Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

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Over the Hill with Grandpa

vintage-roadI originally wrote this in 2008 but it seems appropriate for the Daily Post’s prompt Eerie……
Over the Hill with Grandpa

My grandpa told me this story when I was a kid. Most of his adult life, my grandpa worked for the movie studios– MGM, RKO, Warner Brothers. At various times he worked for them as a horse wrangler, grip, and greensman. Sometimes he just did whatever needed doing on the set.

One day, back in the 1930’s, he was asked to pick up a truck in Hollywood and deliver it over the hill to the WB facilities in the Valley. Now Grandpa had a grandfather named James who frequently visited him. On this particular day, James joined Grandpa for the ride over the hill. Back in 1930’s there were no freeways as there are today, and travel to and from the Valley required negotiating narrow, twisting canyon roads. The route they took that day was one of the canyon roads — either Laurel Canyon or Cold Water Canyon Road–I don’t know which.    Anyway, as James sat in the passenger side of the truck, my grandpa began the ascent up the road. James was quiet, as was his nature, but just before the truck reached the top of the grade, James turned to Grandpa and said “You need to check the brakes before you start that downhill grade. You won’t make it if you don’t.”

Grandpa had always followed his grandfather’s advice so he pulled over to the side of the road. He got out and slid under the truck for a look. Sure enough, there was a problem with the brakes, and had he proceeded down the grade more than likely they would have failed and he would have careened out of control.

I don’t remember what Grandpa said about how he got the truck down the hill. I don’t remember because I got stuck on what Grandpa said next about James riding along with him. You see, Great-Grandpa James was dead and had been for many, many years.

ljgloyd 2008, 2016


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This is Not a Food Blog

pieIf you know me or have followed me around long enough on social media, you know that I like to cook.  Let me state outright that I am NOT saying that I am a GOOD cook.  I write about what I cook, but I am NOT a FOOD writer.

So if I’m not a good cook or a food writer, then what’s the deal with all the cooking?   In reflecting on this I have determined that there are several reasons why I cook.

First, it is therapeutic.  After a long stint at the day job, I often unwind by chopping, pounding, searing, sometimes burning food, and — I’ll admit it — eating way too much of what I cook.

Second, cooking for me is a meditative practice.  For example, when I have a few hours to spend on the process, I like to bake bread.  I particularly like the slow, mindful action of kneading the dough.  That simple action helps me to focus and clear my mind.    My bread doesn’t always come out light and springy, but that’s not the point.  It is the process of making the bread that is beneficial.

Third, I like to cook certain foods that connect me to my family history.  It is a way to remember and honor the women (and some men) who came before me.  My mother used to make beautiful golden lemon meringue pies.   I made one just once, pictured above, and I believe  she would have been very proud of me.

Finally, I like to cook because it is a creative act that is really no different from writing, painting, or photography.  It makes no difference whether I am combining words into ideas or applying colors to a canvas.  In all these ways I am using intent, imagination, tools and specific skills to bring something in to existence.   That is the nature of creativity.

As I stated, this is not going to become a food blog.  Cooking is just one more genre for me to explore my creativity.   I have, though, enhanced some of the resource links on this blog with my favorite cooking websites and video sources.  Look on the right side bar and scroll down a bit.  (On a mobile device, the links will be way at the bottom instead).

As Julia would say, Bon Appetit!






I’ve been watching too much news the last couple of weeks. As a result, I feel the rancor and hatred of the current political situation clinging to me like filth.

I need a bath.

A few days ago, I noticed a banner in front of a church just around the corner from my home. It simply said “Taize Service Tuesday at 7 pm”

I knew Taize was some sort of prayer service, but that’s about all. So this evening, being Tuesday, I decided to go. Actually, I felt compelled to go.

There were only six of us in the tiny chapel: the rector, a guitarist, a reader, me, and two other people. The order of service was elegant in its unpretentiousness: Simple choruses repeated to the soft strum of an acoustic guitar, the light of a hundred candles flickering and dancing on the walls, passages of scripture read in a powerful voice, long periods of silence punctuated by the sound of a gong.

The focus of the readings was on the various names of God. We were instructed to dwell on that theme and let the Spirit take us where He willed.

Singing, silence, listening, silence, gong, praying, breathing, silence, singing, silence, gong, silence, benediction. Amen.

Emerging from the dark womb of the sanctuary, I fell under the blue light of a waxing moon.

Then I realized: I felt… clean.