Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dorothy at Work......Joyce Oroz

A couple years ago I wrote about my mom. Dorothy is special in many ways, but her book donations are the subject of this blog.

Mom is still making picture books for children out of discarded magazines and calendars, and sending the books to children’s hospitals all over Arizona, California and Oregon, including St. Vincent de Paul and El Zaribah Shrine. She has mailed away over four thousand books and there are no signs that she will stop her project any time soon. She is as sharp as her scissors, immersed in her work and full of joy as she reads the many thank you letters. 
You might ask why, at age 91, she works so hard. My mother comes from a generation that lived through World War Two, a time when everyone worked at something. They knew how to recycle rubber and metal, how to ration their food, how to skimp and save on everything. When people ban together over a purpose, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. 
Mom’s friends and neighbors continue to help her with materials, transportation and postage.

 Dorothy's collage place mats can be purchased at the Dragonfly Gallery in Aromas. The gallery is another community project worth our support.

Please drop in on Fridays. That is when I exchange pajamas for street clothes and sit at the Dragonfly desk.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Look up, It's a Bird........Joyce Oroz

Opps, forgot the "before" picture. I decided to add a blue bird to my kitchen cabinet. Thank you, Barbara for cutting the wood I painted.
The bird is a decoy--bright blue feathers engineered to make us look up. Looking up is an instant face-lift for body and mind. Here is an example: I purposely crank my chair into the short position so that I look up to my computer screen. Looking up to my left I see a row of books beginning with The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas by Currie, ending with Creating a Personal Rose Garden by Truskot.
When I look up to my right I blink at the light coming through the basement window.
When you work in your pajamas in the basement, everything is up--upstairs.
Now put your arms up and do the hokey pokey. If you don't know about the hokey pokey, you need to read my new book, Roller Rubout.

See how it works? Look up and be happy!
Look up, follow that star, follow that dream.
Someone to look up to--Grandma at 102

by Joyce Riley
Grace is not a treasure to be sought,
Nor is grace a lesson to be taught.
Never bound by circumstance or place,
“Love in action,” is a synonym for grace.
When I let go and welcome Love’s embrace
I am in a consciousness of grace.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Schedule.........Joyce Oroz

It's that time of year, red leaves, grey skies and Holiday Events everywhere you look. My new book, Roller Rubout arrived today, one copy--the first copy of my sixth book in the Josephine Stuart Mystery Series--just in time for the Aromas Hills Artisan's Holiday Art Festival, November 22nd and 23rd. 

I can almost taste the cider and cookies, and feel the warm fire in the fireplace at the refurbished Grange in Aromas. From 10:00am to 4:00pm I will be sharing the "writer's table" with authors, Giselle Rocha, Debra Smith and Pat Hanson. Surrounding our table will be the various artisans with their fabulous Paintings, Pottery, Jewelry, Photography, Knitted items, Fused Glass, Silk Flowers, Relief Prints, Embroidered Children's' Clothing, Greeting Cards, Beaded Ornaments, Lapidary Jewelery, Woven items, Stained glass, Wood Santas, a sack of lively elves and twenty pounds of pixy dust.

The Watsonville Elks are hosting another grand Christmas Crafts event Friday, November 14th and Saturday, November 15th at the Elk’s Lodge on Martinelli Street. 

There will be over forty booths offering handmade jewelry, knitted items, candles, knick knacks and this year there will be a local author’s table featuring books by Debra Smith, Giselle Rocha, Pat Hanson and me. I will be signing my newest book, “Roller Rubout” and "Read My Lipstick" at the 20th annual event from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday and Saturday. Debra will be signing her newest book, Warriors of the Forest, MG/YA. Be sure to look for Laurie Tholen’s wonderful copper jewelry and mermaids. This is a very popular event—don’t miss it!

If I survive the first two weekends, I will be signing books at the Alladin Nursery December 5th, 6th, and 7th from 4pm to 8pm at the 9th annual Christmas Open House.

As the night falls, we sit around a crackling fire and enjoy some homemade pastries with a cup of coffee, delicious hot apple cider, or a glass of local wine.

We will listen to live classical guitar and when we’ve warmed up, dance to live jazz!

The nursery will be illuminated with colorful light displays and the gift shop will be transformed into a Christmas Wonderland, full of gifts for everyone to enjoy.

There will also be a small craft fair, featuring local artists, and what else?? A writer's table of course. 

But that's not all. Monday, December 15th I will be signing my new "Roller Rubout" books at the Watsonville Hospital in the Senior Circle Library from 10:45am to noon. I hope I will see lot's of friends along my book tour. I will have a fresh supply of "Read My Lipstick" (first time in print).

And don't forget to shop at our local Dragonfly Gallery in Aromas. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Allure of Alladin........Joyce Oroz

Sometimes it's worth climbing out of the basement, exchanging pajamas for street clothes and leaving your pet turtle alone for the afternoon. I guess you could pocket the turtle. He probably wouldn't spoil your afternoon of fresh air and great entertainment. The entertainment I'm thinking of is happening at the Alladin Nursery, located a few feet north of Watsonville. 

Alladin Nursery was founded in 1919 by Niels Peter Jensen of Denmark and in 1946 was purchased by Ben and Dorothy Roth.
The Roths grew wholesale bedding plants for coastal retail nurseries while still being a retail nursery, too. Alladin was taken over by Eldon and Les, the Roth’s two sons, in 1970 and they ran the business with their wives Susan and Joyce.
Alladin Nursery survived a fire in 1969, floods in 1982, severe drought in 1987, and even the earthquake of 1989. It has grown from a small wholesale bedding plant business into a thriving retail nursery.
Realizing his dream, Gustavo Beyer became the new owner of Alladin Nursery in 2005 and is still running it today. You can find him there nearly every day of the week, greeting his customers with a smile.
All classes/events are FREE!!
9th Annual Christmas Open House
Mark your calendars!
Join us December 5th, 6th, and 7th from 4pm to 8pm as we host our 9th annual Christmas Open House.

  • Friday, December 5, 2014 to Sunday, December 7, 2014
  • 4:00pm to 8:00pm
As the night falls, sit around a crackling fire and enjoy some homemade pastries with a cup of coffee, delicious hot apple cider, or a glass of local wine.
Listen to live classical guitar and when you’ve warmed up, dance to live jazz!
The nursery will be illuminated with colorful light displays and the gift shop will be transformed into a Christmas Wonderland, full of gifts for everyone to enjoy.
We will also host a small craft fair, featuring local artists, whose work you’ll be sure to love!
So join us for a night of warmth and fun as we celebrate Christmas and all the joy it brings!

I will be signing copies of Roller Rubout (hot off the Cozy Cat Press) at the Alladin Nursery. Four other titles will be up for apoption--Read My Lipstick will be available for the first time ever. See you there Saturday and Sunday, December 6th and 7th. 4pm to 8pm.

More than 1 in 10 of our neighbors will be turning to Second Harvest Food Bank for a meal this holiday season, and we need your help at this most critical time.

Come to Alladin’s and bring in 1 grocery bag full of non-perishable food donations and receive 10% off your entire purchase. Bring in 2 bags and receive 20% off your entire purchase.

As a friend of the Food Bank, you are a powerful ambassador and we hope we can count on you to give what matters and rally your networks to do the same and ensure that no family goes hungry.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Club Joyce Oroz

Last night was Book Club. Happens every month. Good thing, because some of us fall into a funk and need the club ladies to pull us out. It’s like falling into a dank dark hole in the ground where there is no chocolate, only barking dogs and shoes that hurt. 

Show up at book club, and nice people make you laugh, pull you out of the hole and feed you fabulous food until your buttons pop. And they talk about wonderful stories—books they read. They read books so that they can belong to the book club where they feast on organic, vegetarian, gluten-free foods that look and taste like real food. 

Why does it always come down to the quality of the food, not the books? The real quality is in the women who support each other with food, stories and love. And what is said at book club stays at book club!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Read My Joyce Oroz

I needed TV distraction. The local news flashed on … something about a farmer loosing his crop of lettuce to a disease. A black fungus? I tried to concentrate, but it was useless. I needed food. Why would fungus-infested lettuce remind me that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast?

      I shuffled into the kitchen and warmed up some left-over leftovers. I didn’t consciously taste the food, not even the chocolate ice cream that was supposed to make me feel better. My small, but comfortable home had all the usual rooms plus a loft. With Solow gone, the place seemed cold, gray and tasteless, like my dinner. I stared at the TV, but I might as well have been watching an empty screen. The phone rang, snapping me out of my stupor.
      “Hello.” I tried to sound like my normal chipper self. 
      “Hi, Josie, it’s David. I miss you and this weather is probably going to keep me here longer than I planned.”
      My cheeks felt warm at the sound of his voice, and I liked it when he used the nickname he had given me a few months earlier when we became “better acquainted.”
      “You mean your flight might be canceled?”
      “That’s right. The airport’s closed as we speak. I’m hoping the weather will improve before Tuesday so I can come home. How’s Fluffy?”

      “Fluffy is fine. It’s Solow who’s having a problem. It seems my little porch potato ate his blanket and now he’s spending time at the veterinary hospital.” I tried my best not to sound overly worried.
      “Hey, Josie, he’s going to be fine. For a minute I thought you said Solow ate his blanket.”  We both laughed. “Just don’t get into trouble until I get home.”
      “OK, David. Hope to see you Tuesday evening.” I was smiling as I hung up. David always made me smile. All I needed was a cup of hot cocoa and a good rerun on the tube. I settled onto the sofa, mug in hand, and began watching a rerun of the very troubled Mr. Monk working his magic to solve a difficult case. I stared at the TV, trying to enjoy the mystery, but between Rosa’s disappearance and Solow being so sick, it was impossible to concentrate.
      I remembered the time Fluffy had mixed it up with a stray wire attached to a fence post. She ended up in Dr. Finley’s office with an abscess on her little pink nose. Rosa Mendoza, the “Florence Nightingale” of animal nursing, made house calls to make sure Fluffy was healing. 


Looks like a Fluffy trick!

Read My Lipstick will be in print for the first time----soon!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bee There Or Bee Square..........Joyce Oroz

A couple days ago I found something wonderful. A magical cottage at the top of a mountain somewhere between Aptos, Watsonville and Snow White's house in the forest. This darling little place was full of jars of raw honey, bee's wax candles and beautiful gifts, toys and gadgets at reasonable prices. 

Owner, Dana Mumm, showed us around and explained so much about raising bees. She obviously loves them, but there are too many to name. We watched Catherine make beautiful candles out of bees wax. Everyone at the cottage was so welcoming. Here is Dana Mumm holding a bee's wax angel candle. She writes a beautiful buzz news letter to her many followers. Thank you, Tomi Edmiston for the photographs and Dana for the letter. Now for the buzz:

Pacific Crest Apiaries Gift Store


Greetings and Happy October!
I have exciting news for you! We have new and exciting gift items in stock and more to come!
Our hand crafted pure beeswax candles and hand processed honey definitely help to round off our fabulous gift selections.
I'm excited to introduce a new selection of 100% Organic Essential Oils from ACORELLE. No synthetic junk or toxic chemicals what so ever! These essential oils are to be used diluted for massages, in the bath and "pure" in a diffuser.
Three essential oils to choose from:
"Energizing" - which has a complex combination of essential oils of Eucalyptus, Green Mint and Lime. Fresh and invigorating, it brings back bounce and vitality!
"Balancing" - a combination of essential oils of Benzoin, Lavandin, and Bergamot. This essential oil can be used diluted in the bath, for instance, to bring the emotions into harmony. Exotic and comforting, it provides serenity and balance.
"Soothing" - combines essential oils of Sweet Orange, Lavandin and Red Tangerine. It will help to relieve tension and anxiety. Soothing and restful, it creates a relaxing atmosphere conducive to unwinding.
Pair that with a nice hot cup of herbal Tea Forte tea and honey ... nice!

Acorelle also offers a wonderful selection of body mists. We are considering on adding these to our body care line. The skin softening body mists are 95% organic and are for the whole body and contain just 2% fragrance (essential oils and extracts) No artificial colors, no synthetic fragrances, no denatured alcohol, no parabens, no phenoxyethanol, no PEG, and no phthalates! I love the fact that all Acorelle fragrances are made with alcohol and glycerin derived from organically grown wheat, corn, and soy. Mood enhancing aromatherapy blends are safe for the skin and the planet!
There are more gift items I could mention but I believe seeing is better than reading about "what's in store"!
Shop soon and see for yourself!
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11-5:30
The Holidays are right around the corner:
If you are planning to ship gifts you purchase here and/or would like a certain type of poured or hand rolled honeycomb beeswax candle in quantities or certain colors, please let me know soon! Hand made candles take time. To add to that, our beeswax is in minimum quantities this year. Come by soon and allow me or Catherine to help you.

Catherine at Candle making
Some of you may have met her already. It's high time we made a proper introduction! Welcome Catherine to our family! Catherine arrived at the right time! "Family" helping "family": what an awesome gift. Fortunately, during her busy schedule, she has some time during the week to help out. She's ready for any job at the farm and store. From labeling jars and bears full of honey, merchandising the gift store and maintaining it, helping with the bees, to assisting customers with their choice of gifts. In addition, she soon discovered that hand crafting candles from start to finish is one of the most labor intensive jobs she has ever done!
We worked together to teach her the art of candle making. I found out soon that Catherine has the unique gift for making beautiful beeswax candles. This has been a marvelous help to me. Our beeswax candles have become very popular; it was very tough for me to keep up.
We welcome Catherine to our family. Her bright and friendly smile and positive attitude helps to make your shopping experience even more special.

Enjoy 15% off all Gift Items now through Oct. 31, 2014! (sorry, discount cannot apply to Pacific Crest's own candles or honey)

Smilin bubble bee pic
And for those of you who want to know how the bees are doing:
They are well fed, healthy, and pretty darn sassy these days. Not happy campers. But, that's how they are this time of year. Not much going on. Not enough flowers to frolic and play in. However, if rain comes in "sheets" (and we hope it does), we sure are looking forward to a great spring that will help bring much nectar and pollen to the hive.
I look forward to seeing you soon. Best health to you and yours.