Category: Blog


The Christmas Tree Book, Ch 1-4

December 14th, 2019 — 12:22pm

I re-read this book just about every year — I love it — so this year I decided to record it for you!

Chapters 1-4 are finished and ready to download here:
http://kayray.org/phillip-v-snyder/

Subscribe to the book as a podcast by copy/pasting this link into your favorite podcast app:

http://kayray.org/audiobooks/christmastreebook.xml

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Mixmas 2019

December 13th, 2019 — 9:04am

Every year, Henry and I look forward to DJ Riko’s yearly Mixmas. Usually he releases it just before Christmas but it’s a bit earlier this year!

Go here http://djriko.com/mixmases.htm and download for Christmas cheer!

Here’s his track list for 2019:

Dram – Litmas
JD McPherson – Every Single Christmas
Margo Guyen – I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You
Josh Rouse – Sleigh Brother Bill
Sufjan Stevens – Put the Lights on the Tree
Bailen – Christmas is All Around
Hoodoo Gurus – Tojo
The Magnetic Fields – Everything is One Big Christmas Tree
Sia – Santa’s Coming for Us
New Order – Rocking Carol
The Regrettes – Marshmallow World
James Brown – Santa Claus go Straight to the Ghetto
Justine Skye – Eyes for You
Satan’s Pilgrims – Feliz Navidad
Livingmore – Show me Light and Love
Jagged Jaw – Pink Xmas Tree
Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick (Alternate Version)
Tralala – Holiday Hearts
Cocteau Twins – Winter Wonderland
Redtenbacher’s Funkestra – Deck the Halls
The Duke Spirit – Melt by the Morning
The Grip Weeds – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Silhouettes – Under the Mistletoe
The Oh Hellos – Every Bell on Earth Will Ring

I haven’t finished the whole thing yet (Henry and I are listening together when we have time) but the second bit — “JD McPherson – Every Single Christmas” — is so good that I went looking for the song to add to my Christmas music collection, and discovered that JD McPherson has a whole album of original Christmas music called “Socks” and it’s great!! (Be sure to watch some of his live performances on youtube!) You can buy “Socks” on iTunes and other places. The whole youtube playlist is here:

I have plans, eventually, to write up a review of every single Mixmas and point you to my favorite parts ’cause there’s always something that just rocks my socks that I never would have heard otherwise… Right now I’m listening to 2014, which is such a good one! Liz Phair’s Ho Ho Ho “Doing shots of room-temperature peppermint schnapps while the yule log on tv crackles and pops…” (I always skip the Crash Test Dummies bit, though. That’s ok – every Mixmas has a clunker or two, the aural equivalent of the Ugly Christmas Sweater :)

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Ugh, pt 2

December 9th, 2019 — 10:51am

The less said about that hospital visit the better.

Upshot: They can’t fix my ASD. So that’s that — the last possibility for extending/improving my life. I also realized that, even if the implantable Remodulin pump is ever approved by the FDA, I won’t be able to tolerate the operation to install it — so that’s that too.

My throat, which got seriously messed up during the TEE, is starting to feel better and I can swallow real food again.

My body still hurts all over but I can move without actual agony so that’s nice I guess.

The adhesive-itch is still terrible and I’m trying hard not to claw my skin off.

Let’s think about Christmas instead! I’ve been listening to DJ Riko’s Mixmases :)

1 comment » | Blog

Ugh

December 5th, 2019 — 7:31pm

Horrible horrible day. Up at 4:30am to get to UCSF hospital by 6:30am. They wanted to do a TEE (trans esophageal echo), then a heart cath, a balloon occlusion test, and potentially fix my ASD.

So I had general anesthesia while they did all kinds of stuff to me.

Woke up at 11:30 with the world’s worst sore throat from tubes being shoved down it.

Turned out that they couldn’t fix my ASD after all, so it was all in vain.

Lay around in bright busy noisy recovery room for hours in pain, weeping.

Finally got real room around 6pm. Had giant fight to get them to remove all adhesives including IV and monitors. Haven’t eaten or drunk anything but 2 cranberry juice boxes in 26 hours. Still waiting for soup to arrive. Throat hurts too much for real food.

Extreme misery

2 comments » | Blog

The Apple Stone podcast feed

November 23rd, 2019 — 11:00am

I have made a podcast feed for my recording of The Apple Stone, a beautiful magical adventure by playwright Nicholas Stuart Gray about 5 siblings and cousins who find a magical golden stone in the middle of an apple. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!

Copy and paste this RSS link into your favorite podcast app:

http://kayray.org/audiobooks/applestone.xml

You can, of course, still access all the chapters individually on this page:

http://kayray.org/nicholas-stuart-gray/

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I have a new bed!

November 18th, 2019 — 8:06am

I was sooooo comfy on the mattress (Serta Perfect Sleeper) in New York that it made me realize how uncomfy I’ve been on my 8-year-old foam mattress. So my wonderful Mom bought me a new mattress! I like a FIRM mattress, so I chose a Serta Perfect Sleeper Trelleburg II Firm, and I got it from mattressfirm.com who were having some kind of pre-Black Friday sale and threw in an adjustable bed frame!

It arrived last week on Wednesday. A pair of highly competent and professional delivery men brought it in, set it up, and took away my old mattress.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I’m a hot sleeper. My old foam mattress seemed to amplify and hold my body’s heat so I was always rolling around trying to find a cool spot. The Perfect Sleeper line of mattresses has some kind of cooling gel merged into the top layer, so I’m not noticing that problem anymore. Also it is wonderfully firm and non-bouncy and non-cushiony! I fall asleep best on my stomach, and then I roll onto my side or back in the night. It’s comfy all three ways.

And the adjustable bed frame has changed my life. I have trouble breathing at night now even with supplementary oxygen so I’ve had to build mountains of pillows in order to elevate my head, but it’s hard getting the angle just right. My new bed frame has a wired remote that lets me raise the head of the bed to near vertical, or lower it completely flat, and stop anywhere in between. Amazing!

If I know I’ll have an easy time falling asleep on my side, I can leave the elevation a bit higher than if I’m having insomnia and need to lie on my stomach. And of course it delights Em to be able to raise it up and lean against it when it’s iPad Minecraft Time!

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A brand-new ailment

November 14th, 2019 — 7:44pm

Went to the doc today for two reasons.

1) I’ve had a strange red rash on my face for several months; it started around my mouth and has spread all the way to my eyelids. It hurts, itches, and burns; looks raw and red; and has little zitty bumps everywhere.

Doc thinks it’s rosacea — another incurable, chronic, difficult condition to add to my plate. ARGGHHHHHHHHHH.

I’ve had facial flushing for years because of the high-powered vasodilators I’m on for the PAH. Looks like that, plus being a fair-skinned middle-aged woman, is a good enough reason for rosacea to get going.

“Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin disorder that can seriously impair quality of life.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828925/

So now I have an antibiotic ointment: metronidazole. Let’s hope it works, and works fast. This condition is driving me absolutely crazy. I want to claw my face off. I miss my beautiful skin :( :( :(

(The second reason I went to doc is kinda gross. Sorry.)

2) Stomach Issues. My remodulin (for PAH) causes severe diarrhea, so I take tons and tons of Imodium to try to keep things on track. My poor stomach is a battleground. But lately I’ve been feeling just really crummy, like I always feel full, everything I eat makes me bloated and gassy, I feel constipated but then I have diarrhea… etc. Doc says massage my abdomen and skip the Imodium for a few days, then start back up gradually and add Pepto to the mix. So…. I will be in the bathroom 24 hours a day for the next few days I suppose. UGH.

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The Moffat Tunnel

November 13th, 2019 — 4:22pm

There was one moment in my total of, let’s see, ten full days of train-riding that I felt nervous, and that was in the six-mile long Moffat Tunnel in the Colorado Rockies.

We had had some engine trouble in Nebraska, so we borrowed a Union Pacific engine in Denver and chugged along on our merry way. Ok, fine. But then, midway through the Moffat Tunnel, under I don’t know how many thousands of feet of rock in the middle of a goddam mountain, the train slowed… and stopped. For several minutes. There was an announcement telling us not to worry and I didn’t panic but I did have a few uncomfortable moments of wondering how exactly they’d get us out of the tunnel if the engine had died. I knew they’d get us out… but it was the HOW that worried me! Ughhhhhhh tunnels. But then we started back up and everything was fine. *whew*

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Amtrak tips

November 13th, 2019 — 9:02am

Here is a bunch of stuff I have learned on my Amtrak travels. Traveling by train is the only way to travel — if you’re not in any particular hurry and have a few bucks to spare :) No hectic airport, no need to hurry-up-and-wait, no strip-search, no x-rays, no narrow uncomfortable seat in a claustrophobic tin can, no aircraft engine whine, no thin dry air.

These tips should really help you if, like me, you have some disabilities; I have PAH, a heart/lung condition that makes it difficult for me to breathe, so I travel with a small electric oxygen concentrator. I need help getting from place to place if there’s much walking involved.

Two top tips:

1) BE FLEXIBLE: One of my trains ran three hours late; one ran four hours late; one leg of the journey was impassable due to flooded tracks so they put us on a tour bus for a couple hours. (Syracuse to Albany). I was lucky that I had multi-hour layovers in Chicago so I never missed a connection, but it could happen. Amtrak will make sure you get where you’re going eventually, though. :)

2) TEMPERATURE WARNING: trains can vary wildly between freezing cold and boiling hot, so bring enough layers so that you can strip down or bundle up!

My Amtrak history so far: I traveled coach class on the Coast Starlight from Oakland to Portland overnight, and took a sleeper home (roomette). I traveled coach from San Jose to Santa Barbara (Coast Starlight) and then Santa Barbara to San Diego (Pacific Surfliner) and back again. My recent Big Trip was on the California Zephyr from Emeryville to Chicago (two nights in a roomette), then the Lakeshore Limited from Chicago to Rhinecliff NY (one night in a roomette) and back again.

Coach Class:

Coach class is absolutely fine if you aren’t traveling overnight. The seats in coach are wide and comfy. There are two seats on either side of the aisle, and one electrical outlet per seat. There’s no armrest between seats so if you have no seatmate you can curl up or spread out, and the seats are wide enough that even with a seatmate you won’t be squished up against each other. Seats recline, and there’s a ton of leg room. There are plenty of toilets (downstairs, in double-decker trains). You can leave your seat any time and walk through the train. You can explore the observation car, the dining car, the cafe car, the lounge.

There are overhead compartments for small carry-ons, and you can also keep a bigger bag at your feet. Every car has a large luggage rack (downstairs) for any carry-ons that you don’t need at your actual seat. In theory there is a size restriction for carry-ons but I saw people with BIG bags.

Food/drink is bring your own (no restrictions!) or buy it from cafe car or dining car (on long-distance trains). If you’re on a train with a dining car, do try it out! Fresh-cooked food, real chairs and tables, a menu, expensive but tasty food. There are several options for each meal, including always a vegetarian/vegan option. I love the Entree Salad, which has good lettuce, onion, dried cranberries, nuts, grapes, and your choice of dressing. It’s filling as-is but you can also have them add grilled chicken. The Angus Burger, Salmon, and Steak were also delicious meals. Remember to tip your server.

Now, if you’re young and have no sleeping issues, you can sleep in coach class. The seats don’t recline flat but they recline a lot. The whole train has Quiet Hours between 10pm and 7am.

If you have any special needs, coach can be tricky because there isn’t a dedicated attendant to help you wrangle your gear or take care of you.

Roomettes:

If you’re traveling overnight and are older, disabled, have sleep issues, and/or need the best quality sleep you can get, book yourself a roomette! This is a tiny room, a bit wider than a wide seat, with two seats facing each other in front of a big window. There’s a sliding door and curtains for privacy from the corridor. The two seats can recline or pull out flat to make one bed and there’s a bunk that folds down above the seats so that two slender friendly people can travel together in one roomette. If you’re traveling alone, your roomette is just for you — no stranger to share with.

Book your tickets with Amtrak over the phone. Their ticket agents are really nice. Make sure you let them know any special needs that you have — I let them know about my oxygen machine, that I need assistance in stations, and that I needed my sleeping car attendant to being me my meals. More about that further down.

Your roomette will have ONE ELECTRICAL OUTLET. One. So if you need to plug in more than one thing, and especially if you’re traveling with a friend, bring a splitter! Roomettes have rudimentary temperature controls, but I found them always to be a choice between cold and very cold OR hot and very hot. Pack your layers! In one much-too-hot room I got washcloths from the shower room, dampened them, and stuffed them into the uncloseable heating vents.

People traveling in sleeping cars are considered First Class Passengers so you will have much more help than the commoners in Coach. Your sleeping car attendant will look after you on your journey and will make sure you have Red Cap assistance at stations if you need it — just ask. Sleeping car people get first dibs for dining car reservations. The sleeping car in a Superliner (double-decker) has toilets and a shower downstairs, and a toilet upstairs. Your attendant will make your bed for you with sheets and blankets and pillows and will fold it all away again in the morning.

Meals are included in your sleeping car ticket which is a HUGE HELP, I mean that’s like $75 a day you’re not spending if you want three hearty meals. (you still need to tip your server, so bring cash)

On my first trip I discovered that I have trouble walking through several train cars to get to the dining car, especially at higher elevations, so when I booked my tickets to NY I asked if my attendant could bring my meals to my room. No problem at all! Johnny (eastbound) and Tony (westbound) brought me all my meals with a smile.

You must tip your sleeping car attendant! The Internet suggests $5 per night per traveler as a minimum. I tipped $20 per day, because I needed extra help and I figured Johnny and Tony deserved the tips I wasn’t giving a waiter.

Chicago’s Union Station is huge and confusing. If you’re in a sleeper, though, they make it easy for you. A Red Cap will take you to the First Class Metropolitan Lounge on a cart. There you can lounge on a sofa, have some coffee, take a shower, or stow your luggage if you have a long layover and want to go exploring. I listened to podcasts and knitted and the time flew. When it’s time to catch your next train, the loudspeaker will tell you where to stand so a Red Cap and cart can take you to your platform. Easy, and almost no walking for me!

There are several different types of trains depending on route. The longest routes have the nicest trains, the best seats, real dining cars, showers, etc. The Coast Starlight and the California Zephyr were super-nice double-decker Superliners.

The Pacific Surfliner is a shorter-distance train, so no sleeper, no dining car, SLIGHTLY less cushy seats (still super comfy). Double-decker, so if you have trouble with stairs be sure to book over the phone and ask for a downstairs seat, which are reserved for the elderly and disabled.

The Lakeshore Limited (Viewliner type) is an overnight train so it has sleepers but no proper dining car with a chef — meals are pleasant but microwaved. It’s a single-decker train. And, oddly, there is a toilet and sink in each roomette. I don’t know if there are showers.

I might think of more to add to this post later, but I will now take questions from the class. :)

***********************
Question from Susan: Is there wifi 100% of the time?

NO. There is wifi 0% of the time! (The Surfliner offered onboard wifi but it was a crummy unsecured network… no thanks.) The long distance trains offered no wifi, and there were hours on end without even any cell service! It was delightful how much of the route was through the middle of nowhere, scenery-wise, but yeah, that means no cell service. Take your knitting and download your audiobooks ahead of time!

3 comments » | Blog

I’m home!

November 11th, 2019 — 7:20am

I’m home from my big adventure. The homeward journey was uneventful and pleasant. Tony, my sleeping car attendant, took good care of me, I ate well, I slept well, I watched America roll by. Wonderful. I’m sorting and uploading photos now so I should have a good big Photo Post one day soon, and I’m also planning a big post of tips for traveling by Amtrak!

Now I’ll fill you in on the wonderfulness of my stay in New York.

Not only did I get to spend a day with my cousin Jon, but my dear Aunt Susan and Uncle Jack invited my sister Kathy (who lives in Kentucky) and my brother Ken (who lives in NYC) to come visit me too!

Jon went home Sunday morning, and then Kathy arrived on Sunday night (after a bit of a kerfluffle over an expired drivers’ license at the rent-a-car place led to a very long Uber ride) I hadn’t seen her in years, maybe not since Dad died in 2005. We sat in cozy companionship and knitted socks and talked about our bizarre childhoods — and then Monday afternoon Ken arrived on the bus from NYC! I hadn’t seen him since 2005 either. It was the most amazing treat to get to sit quietly with the two of them and catch up and just be together. They have always been the best elder siblings in the whole wide world (8 and 10 years older than me). Kathy left on Tuesday morning and Ken left Tuesday evening, and then I started my return journey on Wednesday afternoon.

In the evenings when Jack and Susan were home, we ate the wonderful dinners that Jack cooked and watched Jeopardy with Susan (it’s her martini). I introduced everyone to Only Connect, a super-nerdy, fiendishly difficult BBC quiz show which we Americans can watch on youtube thanks to youtube user Wheelsongenius who uploads every episode after it airs! I don’t know why the BBC lets her do this but I’m so grateful.

Things I want to remember: Susan’s stories: the couch, the rotting piano, Jon’s birth. Susan and friend having a cello and clarinet rehearsal on Sunday morning. Jack being his wonderful calm, creative, interesting self. Enthusing about Bach with Jon. Sheep may Safely Graze — worst earworm ever. The salmon that Jack cooked perfectly. “That’s not tea, it’s lasagna” (Kathy) The trickling toilet, which I helpfully reminded everyone to jiggle by removing the top of the tank, which then crashed to the tile floor and broke into smithereens. Sleeping on the world’s most comfortable mattress (Serta Perfect Sleeper) in Chloe’s old room. The minor flood caused by a very enthusiastic humidifier. Hating and loving people on Survivor with Susan and doing The Puz with her! Remembering childhood freedom-filled summers with Jon playing in the dirt, the croquet-ball track, the algae-filled swimming pool, Archie comics, our audiotape of made-up commercials (Jon! If you really still have it please digitize it!) The gratifying compliment that my siblings and I are easy, low-impact, non-demanding houseguests :)

Special thanks to my dear mom for making this dream vacation possible for me <3 <3 <3

3 comments » | Blog

On the way home

November 8th, 2019 — 8:33am

Oh lordy I had a wonderful time in New York. On Sunday Jon went home and then in the evening my sister Kathy arrived from KY and then on Monday my brother Ken rode the bus up from NYC! So we siblings spent a couple of quiet days together, knitting and talking and not-talking. It was so peaceful and comfy and perfect.

Wednesday evening Jack took me to the train station and I started my return journey, on the Lakeshore Limited #49 overnight train to Chicago, arriving Thursday morning, where I spent a few pleasant hours in the 1st class Metropolitan Lounge, and then my California Zephyr #5 left in the afternoon.

This morning (Friday) I woke up in Nebraska, and now we’re in Colorado and I can see The Rockies coming up!

2 comments » | Blog

A great day

November 2nd, 2019 — 8:18pm

I had the best day. Lots of time just hanging out with Susan and Jack, some alone time while they ran errands, crossword puzzles, Susan’s stories (The Couch!). Best of all my favorite boy cousin, Jon, rode the bus three hours from The City just to visit me!! He’s three years older than me. We spent five summers together as kids, running wild on a mountain with almost no adult supervision, playing in the dirt, swimming, being hooligans. We haven’t seen each other in years, 25? 30? but it was like no time had passed.

We chatted a bit and sat quietly for a bit. Susan and I worked on the NY Times puzzle and Jack made us the most delicious dinner of perfect salmon, baked potatoes, and roasted veggies.

I’m in heaven.

3 comments » | Blog

New York, I am in you!

November 2nd, 2019 — 5:30am

Thursday evening we got to Chicago three hours late, but there was still plenty of time to catch my connecting train. Chicago Union Station is immense and confusing, but I got through it ok, with help :)

Got on the Lakeshore Limited at 9:30pm and asked my attendant to make my bed right away, and went to sleep. The Lakeshore Limited is a single-decker train (Viewliner), and the roomettes are a bit different than the ones on the double-decker California Zephyr (Superliner). Two main differences: there are plenty of temperature controls in the Viewliner roomette, both for warm and cold air, so you can get the temperature just right. Also, and this is so odd, there is a little toilet and sink right in each roomette. They fold away nicely, and it’s convenient not to need to leave your roomette at all… but it takes some getting used to!

Northern New York was hit by a huge rainstorm the night before we got there and a section of track between Syracuse and Albany was was impassable, so at Syracuse they put us all on busses (we first-class people got a really nice comfy tour bus), and a couple hours later we got back on a train at Albany. It was a bit hectic, but not too bad. I knew they’d make sure I got where I was going.

Arrived in Rhinecliff around 6 and my Uncle Jack was there to pick me up! Now I’m in a beautiful little house in the middle of the woods, just chilling with Jack and Susan. More later…

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Iowa and Illinois

October 31st, 2019 — 12:28pm

I slept long and well last night as we traveled through the eastern half of Colorado and all of Nebraska. I woke up this morning in beautiful snowy Iowa! Sorry no pics here yet — I’ll sort that out when I get to Willow and have stable internet and not so much to look at out the windows. If you follow me on instagram you can see all the low-res instas I have grammed during my journey! I’m karashallenberg there.

I took a break from looking out my window in order to type this because my window is covered in gobs of snow and the air is white! It is already serious winter in the midwest and it’s only Halloween. Is that normal or did winter start early and fierce this year?

2 comments » | Blog

Utah and Colorado

October 30th, 2019 — 9:57am

After a good, though over-warm, night of sleep I woke up just outside of Helper, Utah, to such beauty scenery! Bits of snow on the ground and rocky slopes unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

Utah changed a lot as we traveled through, so every glance out the window showed me something new! I took a million pics and videos, none of which do justice to reality. I hope to add them to this post when I have real internet…

Now we’ve just crossed into Colorado and things changed again! We’ve been following a river through a beautifully striated canyon. I saw some snowy peaks in the distance — the Rockies, maybe? Now, as we approach Grand Junction, there are farms and ranches, with rolling hills and black buttes beyond them.

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Amtrak trip to New York!

October 29th, 2019 — 2:33pm

I’m typing this on my phone from my roomette on board the California Zephyr! We started at Emeryville CA this morning (Tuesday) (we left two hours late, but I had my knitting so it was cool).

We’ve gone through Sacramento and are now climbing climbing climbing up into the mountains! I’ll fill in this post with some pics and vids when I get a chance to upload them — no wifi and cell service is spotty to nonexistent.

I’ll be on this train for two nights, and will arrive in Chicago on Thursday afternoon, then I’ll catch the Lakeshore Limited and arrive on Friday in NEW YORK to visit Susan and Jack for a few days! Rumor has it that a few other very dear family members might join us there, too :)

I am having a splendid time!

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Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown

October 27th, 2019 — 7:27pm

Finished! You can download all chapters from the Maud Hart Lovelace page:
http://kayray.org/maud-hart-lovelace/

or you might want to subscribe to these books as podcasts with the following RSS links:

http://kayray.org/audiobooks/betsytacy.xml
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/betsytacytib.xml
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/bighill.xml
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/downtown.xml (typo in podcast feed is fixed so Chapter 2 should appear if you re-subscribe)

That’s my preferred method of audiobook-listening because a) it’s so easy and b) most podcast apps will automatically set a bookmark when you stop listening so you’ll never lose your place. Most podcast apps will also allow you to skip forward and backward by reasonable amounts (unlike music players) and set a sleep timer.

I prefer Bookmobile by Freshmowed. It’s extraordinarily full-featured and therefore has a steep learning curve, but once you figure it out, WOW, it’ll do everything but braid your hair.

Overcast is another good option. You can even use Apple’s built-in “Podcasts” app in a pinch. (Android users — what’s your favorite podcast app that works well for audiobooks?)

Whichever app you use, you’ll copy the url that ends with .xml for the book you want. Then find the place in your podcast app where you can “subscribe with url” or “subscribe with RSS” and paste that link in. Tell your app to download all chapters and *never delete them* (if you’re using Apple’s “Podcasts” app there’s a setting for this in the “settings” app on your phone). Make sure they’ll play in the right order. If they’re mixed up, you may be able to order them manually or make a playlist, depending on your app — but they’ll probably be fine if you tick either “oldest to newest” or “newest to oldest” (again, this depends on your app).

Let me know if you need screenshots of this process in one of the three apps I mentioned.

Happy listening! :) Shall I continue on with Betsy and Tacy? In the next book, Heaven to Betsy, the girls are 14 and about to enter highschool!

6 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

A fun new side effect!

October 27th, 2019 — 10:37am

“Rash” is one of the side effects of Remodulin that I hadn’t experienced until recently. Over the last couple months, since I increased my Remodulin dose, the skin on my face has been reacting more and more. It started with just a little red rash near my mouth, then spread further and further. I was able to control it for a while with my powerful steroid ointment (that I’m not supposed to use on my face) but that stopped working and now my face is blotchy and red and covered with zitty little bumps. UGH. :(

This is really bumming me out. My skin has always been one of my best features — that and my wonderful thick wavy red-gold hair — and my skin was clear even when I was a teenager.

At least the Remodulin isn’t ruining my hair. I’m 50 now and there’s only a tiny bit of gray at the front so it should stay pretty for a good long time, with luck! :)

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Betsy-Tacy update!

October 25th, 2019 — 5:38pm

I get a lot of lovely messages from listeners who gently encourage me to continue with Betsy-Tacy — so guess what! I have jumped back in to Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown. I’d forgotten how much I already had completed — seven chapters — and I’ve just recorded another two. Only five more to go! I’m going to try to get it all finished before my next big train trip (I’m going all the way to New York next week), but in case I don’t quite get to it you can listen to what’s already finished by visiting https://archive.org/details/kayrayreadstoyou7

Enjoy! And check back soon for the final five chapters :)

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Helen Cresswell

October 23rd, 2019 — 7:40pm

All five of my Bagthorpe novels by Helen Cresswell have podcast feeds now!

Copy and paste these RSS links into your podcast app:

Ordinary Jack
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/ordinaryjack.xml 

Absolute Zero (the funniest one! omg! )
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/absolutezero.xml

Bagthorpes Unlimited
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/unlimited.xml

Bagthorpes Vs. the World
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/vstheworld.xml

Bagthorpes Abroad
http://kayray.org/audiobooks/abroad.xml

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