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Aldebaran Farm

Information for Guests


Check-in: You’ll find a key on the back porch under the basket on the table. If you have any difficulty, please call Linda Lewis at 608.739.2585. If you can’t reach Linda, call Mike Lenehan, 773.334.4924 or (mobile) 312.401.2484.


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 & Wifi: The phone number at Aldebaran is 608.588.3085. The house is in a valley and cell-phone reception is poor. We maintain the 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. 

American Players Theatre: 608.588.2361

Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center:  608.588.7900

Yes, we do have wifi (usually).


Emergencies: Our location is 6557 County T (sometimes called County TZ in error). For police and fire emergencies dial 911. To report a power outage call 1.800.862.6261. For other problems call Linda Lewis, 608.739.2585. There are candles and matches in the downstairs bathroom cabinets.


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. 


TV: There’s no TV reception in the valley without a satellite dish and we don’t have one. There’s nothing to watch anyway. We do have an old TV set and a DVD player, so you can bring movies to view.


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 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. Here’s some advice from the Organization for Bat Conservation (www.batconservation.org). You’ll find a net and a pair of work gloves in the front hall. 


A single bat flying in the house is rarely cause for alarm and can usually be dealt with easily. In most cases, the “lost” bat is trying frantically to locate an exit and will leave on its own, though leaving may be more challenging for the bat than getting in! The animal can be assisted by opening a window or exterior door. Doors to adjacent rooms should be closed, all lights should be turned on, and ceiling fans turned off. It is important to remain quiet and patient as the bat finds its way outside. If the bat does not leave on its own, and if no direct contact with people or pets that may have resulted in a bite has occurred, the bat can be safely captured and released outside.


Please Note: A bat that has bitten someone MUST be tested for rabies. If there is a chance that a person or pet was bitten, contain the bat and call your local Animal Control Agency. Then consult with your doctor or your state or local health department. A bite from any wild or unfamiliar mammal, including dogs and cats, should always be taken seriously. If the rabies status of the offending animal cannot be confirmed as negative, post-exposure rabies vaccinations will be required


Follow these steps to capture a bat for release or for testing:


1. There is no need to chase a bat; simply wait quietly until the bat lands, then, wearing leather gloves, cover it with a small box or other container.


2. Gently, slip a piece of cardboard or a large envelope between the container and the surface where the bat has landed. Be careful that no part of the bat is caught between the box or can and the cardboard. Then slowly turn the box over, containing the bat inside.


* If the bat must remain in the box for several hours (e.g., it’s daytime and you want to wait until dark to release) place a soft cloth (non-terry) in the box before securing a cover. Most bats are very small, and can escape from a container with a loose-fitting lid, so be sure your cover is secure, but not air-tight. Small holes can be made for ventilation.


3. Place the container in a quiet, safe place and wait until dark before releasing the bat outdoors (a bat released during the day is vulnerable to predators).


4. Most bats need to drop into flight from an elevated location, so don’t place the container on the ground. Place it on its side so the bat can easily climb out onto a tree limb or a second story deck, etc.


5. Watch until the bat flies away.



 

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