OFM Rig @ Amistad NRA Camping Area

12/31/22

Beautiful Day Here

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-31-2022



The end of the year is ending appropriately with the Teams having fits getting things to line up so we can soon roll freely westward. However we did have a dramatic sky to take a walk under today. It was cool enough and dry air so it was a pleasant 2 miles meandering the trails around the area.





When we checked the official river level this afternoon the water level had been dropped just over four feet from summer normal. The weather was so pretty that lots of folks were out and about enjoying the mid 60sF weather.

We did a little clean outing of the refrigerator and tonight the OFM got olive oil fried diced potatoes and scrambled eggs for supper. The Lawlers Sweet Red Sauce was wonderful on it all. And the extra thick hot chocolate in the Team Mug is really a treat.

And that was about it towards having tooooo much fun today.









 

12/30/22

Drug Overdose Maybe.

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-30-2022



It has been a rough three days of feeling bad and excessively sleepy all the time. Tonight we have found the solution. When the allergies in this area get going the OFM is mutilated by them severely. He takes Loratadine tablets at 5 mg by splitting the normal 10 mg tablet in half and taking only one a day of 5 mg.

About three days ago that 5 mg dose did not quite do the job so he took the full dose to get some relief. Sure enough the allergy symptoms eased off. So he took the full size dose each of the next two mornings. Yesterday he was feeling lethargic all day. He thought maybe it was the Covid shot reacting. Then today with the full dose he was falling asleep by 0900. His covid shot location was also sore so he thought he was having trouble with the immunization.

But tonight he had to take a nap starting about 1600 and slept right through the alarm clock ringing. Now he is feeling lousy for sure and finally realized that he had this same trouble last year when we were around the Piney Woods of the country. The 10 mg dose is just too much for him. So in the morning it is back to 5 mg and hoping that is the end of the feeling bad.

We did get in a nice walk in the 68f weather and his joints lasted for about 1.7 miles today. Along the gravel trail we found another Christmas tree that had decorations.



The walking was nice but the several weeks of rain and cold keeping us off the trails certainly was missed. Now we have to work back up to the mileage we can handle comfortably.

Another thing we noticed was the lake level was being dropped rapidly from the slightly overfull it was a few days ago. We did not get the current lake level but it has to be down about four feet. We will check the official lake level in tomorrows report from the authorities. Here is a picture of what we saw today.



We have some pretty nice weather with a bit of rain now and then for the next few days so the OFM may not have a good excuse for sitting around the Castle instead of getting out for exercise and photos and trying to have tooooo much fun.



12/29/22

Rolled Back Where We Came From

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-29-2022



Yep we got an early start this morning and rolled about 75 feet back to where we had been camped since July 7 until yesterday. Now we are good to stay here for another 179 days. That means we hope to roll southward in the next week or so.





After with a nice long talk with the OFM's son last night we headed for the WalMart pharmacy where we do most of our medical shopping. They are a good crop of folks that take good care of us. The question was a review to be certain the OFM is totally up to date on all his preventative shots like Covid. Turns out he was right on time for the Covid booster. So we got that taken care of. Now he is all up to date on all his suggested immunizations. To top off the visit the OFM received a handful of Covid home test kits to help keep him safe. Medicare pays 100% on all this stuff now days.



We had never even seen a home test kit in action before so we had to read the instructions before using the kit. The instructions had very clear written instructions and excellent visual images. They were so good that that OFM (old fool man) was able to use the kit correctly on the first ever try.





The good news is that the test did not show any covid in him to worry about. Wow that was a nice result.

Late this evening the sky went wild but the OFM did not have time to get down by the river to show the sky properly so in desperation he took a few quick photos through the leaf barren trees to our westerly direction. It turned out to be a neat shot in our opinion.





Then to top off the good news the grand kids and their parents are due to drop by Sunday afternoon for a bit of a visit. Now that sounds like a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.





12/28/22

Got Rolled Sort of

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-28-2022

Yep we got rolled today but not enough to get excited about. Today was the swap day for one night on our site with the one next door. So we got rolled alright, about 75 feet at the most. In this next pic is the site where we have been since we arrived July 7. This afternoon the OFM found out how out of practice he was at handling backward trailer maneuvering in tight situations. We figure there were some hysterical on lookers some where around here.



But he did get the rig into the spot without any damage even if it did take him three tries. The good news is tomorrow morning we get to move back to our old spot and the govmnt agency will be ecstatic for 179 more days.

Around 1530 we had the window open in the Castle enjoying the 60F breeze when the OFM realized we could go for a walk in this nice weather. So we did. We walked out the back gate and down to the river walk trail. It was wonderful.



We meandered along the trail gently because the OFM knees were grouchy this evening so right after this picture of the nice fall trail we cut back toward the Castle.





The walk back behind the soccer field was very nice. The knee joints were the only hold back and that was expected.

Back at the Castle we found a message from the OFM son that he had just had another Covid bad test so we will hopefully talk tonight and see what the plan needs to be now.

Seems like this year it has been on trouble mess after another trying to sink this ship. But the troubles have all failed and now we are looking at some more exciting trying to have tooooo much fun.

12/27/22

Sewer Hose Surprise

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-27-2022



First we need to look at the weather today. This is today's view from the main Castle window where the snow scene was taken yesterday and at nearly the same time of the day. What a difference 24 hours can make!




That is the site we will move to tomorrow and the next day move back to our current site. Thank the local government for protecting every one by requiring that move every 180 days. You figure it out we can't.

But since we are on the subject of moving. We checked into this campground July 07 this summer. Our hope (plan) was to roll westward by mid September for fun in the lower southern tip of Texas. As you may recall the OFM lost a fight with his office chair and had to have medical attention on his right eye for a couple of months and then both eyes had cataract surgery. A few other nuisance troubles kept us here until we finally again got the situation in order again. So here we finally are 3.5 months late with a new new rolling date that has a chance of happening. January 14, 2023.



The plan is head south to Birmingham Alabama and turn right on I-20 until we get to Texas. Then head down southish to Rockport Texas and a visit with DC and PC. DC is the world famous pelican fisherman from a couple of blogs ago. From there head west to the Rio Grande River and do some meandering for a few weeks. Our planned destination is Point Mallard Campground in grand kid land before July 2023.



During checking on things today we noticed that our current sewer hose was damaged. The inner coil wire had worn through the vinyl cover causing leaking. That is bad. We now have a new hose ready to put into action.





It is the judgment of the OFM that the cause of the holes in the hose was the vinyl getting abraded by the rusty inside of the Castle's bumper it has been riding in for several years. The vinyl itself looks to be in decent shape. So now we have a plastic storage box to keep the hose in and save it from abrasive damage. The old hose is about five years old so it gave good service in spite of where it had to live.

The next couple of weeks will be filled with fun and laughter from trying to have tooooo much fun.



12/26/22

Color Photo at End

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-26-2022

This is flat wrong. It is an OFM foot print in SNOW on the step of the Castle.





It has been an interesting day. We worked with the frozen sewer line a bit but no luck in getting it flowing yet. Tomorrow is supposed to be 47F for a high and Wednesday 56F so those temps should start something to flow we hope. We did little chores this morning as well as slept a bit late for a change. Then we took off for Burger King for lunch. It was good and the folks friendly so we took our time with finishing lunch.

As we were leaving it started to snow lightly. On the way back to the Castle it got more intense with the snow until the roads were a little slippery and the OFM got extra careful with the empty bed truck. By the time we got back to the campground area it was snowing enough we took a drive down by the river area and got to see the frozen water and snow laying on everything. We are talking about about a half inch is all. But there was a lot of slippery sheet ice on the ground to get you a busted backside if you were very careful.

As we pulled in to our campsite we could see the snow accumulating on the front of the Castle.





Now it is a known fact that the OFM considers snow to be a major evil item in this world. When we got to the door of the Castle we took a picture of the campsite covered in white garbage. Then when going into the Castle the OFM made the foot print you saw at the first of the blog.





We just piddled around inside doing a few chores and trying to stay out of trouble.

Finally as the daylight was fading we took this final picture of the campground out our front door.


Color Photo believe it or not.



It could be a really interesting day tomorrow if it really gets up to 47F. We could stand some warmer weather to help us with the trying to have tooooo much fun.



12/25/22

Frozen Sewer Valves

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-25-2022



Now that the temps are easing slightly we have been doing better with the inside temp. 10F outside was a minor heating effort. But 4F outside had us turning the two heaters to the 1000 watt setting to keep up with the outside cold. Today with outside temps around 29F we reset the two heaters to the 500 watt settings and they were able to keep up easily.



The opening we uncovered in the checking of the water heater for cold weather operation has been put back to normal. The seat cushion support and then the seat cushion has been reinstalled at the table. Here is what it looks like now.





This morning we had to fix some food for lunch and supper since the whole world around here was shut down. So it was chicken stoup time. We had lots of nice vegetables in the refrigerator and the OFM got busy chopping them up while the chicken breasts poached in the cooking pot. By the time the OFM got through putting stuff into the pot it was a full 2 liter pot.





And by doggies it was excellent we found out at supper. Tortillas were use to sop up the last drippings in our supper bowl.



We had a new to us happening due to the low temps of cold. Our waste tank dump valves froze in position. We dribble water for freeze protection on the fresh water hose so the gray water tank had the valve open so the dribbled water could run on out to the sewer. It froze in that position

The black water valve was closed so the waste would have time to break down and emulsify so it would flow out properly with a full or near full tank. It froze in the closed position.

We got it to loosen up by putting a couple of pots of boiling water into the tank through the toilet. That and a half hour of waiting got things loosened up and flowing well.

So as of dark tonight everything was OK onboard the Castle.

So doesn't this sound like a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun on Christmas day.

12/24/22

Lilly Pad Haven

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-24-2022

A little bit of an interesting day today. Early this morning we got to experience a “rolling” blackout. The electric went down as we were finishing an email. The email was sent and the OFM got busy going into winter boondock mode. It took about fifteen minutes and we were doing fine again. A walk over to the OFFICE got us the news about it being a blackout to last about thirty minutes. Check the internet for updates on it was my message from the OFFICE folks.

Back at the warm Castle we found out the area was an area designated to have rolling blackouts whenever the authorities thought it necessary. If a thirty minute blackout 2-3 times a day will keep the grid up and working it is fine with me.



We experienced a week of full grid failure down in Zapata Texas a couple of years ago and that winter event was not nice for those without boondock ability. For those of us with boondocking ability it was a minor inconvenience. At least we now know the local authorities are at least acknowledging the troubles and trying to handle it properly.



During the day we received a nice email of Christmas good wishes. It was very nice and whoever sent it without any identification, Thank You.

How about a new coloring to offset all the cold weather! Enjoy Lily Pad Haven,





We are still not getting above freezing here but in a couple of days we are promised tee shirt and shorts weather. We will be happy to enjoy it to the absolute limit of trying to have tooooo much fun.



12/23/22

Ice Inside

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-23-2022

Today was school day. The OFM went to school nearly all day learning lots of stuff about living in 4F temperature and in a swampy wet area. The OFM thought he was ready for COLD weather after living five winters in Richland Washington while working his last job. Today we found out about desert cold weather and wet cold weather and a few differences. The Wheeler swamp around here keeps our humidity very high and miserable nearly all the time.

Last night it did snow a small amount and left small drifts of snow around the area. Here is a picture of Sierra with some slight snow on the windows.



We found out later that the doors of Sierra were frozen shut and we had to force them open to go to lunch. We have never before had vehicle doors freeze shut from ice on the door frame. It was a good lesson to remember.

The water heater in the Castle is in a back corner of the Castle in an outside access storage location. It has never had a freezing trouble before but the OFM put a thermometer in the storage bin next to where the water lines come from inside the heated part of the Castle and attach to the water heater. Thirty minutes later we went to check the thermometer and the door to the bin was frozen shut. After gaining entrance we found the thermometer reading 39F. So the OFM went inside to see what we would need to do to let the warm air access the water heater area to prevent pipes freezing.

It turned out to be easy to do. We removed the seat cushion of the dinette and slid the support board aside and that gave the inside air a nice large hole to get the bin warmer.





We checked later and the temperature at the heater was 61F and that will do just fine. Now we have that under control.

Now we are ready for another surprise right?

We use rigid foam cut to fit in the windows of the Castle to aid in the insulation of the entire trailer. Most of the windows we never or seldom use so the foam just stays there all year long enhancing our comfort heating and cooling.

Next to the do everything table is a large double window to see what's happening outside. Here it is with the foam in place for night and times during the day.



This morning when we sat down to eat breakfast the OFM opened the blinds and removed the top piece of foam and moisture from condensed humidity was on the window. We reached to wipe it off as usual and it turned out to be ICE frozen to the window pane on the inside of the window.





On our side of the foam the temperature was nice. On the window pane side it was freezing. The OFM scraped a little off to be sure and then put the foam back in place to close the pneumonia hole and keep us warm. An that was with our dehumidifier running inside the rig.

Now we are more on watch for things we have to learn about living in wet freezing temperatures.

Anyway it has been a pleasant day of trying to have toooo much gentle fun while hibernating out of the COLD weather.

12/22/22

Flushing Your Black Tank

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-22-2022

It is lightly raining with light snow due later in the evening as this is being written tonight. We are headed for a low in the morning of 7F. In the meanwhile it has been an interesting day. First is the important part. The OFM's son emailed about how he and his family have tested positive for Covid as well Melissa's family down by Birmingham. The grands are already there for Xmas and lots of relatives usually congregate but now with the Covid mess the OFM is wondering what the outcome will be. As this was being written a strong roaring wind started blowing and when we looked to see what was the noise we could see small snow flakes in the wind. It is going to be a very interesting Christmas season for sure.





Supper turned out to be a couple of nice tortilla goodies with hot tea to chase it down. Now we hear hail hitting the Castle. All the precipitation is due to be over in a couple of hours then the real cold gets its turn.

Bear with us on this next part. We decided to do laundry this afternoon for no particular reason. The Laundry room was empty when we got to it.



That laundry room serves the whole over 200 campsites of this campground. Surprisingly it does the job pretty well until even one machine has trouble. Then it is nice to only be four miles to the nearest in town laundromat. So anyway the OFM was putting his wet clothes in an empty dryer when in walks a fellow with a big basket full of very wet cloth stuff. It turned out to be lots of towels and any thing else that could soak up water.

He told this tale to the OFM. The OFM has no concept of how this could happen so do not ask us to explain, OK.



He was flushing his black water holding tank and somehow filled the tank so full it flowed out through his toilet inside the trailer and also flowed out the vent pipe on the roof and ran down the sides of the trailer outside. He said that his wife told him that he made the mess and he had to clean it up himself. So he was a busy fellow.

In all of our trailering since our first trailer in 1972 we never came anywhere close to overflowing a holding tank into the trailer and have no idea of a way to do it either.

Well that seems like enough story telling for tonight. We have a feeling we will be trying to have tooooo much fun inside the Castle for the next five days until the COLD lets up. The temps are predicted to be shorts and tee shirt starting Tuesday of next week. We will like that a whole bunch better for trying to have tooooo much fun.





12/21/22

Pelican Fishing

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-21-2022





Pelican: 4 -6 ft wingspan, about 10 pounds.

The big freeze starts tomorrow and tonight we have a story for you from my old friend DC. DC and his wife PC are wintering in Rockport Texas. It is well known that Rockport has good fishing from the shorelines around there. So DC decided to head on down to the harbor and try out a new fangled fishing lure to see what happens.



DC is a good fisherman so the OFM was expecting to hear all about the fantastic catch he made. Well it was fantastic. As is frequent down there it was a foggy morning at the boat docks in the harbor. So DC went to work trying out the new lure. He was working it across the water in the fog when out of the fog came a full grown pelican and grabbed the lure. Naturally the hook did its job and it was fight on.

For those that have never wrestled with a pelican, they are big strong birds with claw like apenditures on parts of their body and they know very well how to use them. DC knows about pelicans. So he was being very careful to stay away from bird parts that were dangerous. He worked the large bird up to the parking lot wall and reached for his pliers to de-hook the bird. OOOOPS no pliers.

Now it is serious time. DC looked around and saw a harbor worker and asked if he had a set of pliers DC could use to unhook the bird. The worker did not have some but he put on his welders gloves and came over to help unhook the big bird.

Well they safely got the big bird unhooked and released without either DC or the worker losing any blood over the event. From personal experience against pelicans they got lucky.



DC got his lure back. The pelican got its freedom back without serious injury. And the worker and the OFM had a great story to tell everyone.

A word of caution hands on messing with saltwater shorebirds on the Texas coast is not a really good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

Thanks for the story of the adventure DC. You are now famous all over blog land.



12/20/22

Freeze Protection Time

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-20-2022



As the OFM was sitting there wondering what to do he noticed the kitchen area was in need of a big face lift (cleaning) so he went to work. The area was cleared of stuff and the scrubbing brush came out and got busy. The spatters etc from cooking wonderfully delicious meals was all made to disappear and not even by turning the lights out. Soon the area was clean again for the century and the stuff that belongs there was soon back in place. It looks a lot nicer there now.



A bit later the very nice young man who is a campground do everything person stopped by with a message he is handing out to all the campground occupants.



We took the message and told him thank you. It seems that a lot of folks have no idea how to weather a bit of cool weather without letting water lines rupture in their campsite. The part we did do is insulate the plastic supply pipe where it comes out of the ground. We had to go round up the insulation and quick ties from Walmart after stopping for a baked potato at Lawlers nearby. Back at the Castle we got the valve “insulated” and put the excess supplies into the outside storage.



While we were at Walmart we checked on our latest new glasses and they we in. So we got them and hesitantly tried them on for prescription. They were exactly perfect. So we now have our traveling glasses in hand. That is one more trouble finally out of the way. Now we have mostly weather in the way. We will see what happens with that.

It has been funny talking with the folks here in the campground about the cold weather we will have for a couple of days and the “interesting “ things they do to prevent things from freezing. Then they ask what is the OFM going to do. He tells them his idea but that will not work they say. Well it did for three winters up in Washington state when the OFM was living up there in his travel trailer and it got a lot colder longer than a three day dip in temperature down here in north Alabama. So far the OFM has managed to keep from laughing in front of them.

We plan to get down to some serious rolling planning again since all we know of now to hold us back is a package due in Christmas eve and the special package from the grand kids family between Christmas and New Years.



Since the fall in late August that messed up the right eye to now has been lots of frustration. The damaged eye is still not completely healed but it is being treated by eye drop medication we can administer while roaming. So we can get busy rolling and trying to have tooooo much fun lots of places.



12/19/22

Towing Mirrors

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-19-2022



Today was a frustrating day for trying to get things ready to roll again. A friend from down in Rockport Tx called to check on things and now he knows we don't know when we will get there, again. We will not attempt another plan to adhere to. The only thing we know for sure is that our rent runs out on January 13 and something will have to be done that day.



The cold that is coming is supposed to have a couple of single digit nights during the Christmas time period. That might get interesting. We know the Castle handles multiple 20F nights with no trouble so we ought to be just fine again.



The OFM did get a nice surprise when he hopped into Sierra to make a run to the store for some eye cleansing wipes for some irritation in his eyes. Just as soon as he started to head onto the driveway from the campsite he noticed how much better view of traffic lanes he had with the towing mirrors in place.



Then out on the road to the store it made itself more apparent that the mirrors do lots of good in general. That last removal may be the last they ever get removed again.



A word from the recently experienced at shipping things. Do not count on the first shipping schedule you get to have much to do with the schedule that is finally executed. Do not plan big events around a shipping schedule at this time of the year. Arrival dates seem to have no meaning lately. A lot of stuff gets shipped to and from campgrounds at Christmas time and this year is a mess. However so far everything has arrived at the destination eventually and not been left floating in never never land.

We need to be more diligent at trying to have tooooo much fun around here.

12/18/22

First Gymnastics Competition

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-18-2022



Big news today. Grand Son Gavin won two bronze medals and forth overall in his first ever gymnastics competition in Birmingham this weekend. That is a wonderful achievement for him. Grandpa is all giggly over it.



We will be darned, something else odd unplanned happened happened this afternoon. The OFM was working over the calendar this afternoon when suddenly things sort of fell in place about our next couple of weeks here. The OFM jumped up all excited and grabbed the trailering mirrors for Sierra and hopped out in the winter air to install them on Sierra again. The biggest surprise was he was able to remember how to fit them on the mirrors, make that the correct door mirrors without have to get on the internet to relearn how to do it. Doesn't Sierra look nice with the traveling mirrors on it again.





We still do not have a departure date but it looks very likely it could happen right before New Years Day (maybe).

With all this excitement this afternoon the OFM decided to try getting in a walk in spite of the chill in the breeze.

Away we went. The soccer field was getting some good use in the bright sunshine and cool breeze. We were bit chilled yet but those folks practicing were sweating.





As we got near the trail start we could see that the lake was back up to slightly overfull. So the lake level is very close to a small flood level and could be in trouble with a strong rain anytime soon. However there were several pretty views this evening.





The OFM managed to get in one of his usual walks of 2.49 miles. But with the way he wobbles around we call it 2.5 miles including the wobbles. The most interesting part is our speed was decent. About 65 minutes for the whole thing including quick stops for pictures, However he could feel that he had missed a few walks in the last few days.

It certainly did feel good being to get outside during a very nice day to search for tooooo much fun.



12/17/22

Swapping Sites

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-17-2022

Met new friends Doug and Sonja at the Lawlers while eating lunch there today. They have some interest in longer camping times as in clover leaf for a month or so after retirement in a couple of years. They were wonderfully educated in using a rig safely. But they needed a few details about longer time out traveling techniques. It was a wonderful lunch and it was an even better visit. They should be great at their style of travel and having lots of fun.

As the sun was disappearing tonight we checked the solar performance after two days of watching for any glitches that could get in the way of future boondocking. The result was at sun down the batteries were at 12.85 volts which is totally full.

We use deep cycle AGM batteries since we have had the same performance for years now from AGM batteries that the Lithium batteries would give but for $125 each instead of $895 each for lithium. Apparently we do not push the batteries as hard as some folks. Lithium batts seem to be well past the experimental stage of several years ago and into the good equipment stage if you need their abilities. So far after at least ten years of AGM use we have not seen the need for the considerably more expen$ive battery in our style of Rving.

In this county of Alabama a camper is not allowed by county law to stay in a site longer than 179 days without being out of the site for a night. You have to move the rig out of your site for a night and move back in the next day to stay legal.

My neighbor and his son live next door to each other. Today was the day they swapped sites with each other to fulfill the obligation. Then in 179 days they will swap back and so on and so forth.


SWAPPING SITES

The OFM hits that stupid mark on December 31. So we will have to move the Castle before January 1, 2023. Hopefully the medical garbage will finally be finished by then and we can roll on down the road instead of swapping to another site for a night. We shall see what the future holds for us. One thing we know for sure, trying to knock your eye out out of your head with a chair can keep you off the road an awfully long time, four months at least in this event.



Then a good event tonight on the run to Burger King for supper. The right eye had been having a serious fight with lights around us after dark when driving. We skipped a couple of days of night driving and deliberately went out tonight since traffic was light to test our eye recovery. The news was good. The light troubles were not totally healed but were at least 50% better than a couple of days ago, so apparently the right eye is not finished healing. We guess we should be glad to see even small improvements after such a serious accident.

The OFM says we need to just work harder at trying to have tooooo much fun. He is right.

12/16/22

Cold Weather Preparation

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-16-2022

The weather is predicted to be very cold for this area in the near future. We have three days at Christmas predicted to stay below freezing the whole time with one night of 10f. So the OFM decided he needed to relearn cold weather camping. We have had two years of cold weather camping in Washington and several short spells of freezing weather in the last 15 years at other locations. But it never hurts to do a practice for a serious event.

If the 120 volt electricity does not fail we will have no trouble with the Castle at all. Our little heaters keep the Castle warm and toasty down and into the teens with no trouble at all. If the 120v fails we heat with LPG.

So we put the Castle on solar power only for last night and through today. Perfect performance of the systems was the wonderful result. It has repeatedly been a good thing we did back in February of 2008 to add the solar package.

A food check resulted in a long trip to the store and about $60 of stuff came home with us. Now we are set to hibernate for two weeks if the roads are icy.

We are ready to use the onboard pump from the fresh water tank for 14 days if needed. We will disconnect the water hose, empty it and store it so it does not get cracked from freezing. Basically it means we will be boondocking right here if things get bad and that is also a good event to practice for when we roll.

Now that that is taken care of we tried to go for a walk this afternoon. The sun was bright and inviting and the temp was cool.



Check out this cool weather at the flag pole. It sure looks nice. We went on down to the place where a creek goes out to Flint Creek to see if the creek had any water from all the rain. Yep a lot of water. This was totally dry two days ago so the entire river system has come up a few feet.



The new glasses started a nasty habit of dropping their lenses out while the OFM is just walking around. After a few events we took them back to be adjusted. The nice lady at the Vision Center tried to get them right but ended up ordering a whole new pair for the OFM. They will be about five days before they arrive.





Now we are all set to comfortably handle the low temperatures coming our way. It could be a great time for trying to have too much fun we think.

12/15/22

Grand Kid Pics

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Adventure Date: 12-15-2022



Well, the Eye Center and the OFM have had another go round. They sort of win this battle but will not be getting good marks in any referral situation involving the OFM. The net end is we will do our one return in June to see the doctor once more and all ties will be cut with that operation.

For now the Teams will start our return to Texas to begin the 2023 journeys in mid January with a stop in Rockport. Then after that we expect to meander on to the Rio Grande River and northward from Falcon Lake.

A couple of neat pictures came in recently. They are of the Christmas gathering a few days ago.

This is Grand Daughter Piper making the OFM smile.



This next one is with GS Gavin and GD Piper just before opening a couple of presents.





Both of those two are doing gymnastics for the school for fun.

For those who notice the red thing in the cabinet in the back left corner, it is a 3D printer that the family uses to build things around the house. They have a lot of ways for trying to have tooooo much fun.





12/14/22

Rain All Day

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 12-14-2022

The rain started while the OFM was sleeping last night and it is still going at 1900. It is not really hard rain but slow and steady with no let up. Here is a pic taken about noon while fixing our lunch.



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Lunch was tortilla rollups. Yesterday was the last large tortilla so we had to fix two smaller models for lunch. The OFM is adaptable so he could eat them anyway.



For a bit this morning the OFM was down about the plans being shot to pieces but on second thought it came to him that he will get a visit or two with the grands before he rolls now. After consulting the calendar carefully and the weather history it looks like we should be in good rolling shape soon after January 1. That would be ok with us. At least the OFM Teams can still go out meandering wherever they choose.

The continuous rain at least got us a lot of good art time and we finished a coloring we named Rabbits.





We are looking forward to tomorrow and the new eye prescription to see if we can identify what our problem is on the vision stuff. It would be nice to hit the road with good vision for a change while looking for tooooo much fun.



 

12/13/22

Glasses Report

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 12-13-2022



We failed to get in a walk or take any pictures but we did go shopping at Walmart and hit up Lawlers for baked potato day. Yep lunch and supper from one potato. Sure was good too.

The call that the glasses had arrived came in and away we went to gather them up. At the Vision center the OFM was excited to get to put the new glasses on. Then he decided they must be playing a joke on him since the prescription seemed to have nothing to do with his needs. But the tech took the glasses into the shop and checked the lenses. Sure enough they matched the prescription the OFM was given by the Eye Center in Huntsville.

Now what? The tech and the OFM decided that the lady of well proven prescription accuracy should take a look at the OFM's eyes and see what she comes up with for a correct prescription. Sounds like a good idea since she has nailed the OFM prescription twice before.

She wanted a copy of the records from all the treatments at the Eye Center before she does the exam. So now we have an appointment for mid day Thursday to start on getting a look at the prescription she recommends. What a mess!



However the OFM now will not be leaving Decatur until he gets some decent eyesight for traveling. But another change is in the air developing. As many folks have said to the OFM you have already been every where you wanted to go and done everything you wanted to do at least twice. Well it is more like four times and the OFM is having trouble getting too excited about being anywhere he has had numerous visits at. His ability to fall nowadays is also a factor that keeps him in non-difficult terrain.



Then when we were doing some get ready stuff the last few days, the OFM was having noticeable trouble with his balance. From the two falls inside the Castle last summer we have learned the important lesson that single and old travelers need to be extra careful about getting injured. Due to the glasses fiasco the OFM has time to consider other options for Rving. With the big winter storm coming in during the next few days he decided to just re-up for another month here. If the glasses mess doesn't clear up we could be in a big mess over the eyesight.

So for now and the foreseeable future we are still stuck in Decatur, Alabama waiting for spring weather and eyeglasses. The possibility of making this a hub for cloverleaf travels in the future is very real. We have not ran around in the Great Lakes areas and the areas north of our location here in Alabama. Hmmm.

Pretty much everything depends on how well the OFM recovers. Time will tell us what we need to know. In the mean time we will continue trying to have tooooo much fun doing whatever we can.



12/12/22

Where are my glasses?

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 12-12-2022



Another day of waiting for the OFM's new glasses to show up. Until the glasses show up and are verified correct we cannot set a traveling date. Then of course a big winter front is moving this way to make things ugly for trailering. We are trying to be patient but it does not come naturally.

We did get a nice break in the weather and got in nearly 3 miles of gentle paced walking today.

Just past the start of the gravel trail is a large tree with big limbs waiting to fall on a target. Well it took a shot at something last night but we did not see any casualty in the area. The next pic shows the location the limbs used to be about 18 feet up the tree trunk.





Then this next picture is where the limb ended up near Flint Creek. We think it did not damage any humans with this limb.




 Next to the trunk of the tree is a much smaller limb of about five inches that is right at the edge of the walking trail. That one could have scared a walker pretty well when it came down,

During the walk we saw quite a few limbs up to about five inches that had fallen recently. Our guess is in the couple of miles we walked on this section of the trail we saw 15 freshly downed limbs.



In the last few days the trees have been hosting lots of different funguses growing on their trunks and limbs. This one next was shot with a telephoto shot but the fungus was about 15 inches long and six inches in diameter. The odd shape and coloration caught our attention.



To our surprise, since we passed this spot yesterday someone has come along and decorated one of the natural growing trees for Christmas. It is cute and we liked it.



Yesterday's lunch was so good that we had to do something similar again today. And yep it was just as good again. The hot tea really hits the spot with the OFM.



OK we think we need to work really hard at trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow instead of fretting about the glasses getting here.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

12/11/22

Good Lunch

 

Adventure Location: Decatur, Al

Today's Date: 12-11-2022



It was not an exciting day due to the rain off and on all day. But we did get out for a short grocery run to start the stocking up for the run to Rockport when it happens soon (we hope).

After the grocery restocking the trash/garbage cans needed to be dumped. The campground folks do trash runs three times a day but in between the stupid tree rats make a mess of the trash bags sitting by the road waiting. So we start a lot of our walks with a walk down to the dumpsters and on to the walking paths from there. That is what happened today. With the slight rain drizzle we decided on the paved path that loops back to the main entrance and then back to the Castle. It is not far but it is pleasant.

Today we noticed most of the trees in this location were without leaves except for a very few clusters of color holding out. So tonight we get to see the three clumps of colorful leaves along the long path we walked.







Lunch turned out well with a large tortilla on a plate. Then some of the salad mix from the grocery store, some Honey Mustard salad dressing, slices of seasoned ham of our choice this morning, sliced ripe olive rolled in the tortilla and DEVOURED. Three big hot mugs of hot green tea was the beverage



Then it was drizzling outside so we worked on some alternate travel plans we could use if we choose. The weather is the worst time of the year to be on the road in our opinion but it is what we have to work with. It will be better than sitting here for two months of COLD and wet weather. We still plan to drop down to Rockport first and then get busy roaming.

The new glasses arrival will set when we get rolling and they should be here next week. In the mean time the Teams will be hard at trying to have tooooo much fun with whatever we have to work with right now. MERRY CHRISTMAS.