Flying Fries

I had the pleasure of meeting up with some of my coworkers in Hamilton for a meeting.  It’s a nice change of scenery.  We decided to head to Nations grocery store to pick up some noms for lunch, before the second half of the meeting.  I think the meal I picked was rather charming, don’t you think?

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The meeting went quite well, although I was hoping we would be done early so that I could have taken vacation time to go for a flight.  However, it went went later and by the time we were ready to leave, the rain had hit Hamilton.  It chased us all the way to St. Catharines – no flight for moi.

The next day, I did my motivational presentation to the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise.  We met at Betty’s Restaurant in Chippawa for 7:15am.  They had a lovely breakfast buffet.  I was getting everything set up for the PowerPoint, so Mike went and got my brekkie. What a nice group of people.  They were all very friendly and so positive.  It was a great way to start the day!

After my presentation, my mother came up and we had a nice visit for the rest of the morning.  Mike went back to work in the afternoon and since the weather had cleared, I headed to the airport after little Janski headed home.  I was pretty much the only one flying, since it was quite windy.  My kind of flight!

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Here’s a video of slow flight into the wind.  I had the plane going as slowly as possible without stalling the wings (no more lift).  As you can see, I’m practically flying backwards.  Unmute is in the bottom right hand corner:

Ah yes, good times.  It was a really fun flight.  I went up to the tower afterwards and had a nice long chat with a friend.  It was sad watching one of the Club planes head out to do circuits but could only do two due to rain coming in.  😦    See you soon, Vyctor!  Always nice to get a free plane wash!

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I stopped off at Iron Chef and picked up some dinner noms for Mike and myself.  We had leftovers plus a cookie remaining, so I neatly bundled them all up for his lunch:

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Classy, eh?

The weather was great today so Mike and I hit the skies.  We flew to Guelph for lunch.  The restaurant at the airport is amazing.  There is often a line up to get in.  We were the only ones there who flew in.  Had a bit of a wait, but certainly worth it.  Mike’s burger had a hash brown and egg on it.  He looked like he was in ecstasy while eating it:

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I had the egg white omelette with cheese, spinach and broccoli plus home fries:

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Vyctor waited for us patiently in the cold:

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We were stuffed and had to bring home most of our fries, hash browns and my toast.  Mike was saying he was nicely full while we were getting in the plane.  Twenty minutes later we’re over Grimsby, I look over and he’s snacking on the fries:

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Geesh.  One weirdo to another – come home to Boo playing The Floor is Lava game:

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Today’s symptoms:  Slept fairly well the last two nights, which has been amazing.  Had a great day, although pretty bad nerve pain shooting down my left side.  It feels like someone is sticking a knife in me and dragging it down the side of my body.  Ouch! 

 

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My Family Is Weird

I’m glad to be the normal one (tee hee) in the family.  My lovely children have been their weird little selves, whilst trying to stay warm.  I always have a little trouble getting Mya’s spindle-shanks into her pink sweater, so I bought her an awesome bomber jacket this weekend:

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She seems to enjoy it thus far, even giving it a lick of approval:

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It actually hasn’t been too bad in my apartment.  I notice a difference of quite a few degrees if I keep the curtains closed.   None of the other kitties have requested their clothing yet.  They’re typically snuggled under the covers and blankets I keep on the couch for them.  Mya ends up in the kitchen at least half a dozen times a day, begging for food.  I’m going to have to try and weigh her again soon to see if all the extra soft food I’ve been giving her for the last couple of months has caused any weight gain.  Poor little skinny thing!

Abby chilled in the warmth of Mike’s arms:

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They also enjoy sitting on the heater behind the bed.  Since little Mya is typically found sitting on her sisters (which we call Mya’ing), it was nice to see Boo get a little revenge:

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That didn’t last too long before Mya had a hissy-fit.  She’s getting a bit cranky in her old age.

Considering how tight the space is between the bed and wall, it’s surprising that porko Pinky can wedge herself in there:

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Clearly I need to pull the bed out again and get the sphynx grease off the heater.   Ahhhh….the joys of owning naked kitties.  So worth it.  In every naked cat’s life, a little grease must fall.

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The lizards have been keeping warm in their tanks, as have the two rescue critters.  I still have Ralphie the snail from the Flying Club, almost a month ago.  Also, a few weeks ago there was a fairly large beetle flying around my apartment.  I couldn’t throw him out into the cold so now Tipple-Tipple is living with Ralphie. Can anyone enlighten me as to what type of beetle thingie he is?

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He seems to be getting along well with Ralphie:

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I don’t think I’ll introduce them to my new batch of crickets, which are enjoying the heat lamp beating down on them:

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Oh geez, I left the room for two minutes only to come back to Boo taking a selfie:

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Yup, my family is weird.

On Thursday morning, Mike and I are heading to Betty’s Restaurant in Chippawa (for around 7:00).  I was asked to give my motivational chat to the local Rotary group.  I’m really looking forward to going.  I always jump at the chance to meet new folks and share my story.  Also, we’ll be at a restaurant so if anyone wants to heckle me, I can request they do so by throwing yummy noms at me!

Today’s symptoms: Dealing with a fairly bad stomach ache.  I was in bed all day Sunday (and the bathroom about 30 times!) with a bad stomach bug.  Yuck!  Still have a stomach ache and nausea, but hopefully it will be much better tomorrow.  Getting sleep tonight would be great too, as the insomnia is still with me.  Grrrrr…..

 

Frosty Flight…..Brrrrr!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I sure did.  Even though I really wasn’t in the Christmas spirit this year.  I didn’t even decorate.  It was still nice though.  My little mother stayed over for a couple nights, as she does every year.  Good times!  On Christmas Eve, we ordered from Pizza Hut.  It was so good!  I’m weird and usually dip my pizza in ketchup.  My mother’s head made a perfect ketchup holder:

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We made a nice dinner on Christmas Day.  It was a really nice holiday.  My mother still has the ketchup on her head.

I woke up this morning and saw yuckola weather.  It was rather disappointing since I was hoping to go flying today – one last flight for 2017.  Fortunately, things cleared up by 11:00am, so Mike and I headed out to the airport.  We were the only ones flying.  We decided to head to Brantford for lunch.  We didn’t hear another plane the whole way there.  Took some nice shots on the way, like the canal.  I think it’s still open as we saw a large ship at the Lake Ontario entrance:

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And heading toward Lake Erie:

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I asked Mike to take some shots of the Hamilton Airport:

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And Vyctor’s dangly wheel:

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Then he decided to try a panoramic shot while we were cruising along.  The first one didn’t quite work out too well.  It made my cockpit look just a tad large.  I think he converted my Cessna 150 into a Cessna 1500:

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Tee hee!  Love it!  He tried again and the next one was a little more to scale:

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We made it to Brantford – the only ones who flew in at that time.

Coming in to land on the windswept runway:

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And the dork pilot:

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Mike and I got Vyctor all snuggled before we went in for lunch:

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Mike got this awesome burger with egg and pretty much everything else:

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I felt bad about Vyc, sitting out there by himself.  It helped that he waved back after I waved to him and blew a kiss:

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We had to gobble our food rather quickly as there was a bit of a snowy/foggy system coming in from the east.  If we waited much longer, we would have been stuck in Brantford for awhile.  Here’s the video of our take off:

And the crud to the east:

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Heading back, we noticed this crop circle configuration.  We’re pretty sure aliens have been to Niagara.  I don’t blame them.  It’s a nice area – wineries, the Falls, escarpment, etc.  We welcome you, little green, googly eyed alien dudes!

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Landing back home – still didn’t see another plane out except a 727 landing at Hamilton, which the tower controller nicely told us where to maneuver to avoid him:

We safely arrived back at CYSN (Niagara District Airport).  Thank you Vyctor – happy new year buddy!  I love him so much.  I tried to give him a farewell kiss but my tongue stuck to his cowling:

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I managed to rip it off and all was good in the world again.  Toodle-loo little buddy.  See you next year!

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Back home, we got the kitties ready for New Years:

They were not amused, but we were!  I was also amused when Mike and I went to Giant Tiger today and he came over to the cart with a pressie for his favourite daughter, Abby.  I told him to put it back:

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Poor Mike! Abby and the other kitties have enough toys!

Today’s symptoms: Still dealing with the insomnia.  It’s going on five months now.  Just awful.  I wake up constantly throughout the night and it takes me one to three hours to fall asleep.  Very frustrating.  I took some of my wakey-up pills today so felt decent and was able to have a very productive and active day.  Paws crossed that tonight is miraculously better. 

Chilly Flight

Mike and I tried to fly to Brantford for breakfast last weekend.  It was before Costco opened and the lot was packed:

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I can’t even imagine what it will be like this weekend.  Anyway, flying along, we noticed the weather dropping up ahead.  We checked the weather beforehand and knew that Hamilton was yuckola, so we were going to head south.  Before we made it into Hamilton airspace, the clouds flipped us off and told us to turn around.  Ok!

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I wasn’t quite ready to end the flight, so we took a little trip over Niagara Falls:

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The Rainbow Bridge was surprisingly quiet:

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Then back to land at St. Catharines:

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I parked Vyctor, asked the fuel personage to fill him up, and we headed home:

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You can certainly see the clouds coming in from the west.  Yuck.

Earlier this week I had to take little Mya to the vet.  She has been eating like crazy lately but not gaining any weight.  She only weighs about 5 pounds to begin with.  I thought maybe she had hyperthyroidism.

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It took three of us to hold her down for the blood work.  I have never heard a cat scream so loud in my life.  We could not believe how loud something that tiny could be.  It was so upsetting to see her so scared and angry.  I broke down, like a big dork.  The good news is that all of her blood work is normal.  She had quite a few teeth out over the years and I know it’s not as easy for her to chew the hard kibble, which I leave out all the time.  So, I just have to feed her soft food multiple times throughout the day.  I just bought $65 worth of canned food today so that should keep her going for a few weeks.  Hopefully she will gain a little weight.

Speaking of cat food, something just a wee bit creepy happened the other day.  I noticed the night before that the levels of kibble in their dishes was getting a little low.  There was still enough for a few days though.  Apparently, the cats didn’t think so.  This is the message they left me (and I swear, I didn’t move a single piece!)

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I got the hint and the dishes were filled immediately.  Geesh!

Today’s symptoms: I was off for about half of the day.  Jan came by and we went out to Timmies, then Fairview Mall and finally Petsmart.  We were surprised that the mall wasn’t busier than it was, this close to Christmas.  Felt decent today after getting at least five hours of sleep last night.  Still dealing with the insomnia, although I had a full week of good sleep a couple of weeks ago.  It was amazing.  Things are back to how they’ve been for over four months now though, and I’m only getting a few chopped up hours a night.  Blah.

Lots of Great Stuff

My last blog mentioned the tragic event in Rochester, when I inadvertently took a little chipmunk’s life.  I think this blog will focus on the more positive things I’ve experienced lately.  Referring back to last week, Jan and I had a wonderful trip to Rochester for three days.  It started out a little rough when we stopped at our local Tim Hortons and brought our coffees out to the car.  Jan spilled some of her coffee on her coat and pants – not surprising as she is a bit of a klutz around food.  After getting her cleaned up, I was reaching for something not knowing that she had lifted up her coffee for a slurp.  I elbowed the cup and coffee flew everywhere again.  This was not a good start.  A few minutes later, we were on the St. Catharines Skyway, and the truck in front of me threw a stone at my windshield.  There’s a smidge of a chip.  Fortunately, that and the chipmunk issue were the only downfalls of the trip.  The first night we were there, we nommed at this fine establishment:

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It reminded us of how Lil’ Jan always used to call me Lizzy Drips.  We have no idea why, but it stuck all these years.

That evening, we sauntered down to The Christmas Tree Shop.  This place is awesome and I wish there was one in Canada.  I’m still trying to figure out what this item is:

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Lipstick for Legs.  Huh.  We also discovered this fine product:

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Tee hee!

Whilst driving in the States, I thought it might be a good idea to take video from the dashboard.  Last year, we almost got in what would have been a pretty severe accident, when a car ran a red while we were going around on the advance green.  So, this year I stuck my GoPro to the back of my GPS (with stick tack!).  Worked great:

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Fortunately, it wasn’t needed as there were no traffic issues.

On the second day, I wore this shirt.  I had about a dozen people stop me and say how cool it was:

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The whole trip was awesome – probably one of the best we had. It was, however, wonderful to get home and see all of my angels again:

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A few days ago, we had our annual Recreational Aircraft Association Christmas dinner at the Niagara Falls Mandarin.  I was taking pics of our great group when I decided to get a nice picture of Mike.  I asked him to make a nice face.  This is the result:

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Good grief!!!

Today I met up with my father and we went somewhere we’ve been countless times when I was young – Swayze Falls.  It was so great to be back there.

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Some of the trees there are a couple hundred years old and massive:

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I hate pics of myself, but at least this one was from far away.  It took him a few tries to take this picture which resulted in my running up and down the rocky hill in front of the tree a few times.  Good exercise!

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You can see how the deer nibble on all of the trees, as far as they can reach:

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It was a great visit to this Niagara gem.  I’m looking forward to taking Mike there for a hike one day.

Afterwards, I went to Reptile Kingdom to pick up some more crickets, as my current batch of eggs doesn’t seem to be hatching.  I also grabbed a couple of pressies for Zim and Peanut:

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I met an adorable girl there who enthusiastically told me about all of their pets.  Chameleon, geckos, turtles and I think she also mentioned a spider and snake.  I asked her if she would email me some pics of her pets, so I can include them in an upcoming blog.  Paws crossed she follows through!

Tonight, Mike and I are meeting up with some of his work folks at The Keg for dinner.  Ohhhhhh…..steak…..  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Today’s symptoms: I feel quite good today.  I had a bad cold all week and unfortunately, missed some nice get-togethers with friends and co-workers.  Just have a bad headache today and still a bit of a sore throat.  On a very bright note, the last three nights of sleep have improved.  I got about 6 hours two nights ago and last night was ok, sleeping through once I fell asleep around 3:00am.  I’m hoping Santa brings me a cure for this insomnia!  One for the MS would be nice too, but I don’t want to be pushy!

My Gift To Rochester

I had a pretty cruddy event happen a couple days ago.  I was having an amazing time during my annual Rochester trip with my mother.  For some reason, we always have a slightly (or majorly) bad event – only one though, and the rest of the trip is phenomenal.  Well, the first day of our trip on Thursday was amazing. I’m going to discuss more of my trip over the next blog, but I’m going to tell one sad experience.  Jan and I were driving back from Eastview Mall in Rochester, NY.  Just so you know, I’m an extreme animal lover.  You hear “They couldn’t kill a fly.”  That’s me exactly.  I hate spiders yet I catch them and let them outside.  Well, something horrible happened – we were heading back from the mall to our hotel.  We were driving along at the speed limit, as to not get thrown into prison by a State Trooper.  Less than five kilometers (or like 2 miles or something) from our hotel, a chipmunk ran out into our lane.  We were on a busy two lane highway, with a string of traffic behind us and another going the opposite direction.  There were no shoulders.  So little chippy ran out into my lane and he looked over at me.  I could only swerve slightly since there was oncoming traffic within feet to my left.  I hate to admit this, but I hit little chippy.  I looked back in my mirror and there he was.  I couldn’t lose it because I was driving.  But I was so upset, I can’t even tell you.  Brutal – but I had to keep going.  Something made things a little better though.  I realized the exact moment he ran out on the road, I knew something was severely wrong.  Yes, he looked over at me, but within that split second, I saw that he wasn’t a normal chipmunk.  He grinned maliciously, with blood dripping from his fangs.  If that wasn’t enough, he was foaming at the mouth.  It was beyond clear he was rabid.  Still, with that second, I saw an even more disturbing scene – he was holding a chainsaw.  I had a brief look at the brand and saw it was a Stihl.  Nice choice, buddy!  That’s a pretty expensive chainsaw.  So this event was extremely tragic, but I now realize what I have done for Rochester.  How many lives did I save from a savage, rabid, evil chainsaw-bearing chipmunk?!  He was clearly out to get as many souls as he could.    You are welcome Rochester…..yes, you are welcome.  (But I’m still beyond upset)

Today’s symptoms: Feeling a tad weary, but what would I expect after three days of awesomeness.  I have a full week planned so not sure how this will this work out.  We’ll see.  Stay tuned for the the next blog about our awesome trip!

Birthday Awesomeness

I hit the big 4-0 on Tuesday.  Yea!  I had a joyous day at work then Jan came by.  Mike came home from work and we chatted for a bit.  We had reservations at Kelsey’s for 6:25.  I was just a wee bit shocked when my best friend Laura and almost all of Mike’s family was there waiting!  Wow!

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We were there for at least a couple hours.  It was such a blast!  Mike got me this sexy hat to wear, which we donned toward the end of the night:

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What a great surprise and perfect birthday!  One of the great pressies I got was from Jan, which was entitled “Piece of the American Pie” and was a lovely plate of US money:

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Very creative, Jan!  It will come in very handy when we go to Rochester next month!  Mike’s gift is also something I’ll be using at a later date – a skydiving certificate!  I can’t wait!  I’ve done four jumps many years ago, but they were only static line (pilot chute then main chute automatically pulled) at 4500′  This one will be from 12,000′ while I’m strapped to someone.  At least I likely will not have the issue I had during my first jump, where my chute didn’t open all the way at first and once I got the line untangled, I was way off course and landed on the shoulder of Hwy 400!  Oops!  My next three were a tad less stressful.

Laura was kind enough to get me these awesome balloons, which you can see in the first photo.  Of course, I had to pose with it:

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I was off yesterday and in the afternoon, Laura and I went to do some shopping.  We went out for suppies then drove over to her house to pick up her laptop.  She asked me to tweak it a bit again, as it’s been very slow lately.  I was a little nervous when we got to my place, due to my latest “pet.”  I rescued a snail last week from the Flying Club.  Poor wee lad was on the sidewalk, right outside the main door to the ramp, so he was likely going to get smooshed.  I brought Ralphie home and made him a little habitat.  Laura likes to pick up snails and throw them across the street, so Ralphie made this sign:

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Fortunately, she obeyed!  After meeting her newest nephew, we got to work on her puter.  Then, for some reason, I decided to get the goofy glasses I used once at university.  (Laura looks lovely in them, eh!)  I was always so fatigued and sometimes fell asleep in class.  Little did I know at the time, the fatigue was from MS, which wasn’t diagnosed until years later.  Anyway, I wore these glasses once while sitting in a lecture at the very front.  The professor looked over and saw them and instantly started cracking up.  Oops.  I kinda felt bad he laughed in front of over 220 people, and no one except me knew why!

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I had something totally shocking happen today.  I fell asleep last night and I actually stayed asleep – until 9:50am!!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I woke up a couple times briefly last night but fell back to sleep easily.  I slept for almost 11 hours!  I think after four months of insomnia, my bod decided to try sleeping for a change.  I can’t believe how much better I feel today.  I’m so hopeful this continues, maybe just not until that late in the morning!

Today’s symptoms: Felt SO good!  It’s amazing what a good night of sleep does.  I’ll give anything for this to continue.  Great way to start off life in the 40’s!

Anniversary Trip

Mike and I decided to go to St. Jacobs for our five year anniversary, which is at the end of November.  We didn’t realize when we booked if for this weekend that they were having a huge sale event.  Needless to say, it was a tad busy.  We drove up Friday and spent the day wandering around the town.  They converted a church on the main drag into an awesome toy store.  How long do you think this puzzle would take to finish?

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That’s quite a few pieces!  Due to the sale event going on in the town, there were Christmas carolers out, treats in many of the stores, plus the horsies clippity-clopping down the street:

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As usual, we hit the Stone Crock for dinner.  They have the best buffet ever:

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It was a really productive day.  We ended up getting a good chunk of the rest of our Christmas shopping done.

The next day, we went to the Outlet Mall and the Farmer’s Market.  I saw this perfect sized cheese grater for my tiny mother:

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I figured it would go nicely with this Jan-sized cooking set:

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Tee hee!

We got finished at the market fairly early, so we decided to go to the nearby Conestoga Mall.  It was our first time there.  It was a bit of a zoo due to the Pre-Black Friday sales, but we ended up getting the rest of our shopping done.

After a rather stressful drive home in the rain, it was great to see my adorable kitties.  One of the first things they did is beg me to put the tap on:

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Mya was too comfortable under the covers to come out.  It was a tad cold today, so she got to wear her little sweater:

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On Sunday, although a tad weary from the trip, I went up for a quick flight to test out the new high voltage sensor my mechanic installed.  It was very windy that day and cruddy weather was coming in, so I was the only one flying.  On my second circuit, I had to do an overshoot and switch runways because there were so many seagulls on the runway.  Geesh!  I asked them nicely to move but instead they just flipped me the bird.

Today’s symptoms:  Unfortunately, my insomnia is still hanging on and I’ve been up since 4:30am.  Ugh.  I guess since this is the last day of my 30’s, my body wanted to get the most of it!  Paws crossed I actually sleep tonight.  I was born at 3:21am and considering how the last almost four months have been sleep-wise, I’ll likely be awake to celebrate.  Yea. 

Oops. Little Incident!

Had a really good weekend.  On Saturday, I flew my father out to Brampton for brekkie.  It was great seeing the passenger jets flying right over us, on the way to Pearson Airport in Toronto.

A great sight was the three Sopwiths that were doing a couple circuits together:

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My little Vyctor looked on in awe, while he was all snuggled with his cowl cosy:

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Yes, I know – I didn’t get his nose wheel right on the centre.  Close though.  ***lowers head in shame***

On the way home, had a wee little incident.  We were just East of Grimsby when my microphone to my headset started cutting in and out.  A few minutes later, his headset started to act up.  Then I noticed my transponder light was out.  I called the tower and asked if they had my on the radar via my transponder, and he said no, only as a primary target.  Then my gas gauges went dead, then the radio started flickering.  I let the tower know that I was having a bit of an electrical issue and asked for priority landing.  I wasn’t worried at all because I was in St. Catharines Airspace and the runway was just up ahead.  I phoned the tower on my cell phone just to make sure everything was good to go.  No problem – had a really nice landing and taxied over to the Flying Club.  Poor battery was dead.  My awesome mechanic came out the same day and put in a new battery.  Man, I really lucked out getting him as my aviation mechanic – he’s amazing and takes such good care of Vyctor!  Fortunately, my passenger wasn’t bothered at all by the situation and said it actually made it more exciting than it already was!  Good times!

Once home, I spent the rest of the day snuggling with the kitties and working on my presentation for work.  My little Pinky….

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…..slept so peacefully, with her little tongue hanging out:

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While I was in the other room, Boo grabbed my phone and took a selfie:

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Today was really good as well.  Jan came over and we went to the airport to do a few circuits and test out Vyc’s glorious new battery.  There was a bit of a cross wind and my first landing wasn’t perfect, so she told me to smarten up.  Fortunately, the next few were better.  I told the tower that my mother was critiquing my landings.  He said “Mothers are always right!”  “Very true!” I replied.  After my fourth landing, I taxied back to the Club.  The tower said my last landing was textbook.  Jan said “Let’s not exaggerate!”  Geesh!  He laughed when I reported that back to him.

After the flight, we went to Niagara Falls to pick up something very nice.  This awesome woman, Stephanie Nielsen, wrote a book about some special folks in Niagara.  I am SO honoured to be one of them, as she included me in her book!

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Holy moly!  She has people in there like James Cameron (who was from the Falls), amazing athletes, true heroes and more.  She’s an excellent writer and I’m really looking forward to reading about everyone else.  If anyone wants a copy, just let me know and I’ll get in touch with Stephanie.  Jan and I sat and chatted with her for about half an hour.  She had great stories to tell and her husband was a total hoot!  I also laid on her floor (I have no shame!) to snuggle with her adorable kitty, Angel:

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Thanks again, Stephanie!!!

Once home, Jan and I unloaded some stuff up to my apartment, which included this year’s Christmas decoration for my centre piece:

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Isn’t it great?!??!  I asked her last year to use the alien head to make a decoration for my table.  I’m sure just like last year, she was calling my some names while completing her masterpiece….things like Dork, Weirdo, Nut Case…..  Yup!  Normal is boring!

Today’s symptoms:  I actually slept very well last night after three nights of only a few hours of chopped up sleep.  I’ve been under a great deal of emotional stress lately, due to an issue I don’t want to publish quite yet.  It’s just been awful – I feel myself getting quite down but I’m fighting so hard to pull myself up.  Hopefully everything works out but it will likely be months before I find out.  😦

Ghost Tour

Just before Halloween, Mike and I went to a Ghost Tour at Fort George.  I hadn’t been in the Fort since I was a kid, but fly over it fairly regularly:

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This was a nice touch while we were waiting for our guide:

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The tour was really neat and interesting!  Unfortunately, no spooks were spotted.  We liked the stories and history facts our guide told us.

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We toured around the grounds, into a tunnel and a couple of buildings.  Thankfully it was a nice clear night and not too cold.

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I certainly recommend the tour.  Only $20!

At work Monday, I noticed my friend from upstairs struck again.  She likes spiffying up the cat pictures I change on the post next to my pod.  I think this is her best work so far:

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Priceless!

This weekend was quite good.  I went for a flight on Saturday morning.  Once back, Mike and I went out to pick up some groceries to make slow-cooker pulled pork.  Yum!  That evening, we watched some shows and attempted to finish the puzzle we’ve been working through.  Little Zim came out to help but he wasn’t too productive:

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On Sunday, we went to the Homemade Market in Niagara Falls.  The number and variety of vendors was very impressive.  Another great thing was the food.  I had this amazing naan bread pizza and Mike had a fried chicken sammich:

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We made a few purchases, talked to some really interesting folks and also visited a photo booth in an Air Stream Trailer:

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What a creative idea!

We had a great time and stayed dry on such a yucky, rainy day.

I am off tomorrow and my little mother (a motherlette!) is coming to visit. I’m a little overdue for my three month blood work (for the MS drug Gilenya).  Oops!  I’m sure we’ll also hit Timmies then maybe the mall.  After she goes, I’ll probably work on the Lunch and Learn presentation I’m giving at work later this month.

Today’s symptoms: Feeling pretty cruddy today.  The insomnia is hanging on and I’ve been up before 4:00 the last two mornings.  I generally can’t fall back to sleep once I wake up.  It’s been over three months now and it’s so frustrating.  What long-term lack of sleep does to a person is not pleasant at all to deal with.  I would give anything to find a solution to this. 

Abby’s Nine!

I can’t believe my youngest daughter turned nine on Halloween.  Geesh, they grow up so fast!  Check out this pile of cuteness – Abby is in the bottom right:

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So tiny:

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Her first noms at her forever home:

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Her shirt says she’s naughty, but she really isn’t:

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Her look kinda says different though!  Fortunately, big sister Mya saw past her mischievous glare and took her under her paw:

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She’s just as cute today as she was back then:

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Her and sisters received some awesome pressies a friend from work made.  How awesome of her!  She’s such a good person – volunteers at a cat adoption place in Niagara:

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I’m going to stop this blog here, so it’s fully about my little Abigail McGuilicutty.  She was diagnosed with an issue with her colon and we didn’t think she would make it to her third birthday.  Surprise!  Sure, she’s on a daily anti-inflammatory and antidepressant, but she’s comfortable and full of life!  Here’s to another nine years, sweetie!

Today’s symptoms: A little weary because I’m trying to get off my sleeping pills, and haven’t taken any in the last two nights.  Only been getting a few hours of sleep on and off.  I may take something tonight so I get a more decent night.  Hopefully I can wean myself off of this stuff soon.  I think my body is becoming dependent on them – not good!  I would much rather become dependent on better things in life, like chocolate and wine!

I’ve Gotz The Flu!

It started out to be a decent weekend.  Friday morning, I flew my plane to my mechanic’s place for his annual.  I love landing on the grass strip there.  Dipping down after the trees is always quite fun:

My little mother was kind enough to come and pick me up and drive me back to the airport.  She was greeted by Frank’s adorable, crotch-sniffin’ dogs:

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I kinda gave her a wrong turn to get there, as I thought she was coming a different way.  I felt so bad about it.  I made it up to her with Timmies, so all was good in the world again.

I bid little Vyc adieu and we headed out:

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She took me back there the next morning to pick up Vyctor.  He survived his inspection and is nice and healthy.  Jan watched me take off, then headed back home:

Once I took off, I noticed my microphone wasn’t working, so I was fiddling around with the cords and circuit breakers.  It was a quick fix, but then I lost sight of Jan.  I said that I would fly over her to make sure she got back ok.  Not that there was anything I could do if I noticed her taking a wrong turn.  I thought I spotted her, but now looking closer at the pic, I’m not sure if I was over the right car:

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I watched said vehicle disappear under the canal:

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I knew she was a little nervous about the round-about, but she said she had no issues:

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I kinda expected to see her driving around and around and around, not knowing where to go, but she did fine.

Soon after I arrived home, I really started to feel punk.  I felt a little poopy when I first woke up, but it really hit me by early afternoon.  I ended up staying in bed for the rest of the day with a bad headache.  I didn’t sleep at all Saturday night – not a single minute.  Ugh!  When I finally decided to crawl out of bed Sunday morning, my headache was almost migraine strength and I started being sick to my stomach.  Another day in bed – what a crappy waste of a weekend!  At least I had the kittahs to keep me company.   I’m finally starting to feel better today, especially after sleeping quite well last night.

Speaking of night, I was peering out my window a few nights ago and watched something I’ve wanted to see for a few months now.  They are rebuilding our parking garage and have stop lights on timers set up.  There is no way to pass another car between the ramps.  I knew there would be impatient people that would blow through the red light.  It finally happened, and of course, someone was coming up from downstairs on the green.  Dumb-dumb head that went down on the red had to back up across the lower driveway and up the ramp:

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Bwahaha!  I bet he/she felt like a complete dork.

I think it was the next morning that my mother graced me with an image from the show she was watching – The Bear-Naked Chef.  Gee, thanks mom:

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Mike got a cute picture of the two of us the other weekend.  I was helping her set up something on her computer:

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It’s amazing how something so cute and tiny as her can be so weird.

Finally, I’ll share this last adorable picture with you.  I saw this near my office last week.  I was cracking up and the owner in the car said she always sits like that when they’re parked:

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Tee hee!

Today’s symptoms: Still feel lousy from the flu, but not as bad as the last few days.  The worst part is the sinus headache.  I know the more than six hours of sleep last night helped a lot with things.  I’m sure tomorrow will be much better.

Sleep Is Amazing!!!!

I’m so happy to report, I have slept fairly well over the last FIVE nights!  After over three months of severe insomnia (1-4 hours per night), this is incredible.  What a difference in how I feel.  Paws crossed this is a sign of the end of my dreadful insomnia.

This weekend was great.  Saturday morning, Mike and I headed out to the airport and went for a local flight.  The day before, we did plan on flying somewhere for breakfast, but due to yuckola weather, we decided on a local flight.  Good choice.  Ceiling started to drop and then my high voltage light came on again:

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Crud sticks!  Good thing my annual inspection is due this month so my amazing mechanic will take care of the issue.

We did fly over Safari Niagara, which if you saw my last blog, we visited just the other week.  Pretty neat to see if from the air.

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Cool to see the size of the property.  A tad too high to see any animals running about though:

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Once my high voltage light came on, I said “Toodles!” and headed back to CYSN:

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Nice little flight.  Just hope Vyc will be better soon!  Afterwards, we went to the Husky restaurant for brekkie.  Never thought a truck stop would have such great food:

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Today, Mike and I went to visit Lil’ Jan.  We went to Timmies then a few shops in town.  Mike and I wanted to make a slow cooker meal so we picked up the ingredients.  They said a few cans of condensed soup.  Wilco:
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I like following instructions.  The meal turned out quite well – Chicken pot pie stew.  We figured out we put too much bullion and salt.  We’ll try again soon.

While we were preparing our epic meal, the wind outside was just a’howling.  My buddy from the St. Catharines tower at the airport sent this lovely image:

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The 290 is the wind direction and the number below is the speed in knots.  Thirty-four knots gusting 48.  He said that was 89km/hr.  Ugh!  Not too many flights today!  I tested the wind in my apartment thusly:

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Yeah, a tad windy.  Abby and Pinky hate loud storms.  They were ok today though:

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And my well-healing Pinky, after her leg abscess….getting better:

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Certainly healing well – yea!

Today’s symptoms: Feeling so much better after a few nights of good sleep!  So hopeful it’s a sign of the insomnia buggering off!

Emergency Vet Visit

It was mostly a great long weekend.  Mike, Jan and I went to his parent’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  We were all sitting outside at first until all the bees showed up.  I was on the lawn playing with the kids (Mike’s nephews and nieces) when a bee stung their oldest boy on the knee.  That was certainly the end of everyone being outside.  I was trying to cheer him up while he held an ice pack on his sting.  I told him he made a really good mad face outside and perhaps we should see if he can outdo Mike’s mean face.  This was the result:

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Sorry Mike, Elliott won.  Nice try though.

I’m glad my mother came with us.  I was actually thinking about her the other day when Mike and I were out shopping.  I found this wonderful purse that is just her size, which would have been perfect to bring to the dinner.  I didn’t end up buying it though because when I sent her the pic of it, she had a few choice names to call me.  One of these I should try to stop making fun of her tininess.

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Tee hee!  Other than the bee sting, everything went great Sunday evening.  I must say, the dinner his parents prepared was a little more classy than the one Mike and I made the other night:

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Ours was cuter though.

I had a really cruddy night Sunday – I fell asleep for a couple hours, woke up at 1:00 and couldn’t fall back to sleep.  Ugh!  I was just a wee bit pooped on Monday.  Fortunately, we didn’t do much that day other than watch some movies and TV.  We were actually half-way through a movie in the evening when tragedy struck.  Pinky got up off of the couch, where she was most of the day, and started limping very badly.  I looked at her back leg and it was really swollen and discoloured.  We got on the phone to the emergency vet hospital and were told to bring her in.  We were there for about three hours total for an x-ray, blood work and some other tests.  They concluded it was an abscess and had to drain it:

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Poor goober.  She was such a good patient though:

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While we were there, the in-house Bengal cat was wandering around:

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He even tried to get into my cat carrier:

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Cute and very expensive cat.  Speaking of which, we paid our bill for over $1000 and headed home just before midnight.  Do you like my new lamp?

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I’ve never seen a soft cone like that before.  Very bendable and the colour brought out her eyes:

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Pinky was still a little groggy so I was happy that she just plunked down on the couch.

She was a very good kitty today and just slept peacefully.  She’s hardly limping now and does not seem to be in any pain:

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She had to go to my vet this afternoon for a quick check-up.  Again, a perfect patient and very calm:

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I have to take her back next week to check her again.  She will almost be done her meds by then and hopefully mostly healed.  Poor thing.

Today’s symptoms: I actually felt pretty decent today.  I slept very well last night.  What a difference when I get sleep!  Today was the first day in a long time that I didn’t have to crash on the couch or crawl into bed at some point during the day (not that I ever sleep when I do!)  Tonight will hopefully be another great one.

Rhinorific!

Well today was quite nice – Mike and I both took some vacation and went to Safari Niagara in Stevensville (near Fort Erie).  We met up with my father this morning.  He does quite a bit of work for them so he was able to take us around and in some cases, go behind the scenes.  One of the first things we did was visit the rhinos.  I must say, when the massive beast (of cute awesomeness) walked out, it was almost surreal to see such a huge animal heading towards us:

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We couldn’t believe how tough his skin was.  Dude clearly enjoys rolling around in mud (but who doesn’t!)

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It was just amazing to look right into his eyes, just inches away.  Should I be jealous that his eyelashes are nicer than mine?

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We were also able to feed him…..he kept opening his mouth after the first few tosses of munchies.  I’m going to take this as a smile:

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I can’t believe how large the property is and the number of animals.  Spread the word folks, this place is a gem in Niagara.  You must go!

After checking out the rhinos, we moved on to the giraffes.  Kinda cool to feed ol’ spindle neck:

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And the number of different felines they have – wow!  Check out this beaut:

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Almost as majestic as my Abby, leaping from the window sill:

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I know, you’re asking “Why go to a zoo when you have such beauty and gracefulness at your own home”:

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Ok, not quite the same, but still pretty awesome.  What a great day!  Another neat part is that it’s only Friday!!!  Yea!  I’m really hoping to sleep tonight so I have another good day tomorrow.  Still dealing with the insomnia…I only got a few hours last night, and all broken up.  It’s weird to be so tired yet unable to sleep.  I’ve tried different meds but most seem to have the same result – they help me fall asleep but then I’m up an hour or two later and can’t fall back to sleep  How can that be since I’m completely exhausted?  I think I mentioned in a previous blog, and I still firmly believe that my body is a jerk!  Like seriously – what did I ever do to you?  I take you flying, do fun trips to Safari Niagara, nice walks downtown, etc…and I just ask for a little resty-poo in return and you shun me of this joyous pleasure!  Oh, the humanity!  Ok, I’m done my rant….thank you for listening.

Next topic: Product review.  Mike and I picked up this guilty pleasure the other day at Zehrs.  I love President’s Choice products and have never been disappointed.  This one was SO good (but naughty….I didn’t dare look at the nutritional information, knowing we were slurping up pools of fattening yummola sauce and noodleage):

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It was so good!  Other ones we love are the cauliflower topped shepherds pie and roasted veggie lasagna.  Seriously recommend!

Moving on…I was drying my hair the other night and Mya decided to climb on up and “help” with her overwhelming cuteness:

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I think the poor little skinny thing was just enjoying the heat from the hair dryer.

So there we have it folks – great day off and still have a three day weekend to enjoy!  Hoping to head up for a flight either tomorrow or Monday.  Later this month, my plane Vyctor will be having his annual inspection.  Paws crossed everything checks out well and I don’t have to sell my mother’s kidney to pay for everything.  This would be a huge problem since I sold one of hers last year to cover the costs.  Should leave her with one…

Today’s symptoms: Was quite tired this morning after very little sleep.  I took a little wake-me-up pill which got me through the day.  Tomorrow I won’t need one because I had a chat with my brain and body and they agreed they would give sleeping a whirl tonight.  Weeee!

Ohhhh….Not a Bee!

I just looked up the yellow jerk that stung me today.  It wasn’t a bee, who is cute, pollinatey, makes yummola honey and is not a jerk.  Rather, it was a yellow jacket.  I noticed when I opened the recycling container that he was kinda bigger and pointier than a bee.  When I opened the lid and said “You’re free, buddy!”, he came back and stung me like a jerk.  A bee wouldn’t do that.  Bees aren’t jerks.  Yellow jackets are jerks.  And they hurt.   Ow.

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Today’s symptoms:  Ow.  See above.  Jerk. 

Some Bees are Jerks

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had over the last three months of insomnia.  I woke up so weak and the MS nerve pain was tres yuckola, so I ended up spending most of the day in bed.  The weakness was so bad, I actually couldn’t hold myself up to work.  How messed up is that?  I was so thrilled that I slept last night!  What a difference from yesterday to today.  Paws crossed for another great night tonight!

At one point today, I decided to take out my recycling.  I opened the containers bin and I noticed a very large bee buzzing about.  I said “You’re free, buddy!”  I dumped my recycling in then the bee came back around and stung me in the wrist.  Are you serious????  What the heck did I do?  I’ve had many bee stings in my adorable, short life, and they never affect me more than a mosquito bite.  This actually felt like someone sliced open my wrist with a knife:

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After the next two hours, the pain increased and my hand eventually went totally numb.  It was a nice break from the pain it caused.  Thirty minutes into it, the numbness died and the pain came back.  Stupid jerk bee – I freed you and you do this to moi?  Blarg!

Other than that, today was great!  Although Boo wasn’t too happy!  She had to go in the stirrups today for her annual medical.  She was not thrilled when we got to the vet’s office.  The nice thing was that one of the technicians brought out some friends for Boo to meet:

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I explained to Boo that this is what she’s supposed to look like, if she wasn’t a freak Sphynx.  She came in to examine closer:

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One of them must care that they’re nose to nose with a freak.  Nope.  Couldn’t care less:

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Yeah, that was interesting.  The tech brought two more kittens out, and Boo’s reaction was the same.  What a dork.

Today’s symptoms: Felt so good today compared to the last three, and many of the days over the last three months.  I still cannot believe how much a lack of sleep affects me (or I guess anyone) physically and emotionally. 

Cleanest Belly Ever!

I still haven’t figured out what has been causing this rather severe insomnia for three months now.  I’ll have one or two good nights then a bunch more in a row where I’m getting between one to four hours sleep (all broken up).  Friday night was somewhat decent, but not great.  We had a relaxing day planned for Saturday.  Since our places were boxed in by road closures for the Grape and Wine Parade, we didn’t have an option of driving anywhere.  We instead wandered down to City Hall and sat on the steps to watch the parade.  I’m still trying to find out why E.L. Crossley Marching Band no longer performs in this parade, since it’s local.  I was a drummer in the band and we always did Grape and Wine.  Anyway, after watching, we did a short walk through the downtown area, accidentally stopping in at Smoke’s Poutinerie for some noms.  We weren’t disappointed when we split a full turkey dinner poutine:

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Holy Moses, smell the roses!  It was SO good!  We are certainly going to go back and get it again before it’s gone for the season.

I had a really good night Saturday and woke up feeling quite good Sunday.  I had two aerobatic flights booked that morning.  Both went great!  The first was a pilot from Burlington and the second was his non-pilot friend from Mississauga.  Good times had by all!  I was hoping to feel well enough to spend a little extra time at the airport to wash Vyctor’s belly.  Most planes get some degree of oil and exhaust on their bellies from normal flights, but much more so with aerobatics.  Before (a tad blurry):

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and after:

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The wheel strut before:

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and after:

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I don’t know if he’s ever been so clean!  It took me about two hours to wash Vyc’s belly five times.  Very tiring but looks great!  I asked the Flying Club manager if all the other planes were jealous when they pushed ultra-clean Vyctor back into the hangar.  He said they all laughed at him and called him a sissy.   😦

For the afternoon, Mike and I just chilled with the kitties.  Not surprising, Mya was chilling on top of her sister, Pinky:

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Pinky eventually escaped said entrapment and ran to the bedroom for some solace.  Mya gave her about five minutes:

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Ugh.  At least she was just next to her.

On a bad note, the insomnia has been brutal the last couple of nights.  I got maybe three hours last night.  I’m glad my neurologist appointment in Hamilton was in the morning, because as of this evening, I’m totally drained with a glorious headache from the lack of sleep.  Paws crossed tonight will be one of those rare good nights!

Today’s symptoms:  Blah.  Drained.  Yuck.  Weak.  Ugh.  Headache.  Blarg.  Lots o’ nerve pain. 

Snowbirds Rock!

What an amazing couple of days.  Mike and I made the arduous drive to the airport yesterday to see the Snowbirds perform.  The drive usually takes less than 20 minutes but with the traffic backup heading into the airport, it was over 40.  Worth it though.  It was kinda nice to drive by all of the general parking folks and into the “We have our own cute planes here so we get to park next to the Flying Club!”  We actually ended up watching the show in one of the best spots, right in front of the Flying Club hangar.  Just before the show started, I went in to check on cute little Vyctor, who is undergoing some minor surgery on his alternator.

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You can see his bottom cowling is off and sitting on the ground in the far left side of the pic.  I am planning on doing a very thorough tummy cleaning before the weather gets too cold, so I at least cleaned the lower cowling while it was off (much easier than crawling under the plane!).

What a blast when the show started.  Their precision is incredible:

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Mind…..Blown…..   The show was over 40 minutes and as usual with them, absolutely spectacular!

I kinda, sorta felt bad for the folks who paid $85 for the VIP seats, since we kinda, sorta got in for free.  However, with what we’ve paid to the airport for pilot lessons, fuel and hangar rental, we earned the great view!  The VIP area was actually quite nice since they got good parking, drinks, food and met the pilots and crew:

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Sad to see them land:

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Absolutely perfect experience….and then it kept going into the next day.  I inadvertently took the Flying Club’s copy of Vyctor’s keys and brought them home with me yesterday.  My mechanic needed them to finish up the repairs (as my magneto was sitting on the floor in front of the pilot’s seat).  So, since I usually meet up with my little mother on Thursday’s, we first drove out to the airport before my bank appointment.  The Snowbirds were set to take off and head to London just after 11:00.  Jan has never been that close to them before so we stuck around for over an hour.  I decided to take her over to get closer to the amazing planes, when the Crew Chief for number 1 started chatting with us.  He was so nice, friendly and informative.  We can’t say how much we appreciate him talking to us for about fifteen minutes.  He asked me something I never thought I would have heard:  “Do you want to get in?”  Holy crud sticks!  Certainly could never say no to that!

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Again, my appreciation is epic:

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After, we headed back to the Flying Club and waited for the departure.  Jan and I both teared up with the sight, sound and Canadian pride of the situation!  What an experience and all because I’m a dork and forgot to leave my spare key at the Flying Club.  Needless to say, our trip to Wal-Mart afterwards wasn’t quite as grand, but still productive.  I had to buy some new de-greaser to clean Vyctor’s belly.  I was hoping to do it after my aerobatic flights Sunday morning but it’s supposed to be in the high 80’s.  Ugh!  I may have to wait a couple more weeks for some cooler weather (as most people with MS, I have a heat intolerance).

On a bright note, my aviation mechanic gave me a jingle this evening and said Vyc is all ready to rock.  They had to replace his alternator brushes and bearing, after I continuously had a high voltage warning light the last flight I was on.  My mechanic is great.  Just look at the love and devotion he is showing to my little Aerobat:

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So that was our awesome day.  Jan had dinner with me tonight and we watched some TV.  The kitties did some sun bathing out on the balcony.  Pinky is only allowed out for about 10 minutes because her ham-like flesh (and lard) sunburns quickly:

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Today’s symptoms: Felt really good for a change!  I am SO happy to report that I had the best night sleep last night, since my insomnia started almost three months ago.  I was so exhausted after the show, plus being out in the sun, that I came home and passed out in bed.  I didn’t even have enough energy to shower or brush my teeth…..ewwwww.

Snowbirds – Up Close!!!

What an awesome weekend.  On Saturday, Mike and I went to the airport to change the weather seal on Vyctor’s doors.  We started working on one in the hangar, and soon realized what a long job it was going to be.  So, we removed both doors, took everything out of the plane and brought them back home:

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Kinda weird to have airplane doors in my living room:

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Good thing we brought them home because it took us over six hours to complete!  Getting the old adhesive off was brutal!

On Sunday, Mike met up with his dad at the airport.  I did some things around the apartment then headed to the Flying Club to put my doors back on.  The Club manager let me know that the Snowbirds were heading in.  They are doing an airshow on Wednesday so they came in on Sunday.  We watched two of them land, with the remaining nine to come in a few hours later.

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Lots of activity as the cadets were out gliding:

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The Lancaster flew over:

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And of course, the helicopters for the Niagara Falls tours:

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Oh, and did I mention the Snowbirds?  Tee hee.  We went over and talked to some of the crew.  I introduced myself to the Public Affairs Officer, Michele Tremblay.  She was so nice and informative:

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Pretty neat to be so close to the amazing aircraft:

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After watching some of the activity, we headed back to Vyc and decided to test out the new weather stripping.  We flew up overhead the field and did some aerobatics.  It’s nice not having any of my hair being sucked out, where the old stripping was cracked and rotten.  Afterwards, we chatted with some people at the airport and tried to decide if we should wait for the rest of the Snowbirds to come in.  We both assumed we would regret not staying, so we did.  What an awesome sight when they came back:

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The sound was epic!  Soon after they landed, a Dash 8 came in.  I snagged this pic just as one of the Club’s training planes was taking off:

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Pretty cool watching them taxiing in and lining up with absolute perfection:

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As you can see, Mike was thrilled.

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After checking everything out, we both realized how hungry we were so we decided to leave.  First we dragged Vyc over to the hangar:

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He looked stunning with his pitot static cover, dangling with it’s new little headset:

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Since we both had our cars, we decided to meet at Zehrs at the Fairview Mall to grab some groceries and pick up dinner.  I wanted to get something for my mother in Wal-Mart, so we headed down to the opposite end of the mall.  It was just 5:00 so the mall was closing.  They let us in through the interior doors, and closed them behind us.  We got our loot and then had to walk outside back to the other end of the mall.  We attempted to go through the doors near where we were parked, but they were locked.  Just then, a cute, little old lady came up behind us and asked if the store was closed.  I said that she would have to go around outside to the main front doors.  I explained how to get there, then she said she didn’t have a car.  She had just taken the bus to  the mall.  I said I would drive her around to the front.  She said she left her wallet in Zehrs yesterday so she just wanted to  retrieve it.  I asked how she was going to get back home after and she said she would take the bus.  Well, the bus stop was on the back side of the mall, and there’s no way she could have walked that far.  Mike and I went in with her and she got her wallet.  I then asked Mike to pick up the groceries because I was going to drive her home.  When we walked out to my car, I opened her door and said “Your chariot awaits, madame!”  She was so cute, in the car she pulled her wallet out and said she was giving me gas money.  I told her not to be so silly and put her wallet away.  She was so insistent and dropped $3 into my cup holder.  She kept saying how much she appreciated the ride and that I should just take her little token of appreciation.  I said “Yes mommy!”  By the time I got her home, Mike texted and said he had almost everything, so I just drove home.  What a perfect end to the day!

Today’s symptoms: Felt pretty good today after finally getting a couple good sleeps.  I hope this is a sign of improvement in the ol’ sleep department.