Month: January 2017

Elizabatics and Niagara Falls

I was really hoping to be able to go for a flight today and fortunately the weather was in my favour.  I hit the airport for around 10:30.  I wanted to do some aerobatics (don’t want to get rusty!) and the clouds were high enough for me to climb to 4000′ above the airport.  I started off with a few loops, which require more effort with heavy, fully loaded fuel tanks:

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Good work out though!  I did aileron rolls, hammer heads, snap rolls, Cuban 8’s and a bunch of combos.  Kinda neat to see the mostly drained Welland Canal and Skyway from a different perspective:

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After some fun maneuvers, I stayed at 3500′ and went around the Niagara Falls scenic circuit.  I never get tired of seeing the Falls from above:

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After a circuit, Donkay and I headed north to Niagara-On-The-Lake.  Mind you, I inadvertently called it Niagara-On-The-Leak when I told the Tower where I was heading.  Oops!

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Mike and I were just at the amazing Prince of Wales hotel a couple weeks ago, so it was nice to see it again:

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The town is equally as attractive from above:

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I was flying around for about 45 minutes.  The weather stayed decent with only a few little snow showers here and there:

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Good times.

Back home, Abby was completely thrilled to see me:

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Two of the kitties didn’t even bother to crawl out of bed to see me and Boo just ran into the bathroom so I would turn on the tap for her:

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Today’s symptoms: Felt quite good!  My fatigue level wasn’t too bad and no sinus headache (just a regular one, as always), so it’s all good!

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Elizabooks – Review

My mother and I both started reading a great book series.  They’re the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.  I’m part way into book four and my mother is on book nine.  Man, they are awesome!  Funniest books I’ve read in a very long time.  Here’s a quote from Goodreads, linked above:

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey. She’s a product of blue-collar Trenton, where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and dinner is served at six.

Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, Stephanie blackmails her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. And that’s only the beginning of series that will set her on the trail of fugitives. Stephanie will have to sharpen her sleuthing skills, because she’s got many a mystery to solve.

I’m not usually into mystery or crime books, but I’m so glad I started reading these.  The humour is to die for and the characters will literally have you laughing out loud.  Both my little mother and I highly recommend these books!

I was hoping to go for a flight today but the weather is poopola.  Looks like I may catch a break tomorrow and be able to go up for some aerobatics.  Paws crossed!  Today, my mother came by and we went to Timmies then to the Bulk Barn and dollar store.  I had to buy some ingredients (oats, peanuts and dog food) to make food for my crickets.  This last batch I bred turned out to be far more in number than I expected.  I usually aim for about 100, but I have well over 300 this time.  I just lifted one of the layers of egg carton in their tank and was shocked at the number:

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Oops.  That’s maybe a quarter of how many there are.  Good thing I can make their food in large quantities.  This batch cost me less than $2.00:

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If anyone in Niagara is in need of some crickets over the next month or two, let me know!

After my mother left, I just chilled with the kitties and watched some TV.  Both Boo and Abby were sitting in really weird positions today:

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Looks like they both wanted to show off their adorable little belly bulges.

While out with my best friend the other day, I spotted the coolest shirts!  I just had to buy them:

Tee hee!  I love being weird.  Speaking of which, while at my mother’s house last week, I found my egg from high school.  You know, the one we had to take care of for a couple weeks for some home economics class or something.  Of course, my egg had to be unique…

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Can’t imagine what the inside looks like.  Yuck.

I just realized I neglected to put Pinky in my previous blog.  Sorry Pinky (aka Honey Baked Ham, Bacon, Porko…):

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Today’s symptoms: Felt pretty good.  Slept better last night, which can make a fairly big difference.  I’m aiming for a second night in a row of awesome slumberage!  Woot!

Important Update

I just wanted to give everyone an update on the chocolate bar mentioned in my previous blog.  The chocolate has left the building (and now resides in my belly).  I’m asking Santa for will power next year.

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If you’re wondering, I don’t like having my picture taken, thus the unicorn head.  Mind you, if I was wearing it earlier, I probably wouldn’t have been able to eat the rest of the chocolate bar.  ***sigh***  Damn it was good though.

Mental Health Talk in Toronto

I had an amazing experience yesterday – I was invited to Toronto to give a presentation on mental health.  I was presenting at 11:00, so I left St. Catharines just after 7:00.  I bit the bullet and decided to take the 407 highway, to avoid any traffic issues.  Maybe the cameras missed my license plate and they won’t send me the bill?  It was a relatively uneventful drive.  I think the best part was when I was just a few blocks from the Toronto North Tax Office and saw a bus in front of me with the digital sign that said “GO Transit….Not In Service….Sorry!”  You know you’re in Canada when even the buses are apologizing.  I arrived at the office before 10:00.  I wasn’t too nervous, despite the large crowd I’d be presenting to (about 80 people there and they were Web-casting it to another six offices).  However, I was a little tempted to hit this in the parking garage:

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After parking, I wandered up the stairs and out to the main doors:

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The room I was headed to was on the 19th floor.  After using the little girls room, I took this pic of the view.  I didn’t notice the reflection of my hands in the pic while I was taking it….oops:

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I sat next to someone I knew from my office.  It was nice to have someone familiar there.  I was really happy to see how interactive the group of folks was.  The previous presenter was great – so engaging.  After her, it was time for a break and then my presentation.  I actually felt so comfortable and wasn’t nervous at all.  The only thing I forgot to do was watch the time.  I have no idea if I went too long or not.  Everything went great.  The only thing I regret is breaking down at the end of my talk, as I brought up something very personal and hard to talk about.  It wasn’t planned and I feel really silly and a little disappointed in myself for getting upset.  Other than that though, my talk about dealing with depression, MS, the good and the bad in life, went very well.  I had pictures throughout the whole talk which I think people enjoyed.  I wish I could have stayed and listened to the next presenter, but I was getting so fatigued.  Still dealing with the insomnia so hardly slept the night before, plus I was a little stressed about the drive and giving the presentation.  So, after bidding everyone adieu, I went back to Lola Corolla and started the journey back home.  I took the 407 again, but didn’t stay on it as long so it wouldn’t cost as much.

I met some really great people yesterday.  I’m so lucky to have had this opportunity.  They also sent me on my way with some nice gifts, such as this decoration, which goes great with my 10 year service award, (a glass polar bear):

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I also got a nice mug, thank you card and a chocolate bar.  I don’t have the heart to tell them that the chocolate they gave me is defective:

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I got it home and the package just suddenly fell open.  Then, to my shock and horror, a piece of chocolate flew off of the bar and landed in my mouth.  Strangely enough, this same thing keeps happening every time I go by the kitchen.  I’m not sure if it’s possessed or what….mind you, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about it anymore by tomorrow.  (Slurp)

For the rest of the day, I just chilled with the kitties.  I need to have a talk with Boo though – she’s turning into a bit of a bully.  She loves it when I turn the tap on for her, but Mya decided that she would have a drink first:

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Jealous little Boo just couldn’t be patient and let her finish, and jumped in the sink with her:

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I sat Boo down on the couch and gave her a little chat on how she has to share with her sisters and to be a little more patient.  She found the talk truly enthralling:

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Yup, my cats are dorks.  Right Abby?

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I decided to take today off to recover from yesterday.  The excitement wore me right out.  Totally worth it though.  I would love to be asked to give my presentation at another office in the future.  Hopefully I don’t get all choked up again.  It’s still really bothering me that I did.  However, I’ve received some amazing emails and messages from a few people that listened to my presentation.  Their words and kind thoughts were amazing and made me feel so good.

Today’s symptoms: Just felt really drained and I have a bad headache.  I plan on getting an amazing sleep tonight (paws crossed!) and will feel better tomorrow.  I’m also having crushing pains in my hands today, which is a little annoying.  Those too shall pass though!  Life is good.

Prince of Wales

Mike and I had an amazing experience this weekend.  For tolerating me for four years (good job, buddy!), he booked an overnight stay at the beautiful Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-On-The-Lake.  Wow, been to NOTL dozens of times but never set a paw in that hotel.  It was amazing….did I mention”wow?”

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There were roses everywhere:

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Prior to our dinner and settling into our room, we spent a couple hours walking through the town.  I saw this adorable dog walk through the street.  I pointed and laughed because he was so gosh-darn adorable with his little coat.  The owner gave us treats to feed him:

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We toured the town but didn’t buy too much.  Regardless, it was a great time.  We headed back to the room for around 4:00.  We had a dinner reservation for 5:00.  We left our room briefly to tour the hotel, and I noticed that Donkay hitched a ride in my pocket.  I was shocked.  However, he posed perfectly for a few shots:

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It was then back to our amazing room to change for dinner noms:

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We couldn’t believe how high the bed was.  I did my impersonation of my little mother trying to climb up on the bed:

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Tee hee!  What a beautiful establishment.  We went down to the main dining hall for our dinner.  It was the Ice Wine Festival just outside on Queen Street.  We had an amazing glass of wine pre-dinner noms:

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I’m not a big salmon eater (it’s just too strong for my adorable tummy), but I ordered the Arctic Char.  We were told it’s like a mild version of salmon, so I gave it a whirl:

 

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It was amazing!  Mike had the duck and don’t even get me started on describing that perfection on a plate.  We then had dessert.  Mike had like 12 layers of “wow, my life sucked until now” cake and I had a great fruit plate:

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Holy crud sticks, that was an amazing meal (minus the grossy-gross oysters Mike had as an appetizer.  I tried a piece and was very discrete in my non-vomitting response).  Like Ewww.

Back to our room, someone came in an put on some nice music, closed the blinds and left a rose on the bed.  Yup, this place was a tad classy.  Unfortunately we put on the TV and witnessed Trump’s inauguration.   The night was a tad tainted at that point (and I threw up a little).  After scaling the 7′ bed, we went to bed then woke up to life in the “damn this is awesome” world.  We repelled off the bed and got ready for brekkie.  Holy cow, that was the best omelette I’ve ever had.  I always get an egg white omelette, due to the cholesterol issues in my family.  They put Armstrong White Cheddar (I asked our waiter dude to ask the chef what it was) in it….best cheese ever.

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What an amazing weekend.  We just didn’t want to leave.  The beauty was the 25 minutes drive from our places to get there.  Can’t wait to go back!

Symptoms for Today:  Damn, still trying to come down off of that great weekend.  Had to go to Hamilton yesterday for work, then Toronto today.  I shall discuss the day today in my next blog!

Neurologist Appointment

I had my appointment with my neurologist in Hamilton yesterday.  My adorable little mother joined me, as she always does.  The weather wasn’t good at all.  Both legs of the trip were in total downpours.  Oh well, at least it wasn’t freezing rain!  Surprisingly, people were driving fairly decently, with only a few maniac drivers on the QEW.  I had my MRI images on CD with me, which the doctor reviewed, along with the written results (which I did not see).  I asked him if he noticed the little lesion, and if he zoomed in on it.  I showed him my slightly altered pic on my phone:

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He had a really good laugh and said “Oh look, it’s waving hello!”  I told him that all of my lesions are adorable.  Tee hee!  I explained to him how I had some very severe itching spells over the last few months.  I said it was itching down to the bone and was harder to deal with than the crushing pains I often have.  I was leery telling him about it because “itching” sounds so trivial, but both bouts lasted for two to five days and were very intense and worse than pain.  He said that based on the description and his physical tests showed I was stiff on my left side, that I most likely had an MS flare-up.  Bummer, but it could have been worse!  Still sucks though.  He offered to put me on another med to help control the spasms, itching and numbness, but I declined unless things get worse and harder to deal with.  I’m on enough meds already!  So other than that, the appointment went fine.  Then another yucky drive home in the rain.  It’s all good, especially when you get to come home to this….Boo looking like an angel:

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Abby being as googly as ever:

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Pinky and her friend Peanut:

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And then there’s Mya, who we unfortunately had to eat tonight after cooking her on the grill (food prices keep going up):

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The Mya burgers were very tiny but delicious!

Today’s symptoms: I think I got a total of three hours sleep last night, and not all in a row.  This insomnia really sucks!  Been going on for over a month.  I think like the neurologist pointed out, my left side is stiff – feels like I’m constantly tensing all of my muscles on that side.  It’s like a 24/7 work out!  Makes it hard to relax though and I’m sure it’s contributing to the lack of sleep.  Hopefully things get better soon!

 

Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls

I’m so happy about the previous week.  I had two really good days energy and symptom-wise.  I couldn’t believe it.  Usually after I have one really good day, I pay for it the next with more-than-normal fatigue.  I felt quite good on Wednesday – was in Hamilton all day for a work meeting.  After the drive there, spending the day, I still had good energy heading back to Niagara for my doctor appointment in Welland.  I started getting drained by the time I got home, but that is far better than I normally do so absolutely no complaints.  I couldn’t believe how good I felt when I woke up the next day, which was my day off.  I thought my little mother and I could do something different, than our normal trips to a mall on my free day.  So, we went to the Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls.  Jan had never been and I went about four years ago.  She wasn’t too thrilled with the non-bird exhibits, like the adorable snakes and spiders, and this cute dude:

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He’s a wee bit larger than my little Peanut:

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As you can see, Abby is thrilled:

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Back to the birds…..Jan was much happier when we made it to the main aviary:

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I love how this little duck has his legs sprawled:

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I had to pose like a dork when this guy stopped next to us:

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We actually went around twice, as we paid for two hours of parking and it only took us an hour to view everything.  Back through the gift shop, I chased Jan around with this toucan:

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She wasn’t too amused.

I couldn’t believe I had two good days in a row!  That’s hasn’t happened in quite some time.  The third day (yesterday) wasn’t too good and I spent at least two and a half hours in bed, feeling really drained and weak.  It was worth it though.

Was still quite drained today, so was a blob in bed until after 9:00, then Mike came over and we watched a couple shows.  At 12:30, we went to the theater in Niagara Falls to see Passengers.  It was excellent – best movie we’ve seen in a while.  Mind you, I dropped my iPhone yet again while I was trying to zip up my coat pocket (so said phone would not get dropped).  Yet again, my case broke.  I’ve glued it so many times.  I’m even missing a small piece of the edge and replaced it with a prong from a plastic fork and some packaging tape.  You can’t hardly see it and so far that piece has held up quite well!  I love that case and am not willing to part with it yet.

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I haven’t had any pics of Zim here in quite a few blogs….he has been a bit shy.  He came out for a visit this evening though:

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Today’s symptoms: Felt drained and weak again today but will hopefully be more perkish tomorrow.  Having bad crushing pains in my hands as well.  Not sure if we’re going flying or not – I’ll have to see how I’m feeling and check on the weather. 

My Cute Brain

Despite the strong winds on Saturday, Mike and I took to the skies and slowly (due to a direct headwind) headed to Brampton.  It took us about 45 minutes to fly there.  We only heard a couple other small planes on the radio, since most people prefer to fly in calmer weather. An employee of the Flying Club said I was crazy for flying and the fuel guy said he would bet me the price of fuel that I wouldn’t make it to Brampton.  Then when I was taking off, the Tower said “It’s going to take you a week to get there!”  Well to all of you, I say NYAH!!!!!

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Landed safe, sound and hungry!  We bundled up Vyctor’s little nose (to keep the engine warm) and headed in for breakfast noms:

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I had my usual egg white omelette and Mike went for the waffle with tasty fixins:

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Donkay initially told me he didn’t want to fly with us today because it was cold and yucky, but I was able to persuade him.

As we were flying back, we noticed some yuckola weather to the North:

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We kept a close eye on the weather on the way there, during breakfast and heading back, so we knew it wasn’t going to be an issue for us.  With the tail wind, we were back in St. Catharines in less than 35 minutes.  Sweet!

Back home, I decided to take a picture of the new little lesion I noticed on my brain, from the MRI images I picked up from the hospital last week.  Here’s what it looks like:

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I see my neurologist next week and I’m going to ask him if he took a really close look at the lesion.  I’ll then show him this:

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Then this:

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Tee hee!  I always try to make light of the crappy things in life – it makes it much easier to cope.  The lesion isn’t something I can change, so there’s no point in getting all bummed.  At least it’s just one – and it’s adorable!

Another thing I did this weekend was go through some old letters I found from elementary and high school.  I actually kept a huge stack of them.  It’s so weird to see old style texting!  I was actually going to toss them, as I’m kinda in purging mode, but decided instead to sort them by writer and date.  Will be neat to go back and read them in a few years:

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Since the kids were sick over Christmas, Mike and I were unable to see the nephews and nieces and bring them their pressies.  We were able to see them last week, and they were all thrilled with their gifts (Lego for the boys and My Little Pony dudes for the girls).  I think Mike was jealous and he wandered around like this for quite some time:

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Oh well, he’ll get over it.  Maybe I can get him his own for his upcoming birthday.  He likes the colour green.  Are there green My Little Pony dolls?  Hmmmmm……  Speaking of green, I walked into the spare room and little Peanut was posed like this:

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Gosh-darnit-all-to-heck he’s cute.

Today’s symptoms: I actually had a really good day today.  I had an all-day meeting in Hamilton, then an appointment with my doctor in Welland.  My energy was decent (for a nice change!) so I didn’t have any issues with all the driving and running around.  Life is good!

Where Did 2016 Go?

I went about a month without flying.  Weather, health – just everything yuckola.  Fortunately, things became partially flyable on New Years Eve.  I’ve been dealing with really bad sinus and tension headaches for the last couple of weeks.  Stupid me took a sinus pill the morning we decided to go flying a couple days ago.  I normally don’t eat breakfast and I forgot how much those pills hurt my stomach and make me nauseated when my tummy is empty.  We attempted to fly to Brantford for breakfast, and the pill finally hit me about 25 minutes into our flight.  It usually takes about 40 minutes to get to Brantford, but with the strong, gusting headwind, our ground speed was only about 65 knots.  I felt too sick to keep going.  We turned around and were back at the St. Catharines Airport in about 15 minutes.  We didn’t hear another plane in the air the whole flight, as it was quite windy (25 knots gusting 31).  A tad cold too:

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It was still a fun flight, especially the landing in those winds!  I love a challenge!

Going back a few days, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  My mother came over on Christmas Eve and we had some noms then watched the movie Bad Moms.  It was the second time I watched it in three weeks.  Very funny!  We opened pressies the next morning then went to Mike’s parent’s house for dinner.  We did Secret Santa with their family this year.  Mike’s younger sister had the absolute pleasure of buying for me.  She got me this awesome incense burner, which was pure white.  She bought me markers so I could have the pleasure of colouring it.  Starting to look quite nice:

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I actually spent about three hours on it one night…it was so relaxing, I completely lost track of time.  As you can see, Boo was thrilled to watch the event:

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Pinky was equally enthused:

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New Years Eve was quiet.  I didn’t quite make it to midnight….oops.

The weather was nice today so Mike and I made another attempt to fly to Brantford for brekkie.  It was so calm today that it almost made the flight boring (I like it better when my plane is bouncing all over the place!)  Things were a little less frozen:

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I was quite hungry by the time we landed, and ordered this yummy egg white, ham and cheese omelette:

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After eating, I ran to the little pilot’s room and came back to this:

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Mike said something nasty to Donkay and scared him into my mitten.  Bully.

Mike then had to visit the little pilot’s room and I was so tempted to take off while he was in there, after what he did to my little gray friend:

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Luckily for him, I resisted temptation and decided to fly him back home (not that he deserved it).

I think my propeller was on LSD during the trip home:

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It was so clear when we left St. Catharines this morning, but some snotty weather moved in by the time we came back:

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We made it safe and sound.  Whenever we park, I try my darndest to get my nose wheel right on the centre of the yellow T.  I thought I did it this time….SO close!!!

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I was devastated:

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Great flight!  On the way home, we stopped at the hospital to pick up my MRI results.  I had either my 13th or 14th (I lost count) MRI on Boxing Day.

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I’m happy to report, I checked out the disc when I got home and I still have a brain.

Back home, Boo subtlety suggested that we play badminton with her:

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We declined her offer.

Today’s symptoms: Felt pretty good today minus the headache, but I’ve been dealing with a worse-than-normal one for a couple weeks.  Again, it’s tension and sinus issues.  Still trying to find a new head on eBay…..