Last weekend my husband and I watched the whole second season of Downton Abbey in less than 24 hours. We really enjoy the show, stopping it often to make comments and to try to guess where the plot may be headed. I appreciate all the characters, all the actors are superb, I especially appreciate Bates but my husband is infuriated by him, wishing he would finally stand up and quit getting pushed around. And Thomas is what writers call an “attractive bad guy”. Isn’t he terrible? After watching all those hours of an English historical drama, my dreams were all of Downton Abbey. My dog woke me twice and each time I fell back to sleep, my dreams were of Downton Abbey. I look forward to watching season three.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy.
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Last year, when I planted fava beans I had a lot of butterflies and bees enjoying the flowers. This year, the fava have grown taller than myself and they’re loaded with bright red ladybugs. As most gardeners know, ladybugs are a friend in the garden. They eat unwanted insects and I believe they collected on the favas to eat aphids. Fava beans fix nitrogen into the soil through little nodules in their roots. You can’t go wrong with using favas as a “cover crop”. Of course you can eat the fava beans as well.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Poor Jonny’s Cookbook.
Available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGO2EA/ref=nrn_si_text
Meanwhile… back at the ranch… I took time off to finish my novel, “Black Pansy”. It’s time to return to my blogs and my real life, whatever that means. I enjoyed writing the story that takes place at the outbreak of the Civil War and have begun work on my next historical novel. Thanks to all who take the time to read my blogs and books! Suellen Ocean
Here’s the description of “Black Pansy”:
Mabel McCrutchon has a touch of black blood running through her veins but not enough to cause her trouble… until the Civil War breaks out. In this historical romance, Mabel McCrutchon is a beautiful and brilliant “clerk” at the Pittsburgh News Herald, but in actuality she’s the ghost writer behind the region’s most popular novel, which the editor of the newspaper takes credit for, until it’s discovered that he is not the author. Mabel accepts an invitation from wealthy philanthropist, Charles Churchill, to venture into the Deep South, where she’ll confront the ghosts of her past and the reality of slavery. Mabel’s humble, respectable Scots-Irish family is pleased with Mabel’s relationship with Charles, but the illustrious Connecticut Churchill’s who pride themselves in English relations to the Duke of Marlborough and England’s Royal family, are anything but.
Mabel McCrutchon has a front row seat on Civil War America’s racial politics, changing social norms, family values and shrinking dinner tables. The new railroads reach into America’s heartland, photography is all the rage and Mabel McCrutchon catches it all, boldly exposing the new America.
Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Pansy-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484900278/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368214369&sr=1-1&keywords=Black+Pansy
I always like to have peppermint growing in my garden. I drink it the way others drink soda pop. I usually don’t add anything to sweeten it, because it is fine alone but a touch of honey is nice. In the old herbals peppermint is used for ailments from A – Z, including nausea, vomiting, flu, hysteria, dizziness, fevers, etc. One source even claims it helps insanity. No wonder it’s so popular! I’d be careful about drinking it too soon before bedtime because it appears to be an excellent diuretic and you might make a lot of trips to the bathroom during the night. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns available as a FREE download from Ocean-Hose. Find it here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/
We all have quirks. Some of us obsess over little things, have insomnia, insecurities, addictions… nobody’s perfect… we all have flaws… blah, blah, blah. Try going without sugar for a month and see what happens. Read your labels and be honest with yourself. I’m not big on sugar, I seem to do OK with a very small amount and honey agrees with me but I’ve discovered that my mind and body don’t like much more than a tiny bit of sugar. There are plenty of studies out there about the dangers of the highs and lows of sugar. I wouldn’t be surprised if sugar creates millions of unnecessary dramas, incarcerations, hospital stays and divorce. It is a strong substance and needs to be considered seriously. Think you’re crazy? Try ditching the sugar and let me know how it works out for you. Suellen Ocean is the author of Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/
There are thousands of make-up products one can slap onto their face but it will never take the place of the healthy glow we get from exercise. During the winter it’s hard to get outside and “play” and the cold weather can dry and weather your skin but there’s no substitute for a blood-pumping walk. I’m a nature lover and live in the country. I lift rocks, push around bales of hay, toss logs and garden and I make trails and drag branches. But most of the time I take a break from my writing projects and just go for a plain old walk. When I return I can’t help but notice that my cheeks are flushed (rosy), my eyes sparkle and my lips are red. There she is, the healthy me. The younger looking me. Suellen Ocean is the author of Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/
I’ve heard that when squash cross-pollinates it makes a “gourd” and that eating them can kill you. No kidding. Or make you really sick. So I was afraid when my zuchinni had obviously crossed with my sugar pumpkin. Uh oh. But what a pleasant surprise that turned out to be. Not only am I not dead, my “pumpkinni” were ten times more prolific than the zucchini and were delicious when eaten small and green. I allowed about five of them to grow large and turn into winter squash. Now here it is in the middle of January and I made pie from the winter squash it turned into. Delicious! The winter squash it turned into has a thick protective skin so is great for storing. They were mostly green when I brought them in last fall but have slowly turned orange. I’m saving the seed and will plant it in my summer garden. What will the seed from the pumpcinni turn out like? I’ll let you know. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns available as a FREE download from Ocean-Hose. Find it here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/