Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pesto Pasta is a Summertime Superfood!

By Cal Orey

Welcome to a Pesto Pasta, a scrumptious summery hot (or cold) dish that has a history that goes back to the ancient Roman era. It is a green paste put together by mixing basil, garlic, salt, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and olive oil.  Pine nuts to walnuts have been included. Mint leaves as a garnish and even grape tomatoes served on pasta make it complete as a side dish or light meal.
This week I was talking with an acquaintance who said to me, “My move was a horrific experience! You have no clue.” I listened. I took a deep breath, biting my tongue so I wouldn’t snap back. Later, while munching on a dish of cold homemade Pesto Pasta I went back in time.
During the summer of 1999, I took the leap of faith, packed up my stuff including a senior dog and cat, and moved to the mountains. It was 105 degrees driving through Sacramento, the SUV’s AC fizzled, and I lost my dear fish Shakespeare. The moving men dumped my belongings on the deck at dusk to make it down the hill before dark. But I made the trek and embraced novelty.
Back to present-day, I realized the change forced me to be more self-reliant. As I finished the pasta I thought, “Gosh, years ago I’d buy the deli type.” And so it goes. Experiencing newness is good but getting there is well, spooky, kind of like making a dish you haven’t made before.  But once you dive in like swimming in a pool or lake, and just do it you may be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to do.
So, here is an extremely easy budget-friendly pesto pasta plate to create in the comfort of your home. It’s San Francisco Bay Area-inspired since I used to order it hot at my favorite Italian restaurant and cold at the grocery store deli.
DIY Pesto Pasta

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced 
Pepper and sea salt to taste 
Whole grain pasta, cooked (spaghetti or rotini, preferred)
½ cup Parmesan cheese 
Fresh mint or parsley sprigs
In a blender or food processor, chop and puree basil, garlic and olive oil. Blend well. Add spices, fold in tomatoes. Top ½ cup pesto on top of a serving of pasta. Toss with pasta or leave as is. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with mint or parsley. Makes 4. Serve with fresh French bread with European-style butter of olive oil. Sometimes almonds or walnuts are used instead of pine nuts. The flavor of pesto is different than tomato sauce. When I first tasted it (my godmother made it) I developed a love-hate relationship with green noodles. But as time passed, my palate grew up and the rest is history. Pairing juicy tomatoes, cheese with a nutty taste make it even more pleasing and something to write home about.  Don't forget the iced tea and lemon!
I’ll never forget the move to the Sierra, something that came to fruition since I was in my twenties, bit by bit, until I made it happen. Whether it’s a major move or changing your eating style and cooking up a dish you never thought you could do yourself—it’s real life. Go ahead hit the kitchen and get to know pesto pasta. You’ll be glad you did.

-- Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods--pre-order for Fall!) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Surprise Twist on Trail Mix for No-Cook Summertime Fun

By Cal Orey
Here comes the sun and summer. It’s a time to celebrate fun and no-cook foods. Grilling fish, poultry, and vegetables outdoors is popular but so is enjoying an abundance of fresh fruit (such as berries and melons) and vegetables (salads and corn  on the cob) and fun finger foods without a lot of fuss.
Enter trail mix and ice cream with a twist. Trail mix or “gorp” is a word not uncommon to hiking fans. This mix of nuts and dried fruit goes back to seventies. It was touted as a popular energy snack for hikers and health-conscious granola guys and gals, like me. Its wholesome ingredients can include dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. As the season is changing around the Lake, I’ve learned that by enjoying fun foods, like trail mix, can make summertime fun at work and play.
Last summer when I was traveling to Victoria, B.C., I’d munch on trail mix (the pricey kind you buy in a bag at the airport). Once in Canada I followed the plan to swim in the morning, savor the harbor and boating in the afternoon. One day when walking on the wharf, I was taking photos of a lone sea otter that made me feel welcome like I was in San Francisco. After the unique bond, I treated myself to an ice cream cone. Sitting down on a bench overlooking the water, I reached into my purse. A bag of trail mix fell out. I thought, “I’m going to sprinkle the nut and fruit mix on the ice cream for a nice crunch.” Not only was it a twisted treat, to this day the combination of trail mix and ice cream are two treats I like and take me back to that special day I loved. So here, go ahead and enjoy my Canada-inspired summer fun fare.
Summertime Trail Mix
¼ cup golden raisins or dried pineapple
¼ cup ginger (crystalized)
¼ cup cashews
¼ cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup banana chips
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup sweetened coconut or popped popcorn (optional)
In a plastic container, combine the dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, banana chips, and seeds. Serves 4. You can eat it by the handful as a snack or top it on granola or oatmeal for breakfast.
Trail Mix Ice Cream Cone
2 cups premium gelato or ice cream
4 ice cream cones (your choice of type, organic, preferably)
½ cup Summertime Trail Mix
Put ½ cup of ice cream into each cone. Top with trail mix. Or if you’d like, you can simply put the trail mix into the cone without ice cream. Serves 4.
This trail mix combination is ideal for warmer days. The ingredients in the mix are lighter than what I use in fall or winter. The superfoods boast a summer-ish slant. And the ice cream or gelato (chocolate chip or vanilla bean are super) are decadent and even good for you in moderation. So, as summer arrives go ahead and mix it up for the thrill of it whether you’re working or playing hard.
-- Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bundle Books--Healing Powers Series, #7 Superfoods Coming to You!

By Cal Orey
Bundle Up with 
Healing Powers Series
 this Summer
 (Vinegar, Olive Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea)
Before Superfoods is Ready this year!

Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?


Apples, leafy greens, shellfish, yogurt—even ice cream and pasta. The latest scientific studies reveal that many of the classic foods you’ve always loved are superfoods that can supercharge your health! Not only are they delicious, they’re affordable—plus these essential farm-to-table favorites can work with any diet plan, from the balanced Mediterranean Diet to the hunter-gatherer Paleo plan.

With over 50 recipes for both cooked and raw dishes, including smoothies and soups, a detox juice fast and a jump-start pounds-off diet, this down-to-earth guide will show you how to get healthy and stay healthy with body-friendly superfoods.

*Boost your immune system with citrus and nutrient-dense berries, including fresh, frozen, and dried. 

*Enjoy the healthy fats in eggs and nuts, including nut butters, to fight inflammation, slow the aging process, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

*Trade white sugar for antioxidant-rich sweeteners like maple syrup, the newest superfood!

*Create home remedies designed to ease anxiety, improve sleep, boost brainpower and enhance energy.

*Keep your home spotless for kids and pets using eco-friendly superfood-rich formulas. 

*Pamper your mind and body with the same food-based treatments that health spas use, including ingredients like seeds and seaweed. 

Now you can indulge in a Pesto Pizza or Berry Basil Smoothie, a Chicken Bone Broth or dark chocolate gelato, while chilling with an ancient-oats facial or relaxing in a warm, herb-scented bath. Infused with heartwarming stories and inspiring legends, The Healing Powers of Superfoods will take you to a world of wellness that starts at home with our favorite foods from Mother Nature—enjoyed in a new way with an exciting twist!
(Back cover excerpt from The Healing Powers of Superfoods, pre-orders at available fine bookstores everyone, including online)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Volcanoe(s), Earthquakes, is the West Coast Next Up?


Double Volcano Happenings
(Should You Be Nervous?)

* The Big Island is not in the Ring of Fire... the big horseshoe that surrounds the Pacific Coastlines

* Hawaii'a Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes are linked

Guatemala's Fuego volcano is located within the Ring of Fire


* The May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in WA was the most destructive in the history of the U.S.

Technically HI is in the Pacific Ocean but not in the
Ring of Fire
My Earth changes forecasts for this year included shaky ground and volcanic activity in the United States. I also pinpointed the state of Alaska and Yellowstone which may turn heads with unusual action creating alerts...and more. Well, more is happening right now, indeed. During the spring, Yellowstone captured scientists’ concern but so has the Big Island in Hawaii. Read on—discover if these two volcanoes are on the road to destruction and how it may affect you.

Super Tremors in Yellowstone
Earthquake and volcano gurus will tell you, Yellowstone National Park—America’s restless supervolcano  is due for another eruption. The power of a supervolcano, they say, is 1,000 times greater than a normal volcano. But Yellowstone, a geologic park, has shown past volcanism and ongoing seismic activity for years. In May, earthquakes and eruptions are creating a buzz about the question, “Will it blow?” After all, the park sits over an active volcano. And Steamboat Geyser has erupted three times which is puzzling scientists.
Monterey Bay Area is a target of faults
between the Pacific and North American plates. 
While a possibility of a great eruption could happen, late geologist Jim Berkland noted back in the early 21st century, it likely could experience renewed volcanic activity-which it is doing. However, he added, it “should not approach the mega-eruption of mid-Pleistocene time.” And I agree with the maverick scientist who predicted the major 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake four days before it rocked San Francisco and Northern California. But volcanic activity doesn’t stop in Yellowstone.


Hawaii’s Big Island Kilauea Volcano
On Friday evening, May 4, I received a phone call from my sibling. He said with a sound of excitement, “Evacuations are happening in Hawaii. The volcano erupted!” After all, we have family on the Big Island. When I logged onto the computer I was welcomed with a 6.9 earthquake rocked the island. Since it happened on land, there was no tsunami or casualties happened like the Loma Prieta shaker.
But as the volcano continued to erupt while tremors continued, mandatory evacuations took place 30 miles from Hilo. Two rural subdivisions, Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens are in danger because of volcanic bombs (fire), avalanches of hot rock, and lethal gases including carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. (On June 4, one interesting report puts the past and present-day Kilauea events and Hawaiian lifestyle  in perspective.)

Is Hawaii’s Volcanic Activity Unusual?
The fact is, Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island has spewed lava almost continuously for 35 years since 1983. And it has started acting out again and may not end soon. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world—erupting on and off for thousands of years. But the question remains, what’s going on?
Conservative geologists and volcanologists will tell you there are not enough details about why—but new magma (lava underground from below the volcano) got injected up into the volcanic mass structure. The consensus is that this region is not stable—and may fall into the Pacific Ocean one day.  Could it cause a tsunami on the West Coast? Experts will tell you there is only a five percent chance of this happening.  But there's more...

Are Yellowstone and Hawaii Volcanic Activity Linked?
Some scientists will tell you the present and future volcanic activity may be a trigger effect and caused by climate change. Centuries ago, past periods of loss of glaciers were followed by a spike in volcanic activity. And history often repeats itself when Earth changes occur. Eruptions caused by the melting of ice at the Antarctic (image of disoriented polar bears come to mind) are making it easier for magma to reach the surface and feed volcanic eruptions.
What’s more, you may be thinking, “Are these two volcanic geological parks linked to the ongoing activity?” Perhaps it is a trigger effect. Back in 1980, on March 27, Mount St. Helens eruption happened; it was followed by the great volcanic blast on May 18. Then, in late May, Mammoth Lakes, California (a dormant volcanic region) began experiencing seismic activity alerting United States Geologic Survey scientists to issue warnings.
While Mammoth Lakes four significant earthquakes in a few days and hundreds of smaller ones didn’t amount to another volcano episode like Mt. St. Helens, it did cause alarm. Also, while it’s better to be safe than sorry, tourism plummeted and the real estate market suffered.

So, Do These Volcanic Events Affect You?
If Yellowstone blows or Kilauea continues to spew lava, these happenings certainly can affect people and the Earth. The sulfur dioxide can have adverse health effects by affecting healthy air quality. In the immediate area people who live nearby can suffer from the ash which can affect people with respiratory problems.
Sulfur dioxide can also effect the environment by wreaking havoc on weather and climate—and cause a cooling effect. Not only can volcanic activity displace people who may not be able to return to their homes, but air travel due to ash clouds and aircraft engines get too hot and can become dangerous.
The worst-case scenario? Well, Kilauea can affect the sea life in the Pacific Ocean and air flow, whereas, Yellowstone can do much worse ending up in a nuclear winter by shrouding the U.S. with ash turning Earth into a volcanic ice age. Go back in time, almost two hundred years after the eruption of Tambora, temperatures dropped, causing crops to die and famines in America and Europe. So, yes, these present-day volcanic happenings can change life as we know it on the earth but hopefully the activity will fizzle and not sizzle this time around.

San Andreas Fault Zone—Tick-Toc


A widely felt 4.5 earthquake rumbled nearby Palm Springs, the region seismologists believe could give us a major 7.8 shaker, well overdue. My prediction: A stronger quake could happen before the summer. The Big Island may start up again with its volcanic activity in June and/or  July. And, an underwater earthquake in the Pacific Ocean—near Hawaii or Japan—could also be sobering events.

Update: On May 17, Kilauea volcano erupted sending plumes 30,000 feet into the sky. The effects are growing but nobody knows how severe this event will be. On June 4th, 500 earthquakes in 24 hours were reported. A downgraded 5.5 was the strongest earthquake.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Fire It Up with French Dessert Paired with Tea

By Cal Orey
Welcome to Crème Brulee, a rich custard with a crunchy, burnt sugar topping. This decadent dessert has roots that go back centuries to European cuisine. Back in the 1980s, this custard was in demand at French restaurants. And several years ago, this decadent French dessert was a simply pipe dream in my kitchen.  But things change.
During late spring one of my fun-loving neighbors invited me and my dog over for a bar-b-que dinner. I brought a store-bought custard pie, the kind in the frozen food aisle and you bake.  I didn’t have the chef confidence to create an eye-opening Crème Brulee. While, slices of pie topped with whipped cream were doable, and the dogs whooped from non-stop play, I mumbled, “I should have tried to make the homemade custard and boldly torch the top.” And I was teased for being afraid to attempt the real deal as I put the feat in a must-do mental file for another time.
This week, however, things are different. When I drove by my neighbor’s home it was sold, as the dog-less unfamiliar occupant shared the news. And while left with many good-time, pleasurable outdoor cook-out memories, from roasted marshmallows to s’mores, I’ve grown to accept novelty on the South Shore. So, it made sense to go out of my comfort zone and master the art of baking the French custard from scratch and boldly firing up the top for old time’s sake.
Like a custard, a recipe calls for simple ingredients but the best are recommended. Cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract are must-haves. Other ingredients, from citrus like lemon or orange rind to spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, can make it even more special and flavorful. The custard is best put into round or oval shaped ramekins. To make the sugar topping, you can use a broiler or butane torch. (Being a bit skittish, I took the safest method.)


Crème Brulee and Berries
2 cups organic half-and-half (premium brand)
½ cup organic low-fat milk
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
4 organic brown eggs, yolks only
1 capful pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon or orange rind
Nutmeg to taste (optional)
¼ cup light brown sugar, ground fine (a bit more if preferred)
1 cup each fresh strawberries and blueberries, sliced
Confectioners’ sugar (optional) for dusting
In a pan heat milk on medium heat but do not bring to a boil. Set aside. In a bowl mix white sugar and egg yolks. Pour in milk, slowly until mixed well. Add vanilla, and rind. Pour into 4-ounce ramekins. Sprinkle each with nutmeg. In a pan of cold water place ramekins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until firm (use a knife to test and when the custard comes out clean and doesn’t jiggle it is done). Remove ramekins from oven and cool. Place in refrigerator for a few hours. When ready to serve take out of fridge, sprinkle tops with brown sugar. Place in shallow pan with cold water, put under broiler (watch carefully and make sure your ramekins are broiler-safe). In about a minute or two the sugar will be caramelized. Remove, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Add berries. Serves 4. *If you a higher custard, use larger ramekins and make 2.

This magical custard is rich and creamy and so good. The sugary top with a light crispy crunch is an added treat. It’s fun and sophisticated. Fresh red strawberries and blueberries with are perfect colors for Memorial Weekend or Fourth of July. Not only does this custard look festive it’s a dessert to love for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, or after dinner. Served with iced tea or hot tea it promises to provide new entertaining food memories to treasure and you’ll feel baking strong!
-- Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mother Nature's Foods for Your Soul


Mix it up with tea
By Cal Orey
Sitting here in the rustic cabin, as I munch on homemade tortilla chips, dip, and lemonade, I still have images of my April Monterey-Pacific Grove trip back home. The thunderstorms we experienced yesterday in the mountains reminded me of overcast and fog on the coast. And I cannot forget the abundance of fruit and vegetables at the roadside produce stands. California is blessed to be an agricultural paradise, especially as we edge into summertime.
Coastal fog to mountain thunderstorms are calming
like nature's foods
This week I was craving avocado-tomato guacamole dip and chips. I’ll blame it on passing by the San Francisco Bay Area. When I used to live in San Carlos there was a superb dive on the corner from my bungalow. One time when I was waiting to move to Lake Tahoe I went there for an escape, my oasis. The server, a middle-aged man with wit and a heart of gold, was there for me with chips, dip, and a fresh squeezed fruit drink (per my request). While in waiting mode, we shared our anticipation. His eatery was closing; we both were moving to the unknown. The warm, crispy chips, creamy guacamole salsa combo teamed with a cold, sweet and tart lemonade (spiked with chamomile tea) took me to a place I love and helped chase the blues away. Victims of gentrification, our souls bonded that night. While the restaurant is gone, and I am here, the memory of a connection with appetizers is forever imprinted on my soul.
This week, once again, I find myself waiting and decided instead of chicken soup it is fresh California vegetables and fruit that would be the perfect pick me up to chill and attempt to go with the flow.
California Guacamole-Salsa Dip
1 avocado, ripe, peeled
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons red onion or scallions, diced
1 small chili pepper, diced
¼-1/3 cup salsa (fresh, store bought)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
Ground pepper and sea salt to taste
Parmesan shavings
Homemade tastes better than store bought
In a medium size bowl, mash avocado. Add tomatoes and onion, mix well. Fold in salsa, citrus juice, and spices. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, top with cheese.  Serves 2.
Semi Homemade Chips (fried)
3-4 Flour tortillas (fluffy kind)
Canola oil
Italian seasoning, ground pepper and sea salt to taste
In a skillet, cover the bottom about ¼ inch with oil. Set aside. Cut round tortillas into triangles like a pizza pie. Once the oil sizzles on medium heat, place tortilla triangles into pan. Turn a few times until the chips are light brown on both sides. Remove. Place on paper towels to absorb oil. Sprinkle with seasoning. Serve warm with chilled guacamole. Serves 2.
Fresh Lemonade
3-4 large lemons
4 cups water (I used bottled)
¼ cup granulated sugar
Ice cubes
Juice lemons. Pour into pitcher. Add water, stir. Sprinkle in sugar. Put in refrigerator until serving. Use glasses, straws, and add a slice of lemon on the rim of glass. *You can substitute half of your fave tea if preferred. Serves 4.
Guacamole, chips, and lemonade are simple foods. But avocados, tomatoes, onions, and lemons are all packed with good for you anti-stress vitamins. Not only are they healthful (less is more with guacamole because of the fat) these foods are delicious during hot or cold days as well as uncertain times. So, if you’re waiting for summertime to arrive or something else, I promise you, a mix of fun appetizers, like these, will help you chill and go with the flow (without chewing the ice!) until it happens. These treats are made to live in the moment for sanity's sake.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.  
*Grab and bundle books for summer reads! Tea and Honey, Vinegar and Oil, Tea and Coffee, Vinegar, Honey, and Tea or all six before Superfoods (Dec. 2018)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Author-Intuitive Forecasts Volcano and Seismic Activity


Double Volcano Happenings
(Should You Be Nervous?)


My Earth changes forecasts for this year included shaky ground and volcanic activity in the United States. I also pinpointed the state of Alaska and Yellowstone which may turn heads with unusual action creating alerts...and more. Well, more is happening right now, indeed. During the spring, Yellowstone captured scientists’ concern but so has the Big Island in Hawaii. Read on—discover if these two volcanoes are on the road to destruction and how it may affect you.

Super Tremors in Yellowstone
Earthquake and volcano gurus will tell you, Yellowstone National Park—America’s restless supervolcano  is due for another eruption. The power of a supervolcano, they say, is 1,000 times greater than a normal volcano. But Yellowstone, a geologic park, has shown past volcanism and ongoing seismic activity for years. In May, earthquakes and eruptions are creating a buzz about the question, “Will it blow?” After all, the park sits over an active volcano. And Steamboat Geyser has erupted three times which is puzzling scientists.
While a possibility of a great eruption could happen, late geologist Jim Berkland noted back in the early 21st century, it likely could experience renewed volcanic activity-which it is doing. However, he added, it “should not approach the mega-eruption of mid-Pleistocene time.” And I agree with the maverick scientist who predicted the major 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake four days before it rocked San Francisco and Northern California. But volcanic activity doesn’t stop in Yellowstone.

Hawaii’s Big Island Kilauea Volcano
On Friday evening, May 4, I received a phone call from my sibling. He said with a sound of excitement, “Evacuations are happening in Hawaii. The volcano erupted!” After all, we have family on the Big Island. When I logged onto the computer I was welcomed with a 6.9 earthquake rocked the island. Since it happened on land, there was no tsunami or casualties happened like the Loma Prieta shaker.
But as the volcano continued to erupt while tremors continued, mandatory evacuations took place 30 miles from Hilo. Two rural subdivisions, Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens are in danger because of volcanic bombs (fire), avalanches of hot rock, and lethal gases including carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

Is Hawaii’s Volcanic Activity Unusual?
The fact is, Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island has spewed lava almost continuously for 35 years since 1983. And it has started acting out again and may not end soon. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world—erupting on and off for thousands of years. But the question remains, what’s going on?
Conservative geologists and volcanologists will tell you there are not enough details about why—but new magma (lava underground from below the volcano) got injected up into the volcanic mass structure. The consensus is that this region is not stable—and may fall into the Pacific Ocean one day.

Are Yellowstone and Hawaii Volcanic Activity Linked?
Some scientists will tell you the present and future volcanic activity may be a trigger effect and caused by climate change. Centuries ago, past periods of loss of glaciers were followed by a spike in volcanic activity. And history often repeats itself when Earth changes occur. Eruptions caused by the melting of ice at the Antarctic (image of disoriented polar bears come to mind) are making it easier for magma to reach the surface and feed volcanic eruptions.
What’s more, you may be thinking, “Are these two volcanic geological parks linked to the ongoing activity?” Perhaps it is a trigger effect. Back in 1980, on March 27, Mount St. Helens eruption happened; it was followed by the great volcanic blast on May 18. Then, in late May, Mammoth Lakes, California (a dormant volcanic region) began experiencing seismic activity alerting United States Geologic Survey scientists to issue warnings.
While Mammoth Lakes four significant earthquakes in a few days and hundreds of smaller ones didn’t amount to another volcano episode like Mt. St. Helens, it did cause alarm. Also, while it’s better to be safe than sorry, tourism plummeted and the real estate market suffered.

So, Do These Volcanic Events Affect You?
If Yellowstone  blows or Kilauea continues to spew lava, these happenings certainly can affect people and the Earth. The sulfur dioxide can have adverse health effects by affecting healthy air quality. In the immediate area people who live nearby can suffer from the ash which can affect people with respiratory problems.
Sulfur dioxide can also effect the environment by wreaking havoc on weather and climate—and cause a cooling effect. Not only an volcanic activity displace people who may not be able to return to their homes, but air travel due to ash clouds and aircraft engines get too hot and can become dangerous.
The worst-case scenario? Well, Kilauea can affect the sea life in the Pacific Ocean and air flow, whereas, Yellowstone can do much worse ending up in a nuclear winter by shrouding the U.S. with ash turning Earth into a volcanic ice age. Go back in time, almost two hundred years after the eruption of Tambora, temperatures dropped, causing crops to die and famines in America and Europe. So, yes, these present-day volcanic happenings can change life as we know it on the earth but hopefully the activity will fizzle and not sizzle this time around.


San Andreas Fault Zone—Tick-Toc
A widely felt 4.5 earthquake rumbled nearby Palm Springs, the region seismologists believe could give us a major 7.8 shaker, well overdue. My prediction: A stronger quake could happen before the summer. 
The Big Island may start up again with its volcanic activity in June and/or July. And, an underwater earthquake in the Pacific Ocean—near Hawaii or Japan—could also be sobering events.

UPDATE: On May 17, two weeks before June, Kileuea erupted with plumes 30,000 feet into the sky...  Events will continue to unfold.