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Features

  •  Staff Report

    Get in the holiday spirit with an array of festive events planned this weekend and in the coming week in Brunswick County.

    The roundup of upcoming holiday happenings includes:

  • You walk down any aisle of a grocery store and you will see products labeled “no cholesterol” or “low cholesterol.” What does this mean?

    In some respects, it is a marketing gimmick. In fact, stores could put a sign above the entire produce section that says, “Cholesterol Free” because cholesterol is only found in products that originate from animals. Plant-based products have no cholesterol.

  • You survived Thanksgiving with all of the food and relatives. Brave souls may have even ventured into the chaos that is shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. If all of this holiday hustle and bustle has you popping Lexapro like baby aspirin, take a break and go play in the garden. Believe or not, there are some garden chores that need to be done right now.

  • Just after Thanksgiving and for the next two weekends, it will be the busiest time to purchase a Christmas tree. Early shoppers will pick from the best available trees on lots or in fields.

    Locally, it is difficult to find a choose and cut operation. For our area, it usually means going to a tree lot to select a tree that has already been cut and shipped into our area.

  • Almost any indoor environment is more pleasant and attractive when living plants are part of the setting. In apartments, condominiums, and single-family residences, plants add warmth, personality, and year-round beauty.

    There are other uses for indoor plants that include: enclosing space into separate areas, reducing glare and reflection from artificial lights or sunlight entering through a window and screening to block out undesirable views or to create privacy. Also, plants provide oxygen for our environment.

  • Advent has come again. The four-week spiritual preparation time for Christmas is often lost in the frenzy of commercial preparedness.

    Many fall prey to a hectic countdown against a sales clock that marks the birthday of the Prince of Peace as an ending, rather than a beginning.

    We become people holding all kinds of expectation instead of being people of expectancy. As a result, we are more often disappointed than excited, discontent rather than enthusiastic.

    We lose our sense and commission to be People of Peace.

  • This is the third year the North Carolina Division of Public Health is promoting a holiday weight challenge.

    All North Carolinians are encouraged to maintain their current weight during the upcoming holiday season. The challenge will be referred to as “Eat Smart, Move More... Maintain, Don’t Gain.” You can join the six-week online challenge for free at: www.MyEatSmartMoveMore.com.

    You will receive a free weekly newsletter full of tips, ideas, recipes and other helpful tracking tools. To help you get started for the holidays, try the following tips:

  • Get in the holiday spirit with any of the array of events planned this weekend and in the coming week in Brunswick County.

    The roundup of upcoming holiday happenings includes:

    • “Bethlehem to Patmos”—Live nativity by Anointed Vessels Ministry at 7 p.m. Dec. 4-8 in 300-seat outdoor amphitheater. Admission is free but seating is limited. 3255 Liberty St., Ash. For directions and information, call the Rev. Diana Payne at 287-4267.

    •Shallotte tree lighting, 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, Rourk Gardens, Main Street, Shallotte. 754-6644.

  • It is time for planting spring-flowering bulbs. Following are some tips on more effectively utilizing bulbs:

    Color Blocking

  • Did it get cold enough for you? More importantly, did the cold get to your houseplants and tropical plants before you could bring them inside?

    Each landscape can be analyzed to find certain microclimates within. If you have some tender plants that are still alive after the hard freeze then you may have a particular warm spot (microclimate) in the landscape where tender plants may have a fighting chance to overwinter. I am not that brave anymore to keep tropical plants outdoors unless I have a spare plant just in case the one I am testing for cold tolerance dies.

  • Thanksgiving Day is here, a time to be grateful for all that we have been given and received, but the best kind of thanks comes when we realize the truth in the words of Rabbi Harold Kushner: “You don’t have to be perfect to be loved.”

    What a breath of fresh air in the stale, stupefying atmosphere of expectation!

    Of course, Rabbi Kushner was speaking of God’s unconditional love for us, a love that neither expands nor contracts according to our degree of perfection.

  • CALABASH—The Brunswick Arts Council’s annual Evening of Miniature Masterpieces fundraiser drew about 300 people Saturday night to Sunset River Marketplace gallery.

    Local arts supporters showed up in their finest black-tie attire and admired the “mini” art pieces created especially for the event. Each guest took home a masterpiece.

    In addition to live and silent auctions, the event also featured a celebration of the arts council’s scholarship program.

  • So now what? Thanksgiving has come and went and you are still left with a ton of food, and by now the thought of eating another turkey sandwich doesn’t sound too appealing.

    So what are you going to do with all those leftovers?

    You bought and prepared a 22-pound turkey (you have no idea why), and 21 pounds are still left.

    The cranberry salad was barely touched. You made some sort of fruit salad with apples that you forgot to serve in all the commotion. The mashed potatoes—what were you thinking?

  •  Intricate work by local artists is the focal point of Evening of Miniature Masterpieces.

    The Brunswick Arts Council’s largest, fifth annual fundraiser will take place 6:30-10 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 22, at Sunset River Marketplace art gallery, 10283 Beach Drive in Calabash.

    Tickets to the black-tie-optional event are $100, which admits two.

  • SUPPLY—Theresa Tese had been praying for guidance, asking for something she could do to help others when inspiration struck.

    Ensconced in her Long Island living room a couple of winters ago, Tese looked down at her cozy new Christmas slippers and began to think about people whose feet might not be as warm that night.

    “It just was in my heart, that the homeless really need this,” she said. “They go through their socks, they wear them out, in one week. It’s always a renewable need.”

  • For members of a small gallery, some Franklin Square Gallery artists won big at the statewide watercolor show in Greenville and several other competitions.

    Six artists from this Southport cooperative gallery had their work accepted to this prestigious juried show and five won major prizes. Others won awards in Beaufort, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and locally.

  • The winners in the 14th annual Arts by the Shore, hosted by Oak Island Art Guild and Oak Island Parks and Recreation, have been announced.

    Jane Staszak, an award-winning artist and judge from South Carolina, was the juror.

    Best of Show

    “Thunderhead” by Dick Staat.

    Two-Dimensional

    Oil

    First place: “Old Wilmington Beauty” by Ann Lees.

    Second place: “Morning Rush” by Phil Meade.

    Third place: “Paint Job” by Ortrud Tyler.

    Acrylics

  • Thanksgiving dinner usually revolves around a glorious, bronzed, succulent roast turkey. This is actually one of the easiest parts of the meal.

    Plan on about 1-1/2 pounds of turkey for each person. You can buy a frozen turkey and thaw it ahead of time, cook your turkey still frozen (see below) or order a fresh bird. With a frozen bird, you have to plan ahead to thaw it. It takes at least 24 hours in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey, so a 20-pound bird will take 4-5 days to thaw.

    Brining the Turkey

  • Obviously, I have just returned from an intense couple of hours entrenched in the anxieties, terrors and corruption of 1928 Los Angeles in the film, ‘Changeling.’

    From the onset, I was immersed in the story of the abduction of Walter Collins and the ceaseless battle waged by his mother, Christine, as she fought to learn of her son’s whereabouts.

  •  BY LAURA LEWIS

    SUPPLY—Teams competing in “Are You Smarter Than a Village Schooler?” on Saturday night had to know some stuff.

    They needed to know the three most important nutrients for plant growth. They were asked how many quarters are in $3.50, what a six-sided figure is called and what is the longest river in the world, among dozens of other things.