• Memorial Day is a time to salute those who served the country and to launch the unofficial start of summer.

    Plan to celebrate this weekend and all summer long by exploring North Carolina’s rich variety of natural and cultural resources.

    See the great outdoors at a state park, special offerings at a history, science or art museum, or the launch of Summerfest, the North Carolina Symphony outdoor concert series, over the weekend at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

  • It’s a sacred day to remember those who died in defense of the country.

    Memorial Day tributes to America’s soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice will once again be paid throughout Brunswick County and on the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington on the traditional fourth Monday in May observance as well as one ceremony on the “actual Memorial Day” on Thursday, May 30.

    Here’s a closer look at scheduled ceremonies.

    Memorial Day in Calabash

  • Makai Brewing Company at 5851 Ocean Hwy. W., Unit 1, Ocean Isle Beach, is brewing a special beer, the Loggerhead Lager, and is offering a portion of the proceeds to Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehab Hospital, the Sunset Beach Turtle Watch and Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization.

    The special batch is scheduled for release this Saturday, May 25, and will be available for sale starting at noon until 9 p.m.

  • I prithee go and get me some repast;

    I care not what, so it be wholesome food.

    Shakespeare — Taming of the Shrew, IV, 3.

    One of my students brought this one in the other day. It is a little plant worth a considerable amount of discussion. Here are a few thoughts.

    It’s a carnivorous plant, meaning that it is able to capture and digest animal life as a means of augmenting whatever minerals and other goodies (especially nitrogen and phosphorus) are available to it in the wild.

  • By Linda Arnold

    “I can’t believe this is happening.” “Why don’t things work out for me?” “Life is NOT fair.”

    You’re a good person. You play by the rules. And yet you keep having setback after setback. Nothing is going your way.

    The reality that life is not fair can be difficult to grasp. You’re generally taught if you work hard enough — and long enough — you’ll achieve your goals.

  • Pure Markets kicks off the summer markets season at Ocean Isle Beach with the OIB Memorial Day Market on Monday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Causeway Drive between Second Street and Gatha Drive.

    The following week, the OIB Summer Market begins Tuesday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and continues every Tuesday through Aug. 27 at the same site.

    All items sold at Pure Markets are handmade, homemade and homegrown.

  • One of the most disturbing, embarrassing and often disgusting disorders a pet can develop is diarrhea.

    Runny stools can distress more than your pet’s tummy. Your pet becomes upset because it had an accident, often on a favorite rug or bedspread. You get agitated because you’ve got to clean up the mess. Many times, you feel helpless and don’t know what to do next.

  • You probably know what I’m talking about when I say “screen time.” It is time spent looking at computers, cell phones, tablets and televisions. These days people tend have their noses into these screens all the time and pay little attention to others around them. It’s estimated that the average person has seven to 10 hours of “screen time” every day.

  • This year’s Relay for Life rolls out as a six-hour race against cancer Friday night at West Brunswick High School, 550 Whiteville Road in Shallotte.

    The goal this year is to raise $164,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. At last count last week, most of the 38 participating teams had already pulled in $116,000 so far. This year’s theme is “Surfing for a Cure.”

  • Crab-lovers can shed their shells by getting out to celebrate the 38th annual Little River, S.C., Blue Crab Festival this weekend.

    Scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, on the Little River waterfront, the festival once again promises a long lineup of food, vendors, entertainment and plenty of delicious crabs.

    Saturday’s entertainment includes RiverMist Band at 10:30 a.m. and Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot at 2 p.m.

  • People interested in protecting their beloved coast are invited to take part in Hands Across the Sand at local beaches at noon this Saturday, May 18.

    Launched internationally in 2010, the goal of HATS is to draw attention to and protest seismic blasting and offshore oil drilling.

    This event is being planned at all Brunswick County beaches, inviting participants to enjoy the sense of community felt in standing up for our coast.

  • The buzz is the Brunswick County Literacy Council is gearing up for its 30th annual adult spelling bee, set to take place Tuesday night, May 21, in the Virginia Williamson Events Center of Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    The event starts with a silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by the bee at 7 p.m.

    Assorted teams of two have once again signed on to compete in the annual fundraiser to benefit literacy programs in Brunswick County.

  • My protest sign read: “After bread, education is the ‘first’ need of the people.”

    It’s a quote attributed to George Danton in Paris in 1792. Danton was a champion of educational reform throughout France and something of a legend within this cause.

  • By Linda Arnold

    This week marked my 10th Mother’s Day without my mother. And my husband’s eighth without his. It’s always a time of reflection. Sometimes it seems longer, and sometimes it doesn’t seem that long.

    For many of you, this may have been your first, and those “firsts” are tough, whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary or that first holiday. These are powerful triggers that start building before the event, and endure after it’s over. 

  • My dog tore his cranial cruciate ligament. My veterinarian has suggested surgically fixing it using an external capsular repair technique. What is it?

    One of the most common injuries to the knee of dogs is tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). This ligament is similar to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in humans.

  • Standing at the counter in a fast food restaurant ordering or making a choice at a sit-down restaurant may take more time these days because there is more information available that may influence the choices you make.

    This is because a new restaurant nutrition labeling rule went into effect a year ago this month. Calorie and nutrition information now appear on printed menus and posted on menu boards. 

  • They’re known as summer concerts but typically get under way weeks before the arrival of the summer solstice that officially kicks in at 11:54 a.m. EDT June 21.

    It’s no different for the 2019 lineup of free Brunswick County Summer Concerts and Movies, which have already begun and are scheduled to continue through Labor Day weekend and even later.

    In case of inclement weather, concerts may be canceled. To check cancellations, go to brunswickcountync.gov or call 910-253-2670.

    May 9 in Leland

  • Shallotte River Swamp Park is always unveiling new things.

    This year it’s new Gettin’ Dirty ATV Tours revving up at the ziplining venue and alligator preserve at 5550 Watts Road off Four Mile Road between Shallotte and Ocean Isle Beach.

    The park has five new two-passenger all-terrain vehicles available for guided tours along newly carved trails, swamp park general manager George Howard said.

    He said they’re ready to launch the tours this Thursday, May 9.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre is staging a mah-jongg-athon and you’re invited.

    The daylong Mah-Jongg with Meaning Fundraiser is scheduled 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the St. James Community Center, 4136 Southport-Supply Road (NC 211) in St. James.

    The entry fee is $45 per player or $160 for a table for four. The cost includes lunch, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle. Participants should also bring their 2019 mah-jongg cards.

    The deadline to register is May 17.

  • Spring is here and it won’t get cold anymore (famous last words.)

    With spring comes a torrent of interest in gardening, and lots of money and effort are spent to this end on both small and large scales. I am already getting a pile of requests for plant identifications, most of which end up being labeled as “weeds” by the person who sent them in. So we ought to talk a bit about weeds.