Month: July 2018

I Can’t Think Of A Title

Nothing truly exciting and blog-worthy happened recently, so here’s a bit of this and that.

Here is a tip: Save money on cat treats by getting those little kibble sample bags instead.  Your kitty will never know they’re not actually getting “treats” and we have the joy of saving some money.  I love going to the pet expos.  They have tons of samples, so you walk away loaded up for a couple months!  Pet Valu also has many sample packs to choose from.

Took some goofy shots of Abby today:

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Boo was just her normal, high strung self:

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I was off today and had a nice visit with my little mother.  I was going to have my hair cut, which would have been my first professional cut in about eight years!  When I phoned and made the appointment, I specifically said “I just want a basic trim at the lowest rate.”  Then I quoted the lowest rate listed and she said yes.  When someone phoned me yesterday to remind me of my appointment, she said the name of the person who was going to cut my hair.  I stated I had never been there before so I didn’t know who that was.  I repeated it’s just for a basic cut.  She said that they booked me with the master stylist.  Huh????  That just more than doubled the price!  The simple trim would have come out to over $100.  I told her that I was told I was booked with someone that would charge the lowest rate and she said it was booked with the master stylist.  Needless to say, I cancelled the appointment.  Man, I would have been so ticked if I had gone and had my hair cut and then handed a $120 (or so) bill.  I didn’t think that “bait and switch” tactic was legal?  How was this any different than going to a restaurant and ordering a salad but charged for their top steak!  Sooooo….Lil Jan was kind enough to give me a trim and I must say, it does look healthier.  Thanks again, Janski!

Speaking of Jan, I told her I was getting a mattress for her birthday.  I just bought a new bed and mattress last month and it is so comfortable!

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They had a sample in the store and I found it very comfy for the short minute I was trying it out.  I’ve had it for a month now and holy cow it’s comfortable!  If you need a mattress, check out Worldwide Mattress Outlet, next to the QEW at the west end of the Skyway.  Best prices we’ve seen around.  Free delivery too, even all the way out to the majestic town of Fonthill.  When I purchased my mattress, Mike ended up getting one of their gel pillows.

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In the last year, I have purchased four pillows!  I get horrible neck pain.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m tense and/or spasm-ish in my sleep, but it causes a great deal of pain.  Mike let me try out his pillow for the last few days and it’s amazing.  I still have leftover neck pain, that is getting a bit better each day.  It feels about 50% better after a couple nights with the new pillow.  They’re good about treating repeat customers a little extra nice, and they gave us a great deal on two pillows.  Jan is going to be in heaven tomorrow night with her new mattress and head rest.

We had a few storms blow through today.  At one point, the wind picked up so much that I could stick my awesome unicorn head to the window.  Holy suckage!

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The cross-breeze I get in my apartment is great!

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That is all.

Today’s symptoms: Not too shabby!  I’ve been having sleeping issues again, but not as bad as the worst stretch (seven months!) of BAD insomnia that ended recently.  I’m still getting up multiple times a night and it takes at least half an hour to fall back to sleep.  At least I’m surrounded by cuteness (all four kitties were in bed with me last night) which helps whittle the time away.  It was a good night and very tolerable MS symptoms.  I did have really (and I mean really!) bad nerve pain shooting down my arm and into my fingers.  It was very rude and disruptive!   Geesh. 

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My Mother Is Awesome!

My adorable little mother’s birthday is tomorrow so Mike and I went for a visit and took her out for noms at The Broken Gavel in Fenwick.  We had never been there before and I had heard many great things about it from folks at work.  We arrived just before 4:30 and the place was packed!  It was either sit out on the patio or wait 40 minutes.  It was so nice out, we opted for the patio.  The food was great.  Both Jan and I had the chicken and peameal bacon with fries.  We loved it:

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It’s hard to believe she’s going to be 77.  Everyone who sees her thinks she’s only in her 90’s……I mean 60’s.  Kidding Jan – you look far younger than your actual age.  I’m sure the fact that you RUN on the treadmill almost every day and do weights has a lot to do with your looks and amazing health.  Of course, having such a loving and cute daughter has kept you youthful as well!  And just think, you’re 77 this year.  You’ll be reminded every day for a full year that 1977 was the year of your greatest achievement…..ME!!!!!!

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Tee hee!  Just kidding!  You’re the best mother I could ever ask for.  Thank you for being so tolerant, patient and unwilling to put me in a mental institution all these years.   Here’s to 77 more great years to have you in my life!

I was supposed to take up the sons of a couple coworkers today for aerobatic flights.  Unfortunately, the weather pooped out on us so we had to reschedule.  The weather also looks like it’s not going to cooperate for my flight over the Fred Legg Memorial Golf Tournament for the MS Society – Niagara Chapter of Hope golf tournament this Tuesday.  Paws crossed the forecasts are wrong (like that would ever happen….hehe!)

I told Mike he should take his sweater home last night.  He said he wanted to leave it on the couch so the kitties could sleep in it.  Suit yourself!

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We had a good day yesterday.  We wandered around downtown for a couple hours in the morning.  I decided to make us a true gourmet meal for dinner.  Introducing the Sheppard’s Splat:

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As you can see, this mouth-watering, cauliflower topped splat has been beautifully plated.  Ramsey would be proud.  Even Mya couldn’t stop staring this culinary wonder:

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After dinner, Mike and I decided to play the racing game Forza.  Mya mistook the Xbox and movie drawer for the mitten drawer:

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I stupidly decided to set her straight.  This is what happens every time this door is opened:

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Just make yourself at home!

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I ended up driving off the track a few times, whilst watching her make an epic mess in order to get situated.  Ugh!  After she left, a couple of her sisters decided to check out the new cat bed:

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They walked away, leaving the mess behind.  Nice.  Then out to the balcony to enjoy the afternoon heat:

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Great weekend.  Disappointing not being able to fly but still highly enjoyable!

Today’s symptoms:   Still experiencing quit a bit of stiffness on my left side, mostly my leg.  It’s been going on for so long, I’m starting to think it’s with me for good.  How rude!  Like the other newish symptoms, I shall adapt and overcome!

Oops…

If I may quote one of the “great” performers of our time, “Oops I did it again!”  I’ve been breeding crickets for my geckos for almost two years.  You would think I would have it all figured out by now, how to “produce” the number I need.  After they’ve all hatched and shed their first skin, I try to clean their tank.  Not easy when you have HUNDREDS of babies….again!  Anyone need any crickets?  Here is a small sample:

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Yum.  In a few weeks my peace and quiet will be over as hundreds of crickets start chirping.  It’s like I’m camping in my own apartment.  Maybe I should get some croaking frogs too.

I had the pleasure of flying over the Wise Guys Charity Golf Tournament again this year.  I’m not sure but I think it’s the fifth or sixth time I’ve done this.  I do a little air show for the golfers before they clamber into their carts to head out to the course:

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I was so worried that I wasn’t going to be able to fly over due to the scattered layer of clouds (around 2500′ for most of the morning).  Hmmm…this wasn’t good. My friend at the Flying Club provided me with cloud status reports throughout the morning. I was also sent this lovely photo by one of the event organizers:

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What a relief!  Everything cleared up nicely by the time I flew over at around 12:30.  I’m so glad I have the ability to do flights for these charity golf tournaments.  I typically do around five a year, but had to cut back on a couple due to some extra expenses from plane repairs.  Poor Vyctor!  All that matters is that he is ok and can fly another day.  Actually, he’ll be flying again next week for the Fred Legg Memorial Golf Tournament for the MS Society – Niagara Chapter of Hope.  This one is a little further away in Port Colborne, but the scenery is wonderful – right on Lake Erie.  Well, not really on it….or in it either.  That would make for a rather entertaining round of golf.

Back at CYSN (Niagara District Airport), I parked little Vyctor and as usual, tried to stop with my nose wheel right on the yellow line.  Not too shabby!

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I also have a new little challenge where I try to keep my nose wheel up as long as possible after touching down.  I made it all the way down the runway, turned onto the taxiway and was about half way to the Flying Club before the nose touched.  So close!

For Mike’s birthday this year, I got him a ticket to Cirque du Soleil – Corteo.  We had amazing front row, centre seats.  The only bad part was walking in the high heat and humidity to the Meridian Centre, but at least it only took us less than 15 minutes.

Before the show started:

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I had one of the performers sit next to me and bounced a balloon off my head.  We bopped the balloon around a bit then he ran off (maybe I was smelly).  The show was absolutely spectacular.  One of our favourite parts was when they had a little person (she was so cute and funny!) attached to three large balloons.  They sent her around the entire audience and as she started to descend, people had to push her back up by her feet:

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Great show – highly recommended!

Today’s symptoms: I was a little pooped today due to getting up fairly early this morning.  That wasn’t quite my intention on my day off, but I guess my mind has a mind of it’s own!  I’m still having issues with stiffness on my left side, especially my leg.  Sometimes I walk a little gimpy but I tell people I’m not drunk, I have MS!  Tee hee!

Playing With Fire

I went to the casino with my adorable mother, Army buddy Ken and my Michaelkins. In brief: found a perfect parking spot. Hopped into line to pick up tickets for Lord of the Dance. We got our favourite seats. Stood in line for less than ten minutes for the buffet (Ken has Gold status, so we don’t stand in the much longer common-folk line 😬). Had an amazing meal (apart from Ken’s Nanaimo bar incident). Then we scampered promptly up to our perfect seats. The show started on time and it was amazing. From the first second, the whole show was telling a story. We were on the edge of our seats as the last ten minutes began. Something weird started happening with the sound system. It was cutting in and out and became progressively worse. Then there was a scene with a rapidly burning fire as the background. We saw flashing lights and heard what sounded like an alarm, but we thought it was part of the show. All the lights went on and we immediately began to evacuate. There was no notice on the loud speaker for almost five minutes after the alarm sounded. They said to exit the building and the show has been cancelled. Drats!!! The story involves a battle between good and evil. More than halfway through, a huge fight between the sides ensued. We knew that it would be a matter of minutes until we saw who won and what happened to one very unique character. Bloody hell!

Apparently there was a small fire on the roof. The restaurant across the street had a huge LED sign board with a steak surrounded by flames. A tad ironic.

So back to the unfinished show – now our lives will continue on, never knowing whether good defeats evil! Although I spose I could just look it up online. Hmmmm…

With lowered heads and feeling totally dejected, we sauntered over to the slots. Ken played for a bit while we wandered around the shops. After about half an hour, we headed back to Ken. I dropped $10. The thrill from pushing a button five times and losing ten bucks was indescribable. It was almost more than I could handle. Thinking to myself “How far can I fly on $10? How many aerobatic maneuvers?” Then Mike played and pulled the big one. Can’t wait for my steak dinner tonight!

All in all, a wonderful day. Thanks again for the invite, Ken!

Today’s symptoms: I was on my pain killer which also perks me up, so I was good to go for most of the day (had to take a few more pills in between to keep me going). Bad spasms and stiffening of my left leg starting around 7:00pm. I was walking around all stiff and gimpy. It’s all good though – it builds character!

Port Dover Fly-Over For Friday the 13th!

What a great day for the traditional Port Dover Friday the 13th Bike Gathering.  Mike and I headed out for the airport for around 10:30.  It was perfect weather-wise which made for a pleasurable 35 minute flight down to Dover.  Just so you know, us pilots need to check if certain areas are going to have restrictions to their airspace for events and such.  There may be an altitude restriction in a specific radius.  Here is the one for the bike gathering.  It would have been just a tad easier to find in a sea of entries, if they actually mentioned Port Dover rather than just the coordinates:

180494 CZYZ TORONTO FIR
CZYZ PURSUANT TO SECTION 5.1 OF THE AERONAUTICS ACT, AIRSPACE WITHIN
2 NM RADIUS CENTRE 424701N 801158W (APRX 4 NM SE SIMCOE
(DENNISON FIELD) AD) IS RESTRICTED DRG POLICE OPS,
SFC TO 2000 FT MSL. EXC FOR POLICE AND MEDEVAC/RESCUE ACFT,
NO PERSON SHALL OPR AN ACFT WITHIN THE AREA DESCRIBED UNLESS AUTH
BY CONTROLLING AGENCY AT 705-794-9981
JUL 12 1600-0800
JUL 13 1100-0800
1807121600 TIL 1807140800

Clear as mud?

Once we got within 10km of the town, the bikers became more abundant.

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Then we were directly over the town:

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We could smell the leather from over 2000′ up!

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It was a blast to do a few super sharp turns while Mike took this video:

I have done this fly-over many times in the past, but it was Mike’s first experience.  He was quite impressed!  And as I mentioned in my previous blog, Kendra may join us for the flight:

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Ok, bugger off now:

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We had a nice flight back, except when we came down on final.  Mike snapped this pic just as Freddy Kruger leapt out of no where and slashed at our windshield:

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I’m glad we still came in for a peaceful landing and no permanent damage to the windshield (it buffed right out!).  The black mark is actually just how the camera picked up the spinning prop.  The different frame-rate typically makes the prop look a tad odd.

This video demonstrates how nicely Vyctor twirls about to get him pointing in the right direction to settle back in the hangar:

I always aim for the line when I stop.  Not bad!

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Toodles, Kendra!

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Very good day – everything went perfectly.  I’m trying to rest now as we have a busy day tomorrow.  My Army buddy Ken, my shrimpesque mother, Mike and I are going to the casino to see Lord of the Dance.  Also, we will stuff our faces at the buffet until our bras feel tight (Ken and Mike – don’t forget to wear your bras tomorrow!)

Wishing everyone a joyous weekend!

Today’s symptoms: Despite a not-so-great night, I felt quite good today.  The flight was tiring but at least we were able to just chill afterwards.  I’ve already told myself that I’m going to sleep well tonight and if I don’t, I have my permission to give myself a back-hander!

We All Need Days Like These

I’m very happy to report that I felt quite good today.  This was especially great as my bestie and I planned on visiting Niagara-On-The-Lake, plus a wine tour and tasting at Konzelmann Estate Winery.  We had a very productive day, touring the picturesque town.  By 1:00, we both started to fade a bit.  Time for noms!  We went to Bistro Six One, which I had eaten at previously.  Their food is so good.  We split this awesome margarita pizza:

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Yum!  Minus the tomatoes (yuck – although I will drink ketchup).  It certainly perked us up a bit.  After touring the town, we headed over to the winery.  The tour was very fascinating.  I can’t believe what a complex process it is to make so many different types of wine:

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The bottling machinery was pretty neat to see.  Unfortunately, they didn’t fire it up for us:

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They made up for it though with the tasting of four of their wines, including one made with only peaches.  Cheers!

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It was such a perfect day full of great company, shopping and many smiles and laughs.  It only got better when I made it home and walked in on this:

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Could they be any more adorable?

I forgot to mention in my last blog that my aviation mechanic and his son (also an aviation mechanic) were both at the June Recreational Aircraft Association meeting at the Welland Airport.  The son brought his adorable little daughter with him.  Her and I played a bit on the grass with some of the toys she brought, including a Barbie Doll.  I thought she would appreciate me bringing my own Barbie with me at the meeting last week.  Unfortunately, they didn’t make it out to the meeting.  So, Kendra and I went home feeling a little rejected:

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My poor mother.  When I was little, I asked her to crochet a pretty dress for my Ken doll, who then became Kendra.  Still has his manly under-gotchies on:

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I guess Kendra will go for another flight with me out to Welland next month.  Hopefully he’ll have a friend to interact with this time.

So here I sit, after an fun and uplifting day.  I need to rest to save my energy for tomorrow.  If I’m feeling well enough, Mike and I are going to fly over Port Dover for the massive Friday the 13th motorcycle gathering.  I fly over it almost every year.  This year should be epic, due to the perfect weather.  Nothing like seeing a sea of thousands of bikes, congregating in a relatively small town.  Stay tuned for pics in my next blog!  Maybe I’ll bring Kendra….

Today’s symptoms:  I’m still dealing with a worse than normal headache, but my nerve pain was quite tolerable for most of the day (minus a few jolts here and there).  I had to take some wakey-up pills to get me through the day, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.  Paws crossed for a great sleep tonight so I’ll be ready to rock tomorrow!

Confession and Burnt Lavender

There has been something I’ve been keeping to myself for more than thirteen years. I have never told anyone this. When I was first diagnosed, it was (justifiably!) a real shock, although I knew since I was young that I was sick. I dealt with the diagnosis and tried my best to adapt to the current symptoms and limitations, while preparing for my future with MS. At some point (within months of the diagnosis), I started thinking that I was diagnosed wrong and I actually didn’t have it. I’m not sure why I was in denial, because it was such a huge relief to finally know what has been medically wrong with me since I was a kid.  I think these new cognitive symptoms are affecting me so much because it’s making it really hard to deny having this cruddy disease.  Although you would think having to deal with debilitating fatigue and pain would be enough to fully accept the diagnosis. I’m sure the denial was just a way to protect myself, and to be honest, it has been fairly effective!  I guess now it feels like this disease is becoming more of a disability.  That is one thing I have never said I’ve had is a disability.  Kinda silly since it has affected every aspect of my life and taken away so much (my dream career that I went to university for four years for, being medically released from the Army, sometimes significant limitations to just pushing my body through the day, etc.)  I never really thought that MS would cause cognitive issues.  I’m trying my best to handle them though.  As usual, I’ve been using humour whenever possible, even poking fun of my new symptoms.  Some of the words that come out of my mouth that were supposed to be something else can be quite entertaining.  It of course bothers me to hear the wrong word, but I try to turn it around into an amusing situation.  I must admit, it is helping me.  I’m making adjustments at work to deal with the mental blunders and the oral gaffes that typically accompany them.  However, the way these new issues have interfered with my work is one of the biggest problems I’m working on right now.  Staying strong though!

It’s kinda weird that my mind is fluffy but my cats aren’t!  Fortunately, they are insanely adorable, no matter what they’re doing.  Pose for the camera, little Abby:

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And I absolutely love the finishing face:

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Something rather sad happened this weekend.  I took someone up for an aerobatic flight, and was shocked at the amount of traffic near the airport.  I didn’t realize that the Lavender Festival was going on, which takes place just down the road.  It was neat to watch hundreds of vehicles heading in and out of the lavender farm, with a huge field covered in straw for a parking lot.  This probably wasn’t the best idea in the heat, as one of the cars started a grass fire.  It spread very fast, completely destroying over 30 cars.  Mike and I had to fly all the way to Welland last night for a meeting (about a nine minute flight).  Before we headed south, we flew over the lavender farm.  Quite a few of the burnt out cars were still in the field:

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Yikes!  Fortunately no one was hurt.  I’m sure the insurance companies are busy!

Mike snapped a few other pics on the way, including this cool looking greenhouse roof:

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And this cute, little boat in the canal:

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The meeting was great.  As usual, we had a wonderful turnout.  Also, I took up one of our Recreational Aircraft Association members for aerobatics, which everyone down below got to enjoy watching.

Today’s symptoms: I can’t believe how good I felt today energy-wise.  It had to be one of the best days I’ve had in months if not years.  All I had to deal with was a bad headache and the joyous MS Hug.  The Hug lasted about 25 minutes, so that wasn’t too bad.  I love how it’s called a hug, which makes it sound rather pleasant!  Unfortunately, it feels like sharp, stabbing and constricting pain around the torso.  Good times!  Hehe!