Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine Nov 2015

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Travel & Events Thanksgiving Cooking & Recipes Hiking & Geocaching Art, Music & Books Family & Wellness

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

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

Contents… 5. Editors Block

Toast to the Arts 6. Food As Imagery 9. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun 10. Books & Writing 11. The Query Letter 12. Sci-Fi Spotlight 13. Music News & Interviews

The Nature Connection 15. Taking Elephants From the Wild 16. 5 Economic Benefits of Going Solar

Creative Celebrations! 18. Thanksgiving Symbols 20. Guy Fawkes & Bonfire Night

Eat, Drink & Be Merry! 22. Tasting Southern Oregon’s Wine Country 26. A Taste of Temecula 28. Good For You Comfort Food 30. Ten Turkey Tips 31. Pump it Up With Pumpkin! 32. Shepherd’s Pie & Wine 34. Shrimply Irresistible! 36. Celebrate With Chocolate PAGE 3

Contents Cont’ … Spirit of America 38. Pipe Spring National Monument 42. Hiker Insider: Jeff Alt

Vacation Station 46. The Irish Retreat 47. Fear of Flying 48. Treasure Hunting in Yerington, NV 50. Hooray For Hollister! 53. Festive in California’s Yosemite Gold Country 55. Big Trees, Sweet Treats & More - The Sequoias 60. Festive In North San Diego, CA 62. Soak Up the Sun & Have Fun in Yuma!

Success Express 66. California Wage Laws

Quality of Life 68. Family Unity During the Holidays 70. Think Ahead This Holiday Season 72. Books & Interviews 73. 8 Keys of Excellence - Balance 74. Herbs For Cold & Flu 75. Rock Talk - Healing Carnelian 76. How to Look 10 Pounds Thinner 77. Staying Cool, Organized & Bug-Free! PAGE 4

EDITORS BLOCK This issue celebrates the month of November with the stories behind the symbols of Thanksgiving, the history of Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot, recipes and cooking tips, family unity during the holidays, as well as end-of-fall destinations in Arizona and California that offer unique holiday shopping opportunities and festive celebrations. Further travel and recreation coverage includes Pipe Spring National Monument in northern Arizona, hiking and backpacking Q&A with Jeff Alt, geocaching in northwest Nevada, the luxurious new Irish Retreat, a culinary tour of Southern Oregon, a taste of Temecula’s wine country in Southern California, and tips for those of us who get nervous about air travel. When it comes to the arts, listen to interviews Front Cover Photo of 25th Annual Colorado covering art history, books and writing, new music, River Crossing Balloon Festival courtesy of and filming science fiction. Other interviews and Yuma Visitors Bureau. articles focus on wildlife conservation, solar energy, organizing, labor laws, natural health and metaphysics, brain and mind power, fashion tips and product reviews. We draw the winner of our Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway on November 10, and will announce the winner and new giveaway in our December issue. Be sure to subscribe to our monthly Big Blend eNewsletter for updates and to receive your copy of the magazine in your inbox. This issue marks our 1-year anniversary of publishing Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine. We thank you! We appreciate your readership, along with our experts and contributors, and marketing partners. Listen to our Big Blend Radio shows live or on-demand Happy Thanksgiving! Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team; along with Priscilla - Big Blend’s pink sock monkey travel mascot.

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


“Still Life with a Curtain” by Paul Cezanne Photo: in USA Public Domain

November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving and a big part of our thanks revolves around the bounty of Thanksgiving dinner. When you think of the importance of food not only for special occasions, but for everyday sustenance, it is remarkable that food has only been prominent as a subject in visual art in one country and in one century where bounty had a national meaning.


Paintings of food and objects associated with dining fit into the general category of still life. Rare examples of still life occurred in ancient historical periods. Foods, such as grapes or wine, appear incidentally in painting during the Renaissance. A few painters in Baroque period France did food still life, and we can point to Manet’s oysters, Cezanne’s fruit paintings, Raphael Peale’s late 18th and early 19th century American paintings, and even Wayne Thiebaud’s contemporary paintings of cafeteria foods. But it was during the social, religious, and economic climate of the 17th century, when Holland made a dramatic shift from the rest of Europe, that exquisite paintings of food became common.

Listen to Victoria Chick on Big Blend Radio! By developing a republic type of government with no king, there were no royal families to commission portraits. They also shifted to a Protestant theological outlook that valued plain church interiors and was suspicious of religious art as being idolatrous. So, almost no outwardly religious art was commissioned. What Holland did provide that was beneficial to the great flowering of painting during the 17th century was a free climate for business, naval exploration with the purpose of foreign trade in spices and fruit, productive farming, and the harbor of Amsterdam which was a shipping point for the grain of the Baltic region.

The northern Netherlands broke away from Spanish control in the 17th century and formed the country we know as Holland. In doing this, they shed two traditional patrons of art – the Catholic Church and the King. PAGE 6

Continued on Next Page…

Food As Imagery Continued…

“Still Life” by Abraham van Beijeren Photo: in USA Public Domain

There was little regulation except from local trade guilds. This free atmosphere produced a large number of wealthy people and also a big population percentage of welloff, middle class people. It had the most prosperous general population in Europe at the time. The Dutch had disposable income that allowed to them to decorate their homes with paintings. It was the first time in history average people formed a consumer base for art. There were paintings of home interiors, street scenes, landscapes, prize animals, and still life. All were done in the oil painting medium, sometimes on canvas and sometimes on wooden boards. Among the types of still life were those depicting food. The food still life paintings were of three kinds: Breakfast pieces, Banquet pieces, and Fruit pieces. Breakfast pieces tended to be simple in composition with a few items of modest pottery and humble food and drink. They were not necessarily typical of a true Dutch breakfast. Banquet pieces were larger and more complex compositions including many objects considered luxurious, such as vessels of silver or foods that were expensive or imported. Fruit pieces were usually small paintings with an assortment of fruit or focused on a few examples of one kind of fruit.

All three types were usually displayed against dark, neutral backgrounds that emphasized their drama. The arrangement was always informal. The paintings can be appreciated on different levels. They are so faithful in representing the textures, the viewer knows by looking exactly how each item would feel to the touch or taste. Just seeing the half peeled lemon can have the effect of making the viewer’s mouth pucker. Whether the painting is a breakfast piece with common plates and mugs, a banquet piece with silver trays and goblets, or a simple fruit piece, the paintings always show the meal as it is finished or partly eaten. The fact that there are a lot of leftovers implies the prosperity enjoyed by the Dutch - there is enough bounty that some can afford to be wasted.

“Breakfast Table with Blackberry Pie” by Willem c. Heda Photo: in USA Public Domain

Paintings of fruit may not seem revolutionary, but the fruit pieces generally had fruit not native to the Netherlands. The Dutch well understood and were proud of their dominance in foreign trade and a painting of fruit from a Mediterranean country or from the coast of Africa or the Dutch Indies served as an economic symbol. Persian rugs and bowls from China included in the compositions indicated costly imported goods. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 7

“A Pantry” by Adriaen van Utrecht Photo: in the USA Public Domain.

Food as Imagery Continued… There can also be a deeper meaning associated with the paintings. Since there was thought among the reformed Protestants that depicting Christ or the saints was against the second commandment (to make no graven images), religious feelings often found their way into visual art that expressed a moral or theological idea in a symbolic way. An example might be that decay and death are bound to occur and man needs to make the most of his time on earth. This idea may have been understood by the Dutch of the 17th century through items such as tarnished silver, a bug or blemish on a piece of fruit, with an hourglass or a candle about to go out or fresh fruit next to a skull. Food still life never really went away. There are many examples of individual artists in various periods that have produced some food paintings. But food still life was never as popular before or after as it was in 17th century Holland.

One hundred years later, 17th century Dutch still life still influenced the artists’ realist approach. However, the food items were likely to be fresh gamebirds, rabbits, or deer, arranged informally with related items such as a gun and powder horn, possibly against a rough cabinet. Although food growing, gathering, and hunting formed a major part of life for people in the early United States, they may have felt rich and privileged, for only the nobility were allowed to hunt in Europe. Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico, artist and early 19th & 20th century print collector. 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

The Dutch carried their political and religious ideas as well as their work ethic to North America when numbers of them emigrated to New Amsterdam (now New York) and settled in the Hudson River Valley and on Manhattan Island in the late 17th century. But life was a lot harder in New Amsterdam and food painting did not appear in America until the early 18th century. PAGE 8

Current Ted DeGrazia Exhibits & Artists in The Little Gallery This 10-acre historic landmark is nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. Opened in 1965, it is home to over 15,000 originals of Ted DeGrazia art pieces including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures. There are six permanent collections on display and several rotating exhibitions each year. A limited number of DeGrazia originals are available for purchase, while the gift shop and online store offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia reproductions.

THE LITTLE GALLERY The Little Gallery hosts visiting artists annually between November - March. Nov. 1-13: Diane Lenay Black: Acrylic and Latex Nov. 15-27: Barbara Banks: Clay Sculpture Nov. 29-Dec. 11: Matthew Moutafis: Oils, Watercolors, Bronze Sculptures Dec. 13-25: Lou Lewis: Oils and Pencil Drawings Dedicated to Her Late Husband

The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is Open Daily (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 10 am – 4pm. There is no admission charge. Tel: (520) 299-9191 or (800) 545-2185, or visit

CURRENT EXHIBITS OF TED DEGRAZIA’S ART - “The Lord Gave Me Brothers Saint Francis of Assisi” - DeGrazia created these paintings in 1966 for a book on Saint Francis that was never completed. The paintings include images of Saint Francis and scenes from the daily life of a Friar called “Little Brother”. On display until Dec. 1. - “Wagons Ho!” Wagons were a favorite subject of artist Ted DeGrazia who travelled far afield in search of working wagons to draw and paint. On display until Jan. 20, 2016. - “The Rose and the Robe” - DeGrazia chronicles the travels of Fray Junipero Serra and the Franciscan missions he established in Spanish colonial California in the late 1700’s. On display until Jan. 27, 2016.



FINAL SOLSTICE David Sakmyster

CASADA Anna Comis & Isabel Comis Degenaars


David Sakmyster is an award winning science fiction, fantasy and horror author, writer and screenwriter. Listen to David on Big Blend Radio where he discusses his creative inspiration behind the question ‘What If?’ along with the research and writing of his various novels, books and stories. ‘Final Solstice’ is his latest novel that tackles climate change. When successful meteorologist Mason Griers is recruited to consult for a mysterious environmental firm, it’s the perfect chance to put his lifetime obsession with violent weather to practical use. Solstice Inc. promises a new technology that can accurately predict, and possibly control, catastrophic weather events around the world. Too late however, Mason learns that Solstice is made up of high ranking and powerful Druids, and he's become an unwitting tool in the firm's dark plot that could remake the world on a scale not seen since the last great extinction. David is also known for writing ‘The Morpheus Initiative Series’ about psychic archaeologists, the epic historical adventure ‘Silver and Gold’, coauthoring ‘Jurassic Dead’ about zombie dinosaurs, the short story collection ‘Escape Plans,’ the haunting non-fiction ‘The Belhurst Story,’ and suspense novels ‘Crescent Lake’, ‘Blindspots’ and ‘N.D.E’. Keep up with him at


From two cousins separated by distance and culture, comes a rich history of shared lineage set in a land that continues to inspire and haunt those drawn to its verdant hills and valleys. ‘CASADA: A History of An Italian Village and Its People’ is a book about two villages - one in Northern Italy, and the other in the coal-mines of Pennsylvania. Anna Comis was born in Casada. For centuries, her ancestors had inhabited the “beautiful little country” surrounded by the Dolomite Mountains. After her family relocated, her parents’ stories of their cherished native village continued to connect Anna with her birthplace. Years later, driven by a desire to preserve her heritage, Anna began collecting documents, anecdotes, articles, and old photographs. ‘Casada: A History of an Italian Village and Its People’ contains the fruits of her exhaustive research. Half a world away, Isabel Comis Degenaars also grew up hearing stories of Casada shared by her father, whose parents immigrated to America in the 1920s in search of work and the chance to start a new life. A 2010 visit to her grandparents’ ancestral home inspired her to translate her cousin Anna’s book into English. She also relates her own family’s challenging journey from the green mountains of Italy into the dark coal mines of Pennsylvania. Listen to Isabel talk about Casada and her family history on Big Blend Radio.


Tips for Writers Who Want to Get Published


By Lynn Wiese Sneyd ‘The Book Biz Whiz’ It took me 6 months to get up the nerve to write my first query letter, way back before Starbucks became a coffee drink phenomenon. Pathetic, I know. Fortunately, I stumbled upon a book that showed me the way. It was ‘How to Write Irresistible Query Letters’ by Lisa Collier Cool. I studied that seminal work, highlighted it, almost memorized it and finally wrangled the courage to pen a query. I hit a home run and scored an agent and soon after a publisher. Lisa Collier Cool remains my hero. Without a doubt, she helped me find a formula that I still use today and still scores.

Listen to Lynn Wiese Sneyd on Big Blend Radio! Following paragraphs need to include: Title: The title may change as it did for the authors mentioned above. It went from 'The Superstitious Pregnancy' to 'Hands Off My Belly!'

Like book proposals, query letters are formulaic; Book length: word count or number of pages they need to contain certain pieces of information. In addition, the language needs to sizzle. It needs to entice an agent or editor and motivate him or her Platform: who will read this book to ask for your article, book proposal or book. Brief author bio: why are you the person to write Following are the components of a query letter. this book? Opening paragraph: This is your hook. Grab your reader with an anecdote, a startling statistic, a question, a comparison, a reference to a movie or book, or a quote. Here’s the first paragraph from the query that eventually morphed into the book 'Hands Off My Belly!' by Drs. Shawn Tassone and Kathryn Landherr: Shawn Tassone, MD and Katherine Landherr, MD, a husband and wife obstetric and gynecological team, hear questions every day in their clinic. If I crave spicy food, does that mean I’m having a boy? If I carry that baby low, that means it’s a girl, right? My grandmother said that if I crack an egg on my belly, and it falls to the left, I’ll have a girl and to the right, a boy. Is that true?

The finished product should be one page, singlespaced in a readable font i.e. not 6 point. You can email or mail queries depending on how the person you’re sending it to likes to receive queries. That information is usually available on a website under a tab like “Submission Guidelines.” If you snail mail it, be sure to include an self-addressed stamped envelope. That way you’re more likely to receive a reply. Lynn is a writer, author, literary expert, PR consultant and owner of LWS Literary Services where she assists authors in book publicity campaigns, agent searches, book proposal writing, and editing. Most recently, she coauthored ‘The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs’ released by the University of Nebraska Press. Visit


Tackling the Science Behind the Fiction with Hollywood TV & Film Successes "One of the greatest mysteries of our time is whether or not we are alone," explains Olatunde Osunsanmi. "I can't help but also ask the question that if we are being visited, who made the visitors?" He is currently in development on his original idea "Eden," a script he wrote to direct, which reunites him with the producer team behind "The Fourth Kind." "Eden" is a modern day science fiction spin on the Underground Railroad legend, however instead of humans oppressing humans, its aliens oppressing humanity. He is also in development on Olatunde Osunsanmi has always had a penchant "Planet X" with Cota Films and Vertigo produced by for the paranormal. His directorial debut in 2009, Michael Costigan and Roy Lee. Another film he has "The Fourth Kind," starring Milla Jovovich (Resident written to direct, "Planet X" chronicles three Evil), was a Universal Pictures theatrical release astronauts in a secret space program as they based on his original screenplay about the alien journey to investigate a previously unknown planet abduction phenomenon. A cult classic, the film's at the edge of our solar system. success established him as a true industry prodigy and a rising young director. Osunsanmi has since Olatunde Osunsanmi is a first generation American quietly built a list of horror movie and science fiction of Nigerian descent. His parents traveled from credits that denote some of the genre's best work. Nigeria 43 years ago to live the American dream His skill for being able to juxtapose emotion, and his accomplishments are a part of that dream existential angst, special effects and aliens has come true. Osunsanmi's grandfather was the garnered him esteemed recognition amongst his designated photographer for several various sci-fi peers as one of Hollywood's top science Nigerian presidents and dictators. The family fiction directors. He is also one of the youngest! believes that Osunsanmi's love for the camera stems from him. Having recently completed tenure on the set of "Falling Skies," a TNT series executive produced Connect with director Olatunde Osunsanmi's by Steven Spielberg, Osunsanmi has a trail of top on Twitter @centerwillhold. TV science fiction credits to his claim that include being an episodic director for CBS' "Extant," starring Halle Berry and the CBS series "Under the Dome," based on the best-selling Stephen King novel of the same name. Additional productions with the Osunsanmi touch include an episode of Fox's "Sleepy Hollow," and TNT's "The Last Ship,� and an episode of the new hit Fox show, "Minority Report.�


Listen to Olatunde Onsunsanmi on Big Blend Radio!

The rising star has also been tapped to direct a feature film titled "The Twisted," a thriller from Scott Free Productions' new movie division, "Ridley Scott Presents." "The Twisted" is set in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, where strange things are happening to the children at an isolated orphanage. PAGE 12




Listen to Jon Roniger on Big Blend Radio!

Listen to Robert Miller on Big Blend Radio!

JON RONIGER Gypsyland - Live At The Mint


The sound and soul of New Orleans is steeped in Roniger’s psyche and plays out in his music and lyrical stories. He returns as a guest on Big Blend Radio to discuss his seventh and recently released album “Jon Roniger Gypsyland – Live at the Mint,” that features audience favorites like ‘Annie Christmas’, ‘Upside of Down’, ‘Fishin’s for Stars’ and ‘New Orleans Lullaby’. His other NOLA flavored albums include 2014’s “Gypsyland” in which he sings primarily in French, “Dirty Gypsy” in 2013 which boasts an ambitious track listing of 28 acoustic songs, and “NOLA Rolls” as his 2012 EP. Listen to his Big Blend Radio interview where he talks about the stories and characters behind his songs, the music industry, and what it’s like living and performing in his hometown NOLA post Hurricane Katrina. Keep up with Roniger at

A love letter to New York, Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam just released their new full length album ‘Made in New York.’ The album features the singles ‘New York City Groove’ and ‘Fire’ with guest vocalist Kat Robichaud from NBC’s The Voice. Two of the tracks ‘Cakewalk for Debra’ and ‘Because She Said So’ were recorded lived at the world famous Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. All of the songs on the album (except for Fire) were composed by Robert and reflect the band’s distinctive trademark sound and jazz fusion feel. Listen to bass player/composer Robert Miller on Big Blend Radio where he talks about songs on the album, the music industry and the band that includes: Nathan Cepelinski on sax, Ben Sher on guitar, and Joel E. Mateo on drums. Keep up with Project Grand Slam at

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Listen! Listen!

Listen to Souleye on Big Blend Radio!

Listen to Sarah Borges on Big Blend Radio!

SARAH BORGES - Good & Dirty

SOULEYE - Shapeshifting Souleye has earned rave reviews and a rabid following for his rousing and powerful style that challenges paradigms and incorporates Hip-Hop, EDM, R&B, and Funk. He’s has been touted as "Hip hop's medicine man," "America's new leading edge voice," and "a modern day hip hop warrior." After releasing 2012's ‘Iron Horse Running’ and touring the world playing sold-out arenas with Alanis Morissette, an inspired Souleye returned to the studio to begin work on his recently released full-Iength album, ‘Shapeshifting.’ The album effortlessly joins old-school hip hop with's a psychedelic, otherworldly exploration. Over the last ten years, Souleye has released four full-length albums as a solo artist and has been featured on the recordings of Bassnectar, MIMosa, STS9, The Glitch Mob and Michael Franti. Souleye talks about the positive message in his music, new albums, and upcoming shows. See

Massachusetts based singer/songwriter Sarah Borges recently released her latest single “Caught by the Rain” to give fans a sneak peak of her forthcoming album ‘Good & Dirty’. The new album will be produced by Eric Roscoe Ambel who will also play guitar on the tracks. Releasing on March 4, 2016, this will be her third solo record and sixth overall (with her former group, Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles). “I would say that my sound is straight up rock and roll, but it’s the sum total of what my record collection looks like,” says Sarah. “The new record that I am working on is certainly more Americana than the last record was. It’s also more rock than the last record. I would say that it’s a version of the liveshows – a lot of loud guitars and loud singing. You can certainly dance to it.” Sarah discusses her music and being a solo artist, her upcoming album and touring. Visit

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Three American Zoos Are Attempting to Import Half of Swaziland’s Elephant Population The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a permit application from three zoos to import 18 live elephants from Swaziland. The permit application was submitted by Dallas Zoo Management, on behalf of the Dallas Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo, and Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. The three zoos are requesting authorization under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to import 18 live African elephants from Swaziland – roughly half of this small Southern African country’s elephant population. Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, who discusses the possible importation of these elephants and visit to keep up with Born Free’s campaign to keep these elephants in the wild, where they belong. Born Free USA and the UK based Born Free Foundation are global leaders in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, they lead vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, poaching and the destructive international wildlife trade. PAGE 15


Watching elephants perform may look like family fun, but for elephants and other wild animals, the experience is anything but! Join Born Free USA and the voice of this video, Selma Blair, at in the fight against performing animal abuse; and keep animals where they belong, in the wild. Click to Watch Video!

SOLAR PV IS RELIABLE At first glance, solar PV would seem to lack reliability since a passing cloud can cut off the source of energy. Just as my batteries enable my home PV system to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so will utility-scale energy storage enable the electricity grid to operate 24/7. Energy storage makes the intermittent nature of solar energy irrelevant. Adding energy storage makes solarbased energy as reliable as fossil fuels. PV panels themselves have already proven highly reliable. They are solid-state devices with no moving parts, so there are no worn parts, no lubrication of parts needed, and no need for replacement parts. PV panels are so reliable that PV manufacturers typically guarantee them for 20–30 years. Such long guarantees are unheard of for other consumer products.

SOLAR PV IS A SOLID INVESTMENT FOR BUSINESS Uncertainty about fossil-fuel energy supplies can hinder economic investment, but there is no uncertainty about the energy a solar PV system can generate. Any business that deploys a solar PV system with energy storage will enjoy a reliable supply. Solar PV systems have long warranties, require little maintenance, and have no ongoing fuel costs, all attractive features for business investment.

More important, the price of solar electricity doesn’t rise over time, because it’s determined by the up-front cost of the equipment, not the current price of oil. A business can amortize the known cost for the equipment over the firmly predicted kilowatthour energy output of the PV system to enable the business to establish their future energy costs with certainty. Such essentially zero economic risk SOLAR PV WON’T RUN OUT amounts to a guaranteed return on investment. For The sun has reliably risen every day for businesses seeking to reduce operating costs, a the 5-billion-year history of our planet, and capital investment in solar PV will offset annual is expected to do so for another 5 billion electricity costs. Once the PV system is paid off, it years. Solar energy has sustained life will continue to generate free electricity for many since it began on our planet. It would be more years. A solar-powered business has an edge fair to say that a power source that has already over any competitors that are coping with a future worked for millions of years has a proven track of higher energy prices. record of reliability. This means that whatever energy systems that are put in place that rely on Continued on Next Page… solar energy will not have to be replaced in 10, 20, or 100 years with another energy source. If we manage to take the solar step, then we will have a permanent energy system that can remain solarbased indefinitely. PAGE 16

SOLAR PV IS GOOD FOR NATIONAL ECONOMIES Solar PV helps national economies in several ways: • Replacing oil with solar reduces oil imports, thereby reducing trade deficits that can drain a national economy. The United States saw $265 billion flow out of the country in Listen to 2010 to pay for petroleum imports (which amounts Robert Arthur Stayton to over half of the $500 billion total US trade on Big Blend Radio! deficit). • Solar is not subject to oil supply shortfalls caused by political turmoil. • Solar is not subject to energy price volatility. SOLAR PV IS GOOD FOR LOCAL • Solar PV can add primary production to any ECONOMIES national economy, not just those lucky enough to Wherever solar electricity is installed, it have fossil-fuel resources. boosts the local economy. Most local • Solar equipment manufacturing, which can take communities currently import all of their place almost anywhere, can expand a country’s energy from utility companies and oil industrial base. companies. Money spent on such energy leaves the local economy instead of re-circulating to local • For developing countries, an energy base can be developed locally without dependence on imported businesses. The export of money to pay for imported energy acts as a constant drain on a local energy. Solar PV brings stability to any national economy that deploys it widely, insulating it from economy. When energy is generated locally using the wrenching effects of oil politics and price solar PV, that money drain is blocked. The money speculation. A stable economy promotes that would have paid for imported energy can confidence in investors, thereby stimulating the instead be spent on local goods and services. investments that sustain economic growth. Since the money stays local, it can be re-spent in the community, effectively multiplying its value to Author of "Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to the local economy. Dynamic Solar Power,” Robert Arthur Stayton has a master’s degree in physics and has Solar electricity puts a local community in the business of primary production. Primary production taught college courses in physics, energy, and solar energy. Robert and his wife built a passive is any economic activity that directly derives value solar home have been living with solar energy from natural resources, such as mining, forestry, and agriculture. Solar PV converts natural sunshine since then. He drives a solar-charged Plug-in Prius, heats his water with a solar water heating to usable electricity. Primary production is the system, and bakes his bread in his solar oven. foundation of any economy, so installing a lot of Visit solar PV can build a steady base for a local


economy. Solar PV also enables more entities to make money by producing energy. Individuals, families, schools, local governments, churches, small businesses, and farmers can install PV and produce electricity as valuable as that produced by a utility company. For many, having a steady income instead of a steady expense from their energy system will help them survive economically. Solar PV also supplies local jobs for PV installers, since installation tasks cannot be outsourced to other countries. The same can be said for energy efficiency improvements. No ongoing labor is needed for harvesting the energy over time, but the transition is huge, lasting decades and covering the entire working life of an individual installer. Studies have shown that solar PV generates far more jobs per unit energy than the fossil-fuel industry. PAGE 17

Another symbol of Thanksgiving is the Cornucopia or Horn of Plenty. Legends about the cornucopia Football, food and family–most people in the date back to the 5th century B.C. Greek mythology USA spend the fourth Thursday in November tells of Amalthea, a goat, that nursed and raised the feasting on turkey and lots of traditional side young god Zeus (Jupiter), an infant in hiding from dishes, visiting family, and watching football. his father Cronos, known to swallow his own The home, particularly the table, is usually children under the belief that one of them would decorated with items that symbolize dethrone him. As Zeus grew, he became a Thanksgiving. rambunctious boy and one day, while roughhousing with Amalthea, he broke off one of her Running wild through Mexico and the USA (from horns. Feeling bad for what he had done, the young Virginia to California), long before the Pilgrims, God used his powers to make sure that the horn there is an early turkey ancestors fossil record from would henceforth be full of whatever Amalthea more than 5 million years ago. In parts of Mexico wished for–giving the goat eternal abundance. and the American Southwest, turkeys were domesticated and kept as a food source by some There are other versions of the myth, but the Horn tribes. Some tribes view the turkey as a spirit and of Plenty, makes its way into paintings and décor believe the big bird can predict the weather. as center pieces and part of table settings in fall. Continued on the Next Page… European explorers brought wild turkeys from Mexico back to their home countries, domesticated Infant Jupiter Fed by the Goat them because they were large and had a richer Amalthea, Jacob Jordaens taste, apparently due to the birds diet of wild nuts. Later, some believe when English colonists settled on the Atlantic Coast, they brought some of the domesticated turkeys with them, others believe the wild turkeys in the area were hunted. By Nancy J. Reid

The turkey has come to symbolize the Thanksgiving holiday, a holiday that originated as a Puritan religious celebration, amalgamated with English harvest festivals. In November of 1621, the first “Thanksgiving” was a three day event and a party of men were sent out to bring back fowl… the fare could have been turkey, geese, duck or swan. PAGE 18

The cranberry is also a traditional part of Thanksgiving, and has been known by several names. Cranberry is derived from “craneberry”, named by the first settlers in America. Looking at the flower and stem of the cranberry plant (photo to right), the flower and stalk look like the neck and head of a crane. It was sometimes called a bearberry, as bears fed on them, or a “moss” or “fen” berry, designating they grew in a marsh or bog. Books and writings from the 1550s refer to the Native Americans greeting Europeans coming ashore, with bark cups full of cranberries. In the 1600s there are references to the settlers using cranberries to dye their clothing. In 1663 a recipe for cranberry sauce, (not that canned gelatinous mess we see on grocery shelves), appeared in the Pilgrim Cookbook. The sauce was served with wild turkey. Corn, green beans and pumpkins (squash), were a gift from the Native Americans to help the first European settlers survive. Known as the “Three Sisters”, their method of growing these plants as companions made real sense. Corn provides a pole for bean vines to climb, beans have nitrogen on their roots improving the fertility of the soil and squash vines become a living mulch, shading emerging weeds and keeping soil moisture from evaporating, improving the overall survival of crops in dry years. The Three Sisters also complement each other nutritionally - corn provides carbohydrates, dried beans are rich in protein, and squash yields both vitamins from the fruit and healthful, delicious oil from the seeds. Happy Thanksgiving!

November Holidays & Observances November 1-2: Day of the Dead or All Souls Day November 5: Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night November 11: Veterans Day, Armistice or Remembrance Day




Glynn Burrows phones in a report on Guy Fawkes night!! On, or about, the 5th of November every year, we celebrate the foiling of a plot, that very nearly succeeded, to kill the King and Members of Parliament in 1605. When I was a child, I remember that we all learned the story of Guy Fawkes, a man, who, together with a few others, filled a cellar under the houses of parliament, with gunpowder and was about to light the fuses when he was discovered. He was hanged, drawn and quartered and his head was displayed on a pole to warn others. The story was just the sort that little children loved, lots of hiding in cellars along with blood and gore, ending up with decapitated heads on poles! We learned very little about why the plot was hatched, apart from the fact that Guy Fawkes and his friends weren’t happy, but that didn’t really matter to us, we just enjoyed the bonfire night spectacle and fireworks. Bonfire night usually included us making an effigy of Guy himself, to put on the fire and lots of fireworks. We also had hot soup and hot-dogs. Today, there are less family bonfire parties and more organised firework displays. The organised displays are well attended and are often put together by bodies such as Scouts, Charities and even the Fire-Brigade! At these organised displays there are now stalls where you can buy burgers, jacket potatoes, sparklers, hot-dogs and those plastic light-up rings!

So, what is the real story behind this strange event in England, where we revert to burning an effigy of a man on a fire that we are all warming beside, while we enjoy a mug of hot soup and watching fireworks? The events of November 1605 were rooted in the past hundred years. As England was removed from the Catholic Church by Henry VIII because the Pope wouldn’t allow him to divorce from Catherine of Aragon, there were many dissatisfied Catholics in the country. Queen Elizabeth I persecuted Catholics, was considered, by many, as a bastard and not rightfully Queen at all and, when James VI became King in 1603 many were hoping that his cousin Arabella Stuart would replace him and bring the Catholic Church to again become the accepted Church in England. This was all not to be and we find a group plotting to blow up the Houses of Parliament, along with everyone in them, on 5th November 1605, to rid England of not only the King, but the parliament too. On 26th October 1605, a letter was delivered to Lord Monteagle, telling him to go to his country estate and not attend the opening of Parliament because if he did he would be killed. Lord Monteagle showed the letter to the Privy Council and the King and the plotters were discovered during a search of the cellars.

During his stay in prison, before execution, Guy Fawkes was tortured and is believed to have given away his accomplices. The actual description of hanging, drawing and quartering is too awful to include here, but if you are sufficiently interested in it, a quick search on the internet and it will fill you in with detailed descriptions. I do say here that it isn’t a pleasant read, so do not look it up if you will be upset or offended by it. PAGE 21

You may be thinking, “Why haven’t I heard of this place?” The answer to that is easy. Most smaller wine regions have little to no promotional budgets. The state generally gives money to the bigger tourist draws…to get even more tourists. Go figure. It’s the chicken and egg marketing conundrum. You get tourist funding when you’re trending with big tourist crowds. How do you get big tourist crowds? Listen to Big tourism dollars from the state surely helps. I Linda Kissam on guess this wine country will have to earn their way Big Blend Radio! to fame, fortune and big funding the old-fashioned way…through great wines and word-of-mouth. They have all the tools they need in that scenario to By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’, do just that. Just sayin’. with photos and research by Allan Kissam There are approximately 150 microclimates in Pretentious is NOT a word I would use with the Southern Oregon. The region is a mix of Southern Oregon wine country. You know what mountains, desert and rivers. This creates a I am talking about –limos everywhere, no welcoming home for a wide range of grapes to picnicking signs, long lines to hear snob-filled grow. Southern Oregon is not about Pinot Noir. It rhetoric and $40 tastings. You can see that in finds its groove with varietals like Tempranillo, many other wine regions, but not on the Albarino, Viognier, Chardonnay, and Cab France. Southern Oregon Wine Trail – yet. You can taste Pinot while you are there, but branch out and be adventurous. The latest wine awards and critic scores tell me the winemakers and When you’re ready for a new type of wine vintners are on the right path to finding their own experience I’ve got just the place for you. Yes, you unique place in the world’s wine community…and it will need to venture past California. It’s OK. Oregon is not with Pinot Noir. makes some stellar wines, especially in the Continued on Next Page… Willamette Valley area. And now, wine lovers can look to two additional regions to sink their sip and swirl into, both located in the southernmost area of Oregon. The first is the Rogue Valley AVA. It is the eastern-most sub region of the Rogue Valley Appellation (I-5 corridor). The second is the Applegate Valley AVA, an authorized Sub-AVA entirely within the Rogue Valley AVA. All you really have to remember is that it is near Ashland, Oregon and … good tastes live here. That…and it’s a “Wine Diva” certified tasting experience. PAGE 22


WHEN YOU GO There is a lot to see and do in this wine country adventure which includes stops in and around Medford, Jacksonville and the Rouge Valley. Plan 2-3 days. Immerse yourself in culinary goodness, fun art and music events, small town shopping and some historic “digging.” Here are some of my favorite stops. Lodging Inn at the Commons (Medford): Centrally located to wineries and within walking distance of restaurants, shopping, bars and Starbucks, you can’t go wrong with this affordably priced hotel. Rooms are exceptionally quiet. Breakfast comes with your reservation. Be absolutely sure to try the Larks Restaurant which is attached to the hotel. Surprisingly innovative menu with local-centric products and a sharp customer focus. Breakfast fare is a killer. Try their ferocious hash. Wine Tasting: There are plenty of wineries to visit. It’s my sense that you will not be disappointed in any stop and taste you make. Take your choice of driving from winery to winery or doing a leisurely stroll of tasting rooms in downtown Jacksonville. Standouts for me included the particularly unique Dancin Vineyards (Medford), Del Rio Vineyards and Folin Cellars (Gold Hills), Quady North and South Stage Cellars (Downtown Jacksonville), Pebblestone Cellars (Medford) and Kriselle Cellars (White City).

The red blends are definitely coming on strong. Try a Claret. The whites tend to lean toward lemony citrus and floral notes. The Rosés are quite magnificent. They can be stylistically different according to the winemaker of course, but the drier ones are definitely worth a taste.

Plot those wineries on your map for a full two days of adventurous wine tasting. By the time you are through, you will understand the taste profile of Southern Oregon wines. In a region that includes a series of high intermountain valleys sharing a warm, sunny, parched climate with old, complex soils derived from bedrock, the red wines showcase plush flavors of velvety Marionberries and jammy blackberries.


Continued on Next Page…

DINING The Jacksonville Inn located in the picturesque town of Jacksonville is a stand out. Executive Chef Trey Hansen and Pastry Chef Jeneane Morrison are led by Manager Pantone, a man who definitely knows and pretty much owns the local culinary scene. Combine that with an owner who really cares about the customer experience and you’ve just hit the jackpot of culinary exploration. This is one of those places you’ll return to again and again, for lunch or dinner.

ACTIVITIES Trolley Tour of Historic Jacksonville: The best way to get to know this town in a short period of time is to take the local trolley for a great overview of Jacksonville's history. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Tour departs on the hour from 11am – 3pm from the corner of 3rd and California Streets in downtown Jacksonville. Suitable for both adults and children. The Jacksonville Historic Cemetery: Take the time to tour Oregon’s oldest cemetery. It will be more fun and interesting if you make an appointment with a guide representing “Friends of the Jacksonville Cemetery” to introduce you to the residents. Imagine all the stories and history present with approximately 6500 souls resting in seven sections. Scandal, scary moments and Déjà Vu flashes are waiting for you. Locals as well as visitors from around the world find this a home of well-placed history, stories and tranquility. Plan your tour around one of the many unique events the Friends hold.

Medford Dine Around: Medford is experiencing a renaissance in culinary focus. Try a ‘dine around’ with some favorites of mine. Start at Elements for a crazy-good small plate of appetizers and WOW pre-dinner cocktails or craft beer. We’re talking the real-deal way to start a memorable evening. Stroll over to Porters for great comfort food. Large portions and an attentive staff make this a great place for dinner. Finish off the night at Jefferson Spirits. This place is a true local’s hangout. Certainly not fancy, but the after-dinner drinks the bartender comes up with will rock your world. You could certainly ask for anything you like, but challenge the barkeep to whisk up something divine according to your ingredient call-outs. All places are walkable from the Common’s Inn. PAGE 24

Downtown Jacksonville: Start your shopping tour on the main drag, California Street. Indulge in unique shops featuring wine tasting rooms, clothes, premium candies, coffees, gifts and lunch stops. The fudge is divine. Just sayin’. Britt Pavilion: One of the best examples of a good idea for locals and visitors, the planners get The Smart Cookie Award for this 2200 capacity outdoor venue located in Jacksonville. Whether you love classical performances, folk, rock or something inbetween this is the venue to see it in. Relax and groove under the night sky. Bring a gourmet picnic, sit on the grass or (reserved) benches to complete the fun. Butte Creek Mill: Located in Eagle Point this is going to be one of the most diverse and interesting stops you can make in Southern Oregon. If you are a history buff or a cook looking for unique souvenirs or are a lover of unusual things, this would be the stop for you. Established in 1872, this working mill is the only water-powered grist mill still operating west of the Mississippi River. The mill, with its adjacent antique shop and country store presents with sights, sounds, and smells of old-time western and southern Oregon history, but with never-ending contemporary twists.

High quality products produced by the mill spill over the shelves featuring award winning pancake and waffle mix, bran muffin mix, cornbread mix, cake mix and spices. If you don’t walk out with something from somewhere on this property, you just aren’t trying. Southern Oregon begins where the fertile lowlands of the Willamette Valley give way to the complex collision of mountains, rivers, and ravines, and ends all in good taste. Take a spin, sip and swirl through this unique wine country soon. Be part of its undiscovered charm now. It won’t be long before it is all grown up, pulling in large crowds and state tourism dollars. For additional information and planning tools visit Travel Southern Oregon at Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit



Part of the Riverside County Ag Trail and just 60 miles north of San Diego and 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Temecula Valley is a popular Southern California destination that boasts over 30 award-winning wineries, farm tours, and farm-totable cuisine. Food, wine and travel writer Carmen Micheli shares these photos from local Temecula farms and wineries, and chats with Big Blend Radio about her favorite farms, wineries and foodie destinations. Along with being a parent and sustainable food advocate, Carmen is also a social media manager and publisher of, and is a proud member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association – see



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

Click to Watch Video!

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

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

Visit and sign up for our e-Newsletter for Recipes, Special Events, Giveaways, and more! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. PAGE 27


Healthy Holiday Tips & Apple Pandowdy Recipe By Robyn Webb, author of ‘The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook: Foods to Fill You Up, Not Out’

Listen to Robyn Webb on Big Blend Radio!

HOLIDAY TIPS The holidays are for celebration, having fun and indulging. But seasonal weight gain doesn't have to be inevitable. Avoiding putting on extra pounds may seem as unrealistic as Santa flying through the air with a dozen deer, but there are strategies to help you stay on track. So pass the sugar cookies (in moderation) and here are a few of my favorite ways to control the battle of the bulge without turning into Mr. or Mrs. Scrooge. 1. Portion Control - I'm always tickled when I see suggestions for transforming every one of your holiday treats into a healthier version. There's no reason to rewrite the entire buffet, especially for foods you love that do not take kindly to alteration. The key is portion control of those favorites. You'll probably be more satisfied with a small portion of the original version anyway. So give in to having the real thing in a reasonable quantity, denying yourself completely may backfire and lead to bingeing later on. 2. Add Fiber - So along with a few standard treats, prepare foods that are fibrous and filling. Seasonal squashes make great filling soups and hearty side dishes. Decrease the amount of fluffy stuffing and other high starch dishes with more non starchy vegetables dressed up with toasted nuts or drizzled with really good nut oil.

3. Don't Be Afraid of Fat - While eliminating butter and oils saves a lot of calories, a small amount of fat will keep you satisfied. For instance guacamole paired with crunchy vegetables is a perfect pairing to keep you full. 4. Go Heavier on the Seasonings - Intensely flavored foods are more satiating. Experiment more with fresh herbs and be liberal with the "sweet" spices such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger. You'll be able to cut down on the amounts of salt and sugar needed to make a dish taste good. 5. Eat Only What You Truly Love - The holidays bring not only good cheer, but a certain amount of stress as well. That anxiety can result in mindless eating of any food that may be around. Make a conscious effort to choose foods you really love and take time to savor them rather than just eating a bland cookie just because it's there. 6. Rejoice in Other Ways - While eating is one of life's greatest pleasures, it needs to be balanced with the other joys in life. Connect with people you haven't spoken to all year, grab some friends for a walk, attend a seasonal concert, or volunteer to help others less fortunate. Now that's nourishment in the deepest sense.


APPLE PANDOWDY RECIPE This dessert is perfect for the fall. I love apple desserts because they are a great way to get to know seasonal apple varieties. I really enjoy going to farmers’ markets and asking vendors which apples they like to use in different desserts. Use a mix of different types of apples in apple desserts so that you can get different flavor notes and different textures. For this fragrant pandowdy, I used half Golden Delicious and half Honey Crisps. Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jonathan, or Northern Spy varieties also work well here. This recipe is featured in my cookbook ‘The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook: Foods to Fill You Up, Not Out.’

APPLES 3 pounds firm baking apples 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup stevia 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

BISCUITS 1 1/4 cups flour 1 1/3 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon stevia 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1 tablespoon melted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup fat-free milk

Robyn Webb is an award-winning cookbook author, nutritionist, culinary instructor and the Food Editor for the award-winning Diabetes Forecast Magazine published by the American Diabetes Association. Her latest 2 books are The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook: Foods to Fill You Up, Not Out,’ and e-book ‘The Paris Vacation Apartment Guide: Rent with Confidence — Learn Where to Stay Without Getting Overwhelmed, Ripped-Off or Scammed!’ As a world traveler and writer, Robyn is also a member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. Keep up with Robyn at

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel and core apples, and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. In a large bowl, combine apple slices, lemon juice, brown sugar, 1/4 cup stevia, 1/4 cup flour, and cinnamon. Toss well. Transfer to a 2 1/2-quart baking pan. 2. In a medium bowl, combine 11/4 cups flour with the sugar, stevia, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, butter, vanilla, and milk. Quickly incorporate the liquid ingredients into the dry, just until blended. 3. Spoon the dough into free-form biscuits over the apples. Bake for 35–40 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbly. Exchanges / Choices: 2 Carbohydrate Calories 130, Calories from Fat 15 Total Fat 1.5 g, Saturated Fat 0.7 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 85 mg; Protein 2 g Total Carbohydrate 28 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 15 g


By Chef Jeremy Manley


1. For every 1 pound of turkey plan on 30 minutes of cooking. Everyone has a different oven and every oven is different. This is just a guideline. 2. Do not over stuff your turkey. This will increase your oven baking time tremendously. 3. Always take the temperature of your turkey in the thickest part of the thigh. Breasts always cook first and the thighs take the longest. 4. Cooking your turkey upside down will keep your breasts moist and tender.

Chef Jeremy Manley Talks Turkey on Big Blend Radio!

9. Let the turkey sit for at least 20 minutes before carving. This lets the juices rest.

10. A lighter and softer red wine such as Grenache will go well with turkey. You want to look for something with some pepper characteristics and no smoked barrel aging. For a white wine, I 6. When you can grab the drumstick bone and it pulls right out with no red color on the leg, it's done. recommend a blend such as Viognet-Rousanne from Paso Robles. 7. When trying to figure out how large a turkey to buy for your family, plan on 1 pound of bird to feed Known as ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef,’ Chef Manley is the Executive Chef/Owner of each person, which allows for the bones. Jeremy’s California Style Bistro in Julian, a 8. If you always over cook the turkey, brine it. That popular mountain destination in San Diego County, California. For more of his recipes, visit will guarantee a tender turkey. 5. If your turkey is frozen, plan on 2 days to defrost properly.


November and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to celebrate the fall pumpkin harvest!

Pumpkin Soup Perfect for Thanksgiving or holiday dinner, this delicious soup is from Terri Bailey of Bailey’s Palomar Resort in Southern California. Aromatic and very flavorful, it will soon become a favorite. You can also throw it all in a crock pot, as the veggies break down. Yields 4 small bowls. Ingredients: ½ pounds sugar pumpkin or butternut squash ½ pound leeks 2 yellow onions 3 Tablespoons butter 1 Cup milk or half-and-half 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 Cups warm water or chicken stock Sea Salt to taste Fresh ground black pepper Garnish with nutmeg, fresh parsley, and cheese

Pumpkin Pie Shot This fun fall inspired cocktail is from mixologist Tyler Johnston from the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill in Yuma, Arizona, known for their daily cocktail specials and weekday happy hour.

Preparation: Peel and cube the pumpkin or squash. Peel and mince the onion, prepare the leeks, (wash them, and take the 2/3 top leaves off) slice thinly. In a saucepan, heat the oil and gently brown the onions and leeks. Cover with lid, on a low gentle flame continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until soft.

Ingredients: ½ oz. Irish Cream ½ oz. Amaretto ¼ oz. Cinnamon Schnapps Layer ingredients in a shot glass, in the order listed.

Add the cubed vegetables, salt and pepper and 1 to 2 pinches of nutmeg. Add the water and milk, let simmer, for 15 to 20 minutes. Photo: Richard Dudley/


Husband-and-wife team Howard and Ruth Milstein share tips on pairing meat pies with wine, along with Ruth’s recipe for Shepherd’s Pie with Red Wine. Howard is a wine expert, and Ruth is the author of the Gourmand award winning cookbook 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.' See


Listen to Ruth Milstein on Big Blend Radio!

Ingredients In a 8 x 14 x 2 inches Pyrex pan Shepherd's pie has always been a traditional Irish 8 large red skin potatoes, peeled and cut into dish. This recipe is easy to make, outstandingly quarters delicious and can be prepared 2 days ahead. You 3 Tablespoons olive oil may use ketchup instead of the tomato paste; the 2 large onions, finely diced ketchup adds sweetness which kids always love! 4 medium size carrots, finely diced Makes 8 servings. 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef Note: Kids can eat it: the wine will evaporate in the 3 tablespoons tomato paste cooking process. You can also make individual pies 1 cup frozen peas 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves for kids and adults with the same cooking time. 1/2 teaspoon salt Double the amount, cover the tray and freeze 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper unbaked for up to one month. Then surprise your 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce family with a delectably yummy dinner! Before 2 Tablespoons flour baking remove the tray from freezer and let it 1/2 cup beef stock or 1 packet beef flavored defrost. bouillon dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water 1 cup red wine, preferably semi-dry Continued on Next Page… PAGE 32

Howard’s Wine Pairing Tips Traditional types of meat pies are native to Ireland. Ruth's recipe with red wine is a bit untraditional although it does contain beef. The vegetables and potato make this dish even more savory and delicious. The best varietal combinations for Shepherd's Pie would be Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Zinfandel or even a good Syrah or Syrah blend. Go for a luscious Gigondas or Cote du Rhone at a more modest price to give that dense and wonderful flavor of Syrah and Grenache.

Method Put the potatoes in a large pot covered with water and let boil; reduce the heat to medium and cook until soft. Drain the water to stop the potatoes from cooking.

Another good match is Red Zinfandel, although the quality can vary greatly depending on the producer (California) price point and the quantity of cases made.

Meanwhile, in a large deep sauce pan, put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sauté the onions for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to sauté for another minute then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the sauce pan, and sauté the ground beef until it turns brown. Turn the heat to a medium-low and put the onion/carrot mixture back into the sauce pan; add the tomato paste, frozen peas, thyme leaves, salt and black pepper. Add the Worcestershire sauce, flour and beef stock; mix gently and let cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and fold into the ingredients and let it cook uncovered for 6 minutes to let the liquid condense as the sauce gets rich and thick. Check seasonings and transfer the mixture into a greased large Pyrex tray. Mash the potatoes; if you like you may season with a pinch of salt and white pepper and spread it evenly on top of the mixture. Bake uncovered in a 425◦ preheated oven for 20 minutes until the potatoes are browned. Take the tray out of the oven then cover with aluminum foil and let it set for 5 minutes to settle. Before serving cut into 8 pieces and serve with a fresh healthy crusty bread to mop up the tasty sauce. PAGE 33

Get a taste of the sea with these two shrimpalicious recipes. Double Date Shrimp Curry From Debbie Mansheim of Basket Creations & More in Yuma, Arizona, this recipe features Medjool dates from Bard Date Company. See for more recipes. 1 Cup Medjool dates 2 Tsp. Curry powder 2 Tsp. Salt 2 Cup Water 2 Tsp. Lemon rind, grated 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch 6 Tbsp. Butter or margarine 1/8 Tsp. Ground cloves 2 Onions, sliced 1/3 Cup Lemon juice 2 lbs. Fresh Shrimp, deveined 2 Tbsp. Water Quarter dates crosswise. Melt butter in large skillet. Stir in seasonings and onion. SautĂŠ onion 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups water, lemon rind and juice, and shrimp. Bring just to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 5-10 minutes until shrimp is tender. Blend cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into shrimp mixture. Cook until sauce is thickened. Add dates and heat a few minutes. Serve over hot rice or noodles, as desired. PAGE 34

15 Minute California Shrimp Scampi Crostini By Chef Ivan Flowers Cut Ciabatta bread into ½ inch slices, brush with the olive oil, toast and set aside.


In a large sauté pan heat the canola oil over medium-high until it just begins to smoke. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Listen to Chef Ivan Flowers on Big Blend Radio!

Next add the garlic puree and lower the heat to medium. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

Serves Four 1 ½ lb. U-12 Shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on 1 Ciabatta loaf 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil 1 Tbsp. Garlic Puree (equal parts garlic and canola oil blended together) 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter ½ Cup Chardonnay Juice of 2 Lemons 1 Tbsp. Chopped Basil 1 Tbsp. Parmesan 1 Large Avocado, Medium dice 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved ½ Cup Baby Spinach Leaves, stems removed Salt Pepper

Now add the chardonnay and let cook for 2 more minutes. Add the butter and once it has melted add the juice of the lemons, the tomatoes and avocado and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Finally add the spinach and basil and give it one final stir. Place 3 slices of the toasted bread on each plate and pour an equal amount of shrimp and sauce over the bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve!


With Thanksgiving on the horizon, November heralds the start of the holiday season and that means it’s time to start baking sweet treats with chocolate. Enjoy these two chocolate inspired recipes.

Method: Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chocolate Chip Honey Mint Lace Cookies

Drop by even teaspoons and bake about 10-12 minutes, 12 cookies per sheet, until edges turn brown.

Sift dry ingredients. Cream the rest. Mix. Stir in chips. Butter a baking sheet.

Offering a healthier twist to traditional Belgian lace Cool on rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies cookies, this recipe is from Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed and Breakfast in California’s Sequoia Country. See Ingredients: ½ Cup butter (you can use a vegan substitute) ¾ Cup local honey 1 Extra-large brown egg (I use Glaum's organic free-range; feel free to use egg whites) ½ Teaspoon pure vanilla extract ¼ Teaspoon pure mint extract (or use fresh mint) ¾ Cup unbleached flour ¾ Cup oat flour (buzz oats in the blender, until they turn into "flour") ½ Teaspoon baking powder ½ Teaspoon baking soda ¼ Teaspoon salt ½ of an 12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or try carob)


In celebration of November as National Peanut Butter Month, this recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. Stop by The Peanut Patch on November 21, and celebrate their anniversary with free tastings and family fun. For details visit Ingredients: 10 Whole Graham crackers, broken into pieces 6 Tablespoons butter, melted 3 Ounces rich milk chocolate, plus extra for chocolate curls 1 3/4 Cups heavy cream 3/4 Cup creamy good quality peanut butter 1/2 Cup cream cheese (4 ounces) 1/3 Cup sweetened condensed milk 1/4 Teaspoon coconut flavoring 1/4 Cup chocolate chips (or to taste!)


Listen to Donna George on Big Blend Radio!

Method Continued‌ Set in ice bath until ganache is cool, whisking constantly.

Method: Crush graham crackers until they are fine in texture, transfer to a medium bowl and add melted butter and coconut flavoring.

Once cool, remove from ice bath, and whisk until ganache is just thick enough to hold its shape - do not over mix. Spread in the bottom of the prepared crust, and return to the refrigerator until set.

Stir with a fork to combine. Place crumbs in a 13 3/4 x 4 1/4 inch rectangular tart pan or a 13 x 9 inch Combine peanut butter, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk in a mixing bowl or food baking pan. processor - mix or process until smooth. Press crumbs up the sides of the pan to form the Whip 3/4 cup heavy cream into soft peaks. Add edge if using a tart pan and press evenly over the whipped cream to peanut butter mixture and whisk bottom of the pan. to combine. Place the pan in the refrigerator until ready to fill. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Finely chop prepared crust and refrigerate for 2 hours or chocolate, and place in a medium bowl. overnight. Place 1/2 cup cream in a small saucepan over If using a tart pan, transfer tart to a serving platter. medium heat, and bring to a boil. Decorate tart with freshly whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Pour over chopped chocolate, and set aside for 5 minutes to yield chocolate ganache. Whisk to Keep refrigerated until served. combine. PAGE 37

Paiute Wikiup, Pipe Spring National Monument



Eva Eldridge discusses Pipe Spring NM on Big Blend Radio. In northern Arizona, west of Fredonia, Pipe Spring National Monument lies within the boundary of the Kaibab Indian Reservation just off of Highway 389. The air was warm and clear in the high Arizona desert and I was one of the first visitors early one August morning. The solitude and peacefulness of Pipe Spring, which lies at the foot of the Vermillion Cliffs, belies the history of the site. In the 1860’s through the 1870’s Pipe Spring was a working cattle ranch.

James M. Whitmore believed Pipe Spring, with its steady source of water and miles of grasslands, was a good place to establish a cattle ranch. Eventually, a tithing ranch for the Mormon Church was established here where the summers were cooler due to the 5,000 foot elevation, and winters wouldn’t be as brutal as the northern climes. Due to continued raids and attacks by the Navajo and Paiute tribes in the region, a masonry and sandstone ranch house was built at Pipe Spring to protect the Mormon militiamen. In the 1870’s, Anson Winsor designed a larger fort, photo above, to protect the settlers from further Indian incursions. The building is a stone fortress built over the spring ensuring a continuous water supply even if under siege.

In the 1860’s, spurred by the desire to spread his people across the country, Brigham Young called for followers to settle new places across the west. When sources of cotton dried up due to the Civil War, Mormon settlers searched for a new location to grow cotton and other crops. Southern Utah and the northern Arizona territory looked like a good place to establish new settlements especially around St. George, Utah. Between harsh weather and Navajo skirmishes, many of the new settlements failed. PAGE 39

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Pipe Spring NM Continued… Park Ranger Ben Pikyauit was the guide for the tour of Winsor Castle that I attended. He provided an interesting insight into the history of the area because he is one of the few remaining Paiutes in the area. He walked us through the separate north and south buildings which are connected by walkways and stone walls. The spring runs through the building in a trough which was used to cool the butter and cheese produced here. The first telegraph line in Arizona was located at Pipe Spring, operated by Eliza Luella Stewart, the first woman telegraph operator. One of the things I found remarkable about the site is that it was managed and run mostly by women, and they did everything including gardening and weaving. They were the second and third wives of men from St. George or Salt Lake City. When the United States government declared polygamy illegal a few men hid their wives and children at Pipe Spring. The women ran the milking and butter and cheese operations which supplied workers building the Temple in St. George, UT. Along with the dairy operations, rye, flax, turnips, and wheat were grown in the area. The butter and cheese were packed into crocks which were placed in barrels filled with grain and flour to keep them cool and safe on their sixty mile trip to St. George. The current gardens located near the ranch house have examples of modern gardening with rows of corn, squash, beans, sunflowers, and amaranth along with the Native American style of planting in clumps of corn with squash and other plants as companion plants. In comparison, I couldn’t tell if one style worked any better than the other. The sunflowers were happy. In the orchard area located downhill from Winsor Castle, peaches, apples and quince grow. Grapes grow on an arbor and have decided dead trees make perfect supports for their vines. The grapes weren’t ripe yet, but the vines were loaded with bunches of green grapes. Pipe Spring was no longer viable as a cattle ranch by the late 1880’s because the area was overgrazed. In 1890 the land was temporarily abandoned and the land ruined. The cattle destroyed the native plants that supported the hunter gatherer society of the Paiutes. To this day, many of the plants have not recovered. On May 21, 1923, Pipe Spring was added to the National Park system and today is run by the Tribal-National Park Service. PAGE 40

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Pipe Spring NM Continued…

The museum at Pipe Spring contains a wealth of information about the people that settled the area. Diaries and photographs describe what life was like in the late 1800’s. Taking time to explore the museum is well worth the effort. I could stay there for hours reading family histories.

Most of the National Park Visitor Centers have a gift shop, but few have a gift shop like the one at Pipe Spring. Gift shop manager, Susan Garcia, has done a fantastic job of collecting unique and handmade items for the shop. Dreamcatchers, sand paintings, kachinas, roosters, jewelry, art, and so many other pieces I can’t begin to list them all. Everything is made by local and Native American artists. Stop by and see the beautiful work on display.

Pipe Spring is 60 miles from St. George, Utah and 20 miles from Kanab, Utah. If you are in the Grand Staircase area which includes the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce National Parks, make the trip to Pipe Spring and see a little of pioneer history. Learn more at Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine. She also writes fiction and poetry. Visit


Have you ever dreamed of going on an epic backpacking adventure? How about the Pacific Crest Trail, the John Muir Trail or Appalachian Trail? Or do you want to get out hiking and take your kids with you? Jeff Alt is an avid outdoor enthusiast who presents Life Lessons from the Appalachian Trail programs nationwide and conducts family hiking programs in the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. He has walked the Appalachian Trail, the John Muir Trail with his wife, and he carried his 21-month old daughter across Ireland. His son was taken on his first hike at 8 weeks. Alt is the author of four books including the awardwinning Appalachian Trail memoir ‘A Walk for Sunshine: A 2,160-mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail’, ‘Four Boots One Journey: A Story of Survival, Awareness & Rejuvenation on the John Muir Trail, and ‘Get Your Kids Hiking: How to Start Them Young and Keep it Fun,’ and the first installation of his National Park series for kids ‘The Adventures of Bubba Jones: Time Traveling Through the Great Smoky Mountains.’ Keep up with Jeff at 1. What inspired you to hike the entire Appalachian Trail? My family boyhood hike in the Great Smoky Mountains planted the seed that led to my hike. I dedicated my journey to my brother Aaron who has Cerebral Palsy and cannot physically do what I take for granted. I walked the trail for him and the home that cares for him, Sunshine.


Listen to Jeff Alt on Big Blend Radio!

2. Why do you think it is important for families to hike and go out into the wilderness together? Camping and hiking is a great way for a family to bond and spend time together. Childhood obesity is at an all-time high. Research shows that most children will be exposed to some level of computer activity and TV by the age of two. Sloth-like, indoor play, is competing with a good, old-fashioned romp in the natural outdoors. I’ve come to realize that it’s our role as parents to help our children appreciate the simple things that only nature can provide. What you do with your child in the first few years of life has a tremendous impact on their later habits and development. 3. Who or what inspires you when on a long hiking journey – what gets you to the finish line? I’m internally inspired. I love hiking. I focus on living in the moment when I’m on a hike. I celebrate each day I’m out on the trail. I enjoy the simple profound outdoors. One foot in front of the other leads to the end. Continued on Next Page…


Hiker Insider Continued… 4. What was the first National Park unit you visited, and what is the next National Park you want to visit? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the first park I visited as a child. I’m heading back to the Shenandoah National Park in two weeks. We’re planning a trip to Acadia National Park next summer. 5. What are the top essentials that need to be in a backpack? - Footwear: Until your kids are walking consistently on their own (birth-3), fit them with a comfortable pair of water resistant shoes. Make sure the three and older kids are wearing light weight trail shoes or boots with a sturdy sole. A Vibram sole with a waterproof breathable liner is preferred. Wear non-cotton, moisture wicking, synthetic or wool socks. - Clothing: Dress for the weather! Wear noncotton synthetic, wool and fleece clothes and dress in layers. Wear multipurpose clothes like pants that zip off into shorts or shirts with role up sleeves. Pack a waterproof breathable rain parka. Dress for the season with fleece hat and gloves or a hat with a wide brim for sun protection. - Packs: Get age and size appropriate backpacks that fit each hiker comfortably with hydration hose capability. - Trekking Poles: Get a pair of adjustable, collapsible poles with an ergonomically designed handle for each person. - Fresh, Clean Water: You can get a hydration hose system for your pack or just use bottles. Disinfect wild water using hi-tech portable treatment water systems such as a UV wand or micro-straining filter. - Food: Bring enough food for each day and pack an extra days worth. Bring food that everyone will enjoy eating. You want to encourage everyone to eat for energy. - Communication: Bring a smart phone so you can take lots of pictures and if there’s connectivity, email to family or upload to your online blog or Facebook page. Carry a GPS unit to keep you located on the trail and for geocaching.

- Other Must Haves: Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, suntan lotion and bug repellent containing Deet or Picaridin; first aid kit that accommodates the whole group and first aid knowledge to go along with the kit. Bring a compass and map and brush up on how to use them. Learn how to make a shelter to keep you warm and dry. Keep matches and a lighter in a dry place and know how to make a fire to keep warm. Carry a whistle and a signal mirror in case you get lost. Pack a survival knife with a locking blade. Bring a head lamp flashlight, extra batteries, 50 feet of rope or twine, and always have several feet of duct tape for that unexpected repair. 6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to be able to backpack such long trails? I chose to live simply. My wife and I work in the teaching profession which allows us the time off in the summer to hit the parks. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 43

Hiker Insider Continued… 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge when hiking? How to invent Frozen Dehydrated icecream to fulfill that craving I have on the trail. 8. If you could have a dinner party with three to four people (alive or passed on), who would they be? My Great Grandfather - who I never met, Mark Twain, Lewis & Clark, and Abraham Lincoln. 9. What trail is at the top of your bucket list? I don’t have one particular trail at the top right now. I have a list of many adventures I would like to take my family on. I would like to circle back and walk the Appalachian Trail again someday. 10. What are the most important tips you would pass on for parents taking their kids on a hiking or backpacking journey? - Start’em Young: Ergonomically designed baby carriers make it easy and fun to carry your infant and toddler with you wherever you hike. Walk to your favorite park or beach. Bring a friend. Stop often and let your little one explore. Make your hike a routine your kids will look forward to. - Let the Kids Lead! Follow the leader! Hike at your child’s pace and distance. Whatever your child takes interest in, stop and explore that bug, leaf or rock with them. Tell them about the animals, rocks, trees, and flowers. Getting to the destination is less important than making sure your kids have so much fun; they will want to go again and again. - Count Down to the Adventure: Psych the kids up with pictures, videos, and highlights of the places they will go and the things they will see. Use books, magazines, maps, and the Internet, especially park websites and videos showing the spectacular wildlife and locations they will see. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 44

Continued - Pack Fun Items: Let young children fill their adventure pack with a bug catcher, magnifying glass, binoculars, a camera, a map and compass, whistle, or flashlight. Let your little adventurer take ownership and pack a few items of his own; even if it’s not hiking related. - Bring water and food kids love: Hand out needed extra energy and water as needed on the trail. Pack their favorite snacks and bring plenty of water. Stop often for a drink and a snack. - Play Games and Bring a Friend: Play ‘I Spy’ using your surroundings as you walk along. Create your own scavenger hunt in search of animals, plants and views along the way. Make up rhymes and sing songs as you walk. Pack along a plant and animal identification guide for your older child. Let your social butterfly bring a friend, with parental permission. Intrigue your computer savvy child with the high-tech hiking gadgets like GPS, headlamp flashlights and pedometers. - Take Advantage of Park Activities and Guided Nature Experiences: Utilize and enjoy the amazing services and resources offered by our parks, trail and recreational system and associations. This will help ensure that the experience is enjoyable, memorable and even lifechanging.




Luxury Design Trip in Dublin Lisa Johnson Mandell, founder of chats with Big Blend Radio about her recent experience at the Ireland Design 2015 showcase and the new luxury design trip known as "The Retreat,” hosted by international designer Grania Murray. Lisa got an exclusive behind-the-scenes view of the homes, studios and palatial estates of some of Ireland’s most prominent historical landowners, and was also able to visit some of the Emerald Isle’s best modern craftsman, artists and designers right where they live.


Listen to Lisa Johnson Mandell on Big Blend Radio!

While not everyone has an intense fear of flying that leaves them paralyzed, most people experience some level of discomfort when it comes to air travel. With Thanksgiving and winter holidays approaching, we asked Captain Tim Griffin, professional pilot and CEO of FlyHome LLC, for some advice. Listen to his Big Blend Radio interview and read his tips below.


Listen to Captain Tim Griffin on Big Blend Radio!

1. Anticipatory Anxiety is the number one issue with most fearful flyers. The only way to overcome this is by gradually learning to feel more comfortable during flight, so before hand, you will have less to worry about. 2. Don't check the weather more than 2 days out from your trip, this causes a large amount of anxiety should the flyer see a percentage for rain or storms. The truth is, it is not that accurate that far out anyway! 3. Pack a few days early! Rushing around packing the night before while you are already anxious will only fuel the fire. 4. Exercise, and avoid caffeine. Exercising can help minimize the affects of anxiety, while caffeine can increase the effects. 5. At the airport, the TSA security check is an anxiety increaser, but not if you're prepared. Take off all jewelry, remove all items from pocket, and take belts off, all prior to getting in line. Put all of the items in your carry on, and this way, you're not rushing to remove everything while everyone behind you is waiting on you. It's the little things that alleviate stress! For more air travel tips, visit PAGE 47

Yerington is a small and charming historic town nestled in the heart of northwest Nevada’s Mason Valley, east of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Yerington is also on the California National Historic Trail and a few miles from Fort Churchill, once a stop for the Pony Express. For some visitors to the area, treasure hunting starts at one of the three downtown casinos such as Dini’s Lucky Club which is the oldest family owned and run casino in the state. For others, it’s exploring the natural areas like Mason Valley Wildlife Management area in search of various bird species to mark off on their Lifer List. As Larry Butler, a local geocaching expert explains on Big Blend Radio, tons of visitors from all over the world come and stay a few weeks in Yerington to search for cache treasures he has hidden along the 130+ mile power trail he and his teammates set up in the shape of an eagle. In fact, Larry is a world record holder for hiding the most geocaches – over 11,500 of them!

Photo courtesy

New to Geocaching? Geocaching is an outdoor adventure where players use’s free mobile app or a GPS device to find cleverly hidden containers around the world. Thanks to avid geocachers like Larry, there are over 2.5 million geocaches to be found in over 180 countries. There are over 10 million geocachers registered on, with more than 800,000 in the U.S., over 275,000 in Germany and more than 160,000 in Canada. Learn more about joining the Geocaching adventure by visiting and watch their 75-second video introduction.

Click to Watch Video!



Larry Butler discusses Geocaching in Yerington on Big Blend Radio!

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


A Fabulous Fall & Holiday Destination in Central California Located in central California, east of Monterey and Salinas, Hollister is the county seat of San Benito County, and eastern gateway city of Pinnacles National Park. Less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 4 ½ hours from Los Angeles, Hollister makes for an ideal fall and holiday destination with outdoor activities such as bird watching and hiking, golf and tennis, as well as a wine tasting trail, a variety of dining options, boutique shopping, and special events to attend. The city features modern conveniences along with a charming historic downtown district that boasts fascinating architecture with historic styles ranging from Victorian to Frank Lloyd Wright. Stroll downtown and you will see murals depicting Hollister as ‘The Birthplace of the American Biker’. Hollister is known for being a patriotic city. On November 11, the community gathers together to honor their veterans with a parade down San Benito Street in the downtown district. On December 12, Hollister and San Benito County will join the country-wide Wreaths Across America campaign by hosting wreath laying ceremonies at the Calvary Cemetery, Odd Fellows Cemetery and San Juan Bautista Cemetery.

The Pinnacles Condor Experience on November 7 focuses on the California Condor with classroom lectures and hiking in the park with birding experts and park scientists. And on November 28 there is a Guided Birding Hike in the park with birding experts. For more information on both these events see There are plenty of holiday shopping opportunities in downtown Hollister, or at local attractions like Casa de Fruta who have a great gift shop and farm stand (along with a Merry-Go-Round for the kids), not to mention the local wineries. Home to Marich Chocolates, you’ll see plenty of their sweet and decadent offerings in local gift shops, as well as Blenheim’s delicious dried apricots. Held on November 28, the 25th Annual Lights on Parade lights up the town with festive floats, cars and people all dressed in lights.

Recommended lodging destinations include Ridgemark Golf & Country Club and Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast in downtown Hollister, or Bolado Park Event Center in The cooler fall and early winter weather makes it nearby Tres Pinos if the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air, whether it be a round of golf at Ridgemark you’re traveling by RV. For up-to-date event Golf & Country Club, or taking a hike or bird watching at nearby Pinnacles National Park. There and travel information, call the San Benito are two educational events coming up at Pinnacles County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (831) 637-5315 or visit National Park. PAGE 50


Juli Vieira, Executive Director of San Benito County Chamber of Commerce chats with Big Blend Radio about Fall & Winter Events in Hollister!


Bruce Lewis, General Manager of Ridgemark Golf & Country Club on Big Blend Radio!


Greg and Tricia Harvey, Innkeepers of Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast on Big Blend Radio!



Festive in California’s Yosemite Gold Country!

The Arts, Holiday Fun & Snow Play in Tuolumne County

The northwest and year-round gateway to Yosemite, Tuolumne County is made up of the historic gold rush towns and mountain villages. With lively events, shows and theatre performances, specialty shopping, wine tasting and delicious culinary experiences, along with the possibility of early snow play, the late fall and early winter holiday season is a festive time to visit this beautiful region. And, it’s only around a 2 ½ hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, and 5 hours from Los Angeles.

Celebrate The Arts in Sonora Once known as ‘The Queen of the Southern Mines,’ Sonora is a historic gold mining town with a delightful historic downtown district with plenty of holiday shopping opportunities, fabulous restaurants, art galleries and theatre. Offering a blend of art and live music in galleries, shops and restaurants, the 2nd Saturday Art Night is a wonderful way to connect with the local artists and musicians, and explore the downtown district. Located on the more modern and east side of Sonora, the Sierra Repertory Theatre presents wonderful theatre productions. Their current production is the popular musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” and runs until November 29. Another theatrical highlight is Stage 3 Theatre Company who presents the musical comedy “Almost Maine” from November 14 – December 20. Photo courtesy of Rich Miller.

For film lovers, the annual ITSA Film Festival will be hosted in the Sonora Opera Hall from November 13-15, featuring Emerging Cinematographer Award Films, workshops and interaction with working film industry personalities.

Holiday Happenings - Tuolumne County SONORA: On November 27, the spirit of Christmas will fill the streets as brightly lit floats, cars, horses and bands spread holiday cheer at the 32nd Annual Historic Downtown Sonora Christmas Parade. Sonora continues its holiday celebrations with the 41st Annual Sonora Christmas Craft & Musical festival from November 27-29, at the Mother Lode Fairgraound. One of California’s largest holiday events, this spirited celebration of the season features music, family vaudeville entertainment, carolers, arts, crafts, food and even elves. COLUMBIA: A few miles from Sonora, Columbia State Historic Park is California’s best preserved Gold Rush town with historic sites, shops, entertainment, restaurants and festive events. The Sierra Repertory Theatre will present “A Columbia Christmas Carol” at its historic Fallon House Theatre from November 13-December 20. Other festive happenings include the lamplight Tours walking play on December 4-5; the Miners Christmas in Columbia living history experience for families on December 12-13, 19-20; and the 33rd Annual Las Posadas Nativity Procession on December 13. Continued on Next Page…


Tuolumne Continued…. JAMESTOWN: Known as the “Gateway to the Southern Mines,” Jamestown was the site where gold was first discovered in Tuolumne County. This historic goldrush town features antique and gift shops, wine tasting rooms, restaurants, and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Relive the magical journey of the Polar Express on an hourlong train ride to the ‘North Pole’ at Railtown 1897 SHP on December 4-6, 11-13, 18-20. Enjoy hothot-hot chocolate and yummy cookies as you ride along with story's characters. Once you reach the North Pole, the jolly old elf - Santa himself - will come on board to give each passenger a silver sleigh bell, the "first gift of Christmas."

Snow Play!

With the possibility of El Niño visiting California this fall and winter, it’s quite likely that winter snow play TWAIN HARTE: This mountain hamlet kicks off its opportunities could arrive early this year. Pack your holiday season on December 4, with caroling and a winter gear along with your skiis, snowboard or snowshoes, and get ready to play in Yosemite tree lighting, followed by the Annual Twain Harte National Park, Stanislaus National Forest, Dodge Winter Wonderland Parade. Ridge Wintersports Area, and Leland High Sierra Snow Play. And, on November 13, the ice skating GROVELAND: Gateway to Yosemite National Park, Groveland starts its seasonal celebrations on rink at Long Barn Lodge re-opens for the winter seasons. Photo courtesy of Dodge Ridge. November 27-28 with a two-day Christmas Craft Faire, then Santa visits for the tree lighting To plan your Yosemite Gold Country adventure ceremony on December 5. visit


Visitors flock to Tulare County during the summer to visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument. However, the end of fall and early winter offers a whole different and beautiful park experience, and the area communities make for a sweet holiday shopping adventure complete with gourmet goodies, boutique and handcrafted gifts, along with festive holiday events. This season, why not steer clear of the holiday frenzy and skip out for a weekend with the family or sneak in a romantic escape to central California’s spectacular Sequoia Country, where you’ll experience the big trees, savor sweet treats and delight in the charm only small town America can offer.

Big Tree Experience

In Kings Canyon National Park, General Grant Trail is an easy 1/3 mile paved trail that features the General Grant Tree, one of the world's largest trees and proclaimed 'The Nation's Christmas Tree'. The weather experts are forecasting that El Niño will bring extra snow to California this fall and winter, so be sure to pack your winter woolies, snow shoes and snow chains for your car. The snow season in the parks is the ultimate of peace and tranquility, so picturesque and pristine. Don’t forget to make a snow angel! Be sure to visit to plan your visit to the parks.

Sweet Treats, Shopping & More in Tulare County Visiting the parks gateway communities provides a unique holiday shopping experience. Tour the historic downtown districts with specialty stores, restaurants and bakeries, beautiful art murals and festive décor. Many of them host holiday events and parades.

There’s nothing more humbling than standing next to a giant Sequoia tree, the world’s largest tree that can grow to be over 300 feet tall and as wide as 34 feet in diameter. The Giant Sequoias in California’s Sequoia Country, are between 500-2000 years old, and can be seen in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks which also incorporate Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. Start your Big Tree adventure at the Giant Forest Museum in Sequoia National Park. The nearby Big Trees Trail is an easy, accessible and paved 1.2 mile educational trail that circles Round Meadow. Another Big Tree to see is The General Sherman Tree in the Giant Forest. With a volume of over 52,500 cubic feet, it’s known to be the largest living tree in the world! PAGE 55

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Sequoia’s Continued… VISALIA: This vibrant city boasts a beautiful historic downtown district with a wide array of dining and lodging options, art galleries, historic sites, the historic Fox Theater, antique and boutique shopping, and over 50 murals. Be sure to visit Valhalla’s Restaurant to try their aebleskivers. These fluffy ball-shaped pancakes are delicious topped with powdered sugar, jam, or syrup. For gourmet holiday gifts, visit Naturally Nuts for nuts and nut butters, dried fruit, chocolates and caramel pecan logs. Bravo Farms Smokehouse not only makes for a fun and delicious dining experience, but they also have a great little gift shop featuring local and artisan cheeses, wines, nuts, and gifts. Upcoming Events: Tulare County Symphony’s Fire & Ice on Nov. 21; Tulare County Symphony’s 2015 Annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 5; Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jóse Hernàndez on Dec. 11; Sons of the San Joaquin Western Concert on Dec. 12; Winter Dance Party on Dec. 18.


Big Blend Radio interview with Park Ranger Colleen Bathe and Sandy Blankenship, Sequoia Tourism Council.

EXETER: This quaint art and agricultural community has a lovely downtown district with a beautiful series of murals, a variety of casual and fine dining establishments, and specialty shopping. For sweet treats, be sure to stop by Hometown Emporium for cakes and cookies, and the Cappella Coffee House for coffee and pastries. Besides tractor parts and farm implements, Exeter Mercantile has a variety of gifts including china, crystal, toys and fashion accessories. Exeter Hobbies is a great place to find motorized toys for the boys and men in your family. Upcoming Events: Exeter Chili Cook-off on Nov. 14; Holidays at the Courthouse Art Gallery Auction & Show on Nov. 14; Exeter Holiday Open House in Downtown on Dec. 3, 10, 17; Exeter Christmas Parade on Dec. 4; Spirit of the Holidays Christmas Tree Auction & Wine Tasting on Dec. 5; Exeter Home Tour on Dec. 11; Exeter New Year’s Eve Celebration & Doo-Dah Parade on Dec. 31. For information see Continued on Next Page…


Sequoia’s Continued… THREE RIVERS: Gateway to Sequoia National Park, the art community of Three Rivers runs along the beautiful Kaweah River. There are a variety of art galleries and gift shops to visit, as well and all kinds of restaurants. A popular holiday destination is Reimer’s Candies & Gifts, a true old-fashioned candy store known for their German Stollen Christmas Bread, plus their Christmas gift shop. Antoinette's Coffee and Goodies is another sweet stop for baked goodies, and roasted coffee bean selection. Anne Lang’s Emporium is a good place to stop for lunch and shop for gifts and gift cards. An ideal shopping adventure is the 1st Saturday Art event on Nov. 7 and Dec. 5, a self-guided tour to see the area’s artists and artworks.

Upcoming Events: Nov. 1- Dec. 24: Open House and Holiday Gift Shop Sale at Three Rivers Museum from Nov. 1-Dec. 24; Holiday Bazaar on Nov. 14; Three Rivers Performing Arts Winter Concert Series on Nov. 14 & Dec. 13; Three Rivers Community Caroling on Dec. 5; High Sierra Jazz Band Concert & Christmas Party on Dec. 12; and New Year’s Eve Dinner & New Year’s Day Polar Bear Dip at The Gateway. Continued on Next Page….


Sequoia’s Continued… PORTERVILLE: Gateway to Sequoia National Forest, Porterville’s historic downtown has a great selection or restaurants and gift shops. The First Friday Porterville Art Walk is a fun way to explore the downtown area’s shops and galleries, and get a little holiday shopping done. Stafford’s Famous Chocolates is a sweet destination that serves up a decadent variety of handmade chocolates, truffles, caramels, toffees, and their popular Ooey Gooey bars. Plano Jerky is a wonderful holiday shopping destination offering their gourmet beef jerky, locally grown gourmet nuts, olives, dried fruit, candies and gift baskets. Another highlight in the area is Las Flores Family Winery in nearby Terra Bella. This boutique winery is known for its handcrafted wines and sparkling wines. Upcoming Events: Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11; Children's Christmas Parade on Dec. 3; Zonta Christmas Home Tour & Artisan Boutique, Dec. 5.

TULARE: Tulare is an agricultural community and shopping destination that boasts specialty gift shops as well as the popular Tulare Outlet Center that features over 50 brand name stores and restaurants. Here shoppers can expect to save anywhere from 20%-70% off of regular retail prices. The Gardens at CalTurf feature gifts for those with a green thumb, home décor items as well as gift baskets, seasonal items and gourmet goodies. A super lunch destination, Hazel’s Kitchen in the downtown area serves up delicious sandwiches and mouth-watering cupcakes and cookies, and also features a gift shop. Their next door neighbor is Hedge Row House, a cute shop that features all kinds of antiques, décor items and gifts. Upcoming Events: 47th Annual Tulare Collectible Show & Sale on Nov. 6-7; Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 7; NovemberFest on Nov. 7; Global Winter Wonderland Circus of Light on Nov. 21-Jan. 3; Tulare Children’s Christmas Parade on Dec. 4. For more on California’s Sequoia Region, including gateway communities, events and attractions, download the Visitors Guide at



Festive in North San Diego, CA! 3 Fall and Winter Holiday Celebrations from the Mountains to the Sea! ‘Tis the season for shopping, hot cider and cocoa, and getting ready for the winter holidays with decorations, festive events and gatherings with friends and family. Instead of rushing to the malls to get your shopping done, why not skip the mayhem and attend these three celebrations to get into the spirit of the season with some shopping, dining, entertainment and camaraderie. Plus, you’ll get to spend some quality fun time in the coastal cities of Oceanside and Encinitas, and the historic mountain town of Julian. 25th Annual Fall Festival in Encinitas - With 450+ booths to visit, plus dozens of unique downtown Encinitas retailers, here’s a perfect opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping. Enjoy the music of popular local bands in The Lumberyard Courtyard and dance, music and other entertainment on the Community Stage next to Ace Hardware. Take your young ones to the Kids Zone for a variety of fun activities. And walk your furry friends into Dog Zone for some treats and special attention. When it’s time for a bite or a drink, the options are abundant, from the unique food vendors in the street fair to the 40+ restaurants and bars in our downtown. Held Sunday, November 22, from 9am-4pm. Info:

Oceanside Parade of Lights - Fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, kayaks and dingys dressed up in holiday swag circle the Oceanside Harbor to enchant onlookers at the harbor, restaurants and beach. Many of the boats feature people dressed up like Santa waving to the crowd. One of the best viewing spots is along the side of the Oceanside Harbor near the fishing dock and police station. From this vantage point, you can see the parade twice. The concrete walkway that surrounds much Julian Country Christmas & Tree Lighting - Mark of the harbor is also good for spectating the event. Harbor Village at North Harbor has shops, dining, your calendar for Julian's annual Tree Lighting celebration on Saturday, November 28 which kicks and seating areas. Don’t miss this colorful parade on December 12, from 7pm to 9pm! Info: off Julian's Country Christmas. This popular event Oceanside Yacht Club, 760-722-5751 draws hundreds of visitors who gather at Pioneer Park to watch the tree lighting, drink hot cider, and visit with Santa. There will be warming stations throughout the town offering hot cider or cocoa, pastries, candies, and other holiday treats. The entire town will be decorated with twinkling lights, Christmas wreaths and garlands. Throughout the holiday season, you can indulge in a Victorian Christmas tea, sip hot cider or hot chocolate, shop for one-of-a-kind gifts in the small boutiques, or sing Christmas carols with costumed holiday carolers. Cuddle under a blanket while riding down Main Street in a horse drawn carriage, stay in a cozy bed and breakfast that's all decked out in holiday finery or bundle up and take a stroll down a quiet country lane. Tel: (760) 765-1857. PAGE 60


Four Fabulous Fall & Holiday Experiences in Yuma, Arizona Listed in the Guinness World Records as the “Sunniest City on Earth”, Yuma bustles with fall and winter visitors who enjoy the beautiful sunshinefilled days with bright blue skies, dramatic desert sunrises and sunsets, historic sites and attractions, Colorado River nature areas, downtown shopping and special events. Yuma is located in the southwest corner of Arizona, bordering Southern California and Mexico. For up-to-date travel and event information visit

ART & SHOPPING A terrific area to start your holiday shopping, historic downtown Yuma is home to the Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre, boutique shops and art galleries, a movie theatre, restaurants and bars with live entertainment. Follows are some upcoming Yuma events that celebrate the arts and offer unique holiday shopping opportunities. Nov. 7: 21st Annual Children’s Festival of the Arts: This is a free art event for kids. Main Street. Info: 928-373-5202. Nov. 20: North End Art Walk: Meet and greet local artists at downtown businesses. Info: 928580-7417. Dec. 4-6: Potpourri Artists Arts and Craft Show: Live art demonstrations with pieces for sale. Yuma County Fairgrounds. Free admission. Info: 928726-4420.

TASTE OF YUMA An agricultural community, Yuma is known for growing an abundant variety of crops that range from lettuce and cantaloupes to citrus and Medjool dates. From Mexican cuisine to burger joints and Italian fare, the city is home to a great selection of restaurants and also hosts a number of culinary events. Some traditional items on Yuma’s menu include street tacos, Medjool date shakes, and the Chavela cocktail made with Clamato juice and beer. Get a taste of Yuma at some of these upcoming events. Nov. 13: Date Night: Enjoy this multi-course gourmet dinner served under the stars in a lush Yuma date grove! The inclusive price of $70 per person includes a multi-course gourmet meal prepared by Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Alex Trujillo, entertainment, a tour of Imperial Date Gardens' sorting and packing facility, and even samples of beer and wine made from dates. Info: 800-2930071 or 928-783-0071. Nov. 21: The Peanut Patch Anniversary Celebration: Enjoy samples of many products including The Peanut Patch’s famous homemade fudge, and specials on some of your favorite items. Tel: 928-503-0298 or visit

Dec. 11-13: Anderson’s Americana Indian Art & Jewelry Show: Yuma Civic Center. Info: 928-3735040. Nov. 21: YCAF & CE Community Bazaar: Handmade gifts for all occasions with over 180 crafters. Yuma Civic Center. Info: 928-373-5040. PAGE 62

Taste of Yuma Continued…


Dec. 4: Annual Kamman Sausage Fry: Hosted by Yuma loves a good parade and festival! Enjoy the the Yuma Rotary Club and held at Yuma Civic beautiful fall weather and get into the spirit of the Center. Info: 928-373-5040. holidays at these upcoming special events! Dec. 8: Savor Yuma Culinary Tour: Enjoy this “progressive dinner” tour of select culinary destinations where you’ll sample field-fresh Yuma bounty and fare prepared with border flair. Price is $55 per person, includes two "adult" beverages and transportation. Info: 800-293-0071 or 928-7830071.

Nov. 20-22: 25th Annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival: Presented by the Caballeros de Yuma, enjoy three days of balloon flights, live entertainment, food booths, local vendors and a special “balloon glow” Saturday night. Info: 928-343-1715

Dec. 19: Somerton Tamale Festival: About 85,000 tamales of all varieties will be served up to fund scholarships for local students, along with live music and entertainment. Info: 928-388-4837

Nov. 28: Ken & Betty Borland Holiday Light Pageant & Tower Lighting: This annual event features local entertainment, carols and the lighting of Friendship Tower. Event starts at dusk. Info: 928-343-1715 Dec. 11-13: The Nutcracker: Presented by Ballet Yuma. Info: Jennifer Coleman at 928-446-6770. Dec.12: 13th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade: A free family event in historic downtown with marching bands, floats and vehicles decorated with beautiful Christmas lights. This year’s theme is “A Rock & Roll Christmas!” Info: 928-783-0071 Dec.18: Christmas with the Christys: The original folk band of the sixties, Randy Sparks and original members return to Yuma. Historic Yuma Theatre. Info: 928-373-5202. Dec. 18-20: Foothills Parade of Lights: Info: 310-339-2621 Continued on Next Page….


Nov. 11: Veteran’s Day Parade: Honor and celebrate the service of all U.S. Military members. Parade begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Yuma Mesa Shopping Center and heads south down 4th Avenue. Nov. 19 & Dec. 17: Ghost Trolley Tours: If you love haunted history, you’ll love this night trolley tour through the streets of Yuma’s historic downtown district. Step off at places where ghost sightings have been reported, while hearing century-old ghost stories. Come dressed for a night of fright, if you dare. This two-hour tour begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and reservations are required. Info: 928-782-1842.

Yuma Continued…

Dec. 5: City of Yuma’s Military Appreciation Day: This annual event honors active and retired Yuma is home to the Colorado River, a water service personnel and features historic highway and major crossing point at the narrows, which was the easiest place to cross into California. photographs, speakers, and presentations plus vendors of all varieties. 10am-5pm, historic Many crossed here including the Juan Bautista de Downtown Yuma. Info: 928-373-5028. Anza expedition, the Mormon Battalion, and fortune-seekers off to try their luck in the California Dec. 9: Behind the Big Guns Tours: A rare gold rush. Yuma’s rich history continues to draw chance to get a "behind-the-scenes" look at the U. visitors to see the historic sites within the Yuma S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), one of the Crossing National Heritage Area including the largest military facilities (by land area) in the world. Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Tour includes a stop at the Heritage Center Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, Museum, plus a look at other areas and activities Sanguinetti House Museum & Gardens, and most civilians don't get to see! Lunch at the Cactus downtown Casa de Coronado Museum. As a historic crossing area, Yuma has had its fair share Cafe, YPG’s on-post restaurant, is included, along of military history, and today is home to the Marine with a souvenir of your day. Price is $55 per person, includes lunch and transportation. Info: Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. These upcoming events celebrate 800-293-0071 or 928-783-0071. Yuma’s river history and those who served and continue to serve in the military.


Nov. 5 & Dec. 3: Historic Downtown Trolley Tour: Two-hour tour featuring the stories of pioneering families, riverboats, brothels and booming businesses that once lines Main Street. Starts at 10 a.m. Tickets are $25 per person. Reservations are required. Info: 928-782-1842


Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona! Hangar Sports Bar 24 Beers on Tap ~ Daily Drink Specials Appetizers & Entrees Televised Sports Events ~ Live Music & Entertainment

Captain’s Lounge Top-shelf Cocktails ~ Fine Wines ~ Specialty Coffees

Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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

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

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427 PAGE 47 PAGE 65

By S. Ward Heinrichs Esq., Backstrom & Heinrichs Attorneys at Law, APC

MINIMUM WAGE On July 1, 2014, the minimum wage in California was raised from $8 per hour to $9 per hour. Governor Jerry Brown signed that law in 2014. The second part of that law will raise the minimum wage in California to $10 per hour on January 1, 2016. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. President Obama and the Department of Labor support a raise to $10.10 per hour, but congress Ward Heinrichs Talks probably will not support that or any other increase. Wage Laws on Many states have higher minimum wage rates than Big Blend Radio! the federal minimum wage. Similarly, many cities have higher minimum wage rates than both the federal and state minimum wage rates. For WAGE PAYMENT TIMING instance, San Francisco has a minimum wage of In California, employers must pay workers at least $12.25 per hour. It will increase to $13 per hour in twice a month, unless those workers are exempt 2016 and to $14 per hour in 2017. Likewise, Los salaried workers. Employers must pay exempt salaried workers at least once a month by the 26th Angeles has a minimum wage of $9 per hour but it of the month. If employers pay twice a month, then will increase incrementally through 2020 to $15 per hour, unless the voters pass an initiative which will work performed during the 1st day and the 15th increase it to $15 per hour by 2017. day of the month, must be paid by the 26th of the month. Similarly, work performed during the 16th of month and the end of the month, must be paid by the 10th of the following month.


Employers may also pay wages weekly (52 pay periods per year) or bi-weekly (26 pay periods per year). In that case they must pay wages within a week of the last day of the pay period. If an employer fails to pay wages on time, the employer faces $100 penalty for each initial violation for each employee and faces a $200 penalty for each subsequent or willful/intentional violation for each employee. Those penalties can add up quickly. PAGE 66



In California, Vacation and Paid Time Off (PTO) are considered deferred wages. In other words, as Vacation/PTO accrues it is banked as a wage to be used at a later time. If an employer terminates an employee with unused Vacation/PTO, the employer must pay the unused amounts on the day of termination. Failure to do so subjects the employer to waiting time penalties equal to one day’s wage for every day the accrued Vacation/PTO remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 30 days.

As of July 1 of this year, most employers in California must provide at least 3 days of paid sick leave for its employees who have worked at least 30 days within the year. The sick leave accrues at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. The employer may provide only 24 hours (3 days) of sick leave per year if the employer offers its employees three sick days at the beginning of the employment year. Otherwise, the employer must allow its employees to accumulate up to 6 days of sick leave per year, but may still limit each employee to the use of only 3 days per year. In that case, any unused balance may be carried over to the next year. Employees can begin to use accrued sick leave after 90 days of employment.

An employer may not take away earned Vacation/PTO. However, and employer may place a cap on the total amount of Vacation/PTO that an employee may accrue. For instance, an employer may allow an employee to accrue 8 hours of Vacation/PTO every pay period, but may cap the maximum amount of vacation an employee may accrue at 100 hours. Once that maximum amount has accrued, an employee will not accrue more vacation until the employee actually uses accrued vacation time. California law does not require an employer to give its employees Vacation/PTO. In fact, many small employers do not give employees Vacation/PTO. In that case, time taken off will not be compensated unless the employee qualifies for and uses sick leave.

Unlike Vacation/PTO, California does not consider sick leave to be a wage. That means, employers need not pay terminated employees for accrued, but unused, sick time. However, if the employer lumps sick leave with vacation time or other PTO, then the sick leave becomes a wage and must be paid out at the time of termination.

TIP POOLS California law forbids the employer from taking or sharing in tips (Labor Code §351), and employers must track all tips that they collect for employees (Labor Code §353). Tip pooling is legal, but employers cannot take any portion of the tips. Only those employees who are in the chain of service can be in the pool. For instance, an employer cannot require servers to include cooks and dishwashers in the pool.


8 Tips to Strengthen Family Relationships By Bobbi DePorter When the kids are young, eating together is common. As they get older, other events and obligations often get in the way. Sitting around the dinner table together is one of the most relaxed occasions for casual family conversation.


2. Work together on projects. The holidays also lend themselves to family projects, whether it’s the whole family or just two or three family members. These projects serve as ideal bonding experiences. What kind of projects am I talking about? Putting up lights, decorating the tree, brainstorming gift ideas, shopping for another family member, creative undertakings (even as simple as building a puzzle together), cooking or baking, assembling a gift, and so on. The opportunities to tackle projects together are endless. All you have to do is ask for help.

Listen to Bobbi DePorter on Big Blend Radio

Holiday season is upon us! It’s a great time of year for families to be together and a great opportunity to build even stronger family ties. Here are eight tips on what you can do to strengthen relationships within your family during the holidays this year. 1. Make time for being together. While the holidays can be hectic, remember what’s most important – family. Find activities you enjoy doing together as a family or in smaller groups. It can be as simple as playing board games or as adventurous as a family hike. Then when you’re not busy carving the turkey, carve out time for these activities. It’s also a perfect time of year to get back in the habit of eating dinner together.

3. Keep your cool. The holidays can include their share of stress, so you don’t want to undo positive family experiences with an overreaction to a minor event. Remember, minor mishaps aren’t major catastrophes. Incidents that occur at this time of year (and throughout the year) provide chances to practice good communication and act as a positive role model. Often, categorizing incidents according to their importance will help keep responses and consequences appropriate. Choose only the most important issues to evoke the strongest consequences.


7. Continued An extension of this feeling and mindset is to ask your kids what they are thankful for, which can easily lead into an informal discussion on family values and beliefs. Keeping everyone on the same page, so to speak, will have a unifying effect throughout the year.

Family Unity Continued…. 4. Have fun with gifts. Shopping for gifts for your family can be stressful and expensive. Make it a fun experience by including a “white elephant” gift exchange. If your extended family gathers at a particular time during the holidays, the gift exchange is a great way to keep everyone’s time together light and laughter-filled. 5. Practice positive communication. There’s a very good chance that your family will spend more time together during the holidays. Create lasting value by practicing positive communication strategies, particularly with your kids. When you do engage in a conversation with your son or daughter, be attentive. Listen more and talk less. Resist the temptation to share your opinion on matters. Instead use this holiday together-time to let your kids get more comfortable with the idea of opening up to you on topics that matter to them. When you do talk, ask questions and encourage more dialogue by being interested in what they have to say with the statement, “Tell me more.”

8. Set family goals. Your family is like a team. The most successful teams, whether in sports or business, work together toward a common goal. Use the holidays to set one or two family goals for the New Year. I’ll talk more about goal-setting next month, but start thinking about some areas in your family’s life where everyone could be part of pursuing a goal. Enjoy the holidays and celebrate the time you get to spend with your family. Bobbi DePorter is the President of SuperCamp and Quantum Learning Network, a U.S.-based educational firm producing programs for students, teachers, schools, and organizations across the United States and worldwide. SuperCamp is the leading academic summer camp in the world. Visit

6. Work on your Home Court Advantage. You may have seen me refer to building a “Home Court Advantage” with your family before. The holidays are the perfect time of year to do so. Start by letting your kids know how much you love them and that you love them for who they are. At SuperCamp, we see the greatness in every child. In families, kids often assume, whether rightly or wrongly, that their parents are never satisfied with them. Let them know just how great you think they are. 7. Reinforce your family’s values. The holiday season is also a natural time for reinforcing the values and beliefs that the family lives by. In the hectic, day-to-day life of a family, a discussion on family values doesn’t often come up. The holidays are different. Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks.


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Listen! Organizing to Save Time, Space, Energy & Money for 2016 Listen to Regina Leeds on Big Blend Radio! At this time of year most people are trying to keep their heads above water. The TV, airwaves and newspapers are full of ways to celebrate. What if we did something a bit radical? What if we looked beyond the holiday and found a few ways to save time, space, energy and money before the clock strikes midnight and it’s 2016?

By Regina Leeds ‘The Zen Organizer’

3. Tax season is in the horizon. Why not spend the week between Christmas and Here are some ideas to get you started. New Year getting your receipts in order? If they are sorted and filed all you have to do is add them up 1. Chances are good that you store your holiday before your tax appointment. Better yet, create a decorations in the attic, the basement or the file system that helps you stay organized all year garage. long. It takes some time, effort and a few dollars in As you take them down this year, why not give supplies however it pays endless dividends all year them the a once over before you automatically pack long. You save time because instead of searching them away? Are any items ready for the trash? Do for papers, you know exactly where they are. And you have anything that could be donated? Would a you know the old saying: ‘time is money.’ family member like some of these items to jumpstart their collection? By the way, do you know 4. A solid FICO score has never been more what’s in all those other boxes filling up the area? important and one of the key ways to keep it Now is a great time to do a little housekeeping. healthy is to pay your bills on time. Create a bill paying system now. Whether you mark 2. Decorations should be packaged in hard on your calendar when a bill needs to be paid, do plastic containers and well labeled. online bill paying or have automatic payments set Do you have a unit with shelves so that your boxes up (or a combination of all), make this one of the don’t have to live on the floor? It’s also possible if habits you cultivate for 2016. If you look at your you must stack your decorations, to use containers mail as you walk in the front door and toss your bills on wheels. It’s much easier to pull out a stack of wherever fate dictates, you will find it difficult to stay holiday decorations than to have to drag some current. The bills will be there and fall due whether mystery containers out and wonder what your you pay them on time or bury them under the various categories are in the stack. Cardboard is a cushions on the couch. Best to pay them and file feast for critters and breaks down over time. You’ll the receipts for tax time, another reason to take find a wonderful assortment of containers at The time to create a working file system this month. Container Store, Bed, Bath & Beyond and the Continued on Next Page… Home Depot just to name a few. PAGE 70

5. If you don't have a filing system, create one. You are at the head of the class if you already have one. Set aside a few hours to be sure it's updated for the New Year. Too often files become cemeteries rather than active stores of current information. Ask yourself these questions as you peruse your system: - Are there items you can toss into the recycle pile? - What needs to be shredded? - Have you created an area for archival material? Don't forget to create tax receipt files for the New Year. The files for this year's tax receipts will soon be put away with all of your other tax back up material. Check with your tax preparer or tax attorney to see how long they feel you need to save Consciously Create the Future returns and back up material. The laws change and It’s always exciting to think of a New Year. The very these pros will always be up to date. idea is full of hope and renewal. The reality however is that the same old/same old will continue Take a few minutes before you ring in the New its reign unless we consciously set new causes into Year to be sure you haven't neglected any potential place. Let’s agree that no matter what age we are, tax deductions. You'll be grateful you did this in 2016 can indeed be the best year of our lives. March, as you get ready for Tax Day. What did I have in mind: Union dues, charitable contributions, Professional organizer Regina Leeds, known as log the miles you drove for any volunteer work, pay The Zen Organizer™ has brought order and peace all your medical expenses for the year and to home and work environments across the country contribute to your child's college fund. Every year a for over 27 years. She is the author of 10 books on parent can give $13,000 without paying a gift tax. If organizing including New York Times bestseller you are newly pregnant, don't forget that one day ‘One Year to an Organized Life’ and the newest this little one may want to go to college. Set up a release ‘Rightsize! Right Now!’ The latter presents 529 college plan and tell your family you'd rather a sane plan for rightsizing your possessions to fit receive a contribution to that cause than be your home and life and craft a move in 8 weeks. A saddled with overstuffed toys. former actress Regina delights in giving lectures on Tough economic times provide us with an opportunity to teach our children about money and to demonstrate responsible ways to manage it. Here are some thoughts to get your creative juices flowing: - Organize the house to eliminate clutter because clutter makes it more difficult to think clearly. - Be sure you decorate the home together. If you can't afford a tree, pick up some discarded branches so you have the aroma of pine. - Ask everyone to find one object they could sell on E-Bay or Craig's List. Use that 'found money' for gifts. Set a per-gift limit and have a contest to see who makes the most creative choice.

the benefits of Zen Organizing™. A native of Brooklyn, New York she now lives in Los Angeles with her rescue pup Charlie. Visit

Be honest with your children about what's happening and how you are handling it. A new iPod or iPad is a great gift. An even greater one is having your parents treat you like an intelligent being who can handle the truth. Learning how to make lemonade from the current crop of lemons is a life-long skill. They'll have it long after the iPod and iPad are obsolete. PAGE 71


The Neurogenesis Diet & Lifestyle

Do You Quantum Think?



Dianne Collins

Brant Cortright, Ph.D

Are we destined to just slide downhill at the mercy of our decaying bodies as we age-suffering low energy, diminished cognitive abilities and memory, distracted focus, reduced sex drive and even depression? Or do we have a choice?

Dianne Collins is an important thought-leader of our time; her workshops and consulting sessions are widely sought after by a clientele that includes politicians, celebrities, and CEOs alike. Her bestselling and award winning book “Do You QuantumThink?: New Thinking That Will Rock Your For years science has thought that there was no World’ is the culmination of her life’s work, and it way to halt the death of brain cells that control our unveils the powerful secrets that bridge the gap aging process, but recent neuroscience has between ancient wisdom and modern science, to actually discovered that we can grow new brain reveal a power that exists in each of us if only we cells (neurogenesis) at ANY point in our lives. learn how to access its source. The key to this When the rate of neurogenesis is low, that's when access is a concept she calls QuantumThink®, we experience memory loss, cognitive deficits, which explains that our thinking is not “free” but is anxiety, stress, depression and lowered immunity. conditioned by our world view. Only with this With high rates, we flourish--demonstrating rapid knowledge are we able to pursue the lives that we learning, mental acuity, emotional resiliency, robust truly desire. health and more. Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Brant Cortright about neurogenesis and his Amazon bestselling new book “The Neurogenesis Diet & Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life.” Dr. Cortright is a highly respected clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies. His consulting practice specializes in cutting-edge brain health and neuroscience-informed depth therapy. He is the author of two previous books and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dianne Collins about ‘Do You QuantumThink?’ that asserts that the human race is at a critical juncture in its development and it is our collective responsibility to evolve our thought process or face the consequences. Ms. Collins explains that our thinking has not evolved past an ‘Industrial Age’ paradigm rooted in a mechanical world view. Einstein’s relativity and the quantum physics of the 20th century initiated a process of dismantling this archaic model. Just as quantum physics redefined the physical world, the aim of QuantumThinking is to reinvent perception in a way that is better suited for the shifting realities of modern times. Visit


BOOKS & INTERVIEWS A deeply moving and courageously written story, ‘Primary Gift: Awaken to the Excellence of Your Life’s Journey’ by Kelly F. Holland is one of those books that will inspire you to reach inside yourself and create the best possible life you can. Most importantly, ‘Primary Gift’ will assure you that regardless of your personal circumstances and challenges, excellence still awaits you. Kelly Holland talks with Big Blend Radio about her personal journey and how to use positive thought in order to enter into a loving relationship with yourself. She also explains how role models can empower you and teach you to access your innate talents, wisdom, and guidance.

Primary Gift

Kelly F. Holland lives in Arizona and works as a licensed physical therapist. She earned a bachelor's degree in general studies from Kansas University and a master's degree in physical therapy from Rockhurst University. Kelly also earned diplomat credentials in mechanical diagnosis and therapy from the McKenzie Institute International in Raumati Beach, New Zealand. Visit


Kelly F. Holland


BALANCE Live Your Best Life Be mindful of self and others while focusing on what’s meaningful and important in your life. Inner happiness and fulfillment come when your mind, body, and emotions are nurtured by the choices you make.

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When we’re in balance we make time for the things that are important to us. Staying in balance is an ongoing process about choices. We’re constantly making choices about what we do, what we say, how we feel, what we think, etc. As ambassadors for Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program”, the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to 50 million children and young adults. This free program guides young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. See Watch the video above featuring Megan Kennedy, Faculty Relations Liaison for Quantum Learning Network, who discusses BALANCE.

The 8 Keys of Excellence Are: 1. Live in INTEGRITY. 2. Acknowledge FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS. 3. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE. 4. Live in the now. THIS IS IT! 5. Affirm your COMMITMENT. 6. Take OWNERSHIP. 7. Stay FLEXIBLE. 8. Keep your BALANCE.


k, c o n rd Bu delio int n Da perm Pep

By herbalist Cynthia Johnston

It is that time of year when there is a chill in the air, leaves (and lots of pollen) falling, and the reminder of the cold weather to come. Going out of our warm cozy homes into the chill, then to a warm car, then out again, can give us a case of the sniffles or a runny nose, a cold, or even worse, the flu! I believe it is important to get out into the fresh, chilly air…we are not designed to sit in a “box” of one sort or another. The propensity to a cold suggests a weak immune system from our often sedentary lifestyles. A brisk walk and some herbal allies can be extremely helpful in supporting and reinforcing our natural immunity, helping to make us less likely to “take a cold” or worse. In this case, we will look at herbal “adaptogens.” Two of my favorite are burdock root and dandelion root. These common plants have properties that are nourishing and strengthening to our core. They “assist the body in adapting” to its circumstance. Hence….the action “adaptogen.” These plant/herbals provide the body with nutrients, vitamins and alkaloids that support core strength. When we “have the cold” another helpful plant is the common peppermint. A strong cup of peppermint leaf will help to wash our throats with its antiseptic action, as well as provide alkaloids that help to ward off the “bite of the flu bug.” Other demulcent herbs may sooth our scratchy throat like wild cherry bark or marshmallow. I have a favorite blend of 1 part peppermint, 1 part wild cherry bark, 1 part marshmallow leaf/root, and 1/4 part stevia, brewed for 10 minutes. Add a bit of honey and a squeeze of lemon and you have a wonderfully soothing throat coat tea.


Listen to Cynthia Johnston, on Big Blend Radio.

When we find ourselves with a cough, a chest full of mucous and a head stuffy and aching, more serious action may be needed. I am a fan of ear candles to clear the ears, menthol steam for opening the sinus', expectorants like elder syrup to assist in clearing mucous from our lungs. An herbal chest rub may also be effective. I am fond of a green elder ointment. I infuse elder leaves and green berries in olive oil for a couple of weeks. I add to it a bit of beeswax, and then some menthol and camphor essential oils. When rubbed over the chest a soothing and clearing sense may be experienced. As you can see...there is simply a multitude of herbal remedies available to address this common complaint. I value these remedies far above a flu shot. I hope they add some value to your herbal medicine cabinet. Herbalist Cynthia Johnston is the founder of MoonMaid Botanicals, a small herb company dedicated to providing high quality herbal products that are free of chemical preservatives, propylparabens or synthetics of any kind. Products include remedies for common women’s health issues, and herbal products for the family. Learn more or shop online at


Rock Talk by Marilee Strech Listen!

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Carnelian was used in Ancient Egyptian magic to protect both the living and the dead. It was believed to protect against the evil eye in this life, and to ensure the rebirth of the spirit of a mummy in the afterlife. In Roman times carnelian was engraved with the head of a lion to signify courage. Today this beautiful orange agate we call “carnelian” helps to calm fears about death and brings acceptance of the great cycle of life. An avid rock hound, Marilee Strech owns Crossroads Treasures, a gift shop that features a variety of rocks and gems, beads and jewelry, plants and books, and is just down the hill from Julian, a popular mountain destination Southern California. Visit

Mentally carnelian aids in meditation and focusing on the present by allowing deeper concentration, useful in making decisions. Carnelian brings personal happiness and fulfillment if you allow your own desires and goals to guide you instead of those set by others. Physically this stone brings us greater vitality and energy including sexual and creative energies, bringing abundance of all kinds to the home and family. Wearing it increases your zest for living and boosts your energy. Carnelian warms and cleanses the blood and kidneys, increases male potency, and can also relieve PMS for women. It can alleviate addictions of all kinds but especially those to food. In the home, carnelian protects against fire, storm and evil of all kinds. If placed on your desk or computer at work it will radiate positivity. It is good for animals too, according to Cassandra Eason, author of the ‘Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals’. A piece of carnelian placed in the water bowl will calm an aggressive pet, while carnelian in a goldfish tank will keep the fish healthy and even attract wealth to the owner of the fish. Carnelian agate is the Zodiac stone for Leo, and is an easily acquired stone as it is found in abundance in India and Brazil. There are several places in Oregon where you can go and collect your own carnelian, just check out the book ‘Gem Trails of Oregon’ by James Mitchell for locations and maps. Happy hunting!


There is a solution to our ‘10 pound’ problem that does provide the immediate slimming results we all want. Especially with upcoming holiday and company parties. Goodbye thick panty girdles and hello body shapers! Shapers now come in so many styles and the fabrics used are much thinner and lighter in weight. Compression fabrics are also very comfortable. To look thinner and have smooth body lines, I suggest the full body shaper.

It has thin shoulder straps and is high in the back and has a low scoop in the front to fit under your bra, and comes in thigh or ankle length. There is a snap panel crotch for easier trips to the restroom. No need to undress. The end result is a smooth back, midriff, waist, hips and thighs. The thigh length can be worn with dresses or skirts and full length for wearing pants. If you only want to smooth the back and midriff, you can choose the camisole shaper which is perfect for wearing under t-shirts. There is also a shaper for women with large untoned arms. Slimming sleeves by Silverware can be your solution. It looks like a short shrug that is tight and creates an ultra smooth look and comes in ¾ length and full sleeve. The new shape wear of today gives you so many options to fit your specific needs. There are several online stores that offer an amazing variety of shapers. You can speak with a consultant that will assist you in choosing the right item. Many mall department stores also are well stocked. Shapers come in white, nude and black. When going to the mall, I suggest you take the garment that you plan on wearing so you can try on the proper shaper for your needs. Now you can go to your high school reunion or holiday office party and look ten pounds lighter and no one will know your secret. And don’t be surprised at the many compliments you will receive of how great you look. Smile and say “thank you.” Aggie Garcia is a San Diego based fashion designer who specializes in designing bikini and figure competition suits, and is the owner of Illusions by Aggie. Visit:


Staying Cool, Organized & Bug-Free Great Travel Products by Nancy J. Reid

One of the best things about the Spirit of America Tour of all 408 National Parks is having the chance to hike, picnic or stroll a historic downtown. While we are at our Headquarters in Yuma, AZ, we often walk along the banks of the Colorado River in the early mornings. Here we see plenty of herons, egrets, osprey and all kinds of song birds. Of course, where there is water, there are insects. Recently we tried “I’ll Fly Away,”an all natural, nontoxic insect repellent made by We highly recommend it. It is great to know while protecting yourself from insect bites, you are not spraying yourself with toxic poisons. It is made from Catnip, Witch Hazel, Eucalyptus, Citronella and other essential oils. You can also get the repellent with sunscreen added which really makes sense. It is still natural and I love that it is not sticky or greasy, dissolves right into the skin and smells wonderful. For added benefit, you can get the sunscreen with skin moisturizers without the repellent for when you are out where there are no insects. All three products make your skin feel soft and they work!

Sometimes we sneak out for a picnic and I carry the insect repellent and other items in my Healthy Back Bag. I love this bag because it has tons of pockets so all my essentials stay organized and easy to find. It’s quite fashionable and can be worn across my body or just on my shoulder and it leaves my hands free. No matter how I wear it, the main zipper is only accessible to me, a security feature I really appreciate. The strap is cushioned and comfortable, and the bag is really light. No more heavy handbags for me! I love that I can find car keys, cell phone, sunglasses and money in a jiffy! You can check out this bag, it comes in different sizes and colors, at

Another thing we travel with is the Discovery Trekking Extreme Ultralite towel available at www.DiscoveryTrekk This towel is amazing! It is so lightweight you can virtually pack it in any small corner. It dries fast so it is perfect to take on a hike. We use it for shade, a picnic cloth, as a towel if we are kayaking or swimming. It is very easy to care for and I use it to wrap my pillows in at night, it keeps them nice and cool. This moisture wicking fabric contains Polygiene Silver that kills bacteria. Something to think about when you are hotel hopping! Visit their website, you will find clothing, towels and bedding that will make your life just that much more enjoyable and at really reasonable prices.