Learning, the act of gaining knowledge, is a craft unto itself. It starts with questions - the what ifs, how abouts, whys, . . . leading from the unknown to the known, through inquiry, experimentation, travel, and of course pure accident.

This is about how it happens in my life.

This is what Partnering looks like

A little piece of paradise.
That's how I have referred to the "bright and cheerful" East York bungalow that Dear Hubby and I have called Home since 2003. 


It's a powerful word, one that evokes a deep instinctual sense that merges person with place.

When it came time for us to sell our Home the question was not "do we get a realtor" but "who do we use".   As a long time Airmiles collector Century21 was always an option, until Dear Hubby came Home one day and said a friend from the old days was a realtor, and we should contact her.

That's how I met Helga Teitsson of Helga's Homes.

Real estate is a competitive business, and like many industries that have historically relied on information asymmetries, the Internet has changed the landscape for ever.
In some cases this means huge billboards and other forms of large scale advertising, followed by flyers in the mail box. 
But ask yourself: how does that help you, the client, sell or buy your home?

Helga Teitsson takes a different approach.  Strange to say, but she knows it's not about her. She knows it's about the Home, whether buying or selling.  Helga brings her years of expertise and market knowledge into every relationship. And when it comes to selling, she literally invests in the process of making sure your Home hits the market at its best.  She becomes your partner.
  • Within 24 hours Helga dropped off 30 boxes to help us get started with the decluttering.
  • She arranged for Hendrik Glastra CSP of HG Staging and reDesign to come in, give advice on furniture placement etc; he provided all the extras such as throws, pillows and lamps.
  • She also had Alex Morias of Video Listings come in to do the photos and video that made our Home come alive online.
  • Jeff Clarke CET of Baker Street Home Inspection Services did a pre-listing inspection thanks to Helga.
Our house sold in late March, in 5 days, over asking, almost 2 months after I first met Helga.  At that first meeting she made it clear that getting our Home sold was as important to her as it was to us. She marshaled her own resources, brought in her trusted partners, and guided us through a tumultuous process smiling and laughing.

So, if you're looking for a Home in Toronto, contact Helga Teitsson of Helga's Homes.  You'll be really glad you did.

Claim Check

Do you play solitaire? I love it.  I'm not sure who taught me to play it's most basic form, but I'm sure it was either Mom or Gran, and it was early on in life.  Of course solitaire is far from a single game, with significant differences in structure and play. Over the years I have learned many different versions of solitaire, and admittedly I've forgotten the details of some of them . . .

My favourite hard copy version requires no playing surface at all: it can be played completely in hand. I learned it from a dorm mate and fellow food server while at Canadian Bible College (her name is buried somewhere in the folds of my brain, but I could describe her, and for some reason am sure I recall *her* room mate's name . . . ah the vagaries of memory).
So no surprise really one of the first things I downloaded on to my iPad back in 2010 was a version of solitaire called Real Solitaire Free by Edgerift Inc.  Free to me means ads in the app - no problem as far as I'm concerned (although I trip the ad bar with my hand occasionally).

The only ad I almost ever see is for the ad-free version of Real Solitaire because most of the time I am not connected to wifi.

Here's how Edgerift Inc markets their Real Solitaire for iPad game:
It's the most realistic solitaire game for iPad, ad free
The crux of their marketing message, their key claim, is "most realistic".

If you play solitaire, even if it is only ever in the digital realm, you must be aware of the need to
  1. deal out the game 
  2. gather the cards and shuffle at the end of the game
Knowing these 2 essential aspects of solitaire, it begs the question:
is "most realistic" really a claim you want to make?  
Because really, a realistic digital game of solitaire would be much more labour intensive, and that would kind of defeat the purpose of the digital platform in the first place.

Of course, it could be that the folks at Edgerift Inc just don't seem to consider the hard copy analog version of the game as real solitaire; what then is the real in "realistic"?

Advertising and marketing are not the same, but are very closely related; twins, but not identical maybe.  Together they craft a message and find a way to get it out to possible customers/patrons/members/donors effectively and accurately. They make claims for their product/service/organization which they hope will resonate and lead to the desired actions/outcomes. 

Great sounding claims don't always make sense.  Maybe it's time for a claim check.