Thanksgiving Greetings from Paradise!

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we were given (more) rain and snow for Thanksgiving! I’m working at the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise today. The picture above was captured through the Mountain Cam, which looks up to Mount Rainier herself on a good weather day. It’s been a relatively quiet day here at the VC, and it has gone quick. Right now, it’s getting darker outside and the snow is starting to fall again.
It’s cute to watch the kids come in here, sopping wet after playing in the snow outside. We have about 6 feet on the ground right now; we’re bound for much more before the winter is over. Snowshoe season is here! I can’t wait to get back up to speed (after my recent sick leave) and get outside again. Every season in the mountains is different. The season of diamond dust and icicles is upon us!


I got a tin of cookies from my Mom yesterday. Some of you have had my Mom’s Christmas cookies before. I look forward to these boxes every year. 🙂 YUM!

Student Letters…

One of my favorite jobs is answering the letters we receive from students, requesting park information to help them with their school research projects. Below is a snipet from a letter received this week.

Question #8: Is there precipitation on Mount Rainier?
Question #9: How’s the climate on Mount Rainier?

Well I think that’s enough questions! I hope you write back soon! Oh, by the way, my Dad climbed Mount Rainier and signed the big book at the top of the mountain! Do you know him? My Dad’s name is Ben Smith.

Thanks in Advance,
Lauren Smith

[names changed to protect the sweet and innocent]

I just about cracked up laughing at that.


The Challenge: An Orchid

My future sister-in-law picked out an orchid for me this week. I got a beautiful little plant to cheer me up after the surgery. (And my UPS man now thinks I’m WAY popular. Three deliveries this week.)

I love houseplants; most people know that. I’ve had spider plants that took over my apartment. My current plants are small and well-behaved. But I’ve never had luck keeping orchids alive. And I love them. And I’ve tried before.

So, Amber, thanks! This is going to be my new plant challenge: Keeping the orchid alive. I must go do my homework on this…


A Little Distraction

True to life, just when things start picking up speed, a twist is thrown in.

Last Saturday, I had horrible stomach pains. I wasn’t sure it was my stomach, but it hurt pretty badly. Anyway, I got better, but on Monday, my boss and division chief ordered me to the emergency room. As it turns out, I have gallstones. And the doctor thinks they are bad enough to just have my gall bladder taken out.

This afternoon, I meet the surgeon who will do the work. Next Tuesday is when my surgery is scheduled.

I hate being sick. But hopefully, I’ll feel better afterwards. I’ll have most of next week off.

Between sleeping and eating a no-fat diet for a while, maybe I can get some knitting accomplished. 😉