General Information for Guests of
Aunt Margaret’s House
In Case of Emergency:
The Fire Number (address) of the house is 6583 Highway 23 in Spring Green.
Use the house phone to call 911. The house phone number is (608) 588-3385.
Cell phone reception is poor all over the valley. US Cellular and Verizon seem to have the best reception but they are not always reliable.
Should power go out for some reason, there are flashlights in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom.
Fire extinguishers are under the sinks in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom.
For the most part, life at Aunt Margaret’s is meant to be casual. That said, we do have a few rules. Some rules are mandated by the State of Wisconsin, some by Iowa County, and some just happen because we want to be respectful of the needs of all of our guests.
No Smoking or Vaping anywhere in the building including the porches. An extra cleaning charge will be added if the cleaning crew finds evidence of smoking.
No pets on the property. I have no doubt that your pets are wonderful, but some people are allergic to pets, and some may leave unwanted deposits in unfamiliar houses. My cleaners will charge extra to remove evidence of pet visits and, again, those charges will be passed along.
No RV parking. The county does not allow RV parking on properties with our zoning.
Cleanup: Please wash, dry, and put away any dishes used during your stay. Please strip the sheets and pillow cases from the beds and leave those sheets and your towels by the bedroom doors.
Septic System: To help keep our system running properly, human waste and toilet paper are the only things that should be flushed into the system. Paper towels, tampons, and latex products are examples of things that can clog a septic system, even one as new and robust as ours.
The Driveway: The driveway empties directly on to Highway 23 and some cars come very quickly along that road. Be careful when pulling out onto the highway.
Parties: The house should be considered a gathering place for friends and family. There are limits to what the house can withstand, however so we ask that you limit your gatherings to a total of 20 people including the residents of the house.
Laundry: There is a washer and a dryer available in the basement should you need it. In general, there is nothing much that would be of interest in the basement. Mostly storage and the furnace. It certainly is not childproof so we would prefer that you keep children out.
General Safety and Amenities:
The house and back yard are wonderful, relaxing places to be. The shed on the west side of the driveway is not. Among other things, it is home to at least one woodchuck and while woodchucks will usually keep to themselves, I wouldn’t want my children meeting up with one.
The cement platform around the old water pump in the back yard is not entirely stable. We are working on a way to make it suitable for playing or sitting on. Maybe by the next time you stay with us.
The wildlife around the house are generally small and shy. You will see many birds and chipmunks in the yard. Bats may come out at night to help kill off some of the more obnoxious bugs and should not bother you. You may catch sight of the aforementioned woodchuck, raccoons, or deer. Other critters include field mice (we work very hard to keep them out of the house, but this is the country and they will probably get in from time to time. Let us know if you see one). Bees, wasps, mosquitos (citronella candles and spray repellants are good ideas), spiders, Asian Beetles (fake ladybugs…the orange ones) and Box Elder bugs abound. Ticks are sometimes present in the high grass. If you walk through any of the fields it is probably wise to check yourself and your children, particularly in the hair, around waistbands, and sock tops when you get home. This is all part of life in the country.
Heating and Cooling: The house is very well insulated and will generally stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If extra comfort is needed, there are a couple of fans placed around the house and the windows open and there is a heat pump for extra air conditioning (please close the windows if you choose this option). For the winter months the furnace will warm the whole house nicely. The thermostat is located on the wall next to the basement door. For extra ambiance, the gas fireplace is in the living room. It is controlled by buttons next to the thermostat. To turn the fireplace on, press and hold the center button. You should hear high-pitched beeping for about 30 seconds before the flames roar to life. Use the buttons above and below to adjust the flame height. To turn the fire off, press the same button for a second and the flames should go out even though the “logs” will continue to glow.
TV: There was no such thing as TV in Aunt Margaret’s day and in keeping with her lifestyle there is still no TV in the house. TV reception is generally poor throughout the Valley so there really isn’t much point in having one. And you probably have other things to do while visiting the Valley so there won’t be time for TV.
Internet: OK, we have WiFi even though it wasn’t around in 1893. Neither were electricity or indoor plumbing but we have those. So we are inconsistent. Instructions for connecting to the internet are available in the house. If you really need video entertainment this internet connection should be good enough to stream any service you have (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, xfinity) to your own device. And, of course, it will meet all of your emailing and facebooking needs.
Barbecue Grill: a small charcoal grill is supplied. Please supply your own charcoal and starter. Please be sure to keep the grill a safe distance from the building. There is a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink and another under the bathroom sink if things get really bad.