Archive for Jo-Ann Rucinski

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

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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
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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

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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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Empty Bowls

There is nothing like a bowl of hot soup to fend off the November chills. Even when the temperature turns unseasonably warm and perhaps soup isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, it warms your heart to be a part of the Annual Durham’s Empty Bowls. This is the third year that Feed The Need, the regional food distribution warehouse serving Durham Region, has participated in Empty Bowls.  As a long time supporter, Mincom Jo looked forward to spending the afternoon at the Oshawa Golf & Curling Club, where the event was hosted. The setting was really quite spectacular.

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The concept of Empty Bowls is used worldwide to recognize and raise support to combat hunger by emphasizing that many people simply do not have enough to eat.

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Unique, beautifully hand-crafted bowls were created and donated by local artisans from Durham Potters Guild  to signify the many thousands of empty bowls in our communities. Choosing the bowl you will use for the day and eventually take home may be one of the toughest choices you will make. There are big ones and small ones, round ones and square ones, bright and subtle, patterned and plain…so many choices.

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It took some time and a lot of flipping back and forth but our Jo eventually settled on a very chic blue-toned bowl, which, by the way, matched her outfit.

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Some of Durham Region’s finest chefs provided signature soups and desserts to be sampled and enjoyed.

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Jo’s first sampling was Curried Pumpkin and Apple Soup.

There were two sessions for sampling, one at 11:am and the second at 1:30 pm. Each session also featured door prizes and a silent auction. Between sessions, attendees were entertained by renowned Canadian jockey, Durham Region’s own Sandy Hawley, a four time Queen’s Plate winner and Order of Canada recipient. Long admired by Mincom Jo, Sandy had her mesmerized as he shared stories of big wins, nasty falls, tennis with Farrah Fawcett and golf with Dean Martin.

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Sandy Hawley & Mincom Jo

 

It was a wonderful afternoon, with good food, good people, a lot of fun and much needed support for Feed The Need in Durham. Many thanks to all the people that made the day possible.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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.”
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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.”
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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.”
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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

A Family Affair

Judy Stacee-Cleaver and Mincom Jo recently had the pleasure of attending the nuptials of long time clients (now close friends) Gail Kershaw and David Hamilton. It was a wonderful day for everyone in attendance and the only thing more stunning than the venue was the bride. Trillium Trails Banquet & Conference Centre is the perfect location for any event.Jo n Judy copyThe Richards family has created an atmosphere of romance, magic, excitement and privacy on their over 130 acres of property nestled on the Oak Ridge Moraine in Oshawa. Randy Richards explained to us that at one time the family ran a ski resort  there but wanted to create something that could be used year round and wasn’t so dependent on Mother Nature’s moods. Randy and his two brothers actually built the structure now known as Trillium Trails Banquet & Conference Centre themselves in 1989. The first wedding held there was a family wedding before the building was completely finished. When Gail Kershaw was looking for the perfect venue for David and her to become man and wife they were very impressed. She tells us,

” We were impressed with how beautiful the grounds are and the inside has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.  I had been there before, many years ago, when they used to do cross country skiing and then again when my kids were in public school and Trillium Trails held the Durham cross country run meets.
Trillium Trails offers a lot with their packages and their Event Coordinator, Lindsay, played a huge part in accommodating us. They provided the décor, including table cloths, chair covers, napkins, all dish ware, cutlery and glass ware as well as a wonderful menu. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.”

the wedding

outside wedding

Photographers love Trillium Trails. The meticulous grounds are breathtaking. Chuck and Deb Shumilak of  Pickering Photo In The Village have photographed many weddings there over the years and think it is a fantastic venue. Chuck explains,

“With the rolling hills, ponds and tree line the setting is perfect for wedding photography. We have our own drone which is very popular and allows us to capture some really unique images of the special day. Trillium Trails is a natural fit to add in drone shots to a wedding package. In fact one of our most popular images from the drone is a group shot of the whole wedding. Couples are using them as a souvenir for guests when they send out thank you cards”.

You can see a clip from Chuck’s drone at Gail and David’s wedding posted by Pickering Photo.

Weddings are not the only thing that fit right in at Trillium Trails. They offer packages for banquets, retirements, Christmas parties, awards dinners, staff appreciation evenings, special occasion dinners, awards ceremonies, graduations and various other company/corporate functions. There are many different team building options available.

“After your conference, meeting or seminar your team can test their skills up in the tree’s at Treetop Eco-Adventure Park on the challenge courses. They can also fly down the Big Zip building confidence every km. There is also the human-fooseball court, beach volleyball court and combat archery that they can take advantage of.”

Randy Richards, his wife Karen and son Tyler operate the Treetop Eco-Adventure Park on the same property. The Oak Ridge Moraine provided a natural environment for this zip line enterprise.  Randy brought in TreeGo to design and build the park. TreeGo is one of the most experienced and well trained teams in Europe and Canada specializing in a wide range of adventure products including aerial adventure tree to tree courses. Their construction methods ensure that all specifications and building standards are rigorously maintained while taking special care and concern to customize each park to blend in with its natural setting.  They started to build the zipline course in  2011 and opened it in 2012. The park now includes seven zip lines, 60 challenge obstacles and combat archery as well as a special needs platform for kids in wheel chairs.

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Tyler Richards is a NFPA Trainer (National Fire Protection Association) and because the park is classified as an “Amusement  Ride” it is Certified TSSA (Technical Standards &b Safety Authority). Safety comes first here but there is a lot of fun to be had. Whether you are on your own or in a group of 10-250 an adventure can be found among the treetops. Birthday parties can include a barbecue and corporate groups can use the conference centre for a full course meal. There are even special night time adventures

Here’s a look at some of the fun posted by TreeTop Eco-Adventure Park on Friday, May 29, 2015

The Richards have definitely created something beautiful and magical at 53 Snow Ridge Court in Oshawa. The best part is that they welcome everyone to come and enjoy it with them.