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11 August 2008

And life goes on ...

It's been like a roller coaster these last few days. I have finally accepted that Rosie is gone but I am thankful that I can still see her with my mind's eye. Cathy asked if we would take another dog into our home and the answer is, from me, definitely yes!, from Hanno, well...maybe. I have already looked at the local pound website. Alice has always lived with Rosie and I think she needs a companion. I'd like a smaller dog this time, something I can pick up, maybe the size of a beagle. Airedales are big strong dogs and now we are getting older, it's difficult taking two for a walk alone. I think the time has come to downsize. When a new dog is ready to find us, I'm sure she will.

Koda (left) with Alice.

It was a busy weekend with comings and goings, and phone calls to our sons to tell sad news. Yesterday we had visits from step son Jens and his Airedale, Koda, and Bernadette and her dog, Iona. Alice had a good run around with her canine friends which I think did her the world of good.

Jens helped Hanno cut down an old tree in the chook run. We have a pecan in there too and wanted the dead tree down before the pecan starts to grow its new leaves. It's good that Jens lives just a few streets away so these heavy jobs are shared. There was a time when a job like this would have been a minor one for Hanno but now it requires a bit more thought and care. Now we welcome extra hands that are willing to help.

When Bernadette and Iona arrived we sat with tea and knitting on the front verandah. We talked about how we could help our local homeless young people get jobs and came up with a plan to help them. As with all these things money is often a stumbling point, but I think we can apply for a grant for what we want to do, so when I go to work today I'll look into it and decide if indeed it's as good an idea as we thought yesterday. As we talked, Alice and Iona slowly wandered through the garden, following each other, first one was the leader, then the other. It was a nice thing to see. As the weather started getting colder, Bernadette and Iona left and Hanno and I had some of the pea soup that had been simmering gently on the stove most of the afternoon.

Sundays have an easy, comfortable appeal that other days never come close to.

Oh, I also went through the fabrics Cathy gave and found a few pieces of polar fleece. I made up two dog blankets and a rice bag for a work colleague, Anna, who has a sore back and travels with a hot water bottle. I think the rice bag will be easier for her.

Another weeks starts today. It's a week I'm looking forward to while looking back to Rosie. We have a trip planned to visit Shane and Sarndra at their new home on Thursday that I'm looking forward to very much. Welcome to all the new readers, please leave a comment and say hello. I hope this week is a wonderful, productive and fulfilling one for all of us. Take care everyone.


  1. I'm sure Alice had a lovely time with her doggy friends. This a problem we'll have to face very soon as our old girl's health is failing. Our youngster has always had canine company.

    It sounds like you had a lovely time too with family and friends. Be kind to yourself this week.

  2. Rhonda,
    when I read your post on Friday I started to tear up. It reminded me of the four legged friends I have said good-bye to. I know how much of a hole it leaves in your heart, so from across the miles of land and sea, from Minnesota to you a big HUGE.

  3. Hi Rhonda,

    I've been following your site for a while now from the Western US.

    I'm so sorry about your sweet pup; we had to make the same decision a couple of months ago for one of our boys (13 years old) when his hips began failing him. It's always hard.

    On another note, I have started making soap here at home and have two questions. First, is the liquid soap you make suitable for hand-washing dishes and second at what point after pouring do you stamp your soap?

    Thanks so much,

  4. Rhonda, you just keep going. You're an amazing woman.

    I'm having clothesline poles made up and am very excited! I think I've turned the corner and have entered the simple life. It's just been lurking there all along. All those years of subscribing to Mother Earth News set the stage but reading your blog was the catalyst. You're my mentor from afar. I come every day for a piece of encouragement. Thank you.

  5. I've been reading your blog for a few months, I've commented a few times but only as anonymous. I have learned quite a bit from you, we are taking steps to simplify our life and you have taught us so much just by what you type.

    I agree, you'll find the right dog when it's time. Or she'll find you, as you said. You mentioned a beagle. They are smaller, but they are very energetic and need a lot of stimulation. They don't always do to well by themselves. Also, they can be predators and it might not work with your chickens. We have a beagle, she belongs to my teenage daughter and she's a great dog. But she would not work with animals such as chickens because she would see them as food. They are very good natured dogs and very loving. Just extremely energetic!

  6. Rhonda Jean,
    I missed your post about Rosie's passing-I'm very sorry for your loss. Reading your post from Sunday made me cry. It reminded me so much of when we lost our Rotty-she was 11 and we knew her health was deteriorating but it was still hard when she died.
    I do hope you and Hanno will adopt a new dog to be a companion for Alice. If she's never been alone, it will break her heart to have to be alone now.
    I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and Hanno (from halfway around the world) and will be praying that your week goes smoothly and you enjoy your visit with your son later this week.
    Michelle in Sunny FL

  7. Have a good week, Rhonda. As always, you inspire me to do more for myself! Blessings!

    Kristina in Nebraska, USA

  8. Dearest Rhonda Jean and Hanno~
    I am so sorry to hear about Rosie being laid to rest, but am glad she is nearby.
    My own dear Lady, a fifteen year old Chesapeake retriever, is now sleeping forever under a magnolia close by our back porch. So friends, I understand the void that seems to hang in mid air when you walk out the door or get up from your favorite chair.
    Our companions are truly priceless gifts with constant appreciation for us no matter our status or mood.
    Blessing to you, Carolyne

  9. Dear Rhonda
    Its ok to feel sad!I know you have many memories attached to your dear Alice! Enjoy them!

    Rice bags? I had never thought about any heat bags but wheat bags! Do you use any particular type of rice? Do they last as long as wheatbags?

    Lynette from Adelaide

    PS A friend of mine now uses your recipe for washing powder and says her teens rashes have now stopped! She is so impressed!

  10. I just want you to know how much I love reading yout blog. It always touches me.
    Laurie from Pennsylvania, USA

  11. It's so good to see Alice is doing fine. So glad you got her some fellow playmates for the day. Iwas worried about her.

    Thank you so much for posting again, I'm afraid I always crave your posts. You share so much wonderful and helpful info!

  12. Hi Rhonda,
    I was so sorry to read about Rosie this morning, my thoughts are with you and Hanno in your time of loss.

    Tracie xx

  13. As I read the comments others say what I don't say so well. I crave your posts too and they inspire me to do more for myself. Thank you for sharing all that you do. I wish you special blessings this week.

  14. I just read about your dear Rosie and I want to say that I am so sorry. The same thing happened with my little Noel. We were left with her daughter Holly and she did fine but clung to us more after her mother's death and appeared to be fine. Your blog is such an inspiration to me. Sending hugs from the South!


  15. Dearest Rhonda,
    I am so glad you all are thinking of adding another girl to your family. I know the Lord will make this happen at just the right time.

    I sure have been thinking of you all and will continue to pray for your healing.

    Hugs to you my friend,

  16. I hope this week will be a good one for you. We too have a peaceful Sunday........

    Gill from Canada

  17. I'm sorry for your loss. Have you thought about a Welsh Terrier? They are a smaller package.

  18. Hi Rhonda

    Glad you are feeling a bit better - you will have good and not so good moments with your memories of Rosie - hang in there.

    We have 2 rescue doggies (did have 3 but Ben died) and 4 rescue cats. They are great doggies. It is very sad but I have to say you will have no problem getting an ex "pet shop puppy" - a small type doggie as there are HEAPS dumped at the pound. When you are ready, check if you can have a trial as one of our doggies is a chook killer (not her fault - just instinct) and she has killed some of my chooks when we got a hole in the fence. Our little poodle x wouldn't harm the chooks (but wants to eat all their scraps!!!)

    Take care

  19. Rhonda, I'm so sorry about Rosie. I know how a dog friend can be loved. I think they are God's gifts to us to teach us about unconditional love.

    Linda N.

  20. Good morning Rhonda. I can recommend dog downsizing!

    We've always had rescues that have been medium to large. Last year, after we had to have our beloved border collie euthanised due to bad arthritis, we talked about a smaller dog next time. Next time came around sooner than expected and we now have one year old Big Bill, a poodle shih-tzu cross.

    A small dog is a much different experience but just as much fun. if you decide to go this road, I'd be happy to pass on to you a little book I got about having a small dog.

  21. Rhonda,

    First, I'm so sorry for your loss. I teared up a bit when I read your post and my heart hurts for you.

    My husband has always been a firm believer that pets will find you, rather than the other way around. I'm certain when the time is right, it will be obvious to you and Hanno both.

    The other thing I wanted to mention is regarding your homeless ministry. There is a group here that asks for business clothes to be donated specifically for helping single moms break into the work force. They also ask hair stylists to donate a few hours one day to help with hair and make up consultants to donate samples and their time for a makeover.

    The money to be outfitted for a new job is just as daunting as looking for a job.

    Best of luck with all.


  22. Rhonda, it is always good to come here and read your blog. I feel your sadness at the loss of Rosie. I always feel such a peaceful feeling when I visit you. God bless you and Hanno, and I hope He blesses you with another wonderful doggie friend.

  23. I love a peaceful easy Sunday like that. (My Sundays fall on Tuesdays though, because I work Sundays, and have Monday, Tuesday off) Yours sounded very peaceful and slow, and mindful, just the way it should be.

  24. After our two large dogs passed away in recent years, the last dog we got (a year ago) was a Min Pin pup. Granted, she is a handful by very nature of her breed, but we were all pleasantly surprised to see how much we've enjoyed having a smaller dog. The mere fact that she's easy to pick up and cart around enables us to do more with her than we could the big dogs.

    As you said, and I believe it to be so, the right dog will find you!

  25. I came across your site a few weeks ago and have been slowly reading your story.

    Your lifestyle commitment is an inspiration and if we all can take a little from your example it can only help.

    I was so moved by your recent loss.
    Our animals touch our hearts in a very special way. I'm sure many reading last week would have drawn their furry friends close for an extra hug.

  26. Hi Rhonda, glad to hear about your Sunday and hope things are calm and serene for you.

    Your blog has inspired me to do a similar thing in the UK, even though we live in a small flat in a city, I am determined to live more simply and feel happier with less 'stuff'.

    I would love to make my own washing powder as per your recipe and will see whether I can source the ingredients you mention, here in the UK.

    Thanks once again for your inspiration and best wishes from the UK for you and yours - Sophie x

  27. Sounds like a wonderful day! What are you knitting, a dishcloth? Looks interesting.
    I also agree on having the right dog find you. Your heart will tell you when you're ready for a new friend for Alice and "the one" catches your eye! :-)
    And a pecan tree, wow. I assume it has those delicious nuts? That would make some awesome cake!

    Christine from the NL

  28. I have only just read about Rosie's sad. She had a lovely happy home with you all and you have lots of good memories. I hope Alice will settle down and be happy to be an only dog for a while and that, when the time is right, you can welcome another little dog into your lives. Kind thoughts from the UK

  29. Poor little Alice, all alone now.

    As a cat person, I have 3 of the little darlings. Our first cat, Mog, was to my mind the best cat in the world but unfortunately had to be put to sleep when she was only 5 - she had a blood clot that paralysed her back legs. That was a very hard time. Still, we can't do without the cats, and as we have the room for 3 we feel it 'our duty' to take another in very shortly after one passes away. We now have Norman, Dinah and Ollie. Ollie's a little joy - barely over a year old, he's into everything and everyone! I just couldn't be without them.

    On another note Rhonda, I made my first batch of your washing powder at the weekend. I've yet to try it, but I'm on my last scoop or two of commercial powder so thought I'd give it a try. I'll let you know how I get on with it.

    Blessings to everyone xxx

  30. Oh Rhonda... I haven't been able to visit your blog for a week (due to quirks of our Orthodox Jewish internet program that is supposed to block websites with inappropriate content, and for some reason included *your* innocent blog in that category), so this is the first time I hear about Rosie. I'm so very very sorry. I know how dear a furry friend can be. A couple of months ago I lost a kitty I raised from the age of a few days... they are never forgotten.

  31. Hi again Rhonda.

    What you say about a new girl finding you, is very true.
    I had toyed with the idea of getting a dog for a while. My husband always wanted one, but I wasn't especially keen on the idea.
    Then, I met my friend who breeds English bull terriers. I thought they were HORRID dogs, I must confess.
    Then, she introduced me to Rolo, a young pup from a recent litter. She was just a couple of weeks old. I fell in love with her immediately, and the feeling was quite mutual. However, my friend wanted her for breeding and showing, so I had to forget about it. The floods hit, and as it was, my friend had to move upstairs, and so had to get rid of dear little Rolo and her siblings - it wasn't safe for her, in a flooded building. We had moved into another property by then. So, Rolo came to me, and I am ever glad she did. Pets are a great comfort to us, and I suffer from depression at times....she knows these times and will just sit by me with her head on my lap, as if she knows she comforts me.
    I hope you find another dog to fill the void Rosie has left xx

  32. I truly enjoy reading your blog. I am sharing in your loss as our ds bought his first pgmy goat on Sautrday and some how it escaped from his pen and we can not find him. Thank you for sharing your simple life with us, I am learning a lot from you.

    United States

  33. Pembroke Welsh Corgi. We've had our 4 year old little girl for several months now and she's wonderful. We got her from a Corgi rescue organization.

    Intelligent, loves to be outside, playful but not too energetic. She'll fall in a heap at a second's notice but when you call her she won't let you down. She likes to pick and eat apples right off our trees, even the undesirable ones.

    Question on laundry powder: I'm unable to find the Lux flakes but I have borax and washing soda. I've read that any pure bar soap like Ivory can replace the Lux. Have you tried anything other than Lux?

    Castile bar soap-I've used it for 5 days now in the shower and can't believe what a huge difference it has over conventional bar soap. My skin is so soft that I don't need to use lotion when I get out of the shower. The older I get the drier my skin gets too.

  34. Hi, I'm a new reader and love your blog! I don't know if you've ever visited Morning Ramble but I bet you'd like it if you did. She's a lady here in the states that also lives a simple life and I love to read her too. She's at

    I was sorry to hear about your Rosie.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Oh, Rhonda, I just read about Rosie (I've been too busy to keep up with my favorite blogs lately.) I am so, so sorry. I would love to give you a big ole hug and let you know how much my heart feels for you and Hanno and the boys.


  37. I'm so sorry to hear about Rosie! Glad that Alice got to spend some time with another pup and get her spirits up a bit.

    You're quite right...when the time is right another dog will find you.

  38. New Reader here-- Very amazed at the time you spend on your blog! But thank you for your suggestions and things like the soap making post, etc-- very helpful and I'm glad I found you.

    Sorry to hear about your Rosie.

  39. Dear Rhonda,
    My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of Rosie. Our four legged friends are by no means easier to let go of.

    Your new friend will find at just the right moment.

    I wanted to thank you for posting the olive/coconut oils recipe. I made it last week with a few friends. What a treat. I can't wait to make more.


  40. Hi Rhonda, I'm so sorry about Rosie. We lost our elderly dog this week too. I posted a picture Monday, if you'd like to see. He was my daughter's childhood dog. Its a blessing that he passed on because he was so feeble. We would soon have had to put him to sleep too.

    Debbie J. "Homemaking dreams"

  41. I just got around to your blog today. I'm glad things are going ok. We, too, lost our beloved dog very recently. Keeping you in prayer.


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