Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunset over Aromas

Are You Journaling Yet? I’m not holding my breath, but I hope you are keeping a diary because your life will be richer for it. Everyday has value, especially when you religiously write down the highlights before going to bed. Some days need only a couple lines, others generate a whole page—even if it’s only counting your blessings or venting. Put it on paper and feel better. Someday you will need to know what day you mailed Aunt Trudy’s package or what month the dog got his shots or the date you bought the new TV. All kinds of information can be stored in a journal, and because you date each entry, you will find the information you are looking for. Start recording the life you live—the good, the bad and the ugly. Months or years later, when you read your own words, you’ll realize what a great life it is!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book signing at the Brewery (Josephine’s favorite hang-out)

What could be more fun and relaxing than a visit to the Brewery Café in Boulder Creek? Even better, the Brewery will be hosting a book event for the popular mystery novel, "Secure the Ranch". Joyce Oroz, local author, will sign her books and answer questions Saturday, March 26th, 1:00 to 4:00. Profits will go to the SLV Home School FUND.

The Brewery has a lovely, family-friendly atmosphere and great menu. If you are hungry, Chef Judd will be at your service. Oroz will be greeting folks in a room at the back of the dinning room. She will sit near the homemade cookies!

"Secure the Ranch" is the first book in the Josephine Stuart Mystery Series. Oroz will talk about the story which unfolds mainly in Boulder Creek. She will also talk about her second book in the series, "Read My Lipstick", which will be available in April.

"Secure the Ranch" follows a mystery surrounding Josephine Stuart, an artist who is hired to paint murals for a wealthy client high in the mountains of California. After strange accidents, occurrences, and the death of a wildlife ranger, Josephine finds she is unable to set aside her curiosity and delves deep into a mystery best left alone.

Join the fun, support a local school and take home a fantastic read.

Author Appearances & Book Signings of "Secure the Ranch" by Author Joyce Oroz
Boulder Creek Brewery & Cafe
13040 California 9
Boulder Creek, CA 95006
(831) 338-7882

When: Saturday, March 26th, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

If you cannot make it to this great event, you can still Purchase "Secure the Ranch" in
Paperback format here or the Kindle Format here.

Choosing a Subject for Your Mural - Muraling Part Three

Murals are not just added fluff. Think of them as practical help for boring or flawed rooms. Your wall painting can actually create an illusion of more space in a small room. You don’t need hammer and nails to do the work. With proper perspective you can expand the walls and create a feeling of roominess. Why not paint some extra indoor space, outdoor space or outer space. (flying saucers included) Let your imagination soar.

Maybe you like the idea of having a mural in a certain room, but you don’t know what the subject of the painting should be. First concentrate on the room. Does the room look cold or bland? Are the architectural features, modern, conventional or traditional? Consider the style of furniture, and how the space is being used. Let the room or wall speak to you and tell you what it needs.

Once you have acquainted yourself with the needs of the room, you are ready to zero in on a subject or theme for your wall. Good places to search for pictures to copy are; magazines, your local library and the internet. Once you know what you want to paint, research the details (close-up pictures). If you wish to paint a field of flowers, for example, you should search the internet and various books and catalogues for detailed pictures of your chosen subject. With paper and pencil, familiarize yourself with the subject by sketching it. Thumbnail sketches at first, and then a large detailed sketch if you feel you need one.

Author Joyce Oroz
Mystery Novel "Secure the Ranch"

Available in Paperback for $18.95 and you can purchase here
Available in Kindle Format for the amout of $2.99 and can be purchased here

Monday, March 21, 2011

Efforts are underway to unscramble the boat pile-up at the Santa Cruz Harbor Tsunami mess

Picture taken by Avery Laurin

A dozen more boats are being pulled from up from the bottom as rogue docks float willy nilly with the tide.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Post - Minding Your Manners By Rosalinda Randall

Minding Your Manners

By Rosalinda Randall

Introducing Minding Your Manners Etiquette. It's not just for ladies who do tea. Etiquette happens every day.

We typically don't notice it until someone disturbs our space while at the golf course, grocery store or a coffee shop. In a romantic relationship, etiquette can bring back or keep that spark alive. Lack of etiquette can make your first date your last.

So for my first column, I'd like to start by talking about a topic we're all too familiar with: gym etiquette.

A new year brings new gym memberships. It can be a dreaded time for many year-round regulars because it means getting used to sharing their equipment and not lingering at their desired machine—not to mention waiting to sign in because the "newbies" haven't memorized their membership number. An exasperating time for everyone.

Undoubtedly, as a new member you'll have questions. Here are a few tips that can help make this sometimes-disconcerting process easier:

1)Find a friendly face; most people are willing to help.
2)If you think you are ready to work out in a set, look for someone who is close to your training level. It will be less intimidating.
3)Consider hiring a trainer to get you started. It'll shorten your learning curve.
Smile. It will help you look less intimidating to the regulars.
4)Although I recently relinquished my franchise-gym membership, I used to go to Bayhill Gym to work out, and the list of complaints is the same.

Get off your cell phone. Most people agree that a cell phone conversation in public places is garish. Please turn it off. Or if you must take a call, walk away.

Don't use foul language.

Clean up after yourself, to name a few.

Runners-up are: wash-up, apply deodorant, brush your teeth and put on a clean shirt, please.

Many people go to the gym focused on their workout. Please do not attempt to make conversation with them. They can't make it any clearer. You know the ones. They read a magazine, don't make eye contact or they listen to their MP3 player (By the way, not everyone has your discerning taste in music, so please turn it down.).

Wipe off the machine, adhering to the 30-minute cardio courtesy time, which allows others to get in their workout. And keep in mind that some members are on a tight schedule.

These are just a few things we can do to make everyone's gym experience a bit more pleasant.

On a final note, ladies: If you don't like guys drooling over you, consider wearing something a bit less revealing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Author Joyce Oroz Takes a Trip to Arizona - Mysterious Burros Spotted

Boston has its Terriers, France has its Poodles and Arizona has Burros galore. They wander the deserts, looking adorable in their brown fury coats and jackrabbit ears.

Recently I was driving along a two-lane Arizona road, when half a dozen burros crossed in front of my car just three car-lengths ahead. I pulled over just as they turned and posed for a picture, and than galloped back to my side of the road for another picture. Hamming it up, they crossed the road again and waited for me to take a final shot.

Obviously the burros were undecided as to where they wanted to be, or was it a senior moment and they forgot where they left their glasses—who knows. Anyway, the Highway Patrol arrived and ushered them along to better pastures. I continued my journey, still smiling and thinking about those darling little burros.

All Photos were taken my Author Joyce Oroz

"Secure The Ranch" - Mystery
"Secure the Ranch" is available in Paperback and Kindle Format!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mystery of the Ballooning Biscuits

After ten years of no biscuits (because I can’t have wheat gluten) I had a craving for one. I shuffled through my recipe books and decided to go with a very impressive book from an impressive culinary school. I shopped for potato starch, tapioca starch, white rice flour, brown rice flour, guar gum, turpentine and candle wax. Actually, I stopped at the guar gum. Thinking I had everything, I set out bowls, utensils and a cookie sheet. Dang! I needed buttermilk. (not exactly a staple at our house) So the biscuits were put off for another day. A drive to the store means twenty minutes down and twenty minutes back, and an investment in gasoline. The biscuits would now cost two dollars each, but I was so far into it I had to follow through. The big day finally came. I was already drooling over the biscuit I was about to create. Carefully I measured all the dry ingredients and stirred them together with baking powder and sugar in a large bowel. In a smaller bowl, I mixed 2 eggs, melted butter and 2 ¾ cups buttermilk, just like the recipe said. Why think about it when the recipe does all the thinking? But I had a feeling something was wrong. Traditional biscuits are made with very little liquid. The batter should be stiff—hard to stir. I poured the wet ingredients into the dry and stirred. I had soup! I rechecked the recipe. I had done everything correctly—now I had to think for myself. I began tossing in more and more dry ingredients until the mixture was thicker (but not stiff) and threatening to overflow the bowl. Still salivating over a possible warm biscuit with butter and honey, I decided to go ahead and bake the not-stiff batter. I baked tray after tray of three-inch Frisbees, ending up with close to four dozen pancake-biscuits. I have a food-rule I follow religiously, “If it’s not rotten, freeze it.” Our two little freezers are bursting with frozen biscuits which I sample periodically with great pleasure. Lightest little things you’ll ever find. They work well as toaster popups. The moral to this story is: "Just because it’s in print—doesn’t make it so” Author Joyce Oroz Mystery Novel: "Secure the Ranch" (Available in Paperback and Kindle Format)

Muraling Part 2

Muraling Part Two

We use cameras to capture a perfect image. A painting is better than perfect. It’s a personal expression, a reflection of your feelings and a depiction of your dreams. Or maybe it’s just a silly cartoon that makes you happy. Remember, the most important tools at your disposal are; your imagination, ingenuity and heart. Some skill is required, but skill comes in all sizes. Your fortitude and sense of humor will see you through.

The easiest way
to a happy mural experience is to lower your expectations a titch, and then surprise yourself with a painting you didn’t know you could accomplish. I’m here to be your cheerleader and push you forward into rewarding new projects.

I will give you the information you need to complete the murals of your choice.

Author Joyce Oroz
"Secure the Ranch" - Mystery Novel

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Excerpt from The Mystery Novel "Secure the Ranch" By Author Joyce Oroz

"Secure The Ranch" By Author Joyce Oroz
Mystery----Suspense ---Mystery Series
(Available in either Paperback format of Kindle)

Hope you all enjoy!

July's full moon rose above my head, revealing itself occasionally through a canopy of leafy tree limbs stretching over the creek. I watched beams of moonlight turn ordinary splashes of water into silvery jewels as the creek cut a path through the dark, pervasive forest full of wild animals. Fortunately I was an adult and didn't have to worry about unseen lions, tigers and bears. I told myself I was safe because nature's creatures were asleep for the night. I only had to watch out for the meanest animal of all, the armed pot farmer. That animal gave me shivers of dread.

Somewhere in the dark, an owl gave two hoots and a second later, hot breath and terrifying guttural snarls were inches from my face. I recoiled automatically, falling into the water, butt first. I scrambled toward the middle of the stream, half walking, half crawling over and around the rocks.

Glancing back, I saw Thor in the moonlight, thrashing around on his hind legs, trying to rid himself of the short rope tied around his neck. The other end of the rope was tied to a tree at the edge of the water. So that was where Kenneth left the mastiff. I was pretty sure the dog knew my scent and would like to tear me apart for old-time sake. The growling, slobbering canine tried over and over again to break free as I hurried past him and continued my trek down stream.

I thought about Solow and remembered that I had left his dinner bowl on the porch near his bed. He would need water, but I was sure he could find some on his own. Bet he's upset with me right now, I thought.

In my head I calculated the number of hours since my last meal. It had been about twenty-eight hours, give or take two, since I wasn't wearing a watch. Solow's kibble, with a little salt and pepper, would have been a welcome gourmet treat at that point.

I was wet up to my waist and the tiniest breeze sent my teeth chattering uncontrollably, but I refused to let anything get in the way of my plan to follow the river ... follow the river … follow the river. The creek offered short stretches of beach from time to time, but usually I just sloshed through the water, one foot in front of the other, sometimes hopping rocks I could barely see in the dark.

Author Joyce Oroz

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Art of Journaling

Journaling is like muraling without the pictures. Maybe that’s a stretch, but in both cases we are expressing what’s in our hearts. Expression is therapeutic. Reading our own words allows us to see more clearly who we are and how we really feel. Our journal is for our eyes only, which frees us to talk about whatever crosses our mind.

I have been journaling for the last ten years, regularly. It became a habit, like brushing my teeth. I picked up the habit from my friend, Raymond Lee Zanger, author of “Window of Self.” It is a very precise and instructive book on the techniques and history of writing a diary. Ray is the owner of one of the largest diary collections in the world.

I took Ray’s class, remembered the parts I wanted to remember, and put together a plan for journaling that is a bit looser than his.

Here are the aspects of journaling that work for me. Just like muraling, journaling requires a little preparation.

  • Buy yourself a NICE little journal (you wouldn’t want to waste that investment).
  • Your book should be bound—not the ring-type (so you won’t be tempted to rip out a page
  • Use an ink pen (so you won’t be tempted to erase your own words).
  • Make it a pen that flows well (so there are no excuses not to write.).
  • Place the book and pen in a permanent and convenient spot, like the coffee table near your favorite chair (so every evening, there it is, waiting for you to talk about your day).
  • I spend approximately five minutes per evening writing down the events of the day. The first thing I write is the day of the week, the month, day and year (every entry) at. Jan. 22, 2011—next line is the substance of the day.
  • Where did I go and what did I do and with whom
  • Any thoughts about what happened during the day (I use little happy and sad faces a lot)
  • I write three to ten lines every evening before I go to bed
  • I write down new medications, and how old ones are working
  • Any change in diet or medical symptoms
  • New ideas I want to hold onto, things to do
    • The one thing I would like to stress is, DON”T STRESS. This is your journal and you can write anything, as much or as little as you want. But you must train yourself to write—even if it’s only one silly sentence, even if it’s only one happy face icon.

      The real fun happens when you pick up your journal a year later, or many years later. Even the smallest entry brings back the day, the people, the feelings you had. In other words, that day was not lost. That day had importance and the events kept their importance because you wrote them down. You can bring back to mind your own history.

      Some people are more long-winded than others. Just because I write a bare-bones diary doesn’t mean you can’t write in detail, fifty lines a night if you like. The more the better.

      Set a realistic goal and stick to it!

      Author Joyce Oroz
      "Secure the Ranch" - Mystery Novel - Available in Kindle and Paperback Format.

      Saturday, March 5, 2011

      When Sandy reads Secure the Ranch, she especially likes the parts about Solow, and her favorite mishap is…

      “Oh, my God, Solow,” I gasped. I hadn’t a clue how he took the crash. I jumped up and raced out the front door. Herbert had the light on in the garage that looked like Hurricane Josephine had hit it. I rounded the truck and opened the passenger door. Solow practically fell out. I helped him to the ground, noticing his whole backside was crimson. I stifled a cry with my hand. Tears welled up as I embraced the best dog-friend a person could have. Down close, hugging him, he smelled like strawberries.

      Once I realized Solow was wearing strawberries and a few other food groups, I relaxed considerably. He had polished off a pound of ground round, a pint of “cookies and cream” ice cream and a dozen raw eggs. He had been literally rolling in groceries under the dash.

      Every dog’s dream!

      Author Joyce Oroz
      "Secure the Ranch" - Mystery Novel

      Wednesday, March 2, 2011

      Book Review of "Secure the Ranch" By Author Joyce Oroz

      "Secure The Ranch" by Joyce Oroz
      ***** (5 0ut 5) Stars

      Good clean book with loads of excitement
      Review Done By Wendy M Carter
      Paperback: 416 pages
      Publisher: Outskirts Press (May 19, 2010)
      Language: English
      ISBN-10: 1432758926
      ISBN-13: 978-1432758929

      "Secure the Ranch" is available in both Kindle and Paperback

      This mystery book was full of twists and turns, and I like the fact that you can't guess what happens in the end. It was simple enough for my 11 year old to read but had enough umph for an adult. My mother who I have never seen read a book, picked it up and could not put it down.

      Aromas Sheep Barn

      Photo taken by Author Joyce Oroz