Check this out! Pretty good!
Check this out! Pretty good!
Way back, I mean waaaaayyy back I borrowed a concrete walkway template from a friend of mine. He had put a walkway in the front of his house using it and I had grandiose plans of doing something similar with mine. I’ve had this template for about 7 years and we’ve since moved into a new house and I finally decided to make use of this template.
The template has a cobblestone pattern similar to the one you see here to the right. I could have taken my own picture, but since I took some advice and techniques from New York Renovator, I figured I’d give them a shout out. I won’t be describing all of the steps so it’s worth a visit over there anyhow.
I’m fairly confident working with wood, but the limits of my experience with concrete are simply using it to set fence posts in place. Creating something that would be exposed as a finished project caused me just a little stress. But hey… where’s the fun in running away from stress?
So, I started. Earlier in the summer I had cleared the walkway, covered it with landscaping fabric and then topped it off with 0-3/4 crushed stone. Once the base is nice and firm after several weeks of procrastination, it was ready for the concrete. So, I took the form and started. I used Quikrete topping mix. It uses sand as the aggregate instead of rock, and it is intended for topping other surfaces to a thickness of about 2 inches. I mixed a bag of concrete, filled form, and leveled it off. I left the form in place as I mixed the next bag of concrete. Then I removed the form, gave it a 90 degree turn and placed it directly next to the previously formed concrete.
Repeat until walkway is completely concretified.
You will likely come to a point where the length of the walkway doesn’t evenly match the end of the template. Simple… just push the template down into the previously set concrete. It should still be soft enough to push the form into and rework the concrete a little to make it look pretty.
Once dried, this looked kinda nice, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. We toyed with the idea of allowing grass to grow up in between each cobblestone, but we, and by “we” I mean “my wife”, didn’t like that look. Then we considered planting creeping thyme in there. That seemed like a lot of effort and expense, and we were a little worried it my creep into the lawn.
So… I stole an idea from the New York Renovator site that I mentioned above. But first I threw in one of my own ideas. I decided to stain the concrete… yes, stain, not paint. I chose a fairly dark, bluish grey. I wanted the concrete to look a little bit pieces of shale or slate. I wasn’t sure how this would work out but… what the heck, right? If it doesn’t work, all I have to do is pull it all up.
Once that was all done, it still looked pretty good, but I still wanted to use the idea I stole. Here it is… fill the gaps between the cobbles with dry concrete… and then drizzle it lightly with water until it is completely wet. To do this, I scooped it into the cracks patiently for about half the walkway and then I just dumped the rest of the bag on and swept it into the cracks, following it up with a carefully light sweep across the top of the rocks to remove the concrete dust from the top before I sprayed water on it all.
Let dry and admire the finished product! I find that the light dust of concrete I didn’t remove made the grey stained cobbles look more realistic.
What do you think?
Hello everybody! ‘amember me? I wasn’t sure if you would even know I was gone. However, one of my avid readers, my newest brother-in-law took the time to send me the following in an attempt to guilt/flatter/shame me into getting back in the blogging saddle:
April 15, 2013. A very memorable date indeed, why you may ask? It is the date upon which the author of the “Oh Me Nerves” blog last posted something! Not much now, but something! Now to some this may not seem like a very long time, I mean it’s only 5 month but I, as very few of you may also be, am an avid follower of this blog and I’m feeling a little let down by it all. Week after week I check his site to see what little tidbit he has to offer up for me only to disappointed again and again.
When I say “to some” I am referring to those of you who feel that you know Steve fairly well and are just sitting back and saying, “Sure, what’s wrong with that? We all know how boring he is.” “What could he possibly have to write about that would interest any of us?” “We only read his blog because he pays us and then we feel obligated to vote for him every year for some contest for bloggers that, believe it or not, he actually won …….. once!” I never thought for a moment that Steve would fall into the cliché of so many sport superstars, you know the one I’m talking about? They have a great year then sign this big contract extension for mega bucks only to stink it out the following year. Well folks I’m here to tell you “YES HE DID!!”
I know for a fact that he has had several “blog worthy” events over his hiatus. He had family from “The Rock” invade his home and beer fridge (thank God for brother Bill). I mean, yours truly even beat him in a game of pool!!! Now that has to be Blog worthy! Then, not two weeks after the sponges , I mean family, left he was back on “The Rock” for a wonderous event the like that has never been seen before in Paradise, NL …….. Yes folks he came back to his grass roots to see his baby sister get hitched!!!Not only that, he was the DJ for the night and did a fantastic job making sure no one turned off his Ipod/laptop/MP3 player or whatever that had a gazillion songs on it. Imagine the time and effort involved in downloading them all, a magnificent task in itself. Then he made sure the guests, all 150 of em, were catered to, had food and drinks and someone to entertain them. Entertaining he was, an absolute genius! People are still talking about him.
Well, Steve eventually had to go back home to Moncton …… but wait!!!!! He had that much fun in Newfoundland he had to come back again, this time with his beautiful wife. After all someone had to keep tabs on him! Once again he was amazing! This time he was running around helping his Mom & Dad get settled in their new place, what a son for someone to have! If it wasn’t assembling shelving units it was putting up a Costco shed, not once but twice. Yes folks, twice, once without a floor the second time with a floor. All the while making sure that his darling wife had what she needed as well.
What an amazing man! Newfoundland was saddened to see him return to Moncton once again and were left wondering when this saint would return the “The Rock” and grace us with his presence yet again.
BTW …. I forgot to mention that I was the lucky fellow that married his sister and to now have him as my brother-in-law.
PS. Steve, don’t forget to email that $100. I had a hard time trying to find anything good to say about you.
Well Craig, thanks for all that… you forgot to mention that I was a part-time electrician and tent putter-upper too… not to mention I was a star performer in the keg-emptying department.
You know, I’ve been kinda neglectful of my blog lately… you know, kinda uninspired to write about the shtuff that happens to me and around me. Seriously, it not like interesting things happen to me, like a trip to Rome or something.
Hold the phone! Yes, I was in Rome a couple of weeks ago. Sorry, but I forgot to tell y’all.
It was a business trip and there was a lot of work… but on the last evening there, we got the opportunity to take a look around. Gosh… I wish I had more time. It’s a wonderful city. Take a look at a few of the photos I snapped from my iPhone on that last evening.
Got your attention now, don’t I?
I just got back from another business trip to Austria and, as usual, I’ve had my share of large meals. I think I probably gained about 5 pounds over the 6 days I was there. While I don’t enjoy the weight gain, one of the things about traveling for work is the chance to try different things and food that is simply prepared in a quality way.
While I was away, I had some very finely prepared scallops, crab cakes, steak along with some wonderful desserts and delicious beers. Additionally, dishes making an inaugurational appearance to my list are capon, steak tartar, and bone marrow.
A capon is a castrated rooster. The rooster is rendered reproductively useless, so he falls into a deep depression and consoles himself by gorging on junk food and pasta. They end result is a very plump and tasty chicken!
Steak tartar is a high quality piece of meat, very finely ground (you could eat it with a spoon) and served with a partially cooked quail’s egg, finely sliced onions, some other unidentifiable vegetable with a side of semi-leavened bread. Doesn’t necessarily sound good… but it was deeeeeelish!
Bone marrow is, well, just that. See the picture on this post. Bones cut at cross sections and cooked. Use a small spoon and scoop out the inside. It looks and feels a lot like jelly or fat. Put it on slightly toasted bread like jam and enjoy!
That was last week. Next week… Rome. Let’s see what’s in store for my belly there!
If comment activity is any measure, then my posts on Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty have to be my most popular ones. There were two posts that pulled in a total of 64 comments… I first published the post almost 6 years ago, in September 2007, and my most recent comment received was only a few months ago. For a while, a Google search was showing my post on the first page. Anyways, here goes. Read on for two reruns in one post. Twice the value for you, half the effort for me!
First post, from September 7, 2007
Alex, the question is: what are the three longest freakin’ words I thought I’d never use, especially not all in the same post?
Yesterday I was the victim of a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, also playfully known as UPPP. This, simply put, is a medical procedure for removing excess tissue from the back of the throat. About 4 or 5 years ago I started to develop a very loud, persistent snore; loud and persistent enough that I feared that some night my darling wife might decide to use my own pillow as a murder weapon against me. Apparently, while I sleep away, she lies awake contemplating and planning ways to make my death look like an accident. No, I’m not being paranoid, she has come right out and told me that while she loves me by day, she hates me by night.
So, I agreed to go see a doctor about it. After weighing several options, including wearing contraptions on my head that keep a positive air pressure in my mouth and nose, keeping a device in my mouth to push my jaw forward, separate bedrooms, death, divorce or surgery, we decided that I would brave the knife and have a hunk of flesh removed from the back of my throat. The piece of flesh is the flesh around that dangly thingy at the back of the throat. (Incidentally, this was my second favourite dangly thingy. If my first favourite starts making too much noise, I’m afraid I’ll have to choose death or divorce.) Several potential side effects include a change of my voice (more nasal), snoring that actually gets worse, trouble getting food down the right pipe, or simply going through a lot of pain and suffering for no noticeable improvement. The doctor told me that over the next three weeks my snoring will appear worse due to swelling and the true end result won’t be known until six weeks has passed.
So, for now, all I can do is drink my shooters (an elixir concocted of grape flavoured liquid Tylenol, mint flavoured codeine, and banana flavoured antibiotic). Yawn… I’m tired. I think I’ll snooze on the couch. ZZZZZZZZZZ.
Second Post, from September 24, 2007
I know you are all just dying to know how the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty worked out for me, aren’t you?
Well… they did what they had to do. They put me under general anesthetic and cut out the extra flesh in the back of my throat. (By the way, call me paranoid, but I’ll never accept an invitation for stir fry dinner at an ENT surgeon’s house.) Although my hospital stay was brief, the result was painful and uncomfortable.
Eating has been difficult to say the least. My diet during the first two weeks after my surgery consisted of liquids, cream of wheat, oatmeal, soup, noodles, ice cream and pudding. I lost almost 15 pounds. The last three of four days I’ve been venturing further and further into food that must be chewed and have been enjoying relative success. It’s still a little hard on the throat, but it’s not unbearable.
I mentioned in my previous post that my snoring would get worse for the first three weeks. Well, it did. Trust me, it did. My family thought Moncton had relocated its airport to the street behind us. For our own sanity, my wife and I had taken turns sleeping on the couch. Last Wednesday and Thursday nights, my wife mentioned that she hadn’t heard me snore, so since Friday we decided to give sleeping in the same room a go. I’m happy to report that for three nights running, I haven’t snored. Now my wife lies awake at night wondering if I’m going to snore, but that’s a whole other issue. Post traumatic stress or something.
So. I’m cured. (I hope!) I’d like to thank those of you who sent me notes, called the house, or otherwise expressed your concern over my progress over the last two weeks or so… It’s nice to know folks are thoughtful enough to check. This coming Thursday will mark three weeks since the operation and, according to the doctor, the end of the worst part of the recovery. It’s all uphill from here… or downhill, depending on which way you consider to be a good thing.
For anyone out there suffering from something similar, I recommend this procedure. It seems extreme and it is quite a difficult thing to endure, but it’s worth it.