Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wallpaper: Some of the Devil's Finest Work

We are back from our Thanksgiving work trip to the house and I have (sort of) regained the use of my arms.

I love our beach house. I really do. But, like all relationships there are ups and downs and times of....well.....questioning.

I wanted to break up with our house this last week.

There. I said it.

I'm not proud of how quickly I lost patience with our relationship. I mean, the honeymoon's barely over. But it is.....over.

And here's why: Wallpaper.

Hoo boy.

In the past I've been fairly ambivalent about wallpaper. My mother used it in all our houses and it always looked great. We did have to remove it in our current house and I hear it was a nightmare. Ahem. (To be fair, our kids were young and someone had to watch them. I did do a little bit...it sucked.)

So this was my first real "one on one" with wallpaper removal. It tried to beat me. (Think: "Hey hon, how much harder would it be to just re-do the drywall?" That, apparently, was not an option. Sigh.)

First, I tackled the bathroom. And after a hard-fought battle, I won! Here's the carnage at the mid-way point:


Buoyed by that success I went after the border in the dining room. I mean, how hard could one little strip be?


Holy smokes. It was like a giant sticker that your kid puts on the car door and you just. can. not. get. off. I had to walk away and try the kitchen back splash. Thankfully, that came off like a dream:


Eventually, every last bit of wallpaper came off. And I stopped wanting to break it off with my dear, sweet house.

I also did lots and lots of powerwashing:


And my hubby took the downstairs bedroom from this (brown trim and off-white walls):


To this! Clean white trim and beautiful pale aqua walls:


(Yes, that flooring is going, too.)

Up next, the whole inside will be painted. Goodbye dark wood and paneling! Hello bright, fresh, and beachy!


And seriously, when you get to witness sunsets like this on Ocracoke Island, how can you stay mad at anything or anyone?


I still love you, house. Let's just never say the "w" word again, OK?

~Betsy xoxo

P.S. Even though it's only November, summer months are already starting to book up. Only one week is left in July, so don't put off making your reservations!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Island Time(ier)

is·land time  
noun \ˈī-lənd\ \ˈtīm\ 

The time vacuum created by the ocean's presence.
Similar to stoner's time, everything moves nice and slow.
This carefree aura even has the ability to travel with islanders and can engulf you in their presence.

* via urban dictionary *

* * *

One of the my favorite things about Ocracoke is the feeling of being on island time. The pace is slow and relaxed. The atmosphere is as casual and carefree as you desire.

Ocracoke traffic

Island time is really the only explanation for hundreds of cars lined up for the ferry in the hot summer sun for hours - and folks are still smiling, snoozing, or chatting like it's the best summer bbq of the year.

Island time is pretty dang good. Makes one feel happily "Stranded on Purpose."


Even the political signs on Ocracoke are a bit more mellow

Unless, of course....

You need to get something done fast. Or there's another wrench in the mix....like, say, a hurricane.

As I said earlier, Hurricane Sandy was relatively kind to the island, but there were some regional repercussions. The main road through the Outer Banks (Rt. 12) had so much sand wash over it they had to close it in places. Route 12 is the road that leads to the Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry. And while the ferry was back up and running within days, the other routes into (and out of) Hatteras were shut down.

Road delays on Ocracoke are minimal

Weeks ago we had contacted the Lowes in Kill Devil Hills to coordinate delivery of our roof shingles and other supplies. No problem! They'd run right down Rt. 12, hop on the Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry, and hook us up.

Until that darn Sandy blew through.

"Sorry guys, you know how it goes here....can't get through 'til 12 opens back up," the nice guy at Lowes said.

"Oh, yeah,yeah....of course!" we said. Trying not to sound like total newbs who had owned a place in the OBX for all of one month. If.

No problem. We run a construction business. We've got trucks and trailers. We'll just take it all down there.

Except some of our intended projects needed more measuring to make a final material list.
There are two other ferries that run to and from Ocracoke to the mainland of North Carolina. We'd just have to find a Lowes near one of those and make a material run.

Run? More like a marathon.

A "quick" trip to Lowes took about twelve hours start to finish.

Plenty of time waiting for the ferry
Hoo boy. Island time.....and then some.

After a very productive week we were ready to head home via the 10:00 a.m. Swan Quarter Ferry. Until the ferry worker informed us there would be a slight hold up.

See, the milk truck was on the ferry coming from Swan Quarter to Ocracoke. He needed to deliver his milk around Ocracoke and get back to the mainland (without a 12 hour turnaround time!). So we all waited for about twenty minutes for the milk to be delivered and the milk truck to load back on.

Can you see the black and white cow flying by?
Bet that was the fastest milk delivery ever!

All in all, island time(ier) is just part of the package. And I'll take it!

I just don't expect overnight delivery.

Betsy xoxo

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Storms and Silver Linings

Well, we have officially survived our first hurricane and a nor'easter as Outer Banks home owners. Whew! Not for the weak of heart, I can tell you that. We were extremely lucky in so many regards....especially considering the devastation the northeast experienced.

We were already planning to replace the entire roof this past week. Good thing! This is what Sandy left us:


Of course, the nor'easter was bearing down on us and we had to put the roof work off until it passed.

Which resulted in this:

And this:

Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to water dripping all over your bed!

With some quick patches during a break in the rain, we were able to stop the bleeding and work on some inside projects:


Good bye, non-working fireplace!

Hello, dust!

I can't complain...the sun came out, the winds died down and the roof is being completed as I type.

Oh, and speaking of silver linings? This is the view from the roof! Can you say, "crow's nest" in our future?! (By the way, that's the Pamlico Sound, but I hear you can see bits of the ocean in the other direction, too. Sunrises AND sunsets? Yes, please!)


Tuesday, October 9, 2012



Rolling out the new blog for "Stranded on Purpose!" Still working out the kinks (ginormous Title Photo much?!), but we will be starting our renovations in the next few weeks and want to have a place to share all our trials, tribulations, befores and afters, and the making of our dream beach house!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Betsy xoxo