I Went to See a Medium. She Was Not From Long Island.

My family has a tendency to get caught up in gift giving during the holidays. It’s our Olympic sport.

Part of it is due to our naturally altruistic personalities  (I will crush you in this year’s gift giving exchange by remembering something you mentioned ONCE, 14 years ago, in confidence to a stranger in a Sweat Lodge, whom I later tracked down in a Thai prison and extracted the information from in exchange for a Tootsie Roll.)

Risky Marketh

We are also moderately competitive. Like on a scale of 1 to professional baseball player we’d rank around the level of bloodied Roman Gladiator holding up a severed head.

We will drive to other towns, cities, even countries to get the right gift.

So when just before Christmas one of my sisters said she didn’t know if I was going to like the present she got me I was terrified.

This meant only one of two things.

Either I was dead and living in a parallel universe, or she was.

Nothing else could explain this situation where I might not like my gift. Except maybe she got lazy and chose not to devote several weeks to thinking about and then buying or making the perfect gift. That seemed unlikely.

I was obviously dead.


When Christmas day came, I sat at our maniacal shitshow of a family gathering with her present in my lap and quietly opened it without letting her know I was doing so. If I hated it, the few moments would give me the time I needed to screw my face into an “I’m so delighted” look.

I ripped off the paper, opened the box and stared at a homemade gift card.  Oh God. This was going to be bad.

It took me a little while to figure out exactly what the present was, but when I did, it confirmed allllll my fears about being dead.

It was a gift certificate to see a psychic. Specifically a medium.  Someone who channels the dead.

Last Thursday I got in my car and drove to my Christmas present.  I planned to knock the crystal ball of of her desk, make a raspberry sound and head out the door to do some windows shopping in the nearby town but that all changed when I walked into the room she does her readings in.

This small room in her suburban house was magic.

I honestly remember very little of what she (the medium) said, although she did open with a few doozies about how my father died, what he was like when he was alive and by the way “which one of you two was the gardener?“. (FYI I made very certain not to include my last name or website address in any communication with her when setting up my appointment).

This room, which under any other circumstances would have been oppressive was like sitting in a womb made out of truth serum.

When my reading was done all I wanted to talk about was her room and why it was the way it was and how it had evolved.  I kept pointing out that THIS is the kind of room that you can’t “make”. It can’t be forced. It’s the kind of room that just develops organically over time.

It turns out most of the things in this room were small gifts or mementos from clients, family and friends. Religious pieces from all faiths, typical “psychic-y” stuff,  mismatched chairs, blankets and lamps.


Every surface was cluttered and covered. Things were put in place but nothing was curated. You could tell walking in that she didn’t obsess over and plan where everything would go. When another thing came into the room, it was just get put down and they all meant something.

The suitcases in the first photo for example.  The big one at the back is the one her mother brought when she immigrated to Canada.  The one in front of is was the same but her father’s.

The room was FILLED with Vogue magazines, Hindu deities, blankets, candles, philosophy books, carvings, rocks and designer footwear. Seriously.  Out of this world.  Appropriate for a medium.

You couldn’t recreate this. You just couldn’t.  Even a set designer would have a hard time.

But  the most impressive, most ingenious nook in the entire room was the closet.  Which she turned into a micro closet library.

It’s just a regular step in closet with the doors removed and bookshelves built into it.

It.  Is.  Brilliant.

Everything about this day was entertaining and interesting. The medium and I talked about philosophy, science, religion, swearing and where the various forces around me came from.  And dead people. We talked about dead people. Norm, Lillian, Mike, Agnes all came forward with messages.

I left the room with very little recollection of what actually happened during my 90 minute appointment.  (don’t worry I have it recorded) but I did learn 3 things from this day.

  1. A visit from a dead relative (whether real or imaginary) is therapeutic.
  2. I’m a fan of psychic chic.
  3. Somewhere my sister is wandering around (possibly in Thailand) with a severed head held up  high, training for the next games.

Have a good weekend!

I Went to See a Medium. She Was Not From Long Island.


  1. Melissa says:

    Your Medium’s decor is much more “medium-ish” than mine’s is. I’m slightly envious.

  2. PMMK says:

    Well, isn’t that a room that just makes you want to linger? Imagine the stories it contains. And what a wonderful gift your sister gave you!

    I would so love to meet this woman, if I haven’t already, in all her Irish-Catholic-ness. I know it when I see it; I’m drawn to it like the comfort of a favourite sweater.

    When I was 25 or so I had a neighbour, Eileen, who was 85. I helped her with stuff like reaching up-high things, carrying heavy stuff and we often just hung out sometimes over a “timble” of whiskey or brandy. We shared plant cuttings, recipes, dinners and conversation. Her kindness to me was reading tea leaves, my palms and cards (a regular old bicycle deck). This was not her party trick; she only “read” for people close to her and whom she cared about. She would get antsy and just show up at my door and say, “It’s time.” It was usually when she sensed some impending disaster in my life. She always insisted we pray for guidance before starting. She didn’t often name names but encouraged me to translate what she had to say into whatever was meaningful to me. Her warnings and sage advice were helpful when I listened and I definitely recall the times I didn’t listen. Case in point: the starter husband.

    I had been inclined to call it a bunch of hooey but she explained that there is a very thin veil between the world we see and the rest of the world and that she, unlike most folks, wasn’t afraid to part the veil. She asked me, “Do you believe in Communion or gravity? Mmmhum? Well it’s the same thing, dear.”

    I was always impressed by her ability to navigate both sides of the veil and multiple belief systems with such grace and innocence. I once asked her if she believed in leprechauns. She said, “The Little People? Of course not; I’m a good Catholic!” (pronounced Cat-lick). And then she she leaned closer and whispered, “But they’re out there, you know.” This woman was at once, an aged kewpie doll, a wise pagan crone, a devout Catholic and a caring aunt.

    Most seers are full of gentleness and kindness and just want to help people.

  3. Den says:

    Hi Karen
    Is this medium located off Brant St?

  4. Deborah L Kukla says:

    I felt so happy for you, having this experience.

    My daughter & I have had readings from mediums, & I’m always ready to call BULLSHIT! , but I’ve never felt the need. They’ve been too accurate to be phony.

    Also, we’ve discovered that my husband can converse with the ‘dead’ & doesn’t feel uneasy with it at all. So far, just with relatives, but we’re exploring.

    Oh, & love your posts. So witty & clever!


  5. PegB says:

    Kaen, your posts never disappoint. A medium, terrific collections and a closet library all in one article. Well, I am now wanting some of the things in that room and am measuring my closets.

    I am not sure I need a medium since my mom isin many of my dreams and my Nana visits regularly. She dances in the dust motes when the sun shines in.

  6. Yabut says:

    There is too much stuff here in this office/studio. The closet is full of stuff that nobody uses. I see a remodelling job coming on. Oh, and I’m sooooo jealous about the visit to the medium too!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Does anyone knows of Edgar Cayce? He was a dedicated Christian and yet was known as “The Sleeping Prophet”, who diagnosed and healed people. God works in mysterious ways!
    I was driven by the spirit and money of a recently deceased friend to get a “reading” done at the Edgar Cayce Center, called the Association of Research and Enlightenment (the A.R.E.). She was Christian and did “automatic writing”, allowing spirit to speak to her. She told me many interesting things, past, present, and future. It was a thrilling experience, opening my heart to many other possibilities.
    Thanks, Karen for reminding me that God is lighthearted as well.

  8. Annie says:

    I wish someone wouldn’t always feel compelled to leave a negative comment that reflects their own fear, and I wonder why someone with such a closed mind would even want to look at this interesting blog? Please keep your negativity to yourself and let the rest of us enjoy this blog, please. Put a little love in your heart.

  9. Nicole says:

    I’ve always semi believed in psychics etc until I went to a spiritual church a year ago and has the most out of this world experience with a spirit. I’ve spent the last year dabbling in exploring my medium and psychic connections and I can tell you its legit!!!! And incredibly beautiful.

  10. Addie says:

    I have to agree with Etta…..100% !!!!

  11. JoElle says:

    What a cool experience. I love rooms like this – I always wish the owner would get called away on an emergency and tell me just wait there with a cup of tea. It would be like a visual adventure. Love Love Love the closet library too!!

  12. Vikki says:

    I too was a sceptic until I went to a medium with 3 other ladies. One of the others had booked the sessions for each of us. She was told nothing about me but greeted me at the door by my name and told me things of my past and future (which did happen). I know there are charlatans out there, but to group all of them as fakes is just ignorant. You lucked out and found a true one. I didn’t think our loved ones would be around us after death until my Mother (who had been gone 23 years) knocked her photo to the floor (which was in back of others on a shelf) on my birthday. Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there—I can’t see air, but know it’s there.

  13. Rachel Smith says:

    I love this! What a great gift it turned out to be and what a great room. Your sister KNOWS you! They usually do. Ha ha!

  14. Lynn says:

    Fantastic post Karen! Man… now I want to find your psychic and book an appointment just to see her groovy room. [I live in Wisconsin, I won’t be booking an appointment.] I LOVE the ‘severed head’ reference too! I TOTALLY dropped the ball on my gifts this year. Not only did I think my gift item was cool, I thought it would be fun to give everyone the same thing. Um… epic fail. This year? I’m going for Severed Heads! [but not actual ones… or maybe???…nah.]

  15. Nicole says:

    My mother used to go to a medium and I always just humored her. Well, not always – sometimes I told her that she was crazy to spend her money there.

    Anyway, I had 2 sons and really wanted a daughter. I was thinking about adopting from China but it was really expensive for a single mother. My mom asked her medium about me – never met the woman – and was told that I would have 2 daughters. She neglected to tell me this until I was ready to travel to Haiti to pick up . . . my 2 daughters.

    Just weird.

  16. Judy says:

    Hi Karen, I had a similar experience – gave no information about me, and also didn’t tell my husband until we were almost landing in San Diego (I didn’t want him to talk me out of it). Before my mother passed we had a chance to talk and had a code word that only she and I knew – nobody else. I actually wrote it down and put it in a sealed envelope and left it with my sister. The medium gave me the word! My husband and I spent the afternoon with her and it was comforting and life changing. And she wouldn’t take any money! She also sent us away with a book that she wrote (God’s Way of Life) – also no request for money. Adele Tinning is now an angel. And no, I’m not promoting her book. I’m just an unknown Canadian who was lucky to have met her in 1987. I know there are lots of skeptics, but our experience was real to us.

  17. Suel in WNC says:

    Hey Karen!

    I really love that micro-library shot. Thank you. I wonder if you already have a ‘how to’ about making/installing shelves like those. I agree with you, I really like how she brought her decor together. You know, I’m guilty of talking to deceased relatives, not sure if they hear, definitely don’t hear back. Of course I talk to my Basset Hounds too, she listens & talks back, (K-9, not English).

  18. Judy says:

    I had a similar experience with a medium – gave her no information about me. Before my mother passed we had a chance to talk, and we had a code word that only she and I knew (never shared with ANYONE). The medium gave me the word – from channeling my mother! My husband and I spent the afternoon with her and it was comforting and life changing. And she wouldn’t take any money! She also sent us off with a book she had written that we’ve turned to many times in the years since – also no money requested for the book (Gods Way of Life). Adele Tinning is now an angel. And no, I’m not promoting her book – I’m just an unknown Canadian retiree who was lucky to have met her in 1987.

  19. Lori says:

    I don’t believe in psychics but I do believe in that room! That is AMAZING. And that CLOSET!! She obviously knows something!!

    What an amazing day your sister gave you! I’m kind of jealous of your family!

  20. Patti says:

    Man, I NEED to visit her! I live in Burlington so she must not be too far from me. Any way you can share her info in a private email? Thanks so much for sharing your experience. And that gorgeous room!

  21. Marci says:

    Do you think your sister picked that medium just because she knew you would love the room or did she really want to send you to a medium?

  22. Marjorie Kramer says:

    Can’t stop looking at the photos! I find that type of decor so appealing.

  23. YvonneM says:

    Be still my beating heart. That Closet! Don’t know if I could live with the room, just a touch too cluttered, though I like the idea of it and it photographs beautifully.

  24. NinaMargo says:

    One of your best columns EVER!

  25. Karen says:

    Awesome room; awesome story!

  26. Bruce Cisco says:

    I’m happy that you had a good psychic experience, I wouldn’t mind hearing from a few from the other side, but I tend to be a bit of a skeptic. What impresses and entertains me the most is your creative wit.

    “Finding him/her in a Thai prison, tootsie roll and the Roman Gladiator” stuff is off the charts!

    Touche’ :-)

  27. Linda Stengel says:

    love the closet bookshelf, it is ingenious, but the chair and basket with things piled in it in front of the closet, looks to me as staged and cluttered to me. Small confined spaces with too much stuff around is sensory overload and makes me anxious. The closet with the bottles, baby shoes, statues, etc. intermixed looks like my kind of book shelf, but i would no doubt stand there are re-arrange everything alphabetically. Mainly because i have to have some order to remember where things are. I’m old and forgetful.

  28. p says:

    I’d like to be a medium but presently I’m more like an XL

    What a great space she has! Anxious to hear more :)
    I had an aunt and uncle who dabbled secretly in “that” haha we kept it low key -NO, we joked about it behind their backs!

  29. Kitten Caboodle says:

    Is it weird that I was hoping the fella’s dad came forward? I hope that was the Mike you mentioned. And I hope it made you happy. Like maybe he’s opened up his stance on ‘true pies’ since passing over kinda happy.

    • Mary W says:

      This is exactly what I thought while reading this post – strange how her description of him affected me so that I still remember his and his True Pies. She sure has a way with words!

    • Biggi says:

      Ha! I had the same thought! That was so many years ago, yet it was the first thought of mine, thinking he must be bursting not being able to dictate his pie law 😂
      Great post, Karen!

  30. laura overturf says:

    Fantastical room! Fantastic post. Funny. Smart. Thoughtful. Genius.

  31. Teri says:

    Must. Have. That. Closet.
    Where will you put yours?
    As soon as I saw the suitcases I knew you had found a decoration muse.
    Your sister deserves to hold that head aloft; brilliant gift.
    Teri on the Left Coast

  32. pat b says:

    Psychic chic – love it. And the closet. Brilliant.

  33. danni says:

    We have a medium around these parts, Gary the Medium, I kid you not. Nice guy and I did find it very comforting, and he sure did know stuff he had no access to. Amazing experience. His décor didn’t blow me away tho, I agree that if it had been as cool as your Medium’s I would’ve had a hard time listening. Great closet!!!

  34. Paula says:

    Oooohhhh, how interesting! I have never been to a psychic as I personally have always felt it isn’t ‘real’ but real can mean different thing to different people (this knowledge I have acquired through ageing). Very apropo as yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s accident and death. Creepy.
    The room is fascinating, sometimes it pays to ignore the rules.

  35. Robyn says:

    Very cool! Lucky you! Thanks for sharing your experience and awesome photos.

  36. Marilyn Meagher says:

    That is a seriously cool closet.

  37. Cathy Reeves says:

    This makes me want to drive up there, cash in hand and let her have a go at me. It’ll be interesting. I wonder if my mom is still mad at me and if my dad is dad is doing ok and getting enough ice cream.
    Oh, shoot, I just left my name, now I’ll never know if he is.

  38. Robert S says:

    I love the closet – especially the decorative touch of the yellow high heeled shoe on the upper right hand shelf! 😂

    • Devon says:

      That shoe! That’s what I keep going back to too! And the book on Angelology. And what’s in those bottles? I want to know this fascinating woman.

  39. Janet Goddard says:

    Wow. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing them! I wouldn’t mind visiting this psychic myself, if you wouldn’t mind sharing your secret. Maybe I can up my gift giving game too!

  40. Kathleen says:


    What does it mean “She was not from Long Island” ??


    • Eileen says:

      There is a tv show/series or was, I didn’t watch it about an Italian woman on Long Island who is a psychic and she is blond, loud(she is Italian, after all) (maybe it’s called feisty)and very successful in her medium!, haha, just had to say that. I guess you either loved her or hated her or maybe just, “eh”. I’m in the “eh” category.

      That room is very cool; I could go shopping there.

      • PegB says:

        I’m with you on the Long Island Medium, “eh”. But, my Nana visits and my mom regularly shows up in my dreams. My sister is bummed, because she took care of mom and dad. I tell her mom “haunts” me because she’s afraid of what I’ll get into on my own. My Nana comes on dust motes in sunshine, because that is where she told me we see our dearly departed. I am now looking at my closets. I have a lot of books.

    • Carol says:

      There is a program on TLC called Long Island Medium. She has become very well known. Have a Google of her.

  41. MrsChrisSA says:

    So out of all of this, I have only one question – which closet will be turned into a library in your home?

  42. K says:

    I was sort of the opinion of the above poster (welll…not so much Satan being involved) but more the dead are dead do not pass go do not collect 200, until my mother passed. I seriously had zero zilch belief in ghosts before that.

    And then after she passed she was with me. For weeks. Like a warm pink cloud of a presence. It was the most joyful experience of my life. And I am 100% certain it was her. So that changed my mind. Also my 3 year old son (at the time) spoke about seeing her. So 🤷🏼‍♀️

    As for the room: yes please. All the heart eyes. I am going to make that closet. 👊🏻

  43. Marna says:

    Wow! I love the room and closet too! :)

  44. Sue says:

    I LOVE that room….’nuff said! Maybe I should be a medium?

  45. Elaine says:

    Oh boy, I would LOVE to poke around that room and examine everything in it … and that closet-library is a brilliant idea! What an interesting room! I would love to visit a medium (I think!!).

  46. Etta says:

    Sorry…..this is not good. Please do not go back. Yes, she probably did know some things that were amazing for her to know. That’s how evil works. That’s how you get hooked in. Satan is no dummy. He is aware. He does have some power. When people are dead they are dead. Period.

    • Christine says:

      Can you PM her info? I am starting my Christmas shopping today.

    • Rose says:

      I agree 100%!

    • Susan says:

      I disagree. Satan IS a dummy.

      p.s. do you also find yoga to be evil as well.

    • Etta says:

      This is not my blog…so I cannot further comment …out of respect for Karen.
      I stand 100% behind what I said. Except I must add…Satan is NOT a dummy. He works hard to “get” people to his ways……his dumb ways. He destroys lives, families, marriages, peace and beauty. You cannot accomplish all that be dumb.

      • judy says:

        my brain is on a gerbil wheel yelling -shut up! don’t comment-but I will say this. We humans do wrong and make mistakes and some are inadvertent,and some are just nasty. They are our doing and we can not pass the buck or the blame to some critter that zips around the planet being a pain in the arse. Nope – your act- your fault. not Lucyfur you me,all of us.

  47. Linda in Montana also Arizona says:

    The Library Closet. I shall not rest until this is in my life.

    • Karen says:

      I know, right??! ~ karen

      • Jo says:

        Yes this is outta the park! Perfect solution for me too. If I can figure out where to store all my fabric ‘projects’.

      • Jacquie Gariano says:

        I just stopped reading and started looking at all my closets to see which one I can convert to this great idea. I think the one in the upstairs guest bedroom that only has “junk” in it will do. I’m off to measure.

    • This was an amazing blog post. So entertaining. I wish I had a gift-giving streak like that.

      About 3-4 years ago I must have seen a similar concept online. I have a wide closet with a double mirror sliding door in my den downstairs. (When I had a normal-person FB account, I documented this in a gallery; maybe I should go back in time and blog it to my blog?) I also have (had) a Paper Problem and I really needed to shed it, i.e. a 2-drawer legal file cabinet with a shelf on top for binders (it looked like hell). So I measured the depth of the sides of the closet and had 10-11″ deep on either side, and about 18″ of depth to the closet. Two shelves on either side, first at the wainscotting level and again half-way up to the top shelf of the closet. Now I have space for all the stuff in binders and magazine boxes that I can’t yet part with, and also the fancy IKEA storage boxes filled with envelopes and other office supplies. Real actual files got purged and what remains fits perfectly in a 6-bottle wine crate on my desktop. Now the file cabinet naturally holds power tools in my garage.

      I think I will blog post this one. I fell off the blog wagon last year and have 8 months to back-fill. In the meantime, enjoy this inspirational pic that I took from an online ad.

  48. Lesley says:

    I am madly envious, both of your gift and that closet.

  49. Brin says:

    Absolutely fantastic. A perfect gift! Thank you for sharing, loved it. xox

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