Sunday, December 8, 2019

Third Time a Charm? California Author Goes to Alaska

Author Cancels Trip to Alaska--Blame it on Forces of Nature

My Aussie "Skye" is sensitive 
By Cal Orey

For weeks, actually since July I had been planning an adventure to Anchorage, Alaska. I got a book signing booked at Barnes and Noble, a nature tour on Turnagain Arm to seek wildlife, a hotel room with a view on the 17th floor overlooking Cook Inlet, and I was excited. But, but, but...
A few days ago, I logged onto an online Alaskan newspaper to see the PR for the upcoming book event. Whoa! The cover story upstaged my calendar event. "Hurricane-force winds" for an upcoming Bering Sea storm in Anchorage and southcentral Alaska! It was surreal.  This is off season but it's only September. When I read about low wind shear that freaked me out. That's the stuff that is tricky and can fool even seasoned pilots. It's the wind that makes your plane circle forever before a safe landing or ascending. Not fun. I can do rough air but wind shear? Nah.
Turnagain Arm

So I called the nature tour people. I was the only one booked on the road that could have potential flooding. Rain definitely but flooding? Last week, when I was on Coast to Coast AM I noted my trip and mentioned a potential earthquake (there have been many minor ones thus far) but a "hurricane-force" storm? Too surreal.

Actually, for the last week something hasn't felt right. Usually I'm packed, all my ducks are in a row, and I'm ready for action. This time around, I felt stressed out, overwhelmed and something wasn't right. My dog and cat were sleeping together and both were clingy. (No, I didn't tell the dog I was going but I hadn't filled out the kennel paper either.) It just felt off. So after being on the fence I went to the NOAA site and saw a storm brewing at Salt Lake City, Utah (snow?) right during my flight. 

Now the forces of nature were really piling up.  I cancelled. After all, I do read people on a psychic network and have excellent reviews. I'm the girl that bet the late geologist Jim Berkland about Earth changes to presidential elections--I never lost a wager to him. I had to go with my gut instincts. Cancelled.

Oddly, after I did it and told all--the airline, hotel, nature tour people, Barnes and Noble, editor...I logged onto flight events. The same aircraft size I would be taking to SLC? Yesterday a bird hit it while ascending (a minor "Sully" type of event) and the plane had to land immediately. Then, I felt compelled to look at the Turbulence Flights Map (I never do that!). Severe Turbulence was shown with little pyramids at Tahoe-Reno Airport!  

So here I sit in my cozy waterbed. My two companion animals are no longer near me. I feel a strong sense of energy and am going to the resort pool today to swim laps. I feel a sense of disappointment that I'm not getting to sign my latest book and the series, and I won't be seeing any moose or get pampered in the hotel overlooking the water...However, I chose to tune into the forces of nature and for some reason I feel a great sense of calm. And the week is not over...

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Seasonal Superfoods--from the Mediterranean Diet

It’s the Season: Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, winter wasn’t a chilly place instead we were blessed with a Mediterranean-type climate. I recall playing hooky on school days as a kid and watching a TV show “Candid Camera” and viewing the East Coast snow which was foreign to me. Nowadays, many winters living in the Sierra Nevada, I know what white powder is, whether it be shoveling it, making a fire to keep toasty, and baking comfort wintertime foods, including wholesome superfoods.
Healing Winter Recipes: Homemade bread, casseroles, hearty soups and stews, are part of a superfoods wintry diet.  Including a variety of food groups—not just one or a few--can help you slim down, healthy up.
Winter Superfoods: Apples, berries (frozen, dried), cheese, maple syrup, pasta, pizza, whole grain cereals.

It’s the Season: Living in the mountains brings four distinct seasons and four different ways of enjoying superfoods. Once the weather warms up, it’s time to lighten up with superfoods and drop unwanted winter weight. A spike of energy happens and is used along with superfoods used in spring cleaning indoors and outdoors and more play, including walking the dog to swimming in a warmer indoor pool.
Healing Spring Recipes: Meatless cooking is easier to make in the springtime because it’s lighter on the body; a time to rejuvenate. Vegetarian casseroles, soups to fruit smoothies to help cleanse and detox are easy to prepare. Fresh fruits as is instead of baking and used in vegetable and fruit salads work well to lighten up.
Spring Superfoods: Berries, eggs, leafy greens, lemons, Greek yogurt, pasta, seeds, shellfish, walnuts, and water.
It’s the Season: During the hot summertime easy no-cook meals and outdoor grilling are what people look forward to do so they can enjoy play more. When the temperature soars the last thing you want to do is bake or cook.
Healing Summer Recipes: Cheese and fruit plates, fruit cold smoothies, Greek yogurt parfaits, cold cereals, vegetarian thin crust pizza, poultry sandwiches, seafood salads, and iced tea.
Summer Superfoods: Berries, chicken, leafy greens, gelato, lemons, ice cream, pasta, tomatoes, water, and wine.
It’s the Season: When the air gets colder and the leaves turn color, it’s time to change some of your favorite superfoods. Apples, citrus, and first-time cooking feels right before the first fire is made and thermostat is turned up. Warm food is beginning to replace the colder superfoods of summer.
Healing Fall Recipes: Apple pie, lemon drizzled dishes, savory smoothies, hot oatmeal to whole grain pancakes with warm maple syrup all can help enhance the immune system. Also, pasta dishes, baked turkey and chicken, hot tea, fresh squeezed juices to hot apple cider can help you fill up, not out.
Fall Superfoods: Apples (Harvest season August-November), berries, crucifers, Greek yogurt, oats, turkey, seafood, sweet potatoes (Harvest season September-December), water, and wine. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Hello Alaska, Author Predicts 90 Percent It's a Go Despite a Few Quakes and Snow Showers

Cal Orey

Take one was canceled due to a 100 mph storm; take two a 7.0 earthquake was enough to spook me.  I'm booked to go in December, third attempt. Here, this is the first seed of my goal to go to Anchorage, Alaska...

Here I sit on Saturday night in the comfort of a Tahoe rustic cabin older than I am--and I am filled with a mixed bag of emotions. Soon I will be on my way flying in a jet plane (more than one) to Alaska. This wasn't one of my fantasies, not really. Well, in my twenties I almost hitched and hiked to Homer (during the pipeline days and time of nomads in search of America) but I ended up in other states and Canada...sweet Canada a place I like to think of as my semi-second home.
In the past decades, I've written about Alaska--its big earthquakes including the great one in 1964--and have accurately forecasted shakers throughout the shaky state...and now? Now I am close to going there--a place I saw in the film "Insomnia" and how Al Pacino's character fought the daylight so he could get some much needed shut-eye...

Go Somewhere Exciting Instead of Canada 
It began by a sibling's dare to go somewhere exciting. Once Barnes and Noble in Anchorage, Alaska invited me for a book signing it was a sign for me to go to a place foreign to me. After all, I do live in a nature-oriented place called the Sierra; it's just another extension of bears, birds, water, and down-to-earth people, right?  A little bit like that. And I admit I have fell into watching the Alaskan Vet on "Animal Planet" and viewed a program of folks buying homes in the Alaskan wildnerness.
So, why do people get excited and nervous before going on trips? Is it because we are going out of our comfort zone? Is it because we relinquish control to whatever is out there in the world? Is it because we leave our safe place and loved ones behind? It's probably a combination of all of the novelty.

But traveling is good for the soul. I notice a glow in my skin before I go on a journey--truly! Not so sure the dog and cat are glowing but they do not know yet that I will be leaving soon. No luggage is out and I'm sort of behind the hustle bustle pre-trip mode. The obstacle course has been completed, though: vet check for dog, cat; dentist, doctor...all done. We are healthy and getting many of the ducks in a row. Emails are coming in from different places, including the airline, bookstore, nature tour and so it goes.

And, let's face it. The trek is a long one. It's not a direct flight because I do live in the mountains. It will be a very long day for me to go from Tahoe to Alaska via Nevada, Utah, Washington--and then the red state. But once I'm there I sense all will calm down in this busy mind of mine. Two years ago this time I flew to Montreal and took a train to Quebec City...Decades ago I hitchhiked from the Golden State to Montreal and freaked from cultural shock but vowed to return...I did it. 
So this north to Alaska trip should be a walk in the park. Sort of.  No, I have not told the Aussie. I just don't have the heart to tell my better half we will be separated for a bit. But I did tell him no matter what I'll always be back for him and never leave him alone. That's a promise.

Monday, December 2, 2019

REAL Superfoods for the Holiday Season

By Cal Orey
Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?
Order for the Holidays
a Gift for all


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!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Christmas Cookies with The Healing Powers of Tea for the Holiday Season

Christmas Cookies with a Cuppa Tea for Holidays

As one of my favorite memories go, in early wintertime I was living in Eugene, Oregon with a small group of nomadic friends. One cold day with a bit of snow on the ground and slippery black ice (foreign to a San Francisco native), I stayed indoors and baked cookies. There wasn’t a single cookbook or baking tools in the kitchen, so I had to rough it and make do with the few food items I found in the cupboards and fridge. I recalled my mom’s recipe for Snowball or Butterball Cookies. Five ingredients, a bowl, spoon, cookie sheet is about all you need--and black tea while you bake--and chamomile to get you through the ordeal.

In hindsight, the scene was funny. Once the cookies were baked and good to go, I was boxing them up to mail to relatives for Christmas—but my six down-to-earth looking roomies (and two dogs) in a tiny, spartan kitchen were eating the white butter nut balls faster than I could box the goodies and I felt flustered because it was a lost battle. The cookie monsters won. This easy-to-make recipe is inspired by post-hippie snow days on the road in December.

Snowball Cookies

1 stick European style butter, softened
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (about ½ cup extra for rolling after baked)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 capful pure vanilla extract
¼-1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans), chopped

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add flour and mix until creamy. Stir in vanilla. Fold in nuts. Place cookie dough on a floured cutting board and roll into a ball. Put onto a sheet of foil and into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.  Use a small ice cream scoop (about 1/8 cup size) and scoop dough into balls. Roll into a ball shape and place on nonstick cookie sheet or lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until bottom of cookies are light brown. Do not over bake. Place in balls into sugar immediately. After cooled repeat. Makes 8-10. You can double the recipe as well as freeze the cookies in an airtight container. Note: Simple is elegant like silver balls on a Christmas tree. However, if you to be more festive, add 1-2 teaspoons orange rind to cookie dough and/or sprinkle cinnamon on top after the cookies are rolled in sugar to give it a snickerdoodle taste.

There are dozens and dozens of holiday cookies to make. This quick, easy recipe is a super way to begin, though. Sometimes, less is more.  Not only are they affordable, ingredients are likely in your kitchen, but they are small. Also, two will fill you up and not out. Pair with a cup of tea for a morning or afternoon energizing snack to after dinner delight--and it's perfect wherever you are and what the weather gods are doing with their magic.

— Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  TEA--release date December 25. Now available for order at kobo, amazon, barnesandnoble, walmart, target, and other stores.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Turkey Day from an Author's POV

By Cal Orey

Last year Thanksgiving was a time when I spent the day cooking a big bird or little game hens, cornbread dressing, homemade cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables, and pumpkin pie. But this year I decided to rebel making the traditional dinner and postpone the big meal until Christmas. And that’s when I decided to get my turkey dinner fix and leftovers with a twist of the Mediterranean.

Back in the 
day when I was in my late twenties I was living in a townhouse in Mountain View (north of San Jose). Sitting in the sun, getting tan by the swimming pool I was reading and dog-earing one of those go-to-Europe-on-a-budget books. It was my dream to go to Tuscany that fall and savor sites, people, culture, and Mediterranean cuisine. I was going to stay at hostiles, take a backpack and sleeping bag, and experience several countries. But my boyfriend announced that if I left on a trip while he had to work he wouldn’t be there when I returned. So, I changed my plans and opted for graduate school to get a master’s degree in English (Creative Writing). Europe was put on the back burner.

Decades later, I am here on the South Shore living my life as an author writing and promoting my health-cookbook Healing Powers Series. So, this week feeling a bit overwhelmed (after the Zen cat's dental surgery, bed meltdown, waiting for new mattress and sleeping in the bed frame like a big kitty litter box, and regretting not taking the Alaska getaway due to an unexpected hurricane-force storm) I ponder, “I can at least bring a treat with European flair to me." Think turkey sandwich and trimmings (I feel less guilty not having a bird in the fridge; rarely do I indulge in poultry or fish since I'm a 95% vegetarian and part-time vegan.) And  I may just go ahead and book an adventure to Seattle-Victoria, Canada as a late Thanksgiving present to me since I still have flight miles in the lock box, with credit to Al Gore.
Hot Turkey and Provolone Sandwich
2 tablespoons European style butter
4 red onion slices
1⁄4 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
4 tablespoon green bell peppers, chopped
2 sourdough rolls, split (whole grain preferred)
2 slices turkey (I used organic roasted turkey breast from Safeway deli.)
2 slices provolone cheese
1⁄2-1 cup spinach lettuce, chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
4 tablespoon black olives
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Ground black pepper
In a frying pan melt butter and saute onion, mushrooms, and peppers. Put aside. Put bottom halves of rolls on parchment lined cookie sheet. Top each with turkey and cheese. Bake in 375 degree oven till cheese melts. Take out from oven and top each roll with lettuce, tomatoes, and onion mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of vinegar. Add a dash of pepper. Cut sandwiches diagonally. Serves two.
Chunky Mashed Potatoes
4 medium red potatoes
1⁄2 cup 2 percent low-fat organic milk
European style butter
Chives, fresh
In a saucepan boil potatoes. When tender put potatoes in bowl; mash. Add milk until consistency is smooth and chunky. Add butter to taste. Add chopped chives. Serves two.
For dessert the plan is to savor a cup of gourmet Sugar and Spice flavored coffee and a square of dark chocolate while sitting in front of a freshly made fire and cozying up with the the Aussie and Siamese while watching a film. True, it isn’t Rome (and the ex boyfriend is history forever) but this nontraditional “family-style” mini meal has its health perks. (I’ll save the second sandwich for the day after.) And there will be no gaining unwanted Turkey Day pounds. My plan is when I make my appearance for signing of my new book in the New Year I will still be able to fit in my size 4 skinny jeans. And that is going to be Thanksgiving for me.
Motto: Things happen for a reason. If you’re thinking you should be somewhere else, maybe it’s time to rethink where you are and be thankful for what you have. Blessings and light to you and yours. One more thing: The boyfriend left me, anyhow. He traded me in for "a woman to brush his hair out of his eyes after a hard days work." So, I got me a dog and lived happily after and we are each others' rock. 
– Cal Orey is an accomplished author and journalist. Her books include The Healing Powers series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee,Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils) published by Kensington,, barnes and noble, ebooks/paperback/mass market

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

2019 Earth Changes Forecasts--Some Came True

As predicted, 2018 Earth changes walloped our country in different regions, from the West Coast, East Coast, South, and Midwest. We're talking about wildfires in the West, a rare major earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska (the strongest seismic activity since the great 1964 tremor), epic volcanic action leading to an odd 6.9 earthquake in Hawaii, autumn snowstorms in the Deep South, and hurricanes on the East Coast...

These events are more than likely connected to climate change, resembling scenes out of the film “The Day After Tomorrow,” and we’re going to see more erratic events in the New Year. 
It is the year to be ready for unusual Earth events. This means wacky snowstorms in warm regions and lack of precipitation in normally cold regions will open our eyes to global warming. Read on—and take a peek at what may happen in the United States and around the world. Like last year, it is a new year with new challenges, whether you’re at home or traveling on the road, in the sky, or on the water. It’s a time to be ready for nature’s wrath--the new normal.

Predictions for the New Year

* California, one of the top three shakiest states (Alaska and Hawaii are part of the trio) did get some shakers but nothing significant. In 2019, a major earthquake offshore Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Area (East Bay, South Bay or Coastal and on the San Andreas)…

…Southern California (Greater Los Angeles or near the Salton Sea and on the San Andreas) will most likely strike. I predict at least one of these hot spots will experience a shallow and strong earthquake that will make news around the world. If it is near a major city, shallow, happens during commute hours on a weekday catastrophic infrastructure, injuries, and deaths may be the end result.
Tahoe-Reno: 5-6.0 Possible
* Not to forget Anchorage, Alaska which rocked with a 7.0. Aftershocks will continue to occur for months, however, I predict there is the chance a stronger quake could happen near the region, whereas if it’s shallow there will be more damage to the infrastructure and a tsunami which didn’t happen.
* On December 12, a shallow 4.4 earthquake temblor rocked Tennessee, one of seven states in the New Madrid Zone. It could be a foreshock. A major earthquake may happen and will be felt in more than a dozen states in the Midwest and Northeast.
* Europe may be challenged by major earthquakes, including Italy and Greece (the 6.8 felt on October 25 in 2018 could have been a foreshock). At least one shaker will be shallow, in a major city, and likely a powerful 8.0.

        Rain and Snow Events

As Earth changes continue to shock us, in 2019, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts weather will be warmer in the majority of the United States. Also noted: higher than average temperatures; the South and East Coast will get more precipitation than normal.
As a native Californian, I predict a repeat drought in our Golden State is likely (despite one or two major snowstorms in the northern state, mudslides throughout the State with power outages), and more coastal chunks of cliffs (like at Big Sur) will erode and fall into the sea.
European countries including Italy, Spain, and France may experience heavy rainfall and flooding, especially in coastal regions in the winter and summer.

 Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Wildfires
 Hurricanes may be more severe in 2019. The Gulf States, including Texas, Mississippi and on the East coast making landfall in North Carolina or South Carolina. At least three Category 5 hurricanes will occur—with two making landfall; not to exclude Mexico and/or the Caribbean. Tornadoes will likely accompany some these hurricanes. Also, rare twisters will happen in states that will be surprising and make international news.
Wildfires in the West are likely to continue year-round and cause significant damage. The Southwest, Southern California, Northwest, and Midwest are in the line of fire as well as the Northwest including Western Canada.

        On the Fringe
As we deal with shaky ground and mild weather do to climate change, other challenges will keep us on guard. As always, politics will cause shake-ups, affecting air quality. Ongoing fracking will continue to make the Earth rock in Oklahoma and other states. Also, more volcanic activity in the U.S., is probable. Perhaps Hawaii will start shaking again, as well as Redoubt Volcano in Alaska or Yellowstone creating alerts...and more.
 Despite the erratic Earth changes, people in the United States will be forced to become more mindful and self-reliant, be more prepared with first aid kits and survival foods in case a natural disaster hits their home or even our entire nation. Whatever Earth challenges happen, as always, we will persevere and become country strong(er).

Spot-On 2018 Visions That Came True

* On January 4, the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay rocked; a 4.4 in Berkeley hit at 2:39 a.m., and was reported felt by 40,000 people. It was on the Hayward Fault.
* On October 22, British Columbia, part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, did rock with a 6.8 at Port Hardy, Canada but no tsunami.  
* On January 23, Kodiak, Alaska was indeed rocked by a January 7.9; and on November 30, a 30 second earthquake rumbled through Anchorage causing major infrastructure damage, a West Coast tsunami alert, and hundreds of aftershocks.
* The Eastern Seaboard was indeed slammed by hurricanes… There were two Category 4 hurricanes—Michael (which hit Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia); and Florence (which affected the East Coast).
And note, deadly wildfires in California did happen; Paradise in the northern state was nearly destroyed. Air quality due to the California wildfires was reported extremely unhealthy in some areas, including Sacramento.