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Wonders of Cambodia and Vietnam

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Empowerment
Wonders of Cambodia and Vietnam

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Garden Holly Jolly

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Empowerment
Garden Holly Jolly

“As the rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgments but rain your kindness equally on all.” Gautama Buddha

The month of December ushers in a time of joyfulness and giving with gardeners being the most generous givers of all! Harvests of persimmons, walnuts, and pomegranates make for baskets of nutritious and delicious gifts. Root cuttings, potted plants, and arrangements made from bark, branches, and pinecones are natural reminders of the wonders of a pre-winter season. The final flush of rose blooms mixed with orchids create a lush yet simple table display when a few glittering candles are added. With the colder weather, trees are ablaze with their final cloak of autumn hues as an array of colorful leaves litters the ground.
Chrysanthemums are thick with blossoms adding a brightness and lightness to the darkening sky.

We encourage the rain and the intermittent sunshine.

Soon our landscapes will boast sparkling lights and festive decorations to welcome family and friends to enjoy holiday treats. Children of all ages are excited for the surprises that await them for Hanukkah and Christmas.

I’m excited to announce that my much anticipated garden book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, Book I in the Garden Shorts series is now available in both color and black and white. Buy directly from www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store for the best price and autographed copies. 25% of your purchase is a donation to Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity (www.BetheStarYouAre.org). With every order placed directly at our store, you’ll receive seeds and extra goodies. This book is a great gift for all the gardeners and nature lovers on your holiday list.

Have a holly jolly December and remember to give yourself the gift of rest and relaxation as there are only minimal garden gardening tasks while Nature takes her annual nap.

Cynthia Brian’s December Gardening Guide

DISCOVER a living conifer at your favorite nursery that can remain in a container for a few years of Christmas decorating.

RAKE fallen leaves to add to the compost pile. Leave a layer of leaves on the ground, however, too many leaves remaining in the garden encourage disease and block the sunshine.

APPLY dormant spray to deciduous fruit trees and roses to smother insects and eggs.

REMOVE dead or dying branches from trees, bushes, and shrubs.

APPLY a layer of mulch (about three inches) to your landscape to keep the heat in and prevent soil erosion.

CONTROL peach blight and peach curl by spraying trees on a windless day with sulfur mixed with dormant oil. Two other applications will be necessary in January and February.

WRAP frost tender plants such as bougainvillea, banana, and bird of paradise in burlap to prevent damage.

GATHER an array of fresh vegetables as you design your holiday menus.

GIVE the gift of my new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, twelve months of inspiration and gardening tips to sustain your inner gardener with a full year of kindness and happiness in nature. Buy directly from www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store and 25% is a donation to Be the Star You Are!® charity PLUS you’ll receive extra goodies and an autographed copy.

CONTINUE planting spring blooming bulbs through the end of January. You’ll enjoy a long lasting parade of flowers throughout the spring.

HANG a spray of magnolia leaves sprayed gold and silver on your front door or mailbox.

ADD merry pink berries to garlands of redwood branches to decorate a mantel or staircase.

FILL a bowl with grapes for nibbling.

SLICE orange Fuyu persimmons or seeds of bright red pomegranates into a salad for a delicious and nutritious treat drizzled with olive oil and homemade vinaigrette.

TIE a gossamer ribbon around a cyclamen, geranium, orchid, or rose to give as a festive hostess gift.

USE the bark of eucalyptus or a lichen covered branch in your holiday décor.

RAIN kindness and gentleness on everyone you encounter.

VISIT with Santa at 5A Rent-A-Space on Saturday, December 2nd from 11-4pm. Be the Star You Are!® volunteers will be present to help kids write letters to Santa. Free event with refreshments and a photo with Santa. 455 Moraga Rd. #F, Moraga. www.bethestaryouare.org/events

REST, relax, and enjoy this season of holly jolly!

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

READ MORE AT: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1120/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-December-A-holly-jolly-garden.html

Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. Please make a donation to help with hurricane & fire disaster relief at www.BetheStarYouAre.org.
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.
My new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store.
Available for hire for any gardening project.
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com

Digital Digging

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Empowerment
Digital Digging

Merry Xmas from the farm

By Cynthia Brian

“With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha

My first gardening calendar was published in the year 1993. I had worked with a renown photographer for over eighteen months shooting fabulous photos from my garden throughout the seasons, taking copious notes of what to do and when to do it, traveling to numerous zones to note the monthly cycles.  I wrote my copy on an Apple desktop, the photographs were transparencies, and the finished product was a beautiful, printed, shrink-wrapped gift of beautiful flowers with monthly tips worth saving. Over the years, people have shown me the tablemats, collages, and other creative things that were made with that calendar. Since the back up to all of my work was on floppy disks, I no longer have access to my unedited insights. Thankfully, I have the photos and the published calendar as a souvenir of my efforts.  This loss of my creative writings caused me to ponder the digital mania that has descended upon humanity in our yearning to eliminate paper archiving. We tend to keep everything on our computers, designating Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as our memory banks.
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My fear is that our history will be relegated to oral rememberings as technology rapidly changes. Since computers became a household necessity, we’ve stored our data on floppies, CD’s, DVD’s, flash drives, portable hard drives, and now the cloud, but will future generations be ever able to access any of this as equipment evolves and changes? My iphoto folder has now surpassed 20,000 jpegs. Digital photos from 2009 and earlier that were not printed are no longer accessible since I’ve upgraded computers multiple times and those earlier back up disks are not compatible.
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Earlier this year, I made a book of my favorite garden photographs throughout the seasons accompanied by my favorite garden quotes. The book was a gift to myself as a reminder of my years of dedication, hard work, and love of nature. As I perused snapshots from a quarter century of gardening bliss, I was able to see how much I had accomplished with the help of Mother Nature.  How happy I am that I had not only digitized photos, but also printed them for posterity. When we first moved to this area, our lot was a hillside of wild grasses, poison oak, and blackberry bushes. It is now an oasis filled with lush landscaping, orchards, vines, trees, fruits, herbs, flowers, birds, bees, butterflies, and wildlife.  One of the mottos I have always lived by is “what you think about and talk about comes about!” For me, I’m always thinking about gardening. Today, all I have to do is look around to see that my personal world was created in my thoughts.
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As the end of the year approaches, I encourage you to invest in archiving your precious memories of family, friends, pets, plants, and places you love not only on your apps and gadgets, but in the old fashioned way, printing. Don’t allow your legacy of a life well lived become obsolete as technology races forward. Do some digital digging and store a hard copy of your treasures. Plant and grow your memoirs.

May you shine with happiness for the holidays. Thank you for a fabulous year of Digging Deep and Gardening with Cynthia Brian. I appreciate you.
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Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Reminders and Tips
⎫ REFRAIN from collecting and eating mushrooms unless you are absolutely certain they are edible. A good friend recently collected a variety of mushrooms based on information she perused in a foraging guidebook. Fortunately she took them to a mycological expert for positive identification. Eighty-four of the eighty-five fungi she had in her basket were poisonous!
⎫ CLEAN storm drains, gutters, and anywhere where water could clog or cause problems when the rains come.
⎫ DECORATE for the holidays with branches, leaves, berries, twigs, pinecones, and natural cuttings from your back yard. Utilize surprising colors, like purple, not just red, greens, and blues.
⎫ COVER tender plants from frost and cold temperatures with burlap. Patio furniture can be protected from the elements with plastic, but use burlap or fabric on plants and shrubs. Citrus is especially susceptible to frost bite.
⎫ CREATE a charming birdhouse with corks! With the festivities of the holidays, collect corks to make a home for your feathered friends.
⎫ SPRAY paint the un-carved pumpkins and gourds silver, gold, or bronze to add pizzazz to a front porch or entrance. For recycling at its best, after the holidays, add to the compost pile
⎫ BAIT for snails and slugs during this wet season.
⎫ HARVEST cabbages, Swiss Chard, and kale. Massage your kale to tenderize and eliminate bitterness.
⎫ TUNE in to StarStyle® Radio on December 30 for a full hour of LIVE garden talk with Britain’s rose expert from David Austin Roses. 4-5pm PT.  Bare-root plantings start in January and this show will give you lots of information!
⎫ MAKE a photo album of your garden pictures throughout the years as a gift to yourself and future family gardeners.
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It’s too late to seed or re-seed your lawns. My new grass is coming in slowly because of the extreme changes in weather. In spring, we will revisit planting a waterless turf when soil temperatures rise to 50-70 degrees.

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing.
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©2015
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.net
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

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Cynthia Brian’s Garden Guide for December

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Empowerment
Cynthia Brian’s Garden Guide for December

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By Cynthia Brian

“I look upon the pleasure we take in a garden as one of the most innocent delights in human life.” Cicero

It is hard to believe that the holidays are already here. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was taking down Christmas decorations?

What would the holidays be without the high voltage displays of thousands of twinkling lights illuminating our landscapes? We drive around neighborhoods “oohing” and “aahing” at the inflatable snowmen waving to us, Santa’s sleigh on the rooftops tethered to his blinking reindeer, and flickering candy canes hanging from tree branches. My mom’s house is lit up like Disneyland to make sure that Santa can find his way to our ranch.
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My last few columns have initiated numerous emails and comments. It appears that gardeners are very interested in hugelkultur as well as growing grass that is not water thirsty.

Regarding the hugels, from Washington I received this very astute email:
“I just read your gardening guide and immediately thought about how the trees where we go camping do this naturally.  Frequently, trees have started by growing from a stump or downed tree trunk.  Then, over time, everything mounds up at the base of the new tree.  The spaces underneath provide habitat for a multitude of creatures, and the rotting logs, needles, and leaves are material for insects to do terra-forming.  They combine the organic with rock that continually slides down from the mountains and into the streams and eventually becomes sand, to form rich soil.
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Another thing all this debris on the ground does is to shade the soil, keeping it cooler and protected from evaporation.  We use rocks in favor of bark or mulch in many places in our yard.  I have thought for years about the practice in Southwest of keeping all the undergrowth cleared out of forests to help with the wildfire problem – how it sterilizes the forest, taking away opportunities for habitat and soil protection.

We certainly had more than our share of wildfires in Washington State the last couple of years, and I will admit the forest is quite different in those regions.  The trees, until you get up really far into the mountains, are very spaced out with no green undergrowth. They traditionally have very cold winters with a lot of snow that lingers, then long, very hot and dry summers.
The mounding practice is something we see nature doing all the time in the mountains near us.” KC
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KC hit the nail on the head! I was really thrilled to receive this correspondence because hugelkultur derived from exactly this natural forest procedure. In my own yard I have now built two hugels and am planning to continue to build them, especially on my hillsides to prevent erosion, maintain water, and allow plants to grow deeper roots.

On the subject of lawns, I have installed three different areas of Pearl’s Premium grass-sun, shade, and sun/shade. It’s still too early to report results to you but I do promise to keep you posted on how this miracle turf flourishes. Many of you are very interested in growing a low maintenance grass.  With just one or two weeks left of optimum weather buy new top soil and start sowing. The seed may be carried at your local garden centers or big box stores, but if not, go on-line to www.PearlsPremium.com. Don’t forget to type in “Blue Moon” at check out to receive a 20% discount and free shipping.

The festival of lights is upon us as we hark the heralded angels and remember the reason for the season. Light a fire in your heart and shine brightly with love. Tidy your garden, then, enjoy the merriment.
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Cynthia Brian’s Garden Guide for December

⎫ POT an amaryllis for mid-winter blooms happening eight-twelve weeks after first watering. All you need is a small pot not much bigger than the bulb, soil, and water.
⎫ ADD alliums to your planting schedule for spring lollipop blooms.  Voles, rabbits, deer, and squirrels will not eat these onion family bulbs.
⎫ COVER azaleas and tender shrubs with burlap, sheets, or blankets (any fabric will do) to prevent damage from drastic drops in temperature.
⎫ HARVEST prickly pear when the skins are red. Wear gloves and use tongs to peel before adding to salads.
⎫ CUT branches from redwoods, cedars, pines, and other evergreens to use indoors for your yuletide décor.
⎫ HANG a spray of magnolia leaves tied in a colorful ribbon on your mailbox. Magnolias with the coned seedpods stimulate a festive welcome.
⎫ GATHER pinecones. Sprinkle with a cinnamon oil for a lovely holiday fragrance.
⎫ CHANGE out your current houseplants with colorful seasonal plants including cyclamen, paperwhites, and poinsettia. Beautiful long blooming cymbidium orchids are currently available in stores. Orchids contribute an elegance and beauty to every room.
⎫ RAKE the fallen leaves to add to your compost pile.
⎫ PRUNE roses for the final burst of December blooms before the January pruning begins.
⎫ BE eco-friendly and wrap gifts in used newspaper with twine. You’ll save money while saving the earth. And while you are at, repurpose Christmas cards into gift tags!
⎫ PLANT cover crops to enrich the soil over winter. Good choices include fava beans, alfalfa, clover, and mustard.
⎫ PURCHASE a living tree for your Hannukah Bush or Christmas tree.
⎫ ALLOW winter’s coat of bright berries, rosehips, moss, and boughs to be the inspiration for your decorating.
⎫ CARE for the birds by keeping feeders clean and filled. Make sure to provide a water source and shelter.
⎫ HOLIDAY FAVOR: Help local charity Be the Star You Are!® without spending a penny. If you’ve ever purchased a TV or computer screen, just 2-3 minutes of your time is needed. Fill out a simple form, click submit and every unit you checked will provide a $20 donation to Be the Star You Are!®. You will receive a tax receipt once the donations have been dispersed. PLEASE do this today. It costs you NOTHING. Thanks from Be the Star You Are!®
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As we prepare for the holidays, let’s offer thoughts and actions of faith, hope, and love with the expectation that peace can prevail on our beautiful planet. Take pleasure in nature. Our gardens are a precious refuge. Happy Holidays!

Happy Gardening, Happy Growing!
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©2015
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com
www.GoddessGardener.com
925-377-STAR
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.net
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.
Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.

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