Photo Trip: Albuquerque Railyards Market


Albuquerque RailyardsEarlier in the summer, during the time when I had no car, Xavier and I took a field trip to the Albuquerque Railyards Market.

The Market itself is interesting. There are tons of vendors selling all kinds of things but primarily food, organic produce and handmade goods like organic soap. To be honest though, I wasn’t that interested in the Market.

What interested me was being able to walk around the whole complex and look inside the abandoned buildings. Visitors are not allowed to go inside the buildings but you can stand at the door or at a open window and take all the photos you like. So I did.

The buildings of the Railyards were mostly constructed between 1914 and 1924 and were in use until the mid 1990’s. In 2007 the City Of Albuquerque purchased the site with an aim towards preservation and restoration. Today, it’s primary function is hosting the Market and being used as an awesome location for filming movies and TV shows. The Railyards have appeared in several episodes of Breaking Bad and in The Avengers movies.

Albuquerque Railyards
Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Albuquerque Railyards

Wine Review: California Red Wine Blend, Firefly Ridge

Firefly Ridge California Red Blend, Dry Heat Photography

After drinking Gin for most of the summer, the Fall Equinox seemed a good time to renew my relationship with wine.

Firefly Ridge California Red Blend is normally about $10 but was on sale at Albertson’s in Los Lunas for $5.99. Wine can become an expensive habit, you know, so I say save money were you can.

I was pleased with my half price bottle of wine.

The label doesn’t offer up much information but I would guess the blend to be Cab, Syrah, and Zinfandel.

Very rich and smooth with a nice chocolatey, oaky-ness about it. Before I knew it, I had finished my third glass and went to bed at 9:50pm on a Saturday night because I know how to party like I’m 42.

Other pertinent info: 13.5% alcohol. Before bed, I felt the possible beginnings of a red wine headache but 3 ibuprofen and eight hours of shut-eye later and my head is just fine.

In other news, Los Lunas is overflowing with yellow Clouded Sulphur Butterflies. They love the purple flowers that grow wild in my yard and these are the same flowers that in the photo with the wine above.

Yellow Clouded Sulphur Butterfly.

Yellow Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

The Unknowable Alternate Outcome


This isn’t a post about drinks.

Two weeks ago today, I was driving home from the store and a teenage girl rear-ended me at a traffic light. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and neither was her 14 year old brother. His head broke the windshield.

Two weeks.

Since then she and her family have refused to cooperate with their insurance company. They won’t return any phone calls or make an official statement.

Officially, I am not a fan of these people.

Because of this, her insurance has not accepted liability for the accident.

I have sent photos and the police report.

I have called, and called, and called…

I have tried being nice, polite, professional, patient, condescending and sarcastic, demanding to know in what universe any of this makes sense and to speak with a manager.

No matter what I say or how I say it, they won’t accept liability until they speak with the driver. They’re not trying very hard to contact her, and even if they were, I saw on Instagram that she’s been out of town – living it up at summer girl’s camp.

That’s right, her parents still let her go to summer camp after she destroyed a vehicle and damn near killed her brother. Apparently she’s the favorite of the two.

I didn’t see anything in her IG feed about that.

No photos of her brother’s bloody face or the wrecked front end of her truck. No video of her hysterical crying, no photos of the citations.

Just goes to show, you shouldn’t believe everything you see on social media.

Two weeks.

Her insurance won’t even look at my car. They won’t help me out with a rental, they won’t cover the repairs to my camera. (I was driving home from a wedding before I stopped at the store and my camera case was in the trunk).

In the meantime, I’ve still had to make my car payment. You know, the payment on the car I don’t have and can’t drive because somebody was careless and now can’t be bothered to make a phone call.

And about all this, I am really pissed off, but irresponsibility and injustice are not the point of this story.

Incidentally, my insurance has stepped in and they’re taking care of things now, though I may possibly end up having to pay my deductible.

But what if what I’m describing is only part of the story and there is another force at play here that is unseen?

There is a thin veil between blessed and cursed. It’s called the Unknowable Alternate Outcome.

I wasn’t hurt in the accident. To the contrary, I had less neck pain after the accident than I did the day before the accident. Call it an unfavorable way to get a chiropractic adjustment but it worked.

I love my car but the truth of matter is that it’s expensive. I bought it in January of this year and then promptly quit my day job. Since then, I have found other work and am making the payments but it’s often a stretch.

Stay with me now.

The main reason I wanted to trade in my old car, a 2010 Hyundai Accent, is because I found out that the safety ratings on it were really bad. I mean, like, if a 1989 Ford Ranger driven by a careless 16 year old girl plowed into me at 35 mph in that car I might be dead right now, bad.


On the other hand, the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is a very safe car. I absolutely believe that the safety engineering of Cruze is what kept me safe in the accident. If I had still been driving the Hyundai, things may have turned out much differently.

Could it be the whole reason I bought the Cruze in January was to save my bacon at 2:30 in the afternoon on July 27, 2018 in Los Lunas, New Mexico?

But wait, there’s more.

On the day of the accident, I had photographed a wedding in Albuquerque in the morning and was planning to have a little dinner party with adult beverages and pizza at my house that night. On my way home from the wedding, I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up the aforementioned adult beverages and pizza. Wal-Mart is on the other side of Los Lunas from where I live so to go there meant taking a different way home.

So may times I thought, “Why didn’t I just go straight home?”, “Why couldn’t I have just gone to Albertson’s instead?”, “Why didn’t I stay at the wedding for just a few moments longer?”

What if I wasn’t in that exact place at that exact time?

Well, what if, indeed?

When the truck hit me, I was the eighth car in line at a stoplight. The truck hit me so hard that I hit the car in front of me. It was a rickety old Hyundai sedan, several years older than the one I had recently traded in. I didn’t hit it hard, just a little tap that didn’t cause any damage. In contrast, there was two feet of intrusion into the back of my car.

Two feet of crushed steel and body panels, lights and electronics. My license plate was bent in half.


The car in front of me was driven by a woman and there was a two year baby girl in the backseat. The baby was fine, belted into a child seat but even so, it would’ve been no match for a speeding truck, it was a minimal child seat and it was facing the wrong direction (forward instead of backwards) for a child that young.

What if I wasn’t in that exact place at that exact time?

What if the truck hit them instead of me?


A mother loses her baby daughter and a 16 year old girl is charged with vehicular homicide.

How lucky we all are that my car was in the middle and there was no one in my back seat.

What if I had taken a different route home and been in an even worse accident that my car couldn’t protect me from?

Instead of pushing up daisies this morning, I got to wake up next to my husband safe in my bed. I got to see the sunrise, feed the hummingbirds, and to play with my dogs. I got to hang out with my family yesterday and photograph lightning last night.

I got all of that and all I can do is bitch and whine and complain to everyone I know about the injustice of it all.

Can’t know the alternate outcome but it’s reason to reconsider.








Gin Days Of Summer: Lemon Basil Collins


Lemon Basil Collins Gin Cocktail

The Lemon Basil Collins, it’s truly a magical creation.

But you have to understand, I love Basil. I mean, I love Basil more than most people. Like, wwaaayyyy more.

This cocktail is bright, crisp, and refreshing. Absolutely perfect for a hot summer afternoon in New Mexico.

Fresh organic Basil, garden grown in New Mexico.
I even grew the Basil in my yard.

Follow the flowchart:

At the bottom of an otherwise empty glass add:

1 slice lemon

1.5 teaspoons sugar

Several Basil leaves.

Muddle until the Basil leaves show signs of bruising, which will release the flavor from the leaves.

On top of the the muddled lemon, sugar, and basil, fill the glass with ice.

Add 1.5 oz shot of Gin.

Top with unsweetened lemon flavored seltzer water.


Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh basil.
Lemon Basil Gin Cocktail


Gin Days Of Summer: Cherry Limeade Collins


Cherry Limeade Collins Gin Cocktail Recipe

Who needs Sonic when you can make your own “adult” cherry limeade at home?

Here is my recipe for a Gin Cherry Limeade Collins.

In a glass of ice add the following in this order:

1.5 oz shot of Gin

2 or 3 splashes of lime juice.

Top off with Cherry Limeade flavored seltzer water.

Stir. Don’t add anything else until you stir.

Garnish with a slice of lime. Be sure to rub the lime all around the mouth of the glass, leaving behind as much pulp as possible.

Add two maraschino cherries.

Pour in about 2 teaspoons worth of cherry juice from the jar (could also use Grenadine). The cherry juice will settle to the bottom, creating a lovely layered effect.

These are unreasonably delicious and go down fast. Remember to pace yourself so as not to end up face down on the table.


Gin Cherry Limeade Cocktail Recipe


Gin Days Of Summer: Albuquerque Breaking Blue Collins


Albuquerque Breaking Blue Collins Gin Cocktail Recipe

Here in Los Lunas, New Mexico it’s hot. Like, 5th ring of hell hot. The last week of June it was over 100 degrees every day.

I love wine but when the summer is this hot, it’s time to cool things down so I’ve created a series of terrifically delicious Gin based cocktails based on the Tom Collins. Variations on a theme, if you will.

First up is the Albuquerque Breaking Blue Collins!

Here’s the recipe:

In a glass of ice, mix the following in this order.

1.5oz shot of gin

I don’t measure the other stuff, so flavor to taste.

On top of the gin add a splash (or 3) of lime juice.

Top off with Sparkling ICE Blue Raspberry – it comes in a skinny bottle and most grocery stores carry it with the flavored sparkling water. (see photo below)

Stir. Don’t add anything else until you stir!

Garnish with half a slice of lime – be sure to rub the lime all over the mouth of the glass, leaving behind as much pulp as possible.

Add two maraschino cherries.

Last step – pour in a small amount of cherry juice from the jar. Make sure that the drink has already been stirred because if you stir it after the cherry juice goes in, it defeats the purpose. The cherry juice will sink to the bottom, creating a lovely layered effect.

Fair warning: if you drink one, you will want another!
Albuquerque Breaking Blue Collins Gin Cocktail Recipe





Gratuitous Puppy Photos: Meet Luna!

Luna being helpful

While I am working on my various websites this morning, Luna is on a mission to romp through the house, jump on top of the cat, chew the power cord to my computer and be puppy-helpful. She is ten weeks old now and we’ve had her for two weeks.


Xavier had been wanting a puppy since forever but puppies and 4th floor apartments in Maryland just don’t mix. Every Saturday morning we would go to Petco and play with the puppies that were up for adoption and every time we would have to leave them there. Now that we have a house with a yard, Xavier finally got his puppy!img_1430