Tag Archives

3 Articles

Hammock Time

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Hammock Time

hammocks tied between trees.jpg

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,

we must carry it with us or we find it not. “

                                             ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

While I was traveling in Southeast Asia, I was enthralled with the multitude of hammocks hung everywhere…on balconies, under eaves of storefronts, under houses built on stilts on the Mekong River, between trees in a field, in marketplace stalls, even on rickety boats. Because of the intense heat and humidity that assaults life between noon and four in the afternoon, workdays begin in the early morning, then continue until nine or ten at night, while in between everyone cools off with a swinging siesta.

In the Amazon rainforest, my husband and I slept in hammocks covered by mosquito netting. The first hammocks date back to over a thousand years ago and were made from the bark of the Hamak tree. Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing hammocks back to Europe after his encounter with the Taino tribes who tied these nets between trees for their slumber and protection. Because hammocks were off the ground, there was less chance of bites from insects, snakes, rats, or other creatures.

My favorite hammock experiences have always been at beaches in tropical locales where hammocks are attached to swaying palm trees.  In Hawaii, Tahiti, Bermuda, the many islands of the Caribbean, and throughout the coastlines of Central and South America, I have always scouted the sand for the perfect rocking repose where I can read a book, take a nap, or just listen to the pounding waves while the birds chirp in paradise.

hammock by the sea.jpg

 

Summer is the perfect time to lounge in a hammock under the shade, especially after a few hours of strenuous gardening, Swiss researchers published a scientific explanation why hammocks are loved the world over.  The gentle rocking motion of a hammock synchronizes brain waves allowing us to get to sleep quicker while attaining a deeper state of relaxation.  No wonder babies quiet when being rocked! 

Between my Japanese maples and my magnolia trees, I secured two double hammocks so that two to four people could enjoy the benefits of a summertime break.  It is restful to sway in these hammocks with the fragrance of my roses and lavender wafting around me.  I watch the butterflies and bees darting throughout my flowers while I listen to the sound of the breeze and the crooning songbirds. 

Hammocks-double.jpg

Hammocks are versatile because they are affordable super space savers, flexible, and are easily moved and stored.  They are perfect camping trip companions.  The net hammocks purchased in Vietnam pack into a small ball, while the heavier cloth hammocks I bought stateside roll into a cloth bag for storage.  

If traveling is not on your agenda for this summer, consider a staycation with the potential to transport your dreams to exotic distant lands by installing a hammock in your backyard.  Undulating in my hammock, I can be anywhere my imagination takes me. 

It’s hammock time.  You can’t touch this!

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Gardening Tips:

VISIT gorgeous gardens while you travel. For the best private gardens in America that are open to visitors visit www.opendaysprogram.org .

Michael Marriott cottage.rose garden .jpeg

SHAKE out boots or shoes that you leave outside before putting them on your feet. A visitor may have taken up residence inside and give your toes a nibble. (I’ve had lizards, frogs, spiders, and more in my gardening boots!)

PERUSE bulb catalogues to see what new bulbs are emerging for fall planting. Orders will need to be placed before the end of the month for autumn shipping.

JOIN internationally acclaimed speakers, exhibitors, and chefs at America’s largest celebration of pure food with heirloom and organic displays, heritage livestock, poultry, and more at The National Heirloom Exposition September 11-13 in Santa Rosa. Mark your calendars now. Visit www,TheHeirloomExpo.com

EAT more watermelon! A standard slice provides 1/3 of your daily vitamins A and C, plus you’ll get lots of potassium and lycopene with only a 90-calorie bump.

REPAIR broken irrigation pipes immediately. If you notice that your sprinklers have little pressure, look for leaks. Besides wasting water, and the cost incurred, your garden could suffer without proper amounts of H2O. 

Broken pipe.jpg

CALL your electric company (PGE in our area) if you are planning to dig deep holes so that they can make sure you are digging in a safe place. 

SUCCESSION planting is in order if you like a continual crop of lettuces, carrots, beets, radishes, and corn. 

PREPARE a refreshing Jell-O salad that looks like fresh flowers with an online video tutelage. 

Thuy's jello floral salad.jpg

GROW sunflowers to attract bees and pollinators to help terminate the “bee-apocalypse”.

sunflowers - 2.jpg

IMPRESS friends by growing adenium desert rose, an appealing succulent with deep red or pink blossoms that truly shouts, “It’s summer!”

adenium-desert rose.jpg

ROOT cuttings from hydrangeas to expand your collection. 

dark pink hyrangeas.jpg

PLANT lamium pink pom pom in a rock wall to create a crack garden. 

lamium, pink pom pom.jpg

CUT pixie roses for a simple indoor arrangement. If you love roses but have a small area, try planting miniature roses that pack a punch. 

vase of pixie roses.jpg

RELAX this summer with a hammock tied between two trees or poles. 

cynthiq brian hammock - 1.jpg

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1210/Cynthia-Brians-Digging-Deep-for-July-Hammock-Time.html

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of the new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Cynthia Brian'Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Jungle Fever

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Jungle Fever

jungle roots-Lara Croft wat hanchey.jpg

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

~Source Unknown

Completely covered by tangles of roots and vines, it is only in recent years that many ancient grandiose brick and sandstone temples were re-discovered in Cambodia. These monumental structures, built on top of one another for over seven centuries as capitals of the Khmer Empire, have survived the passage of time. The jungle swallowed cities and palaces constructed of wood leaving only skeletal remains and inquisitive monkeys. The bustling, colorful life of the Angkor civilization was left to the imagination and research of historians, explorers, archaeologists, and me.

Angkor Wat.jpg

If you ever watched the 1991 film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, you glimpsed the unexcavated and un-restored temple of Ta Prohm completely reclaimed by the jungle. Immense trees grow like magic out of stonewalls and through roofs. Our guide told us that visitors were allowed to explore the ruins only in the past few years because this area was occupied by cobras, many as long as twenty feet. To deter these venomous serpents from continuing to nest here, lemon grass was planted, and it is keeping the poisonous snakes away.

monkeys.jpgSoutheast Asia is uncomfortably hot and humid. The jungles are wild and untamed. The flora is bright, beautiful, and bizarre.  Palm, coconut, banana, mango, papaya, jackfruit, passion fruit, and breadfruit plantations fill the landscape alongside the never-ending fields of rice. Most villagers don’t have running water or indoor plumbing, the banana groves serve as their toilets.  Nothing is wasted. Every part of a plant is used for food, shelter, fire, clothing, furniture, and other life necessities.

cow-bananasa-cambodia.jpgcoconuts.jpg

Both in Vietnam and Cambodia, water lilies and lotus flowers grow magnificently in the waterways. Although the two are often confused, water lilies have pads and flowers that float on the surface of the water while the lotus flowers and leaves rise a foot to several feet above water. The various colors of the lotus flower retell tales culturally revered.

lotus flowers (1).jpg

Because lotus flowers grow in murky water, an unfurled white lotus refers to purity of body, mind, and spirit. A red lotus boasts of love and compassion. The favorite pink lotus tells the story of Buddha and the many legends surrounding him. Purple represents mysticism, royality, and spirituality.  Lotus flowers are gathered and made into spectacular art pieces delivering the spirit of enlightenment and good fortune to those who embrace their grace and beauty.

betelnut.jpg

Betel leaves and the areca nut are important symbols of love and marriage in Vietnam.  A groom’s parents will begin the conversation with the potential bride’s parents by offering areca nut chewing. In Vietnamese weddings the leaves and juices are used in the ceremony. Betelnut is a stimulant and mind-altering substance. It is also known as “the scourge of Asia” because it causes oral cancer.

jack fruit-Cai Be exursion, floating markets, canoe.jpg

Rich in protein, calcium, potassium, iron, and other nutrients, the leathery, prickly Jackfruit is considered to be a miracle food with the potential to supply an entire family a complete meal. Grown in every garden, mangoes are a main staple of daily diets, considered one of the most important fruits for improved wellness. They are low in calories, filled with vitamin C, A, B6, and beta-carotene, important elements to fighting cancer, regulating diabetes, aiding in better eye sight, digestion, and clear skin.

golden shower flower.jpg

Golden Shower trees were laden with buttery yellow flowers bringing light and cheerfulness to pathways, hills, and cemeteries. One of the most beautiful, yet prickly plants I witnessed was the Crown of Thorns, an evergreen cactus (Euphorbia Milii) that blooms year round in hot and sunny locations. It requires very little water, has spectacular scarlet, pink, yellow, white, or salmon colored bracts, grows to three feet or more, and is covered in one-inch spiky thorns. We can grow it outdoors or as a houseplant, however, as gorgeous as it is, definitely keep it away from children.

crown of thorns plant.jpg

In the Mekong Delta, floating villages and traditional houses on stilts line the banks with residents laboring and living the way they have for centuries, harvesting what the great waters provide to survive and earn a living. Baskets and mats are created from river reeds and water hyacinth, ancient boats advertise their crops for sale with the fruit or vegetable speared on top of a high pole, floating fish farms supply fresh seafood while floating markets sell just picked produce. Sampans are made by hand from felled “Sao” wood, a very water resistant variety of oak.

fresh vegetables at the market.jpg

Discovering the smiling, resilient people and the tranquil lush landscapes untouched by the hands of humans in Southeast Asia, inspired me to pause, breathe deeply, and appreciate this wild, environment once a hotbed of warfare and genocide. Without interruptions from phones and internet, I calmly disconnected from “civilized” chaos to welcome the wonders of essential nature. Spending time meditating in solitude and having a water blessing by monks awakened my sense of gratitude for the gardens of life.

cyn-monks.jpg

Although I never encountered a tiger, I was consumed by jungle fever.

Jungle,lake, tiger.jpg

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for February

The hills are beginning to turn green, the narcissi and camellias are in full bloom, and daffodils are budding. Trees of magnolia and pear are blossoming with bees busily buzzing. Winter is waning. Here are a few things to check off your garden to-do list.

  • ⎫ GATHER up all fallen camellia blossoms to prevent disease in your soil.
  • ⎫ FORCE bulbs of amaryllis or lily of the valley by adding water to a jar with the bulbs and placing near a sunny window.
  • ⎫ PLACE a stem of Daphne by your bedside to sweeten your dreams.
  • ⎫ Add ferns, hostas, and caladiums to a shady spot as companion fillers.
  • ⎫ APPLY final application of dormant spray to fruit trees.
  • ⎫ PLANT anemone, ranunculus, and freesia for late spring blooming. If you already have freesia growing, blooms will appear in late February.
  • ⎫ BUY copies of my newest garden book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, from www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store for best prices and loads of extra freebies. now what to do in your garden every month! Contact me for fees and scheduling to come speak at your event. Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
  • Cynthia Brian's Growing with the Goddess Gardener book.jpg
  • ⎫ SHARPEN tools for spring spading.
  • ⎫ BRING the jungle flavor indoors by purchasing cymbidiums with several spikes of flowers.
  • ⎫ GIVE yourself some moments of silence. Use your outdoors as your contemplation and meditation room.
  • cyn-blessings wat hanchey, cambodia=mekong river view.jpg
  • ⎫ REMEMBER Valentine’s Days with a potted plant or beautiful bouquet for your sweetie.

Happy Love Day! Happy Gardening! Happy Growing!

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1125/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Jungle-fever.htmlCambodian dancers.jpg

 

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 

cyn brian-angkor wat.jpg

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Her new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

angkor ban village-school (1).jpg

Wonders of Cambodia and Vietnam

Posted by Editor on
0
Empowerment
Wonders of Cambodia and Vietnam

 

Lara Croft.jpg

A fascinating, rewarding, and multilayered adventure as Cynthia Brian travels to two of the most beautiful, historic and friendly places in all of Asia–dynamic Vietnam and pastoral Cambodia

.angkor ban village-school.jpg

Intriguing studies in contrast, each country possesses its own unique charm and social traditions, its own tragic history and complex past.

bu meng, survivor of s-21 atist.jpg

From Hanoi, to Siem Riep, Angkor Wat, the Mekong Delta, and Ho Chi Minh City, Cynthia Brian provides a colorful tale of adventure, surprises, sadness, genocide, forgiveness, and recovery as she meets the people and visits the places where the past and present collide in the heat and humidity of jungles, both tropical and concrete.

Cambodian dancers.jpg

Welcome to the 19th radio broadcasting anniversary of StarStyle-Be the Star You Are! with producer and host, Cynthia Brian.

cyn-monks.jpg

Listen at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104019/19th-anniversary-of-btsya-special-with-the-timeless-wonders-of-cambodia

#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Read our BTSYA November Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/162802256b/288055965/bbd34d3431/

When you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind stretching information, you have come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country.

Help with Hurricane & Fire Relief: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste 

 

Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes: Deivering books -car filled.jpg

Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

 

For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit front cover-Growing with the goddess gardener book copy 2.jpg http://www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter