Author: lizzymcfly

Finally! We Flew to an Airport for Breakfast!

The weather was great yesterday and I was feeling well symptom-wise, so it was the perfect opportunity to go for a flight. Before COVID, Mike and I used to fly to various airports for breakfast. Some great spots are Brantford, Tillsonburg, Brampton, Lindsay, Kitchener, London and Guelph, to name a few. We decided to get back into things by heading to Brantford. Their restaurant, Skyway Cafe, now has an online ordering system. This is so convenient as we can order whilst on our way. I think we were around Hamilton when Mike put in the order:

After about forty minutes of flying, we arrived at our destination:

Our delicious food was ready soon after we arrived. We sat out on a picnic table next to Vyctor, enjoying our food while watching planes coming and going.

We had to visit Aircraft Spruce, which is the ultimate store for pilots. Anything you need aviation related, you will likely be able to get from there. I ordered a new fuel dipstick for Vyctor, and didn’t want to pay for shipping. It’s much more fun to pick it up in person, especially the journey there and back. So once we picked up my purchase, there were four dipsticks in the plane! My new one, the old one and I believe Mike and I were the other two. Tee hee.

On the flight home, we flew over the beach by our house. It wasn’t too busy, since it was a weekday. The weekends are a different story. There are often lines to get into the beach parking lot, plus it’s paid parking now. I love it being just a three minute walk away.

Once back home, we both did things around the house. Pinky was quite interested in what I was doing out on the porch:

What a wonderful day. I can’t even put into words what it’s like to have such a great day, especially since my bad days are getting more frequent.

Today’s symptoms: I’m a tad weary today, but I’m sure all of the excitement yesterday has something to do with it. Lots of spasms and nerve pain today. Most of the day was spent relaxing and working on my computer. Paws crossed tomorrow is a good day, without having to take sick time (which I seem to be taking more frequently over the last year or so).

St. Thomas Airfest…..Almost!

Mike and I were so grateful to wake up to perfect weather today, plus I was feeling well. We eagarly anticipated flying out to the St. Thomas Airfest, which runs from June 24-26. Gates open at 10:00 so we made sure we were wheels up before 9:30. It’s about a 55 minutes flight. As we were crossing over the airport, I was surprised there were few people and not a lot of activity. We touched down and taxied by a row of Dash 8’s:

Once we turned onto the apron and headed toward the terminal building, we realized that the event was not set up yet. It was a bit of a bummer but the main thing was the great flight there. Also, neither of us had landed at the St. Thomas Airport in a few years.

I figured Vyctor would look great between a P-51 Mustang:

And the Electra, from the Niagara District Airport. I’m sure he’s the type of plane that would appreciate being parked next to a fellow plane from the same airport as him:

It was nice to talk to a couple people there. We also got a better view of a couple of the Dash 8’s:

Less than thirty minutes after arriving, we were wheels up and heading back home. I decided to take the scenic route along the Lake Erie shoreline. We flew over Port Dover:

This sounds like it’s going to be a great event this weekend! I wish we were able to head back but won’t be able to.

We had a nice relaxing afternoon and now we have the weekend to look forward to.

Today’s symptoms: I felt pretty good today, which was such a relief after feeling so yucky yesterday. I was happy to be feeling well enough to head out to St. Thomas. No better way to spend a vacation day than to go for a flight!

First Social Event in Over Two Years!

Mike and I both took Friday off as there was a fly-in event at the Kincardine Airport. This was my first time going there. I was also unaware that the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant, just to the north, is the largest in the world! After flying against a head wind for about an hour and fifteen minutes, the plant came into view. The sheer scale was pretty amazing to see.

Certainly worth the ten minute detour!

We were lucky in that we got to stay in the circuit a little longer than we had planned. The faster plane ahead of us didn’t quite make the first taxiway after landing, so needed to backtrack the runway. This lead me to having to do an overshoot and go around the circuit a second time. The next time around, it looked like the same thing was about to happen again but he did end up making the taxiway.

After giving Vyctor a drink of fuel, we parked and mingled.

This was the first fly-in we’ve been to since COVID started. I think I’m feeling more comfortable, mainly since we were outdoors and I was able to wear my masks when folks were nearby. It was really a nice day and we’re looking forward to possibly doing more of these events this summer.

Back in the saddle again:

With a bit of a tail wind, we were home quicker than the trip there. Hello Burlington Skyway! Yet again, I was able to resist flying under it. I’m so proud of my restraint:

That was an amazing day and totally worth the wait. The fly-in had to be rescheduled three times over the last couple weeks due to weather.

Today’s symptoms: I’m a tad weary today after all the excitement! Despite some worse-than-usual fatigue and nerve pain, I still have a smile on my face today.

My Eldest is 16 Today!

Little Mya is celebrating her 16th birthday today! We had quite the scare with her on Friday. She had a seizure in the upstairs bathroom at 2:00 am – it was so horrible to see. Fortunately, she seemingly fully recovered within a few minutes. Mya is one of the best cats I’ve ever had. She is such a little sweetheart with a very affectionate personality. I love that she sleeps in my arms most nights.

I cherish every day I have with her, as her health seems to be on a slow decline. We just started going to the vet once a week for a month. She’s receiving shots to help with arthritis. This was her soon after coming back from her last visit. Little Boo seems to be using her as a pillow. I would like to think it’s something more caring and nurturing, but I don’t think that’s Boo’s style.

Mike jumps at any excuse to buy cake! He came home with this after work Friday.

We had to sacrifice and eat in on her behalf. What we do for our pets!

Today’s symptoms: I didn’t sleep well last night and felt very drained today. Bad headache and plenty of nerve pains. I plan on scampering up to bed soon and get a great sleep. I’ll feel much better tomorrow.

Awesome Pics of Vyctor

I recently had someone contact me over Messenger and said he had pictures of my plane. He took them at the 2019 Edenvale Gathering of the Classics. This was always one of our favourite fly-in events to attend. Thank you so much, Gary Gentle, for giving me these wonderful pics of Vyctor!

Keep that nose wheel up!

Farewell, Edenvale! I hope to see you again sometime soon!

It’s so rare to get such great shots of Vyc in flight. Thanks again, Gary!

This is What Good News Looks Like…

I’m helping someone with a project and needed video of Vyctor’s gauges. Mike and I woke up Sunday morning and saw what looked like perfect flying weather. There were already two Flying Club planes out in the practice area. The forecast was looking cruddy later in the morning and the rest of the day.

Vyctor was excited to be going up again for the second time in less than a week:

Soon after taking off, we knew that this was going to be a short flight. An instructor in one of the two Club planes flying to the west said they were heading back as the snow was coming in. Mike and I decided to stay close to the Lake Ontario shoreline, which is near the airport.

We flew west briefly, then back east along the shoreline over to the town of Niagara-On-The-Lake. The main street was looking so empty:

There didn’t appear to be too much going on at Fort George either:

Within fifteen minutes of being airborne, the two Club planes had landed and the snow had come up to the edges of the Niagara District Airport airspace on both the west and south sides. Needless to say, at this point we were forced to head in for a gusty landing:

The total flight time was a whopping 18 minutes, but better a short flight than no flight at all. At least we got the video of the gauges I needed.

Once back, we hit Tim Hortons to pick up some noms before heading to Jan’s for a visit. Our drive to my mother’s is no longer 35 minutes because in December, we found her a house just 350 meters away from us. Less than a four minute walk or 45 second drive! Also, we are four streets away from Lake Ontario and she is only two away. This is perfect for her because she has always wanted to live near the water. It was sad to see my childhood home and that which my mother lived in for about 46 years be sold, but onward to bigger and better things!

This is what good news looks like!

She really lucked out with the new house because the folks who lived there before her, completely renovated it inside within the last two years. It wasn’t redone cheaply to flip it either. Everything was done fairly high end, as they didn’t realize the wife would need to move for her job. This Spring, we are going to spruce up the outside to be as nice as the inside.

I think Jan’s grandkids are happy that she lives closer too:

Today’s symptoms: I actually had to take sick time for about half the day. I have a much worse than usual headache and a plethora of nerve pain. I didn’t have the greatest sleep last night, so that always makes my symptoms worse. I’m looking forward to feeling better tomorrow!

Piloting My Way Into a Book!

I’m so excited to finally be able to share this with everyone. Back in 2019, I took up then seven year old Stella for a scenic and aerobatic flight. She handled everything like a pro – truly a future pilot. We did a bunch of aerobatics and flew over Niagara Falls. I let her fly the plane back towards the airport and she did great! This flight inspired her mother to write another book, following Stella’s Stories From Around the Globe – Japan. Her second book teaches young folks (and old!) about becoming a pilot. I had the pleasure of editing the book and provided aviation knowledge and insight. I’m so proud to present Stella’s Stories From Around the Globe – Stella and Lizzy Take Flight by Sheri Burke!

Sheri did an amazing job making this educational and engaging book, for all ages! And could Stella and I be any more adorable in our cartoon state?!

As if I wasn’t honoured enough to be part of this, Sheri took it to another level when she committed to donate $1 of every book sold to the MS Society. I’m so touched by this compassion and generosity.

I can’t wait to take Stella up again, to continue our flying adventures. Sheri and I will also be working on a fun and interactive website about aviation and how to fly. I’m excited about this new endevour – stay tuned!

Vyctor at 8000′!

I was feeling decent today and the weather was great, so Mike and I went for a flight. Over ten years ago, I took Vyctor up to 10,500 feet. After that, he wouldn’t climb (air is less dense). We tried it again today. Unfortunately, I was having to put on my carb heat every few hundred feet we gained in altitude. I was having to use it too much for comfort. Ice in the carburetor decreases engine performance and can actually cause it to quit. We made it to 8000′ and then he would hardly climb anymore.

The view of Niagara was pretty neat at that altitude:

I had to contact Toronto Terminal on the radio to let them know I was up there. As large commercial planes come into Toronto from the south, they often fly over St. Catharines above 6000′.

We flew over a few places to see how many folks were out shopping. Lots at the Outlet Mall in Niagara-On-The-Lake:

The PEN Centre in St. Catharines. I can’t wait until we can go back there!

Mike and I went for a walk at Sunset Beach not long ago. It was night and pitch black. We were surprised how many fences were up on the beach and we almost walked into three of them. They’re quite clear at 1800′ during the day:

It was a great flight. The first 25 minutes were spent trying to climb to 8,000′. Mike tracked it with ForeFlight. The climb data at the bottom is rather amusing:

Today’s symptoms: I finally slept well last night and felt quite good today. Yesterday was the opposite as I hardly slept the previous few nights. I seem to be experiencing a lot more pain than usual over the last month or so. Mainly crushing pain in my arms and hands. How rude!

Boo and I Want to Start a Band…

The Sphynkles will be the name of our group.

What do you think? Are we ready for the big stage?

I’ve been up for a couple flights over the last month. One was with my little mother. She hadn’t been up in a while. Here we are approaching the Niagara Skyway on an overcast day:

It’s weird seeing the bridges crossing the Niagara River into the States. We haven’t seen traffic coming or going for almost two years:

The Falls was looking as spectacular as ever. That’s one thing I never get sick of seeing and always take my passengers over it as well.

The Outlet mall seemed to be rocking with shoppers. I can’t wait to be able to go back there:

That’s about the extent of my updates for now.

Today’s symptoms: I’ve been having quite a few ups and downs lately. I really try to take advantage of the good days, but since I rarely leave the house, there’s not too many things to put those good feelings towards. I know things will get better though and having that hope is quite motivating. It also helps to have Christmas to look forward to. For the last few days, I’ve been dealing with a much worse headache than usual. I think not sleeping well has contributed. Tomorrow will be better!

We Have Another Teenager!

Guess who turned into a teenager today? Our youngest, Abby, turned 13! Part of her celebration was eating the whipped cream from my donut:

I have to admit, I raised her to be a bit more lady-like, but we let her behave however she wants on her birthday. Her sister Mya, the eldest of the four naked ladies, enjoyed some as well.

Not too much is new with me. I’ve been approved to get my booster shot, so I’ll hopefully be doing that this week. Paws crossed I don’t take as long to recover from this one. Either way, it will be worth having the extra protection no matter how many weeks I feel the effects. We still aren’t going out at all, but possibly in the New Year things will be a better. Something to look forward to!

Today’s symptoms: I’ve been dealing with a bout of insomnia over the last few weeks. All of my physical symptoms are always worse when I get very little sleep. Mike and I started going for walks again, and I found I sleep a bit better after that. I’m sure things will continue to improve!

Aborted Takeoff On A Grass Strip!

I’m sure most pilots at some point wonder what it would be like when that critical go/no-go decision must be made. While taking off from my mechanic’s grass runway about a week ago, it just didn’t feel right. I was less than halfway down the runway when I made the decision to pull power and try again. I had a feel for the grass strip when I landed earlier that morning. It was covered in morning dew and a tad squishy. By early afternoon, it was a bit better and certainly good enough for a take off. Before applying full power, I knew at what point I would need to abort or I wouldn’t be able to stop the plane on the ground. I barreled down the runway during the short-field takeoff. Despite people watching, I was confident that I would make the right decision to bring Vyctor to a graceful halt, rather than wonder what people would think if I had to try again. I have only ever had to abort a take off once before and there were no issues. However, there was a time before that on grass where I wish I had made that split second decision to abort. Regardless, I made it up with a comfortable and safe amount of runway to spare. Still, not as relaxing as it could have been (and not bad enough to have to check my knickers after). Check out the video of my aborted take off, then subsequent successful one. As you can see, I threw Vyctor’s thrusters on and we just taxied down that runway like a bear chasing a wabbit!

ElizaNOTAM (Notice To Airmen): Have a plan (or dream) and stick with it. No one will think you’re foolish if it takes multiple attempts to achieve it.

Port Dover Friday the 13th

For the last ten years or so, I’ve been flying over the mass motorcycle gathering in Port Dover on Friday the 13th. It usually looks something like this:

Due to the pandemic and the fact that I flew over on Saturday the 14th (due to weather and how I was feeling on the 13th), it looked like this:

Quite the contrast! Hehe! The drag and race tracks in Cayuga were hopping that day. It was neat to see how quickly they are able to get cars through the drag race. I wonder if any of them heard me cheering from the air:

We also flew over Niagara Falls. Mike grabbed this great pic of one of the four helicopters in the circuit with us:

The Maid of the Mist is back in business, at reduced capacity:

It was interesting to see vehicles on the Rainbow Bridge, since the border has been closed for so long:

As we weren’t quite ready to head back down to the Earth yet, we cruised around Niagara for a bit longer. Some other joyous sites we ogled down at included a Dog Show at the Niagara Exhibition Grounds:

An event at the Market Square in St. Catharines:

The sad pile of rubble from the Welland House on Ontario Street which was recently gutted by fire:

And the Outlet Mall looking fairly busy, as we came back in to land:

As always, this flight was very uplifting and very positive for my mental health during this stressful time.

Another mood booster is visiting with my mother, which we did on Sunday. I was rather pooped so it was a fairly laidback visit. Lots of chatter about shows, books and our weird naked cats. Jan, Mike and I are really looking forward to being able to go to stores and malls again. I often wave at them from the air, with a sorrowful quivering lip, letting them know I will hopefully see them again soon.

Today’s symptoms: I felt pretty decent today. I took the day off and did some things around the house, cleaned and organized the shed then took a walk along the beach. This is certainly one of those days that I wish I had more of, but I’ll take what I can get! Other than that, I’ve been experiencing lots of fatigue and seem to be having more nerve pain lately, including the highly rude MS Hug.

Theo From the Air

Mike and I heard about little Theodore the Tugboat travelling from out East to Hamilton. My army buddy Ken went to see him at the dock and sent me this adorable pic:

I figured we would visit Theo as well, but from 1800 feet! Hmmmmm…..now where is he?

We actually found him really quickly. The big, red hat was a bit of a give away:

He’s so cute!

What a great and uplifting flight!

Like most people, I’m in a bit of a funk from everything going on. Flying and visiting with my mother have been two very helpful ways of dealing with the negative emotional impact the pandemic has had on me. The total lack of social interaction is taking its toll. I know things will get better though. My little mother and I did venture out to the dollar store this month. It was my first time shopping in a store since November. It was quite nice and a little surreal.

I’m going to continue to pull myself up and try to blog more. The fact that I haven’t been posting much is also getting me down.

Today’s symptoms: I actually felt pretty good today. For the last few weeks, my fatigue and pain have been slapping me around. It really makes me appreciate the better days. Having hope for a better tomorrow is a nice motivator.

Flight and Walk for Heart and Stroke!

I enjoyed being part of a team for the Heart and Stroke walk on June 6th. Mike and I did a heart-shaped walk around the neighbourhood:

We then flew a heart-shaped pattern over Niagara. I plotted the flight out first on my GPS, and the way points spelled HEART AND STROKE:

It was great to be part of this event. You can see the results on my Heart and Stroke page. Thank you so much again to those who donated!

I really haven’t had too much to report. I’ve been busy with gardening. Since I’m not going to any nurseries, I decided to try and grow my own plants via seeds. I also nabbed some greenery from my wee mother! I’m so grateful for her plant donations because I wouldn’t have anything without them.

Today’s symptoms: I’m just recovering from my second dose (yay!) I got three days ago. I had to shorten the time between doses to four to six weeks, due to the MS medication I’m on. Hopefully I’ll be feeling fantastic by the weekend!

Now is Special

So many of us have things we only use on special or certain occasions. But we’ve all been going through a rough time over the last year and deserve to enjoy them. I started wearing all my rings again, which I used to only wear when I went out. But I love them so why not enjoy? I started wearing my favorite shirts. Once in a while I use a little perfume. Hell, I’m poppin on my favourite Tee, smelling great and dancing around the house like no one is laughing! Make any time special and put on the things you like to wear and do the things you like to do. I think we all know now more than ever that life is too short to deny yourself happiness that is right under your nose.

Check Out This Face!

Since our kitties are hairless (sphynx) cats, they need to be bathed regularly. Some more often than others. Mya doesn’t need one often which is good because she screams like a raging lunatic for the first thirty seconds or so. Then it’s just the odd louder than normal meow here and there. Each cat takes less than five minutes from first being put in the sink to being dried off. Short and sweet. Pinky lets out a few growls here and there but generally takes it well, for the adorable pink blob that she is. Boo goes into full rigor mortis mode, scrunching up and making almost every wrinkle and fold as inaccessible as the bellows on an accordion. She’s always the greasiest too. Then we have little Abby. She sits still and only does a few small mews during the process. Most baths, she gifts us with this most amusing face:

As if I don’t feel badly enough just having to bathe them, knowing they don’t like them. Then I have to look at this little pathetic expression:

Mike and I sauntered over to the Welland Canal recently. It was perfect timing as a tanker was just on it’s way through. Very interesting to see the bridge in action:

We didn’t admire the view too long at the beach as there were way too many flies buzzing about:

Those flies were certainly not welcomed guests. However, a guest whom is always welcome is our wee fury friend, Amber from next door. She has been over often to visit her naked neighbours:

We even get the odd night visit:

She’s so cute!

I don’t have a whole lot to report. I’m really looking forward to the end of the stay-at-home order so I can go flying again. Mike and I have been doing odd jobs and renos around the house on the weekends. And of course, visit with my little mother. That’s about the extent of everything for now.

Today’s symptoms: I had a bit of a rough week symptom-wise. I’m feeling a fair bit better today though. Still some weakness and a fairly bad headache, but everything else seems to be looking up. Woot!

Happily Vaccinated Today!

What a great day – Mike and I were vaccinated! My little mother let me know on Monday morning that folks 40 and up could get their first dose. Thanks, Jan! I’m already part of Phase 2 due the MS and being on an immunosuppressant. But the age group is what got us the thumbs up to book the shot. I got through to a Fonthill pharmacy and booked before 9:00am. Our appointment was two days later. Sweet!

While we were waiting our mandatory 15 minutes after the injection, I asked Mike to stand next to the Jan-sized skeleton in the hall:

We are booked for our second dose in August. I phoned my neurologist’s office when I got home to add the vaccine to my file. He spoke with me and said that because I’m on an immunosuppressant (Gilenya), that I should have my second dose in one month rather than four. So, he is sending me a letter which I will bring to the pharmacist. I then phoned the pharmacy and they said they would gladly accommodate the different second dose date (if there is a dose available) with the letter. How nice!

Today’s symptoms: I’ve been feeling very drained physically and emotionally over the last few days. It’s causing my fatigue to worsen and just overall blah physically. I’m sure having the first vaccine dose today will perk up my spirits very soon. Not waking up to over half a foot of snow tomorrow will help, too! That was crazy today!

Plane Plain Gang!

Mike mentioned a radio station he listens to which has an ongoing discussion on Old Fashion Plain donuts. I always called them Old Man donuts. They were probably my least favourite. I couldn’t believe people would desire something so boring over much yummier choices. Well, last year Mike brought over a Timmies order, which should have contained his usual Sour Cream Glazed donut. There was an Old Man donut instead. I decided to give it a try and was blown away! The subtle crunch of the top layer was unexpected and exquisite. Going down through the squishy and scrumptious donutty-goodness, my taste buds yearned for more. However, I reluctantly handed my new favourite donut back to Mike. This event was life-changing in ways I never thought possible. On days where I’m hankering for a donut, my usual order is now egg and cheese on an English muffin, medium coffee with three sweeteners and two milk, and the beloved Old Fashion Plain. So back to the radio station – Mike had me check them out on Facebook. This lead to the Plane Gang Video, which is posted to 102.1 The Edge page:

I decided to make our light and yummy donuts even lighter. We did a few instances of negative G’s, which left our donuts floating in front of us:

I still laugh every time I see this blooper from the making of the weightless Plane Gang video. “Mike, where did your donut go???”

Today’s symptoms: I had a really bad night. It wasn’t until after 2:30am that I finally fell asleep. Mya woke me up less than an hour later for food. About an hour after that, she barfed. Not long after, she jumped back into bed after pooping and had lingering stinkiness. I ended up taking a sick day today and mostly just chilled on the couch with the kitties. I did a fair bit of work over the weekend, as my energy was decent. I love days like that and try to take advantage of every active moment!

Strolling Along

Mike and I have started walking along the ravine trails in Port Weller. It’s so nice to get out into nature. Here are some pics from our recent strolls:

This seemed to be in an odd location:

Strolling away from that topic, here is a flattering pic of Boo:

The girls are loving the solar heated floor in the kitchen, now that the weather is better:

It wasn’t long after this that little Mya came into the living room, begging for food with those beautiful eyes:

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. As you can see, I went all out with the Easter decor this year:

Today’s Symptoms: I still seem to be on a bit of a roller coaster symptom-wise. One day will be pretty decent and the next will be a menagerie of blah, from bad headaches to nerve pain to overall feeling head to toe lousy. Mike and I plan on working on repainting the railings and banister tomorrow so I need to have a good symptom day. I’ll have a pep-talk with my brain and bod tonight.

Boonanas

Boo can be so photogenic at times, as she is here posing with some bananas:

And check out her rockin’ wrinkles:

Our little friend, Amber, has been visiting us daily again. She is our first sign of Spring:

Mike and I had a couple of really nice flights recently. We took a couple circuits around the CN Tower, while checking out the city below:

Always an interesting and fun flight over and around Toronto. Views are a little more serene back in Niagara, such as the Welland Canal. It is back operating after the winter break.

We headed over Niagara Falls too, as Mike had not been over it in quite a few months. We were the only aircraft in the circuit at that time. I hope things picked up for the helicopter tours later in the day:

I asked Mike to take a pic of the Casino on the US side, for my buddy Ken:

Those were a couple of really nice flights. I’m hoping to feel perky tomorrow so we can go for another one. Afterwards, we’ll go visit my little mother. Sunday will be another fun-filled day of painting! So far, we’ve painted the main floor, kitchen, basement, upstairs hall and two bedrooms. There are a few doors left to do, the banister and railing, spare bedroom and laundry room. Once we get the new bathroom counter and sink installed, that room will be painted. I’m still surprised at how much some paint can change the look and feel of a house.

Today’s symptoms: Things are a little up and down this week. One day I feel decent and the next is blah. I hope that means since today was a blah day that tomorrow will be great! I’m sure as with everyone else, the continued saga of stressing about COVID hasn’t helped things. Keeping hope alive and well for things improving “soon” is certainly a good motivator to get through the tougher times.