header pic

header pic
Rockport Beach Leaves


Twist and Turn


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-7-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

Along about supper time yesterday a very nasty short lived windstorm came thrashing through the area. We were safe and sane in the Castle and did not worry about it much.

Nothing much happened today until late afternoon when the OFM joints thought it would be OK for a decent walk. To our surprise the joints found a fairly fast pace desirable for the almost three miles of the merry romp in the woods along the water.

What we did not expect was all the destruction in the woods. Very soon after we started the trail there was a tree down across the trail. The mangled stump was just to the right of the trunk.

Well ok, the storm must have knocked it down. Little did we know at that moment that the storm had torn up a lot of vegetation for the next mile of the trail. We turned around at the one mile marker so we do not know how far the destruction went on ahead.

We took several more pictures early in the walk. As it turned out there was three types of destroyed tree left overs.

The first type was the lay down like in the picture above.

Then there was a lot of the ripped out of trees limbs laying about the area like these.

And the third and likely most dramatic was the shattered tree pieces scattered around like this one.

This was frequent all along the first mile of the trail. The OFM's thought was that it would have been very exciting to be on the trail during all the ripping and tearing.

For sure, the OFM Teams would not have thought it was a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-6-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

The OFM got his hot oatmeal eaten early this morning and decided to do our laundry and take walks during the washing and then again during the drying cycle. It turned out to be a great idea. Both walks were nice and comfortable and the break to move the laundry to the dryer was just enough rest for the second walk to be nearly pain free.

Then putting the clothing etc. away was another nice break before we started into the rest of the day.

As we were making the second walk happen, the OFM suddenly got slammed with a wall of fragrance from a brush and tree line we were near. It was tiny white flowers on shrubbery next to the trail. And we got a nice picture of them. From tip of a bloom petal all across the way to the tip of the petall on the other side was about 1/2” is all. The devils were tiny but incredibly fragrant and a lot of them.

Nothing really exciting happened the rest of the day. However the Teams had a vote and we voted to stay here for another month. The weather back in Texas and New Mexico is getting HOT fast it seems. According to weather records on the Internet, this area in its hottest month of August very seldom gets hotter than 89F for a couple of weeks.

Look out grandkids, grandpa is on the prowl to try to have tooooo much fun.


Paper Surprise


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-5-2021

There was no damage to the Castle or Sierra from all the slop from the nasty weather. Today was nice and cool and damp but drying out.

Grocery shopping was the first item on the chores agenda. We hit up the local Neighborhood Market ( mini-Walmart) and found all the desired items and some very fresh vegetables too. The OFM needs to quit so much eating out so often since the calories are settling in his belly. It is also a LOT cheaper.

When the groceries were put away the OFM started straightening up in the Castle. He decided he wanted to replace the clock that died while the picture hanging was going on. So over to the big Walmart we went to search for another wall hanging clock only smaller to fit the available space next to the paintings.

None were to be found that were small enough. The next thought was the battery powered boondocking clock by the bed. Hmmm it is small so let us try it. WOW a perfect fit to just set on the top of the couch. Then we tested the visibility from all the spots in the Castle. WOW again, it was legible from all the the places in the Castle.

Now that that chore was finished the OFM went to work on an art concern. After a lot of experimenting he had the answer. The paper that the outlines were printed on in both coloring books we own is very insufficient for coloring.

We had transferred part of an image from the last coloring book to some artist grade paper a couple of weeks ago. The coloring was lots easier and much nicer on the artist paper. So we took a sheet of each type of paper and did side by side testing to evaluate the situation.

It was a very clear winner by a huge margin to use the artist grade paper for the art attempts. We will be using the artist grade paper on our art efforts in the future. We had been using what is called scholar/student grade papers and the coloring book paper was even a lower grade.

We think the difference will be very noticeable in our future painting efforts. And that should lead to more fun trying to have tooooo much fun.


Just YUK


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-4-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

If it wasn't for the rain storms, tornadoes, flooding and hail it would have been a nice day to be out having fun. But instead the Teams spent the whole day inside staying dry and unharmed just coloring a piece of paper.

So what we have for tonight is a finally finished painting from a coloring book that was started about fifty years ago it seems.

As the OFM is typing this letter the Castle is rocking in the wind and we are hoping no more pine trees are going to fall. This is not the best way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Headed For The Sun


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-3-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

The walk this morning was a bit slower and shorter due to hip joint pain. The Teams have decided to allow the OFM to cut his distance down about a half mile so he will heal between walks. Our attitude about exercise for health is that if you do not recover between exercise efforts then you are pushing the old body too hard. We plan to change the routes a bit so none of them exceed three miles.

Speed is a factor we see older others pushing too hard. We have a few old friends that are now in eternal sleep who thought they should run as hard as they could to get good results, even after 65. Our speed is as fast as the OFM breathes lightly deep and has no uncomfortable parts of his body. The key is exercise not suicide.

One thing we noticed today was the amount of extra vegetation growth in the last few days. The trees in the woods are covered with vines headed for the sun. The floor of the area is solid with 9-12 inch high vegetation and a few mosquitoes are hanging around for some fresh blood.

Check out the vine coverage on the trees in this next picture. There were little to no vines a week ago.

During some of the rest periods today, the OFM did not feel like trying to accomplish any coloring or painting work so he worked on a new sketch which can have an eraser used on it to fix his OOOPS. Naturally it is a desert scene that we hope will turn out decent in a few weeks.

In spite of him feeling less than the best we did a wonderful job of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Tree Gone


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-02-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

We got on with the morning walk effort about mid morning and the OFM body was agreeing with the effort being made. So we headed for the over 3 miles loop to gain back some ability for walking again. We encountered a few Howdys along the way. Then as we got near the turning point like a few days ago, we were very pleased to see that the maintenance folks had cleared the big tree and smaller tree that was blocking the path.

We easily made the turnaround point and back quite a ways when the OFM had a muscle cramp and we grabbed a seat on the next bench for a bit of a rub down. It worked and we finished the rest of the walk with not trouble FOR US.

However, a biker with a flat tire came walking towards us. We visited for a couple of minutes and found out his flat fixing kit was still on his home workbench MANY miles back across town. He was planning to walking back home with the flat tire. Naturally since the OFM is a worn out biker, he had to offer the services of him and Sierra to carry them back to his home.

He was right. It was a several miles across town to his home but we easily made it and he profusely thanked us.

On the way back home we got to see that the new Whataburger is not yet open for business. That is really important information for the OFM Teams.

This evening it is raining hard to finish off a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


A Retirement


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-1-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

We had a wonderful surprise visit to the Grandkids today. Good grief they are a hyper active pair. After a big BBQ and fried catfish lunch we did some more planning and visiting.

The big news is their other grandpa, Poppy, is soon retiring. They live about two hours away and now will be able to have the grandkids over to their home in the hills even more often.

Mean while the OFM did his last touch up work on another painting and decided to publish it today.

Now we need to get busy on the painting from the sketch of a week or so ago. It is coming along very nicely and providing a lot of opportunity for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Path Reopens


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-30-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

Somebody had an exciting event recently.

On the way back to the Castle this morning we passed this new marker in the curve of the campground road. Apparently someone was not paying attention and cut the curve way to close. From the very fresh scrape marks on the concrete culvert we guess the trailer may have had some serious suspension damage. There is plenty of room on this curve for even a commercial tractor trailer to navigate the road. So there is no good excuse for an RV leaving those marks. At least it was not an OFM error this time.

Speaking of the Castle here is a better picture of our end of the row site.

We have no Rvs on three sides and on the left in the picture is a large toy hauler trailer with a seldom there owner. We seldom have a lot of folks near us but a good bit of vehicle traffic does come by during the day since the intersection to our right leads to about half of the campground sites. At night nothing seems to come or go. For a large full campground it is a good location.

A nice surprise greeted us on the morning walk this morning. A path that has been closed since we got here six weeks ago is open again and we took it this morning. It is a nice natural path to begin or end a longer walk. The other end from the campground intersects with four other walking paths that loop all over the place.

It is nice to have this path available again.

We got in a few hours of painting and messing around with art stuff today. Someday we will have something new to display. In the mean time the OFM is really enjoying the art efforts as a way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Saguaro Blossoms


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-29-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

Things were going well today until an odd step let the OFM know it was to be a hip joint resting day. At least from anything more than walking. We got in two walks of a bit over a mile each and the hip still got better during the day.

Yesterday at the driving range at the golf course, the OFM was about halfway through his practice session when another old fellow came up onto the tee area and politely started hitting golf balls. After a few he went back to the steps to rest a bit.

The OFM was ready for a break so he eased over there to visit. It turns out the old fellow was coming up on to his 92nd birthday. He still plays 18 holes now and then when the weather is right for him.

On the first walk this morning, we noticed some new buds growing on a tree or tall shrub. We do not know the vegetation around us. These buds seem to have shown up on the branch since yesterday morning. We bet they will bloom soon.

A bit farther along several shrubs have been setting huge numbers of little pods in great quantity on their limbs. This morning they had started their KABLOOM with great vigor. There were hundreds of these small white blooms with thousands of pods yet left to flower. These have very fragrant flowers.

We have a painting to display tonight. A little touch up work was done and we are ready to show the world this one.

We hope you enjoy it.

We got in a couple of hours on the painting started yesterday. It is coming along very well and is also proving to be a great effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Started Painting the Latest Sketch


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-28-2021

Another really nice day in north Alabama was carefully enjoyed by the OFM Teams. Put in a little walking time in the early morning. The fragrances are waning in the area but still enough of them to run around in the morning sniffing them up ( and sneezing). It will soon be over for a while.

Research on coloring the new sketch took way longer than expected. There were dozens of pictures of Desert Poppies. AND the poppies come in a myriad of great colors for us to choose from.

Soon it was lunch time and we had a huge chicken stuffed baked potato. Well actually we had half of it for lunch and half for supper.

One the way home we noticed the golf course was not crowded so the OFM Golf Team insisted we put in another practice session. It started disasterly with golf balls scattering all over the place. We think the OFM even hit one over into Florida.

But the careful practice finally started to pay off and by the end of the session the golf balls were at least staying on the driving range. Being away from golf for a year and a half and a shoulder relearning how to swing a club means it is re-training time. But we are enjoying it.

Then it was on back to the Castle and what to do? A touch of research on the Internet on Desert Poppies and a color scheme was chosen. The pencils came out and the sketch started getting colored. Four hours later we had the first layer of colored pencil on the sketch. The OFM was ready for supper, so out came the baked potato remains to be microwaved. Then the eating began and it was great.

Somehow we failed to take any pictures today. However between the art, golf practice and a nice walk enjoying the flower fragrances we managed to make a good run at trying to have tooooo much fun.


A Sketch


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-27-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

Another beautiful day greeted the OFM Teams today and we took some advantage of it. The OFM legs were not acting really just right but we headed out to get in what walking we could. It went well for the most part. A few nice photos were taken. All it all it was about 3.3 miles and one tree climb over.

At one spot late in the walk we came to a place where several smaller trees and the one in the picture had recently fallen. From the looks of things the trail crew had already chopped up a couple of trees and moved them out of the way. There was this big one and another smaller one still blocking the trail. The OFM climbed over the bigger tree and headed on with the walking.

While cleaning up files on the computer we found an interesting picture we took a couple of days ago.

We have no idea what this is called but it was growing on a large shrub type of growth. The long white things were growing from a nub on the branch. Are they flowers? We have no idea but they were interesting anyway.

Just for JudithK here is the sketch that is the beginning of the next painting.

We hope to get busy and have it finished in the next month or so. Of course that is not a promise, just a hope.

A lot of art learning needs to be done via the Internet on some new techniques we want the OFM to try out. It will definitely be a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Sudden Changes


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-26-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

Apparently all was well with the OFM body this morning. We hit the Walmart Neighborhood Market with vigor this morning early. Several nice food staples followed us home. On the way home we passed the golf course and it was not busy. Hmmm

Now to backtrack a bit. In early March of 2020 the OFM fell while fueling Sierra on the way to Del Rio. We lost all meaningful use of his left arm for a few weeks. However healing and physical training has been bringing that arm back to usefulness. No full power golf swings and only a few low power swings have been allowed since then. The OFM decided it was time to check out the arm situation at the golf driving range. So here is what greeted us.

We hit at full power for about 60 balls of practice. As you might guess he hit a good many really bad shots, but as the session went on along things definitely improved.

It looks like it is time to start golf practice as part of the rehab effort on the left arm. A good practice session is what he needs a few more times. Tomorrow's shoulder feelings will tell the real story but we are really hoping to be able to play golf again. We are too old and decrepit to worry about score any more, just having great fun is the goal.

Now it was lunch time and that was a pulled pork sandwich with a side of Cole slaw and a freshly drawn sweet tea. And it was really good.

Then on the way home the OFM decided to stop at Hobby Lobby and check some things he was curious about. Yep he checked them out BUT at the same time he hit on some great ideas for his art efforts. An adult coloring book named Desert Blooms caught his attention.

There are some nice sketches in it. The sketches are on one side of the page and the back side is blank. The page is perforated along the spine area so it can be removed for framing. The paper feels like good quality art paper.

But our idea goes another way also, using a camera, hand sketching and computer printer. The considerations include Neocolor II water soluble crayons, watercolor tubes of paint, colored pencils of two types and oil pastels. The OFM Art world suddenly exploded with new possibilities.

Then we spotted some half price on sale watercolor paper in pad form and the OFM mind went into a tizzy of considering opportunities.

Now we suddenly today have several months of things to take care of our desire of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Short Walk


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-25-2021

Something he ate took over the OFM's body for most of the day today. A short walk to take a picture or two was very short and soon over. So we stuck close to the needed equipment and worked on a new painting. It was a pretty good thing to do on a day like today for trying to have tooooo much fun.




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-24-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

The day was very nice in spite of occasional light rain splatters. The only little bit of exercise we got was a walk past the golf course and back to the Castle. It was only 1.4 miles and a pleasant stroll. The impending occasional rains made the Teams not want to stray far from the Castle.

A couple of neat things happened on the walk. We have been walking this path for at least eight years on a regular basis and not noticed the impending incident.

This old tree is leaning out toward the walking path and four lane road. From the looks of it today, a good wind storm will sent it to the ground. With the OFM luck he will be walking past when the tree falls and not be able to get the camera in action fast enough.

Speaking of pictures not happening, we have been trying for a few years to get a picture of the frogs in the drainage we cross when walking this path. Today we actually got a picture of each of the elusive frogs. They usually wait until the OFM lifts the camera to his eye and them leap into the water the instant before the shutter clicks.

Today they posed with great pleasure for us to get a few shots of each of them. Finally, here are the Golf Course Frogs.

Since we were inside the Castle a lot today, we spent a lot of time coloring a painting AND finished it.

This one was inspired by a photo we took a few years ago. We hope you enjoy it.

It has been a nice day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


New Toys


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-23-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

It has been a very easy day. The morning walk was lots of flower pictures and this one was the best one.

Most of the day was spent working on a painting being done in colored pencil. While working on the painting we were also waiting for the FedEx delivery of a small package of art toys. They arrived in good shape. Upon a bit of a try out they proved to be excellent colored pencils. They are the Faber-Castle Polychromos Colored Pencils.

Some days are not exciting but when they include a great nap, it is a great day of trying to have too much fun.


Long Walk


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-22-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

It was in general a wonderful day. The OFM managed to get upright and breathing so the day started on a good path. On the walking path this morning the OFM was doing very well so we cut over to the longer trail that we had not been on for a good while. We found a few flowers and other pictures begging to be taken. Three of them are coming up.

As usual the OFM over estimated his walking distance ability and we finished the walk at a slow pace caused my some joint soreness. But we did get in five good miles and one slow mile for a total on the walk of just over six miles. Of course the rest of the day he was claiming he was recuperating from over doing it instead of just plain lazy.

Here is a red flower we found hiding in the bushes. We have forgotten the name of it but they are pretty little flowers. This one was about four inches tall.

And on along the trail we went. The morning was nice and cool and dry. The trail runs right next to Wheeler Lake and its creeks and swamps.

Speaking of swamps we got this next picture at a swamp inside Point Mallard Park. Everything you see in the next picture is reflected image from the water. It was a calm day for sure. We were really surprised the picture came out as well as it did considering the huffing and puffing the OFM was doing.

In one area of the walk there was a really big Kabloom of flowers. It is another flower we have no idea the name it goes by. We just called it pretty white flower.

A very nice long nap happened mid-afternoon by accident. The OFM laid down to stretch his back that was cramping a bit and poof it was an hour later when his eyes opened. We certainly like those unannounced naps. They are extra relaxing.

Ok that is enough blabber fingering as Al calls it on his blog about the Bayfield Bunch. If you want some good reading go check it out at The Bayfield Bunch.com . Some times they do a great job of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Big Black Bird


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 4-21-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

When we got to the stores today, they were out of every item we went to purchase. Therefore we came home still wanting a few items we will have to check on later Thursday. Monday and Thursday are the main restocking days around Decatur.

Next on the agenda was to follow up on a couple of comments by blog commentators about blood clots. On careful reading a couple of government articles on blood clots and properly diagnosing them, we found that the OFM did have one maybe symptom and none of the other ten or so symptoms talked about. We do appreciate the comments since we had never read up on blood clots before and they are very lethal if ignored. Thank you goes out to the commentators for helping us.

A lot of the cold day was spent inside coloring on some previously completed paintings. The OFM has been learning a lot so we went back to three paintings and did some serious improvements on them.

On a short cold walk this afternoon, we saw a large black bird WAY up in a tree flapping it wings like it was caught in some fishing line. We stared at it for a while and finally used the camera to take a long distance zoom of the black bird up in the top of that tree.

We were glad to find that it was actually a black plastic bag caught in the limbs of the tree.

On the same walk we passed by the planter at the entrance to the golf course. In the planter is a great example of the KABLOOM word we used in the blog a bit ago.


Tonight there is a frost warning for the area. Some folks have some vegetable gardens just coming out of the ground. They may have a set back. With a little luck this will be the last cold morning until late October.

Trying to decide if the OFM toes need a dose of Padre Island beach sand between them in May is going to be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.