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28 January 2009

Another day plodding along

After a long time writing, editing and obsessing, I'll send in my book proposal at the end of this week. I'll continue to work on it until I send it to New York on Saturday, then I'll have a few days off, and start writing again; this time, the book itself. It's not the end of the proposal though. They will appraise it and make suggestions, I'll make my changes and it will go to be sold in mid-March. It's a long drawn out process but I have absolute faith in my agent and I'm grateful she's guiding me along this unknown path.

This, and the photo below, are photos of our little permaculture vegetable garden at work. People who come in for food, are encouraged to pick fresh vegetables of their choice from these gardens.

The book proposal has changed the way I go about my day-to-day activities because I fit my chores in around the writing. Of course, not everything gets done but we cope with that by either ignoring that I haven't ironed for weeks or we do patch up jobs to quickly take care of something that used to be part of a regular routine. We humans are incredibly adaptable and right here in my home, that propensity for adaptability has held me in good stead over the past few months. It's helped that Hanno is quite happy with however I choose to structure my days, and if the bathroom doesn't get cleaned for a week or two, he doesn't mind. Or at least he hasn't said he does. :- ) But this morning, that is the first thing on my agenda after I have breakfast. I will deep clean the bathroom.

I will also make a loaf of soy and linseed bread, check on my seedlings, and the garden, because for the past two days (yes, also on Australia Day) I was at work. This first morning after those days at work is always the time that helps me readjust my thoughts and attitude from being out there - mixing with everyone else, talking, socialising, having lunch with lots of people around a kitchen table, laughing, counselling, organising, managing and leading, to being here, just the two of us, mostly silent as we go about our chores. It's a good balance for me, I have two days of absolute full on bedlam, especially when our Flexischool students are there (they returned from school holidays yesterday), to my five days of housekeeping, quiet writing and gentle home tasks. I get a lot of satisfaction from the work I do on those two days, it is the icing on my lifecake, but to return again to my home for five days here with Hanno is my real joy. I am indeed a fortunate woman to be able to live this way and to have the work that I do.

There has been no sewing done for a long time, although I've been toying with a pot holder. I knitted the back of it while watching the cricket a few weeks ago, and although I've cut out the front, I haven't yet sewn it on. I'm continuing with my knitting though and do some every day. It's like a meditation to me now and I feel a bit wonky if I miss a day. I'm currently working on matching fingerless gloves and scarf. It's a lilac/pink merino blend from my stash and it's knitting up quite well.

This work I do makes me what I am; it defines my character. My voluntary work teaches me humility, and being in a position to help always encourages me to be a better person than I am. Housekeeping and gardening help keep the practical side of me focused and interested in my day-to-day life. Having something meaningful to do every day is a great gift and although there were days in my long distant past when I hated those days I had to stay home and clean up, now I see the true value of it.

So now that I've had a good sleep, I will balance that with a day's work. Another day of plodding along on the proposal, a few odds and ends along the way, and with the added bonus of a clean bathroom at the end of the day. Life's good. :- )


  1. Thanks Rhonda Jean for a wonderful blog. Thanks also for the link to Eclectic Culture Farm. I think your link boosted her visitors about 50% if not more. You both have wonderful sites and a wealth of information to share. Keep up the good work.
    Mammamamma (USA)

  2. I too, tackled the bathrooms this morning and, you are right it will feel like a bonus tonight as I look back on my day. Best wishes on your book proposal. DonnaJ.

  3. I love reading your blog..we try to live simply but there is always more to learn.
    Looking at your garden pictures makes me long for my garden but I will have to wait till the snow disappears! But what I long for more are those clucking hens and crowing roosters!
    You do such nice handwork!

  4. Hi Rhonda Jean

    After knitting myself enough dishcloths to last for two years, I decided to move on to a knitted potholder. It is truly the best potholder I have ever had, but I didn't need to do any sewing. I just knitted it with my usual cotton yarn, using about three strands and as thin a needle as I could use and still actually manage to knit. It produced a beautifully thick knitted cloth which is still flexible. I never feel the heat through it even with my very sensitive fingers. Makes your fingers sore to knit it, but definitely worth the trouble.

  5. Hi Rhonda
    I love that expression 'the icing on my lifecake'! That is great, I'm going to borrow that one if I may! I wish you great success with the book, I'll be lining up to buy it for sure! The information that you share on your blog is so helpful and to have that in book form will be fabulous, hope it all goes according to plan. Enjoy your day, even the bathroom cleaning! I know you will as you take pleasure in whatever your day brings
    Judy in Adelaide x

  6. I just found your blog! I am so glad I did - it looks like I will have hours of enjoyable reading. Just wanted to say hi - and not be a lurker. :)


  7. Good morning Rhonda,

    Your life seems busy but you really do sound very content. A very pleasant read this morning.

    Blessings Gail

  8. Good luck with the book proposal Rhonda.Isn't it lovely when life is in such balance, the secret to true contenment.
    Have a lovely day

  9. Just a curious many days do you work at the Center each week? I'm thinking about how to plan my days after I retire with maybe some volunteer work and your schedule seems to work well for you. I hope I can find the right mix for me. I so enjoy your messages each day.

    Diane in North Carolina

  10. Hello everyone, thanks for your comments. :- )

    Hi Martie, welcome. Thanks for saying hello.

    Thanks Betty.

    Diane, I work two days - Monday and Tuesday from about 8am till about 4pm. Sometimes I work over that time to attend meetings and such. I was working three days but it was too much for me. I got too tired and missed that extra day at home. Voluntary work is a wonderful thing to do in retirement and I encourage you towards it.

  11. Once again, you say it so well. I am planning to cut my out of the house work to 3 days within 6 months. So many people don't understand, but you do. You validate how I feel do so many of the readers. We are not alone.

  12. Your gardens are a true inspiration. Spring can't come soon enough around here!

  13. Rhonda Jean I do love the way you write and some of the things in your blog are just gorgeous.
    Good luck with your book.

  14. Hello Rhonda,
    It has been a while since I have left a message. Yet I am still reading daily and enjoying your wisdom! Thank you for continuing to share with us. You are such a wealth of knowledge. I appreciate the time and energy that you still commit to giving us in "blog land". I am excited to hear that the book could be out on the market by mid-March!! Wow! I will be looking for it. I may hint to DH that it would make a great birthday present this year :)
    Shannon in Monmouth, OR

  15. Shannon, you misunderstood love. The book is being sold to a publisher in mid march, not in the book stores.

  16. Oooh, I like that potholder! What a good idea!

  17. Can I ask about the book please? You mention it often but I can't find where it says what it is about.
    Peter, USA

  18. Hello Rhonda Jean, I too, have just found your blog recently, and I thought I would just let you know how much I enjoy reading your daily thoughts and adventures! I am trying to tread more lightly on the Earth and increase our self sufficiency, so your posts are always of interest. Good luck with your book writing!
    Regards Julie

  19. I'm so pleased to hear you making good progress on your book, really looking forward to being able to buy a copy. Lovely post today, life affirming. thank you RosieB


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