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.