Things to do in Brevard, NC during the holidays!

holly-bunch

Whether you’re looking for a special gift, or just want to experience the holidays in a new way, there’s lots to do in Brevard, NC this time of year. Below are just a few of the holiday events going on throughout the month of December. For more information about Brevard, NC and the surrounding mountain communities here in western North Carolina, visit us at BrevardNCProperty.com

 

Holiday Tour of Artists Studios
December 9
9:30 am – 5:00 pm
For tickets call 828-884-2787
or visit http://www.artsofbrevard.org

Transylvania Choral Society concert
“Tidings of Comfort and Joy”
Porter Center
December 9
3:00 pm
FREE
For information call 828-884-8330

Brevard College Christmas Concert
Porter Center
December 11
7:30 pm – Scott Concert Hall

An Evening with the Steep Canyon Rangers
Porter Center
December 14
7:30 pm

For information about Porter Center events call: (828) 243-3496
or visit http://www.theportercenter.org

Holiday Art Show and Sale
Transylvania County Arts Council
Continues until December 21
For information Email: tcarts@comporium.net
Phone: 828-884-2787
or visit http://www.artsofbrevard.org

Potters of Hwy 276 Holiday Open House
Saturday, December 8
9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday, December 9
1:00 – 5:30 pm
For information call 828-884-5131

Lake Toxaway Music Jamboree
and Christmas Dinner
December 14
6:00 pm
Lake Toxaway Community Center

Downtown Brevard Holiday Gallery Walk
December 21
5:00 – 9:00 pm

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Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

christmas-treeThe holiday season is a joyous time of year that we all look forward to. But when it comes to our pets, it can also be a stressful and potentially dangerous season. With some planning and a little vigilance on our part, though, we can insure that Fido and Fluffy have a safe and happy holiday with the rest of the family.

Holiday Food – The family is gathered around a table filled with a bounty of great food like turkey or ham, stuffing, buttery rich potatoes, gravy, and more. As tempting as it may be to slip your pet a bite or two of the family feast, don’t do it. These rich fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis which can cause long term organ damage or death. Of course, never ever give your pet turkey bones. They can easily splinter causing intestinal blockage.  If you have a large pet that is prone to “counter surfing”, like our 95 pound plott hound Ace, make sure the turkey and all the fixings are kept safely out of reach.

Another potentially deadly foods to avoid:

Chocolate – That bit of cocoa goodness that we all enjoy can be lethal to our pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulate that is safe for humans, but not animals. A dog weighing less than 20 pounds can die from ingesting as little as .5 to 2 oz of unsweetened chocolate.

Avocado – Can cause vomiting and diarrhea

Grapes – They contain a toxin than can cause kidney damage

Mushrooms – They contain a variety of toxins that are lethal

Onions or Garlic – Both destroy red blood cells and can lead to anemia

Macadamia nuts – It only takes 6 of these to cause a dog’s heart rate to dramatically increase, leading to paralysis, vomiting, and death.

Pretty But Deadly – A Christmas tree is the centerpiece of holiday decorating in most homes, but it can be a holiday hazard for your pets.

  • It’s a good idea to hang breakable ornaments higher on the tree to eliminate any potential temptation. Cats in particular are attracted to shiny tinsel and ornaments that they think are toys.
  • Keep your tree watered, but make sure your pets don’t drink from it. Stagnant water harbors potentially dangerous bacteria and tree fertilizers or other products used to prolong the life of your tree can be poisonous to your pets.
  • Poinsettias and mistletoe add a splash of color to your holiday decorating, but if your pet nibbles on them they can cause nausea, vomiting, and possible death.
  • After all the presents are unwrapped, make sure to pick up an paper and ribbons. Ribbons in particular can be a hazard when they are swallowed.

The Deadliest Danger – According to research, over 10,000 pets die every year from ingesting antifreeze. Dogs and cats are both drawn to it because of the sweet taste. Ingesting even small amounts can cause brain damage, and kidney failure. Cats can easily ingest the toxin by licking their paws after walking through a puddle that has antifreeze in it. A few ounces can kill a 60 pound dog. Often death can occur within 72 hours. A pet that has ingested antifreeze may appear “drunk” and wobbly, become depressed, vomit, have seizures and eventually sink into a coma. If you see any of these symptoms in your pet act quickly!

Cold Weather Hazards – Snow and ice are just a part of living in this area during the winter months, but it can be especially hard on your pets. After a walk or even just time spent in the yard, be sure to wipe your pet’s paws off with a dry towel. This not only insure they stay comfortable, you’re also wiping off irritants like ice or salt.

Make It Stress Free – We all get into our comfortable routines and that includes our pets. During the holiday, if you have house guests, entertain frequently, or are gone more than usual, make sure to give your fur babies a little extra TLC. If your pet is especially shy or fearful of strangers, make a “safe place” for them where they can get away from things when they need to. If Fido is used to a walk at a certain time of day, try to keep that schedule, but if you can’t make sure you work in some form of exercise when you can.

This holiday season, take some time to “holiday proof” your home early. Avoid the rush!

Cranberry Memories

Note: These days, as we begin the Christmas preparations in earnest, I find myself wondering how yet another year could have passed so quickly. In the last year, we’ve lost parents and gained grandchildren. We saw our real estate business go through the roof during a most unlikely market and we watched as the world around us changed in ways we never could have imagined. But, the Christmas season is filled with traditions that bring us comfort no matter how crazy the year has been. This post was originally written about this time last year, but like the childhood ornament that is hung on the tree every year, or the traditionally reading of the Christmas story, some things just bear repeating. 

There are few things that conjure up memories of my childhood quite the way cooking does. The simplest things like the smell of bacon cooking in the morning or the perfect summer cantaloupe takes me back to my grandmother’s kitchen in Pine Island, Louisiana where I spent some of my summer vacations as a child. This time of year, though, I wait anxiously for fresh cranberries to show up in the grocery store so I can make my mother’s cranberry bread.  It has been a seasonal tradition in my family for as long as I can remember and now, every loaf I make reminds of those times spent in the kitchen with her, watching and learning, but most of all just being with her.

When I was little, it was my job to go through the bowl of fresh cranberries and discard any that were soft or bruised. Once my mother knew I could handle a knife without severing a finger, I graduated to cutting the cranberries in half and to this day, I remember asking her to help me whenever I had to decide if a particularly large one needed to be cut in half or in thirds.  There was no way I could have known then just how important her guidance and advice would be to me in later years when there was more at stake than a couple of cranberries gone bad.

As the years went by, the smell of cranberry bread baking in my mother’s kitchen came to mean it was time to put extra leaves in the dining room table where they would stay until after Christmas because my brother would be coming home from college. In later years he’d bring with him his new wife and I would bring my husband. Eventually our numbers grew some more as the children came along and the holiday season took on a whole new meaning. But just as it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey, it wouldn’t have been Christmas morning without my mother’s cranberry bread.

So much has changed since then. Today we count calories and fuss over fat grams so the meals I grew up on like pot roast and mashed potatoes, the ones that can still bring back memories, are few and far between. And, like most families, parents pass on, children move away, and the world we live in bears little resemblance to what we knew as children. Perhaps that is the reason why certain things from our past ring with such resonance. They remind us of who we are and where we came from.

So today I made this year’s first batch of cranberry bread using the original recipe written in my mother’s handwriting on a card now yellowed with age. For me it’s the official start of the holiday season. I can’t begin to recall how many loaves of cranberry bread I’ve made over my life time, but every time I pour through a bowl of fresh cranberries, looking for the ones that won’t make the cut, I think of my mom and all the holiday seasons that have come before. And just like last year and the year before that, with every turn of my wooden spoon I will be reminded that this annual ritual is more than combining a few simple ingredients to create something delicious. It is a connection to my past that fills my kitchen with familiar smells and my heart with sweet memories.