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Today's Features

  • I was happily composing a column to be in queue for future publication, as is my overachieving wont. Happiness, for me, is to have a stock of possibilities lest my writing well runs dry. I smile with delight, pleased with my accomplishment as I click “save” and call it a good day’s work. God’s in heaven and all’s right with my world.

  • Summer fruits and vegetables are at their peak. This means it’s a good time to remind those preserving these foods about the need to have up-to date instructions and procedures. Food preservation techniques are constantly being studied and revised. Just because “you’ve always done it this way” or this is how your mother (or grandmother) taught you, it may not be the most up-to-date method. Also, just because you found a recipe on the Internet or saw it on a cooking show on television does not make it safe.

  • What we eat and feed our pets affects their oral health. Everyone agrees that sugar contributes to the formation of cavities, at least in humans. About 90 percent of U.S. school children develop tooth decay, largely because they eat too many sweets. What about dogs and cats? Do they get cavities? Can certain foods cause oral health problems? Cavities are extremely rare in pets, affecting less than 5 percent of all dogs and even fewer cats. Why?

  • If it’s Thursday, customers are thirsty at the Lowes Foods Beer Den.

    That’s the day the Carolinas supermarket chain serves up half-price Thirsty Thursday specials at its Beer Den craft tap counters, including ones in Brunswick County and just across the state line in South Carolina.

    During a recent Thirsty Thursday at Lowes Foods in Ocean Isle Beach, customers clamored ‘round the Beer Den counter to sample the latest craft brews, by-the-glass wine or $3 mimosas.

  • A Gator Cam, late-night summer hours and a new zipline trek are among the latest seasonal offerings at Shallotte River Swamp Park at 5550 Watts Road, Ocean Isle Beach.

    New for 2018 is the Swamp Park Gator Cam, viewable at shallotteriverswamppark.com or on the park’s Facebook page, which scans and focuses on the swamp park’s renowned alligator sanctuary.

    Swamp Park manager George Howard said the park now has 13 rescued American alligators in its sanctuary, which has been built up to about 8,000 square feet.

  • The Tim Clark Band wows audiences wherever it goes.

    It’s expected the band will do the same when it performs at the next Sunset Beach Summer Concert scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. next Wednesday, Aug. 15, at The Village at Sunset Beach at Sunset Boulevard North and Park Road North. (For more details, go to SunsetBeachConcerts.com or Sunset Beach Concerts on Facebook.)

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    Last week I journeyed to Nebraska, and I’m here to give you a very brief report (which must begin with my first and almost certainly last dinner of mountains oysters …).

    Wide-open spaces! Gorgeous scenery with farms and windmills, little towns with grain silos. Here and there were pronghorn antelopes, which I had never seen before. Meadowlarks, hawks and bluebirds were common companions as we filled our plant presses with botanical treasures.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Live Life Fully

    The first 30 seconds. That’s when initial impressions are formed.

    We’ve all been there. You have an important request, and you’re wondering what to do. How will you come across?

    You may think you’re being direct, although others could interpret it as blunt. Or you think you need to provide more background, and your request can come across as wishy-washy.

    This is where you need to size up your audience — even if it’s only an audience of one.

  • Does the headline grab you? Is it intriguing or simply confusing? Perhaps it’s both … and more. The three-letter word I am referencing is ALL. All is such a common creature, easily spoken but hardly understood, or deeply heard. All commands attentiveness to the entirety of things, of people, of creation as subjects to be reverenced rather than objects to be reviled. All makes walking divinity’s narrow road much more confusing and complicated than the apparent simplicity of the broad, unfettered, well-paved road of life.

  • Every pet owner I know wants to provide the best for their dog or cat. When it comes to best care, one thing every pet owner can, and should, do is have their pet’s teeth cleaned by their veterinarian at least yearly.

    This is nonnegotiable for me. Even if you can’t brush, rinse, give treats or apply gels, you can take your pet to the veterinarian for professional teeth cleaning.

    I know why you don’t; you’re worried about cost and concerned about safety. I get it. Let’s explore these objections a little further.