blessings to You. Tazzie
A day road trip
It was a relatively early start this morning for us. I had an appointment at 08.30am. I had another appointment later in the afternoon and made the decision to take myself and the dogs on a bit of an adventure. We had heavy rain and wind over night which was fantastic, as it is very dry. We had some road works on the Huon Highway, yest folks this is a major highway. Yes folks it is two lanes from Huonville to Cockle Creek. It is narrow and winding. It has log trucks b-doubles on it, and huge semis. with no over taking lanes between Huonville and Geeveston, Country roads, bliss.
Port Huon was once a busy trading port for the international transportation of the Huonvalleys superb apples and tinned products. I know of someone who spoke to me of recalling after the 2nd World War, as a child in Brittain, he had a big tin of apples on his Mother’s shelf in the pantry. She told him that they had come all the way from Tasmania In Australia. Little did he realise he would end up living near where these apples had come from.
Before the road was put in from Hobart to Huonville people and goods used the river to move everything to and fro, including themselves to and from Hobart.
I pulled into the Ship Wrights Point Recreation Grounds near Port Huon. It has a childrens play ground, camping area, I think BBQs and undercover eating area as well as toilets. The Huon Sailing Club is here too, sailing on Thursday evening during the sailing season.
There are areas that are dog off lead, so it is a great spot for my dogs to stretch their legs and do what they may need to do. As any responsible dog owner I carry poo bags and make sure any my guys do is picked up and put in the bin. Busby and Miss Treacle love it here so many incredible smells and places to run about on the waters edge when the tide is out.
I have been here numerous times, and this is the first time I have come across people fishing, though no one had caught anything up until this point, I am not a fisher person, and plead ignorance to if this is a good day with tide running out to be fishing or not. There was another young couple but they were just packing up.
The photo above is looking towards the ocean, the photo below is looking towards the head of the river sort of. Where we are here the water is salty, the Huon River is tidal. It can get quite wavey at times in the wind. We do get dolphins up it and I have heard people have seen whales. I have never seen whales but dolphins and seals yes.
From somewhere near Huonville the river becomes fresh water. So you can catch quite an array off fish along this river.
Busby and Miss Treacle were a bit too interested in this man fishing fortunately he was kind and enough to say hi to them and not cast while they were near him. I did move them away rapidly though, I don’t like them being a nuisance to anyone.
Like many places sadly our river has become home to Acquaculture industry and whilst they have improved some of their activities in more recent years, there is still an awful lot of rubbish that ends up in the water and oceans because of their activities. For years locals complained to council(not their role, government not very interested, marine board aware but no money from government to pursue and hard to prove which company was responsible unless obvious). So much was being found that people were submitting data records locations photographs and taking it home and piling it up to show how much was being left in the river and on the banks. The marine debris hotline I assume with funding from the organisations involved is the result. I do have to say I have seen one companies huge vessel actually stop and pull up debris on it way into port. Small things, but better than in the past.
This boat or one so similar seems to be moored here every time I come to Port Huon and stop. It is a location I like for shooting photographs.
The Huon River, is salt water at this point it is tidal and under maritime regulations, close to Huonville it is a fresh water river. It does look like the heavens were about to open at any moment but they did not for a few hours. It was sultry and so humid. Ugh
Miss Treacle was ready to hop back into the car, but Busby well he had other ideas. He did come eventually..
It is less than 10 minutes to Geeveston from here.
I will post more of our trip perhaps tomorrow. It is always good to leave the house for a while, and mix a bit with other humans.
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.
I live out of town and you have a wonderful community of neighbours is a wonderful thing and you are fortunate that the communities in all the towns in the Huon Valley have a lovely community supporting each other in times of difficulties as we here experienced last year with fires. Unless you live in such places I do believe that it is extremely hard to imagine what it really means to the people who live there. I feel for the communities that have had fires wreck live buildings but know that for most the community will be what holds them together and what keeps many living in the areas and rebuilding home, business schools and their lives. It is hard not to write my blog and not write about what is happening to so many people on the mainland.
The problem with any disaster unless it impacts you, family, or friends, our lives go on. I look around and know that the only things that matter are my dogs and me. I worry about the animals, and plants. However I can not allow myself to remain at home and listen to the radio and watch the TV sharing the unprecedented horror. I have to look after myself. Or I will sink into that darker place of hopelessness and helplessness, where I held down in depression.
So I loaded up the dogs on this gorgeous blue sky day and we headed for the Cygnet Markets.
As mentioned in a previous post the town is being dressed up in preparation for the Cygnet Folk Festival next weekend. There seems to be a bit of a theme with the decorations this year. 2020 Vision Cygnet, View with Action Can Change the World.
The dogs and I wanted to share more of this lovely small town with its shady park in the middle of the main st. It has a single street of shops that runs for about three blocks.
Langoona is an Aboriginal word that means swift. ( Yet it is also used in the somali language for fight.)the interesting things you find out with the internet. Of course it would be swift.
The Cygnet Bakery wood fired sour dough breads several great varieties baked in a woodfire (the curved brick work is the over) also sells great croissants pastrys and doughnuts, salad rolls, pies sausage rolls, cakes. Coffee.
There are many lovely roses about the town. With the Catholic church having a beautiful rose garden.
More creative work on the 20/20 vision theme outside a old home now a small artisans workplace and sales area at Balfour house Main Rd Cygnet.
Photos below are of an old bank building in the hear of Cygnet which had a managers residence above it. It is now a clothing shop a cafe dog friendly with delightful garden, a weaver who grows her own alpacca wool works in a studio out the back and their is a luxury B an B. all make up the Cygnet Old Bank.
It is a welcoming place, that has grown and evolved as more and more people are choosing to move here.
Its a dogs life
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.
Summer has arrived finally.
I went into a small town near me today, as I needed my medication filled. I was also putting out there, that it would be nice to have a conversation with someone I know. I love that so often things happen for me when I put things out there.
I took the dogs for a walk dropped my script in to the Chemist, bought some things I needed and decided to have a coffee. The cafe was full of people sitting outside, whom I knew and hoped I could chat with. I sat with my dogs at a large community table, everyone left over a few minutes.
My self talk began, oh gee nobody wants to sit with me, or likes me! When I am really unwell I might fixate on this and think really negative things; what I might have done, said that has made people want to avoid me, have I talked to much, been invasive, too loud, have my dogs annoyed them?
Fortunately today I was able to turn that switch off and knew that Yoga had finished 20 minutes ago and most of the people had been to yoga. That it is the silly season where most people have so much to do. It was good to be able to not ruminate and realise it did not matter anyway.
I sat enjoying my coffee, looking at the world passing me, everyone caught up with their own lives. I realised how fortunate I was to be able to be comfortable on my own sitting in a cafe, enjoying my coffee, observing all that was going on around me. I watched with delight as a sparrow flew down onto the table and began to clean up the crumbs. Its movements were so cute, and it had no fear of me or my dogs. It even hopped down and moved about Busby no fear. I was being caught up in being mindful, and enjoying it.
A shadow crossed my vision. It was a man I know, we have talked quite a few times. He has PTSD and was an alcoholic. He actually owns a house but at times having neighbours too close, he prefers to live in nature. So will camp out in the bush. His appearance is different, he is quite aware that many people see him as a derelict. He is not. He owns his home. He is not destitute in fact he is financially secure. He has university qualifications and has been involved (in a professional manner) in some horrible tragic episodes in his work here in Tasmania.
He stopped and said hello and we ended up sitting talking for over an hour. It was interesting, and I enjoyed our conversation. I was aware of many people who would say hi to me as they walked by or came into the cafe, yet ignore him. It can be hard enough being different in small town, add to that having a mental illness, and appearing different, it His clothes were clean, he was dressed in a hoodie with it up which was unusual as it is a warm day here today. I have never found him to be anything but a kind and considerate interesting person.
We were talking about how the world seems to be in turmoil and so full of negative bad feelings and vibes. He shared that for him it is the very time to be appreciative and look at all the positive things about us. We covered quite a few topics, and I really enjoyed our chat. It was just what I needed. Love it! I consider him a friend.
My dogs who had been very patient were happy when I said goodbye and finally moved off. We walked to the Chemist to get my medication; to get some fresh free range local eggs from our local wholefood shop(where many products are sold cheaper than the large national chain grocery supermarket)! Plus it saves petrol to shop locally.
I noticed that some of the guys from the Men’s Shed were returning the Little Free Library they had originally built it and it needed a bit of tweek, so it had been missing for a couple of weeks. It is lovely that it is back in time for all the visitors who will be coming to visit our beautiful valley. I often take a book and bring others back. I also love my State Library. Both great ways to get books to read without costing a cent/dime. Out libraries are amazing with free internet, story time for children, activities in the school holidays, stuff for adults as well. So I stopped to have a browse and took two books. I am so glad that the new medication I have been on for a few months now has given me more concentration so I can read a more involved book than I have in the last few years.
It was getting hotter and my dogs who had been so good were panting after our walk it was almost noon (daylight saving time) and it was time to head home. I looked at my gorgeous companions and decided that a swim to cool off was in order. So on the way home we stopped at a lovely local spot for a paddle and for Busby to fetch a stick that I would throw for him into the water.
Treacle is more a paddler, though I did take her out of her depth a little way so she could swim back in. Good for her back. I am pretty certain that it is not her favourite thing. She is a treasure though and swims and waits for me to come out.
Busby is always a bit tentative at first of swimming out of his depth. No exception today. Even though I was in the water too. I had hoped this would help him but it didn’t. I had not planned on a swim today I was in a dress. I did not let it stop me from a refreshing swim in I went fully dressed.. Busby eventually did come in and had a ball. He always lets me know when he has had enough, he takes the stick and hides it. Too funny.
The week has been improving each day. I have been out and watered the garden and my deck plants, it is almost 20:00/8:00pm and the temperature remains at 26.3dC/79.34 this is so unusual for Tasmania. Compared to South Australia where Adelaide its capital city was 43.7dC/110dF and a rural town called Ceduna which reached 47dC/116dF I am quite ok with the warm night we will have.
Sydney and Canberra are forecast to reach 40dC tomorrow. Adelaide 44dC tomorrow and 45dC on Friday.
Where as in Hobart tomorrow it is forecast to be 23 and 33 on Friday. It is very strange weather for this time of year.
I am very happy with the sunshine and warmer to hot days, as my vegetable garden is starting to respond finally. Things will be late this year.
I feel for people in the areas with such heat. Fires in NSW have burnt an area bigger than Wales! My Thoughts with the fireies who are and have been fighting fires across the Mainland and here on the north east coast. All the incredible volunteer bush and country brigades. The people who have come from overseas too. Thank You for giving up your Christmas to help us! It was our turn this time last year to be surrounded by fires and smoke impact. So I truly understand what you are dealing with.
I am Finally a trend setter!
I find it an interesting thing that people are selling up to have a simple life. How it will be a wonderful thing, that changing their lives will be the most incredible thing and to live simply will be so easy. I do hope that anyone considering the simple life really examines what they expect and want or need in their new simple life.
What is the simple life really?
I do not believe it is the picture that is out there in many peoples minds. Yes moving and growing vegies, chooks and other animals, living off grid maybe, which seems to be the concept seen most as the ideal of a simple life is not my belief of what a simple life really is.
Living a simple life is to me learning what is really important in your life. Looking at all avenues, and for some people it may be just learning to stop. and just be, comfortable in the stillness and quiet for a few moments. It seems to me that a lot of people are just not comfortable with doing nothing for a few moments. That to me is beginning a journey towards what you want your simple life to be.
I did not choose the simple life, it chose me through circumstances.
My home is not a simple home. My partner built it, made out of timber and metal roof, simple building materials the architecture and inside is all his. It was built on a shoe string and he was environmentally aware and passionate about native wild life. So it is surrounded by tall eucalyptus trees and Blackwoods. All the windows are recycled as in second hand and are varied sizes and shapes. It shows its vintage being built over 32 years ago.
It has been my home for 20 years 10 without my partner who built it. It does not have any granite, marble tops or tiles. The bathroom today would be considered very basic. with its unmatched toilet and sink and bath colour. (different beige’s) It has a shower with a simple shower head. It has a bath, I would like to replace as it is a 3/4 bath and even I at 157cms /5’2″ am unable to fully immerse my body under the water. without my knees sticking up or my feet over the sides. I dream of a deep and longer length bath. (I cant afford to so I have a relaxing bath with my knees up out of the water or my feet. The house has the luxury of two toilets one upstairs and the other in the bathroom downstairs.
I do not use hot water upstairs as it wastes too much water to heat it. So my morning face wash is in cold water and in winter it is very refreshing. I think many people would find this really strange.
For people like me totally reliant on tank water (rain water collected into large water tanks 9300Litres/2100 gallons X3), you get used to be really aware of how much water you use in all aspects of you home life and garden. As in wastage for hot water to get to tap upstairs, and only flushing the toilet when necessary..there is a saying here ‘If its yellow let it mellow if its brown flush it down’ . Even though I do have the water saving half flush toilets. This saves a heap of water, and most people who have visited have been fine with it.
I have a electric pump to have water pressure into the house. One important thing when putting in water tanks is to have a tap fitted on it, as if you have blackouts the electric pump wont work and you can get water from the tanks still to flush the loo (toilet), make a cuppa, and have water to drink.
My Kitchen is simple and was very cheap in comparison to commercially built or kits. Built out of solid timber by my partner with solid timber tops. Considered luxurious today. Shelves instead of cupboards above.
Bottled Gas is used for cooking and instant hot water. Grey water is removed onto my land via French Drains. Black water is treated on my property via septic system. I use wood heater for heating, and fans for cooling. I have electricity, I once looked at the cost of solar, it was just too expensive for me as my quarterly electricity bill is generally very low. September to December was $165. I use approx 3.200 kwh a day.
My home has three bedrooms, and a storage room laundry that is huge. Two bedrooms I very rarely use, and the storage room and office/workshop apart from using the washing machine and my freezer not used much. I could happily live without them.
I live in a rural setting, but you can certainly have a simple life in a city or town, with a garden or without.
All our furniture is second hand, bought from tip shops. Our lounge suite an old one of my fathers who did not want to sit on our tip shop lounges covered in fabric and very comfortable was not to his liking. He was coming to stay and a few days before we had a knock on the door, it was a moving van? With a three piece lounge suite (two recliners) from my father in NSW. (even though it is over 15 years ago that it was delivered the cost must have been big to have it delivered to us in Tasmania) It was his old lounge a leather one not one I would have chosen; hey, but its comfy and cost us nothing and he was very happy with his very generous gift. We were able to gift our tip shop furniture to some other folk. My white goods are all old the newest would be 12 years old. I have a TV smaller than most peoples computer screens. My mobile phone is four years old as is my laptop and that is because I got a great last tax return when I was unable to work due to my mental illness. We could afford to buy brand new everything. WHY if there was no reason too. Everything was working, well comfortable and we were content. I continue to be content with what I have.
My partner used to say if someone broke in to rob us they would feel so sorry for us they would leave us stuff.
For me the simple life is not to be confused with minimalism or frugality. I am certainly not a minimalist. I realise that I am most certainly frugal. BUT not like a lot of the frugal Facebook communities and Youtube channels, where its all about how cheap you can shop? Frugal to me is not about how cheap something is but NEED. If I NEED it I will see how much it is and work out the cheapest way to get it.
I have holes in my jumper. I don’t NEED another jumper, I can repair this one by darning it. Or patching it.
I am not a fashion or trend setter. The beauty of where I live is that you can wear almost anything and you will hardly get a second look well at least by many locals tourist may just be here to view the community. I am sure there are locals who look and judge, that is their thing to bear.
Me? Well I am all about comfort, and simplicity. I am aiming to have more natural fibres in my clothing. (mainly as I can compost them). I can knit and I can sew. My PTSDC at times means I can’t concentrate or complete things which for the time being makes both of these things too difficult. I am working on that . I do without nothing and desire very little. I am working out how to save to fix my kitchen tap I broke, its been a while but I am managing without it working properly. The beauty of not having a credit card is I can only live within my means.
I have been in the past caught up with buying cheap clothes. Yet I have clothes that I paid maybe three times as much for that are still going strong twenty years later. Made out of pure cotton or linen that I picked up on sale; I never buy new clothes at full price. (except maybe undies as they are never on sale when I NEED them) .
Yet you don’t have to be growing vegetables, or what ever to live a simple life. You don’t have to move into a tiny home, or down size unless that is what you desire. You don’t have to move to acreage. Or to a rural area a country town. Cooking from scratch, or baking your own bread.
Living simply to me is about not getting rid of all your stuff just because that is how it seems. If you cant sell it, gift it, or donate it; it goes into the rubbish. If you have uses for it now keep it. Just don’t acquire more things. If you love fashion be more selective, buy things that will last and don’t get caught up on the latest trends.
In fact for many people who decide to live simply suddenly are buying dehydrators, bread makers, slow cookers, crock pots, preserving equipment, chicken houses and other things to make their lives simple.
That is hard work guys..to live the simple life in that manner especially if you still have to work to pay for your new lifestyle. I have an acre of land I dream of more, in reality right now it is perfect. Yet I have a neighbour who is working full time has five acres and all she seems to do on the weekend is mow her 5 acres. This may bring her untold delight, I am just trying to show that a simple life on land is hard work. With livestock its expensive. I am not the best vegie grower, but I give it my best shot.
That is another thing that many folk undertake to live simply is to leave the area they have lived for a long time. Moving is a huge thing let alone changing your entire life style. It is not always easy to make friends especially if you are out of town.
Your passions should determine how you want to simplify your life. It is a time thing. Be comfortable with what you have as you slowly move towards your goal.
For me the main thing about my simple life is using cash or a debit card. Not having a credit card! I can only spend my own money that I have now. I am debt free and own my home. Living simply for me is having a well stocked pantry. Buying in bulk when it works out way cheaper. Buying more items I know I use and will NEED when on sale. for example butter was $6.50 500gms It was on special for $4.50 500gms I bought as many as I could afford (6) and froze them. Crop swapping with others in the community, and using my library for books. It is also for me with my PTSDC being at home, and knowing for me being at home with my dogs is the best of living simply. The garden and nature. Staying at home simplifies my life so much.
I go to my local crop swap community gathering monthly, and I go to my local market every so often when I need something I know I can get. In staying home, I spend heaps less on petrol the wear and tear on my car which cost me $1000 and is 14 years old. I try to save seeds from my vegies and take cuttings from plants I like to help fill my garden in a frugal way.
In living a simple life I have also learnt to be honest with people about my finances. That I would love to buy their product as in raspberries today at the market but they were not in my budget and there will be raspberries for a while and I will get some in the next few weeks. If I miss out that is OK too. That is how I look at it. I don’t need raspberries, I would like to eat some, but right now I can not afford them. I also will have plenty of free blackberries soon available.
I do understand that especially in Australia the cost of renting and buying houses has gone through the roof. That so many people are in debt or have high mortgages or rent and in my mind you can live a simple life by looking at how to reduce your debt. I recall working out how much I was spending a week on coffee when I was working full time, back then coffee was $3.50 I would have two a day, so $7 x 5 days =$35 X 48 weeks(4 weeks annual leave) $1680 a year on coffee alone! That would have been 10 weeks rent!
I do know that I am so very well off in comparison to so many people out there, even living on my very small benefit. Which, I am so fortunate to live in a country that I am supported in a financial way. I do not know how anyone living in cities paying rent or mortgage could manage on the benefit I am on and I know that many people are not without a lot of help or becoming homeless or living in cars or couch surfing.
The more I thought about it I realised that for some living the simple life is a wealthy persons choice. You have something that enables you to change lifestyles. A property that has increased in value enabling you to sell and move to a cheaper area. For most people employment is not possible in cheaper areas, which is why they are often cheaper to buy into. For renters the cost of moving and setting up again is expensive. So I reckon if you are looking enviously at all the bloggers and instagramers Youtubers, who seem to have it all, just stop and think of the work, time, and money it has taken to get them there. If you are on benefits, and not in my situation (don’t get me wrong I have financial stress at times.) simply living is the most important thing. Is it simple living if you on the street living? or in Your car? Not likely.
For me living a simple life is normal, has been for a couple of decades. At one time it meant eating out more and socialising more, until I realised most of what I was doing was sort of ok, but I was not really enjoying it. The people I was doing it with are no longer in my life, even though we were friends. That is okay it is life, and life changes. All in all I enjoy my life now far more, because for me the simple life is about what is best for me in my situation. Not what anyone else thinks or feels you should be. It is interesting I am living now in a green semi self sufficient home a simple life am I finally part of a trend setting group?
Vegie Garden with Ollas
16th December 2019
3 weeks ago the following was written in my garden journal. It is the next planting of my summer garden. I had planted tomatoes, beans and corn and pumpkin (known as threes sisters planting) My vegies (vegatables) garden beds are basically square meter beds or about 40″ square raised beds. I do all sorts of plantings at one time I did use the square foot gardening methods and loved the quantity of vegies you could get from a small area. This year I am mixing it up a bit in how I am planting. I do plant closer together than you usually do. I also have plants in containers on my deck and have been adding seeds and seedlings into my normal beds too. (that is for another post I think).
25/11/19 The garden was calling today, blue sky and still for a while. I was not feeling like spending time in the garden as I was just feeling quite flat. I looked at my seedlings that remain to be planted out. The zucchini and some brassicas were really needing to go out, or at least into a larger pot. As to the lettuce I got at crop swap. I figured that if I was going to transplant them I should put them in the garden and not pot them up. I gathered my supplies the seedlings with the aim to complete the planting of these and not stop until most were in.
With the wind dropping off and the sunshine it became easier to do. It seems to be for me at times that just beginning is often so unbelievably hard. I have been learning to do a small thing so my aim was to plant these seedlings. There are more to go out though they need warmer temperatures than we have been having of late. I looked at the where I have a couple of tomatoes growing and thought that the eggplant I had put in the bed was being exposed to much to the wind so moved it. It and some capsicums seedlings are in the asparagus bed for the time being.
I then put the zucchinis in the bed and the lettuce on the side where the zucchinis will be discouraged by me in where they wander. I had planed to trellis them, unfortunately sunshine would have been blocked from other beds.
I decided that the brassicas needed to be put in and as they are heavy feeders, they went in to a bed with aged manure, blood and bone and two Ollas.
I keep mentioning Ollas. What are they? they are water reservoirs that go into the soil and help with watering and water retention.
My homemade Ollas are terracotta planters (I have been able to buy some with no hole for drainage in them.)and the saucer becomes the lid. You can fill the hole with a suitable filler for a terracotta pot ensure that it is a safe product for use in something in your vegie garden.
I put the pot into the bed and just the lip is sticking above fill the pot with water and pop the saucer on for lid. I mulch over them so to keep them cool. Though it is very easy to check water level by taking top off and adding water, not forgetting to put the top on and cover with mulch. You terracotta planters must not be sealed in any way.
Some seedlings are coping better than others. I am trying the Three Sisters method this year. My understanding that Native Americans used to plant corn beans and pumpkins (squash) together. The beans use the corn to grow up on, whilst the squash leaves keep the roots of the plants cool.
My dogs Treacle and Busby are my family. Throughout my breakdown and my ongoing mental health illness they are my constant companions. I would not be here I can honestly admit if it had not been for my animals. In my worst days (not so distant) there presence, warmth, love, companionship and their needing me is why I did not kill myself. For their presence I am eternally grateful.
It breaks my heart when I hear or read about people saying how can people on Newstart (unemployment benefit I am on it, in Australia.) or living on the street afford to keep a dog or cat ? For many the love companionship of their furred buddy is what keeps them going just like me. Just like me I would go without and have in the past so my dogs are fed and cared for. Yet these people are often judged. It is amazing how just having another heartbeat near you and the soft fur to pet and a warm body to hug and snuggle with is everything to me and I assume them.
I am appreciative to wake up every day now. Not all days are great but that is normal the bad days are less but I guess if I don’t leave my home it makes it less likely I will face a trigger. I find it so very hard to trust people. I can be out and friendly in small groups say at a cafe on an irregular time frame. Being around people for too long or too often, the noise, music, smells perfumes etc. Exhaust me. There are benefits to this I don’t go out much and therefore spend less than in my previous life. This is a very simple life. I can honestly say that as hard and all as it is life after my breakdown, I am thankful for it. I began living a simpler life not as a choice. It is my life. I am so grateful for the life I lead now. I have realised I am actually happy in my own space on my own. This is a huge change and it is thanks to having a fantastic psychologist who has really heard and is so supportive. It is the thing I believe is the hardest thing for those with any mental illness to find. Support and help that is pertinent to you as an individual and where you are totally heard and feel safe to share what has to be shared to
The wind had knocked over my broad beans and many were broken off. I cleared the bed and bought the beans in side. I will think about what I will do with them tomorrow. I also harvested some garlic even thought I knew it was too early. It meant the bed was now fairly clear for the next crops to go into. Silver beet and a leek were harvested.
What a feast I had an omelette with carrot, onion caramalised, capsicum, silver beet, garlic, broad beans, using two eggs and a quarter cup of milk. Started on the stove top then grated cheese finely on top(grating it finely you dont’t use as much) put into a low oven to bake gently while I had a shower, Perfectly cooked when I came out. Delicious. I paid $6.50 for a dozen organic free range eggs from the farm, my milk is Tasmanian, $4.50 for 2 litres not homogenised, the capsicum red was $1.30 and the onion red was 80 cents. I used a few slices of capsicum, about 1/4 of the onion, the cheese I buy when on special usually about $9 for 1kg (this one is Bega tasty). with my vegies which have costs involved in setting everything up( I know) these were very cheap, as all were from seeds I had saved last year.
So from being very reluctant to garden I now feel more peaceful, I enjoyed it, and always find having my hands in the soil or just weeding, does improve my mood. I do take vitamin D supplement during winter as I suffer with low to very low vitamin D levels. (common in Southern maybe all of Tasmania.) I do try to get into the sunshine and yes I do feel good for achieving what I planed and more, along with cooking a fresh healthy meal. Along with having a shower, something that embarrasses me to write but it is my truth, has been over a week since I had one. I have put a load of washing on which was very needed too. I am not a domestic goddess. I do like to cook, and bake. Yet like many things I like and enjoy I get so overwhelmed at times. Which is so strange compared to my working life when I was in charge of facilities. These are the things having a mental illness impact for me; along with my inability to fill out documents, read complex things, to organise, to commit to anything or retain some things in my head. I am so grateful for my garden and to be physically able to work in it. To be able to grow some vegetables for myself.
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