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25 February 2008

A beginning and an end

All systems go! This is the week we move our Neighbourhood Centre into another premises. It will be a tough few days but the payoff will be working in a beautiful old cottage in a garden setting. I'm not looking forward to the move at all, but I love the idea of the new space. The removalists come on Wednesday, we have these two days to finish packing and to get the new house ready for us. I'll be working every day this week, tomorrow and Wednesday Hanno will go to work with me to help with the heavy work of removing notice boards and blinds and carrying boxes.

Hanno, Rosie and Alice waiting for morning tea.

We had a quiet day yesterday. Hanno mowed the lawn so we now have a lot of clippings for the compost heap and the chooks to pick through. We also picked five more dead fish out of the tank. We thought we turned the corner with the fish but no matter what we do, they keep dying. There are very few left now. We've decided to sell the aquaponics system. I really hate giving up on it but I can't stand seeing the fish die. It's also too much for Hanno when things go wrong. He'll be 68 this year and the days of shovelling gravel should be in the past for him. We now have our new season soil vegetable garden to concentrate on and further trouble with the aquaponics isn't part of the plan. So it has to go.

While Hanno worked away in the garden, I was busy ironing, folding and baking. I baked bread and a few simple oatmeal cookies for our snacks and morning teas this week. There were also tables to be tidied - why is it that everything seems to land on the kitchen table, and a bathroom to be cleaned. It wasn't as hot as it was on Friday, which was 40 C (104F), I think it was about 10 decrees cooler. Nevertheless, when we both stopped for morning tea, which was icy cold lemon cordial instead of tea, we took the time to relax and cool down on the front verandah.

This is the cowl scarf I'm knitting on circular needles. I'm using a really soft 100% merino wool and have just started the second ball.

Hanno continued on with the lawn after our break and I worked on my Warm Earth article; I'm writing about feeding chickens. After lunch, we turned on the TV and the fan and watched the cricket. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon - sitting there, being cooled by the fan, cordial glasses clinking occasionally, knitting and reading the paper, the dogs wander by and look at us when a wicket falls and we cheer, the phone rings, peeling vegetables in a big bowl in front of the TV, then I make dinner. It nice being here with just the two of us.

(Chookasmum) if you read this can you email either me or Sharon.


  1. Rhonda,

    Your day sounds wonderful! I can't wait until summer:) I love sitting outside on a warm night. I enjoy sitting outside in my glider with a nice glass of ice tea and a good book.

    The days will be longer in a few weeks and that means we will be able to start working in the garden soon:)

    You knitting looks great! Do you have any other crafts you will be working on?



  2. The days here too are getting longer and warmer. Instead of skating rinks for sidewalks, they've turned into mini rivers and streams. It will be a blessed relief when Winter is finally over, though realistically that wont be for at least another 6-8 weeks.

    What will you put in place of the aquaponics? That's unfortunate that your fish are still dying but perhaps a change is a good thing.

    Good luck with the move this week.


  3. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm a member of a couple of forums you are part of, and a daily reader of your blog. I live in Crows Nest Qld.

    I have been very interested in your progress with the aquaponics setup and am sad to hear it is coming to an end, but I understand your reasons why.

    Please excuse my being so forthright since you have only just blogged about it, but I am very interested in talking with you about buying your system if you don't have a buyer lined up. So if and when you feel inclined please drop me a line using this email address: crookiebub at yahoo dot com dot au

    I hope your move goes well I'm sure it will be smooth if you have been involved in organising things!

    Also, could you please post the recipe for your oatmeal cookies? They look good.

  4. Rhonda Jean,
    Good luck with the move. Sounds like alot of hard work, but worth it.


  5. hope your move goes smoothly-bummer about the aquaponics but sometimes you gotta cut your losses and move on, huh? love the pics of your doggies...

  6. Hello Rhonda,
    good luck with the move. The new place sounds lovely.
    I don't envy you the heat but the lemon cordial sounds great.
    What a content immage of Hanno and the dogs.
    Warm regards Julie.

  7. Hello,

    I've been reading your blog for about a week now, and I just wanted to let you know that you've really inspired me. Today was grocery day, and the first day we used reusable bags instead of plastic. So thank you for sharing your wonderfully simple life.


  8. My personal theory about why things end up on the kitchen table is that it is the largest horizontal service in most houses (with the exclusion of the bed which you would have to walk farther to get to just to pile stuff on it). In our tiny apartment I am fighting a constant battle against clutter on that table but oh well.

  9. Rhonda, What a lovely afternoon! The whole day sounded quite nice though with just the two of you together with your cute dogs. So sorry to hear about your fish dying off...I've asked around and no one seems to know what might be wrong, sure wish you could find a solution to the problem. I thought you might like to know my theory about the kitchen table being the place where everything ends up. I'd almost bet that there are hidden magnets in your table top and in anything that comes close to your table...and so of course everything just 'links' magnets!! LOL
    Our days are getting warmer but the forecast is for some light snow tonight or maybe rain. It's kind of chilly from the wind now, but I've seen a robin in the yard and some of my spring bulbs are peeking through the ground! Good luck on your move at work...the cottage sounds really lovely.

  10. Hi Rhonda Jean :) I will be thinking of you and praying that this week will be very productive and joyful!

    So sorry to hear about the fish. Love, Q

  11. Oh what a shame about the fish Rhonda, I've been following your progress with great interest, although I understand why you'd want to be rid of it. Your cookies look divine :-) Cheers, Julie

  12. Rhonda, I'm sorry to hear about the aquaponics system. That was the thing that initially brought me here if you remember. Hope all works out well with your move.

  13. Hi Rhonda,

    After starting a blog about my return to simple living I had a scout around the Net looking for others that I could relate to. I found you and you are, without a doubt, the most inspiring of them all. In fact, I spent almost one whole day when I was laid up in bed, just reading over all your old posts and didn't get bored at all.

    Good luck with the move.

    Sharon J x

  14. Hi Rhonda,

    I thought I saw a recipe for shaving cream amongst your archive recently but I cannot seem to find it again. Was it on your blog??
    I would love it if is was.

    Thanks Joanne

  15. Such a quiet, serene image you paint for us! I am a home body and relish simple, quiet days and nights at home! Am sorry about your aquaponics system! I guess that is how it goes when we try to do as much for ourselves as possible. We roll with the punches and figure out what works and doesn't work. Take care!


  16. "Removalists"--what a lovely way to say "movers." I love traveling the world by blog. :)

  17. I enjoy hearing about other people's days and yours sounds wonderful. Your blog is just so lovely!


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