Slowing down to a quieter and gentler life

10 September 2012
Today is a new beginning for me because yesterday I did the last of my public appearances. I made a committment to myself to promote the book for six month and to stop in September. So I had two wonderful days at the Real Food Festival in Maleny, met many people who came along to listen to me talk about simple life and bread-making and now it's over. I have to tell you that although I enjoyed it and felt privileged and honoured to travel around meeting so many interesting people, it is not in my nature to seek the spotlight and I'm pleased to get back to being my anonymous self. I'd make a terrible celebrity.

This is the pop-up Rosetta's book shop at the festival. I know this area well, it's the shed they judge the poultry in at the Maleny Show.

Maleny Co-op had a great stall showcasing all their organic produce.

And, close to my heart, the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre fundraising stall, selling gourmet sausages on local bread, with homemade lemon cordial and Anzacs. We got this stall as my payment for speaking at the festival. Our sewing circle convenor, Pam, made the bunting.

On a sadder note, these two last days were the only days Hanno has not been at my side when I've travelled out. He felt too sick on the weekend to go anywhere, so it all ended quietly with me telling myself as I drove down the mountain that tomorrow would be a new start with my focus firmly on the domestic, with the gate closed, here at home. Yay!

But I have to thank everyone I've met on my travels, particularly those I met on the weekend, for your kindness and generosity. As usual, I came home with homemade bits and pieces that people have made for us and it was good to see Hanno smile when I walked in with a 30 inch long pink, knitted, sausage dog - a draft stopper for the front door.

One of the ladies I met on Saturday was Diana, who picked me out of the crowd and we started talking. As many knitters know, the conversation slowly edged its way around to knitting and Diana asked me about my dish cloths. She's just started making them. I told her that I'm currently making a few looser knit cloths because they dry much quicker and I prefer them now to the tighter knits. I have made a smaller tight knit as a face cloth for a baby (above), but the loose knit larger cloth is for my cleaning and dishes. It's not as pretty as the smaller one, but it's very effective as a cleaner.

The cloth in the photo above is larger than normal and all in plain knit - I think they're really good for dusting and wiping down walls and benchtops. Usually I'd make up a loose weave cloth using about 30 stitches and knit about 30 - 35 rows. The larger one above is about 40 - 45 stitches, on size 9 needles using 8 ply pure cotton.

Today I'm taking Hanno back to see the surgeon. I hope he can stop taking the antibiotics because they're making him sick. Tomorrow we'll go back to the OT to have the splint refitted, then we'll settle back in here at home again. I've already started thinking about getting back into a routine and working on a few new projects. No doubt we'll have weekly OT visits and doctors visits for a while but I'm not committed to any writing work, no public engagements and apart from a few days to fill in at the neighbourhood centre in the coming month, I'll be a homebody. I've missed being in my home. I'm pleased to have that busy stage behind me now and that I can start living a quieter and gentler life again. I hope you'll come along for the ride. Who knows what we'll discover right here in our own homes.


  1. Hi Rhonda
    I am so glad you can enjoy your home again with out the pressures of travels. Mine are just starting as the next three months being homeschool curriculum expo season. I hope it is only good news for Hanno today.

  2. So pleased to hear Hanno is recovering well! Good to hear you speak of simplifying your life again. Of course I shall come along for the ride. I might not always leave a comment, but I`m regulary reading your inspirational blog posts. Best wishes to you and Hanno. I`m looking forward to your next blog addition.

  3. Hi Rhonda,

    I completely understand the need for slowing down and enjoying your own home, its quietness and puttering around at your own pace - not someone else's. Just this weekend, we pulled the gate closed to our house (driveway is 1/4 mile long and sometimes folks think it is another road to travel down). It has been so peaceful being alone to do or not do anything we pleased.

    I smiled whenever I read your comment about being saddened that Hanno was not by your side. I too, have a husband who is my very best friend, and although I'm a very independent person, I miss him if he's not nearby most of the time. I'm sorry that Hanno's medicine is making him sick - that's what I call adding insult to injury! Hopefully he won't need the antibiotics much longer.

    Enjoy your getting back to refocusing on the domestic...can't think of a better thing to be doing.

    Love from Diane in North Carolina

  4. This was a lovely post Rhonda. I can feel you slowing down. Please give my best wishes to Hanno, sorry to hear that he was poorly over the weekend.

  5. Slowing down to a quieter and gentler life sounds good to me. Wishing you and Hanno well and I hope he's able to get off the antibiotics soon.

    You are such an inspiration Rhonda.

    Thank you ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

  6. Oh Rhonda - I TOTALLY understand your post. When I get too busy out of the house, I feel really disjointed and it's hard for me to accomplish what I want to at home. I lose my momentum and I end up working in interrupted fits and starts. I much prefer the gentle flow of a natural day that evolves effortlessly from one task to another... I wish you all the best and most certainly, for dear Hanno to be given the go ahead to stop the antibiotics. Perhaps you would consider giving him some probiotics to restore his natural flora in the body... Hugs,


  7. My husband is my best friend too. We think along the same lines, which is good in a partnership. I hope that Hanno can get some a-b's that suit him (he can probably get them changed - having been on a-bs for a chest infection on and off for over 18 months now I feel qualified to speak!) So draw up the drawbridge, batten the hatches and have some peace and quiet.

  8. Good morning Rhonda, looked like it was a great weekend for you. I also love being home. When I check my diary and see a week of nothingness coming up I am excited about the possibilities of all that time at home doing what I want and need to do to whether that be catching up on reading or even the ironing and spending time in the garden. Here's to the good home life!

  9. It's funny how the universe works out sometimes, just at a time when Hanno needs you home, you are there. It's rotten luck about his hand, but good timing with your work schedule. I hope Hanno recovers quickly, and I am so pleased you can nestle back into home again.

  10. Dear Rhonda, I am so very glad that I got to meet you last Saturday, just before you closed the gate. Sitting and chatting with you, Ann and the lovely Aunty Bev was the best part of the Festival for me. When we were heading back down the mountain the boys, who were very reluctant to come, wanted to know when the next one would be!

    I too am very happy to be home again. Best of luck to Hanno for the surgeon's visit.

    Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

  11. Hi Rhonda, I do hope Hanno is feeling better very soon. How lovely to settle back down to a quiet restful life after your very busy one lately. Take care and both of you rest up.

  12. Slowing down sounds wonderful Rhonda. I hope Hanno is feeling better soon. There is nothing worse than having to take medication which makes you feel sick. Enjoy your time in your own little nest.

  13. Rhonda it was so lovely to get to meet you at the festival. Thank you so much for all that you give of yourself especially when as you say some of it does not come naturally and you would rather just get about your life in a quiet and gentle way. You provide inspiration everyday through your blog so never feel that you are not doing enough, so many lives are better because of you.
    I hope everything goes well for Hanno and he makes a speedy recovery. And I hope you too get the extra support you need as you take on more in your role supporting him.

    Take Care


  14. I love your comment about closing the gate....I have to do this often, as well even though I have no gate! I have taken on a second job recently which has turned out to be a "crazy busy" job and I really don't like all that frenetic activity very much. I prefer to be at home with my projects, my daily routine of walking or swimming and cooking healthy meals. It helps me to know there are others who feel as I do....enjoying life behind the gate!

  15. Hi Rhonda...congratulations on the last 6 months...I think you have done a marvelous job spreading the word about a more gentler, simpler way of doing things which in turn has helped people as well...All the best to Hanno for a speedy recovery and I hope he can come off the antibiotics too! YOU GO GIRL...Dzintra

  16. Rhonda,
    It was great to see you on the weekend & meet Karen, who for me is a local DTE'er. Hopefully we can get together with other locals soon & form a local DTE group. I could sense on the weekend that you were running on low batteries & not quite your usual spark, (could have been that Hanno wasn't by your side & subconsciously he was on your mind, at home unwell), so am glad that you have no more pressing engagements & can go back to being the homebody that brings you both fulfillment & contentment. I'm sure we're all happy for you to just be one of us DTE'ers but you'll always be a shining star in our eyes.
    Best wishes to Hanno for his recovery to good health & happiness.
    Ann x x

  17. The warm fireplaceSeptember 10, 2012 9:00 am

    With all that has happened with Hanno you must both need the rest and peace of home, take care.

  18. As Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" discovered, there truly is no place like home.

  19. it was lovely to meet you yesterday, I'm sure the extra tips on bread making will make a difference to my results. I'm also glad the draught stopper gave Hanno a giggle, they seem to have their own personality & always make me smile. Hope Hanno's feeling better, antiobiotics quite often upset your tummy but are a necessary evil. Deb M

  20. Hi Rhonda,
    Its good to hear that you and Hanno are doing okay. What a blessing that you are able to slow down again and focus on family and home, particularly at this time of challenge for Hanno.
    Thank you for your blog. It encourages me on my journey. Its funny, I grew up living simply and frugally, and never wandered far from that lifestyle, but I'm certainly more passionate about it now that my husband and I have kids (now 7 and 4 years old) and own our own house and land. Your blog has helped me to be proud of what I'm quietly achieving on the home front.
    Liz (Theodore, Qld).

  21. Glad you are home, taking a breather and focusing on what is truly most important to you and your family :)

    Just a thought: I have made lots of knitted washcloths to test stitch patterns for other projects, and discovered by happy accident that a very simply "lace" pattern (like including a YO, K2Tog in alternate rows) makes for a lighter dishcloth with better scrubbiness, faster drying time, AND a pretty look!

  22. Hi Rhonda
    Good on you for making the committment to become a homebody again. Sometimes things happen to remind us ie Hanno' accident of where we need to be. I am saving hard and just working part time to spend more time at home. I found some new projects to do at home not much cost just labour just they way I like it I will make my dishclothes looser as well, makes sense as usual they do take a long time to dry. love to you both Di

  23. It's good to be 'just home' suits me fine...I lose touch with the house, the garden and my family when life is busy and we are out a lot during the week.......yesterday I sat in the sun with two of my children, and we talked and watched the chooks that were was calm and peaceful and we could have been a million miles away from the suburbia that we live it, it felt so quiet..........I hope you get some time 'in the sun' to relax and enjoy being home....still thinking of Hanno and his recovery...I bet he is wishing for 'back to normal' as well........x

  24. that is what it is all about isn't it? Take care of your wonderful hubby and spend some time smelling the roses.

  25. I feel the same way,too! When life gets busy,I just want the sanctuary of home. I have a busy week coming up and am dreading it already. I would love to putter around home all day. Maybe the next week....
    My best to you and Hanno both and I hope you have a good week at home! Darlene

  26. Rhonda,
    I do not usually comment but wanted to say that if Hanno will still be taking a/b and has tummy troubles give the a/b with at least a half cup of cooked basmati rice with just a bit of butter. One hour after taking the a/b take a MULTI strain probiotic(taken after each dose) A/b kill off the natural flora in the intestinal tract and can give some ugly side effects.
    If he is finished with a/b he should increase his comsumption of fermented foods and drinks.

  27. Rhonda, I always wondered what for were these knitted dish clothes, as this is not common here in Brazil. I think I'll give it a try... :-)
    And I hope you and Hano enjoy these days at home... :-)

  28. The festival looked great Rhonda but glad you will have some time to slow down the pace a little now....and i hate to tell you but you are a celebrity already hehe!
    I do hope Hanno feels better, i know he will enjoy having you home with the gate closed fora little bit.
    I like the idea of the looser knit dishcloths as i find them hard to get dry in our humid weather and they go smelly quickly...will give them a try those colours by the way, so cheery!
    Enjoy your week x

  29. I wish we had a festival like this in England it looked great (perhaps we do and I just don't know about it)?
    Glad you are looking forward to being at home.

  30. Sorry to hear about Hanno feeling sick on his antibiotics. I know how that feels. Given some after flu and kept throwing up all weekend. Saw the doc, who said I was allergic to them and promptly changed me over. I'm sure you must really be looking forward to being back at home, especially with your Spring and Summer to come?

  31. I hope that Hanno soon begins to feel better and that you both enjoy quieter times at home as his hand heals.

  32. Hi Rhonda,
    Glad to hear you are able to take it easier now. You two need a good rest. I hope they take Hanno off the antibiotics soon. Don't forget to give him plenty of natural yoghurt to replace his natural flora. ( Gosh ,I'm sounding like my mother) Anyway I must say I think of you whenever I walk up our drive and close our gate. Such a good feeling to know that you won't be disturbed.
    Blessings Gail

  33. Totally understand the need to slow down and enjoy being home. I still work in the city one day per week and miss my home so much when I am away from it. I have your book on my Christmas list. If I don't get it I will have to buy it myself :) Thank you for your wonderful blog, I read every day but don't always get the chance to comment. Cheers Judy

  34. Wow I've been gone longer than I thought! I took a computer break for a couple weeks to finish up my winter canning and gardening, yet I wish I had popped on. I will definitely be praying for you and Hanno- I hope he feels better soon. :( Thank goodness it wasn't more serious. Thinking about you both!
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  35. How blessed are people like ourselves who are at their happiest and most peaceful in their homes! My beloved husband of 40 yrs died recently and people say to me I expect you will move now,the house is far too big for just one person. But this is not just a house,it is a building full of love,happy memories,family times and yes,some sad times,but it represents a lifetime of all that represents the most important parts of life.
    I hope Hanno starts to feel better soon,you have both had a terrible shock.

  36. Happy for you, that the 'busy' is over - and many congratulations (again) on your book and its success. I love your knitted cloths! There is nothing I'd rather clean with, in my home, and I've been doing a bit of knitting myself. Have a good week, Rhonda.

  37. One of my friends is battling cancer at the moment, and has to endure chemo. She is also into natural remedies she has tried to incorporate into her treatment plan, with the assistance of her medical team.

    So with that in mind, if Hanno is having issues with antibiotics, maybe you could consider an complimentary treatment plan to get his natural immunity back on track? Anything that can stimulate the liver (which is the filter for the body) to be up to the job of disposing of the antibiotics after they've passed through, will help. Sickness is a sign the body is not coping with the stress being placed upon it.

    If you can incorporate plenty of green, leafy plants, definitely ginger beer to help alleviate nausea, and a good source of pasture fed meat, it will help boost his bodies ability to repair itself.

    Antibiotics are often needed after surgery, but it's what patients eat afterwards which can speed up recovery. If Hanno isn't quite up to eating solids, then maybe some soups are in order? I hope he gets better soon. Take care.

  38. I can feel the happiness in your note about closing the gate doors and nesting :) and my prayers for a uneventful recovery for Hanno... if he has to stay on the antibiotics. you might want to ask about another kind or get some anti nausea pills... we are entering into autumn and then winter here in the US..(ohio) and i too am closing in to a quieter season.... looking forward to reading your posts coming up... P.S. I crocheted a bunch of cloths for our soldiers to use as facecloths last Christmas.. will do again this year.... jean Ohio USA


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