Saturday, January 28, 2012

10 Hot Ways to Blast Cabin Fever: Winter Blues

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
Ah, the scourge of winter blues. Ever get it?  Today, I was told by a friend that her dogs have fallen victim to "cabin fever." Yep, it's possible. Sure, fresh white powder can be a joy for both two-leggers and four-leggers. But black ice fun? Not so much.
Last night I spoke with the one that got away (two-legger) and he told me how he's not as physically active or prone to clean house during the colder, winter months. At first, I disagreed but then I got it. Sure, come spring, I, too, get that surge of energy.
Yesterday, I went swimming/hot tubbing and wow. It's like taking a mini vacation to another location. No cold temps or fear of falling. A warm, Mediterranean or tropical climate is awesome at the end of January. And I'm hooked.
10 Ways to Get Warm & Cozy
* Make a fire; bake something healthful at the same time.
* Wear a hooded sweatshirt, leggings, and soft socks.
* Turn up the heat while brewing hot herbal tea.
* Open the blinds during the day and let the light shine in/shut at night.
* Layer the bed with thick, cotton comforters, turn up the water heater thermostat.
* Take hot, steamy showers and use fluffy towels next to the wall heater.
* Cuddle at night underneath the covers with two loving dogs and one cat.
* Keep the fish aquarium lights on longer than in the summer months.
* Burn scented candles: Chocolate and Hazelnut.
* Take a teaspoon of raw, natural honey (for energy); a piece of dark chocolate (to boost mood); a cup of java in the a.m., paired with organic milk (to feel warm and fuzzy inside).
Bonus Tip: Swim/Hot tub. Repeat as needed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Goodbye Coffee Land, Author Leaves Another Book Adventure

Today, I re-examined my latest manuscript The Healing Powers of Coffee (July 31, Kensington). I feel a sense of sadness, like I did when I left Chocolate World. Or, a metaphor that comes to mind is when my two Brittanys were puppies and once they grew up it was different. Something was missing despite I enjoy the full grown dogs.
So, now that may edited manuscript is back with the editors in New York, I am sitting here in the process of creating another Healing Powers book adventure. I know, I soon? But the topic has been brewing and it is what it is.
Meanwhile, as I dabble with the new topic it feels like waiting to become pregnant (again). Excitement. Visions. Excitement.
Bottom line: I dedicate this blog post to my The Healing Powers of Coffee and the coffee people for all the pleasure it gave me throughout the researching and writing process. And when the galley arrives on my doorstep (in a few months) it will feel like going to the hosptial and waiting for delivery as "I" probe the final necessary words. Think final delivery before giving birth to my fifth Healing Powers book. So, goodbye Coffee Land. We will meet again. I'm counting on it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Is it Doomsday for Honey Bees (and Cows)?

Did you know most beef and dairy products count on insect-pollinated alfalfa and clover?
News Flash: The honey bee and our food chain are linked big-time. (See the importance of bees and our planet in the honey bee trailer.)  In the new book The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington), I discuss how crops depend on the beekeepers and small honey bee in a big way. Millions of acres of U.S. fruit, vegetable, oilseed, and legume crops depend on insect-pollination--and that includes the sacred honey bees.
It's estimated by the USDA that 80 percent of insect crop pollination is done by the hardworking honey bees. If you do the math that means one-third of the total human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants--all the good, healthful stuff that you and I love and eat each day. And that's not where the honey bee's work stops, either.
The problem is, beekeepers are witnessing the mysterious die-offs of bee colonies. But nobody knows exactly why the honey bee is going AWOL. Theories include climate change, diet, stress, pesticides, and more. And if the honey bee becomes extinct--our food chain and planet will end as we know it. So, here are ways we can help keep the honey bee alive and well.
* Devote a portion of your property to growing annual and perennial plants to help honey bees collect nectar.
* Reduce the use of pesticides.
* Supply fresh water in a way so visiting bees don't become a nuisance.
* Donate funds to bee researchers around the country who are trying to determine the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder and what can be done to bolster bee population.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Strange Forecast...No Snow in the Sierra

Today, January 4, 2012 I sit in my cabin getting over a pesky ear infection. Blame it on last week's swimming, hot tub, tourists, the altitude, or allergies. Perhaps all of it. Antibiotics Day 4. Starting to feel normal but when I look outdoors it looks anything but normal for Lake Tahoe. The weather is San Francisco Bay Area temps. Too weird for words.  No snow. (But I forecasted that we wouldn't have a white Christmas; we would have snow in January and February.)
Tonight I may make a fire. Or not. It may be too warm. Really. I'm sensing tourists aren't thrilled. Locals who count on tourists aren't thrilled. But me? Well, I'm torn. I like the white stuff, sort of. An oncoming storm is exciting. The snowfall late at night is soothing. Shoveling piles of powder is not fun. Walking the dogs on black ice is spooky. High utility bills and extra dog nail trims aren't fun either.
So, here I sit getting well in a mountain resort town with no snow during winter; an extended fall season (my dream come true). But hey, I predicted this would happen. However, I also forecasted the Sierra would get a few significant snowstorms this winter. I hold my ground (even though it's dry right now).We do have three months, give or take some days...But I'm wondering what to do with all that wood I purchased? Roasted marshmallows, anyone?