All things beginning with C.

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.

blessings to You, Tazzie.


When you really go backwards.

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.

blessings to You, Tazzie

Frida Kahol chicks

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.

So life here at Echidna Home is full.

blessing to You, Tazzie.

Chicks on the road side

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.

blessing to You Tazzie

Saturday morning bliss

Saturday we were up early to a very chilly morning, the fire is going, as I head out to let the chooks out. They are a bit traumatised yesterday my big dog chased them (my fault I had forgotten I had left them out). He grabbed one fortunately she escaped and I was able to get Busby inside, then go and find the hen, who minus a few tail feathers and been so shocked she had laid an egg poor hen. I had been very concerned about them all.

I was very relieved they were all ready to get out and all were happy to hang out and stay in their run.

After an early run the dogs and I headed into Cygnet. I was meeting a friend for breakfast and then go to a new market the Cygnet Garden Market. It was being held in the rear of the cafe we were having breakfast at.
I have probably shared that Huon Valley is a very dog friendly community. Most cafes with out door areas are happy to have well behaved dogs on lead come with their owner/s.

As me and my two headed in we were greeted by a gorgeous Bernese Mountain dog. Boris who apparently is a Saturday morning regular who was a little put out due to the fact his normal area on the grass out the back was not available due to the market. However he was a big 74kg/154lbs teddy bear.

Breaky (was disappointing and expensive). Ah when you are someone who lives frugally normal prices can seem expensive, if it was good food I would not have minded.
At least I got to meet lots of dogs. My friend did not make it which was fine. I went for a walk with the dogs popped them in back into the car and headed for the market. I was so fortunate the sky was blue sun was out here and there. As I headed home the rain began.

Worm wee was being sold, compost, tools, organic bags of soil, local sheep manure, and alpaca poo. Alpaca wool. Apple cider vinegar made locally, grape vine seedlings, so many plants and seedlings, wonderful. I did buy some strawberry plants and a lemon balm cutting.

The local seed saving community group were there and were giving seeds to you gor a gold coin donation. There is a renowned garden who was loved when he was the presenter of Gardening Australia on the Australia Broadcasting Corporation TV. (Our national TV and Radio network public) Peter Cundall and I was fortunate enough to get some of his Pumpkin seeds yeah. I also liked that there were only four in the packet. I seem to end up with so many seeds left over. Which is why I love saving my own seeds.

So for the inaugural market, it was successful. I was in and out fairly quickly as they were doing the covid distancing requirements. The regular Cygnet Market has also recommenced. We are so fortunate for the people who organise all the wonderful community activities we have in our valley

blessing to you, Tazzie.

Morning Walk

I really have lost track of how long it has been now since we have been in isolation/lock down here in Tasmania. I have said before that as someone with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), it has not been a huge change from normal life.

What has changed is my routine, and going for a walk with my dogs every day. Some days we do more walks or a longer walk. I am fortunate to have such a great area and road where my dogs can be off lead.
It was a wild stormy night apparently. I heard nothing sleeping soundly until 07:00 am approx. My dogs stay in bed and join me when they are ready.

I feel beginning our walk with a bit of a rainbow was a good start, and water was lying about everywhere, along with wild fungi and mushrooms that are popping up about the road and my place.

I am trying to bring something new to the photos I do take on our walk as of late it has been the same one for some time.

Busby had run ahead as he usually does as he hopes to see Toby and today he was not disappointed. I was calling him back when my neighbours wife called out and said hang on. Toby by this point had said hi to Busby through the fence and than all three dogs raced up to the gate. As you can see above. It really is a love of brothers.

Miss Treacle was disappointed as she did not get to see her man. His wife did bend down and pat. In Miss Treacle’s eyes it was no where near the same, and she spent her time just standing about my legs trying not to be squashed by the boys. Who raced off down to the dam.

It must have rained a lot as on the way home there was a big worm crossing the road. I moved it to the verge to minimise it being lunch for so

Arriving back home just in time again before the rain hit and wind picked up even more. I finished making my chicken vegetable soup, it has carrots, peas, cauliflower, corn, onion, lots of garlic, ginger, some turmeric in it. Before I serve it for my dinner I will make some very simple egg dumplings. I beat two eggs, with enough flour so that it is gooey and mixed. I than add this to the soup and let the dumplings (with salt and pepper added to the mix) rise, let them cook for a few minutes one side, then I will turn them over. I did turn them too early and they broke. They still fluffed up and added to the dish.

It was a delectable meal and a wonderful way to end the day.

I do hope like me you are finding things to laugh about even in this times of uncertainty.

Blessings to you Tazzie



Rock and Fossil

Living in Tasmania there are so many amazing and beautiful things naturally occurring. Many years ago I wanted to be a geologist. It did not happen. I do still have a love of rocks, and fossils, the strata of earth and formation of hills and mountains. I also love collecting sea glass and old broken pottery/china bits washed up.

Tasmania has the largest exposure of dolerite, and rock history from over 1260 million years ago! https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/echidna.home.blog/3339 If you are interested in the periods and geology of my island home the above is a condensed source of information.

One of the coves near where I live has fossils. I also love finding coloured glass washed smooth and shaped by the waves and rocks.

I do have a dream of one day finding some lightning glass. Not really likely here in Tasmania as we do not get a lot of lightning.

Here are some of the fossils I have found here in Tasmania. I have not taken these off cliffs or used anything to remove them from the rock itself. They are all rocks I have found on walks about the waters edges around areas I have been walking or swimming. They have not been taken from any areas designated significant geological areas nor National Parks. Some I have found under the water and others on the riverside.
I love the colours and the strata layers in some of the rocks.

I am not knowledgeable about what fossils they are in these rocks. I do believe some are; Fenestellio Bryozoa, Brachiopoda (lamp shell) “Terebratula” Happy for any information about my rocks and fossils. All found south of Hobart Tasmania

Life with CPTSD and not enjoying crowds taking my dogs and myself off to our faviourite swimming places and walks along the beaches that allow dogs is a very simple pleasure and when I find any of the list above I smile and pop them in my pocket.

blessings to you all. Tazzie

Dogs and Isolation.

Off we went for our walk this morning. It was wet but warm and the rain had stopped. Busby and Miss Treacle took off, up the drive to our small country road. Miss Treacle just races out my breath catches every time. Busby is incredible every single time we leave he looks to the right (direction in Australia cars would be heading towards him closest side).

It was muggy and I hate humidity I did not imagine Tasmania would have such humidity as it has in recent times.
Busby had gone and said hi to Chubbs and Toby at their gate across from us. They looked forlornly on as he raced up the road without even looking back.

We had not gone to far further up when we met Ruby and her owner. Do not mistake Ruby for a brown sheep. She is a sweet labradoodle. (her big brother is Basil he is a tenacious elderly pug who can no longer handle big walks).
We left Ruby and her owner and continued up the hill on our walk. Busby saw Toby (yes 2 Tobys, and when my third dog was alive there were 3 tobys on our small rural road). It did not look like Toby would be coming out to play as he sat by the fence. Then the gate was open, and WOWEee , it was playtime.

Miss Treacle was incredibly disappointed when she realised it was not her man but his wife who was with Toby today. She ignored her with disdain. The bros had a ball and stirred up the ducks by running straight towards them, not even really seeing them as they were playing. The ducks took flight.

The warmth and humidity rising and the evaporating water was forming clouds across the river and the clouds thinned. As we walked past Chubbs and Toby were still hopefully waiting by their gate wanting to play. It was not to be so the three of us headed for home.

I had to wheel my bin down to the road where the truck picks it up in the morning. As I was bringing it to the top of my driveway, I was almost flattened by three big dogs coming straight at me, the black ones tail wagging so much it nearly was ahead of his head. The boys had been released. They were thrilled.

Busby, Chubbs and Toby ended up playing ball in the paddock as I talked with their mum, and two teenager neighbours (all social distancing actually much more than the suggested space. The kids were earning their some money by bringing other neighbours bins down. Love their ingenuity. They ride their bikes down hill towing the bins. No fear these guys.

It has been another wonderful day spent in isolation? My routine continues in bed by 22:30 lights out, eating more healthily, walking every day, and showering every second day.

I do have to say, I feel so much better following this routine, I see how I really knew what was best for my own needs and am now working to ensure I follow this as best as I can. If I don’t make it to bed or eat healthy for a day, it is not a a failure in my eyes, it is just normal. I will just pick it up the next day. That is my plan.

I am thankful for the rain. I am so thankful for my dogs. I am thankful for having such great dogs living about us. I am thankful for my neighbours and the greater sense of community we have now. I am thankful for my garden. I am thankful for my warm comfortable bed. My doona, and electric blanket. I am thankful to have a roof over my head. I am thankful to have food and fresh water. I am so thankful for all that I have.

blessings Tazzie

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