Thursday, May 20, 2021

Is this how our Story Ends as a Country? As a world?



 10 good ways to start a story - Writers Online


Our country has spent the last, almost 18 months in turmoil. In fact, perhaps it's not just our country , but the world at large. As I listen and experience these times, my heart is saddened to see what we as a human race has allowed to happen.

We have allowed fear to drive us to divide ourselves from each other. Everyone is so busy fighting for their position on whatever is the topic at hand, the elections, the virus, how the virus has been handled and now it's the vaccine - that we forget what is truly important. 

What is truly important? Do we want to continue on this way? I know I don't. 

Employers are looking for excuses to fire good people. Friends are leaving friendships because of the vaccine. Divorces are happening because we have been locked behind doors for way too long. Businesses that we once loved, totally decimated, gone for good. People's livelihoods totally destroyed. Our mental health is being challenged everyday. Depression,suicide, domestic violence is skyrocketing. Employers are being put in no win situations regarding mask wearing/vaccine/no vaccine. Employees are challenged with potential vaccine mandates/ job/no job.  Government agencies are going after good people who have dedicated their lives to help and heal others, all because those people might not agree with what is being done? or they perhaps might have another solution to solving this health crisis other than a vaccine?

Is this how we want to be? Really?

I know I don't.

I have struggled like many others have these 18 months. With many of the above issues.

But as I step back today I have to ask myself and I ask all of you, 10 years from now, is this how we want our story to be written in the history books? How do I want my individual story to be told ? How and who do I want to emerge as from all of this?

I challenge everyone as they walk through their lives today, the next week, the coming months, to think about this. Are we going to start building a bridge to close this chasm of fear that has been created or are we going to let this ruin us?  Are we going to choose love over fear? 


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Have you ever made Decorating and Design Mistakes? Yep, me too!


I am in the midst of a redesign/remodel of one of my guest bedrooms. I rent two rooms in my house on Airbnb and I decided that the original trundle bed just wasn't doing it anymore. So, I sold it and bought a full size bed with this whole lighter/cleaner/softer look in mind.  I searched for a few days for the inspiration, looking at beds/mattresses and telling the mattress people - "I need the vision first" 

They thought I was crazy and just wanted to sell me a mattress - ugh..

Well, I met this woman at Metro Mattress who took the time to brain storm with me for 45 minutes about what type of bed would be suitable for the room. We combed amazon and other sites together until I found some inspiration. She was awesome and guess what? I bought a mattress from her because she took the time and knew what I needed. 

I had my plan after I left the store that day and went home and searched online. I saw some bedding from Ballard Design that spurred my thoughts toward light blue and white bedding. I didn't quite like the bedding from Ballard, the color wasn't exactly I wanted.

So, I searched and searched and found what I wanted, or I thought I did.

I bought sheets, bedding, headboard and foot board along with a rug from Pottery Barn and bonus, it would all be delivered before my guest would move in!

Here are some pictures of what the room used to look like, and my idea for where I was headed:


 The room is small so I wanted it to appear bigger than it was. I don't particularly love white walls, but I was going for it anyway. After all, it's just paint and one can always repaint. 

 I called my friend and handyman, Mark, to inform him of my plans and that we needed to repaint the room. We have been working together for several years now , so he is used to my "impromptu ideas and best laid plans."

He started prepping the room and told me that the hole in the ceiling that had a cover on it, had no power going to it. Ugh. You see when I first renovated this room after a house fire, I turned it into a laundry room and the lighting was focused over the washer and dryer, not the center of the room. So, okay, now, let's call the electrician and get him out here to figure out how to get power to the center lighting area. Hiccup number one. We would solve this issue once the electrician gets here. One solution so far to this issue: Put a light on the dresser. Thank you to the Pottery Barn saleswoman, Taylor for brainstorming with me. 

Regardless of the electrical issue, the painting began and I was skeptical- it was "white." When he was done painting, I actually liked it with the wood doors that are original to the house.  Here is a picture:


 I actually started to love how it was turning out. And then, I looked at the floor. As you can see by this picture, the floor is a light wood. When I renovated the house after my house fire, I had all new floors put in. They look a lot like the door here in this picture. But notice what I did with the floor in this room: light wood. I wanted to differentiate the room from the others because it was designed to be the laundry room. In retrospect, i should have put the same flooring in this room, after all it was originally a bedroom. Is this Hiccup number two?  I decided, no, I was going to work with it. I would need to warm up the room anyway as I had a lot of white, glossy furniture in the room. Solution: So, I would buy a rug that would be cozy and neutral - it would take your eye away from the floor and onto the bed. This would be the plan. I would remove the navy blue rug. 

The painting got completed and I received the new rug and bedding. I was so excited, it was all going to come together easily and effortlessly. Well, no, it didn't. The rug came and it was more grey than beige/oatmeal which is what it was labeled as. And the blue and white check bedding, it wasn't the right blue - it was more of a faded blue versus the crisp, light coastal blue I was envisioning. Hiccup number three: Bedding and rug don't work and guest is moving in in two days. Solution: I used the existing rug and bedding as they matched well with the white furniture.  I called Pottery Barn and talked to one of their folks on the design team. We brainstormed ideas and came up with the second choice and a new rug. It should be arriving in another week. Cross your fingers!

This room is still a work in progress. Yes, my guest has moved in, thankfully she is a prior guest and is totally understanding with the transformation. 

What is the moral of this story? I think most design projects have their hiccups. I see it on most of those design shows on HGTV. The trick is to work "with them" and not against them. Yes, some hiccups will cause you to demo a wall, or fix some foundational issue, but a lot of them can be less expensive and more creative fixes that won't cost you that much.  Be creative, find resources to help you, and as one of my teachers, Marie Forleo says " everything is figureoutable!"

I will keep you posted on the progress and I will do a room reveal when it's done!

Have a Thankful Tuesday!


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Lifting the Veil of Fear and tuning into Love


People often ask me what inspires my writing. My answer would be that it isn't just one thing in particular. It truly is what moves me at a moment in time. And yes, those things can vary so widely , but isn't life so amazing that it has so much inspiration to offer? 

Another question people ask me is , where do I write? and "on what"?  Well, that is a varied answer too. I do have a beautiful office, with yellow painted walls and my favorite white Pottery Barn desk and chairs. I write there quite often, but there are times where I find I need to retreat and really go-within. To a place of complete solitude, absolute peace and serenity. No computer, no phone , no people. Where is that place? 

Oftentimes, this place is my bedroom and sometimes it's a quiet spot that I can find amongst trees in a park or a hiking trail.

What does all of this have to do with the title of today's blog? This morning I really felt I needed to retreat, to find my center once again. The events of the larger world around me some days can be too much to bear. I feel things deeply , whether this be love or fear, some call me an empath - maybe that is true.

So, I brewed some coffee, fed the cats and curled up under the covers in my bedroom. In this space, I grabbed some of my favorite things that keep me grounded. You can see some of them in the photos.

 Victoria and Gabby and my yellow writing tablet. Yes, a magazine, a book and pen and paper. Call me old fashioned and that's okay. I am "that" in so many ways. Victoria magazine soothes my soul and brings me back to a time where life was a bit more simple. A time when appreciation of the simple things like tea time and pretty linens were a thing. I love reading every ounce of this magazine and lo and behold, this Spring edition contained my very favorite and inspiring author, Jan Karon.  She is the writer-in- residence. I hope someday perhaps that will be Mother and me. Jan wrote this very eloquent piece as only she can do. It really spoke to me and the thoughts I had been thinking over the last few days.  She helped present things to me in a soft way, and taught me that there is a way I can show up for the world that feels good to me.

And Gabby Bernstein, well I just love her work and she has been my confident and friend over the last two months as I drink in every ounce of her book, Super Attractor.  I hope to meet her one day and tell her personally , how her work changed my life and got me through a transition in my life.

And then, there is my yellow writing tablet (thank you John Boy for that). A computer will never replace writing on a yellow tablet. I wrote my first novel by hand and I am pretty sure I will write others that way as well. My emotion comes through my hands with a pen. I am left-handed, a direct line to my heart. 

Last but not least, are my furry friends, Nicholas and Cody.  Forever, my loves as the cats that have lived with me and come before them - my deep love to you Creep, Ben, Bailey and Bella. 

  This is Cody, in one of his favorite spots, watching out for all those birds and animals in the backyard.

And here is Nicholas, always a Momma's boy and Cody, well, he decided to nap after his bird watching.
As I sat and read my magazine and let the quiet seep in, I put pen to paper. It felt good, it felt right. I was coming back to center, love was taking over the fear I had felt over the last few days. Jan always shows up for me when my writing takes a back seat to life. She reminds me to pick up my pen and keep writing.  I listened to the purr of Nicholas , content and happy and the words came. They flowed for awhile and then I went and warmed my coffee. I let Jan's words wash over me. 
Once again, I found my way under the covers , with the cats in the same spot and I picked up Gabby's book. The chapter on "Lifting the Veil" was right there. Lifting the Veil of Fear. I read a few paragraphs and decided to turn on her meditation with the same name. (Yes, I grabbed my phone as I warmed my coffee). I closed my eyes and breathed deeply as I listened to her calming voice. "Picture a bridge" ..she said, "fear is behind you, walk toward the light."   The meditation last eleven minutes and the peace and calm seeped through my mind and body, the fear was leaving and once again, I was tuned into love. As I opened my eyes , I wrote and the words flowed. Inspiration coming from a place of love.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Cherishing Good Friday Traditions at the Broadway Market with Camillia's and Chrusciki's Bakery


I love Good Friday! Some years back, my Mom, her husband and I started a tradition of going to the Broadway Market on Good Friday. Those who live in Western New York would say we were out of our minds. It is the busiest day of the year at the market. There were always tons of people , hard to move around, smells of meat, baked goods, roasted nuts, chocolate, hyacinth and homemade soaps.

Yet, it always triggered the beginning of Spring for me. And we went, every year. Our bags full of placek, poppy seed roll, a butter lamb, hyacinth we ventured home eager to indulge in the flavors of the season.

A ham sandwich with mayo and placek - one of my favorites for sure!

As my Mom became unable to walk those halls and subsequently passed away, I missed that tradition so much. So, my girlfriend Nikki and I decided to keep it going. And we go , every year no matter what insanity is happening in our lives that particular year. 

This year, an unusual year for sure as we continue to experience the weirdness of this virus, we made our annual trip. She and I both needed it. We needed to ground ourselves in tradition and focus on some fun.  I picked up my ham at Camillia's ( as I do every year. In my opinion, it is the best! A big shout out to the Cichocki family for taking my order every year and for all the love you show your customers!

I also decided to start snapping some photos, so I could share it with all of you and stir some fond memories in all of us who live here. No, there were not as many people as there typically is, but people did come out and definitely seemed to enjoy themselves. I know we did.

The market has changed over the years since it's inception much like the neighborhood around it. Yet, it still remains.  Some vendors that we have grown to love are still there and others have moved to different locations, like Chrusciki's bakery ( .  So, what did we do? We went to them! After our jaunt at the market we went to to Chrusciki's new location on Transit. It is fairly new and they have combined the bakery with a restaurant and bar. The bar is called Sto Lat and the restaurant , Simply Pierogi.  It has such a great vibe and the staff is so personable and fun!  Enjoy the pictures! And comment on your fond memories of the Broadway Market - what were your favorites? Happy Easter weekend! Kimberley


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Do you know the name of the First Flower of Spring?


These sweet little flowers come up every year toward the middle of March. The snow is melting and the sun starts to shine brightly. Our days get a little longer and hope is in the air.  

Each year, I look forward to looking out my sunroom window to see this recurring sign of renewal .

Spring is coming it says. 

A behold it is. 

Do you know what the name of this flower is?


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Things I am Lovin' this week


The last week of February. That means Spring is getting closer. Our days are lasting a bit longer with the sun setting a bit later. I cannot wait to see my first flowers of spring arrive - snowdrops!


Some of the things I am loving this week are:

Phone calls and visits with Friends and Family. This is at the top of my list because I have had such a great chance to connect with friends this week and I am so grateful. These friends have kept me sane through this crazy pandemic - some are single and I am too and it has been such a great support knowing they are there with me and I with them. It's hard to live alone outside of this crazy time and then you layer this on top of it. It makes it that much more challenging. But we have called each other every week, sometimes twice a week to keep in touch. My not single friends who call despite their busy family and work schedules. And there is my family - always there sending a text, calling , sitting and chatting. Thank you to all of you, I love you all so much .

Ina Garten's poached eggs with dill on toast for breakfast! Omg, so yummy and so easy!  My girlfriend bought me The Modern Comfort food book for Christmas and I am testing the recipes. Omg, can you say - hello COVID pounds and too much good food? 








  Gabrielle Bernsteins' book called Super Attractor.  I love Gabrielle Bernstein, she just resonates with me. Her voice, the way she is so relatable and her perspective is a bit more soft and not as masculine. I am gobbling up each chapter for sure! For those of you who want to attract more in your life and are open to a more spiritual (not religious) perspective, it is a must read! She has all her books on Audible too!









Serena and Lily's Spring Catalog. Omg! I love home renovation and decorating my home. I stumbled upon this company a few months ago and I totally drool every time I look at their catalog. They are specifically for more beach /coastal designs/homes, but it just gives you a sense of peace, they bring the beach to your doorstep. I have been contemplating a change to my living room fireplace and this gave me a great idea to explore. Check them out! They are expensive but great for ideas!





A visit to Vidler's 5 and 10 in East Aurora, New York.  This is a hometown treasure for sure. You walk in and the floors creak and there is the penny candy and rows of candy that was available when you were a kid! You find anything here from bolts of fabric, "rick rack" for sewing , which reminded me so much of my mother when I saw it, to coffee, greeting cards, pots and pans, and the TOYS! Soooo much fun! Old school toys! You must make a stop there, if you have never been.

Vidler's 5 & 10 - Step Out Buffalo

Friday, February 26, 2021

What is an Animal Communicator? Grieving the Loss of our Pets

 Animal Communication with Furkids


I felt compelled to share this today as I have had the gift of  connecting with someone who is grieving so deeply over the loss of her beloved pet over the last few days. I too have experienced this deep sadness when my cats have passed and I am most certain, many of you have as well. 

Why is this grief felt at the core our being? It's like someone drilled a hole in your heart. The pain is so unbearable you can never imagine having another pet in your life again because you can't go through this pain again -it's too much.  This grief is felt so deeply because animals love us unconditionally. They greet you everyday when you come home from errands or work and they snuggle with you at night. They know when you are upset , cry, angry - they sense your energy. Animals are incredibly intuitive. How else do they know how to hunt for food or stay away from danger? Or where they left their favorite toy ? How can you explain an animal lost , eventually finds their way home? 

People who are pet owners/lovers, they know their dogs/cats/horses and their animals know them. Animals know our scent, they know our patterns of behavior and yes, they talk with us. It might not be in human language, but if you begin to talk with them early in your life with them, they do respond. And if you are aware of their body language, their patterns, their voices you will be able to sense what they are telling you. Even when they don't feel well, they will tell you what is wrong.

In 2019, two of my dear cats died - Bailey and Bella. They had been with me for a long time, nearly 14 years. Bailey died in May and Bella in December.  These two cats gave me a gift that I hope others will learn from, they gave me the gift of further understanding of energy medicine and the gift of animal communicators. 

 Joan Ranquet and Elizabeth Severino are two women who I have had the pleasure of meeting when Bailey and Bella died.They are animal communicators and two of the most gifted, wonderful women I have had the pleasure of meeting. They communicate with animals through energetic channeling and intuition. 

 I was so desperate with grief, I couldn't let go. There had to be a way to continue to connect with them. A homeopathic group I work with in Australia had recommended Elizabeth to me when Bailey was sick but I thought it was a bunch of hogwash. Well, wasn't I wrong. 

I first connected with Joan when Bailey died. I was desperate to understand the cause of death and to talk with him. I had nursed this cat with his various health issues since he had come home to me at 10 months old and he died at 14. He had some neurologic issues going on weeks before his passing and I made the mistake of putting him through dental surgery contrary to my intuition saying not to. That was the beginning of the end. He ended up having several strokes before he died. I had searched the globe to help this cat through out his life. Working with a homeopathic vet here in Buffalo and Don Hamilton in New Mexico and then a group in Australia. I needed the answer! I had figured out the health issues and found solutions for this cat his whole life, and I couldn't save him. I was beating myself up for sure, but I needed to know and I needed to keep my connection to him.

I reached out to Joan's office and asked for a session with her. I can still remember that day - I cried and was so amazed at Joan's ability to connect with animals all through a picture . Bailey told her that I was a writer and that I wrote every morning at the dining room table as he sat with me, which is true. She was also able to tell me what happened with Bailey and despite the fact that I was still so sad, it gave me great comfort knowing that we were communicating. 

I bought Joan's book: Energy Healing for Animals which has helped me on my continued journey and thirst for knowledge of energy healing.

Fast forward to months after Bailey's death and I find out that Bella had stomach cancer. How could this have happened under my watch I asked myself? I, the person who has gone to great lengths to rid my home of toxic cleaning chemicals, I make my cat food from scratch and she has stomach cancer? My other cat Ben died of the same thing. What happened? And I felt horrible for not paying more attention to Bella, I was so focused on Bailey all these years. As I look back, the signs were there. 

The vet said there was nothing to be done, where have I heard that before? I did not accept that and once again, I contacted the vet in Australia to help while I was in the vet's office waiting to check out. I was not about to give up on little Bella. 

I soon become a 24/7 Hospice cat nurse. Round the clock homeopathic medicines for stomach cancer and giving IV fluids at home. I documented daily , prayed, slept by her side , worried and cried. I couldn't lose her too. Unfortunately, I was too late and Bella did die a month later. She died at home with me, next to the Christmas tree , in my arms.  I was numb and despite the fact that it was my favorite time of year, I felt empty. No cats in the house for the first time in over 20 years of my life. 

The life force of an animal and all that this brings to a home is hard to describe unless you are a pet owner or someone who understands the non-physical energy part of life.

So, as I had learned with Bailey, I called and booked an appointment with Dr. Liz (Elizabeth Severino D.D. D.R.S.). I did connect with Bella and in fact, Dr. Liz started to teach me to use my own channeling skills and intuition to talk with Bella.  Some of the information was hard for me to take , but in the end it was a gift I used going forward to help heal myself and one of my new cats.  Even in death, our animals give to us - unconditionally.

Here is a book that I found so fascinating by Dr. Liz: The Animals' Viewpoint on Living, Healing, and Dying.

The field of Animal Communication is something I now have in high regard. And, someday, I hope to take some coursework to fine tune my abilities in this arena. For now, I highly suggest that you take a look at what these women have to offer the world. Here are their websites for your information below.

There are others out there as well. Just be sure you find someone who is credible . Especially if you are in grief, we are all vulnerable at these times , so protect yourself while you are supporting yourself.

Here is another animal communicator who appears to be very credible: . Thanks goes out to the woman who I have been talking to about her cat for sharing this information with me. 

Please know that Animal Communicators are also very helpful with your pets when they are alive! If you look at their websites you will see that they assist with behavior and physical issues . 

I hope this information is helpful to people out there in the world. Here is to supporting our animals and those who love them so much!