Weekend Reading

27 November 2020
My son had to go back to hospital last Sunday with a nasty infection under his arm. He had a melanoma and lymph gland removed in late September. He stayed in for four days on IV antibiotics and tests and, thankfully, was released on Wednesday afternoon.  He's feeling much better now but it's another stark reminder of how important our families and our health are.  I hope your family is healthy and things are going well for you.


We had zucchini slice and salad for lunch yesterday, with enough left over for the same again today. I love having recipes like that up my sleeve because we like to eat meatless meals about three days a week.


I'm still knitting my new dishcloths and have spent a few hours on the front verandah, with Gracie as company, while knitting away. I don't like to have the knitting cotton on the floor, so when I'm out there I keep it in my apron pocket.

Here is this week's Weekend Reading list. I hope you take the time to browse through it.

We're seeing alarming news reports of Covid-19 sweeping through the USA and Europe. I hope you're not in one of the hotspots.  Please be careful if you go out, wear a mask, stay distanced from other people, use hand sanitiser and wash your hands as often as you can, especially when you get back home again.  All those simple methods really do make a difference.  

And for all my American friends, happy Thanksgiving. I guess many of you are just sitting down to lunch about now. I hope you have a lovely day and enjoy the time you spend with your family.

23 comments

  1. So glad your son is on the mend. You must be so relieved. It doesn't matter what age they are, when they are sick they are still our little boys! My "little" boy is living in Canada and has been self isolating in a room alone while waiting for Covid test results for the past 5 days. Thank God he got a negative result today. Not anything like what you have been through but a big relief too. On a different note, your lovely book " down to earth" arrived here in Ireland this morning from Book depository. It's really beautiful, the way it's laid out and all the beautiful photos make it very special.

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    1. Thanks Aisling. That's good news about your son. Waiting five days for a result in a room alone, for a young bloke, is a test in itself. Thanks for buying the book. I hope you enjoy reading it. Let me know what you think when you finish and if you have time, please post a review somewhere. Thanks xx.

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  2. Hi Rhonda
    I am glad you can breath a sigh of relief now your son is home. Thank you for the links to such great cooking ideas. I hope you and Hannah are enjoying the beautiful days we are having at the moment but a little rain would be nice. I am giving your paperback as presents this year to my adult nieces I know they will appreciate your ideas as I have. Cheers

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    1. Hi Bernie we’re all good here, thank you. Are you ready for the coming heat. I hope your nieces are motivated and inspired to make their own simple changes when they read the book. Xx

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    2. Yes it does look like a hot one this year. I don't have air-conditioning but am lucky to live close to Sandgate and enjoy cooler temperatures than Brisbane proper. I have an older weatherboard home and the sea breeze comes in between 11am and 1pm and flows through the house... bliss. That and a few good fans make it bearable on the hottest days. And I have lots of cool cotton tops and pants,homemade cordial and cold water make preparation complete.
      I have noticed my younger relatives being more frugal minded so this book comes at the right time. Cheers

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  3. Hi Rhonda, I am so glad to hear Kerry is on the mend and out of hospital. Still taking it easy I am thinking...and a little tired. Main thing is he is getting better.
    Your zuchinni slice looks great. I have planted some Lebanese zuchinnis, so a good idea for those. Very hot in Melbourne today, so trying to keep the water up to the garden and vegies. Have a good weekend and thank you for the reading list.

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    1. Thanks Karen. Keep up that watering. I hope it doesn't get hot enough to burn the leaves. xx

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  4. Oh Boy! When a child of any age needs hospital treatment.....So glad to hear your son is on the mend. Our region is in one of these hotspots. However a huge proportion of Corona related deaths relate to those in care homes and those with home based care. The only positive factor is that we are now having the long awaited discussion about resources allocated to these services. Let´s hope this leads to action. The Swedish welfare system is not at all what it was when I came here 40 years ago.

    We´ve been living our lives in isolation since the end of February. At our ages it´s not so different to the quiet lives we normally live but I feel so sorry for the younger ones.

    I always make a Christmas pudding for 25/12. Your recipe could well inspire me to make Christmas cakes for our small family. I see it´s not too late. lol.
    Keep well
    Ramona, Sweden

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    1. Yes, I feel for our younger people too. You know you want to make Christmas cakes. Start soaking that fruit. xx

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  5. Glad to know your son is rallying, Rhonda. He has gone through quite a bit this year. You and Hanno too, having to wait for the outcomes. Better luck next year...for ALL of us. Christmas Cake. I remember making them with my mum every year about August or September. I loved them, and we got to stir the batter three times and make a wish. They were carefully stored in a tin in the cupboard and each week brandy would be added, the cake rewrapped and put away again. There was always a beautiful Christmas scene on top of the cake for decoration: deer, a small Christmas tree, and a ribbon.

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    1. Thank you Hopflower.
      I love the idea of Christmas cakes and pudding and remember making them when I was growing up. Like you we all had to stir the mixture and I used to like cleaning the coins before they were added to the puddings. But I think Christmas cakes are not a common part of Christmas now and that's a bit sad. I hope they become popular again because they're one of the rituals that builds up Christmas feelings during December.

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  6. After your last post about Kerry I went and FINALLY had my skin checked.
    All good, thankfully - but thanks for talking about it. It got me to do something I've been meaning to do for years.

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    1. I was hoping to see this post at some point. It's good news and that's fabulous.

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  7. Rhonda, sorry to hear that Kerry hit another bump in the road, but glad that his treatment has gone well and he's out of the hospital. 2020 seems to like to pile it on! Thanks for the reading links and the good wishes for Thanksgiving. I ate alone (we are in lock-down until mid-December here), but saw my neighbor outside when we traded baked goods, and saw another old friend when we met outside so I could pass some of the goodies on to her. Also spoke with family members by phone. So it was a good day and I am thankful for what I have, especially with so much Covid-related suffering going on in the world. I tried a new recipe - pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream frosting - they were well received :). Looking forward to leftovers tonight! Beth in MN

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes for Kerry, Beth. Yes, I think almost everyone in our family is looking forward to the new year.

      I'm sorry to hear you're in lockdown and were alone on Thanksgiving. Still, as you said, you had brief contact with neighbours and you are thankful for what you have. That is a very good way to be. Your new cup cakes sound delightful! Take care, love. xx

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  8. Could you please post your recipe for the zucchini slice it looks amazing. So glad you son is on the mend. Thank you

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    1. Thanks Anita. Here is the recipe I posted earlier this year. https://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/2020/04/weekend-reading_24.html

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  9. Glad your son is on the mend and went to hospital to get looked after. You have just reminded me about zucchini slice I haven't made it for a few weeks so I'll make that for tomorrow nights dinner.

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  10. I have always enjoyed your blog posts. Changed computers about a year ago and lost all my RSS feeds. So glad I found your blog again. Just as an FYI, I ordered your book via Amazon on Nov. 10th; it's still showing as pre-order, with an est. March 1, 2021 ship date. Not a big problem, as it's for my personal reading (not a Christmas gift), but wanted you to be aware.

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    1. Welcome back, Lori. I'm not sure what's happening with Amazon. Sometimes they're sending books out, other times they're not. I hope you get yours soon. You've got quite a few posts here that you can read while you wait for the book. xx

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  11. Thank goodness your son is okay. That must have given you a scare. It's also a relief that you don't have a surge in Covid cases , like we do here in California. I made a Thanksgiving for one, to be safe. It is very cozy up here in the mountains, knitting by the fire. Our power went out on Thanksgiving at 1:00 p.m. Thank goodness I had cooked and baked in advance and the stuffed chicken was finished by noon. Enjoy you delicious meals...

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    1. It was a real scare, Stephenie. He's good now. I think he's going back to work tomorrow.

      Your cabin always sounds comfy and cosy. I often think of you there. I'm glad you had pre-prepared your Thanksgiving meal.

      We haven't had any community-sourced Covid cases where I live for a few months now. There are no restrictions here but our guidelines are social distancing, hand washing and hand sanitiser, take a mask with you when you go out and use it if you're in a crowded area, especially indoors. But I'm still very cautious because the corona virus is so contagious. It only takes one person to start a new hotspot.

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  12. Good morning Rhonda,Hanno and Gracie! So glad your son got that infection sorted,it can be pretty scary. Illness always reminds of the important things in life. A great assortment of weekend reading,thanks I will enjoy it through the week.We had the 'grandies' for Sat night so now have a gorgeous (and very wonky) Christmas tree up and my 7 year old grand daughter chopped the fruit up for a Christmas pud. I will boil it in a basin as I've never been brave enough to use a cloth like my mother used to.The small seedlings are starting to take off in the garden, so hope the weather is kind. Have a lovely safe week🙃

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