For very personal reasons, I love the month of August. I love the way the word sounds, very breathy and sexy.  I love the even, round design of the number 8 (especially coupled with the number 20). I love the weather we get in Santa Fe during this month- cool, crisp mornings, hot sun in the middle of the day, overcast and cool in the afternoon, temperate in the evening…. Perfect for outdoor conversations.  I even love the history of the word “August” as it derives from the Latin word, “Augustus,” which means great and venerable.  It sounds so royal and important to me.   In fact, in 8 BC, the Roman State honored Augustus Caesar, the First Roman emperor, by changing the name of the month from “Sextilis” (the sixth month in the Julian calendar) to “Augustus,” (now known as the eighth month of the Gregorian calendar).  Ha!  Just a little history for you!

But I’ll be honest.  The real reason why I love the month of August is because it is when my birthday falls!  I am a Leo through and through after all!  I get to celebrate my birthday all month long which I often DO though it wasn’t always like that.  Sometimes I think I am making up for all the birthdays that I wasn’t able to celebrate as a child.  You see, when I was a kid we barely made note of birthdays in the family.  We couldn’t because there were too many of us!!

Still, not celebrating my birthday did NOT make me feel unwanted.  I knew that when the 20th of August came around, my parents were grateful and celebratory in their own way.  After my Mother’s second child, she had a miscarriage and the doctors told her that she would never have children again.  My parents continued trying (as you naturally do).   Being told they could have no more children made them desperately WANT to have more…. and poof, I was born!  My parents told me that they saw me as a miracle (I am a Leo) and that is why they named me Guadalupe after the Virgin Guadalupe.  Apparently, the doctors were wrong because my mother ended up having seven children total!  And believe it or not, we are ALL still alive.   I actually believe that is a miracle in and of itself!

I am not ashamed to say that I make a big deal out of my birthday!  Why not?!  I LOVE it!  I love receiving calls from all over the world from the people I love.  This fills me with warmth and joy.  I am not shy about it!  When my father was alive, he would always be the first to call me on the day of my birthday.  I loved it.  It would set the tone for the day!  After he passed away, my oldest sister took on that role of being the first to call and wish me goodness on my birthday.  I am always so grateful for everyone that takes the time to call me, share cake with me or even to take a shot of tequila with me on my birthday!  I am lucky.

Still, to this day, like anyone else . . . . there’s always that one person that I need to call me.   For some reason it means SO much to me to hear from this singular person and it can make or break my day if I don’t.  This person is my son.  He is my world!  Of course, he is.  That is what our kids are to us!  I can have all the celebration and companionship in the world but if my son is not there or not part of it, I cannot enjoy it as well.  Call it a Mexican thing if you want!  Ask any Mexican mother how she feels about her son calling on her birthday and she will say the same thing.  Until he calls, nothing else matters!  We are extremists maybe but we love our sons!

I remember one particular birthday, my son was living in Brazil and I was missing him very much.  I was anxiously waiting for his call.  Every time the phone would ring, I would drop everything thinking that it would be him on the other end.  Every time a bouquet of flowers was brought (Leo’s love flowers), I would open the card expecting a loving note from my son.  This birthday it was not him calling or sending flowers.  I waited, giving him time.  He was in Brazil after all and he did have a family he was attending to. I was patient.  He never did make himself apparent that day, but I clearly forgave him because I did not KILL him for not calling me!!!

The truth is that, of course, I forgave my son.  He was busy.  I am often number one on his list but I cannot always be even if we are Mexican!  We ALL get busy.  Important moments pass without celebration.  Were they that important?  What is meaningful?  Those who do show up?  Those who tried to be there?  Those who are always there but that one day they got wrapped up in their own lives?  I have matured in my thoughts and in my feelings (we eventually try to do that!) and in a sense I was very “young’” in my need to hear from my son that day.    He has his life.  He is doing his best at it.  He has (and on that day already had) his own two sons he was being present for.  He may not have not called me that day (nor sent me flowers nor a Mariachi to serenade me) but he was there for his own family.  In a way that is a gift in and of itself.

As I get older, even though it’s hard for a Leo, I TRY to be less self-centered and I try to be more of a centered self.   I try to be aware myself.  Am I being considerate with my own Mother or with my own siblings, kids and friends?  No, of course not.  I am not always the FIRST to call you on your birthday either.  I hope you forgive me.

I did make my son tattoo an 08/20 on his arm.

Just kidding!

Happy Birthday to me!  As always, please drop me a message telling me what your birthday means to you!

Guada755@outlook.com

It deeply affects me when I hear about someone getting a divorce or breaking up from a long relationship.  When I hear this, I KNOW the person is going through a profound crisis.  Inevitably I go back to my own break-ups and I remember how people would talk to me.  They would look at me lovingly and sorrowfully saying, “I’m SO sorry.”  It would not be what I wanted to hear.   Instead they should have said, “Welcome to a new chapter in your life!!!”  Breakups and divorces whether romantic, work or friendship associated are always opportunities.  “What does the Universe have holding for me now?” It is helpful to remember that every relationship in our lives serves as a life lesson. Every single person who has passed through our lives has contributed to our growth.

When a relationship ends, our soul literally goes into a crisis mode. I imagine that if you were to take an X-ray of our soul when we are broken, it would be twisted and injured, swollen and hurt.  But when we are in love, I imagine that our souls undergo a similarly drastic change.  It glows.  It is warm and energetic.  Being in love is also like taking an irresistible cocktail of emotions…And I thought tequila was bad…

The Chinese character for the word CRISIS is composed by two words overlapping that describe the situation.   “In Every Crisis Lies the Seed of Opportunity.” We do feel overwhelmed and devastated with loss. The feelings that come to surface deeply hurt us. We only see the time WE have invested in this relationship but we seem to forget that our investment was done by the other party, too. The loss goes both ways.

This makes me think of an expression that I heard when I first moved here …. How does that expression go?  It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?  Yes, that’s it. That’s very much it!

IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS EMAIL ME DIRECTLY… GUADA755@OUTLOOK.COM

I LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS

My lips are puckered up like duck lips.  My hair sways back and forth mimicking my hips.  My eyes are sultry bedroom eyes. This is not Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”.   This is just ME! My imagination runs wild when I dance.  I visualize myself moving like a character in a movie – but this is a secret. Please don’t tell anyone that I go into this trance.  Music on the Hill in Santa Fe is the perfect stage for me to fall into my trance-like dance state. I look around and I can see that I’m not the only one feeling the music, twisting, twirling and making sexy faces. It seems to me that the people around me are into their own trance-like dance.

Ohhh, yeaahhh. They start playing a Brazilian samba, one of my favorite rhythms! Here I come to dance!! As I walk out to the dance area, I transform into a Carioca Brazilian Dancer. I don my beautifully embellished costume with feathers coming out of my headdress and my ass! I don’t care if I poke somebody’s eye with them. All of us in the dance area are twisting and writhing in our own ecstasy. The afternoon is stunning. And by stunning I mean a typical sunset in Santa Fe –  little bits of blues and pinks filtering through the rays of sunlight.  It’s so damn beautiful that it’s cheesy! On these dance days we all love each other, call each other “sweetie,” “darling,” and “baby”.  Now the Brazilian music changes to a classic song from the 70’s, Aquarius…….Aquariusssss!!

I remember when I arrived in the US in the 70’s, people would dance to all the peace lovin’, groovy tunes.  Back then I was scandalized that women would be braless.  Their breasts would move up, down, and all over around. And men didn’t even wear underwear! This was not the time for Victoria’s Secret and definitely not the time for stilettos.  Today most of us are dancing barefoot, feeling the grass in between our toes and letting our imagination have us believe that we are a reincarnated combination of Marilyn Monroe and free spirited sex fiend from the 70’s.

I feel raindrops.  It’s time for me to leave. As I walk toward my friends, I leave a trail of my imagination of characters behind me. I’m sharing this secret with you because I know MY SECRET is safe with you!!!

IF YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR OWN STORIES WITH ME, VISIT MY BLOG, J4KICKS.COM OR EVEN BETTER, COME AND SEE ME AT THE STORE.

I’m not sure what’s going on in Santa Fe but… I feel there is an extraordinary amount of bad ass women that live here! It seems that all of my friends and even the women that I just meet in the shoe store, are empowered, hard working, successful, intelligent, deep thinking and feeling women! And of course they all have good taste in shoes! Is it just me that notices this phenomenon? Does Santa Fe have some powerful energetic magnet that draws incredible women here?

The drawback that I noticed about this however is that there are too many amazing women and too few men to match them in this town. You all know this too: there are way too many single women here! While we women are great at satisfying and fulfilling one another with our friendship, we need our counterparts (I.e. the opposite sex) to balance us out and to connect with. There MUST be men here who are equally as extraordinary! And I don’t mean exclusively for relationships but for true friendships as well. Gay men count for this too!

I feel like about 10 or 15 years ago, I had some incredible friendships with outstanding men here. They were deep thinking, loving, emotionally connected, and very masculine men. And no, no I’m not talking about lovers! These guys were just my friends! It was so wonderful to have them in my life, bouncing off ideas and experiences with one another. … I guess you could say they were platonic lovers, lovers of life and of exploring experiences together. . One by one they started vanishing, either they got into serious relationships or they literally just disappeared! Sadly, a couple of my closest friends passed away.

I have nostalgia for those friendships. They were very satisfying.

Where are these men? Are you at Home Depot? In the galleries? Stuck in Starbucks? Or are you off on some spiritual retreat with no return? In any case, we women miss you! Come back! We are thirsty for these friendships… there is a severe drought.

My Mother.  She’s like an illuminated two-story house glowing white, grounded on a hill on the top of my mind.

Both mi Madre and my home are clean and orderly smelling of Mexican house cleaner- do you know that smell? I love it!! Ask any Mexican. It is the coziest ever! This house of my Mother in my mind’s eye is very white; it almost glistens.  The windows are always open because it is warm outside with the curtains flowing in the soft breeze. This house has many rooms and each one is filled with light. I can always find my Mother in this house.

My Mother is 87 years old and little by little, the light in each individual room has been starting to dim as her health has also been dimming. I have witnessed her lights going out; sometimes suddenly, sometimes gradually.  When one of the lit rooms extinguishes I say to myself, “Oh no. That room doesn’t have light anymore! But this white house still glows for me; my Mother is still there for me.”  I often feel scared.  I wonder if my children, now adults, see me the same way as I see my Mother.  Am I the same strong, warm, illuminated foundation for them?  Will my lights start going out eventually?

Although my Mother is fading into the darkness of dementia and Alzheimer’s, I can still call on her and she is still thrilled to talk to me even though she does not know not how old I am, where I am or what I am doing.  She is still perfectly glowing, warm and orderly for me.  Her voice will always be my home. The front porch light still shines.

Tell me about your Mother.  Write me at

Guada755@outlook.com

YOU COULD MAKE A MOVIE OUT OF MY LIFE

Just like a good Santa Fean, I like to go gallery hopping occasionally.  It’s a great way for me to run into friends, make new friends and of course, to see (and maybe buy!) fabulous art.  The other evening I ran into a friend of mine and we were doing our usual chit chatting.  If you know me at all, you will know that I’m not a very good chit chatter. I like to go to bigger, more profound conversations right away.  I can’t help it. It’s my nature!

I dove right in with my friend. I asked him a big question. I was wearing my high heels after all, feeling confident: “Can I ask you something personal?”  “Honey, of course!” he responded as he looked at me intently, yet with an open smile.

“How old were you when you realized you were gay?”  I asked.  I’ve always been curious about that, not just about him specifically.  Such a definitive thing about oneself that requires sudden disclosure to those who love you, your own self included.  “Oh!  I knew since I was a little boy.”  My mind immediately constructed an image of my friend, now in his mid-sixties, as this cute, little, sandy blond haired five-year old looking in the mirror with a profound understanding of himself.

He continued to narrate to me part of his childhood and young adulthood.  “You could make a movie out of my life, Guadalupe.” He proceeded to describe to me what his parents were like and what life was like amongst them. Although he had my complete attention, we kept being interrupted by excited hellos from other friends. Our conversation was perfectly intimate and he was perfectly generous to open up to me like that… He shared with me just enough information, just enough description, that I could see the reel of his movie playing in front of my mind’s eye.  We separated ways and continued our social  (art) crawl.

That same night I decided to go to La Boca for dinner, my absolute favorite. On the corner of Washington and Marcy Street there was a man on the street corner playing a smooth saxophone sound.  My attention was captured his music as I walked past him. He noticed he had me. I was like a fish that took the bait.  He watched me walk and started serenading me with his beautiful music- directing his saxophone toward me. A woman and two children were playing near him. They were homeless and this was his family.  How could someone so musically talented be in that kind of predicament? I know that an amazing movie could be made about his life.

We all have a movie waiting to be made about ourselves.  I wonder if we are all the main character in our movie or do we give the lead acting role to someone else in our life.  Did they deserve that Oscar?  If they did, how lucky you are.  If they didn’t… if you’re reading this, there’s time to change that.

I know you get what I’m saying.

Write me!  Guada755@outlook.com

Back in the 60’s when I was a little girl… ahem, a VERY little “girl,” my parents used to send us to spend our summer breaks in Mexico City where my aunt lived. My two sisters and I were put on the night train so that by morning, we would be in the city. We could hardly sleep through the night. The excitement of going to the city was too grand to get any rest! As we lay on our bed on the train, we would periodically peek out the window- but it was always pitch black. Eventually sleep would find us in the wee hours of the morning and we would wake up with the extreme halt of the train, finding ourselves in the gigantic city.  My Aunt Carmen would be there to receive us.  Year after year, the excitement would always be the same. We knew that she would take us to museums, the state fair which had the biggest roller coaster I had ever experienced, and we would also get to spend weekends in Cuernavaca.  It was way better than staying at home!

My sisters and I were on our BEST behavior. If we started becoming difficult to manage during our visit, we knew that our chances to stay longer would decrease.  My Aunt Carmen lived with her husband, Clemente, and their daughter, Tete. I can understand now that they lived a middle-upper class life and lived in a middle-upper class apartment in Mexico City. But as it is usual in a big city, the apartment was not very big so we were all in each other’s way.  In order to accommodate us, we would have to sleep in the living room which was perfectly exciting and fun for my sisters and me.

My Uncle Clemente was a writer and most of his life he wrote radio novels. You know radio novels were big time before TV, before Netflix, before podcasts! One of his famous characters was  Kaliman… Google him! Every day we would wake up with my Uncle Clemente blasting opera music. He would say that the music would stimulate his creativity and imagination. He was a massive chain smoker so there would be ash trays all over the house mostly filled with half smoked cigarettes. He would go into a different dimension when he would write.  We didn’t exist for him during this time, his mind full of scenes and dialogues. My sisters and I wouldn’t mind waking up with Maria Callas in our ear.  To us it reminded us that we were in the big city and that’s all that mattered. We would awaken in the room full of cigarette smoke and we’d quietly get up trying to stay out of his way as he paced up and down through the apartment. The floors were made out of wood so we would tiptoe quietly to a part of the apartment where we would not disturb him.

I wish he was still alive.  Now as an adult I can see that he was brilliant with his creativity and very smart, savvy.  He didn’t care what people thought of his eccentric ways.  He just did what he knew best to do- write! I never told him how these summers around him influenced me, how they inspired curiosity in the artistic process, appreciation for the eccentric and the adoration for the imagination.

We as human beings are a product of our childhood. If you come into the store, you can see me pacing up and down the store blocking out everything around me as I’m narrating my thoughts and emotions to one of my colleagues as she types furiously to catch up with my thoughts.

Who was that person in your life that inadvertently made you who you are?

Write me!  Guada755@outlook.com

Have you ever tried on high heel shoes but only wanted to put on one shoe?  So, you are teetering around with one high heel and one flat shoe and you are just lopsided. That’s how it feels to me in this very intense political moment.  Even children have a strong opinion about our current politics!  I have never felt the need to be so very careful with my political opinions.

I notice that if I start talking out loud about politics, some people listening are thinking “Are you nuts?” But I also catch myself thinking the same about them!!  I think we can all say that our own interpersonal relationships have felt the political sting.   We have noticed that we do not all think the same.  We aren’t always preaching to the choir!  In the USA, we are proud to exercise our freedom of speech.  We stand up for the right to exercise our freedom of speech especially compared to other countries. When a couple of years ago, I personally felt comfortable talking about my opinion (maybe my friends weren’t comfortable?), it’s now starting to get scary to really speak our political truth.  Will I lose my family?  Will I lose my clients?  Will I lose my boyfriend (figuratively speaking!)?  Will I lose my job?

Maybe it won’t happen here?  When you start to think about it, there has been migration, maybe some political, maybe economical to the right here in the US.  As an example, I can think of the Great Depression that tore people out of their homes forcing them to go elsewhere to find hope, possibility, a means to provide shelter and food for family.

I’m not talking to the left or to the right regarding opinions/positions- the only left and right that I want to talk about are my shoes or the shoes I sell you!  We are all sleeping under the same blue sky called the Unites States of America no matter how we think or what we believe.  I want to respect everyone’s beliefs even when I do not agree with them.  And I hope you respect mine.  Can we change one another’s mind?  I don’t know.  But we do have to live together and maybe even be family.

If we happen to have dinner together or run into one another at a Rotary lunch, at an art opening, or at the grocery store…. we’re cool.  And if you come to Goler Shoes, all I want for you is the get the RIGHT pair of shoes!

I always appreciate your thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. You can contact me at guada755@outlook.com.

If I close my eyes and think about my childhood, I am often taken to my parent’s bedroom. I used to spend a lot of time in there. They had a tall, cozy, cushiony bed with a beautifully carved wooden headboard.  The bedding was clean and crisp, the way only Mexican laundry detergent can do. The bedroom was well lit by a window where the sunshine poured in. When I was around 12 I remember hanging out in there a lot.  On my father’s nightstand was his Bible and Time magazine along with another book that had a name that I can’t remember for the life of me.  Sometimes I was so bored that I would read verses from the Bible, but I would read it like stories. Is that bad? I don’t think you are supposed read the Bible in that way. I would also browse through all the pictures in Time magazine – there were always pictures of the Kennedys, the Beatles and other pictures of hippies. I think that’s when I began to have crushes on men with blue eyes and beards! I also had also started reading this mysterious book. Needless to say, at that age, neither the Bible nor this other book made any sense to me.  All that I remember is that I was so bored that any reading material would amuse me – even if I didn’t know what the heck I was reading!

One day my father saw me reading this unnamable book and he flipped out on me!  If you had ever met my father, you would know that he was a tall and well-built man, he could be very intimidating. Yet he was one of the most gentle of men you could ever meet… except when he got mad!  Then, it was very scary!  When he found me reading his unnamable book, he became extremely angry!  I didn’t understand why he was so upset!  After all, I truly had no clue what I was reading. Yes the book was in my language, but I didn’t get any of it. Through the years I found out after talking to my sisters that this book (we still can’t remember the title!) was some American book that describes a town that was very promiscuous. All the characters seemed to get involved with one another. But at my age, I had not been exposed to any of that- I didn’t get any of it.  Still, that day stayed in my memory not because of what I read but because of my father’s reaction. Unfortunately for me, he removed the book from his nightstand and I never saw it again.

When I think about it, Santa Fe reminds me of this book.  We live in a town where everyone knows everyone. It’s so small here that you find out that people you know have dated, married or slept with someone you know!  Maybe you dated someone back in the 90’s and now that person you dated is now married to your ex boyfriend/girlfriend!  Or you are now dating your kid’s teacher’s ex husband! I think it’s safe to say that it’s a part of our normal life here in Santa Fe!  It’s more intense that 6 degrees of separation. In Santa Fe it’s 2 degrees of separation-  it feels to me that the world is simply getting smaller. The planet has millions of people and for some reason we keep running into the same people.

I am glad that scientists are looking to relocate part of the world to other planets.  My last hope is to not date your last boyfriend!

Please send me your comments to my personal email,  guada755@outlook.com.
Keep your eyes open, shortly, I will be launching our new exciting blog.

Recently I was notified by my health insurance that I need to change my current insurance plan!  Why?!?!  Because they say so!  I had to embark on a long journey of shopping around for another health plan.  My time is very valuable just like everyone else.- We are really busy and spending time on the phone is – frankly frustrating- especially when it has to do with health insurance!  So having to spend the time shopping for insurance did not amuse me at all.  Meanwhile I went to see my primary doctor before I had been informed that I no longer had insurance and there they told me that my current insurance was not active!  What a mess!! Here I am walking around thinking I have health insurance. Health insurance that costs me tons of money!

I had to call the health insurance company.  They immediately put me on hold and I had to wait for what seemed like an eternity.  When someone finally answered, they asked me all sorts of questions only to tell me after about 20 minutes that I had to be transferred to a different department! I agreed to be transferred and in the process I was disconnected!  I breathed deeply and called again.  When I called, they give me options 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. I decided that I should get someone who speaks Spanish.  But that didn’t help me at all because the person that tried to speak Spanish with me was probably from Bangladesh!  Finally, I settled for an insurance plan that costs me several hundreds of dollars with a deductible that is so high that I am probably will die without it being ever met.

When I received the policy documents, I learned that there were many exceptions to my coverage. If I need a specialist, I’m on my own. If I need an ambulance, I am not covered. I will be lucky if I can get them to pay for a flu shot. The list is too long.

This really worries me. I am a proactive person and therefore, I am thinking about what else I can do to ensure my health and wellness. I have heard that dogs can notify you if you are about to have a heart attack, a seizure or if you are going into a diabetic coma.  They start barking at you, warning you of the imminent medical problem.  The only thing about that is that I don’t have any of those issues but I might just get a dog just to prevent them!  I don’t know if cats or goldfish have any medical trauma intuition.

I have also decided to prepare an altar in my home in honor of the Virgin Guadalupe and Saint Michael.  It will l have votive candles, flowers and energy stones.  Maybe I should include some Buddha sculptures and Hindu effigies. If I do this, perhaps I will have more protection than the protection my insurance offers me.   It seems to me that I would get better results with this than with the health insurance!

Let me know if you have any great health insurance tips that I’m missing out on! I love to hear from you!

Guada755@outlook.com