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 everybody!

Everything is almost charged (and lunch time with all of the chores that go along is almost done). I'll be around in a half hour. The kids have been busy talking about their great ideas for spring instead of eating their lunch. I have to say, the ideas are awesome but they really have to finish those sandwiches and the glasses of milk. LOL Talk to everyone real soon.

Hi everybody!

I have to charge my laptop a little bit and apparently also my phone. (This is what happens when I forget to check things in the morning because the kids distracted me. I'll be back after lunch! Thanks for your patience.

Hi everybody!

My chat times today are a little bit delayed. I have a few chores that are going to take me away from the computer for little over an hour. I will be available on chat readings at 11:00 am Eastern time. I will be available for phone readings, however, as per the times listed on my schedule.

Talk to you soon!

Hi everybody!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful Friday. I am getting ready to start posting recipes up for you again. I, however, need a little bit of help. There are a LOT of recipes in my notes. I am talking about so many that I am having a hard time picking what sort of things to start posting up here. This is where you all come in.

I'm conducting a little informal poll. What sort of recipes would you like me to share with you?

1. Appetizers

2. Salads & Side dishes

3. Breads & baked goods

4. Main dishes

5. Desserts

Please, comment on this post with the number of your choice. When this afternoon comes, I will look over the comments and pick the one with the highest number of votes to post this week's recipe.

Thank you so much for your help. I hope that you are all having a fantastic day so far!

Hi folks!

I am a spinner, knitter, and crocheter. If it is something to do with the fiber arts, I have dabbled in it at some point in time or am presently engaged in it. As of right now, I have a really cool knitting pattern that I am working on. It is illusion knitting with a rubber duckie pattern that shows up when you hold it at an angle. Viewing it straight on, you just see black and yellow lines. I also am working on creating my own shawl pattern via crochet (which I have a little more experience in). It is done up in shades of purple. I was inspired by a chunk of amythest that I have in my rock collection. This then brings me to my current spinning project. I have this wonderful fiber that my Mother in Law bought me for Yule about two years ago. It is all pastel shades of a rainbow gradient. I think my favorite color in this stuff is the blue.

One may ask why do I do all of this? After all, it is a fair amount of work to make just about everything handmade. Sweaters take an impressive amount of work. Knitting with double pointed needles is about as easy as wrestling with a hedgehog. And spinning can be finicky work when you start using mixed fibers or things with a wide range of staple length. (Super short fiber like cotton or camel down still eludes me. I just make a mess out of it when I try. Really long fibers like silk are starting to look proper when I am spinning. It has only taken me a year of trial and error.) So, just why do I put myself through all of that hard work?

The answer is actually really simple. The fiber arts help me manage anxiety and stress. Because I get bored easily, I usually have a minimum of three different projects going on at the same time. Some of my projects travel well. My spinning is done on a spindle and I don't need my big distaff at the moment, so I can just toss it into a little wrist bag and go. That duckie scarf, however, has it a length that it is not as travel friendly. Having projects I can just sit and work on while I'm waiting for the boys to get off the bus from school helps me not worry about if they had a good day at school or question if I have forgotten something super important (like those pesky bills). Having a project I can carry with me when I am out and about helps make time pass by a bit faster when I am walking for exercise or if I have to wait for an appointment. So, I play with and make yarn to keep myself from worrying about everything.

Little hobbies like this are generally healthy for us in times of stress. A dear friend of mine has taken up cross stitch. Her latest sampler was just adorable. It helped her through some frustration regarding car issues. (Small needle point projects are great for when you are just sitting waiting for them to finish fixing the brakes on your car, by the way. And, I've noticed, people tend not to interrupt you because they see you are busy. Much better for the times where you don't want conversation and are forced to look at a magazine that is almost as old as your car while you wait.) Another friend has taken up coloring. They keep a miniature coloring book and a few of those pens that have four colors in them in their car. So, when they have to go and deal with the questionable fun of parent-teacher conferences next month, they have something to do as they wait for their turn. The fiber arts may not be your thing. You may be the sort of person who can get lost in a great book. Either way, taking time to do something that soothes you when life gets hectic is always a great idea. And you can do this stuff when you feel like just because it makes you feel good too!

Have a fantastic day! Go out and do something that makes you smile, you've earned it! ♥
Hi Everybody!

We just had something come up over here. I'll be back to take calls and chat around 2pm. Nothing but excitement today with the kids! Surprise visits are always fun!

Hi there everybody!

I hope you are all having a good morning. I will not be available until about 11 AM eastern time. The weather is super nice outside right now. I'm going to be taking the kids out in the hope that getting them some outside play time will burn off some energy so that they don't interrupt any more calls. I'll see you folks in about a half hour.

Hello dear Reader!

You may have heard about the proposed spell casting session that is getting discussed in the pagan and occult community. If not, let me tell you about it real quick. There is a very large number of people who engage in the occult arts discussing casting spells that are intended to hinder the actions of President Trump. Some are even talking about casting spells of the retrubitive justice sort against him. Curses are getting debated on the weight of merit versus risk of negative blow back on the caster. I wish I could say that this was a strictly theoretical discussion, but it really is not. I know many people who are taking this very seriously.

Some people are quick to say that all curses are bad. Some people are quick to say that casting spells against people is always a bad thing. Now, I'm not going to throw out my thoughts regarding the proposed cursing of President Trump. This is not the point of this post. What I wanted to look at was the question of casting spells intended to effect people versus spells intended to effect a situation. It seems a distinction that gets garbled a lot in these discussions. The distinction, however, is an important one to note.

When a spell is cast against a specific individual, it limits the options of manifestation. This puts the caster in a position where they are required to be extremely focused in their efforts and, often, put a great deal more effort behind the spell. Why is this the case? If we look at things from a semi-scientific perspective, you will see that to hit a small, moving target, the person needs to have exceptional control over what they are using. Put that target at a significant distance, and the amount of control increases. The action becomes additionally more difficult when there are things that would interfere with the process and when the method used requires a significant amount of effort from the outset. This is not as simple as tossing a water balloon at a target on a sunny day with calm winds.

Changing the focus to something more general, such as the situation, opens up the proverbial target from being a small point to a larger field. This increases the chances of successfully hitting it and accomplishing your goal. Is it possible to use magic against specific people? Yes. It requires a significant amount of aid, including at times physical or metaphysical ties to the target. Focuses that help the caster to pour their effort into that specific result against that small target are almost absolutely necessary for success, unless you are a person who has a great deal of experience. And even then, something that helps to strengthen that focus is usually used because it makes the process easier.

So, I, personally, would not advise your run of the mill occult practitioner to engage in spell craft targeted against a specific person. I would instead encourage them to focus on what about the situation that said person is involved in that the caster wants to see changed. Because cursing someone does not always work like you want it to. Magic is a rather unpredictable craft when it comes to how it manifests. It may work something around 80 percent of the time, but you may never be quite sure if the result is exactly what you envisioned or not. So, I advise that focus should be on changing the unfavorable situation to one that is in your favor. As always, magic should be supported by practical mundane effort. If you want that ticket to go away, it is good to cast a spell to make sure that you are viewed favorably, but it also is a good idea to make sure that your inspection is up to date. If you know what I mean.
Hello dear Reader,

I apologize I was not on this morning. I had a horrible migraine this morning. I am available this afternoon for phone readings. I am going to be on a little longer than the schedule states to give you more of a chance to get your call in.

Please forgive any noise in the background. My boys are alternating between playing noisily and singing everything from commercial jingles they heard on the radio to the theme songs from their shows. So, if you hear snatches of the music element from car insurance ads or some garbled version of what you think might be a popular song, that's what is up right now.

Hello Everyone! It appears that I have caught my son's cold. Generally, this wouldn't be a big deal. Right now, however, I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open and my throat is extra itchy. My random bursts of coughing is not working out so great with my voice at the moment. So, I am going to delay being online for calls and such by a few hours. This way I can give the cold medicine a chance to start working. Because I can't think of anything worse than having someone start coughing in my ear while i'm on the phone with them. I am sorry. I just can't do that to any of you. On the flip side, this seems to be a very short duration cold. He's had it for 3 days and is almost over it. And the worst day of it was the first, so maybe it will work out that way for me too. Talk to y'all in a bit. ♥
Hello friends,

My boys are home on break from school this week. So far this morning, I have been treated to a bunch of songs about monster trucks, ghostly clowns, and a fire truck that is actually a garbage truck. Not to mention their doing impersonations of various animals as they run around the living room. Right now, they're playing some sort of game that involves jumping at each other and shouting. I honestly don't understand it that well.

As the kids are home from school right now, there will be some background noise when you call. I will do my best to keep their interruptions to a minimum. If it arises that the kids interrupt to a point that the reading can not continue, I will finish your reading via email. I will give you three minutes towards another call. And the cost of the reading will be reduced.

First, I wanted to apologize for this post being a day late. We had something of a household laundry emergency yesterday and it threw everything off. (Next place we move to, I am going to insist it has washer and dryer facilities on site. Washing every stitch of fabric in the house would be less of a hassle if we didn't have to bag it up and throw it in the car, and then drive to the next town to do our wash. This is just silly.)

As I had done with my Tarot Peek's in the past, I pull a single card for each day of the week. The focus of my reading is general trends that the whole Keen community (clients and advisers) should be aware of. Because this post is a day late, I am not going to do a card for Sunday. Next week (provided that my laundry issue is resolved now), I will have a card for each day of the week. I haven't quite gotten the hang of how to post pictures up here. One of these days, however, I may post the spread up for everyone to view.

Monday: 6 of Cups - This card shows a prosperous beginning to the week. I see here that people will be in good spirits and making good progress on their many projects. I also see individuals focusing less on the 'hard' parts of life and more on what gives them joy.

Tuesday: The Magician - Transformation is the watchword of the day. The biggest thing happening here is that people will be taking charge of things in their lives and bending the world to their will to effect lasting change. I see that a great deal of growth is coming here by way of establishing new paradigms for how to handle long standing issues.

Wednesday: Queen of Swords - A female figure is going to find herself in a position of making very challenging decisions. As much as she would like to be ruled by her heart, it is a situation where she will have to set aside her emotions to make the best, impartial decision. In the light of the larger community, I see hard discussions happening. Some of them will be hard because of topic matter and some of them will be hard because of communication failures. The goal here in handling these discussions is to not let yourself get caught up in the uncomfortable feelings and continually seek clarification. Also, my guides are recommending that you consider applying Occam's Razor ('s_razor ).
Thursday: 10 of Swords - A very large disappointment is going to arrive as a result of the difficulty Wednesday. I see in this card that there will be spectacularly large breakdowns in communication. The cards also are advising that we be careful not to let ourselves be caught up in despair over the hostile environment that is arising. I also see the cards advising caution in dealing with official figures. Beware of people who smile with one side of their mouth and curse out the other.

Friday: 5 of Pentacles - This card usually shows up talking about need and there is often hope of some generous benefactor arriving. Today, however, I see that this is a card of financial crisis. I see that people are seeking assistance in resolving their problems but there is going to be some difficulty due to institutional figures. We are encouraged to turn to each other for encouragement and help. I also see here that creative problem solving is going to be a big thing here.

Saturday: The Sun - After the darkness and difficulty earlier in the week, we finally see the Sun. A new beginning unfurls here. There is a return of happiness and prosperity. I also see an emphasis placed on embracing the innocent, wondering side of ourselves. The card is encouraging us to look at things from a child's perspective, seeking out joy and delight in the little things.

I hope this helps everyone out this week. I hope that you are all having a fantastic day.

Hi there! Over the next week, you will be receiving an email from me wishing you a happy New Year and a free general reading focused over the next year. I just sent the first of them out this afternoon. If you haven't received yours by 2/28/17, please drop me a note. My boys are home on Winter Break right now. This may delay some of these emails. I will do my best not to keep you waiting, though. It is February, after all. I'm already running a little bit late. LOL ♥
Gentle Reader, I am sorry! I am trying to figure out how to do these posts properly. I am sorry that my last one didn't come out right. I think I am going to ask my programmer husband just how to do this stuff. It seems I have forgotten how to format things so that my paragraphs are split up properly on the screen when I add pictures. I will repost that knitting pattern in a little bit. Thank you for your patience. ♥

On the blog where I talk about family stuff, I shared this awesome picture of the most recent baby hat I made for charity. Over there, I talk about why I am excited about this project. Let me tell you a little bit about this project. And I want to give you the pattern!

I was born 3 months early during a blizzard of notable proportions. (Every year around my birthday, my late Grandmother would always tell me about how impressed she was with that storm. It seemed to set an early precedent for myself as well, because major events in my life seemed to have coincided with somebody somewhere getting massive storms that were big enough that it made news headlines.) I was a baby that had a 50/50 chance of living. Obviously, I made it. And, more happily so, I did so with relatively few complications. I stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital until about this time in February. (I was born in November.) My Grandmother also liked to talk about that. As she was plotting to smuggle me home at that time when I was released to come home. It was a good family chuckle. The NICU is a very important part of the hospital. I had always felt that I needed to do something to express my gratitude for the care that I was given. When I graduated high school, I sent a graduation announcement to them with a note about who I was. I did the same when I graduated college and when I got married. (Those last to notes had pictures enclosed with them.)

Still, those happy notes didn't feel like enough. So, when I found out that the spinner's guild I am apart of were making hats to donate, I was thrilled. Finally, I had something I could do that was more tangible and longer lasting than a happy note and a picture. I started out crocheting hats. They were nice, but I wanted to knit something. Cue the last two years of my attempting to figure out how to knit a hat. I'm not that great at knitting yet, but these little hats warm my heart as much as I hope they'll warm those babies.

The one pictured here was knitted out of a sport weight, soft textured acrylic yarn. I used size 5.5 mm double ended knitting needles. The reason why is that I figured out that the size 5.5mm crochet hook made a hat that was the right size when I reached the round of having 30 stitches on it. The conversion from crochet to knit was based on that measurement. I was delighted to find that my intuitive guess was correct. (I'm not always that great with knitting, I'm still learning.) Unlike a lot of the other baby hats you can find on the internet, this one was knit from the brim up.

I cast on moderately loosely 30 stitches. I spread them over three needles. I suppose you could spread them over four. I found the three needles easier when it came time to decrease for the crown. It was a little less like wrestling a porcupine. I knit in the round for the stockinette stitch. While you could use garter stitch, it is a bit harder doing that in the round. Or at least, it is for me because I haven't figured out how to do it with out dropping stitches. I then knit three inches of length. At which point, I began my decreases for the crown.

On the first round of decreases, I knit together the two center stitches on each needle. Then I knit a plain row. After this, on each decrease round, I knit together in alternating order, the two stitches after the first stitch and before the last stitch on the needle or the two center stitches. When I came down to having three stitches across all three needles, I moved them onto the same needle. I then knit a simple i-cord that was an inch long. I bound off knit wise and then wove the tail down through that little i-cord. After this, I tied the i-cord into a knot.

On the inside of the hat, I made sure that there wasn't any tail sticking out from that weaving through the i-cord. And that was it. When making preemie hats, I don't put anything like buttons on them. This is because they're not good for the baby's head due to creating uncomfortable pressure points. My crochet hats are basically the same as the knit hats when it came to the pattern, except the crochet was all single crochet. I didn't make an i-cord for the top of the crochet hats because I have not yet mastered that technique. (It is a goal to learn it over the next several months and make some interesting stuff with it.)

But, please, if you are able to, try to make a little something to help the people in your neighborhood. It is something that helps binds our communities together with love. And I think we can all agree that the world is sorely in need of more of that.