DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are over 8000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

14 May 2008

One year ago today ...

One year ago today I pressed the Blogger "publish" button for the first time and entered blog world. It seems like just yesterday but also a lifetime ago. I had been fiddling with various formats and names for about a week but suddenly it felt right and the button was clicked. I have never regretted that click.

I had two reasons to blog - one was to create a record for myself and my family of what Hanno and I were doing, the other was the hope of sharing what I knew and encouraging others to simplify. I have definitely created the record of a year's living that I wanted, it is up to others to judge whether encouragement fell where it was needed.

So this is my 565th post. It didn't occur to me to connect a counter until my second month of blogging but in the first month I had the counter attached there were 1705 visitors, last month that number was 44,473. Incredible!

I've had a lot of emails asking what makes a successful blog and I still don't know. Some days I write something I think is good and I'm quite happy with, but it will get few reactions. Another day a bit of flimsy that falls easily from my brain will create a lot of comments. Who knows what the formula is. I try to write honestly to give an accurate account of our days here, and those personal accounts are sprinkled with more formal (for want of a better word) posts that I hope will encourage and support readers in their own simple journey.

I have resisted the many people who've asked to advertise here and those who asked me to "review" their books and products. I have used an Amazon box though when I was writing about my favourite books and to my surprise I scored enough points from that to get two free books. To all those people who supported that, I am truly grateful. I would really like John Seymour's last book so I might try the Amazon box for a short time again in the future.

Reading blogs has changed me. When I discovered the blog world I was absolutely amazed at all the bloggers who were using this technology to bypass mainstream media to get their message out. This is people power at it's best - uncensored by governments, unfiltered by advertising and real. Sure, there are blogs that come no where near that definition, but you can easily steer clear of those and stay within the millions that are clever, insightful and inspiring. It has been a great encouragement to me to read about the ordinary days of other women and men who wish to live to their true potential and who show, by example, their own particular way of doing that. And in this age of overindulgence and keeping up with the Joneses, I needed to know all of you like-minded people were there, happily working away on your own lives, and that Hanno and I were not alone. I know it sounds cliched and silly but I really believe we have built a little community here. I have made real friends too and even if I stopped blogging tomorrow, I know those friendships would endure.

I haven't done a give away for a while and this seems to be a good time to remedy that. To celebrate this milestone, I will draw names from a hat to see who I'll post this little fabric picture to. It is one of my designs and is made up of applique, stitchery and patchwork. If you'd like to be in the draw, please leave your name with a comment.

Thank you for your visits here.

152 comments:

  1. Dear Rhonda,
    You are an inspiration and happiness to so many people around the world. I see this joy circling around and around, never dying. Thank you. I am just beginning this new life of mine, but I feel so encouraged by you and this whole community.

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  2. Rhonda,

    I am so glad to be one of the first to say Thank you for writing your blog! You have made me want to live more simple, stay debt-free and I am learning to stock-pile:) You have been someone I also turn to when I start watching everyone else buy, buy, buy. I hope some day my husband will retire early and we will be able to live simple and just spend time in our garden:)You have given me hope!!!

    Thank you again,

    Renee

    P.s. I really hope you pick my name:)

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  3. Congratulations on your one year milestone!

    I have been reading for many months now, but I don't believe I've ever responded!

    You have been such an inspiration to me, and my husband has loved all the changes. Last night I was making up another batch of laundry powder and he said to me "I love it when you make our detergent." I asked why and he said "Because it's not something most women do any more, and there's something beautiful about it." Who knew? :)

    I have a question for you. I want to use a clothesline to dry my clothes...but we don't have a covered porch area or any trees in the backyard to attach a line to. We're also renting our home so something permanent won't work. Is there anything "removeable" that I could use? It would need to be something easily picked up and put away for when the land lady makes a visit...she's not so friendly.

    Thanks. :) ~Kim

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  4. Hello Rhonda, Congratulations - and what a year of posts. I don't think it's cliched or silly to think you've built a community here, because, quite simply, you have. So many people drop by here - to read about your life, to learn, and also to share - the comments everyone leaves are always insightful and interesting - whether sharing another tip or experience, or a plea for help and guidance.My simple days are all the richer for having found your blog (and I have no recollection of how I got here!!). Thank you Rhonda. Happy days to you and Hanno. hugs, Diana x ps please put me in the stitchery draw - it's beautiful!

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  5. Congrats on the 1 year anniversary. You have touched and connected so many people. And now I use homemade laundry soap! Thanks so much.

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  6. We check your blog everyday and enjoy your tidbits on simple living.

    We decided to get some chickens though only to discover (thankfully before we got them) that it isn't aloud in our area! Shocking! Having said that though our garden is in preparation for June 6th planting when the danger of frost in this part of Canada is past!

    Thanks for all your inspiration!
    Lindsay

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  7. Hi
    Thank you for your kind and understanding reply to my last comment. I love your picture. Before I went back to work fulltime (to save for a house deposit) I used to do a lot of patchwork and quilting - and I loved it. I really miss quilting and it is one of the things that will be at the top of mt to-do list when I am able to give up work again.

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  8. Thanks for your "down to earth" outlook on life and living it. I am delurking just to say congrats on your 1 year anniv!

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  9. Congratulations and happy first blogday. (Dont worry I wont sing). You are an inspiration and I dont think you exagerate the community spirit which prevails among bloggers in general and on your site in particular.
    You must put a tremendous amount of work into your posts and thank you for that.
    Cheers, Eileen.

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  10. WE JUST START OUR ROAD TO LIVING SMIPLY WITH 6 CHILDERN AND 1 INCOME WE DECIEDED TO NOT KEEP UP WITH THE JONES ANYMORE. WE JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY WITH WHAT WE HAVE AND LEARN ABOUT BEING SIMPLE. YOUR BLOG IS GREAT. THANKS JACKIE

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  11. Hi Rhonda,

    I check in everyday and have almost made it all the way through your old posts (whew!) I'd love to be in your drawing, great quilt! My friend who turned me on to your blog is going to teach me to hand quilt this summer, I've been practicing stiches to prepare.

    Cameron Elizabeth Stearns

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  12. Happy birthday! (Blogday?? Blogiverary?)

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  13. Hi Rhonda,
    You have become one of the important women in my life - thank you for your encouragement and help and advice, and generosity with your knowledge; as my husband and I take our family on this journey back to a simple life.
    Rachel L from New Zealand

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  14. OOH! Pick me! Pick me!

    In all seriousness, I have really learned a lot from your blog.

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  15. Congrats on your 1 yr anniversary!

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  16. Rhonda, I've just recently found your blog, thanks to a friend who stumbled across it, and I have to confess ... I've gotten more done toward those long-time dreams of "disconnecting from the grid" since I've been checking in for your words of encouragement than in several years past. That vegetable garden I've been saying for years that we "really need" is almost ready for planting now. Next stop, chickens... ? Thank you! --Gayze in NY

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  17. I really enjoy reading your blog. I started late -- just a few weeks ago but I'm sure I will be a long-time reader. You and Hanno are truly an inspiration for me. You have found your happiness. Thanks!

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  18. Hi Rhonda,
    I started reading your blog after finding it when searching for alternative cleaning products. I'm proud to say that we use no chemicals for cleaning anymore.
    Your homemade laundry soap is truly wonderful and your bread recipe brings a smile to my husbands lips. We took your advice on what to see and do while on the Sunshine Coast in February and we loved our days drive through Mapleton etc.
    I would love to be entered into your draw.
    PS.....my Christmas tomatoes were a failure but my seedlings this year will grow into an abundant supply.

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  19. Congratulations on your 1st year anniversary. I enjoy reading your blog a lot.

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  20. Happy Bloggiversary, Rhonda Jean! I am so excited each day when there is a new post. Here's to many more years! :)

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  21. Happy Blogday Rhonda.
    Yours is a blog I am very happy to have found. Thanks for so much inspiration in the simple living quest.

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  22. The word that keep cropping up here is inspiration and its true. I read all the back posts within a week or two of discovering your blog in December/January and never tire of reading it. You have made a lot of changes in our house. I am not necessarily following specific ideas but just following the idea that we can do our own thing. There is no race, no competition, no clamour for the most toys/trinkets.
    It is my birthday in a couple of weeks and my husband today asked what I would like for my gift. I cant think of a thing. HOw can it get any better than this?
    Happy Blogday!
    Lizzie

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  23. I haven't been reading that long but I have learned so much and been so encouraged on our own journey to a simpler life. I read every day and save it for last so I can savour every word.

    Thanks,
    Christina

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  24. Dear Rhonda,

    HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY, dear !.... and many more.... :>)

    THANKS for the great inspiration you provide every day,
    THANKS for the simplicity,and for the encouragements,
    THANKS for providing us with such good advices from your own experience,

    I read your blog daily, here in my little corner of the world. It's now part of my morning routine, like reading a newspaper, especially written for me, and I always feel full of courage and joy to start my day :>)

    Very gratefully,
    NADINE from Belgium

    (and, as a quilter, I'd be absolutely delighted to win your cute giveaway... cross my fingers-and toes ! :>)

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  25. When I started on this road I didn't know about all the other people that were walking with me. You and your blog opened up a whole new world to me.Thank you so much for all the encouragement, help and friendship I have received. Happy Birthday Blog.
    Ps Please add my name to the draw for your beautiful fabric picture.

    Pippa in Cornwall.

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  26. Hi Rhonda,
    Rhonda Gay here. Have read everyone of your posts and loved them. I may not comment often but I am in the background still being inspired and learning from you.
    ((((HUGS))) to both you and Hanno

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  27. Dear Rhonda,
    Congratulations on your anniversary. As with many others on this comments list I too find you an inspiration to keep me on track to simplify our lives. We have done a lot in the past, then slowed down and got bogged in the must work,aquire syndrome again but thanks to you we are back to a slower more full filling life. Now my one question is how do we keep the pesky fruit fly off our tomotoes?
    Cheers
    Virginia K

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  28. My hubby and i are on the road to a simpler life. We are enjoying the journey and as you have said before try to do what is right for us. Its a long journey, the end is nowhere in sight but we love what we are doing and we are mindful of the fact that our love of it will take us there. More recently we have been having to think about new things - we are having a baby in December and suddenly our whole thought process has had to shift towards nappies and new clothing (though mostly passed on from others) How can we continue our lives down the simple route and bring a little one up as well. The answer; i dont have a clue yet but as with most hurdles we have come across we will work it out together. I have been blogging since the start of this year and it is a great way for me of keeping a record of our lives in Australia for our friends and family to read - even if they think the choices we make are completely bonkers!

    Id love to be entered into your draw too.

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  29. Well there's nothing like a beautiful homemade stitchery to bring me out of the woodwork ;-) I'd love to be in the draw :-) I am still here and reading every day Rhonda, but utterly bugged down with uni so I struggle to justify starting a cyber-interraction :-s

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  30. Dear Rhonda -

    I have only been reading your blog for a few months, but it has truly changed my life. I find your outlook so refreshing.

    Tasha

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  31. I think your blog is successful because of all the opinions and information in it - you make things seem easy (I never would have dared make soap before reading your tutorial) - you have also grasped this simple/frugal life with both hands instead of dancing around it and continually shopping at CVS for stuff that didnt even exist a few years ago. I think your blog reflects your life - intelligent and insightful.(also you live in a wonderful part of the world) I wish I could grow oranges and bananas !
    lizzie

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  32. What a beautiful stitchery. I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and have been very inspired from it.

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  33. Happy blog birthday! Like others here, I read through all your back posts within a week or so of finding you, but I'm going back through them again and will continue to do so as I move along my own simple path. There's always something new to learn, some new point to ponder!

    Next step for me is to make my own detergent following your recipe.

    Thanks for all the encouragement and inspiration you give us and for sharing your own simple life with us :)

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  34. I'm glad you decided to make your presence known by blogging. You've served beautifully as a beacon of sensible living to many. Happy Anniversary! Love the sampler, anyone would be lucky to receive it!

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  35. Congratulations on your year of blogging Rhonda. Yours is one of my favourite blogs, and for me you've definitely reached your goal of encouraging others.

    Well done :-)

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  36. Dear Rhonda,
    Hi and happy blog Day'I have only discovered the world of blogs 2 mths ago,yours is the one I go to daily.I want to thank you for all that you have taught me in the last 2mths,I now make my own soap,bread pickels chutney, cleaning products and so much more. I can't beleive that you haveonly been going for 12mths! For me that is exciting because imagine what I am going to learn in the next 12mths.
    Thank you for your wisdom,
    Mandy

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  37. Oh Rhonda Jean you are a dear lady. I found your blog recently and I love it because it feels like reading a letter from a friend. I love it because I enjoy learning what other women in other parts of our great world are doing and I am not a crazy woman here alone. I wish I could come visit and have a cup of tea with you. You make me smile. I also love your sewing. I would like to be in the drawing and if I don't win, would you be willing to post some ideas about how to make such a beautiful piece of art?

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  38. Hello Rhonda,

    I have so enjoyed reading about your world. It is so nourishing to the soul. I feel nourished visiting every day. There is so much in our world and lives that tear down and do not build up or encourage. Many thanks for your commitment to the truth of life. And yes I would love to be in the draw. Cheers,
    Juanita.

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  39. I know why you are a successful blogger! It is because you are so genuine and real.

    Many reach the top with much money or media, and they can present a facade. But to get the readership that you do, I know it is the raw simple truth.

    You connect to all of us all over the world. I sit at my little farm here in New Mexico(USA) and learn tips, and most importantly am reassured that I am fine even if my path traveled is not as well beaten as others.

    Thanks so much, I so feel as though you have been my unknown dear friend from afar.
    Jennifer
    doublenickelfarm.blogspot.com

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  40. Thank you so much for your lovely blog and happy anniversary! I utterly agree with you about the power of blogging. It's truly democratic.

    Here's to many more years of blogging for you!
    Janet

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  41. Delurking to wish you a happy bloggiversary! I've been reading your blog for some time now but this is the first time I've commented. I really enjoy your posts and the simple life you live is very similar to the way I grew up here in rural Northeast Arkansas, USA.

    As you say, we all can't live simply and frugally in the same ways, but every little bit helps.

    Best wishes for many more years of blogging, Rhonda.

    Diane in Arkansas, USA

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  42. Rhonda, I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and immediately became a daily reader. This is my first comment, but I've learned so much just by lurking. Your words are an inspiration.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and congratulations on your anniversary.

    Karen

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  43. Happy Blog-anniversary Rhonda!

    I'm another new reader as you know, but I'm certainly making up for lost time, reading through all of your older posts, and learning so much.

    Here's to many more years of blogging and community!
    Cate

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  44. I too would love to be included in the draw.

    It's always so encouraging to read what you have to say, especially because it does come from independant thought which bypasses mainstream media. And it's such a wonderful feeling to be a part of your community. A short while ago we had a death in the family, after which I felt the need to disconnect myself from the world for a while. I couldn't even read your lovely blog, but in the last week or so I started opening up again and I have to say that reading up on all your posts and comments really felt like letting the warmth and sunshine back into my life.

    A very big thankyou to you. Regards, Marilyn

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  45. dear Rhonda
    thank you so much for your blog. I have only been growning food for a few short years and I am still learning. My friends all think Im crazy and that because I have started to learn to quilt and crochet that I'm getting old. I'm only 41 he he. reading your blog and others like it I dont feel so alone and weird.
    thank you for your insights and wisdsom and your inspiration.
    you and others like you keep me going

    angela

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  46. Hi Rhonda,
    Happy Blog Birthday and Happy Birthday to me, so I guess that I should never forget you blogversery, I found your blog in July when I got the internet connected, through ALS site.
    reading your blog has shown me that I was not on my own in doing these simple living actions, it just reinforces that we are travelling in the right direction.
    I have always stockpiled because we are in a flood prone area (when it remembers how to rain) and we always made sure that we had enough supplies to last for several weeks. also had 6 kids who would and could eat mountains of food.
    Friends and relies always thought that I was mad because I preserved so much of our summer crops, I even do extra tomatoes just in case there is a crop failure the next season, but they all like receiving gifts of the bounty.
    My 3 daughters and 2 of my DILs are starting to head down the same path, which I love to see, and I am passing on my little bit of knowledge.
    Please put me in the draw for you lovely stitchery, I love to stitch
    Hugs
    lorraine

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  47. Rhonda congratulations on a year of truly inspiring posts. I only discovered you a few weeks ago and within 3 days I had read them all, and check in a couple of times a day to catch up. So far I have made 3 dishcloths, 8 net bags for vegetable shopping, and cut up 4 old towels for wipes etc to cut down on disposable products. I have also started knitting again and have made my first sock! and squares for a rug. Knitting has helped me overcome the tremors I developed after our recent bereavement. Thank you also for your email support during the exchange we had when I first discvovered your blog. I too wish I could pop in for a cuppa and give you a bottle of mango chutney!! Much love Julia W

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  48. Congratulations on the anniversary of your blog. I consider reading it one of the highlights of my day. Thank-you for sharing your knowledge and ideas with the rest of us.
    Blessings,
    Elaine from PA

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  49. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    Congrats on your l year anniversary! Your blog is the first one that I read everyday. Keep up the good work.

    Coleen

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  50. Thank you for writing you blog. You are truely an inspiration to us all.

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  51. Hi Rhonda, congratulations on your blogiversary.

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  52. Congrats and a big thank-you for writing your blog and helping us as we all embark on a simpler life. You keep us busy with new ideas and educate us on living a much simpler, but much more fun life! We are all the richer for having you and your wonderful blog!

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  53. Congratulations Rhonda on your 1 yr Blog versary...I call past everyday to read what u have been up to, i love stopping by, i dont comment much or dont even blog at the moment my life is too hectic, but by coming here i wind down and i thank you for that.
    Love the pic of you and Hanno

    Cheers and here's to another year

    Robin from Perth

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  54. simple life in the countryMay 14, 2008 9:57 am

    Hi Rhonda,

    Every day I am so incredibly grateful for the internet, which to me is the gateway to relationships with truly wonderful, inspiring, positive people like yourself!

    Thanks for all you do, I am starting small and have used a few of your recipes. Your posts run through my mind throughout my days, giving me positive reinforcement and encouragement as I go about my unremarkable, simple life with my family.

    Much love,

    Melissa

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  55. Rhonda,
    I am glad you are out there in the blogging world. I visit you often! You are a true inspiration.
    Thank you
    Christina

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  56. I enjoy your blog, it is great to read another woman's words that speak so much like myself. Although I do not need acknowledgment, it is wonderful to see a similar voice.We are worlds apart in miles yet so much alike. Thank you so much.

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  57. Rhonda, I'm not sure that anyone can truly answer the question of what makes a successful blog. Maybe it's just that you share from your heart and you encourage people to follow theirs.

    I'd love to be in the draw for that gorgeous stitchery. It is beautiful.

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  58. Rhonda,
    I enjoy your blog everyday. My evening dose of simple living. Your blog is the only blog I visit daily. Your always giving such great ideas and advice. My husband and i have always lived very frugal and simple. When others think we are crazy you put everything into perspective. Thank you for all your hard work.
    please add my name to your drawing. I would love to display your work in my home. I love homemade things. thanks
    mandi

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  59. Oh what a sweet little stitchette- that's one of my goals this year, to learn how to make these before Christmas rolls around. I could gift homemade flour sack towels, cloth napkins...what fun! You have a very nice little blog here, thank you for sharing with us.

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  60. Rhonda,
    I love reading your words, it brings joy to an aussie living abroad. Nice to know other people are thinking about others, the enviroment and living simply not just themselves. Happy Blogday!! - may you have many more.
    Cheers,
    Colette

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  61. Rhonda Jean

    I love your blog and get much inspiration from your kind words. I'm so glad you started the blog and will continue to read you daily. (Sometimes I check twice daily!!) I have responded a few time but should do more to let you know how much you are appreciated. Keep up the good work.

    Myra Henderson
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  62. Rhonda,
    I have been visiting your blog a short time. The first visit I was hooked! I love the tone of your writing. It is very relaxing. Keep up the good work.
    Aubrey

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  63. Rhonda Jean
    I save your blog until my chores are complete as a little reward. Thank you for so much inspiration to continue on this journey.
    Kindest regards, Julie in Geraldton Western Australia

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  64. Congratulations Rhonda on your blog-anniversary. I read your blog every single day. You have inspired me many times with your postings. Thank you very much for sharing.

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  65. Rhonda,
    Congratulations on your 1st birthday or anniversary.
    I have read every one of your post and you are such an inspiration to thousands of us just starting out.Your wisdom seems never ending and you always have something interesting to say.
    Each morning I look forward to your new post. Have just started my own simple life and blog and each day am doing something to simplify our lives.
    Congartulations again
    Debbie

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  66. Hi Rhonda Jean :) Happy blogging anni! May there be many more lovely days to write about - and for us to read about - in this next year. You are a joy and a blessing! Hugs & much love, Q

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  67. hello rhonda its angela again I commented a little while ago to tell you how you have inspired me and I now have my own blog. please visit and let me know what you think. thanks again.angela

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  68. Congratulations Rhonda! I've enjoyed getting to "know you" immensley. Thank you for the encouragement and the challenges, don't stop!
    hugs,
    Niki

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  69. MEEMEE, I am coming out of hiding. I love your blog and want to thank you for keeping us encouraged. I don't comment but I read every day. Obviously, you are very needed.
    I to hope that at some time you will give us the instructions for the stitchery and I would love to be in the drawing.
    Thank you and God Bless you and H

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  70. I hope you truly know what an encouragement you are for folks all over the world. You have a gift of inspiring people to try harder and again, I thank you. :-)

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  71. Has it really only been a year Rhonda, it seems that you have been part of my life for so much longer than that. Congratulations on reaching that milestone and thankyou for sharing so much of your knowledge and your life over that time.

    cheers Lenny

    ps I look forward to many more years of your blog.

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  72. Congratulations on your successful year! The giveaway is beautiful. Linda.
    www.homesteadblogger.com/ourlittlehouseintown

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  73. Happy Anniversary! @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->--- @}--->---

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  74. How happy I am that you began blogging! You are a big reason that I started my own. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Mary :0)

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  75. It would be such an honor to have something made personally by you. I have followed your post for many months and probably one of your first readers and it has become a habit to always check in with Rhonda before retiring for the day. I guess I am one of your many fans. O yes, you have fans. Hope you are still around in 2 years to post and I am still around to read your post.
    Nell

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  76. Dear Rhonda,
    I have been following your blog for awhile now and enjoy reading it everyday. You have inspired me to ask my Mom to teach me how to crochet. I really want to grow loffahs but we live in Pennsylvania, USA and I don't know if our climate is appropriate.
    Congratulations on your successful year! I would love to learn stitchery. It is beautiful...

    Brenda

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  77. Hello Rhonda:
    Congratulations on your 1st year anniversary!!!You have inspired many of us to dare to be different and true to ourselves. Thanks.
    Liane
    liane_bastien@shaw.ca

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  78. Many thanks Rhonda Jean for all the time you spend sending us your blog. Reading it has become part of my early morning ritual. It's late Spring here in the UK ,my veggie garden is beginning to take shape, my house is part way to becoming decluttered and organised, I've knitted two dishcloths and have started on facecloths as christmas pressies(!) and yesterday we put 8 eggs under our little broody hen. I'm so excited about the way my life is shaping and the best bit is knowing that I'm not alone in wanting a simpler, more sustainable life.

    Happy Blogday Rhonda Jean, may you long continue!

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  79. Thank you for blogging - you have encouraged my family so much to be more self reliant. I love your blog! Please enter me in your contest. I love the picture!

    Blessings,
    Flossie

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  80. Thanks for the blogs
    Hannah

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  81. i've de lurked and signed up to google just to say thank you for this wonderful blog it's the first thing i read every morning like a warm hug to start your day many thanks rhonda

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  82. I have really enjoyed reading and learning about your experiences.
    Kym

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  83. Thank you for your useful recipes and thought provoking posts Rhonda Jean.
    Ann.

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  84. Hi Rhonda - congratulations on your milestone, I enjoy reading your blog daily and it gives me food for thought about simplifying my life. I think the key to your success is that you write from the heart and make it such an enjoyable and relaxing blog to read.... long may it last!

    Kathryn (UK) xx

    ps I hope my name gets drawn, I know the chance is slim but your stitchery item is simply gorgeous - again you're inspiring me to have a go :)

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  85. Hi Rhonda,

    Just thought i would say happy blog birthday. You taught me how to make fantastic bread and rolls when before i could only make dense bread. you also taught me to enjoy the cleaning cooking role and i was providing for myself and my husband so it isn't a chore! you truely are an inspiration and you have certainly changed my life! I hope this blog goes on for years to come as there is so much more to implement for the future. Thanks Again for everything
    Stacey

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  86. Happy first blog birthday! I love reading your daily lines, they've become a friend and I check in every day. Every time I'm motivated to stay focused on how I want to simply live my own life.
    Thank you!

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  87. Congratulations Rhonda! I must say I thought your blog was longstanding when I started visiting about 9 months ago. I read it every day, and get inspiration each time. I know I will be following some of your very good advice when I retire later this year. Thank you so much.
    ps lovely photo of you and Hanno. You look like a nice couple!

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  88. Dear Rhonda,

    I read your blog everyday and you have no idea of the relief it is to know that I am not alone on this journey through life - for a long long time I thought it was only me - even hubby thought I was slightly mad and for years I hadnt totally shared my thoughts and dreams with him, I had just gotten on with things around the family. But a recent illness has opened his eyes to a different way of living our complex lives and he now knows who Rhonda is and sees you as my ozzie fiend! Thank you for sharing yours and Hanno lives with your blog friends - you have no idea how much you mean to us all out here !!!
    Lots of love to you from Babs and George

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  89. Hello,
    I'm responding to a comment of Kim. She asked for a removable clothesline.
    Here http://images.google.nl/images?hl=nl&q=droogmolen&btnG=Afbeeldingen+zoeken&gbv=2 you can see what most Dutch family have in their gardens.
    Greetings,
    Annikka

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  90. Wow! I was gone but for what seemed mere hours and look at the comments left to this post. Rhonda you will be writing many names down and filling a hat. ;-)
    We all appreciate everything that you write. The ways in which you challenge us and the ways that you show us we don't have to have everything perfect to begin or have a simpler life. We start right were we are and each step is a building block towards our "perfect" simple life. Whatever that may be for each of us. I am so appreciative that you never seem to "cram" any of your ways of living down our throats. You continually offer suggestions and remind us that we don't have to do it your way but that we must find our way (even if that is your way).

    I didn't read through all the posts to find out if anyone responded to #2 comment. I was thinking that Herbs and Me could possibly purchase a drying rack something similar to a sweater rack or something that they used in school to dry our papers on. It stands maybe 4 foot tall and has several horizontal dowels.

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  91. Here's another website for Kim for a portable washing line (clothesline), folds flat for storage, comes in two sizes, Australian made.
    www.mrspeggshandyline.com.au
    Hope this helps.

    Rhonda, please do NOT enter me in the draw for the very pretty little stitchery.

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  92. dear Rhonda
    thank you for the wonderful things on your blog
    I read it often and I find it like a breath of fresh air
    I would love to be in the draw
    hugs Beth

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  93. Many congrats on your 1 yr anniversary in Blogland! I love your blog, I've said that many times before. Keep going!
    I'd love to be in your draw, but I totally understand if I can't be in because I live too far away.

    Christine from the NL

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  94. I would love to go into your draw. I love your blog especially as this year we are trying to live more simply.

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  95. Rhonda,

    Congratulations on completing your first year. I'm one of your few male readers and I've been here for about 7 months. In that time, small steps have been taken and I've repaired clothes and an umbrella with needle and thread and I even made a tote bag for my girlfriend. The GF and I are cooking from scratch whenever we can and I taught her how to make bread by hand at the weekend.

    I've always had an interest in the simple life but I don't think I'd be doing quite so much if it wasn't from reading your blog on a regular basis. I read something, get interested, and want to try it myself (hence the tote bag).

    Thanks for posting this and don't forget your male readers ;-)

    Yabusame.

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  96. Hi there
    Ill be honest- the only reason i am leaving a comment is because i would love to win the giveaway!
    Cheers

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  97. I enjoy reading you blog every day.
    Happy Blog Anniversary!

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  98. MMMM love the picture and you know I love your blog..long may it continue, Also while Im at it I would like to make my own chook food in the near future. Do you make or buy it? I realise the greens and appropriate scraps part of the diet but am interested in replacing bought pallets.
    Cheers from the ever Cheery cherry

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  99. Oh Rhonda Jean, that is stunning! I would very much enjoy that... please enter me in your drawing!!!
    And again, much love to you!
    Chas

    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/chas

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  100. Congrats RJ! I notice I am a bit late commenting (already 100 ppl beat me to it), but I still read your blog everyday and still continue to be inspired by your posts :) Keep on blogging for many years to come I hope.
    Well done :)
    -hugs-
    Lis

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  101. Just wanted to say I have been lurking for a while now & have learnt so much - have now realised how much of my childhood was the 'simple life' - no car, knitting, crocheting, wearing homemade clothes, helping my mum & gran with the baking - I didn't know any different as it was all we could afford. But I had a great childhood with some wonderful memories (in the 70s) & now I am trying to show my children how much fun we can have without spending money! In fact my 10 year old son asks 'what has Rhonda told you today?'! Thank you for all that you do, Rachel x

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  102. Rhonda,

    I just want to congratulate you on finding your niche in life and sharing it with us. You have been a great help to me - inspiration to keep moving toward our goal of greener living and financial freedom in a place where that seems to be an alien concept most of the time. You've been my "pick-me-up" when I feel down!

    Actually, don't enter me in the drawing. I think the picture/quilt is absolutely gorgeous but I have no where for it and am down-sizing. I'm sure someone else here has the perfect spot already picked-out to display it. :o)

    I hope that you will come back to all these comments when you wonder if you are doing any good by blogging. Look at how many lives you've touched!

    Love,
    Teresa (in Kentucky, USA)

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  103. Congratulations Rhonda! Its nice to know that we have, in our own ways, have inspired you to keep going, as you certainly have inspired us!

    And I love that stitchery, I'd love that up in my house.

    Speaking of crafts, did you get the photo I emailed of the bag I knitted? I've moved on from there and knitted a beanie hat now. Knitting is proving quite addictive!

    Love and blessings,

    FiFi
    xxx

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  104. Congratulations Rhonda. I am so happy you decided to blog. You have changed many lives with your words and inspirational posts. You get people thinking and that's the first step in all of this....yes, we can all do this to one degree or another. Hugs, Heather (Ontario Canada)

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  105. Happy 1 year Blogiversary Rhonda!!
    I must check your blog daily. It feeds my soul, it keeps me focused on my goals, and I learn so much!
    Keep on bloggin!!

    ((HUGS)) and thanks for sharing your life w/ us!!

    Debbie
    central Illinois

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  106. I would love to win one of your embroideries. I enjoy reading your blog everyday. It is inspiring. Terry

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  107. Happy anniversary rhonda jean or is it birthday ? Either way congratulations and keep it up i look forward to your post so much

    Please enter me in the draw for the lovely stitching

    I have over the last few months used lots of your recipes chilli chutney, cleaning recipes,bread today i have been making the "bread and butter cucumbers" as i found some on sale ,i just wondered about the name???

    Also which book is it you want by john seymour??

    Sharron in the UK

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  108. Happy Bloggy Birthday!
    I enjoy reading your blog every day, learning, discovering new things for myself.

    ~Maria in NC

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  109. Happy 1st Anniversary Rhonda Jean
    I've been lurking since Christmas. You are my first stop every morning. This year I've cleaned green, planted seeds, baked from scratch, cut up rags and even knitted some dishcloths - I can't bear to get them greasy though so I'm washing up with rags instead. Thank you for many hours of inspiration and gentleness. We appreciate you.
    Patricia in Queensland

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  110. Hi Rhonda:
    What a lovely blog you post. I came across you through looking for a "how to on soap making" and am delighted.
    In a recent post these words stay with me "Stop living to the expectations of others" is meaningful for me.
    I shall come again and again.
    The bread looks delicious too
    Peace
    carole

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  111. Lovely design! Put my name in the contest please. And you should be proud of your blog; it's quite informative and reaches folks worldwide. From Jacksonville, FL...

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  112. Congratulations, Rhonda!!
    And a huge hug and thank you for changing my way of thinking and living. My family and my future is better because of your willingness to share your perspectives.

    I would be honored to be in your drawing.
    HeatherJ

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  113. Hi Rhonda Jean, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 1ST YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
    Your beautiful stitchery has finally tempted me out of lurker land, where I have been hiding for the last 4 months. I found your blog through one of the chat forums on Martin Lewis's moneysavingexpert site here in the UK and have been addicted ever since!
    Your have a lovely writing style and it really brings over how genuine you are. You warm the cockles of my heart everyday, so thank you.
    (by the way, I would LOVE to be entered in the draw please).
    Lots of love to you and yours.
    Bobbykins in UK

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  114. Happy Blogiversary!

    I have so enjoyed reading your blog over the past year.

    Kim H

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  115. One year...and I have loved reading your blog ever since I discovered it! Even though we live in different parts of the world, I identify with all the things you do.

    Thank you for all the writings and information!

    Christine

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  116. I always enjoy your ramblings and am also inspired by your "simple" life. I hope to continue on our path to simplifying and going debt free. Thanks for your time and all you share.

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  117. i have read you for awhile now but i rarely comment (usually nursing a baby and what i'd like to say requires a lot of typing which is frustrating...) but it seems i am always nodding in agreement as your words resonate with my heart.

    i hope you blog for many years to come!

    your stitchery is beautiful and i often ogle it wishing i had enough free time to try to create something half as nice. if my name is drawn, i'd be honored to have such a work of art in my home!

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  118. Congrats on your year! Isn't it nice to be able to look back over all you have done. Keep up the good work, I know you inspire so many.

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  119. Rumor has it your blog is simply awesome. And I think I agree. :)

    Brand new today and I can already say that I'm hooked. I love the way you described the friendships you've made through the blog world.

    I'll be back!

    Hallie

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  120. Hi Rhonda,
    I have already posted above so please DO NOT enter me into the draw above twice, although i would really want to win it i don't want to cheat!!
    I have two rather random questions.in one of your posts you have cucumbers growing up trellis/canes why is this? do you buy a 'special type' of cucumber? Here in england everyone leaves them to grow across the ground. I'm just curious as to which is the best way. Also when you did the pencil case you had a diary - without wanting to be nosey what information do you store in it on a day to day basis is it just who your meeting and where you are going or do you do a to do list in it as well? I'm just wondering as i have quite an organised home but am not very 'time'organised. I tend to write lists of stuff to do complete a couple and then feel like a failure as i haven't achieved everything. Look forward to hearing from you Stacey x

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  121. Hi Rhonda!

    I was actually just singing your praises this morning on another blog (where we were asked to share our most favorite blog). The secret to your successful blog? You. Your warmth, knowledge, compassion, and generosity comes through in every single post. You are a blessing to all of us. Every single one.

    Thank you for sharing your life, your garden, and your knowledge.

    Blessings!
    Lacy

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  122. I've so enjoyed your blog...tho' I only found it a bit ago...What a respite you provide...a time for learning something new, and remembering things from when I grew up and lived the way you do!
    Thanks so much!
    (((hugs)))

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  123. Dearest Rhonda - Congratulations on your first year of 'blogdom', and thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for writing your blog. You have changed my life, and I will be forever grateful to you. Because of you I have found focus for my life, and through your blog I've found a wonderful community of like-minded people all over the world.
    A simple "Thank You' does not even begin to cover what I hold in my heart for you, my dear, wonderful friend.
    Carla in North Idaho

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  124. happy blogoversary! here's hoping you celebrate many many more!

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  125. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Thank you for the wonderful blog that inspires so many people longing to live a simple life. Here's to many more years blogging! (I hope you pick me! lol)

    Kristina

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  126. Congratulations for such an inspired blog
    A faithful French reader living in Greece

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  127. Dear Rhonda,
    I found you blog through Jewels and have loved to read it ever since. Thank you for making it inspiring and for cheering me up when the days don't go quite as I would like.

    Shelley P
    from over the pond

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  128. Rhonda: Congratulations on your blog anniversary. I know that you are an inspiration to me here in Alabama. I'd so like to collect our rainwater one day, for our garden and such. Your setup looks perfect to me.

    Beautiful hand piece. I'd like to be included in your drawing.

    Thank you! for all you blog about.

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  129. Cindy RutledgeMay 15, 2008 3:40 am

    Dear Rhonda,

    You have been an encouragement to me. I am so glad I found your blog. We have taken some small steps toward living a simple life.

    Cindy

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  130. I too found your blog through moneysavingexpert website in the UK.
    When I read your post today saying you have been blogging for a year, I couldn't believe it!

    I think the amount of information and wonderful musings on here must add up to a lifetime of blogging!

    I love to check in to see what you have been saying every few days - congratulations on such a wonderful blog!
    Lisa

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  131. Rhonda,

    The best part of your blog is that you "Inspire, not require" participation from your readers. Since finding you through Jewel's blog in September we have made many positive changes in our home.

    With the growing season under way, I am busy most days out in the gardens working along side the children, who still refer to you as "the chicken lady" and don't spend much time reading blogs. Your is one of the hand full of blogs that I will make time to read at the end of a busy day.

    You may never know the exact number of people you have had a positive affect on, but even it was only 1, that's all it takes to have made the world a better place.

    Hugs & Love,
    Liberty Star Farm Family

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  132. Congratulations on your milestone and Thank you for taking the time to encourage and teach through the simple art of just doing and living.

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  133. Hello from Scotland!

    Congratulations for a year of blogging!

    I read your blog daily, usually in the morning as my blog is my homepage when I log on the internet and you are in my blogroll. :-)

    I love reading about your life, nosey little thing that I am. :-) I have learned a lot from your posts - I still have a good few to read through though.

    You have inspired me to start growing my own vegetables in our garden. I think my 2 daughters will love to help me plant out seeds as they have been doing a little gardening at playgroup at the moment. I think they will be excited to try different kinds of veggies - which is all good! I am thinking about using the square foot planting method and of course will buy only heirloom seeds!

    This will help my family not only eat healthier and tastier foods, but will reduce our spending at the supermarket and help us reduce our debt. It may even help me to lose weight!

    Thank You very much for allowing us all to share in your life every day.

    Nikki

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  134. I read your post nearly everyday and am always amazed and encouraged by what you are doing, so don't think that just because some of us don't comment regularly we aren't getting something out of what you have to say.

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  135. Blogging reminds me of the C.S. Lewis quote, "We read to know we are not alone".

    I've been amazed at how many people there are "out there" who are like minded.

    I've only been reading your blog for a few months but I've enjoyed it very much.

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  136. Happy one year anniversary!!!! Thanks for confirming that I was not the only one out there convinced of the joys and benefits of a simple life.

    My best to you,

    Anna Marie of the bread

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  137. What a wonderful blog and exquisite stitchery! It is so nice to visit a blog where you feel a kindred spirit is residing:-) We too live simply on our little homestead in the hills of Western Ma and love this life. Thanks for your generosity. I posted a comment before this one but hit the button and don't know if it went to cyber space but if you moderate comments please don't think I am entering twice--although I do hope to win...LOL!

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  138. What a wonderful blog and exquisite stitchery! It is so nice to visit a blog where you feel a kindred spirit is residing:-) We too live simply on our little homestead in the hills of Western Ma and love this life. Thanks for your generosity. I posted a comment before this one but hit the button and don't know if it went to cyber space but if you moderate comments please don't think I am entering twice--although I do hope to win...LOL!

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  139. Congrats on your first year of blogging! I'm another lurker who reads your blog everyday.

    We're trying to live a more simple, frugal, earth-friendly life and your words are so encouraging and helpful. I enjoy how you write since it makes me think. We live in the suburbs and you've helped me realize that we can live the "down to earth" principles right here. Thank you!

    Sandra from Canada

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  140. Hi Rhonda, Congratulations on your first year - I discovered blogs not long after you started writing yours and it was so wonderful to read about someone living as we do - I really thought we were alone except for a handful of people I know. Now I know there is a whole world full of us out there. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement - go Rhonda! Take care

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  141. Hi Rhonda

    WOW 1 year - your blog is well know in blog ville. Thank you for taking the time to share & tuck us younger mums under your wing.

    Love Leanne NZ - oh & by th way it is 3 degrees here this morning

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  142. I am so happy that you blog! I think the success of blogging is doing it for yourself....yours is full of gentle instruction and guidance and everyday living. It has certainly made me look even more closely at how we live at times and encouraged me in our journey of moving home. Thank Rhonda Jean!

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  143. Congratulations, Rhonda! I hope to be reading your blog for many more years. You've become a great inspiration to me, even though I don't post much. :)

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  144. I always wonder how long you had been blogging, Huge congratulations on your first anniversary and a big thank you from me for all you have taught me....Reading you blog is like "Seeing the light" :-)
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    I am late posting this, so no worries if I have missed the deadline for my name to be added into the hat, you have given me enough already. xxxx

    Here to many more future blog anniversaries - I hope :-)

    Have a great day.
    Steph xx

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  145. Dear Rhonda
    Warmest congratulations on the anniversary of your blog. Yours is the first blog I read every day, and you are such an inspiration. Thanks so much
    Best wishes
    Denise

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  146. Hi Rhonda~
    I am new to your blog and find so many inspiring posts. Thank you!
    Amy from Indiana

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  147. Hello Rhonda,
    Thanks for your blog. I hope you have a big hat for all of the names in the draw. BTW, tour seeds were posted yesterday.
    Best wishes,
    Tracy

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  148. Rhonda, We're so glad you're here blogging. I agree with you about the blogging community being an encouragement, and about the benefits of being able to see how others are making their way towards many of the same goals..it's a real pick-me-up. Your blog in particular is one of our favorites, and we feel you're our neighbor-across-the-miles. Thank you for sharing via your blog! This comment might miss the drawing deadline, but I just had to say that we feel as you do, and you expressed it beautifully in this post. Thank you, Rhonda. We really love you and Hanno and are BLESSED to know you :)

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  149. I've drawn the winner. I included everyone up to Robbyn.

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  150. You have so many comments, though I am not surprised one bit. Rhonda you are such an inspiration to myself and so many with whom you share your life and knowledge.

    I'm sitting here wondering where to get started, there's so much I want to get done today. I really need a routine, I've always resisted before but you have made it clear to me that it's part and parcel of having a beautiful and productive home.

    Congratulations on this milestone. Thank you for making us a part of your life.

    With love

    Cheryl

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  151. Rhonda,

    I found your blog a few months ago while researching the art of keeping chickens and I can't believe you've only been blogging for a year! My assumption has been that yours is one of the originals and long established! I thoroughly enjoy reading it and dreaming of a more pastoral life. Congratulations on your anniversary and success!

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Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

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