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.

Finally got to deadlift again

Recovery from my meniscus surgery has been going really well and with it being less than a month since, I’m much further along than I anticipated. During my first physical therapy session, my PT let me know, unsurprisingly, I may be a candidate for arthritis as I get older, but it would likely not affect me as much as others. This was also true for the knee recovery and steps necessary to improve; due to my powerlifting training, he said I have a different relationship to pain than most people. This didn’t surprise me either, but I found it helpful to hear this directly from a physical therapist that specializes in sports medicine. I’ve gained an awareness of pain, an awareness of the different levels of it, ‘good’ pain vs. ‘bad’ pain, and where my limits need to be. I think this awareness likely started in my youth when I experienced a crushed vertebrae, then finally years later found that strength training could help my body overcome a lot of the discomfort I felt with a weakened back.

The meetings I’ve had with the physical therapist have been fantastic and I’ve learned a number of movements to strengthen my knees, quads, and hips that I will likely use even once the recovery is complete. I’m also fortunate enough to have a leg press machine in the garage gym that my precious wife had got me. That thing and my foam roller have been vital in the knee recovery. Today my PT saw how far my recovery has already come along and gave me the OK to start doing light deadlifts to see how they went, with the directive of “for now, walk away from them still wanting more”.

Did my PT work:

  • foam roller
  • leg press (0 weight, just the sled)
  • body weight squats (holding a strap around the power rack to stabilize)
  • 1 leg squats (holding strap)
  • 1 leg lunges (holding strap)

Then I got to do a little lifting:

  • Deadlifts (225 x 5 x 4 sets) [left wanting a LOT more, but hey, progress]
  • hanging leg raises
  • reverse hyper (only 90 lbs, again, light to let the recovery continue)

So dang happy to be back out in the garage gym.

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:

Read more

  • 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.