Sorry for the hiatus but I’ve been working really hard getting our house ready for painting. Who knew that taking things like shutters and other things off the house could take so much time. Also I wanted to pressure wash all the decks and cement areas before they paint so I’ve been working all day, every day, this week.

But this morning I did manage to get out for a little walk before I hit it again. On the way to the Coupeville Wharf I spotted this beautiful eagle sitting on a post by our boat launch at the end of our street.


I tried to get a little closer but unfortunately scared it away.


Walking out on the wharf this sailboat caught my eye with the rather dramatic sky behind it. As you can see there’s wasn’t much of sunrise today.


And now an update on Toby’s Tavern restoration.

They have the upper parts of the building done with new boards and paint. Next I believe they will  be adding the eve, bringing it back to the way it looked in 1900.


I like the corbels they added along the top.


Stay tuned, there’s more to come. But now it’s time to get on with your weekend. Thanks for walking with me today!


Since everyone seemed to enjoy my little history lesson on Toby’s Tavern’s past I thought I’d give you a little more Coupeville history.

Back at the turn of the century, the 20th century of course, Coupeville was a very popular place for sea captains to live. In the middle to late 1800’s there were approximately eleven sea captains residing here in our wee town. One of the nicknames for Coupeville was “City of Sea Captains”.

Many of them were responsible for the building of some wonderful Victorian homes around town.


In 1886 Captn. Clapp and his wife Mary (Molly) purchased this home that was built in the same year. They resided there for fifty years.

From the first printing of “Sea Captains of Whidbey Island” in 1946 it said that “Captain J. W. Clapp is our oldest living pioneer sea captain.” Professor Edmond S. Meany wrote: “Fortunately we have a number of old pioneers still living among us. How much more wholesome it is that we extend to them the flowers of our appreciation while the handclasp of friendship is still possible.” Nicely said!

Captn. Clapp made various voyages around the world. The ships he commanded were: “Charmer”, “Atalanta”, “Jabey Howes” and “General Buster”. This is an artists rendering of one of the ships he sailed, the “Atalanta”.


Here’s how his home looked “back in the day”.


This is as it looked this morning during my walk.


There was an addition to the right side in the 1920’s because it had become to difficult for the Clapp’s to climb the stairs so they added a lower bedroom which today is a library. Ron VanDyk, I believe, is the current owner. He has done a wonder job of restoration and extensive work like repairing the foundation. The reason I say that “I believe he’s the current owner” is because my source of information is from the wonderful book about Coupeville homes called “Ancestral Walls” by Sally Hayton-Keeva, written in 2003.

Sadly the roof is in a terrible state of disrepair and needs to be replaced. Here’s a hole near the top of the roof.


And there was a big hole over the library that has since been covered with black plastic.


It takes a lot to keep up with these 150 year old homes and I hope they get a handle on the roof soon.

And one quick update on Toby’s Tavern refacing. Here’ where they had progressed to today.


So that’s your history lesson for today and it’s probably enough to last you through the Memorial Day weekend. Please be sure to pause and give thanks to all those brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

FRONT STREET NEWS – May 20, 2015

Big things are happening along Front Street in Coupeville. Toby’s Tavern is getting a new face-lift and Whidbey Isle Yarns are moving into the 1886 Coupeville Cash Store building.

Monday they started work on Toby’s Tavern to restore the front of the building. In 1955 the store front was covered with grooved plywood and painted. The process begins with removing the signs.


During this mornings walk I saw that they had removed all the signs and old plywood, exposing the original tongue and groove cedar siding.


While it’s impossible to read in that photo I did a little searching and manipulation in Photoshop and figured our what was written on the original siding.

High up on the building it says “Coupeville Cash And Carry”. On the left side top is says “Willy’s Service” as it was once upon a time a service station. The light blue panel near the bottom left says “Motorite”. Do any of you remember “Motorite”?


This is what the building looked like before it was covered with plywood.


John Rodriguey, owner of Toby’s Tavern and the original Whidbey Mercantile building, said: “I have an old photograph from about 1900. “I’m trying to duplicate it as close as we can get it. There have been a lot of changes over the years.”

To read all about this history of this building click “HERE“. To read about the remodel click “HERE“.

A little closer to the wharf I spotted Dena moving all of her wares into the old “Coupeville Cash Store”.

Dena is the owner of Whidbey Isle Yarns and I’m very excited to see her move into Front Street. Her business was previously on Main Street but this should be a much better location and a much better fit for our historic front street than the real estate office the was previously housed in this space.

You may remember the photo I took of the knitted bicycle out in front of her old place of business.


The thing that is so nice about Dena’s business is everything is hand selected or made by local artisans and as she says “Nothing from China”!

If you love yarns and would like some of the very best, along with some antiques and art pieces, Whidbey Isle Yarns is the place. Also Dena is very knowledgeable and loves to talk “all things yarn!”

This is the front of her new store.


While nothing is really in place yet it will be by the time she opens this weekend.

This rack of yarns caught my eye and made for a lovely photograph.


I hope you enjoyed that little tour of Front Street and all the excitement. Now get over the hump and slide down to the weekend.

FLOWERS AND BIRDS – May 18, 2015

Sorry for the long delay but I’ve been really busy and just haven’t had the time to post a blog. I know, I’m retired and should have all kinds of time but that doesn’t seem to be the case I still get busy!

I only walked a couple of miles this morning but it was daylight and it got a few nice photos. It seems as though ‘flowers’ caught my eye first and then a couple of birds.

We’ll start with my neighbors front yard. These “Red Hot Pokers” line the entire length of her fence.


A little further down the road I spotted this very inviting gate and home.


Down on Front Street near the Coupeville Wharf this flower basket full of Geraniums caught my eye. They were hanging on the front of Collections Boutique.


I saw the Schooner Suva tied to the dock with a great sky in the distance.


On the wharf I spotted our resident Great Blue Heron sitting on it’s favorite post.


On the way home I captured this photo of an injured Ringneck Dove. I know it’s injured because yesterday it was sitting on our front porch bench and then jumped down to the deck. We were worried about all the cats that live on our block so Marilyn picked it up and put it in a safe place. This morning it was a block away sitting on a low branch of a tree, still not very safe.


So that was our walk for today. I hope you keep walking even on the days I miss, it’s really good for you. Enjoy your week.

IRIS SNAIL – May 6-2015

I left the house early so I might catch some warm morning light but the clouds rolled in and it was not to be. In fact, just after I got home it started to sprinkle.

I did manage to capture a couple of things I hope you like.

First up this beautiful Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana) growing in an English garden along 9th Street.


Then I spotted this snail that was enjoying the flowers as much as I was. I think it’s the rare “Iris Snail”.


Walking toward the Coupeville Wharf I spotted the Schooner Suva tied to the dock. She sure does look at home docked at the old 1905 warehouse, passenger waiting room and fuel dock.


Here’s a closer look at the Suva. She sure is a beautiful ship! Not a bad sunrise surprise either.


There, that should get you over the hump. Thanks for walking with me, now enjoy your day, it’s all downhill for here.

SUVA – May 4, 2015

Nothing like a perfectly sunny morning to start the week. I walked three miles and really only saw one good photo opportunity that Al-The-Walker pointed out to me.

I hadn’t seen Al in a few weeks as I’ve been getting out earlier and earlier to try and catch the sunrise. Al always leaves home at the same time.

The sunrise is now so early that unless I get up at 4:00 AM and out the door by 5:00 I won’t get any sunrise shots. So this morning I gave up, slept in a little and still had a nice walk.

The Schooner Suva is now permanently anchored in Penn Cove near the Coupeville Wharf. A campaign has been going on for a while to purchase the old yacht and keep it in Coupeville for tourists to visit and go sailing. It will be a great addition as the 1925 vessel fits right into the history of our wee town.

You can read all about the 68 foot yacht HERE and the effort to bring her to Coupeville HERE.


While we’re on the subject of boats, I spotted this “flotilla” near the Mukilteo ferry landing this weekend on my way to the mainland. I believe they were fishing for shrimp since the season opened this weekend. I’m glad I was on a ferry.

05-04-15 fishing

Thanks for walking with me and enjoy the week ahead!


Welcome to the first day of May. When I was very young I would make up May Baskets and deliver them around the neighborhood always trying to never let the recipient know who delivered it. Place the basket, ring the doorbell and run like hell.

So here’s my May Basket to you starting with a beautiful sunrise, once again partially hidden by shore clouds. This is looking our across Penn Cove and Saratoga Passage.


To start your basket I spotted these Golden Butterfly Bushes. I love the contrast of the orange and green.


And in my own front yard one of Marilyn’s beautiful Peonies.


Thanks for walking with me and have a great weekend and month ahead.