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There are certain things about living in the East Mountains that are different than other areas. It’s the little things that I really like.  Once you stop and talk to folks, you really learn a lot.  Here are a few of the places that we frequent up here.

Molly’s bar, where I stop on the way home on occasion. It’s been a family business up in the mountains since the early 50’s.  There is live music 5 nights a week.

  • Dianne, the owner of Molly’s now. Daughter in law of the original owners. She’s in the bar most nights.
  • Every once in a while a major film uses Molly’s as a movie set. Happened the other day for a movie called “Fast Color” that is due out in 2018. Molly’s got a free paint job on the inside from the set crew.
  • Chrissy, she’s been there for 32 years. She’s a sweet lady. Her husband was a truck driver and one day a few years ago he laid down at the office and never got back up.
  • Charlene, who gives me burritos and cheesecake that she makes and brings in. I’m spoiled
  • Jake. Kid’s a hell of a guitar player. Used to work in the oil fields. He’s a regular now. Pulling a “Jake” is now the euphemism to helping the bar tenders take the trash out. 🙂
  • Cowboy Scott. A carpenter, who at the age of 50, said F’ it. I want to sing and play guitar. Turns out the man has some pretty good talent. Love hearing him play.
  • Steve Kinabrew. The local music organizer it seems. He’s part of a band called Odd Dog. Hand the man a guitar, tell him what song and he’ll either play it or back you up.

Burger Boy. The local burger joint in Cedar Crest.

  • They always seemed to close so early, until we realized today that they open at 7am for breakfast.
  • The morning waitress survived a brain aneurysm 7 years ago that left her unable to walk or talk. Now you wouldn’t even know she had a stroke.
  • It’s pretty common to see Bernoulli police hanging out in there.
  • One of the regulars this morning had a bunch of Military gear. IE Vietnam Vet hat, pins, etc. I noticed he had an Air Assault pin on his hat. So I coined him. We got to talking. He was in Nam in 68. Was there for the Tet offensive. We chatted a bit, his buddy sitting there was a captain in the Army in Nam. Signal Core.
  • Watched a guy take a perfectly folded US Flag out to the flag pole out front and raise it.

Western Mercantile Feed Store

  • We have an honest to goodness feed store in Tijeras
  • Need live baby chicks? Ducks or Chicken?
  • They sell fire starters in a dynamite box.
  • During the big wild fire south of town they set up a temporary adoption program for all the various types of animals from dogs, cats, chickens, cows, horses, you name it. They had a place you could take your animals to keep them safe.
  • One of the workers there is the stereo typical cowboy. Laid back, slow talking, hat wearing, good ole boy.

Ale Republic. Our first, and so far only brewery.

  • Took over a year to get the permits to open the doors.
  • Wesley the weekend bartender is in the UNM Paramedic program. Works at the bar for extra money
  • Kelly, she works some weekends and is a stand in. She’s also in a medical program. Only CNM’s EMT program.
  • Hank, one of the regulars, who used to hang out at the Lazy Lizard (local bar) works most summers as a miner in Alaska. Now he’s working a local farm with his brothers. They make a heck of a good sausage they serve occasionally at the Ale Republic. They get hops from the brewery to feed the pigs.

Greenside Cafe

  • I suggest the Sangre De Cristo half sandwich and soup.
  • They are a higher class than most of the other places in Cedar Crest.

The Lazy Lizard

  • I used to hang out there before the Ale Republic opened. Now, I only go up there every few weeks.
  • Eric and Joe the dog are locals there. Eric has broken his neck not once, but twice. Southern boy. Georgia I believe. Nice guy. Drives a funky yellow convertible corvette.
  • They repainted the place a grey color on the inside. It used to be a redish orange. I am not a fan  of the grey.
  • They make a great French Dip sandwich. All their sandwiches are named after types of snakes.

I thought I would put up a couple of pictures overlooking Tijeras from the house. Living up in the mountains is a lot different than city living.

A foggy/cloudy day

A foggy/cloudy day

A sunny day in Tijeras, NM

A sunny day in Tijeras, NM




Well. It has been a while since I posted.  Nothing new there I suppose.

So, living in Tijeras New Mexico just outside of Albuquerque.  What’s it like to live in the “East Mountains” as the locals call it? Up in the Sandia Mountains?

Well, to start with. The water on Rincon loop is infamous for being so bad. Barely cleanable to drinking levels. In fact, we don’t. We use it for dishes, showers, etc. However, for coffee, drinking, etc, we use bottled water. 25 cents a gallon down at the grocery store.  To give a brief description of what the water goes through between the well and the house.

Pumps up and into a sediment filter, through an iron filter, gets chemicals added via a “chemical feeder”, into a 3,000 gallon holding tank where an ozone filter bubbles through it to remove the sulfur smell, back into a water softener with a salt brine tank, into the house where it splits into the heating system, showers, etc and also into a reverse osmosis filter system to make it drinkable.


Water filtration system

Water filtration system

So, this Rube Goldberg system is fairly unstable. I’ve completely run out of water twice when something went wrong. I’ve dealt with an overpower sulfur smell when the ozone filtration system broke, had black water a few times when the water softener back flushed pellets, and have had the well head freeze. I’ve also had a pipe break in the well house, soak the thrown in insulation to the point the Mickey Mouse wiring shorted out and had smoke coming out of the well house.  Turns out they ran 220v through a 110v line.


But on the flip side. Living in the mountains brings me things like this.



The day after Christmas we had about 4 inches of snow. It was beautiful.


The nights are starting to get colder here in New Mexico. Chatting with the locals down at the feed store, yep we have a feed store, the hardware store, and the post office, they all agree that we should have had snow by now. It’s going to be an unusual year is the consensus.

I fired up the pellet stove for a few hours last night. Let it burn while I was reading a book then I watched a silly show on Netflix. What is hard to see in this picture of our family room is that the sliding door goes out into a sun room that gets 20+ degrees warmer by the end of the day than the rest of the house. It’s a big green house basically. It was built with 3×55 gallon drums of water, bricks, and other heat sinks so that they absorb the warmth during the day and slowly release it back at night. I’m curious how much difference it will make as the winter temps arrive.


2014-10-26 08.48.09

Living in Tijeras is going to be okay I think. It’ll be interesting to see how well we can get up and down the mountain pass when the snow starts flying.


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