I'm back and feeling better

14 November 2021


The first cherries of the season for us.

There was a time when I would rise at 4 am to write, read, think about life and plan the day ahead. After breakfast I'd make the bed, do some washing, get bread on the rise and bake a cake or biscuits or whatever we fancied for morning or afternoon teas. There may have been harvesting, preserving or sewing and mending and I would happily do it because it helped me build a life so simple I valued every day like never before. This was a life where I produced as much as I could from what I already had in the house. It was pure domestic productivity, I had no thoughts of fashion or celebrity and still, twenty years on, I put no value in either. I just want to be what I am, no more, no less.


I've just spent the last two weeks with an infection on my arm brought about by our wonderful dog, Gracie, when we were mucking about on the couch about three weeks ago. I had two courses of antibiotics with the first not working at all and I slowly got sicker and sicker. I didn't want to do anything and I sat in the lounge room like a zombie, watching TV. I didn't know things were so bad on the telly! But thoughts of bread baking or even making lunch some days just didn't register. We even had two days of takeaway pizza!




Cookies going in (above) and cookies coming out of the oven below.


Choki saved me. I watched her love her cats, live her solitary life, cook, bake and preserve, sew her household linens, work on her computer and give meaning to her life by all those simple actions. I love her YouTube channel, I am hooked. I discovered her just after she started her YouTube but flittered away when I got busy. So when I started coming back to myself after a couple of wasted weeks, I watched her make choc chip cookies. And today, as a way of honouring her calm and quiet life, I made a batch of those cookies and now the house if full of that wonderful fragrance. Thanks Choki.

Cookie recipe - it's delicious and buttery
  • 110 g soft, not melted, butter plus 110 g sugar and beat together 
  • 1 egg, vanilla and mix again
  • 180 g flour - I used half plain, half self-raising and a pinch of salt - mix
  • 120 g chocolate - I used 200 g choc chips because I didn't want 80 grams of choc chips lurking in the fridge. True story. πŸ˜‡
Make sure the batter is not melting when you put it in the oven. If it's really soft, put it in the fridge to firm up before baking. Bake 170 C for 15 - 20 minutes




The other person who kept me sane was Grandma Donna. We tried to talk on Zoom today but couldn't connect properly but that didn't matter because I'd already received her messages of concern and friendship and we can try again later in the week. 

Finally, but certainly not last on the list are the memorable comments, emails and messages I received from you, the people who read what I write. I include those people who live near me and who offered to come over and help. πŸ₯°. Thank you for shouting out and being there when it felt like nothing was. 



I am feeling better now but my arm is still swollen and bright red with peeling skin. It's like I've been badly sun burnt. I'll go back to my doctor in the morning, hopefully the last of the many visits I've made to the clinic. It's good to be back among the living. πŸ’–

61 comments

  1. So glad you are feeling better Rhonda. Welcome back!! πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

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  2. Welcome back, glad you are feeling better. Take things easy as this will take some time for your body to recover. Getting older is not for wimps. Yummy baking.πŸ‘‘ you are the queen of making good things look achievable.

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  3. Hello Rhonda,

    I'm very glad to read that you are feeling better.
    Your baking as usual, looks lovely and very tempting.

    I have been meaning to leave a comment to say how beautiful your garden looks. I was thinking of you when I bought and planted a punnet of Crystal Apple Cucumber seedlings. You have mentioned them on your blog and I'm looking forward to trying them.

    Thank you for the Weekend Reading suggestions. I am enjoying watching the videos and reading the articles you suggest.

    Take care dear Rhonda.
    Best wishes Maria xx.

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    1. Hi Emma, the garden is a bit of a jungle at the moment but I hope to fix that soon. I'm so pleased you bought our Australian Crystal Apple cucumber. Have some fresh wholemeal bread ready when you pick them because they make a delicious sandwich.

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  4. So good to hear you are improving

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  5. good to hear you are getting better. i really enjoy your blog!
    irene

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  6. I am so happy you are feeling better. Your poor arm has put you through a terrible time. Keep resting to make your recovery complete.

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  7. Glad you’re finally on the mend. Gail

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  8. I am so relieved you are on the mend. Just sorry you have been so sick. As others have said, rest up still x

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  9. Very glad that you are getting better, Rhonda. Your choc chip cookies look scrumptious. I imagine you sitting out overlooking the garden, sharing tea and cookies with Hanno. Take care!
    MegXx

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    1. Hello Meg, thanks. I've been looking out at the garden and don't like what I see. I haven't set foot in there for over two weeks and it's like a jungle
      . Both Hanno and I are going to the doctor today but I hope I'll be out in the garden this afternoon.

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  10. Julie from MooroolbarkNovember 14, 2021 9:13 pm

    Hello Rhonda. Very glad that you are feeling better but please take a leisurely pace as your immune system takes quite a hit with cellulitis. Those first cherries and chocolate biscuits look delicious. I hope you and Hanno enjoyed every morsel. I adore cherry sauce and particularly like it drizzled over homemade apple pie with cream or ice cream Always puts me in a happy place and I love to share this with my family and Rhonda, I always make this as a treat for my birthday and its this week so indulgence it is.
    Melbourne is finally out of lockdown after so long and armed with my shopping list I methodically went to a shopping centre and purchases were made. I returned home thinking how I had got used to not shopping at a whim or rarely at all and am very happy to now be away from the Christmas rush.
    We are having a very wet Spring so far and far cooler temperatures than normal. The water tanks are all full now in readiness for summer. This cool weather inspires me to do enjoy more indoor tasks and I have enjoyed some leisure with my craft work, reading and spending quality time with my family. We are a community of readers Rhonda. What is evident is the pop up book cupboards that have become very prominent at home addresses. There are some very creative book cupboards and usually located near the home letterbox. This is where any books are swapped free and replaced with books that have been read and no longer required by the owner. It is a popular concept here particularly during our lockdown and sometimes people leave a little review or appreciation note in the book for the next reader.
    Rhonda take very good care and I hope the flow of what makes you and Hanno happy returns to you both this week. Julie xx

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  11. So glad you are on the mend Rhonda. ❤️

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  12. I can't believe I haven't stubbled upon Choki's YouTube channel before today.
    It is right up my alley! Glad you are feeling better!

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  13. What a relief to know you are feeling more yourself. Bless you and continued healing...

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  14. I am so glad you are feeling better. You are absolutely right about the state of tv. I stick with lots of cozy mysteries. Best wishes on a continued recovery.

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  15. Sounds like you are doing lots better, Rhonda. Glad you are on the mend. You will soon be back posing all those helpful bits regarding simple living; inspiring us all.

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  16. Oooooh Rhonda, you poor soul! I hope you are able to put this whole arm-thing behind you soon. What a nightmare! My prayers are coming your way, kiddo!! I just visited the link you provided, to Choki's instagram, and boy... those types of pictures are NOT for me.... but I respect the fact that you like them and enjoy them so much. I'm glad she perked you up when feeling so bad. <3 But those types of "staged" photos are totally NOT for me! Give me pictures of ordinary life, with dirty dishes in the sink & laundry in the hamper & dust on the windowsill... rather than picture-perfect staged photos of how life never is for most of us. But again, we're all not the same and I'm glad those photos cheer you during this hard time. Get well soon~ Andrea XOXOXO

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    1. I don't expect people to like what I like but I was astounded you thought Choki's photos were staged. They are actually "stills" from her videos - they're all from YouTube, which is where she shines.

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  17. So happy to hear your recovery is progressing Rhonda! You have been on my mind and I was delighted to see your post. Take a slow pace and allow your body/energy to refill on its own timeline. We had our first taste of winter here in Wisconsin - woke up to 3 inches of early snow. Looking forward to watching Choki videos; I am not familiar. Continued healing prayers from across the miles. Cindy in Wisconsin, USA

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  18. I am glad your on the mend. Best wishes for a full recovery

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  19. So glad you are feeling better!

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  20. Wow am I glad to see you back. I’m retired from health care and know how bad cellulitis can be. Take care of yourself and rest. God bless! Dale

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  21. Glad to hear you are feeling better Rhonda. First time commenting,but I would feel very lost without reading your postπŸ’

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  22. I don’t usually comment - guess I’m a “lurker”, but I’m sorry that you have been poorly and am glad you’re on the mend. Take care.
    Carole

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  23. I'm so so happy you are on the mend. I imagine this has been a frustrating and painful time for you. How nice to be mostly on the other side of it all. Kisses to Gracie and a hug for Hanno. I'm sure you'll love be back to puttering about your home and feeling the pleasure of it all.

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  24. Rhonda, I am so happy to hear you are feeling better!

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  25. Wonderful to hear you are feeling better Rhonda! I think the takeaway pizza proves how unwell you were. I am glad Choki helped you. Please know you have also helped me at times also. We can never underestimate how we can uplift each other in times of need. Xx

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  26. I’m so happy to hear that you are feeling better!! I’m glad you and Grandma Donna aware here as the calm voices of reason in these difficult times πŸ’•. Take care. Donna from Dallas

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  27. Dear Rhonda, I read often but haven't commented for years but I was dismayed to read about your illness, and more concerned when I checked in on Saturday to see if you were back. Cellulitis is no joke and the antibiotics needed can bring their own issues too, very glad indeed to hear you're on the mend. And you're so right about tv! Wishing you a speedy recovery, from julesnz

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  28. I'm so glad you're feeling better. I've been praying for you and checking every day to see if there was word. So thankful for doctors, medicine and answers to prayer. Thanks, too, for your lovely blog. ~Beth from USA

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    1. Thanks for your prayers and your concern, Beth. xx

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  29. I'm glad to hear you are feeling better. This must have been such a strange ordeal for you and Hanno. I am younger than you, but find the older I get, the longer it takes for anything to heal as it used to. Small cuts stay longer as well as colds and such. It is frustrating for me as I want to do what I want when I want. ;-)

    I smile whenever you mention Grandma Donna. It makes me so happy thinking of you two comparing notes and helping each other. You are both so alike in many ways and both so helpful. She helped me overcome my fear of oil lamps. I have a few and was very confused on how to trim the wick and the proper way to light them. I am grateful for her help. I hope you have a lovely chat with her soon. Wishing you continued healing.

    Darlene

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  30. I am so happy that you are on the way to healing. At our age, we have to be more careful about small ailings because our bodies are not as strong as they used to be. I think I will bake those cookies today!
    Hilde in Germany

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  31. So very glad you are on the mend Rhonda. We have to be so careful with infections such as these. They are very scary. As much as I loathe tsking antibiotics they are life savers when we really need them. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Xxx

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  32. So happy to read you are on the mend Rhonda. It´s a very good sign if you´re up to tackling your garden "jungle". Soon you´ll be sparking on all cylinders. If your skin is red and tender, I wonder if you´ve ever heard of the beneficial effects of the gel in Aloe Vera? It´s been used through the centuries and even during the World Wars as an emergency treatment for burned and damaged skin, cuts etc. I can´t count the number of times it´s helped me with minor damage. I even use it on my actinis keratosis spots and it´s actually doing a good job of keeping them in check. I´ve had them looked at by a specialist but I don´t fancy treatments available. I have a few plants so that I always have the gel available.

    Keep up the good progress with your healing.
    Ramona

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  33. I am so glad to hear that you are on the mend. Although I don't comment often, I always look forward to your posts. Just hearing about your and Hanno's daily lives has been therapeutic for me. I am a cancer patient, and I truly understand about feeling so tired and ill that even small tasks become too much. I am enjoying a good, strong period of life at present, and I wish the same for you, Rhonda. May you and your family be blessed!

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  34. I'm just delighted to hear how much better you are feeling. And also how much you messages of love and support meant to you. I hope you now realise just how much you mean to so many of us. Despite having never actually met you in person, I ( and many others) feel a real connection with you and were worried about you. Be gentle with yourself, cellulitis is a horrible dose, allow yourself time to rebuild your strength after 2 goes of antibiotics. Sending you lots of love and a great big squeezey hug. Xxx

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    1. Thank you for your loving words, Aisling. I'll go slow, I promise.

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  35. It really stinks that the people you love the most are in difficult times today. My parents, who could do anything, now ask for me to drive them to dr. appointments because they don't like to navigate through the city. My MIL repeats herself so often now that it's alarming to hear the same story over and over during a 2 hour visit. All parents still drive and I'm worried for all of them since they all live in their own homes still. We need to keep them there per their wishes until they die.

    Being their kid, I am saddened by all this because each one has their own problems and then they fall and we have new problems or other little accidents that need our help. We moved from a big country home to a small "city" home 8 years ago to be closer and though we gave up our country living I wouldn't change it for the world to be closer to the 3 parents that need us the most right now.

    I hate seeing you and your husband have all your issues as well but I'll add you to my prayers.

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    1. Hello Alice, I remember going through the same experience with my parents, and now it's my turn. It's not easy growing older. I'm sure your parents and MIL appreciate your support and love. In Australia, we have community organisations that will drive you to appointments and shopping. Many of them also help with housework and yard work too for a small fee. Do you have anything like that you could call on to help with the work ahead? Thank you for your prayers. xx

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  36. Dear Rhonda, I am so glad you are feeling better. I am usually too timid to comment, but I wanted you to know that I am truly grateful that you are okay. Cellulitis can be very dangerous. You said it came about because of Gracie. You are the third such story that I have heard in the last few weeks about someone getting a bacterial infection after their dog licked a cut or scrape on their body. So strange. I have dogs, but it never has happened to me. I will be more careful though. Anyway, I appreciate you and your writing so much! I hope you continue to take it easy so you can completely recover and be "as good as new" very soon. I chuckled when you talked about Choki's YouTube channel. I have been following her for quite some time and I absolutely love her and her videos. But I have never talked to anyone else who watches her, so it is fun to hear that you do! :-) Her videos are beautiful and calming, and they motivate me to live a quiet purposeful life. Take care, Rhonda! <3

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    1. I'm so pleased you commented, Jennifer. Apparently dogs and cats have some evil bacteria on their teeth and claws so if you have a cut or if they scratch or bite you, there may be a problem. The older you get, the weaker your immune system becomes so I'm being extra careful from now on.

      And you like Choki too! There is something about her, I think it may be that she is genuine in her lifestyle choices and I love that she cooks most things from scratch.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. xx

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  37. SO glad to hear you're on the mend. Don't push yourself too hard getting back to full speed; take it slowly and listen to your body. You've been through a lot! Best wishes at the doctor; I hope you get a clean bill of health!

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  38. I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better Rhonda. - Mari x

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  39. Hi Rhonda, so glad to hear you’re feeling better. I look forward to your blog every week. I’m a stay at home mum with a new baby who does not sleep so sit down with a nice cup of tea and your reading list is the highlight of my weekend.

    I just wanted to share a recommendation- if you like Choki you will love Nekoniwa on YouTube. She’s a Japanese lady who creates beautiful videos about slow living in the countryside. Hope you get the chance to check her out.

    Take care and have a lovely week x

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    1. Hi Lauren. Congratulations on your new baby.

      I subscribed to Nekoniwa about six months ago but I prefer Choki's much simpler style. Does Nekoniwa live in the US or Canada?

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  40. Bless you Rhonda, and know that you're in my prayers. xx

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  41. Rhonda, I'm so glad to hear you are getting better. I think two days of take away pizza are perfectly in order - one should be able to take a break from cooking without guilt when sick!

    I'm going to be a mother and say, please continue to rest up as much as you need to, guilt-free. Rest is one of the most basic and important things we can do to allow the body to heal.

    Big hugs,

    Madeleine.xx

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    1. I never waste my time on guilt, Madeleine. My problem with the pizza wasn't with guilt, it was the taste.

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  42. So glad you are doing better Rhonda...my dear mom was plagued with having that many many times in her legs, requiring her to be hospitalized in isolation a number of times...so do be careful!! Our skin gets so thin as we age. I wish we could have a dog again, but I am afraid to do so being I have that thin skin too now. Ah the genes from England and Holland do carry a price I fear!! Take good care and rest well...sending hugs...Elizabeth

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  43. Such happy news that you're on the mend. Take care. Elaine S.

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  44. So good to hear that you are ding better. I have been concerned about you and your arm.

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  45. Huzzah! I am so glad to hear you're on the road back to better health. May the trend continue. Thanks for introducing me to Choki.

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  46. Happy to hear you feel better Rhonda. Love from the Netherlands, Patries

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  47. Welcome back Rhonda! It's good to hear you sounding so much better. Cellulitis sounds awful! I have checked out Choki's instagram page and her youtube channel and will enjoy watching her videos - her images are delightful! Those choc chip biccies look perfect for the kids lunchboxes. Take care Rhonda and treat yourself kindly while you return to full health.

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  48. So good to hear you are feeling better Rhonda. May you continue to recover back to full health.

    I have been watching Choki's videos, and now I am hooked. They are so lovely, something that is needed in our lives right now. Thank you for sharing.

    xTania

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  49. Take care and speedy recovery, Rhonda
    Nice to read your writing again

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  50. I am enjoying your blog Rhonda, thankyou. I have been wondering why you get up at 4am, and how you get through the rest of the day. Do you have a nanny nap in the afternoon? I find that when I get up early it really limits my energy after lunch and by evening I can only blob in front of the TV. 7am seems a better time for me to have a productive day and then be available for whatever comes my way in the evening. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

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    1. I started getting up at 4am when I started my blog. I had no time left in my day so I had to get up early to write it. It worked out well for me though, I love the early hours and even when I don't have to get up at 4, I still do. I sometimes have a nap after lunch now but back in the day, I quite happily worked throughout the day.

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