dinsdag 26 november 2013

Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel (Boek)

I now try very hard to reserve new book buying to electronic format, to save space and as a conscious environmental consideration, however sometimes a book is just so delightful you have to turn off the voice of reason. Down to earth is just that book, it is a beautiful looking and feeling book, physically, it has a slightly textured linen finish and beautiful `feel' in tone.

This book is like having a grandmother in book format. Ronda has a gentle voice of support to productive homes; she encourages everyone regardless of age to consider simple living. Practically she acknowledges the different stages of life and the various pressures these ages are under and then goes on to make suggestions of ways to implement a simpler life.

The chapters are as follows with various sub sections.

* Living Simply
* Ages and Stages
* Saving and spending
* Home
* Housework
* Organising your life
* Home-Grown self-Reliance
* The sustainable backyard
* Nourishment
* Recipes
* And a terrific resource list

The recipe chapter is for food but there are recipes appropriately scattered throughout for cleaning products and other various gems. The author just touches on a bit of everything inspiring the reader to research further into areas of interest, from de-cluttering, a pattern for knitting a dishcloth, worm farms, chicken keeping to becoming more energy efficient.

The author says one of her grandmothers was Swedish and her home reflects Swedish style of plain simple, milky tones of blue and green with splashes of red. This is also reflected in the style of the book. Simply gorgeous, the photos are beautiful, arty and inspiring.

This book while perfect for new comers to simple living is equally appropriate for hard core self-reliant folk who just want to be supported in their role. Ronda's voice of affirmation floats out of every page as you endeavour to live a simple nurturing life.

Consequently the publishers need to be congratulated for discovering Ronda of the `Down to Earth' blog and turning her gentle timeless wisdom into a beautiful practical and yet coffee table style book. I think the trees sacrificed for the project would be proud, they essentially turned into a grandmother ;o)

I have puchased Rhonda's book after having read her blog and joined the Down to Earth Forum that Rhonda instigated.

Rhonda is an inspiring woman who informs the reader of her transition to the simple life. Rhonda had worked as a journalist and technical writer; she informs the reader that following a major contract she was burnt out when she had the realisation that she did not want to work for a living anymore. Rhonda states in her book that she wanted to stay home rebuild her spirit, slow down and feel more alive. As someone who seeks the simple life this resonated with me and through Rhonda's blog, the Forum she created and her book, Down to Earth, I have made many changes to my life. Rhonda has an honest and down to earth approach, whose compassion for others shines through. I believe that Rhonda feels it is her obligation to others seeking the simple life to learn from her experiences. Examples of this are the recipes and instructions for many of her simple living cleansers and meals that she cooks. Rhonda has investigated and tested these but makes them available for those of us who are on the path, perhaps at a different stage of our journey into simple living.

I feel that I have left so much out of this review. All I can say is that I have learned so much of the nuts and bolts of simple living from this lady despite many years of interest in simplifying my life. I have now made my own soap, cleaners, hair wash, dish washer powder, clothes washing liquid, dog food and dog biscuits all from scratch and chemical free. I have revisited cooking from scratch and the gentle arts; including knitting, and have recently taken part in a potholder swap on the DTE Forum that Rhonda created.

Treading lightly on the planet, sharing her knowledge and teaching others appears paramount for Rhonda. In fact I understand that Rhonda is sought for many speaking engagements now; it must be a challenge for her to undertake these engagements whilst living the life to which she aspires.

Thankyou Rhonda for this gift.

I do not want to appear cliche, however this is a 'must read' for those wanting practical advice on how to move towards living more simply.


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