Preparing for the death of a pet.

….when I heard the words I did not want to hear, my heart broke

Preparing for the death of a pet is never easy.

When I picked Bindi up from the vet on Friday I was steeling myself for bad news but when I heard the words I did not want to hear my heart broke.

Bindi an Australian Shepherd


Bindi came into my life just after I moved to Portland, a rescue dog who rescued me.

You can read Bindi’s story here


Over the past couple of months Bindi has become unwell. Slow, unable to jump up into the car for her rides, feeling the heat, drinking more water, lost weight….

A check up revealed anaemia and an enlarge liver so we booked in for a diagnostic ultrasound. Nodules on her liver have answered the questions to her rapid decline in condition

Bindi is 10 and a half and I honestly thought she would be with us for a few more years yet but it is not to be.

I have no idea how long we have with our darling girl. The vet says days,maybe weeks. Bindi can put on an impressive sad face and at the vets was almost limp on the table on Friday. Just now she has checked the Guinea pigs with me and then jogged of with purpose to check her chooks.

Bindi meets rooster
Bindi on watch





Mason is one! Where has that year gone?

Mason has just turned one and I can’t believe how quickly the past year has flown

I have written before on the delights of becoming a grandmother and how it was like falling in love again. See posts New love and More new love. The family is growing and roles are shifting. I am honoured to watch my children morph into adults parents aunts and uncles.

I seem to move a little slower now. While the parents of the babies run around parenting I can drift along and smell the roses, build the sandcastles and hunt for ladybugs with the little ones.

The past year does seem to have flown by but on the other hand so much has happened. The babies have grown into toddlers, my career move back to Midwifery has been a happy one, trips have been taken, gardens grown and quilts sewn.

The birth of my grand babies are the most wonderful of life memories etched forever in my heart but now there are new chapters to enjoy such as first steps, learning to speak, family holidays and birthdays.


Turning one is a big deal.

I am not sure Mason will remember his first birthday party but the family sure will. There were cousins and friends, balloons and bubbles, a pinata and presents and of course cake! Oh the cake.

Barely a grain of sugar has crossed my grandchildren’s lips and for this they are blessed. Mason had his first taste of cake on his birthday and it was quite the hit!

Masons cake

Planning for 2018: What I am watching right now

What is it that kids, dogs and even horses intrinsically don’t trust?

Planning for 2018

I am a planner.

Oh, how I love to plan. I find peace and stability in being organised. Already my personal planner for 2018 is underway, some goal setting drafted and Sharpies at the ready.

My partner and I dedicated some time on the weekend with a yearly planner, post it notes and stickers to the year ahead. While we are flexible and dates may change, mapping out individual commitments, a planned road trip and weekend escapes has helped us unite as a couple and clarify each others needs.

Planning for 2018 at work had begun.

I have drafted the first few rosters, set about recruitment plans and considering the education, equipment needs and meetings schedule for the year. Today I unwrapped a shiny new whiteboard and already it is covered in ideas and thoughts better out than in.

Planning for 2018





Mostly I am excited to be organising a team planning day. Very excited. My return to Midwifery has passed it’s 6 month trial and surpassed my expectations. Despite intentions to remain professionally detached from my team, the rotten buggers have sucked me right in and I love them dearly now. I love my job, my workplace, the other Managers and the staff.

I digress…

The reason for this particular post on planning was to share what I have been watching of late on leadership as I plan ahead for my work as a Midwifery team leader.

I am totally addicted to Kerwin Rae. He is a  Sydney  businessman, entrepreneur, investor and international speaker. As an introvert I prefer to communicate via the written word. I don’t speak well unless I have written something out and planned ( see I am a planner). Kerwin speaks as I think. Every single word, his tone, swearing is a reflection of the words that run around in my head.  I particularly love this short clip: Leadership That Builds Trust.

Basically, get your shit together as a leader if you want people to trust you. Have a look and let Kerwin speak for me!

Mental health in the workplace

What are your self care strategies in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace.

Did you know that November 22nd was “ Go Home on Time Day”?  I love this. There is a day for everything these days!

Jokes aside, Go home on time day was a great excuse to not only leave when you’re supposed to but to also have a think about what we can do along with  managers and the workplace to get out the door on time consistently .

Deadlines or the occasional day with competing demands can sometimes mean we can’t stick to our normal working hours. I do not mind this on the odd occasion. However, it’s when these long hours become the norm rather than the exception that it can negatively impact our health.

I recently had 3 weeks off work from a relentless virus. I initially returned too early causing a setback and had to be very firm with myself, being still, minimising interactions and  implementing all self care strategies.

This self imposed rest and quiet time provided me a wonderful opportunity to reflect. And reflect I did: on my return to midwifery, on my role, and my vision and goals for the workplace. On life and why I haven’t blogged for 6 months.

My reflections on mental health in the workplace

I reflected that I have managed very well to develop a sound work life balance. However, some of my old habits at work have been creeping in. Coffee and lunch breaks at my desk, going home late, checking emails at home.

When I did return to work last week I set myself a goal to continue not only my home self care but also self care strategies in the workplace.

I don’t believe in coincidences. Rather I believe everything happens for a reason.

Femidist Mental HealthThis Beyond Blue post on Facebook about mental health in the workplace came at a perfect time for me. I had just returned to work following my illness and its reminders were very important.


I encourage my staff members to take breaks, to get home on time and I always try to meet their roster requirements to have a great work/life balance.

Now I have asked them to remind ME  to take my breaks! Having experienced workplace stress burnout and compassion fatigue I place high priority on mental health in the workplace.

Here are my top 10 strategies to maintain mental health at work:
  • Go home on time
  • Take my breaks
  • Walk outside
  • Delegate tasks to others
  • Do not read work emails at home
  • Set realistic deadlines
  • Ask for help when I need it
  • Diffuse essential oils to motivate or chill the mood
  • Eat properly
  • Drink my water

For some great strategies on how to manage your mental health at work, visit Heads Up:

References and link

Beyond Blue

Heads Up

Related Posts

My return to Midwifery

Self care

White Ribbon Day – Have you taken the oath?

Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society

White Ribbon Day

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day

What is violence against women?

The official definition is of violence against women is:

‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’

Wind back to 2004….

I was out shopping and the second text came “Can you get the paper?” The first I had received just 15 minutes after leaving home as he reminded me that he loved me. Oh,how sweet. Half an hour later he called. “Where are you now?”I sighed and reassured him that I was still at the supermarket, yes I had received his text, yes I loved him too.Seriously, I thought to myself. Give me some space.

Interestingly, at the time I was working as a midwife. A frequent part of my role was, recognising and responding to domestic violence.

And yet I missed the early signs myself.

One day before I went into town he was cuddling me in the kitchen, lifted my skirt and asked “What colour knickers are you wearing?” It seemed like harmless fun until I learnt that when I got home he checked that I was still wearing the same pair. “Just want to check your being faithful” What The Actual Fuck!

I was talking to a counsellor about another issue with one of the children and with her wisdom and experience she picked up on something I said and her questions shifted to asking me about this man’s behaviour towards me.

I had tried to make the session quick as He was waiting out in the car ( Oh god , is that not a red flag in itself!!) She gently but directly got to her point. “You are in an abusive relationship. This is controlling behaviour”

Femidist Lightbulb Whit RibbonA light bulb went off. I stared at her with a mixture of shock and relief. The vibration within me was my soul calling out which had known all along that something was up.

She told me “You know women take several attempts to leave. Generally they come and go about 5 times before they leave the  relationship.” I grinned at her and said “Can I walk in and out of your office 5 times right now? I am done”…… and I was.


What I learnt from this relationship was how socially ingrained patterns of male control over women are and now I can spot it a mile off.

The impact of this violence on women can be physical, sexual and psychological. For me, the low level verbal and social control I experienced made me hyper vigilant in predicting his needs, protecting the children from being yelled at by covering for them. I avoided social situations because his comments were embarrass.

Tragically violence against women can also result in death: women die from the negative health effects of violence and some are killed.

Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society. It also impacts on families, the community and the nation. As I wrote earlier this week, I see the negative consequences of domestic violence in my work as a midwife DAILY.

But what about violence against men?

Sigh . Really? This is actually a whole other post.

Of course men’s violence against women is not the only form of violence. I know violence is experienced by both men and women. All forms of violence are unacceptable.

The White Ribbon Campaign focuses on women because the majority of domestic violence victims in Australia are women, and this is most likely to be perpetrated by a man.

Violence prevention campaigns need a central focus to be successful in their mission and the White Ribbon campaign does focus on violence perpetrated against women

White Ribbon Australia engages men to highlight the positive role men can play to stop domestic violence and other forms of men’s violence against women. White Ribbon Australia tailors messaging and tools to achieve this mission

The impact of violence against women

Violence against women and their children takes a profound and long-term toll on women and children’s health and well being, on families and communities, and on society as a whole.

Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor.

Domestic or family violence against women is the single largest driver of homelessness for women, a common factor in child protection notifications, and results in a police call-out on average once every two minutes across the country.

Have you taken the oath?

There is something you ca do right now to contribute to the White Ribbon Campaign. You can take the oath that you will work towards the end of violence against women here

Family Violence by Femidist
Links and references

White Ribbon

Our Watch

Buy Swap Sell: Things that make me smile.

Shoes: brand new, never worn, just a bit scuffed.

Buy Swap Sell

Buy Swap and Sell sites have become so popular with the rise of social media that I would say they are now more common than newspaper classifieds and community notice boards. Continue reading “Buy Swap Sell: Things that make me smile.”

Protective Behaviours Australia: A personal safety program

Protective Behaviours can be used by children, young people and adults to help keep themselves safe and work towards reducing violence in the community.

 Protective Behaviours Australia

Anyone who follows me on facebook will have noticed me posting links from Protective Behaviours Australia,  a personal safety program education and empowering people to be safe in our community.

Violence against women and children is a topic close to me heart and soul and I make no apologies for my zealous contribution to making society safer for women and children.

I love the posts by Protective Behaviours Australia and will continue to share them. Here is a bit about the organisation.

Protective Behaviours Mission

… is to reduce the incidence of abuse and violence in the community through empowerment and education.

The two Central Themes of Protective Behaviours are:

Protective Behaviours




Safety, in the context of Protective Behaviours, identifies how a person feels when they are safe and how they recognise that safety. This skill is important as it enables a person to identify when they may be feeling unsafe. Safety is defined by the individual.

Protective Behaviours

Want More?

Check out the PBA website here.

Protective Behaviour state by state

Protective Behaviours News and Events


Why write about my mental illness?

Mental illness is common and does not discriminate age, gender, social circumstances, race or religion.

Why do I write about my mental illness?

As I said in my last post, some of you may be wondering why I have chosen to write and then go a step further and publish publicly my personal journey of living with a mental health issue. That is a very good question as I could have easily continued my journey privately. Continue reading “Why write about my mental illness?”

Medication errors in healthcare settings

While abbreviations can be time saving and convenient their use does not always ensure patient safety.

Medication errors in healthcare settings

Did you know that medication errors are one of the most commonly reported clinical incidents in acute health care settings? Continue reading “Medication errors in healthcare settings”