DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are over 8000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

13 January 2014

Hello again, my friends

I have struggled with coming back to you this year. As you know I'm writing books again so the ease of just blogging about my days is not there for me now because I'm not working in my home as I usually do. I'm writing instead, while trying to carry on with as many of the simple things that I can manage. I'm also trying to put more time into the forum because that one-on-one contact, the daily posts and getting to know other women and (too infrequently) men really does inspire me to carry on and to write interesting and, I hope, inspiring books to help you along.


At one point I decided to have a break for a few months but I was uneasy with that. I really enjoy writing here and I'm not comfortable with cutting myself off. After thinking about it for a week or so, I decided to come back because I enjoy writing my blog and so many of you say you love reading it and that it's an important part of your day. It's an important part of my day too, so I'm here and will be here as much as I can be while I work on the books. Sometimes I'll blog frequently, at other times I'll miss days; just remember I'm still here and I'll be back as soon as I can be. I'm taking the email down too because I don't have time to reply and I feel guilty that so many unanswered emails are still sitting in my in-tray.


We enjoyed the holidays but all the anticipation of Christmas and the preparations that go along with it left both of us feeling tired and worn out. New Year's Eve came and went with me sound asleep, only just conscious enough when the neighbourhood fireworks started, to curse them and go straight back to sleep. All that energy that goes into the end of the year. Is it worth it? I believe that what really matters, then and now, is this minute, this hour and this day. And the worth of it? Well, it's worth it for me as I have many beautiful memories stored away that will make me smile and appreciate my family for many years to come.

 Having lunch with Shane, Sarndra and Alex at the Gladstone Yacht Club. 

Soon after Christmas we drove up to see Shane, Sarndra and Alex. We had the best time! They haven't furnished their guest room yet so we happily stayed in a hotel during our stay. We spent the days with them, had a morning when we met with some of the forum ladies (hi Vikki, Chris, Fiona, Rosie and Jenni) and the rest of the time, we slept. Both of us! We rarely do that. We slept in, we went to bed early, we slept in the afternoon. It was so relaxing. And it was so good to see Shane, Sarndra and Alex thriving in their new home. It did my heart good to be there, to talk face to face with Alex and it gave me more tender memories to dwell upon during the year.

I've spent a bit of time smartening up the blog and forum, thinking about new posts to come and making a Pinterest page. I have an idea that includes Pinterest soon so I hope you follow me by clicking the badge on the side bar. I'll be adding to Pinterest as often as I can. I haven't worked Pinterest out yet. Is it really just a collection of photos?  What do you think of it?

All the new chooks are laying now so we're getting an abundance of eggs.

I would dearly like to buy another camera this year too. I use a Sony Cybershot now and when it dies, I'd like to improve the quality of my photos. I'm interested in knowing what camera you use if you think it's a good one, but remember, I'm living on a budget so no suggestions that are just out of my range please.  I'd consider a good second hand camera too.

Hanno let the two young Barnevelders into the now almost dead vegetable garden. 

Just to bring you up to date, Hanno has been busy building an extension to our chook house. I'll do a post about it when it's finished and explain then why we made these changes. We're also waiting on some new chickens, we'll pick them up when the renovations are complete so there'll be a lot of chicken news on the way. If you've been reading for a while, you'll know that we start our vegetable growing in March every year, so I'll take you along with us as we do that. We're both excited about getting it growing again. Even though we enjoy having the time off over summer, we do miss those fresh vegetables a lot.

I defrosted the crushed pineapple I froze a couple of months back for cold summer drinks and to make a few ice blocks for Jamie.

Along with the rest of you, Hanno and I are changing and that results in changes here in our home. I'll be writing about those changes during the year, how we're preparing for a time we have less energy but still want to live our simplified lives. I also want to revisit the central concepts, as I see them, of simple life so I'll be revisiting baking, soap-making, paying off debt, living on a budget and preserving. As we change, so too do those things we do to support our simple life. No life is always the same so I think it will be helpful to talk about how we change and how those changes effect what we do.

Okay, first post finished, it feels good being back with you, so let's get on with it. I hope it's a great year for all of us. ♥♥♥


70 comments:

  1. I love your new header! That bold text looks very effective, I think. Welcome back.

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  2. Glad to have you back and I look forward to the 2014 posts!

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  3. I'm looking forward to another year with you and Hanno, Rhonda. Always a great source of information, Down to Earth has always been in my side bar. You have inspired me to make bread (very successfully too!) and have a go at things in general.
    I'm not one for celebrating New Year with the masses either. We spent the night camped in the sand dunes on our bit of coastline (just me and hubby). We had steak sandwiches and watched the sun go down on 2013 over the Southern Ocean. Then we got rained out the next morning - such is life!

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  4. Happy to see you back Rhonda! Although I would understand if you would say never to come back again.

    And oh.. your Pinterest thing? L-o-v-e it! Hope to see you there.

    Love from Holland!

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  5. Welcome back Rhonda & take it easy as we don't want to lose you!!
    Look forward to reading all about your plans for 2014.

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    1. Hi Rhonda. Exactly my thoughts! You have taught me so much! I'm even baking my own bread now, although I do knead it in the bread maker and finish it off in the oven. Also, the Eco soap isn't available here in Canada in the large size. But I found Dr. Bronner's castille soap in the 1 gallon size in a variety of scents. My favourite is the lavender. And it works the same way as your soap does so it is very budget friendly! Thank you for everything Rhonda!

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  6. Lovely to see you back Rhonda. Always good to hear what you have to say.

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  7. I'm glad you are still writing. :) I've noticed that blogs that become very popular for their simple-living ways, sometimes get the attention of publishers or producers. Then, the simple life they lived and which made them so sought after suddenly is not so simple anymore. A difficulty to balance out, I'm sure.
    I'm looking forward to hearing more about soap. I've been nervous to try, but very much want to learn.

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    1. I agree with that, Erin. That is why I gave up my writing for monthly magazines. Those deadlines came around all too soon. I'm pretty sure I can find a good balance with what I'm doing now. I hope I can get you moving towards making your own soap. It really is quite easy.

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    2. Erin I suggest that you put aside your nervousness and give Rhonda's soap recipe a try. I had wanted to make soap for many years but all the books I had made it sound complicated and terribly scary. I made my first batch of soap a few weeks ago - and it was easy! My 10yo was quite amused by how excited I was over soap! I haven't tried it yet as it is still curing but it looks amazing (I think, although for reasons I won't go into it is a strange shape) and I can't wait to use it. Thank you Rhonda for making this simple life seem attainable to us all.

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    3. Snapp, thanks for encouraging Erin. I think it's better coming from someone like yourself who is learning as well. xx

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  8. Hi Rhonda,

    so great that you're back, and I'm glad you were both able to really relax when you went away.

    Looking forward to hearing about your changes and your chooks :)

    Madeleine.X

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  9. Your site looks lovely, Rhonda!
    And about Pinterest: it is so much more than just photos! So often if I'm looking for something, instead of Googling it, I do a search on Pinterst. It seems to me that I can find much faster the exact type of thing/articel/mindset I am looking for. So many articles can be found there. For example, do a search on ' Radical homemaking' . You will have plenty to read for days! (and probably find your own stuff there, Rhonda!)

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    1. Thanks for that, Annemarie. I didn't know you could do that kind of searching. I'll have to change my notifications because I'm getting too many of them but apart from that, I've found it to be a good experience setting the boards up. Can you tell me, what's the difference between 'following", and "liking a pin"?

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    2. Jumping in here: Pinterest has boards where you place all your pins of articles/pictures/etc you like. If you "follow" someone's boards, all of the pins in that board will come up on your Pinterest home page. You can follow all of a user's boards and Pinterest will automatically follow any new boards they create for you, or you can just follow one board of interest.

      Liking a pin is more analogous to liking a post on Facebook - it indicates interest or approval but will not make anything more appear on your home page. If you choose to repin instead, that pin that you liked - say a recipe for homemade soap - will appear on your board of choosing (eg a homemaking board).

      I see Pinterest as the online equivalent of scrapbooks where you would keep old newspaper clippings, beautiful pictures, recipe ideas etc. Hope to follow your boards soon!

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    3. Just want to add that Pinterest is a great way to find free sewing patterns/tutorials and similar crafting instructions!

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  10. I think of Pinterest as like Google, but for craft/garden/home-making/recipes etc... It took me a little while to get into it, but now I love it! I've actually been "pinning" your blogs and recipes for a while now, just odd ones that I need or want to re-read :)

    Welcome back, I'm so glad you decided to :)

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    1. Hi Larissa. Yes, it is like another google, isn't it. I'm glad I'm back now too. :- )

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  11. Hi Rhonda :)

    This is my first comment here, but I want to say one or two things - first of all, your new header and your Pinterest boards are incredible. So inspiring and lovely. Secondly, my husband and I are starting to think about our retirement (we're 49 this year) and your book and your blog have been profound influences on our whole way of thinking about what we want and how we can do it. The examples you and Hanno share have inspired us to belive we can do what you do. Thank you for giving us that hope!

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    1. Hi Penny, welcome to the comments. I think I'm only going to work two more years and then I'll "really" retire and for that reason, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. No doubt those thoughts will find their way to the blog and forum soon. Maybe we can discuss your ideas about retirement too - what you expect it to be vs what you hope it will be. I'm pleased you like the new header and my boards.

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  12. I am 'following' you now ;-) That means that every time you pin something new, it will come up on my starting page (is that a good word?) You can choose to follow every board from a person, or just one, for example 'veranda's' , if that's what you are interested in. ' liking' is just that, a little reminder for yourself, but you don't re-pin it to your own boards. Have fun, but set a timer! It's addicting!

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  13. Hi Rhoda, lovely to have you back, hope this year you can find the balance between simple living and meeting ongoing life demands, enjoy the ride and I'm sure we will all enjoy it with you, looking forward to your ideas on preparing for changes, kind regards Leonie

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  14. I'm happy to have you back to us, your readers and fans, But I'm glad for you and your many inspiring new projects, and still writing too. Happy new year and love from Lisbon, Portugal, EU.

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  15. lovely to see you back Rhonda, but glad you had a chance to rest and recharge, it sounds like you and Hanno needed it, but selfishly I'm so pleased to have you back in the saddle :D
    I use my smart phone for my photos on my blog and I had thought of getting a better camera but the phone does a wonderful job and I run them through a free online photo editor "Picmonkey". I decided to not get the camera also as I would forget to take it with me when the photo opportunity came along, but I always have my phone :)
    Warm regards,
    Jan

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  16. Rhonda, I call Pinterest 'the great time waster' :-) However, it is the place to go when you are looking for something in particular. I did print out the instructions a few months back as I registered there and followed a couple of boards but that is as far as I got. However, I can't find the instructions but they will probably turn up when I declutter.

    Regarding getting a better camera, some of the popular craft blogs I follow have a post about the cameras that are used so I will try and find them and perhaps put a list of them in a post on the forum. I know they are fairly expensive but, as you say, you might be able to pick up a second hand one. I know that photographers would probably upgrade now and again and sell their older camera.

    I hope it is a good year for everyone.

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  17. Hello ! So nice to see you back!
    You are so busy, busy, busy - enjoy those restorative sleeps when you get them!
    Regarding a new camera - I used to have a fancy one - it was big and cumbersome and ultimately unnecessary.
    I take all the photos on my blog now with my phone and I reckon my photos look pretty good.
    It's so convenient as I always have my phone handy and therefore my camera.

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  18. It is so nice to see you back Rhonda. Glad you've had a break though, breaks are important for the soul! I would be so sad to not see you writing here anymore, as you inspire me every day. You even inspired me to start a blog over the Christmas break, about the life changes we started making a few years ago. We made the decision to leave the city and try to start living a life that embraces simple pleasures and doing things for ourselves. We built a veggie garden and preserve our own food now. It's been an amazing 3 years for us and your blog encourages me every day on the path we are now on! Thank you Rhonda and I hope this year will be a cracker for us all :)
    (P.S- I'm having all kinds of trouble commenting on your blog under my new ID... going to try through google instead of the blog?

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    1. Hi! I checked out your blog and it's so beautiful. What a fine example you two set. It shows what can be done if you want to move to the country and, literally, put down roots. I love your photos of what you've been doing. I'll go back later and ready through everything. In the meantime, I've added you to my sidebar. I hope you get a lot of visitors.

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    2. Thank you so much Rhonda! It's such an honour to have you come over to my blog. I've been reading here at your lovely space for so long :) Thank you, as always, for your inspiring words.x

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  19. It's nice to have you back Rhonda, reading your blog is part of my morning routine. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate again this year so don't forget to stop & smell the roses too. Deb M

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  20. Happy New Year and your trip away with lots of sleeps sounds like your body really needed it. I love pinterest and yes it can be a time waster however if you are looking or something just type it in and you'll find heaps of things. There is a photo and if you click on the photo it will take you directly to the link where that photo is with the article or story about the think you are looking for. It's amazing however I don't like receiving all those notifications that people have pinned something you have pinned so I'll have to find out how to turn that off. I end up getting lots of emails that I just have to delete which is a waste of my time.

    Erin above.... I tried making soap for the first time in November and the soap has now cured and we are using it and I gave some to family and friends for Christmas. It's beautiful to use. Rhonda I have one question about it how do you store it once it's cured. In a sealed container or just in the cupboard and/or does it make a difference. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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    1. Yes, I turned off the notifications. Kathy, store it in the open air, not in an airtight box. I have mine sitting on a shelf in the laundry. It's too humid in the bathroom. If you leave it out to the fresh air, it will continue to dry out. The drier it is when you use it, the longer it will last.

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  21. Nice to read you again. I check whether there is a new blog post everyday... I always learn something new or have new ideas. It helps me think about my own life and want I really want for my family.

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    1. Hello David, it's good to be back. I absolutely adore your pea pin cushion. I'm assuming you made it because of all your beautiful needle work.

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  22. Rhonda - my hubby got his first retirement check in December, and I have been downsizing the shop so as to gradually 'retire' in two years. Because of my health we will not travel much, but are working toward an even simpler lifestyle than we have now. And I thought ours was pretty simplified until I started following your blog! Glad you got some rest - take it easy when you can,

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  23. So glad to see you back. We were asleep when the new year come in and did not even hear the fireworks of which there as usually a ton and near by. We were too exhausted. It leaves me wondering about all the work and tiredness of the Christmas season too. Our family is large and I am so tired that I am just going through the motions and not enjoying. Next year we will change gears and go to my elderly parents. After my father in law died this year and both of the in laws now being gone we have realized how quickly my parents could be gone too.

    I have a love/hate relationship with pinterest. I love that so many ideas are out there but I also hate how it puts a guilt trip on so many women and makes it seem that everyone has a perfect life. Also, there are many recipes and ideas that just do not work. I would like it if it were more based on truth instead of getting more pins.

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  24. Hi Rhonda,
    Thanks for coming back!! Good to hear of your doings over the holidays. I have always found the holidays stressful more than fun because as I describe it in our family, "Christmas has always been a spectator sport."
    (meaning everyone watched as I did ALL of the work...)This year was tiring as always but also lots of fun. With all of our sons living out of the home now it was very special to have everyone home together. For New Years Eve, we invited 2 couples and I made a delicious dinner (guests brought appetizers and dessert. It was relaxing and fun! I find pinterest useful as a place to store ideas (for my teaching career), plus recipes and other crafts and things I like--I think you will find it useful too.
    I have tried to "use" your forum and I am a member, but I'm a bit confused about how...plan to spend more time there in the new year! Best wishes!

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    1. Hi Barbara, I think the forum is fairly easy to use , it seems logical to me. When you login, if you're not sure what to do, you could just click on the various links and read what you find. However, if you can manage to make a post in the section called The Front Door, click on "hello, I'm new" and it will take you to another page. Click "new topic" and another page will open where you can write your first entry. Just say hello and tell us a little about yourself and if you're still having problems, ask for help. I am sure the ladies will be there for you. I will be too if I'm there at the time. Hopefully when you're there you will see the logic of it, but don't worry if you don't, we all have our own way of viewing things.

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  25. welcome back! glad you & hanno enjoyed the break over xmas & seeing the family
    hope the new year goes well for you & all

    selina from kilkivan qld

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  26. Welcome back Rhonda! Even though you have been gone I have still enjoyed reading some of your older posts as I have not been in this blogosphere for very long. I look forward to you replanting your garden as I am not sure where to start, I just know March is my goal. Thanks also to everyone for the pinterest information. I have only just started with it too and am so totally lost. Then again everything is like that when it is new :) Cheers, Tanya

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  27. Hi Rhonda, welcome back. I love reading your comments and have used many of your tips & recipes. I have also bought your lovely book. This is the first time I have commented, just wanted you to know that I appreciate you sharing your knowledge in such an unselfish way. Thankyou so much ::))

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  28. As I continue to read your past posts, I am so encouraged and quite inspired by your words. Hubby and I have been on our simplicity journey for quite sometime. As our second son finishes high school and goes off to university, we are simplifying even more. A smaller home and a bit more land for chickens :0) Thank you for inspiring all of us that visit, each and every day.

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  29. Hi Rhonda. I'm glad your back and are going to continue with the blog. Your blog was the first one I had ever read, I hold it in a special place in my heart. It has inspired me so much in the last 18 months as the company I work for has been in liquidation. I made your soap, I make my own laundry liquid and it has lead me on to other wonderful blogs, but more importantly my mindset has changed. Now I don't see my forthcoming redundancy as all doom and gloom but I am confident I can and will survive the financial challenges it brings. I wish you and Hanno and your family all the happiness in the world. Thanks, Joanne.

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    1. Thanks Joanne. I wish you happiness and success in changing your lifestyle. The mindset is the most difficult thing to change so you're doing well. xx

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  30. Welcome back Rhonda, and a belated Happy New Year!

    Lovely to see you back :)

    I intend to make this a good year financially to help prepare for a slowing down and a reduction in work hours next year (hoping to go down to 2 days instead of 4) so I totally understand the need to reduce your workload.

    Just happy to read your posts whenever they appear

    xx

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  31. Hi Rhonda, I am new to your blog and the forum and am so happy that you have decided that you will continue to write. I am a voluntary homemaker too and have a tough time explaining my choice to those around me, especially my parents. I enjoy trawling through your old posts which I find so heartening and inspiring. Thank you very much!

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  32. Hi
    Nice to hear your words live.. Heheh..
    Its always such a pleasure to read your blogs..

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  33. Hi Rhonda

    You can't stop blogging yet - I have only just discovered you!!
    I am an Australian man who enjoys housework, cooking, washing, cleaning....so relaxing after a high pressure day managing 150 staff for 12 hours etc.
    So, I have made some tiny simplification steps in the last two weeks Step 1. started using vinegar, water and a couple of drops of Eucylyptus oil in a reused Spray and Wipe bottle...works fantastic and will save me $300 annually. Step 2. Stopped buying Latte's everyday at work and have rediscovered the cuppa - $1100.00 saved per annum. I think the next two steps will be packing a lunch and looking into making my own laundry powder using your recipe.....with 5 x teenage daughters I do about 30 loads or washing per week.
    Rhonda, Ia did a proper budget the other day and scared myself silly (in a good way). Just want you to know that I am one aussie bloke with whom your blog-wisdom has struck a chord. Just about everything you have written I think "Rhonda, how did you get in my head!". Anyhow please don't stop blogging just yet please.
    With MUCH appreciation
    Phil

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    1. No worries, Phil. I'm pleased I can help. I hope you're teaching those girls how to look after themselves. Even if you enjoy the housework, they need to be able to do it too.

      What great savings you're planning on making. It's all those small things that add up. I hope it all works out for you. Keep in touch and let me know how you're getting on.

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  34. I,m glad you are back, you have been a major inspiration to me over the last few years. My partner had a motorbike accident and two years ago he finally received his payout. Because of you, we started to think about our future and we bought solar panels, built a chook house and now have six chooks, a raised vegetable garden so we don,t have to bend, a herb garden and two 10,000 litre water tanks. I do make a lot of things myself but haven,t made soap yet until my stocks run out and I can never get my bread to be right. I do make washing powder and cleaning sprays and things and have a mini supermarket in my home, my partner calls it SIGS (sian,s independant grocery store.) It looks like my partner is never going to be able to go back to work again as he has a few more operations to go after already having two done, so I am currently on a carer,s pension so I can stay home to look after him (he is only 55.) So a big THANKYOU to you Rhonda and Hanno for changing our lives and making me realise we will be able to cope and survive on a much reduced income thanks to every thing I have learnt from you.

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    1. Sian, thank you so much for sharing a small fragment of your story. It sounds like you're building a great life there that will support you both for many a long year. I'm sure many of the readers join with me in wishing you both the best in the coming years. Stay in touch and let us know how it all progresses. xx

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  35. Glad you are back and that you got to spend time with the family. On a selfish note, I would hate to no longer receive your wisdom so I am happy you will be continuing to blog.
    I am a big Pinterest user so I will go and check out and follow some of your boards :)

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  36. The first thing I do in the morning is get my emails and look into your blog Rhonda. Always inspiring.. I agree that this past year has been exhausting; particularly the Christmas and New Year's preparations. I thought I would never say it, but I did not really enjoy it so much this time. Glad you can still write about simple living; I lo forward to it each day and always learn something or am able to be inspired at least. Be sure to rest yes; but don't go away completely. Too many of us love the blog!

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  37. Glad you are back! I have enjoyed rereading some of your older posts but, I am looking forward to your new ones too.

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  38. Hi Rhonda,
    I am glad to see you back. I know blogging does take time but you are such an inspiration to everyone to change their lifestyle for the better. I look forward to reading more of your great posts. I loved reading your past posts that you posted over the holidays again. I know I have read many of them but they were a great refresher.
    Thanks Carol

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  39. I too am glad you're back. I love your calm and sensible attitude towards simple living. It kept me going through the difficult years of living ultra frugally while we cleared masses of debt. And I hope it will keep me going while we attempt to pay off our mortgage 5 years early. Take care x

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  40. Welcome back Rhonda and we will enjoy your post when you get around to them and when not I enjoy just looking through the past posts. Hope your new year is great and much success in your new writing endeavors. CQ

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  41. Hi Rhonda Jean, I am glad you decided to keep blogging. You asked if I like Pinterest, I do! I'm now following your boards. To me Pinterest is like reading your favorite magazine, without the ads. I believe you will see a lot of people come to read your blog as a result of your boards. At least I hope so! I've gotten many many ideas from Pinterest - from decorating to housekeeping, cooking to fashion. It is an amazing place. Tell me, I would love to buy your book but when I go to Amazon it says it's currently not available. Will it be available on Amazon in the future? Looking forward to reading more about your chicken coop - I would love to add on to ours, I'd love more hens but just not sure I can fit more than the ten we have now (well, eight hens and two roosters). I'll be watching!
    Jan

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  42. Just wanted to wish you and Hanno a wonderful year ahead. I do miss you, as I am one of those who look forward daily to reading your blog updates, but I do enjoy re-reading your posts as well.
    I am a big fan of Pinterest. It has served me very well as a source of inspiration and as a storage facility for my interests (a lot more convenient than bookmarking pages). Look forward to seeing you there.

    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago

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  43. Hi Rhonda, so happy to read your post yesterday - did try to comment but I managed to delete it!

    Pinterest - I love Pinterest and started really using it a couple of months ago. I love that you can just pin things that you like and have a record of them only a few clicks away. So it's good if you have projects, we have some at the moment, outdoor wood fired pizza oven, indoor wood fire, garden and I am able to go onto Pinterest or the internet and look for design ideas, I then Pin them and I have them there. I have also started collecting my recipes on there, ones I currently make and those that I would like to make. I have my iPad in the kitchen and then I have no more papers collecting in corners of my kitchen those that don't make it into a folder that is! So I am a fan.

    Camera - we have a Canon 400D Digital camera and have had it for a few years now, it is a great camera and we have taken some wonderful photos with it. Obviously there are updated models available I think the 1100D and they retail with a single lens kit for about $400. I had a quick look at ebay and gumtree and you would be able to get for cheaper maybe. There are so many cameras out there, I even had a look when I was out yesterday. There is a large choice of cameras out there.

    Pineapple - that pineapple crush looks so lovely. It's my favourite juice. Jamie is a lucky boy:)

    So glad that you are back.

    Sourdough333

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  44. Blogland wouldn't be right without you Rhonda....so glad you are opting to keep sharing with us all! Reading your recent re-posts has helped me SO much in getting re-appointed as Homemaker in our home. Many, many thanks! xxxx

    PS.Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog too...I've learned so much of it from you. :)

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  45. Welcome back Rhonda you have been missed. Pleased you were able to have a decent break as you put in a Herculean effort all year which we obviously love.

    Cameras ! I have in the past had a Sony Cybershot and couldn't bond with it, so after a few years of grainy pics I went back to Canon and now have a EOS 550D SLR and a Power Shot SX 260 HS. I love them both and find the downloading programs simple to use. Please don't think I am extravagant, they were my birthday, xmas gifts over two years from the family and of course bought online saving plenty.

    Have a great day.
    Lyndall

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  46. So glad to have you back Rhonda. I love your new look page :)

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  47. So happy that you are back to blogging! I repeat what so many others have said cause I too come to visit your blog every day and you are a wise woman. I enjoy so much reading about you and Hanno and your family. Happy new year to each of you. Blessings, Carolyn from Florida

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  48. I enjoyed re-reading the old posts...they are still helpful today! But I am glad you had the time to squeeze in a new post! I look forward to the books you are working on. Darlene

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  49. Good to have you back!

    I can identify with some of your sentiments-- I have about a month off work to finish writing my thesis. Not that I don't derive a lot of slow satisfaction from it, but when I see friends and they ask how I am going and what I have been up to, it sometimes feels difficult that I don't have an exciting narrative to share. I too am looking forward to getting back to blogging!

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  50. Welcome back Rhonda! I only discovered your blog a few months back but I love checking in on it and have nearly finished reading your book. Thank you for the wonderful work you do. Wishing you and Hanno great health and happiness in the coming year. x

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  51. I do hope you keep blogging here, your simple living stories are very encouraging. I also like when you repost a goodie but an oldie blog. Your garden is one of the first pictures I pinned btw. I like Pinterest, for me it's not a time waster at all. I use it to house recipes, gardening sewing, knitting and craft projects; I go back to my boards and actually use what I pin. I find my favourite bloggers on there too so I get to peruse their pins.

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  52. Happy new year Rhonda and welcome back, you've been sorely missed! I, too, am a huge fan of Pinterest. It's like having a glossy magazine, but you only read or see what you like and best of all, it's free.
    Jak x

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  53. I sure would miss your words if you took a break, but I trust that you know what is best for you and yours so certainly couldn't hold a break against you. You're very busy running a home and helping others as they start to run their own. As for a camera, I have a Cannon Powershot that I've been very happy with. Small enough for the pocket with a good enough zoom to capture the birds at the feeder and bees in the flowers.

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