Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Hollywood Book Reviews: Soulmates with Paws--Excellent Merit: Starred!

 Hollywood Book Reviews

Soulmates with Paws

Title: Soulmates with Paws: A Collection of Tales & Tails
Author: Cal Orey
Publisher:  AuthorHouse
ISBN: 978-1-6655-7857-8
Pages: 238
Genre: Non-Fiction / Fiction / Pets
Reviewed by: Ephantus M.

Soulmates with Paws: A Collection of Tales & Tails offers a touching view of the human-animal relationship, as revealed through the bright lens of Cal Orey, an author whose love for pets flows naturally from the soul, and whose knowledge of pet nutrition, training, and wellness stands commendable from the first to the last page.

Reading through the chapters does confirm that animals indeed need humans and vice versa. One is drawn to her personal encounters with a widow who would have varying conversations with her dog, a hilarious and incredible act that lights up one’s face in amusement. This is especially notable in the level of shrewdness employed by both the author and the widow in an effort to keep their animal companions on the premises, which was against pet rules and regulations.

Orey’s story tenders a range of questions with the sole objective of helping readers recognize their temperaments and character, a vital exercise that will enable them to figure out which pet fits them best. I found it fascinating that the choice of animal one keeps, tells a lot about them, for example, according to Orey, a person who keeps a charming and sassy Chihuahua has a different personality from one keeping a tough-looking bulldog. In addition to this, it’s admirable to see Orey demystify the pet language, from a dog’s howl, its whines, to a cat’s meow and yowl.

The author has infused some of Dr. Stanley’s findings from the book “The Intelligence of Dogs” which has inspired lots of animal lovers and is a clever addition to the topic therein. Reprints from magazine articles and original essays bring out some amazing adventures of people with their pets.  

“Touched by an Angel” shows a paranormal connection with a deceased cat, and how it kept a watchful eye over the owner.  “Homeward Bound” brings to light the amazing survival stories of pets who withstood the tragic fires in the Berkeley Hills, in many cases being lost for a week or more, and the unselfish and over-the-top care the veterinarians and animal shelter volunteers conducted to find the pet’s owners and make sure the cats and dogs received the proper medical attention.  One miracle story involved an elderly lady, bedridden, who survived a cold night without heat; being kept warm by seven cats and a dog laying over her blankets providing additional body-heat.

The invaluable rapport she’s had with her cuddling animals is a wonder that will positively impact readers into adopting some pets, so as to likewise savor the untapped grace, inner peace, harmony, and satisfaction this bond offers.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Soulmates with Paws Excerpt Makes Magazine Cover Story (Valentine's Month Issue)

 By Cal Orey

Soulmates with Paws’ Author’s Tie to John Steinbeck (and Fallen Leaf Lake) 

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…

 We both were close to many Golden State regions (including Gilroy, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and the sierras). Enter Gilroy: It is a city in Northern California’s Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill, and has decades of flashbacks 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!

 When he was 60 years old, John Steinbeck traveled across the U.S. accompanied by Charley, a Standard Poodle. He drove a truck named for Don Quixote’s horse, Rocinate. Steinbeck wrote feelingly about the country that he and Charley met, but frankly, without the dog his book Travels with Charley: In Search of America would have lost much of its gusto and charm.

  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…”

 (Excerpt from Soulmates with Paws: A Collection of Tales & Tails by Cal Orey, published by AuthorHouse. Available at online bookstores. Back in stock on Amazon all 3 formats! 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Scent-sational The Healing Powers of Essential Oils for Winter Wellness (Featured in FIRST for Women Magazine)

 By Cal Orey

Scent-sational Essential Oils and Four Seasons

The Healing Powers of Essential Oils

Did you know? Essential oils—including eucalyptus, peppermint, rose, and tea tree-are nature’s ancient medicine, abundant with therapeutic effects. The latest scientific research shows that many popular essential oils and aromatherapy can boost your health and well-being. 

         Also, specific essential oils are often more popular during each of the four seasons. Here, take a look at how the comfort and calms of scent can help you enjoy Earth’s changes year-round. You can use these oils in different forms, including: Air sprays, candles, cleaning products, diffusers, beauty and hygiene items--and even in cooking foods and beverages! Read on--from The Healing Powers of Essential Oils...

It’s the Season: Shorter days, longer nights and often chilly temperatures call for hot, comfort food. During the holiday season, festive food, like hearty casseroles, soups, muffins, breads, puddings, and pies are commonplace. Then, when the New Year arrives it’s not uncommon to want to eat clean food and get a fresh start. Immune-enhancing, mood-boosting, warming aromas are scents that come with winter-time. They can be found in plant-based salads, vegetarian casseroles, and soups, with lighter desserts.
Healing Winter Recipes: Biscotti, breads, cakes and scones are popular foods to warm you up, and essential oils can give recipes extra flavor, especially when seasonal citrus or herbs are not available.
Winter Culinary Essential Oils: Anise, clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and peppermint.

 Secret for Staying Healthy

For 5,000 years plants have been nature’s amazing healers. When the Egyptians were sick they used the oils from plant resins, bark, and spices to repair their bodies.

Ancient Romans soaked their tired, ravaged bodies in healing oils to reduce fatigue and ease painful, aching joints.

Cleopatra’s secret to soft, flawless, nearly ageless skin was said to come from bathing in these essential oils. King Tut was buried with alabaster jars full of them because it was believed these oils would help him through to the afterlife.

Perhaps the most stunning revelation of the miraculous-like
healing abilities of essential oils came during the Middle Ages.

As the deadly bubonic plague spread like wildfire, devastating entire towns and cities, wiping out the lives of millions of men, women, and children . . .

One small group of vigilantes appeared strangely immune to the plague. Known as the four French thieves, they plundered and pillaged among the deathly ill day in and day out, robbing people of their bacteria-ridden possessions. Strangely enough, they never got sick.

It was as if the four thieves had an impenetrable invisible shield that made this lethal predator recoil. Their secret? Legend says the thieves stayed healthy and immune using a special blend of oils they applied during their crime sprees.

In just a moment, you’ll discover how you can get your hands on the coveted blend the four thieves used. (It could come in handy right now for added protection from flu and viruses!) But before we go any further, you should know that while these stories are anecdotal and handed down through history . . .

Today’s scientific research supports the
incredible healing potential of these amazing oils.

Not only has science shown their aroma alone can stimulate the pleasure center of your brain, but the wondrous healing properties of essential oils like lemon, chamomile, lavender, and many others can:

  • Bolster the immune system
  • Relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis
  • Ease your body into a sound sleep
  • Banish blue moods and feelings of depression
  • Lower the risk of heart disease
  • Boost energy and stamina
  • Potentially slow tumor growth
  • Lull your body into Zen-like relaxation

Researchers have even discovered an essential oil that can act like ibuprofen! These scientists have found sandalwood can suppress cytokine cell production. You may have heard about cytokine cells in the news recently.

They’re the cells which can create a “cytokine storm” in the body when powerful novel viruses hit, causing the immune system to go into overload and attack itself.

That’s just a fraction of what essential oils can do.

Healing oils from Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet can also help you:

  • Defy cravings and lose weight — imagine never caving to cravings for chocolate or chips again!
  • Power up your brain and banish brain fog — would you believe rosemary oil does the trick?
  • Ease the pain of a mild sprain — speed recovery with eucalyptus. This essential oil penetrates deep to numb pain and ease soreness, swelling, and bruising.
  • Heal burns, relieve heartburn, settle a queasy tummy, soothe hemorrhoids, ease constipation, and more.

There’s just one problem . . .

Essential oils can be so darn confusing.

Which ones do you use for a sore throat . . . aching back . . . colds and flu . . . allergies . . . fever . . . upset stomach . . . insomnia . . . fibromyalgia . . . or to keep your arteries and cells healthy?

Which ones do you use to make your carpet smell fresh . . . clean your windows, oven, or stainless-steel pots and pans . . . or get rid of pesky ants?

How much should you use? Can you blend them together?

Great news! You don’t have to figure out
a thing — it’s already been done for you.

There’s no need to spend hours researching healing oils. And you don’t have to spend your hard-earned money joining an essential oils club, shelling out money for a monthly membership or meeting a quota.

Cal Orey, author of the bestselling book The Healing Powers of Honey, has done all the legwork for you!

In her blockbuster NEW book, The Healing Powers of Essential Oils,  you get everything you need to unleash the incredible potential of nature’s medicine inside one easy-to-read-and-follow book. Here’s a quick sneak peek:

  • Trouble sleeping? That calls for 2 drops of the oil that comes from this beloved bright red flower mixed with 1 drop each of chamomile and lavender. Gently rub it on and get some rest! Page 193
  • Open your lungs and breathe easier! Need a little extra breathing support with asthma? Apply 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to one cup of this steaming beverage. Inhale and breathe freely. Page 178
  • Protect against contagious and potentially lethal bouts of the flu or nasty viruses with the herb you use on your Thanksgiving turkey! You can add it to your diet or mix up a spray or lotion you can rub into your skin. Page 122
  • When indigestion and gut discomfort strike, reach for the essential oil used to calm delicate digestive tracts — it contains more than 100 powerful healing compounds. Page 65
  • Mosquitoes biting? Try this natural insect repellent — it’s also great for releasing congestion and promoting heart health. Pages 40-41

The Healing Powers of Essential Oils shows you:

  • Which of the top 20 essential oils to use for every health concern or condition (there’s a complete chapter on each one and loads of recipes, too!)
  • Correct dosages for everything from relieving anxiety and headaches to cleaning arteries and clearing your bowels
  • How often to take or reapply healing oils
  • Secret to combining 2, 3, 4, or more oils for more powerful healing
  • Creative ways to use the oils — massage, sprays, diffusers, cooking, and more

Everything you need to know is in one information-packed book that helps you take control of your health and the health of your loved ones naturally.

The Healing Powers of Essential Oils reveals the hidden medicinal and therapeutic powers of the top 20 essential oils that’ll help you feel better than you have in years.

Think about it: Would you rather rub on a safer, natural pain remedy or pop a pill loaded with side effects? Clean your house with chemicals or put nature’s finest botanicals to work disinfecting and cleaning?

Heck, The Healing Powers of Essential Oils even shows you how to easily cook with these oils. They’re naturally full of robust flavor and healing properties.

Sniff them, eat them, rub them in . . .
No matter how you use essential oils, they work.

There are so many easy ways to apply essential oils anywhere, any time — whether you’re at home or at work, in the car, at the grocery store, on the tennis court, or having lunch with your friends.

  • Staying at a hotel and concerned about whether the room was properly sanitized? Simply bring a spray bottle full of this natural antiseptic and astringent. Page 122
  • Hemorrhoids causing you trouble? Soothe inflammation and irritation with a homemade compress of chamomile and the oil on page 190.
  • Pollen count making sinus pain flare? Put eucalyptus oil to work on your sinus headaches and dental pain. Get the fast sinus-clearing recipe on page 199.
  • Kid or grandkid fighting acne? Use an undiluted drop of this oil — a natural antibacterial — on blemishes once or twice a day to zap them. Page 183

Even just a good, strong sniff of lavender can boost the serotonin in your brain, putting you in a good mood for hours — and it may help you live longer, too. There are so many ways you can use essential oils . . .

Put them in a spray bottle . . . add them to your skin lotion . . . diffuse them . . . fold them into your favorite recipes . . . massage them into your skin . . . roll them on . . . make a compress to apply them . . . bathe in your favorite oils . . . the possibilities go on and on.

Why do nature’s essential oils work so well?

For starters, they’re chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants. As you’ll discover in your FREE COPY of The Healing Powers of Essential Oils,  these antioxidants protect the body’s cells from damaging free radicals that can make you sick. Claim your FREE BOOK now to learn more.

The Healing Powers of Essential Oils is a treasure trove of practical information you can start using immediately:

  • Steaming-hot soup scald your tongue? Heal it fast with the oil that soothes — it’s been called “an easy natural remedy!” Page 201
  • Health worries have you stressed? Massage these 3 essential oils into your skin. It’ll help stimulate the lymphatic system, calm your nerves, and ease muscle tension. Page 202
  • Take the itch out of mosquito bites! Sascha Beck, an Australian naturopath and aromatherapist, swears these 2 oils mixed together are the best remedy she’s ever found. Great for sunburn, too! Page 192
  • Got a cut? Turn to nature’s antiseptic: tea tree oil diluted with apple cider vinegar. Get the exact mixture on page 184. What to expect: less burning and redness, and faster healing.
  • Discover the BEST essential oil for heart health — it has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. Page 153
  • Sweeten your chances of preventing a devasting diagnosis. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reports this essential oil contains many of the same antioxidants that may inhibit the growth of breast and lung cancer cells. Page 142
  • The #1 precaution you should always take before using essential oils that no one ever tells you about. Page 23
  • “Toothpick tip” for getting the best results when cooking with essential oils. Use it for perfect results every time. 
  • Never swallow essential oils UNLESS you first check if they’re this quality. Page 23
  • Make your own antibacterial spray! All you need are these 2 oils and some water. Page 138
  • Fight off infection and flu with the famous Four Thieves formula — great for use during superbug outbreaks and when antibiotics don’t work. Page 26
  • Kick sugar cravings to the curb with a quick sniff of this — it works great! Page 161
  • Calm a cough with WHAT? Surprise! Popular pesto ingredient is a natural cough suppressant. Page 35
  • Wait! Before you use eucalyptus oil for relieving sinus issues, you need to know which of the two varieties is best — one is a lot stronger than the other. Page 56
  • Lose up to 7 pounds in 2 days! Try this easy jumpstart and detox your body. Page 168
  • Help protect your body against heart troubles and even breast and lung cancer with vanilla oil — studies show great promise! Page 142

LOADED with recipes, insights, advice, and more, The Healing Powers of Essential Oils is the most comprehensive, easy-to-follow book on essential oils — how to use them and which to use — we’ve ever seen.

Your FREE BOOK includes:

  • Dozens of home remedies to help ease anxiety and stress, improve sleep, visibly smooth wrinkles, stop a scratchy throat, soothe aches and pains, and much more!
  • Over 50 delicious recipes — breakfast, lunch, dinner, soups, salads, and delicious desserts — all with naturally enhanced flavors from nature which heap on the health benefits. There’s even a weight-loss recipe for helping you control cravings on page 163.
  • Decade-by-decade guide to the best essential oils in your 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond.
  • Handy chart for how much essential oil to use with a carrier oil to dilute the strength.
  • Storage tips for keeping your essential oils fresh.
  • Quick, at-a-glance list of each essential oil and the health concerns that each one may help alleviate for easy reference.  And more...

Homeward Bound: How Do Wayward Pets Find Their Way Back Home? (Excerpt from Soulmates with PAWS)

 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.


            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

NEW "Notable Book" Tag is Back in Stock! Soulmates with Paws--the Edgy Non-fiction Novel

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... 

Title: Soulmates with Paws: A Collection of Tales & Tails
Author: Cal Orey
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 978-1-6655-7857-8
Pages: 238
Genre: Non-Fiction / Pets
Reviewed by: Beth Adams

Read Book Review

One thing is absolutely clear; that is Cal Orey is a pet lover extraordinaire. She sums up the theme of her book in her final sentence, “Soulmates with Paws is a tribute to the four-leggers in my life, past and present, and throughout the nation and around the globe. It’s the human-companion animal bond that is universal and one that connects us as whole unity on the planet.”

As a renown award-winning author, Cal Orey’s reputation of tackling subjects with an abundance of facts and insights proceeds this book in many ways.  It was my pleasure to enjoy the vast details of her personal accounts, the array of scientific facts, and surprising spiritual aspects of dog and cat relationships within a diverse style of original writing, published article reprints, blogpost excerpts, and a forward by Stanley Coren, Ph.D., author of The Intelligence of Dogs and How to Speak Dog.

As for spiritual relationships, she writes, “After a cat dies, they have a telepathic reunion with their owner, according to telepathic animal communicator Raphaela Pope of Berkeley, Calif. That means cat owners may have direct communication beyond what’s normal with their cats.” Here, I thought it was only me that experienced this when my cat died.

Pet owners who understand their furry-friends all have seen remarkable situations of the animal’s awareness alerting their owner to some impending threat; whether it be a fire, an earthquake, or even the malintent of other people posing danger.  The ability for dogs and cats to “find their way home” after being lost or when traveling tends to hint of high-sensory awareness of sight and smell and beyond, to some perception of the Earth’s magnetic fields, as was discovered in bees and birds, plus other mammals, where their brain cells contain magnetized iron particles which cells act like built-in compasses.

Although peppered with extraordinary facts about dogs and cats, Cal Orey’s main thrust is in her storytelling.  Written in a friendly “fireside” fashion, readers will love each of the many tales throughout this book where she tells of her exploits, her pet loves and losses, and get to know her as a person with a heart, seeking ways to unselfishly help others.  A section about homeless people caring for pets points out an interesting observation by Richard Avanzino, president of the San Francisco SPCA. “Because homeless people have this unique bond and special relationship, in many cases, the animals are better cared for than they take care of themselves. And that’s because the animal has stood by their side when society and the world and human beings have discarded them.”

The book contains a dozen quizzes for readers, each enabling them to determine aspects of their own personality, such as being a dog-person or a cat-person, and which breed of dog best suits their personality.  Each chapter has appropriate quotes from famous people.  And talking about famous people, a chapter is dedicated to many stories of actors, celebrities and authors with their pets.  For example, Doris Day started an animal rescue charity and of course, John Steinbeck’s many books referencing his animal companions.

As a whole, Soulmates with Paws: A Collection of Tales & Tails is a book that should be promoted on all fronts, especially in mental and physical well-being practices, as powerfully illustrated through personal experiences and relatable concepts. It is without doubt one of those texts that beg to be read time and again, to dig up the nuances you may have missed during the first reading. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

True Story: A Belated Mystery Letter That Surprised Me

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.

Fast Forward: This lovely woman's well written letter told me one day the book fell to the floor. And there was the advice she needed to not only help heal her feet but also help heal a wound on her leg.Thanks to her friends inside the minimum security facility, it wasn't too difficult to get the good honey in the institution in the nick of time!

She actually was facing amputation! And yes, Dr. Peter Molan of New Zealand discusses how honey is used for serious wounds for people in hospitals. Evidently, she had gone straight to "Home Cures" -- missed the good doctor's wisdom in Ch. 3. But there was more info on the healing benefits of skin and sores in that section, too.

So, tonight I realize I've always written to make a difference. And this woman named Amir made me feel like I did just that. Note to self: Practice patience and think sometimes waiting is worth the end result.

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

A dog woman interviewed a famous dog man

Snoopy debuted in Charles Schulz’s cartoon strip “Peanuts” in 1950 (before I was born). The likable canine character from Daisy Hill puppy farm became part of the children’s strip (and still is today). In fact, with the help of Snoopy’s owner, Charlie Brown, the Beagle’s personality blossomed—big time.
            Of course, Snoopy can’t talk. He thinks. Schulz explained how Snoopy communicates: “Snoopy thinks the sort of things that we believe a dog might think if we knew what they were thinking about. Snoopy’s strength is his ability to overcome all of the problems in his life, but he frequently retreats to imagination to solve a lot of his problems.” For instance, the imaginative Beagle has a dog house that converts into a fighter plane in which he seeks the elusive Red Baron. And, this resourceful dog is a wanna-be writer. Snoopy is notorious for using those opening passages, “It was a dark and stormy night…” The irony is, he thinks he’s great!

            Is cartoonist Schulz a genuine dog person? You can count on it.
            A native of Minnesota, Schulz recalls his younger years being enriched by a variety of canines: a couple of Beagles, a St. Bernard and several Golden Retrievers.
            “Right now I have the best dog I’ve ever owned in my whole life,” mused the 69-year-old “Peanuts” creator. He simply cherishes Andy, his 12-year-old Wire Fox Terrier. And sometimes, Schulz will derive his ideas for Snoopy from Andy’s behavior. For instance, Snoopy’s sudden cookie fetish is really Andy’s thing.
            Schulz borrowed another idea from his senior dog. “When Andy could hear better, I used to hesitate about shaving with an electric razor in the morning. I didn’t want to wake him up,” recalled Schulz...        
(Reprinted with permission from Dog World, December 1993 issue.)
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