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Texas Sage

12/31/19

RR Station

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-31-2019
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HAPPY NEW YEAR

Breezy, cloudy, damp and a chill in the air did not slow the Teams efforts today. It did get up to 62F in the afternoon for a few hours. Speaking of temperatures, the OFM looked up when the bottom of winter is here in Rockport. The bitter cold happens in the second week of January normally according to the weather records we found on the Internet. 

The highs run around 66.4F and the lows run around a bitter cold 46.8F. The next third week starts the warm up so things are much better  by the end of the month. Then it is rolling time.

We took a break from learning from The Mind of Watercolor and roamed the towns for a break. As the Teams passed a building in old Rockport, the OFM realized he needed to get a picture of it. So he took a couple. The building is the old Rockport Rail Road station. It was beat up during Hurricane Harvey so these two pictures are of the lesser damaged sides of the station.








Now we have it saved and don’t be surprised if it ends up as part of an OFM painting someday if he ever learns enough.


The OFM had a big surprise when he looked into the refrigerator for supper tonight. THERE IT WAS! A container of the great chicken stoup from a few days ago. The microwave did its magic and the OFM had a fantastic meal of chicken stoup. That was some good eating.

Our Rockport Beach Park permit ran out today so tomorrow we will be down there camera in one hand and $20 in the other hand to purchase another years pass and burn more electrons with the camera.  Surely he will also do some more ramp walking if the weather is nice enough.

We never know how things will work out but you are assured we will be hard at work trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/30/19

New Knowledge

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-30-2019
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The weather was varied today. It varied from cold and nasty to bright sun and decently warm. A little fishing and shopping was done.

The main event of the day was the OFM realizing why his art work had stalemated at the point it has. Thanks to a website named “The Mind of Watercolor” the OFM has learned a lot in the last few weeks. It is a recommended place to find out a lot about art from a very knowledgeable artist. He knows how to talk at the OFM level without calling it “idiot” level.

The summation of a bunch of work and learning by the OFM is that his main current art problem is his crummy drawing ability. So the last couple of days has been spent getting started in serious drawing learning.  The start of a new year and the start of a new learning experience is exciting for the Teams. It is definitely looking like a great year of new adventures in trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/29/19

Crazy Weather

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-29-2019
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We had interesting weather today. It started with fog, then while fishing it turned into light cool rain. A little while later the sun came out and it warmed nicely. Then in late evening it turned gray and threatening to the south and bright beautiful sun to the north.


As we were returning to the Castle this evening, we noticed that the Harbor roses were all blooming like crazy as their way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/28/19

Scorching Vegetables

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-28-2019
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The weather was nice most of the day but not a lot of excitement until about 1700. Then all sorts of fun broke out. The OFM checked the refrigerator to see what was in it. As he tallied the things hidden in the various corners of the refrigerator he realized we had the right ingredients for some new type of stew.

It was time to try some new cooking techniques he learned in New Mexico in October. So he went to work and soon a bell pepper was filleted and ready for chunking.



It was cut into chunks and tossed into the 3 liter pot for scorching in olive oil. Then more ingredients were prepared.



The corn was added to the pepper to be scorched as well. Scorching the pepper and corn was the new technique the OFM learned about in NM. It is really good.

While that was going on the onion was prepared, Large chunks of course. Then added to the mix when the scorching was finished.


Enough water was added to barely make the mix steamable. 

Then a package of Lil Smokies came to the party. They were each cut in half and added to the pot.

Then it was a 15 minute simmer with the pot lid tilted to allow the excess water to steam off. 



We were looking for a thick sauce type of liquid. Finally a health dose of BBQ sauce was added and stirred in for great blending.

After letting it cool a bit, a healthy blob of stew was plopped into a bowl and the OFM went at it with great gusto.  And there are two large bowls of stew left in containers in the refrigerator for later meals.

The OFM labeled the stew GREAT and eating it was a wonderful way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/27/19

Fog Moving In

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-27-2019
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The day was beautiful and bright. One trout was caught and chunked back into the bay. The OFM was pretty lazy the rest of the time.

A neighbor has a device on his propane tank to help him judge how much propane is left in the tank. It sounds like a good idea so it was off to Lowes this morning to get one for the Castle. The price was $12.99 if the OFM recalls correctly.




After we got back to the Castle the OFM brought up the website that told how it works. It does not work as a propane quantity left in the tank but more as just an early warning system that you are about out of propane. We got it installed easily and will see how it works out over the next few months.



Then in late afternoon the fog and chilly air started to move into the area. This picture was taken from the dining room window of the fog forming. Grock wanted to see the fog so it was held up to the window and a picture taken. The fog was a little thicker than it appears in the photo.


Now we are going to work diligently at getting rested up to have a great day tomorrow trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/26/19

Odd Bush

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-26-2019
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It was the drudgery of the exercise and thinking of Granny J’s blog writing that suddenly woke the OFM’s eyes to the interesting bush we had been near for several trips up and down the ramps.



If anyone knows the name of this bush please let us know what the bush is. We do know that the leaves make some neat geometric clusters. In the bush down toward the interior of the plant is what looks like seed clusters or pods. We will be watching to see what develops.



Some other stems are running hither and yon through the bush. They reminded the OFM of asparagus stems but we did not taste them. Once more we are puzzled about the stems purpose.



Walking around the bush brought these nice blue flowers into view. It took a few trys to get some decently focused images with the OFM wobbling and the breeze shaking the flowers.



From here we headed along the Allegro Channel again where the OFM found this crab claw. That sure is a pretty blue to us.



We kept on walking and looking at things. Then some more repetitions at the ramps were in order. And now it was nearly 0930 with a lot of day left for trying to have tooooo much more fun. 

12/25/19

Magic Leaf

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-25-2019
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The OFM finally realized what the planning problem had been for him. He had the weather history data for the wrong month for next month. Once he got the correct weather data in front of himself it began to make better sense. So by tomorrow we will have a plan that works.

Today was a slow moving day with some great weather if you like 79F, bright sun, gentle breeze and relatively low humidity. There was two exercise sessions as well as two fishing sessions and lots of friendly folks around.

A meandering near the Allegro Channel produced both of tonight’s pictures. As we meandered near the channel counting sand granules this large leaf came floating along. The OFM stared at it really hard before he figured out that the red part was on top of the water.  The brown part was sticking down into the water. It was sort of interesting so it naturally had to have its picture taken.



Late in the afternoon we were back down in that area trying to induce some fish to make a big mistake and bite a fake minnow we were pulling through the water. Some noise caused the OFM to look around and the sky was putting on a big show for every one to enjoy. It was definitely a wild dynamic sky show for a little while. This picture is pretty good but a movie camera would have been better in this case.



A wonderful day of meandering the area in slow motion made it a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun. 

12/24/19

Mullet School

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Date: 12-24-2019
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MERRY CHRISTMAS HO HO HO

 Nope our OFM is not that OFM in a red suit.   

Our OFM opened his Christmas present this evening and it was a calendar. WOW we said because it is a calendar of pictures of his grandkids. Check out this cover shot.



Our OFM got is a good amount of walking today. Some up and down the ramp, some on the parking lot, some across the grass/weeds and some along the saltwater pool.  The wind was minimal so a nice reflections picture was available and here it is.



As we walked on along that bulkhead, huge schools of large mullet were meandering around.  We are talking hundreds of fish. This must be breeding time because we see it every year. This year the OFM had a camera and tried to get a picture.  After a few tries at manipulating the picture we got this “picture”. The colors are not true but the fish are visible.



We walked on along the bulkhead until it came to the bulkhead of the Allegro Channel. This shows how nice the day was for our enjoyment.



A good bit of visiting was done with other folks and the OFM is about talked out if you can imagine that. It was definitely a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/23/19

Decisions To Be Made

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 23, 2019
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This was a beautiful day all day. The bright sun coupled with the cool temperatures and being Christmas Eve Eve put lots of folks out and about. This couple was really enjoying the Salt Water Pool Beach again.




The Teams fished a little, exercised a little, ate a little and generally let the OFM decide what we would do next. He finally that since rent was due today and something had to be decided, that we got extended for three days so Christmas would be out of the way. We will say that he has been discussing things with the Teams and listening to their feelings with care. By Thursday we will have a plan in place for our next big adventure.

We do not know yet in what manner, but one way or another we will be out and about trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/22/19

Meanderful Day

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 22, 2019
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The OFM Teams meandered all over the place today. There was no objective at all but we achieved the goal of meandering very well. These pictures have nothing to do with each other except they all made the mistake of getting in front of the OFM Camera at the wrong time.

The first worthwhile thing the OFM did was walk the Rockport Beach Gazebo ramp today. He even got brave (stupid) enough to walk up them while walking backward. Then he really went senseless and walked (waddled and wobbled) his way down them backward. At least he got in some really needed exercise.

On one of the trips coming down he noticed the gray bay was starting to get some nice sunshine. so he paused (any excuse to stop the exercise) to get a great picture of the sunshine breaking down onto the water. 



Before too long it was a bright but still cool morning. It turned out to be a great thirty minutes of exercise and scenery.

As we were walking back to Sierra, something looked strange at the Salt Water Pool beach. We got closer and saw that yesterday’s rain had eroded the beach in several areas. Here is the closest to us erosion. The gully was several inches deep. We hope the maintenance crew got to it before it got much worse. There was lots of standing water around the park.



In a later part of the area meander we stopped in Fulton at their park for a look around. As we meandered down to the harbor area, we noticed park of the walk was blocked off.



 At first we could not see why. However as we closed in, it was obvious. Something had washed the soil/sand from under the side walk and it had fallen in. To the  best of the OFM’s seeing ability, it looked like even the buildings foundation has lost some dirt from under part of it.

As you can tell it was a day of a myriad of small adventures. But that can be a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun all over the place.

12/21/19

Leak Repairs

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 21, 2019
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It was a cold morning with over cast but no rain. The OFM waited for some warming and drying before he got going on the attempted repairs to stop the leaks.

He did find some trouble spots on the bathroom window so we have hope it is fixed again.  Seems like RVs always have a small item or two that need attention. At least most of the time it is not like the $1850 refrigerator last time.

The dining room window is another story. There was no evidence of a trouble spot in the caulk of the window. So we just scraped the old caulk off and reapplied new caulk carefully. Hopefully it will be all that is required.



The caulk will be allowed to cure and then we paint it with acrylic paint to make it look nice and protect it from the UV rays of the sun.

The Castle’s wheels are itching but the OFM had to have a serious talk with the Castle about the rolling date.  The failed refrigerator ($) changed our whole plan for this winter travels and a new plan is still being worked up. The OFM promised the Castle that as soon as he could gather all the information he would work out the next plan and let the Castle get ready.  The OFM is in dire need of some dry desert air as soon as all the nuisances get cleaned up. 2019 has been a long year of small and large interferences to trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/20/19

Gray and Wet

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 20, 2019
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The day started out like this.



And stayed that way ALL day and into tonight.

In the beginning it was head to Whataburger for breakfast with a couple of friends. The first friend showed up after a few minutes. When he arrived the OFM asked about the other friend. Oh you did not hear. He had some sort of pain and ended up getting emergency surgery a couple of days ago. He is still in the hospital. So we visited a little and got fed and headed our individual ways.

Back at the Castle the OFM found a leak coming from the bathroom window down the wall to a large puddle. A quick clean up was done. Then the dehumidifier was moved to blow the warm dry air on the leak area.

Then he went to playing with the art stuff and trying out the new toys. Here is the result of some smearing of oil pastels on some paper.



While he was sitting at the table drip drip drip started on the little table next to the window. YIKES another leak. And another cleanup was done.  As of this writing the rain is still coming down and the leaks are still leaking. Its going to be a long night.

At least the OFM is not in the hospital so we can try again tomorrow for tooooo much fun.

12/19/19

Lazy Bum Day

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 19, 2019
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The OFM stuck pretty close to the Castle most of the time today. We had packages due to arrive and he wanted to make sure they made it to the Castle in good shape. They all did including his Christmas  gift from Alabama.

Finishing a painting was his big achievement for the day.  This painting is small in size, approximately 5“ x 8“.  It is done with watersoluble crayon named Neocolour II. We received those toys a couple of days ago and they are lots of fun.
Here is Sleeping Warrior Mountain for your laughter.



Then when later came along, he started another painting in oil pastels that we hope he finishes this year.

In case you thought he quit then, he did not.  This evening he has started the get ready machine in motion on a new painting inspired from a view in the Rockport Harbor.

In between all that laziness he also found time to do a two hour tour of a travel trailer of smaller size he is considering for our travels in the future. It seemed to fit our lifestyle now that the bikes, yaks, golf clubs and hiking gear have been left behind. We are not in a hurry for the next Castle but are realizing that that time will be coming in a bit.

In the meantime we have to get busy and find something to help us work on trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/18/19

Chicken and Rice Soup

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 18, 2019
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Grock slept in like a lazy pebble today. The OFM, on the other hand, got an incredible amount of stuff done today.

While it was still cold outside the OFM went through most of the small cabinets that have drawers and all the clear plastic divided boxes in some drawers. He was able to consolidate a huge amount of stuff into 1 and 1/2 little cabinets. Several little storage containers are empty for now but more work will be done before any are thrown away.

By the finish of that work the day was bright and cool. Perfect for a grocery store run for some things to make Chicken and rice soup the OFM way.  We came back with two bags full of fresh vegetables including some really nice bok choy. 

By the time that was all put away it was time for a burger. Then on the way back to the Castle the Teams stopped to wet a lure and ended up catching an 18“ VERY FAT speckled trout.

Then it was back to the Castle and cooking time. The thawing chicken breasts were sliced into medium thickness pieces and put to boiling gently. Some spices were thrown in and fresh ground black pepper added early in the process. Then the broth had other spices of choice added and simmered a few minutes.



In the meantime carrots, bell pepper and celery were chopped and put to wait in a bowl.



Next a few larger chunks of chicken were removed from the broth and diced to be the basis of the soup.



Everything is simmering along nicely by now. Wylers chicken powder was added and stirred in. A couple more spices were combined with the broth. And when the time was right the brown rice was added to cook.

The extra chunks of chicken breast that had been removed from the broth were put away to be the star in a fresh chicken salad tomorrow. We are looking forward to that.



Eventually the soup was finished and here it is. Soup, not stoup.



We guarantee the bowl of chicken and rice soup we had tonight was first class and a wonderful way of finishing a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/17/19

Tree Turtle

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 17, 2019
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As we were walking along the trail, we came to a place where a small tree had been blown over and died with its limbs in the water. A quick glance made the shoe brakes lock up for a skidding stop on the asphalt trail.

The thought was what is that in the tree?

The answer was a turtle!




That turtle continued to work its way up the tree higher and higher.  WHY? We do not know. When we left the area it was still working its way toward the sun.

Then later we stopped to visit friends Don and Patsy.  We had a great visit. During the visit it was mentioned that painted rocks like Grock had shown up in their area. Two of which they had brought home with them.



They seemed to be enjoying the picnic table top as they wandered around on it. They were about twice the size of Grock. We did not get their names so for now we will call them Don and Patsy.

Maybe during the next visit they will tell the OFM what their names are.

The cold weather slowed the running around down a good bit but it did not slow the trying to have tooooo much fun down.

12/16/19

Cold Front Arriving

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 16, 2019
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A very busy day it turned out to be. Art toys were a major part of the day as well as grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is a big pain for single folks like me. EVERYTHING is packaged for families it seems. Family size portions are so big that well over half goes bad before the OFM gets it all eaten.  No wonder he eats at Whataburger so often, it costs less. It is usually a Whatasandwich, a senior free drink and dine in. They have fish, beef and chicken sandwiches. Or he can get a decent salad with a fish filet, chicken breast or a beef patty. Drive out price is about $5. Then there is Chicken Fried Steak for $7.05 on Friday nights.

The front started moving in in late evening and the Teams just had to go out and greet it. This is what it looked like from the Beach Park.



At another place in the Beach Park we got this picture of Compass Park in all its Christmas Glory from almost a half mile away across Little Bay. It is a hand held shot so we were really surprised is was not even more shaky. It is still pretty.



Then on the way back to the Castle a quick stop in the chilly high wind was made to check the water level in the bay with this strong north wind. The water level was still good and a fisherman posed for this next picture. We are surprised the auto focus worked as well as it did in the darkness. This picture has had some Photoscape editing done on it to make it more visable.



It was definitely a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/15/19

Jellyfish Adventure

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 15, 2019
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A major busy day it was today. Last night the OFM talked to grandson Gavin on the phone. He wanted G Rock and the OFM to get him a picture of a jelly fish. So we had a first thing this morning task to accomplish. Since the calm weather and the annual jelly fish run were happening we thought it would be an easy task. However over night the wind picked up A LOT and the jelly fish were in very small supply. But we had the task to handle and we got busy.

As we reached for G Rock, he hunkered back a little and wanted to talk. OK whatcha got on your mind the OFM asked.  G Rock said that since he is growing up and is nearly a boulder now, he thinks a more stronger name is in order. OFM thought a minute and said OK. What name would you like? G Rock rolled with joy and said I would like my new name to sound strong and adventuresome. How about GROCK? That sounds like an awesome boulder to me.  The OFM immediately agreed. So now the Teams have a awesome boulder on them named Grock. Then Grock jumped into the OFM’s pocket and away we went looking for jellyfish.

First we stopped at the Beach Park pier where the jellyfish had really congregated yesterday. The entrance to the pier had freshly uprooted grasses around the entrance and the decking boards had white stripes on some of them.




The grasses had been uprooted and tossed onto the breakwater and pier by the strong winds overnight. The boards of the pier that need replacing had been marked with white stripes it looks like.  It would not be fun for a board to break when you step on it and your leg go through the hole in the deck. That might hurt a little bit.

Well we went out a little way on the pier to where the beach intersected with the pier. There were very few jelly fish on the beach. So we hoped down to the beach and started walking. We passed several jelly fish that were mutilated from the wave action and birds eating on them. 

Finally we found a jelly fish that was not too badly torn up.  Grock was making a pest of himself in the OFM’s shirt pocket and finally jumped out and fell all the way to the sand. Then he rolled over and over until he was next to the jellyfish. The OFM grabbed the camera to take a picture.




 Right then a wave washed up on the beach and got Grock wet as he looked at the jellyfish.  Help, grab me before I drown please. The OFM picked Grock up and assured him everything was ok. The old wiping towel the OFM carries for beach adventures was used to dry Grock off. Maybe Grock learned a lesson about being safer next time he wants to jump out of the OFM’s pocket.

Next we went across the parking lot so the OFM could do some walking on the ramps to the second floor of the gazebo. Here the OFM comes up the ramp with his huge stomach leading the parade by several feet.




He got in several up and downs before his body signaled it was time to quit. So we went back to Sierra to head out. 




The dash screen on Sierra told us the temperature and time as we headed out to look for more ways of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/14/19

OFM's Need

Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 14, 2019
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Breakfast was scrambled eggs and potatoes and it was fantastic (at least we have to say so since the OFM cooked them). Then we meandered on down to the Beach Park to piddle around. The first thing we noticed is how the bad winter weather is doing when it gets here. Check out these folks braving the bitter cold, gray clouds and severe wind.



Some new toys came in today.  These soft colored pencils have a nice feel and bright pigments. It should be fun to use soon.



G Rock is looking at the old indoor thermometer after it was removed.



Hey OFM, why did you take it down? Because I had lots of trouble reading it with my old eyes. Even with all the lights on, I needed my trifocals up close to read it.  Oh OK I guess said G Rock.

OFM mentions that the new Thermometer is much easier to read and the OFM can read it from the dining room/computer/general purpose table without having to get up and get close.

Hold me up to see it said G Rock. So the OFM had G Rock pose with the new thermometer so the blog readers can see what an OLD man needs to have for monitoring the inside temperature.


  WOW said G Rock, I can even read it from down there on the couch in the living room! That was a great thing to do OFM. Thank you G Rock. Now lets get busy and head out to try to have tooooo much fun again.  And away they went to more adventures.

12/13/19

Pictures For The OFM Blog

Adventure Location: Rockport Beach, Texas
Adventure Report Date: December 13, 2019
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A small insight to the picture handling for writing OFM Adventures is the goal.

Pictures get taken on purpose and by accident during the day. Tonight when we checked the camera there was 32 photos that had been taken. No thought about what the blog will talk about is given consideration. The only thought is if the OFM thinks he might make up some lies or story about the picture we hope it turns out to be.

When evening comes the pics are loaded into the computer. Then the OFM goes through them one by one to see if they are in focus or blurred by movement or ??? and those are removed.

Next he goes through the remaining pics to check for story line possibles or he just wants to keep it for now.  Then the ones for the nights blog are chosen and saved.  The others are stored in a general pile with others. Tonight the culling got the count down to 6 photos.

All this happens before the first editing. 97% of the editing is just cropping the undesirable parts out of the picture. Like the overflowing garbage can or whatever.

So to show what the six photos from today look like before cropping, they were made smaller to fit the blog format but otherwise no changes were made to the photo. You are guaranteed that each of these will show up in a later blog some day.

Here are the six from today.








Maybe in another blog entry we can go over the cropping to show how much difference it makes to how the photo fits into the evenings story.

And most of the time this is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.