23 June 2011


I was going to write about lasagne today but this is more important so that can wait. I commented yesterday, at 10.30am, that I was at my voluntary job and would be back at lunchtime to reply to the ex-"lurkers", but then we got really busy, I worked through lunch and thought I'd reply at home. When I came home, Kerry, Sunny and beautiful Jamie were waiting for me, so that was that. Luckily Hanno had taken a frozen chicken from the freezer and instead of having the last of the lasagne, I made curried chicken and rice. They're still here and I'm pretty sure I only heard Jamie cry once overnight and now, they're all still warmly tucked up in bed on this cold 5〫morning.

This is a painting by Swedish artist, Carl Larsson from here.

Let me tell you, I feel the love. I never expected so many of you to comment after so long not doing it. I expected three or four, maybe five or six, so it was lovely for me to "meet" so many of you after so long. I explained in the comments at one point that between three and four thousand people come here most days to read and I've always thought it odd to get the usual 20 or 30 comments. Not that I'm complaining about that, I'm grateful for all the comments I get. I realise so many of us lead busy lives and it takes time. One of the reasons I write my blog is that it motivates me when I see others doing what we're doing - it keeps me writing, it's my way of saying everyday that "yes, we're still here doing this, are you still there too?" When you leave a comment for me, you open the door to your life, you let me know you're there. Knowing there are fellow travellers on this simple living path makes it easier for me,  and I think it might make it easier for all of us to know we're not alone. Actually, the catalyst for writing about lurking was seeing a comment on Sarndra's blog from a reader who said she came from my blog, yet I didn't know her and had never seen her name before. It doesn't take much to tip me over the edge, that did it, I said something.

Had anyone told me 30 years ago about the crazy idea of blogging, I would never have believed it. How could it be that we would sit alone in rooms, tapping away at a keyboard on a tiny slip of a machine, and that would connect us to people all over the world, that real relationships would be created, that we would genuinely care for people we have never met and that lives would be changed and inspiration found just by looking at a screen, believing, taking notice and making a decision to change. How can we know people we don't know? It's amazing to me. The blog world is a wonderful and powerful place.

I love knowing there are young women in their 20s who have started their adult lives, often with a husband or partner, on a simple, sustainable path that will help build strong families and serve them well their entire lives. Hearing about your families and how you live reminds me every day that Hanno and I are not alone in this, we are part of a group. To know women and men are learning to cook my recipes just amazes me; maybe there's a cook book waiting to spring out. Knowing that what I write is inspiring others towards a simpler way, leads me to this place every morning to continue it - like neighbours at the kitchen table, having a cup of tea every morning and discussing this and that and how we can do better and be better. So to all of you who took the time yesterday, thank you. It made my day. 

I wanted also to tell you that my blog being archived in perpetuity by the National Library of Australia. Here is the link: http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-127061
This is part of the information they sent: 

The National Library of Australia aims to build a comprehensive collection of Australian publications to ensure that Australians have access to their documentary heritage now and in the future.

PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, was set up by the Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications. Since then we have been identifying and archiving online publications that meet our collecting scope and priorities. Additional information aboutPANDORA and access to archived titles can be found on the Library's server at: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/index.html

I feel really honoured to be part of Pandora and to be part of your day. Thanks to all of you for including me.


  1. Congratulations on your blog being archived! I guess I would fit into the "lurker" category as well. As I read more than I comment. But your blog has served as a great inspiration to me.


    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  2. Dear Rhonda, as I said a couple of minutes ago: how could we not love and embrace you? ;o)

    And if you are going to write that book: make sure it will be published in Dutch ;o)

    Love from Holland!

  3. good morning rhonda, sometimes i comment, sometimes i just read, and sometimes i miss your post for whatever reason, too many updates from other blogs or just a topic that doesnt take my fancy (not meaning to be rude :) )still, it is nice when people comment, so g'day and ps my apple vinegar turned out great!

  4. I would love for you to write a "Down to Earth" cookbook!-- with lots of your personal philosophy and tips, and anecdotes included. It would be so convenient to have your wonderful recipes and ideas in book form.

    I tried your beef stew recipe recently and it was fabulous and the aroma of it cooking evoked 'home'.

    Please assure your editor that there is a real demand for your next book :)

  5. Hi Rhonda,

    congratulations on being archived, i read your blog practically every day and can't think of a better way for the people of tomorrow to find out about the hopes that people today have for finding a better way to live their lives. ps i'm a lurker too. please don't under estimate your influence across the world; we should take time to let you know how much we appreciate your writing, thoughts, experience and advice. thank you.

    a working sustainable work in progress

  6. Thank YOU! For sharing your life, your recipes, your knowledge and your skills. You and Hanno truely are an inspiration.

    We are striving to live better by saving more and spending less on unnecessary things. When I need some guidance I turn to your blog or the forum. You have helped me improve my cooking, homemaking and family making skills. A heartfelt thanks for that.

    Wonderful news on the archiving, lovely to know your blog with be preserved for future generations.

    Hope you have a lovely day with your family.
    Cheers, Deb

  7. I read your blog daily from the US. I throughly enjoy it, as what you do helps me to get back to my roots that I used to live in. I grew up with Amish grandparents so everything that you and all of us do comes back to me. Even after 30 yrs of getting back to a "normal" life to me, sometimes I have forgotten something that my grandparents did, and since I do not have them here anymore, I seek answers from you.

    Lurking in my vocabulary is called "sandbaggin'" in my Nebraska slang. lol
    Congratulations on your archives.

    Warm Regards from the US and the state of Nebraska

  8. Hello there :-) I first came across your blog a little while ago and I have read your posts everyday since. Your blog is an inspiration to me and it has helped me to view my role as the homemaker in a more positive and loving way. I have returned to work part time just recently and I feel that I have a more balanced perspective of my role at home and when the time comes for me to return to my homemaker role full time, I will relish every moment of it :-) What fantastic news about your blog being archived :-)

  9. Hi Rhonda,
    I only recently started commenting on your blog. I've enjoyed reading it for the past year. I had a bad experience with my small business when a "competitor" posted a nasty comment about my teaching. It was in all capital letters, and I couldn't get it taken down.(even though what she said wasn't true.) After that, I have been very careful on line. It's just for privacy. I've also had someone lift my comments on a message board and post them on their website. You have to be so careful now. That's why I was apprehensive about commenting. I love your writing and I am so thankful for your teaching. All of these ideas that you explain have kept me in business during this recession!

  10. Hello Rhonda,

    I know you do not publish anonymous comments any longer, but I think you can still read what I write. I used to comment via google, but lately blogger tries to force me to create my own blog if I do so, and otherwise it will not accept my post.

    Anyway, I too have been a long-time lurker - I think I've maybe commented twice in the 3 or so years that I've been following your blog. I wanted to say thank you for many happy moments reading your inspirational posts.

    Many greetings from Germany,


  11. Well done Rhonda for your blog being in Pandora....It sure is deserved...and sooo worth it for all to come.
    I also love reading comments on my blog for all the same reasons...It's nice to meet people who feel the same as I do...or are trying things that I do...it keeps me going.
    Again; congratulations...still looking forward to your book too...and a cookbook to follow would be fantastic!

  12. Thanks Rhonda,

    Just to let you know you inspire me daily and the thought of a cook book had me so excited, I'd like to see more about your home cooking, it's just so simple and what my mum used to cook. I am a recently singled mum (39)to 2 boys and have gone from a 4 bedroom home I owned to a rented tiny 2 bedroom flat and for the first time I have Kale, tom, carrots, straw, and snow peas growing in tubs- I am living my life again and doing what I wanted to do many years ago but had no support. Thank you, Its your blog & simple savings that are my daily life line.

  13. Congratulations. I read more than i comment. I look forward to reading your posts. Very inspiring reading. Look forward to your book.

  14. Hi Rhonda,just left a comment on yesterdays post as I didn't get to it yesterday.Congratulations on the archives and blessings to you for what you do.

  15. I have been enjoying reading your blog for about a month, having only recently discovered the wonderful world of blogs. You write beautifully. What you write about is mainly very interesting to me as I am similar to you in age and I am interested in green / frugal issues. I am 2 weeks off retirement. We have been setting up our house / garden for veggie and fruit growing but because we live in suburbia in Brisbane are somewhat limited.

    You have inspired me to stretch what I have been doing further. Last weekend I made my first batch of soap which has turned out ok I think. I have also started knitting dishcloths and making aprons with my substantial stash of cotton yarn and materials.

    Congratulations on the recognition from the library, you deserve it.

    Well done.

  16. I am a lurker and have not commented yet because I have been taking it all in. Right now I am going through big life changes with my first baby on the way and preparing to be a homemaker instead of a working woman. Don't get me wrong I am happy about the change but find myself needed a little more encouragement and help with planning my day then I thought I would. I started reading your blog months ago and it really has helped and inspired me. Many people in the US and of my generation (I am 30) don't value homemaking. Your blog has let me know that I am not alone in wanting to "keep home" and take care of my baby.

  17. I'm always thrilled when I see you've posted once again. I too find a kindred spirit neighborly feeling at each of the blogs I follow on a daily basis. And your sweet daughter-in-law has chosen to follow my little blog. It truly does feel like the World is a lot smaller and tighter knit in Blogland.

  18. Hi Rhonda

    You inspire me daily & a thought of a cook book excites me. I'd like to see more posts on home cooking- I love your simple meals and they inspire me too. I am a newly singled mum (39) of 2 boys and went from a 4 bedroom home I had with my ex husband to a rented tiny 2 bedroom flat. I have for the first time (kale, tom, snap peas, chives, carrots & strawbs) growing in pots, I am finally living my life again the way I wanted to yrs ago, but had no support.
    Your blog and simple savings are my daily life line. Thank you.

  19. Congratulations on being part of Pandora!

    I'm not much of a lurker. If I've been about, usually I'll leave something so that you'll know that I've been for a visit.

    This is my first visit here and can't wait to explore your blog.

    gertie@ www.theoldblockhouse.blogspot.com

  20. Although I am a faithful reader, I rarely comment on blogs, as I imagine the "blogger" to be up to her neck in comments. I enjoy your blog and the suggestions and recipes. I live in Northern Ontario, Canada- in the bush, near a small village called Wahnapitae, about 35 k from Sudbury. I have a small garden, and I raise White Rocks ( meat birds- chickens) as well as having 2 Amerucana hens, a pompous Amerucana rooster named Lucius, an Australorp hen and a Silky hen. I help my neighbour milk her goats for some of that milk in return. I read with envy of your crops of tropical fruit and producing crops when we are hip deep in snow. Thank you for many enjoyable hours of reading, and the useful information.

  21. I've become a "lurker" with the new baby. Learning to type with one hand while he nurses isn't easy! Congrats on being apart of the national collection -- that is quite the honor. I've learned lots from you even across an ocean. The advantages of the internet!

  22. I read your blog daily Rhonda - always inspired by your practical wisdom. My veggie patch is suffering from neglect of late and I need to get cracking again - the snails and slugs and birds just seem to get to the produce before it hits the table! One way of getting the lurkers out is to have a giveaway as long as the person comments - perhaps a signed copy of the book that's getting printed now? I notice that a lot of other bloggers do it and there's always a tonne of folk who comment then.


  23. I cannot wait for a cookbook! What a fantastic idea! I'd buy it in a heartbeat. <3

    Hugs from the (very hot) US,

  24. I'm glad your blog is in the national archives as you really are a national treasure.


  25. How neat to be asked to be a part of Pandora! What an honor and what a neat idea!

  26. I was pointed to your blog from my best friend over at Some the Wiser (http://somethewiser.danoah.com/) when I complained on a post about having trouble finding joy in the tasks of everyday life. I haven't been here long, but I'm inspired by the life you live and the joy you have living it. So thank you for that.
    Also, congratulations on the archiving. That is amazing.

  27. Hello Miss Rhonda, aren't grand kids great? Where I live it is a hot 115. I hope you do make a cook book because your a good cook, and what you cook is simple, good, and practical.From the dog food and dog treats to the aznac cookies dogs and people love them. :) I'm glad you know so much and that you are willing to share that knowledge with us my friend...Espy

  28. Congratulations on having your Blog archived! What an honour. I am also a lurker who is a daily reader of your blog as it grounds me for the day so I can focus on what is important. I have commented a couple of times but rarely. I've just moved across the world from living in the Middle East to back home to Queensland and I'm looking forward to getting my veg and herb garden established while the weather is cool.

  29. Congratulations on your blog being archived. What an amazing thing to happen.
    Your blog is the reason that I changed the focus of my blog. My blog is still a 'green' blog but I feel the best way to be friendly to the planet is to live a simple life.
    You're an amazing woman but i guess you've been told that a few times...

  30. Rhonda, I read your blog every day and read some of your posts more than once. I enjoy hearing about your journey with simple living. I've learned so much from you, have used your scone recipe, wash my dishes by hand now and take to heart much of what you write about. Thanks for all you do.

  31. Dear Rhonda,

    So glad you can be part of the National Library's project - your blog is a national treasure. It has really inspired me to read of a blogger living the simple life in Australia - there ae many inspiring blogs out there but most are about life in the US or UK.

    So, thank you for your inspiration.

    I often start conversations with my husband "you know my favourite blog..... well she is doing .... - shall we try it?

    If you make a recipe book - be sure to include your spinach pie recipe. We love it.



  32. Congratulations on your blog being archived Rhonda; so it should be! To me and many others, you are like a national treasure passing on information, skills and advice that has been lost over the past generations. I'm so grateful for what you do and for the gentle way in which you do it. Plus through you I've now gained a beautiful friend in Sarndra; I feel very blessed!
    How wonderful to have your Jamie, Kerry and Sunny there with you this morning. As a daughter, I have some wonderful memories of popping into mum and dads for a surprise visit when we just had one child and having an 'impromptu sleepover' and waking up to a warm cooked brekky and our little one have snuggles all morning with my parents. Very precious memories.
    I'm sure you are savoring every second of their company.
    With love,
    Lusi x

  33. Hi Rhonda,

    I suppose I have been a lurker for the last couple of years. I always read, but I think I have commented only once! If I ever have an idea about making anything myself, your blog is the one I check out, because I just know I will find what I am looking for. Also, I have lost count of the number of people I have recommened it to when I get asked for tips on the simple life! There is a great and growing interest in our chosen life style.

    Bright blessings. xx

  34. Hi Rhonda, I was wondering what a lurker was, but I read through a few of the comments and I think I understand now.
    How lovely to have the family there with you.
    I guess you dont expect every reader to leave a comment every day, but it's nice to get feedback now and then isnt it.
    BTW our soap is looking VERY promising, sitting on it's racks in the laundry and I think because it is so cold, they are curing quicker :) we cant wiat to use it.

    Kathy, Tas.

  35. Hi Rhonda,
    another lurker to put up her hand! Love your blog, and enjoy reading it almost every day. We are trying to live the 'simple life' in WA and so far we have realised that it is very hard work, but wonderful and defenitely worth it. Love from Margaret River!

  36. Congratulations on your blog Rhonda you deserve it. You really do touch the minds and hearts of so many. I met two friends in Hong Kong recently they came from the UK. We decided to meet half way between UK and AUS to celebrate our 40th birthdays. There were lots of lap tops in the hotel and they both had never heard of a blog. So I introduced them to yours and they loved it. It is truly amazing blog land and a fine way of connecting in this busy life.
    Lovely for you to have Jamie come to stay and not long before you meet your 2nd precious grandchild.
    Have a wonderful day.

  37. I live in the US on a small city lot with hens and Angora bunnies. I'm working hard to make a small urban homestead and find your blog to be very helpful.

    While I'm a daily reader I thought you might be covered up with comments so I've rarely written.

    I appreciate you and all you share with your readers!

  38. rhonda,
    congratulations! maybe australia should now list you as a national treasure. i sure would if i had the authority :)
    i hadn't commented as i knew were working on the book and felt you very busy enough. just delighted everyday when i was able to sit down and read what you had written that day. you can keep the daily news with all it's sorrows. i'd rather sit down and read something uplifting and informative. you're a class act and love to read each and every post. thank you dear one.

  39. Hi rhonda, I don't often comment but I read your blog every day. I just wanted to share that after showing off my knitting project at my art group, I gave someone the address of your blog and now she is getting hooked on knitting! It's a great feeling to be able to pass something I enjoy on to someone else.
    Also, Thanks for keeping me sane while I was working in a nutcase job. I have changed to something with more sensible stress levels and am able to do more at home now and be more creative. You kept me on the simple path when people around me were spiralling out of control.

  40. Congratulations on Pandora Rhonda,such an honour for you and your family.
    I read your blog every morning when my husband is seen off to work.I love being part of all these different worlds.I often quote you saying oh Rhonda does her cake like this or its Rhonda
    recipe. You make me feel good about loving making the bed with clean sheets, or a tidy cupboard.I don't comment very much at all,which I will change now.Can't wait for your book to come out think I will buy a few for friends as well. A cook book would be fantastic!Thanks for being there Rhonda you are appreciated and loved.

  41. Hello.

    I discovered your blog when I searched "laundry powder tin" with google images (the image on the right side of your blog appeared.) Two weeks later and I still haven't purchased one, but I have read your blog every day.

    I've been going through your archives and I can't believe how much we have in common. I am a 30 year old woman and feel like I've known you all my life. My husband and I are participants in urban farming and are interested in aquaponics. I love to knit or sew when I need something apron, scarf, etc. I stockpile, make my own cleaning supplies and meals from scratch. I could go on.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us everyday, when you don't have to. I look forward to the part of the day when the kids are asleep and I get to read your blog and other blogs you mention in your entries.

    Congratulations on such a great blog and having so many "lurkers."

    Miriam from Austin, Texas, USA

  42. I comment every once in a while. I appreciate how you write and what you write about. I've even learned a thing or two since I started reading your blog. Have a good day!

  43. congratulations Rhonda.

    I'm a lazy commenter but I always read, just like real life if we were all sitting around the kitchen table I would be much more likely to be listening than commenting. Believing that I have little to offer, but much to learn.

    cheers Kate

  44. I always read, I tend to only comment on things that directly effect me (probably becaue I don't like to think that I am just "dribbling" on about stuff I don't know or understand) I also see so many people commenting and think I don't have anything worthwhile to comment, but know that I read your blog all the time.

  45. Another lurker,I don't know why I chose to lurk but of the many blogs i follow I don't tend to comment unless there has been a question asked or i feel I have some important point to make. I guess I have never thought about comments being a left for a blogger as a Thank You. Rhonda, Thank you as you have giving me a different insight into the comment section.

  46. Hi Rhonda, I really look forward to your blog. I have recommended my sisters and friends to read it as I feel that there is so much knowledge, honesty and warmth here. I have no grandparents they passed on when I was a young child and my mother and I have never been close (my sister and I lived with my father from 8 years). With a young family of my own I often refer back to your blog for advice. Julia

  47. How wonderful about the archiving! I had no idea such a project existed. Cyber hugs.

  48. Thank YOU for writing so faithfully Rhonda! I know how encouraging comments are, I'll try to drop a line more often.
    I don't know if I'm a "lurker" or not, I don't always comment but I do always read, even if I have to scroll for a bit because I'm late. I hope you never get discouraged and stop writing- your blog provides more encouragement for me than you know, as I'm sure for countless others. It helps to see so many people follow your blog, because not only are you not alone over there, we aren't alone; we aren't actually weird, or crazy, or odd...we are connected here. It helps to know there are others on this journey back to living simply and sustainably. You were a big part of my direction to this path. Thank you again for sharing part of your life with us.
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  49. Congratulations on being archived! I am aso a lurker, i love reading your blog every morning while i have my cup of tea!!

    I am a 25 year old stay at home mum to 3 (soon to be 4!) blessings...i try out all your recipes on them! they especially love your 'whole orange cake'.


  50. Hello friend...yes I think of you that way, even though we will probably never meet face to face! I visit your delightful blog every day just like so many others. You have given us so much to think about and it is fun to learn from you.Congradulations on being honored there in your country. Blessings, Carolyn Gilbert, Florida,USA

  51. what wonderful news! thanks again for being a wealth of info and advice, we all could use some.

  52. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I just read. It's a time thing and a tired thing. I'm sure it's the same for those reading my blog.

    Love that painting!

  53. Hello Rhonda, congratulations on Pandora! What a wonderful place the National Archives is, I use it often.

    You must have been thrilled at your surprise yesterday and to have Jamie there is priceless.

    For Claudia in Germany and anyone else having trouble with commmenting through their Google account if you uncheck "keep me signed in" it will then work. I have trouble with some blogs with this but not others.

    Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

  54. Congratulations on the blog being archived. What a wonderful thing! And how very special it is to have your little family there.

  55. Hi Rhonda
    I read your posts everyday. I know I don't comment much, but you and people like you give me hope and something to aspire to. I am one of those people in their 20's you speak of, with a husband and young daughter and with no one directly in my life to show me the way to living a simpler life I rely on wisdom like yours. Thanks for all, and congrats on being archived! Amy

  56. Dear Rhonda
    I always read your Blog even if I miss it on the day. Hardly ever comment but that does not mean I have nothing to say or add.
    It is amazing that the National Library is preserving a snippet of our lives for future readers. Like old letters with crumbling edges, I suppose. But cyber!!!
    You should write a recipe book, especially on preserving and using overabundant harvests. I have been living your type of life for over 25 years now and I know how hard it was at the start. A single part-time job has supported our family. Our needs are simple. Children grown up and in good jobs. Just us and the dog now! A wonderful life. Would not change it for the world.
    Love and best wishes to you and all your readers.

  57. I'm another long time reader but I rarely post comments on any blog after being "attacked" a number of times by business competitors.

    Although that doesnt seem to happen so much with simple living theme blogs it is rampant in the craft world & as they say..."Once burnt, Twice shy"

    Thank you for your posts, they are a great start to my online time :o)

  58. Congratulations on your blog being archived :). The release of your book isn't all that far away now and I'm going to gift a copy to my daughter who already grows veges, knits and can concoct a delicious meal from next to nothing. She says as an impoverished Uni student it's "do it or do without" and as I raised my kids on a tight budget we did a lot for ourselves :).

  59. I think it is great that your blog is being archived. I have read for quite a while and have learned and enjoyed your writings. Sorry that I am a lurker and haven't posted often, but sometimes I just don't have anything to say because I am so busy trying something new!

  60. Dear Rhonda, I've been following your blog for more than a year, have commented a couple times but mostly 'a lurker'. Thank you for so freely giving of your time and concern for others. I look forward to your post each day, and miss it when you take a break :) Elaine, KY USA

  61. Hi Rhonda
    Just read about the mystery blogger who visited your DIL blog. That was probably me. If you pop over to my blog you will see I have you in my regular read list. I also have you on Google Reader so I can see when you post. I love your blog. I have been doing so many of the things you talk about for many years. One of the best times of my life was when I lived on a 10 Acre block. We tried to raise or grow everything we ate. Great fun! Now I am back in town but we do try to grow a lot of veges and make all our own cleaners.
    A home made home is the best home!
    Taupo New Zealand

  62. I also wanted to say "I too am a lurker"
    I love your blog and your forum.
    When ever I'm online I pop in for a read.
    I am in my mid 30's with a family and one income. I stay at home full time and my husband works. We try hard to make it work and your blog often provides me encouragement that I have a very important career within my home.
    Thanks for the inspiration Rhonda.
    With love.

  63. I am a lurker too. I have been reading for a few years. I am a 24 year old stay at home mum. You are an inspirtation!

  64. Hello Rhonda,

    I've not commented before but I really enjoy you blog and have just joined the forum too. It is wonderful to find like minded people all over the world. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement.


  65. That's so wonderful Rhonda, congratulations on the archive! And so nice for u to have K, S & J yesterday and today :-) Much love from us both Xoxxx

  66. I've been thinking about you Rhonda, and thinking about your planting of garlic. I've been told to plant on the shortest day ...which I havent actually done yet. But I have been inspired by your blog. And I will get that garlic in when we get some dry weather :)

  67. Hi Rhonda, congratulations on having your work archived for posterity.I am a bit of a lurker too, I read all of your posts. I find them inspirational.

  68. Rhonda

    I visit every day and love reading your blog (found you through burke's backyard book about 2 years ago). I know I love getting a comment on my blog from my 6 friends that read it even though I'm doing it for myself but it's nice to know someone is out there.

  69. I love your recipes, have tried many of them, but the favourite in my office is the whole orange cake. I have made it quite a few times as it is simply the easiest cake I have ever made and everyone absolutely loves it! I forwarded the link to it on your blog to a few women here at work and then they all made it too! Keep up the great blog Rhonda!

  70. Hi Rhonda
    I think I am probably the mystery blogger who commented on your DILs blog. I have been reading your blog for over a year now, but I have only recently started my own blog. If you visit my blog you will see you are on my reading list, I also have you on Google Reader. I have been following you for probably about 18 months. I so agree with many of your sentiments. At one time I lived on a 10 acre block. We raised our own cattle, sheep, rabbits, turkeys, pheasants, guineafowl, ducks and chickens. I had my own house cow and later a milking goat. We used to try and raise or grow all our own food. A wonderful experience. Now I am a townie again but we do have a large vegetable garden and strive to make all our own cleaning products.
    Homemade makes the best home.
    Taupo New Zealand

  71. Hi Rhonda

    I am one of those lurkers!! I have been an avid reader of your blog for a long time but have been away from your blog for a while. I love your wisdom and direction. I live a very busy life with studying at uni fulltime to become an Occupational Therapist, work parttime, and keep a home for my husband and 3 children, one of which has autism. Returning here has given me a renewed sense of purpose, and shown me the COST of our current lifestyle, not just in terms of money but also in lost family time, and the things I no longer have the time to do, such as bake everyday, pass on skills to my children and generally live a simpler happier life. Thankyou for showing me the life I need to return to once again.

    Jacqui R from Townsville

  72. Congratulations! What an honor!!! :)

  73. Hmmmmmm. Spinach Pie, homemade dog food and dog treats. Haven't found those yet. Reading all these comments has me on the search again.


  74. Hi Rhonda,

    I read your blog nearly every day, but don't comment on it as much, as I often feel I don't really have something to contribute.

    I do know though, that reading your blog has changed and is still changing my life. Mainly in terms of living within our means, but also in terms of creativity - trying to make things yourself instead of buying it, whether it is food or clothes or anything else that is "necessary". So I am still with you here, and still on this path (and will continue to be so).

    Also, some of your recipes and from the forum I use frequently now. Like the self-saucing chocolate pudding and the biscuits, they are real favorites in our home. I have also made ginger beer. So even though I do not comment very often, your blog is greatly appreciated.

    Greetings from Holland,


  75. Hi Rhonda,

    I am a lurker too, I have been dropping by sporadically since you were on Life Matters last year. I find your blog so thoughtful and grounded and your love for your family and your life comes through beautifully. I grew up on a farm in northern NSW, so I particularly love the photos of your thriving garden in the lush surroundings of that part of the world.

    My husband and I both work and have good incomes, but we are naturally inclined to a simple life. I had the great benefit of learning about cooking from scratch, baking, knitting etc from my parents and grandparents. So I find your advice a prompt to implement skills that I am very lucky to already have. I have started baking all our bread after reading your blog, and I am finding the process enjoyable and all that kneading therapeutic.


  76. Dear Rhonda,
    I have just read your blog of this morning and fear I am the "learker" that may have prompted your thoughts!

    I do read your blog every morning and have been doing so for around 3 years now.

    I was delighted to learn that your DIL Sarndra had a blog too about organisation ... so interesting. I was asking her about the template for the little birdie she made for your Sister as a house warming gift but I don't expect a reply any time soon with 'peanut' soon to put in an appearance. Looking forward to seeing what goodies will be available in your Etsy shop & details of your book when it is published. Do keep writing, you have such a flair for it.

    Kind regards, Lucy D in Joyner,
    Just North of Strathpine :)

  77. Hello Rhonda
    I am a bit of a lurker! I have commented a handful of times but read it quite faithfully almost everyday. I too find it strange that a blog like this makes us feel part of an unknown community. Your blog always inspires me and sometimes gives me some extra determination to hold my head high and tell friends about my bread baking!
    Lisa UK

  78. I've also been a lurker to your blog.I love it!! It keeps me grounded and you give such great advice and I'm really looking forward to reading your book when it's published:) Barb.

  79. You are true inspiration to me! I learn many things from your blog!

    Congratulation on being part of pandora

  80. Dear Rhonda,
    I am one of the thousands that look in on your blog and a very few others that give me some hope for humanity.
    The news,'Bear cub killed in Canada for being too friendly' or 'Catwalk models strut with preserved corpses'. I feel like screaming!
    Thankyou for your kindness, sensibility, humility, and love.
    Here's some LOVE back!


  81. Dear Rhonda,
    Sorry if it was me that made the comment on Sarndra's blog. I am a regular follower of your blog. Your blog motivates me and inspires me in my daily life of a stay at home, home schooling mother. I have made your soap recipe and love it. I enjoy all your posts, but the posts on housework have changed my life. I now look at housework in a more positive way. I think I have commented before on your blog, but if not I am sorry for not saying before how much I love it. Thank you so.... much Rhonda for putting the time and effort into your blog and inspiring others such as myself. xxoo Julie

  82. Hello Rhonda!
    I've been a lurker for almost a year now. Your blog is one of my favorites, and I do try to get to read it as often as possible.

    I read a comment once, on why so many people like your blog, and I do agree so much with that answer. She said it must be the warmth and the cosy feeling one gets by reading your blog. I get it every time. A really enjoyable read!

    Love from Norway!

  83. Hi This is my third attempt at leaving a comment. I'm not very experienced at this. I love your blog and your fridge yesterday inspired me to rearrange my smaller fridge so that I can get a second 4 pint container of milk in it - a saving of 92pence per week. This made me very happy.

    I am in the UK, was a stay at home mum but now am an OAP, so my career as a homemaker continues on less money so harder work.


  84. Hi Rhonda,
    I wrote out a lengthy comment to your post yesterday and for some reason when I pressed 'publish' it dissapeared so I'll try again...
    I have been reading your blog religiously for the last 4 years.
    You always seem to write about the things I want to hear and always seem like you are writing about things you are passionate about and your opinions on issues - not my way or not at all.
    I am 24, Married, I have a little boy aged 19 months and I am a stay at home mum.
    When I was first married I really embraced simplicity. I loved the feeling of contentment and stillness it brought. I loved living deliberately, shopping only for needs, make do and mend, and enjoying many free things to do such as walking round our village and taking pictures.
    Since I have had my son I have lost my way and I am not sure if I'll ever find it again. How can I have stillness and peace with a 19 month charging round the place creating lots of noise and spreading his toys about!? I love my son dearly, and enjoy spending time with him and teaching him and playing games. However despite the joy your blog brings it also brings a little bit of sadness at the list of things I do not have time to do, the fact that my house doesn't stay tidy for long, the fact that I can't have a delightful cup of tea in peace and the fact that it feels like an impossible mountain to climb to achieve what I had before.
    I would be really grateful to know yours and your daughter in laws thoughts on this. When Tom was a newborn it was different as I still had a lot of spare time when he napped however now he barely naps and I just have no time at all and am so tired by the evening I have no energy for anything then.
    I am doing things such as growing veg and fruit, using reusables, managing a budget, batch cooking and more but feel there is so much more I'd like to do but much more important to me I really want to find the contentness, happiness and 'at peace' feeling again.
    Thanks as always for your wise words and being someone alot of us feel we can turn to for help and advice when the road gets bumpy!
    Best wishes
    Stacey x

  85. Don't some of your comments sound like a "Lurkers Anonymous" meeting...."Hi, I'm Ann and I'm a Lurker". :)

    Your writing is good, sound, simple-living advice from your heart and life experience and an antidote to the generally bad news and consumer-oriented world we all live in.

    No wonder so many visit your blog on a daily basis. And no wonder your son & DIL feel free to pop in to visit with your grandson. That's a real compliment -- they want to spend time with you both.

  86. I love reading your blogs and you have given me inspiration as well. this is the first time I have ever commented on your blog.

  87. Congrats on your blog being archived, Rhonda. What an achievement and an encouragement for you.

    As others have noted, there are times when a comment just bubbles up and others when tiredness prevails.

    You have encouraged me to resume knitting. It is giving me great joy and bringing some real creativity into my life. Thank you for that.

    Martina from Sydney

  88. Hi Rhonda,

    Congrats on your blog being archived - it is always an excellent resource for me and this way it will be for generations to come as well! I keep saying I need to start blogging again but have yet to get back to it! I think I need to make it part of my rountine like yours :)


  89. Hi Rhonda
    I am afraid i have been a "lurker" for too long! So i thought i had better put that right. I have been reading your blog for well over a year possibly nearer two.I read everyday and when you don't post i feel dissappointed that my daily "fix" of inspiration is not there.I love what you write about and you inspired me to make soap for the first time a few months ago.We already grow most of our fruit and veg and i also sew and knit. I also love scrapbooking as i want to preserve all those memories for my children and future generations. My daughter is 11 and also sews,knits,cooks and scrapbooks.
    Keep up the good work you are my inspiration.
    lynne from the UK

  90. Hi Rhonda,
    I am usually a lurker, not because I am rude and wanting to spy on your life, but because I am typically the quiet one in the room. Well, unless I am with my sisters! I love the information you share, the encouragement you give, and your dedication to what you love. I just don't feel I have much to add to what the other visitors have already said. I'll sit here at my computer, nodding my head and saying, "Yep, good point," "True, so true," but I keep to myself. I'll try to come out of my shell more often.

    Now, since I haven't told you, your beautiful grandson is adorable! Watching you become grandma is too fun!

    And I cannot wait for you book. I am so amazed at people who put thought on page in a way that makes other want to read. I know for you it is akin to giving birth and I thank you for your efforts.

    Hugs from Florida

  91. Hi Rhonda,

    I'm a self -confessed lurker as well and read your blog most days and have found it inspirational.
    I'm 34 and married with a seven week year old son (I love your comments about your Jamie btw - it reminds me of how my Mom speaks about my son!) I wanted to share with you how much your blog has helped me.
    Up until a couple of years ago I was working full time with drug and alcohol users. I worked for a while in London and then, tired of London, hubby and I moved back to the English midlands (where I'm from), bought a house and I did the same work in a big city there. My husband worked in London during the week so we could afford the mortgage. After a while, I was very unhappy with the way my life was; being away from my husband all week and working all the time in a stressful job. We decided to start trying for a family and I had two miscarriages over the course of a year, which were obviously, devastating, but, I realise now, probably had a lot to do with the stress of life as we lived it, at that time. I had been reading your blog (amongst others on homemaking) for a while and just craved the opportunity to be at home and have a family. I was lucky, as I was able to work part time for a while and this got me into knitting dishcloths and making laundry liquid etc (I already cooked and baked). After a while, I couldn't wait to get home after work and see what else I could do at home myself. After six months of part time work, my husband got a job on the south coast, we sold our house, paid off our debts and the plan was for me to stay at home full time. We moved and yep, about a month after getting here I got pregnant and I'm sitting here typing with my gorgeous little boy asleep on me feeling tired but so happy.
    I know this is a long post, and a personal one, but I've done that because I wanted to emphasise to you how important your blog is to a lot of women, and especially younger women like me. In England, there are not many women who stay at home before they've had babies these days and your blog, and your posters, gave me the courage and confidence to do so and it was definitely the right thing for me. Thank you Rhonda for being a voice of sanity in a crazy world.

    Hubby and I are now planning to increase our savings(I never realised how much you could save at home with a little imagination and organisation) and look at pooling our resources with my parents and buying a property together that we can all comfortably share.

    I made your chicken noodle soup last week and it was ace! Please
    keep the recipes coming.
    With lots of love and best wishes

    Claire and baby Aengus from England x

  92. Seconding the down-to-earth cookbook idea. I cook the way you do, so wouldn't need it, but I bet there are a lot of people who'd like it, especially if the recipes were arranged seasonally, or grouped together to use the same ingredients in different ways several days running. A section on store cupboard meals would also probably be useful.

  93. I read down to earth every morning, just before I start my day. I agree with you that blogs have made my world so much wider. The amazingly endless fountain of ideas, projects, and wise words on the blogs I read inspire me so much.

    You and I are contemporaries in age, yet I like to think our spirits are young! Thanks so much for your wise and practical words on simple living and the joys of family life.

  94. Hi Rhonda,

    I think I've only posted once (for the dishcloth swap.. of which I unfortunately never received mine :( ), but I come and read your posts everyday. I think I am a bit atypical reader, as I'm only 24 years old and a software developer, but I really enjoy reading about the things you do and how you create a more sustainable life. My husband and I both work full time but we still maintain a large vegetable garden and do as much as we can ourselves. We are planning on buying a farm in Sweden over the next couple of years, so I am learning as many skills as possible before we take that step.

    Anyways, just wanted to say hi :)

    Cheers from the Netherlands,

  95. I will try not to be a lurked any longer. I really love your bog. I check it everyday and most days re read through the archives to see if I can find a recipe or something. I live in Honduras with my husband as a missionaries wife. We live a simple life that I love and am trying to simplify it even more. We are building a small home for ourselves and are designing it in a way that it's home for life. You can't find a an American style home here unless you build it and to buy a home here is not possible because of prices. So we bought property and will have a little farm with chickens, goats, sheep, fruit trees and gardens. We want to be as self sufficient as possible. So your blog really inspires me. I think of you very dearly and appreciate all the hard work you put into blogging. Thank you for doing what you do. I love your blog because it is on the level where I live. I see poverty all around every day and it really gets to me when I see my native people being excessive when they can't even afford to financially. Your awesome and I'll try not to be a lurked any longer. Lori

  96. I'm a lurker, mostly... but comment on occasion. I have a private blog and get excited if ANYONE comments on it. I always assumed that you people with a huge following of readers never even had time to read your comments. ha ha... I love, love, love your blog!

  97. Rhonda,

    I have been a lurker for over 2 years. I really enjoy your blog and it has helped me so much. Thank you for blogging.

    From the USA

  98. Although I've been reading your blog almost daily for over a year and am also a Forum member, I rarely comment. I have no excuse, really, other than I don't spend as much time on the computer as I used to.

    For the record, I SO appreciate what you write and the time and effort you put into maintaining a blog that inspires others. I have learned so much and have implemented many ideas you have shared. Mostly, though, I have developed the courage to be openly proud of being a homemaker in the public arenas in which I travel. I no longer say things like, "I'm JUST a homemaker/homeschooler." I now unashamedly tell about all that fills my days and share my pride and enthusiasm for living simply. I owe that change to you, Rhonda!

    I look forward to reading your book and I do hope you will consider writing a cookbook, as well. How wonderful it would be to have all your recipes in one place.

    So, in closing, thank you again for all you do and all you share with us, your (sometimes quiet) faithful readers.

    Love and blessings from northern California!!


  99. Your page is my homepage....I love the encouragement you give to all of us. I may not comment much but I gleen much from reading your thoughts everyday. Your words comfort me. Thankyou Rhonda!

  100. Another lurker here! I have commented and been involved in swaps, but it has been way too long. Hopefully, I can be more involved, after I get my last two boxes unpacked from moving. :) I can't wait until your book comes out.

  101. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    I'm so happy you got so much response on your post. I think everyone is very grateful for all the great advice you give.
    What a fantastic idea of Pandora to include your blog.
    You must be so very proud !!
    Have a great day and I agree with the other Monique, I hope your book will be published in Dutch ; )

  102. Congrats on your blog being Archives! I suppose I am one of your lurkers- But I have learned so much fromyour blog and caome to get education from you! Lol! Things my mom never taught me or how to do something new. Enjoy your time with your family and take good care. I hope your book or books will be available in America! Look forward to purchasing this one getting ready to be published. I just fell that I can learn from this book.

  103. Just stopping to let you know I do read here and have for a long time. You did not have the anonymous option earlier and I would have had to sign on to something to comment otherwise. I have not checked in a very long time to see...SO! Now I will comment from time to time. I do not mind using my name etc, just am not much of a "joiner" to groups. I do enjoy reading here and appreciate all the helpful things you share. Perhaps one day we will be able to institute more of them in our own lives. Retirement and changes loom ahead so we shall see.

    Elizabeth in NC

  104. It is true, there is you and a handful of other bloggers that have taught me how to cook! And I must say, I do a pretty good job of it too! :)
    I try not to be a lurker. :P

  105. Rhonda, I'm so glad your blog is being archived permanently. I have wanted to print it all out just so I could have it, but that's not really practical! You've inspired me in so many ways.

  106. I'm another lurker who loves reading your blog. I'm looking forward to your book .. any idea when it will be released? I wish we could grow vegetables like you and Hanno but unfortunately we have a shady, rocky block of land. We do enjoy cooking though and I've even tried baking bread (disaster!). Thank you for your inspiration.

  107. It's been a long time since I've commented, but I too am a card carrying member of the 'daily lurkers' group! Thank you Rhonda for being such a grounding influence in my day - I look forward to every post and have gained so much from all that you so generously share.I'm not surprised at the reaction - you have touched so many people's lives xxx

  108. Hello Rhonda,
    Sometimes I'm one day behind with reading (it's still Thursday here in the Netherlands). ;) Anyway, I am a long-time lurker, you are really my favourite blogger but have not commented before. I'm also one of those 'young women in their 20s who have started their adult lives, with a partner, on a simple, sustainable path'. :) We sincerely hope to live a self-sufficient life one day. I am 22 and still in uni but we are trying in all areas, such as cooking from scratch and baking our own bread. And I'm going to learn to knit this summer (your winter).
    I really long to join the forum too but I'm afraid it will totally suck me in (I've had that before) and as I'm busy finishing my bachelor's thesis I can't allow that. Maybe later this summer.
    By the way, I can't wait for your book to be released! I think a Down to Earth cookbook next is a wonderful idea.
    I hope this means I'm going to comment more often now ;)

  109. Rhonda,
    After reading your posts over the past few days I wanted to comment too. I read almost every one of your blog posts and I am really looking forward to buying and reading your book. I am currently a SAHM to two small children and reading your blog inspires me to be more thrifty and self sufficient which in turn should allow me to keep staying at home with them. Thank you!

  110. Oh! Until I read this, I didn't know you would care about knowing who read your blog... I thought you were probably overwhelmed with comments!

    I must tell you, I read your blog daily. It's as comforting to me as sitting down with a warm quilt and a good book. I'm loving knowing that there are others who want to live a simple life, at home, and not spend their lives spending and scurrying.

    Love love LOVE your blog, and your wonderful advice and hints and inspiration.

    Now, if I could just get the soapmaking down...

    Gina, in Canada

  111. Claire, thank you for sharing your story. I hope all goes well for you. PLease keep in touch.

    Laura, good luck with your thesis. Gina, stay tuned, I'll be posting about soap again soon.

    I've been told the book will be published in Australia in March 2012. We're still trying to get it published in USA and UK, I hope it will happen soon. Either way, I'll have some here for sale that I can sign before sending.

    You can comment as anonymous now. I still read every comment before it's posted so for those of you who said they've been attacked by competitors, that will never happen here because I would never allow any hurtful comments through.

  112. I am a lurker as well-though I think I have made a comment here and there in the past. I usually read your blog via Google Reader on my phone. I have to click through to your website to read your blog posts- which until recently has been a little difficult on my phone. You have changed something so that now your website reformats perfectly for my phone and it is so much easier! Thanks for that! I get my daily dose of inspiration from you every morning. Thank you so much for spending the time doing what you do.

  113. wow, what a tribute!!

  114. Congratulations on the archiving! Yours is always one of my favourite "places" to visit. And your words have, over time, inspired and encouraged me to go down a path I was not even aware of five years ago. In choosing a simpler life it is easy to feel lonely, but I think blogging bridges the distances.

  115. Congratulations Rhonda, and rightly so that your blogging should be kept, as it is so informative to all interested, it is so NOW!
    Fantastic you are making history!

  116. A am a lurker from Central Texas. Have been reading your blog for about 3 years now. Such an inspiration and sure have been doing a better job on making our bed. LOL Looking forward to buying your book. Thanks for everything. Pat/Texas

  117. ahhh, maybe that 'lurker' was me when I asked you to send something to sarndra ?!?!!? :)
    I always try to check in and dont comment much, half the time I do try and comment, it doesnt work ?!?! computer gremlins :) but thankyou for writing your blog and please keep writing !! I keep coming back for inspiration and new ideas :) all of us as readers, commentors or not :) appreciate your time spent writing your blog and thankyou for sharing it with us !
    Lauren x

  118. Hi Rhonda,
    I've been reading your blog for some time, but have also been just a lurker. I thought I would finally comment to let you know that you are being heard! I fit into the 20 something category and I really appreciate you sharing your experience with us. I feel that even though some bloggers are older than me, I can learn so much more from them. So, thank you. Also, I was wondering if you are ever going to sell your homemade soap? It looks so interesting, but I live in a tiny apartment and don't have much room for supplies and such. Again, thanks!

  119. Russian Doll, I'll be selling the soap online in my shop very soon. You do know I'm in Australia?

  120. I think I have posted a time or two before but I thought I'd say hello anyway. I've being on this path for a couple years now and recently turning thirty has made me really focus on how to spend the next thirty or so years orf what remains of my 'woring' life though seeing as the goverment keeps pushing back retirment age who knows. Reading your blog helps me focus of what I actually want, instead of the constant bombardment of what advertising, friends, work co-workers and even family tell me what I should want.

  121. As a single 68 year old woman trying to live the simple life, you and several other bloggers have become my best friends and I look forward to reading your blogs every day. You truly inspire me!
    You're so fortunate to have two grandbabies to sew and knit for! I've recently come upon a new blog www.sarasews.wordpress.com who makes beautiful children's clothing from patterns from www.oliverands.com. I wish I had someone to sew for!
    Hoping to purchase a book and look forward to a cookbook too.
    Mary Ellen, Pennsylvania, USA

  122. I don't always comment, but I'm often around! I'm one of those 20 somethings you mentioned, trying to follow a more simple, sustainable path. Your blog is a constant inspiration and a reminder of the truly important things in life. In a world that is so often shallow, materialistic and superficial, your world is so grounded and real. Thank you for everything you do and for sharing it with us!

    Much love, Katie x

  123. I, too, Rhonda, often don't take the time to comment on what you have written. I do read your blog almost every other day, and before I got so busy with work over the past couple of months, I'm lucky if I've been able to check my own blog let alone anyone else's.

    I have many of the same reasons as others on here - just passing through to see what you are up to, worried about privacy issues about what I write and how it could possibly be used against me, but most of it comes down to time. But, more often than not, people are saying the same things about what you have written that I am thinking and feel like I'd be seeking my 2 seconds of 'fame' if I reply and there's my name. Do you understand what I'm trying, badly, to say.

    Consider yourself like a substitute grandmother - you are teaching me the things my own mother didn't or my grandmothers couldn't. Our families are so scattered these days and it is women like you who have stepped up to that mentoring role.

    For what it's worth - I've only got 6 followers on my blog so you are almost legendary in my eyes!

    Keep up the beautiful work and continue making me feel like I know you.

  124. I love your blog, but never leave any comments,sorry :0( looking forward to your book though!!!!!

  125. I have read your blog a lot over the last few months but I never leave a comment because I have nothing extra to add. Many people who comment say what I would say much more eloquently.

    I am a working mum to 2 girls and a husband who works as well. We are in the "rat race" phase, probably money rich and time poor. So I do not do any of the things which you do wonderfully but I may aspire to it some day.

  126. Rhonda,
    I live in SW Florida in the U.S.. I found your blog quite by accident through a friends blog. I have been "lurking" a few weeks.
    Your blog is insightful and filled with information. Many of the things you do I learned as a child and am re-learning as an adult. Your blog shows that one can live with intention and have a life full of grace.
    Keep doing what you are doing!
    In the sub-tropics

  127. I realize that I'm writing this comment to an old posting, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your blog and the soap recipes. I finally can run my dishwasher without the HORRIBLE smell of the commercial detergent! Thank you Rhonda. And I have made the laundry detergent at considerable savings to using the bottled stuff.

    We are nearly at an end of our winter here in Ottawa Ontario Canada and I look forward to gardening in my back yard again.

    Much love to you and your family
    Rita Moore


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