Karen is a Hampton Roads native, born and raised in Newport News and now lives in Norfolk. She has four daughters who are her best friends. Karen has been on the air on the Eagle for over 25 years and very passionate about radio and connecting with her listeners.
Karen is also very passionate about her charitable causes. She is active with the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” campaign in memory of her sister Ginni, who passed away peacefully of breast cancer in 2005. She is also very active with St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s endeavor to end childhood cancer.
Karen is an author who has written two books to benefit various charities. Amazing Trace, A Sister’s Journal follows the story of her sister’s battle with breast cancer. It is available at all online booksellers.
Karen recently began traveling internationally and crossing things off her bucket list, proving to herself that if you want something bad enough, go for it! She has taken several trips on a very VERY small budget and shares her experiences on “Travelin’ With Karen.”
Her favorite quote of all time is from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
There is a website looking for someone to watch 24 Hallmark Christmas movies in 12 days and share the experience on social media…and you could get paid a thousand dollars. Sounds like a dream gig, but I’m not so sure I could do it. I mean, I LOVE those sappy movies…and who couldn’t use a thousand bucks, right? But my viewing pleasure is no more than 2 in a row.
Wait…lemme redo my math. I totally COULD watch 24 in 12 days!
Race ya to the sign-up! 😉
So you like Hallmark Christmas movies? In your search for the best Hallmark Christmas movies of 2019, consider getting paid $1,000 to watch 24 Hallmark Christmas movies this Christmas season! Don’t believe us? Apply here today, no spam, no emails, if you’re selected, you watch and you get paid.
How about you? Can you watch two or more a day without getting bored? – KW
What a beautiful story: Wednesday, November 13th was Cardigan Day & World Kindness Day! To celebrate the kindest, cardigan wearing individual in the world, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburg honored Pittsburg area native Mr. Rogers by dressing up the newborns as the beloved character. Fred Rogers’ widow Joanne was a special guest at the hospital that day. – KW
“We welcomed Pittsburgh’s newest neighbors in style for #CardiganDay!”
— Humankind (@Humankindvideos) November 14, 2019
While we anxiously await Stranger Things 4 to confirm our suspicions that one of our faves actually survived, maybe this never before seen footage will give us a few more clues of what’s in store for us in the next season?
Nope. They didn’t leave the door open three inches.
*Sigh* But enjoy this! I plan to re-binge 3 now so I can relive the very spots where they screwed up! Haha! – KW
It appears there was a bug that affected text messages way back in February and a bunch of people just received texts that were sent on Valentine’s Day…LAST NIGHT!
“I got a text message at 4 am from my ex that was completely random and made no sense. She said she didn't send it.” https://t.co/je9nXWsdOC
— VICE (@VICE) November 7, 2019
Some responses were funny…some…not so much. There are reports of people who got texts from their exes, texts that were sent to their bosses and texts from people who have since passed away.
One carrier says a maintenance update was the problem, another carrier blames a third party vendor, but I don’t think anybody really knows.
ANYWAY, I thought…YES! There IS a reason that I didn’t get a Valentine message OR a date for the big day!
Sadly, I didn’t get a delayed text either, so…even my belated Valentine’s Day kinda sucked. GEEEEZ! – KW
That feeling when you didn’t get a sweet text message on Valentines Day OR nine months later when all the delayed texts were finally delivered. pic.twitter.com/d1zA87V21N
— Great and unmatched wisdom of The Dugout Wizard (@MeTommyJames) November 8, 2019
people getting creeped out by delayed texts from valentines day, but here i am, hoping i get one cause that would explain my 0 valentines.
— Connie Zhou (@czhou626) November 7, 2019
If you haven’t yet read Eagle afternoon host Jas’ post about how he went all Buddy the Elf festive fa-la-la-la-la on us out of the blue on Wednesday, read that one first and then come back to this one. It’s a good read and you’re gonna need that information for this to make any sense.
You back? Okay…here goes.
First of all, I would like to tell Santa that he can stop reading now. There’s nothing to see here. We’ve all been good and some of us need the new iPhone. Thanks Santa!
Now, I’d like to elaborate a little about that whole me being unaware of who hung those Christmas decorations thing. Ohhhh….trust me, I knew. When I asked if he put up the decorations and he “coyly” said no…in my mind, I said, “GAME ON” and it was all downhill from there. He’s right. I was a little rough around the edges. As far as making a Navy Admiral blush with my description of our new decorations? That might be true. I don’t remember much after I was asked what I thought of them but I know my mouth went into autopilot, so I can’t be held totally responsible for that. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak, y’all. Ask a woman what she thinks and be prepared for the answer. Haha! I didn’t know that Eagle morning dude extraordinaire Cash Warren rolled out some choice words of his own until I read Jas’ blog. (Sorry Jas, but I laughed so hard I spewed Diet Dr. Pepper out of my nose.) But I digress a little with the “clearly put up by a man” thing. Everybody knows that Clark W. Griswold had mad skills!
Now, moving on to the pics. The ones he posted look a LOT cleaner and neater and nicer than what I walked into that morning, so they might have been tweaked just a little bit. Or I need new glasses. Whichever. Here was my view of it.
When he suggested that our girl Stephanie Taylor hung the decorations, I knew that not to be the case at.all. Miss Stephanie may not believe that she could get a million hits on Pinterest in a hot minute with the decorating skills she has, but the rest of us know she’s amazing at it and could put Martha Stewart to some serious shame. I’d give her the key to my house and credit card and trust her to turn my place into a miniature Christmas Town. I’ve known her long enough to know that this is definitely not her work. And when I flat out asked her? Her response was….”Um…NO.”
Now I do have to give Jas a whole lotta props for testing the theory that people who decorate early are happier people, but sadly, I think me and Cash may have blown the in-house experiment. Our bad. I hope that I speak for us when I say, “we suck.” Had we known it was an experiment, I’m sure we could have lied…and really, REALLY well. I was a “Grinch”, and I’m owning it.
By the way, the person Jas was referring to that called it a monstrosity and submitted it to Reddit’s worst office holiday decorations? Yep, that was me. I’ll be sure to give him all the credit if it goes viral. Lemons into lemonade? 😉
Just messing with ya, Jas! They can stay now. By the way, is there any money in those little stockings? Cuz if there is, please ignore every snarky thing I said about your handiwork. I had forgotten to bring my lunch and you caught me when I was a little hangry. Yeah, that’s it. Hangry made me do it.
Santa’s elf’s worst nightmare, KW
I’m one of *those* people. Someone with a daily quiet time for inspirational reading, prayer, meditation and journaling. I wasn’t always like that. Didn’t have *time* for it. My sister Ginni did it for years and strongly encouraged me to try it. But honestly, I didn’t want to get up an hour earlier to do it. What good could it possibly do?
I’m going to be completely transparent here. For most of my life, I’ve suffered anxiety. I know. How can someone in my business have an issue with anxiety? Trust me, I’ve asked myself the same thing. I will tell you, those things that made me anxious, I did them…afraid…and got through them. And it sucked for me. Full disclosure: much of my condition is associated with thyroid disease, but I can’t totally blame it all on the disease itself. There was “me” in there too. Thyroid disease can be treated, but I knew that some symptoms required extra work on my part instead of relying on thyroid medication to do it all. That’s when I decided to add this holistic approach to what I was already doing.
About 6 years ago, I decided to humor myself and began the morning ritual of a daily quiet time. I had nothing to lose but a little sleep, right? I started with 10 minutes and moved up my time in small doses over the course of a couple of years. Now, I am at 2 hours of quiet time and cannot imagine starting my day without it. I don’t know how that happened…but it just did. I wake up…ready and looking forward to this time.
Through daily study, I’ve learned the importance of putting positive and inspirational things in my head first thing in the morning and the last thing before I go to sleep. And that…changed everything. It greatly helped level out any anxiety that comes throughout the day and helped keep me focused on what’s important in this little life of mine. Now I have more days of “I can do this” instead of stressing about whether I can or not. To my pleasant surprise, I’ve found that I try and learn new things very quickly, where anxiety used to hold me hostage.
I call this daily quiet time my “coffee date with God.” It’s nothing religious, but very personal. I use some time to read scripture, but most of the time to read and reflect on stories about people who have overcome major obstacles when the options have seemed to run dry. There are days that I listen to soft instrumental music and just write what’s in my heart and mind as soon as I get out of bed. No editing. Just rolled with the flow. And over the years, I’ve learned more about myself just by reading what I’ve written in the previous days. It’s helped me pinpoint some things that I needed to work out within myself. But moreso, it has helped me get through every day with less issues with anxiety.
I plant seeds of encouragement in my mind daily first thing in the morning and the last thing before I go to sleep. After some time and intention to not give up, I have experienced how those seeds have grown and I now embrace the day of small beginnings.
My coffee date started 6 years ago as a chore and a waste of 10 minutes of sleep time just to prove it wouldn’t work for me. And now, I consider that initial 10 minutes as one of the best investments I have ever made. It cost me nothing…but just a little time and intention.
Some of the best things in life start out seemingly insignificant. Sometimes, all it takes is just a measly 10 minutes. – KW
I just love Christian artist Chris Tomlin! And I LOVE Florida Georgia Line! So when I heard that FGL’s Tyler Hubbard joined Chris onstage to perform a new song, this was me:
Wait…it gets better
Tyler and Chris wrote a song together called “Be The Moon” and performed it together for the first time last weekend!
LISTEN! At the end, you’ll hear a very familiar tune that mashes up very well with the new song! 😉
I’m praying (seriously) that they will record this together and release it soon! – KW
Two weeks from today, I’ll be on a plane to Iceland. It’s my second trip there and this time I’m doing things a little differently. Again, at the top of my list of things to do is to experience the Northern Lights. I saw them last time I was there and they were wonderful! However, for part of the light show, I was a little distracted. Actually, the truth is, I was A LOT distracted. I was focused more on capturing the experience for social media than to experience them the way I intended in the first place. With my own two eyes. I’m going with two family members who do REAL photography as a hobby…and they have REAL cameras and tripods! Which means, we can capture the experience AND watch at the same time.
I learned quite a bit about distraction on that last trip about three years ago. It was a first for me. My first trip abroad and my first solo trip…ever. I stayed in the town of Keflavik about 10 minutes from the airport and my room at the bed and breakfast was within walking distance of everything I needed for my stay so there was no need to rent a car. I took several tours of Iceland through a small company run by a local named Ossie and his son. Their trips were about half the price of the major touring companies and were more personal in my opinion. I rode along with Ossie and his son every single day. I got to see most of Iceland, but my main goal was to see the Northern Lights. It was at the VERY TOP of my bucket list. I yammered about it the whole time! About day three, Ossie said he no longer considered me a tourist, but a very annoying and fun friend. Okay, I’ll take that! HAHA! He explained that the lights just don’t pop out just because you want to see them. They are a natural phenomenon and conditions must be right for them. I knew that! But still, I believed in my heart that I would get to see them before I went home.
The first, second and third nights were a blow out. Cloud cover, rain and snow dashed my hopes and I whined about that all over social media. The fourth night, we made a go of it. We chased for about three hours and nothing. Not one light. Fortunately for us, the tour guide’s guarantee was if we didn’t see anything, we could come back the next time for free. I took them up on that and at 7 pm the following night, Ossie picked me up at the B and B as promised. My experience of the lights was mediocre. I mean, I got to see them. Sort of. They weren’t as beautiful as I had seen in pictures, but I did see them. I was okay with it, but still disappointed. I decided that I had fun chasing the Aurora and that was the important thing.
I made plans to take one final tour the next morning to see geysers and waterfalls. It was my last full day in Iceland and I wanted to take full advantage of it. I was the only one on that tour, so I got more for my money. We stopped for a buffet that served Icelandic specialties so I could try everything. We stopped for homemade ice cream. There were large windows to the barn so we could see the cows that provided the milk. Best ice cream I ever ate! Later that afternoon, we stopped for an early dinner of an Icelandic favorite, lamb dogs! Thank goodness we had done a lot of walking that day! That was a lot of food to enjoy! About 4 pm, I was dropped off at the B and B.
I had made plans to go to the local pub at meet up with some new friends so I could say goodbye. An hour after Ossie dropped me off, he and his son returned extremely excited, shouting, “It’s going to be a NINE tonight! A NINE!!!” I asked them what that meant and they told me that it was almost positive that the Aurora was going to be spectacular. I told them that I had made plans to go to the pub and I had already seen the lights. Ossie said, “Not like this.” So I asked if they could pick me up from the pub. They laughed. And that’s where they got me just before 8 pm. Fortunately, I only had one beer. 😉
I wasn’t expecting much except for more of the same and another night of freezing my butt off for nothing. The bus was nearly full. There was a couple from England who finally got a babysitter so they could take a trip together. There was a family of 6 from Japan who was heading back home the next day after 14 days in Iceland. There was another young woman from England and like me, taking her first trip somewhere new…alone. I made instant friends. We shared contact information so we could share our Aurora pics if any of us took good ones. Ossie then told us that just a regular cell phone camera would not capture the Aurora well. We would need to download an Aurora app that slows the shutter speed. I wished I had known that earlier. Cell service was sketchy so it took forever to download the app. Ossie explained that taking camera phone photos and videos of the Aurora were almost like taking pictures of the moon. The only way you could really tell its the moon is if you told someone it was the moon. That was saddening. I really counted on making a Facebook live video. I kind of promised my friends. Even still, if the lights were anything like they were the night before, it would be no big deal anyway.
It was a long ride. I just stared out the window. Soon, a flash caught my eye. And then another one and another. I asked Ossie to slow down. “Is that what I think it is?” The next thing I heard was “Oh my god” coming from the children on the bus. They jumped over to the seats behind me. The sky got brighter and more colorful as Ossie said, “we got Northern Lights!” Soon, he parked in a dark remote area and we got off the bus. This spectacular light show was nothing like I saw the night before. It took my breath away! I watched the lights as they danced across the sky and showed no signs of stopping any time soon. God was putting on the show of all shows and I was in the audience. It was awesome. Pictures could never do justice to what I was witnessing at that moment, but I had to capture it. I had to share it. RIGHT THEN! So I ran back on the bus to get my phone and opened my handy dandy app and started shooting.
I whined a little because the pics, even with the app, didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. I hadn’t noticed, but my eyes and attention were more focused on my phone than the big show in front of me, but I still had to get that “perfect” pic!
See? Not so hot.
Then, a few others on the tour did something I never saw coming. They politely called me out on what I was missing in front of my face.
I had been taking pics for quite awhile when Ossie said, “I’ve spent the last few days with you. All you’ve talked about were these lights. You’ve taken enough pictures now. Put the phone away and just experience them.” He was right. I was there with the most awesome experience in front of my face and I was wasting it trying to take pictures for the rest of my time there. The father from Japan had set his professional cameras up on tripods as soon as he got off the bus, and as the photos were taking themselves, I noticed how he was enjoying the experience with his family without fiddling with cameras. Just then, the man walked over to me and said that he would share his best pics with me to post on social media if I’d put my phone away. He also said he just wanted me to enjoy the show. That was so sweet of him! I couldn’t believe how wonderful these people were to remind me of what was important. I wasn’t even mad! If they hadn’t spoken up, I could have missed the depth and story of this natural phenomenon. Experience BY FAR was way better.
And speaking of better, the dad from Japan’s pics were definitely superior to mine!
I put my phone back on the bus and just enjoyed. For nearly 3 hours, those lights danced for us. I didn’t even notice how cold it was anymore! Ossie served hot chocolate. He told us stories of when he was a young boy how much he hated the lights because in those days, there wasn’t cable and the lights interfered with their TV reception so he had to miss his favorite shows. But now, he loves them. Not just because he has cable now, but because he gets to witness the wonder from people who have not been as fortunate as he, and it made him feel like he is providing a God given service. The Northern Lights tours are his favorite tours. He says it breaks his heart when they’re not as spectacular as we saw and his clients are disappointed, but he does his best to remind folks that they’re visible only when the conditions are favorable.
I reminded Ossie that he said that these conditions were a 9 out of 10. What is a 10 like? He said he hopes I could come back to experience it and hopes that I have enough pictures from this trip to leave the cell phone on the bus the next time.
So that’s what I’ll be doing this time…and again, I’ll be praying that the conditions will be right to view them. By the way, I have a grown up camera for this trip, but I’ll be using it sparingly…for waterfalls and geysers. Hopefully, my family will be able to capture the Aurora for us. They’ve got a great plan in place to do so and it doesn’t involve a lot of distraction. And I have to add this: even when we’re fortunate enough to capture beautiful photos, nothing…and I mean NOTHING takes your breath away as witnessing the real thing.
Sometimes, we just have to know when to put the phone away and enjoy the experience. – KW
Honestly, I don’t mind the time change at all. As a matter of fact, I like it when it gets dark earlier in the colder months. It’s like a gentle reminder that it’s time to wind down and get ready for the holiday season.
That extra hour I got yesterday? I used it to jump in the Hallmark Christmas movie rabbit hole. No regrets. Well, I didn’t indulge in my sappy movie binging until after I took care of some important business.
You see, there’s only one real thing that really burned my biscuits about the whole gaining and losing an hour twice a year…
Most of the time keepers in my home change themselves when the time changes. There are only two that I have to change manually. The clock on my stove….
…and THIS monster.
It may look small in the photo, but I promise you it takes up most of one wall in my living room. It’s HUGE!!!
Okay, so quick backstory. I fell in love with this clock when I saw it in the store over a year ago and immediately bought it. It was on sale! BONUS! When I got home, I found that it would take two people to hang the danged thing, but I got the help and I was pleased with the end result.
When the time changed a few months after I bought it, I began to regret my decision to buy this beautiful freaking pain in the butt monstrosity. I called for help again, and my friends…laughed. But they helped.
Fast forward to yesterday.
I did not call for help. They called ME! WOW!
And I have decided that from now on, the day after the time change is a wine and cheese party with some of the best people I know.
Lemons into lemonade.
Now, I have a new reason to love the time change. – KW
Okay, try not to cry. Nevermind. Just grab some tissues.
As you know, thousands of people just outside of Simi Valley, CA had to be evacuated from their homes due to wildfires. A horse that had just been rescued, quickly turned around and ran back into the danger zone!!! When he arrives at what appears to be his home ranch, he reunites with another adult horse and a baby horse…and LEADS THEM OUT OF DANGER!!! OMG, I can’t even….
— Logan Hall (@LoganHallNews) October 30, 2019
Beautiful. Simply beautiful. – KW