Wishing you a blessed and thought provok

Wishing you a blessed and thought provoking Good Friday. This is a day of reflection and forgiveness. Forgive yourself and anyone else.

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How are youth managing everyday stress?

How are youth managing everyday stress? It can be debilitating for them. Read and listen. http://ow.ly/vTISd

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Second Semester Senioritis: Is It Real?

By Caie Kelley

The references to “senioritis” began as a freshman, when I noticed the senior parking lot of my high school increasingly empty on Monday mornings and heard the word tossed around in the hallways during passing periods. I watched the eldest members of my public speaking team relax a bit more as they looked forward to college and moving away from home. The time to kick back and be free seemed so far away–yet as I write now, four years later, I am in the middle of my final semester of high school, and the question has risen again – is “senioritis” real?

For many, the answer is a resounding yes. On the last day of first semester finals, Miramonte senior David Ellman said that in the next couple of months, he would be taking every opportunity to not do “busy” work. “Instead of cramming for standardized tests, I’ve spent my weekends driving down to the beach, exploring new parts of the Bay Area, and watching new TV shows, like House of Cards.” Fellow classmate Margot Odell agreed, saying, “These last couple of months are about relishing the little time we have still left at home. For me that means working less on the activities I had to do for college or for school, and more on crafting and other do-it-yourself hobbies that I really enjoy.”

Many seniors have dropped their most difficult class to ensure less stressful final months. As one friend explained, “with my extra free period, I can sleep in a little later, finish up on last minute work, and pursue activities outside of school like yoga or painting that a regular high school schedule doesn’t allow for.” Though the word has a negative connotation among school administrators and teachers, it seems that many Lamorinda teens are using their second-semester senior status for pursuits that benefit their mental, physical, and emotional health.

Of course, others disagree. Senior Ben Chiu stated, “Senioritis is a falsehood. It is self-perpetuated and used as an excuse, but the reality is that falling behind in school is not a good idea. My teachers have not eased up, and our workload is just as much as it was before.” Whether seniorities is a myth or a fact, to manage these last couple of months, Lamorinda seniors need to balance a desire for ultimate relaxation with the reality that, we still need to show up and work diligently to graduate with grace!

A swimmer and pianist, Caie Kelley, a senior at Miramonte High School, is an officer of Club Be the Star You Are!® and the What’s Poppin’ reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio.

Read at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0803/Second-Semester-Senioritis-Is-It-Real.html
As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visit http://www.BTSYA.com. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself or for photos, descriptions, links, and more visit http://www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com

More information about the show at http://www.btsya.com/express_yourself_radio_show.html
Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. For information on being a guest email info@BetheStarYouAre.org. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Thanks for supporting teens!
://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Thanks for supporting teens!

 

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Earth Day & Wild Life Festival-Meet Cynthia Brian

VISIT Cynthia Brian at the 13th Annual EARTH DAY-Wildlife Festival on April 27 at the Wagner Ranch Nature Area between 1-4pm under the oaks and adjacent to Georgette Huntington’s bluebird station to have any gardening questions answered, pick up your a complimentary bag of potpourri, buy helpful gardening books, and enjoy nature. There will be scavenger hunts, live music, bluebirds, electric car test drives, honey bees, sustainable gardening, alternative H20 systems, raptor show, photo contest, native stories and games, pond studies, face painting, tile painting, solar cooking, and hikes. For more info visit www.fwrna.org.
For more info on Cynthia Brian, visit www.Star-Style.com.

Come celebrate Mother Earth and give thanks for the bounty of nature.

Web Link:  Earth Day Wildlife Festival

Location: 

Wagner Ranch Nature Area

City: 

Orinda

State: 

California 94556

Visit: http://redroom.com/member/cynthia-brian/events/earth-day-and-wild-life-festival

 

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Tests to save your life, Amalie Howard-Y

Tests to save your life, Amalie Howard-YA author, April Garden Guide LIVE 4-5pm PT w Cynthia Brian & Heather Brittany http://ow.ly/vRdYE

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Don’t Doubt the Drought

By Cynthia Brian

“Somewhere between right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.” Rumi

Hurray for the rain! How happy we have been to utilize our umbrellas for the recent April showers. But don’t confuse this limited precipitation with full reservoirs. The recent downpours were only a trickle. The snowpack remains at only 30% of necessary and the water level in our lakes hovers around 50% of normal. Don’t doubt this drought. It is here to stay and we have to adjust to the coming season of dry weather. Conservation is critical.

Do you know what xeriscaping is? Although some people have nicknamed the system “zero-scaping”, nothing could be further from the truth. Xeriscaping is a beneficial way to conserve water while maintaining a beautiful garden. Gardens may contain cacti and succulents, but many other drought tolerant specimens are also included. Plants with similar water requirements are grouped together and the use of the plot is considered. Areas for relaxing, eating, playing, sitting, and privacy are part of the plan. Trees and shrubs are positioned to provide heating and cooling while curved wide swaths are encouraged for easier water efficiency. The resulting benefit of xeriscaping is a low maintenance garden that is drought resistant, water conserving, and a habitat for wildlife. Water usage may be reduced by as much as 50-75%.

There is no right or wrong in the garden, but this year, we definitely must be water conscious.

Part 2-Drought Gardening Series
Next Steps

PLANT WISELY
Maintenance not growth are the goals of gardeners during a drought. If you must plant, decide on drought-tolerant plants instead of thirsty ones. In general, plants that can survive the dry times have leaves that are thick, small, glossy, fuzzy, or silver-grey. Be aware of exposure. Don’t mix flowerbeds with plants that have different needs. Hot, dry areas with south or west exposures require more water while east and north facing gardens retain their moisture longer. Natives and desert plants drink less. Plant now while the weather is cooler and refrain from planting during the warmer months. Consider vegetables that will give you the biggest bang for your water buck such as tomatoes, beans, artichokes, eggplant, peppers, squash, Swiss Chard, lettuces, and cucumbers while eliminating choices that produce just one crop like cauliflower.

PLANT CLOSE TOGETHER
Learn from the Native Americans who planted “Three Sisters” including corn, beans, and squash. According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash are three inseparable sisters who grow and thrive together. The beans provide nitrogen, the corn is a trellis where beans can grow, and the prickly foliage of the squash keep the corn worms away in a sustainable system that has been used throughout history. Instead of organizing your garden in rows, plant in close knit squares or swathes to pack the punch in small places. Use tall plants as canopies of shade. In the fall, add a cover crop mix to protect and fertilize garden beds after harvest.

DEADHEAD REGULARLY
Don’t allow seeds or pods to form as they zap energy and use more water to form the seeds. By deadheading, you’ll keep the juices flowing. Do not prune heavily as water-deprived plants are stressed and may not have the capacity to heal the pruned branches resulting in death. Pruning encourages side shoots and stimulates growth, which is not what you are seeking in a drought. Deadheading just the spent flowers is the key to keeping your plants alive.

TURF WARS
Lawns are warriors. They can absorb a mountain of abuse as they give our eyes a rest from concrete chaos. I love a lawn for the visual appeal as well as the functionality of recreational activities and am not about to abandon my green space in order to be politically correct. Although lawns may not be as green as the Emerald Isle with minimal irrigation, they will survive when you take these steps:
1. Allow the grass clippings to remain on the grass to recycle nutrients and moisture.
2. Reseed or repair lawns with drought resistant fine fescues.
3. Set your mower height to three inches to encourage deeper roots.
Allow grass to go dormant when water is not available. Unless conditions are extreme, your lawns will return when the seasons grow cooler.

SAVING WATER
Gray water is good for your garden. Keep a bucket in your shower and near your bath. Rinse and wash dishes in a container to recycle the soapy suds. If possible re-route your washing machine hose to water your landscape. Use wine barrels to catch rainwater and divert downspouts to your flowerbeds. Don’t use roof run-off on your edibles.

CREATE SHADE
Use market umbrellas, canvas tarps, or canopies to create false shade. Move containers to covered patios or overhangs to reduce the direct sunlight from already stressed plants.

BUILD WINDBREAKS
Wind dries the soil. Natural windbreaks include trees, shrubs, grasses, and hedges. Use decorative screens, art, or furniture as man-made wind barriers.

RAISED BEDS
A magnificent solution to numerous gardening challenges is to buy or build raised beds. Self-contained cow troughs are excellent since no critters can get in for a nibble and they retain water. Whether your raised beds are made of wood, concrete, aluminum, or other material, make sure that the bottom is protected with wire and that you add a few inches of gravel to the bottom for drainage. Fill with good soil, compost, mulch., and crowd your plantings together. Raised beds save backs and knees as they eliminate the bending necessary for most garden tasks.

DRY FARMING
I grew up on a dry farm. The flavors from the harvest were always intense, robust, and delicious. To dry farm, build your soil first with extra amounts of compost and use cover crops such as alfalfa, oats, beans, or vetch. When you plant your vegetables and fruit teach them to survive without water by giving them only a few drops to keep them alive. Once the fruit is set, stop watering completely.

By using all of the tips of the past two issues of Digging Deep-Gardening with Cynthia Brian, you will have begun your journey to xeriscaping.

Part Three is my Drought Gardening Series continues next month with a list of drought tolerant plants. Stay tuned!

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Reminders

⎫ ADD a birdbath to your xeriscaping as it is essential to provide water for our feathered friends.
⎫ SAVE the bulbs from the Easter gifts of lilies and tulips. Plant in the ground for a more spectacular repeat bloom next year.
⎫ MIX and match blue bachelor buttons, with white scabiosa, and pink dianthus for an easy, enchanted display.
⎫ CONTROL pests with healthy gardening practices that are eco-friendly.
⎫ SAVE space and water by planting a disease resistant fruit salad tree that has been grafted with multiple varieties of your favorites.
⎫ CELEBRATE the Earth Day Wildlife Festival on April 27 from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon at the Wagner Ranch Nature Area in Orinda.
⎫ BUY heirloom and organically grown plants from Moraga Community Garden sale every weekend in April located behind the walnut barn off of Moraga Way.

May flowers depend on more April showers thus we’ll continue our rain dances. Wishing you a very Happy Easter and Passover.
Happy Gardening! Happy Growing!

©2014
Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
StarStyle® Productions, LLC
Cynthia@GoddessgGrdener.com

http://www.GoddessGardener.com

925-377-7827
Cynthia is available as a speaker and consultant.

Read full article: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0803/Digging-Deep-Gardening-with-Cynthia-Brian-Dont-Doubt-the-Drought.html
Part ONE of Drought Series: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0801/Digging-Deep-Gardening-with-Cynthia-Brian-Singing-in-the-Rain.html
April Garden Guide: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0802/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-April.html


. I will meet you there.” Rumi Hurray for the rain! How happy we have been to utilize our umbrellas for the recent April showers. But don’t confuse this limited precipitation with full reservoirs. The recent downpours were only a trickle. The snowpack remains at only 30% of necessary and the water level in our lakes hovers around 50% of normal. Don’t doubt this drought. It is here to stay and we have to adjust to the coming season of dry weather. Conservation is critical. Do you know what xeriscaping is? Although some people have nicknamed the system “zero-scaping”, nothing could be further from the truth. Xeriscaping is a beneficial way to conserve water while maintaining a beautiful garden. Gardens may contain cacti and succulents, but many other drought tolerant specimens are also included. Plants with similar water requirements are grouped together and the use of the plot is considered. Areas for relaxing, eating, playing, sitting, and privacy are part of the plan. Trees and shrubs are positioned to provide heating and cooling while curved wide swaths are encouraged for easier water efficiency. The resulting benefit of xeriscaping is a low maintenance garden that is drought resistant, water conserving, and a habitat for wildlife. Water usage may be reduced by as much as 50-75%. There is no right or wrong in the garden, but this year, we definitely must be water conscious. Part 2-Drought Gardening Series Next Steps PLANT WISELY Maintenance not growth are the goals of gardeners during a drought. If you must plant, decide on drought-tolerant plants instead of thirsty ones. In general, plants that can survive the dry times have leaves that are thick, small, glossy, fuzzy, or silver-grey. Be aware of exposure. Don’t mix flowerbeds with plants that have different needs. Hot, dry areas with south or west exposures require more water while east and north facing gardens retain their moisture longer. Natives and desert plants drink less. Plant now while the weather is cooler and refrain from planting during the warmer months. Consider vegetables that will give you the biggest bang for your water buck such as tomatoes, beans, artichokes, eggplant, peppers, squash, Swiss Chard, lettuces, and cucumbers while eliminating choices that produce just one crop like cauliflower. PLANT CLOSE TOGETHER Learn from the Native Americans who planted “Three Sisters” including corn, beans, and squash. According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash are three inseparable sisters who grow and thrive together. The beans provide nitrogen, the corn is a trellis where beans can grow, and the prickly foliage of the squash keep the corn worms away in a sustainable system that has been used throughout history. Instead of organizing your garden in rows, plant in close knit squares or swathes to pack the punch in small places. Use tall plants as canopies of shade. In the fall, add a cover crop mix to protect and fertilize garden beds after harvest. DEADHEAD REGULARLY Don’t allow seeds or pods to form as they zap energy and use more water to form the seeds. By deadheading, you’ll keep the juices flowing. Do not prune heavily as water-deprived plants are stressed and may not have the capacity to heal the pruned branches resulting in death. Pruning encourages side shoots and stimulates growth, which is not what you are seeking in a drought. Deadheading just the spent flowers is the key to keeping your plants alive. TURF WARS Lawns are warriors. They can absorb a mountain of abuse as they give our eyes a rest from concrete chaos. I love a lawn for the visual appeal as well as the functionality of recreational activities and am not about to abandon my green space in order to be politically correct. Although lawns may not be as green as the Emerald Isle with minimal irrigation, they will survive when you take these steps: 1. Allow the grass clippings to remain on the grass to recycle nutrients and moisture. 2. Reseed or repair lawns with drought resistant fine fescues. 3. Set your mower height to three inches to encourage deeper roots. Allow grass to go dormant when water is not available. Unless conditions are extreme, your lawns will return when the seasons grow cooler. SAVING WATER Gray water is good for your garden. Keep a bucket in your shower and near your bath. Rinse and wash dishes in a container to recycle the soapy suds. If possible re-route your washing machine hose to water your landscape. Use wine barrels to catch rainwater and divert downspouts to your flowerbeds. Don’t use roof run-off on your edibles. CREATE SHADE Use market umbrellas, canvas tarps, or canopies to create false shade. Move containers to covered patios or overhangs to reduce the direct sunlight from already stressed plants. BUILD WINDBREAKS Wind dries the soil. Natural windbreaks include trees, shrubs, grasses, and hedges. Use decorative screens, art, or furniture as man-made wind barriers. RAISED BEDS A magnificent solution to numerous gardening challenges is to buy or build raised beds. Self-contained cow troughs are excellent since no critters can get in for a nibble and they retain water. Whether your raised beds are made of wood, concrete, aluminum, or other material, make sure that the bottom is protected with wire and that you add a few inches of gravel to the bottom for drainage. Fill with good soil, compost, mulch., and crowd your plantings together. Raised beds save backs and knees as they eliminate the bending necessary for most garden tasks. DRY FARMING I grew up on a dry farm. The flavors from the harvest were always intense, robust, and delicious. To dry farm, build your soil first with extra amounts of compost and use cover crops such as alfalfa, oats, beans, or vetch. When you plant your vegetables and fruit teach them to survive without water by giving them only a few drops to keep them alive. Once the fruit is set, stop watering completely. By using all of the tips of the past two issues of Digging Deep-Gardening with Cynthia Brian, you will have begun your journey to xeriscaping. Part Three is my Drought Gardening Series continues next month with a list of drought tolerant plants. Stay tuned! Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Reminders ⎫ ADD a birdbath to your xeriscaping as it is essential to provide water for our feathered friends. ⎫ SAVE the bulbs from the Easter gifts of lilies and tulips. Plant in the ground for a more spectacular repeat bloom next year. ⎫ MIX and match blue bachelor buttons, with white scabiosa, and pink dianthus for an easy, enchanted display. ⎫ CONTROL pests with healthy gardening practices that are eco-friendly. ⎫ SAVE space and water by planting a disease resistant fruit salad tree that has been grafted with multiple varieties of your favorites. ⎫ CELEBRATE the Earth Day Wildlife Festival on April 27 from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon at the Wagner Ranch Nature Area in Orinda. ⎫ BUY heirloom and organically grown plants from Moraga Community Garden sale every weekend in April located behind the walnut barn off of Moraga Way. May flowers depend on more April showers thus we’ll continue our rain dances. Wishing you a very Happy Easter and Passover. Happy Gardening! Happy Growing! ©2014 Cynthia Brian The Goddess Gardener StarStyle® Productions, LLC Cynthia@GoddessgGrdener.com http://www.GoddessGardener.com 925-377-7827 Cynthia is available as a speaker and consultant. Read full article: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0803/Digging-Deep-Gardening-with-Cynthia-Brian-Dont-Doubt-the-Drought.html Part ONE of Drought Series: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0801/Digging-Deep-Gardening-with-Cynthia-Brian-Singing-in-the-Rain.html April Garden Guide: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0802/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-Guide-for-April.html 

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Spring Break-a week of fun for students

Spring Break-a week of fun for students around the country. What do young people do with the leisure. Tune in NOON PT http://ow.ly/vOCmx

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