Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
These photos were taken with my Apple I phone 7 as I did not take my camera with me…I just forgot…sigh. not unhappy with the photos but I will journey again to use my camera. If you wish to share any just acknowledge I Echidna Home Blog please as photographer.
I decided to take a long drive to my GP appointment recently, (65km trip one way) and on the way not very far from where I live a landowner had leased his land to state forestry. Recently they cleared some of the land. I ventured down the track to wet my curiosity and to my delight all the views above were from the top of the now cleared but reforested mountain/hill.
Views that have been lost for quite a while as the trees matured. I wish I could buy this land and build a small home and cherish it. How incredible to see 360 degree views such as these. So delighted I found this area. Taking a chance that you might get bogged or bottom out your car can be so worth it.
Comfort eating, and my CPTSD seem to go in hand in hand. I find it so easy when things hit me in the face and throw me backwards mentally or emotionally that I go shopping mindlessly and end up with a trolley full of sugar and chips. I have been working on it and up until recently this has been improving.
For example, I now buy 460ml of ice cream instead of a litre and eat all of that, with a small bar of chocolate you know the one strip bar. I would buy a small pack of chips. Where as before it would be the family block of chocolate and the big bag of chips and a litre of icecream. I would than go home and devour it all!!
The problem with this is the highly processed foods create the cycle of continuing to want them. So having just come through this comfort eating period and assessing what has worked for me most recently is to make things I enjoy at home.
When I am content and happy, doing stuff about the garden and a little in the house, (I am a recovering( slowly) hoarder(I no longer bring things into the house) so the house is a very slow work in progress and the garden is preferential but also um needing work.
I eat better and am far more conscious of nutrition. Yesterday, I was wanting something sweet, ( I do not have sugar in tea or coffee). When I am not anxious or triggered I am satiated much easier. The highly processed food after the first few mouthfuls does nothing, it just is something to do that I am unable to stop, and believe me I have tried every method to stop myself. It is just shoveling it in to fill a hole.
I have decided that I am not going to punish myself by not allowing myself to eat sweet food. Or salty food. I did that quite a while ago middle of last year. I have still had several episodes over that time where triggers have occurred that see me blindly go in and just buy junk food.
The impact of being annoyed at myself created me to me become bulimic, ( a fairly recent thing and not something I have shared with my psychologist or GP), which makes the whole situation worse. So now, I am aware and I try very hard to minimise the junk. Even when I do not as happened recently I just accept it, and look at what has kept the distance of these reactions to the triggers apart.
Me making a semolina pudding with brown sugar butter and milk, contains far less sugar and fat than in the ice cream, biscuits and chocolate I would buy. Having it when I have eaten a good nutrituous meal helps too and again I am content.
I have also found a wonderful thing called microwave mug cakes. Cake is one of my down falls, and this way I can make a home made cake and eat it all but it is only in a mug. Yes I do add delicious icing to it too. For example yesterday I made a lime (using limes off my tree) cake with coconut icing.
For brunch I had eggs on toast with a sausage and coleslaw I made with red cabbage a local carrot, and one of my apples. Delicious filling nutritious. Dinner was coleslaw and nuts with tomato (mine) on toast. I am having a hot chocolate with a teaspoon of my home made rosehip syrup in it. So delicious as I sit beside the fire with two dogs snoring. The rosehip syrup is sweet and it satiated my itch for a little sweetness today.
It is so hard when I am not well. As I do know what is best for me and what makes me function. The old retreat and overeat by self comforting is no longer what I want to be doing. I like knowing why I do, it you know having insight. I like that I have been able to adapt and make the choices smaller when I am triggered if I am able to. I am also OK when it is a full blow out and I am working on not punishing (throwing up) myself when I do either as it is really just another method of controlling my feelings and emotions.
I am not out for sympathy or rescuing please. I write these things down as it really helps me see my whole picture. Occasionally what I have shared has helped someone else. If sharing my own mental illness and journey honestly helps anyone for themselves or someone they love/know or care for, then that is good. I write though mainly for me, as often when I write, bells ring and things gain clarity.
The other positive in all of this is that I have now been walking my dogs all bar one day for two weeks. I have gone on one longer walk in that time, and my intention is to increase my walks to do the longer one at least twice a week. The interesting thing when You have dogs is that they get into a routine far quicker than you do. So now my guys make eyes at me when I am reluctant to go for a walk. They push all my buttons with their eyes, and rather than deal with that I get up out of the chair and we walk up the hill. We also go walking about the paddock everyday and about the house several times. So my phyiscal activity through walking has increased .
I am thankful for my dogs, for their needs outruling mine. I am thankful that I have insight in my mental illness and why I respond as I do. I am thankful that I have space, I am thankful for good neighbours, I am thankful for my governments work in stopping the spread of the virus, I am thankful that I do not find being at home isolation bad. I am thankful for all I have, I am thankful to have this space to write. I am thankful to other bloggers whose blogs make me laugh, inspire me, awe me, provide challenges for me, evoke responses from me. Who share their skills and own life journeys.
How beautiful it is sitting listening to the rain falling on my tin roof, the wind blowing the trees and a fire burning in my wood heater. There is snow on Kunanyi (Mt Wellington),
It feels like a winters day here today, 13dC/55.4dF. My CPSTD has been a bit all over the place as I had someone I do not want to have contact with be in touch. I have not responded to the message left. As this is how it is best for me to be well. Since breaking all ties with my family I have found a contentment I have not had since my partner died. He always loved me unconditionally and believed in me. He saw how my family treated me. He supported me and was there unquestioning and lovingly when I interacted with them, trying to have a relationship with them. He was there to hug and reassure me when it all went to hell, eventually.
This out of the blue message not responded too, still has dropped my mood and seen me comfort eat uncontrollably. Naming that here helps me to acknowledge what I have been doing and lets me name and describe the emotions. I am angry that my needs have been disregarded as was discussed back in January. I am resentful that this intrusion still impacts me, and takes me to a place of disassociation. This is something I realised today, as I shoveled biscuits into my mouth. I have literally switched off and gone into a void. Aware of what I should be doing but not able to face it. This is part of the reason I like blogging, it helps me see in black and white and somehow my brain connects the OH moments and I usually can move forward again.
This happened five days ago, and now I can see how I really have just gone to my ‘reactive management of disassociation’ . Clarity is good to have now. I am engaging my brain and moving forward again, and not backwards. It would be simple to remain in the vague realm of lost time just slowly sinking down. I am not doing that, I will not do that. I am moving forward.
It is hard to stop the reactions that have been a lifetime response to stressors. Though I am delighted that I have insight (eventually ) into what has occurred. My child has been protecting me in the only way she knows and that it to comfort herself with food, and switch off. I am thankful she is there and takes over when I retreat. I love her for that, I need to work on letting her go and me to take over at these times. I am still very much a work in progress.
Insight is a such a valuable thing. It is also frustrating when you have it but you are unwell. I can not control as much as I would like my family/inlaw family messaging. I know they have concern at this strange time in the world. I realise too that my reaction is yet again a demonstration of how little regard is held for my needs even when explained in writting and the reasons why. So again my ability to control aspects of my needs have been hindered.
I have options I realise, I could get a new phone number that they do not have. I would not get any messages that way. Yet I know I can not do that. Because I do care about this particular part of my family. Weird as that might sound.
It is weird how somatic issues come into it too, my sleep changed,I feel nauseous when I think or recall the message. I have been working really diligently to establish a routine, I either go up to bed at 21:30 and read for a while, turning the light out at 22:30. Or I go up at 22:30 and straight to bed light off if I am on line or watching something. I am waking earlier, and have more motivation.
I have also been walking the dogs everyday instead of me driving and them walking. We even did a walk along the foreshore of the river over the Easter period. I have not walked them today it has been way too wet and windy. Busby is frightened by the wind and rain together. Since we got caught in a heavy hail wind storm at Triabunna last year.
Coming out of the vagueness of how I disassociate is like cataracts falling off my eyes, and my brains neurons firing back up and the lights coming back on. It is a good feeling. I am very thankful that I kept walking the dogs through this period.
My GP and Psychologist have both been encouraging me and working with me and my CPTSD, Depression and or Anxiety knows that routine, good sleep, exercise, along with a healthy diet all aid in improving our abilities to deal with triggers/stressors. For me I know it is the only way along with mindfulness work, meditation, and being thankful for all I do have are also huge things that enable me to be in a much less reactive manner.
The other thing I note is I give up on the house and even the garden when I am disassociating. New insights. As I said I am still very much a work in progress and when I realise I have been triggered and reacted I am so very thankful that I am well enough now with insight to hopefully be able to begin to work through the reactivity of this situation. For me it looks so much like loss of control in my own life is one of the big things that keep coming up as triggers.
So that is why I have been lost in isolation. I am physically fine, if afraid to cough when I do go out. I live in the south of Tasmania, so fortunately am not in the area of Tasmania which has had two of its hospitals closed recently due to a fairly large pocket of Covid -19 positive workers which has meant that all the staff in these hospitals have been put into mandatory total lock down for two weeks. The patients from these hospitals have been moved to another hospital. The hospitals are being cleaned by a specialty team of defence personnel and will be operated by defence nurses and doctors cleaners and admin people I imagine for the time required.
We have been told we will be in stay home stay safe mode for another four weeks at least with the exception of essential workers, essential shopping, and GP appointments.
I am still flawed by the number of vehicles I see drive by my home full of families out for a drive. Looking at the scenery. Do they stop for food? To put petrol in their car. A toilet stop? A drink? Do they realise that they potentially could be carriers. Or have this illness and not know it yet? What is so hard to follow the instructions Stay Home and Stay Safe. The other issue I have is what if they have an accident, more pressure on first attendants, and ambulance workers. I really do not get these parents at all!
I am not going to get into that anymore, enough I can hear my fire crackling and I am looking out the window at the trees moving in the wind. It looks to have stopped raining for a bit.
My dogs are both asleep. Miss Treacle is snoring softly and Busby is curled up on his bean bag quiet. Both with full tummies. We are all well warm, dry and once again content with being at home, safe.
I am thankful for the rain, for my dogs, for a roof over my head, a warm fire and a cup of hot tea and food. I am thankful to have warm shoes and clothes. I am thankful to never need to say I am bored. I am thankful that for me being in self isolation is OK. I am thankful to all essential workers, I am thankful to all those people around the world who are doing the right thing as hard as it may be for many of you to self isolate. To keep others safe, as well as your self and your families. I am thankful to be out of my disassociation.
I was taking my wheely bin, to the road, and Busby was coming supposed to come with me. Instead he decided to go and visit the neighbours dogs. They were actually in behind their fence. However their owner is lovely and let her guys come out to play. So Miss Treacle and I went did the bin, and came back to this.
Dogs attempting to keep social distancing.
but failing miserably.
My neighbour and I did keep social distance and under our current rules we are allowed to exercise our dogs, and be with one other person (whom we do not live with if we our on our own). We are so lucky to have the paddock and good neighbours with great dogs. Miss Treacle went and laid under one of the cars. She is older and knew she should really be staying at HOME!.
Chubbs is a Kelpie/Staffy cross, and he is all about the tennis ball carrying one in his mouth until safe to drop it and have it thrown for him. He would just keep running for the ball until he dropped. He is also a snuggler, who comes and leans on you, climbs up on my lap as I sat on the grass, and will kiss you at every opportunity. Not great especially if he has his soggy tennis ball in his mouth.
A good roll and scratch in the grass.
They need to have fun and burn energy. As me and my neighbour needed to chat, and have a laugh watching our boys enjoying themselves. But even fun loving dogs need comfort especially at times like these.
So like Miss Treacle I am staying home, except for essential shopping and the joy, love and comfort my dogs give me always is something to be very thankful for.
Today it is all about my dogs and dogs we meet along with their families. I have said before that my dogs are the reason I am still here.
In my darker periods of depression and anxiety they give me a reason to get up in the morning and to smile. They love me its that simple, and they need me. I need them. I love them and they love me.
They go with me everywhere, as long as it is not too hot for them to be in the car, or walking on the hot cement or tarmac. We have done so much together, and they bring me happiness and are there for me. Miss Treacle is sort of a service dog, not officially but some dogs and owners just have a connection. She seems to know when I am being triggered, and will come and sit on me if she can or as close to me as possible and try to make eye contact with me. Pressing her little body into mine. Really really trying. It helps me now, I realise what she is doing and when she is there it can help so much to stop things escalating.
This was taken at Lauderdale a north eastern suburb of Hobart a year ago and at a bakery up there. We sat outside with a coffee, and watched birds and the weather. Miss Treacle Busby and I and our older dog had gone on a drive. If you look to the right of the back of the photograph you will see dark cloud forming. That is the Mount Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) the large mountain that forms part of the divide between Huon Valley, to Kingston and Hobart. My home is basically directly south behind Miss Treacle.
I tell people all the time how sweet and gentle Busby is. He is younger here and we fostered kittens and puppies along with looking after friends dogs if they needed it.
Oh my what teeth you have Miss Treacle. Scary too. I’m just yawning know need to be concerned.
Busby is trying to tell me it is time to leave. He has no one paying him any attention. Coffee at a local bakery.
Miss Treacle just hopped up here on the seat next to the gentleman(who I know fortunately) when I went inside to order my coffee. She does prefer to be off the ground.
This is Busby and one of the kittens we fostered. He was so gentle with all of them, and loved them and they him.
Here you can see how good he is with them. The other dog in the background is my gorgeous Smithfield, who died age 12 two years ago.
Miss Treacle was also great with the kittens, though her patience did wear a bit thing a times and she would put them in their place. I guess that is the roll of older members of a family who are helping to raise the youngsters.
You find the most amazing beaches in Tasmania. This beach is a dog friendly one. This is Lauderdale Beach in Austum a few years ago you can see a storm coming.
Above, Taken near Cygnet. Two dogs very well behaved as they head to town.
The dog walking group I am a member of helped with the RSPCA Million Paws walk and this was one of the dogs who he and his owner participated.
Busby above getting a drink and checking the creek near the Cygnet Dog park out. Cooling his paws on a hot day.
We met these two lovely ladies at an off lead dog walking track at Corneilian Bay in Hobart. It is a favourite place when we go to Hobart. It is a great walking track up a hill and next to the cementry. It also has a spot for the dogs to play and chase as well as have a swim in the bay.
More dogs we met that morning and their humans.
My dogs and I were heading up a mountain near where we live as snow had fallen this was later in the day. It was the first time that Busby had been near snow. It was not deep. As it had fallen overnight and this was about 2pm. You can see how interested Miss Treacle and my older dog are.
Above they had a ball. I was worried for a short while that Busby might be feeling the cold. That is until he went for a swim in the lake that was to the left in the photo above. I decided if he was swimming in the freezing water he was OK.
This is our neighbours lovely springer spaniel saying hi to Busby. He has just turned 2 and he and Busby adore each other it is a bromance of the highest order. They miss each other and oh my when its been a few days without seeing each other it is sheer joy and love.
They love to play with each other and sometimes Miss Treacle will join in. Though at 12 1/2 the young boys can get a bit rough for her.
Fortunately there are safe and comforting arms to save her. Below.
I wanted to say it amazes me how just writing about the things that impact my mental illness in an everyday way helps so much. I do not know if anyone else with CPTSD fixates on a thing, and it gets in to you, that you find it almost impossible to let it go. For me writing about my experience with benefits from the Government has let me let it go. Such a positive. It is all in hand I have an appointment with my social worker, and GP so all it under some control and I have asked for help. A massive thing for me. I feel good about it all and quite hopeful. Sigh.
Along with my writing I do find spending time at home and in my garden is the best thing for me. I am trying really hard to let go of all the mess, and delight in all the positives. I am doing well at this. Everything is on a list. Yet I can not have more that one list or I become overwhelmed.
This in itself is important. I have to have a list. It is on my fridge. I mean written on my fridge in a marker, a perfect white board. My psychologist has helped me note that when I am really overwhelmed I begin many many lists. So in simplifying only the major things, on one list. I will not forget any of them. There is no time line for completion and I do not get fixated, or overwhelmed. As my mantra these days is I am content with the discontent. Strange as it seems, but just saying this to myself is such a help.
As I wrote this I heard Busby barking in the paddock. I looked out and saw this,
At first I thought oh NO he has killed a small animal. Then as I moved down towards him I tell him to leave it, and then I see this. Yes in the second photo below the white on the echidnas back is where Busby has attempted to grab the echidna. Echidna 1 (thankfully ) Busby nil. It is so hard for Busby as he is a mixed breed dog. Staffie x,with ridgeback x with boxer. All breeds that make him protective and aware of things that do not live in our home. He was very gentle with foster kittens, and cats, along with other dogs and puppies I fostered. He was fine with some orphaned rabbit kittens, but not with those in their hutches..outside big ones. It is so hard with the genetics. He is improving as he comes away now.
Echidnas have no fixed address they are wanderers and will move around a pretty large area on the mainland in Southern Queensland the organisation Land For Wildlife says that a territory can be up to 50 Hectares/123.553acres though territories can cross.
They find each other using sense of smell.
Apparently our Tasmanian echidnas are bigger than mainland Australia Echidnas.
I have talked about how echidnas form a connection with a male, the following video shows you how Echidnas mate. It is a video from National Geographic, Youtube. https://youtu.be/frZGhk0i228
It is also delightful to actually see how these awesome animals get around. They are not slow moving all the time, and are great at climbing up and over things.
They weigh between 2 and 5 kgs/4.41lb- 11.02lbs. quite a range in size. They have lower body temperature than other mammals, 31-32dC / 87.8-89.6dF.
If disturbed, echidnas will usually lower the head, and with vigorous digging, sink rapidly into the ground leaving only the spines exposed. On hard surfaces they will curl into a ball — presenting defensive spines in every direction. They are also capable of wedging tightly into crevices or logs by extending their spines and limbs.
The echidna is adapted for very rapid digging, having short limbs and powerful claws. The claws on the hind feet are elongated and curve backwards; to enable cleaning and grooming between the spines. However, despite this, they are infested with what is said to be the world’s largest flea — Bradiopsylla echidnae, which is about 4 mm long. (https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au).
Whilst both the male platypus and echidna both have spurs on their hind feet the echidnas is not functioning and is blunt unlike the platypus which has a sharp spur with functioning venom glands.
The diet of echidnas is largely made up of ants and termites, although, they will eat other invertebrates especially grubs, larvae and worms. The strong forepaws are used to open up the ant or termite nest and the echidna then probes the nest with its sensitive snout. Any insects in the nest are caught on the echidnas rapidly moving 15 cm tongue which is covered with a layer of sticky mucous, hence the name Tachyglossus meaning ‘fast tongue’. The jaws are narrow and have no teeth so food is crushed between hard pads which lie in the roof of the mouth and on the back of the tongue. Large grubs are squashed and the contents licked up. Echidnas eat a lot of soil and ant-nest material when feeding, and this makes up the bulk of droppings.
I do hope the echidna is eating all the jack jumper ants at my place. I have actually unearthed a few nests of ants in recent weeks, so kind of me to help them find food. In the process I have been bitten by two jack jumpers and they hurt so bad, and inflame and ache for days. One of the hidden joys of gardening. So I am very happy to have them about.
The echidna in Tasmania is common and widespread. They are less affected by the clearing of land as much as many other native animals as they can live anywhere that there is a supply of ants. Despite their covering of spines they do have natural predators such as eagles and Tasmanian devils which even eat the spines. They were a favourite food of Aboriginal people and early white settlers although they are now wholly protected by law.
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.
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.
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.
I was heading to Cygnet to catch up with a friend at the bakery. Great food and coffee. Wonderful croissants. Local fruit ice cream and sorbets so delicious made on the premises too. It was Friday, and the Cygnet Folk Festival would be starting in the afternoon. Yet the town was already busy as organisational stuff and food trucks, venues and staging were all happening all the place. My friend and I enjoyed people watching. I had my dogs with me. They were petted and commented on by lots of people.
A walk around town was an interesting experience, even though the festival has not officially started there are lots of people about and some really strange things to see
I am not really sure what the idea of this really is but as far as contraptions go it was quite exceptional. A piano that when played light flames and smokes. I might see it at night when I imagine it will be even more awesome. My friend is playing it and one of my neighbours (the fire fighter tshirt) is looking at it. (you can see joyfully for me rain clouds forming, not so good for the festival.
My dogs and I went down to a lovely dog friendly spot down on the bay, and Miss Treacle and Busby had fun racing about sniffing and marking, as I took some photos. I was sitting watching some swans and cranes landing. As well as the sun slowly sinking behind the hills.
As the dogs were running around I was listening to some music coming from across the bay. I could hear beating drums and a beautiful voice. Looking back towards town (photo above )you can see white amongst the trees, tents and campervans fill the reserve and sadly access is not permitted to the locals who walk through it ever day or go to take their kids to the play area for the weekend. Or to see the birds in the bird sanctuary. It is only one weekend a year I guess. People pay to camp here about $40 for the weekend three nights .
To the left you can see the white tents, these are for Glamping accommodation at the festival
Two photos below are looking down over the main st.
It is a pretty valley and the township is settled adjacent to a lovely bay. Mindy you being an Island it is not hard to have water near you.
The end to the day was a little similar to the beginning in that we came across another native critter on the road. This time a wallaby eating grass on the side of the road. I stopped to let it get away without any danger from my car.
It is less than three seconds it moved and got away. They can be so hard to avoid on our roads, which is why I try to travel at 40km p/h especially during dawn and dusk but also at night when they are about.
I do apologise for the quality of these photos in this post. I had to change them from a SLR camera setting to a JPEg and it seems to have made a huge difference to the shots.
I do find that in among a lot of noise and people something I once enjoyed, I no longer do. I find myself enjoying the periphery of things. After walking through Cygnet today and listening to the music and the noise, traffic and smells. I was needing to get away from it. So I was really chuffed that there was no one else down on the point where the dogs and I spent a lovely time. My CPTSD does impact me greatly sometimes. I know I am better than I have been in quite a long time. I do come home from this sort of thing exhausted and just basically spend the next 24 hours in a semi immobile state. Hard to explain to people who have not experienced it. I do feel sometimes, that it is the after effects of going out and being part of the world/community place I live, is often what stops me. My progress here is that I now know this. I now accept this is me and my life in the present time. Instead of pushing myself and doing the expected I dont anymore. That in itself is a wonderful difference. Knowing my limits, and retreating. One of my favourite things is saying I am content with the discontent.
The bumble bees were certainly out in force this morning when the dogs and I decided to get out in the garden. A bit of weeding and checking if the veggie beds needed watering. At present they are all OK, a job for tomorrow I think in the morning. All the ollas have water still in them, and the soil is still damp when I push my finger in near the plants furthermost from the ollas.
As I settled in to weed the birds that come to my birdbath and live in the garden and surrounding area, were singing, and chasing bugs. I watched mesmerised as the Weclome swallows swooped and dove one scared Busby it flew right over his head. The wrens were hoping about and sitting on the fence waiting for me to move so they could come and see what I had been doing and check for any tidbits I might have uncovered. Unlike the black birds who just come along mainly after I water and shift all my mulch and labels about. I don’t think I really mind. Lovely to have the music of nature as an accompaniment to your work.
I had placed news paper down and was going to lay my free wood chips from the company clearing the power lines. So there is a wonderful mix of all sorts of timber, leaves, bark, chopped up in it. Like many things for me if I really do not focus on something, I do some and get distracted there bye not completing the whole job. So the news papers I laid down to cover the weeds and grass has blown about in the wind we had yesterday afternoon and last night. I am not going to fret about it as I will be able to get more newspapers from my local library to lay down and cover to form paths.
I am so thrilled that the Three sisters bed is taking off. I actually picked a bean and ate it. It was a bit of impulse that I should have refrained from as it was very small and well a day or two longer and it would have been great.
Everything seems to be happy with the weather. I had to add some more climbing bean strings as there are so many tendrils they were all entangling themselves along the ground. I sat and sorted them out, winding them up the strings. The corn is growing but it seems somewhat slowly. Any ideas how I can get it taller My pumpkins which are butternuts have begun spreading. Yeah one bed of possibilities.
Miss Treacle was off doing her own thing. Busby came in to see how he could help me in the veggie garden. He decided that chasing the skinks was the order of his work to help. As long as its skinks and not snakes all is fine. They are way too clever for him.
Both the tomato plants in this bed are flowering and if you look closely you may even see some tiny green tomatoes. Lettuces good and capsicums look as if they just might shoot up. The marigold in the corner has taken off and is flowering. I put it in here to help with bringing in the bees and insects, to help with pollination.
I forgot on the previous update to show the brassica bed. It seems the cabbages have been eaten or turned up their toes. Not one out of the four I put in is to be found. The broccoli is shooting and getting tall. Even my nettting did not stop the cursed white caterpillar moth laying eggs on them. Since my garden is small I prefer to remove the caterpillars by hand. Kale in the far left corner and silver beet in the right corner I left them there to attract the moths. Ah but no!!
My method for removing the caterpillars is to run my finger over every part of the plant, looking in every nook and cranny. Often as I am doing this I will see caterpillars drop and hang underneath as in the photo above. I just catch them and squish them in my fingers. I continue looking as not all will drop off. It can be really hard to see the little blighters.
Especially when they are first hatched. This one is pale yellow but as they grow from eating your lovely green leaves they become big green ones. They can be really hard to see on the green stems and leaves. Which is why I don’t just look but run my fingers over every leaf and into the new leaves forming, where ever a wee caterpillar might hide.
This caterpillar above is larger than the previous one and is more green. We know why that is! So i squish them all. I then cover the plants with my net and fingers crossed I have removed all of these. I will check tomorrow.
If anyone can tell me what this flower is and the plant it is growing on. I was sure it was a vegetable. I thought it was one of the plants I bought home from Crop Swap. Incredible flowers.
It was a pleasant morning in the garden. Miss Treacle came in and sat next to me panting, as if to say come on its too hot out here, I need a nice cool drink and comfy chair to lay in, in the cool inside of the house. She leaned right into me and that was not enough for her. Oh no she likes to make her point. She climbed up onto my lap, and than looked up with her big brown soulful eyes, and looked directly in my eyes. Whats a good dog mamma to do?
The only thing. Inside we went. All three of us. I did a load of washing and hung it out. Such great drying weather. There is nothing I like more than having a shower and going to bed in fresh clean sheets dried by the sun. I hung all our doonas over the rails of the upstairs deck. I will feel so amazing hoping into the sun scented sheets. It makes me feel rich.
My dogs are my constant companions. I can honestly say in my early days post my breakdown, if not for my dogs I would not be here. It was very different to after my partner died, I wanted to just dig a hole and lie in the ground to be close to him. Weird thing was he was cremated. At that time it was just about feeling close.
My dogs on the other hand needed me. They loved me unconditionally and comforted and kept me going. So I ensure that my god’s (dog backwards) are loved and have a good life.
Sometimes people I know will say they would like to me one my dogs.
We have not been away from the house for a week I have been pottering in the garden always find it is so phenomenal to plant a tiny seed and gain so much reward.
Busby was limping, and I have not been taking them for a run, instead just walks on leads. No playing with his dog neighbours either.
I think we were all feeling a wee bit excited to be out and about. Even if most importantly it was for groceries. It was warm and I took the dogs for a walk at Huonville, along the river front. Huonville is right on the banks of the Huon River.
A paddle in the water to cool the paws. A long drink of water. Neither were keen to go for a swim. Partially as there were boat and the boat wash was a bit nerve racking.
Moving out of the water to watching the life of the river, well Busby is Miss Treacle is um I’m not sure what she is doing
Busby was watching the ducks swim by, and at the end a duck with two young ducklings came by. terrible photo but you can make them out.
We than went to Cygnet which is getting dolled up for the annual Cygnet Folk Festival next weekend. These beautiful crochet mandalas are stunning the wind was moving them to much to show them properly. A group of people crochet and Knit and decorate light posts, sign posts, the park, and shops with their great work. It creates quite a lot of interest and photo opportunities.
What a great morning out. The dogs enjoyed meeting up with other dogs and people on both the walks. Plus a paddle life is good.