Meanwhile, in the world of the outernet

I've had a nice mix of work and leisure these past few days.  I spent time writing an online blog course, I've been lingering in the garden, reflecting, thinking about the future and the past, reading, cooking and breathing in the fresh winter air. I enjoyed "meeting" and talking to the wonderful group of women who attended my blog course on Skype.  We could all see each other, ask questions and speak of our own experiences while being separated by thousands of kilometres. There is a feature in Skype that allowed me to share my screen so I took the ladies behind the scenes on my blog and I was able to demonstrate a few practical issues before we discussed the ins and outs of writing. Writing is such a solitary pastime and often writers don't know other writers, so having this group right here in my computer was inspiring for me. I came away thinking about developing an online course for writers who hope to have their work published. I'll think about it some more and work out if it's possible to present a worthwhile course online, and if I'm the person to do that.

By the way, I'll publish links to our new bloggers in about a month's time. That will give my ladies time to create and refine their blogs. I'm sure you'll all support and encourage them as they develop their writing and blogging talents.


Meanwhile, in the world of the outernet, I'm enjoying spending my days doing what I want to do. I love having time to spend in the garden watching the diversity of creatures living in our backyard. It looks like 2017 is a good year for tomatoes. Ours are growing well in the warm sun we have most days. How are your tomatoes and vegetables going this year? All our oranges have been picked, we still have a ton of lemons to harvest and juice, the daikon, turnips and lettuce have been harvested and I've planted out some sprouting broccoli.  Roses are in bloom, tomorrow I'll divide and replant my Serbian irises and if I think of it, I'll plant up a tray of lettuce and bok choy.

This is a recent basket of fresh produce I made up for Sunny to take home.  The bottom layer was the last of our daikons, the largest ones yet, that Sunny will probably use in her kimchi.
Fresh strawberries from our local farm.

Jamie will be back with us tomorrow so we'll take him and Gracie over to our local strawberry farm to buy more of the spectacular strawberries in season right now. The owner of the farm tells us that it's the best strawberry season they've had in 45 years.  In these times of crazy weather, isn't it wonderful hearing news like that.

Yes, here she is in all her sweet cuteness. 
(Below) I was working on the computer late one night and heard soft snoring. I looked down beside me to see Gracie, tummy up and teeth showing, lost in sleep.  Do you think she's relaxed enough?

And speaking of HRH Grace, I got up in the middle of the night recently and she was running around the house in a frenzy with my wool and knitting cotton!  She'd already tied the coffee table in several layers of my best organic cotton and there where knitting needles and crochet hooks spread over the floor. She'd also started chewing on the end of my wooden ruler. I was not happy!  But what can you do. I'd never hit a dog, or any animal, and if I scold Gracie, and I suspect most Scotties, they sulk and cut communication with you for a few days.  So I just picked it all up, glared at Grace so she knew she did something wrong and we became friends again the following day. Now all my knitting paraphernalia is out of harms way, where it really should have been all along. Puppies are such funny and cute creatures, until they're not. 😲

I forgot to tell you that I've been asked to write a couple of articles for PIP the Permaculture magazine; first deadline next week. I'll let you know when the magazine is in the shops.  Yes, Mr Homemaker, I can hear you from here. 🙄 You and Hanno were right.  LOL  Have a great week everyone. 


29 comments

  1. Good Morning Rhonda! I have read your blog for several years and enjoy it so much! I grew up frugal, and now have a comfortable retirement. Not to say that I have always been sensible,but I learned new things along the way. I thank you for the recipes you publish, I have used several and adapt others. Oh how I would love to have lemon and orange trees in my yard! We are just welcoming summer here on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, and it is a lovely day!

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  2. Best strawberry season yet for me as well. Most are everbearing and are beginning to flower again. I gave them a light dose of fish fertilizer yesterday.
    Lettuce and radish have come and gone. Will plant more at the end of August. Just spied a few small green tomatoes on the cherry tomatoes. Flowers have just come out for my eggplant and squashes.
    And, puppies!! Oh my, arent't they fun, until they're not. So true. My 90# guy sleeps the same way your Gracie does.

    Looking forward to seeing the new blogs. What's the saying - give someone a fish or teach them to fish? You're definitely a teacher. Thanks so much for keeping your blog going.
    Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

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  3. Before I even read the comment about the farmer saying it's been the best season in 45 years, I spied those strawberries and could see they were something special indeed! How lucky are you to have a strawberry farm so nearby!

    That dog is too cute! (even with her wicked ways 😉)

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  4. Yes, Rhonda; when our doggies set to tearing things up and exploring, it is usually our fault for not putting our things away! I, too, am guilty of that and have a more than curious Sheltie to sort things out for me. Ha! Scolding mildly is in order; but most dogs do not like harsh reprimands and will sometimes just totally ignore us when we do it.

    Sounds like you have your garden in hand; mine is coming along nicely too. The cucumbers are flowering and vining, the hops are twining their way up the stakes, and my potatoes are beginning to flop over now. My salad lettuces are wonderful this summer; I usually plant a "cut and come again" mix. I put in raspberries this year, so only a handful have been harvested; next year they will be established. Lemons are being picked regularly now and my apple tree is developing well. I am working on two quilts; alternately. I let the fabrics get the best of me and could not choose which I liked best; so got them both! Not so frugal I admit, but I will use them after all.

    Congratulations on your Skype success. I will visit those blogs, too.

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  5. I love that you are writing for other publications - it is part of who you are. :-)

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  6. Loved chatting on Skype with the other ladies Rhonda.
    Your veggies look so healthy.
    I'm growing broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage as my 'first times.' I was only reading this morning about pruning the broccoli as it grows and cooking the leaves. I will prune a few from the bottom and see how it goes.
    The way little Gracie is sleeping had me smiling. Mum and Dad have just bought home a 10 week old pup and is he keeping them on their toes. They love it though. There is such a spark in Dad's voice when he talks about little Marley.
    Enjoy the strawberry farm with Jamie.
    Kylie

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  7. If only I could be as relaxed as your fur baby, adorable! And I like the Phrase Outernet... and so glad that you are teaching classes in Blogging and encouraging others to Blog. I have thoroughly Enjoyed being a participant in this wonderful Community in the Land of Blog, but I do notice a lot of people have been abandoning Blogging for other online outlets like Instagram. I miss so many of the Blogs that just ceased and will love discovering new ones created by new Bloggers. After Letter Writing went the way of the Dinosaurs I found that Blogging fulfilled my longing to Write and Connect with others. Dawn... The Bohemian

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  8. Ha ha Rhonda, I knew you would never really 'retire'.

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  9. Your veg and those strawberries are just lovely, Rhonda! I got some at a local farmers market that were grown at Wamuran, just up the highway near Caboolture. The farmer had been up since the crack of dawn to get them to market on what was a very cold morning. I bought a big family pack of them and we had them here for afternoon tea, with freshly made scones, and everyone said how delicious they were. There's lots of veg in our garden doing well (spinach, silverbeet, beetroot, snow peas) but not tomatoes. I've got one volunteer tomato that's sprung up so I'll see how that goes. That Gracie is a scallywag, and very cute too. Enjoy your Outernet days! Meg:)

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  10. Rhonda, if you do a writing course Im firmly in.

    There is nothing ran like that where I am, and recieving feedback, teaching and guidance to help grow in a skill is so important. Since writing is done alone, it is hard to get that. Readers say what they like, which is wonderful. But it is difficult to get the constructive feedback which is necessary for growth, you know the technical stuff.

    The scotty meet up was hilarious, Fun looking at them all and watching them all togeather - quite mad!

    xx

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  11. Barb in Sth GippslandJuly 04, 2017 9:24 am

    Your veggies make me long for summer again.. we've had a very cold snap here in Sth Gippy but now some much needed rain. Gracie is such a sweetheart. We're still missing our own beautiful boy- 10 weeks tomorrow since we lost him - but life goes on. The house does not need a sweep up nearly so often but I'd sooner have the mess & him back with us, fit and well.
    Have been enjoying reading back through some of your old pages - makes me realise I could do more, but slow & steady. Will look forward to maybe a few new blogs to look at in the near future. Craft group for me today - knitting myself a sweater in a cheerful magenta colour - just right to brighten up a winter's day. Enjoy your lovely grandson & the strawberry picking.

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  12. Hello Rhonda, I so love to catch up on all of your goings on.
    Everything looks so vibrant up there. Here winter has really set in and everything is wet and muddy. Funny to think that you have tomatoes and strawberries now when ours won't be back til January. I hope you have a gorgeous day with Jamie and the strawberries, we've got a house full of 13 year old giggling girls for the week, I'm not sure I'll get anything done at all. Can't wait to visit all those new blogs.
    Lots of love xxxx

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    1. I hope you get a few sunny days, Kate. A dark winter is depressing. I think I'd like a house full of giggling girties occasionally. Maybe we could swap the girls for a little Scottie. Even stevens. :- ) xxx

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  13. Hi Rhonda
    I am just starting the road to learning the ways of vegetables and am loving it. I love seeing you photos as it gives me inspiration. If you do run a writers course I'm in.
    I share your joy and frustration with the furbabies. I was given an antique rocking chair from my neighbour just as he was taking it to the tip. I had it restored and it was glorious and well worth the cost. However my then small papillion/chihuahua pups decided to recycle the rockers a teething rings! I was not happy at the time but now 10 yrs on I see the chewed places and smile as it brings back the memories of 2 naughty little terrors who now are just the best company.
    I am going out and buying strawberries!Yum

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  14. I really enjoyed reading your post Rhonda and what really jumped out at me was that you have been growing Daikon. Now that I have started fermenting,I need to research how to grow it. If you have time one day, although you are so busy, I would enjoy reading a little more about how to grow Daikon in Queensland. I live in Mackay. I'll look forward to reading your article in PIP. I'm sorry I couldn't take advantage of your Skype sessions, but pleased it went so well. Pauline.

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    1. Pauline, I think it's too hot to grow daikon in Mackay. We can only grow it here in winter. It doesn't like warm days and will bolt to seed over about 23 - 24. If you want to try it, it's really easy to grow. Just plant seed in well draining soil. It will take about 8 - 10 weeks from seed to harvest. It doesn't like heavy soil and it needs watering a few times a week. The chooks will eat the green tops.

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  15. had good chuckle at the naughty HRH Grace! made my day.
    your gardens look amazing! i have a couple of rogue tomatoes that have popped up with all this warm weather too, the chooks love them! we had a light frost here on sunday, was quite surprised as it wasn't that cold.
    glad your blogging class went well, look forward to reading the new blogs.
    have a great week & enjoy your 'outernet' with Jamie & Gracie
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  16. Cute story about Grace, and the picture of your strawberries makes my mouth water! I've been following your blog for years and have enjoyed both of your books. Thank you so much for all you do.

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  17. Your garden looks great, strawberry season is my favorite. Gracie is so sweet.

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  18. Always find your articles interesting!! Thanks!! Good thing you mentioned strawberries...made me realize I somehow did not get inside with them a bit ago...well, of course, the 2 guys at Trader Joe's felt they ought to be placed UNDERNEATH the corn on the cob I bought...oh yea, good place...well obviously not the brightest pennies on the block...maybe I need to be sure I only let women wait on me there in future...those who cook have a few ideas in their head maybe!!
    Elizabeth in WA

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  19. Dear Rhonda, You are the exact person to write an online writers course judging by your talented writing here and in your books. Your style, expertise and Knowledge would be priceless. Still loving your blog and your new Gracie is adorable, sorry I don't comment more often but your blog is one of the few I always read. Lors xx

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    1. Thanks Lors. I hope life is treating you kindly. xx

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  20. Thank you Rhonda for all the work you have put into the blogging course for us. It has been exactly what I had hoped it would be. And your story about Gracie had me laughing! I've got a mischievous ginger kitten who must think he is half dog as he is chewing everything! My daughter and I had carefully put together party bags for her recent birthday party and when we came downstairs the next morning he had chewed the tops of 2 bags! They had to go to the cat loving girls who we knew would understand!

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  21. Hi Rhonda, I really enjoyed the Skype session on blogging. I will take the writer's course, too. (If you do it.) You are such an excellent teacher. It was amazing to be able to see and hear you all the way in Australia, when I am in California. Your garden photos are incredible. Lucky Sunny!

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  22. Hi Rhonda! I was a short-time member of your forum. Was sad to see it go, but understand completely. Just wondering if you know where the other forum members went (other online forums, etc.)? I'm searching for "simple living" forums to join, but none seem as good as yours was. Thanks!

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    1. Another forum was set up by a group of the members but I've not been there and now I don't have the link for it. Check back here in a day or two because someone might come along who knows.

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  23. I'm so excited to hear you are writing for PIP magazine! Can't wait to read your articles Rhonda

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