I have family in Phoenix who, after 13 years, grew tired of the heat and purchased a weekend cabin in the mountatins of Pinetop, AZ. Being partial to the particular beauty of the saguaro desert, I quite enjoyed the four hour drive up there. The cabin is an A-frame with 2 bedrooms plus a loft (where E and I slept), a front porch, a picnic table, and most importantly, hammocks. The air was breezy and clear, perfect for the holiday weekend.

Friday after the drive we headed to Movie Gallery, a rental place going out of business and thus selling off its DVDs. In typical style, we spent forever combing through to see if any of the $4 movies were worth purchasing. I got tired and sat down. Now I know how my boy cousin felt as a kid, shopping for endless hours with the lot of us girls. There's a little store called Eddie's that sells smoked meats that are TDF. We picked up some pork chops to grill and I made stuffed mushrooms.

Saturday after bacon from Eddie's we went to an arts and crafts fair, where local artists sell their creations. E's favorite part was the food booths that had tastings available. I bought some coffee mint handmade soap and a leaf pendant. The real cottonwood leaf was soaked in brine then fired with a small torch to color it deep copper and red and purple. I love it. We dropped off E (who thought the hammock and a book was the best idea) and went to another (smaller) art fair. That evening we played Skip-bo and watched a movie, enjoying the peaceful setting.

Sunday was our lazy day... We stayed in our pajamas and traded off in the hammocks. Oh, and I lost several games of horseshoes. I got a ringer though - on a nearby tree. If I have to throw things or catch things it often ends in disaster. That was the Fourth, so in the evening we took a picnic to the Apache reservation (the bordering land is all Apache owned) to watch a fireworks show. It was a bit odd, celebrating "American independence" on land that reminded me so compellingly of how tragically Native Americans have fared throughout our history. Not sure how to feel about all that still. But the fireworks were nice and it was cold - like, my toes froze cold.

Monday I convinced my familia to get some sort of exercise. I said "hike" and they said "nope" so we settled for a nice walk around the nature center. Walks outside in nice weather and nature are quite possibly my favorite thing.

So that was Pinetop. A lot of pleasantness all around.

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