Cydira's Country Corner.

A potpourri of country wisdom, kitchen witchery, and random thoughts from yours truly. Take a gander, you may find a new interesting recipe or a funny little tidbit to bring a smile to your day.
Dear Reader,

I'm recovering from a mild stomach bug. It seems oddly appropriate that the first few days the kids are back to school, I catch something. I will be not be available at random times this afternoon because of said stomach bug. I will, however, do my best to be around on chat and for calls as my stomach settles down. Thank goodness for chamomile tea.

The tarot peek is a little behind because I spent yesterday out with my Beloved for our anniversary. It's 20 years we've been together. It feels like just yesterday I said that I'd go out to a movie with him for the first time. And as for wedding anniversary, that's my lucky number, 13! But, with him, every day is my lucky day. :)

I will get that tarot peek for the week up a little later this afternoon. Thank you so much for your patience. I misplaced my book of quotes. Please forgive me for my lack of motivational quotes today. In other news, french toast scented candles smell more like caramel and maple syrup. It is tormenting me and my stomach but it smells SO good. LOL

I hope you're having a beautiful day.

Dear Reader,

For just $25.00 you can have this spell for cleansing your home, office, or other space of unwanted energy, poor luck, and general spiritual miasma. It is super simple and the hardest part is just what you normally do, cleaning up.

We're entering into a new season, it's good to start with a bit of sprucing up for the home. I use this spell on a regular basis. If you are not interested in this spell and would like me to create one just for you, the cost is still $25.00.

New Moon Cleansing Spell

Have a beautiful day!

Dear Reader,

In the back to school madness, all kinds of things get slapped up on the shelf at the store for you to buy. Lunch boxes come in every size, style, and design. It gets a bit bewildering. As I am working on getting ready to pack lunches for both Beloved and the kids, it struck me that I hadn't shared the one thing that has been working really well.

Bento lunch boxes are from Japan. You can find them here in the USA with out having to go to specialty shops now. I have to confess, the lunches that I pack in the bento boxes are not nearly as fancy or pretty as what you can find with a quick search. But, they help make sure that I pack proper portion sizes and ratios for everybody. Since starting to use one for myself last spring to help manage my diabetes, I am finding that it is a lot easier to pack my lunches and get a good visual on what a correct sized portion is for me now. There are some packing guidelines that are super easy to follow.

For adult lunches: 4 parts carbohydrate, 2 parts protein, and 1 part vegetables.

For kid lunches: 3 parts carbohydrate, 2 parts protein, and 1 part vegetables.

For myself, I shifted things a bit. I go with 2 parts carbohydrates, 2 parts protein, and 3 parts vegetables.

It has been an interesting experience. I have to confess, the guidance and suggestions of my care team lead me to finding some awesome cookbooks for diabetics. But, the really interesting thing is, the portion sizes suggested in these cookbooks almost all fall along the lines of what I have been doing with my bento box. So, in my humble opinion, bento boxes are totally worth the hype.
Dear Reader,

It is that time of year again when parents rejoice because their kids are going back to school. And then parents get frustrated because they have to buy ALL THE THINGS. I swear my boys grew two shoe sizes in the last month. I'm glad they're growing, don't get me wrong, but I feel like I turn around and their pants are fit for them to go fishing in. So, we're making plans to buy new school clothes. The kids are already bickering over who gets what nifty, fancy backpack. Goodness help us if they both want the same design.

I've had two migraines in the last week. I'm pretty sure this weather we've been having is part of the problem, but stress doesn't help so much. Making sure that I got all the school supplies early helped with the stress. Now, if only the kids would stop bickering so much. I know that they're as ready to go back to school as I am for them to do so. My husband tells me that we can make it through the next few weeks as long as we keep them distracted. Tablets and electronic toys work alright for a while but then they start fighting over who gets to play with what.

So, my thinking is I'm going to take them on some 'adventures' like to the railroad museum up by the city, the historical village in the next county over, and maybe with me to spinning guild. I also have this kit for 'mind blowing' science experiments. Rainy days are going to be for SCIENCE! And possibly making stuff in the kitchen. Aside from that, I have brought back the invention box from last year. Different supplies but a box full of random odds and ends for the kids to build with. I tried buying a box of junk at the flea market and no body had a box of random things like what you'd find in a junk drawer but there wasn't one to be found. (I did almost buy a telescope, though.)

My fellow companions in arms, let us brave the remainder of the summer with inventiveness and silly games. And if we're lucky, we'll keep some measure of our sanity and actually wear the little ones out enough so that they actually sleep at the end of the day.

Dear Reader,

I've been having some technical difficulties with my laptop. Sorry about this week's tarot peek being a day late. For some reason this blasted thing wasn't charging. I think it's time for my technomancer husband to take a look at it.

Monday: Temperance - This is a day of balancing the will to do with the desire to not do things. As we move forward through today, remember that our needs are always what guides us forward and our dreams are the map that we follow.

Tuesday: 5 of Cups - Harsh words spoken in the past come back to us this day. Instead of dwelling on the mistakes made and the emotional bloods spilled, let us focus on mending the wound with good communication and remembering what our goals are.

Wednesday: Princess of Pentacles - A young soul bears news that makes us uncomfortable but needs to be heard. They are pointing the way forward and out of the challenges we are struggling in.

Thursday: 5 of Wands - Communication breakdowns abound today. Technical difficulties are the primary concern here. Don't give up, however, because they can be overcome with persistence.

Friday: Ace of Cups - Fortunate souls find love this day. Others find themselves caught up in their heart's delight. The seed of new joy is beginning to grow this day.

Saturday: 4 of Cups - The joy fades in the face of every day troubles. As we endure the difficulties of boredom and ennui, we are called to remember that stability's boredom means that there is also safety.

Dear Reader,

Recycling and greenhouses pretty much go hand in hand with helping the environment when you are upcycling old materials to do it. It is late summer in the northern hemisphere but I know there are folks in the southern hemisphere who are itching to get back outside and in to the garden. Fortunately, late winter and early spring is a great time to get things started with an indoor greenhouse.

For this project you will need:

  • one one gallon plastic jug
  • one 4 in plant pot (if you can recycle it from last year's plants go for it!)
  • potting soil
  • seeds
  • x-acto knife or box cutter


Step one: Take your gallon jug and your knife, cut the jug in to two parts. This cut should be made one inch up from the base of the jug at minimum.

Step two: Prep your plant pot with soil and add your seeds.

Step three: Place the plant pot inside your plastic jug and water. Place the whole mess on a well lighted spot away from drafts.

Step four: Check on your plant regularly and water as needed. If the environment in the mini-greenhouse seems too humid for your plant, open the lid on your jug for a few hours and then replace the cap back on.
Dear Reader,

If your life gets busy, like mine does, you may forget a few things until the last minute. Perhaps you have the need for a quick dish to bring to a picnic or a potluck dinner. Perhaps you have the need to use up a carton of eggs before they go bad. Or, maybe you just need a healthy snack. Deviled eggs go fast at my house. I have to hide some if I get to eat any of them. Since going on this low carb - low cholesterol - low fat diet, I thought I had to give up having them. Boy howdy was I excited when I found out that I could have up to three real, honest to goodness eggs a week. I confess, I fantasized about all the ways I could have them but it was the deviled eggs that kept coming back to mind.

Now, everyone has their own deviled eggs recipe. My family likes them with some kick to 'em. My nieces, however, can't stand spicy stuff. This recipe is super flexible. You can adjust it do your liking and call it your own deviled eggs supreme. The secret ingredient is always love!

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, cut in half
  • 1/4 c spicy mustard
  • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise


Step one: After your eggs are cut in half, scoop out the yolks and put them into a medium bowl. Reserve the egg whites.

Step two: Mash egg yolks with a fork until crumbly. Add remaining ingredients and mix until uniform in color and texture. This should be a relatively smooth mixture.

Step three: Spoon egg yolk mixture into a sandwich bag and zip shut. Snip off one of the lower corners of the bag. Pipe mixture into the egg whites.

Step four: Garnish as desired, serve immediately or chilled for 15 minutes.

If you want, you can chop up the eggs all together and add the other ingredients to make egg salad. My house, the eggs don't last long enough to get garnished. But you can garnish them with paprika, which is traditional. You can also use fresh herbs. If you're feeling fancy, fresh picked and washed nasturtium blossoms are a great option. They have a nice peppery flavor and are a refreshing counterpoint.

Have a beautiful day.

Dear Reader,

This week's theme is gratitude. Here are some quotes that may help lighten your day and fill your heart with gratitude for the good you have.

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you. ~ Eileen Caddy

Gratitude is a twofold love - love coming to visit us, and love running out to greet a welcome guest. ~ Henry Van Dyke

Friendships begin with liking or gratitude. ~ George Eliot

I am grateful for your taking the time to read my blog. I hope you have a beautiful day!

Dear Reader, It's been a wild couple of days. I don't recommend getting a norovirus in the middle of summer. The kids are pretty much over it and I'm on the mend. Thankfully, Beloved took care of all the heavy lifting over the weekend. After some rest and such, we're all doing much better. So far, it seems like he hasn't caught it. *knocks wood*

We're about to have lunch over here. I've got some leftover chicken from saturday that I'm thinking about turning into a quick meal with a big salad. The boys want their usual sandwiches and chips. They may be predictable but it makes feeding them easier. I'll be available for calls in about an hour. Until then, feel free to arrange calls with me for this afternoon.

I'm still having trouble getting the chat client running, but Keen mail is always an option. :)
Dear Reader, I'm available on chat this evening. I'd be available on phone but my living room sounds like a WWII airport with all the fans running. I'm around for an hour tonight.

The key to getting over imposter syndrome is realizing everyone else is an imposter too. Tell yourself that you deserve a stake in the scam they're all running. ~ Brainstatic

I don't know who you are, Brainstatic, or what platform you are on but this is sheer brilliance and we all need this bit of inspiration today.

Dear Reader,

If you have school age little ones, I bet you are at the same place I am and desperately wishing for school to start up RIGHT NOW. We've hit the dreaded doldrums of late summer and everyone is getting on everyone's nerves. Recent weather has had us cooped up indoors a lot. While my boys love their comic books, it's been hard to keep them entertained.

We're doing our best to hang in there for the start of school. It's now just about a month away with my area's school district. Summer school occupies them for about three hours in the morning but that will be ending in about a week and a half. The questions arises, what on earth do we do while we wait for school to start up again? Fortunately, we live about 10 minutes walking distance from the park. The summer activity program has a few more weeks left to it. I'll be bringing them to the last few events that we can fit into the schedule. The library has a summer reading program that I'm taking the boys to on a weekly basis. We're going to try to go visit some relatives a few towns over that we haven't seen in a while. It doesn't sound like a lot of fun and exciting things to do, but it will get them out of the house for a little while.

How are you doing with keeping your youngsters out of mischief and free of boredom for the last month of summer break? I'm considering teaching the eldest how to knit or something so he stops making firetruck noises all the time. With my luck, he will make firetruck noises as he is doing stuff and pretending that he's still driving one as he knits. My boys have very active imaginations and a love for loud equipment. They've been thrilled to watch the highway department driving dump trucks up and down our road as they do paving and such on the next road over. Now to find something else equally thrilling that I can do that doesn't involve my having to remember how to drive a stick shift.

Dear Reader,

I do stuff with fiber every day. I spin, knit, crochet, sew, and embroider. I even have a small tabletop sized loom but no where to set it up right now. If you want to learn, there are tons of really great tutorial videos on Youtube and instructions on blogs all over the place. I took up spinning when I was pregnant with my youngest child. I had always wanted to learn and I was excited when the chance to finally learn how arrived. I started doing crochet when I was pregnant with my eldest child because I wanted to make him a layette set. (I made one for each boy. They're put away safe now.) I was sick with penumonia when I knit my first baby sweater. My youngest wore it for a few weeks before he grew out of it.

There is a lot of benefits to being crafty. Some of those benefits are health related because it will help lower your stress levels and relax. (Though with some knitting patterns I'm not so sure about that. Knitting an illusion scarf was really hard and frustrating. I'm not doing that again anytime soon.) It also helps us with problem solving skills and keeps us mentally sharp. It sounds a little weird that something as monotonous as knitting washcloths can help with this, but it switches our focus and allows our subconscious mind to work on the problems vexing us. That's where some of the most brilliant minds in history had their ideas bubble up, while doing something boring and tedious. It also seems to help ward off dementia and keep your hands limber and reduce some of the stiffness of arthritis. As someone with arthritis, I have to say it seems to help the same way the yoga helps my back and knees.

I'm going to start posting up small patterns and links to stuff that may be helpful or interesting if you are a beginning to fiber arts or just curious. Look for a little something on Wednesday afternoons and an occasional update on stuff I'm making. :) Right now, I have rainbow colored fiber I'm spinning on my kick wheel and I'm about a third of the way through the braid of fiber. It's working up pretty uneven because the fiber is a bit felted from being in storage for so long. But I am still getting lace weight singles out of it. When I get the skein done, I'll post a picture of it and my wheel.

Dear Reader,

I'm changing 'Wordless Wednesday' to 'Wisdom Wednesday' because there's already a flood of stunning pictures on the internet. As my late grandfather would say, however, there is a bit less horse sense and too much nonsense.

Today's wisdom does not come from any of my guides or spirit companions. This one is all me.

If your tech is malfunctioning, try turning it off and then back on again. Seriously, whatever technology you are working with stop using it for a few minutes and try doing it again after a break. This is true for when your fancy smart phone starts acting up, the wireless router in the living room, or if the yarn you are spinning keeps breaking on you while you're working. Stop, take a break and do something else for a few minutes. Then, try again. If it doesn't work on the second attempt, consult someone who knows more and check the manual.

Hard won wisdom that lead to a bit of domestic chaos at my house. Now I know how to reset the router for the wireless network. Who knew it was as simple as turn it off and back on again? (Thankfully my husband who told me how to do it via text message on the phone.)

I hope you're having a beautiful day.

Dear Reader,

I'm taking the boys outside to play in this gloriously beautiful weather. Plenty of sunscreen for everyone. I'll be available for chat after 7:30 pm Eastern time.
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