Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Great Green News!

The cold continues. Here is a rare photo of Chez Sven, with icicles hanging from the roof.

I went through the day with a big smile on my face. This morning I listened to NPR. Major corporations are at last acknowledging global warming and gearing up to take on the challenge. A rep from Green Peace even expressed hope, as well as wonder and a bit of skepticism. Once one has grandchildren, the issue takes on new urgency. So said Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy. I agree.

Today we received a great energy-efficient torchiere from RE Williams. I applaud their efforts to promote energy efficiency but regret the large amount of Styrofoam peanuts, which protected the lamp from bumps and scratches en route. I promptly sent the company an email to point this out. Let’s hope they switch to packaging that is less detrimental to the environment!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Winter Changes ...

Yesterday a weather phenomenon known as the Norlun Trough produced four inches of fresh snow, creating a winter wonderland outside.
Here is Seagull Cottage in the snow. I snapped this photo as soon as I heard about a photo-op for Cottage Style Magazine. Let’s hope they include Chez Sven in their feature on the cottages of Wellfleet and Chatham!

Winter is building season here in Wellfleet. Last spring our garden center closed. The Consider the Lilies structure is now being converted to a lumberyard. In the future Mid Cape Home Center will have stiff competition from Shepley, established for years further down Cape. Over at WHAT, the new Julie Harris stage is slowly rising. Here two men labor on the steel skeleton. Down Old King’s Highway, the Stivers’ house was purchased by the owner of the Box Lunch. Our new neighbor immediately headed to town hall for a building permit. Barn? Studio? Cottage? Lodging for employees? Not clear what the use of this structure will be. It may stand out against the snow, but by summer, I’m sure guests will not even notice as they drive past, heading up Old King’s Highway towards Chez Sven Bed & Breakfast.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A January Day in the Life

The day began with a visit from the folks at Bayberry. With the help of a mini-excavator, they removed five stumps from the edge of the forest, on the far side of Seagull Cottage. This procedure took several hours. There will be more sun now. I plan to plant the bank with cosmos, a flower which lingers well into the fall, a less expensive option to intensive landscaping with broom and roses, a project for an upcoming winter. As everyone knows, January is the month for White Sales. I perused a couple catalogues, then placed an order with old favorite Cuddledown. Their down pillows cannot be beat. Right after I hung up the phone, our friend Nate called to discuss preliminaries for the all-green room we will create next November. (Yes, we think ahead here at Chez Sven!) After lunch, Sven and I drove to Orleans to view wallpaper for my mom’s old room. We lugged four big wallpaper books back home, prior to making a decision. Once I had lined up our wallpaper expert, Audrey Danforth, who will stop by as soon as we choose our wallpaper, Sven and I finally took a quick walk on the beach. There is nothing like the beauty of the wild ocean …

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Warm in Winter ...

Wellfleet had one of the warmest Decembers on record. It’s cold in winter, at least it is supposed to be. Everyone knows that. What people do not realize is that heating an independent building like Seagull Cottage costs money. Our last guests stayed for six days and turned the cottage into a cozy nest. The heating bill for that week was four times what we pay when the cottage is empty. They also availed themselves of firewood, as I had suggested, only a bit too assiduously. Sven and I stood in front of the depleted wood pile and talked this situation over upon our return from vacation. With regret, we have decided to initiate a firewood policy. (The first fire will be on us. For subsequent fires, guests will have to purchase firewood.) I will also write a page of heat-conservaton suggestions for the Seagull Cottage information booklet.

I just spent a week in Los Angeles, getting to know my new granddaughter. The temperature reached 70 degrees, unusual even in La-La land. Oh, yes! I forgot. Global warming is just a figment of our imagination .... Wellfleet looked so beautiful to me upon my return. We are lucky to live so close to nature. It is always nice to get back to one’s plants, displayed here on the windowsill in Seagull Cottage. I was sorry to miss the visit of a New York Times photojournalist, who called while I was away. We hope he will come stay on a future trip to Cape Cod.