Glenelg High's flag-spinning Silks on a membership drive [West Friendship]

They swing and sway and add a spectacular visual performance with a precision that is dizzying. The flag-spinning parade unit known as Silks wants you.

Glenelg High School Silks director Jennifer Blizzard Sisk seeks new members to the color guard at the high school. If you love dance, gymnastics, athletics, competition and school pride, then email Sisk at and become a part of Glenelg High School's award winning marching unit.

West Friendship gardener Wally Chaillou learned more about ecosystems as a Master Gardener than he knew existed.

"Owning a piece of land makes me responsible for my actions," said Chaillou. "Every one of our actions affects our ecosystem, our environment and our health."

During his training as a Master Gardener, Chaillou learned about soil erosion, the importance of providing wildlife habitats and the negative aspects of the use of herbicides and pesticides.

"Gardens are wonderful alternatives to massive grass lawns and a properly maintained garden, whether vegetable or flower, provides great benefits to our environment and to our wildlife."

For Chaillou, the greatest aspect of his training as a Master Gardener, has been the opportunity to participate as a volunteer in the school system and share the knowledge with local youngsters.

Registration is now open for the 2014 Master Gardener training sessions. The series will begin on Jan. 22, 10 a.m. to noon, followed by classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to noon, until March 31. To receive a Master Gardener registration packet, call the University of Maryland Extension's Howard County office at 410-313-2707. The deadline for registration is Oct. 25.

Ever been to a threshing bee? Now is your chance when the West Friendship Living Farm Heritage Museum offers the annual threshing of the wheat on Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the grounds of the Farm Museum at 12985 Frederick Road just across from the Howard County Fairgrounds.

The event affords an opportunity to view antique farm equipment in operation while completing this year's grain harvest. During the threshing bee, club members toil for many hours until all the year's remaining grain has been threshed.

Visitors may visit the Hebb House Museum on the grounds, along with the One Room Schoolhouse. Refreshments will be served during this no-admission-fee event.

When West Friendship designer Tracey Davidson thinks about the work she did on the 2013 Decorator Show House, she grins with satisfaction.

"I loved renovating the area called Local Office. It is so appropriate because this space has been used for years by Historic Ellicott City and will continue to be the official office after the show house closes," said Davidson.

The local designer was inspired by the colors of the Maryland state flag. The 28th annual decorator show house, which shines a spotlight on the historic Mount Ida Building in old Ellicott City, will continue until Oct. 27. For information about tickets and schedules go to the website at

Don't forget to visit Brother Gerry Seipp's Halloween Train Garden in the Manor House at the Shrine of St. Anthony. No charge to come out to the Manor House and enjoy the fun that Brother Gerry has in creating this wonderful fall train garden. Questions? Call the Manor House office at 410-531-2800. The Halloween train garden will be set up on Oct. 13, 20 and 27 each Sunday, 3-5 p.m. Kids love this display.

Memories of the Howard County fair keep pouring in from members of the Hare Raisers 4-H. Young Grace Underwood counts winning a blue ribbon for her notable Creative Writing piece as a highlight. But according to Grace, "My favorite moment during the fair was letting kids pet my rabbit."

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