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Into gifts that can change lives

Six small ways Chesapeake neighbors are making a better world 

Play Santa in ways that matter

How to sing Messiah for St. James’ sing-along

Coming our way from Kootenai National Forest, Montana

You can catch a fish, but take care not to catch hypothermia

Odds are, 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.      But, if you’re like me, you’re probably ignoring the reality that your home has hundreds or even thousands of hardly visible points of ingress and egress where air flows in or out. All those tiny spaces make most homes, even...

To get rid of clutter you need a plan

     Now and then, every home gets to the point at which a quick tidy-up here and there just isn’t cutting it anymore. You take a look around, notice all of the surfaces that have gone untouched for far too long, then sigh as you pick a day dedicated to cleaning from top to bottom.      Lifestyle and parenting blogger Ari Adams of Love, Peace and Tiny Feet shares her top rules to add simplicity and structure to the task.   Do      Make a...

Keep chaos at bay 

     Chaos is scheming to take over your storage space. Keeping it at bay takes a solid game plan and the right equipment. Follow these tips to stay ahead of disaster.        1 Protect the items you store. Moisture and pests cause problems in even the cleanest garage. Look for durable storage containers with tight-fitting, critter-resistant lids.        2 Categorize: Assign and color-code dedicated areas for each type of item — tools...
     You’ve still got time to get your home in shape for winter. If you’ve been procrastinating, you’re not alone. But delay can be costly. Many homeowners are putting themselves at financial risk by putting off some home maintenance chores, according to a national survey from Erie Insurance.      Here are the five big areas where delay can lead to trouble. Whether you’re a DIYer or prefer hiring a professional, crossing these projects off...

Fall’s the time to get to work

     Warm days and cool nights combined with shorter daylight hours are what the doctor ordered for the favorite grasses of Chesapeake Country: bluegrass and fescues. They’re called cool-season grasses because they germinate, produce roots and lap up nutrients once summer’s heat shuts down. So now’s the time to get to work on next year’s perfect lawn.   Step 1. Test your soil      A good lawn grows from well-prepared soil. ...
     While many are starting to forget about Hurricane Harvey after Irma, Maria and Jose, there is still great need in Houston and surrounding areas in which many have lost everything they own.      The entire leadership team of the Keller Williams Three Bridges of Southern Maryland traveled to Texas to volunteer in the cleanup from Hurricane Harvey.      The brokerage traveled to Austin, Texas, and then bussed to Houston each morning and back each...
     Thirty years after the nation awoke to the scope and impact of domestic violence, the United States still grapples with the aftermath of violence by people who usually are intimate partners.      We know the slogans and statistics on domestic violence. It is time to take personal responsibility to lend a hand to those who live in the shadows of domestic violence. Be the change that helps someone you know to break the cycle of violence.      In...

That’s this season’s urging

     We humans are weather-dependent. After three parched weeks, rain sprinkled on October 8, then drenched the last morning of the Annapolis Sailboat Show. In the days leading up to that rain, I’d heeded Greenstreet Gardens’ emailed alert to water the garden and the birds. Both needed it.      Then came the rain. My garden was happy — particularly those neglected ferns. But I fretted lest the rain spoil events over which I grow protective as I...

Follow the birds to find the action

     We were at warp speed approaching Man O’ War Shoals, a large oyster reef that stretches for over two miles some distance southeast of Baltimore’s Key Bridge. Col. Dennis Robinson’s 20-foot Sea Hunt center console was barely touching the water as we covered the distance to the wheeling and diving gulls that had located feeding rockfish there.      Judging the direction that the rockfish were pushing the panicking menhaden, Robinson came...

A light historical comedy in search of deeper meaning

     Nearing the end of her reign and her life, Queen Victoria (Judi Dench: Tulip Fever) sleeps through her routine of parties, banquets and royal audiences.       She is wakened from her stupor by Abdul (Ali Fazal: Happy Bhag Jayegi), an Indian clerk who has crossed the ocean to deliver a ceremonial coin to his queen. Chosen for his appearance and height, Abdul rouses Victoria’s interest in life.      Her request that he serve her raises...