Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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A Spicy Winter Tonic

Every Autumn when the weather starts to cool down and I begin to interact with more people on the day-job, I inevitably come down with a bad head cold. This year I thought I would start early — last March to be exact — in developing ways to build my immune system. One of those ways was to make a batch of what I call “winter tonic.” This is an old folk remedy with many names. I am going to start taking a daily teaspoonful dose in hope that this spicy concoction will minimize my acquisition of a nasty cold.   Or is it decoction? Maybe it might be a type of tincture? Whatever… a jar has been sitting in my refrigerator all spring and summer so it is good and potent now.

When I made it last Spring, I mixed together chopped onion, garlic, fresh horseradish, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, honey, cayenne and star anise, put this all in a glass jar covered with apple cider vinegar and let sit in the refrigerator for a month. I then strained the solids out of it. At that point it was ready for consumption. I have to admit that at the very least it will clear sinuses — or be put to use as a salad dressing. I will see about the immune-boosting qualities as the season progresses.

I got this recipe from a master herbalist:

Spicy

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One Minute in my Art Journal

I have an art journal which I use in part to work on techniques and experiment with new media and also a personal journal in visual form.  For example, I went to the Museum of Latin American Art last week and was inspired by Frida Kahlo.   My intention was simply to render a portrait of her with watercolor crayons.  What came out was a mixed media piece that looks more like an icon of some Byzantine saint.  How interesting is that?   Here is a quick one-minute video of that process.

 

 

 


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LOTR: A Literary Masterpiece

It is my opinion that the greatest piece of writing in all of English literature, outside of the King James Bible, is J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Yes, I believe the three books of this series are even more finely crafted than any of the works by William Shakespeare.

That being said, I was going to give you a brief summary and my analysis, but if I had done so, it was have been a total snoozer and a complete waste of your time.  Instead, I offer my favorite documentary on the topic, one of the video appendices from the movie version’s DVD.    The first 23 minutes explores the creative genius of Tolkien and the crafting of his mythology.  It is a fascinating look at the making of a masterpiece.