Monday, January 28, 2013

Colorful Award From L'Arche - Mobile Half Marathon

I was so excited today to recieve my third place age group award in the mail from the Mobile half marathon.  The race is a fundraiser for the L'Arche community in Mobile. L'Acrch is a community where people with a mental handicap and those who help them live and work together.  The learn more about L'Arche click here.  The marathon and half marathon awards are handmade by the core members of the L'arche society.  Those adults with mental disabilities. 

 On the back of the award was a picture and bio of the core member who painted my award.   I thought this was a nice touch and made the award even more meaningful to me.

I love the design on the front of the award.  It is very colorful!

The finisher medals are really cool too!

This is one of my favorite half marathons.  One day I would might even do the entire marathon which goes all the way from downtown Mobile out to Springhill College and University of South Alabama campus and back.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Deputy Barney Reporting for Duty!

Photo from

We've often wondered what goes on around the house at night with the cats after we've gone to bed.  We know that Phantom is very bad and extremely territorial, so he gets locked downstairs every night in the Boy's area which is now his area since the Boy's at school.  Cadence and Ed get free run of the house.  Sometimes in the morning Ed is hiding underneath the couch upstairs and refuses to come down even for breakfast.  He is very old and declawed and isn't much of a match for younger, hyper Cadence, but we usually don't see Cadence acting aggressively toward Ed. 

 He's sneaky that way.

We have been increasingly suspicious of Cadence's behavior toward Ed when we aren't looking and wonder what exactly happens between the two of them that makes Ed take cover under the couch on some mornings.

Last night we got a clue.

The Murph is still getting over the cold I shared with him and now has a terrible hacking cough.  It was so bad last night that he got up from bed and went to sit on the couch so he wouldn't wake me up.  During this time, he noticed Cadence circling the rooms in the house at a fairly fast pace.  It looked like he was a cat on a mission.  The Murph said it looked like he was "patrolling" the house.  He did this for a little while, just circling among the different rooms, until he seemed satisfied and left.  Then he came back an hour later and "patrolled" again.  All he needed was a doughnut and a deputy hat to make the picture complete.

Ed wanted nothing to do with this and ran upstairs and hid.

That's why this morning Cadence's new nickname is Barney Fife, named after the fictional character played by Don Knots on "The Andy Griffith" show, a sitcom from the early 1960's.  Barney was sort of a bumbling idiot who tried to do everything by the book, but constantly screwed up.

Cadence aka Barney Fife Reporting for duty!

Photo from

See the resemblance?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

University Bookstore Conspiracy

When the Boy added an additional class to his spring semester schedule last week, I didn't realize what a problem it was going to cause.  The additional class created an additional balance in his account.  One that I wasn't sure would be covered by financial aid, so we were waiting to find out.  In the meantime, the balance was due and the University not only canceled the one additional unpaid class, but his entire spring schedule.  

Yes, all of the other classes that had been paid for were gone.  All those classes that required those $500 worth of text books = GONE!  

 I got a call from the Boy informing me of this fact around midnight last night.  Needless to say, today has been spent making a number of phone calls, sending emails, and plenty of frustration and pulling my hair out.  The Boy spent the day running all over campus trying to figure out what to do in between attending the classes that he's no longer enrolled in.

I couldn't convince the Student Accounting department to go ahead and put him back in the classes that were already paid for and then wait on the final word in the new class.  I even called my contact in Special Student Services who immediately came on board, but couldn't really do anything either.

FINALLY, the Boy decided to go to the top guy in charge of the Student Accounting department and is able to get reinstated back in all  his classes.  

Yes, he did it!  I am so proud of him!   Now we have until Monday to pay the rest of the bill.

In the meantime, the Boy discovered that there is more than one History 101 book for the different sections of History and he unfortunately picked up the wrong one in the book store.  He said he didn't realize there were different books for different sections and there were no sections written on any of the books.

Photo from
It seems really simple.  Just go back to the bookstore and exchange the wrong book for the correct book.  But NO!  The last day to exchange books was Tuesday so the bookstore refused to exchange the book.  They were "nice" enough to say they would buy it back from him for $20.  Considering the price of the book was $145 and he will then have to turn around and buy the other History book which is also $145, he wasn't really happy with that suggestion.

photo from
I have complete faith in him that he will straighten this all out and get the book he needs.  He's my boy!

And there's always the library...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Wrecking Ball Strikes Again!

photo from

Well, I've done it folks!   I've single-handedly ended the Murph's seven year wellness streak.  Yes folks, for seven years the Murph has not had one single illness.  Not viral nor bacterial or anything in between.  He has been the epitome of health and wellness.  Until I came along with my filthy little germs and ruined it for him.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I got the flu shot, just to be "on the safe side."  Since I have asthma and the flu virus is so prevalent this year, I didn't want to take the chance of getting the flu, so I got the shot.  I usually never get the flu shot.  If I had told the Murph beforehand that I was going to get the shot, then he would probably have talked me out of it.  He's sort of anti-flu shot.  Maybe this is the very reason I didn't inform him of my intentions until after the fact.

Me:  "Oh by the way, I got the flu shot today.  You should too!  Flu's BAD this year!"

I know the flu shot didn't give me the flu.  Of course not, that's impossible!  My theory is this:  I got the flu shot.  My immune system was so busy building up antibodies to the flu virus that it didn't have time to respond fast enough to a random cold virus that invaded my worn down body.  Worn down because I had just finished running a half marathon in a strange city with strange and different viruses lurking around every corner that my body wasn't use too.

In other words, I got a cold.  Sore throat, sniffles, aches, general stuffiness, coughing, mucus, etc.  Then, since I'm such a generous person, I shared this cold virus with the Murph, who hasn't been sick in 7 years.  Not to mention that he's also very proud of the fact that he hasn't been sick in 7 years.

Yes, believe me when I tell you, I know the exact date and time of this sickness that occurred 7 years ago and every detail thereof.  I've also been warned that the "sick" Murph is not a pretty sight.  It's gonna get ugly from here on out unless of course, his super human immune system can kick this virus's butt.

I, in the mean time, had my annual ob/gyn appointment today and in between the poking and prodding, getting dressed and undressed, managed to get a prescription for some steroids and antibiotics for my illness so I should be good as new soon.  I did try to get a shot, but they didn't have any steroid shots (or those 3 in 1 shots that the Babysitter told me I should ask for) available so I was out of luck.  At least I tried.

The Murph went to the drug store and loaded up on cold meds and kleenex.  He will probably thank me tonight when I grease up again with my Vick's Vapor Rub.  I'll have all three of us breathing easier in no time - me, The Murph and my snuggle kitty, Cadence (who has also been sneezing).

Hey,  I don't get called the Wrecking Ball for nothing!  I hope for all our sakes that the Murph gets better soon.

The Wrecking Ball strikes again!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ironman Triathlon Motivation

I'm sharing these because I've been sick the past week and my training has been really kind of sucky.  I mean, not just the usual sucky, but really, really sucky.   I did my first real, non-treadmill run today since the race the Sunday before last and I'm feeling very weak.

Luckily, I have plenty of inspiration out there on the Internet to keep me going.  I did have to laugh at myself today as I was thinking about signing up for a 500 mile bike race that is in April.  I mean, REALLY!!

I think I better concentrate on getting well and then actually getting on my bike and riding for an hour first.  Doing a century ride would be next since I haven't done one in two years.

Where do I get these crazy ideas??  And make them STOP!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snow In Alabama!

For a few hours yesterday, we had one of those rare Alabama snow storms.  This was about it for us and most was melted as soon as the snow flurries stopped, but it was very pretty while it was happening.  I'm ready for some sunshine and warmer weather now.

The Boy called several times yesterday as he added another class to his spring schedule.  This one had to have approval from the instructor.  The Boy has been taking the minimum he can and still be a full time student, which is 12 hours, 4 classes.  Now he has 15 hours, 5 classes.  He was excited, but nervous and wanted me to tell him he was doing the right thing.  I told him if he feels like he can handle this extra class then he should since he did so well last semester.

The new class is a 400 level class with only 3 or 4 students who will be coming up with computer solutions for different problems that the instructor gives them.  The Boy thinks he will do good in this class and I agree, he probably will do great since it's computer related.

 I just hope he does as well in history.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Cat With The Loudest Purr In The World

Nope, not one of my cats although Phantom sounds like a bumble bee when he purrs and Cadence can get up to at least 70 decibels in the middle of the night when I'm trying to get him to lay down, get out of the Murph's face and go to sleep.

This is Merlin.  I hope he makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the cat with the loudest purr.  Anyway, he's cute and he made me laugh, sort of a cough/laugh really since I'm getting over the illness caused by the flu shot.  Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

Damn flu shot!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Never Should Have Gotten That Flu Shot...

I never should have gotten the flu shot because now I'm sick.  If I had never gotten the shot, I'm sure I would be fine now.  The Murph doesn't believe in the flu shot and he didn't understand why I got one without first consulting him.  I had to laugh about that because I'm not that use to consulting anyone about my shots unless he's a doctor.  He got the last laugh because I'm the one sick and he's all "I told you so!"

I don't think I have the flu, but since I just got the flu shot a week ago, I'm blaming it on my illness.  I've spent most of the day napping with the cats and drinking plenty of fluids because I feel terrible and dehydrated.  To top things off I'm still extremely sore from the race Sunday.   That doesn't help matters.  I'm sick and sore and dehydrated.

photo from
Being sick hasn't stopped me from trying to find another race to do.  I wanted to do Little Rock Marathon this spring, but just discovered it's sold out.  Crap!  I wasn't sure how I was going to fit the 20 mile training runs in and do Mercedes half marathon two weeks before Little Rock full marathon and not get injured, but it would have been doable.  Now I'm thinking of giving up the idea of running a spring marathon and look for an Ironman 70.3 to do.

Picture from

 It takes a long time for my legs to recover from running a full marathon and I don't want to mess up triathlon season recovering from a marathon.  It has to be planned out well ahead of triathlon season.   A March marathon would have been ideal.  I'll get back to looking for an Ironman 70.3 to do that's not full yet.

First I need more Advil.  And another nap.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mobile First Light Marathon

This time last year when we took the Boy back to college after the holidays, we went to the beach for a few days (you can find that post Here) and I ran in the Pensacola Beach half marathon.  It is a very fun, scenic half marathon that starts at the public beach in front of Crabs restaurant and runs out parallel to the beach and back.  If you aren't up for the full half marathon, there is turn a around for the 5K and 10K so you can decide during the run how far you want to go.  

My plan was to do that race again this year when we dropped the Boy off at school.  Unfortunately, someone (and I'm not naming names) forgot to reserve our condo for us for this weekend.  It's rented all of January and February, probably with some snow birds trying to escape the cold from up north.  This is good and bad.  Good because it's rented for two entire months, bad because we can't stay there until March.

Mobile First Light Half Marathon
Lucky for me, there was a race in Mobile, Alabama this weekend.  The Mobile First Light Marathon and Half Marathon.  I've done the half marathon before and really love the course.  I would love to do the entire marathon one day.  The half marathon is flat and runs through some very quaint, old neighborhoods and then along Government Street, Spring Hill Avenue and back in on Dauphin Street. I've heard the full marathon has some hills.

It was overcast, warm and humid, but not overwhelming.  I prefer warm to cold any day!  It was fun and everybody out there was friendly and seemed to be in good spirits.  Even The Murph made a comment about how everyone seemed to be having a good time.  I think it was because it wasn't freezing cold like Chickamauga Marathon and Mercedes Half was last year.  Maybe people are in a better mood when they aren't freezing.  I know I'm happier.

We dropped the Boy off at school on Saturday evening and tried to purchase his books, but the bookstore was closed.  I hope the Boy doesn't have any trouble getting them Monday.  This is the first time he will have to do it himself and sign up for a meal plan.  He didn't want to do it by himself and I am worried too, of course.  At some point he needs to get out of his comfort zone and do it himself.  It's not like he doesn't know where to go or how to do it.  This will be the fourth semester he's had to do it.

I started worrying about it on the way home today.  The Murph says I do way to much for him and he needs to do things for himself.  I have to agree on this one thing.  It would be different if the Boy did not know where to go or how to do it.  He knows what he's suppose to do, he just feels more comfortable when I'm there helping him.

I can't really blame him.  That little old lady at the bookstore can be very intimidating, but he has to deal with her because she's in charge of the financial aid distribution.  She doesn't take crap from him.  He didn't have his class schedule printed out when he went to get the books and she made him print it out so she could make sure the books were for those particular approved classes.  She wouldn't except just looking at them from his phone.  We had to find a printer and print it out.  I had already told him before we left the house to print it out, but he didn't listen to me.

I guess I need to text him and remind him to print that thing out before he goes to the book store.  Yes, helicopter parent I am!

More First Light Marathon/Half Marathon pictures below.  A short, but fun trip!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Day With The Boy

The Boy and I finally got the chance to eat breakfast together yesterday.  We had planned to do it ever since he's been home from college, but our schedules (mainly his backward sleep schedule) got in the way.  He's also very bored and wanted to get out of the house so bad that he actually wanted to go with me when I went to my doctor appointment.  Since it was only a follow up appointment with the pulmonary doctor that had switched some of my asthma meds, I knew wouldn't take long, so I let him go with me.

On the way back home, we had to cross over the Cahaba River.  The river was really full and flowing strong after all the rain and there was some fog over it that looked really creepy and kind of cool so we stopped to check it out and take some pictures.  It was very muddy, which didn't matter much to me because I had on heavy rain boots, but the Boy had to be a little more creative avoiding the muddy puddles when he walked down the steep path.  He wouldn't let me take any pictures of him though.

Cahaba River - Mountain Brook, AL

Cahaba River

Cahaba River -Mountain Brook 

Cahaba River - Mountain Brook

Dress:  Velvet,  Rain Boots:  Michael Kors,  Cardigan:  Juicy Couture,  Scarf:  Portolano

I left the Boy in the waiting room when I went back to see the doctor.  I wasn't gone long and there was only one lady waiting in the waiting room when I left.  She was all the way on the other side, far away from the Boy.  When I came back out, the waiting room was full with an eighty year old couple sitting right across from the Boy staring at him and smiling and some other elderly women on either side of him.

He was sitting with his head hung down so far it almost touched his lap.  He didn't even look up at me when I came out.  Everybody else in the waiting room looked at me as I attempted to get the Boy's attention.  He was in shut down mode with too many strangers too close to him.  I wonder if any of them had tried to talk to him.  After assessing the situation, I reached my hand toward the Boy and snapped a couple of time and he jerked his head up. 

Poor boy!  He was ready to get out of there.  All eyes were on us as we left.  I need to teach him to pick up a magazine and pretend he's reading it when strangers get too close in the waiting room.  He would talk to them if they mentioned anything regarding computers, but then they would be stuck because he would go on and on about it.  

I saw him do the same thing when we were leaving his doctor appointment last week.  As Dr. W and I were talking and I was paying the bill at the receptionist window,  I looked around and the Boy was all the way on the other end of the waiting room near the door because there was a couple waiting on the other side near the receptionist where I was.  The couple was looking at the Boy and smiling.  It looked like he just wanted to crawl in the wall and hide.   I'm thinking it's time to work on some social skills again.  I wish there was something available for students on the spectrum at his college.  A few years from now there probably will be, but now there's nothing.  

After taking pictures of the river, the Boy and I headed to one of our favorite places.  Starbucks!  Vanilla Bean Frappuccino for the Boy and Coffee Frappuccino for me.

Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
Today we take the Boy back to college.  I'm going to miss him!

He did his own laundry with a little (okay ALOT) of encouragement.  He's a great folder.  I need him to fold my laundry because he does much better than I do.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trouble With Mr. Frosty And My Favorite Rain Boots

Dress:  Free People,  Rain Boots:  Michael Kors,  Scarf:  Portolano,  Nails:  OPI You Only Live Twice, Lips:  Mac Impassioned,  Bracelet:  David Yurman

I don't like all the rain and general cloudy dreariness, but at least it isn't cold.  I've probably said that a million times the last couple of day.  I also love the excuse to wear my rain boots.  I purchased these almost three years ago and I'm still loving them.  The scarf too!

Most of the Christmas decorations are down, but Mr. Frosty is still hanging out in the yard.  A couple of days ago he was right outside the door to the Boy's "apartment".

Then today he was looking in the Boy's window.  The Boy's going to be really "surprised" when he opens his blinds.  (and the Murph wonders why the Boy has issues!)

I took the wreath off the front door and before I could pack it away properly, Phantom took over and claimed it for his napping spot.  Also, it 's a strategic location to lunge out at the other two cats when they happen to walk by.

Phantom's crafty like that.

We got this as a wedding gift and the Murph's already claimed it as his.

I changed my nails back to OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark.  I really do like it better than red, but I can do red temporarily for the holidays.  Especially if it's sparkly red like OPI's You Only Live Twice.

Phantom was ready for dinner and he knows where the food is located.  Look at how intently he is looking toward the food cabinet.

Ed was in on it too.  He's ready to eat, but waiting patiently from a safe distance.

Phantom's looking at me like "okay, okay, your nail color is just great and now you have enough pictures and everything, so would you just please FEED US ALREADY!!"  (those other plates were from breakfast).

Cute but demanding!