Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Disappearing Assumptions


I have not posted for over two weeks. It is not that I have not been writing. I have. But that writing is not fit for public display.

I have been reading and studying about ayurvedic lifestyle changes for myself. I’ve been taking an online herbalism course which requires writing profiles and essays about herbs and their uses. Furthermore, I have been doing quite a bit of writing related to the day-job.

None of these writings will ever see the light of the blogosphere.

If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you’ll know that I believe that to be a writer, one must write… frequently…. every day if possible. But you should not think that this means that you must give that writing out to the world every day — if at all.

Let that assumption disappear.

Now, I need to go off and write a stimulating profile on, of all things, fennel.

lgj (c) 2018

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A Big Bubble of Unstructured Time

I found myself in the fortunate situation of having six whole hours, a big bubble of time in my world, to do absolutely anything I wanted to do. When you have as many interests as I have, six hours is hardly enough, but I was delighted to have it nonetheless.

The Garden Comes Indoors
The gardening bug has really bitten me, (no pun intended) and I could not stop myself from going to the garden center and buying a planter, some potting soil, and three small plants from the mint family.   This is entirely an experiment since plants have typically not thrived inside my place.  It is simply too dark. However, I noticed that my feral mint in the backyard  seems to be thriving in a shady, enclosed area, so maybe it would do well in my dining room. I selected three plants: another lemon balm, a Yerba Buena,  and an ordinary, garden-variety peppermint. (I am rife with puns today).  Here comes the strange thing:  when I brought them in, the place I situated them seemed to lighten, and I don’t mean from the sunlight coming through their window.  I mean that the energy in the room felt lighter.  Living things do that to a place.

Apothecary Work
Yesterday, I harvested some lemon balm from the outside garden for the purpose of making a tincture.  A what?  A tincture is any type of herb soaked in alcohol for a length of time.  A lemon balm tincture can be used as a stress reducer or sleep aid.   My tincture here is made with vodka (you would NEVER use rubbing alcohol).   I’ll let it sit in my refrigerator for a few weeks in order for the essential oils In the herbs to extract.

I also made a batch of cleaning solution:  purified water, white distilled vinegar, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.  Armed with this solution, I washed down my counters, table tops, even my chairs.  I find this much more pleasant than washing everything down with a chemical-laden cleaner.  From an aromatherapy perspective, the peppermint oil is a mood-lifter.  This too added to the energetic brightening of my home.

Since I seemed to have fallen into cleaning mode, I threw together a spray to scent my pillows and bed linens.   Vodka and purified water again, this time in a spray bottle with a few drops of lavender, sweet orange, and vetiver oils, all to lull me into a wonderful sleep tonight.

In the Kitchen
I cook for the entire week on Sundays since I have so little time to do so in the evenings during the week.  I usually roast a bunch of vegetables as part of the menu.  I was inspired by a cooking show I saw yesterday, and followed suit by roasting chopped sweet potatoes and golden beets in a sweet and spicy rub.  Oh, oh, oh!  Cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, honey, olive oil, and salt.  If I could sell the aroma wafting out of my kitchen, I would be a rich woman.  I think tomorrow for supper, I will just have this.

Body, Mind, and Spirit
After lunch, I took a few minutes to review my planner and then write a bit in my “Raven Journal”.   This journal is the serious one, filled with all sorts of angst, a place to dump the emotional toxins. I felt so much lighter when I was done.

As the afternoon progressed, I felt the need to get outside into the sun.  I walked down to the town center, bought a cup of coffee and then meandered back home.  When I returned, I rolled out my yoga mat onto the living room floor and went through an Ayurvedic routine designed to drain lymph and detox the body.  Of course, like any yoga routine, I ended with a few minutes of savasana, a time of still, motionless meditation.   To continue the detox, I took a long, hot, soothing Epsom salt and lavender oil bath. I emerged, calm and clear-headed.  (No picture of that, you will be relieved to hear.)

And Finally
I would have liked to have had a couple of more hours. If so, I would have worked in my sketchbook or maybe drum a bit. However, knowing that I only had a few more minutes left of my afternoon before I had to leave to meet some friends, I did what I am compelled to do on a daily basis. I put my feet up and began to write.

Ljgloyd 2018


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A Little Diversion

Every once in a while, as it diversion, I like to engage in a self-education project.  This time I am doing a study on herbs and herbalism. I am engaging in this study through universalclass.com which I access for free through my local library (otherwise one must pay). My first assignment was to write at least 250 words where I define “herbs” and provide a brief history of herbalism. Not to brag– oh, who am I kidding? I’m bragging– the instructor gave me 100% on the assignment.  Here is the essay:

A Brief History of Herb Usage

An herb, in culinary usage, is comprised of the green leaves of any non-woody plant. Other parts of the plant would be classified as spices. For example, the leaves of a coriander (cilantro) plant would be is an herb while the seed of the coriander plant would be a spice. However, the definition of an herb for medical uses is much broader, with an herb being any part of any type of plant used as a medical application.

The use of herbs for both cooking and medicinal applications goes as far back as the Upper-Paleolithic period. Though the lesson article states that the use of herbs for healing was derived through much trial and error, my personal opinion is that humans were far more intuitive in prehistoric times and probably “knew” — perhaps through observing animals’ interaction with herbs– what plants were safe and how they might be effective.

A large body of information on herbal healing was gathered and transmitted by the ancient cultures of the middle-east, Mediterranean, and north Africa regions. The Greeks created a large body of knowledge which they passed on to the Arabs in the middle ages. Europeans developed their own herb-knowledge which was kept primarily by the clergy, but also by the wise women of the land. European herbs and healing traditions were brought to North and South America where they took hold and mingled with indigenous traditions.

Herb-craft fell by the wayside after the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods. And today there is much criticism from the Western medical establishment of the use of herbal remedies. Though the stated intention of such criticism and the regulation by governments of herbal supplements and remedies is to protect the consumer, it also serves to withhold other viable solutions to various health conditions.

I, myself, take herbal supplements prescribed by a Traditional Chinese medical practitioner. These supplements are based on centuries-old, tried-and-true formulae which I can attest have helped me. TCM has become mainstream along with its Indian counterpart, the Ayurvedic tradition. Given that access to quality standard health care is not affordable by many people, returning to the ancient tradition of herbal healing may be the answer.

Ljgloyd 2018

Postscript: Today’s Daily Post prompt, Tantrum, has absolutely nothing to do with this article. Sometimes I’m inspired on my own.


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Cheese Omlettes Three Times a Day?

Look, there is no way I will ever be a vegan. I don’t have the inner wherewithal to choose a turkey-shaped piece of tofu over a half rack of St. Louis babybacks from the BBQ pit down the street.

Yes, I know that eating a plant-based diet is ultimately more healthful and better for the environment than being a junk-food eating omnivore. I could be a lacto-ovo vegetarian if I could have cheese omelettes three times a day, but I think my primary care physician, “She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed’, would, herself, have a coronary if I did that and told her.

A number of years ago I tried being a vegan, but it only lasted a few weeks before I backslid into a grand slam breakfast at a local greasy spoon.

But I am a little older now, and a little more concerned about my health, so I am attempting, once again, to eat a more plant-heavy diet, with more greens and beans and a bit less animal protein.

To that end, I did my weekly grocery shopping today and I made a huge haul of fresh veggies, beans, fruits, and some highly-reviewed meat-free products. In the past I’ve never cared much for those products made from textured vegetable protein. When these products first came on the market they tasted more like textured cardboard. This is not the case anymore. There are some really tasty offerings now.

For example, this evening I made for supper an egg-white omelette filled with vegetables, an arugula salad, and a meatless breakfast patty (Gardien brand).

The patty looked like a piece of sausage, smelled like it, and had that wonderfully sagey, peppery taste of breakfast sausage. It even oozed out grease onto the plate like a real piece of sausage.

But, like I said, I will never fully convert. Today I had meatless sausage. Tomorrow, I may have a real cheeseburger and fries.

Everything in moderation. Moo!

 

ljgloyd 2018.   No, I’m not being paid to endorse this brand.  I’m just a consumer that likes their product.


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Salads, Tough Cookies, and that Still, Small Voice

I have encountered many an article, blog post, and news commentary that state that we are forgetting the fine art of compromise. We see this uncompromising attitude everywhere from our personal relationships to our legislators. Compromise, to some, seems to be a sign of weakness. The lack of willingness to see a middle road that satisfies everyone often leads to a lot of strife and nastiness and most certainly stagnation in the advancing of any personal or political agenda.

That being said there are times when we cannot compromise. For me, I cannot compromise on those disciplines that help me live a healthier life. It would be easy at times to compromise and tell myself that it is okay to eat “just a few” of those fries that came with the sandwich I ordered as long as I don’t eat them all. Being uncompromising means that I send the fries back and get a salad instead — no matter what the rest of my dinner companions say.

There is another area wherein I do not compromise: heeding the voice of my intuition. Sometimes I find myself in situations where I am being pushed or pulled in a direction that my “gut” tells me is not good for me. When I find myself in such situations, first I examine it and myself to see if I might indeed be acting stubbornly. I am more than willing to change my mind if the situation warrants it. However, if after doing so,  if my intuition is still screaming at me not to comply, then I need to heed it.

There may be nothing inherently wrong with what I am being asked to do; it might even be the noblest of tasks, but if my intuition tells me that this is something I should not do, then I won’t. Period. End of discussion.

That “still small voice” inside of me is an uncompromisingly tough cookie — and so am I.

 

ljg 2018