Bees

We just bought a box of mason bee cocoons from Farmington Gardens for the backyard!

Found this video incredibly helpful as I have no idea what I’m doing with these. Linked from this great write up on beebuilt.com.

Dawn found a bee house for us

We’ve put it in the back corner of the yard, furthest from the house, out near the fruit trees with easy access to the garden for our new mason bee friends

We put out about half of the cocoons we bought today – and as the video suggested – we’ll put the other half out to hatch in two weeks

New neighbors are moved in – I hope they like their new home

Pruned the fruit trees

It was so nice to spend some time outside today. Ian and I got to prune the fruit trees, and I started getting a few other things done in the yard. 

Here are a few before/after shots of the trees.

Apple tree (4 different kinds grafted into one):

Pink Lady apple tree:

Dwarf Shiro plum tree

Hard to believe how much the plum tree grew last year.

Not pictured; the pear tree in the front yard. It hasn’t produced yet, but we’re hopeful it does so soon. The cherry tree in the back yard; it was here when we got here and it isn’t looking too good, may need to replace it soon. 

A lot to do still, and a lot of plans for the garden this season, but that means a lot to build in the coming weeks.

A look ahead to 2021

It’s a new year, and with this comes a time to look back and reflect, as well as set a few goals. 2020 was interesting to say the least.

We’ve been quarantined / working from home since March of 2020. Admittedly it was slightly challenging the first couple months to find my rhythm, but since I did, I have been able to look at things with a new level of gratitude. I’m extremely lucky to have a fantastic job that I actually enjoy and can do from my home office. We have a house that we love being at, with a giant yard where we can build out a garden, and wonderful neighbors around us. Lastly, I have been so grateful to have my garage gym. Aside from the downtime I’ve been on with my knee injury, the garage gym has been keeping me sane. I wish everyone had these things.

Looking ahead into 2021, I’ve decided I want to set a few goals for myself so here we go:

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  • I set a goal each year, and every year I fail to make the time to accomplish it. I intend to change that this year.

500 lb deadlift

  • It’s been years since I’ve pulled 500 or above. I’m just coming back from my meniscus surgery and know the road will be a long one, but I don’t see any reason that I can’t hit this goal. I intend on getting my 500 lb deadlift back in the books.

Garden

  • We own a 1/4 acre of land and have been working towards building a large garden. This spring we’re planning to grow enough to can and preserve, and hopefully enough to take donations to food banks to share with others. Intend on continuing to educate myself about growing food.

Certification

  • I work for AWS in a non-technical role as a Community Manager. However, I feel like I would better serve our community members, and better navigate the complexities of the cloud if I pursued becoming a AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. I intend to study and pass the exam this year.

Simplify

  • Minimalism has been a pursuit of mine for a long time now. It’s helped us as a family see what we need to focus on, see what adds value to our lives, and see what we need and don’t need. I intend on continuing this to see where else we can simplify our lives.

I’m sure there are a few more things I intend on accomplishing this year, but this is my list for now.

Christmas 2020

Had a nice quiet Christmas at home with Dawn and Ian this year. We got to do video chats with our families, open presents slowly, and just enjoy the day. As always, the part of the holiday I enjoy was seeing reactions from the gifts they received. Ian had a good day and drove himself to the ATM to deposit his favorite gifts into his bank account. Dawn loved the silly t-shirt Ian and I found for her (as you can see in the video above). And during our video chat, we were able to watch my Mom open a custom made present we got for her from ‘Crown and Paw‘; a picture of her little dachshund Bo Jangles as ‘The General’.  
Then we finished off the day with my favorite meal, Swedish potato sausage, meatballs, kidney beans, with the Swedish Limpa bread we made the other day, and some lingonberry sauce.