Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Olive Oil Books with Old Mediterranean Charm Attract Readers (Again)

By Cal Orey
Have you read The Healing Powers of Olive Oil? 

News: Today, I was told the 1st ed. mass market is going back to press, more copies distributed in Walmart stores, some grocery chains, and other non-book outlets. Also available: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, IndieBound, Bookish.com, Target. 
And...the NEW, NEW, NEW 2nd ed. upcoming December 30, 2014! Mass Market 2016.  This book includes lively and intimate anecdotes from yesteryear and present-day, new health perks, more oils, must-have easy and sophisticated recipes that'll make you hungry, and more old Mediterranean charm. I inserted my heart and soul plus sweat and tears into each and every page. 
It's odd. But tomorrow I'm whipping up a cool chocolate mousse. I found this blog post below, same time of year, same thoughts about tourists and thinking autumn. Some things change, some things stay the same but with re-dos or twists that are incredible. 
And today, I'm still planning an overdue trip with a Mediterranean spin.  Many times I almost clicked my mouse to book a flight to Montreal, Quebec. I'm close. Looking for the best time, best deal and getting the nerve to leave my fur kids. Actually, this is more of a challenge than dealing with turbulence anxiety.

It's Summer--Time for Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

Living in a tourist town has its ups and downs. Personally, I am an autumn gal and my mantra is "fall, fall, fall." I have been writing articles for mags getting ready for the season of gray skies, leaves changing colors, cooler air, crackling fires, warm sweaters and jeans, cozy comforters, and baking food. I know my choice of seasons will come again. But now it's time to chill and go with the flow of it all. Summer has arrived...

And that means it's time for less clothes, gardening, windows open--night and day--homemade lemonade and iced tea, seasonal fruits and vegetables, lighter eating--and cold, creamy ice cream. Chocolate is the flavor of flavors, naturally.
So, while I--Ms. Introvert--gets into the swim of seasonal change--tourist overload, no indoor spa pool/hot tub, noise with a capital N, warmer temperatures, crowded roads, the beaches and stores filled with kids 'n' parents--I crave feel-good chocolate to make it all feel better.  Here is a recipe from my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010).

* * *
Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream

2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup Hershey's dark chocolate chips, melted
1 small orange in segments, banana, peach, or fruit of your choice
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
1/2 cup sugar
In a blender add all ingredients; blend until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker; follow manufacturer's directions. The olive oil is a substitute for unhealthy fat.

One more thing. I know tourists love Lake Tahoe and locals love tourists for self-preservation. But many residents do look forward to off season--me for one--because of its quietude. It is a challenge to write a book and stay focused while so many people are away on vacation or here playing in our resort town. But I can do this--with ice cream and swimming in a new, improved place (it's a secret) and did I say ice cream? Three little months. "Fall, fall, fall."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Life Goes On..Chilling Sierras 'n Fantasizing Canada

By Cal Orey

 Montreal had me at chocolate , bagels, and
gelato...Healing Powers of Chocolate author 
July is Hot, Hot, Hot. We survived 4th of July tourists and fireworks. Actually, it wasn't as intense as I anticipated. The fur childrens' fur was a bit ruffled but not too much. The Aussie won the sensitivity award. Moving on into another round of a heat wave is the next challenge in the Sierra. So far, no Angora Fire sequel but thunderstorm and flash flood advisories have been flashed on the TV screen warnings, here and there.

It's not that I haven't done these things before. Back in 1999, on July 12 when arriving at Lake Tahoe it was in the triple digits. Hot, hot, hot. En route in a rustic SUV of sorts up the winding roads to the mountains the air conditioning fizzled and my Brittany, Dylan "shaky pup" (he had idiopathic epilepsy at 5; after penning a book on treatments he was seizure free by 8); orange-and-white mix kitty Alex, an aloof cat with sweet attitude and Shakespeare (a veteran blue beta) all weathered the temperature. The fish did not survive.  I cried. I waited for a tow; the moving guys made it to Tahoe before we did. However, the two senior pets lived on for many years in the sierras. I give credit to the clean air. Truly, both animals got a new lease on life or so it seemed. 

Today, it's cooler but too hot without air conditioning...One ceiling fan, another box fan are fine for the living room. But I'm fantasizing about adopting a third fan to cool down the cabin. After all, I have another senior Brittany, Simon, and my 1 1/2 year-old Aussie Skye sports a dense coat... Not to forget the Siamese Zen who at 5 is probably the most comfortable.  But there's more to living than dealing with weather woes.
Last summer...he is 15 pounds bigger!

Moving On... The renewed passport arrived. It's my "ticket to paradise" as the old song lyrics go. I don't understand how my hair looks dark red when I see blonde and reddish brown.  Foul lighting. I look like someone else, no good for getting through borders. Speaking of crossing the line,  I am getting close to clicking my computer mouse to book the airline flight of choice. A Libra week...flip flop. Perhaps tossing a dart at the globe will suffice.

It seems like Montreal, Quebec is the chosen destination. I don't know if a book signing will take place at the large bookstore. Or not.  A while ago I thought: "The trip should be work-related." But wherever I go as long as it's not here my journey will add to life's adventures full of sensory data (hopefully, with a taste of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle) and be input in my articles, columns, and books.

Hello Montreal 
Unported license.
Attribution: Gjm130 at the English language Wikipedia

I seem to be floundering with British Columbia (been there, done that) and Montreal (been there, need re-do).  I will purchase one of those easy to read phrase books and wing French terms so I won't starve, get lost, or be left out in the cold. But it was romantic decades ago, in the Canadian woods at night cuddled up in a sleeping bag with my bold Lhaso Apso dog to keep me warm; eating peanut butter and table scraps for the canine. I fantasized about knocking on the front door of an estate I saw from a distance. My line was, "I'm from California. Me and my dog are cold and hungry." It didn't seem right. I wish I spoke French. It could have been my gateway to house heaven.
Wish I could take my critters with

Ironically, those unforgettable roughing it on the road hardships are the things I endured in my early twenties and now cherish. I was traveling with a beloved dog. I suffered cultural shock. Nobody warned me that Quebec is a French speaking province, nor about the metric system, and chilly attitude in the air if you only speak English. But now I can do it. Almost there to clicking the mouse...starting to practice French, with an introduction from the online easy phrases (from languagehelpers.com/words/french/basics/html). Now it's time to do it right. I wish I could take my dogs. 

Yes, please/No, thank youOui, s'il vous plaît/Non, merciwee, seel voo play/nong, mair-see
PleaseS'il vous plaîtseel voo play
Thank youMerci (madame/monsieur)mair-see (mah-dahm/mer-syer)
You're welcomeIl n'y a pas de quoieel nyah pah der kwah
Here is/areVoici...vwah-see
Hello/Good morning/afternoonBonjour, (madame/monsieur)bong-zhoor, (mah-dahm/mer-syer)
Hello/Good eveningBonsoir (madame/monsieur)bong-swahr, (mah-dahm/mer-syer)
GoodbyeAu revoiroh rer-vwahr
Good nightBonne nuitbonn nwee
How are you?Comment allez-vous?kommahng tahlay voo
Very well, thanksTrès bien, mercitray byang mair-see
Excuse meExcusez-moiex-kewzay mwah
Do you speak English?Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?essker voo pahrlay ahng-glay
Can you help me?Est-ce que vous pouvez m'aider?essker voo poovay may-day
I don't understand.Je ne comprends pas.zher ner kong-prahng pah
I don't know.Je ne sais pas.zher ner say pah
Could you please write it downEst-ce que vous pouvez l'écrire?essker voo poovay lay-kreer
Leave me alone!Laissez-moi tranquille.lay-say mwah trahng-keel
Where is...?Où est...?oo ay
How much?Combien?kong-byang
How many?Combien?kong-byang
What's that?Qu'est-ce que c'est?kessker say
I'd like...Je voudrais...zher voodray
I want...Je veux...zher ver
I like it.Ça me plaît.sahm play
I don't like it.Ça ne me plaît pas.sah ner mer play pah
OK/Agreed.Ça va/d'accord.sah vah/dah-korr
That's fine.C'est bien.say byang

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Tourists Are Coming! The Tourists Are Coming!

By Cal Orey

It is July Fourth, a day of good food, festivities, and fireworks at Lake Tahoe. It's not that I don't like this holiday, but as an author-intuitive living at Lake Tahoe, it can be a challenge with seasonal tourists. (Enter party-goers, two and four-leggers, who invade stores, streets, beaches, pools, parks, and the neighborhoods) Simply put, I'd rather lose control and undergo a root canal or get my roots done. But hey, we're almost half way through this day, this year. There are ways to dodge the chaos, and after 15 years here, I've got it down to a fine art.  
* We do not have AC at Tahoe since the hot days only last two months out of the year. But we do have ceiling fans (above me), and another fan blowing air on my Aussie. It's cool. We are cool.
Knee swollen, from lifting heavy objects?

* Today, the weathered deck is freshly painted. The upside: It looks pristine as it dries. The downside: Early this a.m., instead of my swim (blame no pool on the tourists) I used my coffee physical energy on lifting heavy objects off the deck. End result:  I strained my knee. R.I.C.E. Ah, the pain...
Monday morning, knee water therapy
* Perhaps, the weight lifting injury was a message from the writer gods for me to sit down, ice my leg, and begin the queries (minor edits) for The Healing Powers of Olive Oil.
* As the hours pass, I will slowly but surely turn up the sounds: TV or music, shut most windows...It's called desensitizing my companion animals to the loud booms that will happen late tonight...
Zen slept through the blasts
* ...Simon and Zen get it. They were raised to deal. But sensitive Skye? It's his second 4th...He does not like the sound of the vacuum, hair dryer or water pik. I doubt he will enjoy the blast(s) tonight.  
* 10 PM, the film Non-Stop is turned up high...a nail biting movie that is more intense than the booms I hear outdoors. Not the best pick for those, like me, who are planning a flight-trip and prone to turbulence anxiety. But laid back Zen keeps me balanced.
* 11 PM...All is quiet. We survived the sounds of fireworks; sirens follow. I'd rather go to the dentist. Good boys. But uh, um, it's not over until Labor Day Weekend. No worries. We will just repeat rx tonight as needed.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Life on Hold...Thank You Mercury Retrograde

By Cal Orey

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...

It's about learning to dance in the rain.”

The serenity of Lake Tahoe is about to change

Welcome to the second Mercury Retrograde spell this year. It ends July 2.  I felt the "shadow" in the beginning of June And it comes back in October. Great. I can hardly wait. This time around I got slammed every which way, including delays to lack of communication, and it's not over. I'm counting the days--and simply reflecting on the absurdity of chaos. Less than one week and it's history.

A three week period in which the planet Mercury appears to be in backwards motion. during this time human beings experience many adverse effects, such as memory loss, loss of time, loss of items, loss of common sense. As for technology many unexpected glitches occur during this time, such as software crashes and emails getting lost --urban dictionary

Living in a Old Tahoe Style Cabin Has Its Ambiance
* * *

Let me count the ways how this pesky period  of planet Mercury and its wayward effects has affected me...
* The car accident--June 5, rear-ended by a 90-year-old woman driving on a suspended license.
* My on leash beloved pooch (in well-behaved mode) escaped a scary big bully dog attack last week at my fave beach.
I wish I had my black cat, a good omen
* Renewing my passport... Still waiting. Last time it arrived in two weeks. Now I'm told hold on for another three weeks.
* Trying to get the Healing Powers series in Canadian bookstores. It could happen or not...
* If the books don't get stocked in Quebec, I'm not sure if it's a sign I should detour my trip to another destination.  Another planet?
* Speaking of trips, due to confusion, thanks to Mercury, I have not pushed the button linked to the computer screen showing a fare to get to and from another country to book a flight as of yet.
* My home. Odd circumstances hint that I may be relocating or maybe it's just listening to the wrong people at the wrong time who don't really know if such is the case.
* Waiting for the insurance adjuster to come up with a fair offer linked to the accident that rudely affected my calm life and well-being.
* Book edits are in the works but I'm not working on them as of yet...I do sense they will arrive next week. This is probably a blessing.

And these are just a few of my favorite Murphy's Law happenings through the Retrograde. Not fun for Type A goal-oriented individual. "Chill"? What else can I do. But then, we have the sci-fi type Langoliers aka tourists coming up the hill for Independence Day kicking off the summer. Perhaps I should plan a getaway now to anywhere but here.

And so it goes. For those of you who don't believe in the Mercury Retrograde, I get it. I didn't believe either until all these things happened to me. Come October I will be prepared and in protective mode to avoid any delay, communication gone bad, computer crash or the unexpected.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Author Anticipates Novelty Coming...

By Cal Orey

Fantasizing about upcoming trip

As June wraps up, with the New Moon on the horizon, I find myself waiting for the outcome of where I go for a long overdue trip. It depends on a few things. For starters, friends and family note that I'm not going out of my comfort zone by revisiting Canada. "Why not fly to Europe?" Perhaps, one big obstacle is that we're talking seven hours versus threefold the time in an airplane. Sure, Spain or Ireland are still my back-up country plans...but I don't know if I can do a plane for 48 hours, let alone kenneling my fur kids even longer. Not a vacation.

Currently, online bookstores in Canada carry my Healing Powers series. My goal? I'm attempting the challenge to get the hard copy books into one of the big stores in Montreal. If this happens, I will see it as a neon sign that this is the place I will be visiting. And so I wait for Lady Fate.
Check out page 8

Speaking of waiting... My passport is due for delivery in the next week or a couple. I just discovered I need it to get back to the U.S. from Canada. I recall that now because when I was in my 20s I had no I.D. The authorities kept me, the hippie girl, captive for hours. Now all grown up, once I get my papers, I will book my flight--to wherever it will take me.  I contacted the shuttle bus people; they actually come to your home! And, I alerted the pet kennel and my vet. While I don't love the idea of leaving my companion animals behind (I usually take my dogs and cat) I will have peace of mind.

UNVEILING OF NEW BOOK  I sensed the new 2015 book catalog would be released any day. It happened. On page 8, The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, Revised and Updated graces the page. The book is in the final stages of production. And this gives me something to look forward to for the fall and winter--along with a trip, a gift to me for my birthday.

So, I am in waiting mode: I anticipate a renewed passport, getting my Healing Powers series in a Canadian bookstore outside of the U.S. (the books have been translated in more than a dozen languages), booking  a flight, the proofing and release of my new book, fall and winter. It's a lot to look forward to but for now, I will chill and let the universe take care of it all. Will it be Quebec? British Columbia? Barcelona? Hotel ads pop up every day on my computer flaunting Montreal. Time will tell. But the airport shuttle guy wants me to book now...How can I do that when I'm not sure where I am going?  We wait.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Going to Europe or...Savoring Montreal, Quebec?

By Cal Orey
A few weeks ago, I began planning a much wanted trip to Europe. Getting my passport renewed was a doable challenge. It's in the works and should arrive within a few weeks. Next on the list was to book a flight to Rome, Italy. But then things changed... 

I did not know flying abroad would take more than a day. Flight times range from 21 hours to 31 hours. Going the distance via coach? Ugh. Who in the real world could or would do it? I'd feel like a sardine among hundreds. Team that with potential turbulence, no sleep, flight food, and jet lag. It's enough to make me stay home, go swimming, hot tub, and take the two boys--my beloved canines around the Lake or to San Francisco for diversity, pubs, culture and more.  But hold the phone. Montreal, Quebec could be almost-almost be like a little Europe!

Nah, if I stay home I'll always have regrets. But that doesn't mean I can't change my original plans. Sure, Dublin, Ireland is on the wish list but we're talking 17 hour and more flights and two layovers. Barcelona, Spain is also alluring if I didn't have to fly to get there. So, I got the idea to go back to Quebec. Decades ago I hitchhiked to the city and was hit by cultural shock. Nobody warned me that it was a French speaking province. The metric system was foreign to me. I escaped to Ontario which is more Americanized and I felt almost at home. I vowed to return to Montreal when I became an author...

So, here I am. With my 2nd edition of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil due out at the end of the year, the series working for me like good kids all grown up. I'm almost ready to click my mouse and book the flight to Quebec.  Twice but I was saved by a psychic network caller's phone ring. We're talking 7 hours to get there, awesome hotels, great architecture, good eats, and a taste of Europe. Well, today my vote is for Quebec...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Tribute to My Father--a Dog Man with Heart

By Cal Orey

The 20th century, a happy time for dad and mom
Today is Father's Day. Sure, my dad is in Parent Heaven, along with my mom, the love of his life, but that doesn't mean I'm fatherless. Jack is in my mind and heart--his spirit is around me despite the body is gone.
My dad taught me to be competitive, a trait required for authors

We had a love-hate relationship. We didn't see eye to eye on many things: politics, religion, and risk-taking. For instance, he was Protestant, I was baptized and confirmed Catholic. He was Republican, I was Democrat.  He wanted me to be a working dental assistant--not an author. He told me to write on weekends and get a "real" job for security. It was my mom that said, "You can always be a secretary, go to school and be a writer." And I did just that. But I see now my dad wanted me to be comfortable and not suffer from the ups and downs endured by authors in the writing world.

Moving on to the feel-good pleasures I will always be thankful to my father. Dad taught me how to swim and how swimming is a great exercise and way to chill.  As a little girl I remember going to a club in south San Jose with two huge pools, swim club to compete, a soothing Los Gatos lodge where we'd swim and sun all day. And now, I swim every other day at a resort pool and other spots year round. I give sincere thanks to him for this exercise for the mind, body, and spirit.

I love my father for teaching the healing powers of swimming

I have my dad's red hair, brown eyes
And that leads me to the wide wonderful world of dogs. Canines are another link to me and my dad. He was the one that got us a Boxer...a Dalmatian, Norwegian Elkhound, and Llasa Apso. I loved each one of these dogs. In fact, my bond with the dog followed me in my travels hitchhiking across America, Canada, and Mexico. Each day, now in the present, when I awake to my Brittany and Aussie, it's a link to my father--a dog man like authors John Steinbeck, Jack London,  and cartoonist Charles Schulz, three dog men (who reminded me of dad in many ways with their characteristics) whom I've written about in books and articles.

Moving on to men. My father picked up on my independent nature and feisty, masculine personality. I am outspoken and do not like to be told what to do. He actually forecasted that I wouldn't marry and the disease that took his life to another place. (Born on October 20,  he a Libra/Scorpio cuspy, was an intuitive, like me.) While I have endured three long-term loves I find myself balanced when alone (my father preferred a mate) but flanked by loyal companion animals.

Trees, water, a dog like our Norwegian Elkhound
My dad was creative. He landscaped our frontyard and  backyard complete with a patio. Both areas were like an oasis to me as a kid. Trees in the suburbs were probably the beginning of my love for the mountains... When I grew up I gravitated to forests--ended up living in Santa Cruz mountains and the Sierra, Lake Tahoe. Thank you, Dad...
Where I grew up, trees, cozy burbs

My sibling loves dogs, water, trees--like my dad
Sunday morning. I am alone. I am amid two dogs and a cat. I am a working author.  I have these things to thank my father for and one more...my sibling. I know my dad and brother developed a close bond; sometimes sibling rivalry existed. But now, my brother and I are best friends. He's like my surrogate dad...and he, too, loves dogs, swimming, trees. So I've come full circle. Thank you Dad. Happy Father's Day. We love you now and always. I hope they have golf courses, infinity swimming pools, and dogs in heaven.