What "Getting Old" means to students in second and third grades.Read More
Fond memories of eating Chucata from Mesquite trees as a child.
Traveling with my children led me to write Freaky Foods From Around the World - Platillos sorpredentes de todo el mundo. I think my boys would have found these maple leaves fascinating!
Upcoming publication of The Mighty Mesquite, El mezquite poderoso. Introduction of pechita, pinole, and atole.
I am so excited to be releasing (this spring) a new book on the Mesquite Tree. The cover has been changed as well as the text. I believe this book will be a valuable supplemental teaching tool for educators on the food web of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mohave Desert. Filled with science and relevant to many cultures!
Kefir is a fermented drink that has been consumed for thousands of years. It originated in the Caucasus mountains in the former Soviet Union where the drink was fermented naturally in bags made of animal hides.
No, I do not have a goat-skin bag, but I do have a nice pitcher that I fill with milk, add Kifer grains to, and store for up to 24 hours, mixing with a wooden spoon a couple times throughout the process.
Why, you ask, do I choose to drink fermented milk? The person who sent me these specific grains has been incorporating different grains for several years and claims that these grains have up to 70 different probiotic bacteria and yeasts.
What is the health benefit? For me it aids in digestion (keeps me regular), and boosts my immune system. Keeps those colds and flu at bay!
I drink a half cup to a cup of Kifer milk (which is has a thick milk consistency or a watery yogurt consistency) every morning and every night. It has a fizzy quality and is a bit tart. If I want it sweetened, I add a natural sweetener or add fruit.
Why I find this topic so interesting? This is yet another gift from a culture not my own!
Health benefits of laughter:
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Mayo Clinic article:
I love to explore different cultures and this week I sampled a tamale from a Guatemalan cook. My family uses corn husks as a wrapper and a masa made through nixtamalization (soaked corn in a alkaline solution = hominy). I believe this tamale was also made with the same type of masa but the filling was a bit different as it had bell pepper, pork meat, and seeds. This tamale was very, very yummy and large enough to share with my willing husband! Go forth and explore!
Visit my website at www.brainstorm3000.com to learn more about different cultures.
What is common in one culture may be strange in another. If you celebrate your holiday with an unusual food, let me know! In my book Freaky Foods From Around the World - Platillos sorprendentes de todo el mundo, children learn to keep an open mind and expand their tastes!
When food is strange and quite unknown and not familiar like our own, don't squirm around making funny faces, because food comes from different places. That's why it's different!
Si la comida es nueva y algo extraña. Y que no es igual a la acostumbrada. No se agiten ni pogan esa cara. Porque la comida de otras partes les parece rara. ¡Por eso es diferente!
Happy Holidays from Brainstorm 3000!
Ever wonder how authors create book characters? This character's name is Lucas from Lucas and His Loco Beans and Freaky Foods From Around the World - Platillos sorprendentes de todo el mundo.
I began writing about this character when my son Lucas was 10 years old. Lucas is now 24 and towers over me! The characters remain ageless, yet we continue to age! But like us, they too get to celebrate holidays.
We wish you peace and happiness.
Eating turkey is not new to the Americas. Fossils of turkeys have been found dating back 23 millions years. The Mayans were the first people to domesticate turkeys. Turkeys range from Mexico, midwest to eastern United States, into southeast Canada.
The domestic turkey is known as Meleagris gallopavo.
Enjoy your turkey dinner this holiday!
I Don't Matter a Book Teaching Gratitude
I love when I come across a children's book with an empowering message. I Don't Matter is about a young boy who feels less-than. Although those around treat him with respect and love, he sees his cup half empty. That is, until his friend makes him rethink his situation. He finds that he is important to many people in his life and is empowered by this knowledge.
If you see a child (of all ages) struggling, this is the perfect gift for him/her. The text is bilingual (English/Spanish), and although simple to read, its message is powerful!
Another WELL DONE to Georgette Baker for a lovely book.
Publisher and author, Ramona Moreno Winner, donated 3000 copies of her award winning, bilingual (English/Spanish) book, The Wooden Bowl, El bol de madera to Education Begins in the Home. The books were donated to Edward Becerra, the organizing force behind this wonderful movement of promoting literacy, on October 3, 2016.
Education Begins in the Home is a program whose mission is to help the literacy level of elementary school students, as studies have shown that reading at this level is key to a student’s success in school overall. Falling under the umbrella of Latino Literacy Now, a non-profit corporation 501©(3) whose cause is promoting reading as a means of improving lives, both professionally and personally, Education Begins in the Home will make these books available to students in the county of San Diego, and children attending Latino Book and Family Festivals throughout the United States.
The Wooden Bowl, El bol de madera is a wonderful story on respect; a story that has been retold over the years throughout different cultures. Diego, the main character in the book, is thrilled to have his grandfather come to live with his family. He now has a partner in crime! When having to care for Abuelo becomes stressful for the parents, they begin to treat him poorly. Diego makes his parents realize that how they treat Abuelo now, is how they can expect to be treated when they grow old and are in need of care.
“I have been involved with the Latino Book and Family Festival since 1996 and a member of The International Society of Latino Authors for two years. Since 2003, my children’s books have been awarded various International Latino Book Awards through Latino Literacy Now. I am a strong supporter of cultural learning and the promotion of literacy programs.” Says Mrs. Winner. “It is with pleasure that I donate copies of The Wooden Bowl, El bol de madera for distribution to students who could otherwise not afford them. I challenge other publisher to do the same.”
Author, Ramona Moreno Winner, is the president of Brainstorm 3000, a publishing company located in Goleta, CA. You can view Ramona’s other titles at www.brainstorm3000.com.
California Association for Bilingual Educators Conference in San Francisco, CA 2016
Three days of signing books, meeting people, presenting workshops, sitting on author panels, and reconnecting with friends.
I presented a workshop on How to Incorporate Cultural Learning into Daily Curriculum. I had a room packed with teachers K-12. We had a great time!
Questions, questions, and more questions!
I had the pleasure of presenting to students of Carpinteria Family School and sharing my book, Lucas and His Loco Beans on the Mexican jumping beans. The students, grades K - 5, were very curious, not only about the jumping beans, but about writing and publishing.
I was impressed by the programming offered at this school. Well done, Carpinteria Family School!
Students of Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ, sent me artwork and notes thanking me for presenting my school assemblies at their school November 2015. These are my responses to their notes:
Zoee - Thank you for the lovely drawing. I am glad you were able to see for yourself where the jumping beans grow.
Felicity - I would love to return to Colina School to read you my next book. I too enjoyed seeing the teachers eat crickets. Yum!
Matlyn - I enjoyed your drawing and how it had me standng in front of the computer. I am glad you could feel the larva wiggling inside the seed when you held it. Isn't it amazing?
Julius - Yes, the seeds do grow on bushes in the mountains of Mexico in the Sonoran Dessert. I am glad I was able to share the jumping beans with you.
Kiera - I hope one day you are able to travel to Mexico and see where the seeds grow. Mrs Norg is very brave to have tasted a cricket. It is fun to experience new things.
Lyric - First of all, what a lovely name you have. Yes, writing takes lots of practice and patience. It was my pleasure sharing my stories with you.
Savannah - I loved your picture of the mountains and cactus. You are correct, the seeds have little animals (insect larva) inside. Quite fascinating!
Jeremiah - Perfect! The jumping beans are NOT beans, so don't go eating one!
Charlotte - I also enjoyed showing you my pictures. It was great to be able to take you to the high Sonoran Dessert without having you leave the room. I am glad you like to write. I hope to someday read a book you have written.
Lukas - Did you know that your name, Lukas, means "bringer of light?" I loved your picture. I am glad you learned a bit of Spanish from the book.
Kyle - Nice drawing! I especially like the sun. It was my pleasure having you hold the jumping beans.
Ayanna - You are absolutely correct! Some animals go through a process of metamorphosis. It is pretty interesting. I am glad you like the book.
William - Your teacher is very special; not everyone would dare to try a cricket! Just like not everyone knows why the jumping bean moves.
Carlton - Bravo! With so many people in this world, it is good to know that we all do not eat the same foods. That would be pretty boring. Really nice illustration.
Jayda - You are so right. The seeds move when they feel warmth, when they hear noise, or sense strong light.
Zyion - I too would enjoy being invited to visit your school once again. It was fun for me to also share my slide shows with you and have you learn something new.
Scarlett - It was a pleasure visiting your school. I found all of you to be thankful, nice, and respectful as well.
Mason - Thank you for remembering that the larva is moving about in the seed because it is eating. Well done!
Aspen - Nice picture. I too hope to have several more books to share with you. I am glad you picked up new Spanish words. I am glad you liked going up into the mountains to learn about the jumping beans.
Darion - Now, you are one of a few people who knows what makes a jumping bean seed move! You are right, a larva. I enjoyed sharing my story with you.
Christopher - Thank you for the picture of me presenting. It was fun sharing the beans and books with you.
Here we go Again!
I had the pleasure of once again visiting Dr. Sue Shook Elementary on October 14, 2015. I had visited this school several years prior when attending a conference in El Paso. Thank you, Ms. Aguirre, for the return invitation! I had a blast with your students.
I had a wonderful visit with Mission Ridge Elementary School students in El Paso on October 13, 2015. They marveled at the jumping beans and were introduced to Freaky Foods From Around the World.
The Mission Ridge Owls were hooting! Thank you Ms. Holguin for inviting me to present!