Morning Peace

Morning  Peace


New Maybe Plans


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 31, 2023

We have traveling news for you. The RV shop that has a good reputation here in the area does not have an opening for the Castle axle work until October. They expect the overhaul on the old stuff can be done in one long day. It has been over ten years since the last bearing service and brakes exam. Nothing was showing to us that the axle assembly needed service but we have a moderate accurate guess that they have about 100,00 miles or near it on them. We feel that it is time for preventative maintenance as a minimum. If we get to roll about early October we can still get in a good seven months of rolling time before we report back to Grandkid Land for Grand Pa duty.

This is a picture of the American flag on the soccer field pole this morning about 0845 as we started a two mile effort in the heat. It was in the high 70s we think and the flag was hanging dead still. The walk went well and we managed to meet two different couple to visit for a few minutes. The OFM feels that those two few minute pauses to say howdies helped him have a better time about the exercise. Our recovery time back at the Castle was a lot easier this morning than usual. We have to keep that in mind in the future.

When the OFM stopped at the office to check for mail, Diane told us about the new coloring contest they are having for Labor Day and asked if the OFM wanted to do another coloring to put at the top of the rules page again. Sure thing the OFM replied and got the cover page and went to the Castle and colored a new page to head up the new contest for the young kids camping here. We really enjoyed the last one with a OFM coloring heading up the rules section of wall.

This afternoon Sierra was parked in the tree shade at our site with the windows down and the OFM started the engine for something and noticed the outside temperature read out showed 97F. No wonder the trails were pretty empty when we drove past them after lunch.

The OFM got a wild idea when we left Burger King from lunch and set Sierra on a path north toward Tennessee which is about 40 miles away. It was time to let Sierra have a bit of a run and it ran just fine. We feel it is a good thing to let a tow vehicle get out and run around now and then.

With all this heat outside we are getting a lot of time inside in the afternoon and most of it is spent coloring. It looks like tomorrow will be the final effort on a new way of coloring we are trying so the coloring will be ready for the blog report.

All right everyone keep cool when you are trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.


Wierd Day All Day


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 30, 2023

We hit the floor in good fashion this morning but ten minutes later the rain storms started. They lasted off and on for a lot of the morning. We finally got in a very short walk near noon before another afternoon rain squall came through. So walking exercise was very little We hope for better situation tomorrow.

By mid day the temps had gone from 73F range to 92F range by the time we got back from lunch. We ran into our friend Jerry at Burger King and spent a wonderful 2+ hours telling lies and fables to each other. It was great.

This late afternoon the OFM was feeling puny so he set the cooking timer alarm for a thirty minute nap. We slept solid for 2.5 hours and woke up late for supper. The OFM fixed a big ham salad for supper. We ate it with great vigor. YUM YUM.

Over all it has been a disorganized and disjointed day to say the least. The computer has been acting up with lots of slowness and other misadventures for a few weeks. Today we figured out we have a failing mouse so off to Walmart and picked up a Logitech Brand replacement. Back at the Castle we installed the new mouse and started trying it out. It was immediately clear that 99% of the intermittent troubles we have been having for a couple of weeks has gone away. We had no inkling of a notion that a failing mouse could cause that sort of misery.

That is about it for the night. We are hitting the sack early tonight to try to get better rested for trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.


Heat and Humidity Careful Test


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 29, 2023

We knew after yesterday that we needed to find out the OFM limits so we would not cause him severe medical trouble in the future of our exercise program. So this morning we planned a controlled walk with fail safe ways to handle the heat and humidity safely and still get in meaningful exercise. So we waited until the sun was bright and mean about 1000. The humidity was waiting and ready to stomp on us also.

We carefully mapped the route to attempt today to give us known 1 mile, 1.5 mile and 2 mile distances that we could use for historical reference for future walks. We also plotted the routes to be in tree shaded routes to stay out of the vicious sun such as this one.

With all the precautions we felt that there was no danger since at any bit of trouble we would quit the test and head back to the AC in the Castle.

Our goal was to find out how far the OFM could maintain the 2.3 mph low but aerobic speed his joints allow comfortably in these hot humid days.

So we set out at the pace and went on along well. The shade from the trees was important. The lack of breeze had us thinking that we would be cut short of the hoped 2 mile round trip. To us it is important for our health to get into aerobic breathing and heart beating mode for our exercise.

To the Teams surprise we were able to do the whole experiment reasonably well. The water bottle was half used during the walk and the pace stayed brisk for the whole distance. When we got back to the Castle the OFM was definitely ready to get cooled off but was not having ANY stress trouble at all. It is also correct that another quarter mile would have been seriously wrong at that pace or out in the open sun. The OFM thinks the lack of sun is a major important part of the experiment. Now we know a safe distance and conditions to plan for in the future on very hot days.

After checking the climate records on the internet it appears that it will be about mid September in this area before we can plan on picking up the pace and/or distance. On a bad feeling day like with joint trouble or just plain feeling lousy we can throttle the distance back to at least get a bit of aerobic time in for the heart to stay decent. In fact if it goes well we may back our goals down to two miles all the time. We will see. The OFM body health numbers will tell us what to do.

We plan on being out like this for another twenty years trying to have tooooo much fun.


Time To Be Extra Careful


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 28, 2023

This has been an interesting day for the OFM. On the trail this morning was some small flowers of the yellow or white or blue colors which are common and very pretty flowers. BUT today there were a few very special small flowers of the same variety but a gorgeous orange that glowed. We do not recall seeing them in the orange color before but we certainly liked them.

Now for the OFM news. Today he made it a 3 mile day at full walking speed for him but it proved to be a stupid move on a HOT, HUMID, NO BREEZE DAY. By the time we hit the turn around point of the 1.5 mile marker he knew he could not be doing this under these conditions any more.

We wish we knew if old aging caused this or the weather conditions did it by itself. The OFM was very well hydrated today so that was not the trouble. The recovery period has been too long. Starting tomorrow we will be looking for a 1.5 miles round trip to be accomplished and at a slower speed of walking until after Labor Day. When an hour morning walk takes three hours to recover you better change your style. The OFM was caught a bit off guard at his reaction to the conditions but one thing he has learned over the years is listen when things go wrong.

Recovering has caused a bit of store shopping in air conditioned comfort. We still have a very vivid memory of the doctor who treated the OFM for his fourth heatstroke saying in very plain language “ The next one of these will probably kill you.” So folks please be careful of these difficult outside temperatures as you are busy trying to have tooooo much fun.


Nothing Much Happening But The Heat


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 27, 2023

We emailed Kiddo happy birthday wishes this morning early and that was the high spot of the day. At 1930 this evening it was still showing 92 on Sierra's outside temp gauge. The walk got started about an hour earlier than normal for lately. We hit a spot where the shade went away for about a quarter mile and the OFM stopped looked at the heat waves rising off the black top paving and looked back at the way we came with shade and no heat waves. BINGO we had our route back. The OFM was not feeling frisky anyway so the shortening of the walk in this hot humid climate was a welcome change. As it worked out when we got back the OFM checked Google maps and found out we covered 1.7 miles anyway in not very wonderful conditions. So the OFM called it good enough and the entire agreed on something for a change. Turning back was the best idea.

According to the weather folks we are about four weeks from the summer weather peak and the heat should start to break and go down by the first of September. We will be ready.

The new glasses are working out OK but not first class. The left eye is just fine. The right eye is the eye damaged in the last August fall. This eye is not just right but is very usable with these new glasses.

We received three new adult coloring books yesterday. After the cooling shower after the walk we spent a good bit of time in the AC planning our usage of the new books. This gives us five adult coloring books in total to get ideas from and inspire the coloring we like to do. We even went out to eat for supper and had a shredded pork plate with potato salad, cole slaw, a roll and unsweetened iced tea. That was a nice change. Then we stopped at Walmart to fill up Sierra for $3.29 a gallon. Sierra was thirsty.

There you have a very plain day at a campground for a change. We have more hot humid in the forecast so do not expect much from the teams in the effort of trying to have tooooo much fun.


New Glasses For The OFM


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 26, 2023

We got started about an hour earlier for the walk this morning. It was less hot and the OFM seemed to handle it a lot better. But when we finished about 0915 it was time to cool off for sure.

Today we got our new glasses so we can see the best we will be able to for at least another six months of healing (if anything happens). The left eye that was not involved in the chair fall last August seems to be doing just fine from the cataract surgery last year. The OFM can see well with his new tri-focal lenses. The damaged right eye is not doing nearly as well but still is very usable. Now we get to start the evaluation if the OFM can see well enough to be on the road towing the Castle to here and there. We are hoping so. It is two more months before we could hit the road and need the choice made.

On the walk we saw/learned a couple neat things. Some sort of shrubbery along the trail is setting seed pods we think.

We do not know the name of the bush. Apparently it is getting into get ready for fall time around here. The weather will start to take the edge off the heat in about four weeks and then cools nicely during September. Several of the plants in the woods are showing a bit of fading to their greenery on the edges of their leaves. That doesn't happen down in south Texas until late October.

Meanwhile we stopped and grabbed this picture during the walk. Notice the still water around the old dead tree. Then take notice of the reflection of the clouds above showing on the water like a mirror. We thought that was a neat event give to us by Mother Nature today.

Another neat accident was detected today. We have been starting our walk at the Castle up in the campground and joining the waterfront trail after we walked out of the campground and along behind the soccer field to a slough that crosses under the trail. Then we follow the trail as far as we can that day. The trail has nice mileage markers along it about every half mile or so like this one.

So today we paid careful attention to a couple of mile markers locations. Then when we returned to the Castle we got on Goggle maps to see how different our distance was from the trail markers. We measured our distance from the Castle to the common point on the slough crossing with the main trail start point Mile 0. As it turned out we are within 200 feet of the same distance just different starting points. So now we know that once we hit the trail from the campground and join the main trail the mile markers are nearly right for us also. That means we can get decent ideas about where we see things along the trail so other folks can find the same great scene we saw. Not really important but a nice ability to have when locating an event location for the blog and the readers.

Have some extra fun tomorrow in Celebration of Kiddo's (OFM's son) birthday. He turns 40+.



Nearly Overheated The OFM


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 25, 2023

A slightly warm morning greeted us when we hit the trail for a nice walk this morning. We chose a route around the soccer field that went past some very bright Crepe Myrtles.

They are in magnificent blooms this year don't you think?

As we continued the walk the OFM was getting a bit too hot and sweaty so when we got to a main junction we stopped to check out the situation a bit.

We considered that that there might be more breeze on the open road. The trail is a lot more dense with vegetation and breeze can be a premium item on it during days like today. So we chose the road knowing that we had opportunities to cross back over to the hiking trail now and then. It was a surprise to us that we were not getting any breeze on the road so at the first opportunity we crossed over to the hiking trail and it was not getting any breeze either. So we slowed our pace a bit and headed back to the Castle. We have no idea how far we went today but it was less that 2 miles. By the time we got back to the Castle the OFM was feeling the hot humid weather a bit too much.

The rest of the day the OFM was not feeling very well from the heat and humidity so he spent the rest of the day inside the AC area of coolness. It was a wise choice. We will be very careful tomorrow if we get out into the heat and humidity again.

Meanwhile we got a new coloring book in from Amazon this afternoon and we have not had time to look through it carefully. The OFM is learning how to choose the coloring books drawn by folks with nice paintings as the planned finish and ones just for flat painting to fill up the enclosed spots inside like a young child's coloring book is done. We learned today that there exists adult coloring books set up specifically for more realistic paintings when the colorist gets finished with their art contributions to the scene. So the search for knowledge goes onward.

Tonight we get to view the teams latest effort that is complete. We say it that way because we can have several colorings of several scenes in progress at the same time. The OFM does not start a coloring and stay with it to the finish. There are many artistic decisions that need time to consider before continuing on that particular coloring. For instance there was several weeks between coloring most of the mountains and the coloring of the meadow where the flowers are located. We could not make up the OFM's mind on how to present the animals and flowers in the foreground. So without any more nonsense here is Mountain Meadows (4"x6").

We hope you enjoy it and want to see more because there are several small ones almost finished and three more or so partially completed coming in the next months. And we have two more adult coloring books coming in the mail as we write.

After this hot day will all our readers please join us in a kick back resting time tonight so we can be well rested for a hard day of trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow.


Nice Long Walk


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 24, 2023

Today worked out a lot different than we thought it would. The weather this morning was not hot and the wind was nothing. The well knee seemed fine and we decided to give a good effort at ignoring the knee and go for faster and longer than in a while. As we moved quickly we would stop to get nice scenery pictures and move on. Well it sort of worked out that way. We got the pictures along the trail. The body did pretty good but we shut down at 2.5 miles. We also quickly found out we were not going to set new speed records this morning. Our speed turned out to be a notch below our best but was good enough to get a bit aerobic. It was a good workout but not yet quite up to our planned minimum.

Since the day turned into what it was, we decided to just use the effort for getting nice scenery pics along the trail. It was a good choice for the OFM health. Here are the pics in sequence from start of walk to the turnaround at the supervisor bird.

Pic 1




Hole 6 of the golf course

Supervisor Bird

It made for a great walk and start to the day.

We spent some time coloring and planning and trying to figure out what to plan while enjoying a day of easy living for a change from all the recuperation effort in the last few days. We hope everyone had a great day of trying to have tooooo much fun also.


Birthday Celebration Times


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 23, 2023

It has been a busy day for the OFM Teams. Today two birthdays were celebrated. Gavin the Grandkid and Kiddo the daddy of Gavin. Gavin was today and Kiddo is next Thursday. But work gets in the way so both were celebrated today.

On the way over to their home we went through the area that got hit bye the bad storms that just barely missed the campground. There were many huge trees broken off like circular winds had taken them down. Then the cleanup pieces along the roads were stacked nicely awaiting the trash trucks attent when their time came. We are really glad the campground did not catch the brunt of the storms. On the way back here to Point Mallard, we noticed the damage stopped on the north side of the Tennessee River. That was plenty close enough for the OFM Teams.

Gavin seemed to really like the art books and tools really well. Here is a picture Kiddo took of us discussing the presents. That is Piper the OFM's grand daughter in the lower right of the picture.

All too soon it was time to leave as the family had a humanitarian effort to attend about providing shoes for needy folks in the area. So we went on our way back to the Castle.

But wait the OFM was not finished yet. We ran over to Burger King for a crispy chicken sandwich and a senior drink for lunch. To our good luck and old acquaintance was there eating lunch also. About two hours later we said our good byes and headed on out to our next chores.

Thankfully the rest of the day was calm and quiet here in the campground. The OFM was surprised to find out that we have several empty long term sites right now. It has been a couple of years since we last had a long term site sit empty for more than about thirty minutes.

With a bit of luck we will get back to early morning walks tomorrow. We skipped today because it was too hot when we got back from the birthday gatherings. So everyone have get busy tomorrow trying to have tooooo much fun.


Lot of Good News


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 22, 2023

It has been a busy day for the OFM Teams. Here is a preliminary of today's resting time efforts on a small format coloring. The picture is after the first effort but before the finishing effort that will come soon we hope.

We figure about six more hours will finish this picture.

The wonderful news happened fairly early this morning on the exercise walk. First the temps were usable for serious walking exercise. The OFM kept the walk down to 2 miles but let himself go as fast as he felt like. We ended up doing the 2 miles at normal low end aerobic level that has heart pumping well and lungs deeply breathing but not panting. The whole walk went very well with no knee pain at all. So we are calling the knee healed for now and full speed ahead whatever full speed is that day.

The storm that came through here late yesterday left a lot of small limbs etc. on and along the main trail. Things like this small limb were no big deal.

Bigger stuff like this pile that had already been cleaned from the trail this morning are another story. They are big enough to talk about stitches if you get hit.

There were plenty of folks out early in the less hot weather so we got in a lot of Texas HOWDYs to the folks out enjoying the morning.

Supper tonight was a bit great. A few days ago we got a really good price on a couple packages of half inch thick pork chops and repackaged them at two to a bag and put them in the freezer. Yesterday we got out a package and cubed two chops into ½ inch cubes and microwaved them with some of the OFM preferred spices for use in salads. This evening supper was one pork chop of cubes into a nice varied salad according to what was available tonight. WOW it was great. There was at least tomatoes, black olives, lettuce mix, BBQ sauce and a couple other things. WOW that was good eating. We love those kinds of salads for supper.

We ended up doing a bit of Walmart perusing about some potential meals soon and checking for supplies for a couple of small projects that might come up in our near future. We are thinking about if we will try to roll out of Alabama this fall and where we might mess around. Our earliest rolling time is late September after some school events for the grands is finished. Then the weather gets too cold to be north of I-20 by the end of October. Then what next???????????? for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Surprise Healing


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 21, 2023

The OFM got a big surprise this morning when he hurried to the necessity room right after waking. He realized he got the whole way from the bedroom at one end of the Castle to the other end and his left knee did not object in any way. That was a wonderful realization. The rest of the day was painless but the knee was a bit stiff on occasion. After breakfast the OFM spent a few minutes testing the knee and decided to take a short slow speed limbering of the knee called a gentle walk.

It worked out wonderfully. We hit the trail right behind the campground and followed it to where it joins the rest of the trail complex. This is our starting pint this morning.

It is pretty straight and level to the big junction of trails. The walking was gentle and no pains at all came to worry us.

When we got to the big junction we took this picture of the swamp surrounding the campground since it is a nice picture.

Then we returned by the same route as we had come. After we returned the OFM tracked and measured our distance and the whole easy distance was .75 miles. From the way the knee felt the rest of the day it was a just right choice. We feel that we can now take a couple of days to build up and recover from the injury and then we can rip and tear like before.

The OFM went on a rampage on the computer after the walk and we got rid of files we did not need anymore that had no good reason for still being on the hard drive. Most were pictures that we had not used for the blog but for some stupid reason we still had copies here and there. When it was over our final count of files deleted was 589 total files. The computer was getting so light after getting rid of all them we had to tape it to the table to keep it from floating away.

Then this late afternoon we had rainstorms move into the area so we took our dirty clothes over to the campground laundry and put that to washing and drying. Sure enough the rain kept on going until dark but we got the laundry done and put away anyway.

If the knee is doing well tomorrow, we have a bit of food shopping to do and then no idea what we will be doing for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Knee Treatment


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 20, 2023

Today the OFM made a strong effort at healing his knee. We basically took the day off from any serious activity using the knee. So it was a sit at the computer day and piddle. Lunch was at Burger King and then back to the Castle to piddle more. It was a bit of a surprise how much the knee improved during the day. The little walking we did seemed to be just enough to loosen the knee a bit without any more pains. So overall we feel it was a good treatment for the knee and we will see what tomorrow brings when it gets here. In the mean time we are going to try to have a lot of fun from the office chair at the table. Be safe everyone.


Small Dehumidifier Works


Adventure Location:

Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 19, 2023

We are located in the midst of Wheeler Natural Area which is a fancy name for a worthless swampy marsh of very high humidity and bugs. Therefore the temp does not have to get really high for the atmosphere to be very nasty hot in the summer and miserable cold in the winter. The Castle living area is only 70 inches high and 20 feet long by 7 feet 6 inches wide. So we did not need a large dehumidifier to keep the Castle nice with respect to humidity.

Our choice a couple of years ago was this model from Walmart. With only 147 square feet of living area it has proved to be just right for our comfort.

It runs on 120 volt electric. When we boon dock it runs just fine on a small inverter we have.

Last night was the worst night of the knee troubles we have had. The left knee became swollen up and red and tender before we went to bed. So the OFM chose to switch to a maximum dose treatment with ibuprofen to attempt to get control of the situation. The OFM thought that if this did not work it would be time to hit up the emergency room here in Decatur. The aching continued until the OFM saw midnight on the clock before he went to sleep. This morning he woke at 0827 to minor pain and the ability to slowly walk again. Then during the day the knee stopped the redness and swelling. By2000 tonight he can walk normally again and the pain is very minimal. It feels decent tonight as we write the blog entry. We are planning on a couple of days of careful leg usage before we trust everything totally.

While being pretty well confined to sitting around the Castle for a couple of days we have been doing the small picture coloring. The stroke length has doubled in length as the OFM experience has increased. These small colorings are definitely a different world from the 4x6 size and upward.

Tonight we broke down and went and got a Lawlers stuffed baked potato for supper. It was a very large one and will end up making three suppers for the OFM. That is OK since the OFM doesn't really like to cook very much.

It is well after 2000 and the knee seems to still be responding well so we will back down on the ibuprofen treatment to the normal amount for the night. Maybe tomorrow we can get back to trying to have tooooo much fun again.


War Souvenir Still In Use


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 18, 2023

The damaged left knee did a good job of holding down the activity of the OFM all day today. But we think it is improving. The good part is that we think we know when it was injured. On the ladder while repairing leaks two days ago the OFM remembered slipping a bit and twisting his knee a bit. Well it must have been more than a bit but maybe that is what caused the damage. Who knows for sure.

It was a very gentle day with a great morning walk at slow speed. A bit over two miles of gentle slow walking but at least we got out and moved around. No extra pain from the knee afterward since we went at a slow walk pace.

The big event today was working on a new coloring. The next biggest event is the OFM had a homemade salad for supper like he used to eat a few years ago and it was wonderful. During the preparation we were opening a can of black olives for the salad when the OFM recognized the can opener as the one he carried in Viet Nam as a combat infantryman for the 82nd Airborne at first and 101st Air Mobile later. We had not seen it in a couple of years in the kitchen drawer but here it is in use again. We received it new in 1969.

And it still works really well for opening cans and use as a screwdriver.

The salad was mixed lettuce package, black olives, small tomatoes, sliced ham, hard bread chunks and Lawlers Sweet Red BBQ sauce for salad dressing. Cheap root beer for the beverage. Yep it was wonderful.

Then late afternoon brought us a mean strong rain storm that lasted about an hour and a bit. No new leaks showed up thank goodness. And there you have it another exciting day in north Alabama trying to have tooooo much fun.


In The Deep Dark Woods


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 17, 2023

The damaged left knee did a good job of holding down the activity of the OFM all day today and seems interested in continuing with the ache tomorrow. But we can tell it is recovering. This morning was two ibuprofen every two hours for the pain and this evening we are down to one every three hours so far. The OFM would like to know what caused it so we could implement prevention measures if possible. What that injury caused is good progress on some cabinet cleaning out that has been needed for a while. Late this evening we actually took off for a short walk to gather new pictures with late evening lighting for mood effects. It was just the right amount of walk for the knee.

For another piece we are writing we wanted the prices for the park but for some reason the powers that be did not put the prices for the campground in the website. So in case anyone ever wants to come here we are posting the current prices.

During the short walk this evening with the low angle sun blazing in, we happened to notice something odd way back in the woods like a clearing with a statue in it. The OFM was not about to take a walk in the snakes to see what it was so he did a good luck shot at maximum zoom hand held to see what was back there Maybe. When we got it into the computer we were surprised how well it turned out. We still do not know what it is back there but here is a picture to help us guess about it.

What is your guess?

And finally tonight we get to see the latest small picture that the OFM Teams have attempted. It is about 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches and was a lot of fun. It is Prismacolor pencil totally and has several hours of labor in it. In an article about working in small format colored pencil a well known artist recommends magnifying glasses for your work. We now can understand WHY.

That does not use up a lot of pencil but it has nearly no mark over 1/8 inch long on it either. Because of the smallness of the sections of a color in the picture and the carefulness required etc we think we have some where close to fifteen hours tied up in it. But we still started another one earlier today.

Next Sunday is our Grandson's birthday and the OFM has a fantastic present for him as well as an ordinary present also. But since he sometimes reads this blog what they are will have to wait for the grand opening pictures. It should make a good blog for reading whenever it publishes.

OK that is enough babbling for a crippled up OFM just trying to have tooooo much fun.


Ornery Knee


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 16, 2023

For unknown reason the OFM's left knee has decided to make trouble. It is painful to stand or walk on but not swollen so we have been babying it all day. Two ibuprofen as often as is allowed has helped. It hurts like it was banged into a concrete bench during the night. So our activity has been slowed a big chunk.

Our list of mechanical things to take care of on the Castle is down to time to give the running gear a good going over. So we think we will take the rig to Andys RV here in town. They have done lots of good work on rigs in this campground in the last few years. They can check the brakes, grease wheel bearings and do whatever they need to do to the running gear (axle assemblies) for the ongoing safety of our travels. We figure it is likely a rig this old with about 100,000 miles on it will need serious maintenance. Andy told us that they can usually get all that done in one day with an early start. Appointment required of course.

Being mobility limited gave the OFM a chance to spend some quality time coloring and he was able to nearly finish a small picture he has been working on now and then.

Don't be surprised if we miss a blog day occasionally. This area has really slowed down lately as public school starts August 2 in this area. There was a lot of empty spots in the short term camping section this afternoon. We figure folks are getting school ready now and the stores were definitely more crowded this afternoon than usual.

Be safe and try to have tooooo much fun.


Maximizing Fun Times


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 15, 2023

Contrary to a comment from yesterdays blog entry. We are not thinking about dying but are definitely working on getting as much living as possible crammed into what unknown amount of time we have left. Wasting fun time is a bad habit the OFM used to have. Not any more.

On that issue of timing and the OFM health recovery situation we now feel that we will be able to roll from Grandkid land no sooner than September 15. Then if we get a travel plan of some $ort worked out we can hit the road looking at maximizing having tooooo much fun.

With rolling again coming soon we spent some time today checking caulk leak points and possible future leak points. And the OFM still does not like roof work. But we found a few locations where we cleaned up some old weathered caulk and some caulk that seemed to be cracking from age. However we have not found any evidence of impact damage to any caulk. That is nice to know we have been doing good at dodging overhead troubles.

Since the OFM has to stay below about 7500 feet of elevation to be comfortable and still move around we have that restriction to conform too. New Mexico, his birth state, has a lot of higher ground there so we do have to plan a bit for that obstacle. With winter coming in during October it would be best to go in at the northerly end and travel south toward the southern end of the Rio Grande River for the winter months. We like those bitter COLD winter nights of 50F down there in January.

And that concludes all of today's planning except for the grocery list for food shopping in the morning. We have to keep our energy up for trying to have tooooo much fun.


Life Change Time Coming


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 14, 2023

This morning was devoted to a bit of house cleaning and then getting ready and going to the Optometrist for my new glasses fitting. The surgeon told me to wait about two weeks after his last exam then go for it on getting my eyesight life in order. Ordering new glasses is more of the real statement. So we did that this morning. It was an interesting happening with the OFM asking the doc things she did not expect which seemed to please her to have a patient actually know enough to ask decent questions. We had a few minutes of nice conversation.

After all that was finished we went and had lunch at Burger King and headed home. Computer piddle time took up a lot of the afternoon as the OFM tried to make sense of his future opportunities and what to do with himself. According to the SSA life expectancy table the OFM has about ten more decent years of kicking rocks down the road to use up somewhere. Where is our main question after 16 straight years of roaming already.

This evening here at Point Mallard we had an hour or so of serious rain storm jut pouring down on us.

Then over about ten minutes it dwindled and quit. Now it is a soggy mess outside.

For now anyway, the OFM is trying to decide what to do for the next few years. His SSA income is covering his cost of living pretty well since he lives so simple and his health is still very good for an OLD man. It seems that our life is finally getting straightened up since the two bad falls last summer recoveries got going.

Suggestions would be carefully considered for ways of trying to have tooooo much fun for an OLD fat man.


Dangerous Mistake


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 13, 2023

This week makes 16 years of the OFM living in the Castle. We have had a lot of adventures together in that time period. It has been a life experience better that the OFM's hopes could imagine at the start of the rolling down the road on October 7, 2007 from Richland Washington. The Castle is a 24 foot boondocking set up of an Arctic Fox 22H travel trailer that has served very well for our wants. Check our blogsite OldFatManAdventures to see the short story of our adventures around the USA.

Today we got in a very nice morning walk. We started on the normal one that goes along Flint Creek but we changed the route when we got to the madhouse of some school event dealing with footballs and massive turnout of kids and adults.

We backtracked a few yards and went on a trail that had been neglected a bit for the last couple of years and got a nice surprise. It had been cleaned up and widened so that folks could pass each other much easier.

We may be using this trail more in the future if it stays in good shape. From there we took a loop that gave us 2,5 miles for the walk. But the weather was hot enough that we had to slow down a bit from the usual pace to keep from having troubles. We joined up with the previous trail and got a couple of nice pictures along the waterfront areas. Here are some friendly turtles that let us take several pics from different angles. It was fun.

And on down the trail is an old tree stump from a tree that had been felled by a wind storm a couple of years ago. The main downed tree had been removed but the stump left for decoration of the “natural” scenery. We liked the way the flowers were growing up the stump in a nice curve. It happens to be at a spot with a good view of the lake also.

We made a serious mistake today while doing a big cleanup of the medicine cabinet above the lavatory in the bathroom. It happens that some triple itch cream we bought a couple years ago had the same painting and size tube as the OFM tooth paste with just writing different. We had not noticed that before. They both were rolled up a couple of folds from the end and clipped with the same style binder clip. Apparently the OFM switched places with where they we in the cabinet not realizing the tubes were such a great match for each other. So tonight when he went to brush his teeth he reached in and grabbed the “tooth paste” put a dab on his brush and went to brushing. In a few seconds he noticed the difference and the spitting and hacking got going. He rinsed several times and brushed with a new toothbrush and water several times. He felt that he had not swallowed much of the product but the label warning was emphatic that taking some into your body needed the attention of a doctor RIGHT AWAY. With all the training the OFM has had over the years in chemical plants he was designing the OFM made a judgment call he had not ingested enough to run to a doctor yet. BUT he did call his son (kiddo) about over in the Huntsville area to get him to call the OFM at 2130 to see if he was still alive. So far it looks like the OFM will live through this error. However an error this serious needs some help in preventing it in the first place. The two tubes should never have been so identical that they could be accidentally mischosen. The OFM keeps a couple colors of nail polish around to mark things at times. So now here is what the triple itch cream tube looks like until we get to the store to see what the tubes are like now.

And that is enough excitement for the day. The OFM thinks that he will take it a bit easier tomorrow just trying to have fun instead of too much fun.


Feeling Rough All Day


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 12, 2023

It has been a rough day since the OFM woke up. His stomach area has had an ache since he woke up this morning. We haven't got time for feeling bad since we have a tooth filling to get done this afternoon.

Anyway we moped around the Castle after going on a short walk early. At least we got two pics to show tonight. This guy was very vigorous with his fishing in the very early morning light.

I will leave the early fishing to him.

A little ways on down the trail we were trying to get a nice morning picture of the clouds and sun starting to break out in sunshine but what we got instead is this nice picture that looks sort of like a dark lightning strike at the water. We thought it was cute any way.

It finally came time to leave for the dentist and the cavity filling so we moseyed on over to his shop. As usual they were all in a happy mood and that helped the OFM peel off some of his grouchy and get rid of it.

The filing of the small cavity went extra well as the cavity cleaned out really well and not as deep as the dentist thought it would be last Monday. However it is now after eating a bit of a supper still in a very numbed state of affairs and eating is a bit difficult.

To top off the good things apparently the computer station got its act together and we have had no trouble today after three days of garbage happening.

Friday is the day of ordering new glasses with the agreement of the eye surgeon a couple of weeks ago. I hope that goes well.

Everyone have a good time each chance you get.


More Blaaahs


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 11, 2023

We got a good start this morning and made a long walk in decent temperatures at a brisk pace the whole way. It feels good when that happens. But there was nothing we chose to photograph.

The computer air waves seem to be having sessions of fun and no fun with our system. We are unable to get the story part of the system to work well. We had about fifteen minutes of nice computer time this this afternoon when things went bad again. Outlook system seems to be in trouble and we are waiting for something to get fixed.

So that is our situation and we are working on it as much as possible. See you folks tomorrow with we hope good news.


Big Blaaahs


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 10, 2023

We got a good start this morning and made a 2.5 mile walk in decent temperatures at a brisk pace the whole way. It feels good when that happens.

As it worked out we did not take any pictures that looked decent when viewed as a photo in the blog. We messed around with e-mail account still not working and nothing became of that effort. Mid day was a tooth cleaning and exam appointment that went very well even if they found a small cavity in progress. We go back Wednesday to eliminate that trouble spot.

When we got back to the Castle the OFM was feeling pretty rough for some reason so we hit the bed and slept some and rattled around in the bed some and repeated the procedure a couple more times until the OFM gave up and got supper ready.

We have no idea the cause of the not so great day but we lived through it and plan on trying to have tooooo much fun tomorrow. Everybody have a nice evening and night.


Computer Going For Repair Soon


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 9, 2023

We got a good start this morning and made a 2 mile walk in decent temperatures at a brisk pace the whole way. It feels good when that happens. Some one painted a face on the end of a tree that had been sawn down.

The computer has stopped allowing us to use the Email part of the computer. It will not allow anything to be composed and mailed or be received and read. We can read an email on our phone. So we have arranged to beg enough that Kiddo, the OFM's son to try to fix it next weekend. In the meantime when we disappear off the internet do not worry we will return when we can.

We have been coloring most of the day and made good progress on the next bit of coloring coming up. 

This evening we did a meander in the campground and found a couple of pictures of some nice flowers. Here are some beautiful day lilies near the office parking spot for checking in.

Back at the entrance there is a planter box in the entrance wye with flowers in it. Tonight there was some pretty and nice flowers to enjoy so we did.

The pollen, supposedly from the weeds in the woods and ditches, is running very strong and decimating the OFM's eyes. The antihistamine makes the OFM so sleepy he can barely function but at least he gets to breathe. We will be glad when that mess is over so we can do better at going out and trying to have tooooo much fun.


Nuts And Berries?????


Adventure Location: Decatur, Alabama

Date: July 8, 2023

Morning started nice with the normal granola and milk breakfast. The weather looked like it would be clear and the forecast was for some breeze but high 80 temps. Naturally the humidity was high 80s also. But we got going reasonably early and the OFM was able to set a good brisk pace for the whole walk.

He had checked how he felt and other things and decided that 2 miles would be a good distance with the heat and humidity what it was. For the third time in his life he was right. We drank about 8 ounces of water during the walk and he was hot and ready to shut down just as we got back to the Castle. And yes the cool shower was wonderful.

We stayed out of the heat most of the day inside the Castle. And we finally quit on another small picture of about 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. These small paintings are really difficult. But here it is anyway.

Late this afternoon we walked a bag of garbage down to the dumpsters on the other side of the campground. Along the way we passed two shrubs or small trees in the massive growth next to the road. They had berries or nuts or who knows what growing in them. That means we need help in identifying the items we saw.

So if you recognize what they are please let us now.

Then for supper the OFM had a strong urge and we ran down to Lawlers and brought home a baked potato with lots of filling on it. Half of it will be supper tomorrow night. The other half is in the process of being digested right now. So now we need to rest so we can do better at trying to have tooooooooooooo much fun tomorrow.