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

Unexpected beauty

This morning I have woken really early for me it is just 05:30.
Having been woken by Miss Treacle who needed to go out at 04:00 I was not able to go back to sleep and left both dogs and came downstairs.

Dawn is breaking and it is a cool morning so I have opened doors and windows cooling the house down after a hot day, in preparation for a lovely day. The skies are clear with the exception of what is the mist/cloud/fog forming over the river. Street lights are still on across the river and the


Roopert is crowing, Micro bats are flying in the last moments before dawn breaks, catching insects. Swallows somersaulting, swooping swiftly soundlessly. The soloist begins in the dawn chorus Kookaburras laughing, joined by Roopert cock-a-doodle-doo, and chorus of many other birds, The mozzies have taken their last bites of me as this new day begins.

A slight pink tinge begins to appear in the sky. I can see the light indicating the sun is coming up the hills behind my home block sunrise for a while but

It is really interesting to see a river fog being created as the sun begins to rise. Almost more of a winter morning than a late summer one.

If I had not been up as early as I was I would not have seen this beauty. As the fog ended up thick enough that I could not see across the river. It rose again at about 8:30am.
It may not have been the most amazing sunrise I have seen here. The morning was so unexpected and beautiful.
Even when I am not feeling so great with my mental illness (CPTSD) I am learning to find so much pleasure and contentment in what I have about me. I do understand I am very fortunate with where I live. Yet whilst I was very unwell I was not always able to see all that I had and find contentment. I am a bit flat lately and this may be a perfectly normal part of my life, and that is how I am seeing it, rather than seeing it as a part of my CPTSD. Learning to understand normal reactions to those that are triggered reactions. It is all part of my management and living my life with CPTSD.

I am thankful that I was able to enjoy so much this morning that our world has to offer if we just take a moment when we can to do something a bit different. I am thankful for where I live, thankful for my chickens.

blessings to You, Tazzie.

Darkness Fades to Lightness

It is windy and wet, snow is forecast down to 600metres /1967feet in Tasmania tonight minimum 1dC/33.8dF and a maximum of 12dC/53.6dF. Lighting my fire seemed like a wonderful idea. It is lovely to have, knowing that it should be easy to get going in the morning.
Daylight saving also ends for us in Several states tomorrow. It will confuse the the dogs perhaps. It usually is not so bad returning to normal.

There has been a lot of rain, and more forecast. Walking about my veggie garden between showers I pondered picking my pumpkins. The Waltheim butternut one and I can not recall the other variety. The corn also perhaps should have been picked today. A bit late now to be thinking about it. Though I notice my mind is rolling it about in its repertoire.

Sipping rose hip syrup in hot water is a truely beautiful herbal drink. There is no traffic on the highway across the river. All I can hear it the fire crackling and the metal creaking as it heats. It is so still. The dogs are both asleep soundly no noise from them either. My fingers on the keyboard typing, it feels as if I might be the only person alive. Snug in my home curtains drawn, I sit near the wood heater sending out my thoughts across the world.

A struggle this afternoon to keep myself from wallowing in my darker spaces. Deciding to keep out of an online support group for a wee while, as it is hard to sometimes be able to walk in someone else’s shoes without being pulled down a bit with them as you support them. Instead of allowing myself to get deeper in I removed myself, took my dogs for an actual walk up the hill, and chatted with a neighbour. (we were 15 meters or more apart)

My Government has been asking for Nurses who have let their Registrations lapse to consider coming back into help with the Covid-19 situation. The part of me that made me become a Nurse is wanting to go in and help.

After all that is what being a Nurse it is about. I miss being a RN so greatly. Feelings of being able to help and care for people. I know I can not do this.

Reality hit of course my mental illness has just been signed off on by a Psychiatrist as making me no longer able to work at all. On Thursday (yesterday) in the mail the letter from the Psychiatrist I saw two weeks ago, stating that my mental illness was incapacitating making me unable to work.
Even though relief flooded through me to have it confirmed; my mental illness was incapacitating to this level. It makes it final. Feelings of understanding that this is the battle that has been going on inside of me. Knowledge that it is final, I am unwell. The angst and battle that has been fought for almost a year to reach this point, knowing that in all reality this is just the first step completed in the application for disability pension.

My sleep has been long and deep the last two nights with the very real bizzare dreams that can be side effects of medication I take. Upon wakening it takes time to realise that you are not in the place the dream had you. Something only someone else who has experienced these types of dreams would truly understand.

Blogging is so helpful to me at times. As I write my thoughts, feelings, ideas, sometimes in the construction of one blog post as with this particular one, something clicks. A light goes on. Seeing everything written down in black and white, re-reading what has been written. I take note, that I received the letter on Thursday and have been sleeping deeply, and long since then. I had not realised that my brain and body had been anxiously waiting for this letter. That now it was real, it was OK for me to switch off.

Which also goes hand in hand with the darker feelings. Right now a wee flame has lit inside my chest. As my sensations are all aligned to my anxiety. A sense of loss over no longer being able to nurse, a real and valid feeling for what has occurred. Enough going on in my own life without me being able to uplift and support anyone else right now. I am not responsible for them or their actions.
The dreams well come and go. They do not scare me. It is perfectly normal to feel sad that my working life as a RN has truly finished.

I feel lighter. I am thankful that I wrote this post tonight. (I had actually compiled a different one). I am thankful to all the retired Doctors and Nurses who are able to help. I am thankful to all essential service workers, I am thankful for being warm. I am thankful to be in isolation with my dogs, who make me laugh, and give me such joy. I am thankful to all the people around the world who are doing the best thing for our essential workers our vulnerable community members, and ourselves by staying at home.

be safe, blessing to You all. Tazzie


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Rapidly Changing Life

As things rapidly change here in Australia, and life for us all will be quite different. I know I am so very fortunate.

The weather during the day time has been really lovely sunny with puffs of cloud and gentle breezes. I love using my solar powered clothes dryer. And sat reading a book having a cup of coffee before I headed out to do one or two things. This was on Monday 23/03/2020 Australia.

The photos above are of my drive to some friends, a lovely couples who live about 13 kms from my home. They grow wonderful vegetables and fruit for their stall at the Cygnet markets.

Unfortunately the market has been closed due to the Covid-19 virus. It is not just our local market Fanklin, Geeveston, Cygnet the Wonderful Salamanca Markets an institution that commenced operating 48 years ago, and the Farmers Market in Hobart, have also closed as all markets across Australia have.
Leaving many growers, producers, and artisans with no customers and a lot of produce.

This wonderful couple work so hard and are pretty savvy. They just got on to the local community pages on facebook and were inundated with people who wanted to buy their organic tomatoes. I have bought 3kgs/6.16lbs at $4AUS/$2.39USA/2.03 poundsUK a kg for my own bottling. They were red in colour (but picked for eating as I had forgotten to say I wanted to bottle them). It was lovely that they had picked the tomatoes in various stages of ripening for me.

My dilema was how to ripen them all so I could bottle them. My solution is leaving them in my car. A easy and cheap green house. Problem solved.

The above photos are of their house and gardens, no one is currently allowed in their vegetable growing area. They had also staggered the time people were to come and pick up their ordered tomatoes. They had tried to meet all the current hygiene and social distancing guidelines. Your tomatoes were packed ready to go.

The other photo graphs are of the drive home. On the way I wanted to check to see if there was any mushroom compost from the mushroom farm. They grow oyster mushrooms and other oriental style mushrooms. When they no longer use their bags, they put them in the old apple crates below and sell them on the side of the road. They really just ask for a gold coin donation to cover the cost of moving them with the tractor and driver to the side of the road. I had been keeping an eye out for a few weeks. I was thrilled when I saw them and that they were full. I got out and rummaged through the crates, looking for the ones I hoped would keep growing mushrooms for me for some time to come. I have grown from some over the years several kgs/lbs of basically free mushrooms. Once no more mushrooms grow, the leftover compost, gets added to my vegetable garden. Win:win.
Cygnet Mushroom Farm uses a zero waste model. They even have bags on the side of the apple crates to put the plastic the mushroom compost comes in can be left behind. More information at the site below.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2016-10-06/cygnet-mushroom-farm-success-tasmania/7907960

The drive back home was pleasant and grey clouds were moving in. All in all it was a very enjoyable day.

As the pace of life is slowing and closing down on many of us due to being perhaps not able to work, to being unemployed suddenly and unexpectedly. To having your children home all the time and your partner, to those in share accommodation. Be kind to each other and thankful to have each other. Everyone of us is under more and more strain and stress and worry. Remember these feelings are appropriate for the situation.

What many of us may be feeling is grief. The sudden loss of our jobs, studies, being able to do things that make us happy and feel connected. The loss of social life and sports life. Going out and chatting over a coffee with friend or to a restaurant.
Weddings now in Australia can only occur if no more than 5 people including bridal party are present. Funerals can have 10 people.

We here in Australia are being told to stay at home (not enforced as yet) and to only go out for essential things, groceries chemist/pharmacy, petrol, work, taking children to school and picking them up. Nail and beauty shops are closed, general massage are closed but ones for medical reasons can go ahead. Hair dressers are still open as long as appointment is less than 30 minutes. Food courts are closed. The list is long.
Queues around the Centrelink offices (benefits) grow each day and their phone and computer services seem to be not able to handle it.
This changed overnight. I imagine that tomorrow we will see more changes. The change has happened so fast. No time for anyone to catch his or her breath.

I know I am one of the most fortunate people in Australia. I will still have to deal with changes and uncertainty.
I can only know how it was for me in the 90s interest rates went so high unemployment back then was extreme, stress, anxiety were extreme. As hard as it was to try to keep me going I would look for anything that made me smile, and make me see the beauty about me while my world was crashing around me. No control no money, lost my home, and almost homeless, but for the kindness of a friend of a friend.


I am thankful that Australia has had so few deaths, I am thankful for the financial assistance I and many other Australians are being given to assist us. I am thankful that it seems the Federal and State Governments are working more cohesively. I am thankful that ultimately I am so fortunate if one can be with a mental illness. Having CPTSD sees my life basically the way it has been for the last three years. I was working on being more social as both my psychologist and the psychiatrist I saw recently were concerned I was becoming agoraphobic. I am thankful that I am really aware of this now and am making a concentrated efffort to leave my home and go for a walk about my acre. I am working up to get back to taking my dogs for a walk everyday. We are allowed to do this as long as we keep social distance. As I live in a rural area this should be no problem for me.
I am thankful to have access to such great local producers and services. I am thankful to be able to make some tomato sauce base for over winter. I only had two jars left from my sauce from last year.
I am thankful for being able to dry my clothes in the sunshine and breeze. I am thankful for the rain that fell over night filling my rain water tanks and watering my gardens. I am thankful for all I have especially my dogs who have seen me through and have been my company constantly. They make me laugh and give me something to hug. I am also thankful for having commenced this blog, and found so many other interesting bloggers out there whom I have connected with.

Keep safe everyone,blessings to you all Tazzie

Anxiety You and What is happening now.

I have been on a face book site I am a member of for people with anxiety and depression. It has been filled today with huge amounts of discussion and almost 100% of the members have been on and almost all of them have been saying their anxiety is through the roof.

My response to this is that this is appropriate anxiety. It is appropriate for the current and ever changing situation that is happening in Australia and many other countries today.
The thing to remember is that when you have anxiety as a mental illness, there will still be things out of your control and out of your experience that will create anxiety and stress.

What I believe is that most people in Australia and other countries with Covid-19 are anxious, very anxious and stressed. This is understandable and there is absolutely nothing that we have control over except our own health and well being.
Firstly follow the guidelines of social spacing and hygiene, sneezing coughing. If you are told to isolate do so and do not leave your home. It potentially could put others who may be more susceptible at risk.

This afternoon has seen huge changes in Victoria and NSW two states with most of the Australian population in them. They are closing all businesses except essential services. So for most of us that would be supermarkets, chemists/pharmacys, gas, electricity, petrol stations, doctors. Everything else will be closed. Schools in Victoria will close on Tuesday they are essentially bringing the holidays forward. Schools in NSW will be on tomorrow but will be reviewed. The Prime Minister is asking people to only travel for essential reasons.

Tasmania my island home closed its boarders on Friday night at midnight, Northern Territory have closed theirs as the risk to the Aboriginal community who live ‘more traditional lifestyles’ than those in the cities, is of concern. Diabetes is quite high in these communities. To loose any elders to this disease would be disastrous not too say loosing anyone is bad.

Understandably there is much confusion. In Tasmania supermarkets have been running out of flour, rice, oats, powder milk, long life milk, toilet paper, frozen vegetables, and now that supermarkets have come to their senses and put limits on for all of those that HAVE TO SHOP WEEKLY OR Fortnightly because they are on low incomes pensioners, and benefit recipients, who can not afford to stock up. They are the losers. Those who can least afford to miss out on food.

I went in to buy a tin of tomatoes, two tins of beans for a chili I was making for dinner. I could only buy two tins of vegetables full stop. Not two tins of a vegetable. I had to put one tin of beans back. That was fine for me. How would a family manage?

There was a little good news from our local IGA supermarket, they explained that the warehouses in Tasmania were caught unaware and usually have stock but delays in shipping supplies had meant that things went low. They were hoping to be back to relative normal soon.

To me this is the sort of thing the Tasmanian Government should be telling people. Be honest tell us what is happening to our food and sanitation products coming from the mainland. If they knew there might be a shortage than the supermarkets the moment they realised panic buying was happening should have put a halt to it. Only allowing one packet of toilet paper a day per customer.

Here in Australia we are being told it could be six months before any semblance of normal is back in place. The Government is attempting to fund support for many people and businesses. as seen by the media release below.

Media release 22 Mar 2020 Prime Minister, Treasurer

The Commonwealth Government has today released the second stage of its economic plan to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus and help build a bridge to recovery.

A total of $189 billion is being injected into the economy by all arms of Government in order to keep Australians in work and businesses in business.

This includes $17.6 billion for the Government’s first economic stimulus package, $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the Government to deliver easier access to finance, and $66.1 billion in today’s economic support package.

Our economic support package includes:

  • Support for households including casuals, sole-traders, retirees and those on income support
  • Assistance for businesses to keep people in a job
  • Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government was acting to cushion the blow from the coronavirus for businesses and households to help them get through to the other side of the crisis.

“We want to help businesses keep going as best they can and for as long as they can, or to pause instead of winding up their business. We want to ensure that when this crisis has passed Australian businesses can bounce back,” the Prime Minister said.

“Our focus is on cushioning the blow and providing hope to every Australian that we will get through this and come out the other side together.

“We know this will be temporary.  That’s why all our actions are geared towards building a bridge, keeping more people in work, enhancing the safety net for those that aren’t and keeping businesses alive so they can get to the other side and stand up their workforce as quickly as possible.

“We know Australia’s more than 3 million small and medium businesses are the engine room of our economy. When they hurt, we all hurt.

“The next few months are going to be a difficult journey but we all have a role to play to adapt to the changes we’re facing, to cushion the impact of what is happening and to pull together so we can bounce back when we get to the other side.”

The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the $189 billion economic support package was the equivalent of 9.7 per cent of GDP.

“The Government is taking unprecedented action to strengthen the safety net available to Australians that are stood down or lose their jobs and increasing support for small businesses that do it tough over the next six months.

“These measures build significantly on what we have already announced.

“These extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”

Support for workers and households

Coronavirus supplement

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.  This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

The Coronavirus supplement will be paid for the next 6 months. Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 Coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight.

This measure is estimated to cost $14.1 billion over the forward estimates period.

An increase of up to 5,000 staff for Services Australia will assist to support delivery of new Government measures.

Payments to support households

In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on 12 March 2020, the Government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders, except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement.

This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020 to around 5 million social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners.

The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 to people who will have been on one of the eligible payments any time between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020.

This measure is estimated to cost $4 billion over the forward estimates period.

Early release of superannuation

The Government will allow individuals in financial stress as a result of the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov for access of up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for another three months. They will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

This measure is estimated to cost $1.2 billion over the forward estimates period.

Temporarily reduce superannuation minimum drawdown rates

The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees by providing them with more flexibility as to how they manage their superannuation assets.

Reducing social security deeming rates

On top of the deeming rate changes made at the time of the first package, the Government is reducing the deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA.

As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent.

The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including Age Pensioners.

This measure is estimated to cost $876 million over the forward estimates period.

Assistance to business to keep people in a job

  • Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not‑for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.  These payments will help businesses’ and not-for-profits’ cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.

Under the enhanced scheme from the first package, employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000. In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000. The payment will be available from 28 April 2020.

By linking the payments to business to staff wage tax withholdings, businesses will be incentivised to hold on to more of their workers.

The payments are tax free, there will be no new forms and payments will flow automatically through the ATO.

This measure will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people, and around 30,000 NFPs (including charities).

Small and medium business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible. NFPs entities, including charities, with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will now also be eligible. This will support employment at a time where NFPs are facing increasing demand for services.

An additional payment is also being made from 28 July 2020. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received.

This measure is estimated to cost $31.9 billion over the forward estimates period, including the value of the measure announced in the first package.

Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business

Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

The Government will establish the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get access to working capital to help them get them through the impact of the coronavirus. 

Under the Scheme, the Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs.

The Government’s support will enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit to SMEs with the Scheme able to support $40 billion of lending to SMEs. 

The Scheme will complement the announcement the Government has made to cut red-tape to allow SMEs to get access to credit faster. It also complements announcements made by Australian banks to support small businesses with their existing loans.

This builds on the investment the Government is making to enable smaller lenders to continue supporting Australian consumers and small businesses, through providing the AOFM an investment capacity of $15 billion to invest in wholesale funding markets used by small authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI) and non-ADI lenders.

It further supports the Reserve Bank of Australia’s announcement of a $90 billion term funding facility for ns ADIs, that will reduce the cost of lending, with particular incentives to lend to small and medium enterprises.

The measures the Government is announcing today, along with the previous announcements, will deliver a total of $125 billion to support Australians get through the impact of the coronavirus.

The Government will guarantee up to $20 billion to support $40 billion in SME loans.

Providing temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent.  The Corporations Act 2001 will be amended to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus.

  • This builds on the support for business and business investment provided in our first economic support package, which included:
  • increasing the instant asset write off
  • backing business investment by providing accelerated depreciation deductions
  • supporting apprentices and trainees
  • targeted support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities

Support for the aviation industry

As previously announced, the Government is also providing up to $715 million in support for Australian airlines and airports, which will ensure that our aviation sector receives timely cash flow support through an unprecedented period of disruption to international and domestic air travel.

While these are challenging times, Australians can rest assured that the Commonwealth Government will do all that is necessary to support them and build a bridge to ensure that all Australians can get to the other side of this crisis.

For all who are rightly anxious and stressed at this time, it is appropriate for what we are all potentially going to be going through. For those of us who have a mental illness especially, CPTSD, depression, anxiety, it is very important you keep in touch with people. Get support from others who have these mental illnesses, who understand what you might be feeling.

To acknowledge that all of this is beyond our individual fault. We can not control anything except our hygiene keeping the social distancing, maintaining exercise, get vitamin d as we approach shorter daylight, and plenty of sleep. The stress and anxiety relating to the current situation is not your illness, it needs to be acknowledge as such as I believe nearly every Australian will be feeling similar to you right now.

Blessing to You all. Tazzie

Do it for yourself

Why would I shy away from my meeting with my psychologist? Our last meeting was good, as it ended she made a small comment along the lines how good it was that I had three people helping me with supporting and helping me.

Its true, I have three professional people helping me just to manage the things in my life that I am no longer able to manage. This is a serious part of my CPTSD. It is a part that is not visible and something I struggle with in myself. I get frustrated and flustered with the fact I have had to ask for a social worker to help me with paperwork.

I have always been very independent and strong. I have always found it impossible to ask for help. I have had too. It sucks. It was so hard for me to respond when my GP referred me to the Social Worker. I do have to say she has been pretty great in dealing with Centrelink for me. It is good.

So for me hearing the words I had three people supporting and helping me, the words have sunk down into my dark place, quietly and my reaction is self preservation and do not talk to anyone!
The positive is that I am aware of what is going on. Which says how far I have come. Insight is always a good place to start.

My psychologist has sent an email. I of course have not read it yet. I will as I will also compile an honest email to share what has/is happening within me at the moment. Perhaps this will happen over the weekend.

The the three people who are supporting and helping are my psychologist, GP, and a Community Health social worker.

I need them all at this point in my life and I am very Very appreciative, and happy to have them to help me and support me as I keep moving in a forward direction.

If I could share one thing with anyone asking for support and help may be really hard. If you need some, ask for it. Having a social worker who is able to speak to Centrelink for example on my behalf, we had to have an authority signed by both of us to say she could. Just having this has been a huge help as I know I can contact my social worker and she will deal with the issue on my behalf. Dealing with Centrelink has triggered me a lot over the past years.

Pushing through my own emotions and anxiety to ask for help has been a positive thing for me. It can be for you too. If you need support and help. You like I did have to breathe and do it for yourself. Asking for help if and when you need it is a good thing.

I am thankful for the three people who are supporting and helping me on a professional level. I am thankful that I did ask for help.

blessings to you all Tazzie


Hedge Rows and Killer Ants.

I was out picking blackberries this morning in what I consider my hedgerow. I know it is not really a true hedge row.
I know that here in Tasmania mostly in the midlands and north of the state there are some amazing hedges and hedge rows. I recall driving into Perth Tasmania from Hobart and seeing these amazing structures, quite neglected but quite lovely still.

In spring Tasmania reminds many people of UK.

It is so green and rich looking, from mid Autumn to late early summer providing rainfall has been adequate. Combined with Georgian and Victorian style houses and buildings in towns and cities across Tasmania and rural areas.

Records indicate there are 3,000 kilometres of historic hawthorn hedges left.
Landline: Tony King

Along with hawthorn hedgerows, many planted in the first half of the 19th Century and stone walls. In reality the only similarities are the verdant green of the grass from autumn to early summer, the Georgian and Victorian built heritage that still remains and the patchwork of fields enclosed by the hawthorn hedgerows, many of which were planted in the first half of the 19th century.

The first hedgerows were planted and cared for them which then enabled the family that owned the property to plant crops for the early colony of Tasmania.
Sadly for the last 70plus years these hedgerows hae been neglected as barbed wire fencing became more accessible and affordable.
Mr Dumarseq a sith generation farmer said.

“We’re slowly now just starting to trim them again, lay them over in the traditional way and bring them back into traditional working order.”

The family has employed one of Australia’s few traditional hedge layers, James Boxhall to work on the property. James has been slowly beginning to trim and lay them as the convicts would have so once again the hedge rows will be back in working order.

James Boxhall at work in Tasmania

Since the introduction of barbed wire, fencing has taken on a whole new form, harsh on the eye, requires mining and high energy to produce and is lifeless. In stark contrast a healthy living hedge is not only a fence or boundary but a nature reserve full of diversity.

Flowering profusely in the spring, highly fragrant, buzzing with insects and the chatter of birds they attract, visually spectacular with painful thorns for the unwary. A sensory overload! Ever-changing autumn brings fruit, prized by the Green Rosellas, the swamp harriers and goshawks cruise the extremities flushing out prey, small mammals find homes among the roots and branches, all while these carbon sinks provide shelter from the elements for our sheep and cattle.

The satisfaction of preserving these ancient hedges and passing on a dying craft has kept people like Mr Boxhall on the job, cutting, pushing, bending and chainsawing the thorny and at times nasty plants back into the shape of the traditional fences.

“Science has shown your mortality rates in sheltered paddocks are 50% less than in unsheltered paddocks”, James says. https://www.outbackmag.com.au/sticks-and-stones/

We must ensure their survival long into the future.

In the UK their benefits are of such importance the government pays land owners to look after and maintain them in the Countryside Stewardship scheme creating gainful employment for many. Here in Tasmania we too should appreciate the great value healthy hedgerows make to the diversity, ecology and charm of the Tasmanian landscape as well of course as the cultural importance of our British colonisation.

Fortunately in 2003 John and Robyn Hawkins employed master hedgelayer and stonewaller Karl Leibscher from Shropshire in the English midlands to teach a small team these traditional skills and to restore the many kilometres of hedges on their property “Bentley”.

James says he has had the great privilege of being invited to the Patrons Event, a competition held this year on the Queen’s estate “Sandringham” by the Patron of the National Hedgelaying Society HRH The Prince of Wales.
“I travelled to England to compete in the National Hedgelaying Championships, becoming the first person from outside of Europe to do so”.
http://www.omlxi.com/sticks_stones/about.php#james

Along with 35 other competitors from most parts of the UK we were given six hours to lay, stake and bind our 7-yard section of hedge which was judged at the end of the day. Many of England’s masters of the craft were in attendance to advise and mentor which made it an invaluable experience. The chance to meet and talk with Prince Charles about Tasmania and hedges was wonderful, an opportunity I will not forget.

“It’s a big undertaking, it’s a long-term thing, it’s almost a five to 10 year plan that [the] Dumaresqs are looking at and it’s a big financial undertaking as well,” Mr Boxhall said.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-04/restoring-tasmanias-hawthorn-hedges/9106960


So I accept that my boundary is not a true traditional hedge row, as it is not made from bent trees and woven and trimmed. It does keep my dogs in. I love my hedgerow. It is full of life. It is not for stock and meets my needs.

Looking down the hedgerow.

I do wish I could say this is a fairy entrance into my garden, it is almost as magical. This is a pathway for wallabies and other animals it goes under the apple tree. The blackberries provide a safe escape. Quiet a few years ago I watched a blue tongue lizard eating blackberries just up from this spot. This has been a pathway for all the time I have lived here. I will not fence as I love having the wallabies come in and be part of my garden. So many new people are moving here and fully fencing their properties to keep the wallabies and possums out. I understand if you are having stock or horses, but just to keep the animals that belong here much more then we do out of their pathways and feeding areas not good.

Hedge row blackberries grass and bracken no fencing at all along here. The only small bit of fencing is where the apple tree is and the first bit of grassland as people would come onto our land to pick the apples. No problem with them taking them from the road side.

How lovely the rain has arrived and is falling as I type. It has cooled off.

Hedge rows (neighbours across) is a pine of sorts just a hedge) Mine blackberries bracken and agapanthas.(white flowers) I do not have any fencing along here at all.

Agapanthas I cut and had to go back to pick up because I had forgotten them. The clouds were coming over and as I bent to pick them up I felt two stinging burning bites. Really painful I was in a mass of Jack Jumper ants. I feel they knew it was going to rain. Why they were about the agapantha flowers I am not sure. They were no where about earlier when it was humid so sticky and humid. Below is the photograph I took of two of them and some information about these beasties! (I was also bitten earlier in the week in the veggie garden on my left index finger).

Photograph of Jack Jumper Ants in my garden

The jack jumper – Tasmania’s killer ant: 2012

By Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Jack jumpers (Myrmecia pilosula) are small, black and orange ants with extremely keen eyesight and an unusual ability to jump. This tiny creature is considered one of the most dangerous ants in the world – and, indeed, the most dangerous animal in Australia! In Tasmania, the death toll from the jack jumper’s sting is about one person every four years – greater than the toll inflicted by sharks or by the most poisonous of snakes or spiders.

They are named after the ‘jumping-jack firecracker’ because of their tendency to jump aggressively towards potential threats to themselves or their nests, and to follow up with multiple painful, fiery stings.

The ant’s fierce-looking, toothed jaws are ideal for holding insect prey in place while using the stinger at the end of its abdomen to jab its victim.

Jack jumpers are so very dangerous because the venom in their stings is one of the most powerful in the insect world; about three per cent of Tasmanians (some 14,000 people) are at risk of anaphylactic shock if stung.

While jack jumpers are common in the bush, their preference for disturbed, sparsely-vegetated and stony ground allows them to colonise roadsides, pathways and heavily-grazed paddocks.

For the same reasons, they can also be common in recently-established suburbs. Nests are typically found under logs and rocks and can often be spotted from the mounds of gravel that mark the entrance holes.

Not one single ant species, but a complex of seven superficially very similar species, jack jumpers hold a key position in native ecosystems.

Despite their notoriety, their nest-building improves soil structure, while their predatory and competitive behavior with other insects and invertebrates helps to selectively enhance plant growth.

They are also a food source for other animals. The most important predator of jack jumpers is the echidna, which – unfortunately for people – avoids disturbed ground and suburban areas.

Below please excuse my dirty feet, I have been working and walking about in sandles all day. Digging and on dirt paths in bare feet.
You can see my bites fortunately I am not allergic to them.

The first is on the side of my big toe, and it is swollen quite a lot now it feels like I have a huge blister or pad under my foot when I walk and the top and side is hot to touch and red. There is no pain just a burning sensation which is not unusual. This ant really had a tight grasp on me. It was still attached even when I pulled my sandle off.

Below. The one on my toe is not too bad it has not swollen any where near as much as I feared. (I could not bend my finger for 24 hours after it was bitten, and it itches off and on annoyingly so) It is burning still I know if it had swollen I would have found it really annoying as you can see I have webb toes and it would have impacted both of them. The redness you can see is the reaction but that has disapated and basically where the whiteness is and the small red dot (bite) is now red and the rest of my foot now clean is back to normal. Of course I was bitten on different feet. I can laugh now.

Even with this I have had a wonderful day and so have my dogs. We did our usual run this morning. I picked fruit and stacked some of my wood. I pruned some trees and bushes. (bushes mainly for access for my gas bottle delivery man. )
My dogs were wanting another walk so after their meal we went off on the way home one of my neighbours was out with her two dogs, so my guys played with them as we chatted for ages.

We waved as several other neighbours drove up or down the road. As the dogs played in their paddock.

Another neighbour came and joined us, bringing us each a gift of half a marrow, a zucchini/courgette that has grown huge. I am going to stuff mine and bake it, yummo on tuesday when I have gas again.
She also gave us each a jar of her homemade home grown apricot relish yummo!

We chatted for quite a while and her friend came looking for her and stayed for a while and talked with us more.
I had to go as Busby was so hot and tired and Miss Treacle was sleeping under the shade of a tree. So we all said bye. All smiling.

As I write I am listening to the rain and Busby snoring deeply as he has been since 5pm (it is now 8pm) and Miss Treacle making mmmering noises in her sleep. Neither of them raising their head if I get up to do something. Not normal. Sleeping the exhausted.
It is a lovely night, all dry our tummies full and comfy beds to sleep in.
I am not suffering with my ant bites. I have learnt about Tasmanias true hedgerows.

I am so thankful for lovely neighbours, other dogs for my dogs to play with, the rain, the gifts I received to day, the bounty of Mother Earth, I will have more blackberries, and the apples will be ready soon. I am thankful for I am truelove blessed.

Blessings to You all Tazzie

Gardening and Life in the Roaring 40’s

I live approximately at 43dSouth of the equator. The Huon Valley is the southern most council in Australia. Living in the 40dSouth region of the globe means I live in a very windy area. Especially around spring and summer. The west coast of Tasmania can get wind speeds of up to 200km/125mph and this can be relatively regular. I living more in the tip of the island sort of, and in a river valley with Bruny Island to the east at the end of the Huon River.

The Roaring Forties bring wild winds, wet weather and cold temperatures to Tasmania and southern Australia. The bane of sailors since Cook first circumnavigated Antarctica, these mighty winds influence everything from delicate native rainforest rodents to parrots and penguins.
Heather Catchpole
https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2007/09/20/2038604.htm
This is a really interesting article on the subject.

Tasmania, smack bang in the path of the roaring forties. Image: NASA (Source: NASA /https://www.abc.net.au/science/scribblygum/may2007/gallery.htm) Below.

https://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200709/r184965_690326.jpg

I I hear you saying ok so what has this got to do with anything?

It has so much to do with my garden. The wind dries everything out so much and currently we are having minimum 8dC/40dF maximum 27dC/80dF with wind speeds of between 20kmph/ 12.4mph up to 42kmph/26mph then Tuesday the forecast is min 7dC/44.6dF to maximum 17dC/62.6 dF, thankfully the wind will be less and the maximum will be 20km for a short period.

We have had such high winds for the last few days and nights. So the garden is being knocked about badly. I was very grateful to receive some much needed rain the other night which has filled up my tanks by two rungs.
The birds are so quiet and non are flying about I have not had to fill the bird baths, just give them a top up as the wind has been making waves on them and blown water out.

It makes it very hard to do anything outside. I managed to water, but this took a couple of tries as it is hard to water plants when most of the water is being blown away. Quite humourous actually, poor Miss Treacle was sitting under a shrub and I had no intention of wetting her, the wind had other thoughts. The soil and every Olle was dry this afternoon when I checked them! I had checked them yesterday morning as we had rain the night before, all were fine. Which saw me just water the deck plants yesterday. Today I watered everything again.

Below my grape plant and my first delicious sweet grapes. This is its first ever year it has actually produced grapes and I have eaten some.

Above the plants, herbs and vegetables in the pots on the deck are doing it a bit tough in the wind.

This is my Huonville Fanny crab apple and I hope to begin to pick it in the near future. Sadly the birds, and wallabies have eaten quite a few. Similar to the small apple in my paddock. I went down to pick the apples only to find the birds, possums or wallabies had beaten me to them.

Onions above I thought these were walking onions, but um they are not developing the tops so they must be normal onions. Another issue with the wind is so often the labels I put with seedlings is blow away or animals and birds knock them out.

The unknown ‘chilies’ are flowering, I doubt that I will get any fruit from these this year. These plants survived the winter and grew so fingers crossed they will survive this coming winter, and maybe next year I will get some fruit.

Above photo, the Three Sister Bed is perhaps the bed that is copping the worst off the wind. The beans nearly were destroyed. You can see the framework I have put in place to try and support the plant and post that have fallen. Thankfully they seem to be doing a great job. The beans are producing well. The corn is filling out, but one smaller piece has been opened by the wind. The corn plants have not produced as many cobs as I had hoped. I am not too disappointed as this is the first time I have ever successfully grown corn. The squash has three tiny butternut pumpkins on it. I did hand pollinate the two that are close together. The third one has been on the vine for quite a while now and is not developing. I was advised by a helpful reader that it happens when the female flower is not pollinated. It may be too late for the two hand pollinated pumpkins to develop much, I will just have to wait. All part and parcel of getting to know your garden, soil and plants.

The tomatoes both on the deck; photos above, with white netting and those growing in the garden bed, have all got quite a bit of healthy looking green fruit on them. I have been getting small red tomatoes, on average one or two a day. My fingers and hopes are high in getting many more ripe tomatoes. Our weather forecasters have been saying that Australia is going to have a warmer Autumn this year. I am being positive that I will have ripe tomatoes.

The capsicums/peppers in the asparagus bed are thriving. It is strange to realise that the ones that are in the tomato bed are so small in comparison. I transplanted them as they did not look happy in the asparagus bed. Hmm so glad I left one plant in their. The capsicums are about 9cm/3.5 in length and quite well formed as can be seen in the above photographs.

The two plants in the tomato bed are fruiting, sadly very small fruit. The plants never took off. This is not a happy bed. I may have over done it with minerals and trace elements.

I find being in the garden so good for my mental well being. It has been a difficult week in some ways for me. Spending time today in my garden and doing a couple of things outdoors in sunlight and physical exercise has been a tonic.

I am so thankful to have my garden, my beautiful home and the lovely if windy weather. I am very grateful that my veggie garden and fruit trees are all doing OK with the wind.

May your weekend be blessed and blessings to you all Tazzie

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