What's Up With That?

Javier Del Valle and Haley Del Valle with their guinea pigs Luna and Molly on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

You’ve never seen anything like this couple’s guinea pig room

Bigfoot’s Guinea Pig Rescue in Everett is dedicated to finding homes for castoff cavy.

Javier Del Valle and Haley Del Valle with their guinea pigs Luna and Molly on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Benson Boone of Monroe will be on "American Idol" on Feb. 14. (ABC/Christopher Willard)

Monroe singer Benson Boone wins ‘American Idol’ golden ticket

The 18-year-old charmed Katy Perry and the others on Sunday. Lionel Ritchie called him “Benson Ka-boom.”

Benson Boone of Monroe will be on "American Idol" on Feb. 14. (ABC/Christopher Willard)
Benson Boone of Monroe will be on "American Idol" on Feb. 14. (ABC/Christopher Willard)

Is Benson Boone, 18, of Monroe the next ‘American Idol’ star?

The new singer faces judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie on Sunday’s premiere on ABC.

Benson Boone of Monroe will be on "American Idol" on Feb. 14. (ABC/Christopher Willard)
Chug's Root Beer Store in Lynnwood.  (Kevin Clark/The Herald)

Chug down a few beers that won’t get you soused

Hundreds of bottles of soda line the walls at Chug’s Root Beer & More in Lynnwood. Now you can dine in.

Chug's Root Beer Store in Lynnwood.  (Kevin Clark/The Herald)
Bernie Sanders meme using an app with Google Maps.

Bernie’s mittens: Feel the Bern? Or are you Berned out?

That photo of the senator looking frumpy and bored at the inauguration is everywhere, including Everett.

Bernie Sanders meme using an app with Google Maps.
Jill Biden poses with Major Biden (left) and Champ Biden. (Jill Biden)

Moving on up, to the White House: the First Shelter Dog

Major, Joe Biden’s German shepherd, was a rescue. Past presidents had lots of pets, including alligators.

Jill Biden poses with Major Biden (left) and Champ Biden. (Jill Biden)
Cece Stafford arranges stock Wednesday afternoon at Alchemy Health in Alderwood Mall on December 16, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Score some flower at the mall? New CBD store is buzzing

CBD lotions and potions are touted to treat pain, insomnia and anxiety. Owner: “We’re not a pot shop.”

Cece Stafford arranges stock Wednesday afternoon at Alchemy Health in Alderwood Mall on December 16, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Wearing a mask and face shield, Honeycomb Salon owner Julia Barbee, styles Gail Linnick's hair in her studio at Sola Studios, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 in Mill Creek, Wa.(Andy Bronson / The Herald)

‘No more pretty hair or feet’: Your top 2020 What’s Up? stories

Hoarding, Grouchy Chef, HGTV, TP and Starbucks cups also are among our readers’ favorites.

Wearing a mask and face shield, Honeycomb Salon owner Julia Barbee, styles Gail Linnick's hair in her studio at Sola Studios, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 in Mill Creek, Wa.(Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Simone Tarver, 30, whose mother sparked her collecting of Black Santas, at her home with two of her Santas on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Yes, Virginia, not all Santas are pale old white dudes

Representation matters as stores offer Saint Nick likenesses in a range of skin tones.

Simone Tarver, 30, whose mother sparked her collecting of Black Santas, at her home with two of her Santas on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The $6 million Coupeville property is on 60 acres and 860 feet of waterfront. It features a safe house with bulletproof walls, 9,000-square-foot shop, three orchards, four wells and tanks that store 17,000 gallons of propane. (Eddie Hayes / Digital Tide Productions)

For sale: Bulletproof island survival ranch and supply cache

The spread on Whidbey has an escape tunnel, workshop, 20,000 gallons of fuel and a lifetime supply of TP.

The $6 million Coupeville property is on 60 acres and 860 feet of waterfront. It features a safe house with bulletproof walls, 9,000-square-foot shop, three orchards, four wells and tanks that store 17,000 gallons of propane. (Eddie Hayes / Digital Tide Productions)
Taylor Mattson, 27, an Everett High School graduate, designed two of Starbucks holiday cups for this year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Starbucks red cup is Instagram gold for artist from Everett

Taylor Mattson, 27, designed a colorful holiday cup used worldwide in this coffee-est time of year.

Taylor Mattson, 27, an Everett High School graduate, designed two of Starbucks holiday cups for this year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Anastasia Allison poses with samples of her Kula Cloth, a pee cloth for women to use outdoors, near her home on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 in Arlington, Washington. Allison's invention has caught the eye of outdoor retail giant REI and will being selling them in stores soon. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Kula Cloth tries to wipe away the mountains of toilet paper

An Arlington woman’s “spiritual awakening via pee cloth” led to a popular product for outdoorsy women.

Anastasia Allison poses with samples of her Kula Cloth, a pee cloth for women to use outdoors, near her home on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 in Arlington, Washington. Allison's invention has caught the eye of outdoor retail giant REI and will being selling them in stores soon. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
George Smith, who has been Santa Claus for more than 13 years, at his decorated home on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Don’t cry, don’t pout, mask up: Santa is still coming to town

The malls plan to have him in person and socially distanced. “We need holiday cheer,” says a mall manager.

George Smith, who has been Santa Claus for more than 13 years, at his decorated home on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A sign at a Lynnwood store on Tuesday. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

Another toilet paper shortage? No, but hoarding has resumed

As COVID cases spike, so does demand for TP. Stores usually have a supply, but take only what you need.

A sign at a Lynnwood store on Tuesday. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
Doris Callaghan, 100, at her assisted living home on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 in Mukilteo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Centenarian helps pick the prez: ‘If I can’t vote, who am I?’

Doris Callaghan, 100, and her avid roomies will stay up past their 7 p.m. bedtime on election night.

Doris Callaghan, 100, at her assisted living home on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 in Mukilteo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Two Snohomish County Auditor's Office workers removed the filled blue plastic tubs inside a drop box in front of the Mukilteo Library on Election Day 2018 and placed empty tubs inside to catch the next round of ballots. (Andrea Brown / Herald file)
Two Snohomish County Auditor's Office workers removed the filled blue plastic tubs inside a drop box in front of the Mukilteo Library on Election Day 2018 and placed empty tubs inside to catch the next round of ballots. (Andrea Brown / Herald file)
Puddum the guinea pig in a Halloween costume. (Jessi Loerch)

Get your guinea pig costumed for trick-or-treat — if you can

Dressing up pets is no longer just for cats and dogs. Rodents can be mermaids and superheroes, too.

Puddum the guinea pig in a Halloween costume. (Jessi Loerch)
The Blue Lagoon is a popular Iceland destination. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

I went to Iceland for the Costco and my husband got a hotdog

On the island of 364,260, there 350 churches, 269 glaciers, many eye-popping wonders — and one Costco.

The Blue Lagoon is a popular Iceland destination. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
Bruce and Marie Ferguson sit on a rail car set atop train tracks in their yard at home on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 in Snohomish, Washington.  The Ferguson's built in their home in 2007 to mimic a Northern Pacific train depot. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Home, sweet, depot: Train station pad yours for $1.2 million

The Snohomish house comes complete with tracks, speeder car and people looking in the window.

Bruce and Marie Ferguson sit on a rail car set atop train tracks in their yard at home on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 in Snohomish, Washington.  The Ferguson's built in their home in 2007 to mimic a Northern Pacific train depot. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Travis Gilbert hugs his 15-year-old dog Abe on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Arlington, Washington. Abe, deaf, nearly blind and old, went  missing and was found barely alive 12 days later at the bottom of a deep hole in the woods by PUD linemen. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

The tale of old Abe, 15, a blind, deaf dog missing 12 days

The dog’s odyssey landed him at the bottom of a “Silence of The Lambs” pit. A PUD crew saves the day.

Travis Gilbert hugs his 15-year-old dog Abe on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Arlington, Washington. Abe, deaf, nearly blind and old, went  missing and was found barely alive 12 days later at the bottom of a deep hole in the woods by PUD linemen. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
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