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Category: Audiobooks


July 16th, 2023 — 8:51pm

Another scorcher! I gave my garden pots another helping of Grass Soup, which is an easy DIY fertilizer. Mix a handful of grass clippings in a big bucket of water and let it steep for a few days, then use it to water your plants. Some of my veggies are finally starting to look healthier. The cucumber has a few blossoms, and one of the tomatoes has definitely started to grow and look stronger.

Played some Zelda, did some drawing, read a lot. Gave up listening to an audiobook that I was more than halfway through because it had become a chore instead of a pleasure, and started a different one.

Pretty good appetite today and made myself a smoothie for breakfast and some nice little burritos for lunch and dinner. Nutrition!

Oh! The most important thing I did today was to finish fixing all my podcast feeds! Now every book in the “Kayray Reads to You” collection should show up in your podcast app with the chapters in the correct order. You’re welcome! Hit the link at the top of this page and subscribe subscribe subscribe.

1 comment » | Audiobooks

Thursday morning

July 13th, 2023 — 11:37am

Here’s another new audiobook treat for you! This was my other project yesterday — tagging, uploading, and podcasting Chloe’s recording of Little Town on the Prairie. She recorded it as a treat for me but she’s happy to share with you, too :) (scroll down past The Long Winter, another Chloe Treat from the beginning of the Pandemic when I was recovering from brain surgery)

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Wednesday morning

July 12th, 2023 — 10:30am

Listening to a Shedunnit episode about removing offensive old language from Golden Age mystery novels, and realized I never got around to making a clean version of Kipling’s wonderful “How the Leopard Got His Spots”, the only story in the whole Just So Stories book with a very unfortunate word in it. I recorded the book years ago for librivox, where we have a hard-and-fast policy of reading the text as written. So today I snipped out the offensive word, saved the whole book in a zip and uploaded it all to my own archive.

In the story, in order to improve their camouflage, the Leopard gets his sandy-brown skin painted with spots and the Ethiopian gets his sandy-brown skin painted a beautiful black. The Ethiopian compliments the Leopard’s new spots, and the Leopard asks, well, if spots are so great why didn’t you choose them too? And the Ethiopian says, “Oh, plain black’s best for a n*****. ”

Well, now it reads like my childhood edition: “Oh, plain black’s best!”

Body-positive instead of offensive!

Here is the whole book, all 12 stories, in a zip file.

You’ll see that chapter 4 is marked CLEAN, so you’ll know you’ve got the right version. You can also visit my archive page to stream the stories one at a time.
Again, you’ll see that chapter 4 includes the word CLEAN in the title.

On this page you can find links to all the chapters plus a podcast feed:

I hope you will share these wonderful stories with your kids!

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Chapter 13

August 9th, 2021 — 11:34am

Another chapter of Over Sea, Under Stone! Nearly finished, just one more enormous chapter and a rather lengthy epilogue to go…

Mailed away my passport renewal this morning. I have no idea how long it will take to come back — months, I’d imagine. Luckily I have no international travel plans at present.

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog


August 8th, 2021 — 8:31pm

Still no granddaughter #2 despite multiple false alarms…

Very tired from last night’s insomnia but had a lovely day with Dave. The cheese-and-pickle sarnie plan got pushed to Wednesday so we had our usual Falafel Corner lunch today instead :) After lunch we lay around and worked on a couple of Cryptic Crosswords via The Guardian’s crossword app. Brutally difficult.

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Chapter 12

August 4th, 2021 — 11:07am

Check it out, I recorded another chapter. A very long chapter.

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And another!

August 3rd, 2021 — 9:03pm

Chapter 11 of Over Sea, Under Stone:

I found a cool website-and-app today: “Trakt is a platform that does many things, but primarily keeps track of TV shows and movies you watch.”

Netflix and other streamers usually keep track of where you are in whatever series you’re watching, but when I watch stuff on my own hard drive I often have a hard time remembering where I am, especially on repeat viewings, so Trakt will be handy for that. I also like that it displays a list of the shows you’re in the middle of, so you don’t forget to watch the next episode; and it shows what’s airing next, for series that are currently airing; and it allows you to track multiple viewings of the same show/movie. I like DATA.

Pro-tip — when you make your account, add only what you’re currently watching, not everything you’ve ever seen. Otherwise your “up next” list will be all cluttered. I learned this the very hard way.

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Chapter 10!

August 2nd, 2021 — 10:35am

At long last, here’s the next chapter of Over Sea, Under Stone:

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New book!

July 19th, 2021 — 10:05am

I started recording Heaven to Betsy today! Here are the first two chapters:

01 The Farm

02 Butternut Center

However, when I uploaded them to my collection,  I realized that I never finished “Over Sea, Under Stone” and the second book about a certain English nanny!  Oops.  I’ll try to remember to alternate.  Tomorrow it will be Susan Cooper’s turn. (Over Sea is my least favorite of the Dark is Rising series so it’s a bit hard to get motivated, but with Betsy as a reward I’ll get it done)

Slept fairly well, feeling fine today.  Migraine is gone. It’s warm and summery but not boiling.  I have excellent nectarines to eat.

5 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog


April 15th, 2021 — 2:31pm

Ein neues Video für euch. A new video for y’all. Forgive the small errors please. I am well aware of them.

Managed to climb out of my Pit of Despair long enough to get it done, yay me.

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Millions of Cats

January 28th, 2021 — 3:43pm

I recorded this family favorite as a Christmas gift for my friend Elli (the same Elli who proof-listened my Gatsby) and her little boy <3

In other news, my pulmonologist recently increased my dose of sildenafil from 40 to 60mg, 3x/day. We increased my dose of Lasix (a diuretic to help control the fluid retention common with heart failure) at the same time. And within a few days I felt so much better! Like I wake up with some ambition and enough energy to do more than one thing in a day. I don’t get tired immediately and need a nap by noon; I don’t need to just lie in bed all day.

I’ve been sewing again! I got super inspired by the historical costuming videos and posts of Morgan Donner and others, and got the notion to make myself some modified Early Medieval clothing for daily wear. No corsetry required! My corset/stays days are behind me, lol. I’ve already sewn two cream linen shifts (under-dresses) and I absolutely LIVE in them. They’re even more comfy than sweats and tees. And linen is astonishing. I don’t overheat in it. It doesn’t seem to get smelly as fast as cotton, so I can wear a shift for multiple days between washes.

Right now I’m working on a pine green linen bliaut, which is an overdress that can fit fairly loosely but has lacing at the sides for a more form-fitted look. Traditionally they are floor length and have long dangling sleeves but I’m making mine shin-length with more practical sleeves. I’m planning lace-on long-sleeve extensions (but not dangling).

Some sources that I used (helpful list for Future Me):
Making Basic Medieval Underwear
Custom Smock and T-Tunic Pattern Generator
Izabela’s Bliaut Tutorial
Bliaut Tutorial
Square Underarm Gussets

Today I hand-sewed for hours, and watched a lot of Ok GO videos with Em, and gave her a German lesson, AND made a pot of soup! I’m tired now but that’s a lot of things in one day for me.

Now we’re going to increase my sildenafil to 80mg 3x/day (that’s 12 tablets a day hahaha) and see what happens. Maybe I’ll have even more energy! Or, maybe my energy level will stay the same as it is now but won’t decrease as quickly over time. Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe the side effects will be unbearable. But I’m hoping for good things. We shall see!

5 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Happy New Year!

January 16th, 2021 — 11:14am

Ok I’m a little late — sorry ’bout that. I’m still alive. Looks like I’ll live to see the Orange Clown booted out of the White House and sane, compassionate, experienced adults take over.  Hooray!  Just 4 more days!

Here’s a picture book I recorded as a present to my dearest friend Elli in Austria and her little boy :)  Another family favorite.

And right now I’m finishing up a solo recording of The Great Gatsby for librivox so watch this space!

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It’s almost Christmas!

December 23rd, 2020 — 1:00pm

I had a bout of SVT on Monday and it was terrifying. I thought I was about to die. Seriously. I was too breathless and weak to get into my brother-in-law’s car to go to hospital so he called an ambulance. Lovely EMT Katie held my hand on way to the local hospital, where they gave me the magical adenosine and fixed me right up. Like, within an hour I was absolutely fine again. It’s wild. I begged to go home but they wanted to send my to MY hospital, UCSF, for observation by my cardiology team, but there are no beds anywhere so at ten pm they gave up waiting and let me go HOME. :)

This morning I spatchcocked our Christmas Turkey and began its buttermilk bath and also mixed up a batch of mincemeat while listening to my own recording of The Dark is Rising, as I do every year at Christmas, and it made me think — I have a lot of really great Christmastime recordings. I will put links to everything right here!

The Night before Christmas (fifth track in this collection)

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

The Dark is Rising

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Christmas Tree Book (Non-fiction! So jolly!)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Wie der Grinch Weihnachten gestohlen hat

The Sweet Smell of Christmas — a scratch-and-sniff book, so use your imagination :)

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Christmas Holidays at Merryvale

Deep dive, if you can’t get enough of my voice and don’t mind my amateur singing skills:

The Boar’s Head Carol (2nd track)

Deck the Halls (16th track)

Good King Wenceslas and The Holly and the Ivy (tracks 5 and 6)

Sussex Carol (track 20)

3 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Run, Simon, Run!

October 31st, 2020 — 11:57am

Chapter 7 of Over Sea, Under Stone is UP!

Happy Halloween y’all. I hope you can make it special for your kids even if you can’t do proper trick-or-treating this year. Sigh.

Yesterday my therapist and I discussed self-care strategies for Tuesday. I am DREADING election day. I don’t dare hope… and yet I can’t help hoping a little bit. I know I will make myself sick if I sit there refreshing twitter all day. So anyway Suzanne suggested I let myself check twitter/read the news only every four hours, and do some serious distraction the rest of the day. So I am thinking of either starting my Animal Crossing island over from the beginning, or doing a big redesign of my current island (if I can think of a big project). And maybe binge-watching something excellent like Succession. Wish I could play WoW all day. I miss WoW so much.

I have already voted, of course, and dropped my ballot into a secure dropbox, and tracked it to make sure it was received. Everyone in my family did the same. I cannot imagine that there is anyone who hasn’t voted yet — why wait, when it’s so easy and safe to vote ahead of time? So I worry that maybe all the sane people have already voted and that’s why it looks like Biden is ahead and maybe it’s only Tr*mp supporters who will wait till the last minute and he’ll win or it will be a close race and he’ll dig his heels in and everything will be horrible for EVEN LONGER.

As you can see, I have some ***ANXIETY*** about election day. Lol.

4 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog


October 24th, 2020 — 1:05pm

Hey I recorded another chapter of Over Sea, Under Stone! That’s number 6!

Also, this morning I made ratatouille again. I’ve been making it weekly — it’s so good over polenta or pasta or just on its own, and so incredibly nutritious, and vegetarian so it’s earth-friendly. I’ll jot down my recipe here. It’s easy but a bit time consuming so I sit on the seat of my walker while I chop veggies.

Kara’s Big Pot of Ratatouille

  • 2 big eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • a few cloves of garlic, minced
  • thyme
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • a few bay leaves (optional)

You’ll need a big heavy-bottomed stock pot! Chop all your veggies into big dice. I do one eggplant first and get it started cooking while I chop the next, etc. So when you’ve chopped your first eggplant, put a couple glugs of olive oil in your pot and put it on med. high to high (depending on your stove) and, when the oil is hot, drop in your first batch of eggplant. You’re aiming to brown a few surfaces of the eggplant, not cook it all the way through, so stir frequently while you chop the next eggplant. When the eggplant has some brown edges, dump it into a huge bowl, glug some more oil into the pot, and get the next batch of eggplant started while you chop the zucchini. Repeat with the zucchini and peppers. (you will have burned crud on the bottom of your pan. Don’t worry about it. A soak and a scrub will clean it all.)

Now that the eggplant, zucchini, and peppers are a bit browned and waiting all together in that huge bowl, cook your onion in some more oil over a lower heat until it begins to get soft and translucent. Dump in your minced garlic and chopped tomatoes, some thyme, some salt, a couple bay leaves if you have them, and some red pepper flakes for kick. Cook this for a little while, till it starts to smell amazing, then dump that big bowl of slightly browned veggies in, stir it all around, cover, and cook on low until it’s done. The longer you cook, the more homogenous it will be. Stir, taste, and adjust seasonings now and then. When cooked to your liking, eat it all up!

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog, Recipes

Chapter 5

October 18th, 2020 — 4:53pm

Yay me, another chapter of Over Sea, Under Stone is up!

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Chapters three and four!

October 17th, 2020 — 10:02am

I just recorded Chapter Three and Four of Over Sea, Under Stone!

The first four chapters are here:

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

another chapter!

October 15th, 2020 — 2:30pm

Here’s Chapter 2 of Over Sea, Under Stone :)

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Frog and Toad are Friends

October 11th, 2020 — 6:47pm

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two treats for you

October 7th, 2020 — 12:11pm

I’m still alive! Thanks to everyone who checked on me when I was silent for so long.

At long last I have begun recording “Over Sea, Under Stone” after getting about a million requests :)

Here’s Chapter 1, all on its lonesome on a brand-new Archive page:

Please give me a kick in the pants if it takes me longer than a week to get the next chapter up :)

Also: Here’s a beloved picture book!  Potato Talk, by Ennis Rees

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