Paper in hand, reading these words, who are you?
Computer at hand, writing them, I’m my business self. To drive to my office in Annapolis, I don’t have to gird myself as staunchly as my husband Bill Lambrecht, Bay Weekly’s editorial analyst, who has to put on his “Washington face” before his harrowing daily commute. (It looks a little like the contortion he wears to show me how he terrified opponents as a high school football player.)
We’re more casual at Bay Weekly, but we’re still not the people we are at home. I put on my own business face and clothes for the transformation that overtakes me by the time I’ve parked my car at 1160 Spa Road. It’s not as dramatic as Clark Kent’s phone booth transformation into Superman. But you know what I mean. (Unless your Superman acquaintance came after phone booths went obsolete.)
Maybe you’re reading this at a sunny kitchen table, looking out at the birds and squirrels ransacking your feeder with spring frenzy. If you’re being somebody else, slip back into your homebody for a minute because that’s for whom this week’s Spring Home & Garden Guide is written. For good to us as our homes and gardens are, they expect us to be good to them, too.
If you’re like me, upkeep takes up much of your at-home time. On top of cooking and cleaning, linens and laundry, the projects pile. The pile rises especially high this time of year, when spring sunlight spilling in the windows reveals issues, shall we call them, less apparent in winter’s darker days. The windows themselves reveal too much: On top of the imperfection of the last washing, they clearly (or not so clearly) need washing all over again.
One chore leads to another, and there went Saturday — when what I really wanted to do was get out into the spring garden, where winter has left multiple more messes.
If you’re not like me, your homebody might be having more fun — throwing a tea party or playing with your model railroad or any of the wonderfully odd and varied things we do with those magic moments we call free time and that sociologists call discretionary time.
If you’re like me, this week’s Home and Garden Guide can save you from yourself. If you’re not like me, you’ll find still more liberation in its pages.
What we’ve done this issue is ask the advice of the experts — people in Chesapeake Country, many of them small business people, who make their living caring for homes and gardens.
For Home, we’ve asked our Bay Weekly partners how they do the many jobs it takes to keep up appearances. Often, better than we do ourselves, as Bay Weekly’s Krista Pfunder Boughey found in her interviews for this issue. And, as in many cases, we’ve seen for ourselves first hand.
I’m grateful for the tips Dr. Glass and Malibu Windows have given us, but I’m also convinced they’d give me a better view inside and out than husband and I will get doing it ourselves. Similarly, in our chore-egalitarian household, the two of us both know how to clean. Or so I thought until I visited a neighbor where Cleaning Maid Easy was deep cleaning — doing all that she wanted and more.
Yes, that’s why they’re experts.
On bigger projects, like my long anticipated kitchen remodel, there was no question of doing it ourselves. Getting my bearings, I’d tried big box stores and discounters. Then I visited Duane Dwyer’s Annapolis Kitchen and Bath in West Annapolis, who applied all his expert knowledge (and it took a lot) to my unique situation, showing up at my house magic tape measure in hand and artist in tow. On a project like this, that keeps me awake at night, I want my fate in the hands of experts whose prime strategy is giving me what I want.
For Garden, you’ll remember this Spring Guide — as well as we do — as one of those places Bay Gardener Dr. Francis Gouin showed us the full range of his expertise. This year, our first spring since his death last August, we’ve taken a new approach. We’ve turned to the Home and Garden Information Center/ University of Maryland Extension — where Dr. Gouin spent much of his career — for expert guidance. Learn still more — and get answers to your questions — at the Extension online: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic.
In this week’s issue, 22 Home & Garden experts plus the Home and Garden Information Center talk us through solutions to many of spring’s most urgent demands. Read on to learn what they can do for you.
P.S. Where does Superman dress nowadays?
Bay Weekly moviegoer Diana Beechener has the answer.
“I believe in the newest Superman they address this question as there is no longer a wealth of phone booths to duck into. At the moment, I believe both Spider-Man and Superman ascribe to wearing your Super Suit under your clothes and ducking down an alley to disrobe as their changing method. Which seems silly.
“Here is video evidence: https://youtu.be/b0yDjKF9qiQ?t=166
“I’ve also seen him journey to a rooftop, which seems at least a bit more secluded. No news on how one keeps their civilian clothes clean/from being stolen when using this method.”