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.

15 September 2010

It's Hanno's birthday, plus other excitement

First things first. It's Hanno's 70th birthday on Sunday! The whole family is coming, my sister arrives tomorrow, and all the kids will be here for a party we're having on Saturday. It promises to be a beautiful day, one we'll remember for a long time. Hanno does a lot for us as a family and we're all looking forward to being able to show and tell him how much he is loved and appreciated. I'm at my voluntary work today so from tomorrow it's full steam ahead with the preparations and cooking.


Another exciting thing happening here is that Penguin is interested in my book. I've been talking to a delightful woman named Jo and if she is anything to go by, I will enjoy my association with Penguin very much. But that also brings me to the not-so-good news. I need to take a break from my blog for a little while. I have to work on some material I need to send to Penguin, we have the party to prepare for, and enjoy, and with some other things happening behind the scenes that I can't tell you about yet, I'll have my hands too full to write here every day. I hope you'll read through my archives.


I haven't had a chance to work out the costing on the bar soap yet. I'll do it when I come back. The point with making soap, is not to follow my recipes, although I'm more than happy that you do that, but to see what oils are available to you locally at a good price. When you have your oils, run some amounts through a soap calculator to see how much lye and water you need. Then you'll have your recipe. For instance, if you want a mainly olive oil soap and you want to make about one litre/quart of it, you might put in your olive oil amount as 500mls/17 oz, then maybe 250mls/8.5 oz of coconut oil and 250mls/8.5 oz of macadamia oil or cocobutter. The choice is yours, dependent on what you can source easily and what is in your price range. Don't go overboard with expensive oils, lower grade oils make excellent soap. Make up small batches of new recipes to start with to make sure it's going to be something you like using. BTW, in reference to my precious post, lye is caustic soda which you can usually find at the supermarket or hardware store. And if you have no rain water, use distilled water, or, even cheaper, tap water that you allow to sit in an open container for 24 hours. That will allow the chlorine to evaporate off. I hope you enjoy your soap making. I want to hear many of your stories about making your first batch.

Whole lemon cake, made using the whole orange cake recipe.

I won't be gone too long and when I can post a photo, or write, I'll be here with bells on. I still have so much to share with you, I feel ready to burst some mornings typing away, connecting with you. So bear with me, enjoy the archives, and I'll be back as soon as I can be.


76 comments:

  1. Good luck with everything Rhonda - hope you are back soon and that Hanno's birthday goes well.

    Hugs Babs xxx

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  2. Miss you already. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Hanno XOXOXO
    The other Rhonda

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  3. Best wishes to Hanno on his very important Birthday. What a milestone! Hope you all have a great day. Enjoy your little break from blogging. Sometimes it`s important to get the balance right. And, I`m convinced that you have got that deffinately right!!
    Enjoy your break!

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  4. Congrats on the book deal, looking forward to reading more about that. Don't be gone to long, we will miss you. :-)

    -Brenda

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  5. Happy Birthday Hanno - have a great day. We'll all still be here when Rhonda gets back after the party :-)

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  6. Warm wishes to you, Rhonda, and a very happy birthday to Hanno.

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  7. we'll miss ya so! happy day to H!

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  8. Wonderful news Rhonda,happy birthday to Hanno and enjoy you gathering.See you when you return.Carole

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  9. Happy Birthday Hanno!

    Congrats re Penguin. If I was in the publishing business I would snap you up in a heartbeat, and not just for one book but a whole series. I mean, is there a broader topic than homemaking?

    Can't wait to hear what else you have up your sleeve.

    Best wishes with your writing.

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  10. Wonderful news about the book! I look forward to seeing it in print. And of course, a Happy Birthday to Hanno. Enjoy the family time!

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  11. My very best wishes to your Hanno on his 70th birthday. My husband turns 70 in October. A lovely time of our lives don't you think? Will look forward to your return to blogging. Have a wonderful celebration weekend with your family.

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  12. OOHHH birthdays how delish! Happy birthday Hanno. Congratulations Rhonda on your news and reading the archives is never ever a problem. see you wen you get back happy celibrating
    Rachel

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  13. How exciting! Congratualtions to you on the book & happy birthday to Hanno!

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  14. Good Luck with the book! We'll miss you but will be happy to wait!

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  15. I will miss you Rhonda! My morning just isn't complete until I have read your blog while eating breakfast :) First thing I read each day!
    Congratulations on the interest from Penguin. Not suprising at all! In fact I am surprised that you haven't been snapped already by a publishing house. Looking forward to hearing all your news.

    Happy birthday to your wonderful husband.

    Miriam

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  16. Best to you Rhonda - and Happy Birthday to your dear Hanno. Many, many blessings.
    I will await your book with eager anticipation and gladly add it to my library of "go to" books.
    Blessings.

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  17. Best of luck with the book Rhonda. From one ex-technical writer to another - you're an inspiration.

    Happy birthday Hanno!

    Diane

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  18. Oooh how exciting about your book! Happy Birthday to Hanno - have a lovely weekend together.

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  19. Happy Birthday, Hanno!! Enjoy your wonderful party.
    Rhonda- congratulations to you regarding your book. I can't wait to see it in print. I am so excited for you.

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  20. All good news! Congratulations all around. :)
    Happy Birthday to Hanno this coming Sunday.

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  21. Happy Birthday, Hanno!

    May your next DECADE be blessed. :-)

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  22. Happy Birthday Hanno and congratulations RJ, hope it goes well.

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  23. Tell Hanno happy birthday! Enjoy your break.

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  24. Happy Birthday Hanno!
    And well done to you on the Penguin contract, that's marvelous!
    All the best.

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  25. Happy Birthday Hanno. Fabulous news on the book. Hope all goes well. Look forward to reading your posts when you are able to write again. Jeanette

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  26. Best wishes for a great birthday for Hanno.
    Congratulations on the book deal. It all sounds exciting. We all eagerly await the posts when you return.

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  27. Happy Birthday to Hanno and good luck to you, Rhonda. See you when you get back.

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  28. Happy Birthday to Hanno! I'll look forward to your return Rhonda. Congratulations of the possible book deal.

    Blessings!
    CottonLady

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  29. Wonderful news on several fronts! Please give Hanno my best wishes for a wonderful birthday! It's strange how we can feel that we know people we've only heard about in the world of blogs, but it's true. I feel as if you and Hanno were perhaps distant cousins!

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  30. Happy birthday to Hanno! and congratulations on your book finally coming together - yay! More good news getting out there.

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  31. Congratulations on the book deal! I'll miss your morning updates while you're away, but getting published is amazingly good news. Happy Birthday to Hanno, hope he has a great day.

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  32. Happy Birthday Hanno!

    Rhonda you will be missed. I will enjoy reading through the archives and look forward to your return!

    Blessings from the middle of the U.S.

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  33. What exciting news! Happy birthday to Hanno for Sunday! Wishing you all a super day. So exciting about the book!! I can't wait to hear more about it. I'll miss your posts, Rhonda, you are a true gem. Enjoy your busy break :)

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  34. Exciting news about the book deal, congrats!
    Btw, in Canada one cannot find lye in grocery stores and only some (very few) hardware stores carry it. It can be ordered through soap supply companies although they will only deliver smaller quantities, lye being a hazardous substance.

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  35. Happy Birthday Hanno! Many more!

    Congratulations Rhonda! I'll be looking forward to your book!

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  36. Rhonda,
    Good luck with the book and Happy Birthday to your Hanno.
    I have never posted here, but your blog is my daily go to place to enjoy the calm. I enjoy learning about your living simply activities and long for the day that I no longer have to punch the time clock to take advantage of more simple doing of my own. I do believe I am making progress. I will be waiting anxiously, but patiently for you to resume your blogging. Thank you for your inspiration.

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  37. Congrats to Rhonda and Happy Birthday to Hanno. I'm happy you will be taking a short sabbatical as I want to read the archives and not fall behind.

    I made the laundry soap you posted and I love it. It takes more for a top loading machine but that's okay. My clothes smell good, though not like Tide, and they are soft. The laundry soap is good for hand laundry too. My horse fell in a bog on Sunday and I was rather dirty myself. Clothes went into the washer with some homemade soap-they came out pristine!!

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  38. Happy Birthday to Hanno. Enjoy your time off. Enjoy the celebration and good luck with the book. I'm off to find the fixings for a batch of soap. :)

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  39. Hi Rhonda,

    Good luck with Penguin, I hope all goes well, looking forward to the book.

    Happy Birthday to Hanno, will miss you with my morning cuppa but see you soon.

    Tracie

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  40. You will be sorely missed! But go and be blessed, and we will be here waiting when you get back! Happy Birthday to Hanno!!

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  41. Exciting things happening! Good luck and Happy Birthday to Hanno.

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  42. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNO!!!! Have a lovely day.

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  43. Happy birthday Hanno!

    Congrats on the book deal- so exciting. I can't wait to hear all about it :)

    Have a fab weekend Rhonda and enjoy your time off- you deserve it!!

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  44. Happy Birthday Hanno! Hope you all have a lovely day together. Rhonda, I will miss your up to date news and information but will plow into your archives happily. Great news about the book and looking forward to you sharing your secret! Karen from CT

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  45. A very Happy birthday to Hanno. Good luck with your exciting projects. It will give me time to read your archives. Thank you for a great site, and the effort you put into it. You are amazing.

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  46. Dear Rhonda,

    Happy Birthday to Hanno. That is great news about the book. I am so excited for you. I can't wait to get a signed copy from you. I will be there when you become one of our local authors with your wonderful book. Enjoy the party, it is such beautiful weather on the coast at the moment.
    Lors

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  47. Happy Birthday to Hanno, and I'm really excited to hear about your book!

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  48. Hi Rhonda,

    at first: congratulations with the upcoming birthday of Hanno. Seventy years!

    And sure we will read through your archives. All of the stories are such an inspiration to me.

    At the moment I am trying to find me some Marseille-soap to make my own detergent, but it's harder to find than I thought it would be. Hope to find it soon (in a eco-friendly way) to try this at home. Next I will be trying to make me my own soap. So thank you for all your stories full of inspiration.

    Have a great and lovely weekend!

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  49. How exciting!
    Enjoy the buzz..... you deserve good things Rhonda.

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  50. A book - how exciting! We'll miss you, but everyone needs a break once in a while (even if it is a working break). Happy birthday to Hanno!

    Allegra

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  51. Happy Birthday Hanno!
    I'll miss you Rhonda, but I understand. It's definitely important to make time for family.
    Congratulations on your book deal prospect! It would be wonderful if it got published- I'll be in line to purchase! You have so many exciting things happening.
    I'll be reading through your archives, taking special notes of all your soap making posts as DH thought soap making was a great idea! I will tell you how it goes. If it turns out, I might get some pretty molds and make them as gifts. Hope you will return soon, but have a wonderful time with your family.
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

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  52. Happy Birthday wishes to Hanno! Enjoy your celebrations this weekend and time with family. Congratulations on your book news Rhonda. This is such exciting news. You will be missed while you are away. I wish you all the best while you are focusing your efforts to your book. What a wonderful opportunity and joy to be able to share with others.

    Amy

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  53. Happy Birthday to Hanno!

    Blessings on all your endeavors, Rhonda.

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  54. Happy Birthday Hanno, hip hip hurrah.

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  55. Happy birthday Hanno and congratulations Rhonda! I almost never comment (I'm sorry!) but your blog is such a wonderful reference for me in my daily effort to lead a more reasonable life. When I started reading your blog, I discovered a whole new world of possibilities to do what I had wanted for a long time but didn't know how to achieve - making the most of what I have and live a more sensible life. I can't thank you enough the wonderful way you've been helping me!
    Best wishes for you and your family from the other side of the world (I'm writing from Lisbon, Portugal) :)

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  56. Happy b/d Hanno. You and Rhonda are such an inspiring couple. Hope your party is a wonderful memory maker. Good news about a possible book deal!!!

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  57. My goodness! Such good news with Penguin, waiting to hear that it's a totally done deal.

    Happy, happy birthday to Hanno. With all his daily activities, he is in GREAT condition, and I wish him many, many more.

    Hugs to you both
    Yvette

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  58. ooh exciting stuff - shall miss you though x x x x

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  59. Good luck with the book & a big Happy Birthday to Hanno! I look forward to reading your blog everyday & can't wait to see your book. Please don't be gone to long.

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  60. oh Rhonda you will be missed but how exciting - a book!!

    And happy birthday to Hanno - I turn 31 on Sunday so we share a birthday! :)

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  61. Congratulations, Penguin books is a real catch! I don't buy books anymore, but I make a special allowance for quality reference books, and I just know that your book will be one of those. I can't wait!!!

    On the home front; I asked my grandmother to teach me to knit and Friday before last I got started. I love it and have been practising almost every day. The stitching looks dreadful, like a thick dreadlock, but I'll get there. I even knitted during our car trip yesterday after reading about it on another blog - so much fun and I didn't get sick at all like I thought I would. Soon I'll be starting my first dish cloth.

    Thank you for the inspiration! Have fun during your 'time off'.

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  62. Good luck with the book Rhonda - that's wonderful news.
    I'll be happily reading the archives during your absence - there's so much there to enjoy.
    Happy Birthday to Hanno too.

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  63. Happy Birthday Sweet Hanno! Good Luck Rhonda. I am so thrilled for you!

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  64. Very exciting. Will send lots of positive thoughts about Penguin. They'd be lucky to work with you too. Happy celebrating.

    Bonnie

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  65. I'll miss you while you are off doing those things Rhonda, but just wanted you to know that I'm sure we will all survive. Love and best wishes to Hanno, hope he has the best birthday and the biggest slice of cake!

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  66. Happy Birthday to Hanno! Sounds like a lovely weekend ahead. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts about whats been going on in your busy life.

    Cheers - Joolz

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  67. Happy Birthday to Hanno for Sunday!! I hope you all have a wonderful time together celebrating!
    Thanks for the hint about lye being caustic soda - will go searching in Woolies as I really want to learn how to make our own soap.
    Congrats on the book - looking forward to being one of the first to purchase it!!!!
    Have a wonderful, happy break away!
    Renata:)

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  68. This ones for Hanno!!!

    Have an absolutely wonderful BIRTHDAY on Sunday Hanno. Hope your party is terrific.

    For Rhonda,

    Congratulations on your book possibilities, so looking forward to having it on my bookshelf. Will miss you heaps. Take care till we see you again blogging.

    Blessings Gail

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  69. Thankyou so much Rhonda, looking forward to finally getting through everything on the blog but also to your return xo

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  70. Rhonda,

    Your writing truly expresses your happiness! I wish you the best on your book!

    Happy 70th Birthday to your wonderful husband! Your blog posts have always shown us Hanno's kindness and generosity. I hope that he has a TERRIFIC day!

    Enjoy your time away from the blog...I'm sure that you will find us all waiting for you when you return!!!

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  71. Please do come back soon...I enjoy your blog so much!

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  72. Hoping that all goes well with preparing your book for Penguin. I`m looking forward to reading it!

    Wishing Hanno a very Happy Birthday, and thank you Rhonda for your inspiring blog. I`ll enjoy looking back at former posts while you are away.

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  73. Such great reasons to take a blogging break Rhonda. I'm very excited for you about the publishing possibilities. I know a professor in WA whose class on sustainable living has been directed to your blog and forums (after I emailed him the links) - I think momentum is gathering, albeit slowly, for greater grass-roots change in the way that we live and a homegrown Australian book will be so welcome.

    Enjoy celebrating your wonderful husband, and I for one will continue trawling the archives!

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  74. Good luck with everything over the next few weeks. You have given us so much to read and think about that it will be good to go back to the archives and read it all again!
    Hugs Alexandra

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  75. enjoyed reading your blog. I have been on the simple living road for the past 30 years. Its a good road to be on

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