Things that I’ve been doing in the last month or so, since we returned from New York:
1) I finished writing about our trip! I haven’t had time to proofread yet, so please don’t criticize my spelling too much.
2) We hosted a baby shower for Wendy and Amelia. Everything was rainbow-colored, Shawn did a fabulous job of decorating, and I made cupcakes.
3) I’ve officially given away all of the baby blankets I knit. I liked this orange one a lot.
4) We went to the fair a couple of times. The second time, my entire reason for being there was the llama costume contest. SERIOUSLY.
That’s a llama dressed as an ice cream truck, and he’s wearing a button-down shirt, a tie, and a hat. Below is a llama dressed as a bee. It was great. I think I laughed for an hour straight.
Here’s some llamas taking a shower. Llamas are the best.
5) Matt and I camped at Myre Big Island State Park outside of Albert Lea. I knew they were expecting storms, so I ordered a screen tent from Target and we picked it up on the way there. Well, let’s just say that a screen tent isn’t really that effective against HELLA STORMS, and after being soaking wet and nearly suffocating from having a white-gas lantern in a tarp-covered screen tent, we decided to get a room at the Holiday Inn Express just down the road on Friday night. It was nice being able to take a shower, and we got to hang out at the Skol Tavern at the back of the restaurant in the truck stop across the street. (We tried to drive into town, but the roads were flooded.)
Saturday the weather was way better, and Wendy showed up to spend the night. We kayaked a long way, and I’m still really happy to own a screen tent now. It’ll come in handy for other adventures.
6) It became fall, so I’ve been doing a lot of garden harvesting. Check out the potato haul, all from a couple small bins.
7) A bunch of us did the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Association walk a few weekends ago, in our friend Kristin’s memory.
8) We saw the Book of Mormon at the Orpheum. It was as funny as expected, and it was awesome to be back in that building after so long. I regaled Matt with tales of the ghost who lives backstage.
9) I had my first mammogram, and then had to go in for the mammogram recheck. I knew that that happened really often the first time since they had nothing to compare to, but still. I did a good job of not worrying too much about it, but on the day of the appointment I accidentally went over there 45 minutes early because I was nervous, and then I almost died of horror walking into the waiting room at the cancer center at the University. Anyway, everything is normal, so hooray!
10) I went to the Replacements/Hold Steady show at Midway Stadium with Matt, Bill, and Jumi, and it was excellent. What was not excellent was getting food-poisoned by the Turf Club. I started getting sick at the show, and stayed that way for an entire week. I’m not in a hurry to have that ever happen again.
11) Matt, Wendy, Ash and I did the Mightyssippi Adventure, which was rescheduled from June because the river was flooded and killing kayakers left and right.
This Mississippi River was far more to our liking, though I guess it could’ve moved a little faster to help us on our 14-mile journey.
We all parked at the end point in South St Paul really early in the morning, and rode shuttle buses to the starting point just south of the Ford plant in St Paul, where we’d left our boats. It was a pretty well-organized event, and the weather could not have been better for it.
The first half, which involved a stop on Harriet Island and paddling past the riverboats in St Paul, was excellent. Once you get past there it becomes really industrial, and the river is mostly barges. That part was kind of a slog, especially since the wind changed and was pushing waves toward us.
The very end was great, though, since there’s a narrow channel by an island to navigate through with the rest of the finishers, and we took out just past the Wakota Bridge.
Holy crap, we were sore for a couple days after that!
12) We went to Sever’s Corn Maze and Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store last weekend, both very important fall traditions. The exotic animal petting zoo and the corn pit are the best.
The main thing that keeps you motivated in the corn maze (and not afraid of being murdered by farmers) is the fact that there’s a $500 prize for people who do their brain-teaser, which requires completing the maze.
13) Oh, there were some other shows, a baseball game or two, a comedy show, our 3rd wedding anniversary (we had an amazing meal at Brasserie Zentral!), a return visit to Town Talk Diner after sooo many years, some movies, a ton of work, and a lot of enjoying the tiny bits that remain of good weather for the year. Because as we know, winter is coming.
It’ll be my last winter in Minnesota. Only 6 more months of freezing to death and I’m in the clear!