What is unconditional love?

Things I learnt from having had a truly unconditional relationship of 11 years that ended in my partners death. My partner was quite a lot older than I am, and he had retired early, (he was not rich so please get that thought out of your head). I was working full time shift work. I eventually realised if I worked Friday and Saturday night 10 hour shift, I would earn more money doing those two shifts than working full time. So as a couple we were in the situation we spent five days a week together. Two apart.

In the early days during a disagreement when something I thought my partner should have known automatically to do, was not done, He told me he was not a mind reader.
I realised he was right! I had not asked him to bring in the washing or do the dishes what ever it was, his mind did not work or see the things the way I did.
That was wonderful, as I realised that was exactly what I was expecting him just to know. Know everything.

Know Birthdays were important to me, his family not such a big thing. Christmas was also but I changed overtime and accepted that it was about being together not what you spent or gave everyone.

I learnt over time if I encouraged/forced him to come with me to something he did not want to. I would not enjoy myself either as I would be more focused on him, knowing he was not enjoying himself and would rather have been at home. So it made much more sense to respect him and his choices. We both enjoyed ourselves just not necessarily together, and he always enjoyed hearing how my evening went. Respect.

My partner also never discouraged me from doing or going to anything I wanted to or had to, some he chose to come too. Others he chose not too.
If I was going to friends he would say if you drink too much ring me and I will come and get you. Regardless of the time, He would do this for me, so I was not driving over the limit. (two occasions in 11 years, I am usually not a big drinker).

We made an agreement early in our relationship, I would keep my fringe/bangs, and he would never grow a beard or moustache.

We talked honestly and openly generally. I did not realise while we were together that some of my reactions to situations were due to anxiety, so he never knew that I experienced it. My depression was basically non existent. I had normal ups and downs, yet he knew I had, had depression in the past and that I had tried to kill myself.

Trust is only as good as the realtionships communication I believe.

Finances can be an area that causes problems in relationships.
We both had access to each others bank accounts, and shared paying the bills for the house. If there was a need for a deposit and I had more money at the time accessible than he did it might take a bit but he accepted that it was just the situation for that moment and it would play out that neither of us were out of pocket more than the other. I bought my own vechicle and maintained it, and he his.

Neither of us wanted children we both made that clear in the very early days.(His two children were grown up). We both wanted a dog, and I had a cat who he adored and he was adored by the cat. In fact my cat was asked to move in and the only way I got to spend time with my cat was to visit the man! I never officially was asked if I wanted to move in. It evolved.

It took a while for me to realise that because my partner needed to do things his way and I mine, it did not mean he did not like the way I did things and vice versa, it was just different. I did not try to change him because I was certainly not going to change who I was. He never told me what to wear, or not too. He never criticised me, manipulated me, put me down, or belittled me. He never talked in a negative way about me to anyone else.

I had never had that before, and as I am basically the sort of person who will tell you to your face or check out things with an individual rather than listen to gossip. I was the same. I find it distressing when a person in a relationship that is supposedly a good one, says to me something that is belittling or judgemental or not nice about his or her partner/spouse. It makes me wonder about the truth of their realtionship sometimes.

I will say we both embarrassed each other but never intentionally.

I did tear some trousers and shirts that were threadbare so he had to get something new. I was concerned that they would rip while we were out somewhere. I had told him I could see the pattern of his underpants through the trousers that I was going to do this and he did not believe me. When it happened in front of him happiness was not in the fore of his emotions, He was resigned to this. We did laugh about it eventually. He went and bought his own clothes. He was happy with them. That is the thing. I would never have tried to change how he dressed (just did not want to see him exposed) or who he was. I fell for him, as he was, warts and all just not exposing himself in public..

I do understand their are realtionships that are bad, where people are not happy, or are being abused in all sort of ways. People in these situations have to make decisions for themselves. I encourage you to think about seeking help. I do have my own opinions and feelings about these situations. I am not a counselor.

I grew up on fairytales and romance, wonderful friends for life stories. Reality is not like this. A true relationship that is mutual and unconditional be it a friendship or a romantic one is perhaps not equal in all ways. There is always differences, and preferences but communicating and honesty without malice, with respect, earning the trust of each other, being non judgemental, has to be coming from both parties equally in the relationship.

We all know the lustful in love days of a relationship are over in a short time. All sorts of things will erode those times. Work, family, sickness, finances, it is how you move on and accept that unconditional love is more than those early throes of being in love.

My partner was not perfect and we did fight, I am also not perfect. Yet having someone who was thoughtful enough to think to turn my electric blanket on half an hour before I was due home an hours drive after a 10 hour shift that is love. Doing it every week is unconditional. No matter what the temperature was going to be as he knew I would be so cold from being tired.

Unconditional love is being able to accept and laugh about the fact you just ask your partner to do the washing up before you get home, or bring the washing in, and neither is done. As bad as it seems the fact he meets you with a cup of tea and a big hug and smiles goofely;saying oh You are home earlier than I expected. I was not delighted by this, it never changed

We had no real secrets and we shared as honestly as we could. I tried not to influence him to much about my family as we both welcomed them when ever they wished to visit, and he soon saw things about how I was treated and would ask me about it after the visit was over.

I recall a phone conversation with my mother and my partner was present hearing my side of the conversation, and my mothers voice getting louder and he could hear what she was saying. I ended up saying to her I was going to go and hung up. She rang back and I knew it would be her, so my darling man answered the phone they talked for a while, and I gathered she was doing as she always did attempting to turn the blame on me. My darling man stopped my mother and told my mother he had actually heard how and what she was saying to me, that she was never to speak to me like that again, and he understood why I hung up on her. Their conversation finished my darling man walked over to me and hugged me. He told me he loved me, and it was OK. He said he could see now what I had tried to tell him about how I was treated by her when she thought no one else would hear her. For the first time in my life someone had heard her, not believed her .

He was proud of me and I of him, he was a wonderful wood turner, and a superb dad to his daughters, they had nothing but good things to say about how he was a parent, and I could see how he was so proud of his girls and loved them. Yet he was not looking at them with rose coloured glasses. He just accepted them as they were. He worried about them, and would offer help but in the scheme of things they were adults and they had their own lives to live. The girls knew he was there any time they needed or wanted him, and we would be there as quickly as we could be. In what ever capacity was wanted or needed.

One thing people seem to find difficult in the unconditional love concept is that while there are no conditions in these unconditional love relationships they do have boundaries. A healthy understanding or your own worth and what behaviours add to it and what devalue you, is what a boundary is.

“I love my partner unconditionally” doesn’t mean you love that person with some mystical purity that transcends your everyday interaction. Instead, it means that in every interaction, you come from a place of love.

Unconditional love is not the treasure at the end of the rainbow, it is not a utopia of everything you have ever imagined, nor is it any person riding up on a white horse or a corvette, and sweeping you off to his island home, where others will care for your every need and want.

It is also not the wedding day! I have seen so many people get caught up in the romance of THE WEDDING! Forgetting the most important part of the relationship is the before and after the wedding!

The following is from the site below, I have included it entirely as from the website as it takes away my personal experiences of my being so fortunate to have had a truly unconditional relationship.
https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/five-ways-screw-up-unconditional-love-fiff/

1. Unconditional love is not an obligation; it’s a choice. Loving your partner unconditionally doesn’t mean loving—or staying—no matter what. The power to love, to give love, and to walk away from love always resides with you. If someone abuses you, or is cruel to you or your children, holds you back in life, or consistently trashes your sense of well-being, you’re not obligated to stay or to keep giving your love to that person. You may still harbor a kind of love for this scoundrel in your heart—a love that keeps a safe distance—but you are not required to leave yourself vulnerable to emotional or physical harm. Saying no to hurtful behavior is not setting a condition for love. It’s simply saying I love myself first, and I refuse to abandon my self-love to indulge in the love of another who hurts me. Some people do choose to remain in relationships that don’t bring them happiness or worse, bring them harm. Justifying this choice with the excuse of, “But I’m obligated to love unconditionally,” perpetuates powerlessness and a victim mentality. Choosing to be with a person who respects you, honors you, treats you with kindness, and enriches your life is actually the first step to loving unconditionally; it prepares the ground for unconditional love to flourish.

2. Unconditional love doesn’t mean unconditional forgiveness. Your partner does something that pisses you off—big time. Or repeats the same mistake twice, or five times. Or says something that’s, well, unforgivable. Unconditional love doesn’t mean you let it go. You can demand—and accept—your partner’s apology, but you don’t have to forgive unconditionally, meaning without defined expectations for future behavior, in order to love unconditionally. In fact, calling your partner on his or her crap, not accepting lame excuses, and refusing to be a doormat is a higher form of love than forgiving everything to keep the peace. First, it challenges your partner to a higher standard of behavior, which is in the best interest of the relationship. And second, it enables your relationship to grow by ensuring that you and your partner learn from your mistakes. Relationship dynamics do not remain static, and sometimes, the way partners interact with each other needs to shift for the relationship to improve. Unconditional love requires you not only to allow but also to enable that shift by making your forgiveness meaningful and real.

3. Unconditional love is not a kind of love but a way of loving. If you’re a parent, you know that you can love your child and simultaneously hate what that child does. Your child’s horrible behavior doesn’t make you stop loving your kid; but it does compel you to treat your child differently in the moment and respond appropriately with corrective action. So to say, “I love my partner unconditionally” doesn’t mean you love that person with some mystical purity that transcends your everyday interaction. Instead, it means that in every interaction, you come from a place of love. That place of love means you act respectfully and treat your partner as an equal. That place of love means you don’t judge or try to control. And that place of love means you don’t hit below the belt and use your partner’s vulnerability against him or her. Those are the conditions you don’t violate.

4. Unconditional love has boundaries. To understand this, it helps to understand the value of boundaries and that boundaries are not selfish. A boundary is not a condition you set that says, I’ll only love you if you do x, or I won’t love you if you do y. A boundary is nothing more than a healthy understanding of your own value and of what behaviors value and devalue you. While it is necessary in some cases, particularly in high-conflict relationships, to attach consequences (such as leaving) to the violation of a boundary, in an unconditional love relationship consequences are not needed. The consequence is the impact to the feelings of the person you love whose boundary you have crossed. If your partner knows that coming home late without calling makes you feel unappreciated and disrespected, your partner can choose not to engender those feelings in you, because he or she doesn’t want you to feel them. Setting a boundary is making your feelings known, and respecting a boundary is making a choice to respect your partner’s feelings and making that choice from love rather than fear of retribution. Failing to express clear boundaries sets up a dysfunctional dynamic in which partners cross lines and cause pain unintentionally, then suffer the angry reaction to the offense—a pattern of interaction that erodes love over time.

5. Unconditional love is not one-way. If you love your partner unconditionally, as described above, but your partner doesn’t love you the same way, it isn’t unconditional love—it’s damaging self-sacrifice. Similarly, you need to hold yourself to the same standard you expect from your partner and that your partner adheres to. Unconditional love is a mutually supportive dynamic in which both partners pull each other up to the healthiest way of loving and neither partner tears the other down. Many people get stuck in unhealthy, self-destructive relationships because they think that applying the healing salve of what they believe is unconditional love to a difficult or even abusive person will change that person into the partner they desire. Trust me. It doesn’t work. Despite our conscience and sense of morality, the human animal tends to do exactly what it can get away with. No more, no less. Your one-way unconditional love will never heal or change your partner. It will only change you into a bitter and resentful person. Demanding that your partner love you in a healthy, respectful, reciprocal way—which sounds like setting a condition but is actually recognizing your own self-worth—is the only way to improve your relationship.

I don’t know what you thought unconditional love was, but I’m betting it wasn’t this. I know when I first fell in love, I thought it was something different, and it took a long time and a lot of pain for me to learn these truths. So I share them with you as an act of love, a gift forged in the crucible of my suffering. Because love isn’t supposed to hurt. Abandoning yourself, sacrificing your happiness, stifling your true character, and giving up your dreams is not unconditional love. It’s unconditional surrender. It’s ceding the territory of your joy before the first shot is even fired. To achieve intimacy, you do need to take off your armor. But always remember, your heart is sacred ground.

Thomas G. Fiffer’s What Is Love? A Guide for the Perplexed to Matters of the Heart,

blessings Tazzie.

Happiness is…

You know as a gardener you have been waiting, the flowers have come.

The bees pollinate and you slowly watch the little green shape slowly get bigger and rounder expanding.

It seems that you are just waiting and watching for that little touch of colour,

You watch it every day become redder and your mouth starts to salivate as you imagine that flavour of your first home grown tomato the first of summer . You know what I mean.

Oh my today is it, that round red ball of flavour. I know just how I am going to enjoy.

On toast for breakfast.

YUMMO!!!

So this is a very short post cause I am off to eat my first tomato!

I don’t have a green house. Netting is coming!

darn birds

Arrrgh!

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

Echidnas and me

For any new people reading my blog, welcome. You may have worked out that I kind of love echidnas. I have posted two previous posts about these awesome animals. I am so privileged to have at least one that visits my home.

Whilst I was reading and compiling the information on the previous posts, I began to notice some interesting things about echidnas, and me. The me who has been diagnosed with complex PTSD.

listal.com

We are both happy being solitary. We can both be prickly and dig ourselves in for self preservation. We both enjoy digging in the soil, a lie in the sunshine and will spread out out to cool ourselves on the ground, we both like to swim.

They burrow in when unexpected visitors(dogs, dingos, eagles, humans, ) disturb them, and will only come out again after a resonable period cautiously to make sure the visitor has gone. Then go back to what they were doing. Me I hide behind the curtains and don’t answer the door! I wait to be sure the visitor has gone and return to what I was doing.

Australian Echidna Image @Oceanwideimages.com
Echidnas mating

They keep to themselves with the exception of mating…well no not like me I am not looking at a relationship at all. Being on my own is good. I have never had several males interested in me at any one time. I can totally understand why the female echidna prefers to be on her own. If only human babies could be looked after for a period of time and then be left somewhere and mum only has to pop back in once a day! (I know there is child care and boarding schools) I am not a mother. I do NOT dislike babies or children. This is a display of my humor!

We both prefer to hibernate during winter, but will move if we really have too.

Puggles are very cute and look cuddly but you cant cuddle them.

Puggle, (baby echidna)

In case you are concerned as we all should be not only for the loss of human life, homes and businesses, in the Australian fires so far this year, we should also think about the native animals and the rescue organsitations doing all they can to help those found injured and burnt. There is so much burnt land that the territory is not going to be able to support those that escaped and those that survive their burns and injury will be able to go back to.

This is a young Echidna who had buried itself in the ground, you can see how its spines are all one length where the fire moved over it, it has burns on its legs perhaps trying to escape it is being cared for at Wires.

Echidnas are perhaps a bit more able to survive, than say Wallabies and Kangaroos and especially Koalas. Echidnas will attempt to escape fires by going into torpor, echidnas reduce their metabolic rate and lower their body temperature. This, according to research published in April 2016, gives them an uncanny knack for surviving bushfires. … Echidnas often nest underground in burrows or inside fallen logs, which can protect them from the heat and smoke of the of the flames. In research conducted in 2013 researchers took advantage of a controlled burn being conducted by the authorities in woodland south-east of Perth in Western Australia. They identified 10 short-beaked echidnas living in and around the area that was due to be burned. They had tracked 10 echidna that were found with in the controlled burn area, fitted them with tiny GPS tracking devices and monitored them prior and for 31 days after the controlled burn. (source) http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160513-when-confronted-with-a-raging-wildfire-echidnas-go-to-sleep

However, while this chilled-out approach to wildfires may well give echidnas an edge, it does not work every time.

This #echidna caught our eye straight away, what an odd sight – what could have happened to its spines? But apparently the bushland around where it was seen had recently been controlled burned! EchidnaCSI @echidna_csi




During their study, Researcher’s team found three echidnas that had perished in the blaze. One was an animal they were tracking, which seems to have dropped into torpor inside a fallen log that caught fire.

Previous research has shown that echidnas can wake from torpor and move off at speed when threatened by smoke. In fact, another echidna resting in the same log woke up and fled – but its companion was not so lucky.

It is not just Bush Fires of controlled burns that impact Echidnas. Human day to day activity does. Echidnas being hit by cars and earth moving equipment digging up or flattening burrows, forestry, increasing populations moving into the bush as towns increase and tree changers move.

Catastrophic fires, the worst drought in history and record high temperatures are taking a tragic toll on native wildlife.

IF YOU DO COME ACROSS AN INJURED OR DEAD ECHIDNA (OR ANY NATIVE ANIMAL) CHECK ITS POUCH! If you can move the animal off the road, and if you cant remove the baby and its alive, contact your wild life rescue service.

Keep the animal warm: Keep the animal dark: Keep the animal quiet: Keep handling to a minimum: Do not provide food or drink.

Tazzie

Christmas Day my way.

Please do not disturb us

My Christmas day was delightful we slept in a bit, I left my dogs lying on the bed. They might open an eye or raise a head a bit I ask if they want to get up…their response if very clear, so I cover Busby’s head over and pat them both. I leave the door open and I come downstairs, I open the curtains and see what the day has install (well at least the first hour or so ), turn on internet and TV, make coffee and some breakfast .

At some point I will hear the tap tap of Treacle’s paws on the timber floor as she comes down the hall, she stops at the top of the stairs and looks down at me. She waits for Busby and then down the stairs they race, tails wagging huge smiles on their faces straight to me. So thrilled to see me and say good morning! It is how all mornings should start it is very hard to be anything but chuffed with such love and delight in seeing you. Even if they only saw me 10mintues ago when I left them it always makes me smile or laugh at their sheer passion in seeing me.

After everybody has attended morning ablutions, the dogs will lay about in the sun greeting the birds, any neighbours walking by. I get my coffee and food if I have not already had it sit watch the news, and think what I must do today.

Next is the dogs favourite thing, their run. I get in the car, they race off up the drive. Busby is so good he looks for cars coming up the road. Off we go they run stop sniff, pop over to tease the neighbours dogs that they are free, and mark around their letterbox.

Onward up the hill sniffing spot and tracking scents, sometimes darting into the paddock I drive very slowly so they will catch up and pass me. The dam is always a spot that needs more sniffing. Often their is some extra special flavoured wallaby poo, that is enjoyed by both of them. Even though they have passed many this one is it! Further up the road we go. It is rare that we come across any other vehicles. We are known by everyone who lives here and the postman all know my car and slow down as they know my guys will be near bye. It always makes everyone smile to see them.

Past the pugs house who looks out the window and tells my two get off my property, don’t pee there ..I told YOU NOT to DO THAT. We pass by and he settles again. To one of their favourite spots to really stop and sniff and wonder in another drive way then off again up off the road into a paddock behind huge old pine trees sniffing and letting others no they passed this way.

We finally get to the journeys end where we stop and see if Busby’s bro Toby is home, and Miss Treacle’s man. Today they are both in luck. The gates are opened and Toby joyfully comes out and licks kisses and chews Busby’s mouth and ears, Busby looks so deliriously happy to see Toby, off they go into the paddock playing and licking and having fun.

just love each other

Miss Treacle sits waiting and I can see her looking towards the silhouette of her tall dark haired paramour, as he tethers the gate so it stays closed and he moves towards her and squats down she goes unashamedly and jumps up in his ready arms to be held and petted. It is a beautiful moment.

Miss Treacle just loves Cuddles with my neighbour

It always makes me smile to see the connection my dog and my neighbour have developed. This is the dogs time, and so we chat and watch the boys play and then Miss Treacle is put on the ground the boys are rounded up and we head home from whence we came. With some backward glances and Toby and Busby running along together with the fence separating them until the property boundary is where they must really part their looks say it all. This is a true bromance.

I watch driving very slowly as my two dogs are distracted by a smell on the road. I sit watching smiling as I watch, until they both begin rolling in something. Then I drive slowly near the dam hoping they will go in and have a swim, removing some of their new perfume off their fur. Along with a drink of water, to clean their poo scented breaths.

Wet coats and paws they are both now ready to race the last couple of hundred metres home. The speedometer hit 20km and they are way out in front. I let them go. We all go in our drive. Wet muddy paws and coats tongues hanging out panting tails wagging slowly they decide to abandon me in preference to lie in the sun. Which suits me as they will dry off and I can call them to the deck side of the house and brush the dirt and remove the smell hopefully.

I chopped some potatoes and put them onto boil for a potato salad to take this afternoon to the neighbours.

There is a lot of bird chatter not song, and I realise I am being informed in no uncertain manner that the bird bath is empty. I fill it, and go on to water the vegetable garden; it is warm already and only to get hotter. I water and notice that most of the seedlings I have put in are doing OK. With the hotter days they are beginning to spread and grow tall. The tomatoes in the garden are not so tall but have more flowers than those in the pots on the deck.

The corn is thriving as to the broccoli, a few of the beans have flowers already, and it seems that the capsicums have too. The poor egg plant I have moved twice has been in shock yet it is still alive and I noted a new small leaf. The cabbages bewilder me, they are not growing nor dying, they look healthy yet the same size almost as when I put them in several weeks ago. I picked a couple of asparagus and eat them as I continue to water and observe.

I hear a bird in the bird bath and look over and see a black bird enjoying itself so much water going everywhere. I notice the zucchinis and pumpkins also have a little new growth and my hope is with the warmer days this week they will begin to take off. Cucumbers are leggy one is not so good, I may loose it. There are two plants from last year that I think are chilies, they have a reasonable amount of new growth. The blueberries have not fruited as well as last year. I need to beat the birds to them. They got all the red currants, gooseberries and most of the jostaberries. The peach is looking good perhaps next week some will be ready.

The fig is growing and I still hope to have autumn figs. The passionfruit I transplanted is alive still and I followed a tip I was given to put banana skin in the planting hole, it was a good time I did it as I had two way to over ripe bananas. A bit of bash and smash the pulpy mass was spread into the soil and pushes about the root and planting area. Only time will tell. The apple trees have a lot of fruit at the moment. The plums seem to have no fruit, which is sad as they were covered in blossoms. I have a feeling the blackberries will be brilliant this year. So many flowers.

On my return inside, I take the potatoes off the stove and drain them, I add garlic sald and pepper, and some spring onion into the still hot potatoes, I mix them and add a bit of mayonaise with mustard to them stir again and I let them sit for a bit. I then place them in the fridge to chill.

I made and ate a chicken salad sandwich for my Christmas lunch it was perfect, with ginger beer on my deck with the dogs somewhere near, listening to bees working. I saw bumble bees, honey bees, and several native bees. I watched a dragon fly check out my flowers. Listened to birds singing and bathing. Watched a superb blue wren getting aphids off the kale ends of the flowers.

I than spent some time sitting in the sun cleaning my lemon and lime trees off aphids so mindful.

I had a shower and dressed in hang about the house clothes. I finished up the potato salad, called in the dogs fed them. I had a cup of tea played with the dogs outside, brushed them and we came back inside. They settled down for a sleep and I watched Netfilx. With another cuppa

I sighed feeling absolutely wonderful my first ever Christmas day spent exactly right for me. I felt no angst or guilt. I did not mind I had no gifts, since I had given none out. Yet others thought that was so sad. I need nothing! To many they will see me as mean, and sad. The truly positive and life changing thing for me as an outcome of my breakdown and diagnosis of Complex PTSD is I am strong enough right now to say no, I am growing more aware every week of what is best for me now. I have no children, my partners children are not much younger than me, and sadly my step grandaughter who I have known since the day she was born, is not part of my life as her mother requested. Christmas to my partner when he was alive was not a major thing as long as I made a fruit cake and mince pies (which he loved) that was all he ever really wanted for Christmas. To see his girls when they were available. no pressure.

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