Home & Garden

Most Distinguished Tree Contest --Still Time To Vote

You and your friends can still vote for the trees that have been nominated for the four categories this year. Votes will be counted on October 1st.

Voting process:

1. Go to www.lakewoodobserver.com and click on Photo Galleries on the right hand side of our homepage to view the trees. 

2. Write down the number of your top choice from each category. 

3. Go back to the homepage and click on Daily Question (directly below photo galleries). 

4. *Enter your name, email, then only the four numbers you chose, separated by commas. 

*Please, only one submission per resident. Please vote for ALL FOUR CATEGORIES. Multiple insertions will not be counted. Single votes for only one tree will not be counted. Your name and email are used only for voting purposes.

The property winners from each category will receive a certificate from the City of Lakewood, along with a prize from one of our sponsors. The person who nominated the winning tree in each category will also receive a prize. (Multiple nominators of the same tree will win) The top two runners-up in each category will be identified. The tree with the overall most votes will be designated the top prize winner with the distinction of "Most Distinguished Tree 2023."

Winners will be posted in the next issue on October 4th and on line.



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Volume 19, Issue 18, Posted 11:03 AM, 09.20.2023

The Herb Guild Garden Club

The March meeting of the Herb Guild Garden Club will be held on March 11 at Westlake Porter Public Library. The meeting starts at 10:30am and will last until 2 p.m. The guest speaker for March is Carlos E. Ramos, owner of "The Tea Lab" located in Lakewood, Ohio. Their website is tealabcle.com. He will talk about teas and tisanes-herbs and botanicals. It should prove to be an informative presentation with various teas to sample and purchase.

The Herb Guild is a local organization that meets on the second Wednesday of the month at Westlake Porter Public Library in Westlake, Ohio (27333 Center Ridge Road) in the Porter Room. New members and guests are always welcome. For more information on the upcoming meeting, call 440-582-0191 or visit our website theherbguild.org. You can also find us on Facebook under The Herb Guild.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020

Keep Lakewood Beautiful Recognizes 2019 Beautiful Home Winners

The 2019 Beautiful Home winners were recognized by Mayor Summers and Lakewood City Council during the November 18 meeting of City Council. Keep Lakewood Beautiful (created by City Ordinance in 1982) takes nominations throughout the summer and awards one winner from each of the seven city school districts.  

This year's winners were great examples of Lakewood’s beautiful houses. While all seven offer their own unique presentation, the common theme was they all started working on their homes through a love of gardening.

Bruce Moss of Norton Avenue poignantly stated, “No matter how big or small your area, you can take the ordinary; and with a little imagination, turn it into something extraordinary.”

Each of the winners offered some sage advice and were proud to contribute to the overall beautification of their community.  

April Hoy of Grace Avenue proudly stated, “Being recognized for something I love to do, something that adds beauty to the world, is really special to me.”


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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 12.04.2019

Keep Lakewood Beautiful - Beautiful Homes Awards

Each year Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) sponsors a Beautiful Homes award. The winning homes are chosen for well-maintained landscaping that beautifies the neighborhood for the enjoyment of all. The seven winners for 2018 were recognized with a plaque for each home at the City Council meeting in May. The homes honored are 1603 Clarence Ave., the Mohar Family; 13926 Clifton Blvd., Heather Rudge; 1245-47 Edwards Ave., Jim and Mary McCarthy; 2016 Elbur Ave., Suzanne Sauvinsky; 1365 Lakeland, The Shelgunov Family; 1577 Riverside Drive, Joe and Eileen Papplardo; and 1458 Woodward, Cat Donovan. Congratulations to the winners and thank you from all of us for helping Keep Lakewood Beautiful. The winning addresses and names will also be posted on the KLB page of the city’s web site (onelakewood.com).

Know a beautiful yard or garden in your neighborhood? We’re looking for nominees for 2019. The grounds can be charming, exquisite, magnificent. The landscaping can contain annuals, perennials, shrubbery, etc., in any combination. The only requirements are that the home is in Lakewood and the nomination is submitted by July 31. You can nominate a beautiful home through the Keep Lakewood Beautiful page on the city website (onelakewood.com). If you prefer, you may call the Mayor’s Office at 529-6600 with your nomination. You will need to supply the address of the nominee and your name and contact information. Thank you and we hope to have many nominations this year.

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Volume 15, Issue 14, Posted 7:18 PM, 07.17.2019

Keep Lakewood Beautiful Annual Humus Sale May 18th

Keep Lakewood Beautiful will be kicking off their Adopt-A-Spot program again this May with our annual Humus Sale. On Saturday, May 18th, bagged humus and perennials will be for sale at the Skate House parking lot at Lakewood Park from 9-12. Each bag of humus weighs about 30 pounds and costs $4. Feel free to bring your own reusable container and save trashing a plastic bag.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 8:01 PM, 05.08.2019

Nominate A Beautiful Lakewood Home Today!

(To the tune of "Summertime and the Liv’in is Easy"…)

"It's summertime, Lakewood liv'in is easy,

Pools are open,

Meltdown Fever is high ....

Adopt-a-Spots are bloom'in,  and Lakewood homes are good look'in

Beautiful home nomination time now… is nigh!"

 With deep apologies to George Gershwin, I have borrowed the tune from  “Porgy and Bess” to grab your attention to announce the opening of the Keep Lakewood Beautiful, (KLB) BEAUTIFUL HOME AWARD NOMINATION opportunity!

Yes, between this very moment when you are reading this article and Friday, August 17th, you  can nominate one or more  residential properties in Lakewood that make you turn your head in awe and admiration as you walk, bicycle, run, or drive by!

What qualifies a home for nomination? … The residence should be well-maintained with eye-popping landscaping, good use of color, a variety of plants...and that extra something that is indefinable but you know it when you see it!


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Volume 14, Issue 14, Posted 5:57 PM, 07.17.2018

Herb Guild Garden Club

The June meeting of the Herb Guild Garden Club will be held on June 13 at the Westlake Porter Public Library. The meeting will start at 10 am, followed by a presentation by Mike Williams of the Great Lakes Brewing Company on the use of hops in making beer. Hops is an herb!

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 10:43 PM, 06.05.2018

Where Is The Bird Feeder?

My name is Shawn Payne. I own Lakewood Exterminating. Let me tell you that mice went crazy this past summer (2017). My business went from a hand full of mouse jobs in summer of 2016 to servicing several homes per week in Lakewood alone. Although mouse calls have slowed down recently, I expect them to start up again once the weather turns. I titled this article "Where is the Bird-Feeder?", so you might see mice in a different light.

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Volume 13, Issue 23, Posted 10:05 PM, 12.05.2017

Fall Tree Event

Fall is a great time to plant and care for trees! Come and learn from our local tree experts about how to plant, properly mulch and care for young trees at this hands-on event where we will help care for some young trees. Pumpkins for our volunteers while supplies last!

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 12:05 PM, 10.17.2017

Five Key Takeaways From LakewoodAlive’s “Knowing Your Home: Bathroom Remodeling” Workshop

Longtime contractor Gary Lack glanced at the assembly of people before posing the question: “How many of you are living in a house built prior to 1940?”

When nearly every hand shot up, Lack immediately knew his audience. “This must be a Lakewood crowd.”

It was a packed house and a Lakewood group indeed when 40 attendees gathered for LakewoodAlive’s “Knowing Your Home: Bathroom Remodeling” workshop on Saturday morning, Oct. 22, at Cleveland Lumber Company. Lack led an insightful discussion regarding best practices for upgrading a residential bathroom.

Now in its third year, LakewoodAlive’s “Knowing Your Home” workshop series draws hundreds of attendees annually to learn home maintenance best practices. Our workshop series is generously supported by: Citizens Bank, City of Lakewood, Cleveland Lumber Company, Fifth Third Bank, First Federal Lakewood, PNC, Remax Beyond 2000, The University of Akron Lakewood and Third Federal Savings & Loan.

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Volume 12, Issue 23, Posted 3:38 PM, 11.09.2016

Get Inspired At The 2016 “Come Home To Lakewood” House And Garden Tour

Ready to begin a home renovation project but lack vision and a master plan? Then don’t miss the 2016 “Come Home to Lakewood” House and Garden Tour, Sunday, September 11, from 1 to 6pm and discover all the inspiration and idea generation you could possibly need to ignite your creativity.

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 10:25 PM, 08.16.2016

How To Solve Your Ant Problem

Home Ant Control Tips For Lakewood, OH

Carpenter Ants and Odorous House Ants are always a nuisance. These are two separate ant species that love our older homes in the area. If you choose to do your own home pest control, the first thing is to correctly identify what ant you are dealing with. Not many people do this. Proper pest identification is key. It provides you with many helpful control tips. 

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 4:38 PM, 07.19.2016

LakewoodAlive Announces 2016 Knowing Your Home Series

We are excited to announce the kick-off of the third season of our home maintenance and sustainability workshop series, "Knowing Your Home." Knowing Your Home is an education series that is focused on best sustainability and home maintenance practices empowering residents to tackle necessary repairs and improvements.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 1:37 PM, 02.16.2016

Terry's Landscaping Tips For Fall: October

October Checklist

Day lilies, Hostas




Bulbs, Bonemeal

Snow Equipment



Plowing Contractor

As Fall makes its presence known a few topics to be concerned with come to mind.

For the lawn, de-thatching will help the intake of fertilizer by the root system. Either mechanically or by hand which when done correctly is no small undertaking, should produce a sizable amount of thatch that can be put in the compost pile for next year.

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Volume 11, Issue 22, Posted 2:57 PM, 10.27.2015

The Yardist’s Top Ten Lawn and Garden Tips for Fall

In Lakewood, the City of Beautiful Homes, great curb appeal is vital to protecting the character and quality of our neighborhoods. Fall is a critical time to prepare your curb appeal for next spring. Follow these ten tips to protect your lawn and garden from Old Man Winter and for a beautiful yard next spring.

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Volume 11, Issue 20, Posted 11:29 AM, 09.29.2015

Celebrate Spring With Earth Day And The Great American Cleanup

Spring has finally sprung here in Lakewood, Ohio and Keep Lakewood Beautiful is celebrating this time of year with its Annual Earth Day and a Great American Cleanup on April 25 from 9-11 a.m., all at the Detroit Ave. entrance to Kauffman Park. Give your spring cleaning a jumpstart by participating in all or any one of these great events!

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 6:10 PM, 04.14.2015

Tower Garden - The Farmers Market On Your Porch

Living in the Northeast is challenging for finding fresh healthy organic produce year round. Are choices for fresh food, and fresh produce limited based on the season we are in? Trying to find fresh tomatoes, basil or watermelon outside in your garden is pretty much a hopeless thought for us hibernating Ohioans in the middle of winter.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 4:41 PM, 03.17.2015

Annual Lakewood Holiday Lighting Contest

Want to get into the Holiday spirit? Join Lakewood Council of PTAs in the 2nd Annual Lakewood Holiday Lighting Contest sponsored by KB Confections! Dust off your wreaths and start checking those light bulbs because we want to literally light up our city with all your festive light displays!

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 11.11.2014

Get Inspired At The 2014 “Come Home To Lakewood” House And Garden Tour

Ready to begin a home renovation project but lack vision and a master plan? Then don’t miss the 2014 “Come Home to Lakewood” House and Garden Tour, Sunday, September 7, from 1 to 6 p.m. and discover all the inspiration and idea generation you could possibly need to ignite your creativity.

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Volume 10, Issue 17, Posted 8:13 AM, 08.21.2014

Tales From The Tour: "Come Home To Lakewood" House And Garden Tour

Lakewood homes have stories to tell.

One grand residence, most recently a rooming house, narrowly escaped the wrecking ball through the efforts of LakewoodAlive, Detroit-Shoreway and the city of Lakewood. Renovations have just begun; tour-goers will see it in its raw state on this tour and the finished product on the 2016 tour. Also featured is the two-story garage built to match the architecture of the house by Lakewood vocational education students. Then there are the sleek Gold Coast suites with breathtaking views of Lake Erie.

These are just three examples of the aesthetically and architecturally diverse structures with stories ready to be shared at the Lakewood Historical Society’s 2014 "Come Home to Lakewood" Home and Garden Tour.

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Volume 10, Issue 17, Posted 3:05 PM, 08.05.2014

Nominations Sought For The Keep Lakewood Beautiful Organization's Beautiful Home Award

Once again it is time for recognizing our Lakewood residents who go above and beyond in an effort to make their homes glow with much tender loving care. Annually, the Keep Lakewood Beautiful, all volunteer organization sponsors a contest to honor the beauty of architecture, landscaping and impeccable maintenance of some of our fine Lakewood homes.

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Volume 10, Issue 16, Posted 3:05 PM, 08.05.2014

It's Time For The Tour! "Come Home To Lakewood" House And Garden Tour Returns Sunday, September 7th

The 2014 “Come Home to Lakewood” House and Garden Tour, presented by The Lakewood Historical Society is scheduled for Sunday, September 7th, from 1 to 6 p.m. This biannual tour invites you to explore some of the finest examples of Lakewood's diverse architectural styles, including an elegant English Tudor, a stately Colonial Revival, an Arts and Crafts bungalow, a midcentury condo, a delightful English cottage, a Victorian under construction and a completely renovated Colonial Revival. Also included on the tour are the newly remodeled Lakewood Methodist Church Sanctuary and the soaring stained glass ceiling of the renovated lobby of First Federal of Lakewood - plus a newly built two story garage proudly built with a collaboration with Lakewood's Westshore Vocational School.

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Volume 10, Issue 15, Posted 10:32 PM, 07.22.2014

Exterior Home Maintenance Is Essential

Summer is the best time of year. We get out of our winter hibernation and spend time out and about having fun. It is always a difficult balance to find time to do everything that you must do, like home maintenance, while still enjoying the weather, but we learn to balance as best as we can. Home maintenance is essential to protect what is arguably the largest investment you will make in your lifetime, as well as help to maintain and sustain it for the next 100 years.  

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 7:20 AM, 06.25.2014

These Doctors Pay House Calls

Do you pride yourself on the age of your home? Is it always something that you enjoy telling people that you meet? Maybe it is just me but, I try to work into most conversations that my home was built in 1907. My name is Allison and I am a house nerd. I often find that it is a way to connect with others; it is like being a part of the cool kids club, “Oh you have a century home too? When was yours built?” Our community is built of beautiful aging homes that have a certain “je ne sais quois” about them. We are so proud of our housing stock and we need to work to continue to maintain and sustain them.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 6:28 PM, 06.10.2014

Humus Is Helpful!

Keep Lakewood Beautiful will once again hold its annual spring humus and plant sale, Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m.-noon. The location of the sale is at the Lakewood Park Old Stone House parking lot.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 4:57 PM, 05.13.2014

Cleaning Up Lakewood One Bar At A Time

STEM Handmade Soap opened its retail location in Birdtown 6 months ago and has now sold a ton of soap--literally! Proof that Lakewood has a lot of bars--of soap that is! It’s not that Lakewood citizens are any less clean than folks in other cities, so why this affinity for handmade 100% natural artisan soap? It creates an invigorating lather in the shower, cleans your skin really well and smells amazing, but it is good for you too!

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:14 AM, 04.29.2014

What Does Your Home Need?

No more blindly searching through yellow page listings or scouring the overwhelming Northeast Ohio home improvement shows for the goods and services that best cater to older houses. You can spend lots of time and energy sorting through information and seeking out businesses that best serve older homes. Sometimes residents can do the work themselves. Sometimes we need to pay professionals to do it. Either way, knowledge of local resources, and the expertise and guidance of local professionals are valuable and a necessary part of giving our century homes a sound start for their next 100 years.

Whether you are putting sweat equity into your home or commissioning experts to make those repairs or improvements, there is no doubt you will get something valuable out of this one-of-a-kind Lakewood Old House Fair. It is Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harding Middle School (at Hilliard & Madison). See the ad in this issue for listings of our door prizes, exhibitors, and scheduled presentations. Admission is always free.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:42 PM, 04.15.2014

Old House Fair Focuses On Lakewood

Spring, is it finally here? Anyway it’s still a fine time to prioritize and start tackling some home improvements. Many Lakewood residents, businesses, and nonprofits are gearing up to continue a long standing tradition of bringing the community its very own little home-improvement show! It will be Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harding Middle School on Madison Ave. It serves as a one-stop shop bringing Lakewood resources together to meet the needs of Lakewood’s homes and the residents who care for them. About fifty exhibitors are being showcased. Their goods and services cover improvement, remodel, repair, beautification, and decorating your space and the property you call home. Special emphasis is placed on topics unique to older homes.   

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 3:06 PM, 04.01.2014

Birdtown Community Meeting March 25

LakewoodAlive will host a community event in Birdtown on Tuesday, March 25 at Harrison Elementary School, 2080 Quail Street. The event will run from 7-9 p.m. with a brief presentation from LakewoodAlive, the City of Lakewood, Councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan, Charter One bank and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. The purpose will be to kick off our summer repair rebate program which has been generously supported by Charter One. Residents will also be able to visit with partner organizations to learn about budget and credit counseling, energy efficiency, home repair programs and resources as well as other home maintenance information.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 5:07 PM, 03.18.2014

A Renovation On Mars

Some of you might remember the old movie “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks; well, let’s hope the project that my partner and I are about to emark on together over the next year or so does not become a reenactment of that film. You see, recently, we were looking to find a place in Lakewood we could completely renovate and make “ours.”  First, we looked at retail spaces, warehouses, even old churches, but they were all just over our budget. Then one day, at an after-work party for a departing employee, a person heavily involved with LakewoodAlive mentioned two old boarding houses in Lakewood they were selling with certain strict guidelines and deed restrictions. I was interested, so I drove past both houses that evening.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 5:05 PM, 03.18.2014

LakewoodAlive Announces 2014 Educational Lecture & Hands-On Series

LakewoodAlive will kick off the 2014 educational series on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7 p.m. at Jammy Buggars Restaurant and Pub, 15625 Detroit Avenue. “Knowing Your Home” is a series focused on best sustainability and home maintenance practices empowering homeowners to tackle necessary repairs and improvements.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 2:17 PM, 02.18.2014

Home Improvement Businesses Wanted

The 6th annual Lakewood Old House Fair will be Saturday, May 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harding Middle School. It serves as a home-improvement informational one-stop shop geared to Lakewood residents and older housing.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 2:17 PM, 02.18.2014

Wreath Sale - Lakewood Historical Society

A beautiful red amaryllis and Turnberry Tartan plaid bow decorate this year's Lakewood Historical Society's holiday wreath. The 24" fresh fir wreath will be accented with blue berried juniper, cedar cuttings, pine cones and red ornaments and arriving right after Thanksgiving. Proceeds benefit the programs and projects of the Lakewood Historical Society and support the operation of the Oldest Stone House Museum and The Nicholson House.

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Volume 9, Issue 22, Posted 4:09 PM, 10.29.2013

Lakewood's Own Home Improvement Show

The annual Lakewood Old House Fair will be next Saturday, April 27th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Harding Middle School, located at Madison Ave. and Hilliard Rd.

It is Lakewood’s very own customized home-improvement show. Though hardly showy, this little nonprofit event focuses on the unique needs and care of Lakewood’s older architecture and living spaces. With free admission and a couple hours of your Saturday you will get so much from this one-stop shop.

You get to talk with the actual plumbers, painters, roofers, etc. You can get some free do-it-yourself advice or meet the people behind the business before inviting them to your home for a free estimate. Many of the exhibitors will be holding booth raffle giveaways to help boost your home projects. Exhibitors like the Friends of Lakewood Library Book Sale and Lakewood Garden Center will be selling items for your home and garden needs.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:37 PM, 04.16.2013

Springtime With The Old House Fair

Springtime is finally here and a homeowner’s thoughts turn towards…. The Lakewood Old House Fair!

If you haven’t made it to one in the past, please do yourself a favor and join us. It’s a great source of information to help maintain and improve your Lakewood home from Lakewood businesses and experts. And if you’re so inclined, I’ll be glad to share advice and tips on maintaining your trees. You live in Lakewood, so most likely you have a tree or 2 occupying a significant place around your home. Here’s an opportunity to learn more about them.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:37 PM, 04.16.2013

Lakewood Old House Fair - Save The Date

The 5th annual Lakewood Old House Fair will be Saturday, April 27th, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Harding Middle School as usual. It serves as a home-improvement informational one-stop shop of about fifty-five businesses and services. Exhibitors must pledge to support and educate residents on goods and services that respect the integrity and maintain the quality of Lakewood's older housing. Most of the exhibitors are Lakewood businesses and/or Lakewood residents themselves. Therefore, they not only have professional experience with older homes but share an interest in maintaining the quality of our neighborhoods.

This event is steered by a small team of Lakewood resident volunteers. However, it could not be brought to the community free of charge without the resources of private and nonprofit devoted partners: Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation and Education Department, The Lakewood Observer, and Lakewood Hardware. Stay tuned to future Lakewood Observer newspapers and online for more details.

Are you a home-improvement or home-related business or service? For more exhibitor information visit Lakewood Hardware at 16608 Madison Ave., Lakewood, Ohio; www.lakewoodhardware.com; or by phone at 216-226-8822.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:31 PM, 02.19.2013

Your Oak Tree Needs Your Help

For those of you with oak trees on your property, be on the lookout for Oak Wilt, a pathogen (fungus) that attacks oak trees. It looks to be on the move here in Northeast Ohio. I diagnosed and treated a number of oaks last year. Oak Wilt is caused by Ceratocystis fagacearum, a fungus lethal to Oaks (Quercus sp.). The disease is most serious to members of the Red Oak family, including red oak, scarlet oak, black oak, and pin oak. Members of the White Oak family, including white oak, swamp white oak, and burr oak, are generally not as susceptible, they just die slower. Identifying the difference between the two families is fairly simple. Leaves with pointed 'lobes' are from the Red Oak Family, rounded lobes are from the White Oak family.

Researchers tend to believe that once oaks become infected with the Oak Wilt fungus, there is little that can be done to save the infected trees. Hence, efforts should be directed toward saving non-infected trees.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:23 PM, 01.22.2013

Wreath Sale - Lakewood Historical Society

Lakewood Historical Society Wreath Sale  --- Celebrate the holiday season by displaying a beautiful, handcrafted 30" mixed greenery wreath adorned by artificial snow-covered eucalyptus and red berries.  The wreath and red ribbon with gold trim were crafted in the USA.  Proceeds benefit the programs and projects of the Lakewood Historical Society and support the operation of the Oldest Stone House Museum and The Nicholson House.

Place your order NOW online at www.lakewoodmuseumstore.com or call 216-780-2222 (please enter area code). Price per wreath is $35 ($17.50 tax deduction per wreath).  Fresh wreaths will be ready for pick up Wednesday, November 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, November 29, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Volume 8, Issue 23, Posted 10:37 AM, 11.14.2012

Tour Lakewood's Most Beautiful Homes And Win An Instant Wine Cellar

The “Come Home to Lakewood” tour will be Sunday, September 9, from 1 to 6 pm. In its 11th year, this event is highly anticipated by not only Lakewood residents but home and garden admirers from all over Northeast Ohio. The house tour weekend festivities are the Lakewood Historical Society’s largest fundraiser and are only held every other year. Tickets are only $20 and offer the rare opportunity to view eight of Lakewood’s most beautiful historically or architecturally significant structures. This year’s tour includes: 

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:00 PM, 08.21.2012

KLB Extends Beautiful Home Awards Deadline, Announces New Prizes!

Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB), Lakewood's volunteer board that initiates, plans and coordinates programs for litter prevention, solid waste reduction, recycling and green space beautification, has extended its deadline for nominations for the Beautiful Home Awards to September 1, 2012. First Federal of Lakewood has agreed to sponsor the awards breakfast again this year and KLB is in talks with a few Lakewood businesses to donate more prizes.

We feel that the Beautiful Home Awards already provide a nice incentive for home owners and residents to nominate beautiful homes, but the new prizes will surely take the competition up a notch!

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 10:20 PM, 08.07.2012

Celebrating "New Domesticity"

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." ~ Thomas Moore

Although I often dread thankless daily household tasks like laundry and dishes, completing such chores is uniquely grounding.

Clutter has the power to level me, leaving me emotionally and physically drained. On the flip side, tackling huge cleaning efforts (like my growing mound of outgrown and unneeded "baby" stuff) gives me the motivation to start other organizational projects that offer a sense of accomplishment. 

And cleaning isn't the only "chore" with meditative qualities. Baking, scrapbooking, knitting, canning and sewing also have unique power to calm the spirit.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:10 PM, 06.12.2012

What Does Your Home Need?

The 4th annual Lakewood Old House Fair will be this Saturday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Harding Middle School. Whether you rent or own, large or small, this show is designed for Lakewood residents to be a one-stop shop to help care for and enjoy your living spaces. This local event is put on by Lakewood residents, businesses, and nonprofits with a mission to positively and proactively serve the needs of Lakewood’s older housing. There will be fifty local businesses and nonprofit exhibitors who are experienced and knowledgeable in their trades. Because many of the exhibitors are Lakewood residents themselves they have a deep respect for the unique needs and quality of older homes.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:51 AM, 05.04.2012

Lakewood Old House Fair Set For May 5

Are you gearing up for that big home improvement project or continuing the never ending process on your Lakewood home? Have you been putting off that repair because you’re not sure whom to call or you need advice on how to do it yourself? Maybe you’d love to get some ideas for that outdated kitchen or bathroom. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of Lakewood’s resources that help with planning or servicing home-related projects could be gathered at one easy event?

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:57 PM, 04.03.2012

Nature's Bin Chicken Noodle Soup

Try this when you need some warming comfort food. It's a big pot full but you'll want more than one bowl!

1 med yellow onion, diced

2 med carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 parsnip, diced

2 Tbs. italian parsley, minced

2 Tbs. vegetable oil, or butter

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:45 PM, 02.07.2012

Housing: What Lakewood Is All About

It was a little over a year ago, that I spent some time with Hilary Schickler, the director of LakewoodAlive's Housing outreach program. At that time, I watched her work with a couple of people that had come forward mostly as a last resort to save their homes. We visted some truly miserable pieces of property, spending time with people who were lost in the world of home ownership. This was followed by sitting in the back of Judge Pat Carroll's courtroom watching home owner after homeowner go in front of Judge Carroll, with excuses a plenty, nearly always followed by the same piece of advice from the Judge, "Sir, I do not want to fine you, it accomplishes nothing. Instead of me fining you $700 would it not make more sense to put that same $700 into your house?" While it sounded plain and simple when sitting in the back of the courtroom, you really have to put yourself in the shoes of those standing in front of the Judge to understand the confusion. In their world, everything is falling apart, possibly from layoffs, deaths in the family, divorces, simply not knowing what to do or who to talk to, and of course there is always just being embarrassed over letting it go and now needing help.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 1:17 PM, 11.01.2011

Herbs For Everyday Living

Immerse yourself in all things herbal on Saturday, October 8th, 2011 at the Western Reserve Herb Society’s 66th Annual Herb Fair. This one day event held at the Cleveland Botanical Garden (the “Garden”), 11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. features unique and exquisitely handcrafted culinary and decorative herbal products.  Parking at the Garden will be free with a $20 Herb Fair purchase.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 9:51 AM, 10.05.2011

Make The Switch To Electric

Is your old gas-powered lawnmower wheezing and sputtering in its final death throes? If so, consider switching to a quiet and clean electric mower. From basic push models with cords to self-propelled cordless models, there are mowers to fit any budget, from well-known manufacturers like Black and Decker, Toro, Craftsman, Homelite, Earthwise, Neuton, and Worx.

Why mess around with smelly, toxic, possibly carcinogenic gasoline when you can just plug in your mower?  Today's rechargeable 36-volt models have enough power to mow one-third of an acre--more than adequate for most homeowners here in Lakewood.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 8:19 AM, 06.15.2011

Lakewood’s 2nd City-Wide Street Sale – Sign Up Today!

Lakewood’s 2nd City-Wide Street Sale is fast approaching (it will be held from June 23rd to the 25th) and this is a fantastic opportunity to clear the clutter from our beautiful Lakewood homes by making the decision to participate. It could not be easier and there is no cost to sign up, but you must do so by June 1st. Call (216) 521-0655 to register and your address will be added to the list of participating garage sales which will be available on-line. Choose the days and times your sale is open and post red, white, and blue balloons--that’s it! Last year, over 700 people checked the website on the first day of the sale and printed the list to plot their shopping.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 2:53 PM, 06.01.2011

Annual Decisions

We are quickly approaching the last frost date and it is time to plan your containers and flower beds for another season of color and enjoyment. Have you been planting the same annuals for the last ten years? Did you lose a tree in one of our storms in the past year, and the new sunlight just won’t allow the old standbys? Are you trying to give your house that extra curb appeal to get it sold quickly? If so, a greater knowledge of annuals can allow for a summer of compliments.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 11:54 AM, 05.03.2011

April Checklist Part Two: Pruning

We use two terms when applied to reducing the size of a plant, trimming and pruning. Although they accomplish the same task, they have different tools and applications.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 8:28 AM, 04.20.2011

I Want A New Kitchen, But How Do I Begin?

Most families only remodel one or two kitchens in a lifetime, so plan correctly to make it an enjoyable experience. Finding the right products and services for your dream kitchen can be a bit overwhelming. Begin by listing your needs and wants, your likes and dislikes. To make good decisions, you must evaluate your choices.

The next step is to establish a project budget. According to Remodeling Magazine, national averages for a complete kitchen with mid-range selections run from $21,246 for a minor remodel to $56,611 for a major remodel. A general rule of thumb is that the total cost, including cabinets, countertops, wall splash, appliances, floor covering, lighting, electrical updates, and all services is approximately 25% of the value of your home after job completion.


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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 10:26 PM, 04.05.2011

Avoid Frustrating Exterior Paint Problems

Identify Reason For Failure

Many homeowners are faced with the common problem of paint failure on their older home. Help with painting issues is one of the services most requested of the Cleveland Restoration Society’s technical staff. Paint can fail for a variety of reasons and sometimes seems to fail without any reason at all! The first step in addressing a paint problem is to pinpoint the underlying reason for the failure. Here are some types of failures, their typical causes, and solutions:

Cracking & flaking - Older, brittle paint with many layers. Solution: Removal of the failing paint down to bare wood or a sound surface.

Alligatoring - Age; It is a sign of old thick paint that has lost its flexibility. Solution: Same as above.

Blistering or Wrinkling - Painting in inadequate conditions such as intense sun or moisture. Solution: Remove the failing  paint & avoid inadequate conditions.

Peeling - Excessive moisture or applying paint to wood that has not been primed. Solution: Same as above

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 2:15 PM, 03.22.2011

The Well-Organized Life: Imagine… Being Organized And Clutter Free In Our Beautiful Lakewood Homes

And you did it! With that thought in mind before we can have a well-organized life, we need to back up this equation to find out how we get so cluttered. Because some of our quaint, charming homes can be tight on closet space, we need a different strategy. Let’s take a step back and not think of where to put new items, but work hard on clearing out old, broken, and outdated things that we no longer use or need. Once you start this new philosophy, you’ll reap the benefits immediately. Guaranteed.

Today there is a substantial amount of information on how to de-clutter. It’s the new buzz word. We have become a society who likes to buy, buy, buy. Did you catch the Sunday newspaper ads? What about all the commercials that are having the best sale ever? We can never have enough stuff. Besides it’s fun to buy and get a really great deal. But what happens when you keep bringing in new things but somehow nothing is going out? Instead of having one of something, we have multiples. The word - P U R G E - should become your BFF as well as your TRASH DAY. I encourage you to write them both down on a piece of paper and hang them around your house in several locations. This is the start of changing your behavior slowly, but surely.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 6:48 PM, 02.22.2011

Be Scent-sational with Fragrances

Fragrances make a scent-sational wardrobe accessory. Fragrances can be elegant, casual or nurturing, whether it’s your outfit or your mood you are accessorizing. 

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 8:54 AM, 11.16.2010

How To Hire A Contractor

Economic conditions have caused many homeowners to tackle maintenance and repair jobs on their own when they might once have called in a professional. But, however strong your home improvement skills, there are still times you might need a quality contractor to perform work that is beyond your expertise. How do you go about hiring the right contractor for the job? Here are some simple tips that will help you find the right professional—or even a capable semi-pro!

Ask a Friend

Hiring a relative, friend or neighbor might prove to be a win-win situation: You will receive the satisfaction of providing someone with temporary work, and they might feel happy to help. Moreover, this will likely prove less expensive than hiring a contractor for the job.

Be forewarned, however, that while this might sound like a fantastic idea, hiring a friend could cost you much more than you expect, both in time and money. Your personal connection might just put you at the bottom of the to-do list—you’d never fire a friend, right? For the same reason, the job might take much longer and cost more than expected. Also consider that if things go sour with a hired contractor, you never have to see him again. A friend or family member’s shoddy work—and the aftermath—could make for awkward get-togethers and unpleasant holidays. The question you have to ask yourself is: “If this does not go well, how might it affect our relationship?”

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Volume 6, Issue 19, Posted 8:25 AM, 09.22.2010

Debunking A Common Myth In Estate Planning

If someone had given you $100,000.00 on your 18th birthday, no strings attached, what would you have done with the money? Would you have spent part of it on your college education, then saved the remaining money for a down payment on a house? More likely you would have thought “I’m rich!” Then you would have spent the money on essentials like a new fully loaded car, a vacation, new clothes, electronics, lifetime backstage passes to Dave Matthews concerts, etc., before realizing that $100,000.00 doesn’t get you quite as much as you thought.

In my continuing series on estate planning, I want to address one of the greatest misconceptions that people have: trusts are only for the very wealthy. Not only can a properly executed and funded trust make the administration of your estate easier when you pass away, but it can ensure that your children are provided for until they are truly adults.


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Volume 6, Issue 18, Posted 2:15 AM, 09.08.2010