Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico

12/31/21

Bad Foot

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-31-2021

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Lots happened today and here is the first thing that happened and changed ALL the plans schedules. The OFM went to sleep last night with a bit of a sore right foot like a stone bruise maybe. He awoke this morning with a right foot telling him SURPRISE YOU GOT A TROUBLE ABOUT LEAVING. Sure enough the right foot was swollen and nearly impossible to even hobble on. Careful exam resulted in some Ibuprofen and thinking. After breakfast the OFM tried out the foot for just hobbling on along to get ready to roll tomorrow.

To cut to the chase. The OFM got on the computer and canceled the reservations at Falcon Lake State Park. Then he notified the park owner we would be staying for a while longer until the healing is done. Then we took stock of the situation and did some thinking.

He estimated at least a few days for healing and checked the weather for here and Roma Tx. When it was all finished we decided to stay for at least two weeks longer here. That would also put us past the coldest part of Falcon Lake's winter weather. There is no need to go somewhere where the primary fun is hiking when you can barely make it to the bathroom in a 20 foot trailer.

We spent most of the day painting and eating ibuprofen. The trouble is we could not define the actual trouble. A short visit with some friends put up the subject of gout that the OFM is known to get now and then. So the OFM checked the Internet again for gout symptoms and they fit very well with the pain in the joint in the side of the OFM's foot. The good news is that the foot is responding to treatment. We would call the change in pain today as a drop of 33% this evening as the blog is being written. Now for the good news.

Did you know that the best grass burr picker upper for inside an RV is the OFM's white cotton socks? Yep we guarantee it.

Due to the days work on painting a total original work of art that was in progress, we now have finished the last painting for 2021. We have some more in progress or planning but they will be 2022 paintings.

It is named SOARING and was instigated by a couple of scenes we saw in New Mexico and combined to assemble the painting scene.

Please enjoy Soaring.



That's all the major news for tonight. Tomorrow will likely be a good day for trying to have tooooo much fun while sitting.





12/30/21

Concept To Completion

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-30-2021

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Please keep in mind we are not saying this is how to do it. We are light years away from that ability and knowledge level. It is just a short history of how this painting developed this time.



Tonight we do the first picture in progress effort at reporting about a painting during the painting.

The first and very difficult part for the OFM Teams is to decide on a basic painting concept. Then the colors we will use have to get thought out very extensively. In the OFM situation all those above thoughts have to be written down for reference over the multiple weeks of work.

So finally we have a concept of layout and a wild guess as to the color scheme for the painting. Some color is applied to start the creative juices drooling on things.



Now we start to develop the general scheme more in detail. Colors chosen can change and flop around and arrangements of ideas can be flopped all over the place for several times of thinking.



Now we get to looking at details and what type of details and even if details. Everything is carefully being considered including throw it away and start over.



Now we are in the last stretch of the effort. Close care and choices are more critical and speed of application of the art efforts gets really slow. The blending and fading and lots of other joining of the colors and shapes becomes very serious and careful. The OFM is definitely in way over his head in this part of the effort.

And finally it is time for the “artist” to just quit and call it finished or trash.



No matter all the scalp scratching, the OFM doesn't have any hair to pull, and other nervous fidgets You get what you produced. AND we guarantee that the OFM considers this to be a wonderful way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/29/21

Our World Suddenly Changed For The Better

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-29-2021

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The morning started with the OFM having a very sore ankle/foot and gimping around like a wimpy old fat man. And the morning was progressing just like an old gimpy fat man. We went out for a ride since a decent walk would take several hours at his pace this morning. In fact we even went to the Aransas Pass Whataburger for breakfast to catch up on the old groups nonsense. And it was nonsense. We soon headed out for our meanderings around Rockport to let the OFM try to make some choice about the near future.

The meandering took us to the Fulton Harbor area fishing spot. The old ruins out in the water were serving as the posing place for three white pelicans. It turned out to be a really beautiful picture in our opinion.



From there is was just back to the Castle and healing we hoped. Some Ibuprofen went down the hatch and the computer got going. It was about 1000 by now and some life changing emails were waiting our attention.

But first a bit of information. Among many bloggers, groups develop according to many different enjoyments. The OFM Teams have a few folks that report to each other about real things in areas instead of news reports garbage.

To our amazement we had two reports from down near Falcon Lake that the OFM Teams need to get on down there. Another one from up near Del Rio said essentially the same thing. So what we had is a serious decision to make now. Do we go or stay here for a fourth month? Within thirty minutes of getting back to the Castle after breakfast we were deep into preparing to get rolling. We did not know where yet, but the rig getting ready doesn't care where. It only cares if and only if rolling had been decided. AND IT HAS.

Shortly after the decision to roll, the decision was to book a week at Falcon Lake State Park and check out the area to our satisfaction. We were able to book our favorite campsite across the street from the rest room right where three branches of the interlocking trails in the park intersect each other.

We have had a big day of checking what has been neglected in the last three months and making a few lists of things like groceries to take and any special supplies. One wonderful thought was having a Whataburger for lunch next Sunday in Roma Texas. Of course the Mexican food down there can be pretty good too.

Supper tonight was a great chicken salad



while planning on a bunch of things to do for having tooooo much fun 150 miles down southwest of Rockport on the Rio Grande River.

12/28/21

If And Where

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-28-2021

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The morning started with a very nice Memorial Park walk. Only one picture made it back with our Team. It is another photo of the pretty pink flowers at the main restroom flower bed.





The OFM is getting his end of year finances figured out to see how bad the expenses were last year. It will be an interesting year we think. In the mean time the Teams are aggressively considering whether to stay here in Rockport or head on down to Falcon Lake for fun. There are no reports that we can find of trouble in that out of the way area. The strange part is the weather down there is a bit too hot right now, so if we leave it will need to be in a couple of weeks or so. Weather patterns in South Texas are weird this year.

Tomorrow we plan to check the weather patterns in more central Texas to see if it could stand a visit and not be too cold for an OFM. It has to be warm enough for us to run around trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/27/21

The Choice Is Made

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-27-2021

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The day was nice and WARM today with fairly clear skies. An afternoon walk was fun and pleasant for the Teams. We made the walk a nice brisk one with stops for several photo opportunities taken. But the heart rate was still elevated to join the breathing rate. In other words it was aerobic which is good. Quite a few folks were out and about making it a nice day full of Howdies. We like that.



We have been walking past this tree for fourteen years and today was the first time we noticed that the tree is a sitting tree.





What is a sitting tree you may ask! It is a tree shaped just right to sit on and rest a moment. Look carefully at this close up and you can see the light brown areas where the bark is worn down some from folks sitting on the horizontal section of the trunk.





Not too far past the sitting tree we spotted another thick spider web covering the end of a partially rotted stub of a limb of old. That web is really thick it seems. Naturally if we paid attention there are several more less significant ones scattered in the trees.





Now scrutinize this picture carefully.



It is a pic of the OFM's shoe holding the new padded internal sole to help the OFM walk better. He only gets about three months per new sole before his feet CRY for a new one. This is a “work boot” inner sole from Walmart and immediately that we put it into use, the difference was fantastic. We finished the whole mile and a half with NO PAIN for a change. Hopefully the OFM can remember which sole it was next time.

And last tonight, thank you to the readers that helped with comments about the new feature coming about paintings. There is one painting in progress at this time. The Teams voted to do the reporting on the stages of a painting and the final painting in a single blog when the painting is completed as most folks requested. We are very sure there will be adjustments to the reports as our experience grows. However it sounds to us like it could be a lot of trying to have tooooo much fun.



12/26/21

Natural Pictures

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-26-2021

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Our first outing this morning was to the beach park to check the crowds. And there were plenty of crowds there, but less new toys out in the water since the wind was significant.



The wind was enough of a nuisance that the Teams voted to head over to the more protected Memorial Park. It turned out to be a great idea. The wind was gentle down in the trees and only a very few folks were out at the time we got there.

The OFM was in a funk when we started and the Teams kept trying to kick the funk out of him with no luck. At the first turn this crowd of flowers cheered him on and brought a smile to his face so big it lasted all day.



We walked the trail counterclockwise today for no good reason but the lighting turned out to be wonderful for pictures of natural places. One example is the cobwebs in the fissures of the bark of this Live Oak next to the paved trail. We are likely the only folks to notice them as they walked next to them on the trail.

Cobwebs in tree fissures



At another spot we encountered two really pretty flower buds happening and that made the OFM smile even more. We tried to do a painting of another one similar to this one a few weeks ago with very limited success. The OFM's inability does not interfere with this bud natural beauty in our opinion.




Who knows he may try another bud when he learns more about painting flowers.



And a normally not all that scenic spot along the trail we have noticed many times and passed up, today had the sunlight just right to make it a completely different view than normally. Just goes to show you that lighting can make a world of difference.





After some thought on the unfinished painting progress concept, we decided to present an unfinished painting in steps toward the finished painting as the steps occur. Our other thought was to collect a set of pictures of the unfinished painting steps during the course of the painting. Then do a blog entry showing them all in sequence through the final painting. If our wonderful readers have a preference or another suggestion please chime in with help. Think of it as helping the OFM try to have tooooo much fun.

12/25/21

New Feature Maybe

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-25-2021

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It has been a bit of a rough day today. Some kind of a bug was gnawing on the OFM intestines and not letting him sleep well. BUT we seem to finally be getting things under control. Then of course lots of things happen on Christmas day when all the new toys come out to play. And in a beach town it is big folks toys as well as kid toys. Sometimes it is fun to watch the learners attempt to learn.

Then a new item for the blog may be coming into the reporting. A few blog readers have made some suggestions and the OFM is working on the details of what might be fun or silly in the near future.

So quit the yapping and do some reporting.

First thing we noticed at the loop at the end of the beach park was a new concrete pad with a new bench mounted on it. This is a really good spot to sit and watch the fancy boats and bikinis on weekends.



At the first tour of the beach it was not many folks out so we got our walk in and headed out to look for other adventures. Sure enough about noon the new toys came out to play and here is some of them. The place was heavily used all the way to dark.

Apparently new para sails were popular this year. Several bright shiny new ones with their new operators were vying for silliest error medals. They we having a ball and making great big splashes all over the place. The OFM has never tried one of them.



The sun was bright all day and the air was about 75F most of the day. Here is an example of the sun when we were walking the first thing this morning.



From the looks of the yaks up close and the way some of the folks out in the yaks paddled, a bunch of new kayaks were delivered for Christmas. We are very familiar with that sort of fun and recommend it for most folks.



A bit later Santa arrived at the saltwater pool and waded in for a nice relaxing time after all that work last night.





Later in the afternoon the fishing pier suddenly got crowded. All we can figure is the new fishing gear finally got a try out. And from what the owner of Tackle Town here in Rockport told the OFM, they had really good sales this Christmas once they got some inventory into the store.



And the last thing for tonight is the possible new “feature”. A couple of blog readers have politely asked if the OFM would take pictures of a painting as it is being developed all the way to completion. We are worried that a lot of real artists cannot handle the extreme laughing that will happen if we do that. Well we will see how it works out but there are a couple of kinks to work out yet. Today at the beach was a really good effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/24/21

Move Cancelled

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-24-2021

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The first thing after breakfast this morning we knew we needed to hit the grocery store and do some restocking on $22 of stuff we were low on and forgot to go buy yesterday. So we hit up Walmart about 0930 and went in there with the other 345,782 people all unmasked except for the OFM it seemed. The shopping went very well and we were back at Sierra in very short order. Leaving Sierra at the far side of the parking lot until our return and groceries loaded was slightly less than 30 minutes. Yep the OFM can really move when food is involved.

Back at the Castle the food was stored as normal and something caused the OFM to start thinking of the move planned for next weekend. We got on the computer checking news articles etc about the area. The first thing we checked is the lake level. Well it is extremely low and difficult to access. The lake and fishing is basically the whole story for being in that area for us. Also we did not get a good feeling about border incidents at Falcon Heights. After a long time considering things we made the decision to cancel the trip down there for now.



Notice was turned in here in Rockport we would be staying another month. Of course the 75F days with bright sun make this a nice area frequently. So most of the rest of the day the OFM has been trying to figure out what to do and when to do it. This area has been way nicer than usual the last few weeks so that works into the equation. We are up in the air on what is next in the traveling. Rolling on northward into cold weather is not acceptable.



And that is the summation on this tumultuous day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/23/21

Started Preparations

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-23-2021


A bunch of clean out of old junk from the Castle took most of the day. We have started the get ready to roll effort for Jan-1-2022. A decent walk was taken in mid morning and worked out very well. That spurred all the effort at organizing for travel again. Things get a bit out of travel order when you have been sitting for three months.

The inside of Sierra is on the soon to be done list. It will likely happen after Christmas day as the lead off to heading south to warmer weather for a while. The normally coldest three weeks here in the Rockport area usually happen in the first three weeks of January. That's about all the excitement for today. Tomorrow we have to do a better job of trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/22/21

Beautiful Sky

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-22-2021

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Today turned out to be a day of taking advantage of accidental opportunities in our life.



As we were headed somewhere this beautiful sky was our heads up scene and it was great. The OFM does not recall our destination ahead but we certainly recall how beautiful it was all day. Temperature was about 68 most of the day.

Later we meandered over by the beach and caught Tim the Houseboat Man and visited for a long while. It was great visiting while meandering the art sculpture garden at the harbor. His pup, Gabby, was there to help make it a wonderful time.





We grabbed a beach picture with the great sky and sure enough there were some folks out in the water having some wonderful Christmas adventures. We even considered dipping our toes in the water.



 But we didn't.

After meandering around for a good while, we headed back to get started on a new painting. It is a new style with watercolor pencil and regular colored pencil. It has already proved to be very “interesting” to attempt.



Moving date is officially now 1-1-2022. The target is the area around Falcon Lake again. In the past we have photographed the area a lot. This year we will be taking pictures of all sorts. However some of the particular pictures will be taken as reference photos for new paintings. Hopefully the area will be safe and productive again this year. Being safe sure helps while trying to have tooooo much fun.







12/21/21

Small Flower

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-21-2021

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As we went to looking about the Tule trail, we discovered that on 1-1-21 the OFM Adventures did a blog entry on the trail with decent pictures. That will be the place for folks to find more info and pictures on the Tule Hike and Bike Trail.

While sitting at the do everything table eating breakfast this morning, the outside weather was creating a nice scene of the campground entry. This was taken from inside the campground. It seems to be a pretty scene to the OFM.



Our first day of winter was a nice one with a bit of a chill in the early morning and late evening. In between it was tee shirt weather. The afternoon walk at the beach park was just right in a tee shirt. This picture of the way lots of folks were spending their first day of winter in Rockport is actually a fairly common scene most of the winter.



The clouds this evening were really pretty colors to go with the incredible blue sky as the sun was setting.



A good bit of the day was spent with the OFM working on getting started on the next painting. He finally finished the last one and here it is for all to giggle at.



That painting is mostly water color pencil with a few small details done with colored pencil. It still seems to the OFM that water color and colored pencils make a great team for producing nice artwork and trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/20/21

Tule Creek Hike and Bike

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-20-2021

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Another very busy day until after dark. Here are a few items from the day. Let us start with a wonderful good walk at Memorial Park in the chilly air. Fall is arriving and the vegetation let us have about thirty new pictures for our art files. The OFM made the whole walk with no trouble at all including carrying the 30 new pictures in the camera.

Leaving the park we headed for Walmart to pick us a couple of items we had missed when we made up yesterdays shopping list. Any way we got them this morning. Leaving Walmart we took the “back” route out of the parking lot and found a really good thing in progress.



The Tule Creek bridge is being repaired. It is part of the Tule Creek hike and bike trail that starts back at Memorial Park. The trail winds down toward the bay waters for a bit over a mile crossing Tule Creek near Walmart with a nice parking lot there. The Teams had forgotten about the trail but now we will get busy and do a picture taking walk on it.

In early afternoon we were passing the Rockport Harbor and the water looked right to catch a fish. So we stopped for about twenty minutes at the “rock pier” by the Harbor Office. The result was one 16” fat speckled trout. You can see the lure used to catch the fish. The fish were lethargic and sluggish with the biting. That was the only one we caught in that short time but we had several more just pick up the bait and hold on for a few seconds with out swallowing it far enough to hook the fish. The water was only about three feet deep where we were fishing so maybe the water was chilled.



Our new toys came in right on time this afternoon and the OFM is very excited. This is a complete set of Prismacolor colored pencils for us to use for fantastic paintings (Yeah right, sure thing). We spread them out on the Castle's steps to show them off for the whole world to see.



Tonight we need to make a swatch chart for the whole 150 different shades of the pencils. That will be a good bit of work. But it will be a good effort at trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/19/21

Salad Details

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 12-19-2021

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Ok Cathie, by request here is what was put in tonight's salad supper.



Baby Greens Salad Mix from Walmart:

Spinach

Carrots

Lettuce Blend

Baby Greens Blend

Radicchio



Then the OFM added

Poached spiced chicken breast sliced bite size

Black Olives

Salad Tomatoes

Celery

Topped with Honey Mustard salad dressing

and cheap Root Beer to drink.



While doing a bit of meandering around after lunch just to see what was going on during the cold and occasional drizzle of rain, we saw this great supply of aluminum tubing just waiting for a multi-medium artist to harvest it. Or maybe a pack rat like the OFM used to be. At his best he could rebuild a nuclear reactor with the spare parts in his closet.



The indoor time brought about by the nasty weather gave the OFM a chance to finish a colored pencil sketch he has been piddling with for several months. Check it out.



Supposedly tomorrow we will receive a good re-supply of colored pencils that should hold us for several months during our winter and spring travels.

On top of that reservations were made for us to move at the first of the new year to our frequent area down in south Texas close to Falcon Lake. It is nice being warm down there in the winter. Yep tee shirt and shorts during winter is RIGHT for the Teams. It sounds like winter might be a bit busy this year. That will be great for our goal of trying to have tooooo much fun.