• "Do dogs go to heaven?” the 5-year old girl asked me earnestly as her bright blue

    eyes dimmed a little. “I want to know if God will take care of Buster.”

    In more than 25 years of being a veterinarian, this is perhaps the most difficult question I’m ever asked. This time, a little girl was asking because it was time to say goodbye to the only pet she’d ever known.

  • Adult coloring, knitting and crocheting, chair yoga, bridge, mahjong, movies — these are just some of the activities available at Brunswick County’s library branches.

    It’s not just books anymore, though there are plenty of scheduled events celebrating the published word, too, including children’s storytime, book clubs and special programs showcasing authors from the local area and beyond.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    This week we are dealing with a real oddball. The mystery plants featured in this column are usually native species here in the Southeast, although every once in a while we’ve offered a curious cultivated plant. Like this one.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Live Life Fully

    No, this isn’t an article about fitness. Or cigarettes. It’s about the countless ways we sabotage ourselves with the way we talk.

    Behold the underlying truth

    Take the common word, “but.” It’s peppered throughout our conversations. If you break the word down into its individual letters, though, B-U-T — could signal “Behold the Underlying Truth.”

  • Most of us appreciate how similar humans and dogs are. We like the same foods, enjoy many of the same activities and love snuggles under the covers. In addition to sharing the finer things in life, new research reveals one of the most common types of cancer is nearly identical in both humans and dogs.

  • Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist.

  • It was known as the Gibraltar of the South, but who was tasked with building the colossal military fortress known as Fort Fisher and what was daily life like?

    Find out Saturday, Jan. 12, when Fort Fisher State Historic Site hosts “… And Oh How We Suffered: the 154th Commemoration of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher” that took place Jan. 15, 1865.

    Free and open to the public, the living history program is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will offer something for visitors of all ages.

  • ‘Tis that time of year — to start thinking green and what to do with that 2018 Christmas tree.

    Keep Brunswick County Beautiful, an affiliate of national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, promotes its mission to empower residents for a cleaner community, including during the holidays.

  • It’s almost another new year.

    Local entities are celebrating with local events.

    The town of Calabash is once again ringing things in with its eighth annual New Year’s Eve Bonfire scheduled from 8:30 p.m. to midnight Monday, Dec. 31, in the Hurricane Fleet parking lot on the Calabash Riverfront at 9975 Nance St.

    Highlights at this free event, in addition to a roaring bonfire, include rocking and dancing to a variety of music and the oldies, hot food and the dropping of the lighted anchor at midnight with a toast to 2019.

  • It was the summer of 1969 and the Woodstock Music Festival was tuning up on a 600-acre farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

    Among the lineup of performers during that history-making four-day gathering of 400,000 was a fledgling trio performing its second concert ever.

    David Crosby and Stephen Stills, along with British singer-songwriter Graham Nash, took the Woodstock stage on Aug. 18, blending their voices during that hour-long performance to create a sound and style still renowned nearly a half-century later.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    There’s always something new to see, wherever you are.

    The other day I took a different route to work at the university, here in Columbia, S.C., and found a real spectacle. Garden flowers, putting on a show, and soon to be Christmas? What’s it all about?

  • By Linda Arnold

    Live Life Fully

    New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday. Three hundred sixty-five delicious days. Fifty-two wonderful weeks. Twelve mesmerizing months.

    It’s the ultimate new beginning. OK, I’m strapping myself in!

    It’s also a time for reflection — looking back at the year in review and looking ahead at the year in preview. What will you take into the New Year, both professionally and personally?

  • Ultra Beginner and Advanced Beginner five-week line dance courses are being offered starting Jan. 16 at Silver Coast Winery at 6680 Barbeque Road NW in Ocean Isle Beach. They will continue Jan. 23, 30 and Feb. 6 and 13.

    The Ultra Beginner course will run from noon to 1 p.m. and the Advanced Beginner course from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. The cost of each five-week course is $30.

  • The Art League of Leland (ALL) invites artists and art enthusiasts to its Jan. 10 meeting featuring guest speaker Janet Johnson, who will discuss her artwork, share painting tips, and show some of her creations in progress. The meeting will be from 4 to 6 p.m. at Leland Cultural Arts Center, 1212 Magnolia Village Way in Leland.

  • The Museum of Coastal Carolina will hold an artist reception from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 4 to recognize Jay Griscom, whose artwork will spotlight “Turtles — Their Home and Habitat.”

    Griscom, 60, recently relocated to Wilmington to be closer to family. He’d been living out west and working as a land surveyor since college while continuing to hone his artistry in his free time.

  • Ed Bearss, 95-year-old Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, will again take center stage at Hatch Auditorium on Caswell Beach on Wednesday, Jan. 9, for the Brunswick Civil War Round Table’s first monthly meeting of the New Year.

    Appearing for the eighth time, his presentation is “Reflections on the Civil War.”

  • By Linda Arnold

    Live Life Fully

    Here we are at the end of another year. A good time to take stock of our lives.

    While you may be focused on what you want to bring into your life in the coming year, it’s helpful to look at what you may need to release.

    After all, it’s a two-way street. And there’s only so much capacity. There may even be competing interests with what you say you want to bring in and what already exists on your platter.

  • Here’s a little secret: my favorite holiday is New Year’s Day. For me, it's a time to purposefully reflect on the previous year and an opportunity to chart a path for the next. At the stroke of midnight Jan. 1, you have the next 365 days to improve your health, relationships, and career; a gift to truly treasure. While you’re planning your personal improvements, don’t forget to include your dogs and cats. Here are some healthy pet goals I wish every pet family would make this year.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    “For to make chireseye, tak chiryes at þe feast of Seynt Iohn þe Baptist, & do awey þe stonys …”

    — Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.