Thursday, March 30, 2023

Soulmates with Paws Nonfiction Novel Hits #39 Bestseller in Animal Essays in March!

  Read Book Review

*Shocking Paranormal Stories

*Incredible Homeward Bound Tales

*Uncanny 9 Lives Phenomenon

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.  There are many stories of people and pets, doing amazing things. These stories make up the icing on the factual content of the book.  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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

2023 Forecasts: Golden State "Rain, Flooding, Mudslides"

  By Cal Orey

Update: Newsworthy flooding, SAF tremors, quakes near Anchorage, Italy, Japan...flu, colds, and some cases of COVID have been happening. Talk of nuclear weapons to migration is happening. Regarding wildfires? Burned out regions to fresh growth of trees and plants will serve as fuel. Yes, this year has turned out to be challenging and it's not half over. Be ready for anything but remember each even will run its course and pass.

2023 Forecasts

The year of 2022 will go down in history books as a rough ride around the world. We had action and adventure. There were quakes, twisters, hurricanes, wildfires causing dangerous air and lake quality. Extreme climate change effects to man-made disasters will happen again in 2023. Count on it...

As the New Year rolls in we unfortunately will be in Mercury Retrograde until mid-month. Some famous prophets predicted this year would frightening—and it may feel that way since some happenings may get worse.

The drought, air quality, toxic waterways, famine, challenges of crops and inflation affecting our food will not go away.

It will be a New Year and new thinking is going to help us get through it, one day at a time. So, dear readers, it is again a time of resourcefulness. Put together a healthy emergency pantry and a go bag for people and pets in case you have to escape or live with nature’s wrath, whether you’re near the coast, mountains, cities, or countryside. Yes, it’s going to be another year of living on the edge of the unknown chock-full of twists and turns like a roller coaster.


Tremors and More Tremors


* Okay, the San Andreas fault zone did move like I predicted it would. In the fall, there was a notable 5.1 earthquake that rattled nerves for folks in the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, there’s been quite a few minor but noteworthy shakers in both the East and South Bay. But no Big One yet. However, due to the rain and snow in the fall (we’re still in a drought on the West Coast) it could help trigger more stronger earthquakes.

* Looking at hazardous regions on a USGS map the normal earthquake areas are shaded risky. These places include up and down the West Coast, Sierra Nevada, the New Madrid Zone, southern Alaska, and The Big Island, Hawaii.

*Alaska, especially near Anchorage, may experience a major earthquake as it did a few years ago. Since this state is noteworthy of its earthquakes it wouldn’t be shocking.

*In 2022, on November 21, a 5.5 in Greece triggered tsunami fears. It’s possible Italy is up next to rock and roll in 2023 and a great earthquake could happen.

*Indeed the Pacific Ring of Fire was on a roll last year and will likely be the region where at least one great earthquake occurs in 2023. Japan could have a repeat of March 2011which included a fatal tsunami.

 Northern California ShakeAlert! This Is Not a Drill! On December 20 when most people were in bed at 2:34 A.M. Tuesday, a 6.4 strong earthquake near Ferndale shook parts of Northern California. The shaker was about 15 to 20 seconds—

frightening to many people who reported the event. The end result: At least two deaths, at least a dozen people injured, and more than 70,000 folks were left without power. There was infrastructure damage, a road closure, and plenty of objects fell and broke…

A news headline read “Humboldt earthquake alert warned 3M people in California, Oregon”.  The ShakeAlert on cell phones say five warning words “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” and gave people about 10 seconds to prepare for the Earth to move. Dozens of aftershocks followed and there is a chance it was a foreshock. The Northern California earthquake is in both The Ring of Fire and Cascadian Subduction Zone known for deadly earthquakes.


Rain and Snow

As Earth changes continue to shock us, in 2023, according to the experts, a drought in the West and Southwest is not over. In mid-December the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California announced a drought emergency. And dams, reservoirs, and rivers are drying up. Ironically, in December 2022, the northern and southern regions of the Golden State got rain, flash floods, flooding, and mudslides. The Sierra Nevada did enjoy several feet of snow—but the snowpack, report experts, is a “drop in the bucket.” In 2023 water rationing will continue. The lack of water, especially in Southern California, will be a challenge as it will be in central California—the place where our crops are grown and used to be plentiful. UPDATE: Miss on snowfall in the Golden State. It turned out to be an epic snow year--from 15 ft. berms, snowed-in in San Bernadino, roof collapses in South Lake Tahoe (grocery stores! closed)...California is no longer in a severe drought. A few regions moderate drought lakes, river, reservoirs are full to the brim. Warning: If springmelt is too quick destructive flooding will happen and affect Central California and crops (even more than it has already). That means higher prices or lack of produce supply for the U.S.

Still, talk of a Sacramento mega flood, like in the 1800s, continues and people are warned to keep their flood insurance. If the temperatures warm up throughout the West Coast there could be some flash floods and flooding in January and the springtime. If this occurs Washington, Oregon, and California will experience coastal erosion, lost homes, and past wildfire burn regions are vulnerable. 

    Speaking of rain, the Deep South states will face flooding and tornadoes. The states most affected may include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Coastal regions and their people should be prepared.


Hurricanes and Wildfires

 Hurricanes will happen and in 2023 history may repeat itself. One of the Hawaiian Islands could be in danger as well as Florida and the Gulf States. The Atlantic seaboard folks may be boarding up and hunkering down. The Carolinas may be two states facing action and adventure.

Wildfire season is now an annual happening – and unhealthy air quality is affecting all of the West. Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and California are coping with smoky skies especially during summertime. In the winter, prescribed burns, and fireplace smoke causes more toxic skies. People in these regions are getting used to fleeing for a wildfire vacation to find clean air and/or living indoors with air purifiers. 


Climate Change and Immune System

     Not unlike 2022, climate change and immune system challenges will be ongoing. During the winter masking up will be recommended to stay well—but it will not be mandated. As we try and find normalcy since COVID-19, new culprits will lurk around us wherever we go.

During the end of 2022, the “tripledemic” (flu, respiratory syncytial virus, and COVID) is wreaking havoc on our hospitals and people. While we thought the pandemic was over now, we’re dealing with other bugs. And yes, traveling like we did in 2019 but now in cramped airplanes and other transportation can help spread contagious illnesses. What’s more, due to climate change and strange weather we can expect more not less turbulence on flights.

 Both illness and extreme weather affects health, the workplace and our food chain and will continue to rise prices. Some produce will be less than more, and some foods will be difficult if not impossible to get.

       The good news is people will be forced to be more thoughtful with their diet. Buying nutrient-dense fare, fortified cereals to milk, will help people to get nutrients to stay healthier and leaner. This, in turn, means we can boost our immune system, naturally with a better lifestyle.

Because of climate change a plant-based diet will become more popular but more difficult to get because the cost will be pricey. It will take thought and resourcefulness to get fresh fruit and vegetables. People who can grow their own gardens will be blessed. Those people who can afford to pay ten dollars for a few apples will be lucky. And then there are some of us who have the time to forage for apples and oranges at different stores and may score healthy superfoods.


  Pesky Planets

So, to add craziness to this New Year, don’t forget Mercury Retrograde. It happens three times in 2023. Be mindful during these periods. Consider not making travel plans, big changes during these periods. Mercury Retrograde times aren’t always a terrible curse, but it can be.

            The planet Mercury Retrograde dates to mark on your 2023 are29 December 2022 – 18 January 2023 in CapricornApril 21. 2023 – 14 May 2023 in TaurusAugust 23, 2023 – September 15, 2023, in Virgo; and December 13, 2023 – January 1. 2024 in Sagittarius.

Often arguments, high stress, and anxiety during moving or new jobs can happen during Mercury Retrograde--but not always. If you’ve planned on something big and you absolutely cannot change the time it happens it’s a time to be aware and stay safe as possible.


Soulmates with Paws for 2023

Without doubt, people in Ukraine to America and around the globe will be cuddling up to four-leggers. The global pandemic and lockdowns of 2020 resulted in an upsurge of animal adoptions… people were seeking the emotional support and affection that a companion animal can bring.

Homeless pets and their people are a timeless phenomenon. Due to inflation (and recession), displaced families facing financial and physical disasters, will feel scared and lonely. But our companion animals will help us stay strong and survive during the worst of times.

 It’s the year of inhaling and exhaling because more challenges are coming. Some folks believe the end days are near, others choose to live life in the moment and tune out the media hype. Learning to go with the flow in 2023—and being prepared for anything is going to be the name of the game. Your mantra: Stay safe.


Nostradamus’ 2023 Sci-Fi Visions

What did the French astrologer Nostradamus see for the New Year? Well, some visions in the prophet’s quatrains are scary. On the upside, “Nosty” has been wrong. .Epidemics will increase. I agree with epidemics continuing as we experience viruses mutating, a flu bug spreading, and other contagious diseases affecting people of all ages.  Famine may soar. Due to factories and farms being affected by shutdowns and exportation due to illness, inflation, and climate change, lack of food is happening.·       Detonation of a nuclear weapon. It is possible a weapon of destruction may be used and affect some European countries that will make climate change and resources worse.·   Migratory problems. People all over the world are moving due to terrorism, war, famine, and climate change. People in Mexico, Ukrainians, Europeans, and the West Coast locals of California to Washington are relocating to survive.


Monday, March 27, 2023

Last Week Soulmates with Paws Hit #39 Best Seller in Animal Essays Category

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.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Spring into The Healing Powers of TEA

  By Cal Orey

The Healing Powers of Tea is Available Right Here

Pair a cuppa with the new read: Soulmates with Paws!

Nearly 20 years ago I wanted to write a book on the topic of tea. It wasn't the right time. So, I fell into the world of vinegar. Olive oil, chocolate, honey, and coffee followed. Finally, my goal to enjoy Tea Land was met. I took the plunge and discovered amazing things about this superfood to write home about--and I savored every minute of research inside and outside my cabin with tea. 

Here is a quick synopsis (from Kensington) of the sixth book included in the popular Healing Powers Series. Available to you this year just in time for the springtime, Easter, celebration into the summer. Not to forget June 2023 is National Iced Tea Month! So, readers will be ready to sip and savor their favorite cuppa of brew.  Time goes by fast and soon this special book with a fresh perspective on tea will be in your hands to enjoy.

Meanwhile, I'll be visiting a special tea room (or two) in Canada; and I promise to share my experiences with you as The Healing Powers of Tea: A Complete Guide to Nature's Special Remedy is in the final stages of production before it's tea time for you. GIFT BOOK:

Wellness in a Cup—Discover the Benefits of Tea for Your Body and Mind!

It picks you up and calms you down, warms you and refreshes you. With black, white, red, green, and herbal varieties, there’s a tea for every taste, and now this time-honored superfood is trending as the drink of choice for health-conscious people of all ages and cultures. 

This fascinating book boils down the rich history of tea—as well as the ever-expanding list of health and weight loss benefits found in its leaves. 
*Discover how black and white teas are heating up the beverage world with antioxidants and nutrients that lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and fight off inflammation, viruses, and bacteria.
*Learn how age-defying spa treatments made from tea can soothe your skin, soften your hair, and give you an all-over glow and peace of mind.
*Get the latest knowledge from top medical researchers and tea experts on how the superfood can tackle digestive problems, depression and anxiety, aches and pains, and add years to your life. 

*Stir up over 50 home cures to give yourself more energy, less stress, treat the common cold, insomnia, and more!

*Enjoy comforting and tea-licious recipes like Warm Scones with Jam and Devonshire Cream, Assorted Finger Sandwiches, Scrumptious White Tea Scallops, and Russian Tea Cookies paired with the perfect brew – hot or iced.
Better health is just a sip away. With The Healing Powers of Tea (sweetened with lively stories) you’ll learn the hottest tips to improve your health, boost your brain power, and even clean your house!

Product details

  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel 
  • Publication Date: December 26, 2018
  • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • Language: English

Friday, March 24, 2023

Springtime Scones and Tea with Honey

 By Cal Orey

Scones and tea are popular in England and America, including Northern California... 
This year during late March it feels more like winter with our extreme weather--snow and flooding...So baking a batch of scones seems perfect. If there isn't a power outage, baking a batch or two of these patries is not only fine to scent up the kitchen but they store well, too. If the power stays on pairing a scone with a hot cup of tea is perfect even when springtime isn't this year. It's all about timing and making scones out of too much snow...

Triangle scones, big and small, can be found at coffee shops abound like our Starbucks—and you can make these semi-biscuit treats yourself, too. This time around, I switched it up and gave my scone recipe a makeover. I changed some basic ingredients, and used different add-ons for a new, springtime Easter flair.

 Goodreads critics love the TEA book!
Back in the day right before Easter Sunday (before extreme weather), I was booked at the Roseville Barnes and Noble bookstore for a lecture/signing. I offered a giveaway of Easter candy chocolate eggs and bars; I bought scones for my Easter treat. In between talking to customers, I longed to be with my two dogs kenneled through the holiday.  
After a few hours, I fled and played beat the clock. Traffic was heavy.  I called the attendant and begged. “Please wait. I think I can make it in time.” It was close. I sensed the challenge was worth the effort. At six p.m., I ran to the back door. Mission accomplished. I did it. I rescued my happy canine duo, both Brittany and Aussie wagging their docked tails and smiling. The reward: I’d be with my boys on Sunday; I recall savoring leftover scones from the bookstore in the company of my two best friends. 
  Ready-made scones are good but homemade scones are rustic good. At the store I saw a bag of self-rising flour and wanted to try it and see if it makes the scones thicker and tender. Accidentally, I grabbed a package of premium white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate—but it was meant to be for a lighter flavor and look.

2 ¾ self-rising bleached flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup European style butter (cold, small cubes)
1 brown egg
1 cup reduced fat cultured buttermilk, 2 % milk fat
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange rind, grated
2 tablespoons juice from 1 orange
3/4-1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Enjoy a chapter on pairing honey and tea
Half and half, organic, for brushing 
Raw sugar for sprinkling
Marmalade, jam, cream cheese, or honey for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, mix flour (sift or whisk), granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Add chunks of butter. In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, vanilla, orange rind, and juice. Combine dry and wet mixtures. Fold in chocolate. Place ball of dough on floured cutting board. Shape into round circle, flatten, and knead several times. Once the disk is a 1 inch circle cut in half, repeat until you have several triangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with half and half, sprinkle with raw sugar. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes. Bake till golden brown, about 20 minutes. Makes 8-10. Serve with orange marmalade, organic strawberry or apricot jam, cream cheese or honey. Pair with black or herbal tea—hot or iced.

I’ve made fruity and savory cheese scones but chocolate chips and citrus notes are perfect for the season of renewal. The self-rising flour did indeed give these scones height and a fresh  chewy cookie texture with a light crispy crunch. This Easter I’ll be with the dog and cat, and enjoy these special scones with coffee in the morning and herbal tea in the afternoon.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Easter is Coming Soon with Soulmates with Paws...

 By Cal Orey

As a Catholic girl, I have always loved Easter--a time of renewal. When I was a kid, my mom would make a mega ordeal out of the holiday. After Sunday mass, she'd bake a honeyed ham, sweet potatoes, greens, and a bunny shaped coconut cake. Not to forget my dad who always gave me and my siblings Easter baskets full of chocolates. And, we colored boiled eggs and hid them around the house and backyard.
One year as a grown woman with a heart of a child, I admit I purchased gourmet jelly beans and chocolate squares. I almost put together a basket complete with milk chocolate eggs, and more. But then I remembered Easter goodies are good but there is something even better.  Also, ago here on the South Shore of Tahoe, the Easter Bunny (well, sort of) delivered me something special but not edible.
A new male kitty I chose from a Sacramento rescue organization greeted me at the front door. He was a Siamese mix with blue eyes, black and tan markings, and a long black tail--my Easter gift. That night was challenging with two Brittany spaniels and a new feline, like a white fluffy rabbit, in the cabin.

I do recall making baked egg custard paired with chamomile tea (more than one cup) for me. The Easter cat? He was hiding underneath the love seat, and eventually sitting on the cat trees while sizing up the dog duo. But in time, we all adapted. So, this week I put together a version of baked egg coconut custard and give credit to my beloved senior Scooter cat who was renamed Zen.

Egg Custard with Toasted Coconut

2 1/4 cups half and half
4 eggs yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar (or a bit more to taste)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ground nutmeg to taste
Whipped cream
3/4 cup coconut, toasted
Basil leaves, fresh (optional)
Berries, fresh (blackberries or strawberries)

In a saucepan warm up the half and half. Do not boil. Remove from the stove top. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Slowly pour the half and half in the egg mixture. Tip: This will help to keep your custard smooth without lumps. Pour the unbaked custard into ramekins. Sprinkle tops with nutmeg. Place dishes into a large baking pan filled with hot water. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until firm. Remove and cool.
Top with whipped cream, and toasted coconut. (Place in shallow pan. Turn oven up to 400 degrees. Stir a few times. In about 10 minutes or less it will be light golden brown.) Garnish with basil and berries. *For a festive effect use colored sprinkles or chocolate shavings. Serves 4 to 6.

This dessert is creamy and rich. Eggs (one of the 20 picks in The Healing Powers of Superfoods) and nutmeg in The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices can help satisfy a sweet tooth; and help you to not overindulge in an Easter basket of candy. Also, herbs and fruit are a nice touch for presentation, flavor, and some good-for-you nutrients. No doubt this custard is easy to make, fun and pretty to serve, and is calming without a lot of sugar. Truth be told, getting an Easter kitty is as good as it gets—but custard with a crunch of toasted coconut will give you a Zen-like feeling.