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:

The Expression “Trailer Trash” is Unfair

For years I’ve been hearing the expression, “trailer trash.” It’s absolutely, positively unfair to the millions of good, honest, hard-working people who make a home out of a mobile home. One family I know of, runs a thriving business and sent their son to Stanford. His success at college had a lot to do with the money they saved by living in a mobile home. Buying a standard home has become expensive and out of reach for many families. Especially young families. Living in a mobile home can be a financially wise choice. My husband and I lived in a converted school bus for two-and-a-half years while we built a little house. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the money we saved living in that bus. It was a fun time.

Mobile homes range from deluxe to modest and people in every state live in them. It is a pity, if their children are made to feel ashamed, because someone coined the phrase, “trailer trash.” Most people probably laugh it off. Their homes are nice and they know it. It does not make someone “trashy” just because they live in a mobile home. The next time you hear someone use that expression, remind them it’s misleading and offensive. We should all be so lucky.

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

What’s the Difference Between Horses and Mules? This May Surprise You


I’m lucky to have two beautiful mules move in next door. They are gorgeous. They’re tall, sleek and exceptionally friendly. They carry packs for hikers in Yosemite. They’re a little aggressive, they’re pushing the field fence over but I can fix that with a strand of electric fence tape. (Much as I hate to.)

I’ve discovered there are some differences between them and my Quarter-pony, “Sugar.” For one thing, they graze everything. It looks evenly mowed. Every horse I’ve ever had grazes what it likes and leaves the rest, allowing the things they dislike to go to seed and proliferate.

Another difference is… where’s the manure? They’ve been there for a couple of months and they gravitate to my pony. They’re always out there with him but they leave no droppings. Go figure. They must be tidy about it and have a spot somewhere else. Works for me. The last thing I need is two equines just over the fence leaving droppings that I can’t rake up. Did I say they’re gorgeous?

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

America’s Multi-Ethnic Communities Are Growing

Smaller Gone North Front CoverI have lived a good portion of my life in rural communities. Diverse in personality but not so much in ethnicity. In one of the communities, there was one black family, a brother and sister (the brother was married to a white woman). They didn’t stay long and my husband and I were appalled at the stories they told. The community lost some good people when they left. But I do not blame them for leaving. Sadly, they didn’t feel safe.

My parents lived in Napa, California, an area that attracts Latinos. And in Suisun City where they had a furniture store, their neighbors were black. Spending time in both those communities was refreshing. I’ve always said that I like multi-ethnic communities, it’s what I like about the San Francisco Bay Area. Years ago, I filled my need for diversity by marrying into a large Italian family, and then later, a large Jewish family that was intermarrying.

America’s multi-ethnic neighborhoods are growing faster than ever. Today’s media personalities reflect that. I find the stories are more interesting when a station hires a diverse group of newscasters. However, some Americans are threatened by the rapid change. That’s why we have gangs and politicians whose reflexes send them backwards instead of forward. I wish they would understand that a community of many cultures is never boring. Whether it’s the annual Sikh parade, the Italian Festival or the many other events within driving distance… variety truly is the spice of life.

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



There’s A lot of Talk About Living Forever… You Can Count Me Out

CreatespaceCover The Celtic PrinceMy son sent me a link to an article about humans living forever. Immortality through technology. I have no interest in living forever. Creepy… scary… like being stuck in a submarine with no way out. I would however, enjoy living a healthy life into my 100’s. To stop the dying process would be to stop ourselves from going into the great beyond… heaven… the otherworld. Why would we want to do that? Just because we don’t know what happens after we die? What’s wrong with… surprise! You’re an elephant! Or surprise! You’re on the next level of humanity because you did so well last time?

This world is a beautiful place… most of the time… for many of us. But it’s a real hell hole for others who live in unfortunate circumstances in dangerous and inhospitable regions. Folksinger, Arlo Guthrie has a response to the statement, there’s always someone worse off than you. Arlo says, “What about that last guy…” the poor guy who is so unfortunate, no one has it worse.

I could give you the same reasons we’ve always heard. “You get so old, all of your friends are dead.” Good point, even if it is a cliche. It’s just that I spend a lot of time in nature observing that life goes around and around. Life and rebirth. When it’s my turn, why would I want to give that up? Life might be even more beautiful on the other side.  Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

The Law of Ancient Lights… Buzz Kills, Vampire Auras and Toxic Friends

Smaller Gone North Front CoverHave you ever been basking in the sun and had someone come along and put a shadow on you? It’s irritating isn’t it? Have you ever had a neighbor build a house and obstruct your view? How about the morning sun? You’re not alone. Blocking someone’s light can be a serious issue and England even has a term for it… it’s called Ancient Lights. This legality is used to protect those who came first… to the sun. The original owner of the building has the right to receive light from a window (if it has been there for twenty years). One cannot come along and interrupt that flow of light.

Not unlike the vernacular buzz killancient lights is a quick way to tell someone that they are blocking your sunlight. Another one is vampire aura. Ever hear of that? That’s when someone comes along and drains your energy. Supposedly, they have a hole in their aura that needs filling, so it’s drawing from your aura to fill it. (Not scientific but sounds good doesn’t it? It might fall into the same category as toxic friends.)

Kindness, kindness, kindness… if I have a little light to share, by all means, help yourself. If I have extra energy in my aura, you’re welcome to a little, (emphasis on little, too big a drain is ruinous). But if you’re a toxic friend, well… you’ll need to go through a dramatic transformation… life’s too short.

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

Stick This in Your Cannabis Museum

Smaller Gone North Front Cover

It may seem like marijuana has been liberated overnight. But it hasn’t. But with all the fanfare lately, those of us who have been around awhile, are not used to the herb seeing the light of day. I spent twenty-five years living in a rural Northern California region where pot farming and timber logging were the big industries. And believe me, there was a clash of cultures. We knew things were changing when the local conservative farmers were growing weed that was as good, or better than the hippies living in the woods. The area attracted colorful personalities with unusual quirks, and I kept them in my memory and in the early 1990’s penned it to paper, as I saw it. The result was a novel, “Gone North, – Long After the Summer of Love.” Although it is entirely a work of fiction, it is how I really saw things, living in the early days of the “Emerald Triangle.” Now cannabis is coming out of the shadows and folks are asking for people to come forward with their stories and artifacts because they want to start a cannabis museum. I’ve got one for ya… about the story of a young boy whose life collides with an ex-con who comes to town because he’s got the notion that… surprise, surprise… money grows on trees. Suellen Ocean is the author of Gone North. Available here:

Gone North:

1950’s Advice For Women

When I was a teenager, growing up in the 1960’s, my mother gave me this advice: “When you get married make sure you comb your hair right away when you wake up in the morning, so you’ll look nice for your husband.” Good advice for anyone, male or female. But here’s a good one I ran across while reading an old essay about homemaking. “Look pretty, even when you are sweeping the floor. You will feel less tired at the end of the day than if you wear drab garments.” Oh… don’t we wish!

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

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Poor Jonny's Cover

Alex Jones Disagrees With My Definition of Paganism

I’m not a Pagan but when I stand around the bonfire with friends as they celebrate the Solstice, I get a sense of what the lives of the ancient Pagans could have been like. Pagans got a bad rap from the early Christians and for all we know, many Pagans were probably leading more of a peaceful, spiritual, be kind to your neighbors lifestyle than some who profess otherwise. I said that the definition of Paganism was: “One who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedan, nor a Jew; a heathen”. Also, “an irreligious person” and “idolatrous”. While the Latin paganus means “heathen” the French Latin paganus means “civilian” or “peasant” and the French pagus means village or district. But Alex Jones took the time to write me and express his view. “PAGANISM: a way of life; where self, others and nature are experienced and engaged in a spiritual, practical and holistic way.” Alex can be found at:

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

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