Why Don’t Women Sew Any More?

It’s a sexist question to ask, “Why don’t women sew anymore?” Men sew too. I met a man who had a sewing machine and made sports clothes and I know men who are bikers and pull out needle and thread to stitch their leathers when they need repair. Men have been sewing probably as long as women have, tailors are evidence of that. However… many more women throughout history have enjoyed sewing their own clothes. Not so much anymore and why is that? One reason might be because third world countries did it so much cheaper and the industrial age sent women to work, right alongside men. Nevertheless, I think the main reason women don’t sew much anymore is because the sewing machines made it a pain in the &%$#. The first day of sewing class, I ran the sewing machine needle right through my finger. For years, I have persevered through bundled, knotted thread that stops the machine and God forbid… uneven tension. Then there are the broken needles and the year that stretch knits came out and we had to learn to sew on that fabric for the first time. The “new” sewing machines were fine when they were simple but the more advanced they got, fewer women wanted to torture themselves with it. Forget it already! “I am a lousy seamstress,” they told everyone. The sad part of that is that they weren’t lousy; the machines were just NOT user friendly.

ButterflySewingMachine

I have been sewing for decades. How do I do it and still enjoy it? It happened quite by accident. I lived in the mountains and we had no electricity so I had to sew on a treadle machine. All it does is sew, forward and backwards. That’s it! And guess what? I have no problems with it. I never mess with the tension, I know better than to touch it. My treadle machine was manufactured in the 1980’s in China and is called a “Butterfly.” What happened was, communist China bought out an old Singer sewing machine factory and continued making the machines but made them to run as treadles without electricity. I have had my treadle for about twenty-eight years. I love it and I love to sew! Just thought some of you might like to know.

Suellen Ocean is the author of numerous books on various topics. You can seem them at her website http://www.oceanhose.com.

Don’t Be Afraid of Turmeric… Spice it Up!

Turmeric has been across the news for several years. It is purported to be useful in cases of inflammation and heart disease and there are reports it is good for the brain and may fend off Alzheimer’s. I heard someone on the radio last weekend, touting its liver cleansing properties. I heard a report a couple of years ago that cultures who cook with turmeric (sometimes included in curry) have less incidence of Alzheimer’s. What’s not to like? I was already using curry powder but when I heard that not all curry powders include turmeric, I decided to add turmeric to my soups, stews and stir-fried vegetables. I was quite pleased. I buy the turmeric in bulk at a natural foods store. I use it sparingly but if I accidently use too much, I have found it is not offensive. If I make a pot of vegetable soup, suitable for four people, I would probably use no more than one teaspoon of turmeric powder. It has a wonderful bright yellow-orange color. Another idea is to sprinkle a pinch on brown rice, add some sweet red peppers for color, a spoonful of raw sunflower seeds and a dash of olive oil, maybe a sprig of parsley and you have yourself a dish that fulfills many of the day’s nutritional requirements.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Using Acorns to Teach Your Kids About Ecology

The earlier you teach your children to enjoy nature, the more likely they are to embrace and understand it. That is what I believe. One of the fun things about nature is that it is free, or should be. Take the time for nature walks with your children and make it clear to them how they fit into the ecosystem. Acorns are an excellent way to show kids how everything connects. The sun brings life to the oak tree and the rain brings water. The oak tree grows big enough to provide shade for animals and the acorns provide food. The large animals eat the acorns and the smaller animals eat the crumbs. The birds swoop in for crumbs too while larger birds, like woodpeckers, take the whole acorn and stuff it in the holes they’ve drilled into trees. Even worms get in on the act. Little tiny worms invade the acorn and when they do, birds swoop in again and eat the worms. The droppings left by the birds and animals nourish the tree. The rains return and the ecological cycle repeats. It’s a circle that goes round and round.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

 

 

Our Lives Are Surrounded by War

In America, it’s easy to think that there is no war but I hear the sound of war when a fighter jet takes off from the nearby air force base. I’m very grateful for the peaceful existence I have in America and for those who “fought for our country,” but I see the damage done to our young soldiers when we watch the evening news and see how ill- treated many Vets are in hospitals created to take optimum care of them. We hear stories about friends and neighbors and how their lives were altered by war. And then I see it when I’m researching. Whether I’m researching genealogy or for a fiction I’m writing. Yesterday and today are surrounded by war. Can’t we get past it?

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

Secret Genealogy IV Cover

The Love of Gold Goes Back to the Stone Age

People love gold. I know because I live in the Sierras and I’ve met many modern-day gold miners. They will stand in the hot sun all day with their primitive picks and pans, happy with the thought that maybe they’ll find a nugget or at least enough gold “fines” to make the day worthwhile. Stone Age tools embedded with gold tell us that early man learned how to melt gold and craft with it. The Egyptians became highly skilled gold jewelers by about 5000 B.C.E. Fine specimens can be found in museums. You’ve heard of King Solomon’s mines? Those gold mines brought Solomon great wealth. The precious metal was pounded then stretched and worked into fine jewelry and maybe to decorate military armaments. The gold was used to reward his best soldiers and for the purchase of food and goods for the well-being of his people.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Prince-Before-After/dp/1484086392

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/celtic-prince-suellen-ocean/1102338307?ean=2940016618968

CreatespaceCover The Celtic Prince

The Environment… When is it Okay to Eat Acorns?

When I began gathering and preparing acorns for food, I lived in the Pacific Northwest in a vast forest of tanoak trees. Most years, acorns were so thick on the ground; they sprouted in the spring and created a thick undergrowth of baby oaks. Now I live in the Sierra Foothills and in some areas, there are barely enough acorns to sustain wildlife that depend on them. In that instance, I leave the acorns right where they are. There is no way I want to go to bed at night thinking I have robbed the squirrels of their winter food stash. Where do I feel comfortable collecting acorns? In parks and yards where the acorns are raked up and put into the trash. I understand why people do that but it pains me that they do. Yes, acorns in the yard can be a real mess. Next year, if acorns are abundant, you might mention it to your local elementary school teacher or the local cub scouts. Perhaps they would like to bag some of them up for their history studies or nature survival course. And don’t forget taking some into the house for yourself. They turn cakes and cookies into delicacies. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

 

 

Gathering Acorns is Great Fun for Kids… Next Time Bake Acorn Cookies!

Kids love to gather acorns. I know because I have heard close to a hundred of these acorn stories. “When I was six,” people always tell me. These are adults, reliving their experience gathering acorns, probably when they were studying the Native American history of their area. I have yet to hear one of these stories without a smile on the teller’s face. Fond memories. What their schoolteachers did not know was that with a little more effort, the children could process the acorns and make cookies, bringing even bigger smiles. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

 

People Who Eat High Fiber Diets Live Longer and Have Less Disease

Last night I heard a radio newscast that said that people who eat high fiber diets live longer and have less heart disease, diabetes and cancer. This is good news because food fiber is readily available, inexpensive, satisfying and can help with weight loss because it’s filling. How can we get more fiber? Fill your refrigerator with fresh carrots, apples, potatoes, sprouted wheatberry bread, broccoli, cabbage, grapes and other fruits and vegetables. Go to the natural foods store and purchase wheat bran and wheat germ. Add the wheat bran to your cornbread recipe and add the wheat germ to your favorite yogurt. Cook a lot of brown rice and stock up your cupboard with other grains like quinoa and polenta. Keep a wide variety of beans in your cupboard so you can make tasty vegetable soups. When you choose breakfast cereals, choose oats and if you go for packaged cereals, read the labels and only buy those with 100 percent whole grains and no added sugars or chemicals. These high fiber foods will leave you feeling full, give your body energy, and according to the radio newscaster… give you many more years of life.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Nature’s Health… Are Acorns Medicinal?

I believe that acorns are medicinal and I’ll tell you why. Besides containing a little protein and many carbohydrates, some acorns hold as much as 13.55 percent fat and 8.60 percent fiber. Both necessary for an efficient body. In addition, acorns make good medicine because they contain significant quantities of calcium and magnesium. These two nutrients work together. Calcium is essential for strong bones and calm nerves and is lost from our bodies when magnesium is deficient. Also found significantly in acorns, is potassium, a nutrient vital to our well-being, a loss of which to diabetics is extremely dangerous. Sulfur is another element found significantly in acorns. It is such an important amino acid; the high sulfur content in eggs has given eggnog its reputation as good medicine for combatting sickness. If you have not tried eating acorns, I suggest you do. It’s good medicine. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

 

COOKING With Acorns… Are Acorns Safe To Eat?

I have asked this question myself, in the early days when I first wanted to eat wild foods. Are acorns safe to eat? The answer is yes. Acorns sustained Native Americans for thousands of years. Cultures throughout the world living in temperate climates where oaks grow, also ate acorns. In Spain, they made spirits from acorns. In England, the peasants ate them. Pagan history shows a grand reverence for the oak and the acorn. Naturalist John Muir recorded his travels and left us with his belief that the acorn was “strengthening.” My biggest surprise is that the “civilized” world has overlooked them for so long. I just celebrated the New Year with a bowl of acorn dip, made from the acorns of California Valley Oaks. It was delicious and the next time I go to the store, I’m picking up the ingredients to make more. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER