• Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Science staff in North Carolina has long been known for their knowledge of food safety and food preservation. We frequently get phone calls or emails from consumers asking specific questions on these topics.

  •  “O thou weed, who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet

    That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne’er been born!

    Shakespeare, Othello, IV, 2

    Here we have another Jekyll and Hyde plant — one that is indeed “lovely fair” and quite attractive, but one which, at the same time, is a most loathsome invader. The plant pictured was found in the upstate portion of South Carolina not so long ago, and populations of it seem to be moving closer to our coast.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Job responsibilities. To-do lists. Childcare.

    If your relationship with your spouse or partner is consumed with the day-to-day running of your lives together, you may not realize the toll it’s taking.

    Sure, you’re getting stuff done. Are you really sharing your lives, though? You may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “Who has time for that?” All the more reason to listen up.

    Over time, this happens with every relationship. And it takes work to shift from a superficial level to a deeper level.

  • This didn’t look good.

    Betsy followed a trail of pink droplets weaving from the kitchen floor all the way to her den. The path led to her basset hound, Aaron (named after Elvis, of course), curled in a corner. A reddish stain was spreading onto the carpet from his tummy area where he’d recently had a large fatty tumor removed.

  • Once again we’re seeing flour recalls in the news. This time it is Pillsbury flour. The new recall includes more than 4,600 cases of Pillsbury “Best Bread” flour. It has been shipped to retailers and distributors in 10 states. As far as they know, North Carolina is not one of these states.

    The Pillsbury flour was manufactured at the same mill in Buffalo, N.Y., that had a recall earlier this year of Baker’s Corner flour that is sold at Aldi. The King Arthur Flour Co. also recalled some of its flour because it was manufactured at the same mill.

  • Back by popular demand, the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce’s fifth annual Ladies Night Out Purse Party returns Thursday, July 18.

    Planned from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Brunswick Senior Center at Supply at 101 Stone Chimney Road, this year’s event will once feature guess emcee Amanda Fitzpatrick of WWAY TV.

    Those interested in attending are encouraged to buy their tickets as soon as possible as only 400 tickets will be sold.

    Tickets, $30 each, include a light dinner and there will be a cash bar for beer and wine.

  • Summertime means free fun in Ocean Isle Beach.

    The town recreation department and the OIB Sea Turtle Protection Organization offer a variety of free events in coming days.

    Here’s a closer look at what’s in the coming week. All activities take place at the Ocean Isle Beach Community Center at 44 E. First St.

    Make Your Own Ice Cream — Thursdays through Aug. 15. Join event organizers at the community center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to make your own ice cream in a bag.

  • As if it’s not hot enough, Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot is slated to set two Brunswick County summer stages afire.

    The sizzling seven-piece North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based rhythm-and-blues band, headlined by multi-talented namesake Lowder, will perform at two upcoming summer concerts in the coming week, at 6:30-8 p.m. Sunday, July 14, in Holden Beach and from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, in Calabash.

    Smokin’ Hot is renowned for its high-energy stage presence and multi-faceted musical repertoire.

  • Lure your kids away from computer games or television by introducing and taking them to the Intracoastal Model Railroad Club’s annual summer train show this weekend in Carolina Shores.

    The free event makes a scheduled stop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7 at the Carolina Shores POA clubhouse at 17 Lakeview Court.

  • Paws-Ability is teaming with Dog Daze Pet Supply to stage an adoption fair and baby shower for homeless puppies and kittens while in foster care.

    The event takes place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, July 5, at Dog Daze at the corner of Old Georgetown Road shopping center at N.C. 904 (925-4 Seaside Road).

    Animals available for adoption will include puppies, kittens and special needs animals.

    Gift bags with items needed for the fur babies while they await adoption will also be available for purchase.

  • We’ve had a couple of ferns as Mystery Plants before, and it’s time for another one. Just as a reminder, here are a few notes on ferns:

    There are about 10,000 species of ferns found all around the world now. This number is actually quite a reduction from the number of species that had evolved by the middle of what we call the “Carboniferous Period,” some 300 million years ago. At that time, ferns were truly extraordinary plants, and many species were large trees, quite different from the situation now.

  • By Linda Arnold

    We all want to be nice, right? Isn’t that a good trait?

    Well, yes. Except when being “too nice” can actually hurt you more than it helps.

    Listen up, all you people pleasers, of course you want people to like you. We all do. When you give up yourself, though, to morph into other peoples’ expectations, that’s when you enter the danger zone.

    You may have done it so much that you live your life on autopilot. And you’ve lost your connection to your self.

  • Happy Fourth of July! While I hate to rain on your parade (or fireworks celebration), this noisy holiday can prove particularly problematic for many pets.

  • Cheryle Jones Syracuse

    Family and Consumer Science Staff

    NC Cooperative Extension

    Brunswick County Center

    There will be lots of picnics this weekend and throughout the month of July, which just happens to be National Picnic Month. Summer holidays give families a break from school and work, but don’t let it also be a break from being smart about food safety. More care is needed since foodborne illnesses increase during the summer. Keep your picnics healthy and safe by remembering the following tips.

  • The Calabash Artisan Guild First Friday Art Show and Sale is scheduled Friday July 5, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Atlantic Woodworks, 262B Koolabrew Drive in Calabash. 

    All handmade local arts are available including watercolors, aprons, jewelry, ceramics, upcycled clothing, wood, quilts, planters, photography, furniture and birdhouses. 

  • Less than a year after launching, The Brunswick Center at Calabash is ready to expand and flex its muscles.

    Since opening in late July 2018, the facility operated by Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. has just about outgrown its building at 10050 Beach Drive and is in need of an expansion.

  • Less than a year after launching, The Brunswick Center at Calabash is ready to expand and flex its muscles.

    Since opening in late July 2018, the facility operated by Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. has just about outgrown its building at 10050 Beach Drive and is in need of an expansion.

  • The Magnificents Band of Burlington brings a wealth of live playing experience in varied styles of music including classic soul, beach, Motown, top 40 and dance.

    The band plays the next Sunset Beach summer concert Wednesday, July 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Gazebo on Queen Anne and High Market streets.

  • Celebrate the Fourth of July in style (preferably red, white and blue) and with a variety of area events.

    One notable absence is the Calabash Fourth of July celebration, which won’t take place this year because of a lack of organizers and site from which to set off fireworks.

    Otherwise, the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival is under way in Southport in addition to traditional planned events in Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach and Sunset Harbor. Here’s a closer look at what’s in the works.

  • By John Nelson

    This past weekend, I went kayaking again.

    I was driving along the backroads toward our beautiful Edisto River in northern Colleton County when I spied a wonderful habitat — a “loading deck” — not the kind of loading deck you use to get a piano from a truck to the inside of a concert hall.

    No, this is the sort of loading deck that timber companies use to stack and arrange tree trunks they have cut from a forest, the trunks then sawed into convenient sizes for loading onto trucks.