Monday, October 31, 2011

Author Cal Orey is a Spokeshuman for Honey Bees

Honey bees pollinate our favorite superfoods--strawberries; and alfalfa--what cows eat. Imagine a world without berries and organic milk... --Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

I have a strange bond with the hardworking honey bee. Yep, the honey bee works double shift: This insect makes honey and pollinates our crops--one third of the food we eat. Recently, and in the upcoming weeks, I like the honey bee, am working during the days promoting my books and nights I put on my phone psychic hat and dish out readings for two-leggers.
As an author of the new book The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington, October 2011) I've been spreading the word about honey. Yesterday morning I was up at 7:30 AM and a guest on KSFO Bob Tanem In the Garden Show.  (He noted I am "Type A"--like a worker bee.) Callers called in to talk about the honey bee, its well being to its demise, thanks to colony collapse disorder (CCD) -- a mystery when bees leave their hives and vanish. Speaking of disappearing, my article "The Vanishing Honey Bee" (online, page 26) was published today in the November issue of Oracle 20/20 Magazine. What's more, come November 12, I'm flying to Italy (via phone) to carry on the buzz about the bees. I'll be the beelady on Beyond the Matrix.

Oddly, while my book is about the health perks of honey, it's the honey bee that's upstaging the liquid gold. Why? Because the bee pollinates our grub. We're talking fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and cocoa--yes, chocolate!  And me, now a self-professed spokeshumanoid for my kindred spirits, the honey bees, is spreading the word about the importance of this creature. Oh, and on November 26, I will be at Barnes and Noble bookstore in Reno--for more talk about the amazing bee-healthy benefits of the honey bee. Still pondering if I should wear my honey bee garb. Or not. I feel like I'm morphing into a bee the way Seth did in the unforgettable film The Fly
Whew! I need a cup of chamomile tea and honey to chill. It's a task working night and day. As I sit here in my study with a hive-like feel to it--solo--I'm sensing I was a queen bee in a past life. But hey, I can live with that. Winter is coming. (Honey bees huddle up to keep warm and share honey amongst them. Like the bees, I'll cozy up and enjoy two dog/one cat nights throughout the colder months ahead. And the pantry is stocked with honeys--all kinds.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweeten Up Your Life: Win The New Honey Book on the Block

Get the buzz on honey and the honey bee!
--Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
Very odd how I fell into the world of cooking and baking. Well, maybe not so strange. At different stages of my life I have been found in the kitchen--not following directions and like a mad scientist experimenting with ingredients. And now, it's unbelievable but I am one of thousands who are members of Foodie Blogroll and there are treats...
Ironically, as I sit here writing and watching "Food Network"'s "Chopped" I gobble up all the competition, especially when the chefs get flustered and are critiqued by the judges. I flunked the baking contest in junior high. My Boston Cream Pie got kudos from but the Mocha Yule Log was the winner. I survived, sort of. But I felt bad (like the contestants on "Food Network" do win the other chef wins). The winner's prize cake looked store bought. It was perfect. My homemade entry was lopsided (just a tad) but it was a complicated dessert with decadent layers.
Tomorrow, "What's Cookin' at Callie's Cabin" is in the Friday edition of Tahoe Daily Tribune, like it is every Friday. What's more, I dream of shifting gears and opening up a Mediterranean bistro in a coastal town. How weird is that? It's not happening in the winter of 2012 as I can see images of my cabin buried in the Tahoe snow--and two dog nights.
Meanwhile, Foodie Blogroll is offering my new book The Healing Powers of Honey (published by Kensington and purchased by OneSpirit bookclubs including The Good Cook Book Club) to 8 winners, one a week. Other foodie bloggers are simply paying it forward and mentioning my book on Twitter, Facebook, or their blog. (You can do that, too, on Facebook: Just type in Cal Orey and scroll down to see my post Sweet November.)
All this food chat has got me thinking food. As the temperatures drop, the appetite soars. But if you're savvy, you can still eat your fave fall edibles and stay lean and happy. True, I did munch on salt water taffy (last night but my excuse was pre-Northern California quake jitters). Tonight I'm thinking semi-homemade Apple Turnovers with a taste of the whimsical wildflower honey. Or maybe Cranberry Croissants with notes of orange blossom honey. The kitchen is calling out to me. And I do have a pantry stuffed with honeys from around the globe (yes, each one has a long shelf life). Honey power! What about Gingerbread with a Lemon Honey Glaze?

I Forecasted the 4.7 Sierra Shaker...and So Did My Cat Zen

The Earth moved tonight...and my cat Zen sensed it coming... 
Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
Tonight my Siamese mix cat Zen was meowing nonstop, much like prior to the recent San Francisco temblors. This breed is a talker...and I should have known. I forgot my recent forecast on the website Earthquake Epicenter Forum as well as the one in Oracle 20/20 magazine for this year for this region,  a moderate to strong temblor near Truckee and/or Reno noted to be felt throughout Northern CA--which it was.
Next time Zen vocalizes I promise to be more compassionate. I ended up mimicking him and meowing back but it didn't help. Nor did food or cuddling. Nothing mattered Mr. Meower until the Earth moved.
Worse, I have a headache. Now, this can mean more shaking is on its way or it's just a headache. On the upside, kitty is sleeping sound next to me. And so it goes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lake Tahoe Gets the Big Chill: Fall Weather Forecast

Here comes the bittersweet cold. -- Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
It's late October and I'm just about to bring in the firewood to make and enjoy the first fire of the autumn season. The thing is, once you go there there is no turning back. The gas heat has kicked on and I've put on the storm windows for added warmth. Yep, it's the beginning of cold weather days. This week the temperatures are dropping into the teens.  It's here. The big chill has arrived.
FALL WEATHER FORECAST: On the upside, my weather forecast: I'm holding my ground. I made this prediction a month ago on Earthquake Epicenter Forum. It will be a warmer fall than normal for the Sierra. Much toastier than 2010. No significant snowstorms this year. We'll talk winter of 2012 come December when I create my annual Earth changes forecast.
However, in December we may get one nice snowstorm with the white powder above 7000 ft. Lake level will have the slush or slain...Read: No mega shoveling. Black ice. And some flooding? Count on it.
Meanwhile, it's time to make a casserole and bake honey bread, bring out the flannel sheets, and anticipate the awesome crackling, warm fire throughout the night and into the morning. Ah, that means a quick clean of the firesplace and bringing in the wood. Perhaps the first fire in my cabin will be made October 26, the day of the New Moon. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Author-Intuitive Forecasted Major Turkey Quake

In January I forecasted a major temblor would rock Turkey in 2011.
 --Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
Back in December 2010, I penned my monthly Earth Changes column for Oracle 20/20 magazine (online and hard copy; in "older entries below magazines shown"). I included the forecast of a Turkey and/or Greece major quake would happen in 2011. And when I woke up yesterday and saw the headlines on CNN and the Internet it hit home...
As a survivor of the 7.1 World Series Earthquake on October 17, 1989, I know what it's like to feel the Earth move and it feels like the world may be ending. Fleeing to the door, I fell before it was over and was frightened beyond words. Fifteen minutes seemed like eternity.
After the shaking stopped, the San Francisco Bay Area was greeted with strong aftershocks for days and weeks that followed.  And deaths occurrred, too. "Is the BIG ONE coming?" haunted people who endured the deadly earthquake that rumbled through the Bay Area. Because in reality, a great earthquake is an 8.0 (like the 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake); a 7.0 is considered "major." However, due to a variety of factors (depth of quake to faulty infrastructure) a major shaker can be deadly (i.e., Haiti) and the intensity can be sci-fi film strong--a time when people can and do panic, flee to the streets, and buildings collapse.
Speaking of scary movies, The Final Destination comes to mind. That is the film where the teen gets visions of disasters that occur, one after one. It's a "gift" to be a "psychic" (yes, I do work as one on two international psychic networks) but as they say--it's also a "curse." My heart goes out to all that have been affected by Mother Nature's wrath. I get it. And that enables me, like other quake survivors, to be able to empathize with the chilling after effects.
One fellow intuitive on Earthquake Epicenter Forum did some research about the odds of my forecast for this Turkey earthquake to occur this year and he said it had a 10 percent chance of happening. There will be no "congrats!" on this one, nor do I want that. But it is an unsettling feeling to forecast a natural disaster and see it unfold in front of your eyes on the news...and to hear that "270+ dead in 7.2 magnitude earthquake" is eerie and unsettling. So, the fact remains yes, my 2011 major Turkey earthquake forecast came true. But I wish it hadn't.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Autumn Quakes, Pumpkins, & the Honey Book Buzz

'Tis the time for autumn heaven. -- Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
It's the day after yesterday--the big red letter date when the world as we know it was supposed to end, according to Harold Camping's doomsday forecast. I created an anti-prediction on my website Earthquake Epicenter Forum that while the Earth could move with a noteworthy shaker near October 21 (and it did twice in the San Francisco Bay Area--the night before--and a 7.4 hit near Tonga on the day)--life would continue. And here I am with pumpkin on the brain.
Autumn Days in the Sierra. If you live at Lake Tahoe or visit during this time of off-season you'd feel fall. The autumn colors are gold, orange, red, and brown. Wood piles are seen in yards. But we're having an Indian Summer and the temps are warm during the day. (I swam yesterday and it was heavenly.) But looking ahead we're going to experience a cold spell (low in the teens) next week. So, my first fire is nearing.
Baking is on my mind. That includes pumpkin pie (I will wait till November), pumpkin scones, muffins, bread, and fudge--all included with sweet honey. There's something about pumpkin that is addictive. All this pumpkin chat is creating a craving for pumpkin seeds. Maybe I'll buy a pumpkin and make the seeds myself. Or not.
Computers and Rice.  After the computer fiasco last Friday evening (my Brittany duo dumped a water bottle on my laptop), tonight I am getting used to my new machine. And the drowned one? Well, maybe putting it in a bed of rice helped dried it out. I will know next week from the tech. It may have seen its last days and the world for the last time. The cranberry and rice pudding provided some comfort but the cost of purchasing a new computer when my casualty was not even a year old is heartbreaking.
The Healing Powers of Honey. And so here I sit thinking about my new book The Healing Powers of Honey (published by Kensington). It's making a buzz like a honey bee flying flower to flower. It's offered on FoodieBlogroll (a contest); I'll be a guest on San Francisco's KSFO come October 30; a piece about the vanishing honey bee in Oracle 20-20 magazine, November issue; Donna Seebo will interview me via her radio show on November 2; a book signing at Barnes and Noble in Reno will see me the day after Turkey Day; an excerpt about my visit to a beekeeper in the Tahoe Daily Tribune; And so it goes. Pumpkins and a honey bee book.  Did I mention I love fall despite its ups and downs?
UPDATE: I wrote this blog post before I got the news of the 7.2 Eastern Turkey earthquake. (I forecasted a major earthquake would happen in Turkey and/or Greece in 2011. It was printed in the January issue of Oracle 20-20 magazine , Earth Changes column--see older entries link on website.)  My heart goes out to all affected by Mother Nature's wrath.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Imagine a World without Chocolate & Strawberries... Save the Honey Bee!

Surprise! The honey bee pollinates strawberries and cocoa.
Can you imagine a world without chocolate and strawberries?  Did you know that our 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. This little insect gives human gifts from the hive but also helps pollinate our crops, home gardens, and wildlife habitat.
It's been estimated by the USDA that 80 percent of insect crop pollination is done by hardworking honey bees. If you do the math, that means one-third of the total human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, including fruit, legumes, and vegetables--all the good, healthful stuff that you and I love--like chocolate covered strawberries  created and available by Enjou Chocolat.
But despite the need for the honey bee--who works a double shift with making honey and pollinating crops--there is a megaglitch that is becoming a growing problem: The honey bee population is declining.
While you enjoy chocolate and strawberries, consider donating funds to researchers around the country who are trying to determine the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder and what can be done to bolster the bee population. (More information in chapter 16 "And the Bees' Buzz Goes On...")"in the new book The Healing Powers of Honey by Cal Orey, published by Kensington Publishing Corp.)
One more thing... Cooking and baking with chocolate and fruit--and sweet honey--is healthful and scrumptious. I can't envision a world without these good-for-you foods. Can you? Meanwhile, there are dozens of recipes in The Healing Powers of Chocolate and The Healing Powers of Honey to show you how sweet it is now while the honey bees are buzzing in the U.S. and around the globe.
(Photo courtesy of Enjou Chocolat.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Buzzworthys Cure for Springtime Allergies

Cures From Your Kitchen:
Seasonal Allergies Bee-Gone!
'Tis the season when allergies, colds, coughs and flus hit households around the globe. Living at Lake Tahoe is a treat during autumn but...this year while Indian Summer is welcomed, the ups and downs of temperatures are wreaking havoc on my body. Walking in a snow flurry last week and gardening in the sunshine this afternoon is enough to make anyone feel a bit out of whack. But honey comes to the rescue!
As the author of the book The Healing Powers of Honey (October 2011, Kensington Publishing Corp., ) I forgot about this sweet home remedy that is good for the body and spirit --as I note in both The Healing Powers of Chocolate and The Healing Powers of Honey books.  That's right, by turning to immune-boosting, antioxidant-rich chocolate, you may find your own allergy symptoms, from hay fever to seasonal-change woes, may stop in their tracks--rain, slush, snow or shine.
The truth is, I've been too busy fighting allergy symptoms that I forgot about home sweet cures like chocolate and honey Blame it on the new season and oh, oh, oh--the two shedding dogs and cat. Hairs, hairs, hairs everywhere. My black T-shirts and sweaters look like a white bunny rabbit's fur. Two weeks ago, I paid a visit to my doctor. My eyes were red, itchy, runny, and oh-so puffy! Not to forget the post-nasal drip and sneezing--not fun. And today, my throat is sore and voice is raspy. It's time for this honey book author to practice what she preaches and take her own sweet ancient cure, straight from the hive.
Allergies (Stop Seasonal Misery): Dealing with a runny nose, and coughing can ruin an indoor and outdoor event, thanks to seasononal pollen. Every year when the yellow pollen arrives in the spring like an uninvited visitor at Lake Tahoe I hold a tissue in one hand and am on the phone to a pharmacist with the other. I am always on a mission to find the natural remedy to stop my sniffles.
What Honey Rx to Use: Try eating a tablsepoon of locally produced honey. Proponents of honey tell me that your immune system will get used to the local pollen in it (it should be withing a 50-mile radius from where you live).
Why You'll Bee Happy: If you have mild allergies, honey may enhance the immune system to build up a better arsenal against airborne allergens. Honey enthusiasts like D.C. Jarvis, M.D., believe honeycomb is excellent for treating breathing problems. The honey prescription, according to him, was chewing honeycomb, which may line the entire breathing tract... "Vermont folk medicine uses honeycomb as a desensitizing agent; from the results obtained by its use it appears to be anti-allergic in its action," notes the good doctor who gives credit to the honey bees.
Beekeepers tell me that honey may help allergies linked to trees and ragweed--the culprit in hay fever and its irritating symptoms during spring and autumn months. So, as beekeepers are workerbee busy at work selling local honey to allergy sufferers, like me (and maybe you, too), I am busy including all types of honey in my diet becasue I want to be covered. And if honey can help me cope with congestion and pesky sniffles, I'm in. While further research is needed, I'm not going to wait for scientists to go to their lab rats for a go-ahead. More honey, please.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Honey Bee Decline: Is The Honeymoon Over?

"The honey bee population is declining."
In my new book The Healing Powers of Honey (October 2011, Kensington Publishing Corp.), I noted in chapter 1, bees make honey and work double shift as key pollinators for mankind. Did you know that our 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. This little insect gives humans gifts (from health to beauty and eco-friendly uses) from the hive but also helps pollinate our crops, home gardens, and wildlife habitat.
But despite the need for the honey bee--there is a megaglitch that is becoming a growing problem: The honey bee population is declining... In the upcoming weeks, I'll be a guest on talks shows such as Michael Quinsey's Connecting the Light in the UK,  a program in Italy, and KSFO in the SF Bay Area (October 30, Sunday at 7:30 AM, PST) to dish out what's going on with our honey bees gone AWOL.
It's no secret. Beekeepers across America are witnessing the mysterious die-offs of bee colonies. Back in 2006, an apiary owner in Pennsylvania, made the problem known. Penn State rsearchers took notes of the bee colony numbers' decline, due to a condition now known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This deadly disorder causes honey bee colonies (50,000 to 60,000 bees in one) to vanish without a trace--leading to The Happening and I Am Legend images of thriller sci-fi films of human and animal extinction.
And in my book on honey and the honey bee I devote  an entire chapter to this intriguing topic and I will continue to expound on the frightening phenomenon about the latest theories behind CCD--and what's happening today. Top scientists to beekeepers shared with me their take on the spooky demise of the little honey bee and what it may mean for us in the big picture.
Update: Millions of Floridian honey bees die. Pesticides? Poison?  CCD is not suspected to be the cause.
[Excerpt The Healing Powers of Honey]; By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Charming and Enlightening Honey Book Hits Mainstream America

My first encounter with honey was when I was five years old.

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
As a child, in my dreams I lived in a cottage with my father, a dedicated beekeeper, and my mom, who did all cooking, canning, and baking with honey. In our garden I'd watch my father experiment with hives and establish an apiary on 10 acres. He shipped Italian queen bees across the United States and around the world. But my home was normal, because in reality I grew up in a middle-class suburb of south San Jose, California, a place once touted for its nectar sources--a honey bee's dreamworld.
My first encounter with honey was when I was five years old. In kindergarten I remember drawing a giant honey bee on a wildflower. (It didn't hold a beeswax candle to beekeeper Prince Cesi's microscopic drawing of the insect.) After art time, Mrs. Berry dished out graham crackers (sweetened with honey and developed by Sylvester Graham in 1829), milk cartons, and Mr. Bee-Good notes (little square papers with special kudos to three good students once a week). When I wasn't one of the chosen few, my mind wandered; What would life be like as a bee? My imagination soared with images of me morphing into an insect and flying from flower to flower to fill up on sweet nectar.
That was decades ago, and today I can look back at my life experiences and see how the honey bee and honey played a role in my real world. I wasn't raised by a beekeeper and his wife, nor as a kid did I put on bee veil and visit bees. But I got a taste of honey and its healing powers  through the years of growing up and traveling like a wayward bee... The best part is, I have discovered the healing magic of honey, and a world I've called Honeyland that I want to share with you.
[Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington Publishing Corp.)]

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bee Culture Magazine Unveils New Book: The Healing Powers of Honey

"This is a good book to
 give someone who doesn't want to know all about bees and beekeeping--but just honey."
--Kim Flottum
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

I was pleasantly surprised today when I received a copy of Bee Culture: The Magazine Of American Beekeeping. On page 12, my new book The Healing Powers of Honey (published by Kensington Publishing Corp.) is scrutinized like a honey bee found on an orange blossom. And the review penned by editor Kim Flottum--is sweet and enlightening like being in a field with gentle honey bees.
He gets it. Flottum writes, "It does cover a bit of beekeeping history, and mentions some well known authors in our field. But, it does cover a lot of topics, none of them in enough depth to become boring, or dull. It is a good starting place for someone very interested in knowing more about honey, sources, flavors, colors and what's good to eat with each kind." And that's not all...
"Each chapter leads off with a bit of her history," the editor continues on, "as she roamed the U.S. and Canada in her youth, looking for adventure [like a wild honey bee gone AWOL], and good food...actually, any food sometimes, and she always has a dog with her."
The fact is, Flottum  (a fellow busy author) dishes out praise to my workerbee's work: "...The healing chapters cover honey and cinnamon, teas, home remedies, creams and lotions from beeswax, beauty aids, and lists and charts and graphs and more lists and more lists of things to use honey, things to use honey for, things honey can cure, and more."
Whew! I'm exhausted just reading what the magazine editor caught and that I captured and infused in 302 pages.  Good job, Kim Flottum. Thank you for including The Healing Powers of Honey in the "Good Reading" column of your October issue. I'm buzzed!