DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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14 April 2011

364 days

I've almost come full circle again, tomorrow is my birthday.  Sixty-three - it feels so good! I know there are people out there who don't like the idea of getting older but I am a staunch advocate of ageing. The alternative - death - does not appeal to me at all.  So here I am, not quite an old aged pensioner, on the brink of a new career, with so many enriching activities and interesting people filling my days. Life's good.

Shhhh, let me tell you this quietly.  There was a brief two minutes in my late 50s when I wondered if life would continue to improve.  It did, it has, and it keeps getting better. I have lead a fortunate life.  I was born into a working class family and went to an all girls' Catholic school. We were never handed anything on a silver platter, we worked for everything we got and we were taught, very young, the value of a family.  That upbringing taught me the true rewards of hard work and set me up for life, and for that I will be forever grateful. I believe that work really is the key to a successful life.  I have had some friends who tell me I'm lucky, but I will tell you this: the harder I work, the luckier I become.  Now that I'm standing at this end of the age spectrum, I clearly see that whether it is in the home, working towards making your home a place of nourishment, comfort and calmness, or in a job earning money to provide for yourself and your family, what you put into your work returns to you in wonderful ways and turns you into a different person.  I have been changed by the work I do - both in my paid work, my work in my home and here on the blog and forum.  

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it. 
John Ruskin


Just like the Queen of England, I am issuing a birthday photo.  ; - )  This was taken yesterday.

There is so much to look forward to in this life. Don't listen to those who say you must be a certain type, size, height or age to be acceptable. Don't believe that dyed hair is better than grey hair, don't be tempted by plastic surgery, don't fall into the trap of thinking everyone should look young. Celebrate diversity, be the person you really are and not a facade that makes you the same as everyone else. There is beauty at every age. Those lines that weren't there a ten years ago, those few grey hairs, all those signs - they, my friends, are your badge of honour.

I'll be celebrating my birthday here with Hanno and Tricia, then on Saturday, Tricia and I will drive to the Blue Mountains where I'll spend two weeks in cold weather. I'm looking forward to it so much. I'll be working on the book while I'm away and I'll blog when I feel like it.  That might be never, or every hour - who knows what I'll be capable of when I'm 63.

122 comments:

  1. That was a lovely post. Happy Birthday tomorrow and many many more to come!!

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  2. Well done on acheiving so much and reaping the rewards of LIFE!
    And Happy Birthday for tomorrow!
    Enjoy your vacation /working holiday?

    Sandie xx

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  3. Happy birthday hunni..
    enjoy it all..i do
    love sara

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  4. It's my Birthday today (well today in the UK, the 13th) and I am the big 3 0. I was not thrilled by the prospect but the idea is growing on me and as you say when compared to the alternative it's much better!!
    Many Happy returns x x

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  5. Happy Birthday I turned 58 a couple of weeks ago and I love my Lucky life. I know I worked for my luck and I appreciate it for this reason. I love your post and you have the same idea as I do. That is why we are happy. Age is just a number every year I like myself more and consider it a gift as you said the alternative is not good. Have a great trip.Yeah! to wrinkles and grey hair. B

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  6. Happy Birthday wishes to you! You are such an inspiration to me. What you wrote about the value of hard work and how it has benefited you really struck home to me. I have two young boys (5 and 8) and I can't seem to get them to understand this and everything is a struggle right now. Easy things like making their beds, feeding their cat, setting the table - all are met with five minute arguments and tantrums. It's so disheartening and exhausting. As a parent, how did you help your sons learn this value? Happy birthday again and I hope you enjoy your two weeks in the cold!

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  7. Blessings on your birthday, dear Rhonda.

    I love, love, love your philosophy on aging. When I once complained about my first grey hairs a precious friend encouraged me to embrace aging and the changes that it brings. I truly am enjoying this season in my life.

    Thank you for your regular inspiration and encouragement.

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  8. Happy early birthday! Enjoy your holiday and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Pam

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  9. Sage advice!! Happy Birthday from New Mexico USA!!

    Jennifert

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  10. Happy birthday!
    Your eyes show that you enjoy life =)

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  11. Happy, Happy Birthday Rhonda. Here's to many more!

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  12. You are sooo right! Happy birthday, dear Rhonda!
    Diana

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  13. Happy birthday!!! You are an inspiration to me and so many countless others. (And you look so lovely in your birthday photo!) Thanks for your words of wisdom and have a very special day!

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  14. Nice post. Have a wonderful birthday and enjoy your vacation!

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  15. Happy Birthday Rhonda!

    Susan

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  16. Good Morning Rhonda-Jean,
    Happy Birthday for tomorrow. I hope you have a very special day. You are a wonderful role-model for us younger woman.
    Just lately, your posts seem perfect timing for me. I'm feeling a little nervous today, because I am going to a morning tea group associated with the school my kids go to, and I am a naturally shy person so it goes outside my comfort zone, but the thing with this group is that they are super-rich (unlike me), skinny women (I am not skinny), with fabulous label clothing (not like me), and their husbands are mostly doctors, lawyers etc (and mine is not). And I know it's silly to be intimidated by all this, but I suppose it's an insecurity of not fitting in, so your post has been perfect for me today to remind myself who I am, where I come from, the value of my life and the pleasure I have in hard work around my home and family (who needs maids, right)! So, I'll hold my head up high today and be proud of my working-class values.
    Hope you have a great day.
    Thanks again for your 'down-to-earth' wisdom! :o)
    Rachel from NZ

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  17. Happiest of birthday wishes to you Rhonda!

    I agree with you about aging. I like growing in wisdom and knowledge. I wouldn't want to go back to being 20 unless I could keep my hard gained wisdom!

    Enjoy your vacation with your sister!

    Deanna

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  18. Hope that you have a Wonderfully Blessed Birthday! I am new to your blog and am so glad that I found it.

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  19. Happy Birthday! Enjoy your adventures! You are truely blessed with a loving family and the new baby and one to follow soon...:)
    ~~HUGS to You My Friend~~

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  20. Many happy returns Rhonda! What a lovely positive post, I loved it! I see my ever-growing number of white hairs as "hairs of wisdom", lol!

    Have a wonderful time with Tricia! xxx

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  21. Well happy birthday!
    Age is one of those things I really never think about. I have to be reminded of my age each year. Except the aches and pains of Rheumatoid Arthrits I still feel young. I want to live every day to the fullest and ring every ounce of lifeout of it.
    Before my diagnosis and treatment for RA the old adage of "you're only as old as you feel" made me sad since I was 40 and felt 70, and wondered if I could stand to get older if I kept feeling so bad.
    Now I feel better and get around better and love taking care of my husband and home and animals.

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  22. Happy Birthday! Enjoy your vacation!

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  23. Who indeed ;-) ? Have a lovely time and thank you once again for a pertinent post. I was very much humbled by my 84 yr old neighbour yesterday, who I interupted as he was wrangling a giant heather! He tells me he feels in good shape, no aches or pains. I'm 41, I can barely move after sitting still for more than 5 mins, I wish I had his constitution.

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  24. Happy Birthday in advance for tomorrow! This was a particularly rousing post. Tracy (Brisbane):-)

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  25. Happy Birthday Rhonda and many more!

    Claudia

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  26. Your post reminds me of what the wise older sleuth, Miss Jane Marple, said in Agatha Christie's Murder at the Vicarage: "The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools."

    Here's to growing older & wiser and enjoying your work along the way! Happy Birthday, Rhonda.

    Thank goodness there will be lots of work after we die.....that's my view of eternal life--(not just singing to God, but praising him with things like our work too)...'work' will be more productive than it is now and a real joy and just think of what the gardens will look like! They will be a sight to behold!

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  27. Happy birthday for tomorrow Rhonda, hope you have a lovely day and that you enjoy your time away with your sister!
    Cheers Judy

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  28. A very happy birthday to you Rhonda, and enjoy your holiday.

    AM of the Bread.

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  29. Lovely post, Rhonda. I kind of like the idea of a birthday photo. Happy Birthday to you! May this coming year bless you in many ways! ~Colleen~

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  30. ah, the possibilities! Now 50, I have been pondering what constitutes a "best year ever" and hope to do my best to make mine THIS year...then NEXT and so on. Seems as if you have already discovered the secret. Thank you for sharing your life and your gifts here. And Happy, Happy Birthday, lovely ever-young Rhonda Jean! And best wishes for your most heavenly vacation yet!

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  31. Happy Birthday and good wishes for the day...:o)

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  32. Happy, happy birthday!
    Thanks for a wonderful reminder of how valuable life is at any age. I will (try my best to) not be tempted to dye my hair...

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  33. "The harder I work the luckier I become"~I love it! Have a blessed birthday, Rhonda!

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  34. Lovely post and have a great relaxing birthday. I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said.

    Sheila

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  35. Happiest of Birthdays to a beautiful, amazing lady! Love the portrait:) It's my birthday on Saturday and I've asked the kids for some new towels. My friends would ask for perfume or a night on the town, I want white fluffy towels and pretty soap (actually, I'd rather nothing but that's a terribly sad thing to say to hopeful, willing-to-please kidddies:) Hope your day is wonderful xx

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  36. A most wonderful and adventure filled birthday wish to you, and many more to come. Enjoy!

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  37. Hugs to you dear Rhonda for your birthday...I am trying to embrace growing older...having my first grey hair when pregnant at 21...I have now decided that with age comes knowledge, and with knowledge comes wisdom...so bring it on I say!
    Great post Rhonda, enjoy your break away.

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  38. Happy birthday Rhonda, wish you a wonderful day! What you wrote about the value of hard work speaks to my heart; that's the way I was raised too and I thank my parents for that, but it is really difficult for my husband and I to pass this to our children. It's a daily struggle but I'm hopeful we will succeed and they will grow up to be responsible and hard working adults.
    Thank you again for your inspiring posts that teach me so much - including how to deal with "the age issue" :)
    Enjoy your vacation!

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  39. Wishing you the very happiest of birthdays, Rhonda!

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  40. Thank you for your words of wisdom, and I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. I enjoy reading your posts. Blessings!

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  41. Enjoy your time away and book writing. Happy Birthday!

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  42. Happy birthday, and enjoy rugging up in the cold!

    I can't WAIT for your book to come out.

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  43. May this be the best birthday of many more!!

    I have found that I can still do the things I did at 45, but it only takes 3 times as long. It doesn't matter as I'm not in a hurry, and I can enjoy every step more.

    Many, many hugs
    Yvette

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  44. Happy Birthday! (You are just a few months ahead of me...) I SO agree with your perspective on another birthday. As usual, your common sense and wisdom shines through here.

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  45. Thank you Rhonda Jean for such a beautiful post. May you have the happiest of birthdays. Thank you for being such an example and inspiration to all of us.

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  46. Have a wonderful birthday. I hope you'll have a lovely day.
    Thank you for the advice. I have had problems deciding to colour my hair again or not, I'm 46 and getting grey hairs. I have decided not to colour anymore, because my hair has improved after I stopped colouring and started using natural shampoo and conditioner, without any chemicals in it.
    One of your previous posts about aging was also an eye opener to me.
    Thank you so much.

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  47. Happy Birthday Rhonda!
    Your blog is very inspiring...
    Yvette from Canada

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  48. Happy Birthday Dear Rhonda Jean!
    I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time with your sister! It sounds like such a great time.

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  49. A very blessed HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish to a woman who is beautiful inside and out!! I aspire to follow your example of being positive and mindful!

    Enjoy your day & enjoy
    the time away with Tricia

    <3 Debbie
    central Illinois

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  50. Happy Birthday, hope its a wonderful one. I love getting older, like you say, it beats the alternative.

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  51. Happy Birthday Rhonda. many happy returns, have a lovely day and enjoy your holiday. Love Lors

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  52. Happy Birthday, hope it's wonderful.

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  53. Happy birthday! Your positive attitude to aging gives me much to look forward to. Enjoy your holiday.

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  54. Happy Birthday, Rhonda. There was a cheeky, joyful tone to that post! Hope you have a lovely holiday.

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  55. We share the same birthday! I'll be turning 30 tomorrow and i'm so excited to be entering my 30's, i'm hoping it will bring many great things, my husband and i will be trying for our first baby soon so the 30's are already looking exciting. I hope you have a beautiful and relaxing day!

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  56. Good for you Rhonda! Happy birthday and have a wonderful time with your lovely sister. Maa.

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  57. Happy Birthday! You are a good role model for me as I approach my 60s. Keep on rollin'!!

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  58. Happy Birthday for tomorrow Rhonda - you speak such wise words. I'll be 58 in a few months but guess I'm more content now than I was 10years ago. Hope you enjoy your day - won't say your special day, 'cos every day of your life is special!!!
    Love & hugs xxx

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  59. Happy Birthday and enjoy your time in the cold.

    cheers Kate

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  60. Am sure your life is far richer than the Queens Rhonda....Enjoy your Birthday! :)

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  61. Happy Birthday! What wonderful thoughts on work and aging, two things we should not be afraid of! You look beautiful!

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  62. Have a wonderful birthday week.

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  63. Happy birthday Rhonda dear friend.

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  64. Love and hugs to you birthday girl.

    FlowerLady

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  65. Happy Birthday! This was an amazing post. I hope you enjoy your 2 weeks in the colder temperatures. We've come out of our cold temps. and I'm enjoying our warmer weather. May you find peace and rest on your holiday.

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  66. Happy birthday, I just had my 46th birthday on the 12th and I think I am starting to "get it". Hope you have a wonderful relaxing vacation.

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  67. Hi Rhonda,

    Have a wonderful birthday, you deserve it!!!!!

    Coleen

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  68. Happy birthday!
    I enjoy your optimism in life. I also believe that hard work rewards you but I'm starting to get that awful 'victim' thing. I should really nip that in the bud before I really start feeling sorry for myself. Thank you for your positive comments on life.

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  69. Hope you have a wonderful birthday, and many more! You are such an inspiration! I enjoy your writings and am waiting patiently for your book. Glad you and your sister will have some time to catch up and visit.

    Brenda Diane

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  70. very well said! wishing you the happiest of days!

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  71. Happy Birthday, Rhonda! I wish for many happy and healthy years ahead of you. Enjoy your holiday!

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  72. Next thing, it'll be your own Royal Warrants! lol.....

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  73. Dear Rhonda
    Happy Birthday for tomorrow. A holiday to a cooler place! A gift of itself! Enjoy your day and holiday.

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  74. Happy Birthday, Rhonda! You are a beautiful woman inside and out.

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  75. Happy Birthday to you. Great post. Have a wonderful time away with Tricia.

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  76. Happy birthday! You are more wonderful for every day!

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  77. Oh, Rhonda, your posts are always right on time!

    Just today I was comparing myself to other women and thinking of how if I could only fit in to a size __ I would feel better about myself. I'm 35 and my hair will keep filling in with grey hairs. It is a crown of wisdom. I look forward to the day when I am 63. Thanks to women like you and my mom, growing older appeals to me.

    So, all that to say...you deserve the best! I hope your birthday is filled with peace, joy, comfort, a good meal and lots of love.

    Happy birthday!

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  78. Fantastic!!!!
    Wishing you a very merry, wonderful, full, enjoyable and *happy* birthday, Rhonda Jean!!!
    xoxo

    Katy

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  79. you dont look a day over 54! Happy Birthday

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  80. Great post, but I must say that MY sagging neck bothers me most--I just can't get past it. Why I'm looking like my mother!!! lol
    I've considered letting my hair go grey, but when I mentioned it, my 13 yr. old grandson had a fit -- "No, Mimi, I don't want you to change! Really, you look charming"! This dear, sensitive grandson had a particuarly difficult time dealing with his parents' divorce, so for the time being, I will continue to stay with my original medium brown hair.

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  81. Wonderful and lovely perspectives on life.
    *Happy Birthday* wishes to you, Rhonda.
    May you have abundance in all you do.
    love, Carolyne

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  82. What a beautiful post! Have a wonderful birthday.

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  83. Wishing you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow.

    What a refreshing view on life and ageing! Wishing you many, many more years of enjoyment ahead of you xxx

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  84. Thanks, Rhonda, also for mentioning that the reward for the work you do is how it changes you as a person.

    That really keeps me motivated to work hard and stay focused on the things that I find important! Happy birthday tomorrow!

    Best wishes,

    Anna

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  85. Lovely post as always!
    Happy Birthday!!! May god bless you always!

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  86. I think you will contitnue to be a darn sight more contented and capable than you already are.
    Have a wonderful day wheather you scrub floor or do sweet sweet nothing .congrats Rhonda
    Rachel uk

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  87. Happy Birthday Dear Rhonda,and have a wonderful time with your Sister,you have now made me feel better about turning 62 in June,i have been dreading it,xx

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  88. Happy Birthday from a fellow Aries who's just turned 59. I LOVED the Ruskin quote.

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  89. Thank you for your wise words Rhonda! Have a very Happy Birthday and a lovely vacation.

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  90. Happy Birthday, Rhonda!
    I agree with your comment about aging versus death. I was diagnosed with cancer aged 48 and I am now 53. Every birthday reminds me how lucky I am to be alive - grey hair & all!

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  91. Many Happies for tomorrow Rhonda, hope you have a wonderful day. Have a wonderful time down in the cold country with Tricia, we are about 3 hours west, and have already had several frosts.

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  92. Happy happy birthday Rhonda ! Enjoy every moment.
    Hugs
    Jeni

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  93. Happy Birthday!!!! Sit back, relax, and have a glass of wine. You deserve it.
    -----Krystal (nova scotia)

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  94. Awesome post Rhonda! Happy Birthday and Holiday!

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  95. Oh thank you. That is just what I needed to hear today, in fact I may read it every day from now on for a few days.Sometimes we just need to be reminded, don't we, that we are all absolutely unique and precious, and that to try to be something that we are not is to be un-true to our selves, and so sad.
    Happy Happy Birthday To You.

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  96. Happy Birthday! I sure did need to read this post! I'm turning 50 yrs this Sunday and not feeling very good about it! I can't believe time has gone by so fast. Also, this Fall both kids will be away at school and I think I'm feeling that as well.
    Hope you have a wonderful vacation in the mountains.

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  97. I hope you have a wonderful Birthday, Rhonda and many more to come. Have a safe trip and a great time.
    Victoria

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  98. Best wishes on the anniversary of the day you were born! I hope you enjoy your two weeks away to work on your book.

    I share your ideas about the value of being taught the rewards of hard work in childhood. I think that our "work" also very much gives us a sense of purpose and it is important to me that my children have the satisfaction of this feeling too. Thank you for sharing the Ruskin quote, love that one.

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  99. Happy birthday, Rhonda. Enjoy your special day and the wonderful trip you have coming up with Tricia.

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  100. Good morning, Rhonda, and a very Happy Birthday to you. I hope you have a great time away in the Blue Mountains, enjoying the lovely scenery and working on your new book. Funny, that you're hoping for cooler weather and we, in Canada, are hoping for a warmer spring right now. :) All the very best on your special day.
    Jo-Anne

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  101. Happy Birthday!
    I love your blog :)

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  102. feliz cumplianos means happy birthday in spanish, hope you have a great day...Espy : )

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  103. Happy Birthday! I agree, every year I seem to be happier. Here's to a long life and a little prayer for those who went before their time.

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  104. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! from someone going on 62. I agree, life just keeps getting better, we get out of it what we put into it. Lana

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  105. Happy birthday Rhonda.
    Enjoy this day.
    Blessings from France

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  106. Bonne anniversaire Rhonda!!
    My birthday was on the 6th and I'm 63 now too and I am very proud of myself!!!
    Tomorrow I'm going to have a talk to our maire about starting a women's club here in this little french town in Burgundy! Life is good! Have fun in the Blue Mountains!
    Gerry from the pincushion.....

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  107. Have a wonderful birthday! Thank you for always gracing our lives with such wonderful and interesting blogs!

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  108. Best wishes and just think it is your 1st Birthday as a grandma!

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  109. Happy Birthday,Rhonda Jean, I love your blog and I agree with you so much. I am 60 and enjoying my two little grandsons--18 months and 3 months. It's so much fun to be a GRANNY! Melissa Jean, Albany, NY, USA

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  110. Happy Birthday!! As a 63 year old already I can tell you it just gets better!

    Great photo!

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  111. Hello Rhonda I enjoy reading your Blog every day for quite a long time now. Just wanted to wish you Happy Birthday and a great year ahead.
    Mavis E (Rose's Mum)

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  112. Many Happy Returns! I hope you continue to be lucky in this wonderful life.

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  113. Happy, Happy Birthday, Rhonda! You are beautiful, indeed!

    Enjoy your two-week escape into the cold; it sounds lovely.

    Blessings to you!

    Patti

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  114. Rather late, but happy birthday! I turned 31 on the 12th . .. April is a good birthday month! :)

    It's so refreshing to hear someone happy about getting older. I'm already finding that my 30's are more settled and interesting than my 20's and am looking forward to the next decade. (after that, we'll see)

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  115. Rhonda - Happy (slightly belated) birthday! Enjoy your holiday :)

    Thank you for such an inspiring post. I am 25, and in my head I still feel 17. I've been feeling older lately, and while I miss feeling care-free, I am proud of how responsible and mature I can be. My boyfriend tells me that in five years we'll be 30, and to me that's unthinkable, but as you say, it's much better than the alternative. So thank you for rejoicing in the treasure of gaining another day, week, month, or year.

    All the best,
    Mandi

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  116. happy birthday dear rhonda, happy birthday to you....and many more!
    enjoy your time with tricia and we'll be waiting patiently for your next post (if and when you're ready and willing ;-D)
    jan

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