Is it Time for America to Re-read the Story of the Country Mouse Who Went to the City?

America has a problem and it’s not pickup trucks or people who drive them. The problem is a closed mind. Has it come down to country people versus city people? Please tell me no. For many reasons. One is that some of us are both. Whether it’s North Coast, West Coast, Rural America, the Heartland, the Eastern Corridor or any other location, some Americans have a problem appreciating the culture of those from another neighborhood. I saw a well-respected journalist on twitter make a crack about Americans who drive pick-up trucks. I’ve got some words for him. Hard-working people who drive trucks are cool. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There’s no yee-haw about it. Wake up America. The people who put eggs on your breakfast table drive trucks to the feed store. The carpenters who build your home carry lumber in their trucks. The fisherman, the plumber, the surveyor, the musician, the woodcutter… all drive trucks. They’re good people and they’re doing their job, providing for their families and maybe going boating on the weekend. (You need a truck to haul a boat.) Americans today should know better than to think “us” and “them.” It’s just US and some of us drive pick-up trucks.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

No Wonder We’re So Stressed

Secret Genealogy IV CoverYes, I know, this election season is enough to bring the strongest of us to toss and turn at night. Throw in the wars and rumors of wars and keep the media on and well… it gets unpleasant. But if you’re like me, you enjoy keeping abreast of what’s going on. What makes it worse is the style of media advertising these days. Loud, obnoxious and way too fast. Modern technology is enabling the techs to speed up the ads. You get some guy on there, touting a product, already talking too fast, and then the tech speeds it up? Do ya think? OMG, get me some ice for my head. Now I’m wondering if technicians tinker with the speed of talk show hosts too. Are they speeding the voices up? Just a little? Geesh. All we need now are the irritating sounds of drones buzzing overhead. That would make it complete.

What we don’t need is faster, faster. We need time to take deep breaths and collect our thoughts. Time to reverence our children, ponder nature, eat slowly and enjoy our books and movies at a leisurely pace. Life is a beautiful thing. Time to fine-tune nirvana.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

Save Grandma’s Encyclopedia… I’ll Tell You Why

You should save Grandma’s encyclopedia and I’ll tell you why. It holds the history of the world and it’s more candidly told than it would be today. I’m reading an encyclopedia that was published in the early 1950’s and has an earlier publishing date of 1945. Meaning that the research was done during the early twentieth-century. Don’t let the outdated publishing deter you. I’m impressed by the accuracy of the scientific articles, much of what they wrote is just now hitting the mainstream.

When the writers, (probably the best in the world) wrote about cultures, they were not as concerned about offending people or being sued. Authors today must be socially and politically correct. Of course, in 1945, authors had ethics but the rules were different. I’ve not run across any encyclopedia writer who intentioned malice. The authors went around the world, wrote about the people and took pictures, or had a photographer. Their intent was to share the world to those back home.

I assume that Google is scanning old encyclopedias. I hope so. I also hope that people will take a second look at their value. If you do get rid of it, I hope it finds its way into the hands of people like me, who didn’t pay enough attention in school or wasn’t in Castile, Spain in 1940. But after reading the articles, I feel like I’ve been there. Even more so, after seeing the colorful pictures. And because the authors weren’t hindered by political correctness, I know exactly what the people looked like.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

It is Not Insane to Feel Alienated

Butterfly BLUE VIOLET Front Cover

Alienism is an old term used in pathology and it means the study and treatment of mental diseases. I read that in an old encyclopedia. After the definition it says, See Insanity. I was astounded. Even if Alienism isn’t used today to define the field of mental health, (I have no idea if it is, I think I would have heard it,) it is interesting that alienism was the word the professionals chose.

Feeling alienated is so common, we were taught about it in college. It is considered a common way to reach people through advertising, public relations, political campaigns, etc. It comes into play in the “jump on the band wagon,” strategy. The threat of being alienated is a great fear in the human psyche. Religions use it too, “join us or we will ostracize you.” A friend of mine was “ostracized,” she said that tactic, “works.”

I am taking the time to write about it because in today’s world of 2016 politics, we are already being played upon with tactics that are geared to manipulate us by making us feel alienated. Don’t fall for it. We all feel alienated from time to time, some of us, every day. It’s normal.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era romance, Blue Violet. Available here: