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.
Hi Folks,

Have you started a garden at your house? We have a container garden that we started last week. Both the boys were thrilled to help clean up the old window boxes by pulling grass out of them and just tossing it off the deck into the weeds behind the building. (My youngest seems to have a pretty good throwing arm, because he was whipping those clods of dirt and grass pretty far into those weeds.) Some friends of mine are a bit nervous about having their kids out in the garden with them. They worry about their littles pulling up important plants or messing around with stuff that shouldn't be touched (like poison ivy). I was worried about this at first too.

Then it occurred to me that my kids are going to play in the dirt no matter what. It's just a thing that kids do. So, I put that desire to dig and pull up what they decided were weeds to use. Last year, we had a little difficulty with them pulling up my forget-me-nots. But, they learned pretty quickly what they were allowed to pull and it was a one-time incident. They were especially happy to help water things. We don't have an outdoor hose hookup. So, it was either I lugged around a 3 gallon watering can around the whole yard, or let the boys run around like little madmen with their 1 quart watering cans and dumping water on everything (including each other).

Kids like to play outside when the weather is nice (and sometimes when it is rainy, too). Because they see the grown ups in their lives gardening, they'll pretend to be doing it too. I lost count how many sticks my youngest put into the sandbox at the park and said he was growing a forest. When you take them by the hand and get them involved in the garden, there is a whole world of good things that can happen.

The best, however, is that bonding time you get to spend. Second best is watching them light up when they see a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. But it may be tied with fresh tomatoes right off the vine. Next week, I'll share with you how we organized our garden so that the kids have their own special things to be responsible for. It's a tricky balance between responsibility and fun. I'll share what we're doing at our place here.

Hi Folks,

I'm sorry this is a little late. My internet was a bit off kilter yesterday. If you have someone in your household who absolutely loves chili-dogs, this recipe is going to be super easy and tasty. The trick to having these chili-dogs come out right is your slow cooker. And a few canned goods (or some tasty leftover chili ). Now, if you don't want to drag out that big slow cooker, that's fine because this will work up quickly on the stove top.

Ingredients
  • 2 15 oz cans of chili - OR - 2 cups of leftover chili
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (optional)
  • 10 oz tomato paste (thinned with a few tablespoons of water)
  • 2 packages of hot dogs (16 hot dogs)


In your slow cooker, put the first can of chili on the bottom. set your hot dogs on top. In a separate bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, second can of chili, and tomato paste together until uniform. Pour this mixture over your hot dogs and then pop your lid on. Cook the entire batch on low for 6 hours or on high for 3. If you decide to make this on the stove, use a medium-large sized sauce pot. Put everything in in the same order, more or less. Then cook on medium until the mixture is bubbly, stirring constantly. Lower the temperature down to a slow simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture is heated through and your hot dogs are fully cooked.

I like to serve this with potato bread hot dog rolls and a tossed salad. It is equally good with regular white hot dog rolls and a nice little tomato salad. Topping your chili dog is pretty easy. Scoop out some of that chili mixture that they were cooking in, add some diced onion, shredded cheddar, and a healthy squirt of mustard for the baseball park experience. If you want to treat yourself to something like the famous Garbage Plate from my neck of the woods, serve your chili dogs with all the fixings on a bed of macaroni salad with some fries on the side and a generous amount of baked beans.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Hi Folks,

My early evening plans got upset along with a cup of coffee. Fortunately, no school books or homework assignments got destroyed. I did, however, have to clear the table and put all the table linens in the wash. In other news, I have learned a few new, and mostly useless, facts. First off, coffee grounds can be used as a deodorant. (I tested this one, it was a surprise that it actually works.) Secondly, the myth that drinking coffee is a detraction from your hydration is wrong, as per my family physician. And, finally, infusing coffee into alcohol is most effective with coffee grounds, not beans. The beans look pretty, but don't have enough surface area for the coffee to impart its essence into the alcohol.

The coffee facts may be due to my frustration with trying to figure out how to get coffee stains out of the tablecloth. (Beloved has told me that he will work his magic on it and do what he can to solve the issue tomorrow. I don't know how, but my husband has this talent for getting stains out of anything. No matter what fabric or what is causing the stain, he can get it out. I try to get him to tell me how he does it and he just shrugs and says 'All I do is wash the laundry.' He can get old blood stains out of cotton. It is witchcraft, I say!)

I'll be around for chat readings until 8 pm eastern time.

Hi folks,

I have managed to misplace my headset. As such, I am doing readings through chat until I figure out where exactly I put those blasted things. (I suspect that one of the boys may have borrowed it, they were talking about watching videos on their tablet. And if it was the one I think it was, he put it away in a safe place when he was done. Ah, kids. Never a dull moment.) If I take a minute to respond, please understand that I'm trying to find my headset.

The deck I am using today is my Robin Wood deck. The artwork is adorable and cheerful. It is also a nice, convenient small size that is well suited to being used on the desk beside my laptop. If you want a different deck, I do have my Barbara Walker Deck near by, as well as the Fool Moon tarot (I forget who the artist is on that one) and the Witch's Tarot (which was also done by Robin Wood, but in a different and more realistic style).

I'll try to put up something fun in a little bit too. Because we all need something to make us smile and help us get through Monday, right?



I am going to have to step away from chat for a little while because the boys are about to be home from school. I will be back for a spell after dinner. Have a great evening!
Hi Folks!

I have a little game for you. I describe a Tarot card and you tell me which card it is. Sounds simple enough, right? Tonight, after I've put the kids to bed, I will post what card it was. So, are you ready? Let's get to the description.
Mystery Card # 1: I have three people. Usually I am pictured with flowers on me. The three people are frequently in a triangular orientation. One person in the center, positioned higher than the persons on the left and right. I am commonly considered a beneficial card and a card of great emotion. Which card am I?

Bonus Clue: I have a number associated with me, but no suit.

Have fun!

Hi Folks,

Here are some quotes that are focused on the healing process as we all catch our breath in the wake of a few weeks of just atrocious things happening in the world.

Take all the time you need to heal emotionally. Moving on doesn't take a day. It takes a lot of little steps to be able to break free from your broken self. ~ Anon.

It has been said "Time heals all wounds." I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone. ~ Rose Kennedy

You have a right to be angry. It's not negative or wrong. You don't have to condone someone's actions or pretend you're ok with them in order to be a good or spiritual person. Just know that you have the power to move beyond your pain, when you are ready. You have the power to find lessons in your heartache, gains in your losses, and reasons to forgive. It might take time, and it may not be easy, but it is possible to heal and move on. ~ Lori Deschene
Hi Folks!

This week is going to be a bit of a mixed bag. I am going to be available for readings via the phone and via chat on Monday (6/5/17) and then on Tuesday (6/6/17) I will not be available. (Anyone willing to give kind thoughts for my son, it would be appreciated. He has a dentist appointment and he is nervous about it.) Wednesday (6/7/17) I will be available. Thursday and Friday (6/8/17 - 6/9/17) I will only be doing e-mail readings. Saturday (6/8/17), I am going to be available for chat readings for the evening, provided that everything works out. (There are a lot of things on the schedule for Saturday, like haircuts and visiting some friends.)

As always, I will be happy to do an e-mail reading for you. The turn around time is 24 to 48 hours from when I receive your request. When making your request for an e-mail reading, please specify how detailed you would like it to be and what specifically you would like your reading to discuss. I also want to remind some of my past clients that I am still working on your free readings. They're a bit late because my life has been getting in the way of getting them out on time.
Hello folks!

I am finally organized enough to get back to doing my tarot previews of the week ahead for the whole Keen community. Here's what the cards are showing me for this week.

Sunday: Ace of Cups The Ace of Cups speaks of deep emotions and romance. This card promises that the first day of the week is going to be a time of peace and much needed healing.

Monday: The Moon This is a card of passage and transition. With much tears, we will be processing the tragedies that have happened and will find comfort in our respective faiths and spiritual beliefs.

Tuesday: 6 of Pentacles The warm hearts of the Keen community will reach out to those who are in need, bearing encouragement and aid where it is needed. I also see that special care will be taken for the younger members.

Wednesday: The Magician The community of Keen will all be working towards bringing the about major change in the world by way of our prayers, actions, and collective will to make the world a better place. The actions to help others that are initiated Tuesday will be making rapid progress towards fulfillment. Thursday: 9 of Rods The community will act to provide support to the members who are actively engaged in resisting terror and the efforts to cause harm. I see here that we will be providing encouragement where it is needed and advice where others need some direction for how to help others. Friday: Page of Swords Unfortunate, unexpected news will be arriving for some of the younger members. There will also be some difficulties with communication arising due to technical errors. We are encouraged to make a point of not taking the communication problems personally and to focus on clarifying things as best we can. Saturday: 9 of Pentacles This is going to be a day of recovery and rest. Well earned time to recover from the challenges of the last week. I see here that hearts will be given to gladness and love.
Hi Folks!

It's almost that time of year where school is out. If you're like me, you have all kinds of things to run and do right now. Parent-teacher conferences, recitals, after-school sports, and four million other things that all seem to be happening at once seems to be the theme right now. As much pressure it puts on us adults, it is just as much if not more for the little ones. The question arises, how do we help them cope with it?

It is actually very similar to what we do to help ourselves cope with high stress.

  • Making sure that the kids get a good breakfast in the morning is one very big thing. But, there have been lots of studies done by places like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University that show that if you have a nutritious breakfast in the morning, it has a very positive effect on brain function for the day. Which is a pretty big deal with all of those end of year tests going on.
  • A great night's sleep is more than a good idea, it's healthy! The same places that tell us that breakfast is good for us also tell us that sleep deprivation is bad. As much as the youngsters (and older kids, heck, even us adults) want to get away with staying up late at night, a consistent sleep schedule that provides at least 7 hours of rest is really important.
  • Play time is vital.This may sound counter-intuitive, but making sure that the kids have time to play is a big help to the learning process. Studies have been done that show that children who have at least an hour of play time a day perform better on tests than their peers who have less play time. Now, playing on the computer or digital devices may not be as helpful as outdoor play, but it is better than nothing.
  • Bonding time is super important. Just like the grown ups, kids want to feel that they are important, loved, appreciated, and supported. Taking time out of your day to spend it just hanging out with the kids is a huge thing that tends to be underestimated for some reason. But, if you look at it, when you're having a bad day, it helps to have some one give you a hug and do things to help you feel a little less awful. It's the same for kids. They're just like us, just smaller.


This list is by no means complete. But, they are four things that you can work into every day that helps the kids cope with this stressful part of the school year.

Until next time, have a great day!

Hi Folks!

I am working on finishing up some things with wrapping up the school year right now. It's making call time a bit difficult to arrange right now. It is also cutting into what time I would have for doing chat readings. That said, I am still more than happy to do email readings. My turn around time on an email reading is 48 hours from when I read your email. If it happens to take longer than 48 hours, I will send it to you at half cost and send you free minutes.

Now, you may be wondering how much an email reading costs. It's a great question. If you are looking for a very simple 3 card reading, that is going to be $5.00. A more detailed 5 card reading is going to be $7.00. In both cases, I will tell you a little about each card in the spread along with what the cards themselves mean in their positions.

If you want a very detailed 10 card reading, I will do as I mentioned above and I will give you a summary that shows how it all fits together. This is a reading that takes me around 45 minutes to put together. If you did this by phone, it would be pretty expensive. But, if you get it as an email reading, you pay only $20.00. That is over half the cost of this sort of reading over the phone. I think it is probably the best deal.

Message me today, and I will send you 5 free minutes towards calls in the future along with your email reading. It's something of a thank you for choosing me.

Have a great day!


Image from Pexels, Free Stock Photos
Gentle Reader,

I am presently elbows deep in some housekeeping. This has bee the last few weeks. Spring cleaning is exhausting. I am available for email readings. Once I receive and read your email, I will get your reading put together and back to you within 48 hours. I also follow up the email reading with another email offering you free minutes in case you'd like to discuss your reading on the phone.

Please feel free to drop me a note. I will be more than happy to do a reading for you. If I can manage to get more of my housework done this afternoon, I may be able to be available for calls.

In the meantime, I hope you have a great day.
This week, the motivational quote I have for you comes from the late Carrie Fisher. (She is most famous for her role as Princess, and then General Leia in the Star Wars movies.)

She said: Take your broken heart and make it into art.

There's a lot of ways to interpret that statement. I find that the hopeful one of taking the pain of our broken heard to make our live more beautiful and happy is the best one to hold on to.

I also bring you a quote from George Williams (an author and editor of some success).

He said: Criticism is a profession. Never accept it from amateurs.

From this quote, I find great comfort. Because if a processional is critiquing your work, they're not tearing you down. They are pointing out the weaknesses in it and giving suggestions for how to improvement. Those amateurs, however, just say spiteful things to be bitter.

And let us not forget the wisdom of Albert Einstein (who is the subject of a new television show that I am looking forward to watching).

He said: Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.

I hope everyone has a lovely day.
Dear Reader,

It is Monday, May 1st. This is an auspicious day for new beginnings. Not only is it the very height of Springtide and the holy day of Beltane, it is also the best time to embark on something new.

What makes today the best time to start something new? The answer is very simple, because you have the opportunity to turn things around if they're going poorly or get going on something very fortunate when ever you are bold enough to take that step. The spiritual element of it all is just the icing on that cake.

Remember, Dame Fortuna is bald behind, so seize her by the forelock when she comes running by. You can do this! You have the courage and perseverance to make your dreams reality. After all, you have made it this far, haven't you? And you have come quite a long way from where you started out.

Hi folks!

Today has been a rather awful day for various reasons. The good parts are that my kids had a good day at school, my husband is employed, we're all relatively healthy, and my fish is still alive. The heater is working again, so that's also a good part. My anxiety has been off the charts right now. It has lead to a very ... difficult day. As such, I am going to be stepping away from Keen for a little while. Partly because I have a long list of problems to solve tomorrow that involves running around town and such. Partly because I have to get my anxiety problem under some semblance of control.

I apologize for any inconvenience this causes you all. It is my hope that this will not take very long. Wish me luck, folks. My life is about to get interesting. Gods help me.

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