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24 December 2012

So this is Christmas

PEACE and LOVE

  This painting is attributed here to Carl Larsson. I'm not sure it is his work but I like it anyway.

Well, finally it is Christmas Eve. For some of us, tonight will be the start of Christmas - my sister Tricia and her family celebrate in the German tradition, on Christmas Eve. For others, we wait until tomorrow. Some attend church, some sleep in, some get up early to prepare the turkey so it will be ready for a midday feast. We'll be having a cold lunch here with our family on Boxing Day. Shane, Sarndra and Alex won't be here this year so we'll call them tomorrow and say hello.

I hope you have a lovely time with your family and friends and store up those memories of good times, Christmas pudding and laughter.

This year has been a really big one for us. We've had many highs during the year and too many lows with Hanno's health, which still isn't quite right. We have an appointment with a heart specialist in early January which should tell us more than we know now. He'll take it slow over the holidays and rest when he needs to. I'm going to have a short break from the blog to rest, write and think about the new year. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting me throughout the year. If you've left comments, thank you for taking the time to connect. Hello to the followers and to everyone who has signed up as a member of the Down to Earth forum. There are over 10,000 of you now and it's become a wonderful place where people of like mind can meet, make friends, share their knowledge, be inspired and learn what they need to know about a wide range of simple living skills.

Wander on over to the forum during the holidays to download the free 2013 Home Journal, it will be downloadable at the end of the week. It features menu planning, basic recipes, decluttering, organisation, to do lists, a garden journal and a whole lot more.

A huge thanks to all the forum admins and moderators - Sue, Rose, Lisa, Lynn, Sherri, Becci, Corinne, Robyn, Amy, Alison, Meghan, Deanne, Sandy, Tania and Tessa. All these incredible women work as forum volunteers to keep everything operating smoothly, coming up with ideas to get members involved and generally supporting and encouraging those who are trying to change their lives for the better. They were the driving force behind the free D2E Journal. Thank you ladies. You all are a gift to me and to the forum. Thank you for all the hours you've put in and for the laughs we've had behind the scenes.

And to all my sponsors, Merry Christmas and thanks for the support during the year. Everything I feature on my blog is something I use or would use if I needed it. Often these small businesses have no other way to advertise so I am pleased to offer them space here. I hope you've been clicking on their buttons and buying from them if you need those products. I am still happily knitting away on the yarns I get from Eco Yarns, they're second to none.

Next year we will continue to work towards sustainable outcomes here in our home. I thought it would be a good idea, in addition to documenting our daily lives, to go over all the basic aspects of simple life again because I am ever changing, I'm sure you are too and it will be useful to talk about how we do what we do, and why.  If you have any questions you want answered, write an email and I'll slot them in as we progress through the months.

While I'm away from here, please browse through the archives. There is a lot of information there that may help you move towards a life change. When I have time, I'll repost some posts from the archives that I think might help you.  In the meantime, enjoy yourself over the holidays and appreciate the time you spend at home with family and friends. Relax, de-stress and make a plan for the coming year

If you've been a lurker during the year, please leave a comment now. When I have time over the holidays, I'll tour around your blogs and say hello.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!


117 comments:

  1. A Merry Christmas to you and your family, Rhonda.

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  2. Merry Christmas, Rhonda, to you and yours!
    -Jaime

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  3. Merry Christmas! We're leaving today for a big family Christmas at Inverloch. Only going for a couple of days but it'll be magic.

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  4. Merry Christmas to you and yours too. Elizabeth xx

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  5. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Rhonda.
    Thank you for providing us all with wonderful information this past year. Thank you also for all your hard work that had gone into your book that will be treasured in my home.
    Many blessings,

    Melissa

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  6. I've lurked a bit and commented some....mostly I feel at home here. I hope the holidays bring you much joy and the new year finds Hanno's health improving/strength returning. I look forward to any & all of your input re. simplifying and enjoying the simple life. God bless you both!

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  7. Merry Christmas to you and your family from the Hawkins household, thank you for your words of wisdom and your inspirational life. Merry Christmas xxxx Shari Hawkins

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  8. Delurking to send good Christmas and New Year wishes your way :o)

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  9. Thanks for your wonderful blog, you and your adventures have entertained and inspired me this year. Enjoy your time off. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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  10. Happy Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013. We've still got some hours to go before we get to Christmas Eve!

    No snowy Christmas this year but rain and even more rain. Lots of major flooding all over the country, roads and railways washed away causing travel chaos. Fortunately we're at home - watching our 'secret valley' becoming inundated with flood water. Fortunately we sit high above the flood level but it is very sad for those homes elsewhere in the country that have been severely damaged.

    Johnson

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    1. Stay safe Johnson. It's good to know you're above the flood level. I'll be thinking of you and your neighbours.

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  11. Hi Rhonda, Hope you and Hanno enjoy a well earned break. Thanks for all your wise words over the year and I look forward to more on your return. Merry Christmas from a simple-life blogger in Canberra.

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  12. Dear Rhonda, merry Christmas to you, Hanno and your family, thank you for being an inspiration, while my life is very different to yours I have always longed for "the olden days" when life was slower and closer to home. Through what I already knew and what you have shared I at least feel I am putting much of these values and traditions into place. Take care,xxBrenda

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  13. Merry christmas and all the best for the new year.
    Merle....

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  14. Merry Christmas Rhonda. Wishing you and your family lots of joy for the festive season.

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  15. I'm a lurker too, but so enjoy your blog. Sending you good wishes for the Festive Season. Regards Heather

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  16. Merry Christmas to you and Hanno and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year. Than you for writing such an inspirational blog.
    Kerry

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  17. Merry Xmas Rhonda and all visitors on this blog. Greetings from Belgium !

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  18. Good morning Rhonda, Fröhliche weihnachten wünsche to you both and your family. We are also of the German tradition, and this year with two offspring who are absent in other parts of the country and overseas. A quiet one I think. Until you return. Kind regards, Barb

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  19. Wishing you and your loved ones all the best for the Christmas season and every good thing in 2013! Thanks for the time and effort you put into this space, passing on your knowledge and ideas, as well as that of others. Have a wonderful relaxing break!!

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  20. It has been a big year for me too, finding your blog! You are an inspiration to me Rhonda, and your blog a fantastic resource for making the move to a simpler, more sustainable life. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    Ann

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  21. Wishing you and your family a most joyous and peaceful Christmas Holiday. Enjoy and be so very thankful what you have, which I know you will.
    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

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  22. Dear Rhonda.
    I`ve so enjoyed reading all you`ve posted during the last year. And still read and re-read your book. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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  23. Merry Christmas, Rhonda and Hanno!

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  24. Merry Christmas to you, Hanno and your family. May you all have a joyous time. I also wish Hanno good luck with his tests next month.
    Thank you for such an inspirational person.
    xxx

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  25. I don't have a blog but I am still a reader.

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  26. Rhonda, I can't find the 2013 Home Journal in the forums to download. Can you be of help?

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    1. Tracy, I'm not sure when Rose will have it ready so I've changed the sentence to read: ""at the end of the week." Just pop back in over the next couple of days and I'm sure it will be up.

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    2. Thank you! I don't want to miss it. :)

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  27. Best wishes for Christmas and a happy and safe 2013.

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  28. Morning Rhonda
    Merry Christmas to you Hanno and the kids.
    May 2013 be filled with Peace,Joy and Good Health for you and yours.
    Best Wishes
    Helen Thomas

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  29. Happy Christmas Rhonda & Hanno and all your family.Thank you for reminding us to live by our values so that now we can truly enjoy christmas as it was originally celebrated as a time of sharing & giving with family and friends without the commercial stress..
    For us it is local family, & a late addition of a young lad who didn't have anyone to celebrate christmas with, making it 8 tonight at our place for traditional roast & plum pudding (we have a reprieve from the hot weather today). Quiet christmas day with dad, then boxing day the big family do at my brothers new house with 31adults & 9 children--great!
    Sorry this is so long, hope you have a great new year & that Hanno's heart review is good news!

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  30. Merry Chrstmas to you and Hanno. I lurk here every day, and appreciate all you write and share with us. Best wishes for 2013.

    Over Here.........Marie



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  31. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno, i haven't started my blog yet. Not sure if i will as so many can say it better than i do. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog the past year and am looking forward to this next year. From across the pond. x

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  32. A peaceful Christmas to you and your family. May the new year bring improved health to Hanno. Thank you for your calm sensible advice which is much appreciated by all who read your words.

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  33. Merry Christmas. I wish you health and happiness. xx

    My dad and a partner passed away at this time, so I sort of don't like this time of year. I just don't have the same enthusiasm as before. Anyway, young grandkids are sorting me out. Family is a powerful thing, so to speak. The little kids have been to see Santa and they told him that they have been good girls! lol Can't wait to spend Christmas Day with them and watch them open their pressies. I am lucky to have family. xxxx

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  34. Thank you Rhonda for all your inspiration this year. Enjoy your break, it is well deserved. Wishing you, Hanno and your loved ones a peaceful and joyous Christmas. We'll look forwad to your return in the new year :)
    Hugs
    Mabel (((((())))))

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  35. Happy Christmas to you and Hanno, Rhonda as well as to all your lovely family. I wish you peace in your hearts and health in your bodies. Thank you for the contribution you have made to so many of us as we try to live a more simple life. You are an inspiration!

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  36. Hi Rhonda. Thank you for all your inspiration. I joined you this year and have felt both inspired and comforted by your blog. I hope Hanno's health improves and that you all have a lovely Christmas. Lily. xxx

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  37. may you & hanno have a wonderful & safe holiday
    hope all goes well for hanno's health

    looking forward to being here & in the DTE forum again in 2013

    thanx for your wonderful inspiration throughout the year rhonda

    selina from kilkivan qld

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  38. Merry Christmas, and thank you for being an inspiration!

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  39. Hi Rhonda!

    Wonderful thoughts! Merry Christmas!

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  40. Hope you and your family have a beautiful Christmas, on filled with love and laughter. Look forward to your return in 2013. (Though I know I will continue to read your past posts while you are away.)

    Love and best wishes Julie (Iliska Dreams)

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  41. Hi there, love all your comments, I try to live similar lifestyle, but right now am following you from overseas where we are living in Asia for 18 months. I found you while here and read everyday of the happenings. Can't wait to get home and get into some gardening and a real life again. Mermax.

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  42. Wishing you and your beloved family a joyful, peaceful Christmas and much happiness and good health in the New Year.
    It is an absolute pleasure to work with you and the team behind the scenes at our wonderful forum, to watch it grow and thrive and to see the enjoyment our many members get from their participation.
    Much love and best wishes to all your readers too
    Sue
    xxx

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  43. Christmas eve we will be eating at my in-laws and they have Oyster stew and Pizza. Plus a Christmas dinner of all sort of goodies.
    As for gifts we have a white elephant gift exchange for the adults and somehow the kids will be well gifted.
    My friend Quenella is big fan of Carl Larsson

    Merry Christmas and Coffee is on.

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  44. Hi Rhonda, been a lurker for a while now and love your blog. My family and I have just moved to the Sunshine Coast from Cornwall in the UK, which has been a big thing, especially for my two sons aged 4 and 6, but it is a move for the better and we are loving living here :)
    The new year is the start for me as a homemaker to get back to basics (a lot of things have slipped during the move), looking forward to getting lots of tips from you, must download the journal to.
    Thanks for being such an inspiration, Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas, Michelle x

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  45. Hi Ronda, Hanno and all at DTE
    Wishing you the treasures of Christmas.....the comfort of home, the love of family and the company of good friends. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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  46. Merry Christmas and frohe Weihnachten to you and yours. May your days be merry, bright and filled with love.

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  47. Merry Christmas to you and your family. :)

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  48. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno. Thank you for taking us on the journey to a simpler life.

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  49. Rhonda I come here almost everyday to read your wonderful blog,I also bought your book and I think it's definately a book to pass onto the next generation,thankyou for sharing your wise thoughts on living a simpler life.
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas with all of your family Rhonda.

    the~crafty~gardener

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  50. Thanks for a sharing your year with us , Rhonda. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and Hanno and your family.

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  51. Merry Xmas dear Rhonda,Hanno and family,and all the very best for 2013,xx

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  52. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno. I guess I am a 'lurker', although I visit the blog often, it doesn't seem that way; I feel like I am sitting at your kitchen table and enjoying the company of a friend.

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  53. Rhonda, Merry Christmas to you and all your family and a better 2013 for Hanno.

    I am a lurker who reads your blog every day. I am commenting as Anonymous as I don't understand what the other options mean.

    Doreen

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    1. Merry Christmas Doreen, thanks for commenting. You don't need to understand the other options, like many things on the internet, they're irrelevant. Take care.

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  54. Hi Rhonda,
    A very Merry Christmas to you, Hanno, and the rest of the family.
    I am one of your 'silent readers' as I don't comment on a lot of your posts, but I thought I would write a quick thank you for all of your posts and hard work this year.
    I'm probably one of your younger readers (I just turned twenty), and I cannot begin to tell you how much help your blog has been for me this year, as well as the forum.
    I moved in with my partner this year (our first place) into a small rental property, and some of the tips on this site are just invaluable.
    It's easy to get caught up in the consumerist cycle so many people my age are in, so it's a lovely breath of fresh air each morning when I read your blog.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Thanks to the more frugal lifestyle we've adopted since reading your blog, we've managed to save more than we ever thought from our incomes to go towards our working holiday in Germany next year, and the tour we are going on before that.
    It's nice to know that so many other people are interested in living simply too, and making the most of what they have.
    It has made me evaluate what I really do need and what I just want in the short term.
    Too many people even at my age already have so much credit card debt and other debt.
    So I just want to thank you for putting me on the right track to starting my life debt free!
    Thank you once more, and best wishes for the New Year.
    Lots of love and well wishes from Victoria,
    Bec.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Bec. I loved reading your comment. I am often frustrated by people who say the way we live is only suitable for oldies. You are this pudding's proof. Well done for what you've done so far. You'll love Germany, it's a beautiful country.

      xx

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    2. I'm really glad to hear that.
      A lot of my friends have noticed and are starting to ask questions, so I point them all to your blog!
      Hopefully a new generation of simple-lifers on the way.
      We buy what we need, and a little of what we want, and we're very happy living this way.
      Our money is going towards experiences, not "things".
      It's a long learning journey to self-sufficiency but we're on the way.
      I am just so thankful that I stumbled accross your blog and the Down To Earth community sooner rather than later, it's made all the difference in my life direction.
      And yes, very excited about Germany, my partner doesn't speak any German, but he will learn.
      It is looking to be a lovely experience.
      xx

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    3. Hello Anonymous,

      hope you had a nice and peaceful Christmas. I've always wanted to go for a working holiday in Canada, Australia or the USA - but this hasn't happened as yet. I guess I have to wait until we both are retired.
      If you have any questions about Germany, the German language or us German people, feel free to contact me: heike.info@angkue.de
      I'm a reader and fan of Rhondas wonderful blog, too.
      Which areas of Germany are you going to visit? The south of Germany and the Alps are very spectacular, but the north, the east and some parts of the west are worth seeing as well.
      Best wishes for a wonderful 2013.
      Heike

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  55. Thank you so much Rhonda for making such a change to my life, your thoughts and suggestions over the year have been invaluable and I shall be eternally grateful to you for turning me into a supersaver and an expert on how to live simply and enjoy what I have and what I do. You've saved me a fortune in washing powder and soap alone! Your way is definitely the way forward ... not only for me and your other followers in the Down to Earth community, but indeed for the whole world. My very best wishes to yourself and Hanno and all of the family, I hope you have a lovely xmas and I hope it's good news for Hanno in the New Year xxx

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  56. Merry Christmas to you and Hanno, and thank you for sharing your life and wisdom!

    Love Ellen

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  57. Merry Chistmas to you and Hanno and all the best for a beautiful 2013. Thank you so much for your ongoing inspiration and positivity, Rhonda. Your writing has gone a long way to helping me feel truly satisfied in my role at home. xo

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  58. Wishing you and your family Joy this Christmastide and hoping that you all have a happy and healthy new year.

    I only found your beautiful blog a few months ago and it's been a breath of fresh air. I love the gentle way you offer advice, with none of the aggressiveness and self-righteousness of some green-living blogs!

    Jak x

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  59. Merry Christmas to you both. Wishing you health and happiness in 2013!

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  60. Joyeux Noel from a Brit living and working in France. We are having our first Xmas just the two of us (even though we are both 54 and have been married for nearly 30 years) - our girls are celebrating with their other families. We have planned lots of treats - a jigsaw, playing with the new Kindle that is sitting under the tree and of course lots of lovely meals. Wishing you both good health and much happiness for 2013.

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  61. Merry Christmas to you and Hanno! Enjoy your break. Thank you for all your wonderful pots and your fantastic book. We will be having your homemade ice cream tomorrow!

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  62. Thanks for your inspirational blog and wonderful book. merry Christmas!

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  63. Delurking to say I have enjoyed reading your blog for a few years now and wanted to wish you and yours a very happy Christmas.

    Pat

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  64. coming out of lurkdom on christmas eve to thank you for a wonderfully honest read throughout the year. Enjoy your christmas and peace it brings.
    Judith

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  65. Merry Christmas to you and your family and thank you for your wonderful blog!

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  66. Dear Rhonda and Hanno - than you for your continued generosity in sharing your ideas and innovations with us all. Looking forward to following your inspiring path again in 2013. Blessings from Jen in Canberra and family xx

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  67. Christmas blessings to you and your family Rhonda, always a pleasure to meet up with you and have a read with you during my week...you inspire, connect and motivate.....
    Have a lovely day making memories....xxx Suzanne.

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  68. Merry Christmas to you and your family Rhonda! May it be a special time. Best wishes for a wonderful 2013. Thank you for your blog and sharing with us all that you have learned and continue to learn.

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  69. Hi Rhonda,

    I'm JoAnn from Dundas, Canada, right at the western tip of Lake Ontario. I've enjoyed your blog for quite a while and wanted to thank you for writing it and wish you and your lovely family a very Happy Christmas and New Year! So nice to read and learn about simple life in another part of the world. Beautiful countryside!
    Best Wishes,
    JoAnn

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  70. Hi Rhonda,
    Hope you have a lovely time too.
    I´m another "silent reader". I follow your blog for three years. At first I didn´t know how to post a comment, and my english it´s not really fluently, sorry in advance.
    Every morning I drink some chamomile tea with a piece of homemade cake and read your blog. I´m on my 30´s. I make my own soap, homemade cleaners, bread, donuts, lip balm, homemade insect repelent, cook from scratch,I´m a balcony gardener, knit, and now I´m learning to sew my own clothes... I reduced my food budget in half eating better and healthier without buying processed foods.
    I´m still learning.
    Thanks for being there all this time.

    Carolina

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  71. Dear Rhonda and Hanno,

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

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  72. Merry Christmas, Rhonda, to you and yours! I don't comment a lot, but do visit your blog daily. thanks a lot, you're such an inspiration!
    Tanya.

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  73. Merry Christmas to you too Rhonda!

    And all my best wishes to you, Hanno, your family, friends and all of your readers. May everyone have a loving and blessed New Year.

    All the love from Holland

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  74. Merry Christmas to you and Hanno, Rhonda, and to all the people you love.
    Thank you again for everything, Gerry from France

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  75. Happy Christmas to you and your family Rhonda. I hope you have a lovely break recharging yourselves, your blog and your home.

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  76. Very best wishes for a happy and blessed Christmas from another 'lurker' =) I have left a few comments in the past, but mostly I just read - had to come out of the woodwork to say thank you!

    Like Bec, I'm one of the younger readers (mid-twenties), and I can confirm that not all of us have bought into this culture of mindless consumption and instant gratification that seems to be so pervasive now.

    You are so wonderful at giving everyone helpful advice, no matter what their path in life =) In all honesty, I am a future absent-minded science academic and would make a TERRIBLE household manager, but I also combine that with a love of home cooking and veggie gardens. A lot of people find that puzzling, and the judgmental comments that both men and women make can be quite wearing...so I'm incredibly grateful to you for providing a space where no-one is judged, either for wanting a career or for wanting a sauerkraut crock for Christmas =)

    Also, your recipes are great, especially for a student who loves cooking but has a limited budget - I've 'tweaked' a few already for my own fast-growing collection.

    Here's hoping 2013 will be a good year for you & family =)
    Love from Amelia (in freezing wet Cambridge).

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  77. Merry Christmas, Rhonda and Hanno!

    I do not have a blog, so always comment as anonymous, though I don't comment often. Your blog and your generous spirit has been life-changing for me and my family. I will be eternally grateful that I found your blog- although some would say your blog found me (because i needed it!) I wish you and your family all the best!

    Angie

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  78. Merry Christmas Rhonda to you and Hanno, thank you so much for your wonderful blog and inspiration every day! I don't always comment but I do read every day, and now I have received your book as my Christmas present, I am so looking forward to a quiet time when I can start reading! Have a wonderful time with your family.
    Judy xx

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  79. Dear Rhonda,
    wishing you and Hanno the happiest Christmas, and thankyou for all that you share with us during the year.

    Love, Madeleine.xx

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  80. Merry Christmas to all those who are alone. Thank you Rhonda for sharing your family and your life. What you are doing has been my dream for a very long time.

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  81. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I'm praying for Hanno and the doctors that are caring for him. I just want to thank you like so many others. You have created a place that I feel "normal" whatever that means! It's such an encouragement to be reminded of so many good old truths about about living a simple life! Blessings!

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  82. Christmas blessings to you! I have been a 'lurker' for several years now, but finally joined you as a follower. Thank you for your wonderful presence here on the web.

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  83. Merry Christmas to you and Hanno and all your family. Rhonda it was lovely meeting you at Maleny this year. I hope the coming year will be all that you wish it to be. Shall give you a wave tomorrow as I go up the mountain for a visit to Maleny.

    Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

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  84. merry christmas Rhonda and Hanno, enjoy your break.
    Dayla

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  85. Merry Christmas to you and yours! I found your blog through soap making links and have enjoyed reading it every since! Cheers! Evelyn

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  86. Merry Christmas Rhonda and best of luck for all your 2013 plans :) xx

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  87. Merry Christmas to you, Hanno and family. Thankyou for your good work for simple living. You are an excellent teacher! Your book is a treasure . Blessings and good health to you and yours in 2013. Jane

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  88. Merry Christmas to you both Hanno and Rhonda, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and also enjoy some quiet time.
    Thankyou for all the wonderful advice you have shared throughout the year.
    With best wishes Tracy H xoxoxoxo

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  89. Hi Rhonda,
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    We spent Christmas day with friends at a raw food restaurant near Nambour (Qld, Australia) called Rawsome! and it really was. I have not eaten "restaurant raw food" before and was amazed at the variety and wonderful taste. Raw food certainly isn't just salads and fruit.

    It was a very interesting and instructive way to spend Christmas Day.

    All the best to all your readers.

    Judith

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  90. Hello Rhonda, I too am a silent reader and would like to thank you for your encouragement to live simply, and for helping me be focused through early (unexpected) retirement and adjusting to the changes with grace and acceptance. Both my daughter and daughter in-law (early twenties) recieved a copy of your book for Christmas and were truly delighted and are so ready to embrace the advice and wisdom you have included in it.

    Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2013

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  91. Merry Christmas Rhonda. Thanks for all the inspiration you have provided this year :). Katie

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  92. Love peace and joy to you all!

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  93. Merry Christmas to you and your family

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  94. I've been a lurker for more than the past year! I love your blog - I find it so helpful! I'm in my mid twenties, so just starting out with the old style type stuff. I really enjoy it. Thank you!

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  95. Many blessings to you and yours from us. It has been an up and down year, hasn't it? Well I guess every up has down and vice versa....what would life be without a little climbing and a little tumbling? Take care and have a wonderful festive season.

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  96. Like Lucy I have been a lurker but like you I am a mature age person rediscovering the joys of home and past learned and now remembered skills and of course learning more. For the first time in years I made quite a few of our Christmas gifts and spent an enjoyable week recovering seat cushions for our daughters outdoor furniture which she inherited from us when we downsized. Our daughter helped with this and we enjoyed a lovely bonding experience thank you for reminding me of the many opportunities for shared pleasures and memories.

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  97. Merry Christmas, Rhonda....and a Happy New Year..
    Barb from Australia

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  98. Wishing you blessings and hope Hanno will be able to recover more fully this year. Hubby and I are noticing many signs of our aging this year. Not so fun sometimes. But it is the way of life, so one must adjust and do the best they can!!

    I don't often comment here, but come often. Enjoy many things you share. We are not living your lifestyle but perhaps one day, moreso. We are contemplating become fulltime RVers...that is certainly a way to consume less (other than gas perhaps) but we would be the types to stay put in places awhile too...never having been fond of long driving trips in short spaces of time. We have gone through our things and pared down to storing it in a 10' by 20' rented storage unit...for awhile. Living a few months in a luxurious barn apt. near many historical places for a few months before trekking across this continent to help out one of our children for a few months...and then?? Hubby retired this year so we are doing a lot of new (and simple) things.
    Thanks for sharing all you do!!
    Elizabeth (used to be in NC, USA)

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  99. Wishing you and Hanno a healthy, happy new year filled with abundant blessings! Although I don't comment very often, I enjoy your blog very much.

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  100. May you and Hanno have a happy, healthy new year. Thanks again for your lovely blog, it is always a pleasure reading it, and the inspiration some of us gain from it is more than you will ever realise.

    Love and best wishes
    Mrs Homespun

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  101. Merry Christmas! May all 12 days of Christmas be filled with enough joy to spill over into the rest of the year. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and adventures. Being a part of the forum is a delight and I thank you for creating such a lovely community.

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  102. Wishing you and Hanno both the very happiest of times together during the Christmas season. May 2013 bring much happiness, joy and good health. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us Ronda I thoroughly enjoy stopping by. Take care. Best wishes Catherine.

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  103. Dear Rhonda, hope Hanno is feeling better soon and you get good news from the specialist. Thankyou so much for taking the time to write your blog,it is so inspiring and uplifting. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013. With love Alison x

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  104. Hello Rhonda,

    Another lurker here, from the Netherlands. I discovered your blog earlier this year , and although I do not read it on a daily basis, your thoughts and ideas always remind me of what living is really about.
    Especially during stressful and hectic times (work!)it helps me to get grounded again. Thanks for being here.
    I hope the new year will bring you what you hope for.

    Kind regards,
    Elsbeth Munk

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  105. Hello Rhonda,

    Your blog is one of my favorite places to visit on the web. I really appreciate the gentle and sincere way in which you present your thoughts and ideas. Thank you for taking the time to write about all the ways in which you and Hanno are living what I would call a very authentic life.

    Isn't it amazing that kindred spirits from all over the world can visit with you and with each other through the magic of technology? I live in New York State, but feel as though I've learned so many things about Australia as I've read your posts.

    Wishing you and Hanno a very Happy New Year!!

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    1. Hello Linda, thank you. All the best to you in 2013.

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  106. Merry Christmas Rhonda and a Happy New Year to you and your family. I've been visiting your blog for a while now, and its the only one I regularly come back to. I find it quick and uplifting, and it helps me keep life in balance.
    A few days ago, my local librarian, seeing the books on chickens I was withdrawing, and got to talking about her own chickes. I haven't had any hens myself. The outcome was that she gave me one of her hens that is always going broody. Last night I put 8 fertile eggs under her from a local heritage chooks breeder. I'm so excited! Isn't it cool, when your ideas start coming to fruition :)

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    1. That is very exciting. What breed of chooks are you hatching?

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