Who Done It?

Last weekend B and I packed up the dog and the bus and hit the ferry to Whidbey Island. Our destination, the small town of Langley, population 1,045. Island residents pride themselves on a slower pace of life as evidenced by this sign seen at the mystery weekend headquarters.

Langley has the longest running town murder mystery in the US, this was their 33rd year. It all started with the early morning discovery of a dead man in a Chewbacca costume behind the inn in the wee hours of Friday morning. The list of suspects were a combination of locals and out of towers representing three groups, ISFAT (International Society of Science Fiction) who were holding a convention at another local inn, the BFF,s (Big Foot Friends) and the Sasquatch Hunters.

There were lots of bunnies all over town too. And they were NOT afraid of us humans!

We met up with friends in the morning, got our packets which consisted of a map where we could get clues and the town paper with articles relating to the murder and other town happenings. There were 39 clues in all and to obtain them you consulted the map and visited the businesses that had the clues. Some businesses just left them out to grab and others would only hand out one clue per person. Later that day you could hear the coroners report in person or pick up a copy. All of the cast of characters were wandering town and you could talk to them in the hopes of gathering more clues.

This interesting prayer wheel with hand prints was near the center of town.

Some favorite shops we went in to were Music for the Eyes ran by a retired couple and feature Oriental rugs, tribal jewelry, beads, textiles, hats and so much more from around the world. I bought a knitted, felt lined hat and B bought knitted, felt lined fingerless gloves. Knitty Purls a local yarn shop featuring Rowan yarns. Whidbey Island Gem Gallery where I picked up some yummy polished rocks and our friend Krissy picked up some stones for her jewelry making business. Artisan Crafted Home had beautiful glass blown lamps and other high end fixtures for your home. 

The floor lamp below is from a line made by two sisters in law who actually live across the country from each other. One of the women does the glass blowing and the other does the shades. If we didn’t have cats I would consider it – hmmmm maybe for my studio – eventually. All of the lamps by this particular artist have male names for the floor lamps and female names for the table lamps. The two below are Ed and Alexandra.

Krissy and I stopped in Ott & Murphy Wines for a tasting and to take a little break. The tasting room was playing Jazz and it was a nice little spot to have a snack if you so desired. The proprietor let me wear her wine goggles.

I loved Moonraker Books and one of the owners was a suspect with the nome de plume of Josh DeFax. The Star Store is billed as Langley’s market and fashionably fun mercantile had a bit of everything; reasonably priced clothing for men and women (clustered in color coordinated groupings), beer and wine, gourmet foods, etc. 

After visiting shops around the quaint downtown gathering clues (in the form of paper slips) we took a lunch break at Village Pizza for sustenance. We sat at a great table overlooking the water. After lunch we returned to the bus to check on the dog and stop at the public library for a clue. They had a rather clever fund raiser going. You could buy a bag of brown paper wrapped books (all mysteries) for $5.

Among the crime scene items there were two different colored tranquilizer darts, a bag with apples and mushrooms in it, marshmallows, a Chewbacca mask, a business card for Joe Curr, etc. lots of clues, some real and some misleading.

The Tipsy Gourmet was another shop I really liked. They featured wine, beer, cheese, meats and crackers. We finally had all of our clues and settled in to the outdoor fires it at Double Bluff Brewing to sort them out and figure out who done it. Saw this great blown glass art outside too.

We could not come to a conclusion at the brewery and decided to sleep on it. Dug and Krissy filled in their information and left their ballots with us and we would drop them off after filling in who we thought the prime suspect was. B and I planned on camping on the island that night. We stayed at Fort Casey for the night. It was raining A LOT so we just stayed in the bus with the heater, made a sandwich, split a beer and poured over the clues, coroners report and suspects mug shots.

Some of the suspects names were hilarious like Daryl B. Moretocome, Al Betseroff, the previously mentioned Joe Curr and Josh DeFax, Hagatha Kisstea, Clara Bouyant, Maxine Factor (who looked pretty cheerful in her mug shot), Al Luzon, Natalie Drezed, Benton Wenning, Shari Fissure (understudy to Carrie Fissure from Star Wars and the now widow of the deceased Stone Fissure found wearing a Chewbacca costume), Douglas Ferr, Dr. Doolittle, Dr. Bambi Hunter, Red Herring, Harry Varmit. We narrowed our prime suspects down to Al, Shari, Dr. Doolittle, Natalie & Benton.

The next morning B and I went in to Coupeville to a favorite breakfast spot the Knead and Feed. We had communicated with Dug and Krissy on who they thought did it, filled in our ballots and headed back to Langley. On the way we did some Geocaching. We stopped for another beer at Double Bluff after turning in all four ballots and went back to some of the stores we had been in the day before. Dinner at Prima Bistro before we headed to the middle school to find out who the killer was. The killer unveiled, we were unfortunately wrong but stuck around in the hopes of winning a prize. Alas we went home empty handed but had a blast and we will be back next year!


Hey there peeps. Been a while since I have been posting on a regular basis. I don’t know what to say but life got busy. I can’t believe it’s already 2017! Where did 2016 go? 

My apologies for the radio silence. Part of the reason is the slow death of my laptop which means posting from my phone. I need a new laptop but unfortunately it’s not high on the priority list.

I do have several posts in process and will be much more diligent here in the ol’ blog. 
Two trips to update on (Arizona in September and Vancouver BC in January). Some goals for the year along with some projects and Geocaching plans.

So, stay tuned!

Vacation Arizona

B and I took a trip to Arizona for ten days last September to a visit a friend. It was a much needed time for us to relax and hang with friends. [Don’t know why some of the photos are big and some are small but enjoy]!

We arrived in Phoenix Friday afternoon. It was a quick shuttle ride from the airport to the mammoth car rental garage. We hopped in our economy car and quickly found sustenance in the form of food and beer at Mother Brunch Brewing not far away. We knew it was a perfect place to choose when we saw the VW van parked out front. The interior of the pub was industrial and quirky.


I had the lunch special of a half sandwich, small salad and pint for $10. B tried the slider trio and a flight of six of their beers. One of their feature menu items is called The Mother of All Burgers. A beef patty topped with a fried pork belly, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, smoked tomato-onion jam and aoli. You can add another patty if you like.

While lunching we searched for Geocaches in the area. B found one nearby that had been published three days before and had not been found. Getting an FTF [first to find] for our Arizona souvenir = awesome! We were even sent trackables as our FTF prize. We did a couple more Geocaches and then stopped at Wren House Brewing [Geocaching is thirsty work]. They also had an industrial vibe inside and this little alcove above a fireplace with a Madonna sitting in it [beer for size].



On our way out of town we stopped at Flowers Craft Beer & Wine to pick up some beers to take with us and share with out hosts. Great little craft beer market and deli founded by a guy who was from near where we were headed and recommended some breweries for us to visit. Our next stop was north to Cornville where my friend Terri moved. It took us about two hours including a coffee/Geocaching stop in Anthem [a bedroom community of Phoenix]. One of the things we noticed was how aggressive Arizona drivers are. Wow, 75 mph was NOT fast enough for some people! We also noticed there are A LOT of Geocaches in the desert.


Upon arrival at our friends house we chatted on the patio with some snacks and beer and went over our game plan for the week. Dinner and bed were early as B and I had been up since 3 AM [note to self, I learned my lesson flying red eye from our last trip but we still had to get up at an ungodly hour to get our ride to the airport for our 8 AM flight – Grrr].

The next morning we headed to Jerome for a VW bus show held by the Arizona bus club. We met up with a couple friends who reside in AZ, one who had been living in South America and drove a bus she had purchased up to the show.

Jerome “America’s most vertical city and largest ghost town” started as a large copper mining camp and today it’s known for its quirky artistic vibe. Near this puppy art below we found our first Geocache of the day.


The show is just outside town near the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. The elevation of town is 5,200 feet and it was plenty hot so I spent much of my time that day under the shade of a friends tent. Below a leather bus bra another friend made and a Coleman tent trailer that was pulled behind the bug in the photo.



After a short nap and some nourishment our hosts took us in to Sedona. I was really excited to see Sedona for myself as I have heard it’s very earthy and well for lack of a better word – woowoo. I was a little disappointed as with all the visitors over the years it has turned in to a place to shop. The views of the red rocks were stunning and photos do no do it justice.



We ate dinner alfresco at The Jevelina Cantina in Sedona that evening. A Javelina is a small hoofed mammal kind of like a wild boar and local to the area. Our friends have seen them walking along the road in front of their house.

Sunday B wanted to go back up to Jerome as he had purchased tickets to win a bus. Sadly he did not but the person who won turned around and handed the keys to a friend and said “happy wedding”. How cool is that? After that we met our hosts at an ancient pueblan monument nearby, Tuzigoot built by the Sinagua people. Below you can see the separation of different rooms of the pueblo.


In the small museum at the site there was this amazing poster which was unfortunately not for sale. They had similar ones but I wanted this one. I found it on line and emailed the artist. He had one made for me for a reasonable price. I collect posters of this style of places I have been.

Tuzigoot poster

An interesting thing about Tuzigoot is they found bones from a toucan. Likely it was traded from South America.

On our way back in to Cottonwood we stopped at an art studio. The woman whose studio it was makes wings out of things like agave leaves and scissors [purchased from TSA].


B posing before huge agave leaf wings.


We found a great place to grab some food and drink at Pizzeria Bocce. This is also where all four of us played Bocce for the first time. It was a blast!


B is concentrating hard.


Terri is trying to knock our balls out of the way.

Latter that evening we drove along the highway and saw another ruin, Wupatki. You can walk out to this one and all the way around it.



Most evenings we spent time out on the patio enjoying the weather and the sunsets. In the early mornings I would sit out here by myself with a book and my morning coffee.


B and Terri’s husband Tom did a lot of plotting for excursions during the week.


Monday Tom, B and I headed to Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s well. Although Montezuma had nothing to do with these ruins. We found out that the women and children were responsible for the building of the walls and they are slightly tipped back toward the cliff. If you were able to go up to the dwelling you can even see finger prints on the walls.


Sycamore trees and Datura were plentiful. I love the bark on the Sycamore, it looks like camouflage.


Datura, also called Angel’s Trumpet is poisonous and the Native Americans used it as a hallucinogen.


Below is Montezumas well. You really don’t want to swum in it. Not only is the water very brackish but there are leaches and all sorts of creatures that live in the water.


Later we went back to Sedona to this crazy little shop called Silver Sun West. The shop was made up of a bunch of little buildings all cobbled together in a maze. We also went in to Tlaquepaque which is a shopping area in Sedona with restaurants and lots of stores. It has the feeling of an old Mexican town with squares and fountains full of art and lush flowering plants. We even met up with a couple famous people. Can you spot B with Einstein and Mark Twain below?









The next day we took a drive north east. Our first stop was Walnut Canyon which was probably one of B’s favorite places on the trip. Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos as I had a serious case of acrophobia. The trail down in to the canyon was steep and narrow and there wasn’t much in the way of railings. B and Tom hiked down and Terri and I waited at the top. The visitors center location at the top has an amazing view down in to the canyon. The photo below does not do it justice but you can see some of the cliff dwellings across the way.


There was a trail that looped around the ridge of the canyon that Terri and I followed. We came across a little garden. The red plant in the photo below is amaranth.


Another view of the canyon.


It was really windy and the view was amazing! Next stop was Winslow, AZ where yes we did stop at The Corner. Route 66 runs through Winslow and that “one song” is played on a loop outside at the corner.


We obviously took the opportunity to take a selfie.


Lots to spy in the mural. Notice the eagle in the first window on the left.


We lunched at La Posada which was built by renowned architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter who also designed buildings at the Grand Canyon.


There were a lot of sculptures in the gardens.


A view from the back. Lush grass and just opposite the train station.


I love the sign on these doors.


The next day we went back to Sedona for some shopping with Tom and then on the way back home we did a little wine tasting. We stopped at three wineries and Page Springs Cellars was our favorite. Their menu was amazing and they had loads of gluten free options as well so we knew we were going to need to bring Terri back with us another night.


Our $10 tasting fee included this glass. The vibe in the place was really cool. Lots of leather couches with burgundy velvet curtains to partition sitting areas. When we went back a few days later we sat out on the patio.

The next day we took a drive up north to Flagstaff and stopped for lunch at Beaver Street Brewery. This place also had an amazing Gluten Free menu. Route 66 runs through this college town too.

In the town of Cottonwood near our hosts home B and I stopped at That Brewery which was recommended to us when we were in Phoenix. Between the two of us we had a flight to taste all of their beers.


I love the industrial vibe of the place!


B with our tasters.

One of our last days in Arizona B and I trekked north to the Grand Canyon. It was my first trip to this wonder of the world and it did not disappoint. Alas photos do NOT do it justice.

We started on the east end of the south rim at the Watchtower [also designed by Elizabeth Colter].


Inside the watchtower.


We visited several lookouts along the way where my acrophobia did not get any better. I peeked over the side and then stepped back some distance to feel better. Some people were going past the barriers and it was making me very nervous.


B looking to the north over the canyon.


Some shots taken from the different scenic overlooks along the way.



When we got to the main area we parked and walked several of the paths or took a shuttle to get around. We wandered by different hotels designed by Mary Colter [the same woman who designed La Posada in Winslow]. The sun was at a weird angle so my photos of those buildings did not come out. We ventured inside El Tovar which was really cool.

On our last day visiting our friends we headed to another pueblan ruin called Palatki heritage site. Our friends husband Tom volunteers here and we were treated to quite a tour.


Cave drawings at Palatki.


Looking out from our hike.


A man who originally owned this property in the 1930’s used some of the cliff dwelling rocks to built a shelter which he lived in for two years. He planted an orchard with all different types of trees and later built a house which stands today and is used as the office for the historic site. We even saw wild mistletoe on our hike to the shelter and cave drawings.


B is looking at the outside of the shelter.


From the inside. The wall B is looking at is on the right.


This is that same wall B is on the other side of. The top has this makeshift screen.

We are very grateful to our hosts for having us for ten days and can’t wait to go back as there is so much more to see and places we want to revisit. All too soon we were headed back to the west coast but we have the photos and our memories.


A Pirate Geocaching Weekend

Our long weekend started Thursday night after dropping Beej off with a friend [he could not participate in one of our adventures this weekend and it was going to be HOT] we met up with friends who were visiting from California for dinner at McMenamins Anderson School. We ate at the North Shore Lagoon which features Polynesian style decor, food and drinks and is located above the hotel pool.


This hotel used to be a high school and sat for many years until McMenamins purchased and transformed it. The Art-Deco styling throughout the property is wonderful and very colorful. The goal of the owners who own many properties in Washington and Oregon is to “keep the past in the present, to celebrate and connect us all with people and events”. They “research, interview and compile materials to identify and commemorate our properties and their surroundings”. Not certain how the Polynesian theme came about but I loved it!


The next morning B and I took Friday off and headed over to Port Orchard for some Pirate Geocaching fun. We got up very early and made it to the Fauntleroy/Southworth ferry in record time for our 8:45 crossing. We arrived in Port Orchard and found parking just in time for the lab caches to go live. We met a friend of the event creator and hunted down some of the labs with him. Unfortunately there was some miscommunication and not all the businesses were ready for us. We found 8 of the 10 and met up with friends for Bloody Mary’s at a local bar.

Bloody Mary's

The two lab caches we were waiting to complete were at business that opened while we were in the bar. Once our afternoon libations were done, we were able to complete the last two and were very high up on the leader board [4th & 5th respectively]. We grabbed some lunch at a local Mexican place and proceeded to Manchester State Park to check in to our camp site.

Flamingo and Beer

Our flamingos went up immediately.

B Natural Environment

B in his natural environment with a notorious “PNW vampire flamingo” as dubbed by a friend. We chilled a bit at our campsite and then headed back towards town for the first meet n greet at a sports bar, Everybody’s. B and I split a burger that had bacon jam on it. A side of potato macaroni salad was an interesting addition. Both were very good!


The log was this telescope. We met some people we knew of their caching names from logs around the state. We stayed there for a few hours and search the parking lot for trackables on the backs of people cars.

On our way to the back of the parking lot we saw an interesting site.

Turkey in Tree

Yes that is a turkey in a tree.

Mosquito Netting

It was in the upper 80’s around 8:30 when we got back to our camp site. We opened up the sunroof and deployed the mosquito netting. That shiny spot is B with his headlamp. This made sleeping MUCH more comfortable!

We had a lazy morning of sipping coffee, breakfast and reading and headed back to town early afternoon. The second meet n greet of the weekend was at Slaughter which is a pirate themed brewery. The beers were really well balanced and good! B and I sampled a few and then headed to the dock of our two hour pirate battle aboard the tall ship The Hawaiian Chieftan. Our foe was the notorious Lady Washington which played the Interceptor in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

B dressed as a Pirate for a day.

My Pirate

The crew preparing to fire.

Prepare to Fire

And the aftermath – smoke on the water.

Smoke on the Water

The Lady in our sites.

Lady Washington

The two hours flew by and before we knew it we were docking. We went back to Slaughter where a fourth anniversary party was in full swing. Lots of people dressed as pirates and cannon being shot.

We soon returned to our campsite and our friends joined us for some snacks and a campfire.

The next morning we packed up after breakfast and headed out. There was a car show in town that B wanted to check out where we discovered this restored VW Kubelwagon. We chatted with the owner a bit who bought it from someone in Holland a year ago. It was the gentleman’s daily driver and he even towed a boat behind it. The new owner spent time tracking down and purchasing many accessories he had on display. We are hoping he attends B’s club vintage meet next year.


A couple other cars I liked at the show, a Willy’s Jeep.

Willys Jeep

This Nomad.


I left B to wander while I got an iced coffee and took some shade. Our plan before hopping the ferry back to the mainland was to do some Goblindust caches while we were in the area. Goblindust was the creator of the Dead Men Tell No Tales Geocaching event  we had just attended. My favorite smiley of the day was The Super Pages. The effort and detail that went in to this caches was amazing! If you are in the area go check it out!

We had planned to do a night cache Saturday night but we ran out of time. That’s OK, just means we have to go back over!

Our weekend ended with picking up the dog and getting Zeek’s pizza for dinner.


The Bus

After three and a half years of dating a wonderful man I have succumbed to his love of the classic VW bus. This past Monday night B and I purchased a 1978 bay window Riveria in Neptune blue.

Bus Front

To say I am stoked is an understatement.

This bus was first posted on my birthday [Thursday] and Saturday B asked if I really wanted it. Sunday we called the owner and arranged to check it out the next night. We drove about an hour and a half south of where we live fully prepared to bring her home. Which we did.

Bus Back

It was a harrowing ride at times as the bus does need a bit of work but we are pleased with our purchase. We do not have a name for it yet. B’s boss suggested Desdemona [inspired by Jimmy Buffet’s song Desdemona’s Building a Rocket Ship]. B said he could live with the short name Mona but I am undecided.

Right now it needs new tires, window seals and some engine work. All stuff B can handle. There are some exterior rust spots we will need to attend to. The curtains, foam and plaid interior fabric are going to be replaced but usable for now.


A few months ago we agreed to take my sisters chickens. She is in the process of selling her house and they need to be rehoused. Once we agreed to that it was like the universe said our chicken condo was available for tenants.

A few weeks ago we took on our first gaggle of four from a friend of a friend. We have lots of mint in the chicken yard, they have been pecking at it and it smells heavenly.

B let them out to roam in the chicken yard on their first day. When we got home we only had three. Ra Ro!

B started walking the neighborhood and the Russians a few doors down asked him if he was looking for a chicken. They provided a net and B managed to wrangle Tweedle Dum back to the house.

We also had three eggs. On average we get three eggs a day. They very in color from darn and light tan to light blue and light green.

It’s been fun with our new tenants. I love all the clucking sounds they make!

Update: My Studio

About a year and a half ago I posted about the studio plans we had for an upcoming spring project. Fast forward to now. Still no studio but we have done work in the yard so we can be ready to put one in.

First we spent a day over Memorial weekend with a stump grinder removing five stumps.

About a month after completion of stump removal [now] B had a brilliant idea.

Originally we were going to place my studio in an area that would need to be filled and leveled. We still need to do that but the area previously reserved for my studio will now be parking. Perhaps some day even covered parking. B has a “slight” VW car addiction.

B’s ingenious idea was to place my studio near the flower beds I have been working on toward the back of the property. When I posted in January 2015 we still had a tree in that area but that came down last August in a wind storm (one of the stumps we removed).

The even cooler news.

B’s boss is going to be remodeling and expanding his house. Which means a shed he has needs to go. If we want it, we can have it for free. We just have to figure out how to move it the few blocks to our house. Score!

We went over the other night to have a look. It’s 8 x 18, a “touch” bigger than the 10 X 12 we were planning. There is one main window and the ceilings are tall. Right now it’s filled with things like paint and power tools. We measured and it will fit – just barely. We may alter its size a bit. Yet to be determined.

Improvements will be installing flooring, two more windows, hanging drywall and a heater. It already has power but we have to figure out how to get the power from the garage to that building. So I may be using an extension cord for a bit – who knows. Right now the door is closer to one end than I would like, I’m hoping we can center it and flank it with another window but that may not be possible and it’s not the end of the world.

Did I mention free shed?!?!??

Since my original post my vision for the decor of the space has changed. I’m calling it a bohemian/industrial/quirky vibe.

I am looking to paint my interior walls in Kendall Charcoal by Banjamin Moore – it’s a medium grey. I will likely paint trim in white. My accent colors – for now – are indigo and persimmon. Bamboo blinds and grey linen curtains that sink to the floor at most of the windows and a Turkish kilim rug over wood floors.



Depending on any alterations to the structure my plan right now is to have one half my reading/knitting side. It will feature a wood plank wall with a cozy grey upholstered chair. I would like to find [or create] a six sided Moroccan wood table and a leather Pouffe.

I will need to craft some sort of dog bed/pillow for Beej to hang out with me. Something like this the barrel below could work.

Dog Bed


Industrial shelving for yarn, fabric and knick knack storage, Indian lamps and some indoor house plants should complete that end.

The other half will be my writing/sewing side with more industrial shelving incorporating a desk area. All of my notions and tools will be within easy reach as I incorporate my craft cabinet in to this area. Penelope, my dress form, will stand in this corner and task lighting made from recycled glass insulators we received from B’s grandparents will hang overhead. There will be a window to look out to the yard with just bamboo blinds here.

Since the space is so big I would like to incorporate a cutting table that folds to the wall when not in use.

Some walls will feature gallery style groupings of quirky items from an owl sporting glasses, a zombie sign, posters from some favorite films, a Bigfoot print, a map craft project and some branchlers among other things.


I have some great art projects lined up. One that features a favorite quote “Not all who wander are lost”. by J.R.R. Tolkein. As mentioned above, the use of maps and embroidery floss to highlight some trips we have taken. I will also convert an antique 1920’s Philco radio that was my grandfather’s in to an iPod docking station.


On the outside there will be a path that leads from the backyard to the studio door. I will have a couple trellis’s made from rebar and covered in colorful sweet smelling climbers such as Trumpet vine, Jasmine, Passion flower Clematis and Honeysuckle.

Plantings in the nearby bed will vary from Peonies, Erysmium, Crocosmia, Bearded Iris and a Butterfly bush all in shades of purple and orange.

Some pots near the door of Caladium, Persian Shield, Fern, Impatiens and Wandering Jew.


I’m so excited to move forward on the studio! Next step is to figure out how to move the shed!