You are amazing.

How do I know that you’re amazing? I know because we are actually connected at a level that you can’t see, smell, hear or touch, but you can definitely feel it when you understand that you are not a physical body in the way you’ve bee taught to believe.


In fact you are an energetic being of great light, beauty and intelligence. And this light, beauty and intelligence are the most real parts of who you truly are.  You are just having a so-called human experience on this beautiful planet we call Earth.


Now this energetic body that you truly are vibrates at different frequencies that are then expressed through your human thoughts, feelings, words, actions and emotions. When you understand that your mind has the capacity to consciously create through focused intention, thoughts and feelings, you’ve just become the master of your life.


How can you become the master of your life? One of the best ways is to meditate each and every day. Because when you meditate you can bring your energy up in frequency and open your Heart to the wisdom of the Universe within.


And that is where you will find the answers to the three most important questions everyone needs to ask themselves now.


What are these three questions? They are:

Who am I truly? Why am I here now? What am I to do next?


Why are these three questions so important to you now? Because Humanity needs you. We need your light, beauty and intelligence so we can find our way out of this mess we’ve found ourselves in.


Humanity has reached its own line in the sand and we’ve got two options starring us in the face right now.


One is staying on the path of the fear-based paradigm designed to control us a collective resource. The other is the path of Love where limitless creative power, joy and Love reside.


Each of us will make our own choice as to what kind of world we want to create.  I’ve already made mine and now I’m here to find my like-minded brothers and sisters who want to create a peaceful, harmonious life for them, their families and their friends. And last but not by a long shot least, save our beautiful, beautiful planet in the process.


There is the very real potential that together we will destroy the very ecosystem that provides all and more that we require to live here.


By the same token, that same very real potential is there to save Earth and Humanity. It’s not as hard as it may seem, but will require enough of you for a collective tipping point to be reached.


So you can see how amazing each and every one of you is. And the incredible power you hold in your hearts and minds. And the difference that you can make as an individual because when we come together our collective minds and hearts can and will do amazing things, and literally make all the difference in the world.


So this is how I already know how amazing you are. I already know that each one of you has the potential held inside of your hearts to help save Earth and to directly contribute to collectively creating peace on Earth.


That’s possible. That’s an amazing, beautiful and noble purpose that we’ve all come here to create together.


This time, this crazy, crazy time we’re all living in is why we are here now. It’s what each one of us came for. It’s our clarion call to stand up and speak from our Hearts. It’s our time to step into the very best version of who we came here to be.


We are living in the most exciting, exhilarating times in all of Humanity’s history. We are finally able to remember who we truly are, why we are here now and what we are to do next.


This is amazing. You are amazing. And together we can do amazing things.


We don’t have to do the same thing except for one very, very, very important part.

It’s not hard or complicated.

It doesn’t require years of study or practice, a college degree or any technical skills, computers or smart phones.

You don’t need money or a bank account.

You don’t need a teacher, a guru or a priest.

You simply need to open your Heart and love a little bit more each day.

Envision Pinklight radiating out and into the world from your Heart and you’ve just made a difference in the world. And a palpable difference as that Pinklight energy is the Universal frequency of Love.

And it goes out into the energetic web that connects us all. For those of us who can feel it – we will know that you’ve made your choice to love a little bit more each day.

And as the days pass with you sending Love out from your Hearts, you’ll begin to see your life and the world from new eyes.

You’ll begin to feel empowered.

You’ll begin to feel like who you truly are and you’ll begin to feel a gentleness come over you. Your words will be kinder. Your arms will wrap around those around you with more compassion.


You’ll smile more, laugh more and the desire to live with greater passion and purpose will rise out of your hearts with great Joy.

This time is what we’ve all been waiting for. It’s why there are so many of us here. We came to do this thing called Love.

We wanted to have a human experience where we could finally rise up and step into our own guru shoes.


Each one of us is an absolutely brilliant being filled with the limitless potential of the most powerful force in the Universe. And that power is Love. It’s not the kind of power you use to manipulate and control through fear.

Love is the power that creates Universes. Love is the creative power that creates life in all its forms. This is what we’ve each been searching for and now you know why you are so amazing.

And why you are here now. And what you are to do next.


Love a little bit more each day.

Say a kind word to someone as you pass them by.

Reach out and help someone who is struggling.

We all know at least one person who is lost, or sad, or hurt or simply needs a hug and shoulder to lean on for a bit.

Share with them what you’ve learned here today. Lend a helping hand where you can.

The world needs you now more than ever. I need you. The person next to you needs you.

Together we will change the world one person at a time. Lets go there together, in Love, in Light and in the Beauty of Universal Intelligence that together we can create anything our Hearts and minds desire.


You are amazing.

In today’s fast-paced world of non-stop information, it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the roses.  Literally.  Smelling nature’s smells can take us back to beautiful memories or inspire us to spend more time doing the little things that can add so much to our lives.

Sitting in nature will do even more for soothing a weary Soul and restoring a hopeful vision in your life.  Taking a few minutes away from our phones and TVs can calm the rampage of chaos and confusion currently being thrown at us a warp speed.

Beauty in all it’s forms plays an important role in each of our lives.  Gazing upon a beautiful sunset or simply watching a hummingbird light on a flower for a deep draw of sustenance can restore our innate connection with Nature and remind us of how important she truly is.

Feel the nurturing comfort that the Beauty of Nature provides for you.  Envision it and take a deep breath in. It’s priceless and something we all need to make more room for in our lives. Embracing beauty in all it’s forms will take you where your Soul wants to go.

Today I’m committing to spending more time in Nature.  As a small business owner, I too get caught up in the day-to-day pressures of doing more to the point of neglecting myself.

It’s the shift we’re all in the middle of and it’s not easy or comfortable.  But with all growth and expansion come challenges.  It takes concentrated effort to step into our greater selves and rise to expand our awareness, open our hearts and reach for the stars.  It is time to take the next step, push through the perceived limitations and leap into the visions of a more love-filled world.

It starts with a conscious awareness of choosing to create and contribute to it from within.  As I envision the world I want to live in, that energy goes out into the cosmic web we are all part of.  And as I speak the words and take the actions to back up those visions, I begin adding more positive energy to the mix.  As more are touched by my energy, they too are inspired to begin envisioning the world they desire to live in.

And now their positive visions, words and actions go out into the Universe’s mixing bowl to combine with mine, and so on.  Until we reach the tipping point and the shift of living by default in a paradigm of fear driven-chaos, to consciously creating a new paradigm of life on Earth based on Love begins. For all rather than a few.

As unique individuals, this is the power we hold and the choice we each face in these times.  Why is it so chaotic ‘out there’? Because it is the time of the Divine Feminine Spirit bringing balance back to Humanity and the world.  This is not something outside of us, but within every one of us. And it requires each individual to make a conscious choice of which path they want to walk.

This is the domino effect we can create together.  Be the master of your life today and begin envisioning a beautiful new world.  It’s possible. It’s simple. And it will be easy if we make it so.  Start within and as you share what you are choosing with your family and friends, more will join in on creating a new world masterpiece, one person at a time.

Akashic Record Readings for Practical Living offer you the most intrinsically pure resource for practical and spiritual guidance that a person can access today.

When I read your Akashic Records, I transcribe exactly what they are revealing to you in the moment.  This process leaves nothing up to interpretation.  You will receive clear, concise and comprehensive guidance from your Akashic Record Reading.

Unlike a Tarot or Psychic reading, someone must interpret arcane symbology of the Tarot, or the filtered and questionable psychic realm.  While there are many, many wonderfully talented psychics and readers around the globe, my personal opinion is that the information from the Akashic Records comes from the highest resource in the Universe.

Gain Clarity and direction in your life.

A personal Akashic Reading will answer your questions, providing you with the spiritual guidance you seek for practical application in your life. Are you searching for real purpose in your life or facing one of life’s curve balls? If so, an Akashic Record Reading will clear the fog and confusion, and pave the way for you to move towards your true purpose in life with ease and grace.

Regain your balance and serenity in challenging times.

As we move through this time of great chaos and change at every level of life, many people are seeking guidance and counseling to help them steer through some of life’s biggest challenges.  Don’t despair as there is calm despite the chaos that surrounds you.  Your Akashic Records will reveal the details and depth of information in the most personal way, leaving you with a clear understanding of what you are to do next. Regain a sense of balance and serenity in your life.

How I read your Akashic Records

I work differently than most when it comes to reading your Akashic Records.  It takes me at least 45 minutes to enter into a deep meditative state before I begin to request entering your Akashic Records.  Once I gain entrance I present your questions to the Akasha.

As the response comes through I automatically transcribe the information from the Akasha for you.  Similar to automatic writing, there is little gap between hearing and seeing the information and typing it on my laptop.

While different from how most Akashic readers work, transmitting your Akashic Records in this way allows me to maintain a full and deep connection to the Akashic Records without distraction or disturbance.  I have found that this works best for me in bringing the purest information, guidance and wisdom from your Akashic Records to you.

I will then email you a full transcription of your Akashic Record Reading.  If you need any further clarification I am able to read the vibratory essence of the Akasha and clarify for you.

What to do next? The best approach for your Akashic Record Reading is to email me with no more than three questions.  Ideally, you’ll want to keep mundane questions off the list and only inquire about the more important stuff of life. Include your full name given at birth.  This is the information I need to gain access to your personal Akashic Records.  You can use the contact form here or email me at: Generally speaking, refrain from asking yes or no answer questions. Go to the Akashic Record Reading product page, click on the buy button and pay for your Akashic Record Reading. You will receive a payment confirmation from me. I will email you with a scheduled reading date for your Akashic Record Reading.  You do not need to be available as I will email you the transcribed reading via email.  This just lets you know when you can expect your Akashic Record Reading from me. It’s a pleasure to be of service to you.

The Akashic Records are available to us all after eons of being kept inaccessible except to only the highest initiates.  However as we are on the brink of humanity’s evolutionary leap, they have been opened up to provide important guidance and wisdom to us all at this time.

It is a great honor for me to be able to gain access to the great wisdom of the Akashic Records.  I am also grateful to be able to offer you a personal Akashic Record Reading.  It carries with it great responsibility of being able to help others during this great time of transformation.

I am happy to be of service to you and humanity in any way that I am capable of.  As each of us opens to the sparks of light within, we grown one bright soul closer to our great leap into a new and more loving world for all of us – one person at a time.

Schedule an Akashic Record Reading with me today and get the most accurate, detailed and important spiritually-guided reading of your lifetime!

As women, mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, and every other role that we women play in the world, it is our time to stand up and be heard. It is time for each one of us to reclaim our rightful place in the world.  It is what we are being called to do now.  It is what I call the Re-Emergence of the Divine Feminine Spirit.

From within each of our hearts the sparks of light within will begin to ignite other sparks of light within. Each one of us, in our own unique way, will begin to make a difference in the way that only we can do.

And by doing so, each one of us will directly contribute to creating a new world based on limitless creation rather than controlled limitation. This will ensure the health and safety of our Mother Earth, and for everyone who lives upon her. It will be up to us to also ensure that the children of the world are safe, and have enough of everything they need in order to grow and thrive.

On the other hand, if you continue to depend on the outer world through the religious, governmental and societal structures to provide your security, you only will find the fear that will continue to hold you in place as a slave to the empire that is crumbling.

It is time now that we wake up to the truth that we are individually, as well as collectively, the creators of our world, and our lives in every way.

Your life is intended to be well lived through the many experiences of your expansive and unique ability for creative expression, not one of mere stagnant repetition and mediocrity. So, be brave, be courageous and do not fear change and the unknown. Live your life as the grand adventure it was intended to be.

Go out and make a difference in someone’s life today. Take a chance and live the passion and joy that resides within your Heart. You’ll discover that that is where true happiness and fulfillment reside.

In the not-too-distant future, you will look back and be amazed at what you have accomplished, and that together we birthed nothing less than a new world, a new life and a new way of living.

– excerpt from the new book ‘The Re-Emergence of the Divine Feminine Spirit’

Things just got a little more interesting.  While many people woke up yesterday dazed and confused, I’m seeing things from a different point of view.

We’re in a majestic time of unfathomable transformation.  So the key is to not expect anything normal to continue, but to expect the unexpected.

We’re four years into the new cycle of time but things are really just getting started.  With all transformation comes upheaval.  And before any real progress can be made, the out-of-balance aspects of an established paradigm must come to light.  And the world is seeing much of what no longer works in the most glaring of ways.

In America, the people voted this week but didn’t get who they voted for.  Because of an old outworn system we call the Electoral College, we the people do not actually elect our new Presidents.  And now as a result people are protesting that they don’t want what the system is giving them.

This election cycle has brought many things to light that previously lay hidden behind a veiled curtain.  People of all ages, races, religions are in agreement – some things around here have to change.

Expect more of the shadow side come to light as we continue to question the what-is in every sector of our lives.  But expect it with excitement in your heart rather than fear knowing that the breakdown of the and old and outworn paradigm of life is in the process of change.  And it will change from a rigged game against the people of the world to one based on Love rather than Fear.  Compassion rather than disdain and Abundance rather than unfettered greed. For all, rather than a few.

Wake up each day and choose happiness over anxiety. Feel your feet on the ground with an open and grateful heart. And as you do, you’ll be bringing us one bright soul closer to a better and brighter world.


We are living in an energetic Universe that is always on the move.

And, your Chakras carry the energetic blueprints for every area of your life within that energetic Universe. So if you want to live your life full of creative expression, loving relationships, optimum health, financial success and fulfilling work ~ all with passion and purpose, you’ll want to keep your Chakras open and humming in harmony.  Replace one TV show a day and tune up your entire Chakra system in seven easy steps.

Get Connected ~ Take ten minutes a day to connect through your Crown Chakra. Doing so will improve your connection to Unity Consciousness and your Higher Self. The results will be a clear vision of your true purpose in life and a deeper connection to who you truly are.  Feeling connected is priceless. Be Inspired ~ Your imagination isn’t something you give up once you grow up, but a valuable asset to feel inspired in your life. Spend 5 minutes in your meditation and tap in through your Third Eye Chakra for inspiration and visualizing the life you want to consciously create. Or set aside a weekly appointment with just you and your imagination and see where it takes you. Your Third Eye Chakra is also the gateway Chakra to your innate Intuition.  Trust your Intuition and you won’t take a wrong turn. Be Expressive ~ Getting the words out right can be a challenge. Whether in your relationships at home or at the office. Keeping your feelings and emotions pent up can cause energetic blocks at the Throat Chakra ~ which will only create bigger issues in your life. Solve this energetic challenge when you take fifteen minutes a day to write your thoughts and feelings in a journal. You will improve your clarity and focus while also move through your emotions for effective communicating.  Effortless expression spells happier relationships. Follow Your Heart ~ Live your life from the heart with love, compassion and gratitude. Spend five minutes a day feeling grateful for everything and everyone in your life and you’ll see abundance of every kind increase in your life. Feelings are the energetic magnets of life, and when you feel gratitude through your Heart Chakra, the Universe has only one option to answer with more good stuff for you to feel grateful for. Follow your Heart for heart-centered living and watch your life overflow with improved health, increased wealth and abundance of every kind.  Feel the gratitude baby. Be Masterful ~ Manifesting in your life requires an inspired idea, clearly expressed, some heart focused magnetism and then energized through your manifestation portal; the Solar Plexus Chakra. Become the creative master in your life when you take five minutes each day to send out an emotionally charged power ball to manifest what you want in your life.  Get it down with practice, trust your gut instincts and see your creative seeds begin to grow in your life.  Be the creative master of your life. Be Yourself ~ Sex is a beautiful and natural part of life. Keeping your Sacral Chakra balanced and humming is critical. Spend just a few minutes a day clearing out the energetic debris from sexual tension, frustration or imbalance from an overloaded Sacral Chakra. Excessive sexual stimuli can tip this Chakra out of balance and create an unhealthy imbalance in the entire Chakra System.  Honor your sexual expression for a balanced body energetic alignment. Grounded Passions ~ Grounding your body to Mother Earth through the Root Chakra is essential for feeling passionate and full of sustainable vitality in your life. Take ten minutes everyday to feel the Earth beneath your feet without anything in between. The electromagnetic energy from our planet directly harmonizes with our energetic blueprint through the Root Chakra. Sit under a tree, take a walk on the beach or simply plant your bare feet on the grass to reconnect and recharge yourself with the life-sustaining energy from Nature and Mother Earth.  Stay grounded.

Watch one less TV show a day and use these seven easy steps to tune up your Chakra system for a healthier & happier you!

Happy International Women’s Day!

I love that it’s on the powerful and very intuitive Pisces New Moon and Solar Eclipse.  I see it as throwing the doors of your life wide open ~ anything can happen with focused intention, taking the right action and adding the always important energizing elixir of feeling the gratitude for everything in your life.

This is also a power point for Divine Feminine Spirit within each of us to wake up a bit more and remember who we truly are.  Along with that is recognizing what you truly want and how you truly want to live your life.  Sometimes this can come through the harsh realities of life. Whether it’s a relationship that is falling apart, your career taking a nose-dive or even a health crisis, have no doubt that these are all signals from the Divine Feminine Spirit within.

She may have been nudging you for months to make changes in your life.  Ignore these nudges long enough and they’ll become swift kicks in the tushie.  Either way, The Divine Feminine Spirit continues to awaken and the winds of change will continue to break down the old paradigm of the patriarchal global dominance.

While on one hand, this process can seem daunting and even overwhelming at times; it can become effortless, if you can allow yourself to simplify your life. Each one of us are being called to do just this, and in doing so, you will release the struggle and begin to move into living authentically, and in harmony with nature and Mother Earth.

Living authentically is why the Divine Feminine Spirit is re-emerging in each one of us now.  We are being asked to live harmoniously within and with Nature, thereby creating a new Heaven on Earth. We need to work together, to stop pillaging and depleting the bountiful natural resources of Mother Earth.

Mother Earth is a vibrantly alive and great being of magnificence, not a mere rock holding its spot in the galaxy. She is wise beyond comprehension, and she has willingly allowed Humanity it’s game of monopoly to be played out to the extent of bringing her, and us to the brink of total destruction.

What will it take for enough of Humanity to start making real changes, and begin to live harmoniously with nature? What will it take for you to make some simple changes, or maybe even some major changes in the way that you are living, and begin to live more simply and in balance with nature?

We are all being asked to change the way we view life and what we require in order to live our lives well. My guess is that it’s not going to include shopping malls and more technology, but simply living in harmony with each other and our planet.

As the Divine Feminine Spirit continues to re-emerge, through each and every one of us, (yes, you too guys), we will all begin to experience a new freedom and release from a male dominated world based on control through fear. For those of you who are women, you will want to utilize this re-emerging of your own Divine Feminine Spirit, strength, and even sometimes, fierce determination, in every way in your own lives.

It doesn’t require us to take to the streets, chanting slogans and carrying banners. It is simply enough to recognize, reclaim and begin to reinvent the world, from the inside out. As we transform ourselves, the quiet revolution begins. Through expressing our newly reclaimed Divine Feminine Spirit, we will inspire others to do the same, and the sparks of light within will begin to ignite other sparks of light within, and so on, until each one of us, in our own unique way, makes a difference in the way that only we can do. And by doing so, each one of us will directly contribute to creating a new world, ensuring the health and safety of our Mother Earth and everyone who lives upon her.

On the other hand, if you resist making changes, and continue to look and depend on the outer world through the religious, governmental and societal structures to provide your security, you only will find the fear that will continue to hold you in place as a slave to the empire that is crumbling. It is time now that we wake up to the truth that we are individually, as well as collectively, the Creators not only of our World, but also of ourselves, in every way.

So, be brave, be courageous and do not fear change and the unknown. Live your life as the grand adventure it was intended to be; a life well lived through the many experiences of your expansive and unique ability for creativity and expression, not one of mere stagnant repetition and mediocrity. Go out and make a difference in someone’s life today. Take a chance and live the Passion and Joy that resides within your Heart. You’ll discover that that is where true happiness and fulfillment reside.

As women, mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, and every other role that we women play in the world, it is our time to stand up and be heard, and to reclaim our rightful place in the world. It will be up to us to ensure that the children of the world are safe. It is what we are being called to do now with the Re-Emergence of our Divine Feminine Spirit.

Happy International Women’s Day.

For more information, tools, workshops and more about how the RE-Emergence of the Divine Feminine Spirit is impacting your life, and the world, please visit:

My passion for all things Italian began in the Summer of 1989.

At that time I had been living in Manhattan for several years and I wanted to go to Italy.  All of my friends had already been or couldn’t go with, so I decided to go by myself.

I flew from New York to Zurich and then on to Milan to meet a friend who was doing the fashion shows.  Two days in Milan – alone – because said friend had to go back to the states suddenly.  This is before cell phones and the internet so he had no way to reach me.  On top of my shock and surprise that my friend was not only not there, but I had now had no place to stay.  Thinking I would just get on a train for Florence sooner than planned, I was quickly advised that it was ‘non e possibile’ – because as it would happen, and used to happen quite frequently – the trains were on strike.  So I was now stranded in Milano with no friend and no place to stay.

Luckily for me, my friend’s landlady thought it was a terrible thing that said friend wasn’t home when I arrived and called her son (who spoke English) to come over and help me.  He did just that and then called me a taxi to take me there.

The next day I made the best of things exploring Milan while the train strike ran it’s 24-hour course.  Having studied Architecture in college I sat in front of the Milan Cathedral – for I don’t know how long, gazing at it’s awe-inspiring spires and incredible detail wondering how in the hell they built this thing without cranes.  Inside the Duomo also hangs da Vinci’s Last Supper. Not to be missed next time you make your way to Milano.

The trains were running again, so I settled in for the 4-hour train ride to Florence.  Back then, Le Frecce or the super-fast direct trains that zip you from city to city in  less than two hours unfortunately did not yet exist.

Stopping in Bologna to change trains, I had some time to kill before my train left for bella Firenze and wandered into a cafe close to my train’s ‘bin’ or track.  At this point in my life, I didn’t even drink coffee.  I’d stopped drinking it years before as I just didn’t care for the taste of  ‘caffe Americano’ nor it’s after affects.  But I was in Italy for the first time and I was still feeling jet lag – so I ordered my very first cappuccino.

I was not expecting it to be such an overwhelmingly life-changing experience as I took my first sip, but somewhere between the creamy froth hitting my lips and the rich chocolaty flavor warming it’s way down my throat, I was a changed woman. It was official.  I’d lost my Caffe Virginity somewhere in the Bologna Centrale Stazione.

Returning to New York ten days later I immediately ran to Bloomingdale’s and purchased my first Espresso machine.  And a day hasn’t passed since then that I haven’t had my ritualistic morning cappuccino.  It’s become such a part of my life that my son never, ever finishes the milk at night and on road trips or major moves, I don’t leave home without my espresso machine carefully packed along with my favorite Lavazza Crema Gusto espresso, my raw sugar and a fresh carton of whole organic milk.  Whether I am at home in California or at home in Italy – I still recall that first creamy chocolaty cappuccino in the Bologna train station.

Buon Giorno!

Spring is my favorite time of year no matter where I am, but even more so when I’m in Italy.

Whether it’s the sweet smell of orange blossoms blooming or the hedges of jasmine I used to ride past, around and through Lucca, the many smells of Italy let me know that Spring has officially arrived.

Our front door. The road starts where you see gravel!

When I was living in Lucca, April 1st would have inspired me to start my new garden.  I was not the perfectionist that my mentor, Giancarlo was, carefully measuring out  his enormous garden with stakes and string.  The only thing he didn’t use to make sure those carefully tilled rows were absolutely straight was surveyor’s tools.

This was our view of the Lucca Aquaduct with its 459 arches.

Giancarlo’s garden was directly across from the little ‘terratetto’ stone house we  lived in on Lucca’s southern edge. The only thing that separated Giancarlo’s large garden from our front door was a five-foot-wide gravel road.  Connected to the back of our house we had cows living in a barn that we would hear mooing now and again.  We also had a lovely view of the Lucca Aquaduct just around the corner with the hills of Varno just beyond.

Giancarlo had spent a year in Atlanta while he was in the Italian Air Force and therefore spoke English…fairly well.  This turned out to be a real blessing for me given that I was not a good student of the Italian language. The house was small but had been beautifully restored inside and out.  On one side was an empty terratetto belonging to the cow farmer and on the other a semi-collapsed horse barn with reinforcements on the four exposed stone walls. The roof had apparently collapsed but had luckily not hurt the horse.  Lucca is a fairly immaculately-maintained ancient town so these types of structures are required to be maintained and ultimately restored in their original style.  Such was our tiny terratetto with the second and third floor windows having their original barn ‘windows’ in tact.  Designed to allow air to flow in to the stacked bales of hay while restricting the amount of light at the same time.  Not ideal for creating a light-filled home.

The first floor was maybe 20 meters square and was our kitchen, dining and living room.

Our new little home would do, but the one thing it didn’t have was some outdoor space to grow my own veggies.  In the end,  it didn’t make a difference, because Giancarlo was a kind and generous neighbor who would also come to be good and trusted friend to both myself and my son, Gianni.

Giancarlo’s garden below from our second floor bedroom balcony.

Giancarlo’s garden was huge with some apple and apricot trees sprinkled throughout.  While each year Giancarlo planted a minimum of a hundred tomato plants along with several zucchini, pepperoni (sweet peppers) and melanzane (eggplant),  he also filled every square centimeter with bietola (swiss chard), lettuces, beans, squash and basil plants the size of small bushes.

Feeling the lack of my own dirt to plant, I offered to help him when I needed to take a break from my work. The first spring, I helped him set up the stakes for his hundred tomato plants.  We tied twice that amount of 7′ tall bamboo sticks in a long row of tepee-like supports with many meters of string.  The day arrived when we finally put the little tomato plants into the ground.  It was a laborious process but one we both knew would provide it’s reward in the not-too-distant-future.

There is a lot of care required to grow tomatoes properly.  Once the plants grow to about 10″ or so, we had to carefully tie them to their accompanying bamboo stakes.  As they grew taller there came a point where we had to trim a very particular sprout at the bottom to make the plant grow up and not all willy-nilly.  Given that Giancarlo was a perfectionist, he would stop trimming his row and come over to check my work.  Uh oh.  I’d clipped the wrong sprout and Giancarlo was not happy with me at all.  Well, in the end the plant survived and grew up tall and produced many luscious tomatoes. However, Giancarlo never failed to remind me that I had clipped that one tomato plant incorrectly.

It was a great experience for me nevertheless, and the following year I planted my own garden at our new little ‘cassetta’ behind the Sant’Ana Church just outside the walls of beautiful Lucca.  I was not, however, as meticulous as Giancarlo.  Given it was Spring in Italy again, Giancarlo was, unfortunately for me, far too busy with his own garden to come help me with mine.  He did kindly toss a dozen bamboo sticks over my wall so I had some support for my little garden of tomatoes, some rucola and four zucchini plants.  Despite Giancarlo’s instructions, I neglected to properly trim my tomato plants. Not only did they grow incredibly willy-nilly, they were nearly impossible to keep tied securely to their stakes – drooping over and lopsided from my ill-care.

In the end ~ they did however produce some wonderfully delicious tomatoes as seen in the photo above.  We ate them simply sliced with a sprinkle of sea salt or with bread drizzled with some of my friend Claire’s delicious olive oil.  It didn’t really matter how we ate them – they were absolutely delizioso!


Why Italian Design?  For some reason the Italians have become world-renowned for their design aesthetics.  Maybe it started with the Renaissance, but maybe not.

Over the years, I have traveled throughout Italy’s premier jewelry design capitals.  I’ve gained entry into the super-secure design ‘workshops’ where some of the world’s most expensive jewelry is made – by hand.  Generation upon generation of master craftsmen still work today to create for the world’s top luxury design houses.  Bulgari, Boucheron, Cartier and Tiffany, just to name a few.

Living in Italy has given me this insiders-view as to why Italian design is recognized as the world’s premier go-to design capital.  And not only for jewelry, but also leather handbags, fashion, accessories, ceramics, textiles, furniture, glass, art, architecture ~ and on and on the list goes.

Based on my many years of first-hand experiences, I have distilled the reason as why this is down to one simple fact.

The Italians love Beauty.

They value it.  And they will pay for the skill that it takes to create beautiful things.

The Italians also still appreciate the little things in life.  Maybe that’s why their high quality of life has yet to be swept away by modern-day consumerism or the never-ending pursuit of making more money over enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

With their family. And their friends.  Sunday is still a day reserved for family outings and a great home-cooked meal shared together ~ with the TV off.

I’m hoping that despite Italy’s current economic challenges, that they will hold tight to these long-held traditions and values.  I’m hoping that they don’t follow America too much in their pursuit of money over their love of beauty – in it’s every form.