On October 9 (one day before my birthday), I visited Stillwater, Minnesota, with my mom and our puggles. This was my first trip to Stillwater, and, boy, have I been missing out! It’s a beautiful, touristy city on the St. Croix River and Minnesota-Wisconsin border.
They were also having their Stillwater Harvest Fest at Lowell Park on the river, though I did not know about this until I got there. It was crowded and, I’m sure, relatively difficult to find parking (see where we parked in the last two photos).
Here are 19 photos I took today. All but the two from the restaurant, which were taken with my Google Pixel 4a, were taken with a Canon EOS R and kit lens.
Today and tomorrow are in “a run for hottest day of the year,” according to the National Weather Service’s forecast office in the Twin Cities/Chanhassen, MN (which is located right next to my neighborhood).
For Memorial Day, my parents and I traveled by car to visit the family of my brother’s fiancée. All but one of these photos were taken when we stayed at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch in Missouri, though I do have more photos that were taken with my iPhone. Unfortunately, I can’t open the photos taken with my iPhone on this Linux computer because they are .heic files, which this computer does not recognize. That being said, I am grateful the weather cooperated when we were at the Gateway Arch, since these are some of the best photos I’ve taken with my Canon EOS R.
I seem to have run into some bad luck this holiday season. First, on December 1, I start showing symptoms of COVID-19; then, on Christmas Eve, I get pain in my gums that lasts several days; and, finally, on New Year’s Day, I get what I think are most likely hemorrhoids. What did I do to deserve all this bad fortune? I thought I had been a good person.
OK, maybe I’m to blame. I did lose 35 pounds in a little over four months. Maybe now my body is fighting back.
I had been looking forward to being slim not just for the last four months but for at least the last four years. Now I’m at my goal weight (I will write a post about my weight-loss journey soon), but it came at a price.
Still, I didn’t let these afflictions keep me from getting some nice winter photos today. After all, that is why you clicked the link, isn’t it? No, I shouldn’t have said that; my hemorrhoids are probably why you’re here. Well, I will be video conferencing with a doctor in an hour, so I will fill you in on all the salacious details. No, they won’t be examining my derrière over video. At least I don’t think that’s how it works. (Note: I will post the update after the photos.)
I’m starting to ramble. Here are the photos.
Update, 1/2/2021: I had my appointment with a physician assistant (not a medical doctor). We talked over the phone, rather than over video. Interestingly, I forgot to spend undue time making sure I had the right diagnosis, but I’m about 99 percent sure I have hemorrhoids. I’ve only had them one other time in my life — almost exactly 10 years ago — and the symptoms were the same as what I have now. I believe they went away within a week of using Preparation H, witch hazel, or a prescription (I don’t remember which).
The PA prescribed a medication, recommended fiber-rich foods, dispensed other home remedies and things to look out for, and generally answered my questions. I’m optimistic my pain will subside once I start implementing these treatments.
I’ll probably write at least one more update to this post once my body gets back to normal.
I’ve walked by this location numerous times in the past two months while going on long walks, but I just noticed this ironic placement of a Porta-Potty today. I had to take a quick picture with my phone.
On a related note, the technical name for a Porta-Potty is actually chemical toilet, since they use chemicals to mask the odors.
This photo was taken at Rice Marsh Lake in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Is this just childish humor? Possibly. But I must admit I was excited when I first noticed this connection.
Today, my mom, my puggles, and I decided to visit Charles A. Lindbergh State Park in Little Falls, Minnesota, because it was the closest state park at peak fall colors according to the DNR’s Fall Color Finder*. It was a fine state park situated near the Mississippi River. These are the photos I got. (* Update, 12/29/2020: Because of today’s political climate, I am compelled to add that I don’t agree with the political views of the historical figure for which this state park is named.)