Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meeting Rhonda and Hanno from Down to Earth Blog

Yesterday afternoon my friend Karin and I thrilled to get a place in the "Simple Living" talk that Rhonda Hetzel from Down to Earth Blog did at the Arana Hills Library.  This was a free talk put on by the Library and initially when I saw the notice on Rhonda's blog I emailed the Library the same day to put our names down only to find out there were no places left and we had to go on a waiting list.  Luckily for us a few days later the Library contacted me to say we could attend and we sat in the front row.

Rhonda spoke about how her and Hanno got started on their journey of "Simple Living" which she has also written about in her book and is such a great story.  She also spoke about budgeting, decluttering, making laundry soap, knitting dish rags, how to preserve the abundance of food you grow and we received handouts on various things from making compost to raising chickens and tips on getting started on simple living.

Rhonda spoke about "the good old days" of when she was a child where all families had chooks and grew food, baked and preserved foods.  She also spoke about the fact that she loves living in 2014 with the modern technology of the internet, ipads, phones etc and how we can combine the good bits from the olden days with the amazing things from today's world.  The internet has allowed people from all walks of life to have access to and talk about things that are important to them and Rhonda's blog has a huge following which means people are really interested in these types of topics.

You do not have to move to the country to enjoy simple living as most suburbs in Brisbane you can raise chooks and grow veggies, make bread and jam and I think that's one of the benefits of this type of life is that you can pick and choose what parts of simple living suits you and go with that.  It's not an all or nothing life style but once you accomplish one thing you are pretty much looking to add to your skills with the next thing.  If you don't have the desire to make bread you don't have to, there are no rules just your idea of "simple living" and what you are prepared to do to enjoy your lifestyle.

Rhonda mentioned that when she started out on her path of simple living her friends thought she was crazy giving up the corporate lifestyle to stay at home and make bread and soaps.  Don't worry, Karin and I have good friends that say similar things to us too, when we say we are making soap or dishwashing powder but these things make us happy and no one says our friends have to make soap or dishwashing powder it's just that we do and we love it.  Live your own life and combine modern living with simple living and create your own blueprint for your life.

One thing Rhonda spoke about that struck a cord with me or maybe was a light bulb moment was about decluttering something I need to do lots of.  We use the two box system when I help the kids declutter and that is "give away" and "rubbish" which is pretty good for kids that are 10 and 8 however Rhonda spoke about 4 boxes "Put Away, Give Away, Rubbish/Throw away and Sell" all of which are very logical and makes sense.  That concept is not new but the concept of only "declutter" and not "declutter and clean the room" was something that was quite freeing and made lots of sense to me.  When I look at our rooms sometimes I'm so overwhelmed with decluttering and cleaning that you tend to put it off because it looks like a huge task however to think of just "decluttering" and that's it I really liked that concept.  Once rooms are decluttered then the cleaning which can be done another day won't take as long because the room is already rid of the excess stuff.  This was something that I really liked and will be more willing to make the time to declutter only to rid our house of stuff we no longer need or use.

Karin and I found meeting Rhonda and Hanno quite a weird experience in a good way of course.  Normally when you meet someone new, the first thing is you get introduced to them and then you get to find out about their lives little by little.  The fact that Karin and I know about Rhonda and Hanno and all about their lives from her blog and Rhonda has read my blog and therefore knows something about my life you feel as if you know them but in fact you have never met them.  The introductions come last after you know/read about people on the internet so it's a kind of backward experience which is so odd because you think you know them but then have to introduce yourself.  It's quite funny that way.

The internet has allowed us to make amazing connections with people that mostly we will never ever meet but fortunate for Karin and I we had the pleasure of meeting Rhonda and Hanno yesterday and it was a wonderful little outing.

When I dropped the kids off at school yesterday I told them that Karin and I were going to go to a talk and meet Rhonda from Down to Earth Simple Living Blog and they knew exactly who I was talking about because we have Rhonda's "Down to Earth" book and she really is such a down to earth lady and I came away from the talk feeling really happy that such a simple thing of talking about simple living is so rewarding and fulfilling.  To be teaching my kids about making pasta, home made pizza's etc. growing veggies, having chickens (we need to get some more) I like them also being kids and grounded in a modern world where social media and technology is at people's fingertips.  It was great meeting you both yesterday and it's even better than you are inspiring others to get down to earth with their living and create their own style of "simple living".


  1. What a lovely day you and Karin had, Kathy! Yes it is a strange experience meeting someone whose blog and life you have been reading about for quite a while. I found Rhonda and Hanno quite delightful, unassuming and just ordinary people who didn't pretend to be anything other than what they were and yet are inspiring nevertheless.

  2. I'm glad you had a good time at Rhonda's talk, I went to one at Caloundra Library last year (I think it was then) and it was excellent. Also have to comment on your last blog about grated cheese. When I was emptying the dishwasher this morning and cleaning the filter, out fell a few strands of pre grated cheese , fairly well unchanged!! After such a hot chemically laden wash, it's pretty much the same... Ick
    We don't usually have a dishwasher (the old one gave up the ghost about 10 years), but I'm about to sell and the agent strongly advised me to install one in the empty space (so we have been testing it out). Needless to say, I won't be buying grated cheese again.... and it wasn't a cheap brand either, Melindi

  3. Gosh that just says it all doesn't it about the cheese. Kathy

  4. Hi Kathy, I saw your photo over on Rhonda's blog....the blogging network is amazing...I've seen books in shops written by people whose blogs I follow (local is lovely) and TV interviews...Gavin and Tricia (little eco footprints) in much information's fantastic.

    1. Yes it's funny isn't it.....I also read both those blogs you mentioned and I particularly love Tricia's blog and her little girls experience growing up on the land...what a great lifestyle for a child. Thanks for stopping by Suzie. Regards Kathy

  5. that's awesome Kathy, how exciting to meet Rhonda and Hanno ~ a sereal experience isn't it meeting 'friends' from an online forum!! Jan x

  6. Oh how lovely to meet Rhonda and Hanno! I think I'd be a bit nervous to meet them in real life!