Weekend Reading

5 February 2021

Many things have returned to normal here after our long summer holidays. School and work have started, limited sport is back, shops are open, people are travelling between states although some are still closed or have removed border controls but then put them back again for a couple of weeks. So although general life looks normal, there's a feeling of uncertainty and the knowledge that it could all change again.


The Down to Earth paperback four-page extract was published in the Australian Women's Weekly this month.  I'm really proud of it because it speaks of positive ageing instead of dementia, fragility, wrinkle  and illness. It's primarily about older folk and retirement so if you're interested in those topics and you don't have the book, check out the magazine.

And yesterday I did my first session on ABC radio when I talked about laundry liquid. Next week I start with Annie Gaffney, the regular presenter, and we'll delve into the book a bit more.   Click here to go to the live radio link.  I'm on Thursdays, 3.30 - 3.45pm, or close to it.

The second simple living workshop, number two in a series of six, is on tomorrow and Sunday. We'll be discussing frugality, budgeting and debt reduction face-to-face on Zoom. The first workshop was fantastic, Zoom worked well for all of us and many of the ladies emailed me to say how much they got out of the session.  I got a lot out of it too. One of the drawbacks of this lifestyle is that you don't often meet other people who know about it or understand the concept.  So I really loved seeing the ladies sitting in their homes, talking about how they live and having a group discussion about new ideas and how to add to what they're doing.  And I have another five weekends to continue doing that!  



I made a small orange buttermilk cake for morning teas the other day. It was about half the size of a normal cake. If you've never used buttermilk in a cake, try it because it gives you a delicious light cake. Just substitute buttermilk for the milk in your favourite recipe.

I know many of you are still in lockdown and I hope you're okay and doing what you can to stay healthy and motivated. Staying at home really is the key to beating this, so hang in there, stay strong and let us know in the comments how you're getting on. It's really worrying that towns and cities here in Australia are getting down to zero cases, and a few weeks later, it breaks out again.  I think now that we won't get rid of this virus and we'll live with it by getting vaccinated, keeping the active cases low, social distancing and wearing masks when needed. Probably when we look back in years to come, 2020 will be seen as the landmark year when the entire world changed.

Here are this week's reading, I hope you take time to relax and read them.  And have a wonderful weekend.

16 comments

  1. Thank you Rhonda for another lovely post. I've been looking out for your radio program and looking forward to it. Is that 3:30 Queensland time. Im assuming it is. I'm in vic, ill have to check time differences. Thanks again, mandi

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  2. Rhonda,
    As I regret not speaking English well enough,cause I could buy and read all your books, and listen to you on the radio...
    Fortunately, I still have your blog.
    Take care of yourself.

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  3. Lovely to see you in the Woman's Weekly, I used to read it from cover to cover as a kid. Either my mum or my nanna would buy it, then give it to the other to read. Then it usually went to the Avon lady. I adored the Avon lady. Picture blonde beehive hairdo, shift dress, green eye shadow, pink lippy, matching patent handbag and pumps. This was the early 70s!

    I have bookmarked the infant peasant blouse even though neither of my kids is ready to start a family!

    Madeleine

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  4. Hi Rhonda, can you check the link on your last line as I don't think it's working. Great news about the radio gig getting off the ground. I have just helped my friend with her budget for the year and she is very excited about knowing how it all works. Have a great week. Kathy A, Brisbane

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  5. Greetings from Utah, USA. We are still having a lot of positive cases of Covid, but they are decreasing. Thank you for your posts and all the links, It is so reassuring to hear about how others in the world are coping and ideas for better and simpler living. It is a amazing and reassuring how we can connect with each other around the world. Have a wonderful day. Grandma Zee

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  6. Hi Rhonda, That's wonderful to hear about your radio interview. While I have your book, I would love to read the article but live in the US. I tried searching for it but nothing comes up. Do you know how I might be able to read it? Thanks so much. PS Thanks for the idea about buttermilk.

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    1. It is a direct extract form Down to Earth so if you have that book, you've already read it. It's on pages 37 - 41. When I went looking for it, I found this story in the Women's Weekly, it's old but you might enjoy it: https://www.nowtolove.com.au/celebrity/celeb-news/why-we-crave-the-simple-life-9642

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  7. Hi Rhonda, Congratulations on the Zoom workshops and radio spot. I am excited to listen to it. Just did my first Zoom meeting with friends last week. With the new laptop it was a snap! So fun to see their faces and expressions. Off to hear you on the radio now...

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  8. I have followed you for many years, blending some of your ideas with my own and my research. I miss reading your thoughts and ideas at this time in my journey. I retired early at age 58 and have much more time now.

    What have I realized? I have nearly maximized the simplifying of our lives, our home, our methods. So it is more a matter of maintaining and a fine-tuning here or there.

    I so appreciate the many years you committed to writing the plethora of information available here on your blog. I do go review now and then to see if there is a "nugget" I can use.

    thank you. Be well :-)

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    1. Hello Elle, welcome back.

      I do the same. I'm maintaining and fine-tuning too. Sometimes I find something new to try and then it's a matter of keep or discarding it. It keeps me interested in the process. xx

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  9. Here in the US there are spiders that intimidate our poisonous ones. We get poisonous black widows which are similar to Australian red backs. Various friendly house spiders and particularly harvestmen(daddy longlegs)seem to bother them. My husband seeks out friendly spiders and transplants them in jars to the corners of the garage where black widows have been seen. It makes them leave and not come back. Although I tend to wake up gasping and flailing if a non-poisonous house spider walks on my face at night, still, better one of them than the alternative. I wonder if your huntsmen, in addition to eating cockroaches, would chase off any of your more serious spiders.

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    1. I'm not sure about how they deal with most spiders but they're certainly big enough to overpower most of the poisonous spiders here, although not the funnel webs. I love what your husband is doing with the jar transfers. It's such a gentle and simple way of dealing with a potential problem.

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  10. Good afternoon Rhonda, Hanno and Gracie, thankyou for the links, I enjoy reading them.I always leave the huntsmen up on the wall to catch any mossies that might stray in. Glad that the zoom meetings are going well and fun. The minor covid outbreaks are a might unnerving, it has changed how we approach every outing we go on, but are really grateful for where we live. Apple sponge and custard sauce on the menu tonight! Have a lovely week and stay safe allπŸ™ƒ

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  11. Hi Rhonda from Beavercreek, Oregon. I just rediscovered your blog after following the Down to Earth Forum for years. I miss it so - such lovely people and none of them thought I was a bit odd for making my own butter and soap. I love seeing your cake, it reminded me that I still (I hope) have you recipe for Whole Orange Loaf Cake - sounds like a good project for tomorrow while I start organizing and downsizing my knitting supplies. Everyone in our family just loves it (so did the teachers at school). Thanks for the injection of inspiration and Take care

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    1. Hello Holly and welcome back. Yes, the forum was a wonderful place but a nightmare to administer at times. The general level of acceptance and shared knowledge there was a wonderful example to follow. xx

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