DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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8 February 2016

Luxuriating in isolation

I love living within the confines of my home and after closing the gate to luxuriate in the isolation I often stay here for days, and sometimes weeks, without going out. I find contentment in my household patterns, the regimen of chores done hundreds of times before, the discipline of organisation and the rare freedom of being in control of my own life. Some people don't understand why I live as I do but I doubt it needs to be understood, it just is.


Even though I prefer isolation, I am interested in what's happening in the wider world. Writing my blog and reading the comments many of you write keeps me interested. I love it when someone new comes along and when there is a comment from a reader who has been visiting me for years. When I click on your names and go to your blogs I read about new babies, I see people moving house or renovating old homes, I find new recipes and ideas to try. I see how diverse and similar we all are. Slowly I build up a mental picture of my visitors and every new comment adds another piece to the puzzle. My blog reminds me that although I might have isolated myself, I am not alone. That keeps me going sometimes, that and the enjoyment I get out of helping provide a good life here for the two of us. It doesn't take much to stay interested in life if you're interested in people.


I am mindful that for me, isolation must always be balanced by sociability and friendship. Being out of my comfort zone helps me see new perspectives and it stops me from becoming an old fuddy-duddy. I'm looking forward to going on a book tour soon. I was working on booking our accommodation yesterday. What a palaver! I haven't finished yet but I should get through it this morning. I'll put up the itinerary soon but in a nutshell we're going to Wollongong, Canberra, Albury, Wangaratta, Echuca, Bendigo, and even to Tasmania this time. There are more places in western New South Wales and along the coast. I'll let you know the places and dates very soon and I hope I can meet you during the tour.


Just a reminder that Penguin have temporarily dropped the ebook price of Down to Earth to $4.99 from now till 24 February. We were talking about this on the forum yesterday and I was really pleased to discover that you can order the ebook now at the low price and specify a delivery date for later in the year.  I tell you that because you may like to buy the ebook as a birthday or Christmas gift and I think $5 for a book is pretty good value.


Today I'll be doing my normal Monday tasks and ironing. I have a small mountain of ironing I want to get through before we go away and the only way I'll do that is to stay there until it's done. I'm not the greatest fan of ironing but I love using my French press and having piles of freshly pressed clothes and household linens to put away. When I do that it feels like I'm taking care of us.

I hope you have a lovely week ahead. Take care everyone. ♥︎


65 comments:

  1. Be-you-tiful post, Rhonda. Inspiring and motivating, as always.
    I am afraid I can't meet you on your book tour, since I'm living in the opposite hemisphere, but I am happy I can always and everywhere follow you in the blogosphere.

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  2. I absolutely love your blog. I first came across it when we lived for a year in Dalby, QLD, and I was so tempted to drive up and try to meet you. You know.. in a kindred souls sort of way, not stalker.

    I'm looking forward to reading about your book tour as you travel, and especially your time in Wangaratta, a town I researched for relocating to; but sadly that didn't come about. Your pace of life inspires me as I search for my own rhythm to settle into at home.

    Looking forward to your next post.
    Peace -
    Ann

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  3. A *DE* composition book! :D pretty cute.
    You are a nice woman, Rhonda - to be as busy are you are, with so many readers, and to be wondering about each of us. :)

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  4. From SunnyMidnight

    Loved this post Rhonda. I think we may be twins. I too love my isolation (and always have) but also enjoy knowing about my world and the people in it. I guess I just like people. In measured doses. But the peace and quiet and routines of my home life are what I really live for.

    We are so very fortunate to live in this age and be able to choose a balance of privacy and intimacy with others. I could not live comfortably with people around me all the time but neither could I live without the contact of my family and friends and the chance to meet new strangers who could become a part of my life.

    The fact that we live in this communications era is a true blessing. I often think of the lack of communications that our pioneers and even my mother in the 1950s and 1960s had to live with. My Dad was gone from the beginning of April to the end of September or even 8,9 10 months at a time for most of their first two decades of marriage and because he was really in isolated areas she often went months without hearing from him. He wrote us every day but it all depended on when the planes could come in. No news for weeks and then 60 or 90 letters.

    Today I can talk by phone or internet to all my family and friend - every day if I so choose - and not only talk to them but see them as though they were in the same room. Truly a miracle.

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  5. I'm the same - sometimes, I don't go out for days as I have everything I need here. It's not that I'm solitary - I enjoy going to a yoga class, meeting friends for dinner etc, but when I've got lots to do indoors or in the garden, I hate having to break off and leave the house!

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  6. Isolation is good for the soul. I have weeks that I do nothing and weeks that are full of things to do. The older I get the nicer a day at home is.
    I'm going to order your book.
    How exciting your book tour sounds.
    I threw our old iron out when we moved. Hubby still needs a shirt or two that he sends to the dry cleaners, his choice. Otherwise it's wash and dry a little and hang . I used to iron everything.
    Enjoy.

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  7. Morning Rhonda.... are you coming to Murwilumbah...or nearby...on your book tour? All those new and interesting places to visit, and people to meet, the best part.

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    1. We'll be in Byron Bay on the way back, Nanette.

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    2. Well, that's not too far, depending on date I might pop down. Thanks for letting me know.

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  8. Hi Rhonda, you are such an eloquent writer. You have said exactly what I could never say. I too enjoy being at home and just doing everyday chores. My husband is more social so that stops me from becoming a total hermit!
    I am looking forward to your new book. Have a wonderful tour!

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  9. I have been reading for *years*, but rarely comment because well, there's on so many times I can write "I totally agree" before I start sounding fake. And yet. I could write that each time I read your words, and be truthful every time.

    Thank you for "legalizing isolation". I am the same way, and am constantly having to fend off those who want me to "reform" because they think I "would be so much happier another way... ". Now that I have reached my 50s, by golly, I have just started to smile and nod and ignore rather than defend myself. Thank you for making isolation noble! :)

    Enjoy your tour - I so hope your new book is available in hard copy in the USA, or that there's an Australian distributor willing to ship. That's how I got Down to Earth, but I can't remember where I ordered it from. I'm not defending my memory either lol...

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    1. I love the way you wrote 'legalizing isolation', isn't is nice to know you're not the only one. I, too, love my time alone but sometimes feel the need to justify this as if there's something wrong with wanting to be alone.

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  10. I always find ironing to be rather soothing, especially if I can watch a show (current favorite is the Great British Baking Show, but I'm almost done with the only season currently available online here) or listen to music while I do it. I think I get it from my Nonna, she enjoyed ironing so much that when she would visit when I was a kid, she'd raid our closets while we were at school looking for things in need of pressing. I have not gotten to that level! :)

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  11. I'm really looking forward to your new book. I love having a weekend of not having to leave the house!! I was curious about where you are staying on your book tour - having you tried airbnb.com.au ? I know there have been a few horror stories in the media but I love it - and usually much more flexible check in/ out times and you can pick whether you want complete privacy or whether you meet/ interact with another family. You can find out from hosts profiles if their values are generally in line with yours as well which I really like - people with chooks nearly always share their eggs!!

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  12. I hope you come to Melbourne during your book tour. I am looking forward to reading the book.

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  13. Good morning Rhonda,

    Any chance of swinging through Barham (the happiest place on the Murray) on your book tour? We are halfway between Echuca and Swan Hill, on the NSW side :)

    Kind regards
    Annie Barr

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    1. Good luck with your book tour Rhonda. I read your blog regularly, and as normal you encapsulate so well in your words what I am thinking.

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  14. Wish I could come to see you on your book tour, but a 33 hour flight is a bit far :). Best of luck, hope it all turns out great. I have next to no family other than hubby and my four children and after cronic illness has chained me to the house my friends have disappeared one after the other. Your posts always help me feel a little more blessed and make me look at life's every day chores with fresh eyes. Making my home a good place for my loved ones is the loveliest thing. Blessings, Pam in Norway

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  15. Hi Rhonda. I have read your blog for several years now and really admire your easy style of writing to convey the way you live your life and your commitment to it. The last few weeks have been the same for me - much less hectic with a lot of time at home to settle into daily routines and to enjoy extra activities at home. Are you coming to the Hunter Valley for your book tour??? I hope so.

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  16. I love how you wrote "Some people don't understand why I live as I do but I doubt it needs to be understood, it just is." Your words sum up something I've felt for years and didn't know how to express. Thank you!

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  17. Contentment is a wonderful thing, my friend.. Have a great week, too..xo

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  18. as they say live simple so others may simply live .....enjoy .....

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  19. I think that being in isolation is good for a person. Sometimes I just need to shut out the world and be by myself for a while. I'm looking forward to reading your book... good luck with your tour.

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  20. I echo your sentiments on ironing, & also that it feels good when they're done. I don't know what a french press is in relation to ironing, & will have to check that out.

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  21. WOW...looks like I can reply here now...I am not signed onto anything, but can use your anonymous one...not hiding...hubby, the computer keeper won't let me sign into any of them. I love reading here and all you have to share. Since hubby retired, I am way busier than I was...but I am a hermit of sorts. At least other than worship services, etc. and grocery shopping, I truly am content to stay home (and we pared down to a 500 sq. ft. apt) near the inland sea here in Western Washington state in America. I love just how you explained your life in this blog segment...thank you!!
    Elizabeth in WA.

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    1. Just wanted to say Hi Elizabeth! I live in the Seattle area - it was fun to "meet" a neighbor "visiting here in Australia."

      I've been following you for sometime now, Rhonda, and once again you summed up how I feel "Some people don't understand why I live as I do but I doubt it needs to be understood, it just is." Thanks again. Shirley K.

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    2. Hi to you too Shirley!!

      Elizabeth in WA

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  22. I think there is a distinction between isolation and being solitary. I'm sure those of us who like to be at home most of the time have social interaction with family members and friends be it over the phone or in person. In fact I feel that the societal compulsion to constantly "get out" is often fake and non productive. You can be surrounded by a group of people but be totally alone. I think we need to value community and a sense of self worth in who we are as individuals and how we choose to live our lives in this world. On an other note. please keep us up to date with your tour venues. I would love to know if you are traveling anywhere near Dubbo NSW.

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  23. Hi Ronda, Down to Earth is not coming up as an ebook either at amazon or booktopia. Any advice?

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    1. Hi Elle, try the Penguin site or iTunes. Let me know if you can't find it.

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    2. I tried their site first. There does not seem to be a way to order direct from them. It directs me to find a bookstore. Of course, being in the USA I don't know the stores there. As I noted in my message, I tried the 2 listed here on your blog and it does not come up. Thank you. My email addy is: lbq4u@yahoo. com (that is lower case L not a capital I)

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    3. Hi Elle have you tried Amazon Australia?

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    4. It's listed here on US Amazon at a price of US $3.55
      It's listed on Amazon USA here http://www.amazon.com/Down-Earth-Rhonda-Hetzel-ebook/dp/B00AB7ZFB6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454981444&sr=1-1&keywords=down+to+earth+ebook

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    5. It is very odd. I can bring up the book on Amazon as I did this morning but cannot purchase nor does it show the price as you note above. I have bookmarked it and will check every week or so. Thank you.

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    6. Elle, I've put in a query at Penguin. I'll let you know when I get an answer but they did tell me the offer is only available from Australian book sellers.

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  24. I love my time at home too. We are all sick here with the flu at the moment. When I get my energy back I have plans for more decluttering to make cleaning and tidying up quicker and easier. I'm looking forward to the release of your new book Rhonda. Happy travelling with your book tour. xxoo

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  25. hi Rhonda, tried joining the forums, but the captcha is not working so cannot register, please fix, thanks

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    1. dyllos, we're getting many new members every day and no one is reporting a problem with captcha. Can you empty your cache, reboot your computer and try again please.

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    2. Hi Rhonda, I tried as well to join the forums, on my phone and on my computer, and I had the same issue as Dyllos. Please let me know what to do. Thanks!

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  26. Ohh how exciting a book tour and near me. Well worth a trip to Bendigo I feel.

    Hibernating at home here too. Much to hot to go out and there is so much preserving to do - which I love - so staying home to do it isn't a chore.

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  27. Oh the sheer delight to be able o close one's gate and not emerge for weeks - my time will come. It would be so much fun to attend one of your book signings. Once you have the itinerary sorted please let us all know...one never knows, it might include somewhere near Lake Macquarie where I live or Parramatta where I work :-)

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    1. Phil, we'll be in Newcastle and overnighting at Coffs with a possible event there. That's as close as we'll get.

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  28. I have been following you for a few years, I am pretty excited to hear you will be coming through Wangaratta. I don't know your time schedule but thought you might be interested Wang has a woolen mill factory outlet and a fabric (brucks) factory outlet. Looking forward to seeing you in person.

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  29. I need isolation but can't manage weeks at a time I think the children might get a bit fed up! It is amazing how many connections you can make online I never thought it possible but it is isn't it? I tackled my large ironing pile yesterday, it is a weekend job for me but we were away last week so it didn't get done so I had two weeks worth!

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  30. Thrilled to hear you're coming to Canberra this time. Looking forward to it.

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  31. I absolutely love your blog. I first came across it when we lived for a year in Dalby, QLD, and I was so tempted to drive up and try to meet you. You know.. in a kindred souls sort of way, not stalker.

    I'm looking forward to reading about your book tour as you travel, and especially your time in Wangaratta, a town I researched for relocating to; but sadly that didn't come about. Your pace of life inspires me as I search for my own rhythm to settle into at home.

    Looking forward to your next post.
    Peace -
    Ann

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  32. The serenity of home & familiar surroundings are best for me cognitively so I might only get out the gate once every two weeks or so , that's fine by me ! My slice of paradise will do me any day !! So pleased to hear you are coming to Albury Rhonda , now that's a day I would like to get out the gate to see you in person !

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  33. My favorite kind of weekend is one where I can park my car after work on Friday and not move it again until Monday. There's nothing more comforting to me than being able to spend time in my home, surrounded by all the people and things that make me smile.

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  34. I love the solitude of my home. Since I retired from corporate life and became the CEO at home I find so much fulfillment here that it takes a real effort to leave sometimes. There is a balance, I'm sure, but for now I'm enjoying the quiet and peace as I work at home. Just finished reading Down To Earth for the third time, Rhonda. I learn something new every time and find the reading it to be such a mindful and simple pleasure. I am looking forward to your new book. I wonder when it will be available here in Canada.

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  35. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your posts. You convey such a feeling of warmth and peace and love of hearth and home. I always come away with a smile.

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  36. I love my home----I need the peace of those 'isolated' days, puttering around, both indoors and out, in order to feel right in my body and soul. I found your blog years ago and was a faithful reader for a long time. I stepped away for awhile to deal with life, which included the birth of twin grand-babies, some serious health issues, and then, at the beginning of last year the revelation from my husband of nearly 30 years that he is gay and wants a divorce. And in the midst of overwhelming upheaval, and the hurt and sadness that went with it, in the building of a new life, I remembered how peaceful, how content, how inspired, how real, I felt when I was reading your words. And, so, here I am again. Thank you for still being here.

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  37. I eagerly look forward to your blog, Rhonda. You are so uplifting and positive about life. I, like you, love the peacefulness of home. I like to travel occasionally and see the world but after about a week I find that it doesn't give me the peace that I find in my own back yard. I live in a big city (Seattle area) and it's hard to not get caught up in the chaos of traffic and the hurry, hurry, hurry mode. I find I quickly head back to my "hill" and forget that's all going on around me. Gardening, sewing, keeping up the house and enjoying family visits from the kids and grandkids fulfills me completely. Why do we have to get to reach our 60's to figure this out???

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  38. Rhonda, as I prepare for the upcoming addition to our family, I have found that all I want to do is "luxuriate in isolation" as you say. I'm very selective with play dates and what plans I make for our week. I just want to enjoy this time with my 16 month old, enjoy being able to nurture my home at a pace I can keep up with, and enjoy making nourishing foods for myself, my growing babe, and my loves. I have a history of depression so it surprises me that I am SO happy to be home and keeping my social life to a minimum! It is really wonderful to have your home be your refuge :)

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  39. I enjoy the solitude of our homestead here in NE Texas as well. I know what you mean about friendships, etc. helping keep everything balanced. As much as I love the isolation of our lives here on the ranch, church functions & community commitments with our local food pantry keep me active and involved.

    One question about your $4.99 book - can we get that in the U.S.? (fingers crossed)

    Thank you for all you do Rhonda - I <3 coming here & reading what you're up to!

    Tammy Taylor
    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~

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    1. It's listed on Amazon USA here http://www.amazon.com/Down-Earth-Rhonda-Hetzel-ebook/dp/B00AB7ZFB6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454981444&sr=1-1&keywords=down+to+earth+ebook

      The price is US $3.55.

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    2. It shows, but still doesn't allow me to actually purchase - says the content is not downloadable for my region. Thanks anyway Rhonda - I'll ANXIOUSLY await my ability to do so!! I'll keep checking back.

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  40. I love being alone. Give me a good book and I am fine . Add a cup of coffee and I am just the most happy person around. Even on vacation, when others are go go go, I am thrilled to stay in the room with my book. A real vacation for me is not doing the cooking and cleaning for a week.

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  41. I think I've been on and off reading for 4 years or so now! I love your book and your blog. But I do have to ask what's a French press???

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  42. Hello, I really really like your blog, your such a good writer, it's always so interesting. I work from home, so sometimes don't get out of the house for 5 days at a time, so can appreciate what your saying here, and I'm quite happy with my own company. Woo xx

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  43. If you have answered this and I missed it I am sorry. I was wondering if you can provide an email address of where I can buy a kit or pattern to make that Bunny Doll you made? I have a little girl in my life who loves Beatrice Potter books. I wanted to surprise her with some bunny dolls.

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  44. Never mind. I did a google search and found it. I should have done that before I bothered you. I got the pattern. I plan to make a 'Peter rabbit' and a Maggie Rabbit for my special girl. I got 3 Peter rabbit books at a thrift store. These will go together in her Easter basket. I am sure Madison is going to love them.

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  45. Hi!

    I have been reading your blog for a few months now. I wish I had found it earlier. It feels so good to read about how you live your life and how you think! I also think like you do, but I have always felt so lonely and isolated in my way of thinking. I live in Norway, and the lifestyle here is so stressful. Everybody works full-time, ALL the children are in day-care and after-school childcare (I don't know what you call that, but we don't have full-time schools, so all the children have to have somewhere to go before the parents come home from work..) People are going on activities outside the home almost every evening. Everybody goes to the gym, everybody goes to the cabin, everybody goes somewhere far away for the holidays. Frankly it seems like everybody does everything all the time!

    We have our children in day-care, but I have never really liked it. I am not as brave as you are, and doing something that everyone else thinks is a bad choice is not easy for me. I never finished studying, and now I am at home, so our oldest son can come home when school ends every day, and that feels really good. Your book is such an inspiration, and I am ready to take the lead in our family finances. I keep telling my husband as a joke that it's my bible! :) Thanks for writing! And I'm really looking forward to your new book!

    Camilla

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  46. Thrilled you will be coming to Wollongong! Rhiannon

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  47. I like being alone often too. It is rare but I enjoy my own company. Good luck on the book tour.

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