Sweetie’s Dad

Sweetie came back home on Thursday night, and I feel human again. While I enjoy and need a certain amount of alone time, this unexpected, frantic takeoff and separation during this time of Sweetie’s grieving was very hard on both of us. We’re so relieved to be back together, and at the same time we’re so grateful that she got to go and be with her family – that they all came together from all over the world to attend their father’s funeral. It was the first time the siblings had all been in one place in years, and aside from the grieving, it was really nice.

I met Kat’s Dad only a handful of times. Kat’s childhood friends (Awesome Josh included) had only nice things to say about Mr. Cunningham. “I never saw him unhappy. He was always laughing or smiling.” This seemed to be the sentiment all over facebook too.

Sweetie’s Dad loved to fly. Last week on the stressful Friday afternoon of her unexpected departure, she was nervously strapped into the little 8-seater airplane as it idled, engines running, on the tarmac for 40 minutes. The smell of fuel tweaked her anxiety; the abysmal weather did not help either.

Oh my god, the cabin is filling with exhaust and we’re all going to die of carbon-monoxide poisoning. Or the wind will blow us into the ocean. Or we’ll drop mid-air and the pilot will lose control. We are all going to die!

Right as Sweetie was spiraling into her own panic meltdown, she felt her Dad beside her, and felt him squeeze her arm in an assertive, fatherly way.

Kathy-Ann, listen to me. Nothing bad is going to happen. You are safe, I promise you.

He then proceeded to chatter to her about how cool the airplane was, explaining all the reasons why she was safe and how the airplane worked. None of it was particularly clear to Sweetie, given her state of mind, but she felt deeply comforted.

It’s amazing what they do for us.

On the evening Sweetie returned to our house, we spent the night talking about her Dad – and he showed up again.

Pegging! Pegging! Ha ha! I understand why that’s funny now!

This goes back to our first visit to Sweetie’s brother’s cottage when her parents attempted to teach us to play cribbage.

Sweetie’s mother is an energetic, animated woman who would embellish her husband’s instructions with her own explanations. As Fred was trying to explain a particular rule of the game, his wife continuously interjected with the accepted nomenclature:

It’s called pegging! PEGGING!!!

Sweetie and I were nearly on the floor pissing ourselves with laughter, because “pegging” to us, in our generation, means something quite different than it does to our parents’ generation. Of course we didn’t want to explain this dirty alternate interpretation to this serious cribbage lesson, so we did our best to suppress our giggles.

But Fred knew something was up.

For five years, whenever either of us needs a laugh, the other might shout, “PEGGING!”

Now Sweetie’s Dad is finally in on the joke.

So much love!

Hey all,

You know how much I love you, right? So much love.

I had a sort of all-night panic attack last night. It was really weird. I think the past month is catching up with me.

Yesterday, though, I experienced both extreme happiness and extreme anxiety.

I had a *fantastic* set of readings yesterday. I can’t tell you how wonderful doing this work can make me feel. I love you guys SO MUCH, and thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to do this work with and for you.

I love blogging, I *LOVE* podcasting, and if I could figure out a way to make a living from blogging, podcasting and doing readings, I would do that right now.

But I’m not there yet, and October has really piled on, y’all. So here’s what I’m going to do:

I’m going to take super-good care of the folks on my reading list. They have had to wait longer than anyone else so far for a reading. I’m going to put my creative time and energy into organizing readings for them, because the personal pay-off for me is not just a secondary income (which I am so grateful for and really need right now) but more importantly the healing and rejuvenating energy I experience during some readings completely changes my outlook on… everything.

I set a goal a while back to blog daily and podcast weekly. I LOVE doing that. But right now, I’m going to focus on clients first, and creating content second, just until I’ve stabilized my home situation. There will be blogging about that, for sure, we’re just a bit concerned for our safety right now.

So I am going to have to temporarily scale back on my writing. I’m going to keep posting weekly podcasts when possible. I’m a bit bummed at not being able to focus on what I *love* to do right now, but sometimes life kicks you in the ass and you have to turn your attention to the ass-kickers and take care of business.

Meanwhile, please send me jokes! Post jokes on this thread! I love jokes.

Here’s one to get you started:

How Instagram taught me gratitude


I love Ellie’s summary of Instagram. I happen to know Ellie and she’s a kick-ass person. If you love fashion, funny stories and maybe knitting, I think you’ll enjoy Ellie’s evolving story.

Oh and I’m on Instagram too, which I haven’t really shared before: @tofinopsychic

I tend to follow / admire on Instagram more than I participate, so let me know if you have or follow a happy feed.

I have about five different blog entries I want to write… We’ll see what I can get accomplished this weekend! Meanwhile, meet the Epic Ellie. :)

Originally posted on BrandEllie:


My morning dog walk today.

Ok so it didn’t teach me gratitude…but it sure did remind me. I had always thought of it as just a way to share food pictures…or just to show off how awesome your life is (wait…that’s Facebook) but what I really enjoyed about Instagram is that it is completely visual.  You can add your caption but the main focus is the picture.  Which got me thinking.

Instagram causes you to pause and photograph a certain moment in your day.  And for someone like myself who isn’t prone to taking pictures every day I realized that actively thinking about what I would capture that day made me pay attention to the small details in my life that I enjoy.  A simple caterpillar that I see on my dog walk or some yummy tea and cookies I’m taking some time to enjoy are all of a sudden…

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Ep: Quickie! How do animals tell time???

Quickie Episode-


This quickie episode was inspired by a question on my facebook page.  It’s a great question, and the answer includes helping us to communicate time to our pets, as in, “Other Mom is coming home after three dark nights!”

This is a practical one, and a quickie!  If you’re curious why it’s so quick, please see the previous blog post.  ;)

Love to you all!

What the hell was that!?!

October has felt like a slap in the face. Oy, what a month! I may actually celebrate Halloween this year just to say goodbye to the most challenging month we’ve seen all year!

Here’s the run down:

Sweetie and I returned to Tofino on September 30th. We were both struck at how uncomfortable we felt to be back. The beautiful and isolated west coast of Vancouver Island has been our sanctuary from the world for over five years — why, suddenly, were we less than thrilled to be back? Why did we feel like we should be closer to the *other* side of the island, where airports and utilities like *internet* are more readily accessible?

I felt uneasy that first week. My mother had her second brain surgery and remained hospitalized for much of the first week in October. Knock on wood, count our blessings, she’s recovered incredibly well – miracle #2 since her diagnosis in January. I was back working at the hospital and planning a working trip out to the even more isolated Bamfield Outpost, and I was also frantically trying to sign up for continuing education courses.

And then I threw my back out.

I haven’t done that in years. In fact, I have a daily yoga routine to keep my back strong and healthy. Since I started biking 15 km a day, a ropy column of muscle has formed on either side of my spine. I honestly feel like I’m in the best shape of my life (even if I really should lose some weight.)

So when I felt the fiery pain shoot up to my ear and down through my foot, I thought “No, I haven’t hurt it that bad, I’ll just sit down.”

I’d never had to go to the ER for back pain before. If I strained it, I’d rest it and take Robaxecet. It’s been years since I even bought that stuff.

I was really grateful that I hadn’t booked any sessions for the weekend after my Bamfield trip, so I didn’t inconvenience any of my clients. The real crumble on the cupcake was that because I was scheduled to be at the outpost, the hospital had already scheduled staff to cover for me.

Literally the only person I hurt was myself.

I lost 48 hours straight due to the medication, and clawed my way back to functionality over the next 7 days. I’m feeling much better now, but I’ll be seeing our town chiropractor shortly.

Then Sweetie gets a phone call – her Dad is not doing so well. They’re keeping him sedated for 48 hours at a time, and when he regains consciousness he’s “very agitated”. It’s so upsetting for family to see this, imagining their loved one’s consciousness is stuck in this body that is suffering.

That night, Sweetie had a dream. She was hanging out with her Dad, but he was 8 years old. He was in the backyard of his childhood home, examining insects, trying to figure out how they fly. His mother was with him, watching over him.

Sweetie’s father died two days later. She was doing a great job of keeping calm and carrying on, until she got the date of his service and realized she had to leave *right now* if she was going to make it.

It was 10 am on Friday and she had to be on a 1:30 pm flight out of Tofino, to catch the red-eye from Vancouver to North Bay. This might seem straight-forward, but it’s not. Tofino is so small you can’t just “book a flight” on a whim. The tiny 8-seater airplanes book up weeks in advance.


Providence intervened, as it does, and a single seat was available to Sweetie when she called them – just one seat for the next three days. She got it.

Then there’s the matter of getting to the airport. I’m not even sure how she pulled that one off. The airport doesn’t have a shuttle service and the *single* taxi cab in Tofino isn’t always available. She made it to Vancouver. Once you’re off the Island, travel gets easier.

Fortunately, she has a special friend we’ll call “Awesome Josh” who is giving her extra hugs and support, and who kept her company during the viewing. There are no friends quite like old friends.

Meanwhile, there’s me. I’m by myself in Tofino, I hadn’t even known when I said my goodbyes Friday morning that I wouldn’t be seeing Sweetie for a week! I came home to an empty house on Friday and really, REALLY saw just how filthy it actually was.

Now, I’m going to share the details here, try not to laugh.

The floors were swimming with sand and dust bunnies. It was so dirty, you kind of didn’t want to take off your shoes when you came inside.

The couch had two vague circular stains on a cushion, possibly from cat puke that may have happened while we were in Ontario and the pet-sitters were looking after our creatures.

There were circles on the book case – little impressions in the thick layer of dust left by objects I’d moved and not put back in exactly the right place.

You know your place is filthy when you try and replace objects in their proper dust crop-circle so you can ignore your own squalor for just one more day.

The bathroom had dead moths stuck to the walls. The poor creatures had flown in during a shower and gotten plastered to the walls by the steam.

And finally, a green mold was blooming over all of the windows in the house. Not just in the corners, across the ENTIRE PLANE of glass. They looked like snowflakes.

The bathtub had a pink circle of… something… around the drain. My back ached after my first week back at work and I desperately wanted to take an Epsom salt bath… but I couldn’t clean the freaking bath tub!

I just couldn’t stand the thought of living in an appalling flop-house, ALONE, being too injured to clean it and unable to care for my injury.

So I hired a cleaner. I hired a cleaner!

This lovely domestic goddess, this cleaning ANGEL floated into my home and freaking fixed everything. She washed the floors. She vacuumed the couch. She squeegeed the mold off the windows (and bedroom dresser, boot rack, cutting board). She tactfully suggested we get a dehumidifier. She wiped the dead insects off of our bathroom wall. She sanitized the whole bathroom!

It was like a miracle. This overwhelming, oppressive atmosphere of our home was cleaned up and sparkling, and I didn’t have to lift a finger. I spent most of last night just reveling in the fact that there was not a single domestic chore screaming my name.

What’s more, when I observed the small ways in which I re-dirty my own house, I realized I was not getting stressed out about “keeping” the house clean. Usually, when the house was this clean, it’s because I’d busted my butt to get it there. Afterwards, I’m on edge trying to KEEP it that way! But not this time; you know why? The Cleaning Angel is coming again NEXT WEEK! It doesn’t matter if I drop a hair on the floor in the bathroom, SOMEONE ELSE WILL PICK IT UP! I can just LEAVE IT THERE!

I am blown away by the joy and release I feel at being liberated from my own daily drudgery. It is such a weight off my shoulders. I won’t have to bug Sweetie to do things around the house either. What a relief to say goodbye to that dynamic in our relationship.

Guess what? My back feels better today.

Sunshine worried


Sunshine asked me tonight “Did Mom run away?”

I guess Leo, my first tabby, had told her about breakups. The humans get very upset and then one leaves and doesn’t come back.

Although Sunshine is telepathically in touch with both of us, all she knows is we’re both upset and Sweetie left in a rush, and has been sad since she left.

We weren’t sure when Sweetie was coming back so it was all just dangling.

Poor Sunshine!

This is why it’s so important to explain to your pets what is going on.

She knows Sweetie is coming back after 5 dark nights.

Suggestions? What do you think of this bio?

What’s awesome is I’m getting invited on to other people’s podcasts!  Yay!

The thing is, whenever I do something outside the context of this blog, I need to provide a short biography to describe who I am and what I do.

What do you guys think of this?  I’m totally open to your opinions and suggestions.


Here it is:

Kate Sitka is a professional Animal Communicator and Spirit Medium; you can call her “psychic”.  After a weird and wonderful childhood full of secret conversations with animals, Kate spent 10 years working privately with friends and word-of-mouth referrals.  She found her home and strength on the Wild West Coast of British Columbia, where she officially launched her free blog, podcast and her public practice.

Kate’s testimonials speak for themselves, and her growing online community loves the oodles of free learning materials she produces on an almost-daily basis.

My mission in life is to help expand our understanding of each other, other species and the afterlife through writing, humour, teaching and demonstration!       



It’s difficult for me to hit the “hey, I want to check this out!” vibe without sounding gross.  The bold things will be linked to the actual blog, podcast, testimonials etc.

How do you guys feel about being my “growing online community”?  :)

Hedonism Unplugged


I LOVED this post by fellow blog reader, Mermaidcamp.

I feel such an urge to lighten my load and bring more enjoyment into my life.

Sweetie and I adore fine dining. We would rather save for months on one five-star dining experience than get pizza once a week. When we go, we stay for hours!

While we visited Vancouver, we went to the Vancouver Art Gallery and inadvertently recreated out first date by seeing Emily Carr’s same work in a different city!

Culture, luxury, beauty.


Originally posted on mermaidcamp:



I am a hedonist. This archetype is a prominent part of my persona. I don’t mind being considered to be a Sybarite.  I think I might inspire some people to experiment with allowing a little bit more pleasure into life when they see it does not seem to do me any harm.  Art, taste, harmony of elements are all of great importance to me.  Often it is much better for me to go to a museum alone because I normally want to stay at least twice as long as most others.  I also adore very long, lingering dining experiences that are memorable because of the good company and good cheer.  My good friend and fellow hedonist Eric Ellenberg and I once went to the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center for lunch (long before 9-11).  The food and the view were grand.  We stayed for hours…

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