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.

13 July 2013

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

Unfortunately I've just cancelled the workshops in Samford, Long Jetty, Mudgee and Lismore. There were not enough bookings to go ahead in any of the locations. I had a few emails from people saying they'd love to come but couldn't afford it, and others complaining they were too expensive, so I'll do a breakdown for you. We have to cover the event with public liability insurance (not cheap), we pay for the venue, catering for lunch, morning tea, continued refreshments during the day, accommodation, travel and the ingredients to make laundry liquid and natural soap, which participants take home with them. We also want to earn a small amount for the time and effort we put in. With the travel involved, most of the workshops take four days of our time, as well as the time it takes to organise them. While I think $195 is a lot of money, I think it gave value for money. Certainly, the Blackheath workshops were a great success and I had no complaints from the ladies who attended them.

I am passionate about spreading the word about simple living to as many people as I can. We have lost so many life skills and some of us need to put the time in to help others learn, or re-learn, them. When I have a chance, I'll sit down and work out a new model. If we cut out the catering we'll lower the price. If you have any ideas about this, please email me.

That was the bad news, now for the good news.

I'm about to start writing more books for Penguin. I haven't signed the contract yet but I know what I'm doing now. There will be a series of six, low-priced ebooks, for sale internationally, about simple living and the main activities we all deal with on a daily basis. I'm working on them now. When the ebooks are finished, I'll start work on another print book. It's a topic close to my heart and something all of us will go through, unless we die first. Ageing. This will be a book for everyone who wants to live to their full potential, who wants to prepare for older life on a low budget and who wants to remain as independent and active as possible, long into older age.

There is such a celebration of youth in our culture, and while there is nothing wrong with that, youth doesn't last long. If we live a full life, we're only young for a short time. As life unfolds, there are so many things to interest us. Instead of trying to look and act younger, it's much better to embrace the person you are, to accept the passage of time and realise that age is only one small part of what defines us. I feel happy to be still here and privileged to have a voice that some listen to. It is up to those of us who are in that position to lead the way, wrinkles and all.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend.

71 comments:

  1. Rhonda

    Wasn't meant to be with the workshops. Congratulations on the new book concepts. Every success in getting the word out.
    Barb

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  2. I think it is a great idea breaking down what goes into your pricing , Rhonda. We often get the same reaction with the farm stay ...but people forget we have to pay electricity bills, animal feed bills, etc. So whilst that cheque looks like alot money, you don't actually get much out of it at the end. I am glad you have remembered also that your time itself is valuable. The skills you teach will save a great deal in the long run.
    One of the reasons I like reading your blog because you give a great example of someone being older contributing so much to the world. I now look forward to getting older and wiser each year . I don't even mind the wrinkles that are just creeping in. And of course the best wrinkles are the ones that smiles make .

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  3. I can't wait for your ebooks Rhonda, and its a shame about the workshops but can completely understand your reasoning.

    http://randomdrawers.blogspot.com.au

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  4. Good morning Rhonda,

    I look forward to seeing your new projects. :) Thankyou for your efforts to share what you have learned, it has been a blessing to me.

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  5. I want to wish you all the best with your future workshops. I am on a disabled pension myself so I would not be able to attend either because I am coming up short every fortnight myself. I am ever so grateful for all that you share freely on your website though and I wanted you to know that I have learned a lot from reading your blog, and to say thank you very much for sharing your wisdom! xx debbie

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    1. Hello Debbie dear. If I do a workshop near you in the future, I want you to email me. We'll be able to work something out.

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  6. Wendy in MelbourneJuly 13, 2013 1:24 pm

    As much as I'd like to go to one of your workshops if you came to Melbourne, $195 is way out of my reach on a low income. Could you hold the workshops in people's homes ? Could you stay with people in that area ? Maybe ask people to bring a plate to share.

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    1. We actually started off with the Long Jetty workshops in someone's home who kindly offered it. However if anything was stolen or broken at her home, I would have been very upset. Even though I doubt anything would happen, we really don't know the people who will come along. We decided it was better to have them in the CWA rooms around the place and support the CWA in the process.

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  7. Rhonda, I think the price of your workshop is a good deal, and I would love to be a participant. Looking forward to your e books and the new 'old school' book. Keep up the good work, with wrinkles earned through expirence, grace and love!

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  8. That a shame about your workshops. People have no idea what a true opportunity it is to learn life skills. It used to be something handed down from mothers to daughters, but no more. I llok forward to your new endeavors. You are a blessing. Linda

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  9. Rhonda, Have you considered doing some simple DVDs for people to order rather than traveling to different areas for workshops? The initial cost would likely be significant, but I suspect that any DVDs you do will sell very well. I certainly would be interested in buying them.

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    1. Yes, I have thought about that, in fact my friend Ernie has the equipment and has offered to do them for me. I'd forgotten all about it. I'll talk to Ernie and see what he thinks. Thank you!

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    2. These would be great for your international readers!! :)

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    3. I certainly second that, Erin!!
      Rhonda, I`d gladly buy your DVD`s!!!
      Good luck with the new book projects, by the way.

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    4. Oh yes, DVDs!! Do the workshop somewhere inexpensive and film it. Would love to watch them. Actually I probably could have ponied up the cash to attend live...... but I'm in Michigan. I'll be 49 in a couple of weeks, the aging book would't hurt either. lol

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    5. Or youtube videos. You could earn money from adds on your channel on youtube.

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  10. Dear Rhonda. Your new project - e-books - sounds exciting and I look forward to hearing more about it.
    I am particularly interested in your proposed book on ageing. I retired 3 years ago on the aged pension and it has been my challenge and joy to fill my days with lots of interesting things - on a budget. The first thing I did upon retirement was go to my local library at New Farm and I took home EVERY flyer on their shelves. I sifted through them at my leisure and decided on the organisations that might interest me. I had to 'kiss a few frogs' in the process but found lots of wonderful things happening around Brisbane, either free or for just an outlay of a few dollars. For instance Brisbane City Council’s GOLD program (growing older and living dangerously) where folk over 50 years of age can go to all manner of classes, talks and workshops - all for the grand sum of $4. There are lots of opportunity to volunteer, and in the process meet some wonderful people as I have over at Beelarong Community Farm. This is the time of life (I am 69) when we must be especially thankful if we are lucky enough to enjoy good health, but I believe it is also in our own hands to do what we can to keep ourselves active, and well nourished. And being well nourished can, I believe, be even lighter on the wallet than the alternative. As you have discovered yourself, buying fruit and vegetables in season, or growing your own if you can, cooking from scratch, and buying the cheaper cuts of meat now we have the time to let them simmer away. That is the way to go and anyone can learn all about it by reading your blog.

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  11. Rhonda, I think that DVDs would be a great idea. I understand about the cost of insurance as it can be quite exorbitant. Perhaps you could cut down on the cost of the workshops if everyone brought their lunch as has been suggested but personally I would go with the DVD idea rather than run yourself ragged travelling around although I know that you probably prefer the personal touch. Plus I know that you wouldn't really run yourself ragged. LOL! It just makes me tired thinking about all that driving you do.

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  12. Whilst $195 might seem like a lot of money, and I understand that people on a low income may have trouble finding that money, I thought of it as an investment in my life. If you think of it as a one-off cost, then it is expensive, but if you spread it out over the years, where you can save using the skills you learn, then it is worth every cent.

    Also, now that people know you are willing to do workshops, maybe they could start saving for it, with the view that when one comes around close to them, they have a little nest-egg built up so they can afford it.

    On the idea of a book about ageing, good on you! Us older people should be proud of ourselves. Maybe having a book out there about it will help. I've never been one of those people who won't "admit" their age. It's part of who I am.

    There are challenges involved with getting older, and retiring, and the more people who write about it in a common-sense way, the better.

    Love it!

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  13. Hi Rhonda (and readers),

    sorry to hear about the cancellations. If it's any consolation, Green Renters has been booking workshops for 4 years and at least 30% have been cancelled. It seems to be the norm, regardless of cost (free workshops are most likely to be cancelled based on ours and the other people we speak to, people just don't seem to see the value in something free, even if we've busted a gut to get a grant to provide them).

    Our hardest target audience is rural residents, we try work through local councils and neighbourhood houses at a reduced cost but people just don't seem interested in the workshop format. I'd be keen to see if there might be some ways we could work together, apply for a grant in queensland together to run a summer holiday program or weekend retreat together or something? We are a registered charity which could help...

    We tried to do some work in Queensland once a few years ago but the particular council would only book us if we removed the word Green from our name....

    I hope it's ok to post this here, its me thinking aloud more than anything else, not trying to tout for business, guess I'm just trying to raise the issues, for readers about the reality for those of us who are trying to get the word out, we make a less than part time wage for our efforts but our lives are still better :)
    cheers
    Cate
    Green Renters

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    1. Hi Cate,

      Interesting that you find it hard to reach rural residents - as a rural girl, I'm sure it must be hard, we are hard to reach and hard to advertise to - let alone cheaply. I'm sure you have tried aligning yourself with other organisations, but have you tried through things like Garden Clubs Australia, the CWA, PCYC and other community groups with a base of paid up community members? This is the way we get attendance at events run within our particular community to attend our organic gardening events. Of course, we have people who respond to our advertising, but if you need bums on seats, the old fashioned Rotary, CWA and Lions are the best as everything is word of mouth. I am 25 and don't even have a facebook. As a renter and organic (container/roll up) gardener myself, your ideas are of particular interest to me, and many people I know living in rural areas, the thing is that you can't get past the fact that weather happens, and when it unusually rains, we love to stay home and watch it.

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  14. Hi Cate, it's fine to talk about it here. Funnily enough, I'm currently doing a series of free 90 minute talks at all my local libraries and most of them are booked out. Also,the other workshops I've done have all be at capacity. Anyhow, I'll try again when I have the time for it. My next few months will be full of writing now.

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  15. Lovely Rhonda,

    Insurance is an awful but necessary business, isn't it! My organic gardening group pays through the nose because we might have a child use a hammer at some point in the future. Hitting yourself with a hammer was a fact of life when I was growing up (and at 25, that is not long ago at all!). I am so glad to hear of another book in the works, I have your previous one and have been reading this for several years now.

    I hope the lighter schedule provides well for you.

    Anna

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  16. Hi Rhonda to most people on very low incomes that is a lot of money to learn how to make soap and laundry powder...when you can find so many sites on the net for free these days...and so many people are using soap nuts these days to wash clothes, dishes, hair and bodies and they are very good for the environment and way cheaper and way healthier ...just my two bobs worth...and most people on low incomes are usually very happy to bring their own lunch that saves them money ...
    warm regards Sherrie ...

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  17. Brilliant news about your e-books, especially as they will be available internationally. As a long time UK reader of your blog, I will be looking out for them :-)

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  18. Hi Rhonda! Fantastic news about the books - congratulations! I can't wait to read the ebooks and also the print book on ageing!
    I'm sorry to hear about the workshop cancellations - that must have been a hard decision. I dare say the people complaining hadn't thought about the insurance etc nor about the fact that you are also trying to earn a living (and I am sure there are many hours that go into the workshop prep you don't get a penny for but do it out of passion for what you believe in). Kirsten x

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  19. That's a shame the workshops are being cancelled. I felt like $195 was steep and would be more comfortable with $100 however I was very interested because I too treat it like an investment and really wanted to attend in person even though I read your blog and have your book. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  20. Been thinking more about this post and I personally think $195 is outrageous.It seems to me it goes against every thing you stand for, simplifying your life and not spending a lot of money ...I have to ask myself would you pay that amount of money ..I'm sure you won't publish this comment as it may seem a little to confronting ...I'm all for charging people for your services ...but not over charging people ...for some thing most can get on the net for free these days ...And people on low incomes can not afford that sort of money that's why a lot of them are cutting back and making things them selves...Just my point of view on the subject...

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  21. You know...I just had a thought.
    Video Classes!
    In this day and age of computer technology, Photographers do it and make a good bit. I, myself, have taken several online courses and LOVED that I didn't have to travel, rent accommodations...etc. Every dime I could afford went into the video courses! You could set up a classroom there in your home, do demonstrations etc.
    You could spend MORE time teaching then traveling and it would be ccessible to All of us. I live in Texas and would love to be able to sit in on one of your courses BUT...Hahaaaa....
    You've probably already thought of this though...
    Happy weekend!
    hughugs

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  22. Looking forward to the ebooks...and yes, youth only lasts a very short time. We need more books for living a happy life as we age!

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  23. I'm delighted to hear about the ebooks, and even more (since I'm nearly 69yrs old) the book on aging. Wonderful news. I wouldn't be up for one of your workshops since round trip air fare from the US would have to be included! It would be a bit too much!

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  24. Congrats on the book deal! As for the workshops (maybe someone already suggested this - I didn't read), what if people brought their own brown-bag lunch and a snack to share? That is a frugal way to do food. . .

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  25. I'm so pleased to hear about your new writing projects, especially the one on ageing. As I'm in Canada, attending one of your workshops would be REALLY pricey for me LOL - but a DVD that would work in North America (I think there's a different type in Australia?) would be terrific. But I do agree with you that the hands-on aspect of a workshop can be really special - the only regret I have about stitching workshops offered by a group I belong to is that I didn't take some that I could have (even though I'd have had to budget carefully for them), and I missed out on some great experiences. The benefit is often in the side comments and the inter-action with other participants and the instructor, not just on the material presented.

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  26. Personnally Rhonda, I don't think 195 is bad at all. I used to bring in people to teach sewing, quilting and needlework classes, and by the time I paid advertising cost, booking fees, room rents, milage, meals for all attending, class materials, extra help to run my shop, I never ever broke even. Finally quit doing it.
    The book idea is wonderful. Good luck with that!

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  27. Hi Rhonda.
    Almost 200dollar is lot of money for tips in simple living!!
    I havs Googles
    "simple living" "frugal" and more at google and its free!
    Also I have learn Dave Ramseys 7baby steps on internet and read his
    Book the total money makeover,for free at the library.
    /a Swede.


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    1. To address your point of this information being "free" - my blog and forum are both free and I've been writing here consistently for nearly 7 years. You'd have to ask someone who has been at one of my workshops but I believe they are much more than "tips in simple living". There are times when you have to step away from the internet to live real life and make connections with people who share your values. That is when you make real progress.

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    2. I attended one of the Blackheath workshops, and can certainly confirm that whilst $195 is a lot of money, it was worth it. Some of its value was in material terms, but also in terms of meeting with similarly minded people, exchanging thoughts and ideas, and yes, making connections.

      So many times I have researched how to do things on the internet, and have struggled through. But to actually get real advice from real people and see things being done in real life, and get tips and tricks (and be told about what I call "Traps for Young Players"), and get confidence from other people, is just so much better.

      Real life is supported by the internet, not replaced by it.

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  28. Hi Rhonda, what a shame you had to cancel your workshops, I'm a Melbourne girl so I wouldn't have been there! Very open of you to discuss your costs, although I don't think it necessary, anyone who has been reading your blog for any length of time would know you are passionate about simple living and not "in it" to make money.

    Just something to think about...... Releasing your e-books as paperbacks, I (and I'm sure many others) do not use e-books, for me nothing will ever replace an actual book, the tactile factor of a book is it for me. Enjoy your weekend xxBrenda

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    1. I understand that e-books can often be downloaded to your computer, then you can print them and have a real paper copy.

      Marie in Western Australia

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  29. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm so sorry to hear you had to cancer your workshops, for you especially. I am actually sitting here shaking my head at some of the comments though. Personally if I lived closer I would have been there in a shot. I have been reading your posts since having to give up work last year and quite frankly I feel like I have already had more than $195 value in advice, insights, gardening tips, recipes, and I could go on with much, much more. Good on you for publishing 'confronting' comments, says more about the author than anything else. Fact of the matter is, the workshops were to cost $195 - end of story. Go or don't go. You weren't forcing anyone to go. Some people just don't appreciate you truly do get what you pay for. Keep up the fabulous work Rhonda and I hope all the time you would have been away from home just turns out to be extra special with the people you love.
    Dawn Packer

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    1. Thanks Dawn, I appreciate your thoughts. xx

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  30. It's such a shame to have cancelled the workshops, would it be better to have some volunteer helpers with skills that can then take people in workstation type groups, you could then take a larger group reducing the cost to the individual. If you only provided coffee & tea facilities people can be encouraged to either self cater, or bring a plate to share - this could be the first step for some, & certainly unites a group from the start. I live on tambourine mountain & would be a willing volunteer in the gold coast (& surrounding regions), I knit (the 30' long pink draught stopper from the good food market last year), crochet & mend, plus make your laundry liquid, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be happy to help - we can't afford to lose these essential life skills, Deb M

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  31. Hello Deb! I have the pink sausage dog on duty over winter at the front door. :- ) Thanks for your very kind offer. xx

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  32. Looking forward to your next book, Rhonda. Great topic!

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  33. Hi Rhonda, I was excited when I first read about the Lismore workshop and the opportunity to connect with like minded souls, being about an hour's drive away. However, the price for me was too much. Had it been $50 and bring your own lunch and/or a plate to share and materials for whatever you are making I would have signed up immediately. Coffee, tea, water would have sufficed. With you supplying ingredients we cannot be sure if we can get the same thing locally. Perhaps spreading the word that you are thinking about an area and offers of accommodation would flow I am sure. The prospect of having you and Hanno stay for dinner and overnight would be such fun (even inviting neighbours to join with a BBQ or such - like a meet and greet - and using the hostess's kitchen the next day would have meant less numbers but such fun. I am thinking no children or grandchildren for that night/morning. Just my two bob's worth. And I also prefer a book I can hold and refer to and make shabby with use. (like your first book). Joy

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  34. I'm hoping that one of your new titles will be "Bloom where you're Planted" ... that sentiment seems to have resonated so strongly with your readers here.
    Rebecca Trevillian

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  35. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm a bit on shock.
    As a participant of the Blackheath workshop, I would like to confirm that, to me, it was not only about what I would learn and get my little bottle of liquid soap at the end of the day. It was A LOT MORE than that. First meeting you in person and creating some connections in the area. I really needed to see that other people were on the same vibe and recharge my batteries and motivation. As a part-time working mother of two on the verge of a separation, the price of it was not something I considered lightly, but I planned for it and I allowed this luxury to myself as a birthday present. I also bought your book as my own Christmas present! I consider these spending as investment for my futur too.
    If I could not afford them, it would never occur to me to winge about how "outrageously expensive" they are. You calculated your price for it and in my opinion, it is nobody's business to know how and why it is the price it is. Everyone has to make a living in the end of the day. I have read your blog for years now, and your honesty is obvious. It is only fair that you earn whatever you see necessary.
    Also, although the above suggestions about everyone taking their own food are valuable ones, I don't think that the bulk of the cost lays in the food. As you mentioned, insurance, travelling costs and renting of halls are probably the most of it and are difficult to reduce.
    I really hope that you find a solution to continue meeting your readers as it appeared in your posts after Blackheath that you enjoyed it at least as much as we did. The recent library talks seamed really successfull and maybe there is something to continue in this direction. I will definitely buy your next book on ageing, as a next present to myself maybe ;-), even if I have to plan for it for more than a year as I did with your first one.
    All the very best to you and Hanno, you give us so much more than value for money,
    Corinne

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  36. Well...could be a result of bad economy for people with jobs, etc.
    I think your book idea is great! I am reading a book on aging, as I want to prepare ahead of time ...(I'm 56....so I am getting there quick.) and I think the topic is fascinating....as we all enter that time of life and you are right, youth is talked about too much.

    I agree, we should start acting our age and embrace the beauty and wisdom of aging!
    (Not to mention, nothing is more unflattering than an older person acting and trying to look young!)

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  37. Oh what a shame!

    That's Lismore's loss, and my great sadness, I was so excited about you coming to my town and spreading the word about simple living, and you had such a big write up in our local paper last weekend, I was sure you'd get the numbers.

    Never mind, I am particularly enjoying your back to basics posts at the moment, I'll just have to be satisfied with that!

    And who knows, I might just sneak a trip up to your neck of the woods, next time your doing a talk up that way, it's not that far, and what an excuse for a couple of days away!

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  38. Margaret BlairJuly 14, 2013 5:11 pm

    Hello Rhonda ,I have just been reading the posts on your workshops and I do understand that when the amount of $195. is mentioned you gasp, swallow then think about it. I would love to go to one of them but I live in Tasmania and for me on a pension it would be unaffordable. However if one were to put $5. a week away in a tin box by the end of 1 year one would have saved $260. Enough for the workshop and a bit left over for travel. Just a thought . I have to say I have loved every article you have written and the savings on the laundry liquid alone is mind boggling. It cost all of $2. to make and lasts for many, many months. It was sad to hear the comments such as " Outrageously expensive" as I do think you give value for money. I have your book which was a gift from my daughter. Very Down to Earth and a great help to me. I'm also a member of Simple Savings Secrets. I took out a 3 year Membership which worked out cheaper. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your books of the future . Margaret in Tasmania

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  39. Thanks Margaret. I appreciate you taking the time to send your thoughts. xx

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  40. Hi rhonda,
    What a shame I was looking forward to the mudgee workshop. I decided to start saving when I read you were trying to organise a workshop close to me. If others think it is too expensive that's okay they don't have to come. Anyone who reads your blog regularly has to admit you give so much to us all just by writing regularly and sharing your knowledge freely through your posts. The Ebooks sound great.
    Regards
    Michelle

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  41. I totally understand your pricing and have just popped you a very empathetic email. Why oh why does insurance and councils make it so hard to teach hands on, practical, valuable life skills!? I'm hearin ya! I'm sure that price was the lowest it could get to whilst still placing value on your time. I love your book and look forward to any more that you write.

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  42. As I am on the other side of the world, I'd much prefer that you focus your energies on e-books. :-) And I love the ideas about aging at the end of this post. It seems I spent so much of my life waiting to be old enough, and I've suddenly realized that now I'm getting too old (in the eyes of the world, anyway). I think the sweet spot was only a few years long, and I was buried in parenting during those years. Didn't see them for what they were while in them. Love the idea of blowing apart the idea that we aren't vital and valuable at every stage of our lives.

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  43. Dear Rhonda, I retired a few years ago after a pretty stressful career started when women, and not just in the workforce, were second class citizens and no one let you forget it, it was a constant struggle. I had a long commute into a big city and too much to do on the homemaking front in the evenings and weekends to make it anything but a burden. I even remember many late evenings, collapsing in a chair with my needlework because I could not relax, I had to keep busy. Now I love being a homemaker. I am a homebody at heart. I find it all deeply satisfying and I'm glad to finally have this time in my life to slow down and putter around and enjoy small, quiet things in my own good time. It feels wonderful to create a better, more comfortable life for myself doing little things that make a difference. So...I hope your book on ageing will not be like everything else out there, which is (1) that retired people are unsuccessful, unimaginative, unintelligent, and just generally socially unacceptable unless they (2) make it the focus of their lives to go back to college, travel around the world climbing mountains, move to a year-round vacation spot, preferably in a foreign country, where they can play golf and party all the time, and (3) live a whirlwind, complicated, stressful life just like they had before they retired that (4) takes more money than they made when they were working, and that (5) those of us who do not choose this new and improved retirement lifestyle are dolts. Somehow, I think your book will be different and I'm really looking forward to it!

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    1. LOL. I guess you know already what ideas for the book are, Barbara. I think you are I are on the same wavelength. Thanks for your comment. It has helped me start my day with a smile and a really positive focus.

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  44. I want to offer you words of encouragement for what you are doing. If I were closer, and in country, I would do whatever was needed to attend your workshop.
    I, too, am on a very restricted budget due to a job layoff four years ago and then health problems that have kept me from working full time. But, through your encouraging words and practical 'how-to's', I have created a life today that is full of joy. And I have done it without the need to return to full time work.
    Your blog has helped me create this life. Thank-you. SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

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    1. Thanks for your comment SJ. I'm really pleased to know you've been helped and have built a joyful life. xx

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  45. I know it seems expensive when you first see the price but when you compare to other workshops (art making etc) it's right on par. I wanted to attend and hope that sometime in the future you will find a model that works. I think there is something special about being in a room with like-minded folk and that's one aspect I was really looking forward to. As others have mentioned I would be happy to bring a plate but suspect that wouldn't make a huge difference to the cost. I have taught photography workshops through local libraries and there was no cost to the participants and I was paid by council, so perhaps you could approach community centres and libraries in other local government areas with your concept. I think City of Sydney would be interested as they run lots of green workshops, many free to participants. Anyway best of luck with it.

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  46. Hi Rhonda, just wanted to say how excited I was to hear about your new books, looking forward to them. Just a note on your workshops, any chance you may do some locally, I'm down at Glass House and would love to come to a workshop. If you were to hold one locally with less costs then it is up to those further away who would like to come to cover their own costs of travel and accommodation, just a thought. I vaguely remember something about you thinking of holding some open house type morning tea at your place, is that still an option?

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  47. As someone also on a low budget, I believe these workshops would have been great value for money! If you were having one in Newcastle and I had plenty of notice, I would have saved up just to come along!

    I've been following you for many, many years but rarely comment, however on this occassion, I just wanted to say that I find you an inspiration and in our house, everyone knows who I am talking about when I mention Rhonda - and my partner knows that if she says "rhonda said on her blog...." that she'll get her own way about things you've suggested that she wants to do!

    I do wonder though, if location is a huge factor in interest - where we live in the Hunter, we have fantastic resources and people who are right into permaculture and sustainability but all too often it seems things need to be cancelled for lack of interest - but there are other places maybe 40 minutes or more away where you'd have to beat the interested people off with a stick!

    It's one of the reasons why I want to move from Maitland - I want something I can get involved with heart and soul - workshops, food swaps, perma blitzes - but for whatever reason there just isn't a huge interest - and I think I'm mixing in the right circles, so I'm pretty sure I'd have heard about them if they were happening regularly.

    Anyway - just me thinking out loud too :) Keep up the amazing work Rhonda! I think you are a champ!

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  48. Oh Rhonda. I so get it. We have a similar situation here when we run courses. We keep our prices to the very minimum but we still get people saying they're too expensive and we end up cancelling, and then we run the same courses for the council and the council pays our fee and the participants get to do the course for nothing. it seems that many people want to things for free. They don't look forward to the future when the things that learn at the courses actually save them money!

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  49. I will look forward to your next print book. I think the idea of ebooks is a good one also, although I don't have an e-reader. Love the thought of DVDs which I could purchase here in the States. I thank you for all of the time you invest in this blog and the forum. If I lived much closer I would attend a workshop, there are so many things you cannot get from books, computers, etc. I am inspired by you daily and you reinventing things after having to cancel the workshops is inspiring also. Your attitude toward life and toward what life brings you is inspiring and priceless.

    Jlynn (Minnesota, USA)

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  50. Shame about the workshops but having been a member of P&C and Community Hall committees I would think the third party insurance would be one of the largest costs and it's something you must have to run anything to do with the public. Considering the content/duration of the workshops I feel they are quite reasonable as half day workshops around my area average about $130 and there's no "freebies"!
    Cheers, Robyn

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  51. Hi Rhonda,

    A big happy hello to you from the Central Coast - I am so very sorry to hear that there hasn't been enough interest for the workshops - what a shame. I can only tell you again how much I enjoyed your workshop and got so much out of it. Thank you for all the value you have added to my life by writing your wonderful blog and book. Much love xx

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  52. Oh Rhonda, I am so sorry that the workshops had to be cancelled. I was looking forward to the one in Mudgee, several hours dirve for me and probably overnight accommdation, however I have been ill for about 8 weeks, so didn't make a booking. Even though we do a lot of things the same, or in a slightly different way, I am always open to new ideas, as you are too. I was also looking forward to meeting new people interested in the same or simialr things and activites as I am. Here in my area, I have yet to find any. However, a lot ask about our vegetable garden, as it was in the open gardens, and a lot say that they wish they had one. So I say that if you start in a small way, and build up your skills , they to can have one (though not on so large a scale), and I also offer to help, no they don't want to do the work.

    I have just given my 3 daughters your book, and I am saving so that I can give my 3 daughters-in-love each a copy.

    If you ever want to do a workshop here you are welcome to use my home, and facilites, and I am sure that no-one will break aanything or steal anything.
    Hugs Lorraine

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  53. Hi everyone

    I attended the workshop in Blackheath with a friend and can also speak for my friend when I say how worthwhile and inspiring they were. I love reading simple living blogs (daily!) and other articles on the net. However, when you meet with other like-minded people in person it is completely different. My friend and I went home buzzing that day and continue to text / email each other with updates on little projects around our homes. I had been reading about how easy it was to make laundry liquid, but never got around to it. It wasn't until I ACTUALLY saw how quick and easy it was that I went home and finally made up a batch.

    Insurance is a killer these days - for example my netball fees are over $140 for around 12 games. Of the $140, most of the fee is made up of insurance. Premiums continue to rise each year and it is such a shame.

    Just thought I would share my experience and let you know that it is a shame that others missed out on the opportunity to attend a wonderful workshop. I felt the $195 was money well spent.

    Nadia

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  54. Hi Nadia! Thanks for your feedback. Those workshops were wonderful. Tricia and I talked about them for days.

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  55. HI Rhonda,
    I was very sad to hear the workshops weren't going ahead! I was looking forward to the chance to meet other people who were like-minded. I understand those who don't have the money to pay for the workshops - but for me, it was also a chance to meet and talk with others trying to do the same as I am in getting back to some simple basics. That was where the true value of the workshops was for me as well as meeting an inspiring lady.
    I teach yoga and I also understand how people complain about the cost - but you do have the cost of the hiring of halls, insurance and, for you, accommodation and petrol costs too! It's hard to make anything from our teaching and keep the costs reasonable for people too!
    The DVD sounds like a great idea and I would buy one in a heartbeat!
    If anyone is interested in getting together here on the Central Coast I think it would be great to have our own "Down to Earth" coffee morning to meet other interested people. Sometimes I feel a bit like an island and it would be great to get some inspiration from meeting other inspiring people and to here how they incorporate the skills learned here on this blog. It would also be great to share my thoughts and skills too.
    Perhaps an area around Newcastle would be better next time as the area is bigger and there are more people interested in this lifestyle? Look for me in one of your workshops if you can get one somewhere near me. I'll be there with bells on!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Dayamitra. I hope we meet one day. :- )

      Delete
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