Blend Radio & TV Magazine - Winter 2018

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CONTENTS 5. Editors Block

A TOAST TO THE ARTS 6. Miniature Portrait Paintings 8. Hollister Tour de Art 10. Ted DeGrazia Paintings 12. Must Have Music 20. Success in The Arts

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 26. A Taste of Vienna 32. Organic & Biodynamic Wine Simplified 36. Grilling Tips from The Cooking Ladies 40. 8 Must-Have Cookbooks 50. Shellfish on the Menu 52. Soup It Up Veggie Style! 54. Cookies & Crème Brûlée 56. Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea

NATURE CONNECTION 57. Gardening for Wildlife 58. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather 60. Rescued 61. National Geographic Kids: Try This! Continued on Next Page… PAGE 3

CONTENTS Continued… QUALITY OF LIFE 62. Health News & Interviews 64. How Can Reality Therapy Help You? 66. The Secret to a Happier Life 67. Find Something Awesome! 68. Make the Most of Every Moment 72. Life Coach Insider: Steve Piacente 76. New Wisdom from Napoleon Hill 78. New California Labor Laws for 2018 80. The Success Bookshelf

WAY BACK WHEN 82. Find Your Family History in England 86. Chernobyl, Pripyat & Pripyat Hospital #126

VACATION STATION 90. Cruisin’ for a Deal 96. Historic Wine Region of Bandol 102. Travel & Events Guide


EDITORS BLOCK “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson This issue jumpstarts 2018 with a healthy dose of expert advice ranging from success in the arts to parenting and business, health and selfempowerment, cooking, gardening, travel, and even tracing your family roots. There’s new music and art to discover, global and local destinations to explore, recipes to try, delicious food and wine to savor, all kinds of informative books to start reading, and so much more! It’s all about living our best lives! To listen to our live or archived Big Blend Radio shows, visit Subscribe to our Big Blend e-Newsletter to get your free bimonthly digital copies of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Parks & Travel 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. May 2018 bring you continued joy and happiness, good health and prosperity, and an abundance of fun and adventure!

Front Cover Photo: Music on the Charles Bridge, Prague, by Linda Kissam. See her story on page 90.

Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team! 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.


Beethoven by Hornemann Miniatures of all kinds raise peoples' curiosity and admiration for the detail given to tiny objects. Military figures, armies, and doll house furniture are examples of miniature items collected by many. A special category of miniature work is portrait paintings produced by artists working mostly for royalty between the 16th and 19th centuries. Although they were renowned at the time, the artists’ names, in later centuries, became known mostly to collectors and museum curators. Most of these artists limited themselves to doing only miniature paintings, but a few also did large oil paintings on canvas. Miniatures came out of the tradition of medieval manuscript illumination –done in both Europe and Persia. Artists would paint figures and scenes to illuminate hand lettered script on vellum. After the printing press was invented in 1440, hand lettered, illuminated manuscripts gradually ceased to be made. But, a new market arose for miniature portraits. This market traces most directly to European manuscript illumination.

Big Blend Radio: Victoria Chick discusses Miniature Portrait Painting. As political and economic conditions shifted in Europe, royal marriage alliances were often used to solidify loyalties. Marriages were arranged between people who did not know each other. A written proposal of marriage would be accompanied by a miniature portrait of the intended groom who, probably, had previously been sent a miniature portrait of the prospective bride by one of his ambassadors or had received a miniature from a father trying to make a suitable marriage for his daughter.


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George Washington by Robert Field

Self-portrait by Louis-Marie Autissier

To make the watercolor adhere better artists would sand the ivory a bit and add more gum Arabic to the watercolor. The popularity of portrait miniatures waned in the last half of the 19th century coinciding with the rise in popularity of photography.

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As society became more egalitarian, the practice of giving a portrait miniature to a loved one, when they were to be separated, became common among any people who could afford to commission an artist. Early miniatures were done on surfaces as varied as vellum, sometimes glued to playing card stock, and chicken skin. They were usually painted in watercolor. Some artists used oil paint. If oil paint was used the surface it was painted on was copper. These were framed or, if very small, placed in a locket and worn.

An exception was the miniature portrait of someone who died. A continuing popularity was maintained in miniature painted portraits of the deceased placed in a locket along with lock of the person’s hair sealed behind glass in the inside cover of the locket case. There are many private, as well as museum, miniature collections in Europe and in the United States. These are appreciated for their place in history and for the skill of the artists.

Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. By the 17th century when European trade in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City flourished with Africa and India, ivory became a and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State surface used for miniature portraits, with watercolor being the preferred painting medium. University in Ohio. Visit her website at Ivory was sliced thinly and provided a translucent painting surface but, it was also a bit greasy.


The eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park, Hollister boasts a charming historic downtown district surrounded by awardwinning wineries, picturesque rolling hills, golf courses, sprawling ranches and organic orchards and farmlands. It’s authentic Central California countryside with a downtown hub made up of specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, and a superb selection of restaurants. Big Blend Radio: Jennifer Laine, Executive Director of the San Benito County Arts Council, provides an overview of the arts education programs in San Benito County, as well as the Downtown Hollister Public Art Walking Tour and Open Studios Art Tour held April 14-15, 2018. Learn more at

One of the best ways to explore Hollister’s downtown district is to talk one of the SelfGuided Walking Tours that focus on the city’s art, architecture and geology. Through murals, sculptures, terrazzo and architectural design features, the public art pieces add a vibrant atmosphere to the downtown whilst portraying the stories of the history, nature, people and The Downtown Hollister Public Art Walking Tour commerce of Hollister and San Benito County. was created in partnership with the San Benito County Arts Council, City of Hollister, Hollister From a totem pole in a community garden to the Downtown Association, San Benito County artistically etched canopy roof at the Superior Chamber of Commerce and San Benito County Court building, a mural in a tunnel to a painted Historical Society. Maps are available at the San utility box, there are over 20 colorful stops to Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors visit on the self-guided public art walking tour of Bureau or can be downloaded online here: downtown Hollister. Not to mention the fascinating architecture with historic styles ster-public-art-walking-tour/ ranging from Victorian to Frank Lloyd Wright. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 8


DeGrazia’s Encaustic Paintings & Way of the Cross Watercolors Two New Exhibits at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson, Arizona

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a 10-acre National Historic district in the foothills of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains. It was designed and built from the ground up by Ted DeGrazia who achieved worldwide acclaim for his colorful paintings of native cultures of the Sonoran desert. Using traditional adobe bricks crafted onsite, DeGrazia built the gallery so his paintings “would feel good inside”. Ted DeGrazia is most likely the most reproduced artist in the world, and the Gallery showcases six permanent collections of his paintings that trace historical events and native cultures of the Southwest. Rotating exhibitions display some of the 15,000 DeGrazia originals housed at the gallery, including oils, watercolors, sketches, serigraphs, lithographs, sculptures, ceramics and jewelry. The two new exhibits opening on January 26th include the annual “Way of the Cross”, and “DeGrazia’s Hot Wax – Encaustic paintings from the 1950’s”. On display until May 15th, the annual showing of Ted DeGrazia's "The Way of the Cross" features 15 original oil paintings that depict the suffering and crucifixion of Christ, plus, the watercolors he used as studies for the oil paintings. Instead of the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross, DeGrazia's collection culminates with the resurrection. "I never thought the cycle would be completed unless we had the 15th station where Jesus arises in glory," the artist explained on a 15-minute audiotape that accompanies the exhibition. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 10

Big Blend Radio: Lance Laber, Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, discusses the work and life of artist Ted DeGrazia, as well as the two new exhibits that open on January 26.

DeGrazia Continued… Scenes from everyday life, horses, children, and religious figures are among the subject matter of the new exhibit DeGrazia’s Hot WaxEncaustic Paintings from the 1950’s. In the mid1950’s, DeGrazia explored the obscure technique of encaustic painting. Using the molten colored beeswax medium, he created dozens of encaustic paintings between 1953 and 1957. Six of the twenty-five paintings featured in this exhibit are newly discovered, and eighteen of them have never been on display. This exhibit will run through September 5th. Learn more about DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun as well as Ted DeGrazia’s art and architecture at PAGE 11


PAUL NELSON BAND Badass Generation For Paul Nelson, a new musical chapter beckons… Nelson was not only the hand-picked guitarist to legendary rock/blues icon Johnny Winter but is recognized in his own right as one of today’s top guitarists. Staying at #1 on the “Hot New Releases” charts for months Nelson’s latest project “Badass Generation” on Sony Records still maintains his unmistakable connection to the Blues, but it also finds the guitarist showing his other musical dimensions, from hard-edged uncompromising rock and blues to acoustic-driven singersongwriter fare. On this album Nelson and his newly formed band skillfully incorporate an array of sounds and styles, with what Nelson’s fans know to be his calling card: remarkable, world-class virtuosity on the guitar – what you might expect of someone who was also taught by six-string master Steve Vai. “This project has so much input from all of the different styles of music that have influenced me and my band, from blues to classic rock to jam band, pop rock and more. I wanted to play the guitar to serve the songs – and not the other way around. Everything I create has to fit in with the music,” says Nelson. Big Blend Radio: Paul Nelson, Grammy award-winning guitar legend and Johnny Winter protégé, talks about his career, current US tour and critically acclaimed latest album “Badass Generation.”


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SHELLEY KING Fan Faves Shelley King is a musical ambassador of the Austin, Texas sound. For the past twenty years she’s built a solid national career as a singer and songwriter who is both a successful solo artist and leader of a formidable band of Austin’s finest musicians. Her blend of original blues, rock, folk, country, soul and gospel led her to be the first woman appointed by the Texas Legislature to represent the state as it’s Official Texas State Artist – Musician; an honor similar to poet laureate. On stage she leads her band through tangents of electric Southern blues and acoustic folk, revvedup Cajun country and rock and roll with a charismatic ease that evidences the resilience of a lifelong performer. Shelley tours relentlessly, performing over 180 dates a year at venues and festivals across the world. “Building a Fire”, her 7th CD and the second recorded with members of New Orleans favorite sons, The Subdudes, has affirmed King’s place as master of her own style of Americana blues. Out now, her new album FAN FAVES features a "best of" compilation selected from her fans most requested songs, including original studio tracks from "Call of My Heart" 1998, "The Highway" 2002, "Welcome Home" 2010, and "Building a Fire" 2014. See:


Big Blend Radio: Shelley Kings discusses ‘Fan Faves’! Continued on Next Page…

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SONJA KRISTINA Anthology Legendary Curved Air lead singer and founding member Sonja Kristina has released a new 2-CD compilation called ANTHOLOGY! This is the first collection of her solo works and draws on recordings from her varied solo albums, along with rare and newly recorded tracks. Released by Curved Air Records via Cherry Red, this Anthology has been personally compiled by Sonja, with custom cover art and her personal liner notes. Says Sonja, “This collection is selected from my recordings outside of Curved Air. My reveries on life and love through the decades and beautiful songs that I have had the privilege to perform and make my own.” Sonja topped the British Music female vocalist polls throughout the ’70s and was the first UK female lead singer fronting a rock band. She has been the constant flame leading Curved Air through the decades, and a guiding light in the Prog scene. Today, vibrant and edgy as ever, the original Prog goddess gives a charismatic and highly visual performance. Looking like a glamorous gypsy queen with her flowing red hair and dressed in sparkly black, that signature voice is still as smoky and

Big Blend Radio: Sonja Kristina discusses her 2-CD compilation ANTHOLOGY.

seductive as ever as she spins around the stage around the excellent musicians who are Curved Air. See:


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CAIRO - Say Touchstone founder Rob Cottingham’s latest band project CAIRO combines keyboard wizardry and electronica with modern rock values, dynamic guitar work and soaring vocals. It’s an enthralling sound that captures the hearts and minds of modern music fans, as well as traditional and classic progressive rock aficionados. CAIRO has released their highly anticipated debut album “Say” available now on Heavy Right Foot Records via Cherry Red, and is available from all popular retailers around the world. After only a few months from launch, CAIRO was featured in the Prog Magazine Readers Poll Top Ten “Tips for 2017.” In March 2017 CAIRO won the prestigious “Best Newcomer” award at the Classic Rock Society’s Best Of The Year 2016 ceremony, demonstrating that their sound reaches out to all across the broad rock spectrum.

Big Blend Radio: Rob Cottingham discusses the music and stories behind CAIRO’s epic and dramatic debut album SAY.

CAIRO features: Rob Cottingham on keys and vocals; Lisa Driscoll on vocals; James Hards on guitars; Paul Stocker on bass; and Graham Brown on drums. See: PAGE 16

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KEVIN FISHER Beer Me! Multi-platinum songwriter Kevin Fisher has two words and 12 songs for all country-rock fans needing to de-stress after a long, hard day at work: BEER ME! After years finding success as a country music songwriter but toiling somewhat anonymously behind the scenes, the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and “almost famous” rocker plays conduit to the gods of suds, channeling their glory while taking center stage as an artist with his full-length debut on 37 Records / McJames Music. Awash in hops and foam, playful metaphors and witty storytelling, ‘Beer Me!’ is a clever, powerfully rocking, fun and freewheeling, but often heartfelt, musically eclectic joyride of 12 tracks celebrating the magical powers of brew – when someone sees life through beer goggles, the adjectives flow freely!) Some of these infectious titles will make you laugh, and that’s as much the point as sharing the heartbreak of the collection’s lone ballad “Beer Blue Sky.”

Big Blend Radio: Kevin Fisher discusses his songwriting career and new solo album BEER ME! You can’t help but have a party listening to songs like “Beer Me,” “I Wish You Were Beer,” “Dog Beers,” “Better Beer,” “Beerly Beloved,” “Beer Thirty,” “Beer in the Fridge,” “To Beer or Not To Beer”, and “I Like Beer.” And no suds-centered collection would be complete without a shout out like “Last Call.” See: Continued on Next Page…


Her lyrics delve into her intimate personal sojourn and spin a story of unrest – of being caught between two worlds – serving as an inspiring reminder of the power that music can have in transforming our lives. On the WAKE TO DREAM EP, Ananda Vaughan rocks the guitar, Jared May slays the bass, Makila Wind adds in the twinkling sounds of a Rhodes and a baby grand piano, Beau Askew jams on his kit, Jason O’Keefe adds layers of percussion, and Grammy award-winning engineer/producer Spencer Williams ties it all together. Williams also mixed the album with input from Jason Kendall, and the project was mastered by Oz Fritz.

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LINDSAY BELLOWS Wake to Dream Lindsay Bellows weaves together light-hearted folk/pop with fierce R&B vocals to create music that ignites the spirit and soothes the soul. Alloriginal songs are driven by her raw, impassioned vocals, along with dynamic instrumentation that blends playful percussion with melodic keyboards and guitar.

As the world is engulfed in turbulence and chaos, Lindsay’s music gives us two things we need: hope and a way through. Her lush and liberating songs are delivered with verve and vitality — they can range from deep and vulnerable to flirtatious and clever, but never fail to remind us to let our troubles shape us, fuel our activism and our joy, and to dance, dance, dance. See:

Big Blend Radio: Lindsay Bellows discusses her music career and EP “Wake to Dream”.


ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAMS Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Tanya Ortega, photographer and founder of the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), who discusses the benefits of artist-inresidence programs, and the organization's unique residency programs that are open to artists of all mediums, and are located in parks, monuments, and world heritage sites. NPAF is the only nationwide non-profit providing Artist-in-Residence Programs (AiR), Workshops, Exhibits and Museum Loans uniquely in cooperation with National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks, World Heritage Sites and other park locations. NPAF partners with the National Park Service, State Parks, park partners, schools, under-served organizations, museums, galleries and other entities in promotion of their successful programs. The foundation is always looking for established and unusual artists of all modalities, who are interested in doing residence programs and/or public workshops in the parks. See PAGE 20


MUSIC & SCREENWRITING From branding and marketing to honing your craft and keeping up-to-date on industry changes, listen to this Big Blend Radio Success in Music & Screenwriting Expert Panel Discussion featuring Chip Schutzman – President of Miles High Productions, and Hal Ackerman – author of “Write Screenplays That Sell – the Ackerman Way”. Chip Schutzman is president and founder of Miles High Productions, an online music marketing and promotion company founded in 2002. Chip is responsible for all business development and operations and is responsible for communications with over 25,000 websites and media outlets internationally. In the last few years, Miles High Productions has worked with over 150 artists and dozens of established record labels including EMI America, Capitol Records, Blue Note Records, Universal Music Group, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Bayside Distribution, Fontana and several other high profiled record labels and distribution companies. Miles High Productions is recognized and known in the recording industry community for developing emerging artists and represent artists online from popular music formats such as jazz, electronica, dance, rock, blues, country, singer-songwriter, pop and other music genres.

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, 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. Ackerman himself is also an accomplished screenwriter, playwright, long-form television writer and novelist. PAGE 22

DIY BOOK PLATFORM Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with literary publicist Stephanie Barko who talks about her interactive web-based DIY Book Platform app that guides pre-pub authors of any genre to write their book platform quickly and economically, to help market their book or attract an agent or publisher. DIY Book Platform serves as a book marketing guide for debut authors, helps attract literary agents when included with your book proposal, facilitates acquisition of publishing contracts, provides a marketing plan to publishers that provide little or no book marketing support, and documents a marketing plan that indie authors can execute themselves.

The booklet can then be printed out and included with a book proposal to attract an agent or acquire a publishing contract. Indie authors can execute their custom platform themselves or delegate its execution to a freelance publicist or VA. See:

DIY Book Platform is a web-based app that writes your platform for you. Writers answer 49 questions about their upcoming release and the app converts those answers into statements that format into a booklet.

SPRINGFIELD BONDED FILM COMPLEX Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with James Bond III and Stephanie McMillin – Executive Director of the Springfield Tourism Commission, who discuss the career and educational opportunities from the first and only Motion Picture Sound Stage Facility in both Springfield and the entire State of Kentucky. Film school, crew training and student loans are expensive. Experience doesn’t come from a textbook. The Springfield Bonded Film Complex is offering FREE on-the-job training from Hollywood veterans. Learn more about the opportunities at

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 and a prime film location, 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. See:


HOLLYWOOD HISTORY OF CELEBRITY SUCCESS From Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney to JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey, listen to our Big Blend Radio segment by Steve Schneickert, where he recalls the history of celebrity success! We all know the names. We have heard them time and time again. But, what most people do not know, is just how they failed before they succeeded. Many celebrities and modern legends failed consistently for years and years at their chosen profession before achieving any kind of success. While some great successes pursued numerous different professions in their time, others stuck doggedly with their craft, weathering years of failure in pursuit of their passion.

Walt Disney

As the 8 Keys of Excellence program reminds us, “Failure Leads To Success – Learn from mistakes. View failures as feedback that provides you with the information you need to learn, grow, and succeed.” See:

Ted Geisel - Dr. Seuss

Big Blend Radio: Celebrity Success. PAGE 24

The act of toasting in Austria is a custom with its own set of rules. As a visitor to this land of sophistication and unassuming elegance, it’s important to know the correct protocol. You must make eye contact with each and every person at the table, loosely hold your wine glass by the stem and solidly clink on a slight diagonal plane to achieve the ideal ring. And, remember to never cross paths with someone else’s toast, as this would be considered rude. Following these guidelines is trickier than you might imagine, particularly the aspect of eye contact. Austrians believe it’s essential to acknowledge everyone individually, as it gives special meaning to the toast. It’s all about making a personal connection. Know that you’ll get plenty of practice, as it’s common to toast multiple times during the course of a social gathering.

Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with travel writer Debbie Stone, about Vienna, Austria. It’s also a destination that boasts a noted culinary scene, with internationally acclaimed restaurants, innovative chefs and farm-to-table traditions that have age-old roots.

Austrians take great pride in the preparation and presentation of food, and dining is an experience There’s so much to love about Austria, from its imperial grandeur and famed cultural attractions to be savored one bite at a time. Meals present an opportunity to socialize, as well as to to its fabled Alpine peaks and pristine natural appreciate the act of eating good food in a settings. This is a country that embodies the great European traditions with a rich and colorful convivial ambiance. history that has been well preserved over the Continued on Next Page… years. PAGE 26

A picturesque passageway in Vienna

Viennese pastries, yum!

Vienna Continued… This holds true, even when it comes to “grabbing coffee,” a concept that is foreign to most Austrians, who rarely rush their java time. For them, coffee means life. This perspective is responsible for the well-established coffeehouse culture that reigns supreme here. Its origins date back to the 17th century when only men were allowed inside the hallowed coffee salons. In Vienna, the coffeehouse is a veritable institution that has achieved World Heritage status. Such places are welcome oases, ranging from formal establishments steeped in tradition to cozy cafes and tiny espresso bars.

The wait staff are formal in manner and attire here, but they allow you to get up and leisurely peruse the cakes to make your selection. Know, however, that white tablecloths come at a cost if you’re not ordering a meal! You’ll be tempted to accompany your coffee with a Viennese pastry. Vienna has a long and delicious tradition of patisseries and a trip to the capitol would not be complete without sampling some of these delectable goodies. Each café you enter has an eye-popping display of cakes that are hard to resist. I experienced that “kid in a candy shop” feeling as I ogled these masterful creations.

You could spend days checking out the coffeehouses in Vienna. Each has its own unique Apple strudel is the most widely known dessert character. For a neo-Renaissance style decor outside of Austria and is typically on every with beautiful frescos, there’s Gerstner, across visitor’s bucket food list. There’s also the famed from the Opera House. If you want to drink your sachertorte, the iconic cake invented for the cup of joe where Trotsky, Lenin and Freud are royal family in 1832 that consists of two layers of purported to have done, make a beeline for chocolate sponge with a thin layer of apricot jam Central Café. And if you wish to enjoy having between them, then covered in chocolate your afternoon pick-me-up in a place that bears ganache. The legendary Hotel Sacher, behind the the distinguished title of being a Purveyor to the Opera House, is said to prepare this cake Imperial and Royal Court, then Demel’s in the according to a secret recipe dating back to 1832. Old City is a must. This popular café is also famous for its scrumptious pastries and sweets Continued on Next Page… that you can observe being made in the glassedin kitchens. PAGE 27

Chocolate bars from Zotter. Vienna Continued… There’s even a day to celebrate this dessert, National Sachertorte Day, where it’s assumed that all Austrians spend the day partaking in their chocolatey national heritage. The Mozarttorte is another popular sweet, which was named after the renowned Austrian classical composer. It’s a concoction of chocolate, pistachio and marzipan, and often topped with a small chocolate disc displaying Mozart’s face. My favorite pastry, though, is mohnzelten. It’s less refined than strudel, consisting of a sweet poppy seed paste encased in a potato pastry. For an excellent introduction to the culinary scene in Vienna, opt to join a walking and tasting tour with guide extraordinaire, Bianca Gusenbauer. You’ll visit the Naschmarkt, a popular open air marketplace with a range of food stalls, cafes and wine bars. Stop for lunch at Umar, where fresh fish is the specialty, typically carp, either fried or char-grilled. Do as the Austrians and say, “mahlzeit,” or “blessed mealtime,” before commencing to eat. Afterwards, head to Zotter, a bean-to-bar, organic, fair trade chocolate company with interesting concoctions like chocolate with blue poppy seeds, vinegar with chocolate and even pork fat with, yes, you guessed it, chocolate!

Sturm is all the rage in autumn. Viennese cuisine has its roots in Austria’s neighboring countries, which is really not surprising given that Vienna was the heart of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy for centuries. Influences from Hungary, Italy, the Czech Republic and the Balkans are responsible for numerous famous Viennese specialties such as Wiener Schnitzel and Goulash, which are staples on most menus throughout Austria. Clear beef broths with semolina dumplings or finely sliced savory pancakes are common starters, though in fall, pumpkin soup is very popular. And then there are sausages, which are often eaten as fast food at one of the countless sausage stands in the city. The U.S. equivalent of a hotdog in this part of the world is the Frankfurter, typically served with sweet or spicy mustard. For something different, try the Käsekrainer, a pork sausage stuffed with cheese.

Nearby, you’ll find vendors selling Mountain cheese, which has been aged in a tunnel in the mountains from six to twenty-four months. Wash everything down with Sturm, a partially fermented, sweet wine that’s only available in harvest season. Drink it pure or add sparkling water to it. You’ll discover it goes down way too easily! PAGE 28

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Sausage types, the options are many.

Michael Diewald turns wild herbs and edible flowers into confectionary art. Vienna Continued… Save room for dessert and order the Kaiserschmarren. These shredded, doughy pancakes, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served warm with a fruity compote, are heavenly. Amusingly, the translation for this dish’s name is “Emperor’s crap!” Though meat is standard on most menus, vegetarians need not despair, as the number of vegetarian restaurants is growing in Vienna. The piece de resistance is Tian. It’s the only Michelin star vegetarian establishment in Austria. Executive Chef Paul Ivić is an artist when it comes to crafting innovative dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients. His multi-course meals are a celebration of the senses. My taste buds exploded with new flavors and textures from a bowl of roasted oyster mushrooms with leek oil and natural puffed rice to a pumpkin apple salad with cardamon, and a cauliflower cream, poached egg yolk, pesto and edamame creation. Dining here is the ultimate experience and it’s worth every penny…or euro in this case.

As you eat your way through Vienna, walk off some of those torte-induced calories by visiting the city’s many cultural attractions, including its grand palaces, world-renown museums, amazing art collections and more. Journey back to the days of the Habsburg Empire and submerge yourself into the lifestyle of the royalty. History is omnipresent and it’s easy to imagine princes and princesses in horse drawn carriages dominating the cobblestone streets of the Old City. Head to the Imperial Chapel for Sunday Mass to hear the angelic voices of the Viennese Choir Boys, an enduring symbol of Austria for over 500 years. Or attend a performance at the prestigious Spanish Riding School. It’s the only institution in the world which has practiced for nearly 450 years and continues to cultivate classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the Haute Ecole, based on the natural movements of the horse.

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Explore your senses at Supersense.

Vienna Continued… The school uses Lipizzaners, Europe’s oldest cultural horse breed with their origin dating back to 1580. Performances are held in the Winter Riding School, an austere 18th century hall. All riders wear the traditional uniform of brown tailcoats, white buckskin breeches, white suede gloves, black top riding boots and two-cornered hats. The program, which is accompanied by classical music, is a mix of challenging movements and jumps, displaying the prowess of both riders and horses. If you’d like to explore some of the city’s off-thebeaten-path sights, there are plenty. For the quirky and unique, check out the 3rd Man Museum, which is dedicated to the film noir classic of the same name. The movie, which was shot in Vienna in 1948, stars Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. Exhibits illustrate the film’s international success, as well as daily life in postwar Vienna.

Head to St. Rupert’s Church for a glimpse of the oldest stained glass window in Vienna, circa 1370, as well as of the sarcophagus of St. Vitalis, a martyr from the Roman catacombs. You’ll also want to check out the murals alongside the Danube Canal. Many make political statements regarding a variety of issues. It’s street art at its most colorful and fully sanctioned by the powers that be. At the Palais Coburg, originally a palace, now a posh hotel, you can see part of the medieval Old City wall incorporated into the design of the building. Stop in for a drink at the bar, or better yet, head to the upstairs pocket garden to enjoy your libation. This little-known gem makes a perfect hide-away from the hustle-bustle of city life.


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Vienna Continued… There are many unique shops in Vienna, but one of the more unusual is Supersense, where the goal is to provide experiences that tap into each of your senses. Located in what was once a Venetian Palazzo, this store is a treasure trove of vintage products and analog equipment, including the largest instant Polaroid camera and a 200 year-old printing machine that’s still in operation. There’s also a recording studio, where you can cut your own records using a Voice-O-Graph machine in an old, refurbished elevator cabin. If you want to exercise your olfactory sense, check out the Smell Lab, where you can purchase your own personal Smell Memory Kit to evoke special moments in your life. Another special store is Blühendes Konfekt, where owner Michael Diewald has turned his passion into a profession. An avid hiker, Diewald has collected and sampled all of Austria’s wild herbs and edible flowers over the years. He then turns them into delicate pieces of confectionary art, with combinations like black current and sweet clover, rose and bergamot, orange flowers and quince, and lilac and strawberry. They’re not only aesthetically beautiful, but delicious.

The 3rd Man Museum is dedicated to the classic film of the same name, filmed in Vienna.

Vegetarians rejoice at Michelin-starred Tian.

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.


If you enjoy wine, chances are you’ve encountered many confusing terms on winery websites or restaurant wine lists. In an ongoing campaign to de-mystify the world of wine, it’s time to talk dirty – vineyard dirt, that is. “We grow our wines with Biodynamic principles!” states one winery while another boasts “Our vineyards are sustainably farmed”. All well and good, you may say, but what exactly does it all mean? Do these practices make a difference in my glass? And why should I even care? As in many areas of modern life, wine growers and producers are looking at their place in the world and their effects upon our planet. Wine is a food product and leaves an environmental footprint – either large or small – and for many consumers, what’s in their wine influences their purchasing decision. Some may opt for convenience and are happy to enjoy mass produced ‘grocery shelf wines’ that are sold at lower prices and deliver a consistent product, vintage to vintage. Others prefer a more ‘conscious’ world view in their glass and like to know how the grapes were grown and how much, if any, interference took place at the winery.

Big Blend Radio: Hilarie Larson discusses Biodynamic Wine. Here’s a look at the three main philosophies of winegrowing. Sustainable viticulture is widely practiced throughout the world’s wine regions. The basic principle is to leave the earth the same or, hopefully, better than one found it. Although there are no official, certifying institutions, growers and wineries follow guidelines set forth by The Winegrowers Sustainable Trust or the Lodi Rules that support biodiversity in the vineyard, social responsibility, a positive environmental impact, and resource conservation.


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Sheep in Callaway Winery vineyards. Wine Continued… When you visit a sustainable winery, you might notice nesting boxes to encourage birds of prey to make the vineyards their home and feast on pesky mice, rodents and rabbits. In the spring you’ll see an abundance of ‘cover crops’ between the rows of vines. Composed of legumes, clover, millet, buckwheat and other grains, these grasses create a diverse biosphere welcoming beneficial insects such as bees, spiders and ladybugs. Eventually, they’ll be either plowed back into the soil or devoured by visiting sheep, creating a natural, healthy fertilizer for the vines. During the winemaking process, leftover skins, seeds and stems (aka pomace) is often recycled back into the vineyard and winemakers make every effort to conserve water and resources.

Horns at Domaine Cigalus in the Languedoc Strict practices rule the wine cellar, too; no GMOs allowed, no added sulfites, any additions to the wine must be certified organic and cleaning agents must be deemed safe to humans. How do you know if a wine is truly organic? It can be a bit confusing! If a label states “Organic Wine” then it must be made from a minimum of 95% organic grapes and vinified without any additional sulfur or other prohibited substances. “Made with Organic Grapes” means that although 70 – 100% of the fruit was grown organically, the winemaker may have added some additional sulfur. This same terminology is used for organic wines made outside the United States, even if they are truly organic, as certifications from other nations are not recognized.

Organic Viticulture takes sustainability up a notch. To be ‘Certified Organic’ in the United States, vineyards need to go through a strict, three-year strategy and be approved by the USDA’s National Organic Program, known as NOP. In addition to using cover crops and Biodynamic Viticulture is often looked upon as natural predators, organic growers are faced with a long list of banned, inorganic substances. ‘kooky’, ‘wacky’, and ‘out -there’ by much of the mainstream wine industry, but more and more, Instead of ‘illegal’ chemical fertilizers, for example, they may employ compost or manure. people are beginning to appreciate some of the attributes of this ‘off beat’ practice. The goal is no toxic chemicals in the vineyard and nothing synthetic. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 33

Wine Continued…

A Dynamizer - used to create biodynamic preparations

Conceived in the early 1920’s by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner (of Waldorf School fame) Biodynamics is a holistic way of embracing the earth and all that grows in it. It’s about looking at the vineyard and winery as one, cohesive, self-sustaining unit that lives in harmony with nature, gravity, the rhythm of the planets and the seasons. Vineyards co-exist with heritage orchards, chickens, sheep and indigenous forests. It’s all about balance between the vine, man and the earthly environment – all one, living, inter-connected entity. Every activity, from planting to opening a bottle of wine, is guided by a special calendar. Days, or portions of days, are defined by one of the four ‘energy forces’ – Fruit (warmth) Flower (light) Leaf (liquid) or Root (mineral), which revolve around lunar cycles. Much like the familiar ‘Farmer’s Almanac’, certain days are deemed better for certain tasks - harvesting on a ‘leaf’ day, for example, would not be a good idea but planting on a root day might be optimal!

Like Organic practices, synthetic chemicals are not permitted. Instead, special preparations, created from natural ingredients are produced in specifically prescribed ways and used in the vineyard to create optimal soil diversity and plant health. This is where some find the whole Biodynamic thing starts to get a little bit ‘kooky’ as many of these ‘preparations’ begin with cow horns. While this may seem a bit odd, cultures though the millennia have viewed animal horns as having life enhancing properties. The common Thanksgiving symbol of the cornucopia, a sign of abundance and plenty, is based on the shape of an animal horn. The horns are filled with manure, which are buried at the Autumn Equinox and unearthed at the Spring Equinox. The contents are mixed with water to create a tea, which will be sprayed on the vines to stimulate and enhance microbes in the soil and promote strong root growth.


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Wine Continued… A variety of tinctures, made from flowers like Chamomile, Yarrow, and Stinging Nettles, are all created using a unique machine. The ‘Dynamizer’ is quite simple in appearance – a barrel with a paddle mechanism at the bottom and a timer that controls the mixing, in both clockwise and counterclockwise motions, for specified durations. Believers consider this action creates ‘chaos’, mixing the ‘memory’ of the water with the energy of the planets, thereby allowing the final solution to transmit all the combined vibrations to the plants.

In the end, however, the proof is in the glass. Do any of these strategies make a difference to the final product? Many will say that the wines have greater character and show more of a sense of place or ‘terroir’. Devotees swear the aromatics are intensified and fresher. Perhaps it matters if you open the bottle on the proper day of the Biodynamic calendar or if the stars are in perfect alignment.

Hilarie Larson’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In There are several regulatory bodies that certify 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her Biodynamic vineyards and wineries. Demeter native British Columbia, Canada, working at several International (named after the Greek goddess of Okanagan Valley wineries. She acquired her agriculture) was formed in Europe in 1928 and certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier, certified the first US vineyard in 1982. It oversees worked for an international wine broker and as a variety of agricultural disciplines. Biodyvin is ‘Resident Sommelier’ for wineries in Washington strictly European and specifies that all vineyards State and California. She contributes articles to a must be certified Organic for at least four years number of online publications in addition to her prior to approval and that winemaking must also own blogs at adhere to Biodynamic principles including no She was honored to be awarded the 2013 Emerging additives, sulfur or commercial yeasts. Their Writer Scholarship from the International Food, motto “Nothing added, nothing taken out, Wine and Travel Writers Association, for whom she nothing changed” truly sums up the Biodynamic is now the Administrative Director. philosophy. PAGE 35

Keep your grill clean! The easiest way to clean a gas grill is to turn the temperature to high, close the lid, and let it heat for 10 to 15 minutes. This will char food remnants, making them easier to scrape off with a wire brush. Keep your grill oiled! Oiling the grill grate before each use helps to prevent food from sticking. This also helps to clean the grate by removing dark residue, black specks, and pieces of metal that could be left behind by a wire brush. We preheat the grill and then oil it. With a pair of long-handled tongs, we rub an oiled paper towel over the entire grate. We use canola oil but any oil that will tolerate high heat will work.

Big Blend Radio: Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay ‘The Cooking Ladies’ talk about their RV travel lifestyle, share year-round grilling tips and discuss their 10th cookbook, “On the Road with The Cooking Ladies, Let’s Get Grilling”! Start with a hot grill and then set the temperature to the recipe specifications. Unless the recipe states otherwise, cooking with the lid closed helps to regulate the grill temperature and creates a smokier flavor. The food will also cook faster and use less fuel.

Keep your grill hot! High heat sterilizes the grates. When grilling meat, a clean, hot grill seals in the juices, creates nice grill marks, and makes the meat less likely to stick. PAGE 36

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Cooking Ladies Continued… Practice safe food handling - Never leave food sitting out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. In hot weather, less than an hour. - Wash hands with soap before handling any food and especially after handling raw meat. - Disinfect cutting boards and counters that have come in contact with raw meat. - Do not put raw meat and cooked meat on the same plate or in contact with each other. - Never allow uncooked meat to come in contact with food that will be eaten raw, such as a salad. - Discard marinades after use. Any meat marinade that is not discarded must be boiled for 10 minutes before using, to destroy any bacteria. - Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. - Always cook ground meat all the way through to the center to kill any harmful bacteria. - Use a thermometer to determine when meat is cooked

An instant-read thermometer registers the internal temperature instantly and is designed to be used toward the end of the cooking time and not to be left in the meat. A digital probe thermometer can go into the meat at the beginning of the cooking time and can stay in the meat until it is done. It can be read from outside the grill. We like this for larger cuts of meat because we don’t have to open the lid to check the temperature. How to create diamond grid marks on a steak To put those diamond grid marks on a steak or a chop, make sure the grate is hot and oiled so the meat doesn’t stick. Place the meat on the hot, oiled grate at a 45° angle. Sear, then rotate the meat to a 45° angle the opposite way without turning the steak over. When the meat has diamond grid marks on the first side, turn it over and repeat the angle trick. Cook to desired doneness.

The internal temperature, rather than cooking time, is the best method to determine when meat is cooked. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, not touching fat or bone. PAGE 37

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How to cook over indirect heat Set the grill on indirect heat to cook dishes you would normally bake in an oven. This method is good for large cuts of meat that require long cooking times at lower temperatures. Preheat the grill with all burners, then turn one side off and place the food on the grate over the unlit burner. The grill lid must remain closed as much as possible to create an oven effect. Every time the lid is opened, heat will be lost and cooking time will be extended.

Cooking Ladies Continued… How to prevent flare-ups Flare-ups—unexpected and unwanted flames— are often caused by the fat content in meat, grease build-up, and high heat. Trimming excess fat from meat helps to prevent these flare-ups. When a flare-up occurs, turn the heat down or temporarily move food to a cooler side of the grate. Instead of using water to control flames, sprinkle on a small amount of baking soda.

How to turn a gas grill into a smoker - Soak wood chips for at least 30 minutes. - Place the wet wood chips in a smoker box or a heavy-duty foil packet with holes poked in the top. Place under one side of the cooking grate. - With the lid closed, preheat both sides of the grill on high for about 10 minutes or until the wood chips begin to smoke. - Using a pair of long-handled tongs, oil the grate by wiping it with a piece of folded paper towel dipped lightly in canola oil. - Reduce the heat to medium on the side with the wood chips. Turn the heat off on the side without the wood chips. - Place the meat on the unlit side. - Set the heat to the desired temperature on the recipe. - Keep the lid closed except to add extra wet wood chips and check the meat.

Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies, have been restaurant owners, caterers, food columnists, TV personalities, event speakers, travel writers, cookbook authors, and restaurant consultants. “On the Road with The Cooking Ladies, Let’s Get Grilling” is their 10th cookbook. In it, Phyllis and Lamont share their love of all things barbecue interspersed with stories and photos of their experiences travelling the highways and backroads of North America. Phyllis and Lamont are both proud members of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). Keep up with The Cooking Ladies at



KRISTEN KISH COOKING: RECIPES AND TECHNIQUES In one stunning collection, Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques, Kristen Kish shares 80 recipes that celebrate impeccable technique and bridge her Korean heritage, Michigan upbringing, Boston cooking years, and so much more. Kish won legions of fans by helming two of Barbara Lynch’s celebrated Boston restaurants, and then by battling her way back from elimination to win season ten of Top Chef. Her path from Korean orphan to American adoptee, and from sometime model to distinguished chef, shines a light on her determination and love of food.

Her recipes are surprising yet refined, taking the expected—an ingredient or a technique, for example—and using it in a fresh way to create dishes that are unique and irresistible. She sears an avocado and pairs it with pickled shrimp, brightening the dish with jalapeño. A broth laced with pancetta and Parmesan is boosted with roasted mushrooms and farro for an earthy, soulful dish. Caramelized honey, which is sweet, smoky, and slightly bitter, is spiked with chiles and lemon and served with fried chicken thighs. The results are delicious, inspiring, and definitely worth trying at home. Continued on Next Page…


Cookbooks Continued…

THE CHEF AND THE SLOW COOKER Hugh Acheson is a chef who truly loves home cooking. He sees the slow cooker not as a fusty old pot roast machine, but as an exciting tool to help people nourish themselves and their families with ease and convenience. In The Chef and the Slow Cooker he brings a chef’s mind to the slow cooker, with 100 recipes showing readers how an appliance generally relegated to convenience cooking can open up many culinary doors.

It’s an approachable, fun, comforting collection of recipes, spiked with global influences and elevated by smart cooking. Using flavor profiles, combinations, and techniques never before seen in a slow cooker cookbook, The Chef and the Slow Cooker proves that even though slow cookers are an old-school technology, they will guide you to better meals in this contemporary world. All while giving you the ability to walk away and live your life while dinner is cooking.

Chef Hugh also shows how your trusty slow cooker can still surprise you—you can use it to poach fish, to steam-roast a chicken or leg of lamb, to make intense stocks and broths, and of course to braise the most tender short ribs.

Hugh Acheson is the author of the James Beard Foundation award–winning cookbook A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen; “Pick a Pickle: 50 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, and Fermented Snacks; and The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits. Continued on Next Page…


SHAKE SHACK: RECIPES & STORIES Cookbooks Continued… The first-ever cookbook from restauranteur Danny Meyer’s beloved modern-day “roadside” burger stand, which rose from humble beginnings as a hot dog cart in New York City to become a restaurant that now has 130 Shacks and counting. In Shake Shack, CEO Randy Garutti and culinary director Mark Rosati offer and insider peek into what has made Shake Shack so special, the people, the places and the business lessons learned along the way.

Produced and edited by Dorothy Kalins, the book delivers 70 recipes and 200 fun photos, and also features clever hack infographics, Shack facts, trivia and limited edition burger recipes from some of the country’s favorite chefs. Finally, home cooks can bring recipes from their favorite burger-and-shake stand into their homes. “Shake Shack is an experience, it’s a community gathering place that just brings people together.” Randy Garutti

They share the recipes, history and inner workings of one of the most beloved brands in the world. Each chapter focuses on a main menu item, including burgers, fries, shakes, and hot dogs, as well as how to make your own ShackBurger and local Shack favorites unique to certain locations.


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MAKING CHOCOLATE: FROM BEAN TO BAR TO S’MORE Cookbooks Continued… Written by Todd Masonis, Greg D’Alesandre, Lisa Vega and Molly Gore, the folks behind the nationally lauded chocolate factory Dandelion Chocolate, Making Chocolate is the first ever complete guide to making chocolate from scratch. The book reveals secrets to making delicious chocolate in your own kitchen with only two ingredients: cocoa beans and cane sugar. And so much more. From the simplest techniques—such as roasting beans on a sheet pan to winnowing away the shells with a hair dryer—to more complex subjects like the science and mechanics of making chocolate and the nuts, bolts, and ethics of sourcing beans directly, this book follows the cocoa bean from the farm to the factory to the pastry kitchen, and dives deep everywhere in between.

Making Chocolate is a resource for hobbyists and more ambitious makers alike, detailing the ways that land, climate, and genetics affect the flavor of cocoa beans as well as providing delicious ways to use chocolate, such as how to make the world’s very best chocolate chip cookie. Complete with stunning photographs from Eric Wolfinger, recently dubbed the “Annie Leibovitz of food photography” by the New York Times, Making Chocolate unravels chocolate’s mysteries. Founded in 2010, Dandelion Chocolate is a beanto-bar chocolate factory that has grown to operate two factories in San Francisco and another in Tokyo.


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DINING IN: HIGHLY COOKABLE RECIPES Cookbooks Continued… In her debut cookbook, Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes, Alison Roman, one of the most sought-after, hip, fashionable, and energetic food writers of our time, provides simple of-the-moment flavors and techniques– and what is undoubtedly a cookbook for this generation of home cooks.

Here, too, are indispensable quickie techniques (think slathering roast chicken in anchovy butter, roasting citrus to bring out its caramelized flavor, and keeping boiled potatoes in your fridge for instant crispy smashed potatoes). With 125 recipes and 100 stunning photographs shot by the acclaimed Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott, Dining In is intriguing enough to seduce seasoned cooks but simple enough for the novice.

Alison Roman is known as much for her keeper recipes and her simple approach to cooking as she is for her quirky, effortless style. In Dining In, she shares inspirational (and beautiful) recipes; Alison Roman is a contributor at Bon Appétit. they set today’s trends and are poised to become Formerly the Senior Food Editor at Bon Appétit classics. and BuzzFeed, her work appears regularly in the New York Times and has been featured in GQ, Cherry Bombe, and Lucky Peach.

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HALF BAKED HARVEST COOKBOOK: RECIPES FROM MY BARN IN THE MOUNTAINS Cookbooks Continued… In Half Baked Harvest Cookbook, Tieghan Gerard gives us her version of comfort food by adding brightness, texture, and fresh wholesome ingredients. Each recipe has a little something extra: dress up that cheese board with a real honeycomb; decorate a standard salad with spicy, crispy sweet potato fries; give French onion soup an Irish kick with Guinness and soda bread; bake a secret ingredient into your apple pie (hint: it’s molasses). Tieghan showcases the creativity that’s become her signature on her megapopular and award-winning blog with more than 125 all-new recipes, each one joined by a striking photograph.

With a barn for a kitchen and goats for company, Tieghan has created a life that is completely lustworthy—and delicious. Whether home cooks need a doable weeknight meal for tonight or are planning their next get-together with friends, Half Baked Harvest Cookbook has their new favorite recipe. “My philosophy on food: bright, beautiful and positively cozy.” Tieghan Gerard


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POK POK THE DRINKING FOOD OF THAILAND: A COOKBOOK Cookbooks Continued… When Andy Ricker first fell in love with Thailand, it wasn’t just the country’s street stalls and restaurants that drew him in. Early on, Ricker learned that there is an entire subset of Thai cooking called aahaan kap klaem, or “drinking food,” which is largely unknown in the United States yet boasts some of the most craveable dishes in the Thai canon. Known for being particularly sour, chewy, spicy and salty, they are the perfect accompaniments to a few drinks and the company of good friends.

In POK POK The Drinking Food of Thailand, Ricker shares accessible and detailed recipes for his favorites: phat khii mao, a fiery dish known as “Drunkard’s stir-fry”; thua thawt samun phrai, an addictive combination of fried peanuts with makrut lime leaves, garlic, and chilies; and laap muu thawt, a dish of fried minced pork patties that Ricker originally encountered in a campy Bangkok bar. Featuring entertaining and heartfelt stories of Ricker’s years on the road in Thailand, plus insights from the Thai cooks who taught him along the way, “The Drinking Food of Thailand” is as fun to read as it is to cook from, and will become a modern classic for any lover of Thai cuisine. Continued on Next Page…



Featuring more than 100 recipes and photographs, Night + Market is a deep dive into the mind of chef Kris Yenbamroong and his unconventional perspective on cooking. Inspired equally by his grandmother’s steamed dumplings, obscure varieties of larb found on motorcycle trips through Chiang Rai, and ranchslathered burgers from late-night LA diners, the cooking of Night + Market is informed by authenticity but not bound by it. Instead, readers are invited into a world where the techniques and flavors fundamental to Kris’s style are explained with both words and photos in a way that can’t help but spur the home cook into action.

With chapters that explore and analyze the basics of Thai cooking and the classic dishes and techniques from the heart of Thailand, the culture of Thai drinking food, and Kris’s evolving view on what makes food authentic, Night + Market embodies the idea that food should be delicious enough to jolt awake the senses, and addictive enough to associate certain tastes with loud music and good friends and a party that never really starts or ends. Kris Yenbamroong is chef-owner of the Night + Market restaurants in Los Angeles. He was named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine


CRAB AU GRATIN By Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast The traditional recipe included salt which I have omitted, bleached flour which I replace with unbleached flour, heavy cream or whole milk which I replace with nonfat evaporated milk, regular store-bought white eggs which I replace with Glaum's organic extra-large brown eggs, and regular salted butter which I replace with unsalted butter. What a difference these small changes can make! 1 cup chopped onion 1/4 cup unbleached flour 1 12 oz. can nonfat evaporated milk 2 extra-large brown eggs (I use Glaum's), beaten 1/2 lb. grated sharp Cheddar cheese 1/2 teaspoon red pepper 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 1b. crab 1 stick unsalted butter Lightly grease casserole dish. SautĂŠ onion in butter until wilted. Blend flour in well. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly. Add beaten eggs, red pepper, black pepper.

Big Blend Radio: Leah Launey talks seafood and au gratin. Cook 5 minutes. Place crab in greased casserole dish. Pour cooked sauce over crab. Add grated cheese and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until light brown.


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WEST COAST LOBSTER ROLLS By 5-Star Chef Ivan Flowers. Serves 4. 24 Oz. Cooked Lobster Meat, largely diced and chilled 2 Tsp. Mayonnaise 2 Tbsp. Chopped Celery Juice of 1 Lemon 1 Tbsp. Fresh Tarragon, chopped 1/8 Tsp. Smoked Paprika 1 Tsp. Shallot, finely minced 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter 4 Hot Dog Buns Sea Salt Pepper Granulated Garlic 1 Tbsp. Dill Pickles, minced Âź Cup Grilled Corn 1 Jalapeno, finely diced

Big Blend Radio: Chef Ivan Flowers talks seafood and lobster rolls.

In a sautĂŠ pan, melt the butter and toast the hot dog buns in the melted butter then set aside. In a large bowl, combine the lobster, mayonnaise, paprika, celery, lemon, shallot, tarragon, corn and jalapeno. Mix well. Put mixture into toasted hot dog buns. Finish with sprinkle of sea salt, pepper & granulated garlic. Finally, top with diced dill pickles. PAGE 51

Two Vibrant & Delicious Vegetarian Soup Recipes to Beat the Winter Chill! BOHEMIAN SOUP

Place olive oil in pot and brown onion, garlic, This delicious winter warmer is from Terri Bailey sauté carrots, potatoes, leeks. of Bailey’s Palomar Resort in Southern California. Add water, add salt and pepper, when boiling add the rest of your veggies. For more of Terri’s recipes, visit Simmer until all veggies are soft. Or add to pot and allow to slow cook. Yields 6 good portions of a very rich vegetable 1 large stock pot or crock pot soup, no fat. 1/2 white onion Continued on Next Page… 6 Brussels sprouts 1 leek 3 celery stocks 3 cloves of garlic 5 brown mushrooms 2 medium carrots 1 red bell pepper 3 small potatoes (I like red) 1 yellow zucchini 2 T. olive oil 6 cups water Salt and pepper as you like. PAGE 52

Soups Continued…

PUMPKIN SOUP WITH AN ASIAN TWIST This tasty pumpkin soup recipe is from 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 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 large onions, peeled and chopped 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into ½inch cubes 1-pound pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 1inch cubes 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes 2 tablespoons thyme leaves 1 tablespoon curry powder 1-12 ounce can coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 2 scallions, washed and cut into ½ inch slices 1-8 ounce container sour cream, optional

Big Blend Radio: Ruth Milstein shares tips on making soup and her pumpkin soup recipe. In a large pot put the oil and sauté the onion until golden. Add the garlic and the ginger and sauté for another minute. Add the carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and 3 cups of boiling water and cook on a medium heat for 8 minutes until the vegetables soften; stir occasionally. Add the thyme, curry powder, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Transfer the entire soup to a food processor and process into a thick and silky texture then return the mixture to the pot and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour into a soup bowl and sprinkle the scallions on top. Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream in the center if desired. Serve hot with toasted fresh bread. Makes 8 servings.


Cookies & Crème Brûlée! Recipes with a Sweet Taste of Romance

Medjool Date Oatmeal Cookies Make a date with a Medjool Date and surprise that special someone with a freshly baked batch of cookies! This delicious recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona, where you can find locally grown quality Medjool dates. For more recipes visit

1 cup butter or margarine 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 2 eggs 1 ½ cup sifted all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. nutmeg ½ tsp. ground cloves 3 cups rolled oats 1 cup chopped Medjool Dates ½ tsp. cinnamon

Big Blend Radio: Donna George shares Medjool Date fun facts! Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir flour, salt, soda and spices together. Add to the mixture and mix well. Stir in oatmeal and Medjool dates. Drop by teaspoonful about 2 inches apart on well-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Continued on Next Page…

Cream butter or margarine and sugars until fluffy. Stir in vanilla. PAGE 54

While your mixture is on the stove, combine the eggs and egg yolks with the vanilla in your large metal or glass bowl. Whisk until well blended. Then begin to slowly blend the two mixtures together. Add the cream mixture a little at a time and keep that whisk going! If you do this too fast, you will get curdled eggs.

Big Blend Radio: Chef Jeremy Manley shares how to make Crème Brûlée!

Chambord Crème Brûlée Well worth the cooking challenge, this decadent dessert recipe from Chef Jeremy Manley is the ultimate taste of romance! Known as “San Diego’s Sustainable Chef”, Jeremy is the executive chef and owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Wynola, California, the “Gateway to Julian”, San Diego’s popular mountain destination. For more of his recipes and cooking videos, visit Ingredients 3 cups heavy cream or half-and-half 2 ounces of Chambord liqueur ½ cup of granulated sugar 3 eggs whole 2 egg yolks 1 tablespoon vanilla

Now pour the mixture from the bowl into the pitcher with a spout. The spout is great for an even disbursement of your mixture into the ramekins. Pour the mixture into your ramekins, in equal amounts. Then place your ramekins in the pan. Rinse the pitcher you used and carefully pour about 2 cups of water into the pan. This should be just enough water that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. The water keeps the mixture from dehydrating and curdling. Be careful not to splash the water into your treats and don’t let it slosh about too much as you place it in the oven. Bake at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes. You should be looking to see that the mixture is beginning to solidify, but is still slightly jiggly. When finished baking, remove from the water very carefully and allow to cool for 15 minutes. If you are saving them for later you can put them in the refrigerator and either bring them to room temperature or finish them cold, depending on your taste.

Tools A large glass or metal bowl A pitcher with a pour spout 6- 6 ounce ramekins 9 x 12 baking pan with handles Small acetylene torch 300 degree pre-heated oven Directions Combine the cream (or half-and-half), Chambord and sugar, and simmer gently over a very low flame — just until the sugar is fully incorporated and steam begins to rise. The trick here is to not actually cook the ingredients, but to just dissolve the sugar and create a more thorough mixture.

When ready, sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over the mix and caramelize with your torch. If you want extra crunchy, use the torch for longer and add sugar in-between to make layers of crunch. To keep from burning, use more sugar in the beginning and spritz the sugar with a little water before firing. Let the caramelized top cool before eating—melted sugar gets really, really hot! A note with the torch: Make sure that the surface you are using is non-flammable and will not melt.


Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea Ever heard of Coffee Leaf Tea? It’s smooth, sustainable, packed with antioxidants, and it’s breaking the poverty cycle for coffee farmers. With an amazingly smooth and lightly sweet taste, Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea offers a subtle caffeine effect similar to green tea. Whether you enjoy it hot in the cooler months or iced to beat the summer heat, Coffee Leaf Tea is the coffee plant’s best kept secret! Coffee Leaf Tea contains a rare polyphenol named mangiferin, which is typically found in mangoes, and has been used in traditional Indian, Central American, Chinese and African medicine for decades. With similar caffeine levels to green tea, Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea provides a clean clarity and focus, but without the crash or attack on the nervous system like traditional coffee. It contains chlorogenic acids, which is also found in green coffee beans, which have made green coffee extract wildly popular in health and nutrition circles due to their antioxidant and metabolism-boosting effects. Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea is available in 5 flavors, including Earl Grey, Jasmine, Mango Party, Minty Marvel, and Original. Even more than the incredible health benefits, Wize Monkey is making an amazing impact on communities in Nicaragua. Harvested in the offseason, which is 9 months long,

Big Blend Radio: Max Rivest, Co-Founder & CEO of award-winning Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea, shares the company’s unique startup story that originally sprouted as a grad school project back in 2013.

Wize Monkey creates 1,000 year-round jobs on coffee farms, and mitigates seasonal hunger in these communities. This in turn boosts rural education and student retention, as young students do not have to leave school to pursue odd jobs because of a lack of stable income at home. Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea is available at select retailers in over 35 countries, and online at Amazon and


Wildlife needs our help. Human activity has changed and eliminated habitat, locally, and on the global scale, and birds, butterflies and other wildlife are pushed into ever-shrinking wilderness areas. You can make a difference. You can invite wildlife back to your own yard and neighborhood by planting a simple garden that provides habitat. Imagine your garden teeming with singing songbirds, colorful butterflies, flitting hummingbirds, and other small wildlife. Since 1973, NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program has been educating and empowering people to turn their garden spaces into thriving habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Not only does this program help wildlife, it also gives people a daily connection to the natural world, literally right outside their door. To date, NWF has recognized over 200,000 spaces representing 1.5 million acres as Certified Wildlife Habitats in suburban yards, schools, campuses, corporate properties, farms, parks and more.

Big Blend Radio: David Mizejewski, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) naturalist and author of the award-winning how-to book, “Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife”, talks about NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program that helps people restore habitat and wildlife populations to our cities, towns and neighborhoods. To learn more and to get started on creating your wildlife habitat, visit


Bringing Up Bébé meets Last Child in the Woods in “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge)”, by Linda Åkeson McGurk, a lively memoir about a mother who sets out to discover if the nature-centric parenting philosophy of her native Scandinavia will lead to healthier, happier lives for her American children. When Swedish-born Linda Åkeson McGurk moved to small-town Indiana with her American husband to start a family, she quickly realized that her outdoorsy ways were not the norm. The playgrounds, which she thought would be filled with children, were mostly deserted. American children, Linda discovered, preferred to stay indoors glued to their screens and smartphones. When she took her two young daughters out for walks in winter, people pulled over to offer them rides. She was even fined for letting her children play in a local creek, setting off an online firestorm when she later blogged about the incident.

Big Blend Radio: Linda Åkeson McGurk discusses nature-centric parenting and her memoir “There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather”. In contrast, Scandinavian culture celebrates the outdoors and children are raised to appreciate nature; Swedish babies often nap outside year round—a practice that is not only common but recommended by the government. (A practice that could also send the Child Protective Services knocking on the door in the U.S.). Love of the outdoors has also made Scandinavia a world leader in renewable energy, recycling, and sustainable living. Continued on Next Page…


There’s No Such Thing Continued… The parenting philosophies of her native Sweden and her adopted homeland were worlds apart. Struggling to fit in and to decide what was best for her children, Linda turned to her own childhood for answers, and embarked on a sixmonth journey to Sweden with her daughters in tow. Could the Scandinavian philosophy of “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” be the key to better lives for her American children? How would her children’s relationships with nature change by introducing them to Scandinavian concepts like friluftsliv (“open-air living”) and hygge (the coziness and the simple pleasures of home)?

● Environmentally-conscious children. From forest schools to city-wide competitions to decrease of food waste and carbon footprints in schools, love of nature is so ingrained in Swedish culture that it is a way of life from a young age, creating a generation of children committed to tackling issues like climate change and renewable energy.

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER is a fascinating personal narrative that tackles larger childcare and environmental issues, highlighting the importance Some of the benefits of nature-centric of nature-centric parenting parenting include: and schooling—and why spending time outdoors is ● Dirt! It’s actually good for you. The microbe imperative for a developing Mycobacterium vaccae found in dirt improves child. The memoir is cognitive functions like learning, and seems supplemented with hands-on tips, sidebars, to trigger serotonin production, making us outdoor activities, and advice on how to dress for happier and relaxed. the elements. ● A strong body and mind. Studies have found that children at Sweden’s forest schools— where most of the day is spent outside, regardless of weather—have fewer sick days than children at traditional preschools and that unstructured outdoor play leads to slimmer waistlines, boosted motor skills, and improvements in children’s abilities to delay gratification, show self-control, and set and reach their own goals. ● Better physical and social health through risky play. Engaging in risky play—that is, at great heights, at high speed, with dangerous tools, with dangerous elements or without supervision—in nature leads to greater physical and social health. Risky play helps kids test their limits, increase their perceptual-motor capacity, and teaches them to avoid and adjust to dangerous environments and activities.


RESCUED What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things While many of us have heard the “adopt don’t shop” expression, what most people don’t realize is just how vast the canine overpopulation problem is: 3.3 million new dogs enter U.S. animal shelters each year, at least 20% of which are euthanized (these numbers are conservative when you start digging). There are an estimated 78 million pet dogs in the U.S.A, yet less than a quarter are adopted from rescues and shelters. In his New York Times-bestselling book RESCUE ROAD, journalist Peter Zheutlin introduced us to Greg Mahle of Rescue Road Trips and the remarkable, heartwarming story of how one man (and many selfless volunteers) saved over thirty thousand hard-luck dogs from the South. Peter Zheutlin’s new book RESCUED: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things is a natural follow up to Rescue Road. Zheutlin interweaves heartwarming and humorous stories, lessons, and advice from countless families who have welcomed secondchance dogs into their homes and the transformative effect of these adoptions. Zheutlin captures the beautiful as well as the challenging moments that will resonate with any pet owner, such as: ● Knowing the moment your dog feels “home.” ● The new perspectives gained as a dog owner: “If I’m running late for work,” recounts Ericka Kofkin, whose pit bull Zosia only has two legs due to being run over by a train, “I can get grumbly at her slow progress. But then I turn around to check on her and see how hard she’s working and all the effort in her little face and instantly melt… She always acts like I’m giving her the greatest gift in the world.” ● The many ways in which dogs can help comfort, support, and guide us.

Big Blend Radio: Peter Zheutlin discusses his new book “RESCUED: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things”. ● Owning a dog, rescued or otherwise, “isn’t going to be one continuous Hallmark moment” – there will always be challenging behaviors, unexplained fears, and a love for rolling in poop and mud. But these resilient dogs and their stories help us put the trials and tribulations of our daily lives into perspective. PETER ZHEUTLIN is a freelance journalist and bestselling author, whose work appears regularly in major national publications, including The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor.


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS: TRY THIS! Extreme 50 Fun & Safe Science Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You “Fun, accessible, and teeming with potential for extended inquiry.” –Booklist Discover what makes science fun in National Geographic Kids: Try This! It’s an engaging book filled with weird, wacky science facts, basic principles, and 50 creative science projects that take interactivity to a whole new level. Dynamic photos and art highlight projects step by step so kids can conduct experiments with confidence and accuracy. Most projects involve kid-friendly subjects like electrical charges, chemical explosions, and food chemistry and are based on materials easily found at home. Bonus projects throughout encourage curious kids to dig deeper and experiment on their own.


Big Blend Radio: Award-winning author Karen Romano Young discusses her new book “NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS: Try This!”

HYPERTENSION & HEART DISEASE By Dr. Jacqueline Eubany, author of “Women & Heart Disease: The Real Story” Hypertension is a serious condition that affects one in three adults in the US. It is referred to as the silent killer because people have no symptoms from it until a catastrophic event like a stroke occurs. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension by your doctor, there are some lifestyle habits that you can adopt to help control your blood pressure. Some of these habits include: – increasing your physical activity – moderate alcohol intake if you drink – low salt diet – get a good night’s rest – reduce your stress levels If your blood pressure remains elevated despite these changes in your lifestyle, your healthcare provider might want to start you on medications. It is important to take these medications as directed, follow up with your physician on a regular basis. It’s also important to have a home blood pressure monitoring kit to monitor your blood pressure regularly at home as this helps your provider prescribe the right cocktail of medications for you.

Big Blend Radio: Dr. Jaqueline Eubany discusses Hypertension and Heart Disease. Managing hypertension is a lifelong journey that may seem overwhelming. Take it one day at a time and you will reach a level where it becomes easier to manage. 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 is a Big Blend Radio expert contributor. Learn more at :


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GUT CRISIS How Diet, Probiotics, and Friendly Bacteria Help You Lose Weight and Heal Your Body and Mind The overuse of antibiotics and poor food choices are the main factors that cause imbalance in your gut, and eventually lead to a chronic state of inflammation. Coauthored by Dr. Robert Keith Wallace and Samantha Wallace, Gut Crisis is the ultimate guide to gut health. This book reveals a hidden health crisis taking place around the world and resulting in an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disease, heart disease, and degenerative brain disorders.

Big Blend Radio: Dr. Robert Keith Wallace discusses his new book “Gut Crisis”. Gut Crisis talks about the most recent and effective treatment programs. It includes practical advice based on what the ancients have known for centuries: by healing your gut through diet, lifestyle, and simple procedures, you can heal your body and mind. Gut Crisis clarifies conflicting gut information to help you to make the best possible health choices for you and your loved ones.

THE MYTH OF THE ADHD CHILD 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion In this newly revised edition of “THE MYTH OF THE ADHD CHILD: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion,” psychologist and learning specialist Dr. Thomas Armstrong provides a thoughtprovoking argument against a hidden agenda of underlying values behind the ADD/ADHD diagnosis.

Big Blend Radio: Pychologist and learning specialist Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., about his newly revised edition of “THE MYTH OF THE ADHD CHILD: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion.”

After addressing the many inconsistencies, faulty logic, and unsupported conclusions of the ADHD paradigm, Dr. Armstrong proposes a far broader range of practical, positive, and organic strategies that parents and educators should consider to help kids diagnosed with ADHD. PAGE 63

Reality Therapy is a system of being with people that creates freedom and connection at the same time. This technique was created by Dr. William Glasser and is taught all over the world. It allows us to allow the people in our lives to be responsible for their own behavior while helping us to strengthen our connections with them. Sound impossible? Don’t we have to teach people to be responsible? Tell them, over and over? I have a friend who gave his son the same little mini-lectures over and over. After a while his son tuned him out. Luckily, there were many positive aspects to their relationship so his son did not completely reject his father but he learned to say, “Hey, Dad. I get it. Enough,” and stopped listening. If my friend practiced the Seven Caring Habits of Reality Therapy, he might have been heard the first time. He might not have had to repeat his advice sessions. He might have been relieved of the need to say things over and over. He would have trusted his son to be responsible.

Big Blend Radio Interview: Sarah Elliston discusses the benefits of reality therapy. Accepting means we allow the other person to explore and choose who and what he wants to be. It means not judging, criticizing, or nagging the other person. Listening is part of accepting. It means actually listening to the other person without deciding what our opinion is. Literally listening to his words, and his ideas. If he asks for our opinion, we can give it, but only if he asks. We listen to hear what he has to say, not to figure out what we can say.

Supporting another person means not criticizing the other person and allowing him to make his The Seven Caring Habits of Reality Therapy own decisions. I can hear you saying, “Yeah, ok, are: accepting, listening, supporting, encouraging, trusting, respecting and negotiating sounds nice but what if the decision is the wrong one? What if it means they will fail?” differences. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 64

Reality Therapy Continued… Supporting does not preclude sharing our opinion and pointing out the consequences of the decisions, especially if they are severe. However, it does mean listening to all the factors in the making of the decision, without making fun of him or telling him that the factors are silly. And supporting also means helping him if he does fail, without criticizing him. Actually, the more accepting and supportive we have been, the greater the chance of someone asking for our opinion.

Respect underlies these habits. It means that we believe that others can live their lives and solve their own problems if given the support, encouragement, trust, listening and acceptance that they need. Sound impossible? With the people in your life, try living with these habits for a week: ● no criticism, ● no complaining,

● no blaming, Encouraging strengthens the other by telling him ● no bullying, we have faith in him. We can invite him to make ● no advice unless requested, the decision with the better consequence. We can point out his skills and possibly provide the ● listening to understand, not necessarily to respond, resources for his success. It can be helping with a project, studying for a test, maybe asking ● encouraging the people in your life, questions about friendship issues without giving ● allowing natural consequences. advice – trusting his judgement. It can be helping develop a better plan, if necessary. One of my favorite authors, Byron Katie says, “I know that everybody loves me; they just don’t Trusting is to have faith in another. It is giving know it yet.” Wouldn’t that be an interesting the other person the benefit of the doubt until approach to the week? I suggest you trust that he shows us that he can’t be trusted. Then we the other people in your life have your best identify and negotiate our differences, allowing interests at heart. You’ll find all your the natural consequences to occur. This is relationships will improve, and you will be without bullying or blaming. It is allowing the happier. consequences, and supporting him through the experience. 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. For more about Reality Therapy and to read Sarah’s blog, visit


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

Big Blend Radio Interview: Ralph Masengill, Jr. discusses life skills for happiness and Mark Twain put it this way: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.”

Many good people refuse to accept the risk and uncertainty that change brings. They stay in selfimposed ruts. They force themselves to live in stagnant prisons of their own making. They do We humans—and there are no exceptions—are have part of it right, though. There can be some security in a prison. With change you have two constantly involved in change. It never stops; it choices: one is to embrace change with gusto, continues constantly in and around us. Change cannot be stopped, but it can be controlled. Our and the other is to stay in a rut by refusing to job is to control the feelings that the emotions of admit that change is constant. Those who choose ruts live in denial. Because of their bad choices, change bring. they end up losing the freedom to act. The Are you in a personal or business rut? If you are, solution is to simply agree to devote time and you have no control over where that rut will take effort to understanding change and how it you. You have lost your freedom to act. Staying makes you feel. in a rut will cost you the freedom to control your Ralph Masengill Jr. is a bestselling author and life, your business, or both. award winning advisor, coach and business Laurence J. Peter states, “A rut is a grave with the consultant. His latest ‘must-read’ book is “Conquer ends knocked out.” He’s talking about living life Change and Win: An Easy-to-Read Fun Book on the without understanding the importance of the Serious Subject of Change.” effects that change has on all of us on a daily basis. PAGE 66

FIND SOMETHING AWESOME! A Book Series that Teaches Kids Early in Life the Wisdom & Life Lessons Adults get from Self-Help Books “What I finally learned about true happiness as an adult, I wanted to teach kids early in life in a way that they could understand and use to get through the bumps of childhood and learn how to create their OWN happiness and success.” – Matt Scott What if you could give your children all the ‘selfhelp’ wisdom and life lessons you learned later in life (and the hard way!) in a book that they would actually love and listen to?

Big Blend Radio: Author Matt Scott discusses his FIND SOMETHING AWESOME “how to” book series for kids!

- Level 1: What Color Is Your Butterfly? Feelings Now, you can! Enter the FIND SOMETHING come from thoughts. Level 1 Lets kids know they AWESOME! Book Series by Matt Scott. He wrote can train their brain to ‘FIND SOMETHING the series to give parents fun, yet powerful AWESOME!’ teaching tools to start the conversation, so all - Level 2: Have You Ever Thanked a Rainbow? young people can have early knowledge of their Teaches kids the power (and fun!) of positive brain’s power to build self-confidence and learn thinking and gratitude in everyday life by how to create positive outcomes in life. showing them how gratitude leads to happiness. - Level 3: Did You Laugh When You Stubbed your This series teaches kids what their brains can do Toe? Kids learn how to turn negative feelings through the power (and fun!) of positive thinking, OFF, and how to remain strong and confident gratitude, and focused imagination to create with positive self-talk: “I am awesome! I can do desired outcomes in life, build self-confidence, this!” and develop life-long skills for a happy childhood - Level 4: Have You Seen What the World Does? and successful adulthood. Divided into 4 Levels, Teaches kids the power of self-confidence and each title in the series shows children how to positive visualization to create successful become the master of their thoughts to build a outcomes in life! strong, capable, and self-confident foundation. PAGE 67

This Is It! is about focusing on NOW instead of later, or next week, or next month, or next year, or yesterday, etc., and making the most of it. A positive This Is It! attitude can make everything we do and every day productive, fulfilling, and fun! Focus your attention on the present moment. Keep a positive attitude.

Life is full of distractions and opportunities to do something else, something other than what we’re doing now. Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about those other things. Instead of making what we’re doing now “it” our focus is often elsewhere—on things we wanted to do, could have done, should have done, or want to do “sometime.”

Bobbi Ralph Steve Jim Listen to Big Blend Radio’s special 8 Keys of Excellence show focusing on the 4th Key: THIS IS IT – Make The Most of Every Moment! Featured Guests include: Bobbi DePorter – Co-Founder of SuperCamp & President of Quantum Learning Network; Ralph Masengill Jr. – author of “Conquer Change and Win”; Life Coach Steve Piacente; Jim Ostdick – author of ‘Palomino Nation: My 2016 Crazyass Walk Across America’; Hollywood Historian Steve Schneickert! PAGE 68

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Steve Schneickert

This Is It Continued… Whenever our thoughts are occupied with something other than what we’re doing, we miss what’s going on around us in the moment … while we’re waiting for the next moment to arrive the present moment slips away. When we live in the NOW we have power! With a This Is It! attitude we make the present “it” and find joyful moments that we might otherwise have missed! THIS IS IT! is the 4th 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. See

Take a Virtual Walk Through the Excellence Hall of Fame

HENRY DAVID THOREAU Writer, Naturalist & Philosopher “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

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 THIS IS IT Key of Excellence!

ALBERT EINSTEIN Theoretical Physicist “Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.”

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JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE Writer & Statesman “Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.”


HENRY VALENTINE MILLER Writer & Author “Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”

WALT WHITMAN Poet & Essayist “Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”

This Is It Continued…

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HORACE MANN Educational Reformer “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.”

MARIE CURIE Physicist & Chemist “The older one gets, the more one feels that the present moment must be enjoyed, comparable to a state of grace.”


THEODORE ROOSEVELT 26th President of the United States “Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.”

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

This Is It Continued…


LIFE COACH INSIDER: Steve Piacente Founder of Next Phase Life Coaching, Steve Piacente is a professional life coach who specializes in working with authors, journalists and others in the communications industry. Steve began his career as a journalist more than 30 years ago and has reported from Tampa, Fl., Charleston, S.C., and Washington D.C. He left journalism to become a speechwriter, and later, deputy communications director at a large federal agency. Today he is an executive communication coach at The Communication Center in Washington and Professor of Journalism at American University. As an author, Steve has been listed as one of the “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading”. He has self-published two novels, Bella, and the prequel, Bootlicker.

Big Blend Radio Interview: Steve Piacente, life coach insider. In 2012, Bella won an Indie Excellence Award and the Readers Favorite Gold Medal for dramatic fiction. Steve is currently in the works with his third novel (Pretender), and a self-help book built on 15 people’s “hell-and-back” stories, what they learned about themselves, and the lessons they’ve been generous enough to share with others. See

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Life Coach Continued…

So what does it take to be a successful in the world of life coaching? Listen to the Big Blend Radio discussion with Steve Piacente and read his answers to our 10 Life Coaching Insider Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

Being the father of three, plus an adjunct university professor for more than 15 years has taught me patience, empathy, and how to help people when they feel blocked or unfulfilled. I am naturally curious, efficient with time, and have a good sense of humor. Mostly, what makes me a good life coach is that helping clients find the best in themselves helps me bring out the best in myself.

1. What led you into the world of life coaching? As a media and presentation trainer, I found that many of my clients were blocked by issues that had little to do with talking to reporters or making presentations, and lots to do with issues like work-life balance and troublesome relationships at home or at work. I thought: If I’m going to be advising people on such issues, it would be good to have some training. So, I looked at a number of programs, found the one I thought fit me best, and became a certified life coach. One of the best professional decisions I’ve made!

3. Who or what inspires you? We’d need more room for a thorough list. My wife and her career as a special education teacher and administrator inspires me. My children and what they’ve achieved as a PR professional, art therapist and mechanical engineer inspire me. A client who went from utter fear of public speaking to delivering an address in Tanzania on women’s empowerment – and doing it with power and poignancy – inspires me. I believe that everyone we meet is both our student and teacher, so I am never lacking for inspiration.

2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a life coach? Twenty-five years of daily newspaper reporting taught me to be objective. Ten years of speechwriting in the federal government taught me to listen carefully to others’ voices. PAGE 73

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Video: Next Phase Life Coaching

Life Coach Continued… 4. Describe your ideal client. My ideal client is creative, highly functioning, and ready for change. I feel that too often people settle for, good enough is good enough. That is, the job is good enough. The relationship is good enough. And so on. My ideal client sees the disconnect between good enough, and the art of what’s possible. They understand that our time on Earth is finite, and that it doesn’t make sense to waste a lot of time doing things that don’t make your blood simmer! My job is to help them get there by figuring out what’s in the way, and how we can break through the wall.

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? The toughest change was switching gears from consultant to coach. As a communications consultant, I teach people the quickest, most efficient way to get from Point A to Point B. As a coach, I ask a lot of empowering questions to begin a dialogue that leads people to the answers to their issues. Answers resonate more powerfully when clients discover them through the questions I pose.

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? 5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the life I would like more hours in the day, or for the scientists to figure out that cloning thing. coach industry? Two things: Those who practice a one-size-fits-all Seriously, my biggest challenge is to fully embrace the idea that every challenge is an kind of coaching; and people who pass opportunity. My favorite question for my clients themselves off as life coaches without having and myself when a challenge arises is, “How else graduated from a program accredited by the can you look at that?” International Coach Federation (ICF). If you’re looking for a coach, find one who’s been certified by the ICF, which has strict requirements and standards. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 74

Life Coach Continued… 8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be? Easy. – My mother, who, despite never going to college, wound up as the comptroller for a major moving company. I would love to see her meet her great-granddaughters. – I would love to sit and talk to John Steinbeck, my all-time favorite author. Steinbeck’s writing helped inspire me to become an author. I have published two novels, will publish another in early 2018, and am also working on a non-fiction book aligned with my coaching practice. – Third would be Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani woman known for her inspiring work for female education and human rights. Malala, now at Oxford, was nearly murdered in 2012 by a Taliban gunman. If you missed it, make sure to watch her 2013 speech to the United Nations.

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? I am a lifelong athlete with far more enthusiasm than talent. I would love to experience life as a professional basketball or tennis player. (Can I keep the day’s pay?) 10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started as a life coach? Be open to new ideas. You’re probably accomplished in your current profession. Becoming a successful life coach requires learning a new skillset, new techniques, and a new way of looking at how to help people. Also, you’ll need to get over it if you’re not comfortable with self-promotion. Clients need to find you and understand why they should choose you instead of someone else. Find a middle ground where you can explain your philosophy and fees without feeling like you’re being pushy or arrogant. I’m living proof this can be done.


New Wisdom from Napoleon Hill Although it was first written nearly eighty years ago, Napoleon Hill’s seminal bestseller THINK AND GROW RICH continues to influence renowned entrepreneurs, celebrated athletes, and revered public figures. In this groundbreaking title, Hill spent twenty years studying the habits of self-made millionaires and compiled his findings into one of the most influential personal development books of the 20th century. But what if there was more wisdom to gain from the motivational master? Mitch Horowitz, VP & Executive Editor at Penguin Random House, discusses two new Napoleon Hill books that were recently discovered in the vaults of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, and republished by Tarcher Perigee for a new generation.

THE PATH TO PERSONAL POWER In “The Path to Personal Power”, readers have access to never-before-published lessons penned by Napoleon Hill, just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Intended to inspire those still reeling from the Great Depression, these lost manuscripts offer much-needed motivation to help readers create a detailed plan for achieving their dreams. Featuring three powerful lessons transcribed from his own private discussions with billionaire Andrew Carnegie, this insightful guide offers detailed, easy-to-follow instructions to help readers.

Big Blend Radio: Mitch Horowitz discusses “The Path to Personal Power” by Napoleon Hill.

Featuring countless true stories of prominent individuals who obtained what they desired by applying these principles, “The Path to Personal Power” enables readers to throw off the chains of limitation so that they can pursue whatever wealth, success, and prosperity they desire. Continued on Next Page…


Napoleon Hill Continued…

HOW TO OWN YOUR OWN MIND First compiled in 1941 but forgotten due to the onset of World War II, Napoleon Hill’s 20-year study of the greatest American success stories has been recently rediscovered and is now being republished for a new generation. “How to Own Your Own Mind” is Napoleon Hill’s study of how to achieve success through organized thinking. Divided into three chapters—Creative Vision, Organized Thought, and Controlled Attention— this book teaches readers how to think before acting, recognize opportunities, define one’s Definite Major Purpose, and then act on this knowledge. Full of examples of the greatest American minds, such as Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Alexander Graham Bell, HOW TO OWN YOUR OWN MIND stresses the importance of thought before action, or your actions will be wasted.

NAPOLEON HILL was born in 1883 in Wise County, Virginia. He worked as a secretary, a “mountain reporter” for a local newspaper, the manager of a coal mine and a lumber yard, and attended law school, before he began working as a journalist for Bob Taylor’s Magazine–a job that led to his meeting steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, which changed the course of his life. Carnegie believed success could be distilled into principles that any person could follow, and urged Hill to interview the greatest industrialists of the era in order to discover these principles. Hill took on the challenge, which lasted twenty years and formed the building block for Think and Grow Rich, the wealth-building classic and all-time bestseller of its kind, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Hill devoted the remainder of his life to discovering and refining the principles of success. After a long and rich career as an author, magazine publisher, lecturer, and consultant to business leaders, the motivational pioneer died in 1970 in South Carolina.

Big Blend Radio: Mitch Horowitz discusses “How to Own Your Own Mind” by Napoleon Hill.

MITCH HOROWITZ is a vice president and executive editor at Penguin Random House, where he publishes authors, living and dead, including David Lynch and Manly P. Hall. Mitch is a PEN Award-winning historian and the author of Occult America and One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life. Mitch has written on everything from the war on witches to the secret life of Ronald Reagan for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, and The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an evenhanded intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.” Visit him at


The Federal Minimum Wage will remain the same. Last year, the Department of Labor (DOL) attempted to raise the minimum salary for Minimum Wage Increase exempt employees to $47,476.00 per year. A Under the minimum wage law passed last year, court blocked that, and the Trump minimum wage will increase again in California. Administration has backed away from that For employers who have 26 or more employees, figure. However, the DOL seems ready to the state minimum wage will be $11.00. For increase the minimum salary for exempt employers who have 25 or fewer employees, the workers by a smaller amount. A smaller amount minimum wage will be $10.50 per hour. In the may not face a court challenge. city of San Diego, California, the minimum wage for all employers will remain at $11.50 per hour, California Small Business Parental Leave Businesses with 20 or more employees will now but will increase in 2019 by a cost of living be required to provide 12 weeks of unpaid adjustment yet to be determined. Many other parental leave to bond with a baby, a newly cities in California have higher minimum wage placed foster child, or an adopted child. Before rates than the state minimum wage. this new law passed, only employers with 50 or more employees had to provide parental leave. The leave must be taken within one year of the birth, foster placement, or adoption. While the employee is on leave, the employer must pay for any health care coverage it already provides and must provide a statement of guaranteed reinstatement. Unless otherwise stated, the laws below will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

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Big Blend Radio Interview: Ward Heinrichs Esq., discusses new California Labor Laws for 2018. PAGE 78

Salary History Ban In recent years, California increased unfair pay protections for women and other protected classes. This year, the legislature took that one step farther and now has banned employers from asking applicants about their pay histories.

California Harassment Prevention Training Businesses with 50 or more employees must provide two hours of harassment prevention training to all supervisors every two years. Now, the training must include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

California Ban the Box Law “Ban the Box� refers to a check box on an employment application asking the applicant about past criminal history. In 2018, employers in California with 5 or more employees will not be able to seek criminal history information until making a conditional offer of employment. After that, an employer may not withdraw an offer because of criminal history until it has:

Because of the recent headline cases on sexual harassment, any California employer should consider giving training to all employees. Harassment based on any protected status listed in the statutes is banned for nearly all employers in California, no matter how many employees they have. Harassment is banned under federal law for all employers who have 15 or more employees.

1) determined that the criminal history directly and adversely affects the job duties;

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.

Labor Laws Continued‌

2) given the applicant notice and an opportunity to respond; 3) given a final denial of employment based on criminal history. Immigration Work Place Protection Under a new California law, employers may not allow immigration enforcement agents access to non-public areas of the work place unless the agent has a warrant. Further, employers may not give enforcement agents access to employee records without a subpoena or a warrant. However, the law allows an employer to give agents access to review I-9 forms and other employment documents that were requested in an agency notice of inspection. Within 72 hours of that notice, the employer must post a notice, with information specified by the state, about the upcoming inspection. Upon request, an affected employee may receive a copy of the agency notice of inspection. Within 72 hours, the employer must provide notice to affected employees of any inspection results it had received.

Certificate for Alcohol Servers Any California business licensed to serve alcohol must ensure that all its servers receive alcohol responsibility training and receive a certificate for that training. This goes into effect in 2021. PAGE 79

Books For Success

THE BOOK OF WHY (AND HOW) Discover the Timeless Secrets to Meaning, Success and Abundance What do musician Classified, actor Kevin Sorbo, author Jack Canfield and Turbo Jam Creator Chalene Johnson, have in common? No one wants to feel helpless. Everyone wants to grow. When Canada based Motivational, and multipletime TEDx Speaker, Corey Poirier, started working for a Fortune 500 company in 1996 in Western Canada, that’s exactly how he felt when he discovered the training that would be provided by the 58th largest company in North America at the time, in one of the toughest industries in the world, would be minimal at best. Big Blend Radio: Corey Poirier discusses He had just started with the company and was “The Book of Why (and How).” led to a room where he was to sit for close to a week with nothing more than a Zig Ziglar training video. He decided on that day that at some point These leaders include Miami Ink’s Ami James, he would do his part to make sure fewer people, Leadership Guru Robin Sharma, and previously mentioned Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda), would feel helpless in that way in the future. Jack Canfield, Chalene Johnson and more. This was the catalyst for Poirier’s recently No stranger to inspirational individuals, Poirier released 12th book called The Book of WHY (and has interviewed more than 4000 influential HOW). A major expansion on his most recent book, WHY, the book reveals the timeless secrets leaders along the lines of those mentioned above and thousands more. You can learn more Poirier has discovered while interviewing about and/or grab your copy of the new book of thousands of thought leaders, lessons on the WHY (and HOW) at four WHYS that can change a life and also includes bonus insight from almost 375 thought leaders. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 80

Books Continued…

THE ANTICIPATORY ORGANIZATION Turn Disruption and Change into Opportunity and Advantage Why didn’t a cab driver think of starting Uber, or Marriott think of Airbnb? Why did companies like Sony, Dell, Blackberry, Blockbuster — who all knew how to be agile and execute strategy rapidly– fall behind? And what about small companies, solopreneurs and individuals who are blindsided by change and forced to close their doors or lose jobs? They all couldn’t react fast enough to rapid change. None of them knew how to anticipate and profit from change, says Daniel Burrus in his powerful new book The Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change into Opportunity and Advantage. This leading futurist and innovation expert, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who counsels leading companies, whole industries and even not-forprofit ventures, says anyone can follow the advice in his book to foresee both change and game-changing opportunities before they occur — and turn that into a personal and organizational advantage. “If you don’t,” warns Burrus, “someone else will.” The Anticipatory Organization offers a comprehensive new way to identify and act on game-changing opportunities with 25 proven strategies to accelerate innovation and transform results-in your thinking, planning, innovating and implementation. Burrus even tells you how to “walk” those holding you, or your organization back, into a new way to think and act, so you can facilitate change without their resistance-and even gain their support.

Big Blend Radio: Daniel Burrus discusses his book, “The Anticipatory Organization.”

Burrus says the ability to anticipate is a learned skill and he shows you how. As the rate of change accelerates, with uncertainty and disruption a certainty in themselves, no one can afford the consequence of being blind-sided. The Anticipatory Organization gives you the tools to Burrus helps you pinpoint and act upon the not just stay competitive, but jump ahead so enormous opportunities ahead by identifying many key factors that allow you to predict future that you stand alone as a leader and innovatorwhether you are on your own, an organizational events and trends, enabling you to plan leader or someone with influence within an accordingly. organization. PAGE 81

For the first part of this article, I will take it that you know that your family originated in England and you have an idea where in the country the family were from when they emigrated. As with any family history quest, we have to start with the known and work backwards. Once the immigrant is found, that’s when the fun starts. What clues are found in local records? Are there any census records which tell us any information about his origins? Did he leave a will mentioning Big Blend Radio Interview: Glynn Burrows family back home? Are there any family letters? A shares tips on finding your family family Bible? When he died, was there a history in England. newspaper report telling about his life and origins? Is there a family story? All of these things The first thing to remember is that, in England, can be of use in locating the origins of your immigrant ancestor and the more of them you we had census every ten years from 1801, have, the easier the task will be. except for 1941 and the records from 1841-1911 are available for public consultation and they are Knowing where your family came from is one of the important things when tracing family history also indexed on several websites. (Bear in mind that indexes are only as good as the people who but it isn’t always the most important thing. did them and some indexes were compiled by Sometimes knowing that your ancestor was people who don’t have English as their first transported in 1835 for sheep stealing will open language and have no interest in accuracy. doors for you and sometimes a surname will give you the best clue of all. The thing to do as If you don’t find your ancestor by searching soon as possible, is to amass as much under surname, use birth-place if a small place, information as possible from family, family try wild cards, using Christian names in heirlooms and local records. It’s then time to conjunction with others in the family or say the look elsewhere. surname out aloud and write down what you As an example, I’m using a man who applied for hear. (My own name comes out as: Burrus, his citizenship in the USA in 1904. On his Burris, Burress, etc.) application, he says that he arrived in 1897 and that he was born on 22 June 1855 in Nottingham. Continued on Next Page… He is married and his wife, Eleanor J, was born in Derbyshire, they have two children with them, both born in the USA. PAGE 82

Wollaton Hall

Family History Continued… So, is our man to be found in Nottingham? As it happens, he is. He is there in 1891, a designer and draughtsman in lace and he is with his wife and children; Muriel, aged 6, Edith, aged 5 and Louis, aged 2. In 1881, he is lodging with George & Susannah Turner, they are both teachers and they have a daughter called Eleanor J. In 1871 and 1861, he is living with his family. In 1871 he is a draughtsman and in 1861 he is a scholar.

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Edmund Bush married Eleanor Jane Turner in St Leonard’s Church, Wollaton, Nottingham. The census tells us where the people concerned were born and, from there, we can move on to Parish Registers. Edmund says that he was born in Nottingham and in some, he narrows that down to Radford. His father, Anthony, just puts Nottingham and his mother, Elizabeth, puts Beeston or Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire, as the place where she was born. Looking at the Parish Registers, we see that Anthony and Elizabeth were married in St Peter’s Church, Radford, on 2nd October 1833. Elizabeth’s maiden name was Taylor. (No, not THAT Elizabeth Taylor!)

Some beautiful Victorian lace PAGE 83

A street corner pub in the Tram Museum

Family History Continued‌ Going back another generation, we see Anthony Bush was baptised on 26th July 1812 in St. Mary’s Nottingham, the son of William and Elizabeth Bush. Obviously, all of these need to be checked against original records but, having just picked a person on the nationalisation index at random, this proves how it is possible to find family history online quite easily. At that point, you will need to start looking at other options, like Wills, Manor Court Books, Parish Records and other sources. One thing which this particular family has made me want to explore, is the trade which the family was in. William, the son of Anthony, was a Dyer. Anthony worked in lace-making and Edmund was a designer and draughtsman in the lace trade. Nottingham has been famous for lacemaking for centuries and most people who find their ancestors were from Nottingham, will discover their families were involved in that trade in some way. Looking back at the naturalisation paperwork, it tells us that he was a draughtsman and lived at 3148 N Franklin Street, Philadelphia. PAGE 84

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Wollaton Hall Kitchens

The oldest pub in Nottingham

Nottingham early troglodyte dwellings in the cliffs under the Castle

Family History Continued‌ During my researches into Nottingham lacemaking, I discovered a great article about Robinson & Son & Co who were a very large company in the late C19th. Guess what the article tells me? “Two years ago the firm made a further step in advance by starting a lace curtain factory in Philadelphia, U.S.A. In consequence of increasing business, this factory has been found altogether inadequate to their requirements, and they have lately removed their machinery to a large new factory specially erected for them at Chester, Pa., about 10 miles from Philadelphia, where they are now engaged in making further additions to their plant, their present producing capacity being about 6,000 pairs weekly.â€? So, from a random entry in the naturalisation paper-work, here is how easy it can be to trace family history in England from what you find in records abroad. 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 PAGE 85

At 01:23 Moscow time, on April 26, 1986, the world underwent a fundamental change; Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant experienced a core explosion, a subsequent steam explosion and open-air graphite fire. Reactor No. 4, along with all of the proposed 12 Chernobyl reactors, was considered to be ultrasafe. To prove their safety, the engineers at Chernobyl devised a test which simulated a complete catastrophic power failure. Reactor No. 4 should then revert into its safety mode and utilize its back-up power supply. The reactor operators, however, had failed to follow a simple checklist. Upon initiation of the test, the reactor experienced not a power loss but a power surge. The operators attempted a total emergency shutdown but this caused a catastrophic power spike. This spike led to the rupture of the fission material container causing gigantic steam explosions. The graphite moderator spontaneously ignited as it was exposed to air, and it was this fire at which first responders attended. The graphite fire spewed plumes of radioactive fallout, primarily Iodine 131, Strontium 90, and Cesium 137, into the air. This fallout was pushed by the prevailing winds north and west across the city of Pripyat, Belarus, Russia and Western Europe.

Big Blend Radio: Dr. Charles Rawlings discusses his visit to Chernobyl, Pripyat and Pripyat Hospital #126. Firefighters arrived almost immediately after the accident. They, however, were not told that the fire was from the reactor. Those first responders were receiving as much as 5.6 roentgens per second. By about 5 am, all except the reactor fire were extinguished. The burned firemen were rushed to Pripyat Hospital; the majority were dead within weeks. The actual reactor fire was not extinguished until May 10, 1986. Thirty-six hours after the disaster, Soviet officials established a 10 kilometer exclusion zone around Reactor No. 4 requiring the immediate evacuation of the city of Pripyat, with its population of 49,000. Continued on Next Page‌


Reactor covered with containment structure Chernobyl Continued… A week after the disaster, the exclusion zone was extended to 30 kilometers around Reactor No. 4 which resulted in another 68,000 people being evacuated. Approximately 350,000 people were removed from the area. The death toll from the direct radiation as well as cancer deaths has been estimated between 4,000 to 200,000. The exact death toll due to those lethal plumes of Iodine, Cesium and Strontium is unknown; but the radioactive elements circled the globe in the following weeks affecting millions of people.

Ferris Wheel in the amusement park

Inside the inner exclusion zone, the quietness is pervasive except for an occasional bird. The forests are overgrowing the roads, and a moose was strolling down the main road to Pripyat. The Red Forest looms into view – the trees are red and dead. They do not decay and are reminders of April 26, 1986. Rusting, decaying equipment is prevalent. First appears the river containing the cooling water destined for the reactors; around the bend is Reactor No. 4 sporting its new The economic cost is easier to quantify. The first containment dome. You are now standing on the generation shield surrounding Reactor No. 4 was site of one of the worst events of mankind – a completed in 1986. The second generation disaster that destroyed an empire. shield was only recently completed. The cost to the Soviet Union was over 18 billion rubles and Before April 26, 1986, Pripyat was a model Soviet effectively bankrupted the USSR, directly leading City; it was luxurious; filled with extravagances to its collapse. The cost estimates for the latest that very few Soviet citizens were afforded. containment shield are almost as onerous. Unfortunately, this shield has a limited life span The Soviets included amenities in Pripyat that of only 100 years due to the intense radiation – would be equal to most western towns. In the the half-lives of Strontium 90 and Cesium 137 city there were gyms, spas, saunas, pools, are about 30 years – so Reactor No. 4 will remain schools, kindergartens, apartments, a modern, dangerous far past the new shield’s 100 year luxurious hospital, even an amusement park. lifespan. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 87

Chernobyl Continued… The grocery stores had shelves stocked with fresh produce and food. After April 26, 1986, Pripyat became the abandoned city; a city of ghosts, of dark, gloomy, overgrown forests, and pockets of lethal radiation.

You can feel the energy of the children crying as they leave their prized possessions – each family member was allowed to carry out only one suitcase. Everyone and everything was transported from or abandoned within the special city of Pripyat. All that surrounds the main square are weeds, overgrown trees, and decaying buildings. All is lost here; all is contaminated and uninhabitable.

At the time of the Chernobyl disaster the official population of Pripyat was 49,360, with an average age of 26. The city was set in a bucolic area surrounded by lakes, the river, extensive fields and thick woods. Pripyat was a remarkable city, a Soviet “nuclear city” designed by the best The actual reactor fire was only extinguished by for the best. the heroics of a handful of Soviets, flying helicopters that dropped ton after ton of sand, The road to Pripyat was wide, well-maintained concrete, lead and boron upon the reactor and smooth. Now it is overgrown with graphite fire. The amusement park is dominated underbrush, and the forest ominously presses in by a decaying Merry-Go-Round; an inactive Ferris on either side. This place resonates with the wheel, a carnival sideshow, all collapsing in rot. spirits of the displaced. The Soviets utilized over Less obvious is where Soviet helicopters landed 1200 buses to relocate the inhabitants. Along in the main parking lot of the amusement park this main road you can almost hear the old so as to be washed of the radioactive elements diesel engines of the buses and even smell the after flying over Reactor No. 4. fumes. The residents were told that they could return in 3 days. They have never reclaimed Continued on Next Page… Pripyat.


The amusement park is filled with radioactivity. The source lies below. My guide summons me to one of the grated water drains. We are in the middle of the parking lot, and the Geiger counter is measuring roentgen emissions off the scale. We open the grate, and the emissions are louder. The radiation and danger lie concealed by the grates. My guide and I arrived at Pripyat Hospital on a mud road. Its basement is one the most radioactive places on earth. Before we could explore the hospital, my guide had very specific instructions. The basement was too dangerous and off-limits, we must stay together since he had the Geiger counter, I could not touch anything especially discarded bandages or clothing, I had to step in his footsteps, and, finally, we could not stay longer than 30 minutes due to the radiation. When I agreed to all those conditions, we exited the car onto the muddy road towards the hospital entrance. The hospital stairs have disintegrated and the majority of the windows are missing. We step into the waiting room, and I am astonished to see triage records that were left in the evacuation. I feel my guide’s hand on my leg directing it away from a highly radioactive glove left by one of the first responders. Now I understand the true gravity of this admission area. All of the first responders came through this area; all were suffering from severe burns and severe radiation sickness. All of them died.

An abandoned kindergarten The Chernobyl catastrophe was the result of mankind’s hubris. Nothing could go wrong and yet the worst case scenario occurred.

Global warming, Fukushima, ozone holes, space debris; the environment of the earth is under attack, under siege. Most countries recognize these developments – some do not. I would hope that the lessons of the Chernobyl disaster, the ghost town of Pripyat, and the nursery of Pripyat Hospital would enlighten my readers. This hospital could easily be the star of any Become active and help save the world in which number of horror films, from the long hallways filled with abandoned equipment to the patients’ you live; speak out. Do not stand idle while the earth disintegrates around you. Failure to take a rooms complete with beds. You walk the halls stand, voice your opinions and concerns will lead and peer into abandoned rooms and treatment to disaster. The environment as we know it will areas. Medicines, anesthesia machines with disappear. rotting tubing, and textbooks remain. You can feel the mass confusion as the staff and patients Charles E. Rawlings, M.D, J.D. is a world traveler, abandoned the hospital. Someone threw the photographer and author of the award-winning contaminated suits of the firefighters into the basement. The last room I saw before exiting the coffee-table books, “Living Shells” and “Living Mollusks”, and the relationship books “Leaving hospital was the silent newborn nursery. Normal” and “It Really is that Complicated”. PAGE 89

Two things I love about Viking River Cruises are the small boat atmosphere (featuring a passenger list of mostly adults) and the opportunity to shop in unique ports of call. If you were born to shop and haven't cruised in a while, be assured that river cruising is an excellent match for your avocation. Viking River Cruises offer a free guided tour in almost every town they stop in. These tours are wonderful. Don’t miss them. However, the extra good news is you will have some time in each town to do some shopping on your own. I love all the guided tours, but my first love is shopping and I can hardly contain myself for the great shopping expeditions waiting for me. While larger ocean cruises feature tons of on board shopping and ports of call heavily encumbered with hawkers and jewelry stores, your shopping journey on a Viking River Cruise will be a whole different ball game.

Big Blend Radio: Linda Kissam, the Food, Wine & Shopping Diva, discusses her Viking River Cruise from Prague to Berlin. You won’t find the mall-shopping experience aboard, instead expect your shopping to take place in quaint towns with a true sense of taste and place. Pre-plan your shopping or simply wander around in blissful innocence to see what “calls your name.” Continued on next Page…


Old Town Ceramics and China

Viking Cruise Continued… Strategy Cruise passengers often fall prey to port fever. They get so excited to buy something they swoop down on the first shop in the first port and buy anything. Even the most savvy of shoppers go a little nutsy when they get into the first town. Shop carefully and don't buy on a whim, but remember, on a Viking River Cruise each port stop is uniquely different. If you love it – small or large – you’re likely not going to see the exact same thing in the next port(s). My take on souvenir shopping is that there's no such thing as a "bad" souvenir. If it seems right for you or someone special at home, brings you pleasure, or reminds you of a special stop, it’s a winner. The worst that can happen is that you add the “losers” to your white elephant pile at home. Buy small, inexpensive stuff when you see it. Do your homework and ask the on-board concierge about how/where to buy larger ticket items. I’ve missed out on some special treasures by thinking I would be able to compare and contrast in the next port or two. Not so much. Lesson learned.

Invite people to join you on a shopping cruise that like…well…shopping. Viking River Cruises were made for a girlfriend(s) getaway, yearly friend’s reunions and celebrating special milestones. The cruise staff provides for all your needs, all you and your group need to do is show up and have fun. Think how fun it will be to shop till you drop with other “interested” travelers. Bring back your treasures to your room as you go along. Pack them all up at the end of the cruise. A new favorite strategy of mine is to just ship most things home, especially if they are bulky. Just budget for this expenditure and you are good to go. The ship’s concierge can give you some tips on how to do this. Larger, more exclusive shops will offer to do this for you, sometimes at no charge. Keep in mind that sometimes the perfect “find” in each port of call will not be a “thing.” Make time to visit the bakeries, coffee shops, spas and unique activities (like riding a tram up the mountain). Go off ship at least once for a local meal. Get out there, dig in, and make memories in new ways. Continued on Next Page…


Local Beer and Fries

Church of our Lady before Tyn, Prague

Recommendations for each port of call This Prague to Berlin cruise was a shoppers dream come true. Two days in a Prague hotel at the beginning of the trip and two in a Berlin hotel at the end of the trip gave me plenty of time to get over jet lag on the front end, and organize myself for a final shopping push on the back end. These four days allow for unlimited shopping time. Both stops are magnificent in terms of offering an opportunity to discover two cities trending in shopping and destination adventures. Each city is just beginning to find its own groove. Viking could not have chosen two better places to begin and end this cruise.

Prague, Czech Republic: On your first visit to Prague, head for the castle district and Old Town Prague (where the Astronomical Clock resides). There is so much to see and choose from, you are likely to be overwhelmed with all the choices.

Viking Cruise Continued…

Other benefits we were offered included 8 shore excursions, complimentary (but a bit sketchy) Wi-Fi, complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks with onboard lunch and dinner, 24/7 specialty coffees, teas and bottled water, all port taxes and all airport transfers when purchasing the Viking Air program. Do NOT miss the included port guided tours.

Cash is king. Do not expect the smaller shops, eateries, and open stalls to accept credit cards. Traditional Czech handmade items like soaps, wooden toys, marionettes, and painted eggs are particularly intriguing. The Czech Republic is known for glassware, crystal products and ceramics. There are several shops near Old Town Square featuring stunning Czech crystal. This can be a bit expensive for some, so you might consider the ceramics shop instead. My favorite category - jewelry shops – feature amber and garnet pieces. They run the gamut from quite inexpensive to outrageously expensive. A pair of earrings from here has been known to impress family and friends. Continued on Next Page…


Viking Cruise Continued… Bad Schandau, Germany: This tiny spa town was a WOW for me. It’s a beautiful city nestled in a scenic valley. It is easily walkable. Notable activities include both private and public spas, with the public spa (Bad Schandau Therme) featuring a liquid sound pool and natural spa products. Take a stroll through the large, lush town park on your way to the Botanical Gardens or hop on the tram based in the town park and ride your way not only to the gardens, but to the Lichtenhain Waterfall as well. For the group that loves the outdoors… get your #onehourwalk hike on in the Saxon Switzerland National Park. It impresses with magnificent landscape, rocks, gorges and its very own flora and fauna and a variety of walking trails. Shopping in town is minimal, but unique home, art and flower stores are a treat to browse. Dresden, Germany: At this stop, buy a ticket on the local Hop On-Hop Off Bus. The town is too big to just stroll. The bus stops at or near several malls and Dresden’s “shopping mile.” You’ll see some familiar shops available in the US, but by far the shops and restaurant offerings are local.

Unique Souvenirs, Bad Schandau Continued on Next Page…

Make sure you stop at a café or bakery for Dresdner Stollen, a cake traditionally served during the Christmas time. Dresden bakeries are proud of their products and you will recognize the original from Dresden by the symbol of a golden horseman on blue ground. Pick up a couple of traditional “Räuchermännchen. “ They are cute little symbolizing craftsmen of the region, such as foresters and miners. These figures get fed with cone incense which burn down inside and the smoke gets out of the mouth of the figure. Different aromas, such as fir tree and frankincense are a must to experience the total package. Radeberger Beer, German beer made in Dresden makes an easily packable souvenir for your beer drinking friends. PAGE 93

Market Hall Shopping, Dresden

Viking Cruise Continued… Meissen, Germany: If all you do is shop at the Meissen porcelain factory…you are one lucky shopper. The tour is included as your port of call activity. The slick live demonstrations of how each and every upscale porcelain item is handmade draws you right it. Most things are expensive, but are truly one-of-a-kind. In this case, have your purchases mailed home. I did much of my holiday shopping here. My husband almost had a heart attack at the final bill…but for me, it was worth every penny. Just sayin’. Wittenberg, Germany: Wittenberg is the crucible of the Reformation that led to the division of the Christian Church into Catholics and Protestants in the 16th century. Its main shopping district is made up of two connected streets: the Collegienstrasse and the Schlossstrasse, which meet at the main market square.

Meissen China display There are lots of indoor and outdoor places to eat and drink as well. We walked back from the main shopping area to the ship. It took us about 30 minutes on the waterside bike and stroll path. At one point we thought we were lost. We called the ship, they gave us their GPS coordinates which we put into our Smart Phone app, and merrily continued on our way. Berlin: Holy cow, totally not what I was expecting! When in the heck did this place grow up and find its own spectacular groove? This is a minimum four-day destination all its own. Pick a central hotel so you can walk to all the attractions. Viking includes a wonderful tour of the city. I could shop for days here immersing myself in their hip, trendy culture. There are so many historical things to see and parks everywhere. What is left of the Berlin Wall is not what I expected. In some places it’s been regraffitied by invited artists, in others, it’s just a short block long. You’ll get the idea, but not necessarily feel the full drama.

Many of the town’s souvenirs center on a Martin Luther theme. Socks are a featured item almost everywhere. One’s that that bear Luther’s Any global brand you can conceive of is located immortal phrase “Here I stand. I can do no other” in Berlin –from cheap to totally expensive. This is are the most popular. I read somewhere that the THE place to shop for clothing and accessories. retailers in Wittenberg were at a loss for LutherDo yourself a favor and purchase a shopping related souvenirs until they came up with these tour with a local guide as well as a “Taste of socks. It’s pretty darn creative. You can also buy Berlin” tour. Luther Beer, scarves, gloves and Luther Bonbons Continued on Next Page… but these socks take the “funky find” prize. PAGE 94

Berlin Wall (guest artist)

Viking Cruise Continued…

A final note What makes shopping fun? Doing new things, meeting new people, seeing new places and learning new ways to look at the common and uncommon. Shopping involves hunting for, discovery, and acquisition of something new. The bear is the city's symbol. You will find a wide Gift-giving, as part of the shopping experience boosts personal pleasure with the added bonus variety of Berlin teddy bears and things with of brightening someone else’s day. Gift-giving bears on them. brings us the delight we feel in seeing that we have given someone else delight. You can Berliner Weiße is a local favorite when mixed experience all that and more aboard on a Viking with either raspberry or woodruff syrup. It requires special big wide glasses for an authentic River Cruise. taste experience. Buy the glass and the syrup. Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a If you want something with a bit more whimsical professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, story behind it, you’ll want to purchase breezy destination stories sharing her favorite something from the “Ampelmann” stoplight series. East Germany and West Germany used to things about the places she visits. Visit have different symbols on their pedestrian traffic lights. The East has a cute little guy with a hat, standing (red) and marching (green), while the West has a rather uninterested human figure. You really need a guide to take you through all the main street courtyard shopping and eateries. Understanding the history of all these places is a must, including why much of the communist era graffiti has been left in place.

After the reunification, the Western traffic lights were introduced which resulted in big protests. Easterners wanted to keep their traffic light man. Protests were successful, which is the good news. There are Amplemann merchants scattered around Berlin showcasing a souvenir series of towels, shopping bags, t-shirts, umbrellas, luggage tags and many other things. PAGE 95


Bandol harbor It may be France’s worst kept wine secret and the holiday destination the natives like to keep for themselves. There are breathtakingly perfect fishing ports and medieval hilltop towns surrounded by lush vineyards. The region’s wines have been sipped by royalty and its intimate villages the inspiration for great literature and a refuge for the intellectual elite fleeing 20th century oppression. Located along Southern France’s Mediterranean coast, between the cosmopolitan city of Marseille and the naval outpost of Toulon, lies the historic wine region of Bandol. Ancient seafaring Phoecean traders saw the forested hillsides rising from the sea and knew this was the perfect spot for viticulture. Protective mountains formed a natural, southfacing amphitheater enhanced by the influence of sun, sea and the moderating Mistral winds.

Big Blend Radio: Hilarie Larson discusses Historic Bandol! Natural, deep-water harbors provided immediate transport for both wines and barrels, created from the oak trees of local forests. Louis XV was a devotee and by 1846, up to 9,600 barrels left the region destined for the tables of northern Europe.

Like the rest of Europe, Bandol suffered the devastating effects of the Phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century. Vineyard owners replanted The Romans expanded existing vineyards, with the traditional grape of the region, terracing the steep hillsides and creating the distinctive landscape of Bandol. Stone retaining Mourvèdre, and the stage was set for Bandol’s walls, called ‘restanques’ were created with rocks wine revival. removed when clearing vineyard land, making the terrain easier to work and keeping needed Continued on Next Page… moisture in the soil. PAGE 97

Bandol Continued… Today, there are 59 producers in the region. Like other areas of Provence, the majority of the production is Rosé (70%) but what sets Bandol apart are the red wines of Mourvèdre. Although the variety originated in Spain, it really has found its home on the south facing slopes of Bandol where it covets the long, warm growing season and finds ‘its head in the sun and its feet in the sea’.

Vineyards of Château Pibarnon When young, you might find notes reminiscent of licorice, dark berries, light spice and an earthy, ‘animal’ quality. Mourvèdre really shines with age, as the aromas and flavors deepen to black fruit, leather, truffle, pepper, and spice while the substantial tannins, more pronounced in youth, become supple and engaging.

There are many well known wineries to visit including Domaine Tempier whose owners, the The rules of production are strict: the fruit must Peyraud family, were instrumental in the region be hand picked, come from vines that are a securing its place as a designated wine region in minimum of eight years old – younger grapes will 1941. Château Pibarnon may be the most be used for rosé – and be aged in oak barrels for distinctive vineyard in Bandol. Built into an old at least 18 months. limestone quarry, the vines are planted on terraces lining the circular structure, with the Bandol rouge speaks of its ‘terroir’ – its sense of Mediterranean in full view. Domaine de la Tour place: the pebbly limestone, clay and sandstone du Bon, Bastide Blanche, Domaine Bunan, soils, the native ‘garruige’ (wild herbs such as Domaine Gros Noré, Domaine Terrebrune are rosemary, sage, fennel and thyme) and the but a few of the excellent examples of Bandol forests of pine and oak that intermingle with the producers. Continued on Next Page… vines. PAGE 98

Bandol Continued… There is no better place to enjoy the local wines than in the towns that mingle with the vineyard landscape. Le Castellet perches on a cliff-top, overlooking the vineyards and the sea. Originally known as Castellarium in 1030 AD, it’s the medieval, fortified ramparts, cobblestone lanes and intimate squares that makes this a popular, modern day destination. You’ll find it the perfect spot to wander, marvel at the expansive views and enjoy the many eateries. Practically next door, is another medieval gem, La Cadière d’Azur. Less well known, and therefore, less ‘touristy’ than its neighbor, the steep, narrow lanes lead to the main street, Avenue Max Dormoy. There are several cafes where you can sit in the shade of the plane trees and watch village life unfold. You’ll find a small local grocer, butcher and boulangerie. Artisan galleries and workshops spill out onto the narrow sidewalks. All these potters, weavers, artists and seamstresses are women. Cross the threshold of one of the three remaining, 16th century gates in the city ramparts and you’ll enter a labyrinth of pathways, staircases and squares. You may hear the peel of the churchbell, dating to 1458 in the tower of the Church of Saint André, while you look out over the vineyards of Bandol and the striking Massif de la Sainte-Baume in the distance.

Charming Le Castellet Continued on Next Page…

Tasting in the cellars of Domaine Tempier with Véronique Peyraud Rougeot

Naturally, there are a host of delightful seaside spots, including La Ciotat, which is nestled against the white limestone cliffs and azure blue bays of the Calanque National Park. Founded by Genoese aristocrats fleeing revolution in the early 1600s the village grew up around its shipbuilding industry. Louise Lumieres’s creation of cinematography in 1895 and the discovery of the Provençal sport of ‘Petanque’ also lay claim to this scenic spot. Further east is the area of Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer and its environs of Les Lecques and La Madrague. Sandy beaches are the main attraction while history lovers can visit the remains of a Roman villa at the Museum of Tauroentum. PAGE 99

There's always room for pots and plants in La Cadière d'Azur

Fresh fish at the Wednesday market in Sanary-sur-Mer

Bandol Continued… The town of Bandol was once the main port for the region’s wines and home to a thriving cooperage industry. The harbor is now a marina that welcomes luxury yachts as well as smaller craft and fishing boats. The tree lined Promenade plays host to a vibrant summer music scene, year-round markets, restaurants and boutiques. Here, you can hop a boat to the nearby Île de Bendor, go dolphin and whale watching or visit the Bandol Wine Centre - the “Oenotheque.” Nearby Sanary-sur-Mer is one of the few fully functioning fishing villages of southern France and this picture postcard hamlet has a fascinating history. The Greeks and the Romans were the first to settle, and in the 16th century, village life concentrated around the 14th century watchtower, which still stands guard aside the modern harbor. Originally known by its local Occitan name of Sant Narari, time and politics morphed it to Sanàri. In the 1920’s ‘sur Mer’ meaning ‘on the sea’ was added, as the area was primed for French Riviera tourism.

Pastel villas cling to the steep, forested hills that slope down to the village below. Small, multi colored fishing boats, called ‘pointus’, are moored along the Promenade where they sell their fresh, and often still wiggling, daily catch. With the town’s dedication to the sea, it isn’t surprising that Sanary-sur-Mer was once home to renowned oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. It was here that he, along with Frederic Dumas and Phillipe Tailleiz, invented the ‘Aqua-lung’ and modern scuba diving. Sanary also has a fascinating literary connection beginning in the early 1930s when British author Aldous Huxley moved here and wrote his famous novel “Brave New World’. With the advent of fascism in Europe, the village became a haven for the ‘intellegencia’ of Germany and Austria. Between 1933 and 1945 numerous writers and artists, many of whom were Jewish, found temporary sanctuary and became known as the ‘Intellectual Exiles in Paradise’. Continued on Next Page…

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Bandol Continued… Playwright Bertold Brecht, Thomas, Klaus and Heinrich Mann, Alma Mahler (widow of composer Gustav Mahler) and later H.G. Wells and D.H. Lawrence were among the group. Today you can wander the flowerstrewn streets of the town, rest at the memorial in John F. Kennedy Park, or visit the sandy shores of Plage de Portissol.

The carousel in Sanary-sur-Mer features sea vessels.

Spend a morning absorbed in the colors and smells of the weekly market then recoup as the locals do and rest your feet at one of the cafes with a coffee or a glass of local wine. Watch the world, ponder life and have another glass. There is no better way to experience the essence of Bandol.

In addition to her own blogs at, 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.

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.

Sanary-sur-Mer is always in bloom.

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Fresh berries at the market

TRAVEL & EVENTS GUIDE From America’s Southeast to California and the Desert Southwest! Let’s Go Exploring!

SOUTHEAST USA 104. Explore Historic Natchitoches, Louisiana

CALIFORNIA 106. Visit Julian, San Diego’s Mountain Destination 110. Discover San Benito County 112. Visit California’s Sequoia Country

SOUTHWEST USA 116. Destination Yuma, Arizona 122. Giddy Up to Yerington, Nevada PAGE 102

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! Continued on Next Page…

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The Oldest City in Louisiana! Founded in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, Natchitoches is the original French Colony and oldest city in Louisiana, and celebrates a vibrant blend of French, Spanish, African, Native American and Creole cultures. Natchitoches is home to the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, is part of the Cane River National Heritage Area, and is the final destination on the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail that runs up from Mexico and Texas. Big Blend Radio: Locals Insider on The Cane River National Heritage Trail, a Natchitoches, featuring Arlene Gould Louisiana Scenic Byway that runs along Cane Executive Director of Natchitoches River Lake, links to the Isle Brevelle Trail and El Convention & Visitors Bureau, Randy Ziegler Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, - The Landing Restaurant & Natchitoches with Longleaf Trail and Kisatchie National Forest Parish Tourist Commission, Corey Poole – on the outskirts. Along with Cane River National Editor of Natchitoches Parish Journal, and Historical Park, another popular historic site to musician Ed Huey. Plus, Steve Schneickert visit is Melrose Plantation. Built in 1796, Melrose recalls Hollywood History of northwest and Plantation is a National Historic Landmark, and central Louisiana! shares the story of slave Marie Thérèse Coincoin and her ten Franco-African children with Thomas Pierre Metoyer, as well as the Isle Brevelle Creole Of movie history interest, Robert Harling grew up community, the Civil War, plantation history, and in Natchitoches, and lost his sister to diabetes in 1985. He turned that experience into the iconic Louisiana folk art. stage play ‘Steel Magnolias’. The 1989 film adaption directed by Herbert Ross was filmed in The downtown National Historic Landmark and around Natchitoches. District area runs along the banks of Cane River Lake, and features historic sites and buildings, museums, art galleries, specialty boutique shops, restaurants and Bed & Breakfast Inns. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 104

Natchitoches Continued‌ Centrally located, Natchitoches is just 275 miles from New Orleans, 255 miles from Dallas, Texas, and 290 miles from Little Rock, Arkansas. To learn more about the area’s attractions and events, lodging establishments, shops and restaurants, visit

Upcoming Natchitoches Events Feb. 10: Krewe of Dionysus Mardi Gras Parade Mar. 3: Dragon Boat Race Mar. 17: Art Along the Bricks Mar. 17: Bloomin' on the Bricks Mar. 24: 1st Annual Cane River Film Festival Mar. 27: International Festival of Cultures & Cuisines Apr. 13 & 14: Jazz R&B Festival Apr. 21 & 22: Annual Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival

Video: 60 Second Spotlight on Natchitoches, Louisiana

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A quaint, historic gold mining town up in San Diego’s mountain region, Julian and its surrounding communities of Wynola, Santa Ysabel, Lake Cuyamaca, Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain, make for the perfect yearround destination offering four seasons of fun for all. A strong sense of early California will lead you down the wooden sidewalks of Julian’s historic downtown district. This small mountain town’s colorful history is still alive with historic reenactments and gunfights by the Julian Doves & Desperados, gold mine tours, historic walking tours, museums, and even horse-drawn carriage rides. After the gold rush, Julian become a growing region for apples and other fruits. The orchards are still producing today, and in the fall, visitors flock up to Julian to purchase these delicious apples and fruits, and to get a taste of that famous Julian apple pie – which is a favorite for foodies year ’round! With a number of local wineries and tasting rooms, and surrounded by San Diego and Temecula’s wine regions, Julian has also become a popular wine tasting destination.

Big Blend Radio: Teresa Keller, General Manager & Event Coordinator of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Wynola “Gateway to Julian”, talks about what there is to see and do year-round in San Diego’s popular mountain and back country region.

The historic downtown district and surrounding communities of Wynola and Santa Ysabel are a shopping adventure that must also be experienced. From antique stores to boutiques, every shop offers quality and unique merchandise. Dining options include an oldefashioned soda fountain, fine dining, California cuisine, bakeries, Mexican cuisine, American and Italian fare, and more.

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Julian Continued… A mountain community that enjoys nature’s four seasons, Julian is surrounded by beautiful forests, parks, and lakes. Spring is lush with green meadows and forests, and features the blossoming of wildflowers, daffodils, lilacs, wisteria, apple orchards, and more. Summers are perfect for hiking, biking, boating and fishing, camping, star-gazing, and horse riding. Don’t be amazed if you come across some of the locals – deer, wild turkeys, squawking blue jays, woodpeckers, squirrels, and more! Fall brings the harvest of the grapes and apples, and the turning of the leaves. Winter offers the occasional snow flurry, and crisp mountain weather that’s perfect for cuddling nest to crackling fire. Julian is a creative community and is home number of galleries, and is host to numerous annual festivals, as well as art, music, and events. For a touch of mountain magic Julian is a destination for all – visit for some family fun, to get out into nature, or for a romantic escape. Julian offers a fine selection of lodging options – romantic Bed & Breakfasts and Inns, hotels and motels, cabins and vacation rentals. Some lodgings are pet friendly. Continued on Next Page…

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Julian Continued…

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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

Located east of Monterey and Salinas, San Benito County in central California, is the eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park and part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.

For up-to-date event information and to plan your San Benito County adventure, please contact the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (831) 637-5315 or visit or

This picturesque region is made up of the historic communities of Hollister, Tres Pinos, San Juan Bautista, Aromas, Paicines and New Idria. Less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 5 hours from Los Angeles, San Benito County makes for an ideal travel destination with outdoor activities such as bird watching and hiking, golf and tennis, as well as a wine tasting trail, a delectable selection of dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, and a fun calendar of events!

Big Blend Radio: Juli Vieira, CEO of the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, discusses winter activities in San Benito County, as well as the Chamber’s group trip to China. PAGE 110

Along with being a major agricultural hub that feeds America, Tulare County is also home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. Known as California’s Sequoia Country, the region 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. Winter is a beautiful time of year to visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National 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. For full details and for up-to-date event and winter travel news (especially for snow chain alerts and winter road closures), visit and

Big Blend Radio: Locals Insider with Sequoia Tourism Council representatives Donnette Silva Carter – CEO of Tulare Chamber of Commerce, and Sandy Blankenship – Executive Director of Exeter Chamber of Commerce. Plus, Steve Schneickert recalls the Hollywood History of the historic Barn Theatre in Porterville. Continued on Next Page…

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Sequoia Country Continued‌ Featuring 33 groves of Giant Sequoia Trees, the Sequoia National Forest is home to the biggest concentration of giant sequoia groves. 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 Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 113

Big Blend Radio: Leah Launey, innkeeper at Three Rivers B&B, discusses winter events and activities in Three Rivers and Sequoia National Park.

Sequoia Country Continued…

DON’T MISS THESE WINTER EVENTS East of Fresno, Tulare County is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. For more about the area, including upcoming events, visit First Friday Art Walk: Held the first Friday of every month from 5pm-8pm in Downtown Visalia. Tel: (559) 802-3266 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.

Jan. 1-March 31: 12th Annual Three Rivers Hero Appreciation Months Program: A thank you to those who’ve served as a First Responder or in the Armed Forces, this program includes discounts or gifts offered by local Three Rivers business participants, with monthly celebrations that are free and open to the public honoring those who’ve served as Firefighters/EMS personnel (Jan. 26), Law Enforcement/Peace Officers (Feb. 23), and the Armed Forces (Mar. 30); and the hilarious Bathtub Race for Charity at Lake Kaweah (Mar. 31). For more information, call Leah Launey or Peter Sodhy at (559) 5614270 or Click Here for Schedule. Jan. 5: Dwight Yokum: Visalia Fox Theatre. Tel: (559) 625-1369 Jan. 20: Holst The Planets - Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major (Steven Lin, piano). Visalia Fox Theatre. Tel: (559) 625-1369 Jan. 25: 3 Doors Down: Acoustic Back Porch Jam Tour. Visalia Fox Theatre. Tel: (559) 625-1369 Feb. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16 & 17: Charlotte’s Web: Enchanted Playhouse, Visalia. Feb. 4: Moscow Festival Ballet ‘Cinderella’: Visalia Fox Theatre. Tel: (559) 625-1369 Feb. 9-11: SpringFest Home & Patio Show: Visalia Convention Center. Tel: (559) 713-4000 Continued on Next Page…

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Sequoia Country Continued… Feb. 13-15: World Ag Expo: International AgriCenter, Tulare. Tel: (800) 999-9186 Feb. 17: A Night of Wine, Cheese & Chocolate! Tulare Historical Museum. Tel: (559) 686-2074 Feb. 17: Metalachi: Visalia Fox Theatre. Tel: (559) 625-1369

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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.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR For up-to-date event information call City of Yuma Parks & Rec. (928) 373-5200, Yuma Art Center & Historic Theatre (928) 373-5202, or Yuma Civic Center (928) 373-5040, or visit and see our Yuma Events Calendar on

Yuma 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 winter months. From art and entertainment events to family-friendly festivals that celebrate Yuma’s rich southwestern history and cultural traditions, there’s always happening in Yuma! Make your travel plans now around one of this southwest city’s favorite annual events! PAGE 116

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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

Win! Win! Win! Sign up for our Captain’s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia. Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427

Yuma Continued…

Special Events, Festivals & Parades

Sports & Outdoor Adventures

Jan. 19-20: Yuma Home & Garden Show Jan. 20: Volksmarch 2018 & German Fest Jan. 20-21: Civil War Days Jan. 27: Yuma Medjool Date Festival Jan. 27: 16th Annual Dining With The Dead Feb. 2-4: Two Rivers Renaissance Faire Feb. 3: Yuma’s Largest Yard Sale Ever Feb. 9: Mardi Gras on Main Feb. 17: Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival Feb. 17: Hank Days Celebration Car Show & BBQ Feb. 23-24: What's Growing in Yuma Festival Mar. 1-4: Midnight at the Oasis Classic Car Show

Jan. 6: New Year Canoe Trip Jan. 6: Prison to Prison Bike Ride Jan. 9-Feb. 20: 34th Annual Senior Games Jan. 20-21: Senior Softball Tournament Jan. 27: 9th Territorial Marathon & Half Marathon Feb. 3: “Fantastic” February Canoe Trip Feb. 3-25: Arizona Winter League Feb. 11: Family Golf Clinics Mar. 3: Sunset Canoe Trip

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Yuma Continued…

Theatre, Music & The Arts Jan. 6: Diamond Rocks Jan. 9: Good Rockin’ Live Jan. 10: Female Country All Stars Jan. 12-13: Annual Wood Carving Expo Jan. 12-13: Desert Lily Quilters Quilt Show Jan. 13: Art in the Park Jan. 16: Man in Black Jan. 19: Adventures in Parrotdise Jan. 20: New Shanghai Circus Jan. 24: Wayne Newton Tribute Show Jan. 25: Scottish Burns Supper Jan. 26-28: Anderson’s Americana Indian Art & Jewelry Sale

Jan. 30: A Tribute to Credence Clearwater Revival Jan. 31: Piano Men Feb. 3: That's Country Round 2 Feb. 6: Class of ’68 Feb. 8: Blues Brothers Tribute: Feb. 9-10: Mountain Shadows Artists Art Show Feb. 9-11: Yuma Square & Round Dance Festival Feb. 10: Romantic Classics Feb. 17: Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival Feb. 14-17: The Games Afoot Feb. 22-24: Yuma Art Symposium Feb. 27: The Orbison Years Feb. 28: Michael Hargis Mar. 2: 12th Annual ARTRAILS Studio Tour

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

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


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. Built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861, Fort Churchill State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, go camping and hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express and California National Historic Trails.

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.

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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