Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Going back to

Hi, I moved to blogspot because I thought I could not learn how to use wordpress.  Instead of learning what I needed to do, I ran from it.  Thank you for sticking with me.  I have issues, but if you have been paying attention, you know this.  I'm posting at   I will have this address here so that those who haven't kept up in a while, can find me.

Thank you so much for enriching my life, encouraging me to be creative, and laugh at what scares me.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Back to

Blogger has been nice, but I'm switching back to Wordpress.  I have an amazing webiste at  I will be moving posts there and posting from there.  I will keep this address, so people can find it.

Why?  You might ask...  Well, visit The Mighty and maybe you can tell me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Crossing The Streams Wearing Nothing But Lipstick

Update:  This fundraiser was a colossal failure.  But this is a decent post about an extended hospital stay, by a patient.  

Good Sunday Morning!   

My intention was to post pictures of me wearing only lipstick.  I just bought a new color and for the first time it's a dark red.  But then, I got lost in the shower.  

The following post includes references to Ghostbusters and how you can shop to raise funds for scleroderma research and education for not one, but TWO organizations.  Don't worry, there will still be pictures.  

I've been in the hospital for 9 days.  Sure, I've taken showers, but I have not washed my hair because use of the wrong products will destroy it.   Just one shampoo with the Pantene so generously supplied by my host, will cause clumps of my hair to fall out.  This is not an exaggeration.  That stuff is poison to my scalp.  Actually to anyone's scalp. Have you read the label?

Long story short:  OH.  MY. GOD. That was an awesome shower.

Before the magic of my "selfie" photo shoot.
A lot goes on in the shower with me.  (Stop that.) I daydream in the shower so long, I refer to it as  getting lost in the shower.  Last night, deep in the nether regions of my mind, mid-shower,  I had an idea.

I was mulling over my new job as an independent sales rep, (Brand Ambassador)  for Votre Vu, the fundraisers I launched with my cousin at Origami Owl the week before I was hospitalized, and how the hell I was going to follow through with my commitments while attached to an IV with my feet in the air.  Then, it struck me:  It was time to go full throttle on "crossing the streams."

I wanted to keep my business and writing separate, in other words, keeping those "streams" separate.   The more I thought about it, the more I realized that in a perfect world, it would still sound insane.  I was starting to feel like I was about to be killed by a 100 foot Marshmallow Man, and I realized it was time to cross the streams.  

In the movie Ghostbusters, they saved the day by doing something with no guarantee of the outcome.  (Look, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you are too young to be reading this blog. No whining about "spoilers" in the comments.)
Make up: Votre Vu
Lip color: Ma Cherry
Hair by Maria Vitale Salon

Now What?
So, now that I'm going to be in the hospital for a minimum of six weeks, rather than show you the worst of scleroderma, I'm going to write about making the best of it.  Life hands us a bag of dog crap sometimes and we have to learn to make the best of it.  So if you want to read about how awful and soul sucking scleroderma is, read some studies, research and medical articles.  Here, I am going to make living with the effects of scleroderma beautiful and victorious.  It won't be perfect.  I will have my ups and downs.

Anyway, enough of that long winded intro to the next six or more weeks of my life.  Let's start by crossing some streams:

I have two fundraising soirees going on right now.
I will donating 20% of sales for each soiree to their respective host organizations.  You can shop at one or both soirees.  You will receive an email how much of your sale was donated to which organization who's soiree you shop.

Me, sans make up.
Why yes, that is telangectasia.

You can look up these soirees by name.  Here is how: 

1.  Go to and Click "shop"

2. On the right side of your screen you will see: "Can't make it to the soiree?, Click here to look up your host".

3.  A form will pop up that asks for the first and last name of your host.  Type "Scleroderma" in the first name box and two names will show.  One will say, "Scleroderma"-  That one is for the San Diego Chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation.  Another will say, "Scleroderma Research" - and that one is for the Scleroderma Research Foundation.

4.  Note, you are not restricted to shop for only one, but to shop for both foundations, you cannot do that in the same "shopping" experience.  Each soiree is independent.  And if you spend over $75.00 at each soiree, there are benefits for you the customer and you don't have to choose.


1.  WHY 2 Scleroderma fundraising foundations?  Why not choose one?  

Me, wearing nothing but lipstick.
It's my new favorite color,  Marguax
Simple:  They are both great organizations with a great deal to offer patients, doctors and research.  Many patients are alive today because of the work both of these foundations have done.  

For example, I bet you have donated funds to more than one cancer foundation.  Each foundation has a different focus like emphasis on research, or more emphasis on patient education and support groups.  They are different, but they are all on the same team.  The team to cure cancer.  Just like in our case, we are all on the same team to cure scleroderma.

2.  Karen, what's in it for you?  

Well, it boosts my sales numbers and I still make a small amount of commission.  To fully disclose, I make 30% commission from sales.  I will be donating 20% of that 30% I earn to each foundation.  I considered donating the whole 30%, but I should probably cover expenses like time, and create the ability to pay for the host gifts for each foundation and donate to the foundation hosting to use for future events.

3.  Are those the only soirees you do?
Well, I do have my own soiree I am hosting because I want to earn Les Sorbet for $25.00 instead of buying it for $165.00.  All proceeds to my own soiree go to me.  Don't shop there.  Shop at the fundraising soirees.  I am disclosing I am having my own soiree because maybe someone wants to shop at all three.  But honestly, these fundraisers have hit the ground with a thud, so don't shop at my soiree.  Shop at the fundraising soirees and tell your friends!

4.  Can I host a soiree?  
Yes.  I can book you an online soiree only.  If you would like to have one in your home (which is really the best way to try the product) I have  awesome Brand Ambassadors who would love to help you host the best possible soiree.  Now, if you are worried about my benefitting from the soiree because you would like to patronize my business, no worries.  These brand ambassadors are on a team I lead, so I will benefit from this.

5.  Brand Ambassador sounds like a great job for me.  How can I learn more about becoming a Brand Ambassador for Votre Vu?
I would love to tell you why I chose to represent Votre Vu, and feel confident recommending and wearing Votre Vu's products,  tell you about their generous compensation and incentives. (LOVE THEM) Visit my  online store or Facebook page and we can talk.

6.  Do have to sign up to shop and get the best prices?
No.  Period.  Flash sales offer a great way to get higher priced items at a discount.  With Votre Vu, you can shop with confidence and no commitment. (In fact, there's one going on that ends December 8th at 10pm pacific.  They're serums & it's a good one!)

7.  Karen, Can't I just donate straight to these organizations?  
Yes, absolutely!   Here are the links:

Scleroderma Research Foundation- Bounce to a Cure Cure Crew Page 

Greater San Diego Chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation

Thank you very much for taking the time to learn about how you can shop for a cause this holiday season, how to donate directly to what it is that I do for Votre Vu, and how you don't have to sign up for anything to enjoy luxurious French Skin Care!

So, there you have it.  I've crossed the streams.  See you on the other side.
Usually, I feel naked without make up.
It's amazing what a great color lipstick
can do! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Goodreads quotes it by Allen Saunders, but I always think of it from the song Beautiful Boy, by John Lennon.  I can't think of a truer statement to advise any child.

This holiday season was the first time I remember actually feeling the Christmas spirit;  the anticipation of seeing family, tree hunting with my son, and decorating our pine smelling treasure neighbors would see from our window in our our apartment on the beach.  I was looking forward to big family gatherings and hearing my son laugh with his cousins, like a song I never want to end.  The holiday season is magic and I was looking forward to ringing  in the new year with our friends on the beach, holding my son with pots and pans at the  ready to make noise at midnight.  Yes, I was busy making plans.

Then, for many of us with plans, life happened.  I was admitted into the emergency room after Thanksgiving Dinner.  One week later, I was diagnosed with an infection in a bone in my toe called Osteomyelitis.  If untreated, or not caught in time, the infected bone would have had to to be removed.  Luckily, because of my proactive attention to my body, and wonderful healthcare provided by the Veteran's Administration, I have access to the best treatment there is:  six weeks of IV antibiotics every eight hours.  

I am unable to administer the IV antibiotics at home, so I will be admitted into a long term care unit here at the VA, where I will be able to get my medication dispensed without the risk of missing a dose, and the ability to keep my foot as immobile as possible.  I don't like to ask fro so much help, but this is a situation with no room for error.  I am very attached to the bone in my toe.

On the surface it sounds like the end of the world.  And
yesterday for about an hour, it was.  Then I decided to change the plans I had.  Of course I aways have a choice,  I can complain about not getting  the holiday season I wanted with son, but that would be an invalid complaint.  And for me, unless a complaint is going to bring about change, I refuse to waste my time with them.   So, however will I get through what could be the worst possible holiday season ever?  Easier than one would think.  I jet have to adapt my plans to my medical needs.  Sure, it could suck, but it doesn't have to.

My son can come visit me and we can have small adventures. There is art to be done, lunch in this amazing city of Long Beach and  playing in the park between infusions.  We can take what life has "happened" and make it special.  Sure, there will be no tree in our home or baking cookies and decorating, but I bet we can find a good bakery to bring back to my room.  And even though I won't be able to ice skate with him as I planned,   there is a google of things to do, I just need to look them up and see what other adventures we can have.

Life gets ugly at times, but ugly times never last if I look for what's possible.  Everything worth having, takes some work and some things take more work than others.  And yes, sometimes, I do want to crawl into a ball and sleep until the ugliness passes.  I tried that in the '00's and I missed an awful lot.  And I do take time to process these things that happen that interrupt my plans by drawing under my covers for a short pity-party.  I have learned to keep my pity parties t a short guest list of one, and leave very early.  It's okay to grieve over a loss, but it's even more important is to move on and don;t stay so long at those pity parties.  Wel, at least that's what works for me.  

So this holiday season, my son and I will making up plans as we go along.  We will be together, and there is nothing more magical.