Blend Radio & TV Magazine - Dec 2014

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

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

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

Contents‌ 5. Editors Block

6. MUSIC: FOREVER CHRISTMAS 7. STAGE & SCREEN: SHAUN PICCININO 8. STAGE & SCREEN: Guy Grundy & Jamal Story 10. STAGE & SCREEN: Michael Twombley, Diane Chambers & Collin Pellton 12. Functional Art - Raymond Loewy 14. Private Spaces - Diana Madaras 15. Hollywood History - Bird Characters in 'Classic' Animation! 16. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Events

18. Healthy & Happy Hannukah 19. Medjool Dates for the Holidays 19. Abelskivers for Christmas 20. Christmas in England 22. Something For Everyone 24. Celebrate the Holidays Yosemite Gold Rush Style! 26. Celebrate The Season in Central California 28. Julian Holiday Events

30. Please Pass the Pasta 32. Thai Butternut Squash Curry Soup 33. Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway!

34. Born Free USA - National Bird Day 35. 2014's Worst Offenses Against Georgia's Water PAGE 3

Contents… 36. Chaste Berry for Women’s Health 37. Holiday Fashion Sense 37. REALLY?!!?! By ‘Beulah Sanchez’

38. The Kingdom of Cambodia 40. Senior RV Travel Dream Come True - Snowbirds 41. Big Guns and Foodie Fun in Yuma, Arizona 43. Eventful Yuma, Arizona 45. Outdoor Adventures in Yuma, AZ

46. Born Under a Sign

48. Dec. 7: Travel, Cooking, Art, Organizing & Law 48. Dec. 14: History, Art, Books & Health 49. Jan. 4: Big Blend Radio 8th Anniversary Party! PAGE 4

For those new to Big Blend, we are a motherdaughter travel and publishing team who have been running Big Blend Magazine for almost 18 years. We The holiday season is upon air weekly online Big Blend Radio shows, produce us, and a New Year is just videos, and publish this digital interactive Blend Radio around the corner. From & TV Magazine on a monthly basis. We are currently Hannukah to Kwanzaa, this traveling the country on our Big Blend Spirit of issue brings you holiday America Tour of all 401 National Park units, where we and winter recipes, articles cover the parks and their gateway communities in our and interviews about National Park Planner, and quarterly Spirit of various traditions, as well America Magazine. Come join us on Twitter and as seasonal destinations and event news. We ‘Toast Facebook, and watch our videos on Vimeo. to The Arts’ with Big Blend Radio interviews with artists, authors, actors and performers, and cherish We send a big thank you to our readers and ‘Quality of Life’ with articles and interviews on natural audiences, clients and colleagues, and all who have health, fashion and dating. This issue also focuses on assisted us on our tour. We wish you and your family the upcoming National Bird Day, the pollution a wonderful holiday season, filled with joy, laughter affecting Georgia’s coastal waters, as well as travel in and happiness. This issue is dedicated to our dear Cambodia, across America in an RV, and unique friend Matthew Roy Lloyd, may behind-the-scenes tours in Yuma, Arizona. you rest in peace.

A Word from The Editors

We are excited to announce the return of the yearlong BIG BLEND BONANZA GIVEAWAY where one winner will win all! Every few weeks we will add new prizes to the giveaway. These prizes will be announced in our Big Blend e-Newsletter, the monthly Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and our quarterly Spirit of America Magazine. Be sure to subscribe to the Big Blend e-Newsletter to get the monthly prize update and entry forms, and boost your chances of winning by entering each time we add a prize to the pot! The last entry will be accepted on November 10, 2015, and the winner will be announced in the December 2015 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith, plus Priscilla, our pink sock monkey travel mascot. On The Cover: Actor Shaun Piccinino, artist Diana Madaras, Chef Thomas Wright, child in Cambodia.

Congratulations to Danielle Oyen of Walla Walla, Washington, winner of our Yuma, Arizona MiniVacation Giveaway in the recent Spirit of America Magazine.


MUSIC: FOREVER CHRISTMAS David Lanz, Best-Selling Piano Sensation, and Versatile Vocalist, Kristin Amarie, Release “Forever Christmas” Forever Christmas is the first recording that David Lanz, the New Age legend, pianist, and composer has created from start to finish with a songwriting collaborator, and his first prominently featuring a vocalist. Kristin Amarie is a Norwegian-born vocalist who has over the past few years become not only Lanz’s musical partner, but also his partner in life. From their first unassuming encounter, their love and their desire to make music together flowered. David made a guest appearance on Amarie’s debut album release, last year’s Notes From a Journey, and now Forever Christmas is the first full-length fruit of their personal and working relationship. Listen to Big Blend Radio’s interview with David about recording ‘Forever Christmas’.

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STAGE & SCREEN: SHAUN PICCININO An award-winning action, actor/director and stuntman, Shaun Piccinino has starred in the hit television show the Deadliest Warrior (as featured on the front cover), the award-winning film The Lackey, and over 30 videos games including Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Prototype 2, and the multi-billion dollar franchise, Call of Duty. Watch his Acting Reel and listen to his Big Blend Radio interview where he discusses filming Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - where he played Dr. Henry Jekyll alongside the late Mickey Rooney, the Zombie thriller When The Fever Breaks where he played the main villain, and upcoming projects Six Feet Down Under, and Generation Of The Apocalypse.

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Click to Listen! RADIO INTERVIEW: Listen to Big Blend Radio’s joint interview with Guy Grundy and Jamal Story!

GUY GRUNDY Australian born, Guy Grundy is a two-time Mr. Australia bodybuilding champion, a professional body builder and fitness celebrity, writer and author, actor, stunt man, and fight choreographer. He’s been in films such as Shutter Island, The Lackey, and Sharkproof, and appeared on the TV shows CSI New York and Deadliest Warrior, and commercials for brands like Pepsi, and Foster’s Beer. Currently he’s working with Shaun Piccinino on the upcoming web series Six Feet Down Under, and hosts a web interview show Grundy’s LA.

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JAMAL STORY Jamal Story is a dancer and choreographer, as well as the author of 12:34: A Slice Novel and his latest novel, Toss in the Ether. Jamal has danced with Donald Byrd/theGroup, on Madonna’s 2001 Drowned World Tour, Complexions, and (as an aerialist and dancer) Cher’s Living Proof: The Farewell Tour. He has since originated The Color Purple and Motown: the Musical on Broadway, serving as a dance captain on both. He is a Board Member at SAGAFTRA, is the Dance Captain at Cher, and is currently busy on her Dressed to Kill Tour.

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MICHAEL TWOMBLEY Originally from Lansing Michigan, Los Angeles based Michael Twombley is an actor who you’ve most likely seen on TV shows General Hospital and The Game, movies Inherent Vice, The Gambler and Coast Mafia, as well as in chart topping music videos Heidi Newfield’s Why'd You Have To Be So Good" and Eden's Edge’s Mr. Too Good To Be True, plus numerous commercials such as Diet Coke, and Axe Body Spray. Michael currently portrays ‘Gus’ on General Hospital.

DIANE CHAMBERS Originally from Venezuela but raised in central California, Diane Chambers has a long resume as an actress who works in film, TV, web series, and theatre. She is known for her roles in Sharknado (2013), Hollywood Superhero (2010) and The Ladies Room (2013). Diane has also worked as a model, and appeared in music videos such as Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready to Make Nice and Fallout Boys’ Miss Missing You.

RADIO INTERVIEW: Listen to Big Blend Radio’s joint conversation with Michael Twombley, Diane Chambers, and Collin Pelton.

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COLLIN PELTON Performing was always a part of Collin Pelton’s life until he took a break after high school to serve in the U.S. Air Force overseas. Today, Collin is based in Los Angeles and has returned to his love of acting. He serves as an active member of the Veterans in Film and Television, he’s been LA Talk Radio's resident "Up-and-Coming Actor" with Sheena Metal, and currently works for Indiewood Pictures, an award-winning production company, and getting ready to direct the film Assassin's Creed: Convergent.

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New! Big Blend Vimeo Channels A Toast to the Arts! Garden Gossip Eat, Drink & Be Merry Creative Celebrations Quality of Life Vacation Station Way Back When Nature Connection Success Express See All Big Blend Channels! PAGE 11

FUNCTIONAL ART And the Genius of Raymond Loewy By Victoria Chick – artist and collector of early 19th & 20th century prints Some utilitarian items are recognized as art. Handmade pottery, jewelry, finely crafted furniture, and clothing are examples. But everything you wear or use has been designed – sometimes poorly, or sometimes so strikingly welldone that you sense the beauty of the design before thinking of the utility of the object. Many of the items we took for granted in the 20th Century were the designs of Raymond Loewy. He was born in Paris in 1886, but worked most of his life in the United States. His concept of modern design was revolutionary and his production so numerous it is impossible to include everything here. Loewy was responsible for championing the principles of aerodynamics and reducing weight that are now generally adopted as practical ways of conserving energy in 21st century transportation. His streamlined designs took form as cookware, automobiles, office equipment, mass transportation, business logos, and even the interior of NASA spacecraft. He is credited with being the “Father of Industrial Design”, and was honored with many awards. Yet most people do not know about him even though he was the first designer to be on the cover of Time Magazine and exhibits of his designs have been displayed many places including the Smithsonian Institution and in many countries including Germany, Japan, and France. Loewy began his career in France as a window decorator for clothing stores after his discharge from the French Army following WWI. He immigrated to the United States where his talent for fashion design was shown in his illustrations for magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In his later career he was the first to design windowless, air-conditioned department stores for Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, JC Penny, Saks Fifth Avenue, and others. His big break came when he was asked to improve the appearance of an office duplicating machine. In a short period of time he designed a streamlined metal cover that encompassed all the inner mechanisms. He went on to simplify the appearance and, in many cases, improve the function of refrigerators, other home appliances, and cookware. Automobile bodies for the early auto manufacturer Huppmobile, and later, Jaguar, Studebaker, Lancia, BMW, and the Avanti were among his designs. He pioneered the still-used design method of using clay models. Transportation design was a niche in which he excelled. The word “streamliner” used to describe passenger trains arose from his simplified design changes to locomotives that did away with rivets and used smooth welded joints to create curved, aerodynamic form. PAGE 12

In addition, Raymond Loewy designed the interior of the first Air Force I. He went on to work with the NASA space program in developing the SKYLAB and the interiors of Saturn and Apollo spacecraft. Loewy’s task was to design a space that would be comfortable for the astronauts in very cramped conditions. He was also responsible for the look of the Greyhound bus “Scenicruiser” and the Greyhound logo. Many companies and products today are represented by logos designed 60-70 years ago by Raymond Loewy. They were designed to be simple, powerful symbols that would stay in the minds of people. These include Shell Oil Company, Coca Cola bottles, the U.S. Postal Service, Lucky Strike Cigarettes, and hundreds of other U.S. and European logos whose designs have stood the test of time and instant recognition. The styles Raymond Lowey set were emulated by others. He was generous about sharing his philosophy, writing several textbooks on design. Loewy was an active designer until retiring at 87. His lifetime of achievements reflects the highest ideals of the concept that art is everywhere. Loewy made sure his practical designs were good art. He passed away in Monaco in 1986. Planning for the Raymond Loewy Museum of Industrial Art is underway.


Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Victoria is also a figurative artist and collector of early 19th and 20th century prints. Visit her website at


PRIVATE SPACES A Memoir and Coffee Table Art Book by Diana Madaras So how did a Jersey girl become a desert dweller who walked away from a successful marketing career to pursue her passion for art? In Private Spaces, Diana Madaras, an award-winning artist based in Tucson, Arizona, shares her inspiring and sometimes heart-wrenching personal journey. In addition, the book is a 20-year retrospective of her exquisitely reproduced paintings. The 150 images in the book begin with her first watercolors from the Bahamas and Greece, and continue with later work from her African sojourn and South Dakota Artist Rides. In her unique and colorful style, southwest landscapes, animals and florals are portrayed from 1992 to present, along with newer paintings that few have seen. Listen to her conversation with Big Blend Radio.


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Bird Characters in 'Classic' Animation! As television became a phenomenon and began to draw audiences away from movie theaters, many children's TV shows included airings of theatrical cartoons in their schedules. This introduced a new generation of children to the cartoons of the 1920's and 1930's. From Woody Woodpecker and Daffy Duck to The Roadrunner and Beaky Buzzard, listen to Steve Schneickert’s Big Blend Radio segment, as he recalls the Hollywood History of bird characters in classic animation! Photo by WPPilot



DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Holiday Shopping and Winter Events & Exhibits at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, Tucson, Az. Visit the gallery gift shop or shop online at for holiday gifts, cards, calendars, bells, ornaments, figurines, goebels, prints, posters, books, music, videos, collectibles and more. SPECIAL EVENT Dec. 7, 2014: La Fiesta de Guadalupe. This festival honors Mexico’s patron saint with music, dancing and performances including mariachi bands, folklorico dancers, the Yaqui Deer Dancers and Domingo DeGrazia’s Spanish-guitar band. The festival also features a Los Posada procession where children from the Carrillo Magnet School sing in honor of the saint culminating at the Mission in the Sun. Local food and art vendors offer southwestern fare and souvenirs to guests. The event is free and open to the public. ON DISPLAY UNTIL JANUARY 28, 2015 “DeGrazia Paints the Signs of the Zodiac”- In a nod to popular culture in the early 1970’s, Southwestern artist Ted DeGrazia created a series of astrological paintings, drawings, and essays. Infused with the artist’s regional perspective and imagery from native cultures, these works are featured in “DeGrazia Paints the Signs of the Zodiac”. “DeGrazia’s Greatest Hits” - From limited edition stone lithographs to refrigerator magnets and everything between, the popularity of Southwestern artist Ted DeGrazia’s images made him one of the most reproduced artists of the twentieth century. More than fifty of his most popular oils are celebrated in the exhibit “DeGrazia’s Greatest Hits”. LITTLE GALLERY EXHIBITIONS Nov. 30, 2014 – Dec. 12, 2014, Le Craven, Digital Photography Dec. 14, 2014 – Dec. 26, 2014, Jane Stern, Angels Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 9, 2015, Jimmy Descant, Assemblage Art PAGE 16


How to Prepare Hannukah Foods Without Expanding Your Waistline By Ruth Milstein, author of ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine’

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights which is celebrated for eight days to remember the victory of the Maccabees (Jewish troops) over Antiochus of Syria some twenty-one centuries ago. This holiday is a joyful celebration which encourages much eating, singing and rejoicing; a happy time when families come together to commemorate the holiday by lighting a candle for each of the eight days of the celebration, exchange daily gifts and eating specially symbolic, oily food. Once the Maccabees had regained control they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem. Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But to their dismay, they discovered that there was only one day worth of oil left in the Temple. They lit the menorah anyway and to their surprise the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days. Most of the foods are fried in oil Hanukkah holiday cooking is mostly 8 days of frying symbolic of the oil that lasted 8 days. a variety of food. By baking some of the food instead and/or cutting the portion sizes, you cut fat Hanukkah symbolic food: and calories daily. Click Here for my Healthy Hannukah Recipes including Baked Potato Latkes * Latkes: A fried potato-vegetables pate, baked and Baked Chicken Schnitzel.


instead of frying and served alongside sour cream or apple sauce. * Sofganiyot: A deep fried 4 inches in diameter jelly donut. These donuts have to be fried so make them smaller; about 1-1/2 - 2 inches in diameter. Most likely you will eat only one. * Loukoumades: A deep fried dough puff dipped with sugar or honey. Make a smaller size puff and serve the sugar and the honey in separated plates. * Pretzels: Pretzels baked in the shape of Hanukkah symbols like a Menorah, candles or dreidels. Bake in mini sizes and wrap them with Ruth Milstein is the author of the award-winning recipe book 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the chocolate coins as a gift for the youngsters. New Israeli Cuisine.' Little is known about the wide array of exotic yet comfortable and easy-to-make * Pies: Cheese pie and other dairy dishes are consumed. Choose low fat cheeses mixed with food associated with Mediterranean and Israeli cuisine, and in 'Cooking with Love', Ruth explores vegetables. this expansive gourmet heaven with recipes that are * Schnitzel: A fried chicken breast coated with eye openers for the experienced chef, as well as the novice cook. Howard is a wine expert. Learn more at bread crumbs. Bake them instead of frying alongside balsamic vinegar-ginger sauce.


Medjool Dates for the Holidays Debbie Manheim chats with Big Blend Radio about Medjool dates that are grown in the Yuma region of southwest Arizona. Watch her video on how to make simple holiday appetizers with Medjool Dates. You can shop online or visit Debbie in her gift shop Basket Creations and More where she carries quality Medjool Dates and date related gifts from Bard Date Company.


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Abelskivers for Christmas Watch our video featuring Kim Payne, co-owner of Valhalla’s Restaurant & Gift Shop in Visalia, California, show how to make Abelskivers. These fluffy ball-shaped Danish pancakes are delicious topped with powdered sugar, jam or syrup and are perfect for Christmas or New Year’s brunch.

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By Glynn G. Burrows - English Historian, Family History Buff & Owner of Norfolk Tours in England Christmas is a strange time of the year in England, we bring a tree into the house, put it in a tub in the living room, cover it in sparkling things and small lights and, underneath it, we pile up lots of parcels wrapped up in pretty paper. Our rooms are decorated with lots of long pieces of twisted coloured paper and metallic plastic and we hang up lots of greeting cards and bits of trees and plants. We even hang a piece of a parasitic plant over a door-way and, if we can catch people standing under it, we give them a kiss! Strange people us Brits! Lots of the customs of Christmas can be traced back to pagan times, when the winter was a time of great superstition and fear. A hard winter could easily kill off a large number of people, animals and crops and anything that could be done to keep on the right side of nature, was seen to be a good thing. The ancient Britons were very superstitious and they tried everything they could think of to keep Mother Nature on their side. Decorating the home has some Pagan and some Christian connotations. Evergreens, such as holly are a sign of life but could also signify the crown of thorns. Mistletoe is hung over a doorway and a kiss can be stolen under it. This custom is possibly from Scandinavia, but, as a young man, I didn’t care about its origins, I just made full use of it! During Victorian times, with easier communication, new ideas spread like wildfire and, with the New Queen and her German Husband, came new customs which soon became part of the English way of life. PAGE 20


The Christmas Tree was introduced to England by Prince Albert, (Queen Victoria’s husband), in 1841 and, although many people now have artificial trees, real trees are also still very popular. They are decorated with tinsel, balls, chocolates, lights and a star or Angel. Most of the things on the tree have religious significance when looked into and that is something I will leave to the reader to do! (Clue: St Boniface.)

Christmas Crackers were first introduced in 1846 by Thomas Smith who started selling sweets in a piece of twisted tissue paper, when the tissue paper was pulled, the sweet fell out. The idea developed over the years and a poem or motto was added, then a piece of card that, when pulled apart, “cracked”, a hat and finally, a gift. The paper hats are simple crowns which could signify the Three Kings. Christmas Cards were first introduced in 1843 with Sir Henry Cole being the first person to send one. Now there are millions of them winging their way around the world. Father Christmas was originally a visitor, dressed in green robes and often thought of as the bringer of spring. After C. C. Moore wrote A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas) in 1822, and C. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, the association of Father Christmas and presents became more prevalent. The Dutch had their own Sinter Klaas who dropped money down the chimney for poor children and this could well be why we think he comes down the chimney. Today, we still leave out a glass of sherry and a mince pie for the Big Man and a carrot and water for the Reindeer. I have yet to see him, but the sherry and mince pies are always gone in the morning and the carrot has always got teeth-marks in it! He began to wear red in late Victorian times, but it really took off after Coca-Cola showed him wearing a red cloak in one of their adverts. Christmas day is often a time of over-eating and overindulging! We almost always have roast turkey for the mid-day meal, with sprouts, carrots, roast potatoes, stuffing, chipolata sausage, bacon roll, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy as the main course. Christmas pudding, custard and brandy butter to follow. After dinner, at 3pm, we watch the Queen’s speech, something that has been a Royal Tradition since King George V broadcast his first speech, on the new medium of radio on Christmas Day 1932. At about six, we start to get tea ready! Cold meats, ham, turkey, Enjoy the season of good-will. tongue, beef, pork, pickles, salads, etc., followed by trifle, mince pies, jam tarts, sausage rolls. After tea, we all collapse! Boxing Day is the day after Christmas and was when, in the past, most poor people had their presents. (My Nanny always called her Christmas presents a “Christmas Box”.) As labourers worked on Christmas Day, they would often receive alms the day after Christmas, as that was the day that the charity box was opened. Many rich families would package up the left-overs from Christmas Day and give them to the poor on Boxing Day too. Today, we, as a family, nearly always go down to the beach on Boxing Day. We walk along the water’s edge and “blow the cobwebs away” as well as work-off a little of the excesses of the day before! Boxing Day in England is nearly always pretty raw, the wind is often biting and we need to be well wrapped up, but that walk is always a highlight of our Christmas! Sadly, Christmas is now a time of commercial madness. Shops are full of Christmas from September onwards and the television has been advertising Christmas things since October. We should be thinking about giving, not receiving, but that is sadly, the time we are living in. PAGE 21

By Nancy J. Reid Before Christianity, people in Northern Europe celebrated the changing of seasons, the sun, gods, planets, and even the Amanita muscaria, the magic mushroom. So no matter what, if any, religion you believe in, there are symbols from the past, handed down, that have infiltrated how we celebrate winter holidays today. Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s celebrations include candles, trees, presents, food, drink, merriment, reverence and hope for a better future. Relatively new customs instigated by retail entities include ugly sweater parties; watching movies like The Wizard of Oz, The Polar Express, and The Ghost of Christmas Past; and Black Friday where fighting other consumers for the best bargains, and standing in line for the latest video game seems accepted. The not-so-commercial tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses, started in Germany in the early 1800s as a result of the Grimm’s fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, found its way to America by way of German immigrants. This led to the building of the World’s Largest Gingerbread House in 2013. The house at Traditions Golf Club was 60 feet by 42 feet and 20.11 feet tall at its highest point. It was constructed using 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour and close to 3,000 pounds of brown sugar. Add to this 22,304 pieces of candy that are attached to it, totaling 35,823,400 calories! Proceeds from visitor admission to see the house were donated to St. Joseph Level II Trauma Center in Texas. Since December 24, 1955, when a Sears department store placed an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper that gave children a phone number for Santa Claus, the North American Aerospace Defense Command has tracked Santa Claus on Christmas eve.

(Photo By Peter Kaminski )

The telephone number printed was wrong and turned out to be that of the Colorado Springs command center of NORAD's predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). Colonel Harry Shoup, who was on duty that night, told his staff to give all children who called in a "current location" for Santa Claus — and a Christmas Eve tradition was born, now known as the "NORAD Tracks Santa" program. A relatively new celebration, started in 1965, is Kwanzaa. It is celebrated by African-Americans from December 26 to January 1 and involves seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. In the Kwanzaa ritual, seven candles called Mishumaa Saba are placed in a Kinara, or candleholder, which is then set upon the Mikeka, a mat usually made of straw. Maulana Karenga, the founder, said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give them an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits of the harvest".


And then, there is “Festivus for the rest of us…” Straight from a Jerry Seinfeld episode, this celebration is for the non-religious, and promotes the removal of commercialization from Christmas. It features a pole stripped of all decorations (not a strippers pole). This is followed by the "Airing of Grievances" which is an opportunity for the head of household to tell others how they have disappointed him/her in the past year. This is where the family arguments begin – which is not far different from what occurs at some family dinners anyway. Festivus is finished with the "Feats of Strength" ceremony where the head of the household must be pinned to the ground by the rest of the family members.

The Baby & Father Time: Besides the famous New Year's Eve Ball descending in Times Square with an estimated million people present, millions nationwide, and over a billion watching throughout the world, come together to say goodbye to the chubby, diapered baby. He has now grown into the old bearded Father Time, (the departing year), and it is time to celebrate the coming year, hoping it will be better. Starting in 1904, this tradition has its roots in an immigrant, Alfred Ochs, that successfully lobbied the city to rename Longacre Square, the district surrounding his paper's new home, in honor of the famous publication, The New York Times. No matter your belief system, there is truly something for everyone during the Holiday Season! Seasons Greetings! Photo Credits: Festivas Pole By Matthew Keefe & Macy's Times Square crystal ball, New York City, By Clare Cridland


Celebrate the Holidays Yosemite Gold Rush Style! Tuolumne County is located just 2 ½ hours from the San Francisco Bay Area, and 5 hours from Los Angeles. Boasting quaint California gold rush towns, a sprinkle of snow play, specialty shopping and seasonal activities, Tuolumne County a.k.a. ‘VacationLand,’ makes for the perfect family holiday destination. Get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the region’s festive, seasonal events. To plan your California Yosemite Gold Country holiday adventure and to get up-to-date event information, call the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau at (800) 446-1333 or (209) 533-4420, or visit

JAMESTOWN, CA Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21: The Polar Express Train Ride: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Enjoy a trip to the North Pole while listening to the original soundtrack and an entertaining reading of "The Polar Express". Tel: (209) 984-3407 Dec. 6, 13, 20: Celebrate the Season in Jamestown: Santa Claus and shopping! Tel: 209-984-0888

SONORA, CA Nov. 14-Dec. 21: “Greetings” by Tom Dudzick! Stage 3 Theatre Company. Tel: (209) TWAIN HARTE, CA 536-1778 Dec. 5: Twain Harte Winter Wonderland Parade: Nov. 28: Sonora Historic Downtown Christmas tree lighting and parade. Tel: 209-586-7632 Christmas Parade: Tel: (209) 532-7725 Nov. 28-29: 22nd Annual Hometown Crafters Christmas Craft Faire: Sonora Opera Hall. Tel: 209-256-2576 Dec. 5-7: “Sounds of the Seasons”: Presented by Columbia College. Tel: (209) 588-5057 Dec. 13: 2nd Saturday Art Night: Art, music, refreshments. Free. Tel: (209) 532-7697 COLUMBIA, CA Nov. 14-Dec. 21: “Sanders Family Christmas”: Historic Fallon House Theatre. Tel: (209) 532-3120 Dec. 5-6: Lamplight Tours at Columbia State Historic Park: Tel: 209-532-3184 Dec. 6: 48th Annual AAUW House Tour: A tour of four outstanding homes. Info: 209-5861322 Dec. 12: 8th Annual Merry Merchants at Columbia SHP: Info: 209-536-1672 Dec.13-14, 20-21: Miner’s Christmas in Columbia: Info: 209-588-9128 Dec. 14: Columbia All Equestrian Christmas Parade: Main Street. Info: 209-838-7630 Dec. 14: 32nd Annual Las Posadas Nativity Procession: Procession starts at 5:30 pm. GROVELAND, CA Nov. 28-29: Christmas Faire in Groveland: Groveland Community Hall. Tel: 209-962-0429 Dec. 6: Santa & Tree Lighting in Groveland: Groveland Community Hall & Mary Laveroni Community Park. Tel: 209-962-0429



Celebrate the Season in Central California! Just a 4 hour drive from San Francisco’s Bay Area and 3 hours from Los Angeles, California’s Sequoia region makes for a wonderful winter escape, with charming and historic downtowns, specialty gift shops, wineries, and festive events. Enjoy snow play and outdoor adventure in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. For area and travel information visit

EXETER, CA Dec. 4, 11 & 18: Exeter Holiday Open House: Downtown. Tel: (559) 592-2919. Dec. 5: Exeter’s Christmas Parade: Downtown. Tel: (559) 592-5262. Dec. 11: Holiday Home Tour: Exeter Woman’s Club presents elegantly decorated homes. Tel: (559) 799-3641. Dec. 13: Christmas at the Gallery: Exeter Courthouse Gallery of the Arts and Historical Museum. Tel: (559) 592-5900. Dec. 31: Exeter New Year’s Eve Celebration & Doo-Dah Parade: Downtown Exeter. Free

THREE RIVERS, CA Dec. 6: 1st Saturday Art Trail: Wild About Winter. Dec. 6: Christmas Caroling: Three Rivers Historical Museum Park. Tel: (559) 561-2707 Jan. 1: Polar Dip! Start the New Year with a jump in the river at the Gateway Restaurant! Tel: (559) 561-4133 PORTERVILLE, CA Dec. 4: Children's Christmas Parade: Main Street, 7pm-8pm. Tel: (559) 784-7502 Dec. 9: Myers Annual Christmas Tree Lighting: Tel: (559) 784-7502



Julian Holiday Events Julian Country Christmas Winter Magic in San Diego’s Mountain Town Julian celebrates the holiday season with more, brighter lights on the town’s living Christmas tree and a special homage to the individuals who contribute time, skills, and energy to making Julian what many consider the best small town in Southern California.

On November 29, the tree lighting marks the beginning of the annual Julian Country Christmas celebration, three weeks of holiday festivity during which visitors and residents can capture the spirit of the season in an old fashioned way. Festivities begin with a program of Christmas carols sung by local vocalists. It’s easy to get into the spirit of the season in Julian, where it just feels like Christmas. The historic town, known for its apples, is set in the Cuyamaca Mountains an hour’s drive east of San Diego, where December days and evenings are crisp and cool. With the scents of apple pies emerging from ovens and spiced cider on a back burner, Julian also smells like Christmas. HOLIDAY & WINTER EVENTS For up-to-date event news, call the Julian Chamber of Commerce at (760) 765-1857 or visit On-going: Julian Doves & Desperados – Every Sunday, weather permitting, enjoy historic comedy and gunfights skits in downtown Julian. Info: (760) 765-1857. Nov. 1-25: Vee's Craft Show: Downstairs in Julian Town Hall. Info: (858) 391-9313 Nov. 26-28: Town Hall Market & Art: Upstairs in Julian Town Hall. Info: (760) 765-1857. Nov. 27: Thanksgiving Dinner: Jeremy's on the Hill California Style Bistro. Tel: (760) 765-1587. Nov. 29: Julian Country Christmas & Tree Lighting: Julian Pioneer Museum’s Memorial Park. Info: (760) 765-1857. Nov. 29: Country Christmas Craft Show: Julian Town Hall. Tel: (760) 765-1587. Nov. 29-Dec. 21: Living Nativity: Held every Saturday until Christmas, from 6- 7:30pm at the Julian Cider Mill. Dec. 12: Holiday Home Tour: Presented by the Julian Woman's Club. Tel: (760) 765-0832 Dec. 21: Julian Community Choir Handel's Messiah. 7pm, Julian Town Hall. Tel: (760) 7651587. PAGE 28


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Creamy Pasta Pesto A classic dish on the menu at the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill in Yuma, Arizona, this recipe is from Executive Chef Thomas Wright. Just like any recipe this is just a guideline, feel free to experiment with different pastas, vegetables and even different types of pestos. Ingredients: 3-4 Sliced Mushrooms* 1 Garlic clove, chopped* 2-3 Tbsp. Olive Oil 3-4 Asparagus * 1/3 C Chopped tomatoes* 2-3 Tbsp. Basil Pesto** 6 oz. of Fettuccine** 1/4 C White Wine 1/3 C Heavy Cream Âź C Shredded Parmesan Cheese Boiling water for Pasta***

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Method: Start with a hot sautĂŠ pan. Add mushrooms to hot pan, lightly season with salt and pepper. After about 45 seconds add olive oil and stir mushrooms after they begin to color. Add garlic. Add asparagus and stir. Be careful not to burn garlic. De-glaze with white wine while pan is off the flame. Reduce by half. Add cream and reduce by half. Stir in pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta allowing some of the pasta water to drip in the pan. This will help to thin out the sauce enough to mix with pasta. Add in tomatoes and toss. Plate the pasta and sprinkle cheese on top. Pair with a glass of wine and enjoy. Notes: * These vegetables are just suggestions, you can use whatever is in season or what you prefer (Bell peppers, Spinach etc.). ** Fettuccine is just an example of a pasta you can use, again is all about your preference (Spaghetti, Orchiette are some other options). *** You can cook your pasta ahead of time and place in water just long enough to heat up. PAGE 30

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Make Your Own Pasta and Enhanced Marina Sauce Watch Chef Jeremy Manley, executive chef and owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Bistro in Julian, CA show how to make your own fresh pasta. Here is his recipe for enhanced marinara sauce that you can add to a pre-made marinara sauce if you don’t want to start from scratch.

¼ cup red onions minced ¼ cup white onions minced 1 Tsp. jalapeno minced 3 cloves of garlic diced 1 stalk of celery diced 1 carrot peeled and diced 3 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. salt

For a Meat Ball Recipe just Click Here! Sauté over a medium flame until onions are past translucent but before caramelization happens. From here, add 1 jar of store bought marinara 2 tomatoes from your local farmers market chopped into small chunks ¼ cup of sugar granulated ¼ cup of brown sugar 1 Tbsp. white pepper 2 bay leafs 1 Tsp. of dry oregano 1 ginger root split - about 1 tbs (steep like a tea bag) Add the above remaining ingredients to the sweated down onion mix. Let cook on low flame for 30 minutes. If it begins to become too thick, add ¼ cup of water. Remember, if you like a thinner pasta sauce you can add more water. PAGE 31

Sure, squash is a colorful addition to your holiday table – but why stop there? Why not take advantage of the bounty of the season by using squash in non-traditional ways, too? Squash is a wonderful canvas for a variety of ethnic cuisine. Squash is nutritionally versatile as well, containing a healthy dose of Vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C, and E, not to mention calcium and magnesium! You can find Thai curry paste in many supermarkets these days. You can also find it at Whole Foods, in Asian markets, and online. Coconut cream is sold in a can. It’s a liquid similar to coconut milk, but with a thicker consistency. I found mine at my local Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find any at your local grocer, you can substitute coconut milk – but use regular rather than light coconut milk. Your broth will not be quite as thick, but the taste will be almost the same. Many Whole Foods stores carry kaffir lime leaves in their produce section. You can also find them at Asian markets, or order them online. The good news is, you will have more than you need for one recipe; just keep the extra leaves in your freezer until the next time you have a Thai craving! Once you have all your ingredients, the rest is easy. Just steam the squash, and then blend it with your coconut cream and some broth. After that, all you need to do is throw everything into a slow cooker. Once everything is in the pot, you can do something else for a few hours while those beautiful flavors blend!


1 medium butternut squash (or 1 bag of frozen diced squash) 1 – 20 oz. bag of frozen mixed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots 1 medium onion, diced 2 c. cooked chick peas (or 1 - 15 oz. can) 1 - 14 oz. can of coconut cream 3 c. broth Lisa Grey is a breast 2 tbsp. green Thai curry paste cancer survivor, and 3 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into small slivers founder of Pink 1 tsp. turmeric Kitchen, an 1 tsp. dried ginger organization whose ½ tsp. dried cumin goal is to make healthy ½ tsp. dried coriander cooking easy and 3 garlic cloves, minced delicious for breast ¼ c. fresh basil, chopped cancer survivors and Salt to taste anyone who wants to eat healthier. Lisa Ground red pepper to taste (optional) has a background in Health Psychology with a focus on nutrition, and is the Steam the squash just until it starts to become soft. author of the Pink Kitchen Cookbook Put the squash, coconut cream, and broth in a blender. series. Learn more at Blend until smooth. Put everything into the crockpot. Simmer on low for 6 hours.




Back by popular demand, we’re kicking off our year-long Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway Now! ONE WINNER TAKES ALL! Every few weeks we will add new prizes to the giveaway. These will be announced in our Big Blend e-Newsletter, our monthly Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and quarterly Spirit of America Magazine.

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Subscribe to the Big Blend e-Newsletter to get the monthly prize update, monthly question, and entry form. Maximize your chances of winning by answering as many questions as possible. Last entry will be accepted on November 10, 2015. Winner will be announced in the December 2015 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

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

FIRST PRIZE: A 2 Night Stay for Two, at Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast in Three Rivers, California, gateway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. This Riverhouse is only 8 miles from the entrance to Sequoia National Park. Each of the guest bedrooms has a high ceiling, tiled floors, queen-sized bed, TV/VCR, telephone, Wi Fi, ceiling fan, wood-burning fireplace, A/C, heat, small private verandah, private river view, private access to Kaweah River, private bathroom with tub/shower, and complimentary wine and chocolates. For your enjoyment, there is an outdoor pool, small hot tub, pool table, foos ball, ping pong, table games, books, videos, and music. Breakfast favorites include quiche, blackberry cobbler, baked apple, pancakes with hot fruit compote on top, spiced apple yogurt, spiced persimmon yogurt, seasonal fresh fruit, and spiced apple cider. In the wintertime, coffee, tea, cider (in season) or hot cocoa are available all day, if requested. Click Here to Watch the Video and learn more at RULES & FINE PRINT: - Big Blend clients, colleagues, friends or family are not allowed to enter. - Must be 18 years or older to enter. - Must live in the USA to enter. - No transportation is provided to travel destinations that offer gift certificates in the giveaway. - Big Blend is not responsible for gift certificates that cannot be utilized due to business closure, change of ownership etc. - Gift certificates in prize package are not redeemable for cash, and cannot be utilized by someone other than the winner. - You must subscribe to the Big Blend Newsletter in order to obtain the the entry forms and answer the questions.



13th Annual National Bird Day is on January 5, 2015 Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, talks with Big Blend Radio about National Bird Day, which in conjunction with the Avian Welfare Coalition, is calling on activists around the U.S. to take action on behalf of captive birds by drawing attention to the exploitation of other countries' native birds by the U.S. pet industry.

This year’s National Bird Day activities include a children's poetry contest. Children from ages 5-18 can participate in two separate age groups: 5-12 and 13-18. Children can join in the celebration of birds by writing a poem in any style around the theme "Poetry Uncaged," reflecting the plight of exotic birds in captivity, the pet bird trade, or the dangers to birds in the wild. Any ideas inspired by exotic or wild birds are encouraged. Think outside the box—or outside the cage, as we say in relation to birds! Deadline for entries is Dec. 15, 2014.

Today, nearly 12 percent of the world's 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world's 330 parrot species. Birds are sentinel species whose plight serves as a barometer of ecosystem health and an alert system for detecting global environmental ills. Many of the world's parrots and songbirds are threatened with extinction due to pressures from the illegal pet trade, disease, and habitat loss. Public awareness and education about the physical and behavioral needs of birds can go far in improving the welfare of the millions of birds kept in captivity. The survival and well-being of the world's birds For a list of bird care tips and to participate in depends upon public education and support the various National Bird Day activities, visit for conservation. PAGE 34

2014's Worst Offenses Against Georgia's Water


Listen to Big Blend Radio’s interview with Daniel Parshley, Project Manager for the Glynn Environmental Coalition, a community nonprofit organization that is commited to assuring a clean environment and healthy economy for citizens of coastal Georgia. The “Marshes of Glynn,” and the Golden Isles of Georgia are the vacation destination for millions, but tucked in those marshes near Brunswick is a toxic site riddled with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), caustic soda, mercury and lead. Twenty years after the LCP Chemicals plant closed and 18 years after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first ordered a cleanup of the site, the contaminants remain, leaching into underground drinking water supplies and contaminating wildlife and humans with cancercausing chemicals. In fact, the Turtle River which flows by the 500-acre LCP Chemical site has the distinction of being home to the world’s most contaminated bottlenose dolphins, with PCB levels more than one and a half times greater than levels recorded in Pacific Ocean killer whales which were once thought to be among the world’s most contaminated marine mammals. The creatures that thrill visitors to Georgia’s coast are now suffering from health problems including immune suppression and anemia, and their plight suggests that humans, like dolphins that eat fish from the Turtle River, may be unwittingly poisoning themselves with the LCP Chemical’s toxic legacy.

The gateway to the Port of Brunswick, Turtle River supports a vast network of coastal marshes that stretches from the barrier islands of St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea Island to Brunswick and beyond. That robust coastal Georgia marsh network accounts for 33 percent of the remaining coastal marshes on the Atlantic coast and fuels a $400 million commercial and recreational fishery on the Georgia coast. The scenic beauty of the marshes and barrier islands attract some 2.5 million people annually. Those visitors create some 25,000 local jobs and pump about $1 billion into the coastal Georgia economy. A birdwatcher’s paradise, the Turtle River and its tributaries support a productive estuary and serve as a calving ground for federally protected manatees. To learn more about this issue, including mercury hair testing and seafood consumption advisories, visit


By herbalist Cynthia Johnston, MoonMaid Botanicals Chaste Berry (Vitex agnus) is an important women’s herb. It is also known as Vitex. Once thought to quell the “hormonal urges of men,” it was taken by priests and monks. Considered a potent “phyto-hormone” herb, it is powerful medicine for women. The phyto (plant) hormone activity helps the body keep progesterone levels optimal. And that is critical. At MoonMaid Botanicals, we focus on this hormone specifically, rather than estrogen, when dealing with “imbalance” or “menopause” issues. Progesterone, though the second hormone in our triad of sex hormones, is critical to keeping everything else balanced. Vitex is a big help for that. And why it is a critical herb in two of my women’s formulas. I have long loved Vitex because of its very intense smell. That “scent” is inviting to some and “not so pleasant” to others. If you have the “yuck” factor, that is a sign it is not the herb for you. Most often this occurs for men, but a small population of women too. My favorite method of consuming Vitex is in a tincture form. It can be used in a tea too. Capsules are never my suggested way of taking herbs of any kind. Vitex is a bushy plant that can attain 8 – 10 feet in height. It is so bushy it can be planted into a hedge. That intense fragrance in the leaves and berries make it a wonderful insect repellant in the garden. Plant one near the front door!!! You won’t have as many flying critters!!! The berries are the most common part of this plant used in herbal medicine; however, I have recently started to use the leaves as well. Since the early 1900’s studies suggest that Vitex is helpful in regulating female hormones, stimulates breast milk production, will ease PMS and peri-menopause or menopause symptoms, as well as being effective in easing endometriosis symptoms. Whether in your 20’s or 60’s it can be of a wonderful plant ally.

Cynthia Johnston is an herbalist and founder of MoonMaid Botanicals, a small herb company that is dedicated to providing high quality herbal products that are free of chemical preservatives, propylparabens or synthetics of any kind. Products include remedies for menopause, PMS, yeast infections, common women’s health issues, and herbal products for the family. Learn more or shop online at



Update Your Party Wear to Save Money & Look Fabulous! The holidays are here and many of us are attending company parties or parties hosted by our friends. What to wear is usually the first thing that comes into the minds of women. Company parties may be a little more formal than those given by friends and family which tend to be more casual. We all want to look fabulous but not break the bank due to current economic conditions. Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with fashion designer Aggie Garcia, owner of Illusions by Aggie, and Click Here to read her article on Holiday Fashions.


REALLY?!!?! One Woman’s Adventures of Dating in the Digital Age At any given moment day or night, there are over 40 million people using online dating sites. Imagine being privy to those first encounters, hearing the exciting, yet awkward words uttered, watching as romance unfolds (or not!) If you can’t be there, REALLY?!!?! One Woman’s Adventures of Dating in the Digital Age, delivers some of the funniest, most intimate, and memorable stories you’ll ever read. Shared by comedian and screenwriter, Beulah Sanchez (not her real name), these true stories are often hilarious, but as the title implies, they are equally unbelievable, and the situations Beulah gets herself into can be as dangerous as they are funny.

Listen! Neither self-help, nor a “guide” to Internet dating, REALLY?!!?! is a personal and detailed account of Beulah’s journey to find Mr. Right which often led to her having to cope with, get rid of or try to decipher the many Mr. Wrongs she encountered by the truckload. Listen to the author interview on Big Blend Radio, and learn more at PAGE 37

Kingdom of Cambodia Listen to Big Blend Radio’s interview with Henry Biernacki ‘The Global Henry’, and see what he says below about traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Having visited over 130 countries, Henry is a world traveler, airline captain and air checkmen, and author of the novel ‘No More Heroes’. From having one of the best economic growths in Asia the past ten years, a genocide in the 1970’s, a protectorate of France from 1863-1953, and home of Angkor Wat, The Kingdom of Cambodia receives less visitors than most southeast Asian countries. However this year, the city of Siem Reap (meaning Defeat of Siam-Thailand) is in the top five most visited cities in the world. Upon entering Siem Reap, northwest Cambodia, large hotels and French architecture helps any traveler forget where they are until they smell the local cuisine and outdoor hawker stands selling noodles and rice with pork or chicken. Transportation is easy with tok toks. They park along every street in search of finding a traveler to take somewhere. A place to stay can be as cheap or as expensive as you wish. Guesthouses range from 6-20 USD. It depends on A/C, a fan, or shared toilet. Take time to visit this kingdom, stay a night in this well visited city, Siem Reap, and then visit a very hidden gem in the rest of the Kingdom of Cambodia.


Keep up with Henry at



Senior RV Travel Dream Come True Comes with Mosquitos and Mechanics Like many a retired couple, Jo Ann Bender and her husband Skipper thought it would be a grand adventure and a dream come true. So they upgraded the interior of a $7,000, l973 Ford motor home and spent $3,000 in repairs hoping that would be sufficient to fix the engine and they hit the road. In her new book Snowbirds, Jo Ann Bender shares what happened to them on their 2,000 mile trip from Spokane to Texas. Instead of enjoying the wonders of nature and exploring the scenery in the parks, it turned into a nightmare of breakdowns by the side of the road, and hours searching for, finding, and then getting help from mechanics everywhere along the route. They learn new skills as navigators and mechanics as they plow joyfully ahead with their cantankerous little motorhome looking for free parking. The challenges are aplenty as they head to hot springs, Indian ruins, Western Forts, the Marfa Lights, and a Mariachi Mass at a San Antonio Mission.


Listen to the Big Blend Radio chat with Jo Ann Bender. You can keep up with her at

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Casa de Coronado Museum, Free Tours by Appointment Tel: (928) 783-4453 On site at the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, Yuma, AZ PAGE 40

Big Guns and Foodie Fun in Yuma, Arizona Sharing borders with California and Mexico, and home to the Colorado River, Yuma holds the Guinness World Record as the sunniest city on earth. A popular destination for sun seekers, outdoor adventurers and nature lovers, the area is an agricultural hub known for its winter lettuce and vegetable production, and also home to the U. S. Army Yuma Proving Ground one of the largest military facilities (by land area) in the world. Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with Linda Morgan, Executive Director of the Yuma Visitors Bureau, who talks about their upcoming specialty tours and events including the Behind the Big Guns Tour, Savor Yuma Culinary Tour, Field to Feast Agricultural Tour, Farmer to Farmer Advanced Ag Tour, Date Night Dinners and Annual Yuma Lettuce Days Festival. For event and travel details visit UPCOMING EVENTS & TOURS: Date Night Dinners – Enjoy a gourmet dinner served in a date grove, with a menu featuring Medjool dates. Held on Jan. 16, Feb. 13 and Mar. 13.


Field to Feast Tours - Get down – and a little dirty – with a hands-on farming lesson! Held on Jan. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 24, 28, 29 & 31; Feb. 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 18, 19 & 21; and Mar. 4 & 5. Farmer to Farmer Advanced Ag Tour - An indepth tour for those with agriculture backgrounds who want to go beyond the basics and get "deep in the weeds" of farming in the desert. Held on Jan. 13, Feb. 10, and Mar. 3. Savor Yuma Culinary Tours - Enjoy a progressive dinner with friends. Held on Jan. 6 & 21, Feb. 3 & 18, Mar. 3 & 11. Yuma Lettuce Days Festival – Held Feb. 28 & March 1, this event goes “down on the farm” on the UA research farm. Live cooking demonstrations and contests, product samples, farm and equipment displays, fun for kids, music, entertainment and lots of food and drink. Behind the Big Guns Tour – Get a behind-thescenes look . the Yuma Proving Ground. Held Dec. 9, Jan. 13, Feb. 10, and Mar. 18 PAGE 41

Watch the Yuma TV Channel! Just click here!

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

Join us for Thanksgiving & Christmas Dinner

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

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

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, ArizonaTel: (928) 782-7427 PAGE 42

Eventful Yuma, Arizona! From Festive Holiday Happenings to The Arts, Winter in Yuma is Bustling with Events and Performances! For up-to-date event and travel planning information visit and ON-GOING EVENTS: Quartermaster Depot-Sunrise Farmers Market every Sunday from 9am to 2pm. Info: (928) 7820062 Historic Downtown Yuma Farmers Market - Every Tuesday from 10am to 3pm through April 1, except holidays. Benefits Crossroads Mission. Tel: (425) 941-5030 Yuma Palms Regional Center Farmers Market - Dec. 12-14, 20-21: The Nutcracker, presented by Every Saturday from 10am to 3pm through the last Ballet Yuma. Snider Auditorium. Info: Jennifer Saturday in March except holidays. Benefits Cross- Coleman, 928-446-6770 roads Mission. Info: (425) 941-5030 Dec. 12-14 & Jan. 30-Feb. 1: Anderson’s Americana Indian Art & Jewelry Show. Held at the YuHistoric Walking Tours of Downtown and the ma Civic Center. Tel: 928-373-5040 riverfront with Steve Cook, sponsored by Yuma County Historical Society. Every Tuesday and Thursday plus, the first Saturday of the month. Continued on next page… Cost is $10, call 928-231-6433. SPECIAL EVENTS: Nov. 29: Ken & Betty Borland’s Holiday Light Pageant & Tower Lighting - Info: 928-343-1715 Dec. 4: Sports Turf/Tree & Landscape Expo. Yuma Civic Center. Tel: (928) 373-5040 Dec. 5-7: Potpourri Arts & Crafts Show. Yuma Fairgrounds. Tel: (928) 726-4420 Dec. 5: Yuma Rotary Club Kammann Sausage Fry. Yuma Civic Center. Tel: (928) 373-5040 Dec. 6: 12th Annual Rachel Determan Memorial Rib Cook-Off. Tel: 928-317-7900. Dec. 6: El Toro Bowl. The two very best NJCAA football teams in the nation collide for pride & possibly a national championship. Veterans Stadium. Dec. 6: The Spirit of Christmas - This festive concert of traditional, classical and popular holiday music will feature four separate string groups, conducted by Janet Jones and Kathy Younker. Historic Yuma Theatre, Tel: 928-373-5202. Dec. 7: A Brazilian Christmas! Presented by KAWC and featuring Nossa Bossa Nova! Yuma Art Center. Tel: 928-373-5202 PAGE 43

Eventful Yuma, Arizona! Dec. 13: Reindeer Roundup 5K/10K Run – 5K Walk. Run/Walk begins at 8:15 a.m.; early registration discount. West Wetlands Park. Tel: 928-3735243. Dec. 13: 12th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade. Bring the family to this great free event and enjoy marching bands & view floats and vehicles decorated with beautiful Christmas lights. Pre-Parade Plug-in Party (for kids 12 & under) 2-5 pm. Held in historic downtown Yuma. Tel: (928) 783-0071 Dec. 14: Late Nite Catechism: Uproarious interactive theater! Audience members are Sister’s students in her catechism class – Fun for all ages and Jan. 9-11: Arizona Antique Show. Yuma Civic faiths! Historic Yuma Theatre, Tel: 928-373-5202. Center. Tel: 928-373-5040. Dec. 16: Diamonds in the Rough: The Ultimate Tribute Show to Neil Diamond and his music, Greg Diamond brings the look and sound to create the singer/songwriter’s greatest hits. Historic Yuma Theatre. Tel: 928-373-5202. Dec.18: A Swingin’ Christmas: Set in the style of a classic television Christmas Special, this concert will put you “In the Mood” featuring an amazing sixpiece swing band and an all-star cast of vocalists boasting credentials ranging from Broadway to American Idol! Historic Yuma Theatre. Tel: 928 373-5202.

Jan. 9-11: Yuma Jaycee’s 39th Annual Worthen Memorial Old Time Fiddle Contest. Jaycee Clubhouse. Tel: 928-344-5451. Jan. 10: City of Yuma’s Military Appreciation Day. Honors active and retired service personnel and features historic photographs, speakers, and presentations plus vendors of all varieties. Historic Downtown. Tel: 928-373-5028.

Dec. 19-21: The Annual Foothills Parade of Christmas Lights: 6pm at Foothills Blvd & 46th Street. Info: (310) 339-2621. Dec. 19-21: Holiday Light Tour: 7-8:30 p.m. Yuma Transit Center. Tel: 928-783-2235. Dec. 20: Somerton Tamale Festival: Somerton, AZ. Tel: 928-388-4837 Dec. 21: Classical Concerts – Curt Sather, Organist. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Tel: 928-7820166 or 928-782-5155. Jan. 2: Squeeze Box – Mollie B Polka Party. Join the fun with a good old fashioned Polka Party! Historic Yuma Theatre. Tel: 928-373-5202. Jan. 6: Class of ’65: In this recurring series, which highlights Billboard’s Top 100 from fifty years ago, this Class of ’65 show will feature all the top hits from the year 1965! There are so many enduring hits, our hard-rockin’ band might have to do them all! Historic Yuma Theatre. Tel: 928-373-5202. PAGE 44

Winter is a great time to explore the Yuma area. Organized canoe trips and hiking events are presented by the City of Yuma Parks & Rec Department! For full details and pricing information call (928) 373-5202 or visit CANOE TRIPS - Today the mighty Colorado River is a life-giving managed waterway. Flowing through seven states and two countries, this resource provides water, energy, and life to millions inhabiting the western United States and northern Mexico. Whether you paddle or just float, come enjoy and discover today's Colorado River in Yuma.

HIKES - Discover the plant and animal life that has adapted to this harsh ecology, learn map & compass reading, practice use of GPS, and look for scat, tracks, wildflowers, ancient petro glyphs, and morteros. Bring your camera on these half day hikes that cover 2-5 miles of rocky trails, with some moderate elevation change.

Dec. 20: "Discovery" December Canoe Trip

Dec. 13: Hiking in Yuma (Session I - KOFA Horse Tanks)

Jan. 31: "New Year" January Canoe Trip Jan. 17: Hiking In Yuma (Session II - Wellton Muggins)


By Nancy J. Reid Those born from December 1 to December 21st were born under the Sagittarius zodiac sign, and those born from December 22 to December 31st were born under the Capricorn zodiac sign. Traits attributed to Sagittarians are Optimism, freedomloving, jovial, good-humored, honest, straightforward, intellectual and philosophical. They can also be so optimistic they are careless, they can be irresponsible, superficial, tactless and restless. They like traveling, getting to the heart of a matter, freedom, laws and their meanings, and the general “feel”of things. They do not like off-the-wall theories, being tied down domestically, waiting around, constrained or dealing with details. Traditional Capricorn traits are being practical, prudent, ambitious, disciplined, patient, careful, humorous but reserved. Sometimes they are known to be pessimistic, fatalistic, miserly and grudging. They like reliability, firm foundations, professionalism, knowing what they are talking about, and purpose. They dislike wild schemes and fantasies, go-no-where jobs, and public embarrassment . Considering these traits, have a look at some famous people in history born in December and compare their personalities and see what you think. Some are heroes, some villains, and a lot of them are as different as chalk and cheese. Do you think the great composers Beethoven and Puccini may have had the same personalities as Ted Nugent, Keith Richards, Frank Zappa or Ozzy Osbourne? Or that John Denver shares the same traits as Psy, the Korean Gangnam style singer/dancer? World leaders born in December are Joseph Stalin, Mary Queen of Scots, Roman Emperor Nero, Anwar Sadat, Mao Tse Tung and Pope Francis. In the military arena we have Alvin York, one of the most decorated soldiers from World War 1, Deborah Sampson who dressed as a man in order to fight in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, George Armstrong Custer who served in the US Army during the Civil War, and in the Calvary during the American Indian Wars. Custer died with all his men at the Battle of Little Big Horn, now known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” Indian fighter Kit Carson was also born in December. Another interesting group is the amount of entrepreneurs born in December. J. Paul Getty, Richard Warren Sears, Harry Firestone, Howard Hughes, Louis Chevrolet, Charles Goodyear, Conrad Hilton, and Elizabeth Arden. Compare them to Heidi Fleiss (ex Madame) and Lorie Grenier (Shopping Channel & Shark Tank) of today. PAGE 46

Political Commentators as entertainment seems to be a modern phenomenon without historic comparison, but we can’t leave out Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Chris Matthews. Those born on Christmas, December 25, are Clara Barton, Louis Chevrolet, Conrad Hilton, Anwar Sadat, and Annie Lennox. ACTIVISTS/PHILOSOPHERS Sagittarians Nostradamus, Dec. 14, 1503 Margaret Mead, Dec. 16, 1901 Capricorns Clara Barton, Dec. 25, 1821, founder of the Red Cross ART/ARCHITECTS Sagittarians Marie Tussaud, Dec. 1, 1761, wax sculptor Gustave Eiffel, Dec. 15, 1832 BUSINESS/ENTREPRENEURS Sagittarians Richard W. Sears, Dec. 7, 1863 Lori Grenier, Dec. 9, 1969 J. Paul Getty, Dec. 15, 1892 Harry Firestone, Dec. 20, 1868 Capricorns Howard Hughes, Dec. 24, 1905 Conrad Hilton, Dec. 25, 1887 Louis Chevrolet, Dec. 25, 1878 Charles Goodyear, Dec. 29, 1800 Heidi Fleiss, Dec. 30, 1965 Elizabeth Arden, Dec. 31, 1844 EXPLORERS Sagittarians Hernando Cortes, Dec. 2, 1485 Capricorns Jacques Cartier, Dec. 31, 1491 MILITARY Sagittarians George Custer, Dec. 5, 1839 Alvin York, Dec. 13, 1877 Deborah Sampson, Dec. 17, 1760 Capricorns Kit Carson, Dec. 24, 1868 MUSICIANS Sagittarians Bette Midler, Dec. 1, 1945 Brittany Spears, Dec. 2, 1981 Ozzy Osbourne, Dec. 3, 1948 Jay Z, Dec. 4, 1969 Little Richard, Dec. 5, 1932 Sammy Davis Jr., Dec. 8, 1925 Frank Sinatra, Dec. 12, 1915 Ted Nugent, Dec. 13, 1948 Ludwig van Beethoven, Dec. 17, 1770 Keith Richards, Dec. 18, 1943 Frank Zappa, Dec. 21, 1940

MUSICIANS Capricorns Giacomo Puccini , Dec. 22, 1858 Annie Lennox, Dec. 25, 1954 John Denver, Dec. 31, 1943 Psy, Dec. 31, 1977 PERFORMERS/DIRECTORS Sagittarians Woody Allen, Dec. 1, 1935 Walt Disney, Dec. 5, 1901 Ann Coulter, Dec. 8, 1961 Bobby Flay, Dec. 10, 1964 Jamie Foxx, Dec. 13, 1967 Chris Matthews, Dec. 17, 1945 Ron White, Dec. 18, 1956 Brad Pitt, Dec. 18, 1963 Betty Grable, Dec. 18, 1916 Steven Spielberg, Dec. 18, 1946 Jane Fonda, Dec. 21, 1937 Capricorns Ryan Seacrest , Dec. 24, 1974 Ava Gardner, Dec. 24, 1922 Marlene Dietrich, Dec. 27, 1901 Sean Hannity, Dec. 30, 1961 Denzil Washington, Dec. 28, 1954 Val Kilmer, Dec. 31, 1959 Anthony Hopkins, Dec. 31, 1937 POETS/WRITERS Sagittarians Joyce Kilmer, Dec. 6, 1886 John Milton, Dec. 9, 1608 Emily Dickinson, Dec. 10, 1830 Jane Austen, Dec. 16, 1775 Capricorns Rudyard Kipling, Dec. 30, 1865 POLITICIANS/STATESMEN Capricorns Woodrow Wilson, Dec. 28, 1856 Andrew Johnson, Dec. 29, 1808 SCIENTISTS/INVENTORS Sagittarians Eli Whitney, Dec. 8, 1765 Capricorns Johannes Kepler, Dec. 27, 1571 Louis Pasteur, Dec. 27, 1822 SPORTSCapricorns Tiger Woods, Dec. 30, 1975 Sandy Koufax, Dec. 30, 1935 WORLD LEADERS Sagittarians Mary Queen of Scots, Dec. 8, 1542 Nero, Dec. 15 37 AD Pope Francis, Dec. 17, 1936 Joseph Stalin, Dec. 18, 1878 Capricorns Anwar Saddat, Dec. 25, 1918 Mao Tse Tung, Dec. 26, 1893


Upcoming Big Blend Radio Shows Big Blend Radio’s CHAMPAGNE SUNDAYS variety show airs live every Sunday (except holiday weekends) from 11am PT / 12pm MT / 1pm CT / 2pm ET. Join Nancy Reid & Lisa Smith, the crazy mother-daughter travel team and publishers of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine, for Big Blend Radio’s Champagne Sundays variety show. Both December shows air live from the historic Coronado Motor Hotel in Yuma, Arizona. Go to to listen to the live or archived shows, or download the podcasts from iTunes. Listen to podcasts of individual interviews on, and of course here in our monthly Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to get your free copy in your email box!

Dec. 7: Travel, Cooking, Art, Organizing & Law - Winter in California’s Sequoia Country – Michelle Fiddler - Sequoia National Park, Denise Alonzo – Sequoia National Forest, Sandy Blankenship – Exeter Chamber of Commerce, Gail Zurek - Visalia Chamber of Commerce. - Wine & Soup - Howard & Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand award-winning cookbook ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine. - The Illustrated Dog - New Mexico artist Victoria Chick - Jumpstart the Organizing Process - Regina Leeds ‘The Zen Organizer’ and New York Times best-selling author of ‘One Year To An Organized Life’ series. - 2015 California Employment Laws - S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq. Backstrom and Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law

Dec. 14: History, Art, Books & Health - Joseph McGill – Founder of Slave Dwelling Project - Glynn Burrows of Norfolk Tours, talks Historic Churches of England - Lance Laber – DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson, Arizona - Victoria Griffith, author of young adult novel ‘Amazon Burning’ - Lisa Grey, author of Pink Kitchen Cookbooks - Cynthia Johnston, herbalist and owner of MoonMaid Botanicals Plus, Hollywood History with Steve Schneickert!


Jan. 4: Big Blend Radio 8th Anniversary Party! - Leona’s Sister, alternative rock band from Toronto, Canada - Champagne Cocktails with Howard & Ruth Milstein, author of ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine’ - The Pocono Mountains with travel writer Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ - Events in Yuma, Arizona with Carrie Ring - City of Yuma, Rex Ijams – Yuma Art Center & Historic Theatre, Bruce Brown – Desert Hills Golf Course. - Goal Setting with Bobbi DePorter – President of Quantum Learning Network & Co-Founder of SuperCamp - Plus, Hollywood History with Steve Schneickert!