Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Healing Powers of Honey Hits #1 BESTSELLER! (in Antioxidants)

By Cal Orey

Did you know?...

Known as Mother Nature's "nectar of the gods," honey was praised for its healing powers as far back as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians.

Eating honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer , diabetes--even help reduce body fat and unwanted weight!--and increase longevity.

Pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. It's chock-full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins--and only has 21 calories per teaspoon.

Super "bee foods" (including nutrient-rich bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly) are used and touted for their healing powers by beekeepers and medical experts in the present-day.

Honey can relieve a variety of ailments, including allergies, coughs, fatigue, pain, and stress, as well as boost libido.

The honey bee pollinates about one-third of the food we consume (including nutritious fruits and nuts).

Drawing on the latest honey buzz and interviews with medical doctors, beekeepers, and researchers, this charming and enlightening book (sweetened with stories about honey bees and humans) reveals 30 healing honey varieties paired with cinnamon and teas, tells you how to incorporate honey into Mediterranean-style, heart-healthy recipes like Honey Custard French Toast, Honey-Glazed Game Hen, and Filo Pear and Honey Tarts, and provides more than 50 home cures that combat digestive woes to skin woes. You'll also enjoy Cleopatra's milk-and-honey beauty treatments and eco-friendly
beeswax household uses--all made with the amazing honey bee's gifts!

"A fascinating read about a natural remedy that is a rich source of antioxidants." --Ray Sahelian, M.D., author of Mind Boosters

"This eye-opening book provides you with a delicious truth of the traditional Mediterranean diet: Honey is a sumptuous route to optimal health." --Dr. Will Clower, Ph.D., a popular author and neuroscientist

Saturday, March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Diary of an Author-Intuitive

Dear Diary,

I am alive and well as to be expected during our global pandemic--a meltdown on many levels. I am coming back to you (my Wilson like in "Castaway") because there is nowhere else to go where I feel safe. Last time it was obvious depression was rearing its ugly head. I snapped out of it, sort of. Bathing every day, brushing my teeth, eating right does seem to give a sense of normalcy. Flash back to Will Smith in "I Am Legend"--viewing his day to day existence was a bit like that and now I get it. Tomorrow I will start using the treadmill. Tonight I will build a fire.

When you're forced in isolation it's good to keep some sort of structure. He'd feed his dog Sam a healthy meal, eat his grub, watch the news reruns (from before the world ended as he knew it), exercise, and even go hunting in the city. But, but, but there's another problem. Focus. I am finding myself keeping busy but doing different things--not staying on track with one project.

Pandemic foreshadow? Dec. '19, isolated in Anchorage
 fog/icy roads and hurricane-force winds
kept me isolated in a hotel on the 17th floor
Last night I received my edits for #9 book--Herbs and Spices--Timeless Treasures.  That is a good thing. I did peek at it. My trip to Alaska and my dear friends' sailing around the world adventure were not cut. This makes me happy. 
But I set it aside to finish an assigned health article. Then, I put it away to clean my fish aquarium to make me and my fish happy. And I am thrilled to report Mr. Snail Jr. is alive! All my goldfish, and catfish are happy. They do not know that world is sick...

Day to Day Life

Despite of all the politics, people in denial, sick, dying, overwhelmed healthcare workers and people living in fear--life goes on. I've been brushing my Australian Shepherd's coat and his teeth, and cleaned the microwave. I am getting ideas of spring cleaning, gardening, sunshine and...BAM! I realize things in Coronavirusland are not getting better. I am just adapting to a nightmare I cannot control. In fact, last night I slept only to be awakened by my dog and cat--barks and cries to eat breakfast. They keep me going even though they probably sense I'm off.

It's strange. As an author and introvert--my life has often been one of isolation and that's okay. But when I got cabin fever I'd go swim, gamble, book a trip to Canada or do a book signing. Those days are over for now and nobody knows how much longer life will go on like it is. I did see June where we might get a feel for real life. But nobody knows for sure. 
Talk of quarantining New York and other Northeast states is happening. Our county now has nine COVID-19 confirmed cases. Both my publishers and we Californians are in hot zones. Political fights about ventilators that patients will likely need. There is a vast shortage. And Easter Sunday doesn't look like it will be a beautiful day of church gatherings. I see the big circles on the US map. We are near SF...and may become a hot zone as an escapists' tourism hub--and tourists keep coming up here to smell the fresh mountain air, visit the lake, take our food, eat and go after invading our town, somewhat like another strain of the C-virus.

Medical experts to fellow astrologers and history tell of a second wave of the virus will hit hard in fall...  Worse, medical experts talk of several more outbreaks.  Last night I watched Bill Gates who provided a sense of calm. He said if America hunkers down for another eight to 10 weeks we may not have to shutdown again--we will flatten the curve. 

But I am powerless. 

At times I feel like Anne Frank must have felt...cooped up, hiding, and waiting for the grim inevitable--but with a bit of hope and faith of getting our lives back to normal. We all have expiration dates but I'd rather go traveling or be blindsided quickly not grab a ticket and wait to be called out. "You're infected." If that happens I'd rather stay at home...be in my cozy cabin with my loved ones. I do not want to go to a containment camp and be with strangers or rely or be denied a ventilator. Maybe I should write a will. Or not.

One Day at a Time

For now, I'll start writing the article on seasonal allergies, and perhaps take a few calls from people around the world. Nowadays, 3 out of 5 share how they're coping with the virus in their world. And I am chill like a nurse on shift. It's not that I don't care. I do. But there is nothing I can do except read and dish answers for their immediate concerns about love, work, and money. I notice the calls are less than more from the UK a region with money problems before and now it's likely worsened.

I can't help be wonder. Was my adventure to Alaska--the solo trip that tanked with erratic weather, rough air on the flight, isolated in my hotel room to later experiencing my dog's home quarantine foreshadow and preparation of this Coronavirus event?

And so it goes. The sun did not shine today. That is normal for Lake Tahoe in the early spring. In a few weeks, more snow will melt, birds will fly around the deck and I will get feeders. A garden, warmer weather, and maybe by June we'll feel a since of hope until autumn when the monster may come back. Flight vouchers to Canada? The supervisor gave me another year to book a trip.  How would it be if fall never arrived? One day at a time. Be in the moment.  Hanuka Matata. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Foraging for DIY Pizza During Tough Times

By Cal Orey

Foraging for DIY Pizza During Tough Times

This week going to the supermarket was a challenge. I’m mastering the art of foraging. I found French bread, gourmet cheese, and fresh greens—all my favorite brands, not generic. Thanks to being familiar to the new normal way of food shopping (due to circumstances beyond our control), my pantry was semi-stocked with marinara sauce, olive oil from Monterey, herbs and spices.
Back in the day when I was in my twenties, living in San Jose, hunting and gathering food like people did in the stone age was what I did for survival. Finding food from orchards and fields was part of the nomad-grad school lifestyle. I recall one afternoon my SO came home to our garden apartment. He gave me a gift: A basket filled with fresh corn, lettuce, and tomatoes. He shared his tale of hopping a fence and picking produce for our dinner. It was a fab score and he didn’t get caught foraging food from the land that was not ours. The night before, his mom  brought us a care package of pastrami (for him, a carnivore) and bread and cheese (for me, a semi-vegetarian).

So, this new shopping challenge takes me back in time. This hot sandwich was inspired by my carefree days of being resourceful, in love, and going with the flow.
4 French bread slices (Francisco International French rolls) baguettes, or French bread
½ cup store bought marinara or pesto sauce
¼ red onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup cheese, mozzarella and cheddar, slices or shredded
2 medium large Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup baby spinach, washed, chopped
Extra virgin oil
Ground black pepper
6 pepperoni slices, cooked, chopped or not (optional)

Put bread on a dish for the microwave or oven at 350 degrees (more crisp this way, quicker the first). Toast until light golden brown. Take out toasted bread and spread with sauce, onion, and garlic. Top with cheese. (Carnivores go ahead and add a few slices cooked pepperoni, chopped or not.) Heat again until hot and cheese is bubbly. Remove from microwave or oven. Top with tomatoes and raw spinach. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Slice in small squares or leave in its rectangle form. Serves 2.

Before our eating style changed as we knew it, I’d ring up my favorite pizza spot and order a vegetarian delight. In about thirty minutes, the dog’s bark at the delivery guy would alert me to dinner in a box. These days, sometimes a store is out of bread, eggs, milk and other staples so home-cooking can be a time for adapting to change. But DIY meals can go further (and ingredients can be used for more meals)—and perhaps even healthier. So, this sizzling French bread pizza sandwich with good for you trimmings is quick to make and so good.  Meatless or not it works (for all ages) during tough times. Bon Appetit!

— Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, and Essential Oils) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  Her website is www.calorey.com . 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Superfoods for Staying Healthy--Winter-Spring Weather

Superfoods for 2020--Your Favorites!

The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide to Nature's Favorite Functional Foods
Cybersale for 2020

By Cal Orey

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Guard Your Immune System with Essential Oils

Anti-Germ Essential Oils for the Worried Well
By Cal Orey

 Enter the virus of 2019-2020. The outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first pinpointed in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It has infected more than 67,000 people around the globe—mostly in mainland China. Since the outbreak, there have been reported more than 2,698 deaths—the majority in mainland China. The new statistics as of March 6 are sobering:

* The total number of global cases more than 100,000; spread to 90 nations; more than 3,400 fatalities.
  • * Regions of outbreaks at least 20 states in the U.S., which will undoubtedly be more.
  • * The World Health Organization officials are not declaring a pandemic--but preparation is taking place.
  • * Home quarantines include more than 8,000 in S.F., to closing schools in WA state.
  • * Panic buying is happening around the nation and world. Food to mask sales are soaring.
  • * America does not have enough testing equipment so those infected will go without a definitive diagnosis.
  • * The travel industry, large events, and lives of people with underlying health conditions and elderly with weakened immune systems are advised to stay home.
  • * Stocks plummet due to fear of the coronavirus and its effects on the world economies. 

A Global Crisis on the Verge of Pandemic
  • Currently, this virus (with symptoms of a cough, fever, and shortness of breath) may not be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu—but it is contagious and the world is on edge. The coronavirus has killed more people than SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome which first appeared in China, 2002). And it has complicated challenges, whereas people are quarantined in hospitals to stranded and isolated on cruise ships. People in dozens o countries are coping but fear the unknown.  The respiratory illness comes with an unpredictable and longish incubation period (two to four weeks). 
  • Worse, the infected may not know they are sick and can pass in to others.  Like in the film "Outbreak" coronavirus is spread from infected people to others through the air, by coughing and sneezing (refer to the movie theater scene when an infected person sneezed), and touch objects or surfaces with the virus on it. While most people with healthy immune systems are not immune—they do recover. But the elderly (especially those people with underlying health issues) are the most likely group to face physical challenges--even death.

The outbreak ignited in December 2019. Ground zero is Wuhan, China which is believed where the virus originated at a fish market—like the “Contagion” film--and quickly spread from person to person. There are theories of exactly how the virus started. Some say bats like a money in the film “Outbreak.” Speaking of sci-fi thrillers, there is also a theory, reported by newspapers that the
 lethal virus epidemic spreading worldwide may have been created in a Wuhan laboratory. It is believed by some reports to be linked to China’s secret biological weapons program, by the Chinese to use it as a bio germ warfare weapon. Whatever the virus’s origin (which may be covered up), it spread in China—and isolated cases have been discovered in Italy, the UK,  United States from California to Washington—and significant outbreaks continue.
Past Plague, Magical Medicine

Viruses are nothing new. During the Middle Ages, four robbers in the French town of Marseilles preyed upon the homes and belongings left behind by the people who fell victim to the bubonic plague, or "Black Death" of Europe. Eventually they were caught and brought before French judges, who wondered how these four thieves had protected themselves from the deadly plague while looting plague-ridden possessions. The legend is that the four thieves bargained and exchanged the famous Four Thieves vinegar and herbs formula for freedom. They explained that they washed themselves with the antiviral and antibacterial infection-fighting liquid every few hours.
No one seems to know who wrote the formula, which differs from recipe to recipe, but it is basically the same and it works in various ways. It can be used to disinfect sick rooms. If diluted with water, if can be used as a body wash. It can be used as a preventive measure to stave off viral infections, such as the flu.

5 Essential Oils to Guard Your Immune System

The antiviral and antibacterial compounds in essential oils can help guard your body against germs and contracting the virus. Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, founder of the Pacific Aromatherapy Institute points out that “the most effective essential oils for viral infections are those with sizable contents of cineole, mono terpene alcohol, and mono terpene hydrocarbons.” He adds, “These three types of components form an effective antiviral synergy.”
Here are five oils containing antiviral and antibacterial compounds, which may help you, like the four thieves, to guard against getting the virus.

     Eucalyptus: This oil is one of the best essential oils to help keep the flu at bay because it boosts your body’s immune system. It contains cineole which is effective for viral infections. Try It! It can be used in baths and showers, saunas and steams, and a vaporizer.
    Lavender: It is touted for its antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties, which can help treat respiratory infections. It can also soothe aches and pains in the joints and muscles. Try It! Inhaling this oil in a steaming vaporizer, baths, or even used as a culinary oil infused in tea blends and foods.
    Lemon:  This essential oil contains mighty flavonoids (super antioxidants) which may also help fight viruses. The citrus oil can also be used to relieve coughs, fevers, and a sore throat. Try It! It can be used in soaps and household cleaners.
    Peppermint: This essential oil can ease muscle pain due to its cooling effect, like eucalyptus oil. Its ingredient menthol can help to relieve congestion from a cold. Try It! It can be used in a foot soak, diffuser, or one small drop neat (undiluted) under your tongue or on your forehead or back of your neck.
    Tea Tree: Medical research shows tea tree oil contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties called terpinen—ol and a-terpinol. These two components may help disease linked to bacteria and infection. Try It! It can be used in a vaporizer or diffuser. But note, it is not a culinary oil.
      Other immune-enhancing oils include: basil, cedarwood, cinnamon, and sandalwood.
Essential oils are budget-friendly and available year-round at your health food store and online.

The bottom line: Your best line of defense is similar to the four robbers in the Middle Ages. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds--often. Also, do wipe down objects and surfaces. Essential oils can be helpful to bolster your immune system and disinfect your world as the world is in a wait and see mode.
In mid-February, the novel coronavirus outbreak has not been called a pandemic (a global epidemic)—but because it’s unstable it’s possible if it spreads and if more deaths occur in other countries. And note, medical workers are not safe—more than 1,700 have been infected by coronavirus, and at least six have died.  Also, someone who is infected may not show symptoms. There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the unpredictable virus. And the word is, health experts are preparing the U.S. for more cases. So, this contagion is not over. It may be just the beginning of a nightmarish scenario or foreshadow for something even more cataclysmic. Or we could develop a vaccine and be even better prepared for the next outbreak or pandemic.
 For more information, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html .  (Adapted from Cal Orey’s The Healing Powers of Essential Oils: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Most Magical Medicine, published by Citadel Press Kensington. You can find the Infection-Fighting Four Thieves Formula recipe and dozens of home cures and recipes for the body and household.)

 Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods and Essential Oils) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is www.calorey.com .

Sunday, March 22, 2020

COVID-19: Diary of an Author-Intuitive

By Cal Orey

Our world is broken. I have gone through a mixed bag of emotions. Shock. Fear. Anger.  And now depression. I have not showered. I have not eaten. I did finish an assigned article. Not surprised. I have worked under pressure: During Angora Fire, SF 7.1 Quake, Oakland Firestorm, 9-11... But this time around it is just too overwhelming.

Last night I called a city council woman. She told me stuff like the military was not coming to Lake Tahoe. Well, guess what. The National Guard is on its way to CA, NY, and WA. I guess my intuition is still intact. I do not want to read for people. Young girls call me, "When is Johnny calling?" to "Is it over?" I don't care. I don't understand how they can be so out of touch with our achy breaky globe. It's hurting.

Goodbye America
I realize now how I took for granted the good things in life. Swimming at the resort pool, traveling to Canada, fresh food, writing books, and comfortable in the sierras. Now my world and the world has changed.

I want to run away. Funny. Last night my fave airline comped me a lot of vouchers. I can now go to Canada in the fall to see the northern lights and a moose. The thing is, their borders are closed. Washington is a hot zone and we soon will be. But on the upside the supervisor allowed an extra year for the vouchers to be used.

Highly Sensitive 
As an author-intuitive I read too much, think too much, feel too much. I, like the world, am down. On overload. TMI. I don't want to know anymore the case numbers of infected, the deaths. And now the military is bringing in 2000 beds. How many coffins. How many containment centers. I feel like this is a war. 

We are losing our rights. The banks are now not allowing people to take out too much money.  Food? I am now foraging online. The pantry is stocked but I sense the world will be out of food. Why else are all the staples "Out of Stock" or the prices are out of this world. We will be eating like Alaskans do in the winter. Is this foreshadow of "Soylent Green" based in 2022.

Getting My Groove Back
If I managed to write an article, I suppose I can shower, and go through the motions. But I am feeling down. Not me. I am strong. A fighter. Well, when Simon passed I did not do well for a week. He was my rock. My canine soul mate. I wish he was here. But his best friend Skyler is next to me. He is my protector. And Zen kitty is here, too.

I want to run away. Fight-or-flight response. Just leave everything and go. But what if I am infected? What if nobody will let me go to wherever. Trapped. Not in mood to be calm. Not in the mood to be helpful. I am here but not.  The world is a dark place. We are all fighting, scrambling, and lost. We were blindsided and now we are lost. Today, I do not feel hopeful or see the light. I want to go to sleep and wake up to the life that once was. But that is a dream and we're living a nightmare and I had predicted in "The Truth About the Coronavirus." I am grieving for the world.  It's like a kid's favorite toy is no longer working. And nobody can fix it.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Spring into Lavender Honey Comfort Food

By Cal Orey

Spring into Lavender Honey Comfort 

Rice pudding goes back to the Tudor period in England. A basic rice pudding is made with white rice, whole milk, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla flavoring. It can be cooked in a saucepan on the stovetop or baked in the oven. It’s the perfect comfort food with a cool French twist for a new way of life on the south shore during springtime.

I was a kid when I first made rice pudding. On a foggy morning in San Jose I skipped school so I could play chef and curl up with my new fluffy Norwegian elkhound puppy. I used my mom’s recipe. Sitting on the kitchen floor, reading the cookbooks perplexed me. A lot of the recipes were complicated. I didn’t understand cooking methods. Decades later, I transformed this Mediterranean dessert with different foods and essential oils or herbs. And a furry Australian shepherd kept me company while I changed it up but maintained the memorable cinnamon and vanilla aroma and flavor with lavender for a herby, calming bite.

Floral Rice Pudding

1 cup brown (or white) rice, cooked
2 ½ cups organic half-and-half
2 large brown eggs, beaten
¼ cup sugar, pure cane granulated white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop lavender essential oil (food grade) or ½-1 teaspoon edible lavender flowers
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries or amber raisins
½ cup walnuts or almonds, chopped
1 cup whipped cream
1 tablespoon honey
Sprigs of edible lavender dried flowers for garnish

*Use a toothpick drop for your measurement of food grade essential oils. Food grade only. Instead of whipped cream you can simply drizzle honey on top of pudding. Edible lavender is available online. Look for organic lavender flowers dried, used for tea and baking.
Mix cooked rice and half-and-half in a bowl. Add eggs and sugar. Stir well. Add vanilla and lavender oil. Fold in dried fruit. Pour into ramekins. Place in 8-inch by 8-inch dish filled with cold water. Bake pudding at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set. Cool and top with nuts. Top with a dollop of whipped cream with well with honey. Sprinkle with edible lavender dried flowers. Good served warm or cold. Serves 4.
Pair this creamy comfort pudding a cup of hot lavender chamomile tea. (Available in different forms at your supermarket or online.) There have been countless studies on the benefits of lavender to help treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. As long as you use pure essential oils (food grade) from a source you trust, you’ll join the legions of people who adopted the oils, tea, and flowers for baking in their daily lives. It’s called bonding with Mother Nature’s goodness for the body, mind, and spirit.
(Adapted from The Healing Powers of Essential Oils: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Most Magical Medicine by Cal Orey published by Kensington)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID-19: Diary of an Author-Intuitive

By Cal Orey
Dear Diary,

This is my refuge. It is a place I go to chill. I live a Zen-like life in a cabin in the sierras. When the snow melts I will plant a garden and most likely transition from vegetarian to vegan. Actually, I predicted people would do just that in 2020. It could be worse...

UPDATE: Oops. That was quick. Breaking News: 40 million people in California are now under lock down. This is serious. We can go out for essential errands--but everything else is closed indefinitely. We have no choice. Ironically, as an author I sort of live like this anyhow when working on a book. I'm in a different zone--zombie-ish. But being told you are to stay at home is uh, um--kind of like being grounded or under house arrest (I never did the latter), but this is close to it. I am at a loss of words. In shock. Exhale. Tea time.

Are We on Candid Camera?

I am wondering, "What if the COVID-19 is a governmental experiment?" I remember seeing something like that in a movie. Wasn't Michael Douglas in "The Game" and all of his gruesome challenges were set up and performed by actors. It was not real.  The bottom line: I don't trust anyone any longer...
The word is, people from Sacramento are driving here to hoard our food. One clerk said this morning a lady bought eight bags of brown rice. Earlier I went online. Both at amazon and walmart websites? Price gouging. Fifty dollars for a bag of brown rice.
Livid. I call the WH. Right. Nobody was home. Minutes later I received an automatic email suggesting I go to the CDC. Why? Do they have whole grains for sale? Then, I get another email from a popular news organization. Price gouging for food and toilet paper are "in"--yep. Hiking prices and hoarding are happening in most of the states around America. We are losing the battle. Like wild coyotes fighting over food.

Fasten Your Seat Belt
It hasn't even started yet. Everything is out of control. Testing begins and numbers of the virus infected soar...more than Italy. Millennials are in denial even after reports roll in stating they, too, are not immune. They flood the East Coast beaches and come here to Tahoe. But our ski resorts, casinos, restaurants, and bars are shutdown. What do they want? It's a ghost town. Are they going to party with the bears? Or just take our food and go.

Still, all is calm in my cabin but in my mind I am often resorting to "What if?" and race to the worst-case scenario. Last week it was the military arrival. Now I'm glad they are coming. The M*A*S*H tents by our small hospital scare me. Images of strangers in hazmat suits spraying our street with disinfectant freaks me out as does boarding everyone in their homes and leaving us to die. 
My sense of calm goes only so far when the world is going mad
But then I get rational. "Hold the phone! They don't have enough virus tests. If I am infected I may be one of the 86 percent who doesn't even know it." And so I chill out.

March Madness
Funny, today my assignment is to write an article on how nature relaxes people. It's true. The trees, lake, and mountains are nature's medicine. However, when interlopers come here to steal our food, trash the town, and leave like robbers in the night, they take away our peace of mind and well-being.  We closed the ski resorts for self-preservation. And maybe the food hoarders are getting us back? I hear some are staying at the tiny motels; the big hotels are closed. I miss the resort pool--my home away from home, a place I swam laps and soaked in the hot tub. Sold. Closed. 

Don't the visitors have homes?  It's irresponsible to crash our mountain town. In past summers they leave trash on land and lake--and go home. I wish they'd go now and never come back.
And this is only the beginning. I suppose fighting, looting and trying to use our healthcare is next up. I've seen "Trigger Effect" and "I Am Legend"--life here in the sierras is a hybrid of both films. 

Sadly, this is our new normal.  The store clerks are our eyes and care about the young and old. The self-serving tourists--and COVID-19--are our enemies.  America has changed.  And I am angry... 

Monday, March 16, 2020

COVID-19: Diary of an Author-Intuitive--Entry 6

By Cal Orey

As my trustworthy, savvy astrologer friend in the UK forecasted the next week will be insane. . .

Good Morning, America!

This morning I woke up to a few feet of snow. Before COVID-19 that would be a challenge. Today, it was put on the back burner.  At noon the major supermarket in town was out of food due to hoarding and panic buying. Yeah, a bit like that. It was like the sci-fi films I watch but didn't really get it until it happened in real life...

People are frantic. People are still in denial. People are talking about booking trips soon or saying, "We're good!" All the different acting out is making me feel even more unbalanced. I am in processing mode. Going through the motions of daily life but feeling not there. For instance, taking the dog out, brewing coffee, bathing, and wondering, "How much worse will it really get?"
Well, 7 million folks in the San Francisco Bay Area are quarantined for three weeks. The good news: They can go to banks, doctors, and walk their dogs. But word is the military will arrive next week to help keep order in my mountain town. Curfews will be next. I also heard stores, the few we have, will cut hours and if we go outside we must have a paper sort of like in having a pass to go to the bathroom in school. Also heard dental offices are shutting their doors but pharmacies may still be open. Or not.

Telecommuting, What's New?

A an author-journalist I have worked in bunny slippers for 30 years. So this new working style is old news. However, going swimming, running errands, taking a week off to visit Canada is not happening. Even taking the dog to get his almost due rabies shot is a challenge. Today, I was told he had to have his temperature taken. Huh? It's protocol. If he's too excited his body heat can spike and no shot. At first I jumped to conclusions, "Are they testing him for COVID-19?" Will they kill my best friend like they're doing in other countries?

I wonder if my publisher(s) are on lockdown. As I search online it looks like two regions are already there--even more than we are. But they must be working remotely. They are big. They will do that. Checks coming to me soon but will it go smoothly or once the borders to our town are shut will mail stop? I hear food deliveries may cease and this is one reason why people are buying meat, cheese, milk, and everything...even pet food was gone. Folks in town show photos of empty shelves. No food...

A bit like Alaska in the winter. Ironically, this is one state that has not reported one coronavirus case. Not to say that someone isn't affected. After all, we don't have tests. Sigh. 


Today, one friend said she was watching the film "Pandemic"; another insisted she's going to Europe in the fall. I know my trip to Canada to see the northern lights and a moose is up in the air.  I read that Canada is closing their borders to all. Then I read US can still visit. I am lost. I don't know who to believe.

I trust my dog and cat. My sibling? We fought over a thermometer! We're both hypochondriacs and healthy boomers. But nobody is immune. I feel sick. No, no...No fever. No cough. No sore throat. I do not like drama. Watching everyone act out is making me feel  ill. I am not hungry.  I am depressed. Down to the 122 pounds or maybe 120 pounds in the morning. But while this was my wish now I know enough is enough. 

I am in shock mode like when I lost my beloved dog Simon a few years ago. I called Suicide Hotline the first night. I said to the person answering, "My dog died." She replied, "Honey, you're in shock." A few days later I called back. "I was crying nonstop." The person who took my call said, "You're grieving." Great. And today, my Simon paid me a visit. I took a call from the UK...B-Day was the same as my dog. We are connected. He always comes to me in time of need. Simon was my Rock. But now I feel disconnected to the world. We are broken. Everyone is scared, angry, working against one another. 
Today, I watched the scary parts in "The Lion King." I want to escape to the happy place with the happy animals when Simba was a teen and singing Hakuna Matata.  During rough air en route to Alaska it calmed me. I want to fly away. But I can't. The airlines are shutdown...and do not answer the phone.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

COVID-19: Diary of an Author-Intuitive (Entry 5)

By Cal Orey
Dear Diary,

Fear of the Unknown

Unfortunately, the coronavirus is not a drill. It is not the movie "Contagion"--it is happening right now in the U.S. and around the world. People are scared, angry, in denial or shock. Worse, there are the selfish folks who are hoarding food, products--even hiking prices. Our town is starting to shutdown and confusion is everywhere. And I experienced yesterday and today a town not at peace...

Mixed messages from the government to health experts is confusing. Do not stock up to stock up for two weeks--several weeks. So, I get another bag of dog food, fish rock, filters, and asked for the powder that keeps my aquarium balanced. One clerk said, "No problem. I'll give you a bit." Later, the other clerk tried to charge me 15 bucks after spending near 100 dollars! I got the fish stuff for 3.50 online, Amazon Prime (not 2 days any longer) but that's okay.

Tourists to Locals

Tourists are upset because the ski resorts have closed indefinitely. They talk of how unfair it is, no slopes, no fun. They don't care about a forced lockdown. They care about having their fun, that's why they came here. Perhaps in spite or fear or both they cleaned out our local supermarkets.  Other towns' restaurants, bars are shutting down. We are next and the casinos will go. Schools are without students. Events canceled. And it's a cascading happening of social distancing around the world.

Two years ago, en route to a book signing with
my Aussie (after his canine flu shot)--foreshadow?
Last night I started a thread on a local social media site and 100 comments later... a mean-spirited poster wrote, "Coronavirus isn't Tahoe-related." Huh? I try and help people to chill, from strangers in France, Tahoe, and the Midwest to Northeast. On the psychic networks, like today, I helped a young man chill. He is in the UK, partial lockdown.  I could feel his anxiety. isolation. I tell him by June we may see some sort of normalcy. But then in the fall, like the Spanish Flu, it may return like a monster in a film that doesn't die on cue. But after a month goes away like a nightmare. He is young. I tell him romance is on the way (I saw it) and he will be okay (I felt it). 

Stocking Up

My pantry is stuffed bringing back memories of Y2K. It fizzled after panic. I wish I could say the same about coronavirus. Some posters on social media say, "It's a cold. Grow up!" Others quip,"I'm going to hike" and "I'll go to the bar!" When my sibling comes home he looks like the character in "Contagion"--eyes as big as silver dollars. He is spooked by the social unrest out on the streets and empty store shelves. He is my eyes. I don't want to go out there. At all. I am like a sensitive cat before an earthquake. I feel the rumbling, a great quake is coming. And insanity continues.

My Aussie is good...he may know I'm off
a little. He is strong, he is wo(man)'s best friend
during the best and worst of times, with
respect to Charles Dickens
An earlier entry this week after a few tears, perhaps of sensing more of chaos was coming, I said, "I wish it would rain." Snow falls as I write to you. It gives me a sense of normalcy. I will build a fire tonight. The dog and cat, my Aussie and Siamese are comforting. I feel a sense of an oasis--for now. But another wave of unsettling news is on the horizon. It's happening hour by hour. A military man is now a statistic. Confirmed--infected. And soon, the military will be here to keep our community calm.

Knowing M*A* S* H tents are outside our local hospital, our main store is shutting early, the ski resorts are down, and the vacation homeowners next door didn't arrive are signs things are not normal.  Basic products like my fave organic milk are no longer on the shelves.

Life Goes On

Tomorrow will come... but these days after a good night's sleep when I awake I recall that America has changed. My travels have halted. I called the airline today. Again, a message comes on with a different voice which is a sign it's different now; the automated words are that they cannot take calls due to an overwhelming amount of callers. Try again in four days. No more Seattle book signings. No Canada trip. No swimming at my favorite resort pool. It's time to use the treadmill, write about my memories of traveling, and wait for our world to go through this challenge.

Today, I am not scared. But today I realize "gratitude" is key. I took for granted so many things that are now being taken away, one by one. I sense we will get through this ordeal.  But observing humanity still working against each other, whether it be government or in town--is painful. We are not there yet. It's time we work together and be kind to one another. We're not even close. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

COVID-19: Diary of an Author-Intuitive (Entry 4)

By Cal Orey

Dear Diary,

It's been a few days since I've been here--with you. I remember I left my last words as, "I wish it would rain." Well, watch what you wish for, as someone once said. Our first real winter snowstorm (maybe rain first) is forecasted to hit the sierras this weekend. Actually, I'm looking forward to it. It will give a sense of normalcy, which we certainly do not have around Lake Tahoe, Reno, America and the world.

I noticed my article on coronavirus in a magazine did not include my prediction this madness would turn into a pandemic. Well, it was announced just that this week. And, of course, glued to the news on the TV and online with social media I can tell you the world is unbalanced. Like the films I've seen and now watch happen here in our town--panic buying, fighting over toilet paper, people in denial one minute and the next minute apologizing. Then asking, "What should I do?"

Oops, I Drank Hot Tea

I sipped a cup of chamomile tea. For some reason, I played out the character's role in "Contagion" and took my temperature. Yikes! 99.4! Low grade fever. I never have a fever. A call to ER...phones are jammed with the worried well or really sick. I call the pharmacy. The robotic pharmacist said call your doctor. It's not my job. I asked, "Could the hot liquid cause a spike in body temperature?" She took a pause, "I don't know." I hung up and did a quick online search. Yes. Five minutes later:  98 degrees...That was spooky...

Meanwhile, I am trying to be chill, prepared for the worst but hoping that this too shall pass like most challenges. 

At South Lake Tahoe, talk of closing the schools, social distancing, the hospital is getting prepared, and a few cases in Washoe County--not elderly but 20ish.  Toilet paper and soap is no longer on the shelves. Places close to me on a map of the U.S. have big circles like the USGS map: Washington, New York, and here, south of my home state and in the SF Bay Area. I strongly sense we're going to be quarantined--mandatory.  "Be prepared and be smart" are words on the local TV station. Canceled events around town, the state, the country, and the world. Our planet as we knew it is scrambled like a snowglobe turned upside down.

And not only do I not have the pool to swim...Delta, my number one airline has made 40 percent cuts. No Northern Lights. No Seattle. No Canada--if Californians are not allowed to leave the state. This scenario is too much like a montage of "Outbreak" and "Pandemic"--but I am in it. And I wait.

Others Are Freaking Out

People are scared. Ironically, me the sensitive one is trying to help some who come to me for answers. I go into chill mode like I do when I read people. But it's scary like the aggressive earthquake swarms--yet worse. Like a sci-fi film? Certainly. For now it is our life. We will learn gratitude for what we had. We will learn how to become more self-reliant. We will learn to be more compassionate.

Yep, I have been buying food for the dog and cat as well as me. But the millennial clerks say nobody is buying extra pet food. Just me. They are not aware of a virus. Life goes on. More interest about love, parties, snowfall... I get it. When I was in my late teens, I too, thought I was invincible. Hitchhiking with a dog, casual sex, drugs, rock and roll. It was the seventies! We lived for today. As I should now but with wisdom.

Stocked  Like for Y2K--the Unknown Future

The pantry looks the way it should. It provides a sense of security, sort of. One box of bottled water sits on the floor in the kitchen. It reminds me of a newbie prepper--not a prepper's paradise... As a health author, self-professed hypochondriac I continue to misread allergy symptoms (I give thanks to my double-coated Australian Shepherd and shedding). And less than more vacuuming due to all the changes and trying to make sense of it all. When I watch footage of China and how they're shooting pets due to fear they may have the coronavirus and will spread it--I am heartbroken for man's best friend. 

I'm glad I live in America.  We will get through this. Just a feeling. Hey, it's going to rain and snow. So  now I wish this madness to peak--it will--and decline before summer. My Mantra: Hakuna Matata. (It's like the scary parts of "The Lion King". I will focus on the end when the world is reconnected--and peaceful.)