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 about 7000 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.

9 June 2016

Behind the closed gate there is solitude and stillness

You might think that I've been off galavanting with no time to post here.  Well, you would be wrong. I've been living the most ordinary of days, enjoying the cold weather, sitting in the sun and doing all the things that are too common-place to mention. I'm doing what you do in your home, you already know what I've been up to. 

I've passed on my radio commitments to my friend Morag Gamble and here is her first broadcast.  She'll be doing her radio broadcast every month so if you're in Queensland you'll be able to listen, live, on your local radio or at the 612 website if you're out of the state.  Morag has a great blog with many interesting and thought-provoking posts, this is one of them:  5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Soil and Grow Better Food or you could start with today's post.

There are a few tickets left for my free talk at the Toowoomba Library this Saturday, 11 June at 11am. Bookings are essential. Hanno will be with me, we'll have my books to sell at discount prices and if there are some people who want to stay behind after the talk to chat, we'll be there for that too. See you there! The Toowoomba talk is my last public event and then I will once again become the non-distinct Rhonda Hetzel, living my ordinary days in splendid isolation.  

My gate is closed.

Behind that closed gate I've been mending Hanno's work shirts, reattaching handles to shopping bags, baking miracle cake and brownies, making cauliflower soup and roast pork, using left overs, knitting, gardening and enjoying the solitude and stillness.  Life's good and I have a feeling of liberation and satisfaction.


We're looking forward to our bathroom renovation which starts next week. Our colour scheme is grey and white and we want to keep it simple. Hanno has been working in the warm sunshine on the back verandah, putting together a vanity and mirror cupboard from flat packs. The plumber has capped off the taps and shower in our bathroom and we're using the main bathroom instead.



We have taps and a shower waiting to be installed, beautiful Australian tiles called Bellingen Ash reading to lay, and paint almost jumping out of the tin onto the wall. We are primed and ready to spring into action when the work men arrive next week. They'll be demolishing the bathroom as it has been for the past 18 years, removing the spa bath and moving us into the present day. In the bathroom at least. ;- ) I wonder if our choices will stand the test of time. I guess only moving forward will help us discover that.  I wonder who else has renovated recently. 

Salihan at EcoYarns contacted me today to thank everyone who visited her site during the sale last weekend. It was a splendid success and Salihan wants you to know she appreciates the support we give her.


31 comments:

  1. Wish I were able to attend at the library. I'm in the US and your book is finally in stock again, ordered, and should arrive next week. Can hardly wait. So glad for you that you now have the opportunity to do those tasks around the home that seem small but are so meaningful.

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  2. Sigh - I crave those moments when I hear he "click" of the gate an know I do not have to emerge for a couple of days....well 3 days as this weekend is a LWE. Winter seedlings will be transplanted, pumpkin seeds dried out, my first batch of soap at the new house will be made, the freezer will be defrosted and cleaned, a flatpack cupboard will be bought (we have partitioned off the hardly-used rumpus room so F can have her own bedroom), another batch of yoghurt will be set, Kombucha will be decanted, my vinegar was a roaring success so this will be bottled up, the chookies will be getting new nesting boxes and I need to find somewhere to buy or sow some comfrey - our local nursery told me it was a weed(!)....so my days will be full and satisfying.

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    1. Such a productive home, Mr Home Maker! Enjoy your long weekend.

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    2. That sounds like an idyllic weekend!

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  3. Dear Rhonda, shutting the gate.. I'm a bit sad now. Does this mean your going to end this blog too?? Are you going to retire from a public life?
    Warm greeting, Marleen (The Netherlands)

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    1. I'm retiring from public life Marleen, but the blog and forum will stay. :- )

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    2. Hurray!! :D
      I was asking myself the same question than Marleen and I was sad about it, because your words and sharing of experiences have been my main source of inspiration in the last years. So, this was the best good new of the week!

      Greetings from Germany
      Paula
      (PS: Can I say it again, really loud? HURRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!:)

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  4. It will be lovely to have a new bathroom but I am reminded, having done renovations in the past, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs / or put up with the disruption just for a while.
    I have just listened to Morag's first Simple life broadcast on ABC radio and really enjoyed listening. I'll make that a regular event, I have enjoyed listening to it via my computer because I can re-play it.
    She is such a joy to listen to, I have been to a number of Morag's presentations at libraries around Brisbane and find her so inspirational.

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    1. Morag is a joy and she has so much to offer. :- )

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    2. Thanks Rhonda Jean and Jean! I am so appreciative of the support and encouragement you both so generously offer me.

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  5. We are in the middle of a renovation of our half bath downstairs. Painting comes next and if you figure out how to make paint jump out of the tins onto the walls we would sure like to know it!!! We have our sink back in operation and toilet is working so we are well on our way and I am excited to have it completed. Our walls will be a sky blue and our cabinet is a dark walnut with a black slate counter top. We have a new sink and taps. I know you are going to enjoy your new bath!

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    1. Good luck with your renovation, Lana. :- )

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  6. That's a really nice vanity cupboard, and your grey and white scheme sounds fresh and modern. I've recently finished my bathroom reno, and pulled everything out that I think had been in there since the 50s. I've made it very simple, in white and soft green, and now have a walk in shower, so that if it becomes necessary in years to come, I can use a shower chair or be wheeled in. I re-used a cupboard I had in the other house as a vanity, and picked up a basin 2nd hand to sit on top. It's a good feeling to see something through from scratch to finished..enjoy.

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    1. Nanette, my sister did a similar thing. She recycled an old cupboard and bought a basin to sit on top. She recycled what she could and her bathroom looks beautiful. I bet yours does too. xx

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  7. I'm quite sure that your gray and white scheme will stand the test of time....
    of course, I could possibly be ever so slightly prejudiced being as we redid our master bath in a similar color scheme. We chose a white subway tile and a white paint that has a hint of gray/taupe in it. The flooring is a white
    marble-look linoleum with black, gray and taupe veining in it. White woodwork, brushed nickle faucets, lighting and hardware, white clawfoot tub, pedestal sink, built in medicine and storage cabinets all with mirrored doors and one
    4x4 window with a white cafe curtain. Very simple, clean, bright and clutter free. The only pops of color are green plants and some blue glass vases. There's only one problem. Everyone that sees our bathroom, immediately wants to know when they can come and take a bath in there. Lol! I'm sure yours is going to be just lovely.

    Congratulations on your official goodbye to public life! Very pleased to hear that you'll still be blogging and haven't completely retreated from the world at large.

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  8. You are anything but "non-distinct" Rhonda. You have influenced so many people and the beauty of your blog and books is that you will continue to do so, even after the gate is closed.

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  9. Dear Rhonda- I have been doing the same as you-- shutting the gate and doing things at home and being CONTENT. After Dan died I felt pressure by others to be volunteering and out and about but I could not cope with it and it went on for a year and THEN I felt in the Lord to just stay home and be about the things of a wife and homemaker and I cannot tell you how much better in myself I feel now. I have plenty to do and have been knitting a lot for our grandies who will now number 8 when the latest one arrives end November. Eldest 19 Years old and youngest so far, 3 months :-)

    I am so blessed to have a husband that has a job to support us both even though we are by no means not having to be extra careful with our money. I am grateful and I am content. I can be myself without any expectation from other people weighing me down. I know you will understand that feeling :-) God bless you- Karen

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    1. You're doing the right thing, Karen. You know it and I know it. Take care. xx

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  10. How lovely. Slow days, closed gate, full bellies, warm beds, busy hands.

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  11. I hope you can feel the love and appreciation for your words and desire for "living my ordinary days in splendid isolation". What a blessing to read.
    ♥~Carolyne

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  12. I appreciate simple life. With young children....I have to train children not to "indulge." (sweets, tricks, treats, toys etc) We don't do heavy amount of social activity here. Instead we stay home, I read (character based) stories to the children (no video equipment and fancy toys). Occasionally we go to the less busy community events where they show how people do things in the old days.

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  13. I wish you the best in life. Hope you fine time to keep up your blog...Coffee is on

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  14. Nothing non-distinct about you Rhonda :)

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  15. Dear Rhonda...You'll never be 'the non-distinct Rhonda Hetzel' as you have inspired so many and shared your life with so many people... I thank you for the gift of sanity... know in your heart of hearts you moved people to take another look at their lives and refocus what the purpose ought to be when get up in the morning and welcome the new day. You'll always be that special Rhonda...and your very able husband Hanno. Thanks again.

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  16. I like the sentiment in "shutting the gate". I as well have been working on fixing up the neglected bathrooms in our new home.

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  17. Enjoy your closed gate and private life, Rhonda. You are one very special lady who has helped so many regain their skills, sanity and independence. Thank you sooo much!

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  18. Isn't the internet wonderful. I thought I'll have a look at your tiles to get a picture of your bathroom and bingo there they were. They are a lovely colour. I can't help but put my nurses cap on and tell you to be careful on them, my job involves falls prevention and they look like they might be slippery when wet(as they are glazed). We chose some tiles when we built our house and now regret them as we didn't think about the slip factor!I hope you don't mind me sticking my nursey nose in. You've probably covered all your bases.
    Enjoy your sojourn when it comes,Jenny

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    1. We checked the slip ratings as we were looking. These tiles haven't been rated but the finish is matt, textured and feel non-slip. I'm pretty sure they'll be fine.

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  19. That looks like the same Hemnes vanity unit that we have sitting in a box here to assemble at the weekend for our bathroom renovation Rhonda! We have the matching mirror cabinet too. And a grey and white scheme. Great minds? :-)

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    1. HA! Great minds ... Good luck with yours, Claire.

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    2. Thanks Rhonda, though I'm no Hanno! I doubt there will be, but if you hit any pitfalls please let me know xx

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