Big Blend's Radio & Tv Magazine August 2015

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Historic Coronado Motor Hotel Yuma's Destination Hotel Celebrating Over 75 Years of Tradition Where The Past Makes History

Ideal Location Close to Shopping, Restaurants, Attractions & Activities Over 120 Clean & Comfortable Guest Rooms Full Cooked Breakfast at Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Free Hi-Speed Internet & WiFi ~ Work Desk Flat Screen TV & DVD Player Fridge ~ Microwave ~ Coffee Maker Iron & Ironing Board ~ Hair Dryer ~ In-Room Safe Two Swimming Pools ~ 1 Fitness Center 2 Business Centers ~ Guest Laundry Facilities Free Parking for Cars, Boats, Buses, RVs & Trucks Group Rates & Government Per Diem Rates

Click to Watch Video!

233 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364 Toll Free: (877) 234-5567 Local: (928) 783-4453 PAGE 2

Contents… 5. Editors Block 18. Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway!

Toast to the Arts 6. The Last Survivors 8. Come On Out to the Comic-Con 10. Book & Author News & Interviews 12. The Giant Sequoia 14. On Display - Degrazia Gallery in the Sun 15. Music Interviews: Margo Rey & Jaafar

Rants, Raves & Rock ‘n Roll 16. Remembering Guitarist James ‘Spider’ Taylor 17. Deconstructing the Beatles!

Eat, Drink & Be Merry! 24. Tasty Tomato Tango 28. Pucker Up! For Some Lemon Love! 32. Pickling Fruits & Vegetables 33. Make-Ahead Christmas Pudding

Garden Gossip 34. Flowers That Heal! 36. Super Study Place 38. Organize Your Offspring

Nature Connection 40. Hi-Five to Solar Power 41. Pet Care 42. Selling Our Health Down the River 44. Cheetah Rescue in Somaliland 46. The Sky’s the Limit in Twentynine Palms 47. Saving Frogs


Contents Cont’ … Spirit of America 48. Fort Churchill & Buckland Station 52. Find Your Park: Sequoia & Kings Canyon

Vacation Station 56. ‘Must See’ Places in Denmark 60. Creative Places in Norfolk, England 62. Passage to Cuba 67. Travel Safe

Way Back When 68. Big Blend’s Time Travel Play 70. The Big Eye and Little Green Men 72. Relics & Legends - Casa De Coronado Museum

Quality of Life 76. Keep It Cool Fashions 77. Rock Talk - Amazing Amethyst 78. Compounded Medication 79. It All Begins With “I” 80. Excellence Effect - Ownership

Success Express 81. The Writer’s Toolbox 82. Employment Law For Those Who Work Outside 84. San Diego Farm-to-Table Insider 87. Does Money Grow in the Grapevine?

Travel & Relocation 88. Summer in Yuma, Arizona 90. Summer in Julian, California 92. Visit San Benito County, California 94. Summer in California’s Sequoia Country 96. California’s Yosemite Gold Country PAGE 4

EDITORS BLOCK We hope you are having a fantastic summer, full of travel and adventure, relaxation and rejuvenation, good food, and fun get-togethers with family and friends! This issue is bigger and jam packed with travel features, event news, videos and photo features, interviews and expert advice. From Cuba to Denmark and from Farm-to-Table, this issue covers a fascinating array of topics that include cooking and recipes, history and science, music and film, books and art, wildlife conservation and pet care, energy and the environment, health and wellness, wine tourism and the economy, education and Priscilla, Big Blend’s travel mascot, got locked family, business and the law. in the clinker at Fort Churchill… apparently she can play a mean game of poker! From interviews with best-selling authors to chartFront cover: A Cuban folkloric dancer by topping musicians and sought after experts and Cynthia Carris Alonso. travel reports, our new Big Blend Radio show schedule is in full swing. Some interviews are recorded on-site, and some are live call-ins. Facebook is one of the best ways to keep up with our upcoming shows, as is We’re already hard at work on planning our next Big Blend Spirit of America Tour national park destination, and we have some new features coming in our fall issues, including an Online Shopping Guide, and Get to Know Travel & Relocation Destination Guides. Be sure to subscribe to our Big Blend e-Newsletter so you can enter our Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway. Remember, one winner wins all the prizes we add to the prize pot throughout the year. You will also receive our Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine in your email. Enjoy the rest of the summer! Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team; along with Priscilla - Big Blend’s pink sock monkey travel mascot! This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™. copyrighted since 1998. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine, P.O. Box 87633, Tucson, AZ 857547633. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily that of this publication or any of its staff. We reserve the right to edit submittals. All subject matter is intended for general information only and not to be taken as personal advice in any matter. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.


THE LAST SURVIVORS The rain isn’t coming and someone else is controlling the water in the whole area, and they want your well. And they will kill for it, as they have others. This actionpacked drama hits a chord of reality that faces us now as a nation, that water is the new oil. It also tells an inspiring story of survival, of not giving up! As soon as you press play to watch THE LAST SURVIVORS, expect your jaw to drop, and to be sucked into a world of suspense. Welcome to a barren, post-apocalyptic America, where water is everything - and it's in dwindling supply. You’ll never look at a glass of water the same way.


Listen to Tom Hammock on Big Blend Radio!

THE LAST SURVIVORS centers on a teenage girl fighting to protect the last working well in a drought-stricken land. At the edge of an expansive, dusty valley, all that remains of the Wallace Farm for Wayward Youth are some hollowed-out husks of buildings. Seventeen-year-old Kendal can barely recall when the Oregon valley was all lush farmland. It's been a decade since the last rainfall, and society at large has dried up and blown away. Kendal and her last friend on earth, Dean, barely scrape by while dreaming of escape. Dean is ill and can stay alive only by drinking water regularly luckily, he and Kendal have access to a special well with enough water for both of them. But when a greedy water baron lays claim to what little of the precious resource remains underground, Kendal must decide whether to run and hide or bravely fight for the few cherished things she has left.

THE LAST SURVIVORS is a suspenseful look at a futuristic world where only the most resourceful survive. Featuring a sterling young adult cast, visceral in-camera action and hailed by critics and genre film fans on the festival circuit where it played as 'The Well,' the film has been compared to The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Book of Eli, Mad Max and Twilight. The film comes to VOD and all digital platforms from Dark Sky Films on August 4, 2015. The film will also be available on Blu-ray & DVD. Visit

Max Charles as ‘Alby’ PAGE 6

MAIN CREW - Tom Hammock – Writer, Director, Producer (The Guest, You’re Next) - Dante & Billy Federighi – Executive Producers (Adventures in the Sin Bin) - Adam Wingard – Editor (The Guest, You're Next, VHS 1&2) - Sarah Broshar – Editor (Higher Power) - Jacob Forman – Writer/Producer (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) - Seth Caplan – Producer (In Search of a Midnight Kiss, The Young Kieslowski) - Chris Harding – Producer (VHS 2) - Seamus Tierney - Cinematographer (In a World, Adam, The Narrows)

Booboo Stewart as ‘Dean’

MAIN CAST - Haley Lu Richardson as ‘Kendal’ (The Bronze, and ABC Family's Ravenswood) - Booboo Stewart as ‘Dean’ (The Twilight Saga, ‘X-Men’: Days of Future Past) - Max Charles as ‘Alby’ (The Amazing Spider-Man, American Sniper) - Jon Gries as ‘Carson’ (Napoleon Dynamite, Taken) - Nicole Fox as ‘Brooke’ (America’s Next Top Model) - Michael Welch as ‘Gabriel’ (The Twilight Saga) - Jacqueline Emerson as ‘Skye’ (The Hunger Games) - Barbara Crampton as ‘Grace’ (You're Next, Re-Animator, We Are Still Here) - Michael Masse as ‘Walker’ (Seven, The Crow) - Rena Owen as ‘Claire’ (Once Were Warriors, Star Wars: Episode II) - Leo Lee as ‘Judas’ (Swordfish, The Replacement Killers, Contact) - Michael McCartney as ‘Cadiz’ (The Amazing Spiderman, Halloween: Resurrection)

Haley Lu Richardson as ‘Kendal’ PAGE 7

Come On Out to the Comic-con By Eva Eldridge, photos by Lauren Lang of Jacobin Photography Have you ever wanted to be a Super Hero? Batman? Wonder Woman? How about Darth Vadar? The zombie apocalypse is coming and you want to start practicing your zombie look. You don’t have to wait until Halloween to dress up like your favorite characters anymore. You can attend any number of Comic-cons held across the country and strut your stuff. I heard about the Comic-cons through one of my writer groups. People were talking about attending this Con or that Con, hoping they could meet up with other people they knew. They talked about authors or actors they hoped to meet and some were excited about their new costume or the opportunity to find a rare comic. I decided I needed to experience a Comic-con for myself. What generated this much excitement? Wouldn’t a bunch of people dressed up in costume be a lot like Halloween? Well, no. It’s not. The 2015 Phoenix Comicon was my first event. People, mostly dressed in costumes, flowed like a human river into the Phoenix Convention Center and I joined them. From then on, I was in a different world. What can you do at a Comic-con? The event schedule is more than a hundred pages of small print. Having a plan helps, but if you don’t, people watching can be very entertaining.

Eva Eldridge discusses Comiccons on Big Blend Radio!


The range of costuming, or cosplay, is as varied as the imagination. I saw movie and television characters from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Firefly and Serenity, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, If cosplay doesn’t interest you, there is gaming, The Walking Dead, and characters like Thor, youth activities, science panels, anime, education, Robin, Ironman, Groot, Dr. Who, The Joker, films, photo opportunities with a favorite actor, Catniss and many others from anime and comics. shopping, and one subject I find endlessly There are workshops for zombie makeup, fascinating - authors and books. There are rooms designing a steampunk outfit, props, and Samurai where you and like-minded individuals can hang armor, just to name a few. Once you have your out. You can even debate the pros and cons of Star costume perfect, you can go to one of the Wars versus Star Trek. There’s a panel on that! It is costuming meet-up rooms and have your photo a great place to meet new people, meet up with taken. What fascinated me was the detail and intricacy of some of the costumes. You can tell how people you already know, or bring your own crowd. much work and effort the cosplayers put into their Continued on Next Page… alternate personas. PAGE 8

Sharing a table in the food court is a great way to start up a conversation. We joined a couple of gentlemen at their table and found out they loved coming to Comic-Con each year because it was a day out for them. They loved seeing what was happening in the comic and gaming world. Their wives didn’t care for the crowds so they got to go out and play like boys. Another gentleman joined us after the first two left. He and his wife were dressed in steampunk attire. This gentleman told us he liked to write romances. He said he loved the energy of the Comic-Con and came to get more inspiration from some of the writing panels. This year, I had an opportunity to work the WordFire Press booth at WonderCon in Anaheim, California. This was a completely different experience because I worked a book sales booth. This gave me an opportunity to talk to a lot of people about some of their favorite authors which coincided with mine. Many fans of The Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson and The Young Jedi Knights, co-authored by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, stopped by to say how much they enjoyed reading the books when they were growing up. Some people came to WonderCon to meet Kevin J. Anderson and were thrilled when Kevin signed their books. I loved watching people’s excitement at meeting one of their favorite authors.

If meeting the stars and having books signed doesn’t interest you, you can watch a movie at the Film Fest which runs the entire time of the convention. Don’t forget, this is a Comic-con. You can meet comic writers, creators, and illustrators like Jim Sterenko, Max Cannon, and Sara Richard. In the main convention halls you can shop for hours. Toys, gadgets, props, collectibles, clothing, art, books, light sabers, plastic sleeves to protect your art, comics, and well, I think you get the idea. I love some of the fantasy art. There are talented people out there showing their work and they want to talk to you. There are row after row of vendors and in between other activities, it’s a great way to spend some time. Besides watching the fabulous costumes, I was able to connect with some writer friends. These are the people that peaked my interest in attending a Comic-con. I spent quite a bit of my time at panels listening to authors talking about their writing careers, the end of the world, dragons, and other interesting subjects like Sherlock Holmes forensics. I got my very own signed copy of a limited edition Starchild Collection by James A. Owen. I had a brief chat with a couple of authors I follow and had a great time. What I’m trying to say about the Comic-con world, is that there’s something here for you. If nothing else, you can watch the amazing cosplayers, do a little shopping, and maybe find a world you never knew existed. You might even meet your favorite Super Hero! Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine. She also writes fiction and poetry. Visit

At this year’s Phoenix Comicon, I saw fans lined up to see some of their favorite stars like Christopher Lloyd, Ron Perlman, Summer Glau, Katee Sackhoff, Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, Michael Shanks, and the list goes on. My friend met Karl Urban and had a book autographed by Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series. PAGE 9

BOOK & AUTHOR NEWS & INTERVIEWS Author Mark Stevens Colorado mystery writer Mark Stevens, is the award-winning author of the Allison Coil Mystery Series, set in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado. Along with Mike Keefe, a retired political cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner, he also publishes the Asphalt Warrior series and other written work by late author Gary Reilly.

‘Trapline’: In ‘Trapline’, a chewed-up corpse high in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area leaves Colorado hunting guide Allison Coil mystified. Obvious signs suggest the dead man is the victim of a mountain lion attack, but Allison’s instincts tell her otherwise. Miles away in downtown Glenwood Springs, a controversial candidate for U.S. Senate is shot during a campaign stop as newspaper reporter Duncan Bloom watches, dodging the long-range gunfire. ‘Trapline’ follows Coil and Bloom as their investigations collide, exposing the dark depths of human indifference. ‘Trapline’ is the third installment of the Alison Coil mystery series, and is the 2015 Colorado Authors League winner for Genre Fiction, and winner for the 2015 Colorado Book Award in the mystery category. Other books in the series include ‘Antler Dust’ and ‘Buried by the Roan’, and the fourth book ‘Lake of Fire’ is due to be released in September 2015. Visit


Author Mark Stevens discusses his Alison Coil mystery series and late author Gary Reilly’s Asphalt Warrior series on Big Blend Radio!

‘The Asphalt Warrior’: Back in the driver’s seat again, the cabbie who made readers laugh out loud in the first six installments of the posthumously published ‘Asphalt Warrior’ series returns for another ride in ‘Pick Up At Union Station,’ by the late Gary Reilly. In ‘Pick Up At Union Station,’ cab driver Murph picks up a shady character at Union Station on a rainy night in Denver. The passenger’s name is Zelner and he’s worried that the police might be following him. When Murph reaches his passenger’s destination, Zelner is dead. Now it’s not just the police who are interested. Murph, who never wants to get involved in the lives—or deaths—of his fares, is about to be swept up in international intrigue. The first six books in The Asphalt Warrior series have all landed on the Denver Post best-sellers list. Two were finalists for the Colorado Book Award. Winner of the 1979 Pushcart Prize, Reilly passed away in 2011 after a two-year battle with colon cancer, trusting his friends Mike Keefe and Mark Stevens to publish his works (25 titles in all) after his death. Proceeds from his book sales benefit Reilly’s longtime partner, Sherry. Visit



Listen to Landon Wallace on Big Blend Radio!

COME AND TAKE IT Search for the Treasure of The Alamo A novel by Landon Wallace


Listen to Patricia Harman on Big Blend Radio!

THE RELUCTANT MIDWIFE A Hope River Novel by Patricia Harman USA TODAY best-selling author Patricia Harman returns with an unforgettable follow up to ‘The Midwife of Hope River’. In ‘The Reluctant Midwife’, the Great Depression has hit rural West Virginia hard. Men are out of work and women struggle to feed hungry children. Nurse Becky Myers has returned to care for the community just when they need her most. While she can handle most situations, Becky is squeamish and uneasy about delivering babies. When confronted with frantic mothers-to-be, she relies on her dear friend Patience Murphy an experienced midwife, for guidance. Though she is happy to be back in Hope River, time and experience have tempered Becky’s cheerfulness, as tragedy has destroyed the vibrant spirit of her former employer Dr. Isaac Blum. Patience too has changed. Married and expecting a baby herself, she is relying on Becky to keep the mothers of Hope River safe.

In the morning of March 6, 1836, the Mexican army storms the Alamo and kills every one of the defenders except a young black slave named Joe, belonging to William Barret Travis. Although General Santa Anna vows to keep him alive, a fearful Joe escapes away in the night carrying a prize far more valuable than anything inside the creaky Spanish mission. Fast forward to September 2013. Joe's modern descendant, a 93-year-old World War II veteran living alone in Brewton, Alabama is dying after being attacked by intruders. With his last breath, the old man defiantly shouts, "Come and take it!" And with his demise, the last living person who knows about Joe's prize is gone forever. While investigating the old man's death, grandson Nat uncovers clues about a long-hidden secret dating back to the Alamo. With the help of a beautiful history professor named Renee, Nat begins to unravel the mystery of his grandfather's murder, and in the process discovers another mystery of far greater scale--the long lost treasure of the Alamo. Visit



By Victoria Chick


The Great Trees, Mariposa Grove by Albert Bierstadt 1876

Most of the artists did sketches and watercolors they took back to their East Coast studios to use as resource material for large oil paintings. Big Blend Radio interview with Victoria Chick.

Notable among the early painters was Albert Bierstadt, a German–born artist from New York.

Wilderness exploration and science converged with the assistance of art in the 19th century to spread the fame of that giant among trees, the Sequoia. Reports of fantastic landscapes in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range of California induced a number of East Coast painters to take sailing ships around South America and up the coast to San Francisco. Some took the dangerous route, coming overland to San Francisco by stage coach. They then journeyed inland by wagon and horseback from San Francisco to the Sierra Nevada Mountains where they were awed by wonders such as the Canyon of Yosemite, Bridal Veil Falls, and the giant Sequoia trees.

He was associated with painters of the Hudson River School, a group with an aesthetic lineage tracing to the Barbizon School in France. However, the subject matter he found in the Western United States put his paintings on the spectacular level rather than merely picturesque or realistic, or even quietly romantic, terms often used to describe the Hudson River School painters. His paintings were among those most influential in showing political leaders that unique lands needed to be preserved, with Congress initially making the Yosemite area a California State Park (See my Artists of Yosemite article in the July 2015 Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine for more information).


Continued on Next Page‌.

It would later become part of the National Park System. While this was going on, logging began to take place in the Sequoia groves. John Muir and others were active in persuading Congress that the Sequoia groves needed protection and eventually grove areas were set aside. Paintings were useful visual aids in their arguments. In the 1850’s, as fine artists, like Bierstadt, painted the Sequoias with an aesthetic view in mind, botanists were at work gathering seeds and recording the Sequoias from a scientific framework. John Matthew from Scotland got seed during a trip to California’s Calaveras Grove and planted that seed in Scotland. William Lobb of England brought seed from California that was distributed to botanical gardens in numerous European countries. The Sequoias did quite well in the British Isles where rainfall is plentiful. One tree in Scotland grew to 177 feet tall in 150 years.

In 1851, an amazing building in London called the Crystal Palace was constructed of iron and glass to house what was essentially the first World’s Fair. An exhibitor had the idea of covering the walls of his exhibit area with bark from the Big Tree, a Sequoia reported to have had a diameter of 25 feet. The bark was removed around the tree to a height of 33 feet and the girdling killed it. Four years later, it was felled, taking 5 men 22 days to cut it through. The Cooperstown painting shows a dance taking place afterwards on the stump. Tree rings indicated the Big Tree was 1300 years old according to an 1888 publication called Heart of the Sierras. The senseless vandalism of this ancient tree can make us grateful for early artists like Bierstadt and Richardson who contributed to appreciation and preservation of the Sequoias.

Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting There are Sequoias in the Royal Botanical Gardens from Kent State University in Ohio. Visit her website at Kew in London as well as in Serbia, Italy, at Germany, Poland, and in Argentina! These trees are still dwarfed by the massive Sequoias of the Sierra Nevada in Central California, some of which are well over 300 feet tall. William Richardson, an English lithographer who did botanical studies, produced hand-colored lithographic plates and wood engravings for a three volume set of books describing exotic conifers cultivated in Britain. The Sequoia was among them. Richardson’s goal was factual description so his style is precise and detailed. From a painting by an unknown artist in the Folk Art Museum at Cooperstown, New York as well as from early engravings, we see the story of the BIG TREE.

Click to Watch Big Blend’s Sequoias TV!



A limited number of DeGrazia originals are available for purchase, while the gift shop and online store offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia reproductions including DeGrazia's 2016 Annual Calendars. There is no admission charge to the gallery, and it is open daily from 10 am – 4pm. Info: (800) 545-2185, or visit

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun New “Wagons Ho!” Exhibit at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Built by famous Arizona artist Ettore ‘Ted’ DeGrazia, and opened in 1965, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a 10-acre historic landmark, in Tucson, Arizona. The gallery houses over 15,000 original art DeGrazia pieces with six permanent collections on display, and several rotating exhibitions each year. Wagons were a favorite subject of Ted DeGrazia, who travelled far afield in search of working wagons to draw and paint. Whether they are of wagons loaded with goods for market, families going to town, water headed for remote settlements, or thundering wagon races, DeGrazia’s paintings of covered wagons, buckboards and ox carts are full of life and action. Featuring these paintings, the new exhibit “Wagons Ho!” is on display until January 20, 2016. Other exhibits to view include: “The Lord Gave Me Brothers Saint Francis of Assisi,” which is on display until December 1, 2015; and "Enamel on Copper Paintings of Ted DeGrazia,” which closes on August 15, 2015.

Click here to see a video about DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. PAGE 14

Listen to Margo Rey on Big Blend Radio!


Listen to Jaafar on Big Blend Radio!






Billboard charting singer-songwriter Margo Rey announces her newest single “Never2Late,” a silky, upbeat pop song that displays Margo’s signature melodic flair and vocals. Following her last releases, “Colours” and “Tempted,” this brand new single is the second collaboration with John Oates, the first with top 20 Billboard charting “Let The Rain,” which became the theme song for non-profit organization Brides Against Breast Cancer. Margo’s alternative pop songs have captured a worldwide audience with her unforgettable melodies, groove oriented arrangements and enduring, socially conscious lyrics that always blend a variety of organic sounds with every bit of emotion. Visit

Jordanian chart-topping singer-songwriter and producer, Jaafar’s personal sound is a fusion of eastern sounds from Jordan and western pop-rock, both genres he grew up listening to in hopes of one day combining them into something uniquely his own. Jaafar has been traveling the world working on his debut album. Coming off of the success of his first single “You Got Me Good,” Jaafar’s second single “Oasis” was released on his website as a “thank you” to his fans, catching US attention and has been since gaining incredible momentum. The third single “Sixteen” tells of a girl aged only 16 in a war torn area just dreaming for a better tomorrow and the hope of reaching her 18th birthday. Visit


Remembering Guitarist James ‘Spider’ Taylor Spider’s name belongs on the list of great guitar legends like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vocalist and songwriter Michael Ely and guitarist Spider shook the worlds of rock, pop, and glam with their three iconic Los Angeles bands Hey Taxi!, Red Wedding and Glass. After Glass, they moved to Tucson and recorded lush film scores and exotic soundscapes, with their latest album being ‘Iridescent Garden’. Michael and Spider were partners in love and music for 43 years, and as soon as same-sex marriage became legal in Arizona, in the fall of 2014, they got married. Michael Ely & James ‘Spider’ Taylor, photo above, courtesy John Nelson. James ‘Spider’ Taylor, photo below.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Michael Ely, as he recalls the musical career of his partner guitarist James ‘Spider’ Taylor, who sadly passed away from liver cancer in May 2015. Michael also discusses how after the many years Spider worked for Boeing, he is not being paid the pension or social security that would typically be paid to the widow, as they were not married for a full year. Learn more about Michael and Spider’s music at



Big Blend Radio interview with Michael Ely.

Deconstructing The Beatles! What influenced The Beatles to write their massive catalog in just an eight-year span? Rock historian Marc Platt answers this and more in “How The Beatles Did It!” a user-friendly guide and multi-media pop gallery that features 14 audio notebooks and 12 special deconstructing videos on "The Early Beatles," "A Hard Days Night/Help Theme Songs," “McCartney, Lennon, Ringo, George,” "Yes It Is," "In My Life," "Paperback Writer," "She's Leaving Home," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and the "Abbey Road Medley". Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Marc who chats about who and what inspired various musicians to write their songs, and his other multimedia projects such as “The Who for Starters,” “Throwing Stones,” and “Kinksville.”


Big Blend Radio interviews Marc Platt




Enter to Win the Year-Long Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway! ONE WINNER TAKES ALL! Every few weeks we add new prizes to the giveaway. These are announced in our Big Blend e-Newsletter, and the monthly Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

ck Cli to ! re Subscribe to the Big Blend e-Newsletter to get the monthly prize update, He cribe s monthly question, and entry form. Maximize your chances of winning by ub S answering as many questions as possible. As a subscriber your entries are tripled


each month. Last entry will be accepted on November 10, 2015. Winner will be announced in the December 2015 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

Click Here to Subscribe to Big Blend e-News to Enter the Big Blend Bonanza!

Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway Prizes Include: PRIZE #1: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast – Located in Three Rivers, California this Riverhouse is only 8 miles from the entrance to Sequoia National Park. Guest rooms feature a high ceiling, tiled floors, queen-sized bed, TV/VCR, Wi Fi, wood-burning fireplace, A/C and heat, small private verandah, private access to Kaweah River, private bathroom, wine and chocolates. Prize added Nov. 25, 2014. See:

PRIZE #2: $75 Gift Certificate at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun – Located in Tucson, Arizona, this 10acre historic landmark is home to over 15,000 originals of famous Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia’s art pieces. A limited number of DeGrazia originals are available for purchase, while the gift shop offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia reproductions. This certificate is for in-store use only. Prize added Dec. 22, 2014. See:

More Prizes! PAGE 18


Click Here to Subscribe to Big Blend e-News to Enter the Big Blend Bonanza!

PRIZE #3: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Dream Manor Inn – Located in Globe, Arizona, the gateway community of Tonto National Monument, this Tuscan-style hill-top boutique resort features 20 guest rooms and extended-stay villas, a pool and Jacuzzi, walking paths, lush gardens, fountains, waterfall, a putting green, complimentary DVD and book libraries, free WiFi, and BBQ areas. Gift certificate can be used between Sunday-Thursday. Prize added January 20, 2015. See

PRIZE #4: Coronado Motor Hotel Getaway – Located in Yuma, Arizona the historic Coronado Motor Hotel features comfortable Spanish hacienda-style guest rooms with modern amenities, 2 swimming pools, Yuma Landing Bar & Grill (the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona), and the Casa de Coronado Museum. The hotel is in walking distance from the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, the Colorado River, and historic downtown district. This prize includes a 2 night stay for 2 at the Coronado Motor Hotel (includes breakfast), $25 gift certificate for Yuma Landing Bar & Grill, plus a tour of Casa de Coronado Museum. Prize added February 23, 2015. See PRIZE #5: $25 Gift Certificate for The Peanut Patch - Located in Yuma, Arizona, The Peanut Patch is a popular gift shop that carries a variety peanuts, fresh fudge, homemade peanut butter and peanut brittle, fine chocolates, nostalgic candies, dried fruits and nuts, sugar-free candies, gourmet preserves and relishes, olives, salsas, syrups and raw honey. They have a nice selection of gifts and gift baskets. The Peanut Patch is open October – May, but has a year-round Fabulous Fudge Fan Club. Prize added March 23, 2015. See

PRIZE #6: 8 Keys of Excellence Gift Set - The 8 Keys of Excellence character education program is a free family program that guides young people toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. This prize package includes the book “The 8 Keys of Excellence: Principles to Live By” written by Bobbi DePorter, large 8 Keys of Excellence Wall Set, and 8 Keys of Excellence wristbands. Prize added March 23, 2015. To learn more about the 8 Keys and to join the Excellence Movement, visit

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PRIZE #7: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast – Located in historic downtown Hollister, California, the gateway community of Pinnacles National Park, Joshua Inn is a charming 1902 Victorian home featuring five beautifully appointed guest rooms, gourmet breakfasts, evening wine and cocktail hour, candy bar, complimentary WiFi. Enjoy a glass of ice tea while rocking on the front porch, out in the garden gazebo or in the parlor. Gift certificate can be used between Sunday-Thursday. Prize added April 28, 2015. See

PRIZE #8: Round of Golf for Two at Ridgemark Golf & Country Club – Located in Hollister, California, the gateway community of Pinnacles National Park, Ridgemark features a beautiful 18hole championship golf course designated as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary", a pro shop, tennis courts, The Public House lounge and restaurant, 32 deluxe guest rooms, and indoor and outdoor wedding and event venues. Prize added April 28, 2015. See

PRIZE #9: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Yerington Inn – Located in historic downtown Yerington, in western Nevada off the Pony Express and California National Historic Trails, Yerington Inn is a newly renovated hotel that features 79 airconditioned guestrooms with complimentary highspeed WiFi, flat screen LCD TVs with cable, inroom microwave and fridge, coffee/tea makers, and more. The area features numerous hiking and biking trails, historic and cultural sites, casinos and restaurants. Prize added May 24, 2015. Visit

More Prizes! PAGE 20



PRIZE #10: $200 Gift Card for Dini’s Lucky Club – Located across the street from Yerington Inn, in historic downtown Yerington, Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino is the oldest family owned and operated casino in Nevada. Here you can play the latest slots, video poker or keno, enjoy drinks at The Cellar Bar & Lounge, and eat a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner at Dini’s Coffee Shop. Gift card can be used for food and drinks. Prize added May 24, 2015. Visit PRIZE #11: $25 Gift Certificate for The Bakery Gallery - The Bakery Gallery is a popular destination in Yerington, Nevada that offers a delicious variety of made-from-scratch cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, and breads. They also serve coffee and espresso, have a decadent selection of chocolate truffles and desserts, and serve pre-fixe to-go dinners. Prize added May 24, 2015. Visit

PRIZE # 12: Book Set from C. Lee McKenzie – California based author C. Lee McKenzie writes young adult and middle grade books as well as short stories and non-fiction articles for young readers. This prize set includes 4 of her young adult novels: ‘Sudden Secrets’ (Evernight Teen 2014), 'Double Negative' (Evernight Teen, 2014), 'The Princess of Las Pulgas' (Westside Books, 2010), and 'Sliding on the Edge' (WestSide Books, 2009). Prize added June 22, 2015. Learn more at

More Prizes! PAGE 21



PRIZE #13: The Asphalt Warrior Series – The late author Gary Reilly’s best-selling ‘The Asphalt Warrior’ book series features the adventures of Denver cab driver Brendan Murphy, a.k.a. “Murph”. This prize set features all 7 books including: ‘The Asphalt Warrior’, ‘Ticket to Hollywood’, ‘The Heart of Darkness Club’, ‘Home for the Holidays’, ‘Doctor Lovebeads’, ‘Dark Night of the Soul, and ‘Pick Up at Union Station’. Prize added June 22, 2015. Learn more at

PRIZE #14: Allison Coil Mystery Series – Mark Stevens is the award winning author of the bestselling Allison Coil mystery series that’s set in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado. This prize set features all 4 books including: ‘Antler Dust’, ‘Buried By Roan’, ‘Trapline’, and ‘Lake of Fire’. Prize added June 22, 2015. Learn more at PRIZE #15: Blue Cat Balancing: This limited edition art poster is by figurative artist Victoria Chick, the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Prize added July 28, 2015. Visit her website at

ONE WINNER TAKES ALL! Every few weeks we add new prizes to the giveaway. These are announced in our Big Blend e-Newsletter, and the monthly Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

HOW DO YOU ENTER? Subscribe to the Big Blend e-Newsletter to get the monthly prize update, monthly question, and entry form. Maximize your chances of winning by answering as many questions as possible. As a subscriber your entries are tripled each month. Last entry will be accepted on November 10, 2015. Winner will be announced in the December 2015 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

Click Here to Subscribe to Big Blend e-News to Enter the Big Blend Bonanza! PAGE 22


Tasty Tomato Tango

Appetizers & Cocktails Compiled by Lisa D. Smith You say tomato….I say Bruschetta, Hummus and Bloody Marys!

Blue Heron Farm Bruschetta Quick and easy to make, Bruschetta is an Italian dish that's traditional preparation is based on olive oil, garlic bread, country cheeses and vegetables. This recipe is from Andrea Peterson, organic farmer and innkeeper of Blue Heron Farm Bed & Breakfast in Fallbrook, California.

It’s that time of year for lazy weekend brunches and late afternoon and evening gatherings with friends Ingredients: and family pool-side, so why not introduce a little 1 Loaf French bread tomato to your party! Olive oil Fresh tomatoes, sliced For appetizers, try Blue Heron Farm’s delicious and Fresh basil, washed and chopped fresh bruschetta! Blue Heron Farm is known for Romano cheese, sliced their juicy organic heirloom tomatoes. Chef Jeremy Manley’s sundried tomato hummus with homemade Directions: potato chips is quite a treat – and it’s a simple dish Slice the loaf of French bread into 1 1/2" slices. that’s a true crowd pleaser! For a relaxed Sunday Place the slices on an ungreased cookie sheet, and brunch, try Staci’s impressive and hearty Bloody brush the topsides with olive oil. Mary, or how about the Yuma Chavela – a Mexican Broil until light brown. Top with tomatoes, cheese variation of a Bloody Mary that uses Clamato juice and fresh basil. and beer instead of Bloody Mary mix and vodka. Enjoy! PAGE 24

Tasty Tomato Tango Sun-dried Tomato Hummus This recipe will make roughly 2 quart containers of hummus. If you wish to scale down cut all ingredients by half. Hummus can be spread on sandwiches, toast or just used as a dip with homemade potato chips. This recipe is from Chef Jeremy Manley ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef’ of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, CA. Listen to his Big Blend Radio interview about making hummus. Ingredients 4 ounces of sun-dried tomatoes 12 cloves of garlic 30 ounces of garbanzo beans ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup mayonnaise ¼ cup lemon juice ½ cup Parmesan cheese 4 teaspoons basil, dried 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons kosher salt Directions Purée your sun-dried tomatoes and 12 cloves of garlic in your in a Cuisinart or other food processor. In the same food processor, add your garbanzo beans and the rest of your ingredients into your Potato Chips sun-dried tomato purée. Take out of your Cuisinart and stir together. Let it sit in your refrigerator for two hours before tasting 1 organic potato thinly sliced on a mandolin or by this recipe. hand You can hold for up to five days - it becomes more Fryer, set to 350 degrees potent with flavor over time. Kosher salt Cracked black pepper


Big Blend Radio interview with Chef Jeremy

Once your potato is thinly sliced, put a couple of rounds into the fryer at a time. Prevent them from sticking together as they will gravitate towards themselves naturally. Flip over after a minute and then cook another minute. Remove from fryer and season with salt and pepper.

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Tasty Tomato Tango Staci’s Bloody Mary Staci Carlson, mixologist at The Cellar in Dini’s Lucky Club in Yerington, Nevada, shares her Bloody Mary Recipe. Listen to her make one on Big Blend Radio! First Steps: Salt the rim of a tulip glass, then add ice. Add: 1 oz. Grey Goose Vodka 8 shakes of seasoned salt 5 shakes of black pepper 6 dashes of Tapatio Hot Sauce 1 splash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce ¼ tsp. of raw horseradish Then: Mix, and fill glass with fresh tomato juice. Mix again. Garnish with celery stalk, lemon slice and a toothpick speared with an olive, sweet pepper, and Greek pepperoncini. Enjoy!


Big Blend Radio interviews Staci Carlson

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Tasty Tomato Tango The Yuma Chavela A refreshing and traditional Yuma favorite, this cocktail recipe is from bartender Jeremy Contreras ‘The Mad Scientist’ of Yuma Landing Hangar Sports Bar in Yuma, Arizona. All spices and lemon/lime juices are to taste. Watch Jeremy’s recipe video to see how it’s done! Ingredients: Celery Salt Black pepper Worcestershire sauce Tabasco Fresh Squeezed lemon/lime juice Olive Juice Favorite Beer Clamato juice (or you can use Bloody Mary mix) Tajin (chili lime salt) Directions: Rim beer glass with Tajin. Mix all ingredients in glass (except beer and Tajin). Add favorite beer. Garnish with 3 Spanish (green) Olives.

Click to Watch Big Blend’s Eat, Drink & Be Merry TV!


Compiled by Lisa D. Smith Lemons are a popular fruit noted for their culinary, cleansing and medicinal properties. Did you know that lemons are packed with vitamin C, providing 64% of the daily value? And, not only is lemon juice antibacterial, but lemons are loaded with a variety of phytochemicals, including polyphenols and terpenes. The juice of a lemon, its rind and zest can be used in a variety of food and drinks. You can use the juice to make drinks and cocktails, or add it to a salad dressing or marinade.

You can even squeeze lemon juice on sliced apples or avocados to stop the browning process. The juice and the rind can also be used to make jams and liqueurs, the zest can be added to baked goods and desserts. Lemon slices make great garnishes too. Get on the lemon love train with these refreshing summer recipes that range from Limoncello to Lonestar Lemonade and Lemon Drop cocktails, Lemon Curd to Lemon Custard Ice Cream!



Try this lemon curd recipe from Chef Ivan Flowers, 5-Star Executive Chef of Top of the Market in San Diego, and listen to his Big Blend Radio interview for tips and techniques, and ideas on all the different ways to use lemon curd! Makes 3 Cups.

Big Blend Radio interviews Chef Ivan Flowers.

4 Lemons 1 ½ Cups Sugar ¼ Lb. Unsalted Butter, room temperature 4 Eggs ½ Cup Lemon Juice 1/8 Tsp. Salt

With mixer on, add in the lemon zest and sugar. Mix until it has the consistency of mayonnaise.

Zest all four lemons, then juice them. If you don’t get ½ cup lemon juice, use more lemons.

Next, with mixer on, add in the eggs, one at a time. Once all eggs are incorporated, add in the lemon juice and salt. Mix well.

Put the lemon zest in a food processor with the sugar and pulse until zest and sugar are combined. Put mixture in a saucepan over low heat for about Set aside. ten minutes. Stir the mixture constantly. Place room temperature butter in a stand mixer and Once it is thick, remove from heat and put in fridge. beat at medium speed. PAGE 28

MARYANN’S LEMON CUSTARD ICE CREAM Cool off with this lemon infused ice cream recipe from MaryAnn Marlar of Vicki’s Eatery in downtown Silver City, New Mexico. Watch her video to see how it’s made! 2 large eggs ¾ cup granulated sugar 1 cup whole milk, well chilled 2 cups heavy cream, well chilled 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (add up to 2 tsp. to taste) 1/3 cup lemon zest, fine ¾ cup lemon juice, fresh Pinch salt In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in sugar, a little at a time; continue whisking until completely blended, 1 minute more. Pour in milk, heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Whisk to blend, about 1 minute more. Cover and refrigerate to chill if time allows. Pour into mixing bowl of ice cream maker. Assemble and start ice cream maker according to maker’s instructions. Mix until thickened, to soft or hard texture as desired. If desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and ripen by freezing until firm, about 2 hours.

LONESTAR LEMONADE This cool cocktail recipe is from Kendall at Bravo Farms Smokehouse in Visalia, California. Watch his video on how to make it! 16 oz. glass filled with ice 1.5 oz. your favorite American whiskey 2 oz. Sweet and sour .05 oz. Triple sec Pour whiskey, sweet and sour, and triple sec over ice. Stir and add a splash of sprite to the top.


LIMONCELLO & LEMON DROPS There are many recipes for limoncello on the web. They all have a few critical steps that must be followed and after that, it becomes a matter of taste. Read Eva Eldridge’s tips and instruction on making limoncello, then watch the recipe video featuring Tricia Harvey, innkeeper of Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast in Hollister, California, making her lemon drop cocktails with a twist. Tricia’s lemon drops use limoncello as a base.

The Lemons I use 12 to 15 local lemons and only make limoncello those years when the lemon crop is abundant. If you have to use purchased lemons, it’s best to buy organic because you don’t want the pesticides in your limoncello. You will be using the zest, or outer peel, of the lemon only. Wash your lemons thoroughly. If they are locally grown, make sure you scrub off any dirt. For store bought lemons, wash them with warm water and scrub them with a brush until any wax and any pesticides under the wax are removed. Dry them. I use a very sharp knife and cut the zest away from the pith in strips. You don’t want any of the white part or of the peel, or pith, on your zest. The pith causes the limoncello to be bitter. Some people use a zester on their lemons. If you do this make sure you are capturing all the zest you can (without any of the pith) by zesting over a very clean towel, wax or parchment paper, or something where you can gather the zest and pour it into a jar. Avoid damaged places on the lemons so your peel is just the yellow part. I can’t peel 12 to 15 lemons in a day. So I start a half gallon jar with the peels of three of four lemons one day and add to it every day until I have all the lemons peeled.

The Alcohol I use a medium to higher quality vodka for my limoncello. I believe the original recipe calls for straight grain alcohol (Everclear) which is around 151 proof. This will give you a potent limoncello. I find the vodka works for me, but it’s a matter of taste. You pour a quart of good alcohol into your half gallon jar and add the lemon peel. As I mentioned before, I add peels to my jar every day until I finish peeling all the lemons.

I use between 12-15 depending on how many I have and how large they are. It’s not an exact amount. Seal your jar with a lid and put it in a dark cupboard. You can shake it up every now and then, but the important part is to let your lemon peels sit in the alcohol for six to eight weeks. You can see the peels lose their color and the vodka take on the yellow hue.


The Final Mix Once your alcohol has leached the lemon oil from the peels, you want to strain your alcohol. Depending on your method of removing the peels, you can use a fine mesh strainer or something finer like a coffee filter if you zested your lemons.

Let the simple syrup cool before adding to the alcohol. I add enough simple syrup and water to the alcohol until I get the flavor I want from my limoncello.

What you want to end up with is pure clear alcohol without a bit of peel. To the alcohol, you add simple syrup. Simple syrup is equal amounts of sugar and water heated until the sugar is completely dissolved.

I don’t want it so sweet that the sugar overcomes the lemon, but I don’t want it straight up lemon vodka either. Once again, this is a matter of taste and you may have to experiment. Store your limoncello in a very clean jar or bottle. I keep mine in the freezer. When I serve it, I have to break up the ice crystals and end up with a frosty aperitif.


Pickling Fruits and Vegetables Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand awardwinning recipe book ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine,' shares her tips for pickling fruit and vegetables, plus her recipe for Cucumber Pickles! Listen to Ruth and her husband Howard talk about pickles and wine on Big Blend Radio!


Tip Number One: Make sure the jars that you use are well sanitized.

Tips for Pickling Fruits: - Pickle sweet, ripe and firm fruits. - Use the freshest fruit you can. Fruits like cantaloupe, watermelon, figs, apples, pears, kiwi, lemon and orange are great choices. - Keep your fruit cold in the refrigerator until you're ready to pickle it. - Use 3/4 water and 1/4 vinegar. - Use fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary. Use the wines and spices you like. - Use honey instead of sugar to balance out the acidity of the vinegar.

Tips for Pickling Vegetables: - When you pickle cucumbers, always pick the smallest and firmest ones. - You can pickle almost any vegetables you like; cucumbers, green tomatoes, beets, turnip, okra, squash, eggplant, garlic and cabbage.

Method: In a large jar put the cucumbers, garlic, dill, sugar, salt and red pepper if desired. Add the vinegar and enough water to cover the cucumbers. Seal tight and leave in a warm place (kitchen is OK). Keep at least 2 days (they will still be a bit greenish). After that, the longer you keep them stored, the more the cucumbers will be pickled. Keep them at room temperature for one week; then refrigerate. (If anything is left!)

Recipe for Cucumber Pickles Ingredients: 2 lb. cucumbers; washed 5 gloves garlic; peeled and washed 1 bunch of dill; washed 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons salt 1 cup vinegar 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional) Water PAGE 32

Make-Ahead Christmas Pudding By Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast in the foothills of Sequoia National Park, California This recipe must be made ahead of time because you need to soak the various dried fruits for 3-5 months in rum and port, before mixing with the other ingredients and steaming the resulting "pudding." Makes 6 medium or 12 small puddings, either of which are great to give as holiday gifts.

Dried Fruits to soak for pudding: 2 lbs. California flame raisins (or any type of dark raisin) 1 lb. dried berries or cherries (try dried blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or cherries) 2 lbs. dried prunes (remove pits) 1 lb. dried fruit medley (choose your favorite blend) 1 lb. crystalized ginger 1 lb. dried pineapple 1 lb. dried papaya 1 lb. dates (choose your favorite date) 1 lb. dried cranberries

Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, and maintain water level until pudding leaves the sides of baking tin (2-3 hours). Serve warm with hard sauce or ice cream. May also set on fire with more wine at serving time. Traditional hard sauce: 1/2 lb. granulated sugar 1/2 lb. butter (or vegan butter, your favorite margarine, or vegetable oil) Brandy to taste

Soak fruits in a mixture of 2 bottles of Tawney Port and 2 bottles of Golden Rum and store in large glass jars for 3-5 months.

Other ingredients for pudding: 2 lbs. butter (or vegan butter, your favorite margarine, or vegetable oil) 1 1lb. brown sugar 8 extra-large brown eggs (I use Glaum's organic free-range; feel free to use egg whites) 1 lb. unbleached flour 8 teaspoons baking powder 2 lbs. whole wheat bread crumbs 1 pint nonfat local milk (or any vegan substitute for milk) Cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs and add them to cream. Sift flour and baking powder. Add, with bread crumbs. Add milk and soaked fruits. Pour into lined baking tins or lined steamer baskets, leaving 1 inch of space from the top. Cover with more greased paper (or foil) and secure. If using baking tins, place a pie tin upside-down in a large pot. Add water to half the depth of the pudding. PAGE 33

By herbalist Cynthia Johnston

Flowers are not only beautiful in vases on your table or scattered throughout our yards and gardens, many also have medicinal value. Roses, marigolds, lavender and violets are all flowers with more than just a pretty face and sweet perfume. They can be used in herbal skincare, herbal remedies and toxin free cleaning items for around the house. They are powerful and effective and a lot safer then chemicals or prescription drugs. Rose, called the Queen of Flowers, has so many uses. Rose hips have been used for centuries in cough remedies and as a potent source of Vitamin C. Put some in a jar and cover with apple juice. Overnight they will turn into a jam. What a great way to take your vitamins. The petals of several types are transformed into rose absolute, rose attar, rosewater and rose wax, all of which are prized as ingredients in high end skincare lines. It is gentle and safe for all skin types. I love these rosy things so much, I include them in my very popular Radiant Rose Nite Cream. Let’s not forget to mention the romantic uses. Getting a dozen roses will definitely get my attention! I find the scent quite heavenly.

Listen to Cynthia Johnston on Big Blend Radio.


Lavender makes a fabulous addition to a garden just by the virtue of the fragrance. And we have so many varieties to choose from. Brushing against the flowers imbues a wonderful scent that is calming and relaxing to the mind. The essential oil is potent as an anti-bacterial when used on itchy skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, minor burns and bites. Renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar calls the essential oil “first aid in a bottle.” Lavender flowers soaked in honey would not only be good for a scratchy throat it could also be effective as a wound healer. I love something that has more than one use!

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And last but not least the lovely marigolds or Calendula officinalis. This bright-eyed flower is used extensively as an anti-inflammatory, to soothe bruises on the skin for rashes or breakouts. It blooms in orange or yellow flowers and can be used as a dye and was sometimes used in the past to brighten up pale summer butter. I love these flowers! They are the ingredient in my Calendula Blossom Cream. It is a bit heavier than the Rose cream and great for folks who dig in the dirt. This plant has a long growing season offering a long period of garden color. I love to see it planted with Dandelions. Together they put on quite a show. Dandelion is another flower I absolutely love – but that is a whole other article! Cynthia Johnston is an herbalist and founder of MoonMaid Botanicals, a small herb company that is Flowers That Heal Continued…. dedicated to providing high quality herbal products Violets, which grace the ground all around the Plant that are free of chemical preservatives, propylparabens or synthetics of any kind. Products Sanctuary, are an ancient symbol of fertility and include remedies for menopause, PMS, yeast were infused in wine and honey for wedding ceremonies. They were worn in garlands to relieve infections, common women’s health issues, and headaches. Violet vinegar was used as a wash for herbal products for the family. Learn more or shop online at gout and arthritic inflammation. In 19th Century Europe the scent was the most popular perfume fragrance. Flowers can be candied for cake decorations. I personally love a slice of Lavender Cake with Lavender Ice Cream for very special occasions! Who doesn’t love a massive Hydrangea in the garden? But who knew that it also has medicinal uses. Hydrangea root has been used extensively, currently and in days long past, to help dissolve and pass kidney and gallstones. The Cherokee chewed the bark for stomach issues and found it valuable as a diuretic. Modern herbalists use it as a prostate tonic and laxative. A bunch of flowers is gorgeous fresh cut or dried!


Set Your Kids Up For Success This School Year By Bobbi DePorter

It’s that time of year. Students across the country are preparing for a return to school in the upcoming days and weeks. Help set your kids up for a successful school year this year by creating what I call a “Super Study Space” for each of them in your home. While it’s an annual ritual for parent and child to make a back-to-school shopping trip to stock up on school supplies, not much thought is given to the student’s home study area. Yet, designing a customized homework and study environment can have a huge impact on a student’s results in school by putting the individual in the correct state for learning and playing to his or her personal learning strengths. Here’s how you do it. First, gain your son or daughter’s buy-in by making it a joint project to design and select the items for the space. It’s best to claim a separate space for each student in the family in order to head off distractions. If there isn’t a separate den or enough room in the bedroom, find a quiet corner of the house you can section off.

This can be a fun exercise, especially when your child gets to contribute to the final design. Have your child think of situations in which it was easy to concentrate and do a great amount of work without stress. Some kids will be happy with a more formal set-up, which includes a desk (or table) and a chair. Other students may lean more toward a nontraditional arrangement. I would classify someone who likes to study and do homework on a bed, for example, as nontraditional. For that type of person, or someone who likes to curl up in a chair to work, a desk arrangement will be counterproductive. So, get creative! Look for a rolling desktop that can slide up to a big chair or sideways over part of a bed. As I mentioned, learning style also comes into play. Everyone has one dominant learning modality: visual, auditory or kinesthetic. A kinesthetic learner is someone who learns by doing and likes to move around while learning. This type of student could benefit from a drafting table type of study space, where he can stand and walk around or sit on a stool.

Sit down together and plan it out based on your son or daughter’s personality and learning style. PAGE 36

When you know what you need, plan a trip together to IKEA, Office Depot or Target; wherever you think you can get the best deal on what you need for your Super Study Space. But wait! Before you leave, think about what else you can do to make the study area special. Here are a few ideas. You want your student’s study space to be well lit, of course, but this is another area in which personal preference comes into play. Some like a room that is uniformly bright, while others like a light focused on what they’re doing at the moment. Another way to brighten the area is with color. Colors stimulate the brain, particularly for visual learners. Posters and artwork on the walls can add color to the environment.

So, make sure the study area has a source for this music, whether it’s a CD player, and iPod/MP3 player or a computer. Now, with your plan in place, it’s time to make that trip to the store with your son or daughter and get the new school year off to a successful start. Bobbi DePorter is the President of SuperCamp and Quantum Learning Network, a U.S.-based educational firm producing programs for students, teachers, schools, and organizations across the United States and worldwide. SuperCamp is the leading academic summer

It’s a good idea to add a bulletin board to the study area, where your student can put visual aids to prompt their thought process. Examples include charts of work in progress, lists of upcoming projects, positive affirmations and quotes, and awards, certificates, photos and mementoes of your student’s peak moments, all of which help maintain camp in the world. Visit a “winning attitude” frame of mind. Whether or not your child has access to a computer in his or her study space, it’s beneficial to use a physical daily planner to organize their time. The planner can be purchased in the store or created at home by printing out weekly and monthly calendars from the Internet. The planner can serve the dual purpose of being a motivating tool by adding study, homework and other learning tips on the side of each page. Music is important in an effective learning environment – certain kinds of music, that is. It’s important because music actually corresponds to and affects one’s physiological conditions. During heavy work, your pulse and blood pressure tend to rise. Your brain waves speed up and your muscles become tense. During relaxation and meditation, your pulse and blood pressure decrease, and your muscles relax. The right type of music is the key to induce relaxation while leaving the mind alert and able to concentrate. The music that is most conducive to creating this state is baroque, like that of Bach, Handel, Pachelbel and Vivaldi. These composers used very specific beats and patterns that automatically synchronize our minds with our bodies. For instance, most baroque music is timed at 60 beats per minute, which is the same as an average resting heart rate. PAGE 37

By Regina Leeds, The Zen Organizer™


Regina Leeds Talks Organizing on Big Blend Radio! It’s not uncommon for parents to hire me to organize the entire home. It is uncommon for them to ask me to start in their child’s room. I almost always refuse. As a parent you are the leader of the pack. If your bedroom and the home in general are in chaos, your child is going to have a hard time understanding why you want him to get organized. The most powerful teacher is a positive example. Actions really do speak louder than words. If you are lamenting the state of your child’s room, first look to your own. As Shakespeare put it: “Physician, heal thyself!”

“Can you do that in my closet?” they ask. “You bet!” is my response. The first step in getting organized is to eliminate what you don’t need, don’t use or simply no longer want. It’s wonderful to foster generosity in children by telling them that their old toys and clothing are going to be donated to those who can’t afford new items. If your child is old enough ask her to accompany you to the charity of your choice. Make the experience real. I’m always asked what the rules are for eliminating items from a closet or any room really. There are those who follow the ‘If I haven’t worn it/used it in six months or perhaps a year, out it goes.’ And then there’s the camp that says when you bring one item home an older version has to exit. I say, using these rules are fine if they work for you. I myself never use them. I’m much more interested in your emotional attachment. The ‘Why’ reveals much more than an unemotional rule ever will be able to do. Again unless a child is very young, always engage him in this process. If you have trouble making decisions, ask yourself if your parents empowered you or did they make decisions for you? It’s an important life skill to master and it’s certainly at the very heart of getting organized. If you understand why you are releasing an object, later you won’t regret the decision to eliminate.

The amazing thing about children is that when they see order they take to it like the proverbial duck to water. They usually return home from school and are stunned when they see how mom and dad’s closet looks after I ‘Zen Organize’ it. PAGE 38

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The Rule of Law Here are some ideas for organizing/maintaining a child’s room: - Establish rules. Is it OK, for example, to eat in his room? If that meets with your approval, do set the rule that no plates, cups or glasses remain in the room overnight. Crumbs are a banquet to creepy crawlies. Don’t put out the welcome wagon. - Returning food items to the kitchen is one way to teach the concept of completion. Every action that starts needs to end. If you leave cupboard doors open, drawers open and never put things away, you are in fact teaching the ‘art of chaos.’ - Once the closet is organized, clothing may not be tossed on the bed or a chair. There is a reason you purchased hangars. - Clothing is never to be tossed on the floor. If it’s dirty, provide a hamper. If it needs to go to the dry cleaner, provide a bag for that purpose. Make it easy to keep the rules you establish.

Make no mistake, however, while there needs to be ‘punishment’ for the rules that are not followed (being grounded, time out, loss of phone, computer or TV privileges are the most common) there must also be rewards for the rules that are followed. We all need incentives. We also need to know that we are noticed, appreciated and acknowledged. And what are these really but ways to express our love? I’m suggesting you understand what amount you have to work with and then craft a separate party budget. Unless your child is a toddler, involve her in the process. In fact ask her to cover some aspect of it from her allowance or the extra money she can earn from doing extra chores. Maybe it’s $5 for a bag of balloons? Perhaps it’s $15 dollars for party favors. The amount isn’t as significant as the symbolic gesture of understanding that celebrations are funded. If your child grows up to be known for her party-giving prowess, you can send me a thank you card!

Professional organizer Regina Leeds, known as The Zen Organizer™ has brought order and peace to home and work environments across the country - Just as clothing doesn’t belong on the floor, for over 27 years. She is the author of 10 books on neither do wet towels belong on the bathroom floor. organizing including New York Times bestseller Again provide a hamper. You are not the maid and ‘One Year to an Organized Life’ and the newest even if you have one, a child needs to pick up after release ‘Rightsize! Right Now!’ The latter presents himself. a sane plan for rightsizing your possessions to fit your home and life and craft a move in 8 weeks. A - If you have very young children, provide a low bar former actress Regina delights in giving lectures on in the closet where the everyday clothes can hang. the benefits of Zen Organizing™. A native of Allow them to pick some outfits. Being able to reach Brooklyn, New York she now lives in Los Angeles your clothes and your dishes for that matter builds with her rescue pup Charlie. Visit self-esteem and allows children to feel grown up. Is It Party Time? When children hit milestones it’s wonderful to celebrate the accomplishment with a party. I hope you will make a list of all the party elements (guest list, food, drinks, decorations and entertainment) and see how you can work them into your budget. Yes, here I am using the ‘B word’ again. Once you have a family budget you’ll know how much expendable income you have each month. Most people simply plan the party and let the financial chips fall where they may. This is one of the reasons Americans are drowning in credit card debt. The Bottom Line If you set rules and don’t enforce them, why are you wasting your breath? We live in a world where there are consequences for our actions. The first place you learn about cause and effect is in your home. PAGE 39

5 Reasons Why Solar Photovoltaic (Solar 2. Solar PV does not acidify the oceans. By eliminating carbon emissions, solar PV systems PV) Technology is a Clean Energy also do not contribute to ocean acidification. Since Choice ocean acidification is a direct result of human carbon emissions, and since the emerging consequences of acidification are so drastic, this benefit of solar PV carries particular strength.


Robert Arthur Stayton talks with Big Blend Radio about how Solar PV does not contribute to pollution. Listen to his interview and read his points below, as featured in his book "Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to Dynamic Solar Power."

3. Solar PV does not pollute the air. Solar PV systems emit zero air pollution during operation. Because they consume only pure light and no chemical fuel, they emit no hydrocarbons, ozone, particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, or sulfur oxides as fossil fuels do. Solar PV would also eliminate the airborne mercury emitted by coal power plants, as well as acid rain. Smog would also be greatly reduced since most of it comes from burning fossil fuels. Battery-electric vehicles recharged with solar PV would largely eliminate air pollution from the transportation sector. 4. Solar PV does not pollute the water. Unlike fossil fuels, solar PV doesn’t contribute to water pollution. PV panels are sealed in glass, so rainwater never comes in contact with the active material. The only potential for water pollution can come during manufacturing of the panels. The semiconductor industry has proactively set its own water-quality standards to treat any water that is to be released. New companies that haven’t yet invested in on-site treatment ship the waste to a treatment facility. By displacing fossil fuels, solar electricity will eliminate water pollution routinely generated by oil, coal, and natural gas production.

1. Solar PV does not contribute to global warming. Solar PV systems emit zero carbon dioxide during operation. Thus solar PV can shut down the primary driving force behind global warming and climate change. What about the energy used to make PV panels? If fossil fuels are used to make PV panels, those fuels will emit carbon dioxide. Studies have shown that it takes 2 to 2.5 years of operation for a crystalline silicon PV panel’s output to match the energy used to make the panel. With an estimated lifetime of 30 years, that means more than 90% of the energy produced by a PV panel is entirely free of pollution. If solar 5. Solar PV does not produce radioactive waste. panels are manufactured using solar electricity, in a The biggest safety issue of nuclear power has yet kind of PV “breeder” factory powered by PV, then to be faced. the PV panels coming out of that factory are 100% carbon-free. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 40

Author of "Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to Dynamic Solar Power,” Robert Arthur Stayton Long-term storage of highly radioactive waste from has a master’s degree in physics the power plants has not even begun. The scientific and has taught college courses in and political problems of finding a site for a nuclear physics, energy, and solar waste dump haven’t been solved despite 40 years energy. Robert and his wife built of effort and expense. And once a dump accepts a passive solar home have been waste, it must be monitored for thousands of years living with solar energy since to protect our descendants from exposure. Solar then. He drives a solar-charged Plug-in Prius, heats electricity would halt the growth of that stockpile his water with a solar water heating system, and and reduce the exposure of the population to bakes his bread in his solar oven. Visit radioactive transports and nuclear terrorists.

Hi-Five to Solar Power Continued


It complicates care quite a bit if it hasn’t been vaccinated on schedule. We must notify the health department, which decides whether the animal can be quarantined or, in rare cases, euthanized. Having a current rabies status simplifies things and greatly protects your pet.

What to Do if Your Pet is Injured by Wildlife

Dr. Schoeffler warns against using home remedies: “Bite wounds almost always require antibiotic therapy, prescribed by a veterinarian. Never give your pet anything over-the-counter without direction from a vet.

Listen to Dr. Schoeffler on Big Blend Radio!

Pets and wildlife are far more likely to encounter each other during the warmer months, and it can end badly when it happens. Dr. Gretchen Schoeffler, an emergency and critical care veterinarian with the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, says any pet that has tangled with a wild animal should be seen by a vet as soon as possible, even if its injuries seem minor:

“You may be bitten if you try to remove porcupine quills yourself—they do hurt. Your pet will probably need to be heavily sedated. And even vets can’t get all of the quills, which can migrate under the skin. I have seen them migrate through the heart, the lungs, and the brain.” What’s the best thing owners can do for their pets? “Keep them confined or on a leash. Minimize the chances of those interactions and of having to see an ER vet.”

“When an animal bites there is crushing to all the tissue under the skin, including vital organs like intestines. Even when there’s just a small hole, we sometimes see serious injuries and loss of life. Learn more at The assumption will be that your pet could have been exposed to rabies. PAGE 41

New Report: EPA Must Protect Drinking Water and Downstream Communities from Power Plant Pollution.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Barbara Gottlieb - Director of Environment & Health at Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Abel Russ - Attorney at the Environmental Integrity Project, about their report ‘Selling Our Health Down The River’.


Power plants discharge more than 5.5 billion pounds of pollutants into U.S. waterways every year, contributing to the contamination of more than 23,000 miles of rivers and 185 water bodies whose fish are too toxic to eat. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) weighs the nation’s first limits on toxic water pollution from power plants -- due in September -- a new report details the damage caused by the wastewater and the need for strong regulations to protect public health. The report, “Selling Our Health Down the River,” presents evidence that EPA has been underestimating the public health benefits of controlling metals including arsenic and hexavalent chromium (which can increase the risk of cancer), as well as lead and mercury (which can cause brain damage) released by power plants into rivers, streams, and lakes. While EPA has estimated that controlling these pollutants would provide $14 million to $20 million worth of health benefits per year, a more accurate assessment would likely far exceed $300 million annually, according to the report, which was written by Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club, Earthjustice and Clean Water Action.


"EPA has a historic opportunity to update Clean Water Act protections and to make sure our nation's drinking water systems and their consumers aren't bearing the burden and footing the bill to clean up coal plant water pollution," said Clean Water Action Water Programs Director Jennifer Peters. "EPA must put the prevention of contamination and public health protection before the interests of an industry that has had a free pass to poison our nation's waters for decades." The current wastewater pollution guidelines for power plants have not been updated since 1982 and do not restrict discharges of heavy metals, despite the fact that the electric power industry is responsible for the majority of toxic water pollution from industrial sources. “For more than 30 years, power plants have dumped toxic chemicals into our waters, even though there are laws on the books that require the industry to clean up its act,” said Thom Cmar, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on this issue. “This report shows the EPA the enormous benefits of finally righting this wrong, and why cleaning-up the nation’s biggest water polluters is a no-brainer.”

The benefits to public health, downstream communities, and the economy justify the largest possible reduction of toxic discharges. Unfortunately EPA's analysis only estimated the economic value of three specific human health benefits. EPA disregarded the positive impact of, among other things, safer drinking water and fish that are safer to eat in waterways downstream from power plants. When the full range of benefits is taken into account, the strongest possible regulations are justified. “Americans will be much healthier because of this rule, and that has a huge economic benefit," said Abel Russ, the lead author of the report and Attorney at Environmental Integrity Project. “If you add it all up, looking at the human health benefits alone, the rule will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic value each year.” For a copy of the report, visit:

The proposed rule, formally the Effluent Limitations Guidelines for the Steam Electric industry, or “ELG,” contains a menu of options that the agency is considering. The authors of the report urge the EPA to choose the strongest possible protections against water toxics from power plants, which are outlined in the agency’s proposal as options 4 and 5. Both would eliminate almost all heavy metal water pollution from the industry. “Strong clean water laws are about a child’s right to grow up healthy and holding polluters accountable for decades of toxic dumping,” said Casey Roberts, an author of the report and staff attorney at the Sierra Club. “As things stand today, thousands of lives are unnecessarily put at risk due to outdated policies and irresponsible polluters. In September, EPA has a chance to change that for the better.” "Coal-burning power plants are pouring poisonous heavy metals into our waterways. These toxic substances – like mercury, lead and arsenic – are putting at risk the health of our children and the developing brains of our babies", said Barbara Gottlieb, Director of Environment and Health at Physicians for Social Responsibility. "We need robust, effective protection from the EPA to get this dangerous pollution under control." PAGE 43

Born Free Rescues Three Young Cheetah from the Devastating Illegal Wildlife Trade


Three young cheetah are living at Born Free Foundation's Wildlife Rescue Centre in Ethiopia, following a dramatic rescue mission pulled together by Born Free Ethiopia and partners at the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA). Originally confiscated from illegal trade as cubs in the remote reaches of Somaliland, the three females were transported to safety in a specially adapted Land Rover Defender and placed with Guenther Wirth of NGO German Agro Action. Over the years, Guenther has taken charge of many confiscated animals in Somaliland, returning them to health prior to their relocation to Ensessakotteh, Born Free's Rescue Centre west of Addis Ababa. The cheetah's arrival at Ensessakotteh coincided with the official opening of a new on-site Visitor and Education Centre, which was attended by VIP guests, including former President of the FDRE, Girma Wolde-Giorgis and legendary actress and founder of Born Free, Virginia McKenna OBE.

Adam M. Roberts, CEO of the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA, talks with Big Blend Radio about Cheetah Conservation! The center, known as ‘The Treehouse,' enables the team at Ensessakotteh to educate thousands of school children and visitors alike, on the importance of conservation and care for endangered animals, such as the rescued cubs. Born Free's Ensessakotteh Centre in Ethiopia cares for wild animals who have been rescued from trade. The facility currently cares for 11 cheetah, alongside rescued lions, primates, birds of prey, and many other species.


Born Free Ethiopia Country Representative, Dr. Zelealem Tefera, who helped organize the cheetah's hand-over at the Ethiopia-Somaliland border, explained, "The illegal trade in cheetah is nothing short of alarming. East Africa is being stripped of their fragile population to line the traders' pockets and supply the irrational demand for exotic pets in the Middle East. This is illegal, unsustainable, and cruel. It has to stop." Adam M. Roberts, CEO of the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA, said, "We are clamping down on this barbaric trade in vulnerable wild animals. Cheetah cubs are snatched at a very young age from the wild, with up to 70% of these cubs found dead during confiscations. Recruitment back to the wild population is therefore virtually obliterated and this will ultimately result in the eventual extinction of cheetah from the Horn of Africa. I am proud that the Born Free Ethiopia team is leading the way in tackling the illegal trade headon." While the care of these animals is a key priority for Born Free, it is also vital that this illegal trade is tackled head-on in this region. To that effect, Born Free and partners at EWCA are about to launch the Border Point Project, having secured three years of funding from DEFRA's Illegal Wildlife Challenge Fund in the UK. Headed by Fetene Hailu, this project will tackle illegal trade at key border point crossings into and out of Ethiopia. Hailu said, "Born Free has just taken in three cheetah. While we could say these are the lucky ones, what does their confiscation and rescue really reflect?

That others have died along the way and their removal may well mean the poachers are out there now, looking for replacements to supply the demand. While all aspects of trade must be tackled, the Border Point Project will be vital in closing down the trade routes from Ethiopia. We must make trade non-viable for the people who snatch these animals and try to take them over our borders." The Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA are committed to ending the illegal trade in wild animals and caring for those individuals who are misplaced by this practice. Learn more about the Born Free Foundation at and about Born Free USA at


Adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center is a unique all-volunteer nonprofit organization that is dedicated to facilitating hands-on experience for learning about the desert, earth, and sky.


August 8: Hidden Treasures of the Night Sky August 15: The Summer Triangle August 22: First Quarter Moon & Saturn September 5: Deep Sky Highlights September 12: Globular Clusters & Galaxies This 15-acre site features a 15-foot diameter operable fiberglass observatory dome that houses a September 19: Crescent Moon & Saturn 14” telescope for stargazing, as well telescope pads for stargazers to set up their telescopes and an orrery where one can step inside the solar system. At a scale of 20 billion to one, the orrery is representation of the solar system that is continuously updated to show the true position, inclination, and relationship of the four inner planets. Hundreds of stepping stones mark their orbits in 4day increments; tiny orbs show their size relative to the sun. The property also features a nature trail that showcases plants that are native to both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, a Japanese dry landscape meditation garden, and a sculpture garden of astronomical themed steel sculptures by artist Simi Dabah. For more information including observing sessions, group and school tours, regular star parties and educational programs, call 760-367-7222 or visit .


SAVING FROGS Yosemite National Park is restoring the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog to alpine lakes within the park. Once the most common frog in mountain lakes throughout the Sierra Nevada, introduced predators and diseases caused their population to decline by over 95 percent. Park experts are encouraged by the results of initial restoration efforts and estimate that the population in Yosemite could become self-sustaining within ten years.

Like the better-known California red-legged frog, made famous by Mark Twain in his story the “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County,” Park Biologist Rob Grasso said “the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog was once so numerous it was difficult to walk around a lake without stepping on them. Today we know these frogs are a key part of healthy mountain lake ecosystems and we are confident that we can restore these frogs in Yosemite so that future generations can experience seeing them in high abundance once again.”

Restoring the frogs to their native habitat is a two stage process. Initially, park scientists identify and restore suitable lakes where the frogs are absent, and then reintroduce about 20 adult frogs per site, with adults collected from well-established populations elsewhere in the park. They are given a micro-chip similar to those used for pets, before being released into their new home. Seven lakes are ready to support frog populations and frogs have been successfully reintroduced at two of those sites. Park scientists plan to reintroduce frogs The Yosemite Conservancy, the park’s at two more of these sites in the coming years, philanthropic partner, is a major supporter of this expecting the frogs to recolonize the remaining project. Photo courtesy NPS. three lakes on their own, from nearby sources.


By Nancy J. Reid The trails that were blazed to settle this vast country provide an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of those who were willing to take huge risks to better their lives, in the “pursuit of happiness.” Free Land! Gold! Adventure! The promise of rich farmland, escape from crowded cities in the east, and gold, lured from 350,000 to 500,000 emigrants from the eastern United States to the west between the 1840s and 1870s. These adventuresome people crossed over mountains and plains, following rivers on foot, horseback, or in ox-drawn, covered wagons. They traveled over 2000 miles, taking months to get from Kansas or Missouri to California, running into all kinds of obstacles, from floods, wagons breaking down, illness, and losing their way, to conflicts with Native Americans. This is the greatest migration of people in American history.


Big Blend Radio interview with Park Ranger Kristen Sanderson who talks about Fort Churchill and Buckland Station.

The California National Historic Trail takes you across ten states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming) where over 1,000 miles of trail ruts and traces of this great journey can still be seen. In Nevada, you can visit Fort Churchill and Buckland Station, just about half an hour North of Yerington on US Route 95 ALT. Both the fort and the station are stops on the Pony Express National Historic Trail and the California National Historic Trail. Fort Churchill State Historic Park is also a Nevada State Park, which includes Buckland Station. Buckland Station was a way station for the Overland Stage Company on the Overland Route. PAGE 48

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Fort Churchill and Buckland Station Continued.. This mass migration of peoples was encouraged by the United States government, so it follows that the government would help protect its people, as well as make sure they had the services they needed. The time was ripe for entrepreneurs, one of such was Samuel S. Buckland. Buckland settled at what is now known as Buckland Station (above) in 1859. He started a ranch, but his main objective was to establish a station for the Overland Stage Company. He operated a tent hotel, but also built the first bridge across the Carson River downstream from Genoa, which he operated as a toll bridge. A wagon train came through Buckland Station with two sisters, part of a weary group. Eliza and Margaret Prentice had walked all the way from the east, doing the camp work, cooking, and washing to pay their way. In 1860 Samuel Buckland built a large log cabin and married Miss Eliza Prentice.

Rendition of the Pyramid Lake War.

The same year trouble brewed with the Paiutes. Three men from Williams Station, a Carson River outpost 30 miles east of Carson City, kidnapped two Paiute girls, and refused to release them. The Paiutes retaliated by killing the three men, burning down the station, and rescuing the girls. Rumors were rife and Buckland Station became the assembly point where 105 volunteers gathered with plans to avenge the deaths of the Williams Station As you visit Buckland Station and Fort Churchill, men. This skirmish is known as the Pyramid Lake you can get a feel for the lifestyle of the settlers and War. soldiers as they worked to bring civility and The volunteers attacked the Paiutes and suffered a normalcy to an unsettled territory. Even though Fort major defeat. Hostilities were at an all time high and Churchill was built mainly as a show of force, and regular troops were called in. Captain Joseph there were never any battles fought there, it was Stewart and his Carson River Expedition were built as a permanent installation. It was an ordered to establish Fort Churchill with the duty to important supply depot for the Nevada Military protect the Carson River settlers and Buckland District (especially during the Civil War), a Pony Station, that had become a remount station on the Express stop, and a base for troops tasked with Pony Express Route. Eventually Buckland Station patrolling the overland routes. opened a store to supply travelers, settlers and the soldiers serving at Fort Churchill. Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 49

Fort Churchill and Buckland Station Continued‌ The adobe buildings (above) were built on stone foundations in the form of a square facing a central parade ground. The fort had barracks for 200 men, a guardhouse, officers quarters, and a cemetery. As the railroad and telegraph came in, the need for the fort and the Pony Express declined. The fort was dismantled and Samuel Buckland salvaged materials from the buildings to build the two-story house you can visit today.

One of the biggest problems for the pioneer families was the lack of timely letters and news from their families back east. The Pony Express, though short-lived, met that need for 19 months (from April 3, 1860 to November 20, 1861). Riders started out from San Francisco, riding east to St. Joseph, Missouri while other riders started out from the east, traveling the same route going west. There were stops along the way, where it is said, the riders were greeted with a waiting fresh mount and mail pouch. They dismounted, switched horses in a flash, and galloped off. They would ride for 75100 miles, swapping horses 8-10 times before trading off with another rider, and having a chance to rest at a station. The service eventually ran twice a week, delivering mail every ten days.

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Pony Express Riders PAGE 50

Fort Churchill and Buckland Station Continued.. Over the life of the Pony Express the service delivered over 33,000 pieces of mail traveling over 600,000 miles - 300 runs each way. Today you can tour Buckland Station, see the insides of the Buckland house, as well as walk through Fort Churchill and see exhibits at the Visitor Center. You can picnic next to the Carson River in shaded areas, or hike, camp, and watch the bird and wildlife in the area. This is a superb place to let history come alive for you. While there, make sure to visit nearby Yerington, a quaint town that is full of fun!

For more information visit:

The Bakery Gallery – Popular destination offering a delicious variety of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, chocolate truffles, desserts, and breads. They serve coffee and espresso and pre-fixe to-go dinners. 215 W. Goldfield Ave., Yerington, NV 89447. Tel: (775) 463-4070,


by Dana Dierkes, Public Affairs Specialist, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks Have you ever visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the southern Sierra Nevada in Central California? Imagine standing next to a towering giant sequoia tree over 2,000years-old—with its reddish-brown bark glowing brilliantly in the sunlight. Ponder what may have happened during its “lifetime.” Hike a short distance off a major trail and you might have only wildlife as company. Or, explore the wilderness for stellar views. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are a testament to nature's size, beauty, and diversity—1,370 to 14,494 feet in elevation—with huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world's largest trees.


Big Blend Radio Interview with Park Ranger Dana Dierkes, Sandy Blankenship – Sequoia Tourism Council, and Leah Launey – Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce.

Maybe you’ve visited before? If so, the “Big Trees” have grown bigger and better! Don’t miss the opportunity to explore other parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. This year and next, there are even more reasons to visit! Come celebrate several big park-related birthdays at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Sequoia National Park—America’s secondoldest national park—will be 125-years-old in late September 2015. And, Kings Canyon National Park celebrated its 75th Anniversary this year. For more information about Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and park anniversaries, call 559565-3341 or visit PAGE 52

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Photo by Mark Daniels, courtesy National Park Service. Here are a couple of special events planned:

In 2016, the National Park Service—“America’s Best Idea”-- turns 100!

Dark Sky Festival: September 11- 13, 2015 This weekend will include constellation tours, telescope viewings, solar observations, presentations by astronauts, kid’s activities, speakers on robotic Mars missions, model rocketbuilding, special Crystal Cave tours, nature walks, audio-visual presentations, photography presentations, and much more! Info: Sequoia National Park’s 125th Anniversary: September 26, 2015 Join us for a fun-filled day of various activities and events to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Sequoia National Park. The event will include a formal presentation, ranger-led programs, and more!

Did you know that Sequoia National Park played an important role in the development of the National Park System? In 1915, Stephen T. Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, embarked upon a campaign to promote America’s national parks as tourist destinations. At that time, around 30 national parks and national monuments existed. These sites were underfunded, understaffed, and in very bad condition—including looters, poachers, roads and trails in disrepair, and unsanitary lodging. These parks were managed by three different federal agencies with no common standards or policies. Stephen Mather dreamed of organizing the parks under one bureau capable of providing for their care but faced strong opposition. To sell the idea, he hired a publicist and created a promotion team of influential businessman; newspaper editors; magazine publicists; and local, state, and federal government leaders. He hoped this team would become the “voice” of the national parks. To do that, he had to inspire them first. In mid-July 2015, he took this group on a two-week trip into Sequoia National Park and the High Sierra wilderness. Mather’s plan worked—after the trip, numerous articles, publications, and lobbying efforts had a major impact. Thirteen months later, the National Park Service was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act of 1916.

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Find A Park Continued… Today, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation have embarked upon another campaign—“Find Your Park.” This public awareness and education campaign invites everyone to see that a national park can be more than a place—it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. National parks are more than vast landscapes—including historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide. Join the celebration by visiting a new park or your favorite one and share your story at




Linda Kissam discusses Denmark on Big Blend Radio!

Right now chefs are chopping and creating exciting menus. Waiters are polishing and the sommeliers sipping. Commuters are bicycling their bums off and fisherman are casting their hooks. The tulips are partying, the art in public places is speaking to our souls and the sea is offering up well-being. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? This is the new Denmark, it welcomes you and it’s the right place to experience a different kind of vacation. I just spent a week in Denmark. It was springtime and the living was easy. I had a bi-costal vacation… city time in Copenhagen, wharf side in Esbjerg. It was two opposites of a whole. One that was memorable indeed.

Let’s start by understanding that in 2014, the international global affairs magazine Monocle named Copenhagen the world's most livable city. In the July/August issue of The Monocle, Copenhagen was ranked number one in the magazine's ‘Quality of Life Survey 2014’, making Copenhagen the first three-time winner, thanks to, in their readers opinions, an unbeatable combination of culture, tolerance, quality public transport, green space, global connectivity and clever architecture. It’s also a great place to shop, people watch and relax into a very different kind of lifestyle than most US cities offer. It’s a bonus if you also like seafood and art in public places. You do not need a car. The bus system is great. Esbjerg, the fifth largest city in Denmark is a seaside town located in Southwest Denmark. It is about 160 miles from Copenhagen. It's Denmark's most important North Sea harbor and largest fishing port in addition to being the base for Denmark's significant oil and gas exploration in the North Sea. It consists of the Viking town of Ribe, National Park Wadden Sea and the unique beaches and art of the North Sea coast. The drive from Copenhagen to Esbjerg is an easy one on wide, well maintained highways. You will need a car while you are there to discover all the different sites.


This area is a place of salty contrasts, of narrow streets and wide, open beaches. Commanding, rugged North Sea landscapes meet idyllic towns steeped in history, pretty much says it all. The mysterious “Black Sun,” (vast flocks of starlings darken the skies) and the massive power of the North Sea are just two of the contrasting natural phenomena of this region. Your holidays will run the gamut of local art, shopping, outdoor recreation and local culinary indulgence. Copenhagen lends itself to a three-day stay, as does Esbjerg. Here are the must-see places in each. Try not to rush through things. Do a few sites well. Let Denmark feed your senses. I guarantee you’ll love this place.

Top Five ‘Must Dos’ in Copenhagen First things first. Book a hotel in the heart of Copenhagen. I suggest a stay at The Square as it places you in the heart of Copenhagen, just steps from Dagmar Theatre, Strøget outdoor shopping area and Tivoli Gardens. This 4-star mid-priced hotel is within close proximity of just about everything and comes with a very impressive breakfast. About 30 minutes from the airport. Speaking of the airport…unless you have done your homework on Danish transportation and don’t mind braving crowds and tons of fare zones, just suck it up and pay for a taxi or rent a car to go from the airport to your hotel.

3. Hop-on Hop-off Tour. About $35, but you get a discount with your Copenhagen Card. You'll get a relaxed guided view of Copenhagen's most famous sites. Think swirling towers and turrets, colorful architecture, beautiful harbors and tons of museums. You’ll also get to get off the bus to commune with the Little Mermaid (my personal favorite) to whom sailors appealed for forgiveness 1. Shopping starts us off (of course). "Strøget" is of their sins while they were in port! The Mermaid the world’s largest and oldest shopping center and route takes approximately 1 hour. The bus departs regularly from each stop (one is a few feet from The is a maze of several walking streets that run from Square Hotel) and your ticket is valid for 24 or 48 east to west. Its collection of shops and hours from first use. After you take the tour, you’ll restaurants will amaze and delight even the most know just what to go back to. jaded of shopping experts. Don’t miss the Royal Copenhagen shop and linger for tea. A real treat. 4. Tivoli Gardens. When I first saw/heard about this place, I thought, “Not for Me.” I was really, 2. Buy a Copenhagen Card. Free admission to 74 museums and attractions, free transport by train, really wrong. It was founded in 1843, is a national treasure and an international attraction. Fairy tale bus, harbor bus and Metro in the entire writer Hans Christian Andersen visited many times, Copenhagen Region – also from/to the airport, as did Walt Disney and many other celebrities who Discounts on car hire, restaurants and sights. all fell in love with the gardens. Part of Tivoli About $50. You’ll be entertained for days. Gardens' secret is that there is something for everyone. The scenery will take your breath away, quirky exotic architecture will catch your attention, the loud rides will make you smile, and lush gardens will sweep you off your feet. At night, thousands of colored lights create a fairy tale atmosphere that is memorable. Don’t miss having a special tea time and specialty coffee/cocoa moment. The shopping is great and the food (both casual and formal) are admirable.

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Must See Places in Denmark Continued

1. Man Meets the Sea gives the term “art in public places” a whole new concept. This massive, 5. Get your “Hippy” on. In 1971, squatters in somewhat mysterious landmark is about 30 feet Copenhagen set up the “free zone” of Christiania high and just sort of sits on a short rise looking out inside an old military base. It’s a kind of a city within to both the Wadden and North Seas. The sculpture Copenhagen—known as the infamous “free town.” was designed by Svend Wiig Hansen and unveiled About 900 residents strong, some of them heading in 1995, to celebrate Esbjerg's 100th anniversary into the fourth generation, it may be the largest and as an independent municipality. longest-lasting commune in history. To enter it you pass under a sign that reads, “You Are Now The big question is, why? Designed to portray man Leaving the European Union.” The people of meeting with nature, it has something of a mystical Christiania fly their own flag and use their own aura suggestive of ancient sphinxes and Easter currency. The main drag is “Pusher Street,” the Island figures. In good weather, the sculpture can biggest hash market on the planet. Some 40 shops be seen from as far away as 6 miles. There’s there run 24/7, selling 30 to 40 different brands of something very cool about sitting at the base of this hashish. Going via bike means you can explore the set of men. I loved it, so will you. Easy, free whole thing, but walking around is great fun. The parking. vibe is much more than the drugs. You’ll love the pastoral setting, funked out houses, dogs, kids, 2. Wadden Sea National Park is the largest music, bakeries, coffee shops and more. All very national park in Denmark. It's also a UNESCO friendly and open. World Heritage Site because of its vast ecological importance as the world's largest unbroken system Top Five ‘Must Dos’ in Esbjerg of intertidal sand and mud flats. It extends along the First things first. This is an easy drive from southern stretch of Denmark's West Coast, from Ho Copenhagen. Nice roads, beautiful scenery. You Bay to the German border. Unbeatable can also take a car ferry or train. Your rental car birdwatching. Lying in the center of Eastern Atlantic company will pay the very high toll bridge costs. I migratory routes, the Wadden Sea is one of the suggest a rental car or you’ll be taking a taxi most important tidal areas in the world. More than everywhere. Make sure you stay on the beach. I ten million migratory birds use the coastline as a liked the Hjerting Badehotel located right at the stopover each year. In addition to the abundant beach of Ho Cove featuring stunning views. A walk birdlife, the extensive shoreline hosts Denmark's on the beach with brisk North Sea breezes is largest population of spotted seals. Summer is the memorable and just a few steps from your room. best time to see everything. Cruises depart from Crummy Internet, but a great restaurant, free Esbjerg Harbor daily. Continued on Next Page… breakfast, spa and gift shop. PAGE 58

Photo: Ty Stange

Must See Places in Denmark Continued

5. Shopping is best when focused on local products, but is pretty limited for the die-hard Shopinista. Kongensgade is a pedestrianized 3. The Ribe Viking Center is about a 30-minute shopping street and has some dated 150 specialty drive from Esbjerg (Routes 24 & 11). It’s a must shops and eateries. Most are rather simple, this is see for all fans of ancient Nordic times and Viking not a high end place for shopping Divas. Kids and history. The center lets visitors experience a true teens will find plenty to shop for. Torvegade, partly taste of life in the Viking Age. Find authentic reconstructions of Viking settlements complete with pedestrianized, is also worth a visit. The two converge right around the main square in town. marketplaces, farmhouses and homes. Highlights include the International Viking Market, but visitors Shopping hours are on weekdays from 10 AM to around 5 PM. On Saturday, most shops close down also flock here from across the world for archery, at 2PM. Sunday nearly all shops remain closed. coin minting, falconry, and a range of hands-on activities. A fun outing. The good news is this 30-year old pedestrian street in Esbjerg is being modernized. Initially the stretch 4. Hjerting Strand is located on Ho Bay right in between Kongensgade and Smedegade are being front of the hotel I recommended. This beautiful done and should be finished in late 2015. The wind swept beach features a long pavement of the pedestrian street will resemble the wooden promenade and is perfect for relaxing or bottom of the Wadden Sea and will be divided into getting your beach groove on. The clusters of three visible zones. The middle will be used for untreated poles standing in the sand help visitors walking whereas the two outer zones will be recognize the tide changes and creates a fascinating rustic sculpture garden. The sea front is occupied by shops and cafes. New benches and plantings are also included in the plan. Side streets equipped with benches, stairs to the water, will offer sun-drenched areas for outdoor cafes, platforms for viewing, various active water sport play areas, biking – and simply for, “experiencing outlets and a few shops. A sea pool - suitable for city life.” persons in wheelchairs, is also featured. A special sea platform which, at low tide, lies like a piece of furniture on the beach, and at high tide like Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a an island in the water, is very cool. People watching professional travel, food, and wine writer based is great. Plenty of room for playing beach volleyball, out of Southern California, who specializes in kayaking, biking or trying your hand at kite surfing. easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit Speedboat sailing and water-skiing is permitted at Hjerting from March 1 till September 30. PAGE 59

By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours

Oils, Watercolours, Sketch Pad, Pen and Paper, Memory Card. Whatever Medium You Use, Fulfill your Artistic Appetite in Norfolk, England! This area has attracted artists and writers for many centuries. The landscape is such that the skies seem to go on forever and the natural colours are breathtaking. In East Anglia, it is impossible to travel far without coming across a ruined building, a picturesque village, a view across farmland, cottages, seascapes and landscapes, all calling out to be painted, drawn, photographed or described in words.


Glynn Burrows talks about Norfolk on Big Blend Radio!

During our days out, we take in a few of the ruined Churches in our area. We don’t have to go far as, there are over 700 Medieval Churches in Norfolk alone, and several of those are in ruins. Some of them are well kept but the more evocative are overgrown and hidden away, many along tiny dirt tracks and in the middle of fields.

Nearly all of my guests, after landing at a typical airport and travelling into Norfolk along some very uninspiring motorways and main roads, comment on the vibrant colours and beautiful views across the open countryside as we make our way through tiny villages and along narrow, tree-lined country lanes. By the time we arrive at the beautiful Castle Farm, the superlatives have been exhausted and guests are catapulted into another world. Suddenly, from the concrete jungle of a few hours ago, they are looking at a Georgian Farmhouse, set in hundreds of acres of farmland, beside a stream, in the middle of fields and with the ruins of a real Castle in the garden. You don’t really have to move at all to get inspiration! Just sitting in the garden, listening to the running water, watching birds flitting around the river bank, one can easily be convinced that time travel is possible! PAGE 60

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Another day, and we go to the seaside! We are very fortunate in that we have a very varied coastline, from golden sands, rocky shorelines, salt-marshes, cliffs and some beautifully noisy pebble beaches. (If you have never heard the noise made by the sea on stones, it can be deafening!) The opportunities for artists and photographers are endless. Days can be taken up with ruins alone, so let’s go and see some more! This time, we look at castles. We have everything in East Anglia, pre-historic earthworks, Norman castles and fortified houses. They never cease to fill me with awe. How on earth did those people, all those years ago, build such amazing structures? Some took generations to build and, even though, they are hundreds and in some cases, thousands of years old, they still stand as a reminder of those that constructed them.

Some of my own personal favourite places to visit, are the cottages and workplaces of the common folk who lived here in the past. How families of ten and more lived in tiny cottages, how a windmill worked, what was this or that building used for and why did they build that house in the middle of a field? Visiting a working museum is always a great experience and at Gressenhall, we have a museum of rural life. Watching, hearing and smelling the heavy horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock, is such an all-round experience for the senses and for the artists amongst us, the perfect place to find inspiration. This area has seen many very accomplished artists: Constable, Seago, Cotman, Munnings, Crome and many others. Note - None of my pictures have been altered in any way. The colours are all natural! Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to England, contact Glynn and visit

For the specialists, we can look at some aspects of serious study. It could be Medieval Church architecture, font covers, stone memorials, life in a C17th century stately house, the paintings of Constable or The Norwich School of Art. There are a never-ending number of subjects which could be studied in great depth in the area. One professor from the USA wanted to look at the furnishings of Medieval Churches and a Doctor of Law wanted to learn more about land holdings in the C13th, an author needed to visit medieval abbeys and monasteries to get the feel for them. What-ever it is that interests you, I can find places to visit which will add to your knowledge and area of study. If you are studying life in a country mansion, I can even arrange for you to stay in one as the guests of the owners! PAGE 61

To stroll the streets of Cuba—to hear the rumbling engines of its old American automobiles, the jazz, and the rumba—is to travel back in time. With access few others have had, Cynthia Carris Alonso has spent more than twenty years capturing Havana’s baroque splendor that celebrates the dreamy palette of Cuba. Published by Skyhorse Publishing, Passage to Cuba, opens the doors to an Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with exquisite but rarely seen place. The imagery is photographer Cynthia Carris Alonso and enjoy a tribute to a land with a complex history; and these select photographs as featured in her reflect a people that have an inspiring photobook ‘Passage to Cuba’. optimism, passion, generosity, curiosity, compassion, strength and resilience with All is documented here: the country’s dreamy color seemingly unlimited survival skills. palette of salmon pink, sky blue, apricot, and aqua green; it’s crumbling, baroque splendor; its scenic As an American photographer, accredited beauty; and the remnants of both Russian and journalist, and member of a Cuban family by American presence on the island. Alonso has also marriage, Alonso enjoyed rare access. She met recorded many of the country’s pivotal moments— and fell in love with her husband while in Cuba, and including Elian Gonzalez’s return to his father and her embrace of his country shines through. She Pope John Paul II’s historic tour. Passage to Cuba captures not just luxurious beaches and hotels, but will serve as a critical introduction to a vibrant land the resilience, passion, struggle, and survival of the that looms large, once, in imagination, but now in Cuban people. Her work reveals the contrast reality. between lush glamour and bright, authentic spaces where real Cubans reside. Continued on Next Page…



1. Yemaya - A dancer from Conjuntos Folklorico national dance group performs the rhythms of Yemayá, the sea goddess, wearing her representational blue colored dress at the Malecón wall along the Caribbean ocean, in Havana. Many Cubans celebrate and practice the traditions of Santería, a Spanish word meaning devotion to the saints, whose roots come from the Yoruba people of West Africa. When the slave trade brought many Africans to Cuba, Brazil, and other countries in the Caribbean, they also brought their spiritual belief system, which continued parallel to Catholicism. For centuries, Santería was practiced as a "secret" religion as a way to avoid religious persecution. It survived as an oral tradition, passed down from one generation to another, through initiation ceremonies that created a tightly bound community and distinct lineages based on ancestors. In Cuba, statistics suggest that as much as 80% of the population has some connection to Santería.

2. Bosque de la Habana (Rainforest in Havana). Located in the middle of Cuba’s busy and noisy capital city, is a remarkable rainforest full of green trees, which have been growing for hundreds of years, with grass-covered earth, walkways and environmental beauty preserved by the Cuban government.

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3. Los Muñequitos de Matanzas - Grammy award-nominated group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas is Cuba's foremost rumba and folkloric group from the provence of Matanzas. For more than forty-five years, its members have performed their repertoire which includes sacred songs and dances representative of orishas, and the more secular Cuban rumba, which arose on the docks of Matanzas. Cuban slaves, forbidden to play their traditional African drums, beat rhythms on boxes as they were unloading them from ships, and sang improvised songs about daily life. Eventually, those loose jam sessions evolved into one of Cuba’s greatest musical forms, rumba. This group’s music and dance are considered to be the consummate expression of Matanzas rumba.

4. Haricub Wheat Factory - Food from North Dakota, United States, arrives for distribution at the Haricub wheat factory in Regla, Cuba, after U.S. politicians approved reforms to the United States trade embargo against Cuba, in 2001, allowing American farmers to sell food to Cuba for cash.

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5. Callejón de Hamel (Hamel's Alley) is in the Cayo Hueso neighborhood of Havana, where Cuban painter and muralist, Salvador Gonzales Escalona, lives and continues his community project: an ever changing and growing artistic celebration and expression of the Afro-Cuban culture. "Salvador" as everyone calls him, began this socio-cultural project in April, 1990. His inspiration comes from his African heritage with a style that is a mix of Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstraction. Salvador welcomes his artistic neighbors to collaborate with him as they expand their remarkable and vibrant displays of sculptures, paintings, and murals to represent the symbols and stories of the African religions Santería, Palo de Monte and the Abakua society.

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6. Three Kids with a Flag A diverse group of children wave the Cuban flag in a parade against the US embargo in Havana.


7. Apple Logo - An ironic view showing the Apple logo in an old American car, now used as a taxi in Havana. Apple products cannot be purchased in Cuba due to the U.S. economic embargo. Moreover, access to computers, technology and the internet are limited for most Cubans. Yet, the Apple logo sticker, which comes with every Apple product purchase, is the new status symbol in Havana.

Cynthia Carris Alonso has been a photographer and photo editor for more than twenty years, working for publications such as Newsweek, Vanity Fair, BusinessWeek, and, and exhibiting her photographs around the United States and in Canada and Latin America. Visit


Listen to Steve Schneickert as he recalls the Hollywood History of Walt Disney's 'Swiss Family Robinson' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl,' Martin Scorsese’s 'Shutter Island', film 'Island of Lost Souls,’ and the TV series ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and ‘Fantasy Island’. PAGE 66

TRAVEL SAFE! Simple Self-Defense Skills Women Should Know When Traveling Traveling can frazzle your brain. Between trying to remember if you locked up the house or put your ID back into your wallet, thinking about personal safety in airport parking lots is the last thing on most women’s minds. However, poorly lit parking garages, arms full of luggage, confusing parking signs, forgetting where you parked and keys buried in the bottom of an overflowing purse can make women easy targets for predators. To help women stay safe while traveling, Krav Maga Worldwide, the industry leader in self-defense and fitness, has put together a list of personal safety tips to keep in mind when at the airport, train station or in an unfamiliar city.


Listen to Krav Maga Worldwide lead instructor Wayne Miller on Big Blend Radio!

3. Don't wear your purse so that the strap crosses your body. Wearing a purse strap across your body makes you more connected to your bag. If someone tries to steal your purse, you will be pulled with the strap. You can become unbalanced and put into a vulnerable position or you could end up in a physical altercation with the assailant. If your purse is draped on one shoulder you can easily let go of it. 4. Dress casually and comfortably. During transit is not the time to make a fashion statement. It is better to leave the high heels and flashy statement making pieces at home or in your luggage until you arrive at your destination. Jeans and sneakers will help you blend in and if needed enable you to make a quick getaway. Also, avoid wearing large and expensive looking jewelry that can draw additional attention to you.

5. Always keep one arm and hand free of luggage and other gear. Many people travel with multiple bags, purses, lap top cases and other 1. Stay aware of your surroundings by scanning paraphernalia. But, if your arms and hands are tied your environment. No matter how busy you are, up with bags you have no means of defending do not allow your mind to wander. It might seem yourself from an attacker. Luggage that can stack important in the moment to be making a to-do list in together securely and be pulled by one handle is a your head, but if you are worrying about what you safer choice than wearing and carrying numerous need to do when you get home you might not bags on your person. notice someone following you to your vehicle, reading your email over your shoulder or sliding a WAYNE MILLER is a Lead Instructor and Program hand into your purse. Development Coordinator for Krav Maga Worldwide™. In 2010, at the age of 30, he was 2. Park in well-lit areas. If you are renting a car awarded the"Krav Maga Worldwide™ Instructor of while traveling, when you park avoid spots next to the Year." Wayne is a third degree black belt and vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted has worked with law enforcement, military, and windows. You want to keep your car and yourself civilians. He helped Sean Penn prepare for his film as visible to as many people as possible and as The Gunman. Krav Maga Worldwide continues to such you should also avoid parking next to tall develop, promote and implement self-defense and shrubs or plants that could block views of your fitness programs. Visit vehicle. PAGE 67

‘It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men.’

Steamy vaudeville and Hollywood starlet Mae West, born August 17, 1893, is played by Steve Schneickert.

Big Blend Radio Host Lisa Smith, forever stuck in the Big Blend Time Travel Machine, celebrates her birthday with travel mascot Priscilla the Pink Sock Monkey, (her birthday as well) by visiting celebrities born in August!

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Jazz trumpeter, “Satchmo” aka Louis Armstrong, born August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, LA, is played by musician Jeff Giese.

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Popular TV Chef and author, born August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, CA, is played by writer Eva Eldridge. PAGE 68

Celebrating their birthdays, Lisa D. Smith and sents! Priscilla visit Hollywood icon Mae West. Mae Me want pre had a unique New York upbringing. Her mother was an aspiring actress that never made it and her father was a prizefighter that was more of an enforcer for crime bosses than a boxer. At a young age Mae was exposed to many vaudeville acts and learned the art of satire, double entendre and innuendo. This served her stop the the well as she grew up to write and star in her own A hard childhood didn’t music of “Satchmo”, one of the greatest plays. jazz and blues performers of all time. Her wit and willingness to break the moral code Growing up in a home for waifs, Louis was able to learn music and follow his dreams of of the times by using sexual references becoming a musician. He played at parties, eventually led her to being the second highest dances, funeral marches, honky-tonks and on earner in the USA, following William Randolph riverboats. His ability to hit incredibly high Hearst, by the time she was 38. Some of her plays were banned but she ended up starring in notes on the trumpet and to sing in a scat style with that raspy voice, forever changed jazz and several plays and movies and towards the end the concept of American pop music, influencing of her career she appeared on several TV singers like Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Frank shows. She played opposite Louis Armstrong, Cary Grant, W .C. Fields, Ed Wynn and more. To Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. He was the one singer able to surpass the Beatles with his this day she has a cult following. recording of Hello, Dolly!, that reached the No. 1 slot in May 1964, knocking the Beatles off the Click to Listen to top at the height of Beatlemania. Big Blend’s Time Travel Play! Sock Monkey Enter the weird and wonderful, pop-art icon, Surprise! writer, film maker, and more, Andy Warhol. The


Julia McWilliams was also a real firecracker of a person. She was highly motivated, talented, and had a determination to be a famous writer. Her father was a real estate investor in California and her mother inherited a paper company. They were wealthy and Julia was sent to a school for girls where she was the tallest in the class, a real prankster and very athletic. After finishing college she ended up working in an advertising company but was fired for gross insubordination.

son of hardworking Slovakian immigrants, this imaginative man made people look at art in a different way. His well-known paintings of mass produced items like Campbell Soup cans, vacuum cleaners and Coca Cola bottles brought him fame and fortune. He became a fixture on the Hollywood scene and eventually painted garish portraits of the “stars” like Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger and more. His portrait "Eight Elvises" eventually resold for $100 million in 2008, making it one of the most valuable paintings in world history. ‘Ev

At the onset of World War II, Julia volunteered as a research assistant for the Office of Strategic Services, where she delivered topsecret documents between U.S. government officials and their intelligence officers. Here she met and eventually married fellow employee Paul Child. They moved to France where Julia mastered French Cooking and with two friends wrote 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' . She publicized the book on Boston TV by preparing an omelet on set. The response by viewers to her humor and passion for cooking, led to her own TV show and a long TV and writing career. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame. PAGE 69

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Illustrator turned 60’s pop art icon, born August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol, is played by singer Michel Ely.

Secrets of Palomar Mountain, California

The Big Eye Palomar Observatory owes its existence to one man of extraordinary vision, George Ellery Hale. In By Brad Bailey his extraordinarily productive life he personally set in motion the great scientific achievements of the Palomar Mountain is one of the most striking Yerkes 40 inch telescope, the Mount Wilson 60 and natural environments in Southern California. 100 inch telescopes, the re-founding of Caltech as Rising over a mile into the bright western sky, its a premier research institution, and his crowning steeply forested south face offers unparalleled achievement, the 200 inch telescope on Palomar vistas of the blue Pacific Ocean far below. It is a Mountain. Immensely significant in the popular place of rich forests, dripping springs and the imagination, the Palomar project was not to be finest artesian waters on the planet. surpassed in peacetime scale or scope, until the Apollo program placed a man on the moon. Many have journeyed to Palomar Mountain seeking the heavens. For some the calling is highly personal A study in contrasts Hale (1868 - 1938) was by any and for others purely professional. By the mid-1920s standard a giant of vision and personal energy. the mountain was being eyed by men of science as Born to wealth, he rejected business to study the the site for the greatest scientific endeavor of the heavens. Hale was plagued by nervous exhaustion twentieth century. The goal was to extract secrets and visions of taunting elves in the night, yet he from the universe using a machine of was the galvanizing force behind the world's four unprecedented scale and precision. Never before largest telescopes, culminating with the massive had anything so grand been attempted, and man's 200 inch project on Palomar Mountain. understanding of the universe would be altered forever. A host of others equally significant are linked to the Palomar project. There is the celestial pulsing orb, discovered by scientists and briefly code-named LGM for "Little Green Men," and the erstwhile cafe owner who became famous for his close encounters with the unknown. PAGE 70

The annals of the Palomar Observatory project contain a host of singular personalities without whom the glass giants would never have been realized. Working alone and in secret, a one-armed master optician named Schmidt would only reveal his technology in exchange for funding a huge machine of his design. And there was the cranky, practically deaf architect who inspired major elements of the telescope and dome, then created astonishing mechanical sketches based solely on blueprints. Remarkably, a former day laborer would obsessively grind and figure the 14 ton mirror for nearly a decade. Illegal Aliens On the flip side of the cosmological coin, “Professor” George Adamski ran a small store and camp ground at the bottom of the mountain called Palomar Gardens, yet he found time to promote his close encounters with his new “friends from out of town.” His first book Flying Saucers Have Landed (1953) is lauded as a ground breaking work documenting the presence of highly technological beings that frequently visit the earth. At one point officials of the FBI and US Air Force debriefed Adamski at Palomar Gardens regarding his observations. His experiences having predated the Soviet Sputnik satellite and international space race by a decade, in 1962 Adamski announced he was scheduled to attend a conference on Saturn, which was found to be incredible by many of his then supporters. A Place in Time Palomar Mountain has been a haven to rustlers, ranchers and recluses, as well as practitioners of high science and promoters of extra-terrestrials. The mountain continues to be a special place with a magical attraction to many looking for inspiration and solitude. Today the mountain hosts a small, thriving community with an eclectic mix of about 300 citizens, some of whom are descendants from the original nineteenth-century pioneer families, and other, more recent pilgrims, attracted by life on

Brad Bailey is the author of ‘Images of America: Palomar Mountain’ (Arcadia Press) and a fourth generation Palomar Mountain resident and president of the Bailey Historical Society, LLC, which operates Bailey’s Palomar Resort, the family’s century old destination resort. He maintains an extensive private historical archive and museum on the site of the original 1888 township of Palomar Mountain, and includes here many previously unpublished glass plate images, personal remembrances, maps, fliers and postcards that follows the fabric of this vibrant community’s past up to the present day. Learn more at © 2011 by Brad Bailey. Photo of G.E.Hale courtesy of the California Institute of Technology


Historic Highlights of Casa de Coronado Museum in Yuma, AZ


By Lisa D. Smith Known as the ‘Gateway to the Great Southwest,’ Yuma is located between San Diego and Tucson, and borders Mexico with the lower Colorado River running between the city, the Quechan Indian Reservation, and Imperial County, California. Situated at the narrows of the Colorado River, Yuma was a historic and ideal crossing point for those traveling west during the gold rush, as well as other pioneers and opportunists. Today, the city thrives as a sunny travel destination, an agricultural hub for winter crops, and as a military station. Home to the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, the Yuma Territorial Prison, Quartermaster Depot and a plethora of historic sites and museums, the area is rich in history, and is a go-to place for history lovers. Originally from Czechoslovakia, the Peach family settled in Yuma in 1912. John Peach was a tailor and Marie was a buttonhole maker. They opened Famous Cleaners in 1916, and also managed the Vindom Hotel downtown in exchange for boarding. In 1920, they purchased the Virginia Hotel and Marie opened the only dress shop in town.

Listen to Yvonne Peach discuss the Casa De Coronado Museum on Big Blend Radio! In 1938, they built the Coronado Motor Hotel, which went through a number of expansions over the years. One of the first hotels to join the Best Western chain, the Coronado Motor Hotel has since returned to its original brand of being Yuma’s destination hotel, and is owned and operated by John and Marie’s son John, and his wife Yvonne. The historic Spanish-style hotel features 127 guest rooms on both sides of Fourth Avenue, and the property also includes the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill (the historic site of where the first airplane landed in Arizona), as well as the Casa de Coronado Museum.

Anyone who has met Yvonne Peach, knows she is an avid fan of history. Not only did she create the In 1932, they bought the rights to tear down the old property’s Casa de Coronado Museum, she also has a vast collection of historic photos and Southern Pacific Railroad Hotel for the lumber, in order to build the Peach Auto Court on the outskirts memorabilia on display at the restaurant. of Yuma.

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Casa De Coronado Museum Continued The Casa de Coronado Museum is in the cottage that used to be the original lobby of the hotel, as well as the home of the Peach family. The museum features a unique collection of travel and hospitality memorabilia, southwestern artifacts, and vintage collectibles. In no particular order, here are just a few of the highlights you will see at the Casa de Coronado Museum – quite a trip down memory lane! James Remind-O-Timer Clock (Photo Top Right) Cab driver Henry C. James Jr. created this clock in 1937, as a mechanism for allowing multiple alarms for a single event. It was used in a variety of industries, including winemaking, but in the world of hospitality, hotel clerks used it to set alarms for guest wake up calls! Apparently it was quite loud, and sounded similar to a buzzer. And to think that today we use our smartphones to wake us up! Silk Postcards - (Photo Middle Right) The Casa de Coronado Museum has a few historic silk embroidered postcards, known as ‘silks’ to collectors. They must have come from Czechoslovakia with John and Marie Peach. The one pictured here is a Christmas card with a dainty silk handkerchief inside. These embroidered postcards were first made in 1900 and were most popular during WWI. Some were machine embroidered and some were handmade.

Bathtub Jacuzzi ( Photo Lower Left) Oh my, have we come far in the world of Jacuzzis! This vintage portable Jacuzzi is from the 1950s, and was used in homes and hotels to create a whirlpool spa bath. The Coronado Motor Hotel supplied them for their guests. Once clipped to a grounding wire, guests would lift it up and put it in the tub of water, and get in and relax from their day of traveling. I’m not too sure I would have tried that – seems like a great way to add some curls to my hair though!

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Casa De Coronado Museum Continued Vapo-Cresolene Vaporizer ( Photo Above) In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Cresolene, a dark liquid made from coal tar, was used in a number of ways to treat various health issues. The Vapo-Cresolene vaporizer, often called a lamp, was used to heat the liquid cresol with an open flame. The fumes were said to cure respiratory illnesses such as colds, pneumonia and whooping cough. In 1908, a report from the American Medical Association debunked the health claims however, the vaporizers continued to be used through the 1950s. Magic Fingers Massaging Assembly (Right) I’m sure you’ve heard about or seen vibrating hotel beds in movies from the 60s and 70s. Well, you can thank John Houghtaling who invented the Magic Fingers Massaging Assembly in 1958. The device would be mounted into the hotel bed’s box spring, and the guest would put a quarter in the coin box and enjoy 15 minutes of a shaking mattress. Marie Peach acquired these when they annexed another hotel as part of their expansion process, but apparently they never did get installed into the rooms at the Coronado Motor Hotel. Yvonne Peach welcomes visitors and group tours to the Casa de Coronado Museum. Admission is free and tours are by appointment. Call 928-783-4453 or visit PAGE 74

Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona! Hangar Sports Bar 24 Beers on Tap ~ Daily Drink Specials Appetizers & Entrees Televised Sports Events ~ Live Music & Entertainment

Captain’s Lounge Top-shelf Cocktails ~ Fine Wines ~ Specialty Coffees

Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Click to Watch Video!

Win! Win! Win! Sign up on for our Captain’s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia.

Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427 PAGE 47 PAGE 75

You wake up in the morning and realize it's going to be another hot, muggy day. You ask yourself, "What can I wear that will help keep me cool?" You don't feel comfortable in shorts but also want to look fashionable when going out in public.

There are some great looking summer dresses in the stores. Some even have built-in bras for added comfort and support. Many are made of cool cotton fabrics both in prints and bright colors. Capri pants are also a great choice. I prefer cotton with a little spandex for that little bit of stretch. Linen is also nice because the fabric "breathes" and helps keep you stay cool. Linen does wrinkle a little but that is actually an acceptable feature of the fabric.

By Aggie Garcia

Stay away from dark colors in hot weather. Dark colors attract heat and light colors such as white and pastels reflect the heat. Layering is also a great idea. Wear a skirt, preferably loose and flowing, a tank top and a light jacket. A light jacket will also protect your arms from the sun. A lot of clothes today are made of microfiber fabrics that are designed to pull moisture and heat away from the body. Sport outfitting stores such as REI carry clothing especially designed for those who like hiking and camping during the warmer months. They even carry some pants with zippers that enable you to convert the pants to shorts. They have multiple pockets that enable you to carry items such as flashlights, band aids and extra socks. Denim jeans will not really help you stay cool. The fabric is thicker and does not dry as quickly as 100% cotton. Enjoy the summer and choose the proper clothing that will help you "chill out." Aggie Garcia is a San Diego based fashion designer who specializes in designing bikini and figure competition suits, and is the owner of Illusions by Aggie.

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AMAZING AMETHYST This is the first in a series of articles about the metaphysical aspects of stone, or rather the spiritual qualities contained within them. From self-healing to spiritual awakening, from grounding to protection, and much more, the powers contained in crystals, gems and minerals have been known for centuries. Amethyst crystals were used in ancient times by the Greeks to ward off the effects of drinking too much wine. It is the stone of faithful lovers and Saint Valentine, the stone of the Buddha, and is used today in North Africa as a rain-making stone. In the Christian church it is the gem of purity and is worn by bishops in a ring. Amethyst is often called the "all-healer," used for people, plants, animals and the environment as well.

Amethyst can recharge other crystals with healing powers and is especially good in combination with moldavite, rose quartz, moonstone and jade. In nature it is commonly found in huge geodes mined in Brazil and Uruguay, which are then broken apart into chunks or individual crystals. In the United States there is a deposit near Tucson, Arizona, called Four Peaks Amethyst, a mine which can only be reached by helicopter or an arduous four hour hike. It has been said that amethyst from this location is the most saturated in color, and contains those beautiful flashes of red which make it very sought after. If you would like to collect your own amethyst crystal, there are several locations listed in the Gem Guide book series for Northern California. Happy Hunting!

An avid rock hound, A form of quartz with very large crystals, amethyst Marilee Strech owns ranges in color from light violet to dark purple with Crossroads Treasures, a hints of red. Symbolically, it is associated with the gift shop that features a Planet Jupiter and the Zodiac sign Aquarius. It is variety of rocks and helpful in overcoming addictions to alcohol and gems, beads and food, soothes anger and impatience, and is a stone jewelry, plants and of spiritual protection and purification. Amethyst can books, and is just down ward off technological pollutants, so place a crystal the hill from Julian, a or geode next to your computer---it will also help popular mountain avoid excessive eye strain. It has been known to destination Southern create a shield to ward off negative energy and California. attachments. It can also be used under your pillow Visit to aid in overcoming insomnia and promote restful sleep. PAGE 77

Pharmaceutical Science Goes Custom By Dr. Mona Vand “The Modern Pharmacist”


Walking through the aisles of a pharmacy or drug store tends to be an overwhelming experience. There are numerous brands and dosages that appear on the shelves, and it can be difficult to find the right product. Furthermore, different brand names often contain the same ingredients. This can cause you to mistakenly buy more than one similar product, which is not very cost-effective! Retail pharmacies like CVS, Target, Rite Aid, etc., carry medications that are “commercially available.” To elaborate: when a drug company makes a drug, they create it at specific dosages that they believe the average person will need. Generally there are about 3-4 dosage options per drug. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are businesses, so it is not economical to produce endless amounts of doses for every population. They need to pick a reasonable amount of product to put on the market. With compounded medication, this is not the case.

Listen to Dr. Mona Vand on Big Blend Radio, where she explains compounded medication, and shares summer health and beauty tips!

A compounding pharmacist is able to tailor specific medications and create individual dosages for you and your specific needs. Some examples of creating a tailored medication would include:

The art of a compounding pharmacy is to tailor - Creating customized strengths of medication therapy to the needs of each individual patient. This is crucial in medicine, because factors like weight, ethnicity, age, and lifestyle may affect what dose or - Combining two ingredients type of formulation is right for you.

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It All Begins with “I”

Compounded Medication Continued… - Compounding a tablet or capsule into a liquid (for children, or those who have difficulty swallowing pills)

The "New Rules of Thinking" and the Simple Secrets to living a Rich, Joyous, and Fulfilled Life

- Preparing special formulations (topical creams or gels, nasal sprays, suppositories, lozenges) - Eliminating preservatives A great new trend in medicine is compounding topical pain creams as an alternative to oral therapy. Advantages include: - Eliminates the risk of addiction - Minimizes side effects - Treats the problem at the specific site. Why doesn’t everyone use Compound Pharmacies? For one, many people don’t know that this option even exists. Many pharmacies offer compounding. All you have to do is ask! All doctors are aware of the ability to compound a medication and are able to specify treatment for their patients by requesting dosages that do not exist on the market. Furthermore, pharmacists can create and suggest formulations for a physician to prescribe. Many times even the smallest modifications can go a very long way. This is where you need to take charge! If you don’t feel you’re getting the most from your therapy, take a moment and consult with your doctor. Speak to them about altering the dose at a Compounding Pharmacy… you must always be your own patient advocate. In a generation where people are taking charge of their health, compounding pharmacies are the way to go. A graduate of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Dr. Mona Vand "The Modern Pharmacist" is a clinical-compounding pharmacist who combines her extensive expertise in pharmacy with her deep interest and expertise in nutrition, beauty, fitness and overall wellness. Visit for more health tips.


Listen to Stuart K. Robinson on Big Blend Radio!

In his new book, author and motivational speaker Stuart K. Robinson shares his “New Rules of Thinking” to examine the futility of trying to alter the system, your boss, your significant other or your life when the most powerful and painless way to effect change is to adjust your beliefs, your blueprint, your actions... yourself. Outlining the fundamental modes of thinking that will empower any person to overcome the boundaries that limit possibility, It All Begins With "I" frees the reader from the non-productive thoughts and behaviors that actually create obstacles. We all know “you can’t fight City Hall,” but you can defeat the harmful thinking within yourself that allows and invites “City Hall,” your employer, your family, and even total strangers to diminish your experience and enjoyment of this wonderful opportunity called life. Visit


EXCELLENCE EFFECT Take Ownership Watch the video below of H. Alan Day, coauthor of the memoir ‘The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs,’ tell his story about learning to Take Ownership after a tragic ride with his horse Candy. The Ownership Key of Excellence = Take Responsibility for Actions Be responsible for your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. “Own” the choices you make and the results that follow. Ownership is our willingness to take responsibility for the choices we make. When we take responsibility for our choices, others know they can count on us and we earn their respect. When we take ownership of everything we do and say and stop blaming things outside ourselves for situations that occur in our lives, we have greater control. We may not be able to control everything that happens in our lives but we can control how we respond to what happens. By taking ownership of our actions we create a huge shift in our life. Ownership is a whole-life concept. We can take ownership of our education, our relationships, our fitness, our fun—all areas of our life. And when we The 8 Keys of Excellence Are: take ownership we take pride and feel confident 1. Live in INTEGRITY. and fulfilled. 2. Acknowledge FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS. 3. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE. As ambassadors for Quantum Learning Network's 4. Live in the now. THIS IS IT! “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education 5. Affirm your COMMITMENT. Program”, the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour of 6. Take OWNERSHIP. all 407+ National Park units embraces the 7. Stay FLEXIBLE. challenge of bringing excellence to 50 million 8. Keep your BALANCE. children and young adults. This free program guides young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. See



The Writer’s Toolbox

Listen to Lynn Wiese Sneyd on Big Blend Radio!

By Lynn Wiese Sneyd 'The Book Biz Whiz'

Sharp pencils. Pens with ink. Paper. A powered computer. These items are essentials to the writing life. If you’re interested in transforming the writing life into the business of writing, then you need to add a few additional items to your writer’s toolbox. - Editor: Behind every good writer is a good editor. Find yours. - Bio: People who want to book you for an interview or presentation will ask for your bio. Have three available in varying word lengths (e.g. 250500 words; 100-150 words; 50-75 words). - Professional Author Photo: You want to look your best, right? Make sure your photographer knows cameras and portraitures. - Website: Make it shine. Make it sing. Often this is the first place people meet you.

- Blog: Decide how frequently you’re going to write and post your blogs. They are key to social media marketing. - The Pitch: Sell the sizzle in 3-4 short paragraphs. Pitch it to radio, television, newspapers, magazines, libraries, bookstores, book clubs, bloggers conferences – any place that will give you publicity. - “Gone Hiking” Sign: Remember to have fun! It’s not about writing 24-7. It’s about having experiences and writing about them. Lynn Wiese Sneyd 'The Book Biz Whiz', is a writer, literary expert, PR consultant and owner of LWS Literary Services where she assists authors in book publicity campaigns, agent searches, book proposal writing, and editing. Learn more at


By S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq., Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC


Now, essentially any licensed health care provider cannot be terminated for missing work when called to perform emergency rescue work. However, those health care providers must notify their employers immediately at the time they are designated as emergency rescue workers.

In 2014, all workers, who qualified for recovery periods under any law or regulation, were entitled Listen to to get a recovery period. However, the legislature Ward Heinrichs on amended the law in 2015 to make clear that the Big Blend Radio! recovery period was paid work time and that employers had to pay the employees one hour’s pay as a penalty for any violation of the law. (Labor Code §226.7.) A Cal OSHA regulation (Title 8, NEW CALIFORNIA LAWS Code of Regulations, §3395) allows certain workers Mandatory Paid Sick Leave is a new California law. to take recovery periods on an “as needed” basis It requires all employers to give each employee, when the temperature is greater than 85 degrees. who works for a minimum of 90 days, at least 3 days of paid sick leave per year. Presumably, this Continued on Next Page…. law will greatly benefit employees who work in agriculture, construction, landscaping, etc. because of the greater potential injury rate in those occupations. (Labor Code §§245-49.) The definition of Emergency Rescue Personnel was expanded this year, which gave more emergency workers protection from wrongful termination for missing work when those rescue workers are called to work in emergency situations. Since 1989, Labor Code §230.3 had protected certain emergency workers from discrimination and wrongful discharge. However, at least some medical providers were not clearly protected under the original law. PAGE 82

The workers who qualify under that regulation are those who work in the following outdoor occupations: Agriculture, Construction, Landscaping, Oil and Gas Extraction, Transportation of Heavy Materials. In California, the law has always required Construction Contractors who worked on public works projects (Labor Code §1720) to pay prevailing wages. Prevailing wages are greater than the open market wages for the same jobs. Sometimes a California agency or court might determine, after a job has started, that a contract was a public works project requiring payment of prevailing wage. Labor Code §1784 allows a contractor to sue the person or entity who hired the contractor for the increased cost of paying prevailing wage on a job that was later determined to be a public works contract. Presumably, subcontractors can sue the hiring contractor under that law.

CONSTRUCTION WORKER A study done in Massachusetts found that construction workers were often treated as independent contractors rather than employees, were rarely paid overtime, were paid in cash, and often were paid less than promised. The study opined that many workers in the construction field were illegal aliens and that some employers probably believed that illegal aliens were less likely A new law, Public Contract Code §10186, prevents to report wage violations. Those observations by employers who bid on State construction contracts the study appear to be true in California, but from asking potential employees whether they have California has passed laws that protect illegal aliens a criminal record on an initial application. The from wage theft and other forms of discrimination. California legislature passed this to promote hiring of convicts to help stop future criminal behavior. Ward Heinrichs is a shareholder and named partner of the San Diego based employment law firm, Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC. The firm represents both employers and TRUCK DRIVERS employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and In a spate of related situations in Southern his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many California, courts and the Labor Commissioner different parts of California. Visit have found that shipping companies have improperly classified truck drivers as independent contractors, resulting in wage theft. The shippers charged the drivers to lease its trucks and charged for insurance payments, maintenance costs, fuel cost, etc. Those deductions are legal if the drivers are actually independent contractors. However, in these cases, the courts and Labor Commissioner found that the drivers were employees and the cost deductions were not legal. Employers must cover the costs of doing business. (Labor Code §2802.)

Click to Watch Big Blend’s Success Express TV! PAGE 83

What does it take to run a successful organic farm as well as an on-property Bed & Breakfast? What does it take to be a successful chef and restaurant owner dedicated to the farm-to-table movement? We asked North San Diego County based organic farmer and innkeeper Andrea Peterson, and Chef Jeremy Manley ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef,’ about their inspirations, challenges, lessons and insights on working and owning a business in the farm-to-table industry. Listen to their Big Blend Radio interviews and read their answers to our 10 questions!

1. What led you to the farm-to-table and hospitality careers that you are in? ANDREA: I stumbled into both. When we decided to grow something for market we chose to start organically because we didn’t want to change our clean environment and we didn’t want workers to be exposed to harmful chemicals. I started the B&B when I found myself living alone in a house that was built for aging parents and several kids. And there is the mortgage.

2. What attributes do you have that makes you a good fit for your careers? ANDREA: I had a bit of a biology background and find farming fascinating. I had to learn the business end. I enjoy the people I work with and the people I sell to. It’s not easy finding markets for high season production. There are always new challenges. JEREMY: Being involved with my family’s business from a young age bred the industry lifestyle into me, and made me want to open my own restaurant. Going through the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School program in San Francisco accelerated my passion and drive to turn this thought into a reality. 12-14 hour days were in my blood from the age of 15!

3. Who or what inspires you? ANDREA: My workers. They are so intelligent, hardworking and patient. Much wisdom found here. JEREMY: Passionate chefs. Thomas Keller (The French Laundry), Chef Bernard and Chef Ron Oliver (The Marine Room), Sean Broc, Seamus Mullen, God and my family just to name a few.

JEREMY: I grew up in my parent’s hotel/catering business from the age of 10. It was cooking for others and doing what came naturally to me or play football. Once I got hit by the defense, I knew I was going to follow my dream and become a chef! Farm-to-table cuisine is sticking to the roots of good, healthy and nutritious food. Believing that we-are-what-we-eat, the farm-to-table philosophy goes hand-in-hand in more ways than I can count. PAGE 84

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Andrea Peterson is the owner of Blue Heron Farm Bed & Breakfast in Fallbrook, California. The farm has been certified organic since 1992. Main crops are baby lettuce, sugar snap peas, heirloom tomatoes and strawberries. Many other fruits and vegetables are grown in the fertile soil, including mangoes, several citrus varieties, guavas, pomegranates, beans and squash. Produce from the farm can be found in upscale restaurants in San Diego and Los Angeles, as well as in various stores and Certified Farmer's Markets. The farm also features a family-friendly hacienda-style B&B. Learn more at

Jeremy Manley is the executive chef and owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, California. Chef Jeremy is dedicated to using only the finest and freshest ingredients available from local farms and ranches. The menu features seasonal dishes as well as steaks, seafood, burgers, salads, and desserts, along with gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. They also serve a variety of local and California produced wines, micro-brews and hard ciders. A Cordon Bleu graduate, Jeremy opened the restaurant in 2007, when he was 21 years old. Learn more at

4. Describe your ideal client.

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to your businesses?

ANDREA: My ideal farm client would buy everything I have to sell! In lieu of that, I appreciate the buyers I work with who appreciate the quality we produce and do their best to sell it for me. My B&B guests are nearly all wonderful! I can’t wait to see who comes through the door next. They are from all walks of life, and all sorts of countries. I feel like Ted Talks come to me. JEREMY: A person who asks questions about the food and beverage program we offer is a great start. A diner who understands what we are creating in such a rural area is a bonus to Jeremy's on the Hill. If you pop your head in the kitchen and say hi to the kitchen staff you are a 5 star guest in my eyes.

ANDREA: Not making enough money to be comfortable! Farming food profitably is extremely difficult. JEREMY: Leaving the air conditioning on after hours, freezer door not closed at the end of night - I guess anything that costs the business money that is unnecessary because a chef’s number one challenge is making the business money.


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Farm-to-Table Continued… 6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to grow your company? ANDREA: I have to work really hard, but find it enjoyable. JEREMY: Realizing that every moment of my day and night counts. Who I am, what I do, where my team’s heads are at, when to give it 110 percent, and remembering why I do what I do.

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge?

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in your industry?

ANDREA: Being profitable. Weather, disease and bugs can really take a toll.

ANDREA: Be very careful about money!

JEREMY: Keeping my menu up-to-date with not only what is happening locally but what is happening in the food scene all over San Diego.

8. If you could have a dinner party with three people (alive or passed), who would they be?

JEREMY: When you work for a chef, ask as many questions as you can no matter how silly or stupid they might sound. You might get a ‘WTF’ look every once in a while but it will give you an edge over the competition.

ANDREA: Jimmy Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt and Gandhi. JEREMY: Thomas Keller, Martin Luther King and Bill Clinton.

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? ANDREA: If it was one day I’d like to spend it with my grandchildren. If I had lots of days I’d want to go birding. I don’t aspire to another career! This one would be hard to follow. JEREMY: President of the United States.



Linda Kissam talks CA Wine & Commerce on Big Blend Radio!

What the Wine Industry Does to Enhance Tourism and Commerce in California By travel writer Linda Kissam, President of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Tourism brings many economic benefits to California, particularly in rural and developing country areas. One of the stars on the tourism wheel of fun, is the wine industry. It creates thousands of jobs, both through direct employment within the tourism industry and indirectly in sectors such as retail, restaurants and transportation. Jobs lead to employees spending their wages on goods and services, leading to what is known as the "multiplier effect," creating more jobs.

Here are some statistics showing what the wine industry does to enhance tourism and commerce in California: • California wine is a signature industry for the state • Wineries generate tourism supporting local retailers, restaurateurs and hotels • Wineries generate jobs and revenue in rural and urban communities • Wineries offer cultural activities such as music, art, theater and gardens *Courtesy of the Wine Institute And in case you didn’t know, here is why wine countries like Paso Robles, El Dorado, Sonoma, Temecula, Santa Barbara, Ramona, and Napa are so important to California and the nation at large.

CALIFORNIA WINE BENEFITS THE STATE AND NATION Annual Economic Impacts* Of special note in this growth path are the • $61.5 billion in state economic impact opportunities for small-scale businesses, especially • $121.8 billion in national economic impact important in rural communities. The wine industry • 330,000 jobs in California generates extra tax revenues, such as airport and • 820,000 jobs nationwide hotel taxes, which can be used for schools, housing • $12.3 billion in state wages and hospitals. That being said, tourism can only be • $25.8 billion in U.S. wages sustainable if it is carefully planned at the front end • $101.5 million given in annual charitable of the process and managed correctly so that contributions from California wineries potential negative effects on the host community • $14.7 billion paid in state and federal taxes and the environment are not permitted to outweigh • 20.7 million tourists visit California wine regions the financial benefits. • $2.1 billion spent by tourists in state * Source: Wine Institute, Gomberg-Fredrikson Report, *Stonebridge Research California Impact Study 2009, California Dept. of Food & Agriculture, U.S. Tax & Trade Bureau,and U.S. Dept. of Commerce. PAGE 87

Colorado River Fun, Golf & Sports, Film & Music, and More! Known as the ‘Gateway to the Great Southwest’, Yuma is located between Tucson and San Diego, and borders Mexico. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, Yuma is a popular destination that features the Colorado River, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Territorial Prison, Quartermaster Depot, a charming historic downtown district, and much more.


From shows and expos, to art and entertainment and family-friendly festivals that celebrate Yuma's rich southwestern history and cultural traditions, there's always something happening in Yuma! Of course there’s always fun to be had on the Colorado River, along with other activities like golf, birdwatching, nature walks and cycling, athletic events, shopping and dining. Make your travel plans now around one of this southwest city’s favorite annual events! Please note, events are subject to change. For full and up-to-date event and travel details visit

August 8: Indoor Swap Meet: Hosted by the City of Yuma at the Yuma Civic Center from 8am-2pm. $1 per person, children 12 and under are free. Call (928) 373-5040.


August 1: “Guardians of the Galaxy”: Free Saturday kids movie. 2pm at the Historic Yuma Theatre. Info (928) 373-5202. August 8: “At the Crack of Dawn” Sunrise Kayaking: Enjoy a guided trip as the world wakes up with the sun. Cost is $30 per person. See:

August 14: Rock the Desert Concert: Features Rapture Ruckus & Jonathan Thulin. 7pm, Yuma Civic Center. Call: (928) 341-9730 August 15: Rage in the Cage: Great line up of Lightweight and Featherweight fights, and the Bantamweight Title Fight between Andres “The Punisher” Ponce and Erik “DryBones” Villalobos. Yuma Civic Center. Call: (928) 373-5040 Aug. 20: “Stations of the Cross.” Coming-of-age film made in Germany. 7pm, Historic Yuma Theatre.

On Big Blend Radio: Rex Ijams – Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre, Chuck Heeman – Yuma Civic Center, Oscar Chavez – City of Yuma Parks & Recreation, and Ronnie Ridgers – Desert Hills Golf Course, discuss Summer Events & Activities in Yuma! For up-to-date City of Yuma Parks & Recreation events and activities information, and to download their Summer/Fall activities guide, visit

August 21: Celebrate the Heat on Yuma’s Main Street: Block party with local bands, Mini Fire Muster & Adult Brigade, free watermelon slices (until they are gone), local food vendors. The Yuma Fire Department will be on site misting the crowd. 6pm-11pm. Call: (928) 373-5028. Sept. 3: “The Lesson.” Drama film made in Bulgaria. 7pm, Historic Yuma Theatre.


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September 5: Boss of the Moss: Putting competition. All proceeds benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, for children of U.S. Armed Forces Special Operators who have been lost in the War on Terror. 7am, Desert Hills Golf Course. Call Jon Underwood at (928) 785-7986. September 12: Fiestas Patrias: Free event celebrating Mexico’s declaration of independence from Spain, with entertainment, live music, dance, food and craft vendors, kids games. Desert Sun Stadium. Info: (928) 373-5046

September 18-20: ASA Men’s 16” Class A National Championship: Kennedy Athletic Fields. Info: Adam Christensen at (928) 373-5241 September 19: Wedding & Quinceanera Expo: This is a great opportunity to shop dozens of vendors for your big event. Meet the people who can help you with dresses, jewelry, photography, entertainment, fashion advice, decorating, event planning and much more. Yuma Civic Center. Info: (928) 373-5040.


Wine & Brew, Films & Music, History & Stargazing A quaint, historic gold mining town up in San Diego's mountain region, Julian is a beautiful four season destination boasting boutique shopping in the historic downtown district, museums and historic sites, hiking and outdoor adventures, a variety of dining and lodging options, and a full calendar of events to enjoy! Summer is the perfect time of year to go hiking or bird watching in one of the area’s parks, boating and fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, or wine, brew and cider tasting! For up-to-date event news and travel information visit UPCOMING EVENTS IN JULIAN Julian Doves & Desperados: Free historic comedy and gunfights skits. Every Sunday, weather permitting, downtown at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. Call: (760) 765-1857.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio Interview about the Julian Film Festival!


Aug. 21-22: 4th Annual Julian Film Festival: Featuring over 20 films, this nature-focused, environmental film festival supports Volcan Mountain Foundation’s theme of ‘A Watershed Year’. Visit Sept. 5: Grape Stomp Festa: One large and one small tub full of tons of grapes to stomp. Enjoy wine tasting with local wineries and music, and food. 11am – 7pm, Menghini Winery. Tel: (760) 765-1857

Aug. 8: Sip of Julian: Enjoy a summer afternoon tasting experience at local boutique wineries, craft brews, delicious hard ciders and even mead. Savory appetizers are included at every stop along with tote bag and souvenir wine glasses. Pick up your map at Julian Town Hall beginning at 10am and explore Julian at your own pace. Tickets are limited and available at $25 per person, ages 21 and up only. Tel: 760-765-1857 Aug. 13-15: Julian StarFest 2015: Annual star party and astronomy exhibition held amongst the vineyards and apple orchards of Menghini Winery. Free public star party on Saturday. PAGE 90


The gateway to the east entrance of Pinnacles National Park, San Benito County is a year-round destination located in central California that is made up of Hollister, Tres Pinos and San Juan Bautista. A true historic California ranching region, the area has beautiful rolling hills and scenic winding roads, and charming downtowns with boutique shops and wonderful restaurants and bakeries. There are nature and hiking trails to explore, historic sites and museum to experience, golf courses and fabulous wineries.

From music festivals and farmers markets to antique shows and the county fair, there are plenty of events to enjoy too! This is definitely a place to visit for a week or a weekend. Lodging ranges from hotels to bed and breakfast inns. For up-to-date event news and travel information, contact the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce at (831) 637-5313 and visit


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Music, Fairs and Festivals Galore! UPCOMING EVENTS IN SAN BENITO COUNTY Downtown Hollister Certified Farmers’ Market. Wednesdays from 3pm-7:30pm, until Sept. 30. Tel: (408) 804-123 or (831) 636-8406 Living History Days: Every 1st Saturday of the month, from 11am to 4pm, at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park. Step back to the early days of San Juan. Meet mountain men, Civil War soldiers, Victorian ladies, and more. Enjoy craft and cooking demonstrations. Enjoy an old-fashioned soda in the historic Plaza Hotel Saloon. See historic horsedrawn vehicles inside the Plaza Stables and Victorian furnishings in the Plaza Hotel and Zanetta family home. Tel: (831) 623-4881 Hollister Concerts: Aug. 1: Bon Fire, AC/DC Tribute, Iron Maidens-All Girl Tribute to Iron Maiden; Aug. 15: Long Run, Eagles Tribute, Mustache Harbor; Sept. 5: Bobby Kimball of Toto, Kenny Cetera of Chicago. Held at Pepper Tree Ranch, Guerra Cellars. Info: (831) 902-9106. August 9: 51st Annual Antiques & Collectibles Fair: San Juan Bautista.

August 6-8: Good Old-Fashioned Bluegrass Festival: California bands on the main stage, as well as hot campground pickers on the side stage between main acts. A legendary event among festival fans for both the quality and quantity of campground jamming. Bolado Park Event Center in Tres Pinos. Tel: (831) 628-3421. September 12: Hot Cars & Guitars Tour: Open to all American made rods, customs, muscle cars, classics and trucks through 1976. Live blues music featuring Shane Dwight and various bands, food and vendors, onsite camping. Bolado Park Event Center in Tres Pinos. Contact Cyndi 408-846-8888. Sept. 26 & 27: Bi-Annual Cactus & Succulent Show: Get acquainted with the wonderful world of drought resistant succulent plants. Whether you have questions or are looking to buy unique cactus and succulents, this event has something for everyone. Sponsored by the Cactus & Succulent Society of the Monterey Bay Area. Held in the San Juan Bautista Community Hall. Free Admission. Call Ruth Pantry (831) 758-6645.

Check out our new Vimeo Channels. As we cross the country on our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour of all 400+ National Parks, we film and produce videos of all kinds. Here are just some of our Channels - enjoy! Click on the banners below!


For up-to-date event news, and to plan your Located in Central California, Tulare County is Sequoia Adventure, visit the gateway to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. A yearContinued on Next Page…. round destination, there’s always something to do in the area’s communities including Exeter, Three Rivers, Visalia, Porterville, Springville, Lindsay, Tulare and Dinuba. From birdwatching to hiking and camping, the parks, lakes and forest areas provide a wide variety of outdoor activities, and a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat into the calmness only nature can provide. From Native American heritage to pioneers and homesteaders, the area is rich in history that is preserved and showcased in numerous museums and historic sites. Tulare County is an agricultural hub with scenic roads boasting farm stands and views of orange groves and vineyards, along with peach, plum and nut trees. There are quite a few plant nurseries, too. The towns and cities of Tulare County feature historic downtowns adorned with colorful art murals, eclectic shops and galleries, and a diverse range of restaurants and eateries. From art shows to music festivals, there is always some kind of event to attend. Lodging options range from hotels and Bed & Breakfasts, to cabin rentals and campgrounds.


Art & Music, Star Gazing & More! Aug. 15: Exeter's Hell of a Half 13.1 Mile Marathon Run: Paved loop course in Exeter is 1st Saturday Art Festival in Three Rivers. On the 13.1 miles and has to be finished in 4 hours while keeping a 18:00 min/mile pace or better. After first Saturday of every month, the Artists of Three Rivers join together to create a day-long festival of completing the 13.1 mile journey and receiving your food, fun, and fabulous art. The theme for August is finisher's medal, you will get to enjoy a complimentary breakfast. Tel: 559-592-2919 "Celebrate Sequoias" to honor Sequoia National Park’s upcoming 125th anniversary. Aug. 22: Exeter Volunteer Fire Department The theme for September is "Dark Skies" as we Fundraiser Poker Run: Registration, 8 am. Starts join the Park once more, in celebrating and at 10 am at the Exeter Memorial Building in Exeter. preparing for their upcoming Dark Sky Festival. Tel: Larry Mayfield at (559) 786-1775. See: Sept. 11-13: Dark Sky Festival. Held throughout Aug. 1-2: 30th Annual Camp Nelson Mountain Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Enjoy Festival: Enjoy entertainment for the entire family star viewing parties, hike a 2,000 foot scale model at Camp Nelson Meadow in Sequoia National of our solar system, listen to guest speakers, Forest. Admission is FREE! BBQ, Kid and Adult witness night sky photography, and participate in games, Bounce House, Arts & Crafts, Horseshoes, hands-on activities and more. Info USFS Log Sawing, Smokey the Bear, live music, great food set in the fresh mountain air. UPCOMING EVENTS IN TULARE COUNTY

Sept. 26: Concert on the Grass: Annual community picnic in Three Rivers. Be entertained with wonderful music, dancing, poetry readings and other types of performance art. Bring a blanket and your picnic. Tel: (559) 561-0610

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California’s Yosemite Gold Country Art & Music, Theatre & History, Nature & Outdoor Adventure Located in the heart of California’s Yosemite Gold Country, Tuolumne County is comprised of the historic gold rush and mountain towns of Sonora, Groveland, Twain Harte, Long Barn, Columbia, and Jamestown. Boasting Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Forest, Columbia State Historic Park and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, the region makes for a great escape, any time of year. There’s farm-to-table dining to savor along with wine tasting, trendy shops and art galleries to browse, theatre performances and live music to enjoy, fairs and festivals, historic sites and museums to experience, and a slew of lodging options. For up-to-date event news and travel information contact the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau at 800-446-1333 or 209-533-4420, or visit

COLUMBIA: Ghost Tours at Columbia State Historic Park: Find out where the ghosts lurk and the stories behind those who lived in Columbia during the Gold Rush. Held Aug. 8, Sept. 12. Tel: 209-588-9128 History’s Mysteries at Columbia State Historic Park: Try to solve an actual crime that occurred in Columbia in the 1800's. Held Aug. 1, 15, 29. Cost is $5 per person. Tel: 209-588-9128 Sierra Repertory Theatre Presents “The Music Man”: Seventy-Six Trombones and much more arrive at the Fallon House Theatre, heralding Meredith Wilson's ‘The Music Man’. Runs until Aug. 16. Tel: 209-532-3120. Photo by Rich Miller.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN TUOLUMNE COUNTY SONORA: 2nd Saturday Art Night: Starting at 5pm galleries, restaurants, and shops in downtown Sonora, offer a magical blend of art and live music! Get a copy of the monthly guide at Stage 3 Theatre presents “Blues in the Night”: The soul of the blues wails out full and strong in this scorching musical review of good music, hard lives, and dreams that stretch-on long into the night. Shows runs until August 9. Sonora. Tel: 209-536-1778 Sierra Repertory Theatre Presents “Macbeth”: Macbeth is a nightmare journey through the souls of two extraordinary people to murder, madness and death. Shows are at Sonora theatre location from Aug. 21-Sept. 13. Tel: 209-532-7270 Aug. 7: Magic of the Night: Enjoy magicians, live music, street acting, dancing and specialty foods in the historic downtown. Tel: 209-532-7725

Aug. 29: The Dadgum Button Show: Antique buttons and button jewelry. Experts will be available for button appraisals. See what kinds of buttons were used during the gold rush period in Columbia as well. Angelos Hall from 10am to 5pm. Tel: 209-532-1885 Sept. 5: California Statehood Day Parade: California became a state on September 9, 1850 165 years ago! Parade begins at 11am on Main Street Columbia. TWAIN HARTE: Aug. 8: Custom Classic Car Show: Eproson Park from 10am-5pm. Tel: 209-586-4482 Aug. 28-30: FilmFest Twain Harte: Films from all over the world including shorts, full length, documentaries, student films. Filmmakers, actors, celebrity guests to be on hand. Tel: 209-586-6301 / 925-548-4602 Sept. 5: The Dam Duck Race: Twain Harte Lake. Tel: (209) 586-4482.