Big Blend's Radio & Tv Magazine Sept 2015

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Contents… 5. Editors Block 20. Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway!

Rants, Raves & Rock ‘n Roll 6. Kwame Binea Shakedown 7. Baltimore & New Orleans

Toast to the Arts 8. Singer-Songwriter Insider 11. Carmen Lundy 12. Books, Authors & Writing 13. Writing Historical Fiction 14. Early Printmakers of New Mexico 17. The Rose and the Robe 18. The Filming of The Virginian 19. Hollywood History - 1950s Sitcoms

Creative Celebrations! 26. International Day of Peace 27. Traditional Recipes for Rosh Hashanah

Eat, Drink & Be Merry! 28. Fry It Up Fresh! 30. Fall Drinks & Treats

Garden Gossip 34. Boyce Thompson Arboretum 36. Hi-Five to Solar Power

Spirit of America 38. Juan Bautista de Anza Trail PAGE 3

Contents Cont’ … Vacation Station 50. Conejo Valley, CA 54. The Treasure of The Islands 57. Jamaican Patties 58. Classic California Fall Destinations 70. Giddy-Up to Yerington, NV 72. Travel Interviews

Nature Connection 73. Plight of the Africa Lion

Way Back When 74. Radio Play - Divas on Parade 76. Historic Villains & Heroes of Norfolk 79. An Empire on the Edge

Success Express 80. California Employment Law

Quality of Life 82. Ready for College 84. Baby Love! 86. Ceremonial Use of Herbs 87. Metaphysical Moldavite 88. Excellence & Education 89. Fall Fashions 90. Shoppers Emporium PAGE 4

EDITORS BLOCK September marks the change of season, the rusty, earthy colors of fall and cooler, breezier temperatures. Change is Good! We’re stepping into fall with a fun and fascinating selection of articles, videos, radio interviews, recipes and expert advice. Take a spin around islands of the world, a fall trip through California and the southwest, or tour the Arizona portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Go back in time with a splash of Hollywood History, our time travel radio play ‘Diva’s on Parade’, noteworthy cases in California employment law, the tales of historic heroes and villains of Norfolk, UK and an interesting take on England’s role in the American Revolution. Hear and read about the plight of Africa’s lions, southwestern art, the homeowner benefits of going solar, how to prepare teens for college, getting organized for the arrival of baby, fall fashions, ceremonial herbs and metaphysical gems, plus, new music, books and documentaries, fall recipes and celebrations, product reviews and more!

Photo above: Priscilla, and her pal Flying Fabio, get their park passport stamp and Junior Ranger Badges at Tumacacori NHP. Cover Photo: Kwame Binea Shakedown by René Scotland Photography

Join us for Big Blend Radio airing live on Wednesdays at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, and Fridays and Sundays at 11am PT / 2pm ET – or catch our archived shows on One of the best ways to keep up with our upcoming shows is by following us on Facebook. Be sure to subscribe to our Big Blend e-Newsletter so you can enter our Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway. Remember, one winner wins all the prizes we add to the prize pot throughout the year. You will also receive our Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine in your email. Here’s to a Happy Start to the Fall Season! 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.


Rants, Raves & Rock ‘n Roll

Photo: Joel Davenport

Roots Rockin’ Peace, Love and Positivity! Singer-songwriter Kwame Binea, front man for the Kwame Binea Shakedown, chats with Big Blend Radio about the band’s new self-titled EP. Listen to his insightful interview about living in Ghana, London and Harlem; his music career, and how the band strives to share a positive universal message through their music. Watch their video “Hang On,” one of the tracks off the EP. Visit “My music is organic, it’s about life, love and struggle, but it’s danceable. We make music that moves you and that makes you move,” says Kwame Binea. With a dynamic and exhilarating presence, Kwame Binea has shown that he is the perfect front man. With his soulful edge and the band’s groovy approach, their new EP ‘Kwame Binea Shakedown’ rocks with a fusion of world music and powerful lyrics that are universally relatable. Kwame co-wrote and produced the entire EP with guitarist, Justin Wilcox, for Pelopos Entertainment Group. The four-track EP includes the singles “Let Go” and “Hang On” along with “Little Lady” and “Waiting.” The rest of the band members include Medley Shabazz (drummer), Art Vanterpool (guitarist), Phil Bass (bassist), Daron Wright (keyboardist), Kengo Yamada (saxophonist) and Brian Varneke (trumpet player). PAGE 6


Rants, Raves & Rock ‘n Roll

Filmmaker Jordan Flaherty Explores Racial and Economic Justice Issues in New Documentary Series Part One, “Baltimore: A Moment to a Movement”, exposes conditions that fueled the Baltimore Uprising after the police murder of Freddie Gray.


He has appeared as a guest commentator on CNN Headline News, Anderson Cooper 360, and News and Notes on NPR. Flaherty's most recent book is "Floodlines: Community and Resistance From Katrina to the Jena Six." This documentary series is produced for "The Laura Flanders Show" and airs on TV stations across the US on Link TV and internationally on the TeleSUR News Network. Listen to Jordan Flaherty on Big Blend Radio and watch the first two installments of the series below. Learn more at

Part Two, “New Orleans: Recovery or Removal?” explores major systemic changes in New Orleans and focuses on issues shaped by race, class and gender, ten years after the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "We found that these protests are about more than one city, and more than one issue - this is a national movement that continues to grow," said Flaherty. "The murder of Freddie Gray was the spark but it's the underlying systemic issues that catapulted it from a moment to a movement.” He adds, "In New Orleans, we found the same issues we saw when we reported from Baltimore and Ferguson." Flaherty is an award-winning journalist, producer, and author. His print stories have been featured in dozens of national and international publications. PAGE 7

A Toast to the Arts

What does it take to be a successful singersongwriter? Award-winning contemporary pop recording artist Doreen Taylor, who recently released her chart-topping new single “TOY” worldwide, answered 10 Questions about her career, including the challenges she faces and her inspirations. With viral YouTube hits such as "Judgment Day", "Last Call (for alcohol)", "Heartbeat" and "Summertime" off her breakout, debut solo album "Magic," the award winning singer/songwriter has been called one of the hottest up and coming musical stars by countless publications and television networks like the Lifetime Network, CBS, NBC, FOX News, CW Network, Ok!TV, and Consumers Digest. With two degrees in music, Taylor has played numerous leading roles in various companies on and off Broadway and took the leap into mainstream music releasing her album "Magic" which garnered her the “2012 Suggested Artist of the Year” Award from the ‘Song of the Year’ international songwriting competition.

In 2014, Taylor was chosen to collaborate on a new national anthem in honor of the US National Parks. “Colors of the USA” premiered at the ‘Salute to the Parks Gala’ in Washington D.C. in April 2014 and a percentage of the proceeds from every download of the song is being donated to help protect our national parks. Doreen was recently named ‘Ambassador of the National Parks’ for her ongoing efforts to connect children and the millennial generation to parks for their upcoming centennial in 2016. She is an advocate for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, was named the honorary chair of the 50th Anniversary Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Gala in November 2013 and has hosted concerts nationwide in honor of Andrew’s Army, Unyts, Jaws Youth Playbook and UrbanPromise. She has also been a public advocate for the Special Operation Warrior Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Learn more at


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A Toast to the Arts


Listen to Doreen Taylor’s interview on Big Blend Radio, watch the new lyric video for her chart-topping single TOY, and read her answers to our 10 questions below. 1. What led you to become a singer-songwriter? It sounds very cliché to say it, but I truly believe I was born to do this. My heart sings when I am making music. It isn’t just what I do - it is who I am and I never feel as complete as I do when I am expressing myself through my art. 2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for your career? An often overlooked part of the music business today is the word “business”. It is a business and a cut-throat one at that. Nowadays, talent is only a small part of the success of an artist. Being an independent artist by choice, I have not only had to create music and tap into the artistic side of my brain (the thing that most people think is all it takes to “make it”), but I also have to balance it with having a strong business acumen and savvy to navigate through an industry that has been historically locked to artists such as myself. The ability to cross over between different parts of my personality, talents and experience has been one of the greatest attributes that has allowed me to have the success that I have had in this business.

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the music industry? My biggest pet peeve of music in general is that it has taken a very troubling turn in the last decade or so. Very few mainstream pop artists are even able to perform live. With auto tune, over production and the rash pop ups of "basement studios", music has become a very cold and artificial product. The days of musical artistry have quickly disappeared and live singers and players have taken a backseat to computer savvy producers replicating vocals and instruments into robotic sounds and samples. I have worked very hard to bring back the musicianship of pop music artists and be an alternative to this growing trend. I don’t want to make mass produced, forgettable music- my goal is to make art that can hold up over time.

6. What personal changes have you had to make to achieve success? Most don’t realize the sacrifices that are needed to really achieve success in the music industry. Like all sole proprietors and small business owners, I have had to dedicate the majority of my time, energy and money to help grow my business. Every dollar I bring in from my 4. Describe your ideal audience. Any audience music goes right back into my music. When others that is engaged and wants to be there is an ideal are enjoying family, parties, social events, I am audience for me. I am really blessed that I have an busy networking, touring, or promoting my brand. I extremely strong, organic fan base. I don’t want just have found it very difficult to maintain personal superficial numbers on my social media - I want relationships and be able to focus 100% on my true, lifelong friends who are part of this journey career goals. I do my best to balance my with me. When I am on stage, it feels as though professional and personal lives, but there are times they there are right there on stage with me. It is a that my personal life just has to take a backseat to great feeling to see people in the crowd singing my career and those closest to me in my life along to my songs or crying during a ballad. As a understand that. singer-songwriter, the greatest high you can Continued on Next Page… receive is when you touch others with you music. PAGE 9 3. Who or what inspires you? I’m a student of the world. I choose not to just exist, but to live. I guess to that end, I really am inspired by almost anything and I never know what is going to be the next thing to spark a creative idea or even a complete song.

A Toast to the Arts Doreen Taylor continued…. 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? I honestly feel so blessed with everything I have accomplished so far as an independent artist. The debut of my breakout pop/adult contemporary single “TOY” has been getting significant airplay across the country and even landed on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart in its first week and keeps climbing! However, I guess it is sometimes a double edged sword to gain success in the music industry because (especially in my case) I am continually competing against other artists (almost all of them with a major label and a major backing behind them). The higher up you go, the further it is to fall so now a big challenge for me is to keep finding new and inventive ways to maintain relevance and keep fresh. The music industry is a “what have you done for me lately” business and if you don’t continue to hit while the iron is hot—you quickly can fall into the land of anonymity. 8. If you could have a dinner party with three people (alive or passed), who would they be? Musically, I would choose Elvis (for selfish reasons). Philosophically I would choose Socrates and spiritually I would choose God (although I am not sure that counts as a person). 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? That’s hard since I really am doing what I want to do - how many people can say that? But if I had to pick a different career for a day, I think I would choose being an interior designer. One of my favorite hobbies is home design and renovations and I think I would have a blast creating art with someone else’s money! 10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in music? You have to first determine what kind of career you want (and be realistic about it!) It is great to shoot for the stars and land somewhere on the moon. One of my main (and only goals) when I was first starting out was to just be able to make a living doing what I love to do. Most people want to be a musician or performer because they want the level of success (i.e. FAME and FORTUNE) of a Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift. That is NOT why you should follow this path. You should do it because it is part of you and makes you complete. If it is in your heart then the rest will follow and success will find you. Just work hard, think outside the box, be original, be authentic and just be you. Find out what makes you unique and go with it and just keep making beautiful music! PAGE 10

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A Toast to the Arts Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Carmen Lundy, who discusses her music and art career, her latest album ‘Soul to Soul,’ and about collaborating with other musicians such as Simphiwe Dana of South Africa, as featured on the track ‘Grace’ that is portrayed in the video below. Keep up with Carmen at


See Carmen Lundy Live Sept. 7: DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL Sept. 18-20: DIZZY'S CLUB, NYC Sept. 26: BLUE WHALE, Los Angeles

“Soul To Soul,” Lundy’s 14th album, is the next chapter in her critically-acclaimed career as both a musical and visual artist; a return to her roots but also an exploration of these roots -- and the journey that those roots can take you on. Featuring the stellar talents of guest artists Patrice Rushen, Geri Allen, Randy Brecker, Mayra Casales, Simphiwe Dana, Bennie Maupin, Carol Robbins, Ada Rovatti, and Warren Wolf along with Carmen’s core rhythm section members Darryl Hall and Jamison Ross, “Soul To Soul” invites the listener on an intriguing journey.

Check out our new Vimeo Channels. As we cross the country on our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour of all 400+ National Parks, we film and produce videos of all kinds. Here are just some of our Channels - enjoy! Click on the banners below!


A Toast to the Arts






A Thomas Lynch Novel

Big Blend Radio interview with author Lucy Clarke

Big Blend Radio interview with author Stephanie Gayle

When Lana and her best friend Kitty are invited onto The Blue, a 50-foot yacht, traveling from the Philippines to New Zealand, manned by a group of young wanderers and adventurers, they are thrilled to have finally found the freedom they’d been searching for since they left England.

New York City native and police detective Thomas Lynch is the new Chief in the rural town of Idyll, Connecticut, where serious crimes can be counted on one hand -- until a teenage girl is murdered.

However, on an ocean passage hundreds of miles from land, Lana begins to realize that she and Kitty aren’t the only ones who are trying to escape their lives. When one of the crew disappears overboard after an argument, Lana must search for the truth amid everyone’s dark lies.

Seeing the victim, Chief Lynch realizes that he met her just hours before she was killed when they crossed paths in a remote cabin used for illicit rendezvous. The case should be a slam dunk. But there's a problem. If he tells his detectives about meeting the victim, he'll have to reveal his greatest secret: he’s gay. So Lynch works angles of the case on his own.

Suddenly, darkness falls over their vacation, and Lana’s journey in paradise becomes a chilling nightmare.

Without the aid of fellow detectives, he is forced to seek help from unlikely allies--a Goth teen and a UFO-obsessed conspiracy theorist.

Laced with murder, intrigue and suspense, THE BLUE by Lucy Clarke is an adventure story that leads to the crossroads of escapism and reality. Visit

Balancing lies and secrecy against the need to find the killer, IDYLL THREATS by Stephanie Gayle puts you in the precarious shoes of Thomas Lynch. Which way will the scales of justice tip? Visit

Author photo by James Bowden


A Toast to the Arts

5 Tips on Writing Historical Fiction 1. Do the research first. - Travel to location. - Find relevant collections and info in museums, libraries, pertinent organizations. - Locate experts and speak/write to them. - Do internet searches. 2. Choose the relevant research and incorporate into story. 3. Confirm relevant historical dates and facts. 4. Avoid giving a history lesson; incorporate facts into the fiction narrative. 5. Allow your characters to carry the story.


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 co-authored The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs released by the University of Nebraska Press. Visit Photo courtesy


Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Lynn Wiese Sneyd ‘The Book Biz Whiz’.

A Toast to the Arts

By Victoria Chick

A Day at the Trading Post Artist Ira Moskowitz


Listen to Victoria Chick on Big Blend Radio!

Even limiting this topic to early printmakers working in New Mexico is overwhelming. The clear light, scenic beauty, and richly varied cultures were a romantic attraction for artists who visited from the eastern United States and had a hard time tearing themselves away. Some stayed permanently. Many European-born artists also came to live or spend long periods of time in the New Mexican towns of Taos and Santa Fe.

By the 1930s, many west coast artists also became New Mexico transplants. Most were painters with a good number of printmakers among them. All these arrivals were additions to the well developed art of indigenous tribes for whom the designing of utilitarian pots, weavings, jewelry, clothing, and ritual objects was an integral part of life. The Indian art and activity provided subject matter for many of the incoming artists. And there was a mutual respect between Indian artists and classically trained artists as each recognized the authenticity in the others’ work. One of the first printmakers to visit New Mexico was Peter Moran who made his initial trip in 1864. He made many more art trips, some with one of his artist brothers, to New Mexico as well as other western states, recording the landscape, the frontier activity, and the Indians. Moran was a classically trained artist who did many etchings from his drawings after he returned to the east coast from these trips. His good relationships with the Indian tribes and his skills as an artist resulted in his appointment as the official artist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1890.


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A Toast to the Arts

Sentinel Rock Artist Birger Sandzen

Eagle Ceremony at Tesuque Pueblo Artist Gustave Baumann Another early printmaker, and one whose work is still very much sought after, was Gustave Baumann, who arrived in the United States from Germany, as a child. He received some art education at the Chicago Art Institute but, in his early twenties, went back to Germany for a short period to learn woodblock printing. On his return to the USA, he spent time in Indiana where he began perfecting his technique of color woodcuts.

Lloyd Albright, with no formal training, spent many summers in New Mexico in the 1920s, where his natural talent was encouraged by members of the Taos Society of Artists. He, like Baumann, was a woodcarver and began making woodcut prints of adobe buildings in the Taos/Santa Fe area.

There were two main groups or waves of incoming artists in the early years. The first has already been alluded to in that the training of very early artists was based on the classic European model of the mid-19th century. Some artists were slightly influenced by late 19th century French styles, using looser brushwork and Impressionist color theory. The artists that began arriving in the 1930’s were He heard from friends who had visited Taos what a more inclined to be ‘Modernists’ experimenting with wonderful area it was for artists. By the early 1920s angular Cubist forms or the rounded, stylized shapes of art Deco. he made a trip there. Taos had quite number of artists by then and he felt he wanted a quieter place The earliest artists recorded the romance of the for his work so he chose Santa Fe where he was West and Pueblo life in a naturalistic way. The given an art studio in the recently completed New Mexico Fine Art Museum. He became an important second group of artists interpreted some of the same themes, but in modernist styles or used member of the Santa Fe art community and Indian and landscape motifs to express personal nationally renowned for his color woodcuts and beliefs. Some wanted to elicit an emotional books. His ability in wood working enabled him to response from the viewer. Although not a carve numerous marionettes. He formed a puppet printmaker, Georgia O’Keefe is an artist familiar to theatre which has carried on a tradition of most who would be an example of the latter group performances to the present time, still using of artists. Those artists who were printmakers Baumann’s carved marionettes. followed a similar pattern of style as the painters. Birger Sandzen, well-known for his lithographs and Continued on next page…. woodcuts as well as his paintings, is more closely associated with the state of Kansas where he taught art at Bethany College for 52 years. However, he frequently visited New Mexico starting in 1921, and was invited to be an associate member of the Taos Society of Artists. Sandzen focused on landscape as subject matter. His art education began in Sweden and continued in Paris prior to his immigrating to the United States. PAGE 15

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A Toast to the Arts

Burro Train New Mexico Artist Peter Moran Water Tank at Night Artist Peter Hurd

Between the 1930s and 1950s Taos began to gain a world reputation among artists as a great place to find inspiration. Interestingly, many artists heard about Taos in Paris at the Academie Julian. However, it had not yet become a great art market. In fact, the Taos Society of Artists was formed in 1915 to promote exhibitions and sales of their work elsewhere around the United States because there was not enough population in the Taos area for them to sustain an income from selling art. By the 1940s there still was only one art gallery there.

Today, there are a number of New Mexico communities that thrive because of their artists and are well worth your visits to their galleries, museums, and artist studios. Among them, Silver City, Ruidoso, Hurley, Las Cruces, Truth or Consequences, Las Vegas, and Gallup have many art galleries, museums, and artist studios. Many printmakers are part of these communities.

Gene Kloss went to Taos from California with her husband in 1935 and is well-known for her dynamic diagonal compositions and her unique etching technique in which she used a brush to “paint� directly with acid on the metal. Other well-known printmakers of the period include Howard Cook and his wife, Barbara Latham, and Doel Reed.

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

Peter Hurd, both a painter and lithographer, was unique as the only well-known early artist to be born and have his early schooling in New Mexico. He studied art on the east coast and did not return to New Mexico to live until the 1930s with his wife, artist Henriette Wyeth. Eric Gibberd was a painter and printmaker who helped found Gallery A in the 1950s. It was the longest, continuously running gallery in Taos, finally closing in 2009. Gibberd was an admirer of Cezanne and adopted his angular, analytical style in woodcuts. There were so many good artists attracted to New Mexico it would be difficult to cover them all in a book, much less this article. I have limited my writing here to early printmakers hoping to introduce you to some names you may not have heard before and to honor art pioneers for their spirit of adventure and their drive to create. PAGE 16

A Toast to the Arts

Lance Laber & Domingo DeGrazia ‘The Two Tucson Dudes’ chat with Big Blend Radio!


New Exhibit at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

ON DISPLAY “The Rose and the Robe” - Artist Ted DeGrazia chronicles the travels of Friar Junipero Serra and the Franciscan missions he established in Spanish colonial California in the late 1700’s in a series of oil paintings and text. Exhibit is on display until January 27, 2016.

“Wagons Ho!” Wagons were a favorite subject of Built by famous Arizona artist Ettore ‘Ted’ Ted DeGrazia, who traveled far afield in search of DeGrazia, and opened in 1965, DeGrazia Gallery working wagons to draw and paint. Whether they in the Sun is a 10-acre historic landmark, in are of wagons loaded with goods for market, Tucson, Arizona. The gallery houses over families going to town, water headed for remote 15,000 original DeGrazia are pieces with six settlements, or thundering wagon races, permanent collections on display, and several DeGrazia’s paintings of covered wagons, rotating exhibitions each year. buckboards and ox carts are full of life and action. Featuring these paintings, this exhibit is on display Tour the gallery and grounds to view the art and until January 20, 2016. architecture of Ted DeGrazia, including the original home of the prolific artist and his wife Marion, their burial sites, the adobe Mission in the Sun, Gallery “The Lord Gave Me Brothers Saint Francis of in the Sun and the cactus corral. You can also Assisi” - DeGrazia created these paintings in 1966 watch a 30-minute documentary about the artist. A for a book on Saint limited number of DeGrazia originals are available Francis that was never for purchase, while the gift shop and online store completed. The story offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia for the book has been reproductions including DeGrazia's 2016 Annual lost, but the paintings Calendars. There is no admission charge to the gallery, and it is open daily from 10 am – 4pm. Info: include images of Saint Francis and scenes (800) 545-2185, or visit from the daily life of a Friar called “Little Click here to see a video Brother”. On display until December 1, 2015. about DeGrazia

Gallery in the Sun. PAGE 17

A Toast to the Arts

A Tale of Romance at Bailey’s Palomar Resort on Palomar Mountain, CA

Bailey’s Palomar Resort was the venue hosting the production company, actors and of course all the livestock.

By Brad Bailey Palomar Mountain has been a rare and wonderful location for still and film production from the very start. In the late 1800s, camera equipment transported up the steep mountain grade was bulky, fragile and fraught with difficulty; the resulting pictures seeming posed and ridged. However, the first decades of the twentieth century brought with it George Eastman's all American wonder; the point and shoot Box Brownie - a mail-in box camera containing rolled celluloid film. With this innovation pictures became more frequent, spontaneous, and in the Palomar collections certainly more whimsical. With the advent of moving pictures, the summer of 1913 saw young director, Cecil B. DeMille creating a screen adventure here on Palomar Mountain. Based on Owen Wister’s 1902 novel The Virginian, the movie was apparently CB’s first picture as sole credited director. It starred well known actor Dustin Farnum (namesake to Dustin Hoffman, I am told) as the Virginian, and William Elmer as his archenemy Trampas.

Milton Bailey, a western homesteader’s son, was on hand for the occasion. He was in his final year of medical training at USC and spent summers working the family resort on the mountain to pay his room, board and tuition in Los Angles over the following school year. That was also the summer he met his future wife Adalind Shaul. Her well-to-do family had moved to San Diego from a small town in Iowa; a decidedly more civilized mid-west environment. Since arriving in San Diego, she had become a grade school teacher, and was here on Palomar with friends, and staying at Bailey’s Resort. The stage was literally set, and it must have been an interesting summer, as our family photo album reveals in these Box Brownie snap-shots. Actors Dustin and William pose “between takes” for the camera held by young Adalind - as CB hurried about crafting his movie magic in the valley below. Although The Virginian was originally set in Medicine Bow, Wyoming, the tall forests and rich meadows on Palomar served well as a Hollywood substitute, and come across wonderfully in the original silent film.’ Continued on Next Page….


A Toast to the Arts ‘The Virginian’ Continued… In the novel, the Virginian (his real name is never revealed) is described as a tall, dark, slim young man with a deep personality. In the book, one of the main plot threads is the Virginian's ongoing romance with Molly Wood, the local schoolteacher. Being from the East, she is not used to the way of the Wild West, but the Virginian is always the perfect gentleman, explaining to her that she will surely 'love him before we get through.’ An interesting irony of this time and place, is the real life romance forming between Milton and Adalind, as the action and romance of DeMille’s movie-making evolves around them that summer. Young Milton, forged through the hard work of a true western pioneer family - and now completing his professional degree - courted demur Adalind, the young teacher from Iowa on a holiday adventure at his resort. I have a marvelously worn copy of the film on VHS, and now, over one hundred years later, I can see exactly where the action took place here at Bailey’s, and elsewhere around the mountain. Some say the spirit of those folks still frequent the old Bailey House – called Palomar Hotel way back then. A century later, as our guests enjoy a warm summer eve on that very same hotel porch – who’s to say that those spirits from long ago aren’t there enjoying it too?

Brad Bailey is author of ‘Images of America: Palomar Mountain’ (Arcadia Press) and a fourth generation Palomar Mountain resident and president of the Bailey Historical Society, LLC, which operates Bailey’s Palomar Resort, the family’s century old destination resort. He maintains an extensive private historical archive and museum on the site of the original 1888 township of Palomar Mountain, and includes here many previously unpublished glass plate images, personal remembrances, maps, fliers and postcards that follows the fabric of this vibrant community’s past up to the present day. Learn more at

HOLLYWOOD HISTORY From ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,’ and ‘Father Knows Best,’ to ‘Lassie’, ‘Leave it to Beaver,’ ‘Dennis the Menace’ and more, listen to Steve Schneickert as he recalls a kaleidoscope of family entertainment of 1950's television in retrospect!





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Big Blend Bonanza Giveaway Prizes Include: PRIZE #1: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast – Located in Three Rivers, California this Riverhouse is only 8 miles from the entrance to Sequoia National Park. Guest rooms feature a high ceiling, tiled floors, queen-sized bed, TV/VCR, Wi Fi, wood-burning fireplace, A/C and heat, small private verandah, private access to Kaweah River, private bathroom, wine and chocolates. Prize added Nov. 25, 2014. See:

PRIZE #2: $75 Gift Certificate at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun – Located in Tucson, Arizona, this 10acre historic landmark is home to over 15,000 originals of famous Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia’s art pieces. A limited number of DeGrazia originals are available for purchase, while the gift shop offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia reproductions. This certificate is for in-store use only. Prize added Dec. 22, 2014. See:

More Prizes! PAGE 20


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PRIZE #3: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Dream Manor Inn – Located in Globe, Arizona, the gateway community of Tonto National Monument, this Tuscan-style hill-top boutique resort features 20 guest rooms and extended-stay villas, a pool and Jacuzzi, walking paths, lush gardens, fountains, waterfall, a putting green, complimentary DVD and book libraries, free WiFi, and BBQ areas. Gift certificate can be used between Sunday-Thursday. Prize added January 20, 2015. See

PRIZE #4: Coronado Motor Hotel Getaway – Located in Yuma, Arizona the historic Coronado Motor Hotel features comfortable Spanish hacienda-style guest rooms with modern amenities, 2 swimming pools, Yuma Landing Bar & Grill (the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona), and the Casa de Coronado Museum. The hotel is in walking distance from the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, the Colorado River, and historic downtown district. This prize includes a 2 night stay for 2 at the Coronado Motor Hotel (includes breakfast), $25 gift certificate for Yuma Landing Bar & Grill, plus a tour of Casa de Coronado Museum. Prize added February 23, 2015. See PRIZE #5: $25 Gift Certificate for The Peanut Patch - Located in Yuma, Arizona, The Peanut Patch is a popular gift shop that carries a variety peanuts, fresh fudge, homemade peanut butter and peanut brittle, fine chocolates, nostalgic candies, dried fruits and nuts, sugar-free candies, gourmet preserves and relishes, olives, salsas, syrups and raw honey. They have a nice selection of gifts and gift baskets. The Peanut Patch is open October – May, but has a year-round Fabulous Fudge Fan Club. Prize added March 23, 2015. See

PRIZE #6: 8 Keys of Excellence Gift Set - The 8 Keys of Excellence character education program is a free family program that guides young people toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. This prize package includes the book “The 8 Keys of Excellence: Principles to Live By” written by Bobbi DePorter, large 8 Keys of Excellence Wall Set, and 8 Keys of Excellence wristbands. Prize added March 23, 2015. To learn more about the 8 Keys and to join the Excellence Movement, visit

More Prizes! PAGE 21

PRIZE #7: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast – Located in historic downtown Hollister, California, the gateway community of Pinnacles National Park, Joshua Inn is a charming 1902 Victorian home featuring five beautifully appointed guest rooms, gourmet breakfasts, evening wine and cocktail hour, candy bar, complimentary WiFi. Enjoy a glass of ice tea while rocking on the front porch, out in the garden gazebo or in the parlor. Gift certificate can be used between Sunday-Thursday. Prize added April 28, 2015. See

PRIZE #8: Round of Golf for Two at Ridgemark Golf & Country Club – Located in Hollister, California, the gateway community of Pinnacles National Park, Ridgemark features a beautiful 18hole championship golf course designated as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary", a pro shop, tennis courts, The Public House lounge and restaurant, 32 deluxe guest rooms, and indoor and outdoor wedding and event venues. Prize added April 28, 2015. See

PRIZE #9: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Yerington Inn – Located in historic downtown Yerington, in western Nevada off the Pony Express and California National Historic Trails, Yerington Inn is a newly renovated hotel that features 79 airconditioned guestrooms with complimentary highspeed WiFi, flat screen LCD TVs with cable, inroom microwave and fridge, coffee/tea makers, and more. The area features numerous hiking and biking trails, historic and cultural sites, casinos and restaurants. Prize added May 24, 2015. Visit

More Prizes! PAGE 22



PRIZE #10: $200 Gift Card for Dini’s Lucky Club – Located across the street from Yerington Inn, in historic downtown Yerington, Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino is the oldest family owned and operated casino in Nevada. Here you can play the latest slots, video poker or keno, enjoy drinks at The Cellar Bar & Lounge, and eat a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner at Dini’s Coffee Shop. Gift card can be used for food and drinks. Prize added May 24, 2015. Visit PRIZE #11: $25 Gift Certificate for The Bakery Gallery - The Bakery Gallery is a popular destination in Yerington, Nevada that offers a delicious variety of made-from-scratch cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, and breads. They also serve coffee and espresso, have a decadent selection of chocolate truffles and desserts, and serve pre-fixe to-go dinners. Prize added May 24, 2015. Visit

PRIZE # 12: Book Set from C. Lee McKenzie – California based author C. Lee McKenzie writes young adult and middle grade books as well as short stories and non-fiction articles for young readers. This prize set includes 4 of her young adult novels: ‘Sudden Secrets’ (Evernight Teen 2014), 'Double Negative' (Evernight Teen, 2014), 'The Princess of Las Pulgas' (Westside Books, 2010), and 'Sliding on the Edge' (WestSide Books, 2009). Prize added June 22, 2015. Learn more at

More Prizes! PAGE 23



PRIZE #13: The Asphalt Warrior Series – The late author Gary Reilly’s best-selling ‘The Asphalt Warrior’ book series features the adventures of Denver cab driver Brendan Murphy, a.k.a. “Murph”. This prize set features all 7 books including: ‘The Asphalt Warrior’, ‘Ticket to Hollywood’, ‘The Heart of Darkness Club’, ‘Home for the Holidays’, ‘Doctor Lovebeads’, ‘Dark Night of the Soul, and ‘Pick Up at Union Station’. Prize added June 22, 2015. Learn more at

PRIZE #14: Allison Coil Mystery Series – Mark Stevens is the award winning author of the bestselling Allison Coil mystery series that’s set in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado. This prize set features all 4 books including: ‘Antler Dust’, ‘Buried By Roan’, ‘Trapline’, and ‘Lake of Fire’. Prize added June 22, 2015. Learn more at

PRIZE #15: Blue Cat Balancing: This limited edition art poster is by figurative artist Victoria Chick, the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Prize added July 28, 2015. Visit her website at

PRIZE #16: 2 Night Stay for Two, at Julian Lodge B&B Inn – Located in historic downtown Julian, San Diego’s popular mountain destination, the Julian Lodge and its guest rooms have the Old West ambiance of Julian, yet offer the comfort of modern air conditioning, private baths, TV and WiFi. Park your car and you're steps from shops, galleries, restaurants, historic attractions, wine tasting and Julian's famous apple pie. Gift certificate can be used between Sunday-Thursday, and includes continental breakfast. Prize added Aug. 27, 2015. Visit




PRIZE #17: $25 Gift Certificate for Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro – Owned and operated by Chef Jeremy Manley ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef’, Jeremy’s on the Hill is known for serving fresh and delicious farm-to-table cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. Seasonal menu features steaks, seafood, burgers, salads, sandwiches, desserts, micro-brews and local wines. The restaurant is located in Wynola, just a couple of minutes from Julian, CA. Prize added Aug. 27, 2015. Visit

PRIZE #18: $25 Gift Certificate for Crossroads Treasures – Located in Santa Ysabel, just a couple of minutes from Julian, California, Crossroads Treasures features a vibrant variety of rocks, gems and minerals, Zuni fetishes and Native American crafts, jewelry and specialty beads, plants, books, lapidary and gold panning supplies. Prize added Aug. 27, 2015. Visit

ONE WINNER TAKES ALL! Every few weeks we add new prizes to the giveaway. These are announced in our Big Blend e-Newsletter, and the monthly Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

HOW DO YOU ENTER? Subscribe to the Big Blend e-Newsletter to get the monthly prize update, monthly question, and entry form. Maximize your chances of winning by answering as many questions as possible. As a subscriber your entries are tripled each month. Last entry will be accepted on November 10, 2015. Winner will be announced in the December 2015 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine.

Click Here to Subscribe to Big Blend e-News to Enter the Big Blend Bonanza!


Creative Celebrations SEPTEMBER HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES September 2: VJ Day, WWII September 7: Labor Day, first Monday in September September 11: Patriot Day observed as the National Day of Service and Remembrance September 13: Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year begins at sundown September 13: Grandparents Day the first Sunday after Labor Day September 17: Constitution Day September 21: International Day of Peace September 23: Autumnal Equinox September 25: Native American Day the fourth Friday of the month

By Nancy J. Reid

‘Partnerships for Peace - Dignity for All’ is this year’s theme for the International Day of Peace, celebrated on September 21, by governments, civilians, and organizations around the world. The theme is meant to highlight the need for all segments of all societies to work together to attain world peace. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 and first observed in 1982, with September 21 designated as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire. During the day the United Nations hopes to educate and raise awareness on issues related to peace.

The symbolism of the Dove and the Olive Branch stems from the account of the Flood and Noah’s ark in Genesis 6-8 when Noah sent out a dove in search of dry land. The dove returned with an olive branch, symbolizing God had declared peace with mankind. The Holy Spirit was pictured as a dove at the baptism of Jesus, thereby once again symbolizing peace with God.

In ancient Roman and Greek cultures the Olive Branch was held up by the defeated during a war, as a symbol of surrender and a plead for peace. The Greeks also believed that the Olive tree had the ability to drive away evil spirits, paving the way for peace. Olive trees are slow growing trees and Historically the Dove and the Olive Branch have generally not cultivated during war time, so became appeared in the symbolism of Judaism, Christianity, known as peace-time trees. There is an ancient Paganism and both military and pacifist groups. belief that the “tree of life” in the Garden of Eden was an olive tree. Because doves mate for life, and both the male and female birds work together to build their nests and The Olive Branch also raise their young, they are thought of as a harmless figures prominently on and peaceful bird. the seal of the United States of America. It To many cultures and major religions in the world, shows the Eagle the dove symbolizes the Spirit of God, the Holy clutching an Olive Spirit, the Holy Ghost, a peaceful, loving soul, love, Branch with a cluster of innocence, devotion, hope, fidelity, and caring for thirteen leaves and family. The seven gifts of the holy spirit are often thirteen olives depicted by a cross surrounded by seven doves symbolizing the 13 symbolizing wisdom, knowledge, counsel, piety, colonies. The Eagle is understanding, knowledge and fear of the lord. The turned towards the Olive Branch preferring peace, gentleness and grace of the dove make it a favorite but has 13 arrows in its left talon, showing a simile for female beauty and tenderness. readiness for war. PAGE 26

Creative Celebrations

Traditional Recipes for Rosh Hashanah By Ruth Milstein, author of the award winning recipe book 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine'


Howard & Ruth Milstein discuss Rosh Hashanah Recipes & Wine on Big Blend Radio!

Turkey Balls with Chick Peas This delicious recipe is healthy and low fat. The chick peas symbolize strength in the coming year. Chick peas were a welcome addition to our holiday meal. Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 large onion, chopped to small cubes 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon 2 cups cooked chick peas, you can use canned chick peas 2 dried hot chili peppers or a 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1 red pepper, sliced 1 1/4 cups water For the turkey balls: 2 pounds ground turkey breast or legs, or you can mix both together 1 large onion, thinly chopped 1 tablespoon bread crumbs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Turkey Balls with Chick Peas Method Continued Add the paprika, salt, black pepper, chicken bouillon and 1/4 cup of water; continue to cook for 20 minutes. Add the chick peas, chili hot peppers, sliced red pepper and the rest of the water. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve in a large oval serving platter with brown rice.

Baked Apples with Cinnamon The sweet apples are traditional for Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year). It symbolizes a sweet year to come. Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored. 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon sugar 6 teaspoons any type of jam (optional) Method: Put the apples in a large wide pot; add the cinnamon and the sugar. Fill with water 1 inch above the apples and bring to a boil. Cook medium heat without cover for 15 minutes. Transfer the apples to a baking tray; put 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of each apple and bake for 30 minutes in a 375◦ preheated oven. Transfer to individual plates and serve immediately.

Method: In a large bowl put in all the turkey ingredients and mix well. Make small balls and set aside. Put the oil in a large pot and sauté the onions until it turns translucent. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the Visit for more information and turkey balls and cook for 15 minutes on a medium recipes. heat. PAGE 27

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chef Jeremy Manley shares his recipe for his popular Crispy Brussels Sprouts. Listen to his Big Blend Radio interview and watch his video where he also shows how to make homemade Ponzu Sauce! Known as ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef,’ Jeremy is the Executive Chef/Owner of Jeremy’s California Style Bistro in Julian, CA. For more of his recipes, visit


Method: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk rigorously until all combined. Heat your oil to 350 degrees. Do not bring to a boil or you will create the biggest mess you have ever seen and burn wounds are dangerous! In a wire basket, add your Brussels sprouts, and watch out! They will snap crackle and pop on you so protect your eyes! Cook for about 2-3 minutes until they caramelize. Put the sprouts in a bowl and toss with about 2 ounces of Ponzu sauce.

Ingredients: One pot of oil (approx. 8 cups) 1 cup of Brussels sprouts, quartered 1 cup of Ponzu, a citrus soy sauce Sesame seeds Lemon

Plate, sprinkle sesame seeds on top and a slice of lemon. We like to garnish our sprouts with apple jicama slaw that also has fresh cucumber and carrots.

Click to Watch Big Blend’s Chef Jeremy TV! PAGE 28

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Fried Oysters with Cucumber & Tobiko Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Five-Star Chef Ivan Flowers, and try his fried oyster recipe below. Serves 4.

Method: Shuck the oysters, set aside and reserve 12 shells for serving. Boil reserved shells in water with 1 cup white vinegar for 10 minutes. Dry and set aside.


In a large bowl combine buttermilk and Sriracha. Add in the oysters, cover and put in fridge for at least 4 hours. While oysters are in fridge, peel, seed and julienne cucumber. Set aside. In a bowl combine apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and sesame oil. Add cucumber, cover and put in fridge.

Ingredients: 12 Seasonal Oysters 1 Cup Buttermilk 2 Tbsp. Sriracha 1 Cup Panko 3 Beaten Eggs 1 Cup Flour 1 Quart Canola Oil 1 Roma Tomato, seeds and pulp removed 1 Medium Cucumber 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar Juice of 1 Lemon 1 Tsp. Sesame Seeds ½ Tsp. Sesame Oil ½ Tsp. Cilantro, finely chopped 2 Tbsp. Tobiko Salt Pepper

Set up breading station for oysters with a pan of flour, pan of the beaten eggs and a pan of panko. Remove oysters from fridge and shake off any excess buttermilk before putting them in flour mixture. Shake off excess flour then go into the eggs and finally coat with panko. Repeat this with all the oysters. In a saucepan, heat the canola oil to 350 degrees. Fry the oysters until lightly golden brown and drain on paper towels. Salt and pepper when they are hot. Take cucumber from fridge and drain off all liquid. Add in cilantro, sesame seeds and mix.

Click to Watch Big Blend’s

Assembly Place fried oyster in shell, top with small amount of cucumber, tobiko and diced tomato.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry TV! PAGE 29

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Four Recipes to Celebrate the Change of Season The weather may be slowly starting to cool down but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop entertaining. Gather your friends and loved ones for an intimate cocktail party with these fun cocktails and bites that are inspired by the colors and spices of the changing season.

BACON WRAPPED MEDJOOL DATES Try this tasty Medjool date recipe or amp it up by stuffing the dates with jalapenos and blue cheese! Watch this video recipe featuring Debbie Mansheim to see how it’s done. The dates featured are from Bard Date Company, a grower of Medjool dates in Yuma, Arizona. For more date recipes visit

Ingredients: 24 Medjool dates, pitted 8 thin slices of bacon Olive oil for sauté

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each strip of bacon into 3 pieces. Gently wrap a bacon piece around each date, overlapping the bacon so that it adheres to itself. Use a toothpick to pierce through the layers of bacon and the date. Place wrapped dates on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill in refrigerator at least 10 minutes, or overnight, before baking. Place the dates in the oven and bake until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm, or room temperature.


Eat, Drink & Be Merry

SOFT GINGER-PEANUT COOKIES Cookies and spice, and all things nice! This recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. For more ‘peanutty’ recipes visit

Ingredients: 1¼ cups all-purpose flour ¾ cup toasted wheat germ 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ⅔ cup packed golden brown sugar ⅓ cup peanut oil ¼ cup mild molasses l large egg ½ cup finely chopped-roasted peanuts 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Photo courtesy Roberts

Method: Preheat oven to 350° F. In medium bowl, stir together flour, wheat germ, soda, ginger and cinnamon, set aside. In mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, oil, molasses and egg; beat with electric mixer on medium-high to high speed until blended. Beat (on low speed) or stir in flour mixture. Stir in peanuts. With lightly oiled hands, form dough into 30 (about 1¼ inch) balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place, 2 inches apart, on 2 lightly oiled baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are set and tops are cracked. Cool cookies for two minutes on sheet; remove from sheet to wire rack to cool completely. Store in air-tight container.


Eat, Drink & Be Merry



Based on a bitter orange spirit called Amer Picon (Torani Amer), this Basque cocktail recipe is from Jay Dini, owner of Dini’s Lucky Club & Casino in Yerington, the oldest family owned and operated casino in Nevada! Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Jay Dini and visit

This refreshing recipe is from mixologist Tyler Johnston, of the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill in Yuma, Arizona. Located on the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, the bar is also a popular Happy Hour destination that features televised sports events and live entertainment. Listen to our Big Blend Radio chat with Tyler and mixologist Heather Witherington and visit for more cocktail recipes.

In a bell glass over rocks: Add a splash of Grenadine Add a 1½ shots of Picon (Torani Amer) Stir in a splash of soda Garnish with a lemon peel Float brandy on the top Enjoy!


2 oz. Spiced rum Ginger ale Ice Pour ingredients into a high ball glass and serve. PAGE 32


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

Click to Watch Video!

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 33

Garden Gossip

Each green house has a collection of mostly cacti and succulents from different parts of the world. What I love is the diversity of the plants. Some cacti are bloated balls with tiny spines and fuzzy tops while others stretch out and grow tall and stately. Many of the cacti bloom in a variety of colors. There weren’t any in bloom during our visit, but photos on display show what the spiny plants produce if you are curious. One of the blooming varieties is the cereus, which blooms only at night.


Listen to Eva Eldridge on Big Blend Radio!

On Highway 60 west of Superior, Arizona, tucked into the base of Picket Post Mountain, is an oasis called Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. Established in the late 1920’s, the Arboretum is one of the oldest and largest in the western United States.

There are a variety of succulents in the greenhouses but they also have a couple of varieties of dew plant along the walkway. Many residents of the Globe-Miami area have dew plant cascading down their retaining walls. In the spring the walls are transformed into curtains of brilliant magenta.

My friends and I showed up a little before 7:00 a.m. one morning in June. The Arboretum opens at 6:00 a.m. during the summer months and it is highly recommended you go early to avoid the worst of the heat. That morning the sky was blue and birds were chirping as we made our way around Ayer Lake on the main trail. The main trail leads from the visitor center through lush vegetation on a well-kept path to Ayer Lake. Butterflies flittered around as we made our way by the Smith Interpretive Center & Display Greenhouses. PAGE 34

Continued on Next Page….

Garden Gossip When I first visited the Arboretum sometime in the 1980’s, I was fascinated by the eucalyptus trees. I found their multi colored bark and gray green leaves exotic. One of the huge trees, a red gum eucalyptus planted in 1926 is over 140 feet tall. Some of the eucalyptus have ghostly white trunks which I would love to see under a full moon. One variety looks like weeping willows. You can smell the eucalyptus as you walk through the groves. It’s not overpowering, but the scent tickles your senses.

Boyce Thompson Arboreturn Continued Along the main trail you can visit the Sonoran Desert Exhibit (the Arboretum is located in the Sonoran Desert), the Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit, the South American Desert Exhibit, and the Australia Desert Exhibit. I like to compare and contrast the different vegetation in the various deserts. There are quite a few differences in the cacti and types of plants that grow in each desert. The boojum trees, which look unworldly, are located right before Ayer Lake. Just past Ayer Lake, the trail turns into a steeper, more natural trail and is not suitable for wheelchairs. This part of the trail takes you around the ridge and gives you a great view of Picket Post House which was William Boyce Thompson’s summer home. As you come around the eastern side of the trail and head west, you follow the Queen Creek Riparian Area with its large trees and welcomed shade. The trail turns back into a well maintained and wheelchair friendly way at the pump house. As you continue on, you’ll come across a stone house and the Wing Memorial Herb Garden. The Clevenger House was built in 1915 and was home to a family that farmed the area. Located right on Queen Creek, water was available all year. Something about this place fascinates me. I can sit in the shade and contemplate living a life with no luxuries, farming tough desert land with difficult access and still believe it to be a good life. I’ve been to the Arboretum several times and always visit the Clevenger House with its surrounding herb garden. This time I found the garden a little wild with the herbs spreading out and taking over their respective areas. As you leave the herb garden heading south through a tunnel of pomegranate trees, you come across an aloe garden. Many of the aloes were blooming with large stalks of orange-red flowers. One variety had white flowers. Aloes are useful for burns and minor cuts and grow well in pots for any of you that want to try your hand at growing desert vegetation. PAGE 35

The Arboretum has around 3,100 different plants and I believe it’s impossible to enjoy all of them in one visit. I certainly haven’t touched on everything the park has to offer. During your visit, plan on a minimum of two hours to get to the highlights and several more visits to cover everything. Make sure to bring plenty of water if you visit in the warmer months and come early in the summer. You can find more information about Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park here dex.html. Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine. She also writes fiction and poetry. Visit

Garden Gossip



Robert Stayton talks with Big Blend Radio on the benefits of Solar Power.

The sun spreads solar energy over the entire face of the Earth. That means all countries have access to solar energy. Solar is an energy source for all humankind. Because energy is the basis of all economic activity, solar PV enables more people to engage in economic activity. Solar PV can also bring modern energy to the billion or so people in the world who don’t currently have access to electricity. A small PV system with battery energy storage can provide the first electricity service for village residents. Small amounts of electricity for lights and refrigeration can make a huge difference in their lives.

Case Study: Evans Wodongo from Kenya A properly installed PV system poses no hazards to recognized that opportunity. He designed a solarpowered lantern he calls MwangaBora! (Swahili for humans and other living things under normal “Better Light”) and presently distributes them to operation. Certainly solar electricity can be dangerous if the system is damaged, so firefighters poor villages. Each lantern has a battery, LED light, are updating their procedures to handle potentially and PV cells for recharging. live PV panels and high voltages. In contrast, the These simple, inexpensive lights are having all routine operation of every nuclear power plant these effects: requires constant attention to safety protocols. • The lantern replaces the use of expensive kerosene for lighting, enabling more money to be 2. SOLAR PV IS SIMPLE spent on food. Though manufacturing solar PV panels employs complex technology, generating electricity with the • It enables the use of light for longer periods at panels is elegantly simple. You just mount a panel night so children can study, thereby improving in a location exposed to regular sunshine, connect education. • It eliminates indoor air pollution from burning the wires to an inverter, and you have a useful kerosene, reducing respiratory illness induced by source of electricity, which can make installing it a kerosene’s soot particles. do-it-yourself project. For example, the Plymouth • It eliminates the fire hazard of kerosene in wood Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI) in New and thatch huts. Because solar PV is modular, Hampshire organizes solar “barn raisings,” where these village energy systems are growing neighbors and installers get together to install projects themselves. Solar’s simplicity also permits incrementally. Some will reach full electric service without ever connecting to the fossil-fuel-powered easier entry into the business. Becoming a grid. They can skip the fossil-fuel age and jump professional solar PV installer requires a few directly to sustainable energy. months of on-the-job training, in contrast to the


multi-year university degree required to become a nuclear engineer. PAGE 36

Continued on Next Page….



Solar PV systems come in all sizes, from a single panel powering a few lights for a village hut, all the way up to giant solar farms that deploy thousands of panels for utility-scale power generation. That versatility comes from the modular nature of solar PV. The more panels you install, the more power you produce. The panels are even referred to as “PV modules” in the industry.

Solar PV works now. The solution to our energy problem doesn’t need years of research before it can get started.

Modular systems have all these advantages: • Each home and business can size their PV system to meet their specific energy needs. • You can start small to offset part of your energy use, and then add more panels later when you can afford them to cover the rest. • As the population of a region grows, the energy systems can grow with it. • A gradual transition from fossil fuels to solar can be accomplished without disruption through incremental installations. Neither clean coal nor nuclear power can scale to different sizes like solar PV. They are economical only when built in extralarge sizes to serve thousands of customers from a centralized plant.

Solar PV can begin reducing our carbon emissions immediately for all these reasons: • Short construction time compared to large centralized power plants. • Economies of mass production (more like building cars than cathedrals). • Fewer issues with siting a system. • Quick decision for individuals compared to big and slow institutions. Author of "Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to Dynamic Solar Power,” Robert Arthur Stayton has a master’s degree in physics and has taught college courses in physics, energy, and solar energy. Robert and his wife built a passive solar home have been living with solar energy since then. He drives a solar-charged Plug-in Prius, heats his water with a solar water heating system, and bakes his bread in his solar oven. Visit


Spirit of America Tour

With great fanfare, a young, dashing military man rides boldly into town, his entourage following. He speaks loudly with conviction… he is looking for families, not soldiers… He is promising fertile lands and bountiful resources to peasants that are living a hopeless, meager existence. Would you go? In the early 1700s, while the American colonists fight for their independence from England, the Viceroy of New Spain, (Mexico), fights to secure its own claims on this land they grabbed two hundred years before. Known as Alta California (now Modern California, Nevada, Utah, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, western Colorado and southwestern Wyoming), the Spanish fight to keep the Russian and English forces at bay. There are sporadic Spanish settlements throughout the Alta California region, but they are mostly posts with military men, no families, no farms, no real settlement or way of saying “this land belongs to us”. Although the Spanish had explored the coastal area of Alta California since the 16th century and considered the entire area part of the Spanish monarchy, they had not yet managed to really settle the region. Sea routes had proven costly and dangerous, land routes meant crossing arid, rugged deserts and possible encounters with hostile indigenous peoples, and New Spain struggled with both the money and people to settle outposts so far away.

At 24 years old, Juan already captained the Presidio of Tubac. He knew the importance of really settling Alta California, as well as the challenges to be faced in crossing the region and opening it up for families. With permission from the Viceroy, Juan paid for, and organized, an exploratory trip taking a small group of soldiers, priests, and translators with him. He was smart enough to chart his way and make friends with the indigenous peoples he met. His success in finding a route was followed by permission for a second expedition that would be comprised of pioneer-spirited families that would cross the rivers and deserts, make their way to Rio San Francisco, and make the San Francisco Bay area their new home–securing Spanish ownership. Dust kicked up by stomping, impatient horses, children laughing, babies crying, horses snorting and men yelling–the sights and sounds of a breaking camp permeates the hot air as a town-onthe-move begins another days journey through the desert. Over three hundred men, women and children, promised a better life, strike out, seemingly fearless of what lies ahead as step-by-step, they traverse unknown territory.

In 1774, Juan Bautista de Anza, a Captain in the Spanish military stepped forward to offer his services in helping to colonize Alta California. His own father had once dreamed of discovering an overland route from Mexico to Alta California, but he was killed in an Apache ambush when Juan was only 3 years old. PAGE 38

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Spirit of America Tour

Starting in Culiacan in Sinaloa, Mexico, in the spring of 1775, Juan moved north gathering men with families with varying backgrounds, a mixture of races and cultures, to join his expedition. He trained and paid the family men to be his soldiers, promising them a future of lush lands and sustainable resources, under the conditions that they brought their families with them, and that they would stay in the new land. By fall the families were gathered at Tubac, with two babies already being born along the trail from Culiacan. Excitement filled the air on the morning of October 23, 1775. Following Mass, at 11 o’clock, the march north commenced. That evening, the first and only death suffered by this brave group, occurred. Maria Ignacia Manuela Pinuelas Feliz died from complications just after giving birth. Ultimately, her newly born son, Jose, would survive and make it to San Francisco. The expedition traveled about fifteen miles a day, stopping only to rest or for illness. There was firewood to be collected, water to be found, food to be cooked, clothes to be washed, wagons to be unloaded and reloaded, and about 1000 horses, mules and cattle to be cared for.

Juan used the Gila and Santa Cruz rivers as guides as his charges slowly crossed the Arizona Desert. While he charted and made copious notes about the journey, he had Father Font to tend to the spiritual guidance of the group. Both men wrote in their diaries on a daily basis, recording their progress, spiritual dilemmas and encounters with the indigenous tribes. Wagons came to a halt, positioned for the night. Tired though they might be, the ritual of collecting wood and water, and preparing the evening meal had to happen. The livestock is gathered, children take a few moments to play and as the evening wears on, the camp gets quiet. In the morning they face a new challenge. They had come to rest at the banks of the Colorado River in what is now Yuma, Arizona. In the morning they will reap the benefits of Juan’s foresight in making friends of the Quechan nation, led by Chief Salvador Palma. The Quechan will guide the pioneer families and their livestock across the Colorado River where they will face their next challenge - crossing the Colorado Desert in what is now known as California.


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Spirit of America Tour

Tumacácori National Historical Park to Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area The Arizona portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail takes you on an auto tour that leads you through the dramatic and diverse terrain of the Sonoran desert, with historic and scenic stops along the way. It’s about a 400 mile one-way trip from Tumacácori to Yuma, and the whole experience can take about 7-10 days if you plan to spend quality time at the exhibits and sites, take part in area activities, and explore the towns and cities.

You can either drive a few miles south to Tumacácori National Historical Park or follow the Anza Trail on foot. This region is well-known for its bird-watching opportunities. Lodging options include bed & breakfast inns, RV resorts, and the beautiful Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, which is where we stayed. Visit for local travel and event information.

If you are arriving into the area by air and then renting a car, you may want to consider landing at the Tucson International Airport and flying out of Yuma International Airport or the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Offering bright blues skies and cooler temperatures, fall is a beautiful time of year to visit. Winter is crisp and sunny with an occasional dusting of snow and views of the snowcapped mountains, and spring is spectacular with wildflowers and blooming cactus. Summer heats up with thrilling electric monsoon storms that provide the riparian areas with water and create lush desert landscapes. For maps, trail and travel information visit

Start in Tubac Established in 1752 as a Spanish Presidio, Tubac is a vibrant and historic art village that features an eclectic collection of galleries, boutique shops, restaurants and bars. You could spend a full day just exploring this charming destination that is also home to the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. PAGE 40

Spirit of America Tour The Trail Cont. 1. Check into the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa – Established in 1789, Otero Ranch was the first Spanish Land Grant in the southwest. Today this ranch is an authentic southwestern resort, certified green by the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association. Rest and relax in one of their luxurious hacienda suites, spacious casitas or well-appointed Posada guest rooms. Dine alfresco at the acclaimed Stables Ranch Grill and savor the lush golf course and mountain views. Widely considered the ‘Jewel of Southern Arizona Golf Courses’, the original champion golf course was designed by Robert ‘Red’ Lawrence and made famous by the Kevin Costner movie “Tin Cup.” Other amenities include tennis, spa and salon, shops and galleries, meeting and wedding facilities. The resort is also connected to the Anza Trail. Visit


Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Patti Todd about Tubac and the Tubac Golf Resort.

2. Tumacácori National Historical Park - This mission was founded by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691. Start your visit in the Visitor Center & Museum that features informative exhibits, artifacts, murals and statues that cover the history of Santa Cruz Valley, the mission period and the Anza expedition. Father Font held mass here on October 17, 1771, as the expedition moved toward Tubac. There is a short video on the mission’s history to watch, and then you can take a self-guided or guided tour of the mission and mission grounds, and wander through the historic gardens and orchard. The Anza Trail passes through the park. The park hosts a number of cultural demonstrations and special events throughout the year including the upcoming Anza Day Mass on Oct. 17, 2015 and La Fiesta de Tumacácori on Dec. 5-6, 2015. Neighboring Wisdom’s Café makes for a perfect lunch stop after spending 2-3 hours exploring the park. Watch the accompanying video and visit to plan your park visit.

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Spirit of America Tour

The Trail Cont. 3. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park - El Presidio Real San Ignacio de Tubac was established in 1752, to protect the European settlers from the area’s native Pima Indians. Even with the protection of adobe walls, over the years, the Presidio was abandoned and rebuilt nine times. In 1958, the Tubac Presidio became Arizona’s first state park and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Highlights of this extraordinary park include an underground archaeological exhibit of the Presidio ruins, Presidio Museum, Washington Hand Press used to print Arizona’s first newspaper, the 1890s Rojas House, Arizona’s second oldest school, and a new Ethnobotanical Garden. The Presidio is also a trailhead for the Anza Trail. Juan Bautista de Anza served as the Presidio’s second commander from 1760-1766.

Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Shaw Kinsey and visit for more information.


4. Anza National Historic Trail – Providing an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Anza’s expedition party, the Anza Trail is a non-motorized, 7.3 mile hiking, bicycling and equestrian trail that follows the Santa Cruz River. Leading you through beautiful riparian areas with cottonwood and mesquite trees, the trail is a popular birding and geocaching trail. Watch for interpretive panels about Anza’s expedition. Trailheads are at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and Tumacácori National Historical Park. Visit 5. Anza Days – This signature annual event occurs on Oct. 17, 2015, commemorating the Anza Expedition's departure from Tubac in 1775, on its way to establishing San Francisco. Enjoy children's activities, music and dancing at the Tubac Presidio until the "big event" at noon when Anza and his colonists arrive on horseback. Catholic Mass is celebrated inside the Tumacácori Mission church as it would have been during the time that Tumacácori was an active mission community. Participants are invited, but not required, to wear Spanish style clothing like that which would have been worn around the turn of the 19th century. Visit


Spirit of America Tour

The Trail Cont.

On to Tucson It’s about a 55 minute drive north up 1-19 from Tubac to the outskirts of Tucson. You will want to stop at the Mission San Xavier del Bac on the way, and then head to your lodging site. Sprawled across the high desert valley and surrounded by four mountain ranges, Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona. Known as ‘The Old Pueblo’, the area is known for its rich southwest history, diverse scenery, and dedication to the arts. The main Tucson site on the Anza expedition is Saguaro National Park. There are numerous lodging and dining options, and we recommend staying at the luxurious Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. For Tucson and Southern Arizona travel and event information see 6. Mission San Xavier del Bac – Founded by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692, the mission was under Franciscan control when the Anza expedition stopped here in on October 25, 1775. Father Thomas Eixarch of the expedition baptized baby José (his mother died while on the de Anza expedition) at the mission. Known as ‘The White Dove of the Desert’, it is the oldest European structure in Arizona and widely considered to be the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in America. The mission still serves the Tohono O’odham community. Located only 10 minutes from downtown Tucson, you can tour the church, museum and gift shop. Visit for details. PAGE 43

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Spirit of America Tour


Listen to our interview with Sheila Bourque from Loews Ventana Canyon Resort!

The Trail Cont. 7. Check in at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort – Nestled up in the Catalina Mountains and near Sabino Canyon recreation Area, this outstanding resort features luxurious rooms and suites with sweeping views of the city and desert, phenomenal dining and lounge areas including the popular Flying V Bar & Grill, two Tom Fazio-designed PGA golf courses, tennis, spa services, two heated pools and Jacuzzi, fitness trail, and rejuvenating water features and beautiful outdoor spaces.

The Window Walk Nature Trail features a koi pond, cactus garden, hummingbird and butterfly garden, desert tortoise habitat, waterfall and desert lookout areas. Upon its opening in 1984, Architectural Digest named it the first environmentally-conceived resort in America.’ Visit


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Spirit of America Tour

The Trail Cont.

8. Saguaro National Park – Featuring the iconic giant Saguaro cactus, the largest cactus in North America, Saguaro National Park has two sections that are about 30 miles apart. The Anza expedition traveled through what is now known as the Tucson Mountain District, the western section of the park. A protected environment, one can really imagine what it must have been like to travel through this area on the expedition. A trip to Signal Hill Picnic Area offers the chance to view hundreds of ancient petroglyphs, and the Visitors Center has some great exhibits and area information. Watch the accompanying video and visit Continued on Next Page‌


Spirit of America Tour

The Trail Cont.

Picacho Peak to the Yuma Crossing You can stay in Tucson and travel out about an hour east to visit Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and Picacho Peak State Park in Pima County, or follow the auto tour along Silver Bell Road east through Marana and the Ironwood Forest National Monument, or on Interstate 10. From interstate 10 you can hop onto Interstate 8 towards Gila Bend and Yuma. Just east of Yuma, are the Painted Petroglyphs, another stop on the Anza Expedition. Yuma, once known as the ‘Gateway to the Great Southwest’, was a main crossing point for those who needed to cross the Colorado River to go west into California, including the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition. The city features historic sites, a lovely downtown, and numerous lodging and dining options. We recommend the historic Coronado Motor Hotel, our hotel headquarters for the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour. For Yuma area information visit

8. Picacho Peak State Park – On October 29, 1775, Father Font described that the expedition camped at a place “a little beyond a picacho or peak which the Indians called Tacca.” Through the years, Picacho Peak was used as a landmark by Father Kino and the Mormon Battalion. Today, Picacho Peak State Park is located a little west of Anza’s camp. It’s a beautiful hiking, camping, and picnic destination with wildflowers in spring. There’s a LEED certified visitors center with exhibits and a gift shop. Visit


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Spirit of America Tour

The Trail Cont. 9. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument – Located in Coolidge, about an hour east of Tucson and 35 minutes from Picacho Peak, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects the ruins of the "Great House”, that represents an ancient Sonoran desert people's farming community. Father Eusebio Kino was the first European to see and document the site in 1694. In fact, he was the one who named the site Casa Grande. In 1775, Juan Bautista de Anza documented Casa Grande, when the expedition stopped and camped about 5 miles northwest from the site. Anza and Father Font visited the ruins to check Father Kino’s prior descriptions and measurements. The ruins were the first archaeological preserve in America. Watch the accompanying video and visit


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Spirit of America Tour

The Trail Cont. 10. Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site – Heading east on Interstate 8 towards Yuma, and just past Gila Bend, you will see a turn-off for Painted Rocks, which is managed under the Bureau of Land Management. Listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, you will see an incredible collection of early petroglyphs etched on a mound of black rocks. The Anza expedition called this site Agua Caliente, named after the hot spring of water. It was here that Anza selected a Native, that he called Carlos, as Governor of the Cocomaricopa tribe who later traveled with the expedition to solidify peace with the tribe in Yuma. There are RV and camping sites, a shaded picnic area, and interpretive panels on the Anza Expedition, as well as the Mormon Battalion and Butterfield Overland Mail that also traveled through this historic corridor. Info: (623) 580-5500

11. Check into the Coronado Motor Hotel – Offering all the modern conveniences, this historic Spanish hacienda-style hotel is in downtown Yuma, and is just blocks from the Colorado River and the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. Amenities include a full cooked-to-order breakfast at the onsite Yuma Landing Bar & Grill (the site where the first airplane landed in the state), swimming pools, a fitness center and business center, free parking for cars, RVs, trucks and boats. Rooms are clean and comfortable with free WiFi, a mini-refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. Be sure to tour the onsite Casa de Coronado Museum. For special packages and information visit


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Spirit of America Tour

The Trail Cont. 12. Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area – Situated along the Colorado River in Yuma’s historic downtown district, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is a popular destination that incorporates the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, East Yuma Wetlands, and West Wetlands Park. Prison Hill overlooks the river and where the Anza expedition camped. With the help of Palma and his Yuma Quechan tribe, the expedition safely crossed the river on November 30, 1775. For more information on the Heritage Area see


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Linda Kissam discusses Conejo Valley on Big Blend Radio!

Ranging between 800 and 1500 feet above sea level Conejo Valley’s 1850 plus square miles are cooled by daily coastal breezes. A rim of scenic mountains provides protection against severe cold. It is situated in an inland valley separated from the Pacific Coast and Malibu by the picturesque Santa Monica mountains. Included in its sphere of influence are the municipalities of Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, areas of Newbury Park, Ventu Park, Lake Sherwood, North Ranch, and several other smaller neighborhoods.

The region enjoys a mild, year-round Mediterranean climate, with warm, sunny, dry summers and cool, sometimes rainy winters. Vegetation is typical of many Mediterranean Although I’ve lived most of my life in Southern environments, with chaparral on the hillsides and California, I had no idea what Conejo Valley numerous western valley oaks giving the region's offered or where it was located. So when I was invited to take a tour of it, my first thought was largest city its name. The area offers a safe, enjoyable setting offering unique adult oriented it was somewhere out in the desert. Generally the word “valley” in California-speak means low adventures in wine tasting, gourmet to casual food, old western sets, botanical gardens, beach time, and hot. I was ready to pack flip flops and beer time, and presidential libraries. It’s one of sunglasses and head way far inland to the those places that should be top of mind for the desert with 50 sun block in hand. beach, food, wine and beer lover, not the desert As it turns out, my initial guess was only a little right lover. Anyone who likes an upscale vacation, will like this place. – and that had to do with the sunglasses, flip flops and sunblock. Conejo Valley is one heck of a place This area can be great for families too, but in my to experience an upscale 2-4 day vacation. It’s opinion it really shines when it comes to fun approximately 30 miles northwest of the City of Los offerings for adults to indulge in. My suggestion? Angeles, 385 miles south of San Francisco, and Leave the kids, grandkids or young ones of any maybe 10-15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. kind home and come here to relax, renew and Think picturesque green valleys and blue ocean reboot adult style. You’ll still have to bring flip flops, waves, encompassing both Southeastern Ventura sunglasses and 50 sun block, but you’ll be doing it County as well as a part of Northwest Los Angeles at one of the best green and beachy valley County in Southern California. A desert it is not. A vacations Southern California has to offer. paradise it is.

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Vacation Station Here are my top 11 experiences for an adventurous upscale two day vacation for anyone over 32 years of age. Bring your credit card, I am talking some serious Diva-style fun.

ACCOMMODATIONS 1. The Hyatt Westlake Plaza. Enough said. It is customer oriented and priced fairly reasonably for the area. It is a larger glitzy hotel that knows how to baby its guests. With its grand reception area, inhouse Starbucks counter, gourmet restaurant, happy hour specials and attentive staff, you can’t do much better. The manager and executive chef have made sure this is a unique “Valley” experience. Many unexpected extras like a s’mores evening BBQ, keeps things fun and interesting. The rooms are large and well appointed. Free, easy parking. Be absolutely sure to try their brunch, their chef is amazing.

LOCAL CUISINE 2. Hugo’s Restaurant is a wildly popular local’s spot where the menu and the portions are large and made up of wholesome, tasty food choices. Perfect spot for carnivores or vegetarians. Creative menu with an eye to local products and personalized beverages. Try it for breakfast. Highly recommend. 3. Sabor Cocina Mexicana is just a short hop from the hotel. Handmade tortillas, fresh fruity drinks, mouthwatering guacamole, and a whole range of tasteful entrees to choose from. Do not expect combo plates or old-fashioned Mexican food. This is classy, sassy and fresh. Try it for lunch. 4. The Old Place boasts 5 booths and three tables with a special event room big enough for about 10 people. It’s small, it’s fabulous. Another local’s hangout. A very small menu and since they don’t have a freezer they run out of things. Difficult to get in, but worth the wait. Try it for dinner. Moderate to high prices depending on what you order, but who cares when the food is THIS good.

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Vacation Station Conejo Valley Continued GROWNUP BEVERAGE FUN 5. Cornell Winery and Tasting Room is located right next to The Old Place. It’s a great place to go and hang out until your name is called for dinner or perfect to do some interesting guided (or not) wine tasting. It’s another local’s favorite, so it also can get crowed, BUT you will love the selection of wines (many local) to taste and appreciate the great selection of wines to buy. Friendly knowledgeable service. 6. Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie is a brewery and restaurant featuring a seasonally-inspired European-style menu. This means the beer offerings change with the season. Full bar also. The outdoor patio is relaxing and the service and food are great. Classes are offered, call ahead to see if you can join in. What’s not to like? 7. Malibu Family Wines can be a whole–day experience. There’s a large picnic area, wine tasting and music. Open 7 days a week, visitors 21 and over are welcome to taste wine from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday -Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sundays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. There is no cost for admission to the winery grounds, just a minimum of one bottle purchase for each group of 2-4 people. Feel free to bring a picnic or non-alcoholic drinks for your enjoyment. They do not serve food, but they do serve the kind of wine you’ll like and a classic (and classy) beachy kind of vibe. Parking is tough. Read the Web site before coming for a visit.

Click to Watch Big Blend’s Vacation Station TV!


Vacation Station 10. Zuma Beach is ALL THAT and more. Beautiful and well maintained. Free parking just a few feet from the sand and surf. It is one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles County, so be prepared for crowds. The 4-mile expanse of sand draws an array of people from families and surfers to sun bathers and anglers. Good facilities make the beach especially attractive. Restrooms are spaced along the beach front. Cold showers and changing rooms are available. Lifeguard stations are set at regular intervals along the beach and staffed during daylight hours. Caution! Waves at Zuma can be dangerous, breaking close to shore, and rip currents are prevalent. Swimmers should be careful.

OTHER ACTIVITIES 8. Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. Can you say, “IMPRESSIVE?” A whole day activity, this wonderful facility is moving, educational and just plain fun. Be sure to go on a docent led tour to get the most out of the experience. I simply cannot say enough good things about this experience. Anyone visiting will come away with a new found love and respect for this country and president. 9. Paramount Ranch is a Hollywood icon. In 1927 Paramount Pictures purchased 2,400 acres for use as a "movie ranch." After World War II the studio sold the property to private investors. In 1952 Bill Hertz bought 326 acres that still bear the Paramount name, where he turned the land into a western town. In 1980 the National Park Service purchased the land and revitalized the old movie ranch. It’s a fun morning of wandering around movie sets you will immediately recognize – like the Medicine Woman TV show. Still used today for many movies and TV shows. Selfies encouraged.

11. Conejo Valley Botanical Gardens is 33-acres of beautiful raw natural terrain. It is NOT a ladies tea time garden. It is not level. It meanders high and low from garden to stream to mountain. Put on a sturdy pair of hiking type shoes so you can experience sweeping vistas at the peak of the tall hills, lovely hillside specialty gardens via winding trails, and the riparian steams via narrow hiking trails. The garden is open every day except holidays and is free to the public. To see and enjoy all that is offered you must be in good physical shape. This place is not for sissies. Request a docent led tour. The rangers are fit and fabulous. Keeping up with them can be a challenge, but they are kind to slackers and out-of-breath types. They will tailor a short or long tour for you based on your interests and activity level. 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


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But there is so much more that can so easily make your trips to the islands an unforgettable one. In Jamaica, for example, a trip to Boston Beach where some of the best Jerk food can be found is a must do. The drive there is entrancing with a view of both the coastline and mountains to sooth any mood. Or in Trinidad and Tobago, going to a steel pan Listen to practice in San Fernando gives a true Carlisle Richardson understanding of why this art form is such a big on Big Blend Radio! deal. In Samoa, spend an evening along Apia Harbor, where one can merge drinks, dinner, and The Islands around the world are fascinating dance in different venues on the same night, with travel destinations even for fellow islanders like hardly an effort. myself. The sentiment that once you have seen one you have seen them all does not ring true The added incentive of these adventures in once we move beyond the hotels and resorts Jamaica, Trinidad and Samoa, which can be and explore the wonders that each island has to replicated on many islands, in addition to the share. You find unique adventures in each one explorations in Barbados, Cape Verde, St. Kitts and that pulls you back for more visits to these Nevis, and others, is of course the interaction with exotic locales. Even the beaches on the the locals. It is through this interaction where the different islands bring a varied assortment of “treasure of the islands” can be found. pleasure depending on which island you find yourself. Islanders interact as one extended family, and given enough time, visitors will also become When travelers think of the islands, several aspects members of that extended family while feeling come to mind. The pristine beaches complete with the island community spirit. barbecues and bonfires, the top class resorts, and the hypnotic island music. Chief among these visits Another benefit of meeting the treasures of the as well, are the many natural and manmade islands is that full immersion into the culture and marvels that leave you with a sense of awe. These heritage of the people. It is here where “Carnival: include Harrison’s Cave in Barbados, Cidade Velha Island Style” is understood, and where we in Cape Verde, and my own Brimstone Hill in St. appreciate why songs in the Seychelles speak of Kitts and Nevis. These are necessary destinations the preservation of the island beauty. for any traveler to the islands. Continued on Next Page…



Vacation Station The Treasure of The Islands Continued… Islands though, are at risk of losing that culture, heritage, and natural beauty that all islanders and travelers alike have come to enjoy. The economic and environmental challenges of the past thirty years have taken a toll on the islands. Climate change, pollution, and sea level rise are negatively impacting the environments of the islands, while economic and financial crises are disrupting the societies. These in turn all put a strain on the idyllic island way of life. Fortunately, island societies are resilient. We see this after natural disasters have struck, and islanders try to adjust and focus on the recovery efforts. They make every attempt to return their island homes to pre-disaster standards, while making them a little stronger to withstand the next storms. They try to ensure that the way of life that defines islanders, remains. For travelers who are now connected to the islands, you want to ensure that this way of life is maintained. There is a certain innocence connected to the peaceful tranquility of an island, with the ocean breeze, lapping waves, and clear blue skies all around. The pleasant aroma of the tropical fruit fills our nostrils, and on an island there is often music in the background, almost like a soundtrack of your time there. I remember observing a traveler transiting from the Ferry that brought her from Nevis to St. Kitts, pausing to admire a group of persons waiting for a bus to get home. These persons had broken into an impromptu party while listening to one of the latest calypsos, and I could see the visitor contemplating whether or not she should join in the fete. On an island, this is the norm, which can be enjoyed by visitors to our shores as well.

You want to take that Dhoni in the Maldives sailing between the islands and be absolutely impressed with the workmanship of these vessels, or celebrate “Jounen Kweyol” in St. Lucia every October and appreciate the great care that was taken to have the clothing, cuisine, and proceedings as authentic as the original festivals. The Yaqona ceremony in Fiji is essential, particularly when the end result of the ritual is revealed and you try to have a conversation with your neighbor. Island culture and heritage are diverse and all-consuming in their delight.

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Vacation Station The Island Treasures Continued… But how can we preserve this? What role can we all play in shielding the islands from environmental and cultural calamity? Many island nations have adopted sustainable development strategies as a way of protecting these wonderful aspects of their culture, heritage and environment. As visitors to the islands, we can join in these efforts of preservation to address the challenges facing our extended family there. One of the best ways to support the sustainable development of island states is through partnerships with these countries: Investing in local efforts to promote sustainable development, or embarking on preservation activities while we are there. This adds to the island experience as well, as we become more involved, and if there is one thing to know about islanders, it is that we find ways and means to make all of these events entertaining, complete with a feast at the end of the day. As we embrace the island way of life, we want to preserve it, and promoting sustainable practices when we visit will help to ensure that as we continue to celebrate the treasures of the islands, they will be there for our return next year. Carlisle Richardson, author of the book “Island Journeys: The Impact of the Island Way of Life at Home and Abroad,” grew up on St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean and earned degrees in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and being posted to the Permanent Mission of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations. In 2011, Carlisle joined the UN and worked in the Division for Sustainable Development, where he was a key figure in the work on Small Island Developing States issues. He continues his mission today as an economic affairs officer for the UN in New York, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Visit


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What are Jamaican patties anyway, but a country pie or turnover you can hold in your hand and eat? In the classic Jamaican tradition, use ground beef. However, I've always made mine with lean ground turkey, and they are delicious. I'm sure you can also substitute shrimp or a vegan mixture. Experiment away! When I lived in Mandeville, Jamaica there was a patty stand at our high school and the aroma of the hot patties filling the courtyard at lunchtime was intoxicating. Our favorite patties at the time were Hammond's. This was the summer of '69 to the fall of '73. This recipe makes 36 patties. For you Louisiana cooks, when baked, these look like a savory version of many a country fruit turnover. Prepare Pastry 12 hours before - Sift 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 Tablespoon curry powder, and 1 teaspoon salt (or less, but remember that this recipe makes 36 patties). I don't use any salt in my filling. Gradually add 1 stick cold butter (or 1/2 lb. your favorite vegan substitute) which has been cut up in small pieces, along with iced water in small amounts, until your dough hangs together. Then wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Prepare Filling the day of - Finely chop 2 medium onions (any type), 1-2 stalks of green onion, and 3 hot peppers (choose your favorite). Add these vegetables to 2 lbs. of your ground beef, turkey, shrimp, or favorite vegan mixture. Once mixed well, heat the mixture, stirring, in a large covered skillet or Dutch oven, for 10 minutes. If necessary, add a small amount of oil to prevent sticking. Now add ½ lb. bread crumbs (best if made yourself, using whole wheat bread), 3 small bunches of fresh thyme, 4 Tablespoons of curry powder (to taste curry mixtures differ widely). Mix well. If using ground beef, add 1 cup water. Using lean ground turkey, add 3 cups water. Finally, add finely chopped garlic. Let rest for a few minutes, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add black pepper to taste. Cool before filling your pastry circles. After filling each pastry circle, fold it over and seal with tines of a fork. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Don't overbake.

Some people like to eat these with a knife and Roll out Pastry the day of - Remove the dough 15 fork, but I just cool them down until I can pick minutes beforehand. Pull off a small amount. Roll the patties up with my hand, and enjoy! It out and cut into a 6" circle. Flour the circle, stack it, always brings back wonderful memories of and repeat. Keep going until you've made 36 living in Jamaica. circles. You can also stop when you have made By Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed enough for the day's meal, re-wrap any unneeded and Breakfast, gateway to Kings Canyon & dough, and return it to the refrigerator until you Sequoia National Park. need it. It handles much like MaMa Bessie's country pie pastry - except for the fact that it's savory. PAGE 57

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California claimed its statehood on September 9, 1850. From the beautiful beaches and mountains of San Diego to the giant Sequoia trees of central California, magnificent Yosemite National Park, and historic San Benito County, why not celebrate its statehood by visiting one of these ten classic California destinations this fall. Discover charming gold rush towns, farm and ranching communities, coastal villages, art colonies, mountain destinations, national and state parks, and more. Photo: Pacific Coastline, courtesy

San Diego County The largest county in California, San Diego offers a diverse variety of adventures that range from surfing and whale watching along the coastline, to snow play in the mountains and hikes amongst the desert’s spring wildflowers. There are museums, galleries and parks to explore, as well as historic downtown districts, coastal villages and country towns.

Area attractions and activities include the San Diego Botanical Gardens, Legoland, Museum of Making Music, Oceanside Pier, Oceanside Harbor Village, Mission San Luis Rey, and San Elijo Lagoon & Ecological Reserve.

Fall Festivities Sept. 7: 86th Annual Labor Day Oceanside Pier Swim Sept. 10-13: 3rd Annual La Costa Film Festival Sept. 12: 2nd Annual Carlsbad Brewfest Sept. 19: Taste of Oceanside Sept. 17: Encinitas Classic Car Night Sept. 20: 20th Annual Encinitas Oktoberfest Sept. 26 & 27: Oceanside Harbor Days Oct. 3: 33rd Annual Carlsbad Rotary Oktoberfest Oct. 11: Pride By the Beach, Oceanside Oct. 11-18: VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Oct. 25: Dia de los Muertos at Mission San Luis Rey Nov. 22: 25th Annual Encinitas Fall Festival Continued on Page 60

HIGHWAY 101 Shop, Surf & Cruise A slow drive up Highway 101 from Del Mar to Oceanside provides sweeping views of the Pacific coastline and hip beach towns to explore including Solana Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, Leucadia, and Carlsbad. It’s still beach weather, and this is an area that boasts awesome surf breaks like Swami’s Point, numerous fishing spots and places to picnic, camp, or just spend the day basking in the sunshine and listening to the sound of the seagulls and surf. Browse through trendy shops and galleries, enjoy a round of golf at one of the region’s championship golf courses, take in a show at a historic theatre, and grab a bite in one of the many cafes, pubs or restaurants. PAGE 58


Vacation Station

Julian is a popular historic gold rush town up in San Diego’s beautiful Cuyamaca Mountains. When the gold panned out the area turned to agriculture, growing orchards of apples, pears and peaches. Apples are ripe this time of year and you can pick them at various u-pick orchards or taste them in a slice of Julian Apple Pie.

Featuring a variety of boutique stores, galleries and gift shops, Julian is a great place to get a head-start on holiday shopping.

It’s also the perfect place to spend quality time in nature, whether it’s fishing and boating on Lake Cuyamaca, or following one of the many hiking trails in the parks, preserves and forest areas. With the turning of the leaves and crisp mountain air, fall Go wine tasting, or try some of the locally produced is a wonderful time to visit and enjoy a fun family getaway or a romantic escape. cider or craft brew, and be sure to make a stop at Jeremy’s on the Hill for some true California farm-to-table fare. Fall Festivities: Step back in time and take a walking tour of the historic downtown district, wander through the Pioneer Cemetery, visit the Pioneer Museum, and tour a working gold mine (see our video of the Eagle & High Peak Mines).

Sept. 5: Grape Stomp Festa Sept. 19: Julian Music Festival Sept. 26 & 27: Julian Apple Days Celebration




Vacation Station Tulare County Located in the Sierra foothills of central California, Tulare County is the gateway destination to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. The majority of the region’s towns and cities feature historic downtowns with murals, boutique shops, museums and galleries, and fabulous dining establishments. An agricultural hub, the region is known for growing citrus, olives, grapes, peaches and plums, and all kinds of nuts. To plan your Sequoia Country adventure, visit



Murals, Scarecrows & Restaurants Exeter is a charming destination with a colorful historic downtown district that features a variety of gift shops, restaurants and beautiful murals depicting the area’s rich history and spectacular scenery. Once home to the largest cattle ranch in the country, Exeter now grows citrus, deciduous fruit and table grapes. One thing about Exeter – you won’t forget to have lunch. There’s a siren that rings at noon, letting everyone know it’s time to eat! From fine European cuisine to tasty Mexican fare, hearty breakfast plates, sumptuous salads and sandwiches, gourmet coffees and freshly baked delights, there’s something to suit everyone’s palate. Other highlights include the Exeter Courthouse Museum & Art Gallery and nearby Bravo Lake Botanical Gardens. With the Harvest Festival and Scarecrow Contest, fall is a fun and eventful time to visit Exeter. Listen to our Big Blend Radio segment and watch the video on Exeter’s murals. For area information visit

Fall Festivities: Sept. 5: The Clover House Peddler's Fair Oct. 1-31: Exeter Scarecrow Contest Oct. 5-10: 102nd Annual Exeter Fall Festival Oct. 24: Show & Sale Harvest of Handwovens Nov. 14: Exeter Chili Cook-off


Vacation Station

Three Rivers is a vibrant art community that winds along Kaweah River, and leads to the entrance of Sequoia National Park. Boasting fall colors and cool days with bright blue skies, the autumn season is an ideal time to explore the parks and forest, see the giant Sequoia trees, go hiking, fishing and boating on Lake Kaweah, mountain biking, horseback riding, birding and wildlife viewing. Three Rivers celebrates the arts with the monthly 1st Saturday art studio and gallery tour, concerts presented by the Three Rivers Performing Arts Institute and Sierra Traditional Jazz Club. Three Rivers is also home to the Three Rivers Historical Society Museum, and the second smallest post office in the country which is over 120 years old and is still in operation. There’s a diverse variety of restaurants, galleries and shops to experience.

Fall Festivities: Sept. 5: 1st Saturday Art Sept. 12: High Sierra Jazz Band Concert & Hot Dog Social.


Sept. 11-13: Dark Skies Festival in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks Sept. 26: Concert on the Grass Oct. 1-31: Raven Festival Oct. 3: 1st Saturday Art

Watch the video and listen to our Big Blend Radio interview focusing on Fall Fun in Three Rivers. For area and event information visit


Vacation Station

Home to Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest, Tuolumne County is a nature lover and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. The area is made up of charming mountain villages such as Twain Hart and Groveland and historic gold rush towns like Jamestown and Sonora. From museums to historic state parks like Railtown 1897 and Columbia, to cider and wine tasting, farmto-table cuisine, specialty shopping, art galleries, casino entertainment, musical concerts, theatre productions, golf, hiking and mountain biking, there are plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy. Fall is an especially beautiful and fun time of year in Tuolumne County, boasting the vibrant changing colors of the leaves, events and festivals. To plan your Yosemite Gold Country adventure, visit

SONORA Hard Cider, All Hallows Fantasy & The Arts The county seat of Tuolumne County, Sonora is a gold rush town once known as ‘The Queen of the Southern Mines.’ The beautiful downtown district features architecturally aesthetic buildings, shops and galleries, a museum, opera hall, restaurants and saloons. Other highlights include hard cider tasting at Indigeny Reserve, catching a performance at the Sierra Repertory Theatre and attending one of the many musical concerts, art shows, events and festivals.

Fall Festivities: Sept. 19-20: 26th Annual Sierra Quilt Guilds & Threads Show Oct. 3-25: 39th Sonora Bach Festival Oct. 23-25: Mother Lode Art Exhibit Oct. 24-25: All Hallows Fantasy Faire Oct. 16-Nov. 29: Sierra Repertory Theatre “The Drowsy Chaperone”


Cont. on Next Page….

Vacation Station



Gold, Ghosts & Cemetery Tours Recognized as the state’s best preserved gold rush town Columbia State Historic Park is a National Historic Landmark District that preserves historic downtown Columbia.

Wine, Trains & Ghosts Known as the “Gateway to the Southern Mines”, Jamestown was the site where gold was first discovered in Tuolumne County.

From 1850-1870, over one billion dollars of gold was mined here, putting Columbia on the map as the "Gem of the Southern Mines”. History truly comes to life here with docents dressed in period clothing, gold panning opportunities, the historic Fallon House Theatre, a working blacksmith shop, museum, candle and soap-making, carriage rides, street musicians, and historic buildings that house saloons, restaurants and shops.

Founded in 1848, the town retains its historic charm with many of its buildings dating back to the 1870s. Home to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown is also a popular destination for wine tasting at the award-winning Gianelli Vineyards and Inner Sanctum Cellars, antique and specialty gift shopping, gold panning, and historic restaurants, saloons and lodging establishments. The Willow Steakhouse and 1859 Historic National Hotel are both said to be haunted.

Fall Festivities: Sept. 5: California Statehood Day Parade Sept. 12: Columbia Ghost Tour Sept. 25 & 26, Oct. 2 & 3: Stories in Stone Cemetery Tour Sept. 20: 43rd Annual Columbia Art Show Sept. 26: 33rd Annual Poison Oak Show Sept. 26: 33rd Annual Fiddle and Bango* Contest Oct. 10-11: Harvest Festifall Oct. 31: Trick or Treat Oct. 31: 10th Annual Illumination of the Jack-O’-Lanterns

Fall Festivities: Sept. 5: Rocca Park Concert Series Sept. 26: Pioneer Days on Main Street Oct. 3: Apple Harvest Train at Railtown 1897 SHP Oct. 17-18, 31 & Nov. 1: Harvest Haunt Express at Railtown 1897 SHP




Vacation Station

Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview focusing on Fall Fun in San Benito County.



History, Fairs & Festivals Established in 1883, historic Tres Pinos is located between Pinnacles National Park and Hollister, and features the San Benito County Fairgrounds, Bolado Park Event Center, San Benito County Saddle Horse Association Museum, Pinnacles Hills Featuring vast stretches of organic farms, historic ranchlands and golden rolling hillsides, Golf Course, and San Benito County Historic Park. San Benito County is the eastern gateway destination to Pinnacles National Park. The park Fall Festivities: is known for its fascinating geology, caves and Sept. 12: Hot Cars & Guitars Tour Sept. 12 & 13: Tres Pinos Civil War Days hiking trails, California Condors and diverse Oct. 1-4: San Benito County Fair bird, plant, insect and animal species. Oct. 17: San Benito Olive Festival San Benito County is a haven for birders, outdoor adventurers, history buffs, foodies and wine lovers. For area and event information visit SAN JUAN BAUTISTA Wine, Golf & Renaissance Credited as ‘The Birthplace of the American Biker,’ Hollister has a beautiful historic downtown with specialty shops and boutiques, and a delicious variety of restaurants and saloons. There are award-winning wineries to visit, as well as the San Benito County Historical Society Museum and Ridgemark Golf & Country Club – a fun place to stay and play.

Living History, Vertigo & Ghosts Known as "The City of History", San Juan Bautista was incorporated in 1869, and is part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Explore history in the Old Mission San Juan Bautista at the San Juan Bautista State Historic Park and experience the park’s living history days the first Saturday of every month. The San Juan Bautista Commercial District is on the National Register of Historic Places and features eclectic shops and restaurants.

Fall Festivities:

Fall Festivities:


Sept. 19-Oct. 18: Northern California Renaissance Faire Oct. 2-31: Swank Farms 16th Annual Corn Maze Nov. 11: Veterans Day Parade Sept. 5 & 26: Hollister Concerts at Pepper Tree Ranch

Sept. 26: ‘Veritgo’ Under the Stars Movie Event Sept. 26 & 27: Bi-Annual Cactus & Succulent Show Oct. 24: 7th Annual Ghost Walk San Juan Bautista


Vacation Station

Experience Yerington, Nevada this Fall Located in northwestern Nevada, east of Yosemite National Park, Yerington is just off the Pony Express National Historic Trail and is on the California National Historic Trail. The historic downtown district is charming with shops, restaurants and casinos. The surrounding Mason Valley and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farm lands that stretch out to natural areas complete with rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters. From hearty farmstyle breakfasts to decadent baked goodies, sumptuous pizza and mouth-watering dinners, there’s a variety of dining options to whet your appetite!

species of duck, pelicans, California quail, and ringnecked pheasants. Walker River, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon are other nearby outdoor destinations to explore. Yerington is a hub for geocachers who come from across the country and around the world to search for cache treasures along the numerous geocaching trails.

CASINO ENTERTAINMENT Cha-Ching! Main Street in downtown Yerington boasts three different casinos including Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino which is the longest family owned and operated casino in Nevada. The casinos make for a fun time and a great place to enjoy a cold one and a meal. It’s convenient that they are all within walking distance from the Yerington Inn.

Explore Lyon County Museum – From the local Native American culture to the area’s railroad, mining, medical, pioneer and natural history, Lyon STEP BACK IN TIME County Museum features historic photos, artifacts Tour Fort Churchill and Buckland Station – A 30 and memorabilia representing Yerington, Mason minute scenic drive from Yerington, Fort Churchill Valley and Lyon County. Tel: 775-463-6576. was built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861. Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, and hike the nature trail. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail. Tel: (775) 577-2345

GET OUTSIDE The greater Yerington region is an outdoor paradise for nature lovers, birders, geocachers and hikers. The Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area is home to a variety of wildlife and birds that range from tundra swans in the winter to over 21 PAGE 70

Vacation Station A TASTE OF THE ARTS Visit Yerington Theatre for The Arts (YTA) – Housed in the beautiful restored historic Yerington Grammar School No. 9, this downtown art center is within the Jeanne Dini Cultural Center. Have lunch at the café, and enjoy performing arts, visual art exhibitions and cultural heritage events. The center also runs educational programs, and is host to the Yerington Farmers Market until September 25. Tel: (775) 463-1783

The 6th Annual Taste of the Valley Festival 2015 is held at YTA from September 10-12. The event kicks off on Thursday with a Gallery Opening & Artist Reception. A delicious Ravioli Dinner will be served under the stars on Friday night. The FOOD, ART, and MUSIC event is on Saturday and features artisan cheeses, local grown foods, micro brews, unique art, Kids Zone, Home Brew Contest, Classic Cars Show and live music by Mason Frey & Haley Patterson and Moondog Matinee. Tel: (775) 463-1783 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,


Vacation Station

TRAVEL INTERVIEWS TRAVELS WITH KING KONG Overland Across Africa Colored in the minds of many as a continent filled with poverty, war-torn countries and rampant disease, photographer and author, James Henderson, has a different experience of Africa to share.


Listen to his Big Blend Radio’s interview about his travels and experiences in Africa, as documented in his memoir “Travels with King Kong: Overland Across Africa.” Africa, he recounts, was a life-changing experience, still impacting his life after 40 years. “Travels with King Kong” is told with reverence, heart, and humor, complimented by beautiful photographs, as Henderson urges readers to step outside of their comfort zone and experience the unknown. Visit



Southern California Food & Travel Blog Mary Lansing is the Editor-in-Chief of the popular Los Angeles based travel and lifestyle blog, Along Comes Mary. If you’re a budding blogger or interested in Southern California restaurants and destinations, listen to Mary’s Big Blend Radio chat about being a gluten-free food and travel blogger, her recent restaurant visit to Mexicano LA, exploring Claremont, tips on blogging, and the importance of bloggers and writers working with organizations such as the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association. Keep up with Mary’s adventures at


Nature Connection


Adam M. Roberts, CEO of the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA, talks with Big Blend Radio. Born Free is calling on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to release its Final Rule on the petition to list the lion as ‘endangered' under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA), first submitted by Born Free and others in March 2011. Listing under the ESA would prohibit wounding, harming, harassing, killing, or trading in lions, except under certain very limited conditions, and would add significant protection for lions across their range. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA, "The figures don't stack up. The value to Africa's economy from wildlife tourism vastly outpaces any sum accrued from hunting. Trophy hunting is an elitist activity practiced by very wealthy people, with the income benefiting a small number of stakeholders. The future is in conserving Africa's wildlife, not destroying it."

The Plight of The African Lion Big Blend Radio interview with Adam M. Roberts ‘The Compassionate Conservationist’

Following the tragic and reportedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion, Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA have called on the U.S. government and European Union to take urgent steps to end the import of lion trophies and for an international moratorium on lion hunting. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron have made very public declarations to stop the illegal wildlife trade. Born Free is concerned that this may not be implemented fast enough. Current estimates suggest there are barely more than 30,000 lions remaining across Africa, and localized or regionalized extinctions in the next decade are a real possibility.

There is very little evidence that the proceeds of trophy hunting benefit conservation or local communities in the hunting areas, with as little as 3% or less of the revenue generated trickling down. Lions and other charismatic wildlife are worth far more alive than dead to Zimbabwe's tourism industry. In Zimbabwe, it is estimated that trophy hunting generates only 3.2% of total tourism revenue. Born Free USA and the UK based Born Free Foundation are global leaders in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, they lead vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, poaching and the destructive international wildlife trade. Visit


Way Back When

Big Blend Radio Host Lisa Smith, forever stuck in the Big Blend Time Travel Machine, visits some real diva with fellow passenger Linda Kissam, the Food Wine & Shopping Diva. Actors: Lisa D. Smith, Linda Kissam, Michael Ely, Steve Schneickert, and Nancy J. Reid.

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Way Back When



Click to Listen to Big Blend’s Time Travel Play! Divas on Parade!

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Way Back When

Historic Heroes and Villains of Norfolk, UK Heroic Nurse Edith Cavell and Admiral Lord Nelson to Murderers James Bloomfield Rush, Frances Billings and Catherine Frary! By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours


Listen to Glynn Burrows on Big Blend Radio! When it comes to looking for a hero or two to celebrate, two local people spring to my mind immediately. The first is a quiet unassuming woman, a teacher, nurse and vicar’s daughter, the other, a real swash-buckling Naval Officer. I have told you about Nurse Edith Cavell previously but, as this October is the centenary of her death, I think it only fitting to remember her again. Edith Cavell was born in 1865, the daughter of the Reverend Frederick Cavell and his wife Louisa who lived in the Norfolk village of Swardeston. As with many Victorian vicar’s daughters, Edith grew up in beautiful surroundings and she was very lucky to receive a good education and to be able to spend time painting, playing tennis, dancing and doing the sorts of things that young ladies did in those days. She became a pupil teacher, governess and, as she had a flair for languages. She took a European holiday with a legacy she had received and returned with a great interest in Nursing.

Edith was pleased to help, but, by August 1915 Nurse Cavell was arrested. The trial started on the seventh of October and her crime was that she helped some 200 Belgian, French and English of military age, to get to the frontier. Nurse Cavall was shot on the 12th of October 1915. The outcry that followed surprised everyone, not least the Germans, and Nurse Cavell was acclaimed as a martyr. Although she was buried in a simple grave in Belgium, after the war, she was exhumed and brought back to her beloved Norfolk where she was buried in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral. The area where she is buried is called Life’s Green, and beside the Cathedral Gate is a monument to one of Norfolk’s most beloved women.

This year is the centenary of her death and there is Returning to Norfolk and then to a London Hospital to be a special exhibition in the Castle Museum in for training, Edith took up her nursing career, which, Norwich, all about this brave lady. I have been in those days was no easier than it is today! Hours trying to arrange for the Castle to “borrow” her dog, Jack, (he was preserved by taxidermy when he were 7am to 9pm with half an hour for lunch! Pay died and is now in the collection of the British was £10 a year! In 1907, Edith went back to Museum), as it would be lovely to have him in the Brussels and was soon in charge of a training school for nurses. In late 1914, two stranded British same city as his mistress for, at least, some of this soldiers turned up at this training school, looking for centenary year. shelter on their way to Holland and they started an underground lifeline for soldiers trapped behind Continued on Next Page… enemy lines. PAGE 76

Way Back When Villains are much harder to find in Norfolk as we are a lovely bunch of people.............. but here are two: James Bloomfield was baptised in January 1800, the illegitimate son of Mary Bloomfield. In September 1802, Mary Bloomfield married John Rush, a farmer and quite successful in business. He seemed to have taken to James Bloomfield and allowed him to take the name of Rush, as well as paying for his education at the grammar school in Eye, Suffolk. In 1828, James B. Rush married and had a large family. In 1835, Rush and his family moved to rent a farm from the Preston family, next to the farm of his step-father. In October 1844, John Rush met his death due to the “accidental” discharge of a gun and left an estate, worth in excess of £7000 to his wife Mary. In November 1844, J. B. Rush lost his wife at only 46 and he was left with children from the age of three to look after. He employed a governess called Emily Sandford.

Norfolk Heroes and Villains Continued… Our next Hero is Admiral Lord Nelson.

In August 1848, Rush's mother Mary also died in mysterious circumstances. Her will left her estate to her grandchildren when they were 18 but, it is said that J. B. Rush forged a codicil to say that the youngest child had to be 18 before any of the children could inherit. This, it was argued at his trial, allowed him to steal the children’s inheritance as he was in terrible financial difficulty as there were several loans falling due to Isaac Jermy on 30th November 1848.

Horation Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe in September 1758 and, he too, was a child of the Mr Isaac Jermy Sen and Mr local Vicar. Burnham Thorpe is close to the sea Isaac Jermy Jun were killed and, together with the fact that several of his family on 28th November 1848 were in the Navy, young Horatio was very at home, and Mrs Jermy, the messing about in boats from an early age. He pregnant wife of Isaac Jun, joined the Navy at the age of twelve and worked his together with a servant, way up through the ranks quite quickly and was a Elizabeth Chestney, were Captain by the time he was twenty. Nelson took wounded. James part in many battles as this was the time of major Bloomfield Rush was found unrest in Europe but the one battle all English guilty and hanged at children learned about when I was at school, was Norwich Castle in April the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 when Nelson, by this 1849 and, common for that time Admiral, Lord Nelson (among many other day, a plaster cast of his titles), was shot. He was taken below-deck and his shaved head was taken for last words are reported to have been “God and my phrenologists to study. It is country”. When the fleet was going into battle, still in the Castle to be seen Nelson had ordered that the signal be sent: to this day! "England expects that every man will do his duty" and he had definitely done his. He was brought home, (part of the way in a barrel of brandy) and Continued on Next Page… buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral. PAGE 77

Way Back When

Norfolk Heroes and Villains Continued… The other case, to prove that it isn’t just men who are villains, is the case of the Burnham Poisoners. Frances Billings and Catherine Frary were both hanged at Norwich Castle in 1835 after several deaths in the village of Burnham Westgate. Frances was found guilty of poisoning the wife of her neighbour, Peter Taylor and, after further investigation, it was found that Frary’s husband and a child had also died of arsenic poisoning. The story is quite compelling as it includes all the components of a good tale; murder, mystery, sex, poison and intrigue.

Billings and Frary were tried and found guilty of murder and were both hanged, There was an audience of over 20,000 at the Castle and, like James Bloomfield Rush, their heads were shaved and plaster casts were made, still to be seen at Norwich Castle! Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to England, contact Glynn and visit

My favourite part of the story, (if I can call it that), which came to light during the trial, is that Frances Billings (of loose character) and Peter Taylor (a slothful and unfaithful husband) used to meet regularly in the “necessary”, which is another name for the toilet at the bottom of the garden, and knowing what these places were like in the early C19th, I can’t think of a worse place to “meet”.


Way Back When

Photo Credit: Steven Hill


Listen to Nick Bunker on Big Blend Radio!

A powerful new account of the road to the Revolution—tracing the last three years of mutual embitterment that preceded the outbreak of America’s war for independence in 1775—AN EMPIRE ON THE EDGE by Nick Bunker breathes fresh life into the Boston Tea Party and icons such as Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Thomas Hutchinson. Bunker says, “The question a historian has to answer is this: how and why did Great Britain embark on a conflict so lamentable? In AN EMPIRE ON THE EDGE, I’m trying to get inside the heads of the politicians in London. I want to understand why they started a war that killed so many young men for nothing. Britain’s ruling elite simply never took the trouble to understand their American cousins. They never reached out with sympathy to people such as George Washington and John Hancock who should have been their friends.”

Also the recipient of the 2015 Fraunces Tavern Book Award, AN EMPIRE ON THE EDGE’s laudatory success is remarkably unconventional in that its author has burst forth not from a traditional academic career, but rather journalism and (of all things) investment banking. Enthusiastically acclaimed here and abroad, Nick’s study of the “tragedy of errors” between the British and the colonists that begot an unwanted but unavoidable war is a great and exciting book—not least of all for the uncanny erudition of a virtual outsider. Winner of the 2015 George Washington Book Prize and a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in History, Nick Bunker’s ‘AN EMPIRE ON THE EDGE: How Britain Came to Fight America’ is available in paperback from Vintage.

Nick Bunker is also the author of ‘Making Haste from Babylon’, a history of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Educated at King’s College, Cambridge, and Columbia University, he was a journalist for the Liverpool Echo and the Financial Times, and then an investment banker, chiefly with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. During his careers in journalism and finance, he traveled widely in China, India, the former Soviet bloc, and the United States. He now lives in Lincolnshire, England. PAGE 79

Success Express

Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles: An arbitration clause requiring an employee to waive his or her right to bring Private Attorney General Act claims on behalf of a group of aggrieved employees who have suffered similar employment law violations are invalid. Employees always have the right to seek penalties on behalf of the state for labor code violations.


Listen to Ward Heinrichs on Big Blend Radio!

Sanchez v. Valencia: Class Action waivers in arbitration clauses are enforceable in consumer contracts. Reading between the lines of the California Supreme Court’s decision, that is probably true even where a court finds that the remaining provisions in the arbitration agreement are unconscionable.

MEAL PERIODS: CLASS ACTION WAIVERS: Concepcion v. AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion: The United States Supreme Court ruled that Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempted state law. In other words, if the parties freely entered into an arbitration agreement under the FAA, then state laws that might otherwise invalidate the arbitration agreement could not invalidate the agreement. Typically, arbitration agreements require the consumer or employee to waive the right to take their cases to court. Further, they require the consumer and employee to waive their right to bring a class action in the arbitration proceedings. Thus, arbitration clauses can provide companies a way to avoid potential class action liability.

Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court: Employers have a duty to “provide” meal periods for its qualifying employee. However, employers need not ensure that employees get meal periods. Rather, they only need to provide the opportunity to receive a meal period.


Continued on next page…..

Click to Watch Big Blend’s Success Express TV!

Success Express California Employment Law Contínued HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION: Miller v. Department of Corrections: Miller learned that the chief deputy warden was having sex with three of Miller’s peers. Over a period of years, each one received perks, favors, promotions, coveted transfers, etc. that other employees did not get. In certain instances, the warden favored his less qualified paramours over Miller. Miller sued for discrimination and harassment. The trial court and the appellate court dismissed Miller’s claims because no harassment directly occurred to her. However, the California Supreme Court said: “. . . although an isolated instance of favoritism on the part of a supervisor toward a female employee with whom the supervisor is conducting a consensual sexual affair ordinarily would not constitute sexual harassment, when such sexual favoritism in a workplace is sufficiently widespread it may create an actionable hostile work environment . . .”. Accordingly, it ruled that Miller suffered harassment.

Yanowitz v. L'Oreal USA, Inc: When an employee refuses to go along with a boss’s sexual harassment and gets fired for it, that employee has a claim for retaliation. Yanowitz’s male boss told her to fire a female sales associate who the boss claimed was “not good looking enough”. She was to replace the associate with “somebody hot”. She refused and was harassed in retaliation for failing to fire the associate. She eventually quit and sued. The court said L’Oreal retaliated against Yanowitz. Ward Heinrichs is a shareholder and named partner of the San Diego based employment law firm, Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC. The firm represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit

Lyle v. Warner Bros. Television Productions: Harassing language, by itself, may not create a hostile work environment. For instance, when harassing language is part of a creative work environment. Lyle took a job on the cast of the hit show “Friends”. She was warned that the writers creatively used vulgar, sex based language to help them write scripts. It was not directed toward Lyle and she did not complain about it. The writers did the following: discussed “blowjobs”, described the types of women they liked to have sex with, drew pictures of naked women, simulated masturbation, described how they would have sex with female cast members, etc. Regardless, the California Supreme Court said employee Lyle had no claim for sexual harassment. Harris v. Santa Monica: In a discrimination case, an employee must show that discrimination was a “substantial factor” factor for the employer’s adverse employment action (in this case, termination). Further, an employer could still win the case if it proved that it would have terminated the employee anyway for legitimate reasons, such as poor job performance. If the employer prevails on showing it would have terminated the employer anyway, then the employee cannot receive damages. However, the employee could still win injunctive relief, such as an order to stop discriminatory practices, and could win attorneys’ fees. PAGE 81

Quality of Life


Listen to Bobbi DePorter, President of Quantum Learning Network on Big Blend Radio! If you have a son or daughter in high school, don’t think that college prep ends when they get a good score on the SAT or ACT. In fact, it’s just beginning. According to American College Testing (ACT), one in every four students leaves college before completing sophomore year.

This lack of college preparedness has led many colleges to create “freshman survival courses.” While a good idea, a freshman course can come too late for many students. There are many stories of students who get off on the wrong foot with academics or a roommate, get homesick and don’t even make it past their first semester before dropping out. That’s why we launched, a seven-day summer college prep program targeted primarily to incoming freshmen. We encourage parents to be proactive about helping prepare their kids for the challenges they will face when they’re on their own at college. Let’s look at three key areas you can address with your student while they’re still in high school.

Time Management What's more, nearly half of all freshmen will either drop out before getting their degree or complete It’s never too early for a student to learn how to their college education elsewhere. A primary manage their time. Kids as early as middle school reason for this somewhat shocking statistic is that a have extremely busy schedules, which often large number of students are ill-equipped for the involve one or more extra-curricular activities in challenges of college. Students and parents devote addition to school, study time, friends, down time so much time to the admissions process that they and, yes, even family time. Whether it’s on paper, a forget to focus on what lies ahead: challenging PDA or an online calendar, get your teen academics, living away from home, maintaining accustomed to planning their time. their finances, learning time management skills, and taking responsibility for their own lives. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 82

Quality of Life Have your student start by looking at the full semester and term, so they can mark in known dates for mid-terms, finals, project due dates, scheduled absences, etc. Next, they should schedule time leading up to the deadlines, allocating time for writing a paper, studying for an exam, etc. to avoid the last-minute crunches.

Money Management

They can incorporate a weekly review to see if they are on target each week. If your student finds him/herself falling behind, some non-academic activities will have to be cut. This weekly review should include a priority (or “To Do”) list for the upcoming week. A quiet time on a Sunday evening is an ideal time for this weekly review.

When kids get to college, both of these problems are magnified. College students spend a lot of money on eating out, much more money than they, or their parents, anticipate them spending. A good exercise you can do with your teenagers is sit them down with a list of items and ask them what they think each item costs. Include a range of grocery products, household products and other things they may consume, but don’t pay for. Once they’re done, show them the real costs and compare. Maybe they’ll nail it, but chances are there will be some major differences on a few items.

Another area of “life management” that many new college students are ill-equipped to deal with is managing their finances. We’ve found that most students who attend Quantum U simply don’t have a good idea what things cost and don’t have any idea how much they spend.

By getting into the habit of budgeting their time, your student will be better equipped to manage the autonomy of college life, at least as it relates to finding a balance between academic and personal life.

Also, get your teen to analyze how they spend their money now. It might just be their allowance money, Decision Making but it helps them begin to understand the outflow of Most kids get through their pre-college years without having to make many big decisions. All of a funds, which is half of the budgeting process: tracking spending. The next step is to help your son sudden, they’re in college and their faced with decisions every day, some practical, others ethical. or daughter set up a budget based on the money As a parent, you can help your son or daughter in a they have available and their expected expenditures on a monthly basis. By the time your couple of ways. First, put them in situations where they need to think through issues rather than doing student heads off to college, they’ll have a much it for them. If they come to you with a “what should I better appreciation for what things cost, what they spend their money on, and how to set up and do” question, encourage them to think through the manage a budget. options and the pros and cons of each option, as well as the implications to them and others of a particular action. The more experience they have in One more thing – college freshmen are inundated with opportunities to sign up for a credit card when going through a thought process, the more comfortable they will be when they arrive at college. they arrive on campus. While having access to a credit or debit card at college is practical, even if it’s They won’t feel lost. just for emergencies, it’s wise to start the process jointly before your son or daughter goes to college, The second thing you can do is help your kids so you can be a part of the process and establish develop a strong character core. At SuperCamp, clear ground rules on its use. our learning and life skills summer program, we teach kids the 8 Keys of Excellence. When a young In summary, if you take a proactive approach to person learns and habituates core character help your high school student prepare for principles, they have a solid foundation on which college, you increase their chances for success they can make good decisions. They’re also more confident in themselves and they know themselves enormously. Learn more at better, so they’re less at risk to “go along with the crowd” in situations that may put them in jeopardy or that are inconsistent with their true values. 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 PAGE 83

Quality of Life A wanted pregnancy brings great joy to the expectant parents and their extended family and friends. There is no denying that this joy heralds a sea of changes in your lifestyle and upheaval in your physical environment. Mother of five Meagan Francis and I wrote a book called "One Year to an Organized Life with Baby" that takes the guess work out of what needs to be done and when. I've shared some highlights in this article to peek your interest. We joined forces and expertise to guide new parents through the challenges and choices of pregnancy and we stay for the first five months of baby's life. We've left no diaper or maternity topic neglected in our quest to help you have the most organized start to this miraculous journey. When I thought about babies, I assumed the soonto-be mom needed regular medical care, a nursery and a baby shower. How wrong I was! Those are but the tip of the iceberg.

Getting Organized for the Arrival of Your Baby By Regina Leeds, The Zen Organizer™


Listen to Regina Leeds on Big Blend Radio!

Here’s the bottom line: if you thought your life was busy before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. On top of a super charged schedule, an avalanche of stuff is also coming your way. If you don’t get your environment in shape now, you may find yourself behind the 8 ball until junior is on his way to college. When it's organized, your physical space literally supports, serves and nurtures you. You save time, money and energy at every turn. (All things that will be in short supply once baby arrives.) Aside from any practical considerations, an organized home is a wonderful gift to baby. Newborns are emotional sponges picking up on mom's stress level. When mom is frazzled because she can't find the pacifier, the mortgage coupon, a can of chicken soup or a clean diaper, baby will be the first to let her know. Getting organized also means learning a skill: wouldn't it be nice for baby to grow up with that skill rather than having to learn it as an adult? And the best way to learn is by example.


Quality of Life One Step at a Time …

Start with the Basics Make a Plan: If you start buying whenever the whim hits, you're going to get into big trouble. After all, babies are cute and so is everything made for them. You want to have a plan that protects you so that you are bringing home exactly what you need at the appropriate time. If you're going to accept items from others try not to accept loans. You'll be worried about the clothing, toys or furniture the entire time you're using them. Ask instead if you can pass them on to someone else when you are done.

Create a Non-Toxic Nursery: Use low or no VOC paints, carpets and furniture when putting together baby's area or room. If these products (which cost a bit more) are outside your budget, do the work well in advance so the fumes are gone long before baby arrives.

Understand your Insurance Coverage:

One of the basic tenets of Zen Organizing is that ‘the whole of anything is overwhelming.’ We achieve success when we break our projects into the parts that will take us to completion. In “One Year to an Organized Life with Baby,” Meagan Francis and I break down the tasks that every couple needs to accomplish on the road to parenthood. We schedule the projects for appropriate times during your pregnancy. When nausea is likely to be your nemesis, we give you gentle tasks. As your energy returns, we get you up on your feet to break up the monotony. And when you can no longer see your feet, we give you more gentle ‘tie up the loose ends’ tasks that are no less important because they come at the end of the journey. Everything is geared to getting you ready step by step. And if this is not your first baby, you can still use a refresher. After all we’ve done the planning for you. All you have to do is connect the dots!

You don't want any unpleasant surprises when it comes to your medical bills. Where your baby is born, what tests you need and which you may elect to have etc. will impact insurance policies differently. Be a well-educated consumer.

Professional organizer Regina Leeds, known as The Zen Organizer™ has brought order and peace to home and work environments across the country for over 27 years. She is the author of 10 books on organizing including New York Times bestseller ‘One Year to an Organized Have a Team in Place: Who is going into the Life’ and the newest release ‘Rightsize! Right Now!’ The latter presents a sane plan for delivery room with you? Who will feed the dog, rightsizing your possessions to fit your home water the lawn, bring in your paper and call your loved ones? Be sure you have emergency numbers and life and craft a move in 8 weeks. A former actress Regina delights in giving lectures on posted clearly in multiple locations in your home. the benefits of Zen Organizing™. A native of This is especially critical if you have younger Brooklyn, New York she now lives in Los children staying home with relatives. Angeles with her rescue pup Charlie. Visit Don't neglect your first child! You know that little furry one with paws. It's not uncommon for dogs and cats to be placed in shelters once a baby enters the home. If problems arise it's frequently because the pet hasn't been given help in adjusting to the new situation. Whether it's playing a CD of baby sounds well in advance of the birth, bringing home a soiled diaper from the hospital for Fido and Fifi to sniff or chatting with an animal communicator or trainer, help is at hand. It's a time of transition. If you must surrender your pet, do not take him or her to a shelter unless of course it’s a no kill situation. There are many reputable rescue groups who will place your pet in a new home.


Quality of Life

Listen to Cynthia Johnston on Big Blend Radio.


Using herbs in ceremony is as ancient as mankind. From the beginning of time we have used plants to give smoke and scent to a sacred space, a church, or to cleanse the air of home. Frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, sage, and sweetgrass are just a few of the more common ceremonial herbs. A mix of sandalwood, benzoin and frankincense, or Three Kings, is the herb burned in Catholic cathedrals by the priests. Native Americans across the United States use white sage, cedar or sweetgrass smoke as a way of cleansing the “air and space” of the home or meeting place. Herbs are used in cremations and vary depending on the culture. Herbs are used to honor a person, a place or an intention as in prayer.

My particular favorite is the leafy herb, white sage. There is something about this woody plant that soothes and cleanses. To use it in this way is called “smudging.” The herb, often found in a bundle, puts out quite a bit of smoke. I walk it around my office to keep the energy there 'clear', for lack of a better word. Herbs like frankincense and myrrh are resinous and must be placed on a charcoal disc to create the heat they need to burn. These two herbs combined have a most magnificent scent that is grounding and centering, and often used in prayer or ritual. Sandalwood, most often found in a powder, is excellent to scent a room for meditation or yoga. Herbs are used in other ways “ceremonially” to create protection, to ward off evil, to call in spirits, to create blessing, to bring rain or to bring good crops. Prayer combined with a sprinkle of this, a dose of that, a bit of smoke and good intention has done much for our churches, our farms, our homes and neighborhoods. These are just a few ideas. All of these herbs and tools mentioned can be found in a good metaphysical or natural food store. There are lots of other blends, resins and leafy herbs that will create smoke and hence a mood….the plants invite you to give them a try.

Cynthia Johnston is an herbalist and founder of MoonMaid Botanicals, a small herb company that is dedicated to providing high quality Ceremonial herbs are often tied in bundles for herbal products that are free of chemical burning or are resins and powders that can be preservatives, propylparabens or synthetics of burned on a charcoal disc. A smoke free way to use herbs is by using the essential oil of the herb in any kind. Products include remedies for menopause, PMS, yeast infections, common an aromatherapy diffuser. There are some really women’s health issues, and herbal products for excellent types of infusers available. A humidifier the family. Learn more or shop online at will also work in a pinch. Essential oils diffused in this way with water are powerful and magical. PAGE 86

Quality of Life

Rock Talk by Marilee Strech Today we are experiencing a new resurgence of interest in this beautiful gem as a powerful metaphysical tool --- called the "starborne stone of transformation" by author Robert Simmons in his 1988 book on Moldavite.


Listen to Marilee Strech on Big Blend Radio. Found only in the Bohemian plateau of the Czech Republic, Moldavite is the only gem form of tektites, which are glassy objects formed by impact of meteorites striking the earth.

Moldavite is the fusion of meteor (extraterrestrial powers) with melted earthly rock (terrestrial) and is said to catalyze multiple and very powerful spirtitual awakenings. It is also said to open a person's ability to ground Light for the healing of the earth. Herkimer diamonds (a doubly terminated form of quartz crystals from New York) are said to harmonically amplify the energy that is already present from the Moldavite. Amethyst and rose quartz are also useful in combination with Moldavite.

Moldavite is highly prized for its beautiful green color and unusual wrinkled surface and was used as altar amulets in Paleolithic times. It is a rare stone which is becoming scarcer due to the difficulty associated with collecting it from the sand pits and farm fields comprising the ancient strewn field.

It has been said that Moldavite may be the "emerald stone from heaven" mentioned in writings about the stone of the Holy Grail. It is called the Grail stone today because it can help you find the path to spiritual enlightenment and the healing of the environment, as well as healing of mind, body and soul. It is associated with the Zodiac sign Aquarius and the plant Uranus.

Moldavite was used as pendants and on men's walking sticks in the 1700's and continued in popularity until the early 1900's when unscrupulous dealers substituted green bottle glass in place of the real stones. In today's modern jewelry we see the natural crystal shape being used more often than faceted stones, with wire wrapping being the most common method of setting the stones.

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



Speak Honestly and Kindly

The 8 Keys of Excellence Are:

Think before you speak. Make sure your intention is positive and your words are sincere. Words are powerful! They have the power to uplift and enlighten or put down and depress. A few cutting words spoken in a moment of anger can affect us for a long time, perhaps even a lifetime. On the other hand, a few kind words can make a very positive difference in how we feel about ourselves … sometimes for a lifetime.

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


Watch the video below of Carrie Ring, Marketing Specialist for the City of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department, tell her story about ‘Speaking with Good Purpose,’ the third key of excellence. As ambassadors for Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program”, the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour of all 408 National Park units 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, teamwork, leadership and valuable life principles. See

GEOGRAPHY FOR KIDS The Little Man In The Map


Geography, like history, needs to be fun – especially when teaching kids. E. Andrew Martonyi, author of the award-winning ‘The Little Man In the Map: With Clues To Remember All 50 States’ and ‘The Little Man In the Map Teaches the State Capitals!’ chats with Big Blend Radio about how his books use mnemonics to teach children geography. In a rhyming text that's fun to read, ‘The Little Man In the Map’ shows students how to use the power of imagination to learn and remember all 50 states of the United States of America. Using the same technique, ‘The Little Man In the Map Teaches the State Capitals!’ helps students learn and remember U.S. capital cities. Learn more at


Quality of Life


Listen to Aggie Garcia on Big Blend Radio.

9 Wardrobe Essentials By Aggie Garcia It’s that time of year to think about clothes for the fall season, which means dressing for cooler temperatures--but still staying beautiful. Bright colors such as emerald green, royal blue and purple are very popular this new fall season. Plaid jackets and ruffle blouses are also being presented in many collections from the designer and ready to wear. Plaids are done in forest green, deep red and the ever popular neutral tones such as tan. A well-fitting plaid jacket can be worn with a pull over sweater, ruffle blouse or tailored shirt. You can dress it down to wear to the office, or dress it up with a shimmery silk blouse for an evening look. Plaid jackets are so versatile and are considered classic pieces of clothing. The latest fall fashions are also simple in design. Simple, classic cut clothes can be worn by every age group.

Here’s a list of basic essentials that would be perfect in your fall wardrobe: 1. A nicely tailored but simple black pantsuit jackets and pants can be worn separately with other pieces of clothing. 2. Plaid jacket - your choice of color that will allow versatility in your wardrobe. 3. Turtleneck sweaters in neutral tones such as black, navy blue or camel color. 4. Cardigan sweaters in emerald green, chocolate brown or eggplant. 5. Classic long sleeve white shirt - every woman should have a casual and a dressy white shirt. 6. Black/white polka dot blouse - would look so adorable with your emerald green cardigan sweater. 7. Skirts in black, navy, camel and brown in a length that flatters your body shape. 8. Neutral tone knee length coat. 9. A great fitting pair of jeans in both black and indigo. All of these items are simple pieces that can be mixed to create looks from casual, business like to classy. They come in all price ranges to fit every budget. It is also important to choose fall fashions that fit your lifestyle, and the area in which you live. 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:


Shoppers Emporium!

SHOPPERS EMPORIUM! 5 Fabulous Finds That Make Life Cleaner, Less Cluttered and Just Plain Easier! Compiled by Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith

Being on the road as full-time travelers on our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour means we need all the help we can get regarding better storage, keeping our clothes stain-free, having easy access to clean water, not to mention skin care. We’re always excited to try new products and gadgets and these five products have made life a little easier and Who Wants to Carry a Bulky better for us, and hopefully will for you too! Nancy Handbag or Wallet? reviewed Dr. White Magic T-Stick Portable Toothbrush, Dreft Stain Remover and Nature’s Not Me! I’m not a big purse girl, so I usually end up Shea Butter, and Lisa reviewed the ZeroWater walking around with my wallet in hand, or carrying it Tumbler and Card Ninja. in my camera bag or backpack which adds more weight. And quite frankly, regardless of whether you are a traveler or someone making a quick run to the corner store, it’s just not that safe to put all of one’s cash and credit ‘in one basket.’ Enter the Card Ninja, a sleek spandex sleeve that attaches to the back of your smartphone, creating a slim and tight pocket that securely houses cash and up to eight credit cards along with your driver’s license. My phone is always attached to my hip, so this means I have one less thing to worry about – no leaving my wallet behind at a restaurant, or having to carry it on a hike somewhere. Nothing has ever fallen out of my Card Ninja – even if I bend over or I flip my phone around. It attaches easily, and comes in a variety of colors to match your phone. The perfect marriage between phone and wallet, the Card Ninja is just $9.99 and is available online at, on Amazon Prime, and nationwide in select CVS store and Verizon stores.

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Shoppers Emporium! Clean Water On The Move! We’ve all heard how toxic it is to keep buying those little plastic bottles of water. Not only are they a cause of cancer because of the BPA, they are a huge piece of the pollution pie and an expensive habit. Plus, who knows how clean and healthy the water really is? What about those nights when you wake up in an unfamiliar hotel room, and hope the bad tasting tap water you are drinking isn’t riddled with the same things we’re worried about in our homes. Pharmaceuticals, chemicals…we’ve all heard the hazardous horrors of our water. I’m sick of buying plastic bottles of water, but as a traveler, I never found an option that fit into my on-the-go non-stop lifestyle. I also want something I can take on a hike in case I need to drink water from a stream or river. I was super happy to be introduced to the 26 oz. ZeroWater Tumbler. Because of its 5-stage color change filter technology and revolutionary ionexchange system, ZeroWater is able to remove 99.6% of dissolved solids, Flouride and impurities. The bottle itself is BPA-free and leak resistant, a huge plus in my book. Of course, it fits in my car cup holder too. Available at $14.99, you can get ZeroWater in retail outlets across the country or visit to purchase online, and find out how clean your neighborhood water is!

How Clean Does Your Toothbrush Stay When Traveling? The Dr. White MAGIC T-Stick 2 in 1 Sonic Toothbrush and Smart UV Sanitizer is a great product, especially when traveling. Usually, the toothbrush somehow gets tossed in with the cosmetics, which is not really the most hygienic thing. I like that once you brush your teeth with the Magic T, you insert it in its holder, and it gets sanitized. The next time you use it, you know the brush is clean. You have a built-in travel case too. No cords, this is completely battery operated and very simple to use. This set is slim, portable, and can be slipped into a handbag if you want to take it to work with you or for an overnight trip. You can order adult and children’s sets, and The brush is smaller, and that makes it easier to do replacement brushes at I a better brushing job. I can see where this would be advise, as with all dental and medical products, that you consult with your dental/medical professionals great fun for kids! The set comes with one before purchasing. replacement head, but as usual, get your own batteries.

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Shoppers Emporium!

Shoppers Cont. Is Your Skin Crying Out for Fair Treatment? A funny thing happened on the way to getting more mature…. my skin changed a bit. It’s a bit more sensitive to heat, and here and there a dry patch pops up and never seems to go away. I received some samples of All Natural Nilotica Shea Butter from East Africa. It is 100 % organic and unrefined, from Nature’s Shea Butter. I also received a sample of their Coco-Shea All Natural. Both samples smell good enough to eat, and it probably wouldn’t hurt me if I did eat them!

Oops! I Spilled it Again! Big Blend’s Spirit of America Tour travel mascot, Priscilla the pink sock monkey, goes where we go– and gets into just as must trouble as we do. She needs to look clean but manages to get into trees, fall on the ground, and get tossed around in the back seat of the car. I found the Dreft-To-Go Instant Stain Remover Pen and Dreft Laundry Stain Remover to be excellent products when it comes to removing pesky stains.

A little bit goes a long way and feels wonderful as you smooth it on your skin. Shea Butter contains oleic acid and anti-oxidant properties so it heals the Priscilla gets a little too close to food sometimes, skin while it nourishes. and I can whip that pen out and take care of it Shea Butter has been used for thousands of years. before the stain sets. If I don’t have the chance to In fact, there are records of it being transported by do that, I can wash her later, gently by hand, using caravans in clay jars to Ancient Egypt, where it was the Laundry Stain Remover, formulated for tough used as protection for the hair and skin against the stains. sun and hot dry winds of the African savannah. It is It may sound funny, but Priscilla is our baby and possible that Cleopatra was a fan of Shea Butter. she has to last for this entire tour of 408 National Good enough for me! Park units, looking just as good as when she started. I have been experimenting, one arm with Shea Butter, the other not. Enough with the experiment, I like that you can get Dreft in a pen, a small spray the arm using the Shea Butter has no more dry bottle for travel, or laundry size for later. Of course, patches and is nice and smooth, and the other is an old arm crying out for fair treatment. I can highly we use it too… No matter the travel plans, one of us always needs to wash something–and Priscilla recommend Nature’s Shea Butter. Check out does come with an entourage of friends. See to purchase and for more details. learn more. PAGE 92