Remember me?

29 June 2022

 


Hello!  Remember me? This cup of coffee is helping me get back into blog writing again; I've missed it. I think I'm ready to get back to the routine of writing about what I'm doing day-by-day and having my phone in my apron pocket so I can take photos when the opportunity arises. I feel it's an important part of my life now. I need to stay connected to you because most days I'm alone.  I still have family and close friends drop by and today I have Shane, Alex and Eve here. Shane is taking a few loads of things I no longer need to the recycle shop and dump.  I'll keep an eye on the kids and provide sandwiches, fruit and drinks as needed. Today's drink is freshly squeezed orange juice from a tree in the backyard.  What a delicious lifesaver that tree has been over the years.


This is one of the lemon trees in the backyard this morning. I've given buckets of lemons away but as you can see, there are still a lot to be enjoyed. Soon I'll squeeze juice to freeze for summer cordials. Summer without homemade lemon cordial doesn't make sense to me.

 

These strawberries weren't grown in my garden but they're local. I live in an area surrounded by strawberry and pineapple farms so we always take advantage of the local produce when it's in season.  It's always fresher and cheaper. It's an excellent way to help growers too. Every time I buy local it strengthens my community.


I changed my mind about keeping the vegetable garden. It makes mowing the lawn quite difficult, and we have three-quarters of an acre, so I decided to grow what I want to grow in tubs and pots. Shane removed the garden edging and I'm waiting for the grass to overtake the space again.  This is my first crop of tub-grown rainbow chard. I love this vegetable and it's very easy to preserve in the freezer so it's an easy choice for my first crop.  I've kept the herb garden too. I use a lot of herbs and it makes sense to me to grow and use them fresh instead of paying an arm and a leg for wilting herbs at the supermarket. Soon I'll be writing about what can be easily grown in pots and tubs and how to produce top quality herbs and vegetables in small spaces.


I've not got big loads of washing now. These towels are the result of family staying here but usually I have two towels, four dishcloths, numerous rags and bed linen to wash each week as well as my clothes. I still use my three ingredient homemade laundry liquid and it's still keeping everything clean without the use of nasty additives. It makes me shudder to look at the ingredient panel on bottles of laundry liquid and many of the other cleaners sold now. Please be careful when you choose because most of the items we wash are in contact with our skin when they're used.


I'm still happily working away in my kitchen. I cook lunch from scratch for myself every day and although I'm no longer cooking the meals Hanno loved, I've moved over to the foods I grew up eating. These include casseroles, soups, roast chicken, lamb chops, meat balls with pasta, curry and fish, although they will change with the seasons. I usually make enough for two or four meals so I don't have to cook every day and I have a nice stash of meals in the freezer when I don't feel like cooking.  I can write about that in the future if you're interested.


I no longer make my daily bread but I'm still making pizza bases and scones. I'm looking for the bread I'll stay with. Currently I'm trying oat bread which is okay but not something I want to eat every day. I think I'll end up with the local bakery's ancient grains bread. It stays fresh for a few days, it's tastes good after it's been frozen and there are no preservatives or other additives.

I'm keeping my bread in the bread bag I made a couple of years ago. You can read about it here

Thank you for the support you've given me and my family over the past few months. I did everything I promised Hanno I would do after he died and now I have to look after myself and carry on. I'm excited about what might be ahead.

I'll be back in a few days. Enjoy your time at home and let me know what you're doing there. 😊

143 comments

  1. I'm fairly new to your blog and I am sorry to hear of the passing of your husband. That's rough. It is a blessing that you have family around. I look forward to your future blog posts.

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  2. Hi Rhonda,

    I’m so pleased to hear that you’ll be writing more regularly again. You’ve always been an inspiration to me since I stumbled onto your blog about 9 years ago, and you continue to be now, thank you.

    I’m in the first week of school holidays here in Melbourne with my 3 kids. There are some cleaning jobs I’d like to do before we all go back to school and work. I spent the day blessing my childrens bedroom the other day, giving it a good deep clean. I hope to do the their toys, the pantry and kitchen cupboards.

    I’m also going to spend some time thinking about a list of easier homemade meals for during the week on my working days. Sometimes I get a bit too ambitious with my meal planning and it can all feel a bit overwhelming when I can’t follow through. Having a homemade meal is non negotiable but I need to make it work for our situation. Having the time to plan these things now is something I’m grateful for.

    I hope you have a good day, Rhonda. Jade 😊

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    1. Homemade meals are non negotiable here too, Jade. You're right, workday meals need to be easy, freezable and delicious. I have a lot of ideas that I'll include in the first cooking post. Enjoy the holidays. xx

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  3. So lovely to see you back at it, Rhonda. I’ve been thinking of you. I would love to hear about your freezer meals and building up a stash there. Also your container gardening. I am currently knitting your Ascot scarf from your book. I’m using Mum’s wool stash and the scarves will go to a local organisation that helps homeless people in our area. Diann

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    1. Okay Diann. Thanks. I'll put those two topics on my list. What lovely work you're doing. xx

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    2. I too would love to see more about this and I am happy to be reading this. Glad you are back Rhonda. I'll be thinking of you as I have lost my spouse back in 2019. You are not alone.

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  4. I'm glad you are back to blogging. I find blogging to be really about me and what I'm doing and thinking. the link to bread bag doesnt seem to working. I'd love the embroidery pattern on it.

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  5. I am so delighted to see you back blogging! You were one of the very first blogs that I followed faithfully when I started my blogging journey thirteen years ago. You have inspired me in so many ways and I am so grateful for that. Welcome back, friend!

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  6. lovely to see you back here Rhonda, look forward to reading whatever you choose to write about here, it feels like a connection to me.
    cheers Kate

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  7. I just tried to subscribe using your sidebar and it gave me a 404 error page missing
    not sure if it's my end or yours

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  8. Rhonda, I am so glad you are posting again. I tried to subscribe, but when I hit the “Subscribe” button, it says that page is missing. I’ve tried several times, and it won’t work.

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    1. I'll look into this when I have time later on.

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  9. I am very sorry for the loss of your husband. I'm sure it will take time to do things the way you want. Yes I'm interested in the foods you grow up eating and any recipes you might want to share.

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  10. I’ve been reading your blog since my kids were pretty little, and my oldest just finished his first year of university! I’m really glad you feel like you want to keep writing. Truth be told, yours is the only blog I still read. I know we don’t know each other in real life, but after so long it’s hard not to feel some sort of connection to you and your life and family, and I am happy but not surprised to see you moving forward with the love and support of your friends and family. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from and enjoy your writing. Best wishes from Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

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  11. Today is the 5th year anniversary of my father's passing, and I was thinking about you and my mother today when your post popped up. My Mom was 20 when she married my father, and they had 52 wonderful years together - one of the strongest and happiest marriages I've known. When he died, she was devastated and she mourned deeply. But like you, she is a strong and resourceful woman, with great interests and passions, a rich community of friends and neighbors, work she loves (she still works 3 days a week for the New York City board of education), and the ability to enjoy her own company. On the surface, her life looks so different from yours - she lives on the 10th floor of a Manhattan hi-rise, has never grown a vegetable in her life, and claims the quiet of our house in the country makes her nervous when she visits :) But she wakes up every day with purpose and enthusiasm. Even during COVID, she started a daily walking regime and met every evening with friends in the small courtyard of her building. I asked her recently if she ever thought of meeting another man (it is New York City, after all, and there are plenty of online singles sites for the over 55+ set), but she just laughed at me. She says she loves living alone (she never did before she was widowed), and even though she misses my father every day, she has no need or wish to do that again. I don't know you in real life, of course, but you strike me as the kind of person who will find similar fulfillment in the years ahead, even while you will always miss Hanno and cherish the time you had together. So glad to see you back here - I look forward to more posts as you generously share this new chapter of your life with us. - Kate in NY

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    1. What a very sweet “comment” Kate…your Mom sounds like an amazing woman.

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    2. Hi Kate. I agree, you mum and I sound alike. xx

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  12. Rhonda, it is such good news that you will be returning to regular blog posts. Your posts have always been so inspiring, interesting and informative. I regularly re-visit your older posts and check for new ones,

    I am looking forward to your post about container gardening as I grow lots of herbs and a few salad vegetables this way. Welcome back!

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  13. It's so good to see you back Rhonda. We are all here for you as well:)

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  14. I love your gentle encouraging tone. It is so nice to see a post from you. Looking forward to reading what you have to say about container gardening. I just paid way too much for a sad little clump of fresh mint at the grocerty store, and I know there's a better way!

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  15. Great idea to do your veggie gardening in pots, I'm sure this will open up another line of blog posts and tips and tricks. Indira Nadioo had an amazing "balcony garden" so gardening in pots and small spaces and making the most of it. I'm sure the library will have this book. Getting into a new normal after such a huge life event will take time however as you say with lots of online readers and regular posts staying connected to topics you love will give you some sense of satisfaction. Your blog has been very important reading over the past 10 years or so and I'm thrilled that you will be posting when you can again. Look after yourself. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  16. Wonderful to have you back Rhonda and I look forward to following along.

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  17. Oh Rhonda. So good to hear from you and how you are living life now. Anything you want to write about to us will be wonderful and very well received. Bless you. Karen NZ

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  18. What am I doing at home? I’ve been doing some hand-quilting and knitting on projects I’ve had going for awhile. Also, I’m teaching my 7-year-old grandson how to use my sewing machine to make simple little projects, and my granddaughter who’s ten has enjoyed that, too. It’s nice to have a scrap basket for them to go through and choose bits to sew on. My grandson picked out some fabrics from my collection for me to make pajamas for him - he loves wearing the ones I’ve made for him in the past. He informed me that he’s growing and the last ones I’ve made are way too short :) So, those are just a few things I’ve been up to lately. Great to hear from you, Rhonda. Take good care. P.S. For some reason my comment only publishable as anonymous, but this is Pam Freeburn

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  19. How lovely to hear from you again. Good wishes for you in your new way of living. I look forward to your stories.

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  20. Rhonda, I'm so sorry to hear about Hanno. I've been dipping in and out of your blog for many years, and have both your books to dip in and out of as well. I'm so grateful you will be continuing to share your days with us. Hopefully it can help to ease you through to this next chapter of your life, as it surely inspires your readers to make our own small changes in how we choose to live more slowly and sustainably in our own little patch. Maudie

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  21. Lovely, lovely, lovely to see you back Rhonda. I am so looking forward to your future posts and I am glad that you are feeling strong enough now after Hanno’s passing to move forward.
    I have all my veggies in raised (waist high) veggie gardens now - which is just like growing in big pots. I love the raised beds for ease of attending the crops, controlling the watering and feeding and being able to grow just about anything in them. The only things I have in the ground these days are the fruit trees, passionfruit vine, asparagus etc. Having said that, I also have quite a few fruit trees in big pots and they are quite happy. Blessings being sent your way, Gail.

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  22. Rhonda, it's wonderful to see your bread bag again, with your beautiful embroidery. I've been keeping you in my thoughts as I do my housework.

    In my home, I've been busy wrapping dumplings. We had the Dragon Boat Festival earlier this month, and to celebrate that I made traditional sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves. I've also been making dumplings filled with mince and vegetables, and later this week I'll wrap some wontons. I love to have a supply of dumplings in the freezer for easy meals.

    With love from,
    Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

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  23. So nice to see you back Rhonda. I have been reading your blogs for many years and truly love the way you live. I have another 5 years to work before I retire and want to keep getting ready for those times. I am very much looking forward to retirement and just pottering around and doing in my home. Blessings, Juanita.

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  24. It is nice to see you back Rhonda!

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  25. Anne from Upstate New YorkJune 29, 2022 11:20 am

    It’s so nice to have you back Rhonda! I read and re-read your posts on simple living in retirement to help me get through my last few months working during the pandemic. I’m still struggling setting up a retirement routine, I was so used to a very structured work environment. Your insights will continue to be great to read!

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  26. Hi Rhonda, it's such a pleasure to see a blog post from you. I would love to see your freezer meals someday. Thanks ~ Nancy from Northern California

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  27. Hello Rhonda ,I am glad to hear your doing good and Hanno would be happy your writing and keeping busy I been reading your blog for a while now and I am glad that your writing again to take care and be safe have a wonderful day

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  28. Hello Forest xChookasmum. Lots of memories over many many years

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    1. Hi Lorraine. Great to see you here. xx

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    2. Always around here somewhere my lovely long long time friend XxxLorraine

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  29. So good to see a post from you Rhonda. I love your common sense approach to simple living and gardening. I too have started container gardening my veg this year. So far I've planted five tomato plants, a huge pot of lettuce, catnip and chives. An elderly Italian lady shared a couple of ideas, first she said to sprinkle the ground around the veg plants with garlic powder as the rabbits, squirrels and other rodents really hate the smell. Secondly, she said to put a red Christmas ornament (bauble) on your tomato plants. She says the birds will try and peck it, become frustrated and leave the tomatoes alone. I've no idea if the ornament trick will work, but the garlic certainly seems to be keeping the small critters from digging in the pots. Love to you and Gracie! Donna xxx

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  30. My child turned 21 years old this weekend and a lovely friend traveled over a thousand miles to celebrate with us! I made your impossible quiche pie recipe for them last time they were here in March. A month or two later, they messaged to request the recipe, which I was happy to provide. I'll be making it for dinner before they leave at the end of the week. It's such a good feeling to serve a delicious, healthy, homemade meal to my family and friends and to nurture them in this way. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes (and life!) with us across the world. I hope you feel the love that we, your devoted readers, send to you. Hugs from Seattle, USA!

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    1. The old impossible pie, I love that and I'm glad you shared it with your friends. Sharing homemade food is one of life's luxuries. xx

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  31. I'm so glad to see that you're posting again, Rhonda. I've thought of you often these last few months and I wanted to take a moment and let you know that what you share has been encouraging me in my own journey with my husband and his illness. Thank you for that!!!

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    1. Hi Angi. I hope things go well for you and your husband. It's difficult but important work you're doing. Take care of yourself too. xx

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  32. Rhonda, it is so good to see you are blogging again. I don't know what is happening with Blogger but I can't comment on blogs on my iPad anymore and just tried to comment here on my Samsung phone and that wouldn't go through either so I am trying again on the PC. I really wish they wouldn't make changes. I am too old to keep up. LOL! I am looking forward to reading your future posts.

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    1. Chel, I agree. They seem to change things without telling us. The subscribe thing has to be fixed and I hope to do that tomorrow. xx

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  33. Lovely to see you back Rhonda. When I started reading your blog I was a full time worker with kids still at home, now it’s just me and hubby and we are newly retired. Your blog seems more relevant than ever as we negotiate lower incomes, rising costs and more time at home.

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  34. Welcome back Rhonda, it's so nice to read your post and see your photos again. I agree that herbs are essential and pots for veggies are so convenient. I have several veggie beds but I still grow things in pots: carrots, blueberries, and shallots at the moment. I put them close by the back verandah so it's easy to remember to water them. Margot

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  35. Hi Rhonda. It's so nice to see you posting! I would love to see posts on freezer meals, as my youngest child has recently moved out and I'm cooking for one now. I've always found inspiration in your words, and I'm sure that will remain the same as you move into this new phase.

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  36. Hi Rhonda, Remember me? Gerda from Byron Bay. I have been following you for years and years, and have all your books.... and yet, every time I try to apply for your emails, I am told your page doesn't exist!!!!

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  37. Hi Rhonda, I admire your ability to get up and go on with your life in the best way possible. I’m keen to hear what strategies you implement to live as a solo householder. I like your recipes and the idea of freezer meals, plus your home management approaches and I look forward to many more of these ahead. Sue

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  38. It is so good to hear from you again. I have learnt so much from you over the years - practical things like recipes or gardening tips, but also just the way to live a life with all the challenges the time brings.
    Hilde in Germany

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  39. Thank you Rhonda, good to hear from you, the information that you intend to blog about will be very worthwhile. The Australian census, indicates that there are many people who live alone. The Covid virus also showed that many people don't live with their partners by choice as well, they maintain two separate households. So your information is very relevant. Gardening remains very important as is batch cooking on budgets. Possibly also growing fruit trees in pots, or growing in the ground, but shaping so that they remain within easy reach to harvest. I also enjoy reading about others experiences when they reply. They provide sometimes different perspectives and facilitate additional learning. I very much appreciate the weekend reads, when you have time. Cheers.

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  40. I admire how productive you are, especially in the garden. Did you say you freeze extra chard? I grow rainbow chard too and have too much. It is delicious though.

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  41. RapunzelsWildGardenJune 29, 2022 2:50 pm

    Hi Rhonda Its so lovely to read your blog again. I took a quiet break from work today to enjoy it. I have been inspired by you and your blog for so many years now and am so looking forward to more of your wisdom and optimism.

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  42. Dear Rhonda,
    I have been following your blog for a number of years now, have purchase your books and always loved reading your blogs, your recipes and enjoyed the photos you posted, not least because I am from Germany (living in Sydney) recognised a lot of the recipes Hanno enjoyed eating! I have never commented as I felt, I didn't have much to say. Now I would like to say, how sorry I am about Hanno's passing and am so glad, that you have decided to write again. I am very much looking forward to your next post!
    All the best
    😊

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    1. It's good to have you here, Tanja, and I'm pleased you commented.

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  43. Oh, Rhonda darling. You know we always love whatever you wish to share with us. Looking forward to the new content. Sending love and prayers your way.

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  44. Karen MelbourneJune 29, 2022 4:02 pm

    Hi Rhonda, so wonderful to read your post. Thank you for sharing about the new rhythms of your life.
    I am doing both container and a small amount of in-ground planting of vegetables.
    I am trying onions, garlic and leeks. Also have silverbeet, radishes, broccoli. Cauliflowers looking a bit iffy though! But I love the process of growing...failures and all.
    Hope you have a good week ahead x

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  45. I am so sorry for your loss. I admire your courage and bravery in trying to carry on with life. I love reading your blog and I think lots of people will benefit from your wisdom especially now with the cost of living crisis. Thank you!

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  46. good to have you back. greetings from the netherlands

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  47. Dearest Rhonda, lovely to have you back writing your blog. You write so beautifully and have so much knowledge to share. So nice to hear on you are going.
    All your precious memories around your home and your love for Hanno will live on forever in your hearts of yourself and your family.
    Much love Lors x

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  48. So sorry for your loss Rhonda but it's wonderful to have you back on the blog and ready for the next chapter. Your blog has been so important to many of us on this simple life journey. Thank you. X

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  49. Lovely to hear from you Rhonda. It will be interesting for us to see the changes you make in life now, we are all still learning from you. Growing veg in tubs sounds like a sensible option. You are looking forward with optimism and I am looking forward to travelling along with you.

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  50. So sorry for your loss and the difficult time for you and your family.
    It is lovely to see you writing and I really look forward to reading your posts whenever you feel up to writing.
    You blog is what led me to want to be intentional about loving my home and just being

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  51. Glad your back. I’ve been reading your blog for more years than I care to remember Life changes as we must keep going. I’ll keep an eye on you and jump on as often as you post

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  52. Lovely to have you back. πŸ’

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  53. Good to have you back. I always enjoy reading your blog. Where will I find the recipe (??) for the homemade laundry liquid please.

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  54. As if we would forget you ... and if I did, your books are at my bedside for peaceful reading at night time, so I would remember you later.
    It seems we have both gone from growing lots to growing in pots and tin baths, my little tin bath is by the front door and full of herbs ready for handy snipping while I'm cooking, it's a welcome pressure off when the land stops calling out for tending, weeding and sowing.

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  55. My condolences to you Rhonda. Lovely to see you're continuing your blog. I've found it very informative and like a good chat.

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  56. Lovely to read your blog today Rhonda. I’d love to hear more about the meals you have been cooking lately. Good luck with the bread search . Do you buy your bread sliced or unsliced? Just wondering which you think stays the freshest. Take care xo

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  57. Welcome back. You are a friend too many. I'm sure Hanno will be smiling that you are writing again and looking forward. From NZ Ingrid

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  58. Hi Rhonda, so nice to read this post. Gardening in pots and small spaces sounds great. I have a small back garden, so I am looking forward to your new posts.
    Lots of hugs from The Netherlands

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  59. It is so good to have you back here in this space! I loved you and Hanno over the years, but now that he has passed on, you are living a new life. May God keep you as you live this new life.

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  60. So happy to see you blogging again. I have been following you for many years and have learned so much. Working on full retirement by the end of July and really looking forward to it. All your work to help us learn how to live more simply will be in use here. Love to you and your family❤️

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  61. So sorry for loss. My husband of 47 years died last year, I blog about how I am coping , monthly posts using my one word prompt Balance. Change of the this kind sends me off balance frequently. The support of others helps.

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  62. So lovely to see you blogging again.. it must be hard for you but you have a wonderful positive outlook.

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  63. I’m so sorry to hear about Hanno. I am happy to hear you are excited for what lays ahead. That made me smile. I don’t comment a lot but I throughly enjoy your posts & look forward to more.

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  64. Your post reminds me of the phrase "brave new world" somehow... ❤️ I'm thankful your blog pops up in my sidebar when a new post is published. πŸ‘‹

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  65. Good on you, Rhonda. I know you loved Hanno immeasurably; and you will for a long time. Now you are able to to move on a bit and while sometimes very hard; you have also a family who loves and supports you and we are here for you, too. I check on your blog here at least a couple of times weekly and am glad to see you are still willing and able to help us.

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  66. It was such a welcome surprise to see your post pop up on my Feed Reader this morning. As widows, we need to figure out what works for us, for our new life, and it appears that you are doing just that, taking little steps to get back to doing what makes you happy. I now only container garden on my deck, and would love to see how your plantings progress. I've got tomatoes and peppers going now (2 plants of each), pickle cucumbers, and chives, and in my deck rail boxes I have oregano, parsley, basil, bibb lettuce, and swiss chard (all on the inside side of the boxes), along with my geraniums on the publicly-visible side. Our homeowners association rules indicate flowers only, not food. What they can't see won't hurt anyone. I've recently taken up bread-baking, after being gifted a bread machine. I bake only one loaf a week, unless I do a quick bread to use up bananas that are going soft. Learning to cook for one has been my biggest challenge, but I'm getting the hang of cutting a recipe in half, having one portion for dinner and repurposing leftovers for lunch the next day. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures and discoveries. Continued prayers from the Chicago suburbs.

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  67. I am very sorry to hear about Hanno's death, but it's so good to "see" you out here again! I'm not nearly your age yet, but you are one of my role models for how to live a good life as one gets older -- thank you for keeping this page up.

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  68. I'm very happy that you have returned to blogland. I'm sure Hanno would be very happy too. You bring a lot of joy to people with your writing. We are here to share your new journey.

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  69. Happy to see you will be blogging again, maybe it will be contagious and I'll write again once in awhile. Here is Oregon it is high summer, and we are enjoying beautiful weather, although with our wet spring my vegetable garden is not what it should be right now...rain can mean too much of a good thing for the veggies, and that's what's happened this year. But with climate change, I'm learning that I have to roll with what Mother Nature deals out for us. Adaptability equals contentment I guess.

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  70. It is good to see you blogging again. I’m so sorry about Hanno. We are having a beautiful sunny day here on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland USA. I am enjoying the process of washing a fleece to spin into yarn. Then I will either knit or weave with itπŸ™‚

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  71. Very good to see you posting. I love the bread bad.

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  72. I have been stopping by every week or so to check in on your blog. So glad to see you back. I like hearing about your container garden and your freezer meals. I was sorry to hear about Hanno. I am glad that you have family and friends around and you are making plans to move forward. Thanks for all the information you have shared over the years. From Virginia, USA

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  73. Hello Rhonda
    I have followed your blog for many years now and have all your books-all well read and used-especially the first one.
    I live in the south of Aotearoa although I spent some years living in Brisbane and know your area quite well. I have adult children who live in Morton Bay.
    I am glad you will be back blogging; I learn so much and enjoy many of your ideas and suggestions. Thank you.
    I have been sad to read of your Hanno’s illness and then his death in quite a short space of time. I am sure you also will often think how fast it has been. I hope you are able to go on treating yourself gently and kindly in these days and that your home and garden brings you peacefulness and joy. And of course as you begin again to write to us all on your blog that that communication too brings all sorts of happiness.

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  74. Rhonda - I have been checking your site every few days, waiting until you came back. I am so sorry that Hanno has passed. God bless you and give you comfort during this time.
    I started knitting about 3 years ago after reading you book. I joined a knitting group that meets once a week. We met virtually during Covid. These women are a lot like you. Two of them are in their 70s and have taught me so much. I would not have this blessing in my life if it were not for you. Also, I have always wanted chickens but our HOA does not allow it. I decided to be naughty when we were in lock down. We have 1/5th of an acre with 8 quail and 2 bantam chickens. My goals this year are to sew again(my own clothes) and grow all our lettuce. We have 5 kids, two have left, but one of them works at a farm store and loves it. I am so grateful for you. Please keep posting.

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  75. Rhonda , I am extremely interested in how you will navigate this next phase of your life. I am finally retiring next week, and will be very occupied with homemaking and saving money. You have always been an inspiration to me and I can't wait to learn more from you.

    -Suzanne

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  76. Thank you Rhonda. It's very nice to hear from you. You're right, it's very important to keep in touch with people who love you. ❤ mandi

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  77. So happy you are writing again, I have missed you and all the things you teach me. I stumbled across your blog when I was pregnant with my son, he will soon be 11. Your encouragement of living simply has been invaluable- you have helped me to keep my priorities straight and not follow everything “mainstream people” are doing. Living simply has allowed me to homeschool my children, while working some as a Registered Nurse and being in graduate school for my Nurse Practitioner. Life may look a bit different than most, but it’s something I love πŸ’œ

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  78. I think of you often, Rhonda, because I'm in the same situation as my husband passed away suddenly six weeks ago. We had been together for 46 years. I don't know who I am now but I'm going to have to learn. I related to the part about cooking differently than when Hanno was there. I'm doing the same thing. I wish you all the best. Daisy

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  79. The day-to-day story of a simple home is one of the most inspiring and comforting places to be online. It recharges my batteries and gives me so many ideas. I've missed your "regular" posts, but am so thankful you stepped back to take time for your family and for yourself as you attended to very important affairs. We're awash in strawberries at our house and just ate our very first homegrown artichoke. I'm sewing a fair bit--shirts for Matt are my current focus. He needed more collared work shirts and I do so love garment sewing so it was a natural fit. We're getting together in a week to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. I am so eager to hug all my aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, etc.

    Best regards from Montana, USA.

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  80. What a gift that you will still be writing. I hope that you find a following among others facing the challenge of moving forward from losing a spouse. Your tone has always been so positive and affirming as you describe creating a fulfilling, purposeful life. I look forward to reading your lessons on facing life without a spouse with the same realism and positivity that you shared in your previous writings.

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  81. I don't think I ever left a comment before but enjoyed reading your post. I even read the comments. We're happy to see you again; I am in Texas but I care and felt your loss. Your return feels good--a sign that you are in a good place. Be well.

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  82. Lovely to connect with you again Rhonda. I understand that need for connection, especially when you are on your own so much. I look forward to your posts and wish you so much love from Ireland.

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  83. Yeh! She's back! I would love to hear everything you want to share about small gardening and in containers/buckets. Where we live in southern Colorado, it's very difficult to grow in the ground due to invasive weeds, critters and weather. Containers are the best bet for me and I've never grown in them except flowers.
    A lovely cup of tea to you and a hug. So glad to have you back, you are inspiring me in my journey through mid-life.

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  84. Lovely to hear from you Rhonda. God Bless πŸ’•

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  85. Healing happens through self-care, it sounds like you are on the way. Please, wrote about making and freezing meals, and whatever you want! Regards!

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  86. Hi Rhonda, I am a long time reader. I have two of your books and enjoy them tremendously. I am terribly sorry for your loss. My heart is with you. I look forward to your writing. You are an oasis in a sometimes crazy world. I'm looking forward to your future posts. Weekend Reading was always my favorite. Take care and sending you love and hugs,

    Darlene

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  87. So good to have you back Rhonda, you've been sadly missed xx

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  88. I think about you often. It is such a life change to move into being a widow especially how closely you worked together. I look forward to hearing from you again in your blog.

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  89. Rhonda, thank you for sharing this journey with us. You are a wonderful guide and I very much enjoy reading about your daily life. Blessings and love, Dianna

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  90. Hi Rhonda,
    So glad that you are posting again. Gardening in tubs is the reality for many of us and any hints are most welcomed. I do not know if you have heard about the $11.00 per lettuce prices here in Sydney? So happy that I have my tub garden.
    Sending warm hugs
    Irene

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  91. Hi Rhonda, This is the first comment I have made on your blog, but have been following for many years. I am so sorry to hear about Hanno. I know what it is like to care for a husband with health issues as for the past 3 years there has been one issue after another but still hanging in there. It is refreshing to read of likeminded people who are content to potter around at home, cooking and making things for yourself, making your home just that - a home. My good friends speak all the time of travel overseas and caravanning, something I have never been interested in. Sometimes I believe they must think of me as a bit boring, but I truly like to just be at home doing my own think. I am content.

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  92. It is so good to "see" you again. I have read your blog for years, have loved every entry and look forward to seeing (hopefully) daily entries from you again.

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  93. Your words and wisdom are like a warm hug. Thank you so much for continuing after such a sad time. I have been reading your blog since about a year after you started, and it has taught and inspired me to live a more conscious life. My copy of your first book is a little tattered from regular use, but its signed by you, and I will be handing this down to my daughter when its time. You are a true influencer of our time, and I am so aware of your worth in todays society. Thank you Rhonda !

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  94. Hi Rhonda! I am interested in reading anything you want to write about, and I am in the same boat as wanting to plant vegetables in tubs, planters and pots. I cannot manage a big vegetable garden and so it will be really helpful to see how you do things over there in Australia. I was thinking about you and the homemade laundry soap, I've never tried it but I think I'm ready to give it a whirl. Also, you are so lucky to have the citrus trees, I'm going to try and grow a Meyer lemon tree even though I live in the Californian desert. Best wishes to you in your new chapter of life, Hanno would be proud of your strength. Keep on truckin' honey.

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  95. Welcome back Rhonda! My condolences for the loss of your beloved Hanno. I was inspired by your courage and honesty and wish you every kindness as you and your family build your new lives without him.
    I found your blog when I moved back to QLD after many years away. A friend gave me some freshly dug ginger and said 'Here, grow this'. I searched online for how to grow ginger and up popped your blog. Not only did it tell me the answer to my question but gave me a great starting point for working towards how I knew I wanted to live. You have continued to inspire and guide and your common sense approach to life is so refreshing. Thank you for sharing!
    Best wishes, Skipper May
    PS I still think the picture of you and the Rolling Stones you posted on Instagram is right up there!! Just thinking about it makes me smile and I hope it does you too.

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  96. I'm so pleased you're back Rhonda - I love your blog and all the inspirational things you share. You've inspired me to try to move to a much simpler life. I'll be moving into a new place soon and hope to follow a lot more of your recommendations. I'm alone too so would be interested in your container gardening and cooking recommendations.

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  97. I'm so glad to see you again. I enjoy reading your blog with a cuppa; it's relaxing and motivating. All the best x

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  98. Oh Rhonda ! how can I forget you ? Of course I remember you, and I'm so pleased you're back !
    I don't miss any of your articles.I look forward to reading your next articles.

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  99. It's good to hear from you again. It sounds like you are taking great care of yourself. We will be thrilled to read about anything you care to share. Blessings...

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  100. I am delighted you are back to blogging. You have always been the calm voice in a storm. At time this will be a difficult transition period and I hope you are gentle with yourself as you go forward. XO

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  101. How courageous of you to share your life with us once more. Your blog and your books have been my friends, so I am eager to hear more from you for as long as you are up to it.

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  102. I'm grateful you are back. Prayers for you and your Hanno in the Communion of Saints, you will be reunited someday. You have a wonderful family! Andrea

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  103. thank you for sharing this stage in your life. unfortunately it comes to many as we age and it is good for people to see how to move forward in a healthy way. thank you Ann

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  104. I found your blog through my blogging friend, Cathy https://cranethie.com/ at Cathy@StillWaters She said you'd begun blogging again after the passing of your husband. This really resonates with me since I'm caregiver for my husband who has Alzheimer's. Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your husband. I can only imagine what your days are like now that he's gone. I don't look forward to those expected days myself. Gentle hugs of understanding to you. I have a WordPress blog called "View From My Window" (https://wordpress.com/view/tehachap.wordpress.com)
    I love that you bake and can and also sew. I make quilts for charity, family & friends. And I bake!!! Very often! Looking forward to future posts from you. Thanks!

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Carol. One of the conditions on commenting that I state below is to not add links or email addresses to comments. My blog is family-friendly and I want it to stay that way. When a link is added I have to check them out to make sure they're suitable for my readership, and I don't have the time to do that. And when they're in a comment, I can't remove the links. Thanks for your understanding.

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  105. How lovely to hear from you again Rhonda. I have always enjoyed your blogs and I am so pleased that you are continuing with them. We look forward to many more happy reads.

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  106. So wonderful to read your post, Rhonda. We are blessed that you wish to continue writing and I look forward to continuing on my learning journey. I know your home will continue to be a source of comfort and strength for you as you move forward.

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  107. Hi Rhonda! It's great to hear from you again. I look forward to reading your blogs again. I have followed you for many years. I'm looking forward to seeing the Oat bread recipe and the homemade laundry liquid recipe. Take care! Blessings from Dawn in upstate NY

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  108. Dear Rhonda, so wonderful to open the computer and find a blog post from you. You have been missed. I'm really interested in hearing about how you grow in pots as I'm not very successful at it!

    Madeleine.X

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  109. I have checked from time to time to see if you were posting again.

    So sorry about Hanno..Life changing but ai am pleased to see your positive outlook..

    We are in our early 70's and I have done major declutters in our home. Needs and wants definitely change. I am interested in your journey. We are trying to simplify things around here. At some point I think we will move to be closer to one of your children. Caring for parents long distance is not easy. I did it with my parents.
    Thanks for bringing us along on your journey.

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  110. Oh Rhonda, it's wonderful to read a fresh blog post from you - infact delightful. I pray you are keeping well and enjoying your Family. I look forward to more wonderful reading from you!
    ♥️hugs&prayers♥️

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  111. So happy to see your post Rhonda! I am looking forward to more for container gardening and batch cooking. I have followed your Blog for many years and learned a great deal. Your books are a pleasure to read and refer to for simple living tips. Sending prayers for strength and comfort. Blessings from So.Cal, USA , Jane

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  112. I'm so happy to hear from you. Yes, please post about food and gardens and carrying on <3. I have been most lethargic lately and would love to hear how you like to manage things. Thank you for sharing

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  113. Prayers for you as you find your new normal. I look forward to the container gardening info. We did containers and in ground this year and the containers did the best by far. Could you like the laundry soap post or where can I find it?
    Valerie in SC

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  114. I am so glad that you are here. I love everything that you write, but mostly when you write about food, housekeeping and your assortment of inspiring and informative links. I have recently turned 60 and discovered a book that I love that you might find useful: Better Balance For Life by Carol Clements I find the exercises and daily suggestions to be energizing. I am particularly aware of the importance of strength and balance as we age , because I recently lost my 83 year old Mom after a fall. Thank you for coming back.

    Olive

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  115. So good to read how you are going !

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  116. Welcome back Rhonda! Liz eight-acres.com.au

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  117. Hi Rhonda, I am still knitting the wash clothes and making my own detergent. All from 'Down to Earth'. I knit them for everyone and I can't imagine using anything else now. Cheers Maureen O'Rourke

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  118. So nice to hear how you are doing! I’m grinding wheat, doing laundry, baking naan bread, and making a meal for a friend today. The soap I recently made is done curing today so we will be enjoying that over the next months. I learned to make soap from you 10 years ago and I’ve only had to buy a few bars since then. All the soap for my laundry detergent is homemade too and that has saved us so much money. I’ll be thinking of you as I enjoy my home day today! ❤️

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    1. I'm happy knowing you're still making soap and, by the looks of it, have dived right into your simple life. Have a lovely day. xx

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  119. Hello Rhonda, you have never been forgotten! It was good to see you back blogging, and I think that's a great decision to make re the garden. Containers give you a lot of flexibility to move things around as the weather/your whims dictate.
    I have a lot of Rainbow Chard growing and I've been thinking about chopping some up, blanching it and freezing it.
    Is that how you preserve it?
    Best wishes
    Kellie

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  120. Yay! I have been hunting for the Bread bag post. Thank you for re sharing.

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  121. So sorry for your loss

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  122. Your Blog makes my life better too. I really like reading what you do to look after yourself, the community and the planet. You live well and are an inspiration. thank you

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  123. So glad you are back. reading the words on this blog fills my heart. And I give you so much love.

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