Tag Archives

393 Articles

Sirius is Serious

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Sirius is Serious

jacobinia.jpg

“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.

hillside fire trees saved.jpg

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. 

naked ladies on bare hill.jpg

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.

yellow-two-tailed swallowtail on echinacea.jpg

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.

tangerine tree.jpg

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.

succulent garden 2.jpg

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. 

tulips, pansies,delphiniumm.jpg

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. 

Romaine lettuce.jpg

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

turnips, fennel, beets.jpg

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.

2 kinds of swiss chard.jpg

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.

Cynthi Brian hammock.jpg

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. 

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

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
0
Empowerment
Summer Dog Days

Cynthia Brian and her dogs.jpg

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.

silk tree,fence,oleander.jpg

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.

butterfly bowl.jpg

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!

fountain-stairs.jpg

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. 

yellow begonia.jpg

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.

cucumbers.jpg

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.

tomatoes in pots with parsley, basil.jpg

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

CU Bear-Wolf-cyn-Briian. jpg.jpg

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.

2016 Promo Banner bothshows-no pics.jpg

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. 

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

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!

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Be a Super Hero…Wear a Mask!

kaylee with mask.jpg

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

mask


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

Express Yourself orange 72x24 banner-1


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

2020 Amazon smile logo

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

Giving Assistant Icon 234x60

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

2020 IGIVE logo

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

T-shirts

Cynthia Brian books banner 3

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

2020-top-rated-awards-badge-embed

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

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

2020 Platinun Guidestar logo

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


non-profit3-donate.gif

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Hot, Hot, Hot!

naked ladies close up.jpg

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. 

blackberries (1).jpg

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.

red oleander.jpg

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. 

pistache in pot.jpg

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. 

4- o-clocks.jpg

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.

naked ladies (1).jpg

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.

tomatoes in pots with parsley, basil (1).jpg

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!

fountain-stairs.jpg

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. 

crape myrtle.jpg

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
  • white agapantha.jpg

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

pink geranium.jpg

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.

Cyn in the garden sun.jpg

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. 

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

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
0
Empowerment
Cast of Paramount Film, Mighty Oak and Author of Never Sit If You Can Dance, Jo Giese

CAST- MightyOAK poster.jpg

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!

CYNTHIA BRIAN SUNFLOWER.jpg

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

Cast-two leads. jpg.jpg

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

Jo Giese-book.jpg

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

CAST-Tommy Ragan headshot.jpeg

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     

CAST-Rodney photo image.jpeg

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

CAST-Gianna_ Harris_Headshot.jpg

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

CAST-Ben.Milliken.1.JPG

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

Cast- Sean Mcnamara.jpg

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

Jo Giese-headshot.jpeg

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

Cyn-LIVE on radio .jpg

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

BTSYA be a leader logo square.jpg

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

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

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

TSHIRT_design-2.jpg

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

2016 Promo Banner-both shows-cyn-heath.jpg

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

NewstarstyleLogo (1).jpg

 

Surviving Summer!

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Surviving Summer!

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

Click to view this email in a browser

sky-tl.gif
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


2016 Promo Banner bothshows-no pics

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:

2019-brian-banner-radio alone

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

Express Yourself orange 72x24 banner-1

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.

summer garden 2 Burned hills of Merrill Fire 2

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

2020 Amazon smile logo

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

Giving Assistant Icon 234x60

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

2020 IGIVE logo

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

T-shirts

Cynthia Brian books banner 3

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

2020-top-rated-awards-badge-embed

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

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

2020 Platinun Guidestar logo

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!
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3shine logo.JPG
PO Box 376
Moraga, Ca.94556
www.BetheStarYouAre.org
www.BTSYA.org


sunflowers-bottom.gif

Sweet, Savory Summer

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Sweet, Savory Summer

tomatoes fresh from the vine - 2.jpg

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. 

Pail of black currents.jpg

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.

cherry plums on tree.jpg

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. 

black currant berries.jpg

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!

corn field.jpg

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. 

Tomato salad.jpg

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.

Crocosmia-Firecracker plant.jpg

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.

prunes on tree.jpg

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#

2020 Garden Comm Award Silver Logo copy.jpg

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!

Cynthia Smiles.jpg

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. 

Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

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

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

Guardians of the Garden Galaxy

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Guardians of the Garden Galaxy

birds nest on staghorn fern.jpg

“Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.”  William Shakespeare

The gray turtle dove darted from the mulberry tree to the wooden nest box and back again. Thinking there must be eggs, I grabbed my camera and discovered a baby dove nestled in a hollowed nest with the mother bird proudly standing guard. The sounds of gentle cooing surrounded this bucolic scene. I felt blessed that these birds chose my garden to settle.

If you want a healthy, glorious summer garden, beneficial insects, arachnids, birds, amphibians, and reptiles must call your landscape “home”.

Many people scream at the sight of a snake or a lizard and start swatting when they witness a spider. However, these are beneficial biologicals devouring the insects and predators that capture prey that destroy your garden. Everyone loves lady beetles, known as ladybugs, and people understand the value of bees, but did you know that frogs, hoverflies, ground beetles, praying mantids, and lacewings are invaluable friends to the garden?

The guardians of my garden galaxy are plentiful and ubiquitous. Every day as I walk through my oasis, I am greeted by numerous lizards darting from rock to plant, frogs hopping to hide under a leaf, spiders weaving webs, bumblebees, hoverflies, and honeybees sucking the nectar from a variety of species, and birds making nests and dining on insects.  My favorite garden guardians are the kingsnakes that eat gophers, moles, voles and keep the rattlesnakes away.

Our garden colleagues keep nature in balance without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. Using integrated pest management, natural sources of nutrients including compost and mulch, will fertilize and keep your garden healthy. 

Here are some of the benefits of inviting our flying, hopping, slithering, and scooting comrades into your garden.

Birds: 

As they fly from tree to tree, birds are pollinators adding more blooms and fruit which attract more birds. Birds eat a variety of pests including mosquitoes, aphids, grubs, slugs, and spiders. Large birds such as owls and hawks eat rodents including voles, moles, squirrels, rats, and other unwelcome critters. They help control weeds by eating weed seeds. Watching birds and listening to their song reduces stress. 

bird nest  with eggs.jpg

Invite birds to your landscape by offering:

  •  A water source including a gurgling fountain or birdbath.
  •  Birdhouses for shelter and nesting.
  •  Feeders for seed. Even putting a pie tin in the bushes with seeds or picked clover and dandelions will attract our feathered friends, 
  •  Plant a selection of flowering plants, shrubs, berries for them to enjoy.
  • Baby dove.jpg

Frogs and Toads:

Natural pest control. They eat caterpillars, cutworms, bugs, beetles, grubs, slugs, grasshoppers, and numerous other detrimental insects.

Invite frogs and toads to your landscape by offering:

  •  A place to hide. Frogs and toads are shy. They prefer a cool, shaded area with lots of moisture and plants. Turn over a flowerpot and they will make a house.
  •  A pond allows them to lay eggs. Have fun watching tadpoles.
  • frog on patio rug.jpg

Lizards:

Reptiles are excellent eaters of garden pests including slugs and harmful insects.

A plethora of lizards living in your landscape is an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. The food you grow will be free of heavy metals and pesticides since lizards cannot thrive in a hazardous environment. 

Invite lizards to your landscape by offering:

  •  Only natural methods of pest control.
  •  Avoidance of all weed killers.
  •  Mulch to regulate moisture in the soil.
  •  Rocks, bricks, or stones for sunbathing.
  •  A saucer or small container with water for drinking.
  • lizard-rock garden.jpg

Snakes:

Garter snakes and kingsnakes are especially beneficial in our area because they eat insects and rodents. One snake can devour an entire rat family in two weeks. Kingsnakes also kill rattlesnakes and keep them away. Make sure to learn the good snakes from the poisonous ones.

Invite snakes to your landscape by offering:

Ladybugs:

  •  Also known as Lady beetles or Ladybird beetles, their larvae look like alligators. Both the adults and larvae are voracious general pest predators of aphids, beetles, caterpillars, lace bugs, mealybugs, mites, scale, whiteflies, and insect eggs. The larvae consume over 40 aphids per hour and an adult ladybug will consume over 5000 aphids in a lifetime. If you have a small garden or a minimal pest population in a large garden, they will fly away. Rejoice because your garden is organically balanced.

Invite ladybugs to your landscape by offering:

  •  A wide range of flowering plants to attract and keep them on site.
  • ladybug stages on barley.jpg

Hoverflies:

Also known as syrphid flies or flower flies, hoverflies earned their name by hovering over flowers to sip the nectar, much like hummingbirds. They look similar to bees but they do not sting and are not harmful to humans. The adults are primarily pollinators and the larvae are pest predators, crawling along plant surfaces searching for prey. They seize the insect, suck out its contents, and discard the skin. They mimic bees and wasps to protect themselves from predators but have two wings instead of four.

Invite hoverflies to your landscape by offering:

  •  A variety of nectar and pollen-producing plants such as aster, calendula, cornflower, cosmos, dill, fennel, lavender marigolds, mint, statice, zinnia, wild mustard, and sunflowers.
  •  Food throughout every season by timing plantings for continuous blooms.
  • Bumblebee,hover fly-lavender.jpg

Spiders:

Spiders help maintain a healthy balance in your garden by eating harmful pests from spring through winter. By controlling the bad insects, they reduce plant pathogens that damage plant tissues. Most spiders are peaceful. The most common web builder is the yellow and black spider, and the black wolf spiders are active hunters.

Invite spiders to your landscape by offering:

  •  Grass clippings, mulch, lush bushes, and perennials for habitat.
  •  Cover crops such as clover and vetch and hedges like boxwoods are havens for spiders.
  •  Sunflowers, vining beans, and corn as well as other tall flowers are excellent for webs.
  • spider (1).jpg

Grow a diversity of plants, eliminate pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides to attract beneficial insects, birds, spiders, reptiles, and numerous other guardians of our garden galaxy. By providing the basic needs of food, habitat, water, and shelter, you and your family will enjoy increased outdoor amusement while learning an appreciation of nature. Your garden will be their dinner table and their bedroom. Know your friends and protect them. 

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1410/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Guardians-of-the-Garden-Galaxy.html

Lizard .jpg

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 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

cyn-birdnest.jpg

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.Cynthia Brian books banner.jpg

 

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

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

Pivots for the Planet with the Goddess Gardener

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
Pivots for the Planet with the Goddess Gardener

garden mirror.jpg

“I should like to enjoy this summer flower by flower as if it were to be the last one for me.” Andre Gide

Summertime and the living is easy! Or is it? 

This year will be a year like no other highlighted by the frightening health pandemic and sorrowful civil unrest. As the economy slowly re-opens, people are clamoring to shop, dine, socialize, get haircuts, and have their teeth cleaned. The line of masked individuals waiting outside reopened stores for their turn to enter is a testament to the yearning to gather. Protesters fill the streets across the country demanding needed national changes. It’s time to listen, re-evaluate, and educate ourselves. Connecting with the natural world is one prescription for finding healing and balance. 

Path through tagnerines and lemons.jpg

While I was researching grants to assist the literacy charity, Be the Star You Are!® (www.BetheStarYouAre.org) financially survive during this crisis, I marveled at a constant question: How have you pivoted?  At first, I had no idea what that question meant. What did we have to do to pivot? Where were we supposed to pivot to? After many Zoom conferences, meetings, webinars, and phone meetings, I finally understood. 

BTSYA be a leader logo square.jpg

But how can pivoting apply to gardening? The entire world is experiencing chaos.  People who have spent minimal time with nature, who have never thought of growing anything, have become interested in planting and protecting. I’ve had emails from individuals from many walks of life who want to get their hands in the dirt as they are sheltering at home. As they decide to pivot, nature is a salve. When times are stressful, gardens become a refuge. Shoveling, digging, pruning, planting, and watching seedlings grow into something to admire or eat are therapeutic endeavors. 

Whether you decide to grow a few herbs on a windowsill, tomatoes on a balcony, or an abundance of your favorite vegetables, flowers, and fruit in a large garden, there is nothing better than a summer of flavor and colors grown in your personal paradise. When you pivot to your garden, you’ll slow down a bit and feel appreciation. Research consistently indicates that being around growing plants benefits you physically, psychologically, and emotionally. You’ll decompress, gain more muscle mass, increase aerobic endurance, reduce stress, and experience more joy. 

rosemary in bloom.jpg

Summer has always been my most favorite season because of the delightful warm weather and bountiful baskets of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs that I harvest from my orchard and potager. The plethora of glorious blooms constantly changes keeping my elation peaked. Unlike most people, I prefer not to travel in the summer months to other destinations. Instead, the beauty of my backyard becomes the playground for family and friends where we barbecue, engage in lawns games, watch the flamboyant sunsets, and wander the grounds watching the parade of wildlife.

tangelos.jpg 

Flowering plants are hummingbird, bee, and butterfly magnets while the seeds attract the birds. Agastache, echinacea, hollyhock, and roses enchant for months. In my orchard, the loquats, mulberries, tangelos, citrus, and plums are ripe. The birds, deer, turkeys, squirrels, and I skirmish for our fair share. Soon apricots, prunes, and peaches will be ready for harvesting and the wrangling will begin again. I adore these encounters with nature. There is abundance for all.

mulberries close up.jpg

My field of chamomile is richly fragrant and the petals when plucked and dried will make a comforting tea. The seeds from nigella (love in the mist) have scattered throughout the orchard creating a sea of blue. Bumblebees race from star-shaped blossom to blossom grabbing the sweet nectar. Roses mixed with osteospermum (African daisy) will provide continuous blooms into the fall with frequent deadheading. Lovely on the shrub, the blue hydrangeas are almost as stunning in a dried arrangement.

blue hydrangea.jpg

An intriguing plant is arum italicum, also known as Italian Lords and Ladies. In late spring, the creamy-white flower is cupped at the base of the plant resembling its relative, Jack-in-the-Pulpit. In mid-summer, striking red-orange berries rise in a columnar formation where the foliage has died back. This tuberous perennial plant self-sows and can become invasive if your yard is small. If you have a woodland area where bergenia, heuchera, or hellebores thrive, it is quite stunning. Beware, all parts of the plant are poisonous. Don’t let it grow in your vegetable patch!

arum italicum, aka Italian Lords and Ladies.jpg

This summer is destined to be unusual. I plan on adhering to Covid-19 directives to shelter-in-place while refraining from attending large gatherings or even small ones. I’m working from home, wearing a mask and gloves whenever I venture out, constantly maintaining a minimal six feet distance between others, and am continuing to sanitize everything. Hopefully, we won’t go back to what was considered normal in the past and instead take better care and be more aware, of one another and the health of our planet.

cynthia brian-green mask.jpg

This year I am happy and grateful to enjoy the summer flower by flower. My planet pivot is to play in my personal garden paradise.

What’s your planet pivot?

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Wash your hands. Cover your face!

nigela.jpg

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for July

PIVOT for stress relief to your garden sanctuary.

PREVENT grubs (the larvae of June bugs) by treating your lawn with an organic granular treatment to get rid of larvae. Raccoons, skunks, and moles enjoy grubs as a source of protein.

BOND with children or a partner by planting edibles you will enjoy together. 

DRESS for the dirt by donning gloves, sunscreen, hat, and an apron. If you are doing heavy weeding, wearing overalls is a win.

DRY three to five sprigs of blue hydrangeas for a long-lasting summer arrangement.

chamomile i bloom (1).jpg

COLLECT the white blossoms of chamomile for a soothing tea.

PLANT Lilliputian miniature roses in a container for a moveable dash of color.

miniature roses, oseospernum.jpg

PICK a basket of mulberries if you are lucky enough to have a tree.

GROW citrus to maintain a constant supply of vitamin C. Dwarf varieties of lemons, limes, tangerines, tangelos, oranges, and grapefruit are available to be grown in half barrels.

ciron lemons, loquats (1).jpg

PREVENT fires by removing debris, dead branches, and refuse from around your home and yard. 

CUT all tall grass and keep lawns and shrubs watered.

SAVE rose petals to make bath balms and rose water splashes.

roses.jpg

SUCCESSION planting is the key to a plentiful supply of summer greens including lettuces, arugula, beets, carrots, and radishes. Sow your favorite seeds every three weeks as you consume.

CHECK yourself for ticks after every outdoor excursion. (To date, I’ve removed three!)

ADD hydrogen peroxide to fountains to purify the water without harming the birds.

MAINTAIN social distancing and wear a mask when you leave your home.

TAKE care of Mother Earth. 

purple statice (sea lavendar).jpg

BE SAFE on Independence Day. 

Photos and more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1409/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Planet-pivots.html

Happy gardening. Happy growing. Have a flowerful 4th of July!

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. 

cyntha brian with books.jpg

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

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

JuneTeenth-Freedom Day

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
JuneTeenth-Freedom Day

black lives blackwhite.jpg

Read the newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/2c1f13214d/288055965/bbd34d3431/

page1image51763296 page1image51758304page1image66488192

MIRACLE MOMENT®

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” Martin Luther King Jr.

MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, marks the end of slavery in the South on June 19, 1865. As PBS proclaims, “in this sixth month of the non-stop stunner that is 2020, the country finds itself in a period of education and reckoning of the racism embedded in its birth.”

I write this message to apologize for using the “color blind” analogy in our previous newsletter. After sending out the newsletter to share solidarity, a few of our dedicated BTSYA volunteers politely emailed to inform me that the use of the words “color blind” is offensive in todays vernacular. (You may read excerpts below) I thank these brave individuals for their courage to stand up, express themselves, and educate all of us,

specifically me. One of my mottos has always been “Failure is fertilizer. Throw your mistakes on the compost pile and grow a new garden.” I made a mistake and from that I learned so much. I am sorry.

We are living in unprecedented times and the world is in chaos with Covid-19 and the largest wave of civil unrest since the 1960s, spurred by outrage over police brutality and racism. Here at Be the Star You Are!® we are INCLUSIVE. We don’t tolerate bigotry, racism, or any other negative attitude towards any race, religion, gender, culture, or viewpoint. We stand together as a colorful united family of brothers and sisters from many different countries and backgrounds. Take a peek at our website,https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org or our teen radio show athttp://www.expressyourselfteenradio.com and you’ll see that our volunteers represent the nations of the world. We are very proud to stand for freedom and equality for all.

My acting union, SAG-AFTRA released the following statement from President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David P. White on the murder of George Floyd. It states more eloquently what we at Be the Star You Are!® believe so I share this with you.

“The murder of George Floyd is deeply emblematic of a corrosive inequality and injustice at the heart of America. As protests spread across the country it is not enough to condemn injustice. It’s not enough to demand change. We must recognize that racism lives in our culture and only we can change that. We must speak up in the face of injustice and fight back against the indignities our fellow citizens face every day. We must be defenders and allies. We must be better than this.The ugly truth is that Mr. Floyd’s killing was one among many murders of black people over many years. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Jr., Marsha P. Johnson, Emmett Till, and the list goes painfully on and on stretching back for centuries. It must end. Black lives do matter.”

Again, I apologize if the newsletter offended, Please forgive me. It was never my intention to be offensive in any way.

There is no room for bigotry, brutality, or racism in our world. We are all on a learning curve and open to all feedback. Although we are all sailing together in this time of pandemic, I recognize that we are not in the same boat.

This is a time to be kind. To help one another. To be inclusive. We will not tolerate injustice. When we embrace diversity we increase peacefulness. Let’s remember that love always wins when kindness prevails. Smiles will keep us happy.

Juneteenth is not currently recognized as a Federal holiday but by celebrating it, we take one step forward towards reconciliation and the fight for freedom for all.

We want to hear from you. How do you demonstrate that Black Lives Matter? We’re interested in your thoughts and actions. Send your comments (less than 50 words) to our Kindness Coordinator, Karen Kitchel at karenkitchel@comcast.net by June 30. We will include a variety of responses (first name only) in our July newsletter.

I know I’m going to make many more mistakes. We all will. But let’s learn and grow from them. We are COLOR BRAVE!

Be strong, be brave, be safe.

And don’t forget to also celebrate Father’s Day on June 21. A salute to all the great dads of every color and creed.

In solidarity,

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

EXCERPTS FROM TWO POWERFUL EMAILS WITH RESOURCE LINKS

“I’m emailing you now about the newsletter I recently received that was titled Become Color Blind. I understand the need to be in unity in this fight against institutional racism and police brutality, so I do appreciate your response on this. But I feel that asking everyone to “become color blind” is counterproductive and incredibly tone deaf in light of recent events.

Saying you are color blind says that you ignore the fact that oppression/racism exists for people of color like me. As recent events have shown, we are all not treated equally, unfortunately. I in no way mean to attack you, but this was something I found to be offensive. Put short, I feel there are better ways voicing your support.

Here is a video that might help explain some of what I said
better. https://www.ted.com/talks/mellody_hobson_color_blind_or_color_brave Sincerely,
Anika ”

“I admire all of the work you do in order to enrich the lives of young people. I received your email earlier this week regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and in it you stated that your organization is ‘Color Blind’, I know this statement is not meant to have malice or be hurtful. So I felt obligated to explain why this popular statement is damaging and can make people of color feel uncomfortable.

I am Latina and for me this statement, while well intentioned, can feel as if my unique experiences with being Mexican are overlooked. We can no longer be colorblind, we must recognize people’s experiences and understand that someone who is Black has had a different experience than someone who is Asian. To say that your organization is ‘Color Blind’ diminishes the experiences of POC. While we all bleed the same blood we are all experiencing a different reality, while some of us may never struggle because of the color of our skin others will have to live in fear because of theirs. And these differences need to be acknowledged. What you must strive for instead is to not be color blind, but to be actively Anti-Racist. Being anti-racist means that you are actively acknowledging other experiences while educating yourself on how to be a better ally. We must realize and digest how Black people in our country carry the weight of hundreds of years of systematic oppression and learn how to fight for a system that values Black lives. Color blind and anti-racist are not interchangeable and while one diminishes the existence of oppression and experience the other acknowledges oppression and actively tries to counteract it.

I wanted to contact you to explain this because I know that your email had the best intentions and did not mean to diminish any experiences. I am very happy to see your organization be so accepting and so against discrimination. I wanted to mention that I mean no disrespect in sending this email to you and solely wanted to let you know how this term has changed and evolved. I understand that the words I use today when it comes to fighting against discrimination will be replaced in the future with other terms better suited for the fight against racism. I am very happy that I worked with a group that has taken a firm stance on this issue and I wish you all the best.

If my definition was not very clear here are some resources that may explain it better than I could:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/10/05/white-parents-teach-their-children-be- colorblind-heres-why-thats-bad-everyone/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology- is-form-racism

Thank you for reading this and hearing my perspective in this issue. Best,
Olivia”

FREE WOMEN’S SUMMIT

Don’t live your life by default, live by design.

REGISTER for FREE

Passions into Profits Women’s Summit

Hosted by Jane Applegath at http://JaneApplegath.com.

Summit begins on June 20th, 2020 with a special guest featured each day .Be the heroine of your own epic life. Watch and learn from a league of leaders and trailblazers to help you to lead a life you love. Your dreams can be your reality!

Cynthia Brian is the featured guest on June 25th. FREE registration.

http://www.janeapplegath.com.
WRITER WEDNESDAYS and SUPER SMART SUNDAYS

As part of our Be the Star You Are! Disaster Relief Outreach program (https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of- operation-hurricane-disaste), Be the Star You Are!® has collaborated with the Authors Guild to showcase the new books launched by many authors from around the country in a variety of genres. We will also be showcasing artists, actors, and musicians, all of whom had had their gigs canceled and are out of work. We believe in supporting creativity and believe that books, art, music, and film provide escape and

joy, especially during tough times. For the next few months, make sure you are tuned in to both StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® on Wednesdays at 4pm PT for “Writers Wednesdays” LIVE http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are as well as our teen program, Express Yourself!TM 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 as well as iTunes, Stitcher, etc. It’s a giant artistic festival!

CHECK OUT BOOK REVIEWS

Our 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, you can find the info athttp://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html,.

SHOP ONLINE WITHOUT A MASK!

Need a gift for Dad, birthdays, graduations, weddings, or just for yourself? 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
2. Discounted books at
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity
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

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

Celebrate Freedom Day! &

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556 Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

HAPPY FATHER’S
DAY TO EVERY AMAZING DADDY!

page1image66397760page1image51743584 page1image66401984 page1image66402560page1image66395264 page1image66154112 page1image66154304 page1image66141568page1image51745040 page1image66128512 page1image66126016page1image66138304 page1image51752320page1image66141184page1image51752528 page1image66136192page1image51748368page1image66140608page1image66137344page1image66183040 page1image66183616page1image51746080page1image66184576page1image51751904 page1image66186880 page1image66185152 page1image66186688page1image66158592page1image51752736 page1image66158784 page1image66158976page1image66159168 page1image66159360page1image66159552page1image51752944 page1image66160512 page1image51753152page1image51753360 page1image51753568  page1image66164544 page1image66164736page1image51753984page1image66164928page1image51754192

page1image35618560

 

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

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

RSS
Follow by Email