This day's work

9 December 2009
I had a lovely afternoon tea with most of my Neighbourhood Centre volunteers yesterday.  The one day of the year when we get together to socialise rather than to work.  I took the opportunity to stand before them and speak about every person, thanking them for the individual jobs they do at the Centre, then gave everyone a stainless steel water bottle as a small token of gratitude.  After that we relaxed and enjoyed strawberry and mango ice  cream cake from the local ice-creamery, little quiches, local cheese, crackers and drinks.  It was a nice way to bring the working year to a close.  We have one more week, then we close for the holidays.

One of my wonderful volunteers brought me in this spectacular bunch of fragrant roses from her garden yesterday.

Today I have a day of catchup at home.  Soon the sun will be up, I'll check the chooks, feed the animals and start my day's work.  I'm saddened to tell you that we lost a chook, probably to the snake, yesterday.  Hanno phoned me at work to say that Quince, our little half blind buff Sussex girl was missing.  She always stayed by Quentin's side, and Quentin is still there, safe and sound, so we're guessing the snake came back late last night and took Quince.

When Hanno gets up we'll have breakfast, I'll wash up and make the bed.  Hanno is doing some errands for the Centre so he'll be out most of the morning while I bake bread and tidy up here.  I want to clean out my work room again, get it organised in there so my work is easier to get to, and joyful.  I love working in a clean and organised space.  I also love messing it up again by working on  simple domestic projects that help us live without buying commercial versions of items easily made with my own hands. At some time during the day I'll also bottle up some pineapple vinegar, sweep, dust and clean out the fridge ready for Christmas food and cold drinks for the visitors we're expecting.  And I know at times I'll just sit and knit, or do nothing but watch the dogs or the landscape, and breathe it all in.

Who!  Me??

I have two Down to Earth forum prize parcels to pack up and send - one to Canada and one to West Australia, and a small collection of Christmas gifts to wrap.  And Sarndra emailed last night to say they have a home line connected again so I'll phone her and catch up on their news.  I brought home my 2010 work diary yesterday and want to write it up to make sure I'm organised before the new year. There are writing deadlines as well as birthdays and special days to enter. I'm really pleased that this year's diary has monthly planners as well as a fold out yearly one. I find I can't get by without a diary now - there was a time though when I kept it all in my head.

I can hear birds squawking outside so I know the sun has risen.  Time to get to and start with this day's work.  I wonder what you're up to today.


  1. Hello Rhonda, So good to catch up with your blog after nearly 5 months without a computer. We have been living in our caravan whilst waiting to find the right place to buy, Well we found our little piece of paradise on the South Coast just about 3 hours from Sydney. We are so blessed to have been able to move here and I'm so looking forward to getting into the swing of self sufficiency. Sorry to hear about your little chook. Its not nice to loose one of your pets.
    God Bless

  2. Sorry to hear about your chook, she sounds like a sweetie.


  3. I've just read back through your last few posts because I seem to have missed them somehow. I love reading your blog, it's so interesting... and also calming, so thank you.

  4. Oh my, first poster for today. Lucky me!

    I enjoy reading your blog so very much, and look forward to the day when I can live fulltime at our farm - hopefully in a year or two. In the meantime, I'm trying to clear out, throw away, recycle and refurbish what I can so that the transition will be smoother. You have so many helpful hints for us and tutorials for how to do things. I know your blog is going to come in so handy for me in the very near future! Thanks so much!

  5. Sounds like a lovely day. What a gorgeous bouquet she gave you! Absolutely beautiful. I like the quilted piece it's sitting on as well.
    Poor Quince! Will you and Hanno do something about the snake, or will it go away? I'm so glad we don't have pythons here...I've always been afraid of snakes.
    Hope you have a wonderful week! Sweet post today.
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  6. Rhonda,

    I am so sorry to hear about Quince. I know what you mean about having a diary. I would be lost if I didn't have a planner with me at all times.

  7. Today I have also been up and about, walking in the cool of the morning and listening to the birds. I am making a fruit platter to take to school for a break up. babysitting a friends little boy along with my 4yr old. There will be much fun and laughter. I have also to do a house tidy and perhaps bake some more of your yummy cookies. Your day sounds wonderful. much blessings to everyone

  8. I plan on cleaning out the fridge and making my menu plan using what's in there. I also need to continue working on a crochet small purse that I'm making. Laundry as usual. I'm also going to make some coconut flour and coconut milk. It is going to be an interesting day to say the least. I might end up volunteering at the local gospel radio station as they have their annual fundraising share-a-thon.

  9. Have a wonderful day Rhonda.

  10. Poor little Quince but she sure had a good time while she was here. Gorgeous roses! Enjoy your day at home Rhonda.

  11. Hi Rhonda -

    Sorry to hear about your little chook - it's never pleasant to experience such an event. I have been hearing a lot of stories of late about snakes harming and killing animals. And now that summer is here in OZ, well....
    On a brighter note - what a divine bouquet of flowers - simply stunning. What a lovely thought.
    Tracy (Brisbane)

  12. Gee, I'm sorry to hear about Quince. My day has been filled with trying to thaw out my frozen pipes. Sooo much fun ... it was -1 F last night and is suppose to be a bit colder tonight ... Brrrrrrrrr! After that our lows will feel like summer, in the upper 20's ... our high today wasn't even that warm.

    I'm in Southern Oregon, and would love to trade my weather for yours ... ?


  13. Hi Rhonda Jean, You and Hanno will always have great memories of Quince. I hope Quentin will be ok without Quince. My thoughts are with Quentin right now, it is hard when a good friend goes away.

    I visited with my neighbors today and ended up having a little lunch with them. I enjoy being with them. They are good friends to me. I also picked some spinach from the garden and had a nice spinach and chicken salad for dinner. The winter garden is a bit behind, but coming along. I look forward to lettuce and chard soon (I hope). I have a ginger beer plant on the counter. AND I must tell you I made yogurt for the first time a few days ago (inspired by you). I used a method where it incubated in a cooler with warm water. It set up beautiful but when I scoop it out it ends up runny. I will take some advice from your tutorial and add the powdered milk to thicken it next time. The first batch has a lovely taste and I am enjoying it. I have made quark (from store bought yogurt) and I might make a bit from this yogurt batch (if it lasts that long!!). I really enjoy these new skills and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  14. What a lovely day you had yesterday! The bouquet of flowers is just as beautiful.
    Sorry about Quince. It is so hard to lose a furry or feathered friend! I have seven chicks now, but our weather is no good for them to be out in so they are living in a nice hutch in my garage with a warming light! I am so happy to have my chickens finally!
    I hope you enjoyed your day today, mine was great at home!

  15. Oh no, poor Quince! This really does sadden me; I've just started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago, but I loved reading about the chooks. Quince was one of my favorites.

  16. Hi Rhonda,

    I've only been reading your blog a short while, but what I appreciate is sensing your warm and generous personality, and your encouragement to 'trust yourself'. This is something I feel a lot of us need to work on more. Thanks for reminding.


  17. I have been reading your blog for some time now, and always look forward to your posts and the great information you provide. I tried adding powdered milk to my last batch of yogurt that I made in the crock pot and I was really happy with the results. Helped out a sick friend today, drove her to the clinic and picked her up again and brought dinner for her family. It is very cold here, about minus 30 over night and two hours south where my parents live it was minus 38 last night with a wind chill of minus 51!!!!!! Shivering and trying to keep warm in Alberta, Canada.

  18. I am so pleased to hear Hanno is ok since having his knee surgery!! Sorry about your chook though. Thinking of you :D


  19. I'm making a very special quilt for my parents for Christmas with pictures of all 6 of us kids, spouses and our children. It will be Queen sized.

  20. Hi Rhonda Jean, I have been reading your blog for about a year and really appreciate it.

    Where did you get the stainless steel water bottles? I keep trying to find these but they are always lined with plastic (too many chemicals) or aluminum (alzheimers anyone ?) so I would love to know your source.

    Sounds like you really do some wonderful work at your center and you have inpired me to share my skills..when I have more...with others too.

    Many Blessings :)

  21. Oh, I'm so sorry about Quince, how sad.

    The tea sounds lovely, as is the bouquet your friend brought.

  22. Oh, so sorry to hear about Quince Rhonda :(

    Sounds like you had a lovely day at the centre - how thoughtful of you to thank everyone individually. I'm sure the staff feel very welcome and appreciated - hope you do too! :)

    I love reading about what everyone's doing today - a little insight into so many other lives...

    Today for me? Well, so far it's been a team day at work, with Christmas dinner and games. Then a home made risotto.

    And the evening will be a starlit walk down a large hill to my Al Anon meeting, then a slightly more strenuous starlit walk back up the hill and home.

    Then a restful hour or so of pottering, hot chocolate, and planning tomorrow's activities, which will be rather more varied and exciting...

    best wishes to you all


  23. Hello Gail, it's good to see you back here! What great news. Enjoy your settling in period.

    Ace, my wonderful sponsor, Biome eco stores have a wide range of excellent stainless steel water bottles in all shapes and sizes. However, I bought the ones for the Centre at my local co-op -

  24. Rhonda -- We haven't lost a chicken to predation yet (we're new at this), and I've been wondering how hard it'll be when it happens, which it inevitably will. I hope to be able to take it as gracefully as you do.

    Very sorry about Quince.

  25. Mmm... pineapple vinegar...any chance of telling us the recipe? I love this little corner of your living/sitting room - it looks cosy and the bouquet is beautiful!

  26. Ronelle, I wrote about making pineapple vinegar here:

    I am loving your blog. :- )


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