Weekend Reading

22 January 2021
It's been a kind of quiet busyness here this week. I'm trying to get some sewing finished before I start the simple living workshops, and they start next weekend. Thanks to everyone who has signed up. I think we're going to have a great time and I can't wait to actually see all of you in person. 

I'm thinking of having another workshop, closer to Easter, on writing. I'm not specifying the type of writing, it will be a general discussion, over two workshops of three hours in total, where I share how I started, how I maintain motivation, how I became a published writer, the commitment and hard work all serious writers need, and a little bit on contracts. I get quite a few emails from budding writers who usually ask me about getting to the next level. They want to make a living out of writing but they get to a point, get bogged down and don't know what to do next.  I think a workshop using our shared experience might kick-start a few writers and maybe clarify for others what they need to work on.  It will be online, on Zoom. Let me know your thoughts.


Soft vegetables like green onions last much longer if you prepare them as soon as you pick them or bring them home from the shop.  They just need a good wash then cut them to suit the size of the container you'll store them in; they should be stored in the fridge.  They'll easily last a couple of weeks like this. When you want to use them, just take them out and cut to size for your particular recipe.  Lettuce and celery can be processed the same way, they will last much longer and be nice and crisp.



Australia is generally doing okay with Covid. We've had nearly 29,000 cases and 909 deaths, most of those being in Victoria when a second wave took hold late last year. The state I live in has had 1300 cases and even though that's a fairly low number, it caused us to lockdown and change our lives.

Watching what's happening in the USA, UK and Europe now, as well as the flare-ups in South America and Africa makes me wonder if it will ever end.  Well, we've been told now it won't and that while most countries will control Covid19, it will be something we have to live with in the future. The vaccine is being given worldwide at the moment and that will help but there's a lot we can do ourselves - chiefly, staying at home and keeping your family close.  If you're living with Covid, or if it's in your neighbourhood, workplace, church or school, I send love and my best wishes to you. I'm sure the readers here do too.  You're not alone and although we're not there with you, we're thinking of you and hoping you stay healthy and strong. 💚


We are privileged to see a lot of wild birds here in our garden and cockatoos are one of the most common - black and white ones.  They fly around in small and large flocks we often hear them as they screech in the tall trees. Sometimes they come down to drink, but they usually do that alone. This white cockatoo visited our birdbath during the week. I'm sorry for the quality of the photos, I took them through my office window. 


Here is this week's reading list.  I hope you have some time to go through it.  Have a good weekend. 

Spending big on babies vs second-hand all the way. Here's how some parents are doing it18 brilliant vegan recipes – from orange poppy seed cake to ‘smoked salmon’Covid-19's astounding death toll in the US - I worry about all our American readers and when I read this, I was horrified and sad.  

28 comments

  1. To everyone in covid affected areas, Rhonda is right. You are not alone.

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    1. Thank you Mandi. I live in the area of London that has the highest rate of cases in the UK. They say 1 in 15 people in this area have it. It’s very frightening. We have everything delivered and hardly leave the house.

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  2. I like your photos of the wild cockatoo in your yard. I am in the USA and am scheduled to get my vaccine tomorrow, the first of 2. Every one around the world, be well and be careful.

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    1. Oh your vaccination is very good news, Terra. President Biden said he wanted, was it a million vaccinations done straight away? It's good to know they're being rolled out now. Take care, love.

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  3. I enjoyed the Apronful of Stones vlog you linked - thanks, it reminded me of the village my grandmother lived in and eating with her in her little cottage at a big old wooden table and eggy soldiers is still a favourite in our house today! I don't think we are managing this virus well in the UK because we didn't close our borders quickly enough.

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    1. The food we grow up on is always such a strong force throughout our lives. I love boiled eggs and soldiers too, and grew up eating them. Yes, I agree about the borders. Stay safe, Betty. We're thinking of you. xx

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  4. Your bread looks scrumptious!

    Wow! What a difference between your area and the States. We are still surging with the virus and with so many people refusing to wear masks, it will take a long time to get better. Thankful for President Joe in office, maybe we can make some progress.

    Thank you for the reading list, as always. I look forward to perusing it this weekend.
    Blessings from North Carolina, USA!

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    1. I just don't understand people who won't wear masks - especially when they throw tantrums.
      The thing that is also very worrying is the so called long haul covid patients - what they have is essentially Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (wrong name but we won't get into that : ) ) a post viral syndrome. My daughter has been very ill with CFS for many years and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy so please please make sure that you and your loved ones stay very safe. That goes for everyone : )
      Love from S Australia X
      And yes, Rhonda's bread does look pretty fabulous - my Acchile's heel : (

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  5. p.s. How do you sign up for the workshop? I did not see a link. TIA

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    1. Daisy, please give me your email address and I'll send you the workshop details. I won't publish your reply to this, I'll delete it when I have your email. Thank you.

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  6. Green onions never last long enough in our household... we eat them up as fast as I buy them. Deelicious! :) ~Andrea xoxo

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  7. Thank you for the reading lists that you provide each week. I can always find some interesting topics to read and learn from. Diane

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  8. hello rhonda
    hope u well
    enjoying your blog
    i would like to know where i can find the recipes for the fruit cake n chocolate chip biscuits.
    thank you...

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    1. Hi Nafesa, here are the recipe links: https://www.womensweeklyfood.com.au/recipes/super-moist-rich-fruit-cake-3281 . The biscuits are the cheap and easy biscuits on my blog that I added choc chips to: https://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/2009/11/cheap-and-easy-biscuits.html Happy baking.

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  9. Reading the Covid article was just depressing, knowing that now our death toll is up over 400,000. However, with the Biden administration hitting the ground running--and it came out today that, while they had expected to have to revamp the previous administration's plan, it turns out there was no plan at all, so they're starting from scratch--I am hopeful that with clear leadership and guidelines, perhaps we can get this under control. My husband is high-risk, so we've been mostly at home for almost a year now.

    I did like the Eggs and Soldiers video--so soothing, somehow. Thanks for sharing, as always!

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    1. Yes, another dreadful lie from the T administration. Blessings to you and your hubby.

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  10. I live in an area of New Mexico very hard hit by COVID. The state is in such disarray that the vaccines are not being given to the vulnerable, and many doses are thrown away. Unfortunately too many other states are also not doing well in distributing the vaccine or caring for the ill. Thanks for the tips about storing vegetables so that they last. Especially useful for those trying to limit going out to the grocery stores.

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  11. Hi Rhonda, I just got a new computer, so doing Zoom would be exciting. Last time I did Skype for one of your workshops, I had an old computer with no camera. It's exciting that you are teaching again. If I could just remember the answers to my security questions, I could use Paypal. There is always more to learn with technology. I agree with you about Covid. Our hospitals in California are at 0 capacity. So many refuse to wear masks...I grocery shop at 6:00 a.m. and stay home. It's cozy by the fire today. All the pines and oaks are covered in a blanket of snow. It looks like a Christmas card up here in the mountains.

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  12. Good morning Rhonda, Hanno and Gracie! We're expecting temperatures over 40deg today so up early watering ,the garden! I always use your method to keep celery fresh wrapped in alfoil in a container in the fridge, works a treat! The weekend reading was really enjoyable and interesting this week, thankyou! Thioughts with all the people overseas dealing with covid and best wishes for the workshops,have fun🙃

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  13. Hi, Rhonda. I always enjoy your blog and reading list. It's fun to see life in a totally different place than I live in. I work in the medical field, although not clinical, and have been fortunate to receive the corona vaccine. We are doing our best to keep wearing masks, and generally staying home. In Oregon we are limited to take-out food orders only, but most shops are still open.

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    1. Thanks for letting us know how things are going where you live, Annette. I'm pleased to know you're doing well and that people are wearing their masks. Stay safe, love.

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  14. Greetings Rhonda. I would really welcome an opportunity to join a writing workshop with you and to learn about the business path you took. Just love the concept of simple living and your blog. Warmest regards Sue.

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    1. Hi Sue, thank you for your interest. There hasn't been much interest but usually these things come together when I choose dates for the workshops. Please give me your email and I'll contact you when things go ahead. I won't publish your reply or your email address.

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  15. Hi Rhonda, I discovered your blog years ago but then I got sucked into social media and blog reading fell by the wayside. I'm now making a conscious effort to read more blogs and I'm delighted to see that you're still recording your life here. I'm in the UK and the covid situation is scary. My husband and I are home schooling our three children and it's very draining but they seem to be doing OK. We're very fortunate to live in a part of the UK with easy access to the beach and countryside which helps enormously. I look forward to catching up on your blog. Best wishes, Sheila.

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    1. Welcome back, Sheila. I'm glad you're doing well, stay safe and healthy. xx

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  16. Hello Rhonda! I bought The Simple Home a few years ago and it has been a practical source of inspiration, as well as a comforting companion - I love your writing. It was popped on my 'have to get back to it' reading shelf when my son was born, and now that he's older and I have a little 'me time' it has made a proud return to the kitchen table. I read it while I have a cuppa in the afternoons. Decided to hop on your blog today and some others I used to follow, as I want to start blogging and wondered whether others still do it. So glad to see you do! I would be very interested in your writing course - I'm a former journalist, and have turned my hand recently to writing short stories, when I get the time. If your workshop covers how to sneak extra writing time in and how to get to that next step with publishing, I am in! Thanks for all you do. Mel :)

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    1. Hi Mel. I haven't had a big response to the writing workshop but I'll advertise it again closer to Easter and see what happens then. Thanks for your kind words.

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