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.
This week's motivational quotes focus on the topic of HOPE.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
- Hellen Keller

Where there is tea, there is hope. - Arthur Wing Pinero

Today's rune is Othala. It is the rune of inheritance, homeland, and ancestry. It comes to us in a direct orientation. It indicates that we must consider things such as fixed forms of wealth (such as our houses and investments) and how they may best serve us. It also indicates that we are functioning in a correct way as to how we relate to our ancestors. Finally, the rune of homeland tells us that now is the time to act for the greater good of our people and nation.*

* I do not take a 'folkish' approach to these matters. Contrary to individuals who are more 'conservative' in their reading of runes, I view this as a rune of the entire multicultural group of people of the reader's homeland. It does not address strictly my homeland. ALSO it is not a rune that is bound strictly to a given race. If you have these positions and disagree with me, I kindly ask you to keep them to yourself. My pluralist take on the runes is a result of many years of study and instruction from a familial tradition. Thank you.
Hi there everybody,

I'm still recovering from a fall last week. I hurt my back when I slipped on the icy front steps and landed on the snow shovel. Fortunately, there wasn't a serious injury. It made doing stuff for the last few days pretty hard just because the pain was distracting and moving around was rough because of how stiff I was. I've reached the point, thank the gods, where a little icy hot does a lot of good now. So, that's been my weekend.

Sunday was going to be the day I had this posted. And then my kids happened. We were all very busy doing things like making train layouts, attempting a new bread recipe, and learning how to do housework. Next thing I know, it's after dinner and I'm exhausted. Beloved was amused by my surprise at this. (He was pretty awesome too, explaining for the billionth time that you can't use a jet pack to get to outer space and handling Mt. Washmore - laundry edition.) So, here is what I have for this week, posted a day late.

Monday: Ace of Coins - This is a good day for new beginnings. Prosperity awaits you and you will find yourself in places where you can get some good roots going for the year's projects.

Tuesday: 10 of Coins - Riches surround you. Good fortune smiles on you. And, you are making excellent progress towards your goals.

Wednesday: The Sun - The light of all blessings shines upon you. This is a day of great happiness for many in our community.

Thursday: 7 of Rods - Hard work reaps rewards but they're difficult to spot because of the proverbial fence between you and them. Keep plugging away at your goals. You are in the process of meeting them.

Friday: Knight of Cups - News comes to you of a 'sea change' of affairs. This is a change in your favor, though it was unexpected. I see here a gift coming to someone in our community that will be a surprise.

Saturday: 4 of Swords - A mock 'battle of wits' brings to light the challenges in relationships. It also ends in a stalemate with no hard feelings. I see here very clever people realizing they are better as allies than as adversaries. And this is always a good thing.
Cardamom is a tantalizing flavor in many different foods out of the regions of India and Pakistan. It is used in everything from tea to curries to desserts. In the United States, cardamom is becoming popular as the exotic spice gets well known. Coffee is known in just about every possible kind of fancy manifestation, up to seasoning steak. Returning cardamom and coffee back to their roots as beverages, you can get a delicious and refreshing kick start to your day with no effort.

Cold brewing coffee is a very easy and inexpensive process. If you have a canning jar, coffee filters, and butcher's twine, you don't have to worry about scooping out coffee grounds. A two quart jar filled with cold water and your coffee filter bundled up with your coffee and crushed cardamom pods will yield you a little less than two quarts of cold brewed coffee concentrate. A little sugar and you're good to go for the day.

3 tablespoons coffee grounds
3-4 cardamom pods lightly crushed
2 quarts water

Two medium basket style paper coffee filters
4-6 inch length of kitchen twine
2 quart canning jar with lid

1. Put your coffee and crushed cardamom pods into one coffee filter. Fold it all over itself to make a small parcel. Flip the parcel over and then place into the next coffee filter. Make another parcel containing the first. Wrap twine over and tie firmly.

2. Place coffee parcel into the canning jar and fill with cool water. Twist on your lid. Set aside 8 hours. When finished steeping, remove coffee parcel and discard. One cup of coffee concentrate equals two cups of regular coffee when diluted with equal amount of water.

Today's rune is Dagaz. Dagaz is associated with the letter 'D' in the English alphabet. It is associated with daylight and dawn. Dagaz is a rune of new beginnings and hope. It is another rune that cannot be reversed. It is coming to us today to remind us there is hope and we can always start again, no matter how much trouble has come to us.
Hi there, again!

There are a lot of great reasons to love Tex-Mex food. It is a weekly thing at my place to have something along those lines. Taco Tuesday doesn't happen every week just because my guys could eat their weight in tacos and I want to make sure there's some variety. I will be sharing the slow cooker tacos recipe next week. I just have to find my notes. In the meantime, here's some of my past Tex-Mex recipes that may help your dinner planning.

Pulled Steak Fajitas

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Dutch Oven Chili & Homemade bread

Have a great day! ♥
Hi there,

They say eternity is two people and a ham. At my house, we're still working on the remains of the Yuletide ham. I'm down to a relatively small amount. I am the only person who eats split pea soup regularly. Beloved will have a bit the night it is made and declines leftovers because it turns into a brick. His complaint is it doesn't make good sandwiches. Silly guy keeps forgetting that brick can get thinned out with a little water. And the kids, they have a tiny no-thank-you bite and move on to their ham sandwiches. Those ham sandwiches, they're the big winner. When I turn them into ham salad, I'll catch Beloved squirreling away some to dip his potato chips in. I'm lucky if I get a second sandwich.

So, dinner tonight is devilish ham salad. I say devilish because the mustard I use gives it a hefty kick. (Surprisingly, the kids don't mind the mustard. I think they're too in love with the ham to reject it.) You want to run two cups of diced ham through your food chopper until it resembles coarse granules. If you process it to paste, it makes it harder to mix. In a medium bowl, turn out your chopped ham and then add a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (or whipped salad dressing if you prefer it). Add two tablespoons of English style mustard. If you don't have that, use jalapeno mustard. While you're adding the other goodies, don't forget the two tablespoons of green pickle relish. If you don't have green pickle relish, run some bread and butter pickles through that handy food chopper until they're about the size of your chopped ham. Mix everything together until it is a uniform mixture.

Ta-DAH! Add some of your favorite bread and a slice of cheese, dinner's done. If you're extra hungry and don't want to eat all of that tasty devilish ham salad, add a tossed salad on the side. Don't feel like having the carbs that go with bread, put it on that tossed salad. Either way, it's going to be delicious and spicy.

Have a great day!

Good Morning!

Today's rune is Haglaz. Haglaz is associated with the letter H in the English alphabet. It is known as the hail rune, but not 'hail good fellow' rather 'it is hailing outside.' It is considered a rune of chaos, thereby a rune of the god Loki. It is another irreversible rune. Hail is frequently viewed as troublesome because it can flatten a ripe field of grain and cause a lot of damage. It is not just an inconvenience, though.

Hail can bring much needed moisture to a drought stricken region. It can also work really well to disrupt the movements of your enemies (as there is a legend of a sudden hailstorm in the mountains of Nepal killing an entire army crossing a mountain considered sacred to a local goddess). Usually, though, hail is just disruption and troubles that come from natural sources. This may be causality and the natural results of our own actions. Or, it may be literal bad weather causing problems. (In ancient days, runes were used for weather casting and this was considered a sign of coming storms.)

Haglaz comes to us today to let us know that the weather is fickle and we should prepare for it to get bad in the near future. It speaks of a coming storm system that will be particularly problematic and warns us to prepare for it. (No, I haven't looked at any weather forecasts yet today, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was another polar vortex spinning up right now.)

Have a great day and stay warm if you're stuck in colder climates.

Once, there was a couple who loved each other very much. One of the partners loved to bake and fresh, homemade bread was a regular thing at their table. Every night, they enjoyed this warm and delicious bread with their dinner. The baker carefully sliced the loaf and made a point to give their partner the first slice, keeping the extra toasted and crusty end for themselves. Their partner was always very appreciative.

All seems well between the pair. However, the baker yearned for their favorite portion of the loaf, the first full slice. And their partner yearned for their favorite portion, that extra toasty end piece. For a long time, they each desired the BEST piece of bread but was happy their partner had it. Then one day, the baker set that first full slice on their plate. To their surprise, their partner was not upset at all. With an even bigger smile than usual, they took the end piece and slathered on an extra portion of butter.

"I'm sorry I took your favorite piece," the baker said. The partner looked at them in confusion. They held up the end piece with a big bite out of it. Then it dawned on the baker, the end piece was their partner's favorite. "Oh, the first slice is my favorite," the baker said with a laugh. From that day on, each partner had their favorite slice of bread and all was well.

This story teaches us two things. First, it teaches us that our happiness in our partner's joy sometimes requires small sacrifices of our own joy. Secondly, we should be clear about what we enjoy so that miscommunication doesn't lead to us missing out on full happiness.

Wishing you much happiness and joy.

PS: This may or may not have happened in my own relationship many years ago. ;)
Today's rune is Ihwaz, the rune of the Yew tree. In many rune readings, it is considered the cognate of the Death card from the tarot. The yew is an evergreen tree that is used to make the mighty long bow of fabled history (one was even used in World War II by Englishman 'Mad' Jack Churchill). Yew is notoriously toxic. It is also said to be one of the possible trees that Odin hung upon in his quest for the runes, wounded by a spear in his side as a sacrifice to himself.

Some runes are irreversable. Ihwaz is one of them. It has been associated with the ligature Æ (the "a" sound in encyclopædia, the digraph is known as ash and has the 'a' sound of the word 'fast'). It is one of the few runes still used in modern English, albeit rarely. Scribes in medieval England introduced it to cover the sounds that the Latin alphabet could not cover. Ihwaz is a rune of endurance, which seems particularly fitting that it has lasted into modern days.

Hi there,

2018 shall be a year of delayed starts and hard work. March is a key month for you. The themes of this year are frustration and bending the situation to your will.

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Hi there,

2018 is a year of hard work, many changes, and mixed emotions. July will be a key month for you. The themes of this year are forbearance, flexibility, and self discipline.

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Hi there,

2018 will be a year of balancing work and life to find prosperity and success. June is a key month for you. The themes of the year are practical communication and wise decision making.

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Hi there,

2018 starts on a successful note and then communication challenges arise. April is a key month for you. The themes of this month are discretion and maintaining clear communication in all situations.

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Hi there,

2018 starts with confusion and frustration but proceeds to a place of growth and success. August is a key month for you. The theme of this year is growth.

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