Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hello Memorial Day Weekend, The Invaders Are Here

By Cal Orey

Today is Saturday, the first day of the three day holiday weekend. Living at Lake Tahoe reclusive locals, like myself, are spoiled during the weekdays and off season. During these times the resort swimming pool/hot tub is quiet, casinos are empty, grocery stores are vacant, our movie theater is full of empty chairs, and walking the dogs is easy breezy--no surprise attacks from wayward tourists' off leash canines. But the next few days, no such luck.  I predicted and planned for the upheaval. 
As a sensitive intuitive I knew the quiet neighborhood would be a bit more busy--nothing like Fourth of July--but a distraction. Why do neighbors turn on flood lights? Is it to keep the bears or burglars out of the way? I think it would make it easier for these creatures to find the path to treasures.
I recall years ago a friend of mine who lived in Santa Cruz and strongly complained about roller skating with her dog during tourist season. I get it now.  Other dogs would distract to canine and the potential fall for her took the fun out of it all. 
Tourists with their off leash dogs and carefree, upbeat attitude bring a busy buzz that just isn't calming. On the upside, after 15 years, I know how to deal with the challenges...
1) Go to the grocery store and stock up as you would before a natural disaster
2) Stay clear from the swimming pool (this is a pesky one; I love my swims)
At a book signing, in cafe after signing books, 
dishing on superfoods

Down to 1 "replacement" pleco--but happy fish

If working on a book, work a lot before the invaders land--be ahead so if a day off is a must due to the noise factor--no worries. Take a holiday and go with the flow. Live in the moment like the dogs and cat...enjoy cooking, baking, cleaning and getting ready to go back to peace and quiet in a few days. Know that this too shall pass. 

I, too, have been a tourist but I am sensitive and quiet (well, the time we took the dog and allowed him to swim in the hotel pool; and he barked at every door closing). Mantra: Tuesday. The flood lights are bothersome. I didn't want to go off the hill, so rather than install black out curtains for the blinds, I tried putting artsy prints and tall plants around/in the window sills. It may work. Or not. Seventy percent. It looked like a jungle.

I was a tourist, too

Note to self: Get black out curtains before summer arrive for sanity's sake. 

The vacation-business trips I took in March and September? No need to wait till I am an old woman to remember the good times during the bad times of flood light horrors... Turn off the light, please. The bears were here first. Savoring the photos around the cabin to pass the time... and wish I was a tourist, anywhere but here with light all around me.

Speaking of light, the season of summer is nearing and I feel it. The good thing, the season is short in the mountains and then autumn arrives--my favorite time of year. Fantasies of returning to Canada (Ontario, perhaps) or somewhere northbound are on my mind.  For now, it's time to chill and face warmer days, more tourists until the town is quiet and goes back to its normalcy and quietude. UPDATE: Fell asleep after working so hard to cover the windows...felt like Al Pacino's character in Alaska-based "Insomnia." Changed mantra: Black out shades ASAP. Done.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Honey Bee is 1 of Nature's Greatest Gifts

Honey Bees: Friend or Foe?
 Un-BEE-lievable Man’s Best Friend

Did You Know?  The honey bee (apis mellifera) is one of nature’s greatest gifts.

The Key Pollinators… “The honey bee pollinates about one-third of the food we eat,” says Reno-based agriculturists-beekeeper Leonard Joy of Joy’s Honey Ranch. The honey bee—an insect—pollinates more than 90 crops, including apples, blueberries, citrus fruit, and nuts. Simply put, honey bee colonies (50,000 to 60,000 per hive that include workers, drones, and one queen) are vital to our planet.
Available at all fine bookstores (click)
            “Honey bees are woven into our food chain. Pet foods containing animal proteins rely partly on bees for pollination of pasture plants to complete the circle of life,” explains Hidden Valley Honey’s beekeeper Chris Foster of Reno. “Without honey bees, the whole food chain would be diminished in diversity and quantity for both us and our pets.”

… And Honey Makers: Beekeepers such as Joy, Foster and Dan Baily of Sparks know that honey bees provide another service; they produce honey. Known as “nectar of the gods,” honey has been used for its medicinal powers for 5000 years. Local beekeepers such as the Bailys sell honey to locals and retail outlets for use in treating allergies. It’s believed that raw local honey contains pollen that cause allergies—repeated us might help to build up immunity to the annoying ailment. You’ll find local honey (including comb honey, beeswax, candles, and soap) around town and at farmers’ markets.


Swarming in Your Home: Beekeepers (who tend to honey bees in layered wooden boxes) such as the Baileys will tell you that a honey bee’s instinct is to nest. They will seek a hole inside or outside a house or building—often creating a nuisance.

Stinging People and Pets: Although honey bees are gentle, if provoked, their survival instinct to protect their queen will kick in and they might strike. Some pets can have mild symptoms to a sting, just as humans can. If anaphylaxis (a severe allergic response) occurs, this can be life-threatening. Contact your doctor or vet ASAP.

Bottom line: Do not attempt to get rid of bees by yourself. Call a beekeeper to help you safely remove swarms (10,000 to 15,000 bees) or colonies.

            Meanwhile, mankind is buzzing about Colony Collapse Disorder—a die-off of honey bees with an unknown cause. As researcher around the globe probe the mystery of the alarming decline, beekeepers work to keep the beloved honey bee—nature’s workhorse—alive and well.

Sweet Honey Trivia

A hive of bees fly more than 55,000 miles to bring you one pound of honey.
Honey bees must tap about two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
Each honey bee has four wings.
Honey bees communicate by “dancing.”
There are an estimated 150,000 hobby beekeepers in the U.S.
(Source: National Honey Board)

Staying Healthy with 
My Pooch—My Pal

Like a wayward honey bee spreading its wings and returning to its colony, I headed home with my dog Stone Fox, to Northern California. But we got sidetracked. On the way we ended up in Fresno, Central California—a honey bee haven. I was a nanny. My job was to tend to two kids and giant, cumbersome Saint Bernard. It was a semi-rural neighborhood in the hot summertime. On my days off I’d flee on a 10-speed bicycle. My dog and I moved wild and free through the orange groves—a place where honey bees worked. I picked up oranges under the fruit trees and took them home to use the fruits of my labor.
            In the kitchen, as usual, I found myself like a worker in its hive. Clad in blue-jean overalls, barefoot, and golden brown from the sun, I’d play road songs, such as “Ventura Highway” and “Born to Be Wild,” and do a honey bee waggle dance—but I was all alone. I created fresh orange juice Popsicles sweetened with a bit of local fresh orange blossom honey—used in my home remedies. The honey helped soothe dry skin, insect bites, PMS, and sunburn—all ailments I endured while enduring Central California, a place I didn’t feel was home.

(Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Honey published by Kensington, 2011.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Woman's Best Friend (for Dog Lover's Only)


"A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, 

educated or illiterate, clever or dull. 

Give him your heart and he will give you his.”

― John GroganMarley and Me

Like a wayward honey bee in flight, in early fall I traveled through the New England states and two provinces—Quebec and Ontario—with my Lhasa apso/Maltese, Tiger. He was sweet and bold. I had rescued the white shaggy-haired pooch in Washington State, where blackberry honey is popular. It was this Bohemian lifestyle—hitching rides with my dog and eating a simple, natural diet (including honey when I could afford it)—that kept me lean and healthy.

Two Wanderlusts, for Richer or Poorer

My Aussie that makes me lighten up
          With my white fluffy, fun-loving pooch in tow I headed toward Canada. (I had to smuggle him into the country because I didn’t have paperwork that was required.) Once we crossed the border, the closer to the city we got, the more disoriented I felt, not accustomed to being like a honey bee in a swarm. The locals spoke fluent French. (I did not.)  The street signs were foreign and the metric system on food labels confused me. I was lost, cold in the mornings and nights, but I had my warmhearted dog that was American.

          One night my canine companion and I spent the night in a forest off the main road. We snuggled up in my sleeping bag. Another creature comfort I enjoyed was the foods I guarded stuffed in my backpack: fresh fruit, nuts, whole-wheat bread, peanut butter—and a jar of clover honey. It was a reality TV show real-life moment when I used my finger to scoop out the creamy butter and gooey honey. And yes, I shared a bit of honey, butter and bread with Tiger (today reminding me of Cerberus, the three-headed dog who was fed a honey cake).

          Tiger and I had cuddled and slept in the backyard of an estate on the outskirts of Quebec, on beaches in Mississippi to the Florida Keys, on an Indian reservation in Arizona, in a cornfield in Kansas, and in the back of a pickup truck under the stars at a motel in Tennessee. From rest stops to national parks, this dog and I were inseparable, like bees and their beekeeper. Tiger was my protector and sounding board. It was comfort foods, honey, peanut butter, and whole-grain crackers from the United States, that didn’t spoil, kept me energized—and I shared with my best friend.

          And while I didn’t know it then, later on as a health author I learned I was eating foods of the Mediterranean diet—heart-healthy honey and peanut butter (in moderation) with a dog that provided heart health benefits, too, by keeping my blood pressure down during stressful and lonely times. 
12 year bond with Brittany Simon

Wheel of Misfortune, Leaving Las Vegas

I faced sweet and bitter experiences on my road travels, like a honey bee in flight; I was stricken by untimely challenges. On afternoon in Las Vegas, Tiger and I were in front of Lady Luck Casino. It was my idea to leave my long-haired partner in the shade with water at the doorstep of the entry way while I tried to hitch a safe ride back home to California. As I was walking inside, an older man called out to me, “Nice dog!" I got an uneasy vibe but tuned it out.

Fifteen minutes later, I left the casino. My beloved companion was MIA. Shocked and disoriented like a beekeeper with stolen bee colonies, I stood outside in the hot sun. I tried to fight back the tears. After a long search through nondescript streets and talking to people with unknown faces--there was no rescue. My canine buddy was gone. I cried all night long.

At dawn, at a cafĂ© I ordered a cinnamon roll, tea, and honey. I was like a devoted beekeeper without his bees. I was alone. It was one of the worst experiences I endured on the road. And flashbacks of our travels from coast to coast haunted me then but now are cherished memories of a dog and a girl—an amazing human-animal bond. I left a photo of me, the hippie girl with her dog in Ontario, on the bulletin board at the local animal shelter in Vegas. Through all the pain and loss, I moved on.
Dogs have emotions; took Simon a while to get over
loss of his Brittany sidekick and give into Skye

A few months later, fate paid me a visit. A black Labrador pup with soulful brown eyes came into my life on the road. We rescued each other at Ocean Beach, San Diego. We bonded instantly like a beekeeper with new queens, and Stone Fox and I, California Butterfly, continued on our journey together.

(Excerpt from The Healing Powersof Honey, published by Kensington).

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unthinkable Earth Changes: Yellowstone and San Andreas Fault

I Can Feel the Earth Move…


Imagine this chilling scenario: Superpower Russia calls for Moscow to launch a nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and the San Andreas Fault knowing that the end result would be deadly consequences in America. So, this recent threat made by a Russian analyst created a ruckus in the media because we know attacks on the Yellowstone supervolcano and granddaddy fault line would be catastrophic. Read on to find out how nuking iconic regions could affect you.

Strike 1: San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault and Salton Sea--Deadly Link
For starters, the San Andreas Fault (SAF)—the culprit of the 1906 is a vulnerable fault line that runs from Northern California to Southern California is likely to ignite another great quake without the help of superpowers at war. Geologists and seismologists all know too well that the Golden State is overdue for a major to great quake. Researchers monitor stress that is building up and will be released within the next 30 years—most likely sooner.

April 30, widely felt shallow minor eq
Greater LA, near Long Beach--near

same fault of 1933 LB quake
Despite Russian nuke chat about the SAF, California is moving horizontally northwest toward Alaska as it slides past central and eastern California. The dividing point is the San Andreas Fault system, which extends from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north. This 800-mile long fault is the boundary between the Pacific plate and the Northern plate. The Pacific plate is moving to the northwest with respect to the Northern American plate at about two inches each year. But note, while people joke about California falling into the sea, this isn’t likely to happen.
Instead, a more realistic happening is when the built-up pressure is released on the SAF, landslides, tsunamis, collapsed infrastructure, and fires will happen as did in 1989, after the major Loma Prieta aka World Series earthquake hit near the San Andreas Fault. And if major bridges and freeways collapse in the Golden State this would have a ripple effect on United States economy. And it doesn’t stop there…

Strike 2: Yellowstone Caldera
So what exactly is the threat of Yellowstone National Park if it is nuked? Keep in mind, it has had signs of past volcanism and super tremors. In fact, in 2002 after Alaska was rocked by a 7.9 earthquake, hundreds of quakes followed in less than a day.  Scientists believe events, like earthquakes and volcanoes, can be linked by a trigger effect. On the big screen, the film “2012” depicts a great Southern California earthquake happens first while strange happenings are already ongoing at Yellowstone, which blows right after the shocking shaker. In real life this scenario doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
Worse, some geologists believe if a supervolcano happens it will not be another mega-eruption of mid-Pleistocene time. However, if and if Yellowstone blows we can expect grave consequences. Anyone living in the immediate region would be buried in ash and burned by fire and life would cease. As the ash fallout spreads, from state to state, it would affect airline flights, animal food and crops, and result in a volcanic winter—no sun and temperatures would drop drastically. The United States as we know it would be gravely affected for a long time.

Strike 3: War Games
Indeed, California is overdue for a major earthquake and Yellowstone caldera could erupt again. Neither of these regions needs a nuclear nudge with a nuclear strike, since Mother Nature and history repeats can be cruel, too.  It’s not about “if” the San Andreas will rupture or Yellowstone will blow, it’s when it will happen. And no one knows the answer.
So, the question remains: Will Russia nuke the SAF and Yellowstone? If so, it is likely the U.S. would strike back. Remember the film “War Games”? Nobody wins in a nuclear war. The bottom line: an attack on these two vulnerable regions in our country is a ridiculous scare tactic that scares.

Here Comes the San Andreas Shocker Film
On May 29 a new movie will be released. The trailer shows a great earthquake occurs south of San Francisco. We hear the words that the consequences will be felt around the nation as scenes of disaster and chaos spread like wildfire. The visual effects are eye-opening to captivate movie goers. Ironically, the great astrologer Nostradamus suggested a great earthquake may happen between April 21 and May 21, but the year is not noted.
Victor Baines, an expert of Nostradamus’ quatrains, decodes one: “The Sun 20 degrees of Taurus” suggests May 10, the 20th day of the sun sign of Taurus: “A mighty trembling of the earth” could be a mighty earthquake, polar shift, or natural disaster… “the great theater” may be an allusion to the old Roman theaters in Rome, or perhaps a reference to a military theater. This event, possibly the eruption of volcanoes combined with earthquakes, “darkens and troubles the air and sky and land.” Could nuclear blasts be a remote possibility here?  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

End of April Changes from Author's POV

By Cal Orey
It is a Saturday morning April 25. Last month this date I was in Vancouver, British Columbia. Yesterday, a 6.1 powerful earthquake struck offshore Canada and plenty of aftershocks were discussed in the news. I sensed this could happen and had forecasted that it would do just that. I dodged the shaker but it doesn't mean West Coast earthquakes in the future linked to the Cascadia Subduction Zone or SAF (as I noted on Coast to Coast AM) aren't in the picture...
City view, aquarium, tea rooms, swimming
in Vancouver, CA March 22-25

5. On the Fringe
  During wacky weather and climate chaos around the globe, it’s almost guaranteed strange happenings will occur in strange places that will be surprising. A dormant volcano may erupt; more tornadoes in non-twister states may make the news. An earthquake swarm in the Midwest or California could end up being a strong shaker making international news.  A tsunami on the West Coast—whether it is from Alaska, or Southern California, or even in the Cascadia Subduction Zone from British Columbia, Canada to Northern California may happen as it has before in past history. 
--excerpt Oracle 20/20 Magazine, Earth Changes article Jan. 2015

MORE EARTHQUAKES, I FORECASTED TAURUS: CHINA-INDIA BORDER...Today I, like others, awoke to the AOL homepage sobering headline. A great deadly earthquake hit Nepal. More than 1000 people are dead due to the natural disaster. Earthquake sensitives were sensing shaking and still are sensing California and/or the West Coast may be next in line. I'm one of those people who others ignore or ridicule. 

A Mixed Bag of Predictions for 2015: 
1. Earthquakes
* The West Coast did experience a few notable shakers but 2015 may deliver even stronger earthquakes. A 7.0 magnitude (or larger) is likely to strike the San Andreas Fault either in the San Francisco Bay Area or Southern California (near water, including the Pacific Ocean or Salton Sea).
 * Europe may be rocked by an extremely shallow and destructive great earthquake in Italy, Greece or Turkey.
* The Indian Ocean and/or an Asian country (Japan or China) may be challenged by earthquake and potential tsunami(s). 
--excerpt Oracle 20/20 Magazine, Earth Changes article Jan. 2015

April 25 snow in the sierras
WACKY WEATHER: Last night I made a big fire in the big old rock fireplace. A bit odd to do this in the last week of April but not so strange at Lake Tahoe.

 This a.m. I also awoke to snow-covered pine trees and ground. It will melt fast. Sadly, the snowfall and rain will do little to remedy our severe California drought. The thought of wildfire season year-round is troublesome. Been there, done that. What can we do? A drought is a drought and we've endured it for three years. Being on guard and prepared is the drill just like for earthquakes...
Will escape working tea people to play

SHAKERS...In two weeks I'm booked to fly to Long Beach. Still on the fence if I'm going or staying put in the sierras. I suppose if it's a possible California earthquake that is keeping me from going it is a bit absurd. A quake could happen in Northern California, too--SF Bay Area or Tahoe. Back in December when a tree fell on the cabin--nothing happened to me.  When your expiration date is up, it's up. So going with the flow is probably this best thing to do.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Last Sunday I lost Marley, my beloved happy pleco. I still miss the fish-human bond. He made me happy. The next day, I replaced him with two new bottom feeders. This duo seem attached (related or perhaps because they are from the same aquarium); I'm keeping distance and guarding my heart. And speaking of God's creatures, I am already feeling that void if I go to Southern California I'll be leaving the cat and two dogs-- my boys. It's likely more challenging for me than them but I'm sure we all will feel the change and void. So far, these nocturnal fish seem to be doing fine with the goldfish. No names until I know they're here for the long term.

WORKING ON VINEGAR, 3RD ED.: So, I've been updating The Healing Powers of Vinegar
In the kitchen baking and cooking; inputting new, improved vinegary recipes is what I've been doing throughout the weeks. I perfected a variety of scones and vinegar(s) played a role for a drop scone like I enjoyed in British Columbia.  
And so it goes. I have dozens of tea types (in my pantry and study closet) to sip and savor in the weeks to come. Wondering if I'll keep my reservation and go to the World Tea Expo. Meanwhile, it's time to make a cup of tea, shower, dress, go to the store, walk the dogs, and ignore the snow. It'll melt. After all, it's Spring. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mother's Day Giveaway: Chocolate, Honey, Healing Powers Series!

By Cal Orey

Here’s a chance to make Mom or yourself 
wink emoticon feel extra special. Enter our Ultimate Indulgence giveaway and win premium sourced honey, Vosges Haut-Chocolat products and the definitive book about chocolate, written by healthy lifestyle expert, Cal Orey. Enter here!

* You'll find the Giveaway sign up links below. Click your mouse and enter! at Honey Ridge Farms or Vosges. Ditto for Cal Orey when 
entering for the Bonus Bonanza! Good luck! There's going to be 1 lucky winner!

I'm really excited about this special giveaway! New honey creme flavors from Honey Ridge Farms, gorgeous chocolates from Vosges Haut-Chocolat and another single ingredient book from healthy lifestyle author Cal Orey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate. Best luck to my family and friends. And, please share with others!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Californian Ponders Life in the Shaky State

By Cal Orey

Late fall at book signing, Late spring convention
Today is Thursday in the California sierras and I am counting my workaday blessings complete with the happenings of the day.  I learned that you don't always get what you want when you want it, as the classic Stones' song goes, but you do get what you need--sooner or later.  That includes book projects, flight plans, recipes, dogs of your dreams, or dodging a West Coast megaquake on a trip and living to tell the tale.

 Back in the water for April-May

Going Swimming:... At last, I joined the resort for another month at one of Lake Tahoe's resorts. The pool and hot tub at last were perfect temperature and both were all mine during off season, a time when tourists are AWOL and the town is quiet. Bliss as it was two weeks ago when I was loving life in Vancouver, British Columbia, I do prefer to swim outdoors but an indoor pool works. 
Since I was a kid and my dad taught me to swim, I've always loved water. Lakes, rivers, oceans, and pools. Not to forget rain, thunderstorms, and fog--something I haven't seen for a long time but welcomed it in Seattle.  It's zen-like.
My firstborn is getting a makeover

Vinegar, 3rd Edition:... I've been working on The Healing Powers of Vinegar and today a breakthrough happened. The new and improved recipes dilemma has been solved. 
Into the kitchen 
What's more, not only will I be including more of my own tried and true faves, but other gems came through from the creative cooks who I admire.  It was a good day for putting together a book that I penned back in 1999 and surprisingly ended up being popular around the globe. 

Coast to Coast AM:... Last night I was a News Segment Guest on the live radio show. Topic matter was to give my words on if a supervolcano is ready to blow, as European scientists seem to believe. I tuned into my gut (I'm no volcano expert) and it was an easy read. Megaquake first, most likely on the West Coast...then a trigger effect could happen and if the Yellowstone caldera erupts--game over. 
I don't sense this is going to happen today or tomorrow. But anyone who lives on shaky ground or the Ring of Fire understands these two regions are overdue for Earth changes. Sure, I know my scenario is one that was used in the doomsday film 2012 but some grounded scientists do believe in the trigger effect, dtoo, when it comes to quakes and volcanoes. I noted back in 2002, after Alaska was hit by an almost great quake, less than 24 hours later, Yellowstone was slammed with 200 tremors. Can you say "link"? UPDATE: April 17, a 6.5-6.8 hit Fiji region. Some quake sensitives believe our Golden State shakes after. 

Baking an Apple Pie:... Late in the afternoon after swimming, I cut Granny Smith apples. I'm talking a lot of green apples. I was on a mission to make a mile-high apple pie. I did it. Note to self: Do not cut into warm pie. Wait until it rests. One more recipe for the book. The fridge is stuffed with fresh vegetables, seasonal fruits, dried fruit, buttermilk, and yogurt because I'm going back into the kitchen to make more California-style superfood dishes infused with West Coast flair. And I've been sipped tea, lots of tea--all kinds while beginning the research for The Healing Powers of Tea.
Out in the field to mingle in Teaworld

Aussie turns 2 1/2 May 1 but
still is a pup to me
World Tea Expo:...  I am registered as an author. My hotel room and flight are booked. The boys have their place at the kennel but...something is bothering me. I'm doing the Libra flip flop. I want to go. I do. But part of me wants to stay home and play with my senior Brittany and fun-loving Aussie.

I confess the airline just called me back. There is a slim chance they will change the flight plan--if so, then it will be another sign to not go. Why exactly am I hesitant?
For one, the first airline I was booked with changed planes on me. Not good. I was rewarded with a 100 percent refund. Then, with the second, preferred airline I got all big aircraft and switched to LAX, which gave me peace of mind. But that's not all...

May 29,  San Andreas released
The saying "A tree could fall on you" finally came true
Blame it on San Andreas, the film due out in the month of May. And add the shallow, widely felt quakes that have been happening in Greater Lost Angeles. To make things more complicated, I booked my room on a high floor overlooking the harbor. I feel this is a bit odd. Did you know they have those tsunami signs on the Pacific Coast Hwy.? And TV doesn't help. Channel surfing the other night I stopped at "Why Planes Crash"; didn't need to watch the back to back episodes while nestled on the waterbed between my protective fur kids. 
And the tea people? Well, they're connecting with me as I sit in my safe cabin. (Forget the tree that fell on it in December; and the blackout.) I don't have to go south and play on the beach, right? Okay. This is what I vow to do. If the chosen airline sends me an e-mail claiming the flight plan has changed with smaller aircraft--I'm out. If not, I'll be in Long Beach as planned. I'll be the one with the helmet, orange life jacket, swimming suit, and sunburn.