Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unthinkable Earth Changes: Yellowstone and San Andreas Fault

I Can Feel the Earth Move…


Imagine this chilling scenario: Superpower Russia calls for Moscow to launch a nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and the San Andreas Fault knowing that the end result would be deadly consequences in America. So, this recent threat made by a Russian analyst created a ruckus in the media because we know attacks on the Yellowstone supervolcano and granddaddy fault line would be catastrophic. Read on to find out how nuking iconic regions could affect you.

Strike 1: San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault and Salton Sea--Deadly Link
For starters, the San Andreas Fault (SAF)—the culprit of the 1906 is a vulnerable fault line that runs from Northern California to Southern California is likely to ignite another great quake without the help of superpowers at war. Geologists and seismologists all know too well that the Golden State is overdue for a major to great quake. Researchers monitor stress that is building up and will be released within the next 30 years—most likely sooner.

April 30, widely felt shallow minor eq
Greater LA, near Long Beach--near

same fault of 1933 LB quake
Despite Russian nuke chat about the SAF, California is moving horizontally northwest toward Alaska as it slides past central and eastern California. The dividing point is the San Andreas Fault system, which extends from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north. This 800-mile long fault is the boundary between the Pacific plate and the Northern plate. The Pacific plate is moving to the northwest with respect to the Northern American plate at about two inches each year. But note, while people joke about California falling into the sea, this isn’t likely to happen.
Instead, a more realistic happening is when the built-up pressure is released on the SAF, landslides, tsunamis, collapsed infrastructure, and fires will happen as did in 1989, after the major Loma Prieta aka World Series earthquake hit near the San Andreas Fault. And if major bridges and freeways collapse in the Golden State this would have a ripple effect on United States economy. And it doesn’t stop there…

Strike 2: Yellowstone Caldera
So what exactly is the threat of Yellowstone National Park if it is nuked? Keep in mind, it has had signs of past volcanism and super tremors. In fact, in 2002 after Alaska was rocked by a 7.9 earthquake, hundreds of quakes followed in less than a day.  Scientists believe events, like earthquakes and volcanoes, can be linked by a trigger effect. On the big screen, the film “2012” depicts a great Southern California earthquake happens first while strange happenings are already ongoing at Yellowstone, which blows right after the shocking shaker. In real life this scenario doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
Worse, some geologists believe if a supervolcano happens it will not be another mega-eruption of mid-Pleistocene time. However, if and if Yellowstone blows we can expect grave consequences. Anyone living in the immediate region would be buried in ash and burned by fire and life would cease. As the ash fallout spreads, from state to state, it would affect airline flights, animal food and crops, and result in a volcanic winter—no sun and temperatures would drop drastically. The United States as we know it would be gravely affected for a long time.

Strike 3: War Games
Indeed, California is overdue for a major earthquake and Yellowstone caldera could erupt again. Neither of these regions needs a nuclear nudge with a nuclear strike, since Mother Nature and history repeats can be cruel, too.  It’s not about “if” the San Andreas will rupture or Yellowstone will blow, it’s when it will happen. And no one knows the answer.
So, the question remains: Will Russia nuke the SAF and Yellowstone? If so, it is likely the U.S. would strike back. Remember the film “War Games”? Nobody wins in a nuclear war. The bottom line: an attack on these two vulnerable regions in our country is a ridiculous scare tactic that scares.

Here Comes the San Andreas Shocker Film
On May 29 a new movie will be released. The trailer shows a great earthquake occurs south of San Francisco. We hear the words that the consequences will be felt around the nation as scenes of disaster and chaos spread like wildfire. The visual effects are eye-opening to captivate movie goers. Ironically, the great astrologer Nostradamus suggested a great earthquake may happen between April 21 and May 21, but the year is not noted.
Victor Baines, an expert of Nostradamus’ quatrains, decodes one: “The Sun 20 degrees of Taurus” suggests May 10, the 20th day of the sun sign of Taurus: “A mighty trembling of the earth” could be a mighty earthquake, polar shift, or natural disaster… “the great theater” may be an allusion to the old Roman theaters in Rome, or perhaps a reference to a military theater. This event, possibly the eruption of volcanoes combined with earthquakes, “darkens and troubles the air and sky and land.” Could nuclear blasts be a remote possibility here?  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

End of April Changes from Author's POV

By Cal Orey
It is a Saturday morning April 25. Last month this date I was in Vancouver, British Columbia. Yesterday, a 6.1 powerful earthquake struck offshore Canada and plenty of aftershocks were discussed in the news. I sensed this could happen and had forecasted that it would do just that. I dodged the shaker but it doesn't mean West Coast earthquakes in the future linked to the Cascadia Subduction Zone or SAF (as I noted on Coast to Coast AM) aren't in the picture...
City view, aquarium, tea rooms, swimming
in Vancouver, CA March 22-25

5. On the Fringe
  During wacky weather and climate chaos around the globe, it’s almost guaranteed strange happenings will occur in strange places that will be surprising. A dormant volcano may erupt; more tornadoes in non-twister states may make the news. An earthquake swarm in the Midwest or California could end up being a strong shaker making international news.  A tsunami on the West Coast—whether it is from Alaska, or Southern California, or even in the Cascadia Subduction Zone from British Columbia, Canada to Northern California may happen as it has before in past history. 
--excerpt Oracle 20/20 Magazine, Earth Changes article Jan. 2015

MORE EARTHQUAKES, I FORECASTED TAURUS: CHINA-INDIA BORDER...Today I, like others, awoke to the AOL homepage sobering headline. A great deadly earthquake hit Nepal. More than 1000 people are dead due to the natural disaster. Earthquake sensitives were sensing shaking and still are sensing California and/or the West Coast may be next in line. I'm one of those people who others ignore or ridicule. 

A Mixed Bag of Predictions for 2015: 
1. Earthquakes
* The West Coast did experience a few notable shakers but 2015 may deliver even stronger earthquakes. A 7.0 magnitude (or larger) is likely to strike the San Andreas Fault either in the San Francisco Bay Area or Southern California (near water, including the Pacific Ocean or Salton Sea).
 * Europe may be rocked by an extremely shallow and destructive great earthquake in Italy, Greece or Turkey.
* The Indian Ocean and/or an Asian country (Japan or China) may be challenged by earthquake and potential tsunami(s). 
--excerpt Oracle 20/20 Magazine, Earth Changes article Jan. 2015

April 25 snow in the sierras
WACKY WEATHER: Last night I made a big fire in the big old rock fireplace. A bit odd to do this in the last week of April but not so strange at Lake Tahoe.

 This a.m. I also awoke to snow-covered pine trees and ground. It will melt fast. Sadly, the snowfall and rain will do little to remedy our severe California drought. The thought of wildfire season year-round is troublesome. Been there, done that. What can we do? A drought is a drought and we've endured it for three years. Being on guard and prepared is the drill just like for earthquakes...
Will escape working tea people to play

SHAKERS...In two weeks I'm booked to fly to Long Beach. Still on the fence if I'm going or staying put in the sierras. I suppose if it's a possible California earthquake that is keeping me from going it is a bit absurd. A quake could happen in Northern California, too--SF Bay Area or Tahoe. Back in December when a tree fell on the cabin--nothing happened to me.  When your expiration date is up, it's up. So going with the flow is probably this best thing to do.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Last Sunday I lost Marley, my beloved happy pleco. I still miss the fish-human bond. He made me happy. The next day, I replaced him with two new bottom feeders. This duo seem attached (related or perhaps because they are from the same aquarium); I'm keeping distance and guarding my heart. And speaking of God's creatures, I am already feeling that void if I go to Southern California I'll be leaving the cat and two dogs-- my boys. It's likely more challenging for me than them but I'm sure we all will feel the change and void. So far, these nocturnal fish seem to be doing fine with the goldfish. No names until I know they're here for the long term.

WORKING ON VINEGAR, 3RD ED.: So, I've been updating The Healing Powers of Vinegar
In the kitchen baking and cooking; inputting new, improved vinegary recipes is what I've been doing throughout the weeks. I perfected a variety of scones and vinegar(s) played a role for a drop scone like I enjoyed in British Columbia.  
And so it goes. I have dozens of tea types (in my pantry and study closet) to sip and savor in the weeks to come. Wondering if I'll keep my reservation and go to the World Tea Expo. Meanwhile, it's time to make a cup of tea, shower, dress, go to the store, walk the dogs, and ignore the snow. It'll melt. After all, it's Spring. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mother's Day Giveaway: Chocolate, Honey, Healing Powers Series!

By Cal Orey

Here’s a chance to make Mom or yourself 
wink emoticon feel extra special. Enter our Ultimate Indulgence giveaway and win premium sourced honey, Vosges Haut-Chocolat products and the definitive book about chocolate, written by healthy lifestyle expert, Cal Orey. Enter here!

* You'll find the Giveaway sign up links below. Click your mouse and enter! at Honey Ridge Farms or Vosges. Ditto for Cal Orey when 
entering for the Bonus Bonanza! Good luck! There's going to be 1 lucky winner!

I'm really excited about this special giveaway! New honey creme flavors from Honey Ridge Farms, gorgeous chocolates from Vosges Haut-Chocolat and another single ingredient book from healthy lifestyle author Cal Orey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate. Best luck to my family and friends. And, please share with others!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Californian Ponders Life in the Shaky State

By Cal Orey

Late fall at book signing, Late spring convention
Today is Thursday in the California sierras and I am counting my workaday blessings complete with the happenings of the day.  I learned that you don't always get what you want when you want it, as the classic Stones' song goes, but you do get what you need--sooner or later.  That includes book projects, flight plans, recipes, dogs of your dreams, or dodging a West Coast megaquake on a trip and living to tell the tale.

 Back in the water for April-May

Going Swimming:... At last, I joined the resort for another month at one of Lake Tahoe's resorts. The pool and hot tub at last were perfect temperature and both were all mine during off season, a time when tourists are AWOL and the town is quiet. Bliss as it was two weeks ago when I was loving life in Vancouver, British Columbia, I do prefer to swim outdoors but an indoor pool works. 
Since I was a kid and my dad taught me to swim, I've always loved water. Lakes, rivers, oceans, and pools. Not to forget rain, thunderstorms, and fog--something I haven't seen for a long time but welcomed it in Seattle.  It's zen-like.
My firstborn is getting a makeover

Vinegar, 3rd Edition:... I've been working on The Healing Powers of Vinegar and today a breakthrough happened. The new and improved recipes dilemma has been solved. 
Into the kitchen 
What's more, not only will I be including more of my own tried and true faves, but other gems came through from the creative cooks who I admire.  It was a good day for putting together a book that I penned back in 1999 and surprisingly ended up being popular around the globe. 

Coast to Coast AM:... Last night I was a News Segment Guest on the live radio show. Topic matter was to give my words on if a supervolcano is ready to blow, as European scientists seem to believe. I tuned into my gut (I'm no volcano expert) and it was an easy read. Megaquake first, most likely on the West Coast...then a trigger effect could happen and if the Yellowstone caldera erupts--game over. 
I don't sense this is going to happen today or tomorrow. But anyone who lives on shaky ground or the Ring of Fire understands these two regions are overdue for Earth changes. Sure, I know my scenario is one that was used in the doomsday film 2012 but some grounded scientists do believe in the trigger effect, dtoo, when it comes to quakes and volcanoes. I noted back in 2002, after Alaska was hit by an almost great quake, less than 24 hours later, Yellowstone was slammed with 200 tremors. Can you say "link"? UPDATE: April 17, a 6.5-6.8 hit Fiji region. Some quake sensitives believe our Golden State shakes after. 

Baking an Apple Pie:... Late in the afternoon after swimming, I cut Granny Smith apples. I'm talking a lot of green apples. I was on a mission to make a mile-high apple pie. I did it. Note to self: Do not cut into warm pie. Wait until it rests. One more recipe for the book. The fridge is stuffed with fresh vegetables, seasonal fruits, dried fruit, buttermilk, and yogurt because I'm going back into the kitchen to make more California-style superfood dishes infused with West Coast flair. And I've been sipped tea, lots of tea--all kinds while beginning the research for The Healing Powers of Tea.
Out in the field to mingle in Teaworld

Aussie turns 2 1/2 May 1 but
still is a pup to me
World Tea Expo:...  I am registered as an author. My hotel room and flight are booked. The boys have their place at the kennel but...something is bothering me. I'm doing the Libra flip flop. I want to go. I do. But part of me wants to stay home and play with my senior Brittany and fun-loving Aussie.

I confess the airline just called me back. There is a slim chance they will change the flight plan--if so, then it will be another sign to not go. Why exactly am I hesitant?
For one, the first airline I was booked with changed planes on me. Not good. I was rewarded with a 100 percent refund. Then, with the second, preferred airline I got all big aircraft and switched to LAX, which gave me peace of mind. But that's not all...

May 29,  San Andreas released
The saying "A tree could fall on you" finally came true
Blame it on San Andreas, the film due out in the month of May. And add the shallow, widely felt quakes that have been happening in Greater Lost Angeles. To make things more complicated, I booked my room on a high floor overlooking the harbor. I feel this is a bit odd. Did you know they have those tsunami signs on the Pacific Coast Hwy.? And TV doesn't help. Channel surfing the other night I stopped at "Why Planes Crash"; didn't need to watch the back to back episodes while nestled on the waterbed between my protective fur kids. 
And the tea people? Well, they're connecting with me as I sit in my safe cabin. (Forget the tree that fell on it in December; and the blackout.) I don't have to go south and play on the beach, right? Okay. This is what I vow to do. If the chosen airline sends me an e-mail claiming the flight plan has changed with smaller aircraft--I'm out. If not, I'll be in Long Beach as planned. I'll be the one with the helmet, orange life jacket, swimming suit, and sunburn.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Coming Home to Lake Tahoe...from Pacific Northwest

By Cal Orey
Last night in Seattle, WA

Taking a train is romantic
Taking the super early morning Amtrak train from Vancouver back to Seattle symbolized it was my ride back home--but not quite. It's different than the train from SF to San Carlos and Montreal to Quebec City--all unique. Coming back wasn't as fun as going to, perhaps due to lack of my train companions or that I had done it before. I did connect with homes on the Washington/Canada border and fantasized about living right there.

My mind was also on the last hotel for the night. This pre-booked room was supposed to be special. Since I was treated to high floors in Bellevue and Vancouver, my vision was to see the Space Needle. Once I arrived at the hotel I sensed trouble awaited. The vibe was off.  I was told to go up to the 7th floor...and call quickly after if I wasn't satisfied. The young reservations clerk could tell I wasn't happy; especially after I shared my past hotel days in contrast. But she assured me the view looked like what she sees out of her apartment. For some reason, this fact spooked me.

Once in the strange, cold room I was overwhelmed. It was an odd narrow L-shaped place.  I felt like I was on a different planet. Worse, the view of downtown Seattle was nondescript. I was looking out at a parking lot. It could have been in any state. Not my fantasy. I grabbed the phone and made my move. "Hello,  uh, um...I'm not happy. I was promised a room with a view. We're talking 2000 miles I will have traveled (shuttle buses, trains, cabs, planes), and this is my last night in Washington. I'm looking at clunky cars, cars, cars." A pregnant pause. No words were exchanged. I continued on my mission to change this mix-up. I couldn't stop like a runaway train. 
"I have a digital camera in my hands," I darted. "I wonder if I snap a photo and post it on the Internet if it would go viral?" Silence is golden. 
Tripping around the city was fun but so was chilling
After all, this hotel claims it has four stars, I was told I would have a superb room on a superb high floor with a view. And the Pike Place within minutes away? Not true. We're talking blocks and blocks away. Plus, it was raining. Nothing news breaking in Seattle but really who would want to take a trek in the harsh elements?  After dishing sarcasm with sweetness, and promised that something would be done to make it better, I heard a knock on my hotel room door. I was escorted across the street by the bell dude--we were en route to the bigger, better sister hotel. And up we went: 7, 10, 15, 24, 28th floor.  He promised me I would be happy and I was clueless to great expectations.

ENTER UTOPIA:... When I walked into the suite I was totally amazed and at a loss for words. I don't think the parking lot pic would have gone viral. But it was a thought that came to mind and maybe that is why I was treated like a princess with a super picture perfect room. Can we spell spaciousness and panoramic views? An entry way bigger than big, a living room, a study, two TVS, a gigantic bathroom with a soaking tub/shower, and the bedroom? It was a place to live for complete with a posh Coffee maker. I could live and die there if my fur kids were part of the suite deal. 

I plopped down on the bed and enjoyed the view(s). My eyes were treated to views of downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay, and surrounding mountains.  Two TVs, electronic blackout drapes (I didn't bother), doorbell, thick comforter--I had gone up to the 28th floor: Heaven. The pool was elsewhere back at the other hotel.  I didn't care.
After an hour, I did grab a cab to Pike Place overlooking Elliott Bay waterfront. Back in 2006, after a downtown Barnes and Noble book signing with geologist Jim Berkland, I escaped and went there. I found a Brittany key chain (I missed my dog); and bought a navy blue hooded sweatshirt which I later lost. It was fun, though, somewhat like Fisherman's Wharf. This time around something was missing.

I found a small tea shop and spoke to a few folks. Moved on to a chocolate place and ended up with peanut brittle. Sadly, when I opened up the small package it all fell onto the ground, much like a kid ready to lick a brand new ice cream but it falls and the cone is left. Yes, it was raining. I didn't see the fancy fish and their men tossing 'em in air. I looked out at the ferry and actually walked towards the water. Thought it would be unforgettable to take a ride but it looked choppy and there would be no sunset. I left with no regrets.

Back to the paradise room:... Knowing I had to be up at 3:00 AM for an early morning flight back to Lake Tahoe didn't leave much time to do the town. This trip showed me that I am no longer 20-something.  Back in the day, time was not an issue and I would have explored the city till leaving.  Instead, I took a bath in the sunken tub for royalty. Back to the living room/bedroom and views. Eventually, I fell asleep only to be awakened by two phone calls and a loud knock on the door. I was up, packing my bags, and preparing to depart my short affair with the Pacific Northwest.

A cab to Sea-Tac... and in desperate need of a cup of joe. Flying on a jet plane back home felt right. First to Salt Lake City, the charming airport I've grown to like (they have salt water taffy). Back to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and on to my cabin in the mountains. The shuttle bus was crowded; young men talking about the two inches of snow the night before. I rolled my eyes realizing I was back to the megadrought reality. I missed my fur kids. My PNW had come to an end. 
Tea played a big role in my trip and
fond memories will be shared in my
forthcoming book
Pine trees always greet me on the road back home

Overall, the journey I took to Washington and British Columbia was exciting...but I wish I had stayed a bit longer. Long Beach, CA is next in line but I have not forgotten Canada. For some reason, Ontario or Victoria, B.C. may be in the cards this fall. But for now I am home.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tame Travels with an Edge: Vancouver, British Columbia

By Cal Orey
As a native Californian whom has traveled to Canada and most of our 50 states, I'm all too aware of our megadrought and how it's affecting our water supply--and my sense of adventure happiness. 

Exploring in Canada on March 24, I got to escape reality and savor water from morning till night. In Washington and Canada when I visited cafes to restaurants, it was not asked by servers: "Do you want a glass of water?" And I could sense their thoughts: "Do you really need it?" And refills for tea?  A wash, too in our Golden State. Water in B.C. was plentiful in showers, bathtubs, pools, hot tubs, eateries, and tea rooms, the skies, and environment. I was in Waterworld and I loved it...

Waking up in B.C... At home each day I awaken to three sweet but demanding fur kids. I am nestled amid pine trees (and a receding beach at Lake Tahoe a few blocks away). In every room of the cabin each window I look out of boasts towering trees (minus one that fell on the cabin last December). On Sunday last month it was a breath of fresh air to open my eyes to a solo bed with a city view and water. This corner room on the 24th floor boasted a balcony which I did learn to savor. Most of the time I was in the room the door was open and fresh air and space was awesome to my senses.

Monday morning after the carafe of coffee (I didn't want to walk into Starbucks so early in the morning with intense customers high on their caffeine fix) and one more toasted bagel to avoid the fifty dollar waffle affair, the morning swim workout and hot tub time outdoors was unforgettable.
It was a blissful welcome; not a 2 mile drive to the resort pool at Tahoe (which is doable, too). I did feel spoiled and smiling to enjoy water all alone again. Guiltless. Knowing that Vancouver Aquarium was next up made me feel in sync with the fish I'd visit. 

Where'sthe Sea Monsters?... I was looking forward to seeing the super Sea Monsters. As a former writer for Tropical Fish Hobbyist, I assumed these creatures would be big and bad. Out of the pool, into the bathtub in my room; it was time to go have a face to face with the spooky fish. Like a kid I was anticipating the unknown.

I was at the aquarium more back in 1999. I vowed to go back alone since my traveling partner was not my cup of tea. Once there it wasn't much different except I liked being alone. The air was very humid.  Lots of energetic children screaming and laughing were everywhere I walked. If I was a little girl I'd be asking my parents: "Where are the sea monsters?" Once downstairs I was stunned to see a fossilized sea creature. No real live sea monster. I wanted to cry. My fantasy was squashed.

Back to Tea Research... After my time spent at the aquarium (I connected with penguins, sea otters, and a frog), I went back to the hotel and prepared to set out again to visit the tea people. Both experiences taught me a lot--which I will share in my book.
Tea and treats were a top highlight of the trip. Above is a peek of Teaworld. Sweet and savory edibles and tea(s) were served to me. 

I enjoyed some of the items. But, but, but I detected attitude by a few servers. I'm not sure if it's a Canada quirk, like in Quebec, or what, but my sensitivity was spot-on after I discovered from other patrons that this was not in my imagination. 
...Into the City...  From swimming to hot tubbing, visiting the fish--dead and alive--sipping teas and munching on eats was decadent, enlightening but I needed a break. Since it was raining which didn't seem to bother the Canadians. In fact, I couldn't help but notice everyone walks, swims, and drinks coffee in the rain and doesn't seem bothered. At all. 

I decided to take in a movie but the theater was too far for a trek and I got a cab. It was 50 Shades of Grey--the sexy film--that I decided to see so I wouldn't blush watching it in a town where everyone knows everyone. The glitch? The concierge gave me the wrong time of showing. That said, I was stranded in a mall in a foreign country. 
A sweet security guard offered to hail a cab. No such luck. After 30 minutes of trying, he gave up. It was left to me to get back to my hotel. Actually, I should have tried myself. Within minutes a cabbie stopped and we were en route to my point of destination: Dry and cozy.  Since I was water logged with tea, for once in my life I didn't crave the hot beverage.  

In My Room...Back in the room with a view I thought: "I don't want to be around the hustle bustle of the city." So, I splurged. I ordered two films: "Wild" and Still "Alice"--a chick movie marathon. Worse, each movie was $17.  The Canadian dollar doesn't go very far, I'm told. But the movies, especially the one where the character Cheryl hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, inspired me and brought me back in time. 

When I was in my mid twenties I hitchhiked from the San Francisco Bay Area south to Los Angeles and on through the Mojave Desert to my gran's in Tucson, AZ. The thing was, I was on a mission to deliver my mother's ashes in a box.  This grueling adventure--being stranded on Interstate 10 to talking to my deceased mom in a box-- was an important journey. It ended up as a novella in my thesis back in grad school.  While viewing Wild, the saga hit me with vivid memories (going hungry to dangerous happenings) of being like an animal on the road.

But this time the way I traveled was different. This time around it was a book signing, book research, and some fun things to do. Back in time each day was about survival. After the films I fell asleep because the hotel wake-up call would ring at 4:00 A.M.--allowing me enough time to get to the train station headed back to the states.  From being young and naive sleeping in a sleeping bag with a dog to decades later cuddled up in a bed with a postcard view, it hit me: "I'm still an adventuress going out of her comfort zone but no longer wild."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Forward with Coffee, Honey, and Oil(s)

By Cal Orey

Today I was greeted with April New Beginnings on the Barnes and Noble website. It reads:

"Get Ready for Spring--

Spring has finally arrived, and with it the promise of New Beginnings. Shop this enticing collection of books perfect for helping you get in shape, get organized, and get ready for Spring." 

Enter: My Healing Powers Series, including The Healing Powers of Coffee, Honey, and Olive Oil: These three books are part of the group of books celebrated for the new season. This doesn't surprise me. After all, I incorporate a section in the coffee book on how to clean your house with coffee grounds. Ditto for the honey and olive oil book.

What's more, all three books boast a chapter on beauty with these superfoods and recipes on how to rejuvenate your body from head to toe. And, weight loss facts, recipes, and diet plans are part of these books, too. Not to forget health perks for all."

Spring Forward: Yes, personally I have begun the process of renewal. I enjoy my large cup of joe in the early a.m. to provide mental and physical energy. Tomorrow, I will rejoin the resort where I swim. Next up? Today at the store I'll be grabbing plenty of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. It's salad time to healthy up and keep slim. Of course, I'll be using honey (yes, it does fight spring allergies and I explain how in the book), and oils (all types included in the new revised and updated edition) in a variety of healthful salads.
So, did seeing these three books surprise me? Yes and no. I'm elated to share the joys of these superfoods with readers. But I also indulge in a bit of chocolate (infused with dried fruit and nuts) and the wide world of vinegars for salads, baked goods, and topically for skin woes of the season. 
Not to forget, I do practice what I preach. I've been up to spring cleaning with these three superfoods, using feng shui with each one, and loving color therapy to lighten up. Read: A fluffy green comforter on the bed, pale blue place mats on the glass table, white throw pillows in the living room, and must find a spring wreath to put on the front door.  Indeed, Spring is the season for renewal and it's easier with energizing, healthful coffee, honey, and olive oil!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

On the Road to Vancouver, Canada

By Cal Orey
This Afternoon Tea was bliss for this tea lover

As I sit cozy amid my three fur kids at Tahoe, a day after it snowed, memories of traveling from Seattle to Vancouver on Sunday March 22 are with me.  Amazingly, I did fall asleep early to arise to a hotel 4:00 A.M. wake up call. I got two calls with a lot of rings and was up. 
Taking a bath, getting dressed without coffee was a task--not like home sweet home. True, the dogs get me up early but treating myself to a big cup of gourmet joe with a great splash of organic milk is my treat. Not in the picture at 4:30 in Seattle...

Canada Bound:...Grabbed a cab and headed to the Amtrak Train Station in downtown Seattle. It was crowded with people who did have coffee or had it. Checking in was a job but the business class lounge awaited. Read: Coffee. By 6:45 A.M. I was on my way to the border of Washington and Canada. I sensed Border Patrol agents would be nicer to me than back during my journey in September when the Immigration Officer asked me: "Do you have pot?" And the grilling went south for an hour at 1:30 A.M. after traveling 3000 miles to be greeted in a French speaking province.
Fond images of train rides to Quebec and B.C. 
Nearing the WA/CA border was exciting

Taking the train is a romantic experience but the food is nondescript. I'd like to say, "Coffee is coffee." But that is not true. Yes, I got a little caffeine fix but it was nothing to write home about. The cold bagel? I longed to be home for a homemade scone or fresh whole grain bagel with European butter. 

On the upside, two passengers befriended me. The woman--an individual who tracked helicopter crashes; the man, a former airline pilot were my age and superb company. The four hour trek went by fast. Lots of stimulating conversation made the time pass. It was fun. Often on trips, like this one, I meet interesting people--exchange intimate feelings and words--and we know we probably will never cross paths again. It's much like when I hitchhiked across America and through Canada.

Hello Vancouver!...  Once near the Canadian border, we filled out a card answering questions about our stay, who we were, why we were visiting. It was a cake walk in contrast to Quebec.  Then, before noon the train arrived at Vancouver. As planned, a cab took me straight to the hotel. Not as planned 400 college students were in the lobby. I was told they were leaving. Looking at the faces of hotel staff it was overkill. Worse, there was a chance I wouldn't get my room until 4:00 P.M. 
I checked my carry-on bags with a man in a room. Also, I checked with the manager on the odds of me getting settled in my room sooner than later. There is a hotel god. I was rescued and the elevator beamed me up to the 24th floor, a corner room with a balcony. It was spacious and boasted the feel of the city--a place I miss. 
My corner room with a view
In my Room and Out:... Unpacked and called concierge.  I was guided where to purchase a new carry-on bag with four wheels--not two (it broke).  Felt in a strange land shopping. People holding designer dogs to aggressive panhandlers (I did this in my twenties, must be karma). I did notice my garb (sweater, skinny jeans, Sorels with faux fur, infinity scarf) fit in with the city women. I felt a sense of fashion belonging. After a compassionate sales girl helped me find a good bag I grabbed a large chocolate bar for that feel-good endorphin high and to beat the lack of sleep.

Feeling like Dorothy once she arrived at Oz was how I felt. Pampered at the spa pool/hot tub and pampered through research. It was an awesome experience that I will savor for later.  Back to the room to live for I admit I was tired from the early train ride. Instead of room service, I actually order a medium vegetarian pizza with whole wheat crust. Settling in with a picturesque view, food, gray skies was my idea of taking a break. Monday promised more adventures.

All mine, a fish from the past life
Swimming Time :... At home I often swim at one of the resort pools. I did call room service and got a carafe of coffee, milk, and a bagel.  We are talking pricey food (fifteen dollars); I could purchase 2 1/2 dozen fresh bagels (all kinds from sea salt to cinnamon raisin) for that and a pot of coffee brewed by moi. I passed on a breakfast for a princess and savored a mocha latte at Starbucks downstairs. Most likely, other hotel guests followed the same game plan.

Hot tub heaven anticipating the
Vancouver Aquarium
Awake it was time to hit the pool and pray that it would be empty and open. It was all mine. I was in heaven. True, it was cold outdoors, but steam was rising from both the pool and hot tub. In and out I went. Extra laps, longer than usual in the tub. I was in heaven in Vancouver and felt like a fish in water.

To be Continued...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Author's Personal Notes of Pre-Easter Book Signing

By Cal Orey
"There's no place like home." -- Wizard of Oz

Happy at Roseville Barnes and Noble--they called me
a "favorite local author" in PR after Nov. 15

(I realized the Sierra is part of me as an author and 
coming home again was the best part)

Today I was awakened at 5:25 A.M. by my two dogs. In their canine minds it was time to get up, do their business, eat, and savor another day. After several minutes of hoping it was a dream, I crawled out of bed and performed tricks upon command like any dedicated dog owned by two loving pooches. However, we returned to bed until about 7:30 and then the morning began. It was time for another book signing at Barnes and Noble.  Coffee, shower, day bags for each dog, feed kitty, and I dressed in jeans, a white tee, black leather vest, combat boots, and an infinity scarf from Montreal (a gift from my fall trip) for a book signing event at Roseville, California, near the capitol of our Golden State. By 10:30 A.M. the boys were dropped off at the kennel and we were on the road. Day outings, like this one, are often done with my sibling. The long, out of country trips? I savor those solo. We made good time and arrived in SAC at noon. 

Hello Again, Roseville Barnes and Noble: Once entering the store I walked up to the Customer Service area. A poster and books--lots of books--of my Healing Powers Series greeted me. I was told that The Healing Powers of Chocolate had sold out days before. One buyer was arriving to have me sign each one. Chocolate power.
Next up it was brought to my attention that sitting in the cafe would be fruitful for the author, bookstore, and patrons. I was game, especially after seeing a poster of my book The Healing Powers of Coffee on the counter in the food and coffee area. Treated to a complimentary latte and savory scone, I sat down at a table with more than less of my books, including The Healing Powers of Honey and The Powers of Olive Oil.
Today, it was the male customers who purchased Coffee books--and this makes me happy. When I was assigned to write the book, my former editor believed this book would attract men (of all ages).  It was a hit in this store.
And some women whom I spoke to today were interested in weight loss. Again, The Healing Powers of Coffee book was my first choice, Olive Oil second. (But it truly was a Sophie's Choice decision.) Yet my coffee book was featured in the cover story of Woman's World Magazine and the two page spread focused on a woman losing 42 pounds!

Signing Books: It feels strange to sign books for people. Actually, since age 8 after my poem "School Days" was published I knew I would be an author. But when I was kid, a grad student, and after college paying my dues as a magazine journalist, I never thought about the world of author events at bookstores. I suppose I should be more creative when I sign my name. Often people will ask me to address it to a family member, friend or to them. Sometimes amusing and thoughtful words are also requested for me to include on the pages of the books I wrote.  Folks like me to include the current date, too. I oblige. Does it mean the book is worth more when I go to author heaven? Note to self: Find out if this factoid is a fact or myth.

Books, Chocolate, Books
This signing could have been one where rows of chairs faced me; two women arrived and requested it from me. I could have easily read anecdotes and followed with a Q and A format as I did in this store back in 2002 and 2006 for 202 Pets' Peeves and The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes. But the meet and greet deal worked fine. Some of the conversations were enlightening and personable. What's more, last November I was told a week after the book event, dozens of my books sold after I left. So, I anticipate people will buy more again, perhaps even tomorrow.

The Promise:  Made a promise to my dear two-year-old Aussie. Last night I told him we'd have a busy day Saturday but I would come home before 6:00 P.M. He got it. Australian Shepherds are brainiacs: He knows how to give me a high five, shake, bear hug, lick kitty, give me kitty's collar, and catch a Frisbee with ease. The only woe is he tries to herd strangers when we're on the road in the car.  (I paid for brushing his double dense coat, extra walks); and my Brittany had a quick exam and walkies, too.)  
The traffic picked up at 5:30 P.M. It was close. We were told via cell phone everyone was leaving at six 'o clock. Chances were we weren't going to make it.  A dogless night and Easter. I didn't want to wait until 3 P.M. Sunday to pick up my kids. I craved an all night and morning group fur fix.

I forecasted to my brother who didn't think we'd make it in time (despite when I called the verdict didn't look promising),  it would be a 50-50 chance someone would still be there. We arrived at 6:04. Dogs were rescued in the nick of time. So tonight I am pleased. I accomplished a book signing (despite a pesky face rash from the elements: going from Seattle-Vancouver, Canada with its humidity, chlorine in pool/hot tub at hotel,  back to cold, dry Tahoe), and kept my word despite my vanity of sporting clear skin without makeup. We are all whooped. It's just another day in an author's life. Done.
Marley chills and is active if I come or go

Zen is Zen-like but loves me home
Tomorrow, I will enjoy the new fluffy green comforter I brought home from Roseville. It will be a day of baking for the 3rd edition of VINEGAR and the forthcoming book on TEA.  

The weather people tell us to prepare for snow. Images of bringing in firewood, making a fire, and smelling apricot and current scones in the oven will be heavenly. And, of course, my fur friends will be amid me the special day that is an important one to people around the world. 
No ham, scalloped potatoes, and bunny cake this year. Just a whole lot of gratitude for living in the moment.