Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Notebooks

 

I don’t have much to say about notebooks except that I have a lot of them.  Each of these two notebooks contain three separate smaller notebooks.   One is for brainstorming and drafting.  Another is for morning pages.  Some are for research notes and some are for quotations and other commonplace activities.   

My question to you all is:   have you ever acquired a new notebook for no other reason but to have it around just in case you get inspired and need a fresh place to compose?   

I have. 

 

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2021/10/25/notebook/

 

 


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My Band of Avian Marauders

I have a family of crows that live in the trees behind my home. I don’t like using the term “murder of crows“ because that just seems so harsh for such a familial group. Yes, they tear up the plants in my garden, befoul the bird bath, and terrorize the smaller birds. But they are so entertaining to watch as they swoop and glide and play and bicker with each other.

I have resisted the urge to feed them because I didn’t  want them to lose their fear of humans or to become dependent on me for food. I have been assured by others who are more knowledgeable about corvids that they won’t.  So at the moment I am just sticking to tossing them handfuls of raw, unsalted peanuts in the shell in the mornings as a treat. I’ve done this now for about a week and they have already gotten into the habit of waiting for me to come out of the house each morning. It’s like having a bunch of hungry teenagers hanging around the place.

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LJGloyd 2021


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All That Glitters: A New Pastime

I like a good treasure hunt.  Not that I’ve actually been on any real ones.   Until now I’ve been enjoying vicarious treasure hunts on shows like The Curse of Oak Island and Exhibition Unknown.  I study the clues and make my own observations and yell at the TV screen when I know the treasure hunters are on the wrong path.   I’ve only been an armchair treasure hunter until now.

I just discovered an online “game” called Geocache where participants hide little caches of goodies and mark them with GPS coordinates.   The coordinates are posted to an app with written clues on how to recognize the caches.  Then other participants use the app to find the general area of the caches and then physically go and find them.   When a cache is located, participants sign the little paper log sheet in that specific cache, log their find in the app, and return the cache to it location for the next person to find.   This needs to be discretely done so that non-participants (called “muggles”) don’t find the cache and take it– or call the police on you for acting suspiciously.

It is not as easy as it seems.   I looked for four caches this weekend and only found one.  The first one was supposed to be near a sidewalk under a “spiky tree”.   I found the tree–   which was right next to a sign that said the area was under camera surveillance.  Um, no.   The second one was in a park, but an old man was sitting on the bench were the clues said the cache would be.   He didn’t appear that he would be moving very soon, so I gave up.   The third one was in the parking lot of a post office.   I investigated for about 10 minutes until I noticed a woman watching me.  I realized how dodgy I must have appeared lurking around the grounds of a federal building.

I then took another look at the app to see if there were any more caches in the area.  Then I recognized one:  the community garden where I have volunteered for several years.  Perfect!   I knew no muggles would be around to bother me at 7:30 on a Sunday morning when I work there.   From the clues, I knew exactly where it was hidden and walked right up to it.  All this time and I never noticed this little decorated Altoid box.   In the box were a variety of detritus and garden-related trinkets.   I signed the log book and noted it on the app.   I plan to go back and add a trinket to the box too.

I know it seems silly, but it was a bit of a buzz to find it and quite satisfying too.   I figure anything that gets me out in the fresh air and moving around can’t be bad. And I can see the appeal:  it’s not the “treasure”.   It’s the hunt.

I just hope I don’t get caught by a muggle.

Here are pictures of the cache followed by a very brief informational YouTube video on Geocaching.  And the link to the website is here.

ljgloyd 2021


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The Diner: A Haibun*

Half a dozen old men sit in a line along the counter, some watching the news on a tiny screen mounted over the stacks of styrofoam to-go containers. Others hunch over cups of coffee keeping silent company, each with himself. A young woman in a blue face mask wipes down the counter with a stained towel.

At a table three young men in paint-spattered shirts quietly converse in Spanish and finish up their bacon and eggs. At the back of the dining room, a toddler encased in a highchair flings to the floor chubby fistfuls of Cheerios. His father ignores him and shoves a forkful of syrup-soaked pancake into his mouth. The child’s mother, with dark circles under her eyes, sucks on a straw in a glass of soda and stares into nothingness.

The rest of the diner’s mismatched plastic white chairs and farm-styled faux oak tables are vacant.   Framed photos of vintage cars hang crookedly on dingy yellow walls intermixed with black and white signed photos of forgotten celebrities, a head shot of Ronald Reagan, a tattered newspaper restaurant review from 1994, and a broken neon Budweiser sign.

In the center of a wall is a poster of Helnwein’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Unceasing top offs–
soggy newsprint spread across
chipped dark Formica

*A haibun is descriptive prose followed by a haiku tangentially related to the prose.

2021


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The Big Gray and Red Spiky Thing

penI have not done much creative writing to speak of in the last seventeen months. No poetry, and only one brief story on Day 71 of my lockdown.

This morning, I was wondering why.

I think my creative mind has been stunned into silence by all that has happened to me personally during the lockdown. I think all of us have had the wind knocked out of us to one degree or another. Everything is different. There will be no going back to “normal”.  Even if the day comes when we are all vaccinated (I know, wishful thinking), and we don’t have to wear masks anymore, and we can go to theatres and schools and churches and baseball games, some of us will always be hesitant to get too close to strangers or be obsessively looking for the hand-sanitizing stations. Some of us will be in constant fear of another pandemic and lockdown.

The fact is that another pandemic WILL happen again. This virus is already mutating and will mutate even more.  I predict that we will need to get new vaccinations every year for this virus, just like a regular flu shot.

Furthermore, as the climate changes and the ice caps melt, ancient viruses even more devastating than this current one might emerge from the melt. Some might argue with me about this, but it doesn’t matter if that actually happens or not.  The point is I will constantly be living with the fear that another Plague will happen.

Even worse than the fear of getting sick and dying, I am no longer able to trust the reasoning power of others. I know so many people who are downright crazy in their fear of science and common sense to the point where they will not get vaccinated. It is almost like a mass psychosis, a group mental illness. Seriously, do some of you really think you are being micro-chipped by getting a vaccine?   Get the damn vaccine, alright?

So how is this going to affect my creative output? I know some creatives wont include a mention of the pandemic in their work. How can they ignore an event that created such a foundational crumbling of all that we have thought safe and secure? Is it a form of denial? I suppose writing and reading creative fiction and poetry is a form of therapy for many creatives, a refuge in a time of trauma. Well, I guess I have some sympathy for that.  I just spent the last year and a half posting photos and drawings of safe things like flowers, fruit, fish and birds.

But eventually we creatives will need to address the elephant — er, rather the big gray and red spiky thing in the room.  I cannot see how we can’t.

ljgloyd 2021


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Drawn to a Cause

lantanaMy original goal when I gained access to a garden of my own was to grow my own vegetables.  That did not work out so well. It is simply more cost effective to buy my own. However, I discovered that with a little work to rehabilitate the soil and a strategic use of water flowers have taken hold. So I shifted my goal to that of creating a bee sanctuary. While I do have bees visit the the flowers, I also have hummingbirds, moths, wasps and hornets, and butterflies.  All of these are pollinators too.   Okay, let’s shift the intention again:  my goal is to create a pollinators’ oasis.

800px-Monarch_Butterfly_Cocoon_3This weekend while visiting a local nature center, I coincidentally came across a lecture by the center’s curator on the monarch butterfly.  (If you want to know more about the monarch, see here: ) The center plants a variety of milkweed types, the monarchs’ favorite food, in an attempt to boost their population in the area. The monarchs’ habitat, like for many species, is threatened by– guess who?– us. They also rear a few in captivity for educational purposes which they then release. I happened to be there when they released a newly emerged monarch.  See the video below.

Now, I don’t intend to rear any at home, since there is some controversy to that (if you read the Wikipedia article), but I do happen to have two packages of pink milkweed seeds. It won’t hurt to sow them.  I will wait to a waxing moon to do so.

Nevertheless, like it or not, I seem to have become drawn to the cause of saving this iconic pollinator.

monarch young

ljgloyd (c) 2021


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Dumping WordPress?

I have a question for my readers: Do any of you post on WordPress? I have blogged on WP since 2006, loved it for a long time, but have come to absolutely loathe this platform now ever since they stopped supporting the Classic Editor on the free package. It has become so difficult to create posts with their incomprehensible “block” editor that it is disrupting my creative process.

I want to switch to another platform that is easier to use. Blogger/Blogspot is easy but they just discontinued their email subscription notification function so there is no way my followers can know when I post. What is the point of having a site there if no one knows you’ve posted?

Do any of you even blog anymore? Is blogging dead? Is it all Instagram now? (which I equally loathe). I don’t know what to do. Comments welcome.

Thanks.