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Fall in a Pot

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Empowerment
Fall in a Pot

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“Truth comes out in wine.” Pliny the Elder

“The people who give you their food give you their heart.”  Cesar Chavez

The fires and smoke have ravaged farms and vineyards throughout Northern California, including my family vineyards in Napa County. The grapes are plump, juicy, and ripe. Harvesting would normally be in full swing this month, but, sadly, with so much smoke suffocating fields throughout the region, wineries require red grape samples to be tested for smoke taint. 

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Smoke taint is concentrated in the skins and during fermentation glycosides break down, releasing the volatile phenols and smoky flavors into the wine. The result tastes like licking an ashtray. The damage is not detectable by looking at or eating a grape. It is only noticeable in the wine. Since white wine isn’t barrel-aged nor use skins, white wine doesn’t experience this smoke taint.

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The largest testing laboratory, ETS in St. Helena is swamped with results backlogged for weeks or, as some growers are finding out, over a month away. If a grower or winery is not a client, they won’t be able to process samples until November. By then the window for harvesting will be over. The grapes will be dried raisins, not suitable for pressing. 

What this means for viticulture in 2020 is that farmers may lose their entire crop and face increased financial hardships as the grapes hang on the vines. There may not be a 2020 red wine vintage as wineries are not allowing deliveries of grapes under contract until the lab results have confirmed an absence of smoke taint. Truth is always evident in the wine.

With the stifling smoke of the past weeks, my normal September gardening tasks have been placed on pause. I am sheltering indoors and suggesting to clients and readers to do the same to maintain health as smoke inhalation peril is increased during Covid-19.  But this doesn’t mean that I’m avoiding my garden. I’ve been asked to write another gardening book and am brainstorming in my library. And, I’m bringing the fruits of my labors inside to my kitchen while I chef it up. 

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“Oh, I can smell the sauce from here,” my charity collaborator and friend, Terry in Washington, emailed me when I wrote her that, to mask the smell of smoke, I was making my family’s traditional homemade spaghetti sauce with ingredients from my waning garden. My process reminded her of being in her Italian great-grandmother’s kitchen. 

With the intense sunshine and heat of the summer, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and herbs are filled with flavor. Being Italian, neither my Nonie, Mom, nor relatives measured anything. A recipe was handed down throughout the generations by watching, doing, and adding “a little of this, a pinch of that”, lots of garlic, and several splashes of wine. We have always cooked by taste, adding spices as needed. Naturally, numerous “malfatti’s” or mistakes occurred, which oftentimes, were our greatest successes.

The best cooks that I’ve ever encountered have also been avid gardeners. Gardeners experience nature using their senses. Gardeners amber through a potager snipping, smelling, nibbling, feeling, and seeing with a profound sensitivity to the innate characteristics of each legume, bloom, or crop. Being an astute chef requires one to know how to mix and match fruits, flowers, vegetables, and herbs to enhance any dish, allowing the natural essences to imbue their zests and aromas. Food must look good, smell good, taste good, and be ultimately satisfying, making one feel good.

Autumn is harvest time. Besides eating our tasty produce now, it is also the perfect opportunity to can or freeze fresh crops to savor during the winter months. 

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What herbs can you dry or freeze:

Basil

Bay

Oregano

Sage

Rosemary

Dill

Thyme

Parsley

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I prefer to freeze basil and parsley or make “sauce ice cubes” with those. The rest of the herbs, I dry, then store in labeled jars. 

Cynthia’s Italian Family Spaghetti Sauce “Recipe”

  •  In a pestle and mortar grind together oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme. You can also use a blender if that is easier for you.
  •  Chop red and yellow onions and several cloves of garlic.
  •  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
  •  Stir in chopped mushrooms.
  •  Add 3 or 4 whole bay leaves and a handful of the mashed herbs.
  •  Gently brown meat (ground beef, lamb, pork, chicken) in the mixture. If you want a vegetarian sauce, skip this part.
  •  Cut 6-10 tomatoes into small pieces. Smash half of the tomatoes. Add cut pieces and the tomato paste to the meat mixture.
  •  Pour in red wine.
  •  Tear 4 or 5 basil leaves into pieces and stir into pot.
  •  Continue adding more wine as necessary. 
  •  Simmer at lowest heat for several hours until all the flavors have melded together. Turn off the burner to let sit.
  •  Sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Optional ingredients include peppers or eggplant. To make a Puttanesca, add olives and capers. 

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The final sauce will be thick, rich, and delicious. Don’t be afraid to make this in advance as flavors are more delectable the next day. Freeze or can any extra sauce. (I always make a big pot and freeze tubs for later consumption.)

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Pour over spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, or any pasta. Toss lightly to blend the sauce. Top with chopped parsley, torn basil leaves, and grated parmesan. Serve with crusty sourdough, a romaine lettuce salad, and a glass of sustainable, locally grown, aged, and bottled Captain Vineyards Petite Sirah. Finish off your meal with fall fruits: a bunch of grapes, tangy tangerine segments, crunchy Asian pears, and a few figs. Buon appetito.

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What are you harvesting in your garden right now? Do you have a family “Fall in a Pot” recipe to share with others? 

My Mom taught me that expressing love came from gardens and home-made food. My Dad taught me that farmers feed the hungry and wine is the nectar of the gods. Both gave their hearts. During these very challenging times as we pray that our California vineyards survive this ordeal, let’s toast to life with a glass of local vino and welcome fall with a pot of goodness from our gardens. 

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In my next column, I plan to be outside once again offering you guidance for autumn gardening. Until then, limit your outdoor exposure when it’s smokey and make sure to water your landscape deeply in the early mornings or late evenings.  Be aware that your containers may need a daily dose of H2O.  For the next two to three months until the rain begins to fall, our area is at imminent risk of fire danger. Be ready to evacuate. Read my article on what you need to know and do to be prepared. https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1414/Are-you-ready-to-evacuate.html

For a ZOOM presentation of, “Tips, Tricks, and Tonics in the Garden” join me on Thursday, September 17th, as I kick-off the 50th Anniversary of the Moraga Garden Club. For information on this ZOOM meeting, call Membership Chair Jane Magnani at 925-451-7031 for times to join in the conversation and presentation. I’ll be participating from my patio for a light, fun, informative, and hopefully smoke-free lecture. 

See photos and more:  https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1415/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Fall-in-a-pot.html

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Happy gardening. Happy growing.

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia 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 Are!® 501 c, celebrating 21 years of service to the community. www.BetheSTARYouAre.org. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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Buy copies of her best-selling books and receive extra freebies, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Happy 21st Anniversary to Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity

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Empowerment
Happy 21st Anniversary to Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity

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HAPPY 21ST ANNIVERSARY TO BTSYA

MIRACLE MOMENT®

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

Oprah Winfrey



MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

Cyn in the garden sunHappy Anniversary to Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3

WOW! 

Be the Star You Are!® has served our cities, counties, country, and world for TWENTY ONE years! On September 9, we reach this milestone and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of our STAR team throughout our journey. It has been a struggle to stay alive and vibrant, but somehow with determination, vigilance, and a spirit to survive, Be the Star You Are!® proudly celebrates 21 years of dedicated service with a 100% volunteer workforce.

We are so grateful to our supporters who make tax-deductible donations to our charity to support our outreach programs. BTSYA has all the expenses of any business: rent, utilities, supplies, postage, internet, furniture, internet services, insurance, storage, etc. and couldn’t continue without the ongoing donations of individuals like you. When I stop to think of all that has been accomplished in the past 21 years, I am really amazed and also humbled.

We have persevered.

We have made a difference.

We remain a grassroots organization.

We celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and innovation.

We are striving for excellence.

We deliver positivity, hope, and healing.

Over the years, I have managed thousands of volunteers. Some volunteered for a single event, some come, go, and return, some have continued for years. I salute you one and all and say THANK YOU for gracing BTSYA with your individuality, skills, expertise, and humor.

With no paid staff and all volunteers, since receiving our 501c3 status in 1999, Be the Star You Are! has:

 

Served 420,820 individuals and families

 

Donated to 110 organizations

 

Logged 500,890 volunteer hours & growing

 

Distributed $2 million in resources

 

Broadcast 2200 unique hours of positive programming through radio broadcasts.

 

Published 4 signature award-winning books, Be the Star You Are!® 99 Gifts, Be the Star You Are!® for Teens, Be the Star You Are!® Millennials to Boomers, and Miracle Moments®,

 

Written and published over 2000 book reviews in collaboration with The Reading Tub and Express Yourself!™ Creative Community.

 

Interviewed over 2500 authors, experts, and celebrities.

Honored by the California Assembly for 20 years of community service. 

Nominated for the California Governor’s and First Lady’s Service Awards

 

Honored with five-star ratings as a Top Rated Non-Profit by GuideStar and Great Non Profits for the Women’s Empowerment, Arts and Culture, and the Arts Appreciation Campaigns since 2010.

And we are just getting started.

Stay tuned for more as Be the Star You Are!® continues to soar.

Learn more about our programs at https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

THANK YOU!

Have a safe and healthy Labor Day weekend. Wear your masks, keep your distance, and respect others.

Living with gratitude and celebrating living,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

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Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


THANK YOU MORAGA CHAMBER

YAAY.gifThe Moraga Chamber of Commerce recently gave a Community Cup Grant to Be the Star You Are!® to help during this challenging Covid-19 crisis. We are so appreciative because all our events have been canceled and funds are necessary to continue inspiration, motivation, communication, and education. Gracias, Gracias, Gracias!

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QUOTE FOR LIVING:

“If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but think you can’t

It’s almost a cinch, you won’t.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster woman or man.

Sooner or later the person who wins

Is the one who thinks she can.”


BE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCIES

Fire Coming over the hillsIn the last few weeks, we’ve experienced unprecedented weather conditions with temperatures in the three digits, ferocious winds, low humidity, thunderstorms, and lightning strikes resulting in more perilous and damaging wildfires. Frightening fire tornadoes, also called fire whirls or firenadoes”, blazed over thousands of acres in Northern California. Dry conditions will only worsen in the forthcoming months. Air quality is precariously unhealthy with dangerous concentrations of tiny PM 2.5 particles that penetrate deep into the lungs.

Natural disasters know no boundaries. One never knows if a fire, earthquake, flood, mudslide, or other calamity is on the horizon. It’s imperative to be prepared for all emergencies. Because of climate change and global warming, we can be assured that our future will include more widespread, frequent, devastating, and deadly natural disasters.

Be Prepared! Read more and Make a “Go Bag”:  https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1414/Are-you-ready-to-evacuate.html 

DONATE TO DISASTER RELIEF


SHOP ONLINE WITHOUT A MASK!

Since we need to stay at home and only go out when absolutely necessary, these are on-line shopping portals that will sell you what you need, offer discounts, and assist our mission as a nonprofit. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials,

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

& buy from your favorite stores.

4. Search and GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/be-the-star-you-are

5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

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6. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks $19.99  and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

T-shirts

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7. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4


DIRECT LINKS you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

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GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

GUIDESTAR/CANDID: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

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We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


PLEASE DONATE

t-shirt_btsya_outlinesBTSYA receives no government or corporate support. We count on YOU to help us help others. During this pandemic, all of our fundraising events have been canceled, yet we continue to support those in need. We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

http://www.btsya.org



CELEBRATE!

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DONATE NOW!

 
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
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Sirius is Serious

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Sirius is Serious

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“When the ancients first observed Sirius emerging as it were from the sun…they believed its power of heat to have been so excessive that…the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid.”  John Brady, 1813, a Compendious Analysis of the Calendar.

Forever the optimist, when I penned my last column, The Dog Days of Summer, (http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1413/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-the-Goddess-Gardener-for-August-The-Dog-Days-of-Summer.html), I intentionally left out the part of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1817 that indicates, “Make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.”

In the last few weeks, we have witnessed the ravages of Sirius with thousands of lightning strikes causing more than six hundred wildfires, millions of acres burned, gusty erratic winds, radically unhealthy air quality, and ash blanketing the state. More land has burned in the last few weeks than burned in all of 2019. Death and destruction are the horrific aftermaths.

Our Napa County farm was amongst the blazing landscapes. Everyone living in the valley where our vineyards and ranch reside was evacuated, yet, with firefighters engaged elsewhere battling numerous other infernos, my brother stayed behind on his tractor to cut roads, create safety zones, and clear debris. The hills and pastures burned. He saved the vineyards, barns, and our family home.

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Between the brutal pandemic, perverse politics, sizzling heat, and suffocating smoke, we all have a reason to despair. To thwart a fire on my hillside, I have cut my dried perennials and annuals to ground level. The only beauty is offered by my faithful blushing naked ladies, lavender society garlic plants, and the passionflower vine that twines up my peach tree. The ground is parched. 

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As I was repairing a broken water pipe so that I could irrigate this arid field, my optimism suddenly resurged. Swallowtails flitted through the smoke-filled air searching for a colorful landing place. A hummingbird settled on my string of patio lights before nuzzling my pink jacobinia growing in a cement urn. A five-lined skink, also known as a blue-tailed lizard, perched on a nearby boulder completely uninterested in my cutting and gluing efforts.

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I completed my project, picked a ripe tangerine from the tree, headed for the hammock, and savored the juice as it dripped down my chin. Swinging, I contemplated my future gardening desires.

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This is the season to start making a list of what you want to grow for the forthcoming months. My succulent garden doesn’t need precipitation to thrive. Adding succulents to your want list is a smart idea.

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Bulbs are easy to grow and most offer yearly returns. Favorites to plant in late autumn for a spring showing include daffodils, tulips, freesia, ranunculus, hyacinth, Dutch iris, anemone, and crocus. Freesias are one of nature’s greatest gifts with splendid scents, a cornucopia of colors, and the ability to naturalize. Daffodils are probably the most popular and least expensive of all the bulbs. Deer, rabbits, and other critters won’t eat them, allowing their happy flowers to bloom for long stretches. When winter is nearing its finale, crocus will make you smile as they push through the soil to reveal their rich colors of blue, violet, yellow, and white. Treat yourself to a garden filled with tulips. You’ll want to buy your bulbs soon as they need to be refrigerated for at least six weeks before planting. For more impact, group colors, shapes, and sizes together in a swath. They are wonderfully interplanted with delphiniums, pansies, and other annuals or perennials for a very merry greeting. 

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After a traumatic summer filled with climatic extremes, sowing seeds for a bountiful harvest of late fall to early winter salad greens and vegetables is a welcome endeavor. 

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What seeds do you want? Try any of these for rapid results. Make sure to water regularly.

Lettuce

Spinach

Arugula

Swiss Chard

Kale

Beets

Fennel

Turnips

Broccoli

Carrot

Kohlrabi

Shallots

Garlic

Radish

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With the seriousness of the sizzling Sirius and the dangerous air quality outside, stay indoors and peruse catalogs and gardening books to get ideas for fall planting. On Thursday, September 17th, I’ll be doing a ZOOM presentation, “Tips, Tricks, and Tonics in the Garden” for the Moraga Garden Club celebrating its 50th anniversary. For information on this ZOOM meeting, call Membership Chair Jane Magnani at 925-451-7031 for times to join in the conversation and presentation. We’ll keep it light, fun, and informative. 

Summer will soon be ending. This is an opportune time to check for sale and clearance items that you may want for your outdoor landscaping for next year. I have found great deals at  https://bit.ly/3aG6qOI including winter covers for patio furniture. As much as I love the heat, the chance of wildfires is omnipresent. Make sure to read my article on how to be prepared in the event of any emergency. This article could save your life. 

https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1414/Are-you-ready-to-evacuate.html

The Roman poet, Virgil described Sirius as “bringer of drought and plague to frail mortals, rises and saddens the sky with sinister light.” The veracity of his narrative has been realized in 2020.  The sea has not yet boiled and let’s hope the wine doesn’t spoil. I’m grateful to my brother for saving our ranch and thankful to the first responders and firefighters on the front lines of the flames.

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Now more than ever, we need large doses of humor, hope, and healing. Let’s employ kindness and empathy for one another as we prepare for planting autumn bulbs and seeds.  A bright and beautiful spring display is only two seasons away. Embrace optimism and gratitude. 

Photos: http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1414/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Sirius-is-serious.html

Happy gardening. Happy growing.

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia 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 Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her best-selling books and receive extra freebies, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

Summer Dog Days

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Summer Dog Days

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Digging Deep with Cynthia Brian, the Goddess Gardener, for August

The Dog Days of Summer

By Cynthia Brian

“Dog Days bright and clear, indicate a happy year!” The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1817

Sirius, the Dog Star, rises in summer in the Northern Hemisphere with the “dog days” traditionally beginning on the 3rd of July and ending on the 11th of August. The ancient Egyptians welcomed Sirius as a forecaster of the floods of the Nile River. They could prepare for the river’s overflow delivering much needed rich soil to their deserts or destruction to their lands. The Greeks and Romans did not appreciate the sweltering weather believing Sirius, meaning “scorching” in Greek, brought drought, disease, and disaster. The Roman poet, Virgil, described Sirius as the “bringer of drought and plague to frail mortals.”  

August 11th has come and gone, yet the month of August is notoriously hot, dry, and this year, permeated with a global pandemic. And although the historical meaning of “dog days” has nothing to do with our canine comrades, it is a fact that many house-bound families have decided to adopt a hound or two. What better time to romp in the yard with a new puppy than now as we shelter-in-place?

Although you need to keep yourself and your dog well-hydrated in this hot weather, if you planted a succulent garden earlier in the season, you don’t need to waste any water by running the irrigation system. Succulents and cactus thrive in the heat and offer texture, color, form, and interest when planted with consideration. Silk trees and oleanders provide a long blooming season but do not let your hound chew on any oleander leaves as they are poisonous.

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A sparkling clean gurgling fountain can be the watering hole for your pet while placing a small saucer filled with marbles or stones that I call a “butterfly bowl” will be a lifesaver for butterflies, bees, lizards, and other insects.

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While you are out playing with your pooches, glance through your garden to see what projects await attention. I find that these hazy days of August are a great time to assess the needs of my yard. If you have weeds anywhere, they need to be pulled or at least cut to the base before they seed and invade more of your landscape. If perennials have finished flowering, it’s time to deadhead to encourage a repeat bloom. Do your hedges need trimming? Are any sprinkler heads broken? Is your nightscaping working? If your clay soil is compacted, it requires mulch and compost to regenerate the nutrients. Composting is easy and your doggie will probably enjoy helping you to create a compost pile, although don’t let him do his business in it!

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Making Compost

To make nutrient-rich compost, all you need is a combination of greens and browns. The greens are vegetable and fruit peelings, grass clippings, eggshells, coffee grinds, tea leaves, and other organics. The brown is wood shavings, small branches, sawdust, cardboard newspaper.  Keep a lidded pail under your kitchen sink, in the garage, or at the back door for ease of use and just scrape the scraps into the pail. When the pail is full, pour into a 3 x 3 x 3-foot enclosure in an out-of-the-way area or buy a compost tumbler. If you have chickens or rabbits, add their manure to the batch. If you made a pile, with a pitchfork, turn the compost regularly.  Keep the contents damp, and when the compost turns crumbly with a texture of a chocolate cake, it is ready. Add it to your flowerbeds as a fertilizer, moisture retainer, and soil enricher.

Although we want to discourage our furry friends from munching on our plants, if you want a beautiful flowering plant that is not harmful to indoor pets, look no further than orchids. 

spotted mauve phalaenopsis orchid.jpgMy spotted mauve phalaenopsis orchid has been blooming continuously for the past four years. Orchids are trouble-free and undemanding. Just leave them alone, put an ice cube once a week in their container, and let them beautify your home. Outdoors, begonias are now gorgeously in full bloom and they are toxic to all animals. 

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Our dogs watch us eat and they may be inclined to want to join the party. Use caution and knowledge when feeding your canine anything but dog food. Grapes will be ripening in the next few weeks but as delicious as they are for humans, don’t be tempted to feed any to your dog.

green grapes.jpgGrapes can be toxic to a dog, damaging the kidneys, and for some, even eating one grape could be fatal.  Beets and cucumbers are ready to be harvested along with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and numerous herbs.

beets.jpgIf you plant tomatoes in a large pot with parsley and basil, you can move the container to follow the sun. In small amounts, ripe tomatoes (not green, too much solanine), cucumbers, peppers (specifically red), and eggplants can contribute to a healthy immune system for your dog. Consult your veterinarian before dispensing any fruit or vegetable to your pet.

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Summer is the time to pick and dry fresh herbs to be savored all year. Home-grown herbs have more flavor than store-bought varieties. If your dog has bad breath, a sprig of mint or parsley will remedy the odor. 

It’s easy to dry your own by following these simple steps.

Drying Herbs

  1. 1. Harvest herbs in the morning after the dew has dried. Make sure to pick herbs before they begin to flower. Flowers can be used in all food preparations, but to save your herbs, it’s best to have foliage, not flowers.
  2. 2. Make a clean cut using a sharp shear. Don’t pull herbs or you may disturb the entire plant.
  3. 3. Rinse in cool water, pat with a towel.
  4. 4. Choose a hot, dark, and dry spot where temperatures will be 80 degrees or higher without any humidity. A garage, shed, attic, porch, or even a closet can work. Light degrades the essential oils, thus, make sure the area will be dark.
  5. 5. For large leaf herbs such as basil and mint, the best drying method to place the stems on a rack or screen to allow for air circulation. A window screen works great.
  6. 6. For small to medium-sized leaves such as parsley, sage, thyme, dill, or cilantro, gather into bunches of a dozen stems and hang from the rafters. Don’t hang herbs in the kitchen as steam and the brightness will destroy your craft.

Most herbs only take a week to three weeks to dry perfectly. They can then be put in airtight jars or canisters and stored for future use. Dried herbs make excellent gifts for a cook who is a non-gardener, too. Most herbs are a healthy additive for dogs, but, again, always consult with your vet first.

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Although the dog days of summer are over, you still have time to romp with Rover and watch the twinkling Dog Star in the predawn darkness. Sirius will be the brightest star in the heavens for the next 210,000 years shining with glints of red and blue sparkles! 

Happy gardening. Happy growing.

Read more: http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1413/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-the-Goddess-Gardener-for-August-The-Dog-Days-of-Summer.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia 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 Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Be a Super Hero…Wear a Mask!

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Empowerment
Be a Super Hero…Wear a Mask!

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Read at

http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/ca35fa6abb/288055965/bbd34d3431/

BE a SUPER HERO! WEAR A MASK!

MIRACLE MOMENT®

masked little girl 2“You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin 

 


MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

Cynthia Brian-Mask-HatHow are you doing in our 8th month of this horrid pandemic? Are you wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing your hands, and being responsible?

If not, please heed this message because Covid-19 is a devastating disease that will negatively affect you and those you love.

As of August 11, global Covid-19 cases have doubled from 10 million to 20,395,035 million, and those are only the cases that are reported. It is estimated that the numbers are at least 10 times those that are reported. The death toll is 741,807. It took 6 months for cases to reach 10 million and only 6 weeks to reach 20 million. Half of those cases are in just 3 countries-the United States, India, and Brazil. California, Texas, Florida, and New York lead the pack with confirmed cases over 500,000 and thousands of deaths.

If you read this newsletter, my blogs, or listen to our radio shows, you know that since March 11, my office has been closed and I have been sheltering-in-place with only occasional quick visits to the post office while wearing a mask, gloves, glasses, and a hat. My husband’s office was also closed and only reopened the end of June after he purchased all the pandemic protection equipment including masks, shields, gloves, gowns, goggles, security dividers, thermometers, sanitizers, specialized air filters, mouth rinses. He and his staff follow a very strict protocol for working with patients as do medical professionals everywhere.

We have all experienced our favorite salon, restaurant, pub, gym, bank, or store reopening only to be shuttered because an employee gets sick with Covid-19. It’s heartbreaking for the patrons and financially disastrous for the owners and employees.

I witnessed this recently when a close friend’s company was impacted.

Two weeks ago, an employee fell ill. Seven days later the office was informed that this employee tested positive for Covid-19. The business had to immediately close, all staff and their families had to be tested, all clients informed, and contact tracing begun. Because of a back-log at the labs, results from tests can take anywhere from 4-14 days. In this case, seven days elapsed. Everyone was instructed to stay home until a negative result was determined. Fortunately for my friend, his staff, and all their contacts, the test results were negative so work could be resumed within 12 days. But that was 12 days without income or services.

This is occurring everywhere around the country as businesses attempt to re-open. However, when even one person tests positive with Covid-19 in the workplace, the business must close. No one can go to work.  The one positive infection exponentially affects hundreds, perhaps thousands of individuals and businesses. Many people live with several generations and everyone has to be tested and traced. Family members and friends become angry about the possibility of exposure, especially when many are being so careful. Everyone is losing out on earning a living. Many people live pay check to pay check and missing work for a week or more could mean ruin.

Even though every protocol is adhered to in a workplace, an employer can’t dictate what an employee does on her/his private hours. But there is one thing that everyone can easily do to curb the spread and that is to wear a mask when in public.

The power and potency of wearing a mask and social distancing can not be over emphasized. Wearing a mask is NOT a political gesture, it is the responsible action. Covid-19 strikes everyone and anyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that if everyone wore a mask throughout the United States for the next few months, over 40,000 lives could be saved.

The volatile political landscape is fraught with misinformation. Contrary to what some politicians have claimed, Covid-19 is not going away, in fact, it is ramping up. The disease knows no boundaries. It doesn’t care what political party you belong to, what religion you practice, or where you live. It is an equal opportunity infector with people of color and lower-income households heavily hit. If you are gathering with groups and not wearing protective gear, you are risking your health and maybe your life as well the lives of those you love. Pay attention to evidence based health experts and scientists. Get your information from the CDC, not from social media or the campaign trail.

As coronavirus surges, labs are struggling to keep up with testing. Having to wait for a week to 14 days for results renders a test useless to prevent transmission. The CDC states that currently we are identifying only 1 in 10 cases because we are testing so few people. Currently no vaccine is available to prevent coronavirus Covid-19. To bring the pandemic under control we need rapid testing. We need to be able to test daily or weekly without cost and receive results within an hour or at most, 24 hours. Only then can we safely send our children to school and reopen our economy. The federal government must step up its leadership to safely ensure that we can go to work and gather. For now, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.

Are you old enough to remember cars without seatbelts? I am. Our family of seven would pile into a truck or a station wagon and there wasn’t a seat belt in sight. At first when seat belts were introduced, a public outcry occurred. But today, I wouldn’t dare get into any vehicle without first buckling up.

Closer to home, you’ve probably engaged in a Zoom or SKYPE call for personal or business reasons. You could easily wear a lovely shirt or blouse on the top part of your body while your bottom is wearing underwear. But if you need to go to the market, I bet you add a pair of pants or a skirt! Right?

This autumn, major designers are adding masks to their haute couture lines. Whether or not there will be runway shows, you will be seeing coordinating outfits with a mask to match. Masks are going to be the next hot trend for looking hip, cool, and well-dressed.

Covid-19 is a non-partisan pandemic and it is at our doorstep. For accurate information visit https://www.cdc.gov.

Put a smile on your face and start viewing masks as a beautiful, life-saving accessory.

 

Remember, super heroes wear masks. 

You, too, can be a superhero. Cape not necessary!

Be brave, be smart, be strong. Do your part. WEAR A MASK!

Living with gratitude and wearing a mask,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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jonathan jackson-headshotOur newest and youngest reporter on Express Yourself! is 13 year old Jonathan Jackson who will be showcasing a segment called Jay’s Sports World beginning on September 13th.  Be on the lookout for this new talent.

Hello, My name is Jonathan Jackson. I am 13 years old and from California. I enjoy playing sports and spending quality time with my friends and family. Basketball has always had a special place in my life. It is not only recreational for myself but it’s also mental and emotional . I like to compete and I love to show my passion for both the game and its history.  I have always had a natural curiosity towards all sports.  This has created a desire to become a future sports journalist . I am a student athlete that is trying to maintain a 4.0 GPA. This will help to achieve my dream of going to UCLA and joining their journalism program. I love to talk, and I guarantee you will love my show! https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

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TOGETHER IN UNITY AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS CALAMITY

Siri Phaneendra-8-2020by Siri Phaneendra

Eradicating the coronavirus involves a team effort and the cooperation of everyone. It is imperative for us to come together in unity against calamity.

As Greek philosopher Aristotle emphasized, ‘Society is something that precedes the individual.’ It is not about you and me — it is about humanity. Even if one life can be saved, isn’t it our moral obligation to wear a mask? The efficacy of wearing a mask can only be enhanced when every individual in the vicinity makes a conscious effort to do so.

The asymptotic nature of the virus causes it to exponentially spread like a forest fire. Let’s not add fuel to the fire by protecting ourselves and others. Spread love, not the virus.”

Siri Phaneendra studies Computer Science at UC Berkeley and is a recipient of the Cal Alumni Association Leadership Award. She is the founder of drawmylove.com, a company that provides people a platform to express their love by creating physical books with customizable characters. Siri  is a host on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio on the Voice America Network.

 


BE UPLIFTED WITH BE THE STAR YOU ARE!® RADIO BROADCASTS

2016 Promo Banner bothshows-no picsAs part of our Be the Star You Are! Disaster Relief Outreach program (https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste), StarStyle® Productions, LLC and Be the Star You Are!® are showcasing authors, artists, actors, poets, musicians, and many others, all of whom had had their gigs canceled and are out of work.

We believe in supporting creativity that provides escape and joy, especially during tough times.

Tune in to StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® on Wednesdays at 4pm PT for “Wednesdays with Writers and Performers” LIVE http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are as well as our teen program, Express Yourself!™ airing on Sundays at 3pm PT for “Super Smart Sundays” https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

Both programs broadcast on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel and will be archived on that site.


Angelica Paramoshin SURVIVING THE UNKNOWN

by Angelica Paramoshin 

I remember the days of March that were so heavily flooded with normality. Crowds of individuals flocked towards train stations like classes of fish swimming through reefs. In the present day, we all crave that forgotten feeling of normality. We miss the days when we were able to peacefully stroll through the streets watching all forms of life flourish around us. Now that we are all stuck within the barriers of our homes, we cannot fathom what is to come.

Numerous individuals have struggled to assimilate into this newfound lockdown in quarantine and ultimately, have sunk into a never-ending whirlpool of emotional turmoil. As someone who is currently writing this from the confines of her room, I understand how mentally exhausting it can be having minimal social interaction with the people you were once inseparable from. People have forgotten to take care of their emotional well-being because their feelings of anxiety and fear of the unknown leave little space for glimmers of positivity and improvement.

Although we are living amongst the presence of a pandemic, we must continue to live for ourselves and not simply for the need to survive. Everyone deserves a day dedicated to themselves. Even reading a few pages of a novel you’ve been wanting to read, allows your mind and soul to flow through a river of serenity and peace. It is okay to take a step back and breathe. We are all on this mystical planet together and we will survive together.

Angelica Paramoshin currently is a rising senior in high school devoting her time during this pandemic to volunteering with Be the Star You Are!®. 

 


SUMMER SURVIVAL READING

the reading tub logoOur Star Teen Book Review Team is busy reading and writing reviews for you to enjoy this summer. Reviews are honest and the personal experience of each writer. Check them out at our website, http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html, and at our partner, The Reading Tub, https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/.

Many thanks to our Book Review Coordinator, Stephanie Cogeos, for keeping us on track. If you are interested in joining our team and you are genuinely interested in being of service to others, you can find the info at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html


SHOP ONLINE WITHOUT A MASK!

Since we need to stay at home and only go out when absolutely necessary, these are on-line shopping portals that will sell you what you need, offer discounts, and assist our mission as a nonprofit. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials,

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

& buy from your favorite stores.

4. Search and GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/be-the-star-you-are

5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

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6. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks $19.99  and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

T-shirts

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7. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4


DIRECT LINKS you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

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GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

GUIDESTAR/CANDID: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

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We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


PLEASE DONATE

t-shirt_btsya_outlinesBTSYA receives no government or corporate support. We count on YOU to help us help others. During this pandemic, all of our fundraising events have been canceled, yet we continue to support those in need. We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

http://www.btsya.org



 MASK UP! Leave a Sparkle

DONATE NOW!

 
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556


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Hot, Hot, Hot!

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Empowerment
Hot, Hot, Hot!

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Some Like it Hot!

By Cynthia Brian

“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Henry James

The blackberry bushes flanked the horse stables on my grandparents’ ranch. My grandmother was a genuine horse whisperer. She lovingly cared for a herd of adopted steeds and rode in parades in her fancy Western wear. She even trained the horse for the television show, My Friend Flicka. Together, after an early morning gallop through the fields and vineyards, she would give my cousin and me an empty pail and challenge us to a blackberry picking contest. Our reward was a big bowl of berries with fresh cream dusted with cereal. I adored my horse-loving grandmother and those luscious summer blackberries. 

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Although I’ve always treasured horses, I stopped liking blackberries when I started growing my own. The thorns are menacing, and the bushes sprout everywhere with their underground runners. In the heat of summer, my days are filled with pulling out blackberry vines from flower beds instead of picking fruit. But this year I have a bumper crop of big juicy berries in an area where I’ve allowed them to flourish. I decided to risk the scratches to re-live the free-flowing glory days spent with my grandmother riding horses and gobbling blackberries in rich purple cream. It’s a short season for blackberries and they like it hot.

Meteorologists have predicted that 2020 has a 75% chance of being the hottest ever recorded. The good news is that we grow many specimens in our gardens that thrive in the heat. The bad news is that the Artic is rapidly warming and climate change is sinister. We must strive to reduce our carbon footprint while we indulge in the summer flavors of favorite fruits and vegetables and the beauty of heat-tolerant blossoms.

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Unless you can water deeply and daily, August is not an optimal month to plant anything. But it is a month to enjoy the high-temperature lovers. Tomatoes, tomatillos, beans, peppers, eggplant, beets, zucchini, basil, and corn are a few of the vegetables that demand six to eight hours of sunshine to flourish. Summer fruits that require heat to ripen include peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, blueberries, figs, and, of course, blackberries. Limes are the only citrus that require a blistering summer to be at their best. By growing your choices in containers, specifically tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, substantial sunlight can be guaranteed by moving the pots to different areas and watering when necessary. 

I have a pistache planted in a large ceramic cask that has already turned a vibrant red while other in-ground pistache trees are still a brilliant green. Crape myrtle trees, hollyhocks, and agapanthus pop into magnificent blooms when the thermometer rises. Lavender, salvia, sage, and roses grow vigorously in summer. Ubiquitous oleander and the common geranium beat the heat with a profuse of petals lasting until the cold weather begins. 

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As a child, the Four O’clocks lining our country road opened daily exactly at the prescribed hour. The ones that perennially sprout in my Lamorinda garden germinated from those ranch heirloom seeds do not live up to their namesake. My errant sun-worshippers open at 8 a.m. and close by 4 p.m. 

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Blissfully, right on cue, just as my hillside is looking drab, dry, and dismal, my Naked Ladies poke their long necks out from their mounds. Every year I delight in their ability to shimmer when most everything else is withering.

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The big question in the cauldron of August is when and how-to water. Just because a plant is drought resistant or heat-tolerant doesn’t mean it doesn’t get thirsty. To keep our garden healthy, we can’t under-water or over-water. What’s the secret? The optimum time to water is very early morning to prepare your garden for the day. The roots will retain the moisture and the plant will stay hydrated. Watering in the afternoon wastes water as it evaporates before it can saturate the soil. The evening is also a good time to water as long as the leaves have enough time to dry out. Watering at night encourages fungus, insects, and rot. Deep-root watering is always better than sprinkling. Adding three inches of mulch around all plants and trees will aid in keeping the moisture level correct while keeping the roots cooler.

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If you have a swimming pool, pond, or fountain, you may discover that honeybees appear to be suicide bombers this month. Rescue them. When it is scorching, bees search for water then return to the hive to let other bees know the location of the source. A group of fifteen or more may tap the pool surface bringing back the droplets to receiver bees. According to entomologists, the water is then deposited along the edge of the wax comb while bees inside the comb fan their wings to circulate the air conditioning. Bees prefer hive temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit, so they like it hot, too!

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August will be a sizzling month. Make sure you and your garden stay hydrated. Enjoy the fruits, vegetables, and flowers that relish the swelter. Pick a basket of blackberries, with or without horse-back riding. 

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Stay cool and enjoy a summer afternoon of hot, hot, hot!

Cynthia Brian’s Garden Product Tips

 

It’s important to frequent and support your local nurseries, garden centers, and stores, however, during the pandemic, many people are safely sheltering-in-place as much as possible. If you prefer armchair shopping with delivery to your home, these are affiliate suppliers that offer quality and satisfaction for almost everything outdoor and garden related.  Some have current sales and others offer free shipping with minimum orders. 

  •  High-quality gardening products including umbrellas canopies, gazebos, hammocks, furniture, and more with a 15% off sale through August 10th , Use Code SELECT15: https://bit.ly/30L5yUA
  •  An extensive selection of live plants, seeds, & gardening accessory products, plus trees, shrubs, fruit trees, perennials, & bulbs.

https://bit.ly/2P6FAFL

  •  Furniture and structures for both outdoor and indoor living including pergolas, bridges, gazebos, sunrooms, and birdhouses, plus a kids’ corner with play structures and more.

https://bit.ly/2D4ymPL

  •  Fountains, firepits, hammocks, carts, umbrellas, bird feeders, relaxation products, and more. https://bit.ly/3eXqNHU
  •  And if the pandemic will be ushering in a new baby in the family soon, congratulations, check out the gear, furniture, and décor at https://bit.ly/2WQv7lJ
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For photos and descriptions list https://www.cynthiabrian.com/home-garden-products

Happy gardening. Happy growing.

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1412/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Some-like-it-hot.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia 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 Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

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Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

Cast of Paramount Film, Mighty Oak and Author of Never Sit If You Can Dance, Jo Giese

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Cast of Paramount Film, Mighty Oak and Author of Never Sit If You Can Dance, Jo Giese

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SAG/AFTRA member Cynthia Brian continues Wednesdays with Writers and Performers on StarStyle® giving authors, actors, artists, and entertainers who have had their live performances and events canceled due to Covid-19 a platform to shine. Find out how brilliant our world talent is right here on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!

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MIGHTY OAK tells the story of Gina (Janel Parrish, “Pretty Little Liars,” To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), a band manager who struggles after losing her brother/lead singer (Levi Dylan, 12 Mighty Orphans) in a fatal car accident while traveling to a gig.  A decade later, Gina meets a 10-year-old music prodigy named Oak, played by newcomer Tommy Ragen, a real-life prodigy whose music inspired the screenplay.  Oak seems to possess the same qualities as Gina’s late brother, inspiring her to pull her life back together and try to reunite the band with Oak as its new front man. Directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer), guests to be interviewed by Cynthia Brian include Tommy Ragen (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock Broadway Musical), Rodney Hicks (Rent, Come From Away) Gianna Harris (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock Broadway Musical), and Ben Milliken (Bosch, Blue Crush  www.mightyoakthemovie.com

Official Trailer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ba40pACGBZ0

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At a turbulent time in America, when personal connections are fleeting and shared values rare, award-winning journalist and author Jo Giese offers uplifting lessons in old-fashioned civility in her memoir, Never Sit If You Can Dance: Lessons from My Mother. The lessons are wisdom from a mother of the 20th century for a daughter in the 21st century. www.jogiese.com

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Bio: Tommy Ragen

Tommy Ragen is a 12 year old musician, songwriter, producer, and actor. He has released three albums “9, Rocket, and Heart Emoji”. He played the lead role of “Oak” in the Paramount Pictures movie Mighty Oak. Mighty Oak features eight original songs co-written by Tommy and Caroline Corn. He was, also, a cast member on the First National Broadway Tour of The School Of Rock the Musical.

  www.mightyoakthemovie.com

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Bio: Rodney Hicks

Rodney is a longtime New Yorker, originally from Philly who now resides in Colorado. He is an Award winning Black Gay

Male Artist. His play FLAME BROiLED had its World Premiere at Local Theater Company in Boulder, CO in the Fall of 2019.

The play was awarded the 2019 Eulipions Fund on behalf of The Denver Foundation. Previous versions of his plays MS.

PEARL’S CABARET and JUST PRESS SAVE were a 2019 and 2018 Semi-Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference.,

respectively. Rodney was last seen on Broadway as Bob & Others in Come From Away; Clarence Norris in The Scottsboro

Boys, Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar (2000 Revival) and the Original Cast of RENT. He currently has a supporting role in

the newly released Paramount Studios film ‘Mighty Oak’ at Drive in’s and movie theaters. Rodney is a peace and love

practitioner/meditator as well as a playwright and actor. www.rodneyhicks.net/ Follow on instagram: @rodneyhickshere Facebook: Rodney Hicks     

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Bio: Gianna Harris

Gianna Harris is a 15 year old singer, musician, actor and dancer. She plays the guitar, piano, bass and ukulele. Gianna discovered her love for performing in 2015 and as an amateur she performed at MSG during the Knicks half-time show and Apollo Theater. Gianna’s professional career started in March of 2016 when she got her first big role in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s School of Rock on Broadway. In 2017 she graduated from Broadway and joined the touring company of School of Rock. Her most recent role is Emma Biggs in Mighty Oak. When Gianna is not acting she is either writing and recording music, reading or riding her skateboard. Her favorite color is lavender and her favorite dessert is choc chip cookies. Gianna is a huge advocate and voice for Mental Health Awareness and LQBTQ+ Equality. Insta: @thegiannaharris

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Bio: Ben Milliken

Born in Manchester, England, Ben was raised in Bilgola Beach located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Ben, then moved to Los Angeles where we quickly began landing roles in multiple film and television projects, including Universal’s “Blue Crush 2”. Most recently, Ben landed a role in season 5 of Amazon’s hit show “Bosch”.   www.mightyoakthemovie.com

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Bio: Sean McNamara

Sean Patrick McNamara is an Irish-American writer, director and producer of the break out hit “Soul Surfer” (Tri-Star Pictures). “Spare Parts” from the Wired Magazine article “La Vida Robot” (Lionsgate), “The Moon and the Sun” (Paramount Pictures), “Raise Your Voice” (New Line Cinema), “Hoovey,” “Field Of Lost Shoes” and many more Feature Films and Television shows have been Helmed and produced by Sean. He is the director of Mighty Oak. www.mightyoakthemovie.com

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Bio: Jo Giese

Jo Giese is an award-winning radio journalist, author, teacher, community activist, and former TV reporter. As a special correspondent, she was part of the Peabody Award–winning team at Marketplace, the most popular business program in America. At Marketplace she won an EMMA for Exceptional Radio Story from the National Women’s Political Caucus and a GRACIE from the Foundation of American Women in Radio. She has contributed to Ira Glass’s This American Life and is the author of A Woman’s Path (St. Martin’s Press) and The Good Food Compendium (Doubleday). She has written for many top publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, the LA Weekly, European Travel & Life, BARK, Montana Outdoors, and The Malibu Times. An intrepid and enthusiastic world traveler, Jo has visited more than 50 plus countries. She lives in Southern California and Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, Ed Warren. www.jogiese.com, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjogiese/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giesejo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jogiese7

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Listen at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel: 

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/124732/cast-of-paramount-film-mighty-oak-and-author-jo-giese

LIVE SHOW 4-5pm PT: https://bit.ly/3cDti0Z

Places to Listen to StarStyle Radio:

Apple Itunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are/id669630180?mt=2

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iftzhum24ektnw3ocfq3keduefq

Tunein: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Motivational/StarStyle—Be-the-Star-You-Are-p46014/

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/voice-america/be-the-star-you-are

IHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-starstyle-be-the-star-you-31083110/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4zDdwzlsHH44caWiMQdD25

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Be the Star You Are! 501 c3 charity offers help, hope, and healing for women, families and youth in need.

BTSYA Operation Disaster Relief. Please donate. http://ow.ly/ks8A30lekGe

Read how BTSYA is Making a Difference: https://www.ibpa-online.org/news/460747/IBPA-Member-Spotlight-Cynthia-Brian.htm 

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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Read our Newsletter

Surviving Summer: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/0a3dd7c6f7/288055965/bbd34d3431/

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Small DONATIONS Make a Big Difference to Others: Decrease Violence. Increase Literacy. 

$25 provides 5 new books.

$50 provides 12 new books.

$100 provides 28 new books.

Donate via Paypal Giving Fund

https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504 

or Visit www.BTSYA.org

RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS:  Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World and Growing with the Goddess Gardener. Available at www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store or  www.StarStyleStore.net

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Book Newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/2e05cd10ed/288381033/82c07ab8f2/

YouTube book announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ru354Mhvu0&feature=youtu.be

Check our Book Reviews at our website, https://www.BTSYA.org or at our literacy partner, The Reading Tub: https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/ 

Discount Software, Digital content. Ebooks, Games: http://www.humblebundle.com/store?partner=1504&charity=1504

Shopping online? Use Amazon Smile at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 . Amazon donates to Be The Star You Are, Inc..

Giving Assistant-Shop at over 3300 stores and save BIG:  https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

Show your support for your favorite nonprofit by making a generous donation. You will be making a huge difference in someone’s life! Be the Star You Are! is a TOP NON-PROFIT http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/be-the-star-you-are-inc

surviving solely on individual donations. Show Your LOVE! https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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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. Catch up with all broadcasts on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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

For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

Lend us Your Ears!!!

Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio

If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

https://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2206

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Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving  http://www.paypal.me/BetheStarYouAre

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

GUIDESTAR: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Need an injection of positivity, passion, & purpose to boost productivity & joy? Invite Cynthia Brian into your circle of chaos as we grow confidence & energy through simple coaching techniques that tap into your inner star. Accepting clients.  https://www.CynthiaBrian.com

Make your life happen!

Starstyle, Be the Star You Are, and Miracle Moments are registered trademarks of Cynthia Brian

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Surviving Summer!

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Empowerment
Surviving Summer!

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SURVIVING SUMMER!

MIRACLE MOMENT®

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 

                         Eleanor Roosevelt  1884-1962, Former First Lady


MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

CYNTHIA BRIAN SUNFLOWER 2According to reports, more that 1/3 of the population are currently depressed. With the deadly pandemic, civil unrest, political upheaval, unemployment, climate change, travel restrictions, school closures, and stock market ups and downs, it’s no wonder that people feel disoriented. Although we are all in this together, every situation is different. And when we feel burdened, sad, or disillusioned, it doesn’t hurt any less because others are experiencing the same.

We are in pain. We feel the ache, the anguish, the agony, the loneliness, the sorrow. We feel human.

The good news is that as long as you are feeling something, anything, you are alive with  the possibility and potential that things will get better. Summer is normally a time for fun, family, friends and vacations. This year, we all just want to survive the chaos.

Make an effort to get out of the shadows of fear and stand in the sunshine. Reach out to help someone and you will feel better. Being of service to others has that effect. Give yourself a break to walk in nature. Listen to the birds. Watch the passing clouds. Smell the roses. Feel the wind on your cheek. Taste a freshly-picked tomato. Roll in the grass. Run through a sprinkler.

“This too shall pass!” We just don’t know when. We will survive this horror. In the meantime, hang in there. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Stay at home when feasible. Be brave. Be strong.

Living with gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org


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BE UPLIFTED WITH BE THE STAR YOU ARE!® RADIO BROADCASTS

As part of our Be the Star You Are! Disaster Relief Outreach program (https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-operation-hurricane-disaste), StarStyle® Productions, LLC and Be the Star You Are!® are showcasing authors, artists, actors, poets, musicians, and many others, all of whom had had their gigs canceled and are out of work. We believe in supporting creativity that provides escape and joy, especially during tough times. You’ll even meet the cast of the new film by director, Sean McNamara, “Mighty Oak”.

Tune in to StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® on Wednesdays at 4pm PT for “Wednesdays with Writers and Performers” LIVE http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are as well as our teen program, Express Yourself!™ airing on Sundays at 3pm PT for “Super Smart Sundays” https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

Both programs broadcast on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel and will be archived on that site. You can also listen to all of our broadcasts on the following platforms:

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Places to Listen to StarStyle Radio:

Live Show: https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

Apple itunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are/id669630180?mt=2

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iftzhum24ektnw3ocfq3keduefq

Tunein: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Motivational/StarStyle—Be-the-Star-You-Are-p46014/

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/voice-america/be-the-star-you-are

IHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-starstyle-be-the-star-you-31083110/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4zDdwzlsHH44caWiMQdD25

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Places to Listen to Express Yourself! Teen Radio

Listen at Voice America Network: https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

Apple iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id481894121

Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iiee6vo3fccc7qc4ac4naqvjnc4

Tunein: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Young-Adult/Express-Yourself-p401071/

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/voice-america/express-yourself

iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-express-yourself-31136273/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/24ol79nCzJ1wzao8pTYysj


PANDEMIC FREEDOM

andrea smith wetsuitby Andrea Smith

Living during a global pandemic can feel extremely isolating and lonely. We are social people living in a social world. Suddenly our world is completely turned around. Before quarantine we had never-ending things to check off the daily list. Think about it, when was the last time that you took 15 minutes just to sit and breathe? The society we live in is constantly moving at a rate so fast that we must sprint to keep up.

Unfortunately, the consequence of this is that the beauty of solitude is long forgotten. We lose sight of the bigger picture in life, what in the end will make us happy rather than what society says will make us happy.  If we aren’t attuned with ourselves, how can we possibly be truly attuned with others?

At the start of quarantine, I began writing each night in a journal. My diary acts as a best friend, for paper will always listen, never judge, and never tell. The act of writing brings you to a place where time no longer moves, where you can finally take a moment and breathe. Sadly it’s an art that has been lost, hidden under the shadows due to the boom in technology. But like any art, it has the power to change your life.

Art gives you relief from the pressuring norms of society and allows you to become more than your accomplishments or failures. Art liberates us, lets us go where we want to go, and be who we want to be. Grab a piece of paper, start writing, and let yourself free.

Andrea Smith is our newest reporter of the segment “In the Spotlight” and host on Express Yourself!® Teen Radio. She is a high school senior who loves swimming and everything related to the ocean. She is extremely passionate about Model United Nations and ways to live a happy and healthy lifestyle! https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself


“I am so happy to be a part of this team! The past weeks have been an absolute blast and I can’t wait for what is to come!! 🙂 I am so grateful for you! Thanks again!” Andrea Smith


THE VIRTUAL VIRTUOUS WOMAN

Priscilla Mac-gownBy Priscilla Mac

Being a responsible woman of virtue on the internet means being resourceful and giving back to others who are your audience. You can do this in any way that is in sync with your brand and talents but the best way to be resourceful is to make your audience think.

How?

By sharing knowledge and allowing them to take action steps of research. Posting books, articles and blogs that you find online and even newsletters like the one you are reading now help your audience grow. It’s also a great conversation piece to share ideas, opinions and other virtual findings that your audience has access to that perhaps you do not. It all begins with the brave step of putting it out there. I know we tend to think that what we are interested in others aren’t but that’s not always true sisters. Being a Virtual Virtuous Woman involves being brave, bold, bright, and beneficial to others.

You must see yourself as the key that unlocks mysteries of the mind and do your due diligence to be a virtual contribution to the positive information load of the internet. We have been virtuous women for some time but today there is an additional platform to shine on called Social Media.

Be sure to share intelligent, fun and quality content so that you attract like minded citizens.

Continue reading at http://www.btsya.com/resources.html

Priscilla Mac is volunteer with Be the Star You Are!® and Christian Television Talk Show Host of a program called “Still Learning Still Developing” which airs on Preach The Word Worldwide Network.During her 5 years of service in the U.S. Army she specialized in Logistics and is currently a Digital Systems Analyst for Voice of America International Broadcasting.. www.priscillamac.com


HELPING CHILDREN TO DEVELOP LITERACY SKILLS-OTHER COMPONENTS

BTSYA High Res Logo Read Lead SucceedBy Stephanie Cogeos

There are ways to help children develop literacy skills. Literacy is generally defined as being able to read, write, communicate. There are more deeper levels of literacy that are just as important.

Establishing predictable routines to help children learn to anticipate events. With routines, children can begin to learn about objects and vocabulary associated with certain activities. Participating in all steps of a routine can reinforce concepts and language skills. Routines can also help children learn about a sequence – first this, then this, or start to finish. Examples would be setting a table, laying out clothes or arranging materials for any activity.

Children who are visually impaired or blind also need the opportunity to experience things through hands-on activities.  They would need more instruction because of lack of learning through incidental learning. A book about a farm will be more meaningful if one can visit an actual farm, pet different animals, listen to their calls, etc.

 

Using a wide range of vocabulary and concepts are important to have good literacy skills. Using lots of adjectives and more detailed descriptions can help expand a child’s vocabulary. Examples would be “let’s put on your red rubber boots today” or “get the blue pitcher of cold milk”.

Many children benefit from reading aloud. It can give them special attention, reinforce language development and to work on book handling skills. Continue reading at http://www.btsya.com/resources.html

Volunteer Stephanie Cogeos is our Book Review coordinator. She is now doing research to provide resources for the public to learn about the importance of literacy, positive media messages, and empowering women families, and youth. You can keep up with the resources at this link: http://www.btsya.com/resources.html

karen kitchel with millennial bookby Karen Kitchel

Kindness is contagious. When we find simple ways to spontaneously bring joy to others, we bring joy to the world.

Lyrics in the play Hamilton raise the question:

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?”

Thought for today:

When my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell my story?

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com


SUMMER SURVIVAL READING

the reading tub logoOur Star Teen Book Review Team is busy reading and writing reviews for you to enjoy this summer. Reviews are honest and the personal experience of each writer.

Check them out at our website, http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html, and at our partner, The Reading Tub, https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/.

Many thanks to our Book Review Coordinator, Stephanie Cogeos, for keeping us on track. If you are interested in joining our team and you are genuinely interested in being of service to others, you can find the info at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html


READ AWARD-WINNING ARTICLE ABOUT FIRE SAFETY

2020 Garden Comm Award Silver LogoFire season is ramping up and with the recent winds, wildfires could easily ignite. Make sure to cut any tall grass or weeds, trim low hanging branches, clean gutters, and remove debris from around your property.

GardenComm: Garden Communicators International notified Cynthia Brian that out of 160 entries, she won the 2020 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for a Journalism Newspaper Article,  the Lamorinda Weekly article, Scary, scary night. 

Read the article to help you prepare your landscaping for fire resistance. With this Covid-19 pandemic, the smoke from wildfires has the potential to be extra dangerous or deadly.  Read Scary,scary nightat https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

Read about the award here:

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/cynthia-brian-receives-silver-medal-of-achievement-in-the-national-2020-gardencomm-media-awards-1296930.htm#

Get in touch with the outdoors, nature, and gardening.

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Be prepared. Stay safe this summer.


SHOP ONLINE WITHOUT A MASK!

Since we need to stay at home and only go out when absolutely necessary, these are on-line shopping portals that will sell you what you need, offer discounts, and assist our mission as a nonprofit. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials,

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

& buy from your favorite stores.

4. Search and GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/be-the-star-you-are

5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

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6. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks $19.99  and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/

T-shirts

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7. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4


Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

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GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc

GUIDESTAR/CANDID: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

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We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


PLEASE DONATE

t-shirt_btsya_outlinesBTSYA receives no government or corporate support. We count on YOU to help us help others. During this pandemic, all of our fundraising events have been canceled, yet we continue to support those in need. We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

http://www.btsya.org


Classified Ads:

If you’d like to advertise your service or product while supporting Be the Star You Are!®, we are now accepting approved ads that will benefit readers. Contact info@BetheStarYouAre.org for details.


Keep your face to the sunshine and you won’t see the shadows. Stay strong and resilient,

 
 
Sending sunshine, sunsets, and starlight. SHINE!

You will survive summer!
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PO Box 376
Moraga, Ca.94556
www.BetheStarYouAre.org
www.BTSYA.org


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Sweet, Savory Summer

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Empowerment
Sweet, Savory Summer

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Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian

Sweet, Savory Summer

By Cynthia Brian

“Steep thyself in a bowl of summer.” –Virgil

Summer! Just saying the word puts a smile on my face.

Since I was a little girl, the months of July and August were times of great joy, working as a laborer picking or cutting apricots, peaches, and pears in neighbors’ orchards or fruit shed to earn money for college during the day, followed by unwinding with evening baseball games in the fields. Sundays were spent with cousins and relatives swimming in the pool at my grandparents’ vineyard. Our parents would prepare a feast for dinner after harvesting whatever vegetables were ready in the garden while the kids braved the thorny brambles to find the juiciest berries for dessert. In the station wagon on the way back to our ranch, we’d fall blissfully asleep, our hearts filled with happy memories and our bellies pleasantly satiated, except, of course, for my Dad, the driver. 

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Summer boasts a sweet and savory story with harvests of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, pears, apples, plums, prunes, eggplants, zucchini, berries, peppers, and other nutritious treats that will grace our dining tables. Although this summer I won’t be hosting any barbecue buffets, I still enjoy picking fresh fruit in my orchard and eating my home-grown vegetables. Pink cherry plums are plump and especially delicious this year as are the deep dark purple prunes. Prunes and plums come from the same genus, prunus, yet they are not identical. Plums are usually round, red or yellow, whereas prunes are oval-shaped and purple, almost blackish with a pit that dislodges easily. Plums and prunes are also related to cherries, peaches, and almonds, all in the family prunus. This season my cherry plums have a distinct flavor of peaches. My peaches aren’t ripe, but they are planted close to the plums. Every year the taste varies. Because cherry plums are the size of cherries and quite crunchy when not over-ripe, I freeze a few and eat them like a popsicle. Sometimes I add the frozen plum to my beverage for an enlivening alternative to ice. I plan on dehydrating some of the prunes or drying them for future use.

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My girlfriend, Nora, is a huge fan of black currants, also known as cassis. Over thirty years ago her dad gave her a cutting from their family currant shrub to plant in her garden. Harvesting the currants brings a sweet memory of the times she spent with her doctor dad. This year’s crop was profuse. She’ll freeze a few cartons of these tasty, complex, and medicinally useful fruit for her family’s winter enjoyment. My black currant flowers were prolific, yet my berries were disappointing. A handy tool for harvesting is a Scandinavian berry picker that eliminates having to pluck single berries one by one. 

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It wouldn’t be summer without the sweet and savory ingredients of fresh-picked corn, cucumbers, and heirloom tomatoes. If you are not growing any, farmer’s markets have bushels ready to buy. I soak the ears of corn with the husk on in a bucket of water for an hour, then, pull back part of the husks, lather with a basil-garlic butter, and steam them on the barbecue. Yummy!

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My mother’s tomato salad has been a family tradition for ages. Slice heirloom tomatoes, red onions, and cucumbers.  Add chopped garlic and red, orange, or green bell peppers. Dress with olive oil, wine vinegar, and balsamic. Season to taste. Voila! A beautiful and scrumptious summer salad. 

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Finally, don’t forget to cut a few stems of “pretties” to add to a vase. Right now, the crocosmia or firecracker plant is in full bloom and makes a fantastic cut flower. Leave several in the garden for the hovering hummingbirds. Don’t forget to refill fountains so that our bird friends can have a refreshing drink or bath.

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Fire season is ramping up and with the recent winds, wildfires could easily ignite. Make sure to cut any tall grass or weeds, trim low hanging branches, clean gutters, and remove debris from around your property.

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GardenComm: Garden Communicators International just notified me that I won the 2020 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for a Journalism Newspaper Article, presented by out of 160 entries for my Lamorinda Weekly article, Scary, scary night. I am honored for this major award and encourage you to have another look at that winning entry because it will help you prepare your landscaping for fire resistance. With this Covid-19 pandemic, the smoke from wildfires has the potential to be extra dangerous or deadly.  Read Scary,scary night at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

Read about the award here:

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/cynthia-brian-receives-silver-medal-of-achievement-in-the-national-2020-gardencomm-media-awards-1296930.htm#

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May you enjoy a sweet and savory summer of social distancing and wearing masks.

Be healthy, hopeful, and positive. Steep thyself in a bowl of summer.  I am!

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Happy gardening. Happy growing.

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1411/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Sweet-savory-summer.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia 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 Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

Radio Producer/Host, Cynthia Brian Wins Garden Communications Silver Award

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Empowerment
Radio Producer/Host, Cynthia Brian Wins Garden Communications Silver Award

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 Cynthia Brian Receives Silver Medal of Achievement

In the National

2020 GardenComm Media Awards

 

July 8, 2020 – Cynthia Brian received the 2020 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for Journalism Newspaper Article, presented by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.

 

This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2020 competition had more than 160 entries in the category. Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the top winners who will now compete for best of group in the areas of writing, photography, digital media, broadcast media, publishing and trade.

 

Cynthia Brian received the Silver Medal of Achievement for her Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian article in the Lamorinda Weekly Newspaper entitled Scary, scary night. “The GardenComm Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication,” says Becky Heath, past president of GardenComm.  “The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work.”

 

Cynthia Brian, known as The Goddess Gardener, has been a columnist for the Lamorinda Weekly Newspaper since 2008 where she writes Digging Deep for the Home section. Besides being a gardening expert, Cynthia is an actor and a New York Times best-selling author of eight books, a producer and host of StarStyle® radio, a lifestyle and media coach, and the Founder and Executive Director of the literacy and positive message charity, Be the Star You Are!®. Her two gardening books include Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul and Growing with the Goddess Gardener. Cynthia grew up on a farm where she drove tractor, raised chickens, and worked in the fields to fund her university education. No matter where she travels, she seeks out gardens and country life. “I’m exceedingly honored with this national prestigious award. The California fires have been devastatingly destructive and horrific. To have personally experienced a middle-of-the-night evacuation with fires flaring at my property line, gave me the additional incentive to share my experience and expertise to help others survive future disasters by reducing the threat of fires through appropriate landscape choices,” Cynthia recounted. Find out more about Cynthia Brian at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com.

 

The GardenComm Media Awards program recognizes outstanding writing, photography, graphic design, books, newspaper stories, magazine articles, TV, radio, and works focused on gardening.

 

About GardenComm

GardenComm, formerly GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, is an organization of professional communicators in the green industry including book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. www.gardencomm.org.

Read Scary,scary night at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html and at https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2019/11/15/starry-scary-night/

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