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Marion Keenly Carr: 1920-2013

Marion Keenly Carr, my mother, died on July 30, 2013.     She lived a classy life. And she died a classy death.     She was a link to the old America, but she was surprisingly aware, even hip.     Ronnie was an elegant woman — perfect hair, nice earrings, beautiful clothes, lipstick and makeup — with a sharp mind and a keen sense of humor who had more friends than anyone I know.

That’s a job for the Green Team

The World Biggest Crab Feast didn’t make the world’s biggest mess this year.     Some 4,500 pounds of food scraps — about one-quarter of the food waste produced by the massive feast — will turn into compost instead of hogging precious landfill space.

Democratic women wanted to run for office

Blame it on the boys.         In Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, more men than women are making political decisions.     Four men to one woman govern on Calvert County’s Board of Commissioners. Anne Arundel got a woman, Laura Neuman, by appointment, but in the last election, not a single woman won a voice in local government.

Master Watershed Stewards may not have super powers, but they are cleaning up their communities

Going down John Dawson’s street in Severna Park, you can’t miss the rain garden he’s planted in his front yard — and that’s exactly how he wants it.

Pay it forward in honor of a life saved

Three days in the intensive care unit delayed Amanda Fiedler’s meeting with her third child. Finally her husband wheeled her through the halls of Anne Arundel Medical Center to meet Zachary in the neonatal intensive care unit.     “The nurses took the little blanket off the incubator, and he looked so tiny,” says Fielder, tears welling up. “I remember holding him and whispering in his ear, we did it.”

Barnacles and bryozoans rampage thru summer 2013

You are not alone.         Bryozoans, barnacles and the vast fellowship of the fouling community are settling on submerged surfaces throughout the upper- to mid-Chesapeake.     Anything not protected with antifouling paint is now covered in a thick, brown living moss.

Meet these award-winners at Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival

Love, not money, sparked 21 kids to seek spots in Twin Beach Players’ annual Kids Playwriting Festival.     Lots of love as each had to write a play.     The $100 prize money was a bonus, all six finalists agreed.     But competing in this festival is the highpoint of the theater life for stage-smitten elementary, middle and high schoolers in Chesapeake Country.

What I’ll be eating this Buy Local Week

In high Maryland summer, buying local is no challenge. Rain and sun, heat and humidity make the vegetable kingdom grow like it will devour tomorrow. Fields and farm markets are fecund with foods you’ve not tasted fresh since last fall. Corn, cucumbers, cantaloupe, peaches, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon are ready or ripening.     If I were doing the naming, I’d call Maryland’s sixth annual Buy Local Challenge the Buy Local Opportunity.

If you’ve ever wanted your own fresh eggs, Michele Allman can help you decide if keeping hens is for you

I am not alone in imagining chickens in my back yard. Backyard flocks are on the upswing in suburban and urban America, Chesapeake Country included. Why, the state’s capital allows city-dwellers to raise them.     I’d appreciate their weeding skills to keep the violets, dandelions, and chickweed in check and to work compost into the soil where I’d like to install new garden beds. Most of all, I’d like just-laid eggs, firm with bright orange yolks.

Unity Gardens wants to help green your community

From Glen Burnie to Severn Heights to Presidents Hill to Shady Side to Fairhaven, Anne Arundel gardeners seeking to green their communities turn for funding to Unity Gardens (www.unitygardens.org), which twice a year awards grants up to $1,000 to local groups creating neighborhood green spaces.     In a decade, Unity Gardens has sowed over $200,000 in gardens planned and planted by 180 community groups. Unity’s seed money comes from foundation grants, corporate and individual donations and local government support.