Friday, October 31, 2014

14 Birthdays

Fourteen years ago Martin and I officially started our journey together. The first morning of the rest of our lives happened to be my 34th birthday  (this makes all calculations very easy) which happened to coincide with a pheasant shoot that Martin was attending. It was an early morning mixed with happiness, jet lag and a long ride to a estate some where in Oxford,  England.

Martin gave me a pair of diamond earrings and dead pheasants that day.  I will always remember being WAY under-dressed. I have to say the English can be ridiculously refined. I should have dressed for the jewelry not the stomping through the countryside.  As we sat down to a full English breakfast my grey sweatshirt, looked highly out of place among the fine crisp linen cut crystal and gleaming silver. Thankfully the rest of the day was spent in the muddy fields where I was looked only slightly worse than the beaters who walk through the wood rousting the birds.

It has been the best 14 birthdays of my life!

Friday, October 24, 2014

October on the Beach

A classic Nor-Easter has been blowing hard for a few days now,  except for that, October has been pretty darn wonderful this year.

Yes, October on the beach is a glorious time when the beach once again belongs to the loco locals, AKA me and my sun goddess friend, Elena. On October 17th we had a private beach, except for the occasional bundled up beach walkers. Although the temp with windchill was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit we topped up our tans, toasty in the sun behind our wind block.  I even got in an hour of body surfing.  I love my wet suit! 

I did a bit of work too. Martin and I gave the house a fresh coat of paint before we moved back in.

 And then a bit of local sightseeing with my crazy friend. Just after I took this photo we discovered the restaurant behind us "17" ( FYI they serve breakfast cocktails) After a great breakfast with a beverage, we walked it off in downtown Newburyport, MA.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summer Wrap-up

As the last  days of summer slip away Martin and I are happy to report that it has been a blast but we are both ready for the quiet season to resume. Do not get it twisted though, rest is not in the plans for this pair of beach bums, we will be starting the project list today.  A fresh coat of paint in the main house for a start. Martin has an extensive plan for the next 40 weeks that will keep him busy. My plans involve getting the creative juicer running again before reservation start for the summer of 2015.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sandy Paws to the Rescue

Some days you are the hero when you are not even trying. Fate, destiny or the hand of God , you can call it what you like, but yesterday I was in a position to help out a very distressed family and even though I resisted, serendipity played a serious role in pushing me to help make someones day, week and perhaps their year better.

At 6:00 A.M. I find a text from the night before  " Is the apartment is still available, I am desperate."

"Sorry I missed the text. Yes it is." I answered back.

The phone call came in at 8:30 A.M.  "The place we have rented is disgusting, it has been the worst night, how much is the apartment for rent?"

We go back and forth to my lowest rate, which is  basically were I started, but the wife can not convince the husband to add a hefty sum to their already large vacation expense. No deal.  "I feel bad" I said to Martin, "but it is not my problem." He agrees and we move on with our day.

10:30 A.M. I am at work and check my phone to find a missed call and a text. "Can I come look at the apartment?' she has text-ed "Maybe if he sees it he will agree."
I work across the street with the most flexible bosses ever so I run home.

10:35 AM I am waiting in front of my house and I see this very distressed woman holding a super cute baby walking towards me, waving tentatively.  That's it for me I say hello and give that poor lady a hug around the shoulders and show her into the apartment.

10:36 A.M. I have a new tenet until Friday. 

10:38 A.M. I hear about the horror story of the rental they fled from. By the sounds our place was nicer before we renovated and that was awful.

11:45 A.M. I receive a cancellation for the weekend

Noon: I send an e-mail to my incoming guests, that have reserved the apartment for the Seafood Fest,  that I have upgraded them to the house. (They are elated!)

12:05 P.M. I inform the tenets in the apartment that they are welcome to stay through Sunday. (They are elated!)

12:06 P.M. Rewarded more smiles from that adorable baby.

Feels good to do good. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Why I love Waves

I run back in to the shallow diving under the frothy push of breaking waves popping up to my feet as I let the wave push at my shoulders and chest I walk into the waist deep water of the break and wait.
Floating on my back, I watch out over my toes in to the brilliant blue horizon. bobbing up and down as smaller waves pass under me I watch a wave grow, it builds and the troth deepens. I swing my legs under me and plant my feet as the water sucks at my legs trying to pull me out, under. I wait watching the wall of water build smooth and imposing. Catch the wave too early, and the ride will be so-so, if I am too late and the wave will crash on me, causing me to be pounded and spun along the sandy bottom.  Now looking up, waiting for the moment, adjusting my position to hit the sweet spot to get the push. 

I crouch and spring up into the front of the oncoming blueness. Twisting towards the shore I stretch out my body and I am suddenly part of the wave, being propelled along as if weightless, harnessing incredible power that gently retreats leaving me lying upon the damp sand.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Are You Coming to the Beach

Are You Coming to the Beach?

I had the pleasure of photographing 3 beautiful little children a few days ago. They were all cute as a button but the middle boy was my friend within minutes and had a great time having his photo taken. Although his Grandmother thought I would not get even a smile he proved to be the most cooperative of the bunch.  His photos were full of smiles so bright he did not recognize himself in the sample photo I showed him the next day.

During our encounter the next day he asked me if I was going to the beach that afternoon.  I said I might. "OK" he said "Remember to bring your bathing suit and toys!"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tearful Goodbye

As anyone who has meet me knows I cry when my emotions rise, which is often, but until last week I have not shed tears when a guest has checked-out. Each of the guests have been wonderful but last week the house had 5 guests that were super special. Each exuded their own special magic of joy, love, caring, exuberance and thoughtfulness that touched both Martin and I, Although only I cried.

Gosh, I just love my life as a Beach Bum.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Living Our Dreams at Sandy Paws Cottage: Ham Phenomenon

Living Our Dreams at Sandy Paws Cottage: Ham Phenomenon: Last night I had the pleasure of taking photos of a vacationing family and their fun little dogs. The shoot was great and I was pleased with...

Ham Phenomenon

Last night I had the pleasure of taking photos of a vacationing family and their fun little dogs. The shoot was great and I was pleased with the images. On my walk home I met some Hams...

 A group of boys were playing football but stopped and asked me to take their photo, and then

Another anonymous couple of Hams.  What I find so funny is they said, "Take my photo." I did and then kept walking without saying a word or them knowing me or what I was going to do with their photo.  The two big cameras probably are the attraction for the Ham phenomenon, now I want to walk around today with my cameras to see how many Hams I can find. 

Have a happy day everyone!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August Is Here

August is here, marking the half way mark through our first summer rental season.  I am happy to report that Martin and I are enjoying ourselves hosting many beach memories. Excellent guests from near and far  have all enriched our beach bum life. 

We will soon be saying goodbye to our first long term guest "Just Nancy" who has been a blessing for the past year putting up with our construction mess and noise. Although we will miss her we are excited to offer another unit and more options for our guests next season.

That is all for now, the waves are calling and the water is warm.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The First Summer Vacation Guests

The First Summer Vacation Guests

Our first summer guests had a great time at Hampton Beach! We hope to see them again!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Living Our Dreams at Sandy Paws Cottage: The Last Project!

Living Our Dreams at Sandy Paws Cottage: The Last Project!: The Last Project!     Summer has arrived and Martin has just wrapped up his last project before our summer fun begins. You may thin...

The Last Project!

The Last Project!

Summer has arrived and Martin has just wrapped up his last project before our summer fun begins.
You may think him a bit loopy, since the project was to move the neighbors barrier wall inches so that it was on to the property line, but that can be huge here at the beach.
I am happy to report Martin is taking the weekend to enjoy himself at the drag races! Well deserved!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beach Camp 2014

Yesterday, I set up beach camp for a trial run.  I am happy to report it can be set up and stays up in fairly strong wind.

The nice family in the photo agreed to model for me. As you will notice in the background their chairs blew away in the two minutes the photo shoot took.

I know Zoe and I were the entertainment as many sunbathers watched us set up what they were sure would end up with our tent in the ocean. They left the beach shortly after disappointed and a bit amazed at our success.

The WAVES were awesome!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Finishing Touches

As Martin finishes up the outside, I am starting to spring clean for our first rental season. We are so excited to meet and pamper all our summer guests.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Living Our Dreams at Sandy Paws Cottage: 3 Years Later

Living Our Dreams at Sandy Paws Cottage: 3 Years Later: Tomorrow is the third year anniversary of our first sighting of our beach home. It was rough and kind of NASTY to be sure but we fell in lov...

3 Years Later

Tomorrow is the third year anniversary of our first sighting of our beach home. It was rough and kind of NASTY to be sure but we fell in love with our set of crumbling cottages.  Since then a lot of Man and Woman hours have gone into bringing us to our first summer as hosts to a number of "Holiday Makers" (an English phase) and we could not be more excited to welcome them to our beautiful beach home.  We are in the final stages and have several weeks of hard work ahead but I know we will be ready.

Here are some recent photos of progress:

Today, Martin is taking a well deserved day off and has gone out to sea fishing!  Tomorrow the front of the house should be sided and roofed and we only have to move the scaffold 2 more times! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Work, Wet Work?

April 10th  and this girl was in the ocean. I know I am standing on the sidewalk but Martin was working on the house ( someone has to) and did not have the time to go to the beach. With my first wet suit in  hand, you know I made the time on a sunny 60 degree day.

One hour and three great body surfed waves latter I feel so happy I would burst but the wet suit is keeping my insides in and warm at that. Who needs work I have waves, sorry Martin.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The 80% Factor

 A few months ago, I upset Martin when I stated that my office was 80% complete. He claimed it is almost done and the number should be 98%. Well my math is based on time and his on actual work needing to be finished and no, my office bath is not finished. Not that I am complaining, because I know what work has been happening and the multiple skills that Martin has to make this all happen.

Drywall Crew



Tile Expert (his Favorite Trade)

Dry Wall Again

Plumber and Planner ( New Laundry Room)
And in between he is the demolition crew.  Do not feel too bad for him though I am helping out a lot of the time and he is loving every minute of this project.

Removing unused side porch to make room for one more parking space and preparing house for siding and new roof.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Never Meant To Be

Building two was never meant to be. Upon looking at the property Martin and I decided we would tear it down, and never went inside until after the purchase. I am glad we kept it and transformed it in to two apartments, my office, Martins work shop and the laundry room.  As we finish the last stages of the renovation Martin and I agree that it would have been wiser to build the work shop first rather than last but what is it they say about the best plans?  

We now have a kitchen to feed the crew.

Martin Teaching

Replacing Walls.
My Temp Office Has a Big Draft
My Office Space Taking Shape!

A Full Bath! This Is Exciting Now!
Apartment B.  Every Bit Of Wood Is New!

A Bathtub!!!!!!!!!
Tile Installed
Water Heaters
Workshop - Someday

 Winter is over but not gone and the construction continues on.