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Features

  •  By Linda Arnold

          New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday. Three hundred sixty-five delicious days. Twelve mesmerizing months. Fifty-two wonderful weeks.

         It’s the ultimate new beginning. OK, I’m strapping myself in!

         It’s also a time for reflection — looking back at the year in review and looking ahead at the year in preview. What will youtake into the New Year — both professionally and personally?  

  •  By John Nelson

     

    Q.: How do you get down from an elephant?

    A.: You don’t get down from an elephant. You get down from a goose.

     

    People still like vests and comforters filled with down, although feather-filled pillows don’t seem to be as common as they used to be. Seems like pillows are most often filled these days with something artificial. Something soft and hypoallergenic, that kind of thing. Whatever works for that long winter’s nap.

  • Starting in January, local author Anne Barnhill will kick off the New Year leading two more writing workshops in her Varnamtown home.

    The sessions, limited to 10 people each, will be conducted 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, and Saturday, Jan. 21.

    The cost is $50.

    For more information, contact Barnhill at 805-9774 or acbarnhill@yahoo.com.

  • The holidays are a perfect time to get out and enjoy — and not take for granted — some of the area’s educational venues open and available for visits.

    When was the last time you and yours hopped on board the ferry to tour the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher? Or visited the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach or its sibling Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach to view the offerings there?

    Here’s a closer look at their holiday events.

    Fish and Festival of Trees at Fort Fisher Aquarium

  •  The holidays are a time to celebrate with our loved ones — including our pets. During the holiday rush, it’s easy to overlook potential pet holiday hazards hidden in your home. To make the holidays safe for your cuddly companions, be on the lookout for these dangers as you deck your halls.

     

    Ribbons and tinsel

  •  By Linda Arnold

       

    Are you running on fumes right now? Expectations are high, bandwidth is low and most of us have been rushing around for weeks in preparation for the holidays. And that's just on the physical side.

    Emotionally, you may be feeling unsettled by recent tragedies, either directly or indirectly. If you find yourself with musings of what the holidays should be, you’re not alone. And there’s no right or wrong answer because this can morph and change over time.

  • By John Nelson

    One of my favorite trees here at the university grows right behind the herbarium. It’s been there for years (the building was constructed about 1974), and is now about 25 feet tall. (I’m terrible at estimating heights of trees … but let’s just say that it’s tall enough for you to cause serious damage if you fell out of it, while climbing around. But why would you want to climb around in this tree?

  • Brunswick School of Dance joins The Wilmington Ballet Company to present two performances of “The Nutcracker Ballet” this weekend at Cape Fear Community College.

    Show times are 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, on the Cape Fear Stage of the Wilson Center, CFCC’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center at 703 N. Third St. in Wilmington.

  • Listen Up Brunswick County is offering its audience an opportunity to save 25 percent on individual ticket prices for 2017.

    Tickets purchased before Dec. 31 for the upcoming season will include one ticket for free.

    The 2017 season of the music series consists of singer-songwriter Joe Crookston on Jan. 21, folk-newgrass-rock-classical Harpeth Rising on Feb. 19, crowd favorites The Kennedys on March 24 and Canadian troubadour James Keelaghan on April 9.

  • A lineup of llamas, horseback riders, county officials and other participants will highlight the annual Bolivia Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 17.

    Parade participants need to meet for lineup no later than 10 a.m. at the Brunswick County Government Complex, with the parade launching at 11 a.m.

    The parade will proceed from the complex through Bolivia on Old Ocean Highway and will end at Bolivia Elementary School at 4036 U.S. 17 Business East in Bolivia.

    The road will be blocked off at 10:45 a.m. and will reopen at the end of the parade.

  • Four new rescued Georgia gators have been added to Shallotte River Swamp Park’s Alligator Sanctuary at 5550 Watts Road, Ocean Isle Beach.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Just on the off chance your holidays are not totally Norman Rockwell-esque, take a look at the following checklist.

         Right now I’m feeling:

         _____  Jolly

       _____    Frenzied

       ______   Sad

      ______    Lonely

  •  By John Nelson

  • Experience the way American colonists celebrated the holidays as historic Brunswick Town in Winnabow celebrates An 18th Century Christmas from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11.

    Costumed interpreters will offer guided on-the-hour tours of St. Philips Anglican Church and historic Brunswick Town at the annual yuletide event.

    Visitors can also enjoy colonial refreshments in the Brunswick Town Visitor Center, participate in traditional games, and try their hand at making Moravian paper stars and other 18th-century crafts.

  •  If eyes are windows into the soul, then a cat’s whiskers are a telescope into their mind. If you learn to translate the subtle twitches and tucks of cat whiskers, you’ll be one step closer to understanding the feline world. A cat’s whiskers are important indicators of mood, danger detectors and built-in navigational system. What are your cat’s whiskers trying to tell you?

  •  By Linda Arnold

     

    So, how did that Thanksgiving holiday go?

    I’m guessing you’re either feeling ecstatic, excluded or exhausted — maybe a little of all three. Let’s just hope you don’t need to be exonerated!

    Relax — this is all normal.  It’s hard to manage your expectations when you’ve created a scenario right out of a Hallmark movie.  On the other hand, you may have just been hoping to get through the holiday without a catastrophe.

  •  By John Nelson 

    Now, as fond fathers,

    Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch,

    Only to stick it in their children's sight

    For terror, not to use…

                            Measure for Measure, Act I, Scene 3.

     

  •  By Linda Arnold

     

    So, the Thanksgiving holiday has just come and gone. Turkey, football, catching up and naps, right? Maybe — or maybe not.

    No doubt you had a range of experiences and emotions — totally normal. This holiday often brings together extended family and involves travel, preparation, work and emotional charges. Or, you might have found yourself alone this time.

  •   It started with some silly animal carols and is still going strong 21 years later. I’m talking about the 21st annual Calabash Christmas tree lighting and parade this Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. in downtown Calabash.

    Twenty-one years ago, I stood in front of a small Christmas tree donated by Callahan’s of Calabash with five team members from my veterinary clinic, Seaside Animal Care. I had altered a few seasonal carols into pet-themed renditions and was singing my heart out in front of a small crowd gathered to check out the commotion.