The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 17th May, 2019.

It has been another busy week!  I guess maybe I should accept this as the new normal.  My fitness has increased I have to say as daily I end up pushing the wheel barrow around full of hay/manure/wood/  dirt... something!

First of all Mum, Chloe and I headed off to see the girls for Harper's birthday.  It was a wonderful day.  Mum made Harper the most gorgeous gift.  If you remember the girls had a tiny lamb which was so small it was carried around in a bag....

Mum made Harper her own Lamb in a bag!

It was such a hit.  Lambie had to go everywhere and face the front so he could see.  😍

It was just a lovely day.  As usual I took cooking and came home with spinach for the chickens.

Then we had Mothers Day.  Chloe put on a beautiful afternoon tea.  I contributed gluten free scones...

And a gluten free sultana cake.  (The second one was for freezing.)

This little tablecloth was 50c in a new op shop I found.  It is in a little town we pass through on the way to see the girls.  I also found sewing cottons for 20c a reel and lovely bird book.  I seemed to have lots and the total was $2.70!  So this stop will become a regular part of the trip!

We have only two weeks until winter.  So far it hasn't been very cold but in the night I can see there is a carpet of fog outside and this is how it was almost until lunch time one day this week! 

This cleared and it was a beautiful perfectly sunny day.

After lots of interruptions I worked on my blanket and think I am starting to get somewhere.

I made pumpkin soup with a zucchini thrown in, a venison roast, chocolate fudge for the son in laws, baked rice custard (to use up some eggs) and sausage rolls, both gluten free and regular.

I had some left over pastry so a couple of nights later I made pasties.  Now this was interesting.  I just started to cook the veggies and mince (ground beef) for the pasties.  I was kind of running late that day as we had been burning a big bonfire outside.   I had onions browning and it was getting dark outside.  I must have been making a racket in the kitchen as I didn't hear anything but Andy came in and said "there is a man outside to see you."   I turned off the stove and went outside... there were two guys and they explained they had something in the truck for me from my Dad. mmm
This is what was in the back...

A calf!

It is a girl and we named her Lattie after one of the mens wife.  I thought I would call her after the man who delivered her but his name was Glen.  Not wanting to offend any Glen's but it is not a good girls name.  So I asked him what his wife's name and he said everyone calls her Lattie.  She Lattie she is!  He seemed quite pleased about this!
Truthfully I don't know if the calf with survive.  But I am doing my level best.  The next hour and a half we found a safe place for her overnight,  mixed up formula, got her fed for the first time after finding a suitable bottle.  I have on hand teats and formula knowing this was a possibility. So thankful I did decide to stock these things.   There was debate over her age and if she had a drink from the Mother ... the guys thought so then Dad told me no she never had a drink the Mother had died.  So I made a homemade colostrum and hoped.  

At first she was a handful and we had our work cut out.  After several bottles she is docile and comes to me.  Her first bottle was a battle.  Now she sees the bottle and comes and drinks.   But I am still not sure if she will be ok.  When they never got colostrum the odds are lower.  But I am trying my heart out!  

Eventually that night I finished the pasties and cleaned up the kitchen and it was midnight when I checked Lattie and Scooter and went to bed.  I did ring Dad also and say "thanks for the present Dad" and he laughed.  The men who delivered her had been working at the farm and going home right past our place.  So he asked them to drop the calf off.  He thought it was a good idea for it to be surprise. lol

Yesterday we went up to the hay shed and got a load of hay and made Lattie a little home all warm and sheltered.  She has a perfect little paddock next to our house and her own little home.  That is the thing about this place... I have had little yards and sheds and known one day I will fill them...

Today I am heading into a town north of us to meet a friend and Tuesday Afternoon Club member.  I have not seen Wendy in many years.  Fifteen? She found me some lovely old jars.  I am taking her some fresh eggs as she is a wonderful cook.   I get to check out a different op shop too! 
Plus it is a gorgeous day!  The sun is shining and just a lovely end of Autumn Friday. 

So that was my week!  Never boring around here. 

(This morning I fed Lattie his whole 2 litre bottle. He came to me nicely and just drank from the bottle like a good baby.  A good BIG baby!) 

How did you build up your nest this week?  I hope opportunities came your way to save, add to your pantry, preparedness, garden, craft and gift cupboards!   As things take shape around me I can see the power of just keeping at things.  Little bits do add up.  Be industrious and look well to the ways of your household!  xxx

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 10th May, 2019.

I hope you had a good week.  We were blessed with wonderful rain. Good soaking rain!  This would be the best thing of all.  It was so desperately needed.  Now if we can have a few sunny days the grass will take off!

We had a really busy and good week.  It was hectic as we had to do a quick trip to Adelaide.  I fitted in as much as possible.  Trying to avoid going very often I even did a dental check up.  I figure living a long way away I would rather be preventive than have an emergency.  I wish I could have done more but we both had medical appointments, dentist, I did a huge stock up at Aldi,  went to the discount pharmacy, an op shop near by and then headed back.  I was just so keen to come home.  By then the rain had started and I was getting text messages from Chloe like "now there are puddles!'

Here are some ways I got ahead, feathered my nest, saved etc. this week:

I was working on Harper's birthday present.  She is crazy on Cinderella.  I made a little bag and pillowcase to match to go with a doll I ordered on line...

I also made another shopping bag from some fabric I just loved:

I started on the fabric I found in the "dog blankets" section of our op shop.  First I made three king sized kitchen towels. They are so thick and absorbent and look so coutnry style.  I love them!

(The quilted fabric underneath is the bed spread for $5)

Andy needed new jeans taken up so I took up two pairs for him.

Dad came by with a huge leg of venison.  It was so big I could never have fitted it in the oven or slow cooker so Andy sawed it up into manageable pieces.  It is many meals worth.  Plus we had cups of tea and cake at Dad's table...

(Which has a new tablecloth because I found this at the op shop for $3...)

When we returned home we were just looking at the driveway and paddocks and how much water there was.   Next I jumped out of the car and went to see Scooter.  He was so excited he leaped a mile in the air.  I gave him a bottle.  Chloe had been his baby sitter!   Next Scooter and I went to see the chickens.   I fed them a big bag of greens I had brought back from the city.  I had 15 eggs to collect and someone put in an extra effort look at this egg...

I am betting that is a double yolker!  This would be the first.   Now I have eggs to take to Lucy, eggs for Mum and eggs for a big bake up. Chloe and Luke have their own chooks.

It took me many hours to unpack all the groceries and put them away.  Some things like sausages needed dividing up and freezing in portions.  It all takes time but my pantry is so well stocked up and this saved a fortune.  I did have some great bargains and deals in the city.   One of them was a tray of 12 king sized croissants for $7.80.   I filled them with ham and cheese slices.  Luke and Andy both ate one then the rest I froze for Andy's lunches or when feeding people.  They were a bargain.

My friend was taking off around Australia and emptying out her place.  She sent me home with a Homeopathic medicine kit for my medical cabinet! It is fantastic!  Also essential oils,  a King sized white linen quilt cover, white pillowcases, a vase and much more.

The medical kit is something I have wanted and it a great addition to my collection.  

Yesterday I lit out fireplace for the first time in this house.  We have made wood piles, we have the wood box next to the back door full of nice dry wood and finally it was time.  It is amazing.  It creates so much atmosphere and warmth.  I have the kettle simmering.

Today I was getting ready as tomorrow I am going to see the girls.  I made up some chocolate cup cakes in lilac wrappers with lilac sprinkles.

I have lots of warm bedding to take down for Kelly and her nine puppies! 

Tonight I used up a big tray of ground beef from Aldi to make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce.  I simmered it for two hours.  It is delicious.  This will make many meals and I am portioning it out to freeze plus making a couple of ready to go pasta bakes.  

The week was full of opportunities to get ahead.  Lots of meat added to the freezer,  food added to the pantry, medical items added to the medical cabinet, gifts added to the present cupboard... and rain added to our paddocks.  

I love a week like this.  It takes a lot of energy to make the most of it all but so worth it!  Lots of little things really add up!

How was your week?  How did you build up your home?  I hope good things came your way also.  xxx

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 3 May, 2019.

Here we are in May already!  I have had a very busy week.  It has been all good things though!
There was a lot of excitement!  The dog that Lucy's family adopted (Harper thinks it is her dog) had NINE puppies on Saturday night.  It was so exciting.  I got a running commentary via text messages....  "here is number 8 this one is brown!" and so on.  Finally after number nine there were no more.   They are all doing really well!
It was only weeks ago Lucy said to me they need more animals as the girls love them so much.  Well now they have TEN dogs and then during the week Kato came home with two lambs!
Suddenly I was giving lamb raising instructions over the phone...

One lamb is extremely small.  I suspect it was a twin left behind.   This one gets carried around in a bag!

So Lucy got her wish for more pets.  Be careful for what you wish for haha!

My lamb Scooter has grown like a rocket.  He is basically like a dog.  He bounds ahead of me and if I go in the back door and he can't see me he races around to the front door.  I think he is part grey hound!   Also he thinks I am his Mum.   When Mum and I went to see Lucy and the girls for a day I left the bottle for Andy to give Scooter.   I get a call... "Scooter won't drink."  I said "what do you mean he won't drink?"  (as he is always starving...)  And Andy said well he puts the teat in the lambs mouth but the lamb won't swallow.  🙄
When I got home Scooter was so thirsty!  Then he needed big cuddles.  Seriously what a sook.

He looks smug to me.

So that is the lamb report!

On our trip to see the girls I picked a big bag of greens for the chickens.  Also came home with a huge zucchini.

I made a big pot of pumpkin soup with the zucchini thrown in.   I shared this with Chloe and Luke.

I also made a big beef curry and between the soup and curry this fed us several nights and lunches.

Then I made baked egg custards.  I will have one of these for breakfast or a desert.

With fresh eggs each day I think of things to do with eggs.

I made a cake for Dad. This is his favourite cake.  It is called Mrs. Cadd's Sultana Cake. 

It looked so nice and I couldn't try it.   I won't even eat one mouthful of wheat now as my body aches so much if I do.  So I made a gluten free one and it worked perfectly and is delicious!  This is a winner. I will post the recipe in comments if anyone wants it.

Mum send me some wire to make a lamb yard.  This is so Scooter can be out on the grass in the day hopefully learning to eat!

I had several very good supermarket bargains so I stocked up.  This is your chance, when you see a great deal stock up!

Another bargain I got was a garden gate.  I saw on a local town Facebook Buy Swap and Sell a lovely gate for $25.  We are needing one and I showed Andy.  He said its a bargain and a good size.  So I got it!   There are really some great opportunities on social media buy/sell/swap sites and also seed swaps etc.

During the week I went to town and two op shops (thrift stores) to look for dog bedding.  With nine puppies there will be a lot of warm dog blankets needed.  I have become friendly with one of the op shop ladies.  I asked if there were more dog blankets out the back as the selection wasn't very good.  She took me out the back to a huge warehouse like area.  There were tubs and tubs marked "dog blankets" and she said go for it!   As I went through them I began finding things like a huge white quilted bedspread.  I spread it out... oh my goodness it was divine, no holes or damage so why was it in dog blankets?? Who cares!  It was $5 and I grabbed that.   I found two others that were quilted or woven textured white cotton bedspreads.  Both these were damaged but I plan to make cushions and kitchen towels.  They really thick beautiful absorbent cotton.  There is miles of fabric in each.
I did also get actual dog blankets!  Lots of them!  
I am kicking myself as as I left the lady pointed to unopened large plastic bags and said they are all also dog blankets.  I should have gone through them but as it was I had to do two trips to the car.  Next time I go I will go the same day to see the same lady and ask to go through them again.  
I will show all of these but they are all being soaked and washed right now.   The good bedspread is just heavenly and probably one of my best finds and best bargains ever! 

It was Andy's birthday and I made a black forest cake.

I spent hours spreading sheep manure over the veggie garden and flower garden.  My seedlings are doing pretty well too.  This all has improved my garden a lot.  Our soil is quite sandy but now it looks rich and dark.

Three nights in a row we had a visitor.  The first night I heard a strange noise.  This guy was sitting on the deck rails. 

It is a Tawny Frogmouth.  He looks a bit like Oscar the Grouch I thought. The photo doesn't show his rich colours but he was quite amazing.

We have a trip to the city coming up.  We haven't even left yet and I can't wait to get home.  However I will make the most of the opportunity and stock up at Aldi and so on.  

I really hope you had a great week.  How did you get ahead, stock up, save or set things to good use?

Some of our state had rain but we missed out.  So we are desperate for rain.  Please pray it rains.

Have a lovely weekend.  xxx

Monday, 29 April 2019

The Tuesday Afternoon Club. A post from Kelley.

This week I want to share a letter from Kelley.  Her crafts and gifts are always just gorgeous and have a way of being incredibly special yet so inexpensive!   Truly inspiring and creative.  So over to Kelley I am sure this will bless your heart!  

Using scraps from a nightgown/robe set and a skirt I’d made, plus lavender bedsheet scraps, I made hats for my little granddaughter.

I made yo-yos with more scraps.

Inspired by some I saw online, I made these sets of felt bunny hair (alligator) clips for my granddaughters.

Using an old Mary Engelbreit calendar and a 70 year-old children’s book, I made Mother’s Day cards for my girls.  (Our older daughter is expecting #2!)  I did some French knots on the Engelbreit “wallpaper.”  Inside, I copied a passage from Louisa May Alcott’s  Little Women, forming a little book.

I read Alcott books to our girls when they were little.  During some passages, tears streamed down all three of our faces!  Here is the passage I copied for my girls’ cards:

Finally, I embroidered these Mother's Day cards. They too were inspired by a card I’d seen online.  The two on the right will be mailed to Dave’s and my moms.

Again, inside my own mother’s card, I copied a line from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women:

Isn’t that precious?! *tears*

Thank you Kelley!  

And so you see how much sentiment can make the most special and personal gift. Not something you can find in a store!  xxx

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 26th April, 2019.

It was another good and busy week.  I hope you had a very Happy Easter.
On Saturday I visited the girls and took some Easter cooking and treats.  The lamb came with me in the car!  I had bottles prepared and off we went.  The girls loved him!    Before we left I noticed the lamb had a dirty side where he had sat in you know what.   So I made up a bucket of water and thought what do you wash a sheep with?  Then I thought "I know, wool wash!"  It worked a treat and he smelled lovely.  It was only a patch wash not like a whole bath...

I had made more quiches and took two dozen and honey gingerbread cookies for the girls.   My biscuits didn't look very glamorous but they liked them and they were demolished!

This all caught me up with the eggs and I also gave Lucy a dozen.  Then when I got home I went and collected more eggs! haha!
I search Lucy's veggie garden for thistles and also brought home some chard and spinach for the chooks.  They just go crazy over this!

Mum and I are heading down to see the girls today so I go with a big IKEA blue bag to fill with chicken greens and my garden gloves and scissors.

The rest of Easter long weekend was spent with everyone working on pulling down an old (and dangerous) shed at Chloe and Luke's.  It was a big job.  Luke had the tractor there and when he had time he drove it over here and went up behind the sheep yards and dug out big tractor scoops of sheep manure and drove them down to the house.  He dumped several scoops in the fruit tree yard... this will be for new fruit trees and my pumpkin patch!   Then near the veggie and flower gardens and finally some for Andy to spread on the lawn as fertiliser.    I can't quite guess how many wheel barrow loads one tractor scoop is but a fair few.  This was so fantastic!   We joked that his Easter gift to me was a pile poo but I said this is the best gift you could ever give me!   Now I can plant pumpkins, trees, build up my veggie and flower gardens and more! 

This week we had some rain on and off.   Not enough but something.  We are really desperate for rain. 

I made up a batch of Miracle Cleaner as I was completely out.  I love this for the way it smells and that it is natural and kills germs.  The spray bottle once had Aldi cleaner in it and I saved it and soaked off the label.  

So many containers are actually quite nice to recycle for make-your-own things.  The foaming soap dispensers are easy to refill too.

I visited Mum.  I came home with a big basket of Bay Leaves. 

There is some Rosemary tucked in there too... this was for a lamb roast that Mum gave us.  She also gave us some beef.  It was fantastic as they are big bits and will make many meals!   Also it was lucky... Mum asked if I had room in the freezer.  Because of the new (yet old!) freezer from Adelaide I now had plenty of room so I could say yes! 
The old freezer, having been in a shed for years, was a bit scruffy.  Despite a good clean the top had marks.  I covered the top with marble contact paper and it looks amazing and matches my kitchen bench tops!   Appliances that are scruffy or marked can be painted, have a chalkboard front, be covered in contact... seriously they can look fantastic.   I once painted an old fridge pink and had roses all over it.  I loved that fridge! 

It is Andy's Birthday coming up.  His favourite cake is fruit cake so I made one for him and two extra.  They store for a long time and I love to have cake on hand for visitors.  A fruit cake is a good gift too.

Sure enough Dad turned up so I opened the little cake and sliced it so he could have some.

I made a tray of gluten free scones and froze them to go with soups etc.

The lamb (who is now called Scooter) is 12 days old.  He has done so well and skips and plays and follows me everywhere. Then suddenly early in the week I thought he wasn't so energetic. Then in the evening he couldn't even stand up!  I thought it was curtains.  I reviewed everything and found maybe I was diluting his formula powder a bit too much so I strengthened it.  The amount I was giving was right.... anyway within two days he was back to normal and now he races ahead of me to feed the chooks as he knows where to go!   He also likes to come in to see the chooks.  They are less keen! 

I was given four beautiful plants for the garden for Easter.  These were the best gifts!   I planted them all right away.

I have been working on my crochet blanket and a fairy garden and cupboard.

Near the kitchen I have this little door that Harper was fascinated with.  Once it was a laundry shoot then some genius put a water heater there.  So it was a door to no where... and not pretty!

I have been working on it to make a fairy cupboard.  This is so far...

The little Blue Wrens are my favourite part!

Yesterday I made little cakes to take with me today for the girls...

And also a chocolate cake for Chloe and Luke and one for us.  

So it was a great week and we went ahead in leaps and bounds especially in the garden department.  I am saving for fruit trees.  Normally they go in during winter.  So we can dig and prepare the spots for them now and make protective surrounds.   Soon this yard will be the lambs yard too for a while.   

I think one of the Bantams is going broody so soon I can do my swap with Allie and hatch chickens!  
And Harper and Scarlett's dog is due to have puppies THIS WEEKEND!  

In what ways did you get a chance to get ahead,  build up your pantry and supplies, save and feather your nest?  I hope it was a good week for you too! xxx

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 19th April, 2019.

It was another busy week!  The first thing was Harper came to stay with us over night on Saturday.  This was her first night away from Mum and Dad.  Well, she was just an angel and we did card making and we made a special book of photos and stickers.  She loved it!  She made everyone presents and was so proud of them!  She loved collecting the eggs and at night we went outside and looked at all the stars and the moon and she LOVED that as well!

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week were:

I bought an organic chicken and made a big pot of chicken stock.  This is in readiness for cold and flu season.  I had that going in the slow cooker the whole day.  Thank you Sonia for reminding me to make some chicken soup ahead.
Next I took some of the stock and made chicken soup with plenty of bay leaves, garlic, onion, celery etc which we had for dinner on two nights.  
I froze batches of the stock ready to make more.  I have everything on hand to make chicken soup at any time.

This week I planted out some garlic that was shooting so hopefully I will have a whole row of garlic.
Then I planted Brussel Sprouts.  Andy doesn't like them but Dad does so I added those to a little space I had.

Tuesday morning Luke came to the door holding a tiny newborn lamb.  I had told him this year I will take a couple of orphan lambs and calves.  It was on my shopping list for Wednesday to get ready for this and buy milk powder, teats etc.  But this was Tuesday!  I had nothing!
I took the lamb from him and off he went!   It was so small and I don't think it ever had a drink.  Luke said the Mum was dead.   Andy was on his way home from an appointment... so I messaged him and he was able to stop in town and get teats and milk powder.  Then I Googled how to make a colostrum replacer and followed that.  I did 600 mis milk, one beaten egg and a spoon of castor oil.  You feed this until it is all gone then go on to lamb formula.  The first day I thought the lamb would die as it was very weak.
However lo and behold after the first couple of drinks he brightened up and now he follows me everywhere!  He is still extremely tiny so he is on six feeds a day.

In the shed there was a giant box and I made this into a lamb play pen.   It is also warm and safe at night.  Now I need a little enclosure on the grass for day time.  

When I did shop I also got calf milk and so now I am ready for anything!   I hope to take him and his bottles with me to see the girls!  Then they can feed and nurse him. 

I had frozen pasty mix left over when I made bulk pasties.  I got that out and make some more as I now had fresh pastry supplies.

Andy went to the city and brought back a fridge and chest freezer.  These were in the shed at Mums house and we used to share them.  Now no one is in the city anymore we brought them back here.  So I have an additional freezer!   The fridge will be for when shearers are here, they need milk and drinks etc.   So these are a huge helpful addition. 

I am Easter cooking.  Yesterday I made chocolate cakes for Chloe and Luke.   I did not buy Easter eggs, instead I cook for everyone.

Then I made Quiches in King sized muffin trays and these are going over today as there is a working bee to pull down and old shed.

Today I am making more Quiches to take to Lucy and Easter biscuits (cookies) which will be bunnies with marshmallow tails.  (hopefully!)

I now have beautiful stove kettle.  It is mainly for when the fire is going we can have free hot water everyday.  I love it!

During the week I made over some jugs and vases I got for $3 each at the op shop.   I almost forgot to take a before photo and had started painting but you can see the bright colours and designs still kind of...

I have finished two of them.  The third will be different.

I love them now!   The nests are just a paper serviette. 

From having Harper here I am inspired to make a fairy garden so I have started on that...  maybe some pictures next week.

So that was my week!   I hope it was a good week for you too.  How did you get ahead, save, build up your pantry and feather your nest this week?  

Have a very Blessed Easter!  xxx