DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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6 May 2014

Reminders of what is important to us - home

Most of us live on the edge. Although we live in cities, suburbs, rural towns and out in the middle of nowhere, we choose to live apart from what is considered to be "normal" nowadays. Even if we're surrounded by people or close to them, we are living on the edge of the mainstream because we've changed our mindset; we're on a slower and gentler journey.  And it is for that reason that I want to encourage you all to highlight what is important to you - to express what you love about the various things we do that others don't.  This is a reminder, or encouragement, if that's what you need today, about the life we live and why we live like this. People in the mainstream have a monotonous stream of information, advertising and peer support about their lifestyle, spending, shopping and fashion. That keeps them going - it reminds them of what they love, what is important to them. If you watch television, listen to the radio, surf the internet, read magazines or walk around the city, you'll see the current constantly changing cultural must haves; the products and services that help people live lives of convenience. 

All that glitters is not gold.


Let's share our own advertisement for a slow and simple life because we won't see it advertised, or if we do it will be the commercialised dumbed-down version of it. This will remind all of us of what we love and why we chose to walk this road less travelled. We don't have "things" to love, ours is more about feelings and self awareness, but we do need to acknowledge it. When we take the time to remember and verbalise what we value, it reminds us of the significance of it.  So let's share what we value about what makes up our simple lives - we'll do it a bit at a time so we're not overwhelmed. And today, let's start with our homes and homemaking. What is important about your home and the work you do there? Let me start it off.



The most important part of home and homemaking to me is that I have a place where I feel safe, comfortable and nurtured, and a place to work. Here in this ordinary brick slab house, at the end of a one lane, dead-end street, I am productive and creative and I think I could live another twenty years and still not be finished with the list of projects I'd like to do right here. When I finish writing these books, I want to start sewing some light quilts and teach myself how to make baskets from some of the materials growing here on our land. I'd like to take up rug making again. I loved it back in the 1980s, I want to get back to it. I want to expand on what I produce in the kitchen, be that main meals, bread, cakes, various drinks or dairy products.  I want to make more soap for gifts and I want to perfect liquid Castile soap. I want to see Jamie and Alex grow up as good strong boys and young men, just like their fathers did. I want to read a lot more. I might adopt a non-deplume and write a novel. Who knows what I will do but I do know that everything I do will be done here, in my home.


Homemaking gives structure and meaning to my days. What I do in my home is important to me and my family. The opportunities here are almost endless and that has created an enthusiasm for life that has been infused into every day. And with each passing day I know the work I do here makes my life better. Some people hate housework. I am grateful to have it and equally grateful to have my home.


There are a lot of other reasons I love being in my home and doing the work required to run it but I'd like to read what you have to say. What's the most important part of homemaking for you? Why do you value your home?  Tomorrow we'll share our stories about another aspect of our lives. I hope you'll join in.

54 comments:

  1. What do I value most about being at home? Peace. Peace of mind that I am safe, sound, and capable of doing what I need to do for myself whether it is making bread, cheese, or yogurt or knitting a sweater or weaving a rug. I love that I decide the pace of work and can decide to sit on the porch and watch the magnificent show the phoebes give me after they have eaten at the bird feeders or I can mop while in my jammies. I love that I can wear my rooster apron and feed the chickens and goats . Or I can go sit on a rock in the pasture with the goats and dole out animal cookies from deep within the apron pockets. Home is walking back from the barn at twilight, stopping and snapping enough asparagus for dinner. Home is sleeping under the quilt my grandmother made and being able to name who wore what from the fabric she used.. I have decided the Creator was wise to make our first parents gardeners because it brings us closer to heaven more than anything else unless it is a new baby. Home is paradise.

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  2. The most important part of homemaking for me is putting a home cooked meal on the dinner table for my husband and three children every night. At times I get exasperated by the thought that it can take hours to prepare some meals, only to be eaten in 10 minutes flat, but I know I'm feeding my children wholesome food, with almost no additives or preservatives, they don't know it now, but as they grow to become adults I hope they realise the importance of what real food does for your body, mind and soul, and my greatest wish is that they continue to cook real food from real ingredients.

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  3. One of the main things in my home is love. I want my kids to grow up in a home they know with love and I tell my kids I love them more than once a day. They are safe and secure and I am teaching them life skills by having my son 10 year old emptying the dishwasher every morning. They set the table. They put their own clothes in the washing basket after their bath and have been since they were little. I teach them how to make healthy bread, pizza's, growing veggies and how to fold and put their washing away in their drawers. They have watched the river cottage series and eco house challenge and both know that food without chemicals is better for you and tastes amazing. Even though they are little they know that what I teach them is for their future too. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  4. Your post has me in tears. In a few days my home that I love and cherish has changed, the home that I care for, sew and knit and create in, cook for myself and my friends and enjoy my days with my animals is no longer a haven for me. You see, I have a new neighbour, and she smokes! She smokes on the back deck, but these houses are old, and have cracks and gaps, and in my street, this neighbourhood, the houses are quite close together........as many houses as could be squeezed into the area were built in the early part of last century to service the railway and sawmill workers, the road builders and canecutters who poured into the area to build a new town. It's never been a problem, there is so much more that makes it my neighbourhood and my community and I have green spaces to front and back, and we all respect each and our closely shared spaces. Now my home is filled with the smell and the poisons of cigarette smoke, my clothes and furnishings reek and all my carefully stored fabric and old linens that I turn into quilts and cushions and other useful and pretty objects, my stash of yarn...all smell as well. I sell these at the markets, make tiny quilts for sick babies, my knitting goes to the homeless of the town and beyond.....how can I pass these things on now that they smell? And the worst is my health is suffering, I feel I've aged overnight, going from a strong, well capable woman to being a breathless, sick and despairing....I've gone from walking up to 5 kms twice a day with my puppy, to barely getting to the corner, short of breath, coughing and having palpitations. The headaches are unbearable. My home no longer feels like my home, my windows are closed all day, I have an air purifier running all the time, which hardly makes a dent, so I may have to get a larger ie more expensive heavy duty model....money I don't have to spend and I'm sick and sad. My neighbour says she is unwell ..and she looks it...and can't go down the stairs and walk up the yard to smoke, away from the houses. She says she has the right to smoke in her own place, and she very nicely conceded she's sorry I'm affected! I say my right to clean air and a poison free environment overrides her right to smoke wherever. I suspect she's now smoking inside at night, as I'm waking coughing and vomiting, with my face and throat burning, head pounding. I'm doing what I can to be proactive......seen my doctor to monitor changes in my health, have an appointment with a lawyer to document my concerns, have talked to the Tenancy Board.......her brother bought the house for her to live in......but grief hits me hard and unexpected, and I cry my way through my days......I can't see an end to this unless my neighbour quits or leaves.....I too thought I'd happily live out my days here, the alternative is to sell and move but this is the home I've made and altered to suit me, if I sell, buying back into the market at present will leave me with little or no money to make changes ..... and anyway, I don't want to leave....I feel trapped and sad. and angry. I'm sorry this is so long, Rhonda, and probably not the sort of comment you were hoping for, it was good to write it down and express how I feel. Maybe your readers have suggestions I've not thought of.

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    1. That's horrible, Nanette. I would go to your local council. Our council has an air pollution policy, you can read it here. http://www.lgtoolbox.qld.gov.au/SunshineCoastRC/EH/AirPollution/Pages/WhoDoIContactForFurtherInformation.aspx Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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    2. That is terrible Nanette. I hope there is something you can do about it, I do not have any suggestions only empathy for your situation.

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    3. I feel am so sorry; that is an awful way to live. I grew up with smoking parents. Being in the back seat with 2 people smoking in the front seat was miserable. I can not begin to imagine what your home must be like.
      Can you maybe plant a hedge here? It might help a little. I am sorry. I wish I could help more. I will say a prayer for you.

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    4. I have lived in my home for 30 years. I just love our home. Over time it has become a neighborhood that worries me now. I know that there are 'drug' houses in the area. I have seen people arrested on our street more times than I can count.
      My husband and I had a new roof, windows, and siding put on the house just a year ago. We will be here till the end. My house is more than a house. It is HOME. Where we love each other and rest ourselves at the end of the day.

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    5. Oh, Nanette! How terrible for you! We have rental property and people are NOT supposed to smoke in the houses, yet they do. We have found a wonderful candle that takes the smoke from the air. Have you looked at one of those? I just did a search on Amazon and found a variety of them.

      Also, do you have a covenant for the community that deals with these issues? That would be another place to start looking for resolution.

      I do hope this will be resolved! Sending lots of light!

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    6. I would get an industrial fan to blow it all back and keep my windows and doors on that side of the house closed as well as all the other suggestions here. I hope you find a resolution soon. Perhaps she would agree to smoke on the other property line of the house to yours...

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    7. I am also sympathetic to Nanette's plight. My husband was a heavy smoker until 12 years ago and I had to put up with the constant smell that permeated everything in our house. Ironic thing is that when he quit, he started noticing that our neighbours (mother and three teen girls) sat in their back yard adjacent to ours and smoked all the time. He couldn't stand it, but couldn't do anything about it. It really is the most disgusting habit, and even worse when women do it.

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  5. I love looking around and knowing we made this, we saved for this, and we have provided for our family. I love continuing family history through recipes past down over the generations and rediscovering skills long lost to the mainstream. I don't think I get more satisfaction from anything than a well deserved cup of tea in the courtyard after a busy morning. Ultimately we have created a safe and welcoming place for our family.

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  6. One of the important aspects for me is to be able to control our environment, having time to tidy and declutter and make pretty as I choose. Another is making our meals from scratch, although in my case it is a necessity due to a very restricted diet. I'm not a super-consciencious housewife, but I never knew how much I actually want to do housework, until now, when I am recovering from surgery and am not allowed to do any! Thanks Rhonda for the reminders of the good, simple but valuable things of life.

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    1. I have been there, too - looking around at all the things that need doing but not being able to do them is certainly the best motivation I've experienced! Wishing you a speedy recovery.
      -Jaime

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  7. I live in a "bad" plot of land. Right next to a tavern. With three kids, I stay home and do my regular laundry and hang it outside. We raise a few chickens and I dream of raising every herb I know about. Although my husband has a mindset of fast-pace keep up lifestyle, I choose to live within the realm of my little world. I have also chosen to abandon the fads of spirituality and just stick with independent bible readings...... http://www.bubblews.com/account/50420-lauraspilde

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    1. Hi Laura, you'll see a notice below stating:
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      When you leave a comment there will be a link to your blog on your comment. Please do not add another link in with the comment.

      When readers start adding an extra link to their webpage, others do it too. Then I get complaints from regular readers saying they don't like it as it interrupts the flow of reading. I doubt it brings you extra traffic anyway because the readers don't like seeing links in the comments.
      If you make another comment, please leave out the link. Thank you.

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  8. I thoroughly agree. I do need to affirm this lifestyle or I find it easy to be sidetracked into the less desirable mainstream thinking. I had to smile at Cheryl's comment about being exasperated that meals taking hours to prepare are eaten in 10 minutes. I'm no great cook but I do know that I cut my food budget in less than half by cooking from scratch and not wasting anything. It is nice to know that hours of keeping watch on the beef or chicken stock, time taken to pick the remaining meat off the bones and freezing all the left overs provides hearty quality meals at a fraction of the cost. And my quilt that I'm making will be a one off - no-one has made one just like mine. The sweet potato crop still in the ground will provide us with meals for months. And the greens that are just going in to the garden will be providing us with fresh food in the months to come.

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  9. Even though I dont live in my own home, I love going outside and watching the sky everyday! It's autumn and I love watching the clouds roll by and seeing patches of sun on our bush block. This keeps me quiet.

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  10. What do I value about my home? I value the fact that it is my refuge. This is the place I can close the door, close the world out and live the way I want to live without expectations or demands from society. Therefore, the next thing that is important to me is comfort. I want my house to be physically comfortable and emotionally comfortable. I haven't always enjoyed housework but lately I have had a change of heart -- I like the feeling I get when things are in order -- MY idea of order, not a magazines idea. I enjoy getting it in order. I enjoy making things for my home. It might not make Architectural Digest or something like that but it is attractive and comfortable for me. Also, I appreciate the history in my house. It is a relatively new house, less than a decade, but the things in it are old. I love looking at the family photos and the needlework done by my grandmother and my aunt. I learned long ago that home doesn't mean the house you are in, it means the spirit you bring with it-- the love, the memories and the people. Home is a haven.

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    1. "I learned long ago that home doesn't mean the house you are in, it means the spirit you bring with it-- the love, the memories and the people. Home is a haven."

      BB- I love this! Thanks.

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    2. A refuge. Physically and emotionally comfortable. Love it and agree wholeheartedly.

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  11. I always love the sense of peace and appreciation for life I read in your posts Rhonda. It grounds me and reminds me to switch my focus back to those home endeavours and pleasures while I am sitting here at work on my tea break. I can't wait for the time when I can spend all of my days at home tending the garden, baking, keeping my housework up to date and pursuing my many simple living hobbies. I have recently joined two permaculture groups and love sharing my simple and slow living journey with others. You know that you started this journey for me, and for that I am eternally grateful x

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    1. Hello Tanya, I'm pleased I helped you start, that is one of the reasons I write about simple life the way I do. There are hundreds of other simple living blogs sharing ideas about cooking, gardening, budgeting and decorating ideas. Not many of them write about homemaking or what makes up a home, most have practical advice about activities to be carried out. I like to write about why we do what we do. I like to encourage and motivate people. :- )

      I hope it will not be too long before you can be at home full time. It is a beautiful way to live. xx

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    2. You certainly do that Rhonda. My life has changed dramatically since I met you almost twelve months ago and you are right, you do get right down to homemaking, something my generation has let slip. Gosh, I especially loved how you covered how to hang the washing in your book...no one ever taught me that :) There is peace and beauty in stepping back to basics and slowing down x

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  12. Prepared your cottage pie recipe for dinner this evening. It was delicious! I had all the ingredients in the house already. I think this recipe is going to become a favorite. Thanks for sharing it!

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  13. A lovely and thoughtful post Rhonda. I am grateful for my non-mainstream life (and home) that is for sure :)

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  14. Down a dead end road in the middle of corn fields is our little plot of land I call our home. I live here with my Husband our four children and my 90 year old parents. Our home is where we find love and take care of each other in sickness and in health. It is where we can enjoy a summer night gazing at the stars that are so bright here in our part of the country. It is a place where I wish I could be home full time but at present have to work part time. This home nourishes my soul with family dinners and also with grandma's quilt that I can name each outfit worn in the fabric she used.(loved that). It is where we garden and my son works on his race car. Where sometimes it's not always peaceful and organized but somehow everyone seems to find their way home.
    This is the place I'm raising my children and hope to grow old with my husband.

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  15. I really loved hearing about the lives that glitter like gold ,,,,where people think about the things that are important to them in their 'slow living ' life. There is such a sense of feeling settled and 'all's right with the world ' that is in this post and in these comments.
    For me , the last rays of old Summer warming my back on an Autumn day as I plant seedlings in my garden. Peace & a reminder that golden moments come from the simplest things and we don't need to be a milliionaire to feel like that.
    Thankyou for a lovely post and encouraging such lovely comments that give a window into other lives.

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  16. Oh, this is great! The most important part of homemaking for me is freedom. So often I get the sense that others see me as tied to my children and to the animals that need care every day. But I see it as just the opposite. Producing food here means freedom from the grocery store. Staying home means not having to be at the mercy of ever-rising fuel prices to take me places. Keeping my kids close to home and with me all day allows me to grow with them, and I feel gives me freedom from the regret of not being fully present in these early years. Learning how to knit clothes or make other things we need not only gives me confidence, but also liberates me from spending money on inferior or unethical goods. I still have a lot to learn about running a household, but I wake up every day determined to get better at it. It's nice to be reminded that homemaking is indeed worthy and important work.
    -Jaime

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  17. The place where I always start when I need to reset my focus, whenever I feel unrooted or stressed out, is the kitchen. It calms me to cook from scratch, to carefully select ingredients in the (super)market, to think about what we're going to eat all week and how I will prepare it. At the time being, I feel like it's the only place where I can change my habits towards a more simple life, so I'm happy to do just that. Now my husband has selected a place for me to put up my square food garden and dug the little pieces of grass yard around it so I could put some pots there. I hope to really put to good use the produce I can harvest and to prove him that I can handle another square foot garden next year and actually using it. One step at a time...

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  18. I love the peace and the tranquility of my home. Wandering down the backyard, seeing the veges growing, the one lone mandarin on the tree (...it's only one but it's a special one), catching the scent of the flowers I've planted to bring the bees, the warm smell of backing coming from the kitchen and the warm sun of my back as I hang out the clothes. THis life offers me and my family contentment. A busy, crazy life chasing "stuff" can't give me that.

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  19. Home is so important to us as a family. It is our little peaceful, safe and secure haven to come back to after tiring, stressful days. We may not be able to afford lots of other things like expensive holidays, new furniture and nights out, but it's worth it to have our own home in a lovely area. I was talking to an elderly gentleman recently who said that he had spent much of his life concentrating on his career, but that now he very much regrets it because he feels he 'neglected' his family all those years. It helped me to realise just how quickly life passes by and that I've done the right thing for us by concentrating on home making and the family. Thank you x

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  20. My husband and i affectionately call our home 'the shoebox' because it really is very small and we don't have any land, but it's ours. We bought what we could comfortably afford and I love that it's ours and we both strive to keep it clean and tidy and not accumulate too much clutter. I like sitting down in an evening with a clean and tidy home around me. It's very relaxing and I think it makes me more productive in the home as well. Great post. Very thought provoking :)

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  21. Cooking from scratch. Picking from the garden, or from food swaps with neighbours, choosing an old favourite recipe or a new challenge. Strolling to the local organics store to augment what i have, furiously preping while the littilest naps. Sit down, talking, together meals. Especially dinner when we are all back together, with candles watching the sun go down or what ever is going on outside the big dining room windows, tv free and peaceful. Homemaking is freedom, comfort and peace.

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  22. 'Working at the job of life itself'. I have always loved Tom Good's words to describe the life he wants to live and I try to live by them too. Home is the hub of that life for me. I work from home too and love to weave all the work in my my life together. Cook, sew, plant, clean, bake and make, design and draw, feed animals, feed family...the wonderful list goes on.
    kate x

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  23. My home also means freedom...to do exactly what I want each and every day. Our saving grace has always been we have no debt. I would say we do without to stay that way but we really don't....we have everything we need and then some. We never know what the future might bring but for now I know we can outlast most people if things really hit the skids. We can just live and there is nothing wrong with that!

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  24. First I must say that I love your blog - Sometimes I feel like I'm all alone in my desired lifestyle and your words inspire me to press on. I love the simple life and am making my way towards it and enjoying the process. Although I am surrounded by home repair projects and the chaos of everyday life, it is my own home and I can visualize the end results. My creative projects are slowly coming along and more space is being made for them. I love an orderly home even though it takes work and patience at this point, I know I will get there soon. My comfort is in the kitchen, I enjoy cooking but baking is my therapy. So I am thankful to have a kitchen where I can create my baked art which is very good for the soul!

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  25. Hanging clothes on a sunny day, watching the chooks with a worm, baking up a storm in the kitchen and picking fresh veg in the garden. When I go to town I can't wait to get back home. Having our grown children and spouses come for a holiday meal around the table talking and laughing. The freedom in the morning to plan my day of homemaking. Lastly just peace and quiet.

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  26. Home to me Rhonda is the same as it is for you, a safe refuge and a comfortable place where I can just potter about in peace either inside or in the garden, heaven! On the basket making, oh yes, do have a go, and if you can get just a one-day instructional workshop in it then do so. I have just done this and I so enjoyed it, and learnt things that I wouldn't have been able to learn just from a book. I have become so enthused that I got a book from Amazon and am now churning out my own baskets. They may not be perfect yet, but that comes with practice, but really, it's such fun, enjoyable and you get something useful out of it as well. Do it now Rhonda!

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  27. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said homemaking creates a safe and nurturing environment. I would also add that I like homemaking because it allows you to beautify your home to your liking. My husband and I were talking the other day about what we would do if we suddenly came into a lot of money. The consensus was that not much would change because we are so content and comfortable in our own home. Even traveling at times is a chore because we love being in our home so much.

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  28. Our home is a place - as you said - to be safe and comfortable, to belong. My mom never liked to do housework (she grew up with a maid); as an artist she always thought her creative work far more important than cleaning house. Consequently I grew up in what Flylady (have you run into her?) calls CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome); worse, I never learned to keep house and had to teach myself. My aim is to have my house tidy enough that I'm not embarrassed if anyone drops in unexpectedly. After that, I just want it to have my family heirlooms and a decor that reflects our priorities (virtually everything we own is either inherited, homemade or bought second hand). I'm actually tackling spring cleaning for the first time ever (in an older house we find we 'have' to re-decorate every few years as the plaster cracks and such and deep cleaning has always taken place around the re-decorating process). I'm finding it quite satisfying - a little at a time. I tell myself I am following my beloved Mom's example by putting creativity first (I have plenty of craft/sewing/knitting projects going on as well). The difference is that I'm taking satisfaction from Creating Order. That's a new mindset for me.

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  29. I value my home for the simple reason that I once was on the verge of being homeless, and at the time also had 3 small children to think of. Having a roof over my head and a veggie garden is something I shall never take for granted. In my home I feel happy and comfortable. Here I can relax and unwind after work I have to do outside the home. You could say that I`m a part time homemaker at the moment as I go to work three days a week. At each end of a working day I look forward to cycling home and being able to slip into comfortable wear, often PJ`s and a dressing gown, able to throw off the stresses of the day and be myself with my loved ones. Cooking a comforting meal for us all is a pleasure when I can do it in my own kitchen, a space that I have created with my own fair hands. I love my little frugal kitchen as I have built it myself a few years ago. An achievement I`m quite proud of, as not many women have that much DIY skills to do just that. My home means an awful lot to me and I feel the happiest when I can potter around in it on my non-working days. I can`t wait until I can spend all my time here, doing the housework, washing the dishes, cleaning and mending the laundry items, making my soaps and laundry liquid from scratch and spending the days the way that I would like to spend them.
    Not having to answer to a boss, but to be my own boss, that`s the goal I`m striving for. My garden is equally important as the house, as I try very hard to grow enough veggies out there to help supplement our diet with organic produce. My garden is not a show piece but has a purpose. All my veg bed surroundings are made from recycled shed wood and other materials. Nothing is matching, but I can grow my veg and love to harvest what`s grown for us. The satisfaction of knowing that I have the skills to sustain us in the home and from the garden is the best feeling in the world. Happiness grows from within, and our happiness has grown in this place and within ourselves over the last few years. But, what also makes for a happy home are the lovely neighbours that we now have either side of us. It makes for a pleasant atmosphere knowing that you can call on these neighbours if you should need
    help at any point in time. My home is my sanctuary the moment I step inside it. There is peace and
    space for me to just be. Here I can read a book in silence, drink a pleasant cup of tea and do the jobs I need to do according to my own plans. Nobody dictates to me here and I`m the one in charge of all that I survey. Being responsible for the way I want to live is possible here, when outside the home the world can be so different. Here I feel safe and warm on cold winters days, cool and shaded when the summer sun beats down too hard. It`s also the place that needs me most. Within these four walls I can lead my life my own way and don`t have to answer to anyone for doing so. Having a home to come home to means the world to me. I`m not an expert at doing housework, but I do it sufficiently so that I don`t have to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to invite someone over for a cup of tea. My family and friends feel welcome and happy within these four walls, too. That`s all the satisfaction I need from my home. Over many years I have learned to be a cook, a homemaker, gardener, good partner and parent, and now I`m also learning to be a good grandmother. Life in my home is good even so we are living on just one person`s income (mine). Despite my partners redundancy over a year ago and his health failing, deep down we are quite content with our frugal way of life. The way we see it is that there are many more people in this world that don`t have a comfortable home to rest in. We count ourselves lucky to have a home and a reasonable, even if frugal, standard of living. What more could we want?

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  30. It's the peace & tranquility I value most. No traffic jams or aimless wandering around shops looking at 'stuff' I just don't need. I will always love this kind of life, though some don't understand me.
    You put it so beautifully Rhonda.
    Best wishes,
    Angela

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  31. I have learned that homemaking is more about family than it is about a house. I like creating a reasonably clean, cheerful, comfortable, serene home for my little girl. I know that I could do the same whether we live in three bedroom house like we do now, or if we live in a tent. I like that by doing the housework I am taking a burden off of my mother. I like that by slowing down and taking stock I am able to let go of things and hold on to the people I love (in a healthy way). I love making things with my hands, so I am learning to crochet, knit, sew, and cook from scratch and in so doing my daughter is learning the same things. I slowly unwinding myself from the hectic tangle of modern life. I value faith, family, learning and creativity above acquisition.

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  32. My home is a haven - I grew up in a haven of a home and so did my parents, I never really did fit into a fast paced lifestyle and so this is comfort to me. My home represents health to me as well, I grew up eating from scratch and still love to cook that way, slow it down, make it right, don't waste anything, eat slowly and visit while you do it, work hard, laugh harder, remember there is not much that cannot be born. My mother is 79 and takes care of her mother who is 101, they went out mushroom hunting today - yes it is a good way to live!

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    1. Aw, Kathy... your mom and grandmother are my heroes!!

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  33. I think my greatest joy alternates between the quiet moments of peace in the garden or my sunroom on a winters afternoon, or having people over to enjoy food that is not only cooked from scratch but grown too, their joy and company as we extend hospitality.

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  34. I have this quote on a post it note on my computer:

    "The business done in the home is nothing less then shaping the Bodies and Minds of humanity."

    GK Chesterton

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  35. Before my husband passed I thought I was doing things for him. Before that - the children and him. Now that I live alone, I see I have always done things for all of us, me included. Our home has always been an oasis for our family. Now it is one for me. I feel safe and comfortable in it. I like being home. I like cooking and I love to clean. I started gardening (DH did it before) and am excited when the first radish springs up. All of my activities and loves are done at home. I have gone back to crocheting and I love to read, as well. There's so much, it would take forever to list. I am a very blessed woman.

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  36. I don't know what else to say - you have all written everything there is to say about the pleasures of home making! So, in addition to all that, I love it when people come into our home and look around appreciately, saying "I love this room! It is so comfortable and has so many interesting things to look at". My hubby says our house is cluttered, but it is a tidy clutter if there is such a thing. Over the years we have bought and been given lots of lovely things that we appreciate and like to have around us, and it is nice when others feel that sensation of contentment as well.
    Like others here, I never take for granted our good fortune in owning a house and land, our own little bit of the best country in the world.

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  37. This is a lovely post! I have just recently given up a busy job to work less and spend more time doing things that matter. For me home is where love and care starts. For me care is having time to prepare a proper meal, fix clothes, invite people round to share good times. I could barely find the time or energy to do this before and life feels much richer for it.

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  38. What's the most important part of homemaking for you? Why do you value your home?

    Rhonda, at first your questions sounded straightforward, but I really had to think deep and hard about them...and I realized that our home is the place where I can share the gift of hospitality....as H Nouwen once wrote: "...hospitality of the sort that does not set out to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place… "

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  39. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else but home. I get so much satisfaction and feel my work as a homeworker vital to the existence of my family well being. I spend my days cooking, cleaning and organising our needs. Today I made a pillowcase for my son, yesterday I baked biscuits. Tomorrow I have a big long curry to cook that will hold us over for a couple of days so I can knock some more things of my long list of things to do. I'm glad we live so far away from the big shopping centres and our post box is not bombarded with junk mail to buy buy buy. Our next big cooking development for long time health will be fermenting food and grinding our own wheat. Relatives who live a convenient lifestyle will think that we have lost our marbles when they find out those last two things but for us this is a natural progression to our way of living. In fact I have never been happier and I am prolonging working out of the home for as long as possible. Btw Rhonda your home always looks so welcoming and warm with all those lovely food and knitting and sewing pictures and you have such a beautiful thriving backyard.

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  40. Simple can be accomplished by anyone, it can be tailor made to fit your life. If you are new to this, begin by making small choices of elimination of those things which clutter your life, replacing them with things which matter, have substance and bring grace and charm to your existence. Find the simple beauty in things. I like to crochet and bake bread and meals from scratch, I love making up my home and keeping a home for my family.

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