Published Date Written by Roger AmsdenALEXANDRIA — A giant 18-foot tall snowman that took Jim Ransom and Karina Jacques two weeks to build wears two faces. One, looking down Sargent Road, is the face of a traditional snowman with a smiley mouth and top hat, black eyes and buttons which look like lumps of coal and branches, forked at the end, for arms.
But viewed from the uphill side it's not a snowman, but a snow woman, who is a hula dancer with a skirt made of evergreen branches and wearing a red bra.
Ransom, who runs a construction and excavation business, used his knowledge of building techniques to put together the snowman, which is actually hollow inside.
''I plowed all the snow I could scrape up into into a big pile and we started building it after that. We used a small Bobcat to move the snow to where wanted. We sprayed water on the snow after we shaped it so that it would freeze over night. I used a four foot culvert pipe to make an entryway at the base and put a ladder inside so that we could keep building from inside with shovels once we couldn't reach up from outside with the Bobcat,'' said Ransom.
The ladder is still inside the snow structure and can be used by people who wiggle inside to climb up to the snow woman side and pose for a photo with their head poking out of a small hole.
Ransom estimates that he spent at least 50 hours on the project and says that Jacques also spent a lot of time helping build the impressive structure.
Jacques said that Monday's warm weather actually helped the project along as the snow ''got real sticky'' and was easy to shape.
Jacques operates Karina's Greenhouse, which is attached to a wooden barn which Ransom built several years ago, where she raises annuals, perennials and vegetables, which she starts from seed in February, and prides herself on using only organic materials.
''We cut all our own wood for heat and I recycle the pots I use for my plants. We like to recycle whatever we can and reduce our impact on the environment,'' she says.
They even have a zip line on their property for their own amusement and that of the grandchildren when they visit. The zip line starts behind their barn and goes across a field and over swamp.
The couple have lived in Alexandria for the seven years and say they feel like they've found an out-of-the-way hidden treasure.
''It's one of the best kept secrets in the state,'' says Jacques, who says that even though there's no store or supermarket, there's lots of locally-grown food as well as crafts and unique little businesses that people run out of their homes.
Both Jacques and Ransom say they enjoy the monthly potluck town suppers served at the church in the village area and look forward to taking part in them.
''I fried three turkeys for one of them. Not many people have ever tried fried turkey but they really like it,'' says Ransom.
Jim Ransom and Karina Jacques of Alexandria with their giant 18-foot tall snowman, which took them two weeks to build. It is hollow with a ladder inside that was used to help build it. With them is their Golden Retriever, "Honey" who recently gave birth to four puppies. (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)