For Spring break we made a quick trip to Seattle,
during which we listened to
Kalahari Typing School for Men
Full Cupboard of Life,
which are more of the series that began with
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
We also listened to
by the same author (Alexander McCall Smith).
These really helped the 20 hours of driving slip by.
Between March 12 and 24, it snowed almost every day;
there was 6' total accumulation at
There was another foot of snow as March turned to April.
This made for the
best skiing of the year.
However, it was not enough to make up for the
lack of snowfall earlier in the year.
The good news is that Bridger Bowl had enough snow that they
stayed open two days longer than planned;
they can't stay open longer due to the environmental impact agreement
with the Forest Service.
With the mild winter and early spring, bears are waking up and they are hungry!
We haven't seen any yet, but have prepared for them by purchasing an
from the bear testing
center in West Yellowstone. These are designed and constructed to
resist a Grizzly, so we're confident that our Black Bears won't get
a free meal from our garbage.
We continue to see tracks and scat of Moose, but they are very secretive;
perhaps if we didn't take the dogs with us, we could spot them.
Plumbing and HVAC are being roughed in. This view
from the Laundry into the Wine Cellar shows material
staged for HVAC work. The Wine Cellar is a room within
a room: two parallel walls are framed
from this angle one for the Laundry and
one for the Wine Cellar can be seen.
There will be a lot of insulation between in inner and outer
walls. Cooling is provided by the exposed foundation wall on
the left, which is 5' below grade at the top and 16' at the
bottom; tests indicate this wall will stay below 55°F.
The slab floor of the cellar is thermally isolated from the
slab of the other rooms, so it should be naturally cool as
We are now faced with making many decisions. Here,
Pauline discusses with the architect where structural timbers will be
visible and what implications that has for ceiling heights.
Ceilings in the Dining Room and Kitchen will be over 13' high,
which would be excessive were it not for the overall size and
open style of the rooms.
We have also been spending time selecting plumbing fixtures,
looking at options for counter tops, flooring for the entry, and
tile for the bathrooms. For some of the exterior masonry, we are
rocks we have found
laying around the property.
Any savings from doing that would be inconsequential; the appeal
of it is to be able to say at least some of the house was constructed
from material found on site.
There is a lot of equipment in the Mechanical Room:
4 furnaces, 3 air conditioners, 1 air-to-air exchange,
2 hot water heaters, 1 indoor air circulation system,
2 water pumps, 1 water softener,
network switches, telephone exchange, alarm system,
and probably more we don't know about yet. These pipes
are the intakes and exhausts for most of that equipment.
Since the heat-generating equipment is very efficient,
the exhausts can be PVC pipe.
This duct work takes up a corner of the Pantry. Other
venting will join with this above the ceiling so we
will have only one roof penetration on this end of the
Note: the curvature of the studs is an illusion due to
the close-up lens.
About 6 people are working on framing and 2 on excavation.
The piers that were to hold the entry roof were sinking, so they
had to be removed and a new hole dug to the rock (about 16' down).
Apparently, the excavation for the foundation weakened the soil quite a
There has been more snow almost 6" of very wet stuff fell two
days before this photo was taken, then melted quickly. Of course, that
makes things very muddy. We spread straw and sawdust around to help
control the mud, but it is still a mess.
Be sure to check out the
Main House Progress
(Note the timber detail in the 12 April picture)
Pumpkin and Neko "Share" a Bed
Pumpkin takes her half out of the middle!