Archive for the ‘Medina activities’ Category


Just Kids Stuff sale is Saturday

Posted by Jennifer

As the weather warmed this week, I started hunting for my sons’ uniform shorts that I stored last fall. That’s when I made two mental notes:

* I must do a better job of marking the containers (i.e., too often, grocery sacks) in which I store the kids’ out-of-season and save-for-the-next-one clothing so I can more readily find what I need.

* It’s time to invest in some new (or, at least, new to us) warm-weather gear.

Good timing, actually, because this Saturday is the twice-annual Just Kids Stuff sale at the Medina Community Recreation Center.

The sale, which runs 9 a.m. to noon inside the field house, features toys, clothing, shoes, athletic equipment, baby gear and much more for children of all ages (although heavy on the little ones).

Admission to the sale is $5 for the first hour and $1 thereafter.

Shoppers must enter through the back entrance (park in lots D, E & F) — if you haven’t been there before, watch for signs; they’re usually good about posting them.

Everyone selling has their own spaces and may set their own prices, so it’s good to look around. Often you’ll find a few people selling the same items (I mean, haven’t we all owned a Cozy Coupe?) and prices can be all over the map. But, like any garage or rummage sale, those who snooze lose!

My high-school junior will be taking the ACT inside the high school that morning, so you’ll probably find me over on the other side of the complex, at the field house, at the same time — but after 10, when the admission price drops.

Even with the popularity of those online Facebook groups, I think this event will be a draw for shoppers and a welcome opportunity for sellers to clean out some closets. It’s great to have everything under one roof. And, even better: The event benefits the Medina Early Childhood PTA.


Ice Festival fun extended

Posted by Jennifer

Mother Nature can be so fickle.

Some years, the weather has been so warm — or so rainy — that the artfully designed ice sculptures that adorn the square over Presidents Day weekend barely make it through Sunday.

Other years — like this one — it’s so darned cold out that they are easily viewed even after the weekend.

This year was particularly brutal, of course, with temperatures dipping well below zero, combined with blizzard-like conditions Saturday that prompted the Medina County Sheriff to declare a level two emergency — meaning only those who need to be on the roads should go out, and then with “extreme caution.”

It didn’t exactly sound like an invitation to admire the unique ice sculptures, browse shops along the square or catch a bite to eat in one of our cozy restaurants.

Thankfully, Main Street Medina announced this morning that the sculptures will be on view until Thursday. Then they will come down — not because it will be too warm (unfortunately!) but because Elegant Ice Creations needs the sculpture bases for another event.

With school and some offices being closed for today’s Presidents Day holiday, it’s a great day to bundle up and head to the historic district. Be sure to stop in at Something’s Popping, at 47 Public Square, on the south side of the square, for a sample of warm popcorn. (You be the judge: is Medina Mix, with the yellow cheddar mixed with caramel corn, better than the Medina Mash, with the white cheddar and caramel corn? I couldn’t decide…)

And while you’re there, take a “selfie” with an “I Love Main Street Medina” sign and submit it to the Main Street Medina Facebook page, with the tag #MedinaIceFest, by noon tomorrow (Feb. 17). A winner will be selected at random to receive a gift basket courtesy of the local businesses. The sign can be downloaded here and printed. The sign must be visible for the picture to be eligible.


Recycling center change is a loss for Medina

Posted by Jennifer

When we moved to Medina County nearly 15 years ago, we were so proud of our progressive community for its novel approach to recycling.

No more bins for us! No more scrutinizing the bottoms of plastic containers for those tiny 1s and 2s inside the little triangles. It was great.

Eventually we started separating our newspaper for bins parked in the church parking lot, since it was a little fundraiser for the church, and I left glass jars and bottles in the garage for drop-off at the nearby collection site, but other than that, life was bliss. At least from a refuse standpoint.

We led more than one Scout troop through the recycling center to see how inventive the sorting systems were. We bragged about how the workers could locate a birthday card and check from Grandma that had been errantly tossed, if you think to call the center as soon as possible after your garbage is plucked from the curb, because workers hand-sorted most of the items. We felt pride when groups from all over the world came to tour our cutting-edge facility.

And now, it’s all come to a halt. If you’ve followed the news at all, you no doubt have seen that the contract was up with Envision Waste Services, the company that ran the facility for the last 22 years. The county said there was public pressure to lower “tipping fees” for the trash haulers from $61 a ton to $57 a ton — a small savings that presumably should be passed on to the voters? — so they did not accept either of two bids to continue the facility’s operations as it had been working.

Supposedly there is a plan to place recycling bins in 37 locations around the county. Then the county will have to solicit bids to contract with a company to collect from those bins. But in the meantime, all of our refuse put on the curb on trash day will go to the landfill.

That’s unless we elect to separate our recyclable materials from the trash and bring them to the recycling center at 8700 Lake Road in Westfield Township, where they can be dumped collectively into bins parked in front of the building.

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a tree-hugger, but I want to do my part to take care of the environment, within reason. So I have started trying to separate our trash, which is a little easier to do in the winter when it’s not going to get smelly in the garage and the kids aren’t trying to get their bikes and baseball bats out.

At first I thought we needed to separate by type. I had lined up paper grocery bags for plastics, metal, paper and glass. Before long, the plastics were overflowing and I moved to a big black garbage bag.

Last Friday, after a couple of weeks of this, I took the boys and we ventured down to the recycling center to clear out our collection. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the items could have been saved in one large bag or bin, because at the center they all go into the same big dumpster.

I also was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot more could be recycled than I thought — including steel cans (not just aluminum) and probably most plastics (#1-#7). Paper did not have to be kept “clean” and separate from the rest.

So, dumping our recyclables wasn’t hard. The drive down there took about 15 minutes from my home on the south side of Medina, so that wasn’t great and it was definitely out of the way for us, so doing this on a regular basis would require some planning.

The hardest part for us, frankly, is overcoming so many years of learned behavior where everything went in the garbage can. Our kitchen isn’t designed to hold two bins, one for recyclables and one for trash, so we’re left to bring everything to the bag in the garage. Not hard, just inconvenient and for me, out of sight is often out of mind.

Think about it: a whole generation of kids have been born and raised to NOT sort their recyclables from their trash. They have graduated high school and even college under this old system. And now we have to undo all of that?

I always had this little nagging fear that this would be a problem if we ever moved from Medina County, because my kids wouldn’t know how to do this because they’ve never had to. But since I didn’t have any plans to move, I set that aside and patted myself on the shoulder for living in such a progressive community.

The county says that this system is temporary, and I would think that the 37 collection sites will mean at least one or two will be conveniently situated for us. But if we don’t go back to using the cutting-edge facility that separates our recyclables for us, each of us will need to devise a system of our own to keep all the soda and laundry detergent bottles from taking over the landfill.

I’m committed to doing that, if that’s what it takes, but I’ll bet a majority is not. It’s just too easy to keep tossing stuff in the can.

Personally, I would be glad to pay a few dollars more every month in the form of a tipping fee or other tax to not have to invest in bins and new systems. And I do not say this lightly: I know every penny counts.

Paying a little extra means I don’t have to invest in new bins for my garage. It will make for a peaceful household, since I wouldn’t have to constantly chide my husband and children for throwing the junk mail and water bottles in the kitchen garbage can.

It also means I can sleep better at night, knowing I’ve done my small part to preserve the Earth for future generations.

It’s a price I’m willing to pay. What about you?


Putt-ing through the Ages is old-fashioned fun

Posted by Jennifer

Well, moms, we’ve just about made it to the end of the Christmas break. On Monday, the kiddos will be back in school.

Did we all survive?

It’s a bittersweet time, because I rather enjoy the holiday bubble, when practices and other activities are suspended in favor of family events and a general lull in an otherwise hectic pace.

But, there’s a calm in the return to routine, too. No more teens sleeping in past 1 p.m. and meals ongoing throughout the day. No more little boys staying up waaaayyy too late just because they have nowhere special to be the next day.

My biggest observation this break might be that it’s not the act of doing these things that is so bad, but the mismatched expectations that lead to conflict. (I know, big deal — this is no big psychological breakthrough for you, but bear with me.) Sure, it’s great if you’re the one sleeping in till 1, but if Mom expects you to get up and watch your brothers, there is conflict.

Having access to food throughout the day is fine, but if the kitchen is constantly littered with dirty dishes, I feel unsettled and annoyed that there isn’t some point at which all is clean and put away.

Children expect that they should get everything they want, and, when you don’t comply, there is discord.

During school, some of those expectations align — only to yield to new ones, of course, about homework and studying and such. But since it’s a longer period than a two-week break, it’s easier to establish an order and pattern.

Ah, but I digress.

While your children are still around this afternoon — and weekends through March 1 — enjoy some creative and educational time together playing miniature golf indoors at Medina County Park District’s “Putt-ing Through the Ages.”

The indoor miniature golf adventure, sponsored by Lodi Lumber and Friends of Medina County Parks, takes travelers through Ohio’s geologic history, through swamp forests, past giant amphibians, dinosaurs and woolly mammoths, and across a glacier. Facts about each area are printed nearby for those who want to know more. The younger ones just think it’s a hoot to hit the ball through the rocks and prehistoric fish.

We played a round a year or two ago and discovered it was a lot of fun. The props were imaginative and impressively made. I’m glad to see they brought it back.

It’s all inside the beautiful Buffalo Creek Retreat, so you can ignore the current Ice Age while getting out of the house with the kids without feeling like a woolly mammoth yourself.

Best part of all? It’s all free and open to all ages.

Hours: Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday, Jan. 2-March 1, 12 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets necessary.

Location: Buffalo Creek Retreat, 8708 Hubbard Valley Road, Seville.

Directions: From Medina, take Route 3 south, turning left on Blake Road. Take the first right onto Hubbard Valley Road. The park is nearly 1 mile down on the right.


Welcome to south Medina, Discount Drug Mart!

Posted by Jennifer

All summer we watched with eager anticipation as Discount Drug Mart built its new location at 5923 Wooster Pike (the intersection of Lexington Ridge Road and Route 3), across from the McDonald’s.

That’s because there hasn’t been a lot of retail on the south end of Medina, where we live. Yes, the good old Hawkins grocery isn’t far — and certainly a lot closer than Giant Eagle or either of the Buehler’s locations — but it was just far enough and, let’s face it, lacks a certain flair. While I don’t want to pay extra for “flair,” bright lights and a fresh ambiance do make for a more pleasant shopping experience.

As the DDM building was starting to look fairly complete, we were even happier when a traffic light was added. No more taking your life into your hands to dart across Route 3!

The store opened quietly at the end of October, and we’ve been there almost daily for one thing or another. Today it celebrates its grand opening complete with free hot dogs and Johnsonville brats, chips, soda, giveaway bags, raffles and a formal ribbon cutting.

My husband was all over this. He made plans for us to have lunch at the store, after our son’s basketball scrimmage. And yes, I may have rolled my eyes once or twice.

But I’ve learned that, more often than not, he’s — oh, how it pains me to write this — right.

Today was no exception.

The DDM parking lot already was fairly full when we arrived about 11:30 a.m. We scouted the grill and food stand but it seemed that they were not serving yet, so we wandered inside and found two areas with free raffles for such things as $2,500 in gasoline, game tickets and a basket with a few kid-oriented DVDs. We checked the sale prices on a few things — a 10-pound bag of potatoes is on sale for $2, and off-brand, square tissue boxes are 59 cents — then wandered back outside once we saw the food was being served.

We had our choice of hot dogs or Johnsonville brats, DDM-brand potato chips, cookies from Eat ‘n Park and cups of Pepsi products. They even offered some kind of onion relish in addition to the ketchup and mustard…boy, was that good.

It was cold, so we ate in the car, and then noticed people coming out from the store with goodie bags. We ventured back in for a bag and were pleasantly surprised at how much was inside.

It would be hard to list everything, but here are a few highlights:
* 2 cans of Freshlike corn
* 6 Gain “flings” laundry tabs
* 2 full-size Hershey chocolate bars
* 4 rolls of Ace-like bandages from Motrin
* 3 sample tubes of Aquafresh toothpaste
* A Tide toy car
* many more samples from Axe, Pert, Clean & Clear, Purell and more

There also were handfuls of coupons, some of them for free products:

* Two free video rentals
* Free package of Johnsonville breakfast sausage
* Free box of Monkey Bars (granola bars)
* Two free packages of Pictsweet frozen vegetables (each good for up to $4)

The bags were given out one per household. We got home and sorted out some for our college daughter’s care package and some for my in-laws. My boys are excited about the Axe samples, and my teenage daughter eagerly laid claim to a box of Neutrogena moisturizer.

About 10 little packs of diaper rash cream will be donated to Birthcare, along with some newborn clothing we bought on clearance after Christmas last year.

The bags were extremely generous and lots of fun to dig through, although I think we would have been just as excited with a third as much stuff. I wonder if the store management might have been able to spread the good will even farther with more bags that weren’t stuffed quite as much.

Right now, perhaps my favorite acquisition from today’s adventure (aside from my yummy sandwich — need to find out what that relish was!), was the Tide car. My little guys have been happily playing with their Matchbox-style cars ever since we got home. Thanks, Discount Drug Mart!

It’s nice to have choices and here in Medina we are fortunate to have many when it comes to shopping. We’ll still visit Hawkins — we love the bakery, and often there are sales on items we buy — and the other groceries, but we’re happy to have something so close and convenient.

Whether it truly does “have everything you need,” only time will tell, but in the meantime, welcome to the ‘hood, Discount Drug Mart!


Free parenting program offers advice on raising young children

Posted by Jennifer

I distinctly remember bringing our oldest daughter home from what was then Meridia Euclid Hospital. We were just sure that every car that dared to cross our path wasn’t going to stop in time and was carelessly unaware of the precious cargo we had on board.

After we carried her car seat into the kitchen and set it on the floor (lest it topple over), we looked at each other and thought: “Now what?”

Despite being the second-oldest of five children, having babysat my share of youngsters and completing a Lamaze course, a sense of alarm threatened to take root in my heart. I couldn’t believe that “they” actually let us take this fragile newborn baby home with us. What did we really know about taking care of a baby??

We eventually figured it out well enough, I suppose, but every day there are new circumstances that threaten our tenuous hold as parents who are supposed to always make the right decisions. And every day I make my share of mistakes.

That’s why Catholic Charities is offering to help. The agency, which benefits people of all faiths (or none), is hosting its free Incredible Years Parenting Program at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 606 E. Washington St., in Medina. The program offers helpful parenting information for parents and families of young children, including such topics as play, using effective praise and rewards, limit setting that works, handling misbehavior and problem solving. A workbook is provided free of charge.

The group will have three Friday morning sessions: Oct. 10, Oct. 24 and Nov. 14, 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. in the Loyola Room of the church basement. Free childcare will be available nearby in the latchkey area, and snacks will be provided for parents and children.

For more information, call Michelle Kipfstuhl, LSW at Catholic Charities Services, 330-723-9615, ext. 20. Funding for this Incredible Years Parenting Group has been provided by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund.

I wish a program like had been available when my children were this young. Can they develop a series for these “incredible” teenage years?


Medina ‘Just Kid’s Stuff’ sale is Saturday

Posted by Jennifer

If you’re looking to stock up on some new-used items for your children, Saturday’s “Just Kid’s Stuff” sale at the Medina Community Recreation Center is the place you will want to be.

The twice-yearly sale, sponsored by the Medina Early Childhood PTA, runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Shoppers enter through the back entrance to the field house (signs will be posted, but park in lots D, E & F).

The sale features individual vendors (other families) selling their stuff — sports equipment, clothes, toys, maternity items, baby stuff, and more — at tables set up in the field house. Admission to the sale is $5 for the first hour and $1 beginning at 10 a.m.

The rec center is at 855 Weymouth Road, connected to Medina High School.


It’s Fair Week!

Posted by Jennifer

Ah, there’s nothing like the sights and sounds and smell of the fair!

Sorry, but in my opinion, that’s a good thing.

I know, it’s probably very un-Medina of me to admit this, but I’m really not a fan of the fair. To me, it’s loud and dirty and smelly and expensive and greasy.

I’m a city girl. And here in the city of Medina, 98 percent of the time I get along just fine driving past the “cute” cows and horses and bucolic pastures and musing about the what appears to be the relative simplicity of country life.

Yeah, right. I know country life has its challenges. My cousins who grew up on and around farms and are active with 4H work long and hard to take care of their animals and land. I know it’s just a different kind of life, not necessarily simpler and definitely not easier.

But once a year at fair time, the overwhelming percentage of Medina County that’s still genuinely “country” bursts through the gentrified veneer and demands its day in the sun. Go to the fairgrounds, and you’ll be surrounded by plaid shirts and cowboy boots, demolition derbies and cow showings, pigs penned and chickens cooped. And all those people who live in their tidy neighborhoods built on former farmland traipse around the fairgrounds to ooh and ahh at the animals, and binge on some greasy fair food while they talk about how much spinning they’ll have to do to work it off.

It’s not that I dislike the farming side of our county. Quite the opposite. I’m grateful for our farmers for coaxing our food from the land and sustaining the Earth from which it grows. I have nothing but admiration for the hours they spend working the ground, studying the science of fertilizer and weed control, all without a vacation because plants and animals don’t take a week off of needing their care.

What I dislike is the carnival atmosphere that develops around the fairgrounds. The guys and gals (and oh yeah, they’re gals, not girls) who call out for your attention from their game booth. The layers of crud — grease, mostly, but also mud and animal crud — that lingers in the air and seems to cake on every surface. The plethora of bad food we shouldn’t eat at prices we can’t afford, so walking down the midway becomes an exercise in discipline. No, we aren’t buying that. No, you can’t have that. No, no, no.

That’s why I was glad this week when my husband amiably took a day off of work so that he could take our little boys to the fair while I worked. It was a fair trade (no pun intended). It was Kids Day — which always makes me smirk since the fair hosts the honors youth band and honors youth chorus the very next day, when it’s full-freight to ride the rides and for siblings to enter the fair. (I know, they’ve got to raise money somehow…)

But I digress. On Kids Day, children 11 and under get in free (saving $2) until 5 p.m. and can buy a wristband for $10 so they can ride (most things) all day. So, off they went for the afternoon, and they had a ball. They left just before the rain started, came home for dinner, and then we all went back that evening — yes, me too. Of course, the children weren’t free then, so we paid another $14 (Craig and Teagan’s hand stamps were still valid from earlier in the day) to go back and they could ride some more. Cha-ching.

By then, the weather had cooled considerably, and it turned out the rain wasn’t done. The boys rode one ride, then we waited out the heavier rain looking at the fair entries — jellies, cakes, photographs, sewing projects, Lego creations, toothpick holder collections (they have a category for everything!), and more. The boys loved it. Haha!

From there, we darted over to see the pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits — all of which was much more their speed. No, we aren’t getting a rabbit. Yes, they’re very cute. I know you have $25 at home. No, we’re not getting a rabbit.

Once the rain stopped, we ventured back to the rides, and although it was cold and the seats were wet, the boys were eager to try a few more. My 9-year-old gave up his sweatshirt to his 6-year-old brother in an act of chivalry that made this mom proud — and shiver. Just like the teenage girls running around in their Daisy Dukes. (Put some clothes on! Boy, am I old…)

About 10 p.m. we convinced the boys that it was time to head home. They conned us into letting them use their money to buy a caramel apple for one and Dipping Dots for the other as we headed for the gates. I was glad to be escaping to a warm, dry car, and soon to my warmer, drier bed.

I appreciate that there is a large segment of this county who love the fair, and I’m happy for them that we seem to have a good one, as far as they’re concerned.

It’s just not for me. To be fair, it doesn’t have to be.


Handel’s to offer $1 ice cream cones

Posted by Jennifer

Be prepared for a traffic jam south of town this weekend: Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, on South Court Street in Medina, will sell single scoops of its fabulous ice cream for $1 each on Saturday, June 12.

There’s no limit to the number of cones you can buy, nor any coupon required. Last year, we managed to stop by twice — heck, it’s open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., so that means lunch AND dinner :) — because there are far too many flavors to sample with just one cone.

Based in Youngstown, Handel’s and featuring more than 100 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurts, this ice cream is made with the best ingredients available. I like ice cream with lots of “stuff” in it — lots of chocolate chunks, creamy caramel, nuts, marshmallows, whatever — and this place doesn’t skimp with flavors like Graham Central Station, Funky Monkey and Blueberry Cheesecake Chunk. Just heavenly. (Can you tell I’m hungry?)

So grab your sweetie, treat the kids or be the hero for the whole baseball team — you aren’t going to beat $1 a scoop for some of the best ice cream around.


Free ice cream on the Medina Square today

Posted by Jennifer

The Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) is hosting Sundaes on Thursday in the Medina Square.

The free ice cream social that runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday will feature chocolate, caramel and strawberry toppings to add to vanilla ice cream, which is provided by Smith’s Dairy.

There will be other family-friendly attractions, including Patches the Fire Dog, the Windfall Industries Balloon Sculpture Team, the Cranksters Classic Car Club and the Medina Square Dancing Club, along with carnival games, face painting, crafts, a scavenger hunt, contests and prizes.

The event is open to all — not just those with disabilities. The idea is to provide opportunities for people of all abilities to enjoy time together as one community. What’s more universally appealing than ice cream?