Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.

The Caswell Team

The Caswell Team

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Sudbury's Resiliency

(Published on - 5/20/2020 5:21:19 PM)

Sudbury is our nest, our family, our friends, our neighbours.  It's our home.

Sudbury is iconic on so many levels.  The Superstack that everyone can see passing by on the Trans-Canada highway.  Known for the “must have been” filming location of the "fake" moon landing thanks to our barren landscape in the 70’s.  The place where the “boys are getting stinko” on Saturday nights.  An area inundated with freshwater lakes and rivers.  A per capita hot bed for NHL product and an incredible number of Olympic medals in many sports for a city of our size.  A place where we complain daily about the weather, city council and road construction only to apologize for doing so while offering the person who had to listen to you “a cold one”.

We’ve travelled the world and, for some bizarre reason, always run into someone who has a connection or a memory of Sudbury.  Whether it’s a night passing through and having a hell of a time at the Coulson back in the 80’s, the fish they caught at their uncle’s camp on Long Lake back in the day or when they say, “do you know Bill?” and we reply with, “ya, small world, Bill is my D-partner at Wednesday night hockey.  Great guy, love Bill!

Sudbury is just well-known.  No offence to our neighbours, but I’m sure people from North Bay don’t come close to getting the same reactions we get when people hear we’re from “The Big Nickel”.  And, for the most part, we rightfully take pride in that.  We are a proud city and that pride is like a rite of passage that has been passed through the generations.

What we’re seeing during this pandemic is something we have likely been taking for granted – Sudbury is a resilient team.  We may seem passive and fun-loving to the “outsiders”, but we’re passionate and strong-willed.  We don’t take kindly to being knocked down and will respond, and that response is even more powerful when you knock a friend down.  Sudbury is the team that loves a good bench brawl when you injure one of our own.

So, our resiliency heading into, and out of, this pandemic will be no different.  Here’s why our team will do better than most…..

Employment

We have become the epicenter for mining.  Although gone are the days of INCO having tens of thousands on payroll, this sector has led to a sprawling secondary network of global suppliers and expertise in the field.  When mining was announced as essential, our unemployment rate was stabilized in the private sector.  This was a massive plus for the entire city as we’ve witnessed in the past what a devastating impact to the local economy during a long strike shutdown can look like.

Further, as Sudbury’s mining giants began downsizing, outsourcing and automating, our city was able to secure some massive public sector employers.  We have large public sector employment with Service Canada, Service Ontario, our colleges and universities, our numerous school boards, front line first responders and our health sector.  Most, if not all, of these employees haven’t missed a paycheque through this pandemic and, with the shotgun blasting of money being thrown out by the government, it’s likely Canada Revenue is going to go on one hell of a hiring spree in our city.

Sure, there are plenty of people that will, and do, complain that these people are overpaid union employees and it’s not fair that they got to work from home while collecting full pay.  And I fully agree that municipal staffing at City of Sudbury and some portions of the public sector are absurdly bloated with plenty of waste.

But they've fought for what they got and right now we should be happy they did. In no way should any of us be suggesting pay cuts, wage freezes or mass layoffs in the public sector like others have been vocal about.  That's the ole' "cut off your nose to spite your face" mentality.  More people earning less, or even nothing, right now will not help anyone.  On the contrary, we need people employed right now with good paying careers spending money in the private sector.

Sudbury.com on Monday posted the provincial job numbers and they were stark.  About 1.1 million people in the province are now unemployed with the unemployment rate standing at 11.3%.  But, digging into the numbers shows the distorted impact with 12.3% of those being public employees and 87.7% of those being private sector or self-employed. 

With our unemployment rate remaining below 7%, we're showing that having a large public sector and essential worker base is a massive community benefit at this moment.  But it's quickly becoming apparent that a large part of the economic recovery will have to be shouldered largely by the public payroll and those essential workers until things get rolling again.  The video below in "The Recovery" section better helps to explain this. 

Retirees

Another big benefit we have is the per capita retirees in the area.

We’ve often heard how we’re becoming a giant retirement community, like an Elliot Lake on steroids.  From a growth perspective, that can be a dangerous long-term trajectory for a city, but, for pandemics, it turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

Retirees are less likely to foreclose on their house when there is no mortgage on it, they spend money at larger rates in the essential services (think pharmacies, physio, other health care, etc.) and also in the soon-to-be opening businesses we all need (hairdressers, estheticians, lawn care/snow removal, etc.).

No, I do not think that all retirees are flush with cash by any stretch - I know there are plenty out there that are barely getting by and these times have been much tougher.  But I’d hazard a guess that there’s retirees sitting on some solid cash reserves throughout our area.    Therefore, I'm focusing this commentary on those Sudbury Resiliency teammates who can help rebound the city they’ve spent decades growing for future generations.

To those retirees, you've taken great pride in building up this city to a place where we're all proud to call home.  We'll still need your help to maintain that pride through this to get the economic cycle moving again and get back to growing our city.  If you can, consider spending a little outside of your normal.  Maybe get that new boat for the dock on Nepahwin, finally replace those 20-year old golf clubs with the newest Titliest irons, maybe it’s time to finally upgrade to that custom kitchen you’ve talked about, go buy that riding lawnmower or, even better, hire a lawn care crew while you sip margaritas on the deck you just had stained by a painting crew.  Even if it's just ordering dinner from a new spot every week helps ripple money through our community.

If you're one of those that have a bigger stomach, and with the markets poised to suffer for the interim, maybe you could consider helping a local business get back into the success column by looking into being an Angel Investor to help one of your neighbours or that entrepenuer you mentored.  These business owners were successful before and we all know they'll be able to do it again with a little boost in these tough times.

Business Longevity

In Sudbury, not every business will need an Angel Investor or federal assistance to survive.  Our city is full of self-made generations of entrepreneurs that have a proven track record through tough times.  If you’re not one of them, you should pick up the phone and call one of these families and ask them to share the secrets of their longevity.

Of course, businesses open and close, they prosper and suffer and not all make it.  We will witness this in the next year on a much larger scale than most of us can recall.  But there will be those that will reopen and grind it out back to success.  I won’t list the names here, as they know who they are and most of us know what family businesses I’m talking about, but they are as iconic to Sudbury as the Big Nickel itself and they will be the backbone of the private sector recovery for all of us.

Our Sprawl

One of our biggest assets is Greater Sudbury itself.  I’m not talking about the amalgamation, as I know there are plenty that don’t see things as “greater” in the outlying areas, but it’s the actual land and outlying areas themselves that helped insulate us from a far worse outcome.

We’ve all seen how quickly COVID-19 spreads and how bad it gets in densely populated areas.  Italy, New York, Toronto – locations where people are stacked on people and buildings are sandwiched together.  The more condensed, the more rapid and devastating the spread.

As mentioned, with our higher than average age population in Sudbury, we could’ve easily been a disaster zone if we weren’t so spread out.  They recommend staying two meters apart – how about two acres apart?  They recommend sneezing or coughing in your elbow – how about sneezing and coughing when the closest person is across the lake?  Physical distancing?  I’ve been in Sudbury real estate long enough to know that people aspire to have plenty of room between them and their neighbour.

Sure, we have our in-fill areas and condensed spots – Gatchell, Little Italy in Copper Cliff, a few condo towers, some high-rise apartments and some of the newer developments that are trying to create a “new normal” when it comes to lot sizes similar to Southern Ontario but, overall, we’re well spread out on a vast tract of land that gave us a natural defence from this thing spreading on us.

The Numbers

We truly are resilient and, so far, the numbers have proven it. 

Like the provincial numbers noted above, we saw the national unemployment rate skyrocket from 5.6% in February to 13% in April and some even think the numbers used don’t reflect the true percentage that is estimated to be way worse.  And it will continue to get worse - WAY worse.

However, Sudbury’s unemployment rate went from 5.2% at the onset of this to 6.8% in the latest reporting.  No amount of loss of employment is good, but you can see that we’re not even close to what happened on a national and provincial scale.

Yes, there will likely be more unemployment damage in Sudbury.  As we mentioned, there will be some businesses shuttered that will put people out of work.  But to be currently sitting at about half of the national average, and well below the provincial average noted above, with that national number to spike again in the next report, we’re proving our resiliency coming from a pretty similar starting point.

We recently asked everyone to fill out our Caswell Team COVID-19 survey and the responses we received emulate these stats with majority of respondents saying that their primary household incomes were still working or retired.

Financial Resiliency

There were two other main stats from our survey that shows Sudbury’s ability to weather this storm.

Approximately 70% of respondents have not requested any financial assistance through this.  Not even so much as a mortgage payment deferral.  Nothing.  That is good news and falls in line with 62% saying their finances would be the same or better at year end while over 93% said they would have no major concerns at the end of the year.  When we’re surrounded by ample stories of despair, this is pretty solid proof that Sudbury is showing some profound buoyancy!

The Recovery

It's not hard to understand that the government can't continue to pay 75% of a large swath of private sector salaries, pay 50% of private commercial rents and hand monthly allowances directly to Canadians - we all know it's not sustainable.  Governments were already in big defecit positions going into this, and with our current national debt clock adding $10,000 a second and each Canadian owing $20,000 (as of this writing), we are creating catistrophic debt levels for future generations unless we get out the paddles and shock our economy back to life.

The private sector doesn't want handouts, they want to work.  But our economy is currently a house of cards with a hurricane on the horizon.  If those who worked through this and/or are financially secure decide to sit on their wallets and support for the private sector disappears, it will wipe out our current strong, resilient position in Sudbury.  Here's a little video that explains this:

We’re a Tough Team

While the country is getting walloped, we’re hanging in as a beacon of light.  While the country is bleeding jobs like a slag pour, we’re still firing the furnaces.  While others are talking about the one that got away, we’re still reeling them in.  While other areas are shell-shocked, we’re still complaining about the weather.

But we’re a team and our entire team isn’t out of this yet.  No good team leaves a teammate behind and, as part of resiliency, it’s important those who can afford to get the local economy rolling, get out there and make it happen.  Consider yourselves the “green spray” that was used on our “moonscape” – a little here, a little there and, with a little bit of time, our whole area is green and lush again and it's as though the fake moon landing never happened.

Some of our teammates have been knocked down, but we know they're tough as hell.  Let’s put our hand out to help them up so, together, we can brawl this crisis and then head out to get “stinko on a Sudbury Saturday night”.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767

caz@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


How You Doing?

(Published on - 5/10/2020 3:35:12 PM)

Anyone who is a fan of Friends can hear Joey’s sly voice while attempting a pickup with that opening line.  Although we’re asking you the same thing, we’re doing it more sincerely and certainly not as a pickup attempt!

With the exception of last week, we’ve been consistent in posting weekly blogs in an effort to help everyone through this.  In some cases a blog was written almost directly to help one person who we felt needed it, but others were getting some positive benefits through them as well.  We thank you for all the great feedback we've been getting from these.

These blogs ranged in topics related to Covid-19 and bluntly approached some issues in a tough, but fair way.  You can check out the entire blog train from the onset of Covid-19 which starts with the “We’re All Doomed” blog posted back in the days when toilet paper was flying off the shelves and people seemed in both panic and denial of what was about to happen.

As things continued to evolve, so did our blogs in an effort to help people during the weekly moments in the isolation periods.  We all went through an abundance of emotions through this – fear, anxiety, boredom, frustration, etc. – and we know these emotions aren’t going to change overnight.  We’ve all seen the changes on social media, as discussed in our Covid-19 Human Behaviour blog, go from playfulness with funny memes turning to frustration of having to maintain isolation and even into anger while attacking others views or opinions.  Honestly, it’s no fun watching our fellow Canadians turn on each other in such a stressful time for all of us.  So unCanadian.

We understand the frustrations and wanting to get on with life, but the numbers just aren’t there yet and we’ll take some to get there.  As we said in our last blog post, we shouldn’t be so numb to the numbers that are still showing deaths occurring on a daily basis.  There is still a health crisis upon us, and each one of those numbers is a person, a fellow Canadian, who likely died scared and alone and left behind a family having to mourn without saying their final goodbyes.  And their frustration is completely the opposite of those that want the restrictions loosened so they can get to camp - their frustration is why more wasn’t done to save their loved one.  Think about that next time you turn on the news and they aren’t giving you the green light to pack up the car to head to camp, launch the boat and light a campfire.  Or even consider how shitty some people's Mother's Day will now be this year while you're video chatting with your mom.

That being said, and as we said In The Face of Adversity blog, life will go on.  We can all see the health crisis is slowly subsiding and the focus is now shifting to what is shaping up to be a very serious financial crisis.  With our most recent Covid-19 Weekly Update that we sent out to clients, we’ve done the same focus shift by asking them to complete a survey so we can find out what their general feelings are throughout Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas to get a consensus of what the “new normal” might look for all of us.  The results we’ve seen are nothing short of amazing.

The survey we’ve created asks questions about your current thoughts regarding health, financial and real estate changes we’re seeing related to Covid-19, and we’ve even tried to lighten the mood at the end with a few fun questions for you to reflect back on your own isolation period.  And now we’re opening this up to you – anyone – to help us get an overall feel outside of our Caswell Team family.

If you can spare a few minutes, while you wait for the green light to get to go to the cottage camp, head out to the park or even book that dinner reservation you’ve been hankering for, we’d love to hear your responses to our survey to get more of a provincial and even national perspective.  There are a couple of questions where it requests responses regarding Greater Sudbury, but simply use your own location for your responses to those.

The survey is 100% anonymous and no identifiable information of any kind is provided.  The responses are simply used in aggregate form for us to gauge what everyone is collectively thinking and hopefully provide a bit of a ‘crystal ball” we can all use to work on a game plan to help everyone we can get through the upcoming tough financial times.

But, before we provide you with the survey link, as incentive, and as we mentioned in the FB post, we want to buy you dinner!  If you’re the lucky one, we’re going to contact your favourite restaurant, no matter where it is, and put $50 towards your next to-go order or eat-in dinner.  We’ll randomly select one name from everyone who shares the survey link post or this blog post directly from our Caswell Team Facebook page and, if you’re chosen, we’ll message you to find out where you want us to buy you dinner!  Even if you've already completed the survey through a different message, hit that "share" button for a chance at some free dinner!

We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to help us help everyone we can by completing the survey below. 

Just click the picture to open the survey and tell us, “How You Doing?”

Wishing all moms out there an awesome Mother's Day!

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767

caz@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


Ready, Set, Wait!

(Published on - 4/26/2020 3:18:37 PM)

Before I get into this week’s blog, I want to send some big hugs and love to our Eastern brothers and sisters in Nova Scotia.  Such a horrible and tragic story that happened to such friendly and happy people.  No one deserves to wake up to the week they have had. 

I’ve had some shitty days in my life. I mentioned in my Adversity blog that my story wasn’t shittier than anyone else’s story, everyone just has a different story.  I’m retracting that comment now.  There are 100’s, if not 1000’s, of people in Nova Scotia who instantly have a way shittier story than me and I sincerely feel deeply for them.  They’re tough as hell out there, so I know they’ll get past this, but it will be a tough road and I hope they know they have the entire country’s support behind them.

As we mentioned in our weekly update to our clients, what unfolded out east was an extremely blunt reminder that it could be worse.  As we all woke up on that Sunday morning that felt the same as yesterday and likely the same as tomorrow, our Nova Scotian brethren were waking up to a completely devasting change to their “Groundhog Day”.  Hopefully everyone put their frustration of being quarantined in their back pocket that morning and appreciated just how lucky we were to wake up into that boring, new normal.

Now, although the families and communities of those 22 people now have a devastating recent past to come to terms with, there are also over 2000 families across Canada that are suffering with loss because of COVID-19.  Although our hearts all broke simultaneously for Nova Scotia, unfortunately we have become numb to the others as they are just “aggregate stats” and numbers on the screen.  The numbers are just too big for the media to interview every single family member from those 2000 plus Canadians we’ve lost since the onset of this, but I’m sure hearing them all individually would help us put real loss to those “stats” we’re hit with during daily updates.

It’s not our fault, it’s just the nature of it.  When we get walloped by a snowstorm, we don’t recognize each individual snowflake.  When cottage country is flooding, you can’t count the rain drops.  But, in either circumstance, it can be overwhelming and even become devastating. 

Over 2000 Canadians gone is devastating.  Hell, one is devastating, but the scale of loss has become so large that we’re nearly immune to it when they add another 10 here and another 50 there.

These are people.  These are the elderly that raised us and provided us the opportunities we have today.  These are the frontline workers throwing their own body on the grenade to save us.  These are the most vulnerable people in our society that we have failed to protect.  But, piled together, they’re just a number on the screen.

Now we’re seeing provinces starting to present plans to loosen up restrictions and we’re all feeling some cautious optimism that we’re about to get the green light to start moving in the other direction.  Personally, I feel the same as all of you that we might be lining up in the starting blocks waiting for the race to start.

But, as we’re based in Sudbury, Ontario, I’m using this blog to tell everyone in Ontario to settle down.  This race won’t seem fair when it starts, but life hasn’t been fair to a lot of people lately.  Some runners will get to take off, while we’re going to be stuck at the starting line looking at the race official wondering why we’re being treated differently.

As we’ve seen, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick have specific dates in the very near future where restrictions start to loosen.  And, when reviewing them, I get so excited seeing how we’ll get to golf again, we’ll get to go camping, we’ll get to hang out with another household and soon get to hang with friends/family in small groups.  Then we’ll get to go out for dinner, we’ll be able to get a haircut and we’ll be able to move back towards what we remember as normalcy.

But, I’m wrong.  That’s THEM, not me.  Not us.

We have to wait.  We have to continue to be patient in Ontario.  We have to put our jealousy and frustrations aside and be happy for, and proud of, our fellow Canadians that they did what needed to be done to save the lives of their family members and their neighbours. 

Daily, in Ontario, we’re still seeing the reminders that we’re not quite out of the woods.  And that statement seems so blasé when the reminder comes in the form of a daily death count.  We’re still seeing more families losing loved ones, more Canadians passing without any family around them, more Ontarians being sent to empty funeral homes where only a handful of people get to say goodbye.  There are no Celebrations of Life for these people that are victims of a widespread disaster.  There are no hugs to those that have lost loved ones. 

After creating a lifetime of family, friends and community, they die alone.  Sure, that's harsh, but it's 100% necessary to remind you why you’re still stuck at home while some of our fellow Canadians are starting to make plans for a day at the beach.

The provinces that are starting to loosen up are past the truly ugly part of this phenomenon – we, in Ontario, are not.  And it’s important we remember why we’re not going to the camp/cottage, why we’re not crowding arenas and why we’re not bringing the grandkids over to grandma’s so we can go out for a night on the town. 

We’re doing it to save lives.  We’re doing it so people don’t die alone without their family there.  We’re doing it to support the most vulnerable in our community while we watch Netflix and bbq steaks.  We’re doing it because every single person deserves the right to be alive on the other side of this.

Ontario, be patient.  The more we stay calm, curtail our frustration and remember that others’ lives depend on us, the quicker we’ll be golfing, having a fish fry at camp and hugging grandma.

Look at that daily death count for what it is – an extremely blunt reminder that your days could be worse.

For now, it’s time to hurry up and wait.  The race won’t seem fair, but let’s make sure every single person is given their fair chance to get to the finish line.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767

caz@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


Silver Linings Of COVID19

(Published on - 4/19/2020 5:32:42 PM)

Is your frustration setting in yet?

Looking at social media today is a lot different than scrolling through only two weeks ago.

At the onset of this, platforms were full of compassionate “hang in there” and “let’s do this” messages accompanied by some hilarious memes.  Although these messages are still popping up occasionally, they’re being drowned out by anger and infighting.  This is the onset of widespread frustration.

Some are starting to see who their “friends” really are.  Who they thought were good people, have now turned into complete assholes while they argue and push political, social and personal agendas.  I’m blown away in the comments how people are coming to virtual blows over issues that have zero relevance to their life while pushing their opinions as though the whole world should line up behind and support them (at least six feet apart, of course).

I am simply baffled how many Canadians find it reasonable, and of such utter importance at this moment, to argue about politics online.  As I mentioned in one of the earlier posts, it would be nice if politicians would get along, answer questions truthfully and directly, and put partisan politics aside.  They’re not, and now they’ve got camps filling up on all sides of the spectrum of people that feel it’s their sole responsibility to promote or destroy those positions.

Honestly, why the fuck do so many Canadians feel the need to worry about Trump?  He makes a decision, gets skewered by the media and then the personal opinion posts start flooding social media.  Then Trudeau makes the same decision and he gets praise from the same people.  I haven’t even said what the decision was, but some of you are already getting mad just reading that and proving my point.  Why?  That’s just nonsensical partisanship rearing its ugly head in the back of yours.  Put it back in the box and leave it there.

I wrote a blog on Human Behaviour during COVID-19 and an earlier one of how we're all doomed.  More people should read them and wake up.  We’re Canadians.  We’re supposed to be polite and friendly.  We’re supposed to be humble and accepting.  We’re supposed to be understanding and thoughtful.  But there’s a great number out there who are forgetting this with their daily diatribe of opinionated bullshit.

In our recent weekly update to our clients, I offered up a trick my mom taught me years ago when you’re in pain – take ten deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  The first breath is shallow, and the pain is still there, but by the time you get to the fifth and sixth breath, you’ve gotten past the shock and are realizing the pain is manageable.  I’m offering this advice to those feeling frustrated as well.  Frustration is pain that you’re going to expel onto someone else if you don’t get control of it, and no one needs additional pain right now.

When I coached hockey, one of my favourite lines with the team was “Positive thoughts equals positive results”.  No, it’s not a guarantee that the outcome will be 100% positive, but you can will yourself into believing that things can be good and, when you’re feeling positive, you’re more than likely going to get through whatever the issue is in the right mindset and at least be on track to a positive outcome.

Which leads me to why I’m writing this blog – I want people to start seeing some positive things that have happened or are happening.  Put the political bullshit on the back burner, stop the online vitriol and grab some positive thoughts to share and support each other on for a while.

Essential Worker Recognition

This pandemic has really opened all our eyes to the important people we often forget about and take for granted.  From the nurses, to the lab techs, to the grocery store shelf stocker to the sanitization crews to the people putting in long hours on the roads to get our essential goods to us, we’re finally realizing how important these people are to our daily lives.  This is great news. 

The unfortunate part is this was taught to us a long time ago, but it took such a severe situation to recognize it.  In Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends And Influence People (I believe this was written in the 1930’s), he talks about a school janitor who goes about his daily routine and just gets the job done.  But once he’s shown sincere and honest appreciation, he works harder and goes the extra mile to perform his job even better.

We used to scold  the kid bagging our groceries for squishing the bread, now we’re thanking them for working long hours to stock the shelves.  We used to say, “that nurse has a shitty bedside manner”, now we’re seeing how hard they’re working behind the scenes and that may be why they didn’t have time to pander just to us.  We are now seeing those once invisible cleaners and showing appreciation for attacking the surfaces we wouldn’t want to touch these days.

We all owe sincere and honest appreciation to all these people.  There is no way I could list every profession or person here that is deserving, but we each individually now know who these people are that we may not have seen or treated well before and now fully understand the direct impact they have on our daily lives.

Besides, the more we show them we appreciate them, the harder they’ll work to get us through this.

Nice Lid

It’s not just the workers that have been deemed essential, I’m sure we’re all pretty appreciative right now of even those in the non-essential categories.

Missing your hairdresser or esthetician yet?  How about that bartender who always asked how your day was and would listen to you rant?  What about the motivation your Pilates instructor would give you?

As I mentioned in the last blog, take a shot at the family haircuts – your hairdresser will be elated to see you and show off their skills at fixing the mess you created.  Imagine the rants your bartender is going to have to listen to the next time you nestle up to the bar and remember to give them your ear for awhile so they can have their chance.  And your Pilates instructor will be more than happy to book you in for two extra sessions a week to burn off those isolation pounds.

Send them all a message and let them know you can’t wait to sit in the chair, climb up on that stool and get on that mat so they know they’re still essential to you.

Grandma Is Online!

“How do you turn this thing on?”

“What do you mean I have to ‘like’ something?” 

“Where is this internet I have to go to?”

One of the great silver linings in all this is our technology.  Sure, as mentioned, it is being used too much by assholes to push their agendas and pick fights, but it’s also become a huge asset for us to stay connected today and combat the feeling of isolation.

Honestly, I used to hate the idea of a video call.  It seemed weird and, really, it was just my own insecurity of being on camera that was holding me back.  I have done commercials before and have been videotaped speaking, and I could do it with ease when the cameras were off, but I never liked when the red light went on at the top of those camcorders.  (remember those things?)

Now, I love it.  This isolation has given me a sincere appreciation for these tools we have at our fingertips.  I love getting to see my friends and family on the other side of the screen.  It brings a feeling of connection more than just a phone call.  You can see the smiles and laughter.  You can see the eyes light up, and even roll in some cases, but it’s more of an emotional connection than just a voice ever could be.  And sharing our emotions “in-person” will help us in the long run.

Call your grandparents, call your parents, call your kids, call your friends, call your co-workers.  Get on the video chats and show your face.  Show off your smiles and share some laughs.  Just don’t talk politics….

Who Let The Dogs Out?

How freakin’ happy are the majority of dogs these days? 

Our furry, four-legged family members are being spoiled these days.  Walk after walk after walk after walk.  I’m sure there are dogs out there that are silently waving the white flag thinking, “do we seriously have to go for our sixth walk today?”

Like Elvis declared, “ain’t nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time”, and our basset hound is no exception.  She whines as her form of crying that we’re not there.  Whenever we leave the house, she cries so incessantly that she gets to a howl of distress from the loneliness.  Well, now that we’re with them basically 24/7, we don’t hear much whining these days!  It actually seems like we’re getting looks of, “why are you still home?  Don’t you have shit to do?”

And, although the four-legged “kids” are getting spoiled, we’re also spoiled by them.  We get to feel comfort of snuggling with them on the couch when we’re having a bad day, we get to laugh at them when they are ripping around soaking wet after their “home spa day” bath and horrible DIY haircut and I’m sure there’s plenty of us out there that are having more in-depth conversations with our dogs these days – as we know they’ll always agree with our opinion!

Give Fido an extra belly rub today – they’re your emotional support team that always has positive thoughts about you.

We Can Breathe

I am not a climate alarmist, but I am also not a denier.  I am, like most, rooted in the middle of the spectrum that agree we should take better care of our emissions, but not at the sake of reducing our lives to nothing.  I certainly don’t agree with using climate change as a tax grab, but I also think we should do something.

The silver lining here is that hopefully both extremes on that spectrum now get to see what extreme action looks like. 

The climate alarmists should be able to recognize that this is what the world looks like if we go too far.  Our economy is decimated, and millions are unemployed.  We are being told this economic suffering is going to mimic the Great Depression.  With no planes flying, no one driving, minimal industries operational and so few working, it’s time we realize that Canada is a resource driven economy and we can’t shut it down overnight to “save the planet for our kids”.  Ask past generations if the Great Depression was what they wanted to leave for their kids….

On the other side of the coin, the deniers should take a hard look at the environmental changes we are seeing in such a short span of time.  We’re all seeing the pictures of the Himalayas now being visible, we’re seeing dolphins populating the canals in Venice, we’re seeing wildlife take over roadways and towns and we’re seeing smog lifted from major cities.  These are all positive changes.  And this only took two months or less to start affecting our planet in a positive way.

Hopefully both sides will use this as an opportunity to stop the virtual infighting, show some appreciation for the other side’s opinion and work together to find solutions that can leave our kids a cleaner planet while still providing them an opportunity to prosper.

Out For A Hike Are Ya, Bud?

I know there’s some online arguments swirling about how stores should only be selling “essential” items.  The box stores, like Walmart, have an advantage of having groceries while still offering everything else you may need, or even not need.  I get it, it’s not fair to Foot Locker, Canadian Tire and Roots that they can’t sell their products through traditional brick and mortar stores while Walmart can still sell these items.

However, what I do find positive is seeing the guy that would normally be buying Cheetos is now looking at running shoes.  Instead of buying a case of pop, people are looking at free weights.  Instead of looking in the store freezer trying to select an ice cream flavour, they are now choosing what colour of yoga mat will look good on the living room floor while matching the couch throw pillows.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in the Adversity blog, people handle things differently.  These are the people that are now taking an inventory of their situation and trying to make the best of it. 

Good on you to take this situation into a positive and healthy direction.  Go get’em!

Kids Grow Up So Fast!

Not anymore!  Very rarely do we see posts anymore about “where did the time go” as kids are getting older.  No longer are parents absent for every big event while they’re rushing to connecting flights or checking into another hotel on the road for work.  There is no longer an empty chair at the family dinner table.

Now, parents are witnessing every millimeter of growth.  They’re getting to spend the time with their kids that they’ve always wanted to.  Some, of course, are probably thinking they’re getting a little too much time with the kids, but they can take a moment to pause and remember all the times they couldn’t and wished they had.

But it’s not just kids.  Spouses are reconnecting over a glass of wine and a movie.  They are sitting down for dinner and talking.  They’re having thorough conversations about their finances and formulating a game plan (this is a positive no matter how bad the financial situation is).

Enjoy this family time.  When the gates reopen and we all need to fill our wallets to survive it, you’ll miss the simple times of watching cartoons with the kids and cuddling on the couch watching Netflix.

Wash Your Hands

Talk about a lesson in hygiene for everyone! 

My new shower routine starts with washing my hands before anything else (please do yourself a favour and don’t grab a mental picture here – oops – maybe you just did).  Think about that – I want to make sure my hands are thoroughly clean before I shower.  What a world.

Everyone is washing their hands probably 100% more often than they did.  And they’re probably doing it 100% more thoroughly as well. 

Houses are likely cleaner than they have ever been.  People have now learned how to cough and sneeze properly to protect others.  And there’s a new appreciation for personal space these days….

Hopefully this remains the new normal when this is all over.

Smile!

I said in the Human Behaviour blog that everyone has been looking at people differently these days.  They’re skeptical about everyone else and, in some cases, looking at people with utter fear.  This is not the silver lining, but I did mention in that blog how I highly doubt anyone has ever caught COVID-19 from a smile or saying “good afternoon” to someone.

Now that everyone is wearing masks, for the most part, I’ve realized that people don’t just smile with their mouth.  Michelle and I were in the grocery store, a simple life chore that has suddenly become very worrisome, and I could tell Michelle was stressed, as I was as well.  So, I cracked a joke to break the tension.  Although she had a mask on, I could instantly see she was wearing a huge smile behind it just by the reaction in her eyes.  It was cute and made me feel happy.

Just because we have to wear masks, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t smile.  Let people see your politeness and your smile in your eyes.  They’ll notice it and you may just pass on the smile virus that we all need to spread rampantly these days.

Positive Thoughts = Positive Results

It’s ok to be worried about catching COVID-19.  It’s ok to be worried about the upcoming economic struggles most of us will go through.  It’s ok to be worried about the emotional pain we, and others, will go through or are already going through.

But it’s also ok to look for the positives and let yourself focus on those.  It’s ok to be happy with spending lots of time with the kids.  It’s ok to dial up someone on FaceTime and share some laughs.  It’s going to be great to look back after COVID-19 and think, “that’s when I really started to get in shape” or “that scare really helped us focus on getting our finances in order”.

Spending your days thinking about positive thoughts and avoiding joining the chorus of frustration and infighting online is what will get the strong through this.  Looking forward with optimism and hope will help keep your emotions in check.  Smiling through that mask, giving an essential worker sincere and honest appreciation and looking at any way to make today better for yourself, and others around you, will keep us all going in the right direction.

We’re still in the eye of the storm, but now is the time to take ten deep breaths, look for the silver linings in the clouds, focus on the positive and get back to being Canadian.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767

caz@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


Ridiculous Quarantine Ideas

(Published on - 4/12/2020 6:11:24 PM)

So, folks, anything new?

As mentioned in a past blog, that’s my stupid intro line I’m using in correspondence these days.  It’s bizarre but makes me chuckle and we can all use a good chuckle these days.

Considering our last blogs have been bleak, yet positive and supportive, we wanted to take this week’s blog post in an entirely different direction.  We’re all heading into our fourth or fifth week of being locked up at home.  Remember, this is a right thing to do to SAVE LIVES.  We’re all doing our part and I’m proud of all of you.

We’re all seeing the posts on social media of all the great things our friends and family are doing to pass the time – decluttering the house, starting to do yoga, learning a new language, trying a new recipe, blah, blah, blah.  Those are all good, but, to liven you up and make you chuckle, we’re taking these suggestions into another dimension.  We’re going beyond the normal and jumping right into the ridiculous to give your friends and family something to really talk about, give you and your quarantine mates some good laughs and get you out of the Groundhog Day scenario we all seem to be stuck in these days.

Before I get right into it, our legal team requires us to post the disclaimer that this is strictly for entertainment purposes only.  If you decide to employ any of these suggestions, it’s on you.  Basically, if COVID-19 disappears tomorrow and you have to return to work with a mohawk, we are not liable.  That being said, if you get to be back to work tomorrow, we’re confident no one is going to give a shit what your hair looks like.

Further, we are not trying to be insensitive.  We understand the struggles and frustrations we're all dealing with but, we've all heard the saying, sometimes laughter is the best medicine.  We all deserve a good laugh right now.

This blog is a list of suggestions that we’ve had some fun compiling.  We’ve included who we feel each one is appropriate and inappropriate for under each heading.  Some of these are just plain inappropriate to begin with, even pushing the boundaries of "offside", but it just adds to the fun!

To make things even more fun, Amanda, Michelle and I have each picked our favourite and we're awarding PRIZES for the best story, picture or video submission that you submit for that ridiculous thing to do!  You’ll see a notification after the ones we’ve chosen as our favourites after each description.  Some we do NOT want to see your pics, nor is it probably even legal to post them! 

If you’re shy, you can email your submission to our team account at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com with the subject line stating the ridiculous idea you took part in and are trying to win.  But, keep in mind, if you do win, we reserve the right to post your submission as the winner on our Facebook page.  For the more adventurous types, feel free to just post your submission in the comment section of this blog’s Facebook post, along with the idea title.  Keep in mind, those that post in the public domain will get extra consideration!

If we select yours as the winner for that category, we’ll send you a $25 gift certificate to your favourite local restaurant so you can order in and celebrate your victory!  You don’t have to be in Sudbury to win this as our clients, friends and family are stretched out far and wide.  And anyone is eligible, so don't be shy to share this with anyone else who needs a laugh.

We will announce all winners on Saturday, April 25th on our Facebook page.  So, if you already have big plans that day, you may want to postpone them......

Now, without further ado, let’s take this boring quarantine and make it ridiculously entertaining!

 

Shower Routine

Appropriate for:  Individuals, Couples
Not Appropriate For:  Families (all at once…..)

These days, we know there are plenty of people out there that might be skipping the daily shower routine.  More often than in the past, you’re probably thinking “why bother?”  You don’t have to smell good for anyone, your family has already seen you filthy on the couch before and it’s just such a chore to peel off those pajamas only to throw them back on again.

We disagree.  Now’s the perfect time to address that boring and tired shower routine you’ve been using for years, or possibly even decades.  Peel off those pajamas, get in there and mix it the hell up!

If you take hot showers, turn it to cold.  If you use your right hand to soap up, put that luffa in the left hand and give it try.  If you always wash your left armpit before your right, head to the right stink zone first.  If you don’t use a luffa, try it.

Get way into the back of that shower caddy and grab that shampoo you bought at Dollarama three years ago that you thought sucked.  Maybe it gets better with age!  Speaking of shampooing, have any of us actually “repeated” like the bottle tells us?  This is the chance to give it a whirl!

Warning – there are things you can’t or should not do differently.  Don’t be stupid and try conditioning your hair before shampooing it.  (p.s. – I can now confirm this doesn’t work).  Don’t do a handstand to rinse your butt like one of my old hockey teammates used to do – not only could you hurt yourself, it’s just plain weird.  And, yes, my buddy actually does this.

For obvious reasons, there are no prizes for this one and PLEASE refrain from submitting any pics!

 

Ditch The Bic

Appropriate For:  Anyone
Not Appropriate For:  Anyone who has had laser hair removal.

Thinking about shaving?  Full stop.  That’s a hard no!  Why would ya?

I skipped my first couple of shaves and the hassle of trying to shape my goatee.  As it started to get increasily fluffy and incredibly white,  Michelle said, “just let it grow”.  She's right - why the hell not?  I'm normally scary to kids but now they might think I'm Santa's older brother!  As a bonus, it actually helped me with changing up my shower routine as well.

Gents, ever thought, “man, I’d probably look so cool in a Lanny McDonald stash.”  Or maybe you’re just realizing you’re jealous of the guy with the beard braid on Tiger Kings.  Or maybe you’ve seen some guy with crazy “chops” and think, “why would he think that looks good?” only to find out now you think it looks stellar on you!  Run with it.

But we’re not just talking men and facial hair here.  Let it all go.  Go complete 60’s hippy style.  Women – it’s time to pay the men back with those hairy legs scratching you in bed.  Hell, at one time, armpit hair used to be sexy and, just like carpet used to be cool before everyone went back to hardwood floors, maybe that flowing armpit hair will make a comeback and you’ll be the one who gets to say, “I was doing it before it was cool again!" 

Speaking of carpet……. Um, hard no.  Won’t go there.  Well, maybe I just did…..

There won’t be prizes for this one, but don’t by shy to continually send us your before/during/during/during/during (not sure how long till the “after” will come) COVID-19 styles! 

But please do NOT share any flooring shots…..

 

Kris Kingle Snips

Appropriate For:  Families, ages old enough for scissors
Not Appropriate For:  Couples (pretty sure we all understand the danger there!)

Sticking with the hygiene theme, this one is fun for the whole family! 

We all know what the Kris Kingle game  is – you pick a name out of a hat and buy a gift for them at the office, classroom or family Christmas party.  Lots of fun getting to see the reactions when people open their gifts!

This is the same concept but, instead of gifts, whoever’s name you draw gets to give you a haircut!  But there can be no mirror used – that’s the element of the Kris Kringle surprise when the big reveal happens.

Ever wonder what dad would look like with a mohawk?  How about getting the salad bowl out on mom for some past payback when we were kids?  Sick of looking at your teenager with that gelled up “bedhead” look while you’ve always pictured him with a military brushcut?

It’s hair, it will grow back (apologies to all my bald friends out there).  Like I said in the opening statements, if you get called back to work, no one is going to give two shits what your hair looks like after this and they’ll actually get a kick out of the “new you”.  Don’t think for a second your hairdresser will get offended – they’ve probably been quietly hoping you’d finally change up that ‘do and they’ll love the challenge of creating something nice out of the mess your six-year-old gave ya.

NOTABLE EXCEPTION – as noted above, there may be some bald members of the family out there.  They’re not getting out of this.  Whoever is supposed to cut the hair of the bald person, gets to take all the other hair off the floor, including dog hair, and make them a wig that they have to wear.  Use that shower cap from the hotel you grabbed seven years ago or grab an old t-shirt and make a bandana that you can glue on to.  Whatever you do, don’t glue directly onto anyone’s scalp – no one needs to use paint thinner or Goo-Be-Gone as part of their new shower routine…..

Get the scissors out, grab that bottle of hairspray that’s been in the back of the cupboard since 1992, plug in that razor and away ya go!!!!

 PRIZE ALERT!!!!!   

THIS IS MICHELLE'S FAVOURITE.  SUBMIT YOUR BEST HAIRCUT PICS OR VIDEOS TO WIN A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE.  THE MORE PEOPLE INVOLVED AND THE MORE RIDICULOUS THE HAIRCUTS AND STYLES WILL GET YOU CLOSER TO THE WIN!

POST SUBMISSION ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE OR EMAIL TO CASWELLTEAM@REALTYEXECUTIVES.COM

 

Pack Your Bags

Appropriate For:  Anyone with a spare bedroom
Not Appropriate For:  Younger kids providing room service

We all want a getaway right now.  Oh, what we’d give to get away to another place in this moment and think about something else.   Who doesn't want a vacation right now to get away from all the other quarantinites you’re stuck with? 

I mentioned the hotel you visited in the last one, and it’s time you booked that mini vacation right now!  There’s a way to do it with no booking fees, free cancellation and no long travel days.

Think of the guy on Price Is Right announcing this for ya during your Showcase Showdown:

“This incredible quarantine getaway will have you and your guest whisked away with roundtrip walk-fare from the master to your spare room where you’ll enjoy a two night stay in the shitty sheets you use for guests, barely enough shampoo to wash half your head, room service with microwaved dinners for two and the familiar feeling of ‘I packed way too much for this trip’ while you relax under the $10 dome light you installed from Home Depot.  Pack your bags!”

Before your vacation starts, it’s of utmost importance to prepare your getaway bathroom.  Take all the soap, shampoo and conditioner out of the bathroom and replace it with the smallest bar of soap you can find and a tablespoon of that shitty, 3-year-old Dollarama 2-in-1 shampoo in the shower caddy.  If you don’t have a bar of soap you stole from a hotel, just grab that piece in the bottom of your soap dish that you didn’t get rid of when you put a new bar of soap on top of it. 

You’ll also have to remove that triple-ply toilet paper you now have five year’s supply of and replace it with just standard loose-leaf pages.  And, very important, make sure to put a hair somewhere on the pillows that you can find when you pull back the sheets.

Set your vacation departure time and date and start preparing.  Grab that carry-on and throw some clothes in, pack up your shaving kit (but, remember, no Bic razors) and even throw in a bathing suit in case the bathtub turns into a pool for the afternoon.  Also be sure to be late for departure by throwing in those extra shoes you “might” wear and that book you’ll never read.

If you have some older kids, let them operate the hotel for you.  Set up a table outside the spare room door where they can greet you with a “whatever” attitude while they type on their phone, have them carry your bags and show you how to turn on the TV while they’re looking for a tip, call them when you need fresh towels (be sure they grab those ones way in the back of the linen closet that smell like they’ve been in the back of the linen closet for years) and even order room service (be sure to align your expectations to the kids ages – cereal for breakfast and Michelina’s for dinner).

Ah, finally getting away from it all.  Time to kick back and enjoy cause, before you know it, you’ll be packing up and heading back across the hall!

 

2nd First Date

Appropriate For:  Couples, Families
Not Appropriate For:  Couples who say the wrong things

As the days go by, you’re beginning to realize you’ve already talked about everything – twice.  You can only share COVID-19 “breaking news” so much, you’re to a point where you don’t care about the meme their friend posted on Facebook and you just want to talk about something new.

It’s time to book a 2nd First Date at 5pm and then become the new you!  Both of you!  Or even all of you if the whole family is invited!

If you’ve ever watched Modern Family, Phil and Claire Dunphy do this every year for Valentine’s Day.  They’ve created alternate personas for themselves and they play the role.  Now as Clive Bixby, a travelling businessman, and Julianna, the local, lonely housewife, they dive into their new roles in hot pursuit of one another.  The clip below shows you how to get started and also shows you how couples have to be careful with this one!

At noon, separate in the house and don’t talk to each other.  Create a new character for yourself – anything.  Spaceman, cowboy or even an astronaut-cowboy like Ashton Kutcher proclaimed he wanted to be on That 70’s Show.  Spend the afternoon forming your character – when your next mission is, why you don’t like the colour blue, how your sister is married to the king of wherever, etc.  Dig deep and be creative.

Now it’s time to get ready for the big date.  After using your new shower routine, grab that cologne or perfume that has been in the drawer for ten years.  Style up your new pink mohawk that your daughter gave you.  Reach into the back of the closet and grab something you haven’t worn in ages.  But, before you leave for the date, be sure to pre-order delivery from your favourite local restaurant for 7pm cause your new character is a shitty cook.

5:00 pm has arrived.

Of course, any good first date starts with drinks at a local, lounge style bar.  We’ll call this lounge “the living room no one ever uses”.  After getting to “know” one another, at 6pm you feel it’s time to head out to the restaurant for your reservation.  When you arrive, as usual, your table isn’t ready, so you’ll have to nestle up to the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail or five.  We’ll call the restaurant bar “the kitchen island”.  After a little more chit chat (and a knock at the door that your food has arrived), you’re ushered to your table for dinner.  We’ll call this "the dinner table."

The key to this is, like any other date, the more wine that gets poured, the more entertaining the conversation gets!  But it’s important to NEVER break your character.  Might even be a nice touch if the characters were from a land where people didn’t look at their phone every five minutes……

You can also do this with the family after the Cross Dress Closet Cleanout (coming up).  But, if you keep it to just a Couple, and you play your cards right, you may just want to combine this one with the mini-vacay and/or Nudist Resort!

 

I’m Crushing Your Head

Appropriate For:  Individuals, Couples, Families, Sensei’s
Not Appropriate For:  Jedi’s

Our generation may be at a huge advantage on this one with our love for The Kids In The Hall.  This awesome idea comes from a skit where Mark McKinney “crushes heads” of others while he sits in the shadows.  But, it’s important to be careful with this one as there are different levels for this.

BEGINNER LEVEL – this is where you learn the art of head crushing. 

You start by placing your thumb on the bottom and index finger on top slightly apart from each other.  You’ve now created your very own head crusher.  Put them closer to your eye (do not touch your face, of course) and then find your “victim”.  This could be your kid with their back to you watching cartoons, it could be your spouse that’s shown you one too many Facebook memes, do it to your parents when you’re having a Facetime chat with them or even practice on yourself in the mirror. 

Once your fingers are locked on the target, you just crush.  Over and over again – crush. 

As you can see in the quick tutorial below on the proper technique for head crushing, adding in rambling nonsense is also a huge asset.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL – once you have created a large repertoire of successful head crushes, you can move into this next level of training. 

Pull up a chair to the front window or, on a nice day, put a lawn chair on your front stoop or get out on the balcony.  You’re now ready for multiple crushes and moving targets – the guy driving the delivery truck, the squirrel running through the yard or even try the more difficult “double crush” on the dog and the owner’s heads simultaneously as they walk by. 

Don’t panic – all your previous training on your fellow quarantinites has prepared you for this stage!  If you’re still uneasy about taking your head crushing out on the public, below is a sample to help you with moving targets and how to handle confrontation from a passerby:

ADVANCED LEVEL – this is where shit gets real. 

Grab a worthy competitor, with preferably an equal head crushing skill set.  This could be someone you’re quarantined with, it could be your neighbour across the street in their window facing back at you or it could even be your friend that you’re virtual messaging with.  Start crushing.  As you’re crushing, you can introduce rules like “can’t do it to someone driving a red truck” or “the person can’t have a hat on” or “you can’t crush someone who's head has clearly already been crushed”.  You create your own penalties.

You have to be careful to not get too competitive here.  Understand you’re both experienced and appreciate each other’s abilities.  Below shows what can happen when people try to use different systems and clash over trying to use the same targets. 

MIYAGI LEVEL – do NOT try this level until you are 100% sure you’re ready.  This takes a lot of wax on, wax off to perfect.  Any mistakes here could be very serious.

If you feel you’re ready, and only you can determine this, go to your utensil drawer and grab those chopsticks way in the back that came with your Chinese food order 12 years ago.  Pull them out of the paper sleeve and separate them.  To be classy and show great discipline, you will have to rub them together to remove any splinters to avoid giving your victims slivers.  Now place them in your hand like you’re grabbing a piece of California Roll and crush!

JEDI’S BE WARNED – this is NOT an appropriate pastime for you.  You may contain more of "the force” than you know, and the results could actually crush someone’s head.  As you can see below, we don’t need any accidents here.

 PRIZE ALERT!!!!!   

THIS IS CAZ'S FAVOURITE.  SUBMIT YOUR BEST HEAD CRUSHING PIC OR VIDEO TO WIN A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE.  THE HIGHER UP IN THE LEVELS YOU GO, HAVING COMPETITORS IN THE SUBMISSION WITH YOU AND INCESSANT RAMBLING WHILE YOU DO IT WILL INCREASE YOUR CHANCES FOR VICTORY!

POST SUBMISSION ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE OR EMAIL TO CASWELLTEAM@REALTYEXECUTIVES.COM

 

 

That’s My Spot

Appropriate For:  Pet Owners
Not Appropriate For:  Fish, Reptile, Arachnid and Bird Owners

Ever notice that your pet seems to love their favourite spot – might be the doggy bed in the corner of the living room, maybe the back of the couch or maybe it’s the windowsill where your cat performs the daily neigbhourhood watch

Well, our lives have been upended at the moment, so why not pay it forward to your pet?  Walk over to them all comfy in their favourite locale, kick them out of “their spot” and then curl up in it yourself.  If they look at you in pure bewilderment, you got’em.  Take that, Fido! 

But, you have to maintain consistency to send home the message.  If they simply ignore you and head over to another favourite spot, make like shampoo and “repeat” until you finally get the ‘WTF are you doing?’ look out of them!

Regardless, you’re likely to find out that their favourite spot needs a little cleaning and you’ll have to go back in to practice your new shower routine.

 PRIZE ALERT!!!!!   

THIS IS AMANDA'S FAVOURITE.  SUBMIT YOUR PET FAVOURITE SPOT STEAL PICS OR VIDEOS TO WIN A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE.  THE MORE RIDICULOUS THE LOCATION AND THE MORE PISSED OFF YOUR PET LOOKS WILL GET YOU CLOSER TO THE WIN!

POST SUBMISSION ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE OR EMAIL TO CASWELLTEAM@REALTYEXECUTIVES.COM

 

Cross Dress Closet Cleanout

Appropriate For:  Couples
Not Appropriate For:  Guys who will stretch out their wife’s favourite yoga pants

I’d believe that over 90% of us have way more clothes in their closet than they ever wear.  We all stick to our “basics” and, yet, we’re storing a war chest of “if I shed a few pounds” or “these might come back in style” or even the “I don’t even remember buying this” clothes that never see the light of day.

Grab your partner, and even the family, and get in everyone’s closet!  You might be saving it thinking “I’m not sure, but I think this still looks good on me” about some items, but you may have a totally different opinion of it when you see it on someone else.  Seeing that blouse on your husband with his beer gut, his new giant sideburns and the pink mohawk may help you realize “oh, that’s awful”.  Once this image is embedded in your brain, there’s no going back – you’ll never consider wearing it again when you flashback to that visual and now you can finally give up on that dream of ever wearing it again.

Would you still want to wear the dress in the video below after seeing your better half doing this?  Or maybe you might think it looks even better now?

Let the kids get in on it too!  Kids love dress-up and have probably always wanted to try on your clothes.  Roll up those pant legs for them, put a new hole halfway down that belt so it fits their waist and let them stumble down the hallway with those shoes that were off limits.

Why not combine this with the 2nd First Date idea for the whole family and everyone gets to design their new character from the wardrobe?

We definitely want to see these pics – don’t be shy!  Guys, harness your inner Mrs. Doubtfire, get on that dress and throw on some blush.  If Scott, the #BeardedLady can have the gonads to do it on live tv, surely you can put on a quarantine show for your wife and kids!

Gals, throw on that tank top that makes you cringe when he wears it and show off that fresh armpit hair.  It’ll either make him throw it out or he’ll start the “armpit hair is sexy again” trend we were hoping for!

Folks, today’s a different world already.  Gender and male/female were already passé before this happened.  Embrace this brave new world and give it whirl!  You just never know how gender neutral you actually were…..

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POST SUBMISSION ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE OR EMAIL TO CASWELLTEAM@REALTYEXECUTIVES.COM

 

Nudist Resort

Appropriate For:  Individuals, Couples
Not Appropriate For:  Families or Couples using power tools

Ewwww, nudists.  That’s what most of us probably think in normal times. 

We’ve all heard about the Hedonism resorts in Jamaica and, if you’ve been down there, the boat tours often take you by the beach where they all stand up and wave.  If you haven’t seen it, do not picture a beach full of Playboy models and Chippendales – FYI. 

There's no better time to see if you’re a closet nudist!  Set the date and give it a shot!

The morning of “Nude Day”, hop out of bed, rip off the pajamas and get buck.  Jump in the shower, using your newly refined shower routine, dry off and then burst out of the bathroom in your birthday suit and full confidence ready to face the day!

But, you should be aware that there are some things to be very careful about that you may not have realized.  For instance, when you’re making breakfast, be very careful when making the bacon!  Grease splashes hurt when you get hit in the hand, so you don’t want to find out where else this grease can splash.  More importantly, you should close the blinds.  The last thing you want to find out is your neighbour is working on their Intermediate Level of head crushing.

Also, like the Seinfeld episode, when he’s dating a nudist, there are forms of good and bad naked.  This is NOT the day to pull out the power tools and tackle those DIY projects.  If you work out, this is not the day to use the exercise bike or rowing machine.  If you have a work conference call or you have a video call with your grandmother, you should probably reschedule “Nude Day” for another day. 

Check out the clip below for a refresher on good and bad naked before you go “all out” with it….

Taking quarantining to the “nude” level will certainly be entertaining for all involved, but we’re NOT interested in seeing your pics celebrating your new lifestyle

But, you never know, maybe you might wake up the next day and do it all over again while looking at next winter’s vacation at Hedonism.  And think of the money you’ll save on laundry detergent!

 

Have Fun With It!

We hope you’re having, or had, as good of an Easter weekend as possible and maybe even the holiday brought some resemblance of normalcy with egg hunts and nice dinners.  As we’ve mentioned, and we all know, we’re in this for the long haul, so don’t let boredom or the Groundhog Day feeling creep back into your home after the holiday.

We've provided these ideas to loosen things up and to lighten up your lives.  If you do go for it, do them safely.  They'd be a great way to get out of your comfort zone and have some big laughs about it.  You'll make time fly instead of feeling like it's lingering.  You'll make memories you’ll surely look back on in years and howl at how much fun you were able to have through a trying time. 

Just because you’re “trapped”, doesn’t mean your imagination has to be.  It’s time to be fresh, try even harder to brighten everyone’s day and embrace the ridiculous.  After all, we can all agree that we never knew just how ridiculous our daily lives would be today.

Stay home, stay healthy and be ridiculous.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767

caz@realtyexecutives.com

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at caswellteam@realtyexecutives.com.


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