Mid century furnished, big kitchen, comfy beds, great hiking. Minutes from Great Barrington, yet very private. "Super chill" say our reviewers...
As is stated in the rental listings with all agencies - there is no smoking anywhere in the house or outside on the deck or anywhere on the property. Please do not smoke in the woods. Please do not smoke.
network = Up the long driveway
Password = onvacation
It's an Apple time capsule router; in the utility closet / pantry across from the kitchen. If you use the hard drive within the router, please do not leave any files on it.
Tank is at back of grill. It is turned off; turn it on when you use it, and turn it off when you're done grilling. Please use the grill brush to scrape off the cooking surface when the grill is still hot. Please use the cover (make sure grill is cold to the touch though).
There are cushions for the deck chairs in the pantry / supply closet. Please take them inside in case of rain / overnight / when not using.
DVD player & stereo equipment
Separate remotes for DVD player & screen. DVD playback uses the screen for audio. You can attach your laptop to view images and films on the flatscreen; disconnect the HDMI cable from the DVD player, and attach it to your computer. Please make sure to take the DVDs out of your laptop when you leave.
There is an iphone with some music connected to the sound system. Feel free to use it. It doesn’t work as a phone (sorry – though you CAN use it with (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN)). Or you can hook up your own ipod or music player using the same cables. Please don’t mistakenly take the charger if you hook up your own phone
Please set all equipment back as you found it (ie cables, settings, etc).
Please do not use the fireplace unless / until we walk you through how to use it / what to do / what to expect. This must be done in person. Feel free to call if you have the sudden urge to make a fire and we haven’t discussed it yet (up until 7:30pm). Firewood is a bin near the living room doors. Kindling is there too. Please do not bring wood into the house except for what you fit into the wood carrier. Please make sure to put the top back on the woodbin / weight it with rocks.
Garage and exterior of garage (most useful in the winters / as you come up for the 1st time in the dark, etc)
the switch for the INTERIOR of the garage is on the EXTERIOR of the garage, so as you come in, you can turn it on. And you can turn it off at the door between the garage and the house (confusing? for us too, but now it makes sense).
the switch for the EXTERIOR light is INSIDE the garage as you come in, and also at the door between the garage and the house (note, we would not have organized it in this fashion, but it makes sense (sorta)
Dining room floor lamps are switched from the wall at either end of the dining room
Dining room overhead lamp – is on a dimmer, and likewise has a switch on either side of the dining room. Note that if it is dim, turn up the little slider on the dimmer switch near the kitchen. This fixture can only have an incandescent bulb in it.
Living room floor lamps – the hanging lamp and the paper tower are on a wall switch as you enter, to your left, and also can be switched as you head up the stairs to the bedroom. Please do not unplug the lamps from their switched outlets.
HEAT / THERMOSTATS
Please do not use in the summers, even on cold nights. After October 15th or sooner if it starts getting colder earlier, we will program the thermostats to have the house warm in the mornings and from afternoons through evening, dropping down to a cooler temp for sleeping at night. You are welcome to manually override them, however please do not leave on “hold” / please do not turn up the heat and open the windows when it gets too hot. We too are former New Yorkers, and understand that system ,but it ain’t so good there, and it ain’t so good here neither (sic). We want you to be warm and cozy, and indeed this whole house has been reconstructed to facilitate that – (new insulation, new insulated roof, new roof, new highE furnace, new copper & etc) – but please do not turn the heat up over 65 degrees. Turning it up higher does not make the house get warmer faster. If you are here for a week or more, you are welcome to reprogram the thermostats so it is warm when you get up / or whatever you’d like. They’re reasonably simple to figure out, or feel free to ask us to walk you through it. Please wear sweaters / fleeces etc in the winters. We want you to be comfortable but in balance with our resources (note again that this house is run from our solar array putting energy back into the grid).
HOW TO KEEP THE HOUSE COOL – & the BERKSHIRE AIRCONDITIONER
Keep the windows (mostly) shut during the day, especially on the side of the house overlooking the field (ie with the deck). Keep the other side slightly open. Keep fans running downstairs. There is a rotating fan on a pole in the pantry / utility closet. If you set it up in the dining room, it makes a huge difference throughout the house.
The upstairs bedroom…yes, it gets hot, but you can cool it way down, and the rest of the house too! When the sun goes down open the sliding glass door and all the opposite windows. Set the floor fan in front of the sliding glass door, facing OUT (ie as an exhaust fan) (there’s an extension cord in the supply closet across from the kitchen if you’re doing this). The room will cool down by 15 to 20 degrees within a ½ hour. Keep it running on low during the evening. And / or, we can provide a box fan to fit IN the windows at back (noisier though).
There's band aids, peroxide, gauze, tape, etc in upstairs medicine cab. First aid kit in kitchen can facilitate cooking.
If there's anything that you need that isn't there, please let us know right away, and we will see if we have what you’re looking for. We've done our best to put in whatever we think is necessary for cooking.
Cuisinart pieces are in the lowest drawer to the right of the stove.
Please use placemats on both tables, and coasters when you put glasses or cups down on wooden surfaces (coasters on sideboard)
Please do not cut onions or garlic on the wooden cutting boards; use the plastic one, which can go through the dishwasher.
VEGETABLES & EGGS from our homestead
We will supply you with as much as you want / can use / wish to try, dependent upon the season and availability.
In spring and summer we have lots of greens (Asian greens; rare Italian Chicories; and the usual lettuces in cooler months), pole beans, bush beans, plums, peaches, grapes etc. In the autumn, we have apples, sweet cider, more greens, kale, collards, chard, arugla etc. Please note that produce will most likely not be washed (though sometimes it is); please rinse if necessary. We also have crops in winter; we have 2 hoophouses, 1 glasshouse, and covered cold crops outside. Depending upon the weather, we might have a bounty – or very little! We do preserve, so usually have kimchi (hot!) and other interesting things. We are completely organic.
Eggs are dependent upon how the ladies are doing, generally we can supply you with 1 – 2 dozen eggs per week, except when the ladies are molting.
Please note that if you DO NOT want vegetables or eggs etc - just tell us, esp in summer! so that we don’t keep bringing baskets over that you don’t want to use. We will not be offended.
Mmmm, coffee. There’s a French press (grind more coarsely), and a drip coffee maker. If you would prefer NOT to grind your own coffee beans let us know, otherwise the Braun works just fine. The coffee is roasted by friends of ours, 1 of whom lives nearby and just up the road. “Barrington Coffee” is a nationally known company; their product is excellent. If you’ve stayed here before you will notice that as of July 2012, we no longer have their fancy bag; it’s just a regular paper coffee bag, but it’s the same coffee (the prepacked bags are less fresh / more costly). You can purchase their coffee in GB at Guido’s, Rubi’s and I think Bizalion as well.
What’s that at the bottom of the compost bucket? Leaves…if you put your compost onto leaves in the bucket, it does not smell so quickly / begins to break down / is easier to handle (try it at home). We will pick up compost, recycling, and trash on Saturday mornings and Tuesday mornings.
Please do not flush tampons, diapers, or paper towels down the toilet. If a drain starts to run slowly, please let us know immediately, ie before it stops up. Please do not purchase and use caustic drain cleaners (eg Draino) in the drains or toilets. They don’t work, and make it far more difficult to unclog [all that said, we’ve never had a stopped up drain at this location]
PANTRY / SUPPLY CLOSET
You can use this as a pantry. There are emergency candles in jars if we lose power, and matches, at the upper left
BROOM CLOSET IN KITCHEN
Aprons (very manly aprons, so feel free, men), brooms, rags, cleaning supplies.
In downstairs bathroom. Extra bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, bath mats. Also a red squared beach towel to put down if you go to the Green River to swim (or to the town pool or Simon's rock pool).
BEDSHEETS & add’l blankets
There are 2 or 3 complete sets of sheets for each sized bed. Sheets are kept in the bedroom closets. In winter, the 2 quilts snap together to make one thicker one; we always use a duvet cover and topsheets.
Pardon us for being a little, well, personal - but we ask while you’re using this or any other of our houses, to please refrain from using highly scented perfumes, colognes, fragrances of any sort. We try to have as scent free / laundry product scent free houses as possible. We do our best to always line dry sheets, duvets, duvet covers, outside, even in the winters. If you are staying here long term and washing sheets and towels, please use “7th Generation Unscented Laundry Soap”, or something equivalent. Thank you.
We have a small bin with some kid stuff (for 3 – 6 year olds) in the supply closet – a few DVDs, some stuffed animals, a puppet or 2, small blocks etc. And there’s a separate case of lego there as well. If you have older kids / want other stuff, let us know ahead of time / or ASAP and we’ll see what we can rustle up (no guarantees though). And there are family board games in the living room (Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, etc). + a few kid friendly DVDs on the bookcase as well.
BOOKS & DVDS
Please do not take them with you when your vacation is over. If you like any of the books or DVDS, we can try to get you copies of them. Please make sure DVDs are out of your laptops when you leave.
There are fire extinguishers in the corners of most of the rooms. Please take a moment to locate them. There are smoke detectors throughout the house. Please do not disable them, even temporarily (ie when cooking, or if you make a bit of smoke from the fireplace). Please. Also, there is a carbon monoxide detector in each bedroom (as required by state law). Please do not disable them, they beep when you take them off the wall. Frustrating, but that's the law; and they have been known to work in emergencies as well.
Turn them on in each bathroom, please turn them off in the mornings. There are several more in the upstairs bathroom cabinet if you want more night lighting in the house.
There is a small flashlight on the windowframe above the kitchen sink / toward the door to the deck.
TRASH, RECYCLING AND COMPOST
Recycling - there are 2 plastic bins in the garage. Please put paper and cardboard in one, and plastic, glass and metal into the other. The town of Alford recycles plastic bags (Naomi is the recycling coordinator for the town). Please put all plastic bags into 1 plastic bag.
Compost into red bucket in the kitchen. Compost is all fruit and vegetable scraps, leftover cooked food, any leaves or grass clippings. You can also compost meat and fish, as our compost bins are in a fenced in area. Please do not dump compost in the woods; we will pick it up. See previous note about “what’s that in the compost bucket?”
Anything that is not compost or recycling is trash; please put into kitchen trash can.
We will pick up trash on Saturday mornings and/or Tuesday mornings, depending upon what days you’re staying with us. Usually we come by around 8:00 am (the xfer station is not open beyond midday)
We do our best to keep mice out of the house…all holes are sealed, the crawl space is sealed, the furnace room is sealed, etc. HOWEVER...all houses round here will have mice in them at one time or another (usually when it starts to get cold). We will not poison mice, because dead mice in the walls smell bad. If you see a mouse (it’s a nice country mouse!) – let us know, and we’ll set traps and empty them if you’d prefer not to. Please do not leave food scraps / food crumbs etc out.
Sometimes there might be ladybugs, ants or spiders (or all 3). This is fact of life in the country and not a cause for alarm.
You are responsible for any type of loss or claim beyond normal wear and tear, ie all types of insurable “covered losses”. So, if you break a plate or glass, that’s fine, just let us know; beyond that, please immediately tell us if there is any damage to the house, grounds, or furniture, so that we may sort out the replacement costs together. You have either taken out an insurance policy through the rental company, and/or you have given us a refundable security deposit. We will promptly send you your security deposit within 2 days from the end of your rental. Regardless of the amount of the insurance policy, you agree to compensate us for any damages or loss. All that said, in many years of renting vacation homes and year round homes, we have never had any type of loss that was not amicably resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.
WHEN YOU LEAVE
We hope you've had a good time; and again, if you need anything while you're here, please please ask, and we'll do our best to make it so.
Please make sure the gas grill is off, all lights are off, no water is running, all windows are cranked shut, and that you seal the kitchen trash. Put all used towels into the laundry basket in the laundry room (in garage)
Please run all dirty dishes etc through the dishwasher, and handwash anything that doesn’t fit / needs to be scrubbed, etc.
Please please take all food out of the refrigerator and take it with you or dispose of it.
Please check to make sure DVDs are back in their cases and not in your laptop.
If there’s anything you can’t do or need help with, please let us know before you leave.
If you were satisfied with the house, please leave a detailed positive review. It matters a lot to us and is helpful to others. And do think about coming back to this or any of our other places! (& tell your friends!)
Thank you so very much for staying with us!
Naomi & Ron
Our contact information -
(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) = our house phone up the road
(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) = Ron’s cell
(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) = Naomi’s cell
texting to Ron generally gets a quick response, with the caveat being cell service is spotty at our house.
email comes to our phones and is checked frequently
Cancel up to 7 days before your trip and get a 50% refund. Cancel within 7 days of your trip and the reservation is non-refundable.
We do a variety of small things - house renovation and restoration, small scale farming, garden design, as well as product design and manufacturing.
We have lived in the area for almost 20 years, and know every back road, swimming hole, hiking area etc, as well as all the restaurants, cafes and arts venues (and there are a lot of all of them here).
Avid cyclists, we can direct you towards some excellent rides, from flat to hilly to 20% grades on dirt / rides to take with your kids etc (and we can lend you tandem(s) to ride with your kids).
We are also long time Ashtanga yoga practitioners and can point you towards an appropriate yoga facility in the neighborhood, there are many around here, most are pretty low-key and accessible (and/or we can put you in contact with instructors who will come to the property and give private lessons there - the upstairs room is an excellent yoga studio).
We have several houses available for short term and long term rental. We live nearby the properties, on a small farm with extensive test gardens; you are welcome to take a tour of our gardens, plus we can point you to some interesting gardens that are not often open to the public (plus many other places of gardening interest).
Please email or call if you have any questions about this or any of our other properties.