Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Day 17: Stir Crazy in the Kitchen

It is day 17 of my new normal.  Fortunately, I have work to do at home during the week, but the evenings and weekends are a little long. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading, gardening, and wasting way too much time on YouTube. However, I did find a video of Jamie Oliver making the easiest soda bread ever made.  So this morning for something to do I made it, and I am fairly pleased with the result. ( A link to the video is below).  I call it “soup can soda bread” because you use an empty soup can as the measuring cup for the flour and liquid.

Mix together a soup can of all purpose flour, a can of whole wheat flour, and a can of milk. Buttermilk is better, but I didn’t have it. Instead I mixed some milk with some yogurt. Add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of honey, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. I added a few sprinkles of rolled oats for some texture.

When the dough is mixed, plop it out onto a floured board and just give it a few kneads to shape it into a ball. Sprinkle the bottom of the baking pan with a little flour, put the loaf into it, sprinkle more oats on top, and score an X into it.

Put the pan into a preheated 400 F (200 C) degree oven. The recipe calls for it to bake for 20 minutes, but mine was a little underdone in the center. So the next time I do this, I will bake it for 25 minutes, and then test the center with a knife. Every oven is a little bit different. Other than that, I am very pleased with the result:

The whole process took about 35 minutes, including clean up.

So that’s what I’ve done so far this morning.   What are all of you doing to get through your lockdown or social isolation? Stay well, everyone.

Ljg.

 

I https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/?s=Isolate

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/rdp-friday-isolate/


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Calm in the Eye of the Storm


Like hundreds of millions of people all over the world, I am trying to practice some social distancing during the pandemic.  In order to “isolate” for several weeks, I ventured out to do some shopping for essentials to have on hand.   At 6 o-my-sweet-Moses-in-the-morning in the darkness and in a pouring rainstorm, I went to one of the local warehouse stores hoping to avoid a crowd and possible exposure to the virus.  That idea didn’t work too well.  When I arrived there were already about 50 or 60 people waiting to get into the store along with me. I knew the crowds would only get worse so I took the plunge and got in line.

Seriously, I wasn’t there to hoard. I simply wanted to get some pantry staples.   For example, I thought I would get a few rolls of paper towels.  However, all the store had were huge packs of 24 rolls. I don’t need that many rolls of paper towels and to have purchased them would have been hoarding. So I left them for somebody else.  I’ll use old fashioned fabric towels and wash them.  It’s better for the environment anyway.

A lot of shelves were empty, but in spite of what I have seen on the news — people fighting over toilet paper and other insane behaviors– everyone I engaged was polite and in some cases even jovial in the attempt to take the edge off the tension.   I quickly worked through my list:  a few canned items, hand sanitizer, cartons of shelf-safe nut milk, oatmeal, and chocolate.  (I can’t face a global crisis without chocolate).  Then I checked out and high-tailed it home.

I had originally planned to fill my day with garden work, but since the rain has made that impossible, I had to find something else to occupy the day.  I’ve made an inventory of my pantry (I’m good on food and toiletries for several weeks), I fooled around on social media, and now I am writing.  This evening I plan to read.   I cannot– CANNOT– watch one more minute of the news.   It is not that the news about the pandemic frightens me.  More to the point, it unsettles me.  I am anxious.  Not so much about my getting sick, but about things like what this is doing to the stock market, and the global economy,  how does this affect my doing my job next week, and how do I keep myself sane when I am spending so much time alone.  By the way, Alexa is not very good at holding sustained conversations.

Yesterday, a friend of mine had a digital copy sent to me of a well-known book on Zen meditation.  So tomorrow, Sunday, since my diocese has cancelled worship services, I may sit and try to meditate instead.   I have the next few weeks to worry about the state of things.   Tomorrow, though, I will take a few minutes and try to find some calm in this storm.

Stay well everyone.

ljg (c) 2020

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/rdp-saturday-calm/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/rdp-friday-isolate/

 


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A Lenten Carbon Fast

I did not create this. But since it is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Christian Church Calendar, which starts of period of spiritual introspection, I thought sharing these “Lenten fast” ideas a rather cool way to kick start the season. This comes from St. Dennis Catholic Church. I hope they don’t mind me sharing it. I will try to do as many as practically possible.


 

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/ashes/


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Turning Towards the Light

It is St. Briget’s Day and though it is not astronomically the first day of Spring, it seems like many folks are putting behind them the dark, cold days of winter and turning towards lighter and warmer days. Pagans celebrate this day with a feast called Imbolc, honoring the goddess Briget while some Christians have folded this celebration into their belief system by commemorating an Irish nun, also named Briget, as a saint. On Sunday, the church also will commemorate Jesus’ presentation at the temple. Historically, many of the devoted have brought their candles to church on this day for a blessing (Candlemas), a symbolic linking to the belief that Jesus is the Light of the World.

Let’s not forget that tomorrow many in North America will observe Groundhog Day, a weather-forecasting tradition brought to the new world by German immigrants. If a groundhog sees his shadow on this day, then there will be six-more weeks of inclement weather.

It seems that these celebrations, commemorations, and observations focus on themes of light and the turning of time, and this integration of themes has resulted in February 1, 2 and 3 becoming the unofficial start of Spring.  It seems like we can’t help ourselves but to look forward to longer and warmer days.

I myself can see the sun rising higher in the sky each day and its rays beginning to creep across my yard.   That being the case, I had better get to work in the garden and start planting some lettuce and beets.

ljgloyd c 2020

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/integrated-2/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/your-daily-word-prompt-devote-february-1-2020/
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/rdp-saturday-spring/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/daily-addictions-beet/


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Word Nerd

I was astonished to realize that I have written nearly 100 poems.  I write poetry from time-to-time and for challenges like NaPoWrimo, but I guess it adds up over the years.   Even though I identify myself as a poet on my “About” page, I still have a hard time embracing it.   Poetry seems to be cool and hip only within a relatively small community of like-minded word nerds, such as myself.  I have had friends read my poems and snicker.  Or sometimes they say things like, “It doesn’t rhyme.”   They don’t stop to look at internal rhymes, alliterations, assonances, meter, metaphors, evocative themes and all the other characteristics of poetry.

Most people I know don’t read or even like poetry.  It is not mainstream anymore, not since before the radio and television age when poem-casting, along with story-telling and singing, were how our ancestors amused themselves around a fire in the evening.

Maybe I am not a poet and don’t know it.

Maybe, though, I have a different definition of poetry.   For me, poetry is not merely a form of entertainment or a literary art form to be mastered.  For me, poetry is crafting an economy of words intended to convey subtle, evocative, expressive ideas in unique, brief, and innovative ways.  I write poems to hone my word-smithing abilities.  Poetry is a writing exercise for me.  Poetry is not a noun; it is a verb.  It is about the process, not the product.

I know I’ve harped on this idea in past posts, but I will say it again:  I don’t mind if I am not a good poet.  Like any true nerd, I don’t care what people think as long as I am doing what I enjoy. 

If you are at all interested in reading some of my poems, here is a link to all 30 poems from last year’s NaPoWrimo challenge:  https://misspelicansperch.wordpress.com/2019/04/

ljgloyd

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/astonishment/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/your-daily-word-prompt-define-january-29-2020/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/rdp-wednesday-rhyme/

 

 


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Morning Routine: A Collaboration with “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”

I have always been a bit of a lazy, undisciplined wretch when it comes to a morning spiritual/wellness practice.  Oh, I do just fine with the functions of the day job.  In fact, I get criticized for being a bit too rigid in my routines and processes.  But when it comes to doing those things that strengthen and motivate my interior life, well, not so much.   I’ve tried but usually backslide in a few days after “re-committing myself to my practice.”

But then I decided to collaborate with some technology I have on hand and it has made all the difference.

To make a long story short, I created a “routine” on one of those digital personal assistants.  (I don’t want to name names because she wakes up every time I say her name and won’t shut up.)  Anyway.   I programmed “she-who-must-not-be-named” to run a routine that I activate when I wake that gives me the date, time, weather, news brief, and then an in-bed yoga routine where the last asana gets me out of bed and on my feet.  From there I can manage a few sun salutations.   When I end with the savasana, I tell HER to play some appropriate music and set a timer for 10 minutes.  I know then that I can meditate and pray without falling back to sleep on the floor.

After this, I set another timer for doing devotional reading and journaling.   When that timer goes off, I proceed with getting ready for the day job, preparing breakfast, and packing lunch.  Finally, I set one more timer to tell me when to leave for work.  This usually is enough time for me to eat, watch the news, and maybe even work in my sketch book.

So far, so good.   But it’s only been one day.   So we’ll see.

The ancient sages and devotees managed their spiritual practices by watching the movement of the sun and being accountable to each other in the communities where they lived.   I guess I am a little like that too — except my abbess is some AI chick in a little round container.

ljg 2020

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/collaborate/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/rdp-tuesday-wretch/


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Haibun: Wandering

There is an expression that suggests when a person is being “lead down the garden path” that she is being deceived.  I do not know who first postulated this idea, but I do know there was once a wizard who said, “all who wander are not lost”.  I would rather wander down the garden path with Gandalf anytime.

Winter rains, cool nights
Green grass, red bark, orange boughs—
A compost pile looms

Ljgloyd 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/rdp-sunday-wander/

 


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It’s All Greek to Me

Kale and Mustard Greens

As much as I am gardening to do my small bit to repair the planet, the other reason is that I like to eat: and I like to eat healthfully as much as I can. Furthermore, I have found over the years that it is the Mediterranean diet that I enjoy the most: Italian, Greek, Provençal, Spanish, North African, Levantine, greens, beans, grains, olive oil, fish and wine. Admittedly, I can’t produce it all, but I can do a little.

Here’s a little scholarship on the subject:

Ljgloyd 2020


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Garden Log: Working Through the Garbage to Get to the Gold

Black Gold

I helped a friend yesterday sift through a compost pile to make two wheelbarrows of fresh compost to put on the garden where I volunteer.   As a little compensation for this work, I was allowed to bring home a bucket of this precious black gold.   In order to rebuild the depleted soil of my own yard I need to spread this mess of decomposed kitchen and plant waste to reintroduce life to the soil— all the way from one-celled organisms to insect life.

It is a lot of hard work to make compost— involving shovels and pitchforks and aching muscles and mud encrusted shoes. It is standing almost to your ankles in muck.

As we worked, I remarked to my colleague, “You’ve got to shovel a lot of *%*% before you can pick any flowers”. She agreed.

Isn’t that a metaphor applicable to all areas of our lives.

 

ljgloyd 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/13/rdp-monday-daylight/