Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Free Dragonflies!

For the next five days you can get the first of the Mr. Odon Ata series for children ages 9 and up for free!

A little bit mystical, a little bit natural sciences.  After all, who could better tell you about the life of a dragonfly, than a shape shifter who has been a dragonfly? This series follows Tom during his summer vacation as he meets some rather unusual neighbors and learns about animals and about life. He may dread summer vacation when it begins, but by the time it's over with he won't want to go back to school!

There are now three books in the series, with more to come!

Here are the links to the first book in the series, now free on Kindle:

Blue Dragonfly and Mr. Odon Ata - U.S.
Blue Dragonfly and Mr. Odon Ata - U.K.
Blue Dragonfly and Mr. Odon Ata - Canada
Blue Dragonfly and Mr. Odon Ata - Australia

The next book in the series, Mr. Weaver and Mr.Odon Ata showcases the life of a spider, while the newest addition, Ms. Eatsalot and Mr. Odon Ata goes into the life of frogs and toads and introduces Ms. Brown - a rather well traveled neighbor.

If you could talk to Mr. Odon Ata - what animal life would you want him to tell you about? Let me know in the comments - I'm open to suggestions! That is... I'll ask Mr. Ata for you.


Summer Foovay

The photo is my own, all rights reserved, thank you.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I Am So Grateful For...Medicare, Medicaid, and Dialysis.

I read a horrifying headline today.  70% of people who need dialysis in India DO NOT RECEIVE IT.  

Without dialysis, of course, they die.  

There are a number of complex factors that are behind this.  Lack of availability, and cost.  Dialysis is one of the most expensive - and life saving - medical treatments there are.  It takes trained nurses, doctors and technicians, and of course, expensive machines and equipment. And depending on comorbidities and causes and the patient and their support system, a patient may be on dialysis for decades. 

In the early sixties I was a child, living across the street from another family whose father had kidney disease.  At that time the only facilities with dialysis machines were hospitals.  Treatments were costly and even if insurance covered it, it wasn't long before you reached your benefits cap and were left on your own.  I remember numerous fundraisers on that families behalf.  I remember that it was a big deal when the father did get a dialysis treatment.  It did not happen three times a week, like we have now, but maybe once or twice a month! I cannot recall exactly when he died, but it was before I was a teen.

In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the act creating Medicare and Medicaid.  At that time those programs only covered retired people who were already drawing social security.  In 1972 Medicare and Medicaid were expanded to cover certain specific diseases that were particularly costly - and end stage renal disease, ESRD or end stage kidney disease, ESKD was one of those diseases.  At last, dialysis was completely paid for by the government starting when you reach the cap on your personal insurance.  

Dialysis is big business now, with several international companies vying to provide your dialysis, both in clinic and through home modalities.  But at least patients with ESRD in the United States can and do receive the dialysis they want and need without fear of losing it because you can't pay the (enormous) bill. You won't die because you cannot pay for a life saving treatment that you have to have every few days (or more often depending on modality)

Times have changed since 1972 and Americans are dying of other illnesses.  I wish our government would see fit to add more diseases to the automatically and fully covered portion of Medicaid and Medicare.  Cancer, for instance, and AIDS.  I'm sure you can think of many more, depending on what you have been exposed to through your family and friends.  In fact, I would really like to see us with a single payer system like so many other countries so nobody has to go without a treatment, surgery, or drug because of a lack of money or insurance.  This system is a long ways from perfect.

But I am so very grateful that we do have Medicaid and Medicare and they do cover dialysis for ESRD (or ESKD). 

I can't find the information on who spearheaded the movement to get Congress to expand Medicare/Medicaid for this purpose - but whoever you are or were, I cannot thank you enough.  And I'm sure I am not alone.  

India is making a great effort at this time to expand their ability to provide dialysis for their citizens.  I wish them all the best. 


Summer Foovay

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Peaceful Sunday

Sunday is slowly becoming the day I work out in the yard.  Right now I'm mostly pulling weeds and soaking the grass hoping it will fill in and green up.  I personally would not plant grass in the desert area of New Mexico, particularly over the caliche in the yard here, but it is here and you've got to give it credit for hanging in there.  I've been watering the oleanders and they are responding by growing taller and more full.  I can't wait to see them bloom this year.

My sunflowers are coming up!  And a couple of Morning Glories.  Every day I find more little two and four leaf plants sprouting where I put one of those wildflower mixes in the big bare area under the big tree.  I guess the doves didn't eat all of them!  So that's pretty exciting!

Hubby did his assigned research for me, and discovered that he can easily build a raised bed frame for less than the spekky raised bed kit would cost.  I'm not super ambitious this year.  A four foot by four foot frame for some zuchinni, squash, peppers, and tomatoes will be plenty.  I don't want to invest more than the fresh food is going to save us in grocery bills. We'll see how it goes.

The solar eclipse of the new moon seemed to be causing a mild case of chaos the last week.  Nothing horrible, but numerous and constant petty issues especially with electronics.  Then in one day our heater died, and the water hose carrying water to the house burst. Add to that, pretty much all week hubby was not feeling good.  Nothing insurmountable, but not exactly happy either!

Super tinker hubby got the broken pressure regulator working again and back on the hose.  We got a cheap hose to get through the rest of the month (we don't use the water to cook or drink anyway) and for now we're just turning on a burner on the gas stove at night for warmth.  I am very disappointed in the heater though - it didn't even last one entire winter.  Less than four months, in fact. Next year I will look for a different brand.

Well, next year we will probably be in a little trailer house. We've measured and thought and concluded there is simply no way to do the home hemo in the Firefly. Given hubby's new health status we aren't planning on moving away from his good doctors any time soon, and travel is out for the next year or so at least, and then dependent on his health. Right now, I get pretty excited if we go 30 days without a hospital stay.  (Not to jinx us, but so far we are at 36 days out of the hospital...but he has been sick and we do have doctors appointments coming up)

We love this little lot and wanted to stay here anyway, may as well find a mobile home with two bedrooms that will accommodate the home hemo.  As long as we leave the hitch and wheels on, no reason we can't move it later when we buy our little piece of land, so we're hoping to find a small home we can buy one way or another.

According to my tarot, my horoscope, and his dialysis nurses we have a few months to relax and take baby steps towards the home hemo transition.  I've been warned that we will be overwhelmed for the first several months while we make that change in his care which currently is scheduled for June.

Hopefully, I can make use of this time to get a few more WIP polished up and out in the world for my ever so patient and long-suffering readers.  It would be nice if my book income was high enough that I wouldn't have to be worried about money while making the transition to home hemo.  Things always do come up!

The other side of the eclipse was supposed to be a great time for new beginnings, but for now it seems to be a peaceful, lazy feeling.  I'm going to go enjoy it.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.  Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Friday, February 24, 2017

Free Kindle Book - Kayaking Bliss

One Woman + One Kayak = Bliss by [Foovay, Summer]
My book, One Woman + One Kayak = Bliss is FREE on Amazon Kindle for the next five days. Like the soon to be published, I Am Pagan, it is a book of essays on a single subject - in this case my love of kayaking.

Since I first entered a kayak and paddled around on the Arkansas River I have been in love.  Within a week I had called my story agent and asked her to send me lots and lots of work.  In a month I had enough cash to buy my first kayak and I've never looked back.  Water sign that I am, I can hardly look at a lake, river, or pond and not think "needs kayak". I discovered to my delight that many shy water birds simply ignore someone paddling by in a kayak. Simply being on the water is a delight for me. I hope I brought some of that love of nature and kayaking into this little book to share.

I Am Pagan is considerably larger and goes more in depth to the subjects it covers, but One Woman + One Kayak = Bliss is a sample of what you might expect when I get musing with my hands on a keyboard.

And I thought my readers might like something to nibble while they wait for me to finish editing and writing other projects.

Here are the links:

One Woman + One Kayak = Bliss - U.S.
One Woman + One Kayak = Bliss - U.K.
One Woman + One Kayak = Bliss - Canada
One Woman + One Kayak = Bliss - Australia

Thanks for your time and attention

Summer Foovay

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Big Endings, Big Beginnings - I Am Pagan

My next book, I Am Pagan, is very nearly done.  I think.  I hope to finish it up in time for Friday's solar eclipse - a time for big endings and big beginnings. Ending the writing and grooming, beginning the sales part of the cycle.  Hoping readers will find something of value in my words. The bulk of I am Pagan is made up of articles I created for my website of the same name, that was online in the early part of this century. That was fun to say! And true, too.  The essays were basically answers to questions I was asked over and over by people interested in the fact that I was Pagan.  The section on holidays was for general information for other Pagans, since at that time there actually wasn't as much on the web as there is today.  That gradually grew into a place to plug my ecards and later physical greeting cards for pagan holidays.  But I'm not doing that anymore.  Again, there are now far more resources and talented people working in that field.

One of the hardest things in the world for me is focusing my pinball brain, but I have finally (temporarily) convinced myself to concentrate on my writing.  When I can finally afford a new graphics program and the computer to run it, I will return to digital art and probably use it largely to illustrate books and create covers.

Because most of the material in I Am Pagan was written a decade ago, I've also updated, rewritten, and added a number of new articles and essays.  It is still largely a memoir of my own journey to Paganism, with hopefully some good information thrown in for my fellow Pagans or those interested in their own explorations.

I am going to also add some invocations and blessings that I created myself that I use on almost a daily basis. Maybe they will work for and suit someone else as well. I'm not much of a poet, but I may also include a couple of pagan oriented poems I've written - just to make you glad I don't pretend I'm much of a poet!

In other big achievements - today I submitted my 10,000th hit on Amazon's Mechanical Turk.  I'm not entirely sure if that means I'm a good worker, or I'm a total idiot with more time than brains. The MTurk is not for everybody, but it works well for me.  I can sit down and work on hits when and if I have the time.  They generally pay in a timely manner.  True, I earn about one dollar an hour if I am lucky, but I am able to work sitting here at my desk at home with one eye on the husband.  I can do a few hits while the laundry soaks or dinner cooks or while I am waiting for something else. If James is not well or I have other obligations, no one penalizes me for not working for a few days or weeks. There's none of this work your ass off and you'll make millions off ads bullshit that so far in my experience has translated into work your ass off and make a few pennies before the company you are working for figures out how to screw you out of everything you have done completely. The freelance work I've done, writing and art, has been fun but simply not dependable enough and, like everything else, I have had to turn down jobs when James was sick that were then gone forever, client and all.  So, it works for me and that couple of bucks here and there has more than once bought a prescription or a meal or some other necessity that came up at the end of the month.

In beginnings - in a few days my first advertising campaign on Amazon will begin for A Layman's Guide to Peritoneal Dialysis.   It's just a few bucks for just a few days, but maybe it will give me an idea of how that will go.  So far I've been disappointed in how many copies of that have sold. When the campaign is over, the book will probably be down for a day or two as I add a few pages to qualify it to be printed as a paperback. After which I'm afraid I'm simply going to have to raise the price to pay for the advertising to get it the distribution I want it to have.  I have some other ideas about promoting it, but I have to get over my mental hurdles first!

Bits and bobs of the next Mr. Odon Ata book are written, and it will probably be my next task.  I hope to do some advertising for that series next month.

Baby steps to home hemodialysis are going forward.  Still largely in the decision making and planning stages.  Hubby has not felt very good this week, so we haven't been getting out and about.  We have three months to get ready to start training, so there's no need to rush.

You know it is a week for endings when the heater we bought only four months ago - or less - dies overnight, the water hose that brings water into the RV explodes, and the hubby gets on a physical low all in the same day. I think we're going to lay low until the eclipse is through - and then stride out into our new beginnings with the confidence of The Fool...


Summer Foovay

Friday, February 17, 2017

Home Hemodialysis?

The last few weeks have been a little hectic with one thing and another, but we got some very good news.  I simply didn't want to share it prematurely - might jinx it!

Hubby and I have been accepted to be trained for home hemodialysis.  It is going to mean even more big lifestyle changes.  However, we won't be able to even start training until this summer due to constraints at the clinic and other hurdles that have to be overcome first.  Still, we are very excited and hopeful.  Home hemodialysis has been proven in studies to be better for patients than in clinic hemodialysis for a number of reasons. But, like peritoneal dialysis, it is not the best solution for every end stage renal disease patient.

So maybe my next non-fiction will be about living with home hemodialysis!

I have decided that it would be worth it to add a few more pages to Layman's Guide to Peritoneal Dialysis Kindle book.  so that the book would be large enough for Amazon to accept it to publish as a paperback, so that is also in the works.  I keep thinking it's going to take off soon - considering that every other book about peritoneal dialysis is meant for the medical professional or students and costs fifty times as much.  I feel there really is a need and a niche for this little book for kidney patients, their caretakers, family and friends - as well as medical professionals such as nurses who need a quick overview of peritoneal dialysis they can work into their busy schedule rather than another monster text book.

Most of this week I have spent editing and poking at the current work in progress, I Am Pagan.  Based off the articles that used to be up on my website of the same name it is a personal story of being Pagan.  There is plenty of information in there for people interested in paganism, but it isn't meant to be a guide to follow exactly or an encyclopedia of paganism.  It is simply one person's journey and thoughts on being pagan.  I have read through it and decided I'd like to expand and add some newer material.  After all, most of it was written (holy crap!) almost fifteen years ago now.

Wow - excuse me while I faint.

I keep saying I'm going to work on some fiction, but keep being drawn into various appointments, meetings, medical research and other obligations.  I did get a blog post up on Niume last night about the frogs and toads of my local Chihuahua desert.  Here's a link if you are interested - click here. Okay, it isn't fiction - but writing Ms. Eatsalot and Mr. Odon Ata got me to thinking about frogs and toads and how delightful it was to find them out on the Chihuahua desert!

Hopefully, I will spend the next few months getting a number of works in progress finished, polished and published, so that I will be able to spend the summer learning to perform home hemodialysis and making those adjustments in lifestyle that will undoubtedly be called for.  Thank you, dear readers, for your time!


Summer Foovay

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Snow Moon

Last night was a rare and wonderful series of events.  A full moon (named the Snow Moon or the Hunger Moon), a penumbral lunar eclipse (our planet stole a bit of the suns light from the moon for a while), and a close pass by a comet.  So did you get to see any of them?

The numerology and astrology experts agreed this would be an auspicious moon for us creative types, and they were quite right.  I spent the day meditating, walking, sitting up in one of my favorite trees, and journaling.  Jotting down ideas is more like it.

Just what I need!  More ideas for books to write!  I could probably sit down and write at my utmost speed of about 2000 words per hour for the rest of this year non-stop and still have ideas and notes floating around to write up someday!

Some of the ideas have to do with promoting some of the books that are out, and some of the ideas to write about probably aren't going to go any 50,000 words, so they may be added as essays to I Am Pagan or perhaps a story for Wattpad, while others will be regretfully laid on the back burner to make room for the edit and rewrite of a WIP.

I seem to be drawing coyotes.  No, not with pencil and paper - although that will probably happen, too.  I am so blessed to be seeing one member of another of the coyote family that lives down in the reclaimation area at least once a week or so for the last month. Yes, of course they made an appearance for the Snow Moon.  Add to that all the coyotes that seem to pop up in my Flickr feed, or Facebook feed and I think there is a trend here.  I believe Joey Coyote wishes I would get on with the edit and rewrite of A Coyote, A Tanuki and a Kitsune.  It's maybe halfway done, and I looked at the ending and decided it's either not much of an ending or there is going to have to be a sequel.  And, well, I do kind of have an idea for a sequel that is quite off the subject of the three main characters and is actually going to draw in characters from other books - if they ever get written.  Another thing I could spend a year on.

Where can I purchase a few more hours in the day?  No, I don't really want them, I'm tired enough at the end of a day as it is.

I hope you got to watch the lunar eclipse, or caught a glimpse of that pretty comet.  In the end it was still too sunny in New Mexico to watch the lunar eclipse - so I watched the live feed from Slooh Observatory on the Chromebook while sitting outside on a blanket!  I did get out about 1 am and look for the comet.  By then I had learned you were not likely to see it with the naked eye and my little birding binoculars weren't much help either.  Sigh.  Well, I bet there are some very pretty photos of it up on the Internet today!   Maybe I'll go find one for this blog post...

Down the rabbit hole she goes...


Summer Foovay

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mystical Nature Books for Children 10 years old and up

I am proud to say that I have finally finished Book Three of the Odon Ata series for children 10 years old and up.  Over a year ago I stalled out trying to decide what animal Mr. Ata should claim to have been next and where the story arc goes from Book Two.  I had to shove some mental blocks out of the way and deal with some major real life issues before the next step in the story became clear.

In 2017 I hit the ground running, publishing my book on Peritoneal Dialysis for Laymen, and following it closely with Book Three of the Odon Ata series for children, Mrs. Eatsalot and Mr. Odon Ata.  I also have two short Works In Progress in process, built with the essays written for my old websites, I am Pagan, and Pearlie the Psychic Kitty.  They should be out soon, followed shortly by Book Four of the Mr. Odon Ata series!  Believe it or not, I actually have a plot and events for Book Four already - but knowing me, things could change so I'm not telling yet!

One of the things that makes me so proud of this series is that Book One, Blue Dragonfly and Mr. Odon Ata  has three, yes THREE five star reviews.  In fact, every review of it is a five star review.  I think I know who one of the reviewers is, the other two are total strangers to me.  I never did the trade a review thing, or free books, or buy a review on Fiverr.  I don't have a hot shot publisher or publicist getting reviews for me - so these are three honest five star reviews.  On one book, the second children's book I've ever written.

The first children's book I wrote, The Fox and the Rabbit has only one review - but again, five stars.

Because I put everything up for free in November, as I usually do during Nanowrimo, none of these are currently eligible for a five days of freebie deal.  When they are, I'll put them up and certainly let you know!

The Odon Ata series was formerly named the Blue Dragonfly series, however I discovered there was a children's publisher of that name and I did not want to cause confusion.

Right now I'm just thrilled I have an actual trilogy!

Ms.Eatsalot introduces a new character, Mrs. Brown.  She is a senior citizen who has traveled the world and collected a postcard from every place and event she's seen.  Her home is wallpapered in those postcards!  While Tom is helping Mrs. Brown out around the yard and garden he is introduced to an immense toad that Mrs. Brown calls Ms. Eatsalot.  I wonder if Mr. Odon Ata has ever been a toad?  Hmmm...


Summer Foovay

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Thank You Note To A Theif

Burglar clip art Not often one says thank you to a thief.  But I want to thank the person who stole our little Mifi from my husbands hospital room a couple of weeks ago.

Yeah, we had to go a couple of weeks without Internet.  It wasn't pleasant or pretty.  My husband is retired and still recovering from serious illness and pretty much spends most of his day watching TV, movies, playing games, and all of that on the Internet.  Because I don't like to leave him alone for any period of time, or not be at his beck and call if he needs me, I work from home - on the Internet.  I both do little jobs at the Mechanical Turk, and I write and publish and therefore have to promote constantly my little books because I don't have an advertising budget yet.  So you put a hitch in our getalong, that's for sure.

We have had worse weeks in the last year or so. I read some real live hard copy books I had picked up free or cheap, did some writing and editing on my computer, and we both watched DVDs and played games that don't require Internet. I also walked up to this place or that and used a little public wifi to work at the Turk and do a minimum of business and keeping in touch.

The first day I did that, hubby walked up with me and contacted the Internet provider to report the theft and have the service shut down.  Mainly I wanted to make sure if you were frantically uploading or downloading child porn or something that we ruined your fun, and made it clear it was not us doing it.

And then he went off researching some way that we could get a better internet connection.  I know I wrote earlier, kind of laughingly but it's true, about how I needed a car to get good Internet.  The problem is our house is on wheels and we do move it every other day to take him to dialysis and doctors and hospital and so on. We had pretty much given up on finding a solution until you stole our modem out of my husband's hospital room. My dear brilliant husband started with our idea that maybe a satellite provider could put the dish in the yard - not on the RV - and thus conquer the moving vehicle issue.  He did, in fact, find a provider who had a solution.

Forgive me for not going into detail, but as you can see, we have had quite a time here in Las Cruces, with people stealing anything that isn't nailed down.  And if they can pry it up, it ain't nailed down. I don't want to invite anyone over to steal my new Internet, eh?

It is more expensive, but I am hoping that the upside will be I will have a more dependable and faster connection and thus I will be able to do a lot more work and earn enough to make up the difference.  We had to wait a couple weeks for installation.  We survived.

Then - as if that wasn't great enough - our former wifi providers contacted us and asked if, as long time customers, we would like a one time free replacement of the portable wifi modem!  Yes, yes we would.

So, you see, we now have better, faster, more dependable Internet when we are home - enabling me to do more work and earn a bit more money.  And we are going to soon have our portable wifi back as well - enabling my husband to have wifi when he is in the dialysis clinic, or at a doctors, or in the hospital (although we will be a lot more careful about letting people know about how we do it.  Too bad, my husband is always ready to tell people how we have nice, inexpensive, go anywhere wifi and help them to get it for themselves.  He didn't actually mean for you to help yourself to OUR modem).  I'll also be able to go back to working on that wifi while he is in dialysis.

Thank you, thief.  You got a day or so of free Internet before my husband was well enough to get to a public wifi hotspot.   And now we have much better Internet.  Thank you!

By the way - that wifi you stole costs about $10 to $15 a month, and you can buy a modem for under $100 on eBay.  I mean, you work in a hospital, so if you need Internet that desperately, I am thinking you could probably afford to have your very own wifi, too. We manage it on disability which is probably less than half of what you earn.

Or, keep stealing from the patients and their families.  In the long run, that will probably end up costing you more.  I doubt you believe it now - but you will eventually.

Karma works,


Summer Foovay

Living on the down low

If you are one of the few brave souls who have been with me for lo these many years of blogging and writing and webpage designing, wow, I l...