Getting back on track

5 February 2010
I have to refocus myself sometimes.  I need to bring myself back to where I should be.  These past few months have been so busy I've taken shortcuts, left things undone and strayed from my path.  I realised that when my sister was here and she did all the ironing.  When I saw that ironing room turned back into a bedroom, it made me stop and think.  I have to slow down and focus more on my values.
My very untidy and over-packed knitting basket.

It's quite a balancing act because I work best when I'm under pressure.  I'm not the sort of woman who needs a lot of down time, in fact I like to work.  As I have aged I take more breaks, but the overriding spirit of most of my days is to do a good days work and to feel as if I've achieved something.  Well, I have been achieving a lot but it's the overflow from my voluntary job being done at home, and that has taken me away from my tasks here.  I have to separate work and home, I have to regain my balance.

I'm getting back on track today, back to my regular rhythm. I'm going to have breakfast with Hanno then clean the kitchen and sweep the floor.  I'll get bread on to rise and then do my main tasks for today - repotting pot plants, planting an elderberry and tidying up my knitting basket.  Simple things, yes, but necessary in the general scheme of my week. They'll help me remember how I want to live and that these small tasks are a significant part of it.  It is always those simple things that get me back to where I want to be - both in my head and physically, here in my home.  There is nothing like a couple of home projects to return me to my rightful path.  I think I feel a new knitting basket lining coming on. 
 Reading matter is scattered all over.  These are in the living room.

I've been pleased over this past month to see many new readers, both in comments and in the stats.  Hello to all of you.  I hope you find what you're looking for here.  If you haven't said hello yet, please take the time to do so.  I am looking forward to a nice quiet weekend here, just Hanno and I.  I hope you enjoy your weekend too and take some time out for yourself.


  1. Hi Rhonda
    I hope you do have a lovely day & get all done you intend to. I also find that I work best under pressure - it's frustrating at times. Have a lovely weekend!
    Renata :)
    (country NSW)

  2. I'm so glad you're taking time to get refocused. I did that yesterday tucked up on the couch with a cup of sweet orange tea, mapping out goals and getting organized. It feels so good. :-)

  3. I needed to hear this today :) Thank you!

  4. I have been of a similar ilk of late. My ironing (which I don't even mind doing) is sitting unattended. There are several administrative tasks that await my attention, also. I need to omit a lot of the extraneous stuff - some of it social - and reclaim a balance to enable the household to run more smoothly.
    Thanks for a timely reminder.
    Enjoy your reading matter!
    Tracy (Brisbane)

  5. My knitting basket has exploded lately, found its way over to the side table next to the sofa, and some has even burrowed itself behind the sofa cushions! I had to get a handle on it today... after all, what can you do with only one double pointed needle? "Cough it up, Mr. Sofa."

  6. Nice to meet you! I totally agree on you post today. Just doing some of the little piddly things that just do not get done, will make you feel so much better. Like you, when I go to bed at night, I think back over my day and I like to have had some accomplishments. Even if it was only to organize my sock drawer and to have wound my embroidery floss on their cards....LOL. Have a great day! I love reading your blog. Kit

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. I too have been pulled in a thousand different directions and am longing to reestablish my own sense of order and peace. Thank you for helping to feel like that is a valid and worthy thing to do!

  8. Hullo Rhonda. For me the working year returning to full swing misaligned my focus so both home and the shop were suffering. I stopped making lists which is foolish because I know they keep me focussed. I'm getting back on track though the enervating mugginess is not a help. :/ Enjoy your weekend with Hanno and The Lovely Alice.
    BTW, Mum (83) is reading your blog regularly. She may have commented as Mavis.

  9. Hello Rhonda,

    Just thought I'd pop back in and say hello as it's been a long time between chats. I love this post. I myself often have to stop and think about my values and re-assess if I'm achieving my goals. I'm in for a busy year ahead with taking up part time study this year along with working full time but I've been preparing these past few weeks, cooking food to freeze and cleaning out things at home and de-cluttering and just being more organised in general. It's strange but when I'm doing these tasks at home I often think of you and I'm forever grateful for the advice and information you have given here and wonder where I might be in my life if I hadn't discovered your blog :)

    Anyway, I hope you and Hanno have a lovely weekend.

    Chantel from Ashfield x

  10. Hello Rhonda!
    I was just given your blog to learn how to make lye soap. I'm very excited to learn all sorts of stuff from you. I'm sure you'll see reference to your tips at my own blog soon.
    I look forward to following!

  11. Timely and relevant as ever! My ironing pile is now the size of a family car. I'll dig in and keep telling myself it will all be worth it when I can see the dining table again...

  12. I'm glad to see I am not alone in getting "scattered" sometimes! I have been feeling like a "chicken with my head cut off" running around in many directions,but not really getting anything done!! We have a big snow storm due Friday night into Saturday,here in Ohio in the USA...I think I will take the weekend and gather myself together and get my focus back where it belongs, instead of scattered in every direction!
    A lovely weekend to you all! Darlene

  13. There is something about this time of year. It's not really spring yet here in Kansas but I get in the spring cleaning mode this time every year.
    I read a lot and someone wrote recently (or quoted from someone else) 'you are living your only life'. Do I want to live my lIfe frustrated by the mess in the laundry room or the junk that collects on my dresser. Or do I want to take...just a minute or so everyday to put things right before I move on with the busy craziness that is my world.
    I chose that minute. And you know, it actually added mintutes in return. Cool how that works.

  14. Rhonda - You haven't mentioned your book lately, and I've been wondering if you are still working on it. I very rarely buy a book (I do most of my reading from the library), but I was planning to purchase a copy of your book whenever it becomes available.
    Is it still in the works (no pressure, just curious)? :-)

    As for the need to re-focus, that hits all of us sometimes, doesn't it? I am generally pretty tidy, but there are times when I get very busy and then one day look around my home and ask "what happened here?"!

  15. I know what you mean. The moment you start putting "real work" ahead of your daily routine, things go wonky. I do it often- actually there's a definite "tide" to my housework and priorities.

  16. Hello everyone! Welcome Kit and Miranda. It's good to see you again, Chantal. I hope your dad is well.

    Kathy, I'm still working on the book but it's a slow process. I have only done dribs and drabs over the Christmas break. Hopefully, I'll get the Centre settled in and then work on it every day. That's my plan, let us see if it works out that way.

  17. Hello Rhonda
    I am one of those who have recently discovered your inspirational blog. I found it by chance at a time when I really need it.You have helped me begin to find my way after having slowly drowned in clutter and disorganisation, a result of living with what began as Post Natal Depression and is still with me after almost 7 years.What I have managed to achieve in the past month or so since finding your blog has amazed me, although I still have a way to go yet...what has taken years to happen is taking time to work on thoroughly, completing just 1 task at a time.It's not that I haven't known what or how to do these things...but the way that you simply describe each task has taken away any feelings of being overwhelmed by all that I need and want to do.Your posts on routine and organisation have helped me immensely...I have a new routine now , I begin each day by reading your blog as it makes me feel so happy and positive and that I really can "do it".
    Thank You so much and also the many kindred spirits that leave such supportive and caring comments to your posts.

  18. Hi Rhonda, I hope you have a great weekend too. I'm planning on spending some quality time with DH and the boys. As your post mentions it's all about balance and sometimes it gets lopsided but I think as long as you have enjoyed the journey; it's easy to get back on track.
    Take care,
    Manola :)

  19. Good Morning Rhonda
    I'm starting to think about how I will re-focus myself as I only have two week left here with my daughters. I am looking forward to returning to my orderly life and I know there will be many things to do to right the house. I can feel many lists comong on.

    Have a good day.

    Pippa xx

  20. Welcome Samantha. I'm pleased you're slowly working towards getting back on track. I love knowing that people are reading my blog first thing in the morning to set up for the day. I am conscious of this as I do my work and I feel connected to you all, even though we are all so far apart.

  21. A lurker popping to say hello, and thank you :)

  22. Well since you asked so nicely for a comment, here I am. I can't even remember how I originally found your blog, but it charmed me, and I've been reading for probably about a month now. I take pleasure in keeping my home, so your blog often resonates with me. Keep up the lovely work!

  23. You seem to always say exactly what I need to hear to turn my thoughts around. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I read all your posts.
    I am trying something new on my blog. I am offering a handmade flower brooch and hope you will enter the contest for Valentine's Day. I wouldn't even mind sending it all the way over the ocean to get it to you!

  24. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm just started out on my simple/authentic living path and just wanted to share a couple of great things. First, I started washing my dishes by hand when I started reading your blog almost 2 months ago and found out that this saved $40.00 off the power bill the first month!!! Today, I baked my first loaf of whole wheat bread, and aside from the fact that I took it out of the oven a little too soon and there is an uncooked spot in the middle, it was delicious and my family loved it!! I enjoy reading your blog for encouragement and ideas...thank you so much!
    Debbie from Washington State, USA

  25. Hello and welcome Becky and Anth. It's good to have you here with us.

    Hi Abby, all the best with your competition and selling the brooches.

    Wow Debbie, that's great. I hope you continue to save money and use the savings wisely. Welcome to the blog.

  26. Dear Rhonda,
    Your knitting basket is beautiful were did you get it? I have never seen one like that before.

  27. Rhonda, I feel very fortunate that my work (librarianship) occurs in a different place to my home and that once I leave my workplace I am my own person for the rest of the week (I work Mon-Tue-Wed). I hope you can find a way to keep your voluntary job in its own place in your life. Perhaps now you have moved into your beautiful new building, that will be possible.

  28. Carleene, the knitting basket was a 60th birthday gift from my sister, Tricia. It's a real beauty, isn't it. It's a 1940s basket that she found in an antique shop.

    Chookie, it's more the buying what is necessary for the building rather than my work in the building that's such an intrusion. It should start to settle down by the end of the month.

  29. Hello Rhonda,
    I think we all must take time to think about how we are spending our time. I have times when I don't get my priorities right and I must stop everything and think about getting back on track. I so often feel that there is just so much to do on our little farm and I tend to then just procrastinate. So today's post was a good reminder for me and I will now try to get back on track. Have a wonderful weekend together.

    Blessings Gail

  30. Hi Rhonda
    I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog a few months ago. I recently bought a bread maker and have not purchased a loaf since that day. I'm enjoying experimenting but I think my backside is already paying for it. :)

    I'm a stay-at-home Mum to 2 little ones and this week I've cleaned out and re-organised every room but the kitchen. I'm a minimalist and don't like to hoard so it is lovely to have everything sorted.

    I love reading your blog. Thank you so much for the effort you put in to it.


  31. Hi Rhonda,
    I cant remember where I got the link to your blog, but I'm so glad I did. Have been "lurking" for a couple of weeks now, to the extent that DH has to tell me to get off the computer LOL. I'd love to do the whole "simple living" thing, but DH and I go Gold prospecting during the winter months so are not home to look after animals and gardens. We used to have chooks and I loved having them. We have a few summer veggies in pots (tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum and various herbs) and we have a fig tree, orange, Myer lemon and Eureka lemon all in the ground and have just got ourselves a Kaffir Lime which we put in a big pot.
    I gave your blog site to my DS1 (27yo) who just lost his job and is having finance/budget problems. I hope he reads your tips and ideas.
    Oops. getting a bit long here - I really just wanted to say Hello and how much I enjoy your blog.
    Faye in Pinjarra, W.Aus

  32. Hi Rhonda
    I hope you get things back on track to where it satisfies you (I know the feeling).
    Your blog always motivates me. I too work well under pressure, but it's dealing with the after math from me whirling around like the Tasmanian devil to complete the projects or tasks. I started refocusing a couple of days ago and it was a task within itself, but feels rewarding. I'm not quite back on track but plan to be this week.
    Enjoy your quiet weekend, and thanks again for another good read we all can relate.

  33. Aaannnd your knitting basket is beautiful compared to the monster that has grown out of mine lol.

  34. Hi, Rhonda Jean!

    I am a devoted D2E reader. I too start my day here in the eastern US with you at about 5:30 am. It sets my "tone" for the day! BTW, I bought that vinegar book at a library tag sale. I learned a lot from it! Thank you for everything,

  35. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm so glad I found your blog.

    We are just starting to grow our own vegetables and making efforts to slow down and live more simply.

    Soap making is also on our agenda this year, thanks for the tutorial :)

    Have a great weekend!

  36. lol - what is "ironing"? I need to get that basement cleaned out and the garage too.

  37. It is so easy to get off track and lose focus when we are so very busy! I need to refocus before spring is here and the ground thaws.

  38. I will be getting a few things done here as well and get myself back on track. My dh, bil and nephew went to visit another brother for the week so I will be enjoying my down time getting things done.
    I'll also be taking the time to set out a plan to get things started once the ground thaws and we are able to dig into the yardwork again.
    Slowly but surely my dream of living this simple life will become true.

  39. I wanted to share some sunshine with you.

  40. I am one of your newbie readers. I really enjoy spending time "with" you. I am in a similar place in my life and take great joy in knowing that I am not alone in this journey.
    Have a great quiet weekend.


  41. I, too, work better under pressure. Now that I am home more (working part time now) I dont' get nearly as much accomplished as I thought I would.

  42. Hello from Round Rock Texas. My name is Roxie. I am married to my best friend. We have 2 sons, 4 grand children, 5 dogs (the girls) and I run a small home business. My husband still works out side of our home. He is an engineer. We have our home paid off. We try to live a simple life. We garden, I sew, I cook, and life is sweet here with our Lord's help.
    Thank you for your blog. It is a gentle reminder than in 2010 somethings can still be simple and yet so full-feeling. Roxie

  43. Rhonda good morning to you and hope you have a wonderful weekend. we are suppose to get more snow here in Utah. Yesterday was a wonderful almost like Spring day. I love your blog and read it daily. I look forward to each and every post. Thanks so much for being there for all us disorganized ladies.

  44. I found your blog about two months ago and read it every day. Because of your inspirational way of writing I started baking my own bread and my family is very happy with it. In spring I will make a start with growing a vegetable garden. You and your blog mean a lot to me!

  45. Hi Rhonda, I had to smile when I read this post as it is EXACTLY what I am experiencing in my home at the moment. In fact I also posted on it :o. I think refocusing is so important every now and again.

  46. One thing developing a chronic illness did was force me to slow down even though I don't always like it.

  47. If anyone can get caught up and put the house in order, it is certainly you, Rhonda. Best wishes for a productive week.

  48. Hi Rhonda, Just found your blog and I love it! So much great information. I am from the USA (Ohio). I have been unemployed for over a year and I need to streamline our lifestyle a bit so we can live on just DH's income soon. Your blog will be a wealth of info to me. Thank you.


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