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introduction (selfie ec) 

I guess it's finally time. I'm Sig! I'm a 32-year-old trans guy (he/him) from the Boston area, currently living in North Ostrobothnia, Finland, with my spouse @Jonas, two cats, a boa and a bunch of plants.

Right now I spend most of my time learning Finnish, taking care of my pets, gardening, baking, bicycling, and enjoying nature. I also draw, but that's been kinda on and off lately. I've also been known to play a vidja game but don't tell anyone.

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sorry that a lot of my posts for at least the next 2 months are going to be "top surgery +++ [show more]" but you know how it is

re: home reno, another good thing 

is that @Jonas and I get along really well at times like this. we're stressed but we don't grump at each other. it's nice

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re: home reno, one good thing 

is that it's not going to be a huge deal financially. it is a deal. just not a huge one.

insurance is paying most of the cost for the new floor, subfloor and joists. the only thing it's not covering is the timbers, which jonas already fixed themself and frankly I'm in awe. they basically held our shitty little house up with jacks, sawed out the rotten area of timbers and replaced it with studwork, like so

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home reno, bleh 

turns out the kitchen plumbing had been leaking for decades and a section of wall timbers (the house is basically a log cabin) and a couple joists were completely rotted

we didn't catch it when we redid the whole kitchen a year ago because all the damage was below the level of the subfloor, which seemed fine at the time

so for the past month we've been sequestered upstairs in our ~250 sq ft attic floor, which is only two rooms and not one room by way of half a wall and a makeshift curtain, along with our two cats and their litterbox

eating only what needs microwaving at most, using disposable dishes (I try to at least get stuff that's burnable as fireplace tinder so it feels like less of a waste, including wooden cutlery which is... not great fun to eat with but it's fine)

it's eating away at me. been sliding into the old familiar depression a bit. sucks. I miss cooking

oh! There's a "Draw Something" option under the attachment button now!

re: antivax-ish nonsense 

the thing is he's apparently not even wrong about elderberry having antiviral properties, at least against flu (per sciencedaily.com/releases/2019 )

all dude had to say was "get vaccinated obviously but if you catch a flu anyway there's evidence that this helps" and I would have been subscribed. he's listenable and articulate, and I'm a sucker for hippies walking through the woods talking about plants, as long as they're not... like that

maybe I just need to get a camera and become that hippie myself. be the hippie you want to see in the world or whatever

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antivax-ish nonsense 

I found out that the big weird berry bush out back is an elder, which is extremely cool!

so I was researching the species, looking up things I can do with elderberries and so on, and I found a guy on youtube who had stuff to say about them. I was like alright this seems pretty woowoo hippie and also you're wearing a trilby but go on

he started saying elderberry has antiviral properties; I thought "hmm citation needed, I will have to google this shortly"

and then he was like "you know me I'll take an herb over a vaccine any day" and I was like you don't say *closes tab immediately*

re: garden stuff 

The white fungus visible on the other two beds is just from sitting damp under that tarp for months, and that's a good thing because I want that mulch to break down, and the grass layer, too. And it is – the grass roots have pretty much completely rotted and my trowel goes right through.

This should fix the problem I had with my main set of four big beds, which is that I tried to be both cheap and impatient. I only used about half as much compost as I should have if I wanted to plant right away, because that's all the growing plants get for nutrients until the impenetrable mat of roots gives way.

It actually worked out alright though. Many of my plants, like the broad beans, started to slow down and turn yellow at a certain point – then, all at once, shot up and started flourishing again, right when the turf layer below had finally become soft and diggable. Sometimes nature can be surprisingly forgiving of mistakes.

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re: garden stuff 

This set of three beds in the back has been a work in progress all summer. First I laid down a tarp for a couple months to start to kill the grass, then removed it and started building the beds, first layering cardboard and newspapers on the ground and then covering with bark mulch.

I only had enough mulch for the left and middle beds, so I put the tarp back on and let it sit for a couple more months, planning to throw some mulch or compost on the last bed whenever I managed to get some.

As of a couple days ago, I still hadn't (again, bad brain), but it occurred to me that maybe I could dig some of my homemade compost out of the bottom of the pile and use that.

I managed to get two wheelbarrows full of some really nice, dark stuff. So that's what you see on the rightmost bed there. It has a great texture; the leaves are mostly from the top of the pile and fell out while I was digging at the bottom. There's also some bits of eggshell in it but that's just fine.

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garden stuff 

Got just about done with autumn bed prep over the weekend, and just in time, because it’s been raining lots ever since and we’re due for a big freeze later in the week. I’d been putting it off, and it kinda feels like the weather’s been in alignment with my procrastination; in this part of Finland it ought to be basically winter by now, but instead rainy autumn has been going on and on.

I hadn’t been out there weeding as much as I should have this summer on account of bad brain, so it was plenty of work prying out fat dandelion taproots and peeling back the creeping rhizomes of twitch grass and yarrow that were starting to invade. It was nice though. The mosquitoes are long gone and the cool misty weather is great for this kind of work.

Here's everything as of yesterday. Some beds still need mulch, but that's still doable even if it gets freezy this week.

uhhhhh anatomical terms? mildly nsfw? 

I've been informed by @Jonas that the Finnish word for taint is väliliha, meaning "between-meat"

I assumed this was slang but no, that's the actual anatomical term. Finnish is so blunt like that sometimes, I love it

I got a lot of garden stuff done over the last few days and I'm full of dirt energy

I think finland should celebrate halloween, but it should do it a little earlier. beginning of october maybe.

I've always felt like there are two autumns (at least in new england where I'm from): the first is colorful, lively, leaves still on the trees, harvest imagery everywhere. the second is more solemn, trees are skeletal, it's dark and frosty.

IMO halloween ought to take place right on the cusp between these. but late october is very much second autumn here. sometimes practically winter.

hades spoiler (not a major plot thread, just a random thing that can apparently happen) 

thats a paddlin

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hades spoiler (not a major plot thread, just a random thing that can apparently happen) 

about 40 runs in, I reached one of charon's shops and there was a bag of gold behind him and the option to "borrow" it

I did and he teleported me to erebus and slapped the shit out of me. just completely paddled my ass with his big oar. it was early in the run and I had a curse of chaos on me so I got absolutely klonked

his fight theme is a cool remix of his shop theme. I love this game

Sadie fluffs up in response to any noteworthy stimulus, good or bad; here she is doing christmas tree tail because she got some smoked salmon

I'm about to sleep but welcome new meemus

alcohol 

what a nice goddamn day. I lounged in my hammock by the river playing mario odyssey for like 3 hours, we finally found the lovely wooden spice rack we've been keeping an eye out for at the flea markets, ate pizza, had a nice sauna

now I'm drinking some of our homemade rhubarb-redcurrant wine, which turned out surprisingly nice for our first attempt at boozemaking

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