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6. 8. 10. 12. 18.

22. 28. 32. 34. 36. 37.

38. 42. 44.


46. 48. 52.

56. 58. 61.


66. 74. 78. 84.


This issue celebrates the blooming of spring with sustainable gardening and sparkling wines, cooking and recipes, and vibrant travel destinations that include historic England, laidback Greece, trendy Madrid and America’s southeast, west coast and desert southwest regions. Enjoy interviews with artists, authors, musicians and filmmakers, along with expert advice on health, business, leadership, communication and much more. As always, it’s about quality of life! From radio shows to new articles and videos, one of the best ways to keep up with all things is to subscribe to our weekly . That’s also the best way to get your free copies of our digital, bi-monthly and . Come socialize with us on and

Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team! 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.


A treasure trove of paintings, documents, and books were left behind after the death of artist and illustrator Leighton Fossum that, put together, reveal the talent and interests of a man who led an amazingly diverse life.

He gained a reputation as an outdoor artist doing paintings that became limited edition prints for the Rapala Fishing Lure Company. His paintings were also featured on the cover of Rapala catalogues. These prints are now collectors’ items. His profound attention to detail is most evident in the paintings he did after he retired from commercial art. Fossum’s shift toward fine art coincided with his move in the 1980s, to the desert areas of Arizona and, later, New Mexico. He roamed the area recording what he saw in sketchbooks and with a camera. Whatever interested him was likely to be incorporated into a painting later.

Fossum was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. A mixed media approach to defining visual texture was a method he often employed. He attended the Minneapolis Art Institute and Leighton Fossum worked mostly on gessoed the New York Art Students League, becoming a panels, preferring gouche, fine point pen and ink, productive graphic designer and commercial artist in the Minneapolis area. The invoice books and the humble pencil to build up textures. Subjects of weathered wood, plant life, rocks, found in his files indicate his skills were in demand as a graphic designer. He also illustrated and objects worn by the Southwest wind and sun make the viewer certain that Fossum was a children’s books and educational materials. sharp observer. by Charlotte Clark, was published in 1970, and was illustrated by Fossum. PAGE 6

Some of his paintings are of historical events or historic figures for which he did considerable research to get the details correct. Leighton Fossum’s love of horses is reflected in the number of paintings he did that included these animals. Compositional surprises occur in many of his paintings as he always sought to present a place or situation from an unusual point of view. In addition to his life in commercial and fine art, he served in WWII, was a pilot, inventor, and patent holder. Fossum sold works through several galleries in Tucson, Arizona.


Osburg is known for expressing the pain of war and transformation throughout his visual themes. He plans to create three to five oil paintings in a series entitled “The Last Measure of Devotion,” incorporating the landscape of Gettysburg National Military Park. The effort will be an exploration of Osburg’s relationship with war from the perspective of an artist, educating the public about the impact of war on the artist and visual art.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Osburg endured a transient childhood and was, by his own account, "raised in depravity." His first canvas was the walls of his many homes, where he depleted his family’s stock of pens and pencils. At age 21 he enlisted in the United States Army, brimming with a sense of strong patriotism and duty to his country. At 22 he was in Baghdad with the 1st Calvary Division as QRF (Quick Response Force). Still, a sheet of wood and drawing utensils helped him escape the pains of war. He feels that his constant and intuitive relationship with art throughout his life, eliminates stress and produces a satisfaction acquired nowhere else.

“Gettysburg National Military Park will allow me to explore my personal relationship with war as an American artist,” said Osburg. “I answered the same calling as the men did that died fighting at Gettysburg during the American Civil War. I want to examine the juxtaposition of beauty that encompassed pain and suffering.” PAGE 8

Osburg feels that the battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in history, art and culture and his Gettysburg residency will, therefore, be a turning point in his career as an artist. The perspective or “lens” of his experience in war will be an influential perspective to which he will view the battlefield’s artistic themes. “Gettysburg National Military Park has offered inspiration to artists for more than 150 years,” said Chuck Hunt, acting superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park. “The Artist-inResidence program engages new audiences and tells Gettysburg’s stories in new and compelling ways.”


Her series “California’s Giant Sequoia’s, Found Nowhere Else on Earth” features the giant sequoia ( ), the world’s largest tree. It only grows naturally in a narrow 160-mile band of mixed conifer forest on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. In celebration of these very special trees, her series features some of the most well-known trees and groves in Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, plus, a variety of well-known National Forest Groves such as the Trail of 100 Giants. Joy is based in Porterville in Tulare County, gateway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Sequoia National Forest.

In regards to painting her local environment, she states, “I am a nature lover out enjoying the astounding beauty of the California Landscape. I was taught: ‘Paint what Smiles at You!’ I love where I live. Success Valley and Mine Hill are my backyard in Porterville, California, and my “Moods of Mine Hill” and “Oak Lace” series are glimpses into the constantly changing subtle moods of the hills and oaks that I view every day. Then there are the Sequoias! I’m in love with these unique giants that are found nowhere else on earth. I’ve been painting the giants and their habitat for many years now, they offer an endless variety of rich forms and textures to explore.”

Have fun piecing together the online jigsaw puzzles of Joy’s art! See Wet Meadow in the Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park on Black Bear in Sequoia National Park on PAGE 10

Working in acrylics with a background in plein air, Joy’s paintings are in a post-impressionistic style, influenced most by Cezanne and Monet. With the development of high quality giclee prints on canvas, she now shares her original paintings as prints that are affordable, and can be custom sized. See her work at . For more about the South Valley Studio Art Tour held April 14-15, 2018, visit . Held throughout Tulare County, in central California, 40 artists will open their studios for an up-close and personal opportunity into their individual creative processes, and a behind-the-scenes look at the different phases or facets of their work. If you love art - this is the weekend for you. Not only can you see the individual studios and talk with the artists, but many of the communities have lovely murals and galleries. PAGE 11


An epic return of the legendary Celtic rock opera onto German stages, a new chapter in the saga around the sword Excalibur – this is “EXCALIBUR – The Dark Age Of The Dragon”. EXCALIBUR IV is the widely anticipated fourth new studio album in the Celtic Rock Opera series, following on from the gold and platinum selling original trilogy. Released on Babaika Productions, via Cherry Red Records, the album features appearances by: Alan Stivell, Michael Sadler (Saga), Jesse Sibenberg & John Helliwell (Supertramp), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Moya Brennan (Clannad), Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth), Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep), Siobham Owen, Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), John Kelly (The Kelly Family), and Maite Itoiz (Elfhental).

Excalibur – the legendary rock opera is back! After a thousand years of imprisonment, Merlin the wizard – finally escapes from Morgana’s spell. Initially intrigued by the beauty of the new world that he returned to, he soon discovers the decay of knightly and sublime virtues, which once had been so bravely defended by King Arthur’s roundtable. An enraged Merlin casts his biggest spell over this world and brings the mighty dragon to life. PAGE 13

Following three acclaimed CDs with his group Burnt Belief, Jon Durant has returned with his first solo album since 2011’s “Dance of the Shadow Planets.” Unlike his previous solo albums, however, “Parting Is” is a completely solo guitar album. A deeply emotional and personal record, “Parting Is” takes the idea of a solo guitar album and transforms it into a stunning sonic landscape of texture and color. Many of the sounds on the album bear no relationship with traditional guitar, and there are no synthesizers employed at all. Everything is played by Jon Durant on guitars (with Durant also playing fretless bass on four pieces).

Guitarist Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His distinctive “cloud guitar” soundscapes and engaging lead work have graced numerous CD recordings and film soundtracks. As executive producer of Alchemy Records, he produces recordings for internationally acclaimed artists in his small home studio. Alongside Durant’s six solo albums and three Burnt Belief records (with Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree), Alchemy has also released albums by artists Michael Manring, Gary Willis, Leni Stern/Wayne Krantz and others. .


This collaboration with the jazz star and Return to Forever bassist/composer, Stanley Clarke involved the recording of new compositions Bob Holz wrote, taken from his roots in jazz, classical, blues and rock music. Joining Holz and Clarke is former Mahavishnu Orchestra bassist Ralphe Armstrong who currently plays in Holz’s touring band, Bob Holz and A Vision Forward featuring Jamie Glaser. The recording took place in Los Angeles with famed sound engineer, Dennis Moody recording, mixing and mastering the performances. Executive Producer Rob Stathis once again contributed his production skills to the making of the record.

Since the February 2017 release of Holz’s second album, “Visions and Friends,” Holz’s touring band, Bob Holz and A Vision Forward have played numerous live concerts from New York to California. Los Angeles based keyboardist Billy Steinway has been an integral contributor to Holz’s efforts playing both live shows and recording sessions. Steinway also joined Holz, Clarke and Armstrong on the recordings for the new album.


Based in Jacksonville, Florida, The Gunboat Diplomats are known for their melodic music that’s rich in harmonies and rocks a distinctive vintage vibe. Featuring songs for lonely hearts, obsessive lovers, and hopeless romantics, “Fine State of Affairs” serves up a delicious menu of musical flavors. The album kicks off with the island styled title track Fine State Of Affairs and leads you straight into the bluesy rocker Standup Guy, and into the dark world of Obsessive Love. Get a scoop of Beatles inspiration with Sweet Abiding Love and chill out to the reggae grooves of Something on My Mind, stomp it up rockabilly style with Crazy About You and balance it out with the gospel inspired A Lullaby. When it comes to that dizzying world of love and romance, turn to The Gunboat Diplomats to steer you through those choppy waters of emotion with a toe tappin’ rollicking good time!


When Tyler Sloan, famed singer-songwriter and member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, retires from the Las Vegas stage to campaign for election as Nevada’s next U.S. senator in “Roll the Dice”, intrigue and scandals bubble up from every corner. Issues with his father, a former California governor who nearly became president, permeate their relationship and the campaign. Sloan is a unique character who runs as a Sloan’s attorney has one eye on protecting Sloan political independent, refuses campaign and the other on his own interests. Another contributions and disdains support from musician blackmails him with a decades-old lobbyists. Filled with dark secrets, family tension, video sex tape of Sloan and two women, one of blackmail and bribes, “Roll the Dice” takes the whom is his Republican opponent. Sloan’s edgy reader on a tense, thrilling ride through the relationship with his attractive young media campaign for a seat that will ultimately control advisor borders on the edge of propriety, and his the equally divided Senate. campaign manager is embroiled in legal troubles . with the FBI. Throughout this turbulent ride, Sloan tries to protect his 13-year-old daughter from all of this, but finds it difficult to shield her from her mother, who is becoming increasingly dependent on prescription medications. PAGE 18

The Natural Four originally formed in 1967 in Oakland, CA and started receiving notoriety in the early '70's after signing to Curtis Mayfield's label, Curtom Records. The group reigned under the production of Leroy Hutson, the former lead singer of R&B vocal group, The Impressions. From 1972 to 1976, The Natural Four toured the US and appeared at major venues such as the Apollo Theater, and also appeared on numerous top TV shows including and . After releasing a string of hits inside of three albums, The Natural Four called it quits in the mid '70's. In "Music Saved My Life," James takes us back to his early days growing up in Oakland. He started his music career at the age of 10 playing the bass guitar, and at the age of 12 he performed his first singing solo. His musical background originated in the church and from his mother, who was also a professional singer. The reader travels with him through a dysfunctional childhood with an abusive and controlling mother. His turbulent relationship with his mother unfortunately set the precedent for countless encounters with bullies throughout his life, including his first wife of over 20 years.

Life on the road in the '70's was riddled with drama, drugs and busted dreams, while life at home reflected much of the same. "Music Saved My Life," recalls a life riddled with regrets while seemingly filled with career successes. James has performed and shared the stage with legendary artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, The Temptations, Kool and the Gang, the Isley Brothers and his former producer Curtis Mayfield, and his discography has over 200 songs composed and distributed on various albums. Today, James is happily married to jazz and blues artist Zakiya Hooker, the daughter of the late great blues icon, John Lee Hooker. In addition to producing all five of Zakiya's albums, he also produced the final John Lee Hooker CD "Face to Face."


“Encounters Unforeseen” gives insight into the mindsets and backgrounds of key Taíno and European protagonists, including Columbus, Spain’s Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, three historic Taíno chieftains — Caonabó, Guacanagarí, and Guarionex — and a Taíno captive seized by Columbus. Rowen’s portrayals of the Taíno protagonists presents them as neither victims nor statistics, but as personalities and actors comparable to the Europeans. Their side of the story is forcefully told. Rowen also explores stark social differences between Taínos and Europeans, including their religions, slavery, and notions of private property, and dramatizes the collision of Taíno spirits with Christ and the Virgin Mary. The novel carefully depicts conversations that primary sources indicate occurred, and Rowen weaves fascinating stories around documented incidents. “Encounters Unforeseen” presents a remarkably insightful and fresh look at one of the seminal events that reshaped the course of world history.

Most literature relating the history of Columbus’ voyage and first encounters with Native Americans focuses principally — whether pro- or anti-Columbus — on Columbus and the European perspective. Rowen’s historical novel now dramatizes these events from a bicultural perspective. It fictionalizes the beliefs, thoughts, and actions of the Native Americans who met Columbus and places their viewpoints alongside those of the explorer himself and other Europeans, all based on a close reading of Columbus’ “Journal,” other primary sources, and modern anthropological studies.

Andrew Rowen is a U.C. Berkeley and Harvard Law graduate who practiced law as a partner of a major New York City law firm for almost 30 years prior to retiring to write his first novel, “Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold.” He devoted six years to research and traveled to nearly all the Caribbean, European and Atlantic locations where the book’s action takes place, including the archaeological sites where the Taíno chieftains lived in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He has long been interested in the roots of religious intolerance. See .


What is it about sparkling wine that captures the heart of even the most jaded wine drinker? It’s a wine style that’s steeped in glamor, history and rumor with a myriad of tasty permutations. From Spumante to Sekt, Cremant to Champagne, the allure of bubbly captivates us all. So pop that cork, pour a glass and join me as I unravel the mysteries of sparkling wines. Champagne – the most famous of all the world’s sparklers, can only be created in the French wine region of the same name. Located just east of Paris, the ancient limestone soils help to create a wine that cannot be duplicated. The most wellknown limestone is the Kimmeridgian Ridge which appears as the famous ‘White Cliffs of Dover ‘and makes its way under the Channel, through the Loire Valley to Champagne and Chablis.

Champagne’s vineyards lie at the northerly edge of the wine growing world, where frost, freezing temperatures and sporadic summer sun can make grape growing a precarious occupation. Nonetheless, the ‘Champenois’ have persevered for centuries, not only adapting to the elements but to the whims of the world, as this part of France has long been at the crossroads of history.


From the Romans in 50 AD to the crowning of Clovis, the first king of France in historic Reims Cathedral, through two World Wars, Champagne has survived, gifting the world with a wine that exudes celebration and elegance. Sparkling wines are made all over the wine world, by several different methods, yet the first bottle of bubbly was most likely produced by accident! Before ‘modern’ winemaking, it wasn’t unusual for wines to be bottled before the cold days of winter and before fermentation was completely finished. When warmer Spring temperatures would arrive, the wines would restart their fermentation, trapping the CO2 gasses, resulting in a wine that sparkled and, in many cases, bottles that exploded. For hundreds of years, winemakers searched for a way to control how the bubbles formed in the wine. They tried adding things like alum (cream of tartar), honey, elderflower, milk and even pigeon dung, all to no avail.

Although Dom Perignon, a Benedictine Monk and cellar master, is given credit for the creation of champagne, (“Come quickly – I’m drinking the stars”) many seem to disagree. Some say it was the monks at the Abbaye St. Hilaire in the Languedoc region of Limoux that first intentionally trapped the bubbles in the 1500’s. Dom Perignon was known to have visited the abbey (there are stories of his somewhat ‘inappropriate’ behavior) and may have taken the secrets back to France. The English are also given credit as the first to take wines from Champagne and deliberately turn them from still to sparkling. We do know that Dom Perignon played an instrumental part in the creation of the method in which champagne is produced – the blending of grapes to create the perfect flavor profile, and the use of both cork closures and stronger, more uniform English glass bottles.


In Champagne, there are three main grape varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Munier, from which the winemaker will vinify bone dry, base wines that are low in alcohol. Wines from an array of vineyards are blended together, often in a classic ‘house style’. The wine is then bottled and a precise amount of yeast and sugar, known as the Liquer de Tirage’ is added, setting the stage for the all-important second fermentation inside the bottle.

This was long a problem for winemakers until 1806 when Madame Nicole Barbe Ponsardin, (aka Veuve (Widow) Clicquot) developed a technique known as ‘Remuage’ or ‘Riddling’ to move the unwanted sediments to the neck of the bottle where they could be more easily removed. The bottles are placed on a rack with holes carved out at 45˚ angles. Each day, the bottles are given a swift, 1/8th turn and, gradually, over about 4 to 6 weeks, the sediment collects in the bottle neck.

The bottles are closed with a crown cap – like a soda – and left to rest in the cool chalk cellars for The plug of sediment is removed by immersing six to eight weeks. During this period, the yeast the neck into a cold briny solution which freezes consumes the added sugar, creating alcohol and the deposits. When the crown cap is removed, CO2 which creates the desired bubbles. The the plug is forced out. A small amount of wine, yeast cells die off and form a sediment, called sometimes sweetened, is used to ‘top up’ the ‘lees’. As the wine and lees mature, it will develop bottle before the final cork, cage and capsule are the classic champagne notes of toasty brioche, added. The wine will go back to the cellar to rest honey and nuts, plus, develop a supple for several months or years. mouthfeel. The lees, however, also contribute to Continued on Next Page… a hazy appearance. PAGE 24

This same method is used to create other delicious sparkling wines but, of course, they aren’t called ‘Champagne’! When they hail from other areas of France, such as Burgundy, Alsace or the Loire Valley, they are called ‘Cremant’. Other grapes might be used – Chenin Blanc in the Loire, for example – and the ‘terroir’ will be different, giving these wines their own, unique character and flavor profile.

If a sweeter wine is more your style, look no further than the Piedmonte area of northwestern Italy. The appellation of Asti produces ‘Spumante’ – think sweet peaches and apricots – made with the famous Muscato grape variety.

In the Catalunya region of Spain, Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada are used to craft fabulous Cava. Ranging from dry (Brut Nature) to quite sweet (Semiseco), Cava was created in the 1850’s when the head of famous Bodega Codorniu imported equipment from Champagne to emulate the famous bubbles of France. Catalunya’s Mediterranean climate and unique terroir creates wines that are intended to be enjoyed throughout the day, every day! Franciacorta, from Italy’s Lomardy region, employs the ‘metodo classico’ to create memorable sparkling wines from Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Blanco. The wines can be white or rosé and are always ‘NV’ – non vintage. Most are enjoyed by the locals, with little export, but definitely worth trying when you find them! PAGE 25

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No matter your budget or palate, there is a world of wonderful sparkling wines waiting to be enjoyed. Santé.

The highly popular ‘Prosecco’ from the Veneto region of northern Italy, uses both different grapes and a different method. Known as ‘Charmat’ or ‘Cuve Close’, this production pattern is perfect for highly aromatic grapes such as Glera, used for Prosecco. The main difference is that the all-important second fermentation takes place in a pressurized tank instead of the bottle. The resulting wine is fresh, fruity and very sippable. The bubbles are a bit larger in size than those created by the traditional method and provide a zippy, spritzy sensation. In Germany, sweeter style Sekt is sipped on a regular basis! In fact, Germans have the highest per capita sparkling wine consumption in the world. Sekt is made via the same method as Prosecco, using the cool-climate grapes of the region including Riesling, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Graubugunder (Pinot Gris) and MüllerThurgau. PAGE 26

Love Wine? Browse Big Blend’s Online Wine Shop featuring Reviewed Gifts for Wine Lovers!


Though Vienna is certainly a showcase for many of Austria’s wonders, there are a number of other cities that spotlight different regional specialties, especially when it comes to food. Among them is Graz, Austria’s “Capital of Delight.” Located in the southern part of the country, about 95 miles from Vienna, in an area known as Styria, Graz has long had a reputation for its robust culinary scene. Everywhere you go, you’ll encounter gastronomical pleasures, from food festivals and guided food tours to cooking demos and special events like the Long Table of Graz. Held once a year in August, this unique culinary experience takes place in the historic center of the city, where long tables are set up as a giant open air restaurant. Guests, of which number 700, enjoy a multi-course dinner paired with specific wines, which has been planned by noted chefs and master sommeliers.

With its mild climate, fruit, veggies and vineyards thrive, and farmers markets abound in Graz. For an introduction to the products of this region, stroll through Kaiser-Josef Market, where a colorful bounty of scarlet runner beans, apples, farmer’s bread, smoked sausages, homemade cakes, tomatoes and more is on display. In the autumn, pumpkins dominate along with bottles of pumpkin seed oil.


Known as “green gold,” pumpkin seed oil is world famous. It’s so special that it was declared a protected product by the EU-Commission, with a strict set of guidelines and criteria to assure authenticity. The best way to learn about this acclaimed oil is to participate in a tasting session at Gasthaus Stainzerbauer, a local restaurant that has a tradition of fine food in Graz. You’ll learn about the history, cultivation, processing, nutrients and usage of the oil, via a memorable sensory experience.

Visitors might also notice that many restaurants have fried chicken on their menus. Styrian fried chicken is in a class of its own, made with bread crumbs and typically served on a bed of greens with potatoes and scarlet runner beans. And of course, it’s marinated in pumpkin seed oil! Landhauskeller is reputed to be one of the best places in Graz for this dish. You’ll dine in cozy style amid 16th century pillars in an old government building.

I became an instant convert upon sampling this magical substance, with its dark green color, rich roast aroma, nutty kernel taste and light, fresh sensation. Dinner at the restaurant followed with plenty of pumpkin-related dishes, including a heavenly pumpkin soup, curd cheese with pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seed oil ice cream and even pumpkin tiramisu. As you travel through this region in fall, you’ll quickly become aware of how pumpkin, in all shapes and forms, makes its way into everything. PAGE 29

Styria has a reputation as the Tuscany of Austria. More grape varieties are cultivated here than in any other winegrowing area in Europe. The region produces characteristically light, dry wines, with the fruity taste of ripe grapes. The most popular is Welschriesling. With its fine, fullbodied touch, it’s a wine for any occasion. Beer lovers don’t despair, as Graz is home to several breweries and brewpubs. Styrian beer is reputed to be the best in Austria, with Reininghaus and Puntigamer at the top of the list. And if you think you need to drink one of those ginormous steins, rest assured, you can order just a “pfiff” or a “whistle,” which is a small glass, ideal for midday consumption.

It’s also a mecca of museums showcasing art, archaeology, science and military history. Taking center stage, though, is the Kunsthaus Graz, an architectural icon that serves as an exhibition center for contemporary art. The unusual biomorphous structure is known locally as the “Friendly Alien,” thanks to its unusual shape and the one thousand plus acrylic glass elements that form its skin. The town’s traditional landmark is the medieval Clock Tower, which is located atop the Schlossberg hill, the highest point in the city. You can reach Schlossberg on foot up a series of 300 stairs, via the funicular, or by taking a ride in a glass elevator that ascends inside the mountain. Atop, you are greeted with a dramatic panorama of the surrounding mountains and red-tile roofscape of the city below. Take time to walk along the network of footpaths around this lovely spot and when you feel the need for sustenance, head to the Schlossberg Restaurant, where the food and views are divine.

Graz boasts an Old Town that counts as one of the most well-preserved city centers in Central Europe. Nowhere else will you find outstanding architecture of all styles in such a concentrated area, from the Middle Ages through the 21st century. This UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site on the banks of the Mur River is a treasure trove of palaces, romantic inner courtyards, elaborate frescoed facades, stately churches and charming squares. PAGE 30


A major agricultural hub that feeds America, Tulare County is a leading producer in dairy, citrus and stone fruits, nuts and berries. In fact, local farmers grow over 200 different major crops with produce being shipped to more than 75 countries worldwide. Locals and visitors can get a taste of the region’s bounty, including its dairy products, at one of the many roadside farm stands or community farmers markets, restaurants and gourmet shops, festivals and events. Along with breweries and wineries, the area’s dining opportunities range from tasty Mexican cuisine and delicious European flavors to fresh farm-to-table fare and traditional American diner food. If you’re looking for a foodie adventure, look no further!

Home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, Tulare County is known as California’s Sequoia Country, and makes for a fabulous destination offering a variety of outdoor activities, a calendar full of art events and seasonal festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the park gateway communities of Three Rivers, Exeter, Visalia, Porterville, Tulare, Lindsay, Woodlake and Dinuba. East of Fresno, the area is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. For more about the area visit .



1 Lb. 80/20 Ground Chuck 2 Cups Button Mushrooms, Sliced 1 ¼ Tbsp. Unsalted Butter 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil 4 Slices Smoked Provolone cheese 2 Sesame Seed Buns 2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise 2 Tbsp. Ketchup 1 Tbsp. Relish 2 Dill Pickle Spears Salt Pepper

Divide beef in half, form into patties and generously salt and pepper both sides of the patties. Put a small indentation in the center of the burgers and set aside.

Take the ground beef out of the fridge and let it sit at least 30 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup and relish. Set aside. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add in 2 Tbsp. olive oil and ¼ Tbsp. butter. Once the butter melts, add in the sliced mushrooms. Cook 5 to 6 minutes until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste after they are cooked. Set aside.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, add in the burgers. Cook 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. After flipping, add the 2 slices of smoked provolone to each patty.

Assembly: Slather buns generously with ketchup/mayo mixture. Top bottom bun with patty. Top with mushrooms. Serves 2.


3 Large Chipperbec or Kennebec potatoes 2 Tablespoons minced Italian parsley 4 Garlic cloves, minced fine 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon seasoned salt Pre-heat your tabletop fryer to 350 degrees, or heat a large pot with safflower oil. Make sure the pot is large enough to fill half-way with oil, to avoid the possibility of a grease fire.

Drop potato strips in the fryer or pot of oil for 5-8 minutes. You will see them start to crisp up. Note, with fresh oil, your fries will not have that golden brown color. Using a Russet potato will give you a golden brown color.

Place the fries in a mixing bowl and toss with salt and seasoned salt. Add the garlic and parsley, then toss again.

Cut your potatoes into strips approx. 2 1/2 inches Enjoy with your favorite burger or steak! by 1/3 inch long and narrow. Don’t worry if they are a little larger, they will just take longer to cook. PAGE 35

The most enjoyable part of cooking is preparing new and exciting food for the family and good friends. Perfect for brunch, this recipe for Cheese Mini Rolls is one that easily fits the bill! A crusty, chewy cheese filled roll that is easy to make and can be prepared the day before. Bake them just before your guests arrive. Assuming there are any leftovers, re-heat them in the oven to remain crispy. Kids will love these! For this recipe, I chose small rolls of two and a half square inches, but mini baguette rolls will work outstandingly well! 25 mini rolls 3 large eggs 6 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (or any yellow cheese of your choice) 8 ounces sour cream 4 scallions, finely chopped Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut off the crown of the roll horizontally. Scoop out the insides and put all the rolls on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add the yellow cheese, cream and the chopped onions. Season with a dash of salt and pepper; then mix.

Fill each roll with the mixture, (about 1 tablespoon) and bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 25 minutes or until the filling is firm and the edges are golden.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. PAGE 36

1 oz. Sweet Vermouth 1 oz. Scotch½ oz. Grenadine 2 oz. Orange Juice Chill Martini glass. Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice, then pour and serve.

Cook at medium heat while constantly whisking until the mixture thickens (around 10 minutes). Pour into a jar, let it cool down, and then store in the refrigerator.

4 large lemons 5 egg yolks 1 cup of sugar ½ cup of butter ½ tsp. lemon extract (optional) Yellow food coloring (optional) Zest and juice the lemons. Put lemon juice, butter, sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan.

It’s best to use fresh lemons to make the curd. Store bought lemon juice does not work as well as it is not as fresh, and has no zest to it. I like to add a little bit of lemon extract and yellow food coloring to enhance the look and flavor, but that’s completely optional!


One of the things all of my guests comment on, is the greenery everywhere. England is a green and pleasant land and one of the reasons for that, is that we have such changeable weather. Many people think that it always rains in England, and we do have rain, but we also have sunshine and light breezes, all three of these add up to the ideal climate for gardeners. Add to those, the excellent soil in East Anglia, and what you have is an ideal area for farming. This area of England was one of the richest areas of the country and that is why we have so many large estates and amazing stately houses. There have been important houses in Norfolk and Suffolk since Roman times, with several large villas and lots of settlements but, sadly, none of those are left standing. What we do have, are Norman Castles, Moated Tudor Houses, Jacobean Halls, Georgian Mansions and Victorian Stately Homes.

Oxburgh is the archetypal Moated Manor House and, although the present house is a complete mixture of periods, the licence to build a fortified house on the site, was granted by King Edward IV to Sir Edmund Bedingfield. It is generally accepted that the early house was built about 1482 and, unusually, it was built of brick. Brick was a very expensive building material at this time and building such a massive house with bricks was an extra statement to all, that the owner was a very rich person.


Royalty visited the House and The King’s Room and Queen’s Room are named as they are to commemorate the fact. The family were also in regular contact with the rulers of this country and held important positions in the Court. During the C16th, when England was separating from the Catholic Church, Oxburgh’s owner was accused of harbouring Papists and, if you visit the house today, you can see a great example of a Priest Hole. Another subject, another day! The gardens at Oxburgh include a walled kitchen garden and a very attractive Victorian Parterre. The walled gardens have been here since at least 1725 but what we see today was created in the 1830’s. Most large houses had gardens to supply the house with fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. These gardens often grew soft fruit and vines too, in heated greenhouses and in areas protected from frost by the walls. Today, the gardens at Oxburgh supply the tea room with salad, vegetables, and etc. Bees were extremely important to gardeners (and they still are one of the most important species on the planet), so the house had its own apiary, not only for pollination but for the honey too! The house also has some lovely wild woodland, with C18th features, such as a Grotto and parts of a canal which was put in as part of the managed water system. If you want to see a moated manor house, this is a great example. PAGE 39

Holkham is on a very different scale. It is a real mansion. Built between 1734 and 1764, Holkham Hall is one of the most spectacular Palladian houses in England and to try to give you a taste of it in a few paragraphs is an impossible task, but I will try. Approaching the Hall across the Park is quite amazing. Deer grazing the hundreds of acres within the walls of the private park are beautiful to see and, as the Hall pops into view, it is difficult to think that what we see first, is the back of the house and the stables. Getting closer, the lake appears and then, the main house. The car is parked a little way from the house and approaching by foot gives visitors a better opportunity to appreciate the scale of the house. Walking around to the front, following the bottom of the walled terraced gardens, the Park lays ahead, yet more hundreds of acres of grazing for the deer. The road out towards the other side of the house was the way visitors would have approached in their carriages and that road goes through the Park and woodland for several miles. To the right of the Hall we see a very strange little building. It is thatched and appears to be half buried in a hillock. This is a building, the likes of which will be seen in many of the more affluent homes during the C18th and they are often to be found very close to the lake. Inside, is a short corridor and, at the end, a small room with a very deep, brick-lined pit dug in the floor. PAGE 40

For those of you with no clue, the answer is that this is an ice house. In the days before refrigerators, this was the only way to keep things cold during the Summer. Ice was taken out of the lake in the Winter and kept in the straw-lined pit. The insulation of the ground, straw and the thatched roof, kept the ice frozen.

Going back to the house itself, if you want to see marble staircases, state rooms, statuary, paintings and architecture, this is the place to visit.

A little further along the roadway, the walled garden is amazing. Acres of gardens and glasshouses and all built to a very high standard. Not only is the Hall an architectural gem, the whole estate is, even the working buildings. Spending money on buildings which were used by servants is only usually seen on the estates of the extremely rich. The family here looked after their staff and for that, I am extremely grateful because many of my ancestors worked for them!


The more of us that create these habitats, The five main components of creating a the more we are sustainable habitat for birds and wildlife, is to combating the ‘garden provide: food, water, shelter, places to raise dead zones’ that stem young, and, to keep the habitat clean of toxic from the planting of pesticides or fertilizers. non-native plant As David shares, native plants are key to species and the use of developing a sustainable habitat, and not only chemicals. Easy to do they add to the beauty of a garden, they are create – just one plant hardier and easier to care for, and if you let at a time - backyard nature’s ecosystems do their job, they will save habitats thrive with a you money in water and any kind of pest control life-force that creates interest, and boosts health supplies. This creates a clean environment for for people and the environment. Plus, they are birds and wildlife, people, pets and a community. fun and educational for kids! . PAGE 42

“Practical Gardening� is a modern, eminently useful, and complete visual guide to growing organically. From the make-up of soil, to fighting bugs naturally, and using water ecologically, plus the many health benefits of organic gardening, author Mark Highland explains organic gardening from top to bottom through engaging text and appealing graphics. Filled with how-to projects and illustrated by step-by-step photography, this is a hands-on, get-your-fingernailsdirty look at long popular gardening techniques updated for a modern age. Along with running The Organic Mechanic Soil Company, Mark is a sought-after speaker at garden centers, trade shows, and similar venues to promote, educate, and inspire others to the many rewards of organic gardening.

Jackie and her husband Mike have an organic garden, orchard and mini-farm near Glacier National Park in Montana. .


Featuring creative art inserts, these stylish and sturdy, 6x6 MDF LED backlit cubes can change design according to season or celebration, and can even be customized with your own photo, artwork or message. Choose from over 200 designs or connect to your photo stream / Instagram library to personalize it up. Pricing is $24.99 per cube and artwork, and $12 for any additional artwork. Available at as well as over 600 gift stores.


Soften your skin and refresh your senses with Green Goo’s natural and luxurious bar soaps enriched with organic and sustainably sourced oils, and crafted with a 35 day cold process, providing a beautifully creamy, extra gentle and long-lasting bar guaranteed to pamper your skin! From cinnamon aloe to lavender oatmeal and zesty lemongrass, bars are $7.45 each and available online at or in packs and gift sets on

Perfect for busy Moms or gals on the go, Itzy is an innovative little mesh tote bag that can fit in your purse or back pocket, and stretch out to carry up to 20 pounds, and then shrink back to its original size! It’s great for grocery store runs, stashing toys or laundry, and for going on road trips and family outings. Created by Gadgit Girlz, Itzy bags are washable, reusable and available in a variety of colors. Sold in a set of 3 for $19.99. Purchase online or on at PAGE 45

Dr. Jackie attended the University of California Riverside for her undergraduate studies, followed by Boston University School of Medicine. She joined the United States Navy to complete her medical training, and served for twelve years. She was inducted as a fellow in the prestigious American College of Cardiology, and in the Heart Rhythm Society. An active member in other distinguished societies, Dr. Jackie also serves on several advisory boards related to heart disease. She is a popular guest speaker for heart health events because of her accessible, articulate style. Heart disease remains the number one killer of women in the United States, killing more women than breast and lung cancer combined. Silence is one of the most deadly aspects of women’s heart disease, and Dr. Jackie makes that point in her concise, accessible book, . Learn more at

I have always excelled in math, human biology, and science in school. My continued interest in these fields naturally led me to the field of medicine.

I am inspired by the desire to make a difference in the world. Heart disease remains the number one killer of women in the United states. These terrible statistics about such a preventable disease inspires me to educated women and the world about heart disease in hopes that there are fewer deaths from heart disease in the future. PAGE 46

My biggest challenge in patient care is convincing patients who have chronic medical problems and feel well at the moment to take medications to prevent a future catastrophic event.

My attributes that make me a good fit for my career includes compassion, patience, perseverance, and determination. These traits are not only useful early on while going through the long and rigorous training required to be doctor, it is also helpful later on in your career as you deal with daily patient care issues. Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. I love their wisdom and leadership styles. My usual patient is one with several chronic medical problems like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and also suffers from heart disease. A lot of times these patients do not I would be an opera singer. I love to sing soprano understand that there is a connection between aria’s. I’m not saying I sing well at all. But I just an unhealthy lifestyle and chronic medical love to do it. problems. They also don’t know that they have the power to change their medical condition.

It is disheartening how expensive medical care can be. I wish we can one day come up with a way to make it more affordable for all.

I have had to learn life-work balance. As a physician in a very busy practice, I find that my time is in demand and I neglect the important things in my life like my family, and sometimes myself. I know now that in order to avoid physician burnout I must create a healthy lifework balance.

I would advise them that it is a long road and they should find time to take care of themselves.

Get Dr. Jackie’s Heart Health Tips on!


Living in integrity means that everything we say and everything we do are true reflections of what we value, what’s important to us. Think about what your behavior says about you. Does it clearly show others what you value? Do you show up as honest and committed, or dishonest and indifferent? Are you spending your time with the people and activities you value, or is your focus elsewhere? Demonstrate your positive personal values in all INTEGRITY is the 1st Key within the 8 Keys of Excellence Program. Created by Bobbi DePorter, you do and say. Be sincere and real. When we Co-Founder of SuperCamp and President of live in integrity we are sincere and true to Quantum Learning Network, the 8 Keys of ourselves—we don’t say or think one thing and Excellence character education program guides do another. People trust and respect us, our young people toward a positive future full of relationships are solid, and we feel good about confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, ourselves. Those positive feelings from others leadership and valuable life principles. See and within ourselves reinforce our values and . build our reputation and self-esteem, leading us to greater success in all areas of our lives. PAGE 48

Take a virtual walk down the Excellence Hall of Fame, to reflect upon some of the wise words written and spoken by eight leaders and spokespeople, who exemplify the “INTEGRITY” Key of Excellence!




I want to tell you the true story of the greatest change in my life. This change has literally changed me by almost 180 degrees. It has without any doubt saved my life and has allowed me to have a happy and fruitful tenure on this earth. Let me tell you a true story about myself. I hope my story will show you how far some people will go not change their attitude. One of the goals in my book is to learn how to embrace positive change and not resist it. Here is an example of my resistance to change because of a bad attitude and what happened because of it. Some forty plus years ago I was doing very well. I had a great family, a good business position and the opportunity for that to grow and prosper. I had made some excellent connections in the political world and life was good.

According to society’s score card I was living the American Dream. I was doing well. In my mind I was doing very well. However, the real story was I was miserable. No matter how many toys I bought myself or how many business successes came my way I always felt empty, and I could not figure out why. After all, look at all I had. By some score cards I was indeed doing very well. If all that is true why was I not happy? Somehow I knew there had to be more to life than the misery I was living in. But instead of facing my unhappiness head on and making appropriate change; I followed the path of most self-centered people and that was the path of least resistance. I followed what society said was best for me and, I paid the price.


Ego and arrogance are strong motivators, and we must learn to not listen to them. At this time in my life I was studying change on an academic basis but failed to see the obvious connection. I continued doing the same thing expecting my happiness to improve; it did not. Some of you may recognize that what I was doing is the definition of insanity. My life was a disaster. I was very miserable. I ran to alcohol to kill the pain. Rather than change I decided to work on one of the symptoms of the problem, the pain and not the cause of the problem. I will readily admit that I knew better, but pride was in charge, and I followed it to more misery. There was constantly a small voice saying “Ralph this is not it.” This small voice quietly and constantly told me to change. But I would not change. Change and give up the so called “good life,” not on your life. I again and again refused to change. Now I tried to drown the quiet small voice in alcohol. More and more alcohol was my solution to my misery. No matter how much I drank the voice was still there. I would not change. Things got worse and worse.

However, in the business world things were even getting better thanks to my partners. My personal and spiritual life was at absolute zero. This misery went on for over 25 years. My life was a disaster because I would not consider changing. At one point I turned to religion to give me some relief from the mental pain and sorrow. I said religion. I did not say a relationship with a higher power. The religion I practiced was one of legalism and performance. I had no relationship with anything. I became a super hypocrite and an almost perfect Pharisee and performer. During my “religious time,” I seldom missed church. The worse the weather the more determined I was to be there. In my arrogance and legalism I was sure my attending church would make a difference. There is nothing wrong with attending the church of your choice. However, I was there for all the wrong reasons. I had again deceived myself into thinking that I could perform my way to a happier life. Things got worse.


My attempts at “trickery” did not work which was no surprise to anyone but me. I of course did not fool God or the people of that church. In time it became clear even to me that performance and legalism were not going to make things better. In my deceived brain it was clear that God, as I knew Him at that time, was against me. I left the church. Things got worse.

Things got worse because I would not consider changing. One afternoon in a drunken stupor I went to my closet and loaded a double-barreled twenty gauge shotgun.

I thought a lot about what to do. I decided to take the coward’s way and drink more alcohol, and I did just that. I was out of control. I was insane. The international definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result. Based on my actions I was a poster child, the perfect example of insanity. Here is more proof.

One afternoon at the hospital a group of five or six doctors came into my room, and the lead doctor said, “Mr. Masengill, you are a medical miracle.” “What do you mean?” I asked. He said, “First of all the number eight shell you used was old and contained rust and dirt. There was a one hundred percent chance of infection. You do not have an infection. We have double-checked, and you are infection free.

With that loaded shotgun in my hand I sat down in a chair and took off my left shoe and sock. Then at point-blank range I aimed that shotgun at my heart and pulled the trigger with my toe. I Not only was I miserable inside my soul, but now tried to commit suicide. It almost worked. When I pulled the trigger with my toe the pull on the things were not going well in my family and business life. My family life was a wreck. I began trigger made my aim a little off. Instead of hitting to miss work because of my addiction to alcohol. my heart I blew my midsection apart. It was a serious injury. I was not expected to live. I was I could not and would not be a good father and rushed to the hospital forty miles away and was husband. I generally ignored my family. I could on the operating table for over six hours. I was in not and would not run my business correctly intensive care for a week and then moved into a because of my addiction to alcohol. It was clear regular room for two weeks. to me that I had to do something.


All this took place over forty years ago. From that day until this I have been totally alcohol free and I began to enjoy a life of peace, joy and true success. I have even lost my compulsion to drink alcohol.

Ralph, that is amazing,” the lead doctor continued. “You were shot at point-blank range with a twenty gauge number eight shell. Ralph, do you know how powerful the force is behind that kind of shell? Are you aware of the kind of pattern a number eight shell makes at point blank range? Are you aware of how many pellets are in a number eight shell?”

Today I have a wonderful family with a beautiful wife and four grown children, seven grandchildren, one cat we call Bandit, and two dogs, Beau and Charlie. My business successes have been substantial and far better than before the fall. I am a truly blessed person, and I am very grateful for all the things that have happened in my life both good and bad. What a wonderful thing it is to live in love, peace and joy. Again I am grateful for a second chance. After years working with others who have been addicted to alcohol as I was, I know how rare a second chance truly is in today’s world, and I am now indeed grateful.

I got a second chance because I finally took a calculated risk and embraced positive change. I The lead doctor continued, “Mr. Masengill, not a know from personal experience what can single pellet shot hit any vital organ. Not one happen if you do not take the risk and if you do pellet hit either kidney. None hit your spine or embrace positive change. I learned the hard way your spinal cord. They all completely missed your that it is necessary to take calculated risks and liver, your spleen and your stomach. One embrace positive change. You can learn from my hundred percent of the shot landed only in your many mistakes and not go through all the intestinal track. We did some calculations and we misery. estimated that even if we welded that shotgun to a steel tripod and froze your body in solid ice, we do not believe it would be possible to miss all your organs with a point-blank twenty gauge number eight shell. We believe that there would be only a million-to-one probability of success. The truth is most of us do not believe that kind of shot is possible. Yet you did it without trying. It is truly amazing. If there are such things as miracles, this is one of them. When I came home from the hospital I was still ungrateful for my life being spared. I continued to drink for another two months. At that point I began to listen to that quiet consistent voice, and I entered an alcohol treatment program. That is where I connected with my spiritual side and developed my new attitude.

Read Ralph’s “CHANGE AGENT” Insider Q&A here on


In 2016, California voters made legal the cultivation, use, possession, transfer, and sale of recreational marijuana. The law went into full effect on January 1 of this year, 2018. It allows local governments to regulate the sale of marijuana and to even ban the sale of it. Some local governments have banned its sale, while others have passed regulation that governs how dispensaries will sell and transport it. How will this new law effect business drug policies? A provision in the new law allows businesses to continue to completely ban marijuana use at work, to test applicants and present employees, and to terminate employees and refuse to hire applicants who violate business drug policies.

Clearly, businesses may maintain drug free work places. Additionally, the law does not prevent, and legally cannot prevent, an employer from complying with federal law. Federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. As such, it is still illegal to possess, use, sell, and transport marijuana. Even if the federal government were to declassify marijuana as a controlled substance, the above provision still appears to grant employers the right to have a drug and alcohol free work place.

The rights and obligations of public and private employers to maintain a drug and alcohol free workplace or require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, At the very least, businesses that contract to do work with state and federal governments, must transfer, display, transportation, sale or growth maintain drug free work place policies because of marijuana in the workplace, or affect the such policies are required under both state and ability of employers to have policies prohibiting federal laws. Similarly, businesses engaged in the use of marijuana by employees and commercial transportation must have drug free prospective employees, or prevent employers from complying with state or federal law. (Health work policies and test employees for drug use. and Safety Code ยง11362.45 (f).) PAGE 56

Before the recreational use of marijuana law was passed, the California Supreme Court ruled that employers could test applicants who were allowed to use medical marijuana. If an applicant failed the marijuana test, the employer had the right to not offer a job to the applicant even though the applicant was using marijuana legally. (Ross v. RagingWire, (2008) 42 Cal. 4th 920.) That right still exists.

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Employers who maintain drug free work policies should clearly communicate that their policies have not changed. California employees may not know that the new recreational use law does not change the way employers enforce those policies and that all the old rules, unless changed by the employer, still apply.


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Little whispers, bunches of chitty-chatty heads together, time spent on catching up on the latest – these are signs of office gossip which signal death to productivity and a positive work I had been a school teacher and changes came environment. very slowly in that world. I just watched and wondered at their gossiping. There was sniping at certain managers and negative comments I worked for a large organization that about colleagues – lots of fear. reorganized itself every 3 or 4 years as part of re-committing to how it fulfilled its mission. I had been there for three years when it happened the In this case the impact of gossip eroded a first time and I was completely astonished at the positive work environment and destroyed morale. There was a sense of teenage drama and stress I felt around me. People worried about it took time away from work. My colleagues felt keeping their jobs, they worried about having a powerless and they grew anxious. new boss, they worried about being given new responsibilities. I was so new to this, so naïve, it didn’t occur to me that my job was in jeopardy. Be nice, it’s catching. People are less interested in Gossip is divisive and good colleagues start to telling tales about colleagues when they like each look for other employment. other and the tone in the environment is positive. PAGE 58

Find something positive to say about everybody you meet at work each day. Complete the sentences: I appreciate you for ….I applaud you for….I admire you for …. I like the way you …. Thank your colleagues, your boss, your assistant for their work. Be very clear about the impact of change on people’s positions. My supervisor told all of us on her team that our jobs weren’t being eliminated, they might be changed and we would learn that but for now we should keep doing what we were doing because it was important. The stress level in our department went down significantly. And in the 25 years I worked there, the reorganizations occurred a few more times but I never responded to the gossip. I checked in with my boss and kept working.

A wise mentor once told me that gossip is saying things about another person that the other person didn’t give me permission to talk about. It made perfect sense to me and I thought it simplified the decision about not gossiping. People had told stories about me and I hadn’t liked it. I didn’t want to gossip. PAGE 59

Have the tough conversation with the folks who can’t seem to stop criticizing and judging others. Ask the question about the gossip they are saying and ask them why they need to repeat the information. The point is not a pummel session, but to tactfully demonstrate with specific examples how their behavior is affecting and disrupting work.

Yet it’s not as simple as I thought. It was sort of nice to hug to myself the knowledge about another that I couldn’t mention. I found I wanted to tell. I walked away, most of the time. Harder was asking the important question: ”Did she give you permission to tell me this? If she didn’t, then I am not interested in hearing it.” Oomph! Whap! Like a slap. That question feels mean and abrupt and abrasive.

- Learn to try and model the behavior and not engage. Change the subject, tell a joke or walk away from the conversation.

The key in this conversation is listening to their response, really listening. Don’t think about what you want to say, hear the other person out. I promise you that somewhere in their past the gossiper has felt gossiped about or mistreated by some group and in defense, they gossip, criticize and judge others. It may be buried in their past or it may have been in their last job, but what is important is that you hear them and you don’t judge them. You listen until they are done. Then you point out the impact of their behavior, and remind them of the negative results on work relationships that gossip has. You ask them if that is what they want in their work environment. And finally, invite them again, to come to you with any gossip they hear and want to repeat. You are willing to listen, if they just have to tell someone. - Make sure everybody on your work team understands what is expected of them and what is going on in the organization. Hiding changes breeds anxiety which breeds gossip. Finally, remember, be nice, it’s catching!

- Foment positive gossip about your co-workers. When I hear some negative gossip about somebody, I counter it with a story about something that person did well, something positive about the other. Be nice, it’s catching. - Tell your team that we have zero tolerance for negative gossip. Discuss as a group how it can hurt the work morale, and reach agreement that it won’t be welcome here. - Tell your team that if they absolutely have to tell someone some gossip they have heard, to come to you. Then listen, don’t judge and don’t make any decisions. Listen. PAGE 60

The rise of one-million-dollar, one-person businesses in the past five years is the biggest trend in employment today, offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want. In , Elaine Pofeldt outlines the pathways to joining this entrepreneurial movement, synthesizing advice from hundreds of business owners who’ve done it. She explains how to identify, launch, grow, and reinvent the business, showing how a single individual can generate $1 million in revenue– something only larger small companies have done in the past.

Both inspirational and practical, this book will appeal to all who seek a great worklife and a great lifestyle. Pofeldt writes about one-million-dollar, oneand is a person businesses for contributing editor to Learn more at or Shop Online on



Because studies suggest that the percentage of HCPs is increasing, and because most of us no longer live in the communities that used to screen out and manage these personalities, it has become essential for us to learn how to identify and avoid the volatile individuals that we often come across. Drawing on his experience as a psychotherapist, family law specialist and mediator, Eddy helps to quickly identify, avoid, and deal with Narcissistic, Borderline, Antisocial, Paranoid, and Histrionic personalities. Using his proven, empathy-driven conflict-management methods and mediation techniques, 5 TYPES OF PEOPLE WHO CAN RUIN YOUR LIFE shows how to safeguard reputations, escape negative relationships, and build stable, strong connections.

- Discover the surprisingly predictable patterns of High-Conflict Personalities - Use the “WEB method” – analysis of their Words, your Emotions, and their Behavior – to assess whether to hire, elect, or date someone - Avoid becoming an HCP’s Target of Blame by developing personality awareness - Use specific phrases to diffuse issues commonly caused by each HCP - Deal with negative advocates (those who blindly support the HCP’s destructive agenda) - Look for counselors and lawyers who have personality awareness and can offer help to those dealing with HCP’s

If you have ever dealt with a coworker who creates needless drama at work, contended with a family member who blames you for everything that went wrong in his life, or dated someone who seemed too good to be true, you have likely come across a High Conflict Personality. Accounting for thirty-five million people in the US Learn more at alone, HCPs come in contact with nearly Shop Online on everyone – and have the potential to wreak havoc on your personal relationships, work-life, and overall sense of well-being. PAGE 62


As speakers, whether advanced or inexperienced, whether speaking in ballrooms or in board meetings, we all face the same challenges. How do we create compelling, relevant, and useful content for our audiences in a way that they are able to take our messages and use them to transform their work or lives? How do we engage our audiences and make a human connection, so that they can envision for themselves the possibilities we present and take steps to achieve them? And what kind of growth and personal development do we have to embrace to get ourselves into the right mindset with the right attitude to support and encourage our audience’s growth? It’s not as hard as you think to make these shifts and transformations, both for your own benefit and for that of your audience. In fact, it’s as easy as having lunch at your neighborhood deli. If you’ve ever had a stimulating conversation with a fellow customer in line at the grocery store, you know what I’m talking about. Looking at our everyday experiences and encounters with fresh eyes gives us new perspectives on all aspects of our lives, including speaking.

- Wine tastings - Tattoo artists - The Oscars - Drag queens - Broadway - Sleepwalking - Cheese plates - The Olympics …..All become examples or analogies designed to teach a public speaking lesson. Through short, engaging essays and reflection questions, Lisa challenges your preconceived notions about speaking and encourages you to create meaningful and memorable experiences from every presentation. For anyone looking to make a major impact on audiences and offer them a transformative growth experience, “Presenting for Humans” is the resource to get you there. Learn more at or Shop Online on


After seeing a photo with his grandfather on the , Ron Narrated by Academy AwardŽ-nominated actor cover of the book, Bruce Dern, grandnephew of one of the aviators, King contacted his old friend Darroch Greer with the idea of a documentary film on the First Yale the feature-length documentary charts the Unit. Ron and Darroch met in college at romantic, little-known story of the origins of Carnegie-Mellon University in 1977 in the Fine American airpower and features very rare Arts Department. Both were born in the archival footage and thrilling dogfighting Midwest and raised in California – Ron in sequences filmed air-to-air with replica WW1 Larkspur in the Bay Area, Darroch in Santa planes, some with original engines. Inspired by Marc Wortman’s book , the Barbara. They both lived in Manhattan as young adults and moved to Los Angeles to work in the film has been developed and produced by film industry. They now live in southern descendants of the First Yale Unit, including California with their respective families. Ron filmmaker Ron King, producers Harry Davison and Mike Davison, and narrator Bruce Dern who works in video production. Darroch is a documentary filmmaker and writer. In terms of are all grandnephews and grandsons of FYU division of labor, Ron is more the cameraman, members. Darroch the researcher and writer. They directed and produced the film together. PAGE 64

They founded the non-profit Humanus Documentary Films Foundation in 2007 to raise money to make the documentary, and formed a fund-raising team with Harry Davison, grandson of Yale Unit member Trubee Davison, and his cousin Mike Davison, grandson of both Trubee and WWI naval ace Dave Ingalls. The seed of the idea was to interview the Yale Unit family members, access their unique, personal photo collections, and augment them with footage and photographs from the National Archives and Library of Congress. The deeper the filmmakers got into the story and the archives, however, the clearer it became that to make the film work, they needed to film some WW1 planes in flight. This led to a series of opportunities to film replica WW1 planes, some with original engines, at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, NY, at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY, at the Aeroplane Collection in Paso Robles, CA, and finally, at the Vintage Aviator in Masterton, New Zealand. It was in New Zealand that the filmmakers finally captured the elusive Sopwith Camel with the distinctive, original, Gnome rotary engine on film.

—originally envisioned to last 90 minutes and to take three years to make —is now a two-hour epic film, filmed at locations on the Eastern Seaboard and across Western Europe and on the other side of the world. It tells an intimate, character-driven story set in the historical context of the United States one hundred years ago, the birth of naval aviation, and the drama and tragedy of the First World War. It took seven years, but the film is now ready to help commemorate the centennial of is now out World War One. on VOD, see:



You’re one lucky amigo if your plans include a vacation in Washington State – especially if that trip includes a stop in the island region. This particular route is one thousands of visitors take each year to get a sense of “taste and place” of what Island Life is like in Washington State.

The San Juan Islands require a trip on the ferry or sea plane. You’re going to love the laid back island feel. Year round temperatures are comfortable (70° in the summer) and the elongated summer sunshine hours (often until As reference, this area is located in Washington 10 pm) give you more time to wander and State, about 2 hours from Seattle. Its name discover. There are 172 named islands and reefs reflects the fact that it is composed entirely of in San Juan County, however you will want to islands. It contains two large islands, Whidbey focus on the four ferry served Islands; San Juan and Camano, and the seven smaller islands of Island (with the county seat Friday Harbor), Orcas Baby, Ben Ure, Deception, Kalamut, Minor, Smith, Island, Lopez Island and Shaw Island. These are and Strawberry. It’s likely your first trip will be on the most populous (and popular) offering the the easily accessible larger Whidbey and Camano best choices of lodging, shopping, dining options Islands. and tourism activities. PAGE 67

It’s time to think about how you’ll plan to enjoy the Island Style of Washington State. There are literally hundreds of things you can enjoy. I’ve included three of my favorite memory-making activities on each island to get you started and have included the perfect souvenir(s) to bring back from each. Now…go and make some memories. Here’s how.

Formerly a firehouse, it is now the perfect home for a glass studio and gallery. With over 3,000 square feet of space, the firehouse sees hundreds of visitors per year and for good reason. This is a 2-fer (make and shop). First you create a memory by participating in an individual glass blowing experience. Your finished product is mailed home to you. You will also have the opportunity to purchase additional original glass art if you like. Low to extravagant price points allows everyone to shop their budget and taste. Be sure to buy or make your own paperweight or seasonal item – like a glass pumpkin.


Experience for yourself the local connection between an owner’s broad global vision, tasteful organic food, unique coffee offerings in single origin and blends, and unique inside and patio art. It takes a bit of commitment to find this spot. It’s pocketed deep in the scenic Whidbey Island woods. This is a place for locals and visitors alike to gather to enjoy great coffees and a relaxing vibe. The local menu is centered on what farmers bring to them daily. Just as you expect, the cafe menu changes seasonally. Ask what their newest global coffee is. Buy a bag or two for a souvenir. Sensual goodness in a cup.

Premium Waterfront rooms at the Inn at Langley ($$$$) or the very affordable Coachman Inn in Oak Harbor ($$).

Whether you consider yourself a “foodie” or just love a fine meal, this is the dining destination for you. Feeling like you are part of a family dinner, you will love the true farm-to-table philosophy of the owners. The restaurant is located in the center of an organic farm. Each four-course dinner is a beautiful collaboration of local farmers, vintners, cheesemakers, chefs and oystermen … all led during the meal by the owner/chef Vincent Nattress. Enjoy the seating (for no more than) 32 guests at community tables or (lucky you) if you request and receive counter seating. Check out the kitchen action all night long. PAGE 69

Enjoy affordable local fare and casual dining with an inspiring view. Walk off the meal by exploring Cama Beach Park (and resort). Check out the original family resort who had its “heyday” from the 1930s to the 1950s. It still retains the feel of that era, with rows of no-nonsense cabins perfect for spotting marine mammals from your deck. The current state park has boat-building classes offered by The Center for Wooden Boats on scheduled weekends in the boathouse. It also offers much needed solitude. Take a hike along the bluff, have a swim or find a fishing spot. Stop here and refuel. This is a newer joint venture between several local businesses and artists. Repurposed in and around an old building, it features many diverse places to eat, drink and shop. It is located at Terry’s Corner. Hold on tight, step out, lean back, take a deep breath and pull into a ball to get enough momentum to get zip-lining across a beautiful forest setting. Scream, shriek, or do a Tarzan yell. Drive your car up a long road where a century-old barn greets you. Park. Go inside, pay your fee and get ready for the slide of your life. Easy waterfront access, dining and views at the Camino Island Inn and Spa ($$$). A true five-senses overnight opportunity. PAGE 70

This is one of the most popular stops in the Islands. It has a grand main street shopping area which includes a local lavender shop, two local ice-cream stops, quintessential appetizers and view at The Harbor House, and a Native American art shop. Head up the road to do some tasting at San Juan Vineyards and the San Juan Island Distillery. The distillery makes 12 different gins, several delicious liqueurs and flavored brandies, and (try it- buy it!) premium award-winning apple brandy, which won gold and best in class. Historical and magnificent, American and English Camp are a short scenic drive from the town. Eat at the Backdoor Kitchen for a unique Asian influenced dinner or the Cask & Schooner for a sea-worthy lunch. Rent an island style Moped, Scoot Coupe or Electric Bike to see all that this destination has to offer.

About a fifteen-minute drive from the Orcas Island ferry stop lies the artsy village of Eastsound. Considered Orcas Island’s downtown, it is a destination to itself and is favored by locals and the boating crowd. Nestled above Fishing Bay, this walkable town bursts with galleries, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and a history museum. You must try the Brown Bear Bakery and Kathryn Taylor Chocolates. Both have fascinating histories and epic offerings. Absolutely buy a souvenir gift of chocolates. So much decadence to choose from.

The indulgent Friday Harbor Grand B&B with the most exceptional breakfast and piano concert ($$$), the sleek Friday Harbor House ($$$) or the classy contemporary Island Inn ($$$). PAGE 71

Most of Orcas Island feels like you’ve stepped back in the 60’s and 70’s. There’s a vibe that reminds you to relax, take a breath and embrace what nature provides. The Island is unique in its vistas, foliage and vision. My dearest wish for you is that you get lost on the backroads. It’s like nothing you have experienced before. Be sure to stop at the Doe Bay Resort where there are killer views, a naturally inspired restaurant and a clothing optional outdoor spa. Wind your way up to the Cascade Falls and Mt. Constitution Sate Park. Lucky you if it’s a clear day. Literally, “You can see forever.”

Rosario Resort & Spa. ($$-$$$$). A quintessential Northwest Island experience. You can’t come to the Islands without staying and dining here. Hope you enjoyed this quick spin around a few of the Washington State Islands. Come rain or shine, there’s something Island Style for you to experience, remember, and stock up on. Memories are made at each stop. Enjoy!

Winding your way back to the ferry, stop at the indoor fruit stand known as Girl Meets Dirt. They believe in preserving the Island Heritage by producing single varietal jams and such from trees that have been producing on the island for over a century. Pure good taste comes from using unrefined organic cane sugar, a squeeze or two of organic lemon and using classic preparation by hand in seasoned copper pans –all in their Island kitchen. Stock up. This is what quality taste and successful gift giving / souvenirs look like. Uniquely Orcas Island. PAGE 72

This was a working journey for my partner Susanna and I, both of us being photojournalists. It is our job to go, seek out, and report on where we’ve been so others can come and enjoy the people, culture, food and drink of these exotic places. Athens was our first stop. It is famous for its fine museums and we experienced as many as possible. It is also known for its fantastically delicious meals, many of which we enjoyed on roof tops with a view of the Acropolis and Parthenon – at night lit up like a Hollywood spectacular. Everywhere we went in the city we were reminded of antiquity surrounded by millennia-old ruins. In all of Greece sidewalk cafes abound, so a stop for coffee or a cold cappuccino is mandatory. I was beginning to feel Greek already. Life is slower there, even with the hustle and bustle of the city. Coffee is usually a one-hour affair at least, with talk and companionship as important as the drink. ‘Slow down and be Greek’ could be a fitting slogan.

Outside of the city we went to the Athens Riviera where we visited a family-run vineyard (did a little tasting) and then had a scrumptious (as were all our meals in Greece) lunch on the water in view of the Temple of Poseidon. From Athens we took ferries and visited four islands in the Aegean Sea. Alonissos, the Green Island, in the Northern Skopelos Group was our first. The island is covered with pine forest and rolling hills with Mediterranean style architecture. It is also green in the ecological sense since they have banned all plastic bags from the island.


Next was the first of the Cyclades Islands, Paros. In the Cyclades Group you find the traditional whitewashed architecture with blue doors and trim and bougainvillea spilling over the walls of the narrow, winding streets. We ate mouthwatering, traditional food and drank what the local people did. On Paros we got to take off our shoes and stomp grapes in the traditional fashion and we saw olive trees at least 1000 years old. We wished we had had weeks to explore each one of these wonderful Islands. Ios Island was next. In the summer and spring break the island is very crowded with young people. We arrived during September, right after the tourist season, so it was very laid back. An awe-inspiring island. We particularly enjoyed the waterfront with its small cafes, shops and hotels and the old town with its narrow, winding streets. The last island was Milos. We got to spend an extra day here, seeing a little more than the other Islands. On Milos we stayed at a beautiful hotel overlooking a harbor full of yachts with a promenade in front with many choices of restaurants and cafes.

A highlight of the visit was going to a small fishing village where the people kept their boats inside of their house — in the front room. Another memorable experience was cruising the coastline in a catamaran when the crew anchored in a small bay and cooked us a meal, including octopus they had just caught, then led us all in traditional Greek dancing. All these islands had a main port/waterfront, several beaches scattered around the periphery, and the traditional old town with its myriad of narrow, winding streets. We were told that the layout of these streets was to discourage invading pirates and so the women could dump boiling water on them from the balconies. After Milos we took the ferry back to Athens and then flew to Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, a beautiful city with tree-lined streets and parks, smaller than Athens, but feeling more cosmopolitan. There we got to take a traditional cooking class and to visit the old market where we enjoyed sampling olives and cheese and had a delicious lunch of meat cooked on a spit with pita bread and tsiziki (yogurt dip with cucumber).


While in Thessaloniki we visited the Jewish Museum and saw the tragic story about what happened to about half of the city’s population during the Nazi occupation. Our next place to explore in Halkidiki was the Petralona Caves, not too far from Thessaloniki. Here was found a skull of the oldest known human (about 300,000 years old) on the European continent, believed to be an ancestor of the Neanderthal and of modern homosapiens. It was fascinating being in this cave, with colorful stalactites and stalagmites, and walking in the footsteps of these ancient humans. On to Kassandra where we visited a charming small town, had a tasting in the cellar of a wine shop that showed remnants of the original 2500 years-old winery. Then on to Nea Fokea to see the old Byzantine tower and to explore the cave where Saint Paul lived when he preached to the Greeks.

From Sithonia we went by boat to cruise the coast of Mount Athos peninsula where we passed many Byzantine monasteries. From there we went to see the birthplace of Aristotle. We stayed in the nearby small town at a comfortable little family B&B and had a wonderful meal at a waterfront cafe. Because it was raining the next morning we didn’t make the trek to his birthplace. We found the Greek people to be very friendly and since most studied English in school, not knowing their language wasn’t a problem. The food is possibly the world’s most delicious and nutritious. Plus the economic situation is no problem for tourists and most Greeks take it in stride.

Next, the peninsula of Sithonia where we had a wine tasting at the chateau where Salvador Dali, Melina Mecouri and other dignitaries stayed (which you can rent for 10,000 Euros a night).


We would have loved to have more time in this beautiful, historic and fascinating country. I would recommend to take as much time as you can to explore Greece (slow down and BE Greek), maybe do it in several trips. But do go.



Experiencing the best of Madrid in 4 days is easy. There’s just a few rules and attitude adjustments to make. First Madrid is unlike many of the hot spots visited in Spain – like Valencia or Barcelona. Because it is located at the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula there are no water related or port activities to schedule. Instead, Madrid is a bustling all urban town where tourists eat, drink, shop, walk, see museums… repeat. It is a lively capital city with many bars, diverse dining opportunities, coffee houses, grand and tiny boutique shopping areas, Madrid is a very walkable town. It is mostly flat or and parks. with slight inclines, seeing Madrid on foot, by taxi or the Hop-on-Hop Off bus works out for most Because of its central location and high altitude, people. On your first visit, pick a central hotel the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm, that bases you near the things you want to see. dry summers and falls, and cool winters. When My suggestions include the Villa Real Hotel other European towns are cooling down rapidly (older, local chain) or DoubleTree by Hilton in fall, Madrid is just hitting its stride. It’s a Madrid-Prado (new boutique like). beautiful time to go…even with the many tourists present. PAGE 79

Everything is at your own pace. All busses are clean and equipped with commentaries offered through a pretty good headphone audio system. When boarding the busses, riders are given a map of the city and discount coupons for different shops and restaurants in the city. Hop off at any stop. Hop back on at that exact stop or another one as you walk around. Hours vary by season. You can buy your ticket and get on at your first stop, just 5 minutes from the hotel. On your way you will find a Starbucks.

Dress is casual. Expect to start your day after 10am. No early risers here. Do not rush through any of your experiences. Do not plan too much in any one day. Wear comfortable shoes, pack an umbrella if you go in the fall, and plan your daily trips by first mapping out where the things you want to see are. If you don’t, you’ll be a scattered mess. Probably my best tip is to use your handheld to navigate the streets. Cash is king, but credit cards are accepted everywhere.

In the busy plaza of Canalejas, just outside the Puerta del Sol – the center of Madrid – and a 10 minute walk from the hotel, lies a tiny candy store selling the “flavor of Madrid” since 1915. La Violeta specializes in violet candies and natural violet flowers in crystallized form. It’s like stepping into a tea shop, but with delicate candies replacing the tea. A constant stream of locals and tourists pack into the store (only three shoppers at a time are allowed!) to buy the delicate candies. A PERFECT souvenir or gift. This is it if you are looking for a “taste of the place.”

Priced from $27.40. I love taking the Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing busses. I generally make this an allday event. Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing is the best way to get to know and see many different parts of Madrid. With one ticket, tourists can spend all day along the route of their choice or change to another bus and route. PAGE 80

Considered one of Madrid’s premiere souvenirs, these small flower shaped candies are flavored with violet essence. No one seems to know why they have become such a symbolic sweet of the city. Speculation is that Mariano Gil who opened the shop decided to try something different than the cakes his family baked. With so many violets in the mountains north of Madrid, he experimented with their fragrant essence. The candy is sold by weight and you can select exquisite specially made porcelain pieces to put the sweets in (each have a violet on them).

When preparing their paellas the owners use only the finest rice varieties: Bomba, a highly sought after ‘Arroz de Valencia’, frequently referred to as the ‘King of Rices’; and Calasparra, cultivated in the Murcia region, in a mountainous town of the same name, which has been growing rice since the 14th century. Expect a refined, but casual and caring experience. Reservations are a must.

together with the nearby small streets make up the Huertas district. It is one of Madrid’s most lively and pulsating areas, with hundreds of tapas bars, terrace cafes, pubs, When I am in Spain, I want paella. Unfortunately great paella is hard to restaurants and shopping all within a relatively small area. The square itself is located just a find in Madrid. That’s not to say you won’t be surrounded by signs advertising a variety of short 5 minute walk from the hotel. Best to drape yourself in an outdoor plaza chair. Several different paellas. Careful. What you’ll likely be served is a precooked, microwave meal that has restaurants are intertwined throughout the plaza. Waiters will come to you. It is a wonderful nothing to do with the delicious rice dishes of place to just sit and people watch, order some Murcia and Valencia, the regions where paella tapas with a glass of wine. The square is evolved. Luckily with a bit of research, I found particularly popular on Sunday mornings, when some of the best paella ever. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the hotel. You’ll pass the violet Spanish families come out in droves to take a candy shop on your way to Calle de la Reina, 29, short stroll, socialize and dine with family and friends. During the summer months, the Plaza is 28004 Madrid. La Barraca is tucked away just packed from early evening to late at night. behind the busy Calle Gran Vía, on the fairly narrow and quiet Calle Reina. It’s a restaurant modeled after a traditional Valencian eatery and has been family run since 1935. PAGE 81

Nationally known as the Museo Archeologico Nacional, it was built in the latter half of the 19th century to showcase the wide variety of unique and iconic facades of ornamental artistry and archaeological finds from Spain. Among the numerous collections of different centuries, the Museum preserves the excavations of Egyptian, Iberian, Greek, Roman, and medieval origin. The main permanent exhibits of the Museum are the scaled model of the cave of Altamira, the Lady of Baza, Lady of Elx, Balazote’s Bliche, Guarrazar’s Treasure and the Crucifix of Ferdinand and Sancha. It is a 30 minute walk from the hotel. You will pass the designer shopping on Calle de Serrano.

When you’re ready to do some high-end, tax-free, shopping stroll down Calle de Serrano. Located in the heart of Madrid’s Salamanca district, it’s a 30 minute walk from the hotel. You’ll find luxury designer goods, top international boutiques and the best porcelain housewares from leading Spanish brands. This is genuine heart-stopping shopping in Madrid. This section was developed in the mid-nineteenth century and named after the Marquis of Salamanca. Broad streets and buildings oozing sophistication are considered additional attractions that complement the many This SoCal girl loves tacos. elegant stores. Searching for a great taco brought me to Takos Al Pastor, an unexpected little Mexican joint in We know Spaniards enjoy their coffee, the heart of the city, about 20 minutes from the but in recent years tea has had a surge in hotel. It’s where you’ll find all the locals. This popularity, which is a good thing for me, as I love place is so good the line is always out the door tea. Tekoe tea shop is just a 5 minute walk from and what’s even better, it is cheap (one euro per the hotel. Its dedication to serving high quality, taco) AND offers delicious eats… can’t get any ethically sourced teas from around the world better than that! Try the iconic Pastor. It’s the makes it both a locals and tourist favorite. If original “tako” made with slow-cooked pulledyou’re lucky you’ll be there when the tea room pork, raw onions, cilantro, slices of pineapple, also holds tea tasting sessions. and a splash of lime. PAGE 82

It’s hard to beat the classic combo of hot chocolate with churros. The best place to do that in Madrid is just off the Calle Arenal’s pedestrian zone west of the Puerta del Sol, and a 15 minute walk from your hotel. San Ginés has been around since 1894, and it looks about the same as it must have appeared on its opening day more than a century ago. Have cups of thick, sweet chocolate at the marble bar or at small tables amid the green wood paneling and mirrors of the 19th Century café. Churros arrive through a kitchen portal as long spirals of quickly-fried dough that the waitresses cut to length with scissors before serving. Magnificent mid-day or late night pickme-up.

This big European city provides visitors with an authentic Spanish experience. From tea to jamons, and shopping to culture, it has everything a traveler could want to taste and experience in four days.

Not your everyday type of museum. Think unique culinary museum where you can taste and buy the exhibits. Local citizens frequently visit here to buy some jamons (Spanish word for Ham) for lunch and dinner. For travelers this place introduces you to traditional Spanish ham, for local people this is a butcher’s shop. It has an amazing amount of different kinds of jamon. There is an abundance of whole and dried jamons hanging everywhere. Cooks in humorous hats tell the story of their national product and tempt you to give it a taste. In the restaurant on the second floor, you can taste many of the products and drink a glass of red wine. PAGE 83

85. 86.

88. 94.

96. 98. 102. 104. PAGE 84

Spring in Springfield in Central Kentucky Celebrate Bourbon, History & The Arts

March 2-11: Peter and the Starcatcher April 6-8: Bring on Broadway! April 13-22: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Nestled in the heart of Kentucky, a region known for its “Bourbon, Horses and History”, Springfield is the ancestral home of Abraham Lincoln’s family, and is on the Lincoln Scenic Byway, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail and Kentucky Fiber Trail. The region boasts numerous outdoor activities including golf, hiking and bicycling, birding and wildlife watching, along with fishing and canoeing. There are numerous historic, art and cultural sites to experience, as well as events that range from musical performances to a variety of annual festivals.


Founded in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish) is the original French Colony and oldest city in Louisiana. Home to the Cane River National Heritage Area, Natchitoches celebrates a vibrant blend of French, Spanish, African, Native American and Creole cultures.

Natchitoches retains its European flavor through its architecture, heritage and lifestyle and a full calendar of events. No matter what time of year you visit Natchitoches, you are bound to find a festival to celebrate! This historic city is just 275 miles from New Orleans, 255 miles from Dallas, and 290 miles from Little Rock. For up-to-date The Cane River National Heritage Area event and travel information, call the encompasses the charming downtown Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District, Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714 or visit . Cane River Creole National Historical Park, as well as the Cane River National Heritage Trail, which is a Louisiana Scenic Byway that runs along Cane River Lake, and links to the Isle Brevelle Trail and El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, with Longleaf Trail and Kisatchie National Forest on the outskirts. PAGE 86

Mar. 3: Dragon Boat Race Mar. 17: Art Along the Bricks Mar. 17: Bloomin’ on the Bricks Mar. 24: 1st Annual Cane River Film Festival Mar. 27: International Festival of Cultures & Cuisines Apr. 13 & 14: Jazz R&B Festival Apr. 21 & 22: Annual Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival


SPRING FLING IN YUMA, ARIZONA Gardens & River Fun, Food & History, Music & The Arts

Located along the lower Colorado River in southwest Arizona, Yuma borders Mexico and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. Known as the “Gateway to the Great Southwest”, it’s an historic, cultural and outdoor adventure destination with attractions that include the Colorado River, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Territorial Prison, Colorado River State Park (formerly the Quartermaster Depot), Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre, East and West Yuma Wetlands with gardens and trails, and a charming historic downtown district that bustles with an eclectic array of shops and restaurants.

Yuma is also listed in the as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, making it a popular destination for sun-seekers. From art and entertainment events to family-friendly festivals that celebrate Yuma’s rich southwestern history and cultural traditions, there’s always happening 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 and see our Yuma Events Calendar on


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 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

March Tours at The Peanut Patch - The Peanut Patch gives free tours of their facilities every Tuesday and Friday at 10 am in January, February, March & November. . Apr. 13-14: 2018 Tunes & Taco Festival Apr. 28: Fort Yuma Rotary’s Penitentiary Pint Fest

Mar. 1-4: Midnight at the Oasis Classic Car Show Mar. 3: Sunset Canoe Trip Mar. 17: MCAS Yuma Airshow Mar. 24-25: 13th Annual Men's Gil Rivera Tournament Apr. 3-8: Yuma County Fair

Mar. 2: 12th Annual ARTRAILS Studio Tour Mar. 7: The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters Mar. 9: Elvis Tribute Concert Mar. 10: ‘Loving Vincent’ Movie Screening Mar. 13: The Day The Music Died Mar. 14: Rave On! Mar. 15: Sons of the Pioneers Mar. 16: Listen to the Music Mar. 17: One of These Nights Mar. 17: Music on Main Mar. 20: Bye Bye Love Mar. 21: 1619 Broadway Apr. 21: ARTbeat Fine Arts Festival



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!

Yerington’s historic downtown district is charming with shops, restaurants and casinos, including Dini’s Lucky Club – the oldest family run casino in the state! Built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861, Fort Churchill State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, go camping and hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express and California National Historic Trails.

The surrounding Mason and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farmlands that stretch out to natural areas complete with rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters. The region is a popular birding, geocaching and hiking destination. Other area highlights include: Lyon County Museum, Yerington Theatre for the Arts, Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Walker River Canyon, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon. For more about Yerington, visit


The Bakery Gallery

Popular destination offering a delicious variety of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, chocolate truffles, desserts, and breads. They serve coffee and espresso and pre-fixe to-go dinners.

Located east of Monterey and Salinas, San Benito County in central California, is the eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park and part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. This picturesque region is made up of the historic communities of Hollister, Tres Pinos, San Juan Bautista, Aromas, Paicines and New Idria. Less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 5 hours from Los Angeles, San Benito County makes for an ideal travel destination with outdoor activities such as 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 or .


Living History Days, First Saturdays in San Juan Bautista State Historic Park Sidewalk Saturdays, First Saturdays in Downtown San Juan Bautista Downtown Hollister Certified Farmers' Market – Wednesdays, from May 2-Sept. 28

Mar. 13: Farm Bureau’s Farm Day at Bolado Park Event Center Mar. 17: Exchange Club’s Annual Crab Feed at Bolado Park Event Center Mar. 24-25: San Juan Bautista Spring Arts & Crafts Show Mar. 24-25: Bi-Annual Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale in San Juan Bautista Mar. 31: San Juan Bautista Easter Parade

May 4-5: Gavilan Kennel Club's Dog Show at Bolado Park Event Center May 5: Downtown Hollister Wine & Beer Stroll May 5-6: California Indian Market & Cultural Festival in San Juan Bautista May 5-6: BBQ Rib Cook-Off and Arts & Crafts Festival in San Juan Bautista May 19-20: Portuguese Festival & Parade in Hollister May 20: Annual Show & Shine in San Juan Bautista

April 7: Cattlemens Assoc.'s Dinner/Dance at Bolado Park Event Center April 15: 4-H Pancake Breakfast at Bolado Park Event Center April 21-22: San Benito Arts Council Open Studios Art Tour April 28: Sip, Savor & Celebrate for CASA, at Eden Rift Vineyards April 28: Hollister Ag Booster's Auction & Dinner/Dance at Bolado Park Event Center April 29: Fremont Peak Day at Fremont Peak State Park PAGE 97

Spring in California’s Sequoia Country! Located in the heart of Central California’s valley region, Tulare County is home to Sequoia and King Canyon National Parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. The region makes for a fabulous vacation offering a variety of outdoor activities, a calendar full of events and festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the local gateway communities of Visalia, Three Rivers, Exeter, Tulare, Dinuba, and Porterville. East of Fresno, the area is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. See .

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 – Located in the late spring or early summer, you can enjoy southern Sierra Nevada region, and spanning babbling brooks and waterfalls offset by 461,901 acres, the park is made up of mostly towering granite cliffs, as well as lush meadows wilderness, forests and spectacular canyons, and glacial canyons. Learn more at (559) 565-334 with Kings Canyon itself being one of the deepest or i. canyons in the United States. PAGE 98


– 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 wonderful 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 .

– 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 whitewater rafting. Learn more at (559) 784-1500 or

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- Adjacent to the 220-acre Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve, the Nature Center features interpretive displays that highlight the local flora, fauna, and habitats. Take a walk by the lagoon to explore the plant communities that comprise a coastal lagoon, and stroll through the native plant demonstration garden. . This gem of a garden spans over 37 acres with four miles of trails, and is home to over 3,300 plant varieties from all over the world as well as local California native plants. The Garden also features the interactive children’s garden, art sculptures, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. See .

This tranquil retreat is known for its incredible ocean views, colorful plants and beautiful ponds, and meditation areas. Located at 215 West K Street in Encinitas. .

- A Southern California tradition for over for over sixty years, every spring around 160,000 people head to The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® to experience one of the largest flower displays in the world, with 50 spectacular acres of blossoming ranunculas, along with roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias and poinsettias. From tractor rides to live music there are a variety of familyfriendly activities to enjoy within these fabulous fields of color, not to mention the picturesque ocean views. Located off I-5, The Flower Fields spring bloom runs March 1 – May 13, 2018. See .

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On Palomar Mountain, you will experience dense forests of pine, fir and cedar, wildflowers, verdant meadows, and stunning panoramic views. A fantastic bird watching destination, Palomar Mountain State Park has a number of hiking trails and picnic spots, a fishing pond, as well as a campground. Bailey’s Palomar Resort, just a few minutes from the park, is a wonderful retreat for those who want to sleep amongst the trees, whether it’s in a historic cabin or luxury campsite. One of the most popular attractions in the region is the Palomar Observatory, home to the famous 200- inch Hale Telescope. Visit the museum and take a guided tour. Learn more about Palomar Mountain on

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Julian, located just past Wynola and Santa Ysabel, 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. Learn more about Julian on

Sundays: Julian Doves & Desperados Historical Skits March 10-11: Julian Daffodil Show April 7-8: Julian Gold Rush Days May 12: Taste of Julian June 16: 20th Annual Julian Blues Bash

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Located at the ‘Gateway to 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 Catering & Group Events for all Occasions

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

Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine - Spring 2018  
Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine - Spring 2018  

Music & The Arts; Travel Europe & America; Wine & Culinary Destinations; Gardening & Cooking; Health & Happiness; Business & Leadership; Avi...