DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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2 August 2016

The first day

It's been a busy year, one of the busiest I can remember, but that's all come to an end now - today and all my tomorrows, will be slow and calmly productive at home. At the beginning of the year I had just finished writing The Simple Home and then helped with the editing of it. The book was sent off to be printed and I was having a supposed rest to prepare for a book tour. But in reality the work kept coming, I had media commitments, I had to organise our tour accommodation and we had Jamie here on and off when his parents were working.

The book tour was exhausting. Not only the travel but also meeting so many people and speaking at events along the route. Don't get me wrong, I loved all of it, especially meeting all those wonderful people, but the logistics of getting from one place to another, the unseasonal heat, the unfamiliar beds, and the 6000 km we drove took its toll. We were pleased to get home to slow down and take it easy.

Last Sunday evening, Sunny and Kerry brought over a platter of sushi for us to share.

That didn't last long though. We had visitors, more media engagements, more talks, one of our sons stayed with us for a couple of months while he set himself up in a new job and relocated his family, there was a bathroom renovation, we welcomed new chickens and planted up the new season vegetable garden. I kept thinking ... I'll do that when I have a bit more time. That time didn't seem to present itself and things I used to consider daily tasks fell by the wayside. However, I knew it was not a permanent state of affairs, that this time would pass and I'd find my old life again. Finally we were looking forward to a visit from my sister Tricia, her son and children.  We all had a grand time. I loved that Jamie and my sons spent time with their cousins. It's important that families stay connected, even when distance often prevents that from happening.

And then all that planning, work and busyness came to an end.


Danny and his children left last Friday and yesterday afternoon I put Tricia on the train to Sydney. When I drove back home I knew that I had no more talks or media commitments, no more writing ... my time was my own again. This was the beginning of my retirement, or as close to it as we're likely to get. I was smiling and planning for the future all the way home. When I got home Hanno was levelling and re-paving the path from the garden to the chicken coop. A good sign.



By the time you read this it will be Tuesday and I will already be on the pathway to our simple life, version 2. Chickens will have been let out to range free, the bed made, vegetables and herbs picked, lunch planned and some prep done, there might even be bread dough or biscuits ready to go in the oven. Waiting patiently for me in the freezer are bags of rosellas that we picked a couple of months ago and which need to be made into rosella jam, cordial and tea. We also have a few bags of elderberries in there that I want to make into a tonic. I need some straight away myself to help clear up this cold I've had for the past week. It seems to be dragging on. We have a few buckets of lemons picked from our two trees that have to be juiced and stored for summer cordial. Work in the garden continues but to be honest, much of the time is spent sitting in the garden under the shade of an umbrella, talking and drinking tea.  I make no apologies for that, I feel no guilt, I think that relaxation and happiness is as a good a crop as any other from the garden. I have a bush house that needs cleaning out and re-organising before the heat of summer starts again. Plants need re-potting, seeds need sowing, cuttings need to be taken. We have to prune and fertilise the front garden soon too and clean and reorganise the verandahs so they're ready to help us get through the summer months.




Inside there are two knitting projects to work on and two small patchwork projects - one is nearly finished, one is yet to be started. Spring cleaning is waiting for me just around the corner. I feel confident that the house and yard maintenance that we've carried out over the past years will see us through the next few years. Our main job now is to enjoy daily life as we live it. And there is so much to do here - all of it contributes to the way we live outside the mainstream of modern life and more in tune with the seasons and our sustainable values.


So on this "first day" of the rest of my life, I'm really pleased to be working alongside you as you work in your home or at a job that pays the bills. There are so many people out in the wide world now who are doing what we're doing all in their own individual way. Never doubt this work and how we all live, never think that what we do isn't important. I believe that this is the only way we will reach a future worth living.

39 comments:

  1. Rhonda, we will never meet and share a cuppa and talk... but, I look so forward to your musings and reminders to Be Present Now. I've missed you these past weeks... Glad all are well, happy, and home! Enjoy! And, please keep reminding us of what really matters --- Right Here, Right Now....

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    1. Shall do, Matty. And yes, we're all fine. All is right in our world. :- )

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  2. Lovely to see you back as the "original" Rhonda. How are your other grandchildren, you haven't mentioned them in such a long time. I hope they are well too.

    cheers Kate

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  3. I am guessing that is the Elderberry that Hanno is harvesting from? I was given a couple of cuttings earlier in the year and I just re-potted both over the week-end as they are growing well and I have yet to decide where to plant them. Rhonda I too believe that 'this is the only way we will reach a future worth living'. I just noticed too that it is less than 12 months until DTE's 10th anniversary. Another huge milestone! I hope you and Hanno enjoy your time now following your very busy year.

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    1. Yes, Sherri, it's the elder tree. I know! Ten years, I'm amazed that I could keep the blog going so long. Who'd have known that an ageing hipster doofus like me could generate interest writing about home life, cleaning and cooking. It's restored my faith in a part of humanity. :- )

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  4. Even though I knew you were enjoying family time I kept popping by. You were missed.

    Today is important and I am glad you have such plans, normal plans. May peacefulness bless your days.

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    1. Thanks Suze. It's nice to be missed. :- )

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  5. Lovely to think that your time is your own for home life and family life....enjoy.

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  6. "relaxation and happiness is as a good a crop as any other from the garden" - I just love that statement - one for the chalkboard for sure!
    I hope you continue to enjoy all that home and garden offer during your retirement season.

    - Judy

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    1. Yes Judy - so true! Your writing is so calming and peaceful Rhonda, I always feel better after visiting. Thank you.

      Ally

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  7. So glad you had a nice visit - and that your bathroom was done before they arrived:) Your words are so soothing and encouraging as "busy" bullies its way into our "slow" life. Then we have to redirect and pull back in order to find that "slow" again. Thank you for the reminder. And I'm with Matty, though we may never meet over the garden gate or share a cuppa, we can still meet over the blog gate and I'm grateful.

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  8. Thank you for this encouragement. I'm sweaty and tired, but spent my day as well as I was able. We had a nice dinner, and the bathroom got clean. :) (And thank God we've been getting a bit of rain, because it's been quite dry!) :)

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  9. So nice to read your words here after the pause you had while tending to your family gathering! I often think of you and others going about simple work each day while I'm doing the same - it's encouraging as I definitely fall outside the mainstream of my family in this regard!
    -Jaime

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  10. Happy to hear you are enjoying your contentment and slower pace.
    When you live simply and take responsibility for all your daily activities, you wonder how you ever had time to go to work.
    It is nice to have some interesting projects to focus on when visitors leave, it keeps you moving forward to the next achievement.

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  11. So good to read this wonderful post of yours. You always inspire me dear Rhonda and I thank you for that.

    Love and hugs to you and Hanno ~ FlowerLady

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  12. Happy "the first day of the rest of your life"! Hope you find plenty of time to just enjoy the sunshine on your face and the company of your husband.

    Jane

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  13. I was so happy to read this post today as I need a jolt to get back to my routine of simple living. My family situation is complicated and intense in my home and taking care of me is the only way I can find peace. I've gotten away from my daily self care of gentle yoga, meditation, being outdoors and working on my craft projects.

    Thank you for reasserting what is important and vital to living the good life. I really appreciate your words.

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  14. Lovely post, Rhonda, I love being reminded to slow down and concentrate on what really matters in each day. It is a message so many I fear will never understand or have the opportunity to practice.

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  15. A shop opened a while ago close to where I work. I always liked the building, as it had an updated colonial look. I have passed it on numerous occasions without popping in. About 2 weeks ago my sister asked me if I was interested in knitting. I said that I was more interested in learning how to embroider, as I remembered the lovely pillowcases and handkerchieves of our youth. Knitting to me was not as practical in our tropical island. "Well," says she, "I've always wanted to learn." You are never too old to learn something new about your siblings =) Anyways, currently, as a result of this conversation, my younger daughter, my sister and her daughter are all enthusiastically embracing the gentle art of knitting from an elderly British lady in the updated colonial house across the way. Me, I'm waiting for the embroidery class to begin ;)

    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago
    p.s. Your woolly wanderings have a new importance to me now =)

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  16. 'I think that relaxation and happiness is as a good a crop as any other from the garden.' Rhonda that quote is absolutely correct. We all need a little 'downtime' just to think and relax and unwind and plan.

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  17. Lovely post. I enjoyed reading it. Congratulations on your book. I would love to highlight your book on my blog and read and review it! Send me an email if your interested. Slegan@yahoo.com.
    The post was enjoyable as always. I enjoyed your photo's. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Loved reading your post today Rhonda, as always. and look forward to reading more about your 'retirement'.

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  19. Rhonda, I have never heard of a Roselle. I had to look it up. I wonder if it is anything like Rose Hips that grow in America. I don't think people eat Rose Hips, though I do decorate with them. I wonder if a Roselle plant would grow here. Sounds like it would make a wonderful jam.

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  20. I find myself rushing through my daily chores to get on with more "important stuff". Thank you for giving me the reinforcement we need to slow down and know that house work IS the important stuff. When we focus on these tasks then our days are filled with order and peace.

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  21. Hello Rhonda,

    I smiled for you when I heard all of your big commitments are now over and you can return to a more simple life - wonderful! I recently had an English guest here for 3 weeks and she commented that everything here is pretty 'basic' and it's a bit like life in England in the 70s! (eg a fire, not central heating, cooking everything from scratch,hanging washing etc...) She was intrigued by my simple life and at the end of her visit said she felt perfectly at home and content, and didn't miss a thing. That made me so happy .

    Madeleine.x

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  22. Welcome back...I have missed you so much this year. I am working on simplifying, and you are such a great "coach" in that area. I love homemaking...it is what makes me happy. Many people don't understand. (what do you DO all day??) Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane. There is still a lot to write about.

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  23. Hello,
    Is there a possibility to buy your new book in belgium?

    Thanks

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    1. You can buy all my books from Book Depository in the UK. They deliver free world-wide.
      http://www.bookdepository.com/Simple-Home/9780670079025

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  24. This is a really lovely post Rhonda. I feel as if we have been on a merry go round ourselves over the last couple of years. Time for us also, to quiet things down somewhat and spend some quality time together. Thank you for reminding us of what is really important. I've just made a batch of pikelets for afternoon tea. Will take your advise and sit quietly and have a good relax.
    Blessings Gail.

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  25. Beautiful post. Thank you Rhonda xx

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  26. Whether you are writing new posts or not, I feel you´re always here Rhonda. What a wonderful thought : "relaxation and happiness is as a good a crop as any other from the garden" I´ll cherish that one.

    Best wishes to you and Hanno from Sweden
    Ramona

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  27. Beautiful family, lovely post. I wish you happy retirement.

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  28. Congratulations! Enjoy!
    Blessings from Missouri U.S.A. and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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  29. I'm visiting from Linda's place, A Slice of Life. I'm so glad she linked up with you today and I have a chance to read your blog. Love what you wrote: "relaxation and happiness is as a good a crop as any other from the garden." Enjoy being home again!

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  30. I think that you have hit upon the secret of a happy life :) One has to follow one's heart. We all change so much from decade to decade. Good luck to you Rhonda and your hubby too!

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  31. I hope there will many quiet days for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

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  32. Enjoy this new phase of your life, with lots of tea and relaxation, as well as good honest work on making your life how you want it to be. Del and I are currently working on our plan for the years to come including a time frame for our planned relocation to Qld. Exciting times ahead for everyone.

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

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