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.

24 December 2015

T'was the night before Christmas ...

Christmas Eve morning, Santa will be getting ready to leave about now, so it's a good time to wish you all a very happy Christmas. Whether you're spending tomorrow alone, with a house full of excited children and adults, or with your own true love, Hanno and I wish you all the joy your heart can hold.  We loved reading the good wishes sent our way yesterday, thank you. We'll be here tomorrow with some of our family, enjoying the day through the eyes of four year old Jamie. Today he and I will make biscuits for Santa and he'll probably talk about his plans to leave water and carrots for the reindeer. I am truly grateful I get to spend these hours with him. 

I think next year will be a fairly tough one for all of us as we continue to tackle the complexities of our modern world. Creating a safe and sound home for yourself and learning how to grow, preserve and cook food is one of the best ways to get through those difficult years. As you all know, I'm slowing down a bit but I'll continue to show and tell what we do here in the hope that it strikes a cord with you.
She's finished!

I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine. Morag Gamble is an amazing woman who lives fairly close to me in a house she and her husband designed for their young family. Morag works from home and holds frequent workshops and talks focused on skill building and permaculture. I've encouraged her to start a blog to document her life's journey and make a unique record for her own family. Morag is a permaculture teacher and designer so of course her home is surrounded by a productive garden, she works with young children so she has many ideas about how to raise healthy, adventurous, creative children. She occasionally travels the world advising groups and communities on permaculture and living sustainably. But you might be surprised to find she also makes her own cleaning and skin products, she's a cook and a homemaker with her own unique way of living simply. Have a look at her blog Our Permaculture Life. She's been writing there for a couple of months while she develops her style and finds her rhythm so there's already a good collection of interesting posts. Please leave a comment so she knows we're supporting her. She has a wealth of knowledge and she's eager to share what she does. Share her link on Facebook and Pinterest and put her on your Feedly, or subscribe via email, so you don't miss her posts.

Thank you for visiting me throughout the year and welcome to all the new readers who have found their way here this year. I appreciate the time you spend with me sharing your thoughts or silently reading the words here. Knowing you're there does make a difference. Hanno and I wish you a very happy Christmas. Stay safe, be kind - to yourself as well as others, and come back soon to explore what the next 12 months holds for us.  ♥︎

61 comments:

  1. A beautiful Christmas to you both Rhonda and Hanno. Enjoy and savour each moment. Thank you for all that you share with us all.

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  2. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  3. Rhonda and Hanno....Merry Christmas and God's blessings on you both and your lovely family!I have been working on my 8 goals for 2016 and my action plan for each one. Our world is not in a great place right now, but we can each do what we can to keep our homes and families safe and secure as possible. So looking forward to your new book. You are a blessing and a valuable teacher for us all. Thank you from Don and Carolyn in Florida

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  4. Dear Rhonda and Hanno merry Christmas Eve! I am up getting ready for my last day of work before a couple of days off. Usually although it sounds grinch-ish to admit I am not the biggest fan of Christmas although I love spending time with those I love it also send a stark reminder of how fortunate some of us are compared to others. For the last 4 years u have volunteered at a lunch in the park where community members from all works of life can come with their families no matter how large and be guaranteed a lovely and nutritious Christmas meal with gifts and sweets especially for the kids. I will be off there again tomorrow with this year a number of my family members who have decided to come along. For me though this year does feel different, although I am aware of how tough a time it is for many I am also feeling more excited about celebrating with family and friends. Maybe it is the knowledge that our baby is on it's way or that next year will be a truly new chapter for us. Speaking of chapters Rhonda I am off to pre order now! I am so excited for your new book. Thank you for providing such joy in my life this year through this blog. I'm so looking forward to not only new posts next year but also re reading ones from previous years. How glad I am that I stumbled on the blog all those years ago now. Much love to you and your family Rhonda xxx

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    1. Hello Alyce! I love knowing you're helping with your community's lunch in the park. Hanno and I did that for many years and often our boys would come along to cook and help serve. I've posted about it, with pictures, in the blog. Take care of yourself and your precious cargo, Alyce. Happy Christmas to you and your family. xx

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  5. Thank you Rhonda for a wonderful blog full of inspiration. I wish you and Hannu a very Merry Christmas. I found your blog this year and love it!
    /Malin, Sweden

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  6. Dear Rhonda and Hanno ~ Wishing you a lovely Christmas and a wonderful 2016.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

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  7. Merry Christmas to you Rhonda and Hanno. I have really enjoyed your posts this year and hope you and all the family have a lovely time together over the festive season. Congratulations too on your new book, I know I can't wait to get it! Best wishes Rhonda xx

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  8. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas day with your family and a safe, healthy and productive 2016.

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  9. Happy Holidays to you and your family Rhonda. I am very grateful for your blog throughout 2015 and I am glad that even though you will be slowing down a bit in 2016 you will still be here to teach, guide, cheer on, and encourage.

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  10. To you Rhonda, Hanno and your sweet family all my wishes for a wonderful Christmas from Italy.

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  11. Happy Christmas to all the family.
    Look forward to your posts next year.
    Best wishes,
    Angela ( South England) UK

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  12. Happy Christmas to you, Hanno and all the Hetzels Rhonda!

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  13. Merry Christmas to you and yours Rhonda! We appreciate you!! Regards, Shelley.

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  14. Rhonda & Hanno, lovely Christmas wishes and happy, healthy new year wishes from our family to yours. We will have some big changes in 2016 of the financial & working kind so spending plenty of time working on new budget and other things.
    Love Lorraine xx

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  15. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I so enjoy your blog, As you end Christmas we will be starting ours here in the western US.

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  16. Merry Christmas dear girl!

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and Hanno by your side. Looking forward to continuing to share this space with you and tuning into your world even though we are miles apart!

    The Grandmother of the internet. ;)

    Thankyou Rhonda, for everything that you do, and everything that you are and for the positive influence you are on our lives. Even though we may well never meet, you are. And for that, and the influence that it has on my little boys I'm forever grateful.

    xx

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  17. Happy Christmas Rhonda and Hanno. Thank you for continuing to blog...I so look forward to your emails dropping in my box here in England...helping me to continue to learn a simple way of living. Have a blessed and peaceful New Year too x

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  18. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno ! Wishing you a wonderful time with your family. I am looking forward to all you have to share in the New Year....and a new book as well.
    Joan

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  19. Have a Very Happy Christmas Rhonda. I'm sure Jamie keeps you and Hanno busy and amused. It's wonderful to see life through a child's eyes. I often think it's a warning not to become too cynical.
    I'm delighted to read that you are continuing to blog next year. Like a previous commentator I thought you were signalling your intention to stop very soon. I love following your activities and reading your philosophy of life. The two oddest things about reading Down to Earth are that it's already Christmas Eve with you,here there's another 35 minutes to go and it's summer over there. We are in the middle of a storm at present!
    As I said, have a wonderful time with your family and thank- you for your blog.
    Sue

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  20. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno! Hoping the New Year is good to you and your family. Can't wait to read more of you blog posts! <3

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  21. Thanks for being a great inspiration and sharing your life with us. Merry Christmas to you, Hanno and your family. Xox ps. Thanks for recommending Our Permaculture Life blog will definitely check it out. Once again your timing is perfect you are like a guardian angel Rhonda so grateful for you and your blog

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  22. Merry Christmas Rhonda, and a safe and happy New year.x

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  23. Thanks for all the inspiration Rhonda. Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas.

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  24. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno and to your family also. With love and appreciation
    Rhonda Bakewell (Rhondamargarita)

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  25. Merry Christmas Rhonda! I hope you have a blessed day. Thank you so much for your words of inspiration and guidence. May the new year bring you peace and joy.

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  26. Thank you for all you do Rhonda. I hope you, Hanno and the family have the happiest of Christmases and a wonderful New Year. Warm regards, Wendy xxx

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  27. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Thank you again for your help and guidance in celebrating the simple things in life. With much appreciation Heather.

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  28. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno may you have a joyful time with your family. wishing you a healthy and happy 2016. Congratulations on your book, can't wait. thank you for your beautiful blog. Lors xx

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  29. Thanks for all you share Rhonda. Wishing you and Hanno a love filled Christmas & a fabulous 2016
    Kim (in the beautiful Barossa Valley)
    Xx

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  30. Hello Rhonda. I discovered your site only a couple of months ago, what a blessing! I'm still trawling through older posts and love the wealth of information and wisdom I'm discovering, thankyou so much for sharing :) A very Happy Christmas to you and your family from a very wet and grey UK xx

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  31. Dearest Rhonda and Hanno, we wish both of you a joyous Christmas spent with your family and a peaceful break as you take time to recharge for 2016. Thank you for your inspiring work - you motivate and encourage me daily and I'm tremendously grateful to you XO

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  32. Wishing you, Hanno and all your lovely family a calm and peaceful Christmas.. With love Sue xx

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  33. Merry Christmas from our house to yours

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  34. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for all your website, it is like steady friend who is always there. May the New Year be a Happy, Safe and Healthy one for us all

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  35. Dear Rhonda
    I have read your blog on and off for many years and never commented. I was having a stress-filled day today on Christmas Eve and thought - I need something lovely and beautiful to help me focus and be calm - and your website came to mind. I want to say thank you for shining out like a comforting light. The integrity and warmth of your website stands out like a beacon amidst the gloss of lifestyle chatter, websites, books and magazines. Thank you for what you give to the world and wishing you a magical Christmas and all that is good in 2016.

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  36. Merry christmas, wishing you joy, good friends and family ,fun tomorrow

    --Josie--

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  37. Merry Christmas from northern US where the snow is falling like feathers and the birds are bouncing around the feeders. Thanks for a year of cheer and calm and wonderful inspiration!

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  38. Merry Christmas. Here's hoping for a good, safe, and happy New Year.

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  39. Merry Christmas to you and Hanno and your family! I'm looking forward to next year and learning what else you share. You have been such a great help to me in my life! Thank you!

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  40. Happy Christmas at your home and thank you for all the sharing of your life. We will be trying out your Ginger-lemon cordial for our Christmas dinner. I have free lemons and ginger in the garden.... Aloha

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  41. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and thank you for another year of sharing this journey and giving us tips along the way!!

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  42. such beautiful bunnies!! very fancy dresses!!
    Have a wonderful Christmas, I'm going to visit your friends blog right now,

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  43. Best Wishes for a lovely Christmas with family and friends! With our children all grown and living away, and now we are the 'older' generation, our Christmas has gotten smaller each year. We used to be 24 at the table on Christmas, now we have small groups over a period of two weeks! Easier on the cook for sure! Have a lovely time,

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  44. Merry Christmas! I will check out your friend's blog about permaculture. Sounds very interesting and valuable!

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  45. merry xmas to you and your lovely family Rhonda,may it be a peacefull happy time for you all x

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  46. Merry Christmas and a big thank you for your wisdom over the past twelve months.

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  47. Dear Rhonda,
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your family today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support and encouragement you have given me in starting my new blog Our Permaculture Life. I have thoroughly enjoyed our chats over the past months. Thank you for letting your readers know about my writing - I am so delighted many of them have visited.
    Our very best wishes to you and your family for 2016.
    Much love,
    Morag

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    1. I've enjoyed our chats too, Morag and it's been a pleasure to help you launch your blog. The more accurate information out there, the better.

      See you soon,
      Rhonda xx

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  48. Merry Christmas to you and your family . May all good things come your way in 2016 Thanks for all the lovely posts over the year .From Marg,Rob and family in Tasmania

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  49. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you so much for all your advice, stories and recipes throughout the year. You touch so many lives with your posts. Take care xxx Vanessa

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  50. Dear Rhonda, I hope you and Hanno enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your family.
    Thank you for the link to Morag Gamble's blog. I went straight over there. It was after meeting Morag at one of her Brisbane City Council library workshops that I was inspired to start on my gardening journey, and eventually took on my allotment. So thrilled to be able to follow her blog.
    I have enjoyed following your Down to Earth throughout the year, for a few years now in fact. I love your down to earth style, and the subjects you write about seem aimed directly at me.
    So thank you Rhonda.
    Happy New Year to yourself and Hanno.

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  51. I just popped over from Deb's blog, Just Cats, and I am loving what I'm reading! Signed up for email updates and looking forward to having a good look around! Merry Christmas!
    Debbie

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  52. I hope it was a good one, just catching up ;). I love your Maggie Rabbits hope they were well received.

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  53. Hoping you and yours are enjoying a beautiful, peaceful Christmas season. And all best wishes for a very happy New Year!

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  54. Merry Christmas Hanno and Rhonda, hope your holiday was filled with love and family magic. Looking forward to another year of wonderful posts to read. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful 2016

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  55. All the best for 2016, Rhonda and thank you for all your wonderful posts throughout 2015.
    I love the little rabbits you are making and have pre-ordered your latest book!
    I also sold a few of my up-cycled dolls for the first time, at a local twilight market, a few days before Christmas :)

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  56. Happy New Year Hanno, Rhonda and everyone! Congratulations on your new book Rhonda, I can’t wait to read it. It’s been really fun watching Maggie 1 and Maggie 2 emerge with their own distinct personalities. I hope the two little girls will get together some time and reunite the sister rabbits. Think of the stories they will have to tell each other. I’m looking forward to another year of visiting DTE. Beth in MN

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  57. Hope your xmas was filled with love and memories,and a happy healthy new yr to you Hanno and your family xx

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