So what’s been happening?

I know I said I’d be back sooner and I wasn’t. These days my life is consumed by my work and my four legged owner River Girl. She makes her presence felt without failure.

Since May I have been much more fulfilled in my work place and am hoping it becomes ongoing. I have also completed my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. My current role is encouraging me to utilise this to train both my first and second level supervisor in improving Intranet content that I have been trained in by a skilled contractor. It has been forever that I’ve felt purposeful in a workplace and that I’ve belonged with a group of work colleagues. I’ve forgotten what it felt like. Now I don’t think about retirement every minute, only ever three minutes instead (joke).

As winter draws in, the less beach visits have occurred. Last time I’ve had an ocean dip was in April at my parents place on the Central Coast. However, my owner River Girl has ensured I get out of the house each and every day for her must have walks. If not we go to the dog park where she never ceases to amuse me. Here are some of my River Girl updates on social networking:-

Great to catch up with awesome friends and my owner got dog park visits every day!!!


My little fur baby had her first night away from Mummy this week as I warm her up for a longer kennel visit next week. I missed her.

Have a conference with my new work area, just loving it. First time I’ve felt some satisfaction and positive challenge in a long time in my place of work. Also utilising parts of my Cert IV in Training and Assessment and my boss is encouraging this all the way. They are all lovely people and the building is awesome too.

Great weekend with a great mate visiting. Been good having two great guests over the last few months River Girl learning to share her turf with another two legged being.

Ocean swim done River Girl remembering my parents and enjoying their indulgence.

I’m grateful for the sun even in 30 degree plus heat (though I’m not sure River is), for River (of course) and for my family and extended family. On this International Day of Women I want to honour the greatest women in my life, Our Lady, my Mum, My Grandma and my Aunty Nell oh and River of the canine females.

I can never imagine my life without River Girl.

Great to have a friend staying tonight, River Girl has a nbff!!

Besides a dog park walk for River and Mass, homework day for the course.

River Girl got a big treat today, a day at doggie day care and a makeover, she’s all nudie now!!! I missed her. My gosh, she must’ve been worn out at day care as she is sleeping!!


Home sweet home, great time with the parents, six swims in the ocean, seeing my brother and his family, walking my dog along the beach, seeing three dear friends and the movie my Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Also enjoyed a Turkish and Italian lunch with the parents!!!

River Girl runs faster than a Greyhound on steroids!! I’m serious!!! Ask the kids at footy practice!! Yes normally she’s pretty good when I let her off the lead however her sniffing lead her back and racing towards the footy game. So embarrassing, no more off lead at all even when it’s a fair distance from the game.

Great weekend mostly chilling out with River Girl, my entire life now. Living is having a dog own you.

And the best one of them all!!!

River Girl had an enjoyable autumn afternoon at the dog park with a few toy boys!!! She has more luck then her human!!! She also loved rolling herself endlessly in the dirt!!

So most of my weekend mornings are spent at the dog park so River Girl interacts with other dogs. She has made friends, as is her human, with other dog owners. She has even been to a doggie birthday party where the human bought treat doggies for all the doggie humans to take home for their owners. The conversation is not pressured, as we have dogs in common. It is effortless. We stand there in awe of our four legged people playing together without prejudice. I have made a friend and it turns out we share a friend in common. We had a meet up with our dogs today.

Here is the text message River Girl received.

Hi River How does 9.30 at Spence for coffee sound, oh and please bring Tara with you. Love Lilylonglegs.

River’s reply

Hey Lilylonglegs if it’s dry yes, wet rain check (wimpy human ed note) what is the address River Girl

I am pleased to say we had a lovely coffee date and the dogs were well behaved.

The best part is after the day is out, we are in front of the box, and if I’m lucky I get a snuggle.

I am about to head off on another South Pacific cruise. I am also hoping and praying to be made ongoing in my current area at work.

Project Garden 2015 progress update two

This is my third year of project garden. I began this hobby in 2013, at first reluctantly due to encouragement from my mother. Gardening is therapeutic and exciting as you see the progress of the plants.

Enjoy the pictures from my garden. No soap box today J




Beaning upUpdate taken on 30 October 2015.. Roses and bottle brushes blooming in full form, well on their way.

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and update on 2 November 2015

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Things to do to keep the glass at least half-full!!! R U Not OK?

Annual update. DO NOT ANSWER HONESTLY to an RUOK question unless you really trust that person.

RUOk day is well intended but I personally do NOT recommend answering a workmates RUOk question if you are not okay. FFS use your brains and don’t offload to work mates, they are not your friends. I know some people who have sadly fallen for the apparent ‘listening ear’ when they disclosed a mental health condition. This was a few years back and they found themselves with reports about what they disclosed to the human resources section, all misquoted and taken out of proportion to discriminate against those persons (there are a few). Some have been sidelined for any promotions and questioned whenever they get physically ill or have a bad day, others have even been deemed unfit for work.  I am aware this is NOT the idea of RUOK, but only offload to those you are 10000000% sure you can trust.

On those who are on the touchy feely RUOK question, please be prepared to be there in practical ways if you actually do care, i.e coffee, food, lighthearted mate ship. I’ve listed some tips in this link  If you are only going to tell the person to get a shrink or you’ll pray for them or think of them etc, don’t bother. A better way to do RUOK is to do a random act of kindness for a stranger or someone you don’t know well. This way the question won’t need to be asked.

Many Psychological health care providers in the mental health care profession apply a one-size fits all approach to mental health complications. For some of them it is as if every recipient with mental health complications is a textbook category and can be fixed the same way. This is most unhelpful and insulting to those who are fully functional and do not appreciate being put in the same box as someone who justifies domestic violence by excusing them on mental health grounds (an extreme category but is known to have happened).

My view is if you are not coping; undertake an action plan that will work for you. If you are a Catholic, a good book is a Catholic Guide to Depression by Aaron Kheriaty. I personally do endorse this book as a Catholic for a guide to deal with my own health issues that do not conflict with my faith. I also recommend the Surviving Depression series by Sr Kathryn Hermes FSP Coincide this reading with a health professional who is a match for you and you feel comfortable opening up with and respects your faith and values. Below are some (not all) strategies that have worked for me.

  1. Take dog to the dog park
  2. Go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (instead of meditation or other new age dribble)
  3. Do quiet random acts of kindness
  4. See family or family loved one at least every two months
  5. Plan ahead with Canberra winters. The June – Sept period when seasonal affection disorder and colds are at risk it is imperative to fight just wanting to hibernate.
  6. When weather gets warmer and lighter, garden, do more exercise and walk dog even more
  7. Plan Christmas and Easter well in advance – do not take the risk of being isolated on these events – even if you are a loner and comfortable on your own, it is not worth the risk at these times of year no matter what, do not risk it
  8. Keep up Spiritual Direction if you are a person of faith and ensure the provider is a match for you
  9. See an appropriate health profession who is a match but ensure you attempt to live a normal as possible life if it is doable
  10. Eat healthier, reduce sugar intake slowly
  11. Balance activities DO NOT overdo computer or telly activities – spread your activities to avoid obsession
  12. When sick (even with a minor illness) ensure others know (those who you trust and feel safe with).
  13. Keep pushing to have a regular arrangement with a church about further support i.e. to see if lifts can be provided to doctor visits and shopping
  14. Keep a journal write in it at least once a week
  15. Read Huffpost, Forbes and other positive articles
  16. Listen to appropriate TED talks – a good one is Superbetter and by Jane McGonigal. I ensure I play words with friends with interested family members as a way of keeping in touch and remaining connected with my loved ones
  17. Read books and guidance that will motivate you with a tough love approach, money may prevent formal studies but the library is free!
  18. If you find any of your relationships are around toxic people break ties, no ifs, no butts, wipe them. You can do without them. Don’t even give them a reason unless they ask and be diplomatic and only provide a bare minimum reason and LIVE!
  19. Do a list like this and have it in a easy to access place to read when in a melt down moment!
  20. If in despair, aswell as calling the life line numbers, remember what kept you going in the good times, for me that is Grandma and several Aunties who I remember fond times with in my childhood along with my dog and younger relatives who often make me laugh
  21. Avoid hoarding, if you are a hoarder, declutter, sort into rubbish and charity donations, this is great therapy. Become a minimalist.
  22. Play chorewars, keep your house tidy and calm as a game
  23. Dip into the ocean wherever possible, nothing is more relaxing


River Girl and Me 18 months later

Yet again, I’ve been absent. I’ve encountered more writers block. Excuses, I’ve been blessed with more of a normal social life these days thanks to River Girl and my regular visits to the dog park. This has been life changing. I’ve met some real friends who have become far more than just River’s friends other humans.

River Girl and I have been a duo since November 2015. Since that time I’ve watched my own mother die, on 3 May this year. There are no words to express the significant loss. I’ve lost a rock in my life who has always been constant, forgiving and reliable. I’ve also had to change areas at work, for a time I didn’t know if I would actually have another role lined up before my current area (that I have loved working in) contract ran out. Thanks to the dog park, I had networks who supported me and my unpredictable temperaments during the loss of my one and only Mum and letting go of a job I have loved and felt respected in.

Other avenues have opened up, to get in practice for one day having a sibling for River Girl, I now do dog sitting via Mad Paws, you can book me via their website .

I have also had a few clients come to me to mentor and draft up their job applications for entry level positions within government agencies and private sector. This gives me the opportunity to empower others to show their skillsets off with more confidence. It is rewarding when they come back to me to tell me they have won interviews.

I start a new chapter on Monday in my daytime job, which will enable to me to utilise my Certificate IV in training and Assessment and the skills I have gained from working with SharePoint the last fourteen months. It is a big sigh of relief to not be facing possible unemployment in the near future, that I feared my happen as a result of redeployment. Thankfully, that chapter is closed and I intend on it to remain closed.

Through all these adventures, some very sad, especially losing Mum, River Girl has been a constant. She jumped into my heart and sometimes even the bed!!!! #missyoumum

If you want assistance with your job applications please contact me.