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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 . . .






March 09

. . . And then more furniture and redone cushions start arriving . . .


. . . And then piece by piece, everything is put back together. . .




February 5, 2018

Sad to say that we had let the greenhouse go "au naturel" for a time having been distracted by other priorities. But, really, what is a higher priority than healthy locally grown vegetables? So here we go again, charging forward toward spring. This new iteration of the structure includes stronger barriers to keep out the foraging havelina and deer populations. As you can see, Joshua has installed additional steel mesh to keep out the critters. Yea!


What would have led me to believe that ANYTHING in this year 2017 would be as I had envisioned or anticipated? The entire 100th birthday celebration had transformed. What a year of unexpected twists, turns, detours, and utter surprises such that I have spent much time this year cogitating on why things were turning out as they were. So why should my vision for our holiday celebration be exempt? It was over one year ago that I first ‘saw’ the beginnings of Formal and Fanfair. In talking with decorator Ann, she added FuFu (not FruFru just for the record) so the title initially became Formal, FuFu, and Fanfair for the 100th birthday year. Pre-release of that title in the household met with nearly overwhelming BLAA bordering on disapproval! I remained resolute in the inerrancy of the visions my home gives me so I was steadfast and undeterred.

Then I ran into Sally Murphy, a phenomenal local artist, and in casual conversation my vision for the tree came out. She was THE ONLY PERSON who I could tell immediately ‘got it’. So off she and I went beginning in June setting the course for building the main tree. Somewhere in the process things began to shift and transform and I took a couple of steps backwards for a better perspective. However incredible the tree was becoming, I had overlooked one major aspect of its appearance – how could that be when it had walked right out of my mind? When the dust cleared, I was shaking my head and chuckling to myself as even the holiday vision had changed just a degree or two into the PERFECTION THAT WAS AT ITS ESSENCE ALL ALONG. Mirrors – that do what(?) but reflect? Crystals. Forms created in thin air. Royal blue. An old disco ball. Two leaded glass windows that had been hanging around for more years than I can remember suddenly played in integral role. So here we are ready to do this thing again and Formal, FuFu, and Fanfair will be revealing itself as 2017 Reflections and Ruminations . . . who would have thought it?

Ann with her wreaths and chandelier, and Terry, in his new role of mantle creator par excellence, continue at the foundation of this crazy adventure. Donna from California takes the lead on the glass blocks again. Denise is blessedly back in the mix with her creative genius and flair fabricating the suite trees and the one for the dancing legs writing desk, as well as the bannister. Neighbor Scott is trying his hand at the front porch while Gabe changes all the outside lights. Anna and Brittany bat clean-up and organization on all counts. And I remain in support of this crowd with hot tea, adult libations and carryout orders! You don’t want to miss it this year, I promise. And . . . we will be unveiling a new fun program I’m calling Crystal Clear Persuasion – want to see?

November 13, 2017

As we move into the holidays the annual decoration of the house is an absolute must. It takes a team of very creative people to pull it all together. This year the theme was more unusual than most. As you know, it is called "Reflections and Ruminations". To achieve the desired feeling we utilized a plethora of mirrors and crystals. Sally Murphy (seen below) started us off by creating a tree of mirrors. Also, below you can see Anna and Joshua carefully bringing the tree from the garage into the house. And there's Terry installing the handblown blue tree topper.




But the tree was not finished until Donna created glowing glass blocks for the gifts under the tree.

Denise and her man chipped in a created this beautiful hanging assemblage.


For yet another year, Anne graced us with her incredibly creative talents creating wreaths, decorating the chandelier, and fabricating magical accents seemingly out of thin air.





Our friend Delores also showed us how to create ornaments from scratch. We see her here looking up at her creation hanging under the chandelier. Take a close look. That's all done by hand. Beautiful.


Then, of course, there is another of the signature elements of the yearly adornment of the house and that's the embellishment of the mantles. Terry was coaxed into doing them again this year.



As we move to the outside of the house we see Gabe up a ladder and into a tree hanging holiday lights


And last, but far from least, is the decoration of the front porch. This year Scott with helpers Amy and Joshua created a heavenly themed display. Scott saw it as a comet streaking across the sky. He said it reminded him of Miss Andrea herself.





Each year, each holiday is its own season in Jerome. A delightful couple, Jason Adams and Naoko Garrison, came to visit this year and reminded us of some photos they took last year at this time. Last year we had snow for the holidays. This year it was sunny and warm. You just never know here at The Surgeon's House.


Below is a small gallery of photos capturing the steps and stairs of the Surgeon's House gardens taken by Jason and Naoko



My dear dear guests and friends,

Recently, we have been graced beyond measure by Monica Spencer’s article in “Only In Your State” that included The Surgeon’s House as one of the top 8 most beautiful hotels in Arizona. To say that I am leveled belly up in gratitude hardly covers it, but the REAL story is this magical piece of the Earth Mother and YOU. I am happy to be the vessel, but the magical blessedness of this space and YOUR GRACIOUS REMARKS AND PATRONAGE are the real causal factors here for these recent accolades. I do not do this by myself. Each of you who visits helps and becomes an everlasting part of the history of my home. Thank you and thanks to Monica for sharing the word. I promise we intend to never let you down. Come visit us soon and, from my heart, humble thanksgiving to each of you. Click here to read the article. Until the next time, travel well and -

Fond regards, Andrea at the Surgeon’s House

October 11, 2017

There's a little five foot pine tree that I planted 18 years ago that has grown into mature tree. Occasionally, we have to do a little trimming on her. So Joshua and Jerrod stepped up and gave her a haircut. Below is a before photo. That's Joshua up on the ladder and in the tree and Jerrod working the tie off rope and safety on the ground. Joshua figured that they might have taken a thousand pounds of limbs off of her.



September 18, 2017

This summer we had to expand our filtering systems for our koi ponds. That meant putting a third large filter in our array. At that point the system began to look a tad industrial, so we decided to erect somekind of visual barrier. Joshua came up with the idea of a shed roof type affair using the bamboo that surrounded the filters. Below, you see him wrapping the bamboo together to form the roof. Nice job, Joshua!


"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.



Speaking of decorating the house for the winter holidays . . . Each year is a different theme and color scheme. Much thought and preparation go into preparing for the holidays and it is wise to prepare well in advance lest you get caught up in the last minute trying to put everything together. For instance, the color scheme for the upcoming holidays is silver and blue with accents of glass and mirrors. Below you see Joshua installing a chandalier on the front porch which will be part of the holiday environment. Watch this page for upcoming decorating events!



Summer of 16

Below, we can see Andrea beginning to install the bees into their new homes. Below right, the larger box contains the hive and the smaller box the queen. The whole process went very smoothly considering our inexperience. And then it was time to say hooray! Stay tuned as we hope to establish two healthy bee colonies.



Summer of 17

This summer we have finally started to harvest the honey from our bee colonies. It's quite a process. First, of course, you must extract the honey the bees have created from the boxes. Normally, after you smoke the bees, they calm down and you are able to remove the honey filled boxes with no particular problem. However, you must take precautions and wear the appropriate gear.


We then take the honey down to the garage where we have stationed the extractor, which in this case, is a hand cranked centrifuge. As you see, the honey is inside wooden racks which hang inside the box. You must first cut the end caps off all the cells, then put the prepared rack inside the centrifuge cage, and then let it rip!



So far - so good. But then . . . suddenly we had hundreds, if not thousands, of robber bees coming in from nearby colonies, and we had to suit up all over again. All they wanted was the honey, but still, they were not helpful. Then Joshua(below on the crank) and I (on the centrifuge) thought - "Well, we'll just crank the handle, spin the cage, and have gallons of honey". Well, it turns out that someone has to hold down the dang centrifuge while the other person turns the crank. Go ahead and laugh. You didn't have to straddle the can. Eventually, we got our honey, after straining out the dead kamakazi robber bees. Jeeeze . . .


Live and learn - that's what I say. In the end the effort was worth it. We triumphed, and we ended up with gallons of beautiful, local, organic honey with a delightful, multi-layered flavor from the nectar of hundred of different blossoms in our gardens. Yippee!