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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  260 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 16, 2019


The other week I planted in a bunch of planters appleseeds and acorns to keep outside over winter so they can be seedlings in the spring. The other day, when I went out to water them, it looks like a squirrel had sniffed out the acorns and had decided to help itself to them. Which is fine, that's part of life and I kind of figured there was a chance of that happening. Since I have a bunch of empty pots and no acorns now, the other day Dala and I went and gathered pine seeds and planted those instead. They're no oak trees, but they're still pretty, so I'll work with that.


My mental faculties have been on a slow but steady downward trajectory for the past two or three years. It's been pretty easy for me to be in denial about it, because most of the signs so far have been pretty easy to ignore. I say most, because I've been ignoring a big red flag and that's my inability to handle stress. I've been forced out of jobs because of it and I haven't been able to work as much or as well as I used to. Recently though, a new red flag has popped up, and that's when I'm any combination of tired, stressed, or processing too much information, I struggle with speech. I can't remember even basic words and conveying even simple ideas takes so much effort it's an equal combination of embarrassing and scary.

Sucks for Hubski though that, for the most part, my ability to write hasn't been affected yet. Which means you lot will probably have to put up with me for the foreseeable future.

Last Wednesday I had such a great day at work I was reminded of the kind of man I used to be. The rest of the week was a near disaster, reminding me of the man I am now. It was enough to make me realize I can't afford to be in denial anymore, that dementia runs in the family and that coupled with my head injury, the future looks pretty foggy. I'm gonna save up money to visit the neurologist that treated me for my head injury and see where we go from there. A family planner and possibly social worker might be in my future too. In an odd way, finally acknowledging that I'm having some very real problems make things feel less scary and more scary than before.

If anyone has experience in this realm and some advice, I'd love to hear it. No pity though. All things considered I'm still in good shape and I intend to keep it that way.

wasoxygen  ·  259 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Sucks for Hubski though...

Yes, how much of your relentless positive energy and failure to complain are we supposed to take? I enjoy your observations on the natural world, and I wouldn't mind some more comments on cars.

Maybe you could try the mk method and sprout your oaks indoors? It didn't work for me, but there are still acorns all over the sidewalk so I might try again.

user-inactivated  ·  259 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Yes, how much of your relentless positive energy and failure to complain are we supposed to take?

It is indeed awful. :)

Have you tried the sink test for finding good acorns? I learned that if you carry a cup of water with you as you're picking them up, drop the acorn in the water. If it sinks, it is healthy, if it floats, it's been used by bugs or fungus already. It still takes time, I think I got one good acorn out of every ten or so that I picked up. But after about half an hour, I had six healthy acorns. Unfortunately for me, it looks like the tree that I want to get my acorns from is done dropping for the year, so I have to wait until next year to try again.

That said, planting indoors by itself might not work, because the acorns need to be cold for months to germinate. Fridge option aside . . . maybe a storage shed would work? I don't have one, but my neighbor does. I could ask next year if they'd let me use a small corner of it for a modest fee in return . . .

wasoxygen  ·  259 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh, the sink test sounds great; I'll use that. I was going by shape to pick a winner. Now I see mk went for safety in numbers.

New plan: collect a dozen of the heaviest acorns available. Plant some in an indoor pot, and chill the rest for a month or two before planting.

mk  ·  259 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Funny thing, the oak sprouted, but that little green thing wasn't it.

The oak is now in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I'll have to remember to take a pic next year, if it survives.

user-inactivated  ·  259 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What did the little green thing turn out to be? The leaves look kind of waxy, so I'm intrigued. I see lumps in that pot too. Were you growing avacados?

mk  ·  259 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No idea, but definitely not a tree. No avocados. Those lumps were all acorns.

user-inactivated  ·  259 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ahh. The framing and extreme close up of the picture threw me off.

ButterflyEffect  ·  258 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Sucks for Hubski though...

Booooooooo. I was really happy when you came back to this site. It’s always good reading what you and Dala are up to.

Probably the only useful thing I have to say is to always be your best, most vocal health advocate.

user-inactivated  ·  258 days ago  ·  link  ·  


ThurberMingus  ·  260 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'm still in good shape and I intend to keep it that way.

That's the spirit. I have an aunt who had a bad concussion and there were some long term and some permanent effects. I think from her brain swelling - not sure, it was maybe 10 years ago now. It did take time for her and her family to adjust - time to adjust and time to guess what to adjust - her/family/environment/etc. It's easy to get hung up on differences but she's the same person she was before. And by now, it's a bit like she switched out some pet peeves - normal before, normal now, chaos in the middle. I don't know if that's relevant to you, but I'm sharing in case it's useful to hear about someone else dealing with a brain injury.

I only have one piece of advice but I don't know if you'll like it. Sprinkling cayenne pepper on the dirt will keep squirrels from digging up the planters without harming them. Ihope they get a whiff of it and back off without snorting a lungful, but I'm not sure because I never caught them in the act.

user-inactivated  ·  260 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I find the pepper idea pretty intriguing. I'll look into that and maybe similar things, provided they're a non-harmful deterrent. I talked to my bud about the acorns, the same one who told me about hugelculture, and their solutions ranged from everything from chickenwire contraptions to out and out green houses. Which . . . yeah, all would probably work, but I don't know. They're acorns. Then again, I was really hoping for oak saplings.

Yeah. I'm glad to hear your aunt is doing better. Being open to knowing if adjustments are needed and what they might be, really is key. The more I think about it, the more talking to a family planner is a good idea.

kingmudsy  ·  260 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    They're no oak trees, but they're still pretty, so I'll work with that.

At this point "The squirrels won't eat them" is an improvement over your last crop. Let us know how this next batch of seedlings goes!

    Finally acknowledging that I'm having some very real problems make things feel less scary and more scary than before.

Two years ago I did something very, very stupid. After noticing a lump in my right testicle, I decided to be in denial about it for almost a year. I did my best not to think about it for the entire time, simply repressing the thoughts whenever they came up and trying to avoid touching it by any means (As if avoiding concrete interaction with it would keep it imaginary). The entire time, it was a burden to me. Even when I wasn't thinking about it, I knew there was a chance I was killing myself by not having it looked at. For awhile it was easy to focus on other things - I was just too stressed to have it looked at, and it was too easy to distract myself with work, assignments, exams, relationship woes, or whatever else.

When I finally got it checked out, it was obviously a relief to discover that it was simply a cyst that wouldn't require treatment...But the biggest relief (and one I haven't bothered articulating until now) was when I walked into the doctor's office for the first time, knowing it was finally going to be examined and that the consequences would be happening rather than just haunting me.

All this to say that I get it. Facing something down after running from it can be a relief, because running is exhausting. I hope you know I can sympathize with part of your journey, and I'm wishing you well for the parts that are foreign to me. I hope you'll continue to give us updates as you find appropriate and bearable, you're in my thoughts applewood.

user-inactivated  ·  260 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeeeah. Lumps are freaking scary. I'm glad it's nothing major. Denial really is a weird weight, huh? We don't know we're re carrying it until we let it go.

I appreciate the positive vibes, really, really do. Hopefully, with God and good luck and good science, updates will be few and far between and fairly uneventful. :)

steve  ·  258 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just getting the chance to read this mate... you’ve got my contact info if you want to chat.

Right here with ya pal.

user-inactivated  ·  257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks bro. I legit appreciate the outreach. :)

goobster  ·  260 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Weirdly, my sister co-authored a book about how to navigate the language of heathcare, and her section specifically deals with issues around dementia and reduced cognitive function. (Mostly in senior citizens, but the logic holds no matter what type of brain changes you are undergoing.)

The book came out this morning. I was literally posting about it before I came to Hubski, so let me just Command-V it here: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Language-Healthcare-Care-Deserve/dp/1733966609

user-inactivated  ·  260 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I will look into this. It looks pretty useful.