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Close to home with Mary Beth Breckenridge

Consumer Reports takes on printer-ink use

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 27, 2013

Consumer Reports has confirmed what I suspected: My printer is an ink hog.

My HP Photosmart printer, in particular, is a heavy user. That's disappointing, considering I chose it largely based on Consumer Reports' estimate of its ink usage.

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Stan Hywet plans play area for all ages

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 25, 2013

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is adding a cool feature next year, a multigenerational outdoor play area called Playgarden.

The 5,000-square-foot space is just in the design phase but will include a water feature, discovery areas and interactive play areas where visitors can "dig, climb, slither and crawl," the historical estate announced. It will also have elements that refer to architectural features and spaces of the Manor House, Carriage House and historical gardens.

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It's hammer time, Buckeyes!

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 19, 2013
OSUpic

I'll be rooting for Ohio State to beat Michigan this weekend. 

Yeah, I know the big football matchup is still five months away. The Buckeyes I'll be cheering for are challenging the rival Wolverines in a home renovation competition.

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Concrete planters on the cheap

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 17, 2013

Catching up on my magazine reading, I came across a great idea in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens for making contemporary planters from concrete patio pavers like this one from Lowe's.

You just make a simple box using four square pavers as the sides, with no top or bottom. Glue the edges of the pavers together using a thin bead of landscape block adhesive, and then let the box sit for 24 hours.

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Buckeye Lake island once owned by Wendy's founder for sale

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 13, 2013

Looking for a place to get away? A private island once owned by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas is up for sale.

Round Island, in Buckeye Lake east of Columbus, was purchased by Thomas in 1995 as a place to spend time with his five children and 16 grandchildren, according to the website TopTenRealEstateDeals.com. He restored and enlarged the cottage and added a playground and swimming pool, but it was all for naught. The younger generations rarely visited, the website says.

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Invasion of the chipmunks

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 11, 2013
Chipmunk

My yard is riddled with chipmunk holes this summer. My co-worker just complained about the same thing. Her neighbor is at wit's end.

What's going on?

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How-to video series covers deck building

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 10, 2013

Planning to build a deck this summer? Check out the deck-building video series on the website of Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Builder Mike Guertin supplies the expertise for building a deck correctly, from layout to custom trim. It's a great resource for checking out what's involved and what's possible.

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What does your door say about you?

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: June 4, 2013

Door colors are portals to our personalities, at least in the opinion of Kate Smith, a color expert with door manufacturer Therma-Tru.

Here's Smith's assessment of what your door color says about you:

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