Big Blend's Radio & TV Magazine Fall 2016

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CONTENTS 6. Editors Block TOAST TO THE ARTS 8. Artist Insider - Victoria Chick, contemporary figurative artist and early 19th/20th century print collector. 10. Modernist Ceramics - Functional and fine art ceramics of Ted and Marion DeGrazia. 11. Hollywood History - Steve Schneickert recalls artist biopics. 12. Lyrical Excellence - Singer-songwriter Nicki Kris matches her song lyrics with the 8 Keys of Excellence. 18. Music News & Interviews - Guitarist Michael “NOMAD” Ripolli, ‘Makin’ My Way’ by Rudy Parris, ‘Blood Like Wine’ by Angie & The Deserters, Tattletale Saints, Cody Webb, ‘The Queen’s Carnival’ by Project Grand Slam, ‘Premier’ by Jonathan Cavier. 26. Book News & Interviews - ‘Standing Strong’ by Diane Reeve, ‘Jump Cut’ by Libby Fischer Hellmann, ‘Seneca Rebel’ by Rayya Deeb, National Geographic Kids books ‘125 Wacky Roadside Attractions’ and ‘Everything Sports.’ EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 30. Four Rivers of Wine & History - Linda Kissam goes on a small ship expedition, cruising with UnCruise Adventures. 36. Cheese & Wine Party - Howard & Ruth Milstein share their party tips, and cheese ball recipe. Heather Witherington’s Strawberry Chardonnay Spritzer recipe. 38. Burgers & Brew - Chef Jeremy Manley shares his tips on cooking the perfect burger, and discusses IPAs and beer pairings. 40. Fall Apple Flavors – Chef Ivan Flowers and Leah Launey share their baked apple recipes. 42. Easy As Pie! Gail Shelton’s Sawdust Pie, Donna George’s Frozen Peanut Butter Brittle Pie, Terri Bailey’s Crock Pot Apple Pie. PAGE 3

NATURE CONNECTION 44. Keeping Wildlife in the Wild - Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, discusses legislation for wildlife, and the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES. 46. Environment & Energy Connection Interviews with Les McCabe, President & CEO of Global Green; and Desmond Wheatley, President & CEO of Envision Solar. 48. Diggin’ & a Grinnin’ - Marilee Strech searches for shark teeth and fossils in Bakersfield, CA. 51. Walking the Llano - Shelley Armitage discusses her eco-memoir “Walking the Llano: A Texas Memoir of Place.”

QUALITY OF LIFE 52. Family & Parenting Connection - Interviews with Dr. Robert Keith Wallace & Dr. Frederick Travis, co-authors of ‘Dharma Parenting;’ and Dr. Brian Johnson & Dr. Laurie Berdahl, co-authors of ‘Warning Signs.’ 54. The Marketplace - BuddyPhones, Hot Logic Mini Portable Oven, Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour, Flamous Brands Falafel & Zatar Chips, Whitmor Mesh Tote, Keysocks, Mini Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags, Leisure Leash.

SUCCESS EXPRESS 60. Uber - Attorney S. Ward Heinrichs outlines Uber employment laws and regulations. 62. Not For Sale - Kevin Hancock discusses his memoir ‘NOT FOR SALE: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse’. 63. Calling All Food, Wine & Travel Writers! Todd & Sue Montgomery discuss the 2016 IFWTWA Annual Professional Development Conference.


WAY BACK WHEN 64. Secrets from the Cuban Missile Crisis Article and interview with Gary Slaughter, author of the ‘Cottonwood’ Series and ‘Sea Stories: A Memoir of a Naval Officer (1956-1967). VACATION STATION 70. Don’t Miss The Boat! Linda Kissam goes on a Viking River Cruise from Lyon to Provence, France. 76. Historic Villages of Norfolk - Glynn Burrows describes the villages of Norfolk, England. 78. West Newfoundland - Deborah Stone takes a journey to the ‘Edge of the World’. 87. The Photographing Tourist - David Noyes discusses his book ‘The Photographing Tourist: A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel & Photography’. 88. San Benito County, CA - Four fun, eventful and adventuresome fall destinations. 94. Fall in California’s Sequoia Country Giant Sequoia trees, scarecrows, festivals, art, shopping and more. 98. Fall Fun in North San Diego - Apples and wine, music and art, nature and the beach. 103. Sunny Side Up in Yuma, AZ! Western history, nature and the outdoors, shopping and dining, festivals and events. 107. Giddy-Up to Yerington! Fall fun in Northwest Nevada’s Pony Express Country.


EDITORS BLOCK “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus Viva Variety! This issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine features river cruising in France and the Pacific Northwest, world travel from Newfoundland to Norfolk, England, and fall destinations in California and the Southwest US. Get a taste of the season with delicious apple and pie recipes, learn how to make the perfect burger, and get tips on hosting a cheese and wine party. Along with a diverse selection of author, musician and artist interviews, this issue also covers the Cold War, Uber driver laws and regulations, the latest in solar energy technology and green urbanization, legislation for wildlife conservation, parenting advice, rock hounding and fossil collecting, photography, and super product finds for active families and folks on the go! Join us for Big Blend Radio, streaming live online on Wednesdays at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, and Sundays at 11am PT / 2pm ET (except on holidays). Listen to the live or on-demand episodes on Check out our new website, and be sure to subscribe to our bi-monthly Big Blend eNewsletter to get your free digital copies of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine in your inbox, as well as event news, radio interview podcasts and videos, and updates about our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour national park travels. Happy Autumn! 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. Front cover photo: Chef on the Viking River Cruise from Lyon to Provence, France. Photo by Linda Kissam.

BIG BLEND MISSION STATEMENT: Big Blend is a company based on the belief that education is the most formidable weapon that can be waged against fear, ignorance and prejudice. It is our belief that education starts at home and branches outward. Education leads to travel, and travel leads to understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of cultures and customs different to our own, and ultimately to world peace. Our company is further based on the principle that networking, communication, and helping others to promote and market themselves leads to financial stability; thus paving the way to better education, travel, and the spirit of giving back to the community. 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, 1970 W Old Magee Tr, #4201, Tucson, AZ 85704. 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.


ARTIST INSIDER Victoria Chick: Contemporary Figurative Artist and Early 19th/20th Century Print Collector Victoria Chick is a New Mexico-based contemporary figurative artist and printmaker, who also collects early 19th-20th century prints. She attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas where John Bashor, Chairman of the Art Department, introduced her to drawing from the model and, in particular, gesture drawing, beginning a lifelong interest in expressing movement. Victoria received her B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City where muralist Eric Bransby was her most influential studio professor. Her interest in Art History also developed at this time. She was awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Other influential experiences include work as a registered Art Therapist (ATR) and teaching studio and art history courses at the college and university levels.

Victoria Chick discusses being an artist on Big Blend Radio!

You can visit Victoria at her Cow Trail Art Studio in Arenas Valley, which is just outside Silver City, in southwest New Mexico. Learn more about Victoria Chick, and view her work and print collection at So what does it take to be a successful artist? Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with artist Victoria Chick, and read her answers to our 10 Artist Insider Questions about her career, including the challenges she faces, as well as her inspirations. 1. Why did you choose to choose art as your career? It just happened that I was encouraged as a child and adopted the idea that I should "go into art". Continued on Next Page‌

Acrylic is her main medium for paintings, and she also creates original, hand-pulled prints such as monotypes and monoprints. PAGE 8

Artist Insider Continued‌ 2. What attributes do you have that makes you a good fit for being an artist and print collector? I really liked my college art history classes. Sometimes my own art would be reinterpretation of visual art from the past. 3. Who or what inspires you? Richard Diebenkorn, Fritz Scholder, and Wayne Thiebaud produced work I admire. My subjects are drawn from my own experiences seeing shapes, colors, and movement, and intuiting emotion. 4. Describe your ideal client who would purchase your art and/or a print from your collection. The ideal person purchasing my work would understand what it says to me and have a similar response. The ideal person purchasing a print would love the history and the image depicted. 5. What is your pet peeve in regards to your industry? When artists are requested to exhibit their work for free at shopping centers to attract people to buy things in shopping center stores. Artists devalue their work in this environment.

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? I feel like every part of my life, even not directly related to doing art, has contributed to the filter through which I interpret everything I paint. My drive to do art was inhibited early by family needs and a paying job although I still managed to paint. The best physical change was getting a studio devoted entirely to art production. 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? Time. 8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be? The same three that were early inspirations and that I still admire (see question 3). 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? I think it would be rewarding to be a landscape designer, especially if there were no cost restrictions. 10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in art? Draw, and pay attention to how art is marketed successfully. Visit galleries and museums.


MODERNIST CERAMICS Functional & Fine Art Ceramics of Ted & Marion DeGrazia “Modernist Ceramics” of Ted and Marion DeGrazia is a retrospective of the functional and fine art ceramics produced by the married artists in 1950's and 1960's Tucson. The regional and rustic mid-century style permeates their work, from Ted's slip-cast production ware to Marion's ceramic and driftwood sculptures. An opening reception for this exhibit will be held from 5:007:00 pm on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at the Gallery in the Sun. The exhibit will remain on display through January 25th, 2017. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is 10-acre historic landmark that’s nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. Opened in 1965, it is home to over 15,000 originals of Ted DeGrazia art pieces including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures.

Lance Laber, Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, along with curator Jim Jenkins, discuss the ceramic work of Ted DeGrazia and Marion DeGrazia.

There are six permanent collections on display and several rotating exhibitions each year. 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. See


HOLLYWOOD HISTORY OF ARTIST BIOPICS Listen to Steve Schneickert’s Big Blend Radio segment, as he recalls five critically acclaimed biopics about famous painters including: 'Frida' about surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (pictured); 'Pollock' about famed abstract Photo by Guillermo Kahlo. expressionist painter Jackson Pollock; 'The Agony and the Ecstasy' that depicts the contentious relationship between Michelangelo and Pope Julius II; 'Mr. Turner' about J.M.W. Turner, who is widely considered one of Great Britain's greatest painters; and 'Lust for Life' which is based on actual correspondence between Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo. Modern Rome - Campo Vacino by J.M.W. Turner



Nicki Kris Rocks Lyrical Excellence! Nicki Kris is a singer-songwriter based in North Carolina. Her powerful “diva” singing style is influenced by today’s top artists such as Adele and Meghan Trainor, while she also pays homage to top female rockers of the past such as Anne and Nancy Wilson, Natalie Merchant, and Pat Benatar. Her dynamic songwriting has crossed over multiple genres, as her past releases have covered Americana / country, pop, and electronic styles. Nicki’s sonic explorations have received multiple awards over the years, earned Grammy ballot placements in several categories for both songwriting and performance, and her music has been featured in films and television shows. Nicki strives to have a message in each of her songs without being “preachy.” Being a mom helps balance the lyric content, as she’s conscious of what her kids are listening to. However, she doesn’t shy away from more adult content, or more thought-provoking material for older audiences.

Listen to Nicki Kris discuss her music, lyrics and the 8 Keys of Excellence on Big Blend Radio!

In reviewing the definitions and descriptions of the 8 Keys of Excellence program, Nicki thought it would be fun to see how the 8 Keys matched up with the lyrics from some of her top songs. She wanted to know how well she was doing overall in creating music that projected a positive message. Check out how the 8 Keys of Excellence match the lyrics in four of her songs – but first -- let’s take a look at what the 8 Keys of Excellence are all about! Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program” is a free program that guides young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles.


Continued on Next Page…

Nicki Kris Continued…. Created by education expert Bobbi DePorter – Co-founder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network, and author of numerous books on education including ‘The 8 Keys of Excellence: Principles to Live By,’ the 8 Keys of Excellence program embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to 50 million children and young adults. See Watch the video above where Bobbi DePorter explains each of the 8 Keys of Excellence. HOW NICKI’S SONGS & LYRICS CONNECT WITH THE 8 KEYS OF EXCELLENCE FALLING TO PIECES (2016) - A song written to mourn the victims of the tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. All proceeds from the iTunes sales of Falling To Pieces are being donated to the OneOrlando Fund for the life of the song. Their quote, “This tragedy will not define us, but will bring us closer together” perfectly underscores the meaning of the song. INTEGRITY - Match behavior with values. “Ignorance is the enemy of peace.” OWNERSHIP - Take responsibility for actions. “I won’t let this define me, we’ve come too far to just give in.”


PICTURE YOURSELF (2015) - Diving into the electronic field, Nicki’s song about reflection became the featured music from the award-winning film Mother by ASD Media & Entertainment. FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS - Learn from mistakes. “If I fall before I crawl, it’s meant to be… standing tall, through it all, ‘cause I believe.” BALANCE - Live your best life. “Picture yourself floating up to heaven, a million angels by your side… picture yourself looking back on your life and thinking, what a wonderful ride.”

TOGETHER WE STAND (2013) - Featured on Lifetime’s “Dance Moms,” this is Nicki’s topselling song to date, and it’s about patriotism and coming together to fight for the greater good. FLEXIBILITY - Be willing to do things differently. “Our souls driven together by fate…Our lives changed forever…No words need to be spoken, you’re an ally without a face.” THIS IS IT! Make the most of every moment. “Together we stand, united we fall… with love and courage on our side, there’s nothing we can’t overcome… when our hearts beat as one.” Continued on Next Page…. PAGE 15

Nicki Kris Continued… DREAM BIG (2014) - Inspired by her two sons, Dream Big is a quirky Americana-inspired tribute encouraging her children to follow their dreams. COMMITMENT - Make your dreams happen. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE - Speak honestly and kindly “Dream big, aim high, be yourself and shoot for the sky… you can be anything you want to be, all you have to do is believe… take pride in yourself and open each door, hold your head up high and see what’s in store.” Nicki’s future looks bright! There is more music on the way in 2016, so be sure to check out her website,, and sign up for her newsletter to receive her most current news.



Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with NOMAD, who talks about his music career, food and travel, his upcoming EP ‘Nomad & Lola’, and shares tips for touring guitarists and musicians. His dad emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba as a young man and, as an entrepreneur and artist, rarely had his family living in a single city or town for more than a year. By the time NOMAD was 25, he estimates that he had amassed more than 30 different addresses. Since then, he has lived and worked everywhere from Florida and Nashville, to Japan and Los Angeles, and embraced the life of a globally touring “road warrior” for many musical greats. He did an eight-year stint with jazz/gospel With Hundreds of Studio, Touring and Film/TV saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and has since 2009 served as musical director for artist/megaCredits, the Longtime Career Guitarist and producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. NOMAD Musical Director for Kenny “Babyface” has performed in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Edmonds Breaks Fresh Ground as an Artist, Indonesia, Europe, Russia, and South Africa over Composer, Sideman and Educator/Author. the years with both Babyface and Whalum.

Michael “NOMAD” Ripolli

A wildly eclectic guitarist and multiinstrumentalist who has set standards of style, innovation and versatility as a studio musician and touring performer with hundreds of artists over the past two decades, Michael Ripoll’s longtime nickname and professional moniker “NOMAD” was originally conceived as a tribute to his father.

Fluent on over a dozen stringed and fretted instruments, the Los Angeles-based musical powerhouse continues his father’s legacy as a creative free spirit at heart. Yet he has long backed that up with a disciplined work ethic and the ability to maintain a strict schedule. Continued on Next Page…


Nomad Continued… This has been essential as NOMAD has amassed hundreds of superstar album credits over the past 20 years, most recently including work with legendary producers David Foster and Walter Afanasieff, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Aretha Franklin, Colbie Caillat, smooth jazz stars Jessie J, Paul Brown and Kirk Whalum and Christian/Gospel greats TobyMac, Natalie Grant and CeCe Winans. His ever-expanding resume also includes Stevie Wonder, Sting, Carrie Underwood, India.Arie and the late Natalie Cole. NOMAD’s whirlwind behind the scenes itinerary also includes working regularly with renowned film composers Danny Elfman (on “Men in Black 3”), John Powell (“The Lorax,” “Happy Feet 1 & 2,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “P.S. I Love You”) and A.R. Rahman (singing and playing on “Airport Adventures” from the soundtrack of “People Like Us.)” As a songwriter, he has placed songs in more than 300 films, TV shows, commercials and chart-topping albums. NOMAD is now expanding into a unique niche as a guitar-centric composer of scores for film and TV, using multiple stringed and world instruments and modern band/ensemble type arrangements.

NOMAD also writes and records original vocal tunes. “Love Me Back,” the infectious first single won Best Adult Contemporary Song at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA). That track appeared on the passionate, tender voiced singer/songwriter’s debut vocal EP called NOMAD, Vol. 1: Sky, along with the songs “I’m Sorry,” “Nomad” and “High.” His current artistic explorations have been focused on the charismatic duo, NOMAD & LOLA who are selfdescribed as having “an air of sophistication and musical swankiness that keeps the human spirit engaged and satiated.” Their first single, “Nothing To Do” is an enticingly quirky and whimsical tune which will appear on their self-titled EP expected to drop in early fall 2016. As an educator, NOMAD has created a series of instructional videos in association with, the leader of video-based, online guitar lessons. He is also the author of “The Career Guitarist,” an e-book series and modular practice guide for the savvy guitarist which teaches aspiring musicians how to be a professional in today’s industry. His latest endeavor is his #AskNOMAD social media campaign, which allows him to answer any and all music related questions. Visit


RUDY PARRIS - Makin’ My Way Listen to Rudy Parris on Big Blend Radio, where he discusses the ‘Bakersfield Sound’, recording his album ‘Makin’ My Way’, the music industry and his career, and being part of NBC’s ’The Voice’. Rudy Parris, Native American country singer/songwriter hails from Central California's San Joaquin Valley. Being influenced by the Bakersfield sound, Parris was honored to have enjoyed a longstanding residency playing alongside country legend Buck Owens at his Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, CA. Parris cites Owens, Merle Haggard, B.B. King, and SRV as his greatest influences. “I learned from Buck that I just need to be me,” said Parris. “He played his music, had fun, and joked around. That instilled a sense of freedom to be myself. They are all part of my soul." Carrying the torch for the Bakersfield sound is important to Rudy, which is why his label, Warrior Records, chose to record his debut album, “Makin' My Way,” at Hollywood’s famed Capitol Records in “Studio B” (the same room where both Owens and Haggard recorded their many hits). Rudy is well-known for his appearances on Season 3 of NBC's The Voice, where he was featured to over 190 million viewers. He was a member of Team Blake (Shelton) and was featured in that season's live finale with a guitar and vocal performance of "Rock and Roll All Night,” a favorite by his rock heroes, KISS.

Rudy is also renowned as a monster guitarist who can hold his own playing and singing most any style of music. Notably, Rudy was invited to perform at the acclaimed annual Jason Becker Not Dead Yet Concert in 2013, where he sang and shredded with the likes of Jon Uli Roth (Scorpions), Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs), Richie Kotzen (Mike Portnoy), and Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne). Rudy has also toured as lead guitarist for Hank Williams III. Over the years, there have been numerous performances on stage by Parris with some of the biggest names in music, including James Brown, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Hank Williams Jr., just to name a few.

Keep up with Rudy at PAGE 20

ANGIE & THE DESERTERS Blood Like Wine Angie Bruyere, front lady of the Americana Alt-Country group Angie and The Deserters, chats with Big Blend Radio about her love for the desert and motorcycles, her music and songwriting career, and the band’s rockin' new EP ‘Blood Like Wine’ that includes their lead track “Country Radio” as well as the second single “The Gift”. Blood Like Wine, the new EP by Angie and The Deserters, is a follow up to the group’s debut fulllength release, West of The Night. The band includes Angie Bruyere, Kyle Stevens, Danny Hulsizer and Chris Lawrence. The album turned heads at Fender who offered Angie a sponsorship that featured her as Fender’s artist of the month which was then followed by two Fender Sessions. Angie showcases her talented and poetic songwriting skills in the Americana record, Blood Like Wine. At the root of the album, Angie’s collection of intimate poems bloom into a distinctive alternative country landscape that is joined with gliding strings and western riffs. The six song release reveals Angie’s raw and raspy vocals that bring truth and realism to her lyrics.

Watch for Angie & The Deserters’ second EP that will release later this year, featuring the second half of Angie’s Nashville recordings that were created in the famous Castle Recording Studios with well-known country producer, Jeff Huskins (Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Clint Black, Shania Twain).

Blood Like Wine includes the band’s lead track “Country Radio” which highlights a possible love affair between a female country fan and her idol. Visit The band recently released their new music video for “Country Radio” which was filmed in Joshua Tree, California and directed by Mike Bruce (Black Mountain, Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, & The Dandy Warhols). The six-song release also features the second single “The Gift”. This track emphasizes a dying love story of a lover who begins to lose hope in their partner’s compassion and desire in their relationship. Angie’s cryptic and haunting vocals accentuate the lyrical message of the song as she begs the question “would you die for me, too?” PAGE 21

TATTLETALE SAINTS Listen to the Big Blend Radio chat with frontman Cy Winstanley, who talks about the duo’s new self-titled album, his music career and songwriting, and travels. Tattletale Saints have built their career on exploring new territory. On their new self-titled album, out September 2, the duo shines a light on lessons learned during years on the move, chasing down new songs, new sounds and new inspirations. The band's new album, produced by Josh Kaler (Matthew Perryman Jones, Dar Williams, Heather Nova), brims with forward-thinking roots music. The collection finds the duo pushing their sound into new directions, adding full-band arrangements and sharp, observational storytelling to the mix. Even with the addition of new sounds, the band maintains their trademark unique approach to Americana music, rolling jazz influences, coed harmonies, upright bass and electric guitar together. Cy embraces his role as a storyteller on the new album, penning slice-of-life songs about the light and dark shades of love and heartbreak; folk tales of murder and atonement; and musings on aging rock stars. He also plays more electric guitar, drawing a line of evolution from the band's first album, while Vanessa McGowan's upright bass helps root the band in the Americana tradition.

Drawn to Nashville's creative community, the two eventually headed to Nashville in January 2013 to record their first record as a proper duo, teaming up with Grammy-winning producer Tim O'Brien along the way. That album, How Red is the Blood, became a launching pad for Tattletale Saints, earning them an audience on both sides of the Pacific Ocean while also winning the New Zealand Music Award for Folk Album of the Year in 2014. Visit

Formed in New Zealand and currently based in Nashville, the two began performing together years ago in a New Zealand-based jazz ensemble before relocating to London, where they experimented with country music as one half of the four-piece Her Make Believe Band.


CODY WEBB Nashville-based country singer, songwriter and guitarist artist Cody Webb chats with Big Blend Radio about his highly anticipated selftitle EP, as well as touring and performing, and his recording and songwriting process. Represented by RPM Management, Cody Webb is a newcomer to the country scene but has already acquired a large fan base across the country. In two years, Cody has played over two hundred shows and has shared the stage with the likes of Cole Swindle, Frankie Ballard, and Old Dominion. Cody has also performed in notable venues such as Wild Bills (Atlanta, GA), Moonshine Flats (San Diego, CA), the Tin Roof in Nashville, Miami, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and more. If he is not on the road or creating music of his own, Webb is writing full time for ECK Publishing (a division of Monument Entertainment, LLC). The self-titled EP reveals something distinctive yet undeniable about his infectious guitar melodies and singer- songwriter talents. His music fits uniquely into today’s country landscape. With his purring vocals, Cody charms listeners with his romantic storytelling. However you can still feel the honesty and passion that Cody pours into his songwriting.

At the heart of this six-song album, you hear Cody’s down-to-earth lyrics that are laced with delightful melodies, which showcase the diversity and depth to the artist’s work. Keep up with Cody at


PROJECT GRAND SLAM The Queen’s Carnival Project Grand Slam, the acclaimed jazz-rock fusion band led by bassist/composer Robert Miller, is excited to announce the release of their 4th studio album, The Queen’s Carnival, available now in physical and digital form via CEN/RED Distribution, a division of Sony Music. This exciting and fresh take on jazz-rock fusion (Miller calls the album a post-fusion record) features eleven tracks, including nine original songs by Robert and both vocal and instrumental versions of the Kinks’ classic, “You Really Got Me.” This continues Project Grand Slam’s tradition of reinventing popular classic rock songs as jazz-rock fusion and featuring vocal and instrumental versions of the cover track. “I think that people can relate to covers of popular songs, and it’s very cool to try and reimagine them in a way that is both true to the original but which takes the song to a whole other level”, says Robert. This release follows the successful 2015 release of their third album, “Made in New York”, which featured the hit songs “New York City Groove” and “Fire” (Robert’s highly acclaimed reimagined cover of Jimi Hendrix’s classic). Current single “You Really Got Me”, is a fresh, reimagined take on The Kinks’ classic, and features vocals by noted singer Lucy Woodward. Dave Davies, guitarist and singer for The Kinks had this to say about the single — “Very unique version and I am liking it!”

Photo by John Wisdom

Robert Miller talks with Big Blend Radio about the unique and energetic jazz-rock sound on Project Grand Slam’s new album!

The new album, which also features recent single “The Rescue”, draws from a variety of influences across genres as diverse as Celtic folk and afroCuban rhythms while highlighting Miller’s unique approach to blending jazz and rock into a totally new sound. Visit PAGE 24

JONATHAN CAVIER Premier Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with pop singer-songwriter Jonathan Cavier, who discusses his new album ‘Premier’, along with his music career and songwriting process, filming his music videos, and working with some of his favorite musicians! Pop singer-songwriter Jonathan Cavier’s fulllength debut solo album, Premier, blends influences from Duran Duran to David Bowie and Goo Goo Dolls, into a sound all his own. The album’s 12 songs merge Cavier’s varied pop and rock influences from the 80s, 90s and today, resulting in a fresh take on pop music. Extracting elements from a wide range of sounds and unique instruments, Cavier hopes to “transport listeners to colorful three-minute worlds,” through his careful composition and thoughtful lyrics. “Pearl” follows Cavier’s well-received debut single “January.” With his signature mix of atmospheric keyboards and bright acoustic guitars, “Pearl” brings to mind easygoing and carefree summer days spent with someone you love. Filmed in Malibu this spring, the music video for “Pearl” was directed by Brad Wong, an award-winning music video and short film director who has screened short films at the 66th and 67th Cannes International Film Festivals. Brad also won The Elfenworks Social Justice Category at CMF Hollywood in 2013. Cooper James, director of photography for “Pearl”, is an EMMY awardwinning cinematographer and producer. Originally from Northern California, Cavier has been based in Phoenix, AZ for several years and up until recently, was performing as Alan Clark in atmospheric pop duo EyeTalk. Over the course of ten years and five albums, this venture saw Cavier’s music reach audiences as far-flung as Italy, the UK, and Australia. After five albums and hundreds of shows played throughout the US, Jonathan Cavier has reimagined himself and has formed a new musical identity on his debut solo album Premier. Visit PAGE 25

BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS STANDING STRONG The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Sisterhood and the Court Case that Made History Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Diane Reeve, about the intense and gutwrenching story that unfolds in her true crime memoir ‘Standing Strong’, written by Jenna Glatzer. In her first chapter, Black Corvette, Diane Reeve accelerates into the moment her life takes a sharp turn. A day meant for sweet memories of her daughter's wedding halts at a fork in the road of her life. Immediately, the reader has been captured to travel a hard-to-believe real life journey as Reeve unpacks the sick reality that Philippe Padieu, the love of her life, was deliberately infecting multiple women—women in their 20s through 60s, with little in common except their vulnerability and now… HIV.

It was a sisterhood none of them wanted to belong to, but it became their lifeline as they Diagnosed with AIDs, Diane vowed to stop struggled with anger, the specter and stigma of Philippe from victimizing anyone else despite her an HIV diagnosis, and failing health. This plummeting t-cell numbers and declining health. fascinating case—won only through the help of In a race against time, she tracked down as many new DNA science—is Diane's story of victory and of his conquests as possible. Against all odds, her mission to bring awareness and this unlikely group made legal history, empowerment to others. As she explains, successfully prosecuting Padieu and sending him "Courage is doing what's right, even when you're to prison for assault with a deadly weapon. afraid." Diane Reeve has been called "the new face of HIV." Her compelling, inspirational story has been viewed by millions, including on Oprah and 20/20, and has been the subject of magazine and newspaper articles worldwide. Her efforts to bring a predator to justice while maintaining a support group of survivors spurred her to a life of HIV advocacy. As a 7th degree black belt, she lives female empowerment and is a popular motivational speaker on overcoming obstacles. She educates to reduce stigma and victim blaming. Visit PAGE 26

JUMP CUT Award winning author Libby Fischer Hellmann chats with Big Blend Radio about JUMP CUT, the fifth installment of her award-winning Ellie Foreman mystery series. Libby Hellmann fans will be delighted to hear her protagonist Ellie Foreman, Chicago video producer, is back after a ten year hiatus... and soon entangled in a web of espionage, murder and suspicion that threatens to destroy what she holds most dear. Jump Cut (Poisoned Pen Press), touches on many issues of what author Libby Fischer Hellmann calls the "Post-Snowden era” – privacy vs the possible overreach of official surveillance; the "clean war” of drone attacks, and computer hacking. Hired to produce a candy floss corporate profile, Ellie is dismayed when the project is canceled; her suspicions soar when a contact who might have answers is killed by a subway train before they can talk. In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now-dead man. Ellie has the drive's contents decrypted, but before long she discovers she's under surveillance.

Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman's "25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection. In 2005 Libby was the national president of Sisters In Crime, a 3500-member organization Ellie and her boyfriend, Luke, try to find answers, dedicated to the advancement of female crime but they don't realize how far they ventured into fiction authors. She also hosts a monthly radio the dangerous echelons of hidden power… show called "Second Sunday Crime”. Visit where more lives are on the line, including theirs. Award-winning author Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Twelve novels and twentyshort stories later, she claims they'll take her out of the Windy City feet first. With the addition of Jump Cut in 2016, her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, the hardboiled 4-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and three stand-alone historical thrillers that Libby calls her "Revolution Trilogy.” PAGE 27

SENECA REBEL What If Your One Chance to Change the World Means You Have to Leave Everything You Love Behind? In the not-too-distant future, math genius Doro Campbell is introduced to the Seneca Society: a secretive, technologically-advanced subterranean utopia dedicated to inventing and perfecting the most effective ways to benefit our planet. But there’s a hitch. Like all that have come before her, Doro is given the ultimatum: Stay in Seneca forever, or leave now with no memory of the place, its goals, and its inhabitants. She stays. Her ideals are shattered when, together with biotechnology whiz, Dominic Ambrosia, Doro uncovers profound deceptions beneath the surface of this all too-perfect community. Will one teenage girl have what it takes to go up against swarms of drones, psychological manipulation and biological attacks, to uncover the truth and change the trajectory of the world? Author Rayya Deeb is a Virginia Tech Hokie, born in London, England and raised in Northern Virginia. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. She has worked in television production and film development, but her true passion is writing. She has spent over a decade screenwriting, collaborating with some seriously incredible, worldrenowned directors, actors and top-notch producers. Most recently she wrote her first novel, Seneca Rebel. Visit


Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with screenwriter Rayya Deeb about ‘Seneca Rebel’, the first installation in her ‘Seneca Society’ sci-fi series for young adults.

125 WACKY ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with author Kitson Jazynka, about the attractions featured in the National Geographic kids book “125 Wacky Roadside Attractions: See All the Weird, Wonderful, and Downright Bizarre Landmarks From Around the World!” 125 Wacky Roadside Attractions takes the reader across the country and around the world to the weirdest, most unusual landmarks including an underwater mailbox (scuba gear required!), "Carhenge," a shrine to human hair, Pike Place Market's Gum Wall, the Paris Sewer Museum, a hotel here you sleep in an igloo, the Unclaimed Baggage Center, a brain shaped phone booth, the world's tallest bridge and many breathtaking NATURAL wonders -- to name just a few! The book highlights the fact that when traveling, getting there can be as much fun as the destination itself. These crazy destinations are not only fun to read about, but they also tickle the funny bone and touch upon history, science and the natural world.

EVERYTHING SPORTS Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Shelby Alinsky, Sr. Editor for Learning, Literacy and STEM Kids Books at National Geographic, about the new National Geographic Kids book ‘Everything Sports: All the Photos, Facts, and Fun to Make You Jump’, written by Eric Zweig with sports reporter Shalise Manza Young. From archery to zip lining this book covers EVERYTHING about the world's favorite teams and individual sports. Readers won't stop until they've learned everything there is to know about the history, rules and regulations, training, and practice of athletic pursuits. A Hall of Fame profiles the giants in downhill skiing, hockey, gymnastics, football and more and there is even a quiz kids can take to see if they'd make a good referee. Packed with big, bold pictures and graphics and featuring a diverse array of athletes (men and women of all races, young and old,) Everything Sports not only includes the most popular sports such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, but also features the more extreme and quirkier sports like parkour, wakeboarding, fencing, curling, and table tennis. The book also dedicates several pages to the Olympics. PAGE 29

Small Ship Expedition Cruising with Un-Cruise Adventures By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ I love cruising. In fact, I live aboard a 42’ Grand Banks boat six months a year, but I’d really rather have someone taking care of me for a couple of weeks on the seas, oceans and river ways of the word. I bristle at the thought of thousand-seat dining rooms, congested ports-turned-duty-free-shoppingmalls, the up-sales that never stop, limited Internet and children running around the decks nonstop. So it’s a good thing that not all cruise ships are vast, floating cities. There’s a flourishing industry niche revolving around small ship cruising exploration where passenger counts top out at closer to 200, rather than 2,000. One of those companies that does it well, is Un-Cruise Adventures, based out of Seattle, Washington.

Linda Kissam chats with Big Blend Radio about her Wine Camp experience with Un-Cruise Adventures!

Beyond offering a cozier atmosphere, Un-Cruise creates a unique experience, both onshore and onboard. Since smaller ships allow easy access to less known, less-trafficked ports that the bigger vessels just can't get to, unique itineraries are the norm and port stops are far less crowded. Passengers soon understand they are on an exploration of local food, wine and culture. PAGE 30

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Four Rivers Continued… Off board, on the Columbia River starting in Portland, Oregon, for example, Un-Cruise’s S.S. Legacy turns into a wine cruise a couple of times a year. I like to think of it as wine camp for adults. Known as the Four Rivers of Wine & History Adventure, the planners make a daily business out of getting guests to remote locations, where they can enjoy activities like wine tasting, hiking, small-city tours, beach activities, and park visits. Onboard, the crowd-free experience is more intimate and social. Think more personalized service from the crew, one stop dining, small group tours, FREE wine, beer and spirit package, a free massage, free daily tours, and the ability get to know fellow passengers. You see the same faces again and again (a bonus if you like to make new friends while traveling), allowing friendships to blossom in the most unexpected ways. My special gang included husband wife team Linda and Roy, and two solo travelers, We had a resident Somm (Chris Arora) and a Marti and Nancy. wine educator/ biology marine expert aboard (Jackie Hedgpeth) filling our days and evenings It’s worth noting that passengers do give up many of the bells-and-whistles of bigger ships on with focused wine tastings, commentary and amazing slide shows. I am a seasoned wine pro, an Un-Cruise. The prices for smaller vessel reflect the “luxury” of small and personalized, not yet learned something new from them each and fancy rooms or large ship amenities. Small ships every day. Without 1000 other passengers simply cannot provide things like Broadway-style scrambling for our instructor’s attention, all questions were answered and friendships shows, multiple dining venues, large gift shops, bloomed. I went aboard the ship by myself and expansive kids' programs and endless bars. Expect instead, destination-driven itineraries that disembarked the last day with friendships that will last forever. are usually enhanced by enrichment programs and hosted excursions, often led by historians, Enjoying such a personalized setting usually naturalists and other seasoned pros. comes at a premium price, given that there are fewer passengers onboard to help collectively offset the costs. That said, typical cruise vacation add-ons like excursions are included in the fares for Un-Cruise small-ship sailings. FREE adult beverages, and excellent gourmet comfort dining and companion experts are a premium I am willing to pay for. Continued on Next Page…


Day 2: HOOD RIVER / COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE NATIONAL SCENIC AREA Our off board excursion was to the dramatic and towering Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon, followed by tasting at two very different local wineries. Springhouse Cellars--a working winery housed in a former turn-of the-century fruit cannery and distillery followed by lunch and a tasting at Mt. Hood Winery where the expertise of eight generations of winemakers was a sipping delight. Day 3: WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON Named one of the top ten wine regions in the world, this world-class wine country was shaped by its distinctive micro-climates, rich volcanic soil, and abundant river irrigation. We swirled, sipped and met the owners at Basel Cellars, followed by checking out original artwork and a smooth pour at Dunham Cellars. An afternoon stop in downtown Walla Walla was a bonus where my group enjoyed three stops which included bakery delights, chocolate decadence and upscale olive oil tasting.

Four Rivers Continued… Here’s an overview of my 7-night scenic Columbia River wine cruise with stops in Oregon and Washington. Joined by two wine experts, learning the river’s history and sipping wines from world-class AVA’s, exploring scenic areas and visiting picturesque towns gave this Diva a world-class wine vacation. Day 1: PORTLAND, OREGON Arrive in Portland! I came by airplane at 1 pm, was met by a Lincoln Town car where I was dropped off at a waiting center in downtown Portland until the 5 pm boarding time. I took some time to explore the city by foot before setting sail. Downtown Portland was an easy 15 minute walk. Champagne and hors d'oeuvres greeted me onboard before sitting down for a yummy dinner.

Day 4: PALOUSE FALLS STATE PARK, WASHINGTON According to the Palouse tribal legend, four giant brothers pursued a mythic creature called "Big Beaver." Fighting gallantly, each time Big Beaver was speared, the canyon walls were gouged until he tore out a huge canyon, the river tumbled over a cliff, and the falls were born. Arriving at the falls, by way of bus along the Palouse River, the jagged canyon walls and the deep marks of Big Beaver's claws were quite a sight. I am not much of a long haul hiker, but our marine biology guide convinced me and several other ladies to get ourselves together and hike up the hill for dramatic views and a sense of personal achievement. Glad we listened to her. Just sayin’.


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Four Rivers Continued… Day 5: RICHLAND, WASHINGTON WINE COUNTRY First stop was near the river, and featured the natural, scientific, and cultural history of Eastern Washington with a special guest speaker at the Hanford Interpretive Center. Who knew such secret things were housed in this isolated area? Then it was off to enjoy what the wine aficionados were salivating for - the Red Mountain appellation with a tour, tasting, and lunch at the gorgeous Terra Blanca Estate Winery and Vineyard. A true testament to what this area can produce. Made a believer out of me. Day 6: THE DALLES, OREGON Wine and art are the perfect complement to each other. Sitting atop a bluff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge was Maryhill Museum--a castle-like chateau with an eclectic collection of European paintings, Rodin sculptures, Native artifacts, and the Queen of Romania's personal effects. A lovely tasting at the award-winning Maryhill Winery made this a taste of inspiration. The night before we had a guided vertical tasting of Mayhill wines. I am so glad that was my introduction to their wines, followed by the special tasting the next day. Day 7: CANNON BEACH / ASTORIA Who knew we would have the ultimate coastal experience aboard a river cruise?! A bus took many of the cruisers to the coast while many of us stayed in town, tasted locally and had lunch. The Cellar on 10th tasting room in downtown Astoria – a 15 minute walk from the ship experience - was another opportunity for learning about Washington and Oregon wines with a tasting and presentation by a wellinformed server. You had tons of local wines to choose from to select a memorable souvenir. As this was our final evening, the Captain’s dinner was announced. In typical Un-Cruise fashion great food was served, the Captain toasted an amazing trip – all while the passengers showed up in comfy clothes. No dress up required. You can leave the tie and prom shoes at home.


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Four Rivers Continued… Day 8: PORTLAND, OREGON A lovely week of wineries and rivers exploration has come to an end. A bittersweet breakfast with friends and a fond farewell to the crew before disembarking. One of the interesting things about this cruise was having many staff members greet boarding or disembarking guests. Always a fond farewell and a hearty welcome back. The rich history and wine culture of the Columbia River is perfect for small ship cruising. The itineraries are flexible and change from time to time. If you like a more historical sail, there’s an itinerary for that. If you’re wanting to know about this area’s trending wine program, there’s an itinerary for that. Just climb on board and expect to explore specially selected stops at intimate ports of call. See the most popular tourist destination in the world as few do. Visit Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit



A party is a great way to bring friends together to enjoy delicious treats. When you choose the appropriate wines you encourage guests to mingle freely while sampling the gourmet food. Husband-and-wife team Howard and Ruth Milstein share these cheese and wine party tips and have another party-flavored conversation on Big Blend Radio! Howard is a wine expert, and Ruth is the author of the Gourmand awardwinning cookbook 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.'

- Put each cheese on a separate slate serving board; if you don't have enough use a slate tile. Also provide a separate knife for every cheese to allow the guests to taste each cheese. - Serve plates of assorted crackers and sliced healthy breads. - Fruits pair well with cheeses; a variety of grapes and strawberries will work well. Jams in different flavors are tasty. Serve them in small bowls with separate spoons. From my experience, avoid the vegetables. - Glasses for water with plenty of ice. Serve soft drinks only if guests ask for them. - Use wine glass rings to label each guests wine glass.

Howard & Ruth Milstein share Cheese & Wine Party Tips on Big Blend Radio!

- All fine markets offer us an endless variety of cheeses from all around the world. Serve at least six different types; some of them should be with spices and vegetables. 4-6 ounces for each guest is appropriate. If you want to be a fancy host, make cheese balls. - Take the cheeses from the refrigerator a half hour before the guests arrive. Hard cheeses taste best at room temperature. - As always a good host makes sure that no guests drive home intoxicated.

Here are Ruth & Howard’s tips for hosting a cheese and wine party:

Mingle, meet new friends and have FUN!

- Cut part of each cheese into small pieces to allow your guests to sample each cheese.

Visit for more tips and recipes! PAGE 36

Ruth’s Cheese Ball Recipe 8 ounces blue cheese 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded 8 ounces cream cheese 4 ounces unsalted butter 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill (optional) 4 ounces walnuts, coarsely chopped Crumble the blue cheese with fork. Add the cheddar cheese and mix together. Put blended cheese mixture in a medium size bowl. Add the cream cheese, butter and dill then fold gently. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for three hours to solidify. Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a pan without oil for a few seconds, until the nuts get a roasted flavor. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on a large flat dish and set aside.

Wrap the cheese ball again with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for another three hours. Serve with a selection of crackers, fresh bread and fruit in season.

Take the cooled mixture out of the refrigerator and with your hands, gently shape it into a large ball, and proceed to roll it in the chopped walnuts until on coated all sides.

The cheese ball will keep covered in the refrigerator for 3 days. Flavor increases as days go by.

Perfect for a wine party or afternoon gathering, this refreshing spritzer recipe is from Heather Witherington, mixologist at the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill in Yuma, Arizona. See more of their cocktail recipes at ½ Split Chardonnay 2 oz. Strawberry mix Sprite

Shake chardonnay and strawberry mix. Strain into an iced tulip glass. Top with Sprite. Garnish with a strawberry.


Chef Jeremy Manley’s Tips & Tricks on Cooking the Perfect Burger! Known as ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef’, Jeremy is the owner and executive chef of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, California. Listen to his Big Blend Radio interview on how to cook the perfect burger, and watch his video on IPAs and Beer Pairings! Download his free recipe e-book and get more cooking tips at The Perfect Burger 80/20 What is 80/20? A meat to fat ratio every purveyor and salesman uses to describe and label their product. You may ask yourself why 80/20 not 90/10? As your burger cooks and you hear the sear in your pan, what looks like moisture evaporating into the sky is actually fat. It’s the same fat that gets your stove top greasy! The longer you cook your burger, the less fat you will have in it. An 80/20 blend is great for the BBQ, sauté pan, oven baking and a great ratio for the person who wants a medium-rare or a well-done burger. I always recommend medium when dealing with ground beef, and that you purchase the meat from a respectable purveyor, whether it’s from the local butcher shop or from a Mom and Pop country store around the corner from your house. Ask your butcher if they carry grass-fed ground beef. If not, get the next best product - grain-fed, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free. If you like a well-done burger, grass-fed beef can become chewy. That is why we put cheese and aioli on our burgers, it adds more fat and flavor profile to your burger patty! Continued on Next Page… PAGE 38

Chef Jeremy Manley talks Burgers & Brew on Big Blend Radio!

Burgers & Brew Continued… Burger Tips - When molding a hamburger patty, press your thumb in the middle of the patty creating a crater. This will prevent your burger from puffing up and becoming well-done on the edge, and raw in the middle. - Use fresh buns from the local baker to give your burger that extra over-the-top flavor. - Buy a block of cheese and slice it yourself. When you slice cheese, the flavor is much more pronounced and tastes incredible! - Butter Leaf lettuce from the Farmers Market is a great addition to your burger. - Put every color of the rainbow on your burger! Tomato, pickled carrots, mustard, lettuce, blue cheese and red cabbage, or other dark leafy vegetables.

There are grain-fed programs that aren't so bad. Some farmers raise cows on grass and finish them off in a feed yard for 30-90 days to fatten them up. This option again isn't “as bad” as the majority of grain-fed beef programs I just mentioned.

Because grass is what cattle are supposed to eat, it is a healthier option for them, and for us. Grass-fed beef has poly-unsaturated fats, it’s low in fats related to heart disease, has higher Omega-3s, and is less acidic for our bodies to ingest, especially with our already high stress inflicted lifestyles. Most importantly, this is how our ancestors ate beef. Antibiotic and hormonefree labels are important. We are what we eat so what kind of beef do you want in your diet? What kind of beef do you want to feed your family? Grass-fed versus Grain-fed Beef Supply and demand dictates what we get, and Grain-fed beef is what our country is served daily until more people demand grass-fed beef, grainby corporations like McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, fed beef will be how a majority of our beef is IBP and Red Robin, Albertsons, etc. In fact, most raised and processed. #knowyourfood steaks in your everyday restaurants are grain-fed. Why? Because it is cheap, easy to produce, and makes beef taste marbled. Grain-fed cattle are fed a diet that is corn based. Cattle that are forced to eat corn have reactions to it, which requires an onsite “animal doctor” to take extra caution and observe their dietary behavior. This beef ends up on our plates. PAGE 39

Two Tasty Recipes to Herald the Fall Season‌ THREE RIVERS B&B BAKED APPLE This quick and easy baked apple recipe is from Leah Launey, innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast, located on the Kaweah River in Three Rivers, California, gateway to Sequoia National Park. - Use 1 medium Granny Smith or Fuji apple. Slice the top off the apple and set aside. Remove the rest of the apple, leaving some fruit and skin at the bottom. Discard seeds, and chop up the rest. - Layer your apple "shell" as follows: 1) honey 2) apple pieces 3) brown sugar 4) ground cinnamon 5) ground cloves 6) cinnamon sugar mixture 7) raisins, all to your taste. Keep layering, and pressing each layer down, until the "shell" has been filled and all of the apple pieces have been used.

- Place filled apple "shell" in shallow cereal bowl, with a small amount of water in the bottom of the bowl, fix the top of the apple back on with a toothpick, cover with waxed paper, and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let apple rest for 30 seconds, then microwave on high for 2 minutes more. - Lift apple out with a pair of soup spoons, and place in ramekin. Pour some of the "water" (which now also contains honey and spices that emerged from inside the apple) on top. Remove toothpick temporarily, to let the rest of the water/honey/spices go into the apple through the hole on top. Replace the toothpick. Cover ramekin with foil, leaving a hole for the toothpick. Place ramekin on a saucer in the oven on warm until you are ready to eat. Enjoy!

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BAKED APPLES WITH CHEDDAR CHEESE Five-star Chef Ivan Flowers chats with Big Blend Radio about his baked apples recipe, explains how to fry ice cream, and as a restaurant consultant, discusses the ins-and-outs of running a successful restaurant. 4 Large Red Delicious Apples 8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese 1 Lemon ¼ Tsp. Nutmeg 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar 1 Tsp. Coriander 4 Ounces Unsalted Butter ¾ Quart Apple Juice Salt

Place a 1 ounce pat of butter on top of each apple and place the reserved apple tops on top of the butter.

Cut ½ inch off the top of all the apples, reserving the tops.

Place apples in a baking pan and add in the apple juice. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Core apples, but keep them whole. Use a spoon and leave plenty of fruit at the bottom.

Let them cool slightly before serving. Spoon juice from pan over apples and serve.

Squeeze lemon juice onto all the apples. Insert a 2 ounce slice of cheddar cheese into each apple.

Serves 4.

In a bowl combine the nutmeg, coriander, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over all the apples. PAGE 41

Three Simple Pie Recipes Sure to Satisfy That Sweet Tooth! SAWDUST PIE This sweet old-fashioned southern-style pie recipe is from Gail H. Shelton, artist and owner of The Pea Patch Gallery & Cafe in historic downtown Winnfield, Louisiana. Visit ½ cup Crisco 2 cups sugar 3 eggs 3 Tbsp. flour 1 cup buttermilk Dash of nutmeg Dash of vanilla Graham cracker crust

FROZEN PEANUT BUTTER BRITTLE PIE This decadent and easy no-bake pie recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona, known for their delicious homemade peanut butter, peanut brittle and fudge! For more recipes, visit ¼ cup of light corn syrup 3 Tbsp. peanut butter 2 cups chocolate ice cream / frozen yogurt 1 package Graham cracker crust (6 oz.) 2 Tbsp. peanut brittle, crushed and divided 2 cups vanilla ice cream 8 Tbsp. of whip cream topping

Cream together Crisco and sugar. Mix in eggs and flour and beat until fluffy. Fold in buttermilk, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Combine syrup and peanut butter in a bowl. Spoon chocolate ice cream into Graham cracker crust. Freeze for 30 minutes. Spread half of the peanut butter mix on top of the frozen ice cream, and then sprinkle the peanut brittle on top. Spread vanilla ice cream over. Freeze for 30 minutes. Spread the remaining peanut butter mix on top, and then top with peanut brittle. Freeze for 3 hours. Place pie out for 20 minutes to soften, then top with whip cream and peanut brittle. Continued on Next Page…


Easy As Pie Continued…. CROCK POT APPLE PIE This layered delight is from Terri Bailey, coowner of historic Bailey’s Palomar Mountain Resort in Southern California. For more of Terri’s recipes, visit Toss 8 apples, peeled and sliced in a large bowl with: 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon allspice ¼ teaspoon nutmeg Place apple mixture in a lightly greased slow cooker.

Combine: 1 cup Bisquick 1/3 cup brown sugar

In a bowl combine the following ingredients: ¾ cup milk 2 tablespoons softened butter ¾ cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup Bisquick

Cut 3 tablespoons cold butter in the above mixture until crumbly.

Pour this mixture over apples in the slow cooker.

Most slow cooker desserts are cooked in smaller crock-pots, but this dessert works well in a 6 quart slow cooker.

Sprinkle the above mixture in the slow cooker on top of pie mixture. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.


Adam M. Roberts ‘The Compassionate Conservationist’, CEO of Born Free USA, talks with Big Blend Radio about Legislation for Wildlife and the upcoming 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES. Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation are global leaders in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, they lead vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade.

Legislation for Wildlife As animal welfare advocates, we all get outraged and deeply upset when we see injustice and cruel acts that harm and kill wildlife.

Big Blend Radio interview with Adam Roberts about Legislation for Wildlife. From trophy hunting occurring under the guise of wildlife conservation to animals suffering in roadside zoos and being removed from their home and families in the wild, only to be pimped out and profited upon in the zoo-type entertainment world we humans have established, there are so many horrific issues that threaten wildlife, and quite frankly, it gets overwhelming and for advocates everywhere, downright depressing.


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Keeping Wildlife in the Wild Continued… As Joan Baez famously and thoughtfully said, ‘Action is the antidote to despair.’ We all know the expression, ‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease,’ and when it comes to taking action for wildlife through legislation, it’s true. Every email, phone call and meeting with your local representative counts. The more squeaks we create on the wheel of legislation, the more chances we have of greasing our way to solid animal protection. The first step, is to go to Born Free USA’s main legislation center on their website, to learn about current bills pending locally and federally, and to find out who to contact and what to say. See

16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES International wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars annually and includes hundreds of millions of plants and animals that are traded as pets, ornamental plants and wood products, food, leather, tourist curios, trophies, and medicines. After habitat destruction, exploitation of wild specimens for trade is a main reason for the decline of global biodiversity. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is one of the most crucial and effective instruments to counter the depletion of wildlife species for trade. It accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants that are threatened by overexploitation. With 182 Parties now bound by the Convention, CITES is the largest conservation agreement in existence.

Big Blend Radio interview with Adam Roberts about Born Free USA’s focus at the upcoming 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES.

The 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES is September 24 – October 5, 2016, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Born Free USA will be there and will focus on a number of important issues including African Lions, African Elephants, African and Asian Pangolins, African Grey Parrots, African Softshell Turtles, Sharks, Southern White Rhinoceros, and African Rosewood. See: PAGE 45

GLOBAL GREEN USA Green Urbanism Global Green is a national leader in advancing sustainable and resilient communities. The organization greens cities, schools, and affordable housing to help protect human health, improve livability, and support our planet's natural systems in an effort to stem climate change.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Les McCabe, President and CEO of Global Green USA.

The organizations Green Urbanism Program works in partnership with local governments and Global Green is the only technical public agencies that are ready to do assistance provider in the country to sustainability. They help these entities create have certified three developments innovative and replicable policies, programs and through the pilot version of the procedures that make sustainable practices the rigorous LEED-ND system and is standard during the planning, design, working on several other planning construction and operation of a built projects that combine affordable housing with environment. environmental design while pursuing LEED-ND certification. Learn more at By working closely with agency staff and community stakeholders, they have helped create a number of innovative green building programs, sustainability plans, green urban design proposals and climate action strategies. One particular area of emphasis is helping public agencies and developers of affordable housing use the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system to advance their environmental goals and create models of sustainable neighborhoods. PAGE 46

ENVISION SOLAR Made in The USA by Veterans “We invent, engineer and manufacture products in our San Diego facility where our team of combat veterans, disabled workers and other valuable team members proudly integrate the highest quality components into our Made in America products,” says Desmond Wheatley, President and CEO of Envision Solar, a San Diego-based sustainable technology innovation company. “We work with the Honor Foundation and Wounded Warriors Project and as well as direct command connections in the Corps today,” says Wheatley. “We also have so many veterans here now that word of mouth works well for us too. Veterans, particularly Marine Corps combat veterans, work very well in our environment because they have an excellent mind set where doing the difficult things is concerned.”

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Desmond Wheatley, President and CEO of Envision Solar. Envision Solar’s EV ARC product was named Best Product of the Year in the 8th Annual Golden Bridge Awards in the Energy Industry Innovations category. The Awards Ceremony is taking place in San Francisco on September 12, 2016. Learn more at

Founded in 2006, Envision Solar International, Inc. focuses on unique and advanced renewably energized electric vehicle (EV) charging, media and branding and energy security systems. Their highly valuable and diverse product portfolio is based upon their patented EV ARC and Solar Tree product lines. PAGE 47

Model of megalodon shark jaws at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York. Mammals and animals died and were deposited in a 6 to 12 inch bone bed, carried there by the river or died in place within the marine environment.

Searching for Shark Teeth & Fossils in Bakersfield, California By Marilee Strech My early childhood memories of Bakersfield consists of waiting for three days in a very hot and dusty place for repairs to be made to our family car. It was a 1936 V-16 Cadillac limousine and the parts had to come from Los Angeles, about six hours away in those days before freeways. I had never been back to Bakersfield since then, so when the opportunity came my way to go on a fossil dig located near there, it seemed that I owed that town another visit. Of course, Bakersfield is much larger and much nicer than I had remembered, with the lovely Kern River flowing through the middle of the downtown area. There are nice hotels, good restaurants, and a lovely river walk along the Kern River. Bakersfield has come a long way in fifty years! Among other things, Bakersfield is renowned for being the location of Sharktooth Hill, a world famous location for Miocene era marine and land mammal fossil specimens. 15 to 16 million years ago, the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley (where Bakersfield is located) was an arm of the Pacific Ocean with a river flowing into it.

The most notable layer is called the bone bed, compressed to about 6 inches in thickness and containing no sediment. There are at least 141 different species of land, marine and air creatures represented in the bone bed, as well as another younger sedimentary layer about 4 feet above the bone bed. This fossil layer, called the Miocene Round Mountain Silt, covers about 110 square miles in the lower Joaquin Valley but is only exposed here near Bakersfield. It was first discovered in the 1860's by railroad surveyors and gold miners. Today, you can collect your own fossils for a reasonable fee by contacting the Buena Vista Natural History Museum in Bakersfield. They have contracted with Robert and Mary Ernst, owners of three quarries on the Hill, to do several sponsored digs a year. In addition, you can also do a fee dig directly through the Ernsts through their own website,


Diggin’ & a Grinnin’ Continued Arriving in Bakersfield ,all fired up and ready to go on a two-day dig, we met our group at the Natural History Museum for orientation. The Museum itself is a real treasure, containing a multitude of stuffed animals, gems and mineral specimens, but most importantly the fossil collection of Bob Ernst who was responsible for starting the museum in 1995 with Mike Metz, a geologist. Bob Ernst was a self taught paleontologist who collected and preserved over 2 million fossil specimens from his private quarries. He dug for over 40 years part time until retirement and then daily after retiring, and was credited for uncovering 8 previously undiscovered new species before his death in 2007. It is thanks to him and his foresight that we were able both to enjoy his finds at the museum and to go dig our own "finds". After our orientation, we caravanned about 8 miles east of Bakersfield to an area called Oildale----one of the old Chevron Oil Co. pumping fields which is still being used today. The fossil quarries are located in the middle of the oilfields in a privately owned area, consisting of clay hills (hot and dusty in summer).

Next we tried digging into the floor with our picks and shovels, using our screens to find the smaller teeth and fossils. We found more shark teeth, dolphin teeth, coprolite, and dolphin ear bones, as well as a couple of turtle inner bones. As we proceeded to dig, we noticed that a lot of the more experienced diggers were taking a different approach, just laying on their sides and slicing through the layers with a sharp knife with a 6 inch blade. They were keeping their teeth intact instead of breaking a few like we did with our overzealous shoveling and picking! Continued on Next Page…

We were taken to the West Quarry East for our first day's dig, which is the newest and least dug of the three Ernst Quarries. Most of our fellow diggers were quick to pick out a promising spot, but were very helpful in aiding us in digging techniques and likely spots for digging. Robert Ernst also showed us where and how to dig, and very patiently guided us in our quest. We had the choice of digging in the wall of the quarry which had both the younger fossil layer in the sediment and the lower layer of hard bone bed to dig in, while the floor of the quarry contained the thick layer of bone bed under about 4 inches of hard clay. We first tried the wall and succeeded in finding shark teeth, shrimp burrows and some bones. This involved swinging the pick into the wall to remove the soil above and below the fossil layers----harder work than digging in the floor, or so it seemed.

Below: Megalodon pursuing two Eobalaenoptera whales by Karen Karr


Diggin’ & a Grinnin’ Continued… No Megalodon teeth were found that day, but one young man who has been digging there for 20 years, starting when he was just 5 years old, found a nice big walrus tooth. It was the fourth one and the best one he had found in all the years of his digging. He sure did move more dirt than anyone else, being rewarded for his efforts with many nice specimens for his collection. Our second day of digging was in danger of being cancelled due to rain. Now you might ask, does it really rain in Bakersfield? The real issue seemed to be the clay hillside roads which turn to sticky gumbo at just a few drops of rain, are impossible to drive when it really gets wet. It was decided by our leaders that the group would go to Slow Curve Quarry which was about 2 miles from the paved road and only had one hill to navigate on the way out, to give us a much better chance of exiting the site safely. This quarry is much smaller in area than the West Quarry East, but is noted for being more productive for finding those coveted Megalodon teeth.

Megalodon tooth compared to hands. Then, another whoop and holler, again from someone digging in the wall. This time, the Megalodon tooth was a very small back tooth about 1 inch long and ½ inch wide with the root intact. It seems that this back tooth is a much rarer find than the big teeth, therefore worth quite a bit more to a collector.

Again, everyone quickly chose a spot to dig, either in the wall or in the floor of the quarry. The rain was holding off so we really got serious about making good use of our time----no slacking After we got home, we had more fun cleaning off off today! We began finding some really nice the big whale vertebrae and other bones that we shark teeth but very little bone, far different than brought back with us. the other quarry which had many huge bones of all kinds. Then, we heard a big whoop and holler The curator at the Buena Vista Natural History from the quarry wall----- Megalodon tooth in Museum had encouraged us to clean the dirt off sight! Everyone came running with cameras and the bones carefully, looking for micro-teeth in advice, telling the novice digger to be very careful the dirt. Sure enough, we found some really tiny and dig around it very slowly so as not to break Angel Shark teeth. Even better, I uncovered a it. Apparently good teeth have been broken over very nice hooked-tooth Mako shark tooth still in the years by carelessness and haste---place on a nice complete vertebrae! For me, that heartbreaking after all the work you put into was my best find of the whole trip! digging for it. He was successful in getting it out of the surrounding clay and bone, completely An avid rock hound, Marilee Strech owns intact, 4 ½ inches long and in perfect condition. Crossroads Treasures, a gift shop that features a This was only his third weekend of digging with variety of rocks and gems, beads and jewelry, plants his brother as his teammate----needless to say, and books, and is just down the hill from Julian, a they were ecstatic in achieving their prize so popular mountain destination Southern California. soon into their new hobby of digging for shark's Visit teeth. PAGE 50

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Shelley Armitage, who discusses her ecomemoir “Walking the Llano: A Texas Memoir of Place.” Armitage, who grew up nearby in the small town of Vega, finds this act of walking inseparable from the act of listening and writing. “What does the land say to us?” she asks as she witnesses human alterations to the landscape—perhaps most catastrophic the continued drainage of the land’s most precious resource, the Ogallala Aquifer.

WALKING THE LLANO When American explorers crossed the Texas Panhandle, they dubbed it part of the “Great American Desert.” A “sea of grass,” the llano appeared empty, flat, and barely habitable. Contemporary developments—cell phone towers, oil rigs, and wind turbines—have only added to this stereotype. Yet in this lyrical ecomemoir, Shelley Armitage charts a unique rediscovery of the largely unknown land, a journey at once deeply personal and far-reaching in its exploration of the connections between memory, spirit, and place.

Yet the llano’s wonders persist: dynamic mesas and canyons, vast flora and fauna, diverse wildlife, rich histories. Armitage recovers the voices of ancient, Native, and Hispano peoples, their stories interwoven with her own: her father’s legacy, her mother’s decline, a brother’s love. The llano holds not only the beauty of ecological surprises but a renewed realization of kinship in a world ever changing. Reminiscent of the work of Terry Tempest Williams and John McPhee, Walking the Llano is both a celebration of an oft-overlooked region and a soaring testimony to the power of the landscape to draw us into greater understanding of ourselves and others by experiencing a deeper connection with the places we inhabit.

Armitage begins her narrative with the intention Shelley Armitage is Professor Emerita of English to walk the llano from her family farm thirty and American Studies at the University of Texas meandering miles along the Middle Alamosa at El Paso. Her numerous publications include Creek to the Canadian River. Along the way, she Bones Incandescent: The Pajarito Journals of Peggy seeks the connection between her father and Pond Church and John Held, Jr.: Illustrator of the one of the area’s first settlers, Ysabel Gurule, Jazz Age. Visit who built his dugout on the banks of the Canadian. PAGE 51

DHARMA PARENTING Understand Your Child's Brilliant Brain for Greater Happiness, Health, Success, and Fulfillment Parents often marvel at how differently each of their children operate: one child might learn quickly and forget quickly, while another learns slowly and forgets slowly; one kid might be hyperactive, while another is slow moving; and one may fall asleep quickly, only to awake in the night, while another takes hours to fall asleep. In DHARMA PARENTING: Understand Your Child's Brilliant Brain for Greater Happiness, Health, Success, and Fulfillment, renowned scientists Dr. Robert Keith Wallace and Dr. Frederick Travis explain the reasons for these differences and use their groundbreaking scientific research to help parents ascertain their child’s unique brain/body type. Drawing on the time-tested knowledge of these Ayurvedic types and combining it with the latest understanding of how the brain is shaped by natural maturation, Wallace and Travis show parents how to better understand their child’s natural inclinations and corresponding strengths and weaknesses.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with leading brain researchers Dr. Robert Keith Wallace & Dr. Frederick Travis, co-authors of ‘Dharma Parenting.’ Visit


Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Brian Johnson & Dr. Laurie Berdahl, co-authors of ‘Warning Signs.’

WARNING SIGNS How to Protect Your Kids from Becoming Victims or Perpetrators of Violence and Aggression As a child psychologist, professor, and facilitator of a mentorship program for at-risk youth at the University of Northern Colorado, Brian Johnson, PhD emphasizes the need to uncover and address the factors underlying becoming a victim and/or perpetrator of aggressive or violent acts.

Citing research, news events, and stories of grappling with aggression and violence personally and with their counseling clients and patients, Drs. Johnson and Berdahl explore how to find out what’s going on when a child seems at risk of being harmed or harming others, and provide powerful and practical interventions. Indicators of danger and preventative measures are outlined in their new book, Warning Signs: How to Protect Your Kids from Becoming Victims or Perpetrators of Violence and Aggression. Visit

Along with his wife, writing and parenting education partner, Laurie Berdahl, MD, the two wondered, “Why do parents feel less in control of what happens to their kids and what can we do about it?” They made it their mission to help reduce violence and aggression in the lives of children, their parents, and society. PAGE 53

Compiled by Nancy J Reid & Lisa D. Smith, with the Leisure Leash review by Eva Eldridge

BUDDYPHONES Researchers have proven that those who are exposed to noise levels over 85 decibels for an extended period of time, are at risk for hearing loss. So what does that mean for our plugged-in kids – many of whom are using devices with noise levels far above 85 decibels? The new and revolutionary BuddyPhones Explore headphones line has a built-in, volume limiting circuitry that caps the sound automatically at 85 decibels, which is the level recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for kids. We showed BuddyPhones Explore to many of our parent friends and not only were they thrilled about the ability to protect their children’s hearing, but they also love the durability of the headphones, how easy they are to adjust size wise, and that the cable is flat.

There’s also a detachable cable system that allows up to four audio cables to connect to one device, making it perfect for sharing. The built-in microphone is great for making calls or for using interactive study apps. Ideal for air travel, the BuddyPhones InFlight edition has a special twoprong plug for airplanes, and parents can change the maximum volume settings and even set it all the way down to 75 decibels. BuddyPhones come in a variety of fun colors, along with a set of stickers. There are also foldable editions. Visit


HOT LOGIC MINI The Hot Logic Personal Portable Oven is like a crockpot, but easier to transport. There are so many ways to use this product! It’s great for reheating (we call it re-inventing) left overs. Just open the bag, put your leftovers in the pyrex dish, or take your leftovers right out of the refrigerator in their container and slip it into the bag, zip it up and plug it in. Give it time, and it will cook, reheat or warm your food. This is so helpful if you need to travel, or take a dish to a party or potluck. You can even let your meal cook all day while you are work. It is so much easier than trying to carry a hot dish somewhere. It has a handy bag with a handle and it doesn’t care if your meal is in a plastic container, a glass dish, has foil around it, or is frozen. Just think ahead, and let it do the work. We found it to be easy to manage and in the hot, desert summers, a great way to prepare a meal without turning on the oven. Hot Logic Mini is perfect for busy parents, business professionals, college students, RV campers and travelers alike. Check it out at

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OTTO’S NATURALS CASSAVA FLOUR Otto's Naturals Cassava Flour is a fantastic substitute for wheat flour especially if you are gluten intolerant, have allergies to tree nuts, or have a problem with grains. This flour is made from the Yuca root, but it is as close as you will come to the texture of wheat. We made pancakes with the Cassava Flour, right from the recipe on We did substitute rice milk for the regular milk, and the result was light, fluffy and extra tasty pancakes. Cooking with this flour presented no extra dilemmas, it worked just as if you were using wheat flour. It’s a super healthy alternative and it has great flavor! We can’t wait to try their taco and pizza recipes next! PAGE 55

The Sprouted Multigrain Zatar Chips are made from whole corn and a mix of brown rice, brown flax and buckwheat, plus, a variety of beans, and Hats off to Flamous Brands for making healthy, all-natural chips that are truly delicious! Not only a blend of 8 species. Great for dipping and are they a good source of protein and fiber, but perfect for parties and family gatherings, we loved the Spicy Falafel Chips and and Spicy Fiesta they’re packed with anti-oxidants, are glutenChips with guacamole, and the Original Falafel free, and certified organic and non-GMO! The Chips and Sprouted Multigrain Zatar Chips with Falafel Chips are made from chickpeas and a hummus. They’re also good for a tasty snack at variety of beans, and a blend of 12 spices. work, or on the road. See


WHITMOR MESH TOTE From storing toys to stashing laundry, the Whitmor Mesh Tote is a handy and sturdy bag. Made from polyester mesh, with heavy duty straps that can hang from the back of a door or inside a closet, the tote is washable, and the mesh provides airation. From air travel to camping, picnics to sporting events, college dorms to gyms, farmers markets to grocery stores, workshops to garden sheds, the tote is a go-to for carrying and storing all kinds of things, and can be used in a variety of circumstances. See


KEYSOCKS Whether it’s your favorite pair of heels or your new sporty sneakers, we all have those stylish shoes that we just love, but wearing them means dealing with painful blisters, cold toes, or even sweat. Who wants to suffer for style? Especially when we you’re wearing your ‘lucky shoes’ for something important – be it your wedding day, a major business negotiation, or even your high school reunion. Enter Keysocks, the stylish solution to wearing painful shoes. Keysocks are comfortable noshow knee-high socks for women, and they can be worn during any season, and for any occasion. The socks have strategic cut-outs and can be worn invisibly under any full-length pair of pants, from jeans to business dress slacks. Keeping your feet warm and cozy, the toe and heel areas are wonderfully cushioned and the sock itself fits snug without being too tight or too loose.

The original sock is slightly thicker than the light version, which is ideal for fall or the upcoming winter months. From black to yellow, pink to nude, Keysocks are available in a variety of colors. For more information and ordering, visit:

Keysocks are available in Original or Light versions. Made from a blend of moisture-wicking polyester and lycra spandex, Original Keysocks wick moisture away from skin, breathe efficiently and dry fast.


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Marketplace Continued… MINI MOSO NATURAL AIR PURIFYING BAGS As avid national park and wilderness explorers, we’ve had plenty of experience in stepping into all kinds of stinky stuff, and we definitely know how to sweat up our clothes, boots and hiking gear. Even my camera bags get soaked! We are a sensitive family when it comes to all those chemical air freshners or any product loaded up on toxic fragrances, and we simply can’t use them. Mini Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags rock the air freshener world by being nontoxic and fragrance free, and eco-friendly. The perfect size (50g per bag) to stuff into your shoes, backpack, laundry bag or gym bag, these mini satchels are filled with moso bamboo charcoal. In Asia they call this all-natural wonder “black diamond”, and not only do they use it to freshen their air, but it’s also utilized to aid digestion and as a filter to clean water! Just like a sponge, it acts like a dehumidifier and freshens the air by absorbing moisture, odors and impurities.

You can keep using it over-and-over for up to two years by placing it in the sun to ‘recharge’. Eco-friendly and recyclable, you can retire the charcoal by digging it into the soil in your garden. Though you can purchase larger bags to freshen your home, car, garage, office, or even your refrigerator or pet bed, these mini bags are excellent for outdoor adventurers and athletes. You get two Mini Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags per order, and they are available on


I have the twenty-two inch leash which keeps Sera close to me when people or other dogs are around. Once distractions are removed I can easily reconfigure the leash using the clip and D-rings and slide the leash over Sera’s head instead of letting it drag on the ground. I think this is a perfect solution to keep the leash from getting snagged, or worse, and Sera doesn’t mind because the leash isn’t dragging between her legs. It’s also easy for me to grab and reconfigure when I need to.

THE LEISURE LEASH Sera is a determined seventy-five pound mix breed dog who loves to go—anywhere. She wants to sniff out the current doggie news. However, in her eagerness to meet new friends, she doesn’t realize how intimidating she can be. For that reason, I use a slip collar along with her regular collar when I walk her. I was quite pleased when my Leisure Leash came equipped with a nylon slip collar.

My leash is purple which coordinates with her current collar and it comes in other colors like aqua, red, pink, and black. I had to read the instructions the first time I used the leash, but once I set up the slip collar and clipped everything together, I realized how well the leash is designed. With the D-rings and carabineer type clip, you can use the leash as a short lead for heeling, or extend it to allow a little more wander room. You could add a second leash to let the dog have even more length. When you want to let the dog loose, just clip a D-ring back onto the carabineer and slip the leash over the dog’s head. There are instructions on their website and photos of happy dogs at Sera approves and can’t wait until I slip the Leisure Leash over her head again!


By S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq., Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC Uber is a company that provides consumer transportation and jobs. The founders developed the idea in Paris, France. One snowy evening in 2008, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp could not find a cab. They experienced how the market limited their ability to get a ride. They decided that they could fill a market void through a smart phone app. Uber and its technology have since made it far easier and, in many cases, cheaper to get transportation in hundreds of cities throughout the world. Independent Contractors or Employees? Uber provides its technology to drivers who want to make money from people who need a ride or who want to send things to a specific destination. The drivers signed agreements that designated them as independent contractors. Recently, Uber drivers have filed several suits against Uber, claiming that they are employees, not independent contractors.

Listen to Attorney Ward Heinrichs discuss Uber Driver Regulations on Big Blend Radio!

The largest of those cases is in a California Federal Court and was settled for One Hundred Million dollars. The drivers claim that they were employees who should have received tips collected by Uber. They also claimed that Uber should have covered car maintenance costs and other business expenses that benefited Uber. The Court preliminarily approved the settlement but has not yet given final approval. Some of the drivers have filed challenges to the settlement.


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Uber Employment Laws Continued‌ One thing the challengers do not like about the settlement is it declares that the drivers will remain as independent contractors. The challengers have a point. How can they be independent contractors when Uber has agreed to pay them tips and business costs? Only employees are entitled to such things. Apparently, the California court case will not make a final determination about whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors. How Safe is Uber? Uber uses a company called Checkr, Inc. to do background checks. It matches addresses of the drivers to convictions associated with those addresses. Taxi companies say that Uber’s background checks are not as safe as their checks. Typically, they use checks based on FBI and state fingerprint data bases. Uber stopped its service in Austin Texas because the city failed to pass a voter proposition that would have rescinded a requirement that Uber and other ride hailing companies use fingerprint background checks. Fingerprint checks are more expensive.

Apparently, some journalists and politicians have been tracked and the app also appears to have the ability to track the movements of anyone. Many states and municipalities do not require Uber cars to pass safety inspections. In contrast, South Carolina requires Uber drivers to pass vehicle safety inspections, and California passed a new law requiring Uber to register its drivers with the DMV pull-notice system. The pull-notice system allows the DMV to check the driving records of Uber drivers, as it has traditionally has done for taxi drivers. Unfair Competition? Taxi drivers have sued Uber for not competing fairly and for not following rules that govern taxi companies. Municipalities and foreign countries have declared that Uber does not always follow laws that govern them and like services. In some cases, Uber has been banned. 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 employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit

Governments have criticized Uber for using its App to track the movements of customers.


Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Kevin D. Hancock, author of ‘Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse’, winner of the 2016 National Indie Excellence® Award in the Leadership category, and finalist for the Spirituality category.

NOT FOR SALE Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse ‘NOT FOR SALE: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse’ is a unique iconoclastic memoir that traces one businessman’s journey deep into Indian country, and even deeper into his own soul. In a corporate world hallmarked by the never-ending quest for bigger, better, more, this CEO of one of America s oldest family businesses contemplates an organizational structure where the goal is to do less, not more. In a 24/7 internet- wired world consumed with roles, responsibilities, and external accomplishments, Kevin learns to look inward for meaning and purpose. Through a series of successive, solo trips to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Kevin learns the following powerful lessons: We all come from a tribe, and while the pull of the past is strong, the soul is here to individuate.

Leadership in the new Aquarian Age is about doing less, not more. Those who hold the power often overreach; they go too far. Busyness is not living, and personal growth lies in looking inward, not outward. The boundaries that have been set to divide people are not real. In the end, we are all one tribe. In a modern-day adventure strikingly similar to the ancient Lakota Vision Quest rite, Kevin separates from his own tribe for the purpose of seeking a deeper sense of self. Along the way, Kevin comes to be thankful for the partial loss of his own speaking voice as he learns it was his soul s way of getting him to stop working, stop leading, stop caretaking. In losing consistent access to his voice, Kevin discovers a pathway, a calling, to strengthening the voices of others, which he uses to think differently about the future of Pine Ridge, the future of Hancock Lumber, and the future of tribes everywhere.

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2016 IFWTWA ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them. The organization’s Annual Professional Development Conference, is being held from October 30-November 3, 2016, at the fourdiamond Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego. Travel, food and wine writers (even non-IFWTWA members) are invited to enjoy four nights of professional development, networking and fun by the San Diego seaside, including: a gala welcoming cocktail party; dining at several select San Diego restaurants; education breakout sessions on many topics including social media and media trips; an exciting panel of Southern California chefs featuring the best and brightest culinary trend makers; a Tourism Marketplace venue where you can connect one-on-one with tourism representatives; San Diego touring activities, and much more!

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Todd & Sue Montgomery, co-chairs of the 2016 IFWTWA Annual Professional Development Conference!


New this year, the conference is open to non-IFWTWA members – but there are limited spaces, so visit for details and registration.

October 2016 marks the 54th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a standoff that brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear destruction. Just how close we came to an exchange of nuclear weapons was not revealed until the 2002 publication of Peter Huchthausen’s October Fury. This gripping history describes the formerly top-secret facts concerning a near-catastrophic confrontation between an American destroyer and a Soviet submarine armed with a deadly nuclear torpedo. I played a role on the American side of this confrontation. On October 27, 1962, as a young naval officer, I was standing watch on the bridge of the USS Cony (DD-508), an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) destroyer. My ship was part of an ASW task force including a squadron of destroyers and the USS Randolph (CVS 15), an ASW aircraft carrier.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with 5 Naval Officers who were aboard the USS Cony: Gary Slaughter, Andrew Bradick, Bob Mitich, Jim Knapp, and Paul Goorjian. Originally aired in February 2013. Continued on Next Page‌


The Closest Call Continued… The task force was stationed on the Cuban Quarantine Line about 300 miles southwest of Bermuda. American ASW strategic intelligence had identified a number of Soviet submarines that were traveling southward toward Cuba in advance of the Soviet freighters carrying medium-range nuclear missiles and other arms for use by Fidel Castro’s forces positioned on the north coast of Cuba, only 90 miles from our coastline. At about five o’clock in the afternoon, the Cony detected a sonar contact, which turned out to be the B-59, a Soviet Foxtrot class, diesel-battery powered submarine. Following the naval protocol for challenging unidentified submarines to surface, Cony crewmen dropped five practice depth charges. This action apparently panicked the submarine’s already stress-ridden commanding officer, Captain Vitali Savitsky who ordered his crew to arm their nuclear torpedo.

Savitsky was correct. The nuclear device he was about to launch at Cony was estimated to be in the 15-kiloton range. This was the power of the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to end World War II. Stories differ on why Savitsky did not launch his nuclear torpedo. Some witnesses say he cooled down and had a change of heart. Others say that a peer, Captain Vasili Arkhipov from the B-59 squadron commander’s staff dissuaded him. Still others say that pressure was brought by all of the officers aboard B-59. In any case, Savitsky took five more hours of unrelenting ASW hounding or “prosecuting” by Cony. With her batteries nearly depleted, B-59 finally surfaced at 10 o’clock that night. Following the rules laid out in the protocol, B-59 assumed an easterly heading and a slow speed while recharging her batteries. The Cony followed the submarine from a position about 200 feet off the submarine’s starboard beam.

As communication officer, I was fully trained to Witnesses aboard B-59 reported that Savitsky communicate with Soviet warships by employing the Cyrillic alphabet transliteration screamed, “Maybe the war has already table, International Signals Book, and Morse started up there, while we’re down here code. Soon after B-59 was on the surface, my doing summersaults. We’re going to blast them now! We’ll die, but we will sink them all. signalmen and I used our flashing light to interrogate the submarine. We will not disgrace our Navy.” Continued on Next Page…

USS Blandy (DD 943) at Sea


USS Cony (DDE 508) The Closest Call Continued… At first, Savitsky refused to identify the name of his boat. When challenged, he replied that the submarine was “Ship X.” And he reported his status as, “On the surface, operating normally.” I then asked, “Do you require assistance?” Savitsky’s answer was a curt, “Negative.” For nearly an hour, Savitsky and I stared at each other. The situation settled into an uneasy standoff for both of us. Suddenly, an overzealous naval aviator disrupted our relative serenity. Out of the night sky a land-based, fixed-wing Neptune P2V roared over the scene and dropped several small incendiary devices, presumably to activate his photoelectric camera lenses to photograph the submarine. The incendiaries sounded like a string of large firecrackers exploding. Bam! Bam! Bam! And the light flashes were absolutely blinding. Understandably believing he was under attack, Savitsky cleared his conning tower and wheeled his boat around, bringing his nuclear torpedo to bear on Cony.

Commander William Morgan, Cony’s commanding officer, immediately directed me to signal Savitsky, apologizing for the provocative nature of the pilot’s conduct. Then Morgan, using ship-to-ship radio, transmitted a scolding rebuke of the Task Force Commander’s staff for allowing such an act to occur. When Savitsky observed no further provocative actions, he cooled down, accepted my apology, and resumed an easterly heading. Morgan’s standing order for me was simple. “Keep that Russian bastard happy.” I spent the ensuing several hours doing just that. I started by nodding my thanks for Savitsky’s patience. The Russian nodded back. Our relationship, such as it was, appeared to become more cordial in nature. Shortly thereafter, Savitsky surprisingly signaled (in plain English this time) that his crew could use some fresh bread and cigarettes if Cony could spare them. I immediately arranged for a parcel of freshly-baked bread and American cigarettes to be transferred to the submarine by high-line, which involved the use of a shotgun to propel a floatable projectile attached to a light line over to the receiving ship. Continued on Next Page…


Soviet Sub B-59 on the Surface

The Closest Call Continued…

Some hours later, Cony received word that B-59 had submerged and the Waller had lost contact The Russian high-line procedure called for the with the submarine. Even though all Cony crew use of a “monkey fist” attached to a light line, members, including myself, were sworn to thrown by hand. When Cony had closed to within secrecy about the whole incident, I was proud to 80 feet or so, the boatswain mate discharged his receive a Letter of Commendation for my actions shotgun. At the sound of the shot, Captain on that historic day. Savitsky ducked and cleared his conning tower once again, apparently preparing to submerge. My lips were sealed for the next 50 years. When Savitsky realized that Cony’s intentions were benign, he re-manned his conning tower, retrieved the parcel, and came to a northeasterly heading. As he slowly chugged toward Russia, recharging his batteries, Cony set a parallel course and followed, just off B-59’s starboard beam. Again Savitsky and I exchanged cordial nods and even a small smile or two as I recall.

Not even my wife knew about the incident until Peter Huchthausen asked me to write an account of my recollections of this incident. I credit my ten years of ASW training and experience as the reason this incident and all its facets have remained so vivid in my mind. Learning of the obvious danger of the presence of a nuclear-tipped torpedo sharpened my memory as well.

Cony steamed along like this for several more hours, until relieved by the USS Waller (DD 466), a member of Cony’s destroyer squadron. After a respectful salute to Capitan Savitsky, I retired to my stateroom for a long, much-deserved night’s rest. Cony returned to its position in the ASW screen ahead of the Randolph.

In terms of historical perspective, the Kennedy White House ominously called Saturday, October 27, 1962, “Black Saturday.” In addition to Cony’s close call, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over Cuba by a Soviet surface-to-air missile. Historians agree that this was the most dangerous day in the history of our country. Continued on Next Page…


The Closest Call Continued… The Documentary 'The Man Who Saved The World' During the first half of 2012, I spent many hours working with Bedlam Productions, a British filmmaker, to develop a documentary regarding the B-59 and my ship’s role in a formerly topsecret incident that occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Historians agree that this incident was the closest the world has ever come to an exchange of nuclear weapons between the United States and the Soviet Union. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis this documentary was shown on all the nation’s PBS stations in October, 2012. Excerpts of my long interview that was filmed by Bedlam in Washington, DC, aboard a retired navy destroyer on exhibit at the Washington Navy Yard were included in the documentary. The documentary was commissioned by PBS (Thirteen) which is WNET in New York.

WNET produces and distributes programming for all PBS affiliates in the country. The documentary, entitled The Man Who Saved the World, is a part of the Secrets of the Dead series. Over the past four years, I have turned down three other documentary filmmakers in favor of Bedlam. Among a number of reasons I chose Bedlam was the fact that Bedlam produced the 2010 Best Picture Academy Award winner, “The King’s Speech.” It’s one of my favorite movies. For the record: I am not the man who saved the world. I was just one of many who helped keep it safe for all of us.


SEA STORIES A Memoir of a Naval Officer (1956-1967) Gary Slaughter made waves in the literary world when he released his multi-award-winning Cottonwood novels (Fletcher House). Now, he’s bringing to life his experience as a U.S. Navy ensign at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in his awe-inspiring nonfiction debut, Sea Stories: A Memoir of a Naval Officer (1956-1967), releasing Sept. 4, 2016. With incidents ranging from humorous to heartwarming to downright dangerous, each of these 60 incredible stories shows new insights into everyday life on the Cold War frontline and an unforgettable slice of American history. Slaughter’s masterful ability to bring genuine, enthralling characters to life has been applauded by readers and reviewers alike. His work has also been selected as a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award for Adult and Popular Fiction, the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction and the Next Generation Indie Book Award for General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction. Sea Stories: A Memoir of a Naval Officer (19561967): On October 27, 1962 – called Black Saturday by the Kennedy White House – the USS Cony surfaced B-59, a Soviet submarine. Gary Slaughter, a 22-year-old U.S. Navy officer, studied the sullen face of Capt. Vitali Savitsky, his sworn enemy, at a distance of only 200 feet. His mission? To dissuade Savitsky from launching a torpedo – with a nuclear tip that could have precipitated an all-out nuclear exchange that would have destroyed the world. Other vignettes include: A boiler explosion kills two sailors aboard a destroyer where Slaughter served as engineering officer, a perplexing situation develops in the Engineering Log Room when a naïve Yeoman uses his initials, FRT, to reclassify hundreds of Navy documents. And in an apparent suicide attempt, a sailor, fueled by too many beers, jumps into the icy waters off the coast of Portland, Maine.

Listen to Gary Slaughter discuss SEA STORIES on Big Blend Radio! GARY SLAUGHTER, author of the award-winning Cottonwood series, served as a naval officer for seven years after graduating from the University of Michigan. After establishing a distinguished business career in corporate information technology, he decided to put his career on hold to write his first novel, Cottonwood Summer. He and his wife, Joanne, live in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more at


Viking River Cruise from Lyon to Provence Delivers By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’

The last few big-ship cruises I went on were so disappointing I thought perhaps the cruising option was not for me anymore. You know what I mean. The floating city concept, complete with kids, cramped rooms, mediocre food, a plethora of “up sales” in dining, beverage, shore cruises and outrageous internet charges. I can sense some head nodding and eye rolling out there. Been there, done that? Then I met Viking River Cruises and my attitude got a whole new…well… attitude.

Listen to Linda Kissam talk about her Viking River Cruise experience through France!

Think a whole new adult attitude with passengerfirst programs. This cruise line seems to know the secret to the successful grownup vacations: give the passengers what they want, rather than the other way around. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 70

Don’t Miss the Boat! Continued… My cruise aboard the 190 passenger Viking Nuri found the rooms to be spacious, stylish and – wait for it – Internet and work-space friendly. Not all of us can afford to be away from our work for seven days. Letting the passenger make the decision on how that might work for them, is a huge step in cruising independence. What would you think if a cruise line offered complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner, and encouraged passengers to bring their own wine aboard and enjoy it on their schedule—sans corkage fee. Now, I call that a smart adult oriented policy. If you want a little bit more in the adult beverage choice department, The Viking Silver Spirits Beverage Package might be for you. It covers unlimited premium wines, beers, espresso drinks, juices and mineral water for the entire duration of the cruise, plus cocktails and a bottle of sparkling wine. Start the day with a frothy cappuccino, sip a fine regional wine with dinner, or celebrate with sparkling wine in the lounge post dinner…all for one package price. On my cruise that price was $150. Shorter cruises are less expensive, longer ones a bit more. Works for me.

And finally, what would you spend to get a wellplanned, hassle free, upscale guided tour at every port – that was included in the price? You can take advantage of it or not, but there are professional level activities that explain and share the local excitement of each stop. Continued on Next Page…


Don’t Miss the Boat Continued… The morning itineraries find the passengers splitting up into several smaller groups. Tours are easy to follow, hear and understand. There are a few alternative adventures available for a reasonable up-charge as well. My cruise was focused on wine and the soft activities that people who love wine, want. Think cooking schools, art excursions and high-end tastings.

Here’s a review of my favorite stops and activities. Just be aware you will need to walk to most things (although there are several bus tours). Bring sunblock, a hat, reasonable walking shoes (no sandals or flipflops) and water. Casual dress is fine. There are no dress-up nights.

Day 1. Avignon, France: Board the ship docked in Avignon. Depending on what time you can get there and how tired you are after boarding, take Boarding a plane to Bordeaux and driving time to explore the scenic Rhône River, or join through the region seems rather mundane, while the “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get using a boat as your means of transport creates oriented. lasting memories and no crazy drivers. Continued on Next Page… The Viking website wasn’t kidding when it promised, “Sail the scenic Saône and Rhône Rivers through beautiful French countryside. Explore the famed region of Beaujolais and the colorful fields of Provence. Explore Gallo-Roman ruins in Vienne, stroll the cobblestone streets of Arles that inspired Vincent van Gogh and visit Avignon, the 'City of Popes.' Discover winemaking traditions, sample Beaujolais varietals and try world-famous regional cuisine in Lyon.” I had it all. I did it all. PAGE 72

Day 3. Avignon, France: A fairly long, but well executed guided Taste of Provence Avignon Food Tour. What fun to walk around Avignon, tasting chocolates, teas, spices, and local delicacies followed by a very special cooking class and Don’t Miss the Boat Continued… lunch at Maison de Fogasses. Part house of art, part café and part cooking school, this place Day 2. Arles, France: A full sit down breakfast seemed like a dream from a French art film. This first, then a full day (optional) eye-opening day was my favorite. The luxurious experience of excursion to visit the homelands of the Provencal Cowboys. Who knew there were bulls, visiting local shops, cafes, a farmers market and bullrings and cowboys in France? Flamingos may upscale stores merited some lèche-vitrine be Camargue's most symbolic birds, but the area (window licking, as the French say). is more historically famous for its white horses. Continued on Next Page… The Camargue horses are a special breed, reputedly one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world, and they have lived in the Camarguessaline wetlands for thousands of years. This tour took us to a famous breeding ranch. We enjoyed a close-up tour of Camargue's traditional cowboys and cowgirls herding and rounding up the area's distinctive black bulls. Only the horses have what it takes to round up the bulls. At first I was horrified that I was part of supporting bull fighting tourism. However, not to worry. Camargue bullfights are not like Spanish bullfights. Camargue bullfights are a competition of agility between men dressed in white, and black bulls; the aim is for the bullfighters to steal ribbons, tassels and rosettes that are placed between the bull's horns. In the Camargue tradition of bullfighting, there are no matadors, and the bulls are not killed. PAGE 73

Don’t Miss the Boat! Continued… It’s important to pay attention to the optional tours offered to you before the cruise begins. I doddered and missed the opportunity to pay a bit extra to join in on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape tour, visiting the vineyards and tasting the famous wine.

Dramatic scenery at every turn. Check out the local wine store in the depot. There’s a local tradition of serving Chardonnay wine with a splash of locally made Liqueur de Myrtille. This sweet and fruity blueberry liqueur is “interesting” in Chardonnay, and delightful in Champagne.

Day 4. Viviers, France: A brisk guided morning through the Old Town is quite stunning, seeing medieval and Renaissance buildings. Once a 5thcentury Roman settlement, today the cobbled streets are dominated by the 12th-century St. Vincent Cathedral. Many buildings feature halftimbering, a Medieval building technique that left the wood framing exposed. Wear sun block and no flip-flops! French tea was served aboard the ship. Not quite like an English tea, but delicious all the same.

Day 6. Lyon, France: This is the stop of all stops for foodies, and is a true destination in and of itself. Today’s tour began with a drive to the top of Fourvière Hill for amazing views of the city and continued with a guided visit to the glorious Basilica of Notre Dame. The Basilica gift shop has many interesting souvenirs.

Day 5. Tournon & Vienne, France: Something unexpected today as we boarded the steam Train de l’Ardèche in the morning for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River.

A walking tour was next through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Town), with free time to shop for printed scarves, interesting liqueurs, souvenirs and sampling fine French cuisine, for which Lyon is world famous, was a big plus.


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Don’t Miss the Boat Continued…

Day 7. Mâcon, France & Beaujolais Wine Tour: This is the special day for wine lovers. The scenic If I was to do it over again, I would have hired a drive through the rolling hills of Beaujolais was private guide in the afternoon to whisk me away everything I hoped it would be. There’s to the open air markets and fancy shopping something about seeing and tasting “locally” streets, and I definitely would have made a those wines that you’ve been tasting for years in reservation at any one of the several Paul Bocuse your home and wine shops, that helps put things eateries. Why is this chef so beloved? He sticks to in perspective. Our visit to the legendary Moulinthe basics; no gamesmanship. He uses classic à-Vent, (one of the most prestigious wines of the sauces because he believes it’s the best way to region), to enjoy a tasting in one of the highlight the flavors of meat, fish, and Beaujolais famous cellars, was something I won’t vegetables. He does it because it tastes the best. soon forget. It was a special treat to be met on Never overdone or over-sauced. Period. I missed the terrace by the owner. my chance to taste the Bocuse cuisine in its local setting. DON’T you do that! Just sayin’. Day 8. Lyon, France: We disembarked early to head to the Lyon airport to depart for a short flight to Amsterdam. That’s a whole other adventure I’ll share with you and Big Blend Radio hosts Lisa and Nancy another day. Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit


By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours

Norfolk is quite a large county, as English counties go and, as it was a very prosperous one, with very good farmland, and it was quite densely populated in the past. There were over 730 villages in the early C19th but previous to that, there were many others which had become emparked, abandoned, eroded away by the sea, or incorporated into other towns and villages or the City of Norwich. Some of our present villages are tiny with just a few inhabitants, but others are as big as a small town. Some can trace their origins back to prehistory and others are “new�, having been formed in the last few decades to provide an identity for recent settlements.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with Glynn Burrows, who talks about Morris Dancers, dressing up as Lord Nelson, the Dragon Hedge, and more!

Churches are only some of our buildings worthy of a visit. Large houses, some dating back to the The fact that Norfolk was a very prosperous area c13th, are also found in abundance all over of England, means that we also have many large Norfolk. Most villages had at least one large houses and hundreds of Medieval Churches. The house, either the Rectory, The Manor House or land-owners of Medieval times wanted to show The Hall, with some villages having many large their neighbours how rich they were, and there farmhouses too. The very large estates, which were few better ways of proving wealth than the often consisted of several villages, often had a endowment of a Church. It is no coincidence that massive mansion in a part of the estate, and we there are hundreds of magnificent Churches in are extremely fortunate to have many of these this county, with many of them containing mansions in the county. massive memorials to family members of the Landed Gentry. The cost of some of these Some of these stately houses are open to the memorials, would have been sufficient to pay for public and are well worth a visit, as they show new houses for several peasant families in the how the rich lived. Many of my own ancestors village! would have worked for the owners of these large estates, but their homes were very different from these stately piles. Cont. on Next Page‌ PAGE 76

Historic Villages of Norfolk Continued… Downton Abbey does show what these large estates were like in the early c20th, and shows that in the past, the class structure was much more pronounced than it is today. There are lots of tiny cottages too, like the ones lived in by my ancestors but most of them have been modernised and extended, leaving little indication of what they were like to live in, in the past. We do have several museums where cottages like these are preserved, so we can see what conditions were like, but museums can’t generally give an accurate picture of living conditions as they really were. The only way to see what it was like, living in one or two rooms with an extended family of ten or twenty others, is to do it. The other important building in most villages in the past, was the pub. Many of these old pubs are still in operation and visiting a real pub has to be high on the list for any visitor to England. There is nothing like an English pub and taking a pint while sitting by a roaring open fire on a cold winter evening. It is something which can’t be described, it has to be experienced! The Village Green, country lanes, Cricket Pitch, Football Pitch, Village Hall, Coffee Mornings, the Village Fete and Primary School are all to be found in many villages too. An English Village is obviously peculiar to England. Many other countries have villages but nothing else is like what you will find here. 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 visit


by Debbie Stone

Kissing a codfish was never on my life’s to-do list. In fact, up until recently, I could honestly say it was not even in the realm of remote possibility. But, there I was at Skipper Hots Bar in Straitsview, Newfoundland, puckering up to smack a big one on this buggy-eyed cod. I had been talked into taking part in a “Screech In,” a ceremony that folks in this Canadian province like to conduct to make visitors feel at home. Newfoundlanders are well-known for their friendliness and hospitality and they definitely live up to this reputation, though their methods are unique!

At the time, salt fish from Newfoundland was being shipped to the West Indies in exchange for rum. This resulted in fish becoming the national dish for Jamaicans and rum becoming the drink of choice for Newfoundlanders.

At a “Screech In,” which is typically held at in a local watering hole, the master of ceremonies asks participants to don oversized fisherman garb, repeat various quirky Newfoundland expressions, smooch a cod, recite the Screechers’ Creed and down a shot of Screech Rum. The latter is a particular type of libation originating in Jamaica that long ago became a staple in this part of Canada. PAGE 78

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Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Debbie Stone, who talks about her adventures in West Newfoundland.

West Newfoundland Continued… The early fishermen tended to drink the beverage at full strength with no attempt to temper its taste. Story has it that the name “Screech” was coined when a visiting American WWII serviceman drank the rum in one toss. His howls of distress got the attention of a bystander who inquired as to the cause of this horrific screech, which prompted a Newfoundlander to reply, “The screech?” ‘Tis the rum, me son.” The name stuck and today this drink and its place in the province’s culture are legendary. At the completion of a “Screech In,” participants are given a signed certificate acknowledging their new status as Honorary Newfoundlanders. This ritual is just one of many out-of-the-ordinary experiences visitors may have during a trip to “The Rock,” an affectionate term residents often use when referring to their home – a place that claims more rocks than soil. Newfoundland, together with neighboring Labrador, make up Canada’s most easterly province. It’s a huge land mass that covers three times as much territory as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI. And if it were a U.S. state, it would rank fourth in regards to size, right behind Alaska, Texas and California. With a mere half a million residents, however, you’ll never encounter crowds or get into traffic jams when traveling through this vast terrain. Many regard Newfoundland as “the edge of the world,” as it is an off-the-beaten-path destination that takes some effort and time to reach. The rewards, however, are great for those who make the trek to this awe-inspiring region. PAGE 79

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West Newfoundland Continued… Known as an island of adventurers and adventures, Newfoundland boasts picturesque, unspoiled scenery and an incredibly diverse landscape. There’s everything from miles of rugged, windswept coastline and pristine waters with sheltered coves and inlets to dramatic mountain ranges, towering cliffs and stark moonscapes. The geology of Newfoundland stretches back to the beginnings of the earth itself. One of the best spots to see this evidence is Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the western side of the province. Ranked as one of our planet’s most significant natural areas, Gros Morne contains rocks that were once part of an ancient ocean and later thrust up to form the Appalachian Mountains as two continents collided. Glaciers carved this place, creating its notable geological features and exposing the rock for scientific study, helping define and provide some of the world’s best illustrations of plate tectonic theory. As you hike around this park, you’ll be spanning over 500 million years of Earth history. At the Tablelands, for example, you’ll witness one of the few places where Earth’s mantle is revealed. Take note of the orange weathered rock, as it is from the middle layer of our planet, and is, in many scientists’ opinion, the best and most accessible example of exposed mantle material in the world. In the words of a Canada Parks’ interpreter, “Here’s where you can see the Earth naked.”

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Gros Morne is a place of raw beauty that impresses with its array of mountains, forests, lush meadows, barrens and seascapes. There’s much to explore and a good place to start is at the Discovery Center, where staff, exhibits and daily activities will help you get your bearings. The park offers twenty trails leading to panoramic overlooks, sea stacks, waterfalls, coastal bogs and other natural wonders. Within its boundaries are several fishing communities, a marine research center and even an historic lighthouse. PAGE 80

West Newfoundland Continued… Built in 1897, Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse features interpretive exhibits about the communities of the National Park and how people made their living from the sea for more than 4,000 years. Original artifacts, documents and photos help to make the story come alive. A special wall pays tribute to the lighthouse keepers, while one of the rooms portrays the light keeper’s den as it might have looked in the early part of this century. Short paths through elfin forest take you to several viewpoints over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and a set of stairs winds down to the shore.

Another highly recommended activity at Gros Morne is the Western Brook Fjord Boat Tour. You’ll spend two hours cruising this iconic, glacier-carved, freshwater fjord lake with its stunning billion year-old cliffs and cascading waterfalls. It’s a jaw-dropping setting and a favorite of photographers.

If you’re still chomping at the bit for more boat tours, rest assured as Newfoundland has them in spades. South of Gros Morne in For an opportunity to observe marine flora and Humber Valley, at Cox’s Cove, check out True fauna in this part of Newfoundland, make sure to stop in at Bonne Bay Marine Station. Operated North, which plies the waters within the Bay of by Memorial University, this world class teaching Islands. Captain Tony is a font of knowledge when it comes to all things Newfoundland. He and research facility is located on scenic Norris Point. A guided tour of the aquarium allows you will regale you with tales and even sing you some songs, while accompanying himself on the to discover the unique sea life living in Gros guitar…and steering the boat with his feet at the Morne National Park. The touch tank is a highlight, but the blue lobster takes top billing in same time! His wife Joan joins in on the act, too, with stories of her youth and the resettlement my opinion. era. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 81

West Newfoundland Continued…

When it comes to history, Newfoundland is in a class of its own, as it is the oldest of Canada’s My favorite boat excursion, however, took place provinces. At L’Anse aux Meadows, another in the coastal waters off St. Anthony, near the UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll come face to northern point of the island. Northland face with the only authenticated Viking site in Discovery Tours offers memorable trips through North America. Half a millennium before a section of Iceberg Alley, an area known for its Columbus, the Vikings established a base in bounty of icebergs, whales and seabirds. These Western Newfoundland, a wilderness they called frozen giants, each weighing between one and Vinland. The remains of their camp, which was two hundred thousand tons, drift past the only discovered in 1960, is the oldest known shores, making their way entirely at their leisure. European settlement of the New World. They come in all shapes and sizes and as they never stay in one place too long, their presence Continued on Next Page… creates an ever-changing landscape. Northland’s tours, which are fully narrated by an onboard naturalist, bring you within spitting distance of a number of these behemoths. We were told some of them were up to 15,000 years old and that they came from the west coast of Greenland, taking close to two years to make the journey. You’ll discover that the bergs have names such as tabular or bergy bit, based on their size, or in the case of a growler, for the sound they make as they plunge into the sea. We passed a ginormous tabular with dimensions over fifty feet high and 500 feet long. The sheer size of it was impressive, especially when you learn that only ten percent of an iceberg is actually visible. The other ninety percent is below the surface of the water. These cathedrals of ice often serve as means of transportation for polar bears and seals and if you’re very lucky, you might spy one of these creatures hitching a ride.


West Newfoundland Continued… You’ll also have the chance to see whales, as the coastal waters off St. Anthony are noted for its annual gathering of humpbacks. Sightings of minke, fin and killer whales are common, too. Additionally, this area has the greatest concentration of white-beaked dolphins in the North Atlantic, along with a display of bird life that includes puffins, kittiwakes and eider ducks. A host of other wildlife makes its home in this province, and locals will be the first to tell you to mind the moose. These creatures, which are prolific in Newfoundland, can be found roaming all over the place. You’ll probably see them along the roads munching away at the vegetation. At night, however, they’re less visible until they’re right in front of you and by then, it could be too late. Use caution when driving in the evening, as that is when the majority of accidents occur. Though many visitors are eager to spot large animals like moose and caribou, the littlest of species warrants equal consideration. I was ready to promptly dismiss the Newfoundland Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion outside of Deer Lake, one of the province’s regional airports, but as soon as I walked in the doors, I did a 180. This award-winning destination is a showcase for some of the most fascinating creatures.

During your visit to L’Anse aux Meadows, you’ll be able to trace the Norse journey that Leif Eriksson and his crew made, immerse yourself in Old Norse literature as you listen to the translated Vinland sagas, picture what the site looked like 1000 years ago by viewing a scale model, see authentic artifacts that proved Vinland’s origin and stand on the actual site. The remains of three halls and five smaller buildings where the Vikings lived and worked have been carefully preserved as they were when they were later discovered by Norwegian explorer and writer Helge Ingstad.

Housed in a restored historical barn, the Insectarium features live and mounted exhibits of butterflies, beetles and insects from around the world, with special emphasis on those from Newfoundland and Labrador. I was particularly impressed with the observation bee hive, the amazing leaf cutter ants, stick insects and hissing cockroach. And the butterfly area is a tropical paradise where you can sit by the waterfall and watch hundreds of butterflies glide over the pond or feed from the flowers. If you’re very still, they will come and land on you. The iridescent Blue Morpho is the undisputed star.


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West Newfoundland Continued… At the reconstructed sod huts, you’ll be greeted by Viking re-enactors like merchant-adventurer Bjorn, his wife Thora, the blacksmith Ragnar or other members of the crew. They’ll tell tales of trade and Norse society, and bend your ear on the best way to turn bog iron into nail. You can even get into character yourself by dressing up as a Viking and taking a picture to show the folks back home. To gain further understanding of Norse life, drive over to nearby Norstead Viking Village, a replicated Viking port of trade, circa 790-1066 A.D. There, you can step aboard the full-scale replica of the Viking ship, “Snorri,” which sailed from Greenland to L’Anse aux Meadows in 1998 with a crew of only nine men. In the Chieftain’s Hall, hear some eerie Viking tales, sample homemade fry bread and take a turn at shaping clay into pottery the way the Vikings did. Or try your hand at spinning sheep fleece into yarn using ancient drop spindle technology. With the assistance of costumed interpreters, the site conveys the look and feel of the Viking era. While you’re in St. Anthony’s, you’ll hear of an Englishman named Sir Wilfred Grenfell. He’s famous in these parts for the work he did to improve the life of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador. Grenfell practiced medicine, built hospitals, established schools and orphanages and traveled around drumming up financial support, while encouraging others to help him in his mission. For his many years of selfish devotion and service, he was knighted by King George V.

Newfoundland is dotted with charming towns and equally charming inhabitants. The people are open and warm, as well as famous for their sense of humor. They enjoy talking to visitors and will often pepper you with questions as to where you’re from and what you think of their home. Conversations with the locals can be quite amusing, as “Newfoundland English” is peculiar and sometimes downright incomprehensible. Initially, you may think it’s a foreign language and will want to rush into the first bookstore you see to get a dictionary to help you make sense of what’s being said. There are actually over 360 dialects that carry the thick remnants of Irish and English accents and expressions. A favorite that tourists will often hear is “come from aways,” as that indicates you’re not from Newfoundland.

Visit the Grenfell Interpretation Center for a fascinating look at Grenfell’s life and times. The medical equipment used in those days will make you shudder and appreciate the modern advances made in this field. Nearby is the Grenfell House Museum, the home of Dr. Grenfell, his wife Anne and their three children. Overlooking the harbor, the building was regarded as the “castle.”


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West Newfoundland Continued… Another oddity is the use of the plural form of the verb when speaking in the first personal singular, such as “I wants a drink.” I particularly like the expressions “I’m just swarving around,” meaning one is wandering aimlessly and “I dies at you,” which is short for “I’m dying of laughter at you.” And then there’s “tuckamore,” the name Newfoundlanders have given to the stunted trees you’ll see near the coast. Due to the harsh growing conditions, these shrubs start bending and contorting themselves into bizarre sculptural shapes as a way to adapt to their environment. If you think the language is unusual, try keeping track of time here. Newfoundland has its own time zone due to its unique geographic location. Newfoundland Standard Time is a half hour ahead of Atlantic Standard Time. However, if you visit Labrador, you’ll be back on Atlantic Standard Time. Confusing, to say the least! The province has a colorful and romantic cultural heritage, which is especially evident in its arts scene. Music is part of both the natural and cultural landscape and you can find it practically everywhere you visit. Drop into a pub or go to a festival or event to sample live traditional music that speaks of the pride and deep attachment Newfoundlanders have for their home. Celebrations abound heralding everything from the icebergs and whales to lobsters and the arrival of spring in a region where winter can be long and cold. But these hearty salts of the earth are rarely bothered by their weather. They accept and embrace it, as it has been a continuous part of the fabric of their lives. One of the area’s signature musical experiences is the Anchors Aweigh Show at Anchor Pub in the Ocean View Hotel, which is located in Rocky Harbor. This musical group has been entertaining tourists for twenty years and its blend of humor and nostalgia gives audiences the ultimate taste of Newfoundland culture. You’ll be clapping your hands, tapping your feet and maybe even doing an Irish jig to the band’s tunes before the night is over. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 85

West Newfoundland Continued…

And if you’re a shellfish aficionado, you’ve definitely come to the right place, as you can Newfoundlanders are also known for their feast on the likes of fresh lobster, crab, scallops stories and creative talent. A variety of popular and shrimp. For the carnivores, moose is a must. amateur and professional theatrical companies Accompany your meal with a glass of Iceberg offer visitors a glimpse of authentic Beer, made with – you guessed it - water from Newfoundland history. And artists abound icebergs. There’s no minerals in the water, just a displaying their crafts from rug hooking and lot of tiny bubbles, which gives this golden brew ceramics to glass and iron work. There’s plenty of a very light taste. places to shop for folk art and traditional products, and often the proprietors are working Finally, top off your meal with a dessert made artists themselves who are happy to from local partridge berries or cloudberries, demonstrate their craft. more commonly known as bakeapples in With all this activity, you’ll need sustenance. No worries there! Newfoundlanders love to eat and with the rich waters off their coast, it’s no surprise that much of their traditional cuisine includes fish. Seafood reigns supreme, with cod the belle of the ball. You’ll find it on every menu, prepared in dozens of ways – salted, au gratin, pan fried, deep fried in the proverbial fish and chips style, hazelnut crusted, in cake-like form and more.

Newfoundland. You won’t be disappointed! Then again, disappointment is not a sentiment you’ll ever experience while visiting this captivating and enchanting place. For more information about visiting Western Newfoundland:

Deborah Stone is a travel and lifestyle writer, who explores the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers. She’s an avid adventurer who welcomes new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for travel and cross-cultural connections. Her travels have taken her to all seven continents, over 65 countries and 45 U.S. states. Debbie’s stories and monthly columns, which have featured everything from rafting the Grand Canyon and seeing polar bears near the Arctic to cycling through Belgium and trekking in the Annapurna’s of Nepal, appear in a number of publications as well as on various travel websites. Deborah is a longtime Seattle area resident, who currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. PAGE 86

THE PHOTOGRAPHING TOURIST Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with David Noyes, a world traveler, writer and photographer and author of the multiple award-winning book ‘The Photographing Tourist: A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography.’ Beautifully illustrated with more than 300 photographs from around the world, and featuring twelve magazine-style travel narratives, THE PHOTOGRAPHING TOURIST takes you on a journey to remote corners of our fascinating world. Through a blend of tips, techniques, advice, anecdotes, and stories, Noyes will help you develop the well-trained eye of a travel photographer and inspire you to explore new places and cultures in more depth than a simple snapshot can reveal.

From environmental portraits and local lifestyles, to landmarks and sacred places, the chapters explore different photographic subjects that a tourist photographer will encounter. David is also the founder of the non-profit corporation Innocent Eyes Project that supports grassroots child education programs working in developing countries, by raising and allocating funds for projects where small amounts of money can have the largest impact on underserved children and communities. Visit

Filled with Noyes’ stories about isolated cultures, exploring local life, and challenging personal adventures, this storytellers guide to travel and photography reads like an eight-month collection of your favorite travel magazine. PAGE 87

Less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 4 ½ hours from Los Angeles, east of Monterey and Juli Viera, Executive Salinas, San Benito County is the eastern Director of San Benito County Chamber of gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park. Commerce & Visitors A wonderful fall escape, this region makes for an Center, tells Big Blend ideal travel destination boasting outdoor Radio the Fall Events activities such as bird watching, hiking, golf and and Activities in San tennis, as well as a wine tasting trail, a delectable Benito County! selection of dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, and a calendar Don’t Miss These Fall Events: chockfull of fun events! To plan your visit check Sept. 3-Oct. 1: Music in the Vines Concert out series at Pietra Santa Winery: Sept. 3: HOLLISTER: Scarecrows, Music, Wine Tasting Singer/Songwriter Mike Annuzzi; Sept. 17: The Bornia Boys Blues Band; Oct. 1: Maneck Classic & Parades Rock & Cover Band. Tel: 831-636-1991 ext 21. Founded in 1968, Hollister is the county seat of San Benito County, and features modern conveniences along with a charming historic downtown district that has an electic selection of shops, restaurants and businesses. From Victorian to Frank Lloyd Wright, the buildings range in architectural styles. Some have colorful murals depicting Hollister as ‘The Birthplace of the American Biker’. If you want to learn more about Hollister’s history, make an appointment to visit the fascinating San Benito County Historical Society Museum.

Sept. 7-28: Hollister Certified Farmers Market: Wednesdays from 3pm-7:30pm. Tel: (831) 636-8406 Sept. 17: Hollister Concerts – Smash Mouth: Guerra Cellars Winery. Sept. 17: Downtown Beer & Bacon Crawl: Downtown Hollister. Tel: (831) 636-8406 Sept. 18: Mexican Independence Day Parade: 11:30am, downtown Hollister. Tel: (831) 902-5103.

A culinary haven for foodies and wine lovers alike, San Benito County has a wonderful wine Oct. 1-31: Scarecrow Contest: Throughout tasting trail with some wineries boasting downtown Hollister. Tel: (831) 637-5315 concerts, a number of organic farms and historic cattle ranches, and diverse variety of restaurants Nov. 11: Veterans Day Parade: 1:30pm, in downtown Hollister. Tel: (831) 638-6434 that range from hearty country cooking to decadent baked goodies, and tasty Mexican Nov. 26: 25th Annual Lights On Celebration: dishes to fresh farm-to-table fare. Wines range Holiday boutique, car display, live entertainment, from elegant pinot noirs to light pomegranate parade, Santa & Mrs. Claus! Tel: (831) 636-8406 wines, plus, there are fun pubs and taverns to Continued on Next Page…. enjoy your favorite cold beverage along with local banter. PAGE 88


San Benito County Continued… SAN JUAN BAUTISTA: Living History, Succulents, Ghosts & Vertigo Known as "The City of History", San Juan Bautista was incorporated in 1869, and is part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Located on the outskirts of the city, the Anza Trail is a challenging 4 mile hiking, horse and biking trail that offers splendid valley views. Explore history at the Old Mission San Juan Bautista, the largest of the California missions. The San Juan Bautista State Historic Park has the only Spanish Plaza left in California and also hosts living history days the first Saturday of every month. The San Juan Bautista Commercial District is on the National Register of Historic Places, and features shops and restaurants. Don’t Miss These Fall Events: Sept. 24: Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" Day: Experience Hitchcock's famous film at one of the filming locations. Tel: (831) 623-4881 Oct. 29: 9th Annual San Juan Bautista Ghost Walk! Guided walking tour of several local sites with ghost sightings and paranormal activities. Oct. 1-2: Bi-Annual Cactus & Succulent Show: San Juan Bautista Community Hall. Info (831) 758-6645. Continued on Next Page…


Donnette Silva Carter, CEO & Fair Manager of Bolado Park Event Center, talks about the upcoming San Benito County Fair!

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San Benito County Continued… TRES PINOS: County Fair, Camping, Golf & History Established in 1883, historic Tres Pinos is located between Pinnacles National Park and Hollister. Home to the San Benito County Fairgrounds, Bolado Park Event Center hosts numerous events throughout the year, has RV and camping facilities, and also features the San Benito County Saddle Horse Association Museum. Other sites to visit include the Pinnacles Hills Golf Course, and San Benito County Historic Park, a historical village on 33 acres with 10 historic building and a plethora of historic artifacts. It’s a great place to stop for a picnic and take a guided tour. Don’t Miss These Fall Events: Sept. 23-26: San Benito County Fair Horse Shows: San Benito County Fairgrounds, Tres Pinos. Tel: (831) 628-3421 Sept. 29-Oct. 2: San Benito County Fair: Theme is ‘Blue Ribbon Memories’. San Benito County Fairgrounds, Tres Pinos. Tel: (831) 628-3421 PAGE 91

San Benito County Continued‌ PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK: Condors, Trails, Caves & Campfire Programs Pinnacles National Park, the 59th and newest National Park, is one of the most fascinating, diverse and stunning natural areas. From rock spires and giant monolithic boulders to rolling hills, cool caves, wildflower meadows, meandering creeks and springs, Pinnacles is a place for anyone ready to experience something really different. There are 32 miles hiking trails to explore, and you can go caving, rock-climbing, picnicking and camping. The biodiversity of this park is incredible, ranging from over 600 flowering plant species to 160+ bird species, including the California Condor, 14 bat species, 400 bee species, and 500 moth species!

For travel and up-to-date event information call the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (831) 637-5315 and visit

Every Saturday night at 8pm in the park’s campground amphitheater, rangers provide interpretive experiences that help us find meaning in Pinnacles' cast of characters. Topics vary but may include: rocks, bats, birds, lions, snakes, and humans past, present, and future. On rainy nights, the programs are held at the Bear Gulch Nature Center. Due to the popularity of the park, weekdays are always a good time to visit. Info: (831) 389-4486 or PAGE 92


Tulare County is home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Whether you’re planning a family trip or a romantic escape, California’s Sequoia Country makes for a fabulous destination offering a variety of outdoor activities, a calendar full of art events and seasonal festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the park gateway communities of Three Rivers and Exeter. East of Fresno, the area is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. NATIONAL PARKS: Big Trees, Caves, Trails, Bird & Wildlife Watching! Home to the world’s largest trees (by volume) Sequoia National Park is the nation's second national park and is connected to Kings Canyon National Park - home to the Nation’s Christmas Tree and a national shrine in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces. From rock climbing to hiking, bird and wildlife watching, these parks offer a plethora of outdoor activities. For full details and for up-todate event and travel news, visit For information on the Sequoia Parks Conservancy programs that include hikes, talks, and tours of the Crystal Cave that takes you deep into a marble cave with stalactites, curtains, and other formations, visit

Don’t Miss These Special Park Events: Oct. 21-29: Halloween at Crystal Cave: Join experienced cave naturalists for a day of spooky Halloween fun, inspired by Crystal Cave's rich human history. The Cave has entertained and been loved by countless visitors since 1940. It even served as a winter home for a group of Civilian Conservation Corps workers, who were building trails inside. Of course, the Cave has hosted many explorers through the centuries, from Native peoples to National Park Service personnel. Do the spirits of these past visitors still linger and roam the Cave's passageways? This tour will stop in beautiful cave rooms and along the way you’ll meet the "ghosts" of Crystal Cave's past. Held on Fridays and Saturdays only. Nov. 9-10: Science Symposium: ​Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks first annual Science Symposium! Estimated 100 attendees from many different scientific fields, as well as park managers, students, and park interpreters. There is no fee for attending the symposium. The symposium will include talks, poster session, and an interactive work session. Students are encouraged to participate and may be considered for a travel stipend. Held at Saint Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers.


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Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview about Fall in Three Rivers, with Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers B&B!

Sequoia Country Continued… THREE RIVERS: Art, Music, Fun Runs & Living History! Gateway to Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers is a vibrant art community that runs along the Kaweah River. For travel and up-to-date event information, visit Don’t Miss These Fall Events: 1st Saturday Three Rivers Art Day: Enjoy a day of food, fun, and fabulous art. Featuring a different theme each time, it is held on the 1st Saturday of every month, and specials are promoted throughout the town – by artists, restaurants, gift shops, galleries and more. You can watch artist demonstrations, eat good food and listen to local musicians or entertainers. Info Sept. 24: Concert on the Grass: Annual community picnic. Relax on the grass, sip some wine, and listen to music, poetry, and various performances. Info: Ken Elias, 559-561-0610. Oct. 9: Bill Tweed’s Book Signing: Bill Tweed and his new book, “King Sequoia” will be at the Three Rivers Historical Society and Museum, from 12pm-3pm. Get your signed copy of Bill’s latest book, and enjoy some light refreshments and conversation with the author. Tel: (559) 561-2707

Oct. 8: Living History Day: Celebrating the period 1900-1935 with demonstrations and activities during the period. Model “A” Ford display, craft booths, and more. Three Rivers Historical Society & Museum. Tel: (559) 561-2707 Continued on Next Page…

Crystal Cave

Oct. 8: Rave'n Run at Lake Kaweah: This annual fun run plays on the words "rave" and "raven", while celebrating the river and lake's namesake - "Kaweah" was the Native Yokuts' name for a subtribe in the area and the sound of the raven's call - while combining the traditions of Hash House Harriers & New Orleans Second Line! PAGE 95

Don’t Miss These Fall Events: Sept. 3: The Clover House Peddlers Mart & Downtown Exeter Sidewalk Sale: There will be antiques, and lots of collectibles! Tel: (559) 280-0897. Sept. 10: Exeter Mercantile Company SIDEWALK SALE & BBQ! Come find some great deals and treasure hunt at their all day long Sidewalk Sale and enjoy FREE BBQ Lunch. Tel (559) 592-2122. Oct. 1: EUHS Alumni Foundation Golf Tournament: Exeter Golf Course. Info: David at (559) 594-5500. October 1-31: Exeter Scarecrow Contest: For the entire month of October Exeter businesses and organizations will line the charming streets of Exeter with artistic, creative and lively scarecrows that will be sure to delight locals and visitors alike. Scarecrows are judged by popular vote of visitors and locals. Info: (559) 592-291 Oct. 3: Miss Exeter Coronation Dinner: Tel: (559) 592-2919. Oct. 5: Exeter Family Fun Night & Pumpkin Carving Contest: Tel: (559) 592-2919.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview about Fall in Exeter, with Sandy Blankenship, Executive Director of Exeter Chamber of Commerce!

EXETER: Scarecrows, Fall Festivals & Shopping! A charming agricultural community between Visalia and Sequoia National Park, Exeter has a beautiful historic downtown that’s known for its spectacular series of murals. For travel and event information call (559) 592-2919 or visit

Oct. 7: Lip Sync Contest: Gazebo in Exeter City Park. Tel: (559) 592-2919. Oct. 8: Exeter's 103rd ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL "Cowboy Boots and Hometown Roots": Held in Exeter City Park, 7 am to 4 pm. Features a 10k Run / 2 mile Walk, Annual Pancake Breakfast; Fall Festival Parade; 10th Annual Rick Mosley Memorial Car and Bike Show; Fall Festival in City Park with, Exeter Dorksman Bratwurst Eating Contest. Tel: (559) 592-2919. Oct. 14-15: "Christmas in October" Holiday Boutique: Exeter Woman's Club. Tel: (559) 9094135. Continued on Next Page…


Oct. 22: 37th Annual Harvest of Handwovens: Held at Exeter Veteran's Memorial Building. Fashion boutique and yarn shop, handwoven garments and household items for sale, raffle and demonstrations. Tel: Nikki Crain at (559) 561-4048 Nov. 12: Exeter's Chili Cook-Off: The Stag Saloon. Tel: (559) 592-7177. Nov. 25-27: By The Water Tower Annual Christmas Sale: Tel: (559) 594-4060.


Apples & Wine, Music & Art, Nature & The Beach From the Coast to The Mountains, There’s a Whole Lotta Fall Fun Happening in San Diego’s North County Region! Experience Leucadia, Palomar Mountain and Historic Julian in Southern California! COOL COASTAL HIGHWAY 101 Nestled between Carlsbad and Encinitas, Leucadia is a laid back and colorful beach community located on historic North Coast Highway 101. It’s the ideal getaway for surfers, families, and beach lovers, as well as those seeking a romantic retreat.

Upcoming Area Events include: First Friday Oceanside Art Walk (Sept. 2); 87th Annual Labor Day Oceanside Pier Swim (Sept. 5); 20th Annual Oceanside Surf for the Sea (Sept. 10); 3rd Annual Carlsbad Brewfest (Sept. 10); Classic Car Night in Downtown Encinitas (Sept. 15); Oceanside Harbor Days (Sept. 24-25); San Diego Restaurant Week (Sept. 25-Oct. 2); 2016 Fall Street Fair in Downtown Encinitas (Nov. 20). Continued on Next Page…

Check into Leucadia Beach Inn, a historic yet remodeled Hacienda-style lodging destination that offers spacious rooms and kitchenettes. From here, you can walk to the local beaches, restaurants, boutique and antique shops, or take a short drive to some of the other local attractions such as Legoland, Oceanside Pier and Harbor Village, Old Mission San Luis Rey, San Diego Botanic Garden, Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, Swami’s Surf Break, Moonlight Beach, and more.


North San Diego Continued… APPLES, WINE & MUSIC IN JULIAN Julian is a popular mountain hamlet known for its gold rush history, apple and pear orchards, wineries, and apple pie – especially during the fall season! The historic downtown district makes for a fun day of shopping and dining, plus, there’s picnicking, boating or fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, and hiking trails to explore at Rancho Cuyamaca State Park, Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve, and William Heise County Park. Other local attractions and activities include the California Wolf Center, Julian Pioneer Museum, and tours at the Eagle & High Peak Gold Mine. Due to Julian being 4500+ ft. high, note that snow could arrive during the late fall season. Upcoming Julian Events include: Julian Doves & Desperados Historic Re-enactments (Sundays, weather permitting); 20th Annual Julian Grape Stomp Festa (Sept. 3); Julian Music Festival to benefit the California Wolf Center (Sept 17); Julian Bluegrass Festival (Sept. 18); Julian Apple Julian Apple Days Festival (Sept. 24-25); Wildcrafting with Local Berries (Sept. 25); Julian Triangle Club Melodrama (Oct. 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28-30). PAGE 100

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In Julian, San Diego’s Four-Season Mountain & Back-Country Destination Fresh, Seasonal & Outstanding Farm-to-Table Cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jeremy Manley Seasonal Menu & Favorites Steak, Seafood, Burgers, Salads, Sandwiches Desserts & After Dinner Beverages Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Indoor, Fireside & Patio Dining Live Music on Weekends Wine & Beer Pairing Dinners Private Banquet Rooms Thanksgiving & Christmas Holiday Menus Catering & Group Events for all Occasions

Wine Bar featuring Local & Regional Wines & Champagne Micro-Brews & Specialty Beers

Visit and sign up for our e-Newsletter for Recipes, Special Events, Giveaways, and more! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

North San Diego Continued… Palomar Mountain makes for a peaceful respite within a tranquil and natural setting. Stay at Bailey’s Palomar Mountain Resort, a 60 acre property that spans old growth forests, and historic buildings that date back to the late 1800s. The perfect retreat for families, the property offers luxury camping / glamping experience in the forest, as well as the spacious Bailey House for group gatherings, cabins and cottage rentals, and group camping areas. Enjoy nature walks on the property or at the nearby Palomar Mountain State Park that offers fantastic bird watching, and visit Palomar Observatory that’s world famous for housing the 200-inch Hale Telescope. Due to Palomar Mountain being a mile high, note that snow could arrive during the late fall season.

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The Gateway to the Great Southwest Welcomes You to Come Soak Up Some Western History, Relax and Rejuvenate in Nature & The Outdoors, and Delight in Seasonal Shopping, Local Food & Drink, Festive Celebrations & Events! Located between San Diego and the Arizona cities of Phoenix and Tucson, Yuma is home to the lower Colorado River and Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area that encompasses the Yuma Wetlands and Gateway Park, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, and the historic downtown district complete with shops, restaurants and Yuma Art Center & Historic Theatre. The area features numerous outdoor play zones and natural areas including Imperial, Kofa and Cibola National Wildlife Refuges.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Linda Morgan, Executive Director of the Yuma Visitors Bureau, who talks about Fall Events in Yuma, including the Rio de Cerveza Brew Fest!

It’s also a medical travel destination where folks can walk across the US-Mexico border, and into Los Algodones for cost-effective dental and medical care.

Known for being the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, as documented by the “Guinness Book of World Records”, Yuma is a popular fall and winter escape from regions dealing with harsh cold climates, and is a must-visit destination for sun seekers, outdoor adventurers, river lovers, families, bird watchers, hikers, geocachers, history enthusiasts, and foodies. PAGE 103

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Yuma Continued… CELEBRATE THE ARTS From movies to performances at the Historic Yuma Theatre, art shows at the Yuma Art Center to downtown music festivals and Comicons, The Arts are an important part of Yuma’s culture and lifestyle. There are also quite a number of venues that provide entertainment such as live music and dancing. Celebrate The Arts at one of these upcoming events: Thursdays at The Historic Yuma Theatre (Aug. 25, Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 3); The Latin Comedy Jam (Sept. 10); Los Lobos in Concert (Sept. 17); Annual Hip Hop Dance Festival & Show (Sept. 17); Children's Festival of the Arts (Nov. 5); YumaCon (Nov. 12); North End Art Walk (Nov. 18). For all up-to-date event information call (800) 293-0071 or (928) 783-0071. PARADES & FESTIVALS ‘Life’s a Parade’ in Yuma, a city and region that loves to celebrate the seasonal holidays along with the area’s cultural diversity and rich history. The mild and sunny fall weather, partnered with scenic park locations and the historic downtown, make the perfect settings for a parade or a festival!

Celebrate these upcoming fall events in Yuma: Fiestas Parade & Street Fair (Sept. 17); Veterans Day Parade & BBQ (Nov. 11); Colorado River Crossing Hot Air Balloon Festival (Nov. 11-13); Ken & Betty Borland Holiday Pageant & Tower Lighting (Nov. 26). For all up-to-date event information call (800) 293-0071 or (928) 783-0071. GET A TASTE OF YUMA From tasty Sonoran fare to fresh, farm-to-table cuisine, there’s a variety of dining opportunities in Yuma, along with wine and beer tasting establishments, cocktail bars, as well as gourmet gift stores and candy shops which are perfect for early holiday shopping! A major agricultural hub that also happens to know how to throw a good party, Yuma is host to numerous foodie festivals and events throughout the year. Get a taste of Yuma at these fall events: City of Somerton Corn Festival (Nov. 5); The Peanut Patch 39th Anniversary Party (Nov. 19); Rio de Cerveza Brew Fest (Nov. 19); Golf Cart Parade & Chili Cook-Off (Dec. 1); Annual Kammann Sausage Fry (Dec. 2), 13th Annual Rachel Determan Memorial Rib Cook-Off (Dec. 3). For all up-to-date event information call (800) 293-0071 or (928) 783-0071 Continued on Next Page…

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Come Celebrate our 39th Anniversary on Nov. 19, 2016. We’ll have Free Tastings & Plenty of Tasty Family Fun!

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Yuma Continued‌ FEATHERS & PADDLES Nestled in the southwest corner of Arizona, and encompassing farmlands, vast stretches of desert, along with the lower Colorado River and natural areas such as the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge and Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma County is a popular bird watching destination. Birders flock to this southwestern biodiverse hotspot year-round (especially fall through spring) to view the over 400 bird species that call this region their permanent nesting grounds or temporary home during seasonal migration. The East & West Yuma Wetlands that run along the Colorado River in the downtown region, are popular birding spots, with the West Wetlands also boasting hummingbird and butterfly gardens.

Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Nancy Meister, President of the Yuma Audubon Society, who chats about the different bird species found in Yuma, the birding walks and birding events hosted by the organization, as well as and the various places to go birding in the region. To plan your Yuma visit, and for up-to-date event information, call (800) 293-0071 or (928) 783-0071, or see

The Yuma Audubon Society hosts birding walks in the Yuma Wetlands on Wednesday mornings, as well as other birding events. See Another fun way to get out an experience the lower Colorado River, is to go on one of the City of Yuma Parks & Recreation guided canoe trips. The Harvest Moon Canoe Trip is on October 15, and the Discover Canoe Trip is on December 3. For information, call 928-373-5200. PAGE 106

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

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

Celebrate the Arts, Step Out Into Nature, Soak Up Some History in Northwest Nevada’s Pony Express Country! South of Reno and east of Yosemite National Park, Yerington is located in northwestern Nevada, just off the Pony Express National Historic Trail and on the California National Historic Trail. Fort Churchill State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. It was built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861. Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, go camping and hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail. Yerington’s historic downtown district is charming with shops, restaurants and casinos, including Dini’s Lucky Club – the oldest family run casino in the state! The surrounding Mason Valley and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farm lands that stretch out to natural areas complete with rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters.

The region is popular birding, geocaching and hiking destination. Other area highlights include: Lyon County Museum, Yerington Theatre for the Arts, Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Walker River, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon. Don’t Miss The Fall Events at Yerington Theatre for The Arts: For up-to-date event information, call 775-4631783 Sept. 6-Oct. 7: FIXIN’S Exhibition: A visual art exhibition focusing on agriculture’s contribution to the great American meal! Sept. 8-10: 7th Annual Taste of the Valley: Festival celebrating local foods and brews, handcrafted beverages, art, crafts, music, family activities, community and heritage. Oct. 11-Nov. 18: Every Quilt Tells a Story: Pizen Switcher Stitchers Fall Quilt Show. Oct. 27: ‘The Book of Life’ Screening. Oct. 28: Day of the Dead with Mariachi Sacramento: YTA’s Día de los Muertos honors this cultural tradition with small alters, a lively celebration and traditional foods and music.

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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,

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