Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rumpshaker 5k and Happy Easter!

Image from David Christy Photography
Saturday I ran in the Rumpshaker 5k voted best 5k in Birmingham. It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for a 5k race. The race was held at historic Sloss Furnace and benefited colon cancer research. It was a huge race with lots of teams of walkers as well as runners. Most of the teams had cute names such as This Toot shall pass, Best Butties, Wise Cracks, ASSteroids, Your Own Worst Enema etc. I've never seen so many people wearing big plastic butt cheeks over their running pants.

Since it was Easter weekend, there was a also a 1 mile Bunny walk/run, a Bunny parade and you could get your pictures made with the Easter bunny. I passed on getting my picture made with the Easter bunny, but I did walk through the giant inflatable colon.
Image from
So that's what the inside of a colon looks like. Not just any old colon, but a colon with polyps.

I felt great the entire run and pushed as hard as I could trying to get in under 24 minutes. I made it in 23:09 and was extremely happy with that time. I placed second in my age group. Afterward I ran 2 more miles with my friend, L to make it a total of 5 miles for the day. Then Sunday we ran 5 miles in the rain. She ran 7, but I quit at 5 and went to the gym and rode the spin bike. My legs are extremely sore right now!

My family came over to eat lunch with us for Easter. My mom also took more furniture with her so we won't have to put it in storage. We also sold the Boy's car this weekend. He called Thursday and told me just to PLEEASE get rid of it for him. He couldn't find a place to store it and it couldn't continue to sit in the driveway deteriorating, not to mention we are selling the house. I'm so happy it's gone! He is too!

I made deviled eggs and the Murph cooked a ham. This is probably the first Easter since the Boy was born that I didn't dye Easter eggs. Funny, but I sure don't miss the mess!

We've got a ton of leftover ham so the Murph is making his famous ham and bean soup.

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The House, Disturbing Pet Stories and The Irish Kitty

We are now counting down the days until the big move! Four separate showings on the house this weekend with one couple extremely interested who already live in the neighborhood, but need a larger home to house them, their grown daughter and grandkids and an elderly mom. They also already have somebody interested in purchasing their house.

If we don't have an actual offer in a few weeks, we'll list with a realtor. The house is cleaner than ever and looking great. The Murph is starting to feel a little nostalgic about this house that he's been living in for 20 years. I warned him this would happen and he didn't believe me until now. I went through the same thing when I sold the house I had been living in for 18 years in December 2011 to move here.

Really he's doing much better than I did so far since I had minor anxiety attacks and was literally shaking at closing. I was freezing cold that day too so that may have been what caused the shivers. Even though he's ready for a change and has been for a while, it is still difficult. The Boy called today and asked when are we moving down there. He's ready for me to be closer even though he's doing much better than I expected. He's doing great actually!

The house looks great though! The lawn guys came this morning and got all the leaves and the handy man/remodeler guy came and repaired some doors, installed a new toilet and did some caulking. Oh and repaired the shower doors of course. No more getting stuck in the shower from hell!

Ed's "room" minus the couch he use to hide under
note - no hairballs!

Notice no kitty throw up stains on carpet now!
Phantom is doing better, but I'm taking him to a kitty cardiologist to get an echo cardiogram to find out what's going on with his heart. Then we'll know what steps, if any, to take with him before we move. He's on a diuretic and special easy-to-digest food with probiotics sprinkled on to help keep him from throwing up, which would be really bad since the carpets are all cleaned!

Phantom's "room"

With everything that's going on around here with
the cats and the move, doing a spring marathon is 
out of the question. I can't even focus long enough to train for one! I didn't even do a long run this weekend and last weekend I struggled through 11 miles. I was doing good a couple of weeks ago, but now I just can't focus. I am going to pick it back up once we move and just try to hang in there with the basic minimum for now.

When I first got Cadence from the humane society, they had already micro chipped him just in case he ever got lost. Both my cats are microchipped, which the Murph totally doesn't understand because if they ever got "lost" why in the world would you want them back, he says. Neither of his cat's were micro chipped or updated on shots or anything. They are "just cats," he says. Now he's down to one since Boo died at age 12 last year of natural causes. I'm still trying to figure out how to sneak Ed to the vet for a thorough check up when the Murph's not around.

Speaking of "just cats", we went out with some friends S and C Saturday night and suddenly I'm seeing them in a new light. Just when you think you know people! C told a tale of having a sick old cat who had diabetes and his ex was spending thousands of dollars on the cat who C felt should be put out of his misery. One day he took the cat to a different vet far, far away from his regular one and had the cat put down while his ex was at work. If this wasn't enough, he then took the dead cat and put it in the garage. When the ex came home she was upset of course and he came in and acted surprised and upset too. But the ex was sure the cat wasn't dead so she made C take him to their local vet to check him out.

Of course, C was afraid to do this because he knew the cat was dead and didn't want his ex to know what really happened. The vet would be able to tell what had happened and C would be busted. The ex insisted so C reluctantly wrapped the cat in a towel and took him to the vet, but once there he refused to hand the cat over to the vet.

C acted incredibly upset and told the vet, "No, no, you can't have him. Nooooo...."and refused to hand him over or unwrap the dead cat. I guess the vet just listened for a heart beat through the towel and determined that the cat was indeed dead and the ex never knew any better.

Upon hearing this story, The Murph was all "YES! When it's time for them to go it's time for them to GO! No spending tons of money on treatments! They are "JUST CATS!" Upon which I give the Murph the stink eye and warn him to keep his paws off my cats and if something "mysterious" happens to one of them, I would be on to him and get an autopsy. Also, no matter what happens with Phantom's heart murmur, he's getting treatment until and ONLY until his quality of life is so bad it's no longer feasible to keep him alive and that would be for ME to decide and nobody else.

Image from
And then upon finding out that I had looked into getting baby chicks last year so we would have fresh, organic eggs and putting them in a fancy Martha Stewart chicken coop in the back yard where the play area use to be, S tells her disturbing baby chick story. When she was a little girl living on a chicken farm (the kind of chickens you eat, not the egg laying farms), her job was to feed the chickens and clean out the coop. She also had to weed out the little baby runt chicks that didn't look like they would make it so they wouldn't eat all the food that was for the healthy chicks. She did this by picking them up by the their little legs and "pinging" their little heads against the side of the coop. This killed them instantly and then she dropped them in a bucket and fed them to the hogs.

The perfect spot for the chicken coop except for the neighborhood covenants
I know!

I'll never look at "sweet" S the same way ever again! I now have nightmares of poor baby chicks getting pinged on the head and dead cats wrapped in towels in the middle of the garage.

Anyway back to micro chipping! Cadence's information is stored at I was going through all his papers from the humane society as I was attempting to update his information on the Homeagain website and discovered for the first time that his birthday is March 17. A St. Patrick's Day kitty! And we missed the opportunity to give him a serious St. Paddy birthday bash! He's 7 years old, which makes him 40 something in human years. How could I not have noticed that birth date all these years!

Image from
Happy Belated Birthday to Cadence, my little Irish kitty!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cause There's Nothing Like Smelling Like Cat Urine All Day

I'm exhausted! Almost too exhausted to even attempt to do a halfway decent blog post so I apologize if I begin to ramble. Yesterday topped all of the crazy days this week! The cleaning service came to clean a house that hasn't been thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom in years. And we have three cats and a son who blows in from college every now and then to contribute to the mess.

Needless to say what we thought would be a four hour job lasted all day. They got here at 8 and left at 5 completely worn out. The supervisor came by twice and they even had to bring in a couple of extras to help move things along.

Cadence and Ed hid under beds immediately but Phantom was a little braver as long as nobody was vacuuming. I knew the carpet cleaner was coming for the third time to clean the boy's area downstairs which is also where Phantom hangs out most of time. Phantom had to go to the vet for a follow up appointment so I called the vet to see if he could be worked in since it was so busy around the house.

Phantom: NO! Don't take me back to that place!

He wasn't seeing his usual vet since I worked him in last week and I kept him with the same vet for the follow up since that vet knew what was going on. I went to drop Phantom off around noon and find out that the vet is at lunch and won't be back until 2:30. I didn't really want Phantom to have to stay there that long but I thought they would take him out of his cramped carrier and put him in a bigger cage with a litter box.

Apparently this didn't happen because the vet called me at 3 after he had seen Phantom and after giving me the prognosis he said Phantom had urinated in the carrier and they were going to have to clean it. I must have gotten there before they had the chance because as I was carrying Phantom I noticed a very stinky urine smell.

I put the carrier with Phantom crammed in it in the front seat of the car and let Phantom out of the stinkiness. Unfortunately, Phantom's entire rear end area is soaking wet with urine. His paws were wet and he left a trail of stinky wet paw prints all over me and the car. His carrier was soaked!

I feel so bad!

All I had was a small package of Kleenex that I use to try to dry Phantom and me and the car off with. Phantom tolerated this momentarily before I got a little to aggressive and he gave me a little warning nip. He's pissed! And stinky! The entire car is stinky! When I picked Phantom up I get nice fresh cat urine all over me too. Phantom and I both end up covered in it.

When I get home the maids are still there so I wait and wait and wait, but by the time they leave I have to go with the Murph to meet a guy who wants to buy his car, the "Silver Bullet", not Mac Daddy, the car with the jazzy theme song.  We're keeping that one.

Then we go for workout number 2 at the gym. Then out to grab a bite for dinner.

All this time I have had no shower! And I smell like cat urine!

When I finally get to take a shower I discover that the maids have cleaned the shower doors so good that they now are not on the track. I give it a yank to try to get out and the entire structure comes apart from the wall. I can't get out and the glass doors look like they could crash onto the floor any minute. I yelled for the Murph to come save me but he can't hear because he's got jazz Cd's playing as loud as he can get them.

Finally I manage to escape. The doors are still perched precariously against the frame, but I'm out! I told the Murph when I first moved in that those kind of glass shower doors are way out of style now according to the guys who remodeled my master bath a few years ago. He should thank me that I've almost demolished the entire frame so it will be easy to get them down now and replace them with something more modern.

Anyway you'll be happy to know I don't smell like cat urine anymore. Especially if you're one of those people I work out next to at the gym.

There's nothing worse than smelling like cat urine except being stuck in the shower of hell.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It Got Worse Before It Got Better

Just when I thought this painting job was not an inconvenience in any way, it suddenly became one. The painters started upstairs and that was no problem. Then they moved to the Boy's "apartment" downstairs. Still no problem.

But today they hit the main floor area. Big inconvenience. We were dodging around plastic all day.  And they covered up my phone so I couldn't find it. Phantom was a little unsure when he had to walk over the stuff to get downstairs to his litter box. He seems a little more off today than he has been since he got back from the vet.

All the other cats ran for cover the minute the doorbell rang.

The painters finished today and tomorrow the cleaning service and the carpet cleaner are coming. All the carpets upstairs are cleaned. The only thing left is the downstairs carpet where Phantom was puking all last month. I've gone through two cans of Resolve, but the carpet is going to be a challenge! Good thing we waited to clean it last because the carpet cleaner would never come back if he had to clean that one first.

The worst part about carpet cleaning is that the first thing one of the cats did after the upstairs carpet was cleaned was run up there and puked a big hair ball up. That was Ed this time, not Phantom. The Murph can't be mad at me if it was his cat that puked, not one of mine!

Phantom hiding out but not puking

Friday we start showing the house. We already have several people who want to see it and the inventory in this area and price range is extremely low now so I don't think it will take long to sell. Hopefully it will be under contract before we move to the coast and we won't have to list it with a realtor. Especially since I am a realtor, just one who has her license inactive right now.

When I sold my own house last year I listed it with a friend I use to work with because I was inactive and living at the coast to be near the Boy as he started his first semester in college. I paid the commission. I guess it was worth it at the time since I really didn't have a choice if I wasn't in town. Maybe this will make up for it.

Tonight is a two plus glass of wine night! I think I've pulled a muscle in my back from all the heavy moving. Boxes and furniture. We have another load to go to charity. Probably won't be the last. I must be doing pretty good on the sorting of the stuff and deciding on what I'm keeping and what is going to charity because the Murph hasn't complained too much.

The Murph was outside talking to the Larry across the street today while I ran to Home Depot to get more drawer pulls for the cabinets in the bathroom. He bought some several years ago because his interior designer told him too but he never changed them out. All this time he's had ugly white knobs circa 1970's.

Old knobs

New knobs

I knew he was talking about me when I pulled in and Larry made what looked like a cross sign like back away vampire girl. I interrogated the Murph about it when he came in and he admitted that he was indeed talking about me and wondered how the heck I knew. He was complaining to Larry about my "hoarding" tendencies and Larry actually defended me and told the Murph that I wasn't hoarding I was "nesting"'. Women tend to do that according to Larry.  Larry's wife does this and poor Larry has a houseful of stuff. Some of the stuff belongs to his son and daughter who are now grown. He also pays $200 a month for a storage unit for the stuff that won't fit in the house and has been doing this for years.

The Murph did NOT want to hear that. No way!

So there you go! I'm not a hoarder, I'm just doing what comes naturally to women. I'm "nesting".

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Last week was busy, but this one is starting out that way too. The Boy is back at school without his comforter or his meds so I had to UPS them to him yesterday. I still don't know what he's is going to do with his car that he hasn't driven in three years. It's still sitting in our driveway. Uninsured with an expired tag. It will have to be towed to it's next destination if these things aren't taken care of. It's not on me or the Murph to take care of this time. We've done our part in the car saga.

It is a never ending saga and I'm sick of it at this point!

Phantom is doing well. He's on a diuretic for his heart and probiotics for his stomach issues. He's very light weight now and easy to carry around which is something he doesn't let me do very often. The painters are here painting this week so all the cats are in hiding during the day. I'm hoping the stress doesn't make Phantom's murmur worse.

The Murph and I are having to juggle our workouts around the painters and I'm working on sorting through the mess in the Boy's area. He took what he wanted and the rest is left up to me to decide whether to store or give away to charity. I finished one room yesterday and will start the bedroom today. It's not as bad as I thought it would be since I already got rid of most of it when I sold my house and moved in here. This is the second go around. The Boy said all his games can go. He doesn't play them anymore. His cousin looked through them but already had most of them and once you get to the top level apparently they are done with them forever. No reason to play them after that.

The Boy has gone through computer games like Flight Simulator and the Sims, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Wii, and  Xbox (I think that's it, no there's the small gaming thing but I don't remember what it was called), a long time ago. He moved on to online games from there and now he says he done with them. He doesn't have time to play them now anyway. That's a good thing!

If I could just get him to remember things like his meds, his toiletry items and his bedding that would be good.