Information for Guests
What you will find: You’ll find a binder in the great room with rudimentary maps and info on area attractions. We supply all towels and linens; an auto-drip coffeemaker and filters; pots and pans, dishes, glasses, silverware, and kitchen utensils; basic staples like salt, pepper, and sugar; and an unpredictable assortment of spices, condiments, and teas left by your fellow guests. Many of our guests like to stop in at the house, check the provisions, and then head up to the Hometown Market in Spring Green. It’s open till 8 on weekdays, 6 on Saturday, 5 on Sunday. We do not have laundry facilities in the house; the coin laundry in Spring Green is always open.
Telephone: The house is in a valley and cell-phone reception is poor. We maintain a landline for safety and convenience and our per-minute charges are very high. Please avoid lengthy outgoing calls: use a calling card or ask people to call you back.
no TV reception in the valley without cable or satellite dish, and we have
neither. There’s nothing to watch anyway. We do have a TV set and a
Internet: Yes, we have wifi. Most of the time.
House rules: Please be reminded, and inform everyone in your party, that we do not allow pets on the property or smoking in the house.
Parties: We’re happy for you to share Aldebaran with your friends and family, but we’re not in the business of hosting receptions or events. Please limit any gathering to a total of 20 people including the people staying in the house.
Cleanup and departure: Please wash and dry your dishes and put them away before leaving. Please strip all the beds you’ve used, put sheets, pillowcases, and bathroom linens in laundry bags, and leave the laundry bags in the kitchen. Please leave a check for your unpaid balance in the looseleaf binder. Close and lock windows, lock all three doors (front, back, side-kitchen) and place the key(s) under the basket on the back porch table.
Country plumbing: To keep our septic system operating properly, please note that the tissue paper we provide is the only stuff you can put in the toilets. Tampons, napkins, even paper towels can clog the system and cause backups.
Barbecue grill: There are two you can use in the shed just north of the house (the “Dog House,” in front of you as you go out the side kitchen door). Please keep them clean and put them back when you’re done so they won’t sit out in the rain. We do not supply charcoal, but you may find some left by the previous guests.
Firewood is in the low stone building behind the Main House. If you use an abnormal amount —say you have roaring fires all day long for days on end—please leave us an extra $10 or $20 or $30. If you notice that the supply has run low, please call Linda or leave her a note with your final payment.
Children: Aldebaran is a great place for kids, as long as they stay in the main house and front yard. The outbuildings in back are tempting but not safe for little ones and we cannot allow them back there without adult supervision.
Please be aware of the following hazards: the driveway is not traffic free (see below) and there is a blind spot as it curves around the house; children need to treat it like a street: always listen for cars and look both ways. The concrete slab outside the back door has a large dropoff on the other side. The stairs in the main house are hard and steep, a possible hazard for toddlers especially at night. There’s a safety gate in the downstairs front bedroom closet.
Neighbors: We have neighbors farther up our drive, beyond the two barns, and in the “Lower Barn” to your left as you stand on our front porch. You may see them or people who work for them coming and going.
Night Lights: If you go out in the evening, you may want to leave a porch light on so you can find your way back in. The “motion light” (switch on back kitchen wall) is not reliable and is best kept off.
Animals: Aldebaran is a country house and we share the valley with many of God’s creatures, some of which choose to visit from time to time. Mice may come in at any time of year, but they keep to themselves and out of sight. We sometimes set traps under the kitchen sink and in the upstairs bathroom closet. If you find a dead mouse feel free to discard it trap and all. Depending on the season you may find deceased insects, especially around the windows. Please just clean them up with the hand vacuum you’ll find in the downstairs bathroom. Not to alarm you, but occasionally a bat will find its way into the living area. There are tennis rackets in the front hall for those who are so inclined. For others there are gloves, a net, and some advice from the Organization for Bat Conservation (www.batconservation.org):
Bats that are often found in people's houses are young bats that have lost their way. They may also be adult bats that accidentally fly through an open window or door. The first step in removing the bat from the home is to stay calm. If the bat is flying around, it is not trying to attack anyone, it is only attempting to find a way out. Turn on some lights in the house so that you can easily see the bat and the bat can see also (bats are not blind). Next, close the doors to adjoining rooms, open the doors and windows in the room the bat is flying around, and if possible, turn on a light outside so the bat can readily see the exit. The bat has very good echolocation (radar), but it is also frightened being in a human's house. More than likely, the bat will just fly right out the open door or window within a few minutes. You may want to be more direct and use a small mesh net or pillow case to gently catch the bat in flight. If the bat lands and does not fly again, there are other ways to remove it. First, put on a pair of thick leather work gloves, and find a small cardboard box or coffee can. Slowly walk up to the bat and put the container over the bat, slip a piece of cardboard or book behind it and take it outside and let it go.
As long as the bat never touches anyone, there is no need to worry about transmitting any diseases or viruses. The Center for Disease Control recommends that anyone that comes in direct, unprotected contact with wild mammals should receive rabies post-exposure treatment from a health-care provider, if the animal is not able to be caught and tested. Rabies post-exposure treatment should also be administered in situations in which there is a reasonable probability that such contact occurred (e.g., a sleeping person awakes to find a bat in the room or an adult witnesses a bat in the room with a previously unattended child, mentally disabled person, or an intoxicated person). . . .
If you think that there is reasonable probability that someone may have come in contact with the bats, safely capture the animal with a butterfly net, box, thick towel, or leather work gloves. Put the bat in a secure container and contact your local animal control, and instruct the officer to have it tested immediately for rabies.