Monday, July 30, 2012

We've Moved!

Chezsven Blog Wellfleet Today has a brand new site, located at Future posts will all be on the new site from now on. Check it out!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beach Fun in Wellfleet

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ebook Sales Update

Several blog readers have been asking about ebook sales. Today I received a huge 100 in an email from my son, who just lost his bet that we would not reach that number. Hurray! Apparently, 100 is to be considered "good" since most "indie" ebooks do not sell all that well. (Wellfleet, An Insider's Guide to Cape Cod's Trendiest Town has been available for one month and can be purchased at my writer's site.)

Another blog reader asked about promotion. A week ago I posted reviews. Yesterday Mac Hay mentioned my ebook in the Mac's Newsletter. Early on I urged followers to get 10 friends to buy the ebook. If anyone has done so, please leave a note in the comments and claim your prize. (This contest remains open until someone wins.)

Also, I have been putting up posters around town. Strangely enough, someone has been taking them down. So, I wrote a letter to the Provincetown Banner, which was printed yesterday: "Several weeks ago Banner reporter Marilyn Miller wrote an excellent article about my new ebook on Wellfleet. I have been promoting Wellfleet, An Insider’s Guide to Cape Cod’s Trendiest Town, as best I can. I put up posters in the window of several local businesses, with the permission of the owners, of course. Some one has been going around and removing these posters. The dastardly malefactors leave other promotional material in place. Strange as it may seem, my ebook is being targeted. That’s a shame, because it’s great publicity for Wellfleet, a town that will celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2013. Whoever the culprit is, please stop. 75% of the proceeds from the $2.99 sale will go to the Wellfleet Food Pantry."

I sent press releases to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and to the Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce, but so far neither Chamber has lifted a promotional finger. I hope they do not see the ebook as competition. It is not.

If you are on Facebook, please LIKE the Wellfleet Guide page. Thanks!

Have you read my ebook yet? Can you recommend it to others?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Time for a Rip Current

Yesterday seemed like a marvelous day for the beach. The sky was intense blue.
The rain had chased away all the dust particles in the air. Sunbeams sparkled off Long Pond as Sven drove up to the ocean. I knew I would be missing the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing, streaming live, but a walk seemed more urgent.
Sven turned right on Ocean View Drive and headed for LeCount Hollow. To our surprise, we could see white caps whipping the waves as we looked past the Lot Full sign at Cahoon. Would it be too windy to walk the beach? Only time would tell. We parked the car and noticed how empty LeCount's was. The lifeguards had put up a sign that read, “Warning: Very Strong Rip Current. Umbrellas will blow away. Water, 62 degrees.” Down by the ocean, teenagers with boogey boards took full advantage of the wild surf. The sand on the beach was blowing south.
It’s unusual to be able to see sand blowing in summer. The scene reminded me of sagebrush, rolling across the prairie. We could feel the sand, too, as the sharp particles hit our bare legs. The wind roared, so we remained silent, no talk.

Once we got home, I checked the computer and was delighted to learn the Environment & Public Works Committee had passed the Safe Chemicals Act, which now goes to the Senate. I felt ecstatic.
Our country has the opportunity to regulate toxic chemicals, after 36 years of anarchy. I urge every one of you to contact your Senators. Let's cause our own rip current in the same-old, same-old world of politics. This momentous decision will impact our world, our children’s world, and the world of our grandchildren. If you have been following my blog, you know many toxic chemicals are endocrine disruptors. I have also written about pesticide residue and urged consumption of organic foods. I even reported on the President’s Cancer Panel Report, which spells out the connection between chemicals in our environment and cancer. Read a good summary of what's at stake on today's Huffington Post.

All we need is 51 Senators, but that will be tough, because so many Republicans are beholden to the chemical companies. In yesterday's Committee vote, ten Democratic Senators voted yes, and the eight Republicans all voted no.

Those of you who live in Massachusetts, please call Scott Brown (202 224 4543), since Kerry is already on board. Brown needs to receive thousands of phone calls before he will consider putting our health before the will of those who helped him get elected. Let’s demonstrate the power of the blogosphere. We need protection from the toxic chemicals in air, water and food. If you prefer to email, use this Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families form of the Environmental Working Group form. Or, both.

Do your Senators support the Safe Chemicals Act? What? You're not sure? Get on the phone and urge their support. Let's knock over some umbrellas! Do you think social media has the power to make a difference? Will we get toxic chemicals regulated for once and for all?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Advanced Innkeeping: A Primer

One of the skills veteran innkeepers acquire is the ability to pigeonhole people, ie. to take in at a glance, a la Sherlock Holmes, clues as to where a guest is on his life journey. I can also often tell, within the first few minutes, how positive the experience at Chez Sven will be. From a few cursory glances, more often than not, I can guess what profession, what age, sexual orientation, whether a couple are married or not, whether the woman is a wife, girlfriend, daughter, or mistress, and what type of holiday is desired, ie. sedentary or active, but also whether people want to be left alone, something we have learned to respect. We get extroverts, and introverts. Some folks want to talk, others don’t. Either is okay with us.

Chez Sven is a green bed-and-breakfast, as our Web site indicates. I ask everyone at registration whether eating organic food at breakfast is important to them. My second question is even more revelatory: How important to you is our being green? I always look to see what number the guest has circled. Sven and I are particularly pleased to receive guests who choose 4, the highest number on our scale. It’s not surprising to me that these folks are the ones who prove the most compatible and get the most out of their stay. To these guests I am able to talk about toxic chemicals in the environment, for instance, something I care deeply about. Often our "green" guests go home with a copy of Theo Colborn’s Our Stolen Future in one hand. I keep a large pile in the office and give them away.

We had a guest this week who was harder to pigeonhole than most. He seemed shy at first, although I noted he circled 4 on the registration sheet, a good sign. He came alone, and was obviously tired. In fact, exhausted would be a better word, and he slept a lot the first two days. No wonder. His profession is demanding: physician. As time passed, I came to appreciate his fine mind, rigorously organized life, and willingness to be open to new experiences. What’s more, Brian totally got Chez Sven. He understood the opportunity to be treated as family and seized it, as his guestbook testimony indicates: “Thank you for opening up your home and yourselves this past few days. What a wonderful, relaxing long weekend.”

Brian spent a lot of time with Sven. “It’s fascinating to see people half your age, or even younger, and that they take pleasure in talking to me,” my husband remarked yesterday. Sven is a great storyteller, but there’s more. He is highly intelligent and, as a retired teacher, enjoys sharing his knowledge. Guests who understand and take advantage of this will get the most out of their stay at Chez Sven.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cahoon Hollow: This Evening

Demand Chemical Reform

There will be a historic vote on chemical reform tomorrow in Congress. Above, organic bananas from Hatch's, along with four boxes of organic cereal, purchased yesterday for our guests. Nature's Path, the brand with no GMOs. I invite you to begin your day with a haiku from Rachel Dickinson. Read the latest conclusions from Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families on how toxic chemicals in the environment affect our health. Please make sure your legislators side with us - we, the people - not with the chemical industry. Yesterday I called MA Senator Brown and gave his office assistant a long explanation on how these toxic chemicals affect not only his health, but his reproductive life, in the hope of drumming up some internal lobbying. These days it's easy to let Congress know your opinion. No need to call, the way I did. Send an email to off-committee Senators now to urge their support of this important legislation.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Virtual Champagne for Everyone!

Yesterday, at the Prez. Hall auction, I spoke to Jan Morrissey, wife of one of our current selectmen, and she told me how much she enjoys reading this blog, that she often gets her local news here. Many of you must feel the same way, since this morning Chezsven Wellfleet Today received its 300,000th hit. That’s a call to celebrate. Virtual champagne all round!

Fine Art & Travel Auctioned in Wellfleet

From the photos posted yesterday, you can see the Preservation Hall Fine Art & Travel Auction was an event not to miss.
Unfortunately, many of you missed it. Perhaps due to the sterling weather? Maybe unexpected guests dropped in? Or, for some people, a fall renovation project, like house painting, has already laid claim to any free cash and you decided to resist temptation by not showing up? I can tell you the lucky ones who made it to the auction and bid on the spectacular art were glad you weren’t there. Fine art was going at amazing prices, way below market value.

There was yummy food to enjoy before, after, and during the main event. This year Preservation Hall hired a professional auctioneer who was clever with his lively repartee:
“For some reason, honey, I think you want this one.” “As my aunt from Dorchester said, don’t lose it for a mere fifty bucks!” “Watch out: not good when the auctioneer knows your number by heart.” Paper plates stood in for paddles, and people were waving them in the air on numerous occasions.

Artist Jim Holland had at least half a dozen bidders competing for his seascape with buoy. The winning bid was $2200. At Left Bank Gallery, Holland’s work is much more expensive.

My favorite painting was the star of the afternoon, Vincent
Amicosante’s masterpiece, seen above, commemorating the Centennial of the building that is now Preservation Hall. The detail of the lace was beyond belief. (See photo posted yesterday.) Vincent spent three weeks on prep alone. He devoted two months to this painting, worth $8500. It went for $3000. (Vincent shows at Harmon Gallery. Do stop in and see his other work while in town.)

And, I didn’t even mention the travel deals. The week in a cottage on the Maine coast cost a young man only $400. Two people won African safaris for $2600 each, per couple. The Lieutenant Island stay was a steal at $800.

A lot of happy Wellfleetians returned home with a canvas under their arm and/or a fabulous trip in their future. Thanks go out to all the organizers, to Prez. Hall Board President Marla Rice, described by the auctioneer as a “lovely goddess,” to the volunteers who carried in the paintings and served drinks, to the artists and Prez. Hall regulars who contributed art and travel. It was one swell party.