Life Got You Down? Spend Time with a Wise Old Tree

We get nuts, oils and fruit from trees but spending time with them brings energy and inspiration. They don’t speak to us in the manner that humans do but their longevity speaks volumes. What have we been through that they have not? One of my favorite big ol’ trees spreads a shady canopy over an old schoolyard. You can see where years ago, lovebirds carved their initials into it. The ancient tree has withstood fire danger and storms. Wet winters threatened fungus infestations while insects waited to make a home in its dead carcass. Next time you need inspiration, go find a wise old tree. Lean up against it and receive its embrace. Gain strength in the knowledge that you too can grow and prosper through life’s difficult times. I don’t know who said it but I’ll never forget it, “That great oak was once just a little nut that held its ground.” 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

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And God Gave Us Hemp

Ancient Chinese legend has Cannabis Sativa as the solitary plant that God gave humans to fulfill their every need. Cannabis has been grown for thousands of years; archeological digs reveal the plant was etched upon pots. It is no wonder cannabis was revered. Throughout history, hemp oil was used in lanterns and the fiber was made into fishing nets, strong rope and articles of clothing. Medicinal properties are also associated with cannabis albeit other strains.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the satirical novel Gone North. Available here:

Gone North: http://www.amazon.com/Gone-North-Long-After-Summer/dp/1484094360

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

There Are Both Good And Bad Mirrors … Really

My mother’s bathroom had a great mirror; made me and the six other women in the family look ten pounds thinner. I hadn’t known it worked for others until I mentioned it to my nieces. Before that, I had wishfully thought I was a little slimmer. We still laugh about that mirror. Some movie theaters have bad mirrors, they make one look ten pounds heavier and if there’s bad lighting … well … ask an actor what lighting will do for one’s looks.

People are like mirrors too. Some are good mirrors, others are not. Sometimes those who are bad mirrors are favorites of ours. What to do? Maybe it’s the lighting. Try shining a little brighter when around those bad mirror acquaintances. As for movie theatre mirrors? Don’t look?

Suellen Ocean is the author of the satirical novel Gone North. Available here:

Gone North: http://www.amazon.com/Gone-North-Long-After-Summer/dp/1484094360

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

After the summer of love.

Our Dog Warmed Our Hearts But Ruined Our House

First my cute, sweet little elderly mother passed after ninety-three wonderful years. That was sad. Then our dog died three weeks later, also elderly. My husband and I needed some cheering up – we needed puppy power. So I found a puppy, half purebred collie and half lab mix and as anyone who has had a puppy knows, they are so cute and fun. She made us laugh instead of cry. We began devoting our lives to seeing that her needs were met (you want some more room on that couch? How ’bout a walk? More food?). But she ripped some of the plaster off the wall and when we bring kindling into the house she thinks they’re HER sticks, all ten of them and proceeds to shred them all over the floor. And my windows look like she wrote Chinese on them with her wet, sticky nose. But she has warmed our hearts at a time when our smiles had turned upside down. I call her our “Forever Puppy” and as I gaze at her spread out in front of the fire, her black fur all sleek and shiny, I have no regrets. Broken heart? Get a dog.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-River-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484094042

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

Hold out for your shade of crazy

The One Style Thingy That Will Last Forever – High Heels

It’s true, high-heeled shoes have been around for a long time and I suspect they will live on forever. Long after we are dead and buried or our ashes float down the river, there will be women (and men) wobbling around on high heels. They are horrible for your back but even the smartest of people wear them any way. And you can tell how great they feel tottering on those stilettos or high-heeled boots, “Look at me,” the shoes say and we do and sometimes we laugh as they limp off or pity them when we see that grimace upon their face. I never wear stilettos, never owned a pair but I have had several platform shoes and still do and my closet has several pair of cowboy boots with heels. I feel so good when I wear those cowboy boots (except when my feet hurt) and I’m not sure why. Yes, they make me a little taller but that’s just extra. Like I said, high heels are c’est terrible but they will be around for a painfully long time. Pun intended.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-River-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484094042

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

Attitude Is Everything? What About Food?

I met someone last Saturday who was firing questions at me regarding survival food. She knew of my book, Acorns And Eat’em and was hoping to supplement her diet with them. Two problems with that. One, it’s a bad year for acorns in her neck of the woods, they are nowhere to be found. Two, acorns are not great for eating large quantities of unless you are starving, which is what this woman and her boyfriend are worried about. “I have no money,” she said. She held a government job but retired early hoping to find a new life’s calling, then they lost their home and headed for the hills. She has a great attitude and is accomplished at networking. I told he she could eat a lot of potatoes. But I went to bed Saturday night, tossed and turned all night long with her words ringing in my head. “I get to go to the food bank once a month. I only have the nerve to take about eight little red potatoes.” I told her where to look for acorns.

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

Sugar? Brings Out the Ugly Twin?

I know they have a book out called “Sugar Blues” but how about “Sugar Bitch”? I’ll tell ya, I have to stay away from the stuff as it brings out a nasty twin sister that dwells inside. If you don’t believe me you can ask my husband. Good thing I am into health foods. It really surprises me what an impact a little bit of sugar has on me. It makes my temper flare, makes me grind my teeth makes me impatient and yes it can bring about the blues. It’s too bad because it does a nice job on a hot cup of tea on a cold winter’s afternoon but this kid … no can do. That twin, she is NOT fun to hang out with.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon, B&N and Ocean-Hose.

http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/

The Problem With People is They’re Hungry All the Time, lol …

I can say proudly that I am the cook at my house. Years ago I took control from my husband and declared, “I’m the food manager”. That was my blunt way of informing him that I was going to control the show in the kitchen. He did not mind. Thirty years later he still doesn’t mind. The more I cook the more he loves it. He tells people what a great cook I am and enjoys most everything I make. The problem is, like the rest of us, he’s hungry all the time. I once saw a video that was taken at Thanksgiving. The mother of the videographer worked all day long in the kitchen which many people do on our favorite food holiday but when they fast-forwarded the video, we watched her in high speed, for a long time cooking, bending, baking, etc. When it came time for everyone to eat, the fast-forward video showed everyone scoot their seats up then scoot them back and leave the table. If you blinked you missed it. It was hilarious. Those of us who put our heart and soul into cooking can relate to the video and it’s a good thing there are lots of left overs at Thanksgiving. But I’ll tell you, I just wish we weren’t so prone to having to eat, all day long, everyday. Why, some of us even wake up in the middle of the night to eat. Whoa, what’s up with that? Ice cream? Think about it, we are eating machines.  And if I don’t  eat and eat well, I have no energy. Like I said, we are eating machines. We are just like a car. No gas no go.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon, B&N and Ocean-Hose.

http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/

Recession Grocery Shopping – You Can’t Win!

You absolutely can not win if you go grocery shopping, especially if you have a partner. If you spend too much, which you will, especially with prices so high (bread is four dollars in California) or if you don’t come home with anything interesting to eat. My husband went last night and of course spent more than we had agreed on. But he said, “I figure I’ll be in less trouble if I bring you something good to eat”. Smart man. I can remember years ago a very stressful shopping experience. We had this little tiny Subaru hatchback and I had the delightful experience of having only seventeen dollars. My list included a bale of hay, groceries and gas. Whew. But I did it. I shoved that hay into the hatchback, bought the least amount of gas I could and found groceries really cheap at the gas station mini-mart. I always thought those days were behind us but this recession has brought them back again. I am grateful I have all the frugal skills I acquired during lean times. These days… I need them.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon.

Protein, Protein, Protein … but not too much

As a vegetarian if I don’t receive enough protein I will eat and eat and eat … and eat! Until my body receives the protein it needs, I’m hungry! Yet I cringe when I read about cancer being caused by a “protein” that runs amok. Eating too much protein can cause its problems and finding adequate protein without turning to animal sources is sometimes frustrating. But mixing the right amino acids together, which can mean beans and rice is crucial to satisfying hunger.

It’s very tempting to simplify things and think that because one is obese they are well-fed. Protein is expensive and many who are struggling financially eat a lot of starches (macaroni and cheese boxes) to get by. Higher quality starches like whole grain brown rice and whole grain pastas and breads, though they are more expensive, are a better bargain in the long run because of the nutrition they provide.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon.