An Interview With A Healer Featured In My Book

28 Jun

In the chapter in my book, “Healing My Soul” I feature spiritual healer, Jimena Yantorno. On May 30th we met in my global virtual classroom for an in depth talk about the healing modalities she practices. The session both illuminating and informative can be downloaded here:


Pinterest: My Book Comes To Life

12 May

Creating Pinterest boards keeps the themes of my book constantly before my reader’s eyes. The visual representations related to physical locations featured in my book actually helps bring the book to life in a creative way. My Pinterest boards have become a visual companion to BORN IN THE LAND OF THE TANGO.

The enjoyment I derive from finding images on Flickr becomes an added benefit in the process. I have found unique and inspiring portraits and landscapes
otherwise unknown to me. Part of the value of using Pinterest involves the process re-pinning, an important element in making connections.

Book Excerpt: Tehuelche-Mapuche spirituality and my grandfather

17 Mar

The Tehuelche-Mapuche hold a reverence for Mother God, and they refer to her as Pacha Mama. My grandfather, as far as I know did not speak about his spiritual practices, and in fact, he was not a man of many words. However, due to my native roots, Mapuche spirituality, although I realize it is difficult to capture all the strands of their faith. My grandfather, I observed appeared to have a deep attachment to nature, and this was evidenced by the vegetable garden he tended. He also cultivated his own corn, as I recall. I learned later on that the word Mapuche relates to people of the land. According to the organization, Fundacion Chol-Chol based in Chile, “Mapuche spirituality often mixes Christian teachings with Mapuche mystical ideas. Women have fulfilled important roles in indigenous religious life and in passing on cultural identity.

Women serve as community spiritual leaders, called “Machis” if they are connected to the Gods of life are called “Kalkus” if connected to the Gods of death.” My grandfather’s mother was called Anastasia, and from reports I heard, she abhorred what she termed “luxuries.” She often criticized my Basque grandmother for some of her European tastes such as her love of fine china, crystal, and linens. Anastasia would balk at my grandmother’s refined way of setting a dinner table. My grandfather’s occupation for most of his life was that of a horseman of the pampas, or gaucho. He tamed horses, and moved cattle from one end of the country to the other. I grew to understand that among gauchos like my grandfather, were those gauchos, or ranch hands of African descent. Many of the personages that I grew up hearing about were Santos Vega, a legendary gaucho and a payador, or minstrel. Gabino Ezeiza was not mentioned in my family, but I researched him on my own to find he was a black payador, and a famous one who became nicknamed “Black Ezeiza.”
Images: Creative Commons

January Jones – Jackie O Neal – Lisa McCarthy 01/31 by Ms January Jones | Blog Talk Radio#.TyleeE_0iu0.twitter#.TyleeE_0iu0.twitter

1 Feb

January Jones – Jackie O Neal – Lisa McCarthy 01/31 by Ms January Jones | Blog Talk Radio#.TyleeE_0iu0.twitter#.TyleeE_0iu0.twitter

1 Feb

January Jones – Jackie O Neal – Lisa McCarthy 01/31 by Ms January Jones | Blog Talk Radio#.TyleeE_0iu0.twitter#.TyleeE_0iu0.twitter.

How Parents Can Help Their Kids Get Excited About Genealogy

1 Dec

When I was interviewed by radio host, Bianca Tyler on Let’s Talk Mom! Radio I was asked the question
: so what are some hands on ways parents can teach their children the value of exploring their ancestry?

Parents can begin by cultivating a positive relationship with their own parents for the simple reason that grandparents can serve as a fountain of information about family history. It’s an activity most grandparents love to do. But parents can also assist kids explore their past by encouraging them to develop an inquiring mind. You might show your kids photos of family members from a previous generation and allow them to ask questions about the people in the photo. If you don’t have all the answers, you have found a perfect opportunity to do some research.

In exploring the past, make sure you include both sides of the family. Remember, each side has a history that’s important and has the potential to reveal a world of insight. Be objective. Too many families form the bad habit of deciding they don’t prefer certain relatives over others and that kind of attitude only shuts the door to valuable information.

For example, my mother, now deceased didn’t feel good about some of my father’s relatives, and as a result, we lost contact with them until later on in my life, I did some research and re-connected with them in Argentina, the place of parent’s birth. Further, I only had limited information about my father’s father, or my estranged grandfather. Only recently after doing research on the genealogy site of the Mormon Church did I learn about my great-great grandmother, Rita Uso. She had never been mentioned by my father, and I believe I’m the only member of my family that has the information as a result of researching Census records from 1869.

On the spiritual side, this information meant a great deal to me. My friend, Yoly Macias, a psychic medium that lives in El Paso has once told me the name of my spirit guide was “Rita.”

If parents want to research as far back as the 15th century or earlier, I highly recommend the Mormon genealogy site Using the site as a tool can be a great benefit to learning about and creating a family tree. Direct your children to gather information from their grandparents on both sides. Encourage your children, once they begin to do research to form connections with peers working on the same task. This has become easier to undertake with the advent of social media, and the interest many teachers have in presenting genealogy tools in the classroom.

Thanksgiving 2011 Myths and Facts

23 Nov

Thanksgiving 2011 Myths and Facts.

I appreciate the question raised in this article as to whether what we have come know as “the first Thanksgiving” in Plymouth was perhaps not a true Thanksgiving:
“American Indian peoples, Europeans, and other cultures around the world often celebrated the harvest season with feasts to offer thanks to higher powers for their sustenance and survival…”
“In 1541 Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his troops celebrated a “Thanksgiving” while searching for New World gold in what is now the Texas Panhandle. Later such feasts were held by French Huguenot colonists in present-day Jacksonville, Florida (1564), by English colonists and Abnaki Indians at Maine’s Kennebec River (1607), and in Jamestown, Virginia (1610), when the arrival of a food-laden ship ended a brutal famine.”

Source: National Geographic