Dog days Down Under Down Under

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.

Miss Treacle is in heaven.
Busby and Toby Miss Treacle and Peter

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.

Toby is a 2 and adores Busby who is 4, Playing.
Miss Treacle and Toby play too.

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.

Dogs having fun.

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.

Dog Friendly Cafes
Dog Friendly cafes

Dog Friendly Beaches






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.

I make no apologies for this.

blessings Tazzie.

Musings from down under down under

It is really interesting, I kind of thought with my budget being so tight and me being more content at home not finding it easy to be around people even to just pop in on people who tell me too.
I have not been anywhere out of my home area, well the dogs walks and I have chatted briefly with neighbours, for a week. I imagine to many this must be such a strange thing and way to live. I do not believe I am depressed, as I am achieving some small things inside my home. On top of having been getting my veggie garden up and functional again this summer. My dogs make me laugh and I laugh at things I watch appropriately

I have achieved finding a new psychiatrist, but I had to do all the work and that really annoyed me and exhausted me. We have a company/organisation called Phscy 2 U. Which is supposed to provide people who live in rural and isolated areas the access to psychologists and psychiatrists. I have been seeing a psychiatrist for 7 months (need to have an assessment conducted to get a letter from he/she to apply for disability pension). I use the term 7months very loosely here. I saw this particular psychiatrist for five months and then I have been trying to find out why he told my GP I no longer wished to see him. (I never said that). So to catch to the chase. I had rung the organisation to find out what was going on and if he would see me but I needed a new referral from my GP which was sent on the 12 December 2019. They never got back to me. I rang again, to be told that they would look for another psychiatrist.
Never heard anything, and as it was Christmas time now there was no point trying again until the new year. So ring again I did. No he was not seeing me anymore, no reason. They would look for a new psychiatrist.

One week later I ring again having heard nothing, oh the Psychiatrist had been away on leave and they would imagine I would hear from him soon. Another week passes, I hear nothing.

I ring again to be told I have to wait for this person to contact me as I am on ADHD medication and he is the only psychiatrist who can prescribe in Tasmania. I say I am not on ADHD medication where did you get that information from it is incorrect. Oh. I say since I am not on that medication you could find me a psychiatrist who could see me. She says she will send some emails.

I ring back again 10 days later. No record of me not being on ADHD medication no record of the conversation I had 10 days ago and no emails sent to any other Psychiatrists. Me not so happy. Person I spoke to lovely and says she will send something of right now. Me great I have been waiting since the 12th December it is now 26 January, and I have rung several times to follow up and no one has ever contacted me. This is making me unwell having to chase all this up my anxiety CPTSD is not great.

I ask if I can speak to a supervisor, she says no one is available at the moment but someone will ring back. I ask today? Yes today. OK

I wait and wait, the office closes at 4pm I have heard nothing and it is 3.30pm so I ring. The woman I spoke with was no help I said I had been waiting for a call from the supervisor, she says did you want the office manager or the Head person, me I just want someone who can help resolve this. She then went on to tell me emails had been sent before, I said are you meaning the emails that were sent this morning? No before that. Really how come you are the first person to tell me this, as the woman I spoke to this morning said nothing had been sent and she would email them. So would you give me the dates these emails were sent please. She was reluctant to do this. I again asked for the dates, and said to her I felt that I was getting a bumsteer from this company.

I also found out that the actual second referral from my GP which was faxed on the 12.12.19 (I rang my GP to confirm) was not put into this companies system until the 06/01/2020. No explanation available as they did not close the office until 24/12/19

In the course of this conversation I discovered there was no record of one of my phone calls and the conversation from that date. I as an RN/RPN (no longer working) stated that legally that was a huge error. I had called and there was no record of it! I said in a legal situation the courts would say if its not documented it did not happen, and that is wrong in so many ways in a medical setting to not have a record of a clients call documented. I said I would be contacting the Ombudsman in regard to that. I also said I had a right to know when the emails were sent I did not want to know who too. Just the date they were sent. She then admitted they were sent that morning! UGGh! I was feeling so angry.

I was so fed up and I could feel I was being triggered and my anger was beginning. I hung up not expecting to hear from anyone today.

A few minutes later I got a call from the person in charge. I had managed to calm myself a bit in the interim time, but I just waited for her to begin the conversation as she had rung me. She begins with there is no issue about the phone call not being recorded. I disputed this. I also requested that I wished to make a formal complaint about the process and what had occurred with the documentation she refused saying that me speaking to her was dealing with it. I said NO I wanted it to be documented as a formal complaint so it would go to the governing body. or whomever. As medical notes had to be kept objectively and correctly again I stated that in a legal situation the fact my phone call and the information was not documented in my notes meant it did not happen. How many other clients were having this sort of treatment? She did not like my attitude. She then said my previous psychiatrist did not want to see me. I said sorry is that documented? Where did you get this information? She did not respond. I said he sent my GP a letter saying I no longer wanted to see him, and that was not correct, as could be seen as I had rung up (and fortunately that had been documented twice) to say I did want to see him.
If she had records saying he did not want to see me, than they should be sent to my GP, as the information she had was incorrect. As a mental health client that could go against me, if the Disability people thought I did not want to see the psychiatrist. I was so upset and my anger was rising. I just wanted to get an appointment with a psychiatrist, there are no psychiatrist available in the southern area of Tasmania that bulk bill. I can not afford to pay to see one at all. I was crying by this point and had to hang up.
She rang me back about 10mins later, saying she hoped I had calmed down…I really battled to not bite her head off.. I let her talk, she said she had tried to ring 2 psychiatrists but no one was answering. She had left messages. I said is that all? yes I hung up. I was drained exhausted frustrated and just shattered.

The next morning I rang and lodged a complaint about information not being documented in my records and asking for a copy of the information that says the psychiatrist I had been seeing no longer wanted to see me. Not that I did not want to see him. I wanted my GPs records to be amended. I had to do that on the computer which at least was not a huge form.

I just can not cope. I do but it takes so much out of me. I get fixated and then begin to think if I am struggling and I am sort of better than I was, in some ways, how would anyone who was more unwell deal with any of this, and like with my Centrelink ban, I think many people would just give up and try and struggle on.

The concept of these Skype meetings is full of good intentions. But having people who have no idea and seem to not want to know anything about you but just give you drugs, (and Yes the meds I’m on are helping my brain but other areas are blah..like constantly weary. I sleep 12+hours with some weird really weird dreams, for a week or more and then I have a few nights were I am up all night, It is part of the have a brain that is functioning, or not symptoms.

Yet when I create a post such as this I see my mind is a bit all over the place, and I really struggle with paperwork. I am so fed up with what seems to me having to resolve things that I as the person with a mental illness should not have too. I am exhausted by the dealings of it all and my reaction is to begin to close myself off again. Not look at the phone, not communicate with other bloggers, not go and get the food I need. It was really only because my dogs needed their food for the fortnight that I ended up going out today. Then I am out for so long as I usually run into people who want to chat. Even today, I had rung and ordered my dogs meat, on Monday, and the person who took my order did not get it right. I had a few kilos in the freezer at home which would have got me over the long weekend(which I was oblivious too). So I was able to manage the situation in a no major issue kind of way, which was positive.

I keep reminding myself to be aware and to breathe, to acknowledge the feeling but not let it rule me. I also am getting better at saying to my little me that I the adult person am in charge and will deal with it.
I am really happy to be finding so many amazing bloggers out there I especially love wordpress.com/read/feeds/36149739/posts/2580354980, Charlies writing and his artwork make me smile and light a spark inside me wanting to be creative again. Yet for the moment I have to put that on hold for a few days.

I am really thankful that as a hoarder, (I have not shared that here before) I actually am really conscientious about what I am bringing in to my home. For quite a while I was gathering boxes, so many boxes cardboard and today the dog meat came in two cardboard boxes, and I know that they will go out in my car port(now devoid of cardboard boxes) but I will use them and put them on the grass in my veggie area that I am trying to get rid of. I threw a fair few of the other ones away as it was very big problem into recycling. I was somewhere else today and I was offered a box to carry some things (breakables) but I said thank You but I won’t and explained that I hoarded them! Wow was I so happy that not only I said no, but I reiterated out loud the reason why I did not want a box. I knew I had two already. If I had a third that I could do without, and I said NO huge step forward.

As a hoarder I also have to look at anything I am bringing home in any multiples. For example I got several large bowls at the tip shop(which is where I was offered the box) and a few pie dishes all glass or pottery. Plus I needed to replace my microwave glass plate that spins having broken my 18 months ago. I was tempted by so much stuff, and the constant thing in my head was you do not need that you are trying to de clutter, and not hoard, you are hear for large bowels for bird baths and drinking bowls for wild life. (some of my old plastic ones are deteriorating and need to be replaced). So I came home with four bowels, on microwave plate and this was a near miss in the hoarder scenario, as I there were five different sizes and not being sure of the size I almost bought the five. Self talk and I looked at them all and from somewhere inside my brain, take this one and if it is not right I am sure they would let you do a simple swap next timer! YES wonderful. I got the one I chose home and it fitted. Yippee.

So along with the part of my brain that is not functioning well and the constant tiredness, some aspects are going well.

The other thing is I am doing OK. I do think some of my reactions in dealing with the psych 2 U people were anxiety driven, I am no closer to having my assessment for DSP than I was nearly 8 months ago which is frustrating. I was about to write that I was also worrying about the new person changing medications, and I could feel myself reacting, and my auto anxiety responses physical sensations begin, and into my head came…not much point worrying about that now, you have five weeks before your appointment.

I am thankful I have an appointment, I am thankful that I am on meds that have some positives that out weigh the negatives, I am thankful for the wonderful bloggers who I enjoy reading, seeing their creativity and learning and sharing experiences with each other.

blessings Tazzie

How to pay of your mortgage

I wrote this in response to someone asking me how did we pay off our mortgage?

This is all based on two adults only. NO kids involved I can not base anything on how expensive it can be with children. The mortgage was paid off before I had my breakdown I was still working and my partner died. I worked for a few years after his death. This is why I encourage everyone to become as financially stable as possible.
If we had not paid off our home, I believe I would not have been able to manage the mortgage payments on my own.

My first point is always get rid of all debts before the mortgage. Mortgages at present are low, credit cards with fees and higher interest rates, get rid of them. YOU CAN live without a credit card. Personal loans, car, student loans may all incur higher interest than your mortgage. Get rid of them. Here in Australia I believe most credit cards have an annual fee. So your are paying to have that convenience on top of any interest.

Interest rates will go up I promise you.

Disclaimer Compared to those living on Newstart (benefit I receive ) or low incomes, who are renting, and living in the cities, which are so expensive to rent in or purchase a home. I do not know how anyone can survive even with the rent assistance, my hat is off to all who are in that situation. The costs involved with looking for work, adds to the difficulty of living off this payment. As to paying off a mortgage I bow down before you in awe!

My CPTSD makes me unemployable so I don’t have to do all involved in looking for work. I also know how fortunate I am that my country provides money for those of us who find ourselves out of a job, for what ever reason.

I have all I need and more, I do not have any wants, that makes me rich. Money does not make you rich. It might make you RICH as in oh look at my Corvette and my six bedroom six bathroom house I live in on my own kind of thing, If that is the RICH you are aiming for go for it.

I live in a state that has some of the cleanest air in the world. I have clean water to drink, I can access medical services for no charge, as I have a concession card, so my GP bulk bills me. Public Hospitals are free, but waiting times can be huge. I have wonderful neighbours and a exceptional community in the valley I live in which was demonstrated this time last year when we had bush fires and smoke from before Christmas to late May. This makes me rich!(not the fires and smoke the community)

I have superannuation that will not be accessible for 13 years. Only other assets apart from my home are my two dogs. Who are priceless.

I do not look at life in such ways. Our mortgage was joint effort and no I received no financial remuneration from any where when my partner died. All money went to his daughters. As it should. Our home was a place that his children had never lived in. I am not a financial person, in fact I find all the talk of how much money you need for this and that is ridiculous. As here they talk of how much you need to retire and it is so out there for me. I am supposed to have $3million to retire on. No wonder people are so scared.

Now again, I don’t live in a city like Sydney,Melbourne or even Hobart,where houses and units cost so much. Where many retirees enjoy eating out, the theatre, golf, traveling overseas, around Australia. Some will have several cars, may be a boat, a holiday house. Some will still be paying of their homes and some will be renting. Some will be doing fine and others not so. Maybe if you want to continue with the lifestyle you had you might need that sort of money. I have never seen and probably never will see that sort of money personally in my lifetime.

I could get all worked up and think lots of negative thoughts and worry myself so that anxiety and panic attacks increased and out bursts of anger because I felt no control over it all. Concerned about not having the $3million dollars I need to retire on .

Instead I take a leaf, no many leaves out of my partners life. He was older than I am. He had no debts, he had some savings not a huge amount by what you should have standards, he helped his daughters out with the deposit for their first homes. He was content.

We traveled to NZ for 6 weeks in a campervan. Most of the time it was wonderful..a couple in a tiny vechicle no escape..we were a normal couple!

Apart from beds, (mattress is over 18 years old and still going strong. Fridge 13 years old, microwave 16 years old, freezer 13 years old washing machine over 30 years old, oh and two beautiful Huon pine small coffee table he made me, all the other furniture is second hand. Our TV is smaller than most peoples computer screen. I don’t have air conditioning and survived fine today 40dC/104dF with just a fan.

I have no stocks no bonds, no gold no money hidden anywhere.

My assets are way below the cap for Newstart. Sorry not going into my Net worth but it just the value of my home and superannuation and that is just under $100,000.

I am not qualified to advise anybody on what where how they invest. So cant help you there. I have always looked at if you cant afford to loose it don’t invest.

For me the way to pay off your mortgage faster is to realise that it is compound interest you generally are paying. So if you say as we do here have mortgages that you pay only interest off to begin with and you just pay that amount you it will take the full 30 years. That is what banks and other lenders hope for.

Now this is just very rough values done on a mortgage calculator, online.

Again I am not a financial advisor or in any way an expert.

These figures are based on Australian AUD and interest rates. They are only a demonstration. Say you had a mortgage amount of$360,000 3 bedroom home in Hobart State Capital and an annual interest rate of 4.5%. fixed loan On going Monthly repayments $1824.00 every month for 30 years

  • Total Interest and fees Payable $296,691.00

Now if you paid just an extra $50 a month of your mortgage would be paid out in 28 years and 5months $278,023.00 in interest and fees payable.

If you paid an extra $100 a month$261,734 interest and fees you would pay out your loan in 27 years.

It doesn’t seem much but every little bit extra you can pay off your mortgage reduces time and interest taken. If you pay your loan fortnightly you save even more. If you can pay your mortgage weekly and add an extra $20 to the payment.

If you could pay $2000 a month your mortgage would be paid in 25years and interest would be $240,553 ($56,000 saving on interest and fees)

Extreme example if you could afford a repayment of $1924 a week you would pay your mortgage in 4 years and interest and fees would be $32,902

Paying your mortgage weekly as we did saved even more not that we were paying the full amount but we would put something even if it was $10 on the mortgage every week on top of the due payments. We were paying 8.5%averaged out and we paid it out in 10 years. I was working so it was a lot easier.

Most people (not all) can give up things. Do you really need to have the painted nails manicure and pedicure every week? Or is it a want? Some people do need it than don’t give this up.

People managed to go to work and not get a coffee on the way to work every morning a couple of decades ago. It can be done. Drink water instead of sodas. Bring it from home don’t buy water in plastic bottles. These are all the things I am sure you have heard, and read.

I stopped buying two take away coffees a day, $7 a day $35 a week, $1820 a year saved. OK I had to drink instant but it was what I was drinking at home back then and it was provided free at work. If you add that $140 to your monthly mortgage repayment. wow. Such a little thing, but it will reduce the time and money you pay to the bank. Most importantly I survived doing it. It was worth doing all we could to be debt free. I kept looking at all the ways to knock off some money here some there.

Every time we did, into the money box(jar) the money we saved went and once a month on the fortnight between the mortgage payment I would take what ever we had in the jar to the bank. By taking it in on the fortnight opposite the regular monthly payment was taken out, the time, and interest grew shorter and less. We also paid extra regular weekly payment of about 25 a week I think it may have been more. So add that to the extra $10 a week payment, another payment of varied amounts, plus our monthly required payment. It all adds up and reduces the capital owed plus the interest.

We both put any loose change in it at night. We don’t have any tolls or paid parking where I live. I took a book to read and sat outside on breaks or in the staff room ate my bought from home meal. I stopped going to shops and malls, and wondering aimlessly about to fill in time.

I assessed what clothes and shoes I had and just wore them, I had a pair of 3 pair of dress shoes, walking boots, and joggers a pair of sandles and thongs. (flip flops) I wore a uniform to work that was paid for by work. That was helpful.

But when I did work in offices and training, I basically had a very simple wardrobe that I just lived in. Two pair of shoes that were comfortable for standing in to train people. Ive never followed fashion and own very little jewellery of any value. Again you may love jewellery than this might not be something that you want to stop buying.

I had a couple of handbags. Good quality but not labels that went with my ‘uniform’ I created. I stopped buying books and magazines and went to the library. We still would go out for meals and to the movies, theatre occasionally (two three times a year)

My partner loved the symphony so for combine Christmas Birthday gift, I bought him (and I ) season tickets for the Symphony. We did not need lots of gifts, and both our birthdays are January If we did go out for a meal for a birthday celebration it would be lunch, because we would go to Hobart to pick up things we needed and go to a really nice restaurant or cafe, and have lunch food was great but much cheaper than dinner. It was not that we were cheap. It was just we wanted to get out of the city and get home again. We loved being in our home. Together.

The other thing I have heard people talking about is what to do with any extra payments ie tax return, bonus! Put it if you can on your debts first! Having a holiday I promise you will be great but than you will come home and have more money on your credit card, and increased stress because you spent more than you intended. Put a bit aside for a treat.

Do you need or want a brand new car? They depreciate so fast . If you bought a brand new car in Australia, and drove it around the block tried to sell it You would only get about 2/3s of what you just paid for it. (a bit extreme but not far off)I have always bought second hand cars. I don’t need all the computerised things. I do like automatic windows I admit handy with dogs. But if you look at a brand new car for lets say $30,000 and within a very short time it will be worth lets say $22,000 why not just buy a vehicle for $22,000 these days it may still be under some warranty, any problems should be ironed out, and as long as it hasn’t been driven around Australia (or the states) deal. then put the $8,000 on the mortgage as one lump payment. Or pay off debts.

Now for those renting and trying to save for a mortgage, this might be hard. But do two people a couple really need a two bedroom unit? In Australia a second bedroom adds approx $120-200 a week to the rent. if you are paying $200 a week extra for a second bedroom you are wasting $9600 dollars a year, in a few years that would give you a great deposit!. Yes you might be able to get someone into help pay the rent but watch Judge Judy and you might reconsider..

You might read this and go well they must have been miserable but no. There are lots of things you can attend for free. I love reading and used to buy book and magazines. I joined our wonderful Tasmanian Library LINC and they had free internet access. Air conditioned in summer heated in winter. Go in read free newspapers magazines and the cost of heating air conditioning is the State Governments. Great free school holiday programes and free early childhood story times. I love it we also have in our small town a free library on the edge of a park. People leave books and others can take them. I have read some relatively new releases from it. Also have free internet access very helpful if you are not a big user, saves money on having a internet service at home.

Pay as you go phone. Don’t keep updating your tech items. Save the money your phone and apps will still work, as will your laptop.

Parks, your own garden, make your home somewhere you love and you might find like I have I don’t miss doing so much. Gym fees, instead go for walks garden, stack four tonne of wood. Dance. do steps by going up and down stairs, get together with friends at each others places take plates to share, babysit for each other, have clothe swaps with friends You all bring things you don’t wear need like whatever and someone else might love it. Sell stuff on ebay or gum tree you no longer need or put it on for free it will go. rather than throw it away.

Have a good pantry and learn how to cook from scratch, you will save a fortune, Its work but hey its exercise for free shopping in the supermarket or farmers market. It is more work. I understand but its fulfilling and you will have be reducing debts and getting that mortgage paid off. Plenty of free info on the internet.

If you loose friends because you are doing this I question the friendship. Stop subscribing to things that cost you money. Look at the fees and charges your bank charges you. You may see ways of saving there. When you are paying for things with cash ask if there is a discount I saved $60 on my fridge because I paid cash. Buy seconds in white goods. They are new they will still have a warranty, and if you have a problem as I did once they gave me a new stove, to replace the second (which was a second because it had a dent in it) as it was cheaper than fixing the one I had and the warranty began again. Do you pay to have direct debits done? Save the money and do it yourself.

My mechanic lets me pay off service costs because I do it fast reliably and in cash. The tyre company let me have a deal on four new tyres and I paid them off because I paid cash. Again quickly reliably. Worst thing that can Happen is a no. If that happened we tightened our belts even more. Within a month we could usually pay it.yes we might only pay the two mortgage payments or one that month, but we would still put what ever we could in on top after the bill was paid in full.

When my partner became ill with terminal cancer I stopped work to care for him, after he died, I returned to work for four years, I worked casually and only two nights a week. I was working when I had my breakdown. I have not worked for four years three of which I have been on Newstart Benefits. The first twelve months I had to live on my savings as I had too much money to get benefits. $12,000.AUD. New Start is$15,000approx a year so if you are ever applying for Newstart take any savings out of the bank before you apply.

If I had not owned my home and was debt free you can imagine what might have happened. I never ever thought I would be on unable to work again, and I never ever thought I would not be making a good living. I can not imagine where or how I would be living now after three years on Newstart. I certainly would have no dogs, no garden, I would probably be in a house sharing with other people I do not know. I know it is hard to think like this when You are young, and even if you are older. If you can do it get rid of your debts, regardless, cut up your credit card.

blessings Tazzie

A day road trip


It was a relatively early start this morning for us. I had an appointment at 08.30am. I had another appointment later in the afternoon and made the decision to take myself and the dogs on a bit of an adventure. We had heavy rain and wind over night which was fantastic, as it is very dry. We had some road works on the Huon Highway, yest folks this is a major highway. Yes folks it is two lanes from Huonville to Cockle Creek. It is narrow and winding. It has log trucks b-doubles on it, and huge semis. with no over taking lanes between Huonville and Geeveston, Country roads, bliss.

Port Huon was once a busy trading port for the international transportation of the Huonvalleys superb apples and tinned products. I know of someone who spoke to me of recalling after the 2nd World War, as a child in Brittain, he had a big tin of apples on his Mother’s shelf in the pantry. She told him that they had come all the way from Tasmania In Australia. Little did he realise he would end up living near where these apples had come from.

Before the road was put in from Hobart to Huonville people and goods used the river to move everything to and fro, including themselves to and from Hobart.

I pulled into the Ship Wrights Point Recreation Grounds near Port Huon. It has a childrens play ground, camping area, I think BBQs and undercover eating area as well as toilets. The Huon Sailing Club is here too, sailing on Thursday evening during the sailing season.
There are areas that are dog off lead, so it is a great spot for my dogs to stretch their legs and do what they may need to do. As any responsible dog owner I carry poo bags and make sure any my guys do is picked up and put in the bin. Busby and Miss Treacle love it here so many incredible smells and places to run about on the waters edge when the tide is out.

I have never come across anyone fishing here before, (though it is an ideal spot, cloudy tide running out.

I have been here numerous times, and this is the first time I have come across people fishing, though no one had caught anything up until this point, I am not a fisher person, and plead ignorance to if this is a good day with tide running out to be fishing or not. There was another young couple but they were just packing up.

The photo above is looking towards the ocean, the photo below is looking towards the head of the river sort of. Where we are here the water is salty, the Huon River is tidal. It can get quite wavey at times in the wind. We do get dolphins up it and I have heard people have seen whales. I have never seen whales but dolphins and seals yes.

Looking up river towards Hobart, which is basically on the other side of the mountain range.



From somewhere near Huonville the river becomes fresh water. So you can catch quite an array off fish along this river.








Busby and Miss Treacle were a bit too interested in this man fishing fortunately he was kind and enough to say hi to them and not cast while they were near him. I did move them away rapidly though, I don’t like them being a nuisance to anyone.

A juvenile Kelp gull

Like many places sadly our river has become home to Acquaculture industry and whilst they have improved some of their activities in more recent years, there is still an awful lot of rubbish that ends up in the water and oceans because of their activities. For years locals complained to council(not their role, government not very interested, marine board aware but no money from government to pursue and hard to prove which company was responsible unless obvious). So much was being found that people were submitting data records locations photographs and taking it home and piling it up to show how much was being left in the river and on the banks. The marine debris hotline I assume with funding from the organisations involved is the result. I do have to say I have seen one companies huge vessel actually stop and pull up debris on it way into port. Small things, but better than in the past.

um You will probably see this area in quite a few photos.





This boat or one so similar seems to be moored here every time I come to Port Huon and stop. It is a location I like for shooting photographs.

It has been very dry, and so the rain last night and more that is due this afternoon is very welcome

The Huon River, is salt water at this point it is tidal and under maritime regulations, close to Huonville it is a fresh water river. It does look like the heavens were about to open at any moment but they did not for a few hours. It was sultry and so humid. Ugh

As you may notice is is a hilly area in the Huon Valley. There is not a lot of flat land along side the river.


Miss Treacle was ready to hop back into the car, but Busby well he had other ideas. He did come eventually..
It is less than 10 minutes to Geeveston from here.

I will post more of our trip perhaps tomorrow. It is always good to leave the house for a while, and mix a bit with other humans.

blessings Tazzie

Reality of living with CPTSD for me may be triggering for others.

When you have C-PSTD and you are really working hard to utilise strategies to minimise reactions to triggers especially those that are overwhelming angry. It is so so frustrating when you just can not seem to make headway.

I am on a Government Benefit here in Australia, called Newstart. It is for those of us who are unemployed. I am very appreciative that we have benefits available to us. Even though this one has not kept in line with the real costs of living. There was a increase in September 2019 which gave the average recipent a $3.50 a fortnight increase. Not even enough to buy a loaf of bread and a litre of milk!

That is an aside, as I have shared here I manage on this low income $578 AUD $397.30 USD /305.25GBP/358.22euro. per fortnight/two weekly. I manage because I own my home out right and have no debts. I do without things at times, and will live on simple cheap nutritious meals when I have to for unexpected costs.

I have been banned from going into any office of Centrelink (the government organisation that manages Newstart and other benefits, payments, and pensions. I said F..k as a descriptive word not directed at anyone and I was upset, loud, frustrated and bewildered by the system. I never threatened anyone or abused anyone. I remained seated and was loud. It was all over the wording my GP had put on my medical certificate that means due to my mental health illness I am not well enough to work or look for work. I have tried volunteer work and a free unit at uni both of which I did not manage.
My Gp had written that I was permanently unable to work. Centrelink does not like this as if I am permanently unable to work, than I should not be receiving Newstart but a disability pension. There lies the problem. My GP will not write anything other than permanent and Centrelink will not accept my certificates. (They want it to say temporary or exacerbation). I the unwell person am caught in the middle. The result of this kerfuffle is that I am banned from entering or speaking on the phone to anyone at Centrelink.

The original ban was for three months which I felt was unjustified. I asked for a review and now I am on a 12 month ban, which is actually 13 1/2 months sigh.

I have been assigned a personal case worker. Which as everyone else says is brilliant, and it is in a way as you only deal with one person, they have to respond to you in a certain time frame. It would seem ideal. I can only phone her, and she has to contact me back if she is not available.

Now the reason I became angry frustrated is part of my CPTSD is that I find ridiculous bureaucracy, and security questions, such as this triggering.

When I ring this person I have to speak to someone else first I guess reception, never mentioned in the letter explaining what I have to do, so that triggered me as I follow the letter to the nth degree so as not to have issues down the track. I firstly before speaking to a human have to enter my Centrelink number and use my access code. So it frustrates me that I then have to give them my full name address and date of birth. I asked why to be told it is for security. I commented that any of my friends, family or someone who might have stolen my wallet would have all that information, so not very secure! You get a picture of how I am. I am triggered by this seemingly pathetic security check. Even if the person rings me she wants to know this information too. Sigh

It starts the whole process of badly. I have been in touch with my local member of federal parliament whose office is brilliant. I vote for her because of how much she really tries to help the community she represents, even though I may or may not vote for the party she is with. One of her office people has been helping and they have a number they can ring for this sort of thing. I was advised by this person that in future If it was required that I contact them or they me a letter or a message would be sent to me advising of a phone call coming. The number is always unlisted and I do not answer unlisted calls. Unless I am aware of someone contacting me as in this situation.

I have had disastrous contacts with this person, as she just really does not understand that my reactions, are not something I can control once they have reached this point. I have hung up in the past so I do not get to the angry frustrated me, but the flee me instead. She was annoyed by that, too. I have been told by her to calm down, and that always works! Of course not. I have been sobbing just trying to get through what ever I have to to meet the demands of the Centrelink bureaucracy. ( which can change at any time) with this person, and I can honestly say I don not believe we have had one successful phone conversation. She is supposed to be in a specialised area working with people who have been banned for what ever reasons. many I imagine with mental health illnesses chronic pain, I am sure there are some really bad people too.

This most recent episode I responded to the letter, I rang first thing in the morning as soon as the office hours opened. I spoke to a lovely woman who told me my case worker was not in as yet. I was ringing as the case worker had rung me the night before at 5;17pm I assume she left it until last thing. Because I had no notice of her ringing, and I had been waiting for a social worker to call me(who also has caller id withheld number) I answered. I was upset as she said who she was and then asked me for my name address and date of birth? SHE RANG ME! (I live alone they know that) She has also spoken to me before. So I was triggered by the unexpected call plus the checking details, I had no ability to do my preparation to attempt to minimise the triggers. I was also upset that she had rung at this time. (phone offices close at 5pm) but she can call me after this? I still had one day to attend to what I needed to and was trying to get a social worker to ring on my behalf with me. To avoid the very situation I was now in.
She got so fed up with me, and I am sobbing saying the MPs office told me I would be messaged, before you would ring me. She said she did not have to! Seems no one talks to each other in Centrelink. I said she did. She just told me to let her talk and I was falling apart. I did not want to dissociate on the phone which I could feel myself doing, so I hung up
I was still crying and my little dog, climbed on my lap and licked my tears, she is like my support dog, she picks up on all my emotions and really will try to bring me back when I am triggered.

Back to the lovely woman at reception who talked to me as my case worker was not in. I explained my mental illness and that I am meant to be messaged if a phone call is going to be made to me. She assured me this would be done.

Imagine then two hours later, I am sitting out side having a coffee. The phone rings, again I think it may be the social worker, but no. It is the case worker. No message!
I begin with I am supposed to get a message before you ring.
She it says on my computer you were sent one
me well I have not received one
she well Im on the phone now,
me I am not up to talking with you, I am waiting for my social worker to phone me so she can talk to you.
she it will only take a few minutes.
Me I am waiting for my social worker to ring you so she can talk to YOU on my behalf!
Me What part of I am not up to talking to you now do you not understand?
she don’t speak to me like that,
Me I keep telling you I have a mental health illness, I can not deal with you today, I have been advised by the ministers office I will be notified by Centrelink of any phone calls via messenger or a letter. I am waiting for my social worker to contact me so she can talk to YOU!
My computer says one was sent, it was sent.
implying what says I ?
I hang up.

I ring to find out what is happening with my social worker, to find out she has been off sick all week? Oh I meant to ring you says the woman on the other end of the line. I cry and she says she will see how she can help when I tell her the situation. If I dont talk to this case manager by close of business today I may not get my benefit next week.

Another social worker from a town 40km away contacts me and is wonderful she gets onto my case worker, explains she has my permission to talk. The social worker phones me back in the afternoon and apologised but she can not get the information on my behalf as I need to have a letter of authority by my social worker before my case manager will talk to anyone. FFS!

I’m exhausted, I ring the government ombudsman office to be told there is nothing they can help me with. they advise me to ring a NGO Advocacy service I ring them they suggest the OBUDSMAN’S office. I ring that office back informing them that it is not in their scope of practice to deal with Centrelink complaints, I am them advised to ring another community group in Tasmania, who inform me it is not in their scope of practice either I ask what that means. Basically there is no funding provided by the federal government for these organisations to help with Centrelink problems. Again I am told to ring the OBUDSMAN’S office. I inform them of this with this organisation too. I ask is there anyone in Tasmania that can help with some one with a mental illness and serious issues with Centrelink? No!

I ring my MPs office, let them no that I have no avenues of support available, and they are very apologetic, they have done all they can as they are not a support service. I understand that and say I am very very appreciative for all the help they have given me. I just want to inform you of two things, that there is no support service in Tasmania that gets any funding from the government to assist people with mental health illnesses and issues with Centrelink. Oh I thought so and so did, I say no not in theirs or this groups scope of practice, legal aide send you to the first group and the government obudsmans office sends you to the two groups that can not help you as they get no funding and it is not in their scope of practice. A form of discrimination for people with a mental health illness I believe.

So here I am being a advocate, for my own situation and imagining how many other people with mental illness are out there battling Centrelink, with no support and who just give up. The Government wonders why incidents of verbal assault anger, abuse, physical abuse, assault and aggression face to face and over the phone with staff at Centrelink offices is increasing.

I do feel for the staff, and at my little office there are some brilliant staff. It seems they are not able to help it is someone who travels from Hobart to manage the office(she was my first contact).
From a mental health nursing perspective, I see how hard it is on the staff. They should be trained, and supported, but they are paid, they get sick leave they get free counseling, they can take paid stress leave The client on the other side, gets no support no pay if they can not deal with the minutiae of the bureaucracy. I am trying to get the disability support pension. 61 pages as an initial form, I gave up filling it in, I had to see a social worker to help me. (I have two degrees! my mental illness impacts me like this).

I have to find a new psychiatrist from Psych 2 U a internet service where you are allocated a psychiatrist generally from Sydney or Melbourne, my first one told my GP I had decided I did not want to see him anymore, which was not true. I questioned him about his methods, (he asked me if I had thought about moving into a over 55s supported village?) I live independently, I hoard but am working on that, I dont shower regularly or wash my clothes because I have mental illness. I find being around people difficult, and I told him only the week before I would like to move as it getting to busy about me up a mountain at the end of the road. He also asked me every month how work was? He knew I was unemployed and having issues with Centrelink. He apologised for that , and as part of my illness when I feel overwhelmed I will flee which I did on this day. I never mentioned not seeing him again.
I have phoned the organisation twice to find out why but he just does not respond.
So now I have to begin the process again , after five months. So I can not be on anything else except Newstart.

I look at the supposed professional who I have to have write a letter in regard to my mental health for Disability Support Pension and who has made no effort to get to know anything about me. I know that psychiatrist often are more about medication, and I am better on the medication he commenced me on. Worth it to me to stay on it even though some side effects are not great. I feel because I have been a mental health nurse I am not so in awe of the profession. I have a brilliant psychologist and gp, both I have been seeing for some time, but my psychologist is not a clinical one and so disability support want me to see a psychiatrist ..I have to stay on Newstart. I continue to practice the things that help me with triggers, and hope that something will work with my case worker. Oh I have still not received a message that someone was going to call me and that was three days ago now.

I am OK I wanted to share this as it is the reality of my life and my CPTSD. It is why I am unable to work, and something I struggle with. I prefer to be on my own and talk and meet people when I am able and in control so I can leave when I wish or need too.
I find that so many people do not understand that after these episodes I am exhausted physically and emotionally, my mental health deteriorates and If I am able to do the treatments I know and use that will help me move through the issue it will take me some times a couple of days before I can deal with anything anyone involved in the issue. I feel ashamed and embarrassed . If I could stop the behaviours the responses I would; but fighting(anger), fleeing (escaping), or freezing (dissociation) are my inbuilt safety survival methods. It is how I have managed my illness. It is what has kept me working living and being a part life. The relearning and implementation of new methods is a long road, and may not be always successful.

Tazzie blessings

Happy Birdday to me!

I am sitting writing with a full tummy. My dogs are snoozing near me one at my feet the other on her chair next to me. I feel like a cup of mint tea. I need to go to my deck and pick some mint. I get up and both dogs raise their heads, looking at me tails wagging..I am just going to the deck to get some mint, I tell them. I know they don’t understand the words necessarily just that I am going. So I open the door and the three of us step outside onto the deck.

Something made me think to check the bird bath, so we all go down the stairs, and sure enough the bird bath needs filling. Busby goes of in search of something, and Miss Treacle uses the extensive amenities provided for ablutions. As I fill the bird bath I notice I have left the vegie garden gate open after I watered this morning

last of the Anzac peaches 16/01/2020 (c)Echidna Home 2020

I picked the last of the peaches off my tree, the birds have been eating them so I left some for them and more for me. I tried to dry some but not sure what went wrong. Perhaps cling stones are not supposed to be dehydrated. Might try again.

Oh No it is 7pm and I have already seen a wallaby eating some of the peaches on the ground. I go over look in and make sure no little furry creatures are hiding in my vegetable garden waiting for a table for one, when the stars come out to dine on exquisite fresh locally grown seasonal organic vegetables. It is clear of waiting diner/s, I close the gate gather the dogs and we all head back inside.


Living at 42degrees South of the equator means with daylight saving added the sun does not actually set until 20:50 so it is still blue sky and sunshine as I type. It has been cooler today one of my friends commented she had her wood fire on. It was not cold enough here for that but I did have a jumper and ugg boots on. The joys of living here in the Huon Valley in summer are stunning evenings, long twilight’s and often stunning sunsets. The smoke has all gone and we have had some rain. My garden and water tanks are happy about that.


I was thrilled to see the Grey Shrike Thrush birds have returned to my light fitting in the carport to nest again. I do worry that it is a very precarious spot. I had meant to make sure that it was safe wired so if they did return they were not at risk of the base separating from the top. It is on my list. Fingers cross that they raise chicks and all fly the nest. In researching them I know that they steal eggs eating them from other birds..but so do many other birds, kookaburras will eat the chicks, ravens, crows. I imagine if I removed the nest they would build another. I like that they feel safe here.

When I was out yesterday I also captured some birds along the riverside. I saw a workman, well four sitting at the park having their lunch break. I had decided to stop and take some shots of the ducks.(they are so lovely) I sat in the shade of a tree and watched as one of the workmen went back to the truck I noticed all the ducks turned to watch him and see what he was doing. It was really funny they were in almost exact sync.

watching and walking behind the man

I can only think that it was not the first time this group had stopped here. As I watched the ducks followed the man to the table where his colleagues were eating. I watched as he began to feed the ducks.

It was charming and made me again acknowledge there are many more wonderful people in the world than unpleasant people. I was sad to see only one duckling. If it was the same group that I saw last week there had been three ducklings swimming behind Mamma.

Further along on my way home, I came across a sight of interest, as I said it was cool and smokey yesterday. (again I apologise for the quality of the images, they were taken as Tiff(NEF)) photos and I altered them to be JPEGS so some things lost in the transition. I am working on how to stop this.

ducks a shag and plovers all sharing the one log roost.

This photo was of different breeds of birds all sitting on the log ducks, shag, and plovers. It was windy.

Black swan and cygnets.

The bird below is a Little Pied Cormorant colloquially called a Shag, it was struggling to hold onto its perch. Not sure if it was the wind or just a wobbly bird. They nearly always have such a grumpy look on their faces.

Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020
Little Pied Cormorant (c) Echidna Home 2020

All in all it has been a hectic couple of days and it was lovely to be home all day today.

Tazzie blessings to you all.

The credit card trap

The clock strikes midnight and there is the end to Christmas 2019! Instantly every media area is full of Summer Sales, End of the Year Sales, the news is filled with that retail is concerned about the pre Christmas sales and not enough spending before so their hope is money will be spent at the sales. Credit card debt and personal debt in Australia is increasing rapidly. Yet when I go to second hand shops and tip shops I see so many incredible items with no wear some with tags still on, in great condition. I recently picked up a bed side light for $10. I needed one, but could not afford to buy any new that I had seen. This was a solid metal durable movable one. I had seen similar new for over $80.

I think I have mentioned previously I do not own a credit card. I learnt the hard way how credit cards can cause financial problems. I had one as I was looking at buying a house. I had previously had a personal loan for a car, and I assumed this would be enough to provide proof of my history for paying back the loan. I was knocked back for a mortgage as there was not a recent credit history!

I struggled to comprehend how this could be since I had no debts. Seemed the banks did not like that.


It was suggested I get a credit card, to establish a credit history. Sigh. So I did. I requested the lowest amount as my limit. $1000 AUD. Well the out come was I kind of got carried away with what I could now buy! I spent more money than I earned and before I knew it my balance was $1000. I paid it off $200 a month as I was paid monthly at that time.

Then Christmas was coming and I wanted to give friends and family great gifts. The balance on my credit card was about $500 at this point so I contacted the bank and requested an increase in the value of my line of credit. They put it up to $5000 it went to my head. Christmas coming and friends saying lets go for a holiday to Queensland. I was in spending heaven.

I listened to things my family and friends said they would like for Christmas and went and bought the dearest thing they mentioned. I want to make them so happy. I said yes to the trip and paid airfare accommodation on the credit card. I felt so excited. It was going to be a brilliant Christmas! I also had the trip to look forward to in mid January. I had no savings, and was just paying the minimum monthly payment on my card. I worked and bought take away food and coffees everyday. I also went out a lot socially dancing and eating out with friends. I was living the life.

Christmas came and my extravagant gifts were appreciated. I felt so good. I was now looking forward to our holiday.

On arriving home, I was so happy. I had had a lovely Christmas. One of my friends rang a night or two later and said lets go grab a meal. I said OK. Nice meal and we laughed and enjoyed being together. The bill came and I put my credit card on the table to pay my share and my friend put cash. The waiter took it away but a short time later came back and said I am sorry but your card has been declined. I was mortified. I walked over to use my debit card. Insufficient funds. Oh my there must be some mistake. My friend fortunately had enough cash to cover my share and I said I would pay her back as soon as possible. Which I did.

I paid a bit of the card to get it back under its limit but in not too long it was up again and I struggled to pay anything than the minimum payment off, I ended up paying a few dollars more to bring it back under the limit. I was still spending on it though.

I went to pay my electricity bill a couple of months later and my credit card was declined again. Not only that they informed me it had to be cut up! I was so embarrassed. As this was a final demand or my power would be cut off if the bill was not paid by that date.

On the way home I checked my bank balance $3.60 woah! (I would not be paid for two more weeks). That was all the money I had in the world! I was over $5000 in debt and my power was going to be cut off. I had some groceries and a bit of a pantry even back then. However if my power went off my fridge would not work nor my fully electric oven or the microwave or washing machine in my rental flat. I was very fortunate at this point in one way that my rent for the month was taken out the day my monthly pay went into my bank account.

I was going to be two weeks before I had any more money. The power went off on Friday afternoon, and I went all weekend with no power. I was so up set and shocked at my situation. I was going to a family dinner on the Saturday night, and realised I was going to have to tell them my situation.

I did and it was bad, I was so upset at myself and embarrassed, and neither parent would lend me any money as they thought is would be better that I really learn the lesson of living on what you earn! I was devastated as I really believed they would rescue me. I left early returning to my dark flat and cried angry tears at them for not helping me.

I ate some really weird food over the next two weeks. I had no social life, as I could not bring a plate, or go out to eat. Or even a coffee. It was work, home hand wash some clothes, work out what I could eat. Let me tell you cereal with water is not very nice. But it filled a empty stomach. I ate cold baked beans, and spaghetti no bread. I ate cold tinned soup mixed with water cold. I was incredibly fortunate I was renting a unit water still operated even with out my power.

When I finally got paid I had to pay a re connection fee and the bill.

The good news with this experience was I have never had a credit card again! I live quite OK with out. I only live on what I have and budgeting and shopping lists and my pantry have been the difference. I pay my bills when they come in. I don’t wait until the due date, as If I have some money in my account after my costs I pay some of it off the bill and when my next payment comes in I pay the rest. I will even pay extra on them.

Why on earth would anyone do that? It gives me some wiggle room. Now I am on a very low income I have to be very aware of when my big bills are due. My home and content insurance and my rates. I am very fortunate that my council has quarterly payments, as this year for the first time I am paying the quarterly but even then I pay more if I have it.

When my insurance is due, I usually do a few weeks of spending very little if I have not been able to budget enough fortnightly to save for it.

The most interesting thing is I don’t really recall the holiday I took, or what I purchased, the place I ate out or clothes I bought. I had fun and the friends I was so generous with are not in my life anymore. The regret I have is how much I spent and that I thought I could buy friendship. I regret extending the credit card beyond my financial income and needs. I still would have been able to go away on the holiday.

Did the credit card help me get a mortgage it must have because when I re applied for a mortgage I got it. What having a credit card did for me was to put me in a situation I never wanted to be in again.

I was really hurt and angry when no one in my family would rescue me. As it is this episode of tough love was the best thing they could have done for me in the long term. It changed my mentality.

I may live on a tight budget and am frugal. I still can afford to meet up for a coffee at a cafe (as I don’t let anyone into my home that is another post). I look at what I have. I am not against anybody going to the sales if they need something.

The things I am really thankful for are that I own my home out right, that I have no debt. If I was not in this situation when I had my breakdown and was so ill mentally I have no idea what would have happened to me. Even being in this situation I did have thoughts of suicide. I can not imagine what might have been if I in such a secure environment had these thoughts, how much harder it would be if I was paying a mortgage, or renting. I would have lost my home, not been able to afford to rent. I may be homeless living in my car not working. I know this is a situation for many people. I know I am so rich and fortunate. I have a good roof over my head. I have clean water to drink, I am content.

I don’t have children. So again this does make it easier in so many ways for me. I still believe that if you have a mortgage you need to be paying this off first and foremost. If you become ill or loose your job, how will you pay for it? Perhaps you have income insurance, great ..

I have spoken to a someone I know recently as we were talking about finances and she asked me how I could live with out a credit card. I said pretty easily really. Firstly even if you do pay you full amount off every month you still have to pay an annual fee for the privileged of having a credit card. She is also paying a mortgage. We chatted about how much a month she spends on her credit card it was a lot to me. She is on a good income. I asked her did she need what she spent on her credit card, or was it she wanted the things. She looked at me. I looked at her and said that is how I began to realise how to pay off my debts.

If you need something that is fine. If you want it, why do you want it. Look at how much you could save if you added that to your credit card debts/mortgage. (This is another post in the near future)
I said to her CUT UP YOUR CREDIT CARD! You can learn to live without it. Using cash brings you back in touch with the value of money. You take it out of your bank account…you have to hand the money to pay for the things you need or want. You begin to see where YOUR money is really going.

I am fortunate as on a benefit I have a bank account that I do not have any charges on. (Thank You Bendigo Bank, I get nothing for saying this). I pay cash for nearly everything.

Perhaps it is living in a rural town community, that makes a difference. If I don’t quite have the money to pay for the groceries on the day, and I hardly ever do this, but my local independent grocery store will let me pay it when I can, usually for me it is the next day. I also use local tyre company and they will let me pay off tyres (set of 4) I am also able to get an interest free loan up to $1000 through a government scheme. So there is a support there if I needed it. I have filled up my car and gone to pay, and not realised that my automatic payment for my internet was taken out leaving me less money(i know my dates now) and fortunately the guys at the petrol station no me, and I could pay them next week. I do not make a habit of not having enough money. I now check my balances and make sure that I have enough petrol to get me to my next payment date. though life can cause things to happen where petrol is required to be used that I have not budgeted for.

I do not have savings per say because extra money is usually earmarked for a bill in the future.

Perhaps the most important thing for me with my Complex PTSD is that I keep my stress as far as possible to a minimum. Being debt free has helped immensely with that. Learning to be content being at home has also been a saving bonus and a joyful thing. Part of my managing the many issues that my illness can cause me is minimising things that I may get anxious about. Distressed about, so knowing where my money has to go is the first step in my planning for the next 12 months. Anything that I can put in place to help me manage helps me to live in more contentment. Not having debts. Huge HUGE

Tazzie

Summer Time

Thanks everyone for kind thoughts after my we fall yesterday. No problems after a good sleep.

What a day, the smoke from the Victorian and NSW fires have made it across Bass Strait. It has been cloudy and hot so the smoke is sitting about. I went to Huonville today to get some bones for my guys. Huonville is the largest town in the valley.



I had made sure that the smoke was not from anywhere close even though we do still have fires in the north east of the state in the Fingal area. I checked the Tasmanian Fire Services website. It was interesting in town as quite a few folk were concerned we are all still reactive after our fires from last year. My heart aches for those on the mainland.

It was busy in town. I took the dogs to one of my favourite cafes for a coffee. Most in the area are dog friendly which is brilliant. I obviously was not the only person with that idea.

My guys saying hi to other cafe society Dogs.

It was so hot people were out by the river everywhere, it was great to see.



We headed home stopping for cherries! The cherries were late this season. They are so worth the wait!

Tazzie

Thankful for…

I was up very early this morning and watched the sky fill with a soft pink as the sun rose. It was warming up rapidly. I made myself a coffee and remembered I needed to check that the birdbath was full. I looked and noticed it needed a top up. I saw a movement over near my peach tree. AHHAHHAH! caught the culprit!

My peach trees lower branches had been stripped of the leaves, and in the process peaches have been knocked off. Here it was stretched up on its hind legs as high as it could reach! I slowly moved and went back in to grab my camera. Hoping the culprit would be still nibbling away upon my return. Sadly it moved (I had a bright blue t shirt on so Im not surprised I was noticed), I was able to capture this little guy. I do not begrudge he or her a nibble and know the tree is older and stronger, the branches are not as easily broken. There are enough peaches to share. The birds and possums eat the fallen ones.

the guilty party…

I was just getting ready to head in to town. I had to pick up a couple of things and I decided that I would take the dogs for a swim. I was inside and my dogs were out when I hear barking. The kind that says Hey we are protecting you from this very dangerous thing! There was something in the shrubbery on my driveway.

Busby

It was the echidna, baled up by both Busby and Miss Treacle. I moved them away, and watched as this wee guy left in quite a hurry. I do hope she/he had a trouble free day after we left.

I then noticed that this wee bird flew out of my car port light shade, there was a nest made in it last year. Though if they are nesting it seems very late. It is a sweet bird and I welcome it. I do find it hard when they are so nervous but understandable. Several neighbours in the area have cats that are allowed to roam and we also have an issue with feral cats. I am not happy about the fact the cats come over my way. When I see any or the dogs do, I happily let them chase them away.


A very full morning and it is not even 8:30 yet.

So we head off to do our walk. We got a bit waylaid(sadly I did not take my camera out of the car) our neighbour was throwing balls in their paddock for their two dogs to chase. Needless to say my guys had to join in. So we chatted as the dogs chased balls and played with each other. (Her dogs are a staffie kelpie, who is fixated on his own ball and his brother a boxer) Busby ran and got the ball and played with the boxer Miss Treacle said hello to everyone and then went and sat under the car in the shade. After about an hour I put Busby in the car (he was so hot he had drinks ) and Miss Treacle ran reluctantly ahead. Busby was whining to get out. So I gave in and they took off.

Dogs taken for their walk and a beautiful view from the hill.

Off too the beach! The folk festival has finished there are still lots of people and vehicles about. I discovered that an Aboriginal festival is happening for Monday and Tuesday Ballawinne Festival. Writer Bruce Pascoe book, Dark Emu Bruce was speaking tonight and tomorrow I am sure they will be very interesting event.

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required. http://www.magabala.com/products/dark-emu


Not that I could afford to go to it, yet it would be a very interesting event. I am sure I will know someone who has been. Well now that explains why there are so many people and vehicle still around.

OK no Seriously we are off to the beach NOW,
It was such a glorious hot day 32dC there were people and dogs at the little beach I went to. So Busby and Miss Treacle had a lovely time. Though neither were that excited to go in for a swim.

These two came up and wanted to play Busby loved it Miss Treacle was quite her own dog and chose to watch from the shade.

The following selection of photos shows what a great day it was, and how clean the water is. It is also showing my reluctant boy attempting to fetch a stick. I was quite mortified at his reluctance.
I did have to apologise to him when I went in to swim a bit later as there were two areas of like quicksand in the shallows. I sank up to my knees and struggled to get out. So no wonder my big boy had problems.

Miss Treacle does the beach her way today.

Whilst Busby would like to run with this guy in the water, but his day has been full of play runs and sunshine, I was happy that he did not join in, that he just watched in awe.

The dog in the water was so funny to watch he must be some kind of water dog. He just ran up and down in the water for so long while we stood watching. He just raced up and down having the time of his life.
His owner was not about but up at a car. The dog did not even stop to come and say hi to my guys. He was just in heaven in his own world.

He was no problem and boy did he make me smile and chuckle.

There were kids playing on the fallen tree. Swinging is not so much fun when the tide is going out. How wonderful to see them without a phone, taking photos or selfies. In fact no one (apart from me had any mobiles or cameras. How rare is that . All were in the moment enjoying the here and now. Using their brains to retain the feelings, the fun and all that will stay with them. That is what living is about.

Even I put my camera down and sat in the water, the waves coming over my thighs. Looking all about me and knowing how fortunate am I and how rich.
I went for a swim, so refreshing. I expected that Busby would join me, but no they both just sat in the shade. Not even watching me.

So much fun about floating on inflatable rings with a beer in your hand, sailing, canoeing, fishing, sitting in the sun, swimming, chasing each other or just kicking your paws up and making your own kind of fun!

Miss Treacle at 12 lets the youngsters carry on. Preferring to get to know other folk and tell them how abused and neglected she is. Here she just plonked her wet body (I had sat in the water with her on my lap…shoulders as she did not want to be in the water it was very shallow and cooled her down as she was very hot). on this lovely ladies mat. Leaning right against her. Knowing there is a wee 11 week old puppy there. Treacle loves puppies.

Poor pup was very anxious so I retrieved my girl, and my boy and we headed home. All that time in the sunshine fresh air and playtime. Dinner was early and they have both crashed, and I can hear only heavy breathing and snoring.

I too feel weary and very relaxed. I know I need to do more for myself in the way of exercise and things I enjoy. I was glad there were very few people at the beach. As otherwise I probably would have not stopped. I usually do not venture to this beach while school holidays are on, and there is still another 2 weeks before school resumes. Then the chances are it will be just us at the beach.
I do like that at least now I really do know what is best for me. I am listening to my self, and I talk to myself. I talk to my inner child. (another topic for another day) It all helps me to reduce the potential for being caught out by something that might trigger me. So a truely awesome day. What more can you want but wild animals feeling at home in your garden. A beautiful hot clear sky day. Pristine water and beach to swim at and hardy anyone on it. I am so thankful and appreciative of all I have especially my two companions.

blessings to you all Tazzie

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