Blend Radio & TV Magazine - Spring 2017

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CONTENTS 5. Editors Block TOAST TO THE ARTS 6. Guitar Virtuoso Pierre Bensusan 10. Country: Portraits of an American Sound 12. Singer-songwriter Showcase 18. Historic Literary Women of England 20. Book News & Author Interviews 26. Hollywood History of Women in Comedy 28. Photograper Tanya Ortega 32. The Creative Force of Love & Hate 36. El Mercado: Ted DeGrazia Paints the Marketplace 38. Celebrate The Arts at Melrose Plantation 40. Barn Quilts & Bourbon! 42. Celebrate The Arts in Yuma, Arizona

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 46. Marine Room Magic 50. Chef Bernard’s Sesame Peppered Ruby Red Ahi Tuna 52. Choosing Seafood & Wine 54. Inside The World of Wine 56. Spring Picnic Party! 66. Spring Beet Salad 68. Viva Margaritas! Continued on Next Page…


CONTENTS VACATION STATION 70. Discovering Puerto Vallarta 76. Texas Tidbits 82. Two Coots Travel 86. Cruising The Rhine River 92. Sequoia Spring Spectacular 98. Travel Marketplace WAY BACK WHEN 100. San Benito County Historical Park NATURE CONNECTION 106. Monkey Rescue 109. Living in a Future Science World QUALITY OF LIFE 110. Heart Healthy Diet 111. Your Hair is the Key to Your Health Puzzle 112. Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom 113. Men Chase, Women Choose 114. Youth Education Insider: Bobbi DePorter 116. Youth Success Week Oceanside 2017 118. Failure Leads to Success 120. Are You In Your Own Way? SUCCESS EXPRESS 124. Is Your Business in a Rut? 126. Fear: False Evidence or Real? 128. Walmart Lawsuits 130. Social Media Etiquette 131. Are You Unemployable? 132. Get To The Heart 133. The Path to Wealth PAGE 4

EDITORS BLOCK This issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine “Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'” celebrates the vibrant flavors of spring with Robin Williams picnic party recipes and tips, dining destinations, and the world of wine, seafood and margaritas. We also spotlight the arts, with a focus on visual art and sculpture, film and photography, comedy and music. Travel remains in the forefront with a selection of stories covering nature and the outdoors, history as well as culinary and shopping destinations that range from Kentucky to Texas, California to Arizona, Louisiana to Mexico, Europe and beyond. This issue also focuses on wildlife rescue and future science technology, with advice on heart health and nutrition, Ayurveda, youth education and life lessons. On the business and professional frontlines we look at lawsuits against Walmart, how to deal with fear and change, effective storytelling, social media etiquette, entrepreneurship and creating a path to wealth.

Front Cover Photo: Maitre Cuisinier de France Bernard Guillas, executive chef of the Marine Room restaurant in Southern California. See the story on Page 46.

To listen to our live or archived Big Blend Radio shows, visit Be sure to subscribe to our Big Blend e-Newsletter to get your free digital copies of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine in your inbox, as well as new articles, recipes, event news, radio interviews, videos, and updates about our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour of national parks. You can also keep up and with all things Big Blend, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Happy Spring! 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. 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 1997. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine. 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.


"To say that Bensusan is a master of the guitar is like saying Albert Einstein was good at math". Photo Credit: Dave Bevan


Music Insider Continued… Over the past 44 years, acoustic guitar virtuoso and vocalist Pierre Bensusan has taken his unique sound to all corners of the globe. Winner of the 2014 Independent Music Award in the Live Performance Album category for his triple live album "Encore", voted Best World Music guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine reader’s Poll, winner of the Grand Prix duDisque at the Montreux Festival for his debut album, “Près de Paris”, Pierre is recognized as one of the greatest guitar players of the 21st century.

Pierre Bensusan chats with Big Blend Radio about his latest release Éncore’.

Immortalized by the tune ‘Bensusan’ written in tribute by the late Michael Hedges, and referenced as an important inspiration to many other great musicians, Pierre Bensusan is a oneof-a-kind artist whose music transcends genre and time, with an uninhibited sense of musical freedom and expression, a sense of something both playful and serious, otherworldly yet right here right now. His "manner" of playing defies classification crossing world, classical, jazz, traditional, folk, pop and more. None can be isolated as simply “World Music”, “Celtic”, "Arabic" or “French”; rather, they represent our world in its current state, a world sharing itself. In a time of so much violence and madness everywhere, Pierre’s music is a great healer to all who hear it - even if only during a brief concert appearance. He is definitely not to be missed! Learn more including Pierre’s Spring 2017 USA & Canada Tour at

So what does it take to be a successful in the world of music? Listen to our Big Blend Radio conversation with Pierre Bensusan, and read his answers to our 10 Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations. 1. What led you to a career in the music industry? I knew I was going to be a professional musician since I was 12 years old. 2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a successful guitarist and singer? Difficult to find an angle to respond to this. Would simply say: the ability, the chance to have a rich imaginative sound world, and to be OK with living a life with no safe-guard nor guarantee. 3. Who or what inspires you? I believe we are still wondering where inspiration in general comes from. My background is in piano and classical music, and I guess I play guitar thinking to a keyboard. My second immersion was into folk, pop, fusion and world music. At my folks’, we were listening to anything from Django, Swing, Tango and Paris Accordion Music to Opera, Judeo-Arabo Andalusian music, Chanson, Swing to Be Bop, to name a few.


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Music Insider Continued… Today I feel a bit like a sponge, open to any sound and color from any ethnic background and artistic form that would speak to me. My influences are global. I believe inspiration is a blessing, it comes and goes as a wave, and the real work – duty, challenge and enjoyment - is to follow its moves, dialogue with it and make it stay, or at least come back often. Once I am in this mood, there comes the craft, where imagination and inspiration are intimately connected, going along with pleasure, doubt, fulfillment and often frustration. I cannot be intensely focused all day long, but there are specific moments of creative energy, the kind of feeling you get when it comes out with ease and result.

It's fascinating. I should also say that I don't always have the time to play, a lot of that process is mute and takes place in the imagination, or long driving sequences, far away from the instrument when I practice the voice. 4. Describe your ideal audience. The audience who comes to my shows is my ideal audience: musical, open, curious, all ages, ready for a trip.

5. What do you think about the music industry of today? The music business, as it seems today, doesn’t care much about artistry, originality or talent, but aims at making products that sell fast, creating and sticking to a format that is pretty much arbitrary, taking into account that we live in a zapping world, where everything is fast and not The rest of the time, I practice, write, dig my made for lasting. A lot of people out there want hands in the music until the next sparkle (as something else and are ready to go out of their Stravinsky put it). I don't wait for inspiration. A way for it. In fact, these people are not far away, I departure from an improvisation will lead to a cross their way every day. Long story short, I structured piece which is only a canvas, a stopped wishing it was better or different and pretext: as long as you respect its essence, you only care about my journey on a parallel road could enlighten several angles and aspects regarding the music business’ ones. At the end of differently, always to be within that piece and yet the day, what means to be, will be. reinvent it each time. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 8

Music Insider Continued‌ 6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? Work and practice harder, and be a better person. 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? To incarnate and align my mind, heart and gut feelings, and also to play what I hear.

8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be? Bach, Debussy and FaurĂŠ 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? Historian, cook or house builder. 10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the world of music? The first advice would be to LISTEN, and not just play mechanically. By listening you feel and understand what the music calls for and needs. What is expressed from within, in tri-dimensions, matured to the point of touching other people, is what's impressive; technique being always used along the way to get there. The idea of becoming an autonomous musician is always present and will inspire you to do the same in your life. If you are sensitive and a good observer, music itself tells you what to do and where to go next. Sometimes, a teacher, or a guide or facilitator could help to see simple and obvious things.



Photo: Steve Kochones & Les Everett Listen to Steven Kochones, director of “Country: Portraits of an American Sound” on Big Blend Radio! The film features imagery and commentary from Grand Ole Opry photographer Les Leverett, iconic music photographers Henry Diltz and Raeanne Rubenstein, celebrity portraitist Leigh Wiener, documentarian Henry Horenstein, and Featured artists include: Rosanne Cash, Roy Clark, Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Charley Pride, contemporary shooters David McClister and Michael Wilson. Over 20 country music artists LeAnn Rimes, Kenny Rogers, The Band Perry, also appear, including Rosanne Cash, Roy Clark, Tanya Tucker, and Keith Urban Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Charley Pride, LeAnn Rimes, Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker, The Band COUNTRY: PORTRAITS OF AN AMERICAN Perry and Keith Urban. The film weaves iconic SOUND takes audiences on a visual odyssey through the history of country music as captured images, historical footage and famous country songs into a dynamic look at this uniquely by renowned photographers who have portrayed the ideals, lifestyle and personalities of American sound. country music artists for 90 years. From the Carter Family to Taylor Swift, the film documents COUNTRY: PORTRAITS OF AN AMERICAN SOUND includes never-before-seen country’s rise from innocent beginnings to photographs, footage and unforgettable international phenomenon as immortalized in moments with stars from the country music the evolving image of the country artist, from world including Garth Brooks, Lee Ann Womack, rhinestone cowboy to pot-smoking outlaw to Ronnie Milsap, Lorrie Morgan, and fashion stadium-filling megastar. designer Manuel. Additional interviews include: Bill Anderson, Terri Clark, Brenda Lee, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Tanya Tucker and Holly See Country: Portraits of an American Williams. Sound on Amazon. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 10

Photo: Lyle Lovett by Michael Wilson

Country Continued… COUNTRY: PORTRAITS OF AN AMERICAN SOUND is a presentation of Annenberg Space for Photography Films, produced by Arclight Productions, in association with the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum and Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Directed and produced by Steven Kochones, the documentary was filmed in Photo Above: Merle Haggard by Les Everett Nashville, TN; Bakersfield, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Vienna, VA, Tulsa, OK; New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; and Portland, OR. The film is also produced by Joe Russo, Janel Tamares, and Erika D. Smith. Wallis Annenberg is executive producer. Cinematography by Luke Geissbühler with editing by James W. Pendorf. The film was shot in 5K resolution using RED Epic cameras. The running time is 88 minutes. Website: Photo: Dolly Parton by Henry Horenstein

Photo of Kacey Musgraves by David McClister



CARRIE ELKIN The Penny Collector With a voice that’s somehow both gritty and pristine, Carrie Elkin has spent the last decade developing her presence into a force of nature. Elkin can turn a delicate trickle of a note into a tidal wave of ten emotions at once. Her longawaited solo album, The Penny Collector, is supported with a headlining tour featuring special guest Danny Schmidt. Titled in honor of the late Richard Elkin (19422015), a lifelong penny collector, the album lives in a similar musical realm as Patty Griffin and Brandi Carlile, straddling the Americana/roots, folk, and indie rock worlds where meaningful songs meet the fierce-yet-fragile voices of powerful women. Producer Neilson Hubbard (Garrison Star, Glen Phillips, Ben Glover, Ryan Culwell) beautifully captured that power without losing the delicacy and nuance, draping Elkin’s vocal performances in swathes of expressionistic electric guitars, velvety strings, and primal percussive heart beats, always leaving the focus on the story and the storyteller.

Listen to Carrie Elkin on Big Blend Radio!

Written in a year that was bookended by the birth of Elkin’s first child and the process of caretaking her father through the dying process, The Penny Collector is a poet’s momentous stroll full circle around the human lifecycle in one single year. It’s a journey that is beautifully told, fragile and heartbreaking at times, joyous and raucous in others. With her latest work, Carrie Elkin once again delivers the powerhouse vocal performance that people have come to expect, with delicate waves of intimacy that build to astonishing crashes of intensity. PAGE 13

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Singer-Songwriter Continued…

ALI SPERRY Crooked Feelings With roots that are undeniably rooted in folk music, Ali Sperry pushes boundaries, toying with tones of modern indie-pop, rock, and old-school soul to create a fresh and original sound. The seed for her new album Crooked Feelings was planted during an Erin Rae show, when Ali stood in the audience and jotted down the first bits of “Highest Hill” on her phone. The song marks a shift within Ali as she resolves to abandon timid habits and gains a newfound level of confidence. The cornerstone for the rest of the house that is Crooked Feelings, Ali recorded the track with Joe Pisapia. While the track marks the end of the album, it is symbolic of the new sound, the new statement that Ali makes in her latest effort. Ali was raised in Iowa to two musician parents who encouraged her to sing and create music from the time she could speak. Her childhood soundtrack was steeped in the music of the 60s Listen to Ali Sperry and 70s: Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, on Big Blend Radio! Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor. After attending Syracuse University and briefly moving to Chicago, Ali was recruited by an all-girl band in In her own words, "I can’t think of anything more Nashville, TN called Sweetwater Rose. joyful than the act of making music with people I Four years later in 2012, immersed in the love as friends and deeply admire as musicians. growing alternative music scene in Nashville, she There is no company I would rather be in." released her first solo record, Storybook, produced by Kyle Ryan and backed by a rotating tribe of musicians – friends, lovers, and Continued on Next Page… roommates – who came to be known as The Family Vacation. In October 2014, she released her most recent project, an EP entitled Comes and Goes – produced by Scott Hardin, Jamie Dick and Ali, and mixed in Memphis, TN at Ardent Studios on a console well-used by Stax Records. Ali tours regularly, solo and with The Family Vacation. She has shared shows with Langhorne Slim, Amanda Shires, Andrew Combs, The Spring Standards, Chris Stills, and Elephant Revival among others. PAGE 14

Singer-songwriter Continued…

EVERETT COAST The Shel Talmy Sessions Everett Coast is the California-based acoustic guitar driven duo of woven voices and fused songwriting founded in 2011 by singersongwriters Danny Byrne and Josh Misko, and they have just released their third new EP ‘The Shel Talmy Sessions’.

Listen to Josh Misko & Danny Byrne on Big Blend Radio! Prior to ‘The Shel Talmy Sessions’, Everett Coast released two self-produced EPs: Hey, Hey, California (2013) and Lift Off (2015). Keep up with them at

The Shel Talmy Sessions was produced by Shel Talmy (The Who, The Kinks, David Bowie, etc), Continued on Next Page… engineered by Johnny Lee Schell (Bonnie Raitt, The Blues Brothers, Taj Mahal, etc) and mastered by Rob Fraboni (Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, etc). The EP features 2 original songs — including “Bye Bye Baby” written by John Keller (who’s penned songs performed by Wynonna Judd, Etta James, and most famously the 1993 hit “Love Is” by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight) — and three 60s classics including the group’s unique take on Tim Hardin’s hit “If I Were a Carpenter.” PAGE 15

Singer-Songwriter Continued…

BRAD ABSHER & SWAMP ROYALE Lucky Dog Perfectly embodying the title of his new Triple A/Americana driven album, Brad Absher, the award-winning Louisiana-born blues singersongwriter – dubbed the “unofficial ambassador of Gulf Coast Soul” - is one ‘Lucky Dog’! Lucky Dog was recorded at Montrose Records Studios in Houston, and was produced by Larry Fulcher, the longtime bassist for Absher’s blues hero Taj Mahal, and features him on bass. The classic, high-energy old school production features Absher (vocals and guitar) and his regular Swamp Royale band mates Mike Patton (drums), Barry Seelen (keys), with Andy Saad (tenor sax) and Anthony Terry (baritone sax) brassing things up on half the tracks. The band geared up for the project backing up Houston based 2015 Blues Music Award nominee (and Montrose Records labelmate), powerhouse vocalist Annika Chambers. Absher wrote six tunes – including the opening tribute to his wife Amy “Woman Who Loves Me” and “I Need A Drink,” a sobering reflection on a recently departed friend - while Fulcher and fellow Phantom Blues Band (formed originally as Mahal’s backing band) member Tony Braunagel wrote “Trouble.” There’s one traditional gospel tune (“Jesus on the Main Line”) and a handful of previously recorded tunes (including Bill Withers’ “Same Love” and “Rather Be Blind” by Leon Russell) are given the “Swamp Royale” treatment.

Listen to Brad Absher on Big Blend Radio!

Reflecting on his current career and goals, he adds, “It was so great working with Larry on Lucky Dog. I also feel like we’ve successfully harnessed the true sound of Swamp Royale, and collectively we’re committed to continue what we’ve captured so far…it reminds me of that vibe Van Morrison had in the `70s with the horns. For me though, it all comes down to doing what I truly love to do…I write love songs and socially conscious songs, hopefully songs that resonate with music lovers…all ladled with love from the gumbo pot that is my life.” Visit Continued on Next Page…


Singer-Songwriter Continued…

JAMES PATRICK MORGAN Art + Work = Love James Patrick Morgan, the Atlanta-based poprock and soul singer/songwriter, has released his brand new EP ‘Art + Work = Love’ on Cloverland Entertainment. Morgan describes this five-song collection as one which “represents [him] better than most past recordings…” As an artist who plays up to 10 shows each week, he recognizes the importance that ‘Art + Work = Love’ captures much more of “what [he does] in a live setting,” than previous releases. The EP was recorded in several legendary studios across the United States such as Los Angeles’ East West Studios, where the Beach Boys recorded many of their hits, and the storied Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN. Morgan says the goal of the EP, and of his artistry, is to “show people that it’s okay to be present and feel.” This is something he does with remarkable success on ‘Art + Work = Love,’ recalling classic artists such as Sam Cooke and Dave Matthews, but doing so in a fresh and exciting way. The first single from ‘Art + Work = Love’ – titled “Expected” – is also the first song on the EP. Morgan says that “songwriting comes easily” to him, and it’s evident that is true from the opening notes of “Expected.” The Sony Southern Talent Expo winner’s wide ranging influences from blues to soul to pop and soft rock are all given time on the track – from the acoustic verses to the catchy horn lines and soulful vocal harmonies on the chorus. The song features an infectious, danceable groove that carries the listener through the story of two people sharing “one night, two nights, three nights” and eventually falling in love.

Listen to James Patrick Morgan on Big Blend Radio!

The EP illustrates his myriad of musical influences, and crackles with the energy he brings to his live shows. Produced by studio ace David Huff, the EP is full of infectious grooves and pure soul, highlighting James’ love of R&B Already a favorite in the Atlanta music scene, and funk. With years of performing under his Pop-Soul singer songwriter James Patrick Morgan belt James has 1500 covers in his repertoire, and has spent years honing his sound while playing he includes an impressive take on Steve Miller’s 300-plus shows a year, performing covers and “Fly Like An Eagle” on the new EP as well. originals as well. PAGE 17

Beatrix Potter, Anna Sewell and The Brontë Sisters By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours UK In the past, women have often enjoyed much less publicity than men; that was the way of the world I’m afraid, but there have been several women who have made an impression on the literary history of this country. Listen to Glynn Burrows talk about One of the favourite authors from my childhood England’s Literary Ladies, is a lady who wrote about animals as if they were on Big Blend Radio! people and gave them real personalities. Who One of my other can’t love Peter Rabbit and who doesn’t feel favourite authoresses is compassion for Jemima Puddleduck? a local Norfolk woman, Beatrix Potter was from an affluent family and, it born in Great Yarmouth, seems that, because of her upbringing, educated Anna Sewell. Although Anna wrote several by a governess and not mixing with other poems and her mother children, she started writing, drawing upon her also wrote books, Anna’s childhood experiences, spending lots of time with pets and animals as friends. After her early only published book is a world-wide best seller. books flew off the shelves, Miss Potter decided to spend her earnings on land and property. She Anna was very active in charitable work for the was living in the Lake District and could see how poor but she is best known for her work with animals, especially horses. She had a fall when the area was changing - and not for the better. she was about 14 and it was badly repaired, Married in 1913 to a local Solicitor, she and her husband continued to purchase farms and land leaving her unable to walk far. She relied heavily on horses, as she travelled in a small carriage and when they died, their bequests to The and one of her campaigns was to stop the use of National Trust, formed the basis of what we cruel bits. Continued on Next Page… know as The Lake District National Park. PAGE 18

Historic Literary Women Continued…

My last choice of Historic women of England for this time, is not a member of the royal family, Anna wrote Black Beauty in her home in Catton, not a leader of an army, nor a war heroine. This in Norfolk, looking out over the meadows. Her woman wasn’t from Norfolk and isn’t just one health deteriorated sharply and she died just five woman, in fact, my last choices are the three months after the book was published. Most Brontë sisters! children know the story and have seen either Charlotte, Emily and Anne, with their brother television adaptations or series based on this Branwell, lost their mother when they were still fantastic tale but, for me, this brings back very young children and they were brought up memories of my childhood. When I was little my by their aunt. All three girls became teachers and dad always used to read my sister and I a couple governesses and Charlotte and Emily went to of pages from our copy of Black Beauty before we Belgium to improve their French but returned to went to bed, so thinking about Anna Sewell and their Yorkshire home when their aunt died. All Black Beauty always takes me back to those days three sisters were writers, with two of their in the '60s. works remaining on the best selling lists even a hundred and fifty years after they were written. Branwell died of Tuberculosis, aged 31, after some years of addiction, the three sisters died aged 28, 29 and 39, none of them having had children. How often do we find that the lives of creative people are cut short or filled with tragedy. The Bronte family had more than their fair share of both. The house they lived in is open to the public and is in the beautiful village of Haworth in the Yorkshire Moors. 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



BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS WHEN WATER WAS EVERYWHERE Award-winning historical novel by Barbara Crane that features four characters who respond to life-altering changes during the final years of California's Mexican rule. Once upon a time in Los Angeles, water was everywhere–in rivers that rendered the vast plain marsh and woodland; in underground streams that provided an abundance of water for people, cattle, orchards and vineyards. The American Henry Scott encounters this fertile landscape in When Water Was Everywhere. Arriving in the Mexican pueblo of Los Angeles in 1842, he meets Don Rodrigo Tilman (based on the historical John Temple). Scott becomes the foreman of Tilman’s newly-purchased cattle ranch along the Los Angeles River, the present day Rancho Los Cerritos. As Scott learns about ranchos and cattle, vaqueros and Indians, Mexican California and Tongva Indian village life come alive under Barbara Crane’s deft grasp of narrative and history. Tilman, Scott, Big Headed Girl (a young Tongva Indian woman) and Padre Jose’s (a Franciscan friar) unfolding stories assure the novel’s themes of loss, hope and redemption resonate from every page.

Listen to Barbara Crane, author of ‘When Water Was Everywhere’ on Big Blend Radio! PAGE 21

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BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS SHADOW COMMANDER During a period when US troops in Southeast Asia faced guerrilla armies on every side, America had a superb covert commander of its own. The military biography “Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn” by Mike Guardia, follows Blackburn through both his youthful days of desperate combat and his time as a commander, imparting his lessons to the new ranks of Army Special Forces. On the evening of December 7, 1942, the fires on Bataan burned with a primitive fury, illuminating white flags of surrender against the dark sky. Outnumbered and outgunned, remnants of the American-Philippine army surrendered to the forces of the Rising Sun. Yet US Army Captain Donald D. Blackburn refused to lay down his arms. With future Special Forces legend Russell Volckmann, Blackburn escaped to the jungles of North Luzon, raising a private army of 22,000 men against the Japanese. His organization of native tribes into guerrilla fighters would lead to the destruction of the enemy's naval base at Aparri. But Blackburn's remarkable accomplishments didn't end with the victory in the Pacific. He played a key role in initiating Army Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia, became commander of the 77th Special Forces Group and later took command of the highly classified Studies and Observations Group (SOG), charged with performing secret missions. Blackburn also revitalized the Special Operations campaign in South Vietnam, conducting full-scale operations against the NVA and Viet Cong in Laos and Cambodia.

Listen to Mike Guardia talk about ‘Shadow Commander’ on Big Blend Radio!

Following his return to the US, Blackburn was the architect of the infamous Son Tay Prison Raid, the largest prisoner-of-war rescue mission—and, indeed, the largest Army Special Forces operation—of the Vietnam War. Visit PAGE 22

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BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS DARK ASSOCIATIONS Dark Associations by Marie Sutro (Viper Press) is a compelling new work of crime fiction pulling readers into a chilling battle of wits between a sinister, twisted mind and a determined young detective. Following the discovery of her protégé’s mutilated corpse, SFPD Detective Kate Barnes vows to capture an infamous serial killer known as the Tower Torturer. After years of silence, the psychopath has emerged from the shadows. Young women close to Kate begin to disappear, as the killer taunts the detective, torturing his victims in various and unspeakable ways before displaying their corpses in macabre public tableaus. The predator always seems to be two moves ahead of the rookie investigator, despite her best efforts. As the body count rises, Kate struggles to apprehend the brutal mastermind before he resurrects history’s most insidious form of torture upon her. See

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Listen to Marie Sutro, author of ‘Dark Associations,’ on Big Blend Radio!


BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS ASSATA SHAKUR Written by award-winning author Barbara Casey, “Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave” is the story of Assata Shakur, before she became a fugitive and her life on the run since then. In May 1973, Assata Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and assaulting Trooper James Harper. This led to her indictment of the first-degree murder of Foerster and seven other felonies related to the shootout. This, however, wasn’t her first indictment. A member of the Black Panther Party, Shakur became a prime target of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterintelligence Program. When she joined the Black Liberation Army and went into hiding, between 1973 and 1977 she was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for three bank robberies, the kidnapping and murder of two drug dealers, and the attempted murder of two New Jersey police officers. Shakur’s imprisonment and what many of her supporters believed was a false arrest brought international attention to her plight as a political prisoner. In March 1977 Assata Shakur was convicted of murdering state trooper Werner Foerster and was imprisoned at the maximum security prison for women in Alderson, West Virginia.

Listen to Barbara Casey, author of ‘Assata Shakur,’ on Big Blend Radio! During the next four years following the New Jersey Turnpike incident, Shakur was held in detention as the trials for the indictments brought while she was underground either ended in acquittal or were dropped because of lack of evidence.

Two years later she broke out of the maximumsecurity prison. In 1984 she was granted political asylum in Cuba where she has lived ever since. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List, the first woman to be listed. Whatever your opinion of Assata Shakur, one must agree that it is life worth living with important lessons for American society. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 24

BOOK NEWS & INTERVIEWS FALLING FOR THE STARS Lisa Loving Dalton’s Amazon #1 bestselling memoir “Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales” provides a magical behind-thescenes look at the stars and movie making through the eyes of a woman who went toeto-toe with the Hollywood elite, or at least walked in their stunt shoes. Lisa spent years working with or stunt doubling for a galaxy of celebrity stars including Madonna, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Katherine Hepburn, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Darryl Hannah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Williams, Robert Downey Jr., Liam Neeson, Cher and more. Yet, what stands out in her new memoir Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales, is the indomitable spirit she assayed, despite the extraordinary price she paid for her stellar career-including misogyny, a miscarriage, and a life-long back injury. And each juicy story she relays in her fascinating chronicle, brings home an important life lesson for the reader-one that she learned the hard way. Beginning as a naïve, insecure actress, trying to use extra work and stunts as a way into the motion picture industry firmament, Dalton rises to become one of the top stunt professionals on the East Coast, ultimately reaping the economic rewards and the ego gratification-while denying her true desire to act full time. Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen, with ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits. Dalton reveals what it took to hang over cliffs, get hit by a moving car, drop from five stories up, dodge an avenue of speeding cars, and to ignore the Universe’s more gentle prompts that it was time to quit and follow her passion into acting fulltime or teaching acting.

Listen to Lisa Loving Dalton, author of ‘Falling for the Stars’, on Big Blend Radio! The resulting career-ending spinal injury has a story of its own, how she researched medical and alternative paths that form the heart of what she shares with the world today. She is now certified in NLP, Hypnosis, and Neurological Repatterning–ways she learned to heal. Visit


HOLLYWOOD HISTORY OF WOMEN IN COMEDY Comedy crosses boundaries, and during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, many female entertainers struggled just to enter the male-dominated world of stand-up and television. While many comedians, today, get their laughs from shock value, the first female stars of network television had no such fallbacks, and instead, entertained with pure talent and screen savvy.

Listen to Steve Schneickert’s Big Blend Radio segment, as he recalls the Funny Ladies in Hollywood History including Betty White, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Channing and Bette Midler! Continued on Next Page…

The original The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1950)

Phyllis Diller (2007)


Women in Comedy Continued…

Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens in The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Lucille Ball with John Wayne in I Love Lucy (1955)

Carol Channing with David Burns in Hello, Dolly! (1964)

Carol Burnett as Calamity Jane (1963)

Joan Rivers (2001) PAGE 27

TANYA ORTEGA Photographer & Artist Insider Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tanya Ortega comes from a family who ran Indian Trading Posts. She started to work in National Parks as a teenager, studied both Art and Geology in college, and has degrees in Fine Arts and Museum Studies, as well from Sotheby's Christie’s and the International School. Tanya has travelled and photographed all over the world, and has been an Artist in Residence in many locations including Chaco Canyon and the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, Utah. She has also studied and worked as a curator with NODE, the Center for Curatorial Studies in Berlin, and has been a consultant to the National Parks of Brazil, Japan and England. With the National Parks, she is certified as a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation, the agency that certifies most of the nation’s Park Interpretive Rangers.

Listen to Tanya Ortega on Big Blend Radio!

After working for her family business spearheading the complete restoration and refurbishment of the Death Valley's Stovepipe Wells, Beach Clubs in Long Island, New York, Muir Woods in California, Volcano House at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, among many others, Tanya was inspired to start the National Park Arts Foundation (NPAF) the only nationwide resource for Artists’ Residences and Workshops in the National Parks. Currently with over 100 programs and always expanding, NPAF is the center of Tanya’s output as curator, fundraiser, and organizer. Continued on Next Page…


Tanya Ortega Continued‌ The foundation has received NEA grants as well as crucial support from the top philanthropy organizations all over the US. Tanya currently splits her time between Hawaii and Santa Fe, New Mexico, when she's not interviewing National Parks who apply to the NPAF programs. Learn more about NPAF at So what does it take to be a successful in the world of art and photography? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Tanya Ortega and read her answers to our 10 Photography Insider Questions about her career, including the challenges she faces, as well as her inspirations. 1. What led you to a career in the film/photography/art industry? I was 15 and had been sent to England under an acting scholarship to study Shakespeare. I had been given a Nikon camera for my birthday and took photos of the actors and actresses in the West End. (This is when the West End was the place to be). Upon my return to the States, my stepmother had surprisingly and secretively entered my photos from a small southwest town into the State Fair. I was surprised to have won a lot of awards in the "adult" category, when they had mistaken me for an adult.

Blue Morgan Crane

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Blue Shallow

2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being successful in film/photography/art? Not caring what I must do to get the photo I want. 3. Who or what inspires you? August Sanders is probably my favorite photographer... that's the "who". What inspires me is being able to see through photography and film differently than what you would normally see... the interpretation I suppose. 4. Describe your ideal viewing audience. I do not care about an audience. PAGE 29

Glass Cascade 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? Toll booth operator. Cuba Fallen Angel 10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started Tanya Ortega Continued‌ in the world of film/photography/art? Don't do it for the audience. 5. What do you think about the photography / film / art industry of today? Continued on Next Page‌ I love that people think that the more tools we have makes a larger, better group of Blackboards photographers (or artists for that matter). When in truth, the number of "good" artists is the same. 6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? I have risked being able to devote my time to revenue generating endeavors. 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? People who know my work and pressure me into "production". The truth is that being able to make opportunities for other artists (who may be far better than me) is incredibly rewarding. 8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be? Leonard Cohen, Laurie Anderson, Christopher Alexander and Dave Hickey, and maybe Doris Duke. (One of these people, I did invite to dinner... it was great!) PAGE 30

Butterfly Collector Tanya Ortega Continued‌

Burnt Staircase

Eyeball Collector


Photo: Coral Castle

Edward Leedskalnin and Samuel Perry Dinsmoor By Victoria Chick, Figurative Artist and Early 19th & 20th Century Print Collector

All over the world are examples of the work of untrained artists whose creative instincts seem to have been propelled into building obsessive constructions by their internal feelings of love or hate. Two examples are The Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, conceived and built by Latvian immigrant, Listen to Victoria Chick discuss Edward Leedskalnin, between 1920 and 1951 Edward Leedskalnin and Samuel Dinsmoor and the Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas built on Big Blend Radio! by Samuel Perry Dinsmoor between 1905 and 1932. Both these visionary constructions were at the same time residences and After retirement, about 1905, he bought a block expressive statements. of land in Lucas and began building his “cabin” Samuel P. Dinsmoor joined the Union Army and the Garden of Eden. The cabin material was when he was 14. As a Civil War veteran he went post limestone, a common sedimentary rock in to seek his fortune in Illinois where Union Kansas and often used for building. However, Soldiers had been paid with parcels of land for Dinsmoor had it quarried in long log-like pieces their military service. He taught school a few textured like bark and had the ends notched like years and tried to farm but found the land so logs so they fit snuggly together at the corners. impermeable, because it was heavy with clay, He also built a mausoleum for himself in his that farming was next to impossible. So he sold it backyard using the same material and style. and went with his first wife and children to farm Continued on Next Page… near Lucas, Kansas. PAGE 32

Photo: Coral Castle

Creative Forces Continued… Dinsmoor had a rudimentary amount of Biblical knowledge. Many of his philosophical ideas had come from the political populism after the Civil War and his involvement with Freemasonry. These influences coalesced in concrete sculptures around his house in Lucas. Life size and larger concrete figures of Adam and Eve, concrete trees and vines, and a concrete serpent with a red painted apple all compete for a viewer’s attention with concrete American flags, concrete effigies of the bankers, lawyers, doctors, religious leaders, and concrete metaphors of the Big Business he distrusted and hated. These concrete sculptures eventually numbered 150, including symbolic animals and thirty cement trees. At 81, after being widowed for 7 years, he married a 21 year old woman and had two more children. He died in 1932 and his body was placed in his pyramidal mausoleum where you can see his mummified remains through a glass window. He had an axe placed next to him so he can break the glass on Judgement Day and be ready for the Resurrection. Photo: Coral Castle PAGE 33

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About ten years after he began building, he decided to move everything to Homestead, Florida. He hired a truck, but loaded everything himself. No one saw how Leedskalnin, at five feet tall and weighing about 100 pounds, achieved this feat. In Homestead, he re-established his project and expanded it with more coral rock sculptures and plants around the garden and castle. He renamed it the Coral Castle. Many people felt he always hoped his bride-to-be would come back and his castle would be ready Photo: The Garden of Eden for her to move into. Creative Forces Continued… The Garden of Eden was voted one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas and is well worth driving 11 miles north of I-70 to Lucas to see it. Also accessible from I-70 nearby are National Historic sites in Salina and Abilene, Kansas. The attraction now known as the Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida was moved there by its builder Edward Leedskalnin from Florida City. Leedskalnin was motivated by the unrequited love he had for a 16 year old girl from his native Latvian town. She ran away the night before they were to be married. His disappointment led him to emigrate, first to Canada and, then to the United States. He developed tuberculosis and was advised to go to Florida for his health. There, he recovered from his illness and became fascinated with a type of local limestone rock formed from coral.

Some of his writings express strong views on the necessity for young girls to remain pure. Although it is tempting to draw conclusions about him, his run-a-way bride, and his obsession in building his castle, not all the facts are known. The Coral Castle, now a museum, is open to the public and is located in the Miami area between Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.

Both Dinsmoor and Leedskalnin were secretive about their work, Dinsmoor mixing much of his concrete alone by moonlight, and, as mentioned, Leedskalnin never letting anyone see how he moved his blocks of stone. Both were associated with “secret knowledge” from the past in doing their work, Leedskalnin from reading and Dinsmoor from the Freemasons. I visited the Garden of Eden 56 years after Dinsmoor’s death and was impressed that the concrete work there He lived and worked building Rock Gate Park, had developed no cracks, and even though dedicated to the 16 year old who left him. He mixed over many years in small batches had no worked at night and was completely secretive color differences, nor could I see seams where about his methods of quarrying and moving the one batch was added to another to complete a giant rock slabs. People could not believe he sculpture. Neither artist had much education but could do this alone with only very simple tools. both used their specialized knowledge and their strong emotions of love or hate to create places Although he had a very limited formal education, that continue to amaze visitors. leaving school in the 4th grade, he loved learning and spent his young years reading. Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art When people would ask him about how he Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. managed to move the thousands of tons of rock in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City slabs he would explain he had a good and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State knowledge of physics and understood how the University in Ohio. Visit her website at Egyptians were able to build the pyramids. PAGE 34


EL MERCADO Artist Ted DeGrazia Paints the Marketplace Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Lance Laber, Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson, about famous Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia’s work featured in the gallery’s new exhibit "El Mercado DeGrazia Paints the Marketplace". Paintings of the vendors, goods, and stalls of the public markets of old Mexico and Guatemala are featured in this new exhibit. On display until August 30, 2017, this collection of paintings spans more than thirty years of Ted DeGrazia's career, and reveals his enduring fascination with vendors and the marketplace.

Click Here for the Online Jigsaw Puzzle of this Ted DeGrazia Painting!

Other current exhibits at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun include ‘Roadrunners and Coyotes’ (on display until October 31st, 2017) and ‘Way of The Cross’ (on display until May 30th, 2017). Featuring the works of visiting artists, DeGrazia’s Little Gallery is open until April 7, 2017. Listen to Lance Laber “The Tucson Dude” on Big Blend Radio! DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a 10-acre historic district in the foothills of Tucson, Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains. It was designed and built from the ground up by Ted DeGrazia who achieved worldwide acclaim for his colorful paintings of native cultures of the Sonoran desert. Using traditional adobe bricks crafted onsite, DeGrazia built the gallery so his paintings “would feel good inside”. Visit



A Creative Hub of the Past & Home of the Annual Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival. Built in 1796, Melrose Plantation is a National Historic Landmark just 15 miles south of Natchitoches, the oldest city in the state of Louisiana. The Plantation shares the story of slave Marie Thérèse Coincoin and her ten Franco-African children with Thomas Pierre Metoyer, as well as the Isle Brevelle Creole community, the Civil War, plantation history, and Louisiana folk art. After 1884, under the ownership of John Hampton Henry and Miss Cammie Garrett Henry, Melrose Plantation became a haven for writers and artists, including famous folk artist Clementine Hunter.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Arlene Gould, Molly Dickerson and Harry Thompson, who discuss the historic Melrose Plantation and the award-winning 43rd Annual Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival. The property features nine historic structures dating back to the early 1800’s. African House, which was totally rehabilitated in 2016, has received the honor of being named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The house contains several murals painted by Clementine Hunter, who originally worked as a field hand at Melrose, then as house keeper and finally as a cook at the plantation. She was a self-taught artist who began painting using paints and brushes that were discarded by an artist in residence. Many of her paintings are also on display in the plantation “big house.” Continued on Next Page…


Melrose Plantation Continued… The 43rd Annual Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival is slated for April 22 – 23, 2017, on the grounds of Melrose Plantation. The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year and approximately 100 vendors who come each year from several states, to showcase and sell their hand created works which include stained glass, gourmet foods, jewelry, clothing, photography, plants, toys, woodworking products, pottery and other arts and crafts. The festival opens Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children ages 6 – 12. Guests may also opt to tour the main plantation house, called “the Big House,” and the Yucca House and the African House for an additional $5.00 ticket. Viewing of the other historic buildings and selfguided tours of the grounds, which feature centuries old live oak trees, is included with the entry fee. Melrose Plantation is maintained by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN). Guests will enjoy visiting the over 200 year old property and inspecting the many modern day creations of various vendors. The Southeast Tourism Society has recently named the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival as a top 20 event in Southeast USA for April 2017. Additional information about the festival, the history of Melrose and other information may be found at For more about Natchitoches Parish, visit PAGE 39

Photo by Mark Nally

Follow the Barn Quilt Trail of Washington County, Kentucky Some regions decorate their downtowns with murals and sculptures, others create a colorful display by painting their town fire hydrants and electrical boxes. In Washington County, along Central Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail and the Lincoln Scenic Byway, its all about following the Barn Quilt Trail. Quilts are an American tradition, where function meets art, with stories shared through various symbols and designs. Quilts are also known for bringing a community together, whether it be a crafting group stitching patterns together or a show displaying locally made quilts.

Listen to Stephanie McMillin, Executive Director of the Springfield Tourism Commission, chat with Big Blend Radio about Washington County’s Barn Quilt Trail.

Each quilt design depicts a personal or family From the midwest through the south, Barn Quilts connection to its owner, and may only be used are becoming a popular sight. With the advent of once. The quilts are eight-foot square panels that are meticulously painted according to the the Kentucky Quilt Trail, images of quilts owner’s specifications, and then hung on the colorfully adorn barns and other farm buildings farm’s barns and other significant buildings. across the state. The Washington County Barn Some panels are free-standing, mounted Quilt Trail is a self-guided driving tour that securely beside the road for all to see. features new and weathered old and historic barns, showcasing the area’s heritage and the art Continued on Next Page… of quilting. PAGE 40

Photo by Mark Nally Barn Quilts Continued… Conveniently located near the Kentucky cities of Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green, Washington County is the oldest county in the state, and is home to Springfield, a historic destination known for being the site where Abraham Lincoln’s legacy began.

For maps and more information on Washington County’s Barn Quilt Tour, visit the Springfield Tourism Commission Welcome Center within the Opera House in historic downtown Springfield. You can also call 859-336-5412 x1 or go to

Mark Your Calendars for these Upcoming Springfield Events! For up-to-date travel and event information, contact the Springfield Tourism Commission at (859) 3365412 x1 or April 15-17, 22-24: Central Kentucky Theatre: “Happy Days, The Musical” by Youth Actors April 22: New Pioneers Earth Day Celebration & Farmers Market April 24: Junk in the Trunk Event April 24-25: Elizabeth Madox Roberts Conference April 24, 30 & May 1: SCC Mid Kentucky Chorus presents “Your Hit Parade” April 30: Springfield Green Festival New Pioneers May 13-15: Theatre: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty by Bluegrass Kids May 14: Bourbon Bike Ride May 21: BPW Wine Tasting May 28: Farmers Market Opens PAGE 41

Compiled by Lisa D. Smith Listen to Miriam Limon, City of Yuma, chat with Big Blend Radio about Spring & The Arts in Yuma!

Located in southwest Arizona, Yuma is a historic, cultural and outdoor adventure destination that borders Mexico, and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, popular Yuma attractions include the Colorado River, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Territorial Prison, Quartermaster Depot, and its charming historic downtown district adorned with colorful murals and featuring an eclectic variety of shops and restaurants. From outdoor sporting events to annual family-friendly festivals that celebrate the region’s rich southwestern history and cultural traditions, there’s always something happening in Yuma, and The Arts are no exception. Showcasing local and visiting artists, Yuma hosts a full calendar of art shows, stage performances and musical festivals.

The interior decor has remained virtually unchanged, and features two beautiful mermaid murals in the audience chamber, and one of the only functioning carbon arc projectors west of the Mississippi.

The Historic Yuma Theatre & Yuma Art Centre are the entertainment centerpieces of Yuma’s historic downtown. Constructed in 1912, the Yuma Theatre originally functioned as a vaudeville and movie house. Though it has experienced a couple of fires, the Yuma Theatre has been in operation almost continuously since 1936. PAGE 42

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Yuma Events Continued… Offering seating for 650, ADA accessibility, excellent acoustics, state-of-the-art lighting, sound and digital projection capability, the Historic Yuma Theatre is managed by the City of Yuma, presenting a year-round calendar of shows and events. It is connected to the Yuma Art Center which hosts a variety of special events and classes, and houses four art galleries, a pottery studio, and a gift shop. The Yuma Art Center hosts art shows year-round, featuring the work of local and visiting artists. Since the late 1920’s, Yuma has been an ideal location for filming movies, TV shows, and commercials. The region boasts ideal filming locations with diverse landscapes ranging from the Colorado River to the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, Algodones in bordering Mexico, Fort Yuma-Quechan and Cocopah Indian Reservations, and different sites like the Yuma Territorial Prison, the Quartermaster Depot, the ‘ghost train’ at Pivot Point, acres of farmlands, and the historic downtown district. Some of the movies filmed in and around Yuma include: ‘Morocco’, ‘Road to Morocco', ‘Sahara’, '3:10 to Yuma', ‘Stars Wars’, 'Spaceballs’, ‘Return of the Jedi’, 'The Getaway', ‘True Lies’, ‘Stargate’, 'Jarhead', and 'To Kill a Memory'. PAGE 43

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Yuma Events Continued…

DON’T MISS THESE SPRING EVENTS CELEBRATING THE ARTS IN YUMA! For up-to-date event information call City of Yuma Parks & Rec. (928) 373-5200, Yuma Art Center & Historic Theatre (928) 373-5202, or Yuma Civic Center (928) 373-5040, or visit 11th Annual Village Jazz Series - Bring your seat and blanket to enjoy a relaxing evening of free jazz, Thursdays from 6pm- 8pm during the months of March and April, at the Village Area of the Yuma Palms Regional Center. March 21: As Seen on TV - Your favorite themes, tunes and sketches from the Golden Age of TV. Heat up that TV dinner, call the family together, and join our salute to all things television. Historic Yuma Theatre. Info: (928) 3735202 March 22: Diana Ross Musical Tribute - Marva Scott is spot on in her portrayal of the Supreme Diva, Diana Ross. Singing all the hits, Marva magically re-creates the Motown sound and the music of "The First Lady of Motown". Historic Yuma Theatre. Info: (928) 373-5202 April 13 & May 4: Thursdays at the Theatre – AWC College foreign film series at the historic Yuma Theatre.

April 14-15: 2017 Tunes & Tacos Festival - This two-day festival features the Salsa Queen competition with people's choice tastings, local chefs competing for the title of Yuma’s Taco King, amazing live entertainment on both fields, competitive eating contests, and FREE KidsZones with games, inflatables, carnival rides and fun activities. Browse local business and craft vendors, enjoy amazing fair style food, and cool down with a refreshing beverage. This festival won the 2016 Arizona Parks & Recreation Association ‘Special Event’ award, and was named #12 in Arizona’s top 25 festivals. Held at the Yuma Civic Center. Tel: 928-373-5210 April 15: Fort Yuma Rotary’s Annual Penitentiary Pint Fest - Enjoy samples of great craft brews from all over the southwest and enjoy live entertainment! Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. April 22: ARTbeat 10 – This award winning juried fine arts festival fills Historic Downtown Yuma with local and regional artists showcasing their paintings, sculpture, photography, wood and glass creations, jewelry, 3D / sculpture, fiber arts and mixed media. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this festival is named for the iconic news beat and is annually attended by thousands of visitors. Contact the Yuma Art Center at (928) 373-5202.


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

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

233 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364 Toll Free: (877) 234-5567 Local: (928) 783-4453 Subscribe to our Captain’s log e-Newsletter for specials! PAGE 45

Exquisite Dining as the Waves Crash By Susan Montgomery What do you look for in a special dining experience? Innovative, delicious dishes that are beautifully presented? A romantic, picturesque setting, perhaps with breath-taking views? An attentive, knowledgeable staff that is personable and responsive? I look for all of this, which is why our family frequently chooses the Marine Room, a world-class restaurant in La Jolla, California, for special occasions. As a matter of fact, we recently had Christmas dinner there and, as always, it was a wonderful celebratory experience.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Maitre Cuisinier de France Bernard Guillas and writer Susan Montgomery!

The setting of the Marine Room, located literally right on the gorgeous beach of La Jolla Shores, is incomparable with dramatic ocean views. Sometimes during high tides, waves pound against the expansive windows that surround the dining room. Recently, during the We were fortunate to meet the restaurant’s two International Food Wine & Travel Writers Annual award-winning chefs, Executive Chef Bernard Conference, which was based in the San Diego Guillas and Chef de Cuisine, Ron Nachman area, I was in a group of about twenty food Oliver, who planned our superb dinner. writers who traveled to La Jolla for a sampling of Continued on Next Page‌ what the Marine Room has to offer. PAGE 46

Marine Room Continued…

Chef Ronald Nachman Oliver also has extensive culinary experience, including stints at the Chef Guillas grew up on the coast of Brittany, Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, and Roy’s where he learned to love seafood and to cook Restaurant in Monterey where he worked for with his grandmother who he describes as “an world-renowned chef, Roy Yamaguchi. At the exquisite cook.” Cooking became his passport to Marine Room, he focuses on interesting global travel, taking him to more than 50 countries. His ingredients that surprise and please the career has many highlights, including working at American palate. Chefs Guillas and Oliver have several Maitres Cuisinier de France fine dining published two cookbooks, “Two Chefs, One restaurants, at Maison Blanche in Washington World” and more recently “Two Chefs, One DC, and at the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Catch: A Culinary Exploration of Seafood.” It is Diego. He came to the Marine Room in 1994. In no wonder these cookbooks are selling so well addition to the Marine Room, he heads cuisine at with their stunning photos and enticing recipes. the resort’s other two restaurants, The Shores Restaurant and the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. The menu items at The Marine Room focus on On many occasions, Chef Guillas, who has fresh seafood, but other appealing options are received countless awards and honors also available. throughout his career, has been invited to be a Continued on Next Page… guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House in New York and has been selected to be San Diego’s “Best Chef” numerous times. I have been fortunate to interview Chef Guillas several times and always find him to be engaging, creative and personable with a contagious sense of humor. He is obviously a “hands on” chef. Almost every time I visit the Marine Room, he is there overseeing the kitchen and greeting guests. Most recently, he was there on Christmas Day when the dining room was festive and full of cheerful guests enjoying wonderful holiday meals. (I ordered lobster tail on Christmas Day at the Marine Room and, as always, it was perfectly presented, tender and full of flavor.) PAGE 47

Marine Room Continued… During our visit there with the writers’ group, we were served a superb four-course dinner. Of course, our dinner was just a sampling of the enticing items on the menu, which changes regularly based on the season and availability of ingredients. Each course was perfectly paired with a wine that represented some of the most outstanding wines from the Marine Room’s expansive wine list. Our first delightful course was an appetizer trilogy aptly called “Taste of the Ocean.” This included artistically presented vanilla infused lobster, diver scallop, Kona Kampachi (“designer” yellowtail bred in Hawaii) served with green papaya, sesame brittle, caviar pearls and wasabi oil. This inventive combination of flavors was beautifully enhanced by a Domain Chandon “Etoile” Brut, which was nicely bubbly, creamy and full of rich fruit flavors that complemented the fish. Our next course was a savory soup, Hokto Farm Organic Mushroom Nectar, creatively accented by sage fig biscotti, eggplant foam, white truffle, and St. Andre Butter. Its smooth texture and herbaceous tastes went so well with the mellow and subtly spicy 2013 Pinot Noir from Jackson Estates in Mendocino.

The highlight of our dinner was Togarashi Sesame Spiced Ahi Tuna, a melt-in-your-mouth dish that was perfectly prepared and served with sticky black rice, avocado, mango, and a lovely white port hibiscus reduction. (Togarashi is a Japanese blend of chili peppers.) The 2012 L’idiot du Village from Columbia Valley’s Gramercy Cellars—a rich blend of Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsault—brought out the spice in the tuna and enhanced the avocado and mango flavors. The luscious dessert trilogy provided another nice contrast in flavors, colors and textures. It’s hard to say which imaginatively presented treat I liked best — the Hazelnut Chocolate Pyramid, the Blackmaker Root Beer Pot de Crème, or the Hisbiscus Infused Meyer Lemon Tart. These scrumptious desserts were accompanied by a pleasantly sweet 2014 Black Muscat from Quady Elysium. Most of these dishes are on the regular Marine Room menu, but there are many other tempting menu items that are equally appealing. Whether you live in Southern California or plan to visit the area, I believe you need to experience this iconic restaurant to have a complete SoCal dining experience. Look at for information about their hours, specials, and especially about their special “high tide” brunches, lunches and dinners. You are in for a dramatic, delectable experience.

Susan Montgomery is the Editor of and a Director of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association – see PAGE 48


CHEF BERNARD’S SESAME PEPPERED RUBY RED AHI TUNA Fennel Mango Salad, Avocado Fritter, Hibiscus Essence - Serves 4 Salad 1 small bulb fennel 1 mango 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro 1 tablespoon shaved, toasted coconut 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil 1 tablespoon white rum 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar Dash Tabasco To taste, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place sesame seeds into two separate shallow bowls. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Press one side of tuna into white sesame seeds and the other side into black sesame seeds. Add oil to heavy skillet over high heat. Sear tuna one minute on each side. Transfer to cutting board. Cut in half on bias.

Hibiscus 1/3 cup white wine 1/4 cup guava juice 2 tablespoons chopped shallots Trim fennel bulb, reserving fronds for 10 dried hibiscus flowers presentation. Cut bulb in half. Remove core. Slice 2 tablespoons heavy cream thinly crosswise. Peel mango. Cut flesh from 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 cubes inner seed. Thinly slice. Transfer fennel and To taste, sea salt and finely ground white pepper mango slices to mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Toss Add wine, guava juice, shallots, and hibiscus gently. flowers to saucepan over medium heat. Reduce liquid by two thirds. Stir in cream. Bring to boil. Tuna Turn heat to low. Whisk in butter 1 cube at a 1/2 cup white sesame seeds time. Strain through fine sieve. Season with salt 1/2 cup black sesame seeds and pepper. Keep warm. 4 6-ounce center cut sushi grade ahi tuna steaks, 1 inch thick Continued on Next Page‌ 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil To taste sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Ahi Tuna Continued‌ Avocado 1 quart canola oil for frying 1/2 cup tempura batter mix 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil Pinch paprika 1 cup cold soda water 2 avocados, seed removed, peeled, cut into eight wedges Heat oil in heavy sauce pot to 365°F. Whisk tempura batter, basil, paprika and water in mixing bowl. If mix is too thick add small amount of water. Dip avocados in tempura. Fry four wedges at a time, 20 seconds or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Presentation 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, chopped 1/2 teaspoon togarashi pepper 1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves 4 spring roll wrapper 7-inch square ** canola oil spray 4 fronds fennel top


Howard and Ruth Milstein share their tips on selecting and pairing seafood and wine, and have another lively conversation on Big Blend Radio! A husband-wife team, Howard is a wine expert, and Ruth is the author of the Gourmand award-winning cookbook 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.' Learn more at Ruth’s Tips on Buying and Selecting Seafood The fish shop should not stink! Make friends with the fishmonger, and find out when the new shipments arrive and where they come from. The five Omega 3 champions are salmon, sardines, smelt, shad, and anchovies. WHOLE FISH - Look for bright, clear eyes. The eyes are the window into a fresh fish. - Fresh fish should be shiny, clean and metallic looking. - Smell it. A fresh fish should smell fresh, like clean water. Nasty smelling fish won't improve in cooking.

Listen to Ruth & Howard Milstein share Seafood & Wine Tips on Big Blend Radio!

LIVE SEAFOOD If you choose to buy a live fish, crab or lobster, look for a lively and scampering fish in its tank. If it’s sulking or hanging in a corner, do not buy it.

SHELLFISH - Buy only at the finest fish market where turnover is rapid, so you can be assured of fresh FISH FILLET mussels, clams or oysters. - Look for vibrant flesh. If the fillet still has skin, - Clams and oysters are sold live! Dead ones do look for a glistening shine on it. not open after being cooked. Throw them away. - Smelling the fish fillets is very important. They - Scallops are almost always sold shucked. Look should not have a pungent odor. - If the fish displays any type of liquidity, it should for ones that are dry packed and are not stored in brine. It is better to buy frozen, vacuum sealed appear to be clean, not milky. scallops, which are perfectly good. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 52

Seafood & Wine Continued‌

Other choices can be Muscadet, the French varietal that gives off that lush, mineral and SHRIMP AND CRAYFISH stony fragrance of sea water as well as great Buy them whole and frozen. The shell protects acidity to complement the fish. Many people them from the rigors of being frozen without enjoy Chardonnay as well. However, I would losing too much moisture. suggest a good California or French Chardonnay would be ideal with shellfish, particularly lobster, SQUID, CUTTLEFISH AND OCTOPUS with its slightly sweet meaty aromas. Don't forget You should buy them frozen. Fresh are a bit rare. Italian varietals such as Vernaccia and If you find it though, look first at their eyes, Vermentino which are wonderful alternatives to which should be clean and bright. the same old Pinot Grigio. Howard’s Tips on Pairing Wine with Seafood When it comes to the average wine enthusiast, food pairing can be quite important in getting the best out of your favorite wine and the wonderful meal you are going to eat. With fish, we have a wide choice of fine wine varietals that can easily fit the bill; thereby making a marriage in heaven! For regular fish (non-shellfish) a fine French or California sauvignon blanc can be ideal. The lemon and grassy notes as well as the dry tropical fruit supplies a fine backdrop for all the types of fish we enjoy making.

If one prefers red wine with their fish, the only real pairing that works is the good old Pinot Noir or Burgundy (France). No one knows why Pinot Noir goes with all foods, but somehow the medium body and supple, creamy tannins seem to complement fish and meat dishes. Oregon and California offer superb quality Pinot Noir at somewhat reasonable prices. If one wants to try a red Burgundy, be prepared to have a knowledgeable retailer help with your choices as these wines, while being superbly crafted, do cost much more money to get one that will equal the quality of a domestic Pinot Noir.


Hilarie Larson: Wine Writer, Educator & Sommelier Hilarie’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her native British Columbia, Canada, working in the vineyards, cellars and tasting rooms of several wineries. A stint with a Canadian winebroker expanded her knowledge of world wines and marketing as did several years working as Resident Sommelier for a Washington State Winery, providing staff education and training. In 2004, Hilarie received her certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier and has since acquired her Certified Specialist of Wine and French Wine Scholar postnominals. She’s currently pursuing her Master Level studies on the wines of the South of France to compliment her certificate for the wine region of Provence. Her wine certifications and accolades include: CSW - Certified Specialist of Wine, FWS - French Wine Scholar, Certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier, CIVP Certified Provence Instructor, BIVB Ambassador of the Wines of Bourgogne, 2013 Emerging Writer Scholarship Award, International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. Hilarie shares her love of all things wine as a contributor to such online publications as Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine, Wine Folly, Wine Geographic, FWT Magazine, where she is also their wine consultant, and others. She also consults with wine country businesses to develop well trained, educated teams and speaks at trade and consumer events such as the Wine Tourism Conference in Paso Robles, the San Diego International Wine Show, and the International Wine Tourism Conferences in Champagne and Barcelona. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 54

World of Wine Continued… Based in Southern California’s Wine Country, Hilarie’s company Northwinds Wine Consulting provides a range of wine education and training services with an emphasis on making wine appreciation relaxed, social and fun. Learn more at So what does it take to be a successful in the world of wine? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Hilarie Larson and read her answers to our 10 Wine Industry Insider Questions about her career, including the challenges she faces, as well as her inspirations. 1. What led you to a career in the wine industry? I answered an ad for a tasting room host position at a small winery in British Columbia and that was it - I was hooked!

Listen to Hilarie Larson talk about her Wine Career on Big Blend Radio! 6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? Moving! Physically and, often, out of my comfort zone. I had to overcome my fears of bees/wasps and ladders.

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? Time - because there's simply not 2. What attributes do you have that make you enough to accommodate everything I want to do: a good fit for the wine industry? A background improve my less-than-adequate French, study for my next wine region certification, travel, taste in hospitality helps, as does a love of travel, and share the stories. And then there's the book cuisine and insatiable curiosity. I'm also not I'm supposed to be writing. afraid to get my hands dirty, trudge through muddy vineyards or get 'geeky'. 8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would 3. Who or what inspires you? My husband. He's they be? Thomas Jefferson (great wine collector always learning, exploring and up for a new and his views on today's world would be adventure. interesting), wine writer Hugh Johnson (because he's a pioneer and super wine historian), and 4. Describe your ideal client. When it comes to musician David Gilmour (he loves wine, the working with wineries; someone who's open and south of France and he's fabulous). not afraid to really analyze their business - the good and the bad. As for personal clients, I love 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what working with people who are eager to learn and would you choose? Well, this ties in nicely to the have fun! previous question: Backup singer for Pink Floyd. 5. What is your pet peeve in regards to your industry? People who take themselves too seriously and think they know it all. How boring would that be?

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the wine industry?View your career as a lifelong learning experience-keep an open mind and an open heart. It's all about the journey. PAGE 55

6 Super Recipes, 5 Must-Have Accoutrements & Picnic Party Talk Radio Compiled by Lisa D. Smith Accoutrements: Farmer’s Pantry Meal Snacks and Corn Bread Crisps, Ice Chips Candy Party Pack, symGlass unbreakable glassware, The Original Great Plate & Coasters, and Simply Charmed magnetic wine glass charms.

Part 1

Picnic Party Talk Radio:

Picnic Recipes: Jeremy’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Ginger’s Hot Weather Picnic Salad, Terri’s Stuffed Eggs, Mary’s Scones, Donna’s Country-style Peanut Butter Cookies, and Leah’s Melt-In-Your-Mouth Fudge.

Part 2

Where are you hosting your picnic party? What do you have to eat and drink in your picnic basket? And, who are you inviting to your picnic? Hop on the Big Blend Party Bus and listen to the Big Blend Spring Picnic Party Radio Show, Part 1 and Part 2, with special guests: Spontuneous Rob Ridgeway; Hollywood Historian Steve Schneickert; Yvonne Peach – Coronado Motor Hotel in Yuma, Arizona; Terri Bailey – Bailey’s Palomar Resort on Palomar Mountain in Southern California; Christy Wood – Wood N Horse Training Stables in Three Rivers, California; Juli Vieira – San Benito County CA Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau in Central California; artist Victoria Chick in Silver City, New Mexico; and Bobbi DePorter – CoFounder of SuperCamp in Oceanside, California. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 56

Big Blend Picnic Recipe & Party Planning Guide!

Picnic Party Continued…

JEREMY’S BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN Perfect as the main entrée for any picnic, this fried chicken recipe from Chef Jeremy Manley “San Diego’s Sustainable Chef” is a favorite dish served at Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, California. Download his free recipe e-book at

1 chicken cut into eighths 3 cups of buttermilk 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce 4 cups of flour, all-purpose unbleached 2 tablespoons of onion powder 2 tablespoons of garlic powder 2 tablespoons of salt 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper 1 pinch of cayenne pepper In a large enough bucket, take your chicken, buttermilk and hot sauce combined, and cover. Leave it in the refrigerator for eight hours or up to four days. The longer you marinate the chicken the more tender it will taste.

Listen to Chef Jeremy Manley’s Big Blend Radio interview about local picnic spots and his Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe!

Preheat your tabletop fryer to 300° – it is very imCover each piece of chicken completely so all portant you keep it at 300°and not higher. pieces of the chicken have a floury texture around them. Once your chicken is finished marinating, drain all liquid off the chicken. Stir and combine all your dry ingredients in another bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk and place your chicken inside the bowl.

Place four pieces of chicken into in the fryer at a time, and cook for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown. Your thermometer needs to read 160°. Well-done chicken is 165° however once you pull it out of the fryer it will continue to cook. This will ensure the moist and juicy fried chicken breast you have been looking for. You can serve with mashed potatoes and a nice gravy sauce, or watermelon and fresh vegetables from the garden. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 57

2 cups cubed watermelon 1 cup cantaloupe 1 ripe nectarine pitted and cut up- do not need to peel (peaches are good too but tend to turn brown) 1 firm sweet/tart apple such as Fuji or Braeburn cut up 1 orange peeled and cut in pieces 2 ripe but still firm kiwi 1 cup broccoli florets divided into smaller florets ½ cup cashew halves ½ cup cubed leftover ham or deli Black Forest ham cut in small pieces or narrow strips Picnic Party Continued…

GINGER’S HOT WEATHER PICNIC SALAD This salad recipe is submitted by artist and horse riding enthusiast Victoria Chick, from Silver City, New Mexico. See her art and This salad was introduced to me by my friend, Ginger Knight, in camp after a hot summer trail ride. I was dehydrated and this salad made me feel like a million dollars again. Now I take it on every competitive trail ride as my go-to food. I even eat it for breakfast! It really maintains electrolytes and is delicious besides. It is basically a fruit salad but has some non-traditional additions.

Dressing: 1 cucumber, seeded and peeled 1 cup plain yoghurt Salt and pepper to taste 2 Tbsp. sugar Ginger used green goddess dressing but that seems to be less popular today and harder to find. You can make this refreshing dressing in a blender, or use a commercial Poppy seed dressing. Add dressing to just barely moisten. The fruit juices will run out, so be conservative or any not eaten the same day will be swimming in liquid – still tasty but not as appetizing to look at. Continued on Next Page…

6 Hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half length-wise, remove yolk ¼ Cup mayonnaise, or sour cream 1 T. Mustard (try different varieties) ¼ T. Salt ¼ T. Pepper Pinch of sugar 1 T. Onion (which ever variety you prefer) Cayenne Pepper for dusting the tops (if you want a milder taste use Paprika)

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT STUFFED EGGS Perfect for a spring picnic, this deviled egg recipe is from Terri Bailey, co-owner of Bailey’s Palomar Resort in Southern California. For more of Terri’s recipes, visit

Combine egg yolks with mayo, add spices and any other ingredients you want to add. Fill egg white shells with the yolk filling, garnish with dill, paprika, cayenne pepper, capers, or even smoked salmon. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


MARY’S SCONES Pastry Chef Mary Kropelnicki shares scone baking tips on Big Blend Radio, as well as her delicious scone recipe below. Chef Mary is the owner of The Bakery Gallery in Yerington, Nevada. Visit 2 cups flour 1 Tbsp. baking powder 3 Tbsp. sugar ½ tsp salt 5 Tbsp. of butter.

Listen to Pastry Chef Mary Kropelnicki share her scone baking tips on Big Blend Radio!

Mix together until the dough forms “peas”. Add 1 cup of heavy cream or sour cream. Mix to form a ball. Turn out on a flour surface and roll until ¾-1 inch thick, cut into scones, then baste with an egg wash. Bake at 375-400 degrees, until the tops are golden. Glaze (powdered sugar and water) when still warm. *** You can add blueberries or apple pieces, or cranberries. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 59



This decadent recipe is from Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast in California’s Sequoia Country. Although it uses non-fat milk, the evaporation process plus the Nutella, make this a creamy, very rich-tasting fudge. You can't have just 1 piece. It melts in your mouth, and you just keep going back for more! Makes about 3 dozen pieces. See

This yummy cookie recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. For more recipes visit Ingredients: 1 cup chunky peanut butter 1 cup margarine 1 cup bran 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup rolled oats 3/4 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs, beaten 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. Vanilla

2 cups packed brown sugar 6 oz. nonfat evaporated milk 1 12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or try carob) 1 13 oz. jar of Nutella 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method: Melt the margarine and then in a bowl, mix together with the sugars, vanilla, peanut butter and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, bran, oats and baking soda. Then stir into the peanut butter mixture. Drop the cookie mixture by teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Butter a pair of 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking pans. In a 2 quart saucepan, mix brown sugar and nonfat evaporated milk. Stir over low heat, bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chips, Nutella and vanilla extract until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into baking pans. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until firm. Cut into small squares. Enjoy! Continued on Next Page…


5 FABULOUS PICNIC PARTY ACCOUTREMENTS From Crisps & Candy, to Glass & Serving Ware FARMER’S PANTRY CORN BREAD CRISPS & MEAL SNACKS Served with or without your favorite dip, Farmer’s Pantry Cornbread Crisps are wholesome and sumptuous picnic party snacks. Made from 100 percent American Farm grown corn, they’re always baked and not fried. There are three delicious and different flavors - the original, spicy jalapeño (goes great with guacamole), and mouth-watering honey-butter. Another one of Farmer’s Pantry’s tasty creations, are their Meal Snacks featuring a hearty and crunchy serving of veggies and meats, all freshly sealed into one portable package. They’re perfect for road trips and traveling to-or-from your picnic party, or to take on a walk, hike or outdoor adventure. Each Meal Snack is inspired by traditional American flavors included herb roasted turkey, flame grilled chicken, garden harvest chicken with vegetables.

Says Josh Chaitovsky, co-founder and CEO of Farmer’s Pantry, “We believe its high-time for snacks to be wholesome, substantial, made from natural ingredients and delicious. We also believe that to be truly sustainable, we must pledge to give back to our American farmers and Americans in need, by supporting important charitable organizations such as Veterans Farm, Farm Aid, and Family Farms Charities.” Visit Farmer’s Pantry online at


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symGLASS Broken glass is never part of a picnic’s fun factor, but elegant glassware is all part of the ambiance of enjoying a relaxing day of sips, nibbles and connecting with loved ones. symGLASS makes it all possible with their chic, innovative unbreakable drinkware that not only gives you the style and feel of a glass, but has the durability that makes it portable and usable for outdoor gatherings. Available in a selection of sizes and styles that range from pub glasses to stemless wine glasses, symGlass drinkware will not haze or discolor, is dishwasher and microwave safe, and will even keeps drinks cooler or hotter longer. We love that symGlass is BPA free and made in the USA, and that you can even have the glasses personalized! See Picnic Party Continued… Continued on Next Page… ICE CHIPS CANDY PARTY PACK Who can say no to ‘Good For You Candy!’ As seen on Shark Tank, Ice Chips Candy is a refreshing, delicious and truly all-natural sugar-free candy. It’s made with Birchwood Xylitol, a low Glycemic Index natural and beneficial sweetener that is safe for diabetics, and even helps strengthen teeth and reduce new tooth decay. Ice Chips Candy make the perfect guilt-free after-meal treat. Great for picnic gatherings, the new Ice Chips Candy Party Pack features 6 tins each with a fun flavor including: Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri, Pina Colada, Peppermint, Lemon, and Berry Mix. See PAGE 62

Picnic Party Continued… SIMPLY CHARMED MAGNETIC GLASS CHARMS Remember those fun little charms that you’d wrap around the bottom of your wine glass stem at a party, so that you would remember which glass was yours? Great idea, but what if your glass is stemless? Most of the drinkware used at a picnic or gathering does not have a stem. Welcome Simply Charmed, the clever creators of whimsical and themed magnetic charms that attach on either side of any type of glass (including stemmed wine glasses). The magnets are super strong – once they’re on the glass, they stay there. From spring bunnies and tulips, to patriotic flags and fireworks for Memorial Day, the charm themes make for fantastic conversation starters and live up to their name of being “simply charming.” See

THE GREAT PLATE & THE GREAT COASTER Spilling your food or drink is a definite picnic party foul! Made in the USA, the Great Plate and the Great Coaster, are the ideal unbreakable, reusable, stackable and durable party tools that prevent spills. The Great Plate has a circular drink compartment in the middle – leaving your other hand free to pick up that sandwich or your favorite beverage while hanging out with your friends at a picnic party…or even floating about in the swimming pool! The Great Plate also makes a super serving platter where you can put your dip in the middle and your munchies on the side. Whether your picnic is at the beach, in the woods or riverside, the Great Coaster helps keep your drink from dumping over by keeping it raised up, cradled and balanced. It holds all kinds of cups, cans and bottles – and it can even be used to serve snacks and dips. Both products are dishwasher and microwave safe.


Visit Julian & Palomar Mountain CA Experience Spring Birds & Blooms, Picnics & Wine Tasting, Boating & Stargazing in San Diego’s Mountain Destinations! Palomar Mountain makes for a peaceful respite within a tranquil and natural setting. Enjoy nature walks and picnics at Palomar Mountain State Park, visit Palomar Observatory that’s world famous for housing the 200-inch Hale Telescope, or cozy up at historic Bailey’s Palomar Resort and enjoy the chatter of the resident bird life and serenity of the lush, verdant meadows. Julian is a popular mountain hamlet known for its gold rush history, apple and pear orchards, spring flowers, wineries, farm-to-table fare and apple pie. The historic downtown district makes for a fun day of shopping and dining, plus there is the California Wolf Center and Julian Pioneer Museum to visit. Enjoy bird watching, wildflowers, picnics, hiking and outdoor adventures at Lake Cuyamaca, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, and Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve. Julian’s upcoming seasonal events include Apr. 8: A Taste of Julian; Apr. 11-14: The Julian Family Fiddle Camp; May 3-6: Julian Wildflower Show; June 9: Apple Blossom Tea; May 19-20: Julian Fiddle & Pickin’ Contest. A free and fun show to watch, the Julian Doves & Desperados Historic Re-enactment Skits are held downtown on Sundays, weather permitting. PAGE 64


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 PAGE 65

SPRING BEET SALAD Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with 5-Star Chef Ivan Flowers who shares tips on cooking and preparing beets, and making spring salads, including his Spring Beet Salad as featured below. Ingredients: 3 Medium Beets 2 Avocados 1 Orange Juice of 1 Lemon Âź Cup Chopped Cilantro 1 Tbsp. Kosher or Sea Salt 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Chef Ivan Flowers shares tips about beets with Big Blend Radio! Cut the avocados into wedges and squeeze with a little lemon juice, set aside.


Once beets are cool, peel and cut into ½ moon slices and lay them out on a platter.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and trim off root. Rub beets with olive oil and wrap in Place orange supremes and avocado slices foil. around the beets. Place wrapped beets on a baking pan and bake for about one hour. Beets are done when a fork inserted in the center of the beet comes out easily. While beets are cooling, peel the orange and cut it into supreme wedges, set aside.

Squeeze remaining lemon juice over all, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and top with chopped cilantro. Serves 4.


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 67

AV FUEL MARGARITA A signature cocktail at Yuma Landing Bar & Grill served in honor of Yuma, Arizona’s incredible aviation history, including the restaurant being at the site where the very first airplane landing in the state. Learn about Yuma Landing’s aviation history and get more cocktail recipes at Fill a shaker with ice. Cover the ice with equal parts of Patron Silver Tequila and Grand Marnier. Top with a splash of sweet and sour, and sprite. Enjoy!

DINI’S “GET LUCKY” WATERMELON MARGARITA Perfect for Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day and Labor Day parties, this cool margarita recipe is from Jay Dini, co-owner of Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino in Yerintgon, Nevada. Established in 1933, Dini’s Lucky Club is the oldest family owned casino in the state! See Mix in a Blender: ¼ pitcher of Jose Cuervo Margarita (it’s already pre-mixed with tequila in it) 6 cubes of seedless watermelon Pour cocktail into a tumbler over ice. Garnish with a watermelon cube, and enjoy! Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jay Dini, who shares how to make his “Get Lucky” Watermelon Margarita!

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with mixologist Tyler Johnston, who shares his Yuma Landing’s AV Fuel Margarita!


Giddy-Up To Yerington!

Experience Nevada’s Pony Express Country! 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,


Mexico’s Prettiest Tropical Resort Town By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ Some things just need to be experienced to understand the value it presents. Enter Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Grab your bathing suit, spa shoes and a few pesos to enjoy a destination where sipping margaritas is generally considered a national sport. Mexico's prettiest tropical resort town has a lot to offer like affordable prices, numerous flights and welcoming locals. It is quite diverse in its offerings. Think quirky and high-end shopping opportunities, tequila tastings, botanical gardens, a burgeoning art scene, trendy restaurants and picturesque winding cobblestone streets. Miles of sandy beaches, unique art installations in public places and lively nightclubs surprise and delight the newest visitor and guarantee seasoned visitors return again and again.

Listen to Linda Kissam discuss Puerto Vallarta on Big Blend Radio! Before you go. Top Six Questions about Puerto Vallarta: 1. Do I have to speak Spanish to enjoy my time there? Most everyone, including shopkeepers are used to dealing with gringos; most speak English.


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Puerto Vallarta Continued… 2. Can I drink the water? Puerto Vallarta has the cleanest water in Mexico. The water is treated and purified, but the distribution system is not so perfect. In most hotels and restaurants, you will get purified water, so feel free to have ice blended drinks and brush your teeth with tap water. When in doubt – you can ask, “Auga purificada?” It may still not be a good idea to drink the water from a private home or condo, unless you know there is a purification system installed, and working. Overall, especially if you have a sensitive tummy, buy bottled water. 3. What can I use as proof of citizenship to enter Mexico? Upon arrival, you will need to have the following documentation ready: Passport, Visitor’s Permit provided by the airline or at the local port of entry, and a Customs Declaration Form. An immigration official will inspect your documents, write the number of days on the FMM permit (a leave of stay equaling 180 days is given as standard), stamp your FMM and Passport, return a copy of the FMM to you and ask you to proceed to customs. My experience with customs was great. The staff is kind, courteous and glad to see you. If you do not have your FMM (Visitor’s Permit) with you when you leave, you will undergo some Mexican Immigration red-tape and have to re-apply to get a replacement at one the country’s immigration offices or at the airport. The fee to replace the permit is about US $50. A lost permit, especially if you only notice at the airport when you are ready to leave, will delay your exit and may cause you to miss your scheduled flight. 4. Do I need a special adaptor to plug in my curling iron, hair dryer and plug-in computers in Mexico? No, if you are from the U.S. or Canada. Mexico uses the same voltage as the United States. If you are coming from Europe, or any country that uses 220 volts, you will need the proper adapters.


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Puerto Vallarta Continued‌

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5. Is it safe to walk around the town at night? Yes. You will feel much safer in most parts of Puerto Vallarta than in some parts of the US or Europe. There appears to be very little crime here. I did not see roaming teenagers, beggars, children selling items on the street or in shops, or shopkeepers yelling at me to come into their store. The tourist police are friendly, visible and very helpful. Just use common sense, and be careful. After dark, stay on the main streets, do not wander on the beaches. Never flash large amounts of money or wear expensive jewelry. 6. What supplies should I bring? You can purchase pesos at any ATM or your hotel, or use your credit card. You will get your best prices on cabs and souvenirs by using pesos. Puerto Vallarta is a tropical paradise. Sun and bugs come with the territory. Bring a sunhat, sunglasses, bug repellant (very important), antiitch cream (for bug bites), Imodium, and a tummy soother if you do get a stomach upset.


Puerto Vallarta Continued…

Where to Stay and Play in Puerto Vallarta Lodging: There are numerous gorgeous large resorts and unique boutique hotels to stay at. The occupancy rate is near capacity during the high season, so book early. Where you stay depends on your mind set. For this trip, I was looking for a resort with easy beach and downtown access that also included breakfast. I can highly recommend CasaMagna Marriott. Ranked as one of the top 10 Pacific Riviera hotels by Condé Nast Traveler, CasaMagna Marriott offers nicely appointed rooms, free Internet, direct beach access, a spa, outstanding breakfasts and great restaurants. Easy access to the downtown area, public transportation and boating opportunities. Try a Raicilla tasting at the hotel. Raicilla is a distilled spirit from the fermented juices of a maguey plant or agave. There are more than 200 species of these plants. Tequila can only use the blue agave, but Raicilla uses two: the so called, lechuguilla agaves, "pata de mula" (mule foot), or "agaves raicilleros". The taste depends on where the agave has been grown and ranges from smooth and sophisticated to moonshine-like offerings. Pick up a bottle of the good stuff in the hotel shop – about $40 US.


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Puerto Vallarta Continued… Dinner: Café des Artistes is just a few minutes from the hotel. It’s one of those special places that represents the new cuisine trends of the area. Led by magnetic Chef Thierry Blouet, the unique style is something to enjoy through all senses. Lunch: Try the Vallarta Botanical Gardens for a dynamic “2-fer.” Get one of the best lunches in the area featuring traditional dishes and beverages along with an easy walking tour of the gardens. The facility is about a 30 minute bus ride from downtown PV. See native birds, plants and animals in a secluded wildlife area. The 20acre facility features tranquil paths where you can walk amongst native oak trees, orchids and bromeliads. It’s fun to see what plants vanilla and tequila are made from. Depending on the time of the year, you’ll be able to spot local birds. These gardens are a beautiful place dedicated to preserving Mexico’s natural environment. Bay of Banderas Tour: Walkable from the hotel, take a water-based tour of the beautiful bay. Try booking with Canuwa tour group. They offer a 62' luxury catamaran with 120 passengers capacity and a crew of 6 sailors and a captain. You’ll enjoy seeing the bay, delicious snacks, music, food, drinks and snorkeling in warm waters near caves. Or book to snorkel in Los Arcos/Colomitos followed by a delicious Mexican beach lunch at the Beach Club at Las Ánimas. Either is a true immersion experience. Agave Tasting: Think tequila, but with a proprietary name. Rancho El Verano is a small distillery just outside of Puerto Vallarta. The Don Chendo products are 100% Blue Agave. The product is hand made with pure blue agave, but because they make it in small batches and do not distribute internationally, they are not allowed to call it tequila, so they resort to "Liquor de Agave." The tour, led by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable host has guests tasting samples and learning quirky toasts. We were treated to five types: white, Reposado, Anejo, and two sweetened spirits, almondo and a coffee style (Licor de Café) that includes chocolate and vanilla flavors. They were all good. I happily walked out with the Reposado and Licor de Café. PAGE 74

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Puerto Vallarta Continued… Street Taco Tour: Organized by Vallarta Food Tours, this 3 to 3 ½ hour walking/ bus tour of street taco stands was the highlight of my trip. It features ten places showcasing the intoxicating regional flavors of PV. The samples come from carefully selected family-owned restaurants and stands. Stops include Vallarta’s best mole enchiladas, traditional ceviche tostadas, a tortilla factory, tacos from an authentic taco stand, traditional drinks, savory soups, regional candies and more. All food tastings are included in the ticket price of about $50 US. Festivals: PV has memorable non-stop festivals going on. Try attending one. Notable for sense of place and taste are: The Gourmet Festival, Ceviche and Aguachile Festival, Raicilla and Coffee Festival and the Vallarta Wine Fest.

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 PAGE 75

A Tasty Trip Across the Lone Star State By Eva Eldridge Most of my trips through Texas involve changing plans in Dallas or Houston. I drove through Texas once and spent a little time with a friend, but I didn’t explore the area. In 2016, my husband and I decided to drive to Galveston the week between Christmas and New Year so we could explore the state. I had hoped to write about several noteworthy attractions, but Texas is a big state and we spent a lot of time driving. One of the things we did get to explore was the food available in Texas. We wanted to see Fort Davis and the surrounding Davis Mountain area. On the way we turned off of I-10 onto Highway 90 which takes you through Marfa. Marfa is one of those towns you hear about, but besides reading a few things on the internet, I didn’t know much about it. I wanted to snoop around and find the art galleries and museums, but it was Christmas Eve and everything closed at 2:00 pm.

Listen to Eva Eldridge talk about Texas on Big Blend Radio! The waitress was funny and the bakery goods were delicious. We had cheesy grits and eggs after indulging in a flaky apple turnover. The patrons were as friendly as the staff. A local gentleman claimed to have experienced the lights of Marfa back in his youth while hunting rabbits with his buddy. The strange, mysterious, ghostly lights have been reported since the 1880’s. During the 2000’s, studies were done to verify the existence of the lights, but the results were disappointing. Most of the data indicated the lights were caused by weather conditions and motorists along Highway 67. I don’t think that explains the sightings in the 1880’s, but that’s a subject for another article. After our delightful breakfast we headed to Ft. Davis.

We were hungry and ended up at Buns ‘N Roses Flowers Gifts & Bakery on the outskirts of Marfa. What a surprise this metal fabrication yard and Quonset hut restaurant turned out to be. The place was busy, even on Christmas Eve. PAGE 76

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Buns ‘N Roses Cafe Texas Tidbits Continued… We checked into the Butterfield Inn, a quaint little hotel that includes an antique shop, separate cabins for its visitors, and is dog friendly. Since it was late afternoon and everything had closed for Christmas, we decided to drive through the Davis Mountains. The McDonald Observatory operates four telescopes for the University of Texas, Austin, on Mt. Locke and the surrounding mountains. The observatory produces StarDate, a nationally syndicated radio program. Because of the holiday, we weren’t able to visit, but we did find a wooded area to stop and have a late afternoon picnic. On Christmas day, we were looking for a place to have breakfast and ended up in Alpine at Penny’s Diner. They served great coffee with fine eggs and bacon. It was a decent way to start off a day driving through the state. We headed towards Del Rio to see the large lake that meanders amongst the hills between the border of Texas and Mexico. If we had time, it would have been a nice spot to indulge in water sports. Continued on Next Page…

Buns ‘N Roses Cafe

Buns ‘N Roses Cafe

Butterfield Inn


Pollo Trapani at Corelli’s

Besitos at Shrimp ‘N Stuff

Shrimp Salad at Shrimp ‘N Stuff

Texas Tidbits Continued… After a night on the east side of San Antonio, we headed to Galveston. For lunch, we stopped at Corelli’s in Sugar Land. The aroma of garlic tickled our senses as we were seated. Our meals of Pollo Trapani, a chicken and pasta dish, and Four Cheese Ravioli with caramelized onions and Crab Cake Sandwich at Shrimp ‘N Stuff pesto was amazing. I didn’t expect to find such fine Italian dining in a strip mall on the outskirts One afternoon we went into old Galveston to do of Houston. I want to go back. a little touristy stuff, but mostly we just went in to try one of the local restaurants. We stopped In Galveston, we stayed with friends on the beach in a vacation rental that had enough beds by Shrimp ‘N Stuff for lunch. We shared an appetizer called Besitos (little kisses) which was to sleep at least twelve people. Located two gulf shrimp stuffed with pepper jack cheese and houses from the beach, we had a nice view of wrapped in bacon. My husband, Jeff, had a crab the ocean despite the fog. A little fog didn’t stop cake sandwich and I enjoyed a delicious shrimp us from walking miles along the nice hard packed sand. Most of the houses in this area are salad with tender shrimp and crisp vegetables. I’m picky about my shrimp salad and this one elevated on stilts, which tell their own story of was the best I’ve ever had. surging ocean and wind. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 78

Texas Tidbits Continued… We decided to drive home on I-10 and try and make it back by New Year’s Eve. We made it as far as Sonora, Texas, between San Antonio and El Paso. A friend recommended stopping by the Caverns of Sonora. This is a privately own cavern that is open to the public for tours and photo tours. Our guide, Bill, has worked there for more than twenty-five years and was very knowledgeable about the history and the progression of the caves. They are live caves, meaning they are still making formations. Be prepared for warmth and high humidity, but it was worth the 1.75 mile, 350 stair-steps tour. The formations were varied and beautiful, unlike anything I’ve seen before. It took about ninety minutes to wind our way through the caverns, and worth every step. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 79

Galveston Texas Tidbits Continued… Our last notable stop in Texas was the Cattleman’s Steak House at Indian Cliffs Ranch in Fabens. We turned off I-10 at exit 49 onto a very dark road with no markings. It felt like a scene out of a scary movie, but we persisted. A few miles later, we rounded a curve, saw lots of lights ahead, and hoped we had reached our destination. The ranch is a working cattle ranch and film location where Glory Road, The Day After Tomorrow, Courage Under Fire, Lone Wolf McQuade, The Border and other movies were shot. The restaurant was busy and we had a thirty minute wait for a table. It was Friday night and the folks of El Paso knew where to get a good meal. The steak was flavorful, the beans were tasty, and the drinks weren’t watered down. It is a place that interested me and I would like to explore it more, but we needed to keep moving.

Cattleman’s Steak House

I feel I’m not doing justice to all the things Texas has to offer, but unless you have unlimited time, it’s hard to fit everything in. As I said earlier, Texas is a big state and it has a lot to offer in good food and activities.

Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine. Along with travel and lifestyle articles, she also writes fiction and poetry. Visit

Cattleman’s Steak House



Leaving Monument Valley as the sunsets in early May.

TWO COOTS TRAVEL Photographer & Travel Writer Spotlight on Len & Judy Garrison From covering moonshiners to barn painters, husband-wife photography, journalist and author team Len and Judy Garrison, talk with Big Blend Radio about travel writing and photography. Together, they travel the world in search of narratives which capture the culture and spirit of incredible places filled with unforgettable people. Known as ‘Two Coots Travel,’ Len and Judy publish, and are members of the International Food, Wine & Travel Association. A 2016 Georgia Author of the Year nominee, Judy is also the author of “North Georgia Moonshine: A History of the Lovells and Other Liquor Makers.”

The Garrisons talk with Big Blend Radio about travel writing and photography.

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Click Here to the online jigsaw puzzle of Len & Judy Garrison’s photograph “The View of the S/V Mandalay, The Grenadines.”

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Carlos Lovell has made moonshine since the 1930s. Most of it was illegal; today, it is a legal operation. Ivy Mountain Distillery and the Lovell family history became the subject of Judy’s book, North Georgia Moonshine.

One of Scott Hoskins dreams had been to paint the See Rock City barns. When he landed the contract, he realized he would be keeping history alive. Barn Painting in Maryville, Tennessee.


No visit to Mt. Airy, North Carolina, is complete without a visit to the Andy Griffith Museum.

Augustine Pollard is a model ship builder on the island of Bequia in the Southern Caribbean.

Two Coots Continued‌

Bringing a steam engine back to life from a pile of scrap metal. Marshall and Bryan (the young ones) had to learn it all from the beginning; Tom Falicon who created its turntable used years of experience from fooling with Harleys to make it all work. Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Bryson City, North Carolina.


For the locals, it’s always a good time for conversation and a pint. At the South Pole Inn. A last-minute stop and a recommendation from our Airbnb hosts, the South Pole Inn in Annascaul, County Kerry, Ireland. The home of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean and the pub he and his wife began in the 1920s.


By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’

Rhine River cruises are some of the most popular river cruises in Europe. The itineraries and vessels vary, but the fun and adventure is always guaranteed. Many sailings start or end in Amsterdam at the northern end of the river. Besides being a city of gabled homes and curving canals, the home to sites like Anne Frank’s house and a Van Gogh museum, its airport also offers some of the most favorable airline fares and Listen to Linda Kissam talk about her Rhine schedules. I am not above cheering when I see I get to use this airport. Basel, Switzerland, is often River Cruise experience, on Big Blend Radio! the southern terminus of Rhine sailings. It showcases an ornate town hall and some fine art The legend says an irresistible siren once lured museums. sailors to their deaths. It is a memorable day sitting in the lounge or on the top deck taking The Middle or Romantic Rhine is often thought to pictures while centuries of tradition, folklore and be the most scenic part of the river cruise landscape pass by as you sip your favorite experience. This is where ships slowly pass beverage and snap picture after picture. picturesque steep vineyards, grand castles, dramatic landscapes and the ever popular Continued on Next Page… Lorelei Rock. PAGE 86

Rhine River Continued… Late November and December sailings, known as Christmas market cruises, are quite popular. In addition to the normal sites, passengers spend time browsing the festive outdoor markets that sell handcrafted toys and ornaments, mulled wine, grilled sausages and gingerbread. This is the cruise I took. It was a “bucket list” item for me, one I will never forget, and one that I highly recommend to you. When I cruise in Europe, my preference is to book a small ship (less than 200 people) that provides a mid-luxury experience at dynamite prices. My favorite is Viking River Cruises. Somehow this ship really “gets” the adult traveler. No children under 12 works for me. Three gourmet meals a day is more than enough food. Large, well-appointed rooms with satellite internet makes for a comfortable stay. Thoughtful wine selections are included with lunch and dinner. An optional beverage package allows passengers to order all beverages at will without limit. At each port, one outstanding sightseeing opportunity is included. Professional guides show top attractions and share their knowledge of the local history and culture. PAGE 87

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Rhine River Continued…

Here are a few of my favorite things to do and see on a Rhine River cruise.

Unique optional excursions are also available. These trips are easy to budget. Because so much is included in one price that you pay up front, you have money left over to indulge yourself. I did and it was worth every cent. Just sayin’…. My Christmas market cruise began in Basel and ended up in Amsterdam. It included stops in France, Germany and Amsterdam. It was seven days of pure shopping diva bliss, as I got to visit over 20 markets. That being said, there was much more to do than just visit the Christmas markets. Viking is quite clever in planning alternative activities for the non-shoppers in the group, which in my case was my husband. Daily port stops included a guided walk through each town with enough free time or optional excursions to fill up the day with market shopping, museums, restaurants, chocolate shops and more.

Breisach, Germany: Everyone should experience the Black Forest, named as such for its dark dense tree scape. A scenic coach drive took us past wine producing villages with fairytale architecture ending up in a small commercial type village where the great arc of shopping options is presented. Think glassblowing, nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks and unique ornaments. You can even see a Black Forest cake demonstration. Buy here. The quality is perfect. The products are unique to the trip. I will remember this as a top shopping spot from any/all of my European travels. Yup, it was that good. Colmar World War II Tour / Museum and Memorial: This the stop for history buffs. It is memorable. All passengers who went on this optional tour, loved it. It was quite the fodder for many dinner conversations. Includes the Eddie Murphy Memorial, which was a standout feature for most. Continued on Next Page…


Rhine River Continued…

By this shopping outing, I was totally tuned into the proper gear to wear, so I was able to take my time and not long for the warmth of the ship and Taste the Best of Alsace in Strasbourg: Let a hot toddy. My great score here was a teapot your inner foodie out for a day of good taste. snow globe. Only bought one for my best friend, Seven hours is a long time to spend out in but looking back I should have purchased many freezing weather, but somehow the good food, the joy of strolling the Christmas markets, and a more. Part of the issue in shopping for items like local’s kind of lunch made the time and cold pass snow globes, is how to get them back home. There really isn’t time to stop at a local post office quickly. Dress warmly and wear sturdy flat shoes. Our day was directed by a and heaven knows what a TSA agent would think of all that liquid. It would have been great if for knowledgeable guide and filled with tastes of Christmas foods, bratwurst, beer, Glühwein (Hot this kind of shopping cruise, Viking offered a Mulled Wine), a farmers market and shops shop-and-we’ll-mail-it service. I would have galore. This is a tour for the shop-hardy die gladly paid the ship to bundle up my treasures and send them home for me. hearts. Loved every minute of it. It set my Christmas spirit in high gear. Gothic Cathedral in Cologne: I know, I know. All European vacations include a plethora of Small-town Christmas Market shopping in Cathedrals. It often comes to a point of thinking, Rudeseim: Many of the Christmas markets are found in the larger cities. This one is a small “I’ve been there, done that.” But this one was town where the outdoor Christmas stalls sort of really special. It is the largest Gothic church in duck and weave up, down and round the town. I Northern Europe with soaring spires, gorgeous stained glass and the relics of the Magi. Kept just did quite bit of evening shopping here. behind the alter, they are just a few inches from Temperatures dipped low, but the brief 10 minute walk from the ship was worth it. visitors. They are spectacular. I’ve not seen anything quite like them. Cont’ on Next Page… PAGE 89

Rhine River Continued…

Whatever your pleasure is, this particular cruise is a great start to your holidays. My guess is you You can also book an optional tour to ascend the will love it. It would make one heck of a roof of the cathedral. It’s a wild e-ticket kind of Christmas, birthday or anniversary present. Just experience. Afterwards sign up for the Walking sayin’….or you can take Viking’s advice which Beer Culture Dinner. Best darn local food and hooked me, “The holidays are pure magic along fun with many local foodie insights. I found my Europe’s waterways. Storybook villages and own special mid-sized snow globe in the snow-capped castles line the rivers’ banks, and in Christmas market. grand cities and charming towns alike, festive Christmas markets celebrate the season with Kinderdijk, Netherlands: This was our last colorful crafts, gingerbread and warm, spicy stop. No more Christmas markets, just a small glühwein.” village experience where you can see nineteen, 18th-century windmills at work. A short flat walk Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a provides a revealing look at marvelous architecture, landscape and ingenuity that makes professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in the Netherlands such a special place. A great easy, breezy destination stories sharing her wind down from the rush and hustle of the favorite things about the places she visits. Visit markets.



From olives to table grapes, citrus to nuts, peaches and plums, the region is also well known for its agricultural production. Many of the local towns and cities like Visalia, Exeter, Porterville and Tulare have delightful historic downtown districts offering boutique shopping, By Lisa D. Smith delectable dining, art galleries, theaters and performance venues. Located at the entrance of Located in the heart of Central California’s Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers is a vibrant Valley region, Tulare County is home to art community that hugs the edge of Kaweah Sequoia and King Canyon National Parks, River and stretches up into the foothills. Stop by Giant Sequoia National Monument and the small ranching town of Springville on your Sequoia National Forest. way to Sequoia National Forest or Balch Park, and also visit the communities of Woodlake, Full of flower-powered color and lush from heavy Dinuba and Lindsay. winter snow and drenching rains, spring is an extraordinary beautiful time of year to visit the A lively hub of nature, agriculture, history and region and get your nature fix on! Savor the the arts, Spring in Tulare County, means “it’s time views of cascading waterfalls and verdant to celebrate!” From the Lindsay Orange Blossom meadows rich with wildflowers. Catch a big Festival to the Exeter Garden Party, and the adrenaline buzz whitewater rafting the high river Three Rivers Bathtub Race, the area’s spring rapids. Stare in awe at the giant sequoia trees, events and festivities include art walks, musical and breathe in the sweet fresh air as you hike or concerts, garden parties, festivals and parades. horse ride through the wilderness. Soak up some tranquility on a lazy afternoon lakeside. Spend Continued on Next Page… the evening mesmerized by the brilliant display of glittering starlight.

A Bucket List Experience of Big Trees, Flower Power, Music & The Arts, History & Outdoor Adventures!


BIG TREES, WILDFLOWERS & WATERFALLS Of course, the big must-do when visiting Tulare County, is to experience the Giant Sequoia Trees in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, as well as in Giant Sequoia National Monument and the Sequoia National Forest. Lake Kaweah (host to the Three Rivers Bathtub Race) is another wonderful wildflower destination, as is Kaweah Oaks Preserve, between Exeter and Porterville. Kings Canyon National Park – Spanning 461,901 acres, this park is made up of mostly wilderness, forests and spectacular canyons, with Kings Canyon itself being one of the deepest canyons in the United States. The park is known for being home to the General Grant Grove of giant sequoia trees, the famous General Grant Tree, and the Redwood Mountain Grove which is the largest remaining natural grove of giant sequoias in the world. Starting in late spring or early summer, you can enjoy babbling brooks and waterfalls offset by towering granite cliffs, as well as lush meadows and glacial canyons. Learn more at (559) 565-334 or Sequoia National Park - One of the first parks in the country, Sequoia NP is famous for its giant sequoia trees and black bears. Visit the General Sherman Tree (the largest living organism and tree in the world), climb Moro Rock, take in spectacular views of Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states), and hike through glacial canyons, lush meadows thick with wildflowers, and explore oak woodlands. The scenery is spectacular, offering a rich diversity of bird, plant and wildlife. Covering 404,064 acres, there are hundreds of streams, ponds, rivers, creeks and lakes, and over 200 marble caverns to explore. Crescent Meadow and Big Trees Trail offer wonderful spring and early summer wildflower, bird and wildlife viewing. Tokopah Falls Trail is a worthwhile 1.7 mile spring hike along the north bank of the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, leading to the 1,200-foot cascading waterfall. Learn more at (559) 565-334 or

Sequoia National Forest & Giant Sequoia National Monument - Featuring 33 groves of giant sequoia trees, the Sequoia National Forest is home to the biggest concentration of giant sequoia groves. These groves are protected within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which encompasses over 353,000 acres of diverse landscape, including two wild and scenic rivers, lakes, and six wilderness areas. Along with the magnificent giant sequoias, the area boasts lush forest meadows and a myriad of plant, bird and animal species. There are limestone caverns to explore and granite domes and spires to see, along with archaeological sites. The activities are endless and include hiking and camping, mountain biking, horse riding, bird and wildlife watching, and spring white water rafting. Learn more at (559) 784-1500 or Sequoia Parks Conservancy – From guided hikes to astronomy events, family campfires, living history and birding programs, this wonderful organization hosts numerous events and programs focusing on Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. For an up-to-date calendar visit


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Three Rivers artist, Nadi Spencer Sequoias Continued…

MUSIC & THE ARTS From ceramicists to muralists, Tulare County is home to numerous artists and musicians and has a thriving calendar of musical, visual and performing arts events to experience. Most of the historic downtowns tell their community’s stories through colorful murals. Three Rivers - In this vibrant art community at the gateway to Sequoia National Park, the local artists joined together to create the special monthly 1st Saturday Three Rivers Art Day. Featuring a different theme each time, you can visit artist’s studios and see exhibits, demonstrations and even musical performances in local businesses, restaurants, gift shops, and galleries. Don’t’ miss: Apr. 7-9: 44th Annual Jazzaffair; Apr. 28-30: Earth Jam Festival; May 1214: Annual Center Stage Strings Music Festival; May 13-14: 45th Annual Redbud Arts & Crafts Festival; June 10: High Sierra Jazz Band in Concert.

Leah Launey, innkeeper of Three Rivers B&B, talks about Spring in Three Rivers on Big Blend Radio! Exeter – Also a main gateway community to Sequoia National Park, Exeter has a charming historic downtown district that’s decorated with over 30 murals portraying the history, natural beauty and people of Exeter. You can take a selfguided tour or book a special guided group tour – be sure to look for the hidden pictures within the murals! Another art stop is the Exeter Courthouse Gallery, which is connected to the town’s museum, and is open on weekends.


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Sequoias Continued… Visalia - Historic downtown Visalia is home to numerous art galleries and performance venues. Upcoming shows at the Visalia Fox Theatre include: March 24: The Reunion - Fantasy Tribute to The Beatles; March 25: Menopause - The Musical; March 29: An Evening with Vince Gill & Lyle Lovett; April 1: Mariachi Los Camperos; April 22: Bette & Her Divine Divas; April 29: Tulare County Symphony.

Sandy Blankenship, Executive Director of Exeter Chamber, talks about Spring Garden Events in Exeter on Big Blend Radio!

Porterville - Home to the historic Barn Theatre, Porterville also hosts a First Friday Art Walk in GARDEN, FARM & ORCHARD the historic downtown district. Upcoming Barn FLOWER POWER Theatre productions include: ‘Cookin’ with Gus’ When visiting California’s Sequoia Country comedy – March 24-26 & 31, April 1-2, 7-9; and ‘Is during the spring, expect to experience He Dead’ a Mark Twain Comedy - May 19-21, 26intoxicating orange blossoms, flowering nut and 28, June 2-4. fruit orchards, fragrant flower gardens in homes and historic downtowns, and vivid displays of Springville – Gateway to Sequoia National Forest, wildflowers in the foothills. Bravo Lake Botanical this community hosts a Concerts in the Park Garden in Woodlake is a beautiful place where program from May 27 - September 2. you can bird watch, photograph, picnic, and stroll through the various flower and edible gardens which cover just over a mile or so. Spring Flower-Powered Celebrations - April 1-8: 85th Annual Lindsay Orange Blossom Festival; April 22: Porterville Iris Festival; May 7th – Exeter Garden Party; May 13th – Exeter Garden Tour; 1st Saturdays Farmers Market in Springville starting May 7. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 95

Tulare Historical Museum in Tulare Holly Radmacher, Kaweah River Trading Company, talks about Three Rivers Art on Big Blend Radio!

Sequoias Continued…

STEP BACK IN TIME Tulare County is rich in farm and ranching history, as well as pioneer, Native American, military, and natural history. The historic downtowns hold onto a ‘Small Town America’ sense-of-place and make for a fascinating stroll through time. Along with exploring the historic downtowns, there are many museums and historic sites to visit. Such stops include the Exeter Courthouse Gallery & Museum, Tulare Historical Museum in downtown Tulare, Porterville Historical Museum and Zalud House in Porterville, Three Rivers Historical Museum famous for its big Paul Bunyan sculpture, Springville Historical Museum, Alta District Historical Society Depot Museum in Dinuba, and Tulare County Museum in Visalia’s Mooney Grove Park in Visalia.

Sheila Stone, Sequoia Vacation Rentals, talks about Sequoia National Park on Big Blend Radio!


Tulare County definitely loves to celebrate life with a good festival, a lively parade and a whacky festival. Though these special events are high on the fun-meter, most of them are part of a fundraising effort or have an educational component. Mark Your Calendars – March 25: Annual Three Rivers Bathtub Race; Apr. 22-23: It’s also well worth a stop at the Visitor Centers in Tulare County Renaissance Festival in Visalia; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, to get Apr. 27-30: 67th Annual Three Rivers Lions Team a glimpse into the region’s stories of the past, Roping; May 6: Porterville Cinco de Mayo Parade; including natural history and geology, May 17-21: Porterville Fair; June 10: Downtown conservation and culture. Porterville Car Show. To plan your Spring Sequoia Adventure, visit PAGE 96


TRAVEL MARKETPLACE Three Innovative and Functional Products to Keep You Safe & Connected, Stylish & Comfortable! Compiled by Lisa D. Smith

Stay Safe in Your Hotel Room with SABRE’s Door Handle Alarm There are all kinds of travel safety tips and tricks, but nothing beats having a portable safety alarm! A life-long traveler, I am no stranger to the experience of waking up in my hotel room, to see the door handle jiggling with someone trying to get in. Creepy! I love SABRE’s Door Handle Alarm - it’s effective, lightweight and portable, easily fitting into carryon luggage and overnight bags, suitcases, or even a briefcase. Powered by AAA batteries, the installation is simple – just hang it on your hotel room handle / door knob. If someone tries to open your hotel room door – trust me, you will know about it, and so will the intruder! Working on vibration, the alarm rings out at 110dB, and is audible up to 600ft / 185m away, so it’s not only great for hotel rooms, but could also work for some vacation rental units. Besides the alarm, there is a chime setting, and a 30-second activation delay to prevent any false triggering. Retailing at $11.99 each, the alarm is available on Amazon and at

Power Up with Nomad Goods Carabiner Phone Charger We do a lot of park travel that ranges from exploring rugged wilderness areas on foot, to paddling down a river in a kayak, climbing through cave systems or riding the range on horse back. We travel as light as possible, and the last thing we need to take up room in our camera bags and backpacks, are bulky phone chargers with cords that get wrapped and twisted up in everything. Nomad Goods has created a cool, slick carabiner clip that has a hidden USB cable to charge your iPhone or Android smartphone. The charge is lightning fast! You can easily and securely attach the carabiner onto a keychain, backpack, camera bag, dry bag or gym bag. Retailing at $29.95 each, the Nomad Goods Carabiner Phone Charger is available on and at


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When you’re not wearing the cardigan, simply tuck it into its pocket and either carry it as your purse, or pack it into your luggage. It’s small and From chilly airports to stuffy taxi cab seating, many of us ladies know that to be comfortable in lightweight so it can easily fit into a handbag, car glovebox, briefcase or even a laptop bag. Made all the different temperatures we experience from soft classic knit rayon jersey with 6% when traveling, packing and wearing layers is a must. Shawls and cardigans are great to keep off spandex for easier crease release, the Poppet Classic Travel Cardigan is available in classic the chill, but when you get into a warmer area, they can become a burden to carry around when black, heathered steel blue, orange, red, rich plum, heathered grey and sapphire blue. It you’re on-the-go. Hats off to H&K The Poppet retails for $79 each, and is available on Company for creating the Poppet Classic Travel Cardigan, that’s not only stylish and comfortable, or at it’s functional as a purse, and, the garment and it’s fabric is all Made in America!

Stay Stylish & Comfortable in the Poppet Classic Travel Cardigan

The Poppet Classic Travel Cardigan has a waterrepellent and tear-proof pocket that’s sewn into the small of the back that’s concealed with a box pleat above the waist, when you’re wearing it. The pocket is a perfect place to hide your passport, cell phone, money or other light travel or personal necessities. PAGE 99

By Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith Located in central California, east of Monterey, San Benito County is the eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park, about 2 hours from San Francisco and less than 5 hours from Los Angeles. Popular as a nature and outdoor destination, along with its wine tasting and farm-to-table fare, the region remains active in its ranching and farming culture, providing an authentic Californian heritage experience. The region boasts a picture perfect country landscape with wide blues skies that open up to soaring hawks and golden eagles, rolling hills that lead down to grasslands dotted with rustic barns and oak trees, along with horses and cattle, and the occasional sight of roaming deer and coyotes. Showcasing the region’s pioneer, homesteading and ranching heritage and culture, the San Benito County Historical Park is an historical village set within 33 acres of San Benito County Recreational Park in Tres Pinos, a small historic community that’s home to the San Benito County Fairgrounds.

Listen to San Benito County Historical Park docents Delbert Doty & Don Pidd on Big Blend Radio!

The Park preserves and features 10 historic buildings including the Willow Creek School House, Sullivan House, Woods Cabin, Dunneville Dance Hall, Cottage Bar and Tres Pinos Jail, as well as a diverse collection of historic vehicles, farm and household implements, old medicine bottles, a rose garden, firehouse, and more.

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Relics & Legends Continued… To give you a taste of San Benito County’s rich history, follows is a little sampling of just five of the many fascinating ‘relics and legends’ you can experience at San Benito County Historical Park. Take the video tour of the park, and hear the radio interview with docents Delbert Doty and Don Pidd, who share some of the historical stories of the area, as well as some of the park’s artifacts. The Sullivan House – Made out of virgin redwood with clapboard siding, this house was originally built in 1868 by local carpenter Michael Shea. He built it for his widowed sister Mary Sullivan and her four daughters. The house remained in the family for 109 years until Loretto McAleer, a granddaughter, sold it in 1976. Along with a group of concerned locals, the San Benito County Historical Society saved the house from being used in a practice burn by the Hollister Fire Department. The house was moved from Hollister to the Historical Park. Now restored, the home features a rustic outhouse and landscaped period garden, two bedchambers, a kitchen, and parlor.

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Relics & Legends Continued… Talking Machines – The San Benito County Historical Park has a couple of phonographs from around the 1890s, as well as their recordings. Instead of music, these were actually used as ‘talking machines’ that played recorded political and national speeches of importance. Hose Co. No. 2 – Step into the historic firehouse featuring an exhibit of fire extinguishers from the 1920s-1930s, along with historic firehoses and a grinding machine that looks like an oldfashioned exercise bicycle! Using peddling power, the grinding machine was and still is used to sharpen all kinds of tools and implements. Flag Ceremonial Burn Pit – A traditional way to retire Old Glory, the United States Flag, is to incinerate it through a Flag Retirement Ceremony which is typically conducted by the US Army or Boy Scouts on Flag Day, observed annually on June 14. The San Benito County Historical Park has a ceremonial flag burning pit, which along with the flag pole, was built by a local Eagle Scout. Continued on Next Page…

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Relics & Legends Continued… Peddler’s Wagon – Built by Spence White somewhere between 1880-1890, this four-horse powered covered wagon was owned by local pioneer Fred Rist, who traveled around in it for over 30 years, selling everything from soda pop to cabbages, horses and hides. San Benito County Historical Park is a great place to stop for an afternoon picnic! Admission to the Historical Village is free (donations are very welcome); however there is a gate fee to the county park of $3.00 per vehicle. Guided and group tours are available. The park is located on Highway 25, Tres Pinos, CA, 95075. For more information call Don Pidd at (831) 902-9349 or visit

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CELEBRATE SPRING IN SAN BENITO COUNTY, CA! Visit the picturesque eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park and enjoy the spring wildflowers, bird watching and hiking, golf and tennis, as well as a wine tasting trail, a delectable selection of dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, and a fun calendar of events! For up-to-date event information and to plan your San Benito County adventure, please contact the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at 831-637-5315 or visit ON-GOING EVENTS: Living History Days: Step back to the early days of San Juan Bautista, every 1st Saturday of the month, from 11am to 4pm, at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park Tel: (831) 623-4881 Downtown Hollister Certified Farmers’ Market: Wednesdays from 3pm-7:30pm, May 3 -September 27, 2017. Tel: (831) 636-8406 MARCH 2017: March 25-26: Annual San Juan Spring Arts & Crafts Festival: 10am – 5pm, Downtown San Juan Bautista. Shop, browse, feast and enjoy live entertainment.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Juli Vieira, Chief Executive Officer of San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, talk about Spring Events & Activities in San Benito County, CA!

MAY 2017: May 6: Wine & Beer Stroll: Wine and craft beer tastings in Downtown Hollister. Tel: (831) 636 8406

APRIL 2017: Apr. 8: Spring Easter Parade: 1pm, San Juan Bautista.

May 6-7: 33rd California Indian Market: Native American arts & crafts, dancers, food. San Juan Bautista. Tel: (831) 245-5440

Apr. 22-23: Open Studios Art Tour: San Benito Arts Council, Tel: (831) 636-2787

May 17: Historic Dutch-Oven Cooking Demonstrations! Enjoy a day of historic cooking techniques and recipes. 11am- 3pm, San Juan Bautista Historic State Park. Tel: 831-623-4881

Apr. 30: Fremont Peak Day: Old fashioned picnic event commemorating Captain John C. Fremont and his expedition’s U.S. flag raising in 1846. Bring the family and enjoy a picnic lunch and children’s games. Fremont Peak State Park in San Juan Bautista.

JUNE 2017: June 3-4: Hollister Portuguese Festival: The SDES Portuguese Hall will host the “Queen Coronation” and dance on June 3; followed by the parade on June 4, then mass, followed by the serving of Portuguese sopas, games and auction, plus an evening dinner and dance. Tel: Anthony Silva (831) 801-5584.

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Photo: Mikey

Mikey, a “Pet” Vervet Monkey, Moves to Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary in Texas! After a 15-hour journey from Alabama to Texas, two-year-old vervet monkey Mikey arrived safe and sound at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in mid-December, 2016. There, he will have the chance to live out the rest of his life on 186 acres with grass, trees, and water, along with hundreds of other primates. Mikey had been living in a home as someone’s "pet," and his owner compassionately agreed to surrender him to Born Free USA. The sanctuary, located in south Texas, is currently home to 16 baboons, four vervets, and more than 500 macaques. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, who personally transported Mikey from a suburb of Birmingham to the sanctuary: "Mikey represents the entire challenging and sad exotic pet trade in America: a human acquires a monkey as a pet, cannot provide a natural life for him or her, and, at some point, decides to give the animal up.

Adam M. Roberts “The Compassionate Conservationist”, CEO of Born Free USA, discusses wildlife rescue with Big Blend Radio, and provides an update on Mikey, a "pet" vervet monkey that was relocated to the Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary.

Mikey could have ended up with another owner or a breeder who would commercially exploit him. Thankfully, he’s ended up with Born Free USA instead. It was certainly a long journey to his forever home, but it was worth it!"

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Photo: Young Elvis

Photo: Bouf & Teddy

Monkey Rescue Continued… Roberts added: "Monkeys are not pets and should never be confined. We are grateful that Mikey’s owner was brave enough to ask for help and surrender him to us. Every day, wild animals need to be saved from horrific situations caused by humans. Wild animals belong in the wild, and these scenarios should never exist." The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas (75 miles south of San Antonio) is the only one of its kind in the U.S. in that the majority of its residents—ages two to 31—live in freeranging groups in natural enclosures of several acres. The sanctuary provides a safe, permanent home for its residents, many of whom were rescued from roadside zoos, research facilities, or private possession.

Photo: Elvis & Missy

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Photo: India

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Photo: Being Free

Photo: Buddy

Monkey Rescue Continued‌ In order to allow the residents the maximum amount of privacy and freedom, with minimal human interference, the sanctuary is not open to the public. However, the public can support the work of the sanctuary by making a financial donation. The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). To support and keep up with the residents at Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary visit uary/index.php. Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic 'pets,' trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. See Photo: Kaleb Sunning

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LIVING IN A FUTURE-SCIENCE WORLD Dr. Elliot Maynard, author of “Brave New Mind: Living in a Future-Science World,” believes his new master paradigm [Future Science Technology] is the quantum-field science for the future. He is convinced that integrating traditional, linear science with non-linear consciousness technology will yield new breakthrough solutions for the global problems we face as citizens of Planet Earth. Future Science Technology is a unique system which supports the development of a new and superior human mind – a master paradigm containing 25 keys to personal and planetary enlightenment. To this end, Dr. Maynard has invented an entirely new paradigm format, which – unlike linear paradigms of the past – is flexible, evolvable and timeless. He calls his living paradigms “enlightened pathways into the future.” Although he admits that opening Pandora’s Box entails accepting responsibility for dealing with the gifts inside, and that any pioneering effort will have its share of detractors and unintended consequences, he quips, “Even the turtle will not get ahead unless he sticks his neck out.” Dr. Maynard defines his master paradigm as “a new operating system for the human race.” But how does Future Science Technology assist in upgrading our mind to the mind of new man (Homo novus)? What are the characteristics of this new man? How do we access this quantum mind? Maynard skillfully highlights an array of seemingly unconnected subjects from which he weaves a “Living Tapestry.” This tapestry contains both the threads of the future science world that are already in place, as well as threads that exist in the future. By embracing this new mindset we can work collectively to birth a new era of effective fixes for a world in which our established institutions are teetering on the brink of collapse or are already broken.

Listen to Dr. Elliot Maynard on Big Blend Radio!

Elliott Maynard is a neo-renaissance scientist and conceptual designer. His background spans the fields of Global Ecology, Coral Reef Ecology, Oceanography and Tropical Rainforest Biology. He earned a Ph.D. in Consciousness Research and has served on the faculties of Adelphi University and Dowling College in New York. He is a Certified Professional Consultant to Management (CPCM) and is Founder and President of Arcos Cielos Foundation in Sedona, Arizona. He has been active in the Aerospace Technology Working Group (ATWG), the Humanitad International Leadership Foundation, The U. S. Psychotronics Association and the World Future Society. He also serves on the editorial board for the Kepler Institute for Space Philosophy. In addition to his work as a futurist, lecturer, author, educator and global ecologist; Elliott is an accomplished artist, sculptor, musician, underwater photographer and documentary filmmaker. Visit

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By Jacqueline A. Eubany, MD, FACC FHRS, author of ‘Women & Heart Disease: The Real Story’ Heart healthy eating is very important in improving your heart health. Recent studies have shown up to a 30% reduction in risk of developing heart disease in people who follow these eating habits. It is not about being on a diet, but more about picking the healthier food options that are better for your cardiovascular system. The more practice you having picking healthier choices, the more comfortable you get doing so, to the point where it becomes a normal habit. Eating a heart healthy diet can lower your total cholesterol as well as lower your bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and increase your good cholesterol (HDL). It also lowers your blood pressure and keeps your weight under control. What does a heart healthy diet consist of? 1. Several servings of fruits and vegetables a day, favoring the fruits and vegetables that have a high micronutrient content. These tend to be the darker green, deep orange vegetables like collard greens, spinach, carrots, bell peppers. 2. Diets that are low in sodium (or salt). You want to avoiding processed foods that have a high salt content, use salt substitutes and limit your daily salt intake to 1 teaspoon a day.

Listen to Dr. Jacqueline Eubany discuss heart healthy eating on Big Blend Radio! 4. Choosing healthier fats like olive oil and/or canola oil. 5. Two servings of fish a week, and if you are allergic to fish you can take omega-3 fatty acid supplements. In conclusion, eating a heart healthy diet is extremely important for your cardiovascular health. It can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by up to 30%. This, plus increasing your physical activity level can further decrease your risk. Until next time, bon appetite!

Dr. Jacqueline Eubany is a board certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist based out of Orange County, California. She is the author of ‘Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story’, and a Big Blend Radio expert contributor. Learn more at 3. Drink alcohol in moderation, which for women is one 5-oz glass of wine a day. PAGE 110

Feeling far from your peak? Suffering illness, fat buildup or fatigue? Taking prescription meds to cure or treat some condition? Those are all tell-tale signs that your body is missing key nutrients or can't absorb them from the foods you eat or the supplements you take. That's because YOUR body is unlike anyone ELSES! Dr. Greg Tefft, the world's leading expert in personalized nutrition says You are NOT What You Eat. Instead, You Are What You Retain From What You Eat! Dr. Teftt, author of the internationally bestselling book, “Your Personal Life: Measuring What Your Body Needs to Live Lean, Long, Strong & Better,� is a renowned board-certified naturopathic and chiropractic physician, three-time Natural Mr. America, former Olympic and U.S. Swim Team sports-med staff doctor, and well known drugless clinician to the stars at Malibu Health & Rehabilitation Center. He says that EVERY illness can be traced to what we put in our mouths. And the opposite holds true, every illness can be eliminated by putting the RIGHT foods in our mouths. Now that doesn't mean eating the accepted standard "healthy diet," or living on wheatgrass and kale. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Because EVERY body is different -- which means that your health is a matter of what is nutritionally correct for your body only. You must give it the very nutrients that are lacking, while reducing the ones that are excessive. And the only way to accomplish this is to test using a lock of your hair instead of 1,000 blood tests as the basis for an exacting analysis. This ends the guesswork by you or your doctors.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Greg Tefft! Why is using ONE lock of hair so vital as a biopsy specimen? Because it's the same as taking twelve blood tests a day for three months. This approach eliminates daily errors in blood fluctuations and identifies long term mineral and related nutrient patterns that are more reliable for therapeutic intervention and permanent change. Urine and saliva do not measure up as saliva provides no reflection of nutrient status, while urine shows what is excreted, not assimilated by cells. Meanwhile, in his book, Dr.Tefft lays out why the health system is failing people today with standardized nutrition advice-and just how our genes and metabolic state predetermine what works for us and what doesn't. According to Dr. Tefft, "Experiencing the fastest healing process and the healthiest, fittest, longest life possible is totally based on a tug-of-war between what's inside of you and what nutrition choices you make as well as what you are exposed to from the outside environment. Food is always the dominant variable."

Dr. Tefft asks: Do you want to be a Diet Gambler or a Nutrition Detective...What's at Stake? Learn more at PAGE 111

If you are like most of us, what you know of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian spiritual and healing wisdom, is that some people swear by its restorative impact, it has something to do with botanicals and there are a growing number of practitioners and products that adhere to it today. Otherwise, it’s pretty Listen to the much a mystery. But if you happen to pick up Big Blend Radio a copy of Acharya Shunya’s new book interview Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom: A Complete with Acharya Shunya. Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy, the veil of mystery will be lifted and you will absolutely understand how this is something you can do for yourself to not only obtain optimal health, but to heal many of the illness and conditions that have plagued you. What Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom provides is a “doable” approve to this time-tested methodology Acharya Shunya (Acharya is a title bestowed on a and an understanding of how the natural forces master of this art and science, Shunya is her are constantly at play with the inner forces that name), is a woman who stands between two impact our level of energy, digestive ease or disworlds. Her lineage of Ayurveda sacred teachers ease, mental alertness, weight gain and specific and masters goes back centuries, and yet she health conditions. She makes it simple to see feels it is her sacred duty and honor to put this how what you do and eat or drink at specific knowledge into the hands of everyone today, times each day will profoundly affect your level especially people who have sought answers in of wellness. And what you can do to transform modern medicine, but need to find another way. your health and mental outlook by following her simple guidelines. Learning Ayurveda on the knee of her beloved grandfather, who was revered throughout India, Furthermore, this narrative-based guidebook Acharya Shunya has become one of the leading meticulously covers the how-to’s of morning and American practitioners and advocates. She is the evening self-care, daily contemplations, selffounder of Vedika Global, a spiritual foundation massage and skin care, cooking (including dedicated to elevating consciousness, building recipes), beauty rituals, and more. Ayurveda community, and serving humanity by Lifestyle Wisdom combines beautiful and illuminating India’s Vedic spiritual traditions of charming reminiscences of enlightened learning Ayurveda, yoga, and Vedanta. She was named at the knees of a beloved master, client case among the 100 Ayurveda and Yoga Trailblazers histories, an easy-to grasp understand of by Spirituality and Health magazine and is Ayurveda’s basic teachings and practical advice. president of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. PAGE 112

The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind and Finding True Love A question that seems as old as time comes closer to a definitive answer than ever before ― What is love? In “Men Chase, Women Choose,” Dawn Maslar, MS, provides engaging insights into one of life's most elusive and misunderstood topics by offering science-based research to help anyone discover and sustain love. Maslar's relatable and easy-to-read book uses the most relevant neurological, physiological, and biochemical studies on the science of love, while incorporating stories and examples based on participants of her popular classes and seminars.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with ‘Love Biologist’ D awn Maslar, MS!

Maslar reasons that once we understand how love works, we can make educated decisions. In “Men Chase, Women Choose,” readers can expect answers involving how love is a biological need, the "natural laws” of love, purposes of the brain's anatomy, and how testosterone and For the past decade, the "love biologist” has been other biochemical differences between men and using her cutting-edge research to describe how women affect how we love. Maslar states, "When you understand the science of love, it will help the brain works when two people first meet, you easily and effortlessly find nourishing and start to date, fall in love, and then move on to a more passionate, lifelong love. Even simpler, she passionate, long-lasting love.” breaks down her love science into four precisely timed phases: 1. Attraction, 2. Dating, 3. Falling in Learn more at love, 4. Real love. During these phases, Maslar explains that "love” is actually neural activity as well as the presence or absence of certain neurotransmitters. Most people associate love with the euphoric feeling during which anxiety is low or nonexistent among these brain signals. However, Maslar demonstrates that levels of anxiety and other feelings can fluctuate throughout love's path. "Love isn't just one thing that you luckily fall into,” says Maslar. "Finding and maintaining lifelong love is a process … Because the stages are different, you can feel different emotions during each phase.” PAGE 113

Bobbi DePorter: Co-Founder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network Bobbi DePorter is the founder and president of Quantum Learning Network (QLN), which offers training to youth, educators and businesses throughout the United States and in other countries. Her learning, life skills and character education programs have impacted the lives of over 20 million young people worldwide. The mission of QLN is to change the lives of 50 million children through the 8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program – see Bobbi is an early pioneer in the applications of accelerated learning, which she first applied in her highly successful business school. She then had the vision to help children realize their personal greatness by teaching these same accelerated learning techniques to them. This inspiration led to the launch of SuperCamp® learning and life skills academic summer camps in 1982. SuperCamp has achieved worldwide success with over 75,000 student graduates from the program. See Bobbi has also written over a dozen books including: ‘The 8 Keys of Excellence: Principles to Live By,’ and her latest, co-authored with Barbara K. Given Ph.D, ‘Excellence in Teaching and Learning: The Quantum Learning System.’

Listen to Bobbi DePorter on Big Blend Radio! So what does it take to be a successful in the world of youth education? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Bobbi DePorter (along with Linda Kissam, Glynn Burrows and Rob Ridgeway), and read her answers to our 10 Youth Education Questions about her career, including the challenges she faces, as well as her inspirations. 1. What led you to work in education – especially youth education? Having teenagers and seeing the need to teach students how to learn. It’s assumed as students attend school they should know how to learn effectively. We have found that teaching lifelong learning skills makes a big difference. 2. What attributes do you have that makes you a good fit for being an educator? I am passionate about learning and curious about most things. I believe it’s important for educators to model this love of learning.

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Youth Education Insider Continued… 3. Who or what inspires you? I am inspired by the greats – Einstein, daVinci, others … and ones I personally knew including R. Buckminster Fuller, for his genius and commitment and Georgi Lozanov for his relentless pursuit and research of what works in teaching and learning. 4. Describe your ideal client who would enroll in the various SuperCamp and Quantum Learning Network programs? For SuperCamp, our client is a parent of a student 11-20 years of age, one who is doing okay and could improve greatly with effective learning and life skills. Our Quantum Learning Education clients are administrators who are committed to masterful teaching and learning – and teachers who have the skills to meaningfully engage students in learning.

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? Number one is having enough time for all I want and have to do. A friend once responded to me complaining with – “The ocean is so big and your boat is so small, whoa is me”. It made me smile. Keeping up with changes in technology and marketing is also a challenge – it’s always changing. 8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be? Most certainly Bucky Fuller and Georgi Lozanov. Then Bill and Melinda Gates to talk about education. That’s four.

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to your industry? Focus on bureaucracy and not allocating funds where it can make the most difference for students.

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? First I wouldn’t switch as I love what I do – especially talking with students, parents and educators and hearing about the difference our programs have made in their lives. Beyond that in my early years I wanted to be an architect. I’m highly visual/spatial. I wish I knew that when I was a student. School would have been so much easier if I had the skills we’re now teaching!

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? Acknowledge my interest in learning. I was in business – real estate and investments – and through that experience I got interested in the power of positive cultures and continuous improvement and learning. I followed my heart and committed to make a difference for youth.

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in youth education? Listen to students! They have so much to say and we can learn so much from them. Also model – model your values and beliefs, model being an excellent learner and a love of learning, model everything you’re asking of your students.

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How a Community Came Together & Put Its Children First The Community Alliance for Youth Success (CAYS) is a volunteer team of adults and youth, working in collaboration with the Oceanside School District, to provide tools, training and entertainment that creates a foundation for students to become college and career ready. Designed to engage and catalyze the entire community on matters related to the success and well-being of their youth, Youth Success Week brings together visionary educators, student and community leaders, professional experts, youth-serving organizations, entertainers, parents and students in an unprecedented demonstration of how a community can come together and put its children first. See Continued on Next Page‌

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Youth Success Week Continued…

Listen to the special Big Blend Radio panel discussion about Youth Success Week 2017, held at the end of January, in Oceanside, California. Featured guests: Bobbi DePorter – Co-Founder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network; Stedman Graham - CEO of Stedman and Associates; Margaret Malek – Project Specialist for Community, College and Career Development, Oceanside Unified School District; Marcy Morrison Careers with Wings/Children with Wings.

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View Failures as Feedback that Provides You with the Information You Need to Learn, Grow, and Succeed! Big Blend is a proud ambassador of Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program,” a free program that guides young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, Listen to creativity, team work, leadership and valuable Sam Weinman life principles. Created by education expert and on Big Blend Radio! author Bobbi DePorter – Co-founder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network, the 8 Keys of Excellence program WIN AT LOSING embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our 50 million children and young adults. See Greatest Gains The 8 Keys of Excellence include: 1. Live in INTEGRITY; 2. Acknowledge FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS; 3. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE; 4. Live in the now. THIS IS IT!; 5. Affirm your COMMITMENT; 6. Take OWNERSHIP; 7. Stay FLEXIBLE; 8. Keep your BALANCE.

When we live the Key of Failure Leads to Success we see failures as feedback, we learn from them and make the changes needed to be more successful in the future. Enjoy the following two books and Big Blend Radio interviews that showcase just how failure does lead to success!

Most people are driven to win. Whether it is in competitive sports, political or artistic endeavors, academic prestige, or any number of pursuits requiring talent and persistence. The desire to win has driven humanity’s most talented individuals to produce unfathomable achievements and to excel beyond their highest expectations. However, this fixation on winning can also crush the human spirit. Like many parents, author and award-winning sports journalist Sam Weinman noticed how this need to win was preventing his sons from coping with inevitable losses (such as a lower grade on a test or a botched tennis match).

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Win At Losing Continued… Wanting to give his sons perspective, and having witnessed many greats in the world of sports weather crushing defeats, Weinman set out to discover how some of the most celebrated public figures were able to bounce back after humiliating, often epic losses. In “WIN AT LOSING: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains” Weinman interviews pro athletes, business executives, politicians, and Hollywood stars, and consults leading psychologists and coaches, in order to understand the essential life skill of “learning to lose.” It turns out, being a good loser is exactly what we should aspire to be: resilient, objective, and persistent. With inspirational and deeply personal stories from the likes of Emmy-award winning actress Susan Lucci, pro golfer Greg Norman, and presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, WIN AT LOSING offers a unique and much-needed take on the upside of losing, and why it is essential to enjoying a truly successful life. Silly side features help to analyze the failures: “Lesson Learned,” “It Could be Worse!,” “Losing Combinations,” and a “Fail Scale” help readers navigate the different kinds and scopes of the mistakes made. Read to learn what went wrong, what went right, and what kids can learn from each failed attempt.

Listen to Becky Baines on Big Blend Radio!

FAMOUS FAILS! Mighty Mistakes, Mega Mishaps, & How a Mess Can Lead to Success! Written by Crispin Boyer, this fun book of quirky failures and famous flops will keep kids laughing while they learn the importance of messing up in order to get it right. Science, architecture, technology, entertainment — there are epic fails and hilarious goof-ups from every important field.

Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Becky Baines, an executive editor at National Geographic Kids’ Books. “Famous Fails” is her favorite new series from NGK because it makes her feel better to know that even Einstein didn’t always get good grades. But it’s also made her realize that without failure, you can’t have success. After all, as Benjamin Franklin once said “I haven’t failed 10,000 times, I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that wouldn’t work.” And that’s her motto in life. When she’s not trying to invent things or master a new sport like bobsledding, Becky lives in Arlington, Virginia with her dog Bob Barker, who has never won anything in his life.

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By Sarah H. Elliston author of “Lessons from a Difficult Person - How to Deal With People Like Us” Are You In Your Own Way? Easy answer? Yes. I get in my own way. Plenty of times. Nobody else does. I am responsible for me. I would prefer to blame my thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions on others. It is tempting and feels easier. For many years, I blamed my problems on anybody else: my mother, traffic, my boss, the weather, my husband, the dog, somebody else’s demands, lack of sleep. I had a long list. What I found was that no matter what or whom I blamed, I still had obligations. I still had to go to work, feed the dog, drive the car, help with homework, cook a meal, and wash the dishes. I was still responsible. When I blamed others, and complained, I felt angry and sad. It was painful. Dr. William Glasser, founder of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory, teaches that the only thing the world gives us is information. How I receive and perceive that information is up to me. Nobody else is in my head, telling me how to think and feel, how to react to the world and act in the world. Complaining and blaming are toxic habits. They hurt. When I stop complaining, and blaming, I realize that I am responsible – I am the only one who gets in my own way.

Listen to Sarah Elliston on Big Blend Radio! Even so, knowing this, I still find myself consistently telling myself that I can’t do something or if I am doing it, then I am not doing it well. I should do it better. I find something about myself to criticize. I don’t think I was born with that message. As a friend of mine asks, “How many toddlers, learning to walk, stand up, look around, fall down and say, “I can’t do it, I give up?” Children are filled with the excitement of themselves and the exploring of their world. The adults in their lives put boundaries around them and caution them only for safety, for love. And yet we learn the negative message. That we are not ok. One way we all learned this was to wear red pencil glasses. Are you familiar with them? I’ll bet you have worn them from time to time yourself.

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In Your Own Way Continued… This concept was identified by Dr. Sidney B. Simon, professor Emeritus of Values Education at the University of Massachusetts. He reminds us that in school we received our homework from the teacher covered with red pencil marks. Our teachers were showing us what we had done wrong, what we needed to correct. Unfortunately, it also taught us to be constantly on the lookout for what needs to be corrected and changed. We become observers of what is wrong, not what is right.

I decided to write the number of points being added for a response in red ink in the margin, instead of the points being taken off. Rather than subtracting the total red numbers from 100 points, I would add them up. Then I put the number of points earned in a circle at the end of the answer sheet in red ink.

I waited to see how they would react. The number circled was the same, it just wasn’t a minus number, it was plus number. As I handed back their papers after a test, a quiet roar of outrage began to grow. “This answer is right. Why did you take 10 points off?” “I didn’t get this Criticizing my work, criticizing me, leads me to wrong. Why are five points taken off?” I waited criticizing others. The most destructive element for them to get to the end of their pages and in a relationship is criticism. When I am not liking they got quiet. I asked if the number in the red myself, I cannot like others. circle was a plus number or a negative number. They stared at me, at their papers, and relaxed. So, how to eliminate the red pencil glasses? I start by acknowledging that they are there. I We talked about habits, about being trained to remind myself that I can take them off. I can look look for everything with red pencil glasses. We at the information, what the world is telling me, talked about looking at the world with curiosity, as a three-year-old, with curiosity and interest. I not criticism. We acknowledged that it was easier can refrain from finding what is wrong; I can look to see what was wrong because we had been for what is right. trained that way. It was a habit. Progress does rely on looking for better answers but it rests on When I first learned the concept of the red pencil the idea of improvement, not lack. glasses, I was teaching junior high social studies to seventh and eighth graders and they were Continued on Next Page… eager, rambunctious people. I adored them. On quizzes and tests, I would normally make comments on their papers and note the number of points taken off for a question in red ink, in the margin. I would circle the number of points earned (number of points taken off, subtracted from 100 points) in the upper right hand corner, in red ink. PAGE 121

I forced myself to record what points they earned for a response instead of what points they had lost. And I wrote a validation on each test or quiz paper that was handed in, no matter what grade the student earned. I spoke to the value of the student. This is a fond memory and I like myself better when I remember it. When I think in terms of validations, I have positive messages in my head. When I look at the world as information, I can remember that I am in charge of how I receive that information. I can hold to a belief that I honor myself, I cherish myself and I treasure myself.

In Your Own Way Continued… We explored how to look for what was right and could get better. Dr. Simon invites us to combat the red pencil glasses by using the language of validation and I taught it to my students. A validation is a description of what we value in ourselves or another person. It is our perception and our value. There are a number of ways to begin a validation: “I like…, I honor….I admire…I enjoy…I treasure…I applaud.” They contain no judgements, just statements of what we value in another person. They can be written about others and ourselves. “I applaud your scoring the winning touchdown.” “I appreciate how you helped me study my French verbs.” “I admire myself for getting to school today.”

One phrase that Dr. Simon taught his classes is, “No matter what you say to me, I’m still a worthwhile person.” He would stand in front of the classroom, while his students shouted the phrase and he made critical comments, “Are you really wearing that?” “Get your elbows off the table.” “You’ll never get anywhere in the world with that attitude.” I only do this exercise with adults and it brings peals of laughter as we hear the kinds of messages the world gave us as we grew up. I find the longer I call out critical statements, the louder the class will get in shouting the statement.

No matter what you say to me, I’m still a worthwhile person. No matter what you say In my classes, we did both. We had envelopes on to me, I’m still a worthwhile person. the walls with the students’ names on them and each day we took the time to write validations I can have a positive voice in my head, my voice. I for three other students and one for ourselves. can visualize what I want to do, have and be, and The guideline was that if you received a see it as possible. Dr. Joe Dispenza is a validation, you wrote two to others and one to researcher, speaker and author who has been yourself. studying brain mapping and the impact of positive meditation and quantum physics. He For example, “I liked the way I introduced the concept and got their attention.” “I cherished the believes that each one of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities. His latest book open, comfortable, honest discussion we had about being trained to look for what is wrong.” “I is You are the Placebo, Making Your Mind Matter. He teaches that our brains change when we applauded their willingness to practice visualize the possibilities of which we dream. The validation. It was brave work.” brain changes in positive ways and sends positive messages to the body when we visualize I began to use different colored ink for every test; the grades in my grade book were recorded the possibilities. Continued on Next Page… in green, purple, blue, black and occasionally red. PAGE 122

In Your Own Way Continued…

If we take off the red pencil glasses, we look at the information from the world in terms of possibilities. When we say, “No matter what you say to me, I’m still a worthwhile person,” we are behaving in a positive way to believe in ourselves.

Dr. Glasser teaches that our brain drives our behavior to meet our needs for love, fun, freedom, power and survival. Behavior is thinking, acting, feeling and physiology. We act to get our needs met. Dr. Dispenza teaches us to change our behavior: to align our thoughts and feelings to what we want and to believe it is possible. This will bring us to seeing it in the world.

If I choose to refrain from criticism, especially self-criticism, my brain changes. I see the world differently. I am curious, eager and feel a little like a three-year-old. I am responsible for me. This is about changing how you think, act, and feel, to create a new personal reality.

LESSONS FROM A DIFFICULT PERSON Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Sarah H. Elliston, author of “Lessons from a Difficult Person How to Deal With People Like Us.

A faculty member of the William Glasser Institute, Sarah is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who is certified in Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. The methods Sarah offers in her book “Lessons from a Difficult Person”, help to end the trauma and the drama, and minimizes the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU the ability to take a strong, positive, confident-yet-compassionate stance with the "difficult person" whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children, or anyone else for that matter. Sarah lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person's behavior and the environment-or inviting that person to move on. Sarah gives you the tools for a successful change conversation with a difficult person. Learn more at

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Be Willing to Change or be Assured of Failure By Ralph Masengill Jr., author of ‘Conquer Change & Win’ The old saying goes that two things are certain in life: death and taxes. But that old saying leaves out one more certainty: change. No matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid change. If we cannot escape going through change, then we must learn all we can about this certainty of life. Few people on earth have a good working knowledge of change and how it affects them. Understanding both positive and negative change is one of the secrets of being happy and wealthy. Do you want to be successful? Here is the simple secret. You will be a true winner only if you do these three things: 1. Take a calculated risk and endorse change on a regular basis. 2. Learn how change affects your emotions, along with those of the people around you. 3. Know how to react to the feelings that the emotions of change always bring with them.

Listen to Ralph Masengill Jr. discuss Change on Big Blend Radio! We humans—and there are no exceptions—are constantly involved in change. It never stops; it continues constantly in and around us. Change cannot be stopped, but it can be controlled. Our job is to control the feelings that the emotions of change bring. Are you in a personal or business rut? If you are, you have no control over where that rut will take you. You have lost your freedom to act. Staying in a rut will cost you the freedom to control your life, your business, or both. Laurence J. Peter states, “A rut is a grave with the ends knocked out.” He’s talking about living life without understanding the importance of the effects that change has on all of us on a daily basis. Continued on Next Page…

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Change Continued… Mark Twain put it this way: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.” Many good people refuse to accept the risk and uncertainty that change brings. They stay in self-imposed ruts. They force themselves to live in stagnant prisons of their own making. They do have part of it right, though. There can be some security in a prison. With change you have two choices: one is to embrace change with gusto, and the other is to stay in a rut by refusing to admit that change is constant. Those who choose ruts live in denial. Because of their bad choices, they end up losing the freedom to act. The solution is to simply agree to devote time and effort to understanding change and how it makes you feel. You have done that. So, congratulations. One old saying goes, “Life isn’t about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain.” I believe the happiest and most successful people do not necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. Choose to understand change. It is a path to more personal happiness and business success.

Ralph Masengill Jr. is a best-selling author and award-winning advisor, coach, marketing expert, business consultant and public relations strategist. His latest, and ‘must-read’ book is “Conquer Change and Win: An Easy-to-Read Fun Book on the Serious Subject of Change.”

If that is true, what is change? How does change affect all of us on a continuous basis? After forty years of study and research, here is my definition of change: CHANGE: Doing Something Different. All men and women regard all change – both good and bad – with a feeling of loss (examples would be remorse, or that pit-of-the-stomach feeling), and that feeling of loss always creates some form of anxiety, anger, or fear. Understanding how change works can change your life for the better and give you a solid advantage. That’s a guarantee.

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By Corey Poirier I was watching the movie Pain and Gain recently. In the movie it was noted that the letters to fear stand for False Evidence Appearing Real. Yet, when people attempt to conquer their fears, more often than not, they certainly appear more real than false. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I have discovered, as a result of over 4000 interviews with Influential Leaders ranging from Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul Co-Creator) to T. Harv Eker (Author of The Millionaire Mind) to Former World Champion Trish Stratus, that one of the surest paths to discovering one’s full potential is through conquering said fears, and as a result, expanding one’s comfort zone.

Listen to Corey Poirier on Big Blend Radio! Music featured is ‘Unstoppable’ by Doreen Taylor.

Yet, after trying and surviving my first stand-up performance, I found myself exhilarated. I had, in some small way, expanded my comfort zone ever so slightly while also facing a great fear. I hadn’t won the war, but I was certainly on the field. I took the stage again the following week, and the week after that, and, slowly but surely, In fact, when organizations hire me to speak at my fear of speaking in public, along with my fear conferences, I regularly share that the surest way of performing stand-up comedy in public, to reach your true potential is to tackle your fear continued to reduce, even if slightly each time. so that you can begin the process of expanding your natural comfort zone. I then proceed to My comfort zone ultimately expanded slightly back this statement up. until eventually, it was perhaps twice the size of what it was the first time I took to the stage. The To give you an example of the impact this has result of this expanded comfort zone was the had on my life personally, in 2002, I tackled my ability to tackle each additional fear with greater greatest fear, public speaking. At the time, my confidence until I was jumping out of a plane, effort saw me take the stage to try my hand at despite a fear of heights, and surfing in Tofino, stand-up comedy. I felt if I could get onto and stay on that stage, I could transition much easier BC, despite a fear of water. Perhaps most significant, I was crushing my goals in all areas of to speaking. The experience was far from my personal and professional life at a pace I comfortable. The entire time I was covered in never thought possible. sweat, and my heart was racing from the first second I took the stage until almost two hours Continued on Next Page… later. PAGE 126

It will also get much easier…but like me, you won’t know that until you take that first step. And life is far too short to not take that step. Why? Back to my original point. Because it’s a step that could lead to you discovering your passion, finding a new career, I can’t promise you that tackling your fears will be easy. Few of the great things in life are. It also becoming the biggest and best you possible, may require you to take many baby steps. Worse meeting the love of your life, launching the business of your dreams…or maybe, just maybe, though, than taking baby steps, or doing jumping onto the stage and launching into your something that may be at first slightly uncomfortable, is regret. After the thousands of very first stand-up set! interviews mentioned, I can tell you that few Whatever baby step you decide to take, here’s things are worse than regret. to your greater success…! Perhaps that’s why time again, when I have interviewed high achievers who have tackled fear Corey Poirier is an award-winning Keynote and multiple time TEDx and MoMonday’s speaker, host after fear, they reiterate over and over that the only regrets they have are in relation to the risks of a top-rated Radio Show, and he has been featured in one-hour television specials on Eastlink they didn’t take when they had the chance. That’s why my hope is that you don’t have to live TV and TeleTelevision. He is also a columnist with Entrepreneur Magazine, and having interviewed with such regret, and so my challenge to you is that you start taking baby steps in your effort to over 4,000 Influential Leaders, he is also an International Best-Selling Author with 10 books to face your fears. his credit. Visit or Fear Continued…

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by Ward Heinriches, Esq.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article highlighting some of the major lawsuits involving Walmart. At that time, Walmart had won a United States Supreme Court case called Dukes v. Walmart. The Court ruled that a class of 1.5 million women could not sue on a class wide basis for discrimination. It said that no common policy and common facts linked the class together. The article also visited other discrimination cases and some wage and hour class action cases. In more recent times, the cases that have put Walmart in the news have been major wage and hour cases. Consequently, all but two cases discussed below concern wage and hour class action. Phipps v. Wal-Mart (Tennessee) The Phipps case is an offshoot of the Dukes v. Walmart case. After the Supreme Court said the case could not proceed as a class action, many of the class members scrambled to file individual cases or regional class actions. The common theory was that Walmart discriminated against women when it came to equal pay and promotions. Courts issued unfavorable rulings in regional cases in California, Wisconsin, and Texas because they ruled that the individual claims were potentially too different.

Listen to attorney Ward Heinrichs on Big Blend Radio!

The California and Texas cases are on appeal. Phipps filed her case in Tennessee federal court, and Walmart has asked the judge to dismiss the case, claiming that the Tennessee Court should follow the rulings in the other courts. Bruan v. Wal-Mart (Pennsylvania) The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a class action verdict of $187 million, which included attorneys’ fees. In April of 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court did not accept the case for appeal. That left the Pennsylvania judgment intact. After interest, Walmart was required to pay a total of $224 million.

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Store Employees v. Wal-Mart (Washington) Just this month, a Washington state court approved a settlement of a wage and hour class The case was a wage and hour class action in which the plaintiffs claimed that they were owed action filed by store employees who claimed damages for missing meal periods and breaks unpaid wages for time worked off the clock and and for working off the clock. The Court for working through breaks. The biggest violations occurred during the December holiday approved a total settlement of $35 million. crunch when managers would require Walmart announced in December of 2016 that employees to do whatever it took to get all the this settlement was part of a Walmart strategy to work completed. In an effort to comply, settle 63 wage and hour cases. It claimed that it employees worked through their breaks and clocked out at the end of shifts but continued to had set aside $640 million to settle those cases. work. Ridgeway v. Wal-Mart (California) In November, a jury had said that Walmart had Brown v. Wal-Mart (California) not paid its truckers for time spent in pre-driving This case was a class action but was not for and post-driving inspections, had violated rest unpaid wages. It was based on violations of a break laws, and had not paid minimum wage for California regulation that required: “all working employees shall be provided with suitable seats 10 hour layovers. A Court must determine the when the nature of the work reasonably permits amount of money that Wal-Mart will pay to the truckers and heard arguments in January the use of seats.” Brown was a cashier at concerning what the total verdict should be. The Walmart and she claims that she and other truckers asked for nearly $86 million, but the cashiers were not provided seats. Walmart Court said that it was inclined to only pay $5.8 contended that their duties did not reasonably permit the use of seats because they performed million. other tasks besides simply working their Based in San Diego, CA the Employment Law registers. The trial court had certified the class, Office of Ward Heinrichs represents employers which means that the case could proceed on a class wide basis. The Ninth Circuit Federal Court and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been of Appeal affirmed that ruling. Apparently, the filed in many different parts of California. case has neither gone to trial nor settled. Walmart Lawsuits Continued…

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Does Social Media Spell the End of Social Graces? The ‘social graces’ are becoming a thing of the past as users tweet and post opinions and information in the virtual world that they would not likely share in their immediate social circles. Leslie Shore explores the causes and repercussions of poor social media etiquette and offers these 5 reminders for avoiding its pitfalls: Communication expert Leslie Shore discusses Social Media Etiquette on Big Blend Radio!

1. Don’t respond to a post or comment out of emotion. Take time to process what you have read or seen and allow yourself time to reflect on your thoughts before commenting out of anger or frustration. Remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. 2. Remember who your ‘friends’ are. Before sharing your thoughts on politics or religion, or posting something provocative or controversial, keep in mind who your audience is. Is it worth creating tension with your family, friends, coworkers, etc.?

5. Don’t brag. No one likes a bragasaurus in person, so why would they ‘like’ one on social media. It’s fine to tell folks what you’re doing and share good news, but if it turns into a brag-fest, you will be un-liked, un-linked, and un-followed!

National speaker, communication expert, professor, and author Leslie Shore is the onestop shop for communication issues that affect the bedroom to the boardroom, family and team dynamics, and contemporary communication issues. Leslie is the owner of Listen to Succeed, a consultancy that focuses on using listening analytics to help clients achieve 4. Stay truly connected to those who matter. their highest level of effective communication. Don’t wish your family a happy birthday on Her book “Listen to Succeed: How to Identify Facebook; pick up the phone or make the trip to and Overcome Barriers to Effective Listening,” is see them. Instead of sending invites, thank you’s, used in universities, businesses, and non-profits and holiday cards online, send your loved ones throughout the United States and Canada. something they can keep forever. Learn more at 3. Keep your personal conversations personal. There is no need to take your private life public. Tweeting your boyfriend you love him or telling your sister how angry you are on Facebook will only open up dialogue to those who have no need for involvement.

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ARE YOU UNEMPLOYABLE? What does it really take for someone to jump off the employment treadmill and participate in the free enterprise system, unencumbered by traditionally accepted myths? Best-selling author David Thomas Roberts, Renegade CapitalistTM and serial entrepreneur since age twenty-one, has created a guide for those who are no longer content to have someone else dictating their daily commute, their income, schedules and vacations. Roberts lays out business strategies and principles in his book Unemployable! How to Be Successfully Unemployed Your Entire Life (Defiance Press and Publishing, LLC).

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with best-selling author and serial entrepreneur David Thomas Roberts.

Always challenging the status quo, Roberts has built a lifetime of success in defiance of accepted business norms which has led him to be dubbed the “Renegade CapitalistTM.� In college, Roberts became discouraged because no one was teaching him what he wanted to understand: how to become an entrepreneur. He then dropped out and within a year opened a multi-million air freight business with his brother. The downturn in the oil industry caught Roberts by surprise and eventually the business failed. Roberts took many valuable lessons from this experience. Undaunted, Roberts launched another business which he later successfully sold. Roberts has built numerous successful businesses; he is the founder and CEO of Teligistics, a leading multi-milliondollar telecom technology management firm started with $1,000 on a folding card table in a closet.

Roberts has two best-selling political thrillers to his credit, Patriots of Treason (2012) and A State of Treason (2014). Inspired by his four children, he recognized the need for an unconventional business book to share his expertise. Roberts will soon release his fourth book, a continuation of the political thriller series, and is working on several more business books digging deeper into the principles of Unemployable! Learn more at

Now, acknowledging the need for more opportunities, classes and degree paths for aspiring entrepreneurs, Roberts has advised major universities and MBA programs on the creation of degree paths and curriculum for entrepreneurial studies. PAGE 131

GET TO THE HEART How Storytelling Secrets Can Make Your Presentation Clear, Compelling, and Earn You a Seat at the Table For anyone planning a presentation, keeping the audience intrigued can be an agonizing challenge, especially in the age of smartphones. According to scientists, humans now have an average attention span of 8.25 seconds—shorter than that of a goldfish. But somehow, people can sit through an entire movie for more than two hours. Now, film professional Ted Frank is revealing how techniques of moviemakers can transform boring projects into inspiring stories that will move your stakeholders, get you the buy-in you deserve, and give your company the ideas it needs. In Get to the Heart: How Storytelling Secrets Can Make Your Presentation Clear, Compelling, and Earn You a Seat at the Table, Frank outlines a variety of moviemaking methods that can make a huge difference for stakeholders, colleagues, and customers through the simple art of storytelling. Tailored specifically for real corporate projects, this unique guidebook provides step-by-step instructions that will energize your audience and help put your plans into action.

“There is now scientific evidence to show how movies open us up, inspire us and even align us with the same headspace,” says Frank. “So I studied all the ways movies tell stories and ran them through with real corporate strategies to identify tactics that anyone giving a corporate presentation could use, without a camera. And anyone watching that presentation will find it inspiring.”

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Ted Frank, author of ‘Get to the Heart’.

In each chapter of Get to the Heart, you’ll find specific strategies that will get your stakeholders out of the conference room and into the world of your insights and ideas. “There are so many storytelling books for executives speaking to their staff,” adds Frank. “Get to the Heart goes in the opposite direction; it helps mid-level managers presenting to executives. But I think those executives will love it even more because I aim to make sure they never have to watch another boring presentation again.” Get to the Heart is available on Amazon and at

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THE PATH TO WEALTH Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance Scientists are discovering that the thoughts and beliefs we continually repeat to ourselves create neural-pathways like deep grooves in our brains that affect the way we see and experience the world. As Henry Ford famously said, "If you think you can or you think you can't, either way you are correct.” Unfortunately, many of us believe that our potential for success is limited and generally 'think we can't.' However, if we can 'regroove' our minds by laying down more positive, self-affirming beliefs, opportunities for success will begin presenting themselves in seemingly miraculous ways. Listen to May McCarthy on Big Blend Radio, where she discusses how to alter our beliefs and goal-attainment strategies to activate our intuition and lead us to success.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with May McCarthy, author of ‘The Path to Wealth’.

McCarthy is a CEO, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and best-selling author who credits her success and financial abundance to the goals she has set for herself with carefully constructed, powerful statements and to the guidance those words have activated in her subconscious and intuition.

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