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Good Living

Mary Davis transformed herself from a pack-a-day smoker to a ­winning bikini competitor

Today’s Mary Davis is not the Mary Davis she once was.     Chiseled and ripped, with no body fat that shows in a bikini, the 35-year-old mother and businesswoman is a trophy-winning competitive bodybuilder. This month she competes in the Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders Catonsville Conquer to add two more trophies to her legend. In last October’s competition, she came in second as a Novice, the only category she could enter as a newcomer to the sport.

A night on the dance floor in Davidsonville is good exercise and a great bargain

Back in the woods, off a winding country road in Davidsonville, a bunch of happy people are cutting the rug in the former mess hall of a decommissioned Nike missile base.     It’s good times as usual with the Davidsonville Dance Club, which hosts weekly Saturday night dances, evening lessons during the week and occasional weekend workshops. Founded in 1980, the club’s membership is about 250, equally balanced between men and women.

Maryland Day: Our heritage, our legacy

How did you get here? Are you a ninth-generation Marylander, tracing your emigrating ancestors back to the Ark and the Dove? Or a first-generation transplant, here for new opportunity?     With a few indigenous exceptions, all of us Marylanders — regardless of how recent or how ancient — are immigrants, refugees, explorers or colonists.

Expert tips for the new year and beyond

Continue Your Fitness Journey at Poston’s Fitness for Life Fitness trainer Bob Poston, right, with one of his regulars.

A cookie lasts only a moment in your mouth, but Christmas cookies stay with you forever in memory.

Four Generations of ­Santaphant and ­Camelclaus

It all goes back to Hansel and Gretel

In one form or another, gingerbread has been popular since at least mediaeval times.     “Gingerbread was a favorite treat at festivals and fairs in medieval Europe — often shaped and decorated to look like flowers, birds, animals or even armor,” according to Smithsonian Magazine. “Several cities in France and England hosted regular gingerbread fairs for centuries.”

Bay Weekly’s Guide to Giving to the Generous

On your holiday giving list, the easiest people are the wanters. Their wish lists are long. We live in a material world where clever and determined shopping can satisfy just about any whim.     Not so easy are the givers. Generosity is a hard act to follow. People used to doing for others never think of asking for themselves     So what they want for Christmas, or for Chanukah, you’ll have to ask them.

He has many faces; here you’ll see some

What do children love most about Christmas? I’m betting it’s Santa Claus, the portly guy in the red suit who builds toys in the North Pole each year, then delivers them to well-behaved children on Christmas Eve.     To the delight of Chesapeake Country children, Santa tends to show up early. You’ll soon see a Santa or two about town — at the mall, skating around the Bowie Ice Rink, or emerging from a helicopter near the College Park Aviation Museum.

Give, and good comes back to you

It’s the season of giving, when our grateful hearts yearn to reach out to help one another. Yet the number of Americans volunteering annually is declining, leaving non-profit organizations scrambling to meet the needs of their communities.     How can you turn your gratitude into action? Join the ranks of the 6,000 Anne Arundel Countians registered as potential volunteers with the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center.

Take your hike to the next level

Adventure is calling! How will you answer?     This is the perfect time to take your hiking to the next level by upgrading your day hike to a backpacking trip.