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CONTENTS 5. Editors Block

A TOAST TO THE ARTS 6. Drummer Insider 10. Guitar Grooves 14. Music News & Interviews 24. The Art & Mystery of Masks 28. Stage & Screen 30. Books, Writing & Poetry

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 34. Taking the Fear Out of Wine Tasting 39. Holiday Shopping for Wine Lovers 40. First Fish Native Inspired Dinner 43. Japanese Style Curry 44. Healthy Thanksgiving & Holiday Sides 45. Stuffed Medjool Dates for the Holidays 46. Recipes for Turkey Leftovers & Turkey Tips 48. Roasted & Braised Ribs 51. Serve It Up Smart with Fancy Panz!

GARDEN GOSSIP 52. A Well-Crafted Home 53. The Humane Gardener

NATURE CONNECTION 54. The Elephant Project & Myanmar 56. Going Green in New Orleans

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CONTENTS Continued‌ QUALITY OF LIFE 58. Diabetes Mellitus & Heart Health 60. Beautiful Balance: Live Your Best Life 64. Reward Yourself, You Deserve It!

SUCCESS EXPRESS 66. Hospitality Labor Laws in California 68. Are You a Difficult Leader? 70. Board Game Industry Success Insider 73. Hal Moore on Leadership

VACATION STATION 74. Amazing Lincoln City, Oregon 80. The Magic of Chateauneuf-du-Pape 86. The Streets of Paris 88. The World of King Arthur & Robin Hood 93. Gifts & Gear for Travelers 94. Mystical Bhutan 106. Travel & Events Guide

BIG BLEND MISSION STATEMENT: Big Blend is a company based on the belief that education is the most formidable weapon that can be waged against fear, ignorance and prejudice. It is our belief that education starts at home and branches outward. Education leads to travel, and travel leads to understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of cultures and customs different to our own, and ultimately to world peace. Our company is further based on the principle that networking, communication, and helping others to promote and market themselves leads to financial stability; thus paving the way to better education, travel, and the spirit of giving back to the community. This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™, copyrighted since 1997. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.


EDITORS BLOCK “Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.” Thomas Kinkade From seasonal destinations across America to holiday cooking and gift ideas, this is definitely one big holiday bumper issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine! The Arts is prevalent covering everything from music and poetry to books, writing and film, as well as the fascinating history behind the art of masks. Quality of life is always a main factor and in this issue it runs from home decor and humane gardening, to wildlife conservation and green infrastructure, as well as heart health, the joys of increasing balance and handling change in life, business and leadership advice, and success stories. Our travel stories stretch from coastal Oregon and California, to historic France and England, mystical Bhutan and beyond! Enjoy! To listen to our live or archived Big Blend Radio shows, visit www.BigBlendRadio.com. Be sure to subscribe to our Big Blend e-Newsletter to get your free bi-monthly digital copies of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Parks & Travel Magazine (formerly Spirit of America Magazine) in your email inbox, as well as new articles, recipes, event news, radio interviews and videos. You can also keep up and with all things Big Blend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our hearts go out to all recovering from the recent weather catastrophes, shooting and terrorism tragedies. Thank you first responders, emergency workers and volunteers. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season! Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team! PAGE 5

Superstar Drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, Legendary Jazz Drummer Buddy Rich, and Rock Drummers Tyler Zarzeka & Chris Hornbook SUPERSTAR DRUMMER CINDY BLACKMAN SANTANA Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with superstar drummer, singer and songwriter Cindy Blackman Santana, who discusses her career and new single FUN, PARTY, SPLASH that features her husband Carlos Santana, and was produced by Narada Michael Walden. She also discusses the new Santana/Isley Brothers collaboration POWER OF PEACE album that features her song 'I Remember.' (Page 7)

Cindy has been creating magnificent musical time and space since the beginning of her career as a busking street performer in New York City in the '80s through the present day, touring the globe and making albums at the top of her game—including the critically acclaimed Another Lifetime (2010). In addition to collaborating onstage and instudio with her own group—also known as Another Lifetime—she has toured and recorded with artists including Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson, Bill Laswell, Joss Stone, Joe Henderson, Al B. Sure, Buckethead, Don Pullen, Hugh Masakela, Buster Williams, and Angela Bofill.

Cindy Blackman Santana is a virtuoso drummer whose artistry spans the realms of jazz and rock. As a bandleader and as a musician, Cindy is a Cindy was part of the Tony Williams Lifetime sound innovator with a passion for pushing Tribute Band called Spectrum Road with Jack creative boundaries and exploring movement and change. She is as known for the nuances and Bruce, Vernon Reid, and John Medeski. colors she brings to her beats and fills as she is Continued on Next Page… for the sheer power of her soulful playing. PAGE 6

“They have a great band vibe. It's nice to play with people who have grown together, built a sound together, and stayed together,” she says. “When that happens, you can create so many different levels of communication. That's what they've done, and I love reacting with it and being a part of it.” Electricity onstage generated chemistry offstage—Carlos proposed to Cindy during a July 2010 concert, and they married in December. Looking ahead, they will collaborate artistically as well, on projects that will no doubt reflect their shared passion for improvisation, and belief in the transcendent nature of music. Cindy was an integral part of the new Santana/Isley Brothers release Power of Peace, featuring the song “I Remember,” which she wrote and sings. “To me,” she says, “music is completely spiritual, it's the way you connect with your higher self, with the universe. It's also a way to share light with millions of people. They don’t need to speak your language, have your beliefs, or be in the same place you are. The music speaks, it channels good energy, and makes a difference in people's lives. Carlos and I are both conscious of doing that.”

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with In 2016, Cindy connected with her fellow superstar drummer, drummer and world-class producer Narada singer and songwriter Cindy Blackman Santana. Michael Walden, and together the two have been working on new material ever since. Cindy Blackman Santana continues to build a body of Drummer Insider Continued… work and artistic legacy that make her one of the finest drummers and recording artists of this or From 1992 to 2007 and again in 2014 & 2015, she any generation. www.CindyBlackmanSantana.com was the drummer in Lenny Kravitz's band, performing through multiple world tours and hit Continued on Next Page… albums. In 2010, she was part of the all-star lineup performing “Bitches Brew,” a tribute to Miles Davis' seminal album staged at the San Francisco Jazz Festival and NYC Winter JazzFest. More recently, Cindy has become the regular touring drummer for Santana. Having met several years earlier at a festival in Europe while she was touring with Kravitz, Cindy first played with Santana in spring 2010, when drummer Dennis Chambers had a previous commitment. PAGE 7

BUDDY RICH LIVE Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Cathy Rich, who is the daughter of legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich, CEO of Scabeba Entertainment, and guest vocalist with the 16-piece Buddy Rich Band featuring drummer Greg Potter. Lightyear Entertainment and Lobitos Creek Ranch, in association with Scabeba Entertainment and the Buddy Rich Estate, have announced the release of two new live albums featuring Buddy Rich and his Big Band, both recorded in 1985 on two nights at the King Street Studios in San Francisco. The albums are the soundtracks from two concert films, The Channel One Suite and The Lost Tapes, which have been available from Lightyear on DVD since 2003 and 2005, respectively. The sound recordings from these concerts have never before been available as audio albums or as digital films for rental, sale, or streaming.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Cathy Rich

The digital films are scheduled for a November 2017 release. A vinyl LP of The Lost Tapes will be released as well, tentatively scheduled for January 2018.

Buddy Rich, whom Gene Krupa defined as “the greatest drummer to ever draw breath,” was honored with a President's Special Merit Award GRAMMY along with three Grammy Nominations. He was inducted into the Downbeat A complete jazz club was built in the soundstage Magazine, Modern Drummer and Playboy Halls of for the production to a live audience. The Channel Fame. Buddy received the Jazz Unlimited One Suite has been retitled The Channel One Set, Immortals of Jazz Award and awards for his philanthropic efforts. He was named “Greatest referring to the set list that Buddy and his Big Drummer of All Time” by Modern Drummer Band performed the night it was recorded. The magazine. www.BuddyRich.com title The Lost Tapes refers to the fact that these recordings were lost for a decade, presumed Continued on Next Page… damaged in a fire, and then digitally restored. PAGE 8

DRUMMER TYLER ZARZEKA Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with drummer Tyler Zarzeka whose credits include Charlie Puth, Kiiara, Cher Lloyd, Emblem 3, Siren XX, and Noah Cyrus, who he’s on tour with now. After years of filling up two passports and traveling to 6 continents working as a drum tech for such artists as Usher (Aaron Spears), Jay Z (Eric Geene), American Idol Tour (Teddy Campbell and Gordon Campbell), Hanson (Zac Hanson), and Demi Lovato (Mike Reid), in 2014 Tyler quit working for drummers and began drumming full time. The past few years he has performed on countless TV shows, and in front of countless huge audiences. www.TylerZarzeka.com

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with drummer Tyler Zarzeka.

Drummer Insider Continued…

Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with drummer Chris Hornbrook.

DRUMMER CHRIS HORNBROOK Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with drummer Chris Hornbrook about his 20+ year career as a hard rock drummer, and touring with bands across the country and around the world. Chris is best known for his work with Poison The Well, as well as performing and recording with bands and artists such as Trash Talk, Senses Fail, Big Black Delta, and Sleigh Bells. Music featured in this radio segment is “Carry The Weight” and “My Fear of an Unlived Life” off the 2015 Senses Fail album “Pull The Thorns From Your Heart”. www.ChrisHornbrook.com PAGE 9

STEVE HUNTER: Before The Lights Go Out Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Steve “The Deacon” Hunter, long time Alice Cooper/Lou Reed guitarist, who talks about his latest blues/rock solo album “Before The Lights Go Out”! The cover art and title make a statement about his failing eyesight, but don't make the mistake of thinking this is a quiet wave goodbye. As soon as you put on the first track, you will know that this is more like a Blues Rock Declaration of Independence! There are sexy grooves, luscious guitar tones and melodies galore. As with all Hunter's releases, there is some diversity and sound imagery, not least of which is Tienes Mi Corazón where alongside his nylon string improvisation comes the sound of his own heart. And listen out for Joe Satriani adding his fire to the heat of “Mojo Man.”

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Steve Hunter.


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Guitar Grooves Continued… Also joining Steve on a couple of tracks are two great Bass players: Erik Scott can be heard on “Mojo Man,” Erik is also an Alice Cooper alumni. On “Under the Bodhi Tree” is Andy Stoller. Steve and Andy toured together with Tracy Chapman during the “Telling Stories” album period, most recently Andy has been touring with Ann Wilson of Heart. Says Steve, “This album was a real joy for me on many levels. A big part of the inspiration and motivation that kept me going; was from all the people out there who had faith in me and encouraged me through the entire process with their donations and comments. It was really a wonderful experience having you all be a part of it. It's my deepest hope and desire that you all enjoy the music on this album as much as I enjoyed making it. Thank you and God bless!”

Steve Hunter is his own man; he has been around the block with a forty-five year career. From his 1973 solos on Alice Cooper's “Billion Dollar Babies” album, his legendary acoustic work on Peter Gabriel's “Solsbury Hill,” his “Intro” to Lou Reed's “Sweet Jane” and his searing opening solos on Aerosmith's version of “Train Kept A Rolling.” Most recently he can be heard on Alice Cooper's 2017 album “Paranormal” making this his ninth Cooper album appearance. The Deacon is not done yet but his life is evolving! He has challenges playing live now but his honed skill, tone, power and soul, is dished up on this hot plate of guitar driven instrumental tastiness. See www.SteveHunter.com.


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It includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Jon Dann. Says Ant, “'Slow Dance' was an important album to me because it represented the first time that I was able to do a full-scale album after all the miniatures of the, for me, thrifty 80s! I had stockpiled a number of ideas during those years and finally, due to the promise of an advance from my then record company, Passport, I was able to realise these on the big canvas, as it were. Alongside those ideas, I wrote a lot of new material, helped by the new gear, most which feature on Side 2. I was kindly advanced the money by my management Hit & Run and then….Passport went bust….?!!!

Guitar Grooves Continued…


Listen to composer and original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips talk with Big Blend Radio about the release of the newly re-mixed and expanded deluxe 3-disc edition of his classic 1990 instrumental imaginative orchestral album “Slow Dance.”

“Album all written but not recorded…! What to do …?! Hit & Run were terrific, didn't pressurise me and I was able to complete the album, secure a publishing deal with Virgin - which led to my catalogue being realised on CD - so the gamble paid off…Phew !!! But it was veritably a labour of love. Seven months very hard work. No road map for that album. Did it make sense …? One long continuous piece, broken up into two sides…? “I really wasn't sure and having finished it, found listening to it unbearable! Yet years on it has its admirers (one who even says he has not been moved thus by an album since…). So I must have got something right - and in the re-release we have tried to really make the re-purchase worthwhile with the improved sound of the main album, the extras CD and the 5.1. I hope the public agree!” www.AnthonyPhillips.co.uk

Regarded by aficionados of Anthony's music as one of his finest releases, “Slow Dance” is a two part orchestral rock suite which showcases Anthony's music at his most expansive and imaginative. This new 3-disc (2 CD / 1 DVD) digipak Deluxe Edition of the album features a newly re-mastered original stereo mix and a 5.1 Surround sound mix by Simon Heyworth (on an NSTC / Region Free DVD), along with a CD of previously unreleased “Slow Dance Vignettes.” PAGE 12

Guitar Grooves Continued…

MICHA SCHELLHAAS: The Rebirth of the Summer Snow Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with guitarist Micha Schellhaas who talks about his new mini-album “The Rebirth of the Summer Snow,” that was inspired by the books and the true story of Chinese-American artist and writer Jossda. The track, Summer Snow, features Stu Hamm on bass who has recorded and toured extensively with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Micha was born in Germany. He started playing the guitar at age 9 and developed an early interest in the sounds and styles of American music, especially the Blues. He started performing at age 12 in several local bands, and at 17, he started to work as a professional player in a studio recorded production which marked the start of his international career. Micha formally studied guitar initially in Germany, and finished his education with a Master’s Degree in Jazz Guitar from the prestigious ARTEZ Conservatory in Arnhem, the Netherlands. In addition to mastering the guitar, Micha also developed composition and production skills during these years. While living in Amsterdam, he co-owned a recording studio and regularly performed all over Europe. He started traveling to the United States extensively, making many new musical friends along the way. He moved to San Francisco in 2011, and after a couple of years, relocated to Los Angeles. In LA it did not take him long to connect with some of the city’s finest musicians. He recorded his first official EP, “Wings of Fire”, in 2013 at the famous Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood. The EP features Frank Zappa’s and Steve Vai’s drummer, Chad Wackerman, and is produced by legendary guitar player Carl Verheyen of Supertramp.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Micha Schellhaas.

“Wings of Fire” was followed by a full length album, “Double Take”, in 2015. The album features the same all-star band and producer, and received international praise. The famous Vintage Guitar Magazine (US) called his album a “guitar extravaganza”, and The Rocker (UK) highlighted that the all original material shows Micha to be a “major talent”. Micha has since relocated to the magical high desert mountain town of Joshua Tree, California. He is finding inspiration in nature, performing locally, and running a recording and production studio from this remote location. www.MichaMusic.com


MUSIC NEWS & INTERVIEWS Hard Rock to Traditional Country, Cool Blues to Contemporary Pop and Beyond!

THE BANG STORY: From the Basement to the Bright Lights Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with bass player Frank Ferrara and guitarist Frank Gilcken of the legendary proto-metal power trio BANG, who have a lively chat about their wild career and share some of the stories featured in their new biography, “The BANG Story: From the Basement to the Bright Lights”. With the heaviness of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, coupled with the groove of Grand Funk Railroad, BANG released three critically acclaimed albums on Capitol Records in the early 1970s before disappearing for a number of years.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with bass player Frank Ferrara and guitarist Frank Gilcken of the legendary proto-metal power trio BANG.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of BANG's debut album and the band is celebrating with the release of their new book! “The BANG Story: In the summer of 1971, BANG, a trio from the From the Basement to the Bright Lights” was Philadelphia area, decided to take a road trip to written by Lawrence Knorr, Frank Ferrara, Tony Florida to try their fortune. Diorio, and Frank Gilcken. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 14

Music News Continued… While buying some rolling papers in the Sunshine State, they learned about a Small Faces and Deep Purple concert nearby in Orlando. They showed up at the venue and brazenly declared they were ready to go on stage. The concert organizer asked them to set up and play for him. After a couple songs, he told them they were opening for Rod Stewart and Small Faces. Before they knew it, BANG was playing with Bachman Turner Overdrive, Deep Purple, Three Dog Night, Fleetwood Mac, Ike and Tina Turner, The Doobie Brothers, and even Black Sabbath. Capitol Records signed them, and three LPs were released. Join Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, and Frankie Gilcken, as they recall their rapid rise to fame, playing with numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

The 1971 self-titled debut album “BANG” is considered an important forerunner to the early Doom Metal genre. Undoubtedly one of America's heaviest 'proto-metal' bands from the period, BANG also had a strong sense of melodic power. The band's versatility and songwriting skills are second to none. Highly regarded as a cult act by many for years, it’s now time for this truly amazing rock band to be enjoyed by a new audience worldwide! www.BangMusic.com Continued on Next Page…

Video: The Bang Story


Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with artist and vocalist Annie Haslam.

Music News Continued…

ANNIE HASLAM: A Symphonic Journey with Renaissance

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with artist and vocalist Annie Haslam, leader of symphonic rock group Renaissance, who talks Additionally, they have performed at the Royal about their fall 2017 “Symphonic Journey” Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic tour in the US Northeast, as well as her Orchestra and Royal Chorale Society. vibrant art and music career. Renaissance had a top ten hit in the UK with Renaissance is a band with a rich history unique their song Northern Lights that still demands airplay to this day. unto themselves as progressive rock pioneers who rose from the ashes of the seminal UK rock www.RenaissanceTouring.com / band, The Yardbirds. Acclaimed for their unique www.AnnieHaslam.com Continued on Next Page… blending of progressive rock with classical and symphonic influences, the band's career has spanned forty plus years spearheaded by the 5 octave voice of Annie Haslam and the masterful songwriting skills of Michael Dunford. They are widely considered to be the band that most successfully and routinely utilized the sound of a full orchestra in their recordings. The band has toured throughout the world and has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra PAGE 16

Video: Cry to the World

Music News Continued…

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Allison August.

ALLISON AUGUST: Holy Water Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Southern California blues singer-songwriter Allison August, who talks about her new album ‘Holy Water’ that features Paul Barrere of Little Feat, as well as Coco Montoya, Greg Liesz, Josh Smith, and Lance Lopez. In 2010, Allison reunited with her Barebones band mates David J Carpenter, Bryan Head, and Dino Soldo to record four new songs. Encouraged by one of her biggest influences, Paul Barrere, the four songs he agreed to play on became a whole album: “Holy Water”. Her songs are inspired by the joys and tribulations of her life: marriage, divorce, motherhood, abuse, cancer, but above all, a love of music and hope for the future. Melody has defined Allison’s life because she has always been surrounded by music. Allison is a fourth generation musician who, from childhood, dreamed of joining the family business.

She is proud to have performed and recorded with members of Little Feat, Tower of Power, Parliament Funkadelic, Lenny Kravitz, Lionel Ritchie, and many others. www.AllisonAugust.com


Continued on Next Page… Video: Sun Don’t Shine

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Richard Lynch.

Music News Continued…

RICHARD LYNCH: Mending Fences Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with chart-topping traditional American country music artist Richard Lynch, who talks about his music and latest album ‘Mending Fences’, as well as his Love Tattoo Foundation for Veterans and saving barns! Reminiscent of the classics that started it all, the same passion and raw truth that fueled the likes of Conway Twitty, Keith Whitley, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, and Hank Williams is sewn into the fabric of Richard Lynch. With a list of country hits and chart toppers in the world of traditional country music, he stands out in the crowd as a proud member of the last of a dying breed, the pure country music artist.

Backed by a group of hand selected country musicians, the Richard Lynch Band performs a wide variety of music for the true traditionalist including pure country, western swing, rockabilly, outlaw country, and hard driving honky-tonk. www.RichardLynchBand.com.

His rock solid country roots span 3 decades; it comes up with the sun each morning, and it settles in the music he writes and the songs he sings.


Video: Cut and Paste

Music News Continued… Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Marc Daniels.

MARC DANIELS: The Starting Line Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with country rocker Marc Daniels, who talks about his music career, debut album ‘The Starting Line’, and first two singles ‘Redheads’ and ‘Summer Song’. American singer-songwriter and guitarist, Marc Daniels builds a deep connection with his audience by offering heartfelt and down-toearth lyrics that are poured over lively rock influenced country music. Produced by Tom Chandler, his full-length debut album The Starting Line pays homage to Marc’s past experiences while growing up in rural America.

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Featuring roof-raising anthems such as “Redheads” and “Summer Song,” and chilling romantic tunes like, “Bring Me Back To You,” the entirety of the album reveals Marc’s wellrounded artistry as well as, his musical and emotional depth that he infuses into his songs. www.MarcDanielsCountry.com

A montage to all the great memories of those carefree years back home, the album’s comprised of soulful vocals, blazing guitar melodies and heavy basslines.


Video: Summer Song

Music News Continued…

ELLE CASAZZA: Proof Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Elle Casazza.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Elle Casazza, who talks about her music career, touring, and the stories behind the songs in her new album “Proof”. Elle Casazza diversifies the pop scene with her own refreshing and authentic blend of jazz, soul, funk and pop rhythms that are seamlessly crafted into her songs. Elle’s commanding vocals, defying songwriting and versatile approach produces infectious and timeless music that garners fans worldwide.

The re-creative and contemporary singersongwriter showcases her retro-pop style in her latest record, Proof, where she says she hopes to “deliver authenticity by bringing the live band back to pop music.”

Video: Too Bad

Her sincere and unapologetic songwriting oozes with passion and illuminates an engaging listening experience, and her powerful and silk-like vocals are complimented by retro-pop elements that bring her personal stories to life. www.ElleCasazza.com Continued on Next Page…


Music News Continued…

JONATHAN CAVIER: Blue Room Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jonathan Cavier.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with pop singer-songwriter Jonathan Cavier, who talks about his second full-length solo album, Blue Room, a continuation and maturation of the sound from his first solo album, Premier. Originally from Northern California, Cavier moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he performed as Alan Clark in the atmospheric pop duo, EyeTalk. After five albums and hundreds of shows, he has reintroduced himself under the pseudonym Jonathan Cavier.

With the maturation of his songwriting and composition, and the wide array of generational influences on Blue Room’s ten tracks, one can see an artist truly coming into his own. www.CavierMusic.com Continued on Next Page… Video: When You Come Around

There is raw emotion in both Cavier’s voice and lyrics on Blue Room, showing an artist that has a deep strength in communicating emotion to his listeners. Blending together pop influences from the 80s, 90s and music of today, Cavier continues to “transport listeners to colorful threeminute worlds,” a process he started with the 2016 release of Premier.


Music News Continued… Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Nicki Kris.

NICKI KRIS: Captain America

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with North Carolina singer-songwriter Nicki Kris, who discusses her new single CAPTAIN AMERICA that she wrote to encourage the spirit of the Patriotic Super Soldier in all of us to step up, stand up, and peacefully fight for all human rights regardless of any Nicki’s songs have been featured in awarddifferences between us. winning movies, TV shows, and on radio stations worldwide, and she has been on the official In keeping with the positive spirit of Captain ballot for the Grammy Awards for the past four America, she has created a Nicki Kris’s years – with Captain America on the ballot for Superheroes Facebook Group where everyone is 2018! www.NickiKris.com. invited to promote their inner superhero, as well Continued on Next Page… as everyday heroes we all come across during our daily lives. Video: Captain America. Continually using her voice and lyrics to spread love and positivity, Captain America is a follow up to her 2016 single, Falling To Pieces, an anthemic response to the tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, with all proceeds from its iTunes sales being donated to the OneOrlando Fund.


GLOBAL SINGER-SONGWRITER CONVERSATION Nicki Kris, Jon Magnusson & James Saunders Listen to the Big Blend Radio singer-songwriter conversation and music featuring Nicki Kris who sat in as guest cohost, along with guests James Saunders of Hermanus, South Africa; and Jon Magnusson of Stockholm, Sweden. Video: Your Dreams

Video: Silver Ghost


By Victoria Chick, contemporary figurative artist and early 19th & 20th century print collector Masks are the most usual way of changing our appearance and, historically, the most universal. Masks have been used around the world since prehistoric times. Archaeologists have found mask images in Neolithic petroglyphs and as artifacts from ancient civilizations. The oldest masks still extant are death masks like the famous Egyptian mask of Tutankhamen or the gold Mycenean mask that was thought to be Agamemnon. Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 24

Big Blend Radio: Victoria Chick discusses Masks!

Three pictures of the same Noh Hawk Mask in different positions Masks Continued… Many masks have been based on animistic religious beliefs; some represent archetypes and have a tradition of theatrical use. The Greek masks of comedy and tragedy are examples, as are the Noh masks of Japan, and the masks of the Commedia del Arte’ that became popular beginning in the 16th century in Italy. Even today, there are theatrical troupes that carry on the tradition of using masks for performance. Both religious and theatrical masks are not truly understood without the music, singing, dancing, or ritual that should accompany their wearing. But, when we look at these masks today we often see them merely as art objects and, certainly, the craftsmanship involved in their making shows a high degree of artistry and imagination.

Comedy Mask - Old Slave Altes Museum

In the late nineteenth century, the raw emotion elicited by three dimensional masks was adapted to painting and printmaking by various European expressive artists as subject matter for their two dimensional works. Norwegian artist Emile Nolde and James Ensor of Belgium both painted masks or figures wearing masks. Even a Realist painter like Corot painted a figure wearing a mask. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 25

The Death Mask of Ensor

Masks Continued‌ Part of the interest in masks in the 19th century was due to the influence of the developing field of psychology. The idea of a mask representing a persona different from the one an individual has in public became widespread. By the time of WWI, we can see that war on a large scale created a feeling of depersonalization represented by the gas masks seen in many paintings and woodcuts by the German Expressionists.

1908 Lovis Corinth (German Painter, 1858-1925) Charlotte Berend-Corinth in a Black Mask

Today, we may find the anonymity provided by masks encourages choosing Halloween costumes that represent a personality diametrically opposite from the way we normally present ourselves. 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. Visit her website at www.ArtistVictoriaChick.com King Tut Mask



CINEMA AROUND THE WORLD Movies are a universal language. It is magic, and magic is universal! Both world cinema and foreign film could be taken to refer to the films of all countries other than one's own, regardless of native language. World cinema has an unofficial implication of films with 'artistic value' as opposed to 'Hollywood commercialism'. Listen to Steve Schneickert as he recalls the Hollywood History of Cinema Around the World! PAGE 28

Listen to Hollywood History of Cinema Around the World by Steve Schneickert

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Stage & Screen Continued…

THE SWITCH Work. Love. Mortal Danger. Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Amy Fox, creator of THE SWITCH sitcom. Canada’s popular comedy, THE SWITCH, the world’s first transgender half-hour sitcom, is a fun and heart-warming series that features a predominantly transgender cast (with all trans roles played by trans actors) as they try to solve whatever crises they encounter - or create. On their journey, they build a community out of their disparate lives. Unfolding over six episodes, THE SWITCH follows expat Sü (Nyla Rose) as she settles into life in her adopted Vancouver. Along the way, she botches the metric system while online shopping for hormones and winds up more than broke, tries to pay off debts by moonlighting as a textmessage dominatrix (until her boyfriend suspects she’s texting her ex), sets up a doubledate that leads to a fistfight over the bill, and finds out that someone is trying to mess with her medical records – which is a problem because she’s fudged her paperwork so she can be considered for gender reassignment surgery. She has to fix all this without getting deported… while living with a roommate who’s a wanted eco-terrorist. Sü is surrounded by a cast of offbeat and loveable characters, all of whom are coming out of their cocoon in one way or another. But what’s emerging? And how will the world deal with them?

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Amy Fox.

Video: The Switch

THE SWITCH is created by Amy Fox, written by Wren Handman and Shevon Singh, and directed by Jem Garrard. The series stars Nyla Rose, Amy Fox, Vincent Viezzer and Lindsay Coryne. THE SWITCH is a Trembling Void Studios production and produced by Ingo Lou. www.WeLoveTheSwitch.com PAGE 29

CASHED OUT Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Louisiana based award-winning author and attorney Michael H. Rubin, who discusses his new legal thriller, “Cashed Out”, the follow-up to "The Cottoncrest Curse" in his Bayou Thriller Series. One failed marriage. Two jobs lost. Three maxed out credit cards. “Schex” Schexnaydre was a failure as a lawyer. Until three weeks ago, he had no clients and no cash. Well, no clients except for infamous toxic waste entrepreneur G.G. Guidry, who’s just been murdered. And no cash, except for the $4,452,737 Guidry had stashed with him for safekeeping. When Schex’s estranged ex-wife is accused of killing Guidry, she pleads with him to defend her. He refuses, but the more Schex says no to her, the more he becomes entangled in the fallout from Guidry’s schemes and the target of those who want Guidry’s money, careening from the swamps and marshes of Louisiana’s chemical corridor to the deep water oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, from the industrial plants that pollute minority neighborhoods to the privileged playgrounds of New Orleans’ crime syndicate bosses, all in an attempt to clear his name and claim Guidry’s cash for himself. Michael H. Rubin is a former professional jazz pianist who has performed in several states, as well as in clubs in the New Orleans French Quarter.

Big Blend Radio: Michael H. Rubin

He also is a former radio and television announcer, a nationally known speaker and humorist who has given over 400 presentations throughout the country, and a full-time practicing attorney who helps manage a law firm with offices from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. His debut novel, “The Cottoncrest Curse,” won the IndieFab Book of the Year Gold Award as the best thriller and suspense novel published by a university or independent press. “Cashed Out” is his latest novel. Visit www.MRubinBooks.com.


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Books Continued…

WRITE SCREENPLAYS THAT SELL Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Hal Ackerman who discusses the revised and updated 15th Anniversary Edition of his heralded book “Write Screenplays That Sell – the Ackerman Way.” Over the last three decades, popular UCLA screenwriting professor, co-head of the university’s acclaimed screenwriting program and author, Hal Ackerman has nurtured, mentored and collaborated with hundreds of aspiring screenwriting students, many of whom have gone on to successful, award-winning careers in the industry. Having recently retired from his regular classroom assignments, Ackerman has turned his focus to impacting a wider, global audience of both aspiring and already-working writers with the revised and updated 15th Anniversary Edition of his heralded book Write Screenplays That Sell – the Ackerman Way, published by Tallfellow Press. This updated edition includes historical and reference information on Academy Awardwinning writers from 1927 through the most recent awardees, as well as some of the most popular recent film and television hits, including La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, Better Call Saul, Big Little Lies and The Mindy Kaling Project.

Big Blend Radio: Hal Ackerman

Additional credits include Pamela Grey (A Walk on the Moon, starring Diane Lane, Anna Paquin and Liev Shreiber), Nicholas Griffin (Matchstick Men, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Nicolas Cage), Scott Kosar (The Machinist, starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Felicia D. Henderson (executive producer and writer of the television series Soul Food). Ackerman himself is also an accomplished screenwriter, playwright, long-form television writer and novelist. His credits include the theatrical feature screenplays Second Wind (starring James Naughton and Lindsay Wagner) and Holmeyer’s Bridge, as well as the feature adaptions of I’ll Get There, It Better Be Worth the Trip, Slave Stealer, Star Witness and Homer’s Odyssey (directed by John Lithgow).

Ackerman’s long list of student screenwriter successes include Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks), Scott Rosenberg (the features High Fidelity, Con Air, Gone in Sixty Seconds and the television series Zoo, Happy Town, Life on Mars and October Road), Allison Anders (Gas Food Lodging, starring Brooke Adams and James Brolin He is author of the produced plays It Ain’t Nuthin Nice and the award winning Testosterone: How and Grace of My Heart, executive produced by Prostate Cancer Made a Man of Me. Ackerman’s Martin Scorsese), Eric Wald (View From the Top, novels include the award-winning Stein, Stoned starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate and The Boy Who Had a Peach Tree Growing Out of and Mark Ruffalo), John Sweet (The Affair of the His Head. Ackerman’s Write Screenplays That Sell Necklace, starring Hilary Swank and Christopher has become required reading in numerous Walken, Phillip Railsback (The Stars Fell on Henrietta, starring Robert Duval, Aidan Quinn and college and university screenwriting programs across the country. Frances Fisher). PAGE 31

Gettysburg Poet-in-Residence Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is a first generation Chicana born and raised in San Gabriel, California, who fondly remembers weekends spent haciendo traviesos with her cousins around her grandparents’ Boyle Heights home. She wrote her first collection of poetry, Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications, 2016), while living in a house in the shadows of Dodger Stadium in historic Solano Canyon. Many poems from her first collection were inspired by her time volunteering with the Tucson-based humanitarian aid organization, No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes in 2011 and 2013. Bermejo is a 2016-2017 Steinbeck fellow and was previously honored as a Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange poetry winner, Big Blend Radio: Tanya Ortega – Founder of Barbara Deming Memorial Fund/Money for National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) and Women grantee, Los Angeles Central Library poet Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, author of ALOUD newer poet, and her poetry received 3rd “Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge”, place in the 2015 Tucson Festival of Books the NPAF artist-in-residence at Gettysburg literary awards. She has received residencies National Military Park in Fall 2017. with Hedgebrook, the Ragdale Foundation, and is She received a BA in Theatre Arts from California a proud member of the Macondo Writers’ State University, Long Beach and an MFA in Workshop. Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles where she is currently a book coach and In Los Angeles, she is a cofounder of Women Who Submit, a literary organization using social workshop instructor with the media and community events to empower inspiration2publication program. See women and nonbinary authors to submit work www.xochitljulisa.wordpress.com for publication, and curates the quarterly reading Continued on Next Page… series HITCHED. PAGE 32

THIS POEM IS FOR NOPALES By Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo Those green prickly plants made of arms like roof tiles. The ones my grandmother cleaned of needles before chopping and boiling for dinner. Those tender emerald bites dropped in my belly like a love letter. Overnight nopales spring and fan across Los Angeles to brag they are native to this continent. Native like her. Native like me. I want to cut one paddle off the hill outside my door, slice the needles with a sharp knife like she showed me, carve a heart in its center, place a stamp on it, and send it as a postcard with the word, “Extraño.” But because I can’t, I’ll nail it to the peach wall in my kitchen and wait for it to sprout and glow in the night. This poem is for chin hairs. Those chin hairs that stuck out black and course from the soft skin of her face just like nopal needles. She was always a nopal faithfully keeping vigil over our family. Now, she is the nopal kissing the Virgen’s feet. Grandma, in the hospital room, when I kissed the fade of your cheek to say goodbye, crisscrossing chin hairs caught my attention. Now, when I look in the mirror and find hairs have bloomed overnight, I think of roots. I think of you. I hope I can be a nopal woman too.

The National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), a 501(c)3 non-profit, has expanded its Artist-inResidence program Service at Gettysburg National Military Park to include 12 artists over 12 months. The Gettysburg Foundation supports the Gettysburg program which has become a model for artist residencies in all of the national parks. NPAF selects any sort of artist for national park residencies, from traditional landscape painters, photographers, to performers, installations, films/video, as well as writers, poets, sound artists, and new arts media. More information about these opportunities is available at www.nationalparksartsfoundation.org


By Hilarie Larson


Wine, Water, Snacks Paper, Pen & Palate Wine tasting is popular! According to a 2017 WBM/SVB Tasting Room Survey Report, in North America alone, wineries report an average of 1116 visitors per month who come to sip, learn and enjoy a leisurely day amongst the vines. Some offer restaurants, guided tours or even swimming pools while many are tiny, boutique establishments with one on one service. There really is a winery experience for everyone.

Yet, many are hesitant to make a tasting room experience an element of their vacation. Could it be a fear of feeling out of place, not knowing what to do, or understanding how it all works? Contrary to what you might think, not all who ‘belly up to the bar’ are wine connoisseurs. Wineries are eager to welcome casual sippers and those interested in learning about wine. First things first: what exactly is ‘wine tasting’? I prefer to think of the process as ‘wine sensing’. It’s quite straightforward and anyone can master the ‘Five S’s of Wine Tasting’ in a few minutes. Really!

Big Blend Radio: Hilarie Larson shares wine tasting tips.

Sight: When your sample is poured (usually about one ounce), pick up your glass by the stem and let the light shine through. Use your sense of sight to notice the color and clarity of the wine. Is it clear or cloudy? A ‘good wine’ will be appealing and free of ‘floculants’ – a fancy word for anything floating around that shouldn’t be there! Continued on Next Page…


Wine tasting Continued…

Every country tells a story when you taste the wines.

Swirl: You may have seen people doing this at parties or restaurants and thought the action a bit pretentious, but it’s a necessary and useful action. Wine contains a multitude of different scent molecules or ‘esters’. Swirling causes these compounds to release their unique aromas. Volatile alcohol rises from the glass, carrying these delicious scents out of the glass to your waiting nose. The easiest way to master ‘the swirl’ is by putting your glass on a flat surface and placing your index and middle fingers on the base, on either side of the stem. Slowly draw small circles with the glass, increasing in speed as you become more comfortable. When you feel really accomplished, pick the glass up and swirl away! Smell: The most important and informative of the Five S’s. Our sense of smell is extremely powerful and physically linked to the memory sections of our brains. In the nasal passages are small, dime sized olfactory glands equipped with tiny ‘branches’ that pick up aroma molecules and transfer them to your brain. The average adult has over 10,000 ‘scent memories’ that are incredibly individual, which is why no two people experience a wine in exactly the same way.

To fully experience the wine, stick your nose right into the bowl of the glass and take a good, deep whiff. Close your eyes and let your mind wander and those scent memories come to the fore. Make a mental note or discuss with your friends what you’re sensing. It could be fruits, flowers, spices, tobacco, cured meats – the list is somewhat endless! The most important thing is that the wine should be pleasing and clean. If you smell something unpleasant, like wet newspaper or musty books, chances are there’s something wrong with the wine, not your nose. Sip: The goal here is to take a reasonable amount of wine in your mouth and savor the sensation. Let the wine roam around your palate, coating the inside of your cheeks and covering your tongue.

What do you feel? If it’s a white wine, you might notice a fresh, clean sensation because of the acidity of the wine, or, if it’s been aged in oak barrels, you might note detect a creamy ‘mouthfeel’. Red wines contain an element known as tannin, which is found in the skins and seeds of the grapes. Tea drinkers will be familiar with the drying, somewhat ‘puckery’ sensation when you leave the bag in your cup too long. That’s the tannin and it contributes to the sensation of ‘body’ in many reds. Continued… PAGE 36

Wine tasting should be fun & educational. Wine tasting Continued…

Tiny Tasting Room at Domaine de la Tour du Bon, Bandol

You also want to enjoy the taste of the wine. It may or may not echo the aromas you noted earlier, but whatever you detect, the main thing, once again is that the wine should be appealing and enjoyable.

Don’t stick to your favorite grape varieties or wine styles. Do be adventurous and take advantage of the opportunity to try something new. This is a great time to experiment without buying a whole bottle.

Spit, Swallow but always Savor: Whichever you choose to do, this is where you’ll get the final impression of the wine. After you finish the sample, are there any lingering flavors or sensations? This is known, appropriately, as the ‘finish’. Like a great book or movie, it should leave you satisfied and wanting more!

Don’t feel that you need to drain your glass every time! No one is insulted if you pour some of your sample into the spittoon. And if you choose to ‘spit’ instead of ‘swallow’, you’ll be able to enjoy your tasting experience and remember it, too.

Don’t jump all over the menu. Let the tasting Sight, Swirl, Smell, Sip and Savor – that’s all room host be your guide and Do follow the there is to it. So now that you’re comfortable traditional tasting pattern of white, rosé, red and with how to taste and what to do, here are a dry before sweet. There’s logic to the lineup and few Dos and Don’ts when it comes to your next your palate will thank you. Here’s a tip – when visit to wine country. you switch from bright, fruity, crisp whites to bigger reds, take your first sip of red and use it Don’t be overly ambitious and plan too many as a palate cleanser rather than a ‘taste.’ Let the winery visits in one day. Do pace yourself and wine coat your mouth and become acclimated to aim for a maximum of three or four the tannins then use your second sip for a more destinations. You want to relax and enjoy the balance evaluation. experience, not rush or tire your palate. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 37

Wine tasting Continued…

Wine Tasting at The Source

Hilarie Larson’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her native British Columbia, Canada, working at several Okanagan Valley wineries. Along the way, she acquired her certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier, worked for an international wine broker and as ‘Resident Sommelier’ for wineries in Don’t miss out on a winery tour. Who doesn’t Washington State and California. Hilarie’s greatest love to go behind the scenes and learn how the joy is spreading the gospel of wine, food and travel. magic happens. In addition to her own blogs at www.NorthWindsWineConsulting.com, she Don’t forget to drink lots of water and stay contributes articles to a number of online hydrated. Do pack snacks like nuts, dried fruit, publications. She was honored to be awarded the crackers or protein bars. Stop for lunch or pack a 2013 Emerging Writer Scholarship from the picnic. International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, for whom she is now the Wine destinations, all over the world, offer an Administrative Director. amazing opportunity to experience local cuisine and culture. Don’t let a fear of wine tasting hold you back. Relax, have fun, be adventurous and make memories. PAGE 38 Don’t be shy – ask lots of questions. Do build a rapport with your tasting room host. Share what you usually drink, what you like and don’t like about the samples and let them be your personal guide. Ask them where they go wine tasting, their favorite local restaurants or things to do. Winery folks are great local ambassadors.

Holiday Shopping for Wine Lovers Three Innovative & Affordable Gifts NOD Bottle Bags Escape the ordinary when giving the gift of wine or liquor! Crafted from a quality and durable card stock, each gift bag sports a different theme, and accordingly, includes either six silicone glass markers or a bottle stopper. Themes range from colorful desert cactus to pink flamingos, glamorous high heels to a stylish tuxedo. Seasonal designs include a cheerful Santa Claus, cool polar bears, toasty gingerbread houses, and a cute holiday owl. Affordable at just $7 per bag, at NodProducts.com. Available on Amazon.

UncommonGreen Wine Glasses Go a step beyond the gift of glass and personalize it with a detailed etching of a destination or city that holds a special place in the recipient’s heart. Maybe it’s their hometown or college city, or even their honeymoon destination. From wine glasses to pint glasses, UncommonGreen features affordable, fine glassware that’s etched with the streets, neighborhoods and landmarks of over 100 cities around the world. You can also customize the glass with any location or text. A big plus, UncommonGreen uses American materials and packaging, and employs Earth-friendly practices. www.TheUncommonGreen.com.

Drink Tops by Coverware Essentials Whether it’s wine time out on the patio or out at a barbecue or picnic, no wine lover wants any bugs, winged wonders or dirt in their vino! Drink Tops™ WINE outdoor glass covers to the rescue! Featuring a stainless steel screen, the food-grade silicone edge firmly grips the rim of the glass, protecting the wine while allowing it to breathe. Fitting most glasses up to 4-inches wide, the covers are durable and easy to clean, and their different wine country colors make decorative drink markers. Available at $24 for a set of four, on www.CoverWare.com Available on Amazon.


Chef Bennett was the first chef to prepare a dinner at the James Beard House using Northwest Native American ingredients in 2011, and was honored to be nominated for best chef in the Northwest by the James Beard Foundation in 2011 and 2012. He was described in the publication of Best Places Northwest as a chef whose menus "reflect a fearless and playful approach to food". The Bennetts focus on using the highest quality local, and whenever possible organic, ingredients. Located in Albany, Oregon, Chef Bennett’s restaurant Sybaris Bistro serves contemporary Northwest cuisine that changes completely every month. Photo Above: Lightly cured Chinook Salmon, bacon spuma, and wild greens

Prepared by Chef Bennett, the First Fish Native Inspired Dinner Menu featured: First course: First salmon back and belly in its dashi, acorn nettle pasta (see recipe on next page). Paired with Cascadia Cider. Second course: Lightly cured Chinook salmon, bacon spuma, wild greens (see recipe on next page). Paired with Territorial Pinot noir 2013. Third course: Elk rin eye, wild onion hash, smoked huckleberry, wild greens. Paired with Coudoulet de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône 2014. Fourth course: Huckleberry sorbet, wood sorrelbuttermilk sorbet. Paired with French cider cocktail. Continued on Next Page…


Chef Matt Bennett

First salmon back and belly in its dashi, acorn nettle pasta First Fish Dinner Continued…

CHEF BENNETT’S RECIPES FROM THE FIRST FISH NATIVE INSPIRED DINNER Acorn-nettle Pasta 1 lb. nettles, cleaned (small stems are ok) 6 eggs 1 cup acorn starch (available at Korean groceries, if you aren’t working with a good wild source) 5 cups all-purpose flour (may need more)

Jimmie Lucht

Linda Kissam Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview focusing on the First Fish Native Inspired Dinner in Albany, Oregon, featuring: awardwinning Chef Matt Bennett – Co-owner of Sybaris Bistro in historic downtown Albany; Jimmie Lucht - Executive Director of Albany Visitors Association; travel writer Linda Kissam – President of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association, who experienced this unique dinner as part of the “The Cuisine of Cascadia Tour” media event.

Boil one gallon water with a handful of salt. Continued on Next Page… Using tongs, boil nettles for 3 minutes. Plunge the nettles into cold water, discard the awesomely colored blanching water. Drain nettles and put into a strong blender with the eggs. Puree until smooth. Combine the acorn starch and the flour. Work in the nettle-egg puree to obtain a smooth, non-sticky dough, add flour, if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight to relax the dough. The next day, roll out the dough using your pasta machine and cut to whatever shape you wish. Treat like spinach See Linda’s article about her visit to Albany pasta only remember that anything with acorns on NationalParkTraveling.com. will be very filling, very quickly. PAGE 41

First Fish Dinner Continued‌ Lightly Cured Salmon Fresh, skin on, Chinook salmon filet with pin bones removed Fresh cedar boughs, washed and blotted dry Cure mixture: 1 cup kosher salt 1 cup turbinado sugar (we use Allann Bros. Estate Gold) 1 Tablespoon cedar berries, ground fine (available at brewing supply stores) Mix cure mixture. Put a layer of cedar boughs in a stainless-steel pan big enough to hold the salmon. Scatter half of the cure on the boughs in the pan, lay the salmon (skin down) on the boughs, scatter the other half of the cure over the fish, cover with boughs, cover with another pan of the same size. Chill overnight (if you let it go for a few more days, it will be fully cured gravlax). Rinse and dry filet, cut portions, grill to your taste. Huckleberry and Wood Sorrel Buttermilk Sorbets


Japanese Style Curry This recipe from Leah Launey, innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast, takes the Japanese brown curry tradition, and adds a few twists and turns. It utilizes readily available fresh herbs and vegetables, plus some easy to find ground spices. A basic curry mix is also included, which you can make ahead of time and use in various ways. Enjoy! Vegetables Fresh sage leaves (or the leaves of any favorite herb, i.e., basil or cilantro) 1 medium brown onion, quartered 6 large toes of garlic, minced Fresh seasonal vegetables, in bite-size pieces 1 small green apple, in bite-size pieces (optional; I use a green apple if it's in season when I make this) Water Roux 1/3 cup your favorite vegetable oil 1/2 cup unbleached flour

Big Blend Radio: Leah Launey explains her Japanese Style Curry recipe.

Procedure Cover the bottom of a Dutch oven with fresh sage leaves. Add onion, garlic and fresh seasonal vegetables. Before cooking, the vegetables should just about fill your Dutch oven. Add water to the half-way point, cover and simmer until vegetables are almost fork tender. While the vegetables are simmering, make the roux by cooking the oil and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the roux is the Basic Curry Mix color of peanut butter. 2 Tablespoons ground cumin Remove from heat. 3 teaspoons ground coriander Add curry to the roux, forming a thick dark 3 teaspoons ground cardamom paste. Gently stir the paste into the pot of 3 teaspoons black pepper almost-done vegetables, and simmer on very 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon low, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are 1 teaspoon ground cloves completely done. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg Flavors intensify when this recipe is made a day or two ahead of time and placed in the The above makes about 4 Tablespoons of basic curry mix, or just enough for this recipe. You can refrigerator. Two days is best, if you can make yourself wait that long! also make the mix ahead of time, and store it in When curry is ready, serve over steamed rice or a covered glass jar in the refrigerator. with thick slices of homemade bread. PAGE 43 Curry 4 Tablespoons basic curry mix (see below) 1 teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 Tablespoons catsup 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (regular or vegan) Water, enough to form a thick paste when the curry is added to the roux

By Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand award-winning recipe book “Cooking With Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine” For more of Ruth’s recipes, visit www.RuthMisltein.com.



A different style stuffing with a hint of sweetness that is tasty enough to use as part of your favorite dessert! Makes 8 servings.

Big Blend Radio: Ruth Milstein talks Thanksgiving & Holiday Sides!

This phenomenal cranberry sauce is so delectably decadent, you will want to eat it with a 4 Cups bread cubes spoon! Makes 8 servings. 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and washed 1/2 Cup raisins, washed 1 12-Ounce bag of fresh cranberries 1/2 Cup walnuts, chopped 1 Cup sugar 3 Tbsp. olive oil 1/2 Cup orange juice 3/4 Cup Chicken Stock 1 Bag unflavored gelatin In a large bowl put in the bread cubes. Cut the In a medium saucepan put the cranberries and apples into 1/4-inch cubes and mix with the the sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil. bread cubes. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir Add in the raisins, walnuts, olive oil and the occasionally. Add the orange juice and mix well. chicken stock; blend well. Meanwhile, mix the gelatin with 2 tablespoons Transfer to a large baking pan and cover with warm water and blend gently with the cranberry aluminum foil. mixture in saucepan. Bake at 400 degrees in preheated oven for 20-25 Let it simmer for another 30 minutes. Transfer to minutes. a sauce dish and serve moderately cold or room Transfer into 2 medium size bowls and serve temperature. hot. * It will store well in the refrigerator in a sterilized * Can be baked the day before and heated up in the air tight jar or container wrapped in plastic wrap oven or microwave. for up to 3 months. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 44

Big Blend Radio: Donna George discusses Medjool Dates for the Holidays!

Favorite Stuffings for Dates - CHEESE: All the way from the mild Monterey Jack cheese to sharp cheddars, pimientos and Roquefort.

By Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch Yuma, Arizona. I am sure by now everyone is either thinking about preparations for Holiday parties or you are in full swing of all the festivities. What is a quick and easy appetizer to take to the holiday parties, one that everyone is going to enjoy and one you can use your imagination? Well of course the stuffed Medjool Date! You can use any grade of date for stuffing, but I like to use either the Large or Jumbo for an appetizer platter due to size and moisture content. When I am working with dates for appetizers I make sure that I am pulling a box out of the freezer. It is much easier to work with dates when they are frozen because in my opinion the dates are firmer, it is easier to pull out the pit, and the dates are not as sticky so it makes it quicker to make the appetizer tray. What should I stuff my dates with you may ask? This is where the fun begins and you can let your imagination go wild. I always start with the basics like pecans, walnuts, coconut, peanut butter rolled in granulated sugar, and walnuts rolled in powder sugar. Then I start rummaging through my refrigerator looking for color to jazz up the platter. I like using green, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, apples, pineapple, and cream cheese.

- CREAM CHEESE: Sweet or tangy, depending on your taste. Try softening cream cheese with orange juice or lemonade concentrate. Or add crunchy peanut butter and garnish with salted peanuts, walnuts, almonds or bacon. - FRESH VEGETABLES: Carrots, celery, green and red peppers, anything that crunches! - FRESH FRUITS: Tart cubes of apples, slices of firm fresh pears, wedges of pineapple, or cubes of papaya with a dash of lime. The possibilities are endless. When using the Medjool Date as an appetizer it is really difficult not to be the hit of the party when the other guests see you walk in with a colorful and appetizing tray of dates! The Peanut Patch is a southwest tradition where folks gather to buy nuts and peanuts, homemade peanut brittle and peanut butter, fine chocolates and confections, snacks and candies, dried fruit and dates, and gourmet gifts including salsas, relishes, jams, syrups, preserves, olives, and more. The Peanut Patch is the proud retail distributor for Bard Date Company. For more Medjool Date recipes and gift ideas, visit www.BardDate.com.


Going beyond the day-after turkey sandwich, Chef Jeremy Manley shares his Turkey Stock and Turkey Chowder recipes that are just perfect for using up the turkey leftovers (even the bones) from Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners. Known as "San Diego's Sustainable Chef", Chef Manley is the executive chef and owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, California. For more of his recipes visit www.JeremysontheHill.com.

Big Blend Radio: Chef Jeremy Manley Talks Turkey Leftovers!

TURKEY STOCK This stock is perfect for soups, gravy bases and sauces. 7 ½ Lbs. bones roasted from previous cooked turkey 5 White onions 10 Cloves of garlic, crushed with your knife 1/8 Cup black peppercorns ½ Cup of thyme ½ Cup of fresh sage leaves 2 Bunches of parsley stems Trimmings and/or pieces of leftover celery and carrots. If you do not have any, trim one bunch of celery and 4 carrots Combine all ingredients in a large enough stockpot and fill with water. Cook for 4 to 6 hours over a medium low flame. Fat will appear at the top of your stockpot. Scrape this off using a ladle as it becomes present, and continue to do so as the stock cooks. This will create a more vibrant and clean looking stock. Store in the freezer in quart size bags or even in ice cubes! Continued on next Page…


Turkey Leftovers Continued…

TURKEY CHOWDER This hearty chowder incorporates your homemade turkey stock. ¼ Cup bacon fat 3 Colossal white onions 6 Pieces of bacon cut into half-inch pieces ¼ Cup of thyme, stemless and minced 4 Bay leafs 4 Tablespoons of butter 14 Yukon gold potatoes, diced into half-inch pieces 7 Cups of turkey stock 5 Cups of heavy cream 6 Cups of medium-sized diced turkey legs or breasts, fully cooked 1 Tablespoon fennel seeds ¼ Cup of Parmesan cheese ¼ Cup of salt 2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard

Combine bacon fat, onions, bacon, thyme, bay leafs and butter in a stock pot, and cook over medium heat until your onions turn translucent. Add your Yukon gold potatoes and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add your turkey stock and bring to a boil. Add your heavy cream and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add your turkey, fennel seeds, Parmesan cheese, Dijon and salt. If necessary add more stock, especially if you want a lesser thick chowder. Taste. Garnish with a crumbled biscuit and fresh thyme, or simply chop some parsley and Parmesan cheese.

CHEF JEREMY MANLEY’S TOP TEN TURKEY TIPS 1. For every 1 pound of turkey plan on 30 6. When you can grab the drumstick bone minutes of cooking. Everyone has a different and it pulls right out with no red color on oven and every oven is different. This is just the leg, it's done. a guideline. 7. When trying to figure out how large a 2. Do not overstuff your turkey. This will turkey to buy for your family, plan on 1 increase your oven baking time pound of bird to feed each person, which tremendously. allows for the bones. 3. Always take the temperature of your 8. If you always overcook the turkey, brine turkey in the thickest part of the thigh. it. That will guarantee a tender turkey. Breasts always cook first and the thighs take the longest. 9. Let the turkey sit for at least 20 minutes before carving. This lets the juices rest. 4. Cooking your turkey upside down will keep your breasts moist and tender. 10. A lighter and softer red wine such as Grenache will go well with turkey. You want 5. If your turkey is frozen, plan on 2 days to to look for something with some pepper defrost properly. characteristics and no smoked barrel aging. For a white wine, I recommend a blend such as Viognet-Rousanne from Paso Robles.


ROASTED & BRAISED RIBS Two Rockin’ Recipes To Get Your Rib Fix On! OVEN ROASTED BACK RIBS Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with 5-Star Chef Ivan Flowers, who explains how to cook his oven roasted back ribs recipe, as featured below. Serves 4.

2 Racks pork back ribs Juice of 3 lemons 1 tablespoon granulated garlic 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 4 sheets aluminum foil 1/2cup Gochujang Korean Chili Paste 1/4 cup Thai Sweet Chili 2 Tablespoons tomato paste 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a sauce pan place both chili sauces, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, Cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Bring to a quick boil, stir then take off the heat. Place ribs back into oven on a sheet pan at a 450 degree setting, having brushed your sauce on the ribs with a pastry brush. Cook for five minutes then baste again with sauce. Do this four times. Remove ribs, baste with sauce and place under the broiler until ribs become caramelized with the sauce. Remove ribs and let them rest for 7 minutes before cutting. Continued on Next Page…

Video: Baby Back Ribs- Oven Roasted with Asian Glaze

Season both sides of ribs with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Squeeze lemon juice on ribs then wrap with aluminum foil. Place in 325 degree oven for two hours. Remove ribs from foil and put on a plate at room temperature. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 48

BRAISED ALBERTA BEEF SHORT RIBS Simmered in Okanagan Valley Merlot and served with horseradish mashed potatoes, this dish is served on Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer. Read Nancy Mueller’s travel article and listen to her Big Blend Radio interview about her luxury rail experience about the Rocky Mountaineer!

Braised Short Ribs (Serves 6) 1 bottle Okanagan Valley Merlot 30 ml / 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 900 g / 2 lb short ribs, trimmed to taste sea salt 7 g / 1½ tsp black peppercorns, crushed 10 garlic cloves 8 shallots, large, trimmed and split 2 carrots, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 leek, chopped 6 sprigs Italian parsley 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 bay leaves 30 g / 2 Tbsp tomato paste 2 litres / 8 cups beef or chicken stock, unsalted to taste white pepper, ground 3 pcs pappadum

PHOTO Courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large casserole dish big enough to hold 6 ribs. Season the ribs all over with salt and crushed pepper. When the oil is hot, slip the ribs into the pot and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until well browned. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate.

Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the wine is heated, carefully set it aflame. Let the flames die out, then increase the heat so that the wine boils. Allow it to boil until it cooks down by half. Remove from the heat. Centre a rack in the oven and preheat to 175°C / 350°F. Place the pappadum on the oven rack and bake until bubbles start to appear on the surface and the pappadum starts to brown (approximately 5 minutes). Immediately remove from the oven and set aside.

Remove all but 14 ml / 1 Tbsp of fat from the pot. Chop the carrots, celery and leek into 3 cm / 1 inch pieces. Lower the heat to medium, and toss in the vegetables and herbs. Brown the vegetables lightly for 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to blend. Deglaze with the reduced red wine and add browned ribs and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot tightly and slide it into the oven to braise for about 2½ hours, or until the ribs are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork. Every 30 minutes or so, lift the lid and skim and discard whatever fat may have bubbled up to the surface.


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Ribs Continued… Carefully transfer the meat to a heated serving platter with a lip and keep warm. Boil the pan liquid until it thickens and reduces to approximately 1 litre / 4 cups. Season with salt and pepper and pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the solids, and set aside the sauce.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes 1.4 kg / 3 lb yellow flesh potatoes, cut 3 litres / 12 cups salted water 120 ml / ½ cup 33% heavy cream 60 ml / ¼ cup milk to taste horseradish 60 g / ¼ cup butter to taste pepper, ground to taste sea salt Bring 3 litres / 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add in the washed, peeled and cut potatoes and cook until very soft (35 to 55 minutes) at a medium boil. Drain all water and mash potatoes. Add in the cream and milk. Check seasoning (salt and pepper), and add horseradish to taste. Finish off with fresh butter.


Serve It Up Smart with Fancy Panz! ‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings, potlucks and tailgating parties, and not only does Fancy Panz make it easy to travel with your culinary contribution, it looks good, makes clean-up a breeze, and when it’s time to leave the party, it saves you from leaving your serving ware behind! It’s smart! How does it work? Just place a disposable pan (standard half pan) with your hot or cold dish into a decorative Fancy Panz, and close the clear lid. When it’s serving time, simply open the lid and fit it under the pan. When you leave the party, you can leave the leftover food for the host or toss the empty pan, and go home with your Fancy Panz. Made in America, Fancy Panz is stackable for easy transportation, is BPA free, dishwasher safe, and comes in white, red or charcoal grey. Fancy Panz is available for $19.99 each at www.FancyPanz.com. Available on Amazon


Video: See How Fancy Panz Works

Inspiration and 60 Projects for Personalizing Your Space In “A Well-Crafted Home: Inspiration and 60 Projects for Personalizing Your Space” by Janet Crowther, styled shots and gorgeous hand-crafted items deliver the promise of a beautiful home. When Janet Crowther and her husband moved to New York ten years ago, they had a minimal budget to furnish their apartment. Seeking a way to add unique touches to their space that would stand the test of time, Janet turned to DIY projects that were well-designed, practical, and made with good-quality materials. A culmination of the resulting furniture, textiles, and accessories, A Well-Crafted Home is an inspirational jumpingoff point for anyone looking to build an environment that feels special and authentic. Ranging from beginner to more advanced, each item elevates a room in a way that’s easily adaptable and suitable for varying tastes. Sample projects include: • The Entryway: Dowel Wall Hooks, Reclaimed Wood Bench, Woven Leather Basket, Soft Planter Cover • The Living Room: Dyed Fabric Ottoman, Tassel Wall Banner, Gemstone Box, Rolling Trunk Storage • The Kitchen: Wooden Herb Planter, Rustic Footed Cutting Board, Quilted Cushions, Ombre Ceramic Vase • The Dining Room: Indigo-Stripe Napkins, Leather Napkin Rings, Clay Candlesticks, Beaded Light Fixture • The Bedroom: Linen Bedding with Duvet, Shams, and Pillowcases; Trimmed Waffle-Weave Blanket; Modern Latch-Hook Stool; Painted Ceramic Tray • The Closet: Copper Garment Rack, Wall Shoe Display, Thread-Wrapped Pendant Light, Antiqued Mirror Table • The Bathroom: Natural Wood Stump, Oak Tub Tray, Knotted Rope Ladder, Terry-cloth Towels • The Outdoor Oasis: Simple Sewn Hammock, Painted Wood Stump, Restored-Frame Tray, Colorwash Sheepskin

Big Blend Radio: Janet Crowther discusses ‘A Well-Crafted Home’. Equal parts inspiration and DIY guide, A WellCrafted Home is an irresistible resource for both aspiring makers and seasoned crafters.

Janet Crowther is an entrepreneur and designer whose work has been featured on the pages of Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, Elle, InStyle, and more. From 2011 to 2016, she founded and ran For the Makers, an online craft destination that provided the materials and instructions for creating projects for the home. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in jewelry design, she’s worked with companies like Kate Spade, Alexis Bittar, and Marc Jacobs and in 2015, she co-authored Make a Statement (Chronicle Books, 2015), a DIY statement jewelry book. She lives in North Carolina with her family and can be found at www.janetcrowther.com. PAGE 52

Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces. Detailed chapters address planting for wildlife by choosing native species; providing habitats that shelter baby animals, as well as birds, bees, and butterflies; creating safe zones in the garden; cohabiting with creatures often regarded as pests; letting nature be your garden designer; and encouraging natural processes and evolution in the garden. The Humane Gardener fills a unique niche in describing simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with all the creatures that share our world. Nancy Lawson is the author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife, published by Princeton Architectural Press and recommended by Oprah magazine, the Washington Post, Library Journal and others. A columnist for All Animals magazine, Lawson is the founder of Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to cultivating compassion for all creatures great and small through animalfriendly, environmentally sensitive landscaping methods.

Big Blend Radio: Nancy Lawson discusses Humane Gardening.

Lawson's pioneering website www.HumaneGardener.com, was recently highlighted by Wordpress, chosen from among millions of pages as an Editors' Pick. She speaks frequently to local and national audiences and volunteers as a master naturalist and master gardener in central Maryland. After an early career in newspaper journalism, she worked for more than 15 years as an editor and publisher at The Humane Society of the United States, leading the creative teams behind the organization's award-winning print and digital magazines. PAGE 53

By M. Dane Waters, Founder & President of The Elephant Project

In Asia, an estimated 16,000 elephants are currently maintained in captivity for a variety of purposes: logging, tourism, cultural and religious activities, and transportation. Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is home to the largest captive Asian elephant population in the world. Of the 5,520 elephants in captivity, 2,985 are owned by the government-run Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) and 2,535 are privately owned. The number of captive elephants exceeds the number of elephants in the wild in Myanmar which number around 3,000. In April 2014, the Myanmar government imposed a ban on exporting raw teak and timber allowing only the export of high-end finished timber products. This resulted in the MTE no longer leasing privately owned timber elephants for logging resulting in thousands of unemployed elephants and mahouts. The MTE also retired almost all the government owned timber elephants.

Big Blend Radio: Adam M. Roberts “The Compassionate Conservationist”, a wildlife conservation and environmental expert, discusses The Elephant Project’s innovative ideas and solutions to address the short and long-term threats to elephant survival.

Unfortunately, the MTE cannot continue subsidizing the care of these elephants since they are no longer generating revenue from logging. If nothing is done, these elephants will be put back to work logging (destroying the fragile ecosystem), be cruelly trained to be performance animals and live a life of begging, or released into the wild to fend for themselves. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 54

Our plan, will result in the creation of a safe, secure place where elephants live in peace and receive the critical care they need; mahouts are This will most likely result in their death at the trained in the newest humane standards in hands of poachers or from dangerous conflict with humans. This critical situation represents an elephant care; the ecosystem is protected by the continued reduction in logging, the mahouts and unprecedented opportunity to implement our innovative free market solution that will help give their families have jobs, clean water, sanitation, long-term medical care and access to schools; these elephants a better future. and presents a unique opportunity for those who support our efforts to not only live near the But it is also critical for the welfare of the natural habitat of elephants, but actually witness elephants that the mahouts and their families who care for these elephants receive support so the impact of their support. they can continue to care for the elephants. Learn more at www.TheElephantProject.net These elephants have lived their entire life in captivity under the care of these mahouts and separating them would be detrimental to the well-being of the elephant since they are not able to live alone in the wild. Elephant Project Continued‌

Those who privately own elephants are already trying to deal with the loss of logging income and those that care for government owned elephants could soon face the same fate resulting in the loss of food and critical veterinarian care for the elephants. Because of the relationship we have developed with the Myanmar government, we have a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to implement our innovative solutions to help these elephants. PAGE 55

Global Green’s Climate Action Center


WATER WISE NOLA Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jeff Supak, Community Resiliency Program Associate at Global Green USA, who talks about the recent flooding in New Orleans and how green infrastructure such as plants and bioswales can add capacity to the city’s storm water system.

Global Green USA is the American affiliate of Green Cross International, founded by President Gorbachev to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. For 20 years, Global Green USA has been a national leader in advancing smart solutions to climate change that Promoting simple solutions to the problem of improve lives and protect our planet. localized flooding, Water Wise NOLA is a group of water professionals and enthusiasts who Global Green creates transformative model share a dedication and commitment to advance projects and advances new policies that build Green Infrastructure Development in the sustainable and resilient communities and affordable housing. The organization helps local Greater New Orleans area, as well as strengthen public awareness for water related issues and governments, schools, and public agencies corresponding green solutions. See integrate sustainable design, clean energy, and water reduction measures, and also helps people www.WaterWiseNOLA.org reduce waste, live better, and act more sustainably today–and in the future.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jeff Supak. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 57

Going Green Continued…

GLOBAL GREEN’S CLIMATE ACTION CENTER Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Michelle Pyne, New Orleans Director of Global Green USA, who talks about the organization’s Holy Cross Project Community Development and Climate Action Center , which will be the first of its kind to bring climate change education and models of resiliency to the community level. New Orleans will be the first American city lost to sea level rise unless dramatic measures are taken. It is ground zero for climate change. A place to build awareness, share resources and catalyze innovation, Global Green USA’s Holy Cross Project serves as a model for the city, the nation and the world. The Holy Cross Project is a sustainable model village in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward featuring 5 LEED Platinum homes, a state-of-the-art Community Development and Climate Action Center (under construction), a 20-unit affordable apartment building (to be built in coming year), and outdoor space including rain gardens and a large bioswale. The Climate Action Center community will connect with other coastal cities battling similar climate change impacts to export experience and create a unified front on adaptations and mitigation of the dangers of climate change.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Michelle Pyne. The Center itself is a catalytic project strategically located in the Lower 9th Ward because this area will experience climate change impacts with stronger storms and increased infrastructure failings. In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, the Center will serve as a first responder and rapid return location, with high wind and water resistance and solar power with battery back up to provide essential electrical services such as lighting, refrigeration for medication, cell phone charging and communications. The Climate Action Center will enable citizen engagement in collective climate action to create a thriving green sector and resilient communities. This Center embodies Global Green's commitment to helping the people, places and planet in need. See www.GlobalGreen.org/cdcac.


Diabetes is a very complicated medical condition that affects every single organ system in the body. Diabetes is estimated to have resulted in 1.5-4.9 million deaths each year from 2012-2014. I have summarized 5 things you need to know about diabetes that I hope can help you understand it better: 1) It is hereditary. Just because you inherit the gene does not mean you will have symptoms and complications associated with diabetes. If you have the gene for diabetes, and you live a healthy lifestyle by eating a heart healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis, maintaining a healthy weight, and by not smoking, you may not necessarily have all the symptoms and organ damage associated with diabetes. As a matter of fact, you may not even require treatment with medications because of your healthy lifestyle. I therefore encourage healthy living for a greater quality of life.

Big Blend Radio: Dr. Jacqueline Eubany discusses Diabetes & Heart Health

The biggest user of glucose in the body is the brain. The brain needs glucose to perform its many complex functions that allows you to live a normal life. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, an organ near the stomach that allows glucose to be transported from the blood into cells to be used as energy. People with diabetes either lack insulin, or are insensitive to insulin and therefore cannot extract glucose from the blood into different organs.

2) Diabetes has less to do with the amount of “sugar” you consume as it does with the body’s ability to utilize the “sugar” efficiently. Glucose is the main source of energy utilized by the organs of the body. PAGE 58

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Diabetes Continued‌ 3) Women who have diabetes and then have a heart attack have a higher death rate than men. Women with diabetes die more frequently from a heart attack than men with diabetes. If these women survive the event, they have a poorer quality of life than their male counterparts. The rate of death of women with diabetes between the ages of 25 and 44 year is more than three times the rate of death in women without diabetes.

5) Having diabetes is considered a heart disease equivalent. If you are diabetic, your risk for having a heart attack is about the same as a person who has already had a heart attack! Diabetes, therefore increases your risk for heart disease. Diabetes remains a big risk factor for heart disease. By choosing to live a healthy lifestyle you can prevent this deadly disease from crippling your life. Here is to living a heart healthy life! Dr. Jacqueline Eubany is a board certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist based out of Orange County, California. She is the author of ‘Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story’, and a Big Blend Radio expert contributor. Available on Amazon.

4) If you have gestational diabetes, or diabetes while pregnant, you have a 5-10% chance of developing diabetes in the future. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include obesity prior to pregnancy, a diagnosis of prediabetes before pregnancy, giving birth to a baby that weighs more than 9 pounds, or giving birth to a stillborn.

Learn more at www.WomenandHeartDiseaseBook.com.


Compiled by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, Proud Ambassadors of the 8 Keys of Excellence Program Inner happiness and fulfillment come when your mind, body, and emotions are nurtured by the choices you make. When we’re in balance we make time for the things that are important to us. Staying in balance is an ongoing process about choices. Balance is not about rigidly devoting equal time to everything that matters to us, and it’s not about totally immersing ourselves in one area of our lives to the exclusion of all others. Balance is about considering everything that’s meaningful and important to us when we make choices about how we spend our time and energy. When we find the right balance we are happy, healthy, productive, and fulfilled. Balance is the 8th Key within the 8 Keys of Excellence Program. Created by Bobbi DePorter, Co-Founder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network, the 8 Keys of Excellence character education program guides young people toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles.

Bobbi DePorter

Dr. Jacqueline Eubany

Steve Schneickert Listen to Big Blend Radio’s 8 Keys of Excellence Show on Balance. This episode features Bobbi DePorter – CoFounder of SuperCamp & President of Quantum Learning Network, Dr. Jacqueline Eubany – author of “Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story”, plus a Hollywood History segment as recalled by Steve Schneickert. Continued on Next Page…


Hall of Excellence Continued…

Take a Virtual Walk Through the Excellence Hall of Fame 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 Balance Key of Excellence!

MAHATMA GANDHI – Civil Rights Activist “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

THEODORE ROOSEVELT - 26th President of the United States "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground."

DOLLY PARTON – Singer, Songwriter & Actress “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN – Author, Playwright & Poet “Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

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ARISTOTLE - Ancient Greek Philosopher & Scientist “It is better to rise from life as from a banquet neither thirsty nor drunken.”


Hall of Excellence Continued…

DANNY KAYE – Actor, Performer & Musician “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.”

MARCUS AURELIUS Roman Emperor “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”

FREDERICK CARL FRIESEKE Artist “The key to your universe is that you can choose!”

Join The Excellence Effect, a movement to build excellence in the lives of 50 million young people worldwide through the 8 Keys of Excellence family and school character programs. Visit www.8Keys.org

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Never Forget That You Too Need a Reward from Time to Time Ralph Masengill, author of Conquer Change & Win’ “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”—Arnold Bennett Understanding how change works can change your life for the better and give you a solid advantage. That’s a guarantee. Here are some interesting facts about continuous change to get us on our way: 1. Most of us will not change until the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of changing.

Big Blend Radio: Ralph Masengill discusses the Benefits of Change.

2. Most people often prefer the security of known misery to the supposed misery of unfamiliar insecurity.

What do others say about change? “Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” —Carol Burnett

3. Change is continual—intended or not.

“Change your thoughts, and you change your world.” —Norman Vincent Peale

Number one on the list above was once true for me in a big way. Before I learned how to handle continuous change and understand the effect change had on my personality, nothing seemed to get better. I seemed stuck in a continuous rut. Understanding continuous change turned my humdrum life around. To understand change, you must work at it continuously.

Deep down, no one likes dealing with change. However, we all like the results of what we see as positive change. We often are in pain because of continuous change; our resistance to change will also cause us pain.


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Change Continued… The sooner we stop resisting the positive changes that happen in our lives and accept those changes, the sooner we have the opportunity to feel less stress and set our business and personal lives up for even more success. To be truly successful in any undertaking, you must embrace positive change and the pain resistance brings. You must do this willingly and often. We accept risk every day when we embrace positive change. Do you take a calculated risk, or do you sometimes just roll the dice and hope for the best? I admit that in my younger days, I did more rolling of the dice than I want to talk about, and I had to pay the price. I paid the price by losing time, money, and happiness. Many times this was out of my own ignorance about change. One time, I almost lost my business. But we can learn from our mistakes. Mistakes can be good teachers. However, I have found that this is a very expensive and painful way to learn.

Executing any plan involves change. Being willing to change is a calculated risk that should be encouraged. Most business and personal success in today’s world comes when we accept this risk. Ralph Masengill Jr. is a bestselling author and awardwinning advisor, coach, marketing expert, business consultant and public relations strategist. His latest, and ‘mustread’ book is “Conquer Change and Win: An Easy-to-Read Fun Book on the Serious Subject of Change.” www.ConquerChangeandWin.com.

Charles Tremper puts it this way: “The first step in the calculated risk process is to acknowledge the reality of the risk. Denial is a common tactic that substitutes deliberate ignorance for thoughtful planning.” I have a T-shirt that says, “Denial is not a river in Egypt.” Denial is one way to delay. It is like the ostrich putting its head in the sand. Denial is one way to attempt to live in fantasy land. PAGE 65

Legal Requirements & Concerns within the Hospitality Industry By Ward Heinrichs Esq., San Diego Employment Attorney People from all parts of the globe visit California in large numbers. San Diego California is one of the hot vacation destinations in California. As a consequence, many businesses in California and San Diego are hospitality businesses. What legal requirements and hurdles do those businesses face? More hotels are using hospitality robots. Maid Bot has developed robotic cleaning services and Hilton uses Connie as a concierge robot. In addition, some places now use Chat Bots. A guest can text the robot, and it will provide information or a simple service like delivery of food. Part of the allure of these high-tech robots is they replace humans and reduce wage expenses. Mobile check-in is another way to reduce the cost of employee wages. Hotels that have mobile check-in allow the guest to check-in and open room doors with a smart phone. Alternatively, if a guest does not have a smart phone, guests will be able to check-in at unmanned pods or kiosks in the near future. Recently, Air B&B has grown dramatically. As most know, Air B&B is an alternative to traditional hotel and bed & breakfast accommodations. Air B&B has faced challenges in many California locations for potential zoning violations.

Big Blend Radio: Attorney Ward Heinrichs discusses Employment Laws in the Hospitality Industry. Many say that they create too much traffic, too much party noise, and reduce parking in otherwise quiet neighborhoods. Different locations deal with those problems in different ways. Some cities have banned Air B&B, while others have passed new legislation requiring licensing aimed at curbing those problems and raising revenue. Regardless, Air B&B is here to stay. As of now, Air B&B have not raised employment issues, largely because they are run by the owners of the homes. In the future that will probably change because hotels and larger vacation rentals will use the Air B&B platform and will have employees manage the properties.


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Many people in San Diego work in bars, pubs, coffee shops, restaurants, and other businesses where employees receive tips as part of their compensation. Generally, California law forbids the employer from taking or sharing in tips (Labor Code §351), and employers must track all tips that they collect for employees (Labor Code §353). Employer mandated tip pooling is legal, but the house cannot share in the pooling arrangement. The tip pool must be fair and reasonable. Only those who are in the chain of service can be in the pool. For instance, an employer cannot require servers to include cooks and dishwashers in the pool.

Employment Law Continued‌ Uber is arguably part of the hospitality industry. In the last few years, some drivers have filed class actions challenging their status as independent contractors. Most cases and ruling from government agencies say that the drivers are employees. However, those cases may or may not be able to proceed as class actions. The class action issue is on appeal. If the appeal courts allow the cases to move forward as class actions, then Uber will probably owe its drivers a large amount of money for unpaid wages and penalties.

Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit www.BestEmploymentAttorneySanDiego.com

Of course, hospitality businesses also have traditional concerns that other businesses have. For instance, all businesses must pay minimum wage to its employees, and restaurants must have lawful tip arrangements. Many hospitality employees get paid minimum wage. The federal minimum wage for most employees is $7.25 per hour. Apparently, that rate will continue to apply for the foreseeable future. However, many states and cities have much greater minimum wage rates. Presently, California requires employers who employ 25 or fewer employees to pay $10 per hour. It requires businesses that employ more than 25 employees to pay $10.50 per hour. That minimum wage rate will increase incrementally for both groups of employers until 2023, when all employees, with a few exceptions, will make at least $15 per hour. The city of San Diego requires all employees to make at least $11.50 per hour. PAGE 67

By Sarah H. Elliston, author of “Lessons from a Difficult Person”

What is Leadership? I see it as the ability to gain the cooperation of the people around you to work together to achieve a goal. However, the synonyms are scary: directorship, control, supremacy, power, command, dominion, rule. Yikes. Is that what we want to be? Leaders who manipulate and use fear to motivate are difficult leaders. They don’t care about cooperation as much as they are about achieving a goal, no matter the cost. How do we know if we are an effective leader or a difficult leader? Recently, on a radio show, I was asked by a caller about how to deal with his difficult staff. They came late to meetings, he complained, and they didn’t prepare even though he carefully sent them important materials to read before the meeting. He didn’t think they were cooperative and he described them as slackers. I had only a few minutes with him and encouraged him to call me personally so we could really talk, but I did ask him if he wanted to feel better about the situation.

Big Blend Radio: Sarah Elliston discusses Effective Leadership.

He said yes, so I invited him to consider looking at it differently. I asked him if he could find one thing about each staff person that he found acceptable or even positive. If not each person, could he find it for one of them? My point was that in dealing with difficult people, we first have to take the emotion, the drama, the judgement out of the equation. The world only gives us information and we get to choose how we look at that information.


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Difficult Leader Continued… I didn’t want to suggest on the air that maybe he was the difficult person. And when he called me I asked him these questions: 1. How much time do you find yourself criticizing, blaming, name calling, complaining, nagging, threatening, and punishing/rewarding to control? These toxic habits of behavior will never lead to cooperation. Dr. William Glasser, founder of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy has described them as killers of relationships. My caller was criticizing his staff and complaining about them. While his disappointment is understandable, the first step in leadership is to drop the toxic habits because as a leader, one sets the tone. A boss who practices the toxic habits is a difficult leader and will cultivate a toxic staff. I have found that by looking for something positive about each person, I can change the way I look at the person, thus easing the temptation to criticize and get sucked into the toxic habits. 2. How do you describe your role in the organization? If you are comfortable in your role and see how you advance the organization, chances are you are able to pass this on to your staff. People are more cooperative when they understand why they are doing the work. 3. Do you think you can make people change? When was a time you did that and how did it impact your relationship? The only person we can change is our self. It’s a fact. Any kind of force with another will lead to a difficult relationship. Using force is a toxic habit.

5. How much time to do you spend supporting, encouraging, listening, trusting, respecting and negotiating differences? These actions, identified as the Caring Habits by Dr. Glasser, are those that develop a thriving relationship. Leadership is all about developing a rapport so that feedback can be given if mistakes are made without it being criticism. Saying the correct way to do a particular task is not criticism, it is feedback about an action. Pointing out that it’s the third time we had to tell someone to do it differently and what’s wrong with their hearing? That is criticism. If someone does something wrong three times after we have corrected their actions, a nondifficult leader will be supportive and respectful. We will ask “What’s going on? What are we missing? How can I help you remember?” 6. Are you a difficult leader? Ask yourself these questions. Look at what you are doing, how you are looking at your staff and your beliefs about them. Is it working? Is there a positive atmosphere with people enjoying their work and being productive or is there distrust and disagreement? Are you practicing the toxic habits or the caring habits? The choice is yours. It is always easier to see what others are doing and to have opinions on what they could do differently to improve. An effective leader, one who isn’t difficult, is one who asks himself these questions and focuses on what he can do differently.

4. How much time do you spend telling people what to do, checking and criticizing their work? Supervision and leadership requires us to make sure the work is getting done, but how much of it is telling, and how much of it is guiding? If we are spending more than half our time telling people what they are doing wrong and giving minute directions, chances are we are a difficult leader. PAGE 69

Sarah H. Elliston is the author of “Lessons from a Difficult Person – How to Deal With People Like Us”. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute and is a workshop leader and trainer who is certified in Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. www.SarahElliston.com.

Rob Ridgeway - Creator of SPONTUNEOUS ‘The Song Game’

Rob Ridgeway, creator of the award-winning and best-selling musical board game SPONTUNEOUS, has an inspiring story about being an inventor and an entrepreneur. Rob was born and raised on a farm and ranch in central Montana, where he acquired numerous entrepreneurial skills and the work ethic to apply them. His undergraduate was earned at Montana State University where he majored in Big Blend Radio: Rob Ridgeway shares Agricultural Business & Economics with a minor his success story. in Animal Science. Rob then pursued a Masters He worked as a Commercial Loan Officer for two degree in Business Administration at Gonzaga years and then spent the next four years working University. as a Sales Executive selling Business Insurance. Rob soon realized that he was selling fear, and Following college, Rob returned to the family started to dream about how much more farm and ranch for less than a year before deciding to venture out into the business world. enjoyable it would be to sell fun. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 70

Spontuneous Continued… During this time, a friend had mentioned taking a trip to the mountains, and another friend spontaneously burst into a tune, “Ain’t no mountain high enough!” Everyone laughed about how often they hear a word and a song pops into their head. This was the moment where Rob conceived the idea to turn this common concept into a board game, thus giving birth to Spontuneous – The Song Game. Although he’s been selling fun for the past eight years; it hasn’t been all fun and games. Many challenges, and adversities stood in his way, including the various highs and lows that every entrepreneur faces.

Spontuneous has sold out the past three Christmas seasons and is on Amazon’s Bestseller List for Board Games, Games and Toys & Games. Another one of Rob’s success stories involves going on tour with Blue October and receiving his largest endorsement from frontman, Justin Furstenfeld. After living in Austin for five years, Rob is now traveling the country in his RV. Visit www.SongGame.com. So what does it take to be successful in the world of board games? Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Rob Ridgeway and read his answers to our 10 Board Game Industry Insider Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

Rob also had a major health scare when he had surgery to remove a golf ball sized brain tumor in 1. What led you into the world of board March of 2015. He has spoken in front of several games? Ultimately, my thoughts led me down thousands of people over the past seven years, this path. At the time I was selling business sharing his battle scar stories and life lessons. insurance (i.e. fear), and I had thrown an idea out Rob’s story has taken some unexpected turns into the universe, that I'd be better off boxing up that many would not recover from, but his happiness and selling it someday. burning desire to turn an idea into reality has kept him focused and marching forward. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 71

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to your industry? I think my biggest pet peeve is dealing with the fake sellers that periodically try to list my game on Amazon. Any time you place an order online, be sure you are buying from the manufacturer and not a seller that has "just launched."

Spontuneous Continued‌ A year later, someone mentioned a trip to the mountains, and an individual in the group burst into the song, "Ain't no mountain high enough!" I recognized that this is something commonly done by millions of people in everyday life, and that was the manifestation of earlier thoughts to sell happiness.

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? I've learned to live pretty lean, and delayed starting a family of my own until I could afford to do so. Being a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of dedicated time, and in my case, it wouldn't have been fair to anyone if I took that leap, which also requires a lot of time and energy.

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge has always been finding the capital required to run the business. In the first 5 years, the struggle was to come up with enough money to stay afloat, but 2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for running a board game business? now that the demand for the game has been increasing significantly each year, the challenge Successfully inventing, marketing and selling has become funding the growth. board games is the most difficult thing to do in the entire toy and game industry due to low 8. If you could invite any three people (alive barriers of entry and high competition. My or passed on) for a dinner party who would strongest attributes for succeeding in this they be? I'd invite Napoleon Hill, Ayn Rand, and industry, which really apply to any successful Garth Brooks. It would be the perfect meld of entrepreneur with any business, is my belief in the vision I have, and my determination to make business, philosophy and music, and I'm sure I it happen. would be flooded with brilliant ideas! 3. Who or what inspires you? My father was one that always found ways to strip me of my confidence with put downs, and extreme doubt in any idea I had. I've learned to harness his negative energy, and use an intellectual judo that inspires me to prove him wrong. I love the fact that I'm winning, too!

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? I would love to be a country music star for a day. If only I could sing, LOL!

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the board game industry? The biggest advice I could give for someone starting a board game, 4. Describe your ideal client. My ideal client is is for them to play test, play test, and play test really the person who is looking for a way to some more. Developing a game free of hiccups bring friends and family together, where they is crucial for the success of a game. It must play can disconnect from all electronic media, and well, and given that word of mouth will always be interact with each other through a family friendly the most important form of marketing, people board game. In addition, anybody who likes have to enjoy playing before they will music, would make for an even more ideal client. They don't have to be music buffs by any recommend it to anyone. means, just as long as they like to listen to music. PAGE 72

HAL MOORE ON LEADERSHIP Hal Moore captured our attention when his exploits in the Ia Drang battle were recounted in his memoir We Were Soldiers Once…and Young and commanded our respect in the Mel Gibson movie "We Were Soldiers.” Now, the late General Hal Moore recounts his leadership lessons in the posthumous book Hal Moore on Leadership, co-authored with military historian Mike Guardia (Magnum Books). Hal Moore led his life by a set of principles – a code developed through years of experience, trial-and-error, and the study of leaders of every stripe. Hal Moore on Leadership offers a comprehensive guide to the principles that helped shape Moore’s success both on and off the battlefield. They are strategies for the outnumbered, outgunned, and seemingly hopeless. They apply to any leader in any organization – business or military. One of the greatest battlefield commanders of the 20th century, little has been known about Hal Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview Moore's leadership principles...until now. In this with award-winning author Mike Guardia, book, the reader will learn the rules of thumb practiced by a man who spent his entire adult life who co-authored ‘Hal Moore on Leadership.’ leading others and perfecting his art of Mike Guardia is a Captain in the US Army leadership. Reserve. He served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer. He holds a BA and MA in On February 10, 2017, Hal Moore tragically American History from the University of passed away at the age of 94 years old. Prior to his death, he graciously allowed the co-author to Houston. As an author, his previous works include The Fires of Babylon and American conduct several interviews and granted full Guerrilla. For more, please visit: access to his collection of letters, documents, www.mikeguardia.com and never-before-published photographs. Available on Amazon. PAGE 73

By Linda Kissam “Food, Wine & Shopping Diva” PAGE 74

Finders Keepers Floats Get your kites tuned up, your treasure hunting skills focused and your art groove on… Lincoln City, Oregon awaits you! Lincoln City is located about an hour from Salem, Oregon. The promotional name “Lincoln City” was created in 1965 by stringing together a half dozen smaller communities: Taft, Nelscott, Cutler City, Delake, Oceanlake, and Wecoma Beach. It is not an uncommon move on the part of small, but savvy tourist bureaus, to rename a tourist area. These were all small end-to-end communities along U.S. Route 101, which now serves as Lincoln City's main street. The name "Lincoln City" was chosen from contest entries submitted by local school children. The contest was held to head off controversy of using any one of the five community’s names as the prominent promotional focus.

Photo: Cody Cha

Big Blend Radio: Lincoln City, OR with Linda Kissam, Donna Riani – Manager of the Culinary Center, Eric Johnson - Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau.

The result is one quirky, endearing and colorful, coastal town with seven miles of wind-swept beachfront. Lincoln City has two primary economic resources: retirement and tourism. The later has greatly increased since 1995 when the Confederated Tribes of Siletz opened Chinook Winds Casino at the northern end of the city, on property overlooking the Pacific Ocean. PAGE 75

Continued on Next Page…

Mossy Creek Pottery

Mossy Creek Pottery Lincoln City Continued… Although primarily a summer-time destination, this town presents a case for year-round visits.

Finders Keepers Glass Float Treasure Hunt

Mossy Creek Pottery

Pottery and Glass Studios

One of the best tourist incentive programs in the USA, volunteer “Float Fairies” hide one-of-a-kind, numbered hand-blown glass floats along the seven-mile stretch of beach from October – May (call for exact dates). The number of floats hidden correspond with the year. In 2017 for example, 2017 floats were hidden between the embankment and the tide line. In addition, special drops to commemorate specific holidays or programs increase everyone’s chance of finding a special treasure. Register your treasure with the visitor’s bureau to find out who the local artist is who created the float. It’s memory making time as the hunt brings out the pirate in all of us. Fun and joyful. This should be your first activity to get you into the spirit of Lincoln City.

Lincoln City is an art lover’s paradise. Special treasures can be found at a variety of shops throughout the area. My favorites included stops at Mossy Creek Pottery, Alder House and Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio. Mossy Creek Pottery is a celebration of local potters. It is one of the only “pottery specific” consignment studios in the Washington or Oregon area. Featuring 30+ rotating artists, you can find everything from contemporary to traditional, to whimsical items. How about a $55 Sasquatch coffee cup? Owner Melanie Richardson shared they can’t keep them in stock. If you’re looking for mirrors, jewelry, teapots, plates, bowls or even totem poles, they’re all here. Affordable prices with a variety I’ve never seen before, this is a must stop. Continued on Next Page…


Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio

Alder House Glass Blowing Studio Lincoln City Continued…

Culinary Center

Once you find your first float, you’ll be on a further hunt to understand how these beauties are made. This Alder House glass blowing studio founded by Buzz Williams is a small artsy retail and demonstration studio out in the woods (located next to Mossy Creek Pottery). It has a long history, best told by Buzz…who, by the way, is there every day at some point, and more than willing to share his story of success with you. He defines success this way, “If you’re nice to people it’s returned somewhere down the line.” His joy, pride and enthusiasm of 50 years of glass blowing experience is tangible anywhere you step in the studio. Daily demos are offered by one of five artists. Affordable beauty.

Another side to the “arts” offerings in Lincoln City is the Culinary Center where a wide selection of classes, subjects and cuisines is available. In an intimate demonstration class just sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful food and wine while you learn from local guest pros. My Native American cooking class was provided by Chef Jack Strong, representing Chinook Casino. The coastal tribal menu was memorable and at the cost of $60 for a three-hour class, I couldn’t have asked for more. Our host (and chef) Donna Riani, suggests visitors visit their Website for upcoming demo and hands-on classes. Continued…

The Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio not only showcases one-of-a-kind blown glass art, but also allows visitors to blow glass with local artisans. Guests work alongside artists through the process of working with molten glass. You can make three sizes of floats, a fluted bowl, a smaller fluted bowl, a paperweight, a votive candle holder or a heart. They supply everything you need except your own vision and heart. PAGE 77

Culinary Center Team

Pelican Shore Inn

Lincoln City Continued…

Accommodations One of the things I especially like about this town is the wide range of available accommodations. There are larger resort style properties, casino lodging, as well as condo and house rentals right along with my favorite – the family owned inns. On your first visit consider being right on the beach. I can highly recommend Pelican Shores Inn. Literally steps from crashing waves and wind-swept beaches, it offers just the right combination of larger updated rooms, affordable prices, to-die-for views and personal service. Throw in a continental breakfast every morning and it spells success to me.

Try the five-course tasting ($78) at The Bay House. Under rising star Chef Kevin Ryan and the watchful eye of owner Steve Wilson, I can promise you a night to remember. Course after course was tasteful and creative. Try the Lobster Mac & Cheese at Mist and BE SURE to ask manager Mark to create a cocktail just for you. Presented with flair and good taste, you’ve never seen this kind of imaginative bar service in a small coastal town before. Continued on Next Page…

Dining What’s your pleasure? Fast-food eateries are represented here, but so are mid and upscale dining. I like supporting local independent establishments. Two that you will be delighted with are Mist at Surftides Resort (mid-range dining, excellent bar and live music on the weekends), and The Bay House (higher-end white tablecloth dining). Come as you are at either establishment. Both have killer views and personable service. PAGE 78

Mist Lobster Mac & Cheese

Lincoln City Continued…

Casino Chinook Winds Casino Resort is Oregon's premiere Casino. Think large-scale operation with 1200+ slot machines, several restaurants (try breakfast or the extensive oyster bar at their Seafood Grill), table games, live poker, live music and performances, food festivals, keno and bingo. Owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon, the spirit of the Tribe can be felt not only in the casino but in the community as well. Always ready to give back to the community in whatever way they can, there is a beautiful spirit present. An outstanding destination for culture, cuisine and casino entertainment.

Fly High The beaches are often filled with flamboyant kites, taking advantage of the sometimes dramatic winds. Did you know Lincoln City was named Kite Capital of the World by “Kitelines” Magazine? Who knew? Each year they hold two kite festivals that attract kite buffs and competitors from around the world. Every weekend from July to October, kite experts will bring giant show pieces to the D River Wayside. Some of these flying wonders are as large as 90 feet long.

Chinook Winds Casino Seafood Grill

Visit www.OregonCoast.org. Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit www.AllInGoodTaste.info.

Gardens I love small gardens and Lincoln City has one of the best I’ve seen in some time, The Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy. Located smack in the middle of a neighborhood development, this community treasure is an acre and a quarter of winding paths. The garden is most remarkable in the spring when the rhododendrons, lilies, and azaleas are blooming, but it is worth a visit anytime. Open from dawn to dusk every day, admission is free but donations are welcome. As an added bonus, they sell plants and they encourage a rest-and-renew look at the gardens. Pets on leashes are welcome. Enjoy the beds of shade loving hosta, hellebores and primroses. Bridges cross the creek that lead you past iris beds, sunny rock gardens and colorful heather berms. This is a gardeners paradise. PAGE 79

Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy

Lincoln City, OR Video

By Hilarie Larson

Winding streets of Chateauneuf-du-Pape PAGE 80

The wine world has its share of eponymous regions; so famous, that just the mere murmur of their name evokes a sense of wonder. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is one of those regions. The rich, bold and sensuous red wines that are created from this parcel of land in the south of France have been renowned for hundreds of years. For those of us who love wine Chateauneuf-du-Pape is practically a place of pilgrimage.

Big Blend Radio: Hilarie Larson discusses Chateauneuf-du-Pape

It doesn’t matter from which direction you approach the village. Whether it’s from the rocky plateaus to the north and the city of Orange, from the east and the medieval town of Courthezon, or from the flowing Rhone River to the west – the omnipresent ruins of the famed chateau acts as a beacon to the wine-lover. Wine grapes are nothing new to the region. Vines have grown wild here for millennia and some, like Syrah, are now very familiar. The Greeks, who arrived around 600 BC, cultivated these vines and introduced varieties from their homeland.

The Romans were next, using the Rhone as a main transportation route, expanding the vineyards along its banks. By the 2nd c BC, the entire Rhone Valley was an important wine producing region and continued to be through the Middle Ages and beyond. Most of the credit for Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s fame, however, goes to the Catholic Church, who were the major vineyard owners and winemakers of their time. In the 14th century, the Papal seat was moved from Rome to the city of Avignon. The vineyards of Chateauneuf were close by and, the Papal court soon learned, made fabulous wines. Continued on Next Page…


Vineyards on the upper plateau of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateauneuf-du-Pape Continued… Pope Clement V extended the vineyards, and Pope John 12th was so taken with the town that he built his summer home overlooking the vineyards and river, giving the village its name “New Castle of the Pope”. ‘Vins du Pape’ soon became all the rage and sustained this winecreating village of 1000 inhabitants for centuries. Wines were shipped to Germany, Britain and America, their fame propelled by famous French authors such as Nobel Prize winner and Provençal hero Frederic Mistral, who wrote, “The wine from Chateauneuf brings courage, melody, love and joy.” The growers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape protected the quality and reputation of their wine by establishing a classification system, guaranteeing its authenticity. They were the first in France to do so and in 1935, they were instrumental in the development and implementation of the AOC system (the Appellation d’Origine Controllée), which is still in place today and replicated throughout the wine world.

Perhaps it’s the iconic Mont Ventoux or nearby Dentelles de Montmirail Mountains that shield the vineyards from the mighty Mistral winds? All these contribute to the unique ‘terroir, but as you gaze upon the vineyards, the most distinctive feature is the soil. The Rhone Valley was created during the last Ice Age when glaciers from the Alps began to travel south, grinding and pushing the terrain as they made their way to the Mediterranean. In the southern part of the Rhone, the valley widens, forming plains near the river, graduating to higher plateaus as you move inland.

It’s on these plateaus, that you find what many consider the ‘signature’ of Chateauneuf-duPape’s terrain: the Galet Roulès. These round, rolled rocks vary in size from small pebbles to well over a foot across. Composed of ‘Silice’ or Quartzite silica, a substance not local to the area, they were carried by those ancient glaciers, tumbled and rolled all the way from the Alps. Today, they dot the vineyards, ensuring So what is it that makes “Chateauneuf”, as the moisture stays in the soil and radiating warmth locals call it, such a special and unique setting for to the vines. viticulture? Is it because it’s the sunniest place in the Rhone Valley? Continued on Next Page… PAGE 82

Delicious choices at Domaine de la Jannasse

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Continued… The diverse soils support the wide array of sanctioned grape varieties. There are 13 in all and, although Grenache is considered the ‘signature’ grape, each plays its part to bring balance and harmony, finesse and distinctive character. In Chateauneuf-du-Pape, blending is everything.

All their fruit comes from the estate’s 60 parcels producing an array of wines that have garnered great acclaim. Try their ‘Vielles Vignes’ or ‘old vines’; average age 80-100 years. Grown on four different types of soil, “the mix of soils is a tool”, according to Isabelle and one they employ with great results.

The reds are brimming with red fruits, pepper, spice, and often, hints of licorice, while the scarce white blends (only 6% of production) are sensuous with stone fruits, and fragrant white blossoms with a balanced, refreshing finish.

On the eastern side of town, you’ll find the premises of Roger Sabon. The surname turns up quite a bit as the family has been in Chateauneuf since 1540 and Roger Sabon is truly a family affair. With 16 acres of vineyards, including ‘La Crau’ on the plateau, winemaker Didier Negron creates wines of elegance and freshness sewn together with more than a touch of passion. Look for ‘Les Olivets’, ‘Cuvèe Prestige’ (a blend of eight varieties),’ Le Secret des Sabon’ and their wonderful white blend.

While the reputation of the wines is huge, the village is small and approachable. There’re a number of winery tasting rooms in town but many are dotted around the appellation and some are still ‘by appointment only’. Keep in mind that Chateauneuf is part of Provence and almost everyone keeps to the tradition of closing for lunch! Here are a few suggestions: Domaine de la Jannasse is located in the stunning medieval village of Courthezon. Isabelle Sabon and her brother Christophe craft wines in the cellar built by their father in 1973.

Domaine Moulin-Tacussel is in the midst of town and has a charming tasting room where you can sample their outstanding wines. They produce two whites, which is a bit unusual for the region, including ‘Cuvée Annette’, which is 100% Roussanne.


Continued on Next Page…

Bernard Castelain Chocolates

Tasting room of Domaine Moulin-Tacussel

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Continued… One of the ‘newer’ ventures, Domaine Durieu was established in 1970. Brothers François and Paul are emblematic of the new generation of vigneron, creating wines from a variety of local vineyards in addition to Chateaneuf-du-Pape, in a clean, approachable style with a focus on terroir. And their tasting room is gorgeous! Chateau la Nerthe, on the other hand, is one of the earliest producers and exporters in the region. The vineyards and estate are found southeast of the village and the drive up to the 18th century chateau is spectacular. The tasting room is modern and well worth a visit.

Domaine de Beaucastel is most likely one of, if not the most, famous of the wineries in Chateauneuf. Owned and operated by the 5th generation of the Perrin family, the chateau can be traced back to the 16th century. Visits are by appointment only. If you’re looking for a great selection of local wines and foods, stop by Le Petit Serre Cave de Vignernons. Here, you can sample a few wines, local olives and ‘saucisson’ with the delightful proprietors who are always eager to help you fill your picnic basket. Pay a visit to artisan chocolatier Bernard Castelain, just south of the village. This factory store is a treasure trove of confection and they also offer wine and chocolate pairings. Chocolate purists will really enjoy the single origin bars.


Continued on Next Page…

Video: 60 Second Spotlight of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateauneuf-du-Pape Continued… The best way to enjoy the village is by foot. Start at the fountain in the heart of the village, head up Rue Joseph Ducros, past the church, then follow the signs to the steps leading to the ruins of the Pope’s Chateau. There’s not much left of the structure, but the views across the village, vineyards and out to the river are simply breathtaking. On your return, take any street that catches your fancy. It’s hard to get lost as long you head downhill. Eat & Drink: Le Pistou (named after the fabulous Provençal version of Pesto) is small and cozy in size but huge in hospitality, service and the quality of its menu. Try whatever they have on special that day and ask ‘Madame’ for her wine pairing suggestions. You can’t lose. If you just can’t make it up to the chateau without a glass of wine, pop in to Le Verger des Papes. The views from the terrace are some of the best in the area.

The main ‘square’, which revolves around the fountain and olive tree, is home to a number of cafés and is the best spot to watch the daily, village life go by. Try La Part des Anges for a ‘verre du vin’ or ‘bière pression’, grab a table by the street and soak it all in. Hilarie Larson’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her native British Columbia, Canada, working at several Okanagan Valley wineries. Along the way, she acquired her certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier, worked for an international wine broker and as ‘Resident Sommelier’ for wineries in Washington State and California. Hilarie’s greatest joy is spreading the gospel of wine, food and travel. In addition to her own blogs at www.NorthWindsWineConsulting.com, she contributes articles to a number of online publications. She was honored to be awarded the 2013 Emerging Writer Scholarship from the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, for whom she is now the Administrative Director.


Susan Cahill, author of “Hidden Gardens of Paris” talks with Big Blend Radio about her new book, “The Streets of Paris: A Guide to the City of Light Following in the Footsteps of Famous Parisians Throughout History.”


This includes cafes, gardens, squares, museums, bookstores, churches, and, of course, patisseries. From Sainte-Chapelle on the Ile de la Cite to the cemetery Pere Lachaise to Montmartre and the Marais, Cahill not only brings to life the bold characters of a tumultuous history and the arts of painting, music, sculpture, film, and literature, she takes readers on a relaxed walking tour in the footsteps of these celebrated Parisians. www.SusanCahill.net

For hundreds of years, the City of Light has set the stage for larger-than-life characters—from medieval lovers Héloïse and Abelard to the defiant King Henry IV to the brilliant scientist Madame Curie, beloved chanteuse Edith Piaf, and the writer Colette. In “THE STREETS OF PARIS: A Guide to the City of Light Following in the Footsteps of Famous Parisians Throughout History”, Susan Cahill recounts the lives of twenty-two famous Parisians and takes readers through the seductive streets of Paris to the quartiers where they lived and worked, visiting their homes, the scenes of their greatest triumphs and tragedies, their favorite cafes, bars, and restaurants, and the off-the-beaten-track places where they found inspiration and love. Each chapter of THE STREETS OF PARIS opens with a beautiful four-color photographs by photographer Marion Ranoux, and every tour begins with a Metro stop and ends with a list of "Nearbys"—points of interest along the way. PAGE 86


By Glynn Burrows PAGE 88

Tintagel Castle Photo: Kerry Garret under CCA King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table is a story which has been told so many times, for well over a thousand years, but it is extremely difficult to find parts which are based on any amount of substantiated evidence. To think that we are not even certain that one of our most famous Kings of England actually existed is quite amazing. There is a Round Table in existence, hanging on the wall of Winchester Cathedral but that has been dated, by dendrochronology, to 1250-1290, over six hundred years after Arthur was supposed to have been King.

Big Blend Radio: Glynn Burrows discusses Legendary Destinations of England. The most important places, mentioned in all the stories, Avalon and Camelot are also yet to be found. What is the likelihood that places of such importance would be lost completely? Who knows?

One of the most well-known places associated with King Arthur is Tintagel Castle, a dramatic Robin Hood, to my generation, was a little like ruin, imposingly set on the rugged coastline of Captain Jack Sparrow, for today’s youngsters. A Cornwall. The legend tells us that this was where swash-buckling hero, someone who could fight Arthur was conceived but, at that time, although off fifty men on his own and never get injured, there was a very important settlement there, someone who would always get the girl and possibly with some major buildings and high someone we all wanted as a big brother. But status inhabitants, a Castle was not built there till what about the real Robin Hood? the early C13th. Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 89

English Legends Continued‌ The stories of Robin Hood are based on ballads, which were a method used to pass on stories before writing became widespread. Over the years, these songs would find their way into local life, becoming part of the legends of England and the difference between fact and fiction would melt away, leaving us, today, wondering if Robin existed or not.

Nottingham Castle For the poor, it was often a choice of living as a downtrodden peasant or living as a criminal and many of those who turned to crime were hailed as heroes by the rest of the peasantry.

After all, the peasants were safe from the criminals, as they had nothing to steal and, as they were being exploited by the rich, it was giving the ruling classes a bit of comeuppance. My own belief is that he did exist, but I am not Many of the criminal fraternity were generous to sure which proposed person he was. (There are the poor, as they were all in the same boat and several plausible alternatives.) He is most likely they, themselves, often originated from those to be a wronged yeoman or minor nobleman, peasant villages. living in the central area of England, around The countryside of England was very different in Nottingham in the C13th-C14th. those days too. Many extremely large parks and forests were dotted around the country and It appears that he was on the wrong side of the these were fantastic places to hide. As locals, the law for a lot of his adult life, as in the late C13th, country folk knew every nook and cranny of the England was a very divided country. The forests and the noblemen wouldn’t dare go off peasants lived a very lowly life and the rich, being the tracks on their own for fear of being largely corrupt and exploiting, were often attacked. despised. Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 90

English Legends Continued…

Robin Hood's principal hideout, The Major Oak, Sherwood Forest Photo: XXLRay under CCA

The present Sherwood Forest is about 450 acres, but in the past it was up to 100,000 acres in size. It was a deer park and, as such, a very good place for people to hide, with a fantastic supply of food and water. The forest today, is well worth a visit. The visitor’s centre has lots of information about the legend of Robin Hood and the forest itself, being so ancient, has many examples of magnificent trees, one being the “Major Oak” which is said to be over 800 years old. Nottingham Castle of today, is not an ancient castle, it is a C19th reconstruction of a C17th house. Sadly, the home of the Sheriff in all of the tales, was demolished many years ago, but there are still remains under the present building and some ruins in the vicinity. So, if you are looking for proof of the existence of Robin Hood, I’m afraid I can’t give you any, but if you love a story with romance, violence and Royalty and if you’d like to have a pint in the oldest pub in England, dating from 1189 a visit to Nottingham would be great!

Other Legends exist all over the country, from giants to pixies, from monsters of the deep to big black dogs with red eyes and from hidden tunnels to stone or timber circles. The tales, often passed through the generations for centuries, are all there to be discovered and researched. Who knows? Perhaps you could be the one who discovers Camelot, or the person who finds out how they did manage to build Stonehenge all those years ago. Continued on Next Page…

Nottingham Castle from The History and Antiquities of Nottingham by James Orange, 1840


Legends of England Continued‌ Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham is one of several pubs in England which claim to be the oldest. The pub building rests against Castle Rock upon which Nottingham Castle is built and is attached to several caves carved out of the soft sandstone of Castle Rock, which were originally used as a brewhouse. Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to England visit www.Norfolk-Tours.co.uk


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ZizzyBee Bags From carrying and storing Mom’s makeup and Dad’s toiletries, to carting around the kid’s toys and sports gear, ZizzyBee Bags are a sustainable alternative to plastic bags. Perfect for travel, these durable and light-weight mesh bags are see-through and breathable, washable and reusable. Available in a variety of colorful designs, prices start at $15.99 for a set of 3 small bags. www.ZizzyBeeBags.com. Available on Amazon

Spony Baseball Cap Finally a baseball cap that’s designed for women! No matter if you’re out sailing in the windy high seas or cheering on your favorite ball team, your hair’s safe with Spony! Available in a variety of colors, from Pink Minx to Cammo Whammo, you can wear this convertible ballcap closed like a regular ballcap or open up the back to wear your hair in multiple styles including a high ponytail, braids, a bun or even a messy updo. Available for $25 each on www.Spony.com.


by Debbie Stone PAGE 94

Mystical Bhutan Continued… A revered lama and leading astrologist, Master Wengdi of the Paga Monastery in Bhutan, told me that I’m a fire monkey, born under a metal sign that imbues me with confidence and energy. Driven to success, I often gravitate towards leadership roles where I can exercise control and call upon my ability to draw people to me. But, I can be competitive and stubborn (true), allowing my strong will and needs to overwhelm me, sometimes making decisions based on emotion and not logic (also true).

Prayer flags are an ubiquitous sight in Bhutan

Almost completely cut off for centuries, the country began to open up to foreigners and To help balance the forces within me, Master some aspects of the outside world in the 1970s, Wengdi recommended that I practice patience while continuing to fiercely guard its ancient and focus on doing more acts of compassion in mores. The fear has always been that external my life. He ended my astrological session by influences would undermine Bhutan’s monarchy telling me that 2017 is a lucky year for fire and culture. In fact, television didn’t even come monkeys, but that I should take precautions to avoid being near construction sites in the coming to the country until 1999, followed later by the internet. months. And, oh, I should also wear brighter colored clothing.

Big Blend Radio: Debbie Stone discusses Bhutan. I had gone on a trip to Bhutan with Myths and Mountains, a highly acclaimed tour company, to learn more about this tiny kingdom in the Himalayas and its deep-rooted Buddhist traditions. However, I never expected that in the process I would have a personal spiritual journey. Known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” Bhutan, with a population of roughly 750,000, is nestled between two powerful neighbors: China in the north and India in the south.

Visitors to Bhutan will discover that it is no ordinary place, but rather a realm shrouded in mystery and magic. Some consider it to be the last “Shangri La.” The kingdom is notable for its lofty peaks, venerated religious sites, diversity of flora and fauna, and distinct national identity based on Buddhism. Its dramatic landscapes range from subtropical plains to snow-capped mountains and lush valleys. Picture-book vistas are around every corner with environmental protection key to this unspoiled, staggering beauty.

By law, at least sixty percent of the country must remain under forest canopy for all future generations. Current figures are above seventy percent. Bhutan prides itself on being carbon neutral, but it actually absorbs more carbon than it emits, offering one of the remaining pristine pockets in the entire Himalaya. Continued on Next Page…

Photo to Left: Tiger’s Nest Monastery, the most sacred site in Bhutan. PAGE 95

Mystical Bhutan Continued… Happiness is akin to holiness here and the nation’s progress and prosperity are measured not by the standard GDP, but rather by a unique barometer known as “Gross National Happiness” or GNH. Pioneered by the fourth monarch of the country back in 1971, the GNH is set in policy and based on the pillars of equitable social development, cultural preservation, conservation of environment and the promotion of good governance. The belief is that the rich are not always happy, while the happy generally consider themselves rich. And true development of society transpires when material and spiritual development occur side by side, complementing and reinforcing one another. The philosophy of GNH has received recognition on an international level. In fact, the United Nations has implemented a resolution recognizing that the GDP does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people, and that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. As you travel throughout Bhutan, you will see affirmations directed towards this idea of happiness. There are signs posted everywhere along the roads that offer mantras, such as “Life is a journey! Complete it!” or “Let nature be your guide,” and my favorite, “Fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds.”

They give a person pause to think about his/her actions and consider how they are affecting quality of life. But, make sure you don’t get too absorbed in these musings, as you might just hit a cow in the process! Cows, which are considered very important in Bhutanese life due to the many products they provide, are everpresent and roam the roads freely as if they own them. It is an onus on the driver to avoid these creatures by swerving every which way and making liberal use of the horn. The same goes with the stray dogs that tend to run in packs, particularly in the cities. A word of advice: bring earplugs if you don’t want to stay up all night listening to their howling chorus! Bhutan is not a rich country by economic standards, but it has a richness seldom found elsewhere. It’s in the natural beauty of the scenery and ancient buildings, combined with the grace and warmth of the people, as well as the genuine spirituality that derives from their Buddhist beliefs. More than a religion, Buddhism is a way of life that permeates every facet of secular existence, bringing with it a reverence for the earth and its well-being along with the desire to be mindful and aware of one’s thoughts and actions. The Buddhist path is one of wisdom and understanding with the aim of leading a moral life. Continued on Next Page…


Prayer wheels must be rotated clockwise to release the mantras. Mystical Bhutan Continued… As a visitor to the country, you can’t help but notice the presence of Buddhism everywhere you go. It’s in the massive dzongs (monastery fortresses), temples, monasteries, stupas (receptacles for offerings), fluttering prayer flags and golden prayer wheels that punctuate a landscape of dazzling rice fields and villages unchanged by time. You’ll hear the chime of ritual bells and the sound of gongs, while observing throngs of people circum-ambulating the stupas and shaven-headed monks in red robes conducting assorted rituals. They serve as testaments to the importance of Buddhism in Bhutanese life. On Myths and Mountains “Bhutan and its Buddhist Traditions” trip, participants do more than simply visit noted sites in typical tourist fashion. The focus instead, is more on developing an understanding of Buddhism and its teachings, and how the various beliefs are interwoven into the cultural fabric of the country. It’s an experiential journey that offers many opportunities to be immersed in the rituals and practices, as well as to interact with the people on a personal level. This type of approach allows one to go beneath the surface, to gain deeper knowledge and increased perspective, and maybe even achieve greater consciousness in the process.

Prayer wheels come in many sizes. One morning, for example, our group started the day early with a cleansing ceremony at a temple in the capital city Thimphu. A Buddhist monk conducted the ritual which included chanting, prayers, lit candles, and the use of water and rice, which were either dripped or strewn to disperse any bad energy. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the monk tied a blue string around each of our wrists signifying we’d been blessed, and sending us off with a wish for good luck in the future. We also experienced a smoke ceremony, as well as a Dued ritual. The former involves burning herbs and incense to cleanse the contaminated mind and body, and feed the deities of the land. This ceremony is believed to eliminate obstacles from the path of these spirits. When they are content, the environment gets purified. In the Dued ritual, the goal is similar to cleanse all the negative interferences from the world of spirits. Continued on Next Page…


Tsa-tsas are small monuments used as offerings, often used to increase one’s luckforce. Mystical Bhutan Continued…

We participated in such a ritual at Paga Monastery, conducted by Master Wengdi and the other resident monks, who ranged in age from four on up. The ceremony featured extensive recitation of prayers, drumming, trumpets made from human thighbones, metal horns, hand bells, various offerings of cakes and liquor, along with the proverbial rice. Each person in our group had his/her own personal altar, which had been created by the monks. We placed offerings of wheat dough and monetary donations, and then added scraps of our old clothing. The altars were later taken outside to be burned to combat spirits that bring illness and bad fortune. During our time at the monastery, we were able to learn more about the life of a monk and the years of training and education required to undergo such a vocation. Many of the young boys we encountered came from poor, rural backgrounds where there is little hope of finding work or education. It is a common practice in Bhutan for parents in such situations to place one or more of their sons within a monastery, often because they can’t afford to feed them or to pay for the uniforms or text books required at the government run schools. The lifelong service of a monk is a respected path and represents a better future.

Training to become a monk can start as early as four years old. The children we spoke with were learning English because the language is a requirement of their schooling. They were initially shy, but eventually warmed up to us. We found it amusing and heartwarming to see that their behavior was characteristic of young boys all over the world. I caught several poking at each other and making funny faces during the ceremony. A few yawned and even dozed. One threw rice at his friend’s back, but immediately denied being the culprit when his pal turned around in annoyance. Another day, our group observed a trio of monks creating a mandala. One of the richest visual symbols in Buddhism, the mandala is a representational picture of the universe and the basis or foundation for the teachings of the religion. It can be a painting on a wall or scroll, or created in colored sands on a table or board. The mandala has several parts and each object has significance, representing an aspect of wisdom or a guiding principle. It is often used to aid enlightenment and to assist with healing, but can be dedicated to a variety of desired outcomes. Continued on Next Page…


Monks making a mandala

A mandala is a work of art that holds much religious significance.

Mystical Bhutan Continued… Making a mandala is no easy task. It takes extensive knowledge and practice, as well as patience and highly developed fine motor coordination! I developed a newfound appreciation for such skill, especially later when given the chance to make my own mandala using colored rice.

The body physically reacts when one experiences overwhelming emotions such as anger, desire or hatred. Too much anger, for example, can create heat related disorders like fevers and inflammation, while intense desire can cause wind associated issues such as dizziness and vertigo.

I also learned that such symbols are destroyed after completion to serve as a reminder of the impermanence of life. Though I understood the reasoning, it didn’t make it any easier for me to aid in the destruction of an incredibly beautiful piece of work. We collected the sand to be disbursed into a river at another time, as a means to extend the healing powers to the whole world.

Remedies are prescribed which seek to reestablish balance within the individual. Traditional treatments range from herbal steam baths and warm oil compression therapy to acupuncture with silver or gold needles.

As part of our continued experience with Buddhism, we made tsa-tsas with wheat flour. A tsa-tsa is a little monument that Buddhists use as an offering. It’s a powerful means of dispelling Our group received instruction in the colors that obstacles to one’s well-being and increasing one’s feature so predominantly in mandalas, as well as luck-force, but it can also be made to benefit a in the ubiquitous prayer flags that are displayed suffering soul of a deceased relative, friend or throughout the countryside. The hues of red, pet. green, white, yellow and blue follow the astrological directions. They are attached to five After being blessed by a monk, these offerings are put in various places that are considered characteristic elements: fire, water, earth, iron holy, such as on altars, near Buddha statues, by and wood. Each of us is assigned one of these lakes, in caves and other sites. As our tsa-tsas elements at birth, which determines dominant were made of flour, we were able to throw them personality or traits. The colors are also used in Bhutanese indigenous medicine. Dr. Lobzeng at in the water to benefit the fish. the National Traditional Medicine Hospital Continued on Next Page… introduced these applications to our group. He explained that health problems are understood as imbalances among space, fire, wind, water and earth. PAGE 99

Meditating at “Burning Lake”

Young monk spinning prayer wheels. Mystical Bhutan Continued… Later in the trip, our group hoisted prayer flags together in tent-like formation on a hill overlooking a river. These colorful pieces of cloth are inscribed with prayers, mantras and auspicious symbols. They are said to bring happiness, wish fulfillment, long life and prosperity to the flag planter and those in the vicinity. Additionally, they are used to appease local spirits and gods, which is why you will often see them placed in natural settings. Buddhists believe the flags generate spiritual vibrations that are released when the wind blows and the prayers are carried in the air. Before putting the flags up, however, it’s important to check with a monk to see if the planned day is an auspicious astrological date, so as to bring about only positive results. Prayer wheels are also an integral part of Buddhism. These cylindrical wheels of all sizes contain scrolls that are repeatedly inscribed with mantras to purify negativity, generate compassion and dispel barriers to enlightenment. By turning them clockwise, the mantras inside are activated and released.

Buddhists believe that mindfully spinning a prayer wheel produces the same benefits as reciting the number of mantras inside the prayer wheel. The key word here is “mindful,” as simply turning the wheel by force of habit is not the same as approaching it with thought and intention. To help achieve mindfulness, Buddhists practice meditation, using techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity and the ability to calmly see the true nature of things. At Mebartsho Lake, a holy site in central Bhutan’s Jakar Valley, we had the opportunity to enjoy meditating while listening to a pair of nuns chant prayers in the quiet of the morning. The sounds of birds and rushing water accompanied them, helping to create a sublime setting. Mebartsho is known as the “burning lake,” as it is from this body of water that Terton Pema Lingpa, an incarnated disciple of Guru Rinpoche (the patron saint of Bhutan), was believed to have discovered treasure in the late 15th century.

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Mystical Bhutan Continued…

Festival dances have special meanings and stories.

Today, however, it holds articles such as wallets and mobile phones. Women wear the Kira, a long, ankle-length dress, accompanied by an outer jacket knowns as a Tego. It is common to see men and women clothed in such fashion during the day, while at work, and not only on Festivals are a highlight of any trip to Bhutan and special occasions. we were fortunate to see the Nimalung Festival Mask dances take center stage at the festivals. in Chumey Valley. The country has many Each one has a special meaning or a story indigenous celebrations and the most popular behind it, and many of them are based on are the Tsechu festivals. Tsechu means “the incidents that happened centuries ago. Most are tenth day” of the lunar calendar when Guru performed by monks and/or village men. In the Rinpoche was born. Such religious festivals are Black Hat Dance, for example, performers held in various temples, monasteries and attempt to subdue and drive out the evil spirits. dzongs, where communities come together to watch spectacular dances, receive blessings and The men wear spectacular brocade robes and tall, wide-brimmed black hats, and execute a socialize. series of mesmerizing movements. The drama is The people dress in their finest traditional attire. intense and it’s difficult to take your eyes off Men wear the Gho, a knee-length, kimono-like these whirling dervishes. robe that is tied at the waist by a belt known as a Kera. The kangaroo style pouch that forms at the front was once used to carry food bowls and a Continued on Next Page… small dagger. PAGE 101 With a butter lamp in hand, he jumped into the lake and reemerged holding a chest and a scroll of paper in his hand, astonishing the cynical local ruler and village people. The butter lamp in his hand was still burning bright, thus, the name “burning lake” was coined.

Festivals in Bhutan are colorful affairs with costumes, dancing, drumming and more.

Monks in a procession to go to a temple

Mystical Bhutan Continued… Observing these performances was a feast for the senses, with hypnotic music and drumming, colorful costumes, the smell of incense, and the rapt faces of the elated crowd. In addition to festivals, temples and dzongs are major attractions in Bhutan. Some highlights include the Temple of the Divine Madman, dedicated to a popular lama known for a radical approach to Buddhism in the 15th century; Punakha Dzong, which served as Bhutan’s capital from 1637 to 1955 and was the birthplace of many cultural, social, economic and political foundations; Tamshing Lhakhang, known for having the oldest surviving wall paintings in Bhutan; Paro Dzong, a massive and stunning work of architecture; and Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. Also of special mention is the Buddha Dordenma Statue, which overlooks Thimphu Valley. At 169 feet, it is the tallest sitting Buddha in Asia. Still under construction, this massive figure is made of bronze and gilded in gold, and contains 125,000 smaller Buddha statues inside. The piece de resistance, however, has to be the Taktsang Monastery, otherwise known as the Tiger’s Nest. This is said to be the most sacred site in the country, as it is widely considered the cradle of Bhutanese Buddhism. Guru Rinpoche materialized here some 1,300 years ago on the back of a flying tigress.

Story has it that he took shelter in a series of caves and proceeded to meditate for three years before setting about converting the Bhutanese to Buddhism. The structure that commemorates this auspicious beginning was built nine centuries later, although the buildings seen today have been replaced several times, including major reconstruction completed in 2005 after a fire devastated the place in 1998. The trek to get to the monastery is a pilgrimage that every visitor to Bhutan hopes to undertake. And though it involves a bit of uphill legwork, the climb is well worth the effort as the rewards are great. As you hike the seemingly endless snaking path up the mountain, peek-a-boo views of the place emerge at various junctures. Sometimes it is shrouded in an eerie mist, adding an aura of heaven to the place; other times, the clouds dissipate and the monastery in all its glory emerges. Precariously perched on the side of a sheer, granite cliff at a height of 10,240 feet, it appears to shimmer with its whitewashed walls and golden pinnacles. Prayer flags and waterpowered prayer wheels line the route, along with blue pine trees festooned with moss. If you’re lucky, you might see one of the resident golden langur monkeys hanging out in the trees.

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The Thimphu Chorten is a prominent landmark in the city. Mystical Bhutan Continued… You’ll share the route with sojourners from all over the world who project a kindred spirit and reverence for this special journey. A sense of camaraderie is present, as is the sweat that pours from everyone’s faces! The final approach to the monastery is over a bridge across a dramatic waterfall that drops 200 feet into a sacred pool. The entire area is wrapped in prayer flags, while rock crevices are crammed with tsa-tsas. One last brutal flight of steep rock steps delivers you to the monastery. Inside are various temples and other chambers full of Buddhist icons and offerings of food and money heaped upon altars. Flickering butter lamps cast a warm glow upon the scene. The main attraction is Guru Rinpoche’s meditation cave, though most visitors only see the door to the cave, as it is opens for public viewing just once a year.

During our trip, we also enjoyed visiting a traditional farmhouse, which featured special quarters for livestock and grain storage, along with family living space and an altar room. Between the upper level of the house and the roof is an airing area, typically used for drying chilies that are use year round. Additionally, we toured the National Textile Museum in Thimphu, where Bhutan’s finest weavings and brocades are on display, and explored the various art, history and natural science exhibits at the National Museum of Bhutan in Paro. Handicrafts figure prominently into the Bhutanese culture with weaving, woodworking, papermaking and mandala art as the standouts. There are numerous places to view local artisans creating unique treasures, as well as plenty of shops and marketplaces where such items are sold alongside fresh fruits and veggies, and other assorted goods. Continued on Next Page…

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Chilies are used liberally in Bhutanese dishes. Mystical Bhutan Continued… The outdoor venues are the best for checking out Bhutanese food staples such as rice (white and red), buckwheat noodles, lentils, curry and chili peppers. Chilies are not considered to be a seasoning here, but rather a true and valuable vegetable. Traditional Bhutanese food makes lavish use of dried or fresh red and green chilies, and the national dish consists of chili cooked in cheese. If you’re not accustomed to eating chilies, it’s best to start off slow and sample small bites before diving into a five alarm fire! But, if Mt. Vesuvius erupts in your mouth, grab for a glass of milk, not water, to take the edge off the heat. A number of people in Bhutan are vegetarian due to Buddhism’s strict rules regarding the slaughter of animals. Those that do partake in meat will eat stew-like mixtures containing bits of pork, minced chicken or sometimes fish, seasoned with a variety of spices. Momos, Tibetan style dumplings stuffed with meat or veggies, are also popular. When it comes to beverages, sweet milk tea and salted butter tea are most favored. And as for libations, local beer and spirits distilled from rice, maize, wheat or barley are relatively easy to obtain in the bars, hotels and restaurants.

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. More than a sport, archery is a celebration of the Bhutanese way of life and an expression of the culture and heritage. It’s a colorful spectacle with everyone dressed up in their very best traditional outfits. Bowmen participate in established routines that include singing and dancing to celebrate each hit. A trip to Bhutan is the adventure of a lifetime. I am grateful for the services of our phenomenal guide, Kinley, who enriched my experience tenfold by helping interpret all things Bhutanese. He provided extensive background about the country’s history, geography, politics and culture, as well as its Buddhist practices. He was an excellent resource and connected us with experts in the field to obtain further information. Kinley displayed endless patience with my questions, particularly when it came to understanding the complexities of Buddhism, its many deities, mythical beings and symbolism.

As you explore Bhutan, you will undoubtedly see groups of men playing archery, the country’s national sport. Take time to watch, as it is a fascinating experience. PAGE 104

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Buddha Dordenma is the largest sitting Buddha in Asia. Mystical Bhutan Continued… I eventually realized that I did not have to fully comprehend all the intricacies of this multilayered religion for the reality is that a month from now I will most likely not recall the dates, names and specific details. What I will always remember, however, is that Buddhism is first and foremost about compassion –something we all can do with more of – and balance, something this fire monkey will continue to strive for in her life.

Basket-carrying Bhutanese takes a brief rest. Myths and Mountains is an award-winning adventure travel company for the discerning and inquisitive globe-trotter seeking a hand-crafted, life changing experience. It offers signature itineraries to destinations in Asia, Southeast Asia and South America, based on travelers’ unique travel preferences, with the added benefit of giving back to the communities visited. For more information: www.mythsandmountains.com

Video: 60 Second Spotlight on Bhutan

Deborah Stone is a travel and lifestyle writer, who explores the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers. She’s an avid adventurer who welcomes new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for travel and cross-cultural connections. Her travels have taken her to all seven continents, over 65 countries and 45 U.S. States. PAGE 105

TRAVEL & EVENTS GUIDE From America’s Southeast to California & The Desert Southwest! Let’s Go Exploring! SOUTHEAST USA

Photo: Mark Nally

107. Visit Springfield, Kentucky 108. Christmas in Natchitoches, Louisiana

CALIFORNIA 110. Spotlight on San Diego County 114. Visit California’s Sequoia Country 118. Discover San Benito County

SOUTHWEST USA 120. Spotlight on Tucson, Arizona 122. Destination Yuma, Arizona 128. Giddy Up to Yerington, Nevada

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Photo: Mark Nalley

VISIT SPRINGFIELD, KENTUCKY Explore the Heart of Central Kentucky, the Land of ‘Bourbon, Horses & History’!

Big Blend Radio: Celebrate The Arts and the Holiday Season in Springfield, with Stephanie McMillin – Executive Director of the Springfield Tourism Commission, and Eric Seale – Artistic Managing Director for Central Kentucky Theatre.

The ancestral home of Abraham Lincoln’s family, Springfield is part of the Lincoln Scenic Byway and Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail, as well as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail and Kentucky Fiber Trail. A wonderful year-round destination, Springfield boasts four gentle seasons, numerous historic and cultural sites and attractions, a full calendar of events and celebrations, beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities for nature and outdoor adventures. Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events: Nov. 15-16: Christmas Crafters Market & Merchants Open houses Dec. 1-3: ‘Hairy Tale Rock’ – Central Kentucky Theatre Dec.1-3, 9-10: The Beautiful Music of Christmas – Mid-Kentucky Chorus For travel and up-to-date event information, call Springfield Tourism Commission at (859) 336-5412 x1 or visit www.VisitSpringfieldKY.com. PAGE 107

The Oldest City in Louisiana Celebrates its 91st Annual Christmas Festival of Lights Natchitoches will be celebrating its 91st Annual Christmas Festival of Lights from November 18th, 2017 to January 6, 2018. Ranked as one of the top three holiday light displays by Yahoo!Travel.com, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights is a 45 night celebration of lights, fun and festivities set along the backdrop of downtown Historic Natchitoches and Cane River Lake. Cane River is illuminated by more than 300,000 twinkling lights and 100 set pieces. Highlights of the Natchitoches Christmas season include the 91st Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival Day – always held on the first Saturday in December, The Holiday Tour of Homes, Natchitoches-NSU Christmas Gala, and spectacular fireworks displays over Cane River Lake. Named the “Best Southern Small Town” by readers of USA Today in 2016, Natchitoches has a long tradition of Christmas spirit.

Big Blend Radio: Arlene Gould – Executive Director of Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Jill Leo of Natchitoches Historic District Business Association, discuss the 91st Natchitoches Christmas & Annual Festival of Lights! Since 1926 Natchitoches has been home to one of the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in the country. The Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival began as a oneday event and has now evolved into a six-week long festival season that ends on January 6 (Epiphany). Visitors can enjoy live musical entertainment, food vendors and activities along the riverbank, and a spectacular fireworks show over Cane River Lake. Fireworks take place each Saturday through December 31st. Continued on Next Page…

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Christmas Continued… Whether you are looking for a festive atmosphere, historical home tour, or theatrical performances, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Season has it all. In addition to the activities, visitors can enjoy area attractions such as the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historical Park, shopping along brick-paved Front Street, and a horsedrawn carriage ride through downtown Historic Natchitoches.

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Video: 60 Second Spotlight of Natchitoches!

Plan your trip today and see why the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights is the premiere holiday light festival in the state. Don’t miss this celebration that’s over ninety years in the making! For more information and complete schedule of events, please visit www.NatchitochesChristmas.com and www.Natchitoches.com.

Video: Cane River Creole NHP!

Video: The Oldest Business in Natchitoches!

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Boasting a mild year-round climate, over 70 miles of coastline along with country, mountain and desert areas, numerous historic sites, attractions, parks and outdoor activities, San Diego County is a popular travel destination. It’s the ultimate playground for outdoor recreation with activities that range from hiking, mountain biking and cycling, to horseback riding, bird and wildlife watching, surfing, and water sports at many of the area’s beach and lake destinations.

Ward Heinrichs, Dr. Shane Ott, D.C., & Robb Bower

San Diego is also an agricultural and culinary hub featuring numerous wineries and craft breweries, and a variety of restaurants that range from farm-to-table to local seafood, Italian, Mexican and classic California cuisine. Listen to this special Big Blend Radio ‘Locals Insider’ show focusing on what it’s like to live, work and play in San Diego County. Locals Insider Panel Discussion features Employment attorney Ward Heinrichs Esq.; Dr. Shane Ott, D.C., FMT – Active Life Chiropractic; Robb Bower – McCoy Brothers Band & Annual Julian Blues Bash. Plus, hear the on-site interview with Todd Derr – Leucadia Beach Inn, and a special North San Diego Hollywood History segment by Steve Schneickert. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 110

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San Diego Continued… Palomar Mountain makes for a peaceful respite within a tranquil and natural setting. Enjoy nature walks at Palomar Mountain State Park, visit Palomar Observatory that’s world famous for housing the 200-inch Hale Telescope, or cozy up at historic Bailey’s Palomar Resort. Julian is a popular mountain hamlet known for its gold rush history, apple and pear orchards, wineries, and apple pie.

The historic downtown district makes for a fun day of holiday shopping and dining, plus there is the California Wolf Center and Julian Pioneer Museum to visit. Julian’s upcoming seasonal events include the Julian Country Christmas Tree Lighting on Nov. 25. A free and fun show to watch, the Julian Doves & Desperados Historic Re-enactment Skits are held downtown on Sundays, weather permitting.

Note: During late fall and winter, you may need snow chains to get up to Julian and Palomar Mt.

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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

www.JeremysOnTheHill.com PAGE 113

Whether you’re planning a family trip or a romantic escape, California’s Sequoia Country makes for a fabulous destination offering a variety of outdoor activities, a calendar full of art events and seasonal festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the park gateway communities of Three Rivers, 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 up-to-date event and travel information, visit www.DiscoverTheSequoias.com.

SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS Fall and winter are beautiful times of year to visit these parks to enjoy a scenic drive or peaceful hike through the big trees, as well as snow play activities like skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and more! Home to the world’s largest trees (by volume) Sequoia National Park is the nation's second national park, and is connected to Kings Canyon National Park, which is home to the Nation’s Christmas Tree, a national shrine in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Big Blend Radio: Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers B&B, talks about Fall Events & Activities in Three Rivers, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

The annual Christmas "Trek to the Tree" is held the second Sunday of December at 2:30pm - call (559) 875-4575 for details. For full details and for up-to-date event and winter travel news (especially for snow chain alerts and winter road closures), visit www.NPS.gov/seki and www.SequoiaParksConservancy.org.

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Polar Bear Dip, Three Rivers Sequoia Country Continued…

SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST & GIANT SEQUOIA NATIONAL MONUMENT Featuring 33 groves of Giant Sequoia Trees (the world’s largest tree), the Sequoia National Forest is home to the biggest concentration of giant sequoia groves. These groves are protected within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, and managed by the US Forest Service. Encompassing over 353,000 acres of diverse landscape that includes two wild and scenic rivers, lakes, and six wilderness areas, the activities are endless and include hiking and camping, mountain biking, horse riding, bird and wildlife watching, downhill snow skiing and snow shoeing. For more information, especially for snow chain alerts and winter road closures, call (559) 784-1500 or visit www.FS.USDA.gov/sequoia.

Big Blend Radio: Fall Events & Activities in Tulare County with Sequoia Tourism Council representatives including: Alicia Embrey - Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sandy Blankenship – Exeter Chamber of Commerce, Donnette Silva Carter – Tulare Chamber of Commerce, and Stephanie Cortez – Porterville Chamber of Commerce.

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Sequoia Country Continued…

UPCOMING TULARE COUNTY EVENTS 1st Saturday Three Rivers Art Day: Enjoy a day of food, fun, and fabulous art. Featuring a different theme each time, it is held on the 1st Saturday of every month, and specials are promoted throughout the town. Watch artist demonstrations, eat good food and listen to local musicians or entertainers. http://www.1stsaturdaytr.com Nov. 11: Veteran’s Day Parade: Downtown Dinuba. Tel: (559) 591-2707 Nov. 11: Behind the Czar: Protest & Praise: Sequoia Symphony at Visalia Fox Theatre. Tel: (559) 732-8600 Nov. 27: 72nd Annual Candy Cane Lane Parade: Downtown Visalia at 7pm. Fox Theater, Visalia Nov. 30: Children's Christmas Parade: 7pm9pm, Downtown Porterville. Tel: (559) 7847502 Dec. 2: An Irish Christmas: Visalia Fox Theatre. Tel: (559) 625-1369 Dec. 2: Community Caroling: Sing traditional carols around a huge bonfire and enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores. Three Rivers Historical Society Museum. Tel: (559) 561-2707 Dec. 2: Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting: Downtown Dinuba. Tel: (559) 591-2707 Dec. 7: Christmas Parade: Downtown Tulare, 6pm. Tel: (559) 686-1547 Jan. 1: Polar Dip: 12 Noon, at the Gateway Restaurant & Lodge in Three Rivers. Tel: 559561-4133 For up-to-date event and travel information, visit www.DiscoverTheSequoias.com. PAGE 117

Located east of Monterey, this picturesque region 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, delicious dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, visual and performing arts, and a fun calendar of events. Main communities include the city of Hollister, which is the county seat; the historic village of San Juan Bautista which is known as “The City of History”; and the historic ranching communities of Paicines and Tres Pinos. For more about the region, visit www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com.

Enjoy our Online Jigsaw Puzzle of San Benito County’s countryside!

Juli Vieira – Chief Executive Officer of the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau; Cesar Flores – El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista; and Mark Paxton – Community Food Bank of San Benito County. Listen to this special Big Blend Radio ‘Local’s Insider’ show focusing on what it’s like to live, work and play in San Benito County.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS 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 www.SanBenitoCountyChamber.com or www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 118

Nov. 25: Annual Lights On Celebration & Parade: Kick off your holiday season with the annual downtown Hollister community event Living History Days: Every 1st Saturday of the month, from 11am to 4pm, at San Juan Bautista that includes a day-long holiday boutique, car State Historic Park. Step back to the early days of display featuring the Central Coast Impalas Car San Juan. Meet mountain men, Civil War soldiers, Club, live entertainment throughout the day, culminating with the much anticipated Lights On Victorian ladies, and more. Enjoy craft and cooking demonstrations. Enjoy an old-fashioned Celebration parade and arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus! Tel: (831) 636-8406 soda in the historic Plaza Hotel Saloon. See historic horse-drawn vehicles inside the Plaza Dec. 2: 12th Annual Holiday of Lights Stables and Victorian furnishings in the Plaza Celebration & Parade: Merchants open house, Hotel and Zanetta family home. Tel: (831) 623living history day, park decorating, cowboy 4881 Christmas songs, saloon dancing, cider & cookies, parade, pictures with Santa, and Nov. 4-5: Annual El Teatro Campesino Day of the Dead Altars: Family oriented cultural festival caroling. 11am-8pm, San Juan Bautista. that commemorates and honors the lives of the Dec. 2: Santa Clara Valley Producers Rabbit departed loved ones through dance, music, Show: Bolado Park Event Center, Tres Pinos. Tel: offerings and art. San Juan Bautista. Tel: (831) (831) 628-3421 623.2444 San Benito Continued‌

Nov. 11: Veteran’s Day Parade: Come downtown Hollister to celebrate and remember the courageous men and women of the armed forces who protect and serve our country. Contact Frankie Gallagher, (831) 638-6434.

Dec. 21: Winter Solstice Observation: 6am7am at Old Mission San Juan Bautista.

Video: Discover Downtown Historic Hollister

Video: 60 Second Spotlight, San Benito CA

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SPOTLIGHT ON TUCSON, SOUTHERN ARIZONA Sprawled across the Sonoran desert valley at an elevation of 2,400 feet, and surrounded by four mountain ranges, Tucson is the second most populated city in Arizona, and is part of the Arizona Sun Corridor. Known as ‘The Old Pueblo’, the area is known for its rich southwest history, diverse scenery, local cuisine, and dedication to the arts. In fact, Tucson is the first place in the United States to be honored with the Capital of Gastronomy designation. Katie Gannon

Stacy Fowler

Although the Native American, Mexican, Mexican American and Western atmosphere has been preserved, Tucson has become a cosmopolitan city boasting performing arts centers, museums and galleries, parks and recreation areas, gardens and attractions, and is the host of numerous trade shows and expos, annual sporting events and cultural festivals. Listen to this special Big Blend Radio ‘Local’s Insider’ show focusing on what it’s like to live, work and play in Tucson. The show also includes a special Tucson Hollywood History segment by Steve Schneickert, and the song “Chair Beneath a Tree” by local singer-songwriter Wally Lawder.

Click Here to do the Online Jigsaw Puzzle of Sabino Canyon!

Lance Laber Featured “Tucson Locals” on Big Blend Radio include: Lance Laber – Executive Director of the DeGrazia Foundation and DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun; Katie Gannon – Program Director of the Trees for Tucson program for Tucson Clean & Beautiful, Inc.; and Stacy Fowler – Director of Business Development for BrakeMax & Founder of Tucson Business Networking LLC.

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DESTINATION YUMA, ARIZONA Gateway to the Great Southwest Located along the lower Colorado River in southwest Arizona, Yuma borders Mexico and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. It’s a 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, and a charming historic downtown district that bustles with an eclectic array of shops and restaurants. Yuma is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, making it a popular destination for sun-seekers, especially during the fall and winter months.

Listen to Big Blend Radio’s special ‘Destination Yuma’ show! Focusing on what it’s like to live, work and play in Yuma, this show features: Yvonne Peach Coronado Motor Hotel, Yuma Hollywood History with Steve Schneickert; AV Fuel Margarita cocktail with Tyler Johnston - Yuma Landing Bar & Grill, Donna George - The Peanut Patch, and Drew Smith - Desert Hills Golf Course. Continued on Next Page…

Events keep Yuma’s fun meter running on high. From art classes and youth sports activities to festivals and parades, Yuma is host to a full calendar of educational, athletic, and familyfriendly community events. PAGE 122

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 On-Site Meeting Room for up to 50 People. 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!

www.CoronadoMotorHotel.com PAGE 123

Yuma Continued… Nov. 30: Sports Turf, Tree & Landscape Expo: Held at the Yuma Civic Center.

DON’T MISS THESE FALL & WINTER YUMA EVENTS 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 www.YumaAZ.gov.

Dec. 1: Annual Kammann Sausage Fry: Yuma Civic Center.

Nov. 4: Somerton Corn Festival: Main Street in Somerton. Tel: (928)722-7337.

Dec. 2: El Toro Bowl: Veterans Memorial Stadium. Dec. 2: City of Yuma’s Military Appreciation Day: Madison Avenue in Yuma’s Historic Downtown.

Nov. 4: Children’s Festival of the Arts: Historic Downtown Yuma.

Dec. 9: Holiday Art Bazaar: Yuma Art Center.

Nov. 17: North End Art Walk: Historic Downtown Yuma. Tel: (928) 373-5202

Dec. 9: 15th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade: Historic Downtown Yuma.

Nov. 17-19: 27th Annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival: West Wetlands Park & Desert Sun Stadium. Tel: (928) 343-1715

Dec. 12: Christmas with the Rat Pack: Historic Yuma Theatre.

Nov. 18: The Peanut Patch 40th Anniversary Party: Food & Fun! (928) 726-6292 Nov. 25: 32nd Annual Holiday Pageant & Tower Lighting: Desert Sun Stadium.

Dec. 16: Somerton Tamale Festival: Somerton. Tel: 928-388-4837 Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Family Fun Night! Yuma Civic Center.

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Click Here to do the Online Jigsaw Puzzle of Yuma’s East Wetlands & Colorado River!

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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

Coronado Gifts & Collectibles Southwest Gifts, Ice Cream & Cold Drinks Meeting Room for up to 50 People.

Win! Win! Win! Sign up onYumaLanding.com 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

www.YumaLanding.com PAGE 126

Calling all Travelers…

From Wine Tasting in the South of France to Sipping Margaritas in Mexico, Come Explore New Destinations in Big Blend’s Online VACATION STATION Travel Department!

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

The region is 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.

Don’t Miss These Events at the Yerington Theatre for The Arts For up-to-date event information, call (775) 463-1783

Nov. 10: Maria Muldaur & Her Red Hot Bluesiana Band Nov. 21-Dec. 22: Touching the Meaning Art Exhibit with Roxy Whitacre & Shari Breault. Nov. 21-Dec. 22: Nutcrackers & Christmas Memories Art Exhibit. Dec. 2: Holiday Memories Concert with pianist DeDe Moseley.

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The Bakery Gallery

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

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Profile for Big Blend Magazines

Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine - 2017 Holiday Issue  

Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine – 2017 Holiday Bumper Issue: Music & The Arts, Global Destinations, Wine Tasting, Holiday Gifts & Cooking, Hom...

Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine - 2017 Holiday Issue  

Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine – 2017 Holiday Bumper Issue: Music & The Arts, Global Destinations, Wine Tasting, Holiday Gifts & Cooking, Hom...

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