•  If you’ve worked around animals as long as I have, you learn a few things. First, it’s not the size of the dog that matters, it’s how sharp and dirty the teeth are. Second, never trust a bird, tortoise or opossum with your fingers. Finally, give plenty of respect to tortie and tricolor cats.

  • By Linda Arnold 

    Maybe you’ve been hunkering down — and bunkering in. Burrowing and eating hot soup. Feeling cozy.

    Or maybe you’ve got cabin fever and are so “over” the winter chill, wind, rain, snow, fog or cloudy days.

    Going within

    Of course, the seasons all have their purpose. And part of your body rhythms during this season dictate that you slow down, go within and reflect. How’s that working for you?

  •  By John Nelson

    “Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting. Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right.” George Harrison (The Beatles), 1969.


  • Attention to health and wellness is what it’s all about at The Brunswick Beacon’s 10th Health Expo scheduled this Saturday, Feb. 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Shallotte Middle School.

    Highlights at Health Expo 2016 include a number of new things this year, says Beacon advertising rep and event organizer Christy Williamson.

    This year’s event consists of a sold-out list of 61 vendors, ranging from health care and hospitals to vision and wellness.

  •  I am incredibly grateful to be a veterinarian. Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I’ve known I was meant to help and heal God’s creatures. My job is even better because I’ve been blessed to work with some of the most caring, hardworking and selfless superhumans on the planet.


    By Linda Arnold


    Two super-charged events back-to-back — Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl!

    Last week there were a lot of expectations around the Super Bowl: Who would win, how clever the commercials would be and how entertaining the halftime show would turn out.

    No doubt you’ve seen the mixed reviews.  Just ask Cam Newton. Or those advertisers who spent $5 million on a commercial that flopped. 


    Mission control

  • Musical folk artist Vance Gilbert will headline the next Listen Up Brunswick County concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.

    The upcoming performance by the Philadelphia-born former multicultural arts teacher will take place at Odell Williamson Auditorium, 50 College Road on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    Listen Up founder Jeannie Dufour says she and her husband have seen Gilbert perform more than a dozen times.

    “I stopped counting after that,” she said.

  • Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, one of America’s premier Spanish dance companies, is bringing its fiery stage flair to the next Odell Williamson Auditorium concert at Brunswick Community College at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 23.

  •   “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.” John F. Kennedy, 1963.

     By John Nelson

    The air that we all breathe is a mixture of various gases. Everybody knows that we require oxygen, but it sometimes comes as a surprise to hear that regular old air is mostly nitrogen (almost 80 percent).

  • You’re probably familiar with malaria, yellow fever, dengue, Chikungunya and West Nile virus. The latest unwelcome addition to this mosquito-borne disease list is Zika virus. Here are five things every pet owner needs to know about Zika virus.

    1.     What is Zika virus?


    There you are, drifting along in life. No matter how hard you try, you never seem to accomplish your goals. You’re always getting sidetracked.

    What’s up with that? And is there an app for it?

    With everything on your platter, it may seem like it’s all you can do to get to the bottom of your to-do list.  And then it feels like you’re just existing, rather than really living, your life.


    WHAT are you doing — and WHY?

  • By John Nelson


    “With sudden roar the aged pine tree falls – one crash, the death-hymn of the perfect tree, declares the close of its green century.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Woodnotes”


  • ‘Tis the season of love — with Valentine hearts and flowers and chocolate and wine and serenading and hugs and fishes, too.

    Those are just some of the things out there to cherish and cheer loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

    Let us count just some of the myriad ways to celebrate.


    Silver Coast Winery is once again staging a sweet Wine & Chocolate Pairing this Valentine’s weekend, which is perfect, winery officials say, for celebrating with your sweetie or Singles Awareness Day with friends.

  •  A reader recently wrote me about her beloved Dachshund who became tragically paralyzed. She asked for more information on spinal injuries in dogs. Here are five fast facts every dog owner should know about back injuries.  


    What does it mean for a spinal disc to rupture?

  • By Linda Arnold

     Look around you. I’m sure you’ll see your share of “Susie Sunshines” and “Donald Downers” out there. And those who fall in the middle.

    Are some folks just born more cranky? Or more perky? Or, are they conditioned through life experiences?

  • By Linda Arnold

     Look around you. I’m sure you’ll see your share of “Susie Sunshines” and “Donald Downers” out there. And those who fall in the middle.

    Are some folks just born more cranky? Or more perky? Or, are they conditioned through life experiences?

  •  By John Nelson

    Before the onslaught of Western culture in the Southeast, there existed stunning forests of a particular pine, a pine that towered well more than 100 feet high, with trunks seven feet in diameter, true Southern giants. Try as you might now, you will not happen upon such a scene now: groves of these, thick within the Sandhills, as far as the eye can see.

  • Some call it Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, but for local pet aficionados it’s known as Mardi Gras for Paws.

    The annual event to celebrate and raise funds for animal causes in Brunswick County is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Pogies Waterfront Bar & Grill, 14 Causeway Drive in Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Little girls and their male role models are royally highlighted at the upcoming Little Princess Ball scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at two sites this year — the South Brunswick Islands Center at 9400 Ocean Hwy. W. in Carolina Shores and at the Brunswick Center at 1513 N. Howe St. in Southport.

    Location-specific tickets are $10 per person and on sale through Feb. 5.

    The event is a special afternoon filled with dancing, face painting, games and more.

  •  It was around 1998 when I first became interested in CO2 laser surgery. I had returned from a surgical lecture presented by a university professor friend. During his presentation, he casually mentioned his school had recently purchased a human surgical laser. They had begun using it on a variety on cases, especially oral tumors, and were pleased with the results so far.