Lot 20 Official Construction Start Date: Friday, May 24
Bob and I stopped by the ol’ homestead on Saturday, to see the progress on the foundation. Look like the walls were poured, and things are starting to take shape. What I learned today: it is dangerous and dumb to try to walk on construction sites wearing flip-flops.
Our project manager called last night to tell us that the lumber should be arriving either Tuesday or Wednesday, and they’ll start framing the house then. Almost time to start picking out new curtains!
One of the things that struck me about Northeast Ohio was how similar it is to Upstate NY. Weather, stores, restaurants…many things about my new home are comfortingly familiar. Though, every once in a while something jars me out of my reverie and reminds me that I’m not in Clifton Park anymore. On my last trip to Heinen’s Market, I spied a couple unfamiliar candy package in the checkout display. Ah, candy. The Great Equalizer.
First up: Boyer’s Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cups.
Verdict: Tasty, but ultimately disappointing. I was expecting a butterscotch bomb, but it smells more like butterscotch than tastes like it. And the peanut butter center just wasn’t peanut butter-y enough for me. Homemade pb cups are still the gold standard, followed by Reese’s in a distant second. Made by Boyer Candies, famous for their Mallo Cups.
Next: Candy Farm 3 Color Coconut Neapolitan Coconut Slice.
Verdict: Blech. I actually spit this one out. I bit into the “strawberry” layer first, and was overwhelmed by the chemical and not-at-all-strawberry flavoring. Horrid. The chocolate layer was much the same. The coconut itself was fine and mealy; disgusting. Never again.
I probably shouldn’t be eating candy anyway.
Lot 20 Official Construction Start Date: Friday, May 24
After a bit more wrangling with the sale of our old home (don’t ask – just don’t ask), our builder finally called us to tell us they would be breaking ground on our new house. The project manager let us know that they started digging yesterday, got the footers poured for the foundation, and would be pouring the foundation walls after the holiday weekend. Big excitement!
During our Saturday morning errands, Bob and I decided to stop by and see what all was going on:
Hard to think that in a couple short months there’s going to be a beautiful house here. More photos to come as construction progresses!
Hey! This is my 400th post!
I made my way down to a local farmers market this Saturday – the Countryside Conservancy‘s market in Peninsula, OH, inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was about a 35 minute drive from Twinsburg, but a really beautiful drive through Twinsburg & Hudson, and through the National Park into Cuyahoga Falls and Peninsula.
The market itself has about 50 vendors, and it’s situated in a spacious and picturesque meadow (Howe’s Meadow, to be precise) inside the park. The vendors are about what you’d expect: fresh produce and plants, baked goods, prepared foods, crafts, sweets, cheeses, meats, etc.
Lots of good stuff going on, including live music and food demos. Tons of great stuff, and the atmosphere was really festive and fun. People seemed to be having a great time and enjoying the beautiful weather (which some people have told me is sketchy around here?).
I did make one final decision for myself while sampling some of the vendor wares: I just do not like goat cheese. That’s it. I know there are people who will think less of me because of this, like I’m less of a food lover because of it, or say that I just haven’t tasted the right one…but I’ve tasted a bunch of goat cheeses over the years, and I never like them. Ever. They just taste dirty and funky to me. So, I’m officially done with goat cheese. I’m glad I got that off my chest.
I bought a few things from the market vendors:
Plus I also bought a blondie from a bakery, but that got devoured on the car ride home. Man, I seem to do that a LOT.
I’ll definitely be back to this market. Probably as a volunteer, as well. I need to meet people! Next up: the Countryside Conservancy food swap on Tuesday night.
I accidentally traveled down to Hudson, OH this morning (it was four miles of futile attempts to either turn left or turn around – I’m not a very good driver), but I was glad I did – Hudson is adorable. They have a cute little Main Street (S. Main Street, actually) with toy stores, restaurants, bars, and cupcake shops (I won’t hold that against them). Reminds me of Hudson, New York actually. I will definitely be getting down there again soon, and give a thorough review and snap some pics.
Just past the Main Street, I finally found a place to turn around – a little brick plaza-type building with a Starbucks, a clothing boutique, some other things I forget, and a bakery called the Great Lakes Baking Co. So, I had to stop and see what that was all about.
It’s a cute little bakery, with cases of cookies and scones, wire baskets filled with loaves of bread, and pedestals covered with cookies in festive packages. Over to the left sits a a tall display case, which held four shelves of goodies, including the weekly cupcake special – devil’s food chocolate with raspberry filling. I did not choose one of these, though they looked absolutely delicious and they were only $3 each (they were pretty large). Also in the case was an assortment of their brownies – a few varieties, sold in four packs or in a brownie pie (which reminded me of those giant cookies we bought each other for birthdays in college).
After sniffing around a bit, I selected a lemon poppy scone and a six-pack of brown sugar chocolate chip shortbread cookies (for Bob. Sure). The scone was perfect, to me: dry but not crumbly, not too sweet, and topped with a zesty lemon-sugar drizzle. It barely made it out of the parking lot, so I never got a pic. And though I bought the cookies for Bob, I was forced to try one IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. They were also great – perfect shortbread consistency, not too sweet, with a caramelized-but-not-burnt sugar taste. I also thought I tasted some cinnamon, but it was not listed on the ingredients tag.
I am impressed with what I read on their website:
All products are baked on the premises from scratch. Depending on the recipe, either whole wheat flours or white enriched flours are typically used – never bleached or bromated flours. In recipes requiring a sweetener, Ohio honey or pure cane sugar are used – never high fructose corn syrup or any artificial sweetener, flavoring or preservative. Fats are added sparingly, if it all. When needed, fresh creamery butter or olive oil is used – never shortening, lard, or hydrogenated fat.
According to the chalkboard outside, they’ve got lunch-y type things, too, like pizzas and sandwiches. I plan to make a return trip to learn more!
Things I plan to do over the next month or so:
- Visit the Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow in Peninsula (inside the Cuyahoga Falls National Park)
- Attend a food swap (what up From Scratch Club! I’m keeping the faith!)
- Try a few new restaurants
- Review a few of the local grocery store chains
- Get up to Cleveland and check out the West Side Market and the Great Lakes Brewing Company
- Meet Chef Michael Symon (this is actually more of a long-term goal)
Bob and I met with our home building project manager yesterday, to go over the plans for our new home construction. He talked us through the topographical drawings and the floor plans, discussed our fixture and appliance selections, and walked us out to our building plot to see the actual property lines. Pretty exciting stuff!
So far, our experience with Ryan Homes has been absolutely terrific and pleasant, though we had one teeny-tiny glitch: since Bob and I were in different locations during the selection process, it was difficult for us to know exactly what we were choosing for carpeting, flooring, and appliances. I was relying on model numbers, proprietary product names, and grainy photo texts to make our selections. For the most part, everything worked out fine – except the stove. I thought we had selected a stove similar to the one we had in our old house – a ceramic-top electric. Turns out we ordered a coil-burner electric, and our decisions were final – no changes allowed at this point. I was pretty upset, and felt bad about how vocal I was about my displeasure. Bob and I decided to let it go, and maybe buy the one we really wanted later on. It wasn’t ideal, but we could live with it. Heck, we had to give up my beloved refrigerator just to sell the house (a post for another time), so this wasn’t going to be a deal-breaker.
Today, I got a phone call from the sales rep, who told me she was able to pull some strings and get me the stove I wanted. Yippee!
Anyway, here are some photos of our little piece of Ohio – we should be breaking ground within a week or so (waiting for permits from the city and some other things):
Well, southeast of Cleveland. But I’m here. Last Wednesday, I piled the two stinky dogs in the car (along with my clothes and necessary kitchen supplies) and made the 11-hour drive from Clifton Park to Ohio, with a short southern detour to Middletown to say goodbye to my family.
It was actually not a bad trip – drove the entire length of Pennsylvania, which is actually quite picturesque. Aroundabout Williamsport PA the skies opened up, and I stopped for a bit a a rest area in Snow Shoe to…well, to rest. After a quick spin around the grassy area, the dogs and I were all soaked to the bone. That was the only unpleasantness we experienced that day. The rest of the time I listened to NPR, the dogs slept, and I watched as the patchy dense fog rose in majestic columns from the verdant Appalachian Mountains. Really pretty country.
598.1 miles later, I arrived at the apartment, where we’ll be living for the next two months or so while our new house is being built. I am beyond excited about our new house. So much so that I plan to document the experience here, mostly so my mom can see what’s going on. But also for posterity. And you, Gentle Reader.
My first few days here have been spent unpacking, buying food, stocking up on household supplies, telling the dogs to stop barking, and generally de-bachelorifying the apartment.
The apartment complex is great, and very pet-friendly. A few other people in our building have dogs (which Bella and Quincy barkedly remind us about quite frequently), and every building has a grassy area at the end, complete with a poop-disposal station (including a poop bag dispenser!). There are even several fire hydrants to entertain the pooches. It’s a nice place.
So many things to look forward to over the next few months. But I’ll start with tomorrow, when we have our initial meeting with our house’s project manager. Time for Mad Men, so good night.