Good- bye 70’s

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The temperatures dropped, corn and soybean harvest is in full swing with the geese enjoying the leftovers, the woolly caterpillars emerged, and it is time to pack away the sandals and shorts. I personally cringe at the falling temperatures and thoughts of the long winter ahead but also take joy in the changing colors of the trees, walking through the rustling leaves, and looking at everyone’s fall decor.

Octoberfest may have come and gone but our area offers a plethora of fall activities both for families and adults. I encourage you to take some time away from your fall clean-up and experience some of what our area has to offer. Buying your apples or pumpkins at the grocery store or Farmer’s Markets lacks the same experience and fun that picking your own at the pumpkin patch, corn maze, and apple orchard offers, especially if you have children. Although I must admit, even though we are empty nesters we still go to the apple orchards on a regular basis. We find the apples taste so much better when we pick our own, talk to the growers, and watch the small children running around experiencing nature and all that it has to offer. Click here for information on local pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple orchards.

Of course, picking apples and finding the perfect pumpkin are only a small portion of what you can experience in the Fox Valley in the fall. There are haunted houses, pumpkin carving contests, boo- fest, Halloween walks, trunk or treat activities, trick or treat, and other spoo-tacular activities.  Click here for more.

If celebrating Halloween isn’t your cup of tea and you prefer something a little more stout, the area offers many Brew, winery tours, and tastings. It is a great time to take a little road trip to visit a winery, or visit the 2nd Annual Craft Beer Walk in Downtown Appleton this Saturday, October 14. The following weekend you shop local as you take part in the 9th Annual Soup Walk.

Falling temperatures and leaves doesn’t mean it is time to stay home. Before you cuddle up in front of the fire take advantage of some of our areas best offerings. The Fox Valley offers something for everyone. Please comment and add your favorite fall activity in the area.

Touch my Heart

Touch my Heart

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One wouldn’t consider a blog post on touching my heart real estate related, but since real estate reflects on heart and home, this article is appropriate.

Living in a small community such as the Fox Cities offers plenty of benefits, both those related to life and those related to giving to others such as cancer benefits. Having attended and helped with different benefits prompted me to write this article, not necessarily because these events are particularly different than the ones helping the victims of Irma, Maria, or Harvey, but because they really touch home. I firmly believe that inherently, there are good caring people all over this world. What sets the benefits apart in our communities, is that we often personally know the people on the receiving end.

For example, this summer I had the opportunity to spend the day at the  Spierings Rock Cancer benefit at Doyle Park in Little Chute. Believe it or not, I tried to volunteer but they were full. Imagine that! We decided to attend the benefit with our very good friends because they are living and unfortunately eventually dying with cancer. Our friends were recipients of a donation courtesy of all the people attending, sponsoring, and donating to the Spierings Rock Cancer Foundation. This donation touched the hearts of my friends, consequently touching my heart.  We also saw the names of others we know or knew who also benefited from the generosity of our small community with a big heart.

Another local non profit touching my heart is .B.A.B.E.S.,INC . My “friends” got me involved in B.A.B.E.S. Hats Off! 2017 and now 2018. As a former teacher and Big Sister/ Big Brothers,  I experienced child abuse several times, breaking my heart. B.AB.E.S. does so much for  the young parents and children in our community through education, respite care, and counseling to help alleviate child abuse in our community. On Facebook, I see so many young moms calling out for help. B.A.B.E.S., Inc is a wonderful free resource helping parents get on their feet so they can support themselves and their children in a positive environment. Unbeknownst to me, when I attended last years event, I discovered that a friend of mines daughter used B.A.B.E.S., Inc so she could go to school, get a degree, a job, and take care of her young child. How heartwarming that I got to volunteer for an organization that helped someone I knew. The money donated and the time volunteered stayed right here in our community.

So in ending, how is this real estate related? I enjoy selling homes to people in a community where you can see that people’s hearts’ are in the right place. I like to be able to tell newcomers stories about how our community steps up not only to help people in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, but right here in our community. Plus,organizations such as B.A.B.E.S., Inc helping parents get an education, jobs, ultimately allows them to buy a home in which to raise their happy family.

heart in hand

Honoring the Red, White, and Blue

 

DiemThe 4th of July is upon us and we all look forward to celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately today, we seem to have lost sight of honoring the red, white, and blue.

The 4th of July is all about BIG sales, hot dogs and hamburgers on the barbecue, circus peanuts, boating, neighborhood parties, and fantastic firework displays. Lest we forgot, the 4th of July is also about celebrating our independence. On July 4th,1776 13 colonies claimed their independence from England, eventually forming the United States. Believe it or not, fireworks were originally part of the first Independence Day celebration which took place on July 4th, 1777, mandated by John Adams. The 4th became a federal holiday in 1941, celebrating the birth of American Independence. John Adams, as one of the originators of the Declaration of Independence, envisioned celebrating with,”Pomp & Parade… Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, And Illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”  

We are not so far off in our celebrations but I urge you to take a moment to reflect on the origins of our July 4th celebrations, bless our country, and pass down the story to your children and grandchildren. 

Happy 4th of July to you and your family

.God Bless America

Simple Things

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The old saying, ” Home is where the heart is,” rings true for myself and others who’ve experienced moving; especially numerous times. No matter where we live, we put down out roots, literally by either planting a tree, bushes, flowers, or volunteering within the community.

Moving and changing communities makes it difficult to form new relationships, especially as an older couple without children. That is why it is so important to take a few moments each day to take joy in the simple things. Take time to play tourist in your new community and share your finds with the natives. And don’t be afraid to ask about their favorite spots.  I’ve learned that long time members of a community often become so complacent that they overlook the little things their community has to offer.

Today, I’m keeping this post short but wanted to share a few pictures of the “simple things” that add joy to my daily living. It seems lately, that no matter where I live, I have native visitors. Living in Appleton, I love to walk along Apple Creek listening to the birds during the day, the frogs at night, and watching the carp as they mate. I also take great pleasure in the flowers and plants that we have so lovingly planted to beautify our yard. I hope that you also find pleasure in my simple joy.

YOUR HOME ON STAGE

“Setting the Stage for your Next Move” As a Realtor® in Madison, that was my slogan. As a Realtor® and professional Stager®, I feel it is very apropos. When you are getting ready to move, you want to make your home look like it is on the stage in a beauty pageant. Think about when you go shopping, the neat store with a beautiful display draws you in vs the store with items strewn about.  Of course, you do not want to overdo your decorating but rather have everything clean, repaired, touched and freshened up.

I was going to write an article about getting your home ready but then this one titled       8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home popped into my mailbox. Thus, I thought, why write a new article when someone has done it for me? I encourage you to read this article and contact me if you have any questions.

I also recommend adding a nice outdoor seating area that says welcome to our house. It makes people feel very comfortable.

If you or anyone you know is thinking of selling your home, please give me a call and we can discuss listing and staging your home so you can maximize on it’s potential and sell for more money. I’ve plenty of more tricks to welcome your home’s new owners.

 

Life and the Staycation in the Little “Apple”

 

We don’t live in the big city, not even close to the “Big Apple”. But  living and doing a staycation in our “Little Apple” otherwise known as Appleton, WI has many benefits that residents and visitors of the bigger city can’t even realize.

First of all, we don’t really have traffic, just traffic lights. When I lived here previously, 441 was just being completed. We didn’t get to enjoy the benefits of bypassing the city traffic. Although, I find 441 a great benefit when I am in a hurry, I use the city streets when I desire a leisurely drive. Besides little traffic, Appleton and the surrounding Fox Cities have much to offer whether you are a nature buff, a cultural buff, or both. I personally am excited for the Heid Music Summer Concert Series to start again June 1. I love warm summer evenings listening to free local musicians while people watching. Of course we are excited to partake in the Mile of Music once again to hear new evolving groups. The Trout Museum has a revolving door of different exhibits and I just noticed a pop up art gallery on College Avenue.  There are history museums such as the Hearthstone Historical House Museum, gardens, and children’s museums to visit. And everyone needs to learn about two of our most famous past residents; Harry Houdini and Edna Ferber.  Did you know that Appleton was once part of the Underground Railroad?

The Fox Valley has many parks to visit and trails that take hikers walking around the Fox River. Families can partake in activities at most of the parks such as  Gordon Bubolz Nature Center, Thousand Islands, and Plamann Park. Check their schedules to learn more. What is your favorite park in our community?

I could continue on about the reasons to live and take a staycation in the Fox Valley but I don’t really need to reinvent the wheel, so I am providing a link to the 14 Best Things to Do in Appleton, WI. If your favorite thing is not on the list, please feel free to add it.

The Packing Party

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The title, “The Packing Party ” seems fitting for this blog because it is relative when moving from one home to another. But, the Packing Party that I joined a few weeks ago has nothing to do with real estate. It is all about babies. Who doesn’t love a baby? They ask for so little, food, love, warmth, and a dry clean diaper. But some mothers need to choose between food and a diaper. Can you imagine?

I was honored to be able to participate in a Packing Party for Jake’s Diapers, a non profit whose mission is simply to provide the basic need of cloth diapers to babies, children, and adults in extreme poverty whose caregivers have to choose between food & diapers. Sounds rather simple but is so complicated. Jake’s Diapers has provided over thirty thousand diapers to 16 impoverished countries and to parents locally in need. The story of how everything falls into place and the partnerships that the founders of Jake’s Diapers have made to reach mothers and families in need is remarkable.

Many of the recipients of the diapers are orphanages in places such as Haiti and Peru. These organizations struggle daily to provide food and other basic needs for the babies. Jake’s Diapers only sends 2 dozen cloth diapers to each baby. It doesn’t sound like many but these  mothers are used to washing and greatly appreciate what they receive. The gift of diapers actually cuts down on the spreading of disease.

Jake’s Diapers partners with several businesses to provide for the transport and donation of diapers, diaper bags (in which to pack the diapers), and the adjustable rubber pants that grow from newborn to toddler size. Nicki’s Diapers of Madison, WI strongly supports the cause and provides huge donations. Johnson and Johnson also donates and supports Jake’s Diapers. The military also gets involved by transporting and dropping off the diapers.

How can you help? Jake’s Diapers needs cloth diapers. Have your children outgrown their cloth diapers?  Visit their Website to see how you can donate diapers. Monetary donations and your time are welcomed.

I personally never really thought about babies needing diapers. Of course, I knew there were starving babies all over this world but didn’t consciously think about the diaper need. I admire the founders of Jake’s Diapers for seeing a need and establishing a non profit to help diaper the babies. It touched my heart that even for a couple of hours, I could be part of something that provides basic needs both locally and internationally.