Friday, August 16, 2013

A Visit to Gay Head Light

During the first weekend in August, our friends Bryan and Cheryl Dempsey came to Seas the Day for a
visit.  On a beautiful Sunday morning we went on a Vineyard version of a road trip.  We went to breakfast at the Right Fork in Katama, a ride to Gay Head Light in Aquinnah and a stop at the Artisan's Fair in Tisbury on the ride home.

The highlight of our Vineyard road trip was the stop at Gay Head Light.  It was a crystal clear day and to quote the song, "we could see for miles and miles".  We looked out over Vineyard Sound, Noman's island, and the Elizabeth Islands.  We could look beyond the islands and see the southcoast coastline.  The landmarks most visible were the Fairhaven windmills and New Bedford waterfront area.  Fortunately, we were there when the docents opened the Lighthouse for visitors.  As MV Museum members, climbing up the lighthouse stairs was free and we took advantage.  The views were breathtaking!  We could have stayed up there all day but finally made our way down to continue with our road trip.

Yes, it was Sunday morning and we were not in church.  However, climbing that lighthouse and enjoying God's handiwork was just as much a religious experience as if we had been in church pews.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Daly Visit

The weekend of July 20th, our friends Rob and Jane Daly came to visit our little gingerbread.  Despite living in New Bedford for years, this was Jane's first visit and Rob's first since a school visit!  So much to show them in just two days!  Impossible!

We did the usual walk around Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, dinner on the porch, time on the beach and Back Door donuts.  We attempted to go to the Portuguese Feast by walking the 1.5 miles to the Portuguese American Club in the blazing heat to have a cacoila sandwich for lunch only to learn it didn't open for another 3 hours!  Ouch!  Lunch from Tony's helped ease the blow.

The highlight of their visit was breakfast at the Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven.  As we sat  sipping coffee and eating our yummy breakfast, Spike Lee walked into the restaurant!  Celebrity sighting!  What fun.

We had a wonderful time sharing our little piece of paradise with Rob and Jane.  I think our love of this special island rubbed off on them.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Independence Day

With July 4th falling on Thursday this year, an extra long weekend was in order.  The Arruda's joined us for the holiday weekend.  The weather was hot and humid but we managed to have a wonderful time.  Enough fun to motivate Ryan, our grandson to stay 3 days longer.

In true Americana style, the Campground held a Children's Independence Day Parade.  For the second year in a row, Ryan and Gabby participated.  This year, we were able to get into the spirit more and decorate our scooters.

We spent time at the beach, hanging on the porch, going to the MV Historical Museum, having dinner at the Ale House, visiting the harbor, going to Ryan Amusements, eating ice cream and more.  Of course, we were able to find time to paint and work on the new bathroom!

This year we had a new member of the Arruda family join us, Rocco.  He is a 5 year old dachshund that was adopted this spring.  Rocco adjusted well and seemed to enjoy hanging on the porch watching the visitors go by.  His picture was taken repeatedly...a star is born!  It was interesting that Rocco was not interested in the skunks, rabbits or squirrels!

Gabby and Rocco

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Back of the House: Done!

This spring, one of our projects was to redo the back of the house.  There were a variety of projects on the back that needed tending to:

- Fill in the shingles in the space that had black tar-paper from a chimney that was taken down over 20 years ago.

- Power wash, prime and put 2 coats of Shaker stain on all the shingles.

- Paint the trim along the roof-line, around the window and door the Halifax blue

- Paint the screen door the Tamale red, including newly painted hinges and new pulls

- Install a new back door light

With the help of Mike Mitchell, we are now able to say it is done!  It totally brightens up the back of the house and alley-way.  Our neighbors have asked if we put up new shingles!  Two sides down, two to go!

Monday, June 10, 2013

House Party....

Mike painting the back
During July and August, the only work "allowable" on our Campground Cottage is painting.  No work that generates noise is allowed.  Consequently, during May and June the Campground is filled with the noise from sanders and hammers.  We scheduled contract work on the back of the house to fill shingles in the gap left from chimney that was taken down years ago.  Then the entire back of the house needs to be painted.  We have also hired a contractor, plumber and carpenter to install a small half bath upstairs.  In such a small space, small fixtures needed to be found and all the plumbing needed to run under the house, in a very small space.  Add to that our own work painting and shingling the "purple" side of the house, framing out windows and installing a new stain-glass window.

Carpenter working on bath  
The stars are aligned for these two weeks.  Everyone has been working at the house, often getting into each other's way in our little cottage.  The back of the house is really coming along.  It is completely primed with first and final coats painted.  The half bath has been rough plumbed.  The carpenter is here now putting up walls.
Barry and Guy working on tools

Our friend, Guy Roy, has graciously offered to help Barry for a couple days.  They spent this morning pulling the walls back into the house and securing them.  After fighting with the sticky rain-shield paper, they started putting up shingles.  They were able to get 4 courses of shingles done.  One benefit:  the shingles are already primed with 2 coats of finish paint.

A ton of TLC is being placed upon our little gingerbread this June of 2013.  I am excited to see what it will look like on July 1st.
Guy "pulling" the wall in

Sunday, June 2, 2013

We ARE Blessed

Barry and I count our blessings everyday, wondering how we have been so lucky to have so much in our lives.  After a very hectic week, this weekend on the Vineyard was a special time for us to stop and just enjoy.  Barry had budget hearings every night this past week which took its toll.  I had a doctor's appointment in Boston, School Committee one night and too many evaluations to finish.  The end of the school year is a very hectic time of year with deadlines looming large.  Needless to say, we were both in need of some recharging.

What a weekend!  Can it get any better?  The weather on the Vineyard this weekend was outstanding.  That also meant that there were no excuses in getting some work done!  Nothing like some hard physical labor to cure what ails you.  What did we do?  First coat of trim paint, wash and iron all the curtains, mulch and miraclegrow the flowerbeds, trim out a window, prime shingles, empty the closet for the plumber, and tons of laundry.

Did we have time for fun?  Of course!  We went to the Lookout for dinner Friday night.  With our MV Football Team discount card (fundraiser that cost $10), we got free calamari ($10.50) with our dinner.  Barry even got oysters.  The best part?  The view of the Sound with a nice breeze and plenty of sights! We did stop by the Black Dog outlet but didn't buy.  Saturday evening we made burgers and sat on the porch and enjoyed the quiet!  My favorite sit rocking on the porch watching the world go by.

The common phrase all weekend:   "Could it get any better?"  It was what I imagine retirement to be like:  long walks, working around the house, sitting on the porch rocking, talking with friends, and enjoying life.  I find it challenging to live in the moment and savor it.  This weekend I really worked at that.  Not sure why we have been so lucky in life, but we are very grateful to God that we have been so blessed.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crash Weekend

Like the tasmanian devil, we attacked our turnaround weekend with enthusiasm.  We travelled to the island Saturday morning, catching the 7:00 AM boat.  Think about what time we had to get up in Marion to make that boat!

Classic to our trips, we were loaded down with plants, linoleum, cedar shingles, and paint.  I left Barry at the ferry terminal in Vineyard Haven to go get the truck in long-term parking.  When I got to the truck, I could not get into it.  Usually, we lock the key inside and use the keyless entry.  Well, the keyless entry would not work.  I hopped back on the bus and we ended up loading all of our stuff into a taxi to the house.  Got to the house and our key would not unlock the front door!  Someone had turned the deadbolt to the setting that doesn't allow the key to work.  After prying open a small window just enough to crawl through, I was in!

Time to hit the floor running!  The back of the house has been powerwashed and looking great.  I sanded and primed the trim around the back door.  Next, I climbed the tall ladder to sand and prime the trim of the "doghouse" window on the purple side.  Barry put preservative on the sill under the house and primer on some of the "soft" shingles that had been powerwashed.

We managed to cram a full day's work into half a day.  Time to treat ourselves.  We took showers, not that this would get all the paint out of my hair or off my hands.   The MV Chowder House has been on our list of "gotta eat there" for a long time, well tonight was the night!  We had a great time sitting at the bar, watching the Preakness Race, eating chowder, mussels and fries.  The atmosphere was just what we needed.

Sunday morning was another drive to get a day's work done in half the time.  I potted all of my plants (window box, 2 hangers and planter).  They look great!  We both painted the trim around the back door.  Barry continued putting coats of Tamale Red on the backscreen door.  I also put 2 coats of Silverscreen under the eaves of the doghouse and the first coat of the blue trim around the window.  Clean the house and we are out the door!  Not bad for 30 hours!