Saturday, April 4, 2020

COVID-19: Diary of an Author-Intuitive

Dear Diary,

Healing Powers of Red
I admit it. I am scared -- and I lied to a town poster telling him I didn't own fear...  

Everyone is fighting. More people are dying. Tourists from SAC and my home in the SF Bay Area are flocking to our mountain town -- and infecting us, taking our food and supplies, and in denial or do not care we don't have enough for our own. And the country officials know it and are trying to deter the interlopers. My sibling is withdrawing. Callers from New York to SoCal on the networks are all telling me intimate details about how Covid-19 is affecting them and their new lives...

Guardian Angels
Women want their men -- but they are AWOL like during war time. I tell them to be patient. One caller's bf is a dedicated ER doctor upstate New York. She is in New Jersey and wonders why he won't see her. She doesn't get it. I looked it up online. Correct. Virus cases are soaring; we only have 22 and probably 300 by the end of the week; they have 300 already. I felt her fear but she was out of touch to world in a dark place. Her man is an angel doing what he does -- saving lives. "Chill" I advised. "I sense your man is an angel at work. He is exhausted, he told you that. Let him sleep. You two will be together within the week." Time was up. I heard the dial tone. I was glad. He is an amazing and dedicated guardian angel on Earth-- why couldn't she see it?

This is Contagion
Our town people are bickering online via our town paper. We asked tourists to stay home but they come. It's too surreal. We are not working together. People here are working against one another. The anxiety I feel comes in waves. At night I awake at 3:00 A.M. This is new for me. Usually I sleep well. The dog and cat wake me by 6:00 and I get up and go through the motions.
The President is sending 1000 military to New York--a place where my publisher for 21 years has been. I remember 9-11 and was working with the people who told me the horror they witnessed. This is like that -- but different.

Distracted and Isolated
Sure, I worked on an assigned article. Then, the book edits for my new release in December. I don't even know who will still be here on the planet to read it. Maybe it will be my legacy, my last book--9 is a number of completion. 
How far is this mega virus challenge going to go? I know the world as we knew it is over -- but what if this really is the beginning of the end?
It's not a stupid flu bug -- it's a highly contagious and sometimes deadly virus and nobody is immune. Young and old are getting it -- and dying like war victims. Not enough news on the survivors.
I ordered a mask online -- it's arriving this week. The CDC recommends us to wear it. I sense I'll be wearing it even when my sibling is around. I don't feel safe. A GP telemedicine visit  this week...I am going to tell him I feel fine -- but my stress level is on roller coaster mode when I tune into what is happening to our world. 
My cabin? Serene. It is supposed to snow tonight. I was going to make a fire. I was going to act like all is under control.  But the world is so out of control. And I don't feel grounded. I hear the clock chimes and cuddle my fluffy Australian shepherd while feeling the Siamese Zen curled in my lap. Stay in the moment...

Cabin Fever 
I want to swim. Shutdown. I want to walk the dog. It's not safe. I don't want to go out there.  Dark Seekers like in "I Am Legend." I streamed a film earlier. The people shot the infected ones with disfigured faces from an infection. The pilot shot herself. I tuned out. Every day I hear gruesome reports of store fights In Los Angeles and people on edge at the stores here in NorCal -- with empty shelves. I want martial law. I want this to end. I want to pack a knapsack, sleeping bag, my dog and go back in time to a safe place.

I have nowhere to go.  Trapped.  I hate Covid-19.  The world is dark and I am dreading the next week ahead.  God, please make this virus peak, decline, and let our world heal. We are hurting. Help us. Are you there? Hello. Can  you hear me? Hello?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

COVID-19: DIARY of an Author-Intuitive

6.5 near Yellowstone; 4.5
rocked the cabin last Monday
By Cal Orey

Hey, I've been away for a while. The world is a ball of madness. The song by R.E.M. "It's the end of the world as we know it"--"But I feel fine" plays in my mind. "It starts with an earthquake"... Sadly, the song mirrors real life since our world has changed.

As a highly sensitive person I can tell you the drama has unbalanced my mind. Soaking up the toxic energy of our planet is taking a toll on my inner peace. So much insanity.  Too much. Overwhelmed. And nowhere to escape except at night when I sleep...
Eight to 10 Americans isolated at home. The next two weeks will be challenging, warn the medical experts, with sobering numbers of deaths spiking. Unemployment soars, food hoarding continues, price gouging online, and farmers talks about potential food shortages, perhaps, in the future--like we see in other countries. People are fighting and looting. 

So much uncertainty of the post-pandemic makes me think being in the eye of the contagion seems safer because we know it.

Last night I was awakened by a phone call at 1:30 A.M. I forgot to sign out of the psychic network. The caller's concerns bored me. I didn't care. She was demanding, selfish, and no wonder her AWOL mate said he was done. I was there but not there. Earlier in the evening a 6.5 rocked Idaho; about 300 miles from Yellowstone, felt in six states. When a caller grilled me about her love life I didn't hear her words about romance.  She didn't mind that the Earth moved. It makes me think these people are out of touch or maybe trying to grab on to someone--anyone to hold.

Alone More, Feeling Numb

Ironically, I am feeling so disconnected. Sure, my loyal companion animals are my anchor to life as it was pre-pandemic. But now, I'm going through the motions like walking through an airport and not knowing anyone. I want to escape and go back to our world the way it was in 2019.  No pool to swim. No travel. No real friends. Sick of the cyber world--and the millennials I can see outside the front window these days because they are home. Not a care in the world. They laugh. They're good, they said. But their parents are old and frail. Are they blind to the fact they could be infected?
While I have book edits and article assignments, I sense the distance from my friendly editors 3000 miles away. They, too are being pulled out of their comfort zone into a battle of their own. Actually, the phone conversation with a friendly accountant and a doctor who came through with an interview for the story I'm working on, were the best connections I've made all week. 

On Number Overload

So many projections of deaths, confirmed cases, and watching lifeless bodies being put into cold trucks. It's like a "Soylent Green" sequel that I've watched and thought, "Can this really happen?" And in "Contagion" Matt Damon's character, the dutiful dad grabbed his daughter's bf off of her outdoors--during social distancing. I try and do the same, warning my brother of infecting us without thinking. He is restless and was talking of going to a hot tub party... I cannot control his actions. I am on my own.

I have mega cabin fever. It's like when I'm working months on a book but those days I have a trip planned--my reward. This time, there is no trip. Just vouchers that sit in a Delta lockbox for another year. Sure, Tahoe is a beautiful place to be in lockdown but you can be anywhere and still be in a funk.
Watching the healthcare workers go through hellish working conditions is painful to watch. My biggest fear would be to get sick, taken away by a faceless human clad in a hazmat suit. I'd be forced inside a tent containment center left to die with  sick strangers,  in limbo till the last breath. No furry friends to hug.

So Hello Structure

Today, I am going to take a break. Treadmill, spring clean so those spring allergies don't confuse me into thinking, "Do I have the illness?" I am looking forward to spring weather despite we have a late winter storm rolling in this weekend. Another fire or two...But gardening, sunshine, and wishing and envisioning some sort of normalcy in late June. 
Dog teeth cleaning, my teeth cleaning, hair highlights (good now because I knew this isolation was on its way), and maybe swimming. Or not. I know these things will be done...and giving the Aussie a bath in a few weeks when it warms up will be a sign that fresh life will blossom as the trees will sprout and flowers greet locals. 

It will be okay, right? It has to be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Healing Powers of Honey Hits #1 BESTSELLER! (in Antioxidants)

By Cal Orey

Did you know?...

Known as Mother Nature's "nectar of the gods," honey was praised for its healing powers as far back as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians.

Eating honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer , diabetes--even help reduce body fat and unwanted weight!--and increase longevity.

Pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. It's chock-full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins--and only has 21 calories per teaspoon.

Super "bee foods" (including nutrient-rich bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly) are used and touted for their healing powers by beekeepers and medical experts in the present-day.

Honey can relieve a variety of ailments, including allergies, coughs, fatigue, pain, and stress, as well as boost libido.

The honey bee pollinates about one-third of the food we consume (including nutritious fruits and nuts).

Drawing on the latest honey buzz and interviews with medical doctors, beekeepers, and researchers, this charming and enlightening book (sweetened with stories about honey bees and humans) reveals 30 healing honey varieties paired with cinnamon and teas, tells you how to incorporate honey into Mediterranean-style, heart-healthy recipes like Honey Custard French Toast, Honey-Glazed Game Hen, and Filo Pear and Honey Tarts, and provides more than 50 home cures that combat digestive woes to skin woes. You'll also enjoy Cleopatra's milk-and-honey beauty treatments and eco-friendly
beeswax household uses--all made with the amazing honey bee's gifts!

"A fascinating read about a natural remedy that is a rich source of antioxidants." --Ray Sahelian, M.D., author of Mind Boosters

"This eye-opening book provides you with a delicious truth of the traditional Mediterranean diet: Honey is a sumptuous route to optimal health." --Dr. Will Clower, Ph.D., a popular author and neuroscientist

Saturday, March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Diary of an Author-Intuitive

Dear Diary,

I am alive and well as to be expected during our global pandemic--a meltdown on many levels. I am coming back to you (my Wilson like in "Castaway") because there is nowhere else to go where I feel safe. Last time it was obvious depression was rearing its ugly head. I snapped out of it, sort of. Bathing every day, brushing my teeth, eating right does seem to give a sense of normalcy. Flash back to Will Smith in "I Am Legend"--viewing his day to day existence was a bit like that and now I get it. Tomorrow I will start using the treadmill. Tonight I will build a fire.

When you're forced in isolation it's good to keep some sort of structure. He'd feed his dog Sam a healthy meal, eat his grub, watch the news reruns (from before the world ended as he knew it), exercise, and even go hunting in the city. But, but, but there's another problem. Focus. I am finding myself keeping busy but doing different things--not staying on track with one project.

Pandemic foreshadow? Dec. '19, isolated in Anchorage
 fog/icy roads and hurricane-force winds
kept me isolated in a hotel on the 17th floor
Last night I received my edits for #9 book--Herbs and Spices--Timeless Treasures.  That is a good thing. I did peek at it. My trip to Alaska and my dear friends' sailing around the world adventure were not cut. This makes me happy. 
But I set it aside to finish an assigned health article. Then, I put it away to clean my fish aquarium to make me and my fish happy. And I am thrilled to report Mr. Snail Jr. is alive! All my goldfish, and catfish are happy. They do not know that world is sick...

Day to Day Life

Despite of all the politics, people in denial, sick, dying, overwhelmed healthcare workers and people living in fear--life goes on. I've been brushing my Australian Shepherd's coat and his teeth, and cleaned the microwave. I am getting ideas of spring cleaning, gardening, sunshine and...BAM! I realize things in Coronavirusland are not getting better. I am just adapting to a nightmare I cannot control. In fact, last night I slept only to be awakened by my dog and cat--barks and cries to eat breakfast. They keep me going even though they probably sense I'm off.

It's strange. As an author and introvert--my life has often been one of isolation and that's okay. But when I got cabin fever I'd go swim, gamble, book a trip to Canada or do a book signing. Those days are over for now and nobody knows how much longer life will go on like it is. I did see June where we might get a feel for real life. But nobody knows for sure. 
Talk of quarantining New York and other Northeast states is happening. Our county now has nine COVID-19 confirmed cases. Both my publishers and we Californians are in hot zones. Political fights about ventilators that patients will likely need. There is a vast shortage. And Easter Sunday doesn't look like it will be a beautiful day of church gatherings. I see the big circles on the US map. We are near SF...and may become a hot zone as an escapists' tourism hub--and tourists keep coming up here to smell the fresh mountain air, visit the lake, take our food, eat and go after invading our town, somewhat like another strain of the C-virus.

Medical experts to fellow astrologers and history tell of a second wave of the virus will hit hard in fall...  Worse, medical experts talk of several more outbreaks.  Last night I watched Bill Gates who provided a sense of calm. He said if America hunkers down for another eight to 10 weeks we may not have to shutdown again--we will flatten the curve. 

But I am powerless. 

At times I feel like Anne Frank must have felt...cooped up, hiding, and waiting for the grim inevitable--but with a bit of hope and faith of getting our lives back to normal. We all have expiration dates but I'd rather go traveling or be blindsided quickly not grab a ticket and wait to be called out. "You're infected." If that happens I'd rather stay at in my cozy cabin with my loved ones. I do not want to go to a containment camp and be with strangers or rely or be denied a ventilator. Maybe I should write a will. Or not.

One Day at a Time

For now, I'll start writing the article on seasonal allergies, and perhaps take a few calls from people around the world. Nowadays, 3 out of 5 share how they're coping with the virus in their world. And I am chill like a nurse on shift. It's not that I don't care. I do. But there is nothing I can do except read and dish answers for their immediate concerns about love, work, and money. I notice the calls are less than more from the UK a region with money problems before and now it's likely worsened.

I can't help be wonder. Was my adventure to Alaska--the solo trip that tanked with erratic weather, rough air on the flight, isolated in my hotel room to later experiencing my dog's home quarantine foreshadow and preparation of this Coronavirus event?

And so it goes. The sun did not shine today. That is normal for Lake Tahoe in the early spring. In a few weeks, more snow will melt, birds will fly around the deck and I will get feeders. A garden, warmer weather, and maybe by June we'll feel a since of hope until autumn when the monster may come back. Flight vouchers to Canada? The supervisor gave me another year to book a trip.  How would it be if fall never arrived? One day at a time. Be in the moment.  Hanuka Matata. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Foraging for DIY Pizza During Tough Times

By Cal Orey

Foraging for DIY Pizza During Tough Times

This week going to the supermarket was a challenge. I’m mastering the art of foraging. I found French bread, gourmet cheese, and fresh greens—all my favorite brands, not generic. Thanks to being familiar to the new normal way of food shopping (due to circumstances beyond our control), my pantry was semi-stocked with marinara sauce, olive oil from Monterey, herbs and spices.
Back in the day when I was in my twenties, living in San Jose, hunting and gathering food like people did in the stone age was what I did for survival. Finding food from orchards and fields was part of the nomad-grad school lifestyle. I recall one afternoon my SO came home to our garden apartment. He gave me a gift: A basket filled with fresh corn, lettuce, and tomatoes. He shared his tale of hopping a fence and picking produce for our dinner. It was a fab score and he didn’t get caught foraging food from the land that was not ours. The night before, his mom  brought us a care package of pastrami (for him, a carnivore) and bread and cheese (for me, a semi-vegetarian).

So, this new shopping challenge takes me back in time. This hot sandwich was inspired by my carefree days of being resourceful, in love, and going with the flow.
4 French bread slices (Francisco International French rolls) baguettes, or French bread
½ cup store bought marinara or pesto sauce
¼ red onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup cheese, mozzarella and cheddar, slices or shredded
2 medium large Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup baby spinach, washed, chopped
Extra virgin oil
Ground black pepper
6 pepperoni slices, cooked, chopped or not (optional)

Put bread on a dish for the microwave or oven at 350 degrees (more crisp this way, quicker the first). Toast until light golden brown. Take out toasted bread and spread with sauce, onion, and garlic. Top with cheese. (Carnivores go ahead and add a few slices cooked pepperoni, chopped or not.) Heat again until hot and cheese is bubbly. Remove from microwave or oven. Top with tomatoes and raw spinach. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Slice in small squares or leave in its rectangle form. Serves 2.

Before our eating style changed as we knew it, I’d ring up my favorite pizza spot and order a vegetarian delight. In about thirty minutes, the dog’s bark at the delivery guy would alert me to dinner in a box. These days, sometimes a store is out of bread, eggs, milk and other staples so home-cooking can be a time for adapting to change. But DIY meals can go further (and ingredients can be used for more meals)—and perhaps even healthier. So, this sizzling French bread pizza sandwich with good for you trimmings is quick to make and so good.  Meatless or not it works (for all ages) during tough times. Bon Appetit!

— Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, and Essential Oils) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  Her website is . 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Superfoods for Staying Healthy--Winter-Spring Weather

Superfoods for 2020--Your Favorites!

The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide to Nature's Favorite Functional Foods
Cybersale for 2020

By Cal Orey

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Guard Your Immune System with Essential Oils

Anti-Germ Essential Oils for the Worried Well
By Cal Orey

 Enter the virus of 2019-2020. The outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first pinpointed in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It has infected more than 67,000 people around the globe—mostly in mainland China. Since the outbreak, there have been reported more than 2,698 deaths—the majority in mainland China. The new statistics as of March 6 are sobering:

* The total number of global cases more than 100,000; spread to 90 nations; more than 3,400 fatalities.
  • * Regions of outbreaks at least 20 states in the U.S., which will undoubtedly be more.
  • * The World Health Organization officials are not declaring a pandemic--but preparation is taking place.
  • * Home quarantines include more than 8,000 in S.F., to closing schools in WA state.
  • * Panic buying is happening around the nation and world. Food to mask sales are soaring.
  • * America does not have enough testing equipment so those infected will go without a definitive diagnosis.
  • * The travel industry, large events, and lives of people with underlying health conditions and elderly with weakened immune systems are advised to stay home.
  • * Stocks plummet due to fear of the coronavirus and its effects on the world economies. 

A Global Crisis on the Verge of Pandemic
  • Currently, this virus (with symptoms of a cough, fever, and shortness of breath) may not be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu—but it is contagious and the world is on edge. The coronavirus has killed more people than SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome which first appeared in China, 2002). And it has complicated challenges, whereas people are quarantined in hospitals to stranded and isolated on cruise ships. People in dozens o countries are coping but fear the unknown.  The respiratory illness comes with an unpredictable and longish incubation period (two to four weeks). 
  • Worse, the infected may not know they are sick and can pass in to others.  Like in the film "Outbreak" coronavirus is spread from infected people to others through the air, by coughing and sneezing (refer to the movie theater scene when an infected person sneezed), and touch objects or surfaces with the virus on it. While most people with healthy immune systems are not immune—they do recover. But the elderly (especially those people with underlying health issues) are the most likely group to face physical challenges--even death.

The outbreak ignited in December 2019. Ground zero is Wuhan, China which is believed where the virus originated at a fish market—like the “Contagion” film--and quickly spread from person to person. There are theories of exactly how the virus started. Some say bats like a money in the film “Outbreak.” Speaking of sci-fi thrillers, there is also a theory, reported by newspapers that the
 lethal virus epidemic spreading worldwide may have been created in a Wuhan laboratory. It is believed by some reports to be linked to China’s secret biological weapons program, by the Chinese to use it as a bio germ warfare weapon. Whatever the virus’s origin (which may be covered up), it spread in China—and isolated cases have been discovered in Italy, the UK,  United States from California to Washington—and significant outbreaks continue.
Past Plague, Magical Medicine

Viruses are nothing new. During the Middle Ages, four robbers in the French town of Marseilles preyed upon the homes and belongings left behind by the people who fell victim to the bubonic plague, or "Black Death" of Europe. Eventually they were caught and brought before French judges, who wondered how these four thieves had protected themselves from the deadly plague while looting plague-ridden possessions. The legend is that the four thieves bargained and exchanged the famous Four Thieves vinegar and herbs formula for freedom. They explained that they washed themselves with the antiviral and antibacterial infection-fighting liquid every few hours.
No one seems to know who wrote the formula, which differs from recipe to recipe, but it is basically the same and it works in various ways. It can be used to disinfect sick rooms. If diluted with water, if can be used as a body wash. It can be used as a preventive measure to stave off viral infections, such as the flu.

5 Essential Oils to Guard Your Immune System

The antiviral and antibacterial compounds in essential oils can help guard your body against germs and contracting the virus. Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, founder of the Pacific Aromatherapy Institute points out that “the most effective essential oils for viral infections are those with sizable contents of cineole, mono terpene alcohol, and mono terpene hydrocarbons.” He adds, “These three types of components form an effective antiviral synergy.”
Here are five oils containing antiviral and antibacterial compounds, which may help you, like the four thieves, to guard against getting the virus.

     Eucalyptus: This oil is one of the best essential oils to help keep the flu at bay because it boosts your body’s immune system. It contains cineole which is effective for viral infections. Try It! It can be used in baths and showers, saunas and steams, and a vaporizer.
    Lavender: It is touted for its antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties, which can help treat respiratory infections. It can also soothe aches and pains in the joints and muscles. Try It! Inhaling this oil in a steaming vaporizer, baths, or even used as a culinary oil infused in tea blends and foods.
    Lemon:  This essential oil contains mighty flavonoids (super antioxidants) which may also help fight viruses. The citrus oil can also be used to relieve coughs, fevers, and a sore throat. Try It! It can be used in soaps and household cleaners.
    Peppermint: This essential oil can ease muscle pain due to its cooling effect, like eucalyptus oil. Its ingredient menthol can help to relieve congestion from a cold. Try It! It can be used in a foot soak, diffuser, or one small drop neat (undiluted) under your tongue or on your forehead or back of your neck.
    Tea Tree: Medical research shows tea tree oil contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties called terpinen—ol and a-terpinol. These two components may help disease linked to bacteria and infection. Try It! It can be used in a vaporizer or diffuser. But note, it is not a culinary oil.
      Other immune-enhancing oils include: basil, cedarwood, cinnamon, and sandalwood.
Essential oils are budget-friendly and available year-round at your health food store and online.

The bottom line: Your best line of defense is similar to the four robbers in the Middle Ages. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds--often. Also, do wipe down objects and surfaces. Essential oils can be helpful to bolster your immune system and disinfect your world as the world is in a wait and see mode.
In mid-February, the novel coronavirus outbreak has not been called a pandemic (a global epidemic)—but because it’s unstable it’s possible if it spreads and if more deaths occur in other countries. And note, medical workers are not safe—more than 1,700 have been infected by coronavirus, and at least six have died.  Also, someone who is infected may not show symptoms. There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the unpredictable virus. And the word is, health experts are preparing the U.S. for more cases. So, this contagion is not over. It may be just the beginning of a nightmarish scenario or foreshadow for something even more cataclysmic. Or we could develop a vaccine and be even better prepared for the next outbreak or pandemic.
 For more information, go to .  (Adapted from Cal Orey’s The Healing Powers of Essential Oils: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Most Magical Medicine, published by Citadel Press Kensington. You can find the Infection-Fighting Four Thieves Formula recipe and dozens of home cures and recipes for the body and household.)

 Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods and Essential Oils) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is .