header pic

header pic
Early Morning Walk

5/31/19

Still Alive

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it.

Just a “still alive” posting. The morning walks are still happening. Some maintenance and cleaning on the Castle is occasionally incurred. The OFM is looking into replacing all the tires with the new and better model of Goodyear Endurance trailer tires, but that is still research in progress.

One bit of activity is putting new styrofoam in the cabinets that had the roof leak. The OFM tore the extra foam he had added years ago out of the cabinets in his hurry to get the water inflow stopped. Now he is replacing it all. It sure helps the Castle to cool or heat more easily. The replacement foam cost $9.95 plus tax at Home Depot.

We really noticed on the morning walk this morning that the flowering is 99% over and the rapid growth of the vegetation is in 110% of full speed. At least there is enough leaves now that nearly 7/8 of the walk is in shade now. No complaints here for sure.

As you can tell there is no great excitement around here helping us in trying to have tooooo much fun.



5/29/19

New Place

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

The OFM must have had some really wild dreams last night. He went to bed feeling tired but well. He arrived at pseudo-wakefulness this morning and nearly screamed in pain from hip joint displeasure. So after breakfast and a 1/4 pound of ibuprofen he decided to call the hobble (walk) off for the morning. As things healed during the day it did get better and better until we got in a nice mile of strolling late this evening.

Not a lot happened today but lunch was a pig stuffed potato that was excellent. It was from the new to the area Lawlers BBQ over by the Honda dealer.



Enough was left of the potato that the Teams had a nice evening meal from it also.

This evening we had some trash to take to the garbage dumpsters near the golf course. we headed over and got the garbage put in its proper place. Then the OFM thought he would like to take his hip for a walk at the golf course. We meandered around a bit. As we meandered out of the course a rose bush showed us that everything was coming up roses.



When we returned to the Castle the OFM was still pain free and we had had a nice walk,so the Teams decided we had had a pretty good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/28/19

Cool Turtles

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it


Things are getting a bit slower around here now so do not be worried if a day or two now and then gets skipped. Today barely had any events but here they are.

During the hot as blazes walk this morning all the vegetation was fading fast. No flowers were out and about. Even the turtles were staying in the water trying to keep cool. The OFM saw a sight he thought was neat but we tried to discourage it for photography. We failed. Here is his pride and joy of a log end.



After a quick shower to rinse off the walk sweat, we hit up a couple of stores for some unsuccessful shopping. Then it was a stop at Golden Corral for some fish, vegetables and fruit for lunch.

On back at the Castle the OFM cleaned up a little and some paper and oil pastels came out to play. Here is as far as the playing got in a few hours.



That was it for the day. The temp we had showing outside amongst the tall trees, humidity, and no breeze was 93. It made staying in the AC a great place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/27/19

Old Tree Sentinel

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

It was earlier again this morning when the OFM Walking Team set out on the quest for pictures for the blog. As we entered the area where millions of vehicles had been parked, it was a ghost town. Then the OFM thought back to when we walked through the campground a few minutes before. At least 40% of the vehicles were gone! All the noise about 2300 last night must have been them leaving. We do not regret them leaving but they were a reasonably well behaved crowd.

Here is the vendors area that surprised the OFM two mornings ago with it being full of vehicles.



So the walk continued on and the OFM was doing well so we managed to get in 3.5 miles today. Just do not count on that every day.

Along the way this swamp scene popped into view. Of course we have been walking past the scene for seven years now before the OFM noticed it. We think it is very nice.



This afternoon the OFM decided it was time to change the Castle’s water heater anode rod again. The Castle likes a new one just about every year. Naturally the OFM had to get himself soaked during the process, but at 93 degrees it actually was good feeling. Any way the old rod was not as bad as some other times but it did get changed out. It was time even if it would have lasted for a few month more.



The OFM Art Team had a great time this afternoon finishing an oil pastel painting that had been lingering for much too long of a time. It will be titled Old Tree Sentinel. 

Some how in spite of the miserable heat outside we managed to do a good job of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/26/19

The Grouch Smiles

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

The OFM got his act together earlier this morning and we hit the walking trail for a good walk. After a good distance we came to one of the loop option trails. The OFM stopped us to consider the situation. It was HOT, HUMID and absolutely no breeze. He claimed he did not feel “right” for a longer walk. Old elderly men need to be cautious for sure.

So we took the shortest path back to the AC in the Castle.  After we arrived back the OFM checked his “feel” and declared it the proper choice. Just too much heat for long walks. However when he checked Google for the distance it still was 2.3 miles.  That is plenty for the OFM Walking Team when the heat index is showing 94.

A little art attempt was started and after a couple of hours it was put aside to let the concept of the picture jell a good bit more. We will be moving on to another picture while that one ferments.

The ugly surprise we got  was when we went to check where the Farm and Tractor Show was being held. It seems it was yesterday and we missed it! All was not lost however. When the OFM was checking the schedule, he got a big surprise that when the fireworks finish tonight the Memorial Day Celebration is officially over. That means that Monday is move out day for lots of the crowd. We will really enjoy that event.  Again, this year has been decently behaved. Last year was a chaotic mess for the whole two days and nights. The crowding in of all the folks was the only real difficulty and it was not that bad in reality. The OFM is a grouch when it comes to crowds.

We are hoping that by Monday afternoon it will be back to being a normal packed in Eastern type of campground. The Teams will be ready for some elbow room by the time Rolling Time (cooler weather) gets here next fall. For outdoor things cooler weather is much better for trying to have tooooo much fun.


5/25/19

Hordes Arrived

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

Morning came very early so the Walking Team made it to the open area of the main area of Point Mallard Park by 0730 with hopes of beating most of the folks to the area and get in a good walk. Well we did beat most of the folks but not nearly all of them. Early this evening the line of cars waiting to enter the main area was over a mile long.

So any way we got to the usual walking entry point and hit the brakes. Here is a couple of pictures of part of the mob of vehicles. To the left the open fields were already full.



Straight across the waterpark parking was already filled and vendors were doing a brisk business in the area to the left.


The OFM shook too much and the third picture was a big multicolored blur of folks and vehicles.

We turned left to head off to the hot air balloons lift off area but the crowds coming our way caused us to grab a picture and turn right back into the campground.



As we walked down through loop D we grabbed this picture of the “camping” happening in this area.



What we have here is nearly every campsite is occupied by someone that has a herd of relatives and friends coming in for the weekend and staying with them. So the sites in general have 4 to ten more folks than normal. That makes for crowding like unreal as you can see above.

At the same time it is nice to see all the kids and other folks having a good time. Still as of tonight no unpleasantness of any significance has been evident. Just LOTS of happy folks.

It was evident the walk was not going to happen so we went out the other side of the campground near the golf course to check the road coming in to the main area. Packed as far as we could see was the scene.  Naturally someone had done the usual and soaped the entrance waterfall.



The wild life was staying out of the way too. This turtle was hot footing it across the golf course away from all the people.



So the OFM Teams went back to the Castle and made stoup for our next four meals. Yep it is good.


We made a point after that, and Sunday and Monday, of staying out of the crowds as our way of trying to have tooooo much fun. 

5/24/19

PARTY TIME

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

The campground has started the wild Memorial Day Holiday with a generally loud and busy evening. Lots of folks enjoying getting away from work and raising a little racket. Every year it is like this but we have never seen any folks getting into fights or loud arguments, but WOW do they know how to get loud having fun.

The OFM started the walk a bit earlier today but found that we need to start even earlier. The het and hummditity started to get to him during the last half mile.

When we cleared the campground on the way out this nice long plastic pipe was waiting alongside the path. Looks like some construction is about to start.



 Then just the other side of the trees was some construction equipment waiting its turn to get active. It looks like a back hoe, a trench tool of some sort and a paving repair machine.



 We think the path along here may be off limits in the near future. On down a little ways the city has started setting up the traffic control fencing. 

 There are lots of activities here this weekend of which one is some hot air balloons messing around over on the golf driving range near the ball fields. Tomorrow is the first day the water parks will be open. It promised to NOT be a relaxing peaceful day. However it is usually a day of happy squealing kids of all ages. It is just not a quiet day or night.

One thing we noticed was some of the berry vines are still setting berries. Here is a very grainy picture of one right by the walking path. They are growing in an area that is shady most of the day so they are behind the others that are out in the sun.
Check out those thorns!

We are betting that tomorrow there will be a huge amount of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/23/19

ERRK OOPS

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

The campground was awake early this morning so the OFM rolled out of bed sooner than he planned. It turned out to be a good thing since it was almost cool this morning. Summer is definitely here.

The usual stuff was taken care of and the OFM stepped out the door to get on with the walk. A sudden decision was made to take a different set of loops of the trail system. He made a so called educated choice and away we went. A path most of the time on paved surface was his choice for this morning exercise event.

We went out the entrance to the campground and took the left turn towards Decatur. It is a pretty decent path with pleasant scenery along the way.



After a good bit of walking we came to the other end of the private road that loops around the golf course. A right turn took us out thataway for a nice distance. 


 A slough off of the Tennessee River goes through a culvert under our path and provides water for another water hazard on the golf course. It is a nice view on a warm morning. The shade from the trees was getting to be very welcome.




Onward we went for a short distance. Then we took a left turn where the gravel path you have been seeing the other end off comes back into the loop road.  It is nicely shaded which was a welcome sight.



The OFM had looked it up on Google to see where to turn back. As we strode meaningfully forward and enjoyed the views along the way his attention was diverted.  Suddenly we came to a gravel slinging sliding halt. EEERRRRRKKKKKKK

The OFM looked around us and proclaimed he had missed the turnaround point.  OOPS  So we turned around and headed back. At least we did get turned around in time that his legs had enough ability to get The OFM Walking Team back to the Castle. However it was evident that we had gone a bit farther than his legs  really wanted to by the time we returned to the Castle. Apparently we need another look at the map before doing this route again.

Maybe that will be the worst thing that ever happens to us while we are out trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/22/19

Met a Nice Snake Today

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

It was a little late this morning for the walk start. We did have a nice breeze to go with the warm temperature. The OFM body cooperated very well and only in the last 1/4 mile did we even have any pains and they were small.

The little purple pod flowers were starting to open. This is the start of the really pretty star shape if we recall correctly.



Then on down the trail a nice distance a friendly snake raised its head and hisssed a big texas HOWDY to us. The OFM grabbed for his camera but all we got was the couple of feet long tail of the snake. The OFM guesses it was about 3 1/2 feet long.



As it moved away into the taller grasses we wished it “GOOD HUNTING”. It smiled and silently moved on.

The campground is getting ready for the swarm of noisy drunks that show up during Memorial Day weekend. Our bright hang tag that Sierra has to wear in the campground for the next few days is in place and operational. Every year some folks try to sneak into the park and make trouble.

The grandkids and extended family are headed for a week and a half of beachy playing. We are certain to get some pictures of the antics those folks do for entertainment. That will be nice to view.

There is one thing for sure, those folks sure know how to try to have tooooo much fun at the beach.

5/21/19

Travel Change

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click a picture to enlarge it

The shortened morning walk was a big success. We got three nice pictures and the OFM finished with very minor muscle soreness and no joint pain. according to Google the new route is 3.1 miles.

This next pretty purple pod makes a beautiful star flower when it opens. The OFM brain took most of the day to recall what the flower looks like when blooming. The pod itself seems to glow in the sunlight.



Near the end of the walk the OFM finally paid attention to some of the leaves growing around the trail. It seems some insects are finding this variety of leaves delicious. Those insects seem to have favorite portions of the leaf. It must be the juicy choice portion of the leaf.



And a big surprise awaited us near the end of the main trail. The berries are working on being ready to eat soon. We will be keeping an eye on them.



And lastly the OFM has decided that we will be making Point Mallard Campground our travel base. As many of us travelers have found, the campgrounds in the country, both fee and free, have gotten a lot more crowded in the last two years. It is from here we will make trips during decent weather to other parts of the country. We will keep a paid site reserved for us but allow the campground to rent it our during our traveling absence to save the Teams some pretty good money. We are hoping that this works out well. It will give us a much better opportunity to be near the OFM’s family more often and that is a good place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/20/19

Knowledge Gained

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Knowledge came to the OFM by a painful message this morning. The walk started out not well but the OFM pushed on through the mild pain like the well trained infantry man he used to be fifty years ago. Well he tried to but it quickly became obvious he had pushed one time too many yesterday.

One thing us old farts need to remember is when to back off a bit on the “can do” attitude if your body speaks. So today became a day of restfulness (and ibuprofen).

At least the Teams had time to consider on the route of the walk. It seems that at just about the same spot each day the OFM legs just lost some spring to them.  Google maps was able to show us that that was just at the three mile mark.  Our reasoning is that point ought to be our finish point for a while. 

It took a little while to find the right  route change to bring the Teams walking effort down to three miles plus a tenth. Tomorrow seems like it will be a good time to try out the shortened walk and see how the joints and muscles handle  the lesser distance. The Teams has been long time fans of if you are exercising so hard or long as to need more that overnight for the joints or muscles to recover, then you need to adjust the exercise to prevent more serious damage. This is especially true for us elderly folks.

So tomorrow morning the OFM Walking Team will be at it again but with the shortened route as the objective. Being able to walk and move without pain is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


5/19/19

Critter Post

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.




Hello everyone. Could I be your friend so we can have some fun playing?

This picture was borrowed from the Balmorhea State Park face book page. The park is still under heavy construction and no camping is allowed yet. Maybe that is the reason the spider is lonesome.

Meanwhile the OFM got off to a good start on his morning walk. When we got to the mid point turnaround there was a creature right in the path. It was not something the OFM knew about. What kind of critter is it?  It did not move any when we got closer. So a picture was taken with the zoom at maximum.




After a minute the OFM got his courage up and we approached carefully. As we got right next to it, the identification was easy.


WOOD CHIP


At least we got a laugh about the whole silliness.

Then it was  off to finish the 3.5 mile walk. Our best time so far for the walk is one hour and twenty minutes. That will likely be about as fast as the OFM can do it since much faster for even a little while causes knee and hip pains. We can live much better without those pains, especially for a fool as old as he is.

In the meantime we have to get busy trying to have tooooo much fun,

5/18/19

Dirty Job

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

It was the big event day over at the grandkids home. The OFM arrived right on time at 1030 for duty. It was garden planting day. We all headed to the gardening store to get plants to plant. The whole bunch, daddy, mommie,Gavin, Piper and the OFM had a blast at the store shopping plants.

The OFM attached himself to a cart and plopped Piper into the seat and strapped her down. We had a blast running around the plant displays. She thought it was great fun to shake the cart while we were flying through the aisles. The OFM found out she can already say almost all of the vegetable names. Even zucchini was not a problem. 

Eventually all the plants needed were in the basket and we headed to the checkout. As we were leaving with Piper in the basket seat, the OFM said to a lady coming in “they even have 2 year olds for sale if you want some more”. She immediately replied “NO I have had plenty all ready”.

Everyone giggled and we headed for the car. Once we were all loaded daddy took us on over to the close Tex-Mex Restaurant for a great lunch. then it was back to the house for planting assignments.

The large Magnolia tree in the back yard is blooming profusely. Here is one of the smaller flowers the OFM held for the picture taking.



Planting got under way. In only a couple of hours we had all the plants in and well watered. Master Gardner Gavin was supervising all the work. After the final inspection he gave his approval of the work.



They have blackberry bushes in the yard. Those devils are headed for a bumper crop of berries this year. Just look at this little part of one bush.



In the front yard is a plant that is putting out gorgeous   flowers. We do not know the identity of the plant but we certainly like the beauty of the flowers.



After all the work was done and water in copious quantities consumed it was time for the OFM Garden Planting Team to head for the Castle. It was certainly a great time for us and an excellent attempt at trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/17/19

Tree Rat Fights

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

 This day has been one of reflections on things of the past and considerations for things of the future. Since the OFM could not figure out how to photograph the future or past he chose to take pictures of natural reflections from along the walking trail for tonight.

The first two are different spots that had some neat reflections of the area. We will let you figure out where the reflection starts and the real world ended.





 


These turtles do not seem to care how close the OFM got. They were not going to move from the resting spot.



The tree rats and birds have been having fights lately. They certainly do get animated in their efforts at showing who is in charge. But watching the action does make an enjoyable way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/16/19

Summer Arrived

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

The cool air of last night was nice and the last of the cool air it seems. Summer came in today and for the next week at least. The frantic pace of the last couple of weeks is over and now things have really slowed down. We guess that means the Teams have settled in for the duration before the next traveling time.

The OFM set his mind to some ham and beans stoup and by the time he finished adding things to the pot we had ham, pinto beans, rice, carrot, and potatoes filling a 3 liter pot.



It is good and we have three meals frozen for the near future.

During the morning 3.5 mile walk we carry the camera in case something interesting shows up. This morning we had only two items to capture on electrons.

If you recall a storm here knocked a tree near the trail down and the top fell right on the trail blocking the trail really well. After the OFM turned in that the trail was blocked, someone came out and cut a tunnel through the tree top so the trail users could get through.

Today we found the spot cleared very well.  Most of the tree and all of the top had been cut back and piled near the trail. It looks like some nice firewood for anyone who wants it,



As we were getting to the end of the walk, a fire engine red flower with red accents showed up on the side of the trail. This little cluster of flowers were the only ones we saw along the whole walk today. They were certainly a happy site for us.


The OFM also used his monthly pass at the golf course today. The pass is $100 a month for all the golf you can play at the Point Mallard golf course. A regular price round of golf costs $25 and the OFM usually gets in quite a few plays a month.

Needless to say it was a major pile of walking today. The OFM is riding a cart nowdays but it still gives you a lot of walking when it is CART PATH ONLY like it has been lately. But it is a great way, for him, of trying to have tooooo much fun (frustration).

5/14/19

R&R

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

The cool air of last night was nice and the cooler air of tonight is very welcome. The OFM has had an off day on the walking. We got in about a mile when his hips objected so we meandered past a slough and found these turtles doing what we did the rest of the day. Rest and reflected.



It wasn’t a big day of trying to have tooooo much fun but it was a nice day of rest, thinking and art considerations.

5/13/19

Three Items Finished Today!

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

The OFM has had a big day today. A cold front has come to visit so he had nice cool air for the walk this morning. That was such a nice start he go motivated to work out a good walk path for his abilities. When he finished working out one from all the available options, it was at just the right length for his OLD body. From the Castle down to the river and back along the golf course and back to the Castle is the path.

 On Google maps it works out to 3.54 miles. We do not run or jog or anything that takes both feet off the ground at the same time. Walking as fast as the OFM is comfortable is our pace. If something like a picture needs to be taken we stop with not regret. It is designated by the Teams as comfortable long slow exercise. No more joint damage is allowed.

It is supposed to be in the 40‘s in the morning so the walk likely will be done later in the morning.

A tilt out window in the Castle has had a broken operator for some time now with the new operator rusting away waiting to be installed. It is awkward to install requiring contortionist positions while standing on the OFM’s head trying to get the trifocals to find a lens that works so he can get the screw driver on the screw to install the operator. Actually it is not really that easy. But it is installed and works well.

Another item is finished or as the OFM says “It is just time to quit.”  The painting he has been messing with for several weeks is declared finished. It is named The Old Feed Trough.



It was inspired by an old ranching site under Lake Amistad that was out of the water due to low lake levels a few years ago. We hope our readers enjoy viewing the painting. The OFM used a combination of water colors and colored pencils to do the art work. And it was a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/12/19

Sluggish Day

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

The OFM woke to the wonderful music of light rain and slamming car doors at 0615. Well the Teams are experts at taking proper action about that type of situation. A quick necessity stop and back under the covers for more rest.

Some time in the morning later the Teams stirred slowly to the awake mode. Breakfast came along slowly and eyes started to focus.  The rest of the day was just as exciting.

In the afternoon the wetness had dried enough to get in a good walk. Not a lot of folks were out and about so it was a very peaceful walk.

We spied some “flower” stems that were purplish with little yellow dots on some of the spikes in the “flower”. We have no idea what the plant is that produced them. The purple came out very faintly in the photograph but here it is the high excitement of the day.



Later this evening we got a picture of all these critters sleeping off the big lunch they must have had for today’s celebration of Mother’s Day.



Turtle style of having tooooo much fun.

5/11/19

Turtle Conversations

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

The OFM woke with sore leg muscles and an allergy stuffy head so  a day off was called. The ugly wet rainy day did not help things. BUT we HAD to go to the grandkids home for lunch of beef stew, lima beans, something else and fresh cooked cornbread.  That was a good meal and before long everyone except Piper was having a bad case of the drowsies. 

A little bit of visiting and the OFM had to head off for the Castle. He was not in top form today. 



 There was one nice turtle that tried to tell him to take the day off. It just sat on the log watching the world go by and would visit with any that stopped to talk. But it was definitely taking an easy day of it as the best way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

5/10/19

A Thinking Bench

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
Click the pic to enlarge.

As we were walking the road next to the golf course this morning the OFM actually had a sane thought for a change. He said look over there it is a thinking bench for Darrell Goza. 



He travels and tells his readers about all the great thinking benches he finds around the country. His unique blog is http://gozatravels.blogspot.com/ .

The paved road around the golf course is locked to normal traffic with only special vehicles allowed. It is a great walking place for those that need wheels along. One of these ladies was pushing a baby carriage. They were having a good time visiting and walking. That is hard to beat.



We were following that road to a mid point and then planning on cutting back over to the water’s edge trail to go back. However a bright blue flower caught the OFM’s attention so we had to stop and get a picture.



Then it was back on the brisk walk pattern. We got to the crossover and headed back along the edge of the water. All along the route so far there has been minor evidence of the strong storm from yesterday evening. We noticed a fresh stump with the new lazy tree laying down on the job.



Then when we rounded the bend we found the top of the tree flooding the trail.


It was a dense pile of branches. After a couple of minutes examining the area for a bypass the OFM just used his usual thought process and barged right on through the branches and leaves like an armadillo on the prowl.

From there the trail was clear but off to the sides were limbs that had freshly taken residence on the forest floor. We think encountering most of them on the way down would be too interesting for our liking.

The brisk walk just kept on happening until finally the OFM’s legs were getting slower. Then we headed back to the Castle. While the OFM was recuperating he looked up on Google Earth our path. We had done a little over 3.5 miles but there was a lot of interesting things to see along the way. Now that is a good length exercise walk combined with trying to have tooooo much fun.