Friday, December 6, 2013

MAGGIE – Part 2

Maggie’s death has changed me…is changing me.

My true friends know that, by nature, I’m a very quiet person…a thinker…a people watcher. I’m so much like my father, and I’m proud of that. 

I have pageants to thank for allowing my inside voice – out. At first my mom told me I was a little too blunt. (a lot actually…) But my dad got it! Later, I learned the art of tell what needs to be said and letting others figure things out for themselves. Probably why I like teaching. I see potential when someone else does not…

Right now, I’m finding comfort in my…true nature.

I was forced to watch myself fall apart and that wasn’t…isn’t fun. Those brief moments of sadness…I don’t want to go away. I want to keep her real…because she was…and is real. 

I was also forced to see the man I love so desperately want to heal me…and it hurt that I hurt in a way he…no one could help. It’s paralyzing. I still hurt. 

When I was in Texarkana, my sister and I tried to get out and do something that Maggie would have loved – like go to Old Navy. When a sales clerk came to over tell us about sales, I wanted scream at her: “My niece is dead, did you know that? How is YOUR day going? Because mine SUCKS!” 

I was comforted by the fact that my sister felt the same way. 

I still feel that way when I listen to someone telling me about something petty. But I smile, knowing that at some time in my life, I was that person…saying something petty.  

Sometimes I feel like she goes with me through out the day. Her smile…especially her smile. How she doesn’t want me to be sad…and I want to make her happy.

It’s the evening of December 6th. I put a different photo up on my Facebook profile and cover page. Something other than Maggie or me and Maggie. 

I cried…am crying…

I didn’t realize how hard that would be…


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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Maggie – Part 1

Micah 7:8

Micah 7:8

This is all I can get out right now…

Every time I find a receipt, boarding pass, letter, look back through my calendar….anything with a date listed before 3:10pm CST, September 19th 2013, I say to myself, “Maggie was still alive then.”

I can’t begin, nor should I try, to tell you how my world collapsed that day. These first two sentences have already started the water works. But maybe it’s therapy for me.

“It’s just not fair.” That’s what my husband said to me. “It shouldn’t happen like this.”

All true.

I was relaxing with friends. We had just come back from a Mets/Giants game. Chris with his infinite luck (yet again) snagged some amazing seats for us. We had come back to an apartment that our friend’s parents had rented for the week. We just had gourmet pizza and laziness was setting in…for me.

Someone had just mentioned the difference between the married couples and the single couples. The men were around the table spinning yarns about “man stuffs” and the single-couple (unmarried) girls were right next to their beaus trying to stay attentive. All us married ladies were over on the couch watching random musical reality-TV contests.

My phone has been on silent, but I noticed that my mom was calling. Later I realized that she had called a few times before.

“I’ve got some bad news.”

I immediately stood up.

“What’s wrong.”

I knew in her voice something was wrong. I always mentally flash to my 75 year old father when I hear something like that come out of her mouth, but my brain told me that if it were him, she would not have been able to speak let alone call.

“Maggie’s been in a car wreck.”

On God! I thought. She’s was in a fender bender before and was okay, my thought was…oh God, help, she’s in the hospital.

“She didn’t make it. Maggie’s dead.”

I don’t know if it was because I just saw someone go out of the room beside me, but I ran into that room quivering, “What?”

Mom had to repeat it. But, I understood. I didn’t want to, but I understood.

She then did her best, through the tears, to explain what they knew to have happened. It was instant. Her death.

I just sobbed.

“Are you sure it’s her?”

Sometimes Maggie would let her friends borrow her car. In fact, the fender bender I mentioned earlier may not have been because of her driving. She was protecting a friend who was driving her car and didn’t have insurance. At least that’s what I thought about it.

“Yes,” Mom said. “I thought the same thing, but they know it’s her.”

“Where is she? Where’s her body?

“They took her to Dallas for an autopsy.”

I sobbed.

I remember talking with my sister Diane shortly after. She was in shock as was I, but her…Maggie’s mommy…it was much more then my brain could take in.

I remember feeling Chris touch my shoulder and I lost it even more. I told him what had happened…as best as I could.

He just held me and spoke those words.

I asked for tissue. I don’t know why. He left the room to get me some.

I stood up and stared outside the window across the street. My spinning brain was blank from overload. Union square was a few feet down to the left.

I started talking to Maggie.

“What happened, Baby? Oh Maggie, what happened?”

Then I started to see her, in my minds eye. I don’t know why. I saw her and heard her.

“KK, don’t cry, I’m okay.”

She was pleading with me and smiling like she did when she knew something that she couldn’t tell you. Like a secret. Or something I couldn’t understand because I was too “not with it” to get it.

That coy little smile.

She was dancing in the sunlight in a white t-shirt with black words on it that I can’t remember. She looked so happy and relieved.

“I’m fine, KK. Really!!!”

Laughing, smiling…at peace. So happy!

“I’m not” I said out loud.

But I felt this weird peace. A calm. I was in the eye of the storm. And I knew, she was…okay now.

Three days. I thought to myself, as I had visions of her dancing and smiling and looking at me like I needed to trust her. Three days. She’s still here…her soul is here for three more days…

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why My Podcast Didn’t Work

Karmyn KastBrief Background…

Back in 2005, I decided to give blogging a serious go. Not knowing where to turn, I found BlogHarbor (now PressHarbor) and began public journaling.

At the same time, I had completed my first (and only -yes, I know) vocal solo album and (having recorded independently) needed a way to market…for free. My mom found The Podcast Music Network (now Music Alley from Mevio). We put my cover tune of Gershwin’s Summertime on the PMN and it was picked up by Adam Curry‘s Daily Source Code. Realizing that we couldn’t put cover tunes up, (duh! and oops!) I quickly wrote a tune called Drifting and recorded it with my then music collaborator C. Meeks. (That song has been my most played and liked of all my originals.)

Podcasters and new fans started reading my blog and encouraged me to start a podcast. I did. At first it was audio only (the most fun for me) and then, as listeners demanded, video came after.

I never had expensive equipment I couldn’t afford it. I enjoyed working with what I had and stretching the “box” of my limitations. Still do!

So…what I did wrong.

#1.I never really took it seriously. It was always for fun. Not that I didn’t look into monetizing, I did. But for fun, not actually make money…although it was nice to get a few dollars here and there.

#2 I didn’t respond to forward thrusting opportunities in a timely manner. I didn’t realize how quickly I needed to…and MORE so now. The internet community WILL leave you and leave you behind. It’s not personal…it’s not even business! It just IS.

#3 My information was spread over too many social network mediums. I was and still am an early adopter. What gets my motor running is the next big online social “thing.” I still have 4 different mySpace accounts (yes, it still exists), Two Twitter accounts,  Two YouTube accounts, Two Vimeo accounts, Two Blip accounts, Multiple LinkedIn accounts that I FINALLY got blended, enough gmail accounts to make your head spin and at least 15 different additional social sites I had (and still have) to update at the same time for continuity. (…and boy am I behind on them ALL!)

#4 I spent too much time trying to have a perfect “professional” looking podcast. You CAN do a lot of cool tricks to make your podcast look and sound impressive with inexpensive equipment. I should have just stayed with my “home ground’ fun approach. I should have stayed an audio podcast!

#5 I was NEVER consistent! If I said I’d try to have a weekly podcast, it never happened…a monthly podcast…it never happened. I basically (but innocently) lied to my viewers/listeners. This stemmed from #1. I could see the potential, and KNEW that consistency was a key, but I wasn’t dedicated enough.

#6 I’d MUCH rather produce than host. A dilemma that haunted me in my high school broadcast journalism program. Since I was a singer, I could neutralize my East Texas accent so I was ALWAYS put on camera. Not being a people person (yes, that IS my personality) I would have rather been editing tape, writing copy and/or stories, or throwing interesting concepts around for a show than be in front of the camera.

and #7 I thought success would all happen automatically. Not without working. I worked my BUTT off, just not on the right things. I was just hoping I had a “My Generation” moment. You know, Roger Daltrey really DID suffer from stuttering…it’s what made the song GENIUS in my opinion.

So I say good by to the KarmynKast. I’m done. Okay…not really….(#5). But I am going back to what I started doing in the first place: Blogging.

…Oh…and enjoy one of my favorite songs: “My Generation” original vinyl recording.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Effective Facial Scrub found in your Kitchen Cupboard

2011_07_07_Awash with sea salt…AND without making a mess! It’s Sea Salt!

I’m all for “easy” on a day-to-day basis. My schedule doesn’t allow me to spend 10 to 15 minutes with a mixing bowl making a facial scrub each day…then clean it up afterward.)

So here’s what I do:

1) I grab my cleanser. (Since I have acne prone/sensitive skin, I use Avon’s Clearskin Blackhead Eliminating Daily Cleanser that I’ve put in a pump. It didn’t come in a pump. I got one at the beauty store.)

2) I grab my bottle of Sea Salt. (I use Morton’s Coarse Kosher Sea Salt - NOT table salt – that I’ve put in a travel bottle for easy access.)

3) I wet my face a little.

4) I pump out my cleanser, in one hand, shake a good amount of Sea Salt on it and rub my hands together.

5) I massage the mix all over my face and neck for about 60 seconds.

6) Then I rinse.

My skin does get a little red, because the sea salt is course enough to slough off dead skin, cleanse and detoxify the skin. So, I follow up with my favorite oil, Kukui Nut Oil, and the redness disappears.

If you have a cleanser that works for you, USE IT! SAVE YOUR MONEY!

Do I have a different scrub? Yes, once a week I use a Glycolic Acid scrub. The only one I have found that does not break my face out is Nude’s Miracle Mask. It’s a scrub and mask in one! It’s AMAZING! Again, afterward I follow up with my Kukui Nut Oil.

Make a facial scrub with sea salt in organic honey, organic vinegar, avocado, evaporated milk or simply use your own cleanser and save time, money and the mess.

I’d love to know what you use!


and my Mother the Massage Therapist. :)

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Clear Skin with Kukui Nut Oil

Kukui OIl

Hawaii. Up until this year I was the only person in my family and circle of friends who had not visited this USA land of paradise. Our family stayed on the Big Island, Kona side. Breath taking really is the only way to describe it.

It was also the first time in years that I stayed in the sun longer than walking to my car or subway station. We hiked, beached, walked, hiked some more and I ended up with a nasty sunburn.

While visiting the Hilton mini outdoor shopping strip I found an oil that I had not heard of called Kukui Oil. On the bottle it read “Natural Relief for Dry Skin, Sunburn, Eczema and Psoriasis.” (Hmmm…I’m suffering from one of these and the Aloe Vera is making it worse.) Being an “I love oils” girl, I poured some out of the tester and rubbed it on my shoulders. It was oily but not greasy. It immediately absorbed into my skin…not just onto my skin.

It felt good. Hours later it still felt good and my skin was not as red, so I decided to Google it!

It’s been used in Hawaii for years to moisturize and protect skin from sun, salt, wind and other environmental elements. (Especially by Hawaiian royalty) It’s chocked full of essential fatty acids (linoleic and alpha-linolenic), more than jojoba and argan oil. Plus it contains the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E so it protects against free-radicals.

It absorbs completely into the deepest levels of your skin to form a protective barrier and is fantastic for all skin types even acne prone skin. It’s noncomedogenic, minimizes scarring and calms irritated skin. For mature skin it locks in moisture and softens fine lines and wrinkles.

I began using it all over my body (yes, my face too). I started noticing that my skin looked less red and naturally dewy – NOT greasy!

I have, in the past suffered from acne to the point of being on accutane. (Not fun!) So, I am always looking for ways to keep my skin clear whether it’s what I put on my skin or what I put in my body.

I’ve been using the Kukui Oil for 2 weeks now and acne has been practically non-existant. Through a menstrual cycle, eating peanut butter and soy (my too skin allergy issues), only a few very small pimples. Using this oil is the ONLY thing I’ve done differently.

I’m ECSTATIC with my results!

I’m currently using a combination of blended oils: 35% Kukui oil, 35% Jojoba Oil and 10% Argan oil in a 1 oz glass dropper bottle. The jojoba and argan bland was what I was using prior to my Hawaiian discovery. The addition of Kukui has been a godsend!

What I bought: Oils of Aloha

Suite 101
Live Strong
Herbal Healing
Venus & Vetiver
Ingredients to Dies for

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Day I saw Rafa Nadal Play Tennis!

If you keep up with me on my social network feeds, you’ll know that yesterday my husband gave me the BEST one year anniversary present I could have asked for! A day at the US Open to see my favorite player Rafael Nadal!

And what a day it was! He snagged court side seats right where the players emerge to play with a perfect angle to view the match.
My husband, Chris, always laughs and says that one reason all us women go crazy for Nadal is that he reminds us of Atreyu from The Neverending Story. And as much as I hate to admit it…he’s probably right.
So there we are with these FANTASTIC court side tickets where the players were practically touchable. Instead of rooting for Rafa, like me, Chris decides he’s going to root for the underdog, Philipp Kohlschreiber. He figures Rafa has plenty of support anyway, so why not. I said, “Whatever honey!!” (With a snicker!)
Anyone who knows my husband knows his laugh! He has an AWESOME, hardy…telling laugh.
It’s the first set and Nadal attempts a play that should guarantee a win. The play backfired and Kohlschreiber answered back triumphantly and stunned the entire crowd. At that moment of silence is when my husband’s laugh was heard ’round the stadium. (I’m NOT over-exaggerating!) It was a laugh that had the distinct tone of…”Well, well, well, ya thought you had that one in the bag, but OH Ho-Ho-Ho NOOOO!”
Nadal whipped his head around and looked STRAIGHT at Chris!!!
My mouth dropped open and Chris looked at me like, “Oops!” I lowered my head and started to silently laugh! I was worried it was gonna be ME not able to control my emotions and yell out something too loud. Nope, it was my husband!!
Chris started laughing too…a little “tail between his legs” silent laugh.
Then Nadal proceeded to lose that set. 6(4)-7(7).
Well, I continued to yell for Rafa. I even got a little more physical with my cheers letting him (Rafa) know not to hold my husband’s heckling laugh against me!
When it was all over, we were both overwhelmed with the amazing athletic performance of these two men! It was AWESOME to experience!! As Kohlschreiber left the stadium, I quickly thought to grab Chris’s white baseball cap for him to sign and he did.
Strangely enough when Nadal came by, he looked up at Chris and passed on signing the cap.
Ah, well, I don’t blame him…Nadal OR my husband! (giggle!)

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