Slowly getting back to normal

15 July 2010
I was quite overwhelmed by the response to my last post, both here in the comments and in emails.  Thank you all for your concern, love and support. I spent a lot of time thinking about this and I am now of the belief that the death of my friends is revealing to me that life must be really lived in each waking moment and to do anything less would be the greatest deprivation.  It is a valuable reminder as I move into my mid-60s and I am determined to make sure I don't waste too much time and to do my best and be my best as much as I can.  

It is not the custom in Australia to speak of our religious beliefs - it is generally a personal and private thing, and although I know there is a lot of interest in whether or not I'm a Christian, that is known to only my family and those closest to me.  As always, I honour the differing beliefs of those I know, including the many Christians here, but I will remain with my custom of not speaking of such things in public.

Please keep Sharon and her family in your thoughts and prayers. Sharon is still in intensive care, she now has a collapsed lung as well, so it's important that we send her our love and support.

While all this is going on, Hanno, the constant in my life, continues to work towards our combined well being by producing delicious organic food for our table.  He dug up another bucket full of potatoes and I got a few photos for you of how he prepares the garden bed for the next crop.

After the crops have been dug up and all weeds and debris removed, Hanno digs over the soil and makes a trench.  He then fills the trench with homemade compost.
When the trench is full of compost, he covers the compost with soil, and moves to the next trench.  He moves along the garden bed until it's full of compost trenches.  Then he waters them in and lets it all settle for a week or so before planting the next crop.

 As always, assistant gardener Alice, awaits instructions (or food).

And finally, but by no means least, today is my beautiful son Shane's 30th birthday.  I'll talk to him on the phone later today but we'll see him and his wife Sarndra at their home on Sunday where we'll celebrate this milestone with his brothers and the rest of the family. Shane has requested that I bring his favourites - lemon meringue pie and chocolate cake, so I'll be baking them on Saturday for Sunday's party.  Happy birthday Shane!  ♥ ♥ ♥


  1. Dear Rhonda
    Many thanks for your post, I'm with you my religious belifs are that mine. I happy for you that you are to be celibrating your sons Birthday this comming weekend. May you all have a fine time.
    p.s would you be willing to share your lemon merangue recipe with us?

  2. Dear Rhonda,

    I tried to write to you yesterday, but I had to create a Google account first...I'm afraid I'm not very good at that kind of thing.

    You've been on my mind since your post about life's uncertainties. You've been through a lot of sadness and you need to allow yourself time to grieve for Bernadette and your man-friend that you just lost. Be gentle with yourself and know that even though it sounds trite, time really does soften our outlook on situations that are so troubling. Time doesn't always change things, but it does help us to cope a little better, I've found.

    Your readers certainly do respect your conviction to keep your spiritual beliefs to yourself. Whatever your beliefs, may they sustain you throughout the rough path you're traveling right now.

    My prayers go out to Sharon and I hope there will be better news soon.

  3. Happy birthday to your charming son. I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating after your last few rough weeks.

    And you know, those are some gorgeous potatoes!

  4. Good to hear from you, and hoping that things will ease in time.
    Give that trooper Hanno a big pat on the back. You are blessed to have a husband that is still so able in the gardening department.
    And many happy returns to your son!

  5. So glad to read you are feeling more positive. A BIG happy birthday to Shane from us here
    Also thanks for the pics of Hanno this will be my something learned for today compost in trenches easy and doable for this old girl
    HUGS to all

  6. I greatly appreciate your sentiments in your earlier post. As time ticks away for us all, we have our own realisations to explore.
    I feel very young at 44, but arthritis in my feet has brought to a halt my pleasure of running and my bad knees have altered the way I garden and ride my pony. We have to adapt, I suppose so that we can continue to live a full and happy life.

    I can sympathise with the sleepless nights though, as each new hurdle brings worries. A friend recently commented that the outcome is already set, and it's how we approach it and what we do in the meantime that is important. For some reason, this has given me tremendous comfort.

    Thank you for your blog, your wisdom and strength reach out in ways that you can hardly imagine. x

  7. Dear Rhonda,

    I glad today was a better day for you. Thank you also for the pictures of Hanno preparing the garden. As always, I love seeing pictures of Alice. Airedales are the happiest looking dog there is, in my humble opinion. I miss having one here. Have fun this weekend with your family!


  8. Ooh, chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie - my favourites too. Your son is one lucky chap! Hope you have a lovely weekend with your family.

  9. Dear Rhonda...

    You are such a sweetheart of a lady :) :) :) You have amazing strength during all of the things that life is handing out lately. I'll still keep Sharon in my prayers. Thanks so much for the updates.

    Those potatoes that Hanno dug up...look very yummy. I love potatoes.!!!!!

    Happy Birthday to your son. He's very handsome:) I'm sure he'll enjoy all the birthday goodies that you'll be baking for him :) :)

    Oh, I posted about the homemade soap my friend Julie and I made last weekend on my blog. So if you have a chance you can check it out!!! I'm so excited!!!..and I'm gnetly flipping them over once a day on th eir drying rack!!! I didn't post the link here, because I'm not sure what blog etiquette calls for. So I figured you can find me by clicking on my blog name :) :)

    I hope the rest of your week goes well!!! Much love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :) :) :)

  10. I understand the uncertainties you spoke of. Today on my husband's side he lost his Aunt unexpectantly. But in the last year he has lost 2 uncles, 2 cousins and 2 Aunts. All sudden, the 2 youngest being 28 and 38. I guess it's normal to question why. We are still in shock today of this most recent loss, but it is so true, regardless of age we must live each day to the fullest. Experience these normal emotions of change and life and learn from them. I wish you peace and just know you are not alone. I think we all have felt what your going through before. Many blessings to you and you will be in my thoughts.

  11. Happy Birthday Shane. Have a lovely day with your family, enjoy!

    Rhonda, glad to hear your feeling a little more positive and hugs. Have a great day with Hanno.

  12. A very happy birthday to Shane!

    Rhonda I was looking at the photos of Hanno and thinking I must show them to Tony and it occurred to me that Hanno is our own Peter Cundall. :)

    Pats to The Lovely Alice.

  13. Hello Rhonda.
    I respect that your wish is to keep your beliefs private.

    Though as a Christian myself, I am happy to share whenever possible. It is written many times in the Bible to share this light with others, even if it means being criticised.

    Regardless, I do hope that whatever your beliefs are, that you are comforted by them, as my beliefs comfort me when loved ones pass away.

    And the big lesson here is that life is short, the end may come swiftly and unexpectedly, so live life to its fullest everyday. A day wasted is a day you cannot get back.

  14. Life is such a roller coaster. Joys and sorrows ride the same rails. Please be gentle with yourself during this time of sadness and reflection with the loss of your dear friends, but also happiness and celebration with your wonderful son.

    You are in my thoughts.

  15. That's a rather labour-intensive method to improve soil! Would you care to do a "my soil" post some time? It looks quite different from my heavy Sydney clay, where the best option is to keep adding things on top.

  16. Gardening can be hard work at times, chookie. We do not shy away from that and we don't look for short cuts. Gardening is what it is. We had hard clay virgin soil when we arrived here but Hanno's methods have worked wonders over the years and consistently produce good crops. I'm not sure what you mean by a "my soil" post.

  17. I am writing this comment to apologise and hope that you will read it. I'm afraid that my comment about "links" to another blog etc may have upset you and on reflection I can see that it was very rude and abrupt. Unfortunately smacking or spanking or the advocating of same does get me going but that is no excuse to forget common courtesy as I did. I do admire you and your writing very much. The wonderful gentle and loving relationship you have with your sons is so inspiring so I just assumed you would "get" my reaction but how could you?!!! I didn't explain it very well.
    Sincere apologies again and best wishes to you.

  18. Happy 30th birthday to Shane,
    positive thoughts and healing energies sent Sharon's way, and heres hoping that the lessons we learn in this life are passed on.

    Peace and Blessings!
    Beth :-)

  19. Poor Hanno needs a longer handle on that shovel.... that's hard on the back......

  20. Many thanks a wonderful post again Rhonda. My thoughts are with Sharon, and best wishes to Shane on his birthday, hope you all have a nice family time together. One last Colin...well done, a very nice apology to Rhonda, I don't know what it was all about but that was nice of you anyway.

  21. Thank you Colin. I accept your apology and appreciate you taking the time to write it. BTW it contributed to my decision but was not the only problem I had with anonymous commenters.

  22. There was a gentleman that spoke on the television and at the end of his talks he would say "and may YOUR God go with you". I aways remember this and think it is a wonderful way of thinking about peoples beliefs.

    Happy Birthday Shane, enjoy the cake and pie.

    Pippa xxx

  23. Dear Rhonda,

    Just to let you know that I made soap today for the first time ever! I used a different recipe because I had palm oil and coconut oil, but I used your tutorial to do it. I was a little spooked by the caustic soda, but everything turned out fine and the soap went to trace just like it was supposed to. I'm excited to see how it looks tomorrow morning!


  24. Rhonda, many blessings to you and the families of your recently lost friends. It is a hard reality when we lose those we love and care about at any age, but perhaps more so as we age. The realization that life is really very short, smacks us upside the head, sometimes quite hard. The very recent loss of my Daddy has shown me that.
    Happy Birthday to your handsome son. My sweet and beautiful daughter celebrated her 30th on the 14th. She has been such a blessing to me and she truly is the Sunshine of my life, as her name, Amber Sunshine (I know, it's weird), indicates. Blessings to you as you bless so many of us.

  25. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better and my prayers are with your dear friend. Happy birthday to your handsome son!

  26. Dear Miss Rhonda
    I'm sorry I didn't comment on your last post. I've not been on the computer for a while as canning season is hanging around and I have quite a bad habit of not getting things done when I'm on here! I am praying for you- I went through this same thing last year. I'm glad everyone has been encouraging you, just as you have encouraged us so much through your blog and your words you share.
    It's wonderful you have someone like Hanno. It really is a blessing.
    I was just thinking about how amazing it is that we can talk to people we haven't even met, but who think and live the same, oceans apart. Here in Canada, it is 11:28am as of now, and I'm enjoying a sunny day with a refreshing breeze blowing through the poplars around our house. I wonder what you are doing. Soon I will go out to the garden to harvest and pickle the abundance of turnips and cucumbers. The tomatoes are weighing their plants so I'll stake those. I might stand in the middle of the field next to our house and think about how we can watch the same sky, yet be on opposite sides of the world.
    Praying for you today.
    The Girl in the Pink Dress



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