Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Day 248: On Being an Open-Minded Skeptic

Tai Chi Chuan at the Beach, ljgloyd 2017

I believe in science.  I have little patience for flat-earthers who ignore basic, observable evidence, or those who won’t wear masks during a pandemic because …. well, I really don’t understand their “because”.    They make no sense.

That being said, I am open-minded enough to believe in the possibility of things that don’t have a readily available scientific explanation.

For example, I have, for decades, practiced various types of energetic practices such as qigong, tai chi chuan, and yoga– practices intended to move vital life force energy (Qi) through the body to optimize good health   I receive acupuncture treatments and take Chinese herbs for the same reason–they break up stagnant Qi.    I engage in these practices because I can observe the outcome: I feel better afterwards.

So for the time-being, I will be content to embrace the mystery and assume that one day our methods of scientific research will shed more light on the existence and operation of something so basic as our vital life force.

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Here are two fascinating clips from the classic Bill Moyer’s documentary about Qi and traditional Chinese medicine.  In the second video, I appreciate the young man’s comments about advancing our methods of studying Qi.

ljgloyd (c) 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/11/17/rdp-tuesday-qi/


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Day 205: The Blessing of the Animals

Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology.  Our church had a blessing of the animals service via Zoom.   Participants brought their dogs and cats to their computer to receive the blessing from our priest.

I don’t have any pets right now.   I attended the Zoom anyway and requested that we remember the variety of creatures that live in my backyard:    squirrels, feral cats, raccoons, hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and a family of raucous crows.   They are part of the ecology of neighborhood.

Also, here is something else in honor of the day:

 

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/rdp-saturday-variety/

 


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Day 174: Basking Raven

Ten years ago—I can’t believe it’s been that long—I was big into photo manipulation and the creation of what I called “Digital Constructions”.  I made a deck of cards depicting a series of animal archetypes. This card, the Raven, was a manipulation of a photo of a raven I took in a park   Unfortunately, I cannot find the original photograph.

Ljgloyd 2010, 2020
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/rdp-thursday-bask/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/raven/


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Day 150: At the Beach

It is day 150 of my new normal. That is, it’s been 150 days since I was sent home to work. And I just found out that we will need to work from home for the rest of the year. It is all good: it’s designed to keep me safe and well. But I freaking need to get out of the house! So yesterday I went to the beach. I went just to walk the Strand because I need the exercise, not to splash around in the waves. It seems like everybody else had the same idea. A lot of people did have their masks on, as did I, but obviously there’s only so much mask wearing you can do when you’re trying to catch a wave.


ljgloyd 2020

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/08/09/rdp-sunday-beach/

 


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Day 127: Blueberry Galette

I made a galette this afternoon, which is just a fancy name for a rustic fruit tart—and “rustic” is just a fancy way of saying “let’s not worry about how it looks – just how good it tastes.”    😀

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/rdp-saturday-mouthwatering/


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Day 62: Teasing Out the Truth

A couple of years ago, I took a photograph of a beach sunset. The photo was lovely but it did not catch the luminosity and vibrancy that I witnessed that evening. I finished this painting last night– actually a triptych of panels since I did not have an appropriate sized canvas– that teased out the truth of my experience of that evening.

Painting by LJGloyd

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/rdp-tuesday-tease/


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Day 30: Waiting for That Money Shot

Last year I bought myself a decent camera because I had this idea that I would be able to get back into photography. That did not come to pass because one thing after another came up to get in the way.

The shelter-in-place mandate by my county has been extended to the middle of May and my workplace will not allow us back until the end of May. So I have plenty of time on my hands.  Instead of just standing by and waiting for the all-clear, I thought I would put my camera to use.

Since I cannot go anywhere, I will need to be satisfied with what I can shoot around my home and in my neighborhood. This morning I figured out how do use my long range lens. I sat on my patio for a while waiting for the hummingbirds to feed on my nasturtiums as well as house finches and Black Phoebes to splash in the birdbath.  However, a murder of crows roosting in a Jacaranda tree on the property next door was creating havoc by terrorizing the mourning doves, cavorting mid-air with each other and hollering back-and-forth at full-volume.   They managed to scare off all small birds in neighborhood, so all I managed were some shots of my flowers and bees. It’s gonna take a while to get that proverbial money shot.

That’s OK.   It seems like I’m in this for the long-haul.

ljgloyd  2020

 

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/rdp-saturday-standby/

 

 

 


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Day 17: Stir Crazy in the Kitchen

It is day 17 of my new normal.  Fortunately, I have work to do at home during the week, but the evenings and weekends are a little long. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading, gardening, and wasting way too much time on YouTube. However, I did find a video of Jamie Oliver making the easiest soda bread ever made.  So this morning for something to do I made it, and I am fairly pleased with the result. ( A link to the video is below).  I call it “soup can soda bread” because you use an empty soup can as the measuring cup for the flour and liquid.

Mix together a soup can of all purpose flour, a can of whole wheat flour, and a can of milk. Buttermilk is better, but I didn’t have it. Instead I mixed some milk with some yogurt. Add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of honey, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. I added a few sprinkles of rolled oats for some texture.

When the dough is mixed, plop it out onto a floured board and just give it a few kneads to shape it into a ball. Sprinkle the bottom of the baking pan with a little flour, put the loaf into it, sprinkle more oats on top, and score an X into it.

Put the pan into a preheated 400 F (200 C) degree oven. The recipe calls for it to bake for 20 minutes, but mine was a little underdone in the center. So the next time I do this, I will bake it for 25 minutes, and then test the center with a knife. Every oven is a little bit different. Other than that, I am very pleased with the result:

The whole process took about 35 minutes, including clean up.

So that’s what I’ve done so far this morning.   What are all of you doing to get through your lockdown or social isolation? Stay well, everyone.

Ljg.

 

I https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/?s=Isolate

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/rdp-friday-isolate/


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Day 1: Calm in the Eye of the Storm


Like hundreds of millions of people all over the world, I am trying to practice some social distancing during the pandemic.  In order to “isolate” for several weeks, I ventured out to do some shopping for essentials to have on hand.   At 6 o-my-sweet-Moses-in-the-morning in the darkness and in a pouring rainstorm, I went to one of the local warehouse stores hoping to avoid a crowd and possible exposure to the virus.  That idea didn’t work too well.  When I arrived there were already about 50 or 60 people waiting to get into the store along with me. I knew the crowds would only get worse so I took the plunge and got in line.

Seriously, I wasn’t there to hoard. I simply wanted to get some pantry staples.   For example, I thought I would get a few rolls of paper towels.  However, all the store had were huge packs of 24 rolls. I don’t need that many rolls of paper towels and to have purchased them would have been hoarding. So I left them for somebody else.  I’ll use old fashioned fabric towels and wash them.  It’s better for the environment anyway.

A lot of shelves were empty, but in spite of what I have seen on the news — people fighting over toilet paper and other insane behaviors– everyone I engaged was polite and in some cases even jovial in the attempt to take the edge off the tension.   I quickly worked through my list:  a few canned items, hand sanitizer, cartons of shelf-safe nut milk, oatmeal, and chocolate.  (I can’t face a global crisis without chocolate).  Then I checked out and high-tailed it home.

I had originally planned to fill my day with garden work, but since the rain has made that impossible, I had to find something else to occupy the day.  I’ve made an inventory of my pantry (I’m good on food and toiletries for several weeks), I fooled around on social media, and now I am writing.  This evening I plan to read.   I cannot– CANNOT– watch one more minute of the news.   It is not that the news about the pandemic frightens me.  More to the point, it unsettles me.  I am anxious.  Not so much about my getting sick, but about things like what this is doing to the stock market, and the global economy,  how does this affect my doing my job next week, and how do I keep myself sane when I am spending so much time alone.  By the way, Alexa is not very good at holding sustained conversations.

Yesterday, a friend of mine had a digital copy sent to me of a well-known book on Zen meditation.  So tomorrow, Sunday, since my diocese has cancelled worship services, I may sit and try to meditate instead.   I have the next few weeks to worry about the state of things.   Tomorrow, though, I will take a few minutes and try to find some calm in this storm.

Stay well everyone.

ljg (c) 2020

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/rdp-saturday-calm/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/rdp-friday-isolate/

 


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Morning Routine: A Collaboration with “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”

I have always been a bit of a lazy, undisciplined wretch when it comes to a morning spiritual/wellness practice.  Oh, I do just fine with the functions of the day job.  In fact, I get criticized for being a bit too rigid in my routines and processes.  But when it comes to doing those things that strengthen and motivate my interior life, well, not so much.   I’ve tried but usually backslide in a few days after “re-committing myself to my practice.”

But then I decided to collaborate with some technology I have on hand and it has made all the difference.

To make a long story short, I created a “routine” on one of those digital personal assistants.  (I don’t want to name names because she wakes up every time I say her name and won’t shut up.)  Anyway.   I programmed “she-who-must-not-be-named” to run a routine that I activate when I wake that gives me the date, time, weather, news brief, and then an in-bed yoga routine where the last asana gets me out of bed and on my feet.  From there I can manage a few sun salutations.   When I end with the savasana, I tell HER to play some appropriate music and set a timer for 10 minutes.  I know then that I can meditate and pray without falling back to sleep on the floor.

After this, I set another timer for doing devotional reading and journaling.   When that timer goes off, I proceed with getting ready for the day job, preparing breakfast, and packing lunch.  Finally, I set one more timer to tell me when to leave for work.  This usually is enough time for me to eat, watch the news, and maybe even work in my sketch book.

So far, so good.   But it’s only been one day.   So we’ll see.

The ancient sages and devotees managed their spiritual practices by watching the movement of the sun and being accountable to each other in the communities where they lived.   I guess I am a little like that too — except my abbess is some AI chick in a little round container.

ljg 2020

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/collaborate/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/rdp-tuesday-wretch/