Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Toast To Cynthia Newberry......Joyce Oroz

Ever try to type while looking through misty eyeballs? That is me today—the last day of the year, saying goodbye to 2014. There are parts of this year I am happy to let go of, but not everything. Because Cynthia Newberry is a very sweet, open and honest person with a loving family and dear husband, I feel I can introduce her to you and encourage your attendance at a fund raiser which will hopefully help where her new insurance failed. Failed completely! Here is the information. Your support will be appreciated.

What: Unite 4 Cindy; a fundraiser for local artist, muralist, teacher, CASA Volunteer who is dying from cancer
Where: Bargetto Winery, 3535 North Main Street
When: January 23, 2015 from 6-9 pm
Cost: $25 for wine tasting, appetizers music and a raffle
For more information: Call Sarah Murphy (831) 234-5050, visit
— with Jake Czuk and 12 others.

Cynthia Newberry has many accomplishments under her belt, beautiful daughters, loving friends and Victor, the husband she adores. She began her very successful art career fifteen years ago today. As a self-taught artist, she beat the odds that artists face. Not many artists are able to live off their work, but Cynthia's amazing murals, paintings, sewing and art classes kept her in the game over the years. She has an optimistic and joyful soul that gives her strength, and a family that cares. Even with all of that, she needs your help and prayers. The Bargetto event is a wonderful way to help our lovely friend, neighbor, teacher, Cynthia Newberry. Thank you for caring!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Flaming Cuckoo Clocks.........Joyce Oroz

Christmas was fabulous, but old habits are strong. I'm back in the basement, at my computer, wearing pajamas and a tiara--a leftover from a party I remember going to. It was a lively party until the cuckoo clock caught fire and the firemen doused the Christmas tree with foam. So I'm back in the bunker, wishing you a Happy New Year, and stay away from those flaming cuckoo clocks!

Arts Habitat, the Carmel Art Association and
Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association
Are Offering A  
Free Art Biz Webinar
Presented by Sarah Michael

Mark Your Calendars for
Tuesday, January 13, 12:00 P.M. Pacific Time
(3:00 P.M. Eastern Time)   


Sarah Michael is a marketing coach who works with entrepreneurs to produce real financial results that feel good. In this webinar she will share a step-by-step outline of a powerful conversation that creates a genuine and immediate connection, and how to turn that connection into more opportunities to show and sell your work-- all in a way that feels good.
This is for you if you're a visual artist and you've said to yourself lately, "I wish I knew what to say to gallery owners" or "Why don't curators pick me?"
In this complimentary training session, you will learn how to:
- Maximize short introductory conversations so the galleries get what your work is all about and want to take the next step with you.
- Quickly tell if someone is interested so you don't waste time, and what to say to invite a deeper conversation - without being pushy or "salesy."
- Create connection and rapport immediately, so they find the time to explore representing you, or showing your work.
Here's your chance to know what to say at the beginning, middle and end of an introductory conversation, so talking about what you do just flows naturally -- and people "get" it!   
Save the Date: January 13th at 12pm PT; and check your email for further announcements with details on how to access the webinar. For information on Sarah Michael visit her website,
Arts Habitat, the Carmel Art Association, and the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association have arranged for this free workshop to gauge interest in the topic; we hope you'll join in, and let us know what you think. Please send your comments to


Sunday, December 21, 2014

A True Christmas AR

It's almost Christmas. This morning I glued a tiny silver star to the pointy top of my foot-tall metal Christmas tree on my desk, and now I am going to treat you, my friends, to a wonderful story. My magnanimous friend wrote it from the nonfiction side of her brain--she's usually all about true but funny. This story deserves your attention. I happen to know it really happened. In AR's own words:

As some of you may know, Fred & I have been helping to distribute free fruits and vegetables twice a month to folks here in Aromas.  The program is only 2 months old.  A grandmother has volunteered  to help us on 4 different dates and brought her 6 year old granddaughter along.   The little girl is just precious and always anxious to help.  She’s bagged carrots for people, gave out loaves of bread to families, sorted through tomatoes and passed out candy canes to other children and their parents.  This last Tuesday night I asked her what she hoped Santa would bring her for Christmas and she replied “An American Girl doll. That’s all I want.”  The look on the Gramma’s face said it all, and then she shook her head back and forth saying a silent “No. It’s not going to happen.”
   Wednesday morning found me entertaining out of town friends, but Wednesday afternoon I was desperately trying to figure out how to get my hands on an American Girl doll.  At this late date, the American Girl website would not guarantee delivery before Christmas. 
I called the Gramma to get permission to try and get her granddaughter the doll.  I told her, “It may not be brand new, but I’ll try my best.’”  To which Gramma replied, “Once she sees the doll she’ll never know the difference. “   I went on line; things were looking kind of shaky.  I thought, I’ll call our daughter, Chantell, she’ll know what to do or where to direct me.  She’s a busy mother and didn’t answer her cell phone, so I left a message ~ “I need to find an American Girl doll for a little girl that helps hand out food to the needy.  It’s the only thing she’s asked for and her family just can’t afford the doll at this time.  Can you help me find one?  It doesn’t have to be new but I want it in good condition.”
I didn’t hear back from Chantell, and I didn’t hear back, I knew something must be wrong, maybe she’s sick.  Checked my e-mail.  Nothing.  At 7 p.m. I perused “Facebook.”  Much to my surprise, there was a message from Chantell to all her Facebook buddies, with a request, for an American Girl doll, to fulfill a  sweet  little girl’s only Christmas wish, a little girl who  helps her (Chantell’s) parents pass out food for the hungry and needy.
For all my complaining about kids using social media, I have to say, when it works, it WORKS!  Not one, but two of Chantell’s friends volunteered American Girl dolls and clothes.  Another friend said she made American Girl clothes and would be happy to donate clothes so the doll will look beautiful. The doll is being picked up today, and will be priority mailed, to be under the tree on Christmas “from Santa.”
I haven’t stopped crying.  My heart is over-joyed.  What a wonderful gift we’ve received.  May you be as blessed as I am.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
 Love, AR
and best wishes from Baby Hooter for a very
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 15, 2014

Charlie Sweet Joyce Oroz

This year I am so embarrassed. Last year we bought a living three-foot tall pine tree. Sweet little thing, quiet, good natured. You know the type--Charlie Brown but fuller and comes to a point at the top. I hung only the lightest of ornaments on it's delicate branches. Kept it simple and sweet. Took lots of pictures for the "hall of Christmas trees," pictures going back to the Kennedy administration.

 After Christmas we rolled the tree named Sweet Tree out to the deck where she spent a happy summer in the sun. It was her time off, no elves under-foot, just sunshine and cool water. By Thanksgiving she looked twice as tall as last year. Her little limbs were still short and limp but every once in a while an awkward teenage limb would reach out well beyond the "normal" growth. It was like having pimples, poor thing. The weather changed. Christmas was coming. We couldn't just leave her out in the cold so we brought her inside and wrapped a white sheet around her belly. We placed gifts at her feet and bird ornaments on her limbs. Her posture could use a little help, but she's our girl and we love her. 

I don't feel half as embarrassed now that Sweet Tree is out of the closet and the center of attraction for this Christmas, although I find my head leaning to one side now and then.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rain Please Joyce Oroz

How would you describe a good gully-washer rain storm? For me it starts with the pre-storm expectation of rain, gobs of rain coming soon—something California hasn’t seen in the last three years. Will there be thunder, lightning, flooding? 

What if a tree falls on my car while I’m navigating country roads where the pavement cracks and drops into a raging river ninety feet below? What if a wall of mud slides down the mountain onto my car or a big boulder breaks loose and, yikes. 

I think I’ll stay home today. Bring out the popcorn and a good book. I'll read my new Poppy Cove Mystery, Strangled By Silk. I can shop another day, except that I really need to buy fresh chives and sour cream for tonight’s baked potatoes. Well, maybe the rain won’t be as bad as the weatherman predicts. What do they know, with their maps and dopey dopplers and such? 

I have my intuition to rely on. Besides, I’ve been driving my whole life and no rock has ever rolled down a mountain and squished my car. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 8, 2014

When Trees Joyce Oroz

Today I’m in a holiday mood. I dug out my twelve-inch metal Christmas tree, expertly painted by someone, probably a woman in China, and placed it close to my computer. The painted balls and greenery brighten my desk, and there is no assembly required.

Speaking of women who paint, I know a lady who can REAllY paint! My friend Kati D’Amore paints portraits, landscapes, seascapes and still life paintings with good old fashioned oil paint. They are fresh and fabulous.

Another woman I admire is my yoga instructor. Sonia Westphal can turn her body into a pretzel while sewing a quilt at top speed on her bicycle. Some people just have a gift.

Another friend of mine is extremely talented. Tomi Edmiston can unsnaggle a computer, proof a manuscript to perfection, train Rottweilers, paint pictures and grow fabulous roses while fending off snails, gophers, squirrels, bats, and the occasional unicorn.


My friend, Barb Scoles is no slacker. This lady can find a beautiful Santa inside any old piece of wood. She just scrapes at the wood until she finds it. She’s a bit of a Tigger—bouncing from project to project, while helping the less fortunate find their God-given bounce.

Did I mention Patricia Rockwell? She’s a well educated lady who started her own publishing business, created her own business plan and executes it perfectly. She works closely with over forty authors, patiently and precisely. And manages to write books on the side, all with one hand tied behind her back!

Kathy Aguras is another amazing woman. She runs her Real Estate business and the Dragonfly Gallery while balancing herself on a unicycle. Well, not quite, but she does drive a nifty yellow Jeep.

I know so many, many wonderful, talented women—just thought I would name a few ladies who can inspire trees to dance and stones to smile. Just Sayin.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Author Joyce Oroz: Meet Barbara Joyce Oroz

Author Joyce Oroz: Meet Barbara Joyce Oroz: To know Barbara is to love her Santas. No wonder Barbara Scoles is the ARTIST OF THE MONTH for December at the Dragonfly Gall...

Meet Barbara Joyce Oroz

To know Barbara is to love her Santas. No wonder Barbara Scoles is the ARTIST OF THE MONTH for December at the Dragonfly Gallery. She is an active Aromas Hills Artisan member, and a real professional when it comes to slicing and dicing big blocks of wood, ultimately revealing the beautiful smiling Santa hidden inside each block.

If you would like to meet Barbara and see the actual carving process, please plan to attend the “meet and greet” at the Dragonfly Gallery, Saturday, December 13th, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. at 380 Blohm Ave., Aromas. Enjoy refreshments and conversation while Barbara demonstrates her carving techniques.
Her Santas are very popular, but it’s what she adds to her Santas that make them personal—such as a bear, a bird, a kitty or a pup. Ever see a Panamanian Santa in traditional dress—comes with a parrot. How about a Santa with five adorable panda bears? My personal Santa comes with a Mama bunny and her baby bunny, the perfect decoration for my two favorite holidays. Like so many people, I keep my Santa in a prominent location all year, every year.

Barbara says that the hardest part of her job is including all the things and creatures her clients request. She perseveres until her Santa passes the strictest client test–until the client falls in love with Santa.

Twenty years ago Barbara began formal carving lessons. She had carved wood most of her life, and also worked at creating custom clothing. When she decided to get serious and take lessons, she was able to develop her own unique Santas and her own carving style. Her Santas have full wavy beards and laughing eyes. Their robes, hats and costumes vary. No two Santas are alike.

Scoles carvings are known for their “wood-look.” She paints the wood with rich color but typically leaves parts of the piece unpainted, letting the wood add it’s richness to the creation. She uses gold-leaf to accent some pieces. And not all Santas wear regulation red coats.

The most fun happens when Barbara adds special details to her Santas, such as animals, birds, flowers, even landscapes and seascapes.
Robert always says my carving is like opening a present, I remove all the wood and find a wonderful Santa inside.

See you at the Dragonfly Gallery Saturday, December 13th 2:00 to 4:00

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Surviving Turkey Day..........Rosalinda and Joyce

It's Thanksgiving and I'm up to my elbows in giblets. I'am so thankful that Rosalinda did my writing for me, and a much better job than my yammering could ever be. She actually knows what she's talking about--you know the type, educated, pretty and successful. She is about to help you to pleasantly co-exist with an undesirable stink-bomb of a relative at Thanksgiving. 
So I'm off to the turkey farm and turning over my megaphone to Rosalinda Randall.  
Thanks for listening!

Newsletter for November 2014 

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." --John F. Kennedy

The month of November seems to introduce and bring to light the spirit of gratitude. Please allow me to express my gratitude to you for taking time to read my words, for forwarding my words to others and for sharing your comments with me. Thank you.

Holiday Dilemmas and Tips From the Audience

Dilemma 1: "I can't stand having my brother in-law stand over me in the kitchen, pointing out what he would do if he were cooking. I'm ready to smack him with the wooden spoon! How can I get him out of the kitchen? --Megan

Options: Dear Megan, Evidently this is not a new thing. Plan ahead. Invite him to assist you, selecting a dish that he can create in the kitchen with you. That will keep him busy and contained. He'll also feel satisfied, needed and have a little something to gloat about.

Dilemma 2: "Every year I have to sit at the kids' table...I'm 15 years old and I want to sit at the regular table, but my mom just laughs and ignores me. Can I just eat in my room instead?" --Emilio

Options: Dear Emilio, Have you behaved in a way that would make your mom think that you can't handle sitting at the "adult" table? If not, when she is calm, ask her again. Ask her for a chance to show her that you are ready to sit at the adult table. Avoid getting all pouty, yelling or walking away; that will only prove her point. If she still insists, after the meal pull up a chair next to the adult table, listen and participate appropriately.

Dilemma 3: "My neighbor makes his own wine. On holidays and special occasions, he always gives me a bottle, asking me how I liked the last one. Because I'm in recovery, it is very awkward to handle the bottle and express genuine thanks. I prefer not to disclose my recovery, however, during the holidays having a bottle in hand can be detrimental to my recovery. What should I do? --Vicki

Options: Dear Vicki, First of all congratulations on your recovery. Second, contact your sponsor, I'm certain he/she will have a much better solution for this dilemma. For now, here are a few options to consider: if telling a white lie is acceptable to you, you can explain to your neighbor that you are not a wine-drinker, or any alcohol for that matter...It never appealed to you. Or, it just doesn't "sit well" with your physical make-up or health-minded lifestyle. If your neighbor insists or dismisses your reasons, keep in mind that your well-being is of most importance, even at the risk of insulting someone.
(Names have been changed for anonymity.)

Sometimes a dilemma cannot be resolved. What are your options then? 

Avoidance: Find ways of avoiding a situation/person, or at least curtailing the frequency of the encounter. This can be stressful (thinking up excuses) and awkward (getting caught because of your excuses).
Attitude of Acceptance: Throw up your hands and say, c'est la vie. Know that the dilemma or interaction is brief and seldom; something we can all endure with a little practice. Besides, you can't change people but we can change how we react to people and their quirks.

With all of my best wishes, may your gatherings be civil, joyful and filled with tasty dishes. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.


Kind regards,

Rosalinda Randall

Etiquette and Civility Consultant, Author
T: 650.871.6200

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Just Hanging Around..........Joyce Oroz

So I'm sitting around in my black and yellow checkered pajamas waiting for a UPS delivery. I hear the roar of a truck suddenly go quiet. I run upstairs on bare feet as truck noise fades from the neighborhood. A small box containing a packet of flea medicine sits on the front porch for my pet wolverine. I am so disappointed. Yeah, Snuggles needs the medicine, but my books haven't arrived yet. 

The Derby Girls are lining up at the rink for their copies of Roller Rubout, anxious to find out what I said about them. Yikes! Will they find out where I live? Oh well, I'll just turn off the lights and hang around by the lava lamp downstairs where there are no windows to give me away.

Snuggles and I want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. Don't expect to hear from me for a few days, as we are back in the basement where the Derby Girls can't find us, using my baby hooter as a security alarm.

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.