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.

4 September 2009

Give more, expect less ...

I had a wonderfully restful day yesterday and feel better for it today. Thank you for all the good wishes you sent.

I've had some emails recently from younger women thanking me for being their role model. I love getting those emails because one of the things I hope to achieve writing on my blog is to show, by example, how we can work towards a better future simply by living according to our values and putting in the hard work when it's necessary. I am quite confident in this role because I grew up in a time when mothers, aunts, grandmothers, teachers and older women in general supported other women, especially the younger ones new to married life and raising children. I grew up knowing that when it was my turn, I would pass on what I know and would encourage other women in their various roles, both as homemakers and working women.

I didn't know then that our culture would change so much and that instead of looking to the women around them, it would be celebrities who would be seen as role models. I didn't know that women would become so competitive and try to outshine each other. I didn't know that overseas holidays and flash houses would replace the hope of a good life as the prize everyone worked towards. How times have changed.

At the risk of sounding like my mother and grandmother, in my day we women supported and encouraged our friends, work mates and neighbours. We didn't envy each other; if one of us had something outstanding, it was a joy to everyone that one of us had such a prize. That doesn't happen much now. Now, in general, we are all trying to keep up with the Joneses. And I don't know why. Mr and Mrs Jones are probably up to their eyeballs in debt.

I hope that part of your return to a simpler life will allow you to show support to others. I hope you'll share what you know so that others might benefit through your knowledge. Selfishness and resentment belittle us all. Having more than someone else doesn't make you better than them, it just means you have more. I hope we're all able to open our hearts up to those around us and be a role model. If they are mean spirited, show, by example, how life should be lived, don't descend to their level.

If we are to change this sad trend towards selfish and mean lives, we will do it by living our lives with generosity and kindness and by modelling that behaviour. We all need to be proud of how we are living and what we're striving for and be open enough to talk about what we want in life. If we start doing that, and let others see we are living well, it will make a difference. Like everything it will be slow but that shouldn't stop us from starting. Live your life with confidence, show respect to those around you, give more and expect less. And when your friends ask you why you changed and if you're happy, tell them (without preaching), be their role model, and support and encourage them to follow your lead.

ADDITION: I've been thinking for a long time that I'll add a forum to my blog. You'd be able to ask questions, support each other and generally be part of an open community. Would you like this? Would you visit? It will be free. If so, I'll need a couple of people, with experience, to help me as moderators. Is anyone interested? The forum is almost ready to launch but I need your input to progress further.


  1. I adore the little stitched sampler. Did you make it? And if so, do you have a pattern you could share?

  2. Wonderful, beautiful post. Well said! I so appreciate that you share your wisdom and I am learning so much from you. Thank you!
    I have been seeking out women from whom I can learn and passing on what I have learned to women younger than I. I'm pleased with their successes and struggle when they become something they want me to envy. I don't crave the material things and often it confuses those around us. My hubby and I live differently than many our age (at least that we are around) and they just don't get why we would sacrifice and go without so that I can stay home.
    Most days we smile at each other knowingly and others....we just get frustrated at the criticism and that they just don't get it. We have rewards much greater than a large screen TV that we wouldn't be able to enjoy for all the work it would take to pay for it.
    Thank you so much for your example and the encouragement that it brings.

  3. You are so right...we have found few and far between those who TRULY rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep!! Yet the Scriptures tell us to do this...and it is for our OWN good to do so too. I just got pretty well "blown out of the water" by my oldest friend today (who lives a continent away). I know she is kind of jealous that I had a day out with my friend here. But you know, each person is unique and special...and I love each of them in different ways. And nothing takes the place of people who have known us almost forever...I certainly don't begrudge her having chums where she is healthy to have gal pals wherever you live!! Sigh...I am sad today. But thanks for the understanding in your picks me up a bit right now!!

  4. Anke, yes, I drew the pattern. I'm happy to share it with you, it's here:

    Thank you Alex and Elizabeth. :- )

  5. Would LOVE a forum, yes please!

  6. I've had some experience as moderator on a Photography forum (I was given the job as I'm a stay at home Mum and my last 'baby' started school this year!). My husband believes it's because I spend a lot of time at my computer...regardless, it sounds like a wonderful idea and would be a terrific place for like-minded women (and men!) to chat, have discussions and learn from one another and of course, from you, our inspiration

  7. so funny rhonda, just the other day i was thinking a forum would be really good but i am afraid i am not that great on the computer so wouldnt be of much help. i would definitely be a contributor though. just some thoughts about your post. i feel it is so important to have good role models especially when we have not had them as children. my family was pretty dysfunctional growing up and when i was married and had children i just didnt really have an idea so i sought out older women and wateched them. i also found some i could aske questions. i tried to do as these women did and that is how i learnt a new way. because of this i try to make myself available to younger women who are trying to learn a new way. i am sad to say though that a lot of young women can see no other way than to work work work and chase the ever elusive dollar.

    sophie in new zealand

  8. A forum would be a great idea Rhonda! I definitely will look forward to it!

    I have never been a moderator before but if you need someone I would be more than happy to give it a shot. :)


  9. I would love a forum, it would be great to interact with like-minded souls.

    Thanks for a great post today (and every day).

    Ally from Adelaide

  10. I had a day mostly spent in bed as the flu crept up on me and took over. A long time since I have had a bout of illness, so it really hit me. But today I feel great and reading your posts always cheers me up Rhonda. Love the idea of a forum.

  11. I think a forum would be a good thing. But remember that sometimes a troll can ruin the good of it for everyone.

    Oh, and as a male, I seem to have learned many of the skills of my mother and grandmothers, as well as the skills of my father and grandfathers. That makes for a well rounded human, eh?

    As for trying to keep up with the Joneses... That seems to have come into fashion about the time of big advertising. And some people in our societies always seem to want to have the biggest, richest, best of everything, even if their inner emotional harmonies are not fed by these activities. I'm not saying that someone should not strive to make a better living for themselves, but humans sometimes have ways of taking things way too far. Just my observation.
    Thanks for writing Rhonda.

  12. Your words today are like a breath of fresh air. When you speak of the culture you knew, it sounds so different. Yet it can't have been that long ago.

    When we lived in a certain city for a short period of time, I was dismayed to discover that acts of kindness and generosity were often regarded with suspicion or even mild contempt. Fortunatley not all cities have this culture,(I've lived in many). What I noticed about this particular place was that the infrastructure had not kept apace with the population boom. People spent hours in heavy traffic, the cost of living was very high, etc. People were generally stressed. These conditions can't have helped civic morale. There is so much that can be said for a simpler life! It's healthy for families and communities.

  13. What a wonderful and inspiring post. Thank you Rhonda, for all you do for us here.

  14. I would love a forum. I too am home even though my children are grown (well in college). I think I am the only one at my church who stays home. It is really sad.

    Let me say that I love love love your blog. I have been shameful in the way I am keeping house and we have brought me to my knees with your words of wisdom. Thank you so much. I really don't know any older women around me who could mentor me. Thank you for being that example. I wish I could meet you in person but alas I am a Canadian living in the US.

    Can wait to hear your wisdom in the future.

  15. I would LOVE a forum. Thank you, Rhonda, for this wonderful addition to your blog.

    in USA

  16. What an appropriate message to all of us in this day and age. Well Said!! Love your cute sampler too! and at the risk of sounding like I am trying to "keep up with the jones" It would be fun to have a pattern of it :))

  17. I grew up too in a community where women {and men} helped each other and were glad when one of them atained a goal and such. When I became an adult and married I moved to another less small town place and got culture shock. I had never been around people that seemed so self centered and too busy for others. They were as Kalainne encountered. Also they did not seem to care about their homes or homemaking. I felt very lonely and like I was from another planet. I sure Never envied them! :) So we lived our own life as independent as we could as the years went by. Learning new skills and working towards our idea of an ideal life. It is and was still lonely...but we would not change a thing.We enjoy being home in the garden and shop and such. When I came to the web I was overjoyed to find woman like you that cared about life like we do. To hear the comments from many others and learn from all of you is a Joy! :) ...just wish we all lived closer than just a click away! Yes I too would love a forum but I am also not very good at computer workings. Jody

  18. i think the current debt ridden/ extravagent lifestyle of most people is only a blip in human history. i was talking to my 70 year old dad and he was telling me how his parents raised pigs in the (admittedly large) backyard when he was a kid, had a veggie patch, chooks etc etc. it was really only recently (in historical terms) that people moved away from 'the land' and simple living to a large extent and hopefully it is changing now, and by the time our kids grow up it will be the norm again.
    you have the most inspiring blog - im sure a forum would be a great addition.
    one question - do you have a dishwashing liquid recipe? its about the only cleaner i buy these days as i havent found a simple recipe that works well.
    paula, from Brisbane

  19. Rhonda, thank you again for a truly inspiring post. This is why I visit, to hear your down-to-earth words of not only simplicity but community and care.

    A forum would be fantastic; I'd love to chat with all the wonderful "commentors" as well as yourself. What a great way to impart knowledge and understanding, and that care for each other. :)

    Cath in Sydney

  20. What a beautiful post. Wish they'd print it on the front page of the New York Times!!!


  21. Very excited to hear about a forum! It will be great to talk to and share pics or garden progress and crafts with like-minded people.

    Kate in Devon

  22. Hi Rhonda,
    Yes, I would love a forum as long as it doesn't take away from your wonderful blog. Thanks for all you do. Pat

  23. Thankyou, this was a post about exactly what I've been thinking about lately. Why do we try to keep up with the Jones'? And we often are driven by self interest only.

    I think a forum is a great idea. It would be wonderful to get to know a little better all these wonderful people who comment and talk to people who are like minded. Thankyou for giving us that opportunity. I don't have any experience but if you need a hand...

  24. Good morning Rhonda, nice post. I've been slow to move into the mentoring role that should come with my age ... like so many of our generation I keep imagining I'm 16. However, I am getting there. I'm even embracing my grey hair -- though it's taking a while to get through the layers! :-)

    I'd be happy to assist with the forum if you still need helpers. Have a great weekend.

    Rose from the Illawarra (can't seem to get in on my usual Google ID.)

  25. I always wondered why you didn't have a forum already? What about one at Simple Green Frugal too?

  26. So glad you shared the idea of taking time to rest - too many of us ignore the signals of overload. Personally I would like to see a forum - it's been a turning point in my life to have found your wonderful blog Rhonda, but the opportunity to be able to exchange ideas with your lovely readers would be so special..just as long as it's not an extra burden to you and Hanno. I'm in awe of how much you cram into each day already! Happy weekend to all. Blessings from Canberra, Jen x

  27. Dear Rhonda,
    All of my daughters (in law) are able to be stay at home moms. Funny though, they really don't stay home that much. Shopping seems to be too important, as well as, too much fast foods and unbalanced meals. Two of my sons work full time and then are expected to come home and also do the cooking,laundry, shopping . . . I am so confused with this . . . did I do something wrong raising men of God who love and serve their families? It hurts my heart to see they way they live and the poor example my grandchildren live in everyday . . . poor eating habits, dirty, messy homes etc. My daughters are loving women who had no mothers to teach them the basics of keeping house and home. I keep praying the light bulb will turn on and they will want a better life.

    I would love a forum!


  28. Hi Rhonda,
    I am on the NSW central Coast and love coming here for inspiration and wisdom.
    I would love to participate in the forum and could help as a moderater if needed.
    Kind regrads,

  29. Rhonda

    Insightful words as always. It wasn't until my children started school that I realised just how insidious the 'keeping up greed' has become in our society. We continually look for ways to immune our young ones against this and following a path to living more simply is proving of great benefit. It it also a very good reminder to 'do as I do AND say'.

    Would rejoice in a forum where like minded souls can chat, connect and share. Fabulous idea.

    Warmest regards

  30. Hello Rhonda,

    I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago after finding you as 'forest' on Aussies Living Simply. The articles you have written there are simply inspirational. I marvel at your blog and as I read more about you, and the things you do daily it motivates me to make, bake and mend things for my own family. I now think twice about buying things that I could make myself with just a little effort. The results have been worth it! We eat home-baked cakes and biscuits now, and the flavour is incomparable. And there's no added colourings or preservatives. I am going to make some lemon cordial soon (the lemons are in the bucket), I'm considering ginger beer, we're about to make some raised-bed gardens so we can eat our own vegies, we use green cleaning products and I have been getting into fun and useful crafts such as soap making, knitting, sewing skirts, papier mache etc...
    I have just turned 24 and even in these short years have noticed that nobody my age seems to take pleasure in making things for themselves like they used to. Everything is bought (on credit usually), and lots of it! My nana taught me quite a few things as a child, which through my teen years were forgotten - for everything I could ever need was available at a shop. But I have now realised that nothing brings greater satisfaction than to work towards a simple life, and knowing that I am doing the best possible thing for my husband and son. I have a little boy, only 7 months, and he will grow up knowing that everything must be worked for, that toys are to be mended not discarded and replaced, that bad behaviour does not result in lollies! His father will teach him to fix and make things, teach him some real values (needs vs. wants, the value of manners and generosity, the importance of family, etc), and hopefully we can shelter him as much as possible from this world of consumerism and advertising, which would so easily lure him into a life of debt and lusting after things he doesn't need.

    I would also love for you to have a forum, there are so many of us with the same interests that it would be great to exchange information here.

    Kindest regards,
    Jadie Williamson
    Adelaide, Australia

  31. I work in the public service, live in an unfashionable suburb, have my kids at the local public school, go to a local church and I don't see the 'Joneses' types anywhere. I think it's a case of being careful of the company you keep.

    Thinking more, it could be that I've written off the show-off kind of person as boring! Hmm...

  32. Good Morning

    I think a forum would be great. I have had alittle experience as a moderator but this was at a time when Forums were just beginning and were 'slow' by todays standards but I would love to help although I work, but here I am.

    I work as a financial counsellor and I see everyday the 'Jones' and all their possessions which make others envious but I also see the debt and the heartache behind the facades. I am one which certainly does NOT want to keep up with the Jones'.

    Kalgoorlie WA

  33. I love that little stitched sampler, too. I was a little sorry to see it go when you redesigned the website. Thanks for posting it again and including the link to the design drawings! Please trot it out periodically -- I think it says so much about what this site strives to be.

    The forum idea is fabulous! I think it would be a wonderful addition to this site, and a logical extension to the neighborliness that sings through every post and comment. I'm certain you'll find plenty of mods among your closer friends and more consistent commenters, but if you find yourself in a bind, please contact me. No experience, but I'd love to help make the forum a reality.

    barb in ga

  34. I've been lurking here for quite some time.....but I had to say Thank You for this post. In the past year, we have taken a look at what's really important to us, and have shaved quite a few things out of our lives. Everyday it gets easier to shave some more. I definitely wasn't where I really wanted to be, I do not like corporate life. I'm getting to where I want to be, just have to keep working at it. And the people around us our age definitely don't think the way we's nice having others (even if in blogland) support us, so a forum would be a wonderful idea!! THANK YOU again!

  35. Hi Rhonda,

    It would be unbelievably generous of you to arrange for the Down-to-Earth community to be able to meet and interact on the web. Thank you!

    Donna in CO (USA)

  36. M. Stump in North CarolinaSeptember 04, 2009 12:12 pm

    I read your blog every day--even if you don't post, I find something in the archives. You keep me going. I am 56 (almost 57) and like many others, I have no acquaintances who are trying to make changes and live simpler. I am always told they don't have time. It would be wonderful to have a forum! Rhonda, you are a jewel!!!! When I can't seem to get through to others about how satisfying it is to live a simpler life, I forward your blog to them. I have no desire to keep up with the Joneses but know many people who run that race everyday. Thank you for the support you give me on a daily basis.

  37. Thank you so much for this post. It came at a perfect time after a particularly difficult day with a "mean spirited" person. Words to live by.

  38. I agree wholeheartedly with LizBeth, that this post should be frontpage on all national newspapers!

    Rhonda I think a forum is just what we all need now. How great it will be to be able to interact with one another as well as you.

    I mentor women younger than me as much as I can, and it is great to see the light go on with some of them. (Even have some small successes with my own three girls)

    I too grew up in a time when we learnt much from the significant women in our lives. (One year younger than you Rhonda and grew up almost next door in Ashfield)

    Fortunately for me my husband is on the same wavelength and now when I say "Rhonda says" he realises that I mean you and not my sister. LOL

    Have had a great week, looking forward to next week and the next and a lot of it is thanks to you Rhonda for giving me an entirely different attitude to life.

    Cheers Karen (near Bundaberg)

  39. Thank you, Rhonda, for sharing your wisdom and your stitchery patterns =) I have adopted your blog as my virtual "mother", finding all the lessons and skills luckier women learned at the knees of their mothers and grandmothers. I have been struggling to adjust to life in Queensland after moving here from the northeastern U.S. as well as transitioning from being a working to a stay-at-home mom of value and purpose. Not only is this wealth of information excellent, it is softened and embellished by your kindness, generosity, and good humor. I think a forum is an excellent can never have too many virtual mothers, sisters, aunts...

    I have no experience moderating, but I do have time and would be happy to help.

  40. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    I loved, loved, loved this post. You are certainly a role model for me too and I get inspiration and encouragement here everyday to do my best for my family.
    A forum would be fantastic. I've never had any experience as a moderator, though I've been on other forums before, but if you need help, I'm on the computer a lot, so would be willing.
    By-the-way, I don't think Burkes Backyard is out here in NZ yet. I've been looking out for it in all the usual places, but haven't found it yet. Maybe next week, hopefully. Can't wait to read your contribution!
    Rachel L

  41. I just discovered your blog and I am so inspired. You are very correct in saying that things have changed over here. I feel fortunate to recognize that, as I once was caught up in keeping up with the latest fashion and cars. Luckily, before we had our first child, we purchased a modest home. Which is how I have been able to stay at home and raise my 2 children. I am the only one of my friends who chose to stay home, so my support is very limited with my friends. My friends would not understand why I want to make our own jam (still searching to learn how), sew a quilt(someday, after I learn to knit), or raise my own chickens. So, I wanted to thank you for sharing your life. I am excited to go through and read your other postings. I know I will find your blog to be a huge asset to myself and my family as we work towards simplifying our lives and getting back to the basics.

  42. Anonymous JBB, I think I'm a bit like your daughters-in-law but thank God, the light bulb is going on for me!

    Thank you for your post Rhonda and all the work you do. I've always been an advocate of living simply, but somehow my life hasn't really been attuned with my values. Until very recently.

    Our society gives women such mixed messages, and it's true, so many lack real support or don't want to ask for it. We strive for things that are simply incompatible; we cannot 'have it all' without a price. But we can have real joy and fufillment from a simpler life. That's what I want to teach my girls.

    I would love to see a forum on this website. I would love to help moderate it too, but I'm in a process of paring down things in my life to see what's really essential and adding another job right now probably isn't a great idea.

    However, let me know Rhonda if you'd like me to give you a hand. You can contact me through my blog

  43. Hi Rhonda Jean - What a lovely post. Firstly, I love the idea or a forum - a way for us to all connect together and share ideas. What a fantastic pool of information that will turn out to be! I'm one of the younger people that you've been such an amazing role model for, I wish I could have you as my own mother in law (of course, no one could replace my mum). Thank you for everything you share Rhonda :)


    Chantel from Ashfield

  44. I totally agree with you! This whole world is getting more and more jealous, suspicious, self-focused and just plain unfriendly! We moved hundreds of miles away from home and have found people to be rather unfriendly. I have been sharing things with the neighbors like a loaf of bread on my breadmaking days, homemade soap, flowers, etc... and they just take it and sometimes give a grunt. I still do it, though, even when they don't even answer the door. My kids need to see generosity and kindness even when there is little gratitude given in return. I think that philosophy will change this world... not expecting anything in return gone a step further... kindness in the face of nastiness! It's okay to keep giving, even if all you have to give is a smile or a kind word.

    I love your stitched sampler, too. I would love to make one someday as I just love the message it gives.

    Thank you for continuing to give amidst this crazy world!

  45. Dear Rhonda,
    A wonderful post once again. I don't know what I would do if I never discovered your blog. I am always going through your old posts again & again. We have been in our new home for 3 months. The house itself is around 80yrs old, on 1.6 acres, 10min from town. I have started preparing a vegie garden. I have lots of seeds to plant soon.
    I go to town once a week and plan all our meals for the week. We do save alot of money by doing it that way. I am lucky enough to stay at home with our 3 yr old, in which I try to involve her in all my chores/activities thoughout the day. I believe it is a wonderful way to grow up, & I do hope she will appreciate it one day.
    Back in our old town I had lots of friends who were alot older than me by about 30yrs, who I looked up to, and who taught me so many things. I do miss them since moving.
    I do hope you start a forum soon as it is a wonderful idea!
    Take care & God bless

  46. I'd love there to be a forum. I don't know much about how they work, but I'm sure I'll work out how to contribute. Great idea

  47. I agree with your comment about being "up to their eyeballs in debt". I get caught up in the whole Joneses thing now and then...and then quickly reign myself back in. I've been a stay at home mom for the past 11 years and am so blessed that I had that opportunity. We made sacrifices along the way...we still live in our tiny home in our modest neighborhood...our carpet needs replacing...the yards aren't pristine...but our kids are secure and happy. Mission accomplished.

  48. Wonderful post bursting with wisdom! I would love a forum, although I don't know if it would help my goal of cutting back my reading on the net time...

    One thing I would love to hear your nuggets of wisdom on is the issue of self confidence in relation to body image. In our culture of appearances I feel I have become increasingly invisible. Older now (early 40s), a homeschooling/at home Mum (a job with less than zero status), and rather cuddly to boost, if you know what I mean :o) The latter in particular comes to the fore during the summer, with swimming and trying-to-keep-cool clothes. In one of your previous posts you mention that you are "comfortable in your own skin", and I would love to know how you got there :o)

    Thank you for the effort you put into this blog, and yours and Hanno's willingness to share your lives in this way :o)

  49. Thank you all for your wonderful comments.

    Paula, I'm finishing off my liquid soap this weekend. I'll post about it next week.

    Vanessa Tuau and Barb in GA, could you email me please? rhondahetzel AT gmail DOT com

    Layla, thanks. I'll email you.

  50. Rhonda, thank you so much for today's post, it has really rang (yet another) bell with me. I think of you as almost like a fairy godmother and role model all wrapped in to one - because I read your beautiful words, which are literal, wise, and true, and because we've never met, and that's where the fairy godmother part comes in!
    It has really inspired me to do something that I've wanted to do for years - run my own women's circle of mothers that can meet once a month and have a coffee morning together in a safe environment (namely my home at first!) where their children are just as welcome as they are. I am due with number two bub in november, so am going to spend the next three months planning to begin the circle to start in 2010. I've had this idea for a very long time, as a WAHM,but never had the defining moment of when to 'jump' in to it. Well now I have - the words you wrote about how women used to support eachother and celebrate every one's journeys and happiness as their own instead of competing against one another has done the final sell.
    I would love for your site to have a forum, and I would love to put my hand up to help with some moderating too. I am quick to learn, which would be essential, as I've never done it before! Please feel free to contact me and I can send you my email if you wish to do so. Thanks again, Kylie/ The Whiney Fairy

  51. Love the idea of a forum. Thank you!

  52. I am a long term reader of your wonderful blog and am just now embarking on a simpler life, I have a long way to go with a lot of debt but am determined to make life better for my family and me. I think a forum would be a wonderful idea, I have some experience as a mod on a doll forum and also lots of experience as a member of various forums. I live in the UK and would be happy to moderate for our timezone, although I couldn't obviously be online all of that time! But happy to help if I can :0)

    Kathryn x

  53. Another lovely post Rhona, they are all so informative & helpful, i read them each morning with my coffee, before i get into my day. The Idea of a Forum is a great one, it would be good to share views and idea's with other folk and make new friends as well..Thank you for everything.

  54. Kayjay, thank you. Would you email me please.

    Kylie, I am very proud of you. What a wonderful idea. Promise me you'll let me know how it goes when you start up. And good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and the birth. Take care.

  55. A forum ! What a great idea.

  56. Hi Rhonda,

    Just checked back to see how the commments were going. Oh my goodness, I guess your questions have been resoundingly answered. Have a great weekend.

    Cheers Karen (near Bundaberg)

  57. Dear Rhonda, thank you for these words. It's like you are talking to me in person ;o) I do miss a mother or grandmother like you are or like you have known in the past. Maybe that's the reason why I love your blog so much.

    Just like Anke I really lóve the stitchery. Haven't I seen it before on your blog? And do you have a (free) pattern of it?

    And if I can I really want to sign me up for the forum. I'm not that good to be a moderator, so I hope other people can or will.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Greets from Mama Monique, Holland

  58. Hi Rhonda
    A forum sounds great, at this stage I'm more of a knowledge sponge than a knowledge tap so probably no much use as a moderator, just a keen poster.

    Thanks as always for your lovely posts, they are a little moment in my day that I always look forward to.


  59. I love your message Rhonda. I refuse to keep up with the Joneses, in fact I hate their big TV's and awful concrete homes. I don't want a pool, and I'm happy with my little family car. My mother died when I was little, and so I've always felt I missed out on that 'learning' from generation to generation. I hoped to find it with an in-law, but alas, my husbands mum died before we met. So I love hearing from people like you, people who guide us youngens (29 for me).

    Last night I went shopping, clothes shopping. I felt like I'd gone back on my values. But I feel good now. I bought things I didn't have that I knew I'd wear planty, I bought good quality but not crazily-priced brands, and I bragged to everyone that the shoes I was replacing were 5+ years old and get worn almost every day for 9-10 months of the year. I also feel good in my new clothes, and I do like to feel good about the external image I present. But the most important part of the expedition is that I didn't go into debt for it. My home loan is my only debt, and we're doing our best to get rid of it (minus the infrequent events such as last night!) I'm proud to be able to treat myself once in a while (or once every 2-3 years!!) and be sensible the rest of the time. I think it make the being sensible easier.

    Thanks again for all that you give us,

  60. Hi just dropping into say hi and I love reading your blog. Its very interesting and makes great reading. I am just embarking on my simplifying journey, its be in the coming for a while but now I feel its starting to evolve x

  61. I think the overwhelming cry is 'yes' to a forum! I think it will be great. My only comment on this would be to echo another when they said that one troll could ruin it for all of us.

  62. I read in a previous post that you were considering homemade pasta for dinner. Would you consider a tutorial on that or do you have that in your archives already? Do you use a pasta machine to roll out your dough? I'm curious because I would like to see it done. Thank you, Terry

  63. Hi Rhonda Jean, I need to catch up on your past posts because I have been away visiting family and friends on and off through August. Question - what is a "Flash House" mentioned it your post today? We are almost finished building our raised beds and I just planted a few seeds yesterday with plans to plant more as it starts to cool down here. Looking forward to fresh veggies soon. Thank you for all that you share!. Emily

  64. I am so excited that you posed the question about a forum! I am definitely interested in that. Just the other day after reading one of your posts, I was thinking how great it would be to somehow connect more to share thoughts and ideas. We are all teachers and can gain valuable information from each other.

    Rhonda, thank you again for your words: my husband read your blog today and now realizes why i've been talking about it so much since I found it!!!


  65. I really like this post. It speaks to me because I am a younger women and find it hard to have friends that are genuine. I love to have them, I just choose to be guarded in sharing my excitement for something. It seems there is always jelousy or resentment towards me. I don't have much but I am very happy about what I do have. I feel very fortunate and blessed. Thank you for the post and for being a great role model!!

  66. Rhonda!
    I am 47, AND A HOUSEWIFE. There, I said it with pride! I live in rural Ontario, Canada with my husband and our 12 beautiful rescue cats. We are both vegan and due to circumstances (husband downsized a few years ago and now in a job with a somwewhat reduced salary)we are living frugally, more consciously, and are grateful for all the small things. Homemade meals, a batch of cookies, fresh homemade bread, potatoes from the garden etc etc. Many of our "old" friends are in two income households, have flashy cars, expensive houses, holidays (abroad , no less) and can spend money without having to think about the budget. We don't have two pennies to rub together and we are happy! I am so pleased to have you (via your blog) to encourage us and make me feel as though we are OK living the life we do. It is simple and simple is good!
    I can't wait for your forum.
    It will be a little community of like minded people all helping, supporting, and encouraging...wonderful.
    With thanks, Jane

  67. I think the forum idea is wonderful. I'm 57 years old and I garden and preserve food also. Even though I have experience in this area I still learn so much from your blog. I'm sorry I've never commented before. I'm sure there are many who read your blog every day, like me, who have not commented. Thank you for this blog!

  68. What a lovely post and such a positive encouragement. I feel blessed to have a few such generous women in my life and I know what treasures they are. I'm going to forward a link to your post to share with them this morning.

  69. I will be 50 years old this year. My husband I both work at the same company.There is a possiblilty that we both might loose our jobs in the next year.For a while we have been cutting back and trying to slow down and live on less.I am so glad I found your blog I will be using it as a reference to change our way of life.

  70. Like every comment I read, I'd love to see a forum here.

    As I move into a mental space of becoming more and more environmental, you and your "followers" are a welcome change from some of the slightly wacky environmental blogs out there. It's based on simplicity and stewardship, rather than the "peak oil" theories. The great thing about it all is that what's good for us, is also good for the environment and is good for our wallets too. And I'm sure that's not at all coincidental.

    A forum would allow me to ask my jam questions during jam making season, and cleaning questions while I'm cleaning rather than wait until the topic comes up in the blog itself. I love it!

  71. I look forward every day to your blog Rhonda. You write with such passion, and such sense. A forum would indeed be a blessing and a supportive community of like minded people.

    Useless at the moderation however, but would read and participate with a will!

    Ann from the Isle of Skye

  72. I would love a forum on your site. I feel so close to all the people who visit your blog -- we are all in the same boat with the same ideas and goals.


  73. Rhonda, I loved your last post. I am so glad that today's young women have such great resources as your blog for support in their homemaking, and advice and inspiration. I would have just loved having the blogging community around when I was a young mother. I know you have a new daughter-in-law, and so do I. She is into all things homemade, creative and frugal. It's so fun sharing projects with her, and I could not love her more. She has started a new blog at and has posted so many of her beautiful handmade creations. I think you and your readers would love to see them. She would be thrilled, I know, if you stopped by to say hi and welcome. I so love your blog and have gotten so many great ideas from you. You have even been kind enough to answer questions I have had. Thank you. Mona

  74. Can men hang around the forum as well?

  75. Shelagh C. in HoustonSeptember 05, 2009 4:36 am

    Hi Rhonda:

    As always, your post is great and obviously hit the spot in regards to a forum judging by the number of comments (at this point 75). I'll be interested to see what goes on but useless at moderating as I've no idea what is involved.

    Keeping up with the Joneses is a fruitless endeavor and just wastes energy and effort. I've friends whose paychecks are spent even before they hit their hands, all in an effort to have what their neighbors have and more. They've even planned what they are going to spend their annual bonuses on without even knowing that a bonus will be awarded or how much. Now that is definitely living paycheck to paycheck. I'd be a nervous wreck living like that with all the debts they carry.

    I was born right after WWII ended in England and we grew all our own vegetables, had chickens and rabbits at the bottom of the garden, and if a purchase was to be made the money was saved up until there was enough. My parents would never go in for "hire purchase" as it was known then and my father still says that if it's in his pocket he can spend it and if it isn't there then he can't.

    People often seem shocked when I prefer to pay cash or write a check for my purchases rather than put them on a credit card. Now, I do have a credit card for convenience if I'm making a large purchase but it is paid off monthly, my house and car are paid off and I have no other debts.

    I'm more at peace knowing that what I have is mine to spend as and when I like to take care of myself and my critters, not to keep up with someone else's idea of what I should have.

    Well, better get off the soapbox. Your posts always get my day going in a good way.


  76. Please do have a forum-I for one would just love it. Thanks again for
    doing what you do. Even though I grew up learning/doing many of the things you teach it was only when hard times hit us that I saw the real VALUE in it. I get such encouragement from reading your blog and I've even learned a few new tricks! Passing the "gift" along to the next generation
    is our sacred duty. Each one reach one, eh? God bless,

  77. Hi Rhonda.

    I'm a bit of a long time lurker but would definitely be interested in a forum. I can't give up a huge amount of time for it but if you need some help with moderation I have plenty of experience (been moderating on-and-off since I was about 16, including starting up and modding a freecycle group)

  78. You know, I visit several blogs at various times during the day. All of them today seem to be giving hope and admonition that we are better than we seem and we should strive to continue to better ourselves. We are world and news weary, no matter what continent we live on. Personally, as an American, I am continually shamed at the greed and selfish attitude that certainly seems prevelent in this society that I call home. I find it everywhere; in other women judging choices I make all the way to corportate and government gluteny. If we as women of the world would act and instill these values, the ones you speak of, we could change the world. Kindness. Respect. Simplicity. It shouldn't be underestimated.

  79. I have been seriously thinking if we are mentoring. Without thinking of it I think we are doing more than I had thought. We could always do more though of course. We have helped new couples bake bread, plant a garden and given them many saving ideas. Also these other couples could use things we had we did not need and so this helped all of us. Etc. When you love what you do you want to share it! Sharing such information has become second nature to us so I had to think about it and now realize there have been many such times. We did not have any mentors just book learning to get us into this lifestyle. Now we know it is our responsibility to share so others do not do without. I have been working with a young mother recently and thought ahead of some of the ideas that have helped me through life and purposely added them to our conversation when and if the right time came up to do so. There have been certain life lessons that have been lightbulb moments and I want to pass some of them on. She has been very receptive and asked further questions and has come to me since asking more. She in turn knows things I do not know. Everyone has something to share no matter what age. Yes although staying to ourselfs away from this hurried wild world is inviting it is not always possible. We do prefer it though. Yet when we are out and among the 'world' we can share and mentor where we can in love. Thankyou Rhonda for the peace I feel when I come here as I know I am with people that understand where we are coming from. Jody

  80. I just love reading your blog every day! I too am a stay-at-home-mom to our three year old daughter (baby girl #2 will be here in 2 short months!) and I homeschool her also. Right now we live in a small town, but are looking at buying land in the country and building our own, small, yet efficient home. We want to raise horses, cats, dogs, beef cattle, chickens, a few sheep and I'm sure many more animals! We also plan to put in a garden (we already can most of our own veggies and fruits, from local farms, and both our parents have huge gardens so they share). I admit, we have made some "keeping up with the Jonses" mistakes in the past and are still working on paying off that "stupid tax" (debt). But we are more than halfway there! God is so good!
    Keep up the good work! A forum sounds great!! I have so many questions and don't always know who to ask! :)
    Thanks for a great blog!

  81. Thank you for another wonderful post Rhonda.

    I am so grateful for the internet, because my mum had no interest in teaching me how to run a house, live simply and stay out of debt....i had go into cyberspace to learn these things, and what a mentor you have been to me.

    Thank you.

    PS The forum sounds great!!!

  82. Hi Rhonda...I'm a little late to the party, but I'm enjoying the blog!

  83. Hello Rhonda! I love this posting so much:) I so look up to women who live simply and happily.
    Thank you so much for visiting my page and all your sweet words! I was so thrilled to have a visitor all the way from Australia! I am so grateful to be in the blog world with women like you to learn from.

  84. Rhonda, im so glad you listed this post to 'revisit'. I must pass this link onto to my family and friends. Your words of wisdom need to be spread far and wide. Julia


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.

A link to your blog will be automatically added to your comment. Please don't add another link to your blog in your comment. Those comments will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...