Giving Up Caffeine

You’d laugh if you saw the miniscule amount of caffeine I’ve been consuming. After black tea proved too acidic, I was drinking weak coffee, which was really a cup of hot water with a coffee taste. In the early 90’s, when coffee houses were springing up everywhere, I very much enjoyed cups of black brew but I developed anxiety and stomach aches and had no idea it was the coffee. To combat the anxiety, I was using the herb valerian. Ironically I was putting a bit of the powdered herb into my coffee. When that didn’t work, I finally realized… Oh… it’s the coffee.

Habitual patterns come and go but memories of a time when I was calmer and a bit more peaceful, gave me strength to believe I didn’t need the “hurriedness” that caffeine imposed on my body. I’ve always been a bit “high strung” but omitting the caffeine has me returning to a calmer disposition, one I remember fondly.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973


How We Cope, The Perfection is in the Imperfection

When people go camping, picnicking or to the beach, their plan for relaxing usually includes going through a ritual of removing rocks and debris and smoothing it out so that they will be comfortable when they lay down. Animals do the same thing. When I walk through nature I see the patted or stomped down grasses where nature’s beasts lay their heads to rest. But my horse seems to enjoy having a rock in the middle of his relaxing spot. I believe he may be doing this because he rolls and uses the rock to scratch his back and or sides. God’s creatures do funny things that look odd to us but they have their reasons. It just may be that sometimes obstacles are not “in the way” but opportunities waiting for us to use them.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River:

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

Sit Down, Relax and Read a Cookbook

I’ve found that the act of merely reading a cookbook will make you a better cook. It’s a lot like looking at a fashion magazine. You get ideas. Trust your mind to store enough elements of that spicy Spanish rice recipe and trust it to remember the way the Italians threw an egg in the middle of some dough to make egg noodles. I have a whole shelf full of cookbooks and you may too. There is no way that I have the time to make all the tantalizing recipes in those books but I do have the time to now and again put my feet up and read about how others spend their time in the kitchen. What spices do they use? How high do they turn up the oven up for desserts? What fruits do they throw into salads and what type of greens do they use? When you’re cruising through the produce isles, a red light will go off and you’ll grab that green pepper for stew, the mango for salad and the sweet potatoes for a different piecrust.

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

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

Sewing For Relaxation… Do It

Sewing is meditative, mentally stimulating (usually includes simple math) gets you in touch with your body (you have to fit it to yourself) and stimulates the creative part of the brain. It’s ego building and relaxing… what’s not to like? And guess what? Guys do it too.

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