Author: lizzymcfly

Smashing Good Time!

Last weekend, Mike and I drove up to Mississauga for the Christmas Pet Show.  We arrived at the International Centre, close to Pearson Airport.  The last few times we were at a pet show here, there was a huge line of folks waiting to get inside.  It was rather shocking to see no line at all this time.  Sweet!  Right off the start, I saw a perfect little hat for Pinky.  I only let her go out on the balcony about ten minutes at a time in the summer, but even in that short of time, her little head gets lightly burned:

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Unlike the last show, there were a couple of awesome sphynx kitties at this one:

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We had a nice time, and are looking forward to the next one.  And, the fact that it is right near the airport, which has AvWorld right next to it, the trip ends up being doubly worth the drive.  Surprisingly though, I only came out with two things.  One being this (and I’m EXTREMELY grateful to my wonderful little mother, who has graciously agreed to sew it on to my lined Spring coat – thanks again!):

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Just before leaving, we stood and watched about half a dozen planes come in to touch down across the street from us:

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I made sure I conserved my limited energy for the beginning of this week, as my mother and I had our annual Rochester shopping trip from Thursday to Saturday.  Woot!  We so look forward to this trip every year.  We left here around 10:15 Thursday morning.  It was a smooth, uneventful drive, which is always appreciated.  Just in case, I created my own little dash cam by stick-tacking a GoPro to the back of my GPS:

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We leisurely strolled through the Marketplace Mall until we had it all covered.  Once checked in at the hotel and freshened up, we walked next door to Sticky Lips restaurant.  We ate here last year the first night too.  Tres yummy.

The next morning, we headed to Eastview Mall – the same as we do every year.  It’s an awesome mall.  We found lots of great deals and essentially finished up our Christmas shopping.  Woot Navidad!  To top it all off, there was nary a single bad incident!  (We had a before 6:00 am fire alarm, had to move rooms a couple times, running over a chipmunk…..poor chippy….)  Although I shouldn’t say there wasn’t absolutely no negative experiences.  First, I spotted this in Target:

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Things like this are why I’ll never become a parent.  Mind you, thinking of a mini me running around, terrorizing the world is the main reason for that.  Anyway, as if that wasn’t grossy gross enough, I came across a product that made me want to projectile vomit all over it, just so it would cover up what I was seeing.  I will never get this image out of my head:

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Just to top it off, I see this on Reddit that night.  The question asked was “What is the grossest thing you’ve ever seen a person do in public”:

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Ok, change of subject!!!  Look, it’s Boooooo!

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Back to our trip – it was another great drive on the way home.  No issues at the border and we got home early afternoon.  I think this trip has been the best Rochester excursion yet!

Once home, I noticed it was a little chilly in the apartment, so I put skinny little Mya’s coat on, which her and Abby posed near their new vacuum friend:

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So far, none of the kitties have tried to take if for a spin yet.  I’m very relieved that none of them seem afraid of it either.  I’m glad because this means not only do I get to save some energy by not having to use the old vacuum every day, but they won’t have to be scared by it anymore.

Today’s symptoms: I didn’t have the most pleasant day.  I hardly slept last night and felt just all over lousy.  I had a really hard time focusing later in the day.  Lots of nerve pain, which always seems exacerbated by a lack of sleep.  Makes sense, since the body is in overdrive, fighting the normal MS symptoms plus a now sleep deprived body.  I’m going to sleep well tonight and feel much better tomorrow.  

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Great Birthday!

Thanks to all of my FaceBook peeps who wished me kind birthday wishes!  That really made my day!

My mother gave me a slipper.  The left foot only.  She said I get the other one for Christmas!  Tee hee.  What a dork.  We got together for a visit today.  I noticed in the Canadian Tire Flyer that the Roomba vacuum this is half price for $250.  I’ve wanted one since they first came out, but could never get through the guilt of spending money on something I really don’t need.  While at Walmart, we went over to their vacuum section and noticed a tag for the Shark version of the Roomba.  It was half price as well, for $200.  I managed to break through the guilt and purchase one (ordered online as they were out of stock).  I still feel guilty when I see the receipt, but I think I’m going to be quite happy with the purchase.  Hopefully it doesn’t scare the kitties!  I feel kinda bad that Dysie, my Dyson vacuum, won’t be used as much.  I actually find vacuuming a little therapeutic, and Dysie has been great with this over the last seven years.

My little mother reminded me to make sure I have a snow scraper in my car.  Good reminder and I’m passing it on!  I’ll have to go check if I have one in Lola Corolla.

I went for a nice solo flight last weekend.  I headed over the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (white roof on the right).  I’ll be heading there for a concert soon, which I’ll report on in an upcoming blog.

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The one on the left is the Meridian Centre.  I’m lucky they are walk-able from my place.

This is heading back into St. Catharines, with the Burgoyne Bridge at the bottom:

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It was a really nice flight.  I couldn’t do any aerobatics because of a fairly low ceiling, which progressively dropped.

I was off today and after my awesome visit with Lil Jan, I did a bunch of cleaning with the critters.  Peanut had his tank cleaned, Zim as well, plus his sand changed.  The crickets were cleaned and their egg medium was put in the other tank.  I asked them all to pose for a pic in their new, clean home (not that I ever let it get that dirty!) and show how good it feels.  Little Peanut stepped up to the challenge:

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He actually had a little rest on his sister, Pinky, while having his tank cleaned:

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None of them having any issues with their two gecko brothers, but Pinky is the most docile with them.

Abby just chilled on the heater:

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Today’s Symptoms:  It’s been a great week so far.  I’ve felt average consistently over the last few days.  I’m just experiencing more and more nerve pain in my hands.  Feels like I’m being stabbed to the bone with an ice pick.  Sure makes me know I’m alive!  Yikes!

Kitchener Flight for Lunchy Goodness

Last weekend was great! On Saturday, Mike and I went to the Hand Made Market in Niagara Falls. We arrived around 11:00. I thought we had only wandered around for about an hour when Mike informed me it was after 2:00! I couldn’t believe we were there that long. We walked out of there with a few items, including some Christmas pressies.

Sunday, the weather was quite nice, albeit breezy. We headed to the airport and hopped in Vyctor for a flight to Kitchener for noms. We arrived just before noon and missed breakfast. It was our first time having lunch there and it was quite good! While nomming, we noticed Vyc’s brother taxied by. He’s the only other Cessna Aerobat I’ve ever seen in person.  We first noticed the newest addition to the Kitchener Waterloo Flying Club’s fleet last summer:

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Heading back, we passed over the very busy Burlington IKEA:

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Back home, we played Forza for a bit. Team Orange at it again. I can’t remember if that’s him or me on the roof:

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Then it was time to wash the girls. I think Mya was mocking her sisters. She only needs a bath every month or two but her three sisters get more greasy than her so need a cleaning weekly:

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Boo was clearly unaware of her upcoming dunk in the sink (she hates baths):

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I swear three of them were conspiring against me afterwards. I’m not sure why Pinky wasn’t joining in:

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Little Peanut came out for a visit:

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He went for a little ride on Pinky:

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Actually, he really did go for a ride when Pinky suddenly jumped off the couch. He held on though!

Mya is trying to figure out why I picked her up Hair Care food. It was a free sample, ya little twit!

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On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of speaking to some high school kids or Take Your Spawn To Work Day. I’ve presented three or four times in previous years, so I’m always happy to be asked back. A great group this year again! I do a compressed version of my motivational-type talk that I’ve had the pleasure of giving all over southern Ontario and out to Nova Scotia earlier this year. Good times!

Today’s symptoms. Had an average day. Minimal headache which is always nice, a fair bit of nerve pain but that’s just typical.  Energy level was my average, so blah.  It’s all good though!

Beautiful Niagara From Above

The weather last weekend was quite good, so I was able to go up for a flight.  Donkay and I decided to head over Niagara-On-The-Lake.  Here is the main street through the town, with the clock tower on the right:

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And the gazebo we stopped at during our Ghost tour a few weeks ago:

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The Queenston Bridge wasn’t too busy at that time:

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We ascended to 3500′ to join the Niagara Falls scenic circuit.  There were quite a few helicopters flying around on this great day.  The Falls looked spectacular, as usual, with a nice little rainbow on the US side:

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And landing back at St. Catharines:

On Sunday, Mike and I went to visit my tiny mother.  Once back home, we walked downtown and wandered through the library.  We sat down for a bit and admired the Fall colours:

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We hit Giant Tiger on the way home because we were craving cake.  They actually have nice little ones for $2.00.  Quite good too!

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Yesterday, I drove to the Hamilton office to give an EAP presentation (Lunch and Learn).  I always arrive to these things quite early in case there are any technical difficulties.  Had a couple issues with the screen resolution and my computer occasionally disconnecting from the proxima, but I got out all the kinks well before everyone arrived.

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I then presented to another group at the second office across the street.  Another really great group – very interactive.

Driving home wasn’t quite as pleasant as giving my presentations.  It look me half an hour to go less than a kilometer on the way to the main highway.  Just a wee bit of construction.  I sat with the car in park most of the time.  You know you’re going slow when your GPS does this:

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I finally made it home.  Actually, I was still smiling so much from the great day I had, the traffic issue didn’t bother me at all.  Others clearly weren’t having the same experience.  I saw many looks like this:

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Today’s symptoms: I felt much better than I did earlier in the week, when I was dealing with a rather short-lived cold.  Still dealing with a worse than normal headache, but it’s getting better so shan’t complain! 

Special Birthday

My little mother had yet another flight with me recently.  I needed to pick up a case of aviation oil, so on Tuesday, we flew out to Brantford.  The weather was perfect with nice smooth air (so Jan didn’t glare at me).  There was some ground fog to the south:

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We parked Vyctor then headed in to have breakfast at the restaurant at the airport, the Skyway Cafe.

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Their food is always so good.  Once our bellies were full, one of the folks from the Flying Club drove us over to the Aircraft Spruce store:

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We picked up our orders (one for myself and those of three of my peeps back in Niagara) and headed back to the plane.  It took a bit of maneuvering to get everything loaded nicely in the back, but we managed.

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The flight home was nice, but a little bumpier than on the way there.  I don’t think Jan glared at me though.  She was too busy admiring the leaves in their Autumn glory:

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Since we left fairly early that morning and were back at CYSN (Niagara District Airport) around noon, I still had a bit of energy left.  We decided to hit Zehrs on the way back to get our flu shots.  We didn’t realize this, but there is a higher dose of the flu shot for seniors, which you can only get from your doctor.  Good to know.

I have a feeling Mya was missing me that day.  When I got home, she was snuggling with my Dusty pillow (Mya knew I flew in Vyc that day):

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She followed me around everywhere and even stood guard as I dried my hair:

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Eventually, my little guard jumped up on the counter and her three minions soon followed:

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Yesterday was a very special day for one of them.  This is from a Petsmart email:

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That’s right.  My youngest, little Abby, turned 10 on Halloween.  Here she is when I brought her home as a kitten:

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And something a little more recent:

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She wasn’t supposed to make it to three, so it’s awesome she’s made it to ten!

Today’s symptoms: Felt decent, which was nice because it was my day off.  I got my final emissions test done on my car first thing in the morning.  For those of you who don’t know, there will be no more emissions tests starting in 2019.  Yea!  I’m having a lot of nerve pain in my hands, which was a tad annoying.  I managed to get a few things done at home and then just chilled for the rest of the day.

Ghost Walk

In the spirit of Halloween, Mike and I decided to do the Niagara-On-The-Lake Ghost Walk around the town.   We arrived a couple hours early and first had dinner at The Irish Harp.  Yum.  We’ve never been disappointed with their food.  We wandered around the town after we ate, and visited the few stores that were still open after 7:00.  Fortunately, the candy store was open until 8:00.  We drooled as we admired the walls of sugar surrounding us.  Then Mike found the gourmet jelly beans:

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One of the tour guides is a retired co-worker.  It was great to see him again.  He did a fabulous time being our spook guide.  There were 14 of us in our group.  The tour is a walk around the town for about an hour and a half.  The history of the area is amazing and apparently full of spooks!  Very interesting ghost stories, told in a spooktacular fashion.  Here is one of the homes that has it’s own ghost:

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See anything in the pic?

The walk was great and certainly recommended!

Last weekend, I did the annual leafectomy of my mother’s gutters:

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I love the gloves she gave me.  Geesh:

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And in this pic, it looks like my head is smoking:

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It looks like the nice weather is gone for the year.  It looks like this weekend isn’t going to be too pleasant.  I don’t think there will be a sunset like this:

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Or waking up to joyous Toronto, glistening in the sun:

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On a bright note, even if the weather is gloomy, I still have these sunshines to wake up to:

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Pile of cute!

Today’s symptoms: Felt pretty cruddy starting in the afternoon.  I was in bed soon after work and into the evening.  I don’t think I’m coming down with anything, just having a bunch of MS symptoms (bad fatigue, headache, nerve pain and just all over blahs.  I hoping tomorrow is going to be much better!

Flight To London

I had my follow-up appointment with the neurologist in London today.  Since the weather was decent, I decided to fly rather than drive.  My little mother joined me, which was very nice.  We arrived at the airport around 7:15am.  The Club cat took care of Donkay for me while I got things ready with the plane:

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It was a tad windy today (headwind), so we made sure we had lots of time to get there.  I was surprised how smooth the flight was, which was great for my mother (she glares at me whenever I hit even a small air pocket).  There were small showers to the north of us, but mostly just small scattered fluffy clouds:

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Also this cute rainbow:

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Here is Highway 401, which we would have been driving on:

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When I was about 15 minutes from landing, I called for a cab.  This was the only part of the trip I was worried about – that a cab wouldn’t show up.  Fortunately, soon after parking Vyctor, the cab arrived. This was our view while we briefly waited:

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It was about a twenty minute drive.  It’s crazy how much cabs cost!  We arrived about thirty minutes early, which to me was kinda cutting it close.  My appointment was quick – only about fifteen minutes.  We went over my cognitive testing from last month.  She gave me some suggestions to help with the cognitive issues I’ve been experiencing over the last year or so.  She also suggested I take part in an MS study, which involves two MRI’s a year plus cognitive testing every two years for seven years.  I certainly wish it was closer than London, but I want to be able to help in finding solutions and/or treatment for anything to do with MS (because MS sucks!)  So I’m just waiting to be contacted to set up my first MRI appointment.  It’s crazy to think I’ll be having three a year!  My primary neurologist requests one a year too.  Anyway, I feel so good being able to assist them, so it will be worth the extra traveling.

After my appointment, I called up the same cab driver we had before. We passed this on the way into the airport:

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We got a little worried, as it started spitting a little.  It was mostly clear at the airport and I checked the weather on the route – good to go!  Farewell, London:

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The good thing was that we had a brisk tail wind going back.  The bad thing was that it was a fairly bumpy flight.  I got a few glares from Lil Jan.  She was a trooper though.

We were zipping along quite nicely.  It was surprising how quickly we hit Hamilton, then Grimsby Airport:

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It was about an hour and twenty minutes to get there and forty-seven to get back!

I’m happy with how everything went today.  I’m quite pooped now, but flying always wipes me out.  Certainly worth it though!  Plus I didn’t have to deal with a stressful drive.

I was nicely greeted when I got home.  Mya was excited to hear about my flights today, and had her little aviator jacket on:

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I felt so loved!  Abby didn’t put forth quite the same effort as Mya, but was still adorable:

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Today’s symptoms: Felt quite good after a decent sleep.  What a difference good sleep can make.  I’m still sore from my recent fall, but it’s much better than it was.  Nerve pain and everything is the same – still a fair bit more than I’ve ever had before, shooting down my arms into my hands.  It’s tolerable so it’s all good!

Elizatumble…

Well I did something rather silly last night. I went out onto my balcony to enjoy the weather and do some stretches. I hung onto the railing then I arched backwards, stretching my back. So my head was basically facing the opposite direction of my body and I was seeing everything upside down. While I was hanging like this, I thought to myself “Gee, what if my fingers were to slip. I would either smash my skull open or break my neck.” That’s when I decided to get up and as I lifted my head, my right fingers slipped. As I fell, I immediately thought of the large metal airplane planter sitting in the corner of the balcony where I was falling. There was nothing I could do as it all happened so fast. All I remember next was the huge bang of me hitting my head and back on this metal airplane. The rest of my bony bod hit the cement. Whoops! At least I didn’t knock myself out. By the time I got up and stumbled into the living room, some of the pain made its presence.  I said out loud (only me there) “I sure wish I landed on a sheep. Then it wouldn’t hurt as Baaaaaad!” And yes, I even made my voice sound like a sheep as I said “Baaaaaad”. Anyway, I sure am feeling it today! Bruised and sore all over with a lump on my noggin. On a bright note, my back feels nicely stretched – in between the welts. Tee hee!

I just couldn’t have a blog without kittah and/or Vyc pics (hehe):

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Mya being motherly to her sister, Boo (or possibly performing an exorcism):

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As Pinky looks on:

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Today’s symptoms: MS symptoms are average today.  I’m so grateful because I’m already dealing with enough ca-ca after my little tumble last night.  Life is good!

The Three Amigos

Jan, Mike and I went to St Jacobs last Thursday and Friday. Our plan was to arrive for around noon Thursday and go to the farmer’s market and then the little outlet mall. Unfortunately we hit a pretty big glitch when we parked at the hotel and went in to get our parking pass. The garçon at the desk said that we booked four rooms. I said I booked two as there were three of us. He said I booked two and then two more a few days ago. I said that I only logged into my account and had my reservation info emailed to me again. I showed him my reservation email which had two rooms and three people.  He said it didn’t matter what the email showed because his system showed four rooms and that’s what I’d be charged for. I said I was going to cancel my credit card then and he said it didn’t matter because he already put all four rooms through and he already had the money. Seriously??? We argued for about ten minutes and he said I would have to call their head quarters. He wrote down their number and handed it to me. On the back of the paper, there was another guest’s name, address, email and account number. Lovely. I phoned and she said that the system shows the two rooms I booked plus the hotel put a third room on my card. She asked to speak with the person I was dealing with and he refused to speak with her. She ended up phoning him and spoke to him for over half an hour. Once back on the phone with her, she said this case has been escalated to the highest level possible and she would ensure those extra charges wouldn’t be on my card. She also said the person I was dealing with directly was extremely unprofessional and was very against me not paying for all four rooms. Wow. I did not expect this at all. I’ve been going to this hotel for years now and never had an issue. The whole process took around two hours. We ended up wandering around the market for a couple hours, then drove into town to have dinner at the Stone Crock. As usual, the food was delicious and we left with very full bellies. We walked off a bit of it when we strolled around the outlet mall. A couple of the stores we typically peruse were closed down, which was a little disappointing. We still had a great time though as we were all quite full of energy and rather giddy. One really neat thing is that my little mother had never touched a horse before, despite having a great love for them. Well, first time for everything:

It was so nice to see!!!! They were so gentle and docile towards us. It was a great moment!

After a good night’s sleep, we had brekkie then drove into town. We hit almost all the stores, which are considerably less in number than just ten years ago. To be honest, it’s a bit disappointing. So many of the shops we loved are gone and many of the ones there have the same things as the one a couple doors down. Again though, we still had a great time and it was a wonderful trip. We’ll just take the hotel incident as a learning experience and not let it mar the memories of the trip.

I worked at the Hamilton office today to help out with the Wellness Fair they have every couple years. We have ours in St. Catharines the opposite years. It’s a nice break on one’s lunch to come see about the various resources and service in the region. I met so many great people and gathered a fair bit of info from the many “vendors”. They had a bit of a super hero theme going and I got to meet Batman and Spidie:

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I met two very nice ladies who were promoting the registered charities we could donate to through payroll deductions. One of them was the MS Society. I let her know that I enjoy giving my motivational and entertaining presentation to any type of group that wants to learn a bit about MS, depression, adapting to or overcoming life’s obstacles and living life to the absolute fullest. She said they often need guest speakers so I’m hoping to hear from her in the future. While chatting with her, she made me this awesome bracelet:

Love it! And of course, it’s orange to match my plane.

Today’s symptoms: After three rather cruddy nights, last night was decent. I felt okish today. My pain pills really helped. Lots of nerve pain today. It seems to be getting worse in my right side, both area-wise and intensity. I see the neurologist in London again in a couple weeks, so I’ll mention these symptoms to her. It’s certainly starting to look like an MS flare-up.

PEI Trip – This and That

I was going through my pics from the recent PEI trip and came across these two classy photos.  When we got to the hotel on our arrival night in PEI, I was the first to use the washroom.  I felt bad that I deprived Cheryl of the first washroom use, especially the little toilet paper triangle thing.  I decided to fold it again for her.  She then redid it for me, and so on.  The next morning, I really didn’t feel like folding it again, so I tore it off:

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And used some stick-tack to securely fasten it to the wall:

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So now with zero effort, we are able to have that “first-time use” experience for the rest of the trip!

I’m not a big seafood person, apart than just your “normal” fish and chips type, especially when it’s just grilled.  I don’t think I had tried lobster prior to this trip, but I’m not positive.  If I did, perhaps it was not all that memorable to me.  I decided to give it a whirl, as I snagged a little piece from one of my table mates:

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It was nice, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to ever purchase a lobster entree.  I’ll stick with my steak.  I had tried mussels before and did not enjoy them.  I figured I’d give them another try:

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Meh.  I liked it more than I thought but not enough to eat another one any time soon.

It was the night of the lobster and mussel nomming that we were all given our nice certificate and rally patches:

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My mother has since very nicely sewn above patch on my fav coat – thanks again, Lil Jan!

I’m still smiling (and recovering!) from that trip.  The company made it perfect!  I loved how no one was outwardly competitive.  No one cared if one person had more expensive equipment in their plane or if it could go faster.  Everyone discussed their weight and balance and endurance openly and came to decisions on which extra passengers would go in which plane.  Also, there was quite a bit of luggage reshuffling so that everyone was in safe and efficient limits.

I have gone up a couple times in Vyctor since being home.  I gave him a little belly rub when I first saw him.  The first time was when Mike and I flew to the Welland Airport so I could use the tandem sky-diving gift certificate he gave me.  Unfortunately, there were low, poofy clouds all over the place, and I want to see ground when I’m jumping.  So, we ended up flying home all dejected:

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But at least we got to go for a quick flight.  I’ll hopefully be able to go back soon.

Today’s symptoms: I feel really punk today.  Very fatigued, tons of nerve pain shooting all over the place, like a bunch of nervy jerks!  Bad headache and just all over blah.  I went on a mini-trip Thursday and Friday and then had a long (and very good) day Saturday.  My body is just recovering from doing more than usual. 

PEI Trip – Final Day

We woke up bright and early on our final day and had some breakfast. We packed up and headed out to the plane soon after and said our final goodbyes. As with all trips, it’s a great experience but it’s nice to think about being home soon. Unfortunately, we had a strong headwind the entire route. I think it added at least an hour on our final ETA.

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Confederation Bridge:

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There were some cows sunbathing and splooshing in the water:

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And the Chocolate River:

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Our first stop was in Frederickton, New Brunswick. I had been there many years ago, when I spent four months in Canadian Force Base Gagetown.

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This guy was just taking off:

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After filling up, we headed out toward our next stop, which would be St. Georges, Quebec.

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We flew around some cute, little rain shower on the way:

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We met up with a couple other planes from our group and all decided to order pizza.  Yum!

Our next and final pit stop was Cornwall, Ontario.  Once we filled up there, we were finally on the final leg home.  Oshawa, here we come!

The sunset was very pretty:

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After flying 2635km over the last four days, we could see our final destination – Oshawa Airport:

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We fairly quickly tucked away the plane and transferred our baggage to our cars.  I still had an almost 2 hour drive home!  I made it with no issues and was so glad I could see my kitties again!

What an amazing adventure.  I still can’t believe I survived!  I knew I would need at least a couple days to recover, but I’ll get more into that in the next blog.  I will be doing one on various things from the trip that I haven’t mentioned yet.

Today’s symptoms: Feeling kinda blah still.  I think my body is still recovering from the trip.  A few days ago, I started getting bad nerve pain in both of my lower legs.  I’ve had things like this before, but it’s never been 24/7 for three days.  I’ll have a little chat with these new symptoms  before bed and advise them that they are to be gone from my body by the time I wake up tomorrow!  Hmph!

PEI Trip – Day 3 Continued

So continuing with my last blog about day three, we had done a spot landing competition in the morning then I had to head back to the hotel to rest and recover for the next day.

There was an antique tractor and car show going on at the airport.  I got to watch a few of them drive back and forth pass my window:

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I spent the afternoon chilling in bed while writing the previous blog, sorting photos and watching TV.  I was looking forward to meeting up with everyone the next day to hear about their adventures around the island.

I slept well that night but unfortunately woke up feeling as bad as the previous day.  Bummer.  Cheryl and I went and had breakfast, then back to the hotel.  I can’t remember where she was going for the day, but I was going to chill in the room again.  It wasn’t long after she left to go out that she came back and said we were going to head into the town of Victoria, about thirty minutes away.  There were some nice shops and restaurants we could visit, but only had about two and a half hours for travel and touring.  I took some of my pain meds, which also help with my energy (as I usually feel at least a bit more energetic with less pain) and we hit the road.  This was near the entrance of the Summerside Airport:

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Then we made it to the picturesque town of Victoria.

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There were two nice shops that we sauntered through – well, not too slowly as we were short on time.  We then decided on lunch here:

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As I mentioned before, I don’t have a big appetite when I’m feeling cruddy, but I did have about half an order of the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.  They had an amazing house mayo to go with them.  I was also hoping to attend the banquet that night, so wanted to save some room for that.  We all enjoyed our food and the ambiance of the restaurant.  On the wall above us, I thought at first that they had a picture of Pinky:

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Before leaving the town, we visited Victoria’s Glass Studio which had some really nice items.  I saw so many things I wanted to buy!

We drove back to the hotel and Cheryl got ready for a music performance a few people were going to.  I got into my comfy clothes and climbed back into bed.  I was determined to be conscious enough for the banquet, which was being held at New Glasgow Lobsters Suppers.  After taking something else for the pain, I joined a few other rally participants and we headed out to the restaurant.  We passed this well known brand (yum!):

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After about a thirty minute drive, we arrived at the massive restaurant and waited for everyone else.  We sure had a nice view while socializing and nomming:

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As I’m not a big seafood eater, I decided to order the steak. It was very good!  I had such a good time and so thankful I was able to attend.  Once we got back, Cheryl worked on the flight planning for the next day.  I can’t remember if I helped at all, and if I did, it was very little.  I think it was after 11:00 the last time I looked at the clock.  The next thing I knew, it was after 3:00am!  I fell asleep sitting up chatting with Cheryl!  That morning she told me that she said my name a few times and when I didn’t answer, she came over and turned off my phone!  Tee hee!

I will go into the final very long day of this most unreal journey!  Stay tuned!

Today’s symptoms:  I’m really physically paying for the trip, which I knew without a doubt I would.  However, it’s still hard to grasp the effect something like this has on me physically, once the symptoms hit.  I’ve been in bed or on the couch for most of the time since I’ve been back.  As with all of my “Today’s symptoms” blurbs, I’m certainly not feeling sorry for myself.  Rather, trying to educate people on this disease – especially for those who are around others with MS.  My headache has been far worse than normal, I’m very weak, the fatigue is the worst it’s been in quite a while which makes it hard to physically and mentally accomplish even everyday tasks, my nerve pain is far more severe and widespread and I generally feel flu-ish and blah all over.  Again, expected but still hard to deal with.  Mind you, totally worth it!  The pain and fatigue are just temporary – the memories and new friends from this adventure will be with me forever!

PEI Trip – Day 3

Good ol’ day trois!  Unfortunately, my body wasn’t too happy with me on this day.  I figured this would happen after two very busy and long days on this marvelous adventure.  I was able to make it out with everyone in the morning for the activities.  However, I felt very run down and sickly – pretty much like I had a fairly bad flu and very fatigued.  Still so happy though because this trip has been amazing!

We had a few things planned for the morning, including a spot landing competition.  We were the first to go, so Cheryl took off and headed around the circuit to land.  Soon after this plane landed, the pressure was on Cheryl to have her main wheels touch down as close to the line as possible.

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Cheryl turned final and did a great first touch down, not too far after the line.  Full power applied as we took off again for attempt two.  She did great!  It was obviously a short flight but we still got to have a lookie at more wonderful scenery:

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The float plane took off soon after we touched down for her try at spot landing:

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After the competition, we had a steak, muscles and potato lunch.  I’m not a fan of muscles, so I passed on them.  As for my appetite when my MS symptoms get to this point, it’s like having the flu – no appetite.  Sucks because I don’t eat out a whole lot and would love to pig out whilst here.  Plus, there are no calories when you’re on a flying trip (because I said so!).  I couldn’t finish the small breakfast I ordered and wasn’t able to fully partake in BBQ.  I did have half of a yummy baked potato and a slice of watermelon.  Yum.  The best part of the BBQ which was hosted by COPA Flight 125, was meeting all the great people.  The conversations I had were so fascinating.  I met up with some people that I would love to keep in touch with.  Also, we met this lovely couple who wanted to see some of the various events going on that day.  The wife said that she would never get in a small plane.  Well, I don’t think she expected what happened next.  One of our members has a sweet Aircoupe and was in need of fuel.  Soooooo…..she asked if this nice lady wanted to at hop in and taxi over to the fuel pumps.  Here is a picture of someone who said she would never get in a small plane:

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I spoke with her husband while they fueled the plane and he said their kids would never believe this!  I gave him my card and asked him to send me an email.  I would love to share this picture with them!

Back at the BBQ, almost all of our group was milling around, so we were gathered together for a group shot.  Check out this fine looking group:

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We unfortunately don’t get to keep the adorable pooch!  Cheryl and I had enough animals in the plane with us.  If you ever face a situation where you think it will only happen when pigs fly, well I’m here to tell you they do:

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As you can see, Donkay has had the the opportunity to make some new friends!

After everything was wrapping up, everyone headed out in some rented cars to either travel into town or hit the beach.  I’m afraid I had to bail out and go back to the hotel to recover for the rest of the day.  Before walking back to our nearby hotel, I snapped a pic of a cute plane being towed by a van….I’ve never seen this before:

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Then Cheryl and I took each other’s pic at the same time:

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It was a little sad and disappointing to head back to the hotel while watching everyone go out to spend the day doing this and that.  However,  before I even agreed to do this rally, I was pretty sure I would be spending day three feeling lousy.  Totally worth it though!  I’m pretty sure tomorrow is going to be better, as I had a lengthy pep talk with my body today.  I really would like to spend some time seeing at least a few sights around the area.  I also need to fine a place where I can get some things to bring back home as souvenirs for some of the joyous peeps back home.

Today’s symptoms: Well, as per above, feeling really cruddy today.  Lots of nerve pain, bad headache, fatigued and just head to toe blah.  I must admit, people who know me know that I seldom look and act how I feel.  This in itself is draining (as it actually does take some effort).  But at the same time, I feel even worse when I allow my symptoms to show because it makes it much easier to focus on them.  Besides, who wants to be around someone that is constantly moaning and groaning and making everyone around them know every symptom they’re experiencing at the time.  It’s taxing for others to have to deal with such a person.  Mind you (and my mother would likely agree with this), it’s taxing to deal with me regardless as I can be a bit of a wacko!

PEI Trip – Day 2

The plan for the second day of our journey was to have brekkie then hop in the planes for a 9:00 departure from Ottawa.  We lucked out with the perfect weather.  There was a bit of a head wind, but only about 5 km/hr.  With a loaded plane (gear and gas), we took off and headed for PEI.

Not long after leaving Rockliffe Airport, we passed over the nearby Gatineau Airport:

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Our only stop before Summerside, PEI was Riviere-du-Loup Airport, about halfway through our five hour flight.  The scenery was pretty neat and quite a change from Niagara:

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I’ve never flown over a lake upon a hill:

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It felt like it was only a 45 minute flight, but after flying for over two hours, we arrived at Riviere-du-Loup Airport:

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I think we were the first plane to land, which was great because we could watch all of other folks come in.  Everyone fueled up then eagerly headed into the terminal to stretch our legs and have some lunch.

We heard a jet was on it’s way to do a low and over of the field.  Needless to say, we all ran outside to check it out:

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Sweet!

Once we all nommed and discussed the next leg of the flight, it was time to head back to the birds and fire them up.

Soon into our flight, we passed by Quebec City – Bonjour!

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I snapped this pic on the way there.  Of course, Donkay was with me.  This picture looks like one of those old 80’s portraits because of his reflection:

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Pretty close, eh?  Tee hee!

The second leg of the flight seemed shorter than it actually was too.  I think part of the reason is that for the 99’s Gold Cup Air Rally, we have a bunch of questions to answer during our travels.  This is what I focused on quite a bit while Cheryl was flying (and while I wasn’t – she let me take control a few times.  Yea!)

Alas!  We arrived in PEI!

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I’m not what type of sea-creature traps these are, but wow:

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Coming in behind us was the float plane in our group:

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And then we came upon our final destination – Summerside Airport:

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This would be our home for the next three (or more depending on the weather) days.  Nice flying, Cheryl!

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Aren’t we adorable in our awesome flight suits?  Hehe!

We had the plane fueled for the spot landing competition in the morning.  While waiting for the fuel garcon to finish up with the previous plane, Cheryl had me pose with this stunning background:

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Everyone was quite weary, but we all headed into the hotel restaurant for a nice dinner and chat about our flight.  Afterwards, some of the group congregated in someone’s room for some more socializing and to wind down.  My body wasn’t quite up for it, so I just went to our room and prepared for a much anticipated sleep.

Yesterday’s symptoms:  I had to take some of my wake-up pills during the day, as expected.  I did quite well and the nerve pain was at it’s “normal” level – still painful but not the worst I’ve experienced.  Can’t complain about that!  Headache was “average” too. 

Today is actually day three of the trip, so I’ll try to catch up.  The blog entry for today’s events won’t be quite as long, as the excitement of the last two days caught up with me (again, as expected).  Stay tuned, my friends!

PEI Trip – Stay Tuned!

I had an amazing day today.  I would love to share it right now, but I’m beyond pooped.  So, please check back in tomorrow for the continuation of this amazing adventure I’m having.  There should have been an exclamation point after that last sentence.  I’m too tired to stretch my finger all the way up to the “one” key.  Seriously – look at it.  It’s way up there in the upper left hand corner of the keyboard.  Exhausting.  (see…one should have gone there too.)  Good night.

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PEI Trip – Day 1

Well things didn’t start off too good this morning.  When I crawled out of bed, so did my phone and smashed the screen.  Fortunately, it’s still working and the glass isn’t loose, so it should survive over the next few days.  The next issue was the weather.  It looked fine around St. Catharines and I could see across the lake to Toronto perfectly.  However, looking at my aviation weather app, things weren’t too good.  My buddy from the Flying Club was up for a flight and sent me this:

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Nice wall of clouds.  Dang.  So the plan was to fly Vyctor to Oshawa to meet up with my Air Rally partner, Cheryl.  Since I couldn’t fly, I ended up driving.  Not nearly as fun!  It’s all good and the main thing is we were set to head out on this epic journey.

Getting things ready:

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The weather was great where we were, so there were not issues flying to Ottawa to meet the other Rally folks.

As you know, I have Donkay as my flying partner.  Well, Cheryl has stuffed piggies.  We named this one after my cat Pinky:

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Farewell, Oshawa Airport!  (Sorry for the blurry pic):

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It took us a little over one and a half hours to get to Ottawa.

Had a tough time pushing her plane back onto the grass.  We did it though!

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After I regained consciousness, we wandered over and met up with the other Rally-goers who had already arrived.  We had a complimentary BBQ, which was really nice.  You can see the pure joy in Donkay’s face:

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There was an old cockpit of a military plane sitting near our gathering spot:

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One of the members of the group was kind enough to drive us to our hotel.  We’re both sitting here, typing away and planning for the big day tomorrow.  In the meantime, Mike texted and said that he was over at my place, tending to the critters.  Now despite my last blog where I said you wouldn’t be seeing pics of the cats for a few days, well…..guess what?  You’re in luck!

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There you have it!  Life is good.  I will try to do another blog tomorrow.  It’s going to be a very long day though.  There are about ten planes in the Air Rally, and we’re all taking off around 8:00.  We then have one stop about half way to PEI.  It’s about a four and a half hour flight in total.  I just hope my fatigue doesn’t cause any issues.  Paws crossed!

Today’s symptoms: I’m so happy I’m feeling quite good.  I had to take a few wake-up pills throughout the day, but other than that, things are good.  Bad nerve pain in my hands again.  It looks like it’s a symptom that is here to stay, as I’ve been dealing with it for many months now.  Like we used to say in the Army, adapt and overcome!  That I shall!

Epic Journey!

I’m doing something I never thought I would do, and I’m very excited!  I was asked to participate in the Gold Cup Air Rally through the Canadian 99’s.  Holy smokes!  So, if weather permits, I will be flying to Oshawa tomorrow morning.  I’ll meet up with my flying partner, who is a joint owner of a beautiful Cessna Cardinal.  We will take her plane to Ottawa.  That is where we will meet up with the other roughly 25 participants of the rally for noms and instructions of the rally.  The next day, we’re flying all the way to P.E.I.!  I’m very nervous because of my fatigue issues from the MS.  Fortunately, the pilot of our journey is very experienced and being super accommodating regarding my symptoms.  It would crush me to have a negative impact on my partner due to my (annoying) health problems!  I’m so determined though and very excited about this adventure.  I will try to do daily posts of the trip!

Today was interesting.  Jan, Mike and I headed out to London at 6:00am, for my neurologist appointment.  This doctor specializes in cognitive issues with MS.  I spoke with the doctor, who is very nice, about the symptoms I’ve been experiencing.  I did about an hour and a half of testing, with another friendly staff member, then we were homeward bound.  The 9:00 appointment time was perfect as we missed rush hour traffic both ways.  Sweet!  I have to go back in a few weeks.  If the weather is good, maybe either Jan or Mike will join me again and we’ll fly in.  The airport is about 15 minutes away from the hospital.

Since you won’t have the pleasure of seeing any cat pictures over the next few days, here are some to keep you going for a bit:

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I did this for Mike:

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And my favourite socks, all packed for my trip:

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Stay tuned!!!

Today’s symptoms: I took some pain medication that helped me have decent energy today.  I did very well in the morning but started crashing rather soon into the afternoon.  Mike and I just chilled for the rest of the day and I finished packing.  Pain today was average with the joyous nerve (crushing) pain in my hands.  C’est la vie!

Quite the Reflection

I can’t believe August is over already!  The Labour Day weekend went well.  We were going to fly to Brampton for brekkie, but the weather had other plans.  It was fairly clear over Niagara but a low wall hung between us and our westerly destination.  Sooooooo…..we decided to just do a short local flight, and caught this neat image of Vyctor surrounded by a rainbow on a cloud:

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Then I showed him the “snap-roll on top of a loop” maneuver I recently taught myself, then we headed down to land.  Breakfast at Timmies wasn’t quite as good as it would have been at the Brampton Airport restaurant, but it was still yummy.  Pumpkin muffins are back – woot!  And, I tried to apologize again to Donkay for almost losing him forever (see previous blog), and I bought him his own birthday cake Timbit:

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For dinner that night, we decided to splurge:

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We were so hungry and ate it all!  Ok, not really.  We took advantage of the deal they have on right now.  Buy a large and get up to five mediums for $5 each.  We nommed half the large between us, froze the other half and remaining mediums for future mealage.  Ohhhh baby:

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As you can see, Abby and Mya joined us (as usual).

Pinky and Zim weren’t too interested:

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Had a nice visit with a couple of the parental units on Sunday.  We unfortunately had a funeral visitation to attend on Monday.  We ran into quite the storm on the way home:

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The rain was epic.  Everyone slowed down to under 40 km/hr on the QEW, which was nice to see so many people driving appropriately for the conditions.

Back home, we just chilled, played Forza on the Xbox and watched a great movie called Radius.  Whilst getting ready for bed that evening, my phone in the living room room started making some weird noises.  It turns out, my secretary wanted the new work day asap:

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So that’s it for now.  Nothing too exciting going on.  I’m just hoping to get through the almost 90 degree weather they’re predicting for tomorrow.  Yuck!

Today’s symptoms: I was feeling fairly good for most of the morning, then my energy started crashing. Although it didn’t go as low as it normally does, it started decreasing a bit earlier.  I guess that’s much better than an early, fast crash, so it’s all good.  My sleep issues seem to be coming back a bit.  During a seven month long bout of insomnia, I typically wake up just after 3:00.  It seems this has started up again, but I seem to be able to fall back to sleep within an hour. 

Mom Hits The Skies!

Let me start off this blog with a cat photo from a perspective you’ve never probably seen before.  Introducing, Boo from behind:

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You are most welcome!

I told her about the picture I took of her from that angle and offered to show it to her.  She responded with “You’re about to get a back-paw to the face!”

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I looked over to Pinky to see if I had a witness to what was happening between Boo and I….especially her threat of violence!  That wasn’t going to happen though.  Out like a light:

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I’m quite sure Pinky was like that while I was out this morning.  Jan came by and we headed to the airport to go for a local flight.  It was a bit windier that I would like for flying with Jan, as she gets mad at me whenever we hit even the slightest bump.  It was a little bumpy up to around 2000′, but then it was very smooth.  We headed south to Port Colborne then east along the Fort Erie shoreline.

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We continued on to Fort Erie.  My mother loves being near or seeing the water.  The Peace Bridge was looking like it was flowing nicely:

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It was a great flight!  It had been a while since Janski had been up.

Once we landed though, that was a different story.  I realized that I hadn’t put Donkay up on the door handle, where he usually sits for my flights.  No Donkay.  We thoroughly searched the plane, my friend searched the hangar plus we looked through the car.  Nada.  I suddenly thought “What if he fell out while I was climbing into the car?”  We were going to head to Timmies, but decided to go straight back to my place to see if he was outside.  Unfortunately, where I climbed into Jan’s car was right at the main door so a lot of traffic.  We parked and quickly got out.  We searched everywhere.  I was just about to give up when I saw Jan still looking toward the back of the car.  I then looked at the large planter next to the door and there he was!!!

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I feel HORRIBLE!  Worst Donkay mother ever!  I’m so nervous someone is going to call FADS on me (Family and Donkay Services).  I’m so glad there was a decent person there at that time to pick him up and set him on the planter edge.  Phew!  I will NEVER let that happen again!  I swear!

So it turned out to be a wonderful day.  Mike and I are now trying to figure out what we’re going to do tomorrow.  Hmmmmmm……

Today’s symptoms: It was probably my best day of the week, symptom-wise.  Nerve pain issues didn’t start until around 5:00, so that was pretty sweet!  It usually starts before noon.  Fatigue was lessened with my medication, but of course, I always crash after – much more than I would on a non-med day.  I know less humidity and lower temps have helped with this.  I hope it’s not going to be Sweatember like they’re forecasting!

Fantabulous Flights

The MS Bike Ride fundraiser was today. As with the Walk for MS, Rankin Cancer Run, and various other charity events throughout Niagara, I flew overhead before head out.  I entertained everyone for a bit then took some aerial pics:

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I headed back to St. Catharines and touched down just as my passenger arrived. He will be going to school in September to become a commercial pilot, and wanted a try aerobatics. We first had a nice flight over the Falls:

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Then we headed up Niagara River to check out the Forts then back overhead the airport for some stunts. He did very well handling many of the maneuvers in my inventory. We both rather enjoyed the flight – he was a great passenger. I’m sure he’ll be an awesome pilot.

Needless to saying, I’m completely drained so thereby just chilling all day. I’ve found lately, more this year than I’ve ever experienced, I’m taking far longer to recover from doing things that expend energy, like shopping, flying, going somewhere unique like a festival, etc.  Over the last two or three months, it’s been taking me almost two days to recover.  What the heck?  I’m hoping at least a part of it is from the high heat this summer.  I guess we’ll see how things go in the cooler weather.

I was at a BBQ a few weeks ago (Mike’s parent’s place) and it was requested (by a cute kid) that I sit in one of the kid’s chairs.  I’m kinda embarrassed to say I fit.  It was a little snug though:

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For the last couple of weeks, my little Pinky has been sick and hardly eating.  She goes through this once or twice a year.  It’s really hard to watch.  Fortunately, she’s a bit of a porko so she can spare a little weight loss.  I’m so glad to see that her appetite is returning and she’s a tad more active.  She has been enjoying breakfast in bed the last couple of days:

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Everyone else in the household seems to be doing well.  A winking Zim is demonstrating that here:

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Other than that, life has been mostly pretty good.  I’m getting quite sick of this heat, as I’m sure everyone else is.

Today’s symptoms: I felt quite good this morning and thoroughly enjoyed my two flights.  I’m still experience much more nerve pain, which seems to be getting a bit worse and more frequent.  I think all of my MS symptoms get worse when my fatigue increases, so I just need to stay positive and get through to Fall.