Archive for December 2013


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 7

December 10th, 2013 — 8:09am

Today in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza:
Chapter 7, the final chapter of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Click this link to subscribe in iTunes: Kayray Reads to You

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 7

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!)

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 6

December 9th, 2013 — 8:08am

Today in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza:
Chapter 6 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Click this link to subscribe in iTunes: Kayray Reads to You

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 6

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!)

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 5

December 8th, 2013 — 8:07am

Today in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza:
Chapter 5 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Click this link to subscribe in iTunes: Kayray Reads to You

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 5

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!)

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Our tree! And stuff.

December 7th, 2013 — 1:40pm

We finished decorating our tree yesterday! Isn’t it great? Every ornament has a history. Lots are handmade: mostly by me (I make more every year), but there are some very special ones made by beloved relatives. There are a few ornaments that go back to my very first memories of Christmas and many that were gifts from special people. I love my Christmas ornaments :)

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On the table you can see my little paper Christmas Village! See this old blog post to read its story and find the files to print your own:
http://kayray.org/2011/12/07/dec-7-2011-a-christmas-miracle-revisited/
(I printed mine at 50% because I wanted a tiny village.)

And here’s our Nativity Scene. Strong Bad and his pals attend every year!

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Also, now that I’m finally feeling better, I’ve been working on Dan’s gloves. He now lives in a place that gets actual winter and I don’t want his hands to be cold. I bought conductive thread for the fingertips so he SHOULD be able to use his iPhone without taking off his gloves.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 4

December 7th, 2013 — 8:06am

Today in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza:
Chapter 4 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Click this link to subscribe in iTunes: Kayray Reads to You

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 4

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!)

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

You got to count it HIGHER!

December 6th, 2013 — 1:35pm

This old Sesame Street counting song just kills me. It’s SO much fun to sing along with. I love the modulation after they count to ten for the first time!

I like to imagine the guys in the recording studio. Count it count it count it higher!

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 3

December 6th, 2013 — 8:05am

Today in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza:
Chapter 3 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Click this link to subscribe in iTunes: Kayray Reads to You

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 3

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!)

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Watching fun and Christmassy things

December 5th, 2013 — 5:33pm

Over the last few days I’ve really started to feel better — well enough to sit on the couch and watch TV with Henry! A few nights ago, at his suggestion, we put on the wonderful 6-part BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. And we found out that it has finally been released on Blu-ray so we didn’t have to watch the super-crappy old DVD rip. Just finished up last night. Ahhhhhhhhh.

The scene where Lizzie is visiting Pemberley and helps cover Georgiana’s discomfort when Miss Bingley mentions Mr. Wickham. SIGNIFICANT GLANCES. That whole Pemberley part is wonderful. I love the bit where Lizzie introduces her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner to Mr. Darcy and everyone is civilized and pleasant.

We got started on our giant collection of Christmas specials and movies. So far we’ve watched:

Elf
Love Actually
The Toys that Made Christmas (A special hosted by Robert Webb, in which British actors and comedians talk about their favorite toys from childhood. Very sweet.)
A Colbert Christmas
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
How The Grinch Stole Christmas

We bought our tree three days ago and finally got it decorated today! I’ll post a picture tomorrow, maybe.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 2

December 5th, 2013 — 8:02am

Today in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza:
Chapter 2 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Click this link to subscribe in iTunes: Kayray Reads to You

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 2

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!)

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

A Christmas audiobook treasure-trove for you!

December 4th, 2013 — 9:02pm

Guess what! I have just filled my “Kayray Reads to You” podcast feed with Christmas stories! There will a chapter every day from now till Christmas (and maybe after).

Click this link to subscribe in iTunes: Kayray Reads to You

Today, we start with the first chapter of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Although it was first published in 1971, I missed out on it when I was a kid and didn’t discover it until Henry was little. Hope you like it! There are seven chapters and I’ll podcast one chapter every day, so be sure to refresh your podcast list daily, or come to my blog to download directly.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Chapter 1

(Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!)

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918

December 2nd, 2013 — 2:14pm

I’m still sick but yesterday I felt well enough to sit in the living room and watch movies with Henry and do some knitting. And I’ve been reading a fantastic book that I got from the library a few weeks ago. I’m not done yet but it’s due tomorrow and I’ve already renewed it once so I really do need to give it back. But I’ll just check it out again as soon as I can so I can finish.

Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It

The story of the pandemic is just crazy. Around 40 million people died, worldwide. Forty million! (Record-keeping was spotty, so the death toll was probably far higher.) The pandemic hit near the end of World War One; more American soldiers were killed by the flu than were killed in combat.

In one division of soldiers who fought on the front lines in France from October 26th until the end of the war, “the flu killed 444 men. The number who were killed, wounded, missing, or captured in the war was 90.”

This was less than 100 years ago, and probably affected almost every family in the US. Probably most of us have a relative who died. (Family legend has it that my Great-Great Aunt Irma died in this flu pandemic but she actually died a couple of years earlier, in 1916.)

But this pandemic was, according to the author, “expunged from newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and society’s collective memory.”

Why? One theory is that it was just too horrific. So many people died in such a short amount of time, plus it was combined with the brand-new modern horrors of WWI (mustard gas, trench warfare, automatic weapons). People just wanted to forget the whole thing. Understandable, but I want to KNOW about it. I suspect that more people are familiar with the Black Death of the 14th century than are aware of this very comparable outbreak in modern times.

I watched a wonderful episode of American Experience a couple years ago about the 1918 flu pandemic. I need to see if that’s online somewhere and watch it again.

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