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Features

  • When in a restaurant, a dinner for two always seems special. Whether you’re a couple or a couple of old friends, it always seems like a special occasion. Unfortunately, when the table for two is at home, it isn’t regarded with the same kind of reverence.

    Making meals for two rather than a large crowd can reintroduce you to the enjoyment of cooking just for the two of you. When you don’t have to plan for feeding large groups, preparing food can be fun again.

  • March is a busy month for gardeners around the house, in the vegetable garden and in the landscape. Here are some gardening tips for you to consider this month.

    Houseplants

    Repot houseplants in fresh commercial potting mix. Before reusing old pots, clean them with detergent and water, or 10 percent chlorine bleach solution, to remove salts and disease-causing microorganisms. Most commercial potting mixes have some fertilizer in them, so wait a month after repotting before fertilizing.

    Edibles

  • Plan now to implement some time saving tips to keep your garden more maintenance free this summer.

    If you fertilize your lawn once this spring during a wet period, the fertilizer will go down into the soil and the roots will reach down after it.

  • Veronica Maresca and Tim Madison were married Feb. 21 in Charleston, S.C., by the Rev. Tal Madison, the groom’s brother.

    The groom’s daughter, Veronica Brooke Madison, served as flower girl.

    The bride wore an ivory satin halter dress accented by champagne-colored lace.

    She carried a bouquet of ivory and sahara roses accented with pearl pins.

    A reception followed at the Planter’s Inn in Charleston, S.C.

    The bride is the daughter Ann Maresca of Sunset Beach. She is employed at Carolina Golf Coast Properties Real EState.

  • Meet on Main Street this Saturday, March 14, for the 21st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Calabash Elks Lodge is among participants from Brunswick County who will be marching in the 9 a.m. “parade of green.” This includes the Elks’ renowned kazoo band members who have been rehearsing and will be in green and in tune as they step along in the festive procession.

  • The sound of thundering motorcycle engines will be heard throughout eastern North Carolina on March 28 as people gear up to fight cancer during a Hope Motorcycle Run.

    For the first time ever, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender and Onslow counties are taking their Relay For Life fundraising efforts across all four counties. Understanding cancer knows no boundaries, volunteers are uniting for this event to make a difference in their communities.

  • They followed their patients from the moment they arrived at the hospital—from triage to CAT scans to the pharmacy where they were dispensed M&Ms.

    Twenty students from the county’s four middle schools—Leland, South Brunswick, Shallotte and Waccamaw—participated in the two-day MASH camp at Brunswick Community Hospital.

  • Meet on Main Street this Saturday, March 14, for the 21st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Calabash Elks Lodge is among participants from Brunswick County who will be marching in the 9 a.m. “parade of green.” This includes the Elks’ renowned kazoo band members who have been rehearsing and will be in green and in tune as they step along in the festive procession.

  • Cotton is a Chihuahua mix who was brought in with her two brothers. The males have been adopted, but Cotton still needs a home. Cotton is housebroken, cuddly, and loves being carried around all day. She is in a foster home and needs a quiet home of her own. Paws Place Animal Rescue is a no-kill, nonprofit domestic animal rescue facility that provides sanctuary for unadoptable dogs and seeks loving homes for those that are. Its kennels are open 9 a.m.-noon daily. Paws Place also offers animal-care education and volunteer work programs at its 5-acre humanitarian facility 5 miles east of N.C.

  • Wilma, right, is a 1-year-old brown tabby with beautiful orange eyes who has been at Cat Tails for quite a while awaiting a new home. She has a brother named Fred. Wilma is playful, loves attention and gets along well with other cats and people except she would not do well in a home with small children. To see her and her brother, call Cat Tails at 253-1375 or visit its Web site at www.cattails.org. You can visit Wilma and Fred, as well as all the other cats and kittens available for adoption, at Cat Tails in the Corner Stone center at 6622 Beach Drive in Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Even though the temperatures are still a bit on the chilly side, I know spring is almost here. That’s because I’ve seen the “Amazoy” advertisement in the Sunday newspaper. This supposedly amazing grass is just Meyer zoysia—a selection that’s been around since the 1950s. While it makes a pretty nice lawn, “amazing” is a stretch.

    This slow-spreading grass did get the wheels in my head turning about that oft-asked question: “Which turfgrass is the best for our lawns?”

  • I recently had a student from an elementary school ask a question that many people need to know the answer to.

    “Should we be fertilizing our plants now?”

    That is a very good question. There are many situations where growing plants require additional fertilizers to be applied. A fertilizer is a nutrient that can be applied to plants to help them grow better. A plant could possibly grow without adding any nutrients but it may not grow as well or as vigorous as one provided with a nutrient from a fertilizer.

  • During these cool days of winter, take time to prepare for spring. Get your soil tested and avoid the spring rush and keep compost turned and watered.

    The garden soil population of over-wintering insects can be reduced by turning soil and exposing the slumbering plant-eaters to the cold weather. Feed and water birds during the winter; they are a gardener’s friend and they will love the insects from the garden when the soil is turned over.

  • I am sitting in my home office, gazing into space. It’s one of those times when the day was filled with all kinds of irritations and annoyances.

    There were bits of good news interspersed with the sudden death of a friend who had come through dangerous surgery successfully only to succumb to a massive stroke. So, I had been riding a rollercoaster of emotions for a number of hours.

    Serious questions about life and death meandered in and out of my mind. My natural optimism was subject to erosion. I was trying hard to keep a balanced attitude.

  • Rowdy (ID No. A003222) is a 4-month-old male Norfolk terrier pup seeking a good, new home at Brunswick County Animal Services in Supply. The shelter’s adoption fees are based on age. Adoption fees for dogs are $65 for ages 6 months or older, and $46 for dogs 5 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.

  • When it’s just you or the two of you, it can be a real challenge preparing meals when you were used to preparing for an army, as my wife can attest.

    What works well for many of us is making a large casserole and eating half and freezing the other half. You can also divide it into two smaller baking pans. Bake one right away and wrap and freeze the other, leaving you with leftovers for another day.

  • There’s a slob and a neat freak sharing an apartment, a loudmouth cop and a disastrous double date with a couple of upstairs neighbors, but the Brunswick Little Theatre’s latest production of “The Odd Couple” is not what you’d expect.

    This year, longtime BLT member Thom Clemmons decided to direct playwright Neil Simon’s female version of the popular play, which Simon rewrote for a female cast in 1985.

  • Wilma, right, is a 1-year-old brown tabby with beautiful orange eyes who has been at Cat Tails for quite a while awaiting a new home. She has a brother named Fred. Wilma is playful, loves attention and gets along well with other cats and people except she would not do well in a home with small children. To see her and her brother, call Cat Tails at 253-1375 or visit its Web site at www.cattails.org. You can visit Wilma and Fred, as well as all the other cats and kittens available for adoption, at Cat Tails in the Corner Stone center at 6622 Beach Drive in Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the ultimate fast food for family and guests—quick to prepare and low in fat. However, you can substitute chicken thighs for most any recipe calling for breasts, especially if your preference is dark meat.

    I’ve seen many articles claiming more than 100 ways to prepare chicken. I’m sure it must be at least 10 times that amount, but before I share a few of my favorites, let’s go over the ABC’s for sautéing chicken breasts for tender, juicy results.

    Sautéing Chicken Breasts

  • During a class last week, one of the students asked me what I considered an elegant garden. Elegance is, of course, in the eyes and mind of the individual. I have visions of graceful Japanese maples, stacked-stone retaining walls, fountains and outdoor kitchens with enough BTU’s to make Lucifer envious.