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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

Fido has a TV channel

It’s tough being a dog. As we rush out the door for work, they get a quick pat on the head. Then you’re gone and Fido is home alone.     Fido now has his own TV channel to watch while you’re away.     That’s right. A television station, broadcast 24/7, just for the dogs.     Premiering in San Diego, California, in March, DOGTV was designed to keep dogs from being stressed and anxious when home alone. “DOGTV is the...

It’s all out in the open in this very funny comedy

In 1985, playwright Neil Simon revised his original The Odd Couple for the ladies and called it The (Female) Odd Couple. It’s essentially the same storyline as the original 1968 comedy, but instead of two divorced fellows, there are two divorcees, Olive Madison, a slob and savings-and-loan to her ex-husband; and Florence Unger, a neat-freak whose husband wants a divorce. Plus a cadre of female buddies who gather at Olive’s to play Trivial Pursuit — as well as the Costazuela...

April is Potomac Watershed Litter ­Enforcement Month

The results of my Fairhaven neighbors’ trudgery lined the roads: piles of tires, rusted bed springs and auto parts, heavy old televisions and fat black sacks stuffed with litter. Anne Arundel County hauled the loot away, and our roads and fields were blessedly clean — for about 24 hours.     Then the litter showers resumed, starting with a sprinkling of fast-food trash and stepping up, within the week, to more tires. They, like the mattress and television and couch...

When trophy season for giant rockfish opens, it’s catch and keep them if you can

April 21 is the date some 300,000 anglers have been waiting for since the season closed more than four long months ago. That’s opening day of rockfish trophy season, when giant striped bass — ocean-running beasts some of which were born decades ago in the Chesapeake — return to their natal waters to spawn. Fishfinder     Early birds scoping out the trophy season are encountering plenty of big rockfish, many over 40 inches, on both sides of the Bay. It’...

You’ve got to know who’s who before the how-to

Four different species of hydrangea grow in Maryland, and while now is the time to prune them all, each is pruned differently. So you’ve got to know who you’re pruning to know how to prune.     Hills-of-snow hydrangea grows entirely from a crown close to the ground. It produces stiff upright stems in the spring, two to four feet tall and, starting in July, large creamy white flowers. This variety can be pruned with a sturdy hedge clipper in the same way you prune...

While its glow overwhelms some objects, it points to others

Friday’s full moon is commonly called the Grass Moon and the Egg Moon. As the first full moon following vernal equinox, this is also the Paschal Moon, used to pinpoint the dates of Passover and Easter.     The moon appears full through the weekend, shining pretty much from dusk till dawn. Blue-white Spica twinkles a few degrees away, while golden Saturn is a little farther still. Saturn is at its best this month, revealing its rings to even a modest telescope. Spica is the...

Sword fighting, dwarves, lush visuals and not a script in sight

Once upon a time, a movie mogul imagined it was time for another adaptation of Snow White. In a fairytale world, this would mean a beautiful production with excellent performances.     In reality, what we got was a poison apple: Beautiful on the outside and deadly dull beneath the surface.     The story, which is a mishmash of several fairy tales, follows Snow White (Lily Collins: Abduction), a princess who is confined to her castle bedroom by her cruel stepmom (...

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.     “It’s like you...

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. Looking Sharp     Longer days and warm sun have lured us outside. Yet it’s going to take a lot of labor before we love...

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.   ...