Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
My colonoscopy went really well, all clear 3 lovely photos of my colonoscopy and feedback that the preparation was excellent. Nothing at all found. So very good news.
Yet I have not been not doing very well in my mental health. In fact it has been a dive.
I have not wanted to post here and it has been really hard to begin again. As my aim is to be truthful about my life with my mental illness Complex post traumatic stress disorder. The plot has been totally lost and I am not depressed as such. Or am I? That is what is so confusing to me.
It does seem so strange to feel this way after good news of a very healthy colon.
My anxiety before hand was worse than I realised, so much in hindsight I made plans talking to a friend about what would be best for my dogs. She would take them.. extreme.
I am realising that I kind of wanted to die. WOAH. Now I have to reassure you all I am not suicidal, I do not want to die. Yet this is the only thing that makes any sense to me. When I acknowledged this I began to cry. Not just cry but felt so lost and realised I just wanted to be with my partner. Who died almost 11 years ago. My stomach dropped and I felt really nauseous when this was going on. It was several days after the colonoscopy. So not related to the procedure or the very light anesthetic.
I am now realising (I perhaps should have contacted my psychologist because I have hit a very extreme place and my hope in sharing this as often happens when I write my posts help me see and and work through the situation and emotions.
The Autumn weather has been brilliant, hot and blue skies/ That is up until the last two days with snow down to 700meters/2296 ft. lots of heavy rain my tanks are overflowing again. I only mention this as some might feel vitamin D may be an issue.
What I have realised, is that without my brother and sister-in-law who for reasons I am now longer in touch with for my wellbeing, being at the end of the phone, there is no one who I can be comforted and just loved supported bye who I trust totally. My partner was that person and this is really the first medical thing with potential of serious consequences I have faced since my breakdown and issues related to my mental illness.
I miss my partner, every day, and very rarely talk about him. Even with my psychologist I have only mentioned him in very general passing. However the time may be needed at our next appointment.
All I know is I have been drinking alcohol more than I really have in many many years. A lot for me and the fact how I drink it is perhaps even more a symptom. I am making home made baileys. So easy to drink and I have been through almost two bottles of scotch. It also requires a lot of condensed milk and cream..so whilst delicious, and very easy to drink. When my partner died I tried to use alcohol to numb the pain and loss. I am usually incredibly conscientious of alcohol as we have alcoholism in our family both maternal grandparents, and my father is too though he would say he isn’t (2 bottles of wine for 2 people each night along with one or two whisky’s). I also have bought a few small alcohol mixed bottles these have not all gone, still have 3 left out of 8. I have not been buying anything much in the way of other sweet products.
I have not been eating well and I have become addicted to shopping online and playing computer games. Showering and cooking gone out of the window, my dogs normal diet has gone, they are still getting exercise I am getting very little. At least most of the shopping is where I fail to purchase things on line with wish and my money gets refunded.
The house strange I am taking the odd thing out still. It is not My garden I left the gate open one night and the wallabies dined on lovely tomatoes and all my greens. I am thankful they did not get my pumpkins but they have damaged other plants.
So basically my desire to die was really my desire for comfort by the person I loved most in my life.
I am so thankful for the ability to have medical checks that can alert us to potential problems. I am incredibly thankful for the results of my procedure. I am especially thankful that I wake up each day. Even on those that are not my best ones.
I think it is Tuesday March 17th, just checked and it is. it is 13:20 on a stunning Autumn day in the Huon Valley my home region in Tasmania. I have taken a while to get a sense of what happened recently the after affects impaired me and I felt no desire to do or be anywhere, to be with anyone, just being with my dogs, chooks and at home is the recovery and medicine I have required. It has taken time, and a lot of management strategies to not sink towards the black hole, it would have been so easy. I work constantly at not going back.
I moved on from beating myself up and began to consider what a really good person I am. Compassionate, to empathetic and kind. Would I change myself NO. No I am me, and I honestly do like me more and more. I am so very very fortunate to be able to be totally myself and still part of such an incredible community. I sigh as I write and know that I am so very very fortunate. I m safe here. What an incredible gift that is.
I look at the horse tail wispy clouds with the blue sky listening to the hum of bees, and flies, the chug of a Aquaculture vessel coming up the river and feel the sun beating on my legs as I watch cabbage moths trying to find unprotected brassicas to lay her eggs on. My dogs are chewing bones near bye. I am aware of the European wasp that has invaded Tassie. As it will seek out any meat left outside as too flies. I know that is why the blowies (blow flies) are zooming about Miss Treacle as she is eating hers. Busby’s is all gone.
A wattle bird just let out a call that is hard to describe and was answered by another. This morning I have let out the chicks and Frida Kahol too free range in the chook run with everyone else. She is an incredible Mamma, I am a bit fearful as I lost two chicks in one fowl swoop to a grey Goshawk two weeks ago. The decision was made by Frida as I had put a fence (I use it on the deck to keep the wallabies off it at night) around their chick house. I had let them out and was tending to the other hens and Roopert when I heard much distressed chirping Frida Kahol had flown the coop! The smallest of the chicks, a bantam I feel as it is a great deal tinier than the others, had managed to get through the bars but the other six chicks were not able to follow their Mamma.
I had to remove the fence and allow nature and Frida to take their chances with the remaining seven chicks. I have noticed that Henny (the darker of my two brown hens her sister is Penny) is broody and I am working hard to ensure that I do not have more chicks this season.
I have also it seems been able to keep all the poultry in the run. I do miss seeing them outside in the paddock, I do not miss the digging up of plants and seeds, and dust bathing hollows they leave in my garden and paddock where I can stumble into them unwittingly.
It is green looking over the river and at parts of my paddock grass, yet here on this side of the river we have had little rain compared to across the river. It is very surreal to be sitting here in March with almost full rain water tanks (from a couple of weeks ago) and green grass. It is normally dry and I ponder if I need to consider buying water.
Am I repeating myself. Maybe its Ok, Pretty normal for me after being triggered.
Life has not stood still even with the emotions and dealing with the aftermath of being triggered. I have shared previously that I have been waiting on being notified of when I will be having a colonoscopy, unlike the USA in Australia you do not automatically have one on turning 50. Here it is only if there is a concern. I was listed in the highest priority case due to symptoms. I had not heard anything and the timeline I should have heard had passed. There are some things having been an RN helps with, and that is feeling able to contact the appropriate department to inquire. So last week I did phone them to discover my file was in a drawer, and who knows if I had not called when I might have heard. (off course my mind has taken me to dying with colon cancer and all that goes with it in the months I have been waiting). Knowing that Australia has one of the highest rates of colon cancer in the world does not help. Early diagnosis is the best help to survival. I rang and was rung back the next day first thing in the morning. I am booked in soon. I have recieved all the instructions in the mail, and I feel that the actual preparation will be far worse than the procedure, having worked in colonoscopy as a casual RN I am very aware of what occurs and I am not too concerned about the procedure. My only concerns were with what to do with my dogs.
The thing that is extremely difficult for me with my CPTSD is actually telling people in the first place and then asking for someone to assist me in anyway. I find it almost impossible to ask for help. At first I thought right I can not bare the thought of telling anyone, and I can not bare the thought of being away from my dogs. I wanted to drive myself there and back both things not supported by the hospital or I imagine my insurance. So I considered a dog friendly B and B for two nights. (My hospital wants you to be with someone overnight after the procedure, as its policy). That is not going to happen. I am not having a general anesthetic, it is a twilight one. While it is not safe enough to drive myself home, I do not need anyone with me overnight. I did share with someone who has kindly offered to drive me and bring me home. The appointment is made and I will be away from home less than 6 hours all up (proviso that all goes well). My dogs are quite content to be at home as long as they have had a run and used their bowels. So I put logic and fugal me in charge and will be home before and after the procedure.
I am now aware of how much distress was on me with not having any acknowledgement other than the letter advising me I was highest priority a date range that had past and me taking the bull by the horns and following up. I am so pleased I found the courage to do that. If anyone in Australia is in a similar situation contact the Endoscopy unit and ask them when your procedure will be please.
I have also been accepted for the National Disability Scheme (NDIS), and have a meeting with someone from their in the near future to see what I might need. As my mental illness/s has seen me accepted on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) it means that I can request my psychology appointments be on the NDIS, and that means my Psychologist can bulk bill me. I am not sure how she has been charging me before this, as I have paid nothing to see this wonderful woman. The veggie garden is doing OK my tomatoes the few I have picked have been delicious, I noted this morning something has taken two green tomatoes and pecked them I am blaming the blackbirds or starlings. I have pumpkins, and a couple of zucchinis. My peppers are fruiting but will they ripen before the cold sets in? Not a cucumber or tomatillo has appeared. I have at some stage to pull up the sweet potatoes. I hold no hope for any this year. I will cut some slips for next year. I have not emptied my last pot of potatoes as they have not flowered yet. It has been a better year this year for veggies than last year and I learn as I go. I am averaging 3 eggs a day. I will be winter glassing a lot of eggs. To provide me with eggs during the off season. I do not want to burn my girls out with keeping them laying or year. As hens only have as many eggs in their systems as they will lay over the course of their life.
I have not showered in way too long, and will be soon, I have been eating a bit better, and generally getting to bed early. Dogs are walking I am driving. Right now I am really just focusing on the things I need to do for next period of time and as too diet I have to follow instructions nearly every thing I actually eat is not on my menu for next period of time. Clear broths, clear juices, I have minimised my coffee in take already. I have noticed that the preparation fluid for the colonoscopy has aspartame in it sigh I really dislike any artificially sweeteners, but I have no choice. Thankfully I can take my medication.
While I know I am anxious about what is still to occur and the results. Just knowing the date and time it is going to happen is a relief.
May be triggering and language some may find offensive. Please do not share or use any of the following without consent of Echidna Home. (C)
Living with a mental illness such as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is so shit at times. I have been moseying along living life in way that has been good. I was out for a day with a friend on Saturday all day and it was really lovely we went to a town further a field. I was so exhausted afterwards. I have to say being with her is quite relaxing as their is nothing like being with someone who really understands what having a mental illness is like. We shared a lot it was really interesting, though at one point she mentioned that she often felt suicidal. This just blew me away, we talked and shared (as we both have had too many people we know and love succeed in suicide. )
Yesterday Sunday (it is a long weekend here in Tasmania). I was just at home and perhaps just switched totally off I am not sure even what I did. Yet I woke feeling good.
I needed to go and get some chook food so drove int Huonville. I did the little bit of shopping I needed too, and stopped for a bite to eat and coffee at one of my faviourite cafes. Sitting in the lane with my dogs, a small disagreement with another dog, sorted and my dogs under the table. His dog near his and all fine. Thy moved the dog and it blocked the access for the staff to bring drinks and food out. One staff member spilled coffee another almost dropped a dish, then the dog jumped up and tried to take food from a plate a staff member was bringing to another table. These people made no effort to move the dog, they never apologised to the staff. I suggested they move the dog form between the stairs and table, they saw no problem.. I was triggered and ended up just loosing it. I could not believe anyone would put anyone else at such risk to conducting their work. I even said it was a health and saftey issue. They just laughed at me and my escalation telling me I should leave. Of course I responded and it went on..I just could not shut up and fucking was used by me numerous times it seems to go with the course. Then one of these people said in a loud voice that I had obviously missed my medication as I was crazy. Well that was just the final trigger. Mocking mental health! I just kept on at her. I was shaking and crying red in the face.
When they were leaving after a very uncomfortable silence had settled whilst some of them finished their food.
It was ugly and horrible and I feel so ashamed, I lost it completely I was so so disappointed as I have not had anything like this occur in over a year. Sigh. I know I know I have a mental illness. I get triggered and when I am triggered I say fucking a lot. Positive is I will be speaking to my psychologist later on this week.
I feel so ill and so tired from all this. I hate this illness. Not being in control and all the work and effort is so tiring so all consuming. I feel I am growing I know I am moving forward I know all this. Yet an experience like this is just frustrating and now takes so much work to not let my self loathing feelings of shame and disillusionment and all those delights that come after such an episodes.
For me where I am now right now is that I do still have insight, I still know that I am so much better than I have been. I am still moving forward. I know I am improving and this is just a small set back.
It taught me that there are some truly wonderful people out there who when someone with a mental illness is falling a part I had someone who stood bye me and cared. For this I am so very thankful.
This morning I have woken really early for me it is just 05:30. Having been woken by Miss Treacle who needed to go out at 04:00 I was not able to go back to sleep and left both dogs and came downstairs.
Dawn is breaking and it is a cool morning so I have opened doors and windows cooling the house down after a hot day, in preparation for a lovely day. The skies are clear with the exception of what is the mist/cloud/fog forming over the river. Street lights are still on across the river and the
Roopert is crowing, Micro bats are flying in the last moments before dawn breaks, catching insects. Swallows somersaulting, swooping swiftly soundlessly. The soloist begins in the dawn chorus Kookaburras laughing, joined by Roopert cock-a-doodle-doo, and chorus of many other birds, The mozzies have taken their last bites of me as this new day begins.
A slight pink tinge begins to appear in the sky. I can see the light indicating the sun is coming up the hills behind my home block sunrise for a while but
It is really interesting to see a river fog being created as the sun begins to rise. Almost more of a winter morning than a late summer one.
If I had not been up as early as I was I would not have seen this beauty. As the fog ended up thick enough that I could not see across the river. It rose again at about 8:30am. It may not have been the most amazing sunrise I have seen here. The morning was so unexpected and beautiful. Even when I am not feeling so great with my mental illness (CPTSD) I am learning to find so much pleasure and contentment in what I have about me. I do understand I am very fortunate with where I live. Yet whilst I was very unwell I was not always able to see all that I had and find contentment. I am a bit flat lately and this may be a perfectly normal part of my life, and that is how I am seeing it, rather than seeing it as a part of my CPTSD. Learning to understand normal reactions to those that are triggered reactions. It is all part of my management and living my life with CPTSD.
I am thankful that I was able to enjoy so much this morning that our world has to offer if we just take a moment when we can to do something a bit different. I am thankful for where I live, thankful for my chickens.
Well hello so much has been happening down here on my little acre in the Huon Valley of Tasmania. Finally more sunshine, and heat. So my tomatoes are ripening and developing Yeah. Pumpkins and zucchinis are doing well for me. However the most exciting news is Frida Kahol’s chicks have arrived!
I just happened to hear Frida making the sweetest noises as I was walking to release the other hens. So I went in to see her and found the first chick. It was so wonderful. One other egg was pippin.
So next morning there were 5 chicks! Yeah. 3 yellow chicks and two darkish.
The weather forecast was for high temperatures the following day. 36dC/96.8dF. I went out in the morning and it was so hot. I checked the chicks and Frida Kahol. The chicks were standing outside and Frida Kahol was panting. I made the decision to move them all inside. As it was only 9am and it was already 26dC/79dF. The following three days were to be hotter. It ended up at 38dC/100dF and did not drop down below 23dC/73dF overnight which is very rare here.
So nine chicks. Bringing my flock numbers up to 15.. argh. I wait to discover the genders of them. I imagine if I have quiet a few females I will potentially sell them when they are point of lay which will cover the cost of raising them. My hope is there are very few roosters. Only time will tell. I am so glad that I did cull them as she would have hatched 18 chicks out of 20 eggs.
Above the chicks and Frida have been in side for four days now. I have to admit that I have to still fix the small coop for them all. I only need some nails. As I also need to fix the run as one of my neighbours said she almost ran over one of them. Not that it was an issue for them to have them over there. I just personally would prefer to have them confined a bit more and only let out for shorter periods during the cooler months. They are so delightful to listen to. I love listening to Frida just talking to them gently and teaching them. In the last photo above note where the food container is. Inside the nesting box. I set it outside in away from the entrance into the nesting box. Why would Frida be moving it into the nesting box.
Busby was so unsettled mid morning he kept heading up to the front door and back to me. I opened the door so he could go out, but he did not. I returned to the seat where I was working and he again came pacing back and forwards. I became annoyed as I was trying to concentrate and he was just distracting me The door was open and he could go out. A bit later I went to the loo, and as I approached (Busby was right by me) the door to the bathroom I heard distressed chirps and calls coming from inside. On opening the door I noticed one of the chicks had got through the pen rails so Frida was distressed the chick was distressed. I popped the chick back in and all was quiet. When I came out and sat down. Busby laid down and settled. Turns out he was trying to get me to go and see what was happening.
I took three of the chicks to visit a couple of my neighbours with young girls. The girls loved cuddling the chicks. The chicks were so sweet and settled with them. Frida is an amazing Mamma. She understandably does not want her babies taken or her removed from them. I decided before returning the chicks to Mamma I would introduce them to Busby. Miss Treacle was not interested.
Busby was so incredible in trying to get my attention earlier, I decided that he should meet the chicks. He did push his nose in a bit hard at first, so I gently lifted each chick up to his nose so he could sniff their bottoms. This worked well and he was so very gentle with them. The chicks did not seem perturbed by his big nose sniffing them. He is so good around the babies. He is improving around the big hens and Roopert too.
I have done many things over my life. I have always loved animals. I have always thought about working as a native animal rescuer. I have a neighbour who has always cared for orphaned animals and will often in Spring and Autumn have a joey or several (possum or wallaby ) in her care generally on her person. One of my fondest memories is talking with her at a cafe where we were sitting outdoors, and out of her dreadlocks (which were up in a big pony tail) appeared a beautiful joey of a ring tail possum.
When you visit her home, she has wallaby joeys who may still be in a pouch and some who are hopping about during the day. Some who are older and spend their day outside and just come back in to sleep in their pouch. Even some who have left (she lives on acreage in the bush) will come and visit. Bringing with them a new partner, and to show off their joeys.
I found a joey in a dead wallaby’s pouch coming home a few years ago.
Sadly Mama had been hit by a vehicle. I checked the pouch and found the tiny joey. He was not quite a pinky. (a pinky is a marsupial baby with no hair)… Picture of a Pinky
The wee fellow I found was just getting hair a very soft downy hair. He was pretty much like this photo below.
He was off his Mama’s teat which was a big worry. Normally it is incredibly difficult to take a wallaby joey off its Mama’s teat to save them. You can not just pull them off, and it is not unheard of for the nipple to be cut off so the baby can have something to suck and trauma is less for a short while. Joeys hold on tight to the teat. The reason is Joeys can survive in their Mama’s pouch for up to 48hours if they have not been injured. So it was impossible to tell how long he had been off the teat. I was fortunate that our local feed store in Huonville carries supplies for wildlife baby feeding.
The above are pictures of wildlife teats that you attach to small bottles for orphaned babies. The photo on the bottom is the sort for a wallaby joey. You can see how long the teat is which explains why it can be so difficult to remove a joey of its Mama’s teat after an accident.
Tasmania did not really have a rescue organisation or training for rescuing native babies when I first moved here and it was the kindness of people such as my friend to take on the care of these orphans.
I knew my friend was away, when I found this wee joey. He was an Autumn baby. Most young are born in the spring. I drove to our local animal provision shop who had native animal milk formula. I purchased special wallaby teats and little bottles, along with the milk formula. I also bought some baby bottle sterilising tablets.
I wrapped up the tiny baby and popped him inside my bra. Warm safe and snug. Body temperature is so important. Especially for one such as this wee guy who had no real hair as yet.
Arriving home I popped the kettle on and sterilised the new teats and bottles. I found some old holey flannelette sheets and cut them up and then found a beanie. These were to become the wraps and face wipes along with toilet wipes for this little baby.
I made the milk powder up for the joey wrapped him up in the flannelette wrap. I poured the required amount into the bottle and attached the teat. It is not a given any baby animal will just drink from the teat. It is nothing like their Mama’s teat, taste wise or shape wise they are much more like them though then when I raised a joey in NSW quite a few years ago now. Imagine having to get used to a silicon or rubber taste that is not warm or smelling like their Mama’s.
The fact is I did not know if this wee joey was injured, he did not look as if he had any broken bones, you could see basically through his skin and I could see no bruising and he had no blood anywhere. He would be in shock of course. Knocked off the teat, and in a slowly cooling pouch. I dripped some of the formula onto his mouth in the hope the poor wee joey would taste the milk and look for the teat. It is in no way a certainty that any orphan will take to the teat. Texture, taste, warmth, of the teat, and the formula are all new for the baby. As are the smells of me, and the cloth he was now wrapped up in. (fortunately I do not wash clothes and linens in scented clothes washing powder).
I gently tried to move the teat to his mouth and push it slightly in the hope he would take it in. He did not and for the next 10+minutes I gently attempted to encourage him. He was not doing it, so in the end I gently opened his jaw and placed it in his mouth. He took the teat in. I helped it in gently and then I hoped he would suckle. In the process of getting the teat into his mouth some of the formula had gone onto the teat and I feel the joey tasted this and was hungry enough to suckle. Yeah.
He drank nearly all the fluid that is advised for the age I believed this little guy was. He was falling asleep. It must have been a very frightening day the smell of the car, my dogs, me, and all that he had gone through. I could see the milk in his stomach under his skin. I had been so very careful not to let any go down into his airway. This can happen very easily in the early days of hand rearing an orphaned animal. I then wet with warm water one of the smaller flannels and very gently patted his genital this is to simulate his Mama licking him to make him go to the toilet in her pouch. She then licks the area clean. I gently patted and wiped up the tiny drops of urine and feces. There was not any sign of blood in either. A good sign of no internal injuries.
He needed rest. I needed to tend to my dogs who were so curious as to what was going on.
I made sure I fed him away from my dogs, and in a room they never came into. Sounds bizarre but the toilet was the best place. I could sit, it was away from the dogs, and had no dog smell. It was always clean and he had a lovely safe dark place I could hang the pillow case pouch with him snug in his beanie bed. I needed to have a power point for the kettle, as I would be up every two hours overnight to feed him.
The success rate with joeys as young as he was is not high. Not knowing how long he had been off the teat, was also a problem, the fact he drank eventually from the bottle was a huge relief. I refrained from giving him a name. I knew from my friend via messenger that he was likely to die. Even when you believe they are past the worst a joey can just die. They are nervous and need to be left in the pouch as much as possible. They should only be handled for feeding, toileting when they are so young or even when they are older to settle down and feel safe.
For the first week I was so petrified that he would be dead every time I went in to feed him.
He was growing, I weighed him every day. (very important to keep a check on that he is growing and eating) along with documenting how much he drank each feed. 12 feeds a day/ 24hours seven days a week. I documented it all so I could see immediately if he was not drinking as much or loosing weight. Hygiene was the most important part for this baby. I did now at the age he was he had, had the colostrum from his Mamma in the early days. That is a big bonus in caring for young wallabies.
How my life changed and how my dogs lives changed with this new routine in our life.
I would take him with me only if I was going to be out of the house for more than two hours or a risk I might be, he would be in my top. I rarely let anyone know he was there, he was too young and it was way to risky for him. I would ask for boiling hot water in a mug if I was at a cafe as I needed to feed him, sit quietly and make up his bottle and just feed him. Everyone understood and was kind when I explained he was too little to be out of his beanie and wrap.
After a few days when I could see he was growing and his hair was very slowly appearing it was fascinating observing how his hair came in. I called him Wee Jasper. He wormed his way easily into my heart. As tired as I would feel at two am, four am, six am as I got up to get his bottle ready and feed him, just listening to his snuffles and suckling warmed my heart so much. Even with the damp warm cloth making him wee and poop keeping his bottom and pouch very clean. Cleaning his bottles and teats after every feed;. every two hours. The reality of being a wild life rescuer. These babies take much longer than kittens or puppies to grow and reach a maturity where they no longer need bottle feeding. It is a huge commitment for all those who do it all the time.
I did not take many photos of Wee Jasper. As for me it was important that he was to remain as wild as possible. It was important that he was disturbed as little as possible. Feeding him every two
In this photo he was all wrapped up and settled having just had a feed. He is wrapped in flannelette sheeting, (you can see loose threads in these photos, I must have been washing all the other ones as it was too easy for him to get the threads caught around his nails or even his paw or face and do some damage. He is then in a pure wool beanie. I did not use any synthetic materials (though I know some people do and are OK with it) As I was concerned about the synthetic fibre getting into his mouth.
This is Wee Jasper quite a bit older here he is still in his beanie but this is an old cotton pillow case I had which I used as his pouch. It hung from a hook in the toilet.
He was getting old enough here to have some time out of the pouch and be in the sunshine. (He was a paddymelon joey they are a small wallaby). You can see how small he still is next to my fairly small mug. On the timber deck. He was learning to manage his footing here. As he had been in a pouch all his life unitl this day. It was a special day for us both.
If you look at this photo and compare it to the previous one you can see how much more hair Wee Jasper has on his face. I love this photo it shows he is happy and healthy with bright eyes. It helps the joey to settle better if he has a dummy (pacifier) it is the end of a teat. The joeys are attached to their Mama’s teat until they pop their heads out of the pouch basically. Then they intermittently suckle.
I was so happy that Wee Jasper survived. I was so awed at how much work is involved. I began to worry about how I would socialise him to other wallabies. Life was getting easier as he grew the feeds were growing further apart.
My friend who I mentioned previously rang me to see how he was going and asked me how I felt about him moving to her home. As she had a joey she had receive a few weeks previously who was thriving now similar age to Wee Jasper and same breed. She thought it would be wonderful for them to be playmates and live together. I agreed. So the next day I took my little macropod to her home. Where her little guy and mine would meet. I hung his pouch on the spot my friend indicated. Next to her boy. He was out and immediately went to smell the new thing in his environment. I could see Wee Jasper wiggling from his lying position to move to a more upright position, and sure enough my friends joey made some chattering sounds and Wee Jaspers head came out of the pouch. He had learnt to get out of the pouch but still needed a hand to return(a pillow case is not the same shape in any way as a pouch).
The slightly bigger joey sniffed Wee Jasper, and my boy made his way out of the pouch. They sniffed each other and it then was like watching most youngsters who meet up with a new person sorting out who and what you are. I feel Wee Jasper suddenly realised he was not human. They hopped and played, chased each other and it was so good to see. My friend also had several other wallabies in varying ages in her home and who she had released on her land who came visiting. It was going to be a great home for Wee Jaspers next stage in his life. It has been several years, and I did visit my friends home several times over the course of time, and Wee Jasper seemed to remember me, he would come over for a cuddle scratch, he and his buddy. My friend told me that they would go off all night and come and sleep in their pouch during the day, and she then made them (as they got old enough stay outside all the time. SO they were aware they were wild creatures. With some quirks.
blessings to You, Tazzie
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I have harvested some potatoes that I was growing in containers. Whilst the weight of the harvest has been reasonable for my first try. I have been disappointed with the size. Small to mini potatoes. I have harvest about 3kgs only. Looking at weight of seed potatoes I planted was just under 1kg, It is at least a gain. I have planted more in one container, and from reviewing my method of care feel I may not have watered them enough. Time will tell.
The top left photo looked promising with potatoes. This is the third pot I had dug on the right is the actual volume of potatoes. The two photos below are of potatoes harvested from two larger black pots a few days before. I did get two OK sized ones. They will be delicious and yes I am disappointed as I said. It is a learning curve. If anyone has any suggestions I am happy for input.
I was working on my deck and noticed a hen jump over the vegetable garden fence, it sort of looked like Fried, I had to turn the hose of and grab some shoes. I could not see a hen anywhere. I have in there for when Miss Treacle comes in to be with me but gets too hot. She goes in digs a shallow dip and lays in the shade coolness, as I work. I had looked for her there ages ago but this time I found her. She was right up in the back and it was only that I had a torch with me I think I could see her this time.. I was so happy that she was alive!.
I then checked under her,
She was sitting on 20 eggs. She was just managing to cover. I was not sure how long she has been there. So I am not sure how old some of the eggs are. I looked at my chicken coop and my little coop I have used to have a Mamma Hen sit on her eggs and care for her very young chicks.
I have had to come to a difficult decision and that is for the sake of the chicks and Frieda as well as myself I needed to cull the eggs. So yesterday I removed half of them. Nine of which were fertile. I must say Frieda looked at me as I took the eggs, she then looked at the ones she had near her. She looked at me and settled so much easier on the greatly reduced number of eggs. There is of course a possibility that more eggs will not be fertile. Having examined the eggs I removed I feel that she has probably a week to go before any begin to hatch. However I am no expert. I understand many of you may feel that this is horrible and cruel. Yet this is the reality of homesteading. I imagine I would have buyers of them in 20 weeks if they were mostly females for point of lay hens. I would still have to cull roosters (and will have to regardless as I can only have one rooster in my coop). Roopert is loud and frustrating but he is a wonderful rooster caring for his girls and obviously good father material.
I had no real desire to have chicks this year. My small coop needs some work so tomorrow I will be fixing it up if I have the things I need otherwise it will be Monday. I shall then move Frieda and her eggs to the new single Mamma’s Home Coop. It is in the chook run. This is so that the other hens and Roopert will hear and eventually see the chicks. I have put the chick mix to help reduce risk of Coccidiosis (I do not use the medicated one but one that is more herbs based. As Frieda is not laying eggs now she does not need the same food and she can eat this mix. As it is also not a ‘medicated’ mix her eggs when she begins laying again can be eaten. Normally you can not eat eggs from a hen that has eaten the medicated chick feed. for several weeks.
I am growing a bit clucky myself and look forward to having little chicks about. I love how the Mamma talks to them and settles them. How they race about and she teaches them all they need to know. Fingers crossed Frieda is a good Mamma.
So my little homestead is growing.
My meal worms have all become beetles and now I wait for them to lay eggs and worms to happen. It is not a fast process.
My worm farm is doing really well too.
Wallabies are being kept out of the chicken run at evening time I accidentally locked one in one night and it was very eager to leave when I arrived in the morning. I terrified the poor guy even more trying to get it out of the gate.
We have had a lot of humid weather and more storms and heavy rain. In the north of Tasmania flooding was happening, whilst in Western Australia over 80 homes were lost in bush fires. We are a harsh country. The weather has really played havoc with my veggie garden and nearly everyone I know who is only growing tomatoes outside is finding they are ripening very slowly. It is an extremely strange summer here.
Though as I sit here typing the sun is just going down and we have a very long dusk. There is not a cloud in the sky and very strange to see is the green grass on the hills across the river. It is February our hottest month usually and people are ordering water tracks as tanks can get low. Instead my tanks are overflowing and there is green grass. Some of my wattles are flowering again peculiar. If it is not climate change Mr Morrison (Australia’s Prime Minister who does not believe in it) what is it?
I am eating mostly with improvement, I am probably doing half of my routine. The walking the dogs instead of me driving and them running is not happening. I have been blaming it on humidity or heat. I do walk them when we are in towns. Just not the daily walk. Showering is going well and going to bed is much better all with improvement to be made. I am happy though as I am feeling on the whole better and not beating myself up at all. I am moving forward.
I have potted up some Autumn veggies in containers on the deck and some flowers. Reorganising, feeding and rearranging the deck garden. I will share more about the deck and veggie garden soon.
I began clearing out the car port, that continues. I still have to move more of last years wood so I have room for this years delivery.
I am thankful that Frieda is alive. I am thankful that I am managing my CPTSD better than I was last post, I am thankful I am mindful of my triggers, I am thankful for full water tanks, I am thankful we have had no cases of Covid-19 here in Tasmania for ages and life is fairly good here. I think of those in WA who are now homeless. I think of those who live in Melbourne and are back in total lockdown again, and for others around the world.
I hear Roopert crowing goodnight, I too shall take my leave.
I was driving home from my GP this afternoon. This is a 140km round trip and it is a pleasurable and scenic drive. Alongside both sides of the Huon River. Though this set of photos is my seeing a hen with her chicks on the road. I pulled over to watch them.
I feel it was Busby my large dog sticking his head out the rear seat window that really got the Mamma Hen to rally her chicks up the rather steep embankment of the sealed road. These wee chicks were not that old.
I did wonder how this little one would manage. I was awed by its determination and perhaps more so the drive that adrenaline and fear for ones life give. Mamma had not waited for this wee one, she was back under the fence and just seemed to keep telling the chicks to get back in the yard, It seems all parents are the same. All chicks made it and the little one is seen second from left back with its siblings and Mamma in the yard. I hope that their Mamma has learnt not to take her babies down on the main road again.
It was lovely to see this family and to watch the effort and achievement of this one little chick. At first after the other two chicks had left it. I really feared it was going to give up. (I would have jumped out and got it up there if it had) It was a delightful thing to observe and shoot with my camera.
This was not the only bird life we saw on the way home from the GPs. Another day to share more of the journey home with my dogs.
Why are carrots so hard for me to grow? This is my most successful crop so far. Any help appreciated . They are tasty, and enough for a meal for me. Or a good supply for lilliputians.
Seriously these were just seeds I had spread about in a few pots on my deck. I am assuming that they needed to stay in for a bit longer.
I wanted to revive the pots and sow some more seeds in them. I have been tidying the deck today. My lettuces are doing OK, one variety has gone to seed. But some others are just developing and the cos is growing, I actually ate some of the leaves of one of them recently with my wee tomatoes. Oh were they so tasty. Just incredible.
Above are some beans I threw in my half wine barrels, along with kale cornflowers and weeds. The iris (brown leaves) have been broken up for composting around them. I ate some of the bigger beans as a snack today. Lovely. I am enjoying my surprise barrels. I sit at my table on my deck when I sow seeds, and often for no real reason I just toss some seeds into the barrels. I am very delighted with what is growing at present. I have kale, silverbeet and a calendula. These are the three pots in the most shaded part of my front west facing garden. Running along the front of the deck.
My idea of keeping the hens and Roopert in their run is failing. Sigh. It has rained and there is green grass shooting. Unheard of in February. Normally our hottest month. More rain forecast this weekend and heavy. Fuller rain tanks nothing will be the joy of this if it eventuates.
My Deck garden is containers. I am amazed at what I can grow in pots. The benefit is wallabies and possums do not get at them. The chooks can not get at them, or dig under them. Even the starlings and black birds do not tend to get into them like the veggie garden beds. I can cover them easily to prevent cabbage moth damag.
Flowers are becoming a part of my deck garden this year and perhaps more so. In with vegetables they make me smile and happy to see.
Below are my firs attempts at making apricot and peach fruit leathers. There is nothing wrong with the one in the tray it is how apricots dry when no sulpher is used. My peaches were to moist and I should have read up more on what to do but I know next time. (they dripped through) I am not happy with these trays which have not been used a lot. They are cracking. To replace them is not cheap. My dream is to save for a metal set up ie very expensive Excalibur Dehydrator which is also a square one, which is easier to put the puree on and the fruit. The temperature is more evenly spread. The difference in colour of my apricot leather the heat/air in the round ones is not dispersed so well. Lovely with some desiccated coconut. I did add a little sugar but not a lot.
The peach ones are at the front and due to their being so moist they dried very differently. I am trying to dry some hard enough no dry enough that I can then powder the peach. I can then add the powder to tea, and yohgurt. Cream ice cream even my weet-bix. It was simpler than doing a syrup or jam, and I am not a big jam eater. I am enjoying the leathers, and will be buying some seconds strawberries to make strawberry leather too. I will freeze the plums I think.
The blackberries are ripening and so delicious. I am freezing these for muffins and yoghurt, and winter porridge.
I am thankful for the rain , as I have enough water for my gardens, I am thankful for all the beautiful things in my garden. I am thankful to Mother Earth for her wonders and how a tiny seed can grow and give us food. I am thankful to my hens for the eggs they provide for me and my dogs. I am thankful for my health and the improving of my mental health as I get back to my routine.
So electric blanket on and for once I am in bed really early. Its 9dC/48.2dF, it only got to 12dC/ 53.6 dF now this is late January in the Southern Hemisphere. It is not right and not the first time that this has happened this month! Then two days later we had temperatures of 36dC/96.8, last week we had similar but by 10 am the day after the cold day it was 35dC/95dF at 10am we ended up at 38dC/100.4dF mid afternoon.
Is it any wonder my vegetable garden is not doing well. I know I am not alone, even my wonderful neighbours stunning vegetable garden is struggling. We have also had unseasonal rain and heavy wind gale force on several days.
The vegetable garden is so behind this year, My hope is that it will be better in February. My neighbour up the road has put in a huge green house but it is so hot that the tomatoes are cooking inside it almost.
Ahh the joy of gardening 41dsouth.
My first picking from the veggie garden this morning, the tomatoes are not really ripe, and they are tiny. Compared to the small hens egg. The zucchini/courgette is great. Already 100% improvement on my crop last year.
I am thankful for my eggs, for my hens, and rooster. I am thankful that my tanks are pretty full mid summertime very unusual.