Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine Dec. 2015

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

Contents‌ 5. Editors Block 67. Big Blend Giveaway

Toast to the Arts 6. Angels in Art 11. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun 12. Books & Writing 13. Why Every Writer Needs a Good Editor 14. Music News & Interviews

Creative Celebrations 16. Happy New Year!

Eat, Drink & Be Merry! 17. A Taste of Norfolk, England 20. Lucky Seven Holiday Wine Picks 24. Winter Cocktails 27. Herbal Holiday Beverages 28. Cheesy Arancini 29. Maple Bourbon Bread Pudding 30. Super Spreads!

The Nature Connection 32. National Bison Range 34. Bird Watching in San Benito County 36. Cheetahs in Decline PAGE 3

Contents Cont’ … Spirit of America 37. California Sierra Snow Play 44. Cabrillo National Monument 48. Manhattan Project National Historical Park

Vacation Station 50. Winter Travel Destinations 52. Los Algodones, BC

Way Back When 54. A Town with Three Names?

Success Express 56. Company Holiday Parties!

Quality of Life 58. Keeping Relationships Strong 61. Getting Organized for the New Year 62. 8 Keys of Excellence - Flexibility! 64. Holiday Fashion Sense 66. Rock Talk - Snowflake Obsidian


EDITORS BLOCK The last month of 2015 is here, and this issue celebrates the festive winter season with a tasty collection of holiday recipes and wine picks, winter travel and park destinations, company holiday party fashion tips and legal advice, family communication pointers, a look at New Year’s traditions along with tips on getting organized for 2016. Other highlights in this issue include the history of angels in art, author and musician interviews, bird and wildlife destinations and conservation news, as well as historic and culinary destinations. Congratulations to Mr. David Lacy of North Las Vegas, for winning our year-long Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway! Check out this month’s Green Giveaway, where one winner will win a selection of all-natural, non-toxic laundry Front Cover Photo: Winter Cocktails at Yuma products and insect repellent, and all-natural shea Landing Bar & Grill and Holiday Fudge from The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. butter from Nature’s Shea Butter. The winner will be drawn on December 21st, and will be announced in next month’s issue. Be sure to subscribe to our monthly Big Blend eNewsletter to get your copy of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine in your inbox, as well as news about our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour, our quest to visit and cover all 409 National Park units and their gateway communities. Join us for Big Blend Radio. Shows stream live online on Wednesdays at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, and Fridays and Sundays at 11am PT / 2pm ET – or catch our live or archived shows on We wish you and your family a wonderful, safe and happy holiday season and a terrific start to the New Year. Happy Winter! Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team; along with Priscilla - Big Blend’s pink sock monkey travel mascot.

This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™. copyrighted since 1998. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine, P.O. Box 87633, Tucson, AZ 857547633. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily that of this publication or any of its staff. We reserve the right to edit submittals. All subject matter is intended for general information only and not to be taken as personal advice in any matter. 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.


By Victoria Chick, artist and early 19th & 20th century print collector Contemporary Christmas cards often represent angels as beautiful women with halos and wings, sometimes with strong ethnic or regional associations. In tracing the history of the visual depiction of angels we can see changes in their appearance over centuries.

Annunciazione, Leonardo da Vinci


So first, let’s take a look at what angels are. Creatures called angels are based on ancient oral history. That history was put into written form about 1500 BC in clay tablets and later into scrolls in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. Descriptions of angels continued to be recorded in Christian texts written in Greek and in Apocryphal writings (not universally accepted by Christians as divinely inspired). In all these sources angels are created beings with supernatural abilities that include the ability to appear to humans in a form that looks human. They can also appear as blindingly radiant beings. In numerous places they are described as so awesome, that the person to whom they have come to give a message is moved to bow down and worship them. The angel always admonishes the person not to do this, explaining only God is worthy of worship. Nothing is said about their gender, but their names imply masculinity.

Listen to Victoria Chick discuss Angels in Art on Big Blend Radio!

In this article, I will focus on the changing visual representation of angels from the first century AD to the 20th Century AD, and some reasons changes may have occurred.

Their function is to serve as messengers from God to humans. The Greek word angelos, from which angel is derived, means messenger. Other descriptions of winged, angel-like creatures have been found in Mesopotamian literature, Indian and Chinese writing, and Greek and Roman myth, but they are seen as gods. Gnostic and Islamic writings also identify angels. Some Medieval Christians wrote treatises on angels but much of it was based on opinion without scriptural substantiation. PAGE 6

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Certain characteristics have come to be associated with angels: wings, flowing garments, halos or blinding light. One early reason was to help with immediate pictorial identification based on descriptions in scripture. Related to that is the tasks in which individual angels are involved. As time went by, artists were strongly impressed by the culture of beauty and other humanist influences in the time in which they lived. Materials used by the artists varied greatly over a 2000 year period. Development of art materials and techniques increased the ability of artists to render the physical illusion of spiritual phenomena associated with angels in increasingly more dramatic and more scripturally accurate appearance over the centuries. Some artists chose to follow that direction that while others preferred imaginative images. Early Christian art was bound, along with the tradition of Jewish art, to the ten commandments as found in Exodus 20: 4-6. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my Commandments." In context, all the nations and tribes around the Hebrews made images to worship. Obeying this commandment to not worship images was one of the things that set the Hebrews apart. Not making images at all removed the temptation to imitate their neighbors. Thus, the earliest Christians, many of whom were of Hebrew ancestry, used simple symbols to stand for events and doctrine. The fish, the lamb, and the cross are examples as are the Greek letters Chi Rho.

In the Catacomb of Priscilla, a painting (photo above) depicting a scene from Daniel 3: 24-29, of three Hebrews in a Fiery Furnace shows a dove above their head. The scripture says Angel of the Lord but the artist used a dove to represent the angel. The dove was used symbolically for an angel in other pictures by the second century Christians and periodically through the centuries. The earliest surviving representations of human bodied angels with wings were done around 400 AD, under the influence of Classical sculpture around the time that Emperor Constantine declared Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. By the 6th century winged angels were the norm. A 6th century ivory relief carving of the Archangel Michael is shown in classic Roman garb with the addition of prominent wings. Another 6th century ivory carving, called the Barberini Ivory after the Barberini family to whom it once belonged, shows the Emperor Justinian in victory being watched by Christ who is flanked by two angels, (Photo below). Continued on Next Page‌

The Roman milieu in which they lived was a culture that had a remarkable heritage of accomplishment in sculpture and painting, so it is not surprising that before too long pictorial images began to be used in addition to symbols. At first images were very simple. The Catacombs used during Roman persecution of Christians have been well preserved. Paintings of Old and New Testament events are still visible. When you imagine artists decorating the catacombs by torchlight in small spaces, deep underground where the smell of decomposition was present, it is no wonder the pictures were almost cartoon-like. Working quickly to leave quickly might have been a common practice. PAGE 7

Angels in Art Continued‌ This ivory is much less sophisticated than the Michael ivory. Gone are the Classical proportions. The sculptor has simplified the forms and the detail. The figures are crammed together in compartments. The technology of large marble sculpting and bronze casting was lost as Rome declined. This sculpture is typical of the era in which the power of a consolidated Roman Empire was gone, replaced by provincial rulers with loyalties divided between Rome and Byzantium (Constantinople).

The Orthodox Church as this time codified an acceptable way of representation that made communication visually possible yet avoided making images that looked too realistic by flattening the figures and using solid backgrounds in paintings as described above. The rules of Byzantine icons persist to this day within all Eastern Orthodox churches.

The art of the Catholic Church in Rome was still influenced by remnants of Greek and Roman sculpture and painting in which artists tried to create as much realism in their work as possible. Although The surface treatment of Byzantine wall art was the level of mastery among Medieval artists had rich with small, colored glass pieces cemented decreased, they were attempting to paint three close to each other to form designs and figures in a dimensional space and form. This tradition technique called mosaic. Angels in this style are continued strongly and was, in the long run, a defined by lines that separate colors and describe greater influence on western art than was the features. The effect is a flat, shallow appearance Byzantine style. But the Italian peninsula was a rather than an illusion of three dimensions. crossroad for both styles and synthesis can be seen Backgrounds behind the angels are either gold or in the early Gothic period of 1200-1400. Angels are solid blue. (Photo above.) seen against backgrounds of gold leaf or within a space where perspective is attempted but not yet In the years between the 6th and 8th centuries, two scientifically observed. Fresco painting of walls and centers of Christianity vied for power. The shrinking ceilings done during the Gothic period show artists Roman Empire was home to the Roman Catholic trying to develop a sculptural, three dimensional Church. Constantinople was the center of the feeling to make the angels more real and moving Orthodox Catholic Church. The Medieval economic within stylized representational space. Much early Medieval painting and sculpture was destroyed system made changing alliances between the during a series of Iconoclastic Controversies in the church organizations and the rulers of small principalities. During the Medieval period the 9th century as factions based on the strength of population, including Kings, was virtually illiterate. their interpretation of the second commandment In order to teach the Gospels there was an came into power or were driven out of power. The increase in the use of pictures by both the Roman number of good examples from the period is scarce. and Orthodox churches. Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 8

Annunciation by Fra Angelico Religious art and scripture during the Medieval period was preserved within the monasteries where scribes painstakingly copied manuscripts and decorated them with elaborate designs. These are called illuminated manuscripts and were collected in Codexes (books instead of scrolls) which made study easier. This role of the Monasteries continued until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. By the time of the Italian Renaissance in the early 15th century, economic conditions had improved. Wealth was consolidated in trade and banking families, especially in Florence. The grandeur the Florentines could see from fragments left of the Roman Empire made them eager to reclaim the knowledge to do such things. Old manuscripts saved within monasteries and in the Vatican were studied. Some scholars tried to combine Classical philosophy with Christianity. In terms of angels, we see the introduction of “putti”, not-so-innocent looking babies with wings that are derived from Eros, the Roman god of love.

Cherubim have been represented many times in art. There are some excellent examples in Medieval manuscript illumination as well as mosaics and fresco paintings. Great changes occurred as art developed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Linear perspective was perfected using scientific optical means. Oil paint was invented which allowed a better illusion of atmospheric perspective. Together, both helped painters create a realistic three dimensional space in which to depict angels as well as allowed artists to make the forms of the angels more and more like humans with wings. Foreshortening (a form of perspective in which part of a figure appears much closer than another part) became more sophisticated than it was in the late Gothic era so that, by the late 16th and 17th centuries, angels appeared to be flying in dynamic, overhead, compositional illusions painted on ceilings.

There was also a 15th century Renaissance in Northern Europe. The style of angels in the Today’s Valentine cupid is a vestige. Cherub has Netherlands and parts of Germany were more dollcome to be wrongly used as a synonym for putti but like with great attention to detail of clothing, wings, is really another word for the Biblical Cherubim, an and facial features and less sense that there is a angel that is always in the presence of God. It is body supporting the drapery of the clothing. described in many places in the Bible as having Sometimes words were embossed in the painting human stature but with four wings. Its faces are extending from the angel emphasizing the Angel’s four creatures facing four directions; a man’s face, messenger function. a lions face, and ox’s face and the face of an eagle. PAGE 9

Angel, by Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1887

Angel of the Revelation, by William Blake, 1803

Angels in Art Continued… The movement to reform the Catholic Church and the resulting Protestant denominations meant less religious art was being commissioned. In Holland, for example, Churches reverted to simple white interiors with no painting or sculpture.

Some artists, painting in a Romantic style, were inclined to present angels as protective beings, beginning the popular conception of Guardian Angel. American painter Abbott Handerson Thayer was an artist who used painted angels as metaphors for nobility and virtue. Thayer’s student for a time was Rockwell Kent, noted for his early 20th century graphic work, many of which show angels as guardian figures. Kent’s use of angels is puzzling since he was a member of the Communist Party. Perhaps they were just guardian symbols or perhaps they meant more to him.

By the 18th century the Church and rulers of nearly all European countries had a symbiotic relationship that was unhealthy. In some of the countries the populace viewed the excesses of luxury by royalty and poverty of the citizens as being condoned by their church and soon antagonism was directed at both the state and the church.

The wide variety of angel interpretations done in many art materials, and over the 2000 year period presented here, seems to show a lasting fascination with God’s messengers that has impelled artists to the challenge of putting that fascination into concrete form.

The French Revolution was a product of this outrage. Philosophers tried to develop systems to explain the meaning of life in the absence of religion. A few artists began developing highly personal religious interpretations, often with angels. The English artist William Blake was one of these. Mysticism was an approach that became more common in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Visit her website at


DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN La Fiesta de Guadalupe & Current Exhibits This 10-acre historic landmark is nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. Opened in 1965, it is home to over 15,000 originals of Ted DeGrazia art pieces including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures. There are six permanent collections on display and several rotating exhibitions each year. A limited number of DeGrazia originals are available for purchase, while the gift shop and online store offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia reproductions. The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is Open Daily (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas), from 10 am – 4pm. There is no admission charge. Tel: (520) 299-9191 or (800) 545-2185, or visit

SPECIAL EVENT Dec. 6: Annual La Fiesta de Guadalupe: This festival honors Mexico's patron saint with music, dancing and performances including mariachi bands, folklorico dancers, the Yaqui Deer Dancers and Domingo DeGrazia's Spanish-guitar band. The festival also features a Los Posada procession where children from the Carrillo Magnet School sing in honor of the saint culminating at the Mission in the Sun. Local food and art vendors offer southwestern fare and souvenirs to guests. The event runs from 10am-4pm, and is free and open to the public.

Listen to Lance Laber and artist Barbara Banks on Big Blend Radio!

TED DEGRAZIA’S CURRENT EXHIBITS “Wagons Ho!” Wagons were a favorite subject of artist Ted DeGrazia who traveled far afield in search of working wagons to draw and paint. On display until Jan. 20, 2016. “The Rose and the Robe” - DeGrazia chronicles the travels of Fray Junipero Serra and the Franciscan missions he established in Spanish colonial California in the late 1700’s. On display until Jan. 27, 2016.

THE LITTLE GALLERY The Little Gallery hosts visiting artists annually from November-March. Nov. 29-Dec. 11: Matthew Moutafis: Oils, Watercolors, Bronze Sculptures Dec. 13-25: Lou Lewis: Oils and Pencil Drawings Dedicated to Her Late Husband Dec. 27- Jan. 8: Silvia Hogue: Watercolor, Pen and Acrylic (Closed New Year’s Day) PAGE 11





Big Blend Radio Interview with Author Pam Webber The Wiregrass is a coming of age story about an innocent young woman, Nettie, who is forced to come to grips with the evil stalking the beautiful place and people she loves. Having spent every summer of her life in the small Southern Wiregrass town of Crystal Springs, Alabama, Nettie is hoping the relaxed pace will give her a break from the unrelenting physical and emotional changes caused by puberty. But a chance encounter with a seductively handsome yet secretive young man, Mitchell, turns Nettie’s summer plans and her heart upside down.

Pam Webber is the author of a nursing textbook and numerous published articles. In 2001, she was featured in the journal Nursing and Health Care Perspectives. Pam resides in Virginia with her husband. The Wiregrass is her first novel. Learn more at

As their relationship grows, Nettie realizes Mitchell is harboring a dark and dangerous secret that when revealed rocks the core of the sleepy little town and has Nettie and those she loves running for their lives.


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So you’ve worked hours and hours, months and months, maybe even years and years on your manuscript, and you’re eager to submit it. But wait. Have you had a professional editor review it? Editors are (or should be) writers’ best friends. They can bring a manuscript to the next level. They read your words with fresh eyes, words that your eyes are most likely weary of seeing.

Here are some the steps editors take – or you can take if you prefer to self-edit – to ensure that your manuscript stays clear of the slush pile. A good editor will: - Spot gaps in the story narrative. - Identify writing that drags. - Notice shifts in voice or tone.


- Point out inconsistencies in information, character, setting or plot. - Look for repetition and repetitive words. - Point out awkward sentences and grammatical errors (usually the role of a copyeditor).

Lynn Wiese Sneyd talks Editing on Big Blend Radio!

- Find typos (another copyediting task) If you opt to do your own editing, make sure that you give your manuscript a rest for a bit. Stash it away and don’t read it. Then when you take it out again, read it through a few more times, one of those times being out loud. Words always sound different when read aloud and you’ll find errors and make corrections that you otherwise wouldn’t do. Lynn is a writer, author, literary expert, PR consultant and owner of LWS Literary Services where she assists authors in book publicity campaigns, agent searches, book proposal writing, and editing. Most recently, she coauthored ‘The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs’ released by the University of Nebraska Press. Visit PAGE 13




The guys in Shotgun Holler like to go where tradition meets authenticity — and jump right over that intersection to head in their own direction. Their debut album ‘Loaded,’ released on Lonesome Day Records’ new Dry Lightning imprint, is already earning serious attention. This past summer they appeared on CMT’s Josh Wolf Show, where they delivered a masterful rendition of the “guilty pleasure” song: Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” The fact that their version of the pop hit brought a totally new dynamic to the original speaks to the depth of this band’s talent — not to mention their propensity for tweaking conventional notions of bluegrass while having a little fun.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Shotgun Holler co-founders Shawn Brock and Matt Jones, and watch the video of their performance on the Josh Wolf Show. Keep up with them at

As for those “bona-fides,” this band’s got too many to list. Mandolinist Shawn Brock, born and raised in the Appalachian hills of Harlan County, Ky., has performed with some of the top names in country and bluegrass. He’s also a jazz player. His Shotgun Holler co-founder, guitarist/lead vocalist Matt Jones, is an Indiana native who grew up hanging out with, and learning from, many bluegrass greats. They’re supported by bassist/harmony vocalist Rod Lunger (another Kentuckian), banjo player Nathan Treadway (an Indiana farm boy) and fiddler/harmony vocalist Alex Benefiel (an Indiana state fiddling champion). PAGE 14

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Listen to Doreen Taylor on Big Blend Radio!

In 2014, Taylor was honorably chosen to collaborate on a new national anthem in honor of the US National Parks. “Colors of the USA” premiered at the ‘Salute to the Parks Gala’ in Washington D.C. in April 2014 and a percentage of the proceeds from every download of the song is being donated to help protect our national parks – see Doreen was recently named ‘Ambassador of the National Parks’ for her ongoing efforts to connect children and the millennial generation to parks for their upcoming centennial in 2016.

DOREEN TAYLOR My Christmas Wish Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with award-winning singer/songwriter Doreen Taylor, about her brand new original holiday single ‘My Christmas Wish.’

With viral YouTube hits such as "Judgment Day", "Last Call (for alcohol)", "Heartbeat" and "Summertime" off Doreen Taylor's breakout, debut solo album "Magic," the award winning singer/songwriter has been called one of the Visit hottest up and coming musical stars by countless publications and television networks. With two degrees in music, Taylor has played numerous leading roles in various companies on and off Broadway and took the leap into mainstream music releasing her album "Magic" which garnered her the “2012 Suggested Artist of the Year” Award from the ‘Song of the Year’ international songwriting competition. Click to watch Video! Most recently, her cross over, adult contemporary single "TOY" (released June 2015) charted on Billboard's Top 100 and reached #31 on the Adult Contemporary Chart after receiving heavy airplay on radio stations nationwide. PAGE 15

No matter the country, it seems ringing out the old and bringing in the new involves fireworks, singing, dancing, revelry, staying up until midnight and Champagne! Traditionally fireworks and noise were meant to scare away evil spirits, making room for good spirits. The color red is thought to bring good fortune, love and money. Cleaning the house before the New Year gets rid of bad vibes and welcomes good luck and new beginnings. Opening windows, drawers and doors makes room for prosperity. Welcoming visitors offers friendship and the willingness to share good fortune and luck. Besides, there is strength in numbers, the more noise the harder it is for evil to lurk in corners. Food and drink carry symbols, too. In Spain and Mexico one custom is to eat a grape on each hour, so one eats twelve grapes by the stroke of midnight. In the Philippines, twelve round fruits are consumed, one for each month. A circular or round shape signifies things moving full circle and bringing prosperity. Colors also carry meanings and vary from country to country, but for the most part, blue promotes peace, yellow brings abundance, red signifies passion, green promises good health, white equals clarity and orange attracts intelligence.

According to Nielsen, an agency that has been collecting and reporting on purchasing and media information for more than 50 years in over 100 countries, here are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions for 2015, listed with the percentage of people polled who had the same goals: 1. Stay fit and healthy, 37% 2. Lose weight, 32% 3. Enjoy life to the fullest, 28% 4. Spend less, save more, 25% 5. Spend more time with family and friends, 19% 6. Get organized, 18% 7. Will not make any resolutions, 16% 8. Learn something new/new hobby, 14% 9. Travel more, 14% 10. Read more, 12% Listing goals to improve your next year is not a bad thing, even if you stray from them, you can always start again.

Whether you celebrate the New Year by sweeping the negative out with a broom, placing a coin in your shoe for wealth, throwing a glass of water out It’s a great feeling to shake off what did not work in the street to prevent tears and sadness, or and to turn to the future looking forward to a New standing on a ladder hoping for a promotion at Year that promises another chance. New Year work, remember that toasting with sparkling wine or resolutions are made, showing that a lot of us Champagne at the end of the evening promises a believe we have some responsibility to make our own lives better… that in a sense, we can make our spark of happiness that you want all year long… It’s all in the bubbles! own luck. PAGE 16

We are so lucky in this area of England, we have the best of all things here as we are close to the sea, we have lots of freshwater rivers, and we have fantastic farmland. Saying that though, the most famous dish from Norfolk is the Norfolk Dumpling. Interestingly enough, that’s also the nickname for a person from the County too, so I’m a “Norfolk Dumpling” and proud of it! The real Norfolk Dumpling is made from simply flour, salt and water. There is no suet in a true Norfolk Dumpling! Only last month, I was chatting with a guest from Australia during our tour and I mentioned that I was a “Norfolk Dumpling”. Obviously I had to explain all about it, and she looked amazed as her Grandmother made Norfolk Dumplings in Australia, even though she had emigrated in 1925 and she had been born in London in 1903. The Norfolk connection was another two generations previous to that, and the recipe had obviously been passed through the family. As they say, “You can take the girl out of Norfolk but you can’t take the Norfolk out of the girl!” So, what other specialities will you find in this area? Cromer is an old fishing town which is now better known as a seaside holiday destination. It has all the usual things; a pier, theatre, cafes, and fish and chip shops, but the other thing that Cromer is famous for is the Crabs. Cromer Crabs are well known and especially tasty. There are lots of other places where crabs are found, but the Cromer Crab has to be something you try with granary bread and butter.


Listen to Glynn Burrows on Big Blend Radio! Fruits and vegetables are not usually thought of as specialities of a region, but Norfolk is very lucky to be a quiet area with no motorways and very few large roads. So, hedgerows grow all kinds of fruit, woodlands grow fungi and you can find wild garlic, horseradish and many other herbs and plants used in cooking, on our road verges. Obviously, landowner’s permission must be sought when gathering from the woodland. Fruits from the hedgerows make beautiful jams and wines. My Grandmother had us out picking blackberries in the Autumn every year for her jam, and a lady in the village used to make wine, syrup and other drinks from the most unusual things. Wheat Whisky, Rose-Hip Syrup and Crab-Apple Wine are just some of the drinks which were commonly available from farmhouses in the countryside. Sloe Gin is still quite popular and the old farmhouse cider has taken on a new life as the drink of the incrowd. Today, there are all manner of ciders, including pear cider which used to be called Perry.


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One vegetable which is very well-known is the Fenland Celery. The Fens are an area of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire which were reclaimed during the C17th. The soil here is black, perfect for growing celery. I know that the clean celery in the supermarkets bears little resemblance to the filthy dirty Fen celery and I know which I prefer! With our rivers and the sea around us, we have lots of fresh fish, trout, sea-trout, herring, mussels and much more, but the Samphire which grows on the shorelines is something worth trying. It tastes very much like asparagus and can be eaten hot with butter, but I prefer it cold with malt vinegar and lots of granary bread and butter. The majority of the population of Norfolk, which was an agricultural area in the past, has always had to make the most of what was available. My ancestors always had to do what they could with what was free or cheap, hence the Norfolk Dumpling, but there are lots of other examples of necessity being the mother of invention. One such example is Pork Cheese. This is nothing to do with cheese but a lot to do with tedious work!

To make several Pork Cheeses, if you have a very large family, first of all take a pig’s head and four trotters, wash them well, put them in a big pan, season and cover with cold water, and boil them till all the meat is falling off the bones. Strain the cooking liquor into a large bowl and keep for later, (do not pour it down the drain)! When the head and trotters are cool enough, pick off all the meat. This takes a very long time and it is like working with wallpaper paste as it is very sticky. When all the meat is off the bones, it needs to be very finely chopped and divided up into glass dishes or lined loaf tins. Pour the cooking liquor into each dish, making sure that the meat is equally distributed and covered. Leave to cool. Refrigerate. It should be like a jelly. Serve with a small salad and lots of granary bread and butter. Malt vinegar also goes well with this as a dressing. Obviously, this recipe makes lots of Pork Cheese. If you want to just make a small quantity, just use two trotters.


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Straight from Norfolk, England, this mouthwatering scone recipe yields about 25 small scones, and is from Diane Burrows, wife of historian, family history buff and tour guide Glynn Burrows - owner of Norfolk Tours. Learn more at

A Taste of Norfolk Continued…. Another, less time consuming thing we used to make was Norfolk Shortcake. This is simply the bits of pastry left after making mince pies or jam tarts, rolled out and half spread with butter, sprinkle sugar and dried fruit over this half. The other half is folded over and it is rolled again. Cut into pieces, put on a greased baking tray, egg washed, sprinkled with sugar and baked. A great use of leftover pastry! As you see, we may have been poor but we ate well and, if you come over, you can still enjoy the beautiful fresh food and drink from our local area. Food miles? What’s better than eating a whole meal within twenty food miles or less? In Norfolk, that’s easily possible! 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

Ingredients: 1lb Self-raising Flour 4 oz. Margarine 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder 8 oz. Cheese (Cheddar is good for this.) 1 teaspoon Mustard Salt & Pepper Milk to form a firm dough Method: Put the flour, mustard, baking powder, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the margarine to make a fine breadcrumb texture. Grate and add cheese, mix thoroughly. Add the milk a little at a time to make a firm but soft dough, don’t make it too wet. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and roll out thickly (about half an inch to three quarters of an inch thick). Cut out using small cutter and place on a baking tray. Brush with egg and milk mixture. Bake in oven at 160 degrees C for about 15-20 minutes or till they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Put on a cooling wire and leave to cool, (if you can!) Best eaten warm with lashings of butter....................yummmmmmmmmmm!


By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ Every year about this time, friends, neighbors and readers begin asking me the top question on their mind…what holiday wines and wine related gifts should I buy? My answer is always the same. What do you plan to do with your purchase? Are you thinking gifting, drinking, self-indulgence, celebration, or investment? I usually get some initial um’s, well’s, hmm’s, foot shuffling and eye rolling. After that dance, the next question is always, where do you suggest I go to get it? So this year I am giving a suggestion list that fits everyone’s needs. Print it out and take it with you. It covers gifts (personal and business), selfindulgence and investments at a variety of price points. If you’re in Southern California, my suggestion is to do one-stop shopping at the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana. If you’re not in SoCal, you can shop them online at


Linda Kissam discusses Holiday Wine on Big Blend Radio!

Think handpicked (yup, every one of them) wines and gadgets with an education platform that includes a state-of-the-art website, a well-stocked wine showroom (including wines up to $40,000 nestled in the “Bling Room”), cheeky daily e-mail communiqués, a vigorous social media following with over 150,000 views on their YouTube channel, and a progressive rock-bottom pricing system. They are also the first, to my knowledge, that has I am usually not inclined to give one wine store sourced individual affordable wooden wine such a big endorsement, but for this holiday it should be the Wine Exchange. Why? Because the presentation boxes for $8.00. So not only are the owner team of Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon use wine choices crazy-town good, but you can a multimedia platform making their wine store one purchase a cool wooden presentation box. of the hottest brick and mortar and online wine Continued on Next Page… retail platforms in the country. PAGE 20

Holiday Wines Continued…. Here’s the "Lucky Seven" wine choices: Champagne, Chardonnay, Beaujolais, Ruffino, Rioja, Cabernet and Moscato. I’ve tasted every one of these wines alongside Kyle and Tristen. Each is a sizzling pick at an affordable price point. 1. NV Rare Wine Company Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil (39.98): 100% Chardonnay. Tastes like a $100 Champagne. It is generally agreed that wines from a good plot in one of the Grand Cru villages really are of higher quality than wines from ‘lesser’ villages. There is only a tiny amount of Le Mesnil Champagne produced, most of it ultra-expensive, but the Rare Wine Company has come up with their own Le Mesnil Champagne at a very reasonable price. Le Mesnil, more accurately Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, is a village in the Cote de Blancs area of France which many believe grows the best Chardonnay in Champagne. Classy, complex, gorgeous mineral notes, pronounced biscuit-brioche and mature citrus fruit flavors. One of the best Champagne Grand Cru values out there. Impressive at the dinner table, as a gift, or put away in your cellar for a few years. Pair with Parmesan, a spicy Chinese seafood dish or most holiday food from turkey to sweet potatoes and beyond. 2. Luca Chardonnay G Lot Mendoza 2012 (28.98): A 92 Point wine. The 2012 G Lot Chardonnay is produced from high-altitude Chardonnay grapes grown in a corner in Gualtallary (hence the ‘G’). Aromas of nuts, tangerine, white peach and orange rind. Part of the wine was aged in barrels resulting in a developed nose. Medium-bodied with appealing acidity, especially for a warm vintage. Not a great wine for holiday dinners, but excellent as a host/ess or Christmas gift. Not overly buttery. Give with confidence and a smile. 3. Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais 2014 (12.98): If you’re going for impressive at an affordable price point, this would be it. People who enjoy light fruity (not sweet) wine will enjoy this. Good for aficionados and novices. Will pair well with most holiday foods. It comes from a 15-hectare (about 37 acres), south-facing vineyard on granite soils. Exceptional nose with bright red cherries. Fresh strawberry notes jump from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with workable tannin and a clean thread of acidity. Ends with a lovely tart finish. Good for cellaring over the next 5 to 7 years.

4. Ruffino Modus Toscana 2012 (23.98): 94 points. This one is for those who love Italian wines, love to gift Italian wines, or like to celebrate with Italian wines. It is a great holiday gift especially for those who celebrate with an Italian based menu. Called a “stupid price” by Wine Exchange owners Tristin and Kyle. They are right. This is a stupidgood price for an exceptional Italian wine. Trust me, it is dressed to impress, especially for those who know Italian wines. Open up one hour before serving. A blend of Sangiovese, Cab and Merlot. Lay down until 2017. 5. La Rioja Alta Rioja Reserva Vina Ardanza 2005 (29.98): Another 92 point award winner. Taste of Christmas in a glass showcasing holiday spices, vanilla, dark berry. Chill lightly. A smooth blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha. Aged in used American oak barrels for three years. Expect a deep ruby color presenting with big aromas of red fruit preserves, vanilla, mocha and a hint of tobacco. Continued on Next Page….


Intense aromas of peaches, rose petals and ginger tickle the nose. On the palate it is delicately sweet Earthy and round on first sip leading to a mid-palate and sparkling with shy acidity, good balance and a hint of warm cherry-vanilla, closing with smooth and finish of fresh apricots. Perfect accompaniment to spicy smokiness. This is an outstanding value in an Pan-Asian cuisine and lobster, killer with Bear Claw pastries, fruit based and creamy desserts and blue old-school Rioja style. Good for New Year’s Eve cheeses. 5.26% Alc. by volume. meat entrees. Holiday Wines Continued….

6. Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain 2005 (74.98): This is the really big business thank you or a gift for your true Cab lovers. A special “Library Wine” buy by the owners of Wine Exchange. Limited number of bottles. Make your decision quick! Inky ruby color with sexy expressive aromas of blackcurrant and raspberry and fresh flower scents. Silky on the tongue followed by deep robust red and dark fruit flavors chased by a terrific mineral taste. A nice wine, with the depth, tannins and balance to encourage extending cellaring.

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

7. Vietti Moscato d'Asti Cascinetta 2014 (12.98): Looking for the perfect New Year’s Eve toast or holiday brunch wine? Got a sweet - palate person on your shopping list? Pay attention as this is a sweet (but not cloying) refresher. Expect a nice gentle fizz with citrus and big green grape flavors. The wine is held in stainless steel tanks until bottling. Pale sunshine yellow color.



In Julian, San Diego’s Four-Season Mountain & Back-Country Destination Fresh, Seasonal & Outstanding Farm-to-Table Cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jeremy Manley Seasonal Menu & Favorites Steak, Seafood, Burgers, Salads, Sandwiches Desserts & After Dinner Beverages Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options

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Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Indoor, Fireside & Patio Dining Live Music on Weekends Wine & Beer Pairing Dinners Private Banquet Rooms Thanksgiving & Christmas Holiday Menus Catering & Group Events for all Occasions

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

Visit and sign up for our e-Newsletter for Recipes, Special Events, Giveaways, and more! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. PAGE 23

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and this collection of cocktail tips and recipes is sure to add a joyful dose of cheer to your winter holiday season. Recipes include: Papa’s Eggnog from innkeeper Leah Launey, Candy Cane Martini and Redneck Christmas Cocktail from mixologists Tyler Johnston and Heather Witherington, Rum & Apple Cider and Seasoned Hot Wine from food-wine experts Howard and Ruth Milstein. Plus, herbalist Cynthia Johnston shares her tips on making herbal winter drinks that are perfect for holiday gifts. Cheers!

Ingredients 1 12 ounce can of nonfat evaporated milk mixed with 4 ounces of water 2 eggs, separated (I use Glaum's extra-large cagefree brown eggs) 2 Tablespoons of sugar, divided ¼ cup Bourbon, brandy, or rum

Method Freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg if not available). Scald milk. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of sugar until Papa’s Eggnog thoroughly blended. From Leah Leaney, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Slowly add the yolk and sugar mixture to scalded Bed and Breakfast in California’s beautiful milk, stirring constantly. Sequoia Country. See Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Do not boil. My father used to make this during the holidays, but Remove from heat. While mixture is still hot, beat egg whites until my main memory is of him making this on New foamy. Year’s Eve. I also recall that, as children, most of Continue beating egg whites while gradually adding us did not like eggnog! That changed as we grew the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, until soft older. I have always loved it, and now that my peaks form. father has passed away, I continue the tradition of Fold the egg whites and sugar into the hot mixture. making it on New Year’s Eve. Blend in your choice of Bourbon, brandy or rum. Serve hot or cold with nutmeg sprinkled on top. If you don't like the eggnog available in the dairy section of your grocery store, my father's recipe might be just the thing for you! It makes a light Continued on Next Page… eggnog that's not very sweet and you can reduce the amount of sugar contained in the recipe even further, if you like. Always feel free to experiment. A recipe is just a starting point. Serves 4. PAGE 24

Candy Cane Martini and Redneck Christmas Cocktail


Tyler Johnston & Heather Witherington discuss their Holiday Cocktails on Big Blend Radio!

Heather’s Redneck Christmas Cocktail Ingredients 1 ½ oz. Tennessee Fire (Jack Daniel’s) Coke Grenadine Method In ice filled tub add Tennessee Fire, coke, and top with grenadine Garnish with a mini candy cane or cherry. Continued on the Next Page…

Holiday Cocktails Continued… As featured on the front cover of this issue of Big Blend Radio &TV Magazine, these two festive cocktail recipes are from Tyler Johnston and Heather Witherington, both mixologists at Yuma Landing Bar & Grill, a restaurant and sports bar known for its Happy Hour and cocktail specials in in Yuma, Arizona. See more of their recipes at

Tyler’s Candy Cane Martini Ingredients ¾ oz. Skyy Berry Vodka ¾ oz. Peppermint Schnapps ¾ oz. White Creme de Cacao ¼ oz. Grenadine Half & Half Soda Water Method Pour the vodka, peppermint Schnapps, white Creme de Cacao and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and pour into a cocktail glass rimmed with crushed peppermint candy. PAGE 25

Hot Seasoned Wine I enjoy iced tea, but one day I added wine to it and served it hot. Much to my surprise, a new and delicious combination was born! Makes 6 servings. Ingredients 4 cups semi dry white wine 1 cup strong tea ½ cup sugar Juice from ½ lemon Juice from ½ orange 2 whole cloves 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon Method Place all the ingredients in a large pot. Cook on low heat, up to the boiling point. Serve hot with any entrée or as a drink on a cold night.

Rum & Apple Cider and Seasoned Hot Wine Husband-wife team Howard and Ruth Milstein discuss holiday wines and Ruth’s cocktails on Big Blend Radio. Ruth is the author of the Gourmand award winning cookbook 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.' For more of her recipes, see

Rum & Apple Cider Quickly prepare this drink as soon as your guests arrive! Serves 6. Ingredients 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into ¼ inch cubes ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate 3 cups water ¼ cup rum Sliced orange pieces for garnish Method In a medium saucepan place the diced apples, orange juice concentrate and water; then bring to boil. Reduce the flame, add the rum and boil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately in tall glasses and garnish with orange slices.



Listen to Ruth & Howard Milstein on Big Blend Radio!

By herbalist Cynthia Johnston The holiday season is definitely a season of “beverages.” Eggnog with nutmeg, Rum Toddies, and mulled wines are some of my favorites. The scents of our lives often come from the beverages that we consume; like coffee, or the scent of a heavy lager, or the fresh smell of lemonade. These scents provide a picture to our minds. The holidays are full of the scents of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla. One can create an elegant and simple gift by adding a vanilla bean or a cinnamon stick to a bottle of wine. How about adding a carob pod or coffee beans to vodka, with a small stick of cinnamon or clove pods? Package this in a beautiful reusable bottle with a decorative cork, and you have a gift that will not soon be forgotten. Should you use vodka for your creation, you can create a Kahlua type drink by adding approximately one half to one can of sweetened condensed milk. Let the mixture age for a month. Strain off the herbs and return liquid to the jar. Add the milk and shake very well. Serve this over ice. It is DELICIOUS! Again, you can decorate you jar lid with fabric, ribbon, etc. Another simple lovely gift.


Listen to Cynthia Johnston, on Big Blend Radio.

Add a vanilla bean, some cloves, a stick or two of cinnamon. Add about ½ to 1 cup of honey. Then cover with your liquid of choice. In a month’s time this is a beverage that is very warming. Should you crack it in the summer… serve over ice with sparkling water. Refreshing and delicious! The fruit is also edible. And let us not forget, Christmas is traditionally the time to open the first bottle of Dandelion Wine kept over from the previous summer's bounty. A sweet and delicate wine, it reminds one of the changing seasons yet to come. Happy Holidays to you all!

Cynthia Johnston is an herbalist and founder of MoonMaid Botanicals, a small herb company that is dedicated to providing high quality One of my very favorite recipes, that is a hoped for herbal products that are free of chemical preservatives, propylparabens or synthetics of gift from my apothecary, is my fruited wine. You any kind. Products include remedies for can also use vodka or moonshine, if you are lucky menopause, PMS, yeast infections, common enough to find some. Fill a mason jar with red and green apples cut in slices and arrange alternately in women’s health issues, and herbal products for the family. Learn more or shop online at the jar. I like to sprinkle in some cranberries for a festive look. PAGE 27

Perfect as an appetizer or snack, this Italian recipe is from five-star Chef Ivan Flowers. Serves 6-8


Method In a large bowl combine the rice, 4 eggs, Mascarpone, Boursin, Parmesan, mozzarella, fine bread crumbs, lemon zest and basil. Salt & pepper to taste. Form rice mixture into golf ball sized balls. Set up breading station with a dish containing the flour, a dish containing 6 beaten eggs, and a dish containing the Panko. Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg, and then the Panko.

Listen to Chef Ivan Flowers on Big Blend Radio!

Heat the 2 quarts of canola oil in a 5 quart pot to 350 degrees. Fry the breaded balls, 4 at a time, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Serve hot or at room temperature

Ingredients 1 Lb. Cooked White Rice 5 Oz. Boursin ½ Cup Mascarpone 10 Eggs 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella 1 ½ Cup Fine Bread Crumbs 3 Cups Panko 1 Cup Flour 3 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Basil ¼ Cup Lemon Zest ½ Cup Parmesan 2 Quarts Canola Oil Salt Pepper PAGE 28

Perfect for the holiday season, this dessert recipe is from Chef Jeremy Manley, 'Southern California's Sustainable Chef', owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, CA. For more recipes visit

Pudding 3 pounds of bread if wet, 2 ½ pounds of bread if dry 1 cup golden raisins 1 cup dried cranberry 3 Tbsp. butter 10 eggs – whisk until frothy 1 cup maple syrup 4 cups milk 1 cup sugar 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract 2 tsp. cinnamon Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2” deep baking pan. Cut bread into cubes and put into baking pan, add golden raisins and dried cranberries. Pour the egg, syrup and milk mixture over the top and let stand for one hour. Bake for one hour and let sit for one hour.


Listen to Chef Jeremy Manley on Big Blend Radio!

The sauce 8 Tbsp. butter 1 cup sugar ¼ cup brandy or whisky 2 Tbsp. water ¼ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg Combine all ingredients for sauce and bring to a boil. Then add 1 egg at the end, stirring vigorously. To Serve Reheat in the oven 5-10 minutes and serve with a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream and drizzle bourbon sauce over the top.


Ritz Crackers with Dates This tasty recipe is from Irene Greer, as featured in the Bard Date Company Medjool Date Recipe Book, available at Basket Creations and More, in Yuma, Arizona. See more medjool date recipes at Ingredients 1 can sweet condensed milk ½ cup chopped Medjool dates ¼ cup crushed nuts Method Mix the ingredients together in a pot. Stir constantly, bring to a boil, then take off stove. Top the mixture on Ritz Crackers. Bake for 15 minutes at 250 degrees. Cool and top with cream cheese icing.

Olive Pecan Spread This savory spread is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. For more ‘nutty’ recipes and holiday gift ideas, visit Ingredients 8 oz. cream cheese 5 oz. sliced green olives ½ cup of mayonnaise 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans Method Mix everything together in a bowl. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. *** Optional: Add chopped green onions for added flavor. PAGE 30

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

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

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

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427 PAGE 47 PAGE 31

In the mid 1800’s over thirty million bison grazed their way across the great plains of America. The animals provided sustenance for Native Americans living in the Great Plains. By the end of the century, the bison herds had been decimated, hunted for meat and hides, or sport, depriving the native population of their livelihood. Only a hundred of the great beasts survived in the wild by the end of the nineteenth century. More than a hundred years later a huge shaggy bison slowly grazed his way across the hillside while we gawked from our cars. Our cameras clicked and we hoped he’d wander closer to us, but the great beast was only interested in the next mouthful of grass. We were on Red Sleep Mountain Drive in the National Bison Range located in western Montana. The Range was established in 1908 to help preserve the remaining few bison. Here they live and breed and are protected from extinction. We hadn’t planned on stopping at the National Bison Range. In fact, we didn’t know the Range existed. While driving on Highway 93 heading from Missoula to Glacier National Park, we saw an understated sign announcing the National Bison Range. We didn’t turn off at the time because we had other plans. On our way back from Whitefish, we saw another sign and this time we turned. Road 212 runs through the countryside. In early August the grass was dry, but the prairie was still beautiful with farms all along the wide flat valley. It seemed to be a productive area of alfalfa, wheat, barley, and canola (rapeseed). The turnoff to the National Bison Range Road is a little south of the Flathead River crossing.


Eva Eldridge talks about the National Bison Range on Big Blend Radio! I find the Visitors Center a helpful stop any time I visit a state or national park. The staff will give you information on local conditions and tidbits on what’s happening. The displays at the Visitors Center explain how the range came into being and how it’s managed today. After admiring the large stack of antlers (all naturally shed antlers) in the parking lot, we headed up Red Sleep Mountain Drive which is only open in the summer. We were cautioned not to get out of the car. The animals on the range are still wild animals. Continued on Next Page…


Bison Range Continued…. The well maintained gravel road winds its way across the range from the Visitors Center to the paved Prairie Drive. Along the drive, if you are lucky, you can spot bison, elk, pronghorn, big horned sheep, mule deer, whitetail deer, and numerous birds. We were lucky. Along the drive we saw a couple of bison grazing slowly in the thick grass. At one of the designated stops we got out and hiked up to the top of a hill. The view was breathtaking even with the haze of forest fire smoke in the air. An equipment tower and the remnant of some structure exist at the top of the hill along with several picnic tables. It was a beautiful day to enjoy the view. We saw something grazing in a far pasture and took a picture. When we were able to look at the photos on a computer screen, we were surprised to see big horned sheep. On the way down the mountain, the terrain fell away to the Flathead River. We saw a magnificent bull elk feeding in the bushes along the river, but we never could get a good photo of him. A pronghorn antelope resting in the grass didn’t mind posing for a picture. Eventually we hit asphalt again and made our way out of the Range. You can find more information on the National Bison Range here. ge/about.html#. It’s a quiet place to spend a couple of hours and well worth the time if you are in western Montana. Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine. She also writes fiction and poetry. Visit Some photos courtesy of National Bison Range


Photo courtesy of Gary Kramer

Located east of Monterey in central California, San Benito County is the eastern gateway to Pinnacles National Park. From bald eagles and kestrels to kinglets, towhees and warblers, over 160 bird species have been documented within the park, which also plays a major role in re-introducing California condors back into the wild. The park and its surrounding areas are made up of a diverse variety of habitats that include oak woodlands, riparian wetlands, low chaparral scrub, rocky summits and mountain peaks. This makes the region a great stopover for migratory birds, as well as a permanent home for numerous species. Listen to our Big Blend Radio interviews with Park Ranger Alacia Welch who discusses the California Condor Recovery Program, and avid local birder Mark Paxton who talks about birding in the entire region. For area information and to plan your San Benito County birding experience visit


Listen to Mark Paxton on Big Blend Radio! CLICK HERE to see his Downtown Hollister Bird List!


Listen to Park Ranger Alacia Welch on Big Blend Radio! CLICK HERE to see the Pinnacles NP Bird List!



Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, Talks Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation on Big Blend Radio.


Cheetahs may be the fastest land animals, but they are no match for criminals who capture them from the wild and smuggle them to the Middle East where they are highly prized as pets. With cheetah populations plummeting to fewer than 10,000, Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation are issuing an urgent warning for the international community to take action to stop the trade and protect vulnerable cheetah populations. This past November, cheetah experts, government officials, and animal advocates—including staff from Born Free USA—attended a stakeholder workshop in Kuwait to address the illegal global trade in cheetahs. Despite being highly endangered, cheetahs are subjected to live trade and kept as "pets," they are killed in trophy hunts, and their skins are used to make traditional men's shoes in Sudan. Born Free has rescued a number of cheetahs and gives them lifetime care at their facility in Ethiopia (Ensessakotteh: a Wildlife Rescue, Conservation, and Education Centre). Following this meeting, recommendations will be made to Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to increase cheetah protection.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Adam Roberts about the Cheetah workshop he attended in Kuwait, as well as how zoos and other tourist venues take wildlife from the wild, and keep them captive under the guise of education and entertainment. Photos courtesy of Born Free USA and the UK based Born Free Foundation are global leaders in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, they lead vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, poaching and the destructive international wildlife trade. Visit


By Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid

"Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality." — John Muir; from John of the Mountains (1938)

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” Ansel Adams

Like icing on a cake, the sugary white snow drapes down the rich cinnamon trunks of the giant Sequoias. Icicles glisten into droplets as the sun bursts its way through the snow laden greenery. Vast blue skies stretch wide above the deep snowcrusted canyons and towering mountains, that give way to waterfalls in the spring. The waterways pose as mirrors, reflecting a tranquil winter wonderland of drifting cotton clouds, stunning ice formations, statuesque boulders and majestic trees. A raucous blue jay breaks the silence to offer a stellar display of his iridescent feathers. A herd of deer stop to listen, heads up and ears alert, a proud scene in front of an impressive stand of sugar pines. Renown wilderness photographer Ansel Adams received his first camera in 1916. He was 14-years old, and along with his first visit to Yosemite that year, it was the start of his lifelong relationship with both the park and photography. His breathtaking 1937 masterpiece ‘Clearing Winter Storm’ was taken from Inspiration Point, one day in early December. Today, this image that so deftly captured the grandeur of El Capitan and Half Dome that bookend Yosemite Valley, remains as an inspiration and reminder of the poetic and photographic beauty that winter provides in these three western Sierra parks. PAGE 37

Continued on Next Page…


California Sierra Snow Play Continued… Snow is already falling in the western Sierra’s and that means it’s time to bundle up and head out to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks for a Winter Californication! These three iconic national parks are magical winter escapes that feature snow play, tranquility, and awesome mountain beauty. STEPPING OUT & SKIING DOWN Feel the crisp crunch of snow and ice under your hiking boots, make like a snowhare and float across the white powder with snowshoes, or propel forth elegantly with crosscountry skis. Whether there’s snow or just frosty dustings, one of the best ways to experience the natural wonders of Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, is to get out of the car, and take a walk. There are hundreds of miles of nature, hiking and backpacking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails to follow in these parks, as well as wheelchair accessible trails. For the more skilled winter explorer, the parks offer overnight ski and snowshoe trips through the wilderness areas (with permits only). Throughout the season, there are also various ranger guided nature programs on snowshoes. When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, Yosemite is home to Badger Pass ski area, the oldest downhill skiing area in California. There are also other ski and snowboard venues near Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, gateway to Yosemite.


Continued on Next Page….


Leah Launey chats with Big Blend Radio about the upcoming events and celebrations for the 2016 Hero Appreciation Months in Three Rivers, gateway to Sequoia National Park. See


California Sierra Snow Play Continued… GETTING OUT & PLAYING TOGETHER The whiz of a snowball zipping past your cheek and landing with a deep thud on your foot. The thrill of lying in the snow and making your first snow angel, and then sledding down a snow blanketed hillside. The pure joy of lacing up your skates and crisscrossing the ice at the outdoor ice skating at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley! The sheer fun of getting together and making a snowman with a sugar pine nose. Could your family be the one who makes a giant snowzilla that rivals the original 16 foot snowzilla in Anchorage, Alaska? Why not try your luck at the Annual Snowman Building Contest on January 17, at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park (Info: 559-561-4270). Or do you dare be part of The New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge by jumping into the Kaweah River at the Gateway Restaurant & Lodge at the entrance of Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers? From ice skating to snowman building, Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks are a winter haven for families who are ready to put down the electronics and get outside and play together. Continued on Next Page….


Sandy Blankenship, Suzanne Bianco, and Park Ranger Dana Dierkes chat with Big Blend Radio about winter fun in California’s Sequoia Country. See Continued on Next Page…

WINTER TRAVEL PLANNER The gateway communities outside the parks are also well worth a visit, offering eclectic shopping opportunities, galleries and museums, restaurants and wine tasting, festive events, and a variety of lodging options. To view our recommendations from the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour, visit These parks are all within a day’s drive from the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Southern California, and Las Vegas desert region. Don’t forget to pack your snow chains, and check the national park websites for snow conditions and any winter travel alerts.

If you plan to visit Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, be sure to visit Tulare County is the gateway destination to both of these parks as well as the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, and features charming agricultural and art communities. For more information visit Continued on Next Page…

If you plan to visit Yosemite National Park, be sure to visit The western side of the park is surrounded by Tuolumne County, a wonderful winter destination that is also home to Stanislaus National Forest, historic gold rush towns and quaint mountain villages. For more information visit


California Sierra Snow Play Continued‌

PLANTS THAT LOVE SNOW There are two plants that depend on snow and fungi to survive. The Snow Plant, Sarcodes sanguinea, pictured above is a parasitic plant that pops up as the snow recedes. It has no leaves to produce its own food so it gets nutrients from fungi in the soil. It is a perennial that blooms April through July, showing off a brilliant red against filtered sunlight on a dark forest floor. The bright pink patches, pictured at the top right, Chlamydomonas nivalis, are actually colonies of Snow Algae. This algae loves freezing cold water and is actually a species of green algae that has a red carotenoid pigment as well as chlorophyll. Because it produces a watermelon scent, it is sometimes known as Watermelon Snow. The carotenoid pigment is very much like that found in tomatoes, red peppers and in many flowers and autumn leaves. The pigments help protect the algae from ultraviolet radiation found on the surface of the snow in higher elevations. Carotenoids are organic pigments also found in animals such as shrimp, crab, lobsters, coral, egg yolks and the pink feathers of flamingoes. There are also orange and yellow carotenoids like those found in carrots and avocados. PAGE 42


Cabrillo National Monument First of the First By Nancy J. Reid This is the first National Park Unit we have visited since we launched our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour of National Park units--and it is a fitting one with which to begin. As you gaze out to sea from the Monument erected in honor of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, you can imagine the excitement Cabrillo and his crew felt when they discovered what is now Point Loma and San Diego Bay. Shortly after Columbus discovered the Americas, Pope Alexander VI proclaimed the New World to be the property of Spain and Portugal, banning England, France, and the Netherlands from the waters, leaving them without a trade route to Asia--and the race to find the Northwest Passage was on. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was commissioned by Antonia de Mendoza, the viceroy of New Spain, to chart the uncharted coastal waters of what is now California. He was to find the then mythical Strait of Anian (the Northwest Passage), look for the Seven Cities of Gold (Cibola) and to find new places to colonize. Cabrillo was living and working in Navidad in Jalisco, Mexico as a shipbuilder after a career as the Captain of crossbowmen and Conquistador for Hernan Cortes in the fights against the Aztec Empire, when he accepted the commission. After 3 months or so, Cabrillo’s three ships landed in what is now San Diego Bay, and claimed the land for Spain, naming it San Miguel. After a 6 day stay to wait out a storm, Cabrillo continued his exploration up the California coast, discovering the islands of Santa Catalina and San Clemente, (which he named San Salvador and La Victoria after his ships), before turning toward the mainland, into what is now San Pedro Bay. Pushing further north, Cabrillo stopped at what is now the Channel Islands for water, where his crew fought with the Chumash Indians who inhabited the islands. It is here where Cabrillo was injured and died, exact details are still a mystery, and Chief Pilot Bartolome de Ferrer took command and continued on up the coast. By April 14, 1543, beleaguered by unrelenting storms, the expedition returned home to Navidad, having claimed over 800 miles of coastline for Spain. No gold or passage to Asia was found, but the Pacific waters had been navigated and the Colonial era was about to begin. Continued on Next Page‌


Cabrillo Continued… The Visitor Center houses an interactive exhibit where you can learn more about Cabrillo, his ships and his voyage. Lisa and I (Big Blend Editors) noticed that children as well as adults enjoy this exhibit, particularly the interactive diagram of a galleon and the routes of Spanish Explorers. You can also watch films and browse through the Cabrillo Store.

The military facilities on Point Loma were extremely vital during World War I and World War II. As you enjoy the views out to sea, you can also imagine hiding out in a searchlight bunker, scanning the horizon for enemy ships.

If you visit in the fall, you might get lucky and see Gray Whales on their way from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic, back to Baja California to bear young. In January and February, Just a short walk from the Visitor Center is the Old they will head north again with calves in tow. You Point Loma Lighthouse. Here you get a real sense can also explore the tide pools, this is best done in winter during full and new moons, when the tide of what is was like to live in and man a lighthouse. recedes during daylight hours. This is always a You can climb the narrow stairs up and view out, fascinating experience with brightly colored starfish, stroll around the ‘kitchen garden’ and learn about the building of the lighthouse and the installation of tentacled sea anemones, shore crabs and birds being just a few of the species you will see. The the Fresnel lens, from the exhibit housed in the cry of seabirds overhead, the crashing waves, the assistant keeper’s quarters. smell of crisp sea air--all makes for a wonderful The military history is experience. unique in that Point Loma Continued on Next Page… stands as a natural barrier at the entrance of San Diego Bay, with majestic but strategic views of both the harbor and the ocean. Realizing this important fact, the U.S. Government designated the area a military reserve and in 1899 the War Department dedicated Fort Rosecrans Military Reserve, and built a series of gun batteries. PAGE 45

Cabrillo National Monument Continued‌ We highly recommend the Bayside Trail that follows an old U.S. Army roadway. The plant life is striking, as are the views of the bay. The coastal flora here is pretty rare and a lot of work is being done by government agencies to protect this habitat. Both the kelp beds and the coastal chaparral provide homes for a diverse number of native species, both plant and animal. Previous development has destroyed 70% of this type of ecosystem in Southern California, and oil spills, trash, erosion and run-off pollution is a constant threat to the tide pools.

Cabrillo National Monument is a walk through seafaring adventure and military defense drama, coupled with the mystique of sea creatures and fantastic views. It is located in San Diego at the very end of Point Loma. You can also visit the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Learn more at

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A billboard encouraging secrecy among Oak Ridge workers. Photo by James E. Westcott.

Newest and 409th National Park Unit Preserves and Protects Historical Sites that Led to the Creation of the Atomic Bombs that Helped End WWII. On November 10, 2015, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz signed a memorandum of agreement establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The agreement governs how the National Park Service (NPS) and the Department of Energy (DOE) will work together to preserve, protect, and provide access to the historic resources associated with the Manhattan Project at locations in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and the Hanford Site in Washington state.

The Department of Energy traces its origin to the innovative scientists and engineers of the Manhattan Project and the work that followed through the Atomic Energy Commission,” said Secretary Moniz. “This park will commemorate one of this country’s greatest scientific and engineering achievements. It also celebrates the contributions of communities that were created for this purpose and have continued as partners for DOE’s mission. The Manhattan Project laid the groundwork for our National Lab system which has led to countless scientific breakthroughs that benefit humanity.” The park will be managed as a partnership between the Department of Energy, which already oversees and administers the properties for the United States, and Interior’s National Park Service, which will provide interpretation, visitor information, and assistance in the preservation of the historic buildings at the sites.

“Through the preservation and interpretation of the Manhattan Project, the National Park Service will share with the world the story of one of America’s The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act most transformative scientific discoveries that directed the establishment of the Manhattan fundamentally altered the course of the 20th Project National Historical Park, which tells the Century,” Secretary Jewell said. “Visitors will soon story of people, events, science and engineering be able to see the contributions of more than that led to the creation of the atomic bomb, the role 600,000 Americans who played a role in this these weapons played in World War II and how the significant chapter in history. The park will also role of the United States in global affairs has serve as a reminder that these actions and evolved in the nuclear age. discoveries must be handled with great care, for Continued on Next Page… they can have world-changing consequences.” PAGE 48

Manhattan Project Continued… “With the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the National Park Service is committed to working with our partners at the Department of Energy to tell the complete and complex story of one of the most consequential projects in our nation’s history,” National Park Service Director John Jarvis said. “As the National Park Service turns 100 next year and prepares for a second century of stewardship, this new addition to the National Park System will preserve and share one of our nation's great stories of ingenuity and scientific endeavor, as well as the consequences of nuclear technology use.” Learn more at

Top Left Photo: Shift change at the Y-12 uranium enrichment facility at the Clinton Engineer Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on 11 August 1945. By May 1945, 82,000 people were employed at the Clinton Engineer Works. Photo by James E. Westcott. Top Right Photo: The rising mushroom cloud from the Atomic Nagaskai "Fat Man" Bomb, August 9, 1945.


Where to go to get away from the winter doldrums? Go South! Assuming you live in Canada or the US, Latin America should be for you. I just returned from Greece, so I recommend that country if you are up to a long trip, otherwise, go south. MEXICO Starting with Cancun, which is easy and relatively inexpensive to get to, I say skip it unless you are looking for the glitz and crowds. Twenty minutes south of Cancun you'll find Puerto Morelos – undiscovered (in relation to the surrounding area). A little off the highway, past the mangrove swamps (maybe you'll see an alligator crossing the road), there are many nice small restaurants, hotels and B&Bs. But, If you do decide to spend a little time in Cancun, I recommend Nizuc Resort & Spa, (photo bottom right). It's somewhat away from the maddening crowd.


John Lamkin talks Winter Travel on Big Blend Radio!

Down the coast another 3-1/2 hours is the exceptional Laguna Bacalar, AKA The Lake of Seven Colors. Check out Rancho Encantado, Ecoresort and Spa. Want a little more luxurious privacy? Try Casa Estrella de Bacalar (right next door to the Rancho). Continued on next Page‌ PAGE 50

The village has been awarded Pueblo Magico (Magic Village) by the Mexican Government. Check Wikipedia to find out about the oldest living organisms in the Laguna – stromatolites. BELIZE Thirty minutes further south is Chetumal, the capital of the state on the border with Belize, Central America, and the fork in the road in our journey. While there, visit the Museum of Mayan Culture. First choice is at the Chetumal Pier, take a water taxi to Ambergris Caye (pronounced “Key”), Belize. A wonderful little island with a distinct Caribbean flavor. Lots of nice shops, cafes, restaurants, and places to stay – from budget to luxury. My favorite place to stay is Victoria House (photo at bottom). By the way, English is the official language of this ex-British Colony. Their dollar stays fixed at two to one US dollars. From Ambergris Caye, you can catch a Tropic Air flight to Placencia, Belize by way of Belize City. That is, unless you take the other fork in our road and go directly to Belize City to catch the Placencia flight, maybe with the thought of going to Ambergris on the way back.

John Lamkin is an award-winning travel journalist and photographer based in Taos, New Mexico. He is also a Board Member of International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association and a Executive Editor of FWT Magazine. Visit for more about John and to read about his travel adventures.

Placencia, (photo top right) is a sweet little “undiscovered” town. Francis Ford Coppola discovered it several years ago and has his resort, Turtle Inn, there along with several other upscale resorts. And, there are a few budget places to stay. The town is still small and one might say, “quaint,” well worth spending some time. Placencia is a peninsula and near the town and resorts the Caribbean fronts one side and a deep water lagoon on the other with some excellent marinas – if you are inclined to go by boat. My favorite place there is Chabil Mar Villas (photo opposite page at top). This area is home to the African Garifuna people who practice their own customs and language. So, if you take the second fork you can fly back to Ambergris Caye from here – through Belize City. There are other side trips you can take from there.


South of the Border Fun By Nancy J. Reid Just seven miles west of Yuma, AZ, lies the fun and friendly town of Los Algodones in Baja California, Mexico. It’s a quick and easy drive on 1-8, take California 186 south on Algodones Road, pass the Quechan Casino & Resort to Andrade, on the USA side of the border. You can park is a secure lot on the USA side, walk a block to cross into Mexico, or you can drive across and park in one of the attended lots in town.

Of course, you can also find curio shops and vendors, great food, margaritas, live music and more. When visiting Yuma, make sure to make some time to enjoy some South of the Border fun!

Whether you cross the Algodones residents welcome visitors and USA border for medical reasons dollars, and most of the businesses are only 4 or so or fun, USA citizens will blocks from the border. Most of the business need passports in order to owners speak English and the community is a mix re-enter the USA,. of health professionals, pharmacies, optometrists and dentists. Services are offered at super savings and it has become a mecca for seniors during the winter months. Click to watch Video!


Don’t Miss These Winter Events in Yuma, AZ! Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, Yuma is a popular winter destination that is home to the lower Colorado River, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Territorial Prison, Quartermaster Depot, a charming historic downtown district, and much more. Make your travel plans now around one of this southwest city’s favorite events! For full and up-to-date event details including times, locations, and cost – please visit

SPECIAL EVENTS Dec. 4: Yuma Rotary Club Annual Kamman Sausage Fry. Yuma Civic Center. Tel: 928-373-5040

ON-GOING EVENTS: Date Nights: Multi-course gourmet dinner served under the stars in a lush Yuma date grove, along with entertainment, a tour of Imperial Date Gardens' sorting and packing facility, and samples of beer and wine made from dates. Held: Jan. 22, Feb. 12, Mar. 11. Info: 800-293-0071 or 928-783-0071.

Dec. 5: City of Yuma’s Military Appreciation Day: Historic Downtown Yuma. Tel: 928-373-5028.

Savor Yuma Culinary Tours: Progressive dinner tour of select culinary destinations. Held: Dec. 8, Jan. 5, 19, Feb. 9, 16, Mar. 3, 22, Apr. 7. Info: 800-293-0071 or 928-783-0071.

Dec. 4-6: Potpourri Artists Arts and Craft Show: Yuma County Fairgrounds. Tel: 928-726-4420.

Dec. 11-13: Anderson’s Americana Indian Art and Jewelry Show: Yuma Civic Center. Tel: 928-373-5040. Dec. 12: 13th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade: A free family event with marching bands, floats and vehicles decorated with beautiful Christmas lights. This year’s theme is “A Rock & Roll Christmas!” Historic Downtown. Info: 928-783-0071.

Dec. 19: Somerton Tamale Festival: About Field to Feast Tours: Tour of University of Arizona 85,000 tamales of all varieties will be served up to research farm, with lunch prepared from freshly fund scholarships for local students, along with picked produce. Held: Jan. 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16, 20, entertainment. Info: 928-388-4837 21, 27 & 28. Info: 800-293-0071 or 928-783-0071. Jan. 9-10: Gathering of the Gunfighters: Old Behind the Big Guns Tours: A rare chance to get West re-enactment groups from around the a "behind-the-scenes" look at the U. S. Army Yuma Southwest come together for two days of fun Proving Ground (YPG), one of the largest military competition. Yuma Territorial Prison. facilities (by land area) in the world. Held: Dec. 9, Info: 928-783-4771. Jan. 12, Feb. 2, 23, Mar. 8. Info: 800-293-0071 or 928-783-0071. Historic Downtown Trolley Tour: Hear stories of pioneering families, riverboats, brothels and booming businesses that once lined Main Street. Reservations are required. Held: Dec. 3, Jan. 7. Tel: 928-782-1842 Ghost Trolley Tour: Night trolley tour through the streets of Yuma’s historic downtown district. Step off at places where ghost sightings have been reported, while hearing century-old ghost stories. Reservations are required. Held: Dec. 17, Jan. 21. Info: 928-782-1842 PAGE 53

In 1854, N. H. A. Mason, a Canadian known as “Hock,” was driving cattle to California from some Western States, by way of what is now known as the Mason Valley area in Nevada. Something caused the cattle to stampede and in the process of rounding them up, Hock and his two brothers were impressed with the grazing possibilities along side the Walker River. Five years later Hock returned and settled by the river. By August 6, 1871 the Mason Valley Post Office was established and the area was known as Mason Valley.

They dropped the name “Pizen Switch” in favor of “Greenfield” as there were green fields on either side of the street, although the mailing address remained Mason Valley.

On November 26, 1879, the town was formerly rechristened “Greenfield.” According to the local newspaper the Lyon County Times, about 20 or so people assisted in dedicating a new dance hall. Whiskey and hard cider flowed freely at the event, there were no fights, and music was supplied by a fiddle player and two banjo players. The responsible organization, known as the Committee Popular folklore tells that there were two saloons in of Vengeance, warned they would “murder and the area, and it was known that one of them served scalp any and every person who shall hereafter call it Pizen Switch.” a concoction that was hardly whiskey at all. The saloon in question was a small willow-thatched hut, Henry Marvin Yerington, a business man involved as portrayed above in this display at the Lyon County Museum in Yerington, NV. It was known as in mining and politics at the state level was the Nevada Executive Commissioner at the World’s “The Switch.” Fair. He quickly moved his way up the political ladder and the residents of Greenfield hoped that The owner of the saloon only had one barrel of he would be helpful in aiding their efforts to get the whiskey, and as the whisky level dropped, instead railroad extended into the valley area. It was known of purchasing more, he merely threw in plugs of that Mr. Yerington inspected the Carson & chewing tobacco and water. The concoction became known as “poison” to the local patrons, but Colorado Railroad in l893. their accent made it sound like “Pizen.” By April 1, 1894, the residents of the town of Greenfield changed the town name to Yerington in When cowboys ventured into the one-street town on weekends, they enjoyed racing their horses up hopes that this would influence Mr. Yerington, who was responsible for deciding the route of the and down the street. It is said, on one such railroad. As the name change swept through the weekend as a group of the men tired of this sport, town, with local businesses and clubs changing one of them suggested, “Oh, let’s go to ‘The their names, it became clear that the railroad was Switch’ and get us some “pizen.” Onlookers not coming to their town. Although this was thought the remark was so funny, that the story disappointing, Yerington was a prominent man and was told and retold until the valley area became reportedly, there is no other town of Yerington in known as “Pizen Switch.” As the town grew, the the world. residents began to feel disgruntled with the name, feeling the town deserved a nicer name. PAGE 54

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,


Tips to Reduce Liability By S. Ward Heinrichs Esq., Backstrom & Heinrichs Attorneys at Law, APC Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the true holiday season starts. That means, friends, family, and office parties! So, if you are an employer, do you have anything to worry about if you sponsor an office party? The answer is yes, but employers can do things that will limit their exposure to liability. Some common types of cases that spring from office holiday parties are: claims for unpaid wages, sexual harassment claims, worker compensation claims, and third party claims against intoxicated employees. Often with the last three of these types of claims, alcohol contributed to delinquent conduct.


Ward Heinrichs talks Company Holiday Parties on Big Blend Radio!

Employers can expose themselves to wage and hour liability if they require employees to attend a party. Seems counter intuitive because, after all, you are simply requiring the work force to have fun. Unfortunately, the Courts don’t always see it that way. Requiring employees to attend any event smacks of employer control. Where there is employer control, there is a claim that the employees must be paid for the time. Depending on the specific facts of the case, not all cases may require wages for attendance, but why take the chance? Photo: Donald Cook /


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Parties Continued…. Sometimes an employer or manager sows the seeds of sexual harassment at a holiday party. In one California case, a female employee based her sexual harassment claims on events at two holiday parties. (Brennan v. Townsend & O’Leary Enterprises, Inc., (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 1336.) At one party, the Santa asked three different female employees to sit on his lap and discuss their love lives. At another, the Santa had vulgar words written on his elf cap. A jury awarded the female employee about $250,000. The appellate court overturned the verdict, but what a bad ride for the employer. Certainly, such cases can survive an appeal under the right circumstances. As previously mentioned, alcohol can be at the root of holiday party liability. In one case, an intoxicated employee caused an accident while driving home from a party. One person died and another was badly injured. (Harris v. Trojan Fireworks Co., (1981) 120 Cal.App.3d 157.) The Court found that the employer was liable. The Court noted that, in California, generally social hosts are not liable for post party accidents, but it said the work place connection was strong enough to overcome that defense, in part, because the party was held at the work place and during work hours. Also, the employer paid the employee to attend, and that employee was encouraged to drink excessively.

Employers can do things to reduce holiday party liability: 1. Choose to not serve alcohol. 2. If the employer chooses to serve alcohol, limit the amount employees can drink. 3. Have a professional alcohol caterer screen for intoxication. 4. Only give out a limited number of drink tickets. 5. Have employees pay for the drinks they consume. 6. Arrange for alternative transportation. 7. Provide discounted rates at the hotel where the party is located. 8. Attendance should be voluntary. 9. Limit the amount of shop talk at the party. 10. Don’t ask employees to perform special functions at the party. 11. Invite the families of the employees. 12. Hold the party away from the work site. 13. Make sure that sexual harassment training is up-to-date. 14. Make clear that sexual harassment at the party will not be tolerated. 15. Harassment policies should cover off location events. 16. Hold the event after hours or on a weekend. 17. Don’t take attendance. 18. Provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. 19. Investigate complaints about party events as seriously as you would investigate other work place complaints. Ward Heinrichs is a shareholder and named partner of the San Diego based employment law firm, Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC. The firm represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit


More Ideas for Strengthening Family Relationships By Bobbi DePorter

And the second most important ground rule: no phones or other electronic devices at the table. It can wait!


2. In addition to having fun together, family dinners provide great opportunities for meaningful conversation exchanges involving all members of the family. Ask each other: what’s the best thing that happened to you today, what are you grateful for, what are you proud of achieving, what is something about you that I don’t know, what is one thing you value?

Bobbi DePorter discusses Family Communication on Big Blend Radio!

Last month we talked about family unity during the holidays. Here are more relationship tips for Family members sharing what they value can lead keeping that unity strong throughout the year. to a deeper conversation about integrity and matching actions to values. Another conversation 1. Keep those family dinners going all year. could lead to defining a value everyone shares, and They’re expected during the holidays, but keeping coming up with ideas of something to do together them part of your routine throughout the year is a that demonstrates the shared value, such as a perfect way to keep relationships strong—even if family volunteer project. it’s one night a week. Make your family dinners special and set some rules that everyone agrees to. Homework, a report deadline, a phone call? They can all wait the half hour or so that it will take to have dinner together. PAGE 58

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Keeping Relationships Strong Continued… It’s good to keep the atmosphere positive and fun, but there may be times when a family member needs to share something they didn’t like about their day or something that’s bothering them. When this occurs, positive feedback from the family can help have the family member feel heard and understood. 3. During all family conversations, it’s important to practice active listening. Listen—really listen— to what your child or your partner is saying. A good listener . . . - sits facing the other person with an open “available” posture - totally focuses on what the other person is saying - maintains good eye contact - gives encouragement (nods, u-huhs, etc.) - reflects feelings and content - shows empathy You’ll be amazed at the difference active listening will make in your relationships with your children— and your husband or wife! Give it a try—it’s so simple to show others you care about them by caring about what they have to say. 4. Focus on fun! Be silly, playful, and crazy. Nothing bonds a family like fun. Schedule family outings, share jokes, play games like charades. You’ll be amazed at how emotional walls crumble when you’re laughing and playing together. Plan outings, takes trips! Going away overnight, or for a weekend or longer, is great for families. Without the distractions of friends, the kids are more likely to be involved with the family. Plan it ahead of time—and plan it together! Do something that everyone will enjoy. Activities like these are not only fun in the moment, but create wonderful lasting memories the family can share—and often laugh about—for years to come! Even experiences that seemed like a disaster at the time can be laughed about later! Continued on Next Page…

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Strong Relationships Continued… 5. Something else that’s really important in family relationships is to avoid making assumptions. Here’s a quotation from Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. One of his four agreements is don’t make assumptions. “If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don't tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something we don't understand, we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don't have the courage to ask questions.” In your family, try to get everyone on track with asking questions and communicating rather than making assumptions. Communicating rather than assuming can avoid so many misunderstandings. 6. And speaking of misunderstandings, in my company we teach and practice a really effective strategy for sorting out misunderstandings. It’s called OTFD, which stands for open the front door. OTFD is particularly good for communicating negative feelings in a nonconfrontational way, but it can be used in many other situations. This method communicates four vital pieces of information: observation, thought, feeling, and desire. O – Observation is simply stating the facts of the situation, something you observed that anyone else could observe. Example: I noticed that everyone left the dinner table without helping to clean up. (Not, I noticed you were all inconsiderate.)

T – Thought is an opinion or thought about what you observed. Example: I think that everyone’s assuming I’m responsible for cleaning up because I’m the mom. F – Feeling is how you felt about what you observed. Example: I feel frustrated because I have other things I’d like to do just like everyone else. D – Desire is what you want for the future. Example: I would like us to take turns clearing the table and doing the dishes. Following these four steps tells the other person precisely what they need to know to understand the situation you're speaking about. Often, you’ll find that when you finish communicating this way, the person you’re talking to will agree: “Yes, I see why you feel this way.” Compare this to what happens when you try to express an upset through blame, shame, judgment, or ridicule, and you’ll see the power of this tool. So, to keep our family relationships strong all year, we communicate, we practice active listening, we don’t make assumptions, and we focus of fun! And through it all, we keep a positive attitude! Live, love, laugh and be happy!

Bobbi DePorter is the President of SuperCamp and Quantum Learning Network, a U.S.-based educational firm producing programs for students, teachers, schools, and organizations across the United States and worldwide. SuperCamp is the leading academic summer camp in the world. Visit


Listen! The best time to get a jump start on the New Year is that week between Christmas and New Year's Day. In fact in some cultures around the world it is a traditional time to clean out the (literal) old and get ready for the (figurative) new. Why not join in this ancient practice and hitch your best intentions to the global energy and excitement of a fresh new year? Here are some ideas: 1. Go through your files and remove projects that are now complete. If you need to keep the material for a period of time (either legally or mandated by your work) archive them to a separate location. On a day-to-day basis you want to deal with the present, active material. Having a file drawer that's cluttered with the past only holds you back. 2. Get folders ready for your tax deductible expenses in the New Year. If last year's folders are tatty and torn give yourself the gift of new folders. Manila folders are inexpensive. Treat yourself.

Listen to Regina Leeds on Big Blend Radio! 5. Do you have too much furniture? Do you have inadequate to the task furniture like a tiny desk? Is your printer across the room? Revamp the space so everything in it supports you. 6. If you have never had a real file system this is the perfect week to take the mish mash you have and turn it into a streamlined system that will save you time, money and energy in the New Year. Detailed instructions are in my book ‘One Year to an Organized Life’.

Professional organizer Regina Leeds, known as The Zen Organizer™ has brought order and peace to home and work environments across the country for over 27 years. She is the author of 10 books on organizing including New York Times bestseller 3. Recycle any paper you no longer need. Be ‘One Year to an Organized Life’ and the newest sure and have a cross cut shredder for the items release ‘Rightsize! Right Now!’ The latter presents that have your social security number or an a sane plan for rightsizing your possessions to fit account number. your home and life and craft a move in 8 weeks. A former actress Regina delights in giving lectures on 4. Take a good look at your office space. Is it the benefits of Zen Organizing™. A native of cluttered? Do you have too many plants, photos, Brooklyn, New York she now lives in Los Angeles pencils or pens? Now is a great time to make space with her rescue pup Charlie. Visit for the new. This clearing pf the decks is a physical manifestation of that desire. PAGE 61


FLEXIBILITY Be Willing To Do Things Differently Recognize what’s not working and be willing to change what you’re doing to achieve your goal.

As ambassadors for Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program”, the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour Flexibility is the willingness to try something embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to different when we realize that what we’re doing isn’t 50 million children and young adults. This free working. Many times a day we are faced with program guides young people and families, toward situations that are different from what we had a positive future full of confidence, motivation, originally planned. One way to deal with these creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life situations is to be rigid and continue to do things in principles. See the same way over and over—another is to handle The 8 Keys of Excellence Are: them with flexibility. Being flexible is responding to changing or new situations in ways that move us 1. Live in INTEGRITY. forward. 2. Acknowledge FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS. 3. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE. Flexibility is about not getting locked in to one way 4. Live in the now. THIS IS IT! of doing something. If we’re trying to achieve 5. Affirm your COMMITMENT. something (like getting up on time in the morning) 6. Take OWNERSHIP. and it’s just not working, we try another way (like 7. Stay FLEXIBLE. moving the alarm clock to the other side of the 8. Keep your BALANCE. room so we have to get up to shut it off). Flexibility is about recognizing all kinds of habits or patterns Watch the video featuring literary expert and or activities in our life that aren’t working and author Lynn Wiese Sneyd, who discusses changing them, and even changing them again Flexibility. until we find the one that works!

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The holidays are here and many of us are attending company parties or parties hosted by our friends. What to wear is usually the first thing that comes into the minds of women. Company parties may be a little more formal than those given by friends and family which tend to be more casual. We all want to look fabulous but not break the bank. If you are attending a company party and need to be more formal-don’t panic! Department stores are always having great sales and renting a formal dress may be something to consider. Before making a beeline to the mall, take a good look through your closet.


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Don't overlook the importance of jewelry during the holiday season, but keep it simple and stylish. You don't want to look like a Christmas tree. Jewelry The party dress you wore last year will be perfect such as bold multi strand necklaces with pearls and with some simple changes. A floor length dress can chain, lots of bangle bracelets and bold earrings be cut to a knee length. Add a rhinestone belt or can glam up any outfit. colorful sash and “voila� you are ready to party. Find the perfect top and you are on your way to easy, carefree holiday dressing. You can always A sexy pair of strappy heels can also update your look. Even the bright silk blouse or sweater that you wear the same top to several holiday functions, but purchased last year can be refreshed. Change the it can look different each time simply by changing your accessories. plain buttons to rhinestone buttons and you just turned a plain shirt into a glam shirt. Beaded and As far as makeup is concerned, keep it age sequined appliques can be hand sewn onto a appropriate. Leave the glitter shadows to women sweater or jacket to create a more festive look. 30 years old and under. Consultants at the Costume jewelry is also an inexpensive way to cosmetics counter at department stores are more update your party wear. than willing to give you holiday make up tips. PAGE 64

Here are some suggestions for attending casual or family parties, and that will help you stay within your budget. - Sequin tank tops such as black, silver, gunmetal or white go great with jeans or dress pants and a jacket. - Tunics with jeweled necklines can put any girl in a festive, party mood. - If you have a colorful top that you really love, you have the option of embellishing it yourself. You can purchase appliqués that you can iron on yourself. - Rhinestone the pockets of your jeans or the lapels of a jacket as well as the cuffs. You can also put stones on the outside seam of your pants and “voila” you have a new outfit. Get some fabric glue and stones and get creative. - Scarves with beaded fringe can turn a simple pull over into a party top. - Glittery, red nail polish is a great and inexpensive way to get you into the holiday spirit. - Make sure that the holiday clothing you choose is easy to care for, such as being machine washable. This will save you time as well as the extra expense of dry cleaning. This is your chance to be creative and have fun. I am continually being surprised at the many ideas women devise, to change the look of their clothing. Fashion magazines can give you lots of ideas on how to bling out your otherwise plain clothing for a fraction of the cost of a new garment. So ladies, dig into your creative self and you can wear your new and improved party wear with pride. The holidays are about giving to the less fortunate, being thoughtful to your family and friends and being grateful for all that you have. May happiness and health be with all of you! Aggie Garcia is a San Diego based fashion designer who specializes in designing bikini and figure competition suits, and is the owner of Illusions by Aggie. Visit:


Rock Talk by Marilee Strech

It will improve circulation, encourage cell and skin regrowth, as well as soothe migraines and rid you of depression. Snowflake obsidian supports spiritual healing of cancer and encourages belief in oneself.


Snowflake obsidian is the Zodiac stone for Capricorn and pairs well with magnesite, zincite and lapis lazuli, that increase the properties of the obsidian.

Listen to Marilee Strech on Big Blend Radio.

Obsidian is well known to most people as a black natural glass, but did you know that there are several varieties of obsidian? There are several color varieties such as rainbow, peacock, mahogany, silver sheen, gold sheen and pink, but snowflake obsidian has an added mineral which causes those “snowflake” feldspar crystals. Snowflake obsidian grounds negative thoughts, as well as increasing psychic sensitivity which facilitates communication with lost loved ones and past life recall (per Robert Simmons, author of the Book Of Stones). Snowflake obsidian indicates new beginnings and represents the unity of opposites, the equivalent of yin/yang which is depicted as black and white. This stone is visually appealing with its jet black background sprinkled with “snowflake” grayish white feldspar crystals.

If you want to go look for your own beautiful piece of snowflake obsidian, there are a couple of collecting sites mentioned in the book Gem Trails of Utah, by James Mitchell. It is much scarcer than the plain black variety of obsidian but well worth looking for. An avid rock hound, Marilee Strech owns Crossroads Treasures, a gift shop that features a variety of rocks and gems, beads and jewelry, plants and books, and is just down the hill from Julian, a popular mountain destination Southern California. Visit


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