Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sorry To Neglect You Konabarbie Blog!

Today when I got on this blog I realized I haven't done a blog post since Tuesday. Apparently my half ironman training isn't the only thing getting neglected around here!

What can I say except it's been a really busy summer. I don't know exactly why it's been so busy, but it has been and it's flown by so fast. Tomorrow will be September already! Maybe I'll even do a new September yoga kitty pose blog post because it seems that I missed Ms. August's pose entirely.

I think.

Friday was yesterday so there's no fashion Friday this week. I totally missed it again! This is as much fashion as I can handle these days. As I was washing clothes the other day it seemed like everything was either work out wear or lounge wear, not really pj's, but close. Nothing I would wear in a public setting.

Thursday we went out to meet some friends who drove over from Daphne for dinner. I wore this Free People maxi dress that I love. I don't know how long it will last before either I wear it to threads or my cat, Cadence does a number to it with his paws. He is very talented at pulling threads with those sharp talons of his.

Dress:  Free People;  Purse: Coach; Necklace: purchased at an art show several years ago; Bracelet: old

It was a very pleasant evening. I tried a new drink similar to an Orange Julius. It was a delicious frozen concoction that tasted just like those orange and white dreamsicles. So delicious that I didn't even have time to get a picture before it disappeared. It was so rich and delectable that I decided I better not get sa second one so I chose the Chipotle Pineapple Mojoto.

Pineapple with a little bite and almost gone before I remembered to get a photo.

I also got a Strawberry Mango Mojito, but no photos because our friends had arrived and I don't know if they would understand the weirdness of taking food and drink photos that we bloggers tend to do. It was bad enough they had to suffer through cat stories. Luckily, they are cat people too and have four of their own so they understand. They even had their own cat stories. We shared photos of our four legged babies. Well at least I did. She had left her phone in the car so no photos.

I also didn't get a photo of the food, but I got the shrimp and grits and they got grouper sandwiches. The Murph chose very ice cold beer and lots of it! He got take out later at his favorite sports bar down the road.

Our view from the restaurant...

Phantom is doing good with all the chemo and holistic things he's on. He even has his own blog now. He just begged me for one so how could I resist? Click Here for his latest post about the Boy's visit.

We had to come to Birmingham this weekend and of course Phantom has to come too. He LOVES it because he is the "only"cat while we are here for the weekend and he gets ALL the attention. He's at my feet right this very minute as I'm typing this post listening to the jazz CD that the Murph has playing. Somebody named Paul Desmond who played with Dave Brubeck in "Take Five". Something I'm suppose to remember because I've heard it before, but I don't. The Murph rolls his eyes and says my cat has better taste in music than I do. I'm sure I would remember it if I heard it again. I hear jazz every single night so it's no wonder I'm confused about which CD is "Take Five".

The one we are listening to now is a very nice CD. Phantom loves the saxophone. Now if we could just get him to eat! He only eats when the other cats are around so they can't get any.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Falling A Little Behind Again On Training, But Not Too Bad

My weekly comparison of my half ironman training is below. The column to the left is what the plan says to do and the column to the right is what I actually did last week. Not as good as the week before but not too terrible either.

  The 70.3 Plan                                                              What I actually did that day

Monday           1250 yd swim                                          1250 yd swim
                         25 mile bike                                             22 mile bike

Tuesday           2000 yd swim                                          6 miles spin bike
                          60 min run                                               30 min run = 3 miles

Wednesday      30 mile bike                                             2 miles run aprox 20 minutes

Thursday         1500 yd swim                                          8.5 miles on spin bike aprox 30 min                             
                          50 min run                                               5 mile = 50 min run

Friday               20 miles                                                  8 miles spin bike = 30 min

Saturday           80 min run                                              16 mile spin bike = 1 hour
                                                                                           30 min run = 3 miles

Sunday             50 mile bike                                             1 hour 40 min run = 9 miles

I did core, about 20 minutes last week and weights, about 1 hour which is not included on the 70.3 plan.

Total workout hours on plan = Swim           5750 yds aprox 3 hrs 
                                                   Bike             125 miles aprox 6 - 7 hours
                                                   Run              3 hrs (no mileage included in plan on minutes run)

                                                     Total aprox 12.5 hours

Total I actually did last week = Swim             1250 yds aprox 30 min
                                                   Bike               60.5 miles aprox. 4 hours
                                                   Run                20 miles aprox 3 hrs 30 min
With weights and core added. 
                                                     Total aprox  10 hrs

As usual I am way behind on swimming, a little ahead on running and somewhat behind on the bike, but not too terribly behind. I really need to get a 50 plus bike ride in and a 2500 yd swim in soon and continue with my regular training. I think I'll be okay if I can do that. Especially if I continue to increase my long runs in preparation for the November marathon I plan to do.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fashion Friday - One Day Late Cause I Was Dealing With the IRS

I know it is Saturday and I've already missed my chance at doing a "Fashion Friday" post, but I'm going to do one anyway and just pretend it's still Friday. That way we get an extra weekend day. Wouldn't that be great?

Since it's a day late and I've had the dress and the shoes for a while, I'm not going to include links. I've found that to be a useless way to monetize my blog anyway and it is extremely time consuming. Also there's not a lot of new fashion for me these days with a son in college and a cat on chemo. The dress is BeBe, the bracelets are Free People (on the right) and unknown (on the left) and the shoes are Zigi Soho.

I also don't have that much time to blog lately because I'm down to the last two months before my big race - the half ironman.

Last week was a good training week with lots of biking and a couple of really good swims along with the usual running. This week my training dropped off because I spent some marathon training times on hold with the IRS trying to get them to send me a copy of my 2012 Income tax return transcript so I could give it to the Boy's college financial aid office. Those IRS people are the most paranoid people ever! Trying to convince them that I am who I say I am and that I'm am indeed standing next to a fax machine for hours because that's the only way they will send it to me, was a challenge.

After signing up for and getting a fax number that I could pull up by email, I stayed on the phone 40 minutes only to be told they couldn't send it this way because of hackers. I had a back up fax number to the fax machine at our condo's real estate office not far away. I told them no problem, send it to that fax and my husband would run down and get it. They said, "NO", I have to be standing by the fax machine since I'm the one who called so I would have to call back. There was no way I could run over to the real estate office without losing cell phone signal in the elevator and would therefore have to call back and start over anyway.

I ended up going over to the real estate office, waiting on hold for an hour, getting a very paranoid IRS worker on the line who wanted to make sure I was next to a fax machine and where exactly was this fax machine and then proceeded to ask me questions about the last three years of my life to prove that I was who I said I was. I am really surprised she didn't ask for a picture of me standing next to the fax machine for proof as well as blood samples and finger prints. It took 30 minutes on the phone with her before she finally sent the transcript!

In a few days I will be getting another transcript in the mail from when I was on hold for 45 minutes on Wednesday. I wasn't near a fax machine that day. Unfortunately, it won't get here in time to help the Boy. That's why I spent over an hour and a half yesterday getting friendly with a fax machine.

It would have been so much better if the retrieval tool had worked and then I could do it all online with a few clicks and about 5 minutes. Not my luck!

It was down to the last minute this week because the final balance in the Boy's account has to be paid or all his classes will be dropped. The financial aid office will not process his financial aid until I gave them this "transcript". This is the Boy's third year at that college - same financial aid, same process (I assumed) only this year they are asking for this transcript thing that I have never had to send in before. Last year I didn't file income tax because I had no income. This year, since the Murph and I got married in Oct. 2012, we filed jointly.

I guess this is why they want the transcript now. Who knows!  I sent them a copy of our return and thought that was it because I never heard from them. Only the Boy was getting emails from them. When I found out about these emails, I thought they must not have received the return I originally sent so I resent it.


That was when they FINALLY told me that what I sent wasn't what they needed. They just assumed I knew what they were talking about. Big mistake! After 21 years raising a child on the spectrum and having to deal with an ex who's an ass, I'm practically brain dead. As a matter of fact, after three days and approximately 4 hours of being on hold with the IRS and a dozen emails and phone calls going back and forth to the college, I'm numb.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon staring blankly into space. The Murph asked me what I was thinking about. Thinking? Nothing. Blank! I was zoned out! It's a coping mechanism I adopted to keep me from going completely insane.

Pomegranate martinis help the zoning out process!

Imported Beer is the Murph's zone out drink of choice. He was hanging in right there beside me as we made our way to the IRS office only to be told we had to wait 2 hours just to get a number Wednesday. That's when I decided being on hold on the phone may be the best poison of choice. The fax machine became the issue at that point. We don't have one.

Barbecue shrimp with grits helps too because as the Murpy says - I'm an eater.

We should get stickers or t shirts that say "I Survived the IRS".

Only now we have to deal with the school. I have a feeling the financial aid is not going to be processed fast enough and somebody is going to get classes dropped again. I've already called the accounting office to get them to flag his account and not drop classes but they said he would have to come down there yesterday by 5 pm. Of course he was at work until 5 pm and he called and they, of course couldn't do anything unless he came to the office in person. Of course. Why make things easy? Nobody has to work or go to school or have a life. Everybody can just drop everything to come by an office at anytime or stay on hold for hours. (sarcasm here)

Now I remember why I never had a real job while I was raising the Boy. Only the part time, part pay flexible ones, that weren't always flexible enough.

It seems this is just what is going to happen every single Fall semester while the Boy's in college.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nailed It Last Week In Training!

I had a really great training week last week and actually got several bike rides in on my tri bike and a few swims in as well. I almost nailed the training plan exactly!

Here's the comparison of what the training plan said to do and what I actually did:

                   The Training Plan                                                   What I Actually Did

              Yds/Miles                Time                                     Yds/Miles                 Time

 Swim     3500 yds                 1 hr 45 min                             2200 yds                   1 hr

 Bike       80 miles                  5 hrs                                         80 miles                  4 hrs 47 min

 Run       16 miles                  2 hrs 25 min                            16 miles                   2 hrs 40 min

Total Overall Times:          9 hrs 10 min                                                            9 hrs 27 min

Just about nailed it anyway! I am still a little behind on the swim yardage, but still plenty of time to make up for it. I was really happy with the bike time and mileage last week. Last week was the bomb but so far this week, I am behind again. I have been in the gym on the spin bike and it's a bit more intense workout on the spin bike. Even though I'm not getting the miles and time on bike in, I am still getting a good workout.

Also added to last week was another 52 minutes of weights/strength training, core and stretching which makes my total over 10 hours total workout.

Overall, not bad.

My quads were really sore today from doing weights yesterday and I didn't even get the hour run in or the bike ride in today. Today was running errands day. I've been trying to get our tax return transcript into the Boy's college financial aid office so they could finish processing it. I thought I had taken care of this months ago, but apparently I don't know the difference between a transcript and a 1040 and the university sends emails to the Boy and not me. Even when I found out they needed this transcript I called and thought I had already sent it in. Nobody returned my call and eventually weeks later I found out there is a difference in what I sent in and what they needed. This is the first time they have ever asked for a transcript and he's almost a junior now.

Go figure!

I couldn't get the transcript pulled up online through data retrieval. Oh no, that would have been just too easy! We drove over to our local IRS office and got there at 11 am. Apparently this is too near lunch time and so I would have to wait and take a number, but numbers weren't given out until 1 pm! The battery on our car died so we were stuck at the office anyway. I called the IRS one more time and stayed on hold for over 30 minutes before I talked to an actual person who could mail me a transcript. Thirty minutes was shorter than the 2 hour wait I had just to get a number for probably an even longer wait.

Since roadside assistance got to us by 12, I decided not to wait the extra hour for a number and just wait for the stupid transcript to get mailed to me so I could than get it to the Boy's school so they could than process his financial aid.

This is one of the reasons why this weeks training is not going as good as last weeks did.

It would just be too perfect if all I had to do was swim, bike, run, eat, sleep repeat. No dealing with the IRS or dead batteries or any of those troublesome distracting life things.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Products I Love - Anti- Aging Moisturizers

I haven't done a post on the skin/anti-aging products I love in awhile so I decided to do one today.  I love products and have way too many at any given time, but these four products are the ones I always like to have on hand. All of them can be put on throughout the day, after working out, after showering, under your regular make up products and just for general touch ups and they are great for combination or oily skin types like mine.

I love this Dr. Brandt pores no more product because it has tea tree oil in it which feels very refreshing when I put it on. Also, it has a mattifier in it which keeps my oily skin in control. I like to put this on in the afternoon or evening after my work outs. While I don't think this is considered an actual moisturizer, it does make my skin feel very smooth and soft. In the morning I like to put on another mattifier by Murad. I always keep one of these in my gym bag as well.

Dr. Brandt Pores no more (here)

This Per-fekt is a great product. I use it over my base or alone when I work out. It is moisturizing without being oily, makes my skin feel silky smooth and comes in different tints. It has antioxidants in it for added anti aging benefits.

Per-fekt skin perfecting gel (here)

This DDF Wrinkle Resist Pore minimizer product is also a moisturizer/anti wrinkle product that is good for combination skin. I like to put it on in the morning under my sunscreen and base.

DDF Wrinkle Resist Pore Minimizer (here)

Another product I really like is the Cindy Crawford natural beauty day cream. My running friend gave me a bottle to try and I really love it. It's the most moisturizing out of the these four products without causing me to have breakouts and has a sun screen in it. Since this is a product you have to purchase exclusively online and get the entire program auto shipped to you every month, I don't know if I am going to continue or not even though I like both the day cream and the night cream.

I usually use Oil of Olay Regenerist at night over my Retin A product and it seems to work really well and I can easily purchase it at any drug store or grocery store any time I need it without auto ship so I may switch back to it after I finish the Cindy Crawford meaningful beauty products. If you are looking for something more moisturizing than the above products, I recommend the Cindy Crawford meaningful beauty products.

All of the products below are good for combo/oily skin. None of them cause my face to break, this is still a problem for me despite being in my forties. I have to find products that are moisturizing and anti wrinkle without being too oily or I will get nasty break outs. I run and bike so I'm sweaty a lot! These products are good for sweaty people.

I also like products that are easy to use as a touch up after I work out and make my skin look and feel great. These are perfect for people like me who have an active lifestyle. Some products come and go, but these have been a staple for me for several years now.

Highly recommended!

What are some of your staple products that you love?

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Finally On Track?

I did a real bike/run (brick) workout today, not an indoor exercise bike/treadmill one. There were some threatening clouds all around, but no rain or thunder. I did 17 miles on the bike, followed by a 3 mile run. The humidity was around 90% so the run was tough. My legs were a little tight from yesterday's 37 mile ride because I haven't stretched or done any yoga in several days. I made sure to stretch today after my run.

I am trying to catch back up on my half-ironman training plan. Remember the plan that I never really even started? Now I have to start training for the fall marathon I'm doing as well.

Two training plans combined! This may seem tough, but it's really not when you're not totally doing what either plan says to do anyway.

Which is also totally dumb!

When I get off track I'm going to remind myself how painful it is to run a marathon without training properly for it. Once is more than enough!

I'm not even doing a comparison of what I did last week compared to what the training plan said to do. It's basically the same as the week before except I swam a couple of times and did a short sprint race. This week I'm actually getting some longer rides and swims in, which is what I've needed to do for a while.

Also, Phantom started his own blog Here. Hop on over and show him some love. Most of the updates on how he's doing with the chemo and the cancer will be over there instead of on this blog.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another Song Stuck In My Head

Oh well, at least it's not that Nicki Minaj song! This one is definitely getting replays over and over on my ipod. A great running song too!

This is going to be a short post tonight. I had a long drive back home after going to Birmingham this weekend to do another open house. We now have three different families that are interested, but have houses that they need to sell too.

Phantom went with us and enjoyed all the people that he thought were coming just to see him. He got lots of attention from them and from us all weekend. He decided to jump on the bed at 5a.m. every morning purring loudly in our face, ready to be petted. I almost died when Phantom climbed on the Murph's chest and started making biscuits with his paws while his face was right in the Murph's face. And he was purring very, very loud and sounded like a bumble bee on steroids.

While this is so NOT cool with my husband who doesn't really approve of cats on the bed, he gave Phantom a pass since the poor kitty has cancer. I am just so happy that Phantom seems to be feeling better and purring!

We are still giving him the Palladia every other day or so (I don't give it to him if it falls on a travel day) and the Advanced Immunity Restoration Protocol when I can get it down him. He doesn't like it and I haven't mastered the syringe yet. The syringe keeps sticking and something gets all screwy with the suction. I end up getting the concoction everywhere but in Phantom's mouth. I've tried sprinkling a little on a pill pocket and mashing it in and that works, but I can't get the full dosage in even three of those pill pockets. I'm still trying to figure out how to get the stuff down him.

Any suggestions?

The Celloquent is a power and he has to take 3/4 tsp and the vital pet lipids are liquid and he takes 1/4 tsp. I've been mixing it all together with a tiny bit of water and trying to syringe it in his mouth. It would work if the syringe was a little more friendly.

Phantom and all the other cats are eating only organic food with Nu Pet Granular super food  and some milk thistle drops sprinkled in it and drinking filtered or distilled water. I also give Phantom a few drops of Life Gold Cancer drops a day in a tiny bit of cat milk. He's still on the Atenolol and lasix for his heart too and seems to be doing fine there.

It's a lot of work and time, but it seems to be working.

And then, of course, there's prayer. Always prayer! None of the above things would ever work without it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Special Needs Ryan Gosling - Week 2

Adventures in Extreme Parenthood

It's Friday! Yay!

Today I'm linking up again with Adventures in Extreme Parenthood with my very own Special Needs Ryan Gosling meme. Every Friday a group of parents, most who have children on the autism spectrum, but not necessarily, link up with their own creative SNRG memes. Anyone can link up, whether you have a child with autism, a child with another disability or no child at all, but you think Ryan is hot or you're the creative type and just want to do a meme.

Here's my SN Ryan Gosling contribution for the week.

Because sometimes even NT's could use a little social skills training.

Head on over to Extreme Parenthood for more extremely clever Ryan Gosling memes created by the best autism warrior parents ever!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This Is Why I Need To Start Swim Training Again - Portofino Sunset Triathlon

I just finished triathlon number four of my racing season. This one was another Portofino Sunset Super Sprint triathlon. This was race number 8 in the 9 race series. You may remember I did race number 3 (or 4) on my birthday in May (Here).

These super short, fast races are perfect for a first time triathlete or for anyone who wants a great sprint workout or practice on transition skills.

I was hoping to finish in under 40 minutes, but that just wasn't going to happen today despite the absolute perfect weather. I must have gotten use to the heat and humidity because I didn't even notice it this evening.

The race is a 300 yard swim in the Santa Rosa sound behind Portofino Island  Resort, then a 7.5 mile bike ride followed by a 1.5 mile run. Below is Coach John from Team MPI telling everyone about the course. Know the course! He also had just told me I needed to get the Murph out of the transition area. Only registered racers are allowed in the transition area, even in small races like this one.

The Murph, being my number one athletic supporter, staff photographer, among other things which may or may not have to do with triathlons, was there taking pictures. He then turned around and took one of the coach. He took all these pictures and in between my swim and my bike, got a little work out in himself before taking the rest of the pictures at the finish.

Here are all the racers heading to the swim portion of the race. This race was full with 60 triathletes in all. The races in this series can have anywhere from 25 to 60 triathletes. The one I did in May had around 45 or so.

The racers were divided by race number. Race number 1 thru 30 started the swim first and then the rest of the numbers started a few seconds behind. (not sure how many seconds)

And we're off! The water was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. It can never be too hot for me, but I can't stand the cold! What I don't understand is where the stink comes from. Every time I swim in the sound I smell awful and can't get the smell out of my hair despite the expensive shampoo I use even though the Murph doesn't understand why I don't use drug store brand shampoos.

Expensive shampoo or not, it doesn't get that stink out! What is it? Fish poop? As a triathlete, I have done many swims in fish or duck poop. It never stops me from doing a race. It's just what we do.

Swim done. Running to the transition area to hop on the bike.

And look! I got a weird, alien Louis Garneau bike helmet and I'm all aero and stuff now! The photo is a little blurry because I'm going really, really fast. Probably.

I looked a little like a golf ball head from the front and the back was pointy. This pointy look makes you go faster on the bike. Yes, yes it does!

If you've actually done your bike training that is.

My finish time was 15 seconds SLOWER than my finish time the last time I did this race in May despite using my race wheels and my new aero helmet. My bike split was faster though and I could really tell the difference with the race wheels, especially going into the head wind. I'm sure my new helmet helped me slice through the wind too. I must have been slower in the the swim or the run or both.

Probably both.

I haven't been swimming much at all and even though I run a lot, I haven't done any fast runs only slower average or long runs. My asthma has been acting up, but I'm not using that as an excuse.

I only have myself to blame. Somehow I have to convince my stubborn brain that I NEED to get into consistent swim training again. I lost a lot of time on the swim portion of the race. My fault, I know.

I suck at swim training!

On a more positive note, I got a pedicure today and my toes looked great! They are a little sandy in this picture, but the color still pops! I switched from China Glaze Pool Party, which is a more coral- pink color, back to China Glaze Pink Voltage.

Never underestimate the importance of a good pedicure for triathletes who still have their toenails.

Even though I didn't reach my goal time, I still had fun and that's the most important thing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This Summer I'm Loving Maxi Dresses

I love wearing maxi dresses this summer. They are perfect for just about anything I'm doing these days. I wear them as swim suit cover-ups, hanging around the house/condo, or going out in the evening. This black number is a recent purchase and I'm wearing the heck out of it.

Maxi dress:  Free People - Here; Wedge Flip Flop: Juicy Couture - old, but similar Here;  Bracelets:  Free People

Another recent purchase below. Super comfortable. I love wearing it around the house after coming in from the beach, but I have also used it as a swim suit cover-up.

Salmon Maxi Dress: Nation LTD, only 1 M left in black Here;  Sunglasses: Louis Vuitton;  Swimsuit: Victoria's Secret

 I've had this one for a while now. I purchased it a few years ago at a really cool boutique in Homewood, Alabama called Soca Clothing.  They have super cute clothing and an amazing selection of designer jeans.

Maxi Dress: Testament; Sunglasses: Louis Vuitton, Flip Flops: Head over Heels (I got a box of them for all the girls at our wedding reception, but kept a few pairs for myself)

And last, is what the Murph calls my "kimono" dress. This one is his favorite. It's very form fitting, stretchy and not easy to walk around in, but I love it. Very comfortable and super versatile. I purchased it last Winter online at Shopbop.

Maxi Dress: Torn by Ronny Kobe, similar Here;  Wedge Flip Flops: Juicy Couture, similar Here;  Sunglasses: Louis Vuitton;  Bracelet: (old)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Special Needs Ryan Gosling - Week 1

Once again Sunday Stillwell from Extreme Parenthood has started another round of Special Needs Ryan Gosling memes.

Adventures in Extreme Parenthood

I decided to play along this week even though I'm not feeling very creative. Actually, most of my memes really, really sucked last go around, but it's fun to link up with other special needs parents who are just about as mentally exhausted as I am on any given day. I was even more exhausted when the Boy was younger and have it much easier these days. Ha!

So here goes...

That's all I have for this week and I hope I spelled everything correctly. It's 50/50 at this point. Maybe next week I'll be more creative and spell check better.

Don't forget to head over to Sunday's blog to view more of these memes from some very creative, talented, extraordinary and incredibly hot autism parents.

Oh yeah, then there's Ryan.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Accommodations, Appointments And An Open House

This week has been a bit hectic. Since the Boy is away at school most of the time, I'm just not use to it anymore. I can barely remember those crazy days when I was a single mom trying to get the Boy to school on time and me to work on time.

Rarely happened! I still patted myself on the back every single day that we made it to where we were suppose to go. It didn't matter if we were a little late, a little wrinkled and more than a little stressed out.

My bar was set low. How else could I be successful! A bar too set to high back in those days and I would have failed miserably.

It all started Saturday. We made our biweekly trip to Birmingham with the sick cat. Our mission this time was:

1.  To do an Open House on Sunday in hopes to find a buyer for our Birmingham house.

2.  Meet with AL Rehab with the Boy regarding his accommodations for Fall semester.

3.  Appointment with the Boy's doctor to go over ADD med and anxiety meds before Fall semester.

4.  Take Phantom to Auburn University on the way back to Pensacola for another round of blood testing to make sure the chemo was doing what it is suppose to and not doing anything it's not suppose too.

The open house went well. Lots of people came by, including coincidentally, the AL Rehab counselor that we were meeting with the very next day. She had no idea it was our house until she came inside and the Murph recognized her name. I overheard from the office/man cave and came out. She's downsizing too so our house was a little too much. It's a family house. It's too much for us now that the "kids" are grown. Her kids are grown too.

It's strange, but we get several empty nesters who want to "downsize" come look at our house. I guess downsizing is relative.

Phantom was very happy to be back. I started Phantom on the Advanced Immunity Protocol and it worked wonders overnight. It's a three part system that has so many different immunity building things in it that it blows my mind. All I know is after one dose, I got my Phantom back. Purring and happy and spending time with us instead of under the bed.

The meeting with AL Rehab went well. They provide some of the Boy's college financing and make sure he gets the accommodations he needs, such as extended test taking time, taking his tests in another room or at the Special Student Services building if needed. He can have a recorder, his laptop, etc. The Special Student Svcs Counselor provides a letter for him to give to all of his professors every semester. I have to get the letter or the list of accommodations to AL Rehab so they will continue to provide support. They will also transition him from college to the work force if needed.

The only snag came because the apartment the Boy lives in will no longer be billed through the university so the only way AL Rehab will provide a portion of the rent is if the management fills out a vendor application. That way AL Rehab will pay them directly. They never give the money directly to the students. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to get in touch with the apartment management!

I think it was finally taken care of after many phone calls, emails and faxing and refaxing, but I really don't know yet because they never answer the phone. Now that the Boy is back, he can go by the office in person and make sure it's done.

The doctor appointment was fast and basically we just got another 1/2 years worth of prescriptions. I'm hoping the Boy weans off the anxiety meds and starts something more holistic. The doctor said there isn't anything as good as the conventional meds. It has made a tremendous difference on the Boy's entire attitude so I'm good with him taking them for now.

The Boy didn't stress me out one single time. He has matured so much! No more meowing, biting me, poking me, getting all in my personal space until I just want to scream! We actually had adult like conversations and I really enjoyed being around him. He got a new car and his dad taught him how to drive a stick shift in one day. I rode with him most of the way back to school because he was nervous about driving with the manual transmission. Also, he hasn't driven in almost a year!

My job was to keep him relaxed, he said. He also warned me that it was going to be a bumpy ride.

He did great! We all made it safely home and the Boy is ready to start another school year. This Fall he actually has a paid internship. This is one reason why he needed a car.

Because of all the things going on with the Boy, we had to reschedule the trip to Auburn for Phantom. Instead I made an appointment with a local vet in Pensacola to do the blood work. They will fax it to Auburn. I have conflicted feelings about giving Phantom the chemo type drug, Palladia. He seems to be doing great on it, but I have concerns about long term use. His appointment with the local vet is tomorrow so I will decide then if I am keeping him on it or going entirely holistic.

It's a tough call. I hope I do the right thing!