Calling Myself Home: Living Simply, Following Your Heart and What Happens When You Jump by Robin Rainbow Gate

There were several things that resonated with me personally in the memoir Calling Myself Home: Living Simply, Following your Heart and What Happens When You Jump by Robin Rainbow Gate. Although I didn’t have her more privileged childhood, I too, heard the call to Mexico and found myself home in this rural, brilliantly colored land. 

The author studied herbal lore extensively, learning at the feet of some amazing herboleras (herbalists) on both sides of the border. The book thus is divided into sections that coincide with the concept of the Medicine Wheel, as understood by the Native Americans and Mexicas. 

There is considerable time devoted to the author’s childhood and early memories. At first I was frustrated, ready to get to the journey in Mexico. However, as I read, I realized that in order to understand how the author came to be where she was, it was important to see where she had been. 

The author’s life as she settled and embraced Mexico was as fulfilling as you’d expect. She described her wanderings in mountain villages, frustrations with a new way of learning, experiences with unknown sights, sounds, and tastes and her gradual growth as a person as a result of these things. 

Delightfully, at the end of the book, there are self-reflection questions so that the reader too can devise a plan to live life more fully. Honestly, there aren’t many women who would or could follow in the author’s footsteps. However, we each have our own path to follow, some of which cross the mountains and deserts of Mexico. The questions provide an excellent starting point for anyone looking for a more authentic life. Perhaps you’ll too find Mexico calling.

Click here to read more about Robin Rainbow Gate.

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Card Games

Once upon a time, I made several games for a local Sunday school teacher. Since I’ve nothing but time this year of continued limited events and essential travel only, I thought I’d dust those puppies off and see what I could do with them. 

I found a place that will print cards and made a biblical version of “Old Maid” starring Jezabel and a memory game with 20 women mentioned in the Old Testament. Then I had my son translate them and made Spanish versions. He’s quite the translator these days!

The cards can be ordered from my online store and shipped pretty much anywhere in the world, provided people know about them and like them enough to purchase. There may be import fees for countries outside of the U.S. and Canada (like Mexico).

I wasn’t done with my creative explosion quite yet. Having been a teacher for several decades, I know that most teachers make their own materials and don’t have a lot of money. Thus my online store on Teachers Pay Teachers was created. There I’m offering the pdf versions of the Spanish and English biblical card games, plus a FREE bingo game with three different boards (in both languages).

April 6-7, Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a site-wide sale. Everything in my store is 20% off as well. So send your teacher friends!

These games are hopefully only the first of many classroom aids. After all, I’ve been making materials for my classes for a long, long time. Perhaps they will be useful for other teachers as well. I plan on adding materials for English, Spanish, ESL and maybe music classes in addition to the Sunday school games. 

I admit I’m not so sure how to market my new “stores.” I suppose that’s a new skill I’ll have to learn. I’ll be sure to wedge time to learn marketing between the other projects I have going on in my productive quarantine 2021.

Friends having fun playing with MY cards!

So far, I’ve set up a storefront on my blog with links to these products. I’ve also set up an opt-in for a newsletter. The monthly newsletter focuses on new products and sales rather than the topics found on either of my blogs. 

You can see a sample newsletter for International Children’s Book Day below. Both books are still on sale today if you haven’t picked up your copy. You can click on the image to see the newsletter with the links. 

I’d love to hear what you think of the games, storefront, or newsletter. Marketing pointers are welcome as well!

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Celebrating International Children’s Book Day

International Children’s Book Day has been around since 1967. It is observed on April 2, in honor of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. I don’t know about you, but I loved books since I was a child. Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, which many Disney movies are based on, were particularly dark. The Little Mermaid certainly doesn’t have the same ending, that’s for sure.

Another book that I loved was I’m in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor. The wildness of that story reminds me so much of my life now in La Yacata. Perhaps, unconsciously, I strove to replicate it in crafting my middle-aged life? Who knows.

As a mother, my favorite children’s book was Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. It makes me sob. My son didn’t like me to read it to him. Go figure. In fact, I’m crying just thinking about it.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein was one of my favorite’s as a teacher. I read it to my classes in English and in Spanish when we talked about the environment. It certainly got a mixed bag of reactions from my students!

Travels with Grace by Erma Note is my latest children’s book read. Erma Note will be featured in a few days on Content Creative for the A to Z Virtual Book Tour. Be sure to check that out on April 16!

My own contributions to the world of children’s literature are not as spectacular as these that left a lasting impression on me growing up. However, I hope that children with parents or grandparents from our town will cherish them. So in honor of International Children’s Book Day both La Historia de Moroleón para Niños and The History of Moroleon for Kids ebooks are on sale for 99 cents from April 2 until April 6.

What are your favorite children’s books?

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