Snow In Rome ?

•February 3, 2011 • 4 Comments

I don’t think the Romans ever had to deal with snow … at least not in Rome proper. And if they did get some .. well, it wasn’t much. However, you have to wonder what they might have done if the snow was high enough to cover the first tier of the coliseum or half way up one of the many aquaducts feeding water to the city. Here’s a couple pictures of my yard and the snow doing just that. Yes, on a smaller scale, of course, but … well, there it is. And, that lump in the lower left of the first picture is a small triumphal arch … gone !!

And another to show how much is covered …..

And it’s only the start of February … two more months of potential heavy snowfall … just great !!

The Lamp Post

•October 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

This is probably my last offering for the season .. the cold kinda gets in the way when you want to pour cement. And you can’t fight Mom Nature. So here it is: a five foot lamp post with embosses on three sides .. and two feet in the ground cemented in with a good bowl at the bottom of the hole. The lamp is solar powered. I know it’s a little disproportional to the size of the post, but, it’s the largest they had at HD. It is secured so it can be removed … this spring I plan to buy a larger one that looks more like the old oil or gas lamps that used to line city streets.
A sad note: I used the last of my ‘FleckStone’ texture spray on the post … and a couple coats of ‘KlearCote’ and have recently found out that this product is no longer being made. I plan on two more of these posts to set around the curve of the walkway to the front door. Just hope I can find a good replacement for the Fleckstone.
A last note … a friend in Florida, not old enough to remember the old oil lamps, but, a Sherlock Holmes fan, was who suggested this project to me. And so, thank you !!
Now, here’s a couple pictures. I placed it in the front yard with the peony border that went in earlier this year.

The Coliseum … In Place

•September 12, 2010 • 10 Comments

At long last ‘the coliseum’ is in place ! Yes, it took some time .. more than anticipated because of the heat this summer. And, when it wasn’t really hot it was raining or just so humid it seemed I might as well be living in So. Florida.
As you can this isn’t a full size replica .. in fact it is just my version of a section of the real thing in Rome. I did manage to pour a footing for it early in the season. Not being a mason I didn’t get it quite flat, though fairly level, and bought some 2″ thick concrete patio blocks which I was able to mortar into place nice and level. These pictures don’t show the staining I intend to do to the blocks so they blend in better with the rest of the whole thing.
So, here’s a few pictures that show the progression. Questions or comments appreciated.

And this last one to show how it looks in the yard.

A Mailbox Post ….

•July 16, 2010 • 6 Comments

Yesterday I was successful in installing a new mailbox post ! A neighbor and friend who cuts my wife’s and my hair (mine only occasionally ) is the proud recipient. The post hole did not go quite as deep as I wanted by about two inches … a rock larger than the diameter of the hole just wouldn’t be moved .. at least not by me ! The whole thing went just how I planned it .. from getting the post into the truck to being able to slide it right into the hole. A bag and a half of cement .. a little dirt on top of that .. a little mulch .. and there you have it. here’s a before and after picture.

The customer decided that she would put any paint on it if any ..

Another successful installation complete ! It’s not a coliseum or an aquaduct, but, it’s something I created ……..

The Coliseum …

•June 29, 2010 • 6 Comments

Finally all the parts are complete and in place on the temporary footing for my coliseum facade. I have a bit more staining to do … maybe. Now it’s down to digging the footing. I got the outline dug out last week and removed the sod … the hard part awaits the end of this humidity we’ve been having the last few days. At least I have been able to start stockpiling some concrete for it … close to half .. I think.
So, here’s a couple pictures:

Now, you may think ‘hey, it’s not done .. there’s a section missing !’ Well, it’s as intended … a ruin. When in Rome I never saw a ruin that was as complete as when it was built … except maybe The Pantheon !

A Mailbox Post …

•June 23, 2010 • 4 Comments

Well, I guess the economy isn’t hurting some … I just got an order for a mailbox post ! It’s not a coliseum or an aquaduct or even a triumphal arch, but, it’s something I build with cement. Here’s the link to take a look if you haven’t seen mine:

Coliseum V

•June 18, 2010 • 2 Comments

Today I freed the parts of another complete section of my coliseum facade from their molds … and put them in place on the temporary platform. This is the second section completed since my last post. Just one more to go ! You may think I should have an equal number of sections on each tier .. however, if you have been to Rome or seen detailed pictures of The Coliseum you will find that what is now the outside facing entrance is similar to how mine will look.

And, yes, here’s a couple pictures … so far !

So, another pour, a little staining, then the hard part: digging the hole for the footing. And, my DW even agreed with my thoughts on where it’s going to be !
And, just so you know, I have begun work on cutting forms for ‘The Dome Project’ … posted here as ‘New Project on the Drawing Board’, or something like that.

Peony Bed Border … Coliseum … Yes !

•May 20, 2010 • 7 Comments

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to post something … with pictures !! Medical appt’s not withstanding I have been doing my work with cement .. and a bit of stain.
First the peony bed border … it’s in the ground .. and it’s staying there ! A hint to those who might want to do something like this; don’t plant the peonies to close to where the border has to go. It may not be too apparent in the pictures, but, the forms don’t quite come together the way they should. Oh well !

Looks like I should have done a bit of mowing before taking the pictures !!

And on to the coliseum ! Well, a facade at least. In a previous post you might have noticed five columns making up the first tier … to give a better idea of how it will look when complete I stole one from the right end to use for the second tier .. with an arch section.

So, I need to replace that first tier column .. two more for the second tier .. with accompanying parts. If .. and that’s a big if .. I can do one pour a week for three weeks .. it’s done. Then it’s on to digging and pouring the footing … and then I can start work on The Dome Project in earnest , better known here as New Project On The Drawing Board

The Best Laid Plans II …

•May 8, 2010 • 2 Comments

April turned out to be one heckava month ! As previously stated I had an emergency appendectomy on the fifth. During the ordeal that day, prior to the surgery, I had a ct scan done to just make sure that’s what was going on. Well, the scan showed sure enough that the appendix was doing stuff it shouldn’t and that I had a blocked ureter (I’ll let you look that up) on my left side. It was kind of indistinct so my oncologist (yeah, I’ve had prostate cancer since 2003) decided I needed an MRI to clear things up for him. Let me tell you, not having been warned beforehand, those things are loud !! Sure enough, a pesky, mis-behaving lymph node was wrapping itself around that ureter. A discussion between my darling wife, me, the urologist and the oncologist, that went from ‘quality of life’ issues to on-going prostate cancer treatments ended with all agreed that the best thing was to insert a stent.
So, almost exactly one month to the day from the appendectomy, on the sixth of May I took a deep breath of anesthesia and had that stent put in.
Of course, not wanting to let anyone down, and this being a blog about stuff I make with cement, I should let you know that I have poured the two final sides of the peony bed border. There’s just one left to stain. And, I have poured two sets of peripherals for the coliseum… bases with column pedestals and those in between parts and one arch set. So, I have not totally ignored my ‘work’ ! Pictures soon, I promise !
I hope to be back at it in a week or two … so many things to build … so little time !

The Best Laid Plans …

•April 7, 2010 • 4 Comments

“Ah yes .. a great week coming up” … I’ve been buying some cement every week … got all the molds for the coliseum out and ready for some cleaning and assembly. This was gonna be a good week ! So, Sunday we had some home made apple pie after supper … watched ’60 Minutes’ … did regular stuff and headed up stairs .. and shut out the light around 9:30.
At 2 Monday morning the cramps and pain started .. tossed and turned till six. Tried the Pepto and ginger ale trick that had no effect. By 9:30 or so we headed to the emergency room. 12:30 had me drinking that awful tasting stuff for a ‘cat’ scan .. sure wish they could improve the formular for that stuff !! The scan was read around 3:00 and at 5:00 I was being wheeled in to have my appendix removed !!
This was definitely not my plan for Monday … or the rest of the week for that matter ! So, not sure when I’ll be able to heft a bag of cement … but, I’m usually a fast healer. And, you know what they say ..’Rome wasn’t built in a day’ !!