Hard Cold Rain


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-31-2021

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The hard cold rain woke the OFM this morning. But it only flooded parts of the campground again. This is a bad year for shallow flooding of the low area. But no rigs were endangered and by later afternoon all the water was back inside the ditches.

We got on over to the optical place to get the OFM his new glasses. The lady took extremely good care of the Teams and we were soon out of there to meander around and try out the new glasses. We went by the new Whataburger building to see exactly where it is located. It will be a bear to get to/from on most days.

The Teams went into a couple of stores to just meander around checking out the new glasses and realized they were not really just right. So the OFM took careful mental notes and we headed back to the optical shop.

The nice lady there listened attentively and then looked at how the glasses were sitting on that ugly OFM mug. Then she put on her magicians hat and took a massive pair of pliers and a hammer and went to work on the glasses. There was a few whacks, creaks, skreeches and some special magic applied. The OFM tried them on and they were perfect for fit now. We were well impressed.

After using the new glasses for a few hours on the computer, we decided that they were great. The usual headache after a couple of hours of computer work did not show up even after MANY hours on the computer today. Yep we needed that change.

Some time around noon the OFM recalled that it might be time for a dental check up and cleaning. So he called and sure enough we had waited long enough. So tomorrow morning we head on over to the dentist's office for a work over on the OFM teeth. This is another excellent service location in Decatur, Al. Mario Monge is the dentist and his group has been taking care of the OFM for several years now. They are very highly recommended by the Teams.

We enter the three day of freezing or near freezing nights starting tonight. The Teams plan on keeping our outdoor skinny dipping to a minimum during this three day event.

We are hoping that all the computer effort today will lead to starting a new painting tomorrow. That would be a good cold weather way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


No Flow Is Bad


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-30-2021

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We have three days of cold to slightly freezing with occasional rain starting tomorrow. So the OFM decided to be pro-active and dump the nearly full holding tanks. Black tank valve was pulled and the emptying went smoothly. AHH that was good.

Like any decent Rver does, gray water is next to flush any residue from the Black tank on down the sewer. Gray tank valve was pulled and NOTHING HAPPENED. Now that is not nice. So we tried a couple of tricks of the trade like screwing the t-handle and shaft in more. Nope nothing happens still. It is time to call for help from the rv place that stands behind their work. Our result is a tech will be out Thursday.

So in the mean time we will catch the sink, lavatory and bath water in bowls we use for boondocking and dump the water into the toilet. That will work just fine for a while.

We started to head for lunch and stopped to admire our dark yellow truck. The pollen swamped the area in a couple of hours this morning and Sierra looked like it had a new yellow paint job. Later in the evening we did a short walk down near some of the lake area. Here is a picture of the pollen blown to one end of the drainage. Yep it is pollen time again. Maybe the freeze in a couple of days will clear this sneeze material on out of the area.

During the evening walk we spotted this sign at one of the campsites. Tree rats are the most prevalent critter in this campground but we bet those folks do not mean tree rats.

Maybe we will get a foot or so of snow so the OFM Teams can get some pretty winter scenes while we are out trying to have tooooo much fun.


Failed Effort


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-29-2021

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The OFM was on a photographic roll it seemed. During our morning meander he was finding lots of flowers to photograph. This particular set of white flowers was really difficult in the wind.

The OFM tried every trick he knew to keep the flowers from moving while the shutter actuated. The biggest trouble was that his photo darkening glasses were darkening too much to see the camera screen clearly. The new glasses due in any day now will be clear lenses to get rid of the trouble seeing the screen on the camera, we hope.

After several attempts we could tell we were getting good exposures. We could not tell how accurate the focusing was doing. This was a difficult setting to shoot, but we have done it for years so it should not be a problem.

So we moved on with the meander to some other really nice picture opportunities along the walking path.

Here is what the pictures of the white flowers turned out like. This is three of the nine taken.

Well that was a worthless 9 frames of work. But the other 40 frames taken during the rest of the meander came out really well. Those will be posted in the new future blogs because some of them are very nice. A major use for a lot of our pictures is inspirations for paintings.

And turning inspirations into paintings is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-28-2021

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The OFM was having a miserable morning after three heavily interrupted nights of weather events. So things moved slowly this morning. Lunch came a little early and then he collapsed in the bed for 3 ½ hours of delicious sleep. WOW what a difference that made.

We have been checking around with locals and found that March is running very typical with lots of weather events. Like next week we have three nights predicted to be in the low 30s with one of them below freezing. It is running in the 90s back where we left from in south Texas three weeks ago.

With the day mostly gone, the OFM decided it was a good time to check for a good way to view an electronic image that is an inspiration image for a painting for the time needed to put the guide lines on the painting paper.

The problem is our table is too small to handle all the art stuff and have the computer open on the table also while working. We like having an electronic image instead of a hard copy to reference. With the electronic image we can enlarge a portion to make a detail more visible. Or crop the image to check if it is a better composition or even change the hues involved to work on a nicer painting. So far we do not have a decent answer to that preference.

But without weather events scheduled for tonight we hope to start tomorrow with a fresh and rested OFM outlook at the problem. Then we will certainly be trying to have tooooo much fun.


Just A Painting


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-27-2021

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It was a bad night for sleeping for some unknown reason. The OFM was awake for almost 3 hours in the early morning. Then he was up by 0700 this morning.

The rest of the day had very little interesting to it. Even our 3+ mile walk did not result in any pictures being taken. At least lunch was good and the hour and a half nap afterward was excellent.

A hard rain hit the Castle about 1700 and the bathroom window did not leak. We hope it stays that way.

So for tonight we will show a new painting for your enjoyment.

And that is about the whole story for today's effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Re-caulk Accomplished


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-26-2021

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A nice job of window re-caulking took about 2 hours including drying time after washing the general window area. By far the hardest part was keeping the OFM from wobbling off the ladder.

Any way the old caulk was cleaned out as much as possible and then the whole area was soap and water cleaned off. Drying did not take long to our surprise. But keeping old wobble body safe was a constant job.

He very carefully put the new caulk in the crack with just enough to give a smooth proper finish to the outer surface. We certainly hope this puts an end to the mystery leak.

Lunch was a big ole stuffed baked potato and sweet tea. Supper was the rest of the big ole stuffed baked potato. 

After the supper clean up, the OFM took the trash down to the dumpster about a quarter mile away. With that big meal in him, we do not know for sure if he was wobbling or staggering, but we do know he took up the whole one lane road to walk.

For fun the OFM took his golf clubs to the golf course driving range just across the entrance road to see how his shoulders could handle a longer practice session. He did just fine and even occasionally hit the golf ball before the big earth ball.

You can tell the weekend is here. The noise level is a lot higher. The traffic level is a lot thicker. The smoke from the freshly downed pine trees being a campfire is devastatingly affecting the breathing of the OFM, especially since the weekenders seem to only be able to keep the fires going by the addition of petroleum products frequently. We finally had to close the Castle's windows to help the OFM with his breathing.

With the window repair out of the way, we are hoping for tomorrow to be another great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Leaky Window


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-25-2021

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The really bad weather was 30 miles south of us but we got plenty to keep the OFM occupied all night. He slept about two hours at a time and then was awake for a while checking out for troubles.

The only significant trouble for the Teams was the infrequent leak at the bathroom window decided to get more serious last night. It was still manageable but did need to be managed.

Today the OFM got brave and took the trim ring off the window to once again try to see where the water was entering the Castle.

After a lot of squatting and wiggling, there is was. This is the first time we have actually seen the water entering the Castle. Now we know what to do and where to do it. A temporary fix was employed in a short rain break. It slowed the leak down to almost nothing. But tomorrow doing a proper re-caulk on the window trim should be the solution.

After the rain quit about 1700, the OFM decided on a walk to see how things were in the area. There was some more natural pruning here and there.

And the drainage from the campground was running well. This road had a couple of inches of water running over it earlier in the afternoon. But it is doing a good job of moving the water on down the hill.

As we meandered along the OFM stopped to check on the watch from last nights blog. It is still there, running and had the right time on it.

Finally we came to the fishing bridge. This is where the drainage from the campground dumps into the Tennessee River drainage. We were standing nearly right over the outfall to take this picture of the rapids ruffling the water.

Apparently overnight the river authority had dumped about two feet of water out of the lake. The lake level was low enough that the drainage was moving very well out of the campground.

Just to make the OFM happy, some art supplies came in this afternoon so he has more things to do now. There are lots of ways of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Damaged Knee


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-24-2021

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Yesterday while meandering there was a picture calling out for the OFM to come take it. So the OFM FOOLISHLY went down the loose rock slope and took the picture. Coming back up the slope the FOOL managed to slip some and twist his left knee. It was another big Ibuprofen night for the Teams Great Leader.

Today was a bit restricted while the knee was healing. Tonight the OFM is doing pretty well and expects to be ready to run around getting into trouble tomorrow.

However we have a couple of neat items for tonight.

First is a picture of some sort of holly looking bush. It has yellow gold round balls like sycamore balls on it. We have not found out what it is from the Internet yet. The wind was blowing very hard and caused some blurriness in the picture. This is the only bush we have seen like this. If someone recognizes it please let us know what it is.

Sometimes it pays to pay extra attention to things around you when meandering. We have no idea what caught the OFM's attention and caused him to back up to check out what it was that caught his attention. This next picture is basically what he saw from the path. We put a green box around the object to help you find the mystery object.

Between the camera zoom and some brush busting we closed in on the object and finally got a good picture of it.

What in the world is that watch doing so carefully fastened to the limb? You never know for sure what you will spot when you meander around an area looking for tooooo much fun.




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-23-2021

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Here is a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Susan down south in Texas City, Texas. She and her husband are long time followers of OFM Adventures since we met at Cottonwood campground Big Bend NP a million years ago. She is celebrating her ninety first birthday tomorrow. Thank you for being our friend Susan.

The morning was going well until the weather was read. OOOPS a big nasty front is due in about noon. So the OFM got busy and we headed out for a meandering looking for photos that needed taking. We found 86 of them. It is very amazing how we can walk the same meander at different times of the day and see dozens of different opportunities for photos needing to be taken.

The ordinary trees over by the ice skating rink usually never cause a second look, but the stormy sky this morning made the pink blossoms look really nice against the coming storm front. The picture does not quite catch the vibrancy of the pink that almost glowed.

As we AGAIN walked near the water at another location, we were astounded at the horrible Lake Monster that came out of the water to get us. The OFM had been just been mind dead meandering when he noticed the monster in attack mode in the dimming light of the storm. The hardened Nam infantry combat veteran actually flinched and reacted quickly when he saw the monster out of the corner of his eye.

Then he realized we were not in danger and calmed down.

We continued along the familiar walking trail on toward the water park and the OFM went back into his peaceful state of mind. Sure enough in a few hundred steps another monster startled him. This was a reptile of some sort coming out from the bank of the lake. Once again the OFM jumped and had to calm down when he saw the tree root.

This time he felt really silly at reacting like that AGAIN . At least it was just another event that was worth a good laugh at his reaction.

There is lots more to talk about but this is getting long enough. So tomorrow we will have to continue to tell the tales of an Old Fat Man meandering around trying to have tooooo much fun.


Rose Bushes Getting Ready


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-22-2021

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A nice walk was the beginning of a peaceful day. The Point Mallard Park has planters with rose bushes scattered all around the area. As we walked past the bushes, we noticed they were all freshly covered with new rose bush leaves. They are a pretty bright red.

We finished the walk and decided to check the mileage for the effort. It turned out to be just under 4 miles. WOW it did not seem that long. On top of that the OFM had no special aches or pains from it. Maybe he is getting stronger or healing faster. We can always hope.

How about another painting to enjoy? This is Christmas Cacti.

The day was great and we did a nice amount of trying to have tooooo much fun in the warm sun.


Drying Out the Campground


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-21-2021

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The cold night kept the OFM in until a little later this morning. Then we headed over to the laundry to try to clean up the OFM's act a bit. It just about clogged the washing machine. But in the end it was all down the drain and into the dryer with the textiles.

Back at the Castle every thing was stored properly by lunch time and away we went.

Since we once again had possession of some golf clubs, the OFM thought it was a good idea to see if he could even make contact with a ball. It turned out he was very good at contacting that big ball named EARTH. It was a bit of fun and a bigger bit of frustration but we will try again after rereading the proper technique for contacting the little ball. We will see what happens.

The last thing of the day was a meander around the campground checking the status of the flooding. All the campsites were clear of flood waters now. The manager had started the process of getting folks back into their proper sites. He hopes to get the move back completed tomorrow.

In another day the walking trail along the lake should be very usable again. The OFM really needs to get in some good walking after the three days with minimal activity. Of course the camera will come along to assist in trying to have tooooo much fun.


Three Baskets Full


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-20-2021

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A chilly and breezy start to the day cut the morning short to about 2 miles. After getting the OFM warm again, he put on some more warmth and we went to take a picture of the campground flooding. Only about 30 rigs had to move out. Here is a picture of the low part of the campground.

The water is expected to be gone sometime tomorrow.

The next pictures came from the warm bright sunshine afternoon walk. We meandered in a drunken fool path around the Point Mallard Park wherever the flooding did not get in the way. This is one part of the trails we had to meander around.

Along the meandering locations we ran across a nice fellow we know who fishes the area. Mr. Theo usually catches his share of catfish around here but today he was showing off. He had three fish baskets full of catfish and this one about half full that he was still filling.

We noticed the turtles were gathering nearby as if they knew Mr. Theo would soon be chunking fish left overs from cleaning back into the water for turtle food. They would probably get so full they could not climb back on the tree trunk.

When we went back over near the entrance to the campground by the soccer field these beautiful white flowers greeted us. They had sprung up since yesterday and were covering several acres of the park. The white flower had pink edging on the blossoms. They were about the size of a nickle. It was a pleasant sight to see.

From the flowers it was a nice dry walk back to the Castle for the rest of the evening. The day turned out to be a great one for trying to have tooooo much fun.




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-19-2021

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The chilly damp weather was too much for the OFM to get himself out walking. So we spent most of the day making art.

Here is a painting we named Peyote Cactus. We hope you enjoy it.

By noon the low section of the campground was moving up into the short term sites to get away from the flooding from the Tennessee River. Supposedly it has peaked and will be dropping for the next couple of days. That is wonderful.

Other than that it was a nice peaceful day of turning paper all sorts of colors and calling it art as the OFM's way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Natural Pruning


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-18-2021

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Weather report.

The bad north Alabama weather was mostly a little south of us by about 40 miles. Those folks go much worse weather than we did. We got some 45-50 gusts of wind and LOTS of rain.

During the walk this morning we got to check out the damage in this area. It was a bit over 4 miles of walking.

The golf course has lots of low spots on it. Each one was its own lake like this one.

This fallen tree is like many of them around the area. It had been dead and decaying for years and it was time to come down by natural pruning.

As we made our way around the chosen meandering route we saw some healthy looking branches on occasion that had been naturally pruned.

Many places along the river front portions of the trail have dead trees that have been needing to be taken down for trail safety. Here is one of them we do not need to worry about again. The stump was at the edge of the gravel for the trail.

On around the bend was this tall long dead tree. It did not come down but all the dead bark was blown off of it. The bark pieces were scattered all around the area. It looked funny standing there all naked.

Most of today's walk was done on the paved road looping through the Point Mallard Park facilities. Why? Because lots of spots on the gravel trail had a few inches of water covering it.

The water was only 3-4 inches deep this morning and likely has soaked into the dirt and disappeared by tonight.

During the trip for lunch and supper, one big baked potato split between the two meals, the OFM looked for serious damage and found none. Naturally the flimsy or worn out structures showed some damage but nothing of significance.

One thing for sure, running around checking on damage from natural events is NOT a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


A Bit Of Moisture


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 3-17-2021

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What a way to start out with the new site!

Heavy rain started the day. Then tornado warnings off and on all day.

Here is what noon had for us.

That could just as easily have been anytime during the daylight hours. For now at 1945 we have rolling thunderstorms dropping flooding quantities of rain.

A neighbor nearby thinks this is appropriate camping light to leave on all day and night. At least they are very quiet about it.

The up side of the weather is that the OFM got to spend several hours today with colored pencils in his hand. He got a good bit accomplished on a painting that has been partially finished for a couple of months. We still have quite a ways to go yet but it is looking pretty good for now. Don't worry he still has a great chance of screwing it up also.

Maybe tomorrow it will not rain and the OFM will HAVE to get out and walk. That could be a lot of fun this soon after the flooding in the low areas. But it might also be a great time for taking some different than usual pictures as a way of trying to have tooooo much fun.