I am sorry to disappoint and I appreciate the info here so very much but I am calling it a wash for this pool season. Our cya is sky high (155 or higher), therefore I have to keep the chlorine high, therefore I can't get a good PH reading. We are having a terrible summer for pools in Michigan, rain every few days, cloudy, and cool. We can't get the temp above 80 and we are half way thru the season. If we drain down as much as we need to to lower the stabilizer, we will lose more temp. We have only been in swimming about 5 times because of weather and pool cooling down so much after rain. By the time we warm it back up after draining enough it is going to be too late to even bother.
The pool has been clear for the most part and I have switched to liquid chlorine ,thank goodness! Can you imagine what the stabilizer level would be if we had been using trichlor all this time? The info here has been so valuable.
So, instead of driving myself nuts trying to figure out how to keep it crystal clear, and worrying about the stabilizer problem I am just going to keep it swimmable if possible. My plan will be to do a small draining in fall, then refill since we won't care about water temp. We will then do the big drain as usual for winterizing and hope that by spring the fresh water that refills pool thru winter (rain and snow) will bring the cya down to a manageable level, like maybe 80. I would be comfortable with cya of 80 because in a normal hot summer we have 10 hours of sunlight on the pool. If we do things right starting from the beginning of next pool season I hope to be able to say we have a sparkling pool that I enjoy maintaining using the BBB method.