Home Guest Suites Good Eats Always Booking and Looking Fleurs and Fins
|February 19-20, 2019 - A group of students from the Cambridge Academy (Queen Creek campus) in the Phoenix area came up to visit on a field trip, accompanied by their teachers Ms. Julia Goucher and Mrs. Christmas Collins. They stayed with us but also toured various historic sites and artist studios. They also took time to have a painting session out on our front porch, and, later, were taken on a tour of the property by Joshua who introduced them to our finned friends on a first name basis. They were a delight to host and, after a pancake breakfast, they were on their way. Much fun . . .|
|February 8, 2019 - Joshua finished up recreating the flower bed that we had to dig up to replace some leaking and old water lines. Can''t wait for spring to watch the flowers sprout from the new bed.|
|February 4, 2019 - During a wild wind storm the previous night, a very large limb of the very large juniper tree above the north patio snapped off and came tumbling down into said patio.|
|So we called our friends Brian and Paul who specialize in tree work to come over and help us. Below left we see Joshua and Brian discussing how to stablize the limb from above so that Paul (below right) can ease it off of the flagstone patio.|
|After that was safely done, the rest was just cutting, stacking, and splitting - and suddenly we have beautiful juniper firewood.|
|December 13, 2018 - We have been stumped as to the source of a water leak coming out from the bottom of the north garden wall. We decided to dig a little deeper into the area around where the water meter supplies the house. We didn't find the leak, but we found pipe that needed to be replaced.|
|The decision was made to replace the old galvanized pipe with new copper lines. After a hiccup or two they were installed and the water to the house was turned back on.|
|December 16 - 21, 2018 - Unfortunately, the above project did not fix the leak. It was determined that the leak was under the concrete sidewalk, so Joshua had to break up the concrete and dig another hole until the leak was found at a spot where previous plumbers had installed two 90 degree junctions on top of each other.|
|We also discovered that the pipe that we thought was non-functional actually fed the water lines on the north side of the gardens. So, that line had to be reconnected to the system on the inflow side of the back flow protection unit. With that fixed, Joshua dug a new trench from the meter box to the old supply to the house and installed a new three quarter inch soft copper line.|
|December 26, 2018 - Finally, the problem was fixed. A new replacement section of sidewalk was poured, and, to celebrate, Andrea and Joshua decided to leave their footprints in the concrete for posterity.|
|November 22, 2018 - We always want to be vigilant and proactive concerning maintenance both inside and out, so we took a mighty step out there and replaced the pump and impeller on the lower pond. Although it had not yet failed, it was making disturbing noises, and we don’t like being caught in a lurch in bad weather when our finned folks are at stake so . . . Joshua was able to take the old unit apart and install the new equipment without much trouble. Top right - the vacant space after taking out the old equipment. Top left - Joshua installing the new motor. Bottom left - the new parts installed in the old casings. Bottom right – everything reinstalled and working perfectly. Yeah!|
|October 30, 2018 - We're getting our usual early start on the holiday season. This year everything is "bejewelled", so it might mean some extra detail work. Oh Joy! Below we see Andrea and Brittany starting to create dazzling wreaths and illuminated bricks.|
|November 14, 2018 - The preparations for the holiday season have continued.. Big thanks to Brittany, Donna, Anne, Deborah and Joshua for enduring the pain staking detail involved in the decorations this year.|
|November 15 And then - C'est fini! Joyeux Noel a tous!|
|October 12, 2018 - Through the years we have had various problems with water coming into the basement of the house - either from above or from the street side porch. Different patches, sealing solutions, or redirection of flow have been effective to one degree or another. Today, Joshua tackled the downspout gutter on the south side of the house. Below left we see the downspout on the north side which appears to be functioning properly. Below right we see the damaged scupper on the south side after the drain box and downspout have been removed.|
|He removed the drainage box and all of the old gutters and replaced everything with all with new materials. We're hoping that this will finally end the overhead leakage into the basement. Fingers crossed . . .|
|October 10, 2018 -The great granddaughter of Dr. Arthur Carlson (One of the first residents of the Surgeon's House) dropped by unexpectedly today to see the house. April Carlson Ramos was accompanied by her husband Andres and her step sons Alex and Andrew. Andrea gave them a tour of the house and grounds and let them peruse binders full of photos of the history of the house.|
September 5, 2018 - It was time to harvest another batch of honey from our hives. Andrea and Joshua, having learned some hard lessons from the last extraction,
acquired some new suits and equipment for this round. The first step is, of course, pulling the racks of honey from the hive. This is a delicate operation,
because you don't want to get the bees excited.|
Then comes the actual extraction. First the wooden racks upon which the bees build the honeycomb must be removed from the box. Then the face of the comb
must be shaved to open up the cells. The prepared racks are then slipped into a centerfuge, and the honey is spun out of the comb. However, as Andrea and
Joshua learned, things don't always go smoothly. Todays lessons (among many) were; don't let the bees find you in the garage while you are extracting their
honey, and don't let your filtering cloth fall into the honey, forcing you to filter it all twice.|
Lessons aside, the final result is a glorious super food - delicious, life giving, Jerome honey. |
August 14, 2018 - For the first time in 26 years all of the oak hardwood floors are being restored throughout the house. The photos below are before pictures.
It's easy to see the wear and tear that they have been through.|
So, it was time to call in the professionals. We hired Paul Warren of "Paul Warren Hardwood Floors" out of Sedona. Below we see Paul's assistant, Francisco,
putting up the plastic protective barriers. At bottom, it's Paul and his monster sander.
The sander is a five horsepower American Standard that needed a double thirty amp breaker to power it properly.|
Paul wasted no time and jumped right into sanding the floors of the master suite. After the hand operated edger sander(below) cleans up the perimeter, Paul
trowels on the red oak filler. The filler and floor are then sanded down with finer and finer grit sandpaper until the floor is ready to be finished with
coats of polyeurathane. |
Before the finish a few damaged pieces had to be replaced in the living room downstairs. We see the repair before and after the initial sanding|
After the large areas are sanded there is still detail work to be done. We see Francisco sanding the stairs and applying a gel-like paint stripper to the areas
between the spindles of the hand rail. Below are the raw sanded stairs before the finish is applied and Paul, at the top of the stairs, sanding with a fine 100
grit sand paper on a rotary floor unit. |
Finally, after the last buffing, it's time for the sealer and finish to be applied. |
And then, and then - voila! The brand new, clean, glistening, glorious floors are revealed! |
But wait - there's more! Once we saw how beautiful the floors were, we realized that we needed to refurbish all the thresholds. So, Paul and Francisco
got to work.|
Finally, it was time to move everything back in. However, before that Brittany and Michelle had to do a final dusting and wiping.|
Watch the frantic activity as we try moving everything back in before the guests arrive.|
But with everyone's help all the rooms are put back together and everything is just beautiful. |
July 26, 2018 - Is the 94th birthday of our very dear friend Miss Reba, one of the most delightful human beings ever! So, of course, we had to have
a party. |
Miss Reba has a little trouble getting around so Joshua and Gabriel volunteered to help her. When she arrived she was provided with her own special
Then her new friends helped her into the house and into a more comfortable chair. Let the party begin!|
As the Jerome Ukelele Orchestra set up their instruments for a birthday concert -|
- the party goers came outside to watch Andrea feed her finny friends.|
It turned into a beautiful garden party on a beautiful summer day. From left to right we see Donna, Opal, Karen, Peggy, Andrea, and,of course, Miss Reba
in the middle of it all.|
The Orchestra delivered a beautiful concert of classics such as Oh, You Beautiful Gal, Take Me Home Country Roads, Happy Birthday and many more. When it
was over they made Reba an honorary member of the Orchestra. She was tickled to say the least . . . |
After dinner, Tommy Rocks presented the birthday girl with her own orchestral instrument - the ever popular tambourine. |
Then it was time for Cake! It was a true celebration of the day when Miss Reba arrived on the planet. |
But finally, it was time for the grand dame to go. There were hugs and tears all around and the promise of another party next year. We love you Reba! |
A special thanks to Karen MacKenzie for helping with the photography. Some great shots, Karen. |
July 3, 2018 - On the hillside above the house where the bees live, we installed a bird feeder in the limbs of a tree. Originally, we loaded it with the
standard bird seed. Then we heard that if we wanted to attract Baltimore orioles we should put grape jelly in the feeder. When we did that we
started having a problem with the feeder always being empty and sometimes ending up on the ground, so we placed a motion activated camera pointed toward
the feeder and low and behold . . . |
We have a young male and older female deer visiting in the morning.
|During the day we have the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds as expected. It turns out that we also have birds of prey checking out the squirrels and chipmunks.|
|And, at night, other creatures appear such as racoons, gray foxes, and coyotes. We didn't know that it was quite that busy up on the old hillside. Stay tuned, there's bound to be more. These are pictures from only two days and nights.|
|The next night Mr. Racoon decides to bring along the missus. We see them approaching from below. Then Mister goes up to the feeder with the grape jelly in it and brings down a taste for his better half. She then decides that she had better check out the jelly for herself. It's a wonder that those little limbs hold the both of them.|
|June 20 - On the day before the official start of summer, Joshua installed some nice redwood lattice panels in the patio of the Chauffeur's Quarters.|
|May 24 - It seems that Joshua and Steven are becoming the dynamic duo. Here they are planting and watering a new wysteria plant at the base of the retaining wall of the north garden.|
|May 17 - There's an upside and a downside to having a family of deer visiting the property. The upside, of course, is their beauty. The downside is that they like to dine on certain flora. In this case, that includes many of the flowers in our gardens. In order to discourage this proclivity, Joshua and Steven, erected an even higher fence today. Hopefully, our dear friends will get the hint and we can continue to appreciate their beauty without having to deal with their appetite.|
|April 27 - It was finally time to pave the walkway into the north most garden. Here we see David and Joshua digging the holes and setting the paver stones. Nice . . .|
February 6, 2018 |
Okay, I realize that this is nothing like adding a room to my home or stabilizing the foundation, but sometimes we gals simply need a little cosmetic ‘lift’! Also, in our compilation of info for This Is Your Life The Surgeon’s House, Glenda Farley came across some fun info suggesting that the Carlsons actually furnished my home from a really high end furniture place in Southern California in a traditional southwestern theme. God bless the Carlsons, but this chick has been given the vision that we are going an entirely different route . . .
We are shifting some pieces to different rooms/purposes/suites and the entire palate of the first floor is changing. My original wood floors and the 25+ year old black and white tile floors are sacrosanct. The magnificent and magical and incomparable painting on the walls by Dolores Ashkar will remain as will all my family pieces of course, and, actually, those aspects have figured in the vision of our new adventure. Joshua will be repainting some of the wicker and all of the wrought iron. The rest of the wicker will be revitalized, sealed and spruced up. Sinda of Desert Flower Interiors in Peoria will again work her brilliance with all new cushions, new fabrics, and creative accents. An absolutely HUGE change is that my beloved harpsichord will also change its color scheme with Joshua painting it under the tutelage of Henry Miller who maintains the beautiful instrument. . . Are you curious yet? I am so excited I can hardly stand myself, and this will all be accomplished before the third week in February so everyone can enjoy our facelift.
Keep checking in here for our progress.
February 7 |
Here is the first piece of furniture to return from Sinda - our old wingback chair. Joshua and Brittany haul it inside and unwrap it for the big reveal.
February 23 |
Before more furniture comes, Joshua dismantled and repainted the old harpsichord. You see the before and after with a little help from Andrea.
February 27 |
. . . And then the furniture starts arriving . . .
|And like his lady, the man of the house picks his favorite sofa . . .|
March 09 |
. . . And then more furniture and redone cushions start arriving . . .
|. . . And then piece by piece, everything is put back together. . .|
|And let's not forget the atrium.|
|March 21. Even the upstairs suites are getting refreshed with new upholstery and cushions.|
|April 5 But it doesn't stop with just the interior. We're also sprucing up some outside areas. Here's Joshua taking down some old fencing in the Chauffeur's Quarters patio and replacing it with some new steel fencing.|
|April 9 I was told that Joshua was busy working his tail off in the patio. Here's what I found.|
|But later, lo and behold, we see the fountain installed, the fence finished, and the roses planted.|
March 23, 2018 |
Long time Jerome couple, Katie Lee and Joey Van Leeuwen passed recently and Andrea graciously offered to provide the food for 100 people at the memorial celebration at Spook Hall. The last time this much food was cooked in the kitchen of the Surgeon's House at one time was when the Tamale Ladies cooked 300 of their legendary tamales. Below, we see; first, the makings of a huge salad; second, one of the trays of pork: third, Andrea and Joshua tranferring one of many salmon filets into a bin for transfer.
March 24, 2018 |
Here is the menu:
Drunken apricots with triple crème brie, smoked gouda, and maytag blue, rodney’s sugared spicey pecans and walnuts colossal grapes. poached salmon with homemade mustard, cornbread, butter. Fresh asparagus with lime aioli. Fake steak – mini portabellos marinated and cooked like red meat. Slow roasted pork and garlic, with chipotle copper sauce, fresh pullapart rolls and butter. Roasted dilled potatoes. ‘that salad’ - napa cabbage, green onions, edamame, fresh peas, black olives, water chestnuts.
And some pics of the event which turned out to be a very beautiful and moving tribute to Katy and Joey.
"This Is Your Life - The Surgeon's House" |
In conjunction with our celebration we have created a multi-volume document chronicling the house and its history. The longer I lived here, the more I wanted to know about my home. Finding the answers to all my questions tuned out to be a daunting and sometimes frustrating task. I also thought of the folks that might come after me and how they also might want to know more about this grand old gal, so I decided to document as much as I could for future generations of history buffs. Fortunately, I found and incredible helper by the name of Vicki Day. Her enthusiasm, drive, research and organizational abilities are beyond compare. Without her this project would not have been possible. Below you see us finalizing the project. There are eight volumes documenting everything from the house's history, to the renovations I have done, to the artists who have helped create this beautiful environment, to even the decorating of the house through the various winter holidays. These volumes will be available to our guests to peruse and eventually be passed down through the years to future owners.