Yellow Swamp Tree

1/31/22

Nasty Weather

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-31-2022

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It was grocery shopping time this morning. It was a good day for it since the weather is miserable as you will see. However the vegetables were fresh looking and seemed to be in first class shape. Therefore the OFM loaded us up with fresh vegetable to chow down on for a few days and we love it.



On top of that Walmart is one of the stores chosen to distribute three N95 masks to each customer that wants them. We gladly got ours as we entered the store. However when we got home and tried to use one, the OFM's glasses fogged to badly to see our way around and the fabric did not seem to be able to pass enough air for the OFM to breathe properly. We are going to work on finding some better instructions on the internet to adjust the mask to make it useful.



After all this it was late morning and we drove around to see how the weather was doing. Here is what the Texas Parks and Wildlife mooring looked like this morning. Downright nasty is our description.





A bit before lunch time a migraine hit again and we had a shut down time for a little while. Then when the OFM could drive again, we headed for Whataburger for lunch. Our hope was that after lunch we could get in a decent walk. No way. The weather was just tooooo nasty. So we piddled around at home.

A ride back to the harbor in late afternoon netted us this wonderful view of the Rockport beach.



From there we went back to the Castle to just kick back and kick back for the rest of the day. The weather is still supposed to be freezing at night of Thursday and Friday. This area is not set up for freezing weather. Looks like we will have to work a bit harder during the next week while we are out trying to have tooooo much fun in the wet cold weather.



1/30/22

Mirror Finish

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-30-2022

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We got a chance to take the laptop down to Memorial Park to attempt to identify the vine we asked for help on a couple of days ago. After about twenty minutes of flipping between pictures of several vines and reading descriptions we came to the conclusion that it is most likely one of the 3.56 million varieties of the SMILAX invasive vine. Apparently it mutates faster than flu virus and loves to grow in new adventurous areas. So we will call that question answered. It is definitely a fast growing very invasive vine.



The day was beautiful and almost warm so we headed down to the marina to see if any photos needed to be taken. There was a lot of them as it turned out. It sure makes the teams glad were are digital photos instead of film these days.

We culled the bucket full of pictures down to these three. The water was so still we felt that we were taking pictures of things sitting on a glass mirror.

Please keep in mind that in this first picture everything you see is a reflection on the harbor water and nothing “real” in the picture.



It was so awesome that we were there over two hours meandering like the big old fool he is.

Another picture that we thought was neat was this one of a finger pier next to a shrimp boat moored in the harbor. 



The detail that the reflections have today was astounding to us.





And this boat picture with the reflection just blew us away with its details showing. The OFM says he cannot recall in his 75 years around the water ever getting such great reflections and ripple less surfaces.

One special comment for the fishermen out there. Since the super low tides and cold weather a couple of weeks ago we had not seen any food fish running around in the shore area. That is probably why the predator fish have not been around. Well we saw a school of mullet (they are a primary food fish for the predator fishes we like to catch) swimming in the harbor. There had to be at least fifty of them and they were as usual over 14 inches long. Big schools like that usually get the predators fish into the area and fattened up really well.

This day went so well it has to be rated as an excellent day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/29/22

Cleaning The Food Locker

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-29-2022

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The freezer was crying for help so the OFM got busy with defrosting it for the first time in a year and a half. It is a nuisance job but with the freezer nearly empty it was a perfect time to do the deed,



We got it done without any serious OOPSES. That is always a good thing. Now with the shopping trip for in the morning planned we should fill it up fairly well with good eating food.



During the defrosting the OFM's right elbow reminded that he had “pulled” something in it yesterday and to take it easy to allow healing. So three ibuprofen tablets went down the throat to help with the healing. This evening it feels like the joint is about 85% well so we will still be careful with it.



The day had lots of scattered and wild cloud shapes floating around, so the OFM went out on a cloud hunting/photographing trip.  It was very successful and now we have a lot of work to cull and select cloud shapes for painting reference in the future.



It should be a lot of work and a lot of fun both. Seems like we always have plenty of things that need doing, especially with spring and travel time coming up soon. It seems like there is way more to do this year than ever before in the last fourteen years of trying to have tooooo much fun while Rving.

1/28/22

Attending School

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-28-2022

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The morning started cold and wet so we just studied art by internet viewing “lessons” pros put up for viewing. We chose on on blending colored pencil that was a 30 minute lesson. It took the OFM over two hours to go through it the first time and a lot more time to practice and review the lessons. But it was profitable.



Above is one of the test sheets that were made while “attending class” on drying time of two blending solutions. It turned out to be a very good lesson and new information. In the afternoon we put a lot of this new information to use. However, as you might expect, it does take some serious practice.

After lunch we stopped at Walmart nursery section to grab some more plant pictures, but we only took one.



We spent a good bit of time visiting a neighbor and then more time just practicing what we “attended class for” this morning. Overall it was just a nice good day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/27/22

Question For Readers

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-27-2022

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The morning started well with the desire to go ahead and try to do a preliminary picture we had had on our mind for over a year. It is based on a picture we took years ago at Padre Island National Seashore. The bird instead of the usual S shape to its neck, had its neck stretched straight out upward trying to see over the sand dune. This is a colored pencil only and is considered a sketch to decide if a full painting is warranted for the subject.

Enjoy The Watcher





Now it is time for the Teams to get some help. We asked the worker trimming the vines and he had no idea. Nice fellow but apologized for his lack of knowledge. So readers please help identify the vine that we have not been able to identify by way of the Internet. Thank you.



It was another good walk day today so maybe the OFM is about over the string of difficulties that has been hounding him for several weeks. Along side the trail we noticed some trees with very pretty foliage coloring this winter. It is a nice mix of red/green leaves. It was very cloudy today so we will be looking to see it in particular the next sunny day we walk.





And finally we have supper from tonight.



Sliced poached chicken, sliced bell pepper, white onion and hash brown potatoes all warmed gently in the microwave and wrapped in a dinner size tortilla and it was wonderful. That is a good way to relax before starting the blog report on how to have tooooo much fun.



1/26/22

Finally A Good Walk Again

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-26-2022

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YEA. No covid stuff to report. It is wonderful.



We had a full day of art stuff for the most part. However the morning was nice enough to get over to Memorial Park and do the 1.5 mile loop at my good speed. All the other folks were pleasant as they sped on past the OFM like he was walking backwards. But that was the first time to do the whole loop well in several days. So the OFM is happy with it.

For the rest of the day, except for lunch, the OFM stayed steady at the art efforts he so much enjoys.

As a result of that effort we have a painting to show tonight. It is the painting done with only watercolor pencils. It was definitely a challenge. It took forever since we had to keep looking up on the Internet for advice and techniques. But it did finally get finished.

Here is Cliff of No Return.





We hope you enjoy it. Producing it was a pretty good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/25/22

Latest Family Covid Report

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-25-2022

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We got a fresh family Covid report this afternoon. All members of the Alabama family are clear of Covid now. Even Piper recovered very fast.



The OFM Art Team spent most of today on the newest effort. It is a slow going picture we have chosen. A lot of the picture requires new techniques the OFM is learning as we go along from good internet instructions. We got the leaves of one flower done in about four hours this afternoon. A speed learner the OFM is not.

Along about 1730 the Teams headed out for supper and had the bright sun in our eyes all the way.



Twenty minutes later we were out the door to be greeted by dark clouds. Here is a picture right after we hopped on the highway back to the Castle.





And that is about all there is to tonight's report of the wild adventures of The OFM trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/24/22

Old Friend Moving Away

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-24-2022

Not a lot of excitement here in cold, damp and breezy Rockport today. When we checked the camera for pictures to remind the OFM of what happened today, the camera said “no images”.

The Castle did get vacuumed and a little soap and water cleaning. The OFM got in about six hours of working towards another painting. This one is taking a lot of looking on the internet for images we want to use for guiding the preparation of the drawing. So we did get some progress but it looks like this one will be a slow one.



The latest on the family Covid fight is that Gavin and Dad are pretty well recovered but Piper was still in serious trouble. Mom was just fine. We expect another report later tonight.



An old friend called today to tell the Teams that they are putting their Rockport house up for sale. They have another home in mid Michigan that they will be there full time after the Rockport property sells. We wished him good luck next winter when he is standing nose deep in the snow trying to find his mailbox by the street.

Meanwhile that is all there is on this end. So everyone have great fun tomorrow as we all try to have tooooo much fun.

1/23/22

New Mexico Backyard

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-23-2022

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A short trip to Walmart early this morning was interesting. The shopping list had three items on it. By the time the OFM meandered the grocery area aisles and saw that there were things we needed that had not been added to the list we had quite a few more items. That is ok because an item forgotten is another at risk trip to the store we should not have needed.



Back home we had a nice time looking around on the computer for inspirations for the next painting we will start when this current one is finished.

Speaking of finished, this painting needed to have couple of decisions made and implemented to finish it. Well they got done and here is New Mexico Backyard.



It was a fun bit of work even though it seemed to take forever to finish it. Once again art for the OFM is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/22/22

Dodging Covid Crowds

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-22-2022

Cold and not nice outside this morning but the OFM got out of bed anyhow. Since we were up early a trip to Walmart was made during the lack of folks time to avoid as much flu stuff as possible. We had a successful shopping spree and were back home before many other folks went outside to enjoy the cold.



Along about noon the mail truck came in and stopped at the office and left a wad of mail. It was a miracle but the last late package we have been waiting on came today and only two weeks late. But the stuff was in excellent shape.

By noon the weather was a lot warmer, not warm but warmer. So the OFM meandered around a bit looking at RV parks. The Covid situation down at Falcon Lake is not so good right now, but the State Park is almost totally empty of campers due to not having any boat access to the lake for now. The lake is way lower than the bottom of the boat ramps and no launching of power craft can happen. We have another 8 days before we have to make a decision of what to do move or not move.

As it worked out the afternoon was spent working on a painting and enjoying it tremendously. The goal of the painting is to do the whole painting with watercolor pencils and see how the OFM likes using them in this manner. So far no great like or dislike has taken the lead. Like all the other art stuff, each medium seems to have its major pluses and nuisance negatives.



Now we need to rest up for getting busy tomorrow and working hard at trying to have tooooo much fun.

1/21/22

Forbidden Mountain

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-21-2022

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First is the family Covid report from Grandkid Land Alabama. Dad got tested and verified as Covid positive this morning. Gavin is doing well. Dad is getting worse as expected but he is vaxxed and boosted so the illness should be moderate for his duration. Piper and Melissa are doing fine still.



Rockport had a chilly night and morning but by noon the clouds were scattered and the sky blue. Here is an evening picture of Little Bay and the Crab statue taken this evening about 1700. Looks nice but the chilly wind made it a bit bitter cool.



Nearby is the Harbor Master's office. In the bushes out front were these beautiful small flowers blooming in good quantity . They are nice aren't they.



Most of the day until our late lunch we spent inside the Castle working on a small painting named Forbidden Mountain. We think it was a lot of fun.





Since his solitary time from the Covid infection he had was over, we stopped in at friend Don's place and visited with him and his wife. It was nice to get to visit them again in person. Things are going decent for them now.



Tonight is predicted 34F so we expect to have a slow start to the morning. Hopefully we will get some significant painting time in again and then get to go out in the afternoon trying to have tooooo much fun outdoors.



1/20/22

Grand Kid Land Covid Report

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-20-2022

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First is the family report from Grandkidland Alabama late last night. Gavin is doing well, in fact well enough to practice his gymnastics at home but he is a bit short of stamina right now.

My D-I-L, Melissa,, the greatest DIL anybody could wish for, is doing fine. Piper, grand daughter, is doing ok so far. Melissa's mother was a career RN and has been researching this Covid stuff and found out that O+ blood type gets the virus way less often than other types. Of course Dad is not O+ just like the OFM is not. So naturally he has the symptoms of covid last night and was planning to head out to get tested today. So the saga is still ongoing.



Yesterday there was a huge pile of smoke crossing the highway that did not look like a normal pasture fire for this time of the year.



We did not yet get a chance to try to track it down yet but it should be easy to find.

The tides are running way low in the bay. Here is a picture at the rock fishing pier by the harbor beach area. The water at normal is right up to the grass at the bottom of the picture. It gets like this every winter when the north winds blow hard toward the Gulf Of Mexico and the water goes for a long ride.



We noticed yesterday that the harbor breakwater at the entrance to the harbor had slumped a good bet more recently. This end of the breakwater had been badly cracked since we first came here to stay in December of 2007. Our guess is the rebar that was holding it in place finally corroded until it gave way. Now the end of the breakwater is pulling away from the main section. Who knows how long it will survive?





It is still stable enough that folks fish from it daily. Usually that is a decent spot for a big ugly to grab a hook and go home with you for supper.

That's it for tonight. All we have to do is make it through the lite ice predicted for in the morning without falling from walking on it (if it really happens). We will be careful tomorrow while we are out trying to have tooooo much fun.



1/19/22

Screaming Parents

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-19-2022

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We tried to get in a walk at the park but internal body upset ruled it out very quickly. We spent most of the day snug to the art table and doing fantastic art work ( for a dead pig).

There is one piece of playground equipment available to the children that promotes lots and lots of parental screaming frequently.





The kids climb all over it and run and jump on the tops of it. They try to tight wire the red lines, both the top and lower ones. You name it the kids love it and the parents get lung exercise every time the kids are there.

There is a very well done “ground” in this area that is very thick and loose with ground tree bark fill. We have seen a few wild falls and the kids just hopped up and went on their way.

That is about all the fun today as we stuck pretty close to necessity equipment in the Castle. And, yep. That does get in the way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



1/18/22

Walmart Excitement

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-18-2022

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The OFM had a though today that worked out well. We were looking through the flowers files for pictures to inspire some more “spring” art work. He suddenly realized that the local Walmart nursery usually starts having plants in stock for spring planting about now.

Sure enough when we hobbled into the nursery they had just started unloading a truckload of fresh new plants. So we made ourselves at home and took several pictures to have for reference on our computer.

To give you an idea of what we were photographing here are a few of the pictures we are putting into the reference files on our computer.












That turned out to be a really successful little adventure. We know we will have to go back about once a week for a little while as more loads of different plants come in to be stocked.

We have no idea what caused the trouble but both knees on the OFM decided to be difficult today so we did not even consider a long walk anywhere. At least the knees are doing a lot better tonight so there is hope for tomorrow.

Some good news. We were being held back on two pieces of shipping due to us a week ago. No one seemed to have any idea when they would make it here. Today the really important piece showed up in the mail here at the campground. A bit later the second item seller sent an email that it had been shipped and gave us a tracking number. The tracking number acknowledges that there is a package in existence but the USPS has no idea when it will enter their fine delivery system. Hopefully it will make it here soon.

In the meantime we will be out doing our best at trying to have tooooo much fun.





1/17/22

Goose Island, Texas

 

Adventure Location: Goose Island,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-17-2022

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The day was just about perfect with bright sun and gentle coolness. So after lunch we headed to Goose Island to see how it is now that all the rebuilding is done. Goose Island is part of Goose Island State Park, Texas. The waterfront camping area and the fishing pier are accessed from G.I.

At the pier entrance we looked around for a few minutes to see all the nice new repairs that have been done since Hurricane Harvey destroyed the old pier.





Plenty of folks were out fishing on the pier and off the pier. There are stairs to get you down to the reefs that are accessible for fishing away from the pier out into the bay. The next two pics show a major zoom of what the arrow is pointing toward in the second pic. Those reefs are loose oyster shell and at times are very attractive to many types of fish worth catching during both the day and night.









On the way out we took this picture of the waterfront campground scattered on each side of the only road on Goose Island. The Goose Island State Park website is well done and can get you all the info you might want.



Just before leaving the island we grabbed a picture of these two oyster boats harvesting oysters to be sold back at the harbor in Fulton and Rockport. The OFM is not a big oyster fan but MANY folks are.





Now for the BIG NEWS. As we were preparing the chicken soup for supper an email came in from Grandkid Land. Grandson Gavin was Covid vaccinated several weeks ago as we recall, but today he tested POSITIVE for Covid. His parents say he is sick but doing well. We are not in the best of moods tonight while digesting that information. His sister Piper is only four and has not been vaccinated due to no vaccine being available for that young of a person. Looks to the Teams we have a delicate situation on our hands for now. It definitely interferes with the OFM Teams ability to try to have tooooo much fun in the worrisome near future.

1/16/22

White And Fluffy

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-16-2022

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This is the site where we found the information on the Covid virus that has us nervous about heading to Falcon Lake area.

https://weather.com/coronavirus/l/9793a1867e9506ff1988615a3fc57213dc0a184631aec241bb816bacbab1bacf



After studying it a bit more we are even more nervous about heading there at this time. Seems like the Thanksgiving and Christmas time must have brought a lot of viruse misbehavior into the areas. We do not want to get in the middle of shoppers that are contagious. So we are being a little excessively careful maybe. Please make your own decisions and do not rely on the OFM Teams for anything factual.

After lunch we hit the Memorial Park trail in beautiful weather. It was great sun and a little breeze.



About midway along the trail we ran into an old friend and the talking lasted for nearly an hour and was a great time. He has a wonderful white fluffy pup that was a pleasant bit of petting.

After that we finished the trail in good fashion with absolutely no foot pains at all. We are calling it HEALED. That leaves us wide open to search for more places for trying to have tooooo much fun. HE HE HE.

1/15/22

Good And Bad News

 

Adventure Location: Rockport,Texas

Adventure Date: 1-15-2022

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Morning started plainly and it stayed plain all day. We did the usual morning stuff and the weather stuck around in 40 mph gusts and cold temperatures. Tonight the temperatures have moderated a good bit and the winds have definitely abated quite a bit. We had to go outside and rebuild the sewer assembly a few times because the wind knocked it all apart. Tomorrow we plan to “design and build” a better sewer hose support. Here is the residue from today's messes.



All that strong wind and chilling weather gave the OFM time in the morning to get in a few hours of colored pencil work on the latest painting. But when lunch time got here we had to shut down to go eat. The OFM's dieting efforts produced a five pound drop in the last month but when eating time is here, he wants to EAT NOW.

So here is a quick glance at some of the results of the pencil work this morning.



Some not so great news popped up on the Internet this afternoon. Both places we normally head over to this time of the year, Falcon Lake and Amistad Reservoir, are having a major run of fresh Covid cases. So now we are needing to do some careful considering again.



This area of the Texas coast is just about to enter the best three months of the year so the worst case scenario is staying here until we head for Grandkid Land for the summer. And that is usually a great place for trying to have tooooo much fun.