Author: lizzymcfly

Annual Flight to Edenvale

Had a wonderful day, flying north to Edenvale (near Collingwood).  The weather was perfect, so we headed to the airport around 9:30.  I decided to make a little detour along  Lake Ontario and fly through downtown Toronto.

 

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You can see the Edge Walkers in red.  I did the Edge Walk a few years ago and it was pretty cool.  They had to cancel the group after us because the winds went quite above their maximum limit, which was great for us!  I quite enjoyed being up that high in strong winds.  Made it more exciting!

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Toronto Island Airport was off to our right.

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Then we passed Canada’s Wonderland.  Man, the last time I was there, the housing was nowhere near as close it is to the park now.

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Then we veered over Downsview Airport then north to Edenvale:

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There are specific instructions on how to land there, since there is so much traffic.  We joined the circuit behind a few other planes, then lined up with the runway.

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We parked Vyctor with all of his buddies, and then wandered around the venue.  There were plenty of nice cars and planes on display.

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We wandered around for about an hour, and then Mike noticed the soft pretzel stand.  He ordered a blueberry and white chocolate, freshly heated.  Holy cow, it was amazing.  We drooled over it while wandering around some more, then we decided to get some lunch and eat under Vyc’s wing.  It was very hot today with only a slight breeze.

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I had quite a few families with kids come over, yelling “It’s Dusty!”  Tee hee.

It was a nice flight home, a little shorter because we didn’t detour through downtown TO.

Once back home, we didn’t have the energy to do much other than to lay around like blonde blobs.  The kitties did the same:

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Pinky, who has permanent bitch face, sure can make some adorable faces:

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Seeing her sleeping next to Abby on the chair on the balcony was quite nice to see:

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I had a bit more to say but I’m getting a wee bit weary.  Thus, I shalt bid thee all adieu!  Word up.

Today’s symptoms: I had to take my wakey-up pills today, since the flight, walking around then flight home was very tiring.  I’m going to have to just rest tomorrow to recover (which doesn’t happen with MS folks overnight, like it does with normal people).  Then I’ll be all spiffy for Monday.  Woot!

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Canal Days Fly-Over

What a glorious but stupidly hot weekend. On Saturday, we hit the skies and flew to Brantford for brekkie.  Floated by the Hamilton Airport:

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The Brantford Airport has such a great restaurant.  We’ve never been disappointed with a meal.  Little Vyctor waited patiently for us:

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With full bellies, we hit the skies again and close to Hamilton, raced this bad boy:

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I’m afraid we didn’t win.  All dejected over the loss, we headed back to St. Catharines.  Chilled with the kitties for a bit and then wandered over to Montebello Park for Rib Fest.  We attended last year too and weren’t disappointed.  We ordered our noms from one we didn’t try last year.  We ate at home – the walk in the heat alone almost caused us to go unconscious and we knew we couldn’t sit in it.  He got a 1/2 rack of beef ribs and I got pulled pork sammich.  And of course, corn bread.  The food was good, but not memorable.  I was watching Mike eat his, thinking that there was no way he was going to eat all that, and was surprised to see him pick up his last piece.  He said after that he ate too much.  Well duh!

Sunday, we visited with Jan in the morning.  We chomped down our Timmies then just browsed some shops in the new plaza.  After we bid her adieu, we went back home and relaxed.  The heat was bad again so we didn’t have much energy for anything.   However, we had to head back out around 4:00 because we needed to support Rib Fest again.  We went to one his boss recommended, and it was also one we ordered from last year.  Bone Daddy’s has amazing noms.  He ordered 1/3 pork ribs, I did the pulled pork sammich again and corn bread.  Holy moses, everything was great.  Far better than the first one we went to.  Plus, the corn bread was huge:

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Today, Mike went for a flight and then I went for my own around 11:00.  I wanted to fly over Canal Days in Port Colborne:

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I’ve never actually attended the event, but flown over it a few times.  I then headed east toward Fort Erie.   I flew over some beach goers:

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I made a few passes.  I couldn’t believe how many people were there:

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Then some sailboats:

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Here is Point Abino Light House:

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I then did something that I do very rarely (almost never), I took a selfie.  I don’t like pictures of myself so I asked Donkay for some assistance:

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Back over the St. Catharines airport, I tried once again to do a snap roll on top of a loop.  I did it!  The first couple weren’t pretty but the last two were nice.  Woot!!!  Then I headed down to land, behind a couple Flying Club planes.  Once we were both ready to rock, Mike and I met up at the Timmies for some noms and post-flight natter.  Once back home, we watched some shows, played Forza on the XBox.  Then we did something we’ve never done before – we went to Rib Fest!  Tee hee.  We went to the same one (Bone Daddy’s) and got the exact same thing as yesterday.  Man, that was some healthy eating we did over the last three days.  I’m really trying hard to adjust to my third chin.

Today’s symptoms: I’m quite drained after a busy weekend.  The heat sure doesn’t help either.  This summer has been pretty cruddy, but at least we’ll appreciate Fall much more!  Quite a bit of nerve pain and been dealing with some bad spasms in my back all the way down the right side.  It’s all good though because I had a great weekend!

Please note that there are many sentences starting with “We”.  I spent a couple minutes trying to lessen the number, but I’m too tired.  Please accept my sincerest apologies for my appalling grammar.

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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Smiley

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. 

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!

Kinda Bummed…

About two years ago, I started noticing some cognitive symptoms that gradually became worse.  I never thought of or was fearful of possibly getting cognitive issues down the road.  I only ever thought of the physical problems from MS, but wasn’t really aware of the cognitive side of things.  Over the last four months, the progression has been quite noticeable – to both myself and others.  My main issues are my short term memory and not being able speak the words I’m trying to say.  Even now I’m struggling to type this blog.  I know the words but they’re not coming out. I’ll flat out write or say the completely wrong word.  Like in the restaurant yesterday, I meant to call Mike a Ding Dong but it came out Dildo!  ***lowers head in shame***  Here’s what we had:

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Yum!  The restaurant was Pho Dau Bo.  Anyway, I know you’re probably thinking “I forget things and slip up words sometimes too!”  I understand that but this has progressed to a point where it is affecting my daily life.  I try not to stress about things like this but this one is really doing a number on me.  I phoned my neurologist late this morning and they fit me in at 1:00.  I had to rush to Hamilton for my appointment.  I was quite stressed during the drive, with so much on my mind.  Speaking of which, my mother found this article which describes my symptoms perfectly.  Cognitive Issues From MS.  I had no idea this could happen from Multiple Sclerosis.

I made it to my appointment with about 20 minutes to spare.  I was quite stressed once I got there.  I guess I’m not ready to hear that this is just part of the disease and there’s not much we can do.  😦  He was able to assess me quite quickly and referred me to a doctor who specializes in cognitive stuff at a Cognitive MS Clinic in London.  I guess when you hear things like that, it really starts to sink in that this is how things are going to be and I’m going to have to adapt and overcome!  I’m trying so hard to be positive about this but it’s a real struggle and causing me to be quite down.

Anyway, I had a rather cruddy day but am trying to keep pulling myself up.  Hearing the song Break My Stride was kinda neat and uplifting.  The link will take you to the lyrics.  I thought the first verse and chorus really caught me.

I had the day off yesterday and Jan and I decided to go to the Niagara Outlet Mall.  Something quite bizarre happened.  I hate buying shoes SO much.  Yet some unseen force took over me and I bought two pair earlier in the year (at Browns) and now I have a third to add to my outdated, measly collection:

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They look better and less clunky in person.  You can see one of the cats was checking them out.  They sparkle quite nicely in the sun:

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It’s like I’m becoming a girl or something!  Yikes!

Here are a couple of my girls.  Pinky briefly bathing in the sun (only for about seven minutes or she gets sunburned):

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Her cushy butt couldn’t fit out the door earlier:

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Meanwhile, Mya was chilling with Zimmy:

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So there be it!  Not a whole lot to report as I haven’t done much lately and am kinda down about this new lousy symptom.

Today’s symptoms:  I knew it wasn’t going to be the best day when I woke up this morning, despite a good sleep.  On top of that, everything happened so fast with having to rush to Hamilton.  My body is completely drained right now yet my mind is racing.  Vroom vroom!

And The Word Of The Day Is!

My work has a little area on a work station set up to utilize the Not Myself Today website ideas.  They have buttons with moods written on them, and you can pick one to wear showing how you feel that day.  I was trying to decide which to pick when I saw the perfect mood.  Half the time I send my tiny mother a pic of one of my cats, she says they look pensive.  Well, voila!

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Even though I wasn’t feeling anywhere near pensive!  Fortunately, no one asked.  Staying on theme with the word of the day, I think one of the boards for my new bed was looking a little pensive himself!

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Here is a picture of my sexy leg:

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Mya was posing in the sun the other day:

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Mike goes in for a smooch….. (sorry, Abby!):

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And last but not least, here is a pic Mike’s dad put together for me.  Tee hee!

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Today’s symptoms:  My energy was decent but I had a bad headache for most of the day.  It decided to start dying down a couple hours ago.  I had two of the worst shooting nerve pains I’ve ever had.  Fortunately, they each only lasted a second.  Other than that, things are status quo.  Peace out.

New Family Members!!!

I can’t believe my rescue snail since November, Ralphie is still alive and slithering!  I feel bad that he’s all alone, so I decided to get him some friends today.  Mike and I were walking downtown in the rain, and I found a few friends to bring home to him.  Introducing Ralphette:

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Also Luther and Jimmy:

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Looking good:

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I told Abby about her new sister and brothers, and she seemed pretty excited:

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Mike and I went to see Hereditary in Niagara Falls yesterday.  There were tons of people buying tickets, so we were a little worried the theater would be packed.  Fortunately, there were only three other people that joined us.  Mike bought a hotdog and fries and kindly purchased me some popcorn:

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Good movie!

Another thing recently, I bought a new bed.  My little mother, Mike and I went to IKEA and I fairly quickly found one:

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I needed a platform bed because Abby used to do her naughty business (she has severe gastrointestinal issues and can’t help it) under the bed.  A real pain to move a king sized bed to clean in up.  So I made a skirt around the base with the leftover flooring from a few years back.  It was starting to break down.  Plus my mattress was starting to cause me pain.  I felt really guilty about getting rid of the mattress because I might have gotten ten more years out of it.  Plus hate spending money on myself for new items like that.  Mike and I mother strongly suggested that I get a new one, so I finally gave in.  It took Mike and I few hours to assemble, but it looks great.  We had to adjust the frame this morning, because I didn’t like the bed at the highest setting.  All good now and I probably won’t hear any kitties bouncing off the bed because it’s too high…..although it was rather amusing.  Tee hee.  Anyone need a king size bed frame?

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I must say, I loved the view this morning when I woke up in my new bed:

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Yuppers, life is good!

Today’s symptoms: Feeling really good today energy-wise (with a couple wake-up pills) and just a mild headache.  Bad nerve pain in much of my bod on and off all day.  How rude!

Vyctor Is Cute

I had a nice experience the other day.  I mentioned that Mike and I flew to the customer appreciation event through Aircraft Spruce at the Brantford Airport.  Someone who flew down from the North Bay area, had his two young sons with him.  I had my Disney’s Planes sunscreen up in Vyctor while we were at the event.  Apparently the kids saw Dusty Crop-hopper and were so excited!

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Things like this add to my joy of being a pilot and plane owner, more than I can express.  It’s like when I take someone up for aerobatics, and look over and see their smiling face when we’re upside down.  It’s just the greatest feeling.

We flew again yesterday – an exhausting nine minute flight to Welland for our monthly aviation meeting.  After landing back in St. Catharines, I met up with a student at the Flying Club.  Really nice guy and I know he’s going to love being a pilot.  He was kind enough to take this pic of Mike and I:

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I just thought I would share a typical conversation between Mike and I.  He was at the airport and texted me when he was leaving:

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Just so you know, the little orange list is from the app we use.  It’s called AnyList and you can link a shared list between people.  So when I update the grocery list, Mike sees the update right away.  We keep a tab on it for what we owe each other, usually for groceries.

Today’s symptoms: I was a little more tired today than usual, I think mainly from the flight (as short as it was) last night.  I seem to have a worse than normal headache too.  Other than that, nothing much else to report for now!

It’s Really Him!!!

I must share my wonderful news with you!  I decided that I may release Ralphie the snail (I rescued in November) back into the wild.  I was so nervous though, as he’s basically been domesticated over the last seven months.  Would he remember how to fend for himself?  Would he be too comfortable around humans and try to befriend them?  I just couldn’t do it.  I brought his home to Jan’s today, so I could remove the old, dead grass and get some fresh.  We went out back and dug up some grass and moss.  I brought it into the kitchen and set it on the table.  We did some stuff on Jan’s computer and chatted.  I was shocked when I looked into Ralphie’s container and saw this:

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It’s the first time I’ve ever seen his little head and cute face!!!  I feel our mother-son bond has greatly increased and improved.  Right now, I’m looking for a friend….maybe a Ralphette?!?!

Mike and I flew to Brantford Saturday morning to  check out Aircraft Spruce‘s customer appreciation event.  Mike was happy to hear they had free sausage on a bun.  He had that and I chomped on some popcorn.  We met up with my airplane mechanics, a member from our RAA group and some folks I know from other aviation groups.  It was a nice time and after a bit less than two hours, we headed back to Vyctor to head home:

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Back at the St. Catharines Flying Club, I showed the Club cat my little Donkay.  It went ok at first:

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Then things went a tad haywire….

Fortunately, I was able to get Donkay back, mostly unharmed although a tad wet, and my hand mostly intact.  Perhaps next time I’m around Mr. Grumpy Puss, I’ll wear this:

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As you can see, my little mother is completely terrified!!!  I don’t think my whack jobs would be too impressed with it either.  Right, Abby?

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I swear she’s just saying yes there.  Sometimes she’s a wee bit too animated.  Unlike these slugs:

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Mike said they look like Pepperette Mya, Boo Beef Jerky and Pinky Ham Steak.  Geesh!

I must admit, Pinky is beyond adorable when she is content out on the warm balcony:

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And lounging Mya:

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It was such a great weekend.  It felt like it went on forever, which to me is great!  I never really quite get the saying “It was such a long day!!!”  To me, that’s great!  Life is short so it’s awesome when it feels like it’s being stretched out!

Today’s symptoms: I have felt quite good over the last three days.  I’ve been sleeping so much better.  Nothing major in the MS department to report!  (It’s certainly a department I wish would get shut down!)

 

Amazing Trip – Finale

Carrying on with our final days in Nova Scotia…..  After we got back from Baddeck, we rested a bit before heading out for dinner.  We decided to have our final dinner just a few blocks from our hotel, here at The Old Triangle:

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What a great meal.  I had fish cakes and Jan had fish and chips.  I must admit, this was the only seafood we had while out East.  Sorry.  😦

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Amazing meal.  Plus we were sitting very close to the live music.  It was a perfect meal, followed by a walk along the boardwalk:

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Come on, stubby legs!!!  Then back to our room to enjoy the view:

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We had some great meals while there.  Some were as simple as a slice of pizza.  Someone from one of the offices suggested we go to Napoli’s Pizza, and we heeded his advice.  Dang, that is one massive slice and probably one of the most filling pieces we’ve ever had.  It was delicious too:

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The next day, our plane out of Sydney wasn’t until just after noon.  We parked Jeremiah the Jeep and thanked him for his service.

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Out of the whole week there, this was the first day of rain:

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We were flying back to Halifax on a Dash-8. Jan striking the same pose as in the last pic:

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I would have enjoyed driving the almost five hours back to Halifax, but I was just far to exhausted from the trip.  I had totally forgot where I picked our seats on the plane.  Oh right!

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It was really neat watching it fire up so close to my noggin.  Nice flight to Halifax, then we had about a four hour layover before heading back to Hamilton.  We were actually both shocked at how fast the time went by, and before we knew it, we were boarding our final plane home.  The clouds at the beginning of the flight were very wave-tacular:

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Oh, notice where we’re sitting again?  Hehe!

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Mike was kind enough to drive back to Hamilton to pick us up (for our 21:45 landing).  It was great to be home but we would have liked to stay a bit longer.

I’ve been reflecting on the trip since I’ve been back.  It was certainly one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.  Some of the many memorable moments:

  • Feeling completely at home while giving my presentation at two different offices
  • Mentioning to one of the groups that my plane is Vyctor and he’s a male with female tendencies – there was a guy named Victor in the room and we all had a good chuckle.
  • Getting a standing ovation after one of the talks.  I thought they were just getting up to leave and forgot to stop clapping….tee hee!
  • Seeing the Silver Dart replica again
  • Buying a homeless man a sandwich and seeing his touching reaction
  • Admiring the breathtaking views
  • Firing the Snider-Enfield rifle at the Halifax Citadel and learning so much about the history there
  • Fist-bumping the pilot of our first flight for his nice landing
  • Etc, etc, etc…  🙂

I hope you enjoyed reading about our fabulous time out East!  It was certainly an experience we’ll never forget.

Today’s symptoms: I’m actually feeling quite good today.  I had two decent nights in a row, which always makes quite a difference in how I feel.  I have been experiencing more nerve pain shooting down my arms and into my hands lately.  Now that I think of it, I’ve been saying that in quite a few blogs now (over multiple months).  Perhaps this extra pain is my new “normal.”  Sucks, but I guess it’s the nature of the beast!

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As you’ve probably seen from my other blogs, my trip out East was pretty awesome.  I got to provide my motivational presentation to another group of folks.  Another super kind and friendly group.  I wish I could have presented a couple more times there!

Jan and I had a pretty exciting day planned for our last full day there.  I’m the president of our local aviation group (Recreational Aircraft Association) and some of the members did something pretty epic!  Along with many other aviation enthusiasts and builders, they created a flyable Silver Dart replica.

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Jan and I stood in front of the completed Silver Dart replica in Welland before it was shipped off to Baddeck, Nova Scotia in 2009:

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I consider myself very lucky to know such a great group of guys:

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Since Baddeck was less than an hour away from where we were staying, we certainly had to make the trip to the Alexander Graham Bell museum, where the Silver Dart replica now sits.

In 2009, they brought the Dart to Baddeck for its official flight!  Here is a short article on the flight. I know the pilot who flew it that day.  Bjarni Tryggvason, a former astronaut, came to speak to our RAA group about his time in space.  He is also an aerobatic pilot and we have met up several times at various airports and chatted about flying.  He even came over to speak with my mother and I when we were in the restaurant at the Tillsonburg Airport.  He tried to convince my mother to try just one aerobatic maneuver with me, but to this day, she still declines.  Anyway, it was so amazing listening to my RAA guys talk about building the Dart over the years, then the adventures taking it to and flying it in Baddeck, then the ordeal of getting in into the museum (they had to take out a large wall!)  It was so amazing seeing the Silver Dart replica, hanging there after its epic journey:

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The entire museum was amazing.  Jan and I still can’t believe how many things Bell invented and created, plus what a personable dude!

After the museum, we headed back to our hotel for our last night in Nova Scotia.  😦

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I’ll do a final blog on the last portion of our perfect trip.

Today’s symptoms: I had a lot of nerve pain today, but my energy level was decent (Yea!!!).  My headache is a bit worse than usual, but other than that, life is good!

Awesome Trip – PART four

I almost forgot to show something great I found at the Halifax Citadel museum.  Check this out:

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I started my basic training with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment back in 1996!

Also, this:

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I was a Supply Technician, which is part of Logistics.  Our nick name was Bin Rats.  Hehe!

The next day I drove out to the office and gave two of my motivational presentations.  Everyone was so welcoming and friendly.  Both groups were very engaged and receptive.  I truly felt like I was at my home office.  My presentation is quite emotionally driven and full of humour, so needless to say, it’s quite draining.   Totally worth it though.  Both went very well and I was so excited about presenting again the next day.

A great sleep was totally necessary on my last night in Halifax as I had another presentation in the morning then a four and a half hour drive to Sydney.  One of the things I would miss about the hotel is singing Ice Ice Baby! every time we got in the elevator.  Jan, on the other hand, is quite glad she wouldn’t be hearing it anymore:

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I thought that I wasn’t presenting until after 11:00 but they set it up for 9:30.  Sweet!  That means we can leave earlier for the long drive.  I didn’t put Janski on as a second driver because it was $10 per day, and it was only during the long drive to Sydney.  It would have been good to have Jan drive part of it, but paying $70 for it is ridiculous.  So, we trudged onward, along some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen.  With only two quick stops, the time just flew by and we safely arrived in Sydney.  We were thrilled when our hotel room yet again had an amazing view on the harbour:

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One of the things I wanted to see in Sydney was the Giant Violin.  It was just outside our hotel window.  Man, this trip has been pretty much perfect so far.

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I will get into the rest of the trip in my next couple blogs.  I just wanted to share my joyous weekend with everyone.

Mike and I went to the Pet Expo in Niagara Falls.  There were tons of great vendors, as well as dog demonstrations.   This little guy jumped the highest out of all the doggies:

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There was a kangaroo:

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An Armadillo:

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A cute snake:

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And I came home to a little goober of my own:

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We flew out to Brampton Airport for breakfast this morning.  It was great weather once we got around the lake toward Burlington because it became quite gusty.  When I’m flying by myself or with Mike, I love flying in rougher air.  We had great food, as usual:

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Then headed back out to Vyctor for a nice flight home.  I requested flight following through Toronto and was told that he would pass me over to Burlington Airport (to speak with other nearby pilots for safety), so I figured “challenge accepted!”  I would try to scooch through the corridor between Pearson Airport airspace and that of Burlington, without getting close enough to either for the tower to have to pass me off to another frequency.  We had quite the crosswind to contend with but my scoochage was successful and I was not handed off to anyone else.  Tee hee.  It doesn’t sound like much, and it’s certainly not a big thing, bit little challenges like that are very fun for me.   We got home with the new T-shirt I bought at the restaurant gift shop:

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It was a great weekend and I’m so glad that I’m feel far better than I was at the beginning of the week.  I saw my doctor last week and she gave me a requisition for blood work when I have those severe weakness and bad fatigue again.  It may just be the MS acting like a complete jerk, or something else!

Today’s symptoms: Feeling back to my “normal” self (which as you know, is still feeling yucky all the time), but much better than a week ago.  I’m so hopeful that this will continue and I don’t need to go get the blood work anytime soon.

Awesome Trip – Part 3

Continuing on with our trip out East….  My little mother was awesome enough to take video of me firing the Snider-Enfield rifle at the Halifax Citadel.  It was cold and windy and she held that camera up there little a little trooper!  **un-mute in bottom right corner**

It was a great experience and certainly made me reminisce about all of the different weapons I fired while in the Army.

After firing the rifle, we visited the trench display:

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We then ran into Kevin, who explained the whole trench display in great detail.

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He was an amazing wealth of knowledge.  He told us the story about Bruce the goat mascot.  Here is the story (quoted from here):

As with many other regiments, the members of the 25th sought diversions to distract them from the perils of their circumstances. While serving in Belgium, the battalion purchased a two-week-old goat from a Belgian farmer for the grand sum of two francs. Suitably named “Robert the Bruce” and trimmed in MacKenzie tartan, the animal served as battalion mascot for the duration of the war. The goat was trained to prance in front of the battalion’s pipe band, eat cigarettes, drink beer, and demand its blanket at “lights out”. Apparently, the animal was repeatedly sold to Belgian farmers, only to be “retrieved” by the men under cover of darkness. At war’s end, Robert the Bruce retired to a much deserved rest on the Baddeck, Nova Scotia farm of one of the battalion’s most decorated officers, Major Guy McLean Matheson, MC, MM, DSO.

I think it’s hilarious they would sell then retrieve him.  Hehe!

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Here is Bruce’s collar:

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Thanks again to Kevin for your time!  We didn’t want you to stop talking!

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We had such a great time touring the Citadel.  Everyone was so friendly and informative.

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We also got to watch them fire the canon at noon:

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And here’s a picture of Jan.  She’s probably thinking something like “Oh geez…I’m so tiny, I could probably crawl into the canon and be shot clear across the city!”

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I certainly recommend visiting the Citadel if ever in Halifax.  I’m so glad this is how we spent the day!

I had to crawl into bed early that night as I had to give my first two presentations the next day.

Today’s symptoms: I feel about the same as yesterday, which is far better than how I felt the previous three days.  I was kinda hoping there would be more improvement today, but I think tomorrow is going to be the game changer!  Tee hee!  I experienced a little more than normal amounts of nerve pain today.  That can escort itself out the door tout de suite!

Awesome Trip – Part Deux

Continuing on with my perfect trip to Nova Scotia last week…  Our accommodations were amazing.  We were at The Cambridge Suites right downtown Halifax.  Have a looksie at our great view:

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When we first drove into the downtown area, we thought there was a huge event going on due to all cars parked on every street.  Turns out that is their usual parking situation.  The city is so built up that there just isn’t enough space.  This was nicely demonstrated at the back of our hotel.  That is a church on the left, and it looks like a parking garage on the right:

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On the first full day there, we wandered around downtown, visiting shops and walking along the boardwalk.  It was such a nice day.  On the way back to the hotel, we passed this sign at the Citadel:

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Ohhhh!  Well that looks interesting!  Since we had one more day to do whatever we wanted before my first presentation, I decided to phone up and inquire.  I was told the public can fire the Snider-Enfield rifle starting at 10:00.  Jan and I decided to head over (across the street from our hotel) right for 10:00am.  I was first in line, while there were quite a few people touring around us.   I need to trim and reformat the video Jan took of me shooting.  I shall do that tomorrow.  In the meantime, here is a pic of me and my coach, Charles:IMG_9871

I’ll hopefully feel up to posting another blog tomorrow.  I’m very relieved to say that I feel quite a bit better today than the last three.  I still can’t get over how weak I was.  I couldn’t even hold myself up on my couch.  I must say, it’s great to be vertical again!  I don’t think that much weakness and fatigue was all from the trip.  It just felt much more than that.  I’ll be seeing my GP about it either this Friday or hopefully by next week.  Hopefully I’ll feel even better tomorrow.

Today’s symptoms: Still quite weak but nothing like the last three days in which I was mostly bed-ridden.  I had a really bad headache for most of the day, but I’ll take that over that wretched weakness and fatigue!

Amazing Trip – Part One

Well things didn’t quite work out as hoped today. Still very weak and fatigued and spent most of the day in bed again. At least my four goobers kept me company. My laptop is in the other room, which has most of my pics from my awesome trip. I am using the WordPress app on my phone to do this quick blog.

I was asked to head out to Nova Scotia to give a few of my motivational/mental health talks at an office in Halifax (three presentations in two days) and one in a Sydney office. Needless to say, I jumped at this amazing opportunity. I have given this talk all over Southern Ontario over the last seven years. This is certainly the furthest I’ve been asked to travel. My little mother joined me and we flew out of Hamilton over a week ago.

We spent much of the two hour direct flight doing word searches and the time flew by (lame pun – groan!)

I fist bumped the pilot after a great landing. I had actually landed my own plane that same morning, after flying over the Rankin Cancer Run in St. Catharines. I’m so glad Westjet didn’t go on strike, or I would have had to skip the Run fly-over.

After getting our luggage, we went to pick up the rental car I had a reservation for. I won’t mention the company, but my experience was like the Seinfeld Rental Car episode. You can see the clip here. I said I had a reservation and he said that they have no cars left. Errrrrr….. isn’t that kinda the point of the reservation? A guy came in after me with the same issue. There were two higher class vehicles left, so we each got one. I had first dibs since I arrived before him. Please meet Jeremiah the Jeep:

It was rather fun to toot around in. The main reason I needed a car was to drive four and a half hours to Sydney for my fourth presentation. The Halifax office was also about fifteen minutes outside of the city.

I’m going to cut this blog short. This sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t exaggerating about the weakness I’m experiencing. I’m having a hard time just holding my phone up to type this. Hopefully things will be much better tomorrow so I can get back to work and also continue on with my great saga in the evening.

Today’s symptoms: I’m sure it’s just from the awesome trip, but still feeling blah. As mentioned in one of my previous two blogs though, it was totally worth it! I have so much to share so please check back very soon!