Morning Peace

Morning  Peace


Eye Drops


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-30-2022

The major rain storm last night got us enough rain and hail to last a few years. This area is right on the Tennessee River and the river is dammed up to make it navigable by barge traffic. We have a web site to go to to check if flooding is about to happen. When the OFM checked this morning this part of the river impoundments, Wheeler Lake, had risen .75 inches since yesterday morning. Yep it rained a bit. 

 It took the OFM a little while last night to realize that the rocks falling on the Castle were more likely large hail stones. NO he did not go outside to look for them with a flashlight. But there were no stray rocks on the top of the Castle this morning either. We did not find any Castle damage from the storms.

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO doing eye drops for the cataract surgery is officially over after this evenings drops were placed in the eyes. However we still have two drops to apply for another week until the doctor visit Dec. 6. But they are for treatment for the eye that lost the fight with our office chair last August 23. It has had lingering inflammation and swelling the doc is concerned about. We have noticed this last week a noticeable improvement in the right eye vision. We hope that continues.

A lot of the down time with the eye injury has been used for editing the drawing and coloring the drawing in a coloring. Tonight is the publication of one of the finished colorings. It is named Butterflies and Birds. It is about an 8x10 size and took forever to do with our current eye situation.

Several new to us techniques were tried out on this coloring. Most of them were a good change in style. A couple of others will need more practice to make our abilities grow better. But the OFM has certainly had a great time with this coloring effort for trying to have tooooo much fun while hampered by the eye injury.


Stormy Night


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-29-2022

We got going finally on a cool day after being lazy for an extra while to let the outside warm up a bit. Then we went on a brisk mosey around without any real plan but to just keep walking until we got someplace. Then start back to the Castle at a brisk pace again and see what happens along the way. We got lucky in that the weather warmed to a nice brisk walking temperature and we got a few nice pictures along the way.

That picture of the golf course next to our first mile or so of path walking certainly got the OFM spirits up for being here in this area. Until near dark the day was this pretty all day until the storms hit just about dark.

In the mean time we kept on walking because this was the nastiest part of the whole walk. 

And when that is the worst part of a walk you have it made for sure.

Farther along we saw Mr. Theo and his fishing buddy setting up for some more catfish catching.

As you can see the lake is over three feet low for the winter. But those fellows are part of the reason the lake is low from all the fish they catch and save.

The storms hit about 1630 with loud thunder, moderate but steady rain and weather safety warnings about possible tornadoes. We were not worried about the tornadoes, we were hungry.

The OFM looked in the refrigerator for possibilities for supper and what did he see--- left over pork chop cubes from last night AND fresh egg. Scramble a couple of eggs and just before they are totally cooked stir in the pork cubes and a couple of spices. Grab a couple of large tortillas. Put a MOUND of egg and pork on the tortilla and roll it up snugly. Now there is no way for any food to escape. YUMMY that was good. Repeat. The OFM was not ready to quit but his tummy had already busted his belt so he did.

Clean up took a few minutes and it was drugs time. The eyes got watered with drugs to help them heal properly.

The blog entry was completed and then we went back to work on the newest coloring in progress. By sleeping time tonight we be the OFM will be sawing logs with the best of them getting ready for trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.


Exact Cubes


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-28-2022

We did not get a lot done today, but we did get a scrumptious supper prepared. Two of the small pork chops purchased the other day were carefully swift thawed in running water. Then they were cut into about .7483 inch cubes in preparation for some gentle spices to get them extra tasty for supper.

Some spices were added and the accumulation of food was allowed to get acquainted with each other in the privacy of the cooking pot.

A bit of gentle flavorings was added at this point just as the heat was being applied. We think the Sweet Red BBQ sauce was an excellent choice for one of them. It made for a nice juicy “broth” for the pork to steam in. Here is the food right after a warm soak in the spices

 and just before the finishing steaming to gather all the special flavors together for supper.

When the few minutes of steaming was nearing the end of the time the OFM finally remembered a couple of flour tortillas were awaiting being part of supper and he retrieved them for the opening go around.

As it worked out it was a great idea to roll the food in the tortilla. In fact the OFM liked the idea so much that the second one got too much rolled into it and squeezed it too hard and pork and vegetables exploded out both ends. But none went to waste for certain.

Now it is time to sleep the night away dreaming of more great meals coming up. You know you have to have good food for the energy required for trying to have tooooo much fun.


New Nature Colors


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-27-2022

The wind was 20mph gusting to 40mph until late afternoon when it died down to the point we went out for a walk and pictures. When bad things happen the OFM tries to look for some good in the event. The Chair trying to knock his eye out was a bad thing and we had not found any special good thing to compensate for that event until today.

We normally would be gone soon after Labor Day in September but we had to wait for medical items to be finished.

So this year means we got to see the changing of the season for all the forest around here. Today a third spectacular color change was underway. The OFM was excited by the first one about a month ago. Then when another bunch of vegetation put on a show about two weeks ago that was really neat. Then today we finally got out again after sticking close to the Castle for a few days and WOW another show of color had come in for a visit. We have never before been in a place to have so many color changes before. This morning was a big surprise because it seemed to happen over night. Here is a picture of the road, Point Mallard Drive this afternoon. It did not have any of that color two days ago as best as the OFM can recall.

We got that picture during our short late afternoon walk. And to our delight a couple of hundred feet along the path back in a nook in the forest was this beautiful red arch to give the OFM a thrill.

Since things were going good we went through the campground and out the back to the path around the soccer field. The field was in heavy use this evening and was fun to watch the activities for a bit. As we stepped away from the fence the trees around the area were noticed and they were showing off too.

We really enjoyed the scenery in the park this evening. Maybe there will be even more to see back along the more remote trail sections tomorrow. Maybe we will have even more opportunities for trying to have tooooo much fun.




Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-26-2022

The weather was not great today with a sight chill and breeze and occasional drizzle. We spent the day at the Castle playing with art supplies except for going out to Burger King for lunch. Gas was purchased on the way home for a bit under $3 a gallon.

We decided to make a new water color pencil swatch chart so we could better tell what the wetted pencil marks would look like. The old tin was still arranged in the disorder that the tin of water color pencils arrived in.

We like our pencils lined up in the Roy G Biv style when we are trying to color things. For those that do not know here it is the spectrum.

R red

O orange

Y yellow

G green

B blue

I Indigo

V violet

It just makes life easier for the OFM when the colors are in that arrangement in the storage tin.

Here is the new chart being developed.

After we got the rearranging done and the new chart colored in here is what the new arrangement looks like.

After all that work we went back to work on the new coloring and sure enough the new chart and arrangement makes life a lot easier for the OFM to find the color he is wanting to use next.

Now we can concentrate on just coloring and trying to have tooooo much fun.


Less Than Two Weeks


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-25-2022

When the OFM checked the camera for pictures this evening the camera had failed to get out and take some pictures. So all you get tonight is typed words.

Our first out of the Castle effort today was to buy a couple of things at the grocery store and take back some cheater glasses we bought yesterday. They just did not do the job we needed to be done.

Then we went to get a package of salad mix and a fresh bell pepper. They had some other nice looking fresh vegetable and some fresh pork chops of a small size. Before we knew it we checked out to the tune of $37. Good grief.

But there was plenty of room in the freezer and refrigerator so we must have needed them. In fact some of it was a nice supper tonight.

The OFM body was not doing badly today but it was not up to serious physical activity. Twice we started out on a walk in the nice weather and twice after about a half mile the OFM body turned back to the Castle. Sure enough after a late evening nap the body was ready to run around. We have no idea why but at least we did not push the ancient old body at the wrong time today.

We had been coloring a page from a cheap coloring book and trying new to us techniques we were reading about. The book is so badly drawn that when the OFM decided he was finished trying out the new techniques this afternoon he decided to just tear the book up and throw it away. Some of the techniques took a good bit of practice to learn them but the badly drawn book was not good enough to even give it to the grandkids to scribble in. So it is in its new home a garbage dumpster.

All the OFM Team members are getting excited that the probable last doctor visit is coming up fast ( Dec 6). We will be very excited when we can order new glasses that will allow us to tow safely. Then we can go nuts trying to have tooooo much fun again.


Pink Canyon Flowers


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-24-2022

Another wonderful day of both sun and temperature being near perfect. We got in a great walk for the OFM body and even got a couple of pictures for the blog.

We started the walk near the soccer field and it had NOBODY on the field. Check out the weather in this pic of the field at mid morning.

Then we stepped out in a lively manner to get in a couple of miles. Along the way we saw a turtle convention on the fallen tree, This time they stayed in place for the picture.

The rest of the walk went well and we got in about 2.5 miles. But when we got near the fishing bridge as it is called we could see the fishing was really bad. The river authority had finally released enough water from the Tennessee River dam that our fishing bridge was high and dry. They bring the water level up again in the spring.

And for a lot of the afternoon the OFM worked on his latest art effort. Here it is Pink Canyon Flowers.

There was a lot of OFM getting educated during this painting. It is about 80% water color pencil and 20% colored pencil and was a blast to use as a major learning event. The painting is so versatile that that it was even a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Empty Bottle


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-23-2022

It was a beautiful day from start to finish today. Cool in the morning warming to a mid afternoon of 65f. Miscellaneous chores happened and a nice walk came in the afternoon of a bit over 2 miles. Here is our old friend on the trail.

We walked the hard surface pathway going away from the Castle and shifted to the grave path on the way back just to see some new scenery. There is spot where a bit of a resting park connects the two trails with nice views of the Flint Creek waters and a good view of hole number 2 green on the golf course. We have rested there many times over the 13 years we have been coming here and enjoyed every rest we took on those benches.

Not a lot happened today and we took heavy advantage of the lull in activity with an hour+ nap this afternoon that felt wonderful.

During the afternoon droplets in the eyes event one eye drop bottle ran out of medicine. So we did a quick trip to the neighborhood Walmart and hit up the Pharmacy for a new bottle to last us until the next doctor appointment Dec. 6. According to the doctor he is thinking that that appointment should be our last one and the treatments will be finished. We sure hope he is correct because the only thing between us and rolling will be getting new glasses. When we roll we will need to be careful to not roll into a bad winter storm on the way. Right now we think we will drop to Rockport Tx for warmer weather and visiting old friends for a few weeks. That ought to be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


Last Roses


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-22-2022

Another cold morning but not as bad as the last few mornings. We spent some time looking at glasses frames this morning and found several that met with the OFM's approval. So when the healing is finished we know we have choices available.

The right eye has changed since last evening to the better so there is hope we will get back nearly the eye site we had before the chair attack. Right now it is a pain carrying around three sets of glasses to handle all the variables. We are trying to hold off until Dec6 to buy more glasses.

While we were out and about we stopped at Lawlers and grabbed a loaded baked potato on sale for 50% off the normal price. Half went down the hatch in their dining room and the rest got warmed up for supper tonight. It made two meals really easily for the OFM.

By the time we got home from all the shopping the weather was wonderful so we meandered out for a walk. The coolness was just right. The first picture is of Flint Creek near the ice skating rink and was very nice.

Then we just kept on moving along the path and noticed these final roses in a large planter box. They did a very good job of blooming all spring and summer until about two weeks ago. We think they earned a good winters rest.

On along the pathway we noticed two folks out on a point doing their best to catch a fish or three in the calm water. They made a nice photo we think.

The sun was going down by now so we cut across the noisy oak tree leaves to the soccer field to head to the Castle but we had to stop to capture this picture of the sun burning its way through the trees to the soccer field.

Back at the Castle we worked very hard at eating the last of that baked potato for supper. Now we are feeling just right for trying to have tooooo much fun by having sweet dreams tonight.


Tree Rats


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-21-2022

Another very cold morning so we went to the grocery store first. After putting the groceries away we worked on the latest coloring project until it warmed up enough to go for a short walk.

At least we thought the cold would make it a short walk. As we got started on the walk the area warmed up fast and it turned out to be a very nice walk that stretched out for 2 miles plus a little piece. The super clear day and bright sun let us just keep on going and the OFM did just that.

Most of the trees we passed were down to a leaf or three now and then still on the tree. This one oak tree still had most of its leaves and were not finished turning brown. Check it out.

Anyway it was a very nice walk and badly needed by the OFM.

The Castle gathers leaves on the roof and we heard a funny sound several times during the day today. Well we were out for some reason and happened to look at a movement on the roof of the Castle. A stupid tree rat was up there digging around. When it saw us coming it ran down the rear ladder that is screwed to the Castle. So we got out the equipment and blew the roof clean of tree droppings. So far since then we have not heard the funny noises again.

A bit of an eye update. The left eye is doing excellent. It likely will not cause any trouble. It is way advanced in healing to the right eye. The chair damaged right eye is still improving but seems to take a couple of days to improve as much as the left does in a couple of hours. So our advice is do not try to stick a chair into your eye. It causes too much trouble to be fun.

In the mean time just relax and try to have too much fun.


Cold Walk


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-20-2022

We are definitely not fans of these mornings in the low 20sF. That is way to cold outside for the OFM Teams.

The eye shields that the surgeon used for our eye surgery are very cumbersome to live with and sleep with. The purpose is to keep you from disturbing the eyeball opening where they put the new lens into the eyeball. We found the first time that we did not need the shield because our glasses worked better and stayed in place better while sleeping. So we did not even try it on the second eye last Thursday. The OFM figures that he has napped for so many years with his glasses on his face that going all night was not a big deal to do. Tonight is the last night of needing to shield the eye so we have done well in this category.

When the weather warmed up to the low 40s we went for a short walk down by the water. As we passed the soccer field there were a lot of folks out there in the cold practicing. Notice the drooping flag but lots of sunshine.

As we approached the start of the rock trail this view caught our attention with the incredibly blue sky. 

It made a fine start to what ended up being a 2 mile walk in the cold air. The walking was going well and the day was wonderful except for the temperature but that kept us moving at a good pace to keep warm. Sure enough in a few minutes another pretty scene stopped us to enjoy it.

We followed our instincts on the trail until they told us to turn back and go back to the warm Castle and we did. Along the way we noticed this nice autumn path picture inviting us to enjoy the cool weather.

The walk back was pleasant getting cooler, so we had timed it right about the turnaround point. The warm Castle was a welcome sight when we made the last curve in the campground.

Yep it was a nice day of recuperation from the eye surgery and trying to have tooooo much fun in the COLD.


Cold Fingers


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-19-2022

Another relatively busy day for the OFM. It was below freezing, about 27F, when we set out for the big Walmart to walk inside the store. Using Google maps we measured the store as about a quarter mile inside per each lap. We went in planning on 8 laps for 2 miles but by the time we finished the first mile it was so crowded we chose to get out of there and head home. It was a decent walk and not cold. The OFM is doing well with the eye surgeries.

After returning to the Castle we got busy changing the air filter on Sierra. The filter was rated at 40000 miles and we had a couple hundred miles more than that on the old one. According to the date we had written on the old one when we changed it, we had almost 2.5 years on the old filter. The new one was installed. The OFM fingers were really cold when we finished so we headed back into the Castle warmth.

After lunch we got to visit with a very nice fellow who reads the OFM blog. He and the OFM talked about cataract surgery and new places he wants to go for a long time before he had to leave to prepare for the next leg of his trip tomorrow. He is headed to south Alabama to dodge the cold weather.

As for the OFM, he is working really hard at getting his drops of medicine in his eyes at the right time and correct amounts. If he gets it done correctly he will soon be able to get wild at trying to have tooooo much fun.


Drug Schedule Mixup


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-18-2022

The day has been at times intense and other times just really busy.

First is an answer to a question asked how we are staying warm in the mid 29s weather we have been having. First is a reminder the Castle was built to handle 0 degree F weather. What we do is use two cheap three heat electric heaters here. The type with a low-med-high setting. That in general means that the setting is 500 watt at low. One heater is placed in the bedroom and one heater is placed in the bathroom. Both are set on the 500 watt heat. Each is set at a temperature level that varies during the day. But in these not very cold days of low to mid twenties F temperature they each only run a few minutes each hour and hold the Castle at a nice 78F inside. A fan set at the end of the sink cabinet circulates the air to keep things comfortable. That setup has worked just fine for 15 years and down to 11F in Big Bend several years ago. We do not by choice stay in areas without electricity if temps will be below freezing.

Today was back to the Doctor for a check up at 0830 and the drive went well both to and fro the office. We had mixed news. The chair damaged right eye that was done two seeks ago is healing well but healing slowly since it has tissue and other parts to also heal. The left eye that was cone yesterday about noon was already so far along this morning that we had to not wear our glasses to see with it. It is already at least two weeks ahead of the right eye. But both are doing well even though the right one is lagging due to the non-eyeball damage that has to heal. So over all the Doc was happy with the progress on both eyes.

Some background.

The doctor offices are in a building called The Eye Center and the operating rooms are in a different building caller The Surgery Center. As the doc and the OFM started to discuss the medicines etc, the OFM pulled out a sheet of paper he received yesterday at the Surgery Center that called for medicine changes. The Doc took a close look at it and said that is not right and threw it in the trash. Then his assistant pulled out a bit of paper and they wrote down very clearly exactly what The OFM needed to take, when to take and other details. It was handed to me with clearly announced to use this schedule of medicine. Apparently the Surgery Center had not paid attention that the OFM had the eye socket injuries in addition to the cataract surgery.

Here is the what when chart the OFM put together to help his feeble brain get the right drug in the right place at the right time for the next three weeks.

Then the OFM fixed up this log book to show when he took the eye drops so he could keep himself on the proper path to health,

Now we will be able to stay on track until we see the surgeon again on Dec 7.

He said that if things go well the Dec. 7 appointment will be our last one for him and we can go to the optometrist to order glasses.

We have to compliment Dr. Robert Foster of Huntsville Alabama with EVERY time the OFM asked for a guess or other detail about all this damaged eye and cataract surgery he has been exactly correct on what we had happen. We would definitely choose him again if we have a choice in the matter.

That is about enough for tonight. So let us all rest up for a day of trying to have tooooo much fun in the cold tomorrow.


Handsome Fool


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-17-2022

The final day of waiting came along and we participated to our fullest extent in getting the eye repairs completed for the rest of our life we hope. The surgery center ran pretty well on schedule during the check in and other preliminary stuff. But once we all were prepped for the surgery to get going it was another hour and a half of waiting for us. When the OFM was finally rolled to the operating room we took note of the time in the prep room and thirteen minutes late the OFM was rolled back into the prep room with surgery completed. Another fifteen minutes of getting stuff like IV and straps etc removed from my body and the OFM joined Kiddo his son in the lobby and away we went.

We stopped and had some tacos at a Taco Shack in Huntsville and it was very good. Then forty minutes late we were back at the Castle and unloaded. Kiddo headed on home another forty minutes away and the OFM did a little piddling and plopped into the bed to give the surgery medical stuff time to wear off. Tonight we are doing fine while waiting for the 27F temps to arrive. Tomorrow we have to go to Huntsville for another followup doctor visit.

Here is what an OFM looks like tonight.

The vision is definitely better already now. We are expecting to be getting prescription glasses with little or no correction in the top lens and bifocals for close and mid ranges like we wear now in about four weeks.

Now we are going to rest some more before rolling in the morning to be back in Huntsville at the doctors office for the first follow up visit at 0830. Then we have no idea what we will be doing for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Getting Ready For Eye Surgery Again


Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 11-16-2022

We have a coloring ready to view tonight and it was get ready for surgery day. The second eye is on the chopping block tomorrow about 10am. With luck a fresh report will be ready tomorrow night.

First thing this morning was grocery shopping for easy to prepare stuff for the next three days. Why three days? It was just a number we felt comfortable with. After that the OFM will be ready to prepare meals again is my idea. Later in the day we hit up the main Walmart and came out with another pair of long underwear to help with all this mid 20s nights and mornings we are having. With any luck at all we will get to roll to warmer territory January 7 at the latest.

Anyway the OFM is as ready as he can get to get through with all the waiting for the surgery. We had to wait six weeks extra for the first surgery due to healing of the eye. So it has been a drawn out mess for sure.

We will attempt to put out at least a bit of a report tomorrow night about the situation. In the meantime here is the latest coloring.


Every one be sure to have some extra fun while the OFM is not doing his share of trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.