Joy of Medina County Magazine December 2023

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THE SEARCH FOR WHY A business’s backstory can shape its future. PG. 7 by Rachel Shepard

BEAT THE WINTER BLAHS Homemade strawberry jam can inspire sunny smiles! PG. 10 by Chris Pickens

FEASTING WITHOUT GAINING The best stories in Medina County!

Tips to use throughout the year’s banquets. PG. 13 by Amanda Liptak

The Beat Goes On

Once a month, a local church’s stage comes alive with performances from area musicians while a community of music lovers and friends celebrate another evening of togetherness. PG. 4 A locally owned, independent publication dedicated to higher standards of journalism


Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023






Blake House Publishing, LLC


by Amy Barnes

Amy Barnes

For our more squeamish readers, stop here. You do not want to read another word of this editorial. It is going to go downhill fast. We will wait while they turn the page and move on. Now then. It still startles me, every time I see it, that men still spit on the sidewalk. I say men because in all of my life I have yet to ever see a woman do it. If you have, feel free to write a letter to the editor for our Out of the Box letter section. Men obviously think it is no big deal. I am telling them right now, yes, it is. It is a HUGE deal and you are being absolutely disgusting. Have you ever been walking in public and stepped on, and subsequently slid on, that so very nasty slimy phlegm wad that some not-so-gentle man left? I have. I almost threw up. If it has not happened to you, take my word for it, it is as disgusting an experience as you can imagine. I had never actually been with anyone who actually did this before. I really believed I never would. Imagine my shock and consternation then, as I came out of a restaurant with my friend and he hauled off, turned his head, and hacked a slime wad onto the sidewalk. At least he turned his head away

from me? Unfortunately, there were people walking fairly close behind us, far enough behind to not get hit, close enough to see where it came from. EWWWWWWW! I could not hold back an exclamation of asking him to not DO that! He shrugged, “Well I had to get rid of it some way.” EXCUSE ME? Are you kidding? Is THIS the excuse that is used by these hackers? (Pardon me, I have to pause for a minute to regain my composure because there is a question that is screaming in my head.) WHAT DO YOU THINK WOMEN DO? This is one reason why we have tissues in our purses or pockets. But if push comes to shove, you do not see us hacking out for others to have to step around. And neither should men. Not only is this a disgusting habit of laziness and inconsideration (and yes, parking lots are included in this), it exposes others to whatever viruses or illnesses these fine gentlemen may be carrying. Nooo, thank you. Back in the 1800s, there were laws passed against spitting on the sidewalk, and that was when horses were commonly dumping manure in the streets. I sometimes wonder if we are making any progress as a species.

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LAYOUT DESIGN Tyler Hatfield

IT SUPPORT Tyler Hatfield


FlashBang Photography


CONTRIBUTORS Bob Arnold Katrina Barnes D.J. Barnett Jordin Bragg Paris Deeter Tyler Hatfield Bryan Lefelhoc Mary Olson Chris Pickens Michelle Riley Rachel Shepard Robert Soroky


Rico Houdini

ADVERTISING SALES Jordin Bragg Advertising Executive 330-822-3818



WEBSITE Learn more about the staff at Behind The Scenes Open positions are listed on the website at Open Positions JOY of MEDINA COUNTY MAGAZINE is published monthly by Blake House Publishing, LLC, 1114 N. Court, #144, Medina, Ohio 44256. It is distributed as an e-edition and in a print edition. Both editions can be found at Copyright 2023 by Blake House Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or pictorial content without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Any unsolicited materials, manuscripts, artwork, cartoons, or photos will not be returned.

s t n e t n Co

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023




by Michelle Riley It is off-season deal time for adding those extra landscape items. BITE ME!

ONION SOUP 12 FRENCH by Jordin Bragg

Our cook breaks it down into simple steps to success.



CYCLING SHOE FEATURES 12 IMPORTANT by Robert Soroky Several factors should be considered when choosing footwear. OF MIND AND BODY


Tips that can make any gathering a win.

4 NOTES 4 SWEET by Amy Barnes

If you are looking for an alcohol-free oasis of friendship, musical performances and feeling welcome, there is a monthly toe-tapping event you might enjoy. THE READING NOOK

AND SWEET 6 SHORT by D. J. Barnett

An annual Christmas gift for the author’s wife



YOUR BUSINESS WHY 7 FIND by Rachel Shepard

Knowing your business “why” can ease branding efforts and increase business longevity. Use the included questions to lead the way. THE NETWORKER

YOUR FOCUS 8 CHANGING CHANGES THE EXPERIENCE by Bob Arnold Social anxiety does not have to win.

CONVENTION 9 INVENTION Patents recently granted to Medina County residents.




by Chris Pickens A treat to help beat the winter blues. CRITTER CRAWL!


Our columnist is focused on lace instead of lizards! On the front and back covers:


WITH JOY 14 MUNCHING Which Brunswick restaurants earned a perfect score? A different area of Medina County each month!

OF THE BOX 15 OUT Guidelines on submitting letters to the editor for publication.




Story about mothers and the decisions they must make are examined in multi-layered story. GETTING REEL


by Jordin Bragg This wild West story is violent but has a compelling story behind it. JOYFUL WORD SEARCH

OF 2023 19 FADS Agree or disagree, it is an eclectic mix. MIRTH AND JOY

by Jerry King Our monthly cartoon by a former Disney cartoonist

SNAP! 20 OH, by Amy Barnes

Turkey dust up, sunset.

DO IT! 21 LET’S Give our online event calendar link a try! JOYFUL LETTER DETECTIVES


Read the clue, collect the magnifying glass letters, and solve the puzzle!

23 CELEBRATE! A clickable directory of vetted businesses who bring you Joy!

photos by Amy Barnes Cleveland’s Toy Soldier was brought to Medina as a special holiday gift from Main Street Medina.


Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

Carvil Cool holding court as the unofficial greeter.


Bob Davis, left, and Harold Arndt

Sweet Notes story and photos by Amy Barnes

re you looking for a place to go where there is friendship and camaraderie openly offered? Where they will be happy to see you, even though they have never seen you before? Where kids are welcome and there is no alcohol served, only simple meals, pie and music to enjoy, sing along with or even dance to? A place where you can talk one-to-one with the musicians of the band about going on stage? Jump in and jam with a band in one of the backrooms and you could end up on the stage yourself! Back in Joy of Medina County Magazine’s June 2019 issue such a place was featured, and despite the challenges of the COVID shutdown and the continuing challenge to publicize the event with no budget, it has continued, although it is no longer once a week and the admission price has increased. Now once a month, in an oasis of a world that some say has gone crazy, musicians and others gather in Lafayette United Methodist Church to share an evening of good-natured ribbing and musical performances worthy of professional stages. Admission is now $5 per person, an increase from $3 per person, but it keeps the lights on and the doors open for the newcomers, loyal fans and the musicians who are looking to get time to perform.

Serving up the chow are, from left, Roger Broggini, Linda Bertram and Ellyn Cool.

Dinner offerings still include hot dogs, slaw dogs, sloppy joes, and more with occasional changes for special meals. There is still a dessert table overflowing with donated desserts and a basket for donations to help cover the expenses of the evening. There are still three small paper bags that sit on the stage steps for the raffle. Ray Cool, one of the unofficial greeters for the event and one of its most loyal supporters, died on October 27, 2023 at the age of 85. His brother, Carvil Cool, despite recent health challenges, has continued to attend and robustly greet attendees. Although Tammy and John Papik have stepped back from the event they helped found, Joyce Davis still sits at the door collecting donations and her husband, Bob, still oversees the flow of the bands and the raffle prize drawings. The next evening event will be January 12, 2024, dinner is served 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m. To check for cancellation due to weather or further information, go to To see the original story about the event and the how one of the founders was a nationally known bluegrass performer, look for the June 2019 issue of Joy of Medina County Magazine in Medina Public Library’s Historic Archives, or find it online at

Joyce Davis running the admissions table.

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023



Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023


I have written a poem for my wife, April, for Christmas since our first one together. If I got her nothing else, she would be most disappointed if I didn’t write something. She has framed copies all over the house and her office. This is this year’s poem.

Short and Sweet by D.J. Barnett

I’ve told you many times before, Just how I love you so. But I will state it once again, To make sure that you know. I have spent a long time searching, To find someone like you. And I would search a lifetime more, To show my love is true. I know you kissed a lot of frogs, In hopes to find your prince. On the day that you first kissed me, You haven’t looked back since. I know you’ve heard it all before, I’ll keep it short and sweet. I never want to lose you, You make my life complete. D.J. Barnett lives in Hinckley with his wife, April; his son, Robert; and daughter, Skylar. He is 1975 graduate of Highland High School and recently retired from Century Cycle’s Medina location after being there for 20 years. He enjoys cycling and other outdoor activities.

photo by Ilo


Find Your Business Why by Rachel Shepard

Simon Sinek is known for his viral TED talk “Finding Your WHY.” He is famous for saying, “People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.” Your “why” is your sense of purpose in both business and your personal life. It is the underlying motivation and reasons behind your actions and decisions. Business owners understand the “what” and “how” of their business, but do they also know their “why?” A great business purpose will help the business move forward, not only in the good times, but also in the bad times. Knowing your business “why” also can help you define your brand. Money should never be the sole reason for the existence of a business. Money and profitability are the byproducts of delivering value to the marketplace. Start-up businesses rarely make money from the onset. It takes a strong business purpose and long-term strategic plan to thrive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20 percent of new businesses close within the first year and only 35 percent of new businesses make it to their 10th anniversary. My “why” is to increase the success rate among small businesses. I want to educate small business owners and help them reach their financial goals. My “why” also is centered around my family. While I may work six days a week, I set my schedule with my family in mind. Here are some questions to help you find your “why”: • What inspired you to start your business? • What makes your offerings unique? • What value are you adding to the marketplace? • Are you solving a problem? • Are you supporting a special cause? • Are you living out your values within your work? Your purpose should incorporate your goals. Remember to dream big! Share your purpose with your team and your customers. This creates trust. I often listen to a podcast by Ed Mylett. Mylett is a father, entrepreneur and a self-made millionaire with an estimated net worth of $400 million. He says a business should be treated as a precious child is. It should be meaningful to us, and we should want it to achieve its full potential. Our businesses can reach full potential when we remember our “why.” Rachel Shepard is the founder of LonaRock, LLC, and a Medina County resident. She specializes in helping businesses understand financials and access capital. Learn more about Shepard at Shepard can be reached by email at

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023



Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023


Changing Your Focus Changes the Experience by Bob Arnold

What happens when someone is socially anxious? Usually, fear. When attending a party, someone who is socially anxious may feel like their heart is beating out of their chest, causing them to wonder what is going on? They may feel like other attendees are judging them. “Why are they looking at me that way?” The socially anxious will feel that others are seeing only negative characteristics about them. This interferes with their social success. What options do they have? One, they can take on the introvert posture of staring at the ground and standing hunched by a wall. This seems OK, but it is not going to get them very far. Internally, their mind is going a mile a minute with thoughts such as: “I hate being so awkward;” “I must look stupid and foolish;” “Why am I sweating?” It is what I call “in the mirror” networking. They become the focus, not others. The other option is to pay attention to others. Fact: Others are not thinking of you like you think they are. If you have ever been to the Grand Canyon, you probably were emotionally wrapped up in its immenseness as you approached its edge. When you focused on the details more than that edge, you saw people or animals experiencing the canyon. An event or party is like that. Think about this for a minute: There is no other you! You are a scarce commodity. You are exciting in your own right. You are worth getting to know! I know that sounds like I am condoning the mirror, but this is true of each of us. That person you see down on the cliffs below the canyon edge is unique also. They are experiencing something you cannot or will not. But their experience is worth discussing and engaging in with them. Have you ever thought of asking someone about their experience with something, such as the Grand Canyon? It could lead to quite a conversation and connection if you did. Pay attention to the room, avoid the wall, and pay attention to where you may be able to insert yourself into a conversation and meet someone new. Think about the Canyon and go conquer. You will find all the social anxiety melting away. Bob Arnold is the founder of ONward Networking and the international best-selling author of “The Uncanny Power of the Networking Pencil,” which can be purchased at Learn more about Arnold at Contact Arnold at

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

Invention Convention

Patents recently granted to Medina County residents. Only county residents are included, although there may be additional people listed as patent grantees. Patent for: Apparatus for Removing Patent for: Mechanical Spark and Installing Battery for an Electrically Containment for Disconnector Driven Vehicle and Related Method Number: 11,831,142 Number: 11,813,956 To: Sidharth Suresh Iyer To: Louis Decuzzi City of Residence: Wadsworth Patent for: Shoulder for a Tire City of Residence: Brunswick To: Xingniu Huo Number: D1,004,533 City of Residence: Medina To: Shaun Patrick Fox Patent for: Nose Wheel Steering City of Residence: Medina System Patent for: Landing Gear Wheel Number: 11,814,159 Retention Device Patent for: Wheelchair Suspension To: James Acks Number: 11,834,155 Number: 11,819,464 City of Residence: Medina To: James Acks To: Robert Bekoscke City of Residence: Medina City of Residence: Medina Patent for: Control Scheme for Negative Temperature Coefficient of Patent for: Processes for the Removal Patent for: Electrowetting Coalescence Resistivity Heaters of Rubber from Non-Hevea Plants Device With Porous Layers Number: 11,814,182 Number: 11,834, 526 Number: 11,819,782 To: Reid Philip Beery To: William M. Cole To: George Chase City of Residence: Rittman City of Residence: Wadsworth City of Residence: Wadsworth Patent for: Solar Panel Clamp Patent for: Low Hysteresis Sealant Patent for: Modular Weir for Fluid Number: 11,815,292 Composition for Self-Sealing Tire Separation Apparatus and System To: Darius J. Kaunas Number: 11,845,852 Number: 11,819,783 City of Residence: Medina To: George Jim Papakonstantopoulos To: Jeff Mann City of Residence: Medina City of Residence: Wadsworth Patent for: Method for Detecting Anomalies on or in a Surface of a Patent for: Test Sample Handling Patent for: Weight Structure System With Rotary Carousel Number: D1,005,420 Number: 11,816,828 Number: 11,846,643 To: Richard C. Petek To: Joseph C. Cobb To: Mathew Scott McMaster City of Residence: Medina City of Residence: Medina City of Residence: Wadsworth Patent for: Axle Plate Number: D1,004,492 To: Tyler Malinky City of Residence: Brunswick

Patent for: Drain Cleaner Fluid Management Number: 11,826,798 To: Scott Kruepke City of Residence: Valley City

Patent for: Springer Fork Clamp Number: D1,004,411 To: Tyler Malinky City of Residence: Brunswick photo by Pavel Neznanov

Clearance — WAREHOUSE SALE — Discover a gem for your home! Warehouse clearance sale including returns, displays, close-outs, fireplace doors, gas logs, hot tubs, and swim spas

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Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023


Homemade Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam


How Engaging

We apologize for the lack of a “Critter Crawl” column this month, but columnist Paris Deeter was a little too twitterpated Heated and spooned onto your favorite waffles, toast, or to write about pets for this month. baked goods, homemade jam warms the heart, especially Her boyfriend, Elijah Cannon, proposed over the holidays when it is cold out! My family and I have been making homemade strawberry jam for more than a year now. I started and she said, yes! The column will return as soon as we discover which making it at home because of the added sugar in almost every single jam/preserve/jelly on the shelves in the grocery wedding dress store she is hanging out in! store. Being a nutritionist and health coach, I know sugar is Congratulations Paris and Elijah! very unhealthy. Feel free to email me if interested in learning more about Paris Deeter lives in Brunswick and has raised a wide variety sugar and what is does to the human body. This jam is so easy, simple and wonderfully delicious! of critters from spiders to rats. She welcomes questions and column suggestions, which can be sent to • 14 ounces strawberries, diced with “Critter Crawl” in the • 2 tablespoons water subject line. Deeter also can supply information on where to • 1 teaspoon Chia seeds, ground • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional) obtain pets mentioned in her column. • 1 tablespoon powdered date sugar or syrup by Chris Pickens

Chop strawberries and add with water to saucepan. Bring to boil with lid on. Decrease heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice if want to make the jam last longer than a week. Mash strawberries and cook on lowmedium heat so it gently simmers for another 30 minutes, till reduced by half. Bubbles will become smaller as a liquid evaporates. Stir regularly to prevent burning. Add Chia seeds and stir. Remove from heat and cool, put jam in jar. Store in refrigerator. Chris Pickens, a vegan since 2016, is a certified holistic nutrition coach, a health and wellness coach, a holistic health practitioner, and a holistic health coach. To learn more about Pickens, go to Email her at, with “The Joy of Medina Attn: Chris” in the subject line.


Photo by Chris Pickens

“If you aren’t making anyone nervous, you aren’t doing anything special.” —Leanne Ford


Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

Time for a Deal on Hardscape Features by Michelle Riley

As we ease into the winter months, most gardens are sound asleep. All the vibrant leaves, that seemingly moments ago were dancing through the sky as the trees threw them off in a brisk shudder, are warmly composting out of sight. Shrubs have been trimmed, mulch has been installed and the perennials cut back. As the shortened days and frigid nights move in upon us, we warm our thoughts with the vision of next year’s garden, we may even begin making plans. Garden plans can range from a simple vegetable garden to a water feature, an ornamental landscape or possibly outdoor entertainment. Garden design carries many aspects, textures, and perspectives. There are two distinct forms of garden design: softscape and hardscape. Softscape includes soil, plants, mulch. It boils down to the renovation of land to create beds and planting areas. Next there is hardscape, which includes patios, walkways, walls, steps, fireplace, firepit, outdoor kitchen, outdoor living area, or simply plain stonework. This is another aspect of texture in the design. There is quite a bit of psychology involved with an eye-catching design. Hardscape can play a crucial role in the perception of the garden. There are many directions possible with a hardscape, such as a quaint patio for four to a full-blown living space equipped with a full kitchen, TV, and fireplace built to handle a crowd. Patios and other hardscape features can be created from natural stone and raw materials or polished stone and manmade. Though it is quite easy to learn how to install hardscape, the real work is in the manual labor. Most homeowners will opt out of installing their own hardscape, opting instead to hire an experienced professional. This is where winter can work to the homeowner’s advantage. Many people have buried the spade for the season and do not realize that if the weather is not too harsh, there is nothing to stop a hardscape installation. Because of this, some companies will offer better or off-season pricing. Michelle Riley is a local horticulturist, landscape designer, and consultant. She is the founder of the gardening subscription service, the Plant Shorts Posse; https:// ; and https://neohiogarden. com . She also is the president of All About You Signature Landscape Design, Inc. Learn more about Riley at Riley can be contacted at Info@ or by calling 234-678-8266

photos by Michelle Riley


12 Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023 HOME AND GARDEN: BITE ME!

to the pan, add one ladle of beef broth, deglazing the pan. Continue to cook the onions in the broth until the pot has become almost dry again and add another ladle of broth and by Jordin Bragg cook again until almost dry while stirring the onions often, but not the whole time. Repeat this process over and over again French onion soup is a traditional dish that has been around until the onions darken. It took 12 times of doing this process for centuries. This dish really demonstrates the importance when I made mine. The final time, instead of using broth to of classical French technique and its ability to create unique deglaze the pan, use the wine and Worcestershire sauce. flavors with simple ingredients. Let this soup transcend you Add the garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then add the amount to a cozy fireside, perfect for a gloomy winter day. It may also of remaining beef broth desired. Once the broth has been make you cry tears of joy, but mostly because you will be added, add the “sachet” (fresh herbs in a bag), tie the string cutting three pounds of onions! to the pot handle, and simmer the soup for at least half an hour. The longer the soup simmers, the better. Remove the • 3 pounds sweet onions sachet, salt and pepper to taste. • 6 to 8 cloves garlic To Serve: Slice the French baguette into ¼-inch slices and • 10 cups beef broth brush each piece with a little bit of olive oil, place on a pan • 1 coffee filter or cheesecloth and toast in the oven at 400 degrees until golden brown (8 • 2 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme, sage to 10 minutes). Fill oven-safe soup bowls almost to the brim • butcher twine or other food/heat-safe string with your delicious French onion soup and place two pieces • 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry of French baguette on top. Cover with slices of provolone • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce cheese. If you really love cheese, sprinkle some parmesan on • 2 tablespoons olive oil top. Place the bowls in the oven until the cheese has turned • salt and pepper to taste golden brown. Carefully remove from oven, and serve with • 1 French baguette fresh chopped parsley if feeling ambitious. • provolone cheese slices Tip: Beef broth made from scratch really makes this soup far superior. Also, I did not have an oven-safe bowl, so I One important fundamental of being a good cook is being cheated. Using non-stick foil, I placed my two pieces of organized. Start off by gathering everything needed to toasted baguette on the foil, covered them with cheese and prepare this dish. Halve the onions, then slice into ⅛-inch baked until golden brown, then used a spatula to place it on cuts. Smash the garlic cloves. Heat beef broth to just short of top of the soup. It is not the traditional way to do it, boiling in a pot on the stovetop. Have a 4-ounce ladle ready but it works. by the pot. Wrap the fresh herb sprigs in a coffee filter or cheesecloth and tie them off at the top with string, set aside. Jordin Bragg is a classically French-trained chef who spent Measure the wine and Worcestershire sauce and set aside. Preferably using a Dutch oven, heat the oil on low heat and years in the restaurant industry as a professional cook. add the onions. Cook the onions on low-medium heat to His recipes are his original creations. Bragg’s recipe and avoid browning them. The goal of this dish is to caramelize menu writing services can be found at the onions, over and over again, which means cooking them thewritingmarine or he can be emailed at jordin.bragg@snhu. without browning them until their sugar compounds begin edu for any food-related requests or questions. to caramelize. Once the onions begin to turn color and stick

French Onion Soup


Important Cycling Shoe Factors

A super lightweight design with a stiff sole and toe box, along with the capability of accepting a wider pedal cleat, by Robert Soroky would be the ideal choice. By shaving off a few grams of weight and having a more substantial connection with the pedal, there is better power transfer and a faster ride. When venturing into the world of cycling clothes, it is as Then, of course, there are the spin-class folks. The upside much about performance as it is comfort. Cycling shoes to indoor spinning is that any outdoor cycling shoe can be demonstrate this importance. used. That said, spin bikes can vary from gym to gym, so be The key to getting the right shoes is understanding your sure to check the pedal type because that will dictate what objective on the bike and what kind of riding is planned. I like doing long-distance road rides, approximately 40 to 50 type of shoe (and cleat) needed. Cycling shoes also have a variety of closure systems to miles, along with an occasional 150-mile charity ride. I have choose from. a more casual approach to these rides and know there will There is the traditional shoelace style, a ratchet/strap be multiple stops for bathroom breaks, refilling water bottles, system, or the fancy dial-and-wire closure. The last two are grabbing lunch, or sightseeing. For such rides, speed is not significantly easier to get in and out of, secure quickly and a factor, and I like being clipped into my pedals for efficient allow for easy tightening while riding. riding. When purchasing any bicycle or cycling gear, there is a lot The shoes for such rides need to have a comfy, flexible sole and toe box for extensive walking and a tread with a recessed to consider and getting professional guidance can be helpful in making the right choices. cleat mount to protect the cleat because the walking will be over a wide range of surfaces. This type of shoe tends to be a little heavier than a racing Robert Soroky is a lifelong cyclist who regularly participates shoe and uses a smaller surface-area cleat. Some models in long-distance charity rides and is the manager of the are even designed with a deeper, beefier tread for mountain Century Cycles Medina location. To learn more about Soroky, bikers. go to Contact Soroky at robert@ For the pro-racer type, every second counts, so a shoe is to suggest column topics, for further needed that really pushes performance. information or to chat about bikes.

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023 3. Make some trades.


Feasting Without Fear by Amanda Liptak

Many of us anticipate festive gatherings filled with delicious meals and tempting treats now and throughout the coming year. However, the fear of weight gain can cast a shadow over the joyous celebrations. Fear not, with a little guidance and the following four tips, feasts can be enjoyed without the worry of unwanted pounds.

The reality is we cannot eat all the foods at every gathering and expect to come out of the holiday season without unwanted pounds. Life is about choices, so focus only on foods that are absolutely loved. If you love all foods, make a trade for the most loved dishes. Making trades for the most beloved holiday dishes will keep you feeling mentally positive since there is no fear of missing out. When you do not feel left out, you are less likely to keep looking for foods to satisfy cravings. 4. Savor each bite.

1. Stick to your normal routine. While holidays look and feel different, that does not mean that nutrition must be turned completely upside down. Sticking to the normal timing and pace of meals as much as possible helps manage blood sugar and prevents overeating. You naturally have more brain power to make informed nutrition choices when faced with all the goodies. 2. Fill up with fiber. The average American consumes 10 grams of fiber a day but needs between 25 and 38. If you fall in the 10 grams category, there is no better time to draw attention to improving fiber intake than the holidays. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar, promoting a gradual rise rather than a quick spike in blood sugar. This is particularly important when it comes to food cravings as faster blood sugar spikes can lead to sharp sugar cravings, and before you know it, you are reaching for all the cookies. Start the meal with fiber-rich foods, such as a salad, raw veggies or whole grains. If planning to serve sweet potatoes, prepare them with the skin on, which is where most of the fiber is. N


While it is easy to eat fast, especially when really excited about a meal enjoyed only once a year, slow down and taste each bite. It takes approximately 20 minutes for the gut to send signals to the brain that it is starting to feel full. If eating in less than 20 minutes, it is easy to eat past the point of fullness. Always been a fast eater? Try eating a few bites with your non-dominant hand. This creates muscle-memory disruption and slows eating down instantly. Feasting without fear is not about deprivation; it is about making smart choices that allow indulging in the joys of the season without compromising health. Cheers to a season that is free of guilt and full of joy! Amanda Liptak is a registered dietitian nutritionist with more than 20 years of experience. She is the owner of Nutrient Rich Life Nutrition Coaching, a functional nutrition coaching company that provides comprehensive weight loss support for men and women. Visit for more information and follow Liptak online via Facebook or Instagram.

Happy Holidays! Proud to be the fiber of the Medina community for over 40 years. INTERNET


PHONE • 1.877.277.5711


Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023


Munching With Joy by Amy Barnes

Congratulations to these restaurants! Each month the focus will be on a different area of Medina County’s sit-down eating facilities. Only those restaurants that pass the Medina County Health Department’s inspection with a perfect score of 0 critical and 0 non-critical issues will be included. Food trucks and those with no inspections will not be included. Keep in mind that an inspection is only a snapshot in time, so a restaurant not listed this month may make the list the next time. Inspections are based only on what the inspector observes at the time of inspection. Information for this list is taken from public records. Time to chow!


Clearance — WAREHOUSE SALE — Discover a gem for your home! Warehouse clearance sale including returns, displays, close-outs, fireplace doors, gas logs, hot tubs, and swim spas

f ireplaces • hot tubs • swim spas • patio

330-239-4000 2377 Medina Road In Medina - 1 mile east of 71

Yo u r P l a c e 4 . c o m

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023



Letters to the Editor OUT OF THE BOX

1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6.


No politics, no religion. Nothing that is spiteful or just plain mean. Letters will run as submitted, writer is responsible for spell checking, editing and grammar. Letters may be edited for length. Suggested maximum length is 150 to 200 words. Chose them wisely. Keep in mind this is a family magazine and watch those word choices. There is no guarantee of publication, but we will do our best to get all in that follow the guidelines. Letter writers will be verified by phone, usually between 6 and 9 in the evening except for Sundays. If

we cannot verify, the letter will not run. All letters must include the name of the author and city of residence (and state, if it is outside of Ohio), all of which will be published. You do not have to live in Medina County to submit a letter. 8. Include a phone number we can call for verification. Letters can be emailed to: with “Letters to the Editor” in the subject line. Or mailed to: Letters to the Editor Joy of Medina County Magazine 1114 N. Court, #144 Medina, Ohio 44256 7.


t n e m t i m m o C d n a Dedication Medina County board of developmental disabilities


Direct Support Professionals work with people with disabilities to keep them connected to their families and community. Their dedication and commitment positively impacts the lives of others. We share our utmost appreciation for the over 800 DSPs in Medina County making a difference every day.

Want Information About a Career as a Direct Support Professional?

Visit: | Call: 330-725-7751, option 3 | Email:

Employment/ Job Postings


Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

This Prime Real Estate For Sale To stake your claim, call (330) 461-0589 Smaller parcels are available. Limited availability, call now for choice of best locations.

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023



Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023



by Mary Olson

by Jordin Bragg

Complex Novel Examines Choices Book: “The Leftover Woman” Author: Jean Kwok Rating (out of 5 possible):


“The Leftover Woman” by Jean Kwok is a compelling, complex novel about the choices mothers make, the demands on their energy and emotions, and their capacity for unconditional love. Jasmine is a young Chinese woman working as a nanny in the home of Brandon and Rebecca Whitney, who have one adopted daughter, Fiona. Fiona is of Chinese descent, and the Whitneys are thrilled to have found a nanny who can speak Chinese with Fiona and honor her heritage. Jasmine’s story is not as sweet as it appears. She is in the United States illegally, after paying an exorbitant fee for passage with shady traffickers. She is searching for the daughter who was taken from her as an infant so that her husband could try to have a son in accordance with the now-defunct Chinese One Child policy. To repay her traffickers, Jasmine works nights in a seedy club where backroom sex is the currency. The other woman in this novel, Rebecca Whitney, is a wellknown publishing executive determined to come back from scandal by securing the next bombshell novel, a story about a woman of color and her struggle in the U.S. The men in Jasmine and Whitney’s lives have lied to them and taken advantage of their love for a child. As suspicion begins to cloud the domestic bliss inside the Whitney home, these women must face a very difficult truth. To say the characters in this novel are complex is an understatement. Jasmine and the Whitneys, through their words, silences and actions, all sow seeds of doubt in the reader’s mind as to their motives and intentions. The author contrasts wealth and poverty, truth and deception, love and power, and privilege and disadvantage in this riveting novel. Even though the themes are sobering, the pace is quick and the plot advances steadily towards a blockbuster conclusion. Readers who enjoy family drama, suspense, and fast reads will like “The Leftover Woman,” it is cleverly plotted with a blockbuster ending, suspense, and intriguing characters. Kwok also is the author of “Girl in Translation,” “Mambo in Chinatown” and “Searching for Sylvie Lee.”

Mary Olson is the readers’ advisory librarian at the Medina County District Library. To learn more about her, go to https://

Lost Love in the West Movie: “Slow West” Seen: streaming service Rating (out of 5 possible): If you like Westerns like I do, there is a good chance you will enjoy “Slow West,” it manages to capture almost all of the classic elements that make a Western so desirable. Michael Fassbender plays the tough and rugged gunslinger looking to collect a bounty when he finds himself an unlikely companion as they venture closer and closer to the “wild West” in the search to find his new companion’s lost love. There is a good amount of violence in this movie, as one would expect from a Western set in the late 1900s but the plot was driven, not purely by action, but more so by the compelling story behind it. Some moments may cause viewers to clench their jaw or turn away from the screen, and there might be a moment when tears will make an appearance, but viewers should not be surprised if this film leaves them with a smile or two. I would watch this movie again and recommend it to anyone who likes a good story.

Jordin Bragg has been a devoted movie enthusiast since he was very young and attended movies every weekend at the Marine Corps base where his father served. He has a movie collection of more than 400 DVDs of movies from the 70s to the present. Some of his favorite movies include “Last of the Mohicans,” “The Big Lebowski,” “O’ Brother Where Art Thou,” “Lord of the Rings,” and “Tombstone.” He also has a recipe and menu writing service, which can be found at or he can be emailed at

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Joyful Word Search FADS OF 2023 Joyful Word Search FADS OF 2023 S C I R B A F C I L L A T E M J P M S G J W X D L V M Y N G R L K G Q T T L C N D P Y P A V E J T R D M B L E B E R T I MW T K M Q I V P M Q K L B S V O S P H C B A N N Z J G K G E L E B B P Q M H T R A Y Y E G K M C K E NW L T J A O N O P R G MWG A Y H Y X K V O D D K T U L N B Y A R G C T J M D P P T D Y R T I C J E B X E Z C Y A V V S J N S Y R O P D P N G I A M V B T Q L Z E M F D D B I E A H R S A T R X T I S K J R Q T H A T T G E C K Z T QW P R N M B R S M T M O E A I M I N E D P Q Q K Y D T O Y P A D H Y M D R T Z E Z R Y N B C L A J O J M C K E X T R R D P E P WD N J S B B A X O X R T S S Q I J J B T J B G P V D P Y R Z M N V RW J B S Y D T D R B G R Y B C L J F P NWG M D X J K Q K W Y D V Z Y Z


Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

MIRTH AND JOY by Jerry King

“I’m his emotional support animal. However, fun walks aren’t considered billable hours.”

oyful Word Search November 2023 K Y R I C O H O U D I N I J M N G A J K D J B A R N E T T M I T M R T T R O T L J DWN D Y C K X D V R R Y V R A C H E L S H E P E R D I E X L K O M G O L E Z K V C V Y N L P L E N S N N L Y A M H G G M A L Z A D R R T L I T V R M G J R B E N G R A H E R P K I R A M A Q A F R O B I R A I E S Y R R M L J R N Q O S I S L T P B B R Y X X M N A B L L L A D I F N O B R D P T E S V E V D O C E I I A R K E V J S U Y J N L K Y D E R E M L Z J M R S Y A B E L R R N T M L W X J N L L M J N K O J E A M E D D M Z T D A R S K J M S Q Z M Y R B WW J



Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

, h O ! p a n S photos by Amy Barnes

Sunset and a cat stretches in the trees.

FACE OFF Bantam chicken roosters are well known for their aggressive attitudes and willingness to take on anything. Here Fluster Cluck tries to take on Charlie, the turkey. Charlie tried to avoid the chicken but decided he had enough! No animals were injured, and the rooster soon was living at a new home and Charlie returned to strutting around the farmyard.

Let's do it!

Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

“Let’s Do It!,” our Community Calendar, is updated regularly and can be found on our website, or by going to:

Welcome to the Nest!

Thank you for showing your support and love for Joy of Medina County Magazine by becoming a magazine patron!

Eileen Funk Walker & Jocke Co., LPA Patent Law and Trademark Law Three patron tiers are available: Excellent Egg, Cheerful Chick and Joyful Joy Bird. Each has wonderful perks with the highest tier including a print subscription to Joy of Medina County Magazine! Learn how you, too, can become a patron at: Patreon. com/JoyofMedinaCountyMagazine

December 2023 Nonprofit Calendar V



Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023

t n e m t i m m o C d n Dedication a Medina County board of developmental disabilities


Direct Support Professionals work with people with disabilities to keep them connected to their families and community. Their dedication and commitment positively impacts the lives of others. We share our utmost appreciation for the over 800 DSPs in Medina County making a difference every day.

Want Information About a Career as a Direct Support Professional?

Visit: | Call: 330-725-7751, option 3 | Email:

Employment/ Job Postings

Clearance — WAREHOUSE SALE — Discover a gem for your home! Warehouse clearance sale including returns, displays, close-outs, fireplace doors, gas logs, hot tubs, and swim spas

f ireplaces • hot tubs • swim spas • patio

330-239-4000 2377 Medina Road In Medina - 1 mile east of 71

Yo u r P l a c e 4 . c o m


Joy of Medina County Magazine | December 2023


Joy of Medina County Magazine thanks and celebrates these great companies who believe in community and make it possible for readers to enjoy this magazine for free. Please thank the following companies for bringing Joy to you!

Cable, Internet, Phone Armstrong

1141 Lafayette Road, Medina Contact: Sam Pietrangelo Community Marketing Manager Phone: 330-722-3141 Website:

Community Resources Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities 4691 Windfall Road, Medina Contact: Patti Hetkey 330-725-7751 Website:

Fireplaces, Hot Tubs, Grills The Place 2377 Medina Road, Medina Contact: Andrea Reedy Phone: 330-239-4000 Website:

Insurance Thomas Muntean Agency/ American Family Insurance 451 W. Liberty Street, Medina Contact: Thomas Muntean Phone: 330-721-7716 Website:


FlashBang Photography/ Videography Phone: 440-263-4502 Website:

Simulated Shooting Range Engage Virtual Range

Locations in Medina and Avon Lake Visit EVR website for information and to book appointments. Website:

Want to join these great companies in sponsoring the best publication in Medina County? Contact Amy Barnes,, 330-461-0589. The Col. H.G. Blake House photo by Amy Barnes

Joy of Medina County Magazine 1114 N. Court, #144, Medina, Ohio 44256 E-mail: Website: Phone: 330-461-0589

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