3 December 2014

Rolling down to the end of the year

When I was younger, I always loved this time of year because it was the start of summer and everyone was thinking about the holidays. Back then, I lived near the beach so after work and often before work, I went swimming at Bondi. It was invigorating and had the ability to focus my mind like a razor. I always worked well when I swam before work. Now I don't like summer but I still like this time of year. Now it represents the end of another chapter when I check to see I've done what I was obliged to do, along with all I wanted to do, and I start thinking about the coming year. Now it's a time of reckoning and preparation.

My computer is still in being repaired so I have very limited photos. I've taken all of these this morning. 

Although we haven't spoken about it yet, we'll probably have Christmas lunch here at home. I'm sure Kerry and Sunny won't have the time or energy to prepare a large lunch so I'm guessing they'll be here, and possibly Jens and Cathy. Shane, Sarndra and Alex will be staying at home in Gladstone because the house they're renting is being sold and they have to move. They're hoping to come down during January. I'm trying to get some gifts up to Alex, in two medium sized boxes, and I'm hoping that someone who will be driving through Landsborough can take them to Gladstone for me. If you're driving that route sometime in the next three weeks can you please email me on rhondahetzel@gmail.com  Thank you.

Usually at this time I'd be wanting Thursday to arrive because it would be the first day of the Cricket Test Match at the Gabba. That, for me, was always the real start to summer. I'd have my knitting reading to go, plenty of ice cubes in the freezer and some books close to my lounge chair so I could watch cricket and read at the same time. But this year there has been the tragic death of a young cricketer, Phillip Hughes, who probably would have played in the upcoming match. He was killed during a game when struck on the neck with a cricket ball; such an unimaginable sadness, killing a fine young man, only 25. His funeral will be held today. So the matches have been changed around and the first match will now be held in Adelaide, a week late, to give his family, his fellow players and the nation, a chance to mourn his loss. RIP Phillip.

Yesterday, Sandi (Blinky) came over for morning tea. We had a lovely chat, talked about and showed our current yarn projects and looked at the garden. So the front verandah has been cleaned up in preparation for Sandi's visit and I took the same opportunity to move the plants around to their summer configuration. It's one of the tasks that marks the end of year and change of seasons. The garden usually gets a lot of attention now too. It needs to be able to withstand the heat of the coming months so new mulch is applied and all those plants that we know are passed their prime are removed and the garden beds tidied up. We don't do a lot of gardening over the hot months so the work is put in now so the beds look tidy and all we have to do when it's really hot and it doesn't rain, is to water the plants.  The two garden beds we wanted to be removed have gone and now the grass is growing over the bare patches.  Soon there will a beautiful place for us to sit in the shade there, either in the afternoon shade of trees or with an umbrella proving much appreciated morning shade.

We have two international visitors at the moment. Peter, our brother-in-law from Germany (staying with us) and Sunja, Sunny's mum (staying with Kerry and Sunny) from Korea. They're both going home again in about two weeks. Then I'll think more seriously about our Christmas lunch and I'll start making notes about some workshops I'll be giving next year. I'd like to give some writing and blogging workshops to, hopefully, inspire and motivate local writers who are serious about blogging and writing.

So that's me, what is the end of the year looking like in your home?



  1. g'day rhonda & hanno
    love your veranda! very inviting & cozy, could sit there knitting & sipping tea for hours :))
    yes, very hot & dry here, have to water deeply weekly which will soon be twice a week, water bill is going to be a doozy next rates
    started a blog with the encouragement of nanna chel & a few ladies on our forum, something new to learn & have a bit of fun with
    my end of year is usually very quiet, sometimes i'll go & visit the kids, this year am not sure what i'm doing yet, probably stay at home
    have a wonderful week rhonda & hanno
    selina from kilkivan qld

  2. What a lovely post Rhonda. Your verandah, garden and yard looks so lovely. I'm not into cricket and don't watch it but I was in tears the other day hearing the sad news that Phillip died at age 25. It's just not something anyone expects and for a family to be without their son who had his whole world ahead of him is heartbreaking. My 17 year old brother was killed 4 weeks before Christmas 1989 by a hit and run drunk driver so I understand that immediate family loss. I'm really impressed with the way Cricket Australia has handled things and is putting the players well being first before the game. It is a refreshing change that they care about players and not the inconvenience and disruption to the schedule. It's a credit to them for looking after the players and then organizing hotels, airlines, ticket outlets to be on board and assist people in rearranging their travel and ticket arrangements. Hope your computer gets fixed soon and enjoy your week. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  3. Here on the Darling Downs it is a beautiful day, Rhonda. Most of our plants survived the heatwaves so hopefully they will be okay when I am in the NW for three weeks being a nanna. I will be giving strict instructions to the menfolk to make sure my Elderberry plant is watered :-) It is growing well.

    My goal for the next few days is to make some extra meals to freeze for the menfolk so they don't starve when I am away. LOL! It will be a quiet end of the year here as we don't get involved with all the hype.

  4. I see the lovely little teal coloured meat safe on the verandah is sitting up on pottery planter feet - what a super idea.

  5. Your yard & garden are looking quite amazing! Of course, where I am (in Michigan) it's winter time (and we are recovering from the snowiest Novemeber since 1895! So happy thoughts of swimming at the beach are now a dream reserved for next year!

  6. What a lovely inviting verandah you have made Rhonda! We are renovating at the moment so Christmas plans are on hold but all my children and grandchildren will be here for lunch on Christmas Day, 25 of them so I had better start organising! We will be having cold meats and salads and hopefully my daughter in laws will bring desserts. It will be a chaotic, fun and noisy day!

  7. This year, my mum, my sister, her partner and beloved dog are coming over for Christmas. Actually mum has been here since November for my daughter's Grandparents' day at kindy. It was a sudden change of plans for us as we were supposed to visit them at Adelaide this year. I'm guessing the next few Christmases will have to be spent here at home as well because it's really hard to travel with a new baby coming soon.

    I need to get the garden ready for summer as well so thanks for the reminder, Rhonda. I'm a bit behind on my knitting this month although I did finish a pullover for the soon-to-be new bub. The three sisters bed in the garden is in an awful mess with lots of winged-ant looking insects that leave white lines on the corn leaves -- I need to find out what it is so I can try to keep them away. Thankfully the beans are still producing for us.

    I hope your computer gets fixed soon!

  8. Your verandah looks beautiful Rhonda, I'd love to bring my knitting and chat with a cuppa.
    We are taking a 4 week holiday this summer and we are getting a house sitter. Its great that someone will be here but the amount of work in writing notes about all the idiosyncrasies of our house, garden, cats and chooks is enormous on top of the holiday plans. Having to get things ready for the holiday and the house sitter is forcing me organise myself and it feels good!
    Christmas this year will be with my family in a winter wonderland. A treat from my beautiful mum who believes life is for living, everyday. She has always wanted a white Christmas so this year she said lets do it!

  9. Your outside sitting area looks so cosy and inviting, love all your hanging plants too. My father's idea of a perfect Christmas day was going to the beach after breakfast. Hard to emagine in the middle of our cold dark winter. - 6 Celsius this morning and a black starry sky. My illness is causing me a lot of trouble these days so l am trying to leave any Christmas stress at the wayside. I always make some good lists and keep them close all December. So sad a out the cricket player, what rotten luck. Wish you and your family a good rest of the week. Pam

  10. What nice pics of your verandah Rhonda.

    The funeral was very dignified and gracious wasn't it. I was so proud of Michael Clark, he did a very difficult task very well.

  11. Funny how the same idea comes with different weather in the different parts of the world. For me the new year starts in the winter and that seems appropriate, all the planning and seed buying and taking stock is done in front of the wood stove and on a day when going outside is the last thing on my mind. Cozy is how I like to plan and plot! And yet we all do it, the taking stock and looking around and measuring our progress with our goals! Your drink is cold and mine is hot! Lovely post-beautiful flowers.

  12. I love that you're having summer while we're freezing! Your patio is lovely. I love all your plants, you have a very nice green thumb. Enjoy your guests!!

  13. Hi Rhonda, I'm a new reader from Dubbo NSW. Most homesteading sites I follow are American but I sure do love that there is now an aussie one as well. I find your mix of practical and philisophical posts encouraging as a mother of 5 children still at home. As everyone has commented your garden is lovely and I wished I lived closer so I could join in the workshops. My parents live in Macksville and said that the town was inundated with mourners for Hugh's funeral. Soon we will start to celebrate Hannukah which starts on the 16 th and ends on the 24 th. It means the end of another home school year and more time with my hubby who is a Maths teacher. I'll be focussing on doibg a bit of craft work with the younger children and catching up with my 14 year old's textiles work projects. I've got a vegetable garden for the first time this year so will be very busy watering and doing alot of other firsts like making my own laundry detergent and soap. Have a very relaxed hollidays:-)

  14. I'm looking forward to the end of this year. A couple of days spending with the love of my life and all our familymembers. Not much for diner or gifts, just all of us together, spreading and sharing our love and attention. Warm winter days by the fire, hot choco with whiped cream. Yes.. looking forward!

  15. Your garden and patio area are so pretty and inviting!

    We read that news here as well about Phillip Hughes and it is just tragic.

    Our winter has kicked in, but thanks to a few warm days, the snow has melted and is gone already. We have plans to spend the holidays with friends who also have kids so our son will have a ball. For me, the holidays start once Halloween has come. Then November and December become all about visits and food and company. A dear friend is coming to our house on Saturday and I am so looking forward to that.

  16. Your verandah looks delightful. How I wish I could pop over for a cup of tea and glean knowledge and insights from you!

    But in all honesty, that is exactly what I am doing right now - just not in person! Glad you are looking forward to the change of seasons and all the goodness that comes with it. It is lovely to hear your stories and photos of your summer as it is my winter in the states. We have already had below 0 degrees F temperatures in Wisconsin where I live and so your summer photos are a breath of fresh air for me! Blessings to you and Hanno and your families this Christmas season!

  17. My uncle who lives in Australia took part in a memorial for your young cricketer and along with all the folk in his retirement village he put a cricket bat outside his door to show his sadness for this young death.

  18. I have the same Rose of Sharon growing at the end of my deck. It is very prolific and blooms for weeks. Of course, since it is winter here it is dormant right now. I long for the warmth and sunshine of summer.

    My husband and I will celebrate Christmas with our children on the 20th so that we can be in Florida over Christmas with my family. After losing both my in-laws to sudden illnesses we realize that we need to spend time with my parents while we can. I have not been home for Christmas for more than 10 years. My Mom is really excited that we are coming.

  19. What a nice visit to your blog today. The weather in my part of the world is cold, wet, dreary, and all the plants are gone for the winter. I can almost feel the warmth of the sun and hear the leaves rustling on your back porch. Thank you for the lovely update.

  20. I love the photos of your veranda, Rhonda. I would rather sit there and look out at your yard then sit on a balcony at a five-star hotel anyday. You've made a beautiful home for yourselves. Thank you so much for sharing.

  21. We are taking it slow while the world rushes a round around us. We are finding out about all the wonderful celebrations that place in December around the world. We will be spending Christmas with extended family and are really looking forward to all being together for a few days. Outside it is cold, below freezing, but we are warm by the hearth, enjoying hot drinks.

  22. We just celebrated our Thanksgiving holiday and for the first time ever our (grown) children couldn't join us. They both had to work that day. A sign of things to come I suppose. We're wrapping up most farm activity and preparing for a quiet winter here. Catching up on neglected "inside" tasks and trying to finish some major writing projects. After Christmas we'll have our annual "retreat," meaning we'll sit at the kitchen table for a day or two and make our plans for next year.

    1. I am interested in your retreat. What a good idea!


I welcome readers' comments. However, this blog never publishes business links or advertisements. If you're operating a business and want to leave your link here, I will delete your comment .

Blogger Template by pipdig