Twelve years old today

Twelve years ago today, I sat here at a table in my sewing room and started my blog, Down to Earth. I had no idea what I was doing. During the previous few years I had written the beginning of a book documenting our new way of living and after the book was rejected by publishers, in a rare lightbulb moment, I decided I HAD to share what we were doing and the only way I could do that was to start a blog. My first post was about Brandywine tomatoes. I knew nothing about blogging and didn't know how to start but I did want to write honestly about our ordinary days here at home that, in the context of the times, were surprisingly enriching and satisfying. Brandywine tomatoes were what I was thinking about that day, so that is what I started with. Writing about what I was doing and thinking set a pattern that I repeated for many years.  In those first few years, honestly, I had so much to tell you, I could hardly contain it. I started off posting everyday and did that for years before having the weekends off.

I was 59 when I started, it seems like such a long time ago.



Simple living blogs as we know them now didn't exist then. I was writing about life inside our home and garden so I was surprised that the blog opened up my world like it did. I've made life-long friends sitting here tapping away on my keyboard. If anyone had told me back then that a blog about housework, saving money and growing food would be popular or that I would grow to care about people I would never meet, I would have thought they were crazy. That, and so much more, surprised me and brought me closer to the thousands of people who wandered in here and told me they were hoping to do what we were doing.  It's all been such a wonderful experience for Hanno and I. I'm glad Brandywine tomatoes led me to write about my version of simple living as well as take photos of what we were doing - be that making a bed, cleaning with vinegar, baking, growing and so much more.


When I started the blog, Facebook and Instagram didn't exist but now I write on Instagram too and that has brought a new way of connecting with people who have an interest in this way of life. It's a fast and changing connection with the people who I follow and who follow me and while I enjoy the passing parade of Instagram photos and the thoughts that go with them, this blog is where my heart is. Blogs seem to be richer and deeper, and with the capacity to store thousands of posts in the order they were posted, it provides the most wonderful way of recording life while providing an archive of topics for anyone looking for ideas on how to change their life.

The discipline of writing and staying in touch with you helped improve my writing and encouraged me to branch out and learn so much more.  Eventually the blog lead to an offer of a book contract with Penguin and that in turn opened a hundred other doors. But all things come to an end and in September last year I lost the love of blogging and being online, and said goodbye.  Two weeks later I was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  I went through a period of medical tests and then sitting and thinking about life and death; six months later I returned to the blog.


Since coming back I've realised I love being part of something much bigger than myself.  When I read your comments here, my first thought is that I'm lucky to have a connection with so many people that I otherwise wouldn't know.  I feel grateful that in a world that sometimes feels like nothing is connected or predictable, in this little corner of the internet, while I sit here in my sewing room, people come to talk to me.  And I like that.  Thank you for visiting and for your wonderful comments. Each comment adds to the picture I have of you.


There was a time when I focused on everything away from my home and didn't see the value in being here. I guess it was my age that slowed me down enough to see more. When I took the time to see just what we had in our home, when I realised we could easily feed ourselves from the back yard, when I started to earn money writing at home and when our little community started to form, I was content and happy. There is always something to do here and the thing that keeps our home economy ticking over is the work that is needed to live simply and mindfully. Writing about that has been the icing on the cake and it is because of the writing that an otherwise solitary and quiet life is made so interesting.

89 comments

  1. I have that Carl Larsen print in my bedroom!

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  2. congratulations on 12 years! I am so blessed by your teachings and writings, so Thank you! And here is to many, many more years (as long as you're up to it, lol)

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  3. You have been gracious enough to allow us into your life. They way everyone shares and learns from one another has always made this one of my favorite blogs. I may not always comment, but I have been a faithful reader for a long time. I still love when new people comment about discovering your space here and voicing their happiness at finding like minds.
    I have especially loved the glimpse into life in Australia. It is a country that I may or may not get to one day, but I have really enjoyed seeing what your little slice of heaven has been like.
    Best to you and yours.
    MissFifi

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  4. I am so glad you had that burning desire to share your thoughts on tomatoes all those years ago, and have loved reading your blog since I found it shortly after you began. Your home-y life has been such an inspiration to me, and it was a treat to finally meet you - even for a very short while - when you visited Melbourne a few years ago. Your writing spurs me on and helps me cut through a lot of the waffle that is modern life and take things back to what matters most. So thank you SO MUCH for that. Happy blog birthday to you, RH! Thank you for sharing so much of what you do with us and showing readers like me how much goodness lies so very close to home. x

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  5. Congratulations. 12 years of sharing your Simple Living life with us. You have shared so many hints and tips, recipes, thoughts, and it's there for us to go back to time and time again to re-new our own enthusiasm for the simple life, through your blog posts.
    I've probably had my Brisbane allotment the same length of time and as we are (in Australian distances) local I find it interesting to see how your veggies are growing in our similar climates - and if it does well for you, it should be ok for my bit of earth. Jean.

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  6. Rhonda, it is great to be able to record different events, recipes, soap successes and fails etc. on a blog. Sometimes I look back on my old posts and am reminded of something I have done or made that I have forgotten about. Your blog has been an inspiration to so many wanting to live a much simpler life.

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  7. only 12 years Rhonda? It feels like you have been part of my life for so much longer, I guess because of the forum days before your blog.
    Thanks for sharing, it's been a wonderful journey.
    cheers Kate

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  8. Hi Rhonda,
    What a pleasure it has been reading your blog and being able to connect with you. It's that little boost of confidence that comes from knowing it's ok to want something different from the modern "norm", that it doesn't have to be perfect or the same as someone else. It's also very honest, so much that we see now is for show and so fake setting such unreal expectations of perfection. Thank you for creating such a wonderful place to visit. x Kate (Tassie)

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  9. I for one am so grateful for you sharing your wisdom here on these pages. I used to have a great neighbour here who I exchanged so much with, but they sold up years ago leaving me with a bit of a hole in my life. Rhonda you have helped so much, it's like I have you now over my fence to chat with. Congratulations on the 12 years, you are an inspiration.

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  10. 12 years! Wow!!! I do remember reading this blog for a very, very, very long time now, and in fact I see right at this moment, you have had 29,565,522 page views. I remember when it ticked over at 1,000,000!!! It's like a family here... I love it and have learnt so much!

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  11. Thankyou your wonderful skill as a writer keeps me always reading. You are just a few years older so we share many life memories but you also give me encouragement for each day and the future as my interests and lifestyle are so different to those around me.If anyone had told me years ago that you could have someone who felt like a friend who I had never met I would have thought that very odd but this new reality of a blog has made it so!

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  12. Happiest of blog birthdays Rhonda, your blog has been a blessed constant xo

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  13. Congratulations! That is a wonderful accomplishment - one of many.
    I love to look back at archived posts - and while I live a very different life from you and many of your readers I still find many things of value that I can use as I get older and find myself more interested in a much simpler life.
    Thank you for all your wise words - I hope they continue for many more years.

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  14. Happy 12th Birthday! Your writing has made such a difference to how I regard my own simple life. I am forever grateful :-)

    Fay

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  15. I found you when I was scouring the internet to find ways and suggestions on how to live on less. At the time I was seriously looking at finishing work. Hubs had already finished and it would mean less money to play with. What a surprise to find that you were just up the road, albeit 2 states away and altogether different climates lol, and close to my now late in-laws. When visiting the Sunshine Coast then I always hoped we could bump into each other somehow! I have since read and re-read your articles and they have taught me a lot. Like most here, I was saddened to read the end in September but also understood. Now it is wonderful to read your new writings here and on other social platforms. Your experiences with house, family, food and health offer much better reading than anywhere else in my opinion . It is definitely better for my mental health to laugh and at times cry over your blog in the backyard than sitting in a cramped doctor's (perhaps) waiting room anywhere. Congratulations .

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  16. Happy 12th blog birthday! I'm not sure how many years I've been following you, but I always enjoy visiting here. Reading about your simple life has enriched mine. Your quiche is a recipe that is frequently in rotation here, especially when the girl's are laying well. Thank you for all you share here, and for being a calm place in the world.

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  17. Wow 12 years has gone fast...glad you are back to posting I've always enjoyed your blog and seeing your wonderful veggie garden. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  18. Congratulations on 12 years of blogging Rhonda! Goodness it doesn't feel like that long ago. Though William was still at home, Angus was a little baby and since we have since welcomed Henry into our life. So many changes but your blog has remained a constant though it all. Such a wonderful milestone and I thank you for everything you have done here. Congratulations! xx

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  19. Wow. I have followed you a very long time. Your amazing. Thanks for letting me in to read about y'all. I have enjoyed everything.

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  20. Rhonda, I read your blog from the other side of the world--in Oregon, USA. I am 62 and still working full time so my life is quite different from yours, and yet your blog makes me happy right now. I think the thing that encourages me the most is your contentment in being home and loving home. Please keep sharing your life with all of us out here--because one day I want to be at home loving my life too!

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  21. Happy Bloggerversary Dearest RJ, what a blessing this blog is for so many thousands of people, it enriches lives, allows people to be happy to be at home and be frugal and crafty and using a myriad of other skills...it allows us to be happy to be ourselves and I for one will be eternally grateful. Much love always xxx

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  22. Happy Blogiversary, Rhonda.
    It's always a pleasure reading your posts, whether here or on Instagram. Thank you for sharing.
    Best wishes to you and yours
    Spud

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  23. Hi Rhonda, congratulations on 12 years - I'm so glad you decided to come back to us via your blog! I echo the comments that other readers have made.
    I also thank you for being like an Aunty of sorts (hope you don't mind that description) for those of us who are swimming against the tide.
    Having children still at school, it's impossible not to see other Mums driving fancy big cars, wearing expensive-looking clothes and taking holidays, and wonder what you are missing out on. Many times I've wondered whether being a contemporary stay-at-home Mum is the right decision because of all the things we have to 'un-choose'.
    A year or so ago I found your books and they were such a treasure; not only information but inspiration for creating a serene and productive home. When I feel discouraged about our chosen lifestyle, I make a cuppa, check your blog to see what you have been up to, and get things back in perspective.
    In your own quiet way, you are putting a lot of goodness out into the world.
    Wishing you many more years of good health and happiness... Kellie

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  24. Congratulations, a great achievement! I've always kind of lurked around the edges, and tended not to comment.
    But I just wanted to say that your books and advice changed my life, it gave me a sense of freedom and a sense of purpose, so thank you so much.xx

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  25. Congratulations on such a major achievement. Although I don't comment I always read your blog(I'm a bit of a lurker around the edges).
    Your words and advice set me on a path of self sustainability, and ultimately freedom.
    Thank you so much.xx

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    1. Sorry, the first one I wrote didn't seem to publish, so I repeated myself.

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  26. Congratulations on 12 years! I discovered you many years ago--not sure exactly when, but I have learned so much and love following your writings. Elaine

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  27. Hi Rhonda, I have been an avid reader of your blog for several years now but have never commented. On your blogs 12th birthday I wanted to thank you for inspiring and teaching me so much. Six years ago we moved to a larger block and started our garden journey. It is gradually developing into a productive garden although quite hit and miss in some areas (a constant battle with fruit fly!) I have just commenced a year of unpaid leave in an effort to test whether we can afford to fully retire, hubby is semi retired and works for a few days at a time occasionally and my work will not allow me to work less than my current 4 days a week so we will aim to live very simply and see how it goes. I am making bread more often, also hit and miss! and will attempt my own soap and laundry liquid over the next few weeks. Thanks again and I hope you continue to find as much joy writing your blog as others get from reading about simple living

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  28. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write such encouraging and informative blog posts. I only discovered your books and blog a couple of years ago, but already I have learned so much! God bless you! :-)

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  29. Thank you Rhonda for your informative and very interesting blogs. It certainly has had an impact on how I view 'housework' and time spent at home. I have always been house proud but now I enjoy pottering around my home and garden. I hope you continue to get pleasure from writing and I look forward to keeping in touch with you via your blog.

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  30. Congratulations dear Rhonda on twelve years of tapping out beautiful gems of wisdom from your sewing room. You have inspired and helped so many people during those years. I was fortunate to stumble across your blog at a time when I couldn't explain (to myself or others) just why I felt so good about spending more time at home on our little farm. Your posts about the joys of simple living felt like you were speaking directly to me. It was as though you were the only person in the world who got me! Inspired by you I began blogging about our simple life here on our farm, and through that blog I met more of my tribe. Now I have many friends who totally get me. It all began with you. Thank you. XX Sally

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  31. Congratulations on the 12 year blog anniversary. I love reading your stories. I have for years. I don't always comment, but I'm here, walking with you through the garden, enjoying your cozy home, your lovely family and the pets through the years. I hope you will continue sharing your life.
    Have a wonderful day.

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  32. Rhonda your blog has been such a wonderful and inspiring part of my life for the last 12 years. I must have been one of your earliest readers I now realize.
    Your recipes have become some of my favourites and I will be using your lemon butter recipe again in the next few days.
    Thank you for sharing your passion and giving us your time and I wish you all the best in handling your current health issues.

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  33. Congratulations on your 12 year blogaversary, Rhonda. You have inspired me to seek a more simple life - although we live in the countryside in Wales, UK, we have a very small garden but I am determined to make the most of what space we have. Your writing has given me ideas, courage and determination.....and a sense of peace. Thank you x

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  34. HAPPY 12TH BLOGGING YEAR!
    wow it seems longer, we've never met but i feel we've been close friends for donkeys years. it's been amazing coming here to read what you do in your day & it's inspired so many to try new skills.
    inspirational reading at it's best
    thanx for sharing

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  35. Congratulations Rhonda - what a wonderful anniversary to celebrate. Thank you for sharing your simple life with us and for returning after your break.
    Often your words resonate with me and it is so comforting to know that you and the community that follows you us ' out there' and that we are joining hands in a virtual circle, supporting and encouraging each other.
    A special mention to Hanno - not only is he your support but he is a constant for us too.
    Bravo for Down to Earth!

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  36. This blog is so inspiring and heart warming. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and advice. Gives me hope

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  37. I always enjoy your wonderful down to earth practical posts :) Thank you

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  38. Happy blog Birthday and thank you for all that you do.
    Tania in Melbourne

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  39. Congratulations on 12 years of information, inspiration, and sharing your love for the simple life. Thank you for the time and effort you have put into this blog. Yours is the one blog I have consistently read over the years and I have learned so much. Who knew that a person I don't know that lives on the other side of the world could teach me so much. Thank you, Rhonda!

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  40. So grateful that you took up blogging all those years ago. I appreciate your sincere, honest posts about living simply. It's wonderful to know that I have a kindred spirit on the other side of the planet!
    Continued blessings...

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  41. Congratulations Rhonda! I still haven’t found time to start blogging, having only just had our internet reconnected. I really appreciate how much work you put into yours and it has definitely changed my life. I’m still working full time but so looking forward to cutting back hours to spend more time at home. Thank you too for helping me discover other inspiring and interesting bloggers. I never need to buy a paper or magazine and I always start with your blog. I know if there is something I want to make I just search your blog. You really are blog royalty Rhonda! Thank you again.

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  42. That is wonderful Rhonda - congratulations. Your blog is a treasure. I've played around with several blogs myself over the years, enough to realize how much hard work, dedication and talent it takes to come up with one as good and consistent as yours. I still haven't managed it yet, not even close! Your blog really is a superb testament to you and an inspiration to me - thank you. As always much love to you, Hanno, Gracie and the family. xxx

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  43. Congrats on your blog-writing milestone, Rhonda. Your words have touched me for years and I always get a comforting, homey feeling from reading them. Thank you for sharing your life with us, offering inspiration to a better, slower way of life in this crazy fast-paced world.

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  44. Congratulations, Rhonda on such an accomplishment. This blog of yours, has enriched so many lives and touched them in ways I am sure you never imagined all those years ago. I know it has touched and enriched mine. I am a longtime follower, but rarely comment. But I am ever so grateful for all the time and energy you have put into this blog for all this time. Thank you!

    Darlene

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  45. Congrats, congrats! I have been following you for many years, and I am so glad you decided to resume blogging. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand your circle without ever leaving home. May the circle continue to widen.

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  46. Rhonda- Congratulations on 12 years! I'm think I've been reading your blog on and off for most of that time. Thank you for sharing your life and experience with all of us. Due to a progressive disease I'm not longer able to do much of what I would love to do around the house, but I still love reading about all of it. Sorry that I've either never commented or done so sparingly. Cheers!

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  47. Congratulations on 12 years of passing on so much knowledge and help for the planet. After googling simple living I found you blog, and it led me to make my own soap and laundry detergent, get back to baking bread and doing more cooking from scratch. I had done canning and preserving for years, but your words gave me a push to do more and even start gardening again. What used to be taught from grandmother and mothers to their children has missed a generation or two. Now we are in a pickle as people have lost all the old ways to take care of themselves and each other , stepping more lightly on the planet. You have stepped into the breach and given so many the information that they needed to get going. Thanks so much, Rhonda.
    Barb from Canada

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  48. I've enjoyed reading your blog, maybe not for all twelve years, but a long time. Your writing is always a pleasure to read.

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  49. Happy 12th Blog Anniversary! Thank you. A joy for to read every day that you post.

    Love SunnyMidnight

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  50. Congratulations Rhonda. 12 years is a great achievement. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wise words with us all. I echo Kellie's (Red Hen) sentiments in that whenever I feel overwhelmed and anxious, I pop in for a visit and always leave feeling comforted and reminded of all the good in my life, my contentment renewed. I dont comment very often, but really want you to know just how much your writing has enriched my life and from all the comments, you can see how much you mean to so many people. Your brandywine tomatoe post really was the start of something very special and important. So once again a great big heartfelt thank you. Sending you a big hug all the way from Ireland

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  51. Congratulations on your anniversary! I have been with you for almost that long, somewhere in either the first or second year I joined you. Your blog has changed my life!! Thank you so much!

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  52. I am so happy that you returned to blogging...and I follow you on instagram as well. I love all your pictures. I have been retired 5 years now and love my life again. We do not garden, but maybe someday!! My hubby is nearly 76 and still works...but that is winding down I think. I am "only 72" ...life is great!

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  53. What a lot you have accomplished! Thank you so much for what you have brought into the lives of so many of us. There are so many parts of modern life that I find worrisome and bewildering however my computer and the internet are such a blessing. To think that I can travel all across the world to visit you and learn from you is amazing to me.. We are friends who will never meet in person and yet I have shared many stories about you and Hanno with my husband Don. Your sweet family and Gracie have become important to all of us too. Thank you and God continue to bless you and your family. Carolyn in Florida

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  54. Love your blog! Thank you for sharing your life with us.
    Patricia Fl/USA

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  55. Happy blog birthday! This is they'll the only blog I go to read straight away when I'm checking my email. I love to drool over the delicious looking food and sigh with how relaxing and inviting your home pics look. I'm so happy to "hear" your writing voice in my daily routines, too! Thank you for being such a blessing!

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  56. congratulations! I don't remember how I found you but I'm glad that I did. I really do enjoy reading your blogs, it reminds me of being a kid when my parents raised a garden and all the bounty that came from it. thank you!

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  57. I started reading your blog 8 years ago when I was about 3 months pregnant. I worked full time as a Registered Nurse and longed to be able to stay home with my unborn child. I read and learned everything I could from you and I'm happy to say I am now a stay at home, homeschooling mother of two children. Thank you for teaching me so much. You honestly have been a blessing to my life.

    Nicole in Florida

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  58. Congratulations on your 12 years of blogging. It seems like a long time, but time passes so quickly. I am grateful you have returned to blogging and that you feel at home there. The trend to move towards instagram blogging is quite sad - true thoughts can't be shared in a paragraph, and, at least to my mind, instagram and similar platforms seem geared towards enticement and selling a brand or product. It's quite vacuous. But still I do enjoy seeing your photos there and it serves as a reminder to read your blog posts! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and ideas. Best wishes.

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  59. Congratulations on your 12 year anniversary, Rhonda! I have enjoyed your blog for many years now. Once in awhile I comment, and this time I took part in the apron sewing exercise, but even when I don't participate, I am lurking here in the background soaking up all the info I can get about simple living. It is great; and thanks for being here for all of us!

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  60. Hi Rhonda,
    I want to say thank you for sharing your life and your home. I have been reading your blog around 11 years and love it. You make me think of my Mom and my Grandma and all the home duties and canning they always did. I do all the things they did and it was nice to know there was other people out in the world that did them as well and enjoyed them as much as I do.
    Thank you!
    Donna B. Washington State, USA

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  61. I honestly don't know how long I've been reading, but I think I started around the time I had my daughter, if not before, and she'll be 11 this fall! You've been such an inspiration to me, from your practical tips and recipes to just showing us what's possible. When I feel like the world is going to hell in a handbasket and it doesn't matter what we do anyway, reading your books or your blog reminds me that we can all do our part, and I'd better focus on doing what I can do in my corner of the world. And if we all do that, eventually it will make a difference. Thank you for your many years of writing and inspiration!

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  62. Oh my word I had not known that you had a brain tumor. I am so hoping that you have been able to have treatment to remove it or to stop it in its tracks. Rhonda yours was the first blog I ever read. I was introduced to it by a friend after we had had a conversation on me wanting to live a simpler life. You provided me with a pathway and with the initial steps that have led to a domino effect in the way that we live. Thank you and please keep writing for as long as you still get enjoyment from the process.

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  63. Thank you for those 12 years Rhonda, and for your books, both have been so helpful in my journey to living well on the pension (and no eating of dog food, like I was lead to believe was my lot!) May you and Hanno prosper and go on for many more years, lovely to have you back.

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  64. Hi Rhonda,
    I have really enjoyed reading and learning from your blog over the years and I'm very glad that you came back to it this year. Hope you stay fit and well for ages yet to continue to talk to us all. I love these autumn days too.

    God bless.
    Lyn in northern New South Wales.

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  65. I enjoy your blog and only found it a little before you shut down in September. I like seeing how you manage your home and especially your garden. I have read your older post and hope you will continue for a long time. I know that blogging takes a lot of time to write and get pictures taken and posted. Thanks for your hard work. Cindy D

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  66. Congratulations Rhonda...a wonderful milestone! I am 59 now, retired for nearly 3 years and you have helped me so much on my journey of being a homemaker. My working husband is certainly grateful for me being home. I am not a fantastic cook...but my husband lovingly says his lunches are the envy of the lunch room...lol. Your quiche recipe certainly figures in there! You have helped me to stand proud and organised on this road...thank you.

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  67. I have been reading your blog for a long time. I am a couple of years older than you and my mother was not quite the homebody that yours seems to have been. However they were different times and there didn't seem to be the huge difference between the rich and the poor. Probably a depression and a war will do that to a society. When you gave up blogging you might have been feeling unwell from your brain tumour without realising it. When I had breast cancer some years ago I saw that I had been very tired for a while. Currently I go swimming nearly every day. Thank goodness for heated pools. Thank you for the time you put into this blog.
    JillN

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  68. Hi Rhonda, I would like to tell you about when you announced you were no longer doing the blog, I don't know how others felt but for me it was like losing a very dear friend that I had a soul connection to . Then I found out when you can back that you had been very ill and I was worried about you and not sure how to put that concern into words. I can tell you now that it is awesome to have you back and each post is like a letter from a friend that I have so much in common with and I learn something new or agree with you everytime, I hope that this blog continues to bring you joy and you find comfort from the wonderful group of ladies here!from Homebody Judi many thanks.

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  69. Congratulation on your 12th blogging anniversary. You've inspired so many people :)

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  70. Congratulations on 12 years of sharing your life and thoughts through your blog! Yours was the first blog I followed in 2008. I love the connections people are able to make with each other through blogs and instagram and youtube. I feel like I have friends all over the world and I get a peek into their lives and their thoughts. You and I are about the same age and though we live across the world from each other I feel like we share many interests. I have always enjoyed your blog and I am so happy that your health has allowed you to return to blogging.

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  71. Congrats! I wish I would have found you right at your first post:-) I was on my path, but it seemed wobbly and sure seemed to be a lone path back then. Company would have been nice (and encouraging.) Your words are always so kind and you have a way of putting things down in writing that make them seem quite doable. We, myself included, could use more of that. I don't comment every time, but I am thankful for each post you write and am glad you are faring well enough to do so. Have a fabulous day!

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  72. Rhonda,
    I wonder if you have any idea how much you have changed the world. I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and your blog has been a real treasure to me. Your quiet, gentle manner of communicating with us and reminding us that home is truly where the heart is has been the most valuable asset to me. I don't know anyone that lives simply the way you and I do so it is incredibly important to me to know I am not alone in this pursuit. Life can seem very overwhelming at times and you have a way of keeping us well-grounded. You are truly an inspiration.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do with your blog-you are indeed changing the world for the better!!

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  73. Congratulations on your 12th anniversary of blogging Rhonda...yours has been my favorite place to visit for oh so long...I started reading your posts when you were writing with a small group of other bloggers, I think...not sure how long ago that was...anyway I've learned so much from you and have become such a big tea drinker because you make it sound so inviting...thank you , thank you for sharing your world with us!

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  74. Congratulations on the blogerversary! Your blog has meant a lot to me and encouraged me as I begin my homemaking journey. I really appreciate all that you have shared, many things I've already begun doing, like setting up rainbarrels to catch water runoff to water my veggie garden during the hot summer, cleaning naturally, and cooking some things from scratch. But there are so many more things that I can't wait to try. I was so excited the day you came back to blogging and your post appeared in my blog reader. I hope you continue to enjoy life and flourish!

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  75. Thank you so much for your inspiration these past years. You have impacted my life in so many ways. During the 2 years that both my parents were ill and passed away, your blog was the only one I read. It kept me grounded during the hard times and reminded me of wonderful family memories--gardening, preserving food, mending, and making a house a home. My wish for you today is for joy, peace, and knowing that you have made a difference.

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  76. I remember how happy I was when I found your blog. I love peeking inside people's homes, and seeing what they are cooking, reading, and doing. All of the details make your blog so beautiful and artistic. It was an affirmation of what I was already doing. The posts on getting out of debt really helped me. Thanks again.

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  77. I'm glad I decided to check back in! Social media does not give you the same sense of community that you get with a blog. Really happy to see that you are back.

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  78. My simpler life began here, Rhonda, with your blog and your voice. One day I will sit and read all twelve years of your words! They were what I needed then to make a change in my life and for a while I left working behind to do that. I've returned to work now and that's been challenging because of the time it eats up but I keep remembering about the ages and stages of life and that there is not one simple life. I believe I read that somewhere!! All the best to you and Hanno. MegXx

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  79. Dearest Rhonda,
    Thank you, again, for your many years of sharing the quiet and simple life you enjoy. I look forward to every post! You've inspired me in my home keeping, my mothering, yes, even my wifing ��
    Your books are treasures that I refer to so often!
    Blessings to you from New Mexico.

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  80. Thank you for giving us 12 years of your life! Your writing is both beautiful and inspiring. x

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  81. he warmfireplaceMay 17, 2019 5:06 pm

    Thank you so much for all that you have written, it has changed the way I think and brought my husband and I to a more simple living life, which is so rich. Sue

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  82. I’ve just found your blog.
    I see honesty and transparency.
    Though life has dealt you some hard blows, you are returning to your passion. Thank you for sharing your story.
    I look forward to seeing what’s next for you.
    🌻

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  83. Congratulations on your blog anniversary dear Rhonda. I can only echo what so many have said already and thank you so much for the inspiration and encouragement you have given me in leading a simpler life, not to mention all the valuable skills I've learned through your blog, soap making and bread baking to name just a couple. My very best wishes to you and Hanno to continue enjoying your simple life in your little piece of paradise. xx Leonie

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  84. I have always loved coming to visit and still do!!
    You are a blessing to many, thank you for all you do.
    I have learnt so much from you over the years,skills that have helped so much as a stay at home Mum,wife,daughter and as a woman, I am so very grateful to you. But it's also so much more, the posts you share are reassuring, and as we go about our lives, I think to connect and inspire is such a pleasant side to life. You have a beautiful gift of making people feel welcome in your writing, your honesty and realness is good for the heart. So like many I come back to visit, because you are such a delight to have a cuppa with!!😊

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  85. I've followed you for all your years here. What strikes me most is that you teach "appreciate and love where you are right now" as it is necessary to support learning and growing to where we want to be. It's been a journey for you to grow focus and skills and you have shared that with the world. Your support of newbies as they begin with a thought that "I can't get there"......priceless.

    Thank you. And thank you for coming back to us :-) hugs to you and Hanno.

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  86. I was so sad when you stopped blogging a while ago and delighted when you sstarted again.
    You have brought the Australian seasons alive for me and with your generous sharing of your life and insights I have learnt so much.
    Like you I learnt to knit, sew, cook and run a home at my mother's and Grandmother's knees.
    I do hope that your health is stable and that Hanno's sore mouth improves soon
    Sue

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  87. Congratulations on 12 years of blogging Rhonda! I have been following you for about 10 of those 12 and I've seen many bloggers come and go. I'm certainly not blogging as much now as I used to and I'm enjoying sharing quick photos on instagram, but sometimes I need to write more, as a record of something we've done usually, and then its back to the blog for an update :) thank you for continuing to share your story, you've helped so many people.

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  88. A belated happy 12 years of blogging ~ looking over the comments posted, I think Joanna Brown has written just what I feel, "your writing makes people feel welcome" and I would add visiting your blog feels like I have popped in to visit a dear neighbour. I haven't commented much over the many years I have followed you, but I would like to say, thank you for sharing your thoughts on living a good life and thank you for sharing your family & home with us.

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