Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Monday, January 30, 2023
As a seasoned author living at South Lake Tahoe, I give credit to author John Steinbeck who lived and wrote here before I did. It was his adventurous lifestyle and love for dogs that paved the road for me…
In the eighties, I took a bus out of San Jose and performed hours of research in the John Steinbeck Library in Salinas; later writing a story about the author and his love for canines, published in Dog World Magazine. And I chose Steinbeck who was born in Salinas and lived in Carmel as one of my three authors to study for the oral exams in graduate school at San Francisco State University.
Not to forget, as a fan of Travels with Charley, inspired, I hitched and hiked with my dog, a black Lab, across the U.S. And these days, I continue to write in my cabin, as I have a loyal canine by my side--like during the epic and surreal California superstorms of 2023. Surrounded by heavy wet snow, road closures, power outages on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, while SF Bay Area and Central CA was flooded--it was worst of times but I had my dog to comfort me. (Click Title Link and read entire excerpt on page 18-19 of Oracle Visionary.)
Secluded in the Sierras with Two Canines
In 1925, Steinbeck left Stanford without a degree, traveled to New York City, and worked. Soon he returned to California and accepted a job in 1927 as a caretaker for an isolated estate on Fallen Leaf Lake in the high Sierras near Lake Tahoe. In Steinbeck: A Life in Letters, edited by Elaine Steinbeck and Robert Wallsten, a letter is dated December 5, 1929, and addressed to A. Grove Day, a former classmate: “…Well, I went to the mountains and stayed two years. I was snowed in eight months of the year and saw no one except my two Airedales…”
However, the novelist struggling with his first work exaggerated a bit, because he did indeed have a few visitors, according to his detailed letters to other friends. In fact, one visitor was a game warden who owned “Otto,” a six-foot long dog (but not a Dachshund) noted Steinbeck). John’s dog Omar, a big, friendly Airedale (later he got two to combat loneliness) had attacked the warden’s dog. In a letter to an old girlfriend Steinbeck added some graphic points: “…It was while he was joyfully eating off Otto’s right leg that I threw a bucket of water on him.” Unfortunately, he forgot to take the fish he illegally caught out of the bucket!
On December 20, 1968, John Steinbeck died with his dog Angel, a Bull Terrier, at his side. He was 66. Steinbeck researcher Pauline Pearson stated with conviction: “He had always had a dog, always had a garden and always wanted to live by the sea.” Indeed, the author had enjoyed a good many dogs throughout most of his lifetime, most of them characters.
Perhaps too, when columnist and personal friend Ed Sheehan made the following observation in his article “Sensitive Writer in a Man-Shell of Gruffness” he was seeing the true colors of John Steinbeck: “…He saw the nobility in a hobo, felt the sadness of seasons and believed dogs could smile…”
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Scent-sational The Healing Powers of Essential Oils for Winter Wellness (Featured in FIRST for Women Magazine)
Perhaps the most stunning revelation of the miraculous-like
healing abilities of essential oils came during the Middle Ages.
Today’s scientific research supports the
incredible healing potential of these amazing oils.
There’s just one problem . . .
Great news! You don’t have to figure out
a thing — it’s already been done for you.
Sniff them, eat them, rub them in . . .
No matter how you use essential oils, they work.
Why do nature’s essential oils work so well?
By Cal Orey
(Excerpt from Soulmates with Paws)
One spring day in a small town in Illinois, a black cat named Zephyr disappeared. “I was heartbroken, as was the rest of my family. He was truly my friend at that time,” recalls Cassandra Fink. Zephyr’s owners spend hours combining their one-and-a-half-acre yard and apple orchard looking for their beloved pet and fearing the worst. “We realized he must have run away.”
Then one night the cat’s owners heard a soft meow outside and found Zephyr standing at the door looking well-muscled but extremely skinny. “The semi-trucks for the trucking company next door traveled back and forth to the city of Kankakee. We realized then that he had hopped aboard a flatbed semi and ended up there,” explains Fink. It had taken the cat two weeks to trek the 30 miles home!
Zephyr is like countless cats worldwide who find their way home—even when home is hundreds of miles away. Many cat owners have tales of incredible journeys, and most have no idea how their cats do it. A number of these cases come to the public’s attention when they are reported in newspapers, but many more go unreported and unstudied. Those that are studied teach us a lot about our feline companions but leave us with as many questions as answers.
AN AMAZING HOMING INSTINCT
Researchers really don’t know how these extraordinary cats find their way home. But they do have some idea about how some other legendary travelers navigate. Birds and bees seem to navigate by the sun, stars or moon. As for salmon, which swim all the way from the open ocean back to the very stream where they spawned, researchers think they smell their home waters. Other animals can orient themselves with the help of magnetized cells in the brain, which act like tiny compasses, and help them decide which way is north. Marine mammals may even use the sounds that rumble through the seas to get their bearings. “Cats may have similar abilities,” says renowned author and animal expert Michael Fox, Ph.D.
In a classic study done more 75 years ago, zoologist F.H. Herrick, of Cleveland, Ohio, took his own cat in a bag from his home to his office five miles away, traveling by streetcar. When he let the cat out of the bag, the cat fled. However, the cat returned home the same night, even though he had been left in an area he was unfamiliar with. Puzzled by this astonishing ability, Herrick put the cat in a closed container, took him various distances from his house—from one to three miles—and released him. The result: The cat came home in a variety of situations and from any point on the compass. How exactly do cats do that? MORE in the
What about the radar that gets pets back home? Animal experts also say the sense cats use most often and that gives them the most information is scent. By sniffing bushes and buildings along their route, cats can use the information they glean to help find their way home.
“Cats have a very sensitive nose that equal dogs, and their eyesight is certainly better,” says Ted Cohn, DVM, at University Hills Hospital in Denver CO. “Certainly for short distances visual clues are very important.”
Cats also use physical cues from nature, such as the angle of the sun to find their way. “They may be able to use the sun as a compass, as well as sensing a time difference between their own internal circadian clock and the local time. But the father away they are from home base, the greater will be the discrepancy,” says Fox. Therefore, visual aids and memory don’t completely explain how lost cats find their way over long distances.
That’s why many researchers believe cats are sensitive to the earth’s magnetic fields. This sensitivity may enable them to find their way back home—even from hundreds of miles away. “A magnetic field can be described as a set of imaginary lines that indicates the direction a compass needle would point to at a particular spot,” explains Psychobiologist David Jay Brown of Ben Lomond, CA.
It’s also believed that cats possess a homing mechanism that is triggered by brain cells containing magnetized iron particles. As they do with other mammals, these cells act like built in compasses. So, some cats, like a wayward senior striped tabby named Alfie, may have been guided by the influence of earth’s magnetic fields.
Early one summer, Alfie’s owner, Elaine Hahn, moved to a new home in Palo Alto, CA, about five miles away from her old home. For the first few weeks after the move, Hahn received regular phone calls from her old neighbor, who told her, “Alfie is here. Do you want to come and pick him up?” For two weeks, Hahn got into her car and drove five miles to go pick up Alfie. He had not only hiked five miles each time to get back to his old house, he had crossed six lanes of traffic to do so!
Alluring as it is though, the magnetic field theory doesn’t entirely explain the homing instinct, according to Brown. “If you have a compass and you’re not in the middle of nowhere, you can’t figure out the direction of your destination unless you knew your position in a certain geographical area. So, it’s really a big mystery.”
Friday, January 27, 2023
Mid-January PAWS #66 Bestseller Ranking on Amazon Hot New Releases -- Animal Pet Care & Essays...The Healing Powers of Tea (nature's superfood) #1 Bestseller on Kobo bookseller's website...
Thursday, January 26, 2023
By Cal Orey
I received a USPS notice that a letter from my publisher was en route (we're not getting our mail due to weather and other challenges in the sierras). So, I waited.
I asked my editor and the accountant if the piece of mail was from them? No. The post date was Dec. 7, 2022. I waited. Clueless. I thought the best and worst outcome. My name and address were handwritten. What in the world could it be? I waited.
As a busy author, I continued to market my Healing Powers series, and new non-fiction novel: Soulmates with Paws. Sure, my Australian shepherd and Siamese cat comforted me while my anxiety spun out of control. What ifs played games with my mind. I continued to work and wait... The Letter Arrival day arrived!
The five page letter was post dated June 2021! It was actually address by a corrections facility in Delaware. The five page letter was written by an inmate. I felt like I was morphing into Johnny Cash when he received fan mail from prison folks.
First, her name was Amir. She complimented me on my "wonderful" The Healing Powers of Honey book. But there's more. She wondered why I didn't address the antibacterial and antifungal benefits of honey. Yet I did do just that! I interviewed the late top scientist behind the virtues of manuka honey and how it is used for all types of skin infections.
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
A Dog Woman Interviewed a Famous Dog Man (Excerpt from the New Non-fiction Novel Soulmates with PAWS)
The Dog Lover Behind Snoopy