Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gluten free pizza!! Joyce Oroz

This recipe is wonderful, and best eaten with a fork.
Gluten-free? Diabetic? No worries!

For when you absolutely want pizza but not all the carbs!!!!!!!

1 (8 oz) package of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder and a pinch of crushed oregano
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
toppings - pepperoni, ham, sausage, mushrooms, peppers

Or...chopped onion, spam and olives
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly spay a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. With a handheld mixer, mix cream cheese, eggs, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese until combined. Spread into baking dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes.

Spread pizza sauce on crust. Top with cheese and toppings. Sprinkle pizza with garlic powder. Bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Author Julie Joyce oroz

Julie Seedorf is a Cozy Cat Press writer and this week, our very own celebrity. Her newest book, Granny Hooks a Crook, is rated number ONE for cozy mysteries at Amazon!!

Never quit dreaming is Julie's motto. Dreams are the gateway to fun, fantasy and the future.
It seems Julie and I have much in common with family and writing, etc., but besides all that, our names are easy to find on the internet because no one else has them. 
Now, here is Julie in her own words.

"I always liked to write but life got in the way as an adult. A few years ago I had a bad fall and ended up with surgery and laying flat on my back with my leg up for six weeks. It gave me time to reflect on my life. At that time I sent in a query to an area newspaper in a bigger community along with a mock column to see if they needed a columnist. I call the column "Something About Nothing" There are many somethings in the nothings we talk about every day. Occasionally it is a serious column but mostly it is fluffy so people can have a break from the bad news. That was seven years ago and the column is going strong. Over the years after that I have started books, loved by my friends when they have read excerpts, but never finished them because of many ups and downs in my personal family life. Two years ago I had another serious illness and I knew I had to change my life. I had quit doing the things I loved. So I started writing on my blog about my grandkitties as we were taking care of them at their house. It is in the cats voices, wondering why their parents had left them in the control of two strangers. It was well received on my blog. At the same time I collaborated with my Grandchildren about a book called Whatchamacallit? Thingamajig? with them in it. I published it on Amazon and CreateSpace by myself just so they would have a book to remember me by. It is going to be series about Grandparents and their Grandchildren. Then on a lark I started writing a story about the fictional town Fuchsia, Minnesota and Granny. Every day I woke up with a new chapter in my head. I called it a God thing because it got me more out of my depression about life's circumstances and giving my creative brain a whirl. That is how Granny Hooks A Crook became a reality. This year Cozy Cat Press accepted me as a writer and published Granny Hooks A Crook."

 "When I write I lose track of time and I lose track of where I am. The words seem to flow out of my heart. My writing makes me happy and it releases the silly creative part of me that is not always accepted in the public. The hardest part about writing is that here are those that who do not understand the creative process, the need for uninterrupted time and also people who do not take a writing seriously. They treat it as a frivolous pastime. It also bugs me that there never seems to be enough time to write."

 "I write for a few area newspapers. I have three blogs;,, They are each different. I am also going to be doing freelance articles for some So. Minnesota newspapers. They will be human interest stories that focus on people who are often overlooked but have meaningful stories to tell. They will start in September."

 "I would love to be more like my character Granny, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt. She is perky, tough, mischievous, loving, straight to the point, a little bit sneaky and she cares about others around her. She doesn't let age get her down. I think some of Granny is a little like my mother was. She couldn't go to the nursing home because there were old people there. My mother never thought of herself as old. She did her own thing, even crawling up on her roof to repair it at 90 years old and she was cantankerous. Of course Granny (Hermione's) biggest weakness is her love of unhealthy food and her nose for trouble but that is also where her strengths come in. I hope Granny is like me in that she cares deeply for her neighbors and her family even when she is thwarting their attempts to help her."

 "My books can be found on,, They can also be found in the Mankato Barnes and Noble Store and they are available for order from there. They are also available at Book World in Albert Lea. My column can be found at My website is  I am creating t-shirts, mugs etc. that go with my book. I also will have other works of my art available there. This will probably happen in the next month or two.
I would like to thank everyone for all their support especially for Joyce for having me as a guest on her blog."

Thank you, Julie for giving us a colorful picture of your life. I think your “Granny” character is a lot like you—very likable! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sculpture at Sierra Joyce Oroz

Sculpture IS 2013
Sculpture is what I’m talking about today because I went for a walk on the WILD side of Sierra Azul. Sierra Azul sounds so normal, restful, unaffected. Not really. True, it is a beautiful, serene place where native and drought resistant plants and trees are sold. Putting it mildly, it’s the pride and joy of Wasonville gardeners and plant-lovers.
Every year dozens of sculptors like Sally Diggory, Sylvia Rios and Marnie Bivetto participate in the Pajaro Valley Arts Council sculpture show by displaying their sculptures at the nursery.

As I tramped along the paths bordered by bushy grasses, luscious ground covers and interesting trees, I discovered amazing artwork—like the twelve-foot tall “Big Blue Fish” made out of steel, by Michael Seymour. It even has movable scales.

The “Screwball Ceramic” caught my eye and made me laugh out loud. Fun to look at and only $800.00, by John Barchi.

Here is a happy piece of steel. How do I know? Every sculpture is labeled. This one is 
"Joyous Steel" by Jeff Owen

Here stands "Beegirl" by Carol Gaab. She is wearing a bee outfit and headdress,  holding bees in her hands. $3,900.00
Behind "Beegirl" is a bronze/steel
"Shield and Skirt" by Paul Cheney.

Speaking of bees, here is a giant bee sculpture "Bee Sensitive" by 
Jennifer Henning. $1,050.00

Here is the happy ending to my little look at sculpture in the garden. Who is happier than "Mother of all Fallen Angels"
by Teresa Garcia......made out of clay, wire, plastic, plaster, jet fuel, chewing gum and Kleenex.

 “Sculpture IS 2013” runs from June 1st to October 31st. I have only shown you a tiny bit of the show. It is well worth seeing and will go away October 31st. Sierra Azul is located at 2660 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA. The outdoor sculpture show is presented by Pajaro Valley Arts Council.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Debra's Debut Joyce Oroz

 Today I would like you to meet a very enthusiastic and creative fiction author, Debra J Smith. Her debut book, Secrets Beyond Scymaria, has just become available in hardback, paperback and e-book forms.

Debra, who or what inspired you to be a writer? Was there an author you admired?
      I've always loved to write: where my brothers had to be coerced to sit down to write thank you notes, I gleefully penned my letters for gifts that were pages long-I was teased that my letters to friends were 'novels'...sometimes upward to ten pages (my poor friends), but I think once my 6th grade English teacher gave us a writing assignment (of course, staying with the standard 'write about something you know' premise) I dove into it, relishing every moment of the creative process and created a science fiction story--not exactly what the teacher expected, but I did get an A. From that point forward, I was always writing and coming up with ideas for stories.
    As a kid -- which was a very long time ago, I hated to read.  It was a serious challenge for me--now they call it dyslexia (I was finally diagnosed when I went to a Jr. College as an adult--up until then, I'd always been told I was a "slow learner").  In second grade, after a librarian coaxed me to try Big Red, I fell in love with reading, even if I was a slow reader. 
    I read two basic genres, but don't think I had any favorites--they were all great:  I started with the heart warming fiction stories like Jim Kjelgaard's Big Red, Rudyard Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi (not the Disney version), E.B. White's Charlotte's Web and Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna then graduated to science fiction, which remains my mainstay--and I love the stories made for all ages, not just adults.  A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle and Forgotten Door by Alexander Key were amongst the first I read.

 What do you like to write about and do you have experience in that area?

I guess my favorite thing to write about is science fiction, though one of my writing classes challenged me to write more personal stuff and I found that I enjoy that also.  I started out as a storyteller, creating spontaneous stories in the classroom at elementary schools, so from there it was a natural evolution into the personalized written stories I did for individuals and now, this science fiction fantasy series. 

    The only experience I have is what I've learned through reading (books and on the internet), plus a few college writing courses I've taken as an adult.

 Is your protagonist anything like you? What is he-she like?

    Hmmm...funny thing, that.  I hadn't planned on it, but now that I've read (and re-read oh so many times during the editing process!) the story, I think both--I have two protagonists--have a little bit of me in them.  My storytelling has always revolved around two characters...male and female, and this story is no different.  In the Secrets Beyond Scymaria series Ty is quiet, loyal, studious but very curious and ready for adventure.  Amy is much more outgoing, gets herself into trouble on occasion and usually acts as spokesperson when they are together.  I believe both are strong characters, but still finding out about themselves -- after all, they are only 13.

 Debra, how long have you been writing?

This is a tricky question.  I've been writing since I was a kid -- off and on, but did not seriously begin writing until 1999 when I started this venture which finally became the Secrets Beyond Scymaria series.  So far, only one of the books is published, but there are two more in the wings almost ready for their debut and several more waiting to hit the paper.  Prior to that, it was more just for the fun of writing.

 What do you love about writing and what bugs you about it?

 What do I love about writing?  Oh, my -- just letting my mind open up and pour out all of the ideas that are bottled up.  Sometimes my fingers cannot keep up with all of the ideas!  I love how my characters take the storyline and run with it -- even when it's not what I'd actually planned on writing--there have been times where I've tried to re-direct, but the characters wouldn't allow it.  I'm simply the spectator, watching the story unfold before my very eyes!  It completely captivates me how that can happen. 

     Hmmm...what bugs me is harder.  There are so many things to love about writing, it's hard to think of any negatives.  Well, it's not really about the writing--but the other things that intrude on my writing time--like housework, feeding the critters, taking time away from writing to preparing meals so I have energy to keep writing...little things like that definitely bug me.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

    Oh, this one is easy.  There are basically two sides to me: the writerly side and the painterly side.  When not writing, I take time to tromp in the bushes, climb rock or walk along the ocean to take photographs, then create art with them or simply paint something.  I split my time between my computer at home and Open Ground Studios in Seaside, where all my other 'painterly' needs are met.  I've had a few art exhibitions of my prints, which has been fun and exciting.

 Please tell us where we can find your books?

Finally, Secrets Beyond Scymaria can be found -- as of today through my publisher, as a paperback, hardback and soon (in 3-4 weeks, I believe), as an e-reader.  In about 4-6 weeks, it will be available through and  Anyone interested may place an order through any of these three websites.  I'm going to try to get it at some of the brick and mortar stores too.  If I succeed, they will be posted on my website.

   I have ordered some of both paperback and hardback books to have on hand for book signings.  The schedule and locations will be posted (as soon as I get them lined up) within the next few weeks at my website:
 Thank you, Debra for your enthusiastic answers and best of luck with your new series!
Thank you, Joyce for taking the time to interview me.  This was fun. 

*:) happy

Secrets Beyond Scymaria
Release date: 9.11.13


Saturday, September 14, 2013

One More Joyce Oroz

Recently a friend and I were discussing the fact that we had not seen a monarch butterfly in Aromas in a very long time. I remember seeing monarchs throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey counties years ago. Their bright orange color and elaborate markings, like all beautiful creatures, always lifted my mood and made me smile. 

Nine or ten years have passed since I last spotted a monarch in my neighborhood.
But hold onto your seat! Yesterday it happened! I saw a monarch butterfly on one of my sunflowers. I looked again to make sure that’s what I saw, dashed into the house, grabbed my camera and thoroughly recorded the grand event.

I am thrilled to be able to share my butterfly with you, and will share again if his family decides to move into the neighborhood. There’s always room for one more critter.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Love that Fair!........Joyce Oroz

My favorite time of year is fair season, when the arts and crafts, flowers, food and entertainment call me to the Santa Cruz Fair Grounds in Watsonville. I attend every year, but this year I noticed big differences in the placement of things. Everything seemed bigger, cleaner and easier to find. Just when I thought I couldn’t love the fair more, I love it more.

                             Dragon made out of duct tape
Today was senior’s day, and all the buzzards made their way over to the Turkey Stampede. A remote-controlled truck the size of a bread box drove round and round the oval track with a dozen turkeys following it. Obviously the truck had grain in the back end, because the turkeys tried desperately to catch up to the truck for a bite to eat. Occasionally a bird would miss the turn and fly over the rails and then find his way back to the truck. Most of the time, it was turkey chaos with goofy birds tripping over each other in every direction.

                                 Where are the turkeys?
From there we hit most of the free entertainment, like the pig races and seal stunts. The rose garden was excellent this year thanks to Tomi Edmiston and the rest of the Rose Society. 
One could not ask for a better fair. Where else can you find a live redwood tree to take home and plant—for free! A couple more fairs and I will be living in a virtual redwood forest. What better place for old buzzards to live? 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Mural for Aromas Joyce oroz

Thanks to Bill Lenneman, gentleman volunteer supreme, a second mural has been installed on the Blohm side of Aromas'1925 vintage Old Firehouse building. The reports are that it wasn’t easy. The heavy 4'x6' top board had to be lugged up and down sixteen feet on extension ladders several times and trimmed to create a perfect fit. Holes were drilled and bolts tightened as passer-bys gave the picture rave reviews.

Ok, it’s a horse reading a book, but in Aromas that’s fine because we are indoor, outdoor people who love horses and we love to read. Notice the kitten peeking out from under the rug as yellow finches fly into the room. 

The mural was created by Aromas Hills Artisans, Linda Bjornson, JoAnne Andrews, Kathy Stutz-Taylor, Louise Coombes, Alia Outrey, Diedra Kmetovic, Evelyn Pogrowski, Frank Romero, Sadie Beason, Jane Brown and Joyce Oroz.

Is Aromas copying the world or is the world copying Aromas? Aromas murals are unique and represent various aspects of the town. Other small towns around the world have also produced murals that reflect their values and life-style.  

The Chemainus Murals on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, have inspired communities throughout the world to explore their roots, to beautify their towns, and instill pride in their small town. Using the Chemainus model, some communities have used the mural concept to develop their own revitalization for stronger economic development.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Author Christian Belz.......Joyce oroz

Today I want to talk about a fellow Cozy Cat Press Author, Christian Belz. He has been a practicing architect in Metro Detroit for 28 years, with experience in retail, educational, and industrial projects. He is Vice President of Detroit Working Writers. He won the Grand Prize in Aquarius Press's 2011 Bright Harvest Prize for his short story "Chambers". Christian's fiction has appeared in Writers' Journal, The Story Teller Magazine, and Wicked East Press's anthology: Short Sips, Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2. His poetry has been published in WestWard Quarterly and Yes, Poetry.

Here is a typical review of Mr. Belz' book, The Accused Architect. By the way, ALL of his reviews have five stars!

Ken Knoll, the main character, 
elicits empathy and is most likeable in this murder mystery 
sprinkled with intriguing, romantic interludes. Characters are varied, interesting and believable. Being an architect himself, the author uses his penchant for detail to assist the reader's ability to envision each scene and experience the implied ambience. The pace of activity and panoplay of events provides for a creative intertwining of plot elements. This novel was a nighttime page turner for me, and I look forward to future publications written by Christian Belz.

Christian, was there someone, something or an event in your life that set you on the road to being an author?

My dad had several books published. During my teen years he was always working on new projects, and I found it contagious. At age 14 I wrote my first book, hoping that it would impress a girl, but she was more interested in the athletes. During high school, I wrote mystery stories and submitted them to Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Magazines, but I didn’t get a story published until I was fifty-two (and being published by those magazines remains a dream).

      Please tell us what you like about writing and what bugs you about it.

I am taken with the rhythm of words and phrases, clever or thought provoking lines, and stories that weave events into an “ah-ha!” climax. Working with a rough compilation of words on the page and polishing them until they fall into the right order, tone, and meaning is the greatest feeling.

I hate writing a first draft cold. Sitting at a blank screen and writing is so frustrating! That’s why I love planning out stories on index cards. I write an idea or phrase on one, then another. I write other cards to ‘fill in the blanks’ and reorder the cards repeatedly until it becomes a story. Only then do I sit down and write. The focus is on developing the idea, not the expression of that idea in words. It’s a beautiful thing. Check out my video on this process.

     How long have you been writing books and what other writing do you do?

During my teen years, I wrote two books, neither of which saw the light of day. The Accused Architect was published earlier this year by Cozy Cat Press. It is the first book in a series of Ken Knoll Architectural Mysteries. I also love writing short stories, and have won some contests, and I enjoy writing poetry, too.

        Tell us about your protagonist. Is she--he a lot like you? What are his assets and weaknesses?

Ken Knoll is an average guy, and an architect like me. His creativity as an architect translates nicely to investigative skills in solving the murder. He’s level headed and thoughtful, but needs to be right. He doesn’t like to be told what to do, and has disagreements with his boss. He takes a stand for improving his community by buying run-down homes, fixing them up, and moving to the next one. His kindness gets him in trouble with his girlfriend, as he gives up his newly renovated house—on Christmas—to a school friend from out of town that needs a place to stay.

        Christian, what do you like to do when you are not 

I read a lot, usually two or three books at a time. I’m also 
building a sixteen foot sailboat in my garage.

Where can we find your books?

            The Accused Architect is available on Amazon
            Check out my wesbites:

Thank you, Christian and happy writing!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Last Mural Joyce Oroz

More news from the bat cave. No, there are no bats, but the mural pieces are looking good. July 13th seven AHA artists gathered at the bat cave to putty and prime six 4'x6' boards destined to become two large murals. The painters met Saturday mornings religiously until at last, this week, the work was finished. 

One three-piece mural featuring two chickens was installed on the Old Firehouse building August 21st., just 3 days before Aromas Day.

The second mural which features a horse who likes to read, library books and a swarm of yellow finches, will be installed this Saturday. At that point the bats will rattle around the cave with very little to do, and sometimes that feels good. 

Thank you fellow painters, Linda, Kathy, Louise, Joann, Frank, Alia, Evelyn, Diedra and Sadie, for being so generous with your time and talent.