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
This is one of our favourite beach/riverside walks which is pretty close and if we take the long way home, it is on the way home. The rocks have many fossils, though over the years I have lived here, the rock cliff has eroded so much.
It was a beautiful winters day though it was a little windy we all enjoyed it.
The following photos are the northern end of this beach it is very different on this day as it was sandy.
Heck here it is July, I feel as if I have been on a different planet over the last few months. Its is all good just nary a post. Winter here in glorious Southern Tasmania the wood fire is going, and snow is on the distant mountains, as I sit writing listening to my two dogs are chomping on bones. We have all been on a short walk. The frost is still present and the sun has not reached my place as yet.
However today is going to be glorious and whilst I wait for the sun to come over the trees(how I wished I lived on top of the hill and not down near the river lol, though in summer I am happy in this position). I aim to get back into the garden, to clear an area of my ‘veggie growing area’. I also aim to dig at least one hole a day for about 10 days for the new fruit plants I have purchased that will be coming soon as bare rooted stock.
My mental health on the whole is good, I have no regrets about coming off my medication (with support) for me it was such a wonderful thing to get me through the really bad period, as I had and continue to have support from my psychologist. I knew it was time. I have not had an ADHD assessment done, yet in my heart I believe it is a fact, and wow if I had known years ago what a difference it would have made in lots of ways. Now this knowledge lets me relax about so many things that often would cause me anxiety and distress.
I took a break of several hours and worked outside in the garden. Winter gardening is all about the weeds and planning. Preparing and dreaming. I am just pottering attending to so many things slowly that have been neglected or forgotten in the last few years. Self care was my highest priority as I adjusted to life with a mental illness, asking for help (hard to do for me) and utilising the help both medication and professional. I feel right now as if I know what I need. I am working towards this and as I do I am content, even with any discontent.
Today lovely sunny one down here in the Huon still and just one of those great winter days. I decided to begin on an area of neglect in between the chicken run and my veggie garden. I had attempted to before I became ill create a pathway for the chooks out to the paddock, so they could not be tempted into the veggie garden. Well that all fell by the wayside and what I was left with is blue steel fencing embedded into the soil (that had made itself over the last 5 years and impaled by the most horrendous grass ever. (I call it onion grass because it bulbs and spreads and its a nightmare).
In the final photo you can get an idea of how deeply buried the fencing wire mesh was. Still more to do. I sort of got sidetracked when I popped into the veggie area and decided to weed a bed. I did come back and pick up all the onion grass and all bulbits I could (little buggers always miss one or many!) Used the top of the old dog house to through all these horrible pulled and cut out grass bulbs, which means no touching the dirt. Tool of choice was a serrated edge steak knife!
The garden bed I was distracted by. A lovely weed filled bed with grass growing around it and weeds. is the one on the left of first photo, completed clearing around the edges and inside. Winter is proving to be the time the weeds are sprouting here at my place. I may not have dug a hole and prepared for a new or older plant to go in today, I did weed a bed, always choices when you have a garden and always manyana.
I am now looking forward to tomorrow, as the weather is again meant to be lovely as today. I have my eager helpers the dog/s and chickens and I hope to do more of the buried treasure recovery.
Having a mental illness such as CPTSD really can stuff up so many of your plans..then add the crazy summer weather here in my part of Tasmania and how my garden is somewhat neglected. I am doing OK though. It is a rough period in my treatment of my illness. Things coming from out of the blackness of my brain where for so long they have been stored. Being shared with my psychologist and now me working on how to manage the impacts of these. New symptoms such as nightmares, and grinding my teeth. Nightmares that are similar to ones I had as a child. This is the truth behind what it really is like when you are dealing with mental illness and attempting to keep moving ever so tiny amount forward.
This is my life, here on my little acre.
Rain is falling again as I type music to my ears. It is lovely to hear the rain on my metal roof, gurgling down the gutters and the water running into my tanks.
The garden will be very happy. I am very happy and the chooks will be ecstatic in the morning to go out and hunt for worms.
The chooks have been happy as we had rain last week so the grass was showing young green shoots.
At least five of my six hens and Roopert the rooster have. Sadly it seems I have lost one of my hens. I live in hope she is sitting on eggs somewhere and will return, there were no feathers to show bird of prey or animal took her. I have seen no sight of her in four days. It is Frieda my larger black hen with the frizzy top knot. Sigh I love and appreciate them all so much. She is a sweet nervous hen who was just getting to the stage of coming and eating out of my hand. I know at least it was not my dog Busby loving her to death. He has been incredibly good around them. I have been working with him to minimise harm to them and the wallabies. I am remaining hopeful.
Today was a lovely morning. The joy I feel when I go off to do my weekly bits and bobs in my local town is always pleasant. I meet and catch up with so many people. Today I had breakfast at Cygnet Port Hole Cafe which does a delicious menu. Very reasonably priced menu. Pretty good coffee too. It is lovely to sit outside with my dogs and look at the gardens about the cafe that grow herbs and some veggies flowers and I think there is an apple tree and plum. It has been several cafes in my time of living here most memorable and original was The Lotus Eaters, but this new cafe is equal to it as a meeting place and good food at reasonable prices. On Friday nights they do Tacos and music.
I really enjoy taking my library books back and looking for new ones. We have an amazing library with such a plethora of reading material available state wide. I know I am feeling somewhat more competent as I have picked up some books that are more emotive ie the rise of feminsim in China, and a few others that are of interest to me. One about the impact of social media on society. Depending on how they are written and if my brain can manage them with out to much frustration I look forward to enjoying them.
I am getting organised for winter. Though some days and nights here lately you can think winter has already arrived. A few people have had their fires going. I just turn my electric blanket on and head to bed with my laptop..lol or put on my Ugg boots and winter trackies. I ordered wood for winter. I have a good amount left over from last year and the year before I need to move and stack under cover. So the new wood can be put where this is. My mind says plenty of time for me to attend to that. It is no due until February. UNTIL I suddenly realised February is this week!
As the next day is just as likely to be super hot. My house if I put the fire on takes a day to cool down.
Routine wise I am eating better, and averaging out getting to bed earlier. Showering has improved and I have walked twice this week up the road and more when we have been out.
I also changed my bottle gas LPG provider. I was also able to provide my research information on the local community pages so people can see the differences. I have saved over $190+AUS/145Us /106.34GBP a year minimum by going with the new company who also delivers down here three times a week where as my old company delivered only once a week. So if you ran out of gas, which only happened once for me as I do have two bottles 45kg/99lbs ea, It was when I was really ill. Of course it happened on the day after I would have got the delivery. I had to wait a whole week for gas. Y ou pay rental yearly for the bottle and then each bottle of gas costs so much.
The new company had a great new customer deal so even without that I still save a lot of money a year with the new company. With my old company if you did not know to check what others in the area were paying you would get charged heaps more I saved money on each bottle just by doing this. Yet their price and rental were still dearer substantially and they have a yearly administration fee.
I have noted that I received a notice in my facebook thread today something that may have triggered my Obsessive part. A lady was travelling on the boat The Spirit of Tasmania (which connects Tasmania to mainland Australia arriving in Melbourne), it is an overnight trip and carries cars our trucks with supplies food and other things, holiday makers campervans etc, you can take your dogs on it. You can place them in their horrible metal crates, or you can pay extra and have them remain in your car, though the company makes you sign a waiver of rights even though it would not stand up in a court of law (since you paid for a service), if something happened. This poor lady was traveling with her much loved doberman, who was put into the dog crates, and somehow the dog escaped. (vanished) No trace so far has been found. You are only allowed down once on the journey if you want to check your dog, otherwise it is locked area only staff are allowed there. The dog this poor dog has not been found, and this woman I can only imagine is devastated.
My own experience of bringing my cat over when I moved here was bad enough I worried all night if my cat would be OK. When I picked him up he was in a huge metal dog crate with a dog bowl that was like a swimming pool that had flowed all over the place and he was saturated. He had also been one crate away from a very large German Shepherd. (most likely a lovely dog) my cat had never been around a dog at this point. Sigh when we took our dog over to the mainland he travelled in the car we still worried but all was fine with him as he knew where he was and obviously felt safe.
Now I have put posts out to all sorts of groups asking people to contact the Premier Peter Gutweins office and the Minister Michael Fergusons office. Explaining that my dogs are my family they are the reason I am still alive and if this had happened to one of my dogs well who knows how I might have reacted. I explained about my mental illness and the woman at the premiers office said oh like a companion animal yes exactly but not officially. I went on to say they should have dog friendly rooms available so dogs could travel with their owners in the rooms. That the cost of all the issues pertaining to animals that have had issues (16polo horses died a few years ago, traveling on the Spirit the court case is still happening I believe), but this is a cost that the Tasmanians people will have to pay someway. As I am sure the legal ramifications of this latest episode.
Plus the many people who travel with their dogs when they come here, will be fearful.
My problem is as much as I want to keep pushing this. For me it makes my mental health and physical health worse. So I have done what I can as one individual. I must not keep pursuing it or I will get ill again. As I have before when I obsessively operate. I am well enough to observe the potential for this to happen. I am pleased and proud of myself that I am happy to have done something, and must leave it for now. Hoping the dog is located, and reunited with its owner. Hoping that regardless something will change in the transport of dogs and rights of owners on this trip.
wow this has gone a bit all over the place, but this is how my head is working tonight..
Yet that is pretty much how my day has been. I am content and happy, I am thankful that I have tools helping me manage the things that are coming as I work through issues. I am thankful for the rain.
I find that growing vegetables can be for me somewhat hit and miss. Last years crops well some were terrific, majority not so. I see it as always learning. Part of living I believe is to always learn new things.
The quality of my photos is not great so apologies.
The weather has been warm to hot here in Southern Tasmania. Not as hot as mainland Australia thankfully. Where many parts of the eastern seaboard had days over the weekend hitting 40dC /104dF. In my gorgeous valley we were fortunate hitting 30dC/86dF. Apparently the temperature average for November 2020, was higher than the average temperature for December 2019. No wonder everything is suddenly taking off.
I am not sure if it was a wallaby or a hen that flattened my garlic. The leaves as you will see are not great. I know there is garlic under there and at least one is a resonable size. I will have to buy garlic this year for the first time in almost 20 years. Very sad. At least I can get locally grown from organic garlic cloves. I will also have to buy enough to save cloves to plant in Autumn. My walking onions in the wheel barrow continue to grow with no real care apart from watering from me. Great greens and the tiny onions are lovely added to soups whole and stews. I even use them in toasted sandwiches. My Aspargus bed has given me enough nibbles over the last few months. I have left a lot just go to seed and to develop in the understanding the roots will grow and strengthen.
I planted out tomatoes, capsicums,eggplants/aubergines and chillis.
I purchased one Eggplant seedling which you can see in the photo on the bed. I had sown seeds for a long thin eggplant but no seed seemed to be germinating, when I purchased the large seedling. So I was pleasantly surprised that they have know germinated. They are tiny. There is room for them to grow. I put the eggplants in this bed protected. It is a corrugated bed quite deep. My only success with eggplants was growing them in the bed where my corriander is currently. It was stuck in the corner closest to where the sun hit the corrugated side for the highest number of hours. I have hopes for them this year.
I was amazed to have two chillis that survived hidden among the broad beans crop which I have harvested and obviously removed the stems. I have chopped and dropped them in the area and will add them to beds to compost down in place.
I was able to get some sweet potato slips from a nursery. I had no luck with growing my own off sweet potatoes purchased in the fruit and vegetable shop. I believe it is most likely they are treated by Tasmania’s Quarantine Services rendering them sterile. I love watching Youtube videos on growing sweet potatoes in a cooler climate. Of course I get sucked down into the wormhole of Youtube. Bringing myself back from the Youtube wormhole. I made sure my soil had what they like. The plot is in direct sunlight. I mounded them up and watered them in well. The slips had been growing well in their pots. They look good the next morning even though I had found one of my hens had got into the vegie garden. Fortunately doing no damage to any of my newly planted seedlings.
I am continuing to use my cheaper version of Ollas for helping to keep the soil moist. They worked well last year. They are really simple I was able to purchase terracotta pots and with no holes, the saucer is large enough to cover the top as the lid. See above photo . I have dug in one as the sweet potatoes 4 are on mounds I have to put the second one into the ground yet. I place them so the lip is just above the level the woodchips as a cover to help keep the moisture in the soil.
I had not been keeping an eye on the weather forecast. The last two days have been wild here with gale force wind, temps down to 10dC/50dF over night 16dC / and so far my seedlings including sweet potatoes are hanging in there literally! Unfortunately the cooler weather with rain is forecast for the next week or so. Of course it is. I am not complaining about the rain. My water tanks (of which I am totally reliant for all my water needs) have plenty of room for it. Who knows what the seedlings will do. This is the nature of vegetable growing outside in the roaring forties and living in the region of Australia I do. I am wondering how bad it may get around the Summer Solstice as normally the wind is worse either side of that. You have to just go with the flow as they say.
As you can see in the above photos fruit and nuts are doing well. In my chicken run I have had white centred cherries on my tree for the first time ever and it has been years. It only had about seven and I managed to beat the birds to three of them one left today bright red and sweet.
My mood has lifted and I have also been walking with my dog/s in the morning. My big dog Busby has been bitten on one of his front paws toe, by a Jack Jumper ant and is suffering in pain. As I tried to see what was causing his pain for the first time ever in 5 years he growled at me. That is how much pain he is in. Having been bitten myself I totally understand and the pain
I have a sweet cherry and a morello cherry (this one is in a pot on the deck), Several more apples and plums in the paddock, the fig is growing but has no fruit for summer. I feel it is not getting enough sun where it is now the peach is so big. Plans to move it in winter remove it from its wine barrel. I have two passionfruit seedlings to plant out yet. They are not keen on the wind so I am really happy I waited. There a couple of other fruit trees in the chook run that I had really thought had given up. I do not recall any of the fruit. None will bear this year. Even though I have had a huge area of black berries removed; they are considered a weed in Australia and grow wild. I have a heap that grow on the easement that the council own on my boundary. They gave me wonderful berries last year.
So much more still to put into the vegetable garden this summer.
I am so thankful for being so fortunate to have so much potential bounty. I am also thankful for living in an area that is full of wonderfully local fresh fruit berries, meat, fish in the river..I may buy a rod soon as I love flathead and it is in the river.
I am so thankful that I am moving forward again in my managing my CPTSD and overcoming the reactions to triggers. Thank you for all the kind words. They mean so much to me.
I was taking my wheely bin, to the road, and Busby was coming supposed to come with me. Instead he decided to go and visit the neighbours dogs. They were actually in behind their fence. However their owner is lovely and let her guys come out to play. So Miss Treacle and I went did the bin, and came back to this.
Dogs attempting to keep social distancing.
but failing miserably.
My neighbour and I did keep social distance and under our current rules we are allowed to exercise our dogs, and be with one other person (whom we do not live with if we our on our own). We are so lucky to have the paddock and good neighbours with great dogs. Miss Treacle went and laid under one of the cars. She is older and knew she should really be staying at HOME!.
Chubbs is a Kelpie/Staffy cross, and he is all about the tennis ball carrying one in his mouth until safe to drop it and have it thrown for him. He would just keep running for the ball until he dropped. He is also a snuggler, who comes and leans on you, climbs up on my lap as I sat on the grass, and will kiss you at every opportunity. Not great especially if he has his soggy tennis ball in his mouth.
A good roll and scratch in the grass.
They need to have fun and burn energy. As me and my neighbour needed to chat, and have a laugh watching our boys enjoying themselves. But even fun loving dogs need comfort especially at times like these.
So like Miss Treacle I am staying home, except for essential shopping and the joy, love and comfort my dogs give me always is something to be very thankful for.
I had been fortunate to get 3 rather large raw chooks each about 2.5kgs/5.51lbs in weight. I boiled one, and roasted the other two as the use bye date was in two days. At $3.50 a kg/2.2lbs it was a very cheap form of meat for my dogs. I was also able to get winter vegetable frozen blend in 1kg/2.2lbs bags. Australian grown for $3.95kg/2.2lbs The bag of frozen vegetables provided me enough veggies for 5 meals. The contained beans, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. I boiled some in the stock made by the boiled chicken, and took apart the chicken that was boiled ensuring I had removed all the bones.
When the stock had boiled I first add the frozen vegetables, and turn the heat off. A short time later I added a cup and half of oats to it and several garlic bubils (the tiny garlic bulbs that develop at the end of the scape.) They can be planted out and will develop into bulbs. I use them in dogs food and salads, but will plant some out in my tubs perhaps this year. I also added some turmeric about 3 teaspoons.
I end up blitzing the vegetable/oat chicken soup sort of mix before I add the chicken. As Miss Treacle will spit out the vegetables if they are too big.
I will freeze the rest which will mean from this one chicken my dogs had a raw meal the night I bought the whole chickens home. They had their meal today, and I will get three more meals for them which I will freeze as ready to go meals.
I will do similar with the two roast chickens that are cooling in the fridge. I may do one with boiled rice, and the other with oats. These will also go in my freezer giving me in total 13 frozen meals for my two dogs so 13 days of food. Because I roasted these two chooks I will make stock out of the bones. Perhaps for me to have available for soups or whatever in the freezer.
In comparison Optimum for example at Woolworth’s is $35 for 7.5kgs/16.53lbs of kibble style food. It would take 450gms /15.9oz of dry feed a day for Busby and 160gms/5.6oz for Miss Treacle. Total per day 610gms/21.5ozs, at a cost of $2.91 a day. Sounds great. You could get a deal if ordered online for 2 bags for $52 a big saving of $18. but not if your dog has issues with what is in the ingredients.
Comparing my chicken oats, and veggie meals for my dogs and the Optimum is going to be an interesting thing. I paid $9.35 for almost 3kgs of whole raw chicken. Cooked weight with all bones removed was 2.45 Kgs plus I had the chicken stock from cooking the whole chook in.
I added two cups of frozen vegetables about 1kg, plus some broccoli leaves shredded from my garden. I added garlic pearls/bulbils also free from my garden. I did not add any extras to the basic mix at this point in time. But tomorrow night they will have beef mince with brewers yeast. Oh and turmeric was added at about 3tspns in total, so $1 worth. Oats at $3.95kg and I used about 250gms of oats for this volume so $1.00 2450gms of chicken meat will provide 5 meals for both my dogs as they get 500gms of meat per meal. (because they also get regular fresh raw bones ).
Chicken $9.35 Oats $1.00 Veggies $4.50 Tumeric $1.00 Chicken stock free bulbils garlic free $15.85 Cost of 5 meals $3.17each for two dogs =$0.06 cents per kg of dog.
Busby 41Kgs/90.4lbs $2.60per meal of pure chicken veggies and oats with turmeric in a chicken stock. Miss Treacle 8.5kgs/18.74lbs . 48 cents per meal (rounded up)
My ingredients, human grade chicken 100% , chicken stock (no added salt made with water and whole chicken from whole human edible grade product) cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beans, frozen. Fresh broccoli leaves my garden, oats or rice. both human grade, garlic bulbils my garden, turmeric powder. Everything was fit for human consumption. The three chicken meals that are left will be frozen. I will add once a meal is defrosted for dinner either egg or sardines, and brewers yeast to the meals for each dog. If I had used rice it would have been cheaper as my brown rice was cheaper than my Oats to buy when I purchased them.
Compared to the ingredients in the Optimum dried kibble Chicken, Rice and vegetables, off the Woolworth’s site :Poultry And Poultry By-products; Sorghum And/or Rice And/or Wheat; Barley And/or Corn; Chicken Digest; Cereal Protein; Beet Pulp; Vegetables; Salt; Vegetable Oil; Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Potassium Iodide And Selenium); Sodium Tripolyphosphate; Vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E And Choline) And Antioxidants
Sodium tripolyphosphate, also known as pentasodium triphosphate, pentasodium tripolyphosphate or sodium triphosphate, is used in a wide range of applications in the manufacture of cleaning products and food preservatives as well as in water treatment facilities.
https://www.chefsteps.com/ingredients/sodium-tripolyphosphateSodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) is an alkaline salt that will raise the pH of meats and seafood, enough to increase their water-holding capacity. So if you see this on human grade foods you have to wonder how much extra water is being added to the product to give more weight.
https://www.dogingtonpost.com/a-guide-to-understanding-dog-food-ingredients/Sodium tripolyphosphate works as a preservative in your pet’s food. According to a fact sheet by the Food & Water Watch, sodium tripolyphosphate can be harmful if inhaled and is a skin irritant (MSDS). … Let’s leave this unnecessary, non-nutritive ingredient out of our dog food. Watch for STPP in your fish, too.Sep 29, 2015 beet pulp Fiber/filler, stills contains enough sugar for rush/addiction to food and hyperactivity. corn This controversial cereal grain typically used in dog food is feed-grade (not for human consumption) and can include mold or fungus. Corn is typically considered a cheap filler which is both difficult for dogs to digest and can increase a dog’s blood sugar, leading to diabetes, weight gain, and joint dysfunction.
https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_pet_food_for_your_pets_sake By-products (for example, chicken by-products or beef by-products): clean non-rendered “parts”, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, blood, bone, fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels “high” (although not high quality) while keeping food production costs low.
These are enough to cause me concern. So many dogs and cats have allergies and skin issues. Non of my animals have on the raw, home cooked and Vets all Natural, diets I have had them on . I personally loved the Vets all natural raw diet adult mix but sadly of late the cost of the 15kg bag is becoming so expensive and at present I am finding my home made raw and cooked meat meals cheaper.
So for me the fact my animals are incredibly healthy. Miss Treacle is 12, 1/2,she has a aging condition that makes her eyes look like they are developing cataracts the vet has assured me she can see well. That these are not human cataracts. Busby will be 5 on the 8th May.
I currently spend $6 .99for a kg/2.20lbs of pet mince premium (no preservatives, or colours or food enhancers as can be used in sausage meat which is also included in the cheaper pet mince at my butcher) I buy my meat at a local butchers, and they have their own farm/s so much of the meat is usually local. Unless specified.
I buy usually 14 kgs/30.86/lbs for $6.99 for a total of $97.86 but this will actually provide my dogs for over a month of food when I add the chicken necks once a week $3.50kg/2.20lbs. I also buy bones 5kgs bones $5.00 They will get sardines once a week with their meal. I will also add to two meals one egg for Miss Treacle and two eggs for Busby. They get less meat in those meals. Which extend the meat longer.
125gm tin of headless whole sardines usually 3 in a tin, costs $0.75. I usually buy in spring water unless it they have them in olive oil.
I will also give them eggs two for Miss Treacle and four for Busby a week, total cost of $3.25 I buy oats at $3.95per Kg from a bulk wholefoods they may be less as these may have been organic ones, and the frozen vegetables usually at about $4.50 a kg.
Once a week I will use 1kg of chicken necks for a meal.
I will make six meals of beef pet mince 3.6kgs of meat. which cost me $25.16 plus $4.95 for the vegetables. Eggs cost me $6.50a dozen $0.54 per egg $3.25 for the dogs 6 eggs and $0.75cents a tin of sardines.
I will also add turmeric and brewers yeast alternately. I use turmeric powder that I get from a local supplier for about $4.50 for 375gms/13.28ozs and the yeast I get from a pet supply company for a lot less than from any supermarket. I have had my supply for ages and as I use only a small amount for each dog it has been very economical. lets say $0.30 a week turmeric say similar as it is small doses.
A cost of $34.71 a week for my dogs to eat a home made raw diet that includes beef, eggs, vegetables, fish, turmeric and brewers yeast. All Human grade. Plus bones which $5 bag lasts me two weeks so another $2.50 total of $34.71 for a 41Kg dog and a 8.5kg dog. They are both really healthy with shiny soft coats, they have no skin issues. Fleas and ticks are very rarely a problem and I live in the bush and they have wallabies, rabbits and other macro pods about all who can carry fleas and ticks. I do not use any chemicals to control these critters.
Note I do say human grade meat for my dogs in regard to beef. As it from the butchers. It has no preservatives in it and is made generally every week from off cuts and scraps. It is from human grade edible beef though I may not wish to eat it.
Also note my recipe is using oats and not rice this time. I buy my rice from an Indian store in Hobart and my last bag of brown rice (Australian) was $18 for 15kgs. Both dogs and I eat this too. My dogs also eat apples and carrots as treats. I also will grate both in their raw food which is how I do their beef mince. Along with frozen veggies that I have just defrosted and pureed.
A total of $5 a day. So yes more expensive but when I compare what is in the dried kibble from optimum the ingredients list off the Woolworth’s site and the possibilities that some conditions that some dogs seem to have. I will stick with my perhaps slightly more expensive food but definitely cheaper regarding vets visits and after care costs.
I chose Optimum because it is at Woolworth’s and seems to be endorsed by a TV Vet Dr Chris Brown whom appears to have been involved in the design and development of their Grain free food. See their website https://www.optimumpet.com.au/ While looking at the company website I noted in small writing on their Daily feeding guide. Research shows that feeding your dog a mix of both wet and dry products has a broad range of health benefits. OPTIMUM™ has created a variety of both wet and dry formulations to suit your dog at every life stage. When feeding both, simply halve the recommended quantities of each product. I would need to feed Busby one full can $3.75 per day and 1,1/2cups of the kibble. As I am not sure how much weight that is I can not price it. It would have to be at least $1.25 OH I just found it I would have to feed him 130gms of the kibble at $0.50 per 100gms so 80cents for the kibble making it $4.55 for Busby For Miss Treacle 8.5kgs I would have to feed her 300gms of wet food and 70 gms of kibble so $0.75 for the kibble and $3.75 700gms tin so $0.54 c/100gms $1.62 for the wet so $2.37 for her bringing the total to $6.92 to feed this food to both my dogs as per the recommendations of the company.
Making it almost $2 a day more expensive than my fresh human grade chicken and beef scraps and off cuts.
I am also aware that for some their is concerns in regard to Brewers Yeast, What are the risks of brewer’s yeast for dogs? In large dogs, the amount of brewer’s yeast needed to have an effect may cause stomach and intestinal upset. Gas is the most commonly reported side effect in all dogs. Brewer’s yeast can interact with some types of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/brewers-yeast-dogs-understanding-benefits-and-risks
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11108195 the research article that states potential for toxicity of garlic but the amount given was massive the research paper mentioned below can be found in the link at the beginning of the paragragh.
ttps://www.petguide.com/health/dog/the-shocking-truth-about-dogs-and-garlic/Garlic got a bad rap in 2000, when a research paper was published that was based on garlic’s effect on dogs. Even though the dogs tested didn’t show any outward appearance of toxicity symptoms, there was an effect on the red blood cells. The researchers stated: “we believe that foods containing garlic should be avoided for use in dogs.” From that point on, the rumour spread that garlic could be deadly for dogs. However, that reaction was a little hasty and harsh. Most people read summaries of the study and jumped to conclusions. Reading the results in detail reveals a more complicated story.
Let’s take a closer look into the study itself, not just one quote. This study, which was undertaken at Hokkaido University, was conducted on four dogs. Each of these dogs given 1.25 ml of garlic extract per kg of body weight for seven straight days. As an example, if the dog weighed 40 pounds, it would be given about 20 cloves of garlic. That’s a staggering amount of garlic that no dog or human would ever actually consume in that time frame! Don’t believe us? Then Calculate how much garlic you’d be eating using that formula. It would be more than enough garlic to make anyone ill.
So this is my food for my dogs, they do not get treats (with the exception of when they visit A dear friend Billy she is like their Aunt and will give them and her dog those shmackos. Miss Treacle runs into the pantry if the door is open and sits in front of the jar looking at it longingly and wagging her tail knowing what is in store for her. Obviously deprived my dogs are. All the above is my own opinions and thoughts, I am no way endorsing any products or suppliers, I also am not saying you have to do anything if you are happy with your dogs food.
I would also like to add I could not afford to feed my dogs the more premium dog foods that are vet endorsed and they may or may not be better in quality than how I perceive the particular one I have chosen.
I also have noted many non grain dog foods have a lot of broad beans as the extra protein ingredient, as they are a cheaper source of protein than meat. One such is Australian company who do a home delivery direct to you contract. They say they specialise in ensuring the quantity/ap for your dog.
$79 per box – free shipping to Melb, Bris & Syd 7.5kg They are Australian and state they use 97% Australian sourced ingredients. Scratch is the companys name https://www.scratchpetfood.com.au/grain-free-dog-food/ I have never tried this dog food for my dog, and they charge $5 for a sample? So will never be likely too. I have read some positive and some issues with the products for some dogs on their companies own site.
I have used Vets All Natural again an Australian company but raw based. I have only ever used their grain mix that you soak and add to raw meat. My dogs loved it and it WAS economical for me. Sadly it is too expensive now which is why I am doing my own food for my dogs.
Today it is all about my dogs and dogs we meet along with their families. I have said before that my dogs are the reason I am still here.
In my darker periods of depression and anxiety they give me a reason to get up in the morning and to smile. They love me its that simple, and they need me. I need them. I love them and they love me.
They go with me everywhere, as long as it is not too hot for them to be in the car, or walking on the hot cement or tarmac. We have done so much together, and they bring me happiness and are there for me. Miss Treacle is sort of a service dog, not officially but some dogs and owners just have a connection. She seems to know when I am being triggered, and will come and sit on me if she can or as close to me as possible and try to make eye contact with me. Pressing her little body into mine. Really really trying. It helps me now, I realise what she is doing and when she is there it can help so much to stop things escalating.
This was taken at Lauderdale a north eastern suburb of Hobart a year ago and at a bakery up there. We sat outside with a coffee, and watched birds and the weather. Miss Treacle Busby and I and our older dog had gone on a drive. If you look to the right of the back of the photograph you will see dark cloud forming. That is the Mount Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) the large mountain that forms part of the divide between Huon Valley, to Kingston and Hobart. My home is basically directly south behind Miss Treacle.
I tell people all the time how sweet and gentle Busby is. He is younger here and we fostered kittens and puppies along with looking after friends dogs if they needed it.
Oh my what teeth you have Miss Treacle. Scary too. I’m just yawning know need to be concerned.
Busby is trying to tell me it is time to leave. He has no one paying him any attention. Coffee at a local bakery.
Miss Treacle just hopped up here on the seat next to the gentleman(who I know fortunately) when I went inside to order my coffee. She does prefer to be off the ground.
This is Busby and one of the kittens we fostered. He was so gentle with all of them, and loved them and they him.
Here you can see how good he is with them. The other dog in the background is my gorgeous Smithfield, who died age 12 two years ago.
Miss Treacle was also great with the kittens, though her patience did wear a bit thing a times and she would put them in their place. I guess that is the roll of older members of a family who are helping to raise the youngsters.
You find the most amazing beaches in Tasmania. This beach is a dog friendly one. This is Lauderdale Beach in Austum a few years ago you can see a storm coming.
Above, Taken near Cygnet. Two dogs very well behaved as they head to town.
The dog walking group I am a member of helped with the RSPCA Million Paws walk and this was one of the dogs who he and his owner participated.
Busby above getting a drink and checking the creek near the Cygnet Dog park out. Cooling his paws on a hot day.
We met these two lovely ladies at an off lead dog walking track at Corneilian Bay in Hobart. It is a favourite place when we go to Hobart. It is a great walking track up a hill and next to the cementry. It also has a spot for the dogs to play and chase as well as have a swim in the bay.
More dogs we met that morning and their humans.
My dogs and I were heading up a mountain near where we live as snow had fallen this was later in the day. It was the first time that Busby had been near snow. It was not deep. As it had fallen overnight and this was about 2pm. You can see how interested Miss Treacle and my older dog are.
Above they had a ball. I was worried for a short while that Busby might be feeling the cold. That is until he went for a swim in the lake that was to the left in the photo above. I decided if he was swimming in the freezing water he was OK.
This is our neighbours lovely springer spaniel saying hi to Busby. He has just turned 2 and he and Busby adore each other it is a bromance of the highest order. They miss each other and oh my when its been a few days without seeing each other it is sheer joy and love.
They love to play with each other and sometimes Miss Treacle will join in. Though at 12 1/2 the young boys can get a bit rough for her.
Fortunately there are safe and comforting arms to save her. Below.
How do you begin if you have no idea especially in the cooking, shopping and eating area?
You hear about having a well stocked pantry. What does that mean and how do you achieve that? Why should you have one, especially if you are on a low income or budget.
You do not need to have a beautiful expensive ‘pantry’, hidden behind doors with a sink and whatever. My pantry is just in my kitchen and really it is usually having more on hand, so one in use and one if I run out! For example, I make my own bread often. So I will buy a 5kg/11lbs bag of plain flour I have food grade storage for it. I take about 2kg/4.4lbs and put it in the canister. When I am putting the next 2kgs into the canister I will put flour on my shopping list. As I have to budget for the larger bag, I will see how much plain flour costs and I may only buy a 2kg bag that week.
Having a pantry allows you more freedom with the food you cook. Cooking from scratch is perhaps the biggest and yet for many the hardest place to begin their budgeting and saving money. With fresh vegetables and meat you can make delicious meals, and you can make snacks such as sweet and savoury, biscuits, cakes, pancakes and even pasta if you wanted too.
A pantry is their not for the end of the world I am not talking about a preppers hoard for anything that may come. I guess if you live in China at the moment and were a prepper you would be managing relatively well in the current situation with the virus.
I am really talking about how you can have supplies that you use and LIKE on hand to make things easier for you to be more likely to cook a meal than spend money getting a take -a-way, or home delivery. All which convienient are expensive in either cost or lack of real nutrition. The cheaper meals such as McDonalds KFC Hungry Jacks, and all similar are generally high in sugar and fat. Or have been processed so the actual nurtitional value apart from maybe fibre is neglible.
So where to begin I have basics in my pantry, and even though there is only me, I buy the best price, generally larger quantities, but not always. The supermarkets are getting savvy to budget shoppers, and now it seems you do have to check the price of each against the other. Looking at the price per gram or 100gms rather than the ticketed price. You have to be prepared to spend some time, in not only preparing a list of what you need in your shopping but also the cost. Otherwise you may be paying to much.
Best Before and Use by dates, now these for someone older are really only a guide to how long things last. It is up to you how and what you do in regard to them. My own life experiences and life before these ‘helpful’ dates is I am prepared to use some items beyond the stamped dates on them. I am not suggesting you do this.
My Pantry. I have flour, just plain (all purpose) as I purchase baking powder to convert it to Self-raising. This means that I can purchase a larger quantity of plain flour (all purpose). So plain flour and baking powder are on my pantry list. I also have rye flour and whole wheat as I make my own bread and like rye bread.
Cornflour/Cornstarch (often in Australia this is made from wheat). So I have to check that it is real corn flour from corn. Rolled oat, great for breakfast porridge, you can use them in biscuits and slices, and to crumb chicken and other meat. They can be ground to make gluten free flour.
Sugar, I have raw and brown. I usually have white icing sugar, (confectioners sugar) Bicarb soda (baking soda) Dried beans and lentils, great to whip up a dahl or a curry to extend a stew reduce meat intake Rice I have white and brown. which ever you like what ever sort jasmine long grain short grain. popping corn
I also have powdered milk (for those times I run out of fresh milk or the power is off and I dont want to be opening the fridge up) I also keep semolina I make a sweet pudding if I am craving something sweet polenta I use it instead of bread crumbs for meat and fish I have almond meal use it in cooking, and added to porridge or yougurt peanuts, I make my own peanut butter but also have them as a snack almonds brazil nuts Currants sultanas Home made dried apricots and apples coffee, tea coconut desicated cocoa powder stock powder for soup base,
Oils and Sauces olive oil rice bran oil soy sauce Worcester sesame oil mayonnaise honey mustard vinegar cider, white, and balsamic Home made sweet plum chili sauce
Herbs and Spices smoked paprika sweet paprika thyme, oregano, chili tumeric coriander, cumin, pepper salt nutmeg cinnamon powdered ginger Vanilla essence
Jars home made jams peanut butter home made vegiemite anchovies, pickles, relish green tomato home made
I also have frozen vegetables butter in the freezer which I buy on sale meat also when it is on sale I buy extra and freeze it. I also buy 1kg block of cheese when it is on sale and cut it up and freeze it.
I grow garlic, so have fresh garlic most of the year along with herbs that I grow. I also grow vegetables, parsley, bay leave, onions, chives, spring onions, corriandor (so I have seeds to grind for cooking), garlic chives, fruit, and hazlenuts.
This is my basic pantry. I do not have biscuits or chocolates in it as I can’t I eat them in one go. sigh It is a lot of food. You will notice I do not have tins of soup. I prefer to make my own and freeze it. I also make my own bread mostly so very rarely have bread in the freezer. It seems like a huge amount to have to get together. The reality is you begin simply. Buy one or two extra items if they are on sale and/or you can afford it. Over time you will find you have things to assist in flavouring and preparing delicious home cooked meals. It helps with making simple food taste extra tasty.
Do not buy something because it sounds interesting or just because it is on sale. Only buy things you know you will use. It is not uncommon for people to get caught out buying something because it was on special or sounded interesting.
Herbs and spices can be a big on here. Buy only what you know you will use, and these sorts of things are best bought in smaller quantities.
Herbs and spices keep best in a air tight jars. Don’t be caught out paying the hefty extra price you might for a jar of herbs or spices. Wash up the jars from other items you buy and the lids, store your herbs in them. Or if you must buy the jar, do it only once then buy the bags and refill the jar. Dried herbs and spices are best kept out of direct sunlight.
My pantry has helped numerous times when I have had unexpected bills, or been ill and not able to go shopping. Here in Tasmania most of our supplies are shipped over from the Australian mainland. We are supposed to have about three days worth of food available in supermarkets if for some reason shipping stopped. Which did occur quite a few years ago in the dockers strike. Another good reason to have a good pantry.
I am also a great believer that cooking extra and freezing it is always a good idea.
I am happy to answer or discuss the idea of having a pantry. My pantry is maintained by ensuring I know how much of everything I have on hand, and adding it to the shopping list of things I need to buy. For me it is as simple as a list on the fridge. I use a wipe off marker and write how many or much I have and generally when I need to buy another one.
It is YOUR pantry no one else’s so you only have to please yourself and your family.
I am so thankful for my ability to have a pantry, and grateful for how it has helped me over time.
Its been a lovely day here in the beautiful Valley I call home. The photographs I have included are not from today, but they sum up all I am talking about.
The dogs and I all slept well and we rose fairly early in comparison of what seems to have become normal. (my medication after almost a year seems to be making me tired).
The dogs had their run.
For new readers I drive my car, and the dogs run up the road and back often with a stop at my neighbour on the hill for me to chat, and our big dogs to play together. Miss Treacle on the other hand my schnauser maltese cross who is 12, gets picked up and cuddled by Peter, and she just adores him.
His wife could not believe it when she saw Treacle in action. If we go up to their home and Peter is not out Miss Treacle will sit at their gate looking for him, and hoping. She cries with excitement when he is home and comes over to give her a cuddle. I swear she pines for him if she does not see him for a few days.
Busby and Toby are bros, and we do believe they are having a bromance. There is much licking and happiness, They run towards each other in ecstasy. When they play it can look really rough, but they are both actually very gentle with each other when they mouth.
Because Toby is a Springer Spaniel he has a soft mouth and is so gentle with Miss Treacle, though if he does get a bit rough with her, she will tell him off in no uncertain terms. He is a young dog, having just turned 2 in December. He has known my guys for most of his life. So he respects them both.
It makes us all smile watching these three get on so well. We have been driving past each other in our cars and Toby has made such a racket that they have had to stop so all three dogs can have a play in the paddock before we each pack up our dogs and head off. It is quite lovely.
The Huon Valley is very dog friendly with most cafes allowing dogs in outside areas, and there are wonderful dog friendly beaches where dogs and owners can swim and run play off lead. Each of the main towns Huonville, Cygnet, Geeveston all have lovely fully fenced off lead dog parks. Thanks to co-operation and fund raising of the Huon Valley Dog group.
Having a mental illness such as I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), my dogs are everything to me. They are my world, and if it was not for them I can be totally honest and say in my darkest days, I would have made a decision that I know would have been the worst decision I could have. Animals can make such a difference to people with mental illness. I have to get up everyday and feed them, let them out, play with them and cuddle them. Exercise them and keep them in good condition. I may go back to bed as I did in my worst days but I had got up..had some food and cared for my dogs.
My dogs know me warts and all. Miss Treacle is like my angel, when I am getting angry she will come and sit on my lap and push her body into me, she will try to nuzzle me and get me to make eye contact with her. She hates me on the telephone, as that is where she has seen me at my worst in anger. If I am getting frustrated with other drivers she leans into me. Yet even with all of this she loves me unconditionally.
Busby is my protector who is frightened of metal on metal noises, scraping chairs, wind, rain, thunder and lightning. We were out walking at Triabunna (a seaside town on the east coast, about an hour away, north of Hobart and a massive storm hit with wind hail thunder and lightning. It was horrendous, and understandably he has been frightened of these ever since. I had to pick up Miss Treacle, and poor Busby just tried to run off, I nearly dropped Miss Treacle, and dropped his lead, but somehow did not. I could not just stand there, with no protection. So we had to try and get to the car, about 100meters away. Needless to say we were all shaken up by this. My big gentle boy(41kgs/90lbs) now tries to climb up on my lap if we have storms and I have to close all the curtains if it is really windy. Which it often is as we live in the roaring forties.
So my dogs are my family, they are my constant companions. I have huge anxiety and panic attacks if I have to leave them at home, or it is too hot to take them with me. I have cancelled appointments and not gone to things because I have been to overwhelmed to leave them.
Gardens are one of the places that can bring so much pleasure and delight not just for the humans. The garden that I have created is always evolving as trees planted by my partner grow and spread. The rainfall or lack of. The garden that surrounds my home is a place for nature. I plant to encourage bird life. I ensure that there is water at different levels and flowers in every season if possible. It seems I am very rarely without birds and their songs in the garden.
These small birds live all over Australia even seen flying between city buildings, from the desert to the sea. They got there name because sailors noted them as they flew about the sea indicating that land was not far. Or as a sign of Spring (Imbolc) returning as I read in another site. They build mud nests under bridges, walls of buildings, verticle rock walls the nest is a snug lined with fur and feathers. Both parents build the nest. They are aerial acrobats swooping and turning as they chase insects that are their food source. A variety of insects are eaten. The insect is guided into the bird’s wide, open mouth with the help of short rictal bristles bordering the bill. These bristles also help protect the bird’s eye. I often sit out and watch them flying about my place. I have lived here a long time and have never had a nest built on the house. I would love one. (many people would think I am crazy).
These striking little birds are hard to miss but they are easy to confuse with another bird. The White-cheeked Honeyeater is about the same size and has similar colouring to the New Holland Honeyeater. If the bird has the white eye it is the New Holland Honeyeater. After the Dutch navigators charted the northern, western and southern coasts of Australia during the 17th Century this newly found continent became known as ‘New Holland’ These little birds are named New Holland from this name.
New Holland Honeyeaters are active feeders.They mostly eat the nectar of flowers, and busily dart from flower to flower in search of this high-energy food. Other food items include fruit, insects and spiders. Birds may feed alone, but normally gather in quite large groups. Most feeding takes place in lower areas of bushes and thickets
The long, curved beak these honeyeaters have are perfect for reaching deep into a flower to get to the sweet nectar inside.
These birds get their name from the first name given to Australia (New Holland). It was called New Holland because the Dutch were the first Europeans to visit here.
New Holland Honeyeaters have two breeding peaks, in summer and winter, when they build two different nest types. Their winter nest is built at the top of a bush facing the northern sun to keep it warm. In summer they build their nest deep in the bush away from the heat and the sun.
The Striated Pardalote can be found throughout much of Australia, and across this range there are numerous populations and subspecies. Despite being tiny birds, some populations undertake remarkable migratory movements, while others remain in the same area throughout the year. In some populations, some of the birds migrate while others remain behind. Clearly, the movements of the Striated Pardalote are complex. The best-known migratory population breeds in Tasmania and makes regular seasonal movements across Bass Strait, where they mix with various mainland-breeding populations.
Striated Pardalotes feed in the foliage in the tops of trees, although occasionally coming close to the ground in low shrubs. They eat a wide variety of insects and their larvae, which are usually captured by picking them from the surfaces of leaves. Feeding takes place in small groups and birds maintain contact with soft trills.
During breeding season, Striated Pardalotes form pairs or small groups of up to six birds. The nest is constructed close to the ground, usually in a tree hollow or tunnel, excavated in an earthen bank; small openings in human-made objects are frequently used. The birds display regularly at the entrance to the nesting chamber, and vigorously guard the vicinity against other pardalotes. Both sexes incubate and care for the young birds. Other members of the group may also help with the feeding of the young.
These are just three of the visitors to my garden. I am so fortunate and keep planting to attract more birdlife, bees, butterflies and dragonflies. Along with the wallabies, bancicoots, quolls and the tasmania devils who I heard fighting last night on the old dam wall. The possums that chase each other over my metal roof during mating season, and the one that makes Busby bark in the wee small hours of the night waking me in fright. I certainly can not forget the wonder of having an echidna or two that roams across my paddock and garden. How wonderful to have and be creating such a home for us all. To live in harmony.
I will be woken in the morning with no alarm clock but the sweet sounds of so many birds hopefully not demanding me to fill the water bowl…(just checked it and it is full).
I am thankful to have these wonderful birds feel welcome in the garden. Mother earth is so wonderful if you plant the things the birds and animals enjoy, they will come.