Sequestered Again…

…but for much more wonderful reasons…

Cabin

On Thursday my husband and I came up to use a friend’s cabin in Forest Lakes, Arizona with another couple.  These first two photos are courtesy of my friend, Julie.

We enjoyed some deep conversation and one of our favorite card games of Nertz.

We have been playing Nertz with some of our best friends since the 70’s and love it! Funny thing, just as I was typing this I decided to look up Nertz rules so you could play the game yourself and I discovered that there’s a National Nertz Association AND that we’ve been playing it incorrectly all along.  Oh well, we’ve had so much fun and the difference is negligible.  We’ll have to try to play the “right” way the next time though.

It started snowing on Friday night just as Andy & Julie were leaving.  We went to bed with some light snowfall and by this morning it didn’t look safe enough to drive out.

We had other friends who were hoping to come up today, but the drive is too dangerous, so it’s just the two of us now.

Forest Lakes Picture Window

I’m sitting at the kitchen table looking out at this gorgeous view of the snow gently falling.  An instrumental version of “Christmas Time is Here” just started playing on the iPod (just like the version in A Charlie Brown Christmas).  Even though we’re well into February it feels appropriate somehow.  Snowfall always reminds me of the holidays.  Growing up in Ohio, we always dreamed of a white Christmas.  I continue to long for the confluence of snow and the winter holidays especially now that we live in Phoenix and have to travel to the mountains to enjoy it.

Today the snow fluctuates from a light dusting, to big fluffy flakes, then when the wind kicks up it starts to swirl between the trees.  At times it turns to a slushy rain, then back to snow.  Even though it’s after 2pm, the sky is dark and gray.  We’ve heard that this is just the beginning of the storm that’s supposed to last through tonight and well into tomorrow.  Worst case scenario is over 20 inches of snow in this storm, but because it seems to be wet (for now) it doesn’t seem to be accumulating as quickly as we’d expected.

We had a power outage this morning and for some reason the back up generator didn’t turn on.  We were ready to brave the storm and hit the roads, but while we were weighing our options, packing, etc. the power came back on, so we decided to stay where we’re safe and sound inside the warm, cozy house.

We’re in a neighborhood reached only by dirt roads and we talked to a neighbor who said that they almost slid into a ditch in their truck with snow tires this morning, so we’re not going to take a chance on the drive out and down the Mogollon Rim Highway.  Neither of us have driven much in the snow and our car doesn’t have snow tires or chains so we’ll settle in here.  We were planning to stay until Sunday anyway and we have plenty of food, even if we have to stay for an extra day or so to wait for the snow plows to come around.

Now all that’s left is to enjoy the quiet solitude with my sweetie, open a bottle of wine, light a fire in the fireplace and pray that the power stays on…oh, wait.  We might want to conserve that firewood just in case we do lose power again.Terry reading in Forest Lakes

Terry’s working on finishing the book, Atlas Shrugged.  1069 pages. He’s almost there.

Fortunately we have an ample supply of books, magazines, DVDs, blogs, photo projects and writing utensils so we aren’t lacking for things to do. In fact, it’s kind of nice to be forced to sit still for a while.  Might be fun to plan a snow trip like this every year…

Click to enlarge this pic to get a little bit of an idea of the snowfall.  It changes second by second and the photos really don’t do it justice.  It’s absolutely amazing!  I’m not sure I’ll ever get out of this spot.  It’s like watching a real life snow globe, only much more magical.

2011.02.19 Afternoon Snow

Weekend at the “Cabin”:

We just came home from a weekend at my boss’s “cabin” in Forest Lakes. You can see from the photo why they call it “The Big House”. It’s quite a roomy place. It has 3 stories, 3 bedrooms, plus 4 additional twin beds. We were quite comfortable there, to say the least.

We went with our friends, Andy, Julie, Rochelle & Devry and we had a great time.
Friday night we discovered that Rochelle and Devry knew how to play Nertz, so of course we had to play. We had a chance to use the beautiful cards that Terry’s mom brought back for us from Ireland. You’ll see them here.
Andy & Julie were amazing! I don’t think they’ve played so well in all the time we’ve known them. They just couldn’t lose. It was crazy, but we had a blast anyway, even though they smoked all the rest of us.
Saturday we did some hiking along the Rim Trail and even saw a deer, but couldn’t get a good picture of it because it ran away too fast. This was a view from the trail. It was a perfect day with temps in the low to mid 70’s.
That night we went to a local restaurant called Bugles for dinner, because we heard that they had a prime rib special on Saturday nights. Overall, the food was quite under-whelming and the service was questionable as well. The funniest part of the whole night was when Julie ordered her salmon dinner and in order to cut down on calories, she asked the waitress if she could have an extra amount of vegetables instead of the baked potato. The waitress was happy to oblige. You can’t believe the look on all of our faces when she brought her salmon out with a double portion of canned corn with butter!!! Not exactly the healthy vegetables that Julie had envisioned. We laughed out loud at that one. I’m not sure we’ll go back there, at least for dinner.
There were quite a few pitfalls in the meal time, but I won’t go into them here. Maybe breakfast or lunch might be a little safer.
Saturday night after we got home, the gang discovered the foosball table in the basement.
Again, Andy was insane and won every single game that he played, except one where he only lost by 1 point. Julie, Devry and Terry were all pretty intense as well, with bruises, sore muscles and all. Rochelle happened to be tied up on a phone call for some of the time, and I got a chance to play with my new lens and try out some of the pictures without a flash.
The last couple of photos are some of my wildlife shots. We actually saw quite a few beautiful blue birds. Not bluebirds, but birds that were blue (not sure what they were). Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any good shots of them in flight and that’s when their colors showed the best. Got some shots of squirrels too, but nothing special. This beetle was on the deck at the house. It was GINORMOUS!!! I thought the bees at the purple thistle were pretty cool. Enlarge to see the one in flight. I didn’t even realize that I had gotten that shot until I got home and saw it on the computer. Pretty cool, huh?
Overall it was a really fun weekend. I hope we get a chance to go back there again. My boss and his wife (who’s also my boss) are so generous to let us and many others use the place.