31 July 2008

My place here at home

Lions organic pure cotton

My house is untidy. I'm at home today so I'll have plenty of time to put things back in their rightful places. I remember when I was much younger, I used to look forward to my days off and I would make sure I was out most of the time. I'd be visiting friends, going to the movies, dining out and shopping. Now is a much more gentle time, now I look forward to fluffing my nest and in the doing of it, slowing down and thinking about tasks and my place here at home.

When I was younger and out there living my life in public, I thought being at home was the dullest thing out. I neither valued nor understand the significance of a home; nor did I place much stock in a woman being there. I found my worth in external places, never realising that until I discovered a place where I could slow down, take off all masks and be my true self, whatever worth I thought I found, would be vacuous and brief.

I also needed to discover respect - for myself, other women and my home.

I guess I started that major discovery when I had my children. I saw my home then in a very different light. Before children, my home was just a place I slept and kept my belongings. After children, it became a safe haven where we nurtured our sons, where we modelled the behaviour we wanted to see in them and where those boys lead us to a better life.

And now they've gone. They grew into two fine men that I am very proud of. They're now establishing their own lives with successful careers and with girlfriends that may turn into something more special.

But after all that reminiscing, I'm still left with an untidy home. That's okay though, it's easily put right by gathering up and putting away, my broom does wonders. It's an enriching part of my life now being a homemaker; I discover myself here.

I love my home because it gives me feelings of security and of working towards sustainability. I feel safe here, the comfortable feeling of the familiar gives me more than refuge, it settles my soul. Do you have similar feelings about your home? What makes your home special and just right for you?

A special message to Kate in NY who sent me the book, Not Buying It. It arrived on Monday, I read it Monday and Tuesday nights and gave it to a friend to read on Wednesday. No doubt it will keep on being passed on. Thanks Kate!



  1. Rhonda,

    My favorite place is my home:) Although we don't get out to much during the week I still enjoy being here. I am only 38 years old and I can't imagine doing all the running some of my friends do.

    Today I am doing some deep cleaning and I hope to start a stitching project tommorow. I always have something to do boredom has not happen to me yet:)

    I also like my husband to enjoy being at home. I like him to walk into a clean not always tidy home:)

    I like for him to have a sweet treat after dinner. I want him to enjoy being with our daughters and not looking around at what needs
    to be done next.

    Maybe I am a little old fashion at heart but I hope my children look back and see a mom that wanted to be with her children and that taught them that there is no where nicer than being at Home!!!

    Many Blessings,


  2. hi rhonda. how true. i can almost hear the call of my home urging me back if i am gone too long. i used to count traveling as my reason to be, but now, there are so many pleasures within 5000 sq feet of my bed. this has made very noncommittal, even in things that require only a short evening out. who woulda thunk it???

    here is where i send a thank you to you. a lot of those pleasures i have learned have come from your blog. so thank you. and cheers.

  3. I'm making a hat out of that exact same yarn- I just love it!

  4. You are so right Rhonda. Everything centres around the home. This reminds of the saying 'the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world'.
    My dh spent alot of time being away from his home and for a number of years was always wanting to be away (with me and the children in tow)for a number years; now that I am more focused on providing and sustaining a more homely home he is more content at home. Home really is a haven.
    I totally agree, that the broom can work wonders. Our house was pretty messy the other day and I spent about 10 minutes giving the loungeroom a dust sweep and hotspot cleanup. It is a new room and so nice to be in now. I am working on a room a day till the house is done.
    The house is this way because I have been quite ill the past six months (am about 95%now and feeling oh so much better) and am homeschooling my five children so things can get quite hectic here!
    Home is a haven.
    Your blog is like coming home to me; you write about all the things that matter to me.
    Bec xxx

  5. Hi Rhonda, Just wondered where you can buy the cotton for knitting the dishcloths as I have been unable to find anything other than 4ply which seems way to fine. Hoping you can help me out here. Really enjoy the blog and visit each day. Jean

  6. Hi, I read the results of a scientific study the other day that suggested older people get as much satisfaction from a cuppa with a friend as younger people do from a hard nights partying!! Cherrie

  7. Hello Jean, I buy my cotton from Spotlight. If you can find the American brand - Lion, buy that, it's very good. If your lical Spotlight doesn't have it, ask them to get some in for you. I have found Lion cotton in two the Spotlights near here.

  8. I'm glad you finally got the book, Rhonda - I sent it ages ago! Now I am reading another one I just know you would LOVE - it's called "Little Heathens: Hard TImes and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression," by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. Have you heard about it? It's part memoir, part cookbook, part home-keeping manual . . . utterly enjoyable (and the NY Times Book Review picked it as one of the 10 best books of 2007). If you cannot get your hands on it I'd be glad to send it to you when I am finished. I am so tickled to be able to contribute, even in such a small way, to the enjoyment of someone who has enriched my own life as much as you have with your wonderful blog (phew - that was a long sentence)!
    Best Wishes,
    Kate in NY

  9. Rhonda,

    You really expressed what I am learning (a little later in life than I could have wished) about making a haven for my husband, children as well as a place for myself. Your blog is such an encouragement and inspiration. Thank you for taking the time and being so open. I have already learned so much. I found your blog a couple of weeks ago.

  10. I have always enjoyed being at home. Now appreciating it for all it truly is; thats a different story.

    I would say that around 3 years ago, when one life altering experience brought clarity to many things; this was one of them. Appreciation for the beauty that surrounds me.

  11. I've found that my home mirrors my sense of "me". There are times when I lose "me" (I don't know where I go, but I go somewhere!)and my home will reflect that. Things go unloved and start to look shabby in my eyes. When I find myself again (and thank heaven's that isn't taking too long anymore) I can focus again on my home. I bring flowers in, straighten up, cook good meals. As I grow older I see there are paths in my home (in the form of chores, daily routines, gardens, laundry, sewing) that have the almost mystical power to take me back to myself again.

  12. I call my home my sanctuary. I have taught my daughters that it is just that. This is where we come to be renewed and refreshed. I have it as my safe haven. There was a time when one of my daughters didn't understand that and was bringing some unsavory types by to visit. I quickly put a stpo to that because we weren't feeling safe here, and that is just what I want my home to be. Comfortable and safe!

  13. Rhonda your post has me thinking again - tired thinking but thinking none the less! I feel mixed feeling towards our current house. The house is the shell - that we are trying to strengthen and nurture even though it is not "ours" - and we inside are the "home". It has been a hard lesson for me to truly believe that - the sale of the family home where we grew up and I was married was terrible but inevitable, the move from the house where my babies began their lives - but so so worth it. My home is my family and our physical situation is one that keeps us warm and helps us to nurture each other. One day we'll have the "house" of my dreams but I know that I already have the "home" of my dreams. Blogs like yours help me remember that when I am tired or yearning for a more visually pleasing house. And, I am thankful that we even have somewhere we can afford to live and be happy! Thanks once again,


  14. Home is definitely important to me. Even as a partying young woman I always went home to gather my strengths, relax and get ready for another outing. :-)
    Now with the kids and being a stay-at-home mother, I am home a lot and although we all enjoy our home, it gives a bit of dissatisfaction sometimes, because I see the same stuff every day and it bores me sometimes.

    Christine from the NL

  15. I love being home! We are moving soon and I'm looking forward to creating a sweet cozy nest for us as we anticipate the baby's arrival.

  16. I echo exactly what you wrote! I'd rather be at home than anywhere else! I'm 37 and graduated my kids from homeschooling in '07. I now work outside the home 14 hours a week and won't do more than that EVER. My home--cooking, baking, cleaning--garden, chickens, etc. are the things that are my main focus and true love. Thanks God my husband feels the same as I do about MY feelings! (He is also a home-body/home-lover.) I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now. Enjoying it immensely. I live in the US. Gen--IL Homesteader

  17. Rhonda,
    I loved this post because I felt like it really spoke to the person I am learning to become. In my late teens and early twenties, I loved to be on the go allt he time and never had a spare moment. My apartment was always messy and my relationships were messy too. Now, at 26, with a two year old and due any day with our second, I have learned to slow down and enjoy the place where I spend the majority of my time--home. I've also learned that if I am not comfortable in my home, I am just plain not happy. Now I really try to take joy in the simple, small everything tasks rather then looking forward to the next movie coming out. I really love being a homemaker--though our house is often still messy!--and I find your blog so inspirational. Thank you so much all the way from Southern California!

  18. Hey Rhonda. I remember a time when I couldn't stand the thought of being at home. I had to have some plans to be out *every* single evening. Now I don't want to go out at all, I have so many things I want to do at home and never enough time.

    How do you like the yarn you're using? Tell us how it feels and how it knits up please. It looks lovely.

  19. Rhonda, I recently discovered your blog (via Cate at serendipity (http://cate-serendipity.blogspot.com/) and I LOVE your writing. I have had the good fortune to be able to retire at age 55. I have moved to a rural community in the US and I'm looking forward to living a more basic, simple life. I retired too late for a garden this year, but next year I hope to plant sufficient quantities to sustain me for the year. Your blog is going to be a wonderful tool for me.

    I liked the sound of your chick pea burger recipe, so I gave it a go. It was fantastic! I've blogged about it on my regular blog and added it to my food blog. (You have been given credit on both.) Thank you!

    I look forward to enjoying your blog!!

  20. I use to enjoy going, going...I wanted to have something going on and being involved. But as I have gotten older (I am almost 42), I love being home. I almost dread the thought of having to get ready and go somewhere. I find so much pleasure in being home and doing things at home. I only work part time, but occasionally have to work several days in a row. (I just finished two full weeks of working) I think if I had to work full time, I would never go anywhere else, but would want to spend every moment I had off, at home. Just something about being home and doing the work that pertains to maintaining and keeping the home that is much more fulfilling now that I am older, than when I was younger. I am sure it continues to be that way the older you get. I remember my grandma who passed away last year at almost 94; when she would go somewhere she was always anxious to get home.

  21. Making our home a haven, a respite from a hectic world, is a central focus of my life. As a mom to four, the oldest now 18, I find that home has more meaning than it did in my early adulthood. But also, I find connections to the homes I knew in childhood now. When I pick beans, I think of snapping them on Grandma's porch with other women in our family.

    Nice post, Rhonda. As always, you encourage readers to slow their pace and consider what matters. I appreciate your perspective.

  22. Rhonda,
    Such a nice post. Love reading how much you love your home.
    Blessings to you,

  23. I just love your posts!


  24. I love my home. My home is me. We have renovated our cottage over the last year so everything is very personal to us. I am just so at ease at home.
    What makes it special? It's where hubby and I are, it's the general feeling here, the countryside, my cats and my chooks.
    Your blog is very inspirational - I have left you an award over at Dancin' Puffin.

  25. Here is a tip for combining errands in the summer:

    When you are doing errands that include grocery shopping, take along a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Grocery stores open earlier than other stores, so you can get the groceries first and put milk, frozen items, etc. in the cooler. Then do all your other errands and your food will not have spoiled or melted before you can get it home and into your fridge or freezer.

    Also, make a Word document with a list of everything you buy at the grocery least once a month. Put the items the order they appear in the store you use the most. When it's time to go shopping, get your list and check the pantry and fridge circling the items you need to restock. Write in anything you need that isn't on the list. Your shopping trip with take much less time and you won't have to run back to the store for something you forgot.



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