• It’s Living Well Month! Time to celebrate Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences programs. This special month is promoted each year by the Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, both at the national level and here in North Carolina.

    “Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well” is the theme that helps share information about the variety of educational programs and opportunities available through Extension Family and Consumer Science (FCS) programs nationwide.

  • Irish dance reigns at the next BCCOWA Performing Arts Series performance at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, in Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    That’s when nimble-footed members of internationally renowned Rhythm of the Dance bop into Brunswick County to do their thing.

    Showcasing traditional dance and music with up-to-date stage technology, the two-hour music-and-dance extravaganza takes the audience on an energy-packed time trip through the ages.

  • Fifteen years ago, the first North Carolina Black Film Festival (NCBFF) launched in Wilmington to celebrate innovative, independent work by African-American filmmakers.

    This year’s 16th Annual NCBFF is back with films and events Thursday through Sunday, March 21-24.

    Thursday, March 21

    The festival kicks off with a CineMixer opening reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21, in Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station Building at 502 N. Front St. Tickets are $35 in advance.

    Friday, March 22

  • Brunswick Little Theatre’s production of “Once Upon A Mattress” is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” — but that is not the whole story.

    With the book by late, great playwright Jay Thompson of Myrtle Beach, S.C, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer, the story of Princess Winnifred (Hailey Myer) takes some surprising turns in her pursuit of Prince Dauntless the Drab (Ben Miers). 

  • Free medical and dental screenings, a robot simulator and MRI tours plus medication disposal and a shred event are among highlights at The Brunswick Beacon’s 13th annual Health Expo 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, March 23, at Shallotte Middle School, 225 Village Road in Shallotte.

    Admission is free.

    Featured are 50 vendors bringing a variety of free screenings and demonstrations, a seminar and information on health-oriented topics, according to Beacon advertising sales rep and event organizer Christy Williamson.

  • Each March the Leland Cultural Arts Center at 1212 Magnolia Village Way in Leland honors young artists. The public is invited to view artwork created by Brunswick County students on display in the LCAC gallery through March 23. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

  • With spring just around the corner, that can only mean one thing. It’s time to put away those winter clothes and get to the Franklin Square Gallery to see the High School Show and the Members Show.

    The annual High School Art Show opens on March 18 at the gallery and will run through Saturday, April 13. Students from North, South and West Brunswick high schools will display their paintings, drawings, prints, collages, photographs, and three-dimensional constructions. In all, there will be approximately 90 works of art – 30 from each school.

  • Pop quiz: How many thoughts do you think a day? Hint: It’s a big number. Scientists estimate we think around 60,000 thoughts a day. Of course, that takes in repetitive thoughts like “stop at the red light” and “don’t touch the hot stove.” We do have a fair amount of choice, though, in what we allow into our heads each day.

  • I never really had too much of a vacation this past year; work, work, work — that was me. Americans don’t take enough vacations, they say. Maybe over the spring break coming up we will be able to get away for a while. Somewhere warm.

  • I hope everyone is lucky enough to experience at least one “once-in-a-lifetime” pet. For me, that was a cat named Pellie. To put it simply, she was the greatest cat I’ve ever known. And by knowing, I mean sharing a few years with a spectacular species that’s hard to fully understand. But that’s not what this column is about. It’s actually about how Pellie left me and how little I understood her loss. Let me explain by taking you back to the beginning.

  • If you pitch the milk in your refrigerator when it reaches the date printed on the carton, you might be wasting food. This is a sell-by date, not an expiration or use-by date. In fact, the Dairy Council of California says that milk is probably safe to drink past its date.

    Now, of course, they said “probably.” You need to take a couple things into consideration when determining how long milk is safe to drink. If care is not taken, it may not even last as long as the date indicates.

  • Wine, Women & Chocolate, the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee’s “ultimate girls’ night out,” sweetens the evening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Lockwood Folly Country Club, 19 Clubhouse Road in Supply.

    Featured will be the latest styles, hair and makeup trends in the annual event’s first fashion show. This new “makeover” segment for the event will showcase runway models styled by local salons and makeup specialists.

  • ‘Tis the time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the wearing of the green.

    The celebratory day paying tribute to the patron saint of Ireland kicks off with the 31st annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 16, just across the state line in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Calabash Elks Lodge 2679 will once again be a parade participant with its kicky kazoo band, which will march down North Myrtle Beach’s renowned Main Street and Ocean Boulevard for what lodge honchos believe is their 24th year.

  • KURE BEACH — 20 feet below the surface of a natural spring, Lydia Byrd finds herself eyes wide open, blowing heart-shaped kisses, fulfilling her dreams. Byrd is a mountain girl living in a mermaid’s world and loving it.

    Her underwater odyssey began in the shadow of North Carolina’s highest peak and has now landed her, shimmering tail and all, in a magical adventure at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

  • Take your dog(s) for a walk while fulfilling all things canine. You might even find a new pet.

    The 10th annual Bark in the Park is back from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 9, in Leland Municipal Park at 113 Town Hall Drive.

    This “dog-centric” event, conducted in partnership with Capeside Animal Hospital and Furever Friends Animal Rescue, will include a free rabies clinic for Leland residents.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Quick: What does the cool side of the pillow have in common with finding money in a coat pocket? They both rank among the little things in life that bring us the most joy.

    Sure, the major milestones leave their marks on our lives. How often do they occur, though? And what sustains us in between those times?

  • Hurricane Florence may have temporarily knocked out last year’s Brunswick County Intercultural Festival, but the September storm didn’t knock it down for good.

    The festival that traditionally takes place in the fall is now set for a closer-to-spring, postponed indoor rendition.

    The 14th annual event is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Sunday, March 10, in Odell Williamson Auditorium and its Virginia Williamson Event Center on the campus of Brunswick Community College at 50 College Road in Bolivia.

    Admission and parking are free.

  • My friend Pat says she’s “never met a soup she didn’t like.” 

    You probably never thought of it this way, but soup can be a multifunctional food. On a chilly day, it can be warming. A cold soup can be refreshing on a hot summer day. On a busy day, soup can be a quick meal. Soups can be made ahead of time and reheated or frozen. Soups can be economical. Using a slow cooker, soups can be waiting for you when you get home.

  • As a practicing veterinarian of nearly 30 years, I’ve been nagged by an obvious and seemingly unanswerable question: Why do small dogs live longer than large dogs? For years it’s been widely accepted and understood in the pet world that tiny teacup poodles will live 10 or more years longer than a Great Dane. They’re both dogs, share the same basic DNA, eat the same types of foods and live in similar homes. Yet one breed lives up to three times longer. Why? Scientists have begun to shed some light on this mystery.