Archive for Anna Stinson

The Most Wonderful Time

This is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time when almost everyone can believe in the magic of Christmas. Whether you are five and just starting to make those magical memories, or 85, and thinking back over the years, everyone has at least one special memory of Christmas. This year, we would like to share some of ours with you.

Jo likes to keep things simple.

“Christmas memories…traditional family gatherings, lots of food, people and prezzies. Caroling as kids, snow angels, snow ball fights and sledding down some pretty big hills. Then, as adults, it was Christmas parties and winter events. All were wonderful, but some of my most favourite rememberings were going up to the barn at midnight to see if the horses talked…and enjoying a few Christmas’s on my own (by choice), not having to travel, buy gifts or overeat…just me in my PJ’s with some great movies. This year I’ll be alone at the lake enjoying some Peace on Earth so I can continue to have Good Will towards Everyone.” Jo Ann Rucinski, Sales Person, Administrator

jos-winter-lake

Family and food provide the Christmas magic for Kathy.

“Christmas for us is always about just slowing down and spending time together, because life is such a rush. I think my favorite part of Christmas is having my family together…and the food. I love cooking and my family loves eating! We traditionally do a French ‘Night before Christmas’ dinner— an homage to my husband Paul’s background— with home-made Tourtier, chicken liver pate flavoured with Courvoisier, cold seafood like salmon Gravlax, arugula salad with figs, and the best pumpkin pie, made by my son. Then, for Christmas dinner, we always have a turkey. We give it a name, like Fredrick or Henry, and the boys roast it on the BBQ. Santa usually gets us a new board game so there’s always lots of passionate competition. And of course, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” Kathy Lapointe, Sales Person

Anna shares one of her favourite memories of Christmas.
“My grandfather would set up the Nativity Scene (with the exception of baby Jesus) and he would tell us kids the Christmas Story. Then, on Christmas morning we would rush downstairs to see baby Jesus lying in the manger. Even after all these years I can still see him waiting for us on Christmas morning.” Anna Stinson, Sales Person
annas-nativity-for-blog

John would like the Christmas magic to last all year long.

“I think of Christmas as a very special time of year. It is a time when special things happen. People put aside their differences and are actually nice to each other. Perfect strangers will wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. People are also more aware of those less fortunate. Countries at war have even stopped fighting to celebrate the day or a portion thereof. It is truly sad that this spirit only lasts for a very short time. Then, on Boxing day, it’s “Get out of my way, there’s a deal somewhere!” John Martin, Salesperson

Attending the recent Christmas party for the Durham Contact Business Exchange at the Waterfront Bistro had Judy reminiscing about Christmas past.

“THOSE WERE THE DAYS…

Overlooking Lake Ontario and Frenchman’s Bay at the end of Liverpool Rd, the Waterfront Bistro holds many warm memories for me. MinCom’s Christmas party was the first function ever held at the Waterfront when they opened in ’96. The owners, George and his family told us that they were not quite open for business but if we were game so were they. And so we did! Construction was ongoing and the kitchen was still under renovation, so the food had to be prepared and then transported from Lord Byron’s Restaurant to the Bistro for our party. There were at least 30 to 40 people in attendance, all dancing and enjoying the festivities. Wayne sang his ‘Night Before Christmas’ (in Rap) song. It was such a great hit that it became a tradition and Wayne did it at our parties for years. We had many wonderful times at the Waterfront, singing Karaoke led by Garth Riley or dancing to the live tunes of ‘The Johnny Max Blues Band’ just to mention a few. Garth always had such fun in store for us. I wish I could find the pictures of a game we played. Garth had the men wear white long johns and the women had to stuff as many full balloons inside to win a prize. We all laughed until we had tears in our eyes. Many years have come and gone, but there is one thing we can all agree on. MinCom had some of the best Christmas parties ever!

The Waterfront Bistro has evolved over the years and so have we, but it will always have a special place in my heart, especially around Christmas.” Judy Stacee-Cleaver, Broker of Record

mincom-party

From The Stacee-Free Team and everyone at Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd. , have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Making History

By now you’re probably aware that Phase 1 of the Highway 407 East Project has been completed and is officially opened to traffic. This section includes Highway 407 from Brock Road in Pickering to Harmony Road in Oshawa, as well as Highway 412, which connects Highway 407 and the 401. Some think the best part of the opening may just be that the use of these sections is toll free until the new year. “Free” is hard to argue with, but a recent trip to Port Perry from Pickering was shortened by a minimum of half an hour by taking advantage of the 412 arm from the 401 to the 407, then scooting down the 407 to Simcoe Street in Oshawa and emerging at Columbus. No stop signs! No red lights! No bumper-to-bumper traffic to contend with through that whole section!

The Saturday morning before the highway officially opened (June 18, 2016) locals were invited to test it out. The catch was: no vehicles allowed. You could walk, run, cycle, roller blade, wheel, skateboard or anything else you could think of that didn’t involve a motor vehicle. It was a great opportunity to be part of history. Stacee-Free Team members Kathy (Lapointe) and Anna (Stinson) were both up to the challenge. They arrived prepared, with walking shoes, bottles of water and sunglasses.

walking the 407

Kathy & Anna Ready To Conquer The 407

Vehicles were not allowed on the highway and there was no parking on site, so the trusty Mincom Vehicle had to sit this one out. Parking was provided at two locations and free shuttle buses ran back and forth for the duration.
riding the big girl bus
It had been some time since either one of our ladies had been on a school bus but they quickly adapted. The buses dropped everyone off on the highway under the Baldwin Street overpass.
Baldwin street
It was a sight to see. It seemed that all of Whitby had come out to participate. Young and old, men and women and lots of kids. Couples strolled or skated together and generations of families walked, rode and wheeled together. Friends and fitness groups enjoyed every minute of it.
lots of people
GENERATIONs
boot camp
Even the four-legged family members enjoyed themselves.
dog and skate boarder
They came on bikes of all sizes and numbers of wheels, on skateboards, roller blades, roller skates and scooters.
bicycles and roller skates
roller blades
There was a lot to do and see in both directions.
map
Our young ladies headed east first until they reached Thickson Road and their cue to turn around.
kathy & anna walking
Thickson Road
407 truck
Emergency vehicles and personal were on hand – just in case. When they weren’t seeing to scrapes and over-heating, they were letting the kids tour their rides.
emergency
ambulance
Ambulance
Even Molly the Fire Dog was there, complete with special shoes to make sure she didn’t burn her paws.
Molly the Fire Dog
It was hot! Really hot and sunny. With a wide-open road it was necessary to grab any bit of shade you could.
shade
The organizers were prepared and had water stations throughout the entire length of the route. They also had a cart trolling up and down, passing out bottles of water along the way.
water stations
The complimentary ice cream truck was a really popular stop to cool down.
icecream for everyone
As you headed west you could play games at the Camp Activities stop.
games on the 407
golfWith an invitation like this…
chalk on the 407
who could resist leaving their mark? Not us!
Mincom chalk on the 407
Ashburn Road marked the Western most point with another subtle hint to turn around.
Ashburn Road
blockade
From end to end you could never be sure what you were going to see. People had some pretty clever ideas about how to get around. These young ladies, known as 2 Cute 4 Country, and their Dad, sported around in something he created for wheel chair users to have a bit of fun.
2 Cute 4 Country
We never did find out what this was!
weird car
We were also able to confirm that it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re driving a race car…it’s going to break down.
car breaks down on 407
This one has to be one of the most Canadian sights to be seen on the 407 this day…a man and his son playing hockey.
407 hockey
Hot and happy they were able to be part of this historic day, Kathy and Anna proudly took to the podium to have their achievement documented.
I walked the 407
 Anna was thrilled with their adventure,
“Skateboards, trikes, strollers, walkers, runners, oh my! What a glorious day for a fabulous community event. It was really well-planned and executed.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching and interacting with so many creative people.”
For Kathy the day brought back fond memories,
“The anticipation and excitement of walking on the New Hwy 407 was reminiscent of an elementary school bus trip, starting with the yellow school bus shuttle to the 407 asphalt. It wasn’t planes, trains and automobiles, but bikes, roller skates, scooters and miniature electric cars. It was a fantastic 30 minute walk for us on a beautiful day. The event was a success.”
Don’t forget, if you missed all the fun, you can still make history by driving on the 407 East. The historical part? It’s FREE until the New Year!

Maplelicious!

Bowmanville knows how to throw a good “Fest”. A big part of their success is because of the people who live there. It is a community that loves its town and supports the activities that happen there. The recent “MapleFest” was a perfect example. They came in droves…young and old, families and couples, friends hanging out and even some four legged ones.

14 CROWD

It was a perfect day. The weather was not too hot and not too cold. The sun shone brightly. Mincom Jo, Anna Stinson, her grandson Jack and Chris Cleaver couldn’t resist the call of the maple syrup.  Of course, there is only one way to start the day at Maplefest —  pancakes & sausages covered in maple syrup.

pancake anticipation

“Outa my way!”

The anticipation was almost unbearable as they moved through the line and found a table with their mouths watering the whole time.

eating pancakes

“Never mind the picture! We’re hungry.”

You can bet that maple syrup was the star of the show and there were plenty of sources.

Maple Syrup

Pancakes may not be your favourite conduit for the golden nectar. Fear not! There was an abundance of ways to satisfy the craving for all that is maple – Maple Bean & Bacon Soup, Maple Sugar Pie, Maple Sugar Tarts, Maple Donuts, Maple Fudge, Maple Peach Bourbon Pie, Maple Blue Berry Crumble, Maple Walnut Pie, Maple Taffy on Snow, Maple Cinnamon Latte – to name a just few.

Maple Fudge

Maple Taffy

If maple syrup isn’t your thing there was plenty of non-maple syrup vendors to make sure no one went hungry. Jamaican, Hawaiian and barbecue food trucks along with chip wagons and Italian sausage makers made sure of it.

Duffers Chip Wagon

Toasted Walnut

Tornado Potatos

Italian Sausage

Not for the faint of heart, there were some pretty exciting rides for the kiddies.

roller coaster

swings

crazy ride

The Bowmanville Zoo provided camel rides. The camel just grinned when Mincom Jo asked to have a turn.

5 CAMEL RIDES

 

Janet Lange was on hand to bring face painting to a whole new spectacular level. Her creations were nothing short of magical!

Janet Lange Face Painting

The boys opted for something a little more masculine.

Joker and Hulk facepainting

Some folks got a good head start on their (dare I say it?)…Christmas shopping, with all the creative vendors displaying their wares.

13 SHOPPING 4

 

13 SHOPPING 5

6 MUSIC 5

 

13 SHOPPING

After all the eating, riding and shopping, the best way to take a breather is to enjoy some of the music provided. From one end of the main street to the other there were talented musicians serenading you along the way.

6 MUSIC 2

6 MUSIC 4

6 MUSIC 1

As we said, Bowmanville really knows how to enjoy their community. You won’t want to miss their next “Fest”.

March Madness

March can get a little crazy in the Durham Region.  When it comes to weather one might even say it is bi-polar. One day you are getting emergency weather winter storm warnings, with “polar” temperatures and record snowfalls. The next day the sun is shining and you are tempted to walk about in your shorts. We won’t mention any names (Mincom Jo). Let’s face it, we are Canadians — there was a lot of shorts-wearing going on.

If the weather didn’t have you confused, there is always the calamity that goes with changing our clocks to Daylight Saving Time. Some people will always be confused. Try to remember we “Spring” forward and “Fall” back. That’s right. We lost an hour of precious sleep on the 14th.

spring forwarc

There were “Snow Days” with the kids home from school, then “March Break” let them off school for an entire week: not a problem if you live in the Durham Region where there was a lot going on for kids and their families. Ontario Power sponsored a whole week of events including hiking, crafts, skating and swimming. Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival launched March 12, 2016 just in time

pancakes

Anna & Family At the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival

for the break and can still be enjoyed over the next couple of weekends. The Oshawa Airport hosted Girls Flying Girls, giving young girls one of the most exciting adventures of their life.  The Bowmanville Tackle Swap and Fishing Show was in full swing.  Both the Pickering Town Centre and the Oshawa Centre had activities for the kids and March break camps were offered through the City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Town of Whitby, Town of Ajax, Municipality of Clarington, Township of Scugog, Township of Uxbridge or Township of Brock. This list goes on.

Things are always a little whacky on the 17th. The “Wearin’ of the Green” can make for some strange outfits on St. Patrick’s Day. You can pretty much find anything and everything coloured green…your food, your drinks, buildings and even bodies of water. One thing we don’t colour green is our Anna’s (Stinson) mouthwatering homemade shortbread. You can’t get more Irish than Anna and her shortbread. We are also fortunate that we have the number one ranked Irish restaurant in all of Ontario here in the Durham Region. The Snug, in Newcastle, brings authentic Irish fare right to your table. We recommend you save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Shortbread

The Snug

Walsh’s The Snug In Newcastle, ON

The kids are back in school for a short week. This weekend is Easter weekend giving them the day off on Good Friday. There will be an Easter Parade in Pickering and an Easter Egg Hunt in Ajax, both on Saturday. The Oshawa Airport is hosting an Easter Egg-stravaganza on Sunday.

Easter Parade In Pickering

Easter Parade In Pickering

In case we haven’t mentioned it, we also officially welcomed the March Equinox whose dual identity is called Spring, on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.  Yes, Spring has definitely sprung. Enjoy it folks!

flowers

 

2016 • Rose Quartz, Serenity and Monkeys

2015 has come and gone and in its place comes a whole new year of possibilities. Things will most certainly look different. Are you ready to make some changes?

According to the Chinese calendar the new year begins February 8th and it will be the year of the Red Monkey. The monkey is quite clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth. They are also a naughty, wily and vigilant animal so be prepared to be kept on your toes.

Pantone has already surprised us this year by choosing two colours to represent the colour of the year.

“For the first time Pantone introduces two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity as the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

colour of the year 2016

Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer and embracing warm tone and cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Our Stacee-Free Team enjoys starting fresh in a new year by setting themselves some goals. They aren’t all the same. In fact most of them are quite different.  Let’s hear what they have planned for 2016.

Judy Stacee-Cleaver

Judy Stacee-Cleaver
Team Leader/Broker of Record

Stacee-Free Team Leader, Judy Stacee-Cleaver, has set a few goals for the year. Balance between her personal and professional life seems to be the focus.

“It was very busy last year, with major changes everywhere. In 2016 I would like to have a little more time to: have fun; get some exercise; complete important projects that have been sitting on the back burner; connect with more of my clients who have become friends; complete our new web site; grow our Networking group who has supported us all these years; and join our local Board of Trade.”
Board of Trade
Kathy Lapoint Sales Representative

Kathy Lapointe
Sales Representative

 

 

Kathy Lapointe has a solid plan to increase her Real Estate skills.

“I plan on attending more Real Estate seminars, courses and conferences to network. I would like to treat myself with a new Dell Tablet to update my efficiency dealing with Sellers and Buyers, and I’m looking forward to another successful year with Mincom New Choice Realty.”
Dell tablet
Jo-Ann Rucinski Licensed Assistant & Photographer

Jo-Ann Rucinski
Sales Representative & Administrator

 

 

Mincom Jo has done some reflecting and has big plans if she gets lucky.

“The years are going by quickly, but the last one was especially fast.  I’m always striving to be kinder to myself and others, especially on the roads. To send out thoughts of Peace for the World and given the past year, we need more people to think on Peace. I would love to win 5 million dollars, take some friends on a cruise and book suites with balconies, then give most of the money away. On the professional side, I plan on completing the Broker course this year. ”

cruise ship
John Martin

John Martin
Sales Representative

John Martin has a plan for 2016 and has set some very specific goals.

“Some of my goals are as follows:

  1. Grow my Real Estate Business by at least 100% by doing these: advertise in my farm area at least once a month • attend the free “Lunch and Learns” at the Ajax Pickering Board of Trade and at least six “Networking After 5” events at the APBOT • polish my listing presentation skills • try to be a better listener • collect email addresses and include them in a monthly news letter • take more real estate courses
  2.  Get more active, do more cycling, swimming and walking. More activity with the wife would also be good
  3. Start renovating the house
  4. Get the dog well-trained.
 These are just some of the things I’ve been thinking about. The phrase “Planning for Success” is better than doing nothing and planning to fail.”
puppy
Anna Stinson

Anna Stinson
Sales Representative

 

 

Anna Stinson isn’t one for making resolutions. She does, however, have a good idea of what she hopes to accomplish this year.

“I’m looking forward to helping my clients achieve their Real Estate goals for 2016. I hope to grow spiritually, continue being involved with my community and look forward to spending quality time with my family at home and abroad.”
Whitehead

Yes, The Stacee-Free Team is tackling the New Year full force. What changes are you planning on making? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? We would love to hear about them!New Year