Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Melissa officinalis

Last night, I decanted a tincture of lemon balm that I started a month ago. Lemon balm is supposed to calm the nerves. I tried some and had a good night’s sleep. However, I’m thinking that it had less to do with the lemon balm, and more to do with its base of 80 proof vodka!. :D.

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Interior Cartography: A Woman in the Desert

“Interior Cartography: A Woman in a Desert”

I first read the book Women Who Run with the Wolves over twenty years ago.  I did not like it much back then.  I thought it was an epic mixing of metaphors, offering me no personal insight.    However, something has compelled me to read it again.  I guess a life time makes a difference since I am learning much from it now.

As a response to my reading of the first few chapters, I made this quick collage of some found images.   I may use it as a reference for a painting.  Maybe.

My interpretation of the image:  when one experiences the “dark night of the soul” and her inner world becomes parched and barren like a desert, the archetypal “Wild Woman” will emerge in that landscape to bring it back to life.

More to come……..






Farmers’ Market Creativity

I have been trying to eat in a healthy manner these days so I visited my local farmers’ market yesterday to get some ideas and ingredients for dishes that are fresh, organic, local and seasonal. I came away with a bag of produce that filled the bill, including several bunches of fresh herbs: basil, parsley, cilantro and mint. Mint was an interesting choice for me since I don’t often cook with it, but something about it said “Make something with me!”

When I got home, I started googling recipes and I ended up with selecting an Indian mint-cilantro chutney. Now I just needed something to put the chutney ON. Such a sauce is often served with samosas and pakoras, yet these Indian appetizers are usually deep fried. Also, I wanted to use cheap and handy ingredients. So the Creative Muse jumped into the situation and I ended up improvising my own oven-baked version of a potato pakora.  Using ingredients on hand, a creative moment ended up with a yummy and healthy result.

Mint-Cilantro Chutney

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 inch of peeled fresh ginger
1 clove of peeled fresh garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

Put everything in a food processor or blender with a little water (about 1/4 cup) and grind into a paste.

Miss Pelican’s Improvised Oven-Baked Potato Pakoras

2 cups of chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper powder
Pinch of salt
About 3 cups (or half of 2 pound bag) of frozen hash browns, defrosted
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 450F. Mix the flour, powders, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the defrosted potatoes and water. Mix until the potatoes are thoroughly coated with batter.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of the potato batter on the lined cookie sheets, like you were making cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, flip each “cookie”, return to the oven and back another 10 minutes. Remove and cool. The pakoras should be a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Serve with the


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What’s That Green Sludge in the Mason Jar?

I am interested in all sorts of alternative health and wellness practices.

For example, I have an extensive collection of essential oils that I use for home remedies and body care. I use fresh and dried herbs to make immunity-boosting extracts, tonics, and tinctures. I have practiced tai chi chuan and some yoga (both of which I don’t do anymore because I am just too impatient to do the routines). I practice meditation (which is ironic considering what I just said about tai chi and yoga).  Currently, I engage the services of a licensed acupuncturist, nutritionist and herbalist to get certain issues under control.

That being said, I still have a healthy respect for western allopathic medicine. I check things out before I try them on myself. I thoroughly researched the health benefits of the macerating lemon balm-vodka sludge in the back of my refrigerator. (It is supposed to have a calming, stress-reducing effect when consumed).

Here are some resources I use to check out the usefulness, side effects and contraindications of these substances and practices.

The University of Maryland Medical Center
The Mayo Clinic

BUT, let me add that even these resources are not perfect.  No one should ever self-diagnose by relying only on internet sources.  My “the-buck-stops-here-final-word” consultant is always my regular medical doctor. If you engage in any alternative practices, be sure to check them out first with your physician.

Now, I am off to engage in the stress-reduction properties of vigorous hand drumming.


Apprentice Learning

Recently, I shared with a co-worker that one of my interests is drumming.   The first thing she said was:  “That’s great.  You should take professional lessons.”

I was taken aback for a couple of reasons.  First, she just presumed I needed lessons, and second, that only a “professional” instructor in a formal setting was the only legitimate way to go.

I do concede that I need to learn more since I don’t come from a musical background.   But I prefer to learn by watching, listening, and doing.  I learn in an “apprentice-style” relationship with other drummers.   I hang out at drum circles and jam with better, more experienced drummers.   They know things and generously share that knowledge with me.  Sometimes I just shut up and listen to their rhythms and try to imitate them.  The ego of the “professional” teacher is not present in the drum circle; they are just a bunch of musicians having a good time,  and I am along for the ride.

We have learned this way for thousands of years.  I see no reason to change that.

A WordPress Daily Post prompt: Apprentice