Texas Panhandle View

7/31/22

School Summer Vacation is over.

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-31-2022

Not much today. The walk was a short one due to joint aches that we have no idea why or if we caused them in some way so we took it physically easy today. A little bit of art effort now and then did seem like a good thing to do. Some laundry was done. Mean rain storms tonight kept us paying attention for leak troubles that did not materialize. Some house cleaning was probably the most productive thing we did.

Public schools for the grandson starts next Wednesday so the pattern of a lot of families out here will change. We bet that there will be a few less campers than there has been for the last two months. Now we need to think about what we will be doing for trying to have tooooo much fun.







7/30/22

Stupid Mistake on the walk.

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-30-2022


An attempted walk went sort of well for a while this warm morning. We were making a warm meander out of it down near the Creek. A scene looked decent so the OFM grabbed a picture of the scene. When we looked at the scene this evening as we started on the blog, the scene was not the one we planned upon.



We have no idea what happened but it is a nice picture of a set of leaves somewhere in the brush along the trail.

We moved on along the trail happy and not aware of the picture error.

We made about another half mile along the brush on one side and open country on the other. The open country side was giving us a little breeze. Shortly we came to the six way split of the trail and stopped to think a bit about the vegetation and breeze before choosing the next chunk of trail. The OFM slapped his leg where the water bottle was supposed to be and did not find our drinking water so that made the choice to head back to the Castle by the best route and we meandered on along the chosen route. At least the OFM did not try to convince the Walking Team that he was tough enough to go on along and tough it out. Back at the Castle we checked the temperature outside and it was 91F. Yep we chose correctly.

We set to work doing a coloring in one of the adult coloring books we have for coloring fun. It is a desert scene. Here is the usual trick pic to show what we are doing for fun.



When it got to be time we got ready to go to lunch and a rain storm moved into the area at the same time. Here is what we had at 1230 when we were leaving the campground for Lawlers and grocery shopping afterwards.



This was the gas price at Walmart today.



Back home and HOT/wet outside we just stayed in the AC and pushed colored pencils around on paper for trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/29/22

Shade and Breeze Required

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-29-2022



We made a careful choice on the walking this morning. Our goal was shade and breeze or we stay home. No more thick vegetation until the temps start dropping around Labor Day. The OFM is just not handling the still and hot while in the sun any more in his age. So we took the garbage to the dumpster through the campground while walking in the shade of the tall trees. After dumping the garbage we went across the street and checked the shade on the sidewalks.







Both ways seemed good and with the openess there was a gentle breeze helping us out with the cooling. We chose left and a nice speed to fit with the gentle breeze as we meandered on along the paved pathway. When we got to the turn to take the paved loop around the golf course, the OFM paused and checked for shade on the loop road. NOPE just bright sun. So we turned around and went back to where we entered the trail and paused to check going on and the shade and breeze was nice so we meandered on along with broken shade and good breeze for a good distance, Rootbeer got sipped now and then. Yep the fluids were definitely helping. The OFM does not recall the exact path through the campground but we carefully followed the shade areas back to the Castle.

When we had cooled down, the internet maps were used to see how far we had gone and it was a bit over 2.5 miles and it was now 92F. But that was plenty considering the humidity in the marsh of the area. The most important item is that we did not need a lot of time cooling down and suffered nearly none at all. Apparently this is the normal weather until a bit after Labor Day weekend. So we will being very careful while we are out trying to have tooooo much fun.





7/28/22

Too Hot Again

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-28-2022



We got a little earlier start this morning and the coolness was wonderful. As we were stumbling along the campground road the OFM finally noticed how badly messed up the roads are in here. Check out this very short section of the main loop of part of the campsites. This is how badly the roads in the campground are torn up in several places.



We think it is mostly caused by a case of not building the roads to handle the size of the RV rigs that they are nowadays.

But the OFM made it out of the campground safely to the long all the way around the golf course road and turned left to get in a nice walk. The scenery we first got to enjoy we call flowers and sunshine.





The walk was expected to be not too hot and we had a good supply of root beer with us. And the OFM was being careful about keeping it to a “hot weather “ pace and we were careful.

At the place where the gravel along the river trail joined the loop trail we turned off the paved road onto the gravel trail and kept our speed a bit slower because the vegetation stopped all the breeze we were getting on the paved portion of the loop road.

On down the trail a good ways we found this spot where the lake had washed a splash hole through the bank under a small tree and caused the tree to go swimming. We guess it will be there another five or so years.



A little on down the trail the breeze got blocked by all the vegetation and right soon after that the OFM called HOT STOP to make a decision. The whole team agreed that we did not want to hike in the state of the heat and breeze we were in at this moment. So the vote to turn back was 349 to 0 and we headed back. The OFM body was having a little trouble by the time we got back to the paved road and some breeze. The Team made the pace slower and we got back to the Castle later than planned but in decent shape. However we did take it easy the rest of the day as it was a HOT day. The hottest time in the area according to the weather folks is the next four weeks so we likely will be extra careful for a month or so. Our trying to have tooooo much fun for the next month will likely be a bit less vigorous. Public school starts on Wednesday of next week so things will be changing again around town.



7/27/22

Trying To Help High Schoolers

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-27-2022



The first thing this morning was chainsaws making wood chips. The folks had a lift up in the trees cutting timber down that needed to be removed. As the ground crew stacked it into a truck they took it to the city dump nearby and returned for another load.





We got going in decently cool weather and had made our way down to the creek and along the path for about a mile and a half when we met a nice fellow who offered the Teams a bottle of water from his large package of water. We declined since we had plenty with us. But we did chat for a few minutes that turned into over a half hour of discussing challenges to kids these days. As the high schoolers finished the training run on the trail they would mosey on away except a couple who asked intelligent questions on career choices. One young man in particular asked detailed questions on military career opportunities and the OFM tried to help him. The stop at the water resupply point turned out to be very rewarding to the OFM as he attempted to help these young folks.



Late in the afternoon clouds started to build up and we got a cloudy sky that at first looked stormy, but nothing happened and the clouds dispersed.



The crepe myrtle plants we blooming profusely and looking pretty. We tried a close focus that came out less than great. But here it is for your pleasure.



We plan on a restful night so we can run nuts trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.

7/26/22

Morning Sun Rise

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-26-2022



A wonderful morning got things going for the Teams. The temperature was about 76f with a slight breeze. It certainly was good for fast walking. We choose a set of loops that stayed on the paved surfaces so we could try to get our speed up on the walk this morning. We did accomplish that well. When we got back to the Castle from our shorter but faster walk the OFM was huffing and puffing but feeling great.



While sitting at the do everything table this morning cooling down the OFM noticed that we seemed to never show what the conditions right at our trailer are like. So here is the view from our do everything table when we are at the Castle doing things.



As soon as the OFM cooled down and we got showered clean we set off for our dental maintenance visit. The traffic was just right and we had a couple of minutes to spare in the travel time.

The hygienist soon called us back and the work began. Several things in the last year had held us back from the usual interval between cleanings and exams so we expected consequences. But the cleaning went well and there were two spots that needed a bit extra cleaning but everything else was good. Then the dentist came in to check his stuff and probed around a bit. Then put his tools down and told the OFM he has been doing a great job of keeping the teeth in proper shape and we were finished for another year. WOW that was good to hear.

We went from the dentist to Lawlers BBQ for a Tuesday Super Stuffie Tater for $7.50. We chose shredded pork for our meat. We ate half for lunch and the other half for supper and we feel we over ate on both meals. OINK OINK



After taking a few minutes to digest and de-bloat a bit the OFM started to work on the current painting and surprisingly finished it. Check out Morning Sun Rise for your enjoyment. This painting started life as a page from an adult coloring book. The OFM added all of the background and a bunch of the detailing in the fore ground and a few other minor details.



All colors and application of shading and hues are OFM choices.

And then this evening we went out for a nice walk again before we got busy writing tonight's blog entry.

The OFM is planning a long deep nights sleep after all this trying to have tooooo much fun today.





7/25/22

Electric Explosion

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-25-2022



Good grief July is nearly gone and we forgot to pay attention and use the days wisely. Anyway we got going on our walk today and headed for the far NW entrance to the loop around the golf course road. Since the OFM was feeling wobbly this morning we intended to stay on the paved trails for safety. We were doing well when we got to the loop road and turned right onto the loop road.

A nice shady path this was proving to be. We got to where the gravel walking path along the river and creek and paused to check the OFM's health and found it good enough to head onto the gravel walking path. Here is the sign at the entrance. This is the end of the trail several miles from the other end at the soccer fields you have seen many times. We think the trail is a bit over three miles but getting to it adds some distance to the walk.



The trail starts straight and soon meanders along like the river and creek.



At the start of the trail we saw this nice raft of geese swimming around like they are getting ready to fatten up for a southern flight soon.



Then we pointed the OFM nose along the trail and got walking. It is always wise to pay attention to warning signs along the trails to stay safe.





So we paid attention and did not get eaten. There were several clusters of flowers along the path. The white ones were so white that the reflection made them just be a white blob on the pictures. So we did not put them in tonight's blog. We plan to catch the flowers later in the day when we hope the lighting is better.

One stupid event happened. The OFM stopped to get a drink of water from his water bottle and it was not with us. That is not good so we headed back to the Castle.

Back at the Castle the OFM was feeling not just right so we spent the rest of the day just recuperating. The water bottle was sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for us.



Along about late afternoon a LOUD BOOM shook the area. A power line had exploded a few rigs away from us. Decatur Electric was on site very quickly and had power restored in a couple of hours. They are usually pretty quick.



We have less hot air forecast in a couple of days and it will be welcome for the days it is here. Maybe we will find something great for trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/24/22

Exciting Improvement Today

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-24-2022



There was a lot of recess time today so to speak. The HEAT and near no breeze kept the OFM activities down to minimums outside EXCEPT for the morning walk. The morning walk caught us completely by surprise. We got out about 0800 and it was only warm as we thought we were meandering along to enjoy the river trail along Flint Creek. The pace felt really good and the walking rhythm was just right. We made the turn from the parking lots in the Waterpark onto the gravel along the creek and it hit the OFM we were moving a lot faster than anytime since the concussion event a month ago. We stopped and assessed the situation to understand what was happening. Apparently healing had made a new major step. So we relaxed about the pace and let our natural speed just flow. Our natural pace is 2.5 mph from our experience with exercise speeds in the past. That was definitely a thrilling realization.

Now we relaxed a bit from the sort of worried attitude for the last four weeks since the fall and noticed our surroundings more carefully like this morning sun trying to break through all the foliage of the woods.





When we had gone a good bit farther the OFM body suddenly ran low on fuel about the 2.25 mile spot and we had to take it easier all the way back to the Castle but it still made for a major step up the healing hill. It was actually really exciting to the OFM.

We passed many deep shade/fresh sunshine spots all along the pathway like this one at a creek.



On the way back to the campground we broke out of the shaded pathway to the paved walk behind the soccer fields to see all this beautiful sunshine greeting us (and HOT air).



But we ducked into a shaded path as soon as we could to stay less hot while walking. It sure looks like we are making good progress on the head knock healing and that is wonderful.

We do not recall exactly where we found this nice cluster of colors in the vegetation but it certainly was brilliant and nice to see.



We can tell that a lot of the vegetation is already getting ready to start its decline in preparation for fall. We hope it is a really colorful fall this year and full of trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/23/22

Health Improvement Day

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-23-2022



A major surprise today was how much we improved health wise over the course of the day. Considering how much we feel improved in the last three days the damage must have been worse than the Teams imagined it to be. But not we are definitely on the getting better trail for sure.

Our morning walk was gentle again because of some hip joint and knee pain. Part of that may have been because we forgot our morning two pill dose of ibuprofen. The lunch dose came about a half hour early and the rest of the day the pain was minimal thank goodness.

We wish we had a video of the fall because it must have been a doozy. But now we just need to get totally well by early September to be ready for whatever we choose to do when it is time to run and play when school is back in session.

The morning walk was nice and we concentrated on wild plants pictures. There were not a lot of them since the lighting was feeble most of the time. Here was a pretty dark stretch of the wooded trail for the most part. But we did get to a spot where the big trees had thinned a bit and a bright splash of sunlight got to the forest floor to let the ground flowers enjoy getting some refreshing sunlight.





At another location the shaft of light was quite narrow as it reached down to this leaf and a couple of friends enjoying the warm sunshine.





Over at the big Walmart for a short shopping event we found the gas price had dropped a nice amount since a couple of days ago.



And later in the day the OFM decided we needed some more gentle stretching walking and he was right. We stumbled on a meeting between representatives of the lower level vegetation and the big guys about something secret going on in the woods. They will likely announce the big changes soon for all the woods to enjoy.





And that is one way an easy day in Decatur Alabama can be used for trying to have tooooo much fun.





7/22/22

Easy Please Day

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-22-2022



The morning started a little rugged so we chose that today the exercise walk would be gentle and more about taking pictures than speed. It turned out to be a wise choice. One of the first of many photos we took was of this bright blue sky with red flowers accenting the fence line.



Along the gentle route we chose was lots of vegetation and pictures. Lots of the water places were extremely slick and we got way too many reflection pictures off the water around here. This one seemed to be the best one to us.





By now the OFM's shot location of the covid booster was hurting him quite a bit as well as being a bit warm around the shot location. We took more ibuprofen when we got home from the walk.

Near one hedgerow we found a bunch of shrubs putting out berries/ seeds /whatever they are getting ready for the fall season to hit in a few weeks.



We dropped by Academy Sports to see about some new walking/hiking shoes and they were on clearance for $99.99. But they did not have my size.

We happened to hear a rumor while looking for the shoes that we checked out when we got back home. Of all things Academy is controlled by the same group that runs Whataburger now.

To top off the happenings today, when we returned to the Castle the OFM went to checking the internet and found the right size and color Merrell shoes for the OFM for a delivered price of about $60. That is over forty dollars cheaper than Academy on “clearance”.

Seems like it can be cheaper to have some things shipped to you than drive to a store to get them. That has happened a few times in the last few months to the OFM Teams. It is nice when it gives us more money for trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/21/22

Trail Loops

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-21-2022

The OFM got in a good walk again today. This time only 2.3 miles but it was a bit hot and little breeze. We told about all the looping around trails so a walker could choose to make each day a bit different. We guess a walker could put together eight different loops inside the park. Here is one place where several trails come together to allow several variations of the walkers choosing.





The best the OFM can recall is that there is at least six trails join in this thirty foot stretch.

Here is a close up of the trail markers.





A few trail-heads have some history placards to make it nicer for walking entertainment.





Nearby is the gate to the road that loops between the golf course and river. It is nicely paved the whole way and sometimes for traffic controls during big events leaving the water park. It is a decent system we think.





The big news for the OFM is that he seemed to get a good shot of “got better” from his concussion today. Still a ways to go but at least it seems toward better now.

That gives us hope for more days of trying to have tooooo much fun.

7/20/22

Golf Again, Sort Of.

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-20-2022

Good grief things have been busy out here today.

An important thing we did today was head over into the Walmart neighborhood market and check out the emails that said the OFM needed to get a Covid booster shot. So we walked in to find out the particulars. The wonderfully nice lady asked me to wait a minute and took my information to a certain computer to check me out.

In about three minutes she went and grabbed a couple of papers. Then over to the refrigerator to get a small bottle then to a cabinet to get unknown items. Yep the OFM needs to get one because he is so OLD.

After getting to the cubical he was asked to report to a different person came out ready to puncture him. The OFM asked if this means he was supposed to get a Covid booster or something different. The person says yep you are due to get one. Which shoulder? The OFM replied the one you can inject the best. So we sat down in adjacent chairs and he stabbed the OFM so well the OFM did not even feel it. We said our good byes and now the OFM is up to date on being stabbed. Total elapsed time was about ten minutes and everybody very polite and pleasant. WOW.



Check out this picture.

Golf clubs




About a year ago the OFM was having enough joint trouble he decided that golf club swinging needed to go away from his life and he got rid of his golf clubs. The available areas here at the golf course allow for just messing around with golf clubs or serious practice. About a week ago we meandered into a local goodwill place that had a worn putter($1.50) in decent shape to just play with at the putting practice green.

Well that turned out to be a nice time to enjoy again.

So that got the OFM to wondering if he could swing golf clubs again without pain and decently. A couple of days later we stopped and the goodwill place and they had some well neglected and used golf irons there for the same per club price.

So now with $4.50 in golf clubs we went back to the golf course to piddle with the clubs to see what happens to the OFM. He had a blast but it showed that his shoulder joints would not work for actual course play.

HOWEVER THEY COULD HAVE FUN PIDDLING AROUND AT THE CHIPPING AND PUTTING GREENS. So now we have a 3 club set for messing around at the practice greens at the golf course now and then. That will likely be as much as the OFM will ever get to playing golf again but it should turn out to be a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun in his ancient years.



7/19/22

Forgetfulness

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 7-19-2022



It has been a decent day today except for the OFM forgetting things like putting the memory card back in the camera after transferring pictures to the computer last night. So the nice 2.5 mile walk did not bring home any new pictures. That KNUCKLEHEAD. The card is back in the camera tonight. At least we increased the distance today with no injury or misery. We plan to hold this speed and length for another week before an increase. Healing needs to be done gently when you are elderly.

The OFM's severely worn color wheel for art needs was thrown away before we left Texas as irreparable and the OFM uses one A LOT to get the colors right for in a painting. Today we stopped at Hobby Lobby after lunch to check for a new one to help us get paintings set up better color wise.



They had the small size one that we think will work a lot better for the Teams. The original one was about twice the size of the new one. It really helps the OFM make better choices in the color to use in his paintings.

The painting we have been working on now and then for several days will start to look better soon we hope. Here is our usual trick glance at the current painting in progress.



This is at the watercolor under painting stage. We have to yet make a couple of big decisions on what direction we will take the whole picture concept. Art is a whole lot of work for the fools like the OFM.



On the medical front, more reading about the OFM's concussion progress yielded that he is on track to be healed in about six more months or so. But we are relieved that it looks like he will eventually heal. We have a lot more folks we want to irritate yet. And even more trying to have tooooo much fun to do.