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At 96, A Home Seller Reveals Legendary Preservation Talents

Sherry Rucherman

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If you’ve ever spent time looking at real estate, you’ll know how fascinating the process can be. When you walk up to the front door of a home for sale, you never know what is going be on the other side of that door. While most real estate surprises tend to involve mold or flooded basements, we do have a shocking (and incredible!) real estate discovery for you. When Carla and Gladys Spizzirri were hired by a 96-year-old homeowner to sell her first home, they had no idea what they were in for!

Welcome to Toronto

Our story takes place in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto is the capital of Ontario as well as the most populated city in all of Canada. Toronto is well-known for being a world-class destination. No matter where you look, modern Toronto has something to offer everyone. Having said that, our story takes place in a quiet corner of the city, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto that we pictured above.

148 Jane Street

In fact, our story begins and ends at 148 Jane Street. This sleepy-looking brick home doesn’t have anything notable about it from the outside looking in. The building itself blends in with the rest of the residential neighborhood. If you didn’t know that there was something special about the building from our story, your eyes likely would have past right over the unremarkable building.

Meet the Realtors

Before we go into the incredible building, we have to get to know the heroes of our story. Here we see Gladys and Carla Spizzirri, two Toronto-based realtors that happen to work together. Gladys and Carla are sisters who have been working in the real estate industry for years. Thanks to their sibling bond, they had developed quite the career as real estate partners.

The Phone Call

While Gladys and Carla hadn’t always worked together, they sure knew how to operate as a team. Fortunately for the Spizzirri sisters, an afternoon phonecall to Gladys would change both of their lives! In the real estate industry, a single large sale can fundamentally change our financial status. The right sale can pay the rent for months at a time! This is where the third hero of our story comes into the conversation, Joyce. 

Meet 96-Year-Old Joyce

When Gladys picked up the phone, she was greeted by an elderly woman named Joyce. Joyce was interested in putting her home on the market, but she hadn’t made a concrete decision in either direction. Gladys could immediately tell that Joyce was an older woman, and it soon became clear that 148 Jane Street was Joyce’s first, and only, home. Any kind of sale would have to be carefully approached for the wellbeing of all parties involved.

Selling the Property

As professional realtors, both Gladys and Carla realized what Joyce was considering selling. The area that her home was located in had become incredibly popular in recent years. When Joyce had first settled into the area, it had been located in a sleepy residential neighborhood. Over the last seventy years, since Joyce first acquired the home, the neighborhood had developed into a booming residential and commercial areaListing the Jane Street property could lead to quite the hefty sale! Still, the Spizzirri sisters knew that they needed to see it in person, first.

The First Visit

As Carla and Gladys made their way over to the Jane Street property, their minds began to wander. Over the phone, Joyce had revealed that she was hesitant to sell the property. When pushed to reveal why, Joyce had declined to explain. Instead, the 96-year-old homeowner simply insisted that Carla or Gladys come over to take a closer look. If you’ve ever watched HGTV, you know how sketchy houses can look when they are first put on the market. Gladys and Carla were soon beholden to concerns relating to the interior of the property.

Condition of the Property

Real estate agents and landlords alike will know how decrepit an older home can look. As Joyce had been living at Jane Street for more than 70  years, it seemed entirely fair to wonder what was going on behind closed doors. As far as the realtors knew, Joyce was living alone. Was Joyce a hoarder? Was her home woefully outdated? Was there some secret problem that would call the sale into question?

Trusting Joyce

Despite their concerns and lack of information, Carla and Gladys decided to trust Joyce. Despite her advanced age, Joyce had sounded as good as anyone. They hadn’t received any tangible reason to be concerned about something bad. But still, something nibbled at the back of their mind. Why was Joyce unsure as to if she could sell her home? What was going on behind those doors? Are you ready to have your mind blown?

Stepping Inside the Home

Despite Joyce’s initial hesitance, the Spizzirri sisters made their way over to 148 Jane Street in short order. After all, even if the home was a mess, the location alone would salvage the property. With nothing to lose, Carla and Gladys scheduled a time to visit the home. When they called, Joyce was ready for them. Soon, they made their way to the property in order to stick their ‘for sale’ sign into the ground while seeing just how bad the potential damage was.

Stepping Into a Time Machine

When Gladys and Carla stepped up to the front door and knocked, their hearts were beating in their chests. If this house was trashed, it would make their lives significantly more difficult. However, if the house were in amazing shape, suddenly their prospects were looking up. Above all else, Gladys and Carla had no reason to expect what they ended up walking into. Instead of a trashed old home, Gladys and Carla had seemingly stepped backward in time.

Dreams of Pink

Upon stepping into the foyer, Gladys and Carla were immediately put at ease. After a moment, they suddenly realized what they were looking at. No, the house was not trashed. Instead, Joyce had meticulously preserved the entire property so that it looked just as it did more than seventy years ago. Each room possessed its own theme, including this pink and floral dining area.

Antiques Everywhere You Looked

As Gladys and Carla began their walk through the property, they became immediately aware that something special was going on here. After all, Joyce was almost one hundred years old. How did she have the patience, much less the energy, to keep her home in such fine shape?  Every single room was filled to the brim with legitimate antique furniture. Joyce had seemingly created a museum of her life.

Home Exploration Continues

The longer that Carla and Gladys explored the property, the more aware they became of what they had walked into. Joyce had turned her home into a living testament to her life. Every room was dripping in nostalgia pertaining to a specific period of Joyce’s life. Carla and Gladys were quick to admit that this home was more well-preserved than any other property they had been in!

Pristine Luxury Preserved For Decades

While there was an overwhelming sense of femininity to the home, Joyce had shown the ability to balance her design skills. This dining room, for example, looks picture perfect for the time period that Joyce had bought the home. As the keeper of the home, Joyce had recreated a perfect 1940’s time capsule. Who wouldn’t want to live in a home such as this?

Passion For Interior Design

During their exploration of the property, Gladys and Carla came to realize that Joyce had fallen in love with the world of interior design. As a result, Joyce had decided to practice her skills on each individual room in the home. While this room is filled to the brink with pink colors, it still looks delightfully refined. Despite the overwhelming sense of feminity, one room would end up changing the story of the house.

Heading to the Basement

While Gladys and Carla had enjoyed browsing the home, they had their own concerns. First and foremost, they were afraid that the sheer feminity of the home would limit potential buyers. Fortunately, that conversation was put to rest after heading to the basement. As it turns out, Joyce had let her husband have complete control over the basement. She had even preserved the basement’s style after her husband passed away. Suddenly, Joyce’s story was very emotional. This place was special to her.

Heading to the Backyard

In order to finish their overview of the home, the realtor sisters went outside to look at the yard. The backyard was small but comfortable. The yard was a mixture of cement, turf, and grass with a single shed at the back of the property. Like the front of the house, the backyard did not hint at what was going on inside of 148 Jane Street.

Inspection Day Clouds the Horizon

Despite how lovingly the home was preserved, Gladys and Carla still needed to order a home inspection. In order to legally sell the house, they had to get an inspector in there to prove that the building was safe. As any real estate agent knows, even the nicest home could have a deal-breaker hiding beneath the surface.

Getting the Results

Joyce and her husband had purchased the home more than 70 years ago. As a result, anything could be lurking below the surface. Even though Joyce had clearly taken care of the property, there was no telling what else could have secretly gone wrong. Fortunately, Carla and Gladys didn’t have to wait for long. The results came back perfect. The home was up to all modern standards and had seemingly graded out the same as it had when it was first purchased 70 years ago!

Heading to the Market

After the inspection was performed, Gladys and Carla received the news that they had been hoping for. The house was in great shape and Joyce was seemingly dedicated to listing the property on the market. While the Spizzirri sisters could tell that Joyce still had some doubts, they were given the green light to list the property.

Commitment to Upkeep

After deciding to sell the house, the Spizzirri sisters would go through the home in order to take pictures for a digital listing. While snapping photos, they captured this incredible shot of Joyce’s kitchen. Just imagine walking into this same room more than 70 years ago. According to the inspector, Joyce had performed phenomenal upkeep on the property.

148 Jane Street Goes Viral

After collecting enough shots for an online listing, the Spizzirri sisters would list the property on the internet. People love to look at houses for sale online, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that 148 Jane Street was quick to go viral. Readers around the world shared photos of the so-called ‘Time Capsule’ home. Soon, Joyce and her realtors were being inundated with showing requests. The house was a hit!

Why Joyce Decided to Sell The Home

For Joyce, the decision to sell her lifelong home was not an easy one. Joyce and her (now deceased) husband had purchased the home 72 years ago, shortly after getting married. They built their life together in the building, so it was obvious that the property had sentimental value to Joyce. With that being said, she knew that she was getting too old to take care of the home. She decided that she wanted to move to Florida in order to retire near her family.

Looking Back in Time

As the listing went viral, readers were amazed by how carefully Joyce had preserved the home. Not a single room looked like it was in poor shape. What’s more, each room had its own unique theme. There were no ‘throwaway rooms’ in the building. Joyce had lent her loving touch to every inch of the property.

A Look At Joyce’s Bedroom

Here we get a good look at Joyce’s bedroom. You can instantly tell just how much Joyce cared about the home. Not a single piece of furniture was out of place. Everything was carefully placed and meticulously selected. Joyce’s early passion for interior design work had done wonders for the building.

Passing Down the Beauty of Memory

While Joyce was ready to sell the home, she was not ready to depart with all the memories inside of it. Rather than selling the vintage and antique furniture, Joyce had chosen to pass the furniture down to her daughter. Can you blame her? While the vintage furniture looks incredible, nobody else in the world will have the sentimental attachment that Joyce and her family does.

Joyce’s Private Bathroom

As you can see, Joyce’s design touch extended to her bathroom as well. It is easy to imagine Joyce and her husband growing old together in this home. For that reason, it is easy to understand Joyce’s reticence when it came time to contact Gladys and Carla. If you had spent 70+ years inside of a home with someone you loved, would it be easy for you to give it all up?

Showcasing Her Design Skills

While it may not be easy to give up something you love, you might as well get top dollar for it. In order for that to happen for Joyce, Gladys and Carla had to figure out how to market the home. They decided to market the property as a ‘themed’ home, not dissimilar to the 70s and 80s-era homes that are for sale. 

Modern Laundry Room

Despite listing the home as a ‘Time Capsule From the 60s’, Joyce was proud to showcase her more modern updates. This laundry room features all of the conveniences that a modern homeowner would want. What’s more, Joyce’s careful maintenance of the home would go a long way toward keeping every inch of the property in great shape.

Going Through With the Sale

When it came time to put a dollar sign on the property, Joyce wasn’t exactly eager to give a number. This was a huge decision for her and no matter how much she prepared, it was always going to be. Still, Joyce knew that she had to be brave in order to go through with the sale and get back to her family in Florida, so she did.

Inspired By the Location

Thanks to the location of the home, Gladys and Carla were sure to promise Joyce that she would get top dollar for the building. After all, the neighborhood was widely considered to be wonderful. What’s more, there was a thriving community of boutique shops and romantic little cafes surrounding the area. Jane Street was quickly becoming the place to be.

Neighborhood Growth Impacts Real Estate

As you no doubt understand, the growth of a neighborhood can impact the real estate value of a piece of property. When Joyce and her husband had purchased their home 70+ years ago, they were throwing a dart at a board. Would their home retain value in the future? As it turns out, they hit the bullseye with their purchase! 

Closing the Deal

Carla and Gladys crunched the numbers and compared the home to other pieces of property in the area. After their extensive research, Gladys and Carla would approach Joyce with a price tag of $968,000. Not only was Joyce going to get her money’s worth from the house, she was also going to be turning herself into a millionaire!

Happily Moving On

After listing the home, Joyce stayed in constant communication with her realtors. Throughout the process, Joyce was clearheaded and focused on the sale. When it came time to file the paperwork, Joyce was ready to get moving. While this home had been a huge part of her life, Joyce knew that she carried the loving memories with her wherever she went. She was finally ready to head home to her family in Florida.

Remembering the Home

Despite having worked in the real estate industry for more than thirty years, Gladys and Carla had never seen anything quite like this. Their journey with Joyce had brought them face-to-face with a loving time capsule that was cared for with compassion and skill. Joyce’s love of her husband and their life together had manifested itself in the very way that she cared for the home. Who could write a better love story than that?

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Dog Survives Cancer By Wearing Outlandish Costumes

Leslie Tander

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Whenever dogs and cats get spayed or neutered, they have to wear the “cone of shame.” It’s that big uncomfortable plastic cone that keeps them from being able to bite at their stitches- which would be pretty messy and unpleasant for everyone. But, anyone who has ever had a pet in the cone of shame knows- they really hate it. Sometimes they try furiously to get out of it, and sometimes they just lay down and whine- but that ALWAYS hate it.

But we found one exceptional case of a golden retriever that actually seemed to enjoy his come. Rusty is a 9-year-old retriever who had a rare case of bladder cancer. Fortunately, Mary and Madeline are very proactive about Rusty’s health and take him in for checkups regularly. Rusty’s cancer was spotted and diagnosed early. That gave Mary and Madeline a lot of hope- but naturally, they were very worried about their furry pal. Rusty didn’t show any signs of illness, except for visible weakness in his left hind leg, which he would favor. This, it turned out to be caused by pain in his abdomen when he put weight on the leg.

After being diagnosed, he was scheduled quickly and put on a regimen of chemo. The surgery went well, but Rusty had to wear the cone, as well as having to be forced to take a long period of rest. Because Rusty is a very energetic character, his rest period had to be chemically enforced. Rusty had to take medicine to make him calm enough to get through his rest period.

But Rusty’s owners Mary and Madeline had an idea to help Rusty get through his recovery, as well as to help fund his medical bills. It was around Halloween, and the two started making creative costume designs out of Rusty’s cone of shame.

They first turned him into a martini with a toothpick and olives made from construction paper. Then they turned his cone into a shark’s head with teeth, eyes, and fins. Then they make him into a “shush puppy” with wadded up, colored packing paper and a straw made from a tube. At one point Rusty found himself transformed into a submarine with a hull and a domed window. He was made into a space alien, a bowling ball, a long list of cocktails, a ghost, and many other outlandish things.

Not surprisingly, Mary and Madeline took some heat from online communities for their creative use of Rusty’s cone. People said it was abusive. They said it was a waste of their time. And sometimes they said truly awful things because- well, this is the Internet. But Mary and Madeline could see that Rusty was having as much fun as they were- and the support, both emotionally and financially, was overwhelming.

Rusty loved the laughs and the attention he was getting and started to really get into his costumes. On top of that, Rusty developed a hearty following on Instagram as his costumes grew wilder and more imaginative.

Eventually, Rusty’s cone was removed and he made a full recovery. While some derided the use of his medical predicament as something to be made fun of, others could see that Rusty was having as much fun as his owners. But perhaps best of all, many other pet owners with pets donning the cone of shame have made a tradition out of dolling up their medically yoked pets.

As for Rusty, he’s somewhat of a pioneer, as well as a cancer survivor. And he still enjoys having creative costumes made for him even though he no longer has his cone for them to be built upon.

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6 Year Old Boy Stands Against Bullying With a Custom T-Shirt

Sherry Rucherman

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Bullying is a big problem in today’s schools. In fact, 20-30% of students admit to being bullied, and 70% of teachers and students say they have witnessed bullying. However, this isn’t the issue you would expect to be on a 6-year-old boy’s mind when he considers the first day of school. For Blake Rajahn of Georgia, this is exactly what was on his mind. He saw an opportunity to do something about it, and he took it.

Mom Asks a Simple Question

Blake’s mom, Nikki, had recently started her own business making personalized apparel and home goods. She told him he could choose a shirt with anything he wanted on it as a first day of school present. She expected him to ask for what most boys his age would, a cartoon character or a sports theme. What he said surprised her and made her extremely proud.

Nikki says she told Blake, “I will make him any shirt he would like. It could have anything- a basketball theme, football, etc. which are all his favorites”. 

A Heartwarming Yet Surprising Answer

Blake went far beyond Nikki’s expectations with his response. He replied, “Will you please make me a shirt that says ‘I will be your friend’ for all the kids who need a friend to know that I am here for them?”

Blake’s T-shirt was bright orange with “I will be your friend” in green block letters. While most kids just attempt to keep their head down and fit in, Blake chose to stand out as much as possible to spread his message of friendship and kindness. 

Social Media Popularity

Blake’s mom did what any proud parent would do, and posted a picture and the story behind it on Facebook. Her intention was simply to share the moment with those close to her. However, the post went viral. Soon she had others wanting the shirt as well.

Not Just Business as Usual

She states that she had many people ordering the same shirt or shirts with a similar positive message, with many including #blakesfriends in honor of Blake. Nikki sells the custom T-shirts for $15 each. She is also giving back to the local community.

A portion of each t-shirt sold goes to Real LIfe Center, a local church charity. The Real Life Center offers lots of help to needy families in the community, including food pantries, financial counseling, and senior programs.

She took things a step further as well, and allows people to donate money for shirts for those who want one but can’t afford them. It seems Blake seems to have learned about caring for others from the best place possible, his mom.

This heartwarming story is a great reminder that the youngest of us can sometimes teach the greatest lessons. It also shows that a small thing like a custom t-shirt can start a movement and create positive change in the world. 

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Sky Brown Looks to Catch Air at 2020 Olympics

Sherry Rucherman

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When you were 11, your biggest goals probably included climbing trees, playing Little League and eating ice cream. Sky Brown wants to win the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Brown already landed her spot on Team Great Britain as a skateboarder. She’s determined to compete at as young an age as possible, to show other children that their age should not determine their abilities.

“I would like to go to the Olympics while I’m young — I don’t really wanna be 16 or something going to the Olympics [for the first time],” she told FanSided. “I wanna be young and show every girl that you can do it, just go for it — even though you’re little.”

Her mom hails from Japan, while her dad comes from Great Britain. Although her favorite skating spot is in Miyazaki City Skate Park in her hometown of Miyazaki, Japan, Brown chose to compete on the British Olympics team. 

It might seem wild to say chose, but Brown has her pick of teams since wowing the crowds and judges as the youngest female competitor in a Vans Pro tournament at the  2016 Vans US Open Pro Series. She was eight. Although she wiped out on a maneuver, she impressed coaches, commentators and judges with one commentator putting it mildly when he said, “She skates bigger than she is.”

Brown already leads an international lifestyle since she normally lives and trains in Japan, but competes in California, USA. She now trains with Team Great Britain. She’s competed professionally since the age of seven.

“I just love skateboarding. It’s my happy place,” Brown told CBS News. “Even if I fall or if I get hurt, that won’t stop me to do what I love.”

Until making the GB Olympic team, she did not have a coach. Her father initially taught her to skateboard and surf, but once she went pro, she’s been on her own. She learned to skateboard at age three, but since she was seven has taught herself from YouTube videos. Brown watches other skaters’ videos and after careful study, practices the moves and tricks until she perfects it.

Aside from her message to all youth that age does not impact your ability to make an impact, she also wants young women to know that you can be a female athlete and still love being what she refers to as a “girly-girl.” 

“I love makeup, dresses, jewelry. I want girls to know that they can be a girly-girl and do sports,” she said in an interview.

She took a short break from skating to prove that with her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” Brown partnered with JT Church to win the initial season of DWTS: Juniors bringing home the mirror ball trophy as the youngest contestants in the DWTS history.

She might be one of the youngest feminists inspiring young women today. Brown says that in her native Japan, many girls eschew sports. As a lover of skateboarding, surfing, makeup and dresses, she wants girls of all ages to understand that choosing athletics does not mean giving up traditionally feminine things.

“In Japan, there are a lot of girls that don’t participate in sports and it is looked at more as something for boys to do,” she said in an interview with Teen Vogue. “I want to change this so girls can see they can do the same activities as boys if not better. Girls can do anything and we shouldn’t care what people say. Just do it and have fun.”

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