February, 2006

Skunked
(thanks to Loudon Wainwright III )

One of the memorable events of this month was Neko and Pumpkin's discovery of a skunk. Gary let them out to pee before bedtime and they immediately took off after an interesting sound. Within a minute they dashed into the house, blinking wildly and foaming at the mouth. They must have both gotten a face full of spray. A quick trip to the store was needed to get the ingredients for an effective remedy. It works quite well, but we can still detect a slight odor in the house. The cited page recommends that ingredients be stored "to be handy when they are needed." We would prefer to think that Neko and Pumpkin have learned a lesson.

It has been a good year for skiing, and this month we were blessed with several days of the best skiing of the year. And there is plenty of season left for more....

(1.3MB movie) In order to save most of the garage, we had to separate it from the foundation. This was done by cutting through the concrete wall and roof, then carefully breaking down the portions to be removed. Careful observation here reveals where the straight vertical cut separates the wall being removed.

The concrete removed is being buried to the right in what used to be the crawl space, Media Room and Wine cellar. These rooms will be located further west (left) in the new plan.

(1.5MB movie) The most risky part of the demolition came last: removing the heavy concrete roof covering the Mud Room at the south of the Garage. This roof was 10" thick, with #6 rebar (twice the strength of typical rebar) woven through. Bracing the roof with steel columns and pulling the east wall out with a chain caused the roof to fall out and away from the Garage. Note that the removed portion remained largely intact even after dropping about 10'.

Unlike last year, there is plenty of snow at the Carriage House. Since the Thanksgiving storms, there has been a healthy layer of snow for over 3 months now. Old-timers say this is a normal year. The weather has been relatively warm and gray, with temperatures hovering around freezing. Exceptions have been some sub-zero nights at the beginning of December and some days around February 18 with highs less than 0°F and lows of -26°F.

At left, Pauline watches CA visitors Deanna and Andrea slide down steep slope on a snow shoe hike around the property. It was -2°F, but no wind and blue skies. Friends Nancy and Eva chose to do cross country at Bohart Ranch, further up the canyon.


Parting Shot
The Elk Go Marching By

The Bridger Canyon Elk Herd has been hanging around our place lately. About 100 filed past our satellite dish one morning, much to the dismay of Neko and Pumpkin. If only it were hunting season, we could have gotten an elk without leaving the Carriage House. The large clumps of snow are the result of plowing the Main House road and site above. Click on the picture to see a wide angle shot.


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