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And keep it open all winter long

It’s a great time of year to take up or enhance the hobby of bird feeding, especially since we can watch outdoor birds from the cozy warmth of the great indoors with hot drinks, field guides and binoculars. It’s good for the birds, too. When ice and snow cover everything in sight, providing food, water and grit (bits of sand, stone, or shell that birds need for digestion), may mean survival for our backyard birds.
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Here’s how to keep your tree fresh, green and safe

A freshly cut Christmas tree that is properly cared for is a fire-safe Christmas tree.
    Every year, many house fires are caused by Christmas trees. Avoid such a tragedy by following a few simple rules.
    The freshest cut Christmas tree is the one you cut yourself. Thus the advantage of tree farms where you can make selecting and cutting your Christmas tree a family affair.
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Two ways you can help this week

As the season of thanks and giving approaches, sharing is the best way to stoke your gratitude.
    This week is your time to share through Harvest of Plenty and Operation Christmas Child.

    Help Operation Christmas Child send shoe boxes full of gifts to 11 million children in need around the world in Samaritan’s Purse giant annual Christmas project.
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For Rod ‘N’ Reel’s Chef Rudy, Thanksgiving is a piece of cake

From the first-time turkey roaster to the kitchen master, who among us can anticipate cooking the Thanksgiving dinner without a bit of a flutter?
    Chef Rudy Volpe can.
    The 54-year-old chef looks forward to serving 1,000 to 1,200 hungry eaters at Rod ‘N’ Reel’s Thanksgiving Day Buffet.
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Auction and gala shines spotlight on science center

The Carrie Weedon Science Center in Galesville is a place with an uncertain future but, its backers say, a great present.
    The former elementary school has been home to Anne Arundel County’s outdoor education program since 1988, a science field trip destination for elementary students countywide.
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A rested bird and a sharp knife are essential

1. Carve out a proper amount of time to cook the turkey. When coordinating your schedule Thanksgiving morning, keep in mind that between taking the turkey out of the oven and carving it, you should allot about 20 minutes. This waiting period is not frivolous. It makes the handling of the hot turkey easier on your hands, and it gives the meat’s juices crucial time to redistribute.

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Final year for Festival of Trees

In the Festival of Trees, Calvert Hospice forged a link between their end-of-life mission and joy in the world.
    For 27 years, on the day after Thanksgiving, Hospice volunteers have created a magical forest of Christmas trees adorned in whimsy and wonder.
    “It’s a wonderful event that really kicks off the season and gets everyone in the spirit of the holidays,” says Hospice board president Gail Gibson.
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Reflecting on Annapolis Library’s half-century at West Street

Words that are sure to kill my children’s enthusiasm for an outing: exhibit, collection, display. Thus my two sons did not approach our trip to the Annapolis Library display on library technology with much vigor and vim.
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Canada geese are here, ducks arriving, swans not far behind

Back when people were fewer in the Chesapeake watershed, skies used to blacken with waterfowl.
    You can get a glimpse of how abundant waterfowl can be, starting with Canada geese.
    Big Vs of Canadas are as common as school buses. You hear them coming by their honking.
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It’s Maryland’s first propane-fueled school bus

The Blue Bird school bus that picked up Glen Burnie public school students on November 3 was an innovation, though its riders may not have noticed. What makes it different from any other Type C school bus is what goes in the tank: propane auto gas. Bus No. 789, the newest in contractor Randall Jubb’s Bus Service, Inc.’s fleet, is Maryland’s first school bus fueled by propane.
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