Tuesday, August 30, 2022

August 30, 2021: Mandatory Evacuation at South Lake Tahoe: The Untold Story of a South Lake Tahoe Wildfire Evacuee

 By Cal Orey

I will never forget last summer--
or August 30 at Tahoe

August 20, 2021, It is Apocalyptic
Ash falls. Can’t see mountains. Tourists flooding town. It’s surreal. Looks like a nuclear winter. Ordered fourth air purifier. Headache, raspy throat, ears ache. Nowhere to go. Unhealthy air quality in surrounding towns. Current Air Quality: 231. “Caldor Fire, growing rapidly, forces Highway 50 closure” notes one newspaper headline.
I feel like it’s a monster headed into South Lake Tahoe. My biggest fear of a firestorm with one road out is coming true. Confirmed by credible sources in town -- there is no way out. Last night when the tourists left –they were told Hwy 50. was going to close -- it was reported "nightmarish" gridlock. Read: We will all be trapped if the wildfire reaches us. We're surrounded. Scared.

AUGUST 22, Midnight
Tahoe Daily Tribune: “Caldor Fire grows to 98K acres: More resources ordered to keep blaze away from Tahoe” … Online AirNOW.Gov air quality index reads 611 Hazardous! Evacuating tomorrow. The smoke is very unhealthy. Others are leaving too. Scared. Found a place – 6 hr. drive due to closed roads.
Called sibling. “We’re leaving tomorrow early afternoon. I’ll pay for the trip.” No hesitation. He was in denial but admits: “I see smoke in my living room.” Afterall, for months he, an intuitive, like me, said, “South Lake Tahoe is going to get hit this summer.” And I chose to evacuate early so we wouldn’t be caught in the chaos of a mandatory mass exodus.

AUGUST 23, 7:00 PM, Monday
The drive was calm. Zen kitty got car sick. Aussie dog happy to go. Clean air ahead! No more sneezing pooch. Arrived. We are now in a safe place. Hello Gilroy, a town I know for its garlic; and doing a past book signing. I chose a pet-friendly inn. It looked cozy with trees nestled around the outside. Note to self: Tent city next to the premises. Red flag but considering we are evacuees now how can I discriminate?
Inside the corner suite. It’s spacious with a king bed, sofa bed, one TV, coffee/tea maker, fridge, patio, and close to the door to let the dog do his business. Sibling is thinking vacation, “What can we do that’s fun?” I’m pondering, “This is survival” to verbal warnings: “Do not let Zen get out.” After all, my Siamese is a senior indoor-only super sensitive cat. First road trip. I do not want to lose my fur child.

AUGUST, 25, Wednesday
Reality hits. The Caldor Fire is out of control. Watching the news, A.M and P.M. is grueling. It is like watching a disaster movie but it is real-life. The monster firestorm is creeping closer and closer to South Lake Tahoe – my home for 22 years.  The wildfire is less than 10 miles away. I call the neighbor who stayed behind in the hazardous air like so many others did. Yes, he is feeding my fish and watering the tree gardens. But the air quality is bad. Will he stay or will he go? I think he is in denial or optimistic. But my gut says the wildfire is going to hit home. Embers fly in the air; winds kick up at night. Is it an uphill battle? We don’t have enough firefighters. Locals are on edge.

AUGUST 27, Friday Morning
Are you kidding? My brother gave me the news. The inn has a policy. Guests with pets must leave after five days. The room will be cleaned and vacant for 24 hours. “Where are we going to go on a summer holiday weekend?” I asked. Displaced again. Uprooting the fur kids is unfair. The rule seems odd. My gut told me something didn’t ring true. Now we were homeless, too, like the Tent City people.

Saturday Night, Hello Los Gatos
Lady Luck. I scored an upstairs corner suite at a pet-friendly inn. I grew up here—an affluent area that makes me feel safe. The air is hazy from our fire at home but isn’t labeled unhealthy air. The room has superb views of trees and hills. We are happy, sort of. Two rooms, two TVs, a door between us and quiet. It is an oasis. Caveat: Zen has cystitis; so, do I. We don’t like change. Need to drink more water.
Week two: I do not want to leave kitty (potential loss of my home has left me vulnerable; putting chair against door as a safety precaution). No dining out. Living on Subway sandwiches: Vegetables, cheese, olives, whole grain bread. One night it’s too bland, another too spicy. Heartburn pays me a visit. Mornings? Inn to-go breakfast: Yogurt, cinnamon roll. Stuff mini fridge with survival food: Natural OJ, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate… Thank God for chamomile tea.

AUGUST 29, Tahoe Evacuations Are Happening
Broken sleep puts us in Zombie mode. Anxiety, stress, and “what ifs” as we watch the nightly news. The word is: The wildfire is less than five miles from the Lake Tahoe Basin. Like a poisonous snake coming straight for South Lake Tahoe. Residents are on alert to be ready to go.  One highway out. Panic. Gridlock. Dangerous air. Why did locals wait? Nobody wants to go to a shelter, pay money for a hotel, sleep in a car. The haves leave, the have nots stay. And first responders and essential workers keep working. To make things worse, Covid-19 can spread easier in a wildfire environment we are told.

AUGUST 30, Monday Morning Mandatory Evacuation
Text from neighbor. His family is leaving before forced evacuations. “I guess the fire crept through the cracks,” he wrote. We were right.  My fish, trees will die. Worse, our cabins (and my antique furniture, books/mags of 30 years; fave clothes gone); Our historical resort town may burn down – wiped out like Paradise north of us. Worse, the mayor said:” Prepare for the worst. We will rebuild.” Where will we move?
At night I call a bank to make a hefty credit card payment. In shock I say, “This is for the evacuation.” The phone rep is distant.  Robotic. Dazed and confused I break down. I cry hysterically. No words. She took the payment. I don’t understand why some people can’t empathize with evacuees from a natural disaster. Nobody is immune.

SEPTEMBER 1, Tahoe and Stateline are Empty – Bears Roam Streets
The military arrived and more firefighters! Casinos at Stateline, NV close but open their doors to first responders. Bears roam the vacant streets in town. The wildfire is less than five miles away to ravaging South Lake Tahoe. I can feel the collective spirit of residents waiting, waiting, waiting. Will we have a home to go back to – or will we have to relocate?
Los Gatos inn moves us to downstairs; somebody had previously booked the suite. Separate rooms. Pros and cons. Twenty days with a sibling is challenging. I am Type A, he is Type B. The break is good. When we are together, we talk about moving to Utah, Arizona… We only brought basic clothes, computers, the dog and cat. We didn’t really think we’d lose our home. Did we?
Speaking of home, nobody lives above me. On Saturday evening I hear movement. Earthquake? No. Dinosaurs! Guests on the second-floor walk; and I hear every step they make like in that popular dinosaur movie. On the upside, when I take Skyler, my protective canine outside -- no stairs, inn electronic cards to get into the pool area and out. So, no more boot camp exercise for dog and me.

SOS!  More Firefighters, Please!!!
Been posting nonstop on social media: “SOS! South Lake Tahoe needs more firefighters and the military!” And they finally came fighting to save our town from burning down. Some residents returned home by September 7 despite the bad air quality. I wait…September 12 we go home. As whooped as I was, I tossed all toxic air exposed food, hosed off ash on the deck, and inside the cabin. My fish survived 10 days without food; lost one and one tree. I listened to more than 100 phone messages -- from concerned people “Are you okay?” The “Evacuate Now…” words from the El Dorado sheriff greeted me – and I grinned because leaving sooner than later alleviated me hearing the orders like I did for Angora Fire in 2007.

OCTOBER 8, I Survived a Natural Disaster
Today, I enjoy the changing color of autumn leaves on trees surrounding the cabin. The air is excellent quality; poor air forecast for the weekend since the sequoias south of us are burning in another California Sierra wildfire. I had a snake nightmare last night and it was trying to attack my cat, Zen.
In the afternoon, I pulled down the outdoor living room blind for a warm, fall effect. Ash fell to the deck. A sobering memory of Caldor Fire and how our community survived. A heartfelt thanks to the fearless firefighters. Tahoe strong locals, and the grace of God. We defeated Mother nature’s wrath this time. But was this nightmare the new normal?

(Published in Oracle 20/20 Magazine, November issue)

FYI Facts: Caldor Fire 2021
·       The wildfire began on August 14.  The cause is unknown but climate change helped the fire cross the Sierra Nevada.
·       Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for El Dorado County. (Lake Tahoe had the most unhealthy air in the U.S.)
·       Nearly 1000 structures were destroyed, no deaths, the clarity and ecosystem of the Lake are affected.
·       Lake Tahoe registered the unhealthiest air quality in the nation due to the Caldor and Dixie Fires surrounding the El Dorado, Alpine, and Amador counties in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
·       The dangerous air quality has both short-term and long-term effects on humans, pets, and wildlife.
·       It was estimated that the Caldor Fire will be fully contained by mid-October.

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Waiting Game from an Author's POV

By Cal Orey

Today, during the hot and dry dog days of  summer, I wonder if the variants will keep me away from Alaska this autumn. Ah, waiting. I ponder if two books I co-authored will succeed. I wonder if my new audiobook on honey will do well in September, the National Month for nature's nectar. These bittersweet topics have been on my brain for days, weeks, and months. I get patience but that doesn't mean I embrace it.

I've done my share of playing the waiting game, past, present, and future. The other day as I answered the phone rings to dish out reading for the psychic network I thought: "If he/she waited for a day, week, or months they would have the answer." But folks want answers yesterday. I understand. I do.
Waiting for snow during a West Coast drought

BOOK(S): The first waiting game prize that comes to mind is that after 15 years--I finally got the book project I've wanted all along. It is a surprise that I'll share in months (yes, you'll have to wait) but it did come when I least expected it to arrive. It was welcomed and well deserved. 
Also, I was assigned to write the third edition of The Healing Powers of Vinegar--my best-selling book in the Healing Powers Series. I am not surprised and I am looking forward to giving my oldest "child" a new and improved makeover. After all, I owe it to him. You see back in 1999, I was given this book project. It was an accident, of sorts. The editorial consultant believed red wine vinegar would take this book to success. During my research is when I discovered his idea was novel but I accidentally fell into the world of  a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle that paved the way for the series. I waited four years to receive my first royalty check and the rest is history. The book has been translated in more than a dozen languages and it was a bestseller in South Korea! As the consultant forecasted: "The book will have a long shelf life." And I waited for his prediction to come to fruition.

MY FUR KIDS:  I am a doting mom and will do anything for my two dogs and one cat. I've gone through waiting for the diagnosis and results of neutering, tumors, ear infections, to seeking the perfect feline and searching for the right dog to replace the one I lost too early. 
Dec. 2-Feb. 2 --worth the wait, see above
 2 yr old
Aussie of my life 

Watching the clock while your "kid" is in surgery or waiting until the appointment that'll give you a clue of what's going on is a challenge. 
But each time I do it, as you have done it, it's another lesson in life. Whatever happens it happens on its own time table. Yes, you can toy with fate (a bit) and speed up the process of happenings but in the end the results are likely to be the same as if you didn't do anything and just waited.
Waited yesterday for vet verdict
No dental surgery!

And speaking of my furry friends...I read dogs live in the moment. So does that mean they don't miss me when I run humanoid errands or go on a trip? It seems they do remember me and attitude is almost non existent.  So if they do play the waiting game they seem to do it better than we do.

BOOK SIGNINGS/SHOWS/COLUMNS: This week was full of anticipation as I waited for outcome of a potential repeat book signing to be booked in Roseville, CA, and a guest appearance on a popular San Francisco radio channel. Both arrived. Both are booked.  
The local food column "What's Cookin' at Callie's Cabin" that I penned for years? I finally decided (after waiting for the right time) to discontinue it. I loved doing it every week for a long, long time. I've gone through countless editors and publishers. But it was time to say goodbye. I admit it. I exhaled.  Done. I have bigger fish to fry: More books to write, more traveling for research.  It was the right to time to cut my losses and move forward. It happened--I waited. I quit. And it feels so right.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST TRIP: Take two? After being blindsided by a bathroom redo similar to a major hurricane that hit every room in the house and outdoors, I was forced to reschedule a long planned book signing in Seattle and research in Vancouver. It was an event that hit like a natural disaster and affected my family. A lot. But once I picked up the pieces the trip was back on again for early Spring--and life goes on.
Anticipation for Seattle/Vancouver in March
So, here I sit. I wait for going north in a rainy month (probably a storm will provide roller coaster "rough air") and savoring the getaway.
Ironically, I just returned from the grocery store which including the big wait; I read five mags while waiting in a swirl cookie line. I sat down cross-legged on the floor (similar to when I was grilled by the French Canadian immigration officer at 1:30 AM).  I chilled. Sadly, one elderly man had a mega meltdown: "I can't wait in this f****** line any longer! Fifteen minutes is ridiculous." Good for him. 
But hey, I learned how to make a lean mac and cheese, how sipping tea can soothe my frazzled nerves, and umpteen ways to bake pork chops (no matter I'm a vegetarian/vegan). Oh well, thank the store gods for magazines at the checkout stands. The wait was worth the new reading glasses, scented pine cones (90% marked down), and cozy socks to keep my feet warm when I make a fire tonight and wait for it to ignite.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Tea and Honey for End Summer Days -- Price Drop for September National Honey Month!

  Tea(s) with Your Honey...

For centuries, people all around the world have enjoyed the simple, soothing pleasures of a good cup of tea with a good teaspoon of honey, and nowadays there is more reason to so do. Tea(s)—all kinds--especially with honey, but together they pack a punch of nutritional and health benefits. 
         Medical doctors, nutritionists, scientists and beekeepers are now confirming what healers have been saying for since biblical times—teas and honeys have a variety of healing powers.
          Here are my favorite tea and honey marriages—but there are infinite combinations for both you and me to try. There is no right or wrong combination and what’s sweet to you makes honey-tea beverages a sweet sip.

1. Black Tea: 
 The first tea I was introduced to was basic black tea—which does contain caffeine—and I have enjoyed it plain but realized it did need a sweet flavor boost to it.  Also, Earl Grey and English breakfast teas (perfect for an Irish breakfast, complete with fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and scones) are part of the Black Tea group.
Best Honey Matches:  Basswood has a distinct flavor that I’ve used in plain yogurt for a rich flavor and it can give black tea a kick, too. Sourwood boasts a caramel taste that can make a common black tea come to life with taste. Earl Grey teams well with avocado, blueberry, and eucalyptus honeys, too. It’s more exotic and exciting than just a simple all-purpose clover honey that comes without pleasant surprises.
2. Green Tea:  Touted for its wide array of health virtues, this Asian tea does contain caffeine, like black tea, but not as much. It’s an acquired taste and that’s where honey comes into play so you can get the best of taste and nutritional benefits. 
Best Honey Matches:  Blueberry honey has a fruity taste which can give a nice kick to green tea, not the most flavorful tea.  Sage honey is mild, a California favorite of mine that brings out the best of green tea.
3.  Fruit Tea—Welcome to lemon, orange, rose hips, and apple teas. These fruity teas are sweet and sometimes tart, which call for a honey sidekick.
Best Honey Matches:  Mild flavored honeys such as sage and alfalfa brings out the best in fruit teas because it doesn’t overpower the fruity taste but maintains the integrity of the fruit flavor.
 4. Herbal Tea—Herbal teas come from a variety of plants other than the tea plant. They are made from the leaves, berries, flowers, fruits and bark of herbs and spices.
Although most herbal teas do not contain the antioxidant properties of real tea, they do possess other good-for-you compounds that can enhance your health and well-being. There is a wide range of herbal teas, including ginseng, cinnamon, licorice, and mint.
Rooibos (roy-boss) is the “new” herbal tea on the block—that is often called “Red Tea.” Like green and black teas, this tea contains antioxidants that make it heart-healthy and immune-enhancing—and it’s caffeine free.
Best Honey Matches: Teaming earthy and warm herbal teas go well with a mild alfalfa, clover, orange blossom, and sage honeys—common honeys that complement distinct herbal flavors. 
5. Oolong Tea—This tea, popular in Asian countries, contains health perks of both black and green teas. A robust flavored-tea that can have a sweet taste lends to different honeys. 
Best Honey Matches: Oolong, not a tea familiar to me, was easy to try with a friendly California orange blossom honey with its citrusy sweet taste. Another oolong mate is tupelo honey its light amber color and herbal, fruity flavors.
6. White Tea—And last but not least welcome to this pale tea. Found in China it is believed to rank number one for its antioxidants. It’s a bit sweet and mellow. It’s the new tea on the block for tea lovers.
Best Honey Matches:  Fireweed honey is light colored and smooth, like white tea—the two complement each other. Wildflower, one of my favorite mild honeys also goes nicely with white tea.
            As a devout tea drinker, I believe your choice of honey and tea is a personal choice—like pairing dark chocolate with different fruits, herbs and spices. The selection also depends on the season to your mood. But popular and friendly honeys, such as clover and orange blossom are suitable any time, any place because they are not too strong and will not overpower teas—all types—and you can’t go wrong for yourself or if you’re serving other people.
Excerpt: From The Healing Powers of Honey and Tea books by Cal Orey, published by Kensington Books, mass market format 2018. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Are Pets Really Weather Forecasters?

 By Cal Orey

Whether it’s ESP, superior senses, animal intuition or a change in routine, your cat  or dog may sense severe weather, solar storms to wildfires or hurricanes and twisters -- and you should know about it.

At noon on a stormy spring day in Austin, Texas, several household cats started acting strangely. “I was in bed watching the weather channel on TV,” recalls cat owner Janet Shon. “My cats wanted to hide underneath the covers.” The heavy rains and howling winds continued, causing panic in her house full of pets. Eventually, she put them into carriers to calm them, and took cover under the stairwell. “Usually, my cats don’t mind being in the crates during bad weather,” she says, “but this time, they were chatting nonstop and wanted to be next to me.”
            Several hours later, on May 27, 1997, an extremely rare and dangerous tornado (classified as an F-5), with winds measuring over 260 mph, touched down 40 miles to the North of Shon in Jarrell, Texas. Twenty-seven people died in Jarrell. Multiple tornadoes also ripped through the Austin area, killing two people. “It took the roof off the Albertsons’ store,” says Shon with awe. She and her cats survived without a scratch.
            What made Shon’s cats react in such a way? Some say it’s ESP (extra sensory perception), or a sixth sense. Others claim cats aren’t gifted, just blessed with well-developed or heightened senses—scent, sound and sight, that are far superior to our own.
            However you see it, cats have earned their supernatural reputation throughout history. In ancient Egypt, felines were worshipped as gods, and killing a cat was a crime punishable by death. Even modern society gives credence to the idea that cats “know” things. During World War 11, “British families found that their cats were the best warning system for impending danger,” notes Dale Koppel, author of Amazing But True Cat Facts. “They showed unmistakable signs that something was about to happen even before the air sirens were sounded. Their hair would stand on end, or they’d spit or wail. Some would head straight for the nearest shelter.”
            Many people who live through terrible disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, fires or earthquakes—believe their cats knew something before these disasters struck. But whether or not cats really predict danger is still an open debate. So, what will you do the next time Felix starts acting strange? Will you roll your eyes, or head for high ground? Read on and decide for yourself.

            Are pets really four-legged weather forecasters? So, what about hurricane warnings?  While scientists use wind patterns, barometric pressure, sea surface temperatures and other climate factors to predict hurricanes, fishermen watch their cats. In fact, cats have long been considered good luck on ships for their ability to ward off storms, sea monsters and ghosts. Europeans of the past centuries believed cats “knew” the way home and would reveal the direction by sleeping on the side of the ship that was closest to port.
            Gail Beecher, a veteran cat breeder from Needville, Texas, got a special warning before Tropical Storm Frances hit the Texas coast on September 9, 1998. Some of Beecher’s pregnant cats began to go into early labor. “When the barometer shifts during bad weather my cats always go into labor early,” she says. “I knew the storm was coming this way.” Wind speeds reached a maximum of 65 mph, and one person died due to the intense flooding of the Gulf Coast.

            “All cats are extraordinary sensitive to even the smallest changes in the weather,” writes Koppel who claims, “you can throw away your thermometers and stop watching weather forecasts on TV.” A resident of Kansas City, Missouri agrees, “I have noticed before a tornado (during thunder, wind, hail and lightning) animals do lie close to the ground and pant. The bigger and fatter the dog and cat, the more it seems to affect them. Also, they sometimes put their head on the floor.”
            According to Koppel, French fishermen watch their cats’ body language to get a weather report. “They watch their cats closely to predict weather changes,” he says. “Rain? Watch for your cat to pass her paw behind the ear during grooming. Windy? Your cat will clean her nose. Low tide? Wide pupils, of course. When will the bad weather end? When your cat twists and turns.”
            Sound silly? Perhaps not, says John C. Wright, PhD, certified animal behaviorist from Macon, Georgia, and author of Is Your Cat Crazy: Solutions from the Casebook of a Cat Therapist, who’s fascinated by it all. However, to be certain that this is a reliable weather source, Wright says, a group of cats and their body positions should be examined carefully in a weather study for conclusive scientific evidence. In other words, scientific studies are needed.


Neil Tenzer, DVM, of Miami, Florida recalls that his five cats felt Hurricane Andrew’s fury before it arrived on August 25, 1992, with winds of up to 150 mph. Amid the chaos of his family putting shutters on the windows and gathering canned food and candles, explains Tenzer, his cats grew curious and upset about the change in their environment. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this category 4 hurricane caused 58 deaths and approximately $27 billion in damage. “It’s not that they predicted the hurricane—but they certainly sensed it was on its way,” Tenzer says.
            A former North Carolina resident agrees. She was in the path of Hugo as the hurricane headed toward Charlotte in 1989. Hurricane Hugo passed directly over Charleston, South Carolina, on September 21, as a category 5 storm with wind speeds in excess of 135 mph and a storm surge of nearly 20 feet. Hugo caused 57 deaths on the U.S. mainland (mostly in North and South Carolina) and 29 deaths in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to NOAA records. Total damage: $9 billion. “I had indoor cats and barn cats there,” she recalls. Apparently, her cats share the same reaction to all severe storms. “Barn cats always seem to find shelter well ahead of a storm.” 
            Some argue that extrasensory perception is really just super senses. In the case of earthquakes, for example, cats may be sensitive to the earth’s vibrations and sound waves right before an earthquake hits, says geophysicist Bruce Presgrave, from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, Colorado. Other people suggest that cats are able to detect minute shifts in the earth’s magnetic field or in the earth’s magnetic field or in the earth’s static electricity, which occur before a jolt.

                                                  REACTING TO CHANGE 

            Most people recognize that cats don’t like change too much. Perhaps felines don’t “sense” danger, but are instead reacting to change in routine or environment. “It may be novelty of those particular cues, rather than the cat knows that this is danger,” says Wright. And often, it’s fear of the unknown. “Fear motivates cats to act out,” he adds. “When they can’t cope with the stimulus they go emotional on us. Sometimes these emotional responses lead cats to run over and over their escape routes or make some noise to get out.”
            Deputy Director Gary Grice of the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, relies on complex scientific theories and computers to forecast powerful twisters. However, “there is a possibility that animals react to the significant pressure changes of the atmosphere before a tornado hits,” he concedes.         
The question remains, can feline barometers detect the difference between an impending hurricane or tornado? “Since there are similar weather phenomena associate with tornadoes and hurricanes, you’re likely to get the same reaction out of cats because they are reacting to the same kinds of things,” explains Wright.
            “Although there’s research that’s ongoing in different areas, when your life is on the line and you have to depend on something so you get out of harm’s way, the clear answer now is to heed the warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service and do what they say,” says Grice. He goes on to say that “scientists do not have a 100 percent track record for predicting disasters.” As for cats, Grice believes that are not perfect predictors either since it’s not known if they are responding to disaster precursors or if they are behaving strangely for other reasons. “Our success rate is much, much higher than what you’re getting from animals,” he says.
            Meanwhile, Shon wonders about her cats’ behavior before the deadly Texas tornado. Did they sense the nearby funnel clouds on the day of destruction? Was there a change in smell or pressure, or did Shon’s own behavior affect the cats? We’ll never really know. But at least some disaster experts are now realizing that some cats can sense impending gloom and doom. The question of whether cats can predict a cataclysm hours or days in advance requires more research.

            But since scientists admit they aren’t able to reliably predict earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes, is it really so far-fetched to monitor cats and dogs?
            Pet experts advise cat owners to do just that. “The cat’s first instinct is survival, and cats are the best survival machines Mother Nature has ever developed,” concludes Eric Swanson, author of Hero Cats: True Stories of Daring Feline Deeds. Whether cats are gifted with some kind of sight, or not—felines continue to inspire a spiritual nature that cat-lovers respond to. What they actually see, and what we see in their eyes is impossible to say.

            Consider what the late Jeane Dixon wrote in her book Do Cats Have ESP? “In the dark, [cats’ mysterious eyes] seem to hover alone, disembodied and shining brightly on the darkest of nights. Ancient people believed the cat had captured a piece of the sun which it called up at will to see in the dark.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Chocolate Rx for Post-Pandemic Depression, Brain Fog, Weight Gain and More!

  By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Ever wonder if chocolate can cure health ailments and cosmetic problems? It can! I'll describe 10 uses for some common woes, from A to Z, and provide amazing but different chocolate folk remedies for each Chocolate Rx--straight from The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington) -- which includes dozens of chocolate home cures. So, take two chocolates (or sip a coffee mocha) and call me in the morning. (1.99 at online bookstores such as Amazon)

What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try eating an ounce (or two) of dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa content to lessen sugar intake) or drinking a cup of hot dark chocolate once a day during a bout of pain. Also, teaming this remedy with aerobic exercise (such as walking or swimming) can help loosen tight muscles and improve symptoms of pain. A soothing Jacuzzi is also helpful for achy muscles.
Why You'll Like It: Chocolate is rich in magnesium, a mineral that can help both muscle pain and stress. Both exercise and hydrotherpy paired with dark chocolate (it includes endorphins--natural painkillers in your body that act on the nervous system to alleviate pain).
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try drinking a cup of hot chocolate (unsweetened cocoa with organic milk) or bar infused with plenty of essential vitamins and minerals.
Why You'll Like It: While anyone suffering from anorexia should consult a doctor, adding multivitamins, minerals, herbs, an healthy food high in complex carbs may provide help in dealing with this eating disorder. Functional foods, like dark chocolate, chock-full of healthful mood-boosting compounds, can be beneficial for the mind, body, and spirit.
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Team chocolate with other bone builders, including magnesium, manganese, and calcium-rich milk. Each day opt for a cup of chocolate milk or a chocolate shake (low-fat if you're counting calories).
Why You'll Like It: Magnesium is great for beating bone loss, as well as calcium absorption. You need manganese, another bone-boosting mineral, to maintain bone cartilage and bone collagen formation. A bonus tip: Drink your energizing chocolate shake before or afgter exercise. Weight-bearing exercise (such as lifting free weights) can also keep your bones strong.
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try two squares of dark chocolate or exotic truffles found from chocolatiers like Lake Champlain Chocolates. Repeat as needed in moderation.
Why You'll Like It: A chocolate square (especially infused with spices, herbs, and fruit) is convenient, quick, and it works. So whether you have a test or a mental task to tend to , wouldn't it be fun to enjoy something that is good for you as well as tastes superb?
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Chocolate recipes, from breakfast muffins, cocoa pasta, fudge and lava cake, can help zap mood swings.
Why You'll Like It: Not only will youg get a serotonin boost (a hormone that may be lacking often during cold, dark winter days), but the monounsaturated fat from both chocolate and olive oil (used in baked goods with chocolate) may help lift your spirits so you'll not be such a crab.
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a half-cup serving of Mexican or Sicilian mole, complete with spices, such as cayenne, chili paired with antioxidant-rich, immune-boosting onions, garlic--and chocolate. Serve over whole-wheat pasta or brown rice. Note: Dark chocolate infused with chili spice is a treat that will suffice, too.
Why You'll Like It: Hot spices help unblock sinuses. Hot foods stimulate nasal secretions and loosen up unwanted muscus.
7 SLUGGISH (Athletic lack of energy)
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Drink a cup of brewed coffee mocha before you perform your physical performance.
Why You'll Like It: Athletes are all too familiar with the energetic buzz linked to the properties of quality chocolate and java. Not only does it enhance energy, but it also curbs distracting hunger pangs before participating in a physical event. And yes, brewed coffee contains caffeine (about 85 milligrams pwer 8-ounce mug), much more than chocolate (1 ounce of semi-sweet dark chocolate contains about 20 milligrams of caffeine).
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Put chocolate bars, unsweetened cocoa powders, pistoles, and enhanced healthy chocolate cookies in an airtight container, and store these chocolate lifesavers with your emergency supplies.
Why You'll Like It: If you are waiting for a tornado to hit or miss, having chocolate can uplift your spirits, calm your nerves, and keep your mind alert. If disaster hits, such as an earthquake or flood to power outage, chocolate in easy to eat form will be a godsend as you cope with the disaster or rejoice that you got through it.
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Both morning and night, drink an 8-ounce glass or cup of dark chocolate with a 70 percent cocoa content and/or try chocolate fondue with fresh fruits--strawberries and apples. Team this with drinking six to eight glasses of water, and fresh vegetables or juices. Plus, take a multivitamin mineral supplement.
Why You'll Like It: This chocolate and bloat-busting fresh produce/water cure boasts an all-natural diuretic effect. You can follow this remedy for one or two days and this will help your cells release retained water.
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Run, do not walk, to your nearest health spa and order a pampering, youth-boosting antiaging treatment, such as a chocolate bubble bath.
Why You'll Like It: Pampering your body also takes care of your spirit. Plus, the Bella Lucce Chocolate in a spa bath includes anti-aging antioxidants so your skin will feel smooth and rejuvenated to the touch. Or you can use the chocolate beauty treatment in the comfort of your home. No matter what age you are, this is a healthful and soothing trick to feed your senses and ageless soul.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

End Summer Price Drop: The Healing Powers of Tea 2.99 Kindle Edition Special!

By Cal Orey

UPDATE: August 23, 2022: 10 editions. Best Seller banner on many bookseller websites; newsmax.com/tea carries the Gift Book. Last year this time it got 
once again gets bestselling banner on Amazon!
It's a perfect read for late summer, pre-fall
days... (Amazon, Kindle Edition special!) *The TEA book has been graced with the #1 Bestseller banner many times since January 2018.

Today, April 29, The Healing Powers of Tea is attracting readers on a variety of online bookseller websites, including amazon, barnes and noble, walmart, kobo, apple, and google.
This book is #6 in the Healing Powers Series... 
Also, the popular, prestigious Fairmont Hotel in Victoria, B.C., Canada will be carrying both The Healing Powers of Tea and The Healing Powers of Honey in their tearoom gift shop. Foreign rights to Estonia! Publisher's Weekly Review! It's a favorite in the Healing Powers Series. *Essential Oils is ready for pre-order, coming this December!
Most unforgettable? Before a book signing event at Barnes and Noble the manager called me and told me the box of books sold out in two days before the signing. She had never experienced that before.