I’m asking for time for Christmas.

When last we spoke, Matt and I were heading to the Renaissance Festival. You may have assumed that I was murdered by anachronistic reenactors there, and you are not too far from the truth. In short, as a vegetarian and someone who is made profoundly uncomfortable by people pretending to be things they’re not, I am not a fan of the Renaissance Festival at all.

I was a fan of the CORN MAZE, however. In addition to the maze, we had the opportunity to pet things like camels, hilarious goats, and water buffalo, and to feed a monkey Cheerios through a tube. There was a house full of parakeets, where I bought a stick covered in seed for $1 and was promptly covered in birds.

13 birds on my arm

And then there was the CORN PIT. We loved it.

corn pit

(We brought home a couple pumpkins, and have been doing a lot of cooking with pumpkin puree since. Did you know it’s super-easy to make your own, and it tastes way better than canned stuff? Plus you can roast the seeds.)

Next up in our fall adventures was our camping trip to Itasca State Park. Through some massive stroke of luck, the campfire ban was lifted a few days before we left, and the forecast started to improve. The weather could not have been better during the day; we had full sun, a light breeze, and the trees were at the peak of their fall colors. We spent a good amount of time there just being shocked at how perfect everything was.

lake itasca

The campground was excellent (having running water and showers available makes camping way more pleasant), and would’ve been totally ideal were it not for the dog that barked ALL NIGHT and the regular raccoon visits. Even if you hang up your trash and put everything in the car, they still come by to rustle around in your stuff.

We kayaked on Itasca and Mary Lakes, and rented a pontoon for a couple hours to ride around and drink some of the local beers. We hiked, climbed the fire tower, visited the place where the Mississippi begins, and took a trip to visit Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji. (I’m planning on travel-journaling about all that… someday when I have time.)

Since camping, I’ve had a really amazing back and neck massage, attended our minigolf award ceremony at Kristin and Andy’s, went to Oktoberfest in New Ulm, and spent a day in training at Oracle. I’ve been insanely and constantly busy at work: my main project is going into production at the Missouri DOR on the 15th (no stress about that at all), which is why I rarely have time to write here. Using the computer at home? I stare at one 8 hours a day, thank you very much.

I’ve been keeping up on couch to 5k, and will be starting week 7 shortly. I can run 25 minutes straight without too much effort, and once I’m up to half an hour I’ll start focusing on speed instead, so an actual 5k won’t take me 3 days to finish. (Like I told Wendy yesterday, the 3-Day seems so much easier than a 5k. I’ve walked 60 miles more than once, so why is this such a big deal, anyway?) While I’ve never actually had the goal of running a race, I told my compatriots that I’ll do one if they do. See? Pinning all the responsibility on them.

This afternoon I have my second oral surgery, to plant another tooth-post into my lower jawbone permanently and forever. (The dentist swears I’ll never have trouble with these two implant-based teeth for the rest of my life, so I’m holding him to it.) I’ll still be a toothless hillbilly until January, because that’s when I get a new round of insurance to exhaust immediately. Thank god I’m at least getting a bunch of miles for my dental pain and suffering.

Therefore, let’s hope the swelling goes down by Friday at 6pm, which is the GOPHERS HOCKEY SEASON OPENER AT MARIUCCI ARENA SWEET JESUS I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We will be there, and I have no doubt it will be awesome.

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