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!

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

We were going to be at my moms for dinner when my aunt and uncle were in town and I said I would bring a salad. Yesterday was a scorcher and we set a heat record. There is nothing I like on a warm even “feeling like you are soaking in a hot tub from hell” evening then a nice cold pasta salad.

I suddenly remembered one my friend Jane sometimes brings to the Volkswagen camping potlucks. I thought that would go perfectly with chicken so started hitting up Pinterest for recipies. I read through a few and then thought – how hard could this be, I don’t need a recipe.

I did get an idea for how much Orzo to cook from this recipe (and the photo is hers as well – my food photo taking abilities are sometimes not so good) but that was it.


1 1/2 cups Orzo pasta cooked

6oz. Container feta cheese

2.5 0z. Salami

1/2 cup peperoncini 

1/2 cup Kalamatta olives

1/2 cup peppadew peppers

1/2 cup red onion

1 cup artichoke hearts

6Tbsp Wish Bone Ristorante Italiano garlic Parmesan dressing


Cook Orzo al dente, toss in strainer and rinse under cold water.

While pasta is cooking put feta in a bowl. Chop all ingredients to desired size and add to feta in bowl.

Add dressing and stir until all ingredients are coated.

Add pasta and stir until well coated.

Store in fridge and serve when cold.

Serves 8.

A caveat here, I did not add artichoke hearts in mine and realized as I was writing this post they would be a great addition. Also, choose the Italian or Greek dressing of your choice. I was strapped for time and had this dressing in the fridge but I really like it!

If you are following Weight Watchers this recipe is 7 points per serving with all the ingredients listed above.

Gardening: Yard Update

As I mentioned in a previous post we took a couple extra days off over the Memorial weekend. We did camp and hike and obtain our 103rd state park cache which was our reward for some hard work around the yard. Quite a bit of work.

Friday morning B and I rented a stump grinder. We had five large stumps to remove. Three were in the area of my future studio. Notice all the blackberries we still have. That was after removing 900 pounds a few months ago.

Grinding away

One was in the chicken yard. We are getting my sisters five chickens so needed to prep and repair the coop. I “may” put a raised veggie garden in here. The chicken yard is huge.

Overgrown chicken yard – nettles, weeds and blackberries

The last was the stump of the tree that fell next to my car last summer and the future site of a lovely cutting/English garden bed.

The stump is somewhere in these weeds

I weeded this entire area in preparation for stump grinding and planting. The cyclone fence behind me in the photo below used to be covered in blackberries and my studio will be sitting in front of it after we level the area. I plan to plant clematis, jasmine and trumpet vine along the fence so the vines will eventually wind through and obscure the fence. 

The area in our back yard I am calling woodland sits under a Maple and a Pine. Up until last August there had been a second Pine but it came down in a wind storm, narrowly missing and flattening my car.

Green Man

I had thought with the missing tree the area would get too much light for my shade loving plants. So I left them in pots in the area to see how they would do.

About a month ago I started weeding the area and putting in fresh soil and plants.

What i started with

Potted plants in front of a rickety bench

They seem to really like the amount of shade they still get. I edged the bed with stuff we already had. I had divided some hostas and also planted a hydrangea, Solomon’s seal, black mondo grass, nicotiana and oxalis.


I continued clearing the area and putting in more edging.

Is that cat real…or not?

I will need more soil and plants. Since my first efforts I have added the dyed violets, some ground cover and a really cool purple and green stripes coleus called Persoan Shield. I want to add some more nicotiana, impatiens & fern.

Here is detail of the Persian Shield and TieDye Violet.

The bed that had the stump in it I cleared received some plants as well. I tried to spare some perennials that come up every year (towards the back) and I think I would like to raise part of this bed for more interest and to help hide the brown tarted racecar (the racecar will be going away but a Costco tent will go up for B to park his Syncro under so we were thinking M a living screen would be nice).

The rickety bench will be made new again by B. It’s a great little spot to sit and read with some iced tea.

Geocaching: The Final One

B and I took a couple extra days off over the Memorial Day weekend. Monday we headed up to Mt. Pilchuck state park to obtain our final state park cache.

The drive to the trailhead was up a potholed road about seven miles. Our hike lasted about five hours and was an elevation gain of 1200 feet over the course of about two miles. 

The beginning of the hike was through rich forested woods where we found a few caches we had preloaded on our phones as there was no reception.

At one point on the trail we had to wait for about 50 people to manouver around a fallen tree before we could continue.

Lots of people on the trail

Beej did great for the entire trek! He’s usually pretty prissy when it comes to mud and puddles which I appreciate when we are camping. After a while those things were no big deal.

Shortly after this tree the Forrest thinned and we found ourselves in a boulder field.

This field lasted for about a half mile​. Soon we hit snow. Yes it was warm enough for a tank top!

Not a lot but enough. At one point I put my foot down and bam! It was through the snow. I was pretty exhausted and I scraped my leg. I was so done.

I was lucky, no sprains or breaks or even bruising. My leg is red from cold in the photo above as I had just fallen in the snow. B had me sit and wait for him with Beej. We were still about 2/10 from the cache so he soldiered on. It didn’t take him long and upon his return we prepared for the hike down.

I was really tired and fell two more times before we got back to the trailhead. I was also slightly dehydrated and when we got to our campsite I promptly napped for a couple hours!

The next day we did some caching along the Mountain Loop Highway and ate lunch at Mirkwood & Shire in Arlington before heading home.

103 state parks found!
Guess what showed up today? My gold coin!

Feel free to discover it!

Happy caching!