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 about 7000 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.

3 March 2011

The housewife returns

I suppose it didn't take long to write my book but it seemed to drag on at times and certainly gave me cause to think about how I usually spend my days.  I still do a bit of freelance writing when it comes my way but the majority of my time is spent as a homemaker.  When I first gave up paid work, I wanted to close the world out, spend time in the garden collecting eggs, vegetables and flowers and along with that, I hoped to renew my spirit. I needed to do it; I was on the verge of being burnt out.


I thought the garden and the chooks would help me recover from spending years in the workforce and shopping malls, and of course they did. What I didn't expect was the charm and pleasure I found in ordinary domestic work. Sweeping the floor, making beds, baking bread, making soap, mending and knitting slowed me down and revealed to me that being the kind housewife I became was exactly what I needed to strengthen and save me.


I guess I am what most people would call an old fashioned housewife, but what I'm doing, the way I do my day to day tasks, isn't old fashioned to me, it's how I was taught and what I saw everyday as I was growing up.  I was born in 1948 so I was a child during the 50s and a teenager and a young 20-something in the 1960s.  All through those formative years I saw the women around me washing up at the sink, hanging clothes in the sun to dry, mending clothes, walking to the shops to collect fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and milk each day.  What I am doing was imprinted on me all those years ago, every day I am thankful for the knowledge it gave me and I see no need to modernise.


I've grown used to the workings of a simple home - the baking, cooking, sewing, gardening and mending.  When I didn't have the time to do it all while I was writing, I felt deprived and a bit empty.  I don't think anyone should be defined by their job, but I know I am what I do.  I am a housewife.  I keep house, I volunteer, with Hanno's help, we make as much as we can to support this life we live, and we are not deminshed by that, we are enriched and energised by it. 


I worked in the community yesterday but today I'll be working here, along side Hanno, doing the things I missed during the past few months.  I can't tell you exactly what it is I missed - what part of it or what particular task - I missed IT, the entire thing, doing my house work, which usually started by writing a blog post and sending it out to you.  So here I am, back, ready to continue on, open to everything that comes our way and very grateful that soon our family will grow and, once again, the cycle will continue.

Addition: The book is called Down to Earth and will be published by Penguin early 2012.

53 comments:

  1. I am soooo looking forward to the book Rhonda! So glad to have you back! Congrats on the Bloggie and esp. for getting your book finished!

    ((HUGS))
    Debbie
    Central Illinois

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  2. when I have your lovely book in my hands, all your efforts will be worth it! ;) Glad you are now able to focus on the peace and joys of homemaking. On Monday, we got home from a trip, and I spent yesterday cook-cook-cooking in my kitchen. How it missed me!

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  3. Rhonda, you must have a healthy sense of pride in being able to plow through the book-writing even when it was hard to stick to it, or when you felt you'd rather just be living the life you were writing about. I think it will be wonderful to find your book in print! I can't imagine what a thrill you'll get when you see your work on a shelf in a store! How exciting to have such a far reaching influence for good, in the lives of perfect strangers...

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  4. Isn't it wonderful to return to what other people call mundane? I miss my house too when I can't be here. Can't wait to find the book on a shelf near me! I also look forward to hearing about your days again.
    Hugs
    Yvette

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  5. Congratulations Rhonda for finishing the book and getting back to being what you enjoy living, being a down-to-earth house wife.

    Bless your heart.

    FlowerLady

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  6. Welcome back, relax and enjoy doing what you like doing best. Your cat looks like he/she knows what that's like :-) so does mine, and we should take a leaf out of their book! Jo :-)

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  7. Wonderful. Looking forward to the book!
    Am popping over to join the forum now. I was born in 1974 but really should have been born in 1934 so I was rasing my family in the 50's I think

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  8. Well...we missed you! So welcome back and I'm looking forward to the book.

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  9. Welcome back - I have missed our daily chats!

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  10. Rhonda, I am so excited for you. And for the rest of us. It will be wonderful to have your knowledge available to all of us in book form. You have been such and inspiration to me and the rest of us I'm sure. Enjoy getting back to the life you love so much - and get ready to enjoy those grandbabies - they are so much fun and so sweet to have.

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  11. Welcome back Rhonda I grew up a little later than you did. I watched my Mom take care of the house while my Father worked to put food on the table. It worked for them and I am grateful for that. I love being a housewife and take pride in the things I accomplish but I am also farmer and take pride in that. A nice balance. A job I can do from home and a home I can take care of. It makes life great.
    Looking forward to seeing your book in Canada? B

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  12. On the radio yesterday driving into the city they did some stats on things and one of those stats was that 65% of women enjoy doing housework. I guess that was suppose to shock some people, but I believe it is true. I enjoy being home and doing housework. I don't enjoy seeing the dog with muddy feet going across my newly cleaned floors, but I guess someone has to make the first impression!

    Love your post.

    Marlyn

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  13. Glad to have you back, something has been missing from my morning ritual of getting to work before everyone else and checking your blog to ground me before I start!
    Can't wait for the book, I will be buying a copy for my mum!

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  14. Changes are fun but it's always nice to go back to the familiar things where you feel comfortable and the routine is part of who/what you are. Lol, Feb 2012 seems a long way off but I know how fast 2010 seemed to go so I'll be enjoying your book soon enough :).

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  15. Welcome back! I love reading your blog Rhonda. It makes a real difference to my day and the type of life I want to live. I can't wait to read your book. With love.Penny L in Dorset England xx

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  16. It took me a long time to realise how much home centred me but I did realise and I'm glad. I think that is what's missing in less simple lives where home is a place to sleep and dump things with no sense of renewal.

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  17. Thank-you for valuing the housewife. Its a role so often society does not cellebrate. I'm guilty of that. Always trying to do too much rather than run a smooth home.

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  18. Oh yes, I, too, love being an old fashioned housewife. I have been extra busy of late with dollmaking and certainly mossed the pace keeping the home gives. I am ready to have that pace a gain.

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  19. Hello rhonda
    I am two years older than you and still work part-time (three days a week). My grandmother started work outside the home in her late 60's and continued on well into her 70's. She found it interesting and rewarding and quite a treat having her own money to spend as she pleased. My mother always worked outside the home.
    In spite of this lack of "training" I live the life of a 50's housewife. Have a small farm and huge vege garden and orchard. Bottle and freeze and preserve. Make everything from scratch and live what I consider to be the really good life.
    Lovely to have you back!!

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  20. I can so relate to what you are saying. When I have been on the road for a stretch of time, it feels like something is missing in my life. The care of heart and home.
    Great post as always!

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  21. Okay, life is back to normal for my visits to your blog each day. I really look forward to your new book, but I'm also so very glad to have you back where you want to be and where I look for you each day.

    My friends still don't get it that I enjoy my home so much. For many years, I was a professional accountant and everyone was skeptical that I would be content now that I'm no longer employed outside the home. Sewing, cooking, gardening, washing clothes and sweeping floors (well, I don't enjoy sweeping floors so much, but love it when they're clean) are so much less stressful than the time-driven world in which I used to spend most of my time. I still get tired physically, but not nearly as tired mentally.

    It's good to be surrounded by like-minded folks like you and the other posters who agree with you.

    Now I'm off to fold clothes and plan my sewing for tomorrow...sigh...it's a good life.

    Diane in North Carolina

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  22. Dear Rhonda, How wonderful that your book will be out in less than a year! I can't wait to buy copies for myself and my daughters. I know a lot of what you have to say (I'm slightly older that you are and saw it as I grew up too) but I love your way of writing and sharing your ideas and philosophy. You should be so proud to have brought this project to completion. What really valuable work, like all that you do!

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  23. I too love being a housewife. Simple pleasures from simple tasks.

    My hubby subscribes to the 'happy wife, happy life' philosophy and since being at home I'm the happiest I've ever been - so is he!

    We don't have kids but we have a business which takes up all of our time. We are fortunate that at the moment I am able to stay at home the majority of the time.

    I am relishing every day I can be at home cooking, gardening, cleaning, sewing, reading - all the things I didn't have enough time for when I was working outside.

    Thanks for the inspiration. :)

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  24. I will admit that I genuinely missed your daily post but knew you were off doing something that will touch MANY more lives. I long for the days of being a full-time homemaker once more but until we get our debts paid off I will continue to work part-time. Scott and I are more driven to NOT spend and both of us think before we buy anything. Always in our minds now is if I spend this money now what will I miss out in needs - true needs later. It's curbed our spending immensely. I'm going to be offered a new position at work where I will only work early mornings Monday through Friday and I am THRILLED beyond words about this. I'll post more over on my blog when I know more. Perhaps this year will be the one that turns everything around for us. Congrats on the Bloggie!

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  25. well done ! jen

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  26. We must never forget that those women so many years ago did not have really good choices like we do. I was born in 1964. The few choices women had outside the home were not high paying jobs, not that all of them now pay well. Jobs outside the home did not excuse them from housework. Housework is drudgery when you don't have money from retirement. Having money to be free enough to buy what you need and to not struggle is a wonderful notion, one most women did not have.

    Reproductive freedom (pill) allowed women to work. When I must be away from home or out of the groove of domesticity, I do miss it. But, it is the freedom to set aside the housewife role for a bit that makes me and most women appreciate the mundane house activities.

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  27. It's so good to have you back! I found your blog a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. :)

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  28. practical parsimony, I have no idea what you're commenting on. I have written before about how repressive the 1950s were but today I was writing about me and how I do house work. When you write about no "high paying jobs", there has never been equal pay for women, not now and not in the past.

    I have no idea what you mean by this: "Housework is drudgery when you don't have money from retirement." Housework is not drudgery to me.

    I apologise if I misunderstood your comment but to me it had nothing much to do with my post.

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  29. We are all glad you have finished your book too...so we get to read it :)
    Enjoy getting back to your lovely daily routine.

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  30. Hello!!!

    I love your blog I have a make shift farm in the city!!LOL with 18 ducks a bunch of chickens 3 dogs and 2 rabbits and more to come!!!

    You can check out my blog at http://carmeninthecountry.blogspot.com!

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  31. Congratulations! It's a huge accomplishment to have finished your book and share with others in that way. We're lucky to hav eyou back blogging too :-)

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  32. I totally understand Rhonda. I was born in 1960 but my friends call me the 1950s housewife :-)
    Glad you are back in your "happy' place.
    Karen NZ

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  33. Such a lovely post Rhonda, I am so looking forward to your book!

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  34. Okay, I wrote three answers and deleted all. I reread your post and all the answers. I think my remark made perfect sense. But, it is your blog. I have been embarassed enough for one day...lol.

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  35. Hi Rhonda, and welcome back!! I've been a fan for good 18 months and I find your writing truly inspirational; it helps keep things in perspective. I was laid off (but I'm contracting now) and, I did have some trying times, but your words of wisdom continued to "spur me on". I don't think your life is mundane - it is a good, simple and honest life (and I'm working to have the same, a bit at a time). Can't wait to see more daily posts in my wee email inbox. Best wishes, Bev

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  36. Oh welcome back Rhonda!,
    I, we, have missed you I lean much from you aand my home is adapting to the knowlage I ahve gleened.
    I defoo know what will be on my wish list fo a birthday or Christmas treat.
    Hope hanno is well and your sisters house move has enabled her to settle in well.
    An grandsons 2 nice one, et the inpression you fingers will be happily bussy.
    congratulations!
    very best to all
    Rachel

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  37. Congratulations on the book coming out, Rhonda!
    I'm in my twenties and so far just have myself to look after, but I must confess I love keeping house! I love re-discovering the tried-and-true ways of doing things that our parents/grandparents/g-grandparents had, I long to develop skills like that. It's slow process, but fun, and there is always something new to learn.
    I think it's good that people are keeping these traditions going...because if the recession continues, we're going to need them!
    Enjoy your time back at home now :) xx

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  38. So good to have you back. I missed your daily posts. You are a motivating start to my day. Look forward to the book though.

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  39. Gosh I love this post. And count me amongst those eagerly awaiting your book - please let us know when we can pre-order :)

    Congratulations on your achievement, no small thing!

    A book and a grandchild... then another... how absolutely, positively wonderful!

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  40. I do understand the satisfaction of a productive day at home. Something I missed when I was a busy working Mum, although I did enjoy my years in an interesting career. It is good to rediscover the old skills and to learn some new ones.

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  41. Your post is a reminder of how centering the home can be for you, Rhonda. I was happily picturing you writing away on your book these last 2 weeks from the sanctuary of your home with its beautiful outlooks on gardens & animals and Hanno working away there too. So much nicer a mental picture than you doing the same in an office block somewhere in a city. To some, the city life is energizing and inspiring for their lives & work, while for you--your home and housework is just as energizing and life-giving.

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  42. Welcome back, Rhonda,
    It's amazing how restorative basic, everyday things can be :) :) It's wonderful that you find pleasure in those tasks. I'm looking forward to your book co ming out. I'll make sure to buy a copy.

    Oh, just as an aside, the photo of the white kitty cat is so adorable. I had an all-white kitty cat just like the one in the photo, when I was a little girl. Bubba was his name. He followed me everywhere :) :)

    Have a lovely weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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  43. Well done on completing your book Rhonda. Now you can give your full attention to the gentle rhythm of home again. Lovely. :) xx

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  44. This post really blessed me. This is where I long to be, but it's not where I'm at for a million reasons, some of my own doing and some not. I felt your peace even as I read your post. Enjoy your back-to-normal life!

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  45. Glad to have you back Rhonda. I look forward to reading your daily posts and sharing your thoughts on the joys to be found in the home.

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  46. Glad you're back. Love your posts.

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  47. You sound so happy in this post! :)
    Hubby and I are working hard and getting closer and closer to me coming back home. Especially with the gas prices where they are here in the States. It doesn't pay for me to drive the near 20 miles for a 4 hour shift where I barely make $8 an hour, when gas is almost $4 a gallon.
    Someday...
    Blessings,
    Kristin

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  48. I am sooo looking forward to your book. I already use your blog like a housewife's bible, so the book will be fantastic.
    Rhonda do women still have Glory Box's. When each of our girls turn 16 we gave (or will give, some are still too young) them a beautiful blanket box and over the years we would fill it so when they married or left the nest they had a more than fantastic start to life. I haven't come across anyone else who still does this but all their friends and my friends wish they had. Is it really that out dated?

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  49. I do so hope that we in America can purchase your book here! :) I too am so looking forward to having some of your knowledge and thoughts off the net and into my hands! What a good gift for those starting out...or retiring for that matter! I too sooooo feel at peace in my home puttering around and doing things at our own pace. Seeing the clothes on the line even after 40+ years still makes me smile. To watch the cats sunning them selfs among the veggies in the garden and the fragrance of bread just out of the oven...what could be better? I do not see any drudgery in it and even being home always and low wages for hubby we have a very good retirement. I was certainly never bored or felt my life for an insant was maundane. I choose to not work for pay...I work here for the pleasure of it. As a child growing up in the 50s I never heard talk from women on feeling that they wanted to be in the work force. I have since even asked many women and the answer is always no. I wish everyone could give it a try and relax and destress and enjoy life like this. Sarah

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  50. I am so glad to see you back, Rhonda. I have missed you. :-)

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  51. And I for one will be purchasing my copy here in the UK next year. Looking forward to it! :-)

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  52. I so understand about the peace of your home and garden renewing your spirit. I know mine surely renews mine. Your example has helped me to value my daily efforts more.

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