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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. 

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Had a good day today. Dawn recently found a place called Otto’s Sausage Kitchen and had visited to buy me some potato sausage, bangers, and lingonberry sauce! There was a person outdoor cooking sausage so we made plans to go visit and today was the day. We went to get sausages, which were amazing. Right down the street is the Portland Fish Market so we walked down and got Ian a serving of fish n’ chips that he loved.

We were in the area so we went to visit my friend Jeff; and of course pet his goats.

Dawn also found a new burger place called Mike’s Drive-In – yet another excellent place we’ll go visit again.

Now we’re just relaxing at home, watching my friend Thijs and his partner stream on Twitch – if you enjoy drum n bass, check them out! https://www.twitch.tv/juicedrumandbass


Meniscus surgery

So a little while back I hurt my knee. I don’t think I did it in the gym, but out in the garden of all places; picking strawberries. I tried to let it heal on it’s own but, well, it didn’t. Finally saw my doctor and after an x-ray and MRI, we found out I’d torn a small flap in the meniscus of my left knee.

A referral over to the orthopedic doctor and he confirmed I’d need a surgery. Not what I wanted to hear, but what can you do. It was my first surgery, so that meant it was my first time going under. Giving up control of falling asleep and being woken up definitely caused me some anxiety, but Dawn told me it would be the best nap I’d ever had and not to worry. Seemed everyone I talked to had a similar surgery and assured me it wasn’t a big thing to worry about; all of which I definitely appreciated. 

I had the surgery yesterday and it went off perfectly. I was a little anxious but everyone at the hospital was wonderful. My anesthesiologist asked if I wanted something to reduce the anxiety so I agreed – moments later I was floating. LOL. Oddly, that medicine gave me a minor cough, but she said that wasn’t uncommon.

They wheeled me into the operating room, got me over to the table, and had me start taking a couple breathes of oxygen. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room, happy to see anyone that came to talk to me.

Dawn said it was pretty funny.


I took off my sock and noticed my left foot was a different color – turns out my whole leg was. Then I remembered they said they’d wash me with anti-bacterial right before. So, here’s a shot of my mercurochrome skin.


I had a couple pages of pictures the surgeon took while in there. Here’s a before and after of their work. Pretty cool to see.


The rest of the day I definitely felt a lot of pressure on the knee area and hobbled around the house on crutches. Surprisingly though, I haven’t needed them at all today. Mostly sitting on the couch with my leg elevated and putting ice on it every couple of hours.

I’m happy it’s over, I’m grateful to all the wonderful people at the hospital that took good care of me, and I’m extremely lucky to have Dawn and Ian at home taking care of me.