Friday, August 29, 2014

Sierra Azul Joyce Oroz

Don't you just love three dimensional art--smooth surfaces--crazy color--shiny steel--weathered wood--rusty relics--tinted totems--a blast from the past and features from the future. It's all there, along the garden path at Sierra Azul in Watsonville. 

totem, totems everywhere!

 Steel kites fly the skies forever

Bigfoot Gorilla paw

A star fish camping out on a faucet?

Ever see an orange bird the side of a St. Bernard? You can see it all and more at Sierra Azul Nursery.
135 sculptures are exhibited in the beautiful 2 acre 

mediterranean gardens of Sierra Azul Nursery in 

Watsonville.  The 6th annual outdoor sculpture exhibit 

features work by 56 artists from as far north as Humboldt 

County and as far south as San Luis Obispo. Medias range 

from steel, wood and ceramics, to bronze, glass and 

concrete. Admission and parking are free. 
Sculpture IS 2011 at Sierra Azul runs from May 31 - October 31
Open Daily: 9-5:30pm
2660 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville
(Highway 152, across from the Fairgrounds

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Sandy Joyce Oroz

My blog is eclectic--whatever that means. I think it means I can share with you a variety of ideas, things, feelings and places. At the moment my mind has room for only one thing, remembrance with a dash of sorrow and piles of love. The stronger the love, the sharper the pain--the pain of loss, of never seeing that wagging yellow tail again. No more big brown eyes weaseling food from my plate. No more dog hair stuffing the vacuum to capacity. No more trails of drool-spots on the wood floor. No more protection from the neighbor's cats. No more walks with more sniffing than walking.

The memories will comfort us for years to come. But today's feelings are still raw, hurting.

She was 14 and deserved a rest.
Rest in peace, Sandy. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Aromas Joyce Oroz

Five days from today our little village will become a circus of activity, a beehive of energy bursting with fun and adventure. OK, it's just a street fair with live music all day, an old-time parade, a petting zoo, Art in the Park, food and fun. But the garage sales, car show and pancake breakfast set it apart from routine street fairs.

This year I will be signing my books at the "Author's Table" in the park in the morning and at the Dragonfly Gallery, 380 Blohm, in the afternoon. This is your chance to get started on the Josephine Stuart Mystery Series before my latest book, Roller Rubout, comes out this fall. Authors, Giselle Rocha and Debra Smith will be selling their wonderful "fantasy" books at the same table. Please drop by and say hi. We love to talk "books." And don't forget to visit the Dragonfly Gallery where Grace Lauren will be making custom jewelry--you pick out the beads, she puts it together for you! Earrings just six dollars a pair.

Aromas Day is a family-friendly event.
Sunday, August 24th is Aromas Day, hosted by the Eagles. So many celebrations in the world, so little time—so I suggest you go to the best one, the one with everything from live music to classic cars to Art in the Park to rock climbing and so much more. Between 7:00 and 11:00 join us for a pancake breakfast served country style in the historic Aromas Community Grange.  While you’re there, be sure to check out all the wonderful items in the silent auction that benefits the Terese White Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarships are awarded to outstanding Aromas students going on to college.    

 The annual Aromas Day Parade starts at 2:00pm.
 The street fair opens at 9:00am and runs full-speed to 4:00pm with more attractions than trees in the park. Arts and crafts vendors line the streets along with food and educational booths. There will be newly designed collector’s item T-shirts decorated with an original Aromas scene. If you love to look at classic cars and tractors, there will be some real eye-candy for you to drool over and ride on.     

      Be sure you stroll through the lovely, “Art in the Park” featuring artwork by the award winning Aromas Hills Artisans. This is your chance to purchase original paintings and incredible crafts directly from the artists. There will be a wide variety of media, such as stained glass, hand-crafted wooden boxes, weaving, clay sculpture, beaded and metal jewelry, photography, prints and etchings, plus free art activities for the kids.
      Children and the ‘young at heart’ will enjoy the petting zoo featuring farm animals such as chickens, ducks, little goats and bunnies.  And, of course, there will be pony rides face-painting and a magician. Older children will want to tackle the climbing wall.
      Enjoy a wide range of music by talented local groups all day long.     

      Don’t forget the non-profit food booths, like the Boy Scouts, and 4-H. 4-H Youth will have a booth on the street selling plants, planters, popcorn and homemade jam.  They will be handing out information about the 4-H Youth Development Program.
       At 2:00 it’s the highlight of the day, the big, small-town parade. If you wish to be in the parade, entry forms are available at Marshall’s Grocery store and the Old Fire House Market in downtown Aromas. For more information, call 726-1348. 
       The Aromas Eagles are the premier service club in Aromas and proudly sponsor Aromas Day.  The Eagles, Aromas Hills Artisans (AHA), the Aromas Community Grange, Granite Rock and the Aromas 4-H will all contribute to provide the free horse-drawn wagon rides.

       Other contributors to Aromas Day are; the Arts Council for Monterey County, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, the Community Foundation for Monterey County-Communities Advancing the Arts-Funded by the James Irvine Foundation with additional funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
     Enjoy an easy drive on Highway 129 from Hwy 1 or 101 to Rogge Lane. Follow signs to the off-site donation parking on Markus and catch a free ride into town on a horse-drawn wagon.        
 Aromas Day is a free, family-friendly, get-together you don’t want to miss.  See you there! For more information, go to Or call Cara at 831-588-9407

There will be LIVE entertainment scheduled all day and FREE horse drawn wagon rides to get around town. Don’t forget parking by donation is located off of Aromas Road. For more information go to .

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Heather's Artifactorie.........Joyce Oroz

Today I have "art" on the right side of my mind. That's not unusual. But my friend, Heather Shannon Cozette, lives and breathes art. She is one of the most energetically creative people I know. She has an idea--a wonderful plan she wants to share with you. I hope you will read about it in Heather's own words.

"We have a dream of paying it forward through art.
Here's how it works.

We are opening a different kind of Gallery in Carmel-by-the-Sea, one that doesn't differentiate between craft and fine art. We call it the Artifactorie, a gallery that empowers local artisans and tells the unique stories behind their work. Creating a gallery that showcases many unique art forms will open doors for artists of all media types. 

We want people to come in, feel welcomed and leave smiling. We want the residents and visitors to this area to experience the amazing artwork that exists right here in our coastal communities. 

We want to support our local economy and resident artists by encouraging people to shopping locally. Our appreciation and inspiration come from the natural beauty of this area and we want to preserve and protect it. We have woven a message of sustainability and mindfulness of nature into our dream and into our mission. We have introduced sustainable, natural gifts to our gallery to build connectedness with our natural world. We are local artists and we need a place to share our work in a way that honors us and we need your help.

Please join our mission by contributing to our Kickstarter campaign at

Thank you Heather for sharing your ideas with us.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Chickens in the box?........Joyce Oroz

       If you don't know the way to San Jose or Aromas, I apologize. This time of year it's all about that cute little town in the hills outside of Watsonville, and that's because it's getting close to the Aromas Day
celebration. The streets become flooded with people looking for a fun time. They don't have to look very far because the food, art and information booths are everywhere. The parade is a hoot and there will be live music all day. And when you have seen and done all that, head down to the Dragonfly Gallery for a cold drink and some lovely artwork. I'll be there signing my books from 12:00 to 4:00 and Giselle will be signing her book, A Dark Sky and Grace will make jewelry just the way you tell her to. It's all for fun and fun for all!

      Aromas is making a name for itself again. Yes, the little town boasts seven murals, one of them brand spanking new this week. Everyone knows the place is thick with artists of all types. So what’s new? Did you know that for every five artisans there is a writer. There are authors of everything from magazine articles to children’s books, mysteries, fantasy, history, fiction, philosophy, nonfiction and newspaper articles.
      The Dragonfly Gallery at 380 Blohm Ave. in down town Aromas sells books by local authors like Giselle Rocha, Pat Hanson, Joyce Oroz, Nanci Jarvice, Rose Ann Woolpert, Arthur Oroz, Jewel Auvinen and many more.

      Aromas Day is Sunday, August 24th. The Aromas Hills Artisans will be displaying and selling their artwork in the park. There will be a writer’s table where you can meet various authors like Debra Smith and others.
      The Dragonfly Gallery will be open Sunday, August 24th and authors Giselle Rocha and Joyce Oroz will be signing copies of their latest books. Grace Laurin will be making custom earrings—you chose the beads, she puts it all together for you.
      Aromas welcomes you to her celebration, her parade, her murals, her artists and her writers. Join the fun and be inspired!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Did you hear Siren? Joyce Oroz

      Sometimes writers need to do research—even fiction writers. My friends took me to the new Kaiser Stadium in Santa Cruz where the Santa Cruz roller derby teams share the building with the Warriors basketball team. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We presented our tickets at the door and went to our third-row seats to enjoy talented female athletes who mean business. But for the sake of my mystery novel, I put the derby girls in the old roller rink on Seabright Avenue. Here is a blurb.

      Someone blew a whistle. Everyone stood up for the National Anthem and then settled down in their seats, or in the case of dozens of people behind us, stood for the next two hours.
      The Silicon Valley Roller Girls filed onto the oval flat track looking like polished clones in their white helmets, green and white tank tops and shorts with black knee and wrist pads. They completed several laps, impressing the crowd with synchronized exercises to help them limber up.

                                              the Sirens
Then came the Santa Cruz team, the Seabright Sirens in basic blue and black accented with colorful leggings and tattoos, not to mention a head of blue hair, a pink one and a gold one. They exercised around the rink showing off their expert moves and decorative attire, with their roller derby names printed on the back of their regulation tank tops. Names like Baby Girl, Merry Pain, Toxic Moxie, Rotten Weiler, Unleashed, Kamikaze Rozy, Checkout, Rocker and Patti Smithereens.
      A whistle blew.
      Eight helmeted gals positioned themselves into two, four-person blockades while two jammers waited for a signal. One of the six referees blasted his whistle and the two jammers charged the human blockades.      
      Spectators screamed until I thought my ears would burst.
      Even my demure friend, Alicia, stood up, waved her arms and shouted.

                      Boardwalk Bombers in the blue helmets
Toxic Moxie, wearing black and blue, danced side-to-side behind three women in white and suddenly turned her slender body sideways, slipping right through the blockade. She leaned forward and fast-skated around the rink only to tackle the blockade again. Four times in a row she managed to out smart the Silicon Valley gals.
      I watched the Santa Cruz team rack up three times as many points as the Valley team.

Friday, August 1, 2014 Joyce Oroz
My friend, Marie Bokemeier, has agreed to tell us all about the business she built and runs on line. She has been in the biz for ten years, helping people find favorite things they thought might not even exist anymore. The rumor is she found Bigfoot--maybe not. But if someone is looking for him, Marie will flush him out. Here are the questions I asked. 

My store is named SILKTRAVELER  (   Customers go online directly or find my items by web searches.  They make the entire purchase online.  I stock and ship all items personally.  I am about to open a second store named MyVera (

What type of things do you offer and what do most people like?

I offer Bath and Body products as well as womens clothing accessories, such as purses and totes.  As I specialize in hard-to-find discontinued and retired products those that are most rare are a big seller.  Quite often I'm carrying a body cream, perfume, or cotton quilted duffel that is not available anywhere else on the web.  I find that gals prefer bar soap to bath and shower gel when buying retired products. 

 How long have you been in this business and do you enjoy it?

I've been selling in some form or another for over 10 years, starting from home parties and gift bazaar events.  As my inventory grew I moved into online selling only.  What I enjoy the most is hearing from customers who are thrilled to find something they had no hope of obtaining again.  My long background in sales and service with a telecomm company has served me very well, helping me achieve an excellent reputation.

 Any mishaps or funny stories?

 Oh, my heavens yes!  There are the stories about the lengths I go to in finding a treasured product for someone, but that is generally just about a search.  Product mishaps can happen but are probably left as trade secret - tsk tsk.  Fiascos usually have to do with what I'd call "shipment-gone-wild".   I've had shipments get routed cross-country, be labeled "no such address or person" and spent hours and money trying get them back as the postal automated system just spits them out over and over again.  It's not uncommon to get requests from a foreigner to send a pricey perfume to their hotel in NY or SF tomorrow before they leave for home.  At any cost.  I once had a shipment of 6 pints of concentrated lavender handwash arrive with a tiny pinhole in one bottle.  The minute I opened the carton I could tell it would be a nightmare.  The not-more-than-a-capful of soap cleaned all my towels, and 2 down comforters with suds to spare! 

Do you work in your pajamas in the basement with three dogs and a soda?

 Well I can assure you I don't use Skype for customer contact!  There's a frightening sight.  My office is like something out of a Dickens novel with books, treasures, and boxes piled high.  I definitely put the adage "office attire" on its head.  

How do we find your products—website, etc. Is there a catalog?

 Go to  and start browsing!  Think of it as an online catalog.  I've recently started a Pinterest page ( find it so handy for pinning new ideas, products I like or carry and all the other wonderful images of the world around us....on one page!
Recently a Rosen 'mate' who loves perfume and travels to England a couple times a year, heard about my business and asked if I carried this and that. I explained that I carry 4 main lines but can look for something. So I looked and found a discontinued perfume she coveted, at a good price [for us both]. Then, she mentioned a friend who's VERY knowledgeable about perfumes and likes xyz and might I have "something French under $30:". And voila [whew] I did have something it turns out she loves and now my new friend loves......and so it goes. I've become a personal shopper for rare but much ballyhoo'd perfumes.

Sometimes gals comment on a bag I'm carrying and so ensues explain of what I do. Everyone wants a "great deal", of course, and usually women have no idea that the long discontinued pattern/product they love can be found but is really expensive. So I will offer both a New with tags and a pre-owned/used one for them to choose. As I did the other day with another Rosen gal.

Where do you live and why do you live there?

 I live in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Watsonville. When I searched for a home over 20 years ago I found Watsonville to be quieter, less transient, and with bigger yards than Santa Cruz.
Thank you Marie for taking the time to share a bit of your life with us. Fascinating!