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West Texas Winter Sunset

9/16/17

Tate Farms

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Here it is 2210 on Saturday night and the OFM just has to tell the tale. The Teams hit Gavin’s house about 1400 today for a special event. Gavin’s dad had tickets to Tate Farms for this afternoon. Tate Farms is a sort of amusement park with LOTS of kid stuff to do. The OFM was sitting over there drooling “ lots of kid stuff OH BOY”. Here is their website.   Tate Farms

This was a special event  given to employees and relatives of the company the OFM’s son works for. We did hay mazes, corn train ride, petting critters, inflated bed jumping and four hours of fun. Gavin was one worn out young grandson at the end of the event. Two pumpkins even followed us home.
This is the THREE MOOCH KATEERS having the  lunch of BBQ sandwich, mac and cheese, potato salad and baked beans. It was all very good food.



We were all beat when we got home to Gavin’s house. Then the OFM had an hour drive to get back to the Castle. And now everyone is totally worn our from having WAY Tooooozzzz much fun.

9/15/17

44

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The morning was nice starting out and got better for most of the day. Later in the morning the OFM started in on getting used to his golf clubs. He had not played a round of golf with them yet but it was getting to be time. Keep in mind that his legs can walk a 9 hole round of golf but after that he is finished for the day. If he is going to play 18 holes it is riding a cart from the start.

Any way he needed to work out the golf clubs some. It had been a lot of months since a serious round of golf and some of the clubs had never been on a course. So late morning came along and the Teams and clubs went to the practice range to learn about hitting golf balls all over.

An hour and a half later the OFM was tired and soaked with sweat in the warm morning sun. The good news is all the clubs worked very well. The OFM did not work nearly as well.  Anyway the clubs we chose for playing golf were stored in the bag and the others put into storage in the Castle.

Lunch came and went while taking care of some nonsense. Then in later afternoon we were able to take the OFM Golf Playing Team over to the golf course to try our luck with 9 holes of actual golf. The OFM plays the old folks tees. They are rated for 18 holes at 67.3, slope 109, and 5881 yards. This is a nice course that is interesting without being a killer but you do need to pay attention to score decently.

We were going along having a nice time in the heat and keeping the golf ball in play. The OFM did not expect to have a good round after all this time without serious playing. We had our share of OOPS shots and WOW that is great shots. To the OFM’s major surprise, when the score was totaled it was 44 for 9 holes. That was respectable for an old decrepit fool who had not played in many months. He was quite content.

Later tonight we heard from an old friend that we knew from the campground in Rockport. They have decided to not come down to the Texas coast this year for the winter. We had quite a neat group of folks for a few years but age has been changing things for all of us. Life does change doesn’t it.

Shooting a fair round of golf is a nice way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

9/14/17

Surprise Heat

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

It was a nice wakeup this morning to sunshine. After breakfast the OFM did some more considering for travels but could not come to any worthwhile conclusions for places to go for the fall. It was turning out to be a nothing special day due to the heavy humidity from all the rains and the fact we are right on the edge of Wheeler Lake.

After returning from a trip to a couple of stores to consider some purchases the OFM decided that we could attempt to play golf about 1430. By then it was 82 and feeling pretty warm. So we hit the course and made it to the green of the second hole. You start a round of golf by heading off into the thick trees near the lake. There is no wind usually and today was worse. If you dropped a thread it would fall like a rock. However if it was dry to start when it left your hand it would be dripping wet by the time it got to the ground. It was not pleasant out there this afternoon.

On the third hole the OFM noticed his body was not feeling worth a flip. When he hit his drive, it was more like a weak mosey. It was then he noticed he was suffering from the humidity and zero wind accompanying the bright hot sun. He got under a tree and tried to cool off a bit. After a few minutes he grabbed his gear and started the long walk off the course. The heat was winning and he was leaving.
When we got back to the Castle, he sat in front of a fan for nearly an hour of recuperation time. Then it was time for some more research on the Internet. Around 1800 we hit up the chicken joint nearby for supper and have spent the rest of the evening with a fan blowing on the OFM. Yep he did good getting out of the heat and humidity today. We certainly were not expecting a heat event today but a person needs to always be careful.

Tomorrow we are planning some more bike riding for trying to have tooooo much fun.

9/12/17

Foolish Planning

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The rain continued all day sometimes gently, sometimes harder and it was cold rain. The highest temp we noticed today was 63 and that was chilly running into the Mexican food restaurant in the cold rain. Virtually the entire day was spent deciding about travel plans.

The end result was we plan to leave Decatur at the end of October and head back into Texas to spend some time roaming the parts of that state (former country) that are warmer than most areas. The expected return to Decatur is not earlier than late April and not later than right after the Fourth of July.  

For the rest of the time in Decatur, when not playing with grandkids we, plan on putting serious wear on the golf course next door to the campground. And that is normally a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.


9/11/17

Cold And Raining

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The rain started about noon and is supposed to continue until tomorrow sometime. It is not a hard rain but it is COLD large drops steadily hitting the roof of the Castle. It is cold outside to the OFM. He considers anything below 70 to be COLD.

His virus seems to finally be on the road to healing but he still is whining like an alligator bit him on a tender place. As fat as he is, you can bet it was a greasy tender place.

This cooler weather has the OFM trying to make up his mind when to leave Decatur and head westerly. Then there is the trouble that by then it will be getting chilly when you head west. We are even considering that vast wasteland around AJO, Az for a few weeks of being lazy. Who knows what the Teams will do? We do not but we do know it will not be in a COLD area.

Since we have nothing to write about, how about a picture of our campsite here in Point Mallard Campground.



Like most campsites here, it is fairly spacious for small rigs like Comfort Castle. As you can see we do not spread out very much when we set up. The KISS principle is great for our style of camping (living).
With a little luck tomorrow will see the end of the steady rain and maybe the OFM can get the golf clubs out and try to have tooooo much fun.

9/10/17

Whimpering But Alive

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The OFM is still in a RAUNCHY way. We did get him out to Gavin’s home for a short visit. Gavin and his Mom seem to be recovering. Keep in mind they are young and tough.  A few minutes of holding Piper was a nice treat.

A quick trip to pick up lunch went well. Then it was time to send the OFM back home for bed time. It was a nice visit but really wore the OFM out.

After a very long passed out completely nap, the OFM thought we ought to let you know he is still alive. The hurricane remnants are due to pass just east of us Tuesday and cause some rain. So mostly he is just trying to heal enough to get out and try to have tooooo much fun.

9/8/17

The Raunch

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The OFM has had a rough night and day today. Something has him feeling pretty raunchy. We did make a food trip and come back with a few days of food.A little stocking up is a good idea with the fringe of Irma looking like it has invited itself into the area starting about Tuesday. Mostly it is mild winds and a bit of rain for three days.

A couple of miscellaneous chores were done but nothing requiring serious effort was attempted. The trip over to the golf course was a joke. The OFM didn’t have enough strength to hit the ball very far. Eventually he realized he might as well go back to the Castle and sleep. That is what he did to our surprise. The OFM doing something he ought to do, now that is a real happening.

Here we are at the weekend and we have several new campers for the weekend. We are guessing that a football game or two is on tap for the next couple of days. This may be a good weekend for starting a few attempts at some new art.

 Yep that would be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun and resting as a person heals from a case of the THE RAUNCHY feeling.

9/7/17

School Days

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

It was Grandparents day at Gavin’s kindergarten school. There was quite a gathering of folks from far and near. They gave a drink cup to the folks that came the furtherest to the event. Many were from out of state and had their hands up. the principal started whittling them down and soon the OFM was the last grandparent standing at 1000 miles away. So he was the big winner of the day.



Next each class group was escorted to the proper class room (ZOO). Gavin got a big surprise since he thought only his grandmother and her husband were coming. The OFM was already in the room when Gavin finally noticed he was there. He got a bit excited to say the least.  Cute little events were presented but the noise level from about 20 five year old’s was deafening. Those teachers are superhuman for sure. The OFM and grandma and her husband were very ready for some quiet time when we all exited the building.

We recently go a new picture from at the home front of Gavin doing a bit of baby care. He seems to take his duties with the baby care fairly seriously. This was pacifier replacement duty while Piper was rocking.



The OFM plans a quieter day tomorrow. Grandma and her husband are searching for a new home in this area. It is proving to be quite a search and has been going on for many months now. They are wanting to leave Houston when her husband retires in about a year or so. 

The OFM even thought he could round out the day with some golf late in the evening but he proved to be too worn from all the other activities. This trying to have tooooo much fun is hard work some times.

9/5/17

The Gathering

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The Leader has called a gathering
For what we know not
We must all go on this night
For the Leader has called a gathering




9/4/17

Exercise Attitude

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The cool morning got the OFM of his chair polisher and put him on Beautiful Bike for a nice gentle ride. BB has seven gears and we use mostly four of them. More that seven is definitely too many for the Teams abilities this late in life. It was a nice ride and lots of folks were out walking and riding and cheerful. 

The OFM walks and rides to the speed of his aerobicness. Heavy breathing and powerful heart beating is a thing of the past. Once he gets his heart up to a noticeable beat rate and his breathing definitely deeper, that is our exercise speed. 

We, long ago, came to be fans of the longer but more gentle type of exercise.  It also lets his joints get flexing under light loads so they hurt way less than in the past, but still get the needed exercise for a good life. Generally at least once a day we get in an hour plus of this level of exercise.

We got back to the Castle about 1000 and the campground was saying good bye to lots of visitors as they pulled out to head home. The camper density had been pretty high this weekend but mostly just pleasant folks visiting with each other. 

The OFM is going to try to make this afternoon the third afternoon in a row to play 9 holes of golf. It is about a three mile walk pulling the golf cart with the clubs. That seems to be about the right amount for the OFM to have fun and get tired. More than that we feel he needs to use a motorized cart or his hips and knees will gripe.

Speaking of griping, we have way too many tree rats in this area. Everywhere you go there is a tree rat making a mess. On our last walk here was one on a building eating and making a mess. They will tear holes in an RV if they think they want something. As you can tell we are not a fan of tree rats.



The campground back in Rockport Tx is apparently well on its way to being back in business. Their facebook page is showing the work going on. It appears that the type of damage was mostly tree blowing down. The winter Texans should be in good shape for the normal arrivals about October first. They keep coming back because the Texas coast is way far the best place for trying to have tooooo much winter fun.



9/2/17

Gun Fire

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

This morning was spent pouring over the Google Maps update of the Rockport Texas area. It shows a lot of the damage so the OFM had to look around to see what has changed. The good news is that the main fishing places are still there. The Fulton pier is missing a few sections. We were glad to see there was no evidence of major saltwater wave action damage.

This is the weekend the Battle for Decatur is recreated. The OFM had forgotten about it and when the first rifle fire and cannons firing happened he banged his head on the ceiling of the Castle. Thank goodness his hard head did not damage the Castle. 

Then later in afternoon, the OFM decided it was time to attempt to play golf again for the first time in over a year. The Golf Team hit the golf course and quickly realized the OFM thought he was ready for pulling his clubs and walking the front nine holes. The rest of the Team members were very doubtful but we all pushed on anyway. It was not pretty golf. He managed a huge score of 46 for the front nine. A good score would be 36.

However when you think about it several items come to mind. He had not played in nearly a year. He was playing new to him clubs that he did not know how far he would hit them, he was playing a new to him type of golf ball (for worn out old fat men) that he had no experience about how it would behave and he was towing his clubs on a two wheel cart as he walked instead of riding a motorized cart. On the other hand, he did not lose a ball. Only one tee shot was not in the fairway And that one only missed by about five feet.

Now tonight he is already dreading the middle of the night potty run when he has to get all these long unused muscles to get rolling on command. We are betting it will be a very sore event. But the playing was worth the forthcoming misery. Yep golf for fun not competition is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun and exercise.


9/1/17

Heater Time

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama


What a day it has been! In reality it has been a good day. The rain woke the OFM about 0430 this morning just in time for the usual length of Comfort Castle trip during the night. It was just a light rain but a quick glance outside showed it had been raining for a good while. Going back to sleep came really easily.

Later the OFM woke up to the sound of ..... rain continuing. The day stayed a day of rain or drizzle until late in the afternoon. That gave the OFM a reason to do a few chores and hit up a store for a couple of items.

The most important item came from the BBQ place in town.



That pulled pork stuffed potato was longer than his two fists end to end. He made a heroic effort to finish it for lunch but he wasn’t man enough. However he did finish the job at supper...barely. Boths efforts were enjoyed tremendously. The nap after lunch was even better. A thirty minute timer alarm was set and the OFM never moved for over an hour. That was great.

This campground has a shallow finger of Wheeler Lake that comes into it. When Wheeler Lake floods so does parts of the campground. The manager and the main maintenance man spent a couple of days busy cleaning the very thick summer’s growth from the “creek” so it could drain better. This was done a couple of days ago in preparation for the rain of today. The campground is not spotless but is very well maintained all the time.



It is time to get out the electric heater. The next three nights are supposed to get down to 58-60. The Teams consider that time for a bit of warmth at night. Relatively warm days and cool nights sounds like an invitation for trying to have tooooo much fun.


8/31/17

Harvey Leftovers

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

We have the remnants of Hurricane Harvey making one last try to get the OFM. However it is not likely to make more trouble than causing the grass to grow extra at Gavinland. It looks like a nice heavy rain is coming to our area. The noticeably cooler air temperatures will be the major difference we will see here.

More daily walk pictures are being shown tonight. This egret was trying to hide in the shadows of the trees but old nosey OFM managed to see it and take a few pictures.


The egret was about fifty feet away and did not seem to be bothered with the OFM messing around trying to figure out how to operate the camera. When we returned along the path later, the egret was by the path and took off to other parts of the river with a very loud SQUAWCK.

Near the egret event was a lot of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the inlet. There is lots of vegetation rotting on the bottom. We are betting that it is methane gas from the rotting wood and leaves. Gavin might call it “wood farts”.

Naturally we have to have a flower and it is a white flower this time. As usual the OFM has no idea of the proper identification of the flower.



A walk today between rain showers showed that fall is setting in on the trees and brush. In a few days we might even have some nice colorful leaves all around us. Photographing the color changes will be a gentle way of trying to have tooooo much fun.



8/29/17

Nice Bike Ride

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The OFM decided that the bike needed to get ridden today in a test to make sure we want to tweak the bike to fit the Teams needs. So he put his safety gear on, grabbed a bottle of water and away we went. It was feeling really good to be rolling along the road. Good grief bike riding is good stuff. After a bit he headed the Teams out to the long trail that heads to town.

We were soon making nice time down river. The bike was rolling well and behaving like it already knew what to do. When we came to the large snake laying on the path, the bike just slowed a bit and cruised on by. The snake approved and just layed there in the sun. It was about five feet long and two inches in diameter at the largest part. It glowed a pretty blueish color. When the bike hit the end of the path we made the normal circle and headed back. The snake was gone as we headed back along the crepe myrtle lined portion of the pathway.

When we hit the optional turn to the left to follow the gravel path through the woods and along the lake, the bike once again just naturally headed for the lakeside trail. By now we had been gently riding for about an hour. The trail has a few ups and downs and loose gravel but the bike just rolled like it was no big deal. When we hit the one sharp turn on the loose gravel, the bike flowed through it like it was on rails. The OFM thought “WOW this is a Beautiful Bike.” And that is how our newest member of the Teams got its name of Beautiful Bike.
Beautiful Bike

About a half hour later the OFM noticed his knees getting tired and called an end to the ride. It was a very pleasant ride in a nice area. So far today the OFM legs have been a little sore but not really bad from an hour and a half of peddling at a gentle pace. Yep riding a good bike GENTLY is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.




8/28/17

Stick Flinging

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

WOW We made it all the way through the day without needing the AC to cool us down! That was a nice change.The OFM made a decent trek of 2 miles around the park this morning and only had a light sweat showing. The nice cool breeze coming off Wheeler Lake and Flint Creek certainly was soothing.

Things in the OFM world have really slowed down a bunch. There is not a lot going on so blog entries will be short and/or intermittent in general. Tonight is a couple of pictures from in the park. The archery range has two sections. There is the field archery range where hunters can practice shooting at varied critter image targets at unmarked ranges. The OFM used to shoot field and target archery until shoulder injuries stopped him.

This next picture is of the target archery range. It is very well set up and even has a “tower” for the difficult downhill types of shots. Downhill shooting of a bow is a lot more difficult that it seems like it should be. In a couple of moments of glory in his teens, the OFM actually won a couple of local target archery tournaments. 



Along the trail this morning was a red topped toad stool that we at first thought someone had painted. When we stopped for a closer exam, it was the natural color of the toad stool. This was a first for the Teams.



Then just before we exited the woods along the river there was a small cluster of pretty yellow flowers calling for the OFM to photograph them. They turned out to be very pretty didn’t they.



Our current plan is to start playing some golf in September. Maybe something silly will happen that will be worth blogging about. We also have been keeping a list of things to do after school starts that look like they might good for trying to have tooooo much fun. ( ice skating is on the list)



8/26/17

Piper Visit

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama




And she looks up in amazement and asks “What kind of critter are you?”


8/23/17

Return of the OFM

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Still a little weak but the OFM is functioning just in time to be healthy enough to get a tooth cavity filled about noon Friday. He has been pretty lazy but has done some walking and camera clicking. So tonight we have an incredibly random set of pictures.

In the meantime the Teams are really glad that the OFM finally got us out of Rockport. Being there and waiting for flooding from the latest wind/rain event headed that way is not a fun thing to do. The OFM has had way too much coastal experience with that type of mess. Being in north Alabama is much better.

Of a bit of interest to the Teams is that we have entered the time of the year when the temperatures slowly fall for the next six weeks or so. Mostly we are finished with 90 degree days and the OFM is liking the cooler weather. We are ready to attempt to play golf again.


We certainly want to be out there having fun like this fellow.

During his short walks the OFM found a few flowers to photograph. We have them well identified. This one is named “Yellow Flower”.

Yellow Flower

We thought it was a pretty flower.
Naturally there had to be some rotting wood with fungi on it. This particular growth was fairly nice looking to us.



And as usual, we ran across something we have no idea the name for. Then we get to choose our own special identifier. We now present to you the “No Idea Flower”.

No Idea Flower



There are hopes of another Gavin/Piper visit this weekend then we will have a two week break while others take a turn visiting. The OFM Teams may have to consider a bit of running around during that time for the purpose of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/21/17

Kindergarten Krud

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

101 deg fever
nauseated
big headache
NOT having any fun

8/20/17

Home Made For The OFM

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Opening the Gavin made birthday card.



Anybody know of more fun than this?

8/19/17

Hot Day

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

It was a hot one today. We came back to Sierra about 1730 and Sierra said it was 95. No wonder the OFM was feeling less than wonderful.

On our walks there is one lake bridge we get to cross. It is situated over a small finger of Flint Creek which is a finger off Wheeler Lake. There is a whole lot of water around here for folks to use for water sports of all types. We have actually seen kayaks going under this bridge. They were having fun.



At one spot in the undergrowth was a red thing. We do not know what it is but here it is for you to enjoy. There was only one of them in the brush and the OFM was not about to crawl back in there to get the picture. It is about the size of a large grape.



At another place was this nice reflection. It was dim enough that the OFM had difficulty telling exactly which part was reflection and what part was real. There are all sorts of neat things to see all around here if you pay attention.



At one point the OFM was squatted down and shifting around trying to get a good picture. After finally taking the picture and getting up, he turned around to leave and this sneaky flower had Tarzaned over to right at his face. It is a pretty flower but that sudden appearance at a distance of three inches was a bit startling.



Tomorrow is a visit to Gavin/Piper Land for a lunch of cornbread and chili. YUMMY. That will come close to being tooooo much fun.

8/17/17

Freak Accident

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The OFM had some very enjoyable years many years ago as a golf club fitter for 12 years. He had lots of very satisfied customers among the Houston area golfers with disabilities of different sorts.This is to let you know he does know a lot about golf clubs. There are better fitters now days with $200,000 of equipment to get things done just right.

The OFM is in the process of putting together a set of golf clubs that fit his fat old weak body. This afternoon the last shipment came in with a Driver that is an older model of a Callaway driver. He buys most of his clubs from Callaway Preowned because they are good clubs and Callaway will tweak them to be just how he wants them to be. It took a few days longer to ship here with the length, swingweight and grip changes, but it did get here.

The OFM was really excited since there was time to go across the street to the driving range to see how the clubs performed. Of course the OFM always performs perfectly (right?). We grabbed a small bucket of range balls and headed to the driving range out in hot sun. The OFM chose his spot and limbered up a good bit. Then he swung each of the clubs a few times to get the feel and see if they had the right feel. They did. OH BOY he thought, this might be pretty decent for old clubs and an OFM.

Now that he was warmed up and reasonably limber he grabbed the driver. A driver is just about the most difficult golf club to hit well. He was expecting to scatter a few balls all over the place until he got his rhythm back, ball position and foot position worked out and any other details.

He carefully set the tee into the ground at his best guess of a starting height for a drive. He carefully placed his feet to put the ball contact point at his guess as to the right location. All the usual stuff was checked and he did not feel right. OK back off and start over. He did.

Now it seems right after a couple of minor adjustments. He steadied himself, took aim at the flag pole with the red flag way down there in the driving range at the 200 yard mark. As he was hoping the ball would at least stay on the driving range so he would know what adjustments to make, the crack of the ball and club fled through the trees.

The range ball took off climbing swiftly into the sky IN A PERFECTLY STRAIGHT LINE. Now that was a big surprise. He watched as the ball screamed on down range and began to peak out on the climb. As the ball started its decent it still was covering lots of ground. The forward motion started to slow and the rate of descent picked up. 

The OFM finally got through posing from the hit and settled in to see which way the bounce would go. The ball neared the ground and it was unbelievable, IT HIT THE FLAGSTICK THE OFM HAD AIMED AT! And there was nobody else in the area to see it happen!

None of the Team members have ever seen the OFM dance around like that before. We hope he didn’t pull something again. We managed to keep our laughing at him to a mild roar but he totally ignored our comments. It must have really been a great moment of having tooooo much fun.

8/16/17

The Battle

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Lately we have mostly just been walking or riding around the park taking a few pictures of summer slowly starting to fade into fall. According to historical data this week is the peak heat week for the area and we will soon be starting on a lower temperatures trend. That might be a really nice thing.

In the mean time all we have to show for the OFM efforts is several more nice pictures. When we first got here the crape myrtle were in good bloom. They have the red, pink, white and purple varieties in the area. This is a decent shot of one of the pink ones. The wind was blowing pretty hard that day so a sharp focus did not happen. It is pretty anyway.




Along the road behind the soccer fields is an over grown ditch with tall trees and lots of vines with all sorts of flowers and berries. Here is one of the clusters of berries that we think is nice to view. Again the wind made it difficult to get a sharp picture.


Back over down by the river was some brush and vines with a few down trees rotting away. The white flowers were so bright in the sun that they came out as a washed out white blob. They were really nice in person. Come on out and see for yourself!




And for no special reason at all except that it is a bit of a different photograph, check out the end of this tree truck sticking into a drive area trying to bite a vehicle as they go by. Chomp, chomp.




Today was a bit of an illness day for the OFM. His body disagreed with something he ate yesterday. The battle raged for most of the day but seems that his body finally won the battle. Tomorrow should be a great day for trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/14/17

Brand New Dime

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The OFM slept until almost 0900 this morning. That was over ten hours of straight through sleep. Good grief he must have been exhausted from all the activity yesterday. We made a trip to a store or two and got back to the Castle by 1130. Then it was take it easy time for a good while. He was a bit sore he said. After lunch was the usual nice nap. The rest of the afternoon was spent being lazy and thinking about where to go if we leave here this fall.

A late evening walk resulted in a brand new dime being found laying in a parking lot near the ice skating rink. That was a nice surprise. The evening walk was about a mile and a quarter. Yep the OFM is definitely getting a lot more exercise here than back at Rockport.

Some left over pictures are of the many fungi in the area. We have no idea which day they were taken or where along the trails they were found. This first one is a rather large on that looked about 12 inches wide growing from the base of a living tree. It was back off the trail and would have required wading through calf high unknown leafy things that may have had ticks, spiders and other creepy crawlers. The OFM stayed on the trail and used the zoom feature of the Team camera.



This next one is a white lacy model very much like some we had in the blog from pilings in the harbor at Rockport.



It was a surprise to see the near duplicate from the salt water up here in the fresh water. Either way they are pretty and delicate in appearance.

The last one was also back in the “will not go in there” brush, so the telephoto zoom was again wonderful to use. The orange was a very glowing orange that seemed to light up the area near it,



And now it is nearly shower time for the OFM and then another good nights sleep. Trying to have tooooo much fun is hard work.

8/13/17

Cornbread

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Gavin started kindergarten last Monday.




As you might expect when a mob of kids gather many viruses get exchanged. Thus when the OFM Grandpa was supposed to go to Gavinland today for his birthday cornbread lunch, it had to be canceled due to family illness. The good side was that Gavin and his dad put together a video of Gavin singing Happy Birthday for my enjoyment. The teams could not figure out how to put it in the blog.

It has been a week since the knee injury that sent the OFM into a knee brace for an over extended tendon. The brace was finally removed Friday evening. Then today the OFM made a longer walk in the park of 1.65 miles at a slow speed. Later in the afternoon he took a nice bike ride of about three miles at a slow speed. Tomorrow we will find out if that exercise was too much. We are hoping that keeping the speed down will allow the stretching to happen and assist in the healing.

During the slow walk the Team passed some trees with very large leaves. Here is an OFM hand holding one of those leaves for a picture. They are huge.


Now we have to see what kind of mischief the OFM will get into tomorrow while trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/12/17

Chief Double Head

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

There is a walking trail near our campsite. It cuts along a swampy area and is fairly thick with trees and underbrush. It is a foot traffic only trail that is normally very pleasant to visit. At the end is a termination spot for five more trails to enjoy. It is named the Chief Double Head Walking trail.



After we were a few meters along the trail the OFM turned back toward the Castle to grab this picture of the Castle and Sierra waiting for our return.



As is usual we meandered along looking at nothing and everything. Down close to the ground and way up high in the tall trees. Down near the ground the OFM spotted this bug art leaf. We have no idea what did the art work but it was quite intricate.


There were several of them scattered along the trail. All of them were close to the ground as in 6-8 inches high.

If you pay careful attention you will find many odd but interesting things hidden in the forest. This particular rock eating tree is very close to a graveled trail that gets lots of use. The OFM has asked folks several times if they have seen it but nobody has paid enough attention to notice it five feet from the pathway.



At some places in the trails there are wild grapes growing high up in the trees. As they ripen they fall loose from the vines 50+ feet above you and can put lumps or grape juice on your head. Here is a few that were already down on the ground when the Team came by. A little later in the month there are frequently folks gathering the grapes to make liquid refreshments for later use. You may have heard of the refreshment known as wine.



There are those in the area that think making wild grape wine is a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/11/17

Piper Eyes

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Sometimes kids get devilment in their eyes!



8/10/17

Trail Marking

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The Point Mallard has many neat things for folks to enjoy. One of the major attractions for the OFM Teams is the several miles of developed trails. Some are paved and very wheelchair accessible. Some are dirt and gravel and can be a little tough for people using walking assists like wheel chairs or canes.

Overall there is a lot of use of the trails. They are well marked and very few high places. Those high places are all on the along the river trail and are in general not more than ten feet high with a reasonable slope as the trail goes up.

To take it to another level of helpfulness, the park management has summer help (high school kids) do some pretty good things. The one we noticed the most over the years we have been coming here is the painting of tripping hazards on the natural surface trails. 




There is about four miles of natural surface trails and hazards are marked as shown in the picture. It helps to keep folks more aware of the hazard of not paying attention while jogging or walking. Banging your nose into the gravel when walking is not a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

8/8/17

The Landing Area

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

 Saturday was an adventure of chasing Grandson Gavin around the front yard on two bad knees. It was an awkward event but both of us had a great time while the OFM lasted.

Sunday was an adventure of gentle bike riding that was very enjoyable to the OFM.

Very early Monday morning the OFM’s right knee would not work. It was the start of some miserable attempts at sleep. It will hold the OFM up if it is straight up and down but do not even think of bending it. The screaming will make even the ants go away at a high rate of speed.

He has been treating it with all the usual treatments used in his other knee events during his misbegotten life. It was not helping. Maybe because the injury was still too fresh. 600 ibuprofen tablets did not faze the pain and misery. Finally after much research on the internet the OFM decided to try a knee brace.

He gathered his money and keys, opened the door to the Castle and started down the steps. Here is a picture of the landing area where he hit when the injured knee collapsed.




Once again the OFM has to thank the U S Army Combat Infantry training for keeping his injuries very light. He actually rolled out of the fall with no injury from the impact.

However his left had caught something on the door and tore a triangular flap of skin up about an inch and a half long and an inch wide at the hinge.  Another small cut on his wrist area turned out to be just a minor cut once the blood was cleaned off.

It was back into the Castle on a bum knee and a less bum knee to administer First Aid. The First Aid equipment box was opened and it was almost empty! That is not nice. After lots of washing of wounds and stopping the bleeding, three bandaids (the only thing in the First Aid kit), were applied as compression bandages. It worked and we set off for Walmart for First Aid supplies and a knee brace.




We were in the store for a few minutes when a nice employee asked if he could help. The OFM explained his need. The nice employee lifted his pants legs to show he always had a knee brace on each leg. Then he helped the OFM choose a good model in the correct size. The OFM sat down on a nearby bench and put the brace on RIGHT NOW. It immediately gave some relief to lateral movement pain.

After that the OFM went to another aisle and resupplied the First Aid Cabinet. Then the Teams headed for the Castle.




Then in the late afternoon the UPS finally delivered the new to him used golf putter the OFM ordered last week. So now the OFM is like a kid looking at a Christmas present that got opened but he has to wait to play with it.

And that is how the OFM has been trying to have tooooo much fun lately!

8/6/17

New Team Member

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

Life continues to evolve around here. A bit over a year ago the OFM gave up SightSeer his beloved bicycle because he was no longer safe riding a performance bike.  After a mourning period for the end of a life long joy in riding bikes, the OFM put his mind to work to see if there was any bikes he could still ride. It has been a year long search and research project.
He worked his way to what used to be called slack geometry bikes. These are bikes that are easier to ride gently and in fairly straight lines. They do not do log jumping and crazy fast speeds very well. What they so well is social riding that lets you look at things and talk to a fellow rider without having to “drive the bike” for every minute.

The OFM has tried several of the different styles like crank forward and others. Years ago he rode a recumbent bike so he has experience with them also. The one thing he noticed was that the bikes with the drop center (old name for them was womens bikes) was much better for him when stopping and starting. He no longer had to balance on one bad knee leg to swing his other bad knee leg over the seat while twisting his less than perfect hip in odd angles. He could get both feet on the ground immediately and them take his time getting the rest of the way off the bike.
His research had led him to several easy to balance and ride multi-geared social drop centered bike. Yesterday while over at the grands home, my wonderful DIL mention, again, that she had no intention of ever riding her bike again and maybe it would work for the OFM.

The OFM had done some tuning on her bike a few years ago and recalled it as a very comfortable and docile riding bike. He went out to the garage to refresh his memory and liked what he saw. He sat on it and rolled in the driveway a bit and like it even better. Into the bed of Sierra it went. Today he has spent a bit of time getting in some riding it and found it to be just about perfect for his limited abilities.

So now the OFM has wheels again. Back in Rockport he had found that walking was causing lots of knee and hip pains unless done at a very slow pace. The OFM is looking for aerobic activity to keep him heart healthy and smaller stomached. Today the first ride was about 2 miles and had the OFM breathing moderately heavily.The late evening ride was about twice as long but at a slightly slower pace so the OFM wasn’t causing as high of a heart rate. It is not good to be sedentary for months and then jump out and cause your heart to have to work really hard. Here is the yet unnamed new OFM Teams member.


Now that there is a bike back on the Teams it is time to re-think our plans and available options for trying to have tooooo much fun. 

8/5/17

Busy Lap

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

HEY OFM, what did you do today?

Dog and Kid 

8/4/17

Wide Eyes

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

HEY MOM, is that steak you are fixing for supper?

8/3/17

Roosevelt State Park Walk

Adventure Location:  Decatur, Alabama

The temperatures have let the OFM be over busy outdoors. He awakened this morning sore muscled all over his body. We tried to  get him to ease back a little today. Nope he is sitting over there worn to nothing.

In the mean time let us go back in time to Roosevelt State Park and a walk the Teams took in the evening. The walk went through the trees along the shores of the lake inside the park. The evening sun gave us lots of special scenes and we brought a few with us for tonight.

The evening sky was lit up with lots of bright colors and as the evening progressed it seemed a new scene happened every two minutes. It was a very entertaining walk. This first picture shows the evening sky when we first started the walk.



As we meandered the shore we came to this paddle boat launch pier. From this vantage point we took several pictures.



Then we went back onto the trail through the trees taking lots of pictures. Many did not catch the light just right, so they went away. This next one is another view of the sunset but as a reflection on the water. The OFM was excited that this one worked out well.



When the sunlight finally faded out, the sky glow from the stars and moon gave us just enough light to record this basically night reflection of the trees on the lake.


That is a nice picture we think. By now it was time to head into the Castle, shower and hit the bed for an early start on the last leg of the trip to Gavinland.

We have been here two days now and are taking pictures on the trails, practicing golf, walking the trails and generally trying to have tooooo much fun.