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24 April 2008

Training Day

I've finished work for the week and now I'm free to roam around my space here doing the things that nourish my soul. Before I get on to the rest of my post I want to tell you about what I did on Tuesday.

It was my Training Day.

I booked myself into a day of training that was about the management of volunteers. I wasn't looking forward to it but as I'm the coordinator of 13 volunteers now, and I have had no previous experience working with volunteers, I thought it was a wise thing to do. I actually thought it would be a bit boring and that I probably wouldn't learn a lot. Wrong! I came away from that training day knowing a lot more than I did and with information vital to our organisation. And like all good training, it made me look at myself and how I worked, with a critical eye.

I don't want to pat myself on the back here but I believe I've made a big difference at my Centre. I've changed things for the better, made systems more accountable, expanded programs and increased the number of volunteers significantly. I am praised for my work all the time, constantly told how wonderful things are and stupid me, I fell for it. I believed my own publicity! I actually thought we'd just about reached our goal and that we could sit back and let it all take care of itself. I sound really full of it, don't I.

My training day was also attended by 20 other people from non-profit organisations similar to mine. We talked about the challenges we all face and the differing ways we used to address those challenges, as well as the previously unthought of responses offered by our trainer. It left me surprised, motivated and inspired. I discovered new ways of dealing with problems and I finally understood that sometimes, there is nothing I can do to fix something and that I just have to accept that and move on. That's a tough one for me because I always think I can do something to fix what is broken.

I have been working at my Centre for almost two years but now I feel like I did when I first realised the immense amount of good that comes from that place and how many people are helped. So now I am set for more changes, I will do more, scrap some things (and be okay with that) and fashion our responses to better suit the times and the people we seek to help.

It's all about the perspective, isn't it. When you look at a situation from a different angle, you see it in a different way. Just when you think you know something, it changes and you see more angles, greater divides, more ups and downs. But taking yourself outside your normal framework to look at something familiar, also gives you a greater understanding and shows you more solutions.

That's one of the reasons I think blogging is important to so many of us. It allows us to see what other people are doing and how they deal with the challenges of everyday life. We see things from a different perspective, we see our own situation played out somewhere else in a different way, and when the results of that difference are rewarding and cohesive, it inspires us to try other ways. Sometimes it shows us a different way to make bread, at other times we see new ways of living.

Today I'll be visiting my daughter-in-law to take her a birthday gift - a box of soap making supplies, my recipe and instructions for making soap, and a verbal promise to come and help when she tries it. I'll also be working on Shane's quilt, making a salmon mornay and Brussel sprouts (Hanno's favourite) for dinner, baking bread, organising the laundry and washing the floors. It's good to be here at home again.

Graphic from


  1. Rhonda,
    Many family members live as individuals and don't share what they know. Can't wait to learn and try many of your recipes from bread to soap. It's great to have found you I feel like you are my friend and I look forward to the next blog. Thank you for sharing your frugal life with us.

  2. All I can think is "I WISH I WERE YOUR DAUGHTER IN LAW!" hahahaha I sooo want to learn to make soap. I do have a friend here that used to make it so hopefully I can learn soon.
    Thanks for your blog you truly help so many people here in the US. I can only imagine what you can conquer in Australia. hahaha

  3. Hi Rhonda Jean :) Wow! It sounds like a wonderful training day. New ideas are so much fun :)

    Just knowing you a little, I have to say that I think you would be an excellent manager/coordinator. It a joy to read that you are newly energized for your work. Keep us posted on how it goes!

    That note about Hanno's favorite - is it the salmon or the brussel sprouts? He would be the first person I've ever "met" whose fav was brussel sprouts ;)
    Love to you, Q

  4. hello Rita, welcome.

    I hope you find your helper, Christine. Soap making is a wonderful skill to have.

    Dear Quinne, thank you. Hanno's half favourite is brussel sprouts!! weird. They go hand-in-hand with kale. =:- O

  5. Good morning Rhonda Jean.

    What a lovely birthday present, it is something I'd love to receive, especially the tutorial session!

    A thought provoking entry today. I'm back locumming at a local NHS unit today and shall be taking your thoughts with me as I stuggle to cope with all the rules and regulations that come with working for a large organisation.

    How is Hanno doing after his raised BP episode last week?



  6. Good post Rhonda. :-)
    much love
    duckie xx

  7. Another fantastic post Rhonda. I also wish you were my "Mother-in-law" :-))
    Good luck with implementing all your new ideas at the centre. Its nice to be able to see things from a different perspective sometimes.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your week in your nest.
    Steph xxx

  8. What a nice gift for your daughter-in-law. I have all the supplies and even bought a candy thermometer, but now I'm scared to try making soap. I found this little book on soap making at a flea market (for only 1 euro, yay!) but it has all these warnings about the lye that scare me. I'll be brave enough soon, I'm sure.
    About blogging, yes I agree that it can be very inspiring, but sometimes it also makes me insecure. I read and look at some of them and feel that my life is just so boring compared to those people and the houses in those blogs are prettier, they do nicer things with their kids, etc. I really have to stay grounded when I start feeling that way and remind myself I can make my life look like that too, when I only show someone 2 pictures of my entire day. I don't want to sound negative, because I enjoy reading blogs and they do inspire to change or try new things, but that negative feeling is there sometimes also,you know, feeling unsatisfied with my life and my home. Thankfully your blog is the opposite of that and makes me appreciate what we have. You're my mom's age, Rhonda, so your words are always sort of like a mother's advice to me. Greatly appreciated! :-)

    Christine from the NL

  9. "That's one of the reasons I think blogging is important to so many of us. It allows us to see what other people are doing and how they deal with the challenges of everyday life. We see things from a different perspective, we see our own situation played out somewhere else in a different way, and when the results of that difference are rewarding and cohesive, it inspires us to try other ways. Sometimes it shows us a different way to make bread, at other times we see new ways of living."

    I love how you've said that Rhonda - that's exactly why I love reading blogs.

  10. Good Morning Rhonda,

    Last night I was showing my daughters (16 &14) your ravioli that you made...Their mouths watered as we looked and read the of them saying " where does she lives and can I move in with her"..too funny...
    We will be attempting this next week (hopefully)
    ...I wish I could make soap..
    Is it really easy?
    I have some kind of fear attached to sometimes making things...and this is one that scares me because of the lye...
    What a beautiful gift to give your daughter in law...and to help her out...
    Things were not passed down in my family and I was not thought some of the wonderful skills my mother and grandmother had ( now both deceased)
    Please share with me a play by play of making soap...This has been a dream of mine for many years...
    Thanks Rhonda...
    Have beautiful day!

  11. Great post--very true about one of the reasons I, at least, blog and read other blogs.

  12. Nadine,

    Check through the archives to find Rhonda's tutorial on making soap. Its something I plan to do but I just need to find an old mixing bowl and a mould that I think will be the right size.


  13. Sounds like a wonderful workshop. I run a program for a non-profit agency, and my 4-year anniversary is this week. I could really benefit from a workshop that would help me see the chinks and gaps, and get fired up with new ideas, especially for outreach. Maybe I can find something online...thanks for the inspiration.


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