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March 2012

Odds are good, yours is, tooOdds are good, yours is, too

If the kids left the door ajar with the air-conditioning running, you’d close it. If the windows were open and it grew too chilly, you’d shut them. If a tree crashed through your roof, you’d get it fixed.     So you’d probably be surprised to learn that your home has a gaping hole — or its equivalent, made up of hundreds or even thousands of tiny points of ingress and egress, where air flows in or out.

Color chases away winter blues

Mother Nature is busting out. Leaves are unfurling, buds are bursting and grass is growing. Winter is history, and with it dull brown and gray landscapes. Spring has sprung, and its bright greens, sunny yellows and cool purples leave us hungering for more. We want — no, make that need — color. The fever has infected us. There is no escaping it.

We’ve seen all the help it takes to run Downton Abbey. Keeping your castle and kingdom is likely not quite that big a job. But many’s the time we small-scale homesteaders wish for some good help. Springtime is when the job’s the biggest, and that’s when we bring you our annual list of Home and Garden Helpers. From builders to maids to landscapers to stonemasons, they’ll help you live up to standards to which you’d like to grow accustomed.

Live in Your Outdoor Space as Well as Your Indoor Space Melissa Jones and Tim Salafie, the outdoors-loving partners in Architectural Gardens, worry that you’re depriving yourself of the full use and pleasure of your home. If you think of your home as what’s inside, they’re sadly right. If you’d like to open up your world, these down-to-earth pros will show you how to do it, realistically and affordably. What’s more, they’ll do it for you.

Slow change and a bit of redemption in Gilead, Wisconsin

The Spitfire Grill is a musical about redemption that isn’t preachy. Written by James Valcq (book and music) and Fred Alley (book and lyrics) it is a musical with only one dance number, albeit a very effective one. It has a comedic touch yet only a few laugh-out-loud lines. It has one powerful song about frustration, made so by the actor who sings it. Its storyline and ending are a bit contrived,  yet there is charm in setting and characters. What to make of this play?

Mother Nature’s Got the Jump on Me
You and I will find them in this Bay Weekly

“I’m in energy,” said the woman seated to my right at the long table where she and I, strangers heretofore, made conversation.     “Ah, so you’re following in Mother Nature’s footsteps,” I replied.     Magnetic energy — and no, not the kind new age healers use — was my table companion’s current favorite energy source, followed by geothermal.

Take the first step in a natural dill-recycling program

Fresh chopped dill is hard to beat in stewed tomatoes, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, steamed carrots or your favorite vegetable or chip dip. Dill has a unique flavor and aroma. But it’s difficult to incorporate in the herb garden because it grows tall and spindly and does not produce much for the space it occupies. So I grow it as a garden weed.

Hunters pay no new fees, but wildlife gets no new funding

Increased fees for hunting licenses and stamps died with the House Republican Caucus leading the fight to kill HP 1419 on March 26. The death was unexpected.     The first fee increases for hunting licenses and stamps in more than 20 years had been proposed by the Maryland Depart­ment of Natural Re­sources to counteract three forces: the long downward trend in hunting license revenues; a projected decline in federal matching monies; and the continued impact of a declining economy.

And you thought your teens were tough

Adolescence is a difficult period. Wondering whether your crush likes you back. Picking out a cool Facebook profile picture. Trying to figure out txt spk.     For Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence: X-Men: First Class) those troublesome teen years are a bit harder. She has to fight other teens to the death in the annual Hunger Games.     Suddenly pre-calc doesn’t seem so bad, does it, kids?
    We love your newspaper here in North Beach. Could you put this tribute to Pat Carpenter, who died March 2, in your paper?     I feel like I’ve know Pat all my life, and that’s not so. The day I met Bob and Pat Carpenter, I instantly fell in love with them; they are like a ray of sunshine. They made my day every time I saw them. Pat was always so very positive in every endeavor, always thinking ahead for what’s good for Chesapeake Beach and North Beach.

Patuxent Wildlife Art Show screens movies with a message

For 23 years, the Friends of the Patuxent have raised funds for their beloved natural refuge by holding a weekend-long art show and sale. For 20 years, The Environmental Film Festival has raised awareness for the decline of the planet by screening green-themed films in the D.C. area. Three years ago the groups joined forces.