December 03, 2011

Traditional Moccasin

A few weeks ago I met a young man from San Felipe Pueblo
Ray Lucero makes custom-made moccasins in the traditional method.
He traced my left foot, ("your left foot is always the biggest"),
and about a week later I was enjoying my fawn-colored low-cut moccasins.
Ray is self-taught;
"I watched other make them over the years and figured I could try".
And I quickly decided to become one of his dedicated customers
after looking over a wide array of turquoise, dark blue, black, white, and wine-red samples
at a craft show held at my hospital.
I purchased a low-cut fawn-tone pair. I wear about an 8-1/2; so the moccasins were $85.

He makes infant, toddler, children and adult-sized moccasins; both low-cut and high-top.
He specializes in high-top white moccasins for the Pueblo/Native dancers.

This past week, I met his sisters.
They were quick to ask if I liked my moccasins
(Yes! Very much!)

asked if I would be wearing them to work at the hospital
(Heavens NO! Too much wet and slimy, scary stuff on the floors!)
and to give me information for a local shoe repair shop;
to have my leather-soled moccasins protected with rubber soles.

I'll probably pass:
I can appreciate protecting the shoes to last longer, and being able to wear them outdoors.
But I'd like to think I am more traditional in my style sense.

These moccasins will stay inside; on our warm rug, padding across our stone or tile floors,
or simply resting on the leather footstool near my reading chair.

Ray Lucero lives in San Felipe Pueblo; between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
San Felipe Pueblo a traditional Pueblo;
and many who live there are working to bring back their language, "Keresan",
a lilting, soft, breathy language that is a joy to listen to.
I listened to his sisters and his mother talk and laugh for a good 30 minutes,
hearing words like "therapist", medicine", and "Albuquerque"
sprinkled through the conversation, and not understanding anything else.
One sister told me about volunteering at a language school the Pueblo has recently started.

Ray doesn't have email or a website. He doesn't own a computer.
He doesn't drive much; (his mom says, "that old truck doesn't run too well"),
and he doesn't handle credit cards.
He will take cash once the moccasins are done,
(he doesn't have a bank account; so it may take a little time to have a check cashed),
but he is a sweet young man with a quick, shy smile.
And wonderful hand-made moccasins.

Traditional Moccasin
Ray Lucero
PO Box 4062
San Felipe Pueblo, NM 87001
(505) 274-5565

Please tell Ray that "Marty from Kindred Hospital in Albuquerque" told you about him.

July 11, 2011

Rain! Rainbow!

I-25 descending "La Bajada" Santa Fe to Albuquerque

June 28, 2011


I grew up in a town where flooding was a real possibility.
I knew the terms "flood stage" and "sandbagging crews" from an early age.
I remember the flood of 1965; because our rowboat was tied to our porch
and the water created our front and side yards.

Now I live in a state where fire is a real possibility.
I'm learning the terms
"fire edge"
"air tanker"
"controlled burn"
"hotshot crew"
"red-flag day"
"let-burn policy"

and the term which gives fire an evil personality:
"fire behavior"

(Fire fighting terms)

The Los Alamos "Las Conchas" fire is approximately a 60 mile drive from Santa Fe,
(and about 45 miles as a raven flies or smoke blows).
The good news is that evacuees are being directed toward Santa Fe.
The bad news is those evacuees only had 24-48 hours to leave their homes.

Albuquerque Journal

after looking at the dramatic photos I realized:


What Would I Take?

All living breathing things:
family and pets with sufficient food and water.
Photos and documents
impossible or difficult to replace.
Electronics: computer, cameras, phones and chargers.
Hard to replace books.
Generational keepsakes/jewelry.

I would hope to have time to photograph all belongings "staying behind"
for insurance purposes.

I would try to only take what was necessary, and try to offer space in our cars to others.

And I would hope that none of it was necessary.

I hope I never find out WWIT.

And I send out silent prayers as I watch the smoke blow by.

June 25, 2011

It Is Good To Know

2011 Gay Pride Parade in Santa Fe

Happy to see so many happy
AT the parade today
IN the parade today;
families, teenagers,
politicians, church members,
seniors, cowboys and cowgirls...
Smiling, waving and enjoying the weather
in glorious Santa Fe.

"Es Mejor Saber"
"It Is Good To Know"

It is good to know:
I live in a city that accepts others
I live in a city where I am a minority ("white")
I live in a city where all generations come together
I live in a city with a "Rodeo" and a '"Gay Rodeo" in the same week
I live in a city where people in love hold hands
I live in a city where everyone; all colors, all religions, all beliefs - laugh
I live in a city that is relaxed
I live in a city that loves "The Arts"

I live in a city where people want to visit me.

I live in a city I love.

I live in country
where some people continue to be persecuted
and where documentaries are still made
and stories are still told
of young people murdered for their beliefs.

"Two Spirits"

Tells the story of a young, native boy
from the southwest,
who struggled with two identities
and died trying to believe in himself.

During Gay Pride Week
please know
many in your circle of friends and co-workers and relatives
may be struggling with an identity
and trying to live their lives
in the only way they feel free.

It is good to know:
Rainbows are a good thing.

June 19, 2011


Thirtieth High School Class Reunion registration check mailed. "Check"
Purchased airline ticket across four states/high season $400+. "Check"
Initiated "social network" connections with high school friends. "Check"
Considered diet and decided good food is more important. "Check"
Called friend to crash on her couch during reunion - she agrees. "Check"
Contact initiated with friends from MORE than 30 years ago. "Check"
Throwing an "Elementary School Reunion" for 32 classmates. "Check"
Reserved "Pizza Joint" for Elementary School Classmates. "Check"
Planning Memorial for 4 Elementary School friends we've lost. "Check"
Expensive "outfits" for reunions? I like Goodwill better. "Check"
"Mom,can I borrow your car?" "OK, but fill up the tank!" "Check"
Going home again?
Listening to 80's music again?
Seeing old friends again?

June 15, 2011

Beautiful and Unusual

Airport carpet; Phoenix.

Beautiful and unusual sights:
Phoenix Airport carpet that brought a smile when I saw it,
unusual (at least to my mid-western and south-western eyes)
flowers blooming all around San Diego,
and guerrilla art; a life-sized mosaic "Surfing Guadalupe"
mounted on a wall under an overpass
"under the cover" of broad daylight during a midweek afternoon
in June
in Encinitas, California.

I just love to travel and see the beautiful and unusual stuff out there!

June 01, 2011

Thank You Joe

I Love Horses.
Horse Crazy since about age three
and fascinated by horse books
plastic Breyer horses
playing imaginary horses with my friends, Lisa and Kathy;
three little girls running through the yards and neighborhoods...

... with cowgirls on mustangs jumping cactus somewhere out in the old west
or strong horses carrying packs across windswept snow-covered mountains
or draft horses with heavy carts on cobbled roads in 17th Century England
or regal Arabian stallions running across foreign deserts
(with horses of every size, color and breed;
Pintos, Palominos, Appaloosas, Shetland Ponies, Wild Mustangs, Morgans -
the list was everlasting),

and running free

My room was filled with horse books, 12-inch tall Breyer horses,
horse statues, horse bookends, horse posters, horse-covered clothing...

And when I was nine;
Joe, a friend from my tiny elementary school
(who had always known of my "horse-craziness")
moved with his parents and four brothers
from a tiny house in our tiny town
to a lovely farm
big enough for all those boys to grow and play and thrive.

Telling his parents and mine,
"now Martha can get a horse and keep it here".

When I turned ten; my parents brought a big wonderful Appaloosa
to the McBurney farm.
Shadow had a new home and a little owner.

Joe and I
were probably more like brother and sister;
and over the years
I would come to the farm twice a day
to brush and curry and spoil and ride
my big gentle horse,
Joe would stand on the other side of the stall,
and practice feeding carrots to Shadow
and talk about his day
or tease (but in a nice way),
and was always careful not to scare or startle the horse.

He helped load hay into the hayloft in the fall
and sometimes would help to muck the sloppy stalls in the spring.

We went to the same tiny elementary school and the "big city" high school,
and would wave as we passed by each other
along their long driveway at the end of the day;
he was probably headed to work or playing basketball with friends,
I was on my way to see my horse.

He went to college and moved out of town,
and I continued to go to the farm
every day to see my horse
and enjoyed chatting with his mom and dad and brothers.

I went to that farm for more than 25 years,
(Joe's dad had NO idea how long a horse could hang around a farm!)
And sometimes I would house-sit for Joe's parents
and sometimes they would babysit my horse.

A friend of my named John
bought a horse and kept his horse with mine;
and the two horses became friends
and John and I became husband and wife.

I don't think I ever thanked Joe
for offering his parent's farm.

And a few years ago he died of cancer.

It is belated, but no less heartfelt:
Thank You Joe.

May 21, 2011

Verbal First Aid

The traffic in front of me had slowed to a stop, and I noticed a tow truck driver ahead had turned on his flashing lights got out of his truck and began directing traffic around the car accident.
As I passed the three-car accident, I noticed a few teenagers talking on their cell phones near their totaled car, an older man getting out his crumpled large truck and walking to the tiny compact car that had been folded nearly in half; a young man was getting out of the passenger side of the tiny car, limping to the center curb area, and an older woman was sitting in the driver’s seat; her airbag had gone off, and the haze from the powder within the airbag was blowing through her open windows.

No one was with the older woman. No one was comforting her.

I immediately pulled off, parked, grabbed my first-aid bag, (rubber gloves, alcohol wipes, bandages, tape, CPR mask), and ran to the tiny car. The older man was standing about 10 feet from the car, telling the older woman “don’t move, just don’t move!” Her door was open; putting on my gloves, I knelt near her, introduced myself, asked for her name, explained that I’m trained in first-aid and CPR, and I would be happy to stay with her until rescue personnel arrived. The older man yelled, “don’t move her, I didn’t move her and neither should you!” I explained I was not going to move her, but I would help her stay still and check her vitals. The lady, who introduced herself as “Clara”, said “thank you dear, yes, I would like it if you would stay with me”.

“Clara, I want you to stay as still as you can. I can see the airbag probably hit and startled you, and I need for you to hold your head still until the medics come and can protect your neck further. Will you do that for me?” Clara’s eyes got wide and she began to nod; I told her – “Clara, just tell me yes or no; that way we can talk over how you’re doing and I can get a clearer picture of how you are feeling , OK?”

She said yes, and I noticed her right arm had bruises forming from her wrist to past her elbow, she had blood on her face, and she was breathing rapidly. She did not have on a seat belt, but her windshield was not cracked; indicating she may have been wearing her seat belt and may have injuries from both airbag and the seat belt.

“Clara, were you wearing your seat belt?” She replied, “Oh yes; my grandson and I always wear seat belts, I just unhooked it after I stopped my car because I thought I should get out of the car”. “Clara you did everything right; the seat belt probably helped you stay safe, and the airbag probably kept you from hitting the glass of your windshield. Can you breathe OK?” Clara noted, “It hurts a little bit when I try to take a big breath”. I nodded, “well let’s just take small easy breaths together first, OK?”

“Clara, does it hurt anywhere else?” She paused, and looked at her legs, “my legs feel like they hit under the dash, a little stiff, I guess, and it is hard to move my right arm”. I directed Clara to look at me and asked “how about your left arm; does it feel OK?” She looked at her left arm, moved it without difficulty and reached to hold my hand, “yes it feels fine”.

I held her left wrist and explained I would take her pulse and see how her heart was beating, and told her, “Clara, I need your help; I want you to begin thinking about how well your heart can move your blood to help you to heal any areas that are injured, and I want you to picture your healthy blood moving to your legs, the area where it is hard to breathe when you try to take big breaths, to your right arm, and to anywhere else that you notice pain. Will you do that for me while I’m checking your pulse?” She smiled and said, “of course I can help you with that".

I began the conversation trying to match the speed of Clara’s breaths, and during my conversation I was slowing my breaths and noticing that Clara appeared to slow her breaths, too. Her pulse was a little rapid; and I asked her, "can you think about making your heart beat with a slow powerful rhythm to help pump your blood more effectively to those areas we talked about?” She agreed and continued to watch me.

“Clara, is there someone we need to call, or anyone I need to check on who was with you?” At this point Clara seemed to remember her grandson had been in the car. “Michael! My grandson; is he alright?” “I need to call my daughter!" I calmed her and explained, “Clara, I saw Michael get out of your car and walk to the curb, he should be fine; there are others there who are keeping him safe and checking on him”. I called to one of the teenagers standing near Michael, “did he have you call his family?” The teenager indicated she had called Michael’s mom, who would be arriving soon. “Clara, your daughter will be here soon, and Michael is being cared-for; he will feel better knowing that you have already begun healing the areas that have been injured”.

I could hear the sirens of the ambulances and police, and soon paramedics arrived. As the paramedic walked up I was able to let them know Clara’s name and that she had been doing a good job of holding her head still. I reviewed her pulse rate with the paramedic, and that Clara indicated having some breathing difficulties. The paramedic approached Clara as I stepped away, and said, “Clara, my name is Jane and I’m a paramedic, I know this lady has been helping you and now I’m going to continue to help you”.

Clara smiled at me - I waved at her and said a silent prayer as I walked away.

"The Worst Is Over"

Read it and consider helping more when help is needed.

April 30, 2011


April has been melancholy:
Looking forward to new life and regrowth
for the too many close friends;
I know the heaviness in my heart is from my hundreds of prayers
going out all over the country.
Tears spill as I remember; I remember so many great friends,
and I try to smile while calling back in my memories
to the many times we smiled together.
To Janet,
and Mojo,
and Chick,
and now Armin...
Hoping it was a comforting and painless move to a better place.
I send continued prayers to other friends
who are in current struggles;
in the hope they will know of my prayers and my smiles
when I think of them and wish them...


April 24, 2011

Surf's UP!

"The sea was angry that day, my friends
- like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.
I got about fifty feet out and suddenly the great beast appeared before me.
I tell you he was ten stories high if he was a foot.
As if sensing my presence, he let out a great bellow.
I said, "Easy, big fella!"
From George; speaking of the ocean and whales...

surfing lessons
and a few sailboat trips
while in San Diego;

Yep that WAS a submarine
off our port side...

Great welcome home sign, John!
Thanks Trish - you are a great action photographer!
Enjoyed the stay!

April 10, 2011

Filling the Bucket

I watched "The Bucket List"
and enjoyed the concept
of making a list of things to complete
a "filling of the bucket of life"

I have adjusted the premise to


Because I don't plan on kicking the bucket anytime soon.

So here's my draft version of
the the first ten of
Filling the Bucket:

1. Ocean Surf
- Lessons are NOW booked on Monday 4/18/11.
I saw "Soul Surfer" this weekend, and STILL want to surf.

UPDATE! Did "OK" for my first try,
and will take an additional lesson
with a friend-of-a-friend
when I'm back to San Diego this June.
I laughed the whole time I was trying
(except, of course, when I was spitting out sand/sea water)
and realized
is the importance of "My Bucket List":
I will try to
keep a "Beginner's Mind"
remain relaxed
smile and play
and enjoy experiences.

2. Meet more people from Santa Fe, and make some more local friends.
- I've joined the Santa Fe Time Bank
with people "banking" time helping others in order to
"withdraw" help from others. (An hour for an hour)
- I've contacted a lady who lives here and wants to learn to swim.

I have gotten several responses and met my first
Santa Fe Time-Banker;
a sweet lady who had recently undergone heart surgery
and can no longer handle the grime/dirt
of dusting or vacuuming.
She needed a little Spring Clean.
Enjoyed the quick conversation
before she left for a "not often enough"
shopping trip with a friend,
while I stirred up the dust
and proceeded to
suck it up in her monster vacuum.
She called later;
happy (!)
to come home to
"a sparkling clean home"
It is good to help.

3. Water ski again on the Mississippi River.
-It has been more than 20 years since I've been on the river.
Any offers while I'm home in July would be greatly appreciated.

4. Travel to Europe again.

5. Learn another language and USE it consistently, so I DON'T loose it.

6. Go on a horseback weekend camping trip.
Hasn't happened for about THIRTY years, so I think I'd enjoy this one!
-The trip may happen this fall - crossing my fingers.

7. White water rafting

8. Snow skiing

9. Connecting with old friends and having great conversations
-Facebook has been a huge help with this one;
and two class reunions this summer should help!

10. Make it to the top of Atalaya
A seven mile hike to an altitude of 7,53 in Santa Fe;
I've been close to the top, but just haven't cleared the summit.

I'd love to hear what YOUR Filling The Bucket List would look like!


February 13, 2011

Birthday Socks

Birthday Socks?
But of course.