Morning Peace

Morning  Peace




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-30-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

We had a nice cool morning for the last of the weekend celebrations to finish and leave. Then the campground was relatively quiet for most of the day. The morning walk started just fine as usual. We headed towards the main park area and took a left along the tree line to stay on the pavement since we had some dew on the ground.

There was a little ground fog disguising things. As we wobbled along the OFM suddenly stopped and looked really hard at something coming out of the trees. As we watched, the item stopped and stared out to our right. As we watched carefully it soon became obvious that it was an outer space alien of some sort. It did not appear aggressive and held very still like a wild animal hiding in the brush. So we nonchalantly strolled on past without staring at it. Then the OFM took a picture of it just before it went back into the brush.

We moved on down the road to finish our walk.

Since we were now sensitized to unidentified objects in the bushes, we kept a sharp eye out for anything else that might be hiding nearby.

On down the walking path for about a mile we sighted no more UIOs. (unidentified objects) Just as the Teams were relaxing our vigil, something moved in the bushes just across the slough we approached and we froze in abject fear.

The OFM snapped a picture of the area in hopes of getting some sort of image as proof. This was shot at a lens setting about the same as a human eye sees.

Oh boy we were really glad that it moved again and we could tell it was just a tall bird. Here it is at a major magnification.

It was nice this turned out to be an Identified Object.

With all that excitement the Teams took a vote and took a different trail back to the Castle. We did not have to get close to the first object.

And that is how we started a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Dry Camping or Boondocking


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-30-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

It is time to discuss a controversial definition. We did not know it was controversial until the last couple of months being here in the East again. For some reason the OFM Teams have had several folks stop and ask about his rig and travels because they are going to be getting a rig and “seeing the country”.

Inevitably they mention the solar panel array on top of the Castle and boondocking comes up. Then it gets interesting as to what they consider boondocking.

According to the well viewed youtubers, boondocking is always way away from “civilization” all by your selves with no hookups and no other RV in sight.

Others say “dry camping” is no hookups in a developed campground but near stores etc.

So to make it very clear about this, when the OFM writes dry camping or boondocking he is talking about not having water, electric or sewer hooked to the Castle while camping at that location. It does not matter if the location is 30 seconds from a Walmart door, in an Interstate rest area or in BLM or Nforest dispersed camping area or campground somewhere. For us, it is the STYLE of camping not the location.

In the meantime We are preparing to go see the fireworks display just outside the campground tonight. It might be a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Victory Is Ours


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-29-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

The morning battle took place early and the OFM Teams took top honors in the competition. The OFM has gotten close to full recovery by the time we are typing this.

The cool day with the winds a bit too high put an end to the hot air balloon lift off so there was a lot of folks wandering around the park trying to figure out what to do with themselves. But when the OFM went out on the walking trails, they were nearly empty. The vendor areas were packed with vendors and folks wandering around spending lots of money.

The OFM did spend an hour each investing in a couple of horizontal healing times. And they did feel great. We are guessing The OFM will be up to full strength tomorrow and we are glad of that.

While doing a little organizing and straightening up in the Castle, the OFM found another painting he had started many months ago and put aside. So it got finished and put away. Here it is in all its glory.

Not a whole lot going to happen tomorrow except we plan on the OFM to be recovered well enough to put in a better effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.


The Battle Rages On


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-28-2021

Here is a painting finished a few days ago. Please enjoy.

As we were warned, the shingles vaccination has barely won the battles of the first 24 hours. However the OFM Teams are a resilient group so tomorrow will be a battle royal of the highest order. However this is not the best way ever of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Shot Again


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-27-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

After LOTS of research on the Internet and racking his memory of his young years, the OFM decided he matched enough of his history to the recommendations that he get the shingles vaccinations. So it was off to the local Walmart Neighborhood Market Pharmacy to sign up to get perforated again.

As we talked with the lady at the Pharmacy we found out that the OFM could get stuck today for only $175 out of pocket. Then we would need the second shot in two months for another $175.

Sometimes you have to pay to try to be healthy we guess. Anyway No.1 was done after all the questions and lecture was finished. And tonight the OFM is “enjoying” the sore penetration site just like the Internet and paperwork said would happen. There are some more symptoms that might show up but all the symptoms should be over with in two more days. The OFM has seen one person I his life with a bad case of shingles and he does not want any of it for him.

Another “event” of the day got the OFM to thinking of when we roll out of Grandkid land. Lots of weather research went on about heading into New Mexico for a good stay. Our old book of NM maps was consulted for notes from the four years we roamed in NM for a few months each year.

One thing for sure, according to the notes, we will have to get used to not having decent Internet all the time. But the scenery is pretty wonderful. AND lots of the camping is FREE as we found out last time there. However a huge chunk of the great scenery is pretty high altitude for the OFM to handle, so that will have to be taken into consideration.

With all the different things considered, it was amazing that a “not leave before” date came into focus. All the things considered put us at the earliest leave time of August 16. So now we have some goals to plan for. The grandson will be back in school by then so that is a good happening. Also we would end up missing out on all the “fun” of the Labor Day Mess here in Decatur, Alabama.

We think that tomorrow will be a good day for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Beautiful Tree


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-26-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

We have been passing this grand old tree for several years and always thought it was a beautiful tree.

In the warm weather it provides shade for lots of onlookers at the soccer practices that happen in the adjacent field. The the bad wind storms of a couple of weeks ago happened.

We did not notice it at first but the root ball had changed angle a little bit. This morning something else had changed and we could see that the base has lots of rot in it.

The OFM worked his way over to the base to get a photo of the way the base was leaning. When he got there is when he got to see all the rot in progress. All around the base and up the sides are stress cracks caused by the winds and not enough wood left to do the job.

The OFM tried to get a picture of the opening between the ground and the leaning part of the base. What the flash picture revealed is that the base is pretty well rotted out and gone. So the inside is hollow, at least at the bottom.

It appears it is only a matter of a couple of more years and one big windstorm and the old tree will be gone. WE will definitely miss saying hello to our old friend each time we walk past in the mornings.

Now for some good news. The OFM checked his resting pulse rate shortly after the 2.5 mile walk in 65 minutes. It surprised us that it was only 62 BPM. That is not bad for a 74.75 year old man. Yep the walking is doing a good job of helping the OFM keep on trying to have tooooo much fun.


Preparations For The Weekend Craziness


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-25-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

After the early morning cool walk the OFM got showered and presentable to the general public so we could go to the grocery store for fruit and vegetables. We were surprised that none of the shoppers ran off screaming when we walked into the store. We usually scare older folks making them think the Grim Reaper has come for them.

Today the shopping went very well. We were checking out getting a medium sized watermelon to bring home. Watermelons are generally too large for the Castle's refrigerator and have to be cored out immediately on arrival back at the Castle. The melons were just under $6. Hmmm. Those containers of fresh melon in the cooler box nearby were big enough to hold FOUR OFM size servings and cost just over $6. WOW and we do not have to hassle with chopping up some of the watermelon and taking the remaining part down to the dumpsters for disposal. So we bought the container and it fit just right in the refrigerator.

We will be looking more carefully at that fresh cut up fruit more closely in the future.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in art studies and it was great fun. Several new techniques were attempted, then attempted again after rereading the instructions. Finally the OFM started to understand. Here is a picture of part of the study effort that we were working on.

And suddenly it was supper time. OOPS now what to fix. Well it turned out to be easy. 1 and ½ pork chops were cubed and cooked. A package of Knorr Red Beans and rice were added along with some chopped bell pepper and onions. Everything was cooked according to the instructions on the package and came out really well. Add a glass of cheap root beer and it was a wonderful meal.

The Decatur hot air balloon fest is this weekend and is held in Point Mallard Park. Also the Point Mallard Water Park opens this weekend. This promised to be a wild LOUD weekend. We will just have to hide in the Castle until it is over. The campground will be over occupied with lots of families visiting friends and relatives every day from can til can't.

We figure we will get in an early morning walk on those days, while the hangovers from the night before are still keeping the folks quiet at their camper. It will be interesting trying to have tooooo much fun for these four days.


Lucky Ripple


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-24-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

We got a cool start to the morning walk about 0700. An hour later or so we got back and it was hot, still and humid. Yep the OFM took off his wet t shirt and rinsed it out in the bath tub and hung it up to dry for tomorrow. BUT we did get a few nice pictures to celebrate being upright and breathing.

A nice picture we got today was this next one. It is a picture of a reflection that got the OFM's attention. As the OFM was squeezing the shutter button something touched the surface and caused the ripple that can be seen near the center of the picture. IF it was not for the ripple it would be hard to tell that the picture is of a reflection. This was a very fortunate happening.

The high humidity and moderate heat gave the OFM an excuse to stay in the air conditioning and play with art equipment on the kitchen table. But when he needed to get up and stretch the rest of the teams chomped on his rear to replace the burned out porch light. He finally relented and went outside for the task.

The moaning and groaning was horrible but he went to work. The folding ladder was brought out from under the Castle and set up. Then the OFM had to come inside to find a new light bulb. Then he had to climb all the way three feet up the ladder. The fixture clear part had to be removed. There went another 20 seconds. Then the bulb was replace and the clear cover replaced. Another forty seconds gone forever.

Oh good grief now the ladder has to be folded and put back under the Castle. Then he had to brush his shoe soles off on the entry mat. Through the door to a nice long rest from all the hard hot work was in order. (4.8 minutes in all) All that hard work was worth it.

Today we made the walking turn back on the trail and the scene was rather nice so the OFM grabbed a picture of our turn around point. This is where a small slough comes in from Flint Creek and the trail loops out and around it to continue for a couple more miles. However we turn back at this point. We think it is a pretty scene.

The OFM feels he is ready to attempt to play nine holes of golf again after almost two years of recuperation. That may be where we will be trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.


Knuckle Head


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-23-2021

We start the day gathering up stuff to take to the grands today. While we are at it more unused things leave the Castle also.

Then the OFM joints request a late evening walk of gentle persuasion and the rest of the Teams agree. So the OFM spends a nice amount of time today trying out a new technique with colored pencils.

Soon it was time to deliver the grands goods and get in a short visit. We got there in good time. The box of stuff was delivered and about a half hour of visiting happened. Then they needed to get busy packing for a two week vacation down to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.

The OFM rolled on back home to the Castle and did a little more art work. It was time to do some walking and hopefully get a few pics for tonight's blog. Out the door we went and took a different route since the sun was just right for some shots of an area normally heavily shaded during most of the day. After a good bit of walking we got there to the area. A great scene was waiting for us. The OFM got the camera ready. Piddled with the composition for a minute or so and squeezed the shutter release. Then he checked the picture for any changes it needed. Well, according to the message on the screen we needed the memory card that was still back at the Castle sleeping in the computer.


By the time we made it back to the Castle the sun had gone down too much for going back to try again. Maybe tomorrow.

The good news is that using the phone for internet service is working out really well. The OFM is still learning new things about the phone and how to operate it, but that just keeps him from getting bored.

Maybe we can find something tomorrow for trying to have tooooo much fun, ya thunk.


Hotspot Gone


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-22-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

It was doggie day on the walk this morning. The OFM got to pet a Pitt Bull, Vizsla, Labradoodle, black chubby old dog and a few others. It made for a lot of short nice breaks on the walk.

The hotspot Internet device that was giving trouble yesterday is no longer part of the Teams. It sleeps in the trash can tonight. We are now officially on the Internet from the new smart phone. This will save the OFM Teams about $55 a month. It has already proven to be quite a bit faster than the hotspot was.

It got hot enough to turn the air conditioner on and listen to the cold air infiltrate the Castle. It sure was a good feeling. The Castle cooled down from 90 to 78 in less than thirty minutes. That 15K BTU/Hr unit really beats the old 13.5 K unit we wore out.

Since we were inside to keep cool the OFM went to work practicing on using several types of art items for putting color on the paper. The OFM took a basic flower sketch and used a little bit of all sorts of items to color the painting. The paper was even a new, to us, style of paper for paintings.

It was an interesting experiment for sure. The result of which is that the Grands will soon inherit some more art junk.

The OFM is slowly sorting down to the tools he likes for the art. This puts us at a new point in the art effort. Learning blending by using the coloring books was a great success. Now trying all sorts of things like water color, crayons, colored pencil etc has led to basically two items for doing the coloring, Neocolor II crayons and Prismacolor Colored Pencils.

Our next self imposed efforts will be drawing as an art form and sketching as a preparatory effort to producing a painting. And before we forget here is today's experiment painting with at least seven different types of coloring involved in it.

And that is part of the OFM's day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Web Basket


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-21-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

Not a lot went on today. It was a good walk this morning and we got two nice photos. There is a spot along the trail where a small beach about six feet long can be accessed. Normally it is a doggie water splashing location. But this morning the cool breeze was putting small wavelets into the beach. As we stood there enjoying the cool air, the sun and the water lined up just right for some neat reflections. Here is the best the camera man cold do for a great picture.

The rest of the walk was nice but nothing special to report until near the end. On the end of an old thin limb was this spider web that formed a three pointed basket. It was a neat find and made a decent photo also.

The Teams hotspot service is basically not working this afternoon and evening so we are hoping to get lucky and post this short blog entry anyway.

As normal we had a bit of fun trying to have tooooo much fun.


Wrong Place Again


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-20-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

The OFM got a big surprise today. It wasn't yet 1500 when he was recovered from the 3 + miles this morning. It was a pleasant walk and the wind was brisk. No pictures jumped out in front of us.

The art supplies were due in today by way of FedEx. When the tracking site declared “Delivered” the OFM jumped up and went to the office to get it. At the office we found it was not there. Good Grief what now again. To cut the story short, about an hour later we found that the package had been delivered to the wrong address across the the street at the golf course. It was in good shape with the correct address on the label. Good Grief again.

So how about a new painting for your comments.

This is the one that we showed the sketch that was used to start the painting. We think it came out adequate. And it was definitely a lot of fun.

The new art supplies that came in today was a box full of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Got Clubbed


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-19-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

The OFM was an aching OFM this morning, but give him credit for still heading out on a nice walk. His normal speed is infantry marching speed of 2.5 mph and feels natural for him. So his walking was going very well for most of the walk. In fact he made a little over 3 miles today.

One thing we noticed in the forest we passed through was the large amount of rotten trees that had recently fallen. Also we noticed a large number of still standing but dead trees that had circumferential cracks now showing in the trunks about three feet above ground. We are guessing that some of them will soon be coming down.

Here is a picture we took a few days ago of a tree reflection. It seems to be a nice view to the Teams.

One of the three packages we have been waiting overtime for arrival managed to arrive today. It had two golf clubs in it that fit the OFM's weaker abilities than the ones left over from a couple of years and injuries ago. Sure enough when we tried them out late this afternoon, they fit the current OLD and weaker OFM much better than the previous clubs. It will make playing golf a lot nice now.

And that brings us to the end of another pleasant day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


A Map


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-18-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

This morning we accidentally found a site to produce a states we have been to map. So the OFM got busy and did the work to produce the map. It shows the states we have been into enough that we feel we have a good idea of what the state offers.

During today's walk we noticed that the tree blocking the trail had finally been cleared off the trail. They did a nice job of it too. The logs are still there so they can return to mother earth in a natural style of decomposing. We feel that is a good way of disposing of the wood.

The other reason we were in that area was to check on the old blossom that looked like it had neon lights on it. Here is a afternoon picture of the blossom with only cloud cover gray for illumination.

We will continue to follow the progress of this bloom.

Working up a new sketch for a painting took forever this afternoon, but it was a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


What A Monday!


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-17-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

It has been a MONDAY for sure.

a. Today was my deceased father's birthday. He has been gone for over three decades.

b. Today is the anniversary of the judges gavel making the OFM a single man to go running around trying to have tooooo much fun.

c. Grandson Gavin got two bites that are behaving like the OFM's that is healing now. Since Gavin is allergic to everything, he was taken to the doctor to see if it was a tick or worse bite and what treatment would be correct for the bite. Results are not in yet on the blood test.

d. Their family dog passed away today after MANY years with them.

e. The OFM woke up this morning with a severe pain in his right hip area under where many guys carry a wallet. The OFM carries his wallet in a leg pocket so the wallet is not the culprit. Whatever caused the muscle pain severely limited the walking today but has responded well to ibuprofen treatment.

f. Two packages due in today did not show up as usual. We have no info on any change in delivery time. We have faith the delivery will be a mess.

How about some good news? Supper tonight was stir-fried chicken, bell pepper, onion, squash and celery. Good grief it was good.

We are hoping for a great sleep tonight so we can do a better job tomorrow of trying to have too much FUN.




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-16-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

The bite is healing decently today. Around noon it started getting a bit more irritated looking so we gave it another dose of triple antibiotic. In a few minutes it started getting dimmer and behaving. Not it just itches now and then. We still wish we knew what bit/stung the OFM.

A couple of days ago during a walk, the OFM noticed a single spider web strand going between two branches. He thought it was neat. Therefore it needed to be photographed. We know the Team $100 Camera was likely in over the OFM's head trying to get that photograph. But Mr. Hardhead went on with the folly at hand.

When we checked the fantastic cheap camera memory that night we had a picture of the web strand! After a little editing for size of image we saved it for our readers to enjoy.

We think it is a pretty neat picture to have.

Then today on the morning walk, the daylight was a lot different than yesterday and this bloom going to seed looked a lot different today. Today the light hitting the old blossom made it look like it had multicolored lights on it. We checked out several of the old blooms and each one seemed to be reflection a different hue of color. When we started on the blog tonight, a choice was made to show this sparking bloom.

We had never seen this phenomenon before and really enjoyed it.

Several more neat things happened today and that made for a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Roof Fishing


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 5-15-2021

Click the pic to enlarge.

It was an eventful day for sure. We arrived right on time at the grands home. The usual mayhem was well in progress. A fun time with my son and a fishing rod was had. Gavin had flung a flying ring and it landed on the roof. So my son got out a fishing rod with a small jig on it to try to cast up onto the roof and hang the ring. But even with a perfect cast the jig was just too light for the job.

After about twenty tries it was back to the garage to find a heavier weight item. Aha a tubing tee looked to be about right. It was tied on the line. Careful aim and the first cast put the tee in the right place and he was able to drag the ring down the roof and back to our hands. This was actually a fun time with lots of giggles for us.

Then it was visit time for a while until a pizza lunch was ordered and delivered. It was wonderful pizza and the OFM loved it.

We were having a good visit but the OFM was starting to feel badly. Finally he had to cut the visit short and head home.

Arriving home he realized he had a need to get horizontal, so he did. Two hours later he awoke with a bad headache and a fever. While he was analyzing the situation he realized he was scratching at a bite bump on his chest near his right armpit. Then he realized he had been scratching that spot all morning thinking it was a mosquito bite.

A look inside his shirt revealed a quarter sized large bump with a red bite spot in the center. AHA we have the trouble diagnosed. A good washing and then some triple antibiotic grease rubbed on it was the guess for recovery.

Sure enough in the next half hour the headache went away, the redness turned to a very light pink and the itching quit. We were very glad to find out it was not something contagious we could have given anyone.

So tonight as we are writing this, the OFM is doing about 95% recovered. We would certainly like to know what bit him so we can stay away from that critter. It is a really horrible critter that gets in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun.