Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


The Art of Making Tea

My gaiwan

I am on a new kick: taking a tea set in a travel bag and having a slow quiet tea (or tea party with others) outside the house.

Here are the essentials implements for travel tea:

• Thermos of hot water
Gaiwan under 200 ml (bowl with lid)
• Decanter or pitcher
• Tea cups less than 100 ml
• Cloths
• Waste water container (perforated water tray or a bowl)
• Strainer
• Tongs (spoon for dry tea, tongs for moving hot cups)
• Tin for loose tea
• Paper towels
• Insulated carrying bag

Here is the process. This is not a ceremony like a formal Japanese Tea Ceremony where each item and each movement are infused with spiritual meaning. No, this is just a very practical way of conducting a tea service to maximize the enjoyment of sipping tea.

• Set implements on tray
• Heat cups, gaiwan, and decanter with hot water.
• Pour out waste water
• Use scoop to add leaves to gaiwan
• Pour a little hot water over leaves to rinse.
• Pour out waste water. Use strainer.
• Add more water to gaiwan and let brew for about a minutes.
• Pour into decanter. Use strainer.
• Pour into cups.
• Use tongs to move around hot cups
• Dry out the implements with paper towels.
• Wash everything when home.

Here is a visual demonstration of the process at home (not traveling) but it is the same process and she is using a water tray to collect the waste water:

ljgloyd 2022


Taking a Breather

I haven’t written for a few days because I’ve been reading. Actually I’ve been juggling a couple of books – – all right more than a couple-– but the one that’s got me engrossed right now and keeping me from writing is a novel by Isabel Cañas, The Hacienda I have not even finished it, but I have to say that I know it’s going to be fabulous. It is one of those books that once you start reading, you get drawn in and you can’t stop reading until it’s done. I won’t tell you what it’s about right now except to say imagine Stephen King and Isabel Allende collaborating to rewrite Jane Eyre. I don’t mind ditching my daily writing for this book.  To write, the writer needs to read.

Yeah, that’s what I’m telling myself as a take this little breather.


Armpits and Other Points of Contention

My usual habit upon waking up is to scroll my social media feeds.   Whether this is a good or bad habit is better discussed another day.

This morning as I was looking through FB, I came upon a post with a vintage photo of Sofia Loren showing her armpits– which were, how shall I say, unshorn.    Following this photo were no less than 88 comments about her armpits.   Eighty-eight.   People were arguing over this.  Over Sofia Loren’s fuzzy armpits.

I am not going to summarize the arguments for or against.   My point is that I was just amazed that all these commenters had nothing better to argue about.   Seriously.  The comments got pretty ugly and personal.

We have war, climate change, racism, gender-equity issues, world health issues, corrupt politicians, and many other important and relevant topics.  But people fight over stupid stuff like this.   And it is not just armpits.   Look at your social media feeds.   People argue over many other silly things.  Another common area of conflict is what happens on your favorite binge-shows.   I want to jump in and say “People, it’s just a TV show!  It’s not real!”   But I know better.

I think some people just like being contentious.   Why is that? Personally, I think it is because folks feel like they can’t change the big things so they get anxious and start fussing about the little things.

People, just chill, will ya?

But look at me now:   I’m being contentious.    (SMH).

ljgloyd (c) 2022


If I Were a Color

This is just a free-roaming response to a prompt “If I were a color…” from Susan Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy and the selection of a color from The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair.    I just started with that sentence and the color, took five minutes, and let my words scamper where they may.

If I were a color, I would be absinthe, pale, the color of wormwood and anise, fennel and other secret botanicals.  Absinthe, if you don’t know, was a popular aperatif in the nineteenth century. Everyone seemed to love it until it became an obsession, until la fée verte, the green fairy, whisked them away to a fantasy realm.   Absinthe was the spirit of the bohemian, the artist, the disenfranchised, the lunatic.  Then they became afraid and banned it.   Except….Absinthe is not what it was perceived to be. It is just  an ordinary beverage with a powerful punch. I am like absinthe. I am not what everyone perceives me to be. I am just a sweet ordinary green…that packs a powerful punch too.

ljgloyd 2022

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General Musing

I want to keep my “hand moving” with my writing and not let the momentum drag.   So here I am this morning in front of my computer tapping away.   Fortunately, the Deck gave up its next card with the topic about writing anything that comes to mind.  This is good.  I don’t have to scramble to write on a particular prescribed topic.

So what IS on my mind? Lately, I have been musing about why I write.  Is it because I think I am any good? No, I will not be a [insert name of your favorite brilliant writer here].  Nor do I want to make a living at it.  That ship put to sea a long time ago after a few rejection letters.   Is writing therapeutic for me? Sometimes.  Thank goodness I write mostly on a computer because I wouldn’t be able to read some of my tear-soaked handwritten journal entries.    Is it fun? Not always. Mostly it is a lot of work and I am kind of lazy.

Why then?   I guess it is because I am a bit of a narcissist.  I admit it.  Even though my stats tell me that not a lot of people read my stuff, still there are enough of you with kind supportive comments to inflate my ego and keep me coming back.  Thank you.

In all seriousness, I am the type of person that mostly goes unnoticed in life.   I have not done great things, I have a quite ordinary day-job and a pretty boring personal life.  So this little form of self-expression on this obscure blog is my way of waving at the world and saying “I’m here! Notice me”.

In the movie Practical Magic, Sally writes a letter to her sister where she wonders if she will ever be loved again.   For me that is not the line that stands out in this scene.  It is rather her next statement:  “I want to be seen.”      Yes, that’s me.   I want to be seen and I want to be heard.

ljgloyd 2022