DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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23 May 2016

Without the guilt

It's a beautiful time of year and we're just about to go into winter. The weather has been unseasonal here, as it has been in many parts of the world. I wonder how you're faring where you are; I wonder if you're worried. It's been warm here with temperatures reaching the mid to high-20s most days and a few nights cool enough to warrant flannel sheets on the bed. There were no passionfruits on our backyard vines this season and right now, when we should have just finished harvesting, the passionfruit are starting to flower.  They won't come to anything, the flowers will drop off when the cold weather sets in and we'll be left wondering if we'll eat our own home grown passionfruits next year. Many years ago when I read about climate change, I wondered what would happen and how we could cut back on our carbon emmisions here. I suppose we put in an effort to reduce what we bought, we wasted less, stopped flying, bought a hybrid car, significantly reduced our usage of plastics and imported goods but it wasn't enough. Now I'm scared of what is ahead. Every year new records are set and some of the fruit and vegetables we grow here behave in strange ways. Have you noticed the same thing where you live? I believe those of us who are living simply notice the impact we have on our surrounding environment but every modern life is supported by materials that just weren't around a hundred years ago. I wonder what price we're paying for those materials or if that price will be paid by our grandchildren instead. Have you made any changes in your home because of climate change? Many of us worry and complain about the weather and what's happening in the world but when does that worry become a genuine effort to change how we live?



I feel as if I've just retired even though I stopped working for a living when I was 55. I gave up being a technical writer, then, after being totally fascinated by simple life, started writing about it and became a blogger and author instead. I didn't go out to an office every day but I put in the hours in front of a computer and still lived a life of deadlines. My days are gentler now, I said no to more published work and followed my natural inclinations back home. These days, instead of patchworking my home life with my writing life, I'm free to do as I wish, potter around to my heart's content and have my creative, intellectual and practical needs fulfilled within the confines of these fences.



Mornings start slowly because I have plenty of time to do what I need to do. During the day I've been re-establishing routines, working on my fabric and yarn handicrafts, helping Hanno with the garden, cooking, baking, making plenty of tea, reading and thinking about what is to come in the next few years. In the past couple of weeks, I cleaned out the stockpile and pantry cupboards and have decided to cut back a little on the stockpile. It's still an important part of my home management but now that I'm not writing, I have more time to go to the market and keep a better eye on my food stores. I'm committed to adding more home preserved foods to the stockpile too and they'll replace some of the jarred and tinned food I was buying.


I've just started making yoghurt again. It was a regular part of my kitchen chores up until a couple of years ago, as was preserving in jars, but when I got busy writing books, some things had to go and I started buying supermarket yoghurt.  That is never as good as the homemade version so I'm pleased to be back. I made my first litre in a long time just the other day and it feels good to be using my dairy skills again. When I gave up making yoghurt and preserving, I didn't feel guilt or any resentment about not having the time, I just accepted that for then, it was the right thing to do.  I think some of us get tied up in knots when we can't do what we think we should do. We all have to recognised our own limitations and if stopping one or two tasks makes the rest of the housework easier, then that is what should happen, without the guilt.


But now it's all there for me again, whatever I choose to do, I can do. I feel grateful for that and I know such freedom is a rare thing nowadays. It's certainly something to work towards though, no matter what stage of life you're at. If, like me, you have a period when you can't do all you want to do, it's wise to think of those days as a season that is part of your personal evolution. It won't last forever and there will come a time when your life will have different priorities and will change again. You might feel regret for not being able to do what you want, but don't feel guilt. Every day - the good and the bad - are part of your life and guilt stops you seeing that usually there is more good than bad.


53 comments:

  1. You write with such heartfelt kindness. Thank you.

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  2. This is such a spot on post Rhonda...touched my heart. As an older person, life does change in so many ways and we have to accept changes as they come and decide what activites are the best for us at different stages of life. Blessings to you and Hanno Carolyn in Fl.

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  3. The only comment I can think of right now is : Thank you! ♡

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  4. The weather has definitely been strange here in Denver. We had a very mild February followed by a strangely cold spring. I try to plant my cool weather crops (mostly peas and spinach) in March - I got them in on time, but it's been too cold for them to do much. Usually by this time I'm already harvesting, but this year the plants are only a few inches tall.

    Of course, the boomerang factor has been high too. Monday and Tuesday we had cold weather with highs in the mid-40's (around 7C) but yesterday it shot up into the low 80's! (around 27C) I fear the spinach will bolt before it even gets big enough to eat.

    The leaves are just now coming out on the grape vines - which could be a good thing. Last year they sprouted early and then got killed off by a spring cold spell, so I didn't get any grapes at all.

    Anyhow, I'm sort of beyond the point of worry, and have come to a place of acceptance with climate change. I've been engaged in this battle for decades - since the 1980's - and at this point I think drastic consequences are pretty much inevitable. But I'm much less freaked out about it than I was, and I sort of view it as karma. Maybe human civilization will survive, maybe it won't - but the planet is taking care of itself one way or another. I will continue to live simply in the hopes that at least some people will be able to persevere. Honestly though, if our species and/or civilization is unwilling or unable to takes the steps needed to keep from annihilating itself, well, perhaps its demise is not such a tragedy after all. It's just a societal Darwin Award! :-)

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  5. Morning Rhonda, Lovely post today. Our weather has been the warmest on record to date. The weathermen have even reported we may not have a Winter this year. There are Mango Trees already starting to blossom. That is very early for them, so it will be interesting to see if they set up fruit or not.

    I am just starting to move back to my simple living ways. Life threw us a curve ball for a few years and I am only just starting to reconnect to my previous routines. I am finding it soothing and healing.

    I hope you and Hanno have a lovely day. Cheers, Deb

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  6. The days are very warm here too Rhonda. Today we are expected to reach 28! As it's a new climate here for us on the coast of NSW, this will be our first winter. I'm wondering what it will be like. The veggie garden is growing like crazy with all these warm days.
    Glad to see you are keeping well and taking up skills that were put away for a while. My days are filled with homeschooling, gardening and homemaking and I wouldn't like it any other way. I was saying to my husband the other day that I'm the happiest I've ever been and if I died tomorrow I would have said that I lived a very good life. Hopefully that won't happen as I've got lots more things to do and I only just turned 39 last week!
    Hope you have a lovely day.
    Mel

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  7. Hi Rhonda,

    as much as I love having the wonderful books you've written, I feel so glad for you having your home rhythm again. It's a precious thing, and as one in a chapter of life where I can't always have it, I'm appreciating how important it is again. But changes are afoot for me, and I hope that sometime soon my life will again slow down to a gentler pace.

    Have a beautiful day,

    Madeleine.x

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  8. Beautifully written, as usual, Rhonda. It is an unusual weather patten isn't it? And it is very worrying that we, as part of the human tribe, are the cause of it. Like you and Hanno, we are trying to limit use of our precious resources and try and live a simple and frugal life. Thankyou for being my guide to the life I aspire to live. Have a wonderful week.
    Fiona

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  9. I made our first batch of home made yoghurt in probably a year as well and have decided to make it every fortnight. My kids love it and I was buying supermarket yoghurt and finally just made the time and when I when it was ready and I put it into the container in the fridge it made me so happy. I made the flat breads from your recipe in your latest book...OMG they are so soft and light I will be making these again and again. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  10. Thank you for this post, and for saying "we all have to recognize our own limitations" - this is so true. I am here in the US and in our neighborhood there is no curbside recycling and our facility is far away. To collect and store all our recyclables then spend an afternoon loading, driving and sorting takes time in our busy household with three kids and a pastor's family. I have felt guilt over having to set aside recycling during this season to focus on cooking at home, family meals, keeping the house clean, and doing other things good for the environment such as dry clothes outside or drive around less. I sometimes wonder if recycling is worth the effort anyway since the biggest use of carbon is driving my car - is it worth it to drive my recycling 20 miles into town?? Anyway, the guilt could drive me insane but I focus on what I can do in the season I'm in. Thanks for encouraging us all to start somewhere and do small things well before attempting too much!

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  11. Yes our weather is ridiculously warm here on the far south coast of nsw. Regularly over 5 degrees above normal for this time of year - mid 20s instead of high teens - and last week it was 28!!! I've just read two reports into the abnormal Autumn we are having on the ABC news site and like you, I am left feeling very worried and sad. I can't believe our political leaders have been so resistant to responsible change over the last 20 years. Their failure to act in the interests of their communities instead of big business will stand out in history. You're right about noticing it more when we live close to the land and grow our own food - makes the changes stark compared to if we were simply moving between a closed up house, supermarket, and air conditioned work places. But, i don't wNtvto become bogged down in fear. Whilst I believe that small changes can change the world, in this instance I can't turn back the clock or shift the climate or governments so I can only keep moving forwards and adapt. I made my first ricotta yesterday and it was wonderful and we are putting more effort everyday into using our pantry supplies and what's in our garden rather than using the car to drive to the shops. It gives me hope. Wishing you a lovely homely week!

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  12. Over the years I've noticed a normal rise & fall in harvests. God seems to give an overabundance of something one year...knowing that the next year it will not produce as well. Or other crops do amazingly well to make up for the poor harvest in other areas. It balances out through the seasons & I learn to appreciate what I have when it comes as well as to store up for when it's gone.

    I think this year will be the year of the blackberries in my area. They are so prolific everywhere I look in the wild areas around me. A few years ago it was the elderberries that did well while the blackberries did not.

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  13. I too am worried about what the next years will bring. I just moved to this area of the U.S. (in January of 2015) and I don't know yet what the weather here is...I've been told the last two winters I have lived here were mild! Ugh! If those were mild, I am in for it! When I looked at this property there was about three inches of snow and I was told then that that was unusual. Now I am told that there is usually more snow, I came from a no snow area 900 miles south of here and it was generally warm there. We have just gotten half way through our spring and finally figured out what/how to plant seeds. I am sure we are way late in doing that. I don't know exactly what is going to grow well. Or that the way we planted was good. It may take a few years to really figure that out. I do have a plan to make a smallish green house to do what needs to be done next year as in starting seeds, I think I will have a better chance. I do watch my neighbor. (Not in a creepy kind of way) He grows lots of things and I figured I would follow his lead. But he has lots of big green houses and I have no clue what he is growing, until he opens the ends so the air goes through. I just noticed the other day that he has corn and it is already three feet high! I'll just have to keep reading and learning and hopefully I will have it figured out while I can still garden! Sorry for going on so much, I am excited!

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    1. Your neighbor would likely be happy to share his knowledge of gardening in your area. Just ask!

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  14. Thank you! I so needed this post today. Having recently retired I have been at a loss trying to establish a routine to my days. It was as if I had been waiting for permission to take things easier, now I will no longer feel guilty.

    Thank you again, Lorraine

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  15. Dear Rhonda...thank you for your lovely reflective post...at 75 I'm there with you. As I get older I realize I don't need to be a master at everything. I, like you, recognize my limitations... and do whatever I can do to help myself. I heard it said many time throughout the years "survival of the fittest" but now I recognize it may not mean survival of the strongest but survival through adaptability, which we have done all our lives... as spouses and as mothers to our children. Doing our best is just good enough. Greetings from a chilly (for late May)New Jersey.

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  16. In Ontario Canada and we are cooler and drier then normal. Fruits and trees are behind schedule but now the trees are in full bloom. Best I have seen in four years. Garden is behind in planting because of frost at night. I understand a little frustration with your passionfruit, as we have lacked apples the last two years. I rely on apples for applesauce to use in baking.

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  17. Thank you for your beautiful post, once again.. you put my day and my world in perspective.

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  18. Here in Central KY (USA) I am "patiently" waiting to plant my tomato and pepper plants. May has been unusually wet and cold, and I usually have most of the garden planted by now. I have consoled myself that even if I could have gotten the plants in the ground, with the cold temperatures they wouldn't have grown much anyway. I am encouraged to see peaches and apples on the trees this year as we thought the extreme cold from last winter took out the peach trees.

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  19. I needed to hear these words today...I discovered your blog about a year ago and have found it life changing! Thank you!

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  20. The weather is certainly very different now than 37 years ago when we first moved here.(Nepean area). We have volunteer tomato plants in flower, picking volunteer cucumbers for our salads and harvesting volunteer potatoes, crazy! I have tried for many years to consume less electricity etc. but I think it is the big businesses that are wasting our resources. Try as we might to help it will not be until our government does something positive for our environment that hope for any change will happen. (probably though, too little too late!) And until we start paying the real price of goods instead of cheap imports I can't see things ever changing. But as for me I will continue to do my part as much as I can for the environment given the limitations that we all have.

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    1. I agree Lynn, the cheap imports are killing us.

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  21. I'm in Oklahoma and haven't been able to plant anything. The rain has literally kept me out of the garden. Normally hot by now. People who have green house's are getting along well. Yes it's cold at night. Old saying here is you can experience all four Seasons in a day.

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  22. I am in Washington State in the United States, and in the last three years we've noticed that the way we've been gardening for the last nearly decade needs to adjust for the erratic and overall warmer and drier weather. This last year was our warmest winter yet, and within the first couple weeks of Spring we already found 4 new pests we'd never encountered before. It's keeping all of the gardeners and farmers we know on our toes.

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  23. A great post Rhonda and something dear to my heart. It has been interesting reading the responses to your concerns about climate change, and I guess we all ask 'What can we do?' and ultimately, 'Is it too late to do anything meaningful?'. In the last couple of years I went back to study (Sustainability at the University of the Sunshine Coast) and it was entirely eye-opening. It has fundamentally changed our lives in the way we go about our day to day living and it has inspired me to become active with environmental and climate change advocacy groups.

    While we can all do our little bit at home by making better and kinder choices when we think about the environment and our footprint, ultimately we need to engage with those who govern us and ensure that they are engaged with the issues. We need no more climate change denial—and we need to remind ourselves that no matter how much money we accumulate, we cannot survive as a species if we cannot breathe the air, drink the water and eat the food. If I had my way, the Department of the Environment would be the leading agency in all governments across the globe!

    And, for what it is worth, we too have noticed anomalies in our garden—how the blueberries have flowered twice within the last six months, and the Jacaranda I planted in memory of my late brother—the one that flowers around October (the month we lost him) was flowering for a second time in April.

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    1. Hi Sharon, I hope you and your fellow students come up with good ideas for us to follow. I agree with you about getting our politicians involved in this, whether they want to be or not. Way back in 2008 I wrote about our need for a minister for simplicity: http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2008/12/minister-for-simplicity.html

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  24. Great post Rhonda. Yes, it's scary to think about climate change and it's consequences. We see it in what's happening in our garden too. It's easy to feel despondent but we keep trying to do what we can to reduce our impact. Living simply as you do does make a difference. Your site is a huge practical inspiration for others. If everyone lived simply the impact would be enormous. I don't think there's much point waiting for government or business to act on climate change - it's everyone's responsibility to do what we can. Like many of your readers, my partner and I are trying to reduce our impact. I became a vegetarian who eats very little eggs and dairy in response to my concern over climate change. To reduce our food miles (and eat healthy food!) we created a fruit and veggie garden where we preserve the excess and give produce to friends and neighbours. We garden without chemicals and make our own compost. I collect the food waste from my workplace to compost at home to prevent it going to landfill. We also started keeping bees. We power our home by renewable energy, use public transport, cook mostly from scratch, try to reduce our waste, make do with what we have and reuse what we can. We're a far-from-perfect suburban couple but we are trying to tread more lightly on the earth. So this is a long winded way of saying that as individuals we can't solve climate change but our individual actions can make a difference. Don't give up everyone!!

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  25. Rhonda I know what you mean about the evidence of climate change, we have odd things happening in ur garden -- a volunteer tomato with weird little hard tomatoes four weeks short of the shortest day, roses that are blooming while producing rosehips and dying off for winter then shooting green leaves, a frangipani that's half-flowering while deciduous trees drop leaves and sprout new ones.

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  26. really interesting post Rhonda, I agree about climate change it is an issue that every person can have an impact on if only they realised it. The first thing we need to do is start planting more trees and if everyone got involved then we would be successful. I remember when I was little there were no plastic products and I think our world was a better place because of it, so much less waste to go to landfill.I try to buy products that are local and have the least wasteful packaging. It is so hard when some folks just do not seem to care about the way their lifestyle impacts others and the world. We are going to have to change, and I vote with every dollar i spend.

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  27. Your chickens are sooo cute! I can't have chickens where I live. You are so lucky.

    Shell

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  28. Our roses are covered in flowers and its almost time for their hard prune, the cauliflowers have opened, no tight curds this year and the broccoli have started to flower - they usually flower when the warm weather arrives. The small-blue early grapes fruited and then the fruit fell off the vines. But we had the most prolific tomato and strawberry crops ever. And we are picking buckets of Myer lemons now instead of August. All strange. I'm sure it is climate change. But will we adapt - I'll make the cauliflowers into soup, we will pick the broccoli now to blanch and freeze, and I will pick bunches of roses to give away and to enjoy at home.
    Thank you for your blog, Heather.

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  29. Here in the southeastern USA it just will not warm up! We have had warm weather here and there but we are still having many chilly days and nights. My plants seem to just be waiting for warmth and have not grown. We have made a real effort here to cut back on our electric usage and my car stays in the driveway most days but my husband's 32 mile each way commute cannot be avoided. We are working on moving to a smaller home and property for our retirement years. I too have seen that my stockpile needs reducing simply because we do not eat as much as we used to and our children are mostly far from home and rarely here.

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  30. You've said it well. I feel that it's ironic that the lefties are keen to do all that's possible to halt( or at least slow down) climate change yet the right wing conservatives don't give a damn. In effect they're wiping out a species they believe is the superior of the planet. If it wasn't so serious it would be hilarious.

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  31. Thank you for your wise words! I am beginning a homecation this week, doing kind of the opposite of you, but doing exactly what I want with no guilt. I am giving up chores, cooking and food shopping and focusing on me with take out, simple indulgences at home like reading all day, eating when I feel hungry and watching a lot of movies. I can't take a real vacation away and need a break from daily life, so this is how I will take care of myself for a week.

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    1. A great idea, Jinger. Enjoy yourself. :- )

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  32. Mother and I were discussing this morning how large our broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbages are (too early for anything else in NC). She said my cousin told her that we are experiencing larger and greener plants because there is a glut of CO2 in the air. It makes sense, but it is frightening to think this is the issue. What does this mean for humans? How is it impacting us? I know my allergies are MUCH worse than usual. What other costs are there?

    I am off all summer and have already been working on routines: bread made, yogurt making, kefir setting, knitting, quilting, and reading! Each day is wonderful. We are only leaving the house twice a week for errands, feed for the animals, and to check on parents. I think I could get used to this! :)

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  33. I'm sure we could be doing more, but we're living simply, minimizing use of plastic & keeping food stored in case of crop failures (ours & in general), related to climate change. We've had an unusually wet and cool spring, & lost much of our fruit due to a late hard frost (all peaches & cherries, most apples, pawpaws and pears, mulberries are putting on a second lesser round of berries.

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    1. I'm sorry to read about your fruit losses, Laurie. I hope you have a better summer season. xx

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  34. Reading your thoughtful observations always inspires me...thank you.

    Here in the Pacific NW we've experienced record setting rainfall this past winter and unseasonably warm temperatures in May. Adjustments are made year after year as we try to keep up with the changes in the planting schedule.
    I confess that when I heard news last week of another grandchild on the way it was not 100% joy that I felt but also concern considering the wounded planet that child will inherit.

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    1. Having grandchildren frames the future in a different way, doesn't it. Congratulations on your soon to be here baby.

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  35. Our weather has changed. I'm not convienced its all due to humans. Before someone gives me the axe, let me just say- we avoid plastics, we have a car that gets 48 mpg, we compost and grow a garden, we produce less trash in 6 months than most households produce in 1 month, and we avoid chemicals both internally and externally. We do this because it's the responsible thing to do and we are continually trying to find even better ways. If by chance humans are contributing to climate change more than I am aware then I am still on the right track. If humans aren't contributing to it, I still feel the need to be mindful of our earth and am doing my part to keep her well.

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  36. I was referred to you by Tammy from TaylorMadeHomestead.com
    I asked her about making and canning Lemon Curd so she sent me here :}
    Looked for your recipe but unable to find as I would like to make and can my own lemon curd. You mind sharing your recipe?
    Thank You
    Colleen from Texas USA

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    1. Hi Colleen, here it is: http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2008/11/making-lemon-butter.html Good luck.

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  37. I enjoyed reading your inspiring post, Rhonda.. It would be a wonderful way to live your life even if it wasn't necessary, eh? Such a back to basics calming way to inhabit this earth. We are going to live at our old farm for the summer instead of our cottage by the sea and have chickens and such.. Before we get too old.. grin.. xoox

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  38. Here in Perth it is colder and stormier much earlier than in past years, all the extra rain has been good for leafy green crops though. Will have to see how the rest of the years goes
    Love Sue

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  39. "it's wise to think of those days as a season that is part of your personal evolution"
    Rhonda, thank you so much for your wise words, that was really helpful to read today. I seem to run to guilt as my default emotion when I can't do all I want to do, and it is not helpful. So thank you. xx

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  40. Whilst I believe in sustainable living and looking after our environment I don't believe in climate change. I feel it is the invention of governments and scientists (working for the government) in order to frighten and control us. I feel sorry for our children being taught fear and negativity in our schools around climate change, no wonder there are so many mental health issues in our young people. Our climate has fluctuated and experienced extremes since the year dot , only now we are more aware of what is going on around the world with our weather patterns. Having said all this I do believe we have to respect this earth, minimize pollution and waste and keep it safe for future generations and you have taught me so much about that Rhonda in a simple and straightforward way.

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  41. I've been reading - and enjoying - your blog for a couple of years now but this is my first comment (finally got set up on Google). I love your gentle approach to your life and how much you enjoy the work you do throughout your day - it truly is a pleasure to spend a day in the kitchen or at a hobby whenever I have time away from the office and its something I look forward to more upon retirement.

    As for climate change - I'm divided - I don't think anyone can deny that extreme weather seems to more and more the norm and its not just fossil fuel use but things like building in flood plains, de-forestration etc. And my dad always taught us to clean up after ourselves when out in nature - don't hunt or fish unless you intended to eat your catch - and re-use and recycle - he hated waste!

    But I can't help but feel that climate fluctuation is also greatly influenced by the sun, by the earth's rotation and such - the earth has always experienced major changes - even before man had any chance of inflicting major harm - things like "the Maunder Minimum or Little Ice Age" come to mind. People sometimes forget that regional weather is different from an overall climate shift.

    It's a tricky question and whatever you believe, looking after the only home we have should be paramount and we should never take things for granted.

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  42. Our weather has been 'off' as well. I live in Florida (US) and it's always hot by May, but not this hot (has been well into the 90s several days). It's also been very dry, whereas by now usually the summer rains have started, and while they make it very humid, they do help cool things down a bit. Our pond is the lowest I've seen it in the three years we've lived here, and we're getting lots of snakes around--I think because they're looking for water, maybe? And we also had a bobcat in the yard this week, which is unusual and also bad, as they will go after my hens. Poor hens have been in their small pen for two days--it's more secure than the big hen, which can be climbed by a determined bobcat. Again, wondering if it's here because it's looking for water.

    We are making changes where we can to consume less, be more self-sufficient, and try to do right by our planet. It's hard, sometimes, when it seems like no matter what we do it's not enough because not enough people are willing to make the needed changes. I worry about what kind of world we are creating for our children, and I admit to being afraid of what their lives might look like as adults.

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  43. I read an article recently on the Inuits ( hope I spelt that right) and they beleive the earth has actually shifted on its axis and that's why our weather patterns have changed ? As we've moved from Westerbn Australia back to Victoria in the last six months I'm not sure on the weather patterns .. Although I did notice the summer and autumn has been much more consistent in temperatures than when we left Victoira seven years ago .. Plus one of the last years we were in Port Hedland ( Far North WA) our summer temps were lower than Perth !! That was very unusual

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  44. At the present there are 40 volcanoes erupting worldwide. This is unprecedented. I can't help but think that as all that ash is spewed into the air there will be consequences. I remember seeing a show on TV that talked about a year without a summer back in the 1800s after a volcanic eruption when crops failed and there was wide spread famine due to the cold.I live on a 100 acre farm in the mountains of western North Carolina and it has been very cold here for this time of year and many people that I know who planted at the usual time have had their gardens killed off by the cold.
    I do believe that humanity has damaged the earth but I don't think that all climate change is manmade. I do believe that we all need to be good stewards of the earth but sometimes nature will just have it's way as well.
    By the way Rhonda. I love your posts . You keep me inspired and remind me of what is really important. Thank you!

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  45. Here in the UK our weather has always been unpredictable for as long as it has been recorded. As a gardener I have had to learn what I can do when and what I can grow for my local climate (climate is really local here fifteen miles down the road they have a totally different growing plan!). I would say that I am currently ticking along as I always do but come back to me in a month or so's time and things might be different!

    Thank you for a thought provoking post.

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