Weekend reading

15 December 2017
I've come to the end of my blog year and I'll be taking the next couple of weeks off, away from the blog. I keep thinking that the next year will be a quiet one and that we're slowing down but that hasn't been the case. Life keeps happening and each year of my "retirement" has been busy, challenging and rewarding in various ways. I'm very lucky and grateful.
Merry Christmas from Gracie to all the pooches out there.

It's been a good year, both here at the blog and in my home. At the moment we have a full house again. Kerry, Sunny and Jamie are living here till their new house is built and Shane slept here overnight as he's flying out to work this morning. I drive him to the train station and he catches a train to the airport.

My first day back will be Monday, 8 January and then we'll start our look at The Simple Home and work through it month by month. It would be good if you have a book to follow but I'd love you to join in even if you haven't got the book. I think it will be a great opportunity to look at what others are doing and to fine tune what we've already established.

Thank you for joining me here during the year. I know there are many other blogs you could go to and that there are plenty of simple living experts out there. I have never considered myself to be an expert on anything. I just live in a way that makes sense to me and then I write about it, hoping that it makes sense to others as well. I invite you all to continue making sense with me next year.  We'll start off with The Simple Home and who knows what else. That's the real beauty of a new year. The possibilities seem endless.

I hope you have a very happy Christmas. Stay safe everyone. 💖

🎶 🎶 🎶
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; 
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.  


56 comments

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year-enjoy your holidays!

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  2. Dear Rhonda, Hanno and lovely family. Thank you so much for all you do to encourage us during the year. I hope 2018 is good to all of us, and I look forward to going through the book with the gang. Your support means a great deal to me. I love spending time hear with a cuppa. Have a very Merry Christmas! All the best ~ Donna

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  3. I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year, Rhonda. XX

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  4. Have a wonderful and happy break with your family Rhonda:)

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  5. And a very happy Christmas to you and yours Rhonda. I'll look forward to joining you again in the new year.

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  6. Rhonda, just look at that face on Gracie...wouldn't it melt your heart? Mind you, I wonder if she has just been up to mischief though. LOL! I am sure you and Hanno and your family will have a wonderful Christmas and will be glued to the TV watching cricket for the next few weeks. My eyes glaze over when it comes on though. See you in the new year.

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    1. Yeah Chel, she's got everyone fooled. LOL Thanks for your card and merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  7. Have wonderful holiday with your family. Looking forward to what the new year will bring!

    coleen

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  8. Hello Rhonda
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us again this past year. I very much look forward to more of the same next year. Until then, very best wishes to you, Hanno and the family for Christmas and 2018. Keep safe and well.
    Spud (long time follower, sometime commenter:))

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  9. Best wishes to you and your family for the festive season, Rhonda! Thank you for your wonderful grounding blog, always a voice of reason is this sometimes chaotic world. You have helped me in so many ways to live my life with meaning and purpose. Can't wait for the blog next year. Have a relaxing break.

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  10. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I have been following your blog for a number of years now and have both of your books. I am looking forward to the new year and following along in your book.

    Sheila in Canada

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  11. I have enjoyed your blog posts for a few years now. You and I are the same age as my husband and yours also. Merry Christmas!!

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  12. Merry Christmas, Rhonda, Hanno, Gracie and your lovely family,
    Best wishes for a bright and happy new year with lots of good things in it.

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  13. Wishing you and yours the very best for a wonderful, joy filled Christmas and New Year. I look forward to joining you again next year Rhonda, until then take care x

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  14. Merry Christmas Rhonda and Hanno!
    Enjoy your time with your family over Christmas and the New Year. I’m really looking forward to joining in with you and everyone else on the simple home book.
    I watched the video you posted last week on Christmas in the 50s and though the food we eat is different, the same elements for celebrating Christmas happen in our home. I look forward to reading the article you’ve posted today about our Grandparents Christmas - I’m always interested to see what traditions have changed over time.
    Melissa.

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  15. Barb in Sth GippslandDecember 15, 2017 4:20 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Rhonda. Hope 2018 brings you all you wish for. Our next year will bring many changes. My man retires on 25 January and we've had our house on the market for a week & I think we've sold it already!!!!
    Xxx

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    1. Big changes at your place next year, Barb. How exciting!

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  16. Rhonda, Hanno, Gracie and your lovely family - Wishing you a happy and healthy Xmas. Enjoy the cricket (we will be). Looking forward to your blog next year.

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  17. Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas, Rhonda, and thank you for your lovely blog.

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  18. Have a lovely break Rhonda. And it seems like everyone here thinks you are an expert and appreciates your advice and leadership :)

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  19. A heartfelt "thank you" and Merry Christmas from everyone at our house to everyone at yours!

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  20. Rhonda I hope you, Hanno and the family have a safe and blessed Christmas.

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  21. Gracie is looking adorable & cheeky!
    looking forward to the new year with you again!
    have a very merry xmas for ALL your family
    stay safe
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  22. Happy Christmas to you and all the family and good wishes for health and happiness in 2018. Barley the yellow Labrador wishes Gracie Happy Christmas too.
    Xx

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  23. Merry Christmas to you Rhonda, and Hanno, and the rest of your family.
    Blessings always.
    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago

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  24. Merry Christmas to you and your family Rhonda. Look forward to our blog catchups in 2018.

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  25. Happy Christmas to you, Hanno and the family. It's the very fact that you do not consider yourself an 'expert' that makes your writing to accessible. You don't preach but speak about what you are experiencing and working out on a daily basis and that is what we all love. Thank you for the past year and we look forward to what the new year will bring.

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  26. I'm so looking forward to following The Simple Home with everyone in the new year. What a treat! Merry Christmas to all, from Leah in glorious Devon, England.

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  27. Merry Christmas - and a very Happy New Year to you and your family.

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  28. Merry Christmas to you and your family Rhonda. I've enjoyed reading your blog throughout the year. Happy New Year and look I forward to hearing from you next year. Pauline xx

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  29. Hello Rhonda. Thanks for another year of your wonderful blog .... always one of my favourites & I always feel like putting the kettle on when I see you have posted! I hope you & Hanno & family have a wonderful festive season. I just pulled your book out again yesterday to make some laundry liquid. I use it for reference all the time. Thanks for all that you share with us out here in cyberland. Xxx

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  30. Thank you for the links especially The New Domestic. You have always been such an encouragement for me. I can't wait to follow along with the book in the new year. Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring many blessings your way.

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  31. Merry Christmas Rhonda, Hanno and Family.
    Looking forward to working through The Simple Home with you next year xx

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  32. Merry Christmas Rhonda, I am looking forward to going through your book with everyone next year.
    Love from
    Rhondamargarita

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  33. Merry Christmas to you and your family. May it be a blessed time with your family.

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  34. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. And of course to that adorable Gracie too! Ordered my book and I am ready to go when you start blogging again!

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  35. Bonjour Rhonda,
    Merci pour tout ce que vous écrivez. Celà démontre que les valeurs de notre enfance existent toujours. Je me sens si proche de vous malgré que je sois si loin.
    J'ai juste une demande , désolée , car je n'ai pas trouvé sur votre blog. Mais peut être ais-je mal regardé et alors, j'espère que vous m,excuserez. J'aimerai savoir si vos livres sont traduits en français et surtout si je peux les acheter en France.
    Je vous souhaite, ainsi qu'à votre famille de joyeuses fêtes de noël

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    1. Hello Francoise. My books are only published in English.

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  36. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Have a good break and I look forward to going through your book chapter by chapter in The New Year.

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  37. Merry Christmas to you and your family Rhonda. I am looking forward to your blog in the New a year and the simple home series. I use your books frequently..I won't forget the 8th as it's a wedding anniversary for us.

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  38. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I purchased both of your books a few weeks ago and am looking forward to following along in the year. Enjoy your break!

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  39. Merry Christmas Rhonda & Hanno and a special Merry Woof to you Gracie from my Sully. We shall certainly miss your blog but home you enjoy your well earned break - and the cricket, of course! xxx

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  40. Merry Christmas to you, hanno and your family, I hope you enjoy your break. I am looking forward to following along with The Simple Home in the New year as I retire and seriously start my simple life.

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  41. Merry Christmas, Rhonda and Hanno and Gracie too! Looking forward to reading here again come the new year. We'll be watching the cricket too...our young boy is crazy about it! Enjoy all the wonderfuls of Christmas-time! Meg Xx

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  42. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Rhonda, Hanno and family including sweet Gracie. Have a lovely rest!

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  43. A very Happy Christmas to you Rhonda and all of the family. We look forward to reading more of your blog in the New Year. Go well.

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  44. Merry Christmas to you and your family Rhonda. Thank you for your thoughtful posts - I always find something interesting in your weekly reading posts.

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  45. Just love your blog. Have a great Christmas.

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  46. Merry Christmas to you, Hanno and your family. Thanks for all your posts - they often stay with me and help me to make little changes around here. I'm looking forward to following your Simple Home series in the new year.

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  47. Happy Christmas! Looking forward to your posts in the new year.

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  48. Dear Rhonda,
    I found your book, Down to Earth, and then your blog. I have been enjoying both immensely; treating myself to reading in the evenings. Starting from the very beginning of the blog and working forward seemed a little daunting, so this month I'm just catching up on all your December posts :) What has struck me is how little I see of you spending the whole month prepping for Christmas in terms of gifts. Even though I'm trying to cut back on gift-giving, it seems I still try to give everyone a little something. With my close family I still have a hard time trying not to show how much I love them with material things. I do enjoy giving gifts- but everyone all together at one time is difficult (shopping, wrapping, sending). Since it doesn't seem to play such a large part of your holidays, it might seem strange to ask you to comment... but I'm curious what types of things you give your family (Hanno, sons, and grandsons)? Do you give homemade gifts? Or buy expensive practical things to help them out? Do you and Hanno exchange presents? Have presents/gifts always been low-key for your family or did you have to put in effort to pare down?
    Thank you for all the time you've put in to this lovely blog, and books! They are an inspiration and a help.
    ~Loxley

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    1. Hello Loxley, I'm glad you're enjoying my writing. Hanno and I don't give each other gifts now and we've asked our children not to buy for us. Honestly, we have enough and we don't need anything. When the grandchildren were younger, I handmade a lot of their gifts and I would usually give gift vouchers to my sons and each DIL. Now we only buy gifts for our our grandchildren. This year we've bought a watch each for the boys and a Peppa Pig tutu and DVD for the two year old.

      We used to be much more extravagant but when the time came to change, the time was right for us and the changes were easy.

      Our gift to our family and to ourselves is a day with all of us together, talking, eating good food and having fun. That is the gift I look forward to each year - it's a simple thing but I think that for us, most good things now are simple.

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    2. Hello Rhonda,
      Thank you for responding. Yours sounds like a very stress-free system.

      I remember reading a couple years into my marriage "the best gift you can give your spouse is to not go into debt [buying gifts]". As much as I wanted to lavish my husband with something expensive and chic, his peace of mind was really more important. Now, several years later, we are debt free and more financially stable but I'm realizing that what would bless him more than anything I could buy is a more consistent home life; more meals made and laundry finished. Thank you for the good example you are setting- and sharing it with me thousands of miles away! Cheers! from Iowa, USA :)

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  49. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Looking forward to the New Year and starting A Simple Home!

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  50. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! Even before you launched the idea, I bought your books. Haven't read all of it yet, so I am very excited to start with all of you January 8th. I am longing more and more for a simple home and life, yet haven't been able to make a clear path doing so. I am hoping to learn from everybody else here and hopefully get a clearer view of our road to follow as a family. Greetings from Holland, Jacqueline

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