Beam Me Up,
Major beams were finally placed for the Great Room roof.
(click on picture to view larger version more pictures below)
We are learning that building a house is somewhat like putting together
a giant 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle.
But the task is more difficult when you must first make the pieces prior
to any assembly.
This is most apparent when it comes to assembling the timbers.
The workmen spent over a week cutting notches and making holes in the
three timbers that fit to the arched timbers and other structures of the
The final exam came when the crane showed up and the pieces could be
fitted into place.
There are more major timbers to be added to the Great Room
The Chrysler minivan finally died after 144,000
just as Gary pulled up to the Carriage House.
We bought a Toyota Highlander SUV to replace it,
and donated the minivan to charity.
With a little work,
have lasted another 40,000 miles,
but we needed something we could count on.
18 April: Eight inches and still snowing like mad.
Notice the snow plow is not attached to the truck.
Gary is clearing the driveway by dragging a special
sledge he designed. When the drive is not frozen
solid, the sledge is preferable since it does not damage the
surface as much.
The weather has alternated between clear sunny days and snow flurries,
and has hampered construction a bit. The main concern is that we need
dry weather to pour more concrete.
At right is our "herd" there is a large collection of bones just
below the Carriage House. We suspect the Christies dumped cows
that died there. The dogs often visit the graveyard to find bones
to gnaw on. Meanwhile, the ghosts of our cows continue to graze
05 May: Pauline contemplates the view from the Great Room now that
the temporary roof has been removed to make way for the timber beams.
There are still major timbers to be placed, and temporary structure
to remove, but we're starting to get a sense of what the Great Room
will be like. The steel beams will be "wrapped" to have the appearance
of timbers; the steel framework is needed because Montana is a seismically
11 May: Big timbers are laid over the arched timbers
in the Great Room. It's wet, cold and windy today;
rain turned to snow later. The crane is on a schedule,
so the show had to go on.
Trusses will lay across the upper timbers to make a
The ceiling will be tongue and groove Douglas Fir.
This has been our month for visitors. We have had four in little more
than a week.
We toured the
Lewis and Clark Caverns
with daughter-in-law Samantha.
She found this moose scat on a hike around the property.
Some of her Yellowstone pictures are
Then, we celebrated Mother's Day with Gary's mother Wanda, who stopped
by on her way from Seattle to Kansas.
Marilynn and Robert
came for a few days.
With all the pipes, ducts, equipment and controls, the Mechanical Room
is beginning to look like the inside of a
We're installing a central vacuum system to add to the
maze of ducts, so the space between the upper and lower floors is
Since we will have a fire suppression system, there will be over 1 mile
of pipe in the house to carry water; the fire suppression system meets
standard, which allows the cold water and fire suppression
systems to use common pipe.
We have done quite well sticking to the plans; other than
requesting modifications to a couple of small non-structural
walls and changing some finish details,
deviations from the plans
have been to accommodate requirements of the HVAC and plumbing systems.
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Neko and Pumpkin in the Snow