DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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3 August 2015

Never give up

I love getting feedback and comments. I guess everyone who blogs does because it's the only way we know people read what we write. I am lucky that I have regular readers here and some of them have been with me since I started. Over the years, comments reveal readers to me bit by bit and every time a new comment comes, it adds more to my idea of who you are.

One of the reasons I keep writing my blog is that I hope I can share a bit of the knowledge I've picked up over the years. I really do think it is the responsibility of all us older women and men to pass on what we know to the younger folk. We are the current holders of our culture: family histories, family stories, cultural memories, traditional methods and bits and pieces that have been accumulated over the years. If we don't pass that on to those who come after us, who will? One of my aims here is to pass on what I think will help others, but as a reader you need to be patient because I'm not the most succinct writer. This post is a splendid example of my rambling, but it is how I am inclined to share my stories so I think we're all stuck with it.



A little while ago, the best kind of feedback arrived in my email tray. It was from a young lady who had written to me before. I answered her email on the blog. Her name is Stacey and I'll let her tell you the rest ...

Back in June 2012 you wrote me this on your blog http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/now-or-patience-and-restraint.html and your commenters left some really lovely things as well. We wanted a house more than anything and were soooooo tired of being patient!! 

Then, in 2013 I wrote to you again letting you know my husband had been made redundant and was grateful to your blog for having set us on the right track that, while tough, wouldn't be unmanageable because of our limited debt. 

Well, although you probably don't remember even writing it (or me writing you!) I just wanted to drop you a line to say - WE DID IT! 

We have bought a house!!

Since the redundancy, we had to move states from one side of the country to the other, had a car accident across the Nullabor writing off the car, bought new car, changed jobs, saved saved saved and WHAM …. we had the most amazing deposit and the lowest of mortgage repayments. 

And you know WHY we could achieve this? Because for years, every morning before I was out of bed, I read your blog on my phone to see what new ideas and inspiration you gave. I don't normally comment on your blog because I don't think my voice is probably all that important (a little fraudulent perhaps given your commenters are much wiser than my 2 cents worth) but I have been quietly reading, pretty much every post you have ever written, and soaked up all the tips, tricks and quiet reassurances. 

Thank you Rhonda for providing that reassurance that we are on the right track, we can do it, and we just needed a little patience.

I received another email from Stacey a couple of days ago to say they've moved into their new home.

I've included this now for two reasons. With Stacey's permission, I wanted to share her experience of patience and optimism and how that at only 29 years old she is wise beyond her years. And I am hoping that if you too are struggling with a problem like Stacey's or something similar, then here is her email to show that things do work themselves out and to not give up. Never give up. 

Nothing worthwhile will ever be handed to you on a silver plate. It takes time to build the kind of life most of us want to live. So always remember the small steps, know that a good life takes hard work and patience and if it doesn't go according to plan, regroup, step up, have another go and never, ever give up.

49 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story. I'm sure she'll be so proud to know you're happy for her hard work. I remember when I was younger, newly married but before I had children, an older woman told me how impressed she was with the way I budgeted and meal-planned. She said, "That's why you're such a nice girl, you're smart and your head is on straight." It always stuck with me and I remember how proud I felt at 25, knowing that a lot of people my age were less put-together than my husband and I were already.

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  2. I do not often comment myself, but wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post. Thank you.

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  3. I'm 50 and just made my second batch of laundry liquid - the first lot lasted more than 18 months. For me it's about taking control

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  4. Stacey sounds like she will do very well in life, a sensible girl who takes one step @ a time, always keeping the bigger picture in mind, taking what life throws @ her & turning it into a positive. Her family must be so proud, I have a daughter with the same attitude, -- no matter what happens she just picks herself up -- dusts herself off -- reassess the situation, & forges ahead, she is an amazing person who inspires & makes me proud every day. I also read your blog every morning while I have my coffee, (it's a ritual really), & although I rarely comment, I often find inspiration (esp if life's been a bit 'tricky'), & grounding in your words. With todays mobile society kids miss out on the wisdom of their grandparents, which is such a shame. Your blog reaches so many who are happy to share what they do too, it's like having a cuppa with a friend, thank you.

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  5. I have been following your blog religously for the last few years. There is so much wisdom and skill and knowledge and insight in the lines you write. And I have been sharing that with a lot of friends and acquaintances, also recommending your blog to those I know that have a sufficient grasp of the English language (I am from the Netherlands). I am sure for everyone that comments dozens read your blog and by all these sharing your wisdom hundreds more are reached. A small pebble stirs the water in ever larger rings.

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  6. Congratulations on your new home! I hope you have a wonderful time setting up housekeeping and doing all those things that make a house a home. You are definitely wise beyond your years and will do well as a homeowner.

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  7. Congratulations Stacey, how excited and proud you must be feeling to at last have your own home. Well done! I remember when you first emailed Rhonda and her post replying to you way back when, and I'm really pleased for you that you've achieved your goal. Would be lovely to read all about your journey and your new home, do you have a blog? Thanks for sharing Stacey's good news Rhonda, your words and her patience and diligence are an inspiration to all of us.

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  8. Awesome....well done Stacey and hubby. And Ronda, I, like Stacey, don't comment very often, but I feel something is missing from my day when I wake up, check your blog and there is nothing there. Thank you for all that you have given me, freely, through your blog....and,,,you can ramble on all you like, it's like you are just talking to me :)

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  9. Thank you Rhonda for another inspirational post :-)
    Just to let you know that I bought a cheap supermarket brand food processor and I have made homemade coleslaw (with no added sugar like the shop bought coleslaw) and your gorgeous whole orange cake - Yum, yum!!
    P.S I enjoyed your weekend reading especially the craft items.
    xx

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  10. My goodness, what a girl! Hard to be frugal when young, all credit to her and credit to you for inspiring her to live her life in such a fulfilling way

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  11. Its nice to know that you are making a difference as a blogger. Keep up the great work Rhonda :)

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  12. Hi Rhonda, I'm a daily reader but seldom comment; just wanted to thank you for sharing this uplifting story. Am delighted to hear how perseverance has paid off for Stacey and her hubby, all the very best to them - good news such as this helps keep us all motivated I think.

    We are snowed in here in Tassie today and most of the roads are closed; I have the day off from work so will use my time to make some more soap and do some baking for the freezer, counting my blessings as I do so :-)

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    1. Hi Jules. It sounds like you've organised a very productive and satisfying day there. With all that snow down there, we're expecting 26 degrees here today, but tomorrow will be colder. Stay warm! xx

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  13. This post has brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations Stacey!!!! Thank you to you and Rhonda for sharing your story. xxoo

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  14. Well done to Stacey and her partner. Well done to you and Hanno, as well, Rhonda. Your sharing of your slow and thoughtful way of living is an inspiration to many. Your stories and writing reconnects me to how my Grandmothers lived their lives and ran their homes. Such precious memories of loving homes and times past. I stopped blogging a few years back due to personal reasons, but I still hop around and read all my favourite bloggers. I must say yours is always my first port of call. Thank you. Hope your day is lovely.

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  15. Thanks, Rhonda, for sharing this story. Well done, Stacy. It warmed my heart to read all the well wishes from your readers, Rhonda. What a wonderful group of friends you have gathered from around the world. Your posts and your books have inspired me to continue on the path of simple living, and I wish you continued blessings for the rest of this year.

    Oh, just wanted to add that one of my favorite things you post is the Weekend Reading recommendations. I have learned a lot from following those articles, and I think it must be extra work for you listing the links. Thank you.

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  16. How lovely, its nice that Stacey took the time to let you know how much your blog has inspired people.Beautiful story x

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  17. Congratulations Stacey!!
    Golly, isn't it so very true that we have to take one small step at a time, to achieve our goals?! We always want to jump ahead and be where it feels like we're successful, and chafe at the taking of the time to actually get there. One of the best things I have ever learned is to be in the moment, and to enjoy every small space and moment along the way. That's where the gold is! Thanks so much for such a wonderful blog! XX!

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  18. ps, those biscuits bring such sweet memories of home and growing up on the farm!! XO!

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  19. Well done Stacey! And good on you Rhonda! How wonderful to be able to have such a positive influence on someone's life.

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  20. When I saw your first photo, I thought you would write about something which has bothered me for some time now. In Germany, it has become almost impossible to buy fresh milk in the supermarket. Even the organic milk is ESL or UHT now, and when I ask for fresh milk, I am told nobody wants it any longer, "and the ESL is fresh, too!". As we don´t have any milk farmers nearby, I have to buy milk in one of the small supermarkets in the nearest town. I am sure most people don´t even notice the change, because on the package it says "Fresh Milk" in big letters and "extended shelf life" in very small letters or on the back. I think this is a good example for what the food industry does to the customers hoping they will not even notice it.

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  21. I have only recently found your blog and only wish I had found it sooner! I was already on my own journey to the simpler kind of life. Reading and catching up on your blog is helping me get out of my 'hindsight' thoughts and battling with my decisions of the past and knowing or wishing I could have done so much better. I always had my amazing Nana to remind me of the important things a in life (and a simple life at that ) and sadly she passed on 2 years ago and I have ached for her everyday since. You remind me a lot of her and I hope you dont mind but I think I am going to 'adopt' you as my pseudo Nana. I have a young family - 5yr & 1yr old daughters and 3yr old son and I only hope I can teach and guide them through the the things I hope to learn in the amazing future. I'm always looking forward to your next blog - the only blog I have ever done so x

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  22. Congratulations Stacey & partner on working so hard to achieve your dream. Well done! All the best for the future in your new home.
    Thank you Rhonda for sharing Stacey's story. It must be so good to get such feed back from Stacey.

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  23. Isn't that fabulous?! For both Rhonda and Stacey. It must be so satisfying for both of you. I agree - never give up!

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  24. What a heart warming story! Rhonda, you must be really proud that your guidance can give people a good grounding to change their lives for the better. Stacey, well done you for achieving your dream, you too must be very proud, so very happy for you.

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  25. Well done and congratulations to you both Rhonda and Stacey!

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  26. Rhonda what a wonderful web of love and support you have woven over the years for so many people. Please keep sharing your wisdom, tips and tricks. You are creating ripples all over the world that are changing lives. Fabulous work Stacey, I wish you and your partner much happiness in your new home and in your simple living journey.

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  27. I laughed out loud when I read your self-depreciating comment at the beginning of the post "...share a little bit of the knowledge...." - Gosh Rhonda, lets be quite clear, you impart huge tidal waves of knowledge regularly and freely. Most importantly you change people's lives. Lives like mine.

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  28. Thank you for the reminder to never give up Rhonda.
    I'm currently struggling with the exhaustion which comes with having a baby and a toddler.
    I shall find a way.

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  29. Rhonda, I've been reading your blog since my 7-year-old was a baby, and have probably only commented three times! Your blog is such a breath of fresh air. When I feel that my life is becoming too hectic and complicated, I love to come here. Your words are so calming and reassuring.

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  30. Hi Rhonda and Stacey,
    What a great story of cooperation, shared knowledge, and a wonderful example of how the modern world of internet can mix fantastically with good old fashion values.
    Rhonda, you had the same effect on me, as I don't think I would never be able to start from scratch after separating without your wisdom and example of a very simple but fulfilling life. I am also a proud home owner, something I never ever thought I would do on my own, and enjoy every second of making soap, laundry liquid, bread, cooking from scratch, and saving tons by doing so. Except for buying basic appliances (following your advice: the best I could afford) and a dining table, I made nearly all my furniture with pallets and recycled material (and internet tutorials !), and it looks very trendy and cosy. I have no depts except for a small mortgage, live on very little, but I think I have never been so happy and satisfied in life. It would be good to have had this knowledge 20 years ago, like Stacey. Oh wow, it's all part of my journey in life and at least I am a little wiser now, thanks to you !

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    1. Corinne, I'm so impressed by what you've done. It is one thing to read a blog and appreciate what is written there and quite another to act on what you've read over months and years. So don't be too fast to give me the credit for your life change because most of the credit is yours, my friend. Well done!

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  31. Rhonda-
    I don't think that I've ever commented before, but read your blog religiously. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! I loved hearing Stacey's story. What a lovely reminder of perseverance.

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  32. I love your blog and I enjoy reading about your adventures.
    Congratulations to Stacey on achieving her dream. We could all use some inspiration sometimes
    X

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  33. I have been reading your blog for years and find it a solid starting point for myself and my family. I was wondering if you would post/repost how you got started. What you life was like before. Often the hardest step is the first. So for the people scared to take that first step I think hearing about your fears AND convictions would make a world of difference.

    Melissa

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  34. What a joy it is, I'm sure, to make such a difference in someone's life! I've been reading your blog for years and find it inspiring! I know you've helped thousands of people and not only Stacey!

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  35. I really enjoyed reading this post too. I wish I'd had such wisdom at 29, guess I am a late bloomer! Stacey is very wise to see past what others supposedly 'have' - when really what they have is never ending debt and dissatisfaction. I too look forward to reading your blog each morning before I head off to work. I wish I had more time on my hands to make more at home but I certainly achieve what I can in terms of simple living and what is most important is that I have the mindset to know how I want to live and that simplicity and routine is what makes me feel fulfilled. You do an amazing job Rhonda

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  36. Hello Rhonda. I really enjoy reading your blog and I've been reading it for years.....
    I just don't have the habit of making comments bt I like to read and see your pictures :)

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  37. Thank you for great encouragement! Just what I needed to hear where we are at now. Saw a poster in a shop window today, it read: "Winners are dreamers that never give up". Pam in Norway

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  38. Hi Rhonda. This was a wonderful blog to read and relate to. We are in the process of down-sizing and cleaning out this house. I'm ashamed to say that when I look at all the excess items I wish I had been more frugal through the years. I've learned a good life lesson while reading your blogs. Thank you. Have a blessed day.

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  39. Congratulations Stacey. You and your husband have overcome some major hurdles and are well on your way in life. Thank you for allowing Rhonda to share this with us, and thank you to Rhonda for all that you do for all of us. Xo

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  40. lovely post and words I needed to be reminded of to. You must be feeling so proud knowing you have been able to help others through your blog and I so agree with you about passing on down all your tips and experiences of life to the next generation. Best wishes to you, dee :-)

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  41. What an inspiring story! Well done Stacey for sticking to your goal, overcoming hurdles and achieving your dream through hard work!! I'm so happy for you! And thank you Rhonda for sharing your experiences and motivating us! I don't comment often but I read & enjoy your blog daily 😊.

    Debbie
    Central Illinois

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  42. Oh, Rhonda, what a lovely feeling it must be to know your words of wisdom touched the lives of others. This is my hope, too. You're right when you say we are the historians. Kudos to Stacey, as well. She was wise enough to take your words in her heart.

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  43. Today's post bought tears to my eyes, Stacey you are an amazing young lady not only have you managed to buy a home but you had an amazing adventure on the way. I hope you can inspire many others to never give on the dream of having a home. Rhonda, I lost my mum when she was only 52 years young, as an only child I miss her dearly, and there is a gorgeous young lady who also reads your blog regularly like me and your written word fills a void in our lives. We are very grateful for your sharing your and your families life with us. One day I will share the story of how much you have helped me live an extremely happy life.

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  44. Dear Rhonda,

    I have posted before many years ago. We have an update to our life.

    We lived in the country for 22 years raising our family in the country but the downside was that we each had a 40 minute commute in opposite directions to our jobs. It was a lovely life in a big house on over 1.25 acres of land with a large garden. Two years ago my husband retired and so my driving continued but his didn't. It was time to downsize. Problem was, we still had three high school and college kids at home. We sold the house and bought a much smaller home in the city but still on a bit larger property. The house is much smaller and there is no garden anymore. We now live 3-4 miles from each of our parents and my father still has a large garden which he graciously grows and shares things with me. I still am frugal in everything from cooking from scratch to freezing/canning whatever I can. It has been a big adjustment even now 2 years later. But I don't need nor want to go into debt for a big house. I can live comfortably here in this little house where we are closer to stores, hospitals, all rooms on the same floor for future needs. The kids won't always live with us but there is a place for each of them right now. I appreciate all your advice for many years already. I once mentioned to an elderly lady from our church how I believed that the matured women were there to help us younger ones in how to pass on their great knowledge from their experiences. She chewed me out for that saying something about all the mistakes she made was not something she wished to pass on. She was very mad at me. I never had a willing conversation with her again. Now that I'm a bit older, I love to help a younger person with little nuggets of information.

    Alice

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  45. Alice, I think that woman was NUTS! Did she think only people who never make mistakes have wisdom to share? How did she think someone obtains wisdom in the first place? By making mistakes and LEARNING from them!! Her grumpy response and lack of communication since tell me she's not a person who says "thank you" and "I'm thankful for..." often throughout her day. People who look for and appreciate their blessings would have seen the opportunity presented to her to share her experience. I write in a gratitude journal every day. (Thank you, Oprah, for the inspiration for doing so.) Thankful people are happy people.

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  46. Loved this post Rhonda. Another quiet reader here in Derbyshire, UK.

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  47. I just wanted to comment on your second paragraph. I need what you have to give. I need your help, advice, tips, recipes, etc. A lot of us today have mothers who didn't know or didn't teach us how. What you do is so important. If not for women like you who've "been there, done that", there would be no one to learn from. I think you know this, but sometimes it's more meaningful to actually hear it. I just got here and am going through your posts, which is why I'm commenting on a post made months ago. Thank you for persevering, mentoring, and for your rambling. (The rambling part is motivational!)

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Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

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