Weekend Reading

15 January 2021

Things are slowly returning to normal and I have to say I'm really pleased about that.  I don't really enjoy the Christmas/New Year holidays anymore. The last cricket test starts today and by the time it's over next week, I hope to be well and truly back into my 2021 housework routines.



Jamie and I baked these choc chip biscuits just before Christmas and I sent him home with the leftover biscuit dough to cook more when his biscuits ran out.  Luckily he had that dough because they had no snacks to leave out for Santa. They quickly baked more biscuits and I have no doubt Santa would have loved the smell of fresh biscuits when he arrived at Jamie's home on Christmas Eve.



I can't really call this our Christmas cake because I didn't get around to baking it until the first week of new year. I soaked the fruit in French brandy, starting Christmas Eve 🙄, and it ended up being absolutely delicious and moist.  We still have half in the fridge and we're enjoying small slices with our morning tea.

Pizzas were on the menu too, to use up some of the Christmas ham.

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I'll be doing a radio slot on local ABC radio from 21 January. I'll be on every Thursday at 3.30pm talking about our favourite subject, Simple Living. I'll share the link with you to listen as soon as I know what it is.


The telltales signs of my grandkids being here over Christmas.

Here is the first reading list of the year. I hope you enjoy the reads. 

I'm doing a series of simple living workshops on Zoom starting late January. For more information, read my Instagram post. If you want to join us, message me as soon as you can because I'll be closing the bookings in the next few days.

I think we'll all be challenged again this year with the Covid virus hanging around much longer than anyone thought it would. Staying at home is the safest strategy and if you must go out, make sure you wear a mask, sanitise your hands frequently and stand away from other people in queues. Take care and let's make the most of the year ahead, no matter how difficult is it. xx

29 comments

  1. Ahh Talasbuan, my favourite you tube channel! their videography is wonderful. Elsie thinks their little baby looks like he would make a good little friend and right now their winter looks mighty inviting.

    Good luck with the workshops, the budgeting one looks interesting particularly to me. It’s always an area we can learn more. I’m sure they will all offer aa huge amount of value to those who join in.

    I hope you have. Lovely weekend. We are Continuing to lay flooring here. I’m not sure what today will hold. Maybe some chess, baking biscuits Nd washing. Always the washing. Ha!

    Xx

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  2. Can't wait to listen to you on the radio Rhonda! That will be a time to have the teapot ready and spoil ourselves 😊
    I sent my new blog to you via your email rather than here in the comments, I hope you like it, and I hope you have a great weekend♥️

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    1. I read it this morning, Joanna. It's really good! I sent an email.

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  3. Hi Rhonda, Your baking looks delicious, as always. Homemade pizza is the best! I made some a couple of weeks ago, and was thrilled with the freshness and flavor. There has been no better time for simple living at home than during this virus. I am actually kind of enjoying it. The snow up at the cabin is magical. Hope you and Hanno are well.

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    1. Hello Stephenie. I'm glad to know you're safe and well.

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  4. Hello Rhonda,

    Happy New Year! Like you I am glad to be getting back into a bit of a routine. We have been having the most beautiful Summer I can remember in a long time - mid 20s and plenty of rain. The garden is thriving and so am I :-)

    I'm really looking forward to hearing you on the radio! And wondering how La Nina is playing out in your part of the country.

    Madeleine.x

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    1. We're having a dry and humid summer, Madeleine. It's slightly cooler than past years but it's still uncomfortable. We've had a few days of light rain but nothing that really soaked into the ground. Our local dam is empty and we're all hoping it will fill over summer. It's not looking good.

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  5. Hmmm maybe the rain will just get to you a bit later. It took it's time getting to Armidale, I kept asking "where's this rain we've been promised!" I was feeling quite desperate. Weather is a tricky thing as although the rain is brilliant, we haven't had quite enough sun and that has slowed down growth in the veggie garden. However, this week we've had no rain and temperatures up to 29 which has made some plants double in size overnight. I hope you have good rain soon.

    Madeleine.

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  6. You're so lucky to be able to have your grandchildren over. In my part of the world (Indiana, in the USA), we're in the middle of a worsening pandemic and the authorities literally begged people not to gather for the holidays, with anyone other than those who live under our roof with us. So we opened gifts via "virtual reality" and that had to be good enough. It's been nearly 11 months since my precious grandchildren have been here and I miss them terribly. But their mother (my oldest daughter) insists on keeping Grandma & Grandpa safe... so that we're still around to celebrate when it's safe again. Blessings~ Andrea xoxo

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    1. We had our big lockdown in March, Andrea, most people did what they were advised to do and we came out of it with zero cases - but we had a fraction of the cases you have. From what I see on our news here, your cases are overwhelming but the advice the authorities are giving you is right and it's the only way to stop this terrible virus. I understand you really needing to be with your grandkids but your safety and theirs is priority one now. Hopefully the people in your community stay and home until it's safe to go out again. I send warm hugs. xx

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    2. I'm so sorry to hear you can't see your grand kids. Keep strong, we're all thinking of you over there and hope things get stable and safe quickly.

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  7. It sounds like you are keeping yourself very busy during the various lockdowns and restrictions. It's nice that so many people are at last seeing the benefits of more simple life again.

    I loved the link you shared 'Modern Life is Rubbish ....' the 1930's house is my idea of heaven. I do actually own a lot of similar kitchen items to him.

    Take care. xx

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  8. I was so interested to see the article on Buy Nothing groups on Facebook! My local group is the only reason I haven't quit Facebook yet. The group got so large that they split it again so it really is very much a neighborhood group. People ask to borrow Christmas lights, or lawnmowers, or carpet cleaners and everyone is very generous. One person gave away gift cards she'd received at Christmas as a way of saying thank you to the group (she picked names randomly). I have been able to find good homes for everything I have decluttered. I had eight boxes of books my children had read and hated the thought of giving it to a charity group who might just end up recycling some of them, so I posted them online and they were snapped up literally within two minutes (and picked up that same day). It has also showed me how much STUFF we all have; especially after Christmas, everyone has been offering the gifts they don't want/like, which is rather sad.

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    1. I'm glad you commented. Is this like Freecycle or is it a different concept?

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    2. I'm not sure what Freecycle is! I'm in Oregon in the US. The article made some good points about how it's not supposed to be a way for people to declutter (essentially just passing stuff from one person to another) but instead a way to enable people to borrow so they don't have to buy. At it's best, people share their household tools and equipment and pass on baby clothes, which does prevent buying, but I know I've been guilty of decluttering and giving that excess away via my Buy Nothing group. Still, there were several families who were out of work this holiday season and they posted "wants" so they could find gifts for their children and everyone kind of pulled together and found or made things for these families. I don't see anyone bartering skills or anything like that though--I'd love to see more of that. (I'm the one who posted above but I just figured out how to post with my name.)

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    3. Hi Erika. From your comment it sounds like the Buy Nothing Groups aren't just getting rid of junk but have a deeper ideology. I like the support they offered those families at Christmas. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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  9. Hm, my comment went kaput. Just saying that we love fruitcake any time of year. We eat it buttered. Yours looks very good!

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  10. Happy New Year Rhonda!

    The fruit cake and the cookies look delicious. I think I found the recipe for the fruitcake online...my that's a lot of fruit! My dad would love it!

    Thanks for the links. I have read most of them, and especially enjoyed the one about the Swedish couple. So much so that I watched several of their videos. Such beauty. I also loved the article "Modern Life is Rubbish". While I don't necessarily want to live in those time periods...well, most days anyway...I like to live closer to those time periods, at least the good aspects. The bad can stay in the past. I would love to visit these homes.

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    1. It's a really delicious cake.

      "Modern life is rubbish" is a bit simplistic I think. I lived through the 50s and I would NEVER want to go back to that time, particularly as a woman.

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  11. "particularly as a woman"

    Exactly!

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  12. GOOD MORNING rhonda i would like to join the simple living workshop please Cheers Moi

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    1. Certainly Moi, please send me you email address so I can send you the details. If you don't know my gmail address, just send another comment with your address and I won't publish it.

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  13. Rhonda, congratulations on your ABC radio slot. You just seem to go from strength to strength, I will look forward to listening to it. You are so fortunate to have your grandchildren visit over Christmas. Another very interesting reading list as well. Take care, Pauline

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    1. Thanks Pauline. Yes, I loved having the kids and grandkids here.

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  14. Hi Rhonda, My goal this year is to get my household routines into a flow instead of a stop and start thing, and also to not buy anything new. If I buy something new it has to replace something we have. Thanks for sharing your cookies (biscuits) adaption. Gives me courage to try various things.
    Dee

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    1. Always try, Dee, no matter what it is. Even if you make a mistake when you do something you haven't done before, you'll learn so much.

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  15. Your biscuits and cake look delicious!!

    You MUST watch the vlogger Cafe709. She is a Korean woman, married to a Japanese man and they live in Japan. I love watching her prepare her meals and her home. There is something very connecting about watching people around the globe cooking.
    Everyone stay safe!

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  16. Happy New Year to you Rhonda, Hanno, Gracie and family! Let's all hope 2021 is way more settled. Christmas seems an age away but we too are still munching through a rather nice Christmas cake. We've only had one really hot day and the overcast,mild days whilst good for older humans has not been good for setting tomatoes or controlling powdery mildew on the cucurbits! The workshops will be wonderful, how generous you are with your time. I have started going through the Simple Home again and am busy sorting my home file and also knitting a new set of dishcloths for the new year! Like the new photo but I do think the green in the previous one suited you and was my favourite. Have a great week🙃

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