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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

You’ve got muscle

This single day carries a heavy weight.         At 18, you’d have shared 6,566 days with your mother, assuming steady cohabitation. For many of us, maternal ties stretch far beyond the age of emancipation. The 45 years my mother and I shared this earth — and one another’s consciousness — amounted to about 16,450 days. If your mother is still kicking when you’re 70, the total rises to 25,533. Even separated at birth, mother and...

I hope you have her enshrined in sacred words and pictures

For this week’s Mother’s Day feature, 16 daughters and sons describe their mothers’ superwoman strength when standing by their sides. Without second thought, most chose one single moment preserved full, fresh and sacred out the procession of shared hours, days and years. What that moment would be no one but the writer — certainly not her or his mother — could imagine.     Most, but not all, are scenes of childhood. In many, mother flexes her muscles...

3EYZ BBQ cooks up big money

Is Owings Mills a hometown team for us in Anne Arundel or Calvert ­County? With the 58 other competing teams from all over the Eastern United States, Owings Mills is the hometown favorite. That team, 3 EYZ BBQ took home the Grand Champion prize of $2,500 at the Parole Rotary Club’s Naptown barBAYq festival.     Many hours before any guests arrived to enjoy the festival, the 59 cooking teams were hard at work perfecting their meat. Teams typically arrive the afternoon...

Tirrell Smith, 20, Glen Burnie

When my dad my passed, it was hard.  But even widowed, Mom has always been there for us. Financially or not, she’s there to uplift her kids. And that’s what’s important because everyone needs to hear that one sweet word for their mom.     It’s sad to be away from my mom. She’s living back in Connecticut while I’m going to school here. It’s part of life. Through her example she taught me. She taught me and my siblings that the best...

Foraging in the woods, these piggies eat a diet good for them — and us

Mothers are the source of life, as Cleopatra the sow, feeding her seven March-born piglets, illustrates. Now thriving at two months old, the piglets are no longer nursing, instead eating the special recipe of local barley, sorghum, field peas and whey served by P.A. Bowen Farmstead.     The southern Prince George’s County farm is a woods and pasture-based habitat for cows, pigs and poultry, explains Fallon Morell, who with husband Geoffrey has owned the farm since 2009....

Dignity Players exits stage left field, imagination amok

For nine years, Dignity Players has mounted quality productions on the themes of social justice and equality — morality plays that inspire with occasional forays into seriocomedy — brilliant, thought-provoking stuff. And now, as Monty Python would say, for something completely different: a hilarious send-up of John Buchan’s classic thriller The 39 Steps, which became a 1935 Alfred Hitchcock hit. Like a beloved professor playing a prank on the last day of school, Dignity...

It shouldn’t be hard to outsmart a creature with a brain the size of a marble

The gentle temperatures of May were welcome after April’s cold winds and rain. But then a friend and I fished all day Friday under near-perfect conditions, chumming with fresh menhaden that tempted hardly a single bite.     I tried to rationalize the failure by reminding my partner that bait fishing is frequently unreliable while the rockfish remain in spawning mode. But reports of fellow anglers boating keepers to our south (we were up around the Baltimore Light) only...

Hoe, mulch or a touch of herbicide

The better you control weeds in the garden this year, the fewer weeds you will have next year. Weeds have the capacity of generating thousands of seeds, which means that many seeds scattered on the ground this year will be germinating next year. Not all of the seeds will germinate at once. Many hard seeds can remain in the ground for years, especially if they get buried.       Frequent light cultivation while the weed seedlings are small is the best method of...

Spread the joy of the night sky

The moon waxes through evening skies this week, reaching full phase Wednesday. Look for it just a few degrees to the west of Mars Saturday. The next night it is flanked with Mars to the right and Spica even closer to its left. Tuesday the near-full moon is five degrees to the right of Saturn and 10 degrees to the left Wednesday. The moon is so bright, you’ll have to hunt for the ringed planet.     This is Saturn’s best appearance, as the planet reaches opposition,...

Declaring peace doesn’t stop the horrors of war

Eric Lomax (Colin Firth: Gambit) returns from World War II as a shell of a man. Avoiding people, he rides the rails and collects train memorabilia. On a train years later, he encounters former nurse Patti (Nicole Kidman: Stoker). Smitten, they quickly marry.     Patti’s illusion of wedded bliss soon shatters. Eric stares off into space. Small things provoke violent reactions. A bit of radio static causes a meltdown. Eric is hostile about his odd behavior.   ...