Sunday, December 13, 2009

Up a winding drive...

This ocean view 3-bedroom house will be on the vacation rental market for the first time this spring. Easily accommodating eight people, the home's main living area is on the upper level in order to take advantage of water views from nearly every room. This blog chronicles some of the preparations and changes made to make this a great rental.

A good spot

Our beach is a few steps to the right. This is the landing at Snow Shore. Coast Guard Beach is in the distance.

Our neighborhood beach

Just around the bend from the shore walk, the beach is almost as inviting in late November at low tide as it will be in summer with a high tide.

Shore walk

The house is the higher one, the one on the right. Tree removal has made it more visible

Master bedroom

The family gathered on Cape Cod for Thanksgiving, which included such activities as tree moving, log splitting and firewood stacking. And for me, window dressing, bedskirt making in the main level master bedroom.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Late afternoon

The setting sun lights up the barrier beach - as seen from the deck. 
The beach is just a 15-minute paddle away.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kitchen dining area

Here's another area that could use some work. A rug, perhaps? A valance? But it's bright and sunny, and the drop-leaf table gives it some versatility.

Back bedroom

My favorite bedroom is this back bedroom downstairs, probably because it went together so easily with readymade quilts and valances. Also, it gets much more winter sunlight now that the huge Norway maples are gone from the back yard.

Downstairs living area

Two futons on the porch plus a sleep sofa in the sitting room provide extra space for relaxing.

The upstairs living area

The wood-burning stove was wonderful on some of the colder nights. The central heat works fine, to be sure, but when it was just two of us and no need to heat the lower floor, the stove warmed up the living area wonderfully for the evening with just three logs.

We're ready!

Slipcovers are ordered and window treatments will be considered, but as far as I'm concerned, the house is just about ready for prime time! A group will be renting the house the first weekend in November.

I need to perfect this picture. Note how the view appears as a reflection in the framed photos above the sofa.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bittersweet in the house

Here's how I wanted to use the bittersweet found in the conservation land next door.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The double nor'easter

The second nor'easter lasted all weekend. From the house, I watched the barrier beach at high tide but wasn't able to tell through the rainy windows whether waves were washing over into the inlet. This is the way our walking path looked at high tide yesterday.

Today was the first nice day after the nasty weather, and after a full day of working on the house, David and I took the canoe over to the barrier beach - about a 15-minute paddle - and discovered that there had been washovers, but no apparent damage to the dunes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wild and woolly!

The nor'easter started around 3 pm yesterday. Heavy winds last night and today. Boston woke up to snow, and PA had several inches, but just rain here. High tide plus heavy northeast winds means we can easily see and hear the surf.

David heard something bumping around in the night, and in the morning we discovered the grill had been walking around on the deck.

Just returning from an errand today, I saw a coyote trotting out from the empty lot next door and crossing the street as if he owned the place.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Expanded view

The tree to the right was trimmed back right after this photo was taken. The view left has been expanded appreciably.

Tree work

Dave of the Tree Company took down a honey locust in the back yard gingerly because it was rotten all the way up. The two Norway maples came down as well and really changed the feel of the back yard. Sunlight pours into the house now.

About 10 trees in all came down - three in the back, the rest in the front. The view from the deck has improved almost 100%.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I bought this cranberry scoop thirty years ago on the Cape and brought it to Atlanta. My favorite thing to do with it is fill it with hydrangeas. Now it has returned to the Cape where the hydrangeas have been spectacular this year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nauset wildlife

These guys are so cute. Are sandpipers endangered?

I went straight to the beach when I learned this afternoon that I should probably return to Georgia tomorrow. Flooring installation has been postponed until October.

Nauset surf

Offshore winds continued throughout the day, taking the tops off the waves. Blowing sand stung the calves.

Traversing the barrier beach

,I assumed the "W" meant Walk and followed the footprints to the inlet side. Looking directly toward the afternoon sun on that side, I have trouble seeing our house across the water. Some morning will provide a better photo op.

Nauset Barrier Beach

Sometimes the barrier beach is off limits for everyone in order to protect the piping plover. Today large sections of the dunes were roped off.

From our house we can see vehicles being driven along this barrier beach. I wonder if they can go all the way to the break across from Coast Guard Beach.

Nauset Beach

In the fall, some folks bring a chair, a blanket, and a book to the beach, bundle up, and stay awhile.

Morning at Skaket Beach

A blustery day on Skaket Beach. The gulls are all hunkering down to wait out offshore winds reaching 30 mph today.
Walking to the right on Skaket Beach soon brings you to a river, probably a good place to explore at low tide.
At Skaket Beach you can walk a long way to the left even though it's posted as private beach. Further down, a sign says the owners permit the public to walk between the high and low tide areas. (OK, so I was a little outside the lines for this shot.)

Skaket Beach

A neighbor recommended Skaket Beach for walking, so I went there today to take some photos with the new camera for the blog. (This counts as working, right?) Skaket is a public Orleans beach on Cape Cod Bay with calmer water for swimming.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Afternoon in the cove

A gorgeous day today, perhaps the last warm day of the year. Sans camera I walked the beach for an hour, thought it too beautiful to go inside at 5 pm, so took some photos in our cove, giving my dropped pocket camera one last chance to show me it's shooting properly. It isn't, but with some tweaking, this photo is acceptable.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Our first visitors came on the weekend: Sara and family along with high school friend Ellie Smith. The downstairs bedrooms had been stripped of wallpaper and furnished just in time. Weather was perfect. Ellie took the ferry back to Boston from Provincetown on Sunday.

Getting right to work

Closing was Sept. 15, unloading the truck took place that afternoon, wallpaper stripping began the next day.

This is the master bedroom, adjacent bath was done in a pink pinstripe. Now it has been transformed to aqua, matching the coverlet lower right.

Fuel stop

The truck struggled over the North Carolina mountains but made decent time once we hit I-81. Confined to truck speeds, our white Civic Hybrid, seen behind the truck, made up to 53 mpg.

Loading the rental truck

We rented a 16-ft Penske truck in Atlanta, loaded some new furniture from Haverty's, then reorganized everything in Hiawassee.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Moving right along

Two more weeks and we can walk in the door! The money is falling into place. Insurance is in the works. An appraiser wants to get in. Furniture is being purchased. Comcast has been scheduled. Paint colors are being selected. Bedding is ordered. Fabrics for window treatments are under consideration. The second floor needs to be measured. The laminate flooring is called Teakwood. A rental truck should be reserved soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The back yard

The house has a great back yard. Fenced with split rail plus wire mesh it's shady and nearly level. Lilac bushes were found!

Another plus is that the lot to the left is conservation land. The story goes that the former neighbors had a tennis court, playing noisily late into the night. When the house came up for sale the owners here bought the property and turned the land over to conservation. The house is gone, driveway gone, tennis court gone; peace reigns.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Orleans Bounty

Saturday mornings we enjoy shopping at the Orleans Farmers Market. I was particularly excited about discovering ground cherries in August, 2007. I found them again in 2008, but in 2009 our Cape vacation occurred in July. I assume they were not yet in season as their cousins, tomatoes, were not ready yet either. By August, the market has everything from lobsters to corn, herbs to baked goods. Shop early!

Interested in finding some of the best in Orleans this year in July, I took the advice of our Wellfleet "landlord" and shopped for fish at the Nauset Fish and Lobster Pool and discovered the Cottage Street Bakery off Rt. 28 across from the Christmas store.

Richard Russo has a new book out, That Old Cape Magic, which is set, yes, on Cape Cod. A good read,  I'll add it to the collection on the bookshelves.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A seagull's eye view

During the last 8 months, I spent hours on GoogleEarth locating houses listed for sale, and especially admiring the way the ocean and bays look from up high. You can see the light areas lining the land masses: the sandy walking trails. The nearest harbor beach is that white strip directly north of "The House." You can also see the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. And what wonderful kayaking possibilities!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Go for a walk

Down the curving driveway, go right about 50 feet, then left out into the marsh. Follow the path to the right, you'll go along Roberts Cove, around Mill Pond, then Nauset Heights, and, if you're really ambitious, all the way to the barrier beach. (Quicker by kayak.)

Or head to the left and follow this part of the shoreline path north around the Tonset area and then south along Town Cove all the way to Rt. 28 in downtown Orleans if you're really ambitious. (Quicker by walking the roads, of course.)

Either way, it's a beautiful walk. You'll see shorebirds, boaters, shellfishers, and whatever the tide brought in.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The View

Here's what this house has going for it: the view. This photo was taken in early May before all the trees had leafed out. You can see that trees left and right are obscuring much of the view, and the good news is that we'll own the trees. I never thought I'd be in favor of chopping down trees, but at least some have gotta go, and others will be trimmed.  One has a limb touching the roof. I look forward to working with an arborist this fall.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An "upside-down house"

Here it is: the house we don't quite own yet. It's in a quiet part of Orleans on Cape Cod, overlooking Nauset Inlet, Nauset Beach, and the Atlantic. This blog will chronicle the purchase and preparation of this house as a vacation rental.

The living space is upstairs to take full advantage of the wonderful view. Downstairs there are two bedrooms, and full bath, a sitting area, an entry porch, and a small kitchen. The master bedroom is upstairs over the garage. Also upstairs is a large, open living/dining area, kitchen, and a small room now being used as a study.