Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Commonplace Entry: Stephen King Insights

A commonplace book is simply a notebook where, traditionally, a reader would write down quotes, notes, and juicy tidbits of trivia. Such notebooks were also useful for life-long learners and writers. Here is a link to a Pinterest page with examples of traditional “commonplacing”.

In a contemporary context “commonplacing” can go beyond books and into the cyber realm. Facebook is a prime example of this. Our Facebook pages are often filled with quotes, notes, and tidbits from all over the internet. The problem with Facebook though is that we often cannot find that cool quote or interesting video that we came across months earlier.

So I decided that I would use a blog to keep track of some my notes. I cannot decide how to proceed. I don’t really want to clutter up this blog with all of my notes, so I may create a private blog to organize my “clippings” and then present selected cool stuff here. I suppose I could do this with Pinterest but I just don’t want to have yet another social media platform to monitor.

What made me decide to do this? I came across a Youtube video this morning of Stephen King being interviewed by Stephen Colbert. Aside from the humor and the poking of fun at the current WH administration, Mr. King gave a little insight into his creative process. I will be bookmarking this in Youtube, but I will keep it here as well as my first entry in my online commonplace book.

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Disappearing Assumptions


I have not posted for over two weeks. It is not that I have not been writing. I have. But that writing is not fit for public display.

I have been reading and studying about ayurvedic lifestyle changes for myself. I’ve been taking an online herbalism course which requires writing profiles and essays about herbs and their uses. Furthermore, I have been doing quite a bit of writing related to the day-job.

None of these writings will ever see the light of the blogosphere.

If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you’ll know that I believe that to be a writer, one must write… frequently…. every day if possible. But you should not think that this means that you must give that writing out to the world every day — if at all.

Let that assumption disappear.

Now, I need to go off and write a stimulating profile on, of all things, fennel.

lgj (c) 2018


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“Lesson Four”

In the online class I am taking on herbalism, lesson 4 is about the actual process of growing herbs.   The assignment was to write two hundred words about the benefits of growing herbs, and cite an example of how I plant herbs from seeds.  I don’t think my response is what the instructor has in mind, but it’s the truth and I’m sticking to it.

Lesson Four:  Benefits of Herb Gardening

All one needs to do is google “benefits of growing herbs” to see a list.   The benefits are all fairly ordinary:    economy, taste, health benefits.

I am all for saving money, eating tasty food, and achieving good health.   For example, rather than paying two dollars for a bunch of rosemary that will most likely be thrown out after I chop off my two tablespoons, I can just go out and snip off a couple of sprigs.  Even though dried herbs are stronger tasting, there is a “brightness” that fresh-cut herbs, like basil or parsley, can add to a dish.   And nothing is more soothing to me than cup of lemon balm tea after a stress-filled day.

For me, there is another, more intangible reason for growing my own garden – and not just herbs, but flowers and vegetables too.   The reason is that I am an urbanite without much access to nature.  Watching my mint and yerba buena overflow their pots to reach towards the sun helps me feel the power and dynamism that all living things share.  To use a cliche’, my garden helps me to get in touch with nature.

I have to admit that I have not had much success in growing herbs from seeds. Also, I am fairly impatient and growing herbs from seeds is a process that does not move at a rapid pace.  My current garden is mostly comprised of plants from the local garden center, but by watching my plants thrive, I am encouraged to try again.   Dill is a favorite herb of mine and I just realized that I don’t have that plant in my collection.  So sometime soon I will get some dill seeds and sow.   Again, I will be enjoying the intangible benefit of watching life germinate from lifelessness.

How awesome is that?

 

ljgloyd

 

 

 


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A Big Bubble of Unstructured Time

I found myself in the fortunate situation of having six whole hours, a big bubble of time in my world, to do absolutely anything I wanted to do. When you have as many interests as I have, six hours is hardly enough, but I was delighted to have it nonetheless.

The Garden Comes Indoors
The gardening bug has really bitten me, (no pun intended) and I could not stop myself from going to the garden center and buying a planter, some potting soil, and three small plants from the mint family.   This is entirely an experiment since plants have typically not thrived inside my place.  It is simply too dark. However, I noticed that my feral mint in the backyard  seems to be thriving in a shady, enclosed area, so maybe it would do well in my dining room. I selected three plants: another lemon balm, a Yerba Buena,  and an ordinary, garden-variety peppermint. (I am rife with puns today).  Here comes the strange thing:  when I brought them in, the place I situated them seemed to lighten, and I don’t mean from the sunlight coming through their window.  I mean that the energy in the room felt lighter.  Living things do that to a place.

Apothecary Work
Yesterday, I harvested some lemon balm from the outside garden for the purpose of making a tincture.  A what?  A tincture is any type of herb soaked in alcohol for a length of time.  A lemon balm tincture can be used as a stress reducer or sleep aid.   My tincture here is made with vodka (you would NEVER use rubbing alcohol).   I’ll let it sit in my refrigerator for a few weeks in order for the essential oils In the herbs to extract.

I also made a batch of cleaning solution:  purified water, white distilled vinegar, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.  Armed with this solution, I washed down my counters, table tops, even my chairs.  I find this much more pleasant than washing everything down with a chemical-laden cleaner.  From an aromatherapy perspective, the peppermint oil is a mood-lifter.  This too added to the energetic brightening of my home.

Since I seemed to have fallen into cleaning mode, I threw together a spray to scent my pillows and bed linens.   Vodka and purified water again, this time in a spray bottle with a few drops of lavender, sweet orange, and vetiver oils, all to lull me into a wonderful sleep tonight.

In the Kitchen
I cook for the entire week on Sundays since I have so little time to do so in the evenings during the week.  I usually roast a bunch of vegetables as part of the menu.  I was inspired by a cooking show I saw yesterday, and followed suit by roasting chopped sweet potatoes and golden beets in a sweet and spicy rub.  Oh, oh, oh!  Cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, honey, olive oil, and salt.  If I could sell the aroma wafting out of my kitchen, I would be a rich woman.  I think tomorrow for supper, I will just have this.

Body, Mind, and Spirit
After lunch, I took a few minutes to review my planner and then write a bit in my “Raven Journal”.   This journal is the serious one, filled with all sorts of angst, a place to dump the emotional toxins. I felt so much lighter when I was done.

As the afternoon progressed, I felt the need to get outside into the sun.  I walked down to the town center, bought a cup of coffee and then meandered back home.  When I returned, I rolled out my yoga mat onto the living room floor and went through an Ayurvedic routine designed to drain lymph and detox the body.  Of course, like any yoga routine, I ended with a few minutes of savasana, a time of still, motionless meditation.   To continue the detox, I took a long, hot, soothing Epsom salt and lavender oil bath. I emerged, calm and clear-headed.  (No picture of that, you will be relieved to hear.)

And Finally
I would have liked to have had a couple of more hours. If so, I would have worked in my sketchbook or maybe drum a bit. However, knowing that I only had a few more minutes left of my afternoon before I had to leave to meet some friends, I did what I am compelled to do on a daily basis. I put my feet up and began to write.

Ljgloyd 2018


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The Best Mentors I Ever Had

When I think of a mentor, I think of Yoda. You know, he’s the shriveled gnome-like creature who tried to teach Luke Skywalker the ways of the Force. More realistically, mentors are often teachers, relatives, or friends who see something teachable in a person and reach out to lead that person on a path of excellence in a specific skill, talent or knowledge.

I wish I could say that there was such a person in my life: that one special person who took me under wing to teach me that one…thing.  The fact is that there were many:  Those teachers who taught me to read and write and then later to critically think and learn the tools of research.    There were those spiritual teachers who taught me to walk in a just and upright way.  There are the people who are concerned with my physical and emotional health.  Thank God for them. There were those practical teachers who taught me how to use a computer, cook a meal, and take command of an office.   Then there are the men and women with whom I drum.

My mentors are not limited to those I know.  There are all those teachers and mentors from history’s pages.  I never understood why I had to study the Greek philosophers while a college student.   Now I do.  I love to read biographies.  Learning how a notable person navigated life has given me insight in to how I conduct my own.  Hundreds of writers, artists, and musicians, both alive and not, have influenced my creative expressions.

For a polymath, one mentor  would never have been enough.

 

ljg 2018