August 14, 2009

Grateful for a thumb...

Drawing: Alligators of every ilk. I've developed a fun new technique of coloring that works like digital magic.
Eating: Blueberries, fresh blueberries... topped with every sort of thing
Listening: To old time radio... on my new favorite old time radio station
Recovering: From the 4 stitches in my drawing thumb... OUCH!
Wondering: What to do about some sort of summer vacation...

The really big event of the week was slicing my thumb open on a friggin' cat food lid! I was compressing the garbage by hand to fit into the new midget sized cans and there just happened to be a razor sharp cat food lid hidden there awaiting my fate.

Yeeoowch! I hate it when you're scared to even look to see how bad you've been cut. But a quick glance at the gushing font of liquid crimson combined with the terrifying glimpse of things one doesn't expect to see inside a cut soon convinced me a trip to the emergency room was in order.

My wonderful spouse drove me to the emergency room, which was nearly empty, thank gosh. The doctor, the talented Dr. Lee, turned out to be an accomplished artiste with a needle and syringe. She did an excellent job of tidying up the four stitches required, and with the magic of local anesthetics, I felt next to nothing. (not like the last time I had to have stitches which was 45 minutes of agony).

So... it's always invigorating to be restored to a measure of wellness. Now, except for an over sized band-aid, I'm about 90% back to normal... and darn grateful for it too.

And through all of that I met the deadlines I had waiting for me the next day too.

I think it's ironic that I've been working with skill saws and power drills all summer on the bathroom remodel... and it's the cat food lid that got me in the end!

And another very odd thing is that it finally RAINED in Seattle! After about 3 months with scarcely a drop, the heavens finally opened right in the middle of all this to revive the parched landscape.

August 4, 2009

Rustic charm & astonishing vistas...

There's something about a mountain path that makes me want to just keep climbing and never come back.

The glacial rivers are ice cold, naturally... there's a 150 foot waterfall just downstream.

Sunset over the Tatoosh Range. The porch railing along the side of the Lodge makes the perfect place to be on vacation... the very spot for contemplation of a summer sunset.

Inside the lodge glows with gemutlich charms. Handmade giant clocks, piney wood tables and oversized log chairs fill the lobby. The cross-timbered ceiling is such a unique architectural space... completely captivating. It's lit at night with classic vintage painted lamps to add a rustic charisma.

Sunrise on Mt. Rainier dawned clear as a bell. The immensity of this peak that rises from sea level to 14,000 feet is astonishing.

I think this is probably my favorite place in the world to have breakfast... bar none. I guess it's places like this that make me a westerner. Even though I don't go to the mountains all that often, I still somehow need to know they're there.

August 1, 2009

A little bit of Paradise...

Lucky me, I actually had an overnight getaway. I'd hesitate to define it as an actual vacation... but one does what one can with just one day. I wished I could have stayed longer, as I gladly abandoned every workaday worry. I guess that's why people take vacations... to escape.

The wildflowers at Mt. Rainier are in full bloom. Avalanche lilies and meadows cover the rolling meadows up to the snowline. It was all quite breathtaking (and cooler than the 103 degree temperatures in Seattle). I took about 500 photos... there is no shortage of wonderful vistas to capture.

This place is called Paradise. Very aptly named. The rustic Paradise Lodge has stood overlooking Mt. Rainier since the 1920's. It is very classic and just soaked with atmosphere.

Being run by the National Park service, the rates are quite inexpensive ($100 a night). The lodge was just renovated, so it's all in tip-top shape after 100 years of wear & tear.

In the winter the snow pack piles up to the second story windows. Some years it snows about 30 feet... or maybe it's 50 feet.

Inside the lodge the 3 story fireplaces were dismantled stone by stone, to be numbered and then rebuilt. It's rare and wonderful that history gets preserved like that.

It really really can seem like a bit of Paradise to go hiking through the meadows with a view of the glaciers and snowy peaks... and then to relax in the lodge.

I'm busy making lots of artwork... but pictures of Paradise are more enticing.