Adjusting to modern life, or not

9 May 2018
It's been a busy week here although I must point out it's not the same busyness we knew when we were much younger, working, looking after children and living life like there was no tomorrow. Now my busyness is marked by the fact that last week, I went out three mornings in a row. ๐Ÿ˜Š Oh, how we are changed by time. As you probably know, even though I'm not agoraphobic, I prefer to live my hours in my home. It's interesting and comfortable here and there is always something to do. Sometimes there are chores I don't like doing but I see it all as part of a big tapestry - the background is just as important as the main feature points and without work going into the background, the tapestry is unfinished and unsatisfying. I know the awful jobs will always be balanced out with hours of enjoyment and the ongoing process of making life what we want it to be.
 This is part of our living room now. I'll have more photos soon.
We have stepped away from what is "normal". We rarely go shopping in department stores now, preferring instead to make do with what we have or recycle older items to suit. I think the mix of old, vintage and newish is very appealing because it feels like we're nodding to today but still respecting where we came from. Don't get me wrong, I don't yearn for the past because most of what we have now is an improvement. I love technology and our ability to connect with you, I love the advances in science and medicine,  but I do not like the unrelenting reliance on smartphones and tablets and people more concerned with what is far away rather than with their own environment and what they can touch.

The world feels like a different place now. Almost every time I go out I feel myself disconnecting from modern life. I see things that are unfamiliar to me, I see behaviour I'd rather not see and I quietly go about my business so I can return home. You're probably thinking what a fusspot I am (and you'd be right). Let me assure you though that I never show my distaste for anything but I feel it and long for gentler, slower times. I'm thankful that I live in a country that affords all of us the right to live as we wish but I have pretty much turned my back on the social side of modern life.

Above and below you can see what it looked like a day or two ago. 


Today we're at home again. The gate is closed, Gracie is here to keep us company and all is right in my world. I have a lot on my to do list - ironing, sewing, gardening and cooking but I'm working in the living room today. The painting is 95 percent done so I'm slowly getting rooms back to some kind of liveability. Bread was made yesterday, I have last night's yoghurt draining to make cheese for tonight's tea, a pork chop each for lunch with some vegetables, whole orange cake for morning tea and a full pantry and fridge. I love this time of year. It always feels like there is a lot to do and I'm thankful I have the energy and will to do most of it. And speaking of cake, I'd best get the kettle on.  See you soon! ❤️

64 comments

  1. The painting job looks fantastic, Rhonda. What colour did you use? We need to get a lot of work done on our house now the restumping has been done but I am not sure if I could cope with bathroom renovations since we only have one as yours seemed to take forever to get done. The bathroom and kitchen do need to be done though. I will have to check out some paint charts.

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    1. Chel, the plaster walls are Taubman's Silver Wing and the panel wall is a blueish/grey a few shades darker. Our bathroom reno took five weeks but it was well worth it.

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    2. Thanks Rhonda. I really like that colour. Five weeks? Hmmm, much too long to go without a bathroom for us unfortunately. If only we had another one to use while the work was being done.

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  2. What a wonderful post! I can relate to everything that you wrote. I have always been a homebody, too. (So was my mom.) The more success I have with growing food, the more time I want to put into it. The care and love that you put into your home is very evident. I am happy at home with my Labradoodle and knitting, too. When I do go out, I make an effort to smile and be friendly, but it is always a relief to get back to the cottage and relax. So glad that we live in a time when we can enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Steph, I think we could happily live as next door neighbours.

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  3. I like staying home more and more myself. I keep thinking I want to go out and go shopping and "run around" -- spend the day at the mall but the reality is, I don't.

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  4. Congratulations Rhonda and Hanno. The results of your hardwork painting and renovating look terrific! I love the tongue and groove panels, and the wall colour. It all looks so fresh, warm and inviting. I so love your attitude towards housework and caring for your home Rhonda. It is like you are the quiet, lonely voice of sanity and calm in a topsy-turvy world! I'm so thankful for the day I found you and your wonderful books and blog. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us. Love Kelly

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  5. Your painting is looking wonderful Rhonda. I am currently in the midst of some painting projects before winter hits us & its too damp. I don't enjoy the painting so much but LoVe the re-dressing of the room! I too just love being at home. I have always felt like this & never feel as though I am missing anything in the big world out there. My girlfriends meet regularly for coffee & lunches but I am happy not to do this. Sometimes they come to me which is enjoyable too. Thanks - always - for your blog & the enjoyment we all get from it. It often feels like you are just sitting there chatting to me & I DO want to put the kettle on!

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  6. Rhonda I totally agree with you. Sometimes I think I'm getting to be a hermit or anti social but I just prefer to be at home. We can be home for a week at a time & not see anyone & it doesn't bother us. I get told I should go out & socialise & ho on girls sjopping trips etc. but that doesn't appeal to me at all, in fact I am happier shopping alone if I have to go at all. Your home decorating looks great & I bet your glad its almost finished.

    terrarossa

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  7. Great entry today, Rhonda. I enjoyed reading about your living room and painting projects; also the way you feel about modern life. This echos my own feelings about it. There are both good and bad results regarding technology and social media. Without it,I could not enjoy your blog. But there is too much narcissism around these subjects, too. Facebook who has a lot of problems right now, and Twitter etc. can be addictive for some people, and are not real in the whole sense of the word. I stay away from both of them. I was never a homebody before but am becoming more so, and value the old ways a lot particularly around social manners. The world now is indeed strange to me; but I carry on the best I can and continue to live the way it is valuable for me and my loved ones. I am glad to have what I have at home now.

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  8. Great post Rhonda, you are a grounding force for me...thank you.

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  9. Life sure change since the internet happan.
    Coffee is on

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  10. This post really resonates with me. I’ve always preferred to be home over the busy hustling world outside my doors. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong century as most people think it’s strange that I don’t go out as often as they do��. I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves to be home! Thanks for the encouragement today.

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  11. A beautiful post Rhonda. I found it heart warming and affirming. I feel very much the same. We went to see 'The Guernsey literary and Potato Peel pie society' at the mall today. We have to travel from our little town 25 minutes to the city. The strip lighting, music and buy, buy atmosphere is overwhelming. We are always relieved to get home and make a cuppa! By the way the film is fantastic.
    I love your colour scheme. Very Swedish and calming. I have always loved your red check curtains. So inviting.
    Ingrid

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    1. Hi Jamie, I saw the movie last week too. Loved it. Read the book a few years ago and loved it too. Glad I am not the only homebody. I have always said I was born in the wrong era!! Cheers Liz K

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    2. Oops sorry Ingrid not Jamie ๐Ÿ˜€

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  12. I could have written these words myself. The drive for other people buying 'things' for the sake of having them, for accumulating and living life so fast was affecting me ... even though I took little part in it myself. Then suddenly, just recently, my brain seemed to be able to flick a switch and I can now be on the outside looking in on them.

    Home is a safe place, of treasured items, books, simple food and greenery, lots of food growing, flowers blooming for the bees, and me and mine living our lives ... simply.

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  13. Thank you Rhonda for that post. I am a very long time reader but never comment. I feel it could have been me writing that post and at last I feel normal as I think exactly the same. Even better so many of your other followers feel the same. I was beginning to feel the odd one out by being happier enjoying my home and garden etc rather than going out all the time, 'doing coffee' and shopping. Thank you so, so much.

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  14. Lovely colour Rhonda, restful and fresh. Oh I feel the same about going out too much. I have grandies sport on weekends which I love attending and a friend asked me to go out on Monday. My immediate thought was no - not 3 days in a row out! Home Sweet Home.

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  15. Your living room looks fantastic. I'm not surprised you like to spend a lot of your time at home, your home always looks very welcoming and cosy.

    I agree with you about some aspects of modern life, especially the overuse of smart phones. There's so much that goes on out there that we don't see, that is even worse than what's obvious. Maybe it's a good thing we don't see it, or it would be difficult to find contentment.

    I have a similar day to you ahead of me on my day off. Ironing, gardening, cooking. Enjoy your day.

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  16. I love the soft colours you have chosen, relaxing and warm. I love reading your blog because otherwise I would feel that I was odd because I love living in my home, cooking and playing in my garden. When my girls were young, I was made to feel "small" because I enjoyed staying home, looking after my girls, cooking, gardening and creating a home. If you were not in paid employment, then your value was diminished. I worked when the girls were older but I no longer enjoyed the home, stressed and tired like many. Now retired, I have come full circle, enjoying my home and taking the slow path. I give thanks daily for all I have.
    To improve my fitness, I go to town twice a week to the gym for weight and HIIT sessions. I see others with their phones, texting and taking photos every few minutes, even when using the treadmill, eclipse trainer or stretching. It seems difficult for some to commit totally to self for 30 minutes. Each to their own. Keep happy. Erin

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  17. What a beautiful corner of your home Rhonda. Did you create any of those art pieces there?

    We have been painting our bed room too. It's been hard work and taken time to save for, but what a reward it is to hit that goal! You inspire my husband and I so much!

    -Alyssa (Perth WA)

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    1. Hi Alyssa. I have been the very thankful recipient of two of the art works. The cat at the top is an original painting done by my friend Moey Michelle - a long term reader here. She created it from a photo of our 18 year old cat, Hettie, that I had on the blog just before she died. The needlework of a Carl Larsen painting was sent from France by Jerri, another reader. She created the needlework and had it hanging in her kitchen for many years. Both these artworks have happily lived here with us for a while now, very much a part of what makes us love living here in our home. The little bird is a print from Ikea and the floral frame is a piece of fabric.

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  18. I love the color blue you chose!

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  19. I can totally relate!! I love days when I do not have to leave my home. A lot of people can't understand it, but I consider my week extremely too busy if I have to leave home more than two times during the week. :-))

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  20. Your room looks lovely and I completely agree with your view of modern life. Being at home is much less stressful! Tracy

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    1. Lovely post touching a chord with so many readers. As I get older I am becoming more and more of a homebody and it is a rewarding circle - the more time we spend at home the more cosy and attractive the house and garden become and the more time we want to be here. We spent a night in London last weekend as our daughter gifted us tickets to a musical - we loved the show but were so glad to come home - London is so busy and crowded and as you say some of the behaviour in public is 'interesting' shall we say.
      Home truly is where the heart is. My younger self would never have guessed!

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  21. Rhonda, I loved your blog today, I have been reading since 2008, my favorite blogs
    are when you talk about being home and things going on in your house. I am a homebody too, I was even like that as a child. Im retired now and I might go to the store once a week but I long to get back home.

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  22. Likewise Rhonda, I more than happy just to potter about at home. By the way, when I saw that second photo of your living room I thought for a moment that you'd been burgled!

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  23. Rhonda, I believe that you have hit a nerve with a lot of your followers, in a good way! I always thought I needed to visit the funny farm because I would rather be at home and I have a real aversion to shopping and I can only do one appointment a week. You and your readers have made me feel normal. Nowadays, it is also because of the behavior of society that I don't like to be in town. I do work full time, away from town though, but race like a horse to the barn after work to get home. I can go all weekend without seeing anyone and thrive in my own surroundings. I can not wait for retirement! Your re-do looks lovely; soft grey/blue is so calming. I have always loved your decorating style. I know I would feel at home if I were to ever visit.

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  24. Love the colorscheme:) We did what looks to be the same colours on our walls in the living room and kitchen last year, still very happy with it.
    I've never been the shopping type, but I do find it hard to always say no to my friends who want to go for coffee and visit the shops. So I try to balance that one...

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  25. Rhonda - I am still working but so looking forward to when I can be home doing the things I love. Your insight into modern times is a good one. Yes there are wonderful strides in many fields but I love the quiet so very much. So glad to visit you. Your living room is looking great!

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  26. I've just come home from the weekly shopping, and can't wait for my cuppa :) We live in Dallas TX and the traffic here is horrible! Horns blasting if you stop to look both ways the second the light changes. I too am glad to be back at home now and look forward to the day (very soon now) when we close the gate on paid employment and live a slow and deliberate life at home. Donna

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  27. Always wonderful to read your words Rhonda. I feel exactly the same as you - no place like home as my mother always used to say. Love to you and Hanno and of course that dear little scallywag Gracie!

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  28. Good morning all, if only you put put an old head on young shoulders, I would have laughed very loudly if you told me when I was in my twenties and even thirties that the older I got the more I would realise the haven my home is and how much I would resent the intrusion of having to go out the front gate into the so called real world, now in my mid fifties life behind the gate of my rural acreage in Gippsland is the only place I now feel truly happy, there is so much to do here to keep my life satisfied, tending the cows, growing my veggies and fruit, and the endless craft activities, today I am recovering the lampshade on my bedside lamp. the white shade is dirty and cleaning it has not worked so to the sewing machine I need to go, a beautiful floral chintz will revamp the lamp, $6.00 for the material and I have a new lamp, the old me would have thrown out a perfectly good lamp to be a mass consumer and buy a new one, ah age and wisdom, also got to bake bread and stoke up the wood heater as Gippsland is on the start of a four day cold blast, what a shame will have to stay by the fire with my knitting and crocheting, this is the best life ever here at home, my haven away from the mad modern world, but so glad for the internet, cheers Kat

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  29. Wonderful words of wisdom!! We are on our way home today after spending time with a child and and grandchildren. While it was a totally and magically fabulous time, I am incredibly yearning for home. We go from I believe 27 deg forecast to something like 8 deg forecast. I can't wait to be home anf begin foraging indoor and outdoor. I tell myself that I am not a hermit but like uou, it is an effort at times to get a move on out the front door. Your house looks beautiful and deservedly is your place of comfort, safety and happiness.

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  30. Thanks so much for such an inspiring post, which has clearly resonated with so many. During the week, when I am in my windowless office at work, I just yearn to be at home and cannot wait for retirement! I love my home, making it cosy, growing my own vegetables, cooking from scratch and generally just being there for my family – particularly my gorgeous grandchildren. That to me is true contentment. Absolutely love your blog and the comments. Thanks for making me fell less alone.

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  31. I love the colours you have chosen for your living room. And like many others who have commented, I too love to be at home. Although I rent in a small semi-detached which is far from what I would choose as far as decor etc., many people comment on how homely it is and how much they love being here. I am always amazed that so many of the people I know who can afford to live in beautiful homes never spend any time in them. It is more than just working/busy lives. It is almost as though they dislike being in their homes. They resent cleaning them and looking after them and treat them more as a place to store their things and sleep. Even though I long for a place of my own, I treat this place with love and do my best to create an environment where my family and I can find strength, nourishment, and succour. It is so lovely to read that so many others also find this in their homes. Noni from Adelaide.

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  32. There is no place like home! I have worked as a relief teacher every day for the past two and a bit weeks and, while I loved it, I have missed being here and spending time pottering around, doing my usual things. Home is the centre of my world and I like it that way. I love your first photo, that wall colour is gorgeous! Where did you get those shelves and how are they attached to the wall?? Meg:)

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    1. Hi Meg. I'm glad you're at home again. We bought the shelves at Ikea. The top two were $15 and $8, they're called picture ledges and they're narrow and designed to hold picture frames. The two wall shelves at the bottom are wider and (I think) $15 each with $2.50 each for the brackets. All of them were screwed into the wall.

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  33. Hi Rhonda, love your blog. For you and your readers I would like to pass on a little hint I have just learnt. I don't have any of the accounts to sign in to comment and I dislike using Anonymous even though I put my name at the bottom, so for anyone who would like to sign in with their first name at the top of the comment here is the way to do it
    Write your comment, then press Google Account below, a menu will pop up, go to Name URL then type in your first name or whatever you normally use, ignore the URL line and press continue to preview or edit, then publish. Your name will appear above your post. I don't know why it makes me cringe posting as anonymous but it always makes me feel uneasy. Anyway I hope that helps anyone who feels as I do

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    1. Thanks so much Carol for that tidbit of info. This is great & very helpful!
      I felt the same way about posting as anonymous, but could never figure out another way to do it.
      Thanks again!:)

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  34. The room looks lovely Rhonda. Fresh and airy and homey and cozy all at once. I really enjoy what you say about home bodies. I'm aware that I often want to go out to enjoy the world - walking or swimming make me happy. We have recently moved to our new home and we overlook and back onto national park now. I'm getting used to the moods of the valley and the bird calls which I love. It's time to be more intentional for me being home. I'm increasingly exhausted by the traffic and pace of life and being thoughtful about how and when to engage is so helpful. It's so lovely to hear that others fell a strong sense of home and connection there - I hope that now we have a permanent home I'll feel that too. I've aspired to it for so long!
    Thanks.
    Amelia

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  35. I love that - "...all's right in my world." I remember my Mom telling me when I was younger that I could not change the world and I replied - "No, but I can change my world." I know that feeling, Rhonda. It is a good feeling. You also mentioned a full pantry and fridge. We may not have much, but when I open our pantry and it is full, I always show my husband and tell him how blessed we are when so many others have nowhere near what we have. Thank you for reminding me what a wonderful and content place home is. We walk through the door and it wraps its arms around us like a long lost friend.

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  36. Your newly done living room (so far) is looking so cozy, inviting and full of warmth! I can't wait to see more pics of it completed. I love the kitty picture especially, as well as the two little Scottie dogs sitting on top of the small stack of books. So sweet. I love the look of using books as part of the decor of a home.
    Also, I relate completely to it being a different kind of a world out there now and find myself doing the same thing --- disconnecting from the modern world as well, when I'm out and about. I do enjoy getting out sometimes but I love to be at home so much better. It always feels so good to get back home to what I call "my castle". :) Be it ever so humble, it is still my castle to me. :)
    Thanks again for the lovely post Rhonda. I love the way you think and the things you do to keep your life simplified. Your blog and book could not have a more perfect name --- "Down To Earth". I love it!
    ~Sue

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  37. What a fabulous post Rhonda Jean ... I honestly thought I was the only person around who is totally happy just hanging at home with our dogs, sewing, cooking, reading and gardening.

    I dread going shopping ... I dislike the feeling of having to look over my shoulder the whole time (which, sadly in this day and age I feel I have to do).

    Home is where I truly want to be.

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  38. Hi Rhonda. What a lovely thought provoking article. You really have touched on something important. I think so many of us feel we’re weird because we crave a contented simple life. I feel like my life is echoing so much of what you are saying in your writing and I’m loving it . Keep up your honest and truthful writing, it’s a treasure in our busy and often self-centred world.

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  39. Hi Sue B you are very welcome, I think that not having the appropriate accounts and not knowing how to send a comment probably prevents a lot of people from commenting, I know I read blogs for years with absolutely no idea of how I could reply. I didn't want to open accounts just so that I could comment so therefore I didn't and it's a shame that the writers of these very informative and interesting blogs perhaps didn't receive as many comments as they could have. Maybe these instructions could be published somewhere in the main text under
    Help for the non Technical amongst us. I am just so thrilled that so many wonderful people have enriched my life
    Over the past few years with all their considerable work and effort to produce such wonderful blogs as this one...it can change your life.

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  40. Oh, what a lovely post. It feels as if we're right there with you, having a cuppa and a piece of cake and quietly turning our backs on the fast, noisy world. Your way is much more civilised.
    Meryl
    PS Lovely colour for the walls!

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  41. I love your living room, what a beautiful color choice. I think this may be be my favorite post for some time. I tend to celebrate when I only have to leave my home once in a week. That is usually a very good week. I can spend my time cooking and tidying, sewing and gardening. Being in a city, we do still here the noise, but once my husband's military service comes to an end we will find a place to settle in the country or outside of a much smaller town.

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  42. Dear Rhonda,
    I do sรณ know and feel what you mean by this post! Although I am a single mother of three little kids, I try to do as much as I can all by myself.
    Five years ago I had to say goodbye to the life that was so familiair to me (my husband wanted to devorce), I was planted in a little apartment, but now I am able to move with my kids to a home with a big garden. I guess I am going to be that same person as you are talking about: only leaving my place if really necessary. I'd rather make, mend and do.
    Thank you for still sharing your story after so many years! I still love to visit you as much as possible. Thanks!

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  43. I love the cottagy feel of your home. I live in an old Queenslander and go weak at the knees for cottages.

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  44. I too love my home and being me at home. Its hard working fulltime and just having the weekends and evenings at home. I would so love to potter around at home and sew and knit and garden and cook, and just have a gentle quiet life.
    As it is with work, thats not how I live yet. I try to fit in some of the things I love and get a lot of peace and contentment with those times. And in the busyness of the rest of my life and work , well thats just one day at a time. We are both in our mid 50s so 10 years to go. I am so looking forward to retirement and a quieter , gentler life. Blessings, Juanita

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  45. Simplicity is freeing-I crave it. Most be old age but I prefer to not go out much as it is always frustrating/annoying.

    I told my husband today all I care about anymore is our family and our little corner of the world.

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  46. I always felt that home was the place to be when I was younger, but thought I had to go with the flow - wish I could turn back the clock. Now in the retirement phase of life I keep telling myself that it is time to live according to my principles. It is so reassuring reading this blog that I am not the only person who feels this way. I hate the way that the world is becoming so technical - I refuse to go to the self checkout in the supermarket as I would much rather talk to a person. Thank you to Carol for advise on posting.

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  47. I love it! Its so beautiful, restful and homey. What a lot of work! :)

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    1. Your beautiful painting of Hettie is a big part of the look, Michele. It is an important part of our home now. I hope all is well with you. xx

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  48. Hi Rhonda, wow this post resonated with me. While there are some advantages to life with modern technology such as medical breakthroughs, being able to research, and read and connect with blogs and communities such as this, I also feel a disconnect with the social aspect of social media which often comes across to me as a shallow vacuous and competitive void that seems to be leaving many people particularly our youth even more disconnected, lonely and vulnerable. I braved the shops yesterday to pick up a Mother's Day present and saw a group of 20 something young women at a cafe, taking photos of their food and scrolling on their phones. Not one of them spoke to another, how odd our society has become that this is the new normal and whole point of gathering and sharing a meal and time together seems completely lost. This certainly wasn't an isolated case as i have witnessed this on numerous occasions over recent years. I love my home and family and this is where I feel safe, secure and happy. I do utilise the internet to locate bargains and half price specials which I then stockpile both as a contingency and also because the more I have at home here at my disposal the less I have to venture out into modern society. Thank you for your words of wisdom and for bravely sharing your feelings on what many of us are also feeling. Love Lisa xo

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  49. I grapple with the social media element of modern life often. As a 38 year old with a 2.5 year old and 7year old as well as our family living overseas at times it has been a valuable tool. But I find more and more I want rid of it..but it's hard to get out. I find our family and friends of many ages and generations using it to make major announcements, the schools and parent groups using it to communicate messages and upcoming events as well as it being a resource for keeping in touch with friends all over the world.But, and it's a big but..I don't want to be glued to my phone, I want to meet people in person, share stories and events in letters and in person and generally lead a pace of life that is a bit slower. I cherish these posts you write Rhonda, because so much resonates with me. I work towards a slower calmer simpler family life but it ebbs and flows. I know for sure I don't want my girls seeing me with my nose in my phone all the time.

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    1. I feel your pain regarding social media. I have 3 children (9/7/5) and after being off social media for 4 years had to reconnect as school/parties/reunions/family connections and upcoming events are all voiced over social media or apps. I find it so exhausting sometimes - there are 3 apps I need just to get the information from school. Gone are the days of a paper note and coins in an envelope. I love it though that the community here still like a good chat and people are committed to buying local wherever they can. The community that happens over a cuppa in the kitchen with the kids playing out the back (or crafting at he other end of the table) is just so much nicer. Friends in the home builds a history that social media just can't compete with!
      Amelia

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    2. So true Amelia, I am really astounded by the way schools are using social media as an everyday tool and apps to communicate to parents. I nearly died when I found out my nephews school in the uk is using twitter and posts tweets about what the kids have been doing for events like book week. I crave a break from it all but it's so hard to pull out of when you get invites to engagement parties and school functions all online. Maybe pulling out of it all and being out of the loop wouldnt be such a bad thing for a while.

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  50. I have never commented before, Rhonda, but this post really resonated with me. As the proud mummy of a 4 year old and a 4 year old, who is also working as a teacher, I feel that I am just tired beyond belief. Life feels like a fast-spinning merry-go-round at the moment and I yearn for the days where we can all stay in and enjoy being home and together. Simple things like baking a cake and weeding the garden together or a bike ride and a trip to the local library are the good days. Social media and technology are wonderful tools, but I know that I often feel that they are taking over. Here is to a simpler, slower life. Nicky

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  51. We are more and more like to stay home now that my husband no longer works. It is wonderful. We just finished painting our entry hall stairwell and upstairs hall. It was one of the easiest projects in years because so little had to be moved or shuffled. Nevertheless I an thankful it is done.

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