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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

Paint Nite Durham

Have you heard about Paint Nite?

It is a new trend that’s a wonderful way to spend some time with family and/or friends while tapping into your inner creativity and it has become very popular in the Durham Region.  According to their website

“In just about two hours, while you’re sipping on a cocktail, our performing artists will guide you through each painting so that you come up with your own unique masterpiece at the end of the night that you will be amazed YOU created. We provide everything you will need: canvas, paints, brushes and even a smock. You just bring your fun loving friends and have a few cocktails to keep the spirits high and inhibitions to a minimum and we’ll make sure your inner Picasso is unleashed.”

These events take place right in your own neighbourhood at your favourite restaurants, bars and boutiques. The canvases and paints are included and each session is led by a local artist.

It might be best to let the Co-Founder of Paint Nite, Dan Hermann, explain the concept…

Doesn’t that look like a lot of fun? Always up for an adventure, a few weeks ago our Team Leader, Judy Stacee-Cleaver, took the opportunity to find out first hand. Judy joined a few of her friends at Olive That! in Whitby to let loose and get those creative juices flowing. And flow they did!

Olive that signOlive That! lends itself to creativity. This unique “tasting bar” allows you to create your own combinations from a variety of Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars. Savoury or sweet, there is a plethora to choose from. Simply sample the flavours from the many silver fusti available until you find the perfect one (or two or three) and the extremely knowledgeable staff will bottle them for you right there and then.  You’ll also find a wonderful selection of cheeses, ideal kitchen gifts and much more. One visit and we’re sure you will become a regular. Judy managed to find several combinations to bring home and got some Christmas shopping done.

Olive that 1The very talented Sarah Shaw was the “Performing Artist” for the evening. Step-by-step, Sarah guided the group through the process of creating a winter wonderland on canvas. It doesn’t matter if you have never picked up a paintbrush, you will leave with a beautiful piece of artwork.

facebook.com/Olivethatca/

facebook.com/Olivethatca

Judy was fascinated by the end results…

“It was a wonderful evening, full of fun. What really surprised me was that every one of us had the same canvas, the same paints, the same brushes and the same step-by-step instructions, yet every single painting turned out differently. Our own unique style came through.”

Paint Nite

facebook.com/Olivethatca

From their smiles it’s easy to see that everyone had a wonderful time and would welcome the opportunity to participate again.

 

A Celebration Of Culture And Creativity

Mid August, the Durham Region as a whole got together to celebrate and host the first annual Durham Festival. For four days it was a celebration of creativity and culture with something for everyone! There were bike rides, gourmet food trucks, performances in the park and night-time dances. This Festival asked residents and visitors to celebrate the diverse communities and creative talent that live within Durham’s eight municipalities and gave them an opportunity to experience the sights, sounds, smells, and flavours of the region.

Performance In Pickering held a Shakespearean workshop.  Everyone was welcome no matter what their experience and was followed by a performance of Hamlet like you’ve never seen it before in Millennium Square. Each evening, Dusk Dances were held in Alex Robertson Park, featuring high quality contemporary and traditional dance.  Pickering Museum Village provided heritage children’s games and crafts on Friday afternoon at Alex Robertson Park. Then, a giant site-wide game of ‘Capture the Flag’ was held on Saturday afternoon and Millennium Square-hosted Artist vendors displaying their wares on Sunday afternoon. All weekend, Pickering’s Nautical Village hosted an Apple Festival featuring apple-themed food in the local restaurants and bakeries.

Woodland Disco and Glowfest took place at Parkwood Estate in Oshawa on Friday evening. This family friendly event included a D.J. disco dance party, glow art , children’s crafts, interactive art activities, laser tag, dance performances and more. The magic began when the sun went down and everything started to shine. The fountains glowed and a glow-in-the-dark wonderland was created with hula hoops, roaming buskers, stilt-walkers, fire-breathers, glow art and glow face painting.

Photo: DurhamFestival.ca

Photo: DurhamFestival.ca

Picasso’s Picnic celebrated the young artists in our midst, from toddlers to teens, at the former Cream of Barley Mill by Soper Creek Trail in Clarington. It was a day of outdoor arts, crafts, drama and music, providing a full experience of visual and performance arts. This included free visual arts workshops and “make and take” sessions such as: Throw a pot on the wheel with Lela Filipovski; Face painting with Janet Lange; Printmaking; Button making; Paint a masterpiece; Ribbon sticks; Stop-motion animation studio in the gallery; Karaoke recording studio in the gallery; A Gift of Art from Newcastle activity; and Make a musical instrument from re-purposed materials, inspired by guest artist, Mark Sepic.

Durham Harvest Picnic on Saturday afternoon at Victoria Fields in Whitby was one for the books. Literally! That’s right. The Durham Region took on the challenge of The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Longest Picnic Table and succeeded!  Hundreds of people from across the Durham Region and beyond came together to enjoy a picnic lunch at the whopping 136.61 metre-long table. Not to be left out, the northern townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge set up the North Durham Village tent at the picnic and gave everyone the opportunity to learn about their historic areas, museums, golf courses, ice fishing, antiques, lakes and trails, maple syrup and music festivals, as well as locally produced products and the very best of rural life.

Photo: DurhamRadioNews.com

Photo: DurhamRadioNews.com

Whitby Harbour Day was held at Port Whitby Marina on Saturday. Featured main stage performers were M.T. Pockets, Debwewin Singers from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Five, Rory Taillon and Mumbai Standstill, Jack de Keyzer and Whitby Idol. There were also Dragon Boat races, water ski shows and sailing school demonstrations. At 4pm on the porch of the James Rowe House, the play, “Maud of Leaskdale”, was presented. The play was based on the journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, who called the Township of Uxbridge home

The Taste of Ajax  at Rotary Park in Ajax may have been Mincom Jo’s favourite event. Everyone had the opportunity to  savour flavours from local restaurants and food trucks. The live entertainment featured The Jason R. Martin Band, Two For The Show and Beach Boys Tribute Band. There was lots of crafts and things to do including cookie decorating.

Jo

Ajax 1

Ajax 2

Ride4UnitedWay Gran Fondo started and finished on Sunday at the Legends Centre in Oshawa for all three courses.  The bike ride and fundraiser had people cycling across the region, through small towns and along scenic roads, with courses geared towards accommodating a fairly broad cross section of riders with varying experience and fitness levels.

There really was something for everyone during the Durham Festival. It was an action-packed four days that involved the entire region. We’re all looking forward to the “second annual” Durham Festival and you should be too.

Ajax 3

Ajax 4

Ajax 5

Ajax 6

 

 

Welcome To Fannyville

Stacee-Free Team Member, Don Carter lives in “Fannyville”. Well, most of the time he actually lives in Port Hope but one day a year his beloved home town becomes Fannyville and he loves it!

Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny
Every year since 1981, the citizens of Port Hope have held  a 10 kilometer race along the Ganaraska River to commemorate the 1980 flood that devastated their downtown area. The race was dubbed “Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny” and acts as the official kick off to the Spring season in this festive community.

The weekend of the race changes each year, but it is usually in late March or early April. The 2015 edition had to be postponed until Saturday April 18th because of the heavy ice that remained in the river.

This year saw 130 canoes, kayaks and fan favourites…crazy crafts,  set off from the starting point. Sadly, not all crazy crafts crossed the finish line and some that did were in various stages of disarray.

A crazy craft is a craft that has been built from, well, pretty much anything: anything that will float and carry its team (at least at the starting line). Inner tubes, big plastic drums, Styrofoam, plastic pop bottles, balloons and blowup furniture were all seen on the course this year. Let’s just assume all the hardware stores in the area had a run on duct tape.  Awards can be earned for the fastest time, best costume, judges’ favourite and crowd favourite, to name a few.

Fannyville

A Bit Of Fannyville

The area surrounding the finish line near the Barrett Street Bridge becomes Fannyville, providing all kinds of fun for the whole family. There’s a craft area for the kids, bouncy castles, souvenirs of the event, crafts for sale, food vendors, and Don’s personal favourite…live music.

“The live music was great. You could smell the delicious burgers and hot dogs on the barbecue and the Bewdley french fry truck was here too. Watching those crazy crafts get themselves in and out of trouble was really entertaining. It was so much fun my face still hurts from smiling so much!”

Racing starts at 10 am but the festivities carry on all day.

Canoes and kayaks

The sun was shining fiercely, leaving some of us with our first sunburn of the year. The wind was strong and the current was fast. Extremely low water levels created a pretty interesting obstacle course just before the finish line. Let’s just say even the “superheroes” ended up wet or in the water.

costumes on the ganny

Balloon ganny

More than one craft was left “up the creek without a paddle.” Oh, and lest you think the spectators got away unscathed, those crafts were armed with water balloons and water cannons and the competitors weren’t afraid to use them. The closer you were to the shoreline the better the chances were that you would look like you went for a swim. We can tell you from experience that the people on the bridges weren’t any safer. Some of those paddlers have pretty good arms. Any ball teams need a pitcher?

good arm

bigger shots

crazy craft winners

2015 Crazy Craft Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny Winners • Port Hope Young Professionals

There is talk of the Stacee-Free Team entering next year. Wouldn’t that be fun? What do you say, Don? “Oh, Captain, my Captain!”

20150418_125531-ANIMATION

 

Sweet Spring

It’s officially Spring! The cold temperatures and heaps of snow may not have you convinced, but there is one sure sign that Spring has sprung — the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival. This is the 40th year for the Maple Syrup Festival held at Purple Woods Conservation Area in Oshawa.

Established in 1975, Purple Woods Conservation area is a 17 Hectare sugar maple forest and open meadow located on the provincially significant Oak Ridges Moraine. A favourite family destination,  Purple Woods Conservation area is host to the annual Maple Syrup Festival.”

As it also coincides with “Spring Break”, our Anna decided it would be a nice way to spend the day with a couple of her grandchildren and her daughter who was celebrating her birthday.  The sun was shining brightly but there was definitely a nip in the air so warm clothes were not optional.  The new Purple Woods Heritage Hall provides a nice place to warm up and enjoy some fresh pancakes with maple syrup either before or after exploring the area.  Completed in 2012, Heritage Hall is a wonderful setting for the Maple Syrup Festival with its rustic charm and unique structure using recycled post and beam construction.

Heritage Hall

Our wee group opted to work up an appetite first. If you are expecting to see each tree adorned with a pail hanging from a spigot you will be in for a surprise. These days it looks like the trees have all been joined together in a massive web.  The  modern method of collecting the sap through narrow plastic tubes that run like a maze from each tree down to a sugar shack where it is boiled into syrup is now the standard practice.

Tubing

sugar shack

There was lots to see and do along the Sugar Bush Trail. Anna, always the Real Estate Professional, couldn’t resist checking out some historical Durham Region listings.

Real EstateThe whole area was laid out with activities for the kids (of all sizes), including Horse Drawn Wagon Rides.

layout

Horse Drawn

Anna has never been one to shy away from hard work and she proved she was up to the task. She probably would prefer not to carry this around or cook maple sap in the big black cauldrons over an open flame. The new, modern way is just fine with her.

Anna Yoke

She would never ask anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself.

stiltsAfter soaring to new heights it was time to climb back up the moraine to those delicious pancakes waiting for them. They had definitely worked up an appetite with all the fresh air, sunshine and hard work.

pancakesAnna tells us,

“We had a marvelous morning and we learned a lot about the making of Maple Syrup. The best part was the people that work here. The staff was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The pancakes with maple syrup were pretty good too,” she says with a grin.

If you haven’t been out to the Maple Syrup Festival yet they will be open again next weekend, March 28th and 29th. Be sure to book your spot on line ahead of time here. Don’t forget to stop by the Heritage Store before you leave for all things maple.