500,000 visitors giveaway - FINISHED!

28 August 2008

Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.

I thought I had today to look for a giveaway but after I read all your delightful comments on yesterdays post, I glanced at the visitors figures and WOW! It's over 500,000. In fact, another 700 of you have waltzed right in to add to that score.

I still find it hard to believe this blog is so popular. It has been a lesson in the making for me. It has shown me that sharing builds community, that word of mouth is more effective than gimmicks and that there is a need out there to connect with others online when those supports are lacking in real life. I know from my own perspective that it is wonderful to know so many of you are living simply and care about your effect on your environment.

Writing this blog and sharing our lives here has been, for the most part, a joy for me. It has forced me to look at my life in a deeper way than I would have without the blog. Writing about what we are doing requires an examination of the process most days - I doubt I would have done that as much if I hadn't been writing about our lives. I have found it interesting to develop an understanding of many of you through your comments, and along the way some friendships formed. I thank you for that because I am, by nature, a solitary woman but I am better for those friendships and I am wiser because of the comments.

I would love to give you all a warm hug and an invitation to tea to thank you for your involvement here. Obviously I can't do that so I'm about to look in my sewing room for a giveaway that I hope you would like to own. I have asked Sharon to choose who will have the giveaway, it doesn't matter where you live, I have leftover grocery money to pay for postage. LOL! ;- ) So if you would like to take part in this little celebration of numbers, add your comment and your name will be part of the draw.

Okay! I found three stitcheries I had waiting to be made into something, so you have three chances of winning. They are completed stitcheries that could be incorporated into a quilt, made into a cushion or tote bag, or even a wall hanging. I designed and stitched all of them by hand. Good luck and thank you for reading and being part of Down to Earth.

This is closed now. Sharon will do the draw very soon and I will be back with the winners. : - ) Linda is the last in the draw.


  1. Your blog is one of the first that I read each day - it always gives me something to think while I am at work. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us!

  2. I have said it before and mean it as much today, you are such an inspiration to me Rhonda. I look forward to "seeing" you every day!!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and lives with us all so we may learn from one another!!!!

    central Illinois

  3. Hi, Rhonda. It is truly generous of you to have a give-away. Especially giving something that takes up so much time, that truly means it is from your heart. Please enter me into the drawing. I truly enjoy your blog and appreciate that you take time to share you daily life and experiences (and wonderful knowledge) with us.
    Hugs to you, Teresa

  4. Rhonda, thank you for all of your wonderful posts. I look forward to reading your blog everyday.

    Ohio, USA

  5. Oh...i would love to receive on of those...i lost all my cross stitch (Norman Rockwell's that i stiched) items in a hurricane here in the USA 3 years ago

  6. Rhonda,

    Just wanted to say that I love your blog. I really feel like I've found a friend halfway around the world! I'm not very lucky but would love to be entered in the drawing.

    SW Virginia - USA

  7. Dearest Rhonda,
    You have such a kind heart. Your work is beautiful and from your heart. I would love to be entered into your drawing.
    Blessings to you,

  8. Hello! I have been reading your blog daily for a while now, and your kind words and wonderful life has been such a blessing to me and my family. It is no surprise to me that your blog has welcomed 500,000 visitors, and I can't wait until that number reaches 1 million. You are a true blessing and inspiration Rhonda, and I can't thank you enough :)

    Fort Hood, TX

  9. Your blog has had a big impact on my life. I started by recycling plastic bottles. Now, I don't drink bottle water unless I am traveling. I am now using cloth bags instead of plastic bags at the market. I do not have a compost pile but I am now burying veggie waste etc. in my flower beds for the worms. I intend to grow a veggie garden next summer. I was involved with taking care of a neighbors garden when he is gone in trade for fresh veggies. I have also entertained myself at home by stiching or sewing instead of using petrol to go out. I combine most of my shopping trips with trips hubby makes so as to save on fuel also. Yes, you are right just one step at a time helps. I have a long way to go but am feeling so good about the change. Thank you for your blog. I would love to win one of your stitcherie. They are lovely. Take care and have a good weekend coming up. :) Karen

  10. Hi, I recently found you and love your blog. I'm looking forward to your book! I'd love to win one of your stitcheries!

  11. What a nice thing to do for us readers!  You give us each a gift everyday with your posts!  COngrats and best wishes!Kristina

  12. Heartful congratulations, Ronda !
    It doesn't surprise me at al that you have so many visitors : your blog is sooo inspiring to us ! I wish to THANK YOU so much for what you share with us and for everything I'm learning, while reading you. You have the talent to teach us how a simple life can bring such happiness :)

    (((Hugs))) & smiles to you,
    NADINE in Belgium

  13. Wow! Contratulations on having over 500,000 visitors, although it's easy to see why, your blog is just wonderful. Your's is the first blog i found and the first blog i left a comment on. Also it inspired me to have my own blog.

    You come across as a truly lovely, generous person, which is proved by your giveaways. Your stitcheries are just lovely and who ever wins one will be a very lucky person.

  14. I read your blog every day with my afternoon tea. It's so inspiring, and I am really learning (and relearning) lots.

    It's almost as good as having a wise aunty next door.

    I can't wait for your book!

  15. This is such a wonderful thing to do! Your blog has had a great influence in my life. Our first year with veggie beds, seven chickens, and being more mindful in what I prepare for my family.
    Thank you!

    Tacoma, WA USA

  16. Wow Rhonda half a million visitors you should be so proud that all of us come every morning to read your blog. You are a friend to all of us and a great inspiration and someone to look up to. We all wait patiently everyday just to see what words of wisdom you have for us. I have learned so much from you and THANK YOU so much. It won't take long to reach the million so please don't stop writing this blog.

  17. Hi Rhonda Jean
    500,000 is mind boggling isn't it.Congratulations on such a milestone. I appreciate so much how you share your life with us all and inspire us onto greater and simpler things. Best wishes.

    Patricia in North Queensland

  18. I love reading your blog. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  19. I just discovered your blog yesterday through my sister, who has been a long-time fan. I'm a full-time grad student looking desperately for ways to save money without sacrificing (my too often poor) quality of life. The concepts of budgeting, meal-planning, and made-at-home meals and products seem like life-savers! The idea of simple living has been appealing to me for a long time, but I've had no idea how to get started.

    My sister and I are already planning on learning how to do these things together, using your blog and references as a guide! Many thanks!

    Northern Virginia

  20. Oh, I'd love to have something hand stitched by you! :) Congrats on 50,000 visitors and thank you for blogging daily to let us all see what your vision of the simple life looks like. :)

    Melissa in FL

  21. Like others who have already commented, I look forward to reading your blog everyday. We have been gradually moving to a more simplified life, which is occasionally difficult with two children always on the go, but always it is satisfying to realize how far we have come on this journey. My next step is soapmaking--I am so inspired by pictures of your own soap! I would love to be entered in your drawing. Thanks so much for all your thoughts!

  22. What beautiful stitcheries! I love reading your blog and seeing what your little household is up to.


  23. i love your day to day happenenings
    it givesa wonderful view of a smallholding in our overly modern times.

  24. Rhonda,

    I hope this is not rude but I am not surprised at all by your popularity. You are an inspiration to everyone here. Living debt free, making great recipes, gardening, stitching, stockpiling I am sure I left something out:)

    I am so grateful that you have not gotten bored with writing about your life and trials each day.

    I am looking forward to getting your book and I will recommend to all my friends:)

    I read your blog around dinner time and I am always looking forward to what is going on in your life. My children know you by name.... I say "well lets see what Rhonda is up to":)

    Thank you again!

    P.s If I don't win... I will really want to stitch one of these this winter:) You make all your stitching look so easy:)


  25. I check my bloglines feed in the late afternoon, every day, just to connect with you, Rhonda! Thanks for the heart you share.

  26. Pleeease put my name in the hat. They are all beautiful! Congratulations on your 500,000 - no surprise to us really.

  27. I know you just write about what you're doing in life, but what you're doing is a valuable resource for those of us wanting to do it. Add to that, your writing is enjoyable to read, and you have a hit blog!

    Count me in, please. :-)

  28. Hi Rhonda
    I am not normally a blog reader but now I wouldn´t dream of missing yours. You impart so much wisdom without laying down the law. You obviously have met and managed to surmount the many obstacles that ordinary people face.
    Thanks to your blog I have a list of wonderful projects to tackle as we swing into the long autumn and winter season here in Sweden. As a newly retired person I at last have time to test and develop new skills . All I need to do is follow your clear instructions. Thank you so much.
    Ramona K

  29. Ohhh - I got to enter for this one. I just love your embroidery. And I love your blog. I make sure I read it every day. Love your down-to-earth (oops - sorry I think you have already used that phrase) approach to life and living. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Janet McKinney

  30. Hi Rhonda, Im not a frequent poster but i am an avid reader. I would love to be included in this giveaway. Your blog has helped me to have the confidence to life the lifestyle that i want and its always great to feel you have friend guiding you on the way

  31. I am between homes at the moment, and am taking stock of what I want my new life to be. You are really helping, just when I need it. Thank you.

  32. Rhonda
    Your blog is a joy to read each morning and an inspiration towards a life well lived, not just survived. Thank you for your inspiring and wide ranging topics - your book will be eagerly awaited by your extended on line family. I would be pleased if you would add me into the draw for some of your stitchery. For those of us who do not win, could I ask how you make your stitchery so we can make our own.
    With warmest congratulations on achieving your half million,

  33. I am between homes at the moment, and am taking stock of what I want my new life to be. You are really helping, just when I need it. Thank you.

  34. Your blog has added a new dimension to my life, which is sometimes hard for those who haven't 'found' blogs yet to understand.
    You are so kind to offer giveaways which you have put so much into - and that is typical of the way you come across as a person. Please count me in!

  35. Hello Rhonda, congratulations...half a million visitors is quite an achievement! Dropping by here is always a pleasure - for all that is shared, for the nurturing, the warmth, the gardening, the cooking, and so much more. Thank you, you brighten my days. Diana x

  36. I really enjoy your blog. We're moving toward a simpler and more self-sufficient life style. Your ideas are very helpful and encouraging. Thanks for this chance to win!

  37. When you have that many visitors to your blog it really proves that what you have to say if important to people and that they are learning from what you are saying. Congratulations on having that many visitors and I look forward to many more interesting and informative posts

  38. Those are wonderful! Trying some stitching is on my list, but I have to get through my current pile of projects, clothing for my children. ;)

  39. that is so good of you to have a giveaway. Here's to many more posts.....congratulations.

    Gill from Canada

  40. Good Morning Rhonda
    I always feel like I've joined you for morning tea when I read your blog. You give us all an invitation into your home everyday.

    Your stitcheries are truly beautiful.

    Pippa x

  41. Oh Rhonda,
    PLEASE enter me in your giveaway. I am so thrilled with all that is happening for you. It is truly wonderful.
    Thank you for doing this gracious contest!


  42. Hi Rhonda,
    Your Blog is the first blog I read each day. I read it while having my cuppa. Its like checking up on what family have done the day before. I love all your little inspirational chats about living simply and for me they keep me on the road to taking baby steps towards a simple life. Keep up the fantastic work you do here and I look forward with great anticipation to your book.

    Best wishes

    Tracie xx

  43. Tylee (California)August 28, 2008 8:09 am

    Your embroidery work is amazing, what a special giveaway!

    I enjoy reading your blog each day, it's been exciting trying the new ideas. It's like taking the most amazing class without ever having to leave the house.

    Thank you for all you do!

  44. I'd rather have a cuppa with you, but since that can't be, the stitcheries are lovely, so please count me in.

  45. Rhonda, many congratulations on your half million visitors!

    As others have said, the success of your blog is no surprise to your regulars who find it such a rich source of advice and inspiration.

    I'd love you to enter my name for your stitchery draw, please.

    RosieB, UK
    for some reason blogger wont let me sign in tonight)

  46. Your stitchery is beautiful. Please enter me in your give-away.

    New Mexico, USA

  47. Your blog is now a part of my daily routine - I just enjoy it so much and learn something new each and every day. Thank you so much.

    I would love to be entered in draw and if I am to win one of your gorgeous stitcheries would like to donate it to Renee from the USA who lost her cross stiches 3 years ago.


  48. Hi Rhonda
    I can tell you why we all flock to your site. You guide and encourage but you dont judge.
    I never come away from this site with a bitter taste because you were busy critising someone for how they dress or how they live. Instead you tell me how to make bread, how to balance my finances, how to enrich my life. I will be popping aorund last thing before bed time for as long as you care to walk with us.
    by the way, i forgot to say congrats for your book deal.
    best wishes

  49. I am hooked on your blog. It is funny I just found it about two weeks ago and have read it everyday since. Really does make one think about alot of things to make life simplier and even thinking about going green. I have already made two dishcloths and am trying to figure out how I can collect rain water. Keep up the good work and Congradulation on the Book deal. Thanks again,
    Renee, in Michigan

  50. Thanks so much for your wonderful blog , I lost my mum a couple of years ago what I miss is just being able to ask her advice on loads of everyday things she could make great bread , knitted ,sewed, and was a great cook ,I love reading your articles on living a more simple life and even though i dont have my mum I feel like I have somewhere to go to to recive good commom sence advice , tips and wisdom keep up the good work

    Great Britain

  51. I have been reading your blog for quite sometime, and this is my first post. You are a great inspiration to all of us who are trying to live a simple life. Your's is the first blog I check every day, and I am always pleased when there is a new post. Thank you for helping all of us as we "take the road less travelled." Sharon from Canada

  52. oh add me, add me!!!! I love your blog!!!

    I have to tell you, after you did your little rant on backyard chickens and rainwater collection a local news story ran about how it is illegal to collect rain in our state (something about water rights). A few of our law makers got wind of this and things are in motion to change that law. I thought you would like to hear that, I know I am. (Personally I would have collected anyway...I am a bit of a rebel)

  53. I love your blog and read it daily. I can't wait for your book!

  54. How kind of you, Rhonda Jean! Keep up the good work!

  55. Yours was the first blog I ever read, (I found you from the Simple Savings forum). Thank you for firstly being so interesting that I kept on reading, and secondly for quietly continuing along your own path ans sharing the journey with us all.

  56. I check your blog every day and have received much encouragement and lots of great ideas for living more simply. Thank you!

  57. Congratulations Rhonda! I've said it before, but you are one of the important women in my life - your blog inspires me and I'm learning new things through it, and it is opening up a whole new world of thought and action for me, and you are such a nice, kind, warm person - it's a pleasure to come and visit here.
    Rachel L from NZ

  58. What a sweet thing to do! Thank you for all you have done to help spread the word and educate people on living more simply. Please add me to the drawing as well.

  59. Congratulations Rhonda! The amount of visitors must still blow you away at times, it is amazing; and wonderful; to know that there are so many like minded people out there.
    I usually print your blog and read it over breakfast, then store them in a folder for fututre reference/reading. Reading your blog keeps me focused and on track so THANKYOU.
    Bec xxx

  60. I grew up in a family that believed in the motto, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"..so I guess I have always recycled or re-purposed things. It's a good feeling even if it seems small, what I do. But if we all would do it, it would make a big difference.
    I love to see pretty embroidery things, in a home. It just makes them the home feel warmer and more family friendly. : )

  61. Rhonda,
    You can't keep a good thing secret for very long. News travels fast. Your blog is a "Good Thing". I found it by accident and I read it regularly it is not only helpful , it is encouraging. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Deborah

  62. I love your stitchery pieces, they remind me of what a home should really be. Thank you for this blog and the gift it is in helping me be a better home maker and mother to my family.


  63. Dear Rhonda, Thank you so much for sharing 'so much'! I check in on your blog everyday & I'm amazed at the generosity of your spirit; how much you've given to so many. I know you've enriched my life in so many ways & it's so comforting knowing there are such kindred spirits across the world. Thank you again & I love your stitcheries-you've inspired me there too!
    Wisconsin, USA

  64. Rhonda, I read your blog daily. I've found so much wisdom and just plain 'good sense' about living debt free, etc,. I'm not surprised that over 500,000 visitors have read your blog...you have been an inspiration to others that also strive to live a simple, and happy life. I just wish that you lived down the lane so we could have tea together. LOL Anyway, thanks again for being so generous with your time and family life. Would you please enter me in your drawing.
    Hugs, Aunt Bea

  65. Congratulations Rhonda, a fine gold medal to you.

    I stumbled in here last April. Guess who's number one read everyday?

    Aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oi!

  66. Dear Rhonda,

    What a delightful gesture! Reading your words is indeed like sharing a cup of tea with a friend. This blog, the little niche of space and time you've created here, inspires me to keep on following my own dream, leads me to my own creativity, and dares me as you so vividly conveyed yesterday to dive right in.

    It will surely be an honor for whomever is selected for your lovely creation.


  67. Thank you for your inspiration. Your blog is one a few that inspired my to start my own blog. It was a big thing for me as I have lived this life for a little while and thought that I didnt have much to offer, but you have shown me that we all have.

  68. What a wonderful chance to have a piece on Rhonda in our own homes. Heavens how I am keeping my fingers & toes crossed hoping I might get lucky. If I won one I think I would frame it, cause its too precious to be used on a tote bag or somewhere it could get ruined.

    Many thanks for this generous chance to have a part of your life in our homes.

    Like many others, logging onto your blog is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. I am richer for knowing you and that is a gift in itself.

    Many thanks Rhonda
    Lv Steph xxx

  69. oh how lovely!! I have already learnt so much from your blog..keep it up, it's a joy to read. Congrats. :-)

  70. What an exciting milestone! Congratulations. I would love to be entered into the drawing.


  71. beautiful! please add my name to the list. Christina

  72. It is a very generous giveaway. Your blog in my home page, so I read it everyday, you do a fantastic job and have taught me so much. Thank you :)


  73. Your blog has been such an inspiration to me. Please enter me in your drawing.

  74. Oh how lovely your work is Rhonda.
    Ever since someone showed me this blog, I have been here every day. I don't often comment, but I'm always here, reading and absorbing.

    Long may it last, and I will not hesitate to buy the book and recommend it. You are an inspiring lady.

    Amanda x

  75. Congratulations Rhonda!

    It's wonderful to think that there are 500, 000 people out there taking in all the knowledge you have to share! Here's to another 500,000 and many more happy days for you!

  76. Hi RJ,
    I think of your blog as an extension of what you do at the community house. Sadly my community doesn't have one, otherwise I would be learning things there too!
    Thank you for all your wonderful sharing.
    I too would love to share a cuppa with you. Who knows one day I might make it up your way and we can do that :)
    ps. I'd love to win one of your beautiful sticheries, would remind me of you everytime I see it. I'd love to make it into a cushion :)

  77. Hello again Rhonda! It has been a while. Congratulations on the number of seekers you have for your wisdom. You are most assuredly now one of the tribal elders. Life is a circle, and it is joy! Thank you for sharing. Judy in Texas

  78. I look for your blog each day and on my Friday I look and it is not there. It is because it is Saturday for you and I know you will be back soon. You are my friend and my mentor I want to thank you for all that you do to help me move forward with a simple life. It would be wonderful to hang stitchery made by you in my home.

  79. Such a generous gift and what beautiful stitcheries. Thank you for making the offer of a giveaway.

    Rhonda, your blog is very inspirational and I love coming here to read and to make use of your ideas and ideals.


  80. My children and I look forward to learning from your blog each week. Your giveaways are beautiful and would be warmly welcomed into our hearts and home.

    Bear Hugs!
    christine, douglas & sarah
    aka: libertystarfarm

  81. Congratulations on having so many viewers, and it's still growing! I also look forward to visiting you every morning, as does DH. Our lives are really enriched by your insightful writing and I love being able to read comments from all over the world. It really is wonderful to have this on-line community to turn to, as Kate in NY said yesterday. I have only one other person in "real life" that "gets it".(And BOY, am I grateful for her!)

    A big return hug to you, Rhonda. I loved that phrase, "..sharing builds community". Its kind of like the idea, "if you want something in your life (or the world) then first BE that yourself".

    Please don't include me in the draw as I already have been lucky enough to win a stitchery of yours. (Being able to look at it every day has meant more to me than you could possibly know.) I'm sure I've got a pretty good idea of how the three lucky winners will feel!

    Regards, Marilyn

  82. Congratulations on your visitor milestone! You have inspired me to look at a lot of things I could change and do more simply. I recently make quark following your directions and it came out great. I am enjoying my work on a pincushion and needlebook for the swap, just putting on the finishing touches. Your writing means a lot to me, still hoping for the book. Of course I would love to be entered in your drawing, your stitchery is charming.


  83. Wow, this is most generous of you! I so enjoy reading your blog and learning new ways to conserve and cut back on my spending.
    Thank you for inspiring me everyday.

  84. Rhonda, congratulations on sharing your life's successes, trials and tribulations. I have learned so much from you and this is the only blog I read daily. I go back in the archives for ideas. I've many times caught the hubby (the big burly biker he is) reading your blog when I leave your website open.

    The knitting mentor/learner program is coming along. Thanks to you I have a new skill to put to use as fall and winter are around the corner.

    I feel like I'm part of a family when I read your writings. I have been sharing some of your ideas with a couple friends at work as I must pass along to others what I know since there are so many of us in my generation that didn't get these ways of life passed to us. I don't want the knowledge to stop with me.

    Please enter me for the drawing.

    Thank you for everything.

  85. Hi Rhonda Jean :) Wow! What a wonderful milestone. Congratulations!

    It's a joy to know you a little and to visit you here in the place where you share your heart. Love, Q

  86. your blog is the only one i truly check everyday. You inspire me so much to always do more and try more. Thank you so much for livign so simply and showing us all it can be done!

  87. Cathy C from Illinois -USAugust 28, 2008 10:35 am

    You are truly a gracious woman. Thank you for entering me in the contest. To add to all the others, you inspire both me and my husband every night. It is so interesting to hear from all the many visitors and learn that perhaps someday we will be a majority. You have reached around the globe I think. Thank you!


  88. Congratulations Rhonda!!
    It's wonderful that such meaningful words can reach so many.

  89. Your blog continues to inspire me, Rhonda Jean. I check in daily. :)

  90. Such lovely work Rhonda!

    I just thought of you because one of the women in my cooking club emailed with her interest in making handmade soap! I did this years ago, but lye is harder to get in the US now due to drug making. I think we can manage though

    I'm almost done with my first sewn apron. I've finished a pile of crochet dish clothes...4 that walked out the door with my cooking club!

    The weekend is a sale at the local fabric store, so I hope to purchase some nice sewing shears. I'd love any recommendations.

    My apron can be seen at proactivebridesmaid.wordpress.com as can a few of the new recipes I've tried lately

  91. HI Rhonda , your blog brightens my day and gives me so many ideas! Please enter me in the drawing, thank you so much! Dee USA

  92. love your stitcheries, especially the friends one with the "chook"!

  93. i love your blog :)thank you for sharing your talents with all of us!i look forward everyday to reading your post.thank you somuch for being you..

  94. wow Rhonda that's a lot of visitors, (lots of cups of tea LOL). I would love to have the chance to own one of your stitchings.

    cheers Kate

  95. i love the food storage blogs and canning those are always fun

  96. I normally don't participate in blog giveaways but I have long admired your stitchery pieces and would love to have one. So please enter my name in the drawing too!

  97. I always like looking at your stitcheries. They inspire me to do hand work. I would love to own one. Thanks for having the drawing. Terry

  98. Rhonda,
    I have been coming to visit you via your blog since February 6th of this year. I came across it when I did a search for Rags, of all things. LOL My dd had asked me about making rags and I lucked upon your blog and have been a faithful visitor since then. I love your writing style and enjoy seeing what's new with you and Hanno and your animals and the garden.

    Thanks for sharing it all with us and helping us in numerous ways. Wishing you much success with your book.

    K.P. from Arizona

  99. I'm amazed you have had so many visitors!!!! That is a wonderful thing to have so many people drawing inspiration from you posts!

    I really enjoy your site and usually it gets me thinking about where I've been and where I'm going in my journey to a simple life.

    I love your cross-stitching (for want of a better word) and I'd love to be in the draw for one!

    Lizzy :)

  100. Your blog has given me the courage to examine my everyday life free of consumer driven ideas. Thank you.

  101. 5oo,ooo! WOW!!! Congratulations Rhonda,
    your blog has inspired me so many ways and I thank you for that. to get in and start blogging was just one and I am enjoying that so much.Thank you again for all you do....

  102. Thankyou for your inspiring blog Rhonda. It is great to have the simple life so clearly and enticing explained.

    Yours in stitching (and chooks)


  103. Congratulations Rhonda - it is to every exciting to be a part of your blogging world!

  104. I really love the everydayness of your life. I feel refreshed reading about it each day. It is the sort of quietness and reflection I aspire to. The world around us is so busy and we become like that too, even with our best efforts.
    Thank you for sharing each day.

  105. Hi Rhonda, thankyou so much for sharing your life through this inspirational blog. When I feel as though I need direction - when it all seems to hard, I come to your blog to seek the advice of someone who has been there before. As your blog demonstrates every day "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need" (Vernon Howard). I cant wait for the book - keep up the good work !

  106. Congrats on the number of visitors! What a lovely giveaway. Looking forward to your book. Thanks for for being such a wise counselor on simple living.

  107. Hi Rhonda:

    It comes as no surprise that your visitors are over 500,000!!! You inspire us on a daily basis to be the best we can be (each in our our way) and to continue our path along the simple life. Thank your for the chance to be able to win one of your stitcheries.

    Liane :)

  108. Wow, looking forward to your book. What beautiful stitchery you are giving away.



  109. My husband and I planted our first garden this summer due to rising fuel costs. We had farmed with his parents before, but never just us. We have frozen a lot this summer and saved a lot of money. He teaches school so we economize a lot. My first inspiration came from the book ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE by Barbara Kingsolver and you are my second. Since your morning is my evening, you are a pleasant end to my day. I feel as if I have known you for a long time. Keep up the blog -- we need you! Thanks, Wedding Woman

  110. I am new to your blog and I have to say I really enjoy it. I too love the simple things and am trying to live more simply, be mindful of what I am doing to the environment and embracing a more frugal outlook. I love to knit, quilt, weave, spin and crochet. I will be a regular visitor as your are full of wisdom and inspiration. Hello from Canada!!


  111. Rhonda, you shouldn't be surprised at the popularity of your blog. You write with openess and warmth, sharing your life where you are living the principles you believe in and inspiring so many of us. Many, Many people want to live this sort of life and your encouragement - especially with the idea that every one will do this individually and we can begin with baby steps - is so heartening.

    Thanks and please put me in the drawing!

  112. Oh Rhonda Jean, 500,000 of us hanging on your every word. Seeing the notice of your most recent post really brightens my day. When I retired a few months ago, I didn't know what to do. Working was all I knew. But not anymore. I learn something every day and love it. Thank you again and again. JudieJ

  113. Gosh I was number 501604 - that's over 1600 people today alone!!!! I think you blog is so popular because it addresses issues close to home without sounding superior or lecturing. I swear I learn something everytime I visit and I have gone back and re-read many posts looking for inspiration.

    Thanks to your words I am going to try vermiculture (worm composting) something I have thought about for a couple of years.

    Thanks Rhonda for everything and the stitcheries you are giving away are lovely!

    Janet in Canada

  114. Thanks Rhonda Jean for sharing your life with us and being so encouraging. Your blog is one of my home page tabs, so you can imagine I see it a lot. Love the pics of the garden. I'd love a chance to win your give away.

  115. I have been visiting your blog for only a couple of months, but I really do enjoy it. In fact, due to having a relatively large family and busy household, I have to limit my blog-reading time, but yours makes the short list that I definitely make time to read! As much as I like the information and guidance you give, I think I appreciate the humble and gentle spirit with which it is presented even more. I also like seeing your picture in the sidebar--you look like the kind and wise aunt everyone would love to have--I know I would! Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom and experiences with others.

  116. I love your blog too. I have learned so much from you. As I went to the store to buy something that I thought I had to have today, I stopped and thought to myself, is this a need or a want? You made me stop and think if this was necessary or not. Thank you. I would love to win this give away. I am wanting to learn embroidery so this would be a great way for me to learn...to see yours! Thank you is not enough.

  117. Pick me, Pick me!!

    I would be so honored.


  118. Dear Rhonda,
    I often read your blog as a sort of benediction at the end of a long day, just before bedtime. It sets a peaceful tone and grounds me in the beauty of everyday life. I think it must be hard for you to know what spaces your blog fills for people.

    And I love your stitching...that is what I was googling the first time I found your blog.

    Thank you.
    Indianapolis, Indiana US

  119. Rhonda,

    I love your blog and read it every day. It is usually one of the last things that I read before going to bed at night. That twelve hour time difference! LOL
    Most of the time your blog really makes me think. We are not a materialistic household and do alot to "simplify" our lives already. But I do learn things to better simplify some days.
    I can't believe that you're at the 500,000 mark. thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with all of us


  120. Hi Rhonda, Eileen here.
    Half a million "hits" , that should convince a publisher that you are making a much needed and valuable contribution to so many lives. Your wise words and the insights into your gentle lifestyle are a great source of inspiration.
    Best wishes and thanks, Eileen.

  121. Rhonda, I am so glad I "happened" upon your blog one day early this summer! You are truly a blessing to so many and I appreciate your wisdom which you share so generously! When I saw your precious airedales, I knew that we truly had something in common. My first pet was a lovely airedale named "Mopsie".

  122. Thanks so much for all you share on your blog! You always inspire me to make the most of what I have.

    Kelly in Alaska

  123. Hi Rhonda, it is amazing the power of blogging and how many lives can be touched.
    I will be having a give away soon too because I am up to about 96 posts and will have a giveaway at 100. I am quite confident that I will never have a 500 000th visitor giveaway.
    Best wishes

  124. You are an inspiration to all to lead a better life. I read your blog every day.
    Living the simple life must agree with you both because you never have anything negative to say and always seem very positive on your outlook on life.
    I think thats why I like your blog - I always know that it will be a pick-me-up. I love your recipes and am interested in your sewing, knitting and craft projects and I like to see whats happening in your back yard.
    I hope things go well with the book - I would definitely buy it and probably gift many copies to family and friends. What could be better as a gift - your book, a couple of hand knitted wash cloths and some home-made soap. Perfect!
    Anyway, all the best

    Julie, Millicent SA

  125. Although I don't comment on a regular basis I so look forward to reading your blog daily. You are an inspiration and I so appreciate your taking the time to share your wisdom and daily life. I look forward to your upcoming book.

    Your stitcheries are beautiful and how blessed the person who receives them will be.

    Thanks so much,
    Northern Ohio

  126. These are lovely! Perhaps a book of original stitching designs could be in your future as well . . .

  127. Your blog is the only one I make sure to read every day. One of the most important things I learned from you is that I am not old-fashioned, I am living simple, and there are a lot of people who do the same.

    Hilde from Germany

  128. I'm looking forward to your book but I also hope you keep up your blog as that day to day ongoing contact is pretty special.The stitcheries are beautiful- I'm hoping to take up doing some redwork myself.

  129. Hi Rhonda,

    I really, really love your blog ! I try to read it everyday to get the encouragement to do things in OUR FAMILY'S own way even if it's not "normal" for other people. It's right for us !
    I would be very happy to receive one of your stitcheries as a reminder to stay "not normal".

    Viele liebe Grüsse,

  130. You truly are an inspiration. I found your blog via a link on MSE, and take a look every day. Looking forward to the book too!

    SW France

  131. HI RHONDA.


  132. I'd like to thank you for your blog Rhonda, it's really inspired me to keep going with living a simpler life. I've started knitting againg (made two dishcloths) and will be getting chickens in the next few weeks. Thanks so much!

  133. Good Morning Rhonda,
    I would love to be entered into the draw for one of your lovely stitcheries, I read your blog everyday, its like visiting with the friends I so miss from living on the Island.
    Pauline :-)

  134. Dear Rhonda

    I have recently found your blog and have been so entranced with it I am really all the back entries. I am in total admiration of your attitude to life and in this day and age with the credit crunch and rising prices all over the world I think you are doing some really valuable work in helping people make what they have stretch a little further.

    I would be honoured to enter myself into this draw - the panels are very inspirational.


  135. What you said about the wonderful blogging community rings so true. I have made friends after meeting them on forums who will be dear friends for life, including one lady who went to work at the company I had left a fortnight before and everyone said, oh what a pity you weren't here when Jennie was here, you'd have got on so well. 30 years later and we met on a horsey internet forum and are now best buddies!

    I love the giveaways you have kindly offered, and fingers crossed my name comes up for one, but if you don't mind, I would love to copy your designs anyway - the "Saturday is Baking Day" is SO me, right down to the dresser and the big kitchen table!

  136. Throw me in the hat Rhonda Jean! I'd be honoured to have one of your stitcheries! :D


  137. Congratulations, what a wonderful milestone! You give so much out to all of us with your calm "can-do" approach. On my journey to find and make a new home, I found a lot of wisdom here and someone who "speaks" a language I didn't realize I knew. Thank you,

  138. Thank you for your lovely and inspiring blog!

  139. Love the blog, an inspiration to us all :-)

  140. I really enjoy my daily visit to your little piece of the world. Thanks for sharing!

  141. What a lovely gesture Rhonda, thank you, Pretty please for me!!!!

    I read your blog each day to see what words of wisdom you have for us........Thank you for sharing you way of life with so many people.

  142. Rhonda,
    Reading your blog has changed my life for the better in so many way & I'm going Simple in so many ways, one step at a time.

    Hereford uk.
    Using hubbies account as we are away from home

  143. Wow, what beautiful stitchery. This blog has truly been an inspiration for me, I have felt encouraged in the new path I want to take by you and all the wonderful people who contribute to this blog.
    Thankyou Rhonda Jean... you may be many miles away but I feel as though you are so very close.

    Big Hugs


    Bristol UK

  144. Hi Rhonda Thanks for the everyday inspiration. Would love to practise my new sewing skills by making one of your beautiful stitcheries into a wall hanging


  145. I would love to win one of your stitcheries. You are such an inspiration. Just look at all the comments from ALL over the world!

  146. Your blog is an inspiration to so many people Rhonda, I truly hope you won't get 'blogged out' any time soon & deprive us of the glimpses into your life. I remember I first read your blog on Mother's Day - I'd followed a link from a forum to one of your recipes & stayed to read some of your other posts. Your trip to pick up the new chooks amused me & I've stayed around reading ever since! Congrats on the 500,000 visitors (actually over 502,000 when I arrived tonight).

  147. I read your blog every morning and enjoy it very much. Would love to win one of the stitcheries!


  148. Well done Rhonda. Yours is the voice of common sense in a world with a skewed sense of values. How does it feel to be a guru? ;-)

  149. Thanks for sharing the information on your blog. It's hard to cut back especially with 3 kids, but the constant inspiration sure helps remind me!

  150. Thank you for sharing your life with us all. Your blog is the first place I visit each day. After taking part in the recent swap I signed up for the knitting buddies and thanks to you I have not only worked out how to use my sewing machine I have also learnt the basics of knitting. I would love to be included in your 500,000visitor giveaway.

  151. Dear Rhonda,
    I love your blog and how you write and come and "viset" you every day. It feels a little like home.
    Thank you voor sharing your life with us and please continue for a very long time.
    Love, Pien (the Netherlands)

  152. Rhonda,

    Congratulations on the popularity of your community; big thanks for being a wonderful signpost and shining example.

    Ann Marie

    p.s. I am not really lucky at "winning" things, so fingers crossed

  153. Hi Rhonda, I stumbled onto your site this morning and so glad I did. Timing was perfect wouldn't you say. I would love to be put into your drawing for your stitcheries.
    I am going to spend some time looking around now.

  154. Thank you for all of your hard work! You truely are a gift! Please enter me in the drawing also!

  155. Been here a while and many have found your blog through mine. You know I want to be entered! Congratulations, Rhonda. I can't wait to get your book.


  156. I so enjoy your blog. I am in China, and do many things by scratch, that I use to have done for me, or I bought. Thanks for your encouragement! I also like the fact that you are on the older side of 40. So many bloggers are part of the young crowd. I can relate to you in that way too.

  157. Every single morning I read your blog and if by chance you haven't posted yet... I read some of your archives. Your knowledge of simple living is so valuable to me.

    And congrats on that 500,000 milestone.

  158. You are doing more of what I am trying to do and I read your blog to keep me headed in that direction. I've made my own vinegar, laundry soap, and got back into trying my own bar soap again because of your blog.

    I appreciate your willingness to share your life with the world.

    Lavender Blue Dilly
    Maryland, USA

  159. Excellent - those stitcheries are all great!! I'm in :-D You are such a generous lady xx

    The popularity of this blog has really taken off at incredible speed. I remember when I started coming here at the beginning of the year Rhonda, you were commenting how astonished you were that you'd had your 100,000th visitor and you were blown away by how popular it had gotten. And only about 6 months later, here you are!!

    Can't wait for the giveayway to commemorate your 1 millionth visitor! It won't be long at that rate :-)

    I come here first every day (at lunchtime from work), as this blog is the best thing on the net today, bar none.

  160. Hi Rhonda,
    I don't comment but I do read your blog everyday. I think you are very inspiring and have learned so much from you. I am in my early 20's, married, have three boys with another on the way. So I am always looking for ways to simplify our lives. Thank you for your blog and your wisdom.

  161. I was logging on to get your recipe for soap and saw you are doing a give away. Such wonderful prizes too! Thanks for being such an inspiration :)

  162. Love your sight,and your stitching. please enter me in your drawing. Eileen

  163. Hi Rhonda,
    You are a daily 'must read' and I am enjoying my small steps to the simple life. Thanks for all the inspiration and knowledge that I am not alone on this journey.
    Have a great day,

    western PA

  164. I am new to your blog, but I do love it and this weekend I am going to try your soap.....thank you for reminding us to keep it simple!

  165. I have so enjoyed reading your blog - and in fact, I have it bookmarked as a favorite so I can go back to it as I'm making soap, baking bread....it's been a great inspiration to my husband and I here in the U.S. Thank you much!

  166. Your blog continues to inspire and ground me in my quest to be more self-sufficient. Your garden is fantastic (we're jealous of your year-round growing ability and lemons). We've recently added 7 egg laying chickens to our "family" and have your soap recipe curing..it's great! Keep up the fantastic blogging.

    Bryan, OH

  167. Rhonda,
    First of all I feel you have bettered all of our lives who read your blog. You are constantly inspiring us to do better, use our resources and to better our life. I feel in some ways we live a little vicariously through you and the way you have simplified your life. You have always been so gracious to us.
    I love the stitchery! Who wouldn't want to win something so beautiful, it is like having a little bit of you in our homes. So add me to the list please!
    Thank you again for all your wisdom and keep up the great blessings. Hugs, Bobbi Jo-AZ

  168. Hi Rhonda

    I have been reading your blog for a while and it's the first time I have commented.

    I live in England and have young twin daughters. I have given up work to raise them and have never been happier, even though we have little money. As well as the normal daily stuff, I am doing up our house and am hoping to have an allotment in the next couple of months. I cook from scratch and try to show my daughters there is another way of living, but I do feel in as minority where we live.

    Your blog makes me feel sane, so please keep up the good work!


  169. wow, those are stunning! You are such a such an inspiration to me and my lil wee family!

    Thanks for sharing my morning cuppa everyday as I read your blog in my jammies!

    Can't wait for the book!

    Please please, preety please add our names, how thrilling it would be!

    Thanks again for all you do!!!

  170. I've been reading this blog for quite some time now but never commented. Thanks for sharing such wonderful information and your life. I always look forward to reading your posts!


  171. Wow Rhonda! So many comments today! I hope it shows you just how we all feel about your life, advice and encouragement.

  172. Happy Days to all.
    Thanks so much for so much inspiration, long, long may it continue and here's to the book .. yipeeee
    Denise xx

  173. Thanks Rhonda! What a generous gesture! from Pam in TX, USA

  174. Your blog gives me such a feeling of peace when I read it. It's helped fill a void in my life since a lost my grandmother this past February. You've also inspired me to start knitting and my thirteen year old stepdaughter is learing to knit with me.
    Thank you so much!
    Shannon in Virginia

  175. Wow! The stitcheries, like your blog, are lovely. Please count me in!

  176. Thank you Rhonda for sharing all the info you & your husband have learnt along the way to a simple life.
    Hope all is going well with your book being published.
    Your stitcheries are lovely, what a generous giveaway.

  177. Goodness 500,000 is am amazing milestone! I love the community you have fostered, everyone has a new tip, encouragement or idea to add to your inspiring posts.

  178. I would love to be entered into your giveaway. Your sewing pieces are so unique and special.

    Thank you for your kindness in offering some of your work to others!

  179. Your blog is listed under my "every day" blogs. You continue to encourage me to take those baby steps and it is sometimes amazing to look back and see how far they have taken us! Thanks for all your encouragement Rhonda!

    Kimberly (in PA)

  180. Consider me added! Those stitcheries are so lovely and inspiring.

  181. I have not been reading your blog for very long, but already you have inspired me to take several steps toward living more simply. You also got me to take up knitting. I'm almost done with my first dish cloth!
    Thank you for all your wisdom.

    Arkansas, USA

  182. Thank you! I would love to be eligible for one of your stitcheries!

  183. Rhonda,

    I love reading your blog. It inspires me every time I read it. =)


  184. Yay, how exciting to enter your contest, Rhonda! Thank you for the opportunity. And yes, I too, cherish your blog and the wisdom you share with your readers. You truly help keep my perspective on track....in consistantly reminding me of the joys, (and necessities now a days), of simple living.
    Donna G.
    New Mexico, USA

  185. Hi Rhonda, I read your blog everyday. You are an inspiration to all of us. I've just started one of your stitcheries but it would be great to win one. I look forward to the book.

  186. I usually read your blog first thing in the morning. It sets a wonderful tone for my day. Thanks!
    Jill in Colorado

  187. It was a delight when I found your blog. We have always lived ours lives as you do, and it can feel pretty solitary, when no many do the same.

    And I LOVE Redwork!!!!

    So I want one of yours....


  188. I read your blog just about everyday. Thank you for sharing with us.


  189. You are a bright spot in my day and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

    Lisa in Ohio

  190. Dear Rhonda, congratulations. I fully understand why your blog is so popular: you're real, practical, warm, friendly, resourceful and... down-to-earth! ;-)

  191. Hi Rhonda,

    What beautiful sticheries (as always).I would loved to be entered in the draw. I rarely comment but i read your blog every day without fail.

    You help me 'keep on the straight and narrow', I've read your blog for over a year and i told the first person yesterday of my friend in Australia as she has been the first person who i felt would 'understand'.
    I'm just turned 22 have a husband, dog and house (and am trying for a baby). Living simply just feels right and it makes me so happy, my friends and family are caught up in having it all and just don't understand.
    Thanks for everything that you do and long may it continue.
    Stacey Wall xxx

  192. It's rare to find a blog that is so consistently well-written and so thoughtful. I look forward to every entry and I hope your book doesn't keep you too busy to reach out to us - we rely on your insights!

  193. Well I am new to your blog, just a few months but have enjoyed your insight into the simple life. I believe more and more as I get older to simplify as much as possible. I don't have much property to have a garden but do have a few tomato plants in pots. Your stitchery is beautiful and I would love to be a winner.

  194. Dear Rhonda, I read your blog every day, though I don't comment often. You are the guiding light on my journey to the simple life.
    Even my husband has been inspired and he always asks "How are things with Rhonda Jean today?".
    I would love to be entered in the draw please.
    Here's hoping!!
    Lots of love Julie xx. (U.K.)

  195. What a pleasure it is to catch up with you each day. I share your comments in my conversation with my husband as if you and Hanno are our dear friends that I'm keeping him up to date on. I've so enjoyed our summer and bountiful garden and living the simple life along with you and I look forward to continuing to do so. Blessings to you and yours.
    Caledon,Ontario Canada

  196. I love reading your blog ... it really is "down to earth" and has a very calming effect.

    The embroidery pieces are beautifully worked.

    So ... on the millionth visitor (which won't be long) how about a copy of your new book?!

  197. Rhonda, Love, love, LOVE your blog! I know there's a lifetime to these things, and though your plate is full right now, I do hope you will continue to post for a long, long time. Because of you: I had a vegetable garden for the first time ever this summer, I have "re-purposed" outgrown and worn garments into something else useful yet beautiful, I began shopping (for my growing 6 year old) thrifts, second hands and rummage sales. I no longer buy knit fabrics if I can help it, because woven fabrics are easier to reuse. That's just the beginning! For those of us without someone to show us how to do something, you have been a real mentor. A heartfelt thank you from me, and from all your half-million readers!
    Linda P.
    SE Wisconsin

  198. Becca (avon, UK)August 29, 2008 2:04 am

    Your blog is full of inspiration and is one of the first things I look at when I log on each day.

    Thankyou for being a friend to us all!

  199. Hi Rhonda! I've only posted a few times, but I'm usually anonymous. I've decided to start my own blog - inspired by what you are doing here. You are part of my morning ritual every day. I get up and get my tea and stop in for a "visit". I just love your posts, and I have started working on simplifying. I have to say, I feel like I've accomplished so much by being more self-sufficient. You have been a huge help to me. We are now keeping chickens, and I have a large garden, make all my own bread, and soap, laundry and body soap that is. Also, I'm sewing more, and trying to make more of our things at home. I actually think it's improved my self confidence. Who knew? :) Just wanted to let you know what a good thing you are doing. Thanks for everything!


  200. Hi Rhonda, what a marvelous and generous idea. I often use your blog as a resource for budgeting, knitting and recipes. Congratulations on the success of your blog - you deserve it.


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