Clover Blossom

8/31/21

Regressive Behavior

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/31/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Rolling Date: 9-10-2021



It was a light rain when the OFM came to his senses and rolled out of bed to attack the day. But the day proved to wet to get out and attack it. So we spent the day indoors listening to the light rain and wondering if anything was flooding.

Finally on the way back from Baked Potato Day at Lawler's we turned into the water park area to check the lake level. Apparently the authorities had let the lake down a bit earlier because the lake was about six inches below the full mark. That was good to see. The rain from whats left of the hurricane that destroyed New Orleans has been light if steady until about 1800 tonight.



The OFM even managed to sneak in about a half mile of walking in the afternoon. It was wonderful.



So what did the Teams do all day? They played at learning or at least trying to learn some more art stuff. But along about 1600 the OFM sat back and did some serious thinking. All this work of getting ready to do the coloring is not what he enjoys anymore. He decided he had had enough of of the drawing type of effort during his twenty years as a manual draftsman in his first working years before computers took over from drafting boards.



He likes the coloring and final detailing of the art work. Just from curiosity he got on the computer and did some searching and found that an artist that does what he likes to do is usually called a “colorist”. According to the dictionary on the website we found here is the definition of colorist,

noun

an artist who uses color skillfully.

An artist who emphasizes color relationships in a work of art.



So we are going back to the fun part of art that we enjoyed so much for a few years in the recent past. Now we will not have the headache of having to do a part of art that we do not prefer to do. Ah the retired life again sounds wonderful. It will also give The Teams considerably more time for adventures and photography. Which also leads to more time for trying to have tooooo much fun.



8/30/21

Hurricane Rains?

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/30/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Rolling Date: 9-10-2021



Grocery shopping was the first thing on the agenda. We badly needed the food and wanted to get it purchased and back to the Castle before the predicted heavy rain started. Mission accomplished and still no significant rain.



Messed around and got it a bit over two miles of walking doing clover leaf walks from the Castle. We did not want to get caught a mile or more from the Castle when the heavy rain started.

A nice shower to clean the OFM body and some cleaning of the Castle. Then some considering where to head when we leave. Another store run and lunch at Lawlers. Then a stop at the Walmart Neighborhood Market again for a few more “hurricane” rains items. So here we are early evening writing the blog entry and we finally have a small light bit of raining. So what does a good OFM do in the rain. He grabs his umbrella and the laundry and gets busy since nobody with any sense will be clogging up the laundry room.



We are wondering what tomorrow will actually bring,

In the meantime here is another completed painting that we hope you enjoy.





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

8/29/21

Too Much Fun!

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/29/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Rolling Date: 9-10-2021



A late Saturday invite to come to the grands house Sunday was accepted. Sunday morning was a get ready to go and go morning. The reception at the Grands house was wonderful and lots of fun ran wild for a few hours. Lunch was grilled ribs and fried fish etc. Oh boy o boy. Then more messing around and finally it got to be nap time for the grand daughter and the OFM Teams headed to the Castle. Shhhhh do not tell anyone but the OFM laid down for a minute to rest his back and that lasted an hour. This was a pretty good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/28/21

Determination

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/27/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Rolling Date: 9-10-2021



A great morning walk got us this one picture of a very determined tree. Each year of the last ten years we have noticed that tree is leaning a bit more out over the water. But this morning the we noticed the claw hold that tree has with its roots on the dry land. We call that major determination.





After the walk the OFM worked really hard at trying to use watercolor pencils on the new painting effort. In the end the painting went into the trash can and the watercolor pencils were put in the give to the grand kids pile before we roll.

So it seems that now the OFM will be back to colored pencils for his art work. That is not all bad.



And that was our whole day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/27/21

New Camera Testing

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/27/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Rolling Date: 9-10-2021



WoW a whole day has gone by and the rolling date did not change!

Meanwhile the walk was very eventful this morning. The OFM had no trouble making the three miles even though the heat and humidity was bad. The new camera was put through the paces on the walk and it passed with flying colors. Here is one of the tests. The old camera had lost this ability and we feel you will be able to see why we wanted it along. Here is what the eyeball could see looking across Flint Creek.



Now this is what the digital zoom of this little cheap camera can do for the same view.





That is the capability the Teams really had come to rely on for a lot of pictures we put in the blog. It is wonderful to have that ability back in the tool box.



On that same walk where the camera was getting to prove its abilities we also met a young couple with a Vizula and an American Yellow Labrador pups. We talked about travel in the west and how well the pups would like the Texas beaches.



Heading on down the trail we met a very nice young couple out for their first walk in the Point Mallard trails complex. They were interesting also. When the OFM noticed they did not have water with them, the OFM talked with them about services available along the trail (none).

Then we talked about all the interconnecting trails that make up the eleven miles total of trails available. They decided to turn around at the 1.5 mile marker and come back another day better prepared for the distances involved.



Sure enough we got to our turnaround point and started back when we met a very nice young single lady of 65ish age. She had recently moved from her long time home in Pennsylvania to Decatur and loved the walking trails in the park. The OFM and the lady talked for over a half hour with lots of laughter involved. Finally we each needed to move on down the road and good wishes were exchanged and away we each went.

When the Teams got back to the Castle about 1030 we had been on the trail over two hours and were still giggling about all the fun we had.



Here is the decision sketch we made in the afternoon to decide if we want to go farther into making this a full painting.



Naturally we also had supper to prepare and a bit of other fun nonsense working toward our goal of trying to have tooooo much fun.



8/26/21

Big Surprises Today

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/26/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Rolling Date: 9-10-2021



Notice we have a new rolling date. Several things had to be reconsidered such as heat still bad along the desired route, Covid up tick is severe in some of Texas and New Mexico and other little details. But now we have the information to make the choice and we did first thing this morning and turned in our rolling date to the campground management.

Then this afternoon the weather site pops up with another storm that will probably end up as a hurricane taking aim at this area. But it is supposed to be here and gone by next Monday. What a mess of junk to be considering!

Ok now on to the good stuff. The morning walk needed to be not to hot since the migraine recovery time is not over yet. So the OFM chose to take a path that has more sun on it, but we are earlier than usual. Also this route is more open so we hoped (correctly as it turned out) that some breeze would be moving in the open areas. Even though it was hot the little bit of breeze helped tremendously. We got in 2.8 miles and the OFM was ready to stop when we got back to the Castle. Here is the walking path next to the golf course.





We got to the spot where the gravel walking path takes off to follow the lake through the trees. It was quickly way to humid and still in the trees to do much walking in there. Here is a picture through the trees from the path. Look at that slick lake. We turned around at this point and headed back to find some breeze.




All along this section of the pathways we had great fragrance every where we went. The source was finally isolated to be these white flowers on a shrub growing all over the place.



The last thing for tonight but by no means the last thing that happened is when we were at Walmart to pick up something, the OFM stopped at the electronics area to ask if they had received any more of the camera we wanted so we could purchase one. As luck would have it, the nice fellow in that department was carrying a box of stuff out to put onto the shelves. He reached into the box and pulled out the camera we wanted. Two of them had just come in on a truck a few minutes ago.





So now we have a new camera of the same model that broke that we have had for several years. When we get the electronics all set up in the morning we will be back to full service photography again. The old one will go into a cabinet for a couple of months while the new one proves it abilities.

This issue of the blog is getting long so all the other stuff that happened will wait for a day or so while we try to recuperate from this fast and furious day of trying to have tooooo much fun.





8/25/21

Brain Malfunction Again

 

Malfunction Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/25/2021



It was a rough day in OFM country. A migraine hit the OFM a little way into the morning walk and nearly all day was spent just riding the bed or the office chair when eating. This evening he is doing well and expects to be fully silly as usual in the morning.

We hope somebody made up for us in the trying to have tooooo much fun category.





8/24/21

Disaster Painting

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/24/2021

Click the pic to enlarge



The OFM had a very bad night of PTSD dreams last night when he did manage to get to sleep. Needless to say he has been less than spectacular today. We did get over to the grocery store for more food supplies. He also managed to make four meals worth of pork chop stoup so he will not starve soon. But mostly it has been a very hot humid and still day. We did not even begin to attempt a walk in this weather.

The good news is that Texas and New Mexico seem to be making progress on the Covid plans. We hope that within the next couple of days they will publish what they have decided. Then we can make a plan.

In the interest in being restful today, the OFM spent more time arting around on an experimental painting using Neocolor II water soluble crayons and paper intended for dry colored pencils and not water media art products. Along about 1900 tonight, after a week of effort, the OFM declared the educational experiment complete. The answer is NO, we cannot use water media on paper made for dry applications.



As you can see we did get color spread on the paper. The wet wrinkling was pretty bad in spite of the technique we read about on the Internet. It was virtually impossible to control the color saturation. The paper, even using dry brush techniques, was like painting a sponge. So this painting named Disaster, has been a wonderful experiment and is a great learning lesson for the OFM Art Team.

It also proved to the Teams that even when painting a Disaster, a person can successfully try to have tooooo much fun.



8/23/21

Toadstools Demise

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/23/2021


Rolling Date: Undecided



The Teams were out in good time this morning with the walk going along well. Suddenly the OFM screeched to a halt again. The red top toadstools were next to us or better phrased what was left of them. Since the photo yesterday they had shrunk and withered down to a yucky blobs with red streaks in them. That was a surprise but it turned out to be the high spot of the day.

The doldrums have officially taken over the area. No pictures were taken today in spite of two meanderings with pictures being the purpose of the meandering.



We are hoping tomorrow to get to play some golf later in the day since the hot muggy mornings with no breeze are miserable.

Our afternoon effort was in rescheduling our general travels when we leave grandkid land. Both Texas and New Mexico very recently changed the Covid protection policies, so we put the leaving date on hold while we work on fully understanding the new covid policies. As of this evening it seems that since the OFM is long time vaccinated and Sierra and the Castle are exempt, the new policies will have no effect on our plans of rolling. But we want to be certain of any restrictions that might cause us troubles.

In the mean time we hope to find some new interesting things to photograph or special things to do for trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/22/21

New To The OFM

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/22/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Rolling Date: Delayed a bit.



We were making good time on the trail this morning when the OFM screeched to a halt and backtracked a bit. Look at those red fungi he thought. Out came the camera and it had a memory card in it to his surprise.

Careful examination showed a cluster of red topped toadstools. That is a new scene for the OFM. So we managed to get a couple of pictures of the toadstools. They were very pretty and almost glowing. The camera did not catch the glow effect but it was there.

Here is the whole cluster.




And now the close up of the larger pair. The OFM managed to get this shot without sitting down in the damp gravel path.







The rest of the day was moving along at a slow pace when the call came in. It was the OFM's son calling. The whole mob was in the area and wanted to stop in for a visit. OH BOY YES yelled the OFM. In about 20 minutes the heavily hyped up crowd arrived. It was a rambunctious visit with LOTS of LOUD happy noise. It seemed like we all had a good time. Those grand kids definitely know about trying to have TOOOOO much fun.

8/21/21

Multiple Vicious Rain Storms

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/21/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Very Probable Rolling Date: 9-7-21



We were already on the trail this morning when a neighbor pulled up in his golf cart to let us know that just up the trail it was raining and we might want to head back for the Castle. We thanked him and went ahead to see what was what. Within fifty feet we found the rain, got turned around and headed for the Castle.

The rain was pretty significant but quickly tapered off as we headed back to the Castle. By the time we got to the Castle there was no rain at all.



Back in the Castle the OFM brought up the radar and decided we would just stay in and wait it out. Wait it out turned out to be about eight hours later. Here is what it looked like out the window a few minutes after we returned. It is a nice slow rain.





As luck would have it in a few minutes a major rain and lightening storm hit. By late afternoon the radar showed we were about to get some clearing skies with in an hour so we took another picture of the pouring down rain. It was bad enough that the camera could not figure out what to focus on.



So we just went on about art things most all the day long.



Here is a funny from supper last night. We got a chicken fingers plate from Jack's. It had french fries on it and the OFM grabbed a few of the Red Ketchup individual serving packs and we headed for a table. The first package was opened and the ketchup squeezed out onto the fries. WHAT IS THAT STUFF? Was the OFM's first thought.

As it turns out the strawberry jelly in individual packs has a red package that is very close to the ketchup package. We now had strawberry jelly on part of the fries. The OFM went back and swapped out the unopened packages.

The rest of the fries got the ketchup as originally planned. Then mid meal the OFM picked up a strawberry fry and gave it a try. Now we have a new preference for what to use on the fries in the future. It was really wonderful. That turned the rain soaked day into one of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/20/21

Pretty Cloud

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/20/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Very Probable Rolling Date: 9-7-21



Once again it was a good walking time this morning. The OFM actually got in 3.5 miles and is not hurting from it tonight. That is borderline to a miracle. And he did it in an hour and five minutes.



Some of the morning blog reading took a bit of time. Then the OFM went to work learning more about using watercolors for painting. He is beginning to think he does not have the perseverance needed to learn to use watercolor paint properly.



A huge lesson on colored pencil was the new Arteza colored pencils are a significant step down from the Prismacolor pencils. He went back over the drawing with the Prismacolor pencils and vastly improved the appearance of the painting but we could not bring it up to our minimum standards. So we quit on that quest and the painting is in the “gave up on it” drawer.

We know for sure we will be staying with the Prismacolor pencils only in the future.



Today had a good bit of gloomy cloud cover but early afternoon we had several minutes of nice sunshine to rejoice about.





No big events happened to the Teams today. So that means that we have nothing more special to say. Everyone please get busy trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.





8/19/21

Toad Stool Family

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/19/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Probable Rolling Date: 9-7-21



We were getting ready for the morning walk and noticed that the sky was dripping a few water droplets now and then but was not looking like it would rain. So the OFM got the umbrella from Sierra and away we sent. About a hundred feet from the Castle the rain gently started but was so gentle the OFM decided to continue on and unfurled the umbrella. By the time we got to the campground exit it was raining but not hard. So the OFM decided to just make the short loop near the Castle. By the time we made the ten minutes back to the Castle it was seriously raining. So we came back inside. The morning became a clean up the computer debris that had accumulated and get to work on a piece of art.



By the time we got back from lunch it was a decent day again, if a bit soaked. But the sky looked nice and bright and the temperature was almost decent. TIME OUT. the mosquito control truck just went by the Castle spraying for ugly critters. YAHOO. TIME IN.

We headed out for a walk and it was especially nice. No body was on the trail but the OFM Walking Team. We managed to make the whole three miles with a nice amount of sweat for a change.

We took two pictures. The first one was of a toadstool family out for and adventure.





Then a little way on down the trail the slick water and ripples made a scene the OFM was nice. So here it is. Nothing special but just nice.





And this evening we are working diligently on a cactus blossom painting with our new toys from a day or so ago. They are proving to be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/18/21

Nothing And Nowhere

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/18/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Probable Rolling Date: 9-7-21



It has been a busy day. The morning walk was good. Just warm enough to get a good sweat but cool enough to not run sweat into your socks very much. Any way we got finished with three miles and the OFM was ready to sit and cool down.

We ended up spending several hours checking our planned general area for the fall to refresh the OFM memory of the area. We even checked the weather history for the areas to make sure we would most likely have warm enough weather to be pleasant boondocking. The way it looks we will need about seventeen months to cover everything in the area so we should have plenty to keep us happy for a while.



This painting was finally ready to show. It was suggested by a photo in south Arizona several months ago in the blog named Rolling Steel Tent. Al has an interesting blog worth checking out.



This afternoon was spent working on one of the unfinished paintings laying around the Castle waiting for attention.



The current plan when we leave grandkid land is to turn right on I-20 in Birmingham, Alabama and roll on out the other side of Fort Worth Texas. Then we check the weather and head to the better weather location in West Texas/New Mexico.

And that is where we plan to live this Fall while trying to have tooooo much fun.



8/17/21

New Toys

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/17/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Probable Rolling Date: 9-7-21



It has been a rather ho-hum day . The walk this morning was great at 74F with a hint of breeze. We did a bit over three miles at a good continuous pace for a change. Maybe the cooler air helped on that pace issue.

From this point forward it was a very laid back not a lot happening day. The peak of the excitement was when the last mail order of art supplies came in. We received a set of 120 colored pencils that should hold us for many months when added to the substantial pile we already have.





And then there was the small tin of pan watercolor paint. These are the best quality watercolor paints we have ever tried, so it could be a great learning experience.





We spent the nice afternoon looking into places to head off to when we get rolling in three weeks. This evening we hope to get back to the painting that is in progress as a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/16/21

Cracked Caulk Found

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/16/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Probable New Mexico Date: 9-15-21



The OFM was not feeling on top of the world this morning so we went grocery shopping instead of walking and it was a wise decision. After that we did a little computer work and some house cleaning etc. Lunch was at Lawlers again with a big salad with pulled pork and it was so good he ate half of it and took the other half home. Here is the left over part that we took home. 



When it was lunch time the OFM was back on his game and the salad disappeared in a few seconds it seemed.





After that excitement we went to work on the new drawing. It is taking forever but it seems like the concept of the painting is really nice. We will see when it is finished in a month or so.

Late this evening we happened to notice a crack in a piece of caulk on the roof edge. Upon examination we found several cracks in caulk like a tree limb had whopped the roof area there. So out came the tube of caulk and up the ladder the OFM went. Clean the cracks, dry; the cracks, properly apply new caulk, clean up the tools, put away the ladder and we were all done. We checked that area for cracks just before we came in here in Decatur and they were not there. We have had several small limbs from the trees break off and hit the Castle so maybe it was one of those. Anyway it is fixed now.



As of this afternoon it is a high probability we will be rolling into New Mexico somewhere around September 15, 2021 to begin some fall travels. It will be fun to see where we end up trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/15/21

Acrobatics Day

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/15/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Maybe Rolling Date: 9-7-21



Today was a really good day at the grand kids home. They were ready to get in some playing. The grand daughter has gained some weight finally and is a good sized hunk of girl but still trim in appearance. The grandson has grown taller and noticeably heavier but is still not the least bit fat.

Both of them have learned some new acrobatic moves and are astounding in performing them. It was definitely a fast paced five hours of visiting.

The grandson was wearing his new glasses that they recently figured out he needed. He chose a nice looking but definitely kid style frames. The most important thing is he is thrilled to wear them and see things at a distance again.

We seem to be the target for all the rain storms coming across Alabama as it is raining again this evening. At least lately the rain has been reasonably gentle but steady. So far no flooding in the campground has happened.



So it was a really fun day of trying to have toooo much fun.

8/14/21

Colored Sketches

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al.

Adventure Date: 8/14/2021

Click the pic to enlarge

Maybe Rolling Date: 9-7-21



Today was a bit different in that we did not even try to take a walk in the heat of the morning. We did get a great start on some Walmart time and successful shopping. The rest of the day was spent on inside things where the A/C did a wonderful job.



The most important thing we did was start to develop a new painting for fun and excitement. In our case that involves making colored sketches of concepts until we choose one to attempt as a full painting. The three concepts we came up with are below.















The next effort is to develop another sketch that might lead into the real painting. It does take a good while to get these paintings up and going.



Checking the weather predictions and the weather history for west of here, we feel that the estimated rolling date has a good chance of being a valid date of rolling. And the Teams are very ready to scratch those itching tires. We will have been here over six months by then. Yep we need some new territory for trying to have tooooo much fun.