Weekend Reading

18 December 2020

This will be my last blog post for a while. I'm having a break over Christmas and will come back when I'm rested and ready to go again. Next year will be my 14th year blogging about how we live. In the beginning, knowing I wanted to write about making beds, washing up, housework and budgeting, I wondered if my blog would last 14 weeks. But it's still here and so are you and for that, I'm truly grateful.


Happy holidays from Gracie!

My sister sent this photo during the week. The Down to Earth paperback in the window of a bookshop near where she lives.

My sincere thanks to everyone who bought my books this year. It's an important part of our income now and 10 per cent of what you pay for one of my books comes to us and helps us live our chosen life here. Thanks also to all the readers who continue to visit.  Without you, this blog would not be here.

My tomatoes were growing in the bush house last week. This is what happens when you don't stake them early enough and it rains for 12 hours.


Munstead Wood standard rose growing in the back garden.



This has been the strangest year I've ever lived through. We aren't locked down now but we have been in the past and I know it's difficult shopping for food, going to the doctor and taking children to and from school. Staying at home helped stop the spread of Covid here and although there's a spike in Covid in Sydney this morning, we have almost no restrictions where I live. Hanno and I are still cautious and stay at home most of the time. What frightens me is how quickly it spreads and, as Sydney is showing us now, it goes from zero to five to 17 in less than a day. And many people don't have symptoms when they're tested but they have the virus. 

If you're locked down, I get it, it's hard but so is this virus. Keep hanging on, stay at home, be safe and wear a mask when you go out. Keep hand sanitiser and masks in your car or if you usually walk or use public transport, always have a mask and hand sanitiser in your bag. 

Use the time at home to think about your life and how you want to go forward. I'm pretty sure things will change after this, I really hope our governments will lead us towards a sustainable, less commercial, pollution-free future where businesses think about the environment as well as profit margins. It's a good idea to contact your local member of parliament too and ask how they and their party intend to protect the environment while we recover from Covid. But it's up to us to make our own personal changes too and now is a very good time to think about what we can change and improve in our own spaces. I use the plural 'spaces' because as well as being at home, most of us are also in our workplace, schools, parents homes, library and various indoor venues and these spaces must be safe for you as well.

Cecile Brunner rose growing over the chook fence.

Here is the last 2020 reading list. There are some lovely links here and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 



So that's it for another year, my friends. Enjoy the holiday season, look after yourself, rest, think, play and come back ready for what might be another challenging year. Make the most of the time you have with your family in your safe haven.  

Hanno, Gracie and I send love to you across the miles. πŸ’œ


48 comments

  1. Yes it has been a year of reflection and transformation for me. As you said hopefully it will cause a change across society for the better. I wish you and Hanno a very happy Christmas and a New Year.
    Your roses are a joy and you are tempting me to give them a try. Stay safe and happy.πŸŽ„

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Christmas to you too, Bernie. I encourage you to try roses, they're very easy to grow. Water, fertiliser and pruning and you'll have roses that will grow for 100 years. xx

      Delete
  2. Happy holidays and best wishes for you and the family! Truly enjoy your blog and have either read or bought all your books ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Traveling Oltmans. Enojy your travels and the holidays. xx

      Delete
  3. I love your blog and am looking forward to catching up with you next year. Enjoy your rest and stay safe and well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy the holidays, Elaine. Merry Christmas. xx

      Delete
  4. Thank you Rhonda for all you do for this online community. I usually enjoy your weekend readings in bed on a Saturday morning, if not being bounced on by grandchildren or nagged by our two dogs! Have a great Christmas and hoping also for complete health for your son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your kind thoughts, Susan. Have a lovely Christmas. xx

      Delete
  5. Yours is one of my absolute favorite blogs Rhonda & I especially love your weekend reading posts & often click on all the links & it takes me to places I would never have visited before - all-be-it in cyberspace. Thank you for all that you share with us out here in blogland. Your two books have become so thumbed-through by myself & also my daughter in laws (I have gifted them copies) & are just wonderful - some of your recipes I even know by heart now. Happy festive season to you & your family xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm really pleased you get something from my blog and books, Julie. It's comments like yours that keep me writing. I want to pass on as much as I can before I stop - writing and breathing. LOL Have a very happy Christmas and enjoy your home and family. xx

      Delete
  6. Happy Christmas to you and Hanno and the rest of your family, Rhonda. I hope we are out of lockdown soon. But nevertheless we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with the new vaccines. Let's hope we all get ours soon. I wish us all a much better year in 2021. Thanks for all you do.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I notice I can’t open any of the Guardian articles on Weekend Reading lately. Anyone else having this problem?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hope you enjoy your break Rhonda, have a wonderful Christmas with your family and dear Gracie. All that you post here and on IG is very much appreciated and I always enjoy browsing through the weekend reading. Take care, Kate (Tassie) xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wishing us all a better year to come...this one has been very hard. Thanks for all the ideas you share here!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations and thank you for your blog all these years. Always enjoy your musings, perspective and words of wisdom. Wishing you and yours a safe and happy new year.
    Spud

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Rhonda, I want to thank you for this blog so precious to me.I consult it almost every day,and I think I couldn't do without...
    I wish I could buy your books, but they are not translated into french...
    Have a very happy Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy Christmas and New Year to you Rhonda, Hanno and Gracie.
    Your inspirations throughout the year have made the days brighter and I always love reading your "weekend" suggestions.
    Your positive perspective is contagious; I often feel inspired to be creative after visiting your blog. Thank you for being here for 14 years~!
    All the best to your son in his recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn. Kerry is doing well at the moment. Have a lovely Christmas. xx

      Delete
  13. Have a wonderful break Rhonda and thank you for your ever hopeful and useful postings . Merry Christmas to you all . Here’s to great times ahead in 2021 ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Rhonda, hoping you, Hanno, Gracie and your family have a lovely restful Christmas. Thank you for your faithfulness in posting and giving us many interesting articles to read. Trust you will be revived over your break and refreshed in the new year. Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh that must have been a real 'proud sister moment' when your sister spotted your book in the window of the book store :-)

    Wishing you and Hanno, all the family and of course the delightful Gracie a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2021.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Rhonda, you have made this year so much better. I am so pleased to have found your blog and enjoy your inspirational teachings. You are a blessing to so many.

    Praying that you, Hanno and your family have a wonderful holiday and all good things in the new year.
    Be Blissed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Daisy. Stay safe and warm and have a lovely Christmas. xx

      Delete
  17. Enjoy your break and the festive season together with Hanno and your family Rhonda. Not forgetting cute wee Gracie. You deserve it.
    Corona figures still looking bleak here. The govt will issue a public statement in an hour. More restrictions we think. We can´t do any more to isolate us and it´s become a way of life. We knew this Christmas would be very different with 4 family members now in Melbourne. Yesterday we decided that it was too risky even for the 6 of us left to meet. My son and his wife live in a "red flag" area. So we´ll have Christmas dinner with our daughter who lives nearby. Like so many others we just have to accept the situation and feel grateful that everyone is well.
    Thank you for the wonderful words of wisdom that come with every blog article and the inspiration - also photos of your lovely garden. I´m looking forward to clicking my way through the weekend reading list. Will be making some soap any day now. I always think of you then since it´s thanks to you I took the plunge.
    Love from Uppsala, keep well and safe.

    Ramona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ramona. The king was on TV news here saying their Corona virus response failed. You're like us, we stay at home anyway. I'm sorry you won't see everyone you love at Christmas. Enjoy your soap making. I have to make some soon too. Have a lovely Christmas, love. xx

      Delete
  18. Thank you for all you share on your blog. I'm still waiting for Amazon to process my order for your book. Merry Christmas!
    Best,
    Lori K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just checked Amazon, Lori. The book is in stock so it shouldn't be too long. Have a great Christmas.

      Delete
  19. Wishing you, Hanno and Gracie a lovely and peaceful Christmas time, Rhonda. Enjoy time with your family, the cricket on the tellie and your pretty cottage garden. MegXx

    ReplyDelete
  20. I want to thank you for another enriching year of blogging for all of us. I really appreciate all that you do. I hardly knew what a blog was when I found yours and I love all of your ideas, recipes, philosophy and various musings and all the practical tips you share. I do have yours books stored safely away here in my iPad, and the hardcover versions I’ve given to family. All the best for Christmas and the new year, sending positive thoughts to your son in his battle. Thanks again πŸŒ²πŸ’—

    ReplyDelete
  21. Enjoy your break. Wishing you and your entire family a safe and healthy Christmas Season and New Year. And congratulations on 14 years! What an accomplishment!

    Darlene

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy Christmas to you and your family, I hope your son is recovering nicely too. I have neglected my veggie garden this year as my Mum had a medical episode which resulted in having to find a nursing home for her and other associated things have taken up the past 4 months. Fresh start to 2021 I'm going to go to the farmers markets every weekend and also get more home grown simple veggies and herbs. Enjoy the Christmas time and family gatherings. I still love reading your blog after all these years and will look up something that I know is on here. Stay safe. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dear Rhonda. I love your blog. It's my regular go-to blog, the topics you cover are so a part of my lifestyle here in Brisbane. Wishing you, Hanno and Gracie a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2021. Thank you again, I'll be going back to check on some of your earlier blogs until you return in 2021. Very best wishes from Jean in Brisbane, a gardener, allotment holder, veggie grower and pickler.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy Christmas Rhonda, to you and your lovely family, and enjoy your break!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I so love your blog and your beautiful photos of your gardens. It’s winter here and all my beds are sleeping now. I get to enjoy your during our winter. Love your suggested readings every week. Be safe, rest and look forward to hearing from you after your respite.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wishing you and yours the Merriest Christmas and a magnificent New Year.
    Thank you so much for starting this blog and sticking with it for 14 years. It has been a real gift and I look forward reading more.
    Stay safe.
    Hugs from New Jersey,
    MissFifi

    ReplyDelete
  27. 'think about your life and how you want to go forward', yes, it's that time of year again and this year more than usual that is a great focus. I've been thinking a lot about what I want to achieve in the new year, and also mentally planning in case we do have a lockdown again and end up working via skype. I'm not just planning my home routine and for my business and health, but most importantly my mindset. It's too easy to become anxious otherwise about what might happen.

    Your Munstead rose is glorious, it's one I want to find room for in my garden. I hope you have a beautiful and restorative time over the next few weeks Rhonda, and look forward to seeing you again in 2021.

    Madeleine.xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dear Rhonda, it's been a long time since i wanted to thank you for your precious and benevolent blog.I live near a village in the south of France and my life is very similar to yours.The transmission of knowledges between generations is no longer the same as it used to be and your blog opens a new way for it. I wish you Rhonda, a very happy new year, may it keep you,Hanno, and your loved ones, but also all your readers in good health, and rich of affection and projects to achieve
    Elisabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Elizabeth. I wish you good health and happiness as we move into the new year. xx

      Delete
  29. Thank you for this blog - enjoy your time off and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Rhonda,Hanno and Gracie, best wishes for a wonderful,healthy Christmas and 2021. Many thanks for your continuing blog. It's a lovely time each week to click on and catch up with like minded 'old' friends! Years ago I would have thought it a bit odd to think of people I have never met as 'friends' but this technology has made it so and never more so in our long covid lock in.I have mince pies to make,the garden is growing and the weather mild down here. Enjoy a restful break with your family and hope the cricket is exciting.πŸ€ΆπŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸΎ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your family. See you next year. xx

      Delete
  31. Merry Christmas and Happiest of all New Years to you, Hanno, adorable Miss Gracie and your family. And as always, thanks for the links....I have been enjoying them!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Happy Christmas Rhonda to you and Hanno and the whole family. Can't wait to "see you" when you return after Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Merry Christ to you and yours. I am relieved to hear that you are still taking the virus very seriously. I am a healthcare provider in the US, and I would encourage everyone to add safety googles and even a face shield to your outfit when going into any public space. An N95 mask is best, but a surgical mask under a cloth mask is also quite effective.
    https://www.childrenscolorado.org/about/news/2019/september-2019/surgical-masks-as-good-as-respirators-for-flu-and-respiratory-virus-protection/ I am glad that you are being careful. Take care. Cynthia

    ReplyDelete
  34. Merry Christmas Rhonda, Hanno and family! I got my signed copy of your book for Christmas and I am reading it now with a nice cup of tea and a homemade cinnamon roll we made for Christmas breakfast. Great present! The kids are playing with their gifts and I'm enjoying the brief quiet. Thanks again, Krista

    ReplyDelete
  35. I just saw your new paperback in Avid Reader, West End. I have your hardcover, otherwise I would have snapped it up. Happy New Year for your return.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh, do hurry back, I just found your wonderful blog!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Rhonda, wishing you, Hanno and Gracie a happy and healthy new year! I loved your idea of breaking out something new for Christmas lunch - BBQ is appropriate on all occasions in my book :). And I really enjoyed checking out the Scottie hand bags. When Bailey was alive my sister-in-law collected or was given an amazing array of items with Scotties on them. My favorite was an estate sale find - a small side table of a Scottie standing up, with a small shelf that was perfect for holding an after dinner drink. Thanks for being a long distance friend and mentor to all of us. You are loved! Beth in MN

    ReplyDelete

EMAIL ADDRESSES, LINKS OR BUSINESS INFORMATION WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED.

Thank you for your comment. They are an important part of my blog because they help build the community here. Please don't add links or email addresses to your comment. This is a family-friendly blog and I don't have the time to check all the links before I publish them.

These comments are moderated so yours won't appear until after I've read it.