Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pre-Autumn is Here at Lake Tahoe!

By Cal Orey

Living in the Northern California sierras has its perks. One of them is that you can feel the oncoming seasonal change earlier than other places. The temps are beginning to get cooler in the mornings (35 degrees Monday morning, heater kicked on!) The pine needles are brown and falling right after you get them off the rooftop.  Flannel sheets have arrived but still at night the windows remain open. Caveat: Companion animals sleep on the bed and not floor...
Aspens of Tahoe
It's coming. Fall is on its way. Baking and cooking is on my mind but I will wait a little bit longer as autumn begins to trickle into the mountains. That said, pre-fall cleaning is on my mind. The fridge, pantry, and windows all need to be cleaned as well as the oven (a bit). It's that time and summer procrastination lingers. 

Today, the pool is closed (I did break and go to the outdoor one). But soon it's time to make way to resort swimming pool because shoulder season is right around the corner. One more holiday madness day is coming up: Labor Day Weekend. Then, it's celebration time. Quietude permeates the Sierra...

Amtrak 1 way; glorified bus the other
Hotel is booked
Will revisit  Seattle after Canadian Coffee & Tea Show
Seattle/British Columbia So why am I booking a trip to the Pacific Northwest? Because I was invited to the Canadian Coffee and Tea Convention. I couldn't say no. It's a B-Day present to me as a work-fun trip and a fairly short one at that. I haven't told the boys yet...but the kennel, sibling know mom is going north one more time for the coffee, tea, environment, and boost of endorphins from going away and out of my comfort zone.

Here I sit getting ready to book the Seattle rooms for the first night of arrival and last night and then done. I wait. 

The upside: Courtesy press pass to the event; US dollar means great deals in Canada; I have my autumn clothes; chipped molar will be done; I will network with tea people and revisit an awesome hotel in Vancouver (another invite) for tea and scones. I'm there.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

California--The Next Big Quake-Tsunami

I heard my parents talk about a monster quake and killer waves, like the ones Crescent City, California, residents experienced when a tsunami swept in from the Pacific Ocean early on March 28, the day after the unforgettable quake struck Alaska. It was a surreal and unbelievable nightmare. It was miles away from my safe world in middle-class suburbia.  I couldn’t imagine such a life-threatening catastrophe . . . 
There I was, months later in the summer on the porch steps of our house in San Jose, California with my Dalmatian Casey. It finally hit home. I was awestruck at the National Geographic magazine pages of snow-covered ground with gigantic cracks. Anchorage and other Alaskan cities were devastated...

After swimming yesterday in a pool, I saw the Lake
and thought, 'Could the water reach my home?"
This event happened decades ago. As a sensitive Californian with a vivid imagination, earthquakes and tsunamis are never too far from my mind. 

Currently, living about one block away from Lake Tahoe, I realize that if a major shaker hits in the sierras, it could cause an underwater landslide and a seiche could occur. It has happened centuries ago--it my happen again.

New Study, Southern California Tsunami
Last night I was a News Segment guest on Coast to Coast A.M. I was asked to comment on the new study about Southern California and its potential to be hit by a tsunami in a Borderland region--Ventura and Oxnard. This area could rock and roll from a 8.0 and yes, an underwater quake could create a big wave up to 23 feet high and flood more than one mile inland, say scientists... Yes, this event would be devastating, with little time to prepare, affecting ports, boats, and a heavily populated area.

Subduction Zone Quakes Are More Powerful
But hold the phone. As said before on C2C, a more deadly quake and big wave is more apt to happen north, including the Cascadia Subduction Zone and/or Alaska--places where great earthquakes have hit before and most likely will strike again.

If and when this happens thanks to technology (smart phones and computers) there would be tsunami alerts and people would have time to head for higher ground. Still, we're talking a 100 foot wave and the water damage? One mile inland seems like a cake walk in contrast. When asked last night how much water would flow onto land...I quipped: "Did you see the film 'The Impossible'?" and "Do you remember watching footage of the Sumatra earthquake?" 

The bottom line: Yes, I did forecast a California major earthquake could happen in 2015. I did include Southern California and did say "tsunami" but it could be generated from Alaska, like it did in 1964, the Pacific Northwest (a favorite place for me), or now, even in the southland. The question isn't will it happen--it's when.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2015 Earth Changes Forecasts by Intuitive


I Feel the Earth Move…


The New Year is here. On the upside, no global doomsday scenarios for the world happened and we are here for more ups and downs, thanks to Mother Nature. Talk of global warming is hot as people endure bizarre events, from extreme cold, coastal flooding, odd happenings leaving us to wonder: “What’s next?”
            While 2015 may feel like a rollercoaster ride with its erratic Earth changes, including earthquakes, wacky weather, wildfires, mudslides, and flooding, it will not be all doom and gloom. When nature tosses us lemons, large and small communities to single humans and animals survive, move forward, and bounce back.  Take a look at my intuitive images for the New Year.

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).

2. Weather Events
The drought in California will most likely continue but it will see some relief from heavy rainfall throughout the Golden State. More severe winter temperatures in the Northeast can be expected with coastal flooding. Some bizarre weather events may surprise people in the Gulf States, including flooding from rainstorms to a strong hurricane, followed by another. Springtime flooding/mudslides will affect regions throughout the world that were blanketed by heavy snowfall. The California-Nevada and/or Pacific Northwest will get more rain than it has in the past few years which is a good thing due to the recent historic drought.

3. Health Care
The Affordable Care Act will have more people on board, however, due to financial glitches of people making more than projected, complications will arise with the insurance companies and government. The government as predicted last year gained more control. It will continue to have a hold on doctors prescribing medications, such as narcotics, and will continue to intrude into the medical system, even with the right to live and die laws, and cause uproar with mainstream America.

4. Economy
While 2014 proved to be beneficial financially for a lot of Americans coming out of the Great Recession, some industries will tank and jobs will be lost. Other countries will deal with financial instability and it will affect the U.S.  Seniors will be forced to continue working to keep up the cost of living but because Americans are living longer, healthier lives this won’t be considered a bad thing and it will be actually embraced by people of all ages (ageism will still exist but as we experience the graying of America it will not be as accepted). Seniors will gain respect for physical and mental capabilities.

5. On the Fringe
So, during wacky weather, it’s almost guaranteed strange happenings will occur in 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.

In 2015, the year will seem like a sequel to the film The Day After Tomorrow with crazy climate but as usual humanity will deal and move forward. Weather gurus to seismologists will tell you it’s difficult to forecast what nature will do and when. After listening to so many predictions gone bad, I have to agree. So, you can use my general predictions as a guide, but take a peek at this historical source for the region you’re interested in, too, as I did. Whatever happens in the New Year, be prepared for anything. And note, whatever Mother Nature does, it will pass, as our grandmothers would say to us during the best and worst of times.

2014 Prediction Hits
Here are a few of my predictions that panned out and happened on cue as noted last January in Oracle 20/20:
·        *California did have strong earthquakes: 6.8 rocked Ferndale, Northern California March 10; a 5.1 hit LaHabra, Southern California on March 29; 6.0 West of American Canyon was widely felt in the San Francisco Bay Area.
·       * A near great quake hit but in a remote region: 7.9 hit SE of Little Sitkin Island Alaska.
·       * The Indian Ocean did have a major quake and minor tsunami: Indonesia was struck with a 6.8 underwater earthquake on November 26.
·       * Odd storms in California happened in December, including a small tornado in Southern California. *During late autumn, and surfers enjoyed seven foot waves at Lake Tahoe while dozens of trees fell, power outages hit and homes fell into the Pacific Ocean up and down the entire West Coast.

Confessions of a Phone Psychic

How I Show Strangers the Future

So, exactly how in the world did I, a veteran author and natural Earth changes prognosticator, end up being a live part-time phone psychic anyhow?

Blame it on the Great Recession hit (yes, I predicted it). In the winter of 2010, I called a psychic (or 10) to ask, "When is a foreign rights check for my books coming--and how much?" The answers I got were zany, including "one million dollars"! I offered three realistic choices, "Choose one."  And that's when I called a psychic network manager and predicted: "I can do better." 
After all, I thought, "Since I was 8, people have noticed my sensitive nature and uncanny sixth sense. After I penned the book 'The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes,' I began dishing out quake predictions on national radio shows. Reading people and the challenges that rock their world is no different."

And now I'm one of countless psychic adviser voices who charge by the minute to tune into people and be their personal Magic Eight Ball. (I've received hundreds of positive reviews. Also, I'm tagged as the "time frame" reader with dishes dates. Yes, I'm accurate about 80 percent of the time.

Tuning In to the Faraway Caller
No, I do not use incense, hold a crystal ball or provide spells. I'm often in the company of two sensitive dogs and one black cat (they relax me), and listening to alternative music when the phone rings. I am connected to a caller who is often sad, upset or confused. And, yes, this job can be stressful as well as rewarding. Think  healer.

Once I hear a voice, it sets the stage. Often I can pick up if the call is from the West Coast, South, Northeast, Canada, Trinidad, New Zealand or Australia. And it's not always the accents. It's my animal-like intuition that kicks in from the get go. But there's more ...

Hello, Mother Nature
I use the planets as a baseline, lunar cycles (emotions and calls soar during the New and Full Moon), and a tarot card to get an objective read, which often coincides with what I've picked up with my gut instinct. As a super-sensitive woman, I can predict callers' questions by tuning into their voice, energy and words.

I can also pick up why I'm being contacted, the age of a person, their sun sign (but sometimes I do ask; usually they end up being on the cusp of two signs). If I'm challenged by a skeptical caller, it can end up in a murky reading or a hang-up. It used to hurt my feelings, but nowadays, I sip chamomile tea until the next ring.

I can sense if the caller is sincere -- and then it's show time. Sometimes, the paranormal activity kind of cues I get send chills through my body. The caller feels it, too. That means that I tapped into their psyche and we connected, big-time.

I Can Feel Your Vibrations
Both my callers and I are often surprised that I know things, such as if he or she has a toothache or heartache. The most common problem I am faced with is unrequited love (one-sided romance) -- and it hurts. How do you say, "He or she isn't that much into you?" and/or "Move on for true happiness" -- especially when the caller has her ego wounded, fears being alone or is anxious about the unknown.

I do offer positive advice and words of preparedness for upcoming events (even if a caller can't see what I'm talking about yet). I tell it like it is because saying good things doesn't always bring good or accurate results. It's like saying, "A quake won't hit" when I'm looking at the USGS map, watching an aggressive swarm on an active fault, and the caller is located at the epicenter of a country in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Fire, Earth, Water and Air Signs
Speaking of Earth elements, how do I know if a caller is a Fire, Earth, Water or Air sign? A fire sign is direct and intense, and if the topic is touchy, I can feel their heated emotions (my clavicle often aches). Earth signs are reserved, a bit shy and need a nudge to be real. I can pick up the vibe of passionate water signs' feelings and understand they want me to confirm what they know. And air signs are analytical, good communicators and have a sixth sense, but are hesitant to tune into their gut instincts.

Two days ago, a woman asked me if her sibling would survive a challenging surgical procedure. I strongly sensed "yes." Tonight, I got the answer. I was spot on. I signed on to take another call. I'm sensing the phone will ring within 15 minutes.

Oh, and if you're wondering why, if I'm so psychic, I didn't know when my book check was in the mail, the reason is this: Sometimes it can be tricky to get an accurate read on your own life. Psychic advisers frequently turn to their colleagues (or tarot cards) for an objective outlook, the way I look to the moon and planets to tell me what other people have in store.

There goes the phone, right on time. So, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll take that call. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Author and Trees

By Cal Orey

In San Jose Suburbs
William Blake
Trees. Since I was a kid trees have always had me at first glance. The trees my father planted to landscape our home (especially the huge magnolia one with its breathtaking picture-perfect flowers) in the suburbs were my first welcome. 

Then, as a teen driving over Highway 17, the Santa Cruz Mountains with redwoods captivated me. Going to Oregon for a family vacation to south San Jose swimming in the summer at pools surrounded by trees of all kinds made me feel safe.
Coming home

Walking dogs amid trees
Bellevue, WA for book signing
As I grew up and out of Northern California to travel through America and Canada, the variety of mountains always made me feel secure. I recall finding a dog in the Cascades of Washington, sleeping in van when in the Colorado Rockies, alone in a hotel room via the Appalachians on the Eastern seaboard, lying in a sleeping bag on the sand shaded by palm trees in Florida, savoring colorful leaves on trees in Vermont, again alone with my dog at night in the forest in Quebec, and swimming nestled by trees in the high desert ofFlagstaff, Arizona...
En route to SAC book signing

Later, moving to Santa Cruz Mountains and commuting to SFSU... I loved studying outdoors in the springime surrounded by trees...Not so much fun when a 6.2 quake hit in April of '84. Redwoods seemed anything but something I wanted to run to for safety's sake. Then, moving to San Carlos in the SF Bay Area I was surrounded by fruit trees again living in a historical bungalow setting...and onto Lake Tahoe a place that won my heart at the age of 27.
Mt. Tallac
Montreal last fall

Fallen Leaf Lake during off season

There is something about living with green trees that makes me feel embraced. Sure, during earthquakes it can be spooky; when a megastorm hits with lightning and thunder to when a giant tree falls on your home can be surreal. Not to forget the threat of wildfires and covering the Oakland Firestorm and evacuating the Angora Fire. It's like losing dear friends. 

Trees, big and small, all kinds, wherever they be, will be my forever best friends. They take on a life of their own, not to forget the shade, beauty, olives for universal and versatile olive oil--and sense of calm they provide.  I am connected to trees now and hereafter. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Author-Intuitive Goes with the Flow

By Cal Orey

Pre-fall is in the air at Lake Tahoe. This morning it was a chilly 39 degrees; the kids have returned to school; and soon the resort pool will be available to me week long.  Other signs, including ads for autumn attire, falling pine needles, squirrels nibbling stuff on the ground, firewood lined up against the fence, flannel sheets en route to me--and teas galore to taste and enjoy for days, weeks, and months to come. 

On the Road  I was making plans to promote the Healing Powers series and combine tea book research. Still surprised at pricey Boston. California (Gilroy and Montclair) and Ohio (Cleveland) bookstores have shown interest and provided invites for me--author signings. Currently, I've decided to put these events on the back burner due to unexpected life's twists and turns. Read: Dog tooth surgery; new computer; and the latest challenge? 
Munching on a lozenge I chomped down and chipped a lower back molar. Today, I went to my friendly dentist who shaved the rough edge. A few hours later, it reminded me of the small rip in my water bed liner. Fixed it with a new one for peace of mind. Next Thursday morning I will be getting a crown for safety's sake and so I can continue to munch on crunchy apples and carrots--never again cough drops.  I do not want to be a Castaway character and end up in pain, stranded somewhere in Canada (if I do go to Ohio) with a tooth gone bad.

Book Research/Signings  So, my travel plans are on hold. The Ohio store intrigues me because several hours north puts me in Ontario, Canada the place I really want to revisit. I didn't want to take a small aircraft but this way I will be able to take the big plane and then board a train. 
Actually, Portland, Oregon was my first destination. I was welcomed to a Chinese tea garden and even got a press pass for the Coffee Fest come for late October. But it looks like I'll be brewing tea from China instead for now. 
I lived in Oregon back in the day when I was in my early twenties. It truly wasn't my favorite state and my goal was to waitress my way back to California which I did. Still, I almost booked a flight and room in downtown Portland but now I realize it's not going to happen. A collective sigh from my two dogs and cat.

Here Comes Autumn I believe in destiny. For now, nesting at Lake Tahoe, enjoying the upcoming off season, preparing my taxes for October 15 (not fun but a necessity), tasting, cooking, baking with countless teas--is all good. 
I don't need to get up a 2:30 A.M. to catch a shuttle bus, grab a jet plane to Salt Lake City and then Portland, fly away to a Coffee Fest...I will save travels for a rainy day. And with the chatter El Nino may just bring the West Coast rain and more rain. So perhaps if the end of October is stormy I'll see it as a blessing for the 1,000 dollar new crown of glory.
So for now, I will enjoy the moment and the moment after that: Bathing my boys, researching for the new book at home and via interviews around the world thanks to technology, and waiting for queries from the third edition of VINEGAR. And it's time to take the computer out of the box and set it up. My saved flight miles are in a safe place waiting for the right time for me to spread my wings.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sweet Pancakes for Late Summer

By Cal Orey
Welcome to pancakes or hotcakes, a worldwide favorite food that goes way, way back in time around the globe. Fast forward to me working on deadline during Labor Day weekend to finish a book before autumn. While fine-tuning the book due, I watched films, including "Something's Gotta Give," a romantic comedy and "2012," a doomsday movie. Both flicks included the seven letter word: Pancakes. And that got me craving the thin, flat round cake made from batter, cooked on a frying pan or griddle.
In the Diane Keaton romantic comedy, the 50-something heroine, a single playwright, offers to make homemade pancakes late at night for her 60-something male friend, of sorts. I watched her take out the flour and that's when guilt set in. In the end days movie the mom character invited her ex-husband to join in for a pancake breakfast with their kids. The bottom line: Pancakes are both a comfort and romantic food. And they take me back to when I was a kid. On Sunday mornings, my mother made flapjacks from scratch.
So, on Monday morning I went to the kitchen and instead of grabbing the complete pancake mix that reads "add water," I took out the whole wheat flour, organic milk, and brown eggs. It was so easy to mix up. When I flipped over my first homemade pancake I woke up.
"Why didn't I do this before?" I asked myself.
Doing it yourself gives you the freedom of getting natural stuff - no artificial ingredients. That means you're getting both calcium and protein, and the fresh blueberries give you plenty of dietary fiber and antioxidants.
 Honey Pancakes with Berries or Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated table sugar
1 1/4-1/2 cups 2 percent, low-fat organic milk
3 tablespoons European style butter
1 brown egg, beaten
1 cup fresh blueberries or chocolate chips
Honey for syrup
European style butter
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, butter. Fold in half of the berries. On medium heat warm up a non-stick frying pan. Drop batter in medium-sized circles in pan. When the pancake bubbles flip over and place on plate. Top a few pancakes with a pat of butter, drizzle with warmed up honey, and top with blueberries. Makes a dozen or more pancakes.
My pancakes were picture-perfect. The first bite was as good as a mix pancake - actually better. The flavor of sage honey (mine is from a beekeeper in Reno) and tart blueberries with a small amount of real butter was as good as it gets. Sure, these blueberry pancakes could have been a winner for a mate or kid(s), but the reality of it is that I made a short stack for me - a solo author with two dogs and a cat named Zen. I paired this fresh breakfast with a fresh brewed cup of chocolate mint coffee. It was a morning filled with sweet aroma and fit for a royal queen bee before she morphed into a worker bee (again).
Motto: If you pace yourself you can do whatever it is you want to do - including making homemade pancakes to writing a big book during the hot summer in a tourist town.
- Cal Orey is an author and journalist. Her books include "The Healing Powers" series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate and Honey) published by Kensington. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Here Comes the Fall (Sort of)

By Cal Orey
Fall is on its way!
Years ago summer was my fave season. Nowadays, not so much. The back-to-school ads make me smile. I am in my countdown mode... 40 days, give or take and into pre-autumn we go. The thing is when you live at a resort town, like Lake Tahoe, off season is bliss. It means you once again have access to the stores, less crowded roads, resort pools, dog trails, the Lake, and quietude. Less vacation homeowner visits, loud noises, stray dogs, and then the season itself? 

Last Sept. Quebec was my destination
I love the crisp mornings and evenings. The change of colors, from trees to the sky, make me think I live in the Pacific Northwest (almost).  And, of course, I love to bake and cook in cooler temperatures as well as walk the Brittany and Aussie (double dense coat).  It's coming...
High Tea Time is Coming

Autumn with Aussie
PNW for tea and coffee books in late fall?
And this year I do not have to purchase firewood because of last year's drought. I've got enough wood in the garage and against the fence (all nicely stacked and dry). It's probably time to start stocking the pantry and begin pre-seasonal cleaning before I dive into the next Healing Powers series book: TEA! (HONEY, COFFEE, OLIVE OIL, VINEGAR, and CHOCOLATE are available now for the upcoming autumn season.)
Soup for fall, homemade is best

The world of tea awaits!
Yes, my pantry is chock-full of teas--all kinds--ready for me to sip and savor, cook, and bake with as I enter Teaworld. This topic excites me and I am going to go somewhere where the tea people live but still can't decide exactly where...perhaps more than one destination will suffice.

So, I wait and prepare for the season of all seasons... Pine cones dropping, the first fire in the old rock fireplace, cuddling up with two dogs and a cat, planning a getaway to use those flight miles I postponed, bringing out the cozy throws, flannel sheets, sweaters and jeans, and quietude. Bring it on!