I was born in Grants, New Mexico and at two weeks old my parents moved me to Albuquerque. I am half white and half Hispanic. I mention this because it plays a huge part when it comes to traditions, culture, family gatherings, and those who had an influence on me from a young age. My mom is the oldest of 9 children, Catholic, Hispanic, and comes from a small town. Rural living is pretty accurate since her graduating class consisted of five and she tells the story of her having to sweep the dirt floors in her home.


My dad comes from a white background, the oldest of five, the son of a doctor and is a city boy. When my dad was young, my grandfather purchased a piece of property out by my moms small town. The intention was to get away from the big city and give the kids a place to learn about work and nature. Quite a few years went by before Universe decided to step in and arrange a meeting. You can say the rest is history…. It’s amazing that they will be celebrating 50 years of marriage in a few weeks. Happy 50th Anniversary!!

My dad loves the Hispanic culture and growing up I spent most of my time with my Spanish family. Most of them lived out in the country and I had plenty of experiences riding horses, picking fresh fruit, swimming in ditches, rock hunting, and just being around a very tight knit family. On the other hand, my dad’s side of the family is very different from my moms. We only saw each other on occasion; usually holidays or big events. After my grandmother’s death the family became estranged and the only time I would see them is by accident or at another funeral. Because of family dynamics I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know my dad’s parents the way I would have liked. Interestingly enough, they both passed away on either side of my birthday by a few days. My grandfather February 5, 1987 and my grandmother February 10, 1995.

Lucien G. Rice
Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M. Dr. Lucien Rice, Sr., opened the hospital on East Central Avenue. This photo, dated April 27, 1939, is part of HSLIC’s photograph collection.










Part of being who I am comes with a rich history in health care and New Mexico. My grandfather and great-grandfather were doctors in Albuquerque and had a large influence on health care, especially for women and children. My great-grandfather opened the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in 1919 and helped change how babies were delivered. I remember one time riding on a train when I was much younger and the passengers next to us started talking to my parents. Through the conversation they realized my grandfather was their doctor and had delivered their children. It was an awesome story that I have never forgotten.

Lucien G. Rice II

One of my favorite memories of my grandfather is his collection of rocks. He had turned the entry coat closet into a work station to create amazing creatures and characters. I remember him sitting there, gluing those rocks and then painting them. I regret not sitting with him on those brief occasions and asking him where he found those rocks and how he chose them. I think I could have learned a lot and had some amazing conversations. I’ve been lucky enough to inherit some of his talent, in more ways than one. 🙂


While he was painting rocks, I was out with the other side of my family doing my own rock hunting. Some of my favorite memories are spending my summers with my cousin walking out in the hills behind her house and looking for the “Mother of Pearl”. It was supposed to be the biggest, whitest, most shiny rock we could find. Little did we know, we were really looking for Quartz. We would spend hours every day searching. Over the years my rock fascination stayed strong. So strong even my adult kids know to bring home those eye catching stones from their adventures for me.

At 25, I started college to become a nurse but after struggling for two years and three failed attempts at biology, my grant was running out and I needed a different career. I decided to try something different and chose computers. While I was in school I was still able to do my service work as a home health aid. It’s worked out well and over the past 20 years I’ve managed to hold some amazing and unique jobs. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and while I didn’t become a “nurse” in the traditional sense, I believe what I do now can help people also.

Why malas?

I was reading Rebecca Rosen’s, What the Dead have taught me about Living Well and she mentions one of her go to’s was malas. Out of curiosity I looked them up and decided they were easy enough to make. I went to a local craft store and spent hours choosing the right stones. I fell in love with the process and within days was back at the store picking up more beads so I could make some for friends and family. Right away I started incorporating heirlooms in the tassel to represent a higher connection to Spirit, Universe, and loved ones on the other side. Each one made special for that person in mind. My mom’s side of the family taught me what it means to be family here on Earth and it’s my dad’s side that I give credit for the spiritual connection to Universe, my natural curiosity for Mother Earth’s treasures, and my healing touch. Together, these gifts help me connect to the malas I make and energize them with love and light for the wearer.

With help from clients and customers I hope to honor ancestors and memories by sharing their love and stories through each creation; and inspire everyone to take a little more time to re-connect.

| Peace & Love