divisions: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.

    Beginners Division

    First place: Bob Boal–‘4th Advent before Christmas.’

    Second place: Mary Wayne–‘Mother Nature’s Ornaments.’

    Third place: Fran Sheehan–‘Old St. Nick.’

    Intermediate Division

  • The world hailed 2009 as the “International Year of Astronomy,” and across the globe, special events honored the occasion.

    Even the stars and planets seemed to join in the yearlong tribute: Jupiter took a hit from some space junk; Saturn’s rings disappeared for a few days as they faced us edge-on. Our moon gave up a deep secret; there is water on its surface.

  • Rattlesnakes may be hanging out waiting for warmer temperatures, but now is the time to deal with rattlesnake weed. Also known as Florida artichoke and Florida betony, this member of the mint family rears its ugly head in February when a few warm days get it growing.

    Atrazine, which is sold as Purge, does a pretty good job of controlling Florida betony in centipede and St. Augustine lawns. The only material that has any activity on this aggressive weed in shrub beds is diclobenil, sold as Casoron or Barrier.

  • Bluebirds are flying over the area in search of accommodations. It’s a little early, but like some other smart animals, it’s time to plan ahead.

    Bluebirds are particular in their nesting habits. Don Adams of Southport has provided the following information on how to attract these beautiful little birds to your garden:

    Cavity nesting bluebirds are in need of man-made nest boxes. The change from wood fence posts with cavities to steel posts and the cutting of hollow trees for firewood has reduced the natural nesting sites.

  • Jessica Lynn Edwards of Ash and William Allen Todd of Shallotte were married Dec. 5 at Camp Branch Baptist Church in Ash, with The Rev. Leroy Long officiating.

    The bride is the daughter of Thea Barefoot of Ash and the late Wayne Edwards.

    The groom is the son of William Earl Todd and Wanda Todd of Shallotte.

    The bride was given in marriage and escorted by her mother.

    Amy Fulford, the groom’s sister, served as matron of honor. She wore a black knee-length dress.

  • I watched as she squirmed in her chair. With a sigh that mingled desperation with frustration and anger with despair, she let her head drop to her chest. Then a sudden burst of energy and feisty combativeness grasped her and she shouted out, “I feel trapped. Don’t any of you understand? I feel trapped. I am being treated like a baby. I have lost control of my life. I am in a hole and I can’t get out!”

  • One of The Brunswick Beacon’s most loyal readers does not live in Brunswick County. In fact, he doesn’t even live in America.

    His name is Glyn Roberts.

    Originally from England, he now lives in France and keeps tabs on all things Brunswick County by reading The Brunswick Beacon online every day.