Today's Features

  • “I blame it on the alphabet. More specifically, the letter L. I always found it a little crooked.” I gave a little chuckle to myself as I sketched a dog’s ear canal. Mrs. Watkins didn’t laugh. She just glared a bit more intensely. This wasn’t going nearly as well as I’d hoped. Let me explain what was happening by taking you back a couple of weeks when we first met.

  • Busy people are always looking for a quick way to make a healthy and nutritious dinner. One meal that we make frequently in our house is fajitas. They are quick and easy and leave lots of flexibility for creativity based on what’s on-hand in the kitchen.

    I also like to serve fajitas to guests and let them do-it-themselves. It’s easy to set up a fajita bar for any number of diners. Not only is this an “activity” for them to do, it allows people to use the ingredients they like.

  • Ocean Isle Beach is serving up family fun, kite-flying and a Peace on the Beach event this Saturday, April 20.

    Free admission is offered to Brunswick County residents with valid ID during Family Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at 21 E. Second St. Special Family Day admission for non-residents is $3 per person.

  • Easter weekend is upon us and so are a variety of events in coming days.

    Following is a roundup of highlights.

    Easter Sunday Beach Worship Service — Calabash Covenant Presbyterian Church, 8 a.m. Sunday, April 21, near the Sunset Beach Fishing Pier. A musical prelude to the service begins at 7:30 a.m. Bring your beach chair or blanket and enjoy a moment of meditation in God’s sanctuary by the ocean.

  • Family fun, food and frolic abound once again at the second Brunsco Spring Fling scheduled this Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the grounds outside Planet Fun at 349 Whiteville Road in Shallotte.

    The community event includes mechanical rides for kids, beer for adults, fair food and games, vendor shopping, entertainment and a band contest.

    Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Public speaking and snakes: What do they have in common? They consistently rank at the top of our fear lists. Fear: that four-letter word that holds us back. We all have it. It’s just a matter of degree.

    There’s a theory that actually links our fears of public speaking and snakes, according to Glenn Croston, Ph.D. Evolution predisposes us to fear some creatures as a throwback to the days of predators.

    Social creatures

  • We have a really flamboyant tree here in Columbia, which has been showing up for years. It can be a nasty weed, often occurring in old vacant parking lots, along railroads and broken-down littered places in tiresome, scratchy urban settings.

    The tree has a spreading crown once it attains some size and it makes dramatic purple flowers: tubular and cigar-shaped, about 2 inches long and fragrant. The trees are conspicuous when they bloom in the spring as there are no leaves at all to see.

  • It hardly seems possible that the 40 days of Lent have brought us to the final seven days of solemnity observed in a variety of ways as Holy Week.

    For some, this may not be marked with a drastic change of schedule. Schools are yet in session. Supermarkets and other venues still have some chocolate bunnies or marshmallow Peeps for sale. Easter bonnets no longer hold popularity but department stores continue to stock spring frocks and footwear to mark this time of year.

  • Each spring legions of pets visit their veterinarian for their annual vaccinations. Why spring, you ask? Because that’s when most animals are born, meaning most are vaccinated during the period of April to July.

    Perhaps no other medical advancement has saved more lives (human or animal) than vaccinations against infectious diseases (I’m looking at you — smallpox, measles, parvo and rabies).

  • What comes to mind when you think about sprouts?

    I’m talking about those tiny leafy green alfalfa or radish sprouts found on salads and sandwiches. Also, there are crispy mung bean sprouts that are eaten raw on salads or cooked in Asian foods.

    If you’re thinking healthy or health food — think again — at least from the food safety point of view. While sprouts do contain protein and vitamins, they may also contain something we don’t want: pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses.