No More Naked Kitties!

I live in an apartment where they keep the heat at the minimum allowed by law.  Needless to say, the naked kitties get cold quite easily!  Three of the four allow me to put sweaters on them.  Boo will have nothing to do with it.  Abby’s went on first:

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And I came to the conclusion that Mya walks so funny in hers because it goes back almost to her tail.  She needs one like Abby’s that only covers her core and no sleeves.  Voila:

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It’s a smidge big for her, but I don’t think there will be anything out there small enough.  She’s less than five pounds.  I want her to have a sweater on most of the time during the winter since she may lose weight if her tiny body has to fight the cold.  I still have to find a sweater for Pinky.  Right now, all she has is an ill-fitting Santa suit.

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I seem to still be recovering from my bout of weakness, which started over a week ago.  A few of those days were spent in bed.  Mike, my mother and I went out to do a little shopping on the weekend.  It was so good to get out.  I needed more pipe cleaners to tie up a bunch of cables and cords.  They make great cat toys as well.  I was over the moon when I found these ones with the rather fancy-schmancy name!

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Hehe!  I showed them to Pinky and I couldn’t tell if she was impressed or not:

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Take Your Kids/Spawn To Work day event.  I do a tweaked version of my motivational talk I give.  I try to keep it interesting with tons of pics and videos, with a side of humour.  I had some very nice comments from people afterwards, which always make this experience even better than it already is.  I am more than thrilled if I touch at least one person.

Today’s symptoms:  I think my worst complaint would be a really bad headache.  My fatigue level was at around my normal, and the weakness was a bit better again today.  Things are slowly improving from the previous week – life is good!

Rough MS Patch

Sorry for the lack of blog recently.  Last week was not too fun, but I’m so glad it seems to be almost over.  I could tell on Monday morning that it wasn’t going to be the best day symptom-wise, but it became quite a bit worse than I expected.  I was in bed for much of the week because my body was hit with some of the worst weakness I’ve ever experienced.  It took all of my strength just to walk from room to room or hold myself up in the sitting position.  I think the worst day was Wednesday and into Thursday morning.  As quick as it came on, it started to improve.  I was so happy to be vertical again Thursday afternoon.  I saw my GP on Friday and she said my symptoms certainly sound like an MS flare-up.  I’m still feeling the effects, but big improvement today.  Mike and I were even able to get out and do some much needed shopping.  We weren’t able to stay out quite as long as I hoped, but I’ll take what I can get!  Tomorrow will be even better after a good night sleep.  Paws crossed!

On Sunday, I had the great pleasure of meeting with 434 Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association.  I was a member a few years ago and have missed leaving ever since.  I went through over a year that was fairly rough health-wise, and making it to the meetings sometimes became too much.  I’m seriously considering joining up with them again.  They had an excellent guest speaker, Ted Barris who wrote The Great Escape.  The movie was unsurprisingly hugely Americanized, and Ted did an amazing amount of research to get the true story.  He gave a wonderful presentation about the book, and I’m amazed with the information I left with.  Left with a signed copy of his book too!

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I’m going to keep this one short, but I will certainly report back in soon!

Today’s symptoms:  The weakness is almost gone – woot!  A fair bit of nerve pain but that seems to be my norm anymore.  I’m so grateful for feeling better.  Things like this really make me appreciate my better days.

Sweater Season! Woot!

It’s a rather chilly and windy day.  I was home with the kitties, who certainly keep my spirits up when I get down.  I’ve been feeling so lousy with this cold for the last fifteen days.  My usual MS symptoms have been worse as well, but hopefully things will be at least a bit better tomorrow.  On a bright note, I always smile when I see my little goobers:

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Abby is often very googly and it’s exhausting:

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These types of kitties obviously get cold rather easily and I think we’re entering sweater season.  We’ll start out with Mya:

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Even when she’s all cuddled in her sweater, she still attaches her little heat-absorbing body to her ham-like sister Pinky:

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Three of them had the dreaded experience of a bath tonight.  Boo always scrinches up into a little wrinkly ball, like it’s going to keep her from getting a bath.

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She pretty much stays that way throughout the entire bath, which makes the process quite a bit longer.  I can’t seem to get that into her adorable head though.

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She only hates me for a little bit during and afterwards.  Same story with sister Pinky:

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All seems to be forgiven and it looks like we’re going to have a peaceful night.  At least I’ll have grease-free cats to snuggle with.

Today’s symptoms: Felt very weak and fatigued with tons of nerve pain all over.  It was one of those day where by 2:00, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to make it through the rest of the day.  Clean paws crossed for tomorrow being a better day.

Air Rally – Heading Home

I left off in my last blog that my mother and I were heading home from Killarney.  Continuing our flight along the east side of Georgian Bay, we stopped in Orillia for fuel.  This was my first time landing here.  They accommodate land and water landings here.

It was fun to come over the water on final, then a patch of trees just before the runway:

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We taxied over to the fuel tanks, and tried to figure out how to get the pumps started.  Every airport seems to have a slightly (or majorly, in some cases) self service station.  Fortunately, my mother and I must have looked really clueless, as a nice young man came over to see if we needed help.  In all fairness, my mother had started crying and I was repeatedly banging my head against the pump, so that may have tipped him off.  Hehe.  Anyway, he kindly walked me through the process as I got Vyctor all fueled up for our final leg home.

We walked over to the terminal to use their facilities.  We went in the wrong door and noticed this cutie nearby:

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They had a nice gift shop in the terminal and we managed to pick out a few items. We also chatted with a couple of guys that worked there while paying for our loot.  Everyone we spoke to was so friendly and helpful.  I also hear their restaurant is amazing and is very busy (due to it’s awesomeness).  We’re going to have to go back and try it out!

On the way back the plane, I noticed this one parked.  Mike and I see him all the time at various fly-ins and airports around Southern Ontario.  I wonder if he notices my Aerobat?

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One thing we did notice was the abundance of goose poop.  Here is some flinging off of my wheel or prop on landing:

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So we trudged back out into the great poo abyss, and made it back to the runway:

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It was a really nice, smooth flight home.  The entire flight, all three days was very smooth, or as I like to call it, Jan weather.  My little mother does not like flying in even the slightest turbulence.

Mike came to pick us up at the St. Catharines Airport.  We were all smiles as we unpacked the plane and loaded up Mike’s car.  Despite not being able to complete the Gold Cup Air Rally, I have nothing but positive thoughts about the entire experience.  Both my mother and I had such a great time.  It was a wonderful trip and I’m so glad I had such an awesome copilot!

Today’s symptoms:  I’m still getting through a cold that I got back almost two weeks ago.  I still felt congested this morning but no earache anymore.  Woot!  Started off with a pretty bad headache, but still had a decent and productive morning.  It wasn’t until around 3:00 where everything took a sharp dive and I felt like a big blond turd.  Paws crossed for a good sleep tonight and waking up all bright eyed and bushy haired tomorrow!  🙂

Air Rally Day Three

The last mention I made of the Air Rally was being grounded in Killarney due to weather over our next leg to Wawa.  As everyone else was doing, I checked all the weather forecasts and related info for the trip north east.  It was really looking iffy and people had all different potential routes they were going to take.  I was thinking of sleeping on it and checking everything again in the morning before making the decision.  However, I decided to….decide, that night.  I made the decision that we were going to head back home the next day.  It was a real bummer, as we weren’t even half way to the final destination of Thunder Bay.  But my mother and I had such a great time.  Up until that point alone, we had memories we’d likely never forget.

We just chilled for the rest of the night.  Made some new friends:

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We checked out the schnazy wine cellar they have at the Killarney Mountain Lodge:

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I was actually relieved I made the decision that night on what we were doing the next day.  It eliminated the stress I would have experienced, thinking about it all night.

The next day, we packed everything up and got ready to leave the lodge.  It was a nice stay:

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The Lodge folks were kind enough to tote our loot and selves back to the Airport, on a rather dreary morning.  Fortunately, all the planes seemed to still be there.  People started getting everything checked and packed for the next part of their journey.  Then a nice surprise – my mother and I were presented with our certificates and patches:

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It was certainly sad to say goodbye to everyone.  What a great group of gals!  Some asked for Jan and I to pose for farewell shots:

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Some flying mascots gathered on my elevator for a final parting pic:

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Just before starting up, the folks next to us huddled under their wing to wait out the rain:

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Certainly an advantage of a high wing.  Except for my little mother, who fits under both low and high wings with no problems….hehe!  (I’m so going to get a backhander for this one.)

With no issues with weather for our planned route home, we headed southeast along the shoreline of Georgian Bay.  It was recommended we head this way as opposed to back west through Manitoulin, for change of scenery.  Also, to make a fuel stop at the Orillia Airport.  I’ve never been to this one before.

Farewell Killarney Airport (CPT2):

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Here are some photos from our trip heading home:

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I’ll give you something to look forward to – seeing the conclusion of this wonderful trip!  Stay tuned!

Today’s symptoms: I’m recovering from a cold so I’ve been feeling much more lousy and MS’y than usual.  I think I picked it up at an event I helped out with recently.  It only makes sense that someone with a depleted immune system is going to pick something up being inside with over 180 people for the day.  No complaints though because while it was annoying and made my other symptoms worse, it certainly wasn’t the worst cold in the world.

 

Just a Quick One

I have only been to Starbucks twice in my life.  The second time was a couple weeks ago.  Knowing that they often get names wrong, I made sure I used the shortest name I go by (Liz) and focused on my annunciation.  Hmmmmm……

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Today’s symptoms: I was able to help out at a wonderful annual event today.  I had to take some pain meds and a couple wake-up pills (prescription) but made it through the day.  And what a great day it was.  I’m still smiling but my body is making sure I know that I may have overdone it – again.  Oops!  (Totally worth it though!!!)  Experiences like this certainly make it a bit easier to get through the rough MS bouts.

Air Rally – Day Two Continued

So in my last blog, we had just landed in Killarney with the rest of the women pilots.  I missed putting this pic in my last blog, with thirsty planes lined up to fill their tanks:

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I mentioned that we were taken to the Killarney Lodge for lunch.  We were greatly anticipating the fish, and we certainly weren’t disappointed:

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I think it was the best fish I’ve ever had.  It was super fresh and cooked perfectly.

After our awesome lunch, we continued to discuss the next leg of the flight that day, from Killarney to Wawa.  The weather was not in our favour and it was only getting worse.  Therefore, we made the decision to stay in Killarney for the night.  Not the worst thing in the world – this is the view from our room:

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Before the rain picked up too much, we wandered up the above rock and found some chairs nearby.  I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show off my recent pressie (and early birthday gift from my mom).  Her, Mike and I saw them in Zumiez at the Pen Centre.  We thought they would go great with Vyctor.  They had orange laces, but I ordered some sparkly ones from Amazon.  Voila:

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It’s always nice to match accessories and clothing to one’s mode of transportation.

I was really hoping to get through the trip a bit more in this blog.  I’ve been going through another rough spot with my MS, and it’s left me pretty useless during the evenings into the night.  Thus, as my body is telling me to stop for the night, I must bid thee all adieu!  I will hopefully be able to continue the saga soon.  Cheers!

Today’s symptoms: The last couple of days have been part of a bad spell, where I’m becoming very weak starting mainly in the evenings.  At that point, the effort to physically do just simple tasks is exhausting and painful.  This has been happening on and off for a few weeks now.  😦

Air Rally – Day Two

Continuing on from my previous blog about the 99’s Gold Cup Air Rally I just participated in.  As I left off, we were staying over in a hotel in Collingwood, prior to starting the rally with all participants the next day.  Unfortunately, the breakfast at the hotel didn’t start until 7:30 and our ride was picking us up at 7:15.  I’m glad we had lot of extra time to get things ready with my plane, and get some coffee.

Everyone arrived around the same time, after a good breakkie at the house they stayed at.  Jan and I were lucky that we had purchased a few Tim Horton’s Smile Cookies, which made for a very yummy, albeit slightly unhealthy breakfast.

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I was able to be in the first group to take off and complete a touch-and-go for the spot landing contest.  I’m really upset with myself.  I knew this is the only part of the Rally I could do really well at.  Unfortunately, I have never landed Vyctor so heavy before (full fuel, passenger and luggage).  I was just coming up on the line, but I gently set him down prior to it.  That meant I was disqualified.  I was so bummed – very disappointed in myself.  Oh well, I tried and it was a learning experience.

We flew by the ski slopes on our way west around Georgian Bay:

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Some of the other pilots headed around the east shore.  During the flight, I took some shots of other airports we flew by:

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Mike and I have flown to Manitoulin Island a couple of times for vacations.  I was looking forward to Jan experiencing the flight over water from Tobermory to Manitoulin.  I knew she would enjoy it as she loves being near (or over) water:

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As you can see, the view was amazing.  Around the time we arrived at Manitoulin, we started hearing other members of the Rally entering the area.  We headed East and all were very attentive on the radio at this time, due to the extra traffic.  Once landed, we all got in line for fuel.

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Everyone helped each other move planes up the line toward the fuel pumps.  Once our planes’ thirst was quenched, everyone tied down on the apron:

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The kind folks from Killarney Mountain Lodge picked us up and drove us to their establishment.  Everyone was looking over their quiz’s that we were to complete on route.  Everyone had at least one, up to three other pilots with them.  My mother is not a pilot but was still able to help out in certain ways.  It didn’t leave me any time to worry about the quiz, as I was flying, navigating, communicating and eating a darn good cookie!

I look forward to writing the next blog for the continuation of this wonderful trip we were on.  Please stay tuned – the saga continues.

Today’s symptoms: I was a bit more weary than “normal” today (my normal, not normal people’s normal!   Hehe!)  Lots of pain and crawly sensations in my legs and feet today.  Not particularity pleasant, but it till hopefully not linger too much longer.

Air Rally – Collingwood

Soooo…..I decided to do my second Gold Cup Air Rally.  This decision was probably much tougher than it appears.  My main issue is my health.  My average week is a mix of good days and bad.  The thing is, I never know which the next day is going to be.  What happens if I wake up the next morning in another city, having a bad symptom day?  I would initially have no way home or onward other than to fly.  I would just have to stay until I had my next good day and then head home.  There are other factors such as having one of my days where I’m able to function as normal, but “just” feeling very blah the whole day.  Picture the last time you had a really bad flu.  Think of experiencing all of those symptoms but still have the strength and endurance to function normally.  That’s what it’s like for me on those types of bad days.  It’s great that I can function but feeling so lousy doesn’t make anything I do pleasurable.  The worst “bad days” are where I can’t function AND feel like caa-caa.  I’d be stuck if that happens.  Here’s the next huge factor I had to consider – I must have another female with me (all planes must carry two or more women).  If I offer my right seat to someone I hardly or don’t know at all, how horrible am I going to feel if I ended up with one of my bad days and make her miss the rally?  So then I came up with the brilliant idea – I’d invite my little mother!  She’s flown with me plenty of times and obviously knows all about what my MS causes me.

As you have guessed by now, I made the decision to attempt the Rally and my mother accepted my invitation!

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I must tell you, the last almost two months have been brutal.  Every day, I would flip and flop from “This is going to be awesome!!!” to “What the hell are you thinking, you #*@$!”  At least now, my mother would totally understand my limitations and not be as inconvenienced as someone else would be if I have to quit early.

On Wednesday, Mike took Jan and I to the St. Catharines Airport to load up Vyctor and head into the sort-of sunset in Collingwood.  It was very smooth air, which is perfect for Jan.  While flying through Toronto, the Tower let us know that there was an A380 passing ahead of us.  He mentioned he wasn’t ascending as anticipated, so had us descend a bit.  He said “That must be quite the view!”  It sure was!  I which I grabbed my camera, but only had time to snap a quick one with my iPhone.  This picture does no justice to the double-decker giant:

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In a little over an hour, we arrived in Collingwood.  This picture wasn’t taken that day as I was too focused on the landing.  The airport is at the base of the slopes on the left:

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We were sure to fuel up before heading into the Terminal Building to meet up with everyone:

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In total, I think there were twelve planes and around 25 pilots.  Here are a few of us:

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I got Vyctor all ready for his night out with his new buddies:

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After meeting up with everyone else who flew in that day, we had a delicious pizza dinner at a nearby hangar:

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Jan and I stayed at the Mariner Motor Inn.  Another Rally member, Diane, was kind enough to drive us from the airport to the hotel and back again in the morning.

Needless to say, it was a great day for both my mother and I.  It was wonderful to see so many of the pilots from last year’s Rally.  Stay tuned for more on our adventure!

Today’s symptoms: I’m still recovering from my trip, but things are getting better every day.  I had a bad headache for most of the day and lots of nerve pain on my left side.  Thinking about the last week has helped keep me positive while feeling cruddy.

Another Air Rally!

I can’t believe I decided to attempt this but I’m so glad I did!  Last year, I was copilot in my first Gold Cup Air Rally from Ottawa to Summerside, P.E.I.  This annual event is hosted by the 99’s, which is an international organization of female pilots.  I went up with a friend in her Cessna Cardinal.

This year, the Air Rally started in Collingwood and was to end in Thunder Bay.  Due to my MS, I wasn’t sure if I could actually fly that far in two days.  However, I made the decision to give it a try.  Worst case scenario was I wake up one day during the rally with bad symptoms.  I would just wait it out there until I was able to fly home.  Obviously it would mean I wouldn’t finish the rally, but at least I would have tried.

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I’m going to keep this blog short for tonight.  I’ll leave with with posts from the P.E.I. Air Rally last year:

Epic Journey!

P.E.I. Trip – Day 1

P.E.I. Trip – Day 2

P.E.I. Trip – Day 3

P.E.I. Trip – Day 3 Continued

P.E.I. Trip – This and That

Stay tuned!  I will post Day One of my recent trip soon.

Today’s symptoms: I was very fatigued today and spent much of the day in bed.  I hope I’m much spunkier tomorrow!

Epic Snowbirds

A couple of days ago, the amazing Canadian Snowbirds came back to the Niagara District Airport to perform. I was asked to have my plane set up by noon as part of the ground display.

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We certainly had a nice view of the DC-3 which flew in from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

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As we got everything set up nicely, the Snowbirds got themselves all ready to rock:

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The gates to the general public opened up at 2:00.  Right away, kids started seeing “Dusty” and ran up to take a closer look.  For over an hour and a half, I lifted dozens of kids into my plane.  There were actually line ups!

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It was a lot of fun and it felt great to see so many smiles.  I was very impressed that most of the parents were very good about making sure their kid(s) didn’t touch anything they shouldn’t.  My best friend came by with her parents and they sat under Vyctor’s wing and watched the stream of kids pass through.  I got to wave at her now and then but didn’t have much of a chance to sit and and chat.

Starting around 3:30, the Geronimo Skydiving Team were the first to perform.  I never get sick of seeing our flag:

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Once the jumpers were down, the Snowbirds started up and the sound was magnificent.  I took a slightly higher view up on Vyctor’s step to watch them start up:

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Just like their show here in 2017, they were amazing….it’s unreal how close they fly to each other and stay in such perfect formation:

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It was amazing to watch and we are certainly hopeful they come back here within the next couple of years.

Once everyone had headed out, we pushed Vyctor back to the hangar for the night.  I’m going to have to go to the airport this weekend to wash all of the little kid shoe prints off of Vyctor’s door.  Hehe!

Today’s symptoms: I did really well over the last two days.  Today I woke up with a bad headache and quite a few aches and pains.  I’m fairly fatigued today too.  I’ll hopefully get a good sleep tonight and wake up all bright-eyed and bushy haired tomorrow!

First Virtual Reality Gaming Experience

Mike and I played our first virtual reality game.  We went to VR Wonderland at the Pen Centre in St. Catharines.  Since we’re both into zombie fighting games, we picked Zombyte.  The staff were very bubbly and motivating, which made the experience even better.  They explained everything and hooked us up.  We played for ten minutes and it was a blast!  They also have a room with a different VR gaming system that has over 70 other games.  We had a great time and I strongly recommend the experience.

Back to my other experiences I started mentioning in my previous blog.  I recently had Vyctor’s annual inspection done.  I flew him into Welland and my mother met up with me.  We went for a coffee and then wandered around the Seaway Mall for a bit.  Unfortunately, Vyctor needed a bit more work this time so he had to be kept overnight.  I was able to pick him up the next day, at which time, I introduced Donkay’s reincarnation (or at least one of them) to her first flight.  Introducing Squiggy:

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I got her probably 20 years ago.  I have no idea why I bought her but I did.  She was just a “plane” (tee hee) starfish, so I pilotized her with goggles, a hat and scarf and now she’s ready to hit the runway!  She was all smiles before taxiing out onto the runway in Welland:

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Is was a nice ten minute flight back home, and my new copilot (or at least one of them) was born:

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I may have another one to join Squiggy coming soon.  Stay tuned!

Today’s symptoms: I actually felt decent for most of the weekend.  I had a really bad couple days on Thursday and especially Friday.  I had a dentist appointment and wasn’t even well enough to drive there.  My little mother had to pick me up and take me over.  I’m glad the bad days didn’t last too long.  

So Much Has Happened!

Since my last blog, which was forever ago (my bad), I have had the following great experiences.  I’m only going to share a couple tonight and will continue the saga soon:

I had my youngest passenger ever!  She was only seven!  My previous youngest was eight.  And she did aerobatics!  And she flew the plane!  I was so impressed.  She wanted to fly more than anything.  I couldn’t believe how forceful she was with the controls.  She had us doing steep turns!  I’m glad I made sure her seat wasn’t far enough forward so that she could adjust pitch too!  What a great experience it was for both of us.

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Within a week I had another aerobatic victim……errrrrr……passenger.  His spouse was the winner of one of my flight gift certificates I donated to a local charity.  After circling around Niagara Falls, we came back to Niagara District Airport to do some aerobatics.  We did a bunch of maneuvers, with his wife watching from the Flying Club.  We all had a nice chat before they left and it certainly sounds like it’s a flight she would like to try.  She said that she had to psych herself up first.  I mentioned that usually when people try to psych themselves up for something, they end up psyching themselves out of it instead.  She seems like she would be fun to fly with so I hope she goes for it.

On a sad note, as you may have seen through FaceBook, little Donkay has gone missing.  I stupidly brought him into the Seaway Mall in Welland, and he must have come out of my pocket.  I’m so mad at myself for this.  I tried calling most of the stores we were in and no one had seen him.  My mother even went to a few of the places we were today, but no joy.  Here he is enjoying his last meal with me at the Fonthill Tim Hortons, within an hour before going missing:

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Hooves crossed we get him back!

More to come soon regarding my good month (minus Donkay!)

Today’s symptoms: I did not have the greatest night, but actually felt pretty decent today.  My energy has been all over the place, as usual, but my lows haven’t been quite as low lately.  I certainly hope this continues!

Annual Edenvale Flight

We had pretty decent weather on Saturday, which was great as it was the annual Edenvale Gathering Of The Classics.  I have been to the event for most of the last twelve to thirteen years.  The number of fly ins has dropped a fair bit, but that’s the same everywhere you go anymore.  Still one of my favourite events to attend.  As always, the unicom (radio) operator was so cheerful and pleasant to speak with.  We got Vyctor parked and prepared him (sun shield) and us (sun screen) before walking over to the apron.

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Because of a couple events of parents allowing their kids (grrrrr!!!!!) to climb on other people’s property, I attached these signs.  I thought about them at the last minute, so that’s why they look sloppy.  I’m going to print a couple and put them in protective sleeves, so I have them in the plane at all times.  They do bring some peace of mind.  I know not everyone chooses to read and or follow instructions….

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Speaking of reading and following instructions:

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Such a rebel, I know!  Actually, I know the owner and actually ended up seeing him two days later.

We had a great time wandering around the static displays of both planes and classic cars.  The replica Avro Arrow was also there:

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I was hoping to see a Ford Fairlane there to send a pic of to my mom.  She had a Fairlane Fastback that she really loved.  I didn’t see one, so sent her a picture of an old Fairlane ad I saw there:

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After touring around, we got some food and sat under Vyctor’s wing, in the shade on a blanket I brought.  And of course, the blanket had an airplane on it.

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It was a nice bumpy flight home, which always makes it even more fun.

When I got home, I figured the cats would be thrilled to see me.  I couldn’t have been more wrong:

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At least Boo gave me the courtesy of waking up:

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There was an interesting event at my building recently.  Someone’s car caught on fire:

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Apparently faulty wiring.  I’m glad it happened up top rather down in the underground parking:

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Yikes!

Today’s symptoms: I actually had a decent day, despite having three short flights last evening (to a local meeting, some aerobatics, then home).  I really didn’t feel a significant drop in my energy until around 5:30.  Really bad pain in my hands today, though.  

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I took Thursday off of  work and took my friend and his daughter to Safari Niagara.  My father volunteers there and showed us around.  We had a nice, guided tour in a golf cart.  Here are some of the animals we got to see:

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I had not been able to see the hippos during the previous trips to the zoo.  They were hiding.  I’m happy to report that they were both out that day:

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Yikes!  I was waiting for his head to go completely inside out.

It was a very nice visit.  We did get a bit wet during a fairly big storm that went through.  We were able to find shelter while it passed.

I came home to my own little zoo:

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Today’s symptoms:  I had a pretty good weekend.  I have a neat flight to discuss in my next blog.  After a long day yesterday, I feel better than I though I would today.  My fatigue level is much less than what it usually is after flying.  Woot!

Jumped Out Of An Airplane Again…

I had such a good time doing my first tandem skydive on May 31st that I decided to go back for more.  Yesterday, my little mother came by and we drove over to the Niagara District Airport.  We then flew ten minutes to the Dorothy Rungeling Airport (Welland) for our 10:00 appointment at the Niagara Skydive Centre.  The previous two jumpers were late, so we had to wait around for a bit.  There are much worse places I can spend time than at an airport!  We sat outside and watched the other jumpers come down, then it was my turn to suit up.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to convince Jan to jump as well.

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Péter, my tandem master, was very camera crazy that day.

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I really don’t like getting my pic taken, but obliged for a bunch.  I think I was telling him nicely to put the camera down:

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Needless to say, he didn’t.  Hehe.

We were sitting next to the door for the flight up to 10,000′.  He opened the door early so I could just lean out and enjoy the awesome view:

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Then without further adieu, we got in position to depart the Cessna 205:

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During my last jump, we did three somersaults out the plane.  This time, we did one, although I wasn’t quite expecting it.  Tee hee.  I was wondering why for a split second, I saw the plane again.  I told Péter to do whatever he wanted to make the jump even more exciting than it already was.

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We really lucked out with perfect weather.

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The free-fall was really neat.  Then we were under the canopy:

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He let me control the chute for a bit, which was quite fun.  I’m not too sure what he said at this point, but I saw him pointing and assumed he meant “There’s the ground.  Aim for it.”

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It was neat to see my cute little plane from the top down:

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And then, unfortunately, it was time to land.  I was really hoping we would hit a massive thermal and get sucked back up again, but it didn’t happen.

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Just like the first jump, Péter did a perfect landing.  What an amazing experience.   I’m very impressed with the two jumps I did with Skydive Niagara.  Their staff are great – very friendly, professional and accommodating.  If anyone ever wants to have a wonderful and exciting experience, I highly recommend doing a jump here.  I know I’m going back again.  I’m strongly considering doing the progressive freefall course, so I can do a solo jump.  It entails a five hour course, then a instructor-assisted deployment from 3200′, a bit more training, then a freefall from 10,000′ while being flanked by a couple instructors.  I did four IAD jumps back when I was with the Army, so that gives me a little more confidence for doing this.  It will probably be in September or October.

Today’s symptoms: I felt quite good today, despite my very and exciting day yesterday.  I think I slept more last night than I have in over 10 years.  I started drying my hair last night, and then part way through, I got quite tired.  At 7:30pm, I decided to lay down for a 10-20 minute nap.  I woke up at 2:30am.  Oops!  I had a hard time falling back to sleep but did just before 4:00am.  I probably had 10 hours of sleep last night.  Hehe!

I Donated, Then Received

Soon after I finished my flight training, my instructor and I flew in his plane (a Cessna Cardinal) up to Edenvale.  We wandered around the ground plane and car displays.  I bought some raffle tickets and ended up winning a flight in a Tiger Moth.  I really wanted to go, but I knew that my flight instructor would love it.  He did a lot for me with my training and I really respected him, so I gave him my flight prize.  I flew back with him to Edenvale and was so happy to see how much he enjoyed the flight.

Present day: I was contacted by someone from the Guelph Airport, that he saw my joyous ice rink runway landing.  The videos from my solid ice landing and take off seem to be missing from Facebook (post from back in February).

A pilot with a hangar and plane at the Guelph Airpark, saw the video and contacted me on my FaceBook.  We got to chatting and found out that he wanted to try out some aerobatics, and I would love to go up in his beautiful 1945 Tiger Moth.  Hmmmm….  Seems like a nice trade-off!  So I contacted him recently and we set up a date for a flight out of Guelph in his plane.  I had a nice, bumpy (which I love!) flight to Guelph for noon today.  I should start a business where I announce where parking spaces are at Costco:

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When I landed in Guelph, I saw a man and a young boy watching the planes.  I called him over to check out Vyctor.  I let him sit inside too.  (I did not ask permission to post his pic, thus the blurred face):

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Most pilots I know love showing their planes to kids, to hopefully get them involved in aviation later in life.

My pilot for today is Paul Marot, who keeps his Tiger Moth in Guelph.  Check it out:

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Once we got it out of his hangar, Paul showed me how to climb aboard.  I was a little disappointed when I asked him about the in-flight meal and he said there would not be one today.  Oh well.

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We took off and climbed beautifully up to around 3000′.  Paul allowed me to fly the plane for quite a good chunk of our flight.  I was so happy!  I learned a little something as well.  Being a pilot, I was still a little apprehensive to do anything abrupt or too severe.  I know what my and MY plane’s limits are, but I don’t know what Paul’s limits or those of his plane are.  So I still did some fairly steep turns and such, but didn’t push things too much.  I’ll demonstrate mine and Vyctor’s limits when he comes to St. Catharines for an aerobatic flight.  I’m really looking forward to it.

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Thanks again Paul!

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I had such a blast.  Then I had the pleasure of flying home.  Mike was at his sister’s house today and was deciding whether to take the QEW or back roads.  I gave him a bunch of traffic updates as I flew along the highway back home:

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Hopefully it helped with his decision.

So I am totally pooped, as I knew I would be, but it was worth it for the fantastic day I had.

I got home and spent about an hour and a half putting stuff away and tending to all the animals.  As always, when I walked in the door, Mya immediately begged for food.  How many times I’m feeding her wet food during the day is paying off.  She has gained about a pound.  So I really don’t mind giving in to her begging for noms:
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Peanut gave me the “I’m hungry” look so I grabbed some crickets for him to dine on.  I really don’t think he’s too bright.  He had a cricket on him for over five minutes.  Dork.

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Today’s symptoms:  I had a really good sleep over the few nights and it’s really paid off.  I felt quite good today, just a lot of nerve pain on my left side.  My headache became quite bad starting around 5:00 this afternoon.  Hopefully it doesn’t keep me awake tonight.

Fantastic Week!

I cannot believe how well I have been feeling this week.  My fatigue level has been far more tolerable than normal.  I have not experienced full body weakness like I have been on and off for quite a few months.  My headache has been less too.  I have been able to take advantage of almost every second while feeling this well.

On Monday, I met up with my friend, her husband and six year old son.  He loves cars and airplanes, so they came by so he could see the Flying Club planes, and mine.

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Perfect photo op, as he sits in the pilot seat:

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After seeing Vyctor, they went up on the observation deck as I did some aerobatics above.  Here is the link to the post on Facebook .

It was a wonderful morning, to say the least! The next day, the weather remained iffy throughout the morning.  I had a charity fly-over at a golf course in Port Colborne.  It is a special charity event for me because it is for the MS Society.  The annual Fred Legg Golf Tournament was taking place.  I was able to do a little show for them, while listening to other aircraft in the area divert from the lightning storm north of me in St. Catharines. 

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Once done my show, I couldn’t get back to the Niagara District Airport, so I decided to divert to Welland. 

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The skydivers came down from their jump just as I was landing.  My aircraft mechanic was kind enough to let me put Vyctor in their hangar, while waiting out the storm:

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I met up with my friends and was able to keep good company with them, while we all waited out the weather.

Péter and I ran out and gathered the flags from the drop zone:

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The ironic thing is that I had to be back here – at the Dorothy Rungeling Airport (Welland Airport) for 5:30 that evening for an Recreational Aircraft Association meeting.  Sooooo….I just waited there from around 1:15 to later that evening.

My friend Péter, his daughter Enikö and I hung out around the hangar.  Mike had to drive in due to the weather, and met up with us around 5:00.

My mechanic has an adorable five year old daughter and he often brings her to these social summer meetings.  The last time I saw her was at our last summer meeting (September) and she asked if I could bring my Barbie doll to the next meeting.  No problem!  For some reason, I decided to keep my Ken doll.  I asked my mom to crochet one of my dolls a nice dress.  She did.  What she didn’t know was that it was for Ken, now Kendra.  She brought her Ken, who happened to be naked.  Of course, I had my awesome copilot Donkay with me for my flight earlier.  His daughter created this lovely tower of awesomeness:

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Good times!  (tee hee!)

Fortunately, the weather was clear enough for me to fly back to St. Catharines.  Péter suggested that his daughter Enikö, could fly back with me.  He would drive to the Niagara District Airport to take her back home.  I thought it was a great idea, as did Enikö.

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She hopped aboard and we flew back toward Lake Ontario, hitting a couple light showers on the way.  Free plane wash!

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Hehe!  I’m afraid it didn’t rain hard enough for that.  Vyc was looking pretty dapper anyway, as they take excellent care of Vyctor and I.

We flew over one of her places to go in the area – the Niagara Outlet Mall, close to the airport:

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She is really looking forward to going up with me for aerobatics, so was very excited when I did a fairly steep turn:

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I was very grateful for my friend, the manager of the Flying Club, to come back to the airport and open the hangar for Vyctor.  I slept better knowing my Aerobat was safe for the night.

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It was a very long but very good day!

Wednesday was to be another charity golf tournament I fly over every year.  Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favour.  The clouds were too low to fly, plus there was a risk of a thunderstorm in the area around the time of my fly-over.  Next year will be better.

I had the day off today and unsurprisingly, I was quite weary after my previous busy days.  I managed to push myself though and had a very nice visit with my mother.  We went to the PEN Centre and had some Timmies before slowly wandering around.

While at the mall, I recreated a picture of his daughter, that Péter sent me last night while they were in Sephora.  Tee hee:

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I got some Christmas shopping done, so that was a nice little bonus!  Since being back home from our adventure at the mall, I have just been resting.

Today’s symptoms: I felt quite weary and had a lot of bad nerve pain all over, but my spirits were high!  That made it a rather nice day. 

July Is Going Well…

I have had a fairly good couple of weeks.  Recently, I had a wonderful trip to Niagara Falls with a couple of friends.  We wandered down to the Falls…

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…and then up Clifton Hill.  I have not been on Clifton in many years and it sure has changed!  Crazy busy, as it always has been.  We stopped for dinner, then gingerly headed back to the car.  It was a fantastic evening.

On Friday, I took up the son of a co-worker for a flight.

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The weather was not the greatest, as the clouds south of the airport were less than 3000′.  So unfortunately, we were unable to do a tour over the Falls, but I instead did a low and over at my mechanic’s grass strip.  I then let him fly the plane back over the airport in St. Catharines.  He seemed to get a big kick out of it.  Once overhead of the airport, I took back control and rolled up through most of my aerobatic maneuver repertoire.  He handled everything well and was fun to fly with.

I relaxed on Sunday, surrounded by cuteness:

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And we have this charming action shot of Boo grabbing and trying to eat her sister, Mya:

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In all fairness, Mya started it.

Today’s symptoms:  Things have been their usual up and down for the last few weeks.  My headaches have been a bit worse than usual, plus some new areas of nerve pain, but my fatigue has been a bit better.  I am not going to complain because for me, fatigue is my most disruptive symptom.