Being Content in My Discontent

I have been working so hard the last few days to not get bogged down with all that is going on in my life. I am so incredibly grateful for all I have and for where I live. It kind of feels like I am not really a part of the rest of the world.

My valley in the southern part of Tasmania (island state of Australia), in fact the whole state I live in has been incredibly fortunate in regards to Covid and the Delta variety especially. I am halfway vaccinated and will receive my second dose in a few days. It feels inevitable that the Delta strain will reach its tentacles to our island and the valley at some point.

It would be so very easy right now for me to be saying why why why, Busby my large dog has torn his cruciate Ligament, and having had a previous experience with the surgery and recovery of another dog I am reluctant to put him through this surgery. Right now he is basically on house rest, lol lock down I guess. He is not in pain as he is on a once a week for four weeks injection and another medication a syrup that is for inflammation and also helps relax him. Cost is certainly a huge issue, instead I am looking at the success rate of braces for stablising the joint.

My plumbing needs some work in the kitchen and I have still have a leak that needs to re-repaired as the previous repairer made it worse.
My stove has stopped working because mice have made a home in it and taken all the insulation out making it too dangerous to use. (rural stoves hot plates and oven all in one are supposed to be sealed to prevent this). The hot plate is usable thankful for that and I purchased an Instant pot/air fryer which has been the best kitchen item I have purchased in years. Especially if you are a family of one or two. Mine is 8 litres (quarts?) which sounds large however it gives me food to freeze or eat over a few days. I love doing a roast in it. It slow cooks and is a pressure cooker, sadly not suitable for doing canning. The window frames need sanding, undercoating and painting. My car needs new tyres and a service.
Instead of wallowing or allowing myself to fixate and sink back I am looking instead at being thankful for the fact I have a car that is working, I have a solid roof over my head with a small leak, Busby is happyish (not being able to play with his best friend Toby up the road is really hard for him but he is doing well so I am grateful for that.

Mice have invaded my home, its not unusual in the countryside in winter, but add to that my hoarding issues they are so damn hard to get rid of. I am not going to use any poison as we used to have owls but a couple of years ago my neighbour and I both used poison and sure got rid of the pests but also the owls it seems. I also worry my chooks might eat one mouse that is poisoned.
I have captured many in peanut butter baited traps, and I have an electric one that was also baited with peanut butter. The bait had gone but no mouse. I am weirdly grateful in a way, to the best of my ability at present I have been removing stuff out of the house.
I took boxes and electronic waste to the tip where the e-waste went in a special bin but the books were sadly found by the mice so they were put in the paper recycling. These were books my partner had and they were second or third hand as he rarely purchased new books. It had taken me 11 years to remove the books from the house. I am so pleased I have accomplished these two things.

It is impossible to describe to anyone who really has not any comprehension or understanding of what being a hoarder is like. I hate it, I don’t want to live like this yet I am moving forward as now instead of fleeing the house, and calling it the house, I am content in my discontent. I have been talking with my psychologist regularly through out the time I was not blogging. I also was not following my routine. This is always a symptom of my discontent.

What I am finding really hard right now is that I am not depressed I know I am not. Yet I feel a bit like when your car battery is going flat. You know when the engine does not turn but tries too and you keep trying to get it too but it does not and you end up flattening the battery completely. I feel like my mind and body connection are in that situation. I keep trying and begin something finishing it or get distracted by something else it remains incomplete.

So now my Psychologist is feeling that I now my depression and even my anxiety are more stable she feels it may be ADHD. She would like my GP to refer me to the Psychiatrist again. When she shared this I dissociated I basically blacked out…which on a zoom call where I am on my own was worrying for her. I was not out for very long I was able to bring myself back and emailed her to let her know. I know why this happened as when I was going for the Disabilty pension the original psychiatrist wanted me to take medication for ADHD (I could not get the script filled so he became frustrated with me and would not see me anymore, I was at the point in my illness to give it a try ). The whole situation with this psychiatrist was horrible he never called me by the right name and would ask me how my job was going. I had not worked for several years at the time I was seeing him. Now I need to see a psychiatrist again. It brings ups emotions however instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed I am saying to myself look at where you are now to where you were then, I am so thankful for that, I am also content with the discontent.

Each day I aim to complete one thing. On top of my routine. For example today I went in the garden for a while and was looking at one of my fruit trees where grass was encroaching. I began to pull the grass out as I did the temperature dropped and I was going to go inside. Instead I completed the task. It did not take long I came inside and had a shower. I made myself a meal and was content even though I sit surrounded by mess.

As hard as it has been to become content with my home/financial/personal issues I am happier. I am achieving things as slowly as it may be and the people who may say just get up and do it/your are just lazy take me back to the beginning of this post. No one who has never experienced mental illness/hoarding will have not understanding or comprehension of the reality of living like this.
I DO NOT WANT TOO LIVE LIKE THIS. BUt right now as I improve I am content with my discontent.

I am grateful for not being ill physically, I am for clean air, rain, full rain water tanks. For being able to budget for bigger costs. I am grateful that I continue to move forward no matter how miniscule the distance.



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.

Nettle Soup

Today has been a day of cooking, it was cold and wet. So perfect. I made ‘french’ style easy bread today. It is lovely bread however the amount of time for rising is several hours, with some small work on it periods.

Compared to my other bread which is kneaded twice and only requires about 1 1/2 half hours or so rising time. It can be extended longer as in overnight but you just leave it. You do not have to work it during that time.

I also decided to make nettle soup. The Nettles are from my own garden so I know they are safe. I cut off the tips of the nettles about 10cms in length. I did not wear gloves as I had a container that when I cut the tips they fell directly into the container.

My soup had vegetable stock which seemed to be quite salty. It had onion rice and nettles. I did also add a garlic clove. The recipe I chose, was for four people. I decided to make half of the recipe. I picked a cup plus of nettles well packed.

I pan fried onions in olive oil and than the nettles which removes the

You then add stock and rice. I then bought the soup to the boil for a few minutes, and then used the absorption method for cooking the rice. I used my hand blender to puree it.

I did not have enough nettles, in the ‘soup’ The recipe has 500gms of nettles. That is a lot of nettles, I did not weigh my nettles.

I also added too much rice. So my soup was more like a risotto.

I ate it with one of my bread rolls. It was really interesting and I did enjoy it. It has a rich flavour. I have read elsewhere that nettle soup tastes earthy. It certainly had a flavour reminiscent of mushrooms I know go figure! I was assuming it would be green tasting. How do I describe that. hmmm fresh and light perhaps.

Stinging nettles are considered as a weed today by so many. In the past stinging nettles have been used to make fibre, sail cloth, sacking and fishing nets. Fibres have also been used to make cloth similar in appearance and feel to silky linen. In the Second World War the Germans used it to make cotton like fabric. The British used stinging nettles for the dye it makes for camouflage. It has/is also used as a food colourant.

The 18th Centuary English poet, Thomas Campbell, complained of the little attention paid to the nettle in England.  He says, “In Scotland, I have eaten nettles, I have slept in nettle sheets, and I have dined off a nettle tablecloth.  The young and tender nettle is an excellent potherb.  The stalks of the old nettle are as good as flax for making cloth.  I have heard my mother say that she thought nettle cloth more durable than any other species of linen.” (Plants and People: Choices and Diversity through Time 6.2 Humble Plants p273 edited by Alexandre Chevalier, Elena Marinova, Leonor Pena-Chocarro)

I will make it again, it was quick and easy. Tasty and simple. I would add more nettles and less rice. I was looking forward to a thin soup but as I said mine was like a poor risotto (I am not a huge fan of risotto).

I enjoyed the rich and hearty flavour. I intend to try more recipes using my nettles.

Such a low cost tasty hearty meal. I could imagine a vegetable soup with nettles would be delicious too. A quick soup to make.

I did not sow the nettles in my garden, they have come up in a good size patch. I know many people will look at them and see weeds. Mother Earth has provided me with this wonderful plant and I will enjoy and use it. It dies off each year and in Autumn it grows again as the cooler weather begins.


blessings Tazzie

Like any food there are potential issues for some people in eating them I include The following information is from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stinging-nettle#section8

Stinging nettle’s leaves and root provide a wide variety of nutrients, including

  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins
  • Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
  • Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid
  • Amino acids: All of the essential amino acids
  • Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids
  • Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids

What’s more, many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body.

Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases (3Trusted Source).

Studies indicate that stinging nettle extract can raise blood antioxidant levels.

There is evidence based benefits that stinging nettles may be benificial in arthritis, and other inflammations within the body.

Stinging nettle may help reduce prostate size and treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in men with BPH.

Stinging nettle may reduce hay fever symptoms. Yet, some research indicates that it may not be much more effective than a placebo. More studies are needed on stinging nettle’s effects on hay fever.

Stinging nettle may help lower blood pressure by allowing your blood vessels to relax and reducing the force of your heart’s contractions. Yet, more human studies are needed to confirm these effects.

While stinging nettle may help lower blood sugar levels, more human studies are crucial before recommendations can be made.

There are some potential side effects

Consuming dried or cooked stinging nettle is generally safe. There are few, if any, side effects.

However, be careful when handling fresh stinging nettle leaves, as their hair-like barbs can harm your skin.

These barbs can inject an array of chemicals, such as (1, 2Trusted Source):

  • Acetylcholine
  • Histamine
  • Serotonin
  • Leukotrienes
  • Formic acid

These compounds can cause rashes, bumps, hives and itchiness.

In rare cases, people may have a severe allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening.

However, these chemicals diminish as the leaves are processed, meaning that you shouldn’t experience mouth or stomach irritation when eating dried or cooked stinging nettle (1).

Pregnant women should avoid consuming stinging nettle because it may trigger uterine contractions, which can raise the risk of a miscarriage (40).

Speak to your doctor before consuming stinging nettle if you’re taking one of the following:

  • Blood thinners
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Diabetes medication
  • Lithium

Stinging nettle could interact with these medications. For instance, the plant’s potential diuretic effect may strengthen the impact of diuretics, which can raise your risk of dehydration.

blessings Tazzie.

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

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