September, 2004

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It has now rained so much that the farmers are beginning to complain! The rain, compounded by the poor work ethic of some subcontractors, has resulted in some delay. We are now about as far along as we expected to be over a month ago. At least one problem subcontractor is being replaced. But now we are faced with the prospect of not having a roof by the time snow flies. Actually, there was snow in the high mountains August 23; snow at our level in late September or early October would not be unusual. The projected date for a roof is some time in December.

180° panorama from the Master Suite

See how we stack up against Jeff Foxworthy's “ You know you're a Montanan if... ” list.

Reading for this month has been The Economist, which we subscribed to for want of easy access to news from TV (The Daily Show being our favorite news source) or the Internet. Satellite TV and Internet were ordered 2 months ago but, as we are finding, around here things take time.

Neko continues to take her role of guard dog seriously. One evening she was barking furiously, so Gary and Arthur ran out to investigate. There was something at the creek that upset her, but (unlike deer), she would not give chase. We soon spotted a bear helping itself to berries. Gary had thought to grab his camera as he ran for the door — finally, we got a picture of our bear friend! Since this was less than 250' from the Carriage House, we resolved to keep the garage door closed if Neko is not on guard; this is the time of hyperphagia for bears, so extra care is needed. Here is another picture.

After a lot of work on drainage issues, we were able to start filling in around the foundation. Here, Arthur wrestles with a machine that is effectively a big foot to stomp the dirt and compact it. In the background, some progress can be seen on the framing; but things are still slow, due in part to weather and in part to the poor work ethic of the subcontractor. We fired the sub; the better members of his crew decided to quit him and work for us directly — with the result of more money for them and less expense for us. This is known as disintermediation.

Pauline was able to join us September 2-12. Here, she admires the new snow plow, new concrete slab and the boulders we had placed to define the eastern edge of the drive (behind the truck) around the Carriage House. Pauline will return for good the first of November, by which time we should have tested the plow.

The Bridger Canyon Home Owner's picnic was September 12; it was windy, raining and cold (snowing in the mountains about 9 miles up the road). Everyone crowded under the awning to listen to the William Clark and John Colter reenactors (this being the 200th anniversary of the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase territory ). John Colter is famous for a naked run through the Gallatin Valley near Bozeman.

Be sure to check the Main House Progress.

Parting Shot

Neko Enjoys a Bone She Found