moving day

August 12th, 2015 — 8:45am

Today is Wednesday. Mom is coming over today to help me pack of the last few things. The moving men are coming on Tomorrow. My stuff is in boxes, except for the stuff I need to take with me in the car. Sorry no recordings lately. STRESS. It’ll all be over soon though.

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July 27th, 2015 — 8:52am

In early July I spent a week Bay Area with my sister K, her husband M, their 2-year-old daughter ER. (Henry is living there too, working as ER’s nanny) It was a lovely visit, and we discussed the plan we made when Henry moved up there early this year. The plan was that they’d find a bigger house to rent and I’d move in with them, because I really can’t live alone anymore. Too scary with my health the way it is; also lonely because I don’t have the energy to get out and do things with other people very often. But the “bigger house” plan hasn’t happened yet for various reasons, so they’re clearing out a room for me to live in and I’ll be moving up there in mid-August.

So I’m moving again! I’m really excited about living with my family, getting to spend time with Henry and ER before I get any sicker, having people around for company and support. And especially feeling useful again — I think I will really be able to make everyone’s life a little smoother by helping out in the little ways that I can.

It’s hard to leave my San Diego family, and it’s absolutely crushing to leave Jeff-the-therapist. Argh. He’s been helping me for almost four and half years, and now I’ll need to find someone new. It’s daunting and scary.

I’ve got a moving company hired and am packing the good stuff and giving unwanted stuff away. I have four doctor appointments and two car appointments this week.

I’ll try to record a new chapter of something soon! :)

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“This Country of Ours” is finished

June 29th, 2015 — 9:42pm

Bet you didn’t think this day would ever come. I sure didn’t. Eight years it took me to record this book! Jeepers.

This Country of Ours, Part 7:

Links to the other 6 parts on that page, or here:

My next LibriVox solo will be Treasure Island, yay! Pirates and parrots and adventure! I’ve got the first four chapters done already. It won’t take eight years this time ;-) Although my beloved but elderly laptop (mid-2011 Macbook Air) is having Serious Issues and it’s going into the shop on Wednesday so I won’t be able to get any recording done for a while. Boo.

Mood: up, down, up, down. Saturday was horrific. Sunday was ok; today was pretty good. Reading lots of Marian Keyes’s Walsh Family novels. Playing Capitals on iPhone. Listening to podcasts. Discovered a band called The Decemberists and I think I might be developing an unhealthy obsession for their song “The Infanta”.

The lyrics tell a story which is incredibly vivid in my mind. A vast slow-moving procession of nobles on elephants and camels. It’s hot, there are bright flags and sidelong glances, trumpet fanfares, cannon salutes, intrigue.

Meanwhile the little princess, the unwitting cause of all the commotion, is dreaming of a peaceful quiet lake.

Here she comes in her palanquin
On the back of an elephant
On a bed made of linen and sequins and silk
All astride on her father’s line
With the king and his concubines
And her nurse with her pitchers of liquors and milk
And we’ll all come praise the infanta
And we’ll all come praise the infanta

Among five score pachyderm
Each canopied and passengered
Sit the duke and the duchess’ luscious young girls
Within sight of the baronness
Seething spite for this live largesse
By her side sits the baron
Her barrenness barbs her
And we’ll all come praise the infanta
And we’ll all come praise the infanta

A phalanx on camelback
Thirty ranks on a forward tack
Followed close, their shiny bright standards a-waving
While behind in their coach, in fours
Ride the wives of the king of Moors
And the veiled young virgin, the prince’s betrothed
And we’ll all come praise the infanta
And we’ll all come praise the infanta

And as she sits upon her place
Her innocence laid on her face
From all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets
Melodies rhapsodical and fair
And all our hearts afire
The sky ablaze with cannon fire
We all raise our voices to the air
To the air…

And above all this falderal
On a bed made of chaparral
She is laid, a coronal placed on her brow
And the babe, all in slumber dreams
Of a place filled with quiet streams
And the lake where her cradle was pulled from the water
And we’ll all come praise the infanta
And we’ll all come praise the infanta

I even forgive them their mispronunciation of “infanta”.

If you’re obsessed with Mad Men, you’ll recognize the song from the opening montage in “Maidenform”, s02e06. Which is of course how I discovered it in the first place.

4 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog, Homeschooling

feeling better now

June 22nd, 2015 — 2:05pm

Thank you all so much for the kindhearted comments and emails. It means a lot.

I’m feeling a better now. I mean, my situation is still exactly the same but I’m managing to think about other things and the terrible terrible depression has lifted again and I am ok for now.

I’ve been working on a LibriVox recording of a US History book for kids — This Country of Ours. It has 99 chapters and is divided into 7 parts. I started recording it in 2007 and got the first 6 parts done within three years, but I started the 7th part in 2013 and it’s just been sitting there unfinished for ages.

LibriVox is doing a finish-up-lingering-projects drive in June, so I decided to get it done. Right now I have only 8 chapters remaining, so the end is in sight!

You can find the recordings here:
This Country of Ours: All Seven Volumes

In non-audiobook news, my cousin Chloe and I saw the new Pixar movie, “Inside Out” yesterday and it was so good! Chloe is one of my favorite people in the whole world and I love to spend time with her, plus the movie was excellent — beautiful and funny and sad and lovely. So that was really fun.

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June 12th, 2015 — 2:29pm

so depressed. my pulmonologist told me i should apply for MediCare so that when I stop getting alimony in 2017 I will at least have health insurance, so I just looked into that. Turns out I don’t qualify for MediCare even though I am disabled because I don’t qualify for SSDI. I don’t qualify for SSDI because I was a housewife for the last 10 years or so and before that I was self-employed part-time and didn’t rack up enough social security credits in the allotted time. So basically the government won’t help me at all with anything and I will need to depend 100% on my family.

(I have a rare, incurable, fatal disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, which is why I can’t work and why I need excellent health insurance. My meds cost more than $40,000/month and I need tons of lab work and doctor visits.)

So there’s that.

10 comments » | Blog


June 7th, 2015 — 1:11pm

Betsy-Tacy: the first book in the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. The series is based on the author’s life; her family and friends have been renamed, but they really were just like the the people in the books! The first book starts in 1897, when Betsy and Tacy meet, just before Betsy’s fifth birthday. (The series grows with the characters, so please don’t be put off by the relative simplicity of this first book.) You can find out more at the Betsy-Tacy Society:

I’m going to post the whole book here all at once; the chapters will be in my podcast feed three times a week, as usual, but I don’t feel like scheduling individual posts here to match.

Betsy-Tacy: 01 Betsy Meets Tacy
Betsy-Tacy: 02 Betsy’s Birthday Party
Betsy-Tacy: 03 Supper on the Hill
Betsy-Tacy: 04 The Piano Box
Betsy-Tacy: 05 The First Day of School
Betsy-Tacy: 06 The Milkman Story
Betsy-Tacy: 07 Playing Paper Dolls
Betsy-Tacy: 08 Easter Eggs
Betsy-Tacy: 09 The Sand Store
Betsy-Tacy: 10 Calling on Mrs. Benson
Betsy-Tacy: 11 The Buggy Shed
Betsy-Tacy: 12 Margaret
Betsy-Tacy: 13 Mrs. Muller Comes to Call
Betsy-Tacy: 14 Tib

book jacket

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 21

June 5th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter 21 (the last chapter)

The Trumpet of the Swan: 21 The Greening Spring

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 20

June 3rd, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Twenty:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 20 Billings

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 19

June 1st, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Nineteen:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 19 A Talk about Money

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 18

May 29th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Eighteen:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 18 Freedom

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 17

May 27th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Seventeen:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 17 Serena

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 16

May 25th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Sixteen:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 16 Philadelphia

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 15

May 22nd, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter fifteen:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 15 A Night at the Ritz

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 14

May 20th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Thirteen:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 14 Boston

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Just finished The Trumpet of the Swan

May 19th, 2015 — 12:42pm

Feeling sort of ok today so I just recorded the last four chapters of The Trumpet of the Swan. I’ll still be posting individual chapters here on MWF (and in my podcast feed) or you can get the whole thing all at once here: or from its home on

Such a wonderful book. I loved it when I was seven and I love it now. Nature, music, family, friendship, love, springtime. It was really fun singing Louis’s trumpet music for you! His own composition, “Oh Ever in the Greening Spring”, was written out in music notation in the text, so that was easy, but I had to go to youtube to learn the tunes for a couple of songs I wasn’t familiar with — “They Say It’s Wonderful” and “It’s Delightful to be Married”, for example.

Now, what’s next? I’ve been considering the Betsy-Tacy series, or the Little House series, or the Mary Poppins series, or, because E.B. White is an absolute joy to read aloud, I might do Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little before starting a more ambitious series.

Also I have an enormous history book (This Country of Ours) on librivox which I should finish up before I do anything else… I haven’t finished a librivox solo in ages. Argh! My particular combination of physical and mental ill health is really difficult to deal with.

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Trumpet of the Swan, ch 13

May 19th, 2015 — 12:22pm

Chapter Thirteen:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 13 End of Summer

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, Chapter 12

May 15th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Twelve:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 12 A Rescue

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, Chapter 11

May 13th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Eleven:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 11 Camp Kookooskoos

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Trumpet of the Swan, Chapter 10

May 11th, 2015 — 8:00am

Chapter Ten:

The Trumpet of the Swan: 10 Money Trouble

The Trumpet of the Swan

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May 10th, 2015 — 11:50am

I’ve been recording a few chapters of Music Talks with Children by Thomas Tapper, a group project at librivox. It’s lovely. From the Preface:

The purpose is to suggest a few of the many aspects which music may have even to the mind of a child. If these chapters, or whatever may be logically suggested by them, be actually used as the basis of simple Talks with children, music may become to them more than drill and study. They should know it as an art, full of beauty and of dignity; full of pure thought and abounding in joy.

One of the chapters, entitled “Music and Reading”, begins: “A beautiful thing in life is the friendship for books.”

Ahh yes, yes it is. The author mentions the pleasure of reading the letters and biographies of the great composers, but I think mainly he wanted to talk about how much he loves books in general! Good books “present beautiful pictures to us truthfully, or they present truth to us beautifully.”

If you read good books you will have in every volume you get something well worth owning. You should bestow upon it as much care as you would want any other good friend to receive. And if it has contributed help or pleasure to you it is surely worth an abiding place. A fine pleasure will come from a good book even after we are quite done with it. As we see it in years after it has been read there comes back to one a remembrance of all the old pleasures, and with it a sense of thankfulness for so pleasant a friendship. Hence any book that has given us joy or peace or comfort is well worth not only good care, but a place for always; as a worthy bit of property.

And that is why I have too many books. They are my friends and have earned “an abiding place” on my shelves.

I’ll let you know when this audiobook is finished and ready for download, but in the meantime if you want an audiobook about music you might enjoy this series of Thomas Tapper’s little biographies of great composers for children:

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