CONTENTS 5. Editors Block
THE ARTS 8. Realism in Two Directions 12. A Visit with Artist Andrea Faye 14. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun 15. Pysanky: Ukrainian Easter Eggs 16. Stage & Screen News 19. Multi-Media Magic 20. Book News & Author Interviews 24. Songs & Stories
EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 32. Five Italian Foods Not from Italy 36. Food, Wine & Travel Talk 38. What Do You Bring to the Table? 41. Erin’s Farm Style Chili 43. Savor the Chicken 46. Biscuits & Benedicts Two Ways 48. Croissants a L’Orange 49. Kitchen & Bar Tricks with Bob 50. Craft Wine Adventures
NATURE & SCIENCE 58. Antarctic Artists & Writers 60. Bloedel Reserve, Washington 66. Central California Nature Trips 72. Dogs: Our Unsung Heroes 75. The Coolest Stuff on Earth
TRAVEL DESTINATIONS 76. Greater Birmingham, Alabama 78. Family Fun in Natchitoches, LA 80. Exploring the Oregon Coast PAGE 3
CONTENTS Continuedâ€¦ HISTORY & HERITAGE 86. Founding of Greeley, Colorado 88. Air War on the Eastern Front 89. Operation Desert Storm & MCAGCC 92. Mormon Battalion in Yuma, Arizona 96. Rhyolite Ghost Town in Nevada
BUSINESS, FAMILY & LIFESTYLE 100. Life Lessons, Stories & Inspirations 102. Gnoments Gifts 103. Heart Healthy in 2021 104. Building Rapport with Teens 106. How is Your Online Behavior? 110. New Employment Laws for 2021 113. Success Talk for Writers & Authors 114. Moving Forward in 2021
EDITORS BLOCK “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King, Jr No doubt, 2020 was a hellish year for all of us to endure. But just as spring blossoms forth from the depths of winter’s chill, we all somehow keeping moving on, just differently. We learn, and we take action. And amidst the tears of pain, anger, and frustration, we savor the crumbs of good. Sometimes we even get beyond the crumbs and get to eat the whole cookie. And that’s the thing to remember. There’s always a cookie, we just have to find the jar it’s sitting in, and not give up on finding it. This issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine is all about moving forward in our personal and professional lives, and having a fantastic time doing it! As we always say, “variety is the spice that brings quality to life,” so we hope you enjoy this selection of expert podcast conversations, articles, and videos, that cover a myriad of topics including the visual and performing arts, food and wine, nature and science, history and heritage, family and lifestyle, travel and leisure, communication and relationships, business and law. Keep up with our radio shows, upcoming special edition publications, and new articles at BlendRadioandTV.com, as well as through our Big Blend e-Newsletter, our new Facebook page, and on Twitter and Instagram. Here's to Moving Forward! Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter travel, radio, and publishing team.
FRONT COVER IMAGE: Biscuits & Gravy Benedict at Dancing Moon B&B. See the story on page 46. BIG BLEND MISSION STATEMENT: Big Blend is a company based on the belief that education is the most formidable weapon that can be waged against fear, ignorance and prejudice. It is our belief that education starts at home and branches outward. Education leads to travel, and travel leads to understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of cultures and customs different to our own, and ultimately to world peace. Our company is further based on the principle that networking, communication, and helping others to promote and market themselves leads to financial stability; thus paving the way to better education, travel, and the spirit of giving back to the community. This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™, copyrighted since 1997. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.
REALISM IN TWO DIRECTIONS George Segal and Duane Hanson By Victoria Chick
"Woman Eating" by Duane Hanson. In Public Domain
Living almost the same number of years, and experiencing many of the same cultural and societal changes that occurred in the 20th century, George Segal (1924 - 2000) and Duane Hanson (1925 -1996) lived somewhat parallel lives.
Victoria Chick on Big Blend Radio: Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast from Podbean.com.
In the decades leading up to their mature styles, both were painters aware of and participating in the sequential trends of modernism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism. In PAGE 8
"Man on a Bench" by Duane Hanson, 1977, Polyvinyl Polychromed in Oil, and Mixed Media With Accessories. Saatchi Gallery London. Cc by 2.0 painting and sculpture, with the boundaries between approaches or the attitudes of artists toward their subjects not always clear. Sometimes two or three-dimensional visual art was accompanied by the added element of theatre in such events as “Happenings” where To understand these two artists it is important to time was another element of a “Realist” know Realism took more than one direction. The experience. In general, visual Realism had a high prosperity of the 1950s that expanded to level of public approval. People thought they consumerism in the 1960s and 70s was understood it but didn’t always see the Realism celebrated by some artists but abhorred by as a parody of materialism or as a negative others. As examples, Photorealist Richard Estes statement of society. Most people thought it and others used projection techniques to quite amusing and appreciated the high degree painstakingly render surfaces and reflections of of super-realist visual art as a skill. commercial objects and locations in a way that Segal and Hanson began working with threeglorified them, while Pop Artist Andy Warhol dimensional materials and both began doing lifepresented mundane consumer objects and newsworthy celebrities as repetitive, larger-than- size human figures using actual people as molds. life icons. Continued on Next Page… the late 1950s, there was a general assessment in the art world that concluded abstraction had reached its limit. George Segal and Duane Hanson were artists who reacted by turning to Realism.
A number of viewpoints were expressed in PAGE 9
People in Public Spaces by George Segal
Realism Continuedâ€Ś Segal dipped gauze bandage material in plaster and made casts of his models a section at a time, removing the casts, and putting the sections together after each piece had hardened. His sculptural figures were sometimes exhibited alone, but related to a real environment, such as a plaster figure seated on a real bench. But often he expressed relationships between figures in the presentation of a group of sculptures and still added actual elements to give a context for the grouping. The plaster whiteness of his figural work relates in the modern mind to ancient Greek sculpture, whose original painted surfaces have worn down to the white marble over the centuries.
For instance, new newspapers replaced ones that were beginning to get brittle and yellow. Although both Segal and Hanson placed their sculptural figures with real furniture and props, the color of the figures had a great deal to do
Duane Hanson used fiberglass resin for his casting material, often including other industrial materials such as Bondo and vinyl. He then used oil paint to simulate skin tones and features, adding real hair, clothing items, and accessories he purchased at thrift stores. His figures usually carried items such as multiple shopping bags, tools, or equipment associated with their lives, and magazines, books, or newspapers reflecting their interests. Each of his sculptures could be exhibited alone but some were meant to complement each other and were shown together. As they were exhibited, over time, in different museums, some items were changed. PAGE 10
Girl Standing in Nature by George Segal
The chair was one of George Segal's favorite props. Photo taken at an exhibit at Frederick Meijer Gardens
with the artists’ intent and the way they are viewed by the public. Segal’s stark white figures are remote. Many of them speak of isolation in the same way as do figure paintings by Edward Hopper or Billy Morrow Jackson. His sculptural groupings continue the theme of alienation through the amount of space between figures and their lack of color. Segal wants us to contemplate. Hanson’s figures, on the other hand, want us to say “Hi” to them. And many people do not at first know they are sculptures. Their naturalness of color and clothes make them approachable. Hanson seemed to see his figures with a gentle sense of humor – as people he knew and would like to introduce to us. Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Visit her website at www.ArtistVictoriaChick.com PAGE 11
A VISIT WITH ARTIST ANDREA FAYE Andrea Faye at her Studio B in Peachtree City, Enjoy the video of our visit with ceramic artist Andrea Faye at her Studio B in Peachtree City, Georgia. Andrea began working with clay in 2000 by taking a six-week pottery course through the Fayette County Parks and Recreation department. Little did she know that this weekly retreat from family and responsibilities would become a passion! Andrea continued to attend these classes for several years and developed her skills on the pottery wheel. However, she really enjoyed handbuilding with clay which she feels allows for a greater range of artistic expression.
Robin Hopper, Chris Grydner, Gerit Grimm, and Bill Van Guilder.
2009 saw the construction of her backyard Studio B. Along with creating her clay art, Andrea instructs in open studio classes, where she In 2006, she became a student of Karen Beswick, teaches adults interested in creating, building, a ceramic artist who specialized in Raku firing. and expressing themselves with clay. Karen taught her different clay firing techniques and provided her with artistic instruction for Andrea has been active in such organizations as several years. Since then Andrea has continued Fine Arts and Crafts Entrepreneurs (FAACE), The her education in clay by attending workshops Potters Guild, Newnan Coweta Arts Association, taught by clay artist greats such as Curtis Denzel, and Ceramics Daily. With the help of fellow PAGE 12
Athena artisans and friends, Andrea established the first annual Southern Hands Artists Studio Tour that is held annually on the 2nd full weekend of November. She continues to create unique functional pieces but has also begun to do more sculpting. Nothing ever stays the same when an artist continues to grow in their techniques and abilities. More at http://www.andreafaye.com/ Peacock Vase
DeGrazia paintings in the current exhibitions
DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN IS OPEN! This episode of Big Blend Radio features Lance Laber, Executive Director of the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. Hear his interview in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com. After being closed due to the pandemic, the Gallery is back open and following guidelines to protect the safety of visitors and staff. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is 10-acre historic landmark 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. Current exhibits on display include “DeGrazia’s Saguaro Harvest,” “DeGrazia’s Circus,” and the annual showing of “The Way of The Cross.” More: http://www.degrazia.org/
Ukrainian Easter Eggs Take a listen to this Big Blend Radio podcast that was recorded on-site at the 40th Annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival held in July 2019 in Natchitoches, the oldest settlement in Louisiana. The interview features Nicole Holcombe who explains the art and folk history behind Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs). Pysanky is an ancient wax-resistant technique that originated in Eastern Europe. Big Blend Radio: Listen here in the YouTube player or Theword “pysanka” is derived download the podcast on Podbean.com. from the Ukrainian word “pysaty” meaning “to write.” varnished and can be emptied. Using a fresh raw egg, all areas that are to remain white are covered with wax using a The designs and colors are symbolic of wishes funnel-like tool called “kystka.” Traditionally, the for wealth, health, fertility, long life, happiness, egg is dyed in successively darker colors (yellow, and other good wishes for the person destined orange, red), each time covering what is to to receive the egg. Ukrainian legend has it that as remain in that color with wax. Lastly, the egg is long as pysanky are made or given, the world will put in black dye and every part of the egg not continue to exist. When the last pysanka is made, covered with wax will become black. Holding the the world will end. pysanka next to a flame, the wax is melted and wiped away with a soft cloth, revealing the Have fun with our Pysanky online jigsaw puzzle intricate patterns. At this point, the egg is on BlendRadioandTV.com.
STAGE & SCREEN News & Conversations
MICHAEL WALKER: PAINT Filmmaker Michael Walker discusses his award-winning film PAINT, a dark comedic journey about young NYC artists as they struggle to sell their first paintings. Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. With Walker's unique script and direction in combination with the performances of Josh Caras and Olivia Luccardi, PAINT tells a story of tumultuous PAINT is written and directed by Michael Walker, produced by Alfred Theodore Sapse, and friendships and romances destabilized by the nature of being an artist in the world today. The executive produced by John Wollman. Scott Miller and Sam Chase serve as film, which also stars Paul Cooper in his feature cinematographers. PAINT is edited by David film debut and Amy Hargreaves, mixes dark Leonard and co-produced by Gabriel Wilson. humor with our basic human desire to discover and grasp a purpose in life. Included in the stellar young cast are Franรงois Arnaud, Daniel PAINT won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Bellomy, Comfort Clinton, and Emrhys Cooper, Film at the 2020 Dances With Films Festival. along with veteran actors Austin Pendleton and More: https://www.pangofilms.com. David Patrick Kelly. PAGE 16
TWO WAYS HOME This episode of Big Blend Radio focuses on the independent film “Two Ways Home” with star/producer Tanna Frederick and director Ron Vignone. Listen to the interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. Soul-touching and moving, TWO WAYS HOME compassionately follows Kathy (Tanna Frederick), a woman newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder who is released from prison on good behavior and returns to her country home in Iowa to reconnect with her estranged 12-yeardaughter (Rylie Behr) and her cantankerous elderly grandfather (Tom Bower). Her return home is turbulent and a rough, unwelcome transition in which Kathy must come to terms with her diagnosis and its implications on her identity, while also realizing that her family was happier when she was gone. Conflict with her family intensifies as she struggles to keep her head above water, putting her self-worth and
well-being to the ultimate test. Director Ron Vignone masterfully showcases Iowa’s small town beauty and sympathetically highlights the importance of mental wellness and selfdiscovery, while star and producer Tanna Frederick shines as a vulnerable yet independent Kathy, immediately grabbing audiences’ hearts with her gritty persistence. The film has been officially endorsed by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). More: http://www.twowayshomemovie.com/
GUN & A HOTEL BIBLE This episode of Big Blend Radio focuses on the indie film “Gun & A Hotel Bible” with directors Raja Gosnell (Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, Scooby Doo, Never Been Kissed) and Alicia Joy LeBlanc (The Convergence: Mission), and stars Bradley Gosnell (The Smurfs) and Daniel Floren (The Influencers). Listen to the interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. Based on an award-winning play, the story follows Pete (Bradley Gosnell), a desperate man on the verge of a violent act and his encounter with Gideon (Daniel Floren), a personified hotel bible. As Pete and Gideon spar over ideas about morality, the Bible and God, they are forced to deal with their inadequacies. With the clock
ticking, can Gideon sway Pete from pulling the trigger? GUN AND A HOTEL BIBLE is a clever, insightful and provocative film that explores betrayal, spirituality and loss as one man comes face-to-face with everything he once believed. More: https://gunandahotelbible.com/
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MELANIE CHARTOFF: ODD WOMAN OUT Beginning as an actor off and on Broadway, Melanie Chartoff is best known for the characters she created on “Fridays,” “Seinfeld,” “Newhart,” and “Rugrats.” Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. Trying to crawl inside the television set to get her parents' attention, she got blocked by all the tubes and wires. So she went the long way around to get herself onscreen. In a series of essays and stories, actress Melanie Chartoff explores her ambition, artistry and love blunders in her hilarious, heartbreaking and hopeful new memoir, “Odd Woman Out: Exposure in Essays & Stories.” From her 1950s childhood in a suburb she describes as an “abusement park,” to performing Molière on Broadway, to voicing characters on the popular “Rugrats” cartoon series, Chartoff was anxious “out of character,” preferring any imaginary world to her real one. Obsessed with
exploring her talent and mastering craft, fame came as a destabilizing byproduct. Suppressing a spiritual breakdown while co-starring on a latenight comedy show, Chartoff grew more estranged from whoever she was meant to be. But given a private audience with a guru, she finally heard her inner voice, played by '70s soul singer Barry White, crooning, “Get out, baby!” “Odd Woman Out” intimately exposes the nature of identity in the life of a performing artist, snapshotting the hopeful search for a self Chartoff could love, and someone else’s self to love, too. More at: www.melaniechartoff.com/
ACTOR & FILMMAKER HARLEY WALLEN On this episode of Big Blend Radio, multi award-winning filmmaker and actor Harley Wallen talks about his career and latest film projects. Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. Harley has starred in over 40 feature films and TV shows with legendary stars such as Tom Sizemore, Tara Reed and John Savage among many others. Harley and his wife Kaiti formed the film production company 'Painted Creek Productions' that produces original feature films such as "Eternal Code,"
"Betrayed," "Bennett’s Song," "Abstruse," "Moving Parts" and "Enigma." More at: https://www.facebook.com/PaintedCreekProduc tions/
Conversations with Two Artists Who Mix It Up to Empower, Transform & Heal
I.M.L.A. – A MUSICAL GRAPHIC NOVEL This episode of Big Blend Radio features Mae Edwards, a composer, multi-media mixologist, and creator of I.M.L.A. a musical graphic novel and screenplay. Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean. IIMLA is the hero’s journey of Shylene Steele and is a story about friendship. Four young LGBTQ women of color make their way to Los Angeles from the Deep South, dreaming of hitting the big time and changing the world. Their adventures in Hollywood have them meeting a mystical mentor, a gender non-conforming ally, and shadowy enemies along the way. Featuring 10 of Mae’s new musical compositions, I.M.L.A. stars the voice acting of Fiona Rene, (she played Detective Kara Lee on ABC’s hit series
STUMPTOWN), and features the illustrations of Disney veteran and Oscar-nominated Amy Duarte. Mae is donating 75% of each I.M.L.A digital download/CD sold to TheTrevorProject.org. More at http://maeedwards.com/
LISA SNIDERMAN: THE GRIEVING PROJECT This episode of Big Blend Radio features Lisa Sniderman creator of the new spoken word audiobook “The Grieving Project: A Moving Journey Through 14 Stages of Grieving & Thriving.” Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean. After battling a rare, debilitating chronic illness since 2008, California artist Lisa Sniderman decided she would turn her disease into an opportunity to heal herself and others. The multiple award-winning singer, songwriter, recording artist, playwright, filmmaker, and author, also known as Aoede, released her spoken word audiobook, “The Grieving Project,” which sets the stages of grief to music to move us from surviving to thriving. In the audiobook, four actors with chronic illness (including
Sniderman) narrate an emotional journey through the 7 stages of grieving and the 7 stages of thriving, set to 22 tracks of original instrumental music. Sniderman is donating 50% of the proceeds from The Grieving Project to Myositis Support and Understanding (MSU). More at https://alightinthedarkness.info/thegrieving-project/
BOOK NEWS & AUTHOR INTERVIEWS KOS KOSTMAYER: FARGO BURNS On this episode of Big Blend Radio, author Kos Kostmayer talks about his latest novel “Fargo Burns” that dramatizes the turmoil and upheaval of American society. The eponymous hero of the novel, Fargo Burns, is a 32-year-old, Mississippi-born New Yorker whose life is thrown into vivid disarray following two grave mistakes of fate and judgment. Mistake Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player #1: Fargo goes mad, violently or download the podcast on PodBean. so, and lands in a mental hospital where he becomes convinced that he subversive humor. As Fargo struggles to atone has been turned into a dog and that his for the violence of his own actions, his story psychiatrist is Virginia Woolf. Mistake #2: He touches on race, religion, sex, history, politics, falls into an affair with the girlfriend of a and madness culminating in a desperate professional killer. confrontation in a dark New York City cathedral. Between the madness he unleashes and the Shifting between the Mississippi Delta and New violence he confronts, Fargo Burns finally learns York City, “Fargo Burns” dramatizes the turmoil what it means to be a man instead of a dog. It is and upheaval of American society at the height a lesson that comes at a high price. of the Vietnam war through a kaleidoscopic More at: https://www.koskostmayer.com/ tapestry of linguistic experimentation. The novel fuses a profound examination of American violence with a surprising undercurrent of PAGE 20
EDWIN HILL: WATCH HER On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Edwin Hill discusses his critically-acclaimed Hester Thursby mystery series. At the center of Edwin Hill’s intricate mystery series is Hester Thursby, a research librarian who’s complicated, bookish and realistically flawed. In his acclaimed and latest installment “Watch Her,” Hester teams up with reader-favorite Detective Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player Angela White to investigate or download the podcast on PodBean. missing alumni of a decadent Mysterious Press First Mystery Club, and a for-profit university, plunging into a world of Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books selection. academic scandal, old money, infidelity, buried The second installment, “The Missing Ones,” was secrets … and murder. also an Agatha Award finalist and a Sue /Grafton Memorial Award nominee. More at: The first installment “Little Comfort,” was an https://www.edwin-hill.com/ Agatha Award finalist, a selection of the
HEATHER MATEUS SAPPENFIELD: LYRICS FOR ROCK STARS On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Heather Mateus Sappenfield discusses "Lyrics for Rock Stars," her prize-winning short story collection. Tracing the complex unfolding of generations throughout history, paying particular attention to women’s stories, and children who are often wise beyond their years, Heather Mateus Sappenfield brings dynamic characters to Big Blend Radio: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. life in a bold collection of seventeen stories―some historical, some explores how society’s values clash with our contemporary—all set in the West. Involving individual desires, and the ways we weave our skiers, ranchers, cyclists, suffragettes, tourists, lives through these opposing forces. This super models, dead pigs, burro racers, religious collection will make you cry. It will make you beet farmers, immigrant miners, scorned lovers, laugh out loud. Above all, it traces hope through penitent centenarians, and musicians, these the long unfolding of generations and time. stories are as varied as the region’s landscape. More at: https://heathermateussappenfield.com Funny, poignant, and resonant, each tale Continued on Next Page… PAGE 21
ANNA MARIE JEHOREK: THE HOUSE WITH THE GEORGIAN DOOR Book News Continued… On this episode of Big Blend Radio, author and travel writer Anna Marie Jehorek chats about her travel adventures and two women’s fiction novels, “The Cottage on Lough Key" and “The House With the Georgian Door,” which are both set in Ireland. Anna Marie Jehorek sweeps readers away to the Emerald Isle with her latest novel, “The Big Blend Radio: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. House with The Georgian Door.” Set in rural County Roscommon, Jehorek Despite her enthusiasm for her new venture, her crafts a delightful tale of one woman’s motives aren’t strictly business. She’s leaving determination to overcome her past while London to abandon the man she loves but starting anew. cannot have. As she strives to make the Cara Maith B&B a success, she pushes thoughts of Lead character Nora Fallon leaves her lucrative one man from her mind as new and old friends career in a London publishing house to return to appear – complicating her life in Ireland. her childhood home in Ireland. She purchases an More at: https://annamariejehorek.com/ old home, restores it to its former glory, and opens it as a bed & breakfast.
TAMI KIDD: MARA BYRNE MYSTERY SERIES On this episode of Big Blend Radio, author Tami Kidd discusses her Mara Byrne Mystery Series including “Deadly After,” “Deadly Discovery,” and “Deadly Deception.” Available on Kindle and in paperback, the Mara Byrnes Mystery Series is published through Cyanide Publishing. Family has been Tami’s main focus for most of her life, until Big Blend Radio: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player 2010 when she self-published or download the podcast on PodBean. her first novel, the result of NaNoWriMo challenge. She gains inspiration and Tami’s goal is to inspire other writers, help them ideas from life experiences, reading, dreams and master their craft, teach them how to be believe interacting with the world. Her work is character in themselves, and motivate them to achieve driven. A character is presented to her and then their dreams. Her life’s motto is Aspire to Inspire. http://www.tamikidd.com/ she builds the world around the character. PAGE 22
SAM STEA: THE EDGE OF ELSEWHERE On this episode of Big Blend Radio author Sam Stea discusses his debut novel “The Edge of Elsewhere.” In a world reeling from ecological collapse, Abbey Lane’s waking life is a bleak routine. Between protecting her asthmatic older brother, Paul, and scouring gloomy ruins of Princeton with her best friend, Max, Abbey’s world couldn’t be more different from the technicolor eden she imagines in her dreams.
Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.
But after discovering an old scientific notebook in the ruins of Princeton University, the trio find themselves in a world and a time they could never have imagined: New York City, 1971.
There, they rediscover the beauty of the natural world, and meet a tragic music legend whose fate may hold the key to Earth's destiny. http://www.elsewheresedge.com
SONGS & STORIES
Music News & Conversations ZAKIYA HOOKER & OLLAN CHRISTOPHER BELL R&B/blues/jazz artist Zakiya Hooker, and vocalist/producer Ollan Christopher Bell (aka Chris James), talk about their music careers and latest music projects. Zakiya Hooker was born in the Motor City – Detroit, Michigan – but she was also born into the blues. Her dad was the renowned blues giant, John Lee Hooker. To be the daughter of a living legend is a major obstacle; to choose to Big Blend Radio: Listen to their interview here in the YouTube follow in his footsteps is a major player or download the podcast on Podbean. In addition, James is also the president and coundertaking. But rather than relying on her father, Zakiya has pursued life, and music, on her owner of the John Lee Hooker Boom Boom Recording Studio, was the co-founder of the 70’s own terms, overcoming personal tragedy and hit making soul group The Natural Four, and is skepticism along the way. author of the memoir “Music Saved My Life, https://www.zakiyahooker.com/ From Darkness Into The Light, My Life As A 70’s R&B/Soul Singer.” More at: In addition to producing all of his wife Zakiya’s albums, Ollan Christopher Bell also produced the https://www.chrisjames-naturalfour.com/ final John Lee Hooker CD “Face to Face.” PAGE 24
KIRK FLETCHER: MY BLUES PATHWAY Award-winning blues guitarist Kirk Fletcher talks about his career and latest album “My Blues Pathway” that’s out now through Cleopatra Records. Widely considered one of the best blues guitarists in the world, Kirk Fletcher has commanded the respect and acclaim of critics, peers, and fans across the globe. He is a four-time Blues Music Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube Award and a 2015 British Blues Award nominee and has played player or download the podcast on Podbean. with a variety of popular artists, including Joe Fletcher. Says Kirk, “My Blues Pathway is an Bonamassa and a three-year role as lead album about celebrating the music that got me guitarist of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. “My excited about playing blues from the beginning Blues Pathway” is a ten-track album that features of my career and the musicians that inspired a mix of originals, covers, and two co-writes with me.” Robert Cray’s longtime bass player Richard Cousins, with all music arrangements by Kirk More at: http://kirkfletcherband.com/
ANDY WATTS: SUPERGROOVE Blues guitarist Andy Watts, Israel’s Ambassador of the Blues, discusses his latest album “SuperGroove” that was recorded at Kibbutz Ma’abarot in Israel and co-produced by Kenny Neal for Kenny’s new label Booga Music, in cooperation with the VizzTone label group. “Supergroove” is a highly charged album of ten electrifying blues tracks - dusted with a bit of rock, funk and R&B - featuring Andy’s Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean. sometimes gritty, sometimes slinky guitar and his soulful vocals along with his others are Andy’s versions of classics by Freddie great band – including bass, drums, keyboards, King and Andy’s biggest musical influence, the trumpet, trombone, saxophones and occasional one-and-only Peter Green, Joe Louis Walker and guest harmonica. Guest vocalists on the album Rick Estrin. include Joe Louis Walker and Eliza Neals, plus More at: explosive soul singer Roy Young, along with https://www.andywattsguitarslinger.com/ Danny Shoshan and Gadi Altman. Half of the songs are Watts originals, while the PAGE 25
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JOHN ZAZULA: HEAVY TALES Songs Continued… Johnny Zazula shares highlights from his memoir, “Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived by Jon Zazula.” Available now in paperback, and as a digital and audio download, “Heavy Tales” is a riveting tumultuous journey from renegade youth to metal music mogul, with detailed accounts of Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube the struggles and successes player or download the podcast on Podbean. along the way. Find out how he created Megaforce Records, CraZed Management out of a flea market in New Jersey with his wife, Marsha to discover Metallica and launch a musical genre that forever changed the scope of music history. Penned by Jonny Zazula and co-written by Harold ClarosMaldonado, “Heavy Tales” details the stories of
how Jonny Z worked miracles by managing and releasing albums by Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Mercyful Fate, Raven, Overkill, Exciter, Stormtroopers of Death, Method of Destruction, Ace Frehley’s Comet, King’s X, Ministry, Mindfunk, Nudeswirl, Warren Haynes, Disco Biscuits, and many more. More at: https://www.jonzazula.com/
SUN KING RISING: DELTA TALES Sun King Rising talks about his debut album “Delta Tales.” Sun King Rising is the professional moniker of singer/songwriter and piano player John Blangero who hails from Port Isabel, Texas. Peacock Sunrise Records is the Americana/Rock label spinoff of Nick Katona’s successful Progressive Rock label, Melodic Revolution. The album is produced by Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube New York-based producer, player or download the podcast on Podbean. Steven “Ace” Acker. Blangero’s The Coronavirus shutdown in April forced songs are filled with memorable hooks, rocking piano, driving rhythms, a powerful horn section, Blangero and Acker to complete the production remotely with players and singers recording in and soulful female background singers a la’ Ray several different studios across the country Charles’ Raelettes. The recording of Delta Tales rather than recording additional live, full-band was a fascinating task, spanning four months, studio sessions. www.sunkingrising.com from January 2020 to mid-May. PAGE 26
SANDY MCKNIGHT & FERNANDO PERDOMO - SAN FERNANDO BLITZ Albany-area artist Sandy McKnight and Los Angeles' ubiquitous multi-instrumentalist and producer Fernando Perdomo have released their latest work "San Fernando Blitz." Sandy McKnight joined Big Blend Radio to discuss the project. McKnight has been an in-demand bassist since the 70s, and has worked with many notables as a musician and producer. His large catalog of self-penned songs can be heard regularly on TV and in films.
Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.
Perdomo has become one of the top session players and producers on the west coast. He's been called the 'Todd Rundgren of L.A.', and was featured with Jacob Dylan in the recent documentary 'Echo in the Canyon', now playing on Netflix.
The new EP by the team features 6 power pop killers. This new set highlights Perdomo on guitar, drums and keys. McKnight plays bass and sings leads and harmonies on all 6 tracks. Recording took place at Reseda Ranch Studio in L.A., and Systems Two in NYC. More at: https://sandymcknight.bandcamp.com/album/s an-fernando-blitz
GUITARIST JOEY STUCKEY: YOU KNOW MY NAME Acclaimed guitarist Joey Stuckey, the official music ambassador for Macon, Georgia, the “southern rock capital of the world,” discusses his music and latest single “You Know My Name.” “You Know My Name” is a smoky blues rock track sizzling with lusty performances making every note pulse with attitude. It’s a swampy musical romp about a love that is partnered with lust for a woman that isn’t always interested in staying in the relationship.
Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.
Bramblett of Traffic and Steve Winwood on B3 The song is part praise of the perfect woman, part plea for her to stay and part rebuke of some and Charlie Hoskyns of the UK band The Popes on bass. https://www.joeystuckey.com of the nonsense she pulls. The track was recorded by producer and engineer Joey Stuckey at his Macon, Georgia, Shadow Sound Studio recording facility, home of the southern sound of Continued on Next Page… the 70’s, and featuring special guest Randall PAGE 27
JON DURANT & PETER CHILVERS: ALWAYS GOLDEN SANDS & VISTA Songs Continued… English keyboardist Peter Chilvers and American guitarist Jon Durant discuss their collaboration to create and release “Always Golden Sands” and “Vista,” an ambient jazz album in two parts that features a series of stunningly beautiful aural vistas, which blend ECM inspired chamber jazz improvisation with ambient music. For both artists, this recording Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube was an opportunity to explore player or download the podcast on Podbean. their introspective sides as well as their textural tendencies. Gentle melodies weave often began with a morning keyboard their way through atmospheric clouds, at times improvisation from Chilvers, which would be reminiscent of Budd and Eno, but with a sense of embellished and transformed by Durant as interplay between the guitar and keys those daylight hit his side of the Atlantic. ambient pioneers left out. More at: https://www.jondurant.rocks and The duo settled into a rhythm of working across http://www.peterchilvers.com distant time zones during the pandemic. Tracks
TODD MOSBY: AERIAL VIEWS Acclaimed Imrat guitarist and composer Todd Mosby discusses his latest album “Aerial Views,” the third in a series of concept albums that highlight the natural elements. From the time he was six years old, Mosby has been in love with flying—and now, on this collection of a dozen towering tracks, he conveys that sensation through his music.
Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.
“Aerial Views” is the third in a interacting in instrumental settings with some series of concept albums that highlight the A-list musicians; Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, natural elements. It follows “Eagle Mountain,” a Michael Manring and Jeff Haynes to name a few. tribute to earth, and “Open Waters,” dedicated The album was produced by the legendary Will to the seas. In conceiving the music for “Aerial Ackerman and Tom Eaton team. Views,” Mosby focused on strong melody and a unique form of harmony inspired by the Imrat More at: https://www.toddmosby.band/ guitar; the bulk of the tracks feature Mosby PAGE 28
DENNIS HAKLAR & GIOVANNI HIDALGO: TRANSCENDANCE Guitarist Dennis Haklar discusses his new album “Transcendance” with Grammy award-winning master percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo. This collaboration between guitarist Dennis Haklar and percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo began as a studio improvisation, and developed into a journey to another world. Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.
Appearing on “Transcendance” is the beautiful and mysterious Steffie Moonlady adding her ethereal vocals. Moonlady was instrumental in the overall production of “Transcendance” which offers healing energy to our Planet, and is a journey into inner worlds. It is the process of release through sonic meditation. Travel inward, unafraid, with full belief in yourself, knowing that what others think will not disturb or deter you.
Tune into the vibrations of sound and transcend to the “Inner”. Giovanni has a huge fan base in the Latin jazz genre, when he and Dennis did this they agreed to be themselves and not be restricted by anyone or anything. Essentially, the duo strove to create a new genre. More at: https://dennishaklar.com
GUITARIST ERIC BYAK: LAGUINA BREEZE Celebrated guitarist Eric Byak discusses his career, musical work on the hit TV show “This is Us,” and latest music including the single “Laguna Breeze.” Eric created his latest single live in front of the art crowd in Laguna Beach, California at the world famous “Pageant of the Masters” Festival. Improvising and composing on the spot with Grammy Award winner MB Gordy, Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube Nathan East and Ricky Lawson, player or download the podcast on Podbean. resulting in the single, “Laguna More at: https://ericbyakmusic.com/ Breeze.” Eric’s guitar work has been described as seductive, sensuous, exotic, intertwining classic jazz, breezy funk and Brazilian rhythms.
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BEN LANG: MODERN MAN Songs Continued… California singer-songwriter Ben Lang shares the songs and stories behind his debut solo release “Modern Man.” “Modern Man” offers six finely crafted alternative-acoustic tracks written and performed entirely by Ben Lang with expressive lyrics and a slight country feel akin to artists as varied as Violent Femmes, Paul Simon, or Willie Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube Nelson. player or download the podcast on Podbean. The EP was recorded, mixed, and mastered by his good friend Matt Cope in his home studio between 2018 and 2020. Together with Paggi (aka Dan Paggi), also a notable Pacific Northwest artist, Lang was a founding member of the San Francisco cult
classic band Biv and the Mnemonics (aka Roy G Biv & The Mnemonic Devices), whose albums “The Blue Orange” (2009) and “The Pace” (2013) were released to critical acclaim and still resonate today. Together they also founded the independent label Moo Moo Records. More at: www.benlangmusic.bandcamp.com
EVAN WARDELL: IN LIKE A LION // OUT LIKE A LIGHT Evan Wardell, a musician, producer, and audio engineer talks about his new debut solo album “In Like a Lion // Out Like a Light,” a hook-laden indie rock masterpiece that illustrates the pain of addiction, heartbreak, and the all too common struggle just to get out of bed in the morning. Written, performed, produced, recorded, and mixed entirely by Evan, “In Like a Lion // Out Like a Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube Light” represents at least seven player or download the podcast on Podbean. years of songwriting and recording, and as a result offers a chronicle of how Evan has changed over that manager at Pianofight, engineered at Hyde time as a person, as a songwriter, and even as an Street Studios, and much more. audio engineer. More at: http://www.evanwardellmusic.com/ Evan moved to San Francisco in 2009 to study audio engineering and immerse himself in city life. Since then, he has become the musical PAGE 30
JACK SPANN: JESUS OF NEW ORLEANS Acclaimed keyboardist Jack Spann chats about his new CD single, “Jesus Of New Orleans,” that was released with a full production music video. Both dance mix and radio edits are included on the CD. Spann again providing lead vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar and bass with Cecil Robbington on drums and percussion. A supporting cast of guest musicians include longtime friend and St. Louis native John Covelli on Trombone.
Singer songwriter and master keyboardist/pianist Jack Spann has worked with some big names in the music business, most notably David Bowie whom Spann spent time with working on what ultimately became Bowie’s Blackstar release. Aside from a sought-after musician in the studio and on stage, Spann has
also logged time performing on Broadway including Hank Williams’ Lost Highway and War Horse, and performed at SXSW and Milwaukee’s Summer Fest. More at: http://www.jackspann.com/
VOCALIST JIMMY WILLIAMSON: LOVE WILL FIND A WAY Veteran vocalist Jimmy Williamson talks about his career and current recording projects including his latest single “Love Will Find a Way.” Jimmy Williamson started entertaining at the age of 15, traveling throughout the tri- state area of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. By the time he was 19 years old, Jimmy's voice landed him on Wild Cherry’s Number #1 Hit “Play That Funky Music.”
As a front man and vocalist, Jimmy continues to perform, share stages and record with Grammy Artists around the globe.
Jimmy is currently in the studio recording vocal tracks for a project produced by Kim Reilly & SeaSide Music Management, including artists such as; Burleigh Drummond, Joe Puerta and Doug Jackson of Ambrosia, John Ford Coley of England Dan and John Ford Coley, Dave Muse of
Firefall, Eliot Lewis and Brian Dunne of Hall and Oates and Live From Daryl's House, many others. More at: www.lookingglassjourney.com
By Christine Cutler
Eggplant Pizza A couple of years ago, a few American friends met me in Bologna so I could show them around the city. In the late afternoon, we stopped to have a glass of wine and aperitivi, and I asked them how they were enjoying the trip. “Italy is wonderful,” they gushed, “and the food is delicious even if it’s not like what we get in Italian restaurants at home.”
CHRIS CUTLER ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com.
The truth is that most Italian restaurants in the US cook an Americanized version of Italian food, and you will not get their over-sized, over cooked, over-spiced, over-sauced plates in Italy. Moreover, you won’t find the same dishes on menus from one side of the country to the next.
Italian cuisine. Consider that the Italian peninsula was a conglomeration of independent cities and states until 1871, and the invaders of the peninsula influenced the cuisine of the particular area they occupied. Depending on the region (or state) that you visit, you might find dishes influenced by the Arabs and Africans in Sicily, the Austro-Hungarians in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the French and Greeks in Calabria, and more.
The history What it comes down to is that some Americans, even some of Italian descent, don’t understand how the history of the country—and later the role of immigrants—affected the evolution of PAGE 33
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sauce), spaghetti al tonno (with the tuna sauce), spaghetti aglio e olio (with garlic and oil), and spaghetti al guanciale (with pork cheek), but you will not be able to order spaghetti bolognese because, quite simply, it does not exist in Italy. Tagliatelle Bolognese or al Ragu originated in Bologna, and the sauce is a mix of finely diced carrots and finely diced celery, finely diced onions, pancetta (Italian bacon), and ground veal or beef. There's very little tomato in the dish, maybe a tablespoon or so of tomato paste just for flavor. This heavy sauce needs a pasta that is wide enough to hold it, so Italians serve it over tagliatelle, a pasta that is about .25-.33 inches wide.
Spaghetti and Meatballs Spaghetti and meatballs, while delicious, is not an Italian dish. Yes, Italians eat spaghetti, and they eat meatballs. They just don't eat them together. Pasta is not a main dish in Italy, so Italians eat it first and serve the meatballs or other meat afterward. Many don't even cook the meatItalian Continued… balls in the sauce; they bake the meatballs and serve them after the pasta with a side dish of That said, the Arabs, Greeks, Turks, Spaniards, Etruscans and Syrians, all ate some form of pas- spinach or another green vegetable. Polpette con ta—the mixture of flour and water (or eggs). His- piselli (meatballs with peas in sauce) is a popular tory shows that the Chinese were making strings second course in the northern regions. from flour and water from 1100 BC and that the Meatballs—polpette in Italian—did not originally Arabs brought noodles to Sicily in the 12th cencontain meat. The first polpette were a mix of tury. Pasta is the great unifier. bread crumbs, grated cheese, and egg formed Keep in mind that when Italian immigrants came into small balls and served with sauce. That dish just still exists in some parts of Italy. When the to America, they shared cooking with paesani Italians came to this country and meat was more from other regions, and in this country—and others—the lines started to blur. Italians visiting affordable, they started making the balls out of meat, and they made them larger and larger, alan Italian restaurant in America or any other most a sign of status. country would have a hard time equating what is on the menu with the food they cook and eat at home. Here are a few foods that Americans Chicken and Veal Parmigiana consider Italian but that you probably won’t find Chicken and veal parmigiana is another Amerion the menu of a restaurant in Italy. can-Italian dish that evolved from the original Italian dish after Italian immigrants got to the U.S. Originating in southern Italy, eggplant parmigiana was popular because the vegetable was cheap and easy to grow. As I noted above, once Italians came to the U.S., they were able to buy Spaghetti Bolognese If you want to eat spaghetti in Italy, you’ll be able meat, so they adapted the recipe and used chickto order spaghetti al pomodoro (with the tomato en or veal in place of the eggplant. PAGE 34 Consider these five dishes that you will not find on menus in Italy.
Garlic Everything Italian cookbook author Marcella Hazan attributed the overuse of garlic as “the single greatest cause of failure in would-be Italian cooking.” Yes, Italians do use garlic in their cooking, but they use it in moderation to add flavor to the dish and not overpower it. Many Italians cook it as my grandmother did: They add a garlic clove to olive oil and warm it to release the subtle flavor. They then remove the clove and continue cooking. Speaking of garlic, garlic bread is an American invention, probably thought of by someone who wanted something “fancy” to sop up the sauce left on plates after dinner. In Italy, you will get a basket of bread, no butter, no oil. The thought is the bread is good enough by itself. At times, people drizzle a little olive oil and salt on the bread, but that's usually when they're eating it as a snack.
Bread with olive oil and salt
You won’t find pepperoni pizza anywhere in Italy, but you will find peperoni pizza. Order a pepperoni pizza in Italy and you’ll get pizza topped with bell peppers—peperoni. (Note that peperoni the vegetable has one “p” while pepperoni, the sausage, has two.) Pepperoni, is yet another American-Italian invention. In Italy, you can find dry, spicy sausages that are comparable to pepperoni, and you can order that on pizza in some places. Italians crown pizza with prosciutto (cotto or crudo), sausages, anchovies, or vegetables. These are just five dishes you won’t find in Italy; there are so many others. If you are lucky enough to travel to Italy in the future, be sure to enjoy the authentic cuisine. I’m sure you’ll find it better.
Christine Cutler is a writer, photographer, editor, guide, teacher, traveler, Ohio native, Florida resident, and world citizen. She lives in Downtown St. Petersburg with her husband and crazy Welsh Terrier, but she can’t sit still very long. In addition to maintaining her websites Cold Pasta and Red Wine and Christine Cutler, she is executive editor of Food, Wine, Travel Magazine; a travel, non-fiction, and memoir writer; a photographer; and an editor whose work has appeared in various publications. In addition, she has taught Spanish, English, and memoir, grammar, and business writing. A dual ItalianAmerican citizen, she spends as much time as she can exploring Italy. PAGE 35
FOOD, WINE & TRAVEL TALK Whatâ€™s Being Poured, Cooked & Served in Europeâ€™s Wine Country & Across America
WINE ADVENTURES AROUND THE WORLD On this episode of Big Blend Radio, wine and travel writer Penny Sadler talks about her wine adventures around the world from picking grapes in Barolo and exploring the Grand Cru vineyards of Alsace.
Big Blend Radio: Listen to her interview in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.com.
Penny Sadler is a travel and wine writer and student of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, an internationally recognized certification. She has traveled to some of the world's most interesting wine regions, and spent a year in Napa Valley learning the ins and outs of wine tourism and hospitality. Follow Penny's adventures at https://www.adventuresofacarryon.com/ PAGE 36
WINE & HONEY ON WHIDBEY & CAMANO ISLANDS Whidbey and Camano are two beautiful rural islands that are just an hour drive north of Seattle and a two hour drive from Vancouver, BC.
Big Blend Radio: Listen to the conversation here in the YouTube player, or download the podcast on Podbean.
This episode of Big Blend Radio features Sherrye Wyatt of Whidbey & Camano Islands Tourism, Greg "Elvis" Martinez of Holmes Harbor Cellars, and Jennifer Short of Camano Island Honey at Sanctuary Farms. Plan your visit to Whidbey & Camano Islands at https://whidbeycamanoislands.com/
CULINARY ADVENTURES IN FLORIDA, ARKANSAS & NEW MEXICO This episode of Big Blend Radio features food and travel writer Priscilla Willis who shares her cultural culinary experiences in Santa Fe, New Mexico; St. Augustine, Florida; and the Delta region of Arkansas.
Big Blend Radio: Listen to her interview in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.com.
Specializing in culinary travel and light adventure to burn those calories, Priscilla is a freelance writer and the creative behind www.ShesCookin.com. PAGE 37
What Do You Bring to the Table? The best cookbooks bring recipes that enrich your kitchen beyond the ingredients. By Linda Kissam “Food, Wine & Shopping Diva”
The best cookbooks bring a sense of wonder and awe to the reader. They bring something new into our lives that we can share with self, family, and friends. A new recipe that “works”, in its own right, brings love joy, and fun. The greatest one’s surprise and delight with either a novel approach, a twist on doing things, or a BIG BLEND RADIO: Linda Kissam and Shelley Whizin discuss “What reminder that we are on Do You Bring to the Table.” Listen here in the YouTube player or the right path to success. They tell the stories of how download the podcast on Podbean. those dishes came to be, and enrich the act of Cooking, of course, with lots of yummy recipes preparing those dishes. This is one of those and amazing photos. The second is “soul diving.” books…and perhaps you should sit down for the Soul diving is what the author uses as an explanation. analogy for life. Approach this cookbook with an open mind and heart and you can expect to A new hybrid cookbook, "What Do You Bring to have a mind-blowing interaction about life, soul the Table: A Savory, Sensory and Inspirational diving, and how that all applies to cooking. Guide to Living a Yummy Delicious Life" by Shelley Whizin brings two concepts together. As background, soul diving focuses on the PAGE 38
multifaceted dynamics present between the human and the soul. Per the author, soul diving is the art of, “…trading up old un-serving ways paving the way to adopting new ways of thinking and Being. The intention is to, …find ways to achieve and sustain a sense of joy every day in life, maintain well-being, have calm, and instill a conscientious gratitude for what is. The art of living becomes achieved when each one feels they’re living a more exuberant, fulfilling, and meaningful life, a better sense of everyday joy in living. A LOT of fun must be added to the equation to fulfill your sense of well-being.” In this refreshing and mind intensifying cookbook, the author uses food as an analogy for life. It will inspire you to reflect on what you bring to the table of your own life. Ms. Whizin explains, “Love is the key ingredient to living a happy and joyful life. Remember to bring love into everything you do.” Think of it this way. What if cooking was more than slinging pots, pans, and forks three times a day? Have you ever thought of meditating before each meal? The author provides a “Happy Mindful Meditation” for each chapter of the book. Yup, mediate first, cook second. When you go to the market do you “ask” which vegetables want to come with you to be in your soup? The author does and it all makes perfect sense when she explains how to get in touch with your own senses to “feel” the dish you are making. Be sure to embrace the “Self-Reflection/Notes” section at the end of each chapter where you indicate how you enjoyed the preparation process, the result, and reactions from family and friends.
the Table: A Savory, Sensory and Inspirational Guide to Living a Yummy Delicious Life” is the founder of The Soul Diving Institute in Sherman Oaks, California. She is also a philanthropist, teacher, speaker, and innovative creator of programs that elevate individuals to increase their Joy Factor© in daily life and living. She guides, coaches, and teaches individuals how to bring love, honor, and dignity into everything they do, including cooking. She uses cooking as the analogy for living a yummy delicious life, which consists of permeating one’s true essences into the preparation of the recipes. She Honestly, this a wonderfully quirky cookbook you encourages everyone to use their own instincts should try and share with like-minded friends. in cooking so the recipes become their own. With chapter titles such as Preparation of Self, Getting into the Deep Dive, Change Your It’s quite the experience. Immerse yourself in the Thoughts, Change your Life, and Living Your book, enjoy the included recipes and relish in the Legacy, there’s a lot to swallow – so to speak. I “yummy delicious life”. Learn more want to stress that the recipes are excellent. at https://souldivinginstitute.com/ Short’ish prep times, manageable ingredient lists, Shelley is kindly giving our Big Blend audience a easy to follow directions and knock-out photos guide you to success. free download of “Chapter 4: Family and Friends, Relationships.” Just click here. Shelley Whizin, author of “What Do You Bring to Recipe on Next Page… PAGE 39
The Shelley Whizin Killer Hershey Chocolate Cake Shelley Continued… Serves 8
Prep time: 20 minutes Bake time: 35 minutes Total time: 55 minutes
Cream butter and sugar, then add the eggs.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate has been lovers’ delight for centuries. This is a foolproof recipe and was passed down from the Whizin side of the family. I’m telling you, no matter what I have done to this recipe, it always comes out DELICIOUS! You’ll see!
Add the sifted dry ingredients (on slow speed if using an electric mixer) to wet ingredients with a can of Hershey chocolate syrup, vanilla, and mix until creamy.
You just can’t kill it!
More time may be necessary depending on how wet you want the cake.
When cool, frost with favorite icing. This will keep moist if refrigerated (Note: you cannot kill this cake, even if you burn it. I’m telling you it will taste delicious no matter what).
¼ lb. butter (room temperature) ¾ cup of sugar 4 eggs (room temperature) 1 cup sifted flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Dash of salt 1 lg can Hershey chocolate syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven at 350 degrees
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside.
Pour into a 9” greased and floured Pyrex dish and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit www.AllInGoodTaste.info PAGE 40
In the video, Erin Turner at The Farm at Spring Creek shows how to make her homemade farm style chili. Serves 6. 1 lb. Grass-fed ground beef 1 TBSP olive oil 1 can French onion soup 1 can petite diced tomatoes 1 can ranch style beans with jalapenos (optional: regular ranch style beans or a can of chili beans) 2 cups beef bone broth 2 TBSP chili powder 1 tsp Crystal Hot Sauce 1 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (Can use salt and pepper instead.) Heat the oil over medium heat in your pot (a 2.5 quart pot works well). Brown the ground beef and season with Tony's Creole Seasoning or salt and pepper.
rolling boil. Stir and reduce heat to low and let it simmer for at least an hour. The liquid should reduce by half. Serve and enjoy! The Farm at Spring Creek is located near Greeneville, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Learn more about The Farm including its White Rose Cabin vacation rental, or shop for their grass-fed beef products at: https://www.thefarmatspringcreek.net/
Add the chili powder and cook for 2 more minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and let it come to a PAGE 41
SAVOR THE CHICKEN Three Sassy ‘n Saucy Chicken Recipes
OVEN ROASTED BARBECUE CHICKEN Recipe by Ivan Flowers, a Five-star Chef and Culinary Instructor. More recipes here.
1 Whole Chicken, cut-up 1 Tbsp. Low-Sodium Soy Sauce 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce 1 Tsp. Granulated Garlic 1 Tsp. Smoked Paprika ¼ Cup Sugar-free Hickory Barbecue Sauce Juice of half of an Orange CHEF IVAN FLOWERS ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen here in the 2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com. 1tsp. Sriracha 2 Tbsp. Sugar-free Teriyaki Sauce Preheat oven to 400 degrees. ¼ Cup Spicy Szechuan Pepper Sauce Spray a baking sheet with oil and put the In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and then chicken and all of the sauce on the sheet. add in the chicken, making sure it is well coated. Cook for 30-45 minutes. Serves 4. Let it sit in bowl at room temperature for 1 hour. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 43
Savor the Chicken Continued…
SWEET ORANGE-COCONUT GLAZED CHICKEN Recipe by Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand award-winning recipe book, “Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.” Wine pairing tips by Howard Milstein. More recipes at www.RuthMilstein.com. Here is a dish you can savor and delight in. Plump, juicy, glazed chicken with a hint of coconut marinade that is delectable! RUTH MILSTEIN ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen here in the YouTube Makes 4 servings player or download the podcast on Podbean.com. 4 chicken legs, (legs & thighs) skin on 1-16 ounce can of coconut milk ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 medium-size oranges) ¼ cup Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme ½ teaspoon chopped oregano 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon 1 minced garlic clove ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Rinse the chicken and pat it dry; then set it aside. Pour the coconut milk into a large bowl and put the chicken in for an hour until it is marinated on all sides. PAGE 44
In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients, then pour the marinade over the chicken and turn it to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. Turn the chicken every once in a while, to reincorporate the marinade ingredients. Transfer the marinated chicken to a medium baking pan and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Then flip the chicken over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Serve with roasted potatoes or vegetables. TIP: If you double the ingredients, bake for 20 minutes more, the chicken will be ready when the juices in the tray run clear. WINE: An elegant but slightly fruity Bordeaux will match this dish well without overpowering the chicken. Try out the moderately priced Château Argadens 2018 Bordeaux Blanc; for a delicious pairing. You can also try one of the numerous Cabernet Sauvignons from the Napa Valley.
PITA POCKETS WITH CHINESE CHICKEN-PEANUT SAUCE Recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. More recipes at www.ThePeanutPatch.com 2 cups chopped cooked chicken 1 cup grated carrots ½ head roughly chopped iceberg lettuce (about 4 cups) 2/3 cup chow mein noodles 1/3 cup canned sliced water chestnuts 4 tablespoons peanut oil 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce 1 tablespoon of sugar ¼ cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts 2 tablespoons chopped green onions 3 pita breads, cut in half
In a large bowl, mix together chicken, carrots, lettuce, chow mein noodles, and water chestnuts. Set aside. To make the dressing: In a separate bowl, mix together peanut oil, peanut butter, rice vinegar and soy sauce until smooth. Stir in peanuts and green onions. Stir until blended. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Fill 6 pita pocket halves with even portions of chicken salad and serve. PAGE 45
BISCUITS & BENEDICTS TWO WAYS Compiled by editors Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Though there are conflicting reports on who created the original Eggs Benedict recipe, most accounts point to New York City as its origins. Eggs Benedict is typically built up with two halves of an English muffin as the base, each topped with a slice of Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and Hollandaise Sauce. As part of our Love Your Park Tour we often stay at bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, and historic inns. Breakfast is a highlight of a stay, especially when you meet innkeepers who are avid foodies with a passion and flair for cooking. Enjoy the two Eggs Benedict video recipes where two innkeepers decided to ditch the English muffin tradition and bring a delicious biscuit twist to this popular breakfast and brunch dish.
BISCUITS & BENEDICTS TWO WAYS Compiled by editors Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Though there are conflicting reports on who created the original Eggs Benedict recipe, most accounts point to New York City as its origins. Eggs Benedict is typically built up with two halves of an English muffin as the base, each topped with a slice of Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. As part of our Love Your Park Tour we often stay at bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, and historic inns. Breakfast is a highlight of a stay, especially when you meet innkeepers who are avid foodies with a passion and flair for cooking. Enjoy the two Eggs Benedict video recipes below where two innkeepers decided to ditch the English muffin tradition and bring a delicious biscuit twist to this popular breakfast and brunch dish.
Biscuits & Gravy Benedict PAGE 46
Country-style Eggs Benedict
CHRIS TILLMAN: COUNTRY-STYLE EGGS BENEDICT Chris Tillman shows how to make his country-style eggs benedict. Chris and his wife Sharon are the innkeepers and owners of the historic Georges on York Bed & Breakfast in Taneytown, Maryland.
Get the recipe on their blog: https://georgesonyork.com/blog/ 2020/12/10/chris-hollandaise-sauce
TREY LEWIS: BISCUITS & GRAVY BENEDICT Trey Lewis shows how to make his biscuits and gravy eggs benedict recipe. Trey and his wife Annette are the innkeepers and owners of Dancing Moon Bed & Breakfast which is located on the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway in Northeast Coloradoâ€™s Wine Country. More about B&B: https://www.dancingmoonbnb.com/ PAGE 47
This delicious breakfast recipe is from Tiffany Bertram who along with her husband Bob, runs and owns Tiffanyâ€™s Bed & Breakfast in Bismarck, near Hot Springs, Arkansas. 6 Croissants 9 oz jar orange marmalade 3 oz orange juice 5 eggs 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Kiwi slices Mandarin orange sections Remove from fridge 45 minutes before baking. Cut Croissants in half lengthwise and place Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about bottom halves in buttered 12 X 9â€? oven proof 25 minutes. dish. Serve hot, and garnish with kiwi and mandarin Thin marmalade with orange juice and spoon orange sections. over each bottom half, saving a little to be used as a glaze. Serves 6 Replace Croissant tops. Beat eggs, cream, and vanilla. More at Pour over top of the Croissants. https://www.tiffanysbedandbreakfast.com/ Spoon some thinned marmalade over top. Soak overnight. PAGE 48
Compiled by editors Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith Bob Schuman and his wife Debi are the innkeepers of the Miller-Dunham House Bed and Breakfast, a colonial-style home in the heart of historic Odessa, Delaware. We met them when we stayed there as part of our Love Your Parks Tour, and what a fun and wonderful experience we had! Odessa is a charming small town that’s home to one of thirteen National Historic Landmark sites in Delaware including the Corbit-Sharp house which is a designated Network to Freedom site on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. It is also near parks and natural areas such as the Blackbird Creek Reserve, Lums Pond State Park, and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.
of wine by the fire. More at https://www.miller-dunham.com/ In the video above, Bob shows how to easily peel a bulb of garlic, and a super cool bar trick!
Miller-Dunham Bed & Breakfast offers a casual and peaceful experience, and is pet-friendly. The Inn’s four guest rooms are tastefully furnished and are uniquely themed according to the local area’s history and landscape. Guests wake to a delicious homemade breakfast, and after a day of sightseeing, can return to relax in the beautiful garden, play a game of corn hole, or enjoy a glass PAGE 49
By Linda Kissam, “Food, Wine & Shopping Diva”
BIG BLEND RADIO: Linda Kissam, Carole Lawson, William & Jennifer Layton, and Bill Schinkle. Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com.
Tranquil Heart Winery harvest PAGE 50
Great crowd listening to Justin Ryan at Layton’s Chance Winery On your wine journey, you are likely to start with the bigger, more well-known brands. These wines are made for the masses, are pleasing to many palates, have agreeable price points, and are consistent in taste across vintages. However, as your palate develops and your interest in wine progresses, you will begin searching out smaller producers that specialize in small lot wines. It is as natural as loving Hershey Chocolate when you were young, but progressing to Godiva or really “paying up” to Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate Chef's Collection as an adult. You change, your taste buds develop. It’s all good.
How do you find small- lot (also called craft wines)? Craft wine is specifically American wine. It features classic grapes and blends that stand toe-to-toe with the best in the world. Try starting at Craftwine.org. This is an organization founded in 2016. Craftwine.org is a membership organization, but it’s where you go to find out the best small-lot producers. As www.Craftwine.org explains, “We proudly support small production, handmade wines born from the heart and soul of the producer. These wines are a reflection of the hands that made them and the communities where they live. Some of it is traditional, some unique, all of it Craft.”
So I sense some interest from you about where The designation of Certified Craft Winery is to find small-lot wines. Good for you. You won’t awarded to member wineries who qualify as a regret your journey. Let’s start with what I mean commercially-available, limited-production wine by “small-lot wines.” If I put together a list of the producer. Authenticity and traceability are key best and most interesting wines I’ve tried in the components. Wines must be authentic and past years, an overwhelming majority would be traceable to their roots. the work of producers with just a handful of Producers need to know the source of their fruit acres, producing a limited amount of wine. to qualify for this designation. The Certified Craft Because they tend to have a more intimate relationship with their vines, small producers are Wine designation is designed to support familyowned community wineries. That’s a great more likely to produce wines that transmit an indefinable quality that makes it special: a sense statement. Keep it in mind as you expand your knowledge of wine. of place, a certain flavor or feeling that only comes from that specific site. Are these wines Continued on Next Page… more expensive and harder to find? Yup. PAGE 51
Layton’s Chance Winery Craft Wines Continued… When you are ready to go down the proverbial wine-related rabbit hole, check out this site https://NxtCrush.com. You won't find any industrially produced wines here. Every wine on NxtCrush is certified by the Craft Wine Association as a Certified Craft Wine. You can easily explore and purchase to your heart’s content. Like some direction on which wineries to look at first? Here are two craft certified wineries from two different states you should keep on your wine radar.
Layton’s Chance Winery in Maryland
JOE'S COOL RED / $17.95 / 18% alcohol. Joe's famous namesake. This is a light dessert, fortified wine. Think strawberry, cherry, Concord grape, raspberry, and a hint of acai berry notes. Sweet but surprisingly ends off on a somewhat dry note. Slightly acidic finish. One of those versatile wines that can be served as an aperitif, after dinner dessert or mixed with club soda for a tasty sangria or as an alternative to a brunch mimosa. If you have a, “I only drink sweet wines” friend, serve them this.
Set on more than 14 acres of striking vineyards, Layton’s Chance is located in Maryland. It produces a variety of great wines, features a nice 2018 VINTNER'S RESERVE / tasting room, a large picnic area with outdoor $26.00. Vintner’s Reserve is a games, a nature trail, and a friendly staff. blend of Cab Franc, Norton and Owners Jennifer and William Layton are Chambourcin grapes. It producing their wines in a state not typically presents as a dry full-bodied associated with wine, Maryland. Jennifer is the wine. Prominent berry flavors general manager and her husband William, is the pair well with anything grilled or winemaker. The family grew corn and soybeans roasted as well as soft cheeses. for generations until Jennifer and William took over. Layton’s Chance is the first Certified Craft Winery in Maryland. PAGE 52
Bill Shinkle, owner of Tranquil Heart Vineyard and Winery
Tranquil Heart Vineyard & Winery in California
the wine, from the vine to the barrel, and at the same time allow our members to have the This is a bio-dynamic craft wine-maker located in opportunity to also be part of the winemaking California’s renowned South Coast Wine Country experience.” Region. They cultivate and harvest six different The winery has 15 acres, shaped in a heart. The varieties of grapes producing award-winning, small-batch wines. To keep the balance of sugar, climate is Mediterranean. He chose a diverse mix PH, and acid, winemaker Bill S. shares that they, of mostly Italian varieties: Barbera, Teroldego, “…are probably the earliest to harvest in So Cal.” Aglianico, Muscat Canelli, Fiano, and Viognier. Tranquil Heart is a private membership club and isn’t open to the public. The award-winning The actual name of the business is Tranquility Vineyards and Winery. Taking the drawing of the wines are available via wine club membership or online purchase. Continued on Next Page… property and turning it around the heart appeared. Per owner Bill, “Our logo is almost the exact shape of the property. We decided that the heart had to be in the name, and we shortened Tranquility to Tranquil and added a heart. Tranquil Heart.” Bill Shinkle, owner of Tranquil Heart Vineyard and Winery, is razor-sharp focused on producing quality, small craft wines. There were doubters when he launched a winery in the most unlikely place, hot and dusty Hemet, California. But Bill’s background in horticulture told him he could go way beyond even his own expectations. “It is my goal to be in complete control over all aspects of PAGE 53
Tranquil Heart Vineyard & Winery line-up
Craft Wines Continued… 2017 BIANCA BARBERA/ $34: Made from the Barbera variety, which is always a good starting point for me. The winemaker treated this red grape varietal like a white. Interesting…no skins or seeds in the fermentation process. According to the winemaker, “We selectively chose 9 rows, pick it 3 weeks earlier than normal for our grapes used for our Red wine at around 21 brix level. We simply pressed it and removed the skins and seeds like we would a white.” The result? Easy on the nose and palate. Smells like Watermelons. The color took on a tantalizing Coral. 2015 WILLIAMS WILD RED RESERVE /$68: Small-lot production (38 cases) assures a unique tasting experience. A silver award winner from the 2018 San Diego Int'l Wine Challenge confirms how special this wine is. A thoughtful South Coast Appellation red wine blend consisting of 50% Barbera, 30% Aglianico, and 20% Toreldego. Nice balance, goes down smooth with toasty French oak and fruitforward notes. Complex flavors. It pairs well with red meats, red sauce pasta dishes, or in stand-alone sipping. Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit www.AllInGoodTaste.info PAGE 54
ANTARCTIC ARTISTS & WRITERS COLLECTIVE
On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Antarctic Artists and Writers Collective cofounders Glenn McClure and Michelle Schwengel-Regala discuss their experience in Antarctica. Glenn is a composer/musician who was a National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) artist-in-residence at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Michelle is a scientific illustrator, fiber artist, naturalist, and NPAF Invitation Artist. Listen to or download the podcast on Podbean or YouTube.com. The Antarctic Artists and Writers Collective (AAWC) is made up of a group of artists and writers who over the past 40 years have traveled to Antarctica in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. The AAWC’s mission is to inspire and educate the public about Antarctica and its scientific exploration through collaborations in the arts. More information and a list of current members can be found at the Collective’s website: https://www.aawcollective.com/.
Since the early 1980s, over 120 artists, performers, and writers have traveled to the seventh continent on a zero-dollar grant, using their creative talents to tell the story of this largely unexplored continent through art, music, writing, and performance. The AAWC is a collaborative effort to bring those talents together and share their work with the public at large. Through the Arts, the AAWC artists and writers convey the visceral experience of an extreme and remote environment few people get to visit in person in words, images, sound, and multimedia installations, informed by their interactions with the scientists conducting research there.
As artists who share a unique experience and an PAGE 58
Glen McClure, listening to the ice. interdisciplinary perspective, group members plan to create a network for future collaboration, including virtual and physical exhibitions, concerts, performances, lectures, and publications. The Collective's website is serving as a comprehensive central resource and directory of projects produced through the Antarctic Artists & Writers Program, something that has not existed to date. Currently, the AAWC has 69 members. The Collective has engaged an independent curator to prepare an online exhibition, â€œAdequate Earth: Artists and Writers in Antarctica,â€? consisting of works by the 13 founding members. Featured on the AAWC website from January 28 - May 22, 2021, a series of virtual events will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition. With the official launch of the website, the group has also launched social media channels: Instagram: @antarcticcollective Facebook: @antarcticcollective Twitter: @AntarcticAWC. PAGE 59
Flags from frozen floating, Michelle Schwengel-Regala
by Debbie Stone
Nature can be a soothing balm, providing opportunities to rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit. During challenging times, escaping to the great outdoors is even more essential to our health and well-being. We are fortunate in this country to have a wide variety of natural playgrounds. Though mountains, parks and beaches come foremost to mind, gardens also offer space to DEBBIE STONE ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen here in the unwind and relax amid serene YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com. surroundings. Bloedel, whose passion for nature and its A short ferry ride from Seattle will lead you to therapeutic powers helped transform a rugged Bainbridge Island, an idyllic destination that’s home to the famed Bloedel Reserve. One of USA piece of land into a verdant Eden. Today’s 2020 Top Ten Botanical Gardens, The Bloedels bought the 150-acre property that Bloedel’s vision is “To provide refreshment and would become the Reserve back in 1951. It was tranquility in the presence of natural beauty.” their private residence for over thirty years, The Reserve is a horticultural treasure that has during which time, they shaped the landscape been internationally recognized for its refined with the aid of noted landscape architects and gardens, natural landscapes and preserved Continued on Next Page… forests. It was created by Prentice and Virginia PAGE 61
Bloedel Continued… designers, including Thomas Church, Richard Haag, Fujitaro Kubota, and Iain Robertson. Later, the couple gave the Reserve to the community and established a nonprofit to support its operations. The place opened to the public in 1988 and it is beloved by visitors who come from all over the world to connect and reconnect with nature while finding inspiration and creativity from this enchanting setting.
Mid-pond Nesting birds, migratory and resident ducks, geese, and colorful dragonflies take center stage in the Buxton Bird Marsh & Meadow, along with more than fifty varieties of native wildflowers. Recent improvements to the area include a new boardwalk, viewpoints and seating. Nearby is the Trestle Bridge, a picturesque large wooden footbridge spanning a ravine.
One of the most stunning sights in the Reserve is the view of Mid-Pond looking toward the Residence, once the home of the Bloedels. At first glance, the water appears as a lush, green Strolling the grounds is a journey of discovery. carpet, which is perhaps the result of algae Each section of the Reserve offers a different growth. After inquiring, however, I learned it’s milieu. On the Meadow Trail, you’ll come across Sheep Sheds that used to house a flock of sheep. not algae, but rather Watermeal, a tiny species of The creatures are long gone, but the sheds have a flowering plant. This plant quickly reproduces by “budding off” new plants from older ones since served as a backdrop for concerts and instead of propagating by seeds. theatrical performances. The Woodlands is like a fairyland, where you can Normally, Bloedel’s ground crew skims the pond, but this year, due to the pandemic, the crew was almost imagine elves popping out of the groves behind in its garden work. of cedars, firs, and ferns. PAGE 62
Japanese Garden and Guest House In the future, the Watermeal should decrease thanks to the introduction of Grass Carp, a type of fish that will eat the plants. The Residence is a handsome, stately house, designed in the 18th-century French tradition. Previously, visitors could tour the first floor, but currently the building is closed, and all programs (concerts, lectures, etc.) that are normally held on-site have been canceled. You can, however, stroll around to the back of the home, which overlooks the Bluff and a picturesque view of Puget Sound. Another favorite spot is the Japanese Garden and Japanese Guest House. The garden is regarded as one of the best in the country and contains a collection of beautiful trees, including a striking laceleaf maple and a large Katsura that offers an array of colorful foliage throughout the year. And there’s even a Wishing Bench, perfect for making a wish or enjoying this lovely scene.
The Guest House, which served as quarters for the Bloedel’s guests, is a melding of Japanese and Northwest Coast Native American Longhouse styles. Though the structure is not open to the public, you can get a closer look by walking along the porch. Make sure to check out the Sand and Stone Garden in front of the house. Originally a swimming pool, it was replaced with a sculpture after famous poet Theodore Roethke accidentally drowned there. In 1987, the sculpture was removed and the Sand and Stone Garden was installed. This type of garden (often referred to as a “Zen garden”) is one of the most recognizable aspects of Japanese culture. Its clean lines and bare, stripped-down form help viewers clear their minds and encourage a meditative state.
Continued on Next Page… PAGE 63
Trestle Bridge If you’re into moss, and even if you’re not, you’ll be in awe of the Reserve’s Japanese-inspired Moss Garden. It’s the largest public moss garden in the U.S. with forty plus species of mosses and lichens spread across two acres. You’ll feel as if you’ve wandered into a primordial realm coated in velvet. Also popular with visitors is the Reflection Pool. Situated next to the Moss Garden, it’s tucked behind a wall of hedges so that your first sight is one of breathtaking surprise. The 200-foot-long rectangular pool is surrounded by sheared yews and mown grass in manicured, formal fashion – quite a stark contrast to the natural forest beyond. This is a quiet spot, also ideal for contemplation.
Timed-entry tickets, booked online in advance, are currently required, as are masks and social distancing. www.bloedelreserve.org Debbie Stone is an established travel writer and columnist, and regular contributor for Big Blend Radio and Big Blend Magazines, who crosses the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers and listeners. She’s an avid explorer who welcomes new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for places, culture, food, history, nature, outdoor adventure, wellness and more. Her travels have taken her to nearly 100 countries and to all seven continents.
If you go: Bloedel is open year-round, Tuesday – Sunday, allowing visitors to explore the different landscapes as they change with the seasons. PAGE 64
Spring Nature Trippin’ in Central California Compiled Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith
Pinnacles National Park From big rocks to big trees, wildflowers to birds and wildlife, these two Central California national park destinations have all the ingredients for the ultimate spring and early summer nature fix.
SAN BENITO COUNTY NATURE TRIP Experience Rock Spires, Night Skies, Wildflowers & Condors Pinnacles National Park – Known as ‘The Park on the Move’, Pinnacles is of geological significance, and actually moves about 3-6 centimeters a year! The park boasts a diverse array of habitats that range from spectacular spring wildflowers to oak woodlands and chaparral scrub, caves and rock spires. These habitats are home to over 140 birds species of birds, 49 mammals, 22 reptiles, 8 amphibians, 71 butterflies, 41 dragonflies and damselflies, and more than 400 bee species! Enjoy hiking trails, rock climbing, exploring caves, stargazing, camping and bird watching. Keep your eyes open for a lucky glimpse of a California condor, as this park also manages a release site for captive bred California condors. Learn more at (831) 389-4485 / (831) 389-4486, or www.NPS.gov/pinn. Continued on Next Page... PAGE 66
Butterfly in Pinnacles National Park
Fremont Peak State Park
Big Trees, Big Rocks Continued… Fremont State Park – Located in San Juan Bautista, this beautiful 162 acre park encompasses the summit of 3,169-foot Fremont Peak in the Gabilan Range, and is known for its awesome views of Monterey Bay, San Benito Valley, Salinas Valley, and the Santa Lucia Mountains. The park’s pine and oak woodlands are an ideal habitat for numerous birds and mammals. Along with hiking and biking trails,
there are camping and picnic facilities, plus, an astronomical observatory with a 30-inch telescope which is open for public programs. Learn more at (831) 623-4255 or http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=564. San Benito County is just a couple hours drive southeast of San Francisco. Plan your trip at http://www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com.
Hume Lake in Sequoia National Forest, adjacent to Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks
TULARE COUNTY NATURE TRIP
for being home to the General Grant Grove of Experience Giant Sequoias, Waterfalls, Wildlife & giant sequoia trees, the famous General Grant Tree, and the Redwood Mountain Grove which is Wildflowers the largest remaining natural grove of giant sequoias in the world. Starting in late spring or Kings Canyon National Park â€“ Located in the early summer, you can enjoy babbling brooks southern Sierra Nevada region, and spanning and waterfalls offset by towering granite cliffs, 461,901 acres, the park is made up of mostly wilderness, forests and spectacular canyons, with as well as lush meadows and glacial canyons. Learn more at (559) 565-334 or Kings Canyon itself being one of the deepest www.NPS.gov/seki. Continued on Next Pageâ€Ś canyons in the United States. The park is known
Sequoia National Forest Sequoia National Park Big Rocks, Big Trees Continued… Sequoia National Park – One of the first parks in the country, Sequoia NP is famous for its giant sequoia trees and black bears. Visit the General Sherman Tree (the largest living organism and tree in the world), climb Moro Rock, take in spectacular views of Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states), and hike through glacial canyons, lush meadows thick with wildflowers, and explore oak woodlands. The scenery is spectacular, offering a rich diversity of birds, plants, and wildlife. Covering 404,064 acres, there are hundreds of streams, ponds, rivers, creeks, and lakes, and over 200 marble caverns to explore. Crescent Meadow and Big Trees Trail offer wonderful spring and early summer wildflower, bird, and wildlife viewing. Tokopah Falls Trail is a fantastic 1.7-mile spring hike along the north bank of the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, leading to the 1,200foot cascading waterfall. Learn more at (559) 565-334 or www.NPS.gov/seki.
Sequoia National Forest & Giant Sequoia National Monument – Featuring 33 groves of giant sequoia trees, the Sequoia National Forest is home to the biggest concentration of giant sequoia groves. These groves are protected within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which encompasses over 353,000 acres of diverse landscape, including two wild and scenic rivers, lakes, and six wilderness areas. Along with the magnificent giant sequoias, the area boasts lush forest meadows and a myriad of plant, bird, and animal species. There are limestone caverns to explore and granite domes and spires to see, along with archaeological sites. The activities are endless and include hiking and camping, mountain biking, horse riding, bird and wildlife watching, and spring whitewater rafting. Learn more at (559) 7841500 or www.FS.USDA.gov/sequoia. Tulare County is less than a four hour drive northeast of Los Angeles. Plan your trip at www.DiscovertheSequoias.com
DOGS: OUR UNSUNG HEROES By Cori Solomon
Dogs have always been there for us through catastrophes, wars, and sickness, and have displayed a loyalty which remains unparalleled during the course of the human experience. Many dogs were originally bred to assist their human companions in daily life. A Border Collie, Corgi, or Shetland Sheepdog were bred to herd sheep or cattle. Some dogs were bred to hunt animals. A working dog might be a military dog, a K-9 police dog, or a search and rescue dog. Dogs that fall into these categories might be the German Shepherd or a Labrador Retriever.
CORI SOLOMON ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen to here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com.
Many of these dogs are our unsung heroes. They who have served us. can save lives, detect a bomb, or, in the case of a Search and Rescue Dogs military dog, boost the morale of those soldiers In 2010, my interest piqued when I read about fighting a war. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, we should not only honor our veterans but school children raising money for the National those dogs that fought alongside whether it be in Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Pearl, a shelter dog who became a search and rescue dog, a war or search and rescue dogs that partnered inspired the book from which the proceeds were with our firefighters to save lives during donated to the National Disaster Search Dog disasters. Let us celebrate some of these dogs PAGE 72
Foundation to train a dog. Through this experience, I met many search and rescue dogs, including Pearl, who recently went over the rainbow bridge. Some of the dogs I encountered were members of the task force team that went to New York after 911. Some traveled to Japan and Haiti when natural disasters occurred.
Monument located at Joint Base San Antonio -Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. This location is not only a memorial to those working dog teams but a dog training facility for the U.S. Armed Services Military working dog program. It also trains working dogs for other government agencies.
After talking to military dogsâ€™ handlers during this My curiosity with the military, search and rescue, experience, I learned that besides working as a team with the dogs as scouts, sentries, trackers, and therapy dogs did not stop there. Shortly after, I discovered that two World War II dogs are or search and rescue, these dogs accomplished an untold job. They gave unconditional love to buried at the Los Angeles National Cemetery. They no longer permit canine burials, but Bonus the troops when one of their comrades was lost in battle. These dog mascots bring soldiers peace and Blackout are the two that have that honor, of mind through comfort. The dogs all know the and I walked the cemetery to pay homage to difference between when they are comforting these dogs. versus working.
In 2013, I covered the Natural Balance Rose Bowl I also never realized the strong emotional Parade Float, called Canines with Courage. The relationship between humans and dogs during float celebrated the military dogs who assisted wartimes. There is a bond that develops when us in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and military handlers train and regularly work with Afghanistan wars. It also made people aware of the Military Working Dog Teams National their dog. Continued on Next Pageâ€Ś PAGE 73
Dogs Continued… The dog becomes their best friend, confidant, and partner. The latest to honor our war heroes is the October 2020 unveiling of the statue, called “The Pledge” by Susan Bahary. This sculpture honors women in the military and depicts a woman in uniform with a service dog. The monument is located at the Women in the Military Service For America Memorial in Arlington, VA.
Military Mascot Many years after my father-in-law passed away, my husband shared the story of Sugie, a sea dog and military mascot of the Besugo SS321, a World War II submarine that saw five combat tours. As a dog, he could sense nearby depth charges well before the crew. Sugie received a citation for his work along with the crew. Similar to what I discovered the year I covered the Canine for Courage float, Sugie played a vital role in the lives of the men aboard the Besugo. Sugie supported these men with his unconditional love. He bolstered their morale and entertained them. He kept them going during difficult times.
Murray, a therapy dog owned by a therapist friend, who helped open these veterans up, grounding them so they could move forward with their lives. Then there are the service dogs who help blind and deaf people or even the autistic child. These dogs impact everyone, not only giving us joy but working to make our lives better. I am grateful, having met many of these canines who have impacted and saved many lives. Finally, I have been a dog person all my life, but when I got involved with Salukis and bred a litter, I learned more about the relationship between a dog and a human. I think it is apropos that during this time of COVID that people are bringing dogs into their lives to comfort us during these challenging times.
Cori Solomon is an award-winning freelance writer/photographer residing in Los Angeles, California. Her writing focuses on travel, art, food, wine, and pets. Cori shares her experiences and joy of her subjects in a passionate, candid, caring, and entertaining way. Like her animal art, where she looks beyond the eyes to find an animal’s inner soul and spirit, Cori looks for the story that is behind the Therapy Dogs restaurant, chef, winery, winemaker, or artist. As Many soldiers come back from conflicts Cori often travels with her dogs, some of her travel articles deal with pet-friendly hotels and locations. worldwide with PTSD. Often, dogs help lift their Follow her at http://www.writtenpalette.com spirits. I remember Murray, a therapy dog PAGE 74
THE COOLEST STUFF ON EARTH On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Shelby Lees, senior editor at National Geographic Kids Books, discusses their new book, “The Coolest Stuff on Earth: A Closer Look at the Weird, Wild and Wonderful.” The big, bright and photopacked National Geographic Kids book, digs into the details behind our planet’s most magnificent marvels, epic Big Blend Radio: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player extremes, and astonishing or download the podcast on PodBean. animals. Our world is filled with strange, bizarre, and weird happenings. But what do they mean? Why are they important? And what secrets are behind them? These stories and much more are revealed through cool stories, action-packed photos, fantastic infographics, and exciting Q&As with in-the-field experts.
Discover the secrets of sharkskin, the mysteries behind incredible island animals, the power behind lightning, how a rare gemstone changes color, and more. It's a fresh way of looking at our amazing planet! More at https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/bo oks/
EXPLORE GREATER BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA This episode of Big Blend Radio features Vickie S. Ashford-Thompson from the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau who shares what there is to experience in Greater Birmingham, Alabama including its civil rights history, the food and dining scene, museums, galleries, parks, attractions, and seasonal activities. Plan your Birmingham adventure at https://www.birminghamal.org/ Listen to Vickieâ€™s interview in the YouTube player below or download the podcast on Podbean.
Have fun with our online jigsaw puzzle of Railroad Park (as pictured here - photo by Randy Crow), on BlendRadioandTV.com. Birmingham Regions Field: Art Maripol
FAMILY FUN IN NATCHITOCHES
Lost Treasure Mining Company at the Dark Woods Adventure Park This episode of Big Blend Radio focuses on family-friendly attractions and activities in Natchitoches, Louisiana with Kelli West of Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau and Laramie Nichols from the new Lost Treasure Mining Company at the Dark Woods Adventure Park. Located in Northwest Louisiana, Natchitoches is the oldest Big Blend Radio: Listen to the interview here in the YouTube settlement in the state and is part of the Cane River National player or download the podcast on Podbean. Heritage Area. Along with outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking and boating, there are plenty of fun shopping and dining destinations, as well as family-friendly parks and historic sites that appeal to young ones including Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Fort St. Jean Baptiste and Fort Jesup State Historic Sites, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum,
Kisatchie National Forest, Cane River Lake, Grady Erwin Nature Area, and Briarwood Nature Preserve. Plan your Natchitoches Family Adventure at https://natchitoches.com/
Aboard the Cane River Queen
Cane River Candy Company
Briarwood Nature Preserve
by Debbie Stone
Heceta Head Lighthouse PAGE 80
Cape Meares Lighthouses are the sentinels of a coastline, visible from miles away. They serve as points of reference for seafaring folks. And for those of us on land, they are wonderful photograph-worthy subjects and romanticized symbols. You’d be-hard pressed to find travelers to the Oregon Coast who haven’t seen at least one of the dozen or so lighthouses that dot the area. They’re a thing of beauty along this windswept and rugged stretch of land.
Depending on your perspective, it’s either the shortest lighthouse on the coast or the tallest. Though it’s only 38 feet tall, it sits on a cliff towering over 200 feet high. It was named for Captain John Meares, a British explorer, who was the first to sail into Tillamook Bay. The lighthouse’s lens was built in Paris and shipped to Oregon in the late 1800s, then hoisted up the cliff using a large wooden crane.
The panorama from Cape Meares is stunning and, in my opinion, it is one of the most Some are very accessible; others are not, impressive coastal scenes in Oregon. After you’ve whether due to their location or the fact they are drank in the views, take the nearby trail to the on private land. In these “new normal” times, famed Octopus Tree, a national heritage none are actually open to visitors. You can, landmark. This botanical oddity is a massive Sitka however, still get close up to a few and learn spruce shaped like an upside-down octopus with about their colorful histories, while marveling at branch-like tentacles. Believed to be two-to-three their designs and the dramatic views they offer. hundred years old, it was possibly shaped by natural forces or by Native Americans. The truth One of my favorites is Cape Meares Lighthouse, remains a mystery. situated outside the town of Oceanside. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 81
View of Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse, near Florence, is another gem and boasts the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. Perched atop a jaw-dropping bluff jutting out into the sea, this notable watchman has been directing ships away from danger since 1894. The lighthouse makes a striking, picture-postcard from afar, but with just a little effort, you can walk right up to it and see it in all its glory. Those who want the complete experience can stay in a lightkeeper’s cottage, at the onsite Heceta Head Lighthouse B&B. Just beware, the inn has a reputation as one of the most haunted places on the West Coast. Its resident, harmless Haystack Rock ghost is named “Rue,” and story has it that she might have been a lighthouse keeper’s wife. One of her daughters supposedly drowned and years The Oregon Coast is also known for its sea stacks; the most famous of which is iconic later, after Rue herself passed away, her spirit Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. At 235-feet tall, supposedly returned to look for her daughter. it’s the third-largest coastal monolith in the Guests and employees of the inn have reported world and is the result of volcanic eruptions, strange noises coming from the attic, furniture continued uplift, and erosion over thousands of being moved at night, and apparitions of a grayyears. haired woman wearing a Victorian-era dress. PAGE 82
A sand castle in the shape of Haystack Rock Charming Cannon Beach This imposing formation has been designated a marine and bird sanctuary and is protected as part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. A colony of Tufted Puffins are seasonal residents of the rock from early spring to midsummer. During this time, they’re typically in full regalia, with clown-like faces and golden plumes, and are very easy to distinguish. The tidepools are also full of sea life and if you go before low tide, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of creatures, including sea stars, anemones, crabs, and more. The beach itself is spectacular, with plenty of room to stroll, fly a kite, make a sandcastle, or simply doze off to the lulling sound of the waves. And the town of Cannon Beach, with its galleries, shops, and restaurants, adds to the charm of this picture-pretty destination.
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Sea lions, too, are very much at home on the Oregon Coast. In Newport, for example, they like to hang out in the harbor area and are usually surrounded by enthusiastic paparazzi. Another popular place is Sea Lion Caves, north of Florence. This privately-owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary is the country’s largest sea cave and year-round dwelling of the Steller sea lion. Be prepared when you visit the cave, as the noise is deafening, and the odor is quite overpowering! Before leaving the coast, I always make sure to eat my fill of fish and chips, and clam chowder. Then I stop at Tillamook Creamery, home of the well-known Tillamook Cheese. Take a self-guided tour of the factory in its modern barn building, where you’ll learn everything there is to know and more about producing cheese. Then get some cheese curds and a scoop of ice cream to go. With all the delicious flavors, it can be hard to choose, but I consistently opt for Marionberry Pie. It’s quintessential Oregon!
Self-guided tour of Tillamook Creamery Sea Lions abound n Newport
If you go: www.visittheoregoncoast.com Debbie Stone is an established travel writer and columnist, and regular contributor for Big Blend Radio and Big Blend Magazines, who crosses the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers and listeners. She’s an avid explorer who welcomes new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for places, culture, food, history, nature, outdoor adventure, wellness and more. Her travels have taken her to nearly 100 countries and to all seven continents. PAGE 84
THE FOUNDING OF GREELEY, COLORADO
A Visit to Greeley History Museums in Weld County in Northeast Colorado Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Peggy Ford Waldo, recorded onsite at the Greeley History Museum. Hear the fascinating story of how Nathan Meeker envisioned Greeley as a utopian colony of temperance, plus, the visitor experience at the Greeley History Museum, Meeker Home Museum, and the Centennial Village. Perfectly situated on the high Big Blend Radio: Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. plains with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, Weld man, go West,” but it was his visionary County is home to growing cities, charming agricultural editor, Nathan C. Meeker, who towns, thriving businesses, and thousands of spearheaded one of the most successful acres of prime agricultural land. As Colorado’s third-largest county, it covers 3,996 square miles colonization experiments ever attempted in the “Great American Desert.” in the northern part of the state and is larger than the size of Rhode Island, Delaware, and the When the transcontinental railroad was District of Columbia combined. Greeley is the completed in 1869, a spur from Cheyenne to county seat. Denver was built, opening this part of the country for settlement. Meeker was inspired to Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, popularized the phrase, “Go West young create an agricultural utopia. Where the railroad PAGE 86
crossed the confluence of the Platte and Cache la Poudre Rivers, the city of Greeley was born – an ideal location where both natural resources and transportation were abundant. Early in the settlement’s development, an irrigation canal became priority construction, turning the high desert into an agricultural oasis. Throughout its history, this area has been known for growing sugar beets, corn, and onion, among many other crops – all made possible on irrigated farmland. Today if you take a drive around Weld County’s farming and homesteading country and up into the rugged Pawnee National Grassland, you’ll get a taste of what inspired James Michener’s critically acclaimed 1974 novel, “Centennial,” which tells the history of Colorado from the Mesozoic Era up to the early 1970s. More at https://greeleymuseums.com/ and https://www.visitgreeley.org/
AIR WAR ON THE EASTERN FRONT Military historian and award-winning author Mike Guardia discusses his latest book, “Air War on the Eastern Front.” The Red Air Force versus the Luftwaffe in the skies over Eastern Europe. June 1941: Having conquered most of Western Europe, Adolf Hitler turned his attention to the vast Soviet Union. Disregarding his NonAggression Pact with Joseph Stalin, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, a full-scale invasion of the Soviet homeland … aimed squarely at Moscow. In the skies over Russia, the battle-hardened airmen of the Luftwaffe made short work of the Red Air Force during opening days of Barbarossa. To make matters worse, Stalin had executed many of his best pilots during the perennial “purges” of the 1930s. Thus, much of the Red Air Force was destroyed on the ground before meeting the Luftwaffe in the skies. By 1944, however, the Soviet airmen had regained the initiative and fervently wrested air superiority from the now-ailing Axis Powers. Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube Mike Guardia is an player or download the podcast on PodBean. internationally-recognized author and military historian. A veteran of the He has twice been nominated for the Army United States Army, he served six years on active Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Book Award duty (2008-2014) as an Armor Officer. Along with and is an active member in the Military Writers numerous other military history books, he is the Society of America. author of the widely-acclaimed “Hal Moore: A Soldier Once…and Always,” the first-ever biography More at www.MikeGuardia.com. chronicling the life of LTG Harold G. Moore, whose battlefield leadership was popularized by the film “We Were Soldiers,” starring Mel Gibson. PAGE 88
OPERATION DESERT STORM & MCAGCC
Mural: “Operation Iraqi Freedom” This episode of Big Blend Radio’s Military Monday Show features Mike Guardia, a US Army Veteran, and awardingwinning military historian and author. Mike gives an overview of the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm, and discusses the role Twentynine Palms, California played in the military operation. The Marines first came to Twentynine Palms in 1952. Big Blend Radio: Listen to his interview here in the YouTube player Since then, the Marine Corps or download the podcast on PodBean. Air Ground Combat Center has trained thousands of proud Marines, many city for "The Mother of All Victory Parades." of whom were deployed during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. On March 21, The pictured mural “Operation Iraqi Freedom” by 2003, the First Marine Division crossed from Don Gray is dedicated to the men and women of Kuwait and began Operation Iraqi Freedom. the Armed Forces, especially the Marines and Sailors from Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park, Center, Twentynine Palms. Marines from Twentynine Palms is a desert destination and art MCAGCC are depicted in this 100-foot mural in community. Known as the Oasis of Murals, the scenes taken from actual photographs, including city is home to over 60 pieces of public art the historic toppling of the 40-foot bronze statue including murals, sculptures, and various art of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad by 1st Tank installations. The recently resorted mural “Desert Battalion and the rescue of Shoshana Johnson Storm Homecoming and Victory Parade” by and seven POWs by the 3rd LAR. Chuck Caplinger (partially pictured in the YouTube podcast) shares the story of when the Learn more about Mike Guardia and his military troops came home from the Persian Gulf in history books at www.MikeGuardia.com 1991. More than 40,000 people crowded into the PAGE 89
THE MORMON BATTALION STATUE IN YUMA, ARIZONA Honoring the 2000-Mile March from Iowa to California
The 110-acre West Wetlands Park in Yuma, Arizona runs along the beautiful lower Colorado River and is a wonderful year-round destination for bird watching, fishing, boating and kayaking, family gatherings and picnics, and nature walks that lead you through gardens and areas restored with local native trees, grasses, flowers, and shrubs. Along with the East Wetlands, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Colorado River State Historic Park, and Yuma’s historic downtown district, West Wetlands Park is part of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.
If you follow the path to the Butterfly Garden in West Wetlands Park, you’ll see a statue honoring the Mormon Battalion. Erected in 2007 by the West Mormon Battalion Foundation, this statue commemorates the 2000-mile march of the Mormon Battalion who passed through Yuma to cross over into California and did so at the narrows of the Colorado River. Made up of over 500 volunteers, the Mormon Battalion was a division of General Stephen Kearney’s US Army of the West. They served during the Mexican War from July 1846 through July 1847 and made history for making the longest march, going from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California, as well as being the only religious unit in military service.
Of historic significance, the Colorado River was once a water highway and major crossing point at the narrows, which was the easiest place to cross the Colorado River into California. Many crossed here including expeditions such as Juan Bautista de Anza and the Mormon Battalion, and Learn more about the Yuma Crossing National fortune seekers off to try their luck in the Heritage Area at California gold rush. https://www.yumaheritage.com/ PAGE 92
Map of the Mormon Battalion March
RHYOLITE GHOST TOWN By Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid
“... the quartz was just full of free gold... it was the original bullfrog rock... this banner is a crackerjack! The district is going to be the banner camp of Nevada. I say so once and I’ll say it again.” Shorty Harris
Bullfrog Hills Mining District on the Eastern Edge of Death Valley
Bottle House Restored by Paramount If you love exploring and photographing old ruins and abandoned towns, head to the Bullfrog Hills on the eastern edge of Death Valley National Park. Here you will find Rhyolite, a ghost town near Beatty in Nye County, Nevada. We had heard about and seen photographs of the rundown old buildings of Rhyolite and the adjacent “ghosts” of Goldwell Open Air Museum, an outdoor sculpture park. Both places were high up on our bucket list, so on our drive south from Yerington, Nevada to Yuma, Arizona, we just had to pull off of Highway 95. In 1904, Shorty Harris and E. L. Cross were prospecting in the area when they found quartz up on a hill. Soon several mining camps spread out in this desolate area, including the townsite of Rhyolite. It’s said that over 2000 claims spanned a 30-mile area of the Bullfrog district, including the successful Montgomery Shoshone mine which was eventually purchased by Charles Schwab. Rhyolite boomed with buildings, hotels, stores, a school, two electric plants, foundries, machine shops, a hospital, and of course, a Continued on Next Page… PAGE 97
Porter Brothers General Store
Rhyolite Continued… thriving red-light district. The community enjoyed an active social life with dances and picnics, baseball games, and shows at the opera house. There was even electricity. Rhyolite’s success started to fade with the financial panic of 1907. By 1911, the Montgomery Shoshone mine and mill closed, and in 1916, the electricity was turned off.
Rhyolite Ghost Town
Today you can explore the remnants of Rhyolite’s prosperous past including the privately-owned old train depot, the restored Bottle House, the old Porter Brothers General Store (HD &LD Porter, 1906), and the iconic three-story Cook Bank Building. It’s an astounding place to soak in history and witness where hope, prosperity, and community growth flourished so fast, only to be snuffed out in less than a decade.
Old Cook Bank Building
LIFE STORIES, LESSONS & INSPIRATIONS Four Authors Discuss Their Moving Memoirs
MARGARET DAVIS GHIELMETTI: BRAVE(ISH) As the wife of an international luxury hotel executive, Margaret Davis Ghielmetti lived on four continents and traveled to nearly 50 countries, confronted with opportunities for personal growth that challenged her assumptions about her life and her place in the world. She discovers that – if she is ever going to express herself fully and make her BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube creative dreams come true – player or download the podcast on Podbean. she needs to stop living others’ lives and choose to put her own life first. the globe and back home, both literally, spiritually and emotionally. On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Margaret With humor and humility, Margaret reminds us discusses her book, “Brave(ish): A Memoir of a that it’s never too late to reconnect with our own Recovering Perfectionist.” Part cross-cultural authentic selves – if we are willing to let go of the travel memoir and part midlife coming-of-age old roles and rules we thought kept us safe. story, “Brave(ish)” follows the globetrotting author’s internal and external journeys – around More at: www.margaretghielmetti.com
VIVIAN CONAN: LOSING THE ATMOSPHERE Growing up in a large Greek-Jewish clan in post-WWII Brooklyn, Vivian yearned for connection. In her teens, she began talking to faces in the mirror that were not her own. She felt unreal, separated from the rest of humanity by a plexiglass wall. By high school, Vivian knew something was wrong. But it was only after years of therapy, hospitalizations and BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube medications that she received player or download the Podbean. the correct diagnosis: dissociative identity disorder (once known as Therapist Who Understood.” multiple personality disorder). Excerpted in her widely shared New York Times On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Vivian column, Vivian Conan’s “Losing the Atmosphere” discusses some of the stories covered in her is a memoir of mental illness and healing. More memoir, “Losing the Atmosphere: A Memoir, A at www.VivianConan.com Baffling Disorder, A Search for Help, and the
ANNETTE LIBESKIND BERKOVITS: ERYTHRA THALASSA In her autobiographical poetry book “Erythra Thalassa - Brain Disrupted,” Annette Libeskind Berkovits’ poetry offers a searing portrayal of a mother’s anguish after a sudden hemorrhagic stroke renders her son, father of two young daughters, quadriplegic in the prime of his life. In her stunning use of poetry as a memoir, Berkovits wrestles with questions of faith, hope, BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube and guilt, and presents an player or download the podcast on PodBean. intimate glimpse of a world shattered by stroke. Annette was born in Kyrgyzstan and grew up in postwar Poland and the fledgling state of Israel On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Annette before coming to the United States at age discusses her evocative poems that capture sixteen. Her professional background is in the the hope that remains via a powerful image of biological sciences and education. More at: the Red Sea. https://annetteberkovits.com. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 101
Life Stories Continued…
SUSAN HOFFMAN: GRAND DISTANCE A grandparent’s job is to love the grandchild. A grandchild’s job is to receive that love. With such a unique relationship between generations, it’s the mutual affection and time shared between a grandparent and grandchild that strengthens the bond and makes for a full human being. What happens when the balance of this relationship is interrupted? Susan Hoffman BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen to the interview here in the YouTube became an advocate and player or download the podcast on PodBean. activist for disenfranchised grandparents after she was faced with a staySusan is also the author of “Grand Wishes,” “A away letter from her grandson’s parents Precious Bond,” “It Won’t Happen Again” and “Do following a stepparent adoption. You Want to Be Right or Do You Want to Be Happy.” She is the creator and director of the She recounts her experiences in her latest book, non-profit, Advocates for Grandparent"Grand Distance," which she discusses on this Grandchild Connection. More at: episode of Big Blend Radio. https://www.grandparentchildconnect.org/
GNOMENTS: GIFTS FOR COUPLES & FAMILIES On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Marisa China, co-founder of PortoVino, discusses Gnoments, a wonderful gift of Gnomes that help create fun and thoughtful moments for your significant other, family and friends! Our lives are so filled with to do’s that, as couples, we don’t take the time to do the little things that keep our relationships fresh and fun. We BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen to the interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. may remember the big occasions, but it’s the moments in between - the More at: small gestures - that make us feel special. These https://gnoments.com/ little gnomes are here to help you! Their presence will encourage you to dream up thoughtful gestures and fun adventures to surprise and enamor your loved one. PAGE 102
HEART HEALTHY IN 2021
This episode of Big Blend Radio features board certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist Dr. Jacqueline Eubany. Hear her tips on how to get Heart Healthy for 2021, and also about the Coronavirus pandemic and vaccine. Heart disease remains the number one killer of women in the US, killing more women than breast and lung cancer BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen to her interview here in the YouTube combined. Silence is one of the player or download the podcast on PodBean. most deadly aspects of women's heart disease. More at http://www.WomenandHeartDiseaseBook.com Through anecdotes and friendly, jargon-free advice, Dr. Jackie shares with readers of her best- Dr Jackie’s Cardiovascular Wellness Institute of OC is based in Orange, CA with a second office in selling book “Women and Heart Disease: The Irvine, CA. Real Story” how to: reduce their risk by up to 80%; how to recognize a heart attack earlier; and More at www.CVWellnessInstitute.com. how to make the healthiest choices for your heart and your loved ones. PAGE 103
HOW TO BUILD RAPPORT WITH YOUR TEENS By Bobbi DePorter, as outlined in her book “The 7 Biggest Teen Problems & How to Turn Them Into Strengths”
To create the emotional engagement that is such an important element of solid relationships with our children, we need to build rapport with them. Rapport gives us on-ramps into our children’s lives, creating a way to enter their world, know their concerns, share their successes, and “speak their language.” Rapport helps us understand our children’s feelings and ideas, leading to better communication and solid relationships.
BOBBI DEPORTER ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com.
When we reach a solid level of rapport with our children, we create a win-win “partnership” in which we’re able to speak honestly to each other, with love and respect. We have to remember, though, that this goes both ways—as much as we want to be able to communicate honestly to them, we have to allow them to do the same with us. We build mutual respect as we enter their world, and allow them to enter ours.
Built on mutual trust and emotional comfort, rapport develops over time and must be nurtured. It is, however, well worth every minute that you—and your children—put into it. When children feel understood and supported, they feel safe and happy—at home and in themselves. PAGE 104
Here are several ways you can build and maintain rapport with your children:
relationships with your children. Parents who make an effort to build rapport with their • Know what they like, how they think, and children will not how they feel about what’s happening in their only strengthen lives. If you don’t know, ask. their relationships, • Know what keeps them from getting what but also build their they truly want. If you don’t know, ask. children’s feelings • Try to imagine what they say to themselves, of acceptance and about themselves. trust. This in turn • Speak the truth to them clearly, in a way builds their they can hear it and understand it. self- confidence, a • Have fun with them. vital ingredient in their overall happiness. • Treat them as equals. • Trust them. Bobbi DePorter is the President of SuperCamp and • Listen—really listen—to what your children Quantum Learning Network, a U.S.-based say to you, and note their non-verbal educational firm producing programs for students, communication as well. teachers, schools, and organizations across the • And last, but not least—allow and encourage United States and worldwide. SuperCamp is the your children to do all of the above with you. leading academic summer camp in the world. Visit www.SuperCamp.com. Positive support, a nurturing environment, and good communication are essential for strong PAGE 105
HOW IS YOUR ONLINE BEHAVIOR?
By Sarah Elliston
In the past year or so, many of us have learned to work from home and continued to do so. Interestingly enough, the workplace culture that existed in companies before the COVID-19 lockdown, has continued online. CNBC surveyed experts asking about how the virtual environment has impacted work relationships. One of their learnings is that SARAH ELLISTON ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen here in the YouTube due to the lack of player or download the podcast on Podbean.com personal interface, a Thirty-eight percent through verbal cues and creeping toxicity is developing in virtual seven percent through spoken words. When relationships. much of the communication is done through Fifty-five percent of what is communicated in emails, the communication can be off-center normal conversations is through nonverbal cues; since the participants canâ€™t see each other. With PAGE 106
many team meetings being done on platforms like Zoom, people can see each other but there is more opportunity for gossip in the chat rooms and comments made about other people.
My experience with this tendency was early in the use of computers and email at work. I was requesting a particular report from some data I was using in our organization and the IT department was responsible for creating the reports. I hadn’t been taught on-line etiquette In addition, experts discovered some of the stereotypes are re-emerging in the remote and when my contact in IT sent me reports I meetings where women and minorities find their found myself getting more and more annoyed suggestions are passed over leading to a because they were not what I requested. I tendency to stop sharing new ideas. There is less emailed questions like, “What about what I said security in relationships with colleagues and did you not understand? Why didn’t you tell me supervisors. Printed feedback is not the same as you didn’t understand? How much longer am I going to have to wait for this report?” face-to-face feedback and there has been an increase in cyber bullying online among It turned out that the tech I was working with was colleagues. learning about the software as he was We appear to be more willing to write something developing my report and we ended up learning critical or even mean in an email or a tweet, it together. It took a savvy supervisor to invite me while less willing to say it to someone’s face. to come down to their area where he laid it all There could be severe ramifications to in-person out for me and it took a tech being willing to share his inexperience with the software. It took gossip while sniping in emails, chats or tweets isn’t always acknowledged. “SAY IT ON THE me being willing to eagerly volunteer to learn it with him, to resolve the issue. STREET, THAT’S A KNOCK-OUT, BUT YOU SAY IT IN A TWEET, THAT’S A COP OUT,” Taylor Swift With the new technology facing us today, with sang in “You Need to Calm Down.” Continued on Next Page… PAGE 107
Online behavior Continued… multi-level computers trying to interface with be working and when to be off; others have each other, with different platforms for meetings identified days of the week as non-working days we are always in a learning curve. Virtual because so few of the staff chose time off. relationships need care and nourishment. So, heads up here. Supervisors need to take the time to say, “Hey, how are you?” to their employees in personal What are you doing in your on-line work ways. They no longer have the luxury of sticking relationships? their head around the corner of a cubicle and asking the same question. Employees need time Are you just getting through meetings focusing to relate in personal, positive ways. Time has to on problem-solving while maybe ignoring some be taken individually to check on the morale and staff or some negative comments about interest of individuals. suggestions? Have you noticed a lower morale? Have you checked the comments being made Be aware that attention from the boss can also during meetings? Have you asked if people need bring some concern about, “Is my work ok? Am I updates, tech support, or learning/educational being evaluated?” Beyond that, managers can assistance? Have you tried a few smiley faces to build in opportunities for input from everybody lighten the load? Have you taken a stand with during online meetings – having round robins, your staff to respect boundaries and insist on calling on each employee, pointing out that polite interactions? everybody gets to speak before someone gets a second turn. We are all learning how to work in this new environment. At some point we will probably Finally, managers can help their on-line workers return to our offices, but many may stay working by respecting the boundaries of weekends and from home. We need to look at and adjust how after hours. Tweets and emails with suggestions we are relating in the current workplace culture when the team is not supposed to be working of online relationships. can feel like pressure even if you start by saying, Sarah Elliston is the author of “Lessons from a “You don’t have to respond right now…” Difficult Person – How to Deal With People Like Us,” Suggesting that someone can take a minute to is a faculty member of the Glasser Institute for finish something in the evening because they are Choice Theory, and is a workshop leader and working from home is unfair and leads to toxic trainer who is certified in Values Realization and work relationships. Some companies have Parent Effectiveness Training. More at www.SarahElliston.com. invited their staff to choose when they want to PAGE 108
By Ward Heinrichs Esq., San Diego Employment Attorney
Unless stated otherwise, all new laws went into effect on January 1, 2021. COVID-19 Laws: Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, signed emergency employment laws related to Covid-19, which went into effect during 2020. Below are summaries of some of those new laws: WARD HEINRICHS ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Listen here in the 1. Families First Corona YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.com. Virus Response Act (FFCRA): This was the landmark Federal law that other important details. requires businesses that employ fewer than 500 2. Paid Sick Leave: In California, businesses that employees to provide 10 days of paid sick leave employ 500 or more employees or businesses of and up to 10 additional weeks of paid FMLA any size that employ Emergency Responders or leave for those who have kids home due to Healthcare Workers, must give employees 10 Covid-19. Employees may also get paid sick days of paid sick leave for the following reasons: leave for other Covid related reasons. 1) Government quarantine order, 2) Healthcare Employees who can work from home are not provider quarantine recommendation, 3) eligible for leave. Review the law or my blog for Employer required leave because of Covid-19. If PAGE 110
an employee may work from home, that employee is not eligible for this sick leave.
child, or a child placed by foster care. Now, under SB 1383, all employers who only employ a minimum of 5 employees must give 12 weeks of 3. Safety at Work: Within a day of receiving unpaid leave for the same reasons. Additionally, notice of potential exposure to Covid-19, AB* 685 the CFRA expands coverage to include requires businesses to notify several groups of grandchildren, grandparents, siblings, and employees of that potential exposure. Further, parents-in-law. within 48 hours, employers must give notice of New AB5 Exemptions: AB5 was the 2020 law the potential exposure to the local public health that applied the ABC test adopted by the agency. California Supreme Court case Dynamex**. That 4. Workers’ Compensation: SB* 1159 created a was a new test used to determine which workers were employees and which ones were presumption that workers, who tested positive independent contractors. Many workers and for Covid-19, contracted the disease at work if businesses objected loudly to AB5. they tested positive during March 19-July 5, 2020. Similarly, First Responders and Healthcare Consequently, the governor signed AB 2257 into law on September 4, 2020, and it immediately Workers are presumed to have contracted it at went into effect. It granted many new work if they tested positive after July 5, 2020. exemptions to the ABC test. In addition, the California voters passed Proposition 22, which Dramatic Expansion of California Family gave App-Based driving companies, like Uber Rights Act (CFRA): CFRA leave rights had and Lyft, exemptions from AB5 and the ABC test. required businesses who employed 50 or more For more details review the text of AB 2257. employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious health conditions of an employee, an employee’s spouse, an employee’s kids or parents, or to bond with a baby, adopted PAGE 111
Continued on Next Page…
Employment Laws Continued… Board of Directors: In 2019, California required public corporations, with a principal executive office in California, to have one female on their boards. By December 31, 2021, it will require such corporations with 5 members on the board to have 2 women, and boards with 6 or more members to have at least 3 women. Now, AB 979 requires those corporations to have at least one member from an underrepresented community on their boards by the end of 2021. By the end of 2022, those corporations with 4-8 members must have at least 2 members from underrepresented communities, and corporations with 9 or more board members must have a minimum of 3 members from underrepresented communities. A person in an underrepresented community is “an individual who self-identifies as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self-identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
year), and exempt employees, who work for employers who have at least 26 employees, must earn $58,240 per year ($14/hour x 2 x 2080 hours/year). Sexual Harassment Training: California businesses with at least 5 employees must have provided all employees with sexual harassment training by January 1, 2021. Supervisors and managers must get 2 hours of training, and all other employees must receive 1 hour of training. Successor Employer Liability: AB 3075 requires employers who step into the shoes of a previous business/employer must pay outstanding wage judgments against the previous employer. Several factors determine if a business is a “successor” business. Essentially, if a business is purchased and run as it had before, if the ownership or management is the same or similar, or if a new owner or officer is related to an old owner or officer, then the business assumes responsibility for the wage judgments of the previous employer.
Minimum Wage & Salary: For California employers with 25 or fewer employees, the *AB means California Assembly Bill and SB minimum wage is $13 per hour. For employers means California Senate Bill ** Dynamex with more than 25 employees, the minimum Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal.5th wage increased to $14 per hour. In the City of San Diego, the minimum wage for all employees 903 (Cal. 2018) is $14 per hour. Minimum salaries required for Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law employees to qualify as exempt are twice the Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers state minimum wage. Accordingly, exempt and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He employees, who work for employers who have and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in 25 or fewer employees, must earn at least many different parts of California. Visit www.BestEmploymentAttorneySanDiego.com $54,080 per year ($13/hour x 2 x 2080 hours/ PAGE 112
Writing Mystery and Promoting Books
LITERARY PR TIPS FOR 2021 This episode of Big Blend Radio features Ellen Whitfield, Senior Publicist at Books Forward. From getting book reviews and media placements to creating social media buzz, Ellen shares tips on how authors can garner publicity to promote their books and author expertise, and ultimately boost book sales. Listen to her interview here in the the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.com. A full-service literary publicity company that is part of the veteran JKS Communications brand,
Books Forward has been connecting great authors with readers for more than 20 years. Books Forward exemplifies excellence in book marketing and promotion. More at https://booksforward.com/.
TUCSON SISTERS IN CRIME This episode of Big Blend Radio focuses on the Tucson Sisters in Crime chapter in Southern Arizona with writer Eva Eldridge and author Elaine A. Powers. Listen to their interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.com. Welcoming Sisters and Brothers in Crime from everywhere who have an interest in writing, and in agents, and booksellers with a passion for the the Southern Arizona mystery community, the mystery genre. More at Tucson Sisters In Crime is made up of authors, https://www.tucsonsistersincrime.org/ writers, readers, librarians, editors, publishers, PAGE 113
From the Coronavirus pandemic to political upheaval, 2020 was a rough year. And even though the calendar turned the page to the year 2021, we still have to navigate the choppy waters of change. Below are three Big Blend Radio podcasts with experts covering personal growth and professional success, and how to keep moving forward in 2021.
BECKY MORRISON: BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2021 This episode of Big Blend Radio features UC Berkleley Certified Executive Coach, Becky Morrison. From prioritizing what matters most to finding happiness in the present moment, and direction setting versus goal setting, Becky shares how to use the lessons learned from 2020 for professional success in 2021. After a successful career in financial services, as a litigator and then in law firm administration, managing several hundred attorneys and staff at one of the countryâ€™s premier litigation firms, Becky was looking for a new challenge and transitioned to a small investment firm where
she was COO. This transition helped her recognize that her true passion was people, so she started her own coaching practice, Grantley Coaching. Her practice is primarily focused on small businesses, entrepreneurs and / or law firms who are poised for growth. Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean. Connect with Becky at https://www.grantleycoaching.com/
JODIE ECKLEBERRY-HUNT: MOVE ON MOTHERF*CKER On this episode of Big Blend Radio, board-certified psychologist Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt discusses her new book, “Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh & Let Shit Go!” Listen to her interview here in the YouTube player, or download the podcast on PodBean. When we’re anxious, stressed, or fearful, the negative voice in our heads can be extremely powerful. It tells us we’re not smart or attractive enough. It berates us for our mistakes. And it keeps us feeling stuck in an endless loop of worry, shame, and hopelessness. But there is a way to shut it down. Blending evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and profanity, this unexpected guide will show you how to respond to your negative inner voice with
one very important phrase: Move on, mother*cker! You’ll learn to manage worry and anxiety, put a stop to unhelpful internal dialogue, and approach new situations with humor, levity, and perspective. More at http://jodieeckleberryhunt.com/
PANEL DISCUSSION: TRAVEL, TRUST & HANDLING CHANGE This Big Blend Radio panel discussion covers travel, trust, and dealing with change. Featured Big Blend expert guests include: Debbie Stone - travel writer, world traveler, and outdoor adventurer; Linda Ballou - author, travel writer, world traveler and outdoor adventurer; Judi Cohen - world traveler and luxury off-the-beaten-path travel writer; Hilarie Larson - world traveler, sommelier, wine and travel writer; Lea Brovedani - leading trust expert, author, speaker, and world traveler; and Steve Piacente - certified life coach, author, communications expert, world traveler. Listen to
the segment here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.