Archive for Stacee-Free Team

Absolutely!

Traveling across the country to visit your Grandpa is quite an adventure for a seven-year-old. Of course our seven-year-old, Keianna, happens to have adventure in her blood—her Grandpa, Chris, drag races cars. Keianna knew that she and her mom, Toni-Marie, had a pretty exciting visit to look forward to. Well, Grandpa and Judy did not disappoint.

Toni-Marie, Chris and Keianna

Judy had done her homework and when she saw pictures of Keianna on facebook dressed in equestrian gear, high atop a horse, she knew exactly where to take her: Absolute Equestrian Centre, located right in Bowmanville.

Absolute Equestrian Centre has 100 acres, with two indoor arenas and three sand rings. It’s a very high end facility offering full indoor board, pasture boarding, and lessons in several disciplines of riding. There have been riding camps throughout the summer and they also host shows, clinics, pony clubs, birthday parties and fairs.

Keianna was thrilled, but then realized she didn’t have any riding gear with her. No worries. Absolute Equestrian had everything she needed. Never one to miss out on an adventure, even Mincom Jo was outfitted and given a quick riding lesson.

Keianna made it pretty clear she knew what she was doing and bonded with her ride immediately.

Mincom Jo may not ride much but she does have a way with the horses.

It wasn’t long before Keianna was showing Mincom Jo the ropes.

It was a wonderful day for everyone, creating memories to cherish.  Absolute Equestrian is the place to go for your riding needs, whether it’s your first time or if you’re well experienced.

The hardest part is always saying, “Good Bye”. To the horses… and to Keianna and her Mom. Absolutely!

 

Jane’s Walk

We can think of no better way to experience the Durham Region than to “walk it”.  There are a lot of folks who agree with us.  People who participate in the annual Jane’s Walk Festival are like-minded.  Every year, on the first weekend in May, tens of thousands of people all over the world take part.
“Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities and connect with neighbours.”
Jane Jacobs was considered a citizen activist and urbanist, and she was best known for her writings about cities. Her first book, (The Death and Life of Great American Cities), offered a new vision of diverse cities made for and by the people who live in them. If nothing else, you should check out this “quick primer” on some of Jacobs’ key ideas, Ten Big Ideas.
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
Jane Jacobs
Jane’s Walk was founded in 2007 with seven walks in Toronto that first year. As of last year, over 1,000 Jane’s Walks took place in 212 cities around the world, including 36 countries on six continents. This will be the first year that the entire Durham Region is participating.

You can walk or cycle through one of six area municipalities and enjoy a range of fascinating walks telling the stories of our region, its history, its characters and its challenges. Here is a list of the opportunities available:

  • Camp 30/Jury Lands Walk (former WWII POW Camp) – This tour explores Camp 30, a National Historic Site and former WWII POW camp for high-ranking German officers.
  • Werden’s Walk – A guided tour through the historic Werden’s Plan neighbourhood.
  • Walking in the Steps of the Bomb Girls: Ajax and the DIL Munitions Plant – Find out about the World War II history and connection to the birth of the Ajax community, while learning stories about the Bomb Girls.
  • Camp-X Walking Tour – It all happened right here. Spies and soldiers trained in top-secret skills, not to mention inspiration for Ian Fleming and his 007 legacy.
  • Oshawa’s Cycling “Walk” – Find out about the history and be introduced to Oshawa’s cycling network.
  • Discovering Oshawa’s historic downtown – Explore Oshawa’s historic Four Corners.
No registration is needed and it’s free! For a complete list with details please visit Jane’s Walk Festival – Durham Region.
Join the fun this weekend, May 5th to 7th, and walk Durham Region with us!

Diversify!

The Durham Region and diversification go hand in hand. Just check out our weather as of late. We’ve had Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall all show up this week.

Check out the “Feels Like” on Friday & Monday

The town of Ajax has recently embraced the Durham Region’s diverse population with its #AjaxForAll campaign featuring community members from all cultures. With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to share some Easter family traditions from the diverse Stacee-Free Team.

Judy’s Easter has always included traditions.

“I remember a story told by my father when he was a boy taking a basket of food to the church to be blessed by the priest then to be brought home for the family at Ukrainian Easter dinner. The priest told his mother that by the time he arrived almost half of the food was missing. Boys will be boys.

Growing up, we had traditional Babka (Easter bread) which was my favorite. Our mother always hid Easter eggs and over the years I continued this with my children. After a while, the fun went out of getting candied or chocolate eggs, so I decided to buy colorful plastic eggs and hide money inside. The person who collected the most money won an even bigger prize. Everyone young and old took part and had fun in the search.”

Easter brings Jo fond memories of her grandmother.
“My dad’s background is Polish and my grandma was a wonderful cook so I have lots of fond memories of Easter. All her lovely decorated wooden eggs on display that I would play with. Grandma would take palm leaves and baskets of homemade babka, kolbassa, ham and eggs to church to be blessed by the priest for us to eat. It was all very mystical and special to a young child. We also got a chocolate Easter bunny and I would promptly eat the ears. And, it was a great time to see my cousins, too.”

It’s all about family for John.

“At Easter we have always gathered the family around for a big dinner. Melanie and I like to explore what is going on in the kids’ lives and what is happening in their families and relationships. When the kids were young, we would hide candy Easter eggs around the house so the kids could have an egg hunt as soon as they got up in the morning. One year, that did not work out, however, because the dog decided to have her own egg hunt.”

Anna’s Irish roots put her faith foremost in her celebrations of Easter.

“My family’s Easter tradition growing up was attending Church for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, then, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.”

Kathy embraces her husband’s French heritage.

“Generations of families connect through their traditions and our family is no exception. I always remember going to my in-laws’, to Beverly and Jerome Lapointe’s home on special occasions and enjoying the fantastic French gourmet meals we had. I especially remember when Jerome made Bouillabaisse which is a typical French soup broth with saffron and loads of fish, like scallops, mussels, halibut, lobster and clams, served with crusty bread so you could sop up the heavenly tasting broth. There were always at least 14 people at the formal dining table and there were lots of laughs and good wine flowing. We would sit there past midnight catching up on what everyone was doing in their lives. Jerome was a great influence on my style of cooking. I’m sure he’s still watching me from above as I try to replicate his recipes. Easter, or any holiday, is a time to leave your worries behind and enjoy and share traditional meals that remind us of the loving memories that keep families together.”

However you celebrate Easter, it’s a good time to look around and be aware of how diversified the Durham Region is. That in itself is a good reason to celebrate.

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.

jo-and-outside-rock

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golf-course

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.

bowls

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.

jo-and-her-bowl

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.

sponsors

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.

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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.

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