19 January 2009

What a day!

Yesterday started off just like any other day, I didn't know when I woke that it would become a day I'd remember all my life. I woke early, showered and wrote for an hour or two, then, when the sun was starting to come up, went outside, fed Alice, Hettie and the chooks and set about planting a few seeds. I like to get my outside jobs done before it gets hot. When Hanno woke, we had breakfast, and while munching on our toast, talked about what we'd plant in the garden this coming season and where to plant the newest passionfruit vine. Oh, the cricket was on too, we mentioned that and said we both should have our chores done so we could watch the cricket later; another normal day on the horizon.

While I was outside, in that best of all lights before the sun came over the top of the house, I took these garden photos. It was coolish out there, I did some garden maintenance, and will write about that later in the week, talked to the girls who watched my every move, and thought about how today would be a good day because the cricket was on, I'd do some reading, knitting and odds and ends, and relax. Little did I know.

I noticed Hanno turned the compost heap the day before. We have a cold compost at the moment, with not enough material to generate any heat, but with moisture and turning, to incorporate air, it breaks down nicely. You can see the heap, and our compost area, in the photo above. In the foreground is the potato patch that was planted last week. Now it's under a cover of thick straw and I just know that little potatoes are preparing to send their shoots skyward.

After morning tea on the front verandah, I checked to see what time the cricket would start. I looked online and discovered the match had started almost two hours before. Grrrrrrrrrr. So I turned on the telly, checked the score, and told Hanno the game had already started. He'd only done half the things he wanted to do before watching, so he came inside and sat with me for a short time, then went back outside to finish fixing a flyscreen on our bedroom. I, on the other hand, started knitting the back of a potholder. More on that in another post. (The yarn is Lions organic cotton.)

It sounds like I had a very slow day, and although I did to a certain extent, I also did a lot of work while listening to the match. I baked bread for lunch, and an orange buttermilk slab cake, and minced up some of the grass fed beef we've been buying to make a meatloaf, which we had for dinner last night. It was the first meatloaf I've eaten in ten years, and was not very good. I'm not sure if I need to make adjustments to the recipe or if my tastes have changed too much to enjoy it.

But during the afternoon, my step-son Jens came over to visit, I watched the cricket, did various chores in the house and generally enjoyed myself; we ended up winning by five runs. When the game was over, I prepared our meal - meatloaf, mashed potato and fresh coleslaw - and we were just finishing up, when Alice sprang to her feet and started barking. I looked out the front door and saw two people walking up the driveway - Shane and Sarndra had come to visit. Yipee!

They had driven up to celebrate the birthday of one of their friends. They were meeting everyone at a restaurant down on the beach but just had to come in to tell us something. "We have some news..." they said. "We're getting married!" I jumped up and hugged them both, feeling more happiness, joy and excitement than I thought possible, then listened quietly while they told us their plans. Shyly, Sarndra showed us her engagement ring, which is beautiful. I could barely contain myself. I wanted to, quite literally, tell the world this wonderful news. I am so pleased that Shane has found the right girl for him, they're so well suited and obviously love each other very much.

They both resigned from their jobs recently and have started making plans to go to New Zealand to live for a few months. A few weeks ago we agreed to take on their mother hen and chicks and Sarndra's cat, Princess, and we'll store all their possessions safely in one of our sheds. When they come home again, they probably marry then before travelling to Spain to live there for a while. Sarndra's father has a house in Spain and her grandma lives in New Zealand, so they'll have family in both countries. When they come back from Spain, they'll settle down and start a family.


So as you can see, our very ordinary day turned into something to remember. We started making plans to meet Sarndra's family, her mother and sisters live in Brisbane, and for an engagement party. They said they want a small and frugal wedding, preferring to save the money for travel and their futures together. Oh course I loved that idea and I know that whatever type of wedding ceremony they decide on will be truly wonderful. There are good times ahead, and we'll be there to help them every step of the way.



  1. Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra-what happy news! May they be blessed with happiness. You and Hanno certainly had a perfect day. Hugs and love Claude and Sharon

  2. Oh Rhonda what wonderful news for you and Hanno. I am so happy for them.
    Can't wait to read granbabies on their way.
    Many hugs to you Hanno and the happy couple.

  3. Congratulations and blessings to the happy couple!


  4. What exciting news! Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra! All the best with the wedding plans, I hope things go well. I bet it is hard to keep the smile from your face at present! Very happy for you Rhonda and Hanno.
    Bec xxx

  5. What wonderful news for you all.

  6. Hi Rhonda,
    Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra. This is such wonderful news. You did have a good day.

    Have another one today...

    Tracie xx

  7. What lovely unexpected news! It doesn't seem to matter how 'big' our kids get, we still get excited about the exciting transitions in their lives.

    What a fortunate couple to have you and Hanno to support, guide, and love them.


  8. Hi Rhonda!

    Best wishes to the happy couple. Thanks for sharing such happy news.


  9. Good morning Rhonda,

    Congrats to the happy couple. You and Hanno must be so excited. What great news. You'll have such a happy time helping them plan their wedding. I think they are so sensible to make it frugal and save their money for their holiday. Looking forward to hearing more updates as the time goes by.

    Blessings Gail

  10. I don't comment very often, but I wanted to come out of the proverbial woodwork to offer my congratulations. Weddings are always good.

  11. Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra. What lovely news for you and Hanno. I hope they have wonderful life together.

  12. Congratulations to the happy couple, and to you! What a wonderful day. I hope you will be able to keep us up to date on the wedding plans -- I'm sure they will be beautiful, meaningful and frugal!

  13. What a riveting post - you had me worried for a moment! Their news...your news is terrific. They are very lucky to be so focussed, some can only dream of being so organised. I salute them!


    Karen, Qld (a local)

  14. What wonderful news for you and your family Rhonda! I am convinced that this is what life is all about. Finding someone to love, children, children growing up and finding loved ones, grandchildren......What more can we ask for? Isn´t life great?
    All happiness to you and yours.
    Ramona K

  15. Congratulations! What lovely news.


  16. Congratulations! What lovely happy news for your family : )

  17. I had butterflies reading that...I was sure something bad had happened! How fortunate are they, being able to travel before babies? That will make such great memories.


  18. (Coming out of lurking)

    Congrats to Shane & Sarndra! How exciting!

  19. Congratulations and all good wishes to Shane and Sandra...and to you Rhonda, and Hanno. Your excitement and happiness leaps off the screen!
    Best wishes
    Diana x

  20. Your excitment is bouncing off the apge. Wonderful news for your whole family.

  21. Hi
    Congratulations to all.

    They will love New Zealand grin, yell if they want some insight to must sees.

    Love Leanne

  22. Lovely news! and you have NOOOO IDEA about the pure joy of grandchildren...whatever you are thinking; triple it at least, actually much more! I so underestimated the wonderful experience of being a grandma.

    These are the real moments of happiness in life, what is really precious.

    Congratulations to you all!

  23. Fabulous news Rhonda! Wishing every happiness to them in their journey through life!

  24. Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra!
    Planning a wedding and anticipating
    future Grand babies, that is life!


  25. Wonderful news Rhonda - so much to enjoy and look forward to! and you won the cricket - so a perfect end to a perfect day!

  26. How exciting! Congrats to them!!

  27. Congratulations! What lovely, lovely news! And very exciting for you all.

  28. Congratulations!

    Isn't it funny that so many of us, when our children marry, have thoughts about grandchildren?

  29. Lovely lovely news Rhonda. Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra.

    On a more prosaic level, Spotlight here in Wollongong has a yarn called "Down to Earth"!!!


  30. My daughter rang from Switzerland in December to tell us that her partner of 7 years had proposed!! We were so happy for her, we were beginning to think it would never happen. LOL
    Many congratulations to Shane and Sandra and to you,Rhonda and Hanno.
    Hopefully you will know the sheer joy of grandbabies in the near future,

  31. Congratulations to all of you....how exciting. Just when you think life has settled into a routine something new happens and changes the mix again...gotta love that.

    cheers Kate

  32. Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra! And you too, Rhonda and Hanno. Enjoy these happy days and celebrations.
    I hope their time in New Zealand is good! :o)
    Rachel L from NZ (still waiting for baby).

  33. Congratulations on your happy news :)!

    I also love how you tell these stories with the photos, I am sure they are quite time consuming to put together but I hope you will continue to share them with us!


  34. Congratulations!
    Wedding news is always such wonderful news to share !

  35. Oh ((Rhonda)) and ((Hanno)) rejoicing with you! What *wonderfully beautiful news*. Warm congratulations to Sarndra and Shane. To you all. Good things before them lie! And, what a *gift*--you sharing *hot off the press* and *straight from your heart*. Thanks for the sharing, Rhonda Jean. I'm sending love and will write a proper letter, real soon. We have been making our way through sickness (believe it or not) since just after Christmas. First a *plague* of sorts (more than a little on the gruelling side for each one stricken, while they made their way through), then an overlapping cold virus (also amazingly hard hitting. Truly, nothing common about the "common cold" ;o) And, in the end (just when we began to collectively breathe a huge sigh of relief, certain we were well on our way out of the woods :o).....yet one more. A short-lived (2 days or so), it seems (thankfully), fever, with overall malaise, for the littlest ones (2 down, 2 to go). So, I am a bit on the tired side, from tending to, and residing in, the infirmary (for a season ;o).
    Thinking of you and praying for you. So glad I was able to check in today. I've missed you a great deal.
    xoxo Jewels (teller of long tales. Not *tall*, mind you. *True*, just *long* ;o) ;o)

  36. Many congratulations to you and Hanno, and of course to Shane and Sarndra! What wonderful news, I'm so excited for you all! Nothing beats a family wedding... well, except children and grandchildren :-)
    Cheers, Julie

  37. Congratulations! That is happy news--like many others, I thought something bad was coming! Hooray for good news.

    On a more prosaic note, I have a very good meatloaf recipe if you would like it. And I have also been reading "Nourishing Traditions" and was wondering how it has been going for you and Hanno. Are you soaking your grains? How do you feel with the addition of some meat? We don't eat much meat but have added grass fed free range beef to our diet and it is going better than I expected. I would appreciate any feedback you might have on "NT".

    Thank you! Arienne

  38. Congratulations to Shane and Sardra! How exciting for you all. Sounds like they have an exciting life ahead of them. Blessings to them.

    - Joolz, SA

  39. Congrats Rhonda and Hanno. What wonderful news!!
    of course Best Wishes to the soon to be married couple.

    Hugs to you and your family


  40. Congratulations! That's wonderful news!

  41. Hi Rhonda! After months of reading your blog I think it is time to let you know how much I enjoy it and have learnt from it. Thank you for the obvious time, effort and commitment that you devote to helping others. I wonder if I could ask a question? My mum has made me a knitted dishcloth, which I think is fabulous, for Christmas from Lions organic cotton but she paid a fortune for the cotton. Do you pay heaps too, or have you found a cheaper supplier? Kind regards, and congratulations to you on your perfect day yesterday, Reyna

  42. Blessing to all of you! What a wonderful surprise for you!
    Lisa Mia

  43. What fantastic and happy news. Congratulations to Shandra and Shane. Here' shoping for many, many years of bliss.

  44. What exciting news Rhonda & thank you for sharing it with your blog family - I can feel your joy & excitement !! Best wishes to the happy couple & their travel plans sound very exciting too !
    Blessings to you all,

  45. That is truly wonderful news!

    Congratulations to all of you - a new chapter is starting in your lives now!

  46. Congratulations to Shane and Sarndra!!
    Rhonda--I just loved reading this post!! You don't sound excited at all, lol!

  47. You are going to make the best Grandma one day:)

  48. Dear Rhonda
    Congratulations on your happy happy news, and best wishes to the happy couple. What joyous times lie ahead for you all!
    All the best
    Judy in Adelaide x
    PS My word verification is 'hugsu' - how appropriate, hugs to you and yours LOL

  49. Oh, congratulations to you all!

  50. Congratulations. How wonderful you have gained a daughter.

  51. What a wonderful day! And what happy news! My sincerly congratulations to you and Hanno and the young couple, may you all be blessed.
    Greetings from Germany

  52. Best wishes to them, and may God grant them few tears and many joys.

  53. Oh Rhonda what fantastic news, I am so happy for you all.
    Good heavens what a wonderful weekend you have had.
    Please pass on cyberworld many congratulations to Shane and Sarndra.
    Lv Stephb

  54. What lovely news Rhonda - your happiness is palpable! Grandbabies too - I bet you can't wait to have those new little ones to "cwtch" as we call it here in Wales. I am so pleased for you all.

  55. It was a joy to read about your lovely day! You have a great space, your potato patch looks great!
    Wonderful family news for you too, happy days :)

  56. congratulations to you all

  57. Wonderful news for you! Sorry for being late with congratulations, I'm busy with exams... But yesterday we found time to visit my cousin and her husband and their 6-month-old baby Samuel. I'm sure your grandbabies will be just as great as he is!

  58. Congratulations! I would be in hog heaven if I were in your shoes!

  59. What wonderful news! Bless you and your family. Congratulations!

  60. Well my eyes have welled up, reading that, which just shows how close we all feel to you! Congratulations to all of you. And a huge pat on their backs for having the courage to choose a far more genuine wedding (in my opinion) than we usually see. I agree with them wholeheartedly. Happy days!!!!!!!

  61. Such wonderful news - Congratulations! I always thought they looked so good together :-) If you want any tips on a frugal wedding, I didn't do too badly (although I'm sure you can do better!) mine cost me £500 all-in, including my outfit, reception and honeymoon. I did my own flowers, mum made the cake and I did a good negotiation with a hotel on the reception costs. It also helps that I didn't have millions of people there, just a small intimate celebration with the people who truly mean a lot to us.

    Congratulations again Rhonda, and blessings to the happy couple for a wonderful future together :-)


    FiFi xxx

  62. Such wonderful news, Rhonda Jean. Congratulations! How many hopes and dreams (like grandbabies!)must be going around in your head and heart right now. My first grandson was born just a year ago, and I can tell you it truly is the best thing ever. So happy for you!


  63. Rhonda, many congratulations! Such wonderful news for you and your family. Sounds like those two have exciting times ahead!


  64. Congratulations!!! I'm excited for you for the grandbaby part!!!LOL! I ADORE my 3 little princesses!!!! Love and hugs for your happy day!

  65. Congratulations to you all !!! May all your future troubles be little ones !!!
    (When are you starting on the baby clothes?)

    Hereford uk

  66. I can still remember when the first of my sons announced his engagement ; such a milestone in my life. Now we have more children married and grandchildren. A word of warning - grandbabies can REALLY blow your budget. It isnt what they need it is what you so dearly love to lavish on them - one of the great pleasures of life. You have so much to look forward too.

  67. When you started, I was apprehensive that it was bad news...but this is the best kind! Congrats to both of them!

    Carolyn in Pennsylvania

  68. Congratulations! I had a very frugal wedding. One thing I did that looked very pretty (and many people commented on...) I saved tin cans from food (and asked friends who actually buy things like soup in them to save too) and at the luncheon afterwards we lined them up on the table with a few flowers in each one and a bow on the outside of some of them. It was very cute. We had vintage floral tablecloths on all the tables. It was very pretty overall and inexpensive since I borrow the table cloths from family and friends and asked people to save the tin cans for me. It would also work with jars I think and look lovely.

  69. Congratulations, Rhonda and family! Exciting times are ahead....and grandbabies! No doubt you will spoil them rotten.

    Your day sounds absolutely perfect and that cake looks delish!

  70. Oh, I am late to read this, but so happy for you and Hanno and especially for Shane and Sarndra! May they know every happiness together!

  71. So exciting! Congratulations!

  72. Congratulations! What happy news.

  73. Just as your life was never the same after the birth of your children, it will be even more so with the birth of grandchildren!

    Such fun and happiness awaits!

    Life has smiles for us everyday, congratulations.

  74. Beautiful news on a lovely day. Blessings to you and your family, Rhonda. xx

  75. Can you please tell me why pot are place on sticks upside down in the garden. I've seen also upside down cans and so forth. I've been looking for an answer and haven't been able to find one. Can you please enlighten me.
    Thank you,
    P.S I'm a new reader of your blog and have been enjoying it. I've recently have been delighted with your writing about hens. I live ina suburban area so I can't have any. So I'm living vicariously through you.
    Thanks again


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