What happened on the weekend?

4 June 2012
It was a public holiday for Show Day here last Friday, so all day Friday I thought it was Saturday and on Saturday I thought it was Sunday. It was good to have another day up my sleeve.  Hanno's back is starting to return to normal now so gentle work has resumed in the garden, and seedlings and seeds are in our thoughts again. The weekends are usually the days we work together more. I wander out into the garden to sit on the bench and watch, Hanno returns the favour and wanders into the kitchen while I'm cooking, to talk. It's a good partnership.

On Friday, our friends, Ernie and Jenny, came to visit. I told you a little while ago I'm working towards something exciting, well, I'm going into business with Ernie! Jenny and Hanno will be our helpers. We're doing a number of things, starting off with blogging for beginners workshops on the Sunshine Coast. Our first will be in Maleny in July, then we'll do a few more down along the coast. There will be two types of workshops - one will be the basics of blogging, with time to answer your questions. The other will be limited in numbers with hands-on instructions on how to set up a blog from scratch. When you leave, you'll have a functioning blog. I'll have more details closer to the date.

Here we are having morning tea and talking about our joint ventures last Friday.

There are other workshops in the pipeline too, some on practical things like soap making, baking, jams, preserving, gardening etc, that will be conducted here at our place. Ernie and I will also be starting an online magazine focusing on sustainability and sustainable communities. The four of us see this as a great way forward, a sound way of sharing with others and a way to build our community. There are a few other projects in there but I'll give you more information when we're closer to the launch time.

These two beauties just need a good clean up and they'll be ready for their second lives, brewing hundred of cups of tea.  Oh, and if you're wondering what we've done to that door in the background, Hanno is sanding it back and revarnishing.

Over the weekend I picked up two tea pots at the wonderful Beerwah Recycle Facility. Trish is the manager there and she is a firm supporter of the Neighbourhood Centre. I had asked her to look out for a large teapot for me because I am trying to steer the Centre away from using tea bags. I prefer instead to make a pot of tea using tea leaves. When we have a large gathering, we use almost a box of tea bags. With a tea pot we'll be much more prudent with the tea. Trish found us a lovely old style teapot that I guess would serve about 8 - 10 cups. She also had a smaller glass pot - an old coffee pot, that we can use for our herbal tea drinkers. Thanks for the donations, Trish!

I did the usual cooking and baking on the weekend: date scones and bread were baked and I made a big pot of pea and lentil soup. It will probably feed us for a few days. I also needed to use up some eggs, so I made a baked custand. This is the same as a Creme Brulee - without the caramel. I'll give you the recipe later in the week. Clothes and bedding were washed and hung to dry, the bed made, floor swept and the cat and chooks fed. We thought we'd lost our little bantam, Mary, the one who was always broody. She was no where to be found for three days. We thought a python had swallowed her, but then Hanno lifted up a piece of iron cladding and there she was. She had made a nest for herself and was sitting quietly on 15 eggs! One of our Barnevelders is not growing as she should. Her sister has just started laying but she hasn't even developed her comb yet. My fear is that she will fade away. We can't find anything wrong with her. She is eating fairly well but she doesn't mix with the other chooks and prefers to wander around alone.

Over the rest of the weekend, I was knitting, reading, writing, sending emails and speaking to various members of my family on the phone. It was just the right mix of work and rest. The weather is cool here and it's been raining, so while I went about my work I felt cosy because I was inside most of the time and knew there was soup to warm up for dinner. It was a lovely weekend. I hope yours was too. I'm now looking forward to a full and busy week.


  1. Sounds like a busy/quiet weekend full of great ideas and productive work. Glad to hear Hanno is on the mend!

  2. Good morning! I loved reading your post today...thank you! Your blog makes me so very happy! Looking forward to the online sustainability magazine.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful weekend.
    Great plans, I'd love to hear more.
    I'm so happy Hanno is feeling a bit better.
    Have a great day !!!

  4. Good luck with your latest venture! You are sure to be an inspiration to new bloggers. :)
    Here's to big Teapots! I'm a pot-at-a-time tea-maker, especially in summer when I make jars of herbal tea in the fridge to cool. Tag sales have provided me with almost all my old Pyrex cookware, and I've been keeping my eyes open for that very Pyrex teapot...it's got a nice wide knob on the lid, and an open handle, both of which make gripping easier for arthritic fingers. Fingers crossed I'll find one this summer...the tag sales are just about to begin.

  5. Haha! Suddenly it hit me (again): the 4th of June.. We are still on the third! ;o) How weird to read a post in the future..

    Bur Rhonda, it feels good to be back at your place. Due to a lot of work, a little princess taking her first steps and reaching for or climbing on everything she discovers, it is a busy time for me. I hardly can't find time and peace for reading and posting :o( But now I am here.. how wonderful to read today's post!

    thank you again for sharing. I wish you, Hanno, your loved ones and all your readers a very happy and lovely week.

    Love from Holland!

  6. Oh.. by the way.. under your blogpost I can't read the words under 'interesting' 'cool' and 'will do'.

    Just to let you know!

  7. Good luckin your new venture!

    Over in the UK, we have a 4 day weekend for the Diamond Jubilee. So despite it being Sunday night, we're only halfway through here. The unseasonal (unless you take into account it's a Bank Holiday) put paid to most plans today, but at least we have another two days to make up for it.

  8. Hi Rhonda your new biz sounds exciting. Some days I wished I lived closer so I could come to experience some of this great classes.
    Will some of them be avaiable on online?


  9. Sam, yes, there will be some online components but it's all still in the planning stage. When it's more developed, I'll tell you more about it.

  10. Hi Rhonda, It all sounds very interesting. Look forward to hearing more about it.

  11. I have a Pyrex tea pot like the one you show and a taller glass coffee pot of theirs too with the glass stem and basket for the grounds. I am glad your friend found them for you. I hope you don't over due...seems you have many new projects to do in many different areas. I know you have thought this all out and know your energy and time level. I just read it all and though WOW! That is a lot to add! It was good to hear Hanno's back is getting much better. My son hurt his back months ago and is still the same. It is encouraging to hear that Hanno IS getting better. I used to use the loose tea leaves years ago. Now when I look for them I cannot find them for sale. I will keep looking. I can find flavored teas loose but not the basic. I cannot read either the lines after your posts...but mine missing are the lines under the line starting Interesting...Cool etc. I can read them fine then the next line is only 1/3 there. Its been that way for a while. Thanks for keeping us up to date on your doings! Sarah

  12. Loved your post. Can't wait to see your online magazine. I too also wished i lived closer to attend some classes with you.

  13. I had a rotten night last night, waking to hear our chooks squawking madly and one of them crying in pain. I ran out in the dark to see a creature leap over the fence (perhaps a fox?), feathers EVERYWHERE and my poor white hen laying so still. I thought she was dead and couldn't see well enough to do anything so back to bed I went. I was on hyper-alert for the next few hours and couldn't sleep a wink. At first light I got up to see the damage and was amazed to see she was still alive, albeit minus most of her feathers on her chest and underbelly. I couldn't see any blood but she wouldn't let me hold her so I can't check. Would you recommend letting her be, or putting her down?

    I'm feeling rather fragile and traumatised after it all, the sounds last night were horrible.

    I'll have to find a handyman friend today to help me secure the pen. Up until now (for the last 30 odd years) they have just had a wire fence around a large pen (like the old school fences) with no mishaps but perhaps it is time to create a lock-up area for them at night.

    Congratulations on your new venture - sounds exciting.


    PS I won your book from another blogsite a few weeks ago and read it cover to cover. It's fantastic! Thanks for writing it.

  14. Hi everyone, thank you for your kindness and for letting me know the problems you're having with the new layout. As you can see, I have darkened the text to make it much more user friendly and over the coming days, as I have time, I'll address the problems you're raising.

  15. Mim, how horrible your you and your chook. Maybe a dog has moved into the neighbourhood? Maybe it's a passing fox, who knows. But you do need to secure that pen. I would see if you can hold her now. don't rush in and grab her, just go in, talk quietly, see if you can stroke her and then pick her up. Chooks often die of fright up to a day after trauma, but maybe, if her wounds aren't so bad, and you can keep her quiet in a nest box by herself, with water and food close by, she may recover. I wouldn't put her down unless she is really badly injured. Good luck, love.

    We lost one of our Barnevelders last night. She had died during the night and was under the roosts when I went out there early this morning. :- (

  16. Sorry to hear your girl died. That's very sad, but perhaps you are not surprised if it was the one you said was on her own and not growing? I wonder why she didn't grow.

    I love hens, they are so beautiful and have such lovely personalities. Most people don't really understand how we can get upset by a chook dying.

    Thanks for your advice re my hen.

  17. Good morning Rhonda,
    Exciting news from you this morning.
    Yes, sounds like you had a really nice weekend.
    Looking forward to hearing all the news of your new business and wishing you and Hanno my best wishes as you venture forth in new directions.
    So pleased to hear your back is improving Hanno.
    Blessings Gail

  18. I love the way you describe you and Hanno working together on weekends - you sitting in the garden watching him work, and him sitting in the kitchen watching you work :-)

    But like you say, it is a good partnership. That is just the way it feels for me with my husband. I'm doing some casual work at the moment, and one of the things I miss most because I'm not there at home as much is just being with my man. We don't have to be doing the same things, but just being in the same space and chatting, and helping if needed, is wonderful.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of your new endeavours.

  19. With your busy full life it sounds like a weekend at home did the trick for you & Hanno. It's nice to hear he's on the mend as backs can often be troublesome for awhile, so make sure he takes it slowly (which I'm sure you would anyway..... sorry, it's the nurse in me). The new venture sounds great... more new skills for me to learn. They say that a child learns more in the first two years of it's life than it does in the rest of it's life..... well, I reckon I'm giving any 2 yr old a run for their money because I'm learning heaps & can't get enough of it. To get to your workshops at Maleny will be a pleasant drive for me.... not too far. I look forward to it..... "lock it in Eddie".

  20. Glad to hear Hanno is feeling better and your weekend sounds lovely. I wish you luck in your new ventures, hopefully I might even get to attend one of your future workshops if you have any on a Monday. There is very little in our area on a Monday which is my day off work.

  21. oh, now I am just all excited about the mag idea. how great it would be to get a mag that has helpful household hints, small diy projects and cooking tips and recipies. Oh, cant wait.
    ...or sewing projects, knitting patterns.......


  22. Glad that Hanno is feeling better. My back is not very kind to me and I have injections every couple of months. Your new adventure sounds great! I so much want to learn how to blog. Will ya'll be offering an online class? Blessings, Carolyn Gilbert Pensacola, Florida

  23. Hi Rhonda! I'm also having a few chicken problems! We have three chooks that are 1.5 years old. One never really grew very big but did lay a few eggs. Two of the chooks though haven't laid in 6 months so my husband and I got two new younger chooks yesterday and put them all together in their pen last night - this morning the older chooks were at one end of the garden (they free range) and the new chooks were hiding behind the raised vegie bed. Have you got any suggestions for integrating the new and older chookies?

  24. g'day rhonda & hanno

    glad to hear hanno is on the mend

    just wanting to wish you good luck in your newest venture & like everyone else in here can't wait for more info

    have a great week

    cheers :))
    selina from kilkivan qld

  25. Sounds gloriously cosy - oh how I wish we had recycling here. I agree re tea leaves vs bag (my Grandma always could tell if you tried to cheat and rip a bag lol). I only use leaves and proper tea pots and the pots can go for ages (if you take out the infuser about two minutes after you put the water in and set it aside it can be re-used more often than if you let it sit in there and stew). Happy winter gardening :)

  26. Hi Rhonda - so excited to hear about your blog course, just can't believe the timing - it is just what I have been looking for!!! And all the other plans sound fantastic.

  27. WOW, you are SOOOO ambitious and hard working!! I am amazed!! Hope all will work out well!!

    Elizabeth in NC

  28. Oh Rhonda, I love the photo of your new/old teapots. One of my bridesmaids' mothers gave me the exact Pyrex pot for a shower gift when I married in 1975. The pot got broken after 30+ years and Miss Thelma is gone, too. (smile) But such wonderful memories! I shall be on the lookout for a replacement now.

    Glynn in the US

  29. Such a lovely weekend :) and your new business ventures all sound very exciting!! I look forward to hearing more about them as they unfold!

  30. Rhonda, your new venture sounds so exciting. So much for retirement eh? I would be interested in a workshop about blogs so it would be great if that would be online at some stage. I am pleased to hear that Hanno is slowly recovering and is back in the garden. Looking forward to meeting you on the 13th here in Toowoomba.

  31. Hi:)
    What a nice weekend for you!

  32. Hi Rhonda, I am pleased to hear you will be teaching blogging classes, what a great way to share your experience. I have just learnt some tips about creating e-magazines in my blogging course and it is so inspiring. My mind is going a million miles an hour! The ideas are endless for these types of publications and I'm sure that yours will have that great Down to Earth feel about it. I lopk forward to seeing/reading what you come up with!

  33. Hi Rhonda,

    It sounds like you had a lovely weekend!! that extra day is always a treat :)

    I live in Canada, and my husband and I are in the process of buying a farm. I'd love to start a blog to keep our family updated, but I have no idea where to start. Is it possible to record and then post your Blogging for Beginners workshop? (I recently did a book repair workshop, and I was able to film it with my digital video camera and then upload it to YouTube. We then embedded it to a website: http://www.bcla.bc.ca/LTAIG/page/book%20repair%20workshop.aspx so I can share it with the world)

    Thanks Rhonda! You are such an inspiration :)


  34. Glad Hanno is feeling better.
    The blogger course sounds great as does the online magazine.
    The teapots look lovely and I wonder why they aren't used at more community gatherings instead of teabags. I remember coffee percolators as a child and Mum used to have ours perking in the morning and it filled the kitchen with it's warm smell and we used to watch the coffee perk up into the glass bowl at the top and amuse ourselves by guessing when the next perk would fill the bowl. A bit of harmless time wasting on a Winter morning.

  35. Sounds like you're very busy Rhonda. I look forward to when you publish the dates for some of the ones you will be doing from home, the day at Maleny would be lovely.

  36. Hello Rhonda,

    I am excited to hear about your workshops.

    I was lucky enough to be at your Maroochydore Library talk the other week. You were very inspiring. I have also just received your book (as a gift - I had hinted at) I love it. Congratulations, it is a credit to you. It is the perfect book for me right now, as I adjust life, a little bit each day to a slower and simpler life. I spent a rainy Saturday afternoon putting together a housekeeping journal (a work in progress) - now why hadn't I thought of that!

    Thanks for your inspiration.

  37. Hi Rhonda,
    Your new ventures sound fabulous!

    I am so excited that you are going to run hands on courses from home.

    I have often thought - wouldnt it be great if Rhonda taught weekend classes at the neighbourhood centre, and Tim and I could come up to lovely Maleny for a weekend and cram in lots of lessons - soap making, breadmaking, laundry liquid, yoghurt - all the things I would love to incorporate into my increasingly-growing-simpler life, but havent jumped into yet because I feel I need to be physically shown rather than just "having a go" using written instructions.

    Oh I cant wait!!

    Thankyou Rhonda!

    Sarah from Jimboomba


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