Simple sights

24 February 2010
Thank you for the kind thoughts for Bernadette.  We went to chemo yesterday and I'm happy to tell you she was pain-free all day.  Maybe it was your prayers and good thoughts that helped that along.  On the way home we picked up her daughter from the airport and they collected Flora McDonald on their way home.  Hanno drove them home from here because I was tired and needed a short sleep.  What a lovely thing it is to sleep during the day.  I never liked to in years gone by but now I sleep whenever I feel like it and I am better for it.
After my nap I checked the forum, talked to Hanno, and did a few odds and ends.  I bought a large dish drainer yesterday as the one I had doesn't handle our dishes and all the bottles, jars, funnels and spoons I usually have when washing up.  I reorganised the kitchen sink to accommodate the new addition, washed the lunch dishes and the bits and pieces sitting on the kitchen bench, then stood back to admire my new drainer.  LOL!  I am amused by simple sights now - a dish drainer full of drying dishes pleases me as much as anything finer would.  I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can get stuck into the kitchen and give it a good tidy up.

When I'm doing that tidy up, I'll also make some soap.  I gave four bars to Kerry when he was here last week so we only have a few bars left.  I also want to make more liquid soap, and try to perfect my method of doing that.  It will only be my second lot of liquid soap so I still have much to learn, but the product itself is so lovely, I doubt I'll ever be without it again.  I've been using it for shampoo, removing stains, washing dishes, spraying on bugs in the garden and adding a little to my bucket of vinegar water when I mop the floors.  It's a full day job though, with lots of sitting and waiting, so I'll have to start that early tomorrow.

Many of the long term readers here will probably remember that Autumn is my favourite season, so as the days shorten and the strength of light changes, I look forward to those coming  cooler months when we have our vegetable garden back to full production.  Hanno started the planting  (I will do a post on that later in the week) but just seeing him out there in the garden in the late afternoon, reminds me that most beautiful time of the year will be here very soon.  And when I can eat home-grown heirloom tomatoes again and don't have to rely on the insipid pretenders we buy at the shop, I'll be one happy gal.

Growing a vegetable garden gives us such a sense of empowerment.  Those vegetables, along with all the skills we've learnt along the way, help us survive as independently as possible and if there was, heaven forbid, a local disaster, or a transport or oil strike, or problems further afield that stopped the production or movement of oil, we  know we would be fine here for a long time.  I guess we're preparing for the future by relying on the past.

I am going to work today and will be presenting one of my Frugal Home workshops.  I always enjoy them even though it's a bit of a rush in the morning to set up and organise food for lunch as well talk to people as they come in.   But it will be a good day, of that I have no doubt, and the incidentals of the day will be forgotten  to be replaced by the pleasure of sharing what I know with others who are keen to learn.  Sharing knowledge, passing on information, and encouraging those younger used to be a normal part of life, but it doesn't seem to happen much nowadays.  I love the point in the workshop when people realise they really can change the way they live and still be happy and fulfilled.  There is always a point when they see the payoff for taking the time to come along to the workshop.  They have the printed information in their hands but the thing that surprises them is the stirrings of motivation to change.  That is  what I strive to give them.  Information without the motivation to use it is worthless. The quiet people who walk in change into a little group motivated towards change.  When they leave, they hug and thank me.  Often they make plans to come back - sometimes to volunteer, sometimes to attend another workshop or take a bus trip, or to learn how to sew and mend at our sewing circle.  I feel very fortunate to be part of it.


  1. Enjoy your day. I have no doubt you inspire people that come into your workshops as you do the same on your blog. Thank you for sharing and taking time to blog. Many blessings

  2. Good morning's true about the light changing isn't it...usually when I get around 5.30-6 I have to pull the front blinds to keep the fierce early morning sun out, but I noticed this morning it was still darkish, and I had to put a light on...roll on autumn.

    I noticed your kitchen cupboards and benchtop in your post....they're the very ones I want in my kitchen...wondering where you got them...did Hanno make them, or did you buy as a flat pack?

    Enjoy your day


  3. Nanette, our kitchen is about 12 years old now. We had new counters put in when we had our flood and we had to rip the cupboards out. Insurance paid for that. Originally, the kitchen was built to our specifications by a local kitchen company.

  4. Your workshops sound great Rhonda. I wish there was something like that around here to get us motivated! Have a good day :)

  5. Information without the motivation to use it is worthless...

    A very wise point.
    The basis perhaps of your success.
    Great thought to ponder.

  6. I just love the fact that as I am wishing for Spring, there are others who are sliding into Autumn! I too love that time of the year.

    I think those who have to opportunity to attend one of your workshops on frugal living are very privileged indeed, they are learning from an expert!

    I'm still working on soap making - I'll get there!

    Blessings, Barb

  7. I'm glad Bernadette had a pain free day Rhonda, and was able to get home with her daughter and Flora MacDonald. I'm sure she appreciated your company too.

    Your workshops must be very inspiring! I must re-read your old liquid soap making tutorial. I made a third batch of normal cold pressed soap recently which did NOT work and had to be remelted - some of it worked, some of it didn't - I'm learning! Slowly... But I know what I did wrong - that's what it's all about I think.

    (I too am marvelling at you looking forward to autumn as we sit through yet another week of snow waiting eagerly for spring!)


  8. I would love to sit in on one of your workshops, or help you set one up and then sit in...alas, I am too far away to partake. I can enjoy all you share here though, I do enjoy your blog!

  9. Good morning Rhonda, I'm looking forward to the autumn too, the heat has been enervating this year. Re soap: I made my first batch late last year and we are only just running out now! My sewing is progressing and, this weekend, a friend is going to come to Lincraft with me to show me how to work out yardage and to choose a variety of thread. More progress! Are you still working on your knitted rug? Cheers.

  10. Hello Rhonda,

    One of the lovely things about being retired is that I am free to take a nap in the daytime if I need it. At first I felt so guilty if I did this, but now I realize that I actually get a real boost of extra energy after having an afternoon kip. Reading is very special for me also and we have a lovely little library here that is open 2 days a week. I like to stitch so I lately I have borrowed some audio books to listen while my fingers work with my needle. Have a great work shop today.

    Blessings Gail

  11. Autum, my favorite time of year also...with spring a close second. Can't wait to see your vegetable garden. We won't plant ours here in California until the weather warms up in May.

  12. You are truly an inspiration; wish I were there to be a part of your workshop. I like the new dish drainer... I have a dishwasher and use it when the family comes over. But I much prefer to handwash my dishes... then I KNOW they are clean!

  13. Hi Rhonda,

    I am sure the workshop will be inspirational. You are right, folks have to want the change in their lives. When just one of your attendees makes the change, then they become a catalyst for others and then Your work is multiplied many times over. It is intersting that we are coming into spring here in Florida and your are coming into autumn...this world and it's magic captivates me even now at 48! Thank you for blogging, you have inspired me for over 2 years now and I am better for it!!Love your little cup on the mat! Have a wonderful day My Dear.

  14. Where is your recipe for the liquid soap? I can't seem to find it anywhere.


  15. God has greatly gifted you
    I enjoyed visiting your blog
    God Bless;

  16. Ashe, Rhonda! After being a welder, a silversmith, a paralegal, a waitress, barista, and probably several dozen other jobs, I've finally found my calling making soap; it's fun, I can allow my creativity to run wild, and people love my products - so much nicer on the skin than the "detergent bars" people usually tend to buy.

    For whatever reason I didn't even twig on to use my own soap for cleaning and doing laundry until I used your blog. Mad, I know, but I've started to wash my laundry with my own soap and now I wonder why I didn't do it before! Thanks so much...just when you think you've learned enough - !

  17. Lovely, lovely bread, and a lovely life! You must feel so blessed to be able to share your knowledge and love of a simple life with so many others. Keep up your good work!

  18. I love reading about the little pieces of your day - they are encouragement to me in my own domestic pursuits. Sometimes I can feel like I haven't done that much when I just spend time "tidying up" as you say, but it really does make me feel better, and my husband as well.

    I really liked your thought that we must rely on the past in order to prepare for the future. So much of society today is geared ways of living that remove us from ordinary, everyday activities and skills. Not only does this leave us unprepared should a disaster befall us, but it also robs us of the simple joys in life.

  19. hi
    I love your posts on simple living, It inspires me to do my regular housework with lots of interest...

  20. That sounds like such a cool centre! I know what you mean about the new dish drainer. It so is the little things in life with me too!

    Wishing Bernadette all the best!


  21. Hello Rhonda
    I'm hearing your advice more and more as I potter through life. Change is coming my way and if I am not too careful I will be lost in it. Lately I have been looking more and more to myself and what I can glean from my store cupboard before I go and do a shop. I never fail to surprise myself at just what is in there and just what I NEED to buy not have to. So far this week I have made toad in the hole, pizza, blended veg soup, mushroom soup which turned out so much better than I hopped for; even managed to make some buns and bake a pear crumble, surprised myself when I used honey instead of sugar to sweeten it! I was going to go out today and buy some soap powder but thought better of it. I have some green bars of Fairy household soap so I will be grating it instead of going to the shops. thank you for all your indirect encouragement. You do make a difference.
    Rachel Plymouth Devon England

  22. Thank you Rhonda
    I really enjoyed reading this post today.Your home looks very inviting.

  23. Mmm, I still have your soap recipe from a few posts ago, threatening to make some, but there is something else that takes up that space of time every time..I WILL eventually. Good to see your corner sink corner in the kitchen. Few things give me such a kick than tidying up the kitchen...when I stand back and look onto a sparkling kitchen, I feel like I have just moved a mountain1

  24. I wish I was closer...I would love to come to one of your workshops

  25. Wonderful post as usual. In the States, We are egarly waiting for Spring and the planting of our gardens. I am waiting with much pleasure for the wonderful God given greenness of Spring.

    Blessings, laura

  26. Hi Rhonda,

    'Preparing for the future by relying on the past' - what a powerful quote. It really sums up the way I am trying to approach life and explains to me why I am always looking to the ways of my grandmother in order to make 'progess' on the home front.

    I guess that is why it is so important to capture the past and record it for future generations. I lost my grandmother last year - two weeks short of her 102nd birthday. Even though I wrote a book about her wisdom and tried to record so much, there are still things that I wish I could check with her.
    Soon there will be no 'old' books and no people of that generation.That is why I feel compelled to record it for current generations. Your site is such a fabulous resource for this ideal.


  27. Yes indeed, I am thinking of Bernadette,too. My prayers and good wishes concerning all of you. I have been through this journey as my mum had to go to chemo; you have my best intentions and sympathy here.

    Lovely kitchen; I wonder if I will get around to making soap!


Comments with links or email addresses won't be published. All spam and business advertising will be deleted.

Children read my blog so I always make sure the information here is family-friendly. I don't publish comments containing links or email addresses now because I don't have time to check them.

All comments in English, please. Thank you.