• “Just look at her – not a care in the world.” “If only I had his looks/job/money…”

    Go ahead — admit it. You’ve caught yourself making snap judgments like these about people around you or those on television or online. In these challenging times, it can be particularly tempting to look at someone else and think he or she leads a charmed life. Outward appearances can be deceiving, though. You never know what someone else is going through.

  • Full disclosure: I’m a believer in using nutrition as a healing tool. I take several nutritional supplements, give them to my family, and recommend them to my patients. Because there aren’t as many scientific studies conducted on nutritional supplements, especially in veterinary medicine, I take a lot of flak from my colleagues whenever I espouse trying a different diet, food, or supplement. You can imagine my joy when research on a popular immune-boosting feline nutritional supplement appears to work. 

  • Thalian Association Community Theatre (TACT) is bringing its first show to the Leland Cultural Arts Center (LCAC) with a one-show-only original revue, “The Best of Broadway at Brunswick,” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 3.

    The show, sponsored by LCAC and the town of Leland, is a fundraiser to support TACT theatrical productions and youth theater programs.

    Tickets are $25 and available at thalian.org or 251-1788. Handling fees can be avoided for tickets ordered by phone.

  • If the weather cooperates, Dixon Chapel United Methodist Church in Varnamtown is planning its 64th Oyster Roast from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday, March 2, at 190 Varnamtown Road.

    The annual event, which traditionally takes place in November, had to be postponed last year because of damages sustained at the church from Hurricane Florence.

    Longtime vendor Marlene Varnam of Carson Varnam Oyster Market said everything should be in place for Saturday.

    “We hope we’ll have plenty of oysters,” she said.

  • He’s a one-man show soon to debut in Brunswick County.

    Singer-songwriter-guitarist Richard Shindell has just launched his spring “One Voice, Two Guitars” tour, which includes a stop at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, for the next Listen Up Brunswick County concert in the Virginia Williamson Events Center at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

  • Although we’ve had some warm weather, it’s still winter. But as a tease, paperwhites are opening up in the yard, and red maples are already showing their bright flowers.

    Fragrant daphne and a few withering winter sweets are scattered around the neighborhood, and this afternoon we had a brilliant yellow crocus near the birdbath. Here and there, the swelling bud of a daffodil. This is about the time I start getting serious cabin fever and longing for spring, which is still a good six or seven weeks off, I guess.

  • “Allow me to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am,” says a refrigerator magnet in my kitchen. Because no matter what’s taking place in the world-at-large, our pets tend to have an exalted opinion of their humans.

  • I recently received a question about Addison’s disease, a relatively rare endocrinological condition in dogs. While rare, it is an important disease for dog owners to know about. Addison’s disease is the common name for hypoadrenocorticism, a condition where there is diminished or lowered hormone production from the adrenal glands.

  • Participants at our recent Cooking for Crowds class were shocked when we told them the best practice is not to wash chicken before cooking. I know lots of recipes start with rinse and pat the chicken dry. But don’t do it. 

    If you have that habit, you’re not alone. Research shows 70 percent of consumers wash their chicken before they cook it. What do you do?

  • Some call it Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, but for local pet aficionados it’s Mardi Gras 4 Paws night.

    The annual event to celebrate and raise funds for animal causes in Brunswick County takes place 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille, 14 Causeway Drive in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Advance reservations are required.

    For $35 pre-paid admission, event-goers will be feted with appetizers, a king cake and cash bar plus music by Sea & Sand Band, a royal parade, raffle drawing prizes and crowning of the new king and queen.

  • Friends of the Library in Southport & Oak Island (FOLSOI) invite the public to check out their upcoming events.

    Orthopedic specialist-turned-author Dr. Thomas Kelso greets and speaks at a Meet the Author event 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at G.V. Barbee Sr. Library, 8200 E. Oak Island Drive in Oak Island.

    The FOLSOI monthly used book sale is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 23, at Southport Realty, 727 Howe St. in Southport. 

  • The Brunswick Sheriff’s Charitable Foundation’s eighth Diamonds and Denim Charity Ball unfolds 6-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at St. James Community Center, 4136 Southport-Supply Road (N.C. 211) in St. James.

    Event proceeds this year will go to Computers 4 Kids, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center Foundation and Southport-Oak Island Animal Rescue.

    Highlights this year include hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, wine and beer, with music by Blackwater Rhythm & Blues. There will also be silent and live auctions.

  • Most people tend to overlook tree bark as rather uninteresting at best. It’s too bad, because bark is a fascinating and often attractive plant “invention” and is actually rather complex in its various appearances and origin. Of course, it is only developed on woody plants. Clearly, bark varies considerably from species to species, and some types of trees are easily identified by the kind of bark they have.

  • Flash bulletin: Did you know your ability to love someone else is directly related to your ability to love yourself? And I don’t mean in a conceited, narcissistic type of way.

    At your core level it’s essential that you have — or develop — a healthy sense of self-respect. Otherwise, you run the risk of holding back and being on guard so you never fully invest yourself in a relationship. Or you risk totally giving yourself over to someone else to “complete” you. 

  • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that dogs only see in black and white.

    I’ve always explained dogs can see many shades of colors, especially blues and yellows. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve then been told that, yeah, dogs see gray.

    Research from Russian scientists sets out to verify what colors dogs actually see, if any. Before we learn their findings, it’s important we review a little about how the eye detects color in the first place.

  • When are you going to find love? Is there a way to improve your current relationship?

    During February, Spiritquest at 6649 Beach Drive in Ocean Isle Beach is offering special Relationship Readings.

    The sessions consist of 20-minute readings designed to provide insight on what is blocking the right relationship and offer guidance on what steps are needed to “shift energy and create the right relationship.”

  • Brunswick Little Theatre presents three special “V-Day” performances of the award-winning play “The Vagina Monologues.”

    Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14, 15 and 16 at the BLT theater at 8068 River Road in Southport.

    “The Vagina Monologues” gave birth to V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against all women and girls. With creativity and determination, V-activists worldwide work to end harassment, rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sex slavery.

  • In 1967, a little-known vocal group called the 5th Dimension recorded the song “Up, Up and Away,” catapulting them to instant stardom.

    Countless magazine covers, world tours and several Grammys later, The 5th Dimension is recognized as one of the most prolific soul and R&B groups in musical history.

    They’re also still going strong and touring, including a show stop at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College, 50 College Road in Bolivia.

  • Get acquainted with local businesses all in one place at the Brunsco Has It Business Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Shallotte Middle School, 225 Village Road in Shallotte.

    Admission is free. The first 200 entrants will receive a Shop Small bag containing coupons and other goodies (one per family).

    The expo is described by chamber member engagement director Robyn Beliveau as a great event for local residents who are looking for personal, home and professional services.

  • Sunset River Marketplace will showcase “Elemental Visions: Fiber Art by Adair, Sharpe and Vasanto” from Feb. 1 through March 9. An opening reception is 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. The exhibition features abstracts, wearable art, macramé, tapestries and more created by Sandy Adair, Susan Sharpe and Vasanto.

    The Blue Ridge Mountains with their ever-changing moods provide inspiration for these three western North Carolina artists.