Arthritic Crepe Myrtles

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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More planning for travel this fall was done today and my plan was turned in to the campground manager. We have decided to leave Decatur in late September and come back for Christmas time with the grand kids. All we know for sure for now is we will be going west of the Mississippi River and south of Colorado.

This low morning sun made a really nice reflection through some of the bushes along Flint Creek recently. The OFM worked the camera over to get this shot. About ten shots were made with each one being done with different settings. Here is the best of the bunch.


Point Mallard Park has LOTS of crepe myrtles planted. Some appear to be so old that they are suffering from arthritis worse than the OFM. And there are a few that we don’t see how they can sway in the breeze since they look really knotted up. Check out this geezer.

Makes the OFM's hands hurt just looking at those knots in the plant.

A the last painting was finally finished today. It is a simple painting but it took f o r e v e r to get finished. It consists of watercolor pencil, regular colored pencil, pan watercolors and oil pastels. Apparently the paper waster could not decide how to do the painting in just one medium. At least he did not just give up. Run get your Alka-Seltzer so you can stand to look at it.

And now we know we are off chasing more pictures in the mornings walk again. It has turned out to be a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun. 


New Sun Angle

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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The morning sun is rising later now and that gives the OFM and his camera a noticeably different angle on the sunlight in the morning for us. We still get out for the walk about the same time each morning but now the sun is a lot lower. It has put a new dimension on the type of pictures we can make happen.

For instance this is the water wall at the entrance to the water park. We have not caught it with so much sun reflecting before but it makes a pretty good sight as the Walking Team meanders through the area.

An old tree friend on the trail has been slowly surrendering to natural deterioration for eight years.  This year we can see way into the tree and it is showing cracks on the outside. We will miss this old friend at the inside corner of the curve when it falls. Here is what the interior looks like for now.

As the Team meandered quickly along another part of the trail, a beam of sun shined on an odd part of another tree. We have been walking past this tree for eight years now and it is the first time this tree critter has stuck its head out to greet the Team as we passed by. We exchanged hellos and moved on. Does anyone know the name of this type of tree critter?

The OFM is still holding up to these speed walks as he calls them. In fact today he made about another half mile. That puts us close to four miles in an hour and fifteen minutes. AND he is still walking tonight.

With the wild weekend here at the big park this weekend we are not sure what we will be doing for Sat thru Monday.  The big shootem up re-enactment of the Battle of Decatur is this weekend near the creek. We have no idea what all else is planned but the campground is 113% full for the long weekend. 

The OFM Teams plan to keep a camera handy and work diligently at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Kill'em All

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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It was nice and cool early this morning. Thank goodness the OFM woke early and we got off to an early start on the walk. A tee shirt and shorts was a bit less than the desired clothing but a half mile later it was plenty.

On into the trail along the creek section it was obvious that fall was starting its approach to the area. We are not high elevation here at 577 feet but the area seems to get into fall mode earlier thn the Teams expect it every year. Here is some of the evidence of fall style starting. Lots of leaves hitting the ground these days.

Our current campsite is positioned so every vehicle coming into the campground stops at the stop sign we can see from the Castle.

After the walk this morning the OFM was not feeling just right. He got finished with his shower and we were planning any shopping needed doing when a migraine hit again. So most of the day after 1100 was slow motion with a good nap mid afternoon.

Later we were piddling looking at pictures the OFM had taken in the last month and this one showed up. When this is your view of the golf green after your “30 yard approach shot” from the fairway, you need help with your swing.

The city truck just finished doing an insect killing fogging of the campground. It is nice to not have lots of bugs to fight when being outside here at the Castle. 

The long walk was nice this morning and after the migraine attack eased off we tried our best to have tooooo much fun planning a new art effort.


Time to REST

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Today was an unreal busy day with lots of things popping up that needed to be handled. The morning 3+ mile walk was decent since we had some cooler air for 3/4 of it. The OFM made it back and cooled off before his shower. Then it was to the stores and a little other running around. Nothing was bought at the stores.

Hit up Lawlers BBQ for a super stuffed baked potato at lunch. Half eaten then and half eaten for supper. WOW that was good.

A sudden decision after checking the temps in New Mexico was to extend in Decatur for another month. So that money is now gone to the campground.

During some research of the OFM Teams history it was decided to capture some of the pics that had been posted in old blog entries for future paintings. We now  have about a hundred pics to be sorted and cataloged.

Suddenly it was supper time and then examine the latest purchase of oil pastels that arrived today. They seem good and we hope the OFM can handle them.

And now the OFM Teams are ready for a restful evening to be ready for another day of trying to have tooooo much fun.  Phewwww......


Piddle Picture

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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The OFM got in a great walk this morning and took about 30 pictures. His shutter finger went berserk apparently. After cooling off and a nice cool shower we headed to Walmart for a couple of things. Labor Day Weekend is coming and we want to stay out of the stores for the weekend.

As we were looking for a kneadable eraser the OFM spied the NEW AND IMPROVED Daler Rowney Oil Pastels that were in stock. The old models did not smear easily and were difficult to manipulate.  Looking at them sealed in plastic they had a softer feeling. They are very cheap at about $7 for a box with 25 different colors. So he took a box home with us and the other junk he bought.  

After the sandwich lunch he opened the oil pastels and noticed right away they were softer. That is a good thing. So he made a few marks on a piece of note paper. Then a few more marks. Then there was a little painting. We named it Piddle Painting.

Crepe Myrtle Blossom

To show how small it is here is the OFM holding the note sheet. Look carefully at the painting and you can see the notes that were not erased good enough.

Well that was enough to get him going on another painting. It was thunder, lightning, and rain outside so he relaxed and smeared oil pastels enough to waste and entire piece of good art paper.  He is great at paper wasting , you know.   Any way after about three hours the nasty weather quit and so did the OFM. 

For your amusement and hysterical groaning is West Texas Sunset.

It made a nice afternoon that was followed with the homemade shrimp salad and root beer. That is a fine ending to a nice day of trying to have tooooo much fun. 


A Matrix Chart

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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The Teams woke up to raindrops on the roof and had raindrops on the roof all day.  So we got the OFM to at least run the vacuum cleaner in the Castle. Then he spent a lot of time considering where to go if we leave here. Next he spent a lot of time organizing a bunch of art items and making an art materials matrix chart.

Across the top is the different art materials he uses like Watercolor Pencil. Down the side is the different brands and model of paper he uses.  Then he logged in reviews he has made over the last few years of his likes and dislikes. The reviews went into the intersection boxes such as this.
                        Colored Pencil        watercolors      
Ajaz Paper           good                      not good

When he was all done he can use the information so he will no longer use the wrong paper for an art medium due to his horrible memory.  We think it will be a worthwhile  improvement.

How about a few pictures from the last weeks walks. This is a spider web on a limb that is already showing fall is arriving here in north Alabama.

At another spot the OFM thought he saw a cat swimming in Flint Creek. We could not be sure so a picture was taken. It did not move while we watched it.

Cat in the creek?

When we came back by that spot on the way back to the Castle the cat? was no longer there. So we still do not know what it was.

Now that darkness is coming a lot earlier in the evening we get to take some late evening pictures once in a while. We thought this was a nice soothing evening picture to finish a day.

All in all it was a day of gently trying to have toooo  much fun.


Mill House

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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Gavin Rock wanted to get his picture in the blog again so tonight we go back into Clarkson Bridge photos for more story telling.

From the parking lot if you head close to the bridge the path takes you down to the creek that the bridge crosses. It is nice down there and a few picnic tables are scattered in the area. GR climbed up on a table to see the main creek and the pretty scene under the bridge.

GR on the Table lower left corner

It is a nice place for a snack too. There was not many insects bothering us on this day. After a few minutes enjoying the 360 degree pretty scenery we returned to the bear caves area on the other side of the scenic area. There is a wooden bridge crossing the ravine in this area. A nice picture opportunity for GR again.

GR on the Handrail

 The puddle you can see sort of in the center of the picture provided a nice opportunity for a great reflection picture. It was very dark in this area so camera magic had to happen for the picture. Then we even had to do some editing magic and the reflection picture came out nice we thought.

Reflectio of Trees 40 Feet above us

Then on the way back to the parking lot we passed by the mill house for this nice picture.

The pond behind the restroom building provides the water to turn the water wheel. The water then runs down to the area of the first picture for tonight. It is a nice experience to visit this location. Younger kids will have a great time trying to have tooooo much fun.


Bear Caves

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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We made a pretty good day of it today. No morning walk but a nice walk in the late evening. We hope that means the OFM is healing quickly.

A LOT of adventure pictures are piling up so not all adventures reports will be the same day as the adventure. Some days have passed since we went to the Clarkson Bridge again near Cullman Alabama.  It is about thirty miles south of our campground. The Teams have been there several times at different times of the year and it is always a nice outing with good picture opportunities.

This day was deliberately a later afternoon visit to get some long shadows involved in the enjoyment. More than one blog entry will be required to cover this visit.

We arrived safely and parked well away from the good stuff so Sierra would not confuse the pictures. The first thing we noticed was the usual profusion of flowers around the parking area. This next picture was taken from the parking lot over the retaining wall and shows part of the covered bridge.

Since Gavin Rock had never been here before it needed to see the interior of the bridge. Here is GR going “ Oh WOW” when it got to see the inside of the covered bridge.

There is trails up and down and all around the site. Over toward the part away from the road is a cliff with a trail on top of it. Under the cliff is several “bear caves” as the OFM was taught to call them in Arkansas.

We did not see any sign of bears but we were also very careful. There is more to tell about but it will wait for a future blog entry.

From over by the bear caves we followed a trail back through the woods to the restroom house that was built to emulate an old dog trot house. 

Along one of the creek/ravines we found this explanation of how the ravines came to be. Here is a devils hand clawing the dirt and rock aside to make a place for the rains to drain on down to the river nearby.

We will stop here for tonight and continue the tour soon. In the meantime plan a visit here with some kids and everyone try to have tooooo much fun.


Lucky Day at Lawlers BBQ

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

It was a slow awakening this morning and some sore joints and muscles reminded me of the work yesterday. Yep squatting and lifting and handling 75 pound tires and rims is not a good normal activity for our OFM. A morning walk did not happen sort of.

 He headed to Walmart for some shopping and spent over an hour there trying to find several things they did not have. One thing hit him by surprise. It has been over two decades since he needed to buy a wedding anniversary card! He has not a clue as to why that popped into his head.

On the way back to the Castle we pass close to a neat toy store named Hobby Lobby. Whizz we went right into the parking lot. Zoomed inside to meander around. Really we went into the store to check out about matting pictures in frames. After a lot of looking we took a vote and decided we would be better off researching it on the Internet.

 When we got home to the Castle that proved to be correct. As usual we found out that there is several things to pay attention to for good results. Now the OFM is somewhat educated in putting some of his “art” work on display with decent framing.

And then it was lunch time and Lawlers BBQ was a couple of blocks away. Good fortune was with us. The cook got the order wrong. Pork instead of beef. So they fixed it by wrapping the Pork sandwich up and putting it in a bag to carry home. Then a fresh beef sandwich was prepared and given to the OFM to eat at the BBQ place.

It was home to the Ibuprofen bottle since the OFM was aching pretty badly. A dose of ibuprofen and a three hour nap came next. When the OFM awoke he was doing much better. So he went to studying about framing art etc.  There was a lot more to learn that turned out to be very interesting.

So here we are at 1930 in the evening with darkness almost here writing the blog entry about a day that started slow, did not get much faster but turned out to be a pretty good easy-going day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


New Trailer Shoes

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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Finally Fedex got all the tire and wheel deliveries made today. That started a busy day for the OFM. The heat was not as bad as yesterday but still bad enough.

The OFM got busy changing all the tires and rims on the Castle. That is a laborious process it turned out. One tire gets changed and the OFM has to rest and cool off for about 45 minutes. Repeat until all five tires are replaced. We did make it happen.

The old tires and rims are going to the campground manager for an old flat bed trailer he wants to start using. He offered to help the OFM if he would wait until Saturday. The OFM decided to see what he was made of and started today. He had enough of the right stuff to do it all today. However he is definitely a pooped OFM tonight.

We are making chicken chili tonight for freezing. The meat is cooked and ready to be chopped up. The beans and chili sauce is waiting in the cabinet. However the chili will not be eaten tonight because the OFM has fixings for shrimp salad for the supper feast tonight.

With a little luck tomorrow he will get back to sorting pictures and planning a picture or five to be painting.

With the cooler weather less than a week away and the golf course doing aeriationg and other major maintenance this week, we expect the OFM will also be playing golf in the afternoons for the next month. Maybe very frequently even. He will be taking that trying to have tooooo much fun serious.


Police Activity Tonight

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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There was police activity in the campground tonight. A team of two trouble makers broke into a camper and did a little stealing. Things went well and the police caught them with the goods and witnesses. The OFM was not involved but did stay alert until it was all over.

From what we saw catching criminals is not a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. 

Back to the regular blog entries tomorrow we hope.


New Glasses Finally

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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Fairly early the phone message came in that the OFM’s new glasses were ready to be fitted and picked up. Pretty quick we go over there and thirty minutes of fitting went by and we were gone. Most of the change was in his bad left eye. It will not now come back to 20/20 with glasses but will get to 20/27? Anyway the new frames were chosen to be lighter and they are. He is still getting used to them but we all agree he is seeing slightly better all around.

On a trip up to the office today the blue flowers near the door were doing a good job of greeting folks.

They bloom heavily every morning and last until later evening. Then all the flowers fall off and new buds get ready for the next day. They are a pretty flower.

The morning bike ride went well. It was about 45 minutes of nice riding. The OFM exercises different than most folks. He has found that his body tells him how fast to go that will mostly not give him injuries. 

The speed is go as fast as he moves into deep breathing and hold that pace for at least thirty minutes every day the weather lets you get out. That way it does not matter if he is riding a bike or speed walking or skateboarding or paddling a yak he gets a good amount of aerobic exercise for the day. It does not matter how far he goes but only that he stays in deep breathing mode for a minimum of thirty minutes.

Why is there no art going on? Well there sort of is. The 100+ photos that have accumulated in the FUTURE PAINTING locker are in the process of being sorted and culled. The chore is nearly finished.

Tomorrow the second shipment of new tires for the Castle is due in. The last tire is due in a few days later. Once we get them all on the Castle, the Castle is ready to roll. Sierra will be getting a new oil change before we leave and it will be ready to roll.

 For now the plan is roll after the Labor Day weekend and before September 28. We do not know where we are going beyond Westward. We expect westward to be a great place for trying to have tooooo much fun everyday.


Odds and Ends

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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Morning came with the OFM not really doing so well from the migraine yesterday so it was slow going. After the gentle breakfast, he made himself take a slow full length walk (3.5 miles). By the time we turned back toward the Castle it was getting hot. Yep here came the sweat.

We did see a few nice things on the walk. One item was an old stump that had been covered in overgrowth for a long time. Something had torn a bunch of the overgrowth away so we could get a look into the old stump. The OFM expected to see lots of trash from the slobs that also walk the trail. Here is what we found.

At another location we found more grapes trying to be ready for harvest during this heat spell. This particular cluster of grape vines were all in trees at the creek shoreline. They seemed to be getting plenty of water to drink.

In a couple of more weeks they will be ready to turn into delicious wine. YUMMY. But someone else will have to do the work.

The OFM’s DIL gave him some pickled okra last Saturday. Today a few pods were added to the OFM’s noon large salad. The salad included little tomatoes, okra, black olives, three kinds of lettuce, honey mustard dressing, small sausages and some he cannot remember items. It was very good and went down real easy. Yummity Yum Yum.

It was a busy day for sure. We even got the Castle’s license plate tag renewed so we can roll after the new tires get here. The Castle is getting all new shoes of the latest design soon. We want to roll in peace on the new tougher Goodyear Endurance trailer tires.

It has been a busy day and we are ready for some rest before tomorrow gets started with a major amount of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Knock Out War

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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The OFM rolled out of bed not ready for hard work. In fact breakfast of cereal was plenty of hard work. What is going on he wondered. Well while eating a Whopper for lunch we found out. A strong migraine showed up with a wild aura. We got the OFM back to the Castle and into bed safely. That was it until about 1800 hours.

But yesterday was a whole different story. The grands were in WILD mode.  Right after arriving at their home, the OFM was attacked by both of them yelling Knock Out Knock Out.

And the war went on for a good half hour. Finally they wore down enough that we got the act together and headed to lunch. A bit more visiting and it was going home time for the OFM Teams. Sleeping was long and hard last night.

After rising from the long sleep the OFM ate some stoup for supper and took a short walk of about a mile and a half at a very slow pace. That was plenty of exercise for his state of repair.

But we did do one thing important. We ordered new tires and rims for the Castle. When we get them on we will be ready to do some gentle rolling this fall, winter and spring. They are due in about ten days. So when they arrive they will be put on the Castle and the old tires given to the campground manager for the trailers they use during maintenance. 

It seems the very hot weather is about over. Late next week the high temps are supposed to be in the high 80s as we head into fall. That means the OFM will be able to get out and whack golf balls and create great canyons on the golf course. That might be a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Grand Canyon Pictures

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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If you would like to see some current great pictures of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, then check out this nice blog site  https://lifewithkurumi.wordpress.com/.  He is work camping there on the north rim for a couple of months.

The grapes in the area are starting to ripen and fall to the ground. So far the OFM has not had a wayward grape hit him in the head this year, but it will likely happen. This little strip of grapes on the walking path is right across the street from the campground. It was a little juicy there this afternoon.

On one of the trails along the lake/creek is a few trees with unique bark. The OFM had not paid attention to the trees like this one before but on this day he was getting a 458 pound boulder out of his shoe and leaning on the tree when he spied the unique bark style.

It will definitely catch your attention when you stop for a moment and pay attention.

With a little luck we will have pics tomorrow night of the OFM and the grands trying to have tooooo much fun.


Green Delight

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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The OFM was ready to cook supper. The fridge was opened and the search began. Ummm maybe that or oh yeah those would be good. And what is that? as he spied the white plastic bag in the produce tray at the bottom of the fridge.

Cautiously the bag was opened and OH YEAH. It was the fresh from the picking on Snow Mountain OKRA. Now you might not know it but the OFM is a MAJOR okra fiend. We had gotten a portion of the harvest last weekend and the OFM had had a major senior moment and forgotten it. Now that is a major sin to forget food.

Anyway out it came  and a quick look on the internet gave him the boiling times and into the pot the delicious pods went. The flame roared into action on the stove and the cooking began. 

Now comes the OFM specifications. Pods 4-5 inches long. Water at a roaring boil. Cooking time about 6 minutes. Check at 5 minutes and every 30 seconds for easy penetration by a fork but not yet squishy. One minute too long and you have slimy green yuck.

Perfection came to the food  and the okra was moved to a plate and laid out side by side. A light butter coating was melted on the pods then a light fresh ground black pepper sprinkled over the entire plateful of sheer ecstasy. 

Nope no pictures, all the OFM could see was fresh okra calling to him. And folks that is one way the OFM comes very close to having tooooo much fun..


Worn Out

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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We have had a busy day and it is now 2148 and a tired OFM is trying to put together a blog entry while nearly being asleep. Gavin Rock has already gone to bed. The morning walk grabbed about fifty pictures. We chose two to show tonight. 

This first picture has actually brought up a question. How can that piece of grass keep from swaying in the breeze and breaking the spider web??????

Then this next picture was taken right next to the trail at the front of the campground. It shows what sort of ugly creatures we get in the campground to watch out for.

Now it is time to get to bed and rest for another exciting day of trying to have tooooo much fun. Good Night. Sweet Dreams.


Cooking Supervision

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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The OFM claimed his back hurt this morning and he needed to rest so we let him rest after he had breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, took a reasonable walk, did the laundry and put it away, then got ready for lunch. We left for lunch about 1235.

During the short walk due to heat, we found that many of the oak trees have fresh acorns getting ready to attack the roofs of the RVs. These clusters were at head height over the walking trail just looking for an opportunity to bonk a noggin.

They get about three times that size when they are ready to attack.

Fresh chicken stoup was made today and here it is just before the final cooking with all the vegetables ready for the final phase. As you can see Gavin Rock had to be in the middle of everything checking to make sure the OFM is doing it right.

Then late this afternoon the temps outside had moderated a bit and some breeze was moving the air around. So the OFM braved the outside world and went and played 9 holes of golf. It was warm but within his heat tolerance for a change. He was experimenting with some new golf techniques and shots. He found out he is not good enough to do more than whack and chase. But he had fun, got good exercise and shot a 51 for his score. If he had not messed around with the new stuff he probably could have shot a 76 or so. Higher score in golf is better as we understand it.

Now what are we going to do tomorrow for trying to have tooooo much fun?


Number 73 Has Arrived

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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The Day
Thank you to the MANY folks who wished the OFM Happy Birthday.

Today is the day that the OFM starts his 73rd year revolving the sun. It started with a walk in the shade of the trees but with a 78 degree temperature, high humidity and ZERO breeze.  He managed to make a mile and a half before he just had to come into the AC. Good grief it was miserable.

 So he did more attempts at planning a rolling of the Teams back westward. The temps all over the areas in consideration are running 10+ degrees hotter than average. Which means we need to wait a couple weeks to see how things change with the weather.

The usual birthday call came in from his son. It was a special call since grandaughter Piper talked to him on the phone for the first time. The OFM loved it.

Then the OFM and his son talked of some family matters and got things worked out really well. No problems just needed time to organize some stuff.

The biggest item for the OFM got solved during the discussions. We are going to have a major change from the previous 12 years and spend at least December and January here in grandkid land. According to his son and Weather.com they get cold here but normally a good frost is the worst precipitation. Overnight freezing is normally 31 degrees for a couple of hours is all. BUT they seldom have any breeze even to give wind chill AND the area does not stay as wet as when it is hot enough to make the swamp steam. 

The OFM even thinks he will be able to sneak in a visit in December. January is open weekends month so he will be able to get in some serious grandkid time that month. We think the OFM is going to have a wonderful winter time this year.

The OFM is oozing excitement over this new plan. He is oozing so much the excitement is running across the floor of the Castle. Can you imagine how exciting it can get when it is Christmas time and an old fat grandpa and two grandkids are all trying to have tooooo much fun?


The End

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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1 more day

Today was spent planning fall and winter travels and locations. Then to fill in the brief moments left over the Teams worked diligently on deciding the best day to roll after the Labor Day Holidays. The good news is we still have no answers but we do have lots of possibilities recorded for consideration. Maybe that means we need to work harder on the moving around coming up...

On the other hand maybe the OFM just needs to be happy this is The End of being seventy two and he gets to start a new year of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Gavin Rock

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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2 more days

When the Teams got over to Ward house this morning for the festivities, Grandson Gavin had a wonderful surprise for Grandpa (the OFM). Some history is needed. Grandpa gave Gavin a rock painting kit for his birthday.  After the kit was opened, grandpa mentioned he would like a rock painted to be distinctive to have in some of his travel photos.

Gavin thought it would be a great idea to see his handy work on the internet. Then grandpa said that if he makes one he needs to sign it to show the world his fancy work. Then Gavin was really excited.

So today grandpa got a big surprise when Gavin went running into his room and came out with a painted rock with is “signature” on it with this years date. Wow it was a nice rock painted to look like a beetle. A GREAT JOB  WELL DONE.

So now when the Gavin Rock is in a picture, his dad is going to make sure Gavin sees the photo.

Here is a picture of Gavin’s signature. He and I are proud of his handiwork on the rock.

When we got the GR back to the Castle, the OFM started its training about RV Life. First was teaching GR about handling the LPG system.

Then we headed over to the picnic table for GR to meet Sweet Ride, the Teams bike. They said their greetings and the OFM informed them they would be having lots of time together as we toured exciting places in the country.

So far the new Team member is fitting in really well and the Teams are looking forward to GR helping in the having tooooo much fun effort.


Hat Rock, Oregon

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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3 more days

Tonight’s painting was inspired by memories of many rather very nice days spent hiking in Hat Rock State Park, Oregon, USA.  Great clean desert air and right on the banks of a great river named the Columbia River. The OFM Teams recommend it as a wonderful place for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Mystery Picture

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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4 more days

As a result of digging around in some old files from times of the long ago past, the OFM found many old pictures of fun adventures. However there was one isolated picture that had no clues to its start in this world. The OFM found this picture in a pile of pictures from central Utah. It had no accompanying story with it.

The scene was very nice and we bet if the OFM still had memory there would be quite a story to go with it and parts of the story might even be true. It looks like a good place for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Medical Report

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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5 more days

The eye exam results were all in today. It was all good news in general. The cataracts did not grow a measurable amount in the last year. The optometrist was inclined to believe it could be several more years before the surgical procedure would be needed. Checking every year is the chosen plan.

Then the glaucoma pressure readings had dropped a little so the eye drops are working well. A new retina scan was done and the results showed that the OFM is an old man with retinas in better shape than expected. Another case of just let them be but check them every year.

This morning was an extremely limited walk due to hip and upper leg pain. But apparently there was a massive rain last night and large puddles of water were everywhere so a shortened walk of a mile was about it.

Then the walk attempt this evening turned out to be a short time of feeding hordes of mosquitoes. So the Teams were soon back inside the Castle.

Other than a quick trip to the grocery store the Teams spent most of the day holed up inside the Castle.  That afternoon hour nap made sure it was not wasted time.

Now all we need to do is find some good way of trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.


Excessive H&H

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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7 more days

We do not know why but the bike riding is making the big toe on each foot be very painful. Ibuprofen relieves it pretty well. Our guess is that somehow the OFM is causing tendonitis with the placement of his feet on the pedals. This will be getting some careful attention in the future.

The ride this morning was longer but the H&H (heat and humidity) was rather bad by 0800 so the speed was slow and slower until the OFM just had to give up and head back to the Castle soaked in dripping sweat. He just cannot handle the severe H&H while riding anymore.

A nice walk this evening in the heat netted us a neat picture of a bush and berries. We know not what kind of bush but the picture feels good to the Teams.

Late yesterday while the OFM was funning his jaws with a friend at the golf course this picture was taken.

We have no idea what was happening but it sure looked like smoke from a fire. The general direction was toward some of the industrial/ commercial places along the Tennessee River. Whatever it was it made an interesting late evening picture.

And last and least is the painting that flopped and the storm trooper watercolor pencils came in to save the painting. It is finished now and here it is:

At least it was lots of fun and proved that the OFM’s painting efforts can interesting and a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun. 


Fool Mobile Path

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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8 more days

Sometime in the last 24 hours a fool rammed  the fool mobile through the decorative fence at the entrance to the campground. When a fool does that they get to ride down an embankment until a tree stops their forward progress.

Here is what we found on the first walk today. Notice where the track head for the right side fence post. That post was apparently knocked out of the ground since it was loose in a wallowed out hole now. The cross rails are nowhere to be found.

After the first impact the fool mobile crossed the walking trail leaving evidence of the crossing on the trail and went on down the embankment. Notice the tree bearing evidence of the fools stopping point. Since the speed limit for the road leading to this tree is 20MPH it is obvious the fool was traveling a good bit higher than that.

Here is the right pole that is loose in its hole.

Now we see the vertical split in the left side pole.

The evidence of foolishness will be here for at least a couple of years as the scars heal.

Personally none of the OFM Team members think speeding down a dead end road with large trees at the end is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Tongue Flicker

Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama
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9 more days

It was just a nice walk this morning and the afternoon bike ride did not happen due to heat and humidity being too high.

So on down the road we went and swung a right at the soccer fields. Up ahead two robins were making trouble for something in the grass. They flew off as the Teams arrived at the area. There it was in the grass, a tongue flicker of the benevolent type.


It apparently was tired from fighting the birds as it just rested with heavy breathing going on. As the OFM shifted locations for another picture the snake suddenly took off at high speed for the trees. The OFM sent a “BEST WISHES” with it. And we were on our way again.

The day was nice and just warm enough to make the OFM muscles work well. The three mile walk went very well and yielded a few pictures. But the shoe rocks were very active today.  We fought with them several times.

Here is some OFM history. His gait seems to attract lots of shoe rocks for some reason. In case you did not know about Shoe Rocks, here is the story. They lay around on trails with other loose rocks and gravel waiting for a target to come past. When an appropriate target like an OFM comes past, at least one of them will jump into the targets shoe. 

Here is a shoe rock in its out of shoe appearance.

What is really bad  about them is they immediately upon entering a shoe gain size to that of a golf ball. The other thing is they have sharp spikes and ridges that pop forth to assault your foot. The longer you take to stop and remove the shoe rock the bigger and meaner they get. They are incredibly quick at shrinking down an instant from when the shoe is removed. Then they look like in the picture above.

 When removed and chunked out onto the trail or grass, they have an instant communication ability to prepare the shoe rocks on down the way that a worthy target is coming. If the OFM had kept all the shoe rocks that assaulted him, he could have had a gravel road from Decatur all the way to Miami Florida by now.

OK. Painting update time.  The painting with regular water colors is a 80% flop. However the OFM did bring in the storm trooper water color pencils to try to save the painting and the rescue effort seems to be working. We are still a few days away from the finish. However now that the regular water colors are put away the Teams are back to trying to have tooooo much fun.