Thursday, June 18, 2015

Water Tank Joyce Oroz

Today I am revisiting a blog I published many moons ago because it is so relevant to our situation here in California. Since I wrote this article, I have discovered that it only takes two or three little rains to fill a good-sized barrel. You might want to have a barrel ready when winter comes. If El Nino arrives this year, all bets are off. Even if we have good rains this winter, when summer of 2016 comes, your parched plants will love chlorine-free barrel water. 550 gallons sounds like a lot, but if I could do it all over again I would go for 1,500.

Elliot riding the range

Top 5 Reasons to Harvest Rainwater!
·      Protect our rivers and streams from runoff pollution
·      Divert water from the municipal storm drain system
·      Conserve this vital natural resource and reduce your water bills
·      Use the rain water to grow healthy and lush plants
·      Control moisture levels around the foundation of your home
I convinced my husband we should install a rain barrel in our backyard because I thought it was a cool idea. Being a lucky person, I was right. Our Big Bubba water tank holds 550 gallons of rain water, collected from the roof of an out-building. I turn the red lever at the bottom of the tank and the water is free to move through one hundred feet of hose, down a slope to my precious plants.

My husband and I installed the tank ourselves through trial and error—or you can follow the easy instructions when you buy the tank. There is a big hole in the top of the tank (with a screw-on cover) so you can look inside and see the water level. A little further down is the overflow port so you can direct excess water somewhere else—maybe another storage tank. At the bottom is an outlet hole where you hook up a hose. It’s all very simple, especially if you are of the male gender. For other genders, the tanks and barrels come in many sizes and colors, but nothing in hot pink or leopard.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Viscosity in BC.......Joyce Oroz

                                             Scott Graham & Cristy Aloysi

of Viscosity Glass Studio, 

in Boulder Creek, CA. 

create an array of beautiful 

contemporary blown 

glass objects, 

from functional 

to fantastic.


Scott Graham & Cristy Aloysi, 
a husband & wife team, began their
glassblowing careers at Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY, where they 
became fascinated with the ancient process of glassmaking. 
The challenge of forming beautiful handmade objects out of 
this molten material captivated them. While in New York they
 became involved in the city’s energetic art and design world 
and have brought this influence into their work. After Urban Glass, 
the couple went on to study at the Pilchuck Glass School in 
Stanwood, WA., Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in 
Deer Isle ME., Centro Studio Vetro in Venice, Italy and Pratt Fine 
Art Center in Seattle, WA. Scott and Cristy have taught 
glassblowing at Urban Glass, Snow Farm in Williamsburg, 
MA, Pratt Fine Art Center and at Maho Bay on St John in the
 US Virgin Islands. In 2002 Scott & Cristy moved to Seattle WA,
 the center of the American art glass movement, to create a line 
of contemporary glass objects for the home. Their goal was to 
create pieces that are unique in their clean lines and simple designs. 
After 11 years in Seattle the couple moved to Boulder Creek, CA. 
In the serene beauty of the redwoods they continue to design and 
original blown glass pieces. The beauty of Viscosity Glass is that 
no two are exactly the same. Each piece has been carefully shaped
 by the hands of the artists creating a uniqueness that cannot be 
imitated by any machine. Each piece of Viscosity glass is made 
to order and signed by the artists. When you purchase Viscosity 
glass you are supporting the 3000 year old tradition of glass making 
and the American art glass movement.

Christy and Scott

Learn the amazing art of 


Make Your Own Glass Bowl!
Sunday June 14th

In this mini workshop students will design and
form their own glass bowl with one-on-one
assistance from an experienced glassblower!
Sunday June 14th from 10am-3pm,
2 students per hour. Ages 6 and up
(children under 10 may need help from an adult).
To register call or e-mail 
Showroom in Boulder Creek

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Author Lynna Banning Joyce Oroz

Today I want to introduce you to an authoress friend of mine, 
Lynna Banning. She’s smart, hardworking and very successful.
 Her historical romantic novels are inspiring to say the least! 
Ten years ago when I aspired to be an author, 
despite having no apparent knowledge, ability or training, 
I went to Lynna with my first chapter. 
Being an honest-to-goodness editor and author, 
she tore it to pieces. She ripped out whole paragraphs, 
slashed my cutesy clich├ęs with a red pencil and asked me 
if I was writing for a lark. She wrote comments, 
corrections and concerns all over my hard work. 
It felt like Mohammad Ali had smacked me
 in the chin. Fortunately I had enough sense to know 
she was right. I put aside my hurt feelings and concentrated 
on the great service Lynna had done for me. 
She taught me in one chapter what all my teachers never 
came close to teaching. 
It was tough love, and ten years and six books later I am 
still so very thankful to this great lady—great author!

 Lynna Banning

Lynna Banning was born in Oregon, but has lived in Northern California 
most of her life. She embarked on her first career as an editor and technical 
writer for Stanford Research Institute and later for Lockheed. She also 
taught English and journalism at Santa Cruz High School. After 30-plus 
years as professional editor, in 1993 she retired early, and began 
writing fiction. Her first novel, Western Rose, was published by 
Harlequin Historicals in 1996. In 2007, she published her first medieval, 
Crusader's Lady, set during the Third Crusade, a departure from the Westerns 
for which she is well known. She combines a lifelong love of history and 
literature into a satisfying career as a writer. Currently Lynna lives in Felton, 
near Roaring Camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 
with her two canaries. An amateur pianist and harpsichordist,
 she performs on psaltery, harp, and recorders with two medieval music 
groups and coaches ensembles in her spare time.

 Congratulations, Lynna on your newest book, the 25th!

Thief of My Heart

Historical Romance
At the turbulent 12th century court of Queen Eleanor 
of Aquitaine, Sir Thomas Lynford, the queen's champion 
knight, is summoned to catch the jewel thief who is 
robbing the queen's wealthy, titled courtiers. 
His promised reward is marriage to the richest 
heiress in England.


The Lone Sheriff

Historical Romance
Harlequin Historical - 1199
As if tracking down train robbers wasn't hard enough, 
now Sheriff Jericho Silver's backup has arrived, and
 she's a gun-toting, head-turning beauty. She sure 
spells trouble. Madison O'Donnell had the 
perfect life -- a beautiful home and all the ladies.