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, 19 July 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 20th July, 2018.

This has been a HUGE week!  First I will start with my savings and house building...

This week I made two batches of yoghurt.

Mum gave me a supply postage stamps which are so handy.

Mum is also coming to town today.  Last night I made up a batch of Gluten Free scones to take over to her when she gets here.

Most of my life I have been the worst scone maker. Once my Nan stood next to me and we did them together.  Because I had touched them they still turned out like rocks. She was amazed! 
Eventually I decided to ignore all the tips on scones i.e. handle lightly etc and I mixed the dough in my bread maker.  It turned out!  Now I do them in the mix master and I add an egg and half a teaspoon of baking power.  They work!   These are just GF self raising Aldi flour, milk, one egg, a couple of spoons of melted butter and an extra bit of baking powder.  I make a soft dough the gently press it out. 

I put them fairly close together in the baking pan...

The oven needs to be good and hot!  Anyway you barely notice they are Gluten Free so Andy eats them happily.

I also make GF pizza bases.... just GF flour, olive oil, sprinkle of salt, water... made a nice dough and rolled it out.  Thee worked great and no yeast even!

Chloe came to dinner after the wedding dress fitting.  For desert I made a cheese cake in the slow cooker.  It was delicious!

I mended a jumper for Lucy.

I made a batch of facial scrub I use all the time. It is just fine dark (soft) brown sugar and pure honey. 
Bend them together.  It is messy so I do it in the bath.  But despite trying many fancy and expensive scrubs this is the best of all.  The girls who also have had fancy brands to try and worked in cosmetics  ask me to please make it up for them.  It gives you the smoothest skin.

I made banana cakes and used some yoghurt in these in place of sour cream.

I took these around to the girls.

I found another bargain book for my present cupboard for $2.

Lots of bits and pieces were used up in my use it up challenge.  Many odds and ends in the baking and the pizzas used up bacon, bocconcini and half a jar of tomato sauce all from the freezer.

It was a very cold and wet week.  But there is sunshine today so I have the washing machine going!

So when I said it was a big week... this is because Dad rang me Saturday night to tell me that our farmhouse will be ready to go and look through within the fortnight!  For this to happen Dad had to go to a lot of trouble... he needed to move a man out of there and to do that he had to fix up another house.... so it has all been a lot of effort.  And finally the end is in sight!

We have seen the house. We have seen the setting... the location is wonderful. It is five minutes from Chloe's house.  Less than half an hour to Mum and Dad's house.  
There is small town half an hour away and a large town an hour.   This is the driveway...

I am showing this as it is the stuff of my dreams.  I wanted somewhere that is not on a road,  that is set back and private.   And this is exactly what I am getting!  💗

But we have not seen inside!  It has been occupied but Chloe is familiar with it so I have some information.  And in the next couple of weeks we can go see for ourselves what we have to work with!  I know it has wooden floorboards which I love.  It has a walk in pantry!  It has some kind of sunroom...

I will be so excited and nervous to go in and see!   We are right on the edge of a whole new life. 
Since I started the Pantries and Preparedness series I started to feel we would be better off back in the country.  Then as time went on we both found ourselves feeling sad when we left the farm from Mum and Dad's or from Chloe's.   The farm is home.  I am going home.

There is a strong chance Lucy's family are also going too!  We are waiting to see on that one.  Wherever they are you know how I am about the girls I will be seeing them very often.

We are packing up, getting this house ready to sell,  using up food from the freezer, doing everything we can so that once we have access to the house we can be working on that!

I will post during this time as often as I can then we will go over to Bluebird's Farmhouse. 

How was your week?  How did you feather your nest and save?

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, I am so excited for you … so glad you are allowing us to follow along on your journey!

  2. Exciting news about your move! I really enjoy your posts. I didn't know slow cooker cheeesecake was even a thing but now I know how to use the 2kg of Philly cheese I bought on special!

    1. Dear Jodi,
      Thanks so much! Anything that cooks in a water bath is wonderful in the slow cooker and easier than lifting a ray of water out of the oven (I always slop that somehow!) just put a t towel under the lid to stop drips. Others that work are baked egg custards, baked rice custard and creme caramels. Speaking of now I feel like cooking one of these! Have a lovely weekend!With love

  3. Wow - big developments Annabel! How exciting for you and Andy. Your dad sounds like a lovely man. Looking forward to your updates on the new house.

    We are coming to the end of our school holidays and I wish we could have another week! They have been really relaxing, and when we have gone out to do things everyone has had a good time.

    We had visitors this week who had driven a long way to meet our baby, so I had a big baking day on Monday. I made banana choc-chip muffins, ginger slice and gluten free brownie. Then for lunch on Tuesday I made two self-crusting quiches, a huge pot of pumpkin soup, and two foccacias. There was enough leftover for our family for dinner which was great, as I was exhausted by then!

    Today we have had a go at making our own bath bombs. First attempt was a big too wet I think, they kept growing out of the moulds lol. So I tipped them back into the bowl and doubled the dry ingredients. They are drying in the bench and seem like they have worked.

    Enjoy your weekend and your use-it-up challenge. I think it gives you quite a buzz to use things up before a move!

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, The baking sounds beautiful and I loveliest overs too. So nice to stop cooking and eat them up.
      It is ages since I made bath bombs but they are good fun! It is lovely you enjoy family time in the school holidays. To me they area chance to do some much there is just normally no time for... including relaxing.
      I need to really plan with whats in my freezer now. I will make a list over the weekend. I should have to buy much other than milk and veggies. Many thanks Jen! With love

  4. Dear Annabel,
    That photo of your driveway is beautiful. How lovely it would be to come home to that each day. I consulted your crockpot cooking series this morning and put on a big crockpot full of corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, brocolli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. I am feeling very organised and looking forward to trying more of your suggestions. Thanks for the painting tips. It is very much appreciated and I can't wait to have a go at it. I am also thinking about giving gluten free a go. Everyone in my family except me seem to be having issues when they eat bread, so a little experimentation might be needed here. Between your posts and Mimi's posts, I feel like there is a never ending source of inspiration. Thanks

    1. Thanks so much Del! Mimi is a great inspiration with GF cooking. All cooking actually! For me it was an experiment... Mum is GF and changing her diet helped her a lot. I had no idea I just had aches and pains all the time... for me I am thinking it is wheat not gluten maybe but either way doesnt matter as on gf there is no wheat. It has made big improvement in me.
      I love the driveway too. I love how i curves and bends. Maybe I could take a driving in video! We have a lot of work to do next week then hopefully we will get to see in this house! Have a good weekend! With love,

  5. Dear Annabel,
    You had a productive and wonderful week. What a blessing to have a gorgeous private space in the country.
    The scones look delicious. What a nice welcome for your Mum.
    On the mend from a bad flare-up here, so not terribly productive. I did manage the regular cleaning, made a tofu casserole, and did some paperwork. I,also, managed to get two skirts, a top, and a pair of lounge pj's cut out to sew.
    Have a blessed weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, I always dreamed of a winding driveway! I also specifically wanted privacy, quiet and well away from a road. I have surrounded by trees too!
      I am really sorry you have been so unwell. You still did a lot! Well done on the beautiful sewing!
      I hope you have a lovely weekend too and feel heaps better. With lots of love,

  6. How exciting for you to be preparing for this move! Sounds like it will be a perfect fit!
    This week I decided to use up more of my fabric scraps and made two quilts- this one is all flannel scraps and quilted with a variegated thread- The other one is sandwiched together with batting and backing and is ready to quilt- again, Just made from cotton scraps . I had a twin size 100% cotton sheet from the thrift store that I was able to use as backing for both quilts. The thrift store tag still said 99 cents! Well spent for 2 backings!!

    My garden is still gifting me with cucumbers and zucchini and so I shredded some zucchini and used up some over-ripe bananas to make 3 loaves of very tasty chocolate chip zucchini banana bread! Here’s the recipe: Great use-it-up recipe!!!

    I cooked, packaged and froze about 25 pounds of ground beef so I can have the convenience of pulling them out as a recipe timesaver! I also made 3-1/2 pounds of ground beef into hero-burger mix. We made up half for dinner (and lunch leftovers) and packaged the rest in a gallon ziploc bag to have ready in the freezer.

    We drove 400 miles each way on Friday/Saturday to our daughter’s to attend a grandson’s baptism. Our 13 year old car performed like a champ (just like it had the previous weekend when we drove 700 miles round trip to my sister’s!!) with a little planning, I was able to make ham,Turkey, cheese wraps to put in the cooler of ice along with bottled water and cheese cubes and banana bread for the trip and then had butterscotch chip banana oatmeal cookies and a mix of raw almonds and craisins to snack on too!! Doing this meant that we didn’t need to stop for food at any fast food places, mini-marts or rest stop vending machines which saved us a fortune!! Had enough for the whole round trip!
    On Sunday, I had the assignment to visit two out of town congregations so with travel time, I was gone from 9:30 a.m. until 4:45 pm. After traveling the two days before, I was ready to kick back but I got a call asking if I could take dinner to a family at church whose mom just fell on their stairs and was in a lot of pain. Their house was about 10 miles away and the caller asked if I could just take them a freezer meal! I said that on Monday I could take dinner but that day there just wasn’t time to prepare and transport a meal before it was too late for dinner. The caller said she would continue to search for someone else. After I changed clothes, I realized that I have other options besides just freezer meals! So I called her back at 5:15 and said I could have dinner to their house by 6! I got out 2 packages of precooked ground beef, 2 jars of tomatoes, 4 jars of kidney beans, 3 cans of corn and various spices and made Texas style chili- enough for two meals even with the 3 teenagers in the family! I packaged up more of my chocolate chip banana oatmeal cookies and got them there a minute before 6! Not elegant food, but satisfying and tasty and the mom texted me the next morning to express her gratitude! I felt embarrassed that I had initially refused! I am so blessed with our abundant and diverse pantry that makes it possible to “whip up” a meal to take at the very last minute!!
    That is the best part of living providently- the ability to take care of our family and also help others!
    All In All, a very good week!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, I saw your beautiful quilts! You achieve so much in a week. Now I had to google to compare miles to kilometres so I make out your day trip to be something like 12 or 13 hours of driving! This might be out but something like that here at least... that is a lot! So you had a lot of travel when you include the out of town congregations.
      I so agree with you... being able to take care of family and needs anytime... thats the goal. Living providently is a beautiful term. I love that. You are a great example and I am learning from you. Thank you so much also for providing links and the recipe! With much love,

  7. Hello Dear Annabel
    So excited to hear your news & I hope the farmhouse is everything you hope for & more, no doubt you will have heaps of fun doing it up & putting your special touch to it :) it will most certainly be beautiful once you've finished.

    I'm sure your parents & Chloe must be excited to know you'll be close by if needed & it will certainly secure your future. So happy for & Andy.

    Sending much love & hugs
    xSusan (your friend in Tassie)

    1. Dear Susan,
      Thank you so much! I am dreaming of being able to plant fruit trees... a whole orchard and veggies and a pumpkin patch. I am so glad to hear from you also. It must cold there just now it is cold enough here!
      Have a lovely weekend! With much love

  8. I just want to drive up that driveway, turn around and drive down, turn around and drive up again - all day, every day. It’s stunningly beautiful. I can see you actually strolling along with a bevy of grandchildren some on bikes, some walking oh it’s a picture in my mind. Congratulations Annabel, you’re going home! Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      I am glad you love the driveway. Next weekend I will take a ton of pictures. It is very green right now which will be nice. Chloe is so keen to have a baby so your vision might be just right... kids and bikes on our track. I hadnt even thought of that yet! Thanks so Much Fi. Have a restful weekend, with much love,

  9. Dear Annabel, I feel so happy for you. I love how you said "I'm going home". How wonderful when dreams come true! Clare

    1. Dear Clare, Thank you! This is how I feel. The farm is home. The homestead has been the family centre for almost forty years now. Dad and Mum built it from scratch and added as time went by. To have a part of it will be so wonderful. I am packing! With love,

  10. Hello Annabel and everyone :).

    How adorable is that scone story Annabel and I am sure we all have some things we are simply not good at making (yay on your success). For me it is chocolate cakes they just seem to crack up like the Egyptian pyramids. How exciting about the farmhouse being vacant soon and you will be able to have a proper look around inside and plan your next nest :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $428.21 in savings and earnings last week.

    Here is how we saved and feathered our nest -

    Earnings -
    - Earned $50.40 from the sale of a home made bread bag and 300 g of thyme picked from the gardens and dried in my internet store.
    - Earned $3 from the sale for a garden harvested a bunch of silver beet to friends.

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 26.80 % of the way there.

    Purchases -
    - BigW were have a huge clearance on their winter and some summer clothing with markdowns and a further markdown of 40% off those prices again (18th to the 26th I think) in store. With our following purchases we saved 73.31% or $267 on usual retail prices and stocked both of our wardrobes for a few years to come in winter clothing.

    For myself I purchased on special 2 pairs of knitted gloves, 3 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of jeggings, 2 pairs of shaping tights, 1 x 3/4 sleeve lace detail t-shirt, 8 x l/s t-shirts, 3 x 5 pk of cushioned sports socks, 3 x puffer vests, 3 x puffer jackets. For DH we purchased 4 x l/s t-shirts, 1 zip polar fleece jacket, 4 quilted track suit tops, 6 tracksuit tops and 4 x tracksuit pants.

    In the gardens -
    - Separated out 392 g of thyme picked and dried from the gardens saving $52.68 over purchasing it.
    - Picked 21 g of snow peas, 254 g of early Massey shelling peas, 200 g of money maker tomatoes and 2.3 kg of cherry tomatoes from the gardens saving $52.68 over purchasing them in the supermarkets.
    - Harvested more French and English lavender to dry from the gardens and separated other dried garden harvested French and English lavender saving $9.68 over purchasing it in the shops.

    In the kitchen-
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Other frugal things we usually do -
    - Saved warm up shower water and dish rinsing water to water the fruit tree pot plants on the back veranda, only turned on the electric hot water system when it needed heating, heated the home with free firewood, boiled our kettle most days on top the slow combustion fireplace instead of using the electric kettle, hung washing out to dry on the clothes line and washed out and reused clip seal freezer bags.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, I am laughing about the chocolate cakes. Seriously it is odd how one person can make a recipe and it will work and another person it just wont work the same. My Nan could not make pancakes and I cannot even think what can go wrong with pancakes yet she could make sponge kisses, eclairs, area puffs and stuff like that.
      You had great savings! That is a very good week. You did amazing on the sales and winter clothes!
      I am wondering if you have rainwater or town water and or a bore? We will have rainwater and a bore. The bore water is fairly good and the rainfall is reasonable. But there will be dry years... so I am thinking f how to save water and water the garden...
      I also think there is a combustion stove... there might be two... I will soon know. I cannot wait to do what you do and have my kettle sitting on that, my clothes drying, dinner cooking!!
      Ok Im excited!
      Your lavender sounds wonderful. It is great having two varieties.
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      With love,

    2. Hi Annabel and we are on town water and installed 2 x 1100 lt collapsible rain water tanks here and use that water for supplement watering newly planted vegetable seeds and seedlings with. The back of the property has a bore there but it is not connected or equipped with a pump.

      For an idea of how much water we use we have done an estimate which is 56 000 litres per 6 months including watering the 188 square metres of gardens with a drip irrigation system. We do approximately 3 - 4 loads of clothes washing a week so our water usage is extremely low compared to most. We also re purpose a lot of our grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the lawns with all the time rather than using town water.

      Thank you for your encouragement and I will one day master the non cracking chocolate cake but until then I have mastered the chocolate brownie slices :).

      Hope this gives you some idea on what to plan for with water storage and rain water tanks.


    3. Dear Sewingcreations, It is good to have the option of town water... we wont have that. We have always repurposed grey water here so we will be doing that at the farm for sure. Thank you for this reply... Love

  11. Dear Annabel thanks for the scones tip, I also am not a good scone maker only my pumpkin scones turn out ok. It’s so exciting your upcoming farm move and how the Lord paved the way in that all painting and works are done on your present home so it is already ready to sell. Sharlene x

    1. Dear Sharlene, If I want pumpkin scones I just add mashed pumpkin into this mix and adjust the flour. I love pumpkin... cheese can go in also. I think the egg helps them rise a lot. You cannot tell its in there.
      Mum was impressed too!
      Thank you so much too... I am going to tell a lot more about what God has done to pave the way... it is amazing... I am continually amazed. I am very glad of all the work I did here as there is not too much to do to put the house on the market. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  12. I am so happy for you, Annabel! Enjoy this next stage of life, you so deserve it. Love Veronica

    1. Dear Veronica, Thank you for your kind comment! With much love,

  13. Dear Annabel,

    What a wonderful week! I love the photo of your driveway out in the country! So happy for you! The wedding planning is so exciting, too!

    We had a lovely day taking our 17 year-old granddaughter to lunch and then spending the rest of the day with her at our house. She tried on a dress I altered for her and looked through some of the photo albums I've been working on. Then, she asked if I had any bananas in the freezer so we could make banana bread. There were enough to make a big batch, which we enjoyed hot out of the oven, along with some to send home. I made sure we used her favorite tiny loaf pans for some. We especially treasured the time together since she will soon be heading off to college

    My husband learned that some neighbors could use a food box from our churches food distribution, so I went over and told them a bit more about it. I was so glad to have that to offer them.

    I baked meatballs for easy meals and some for the freezer. Also made lemon herb chicken with rice using lemon juice and chicken broth from the freezer and chicken on sale. It's so nice to be able to shop from the pantry and freezer, making grocery store purchases of sales and other discounted prices. We are still enjoying summer fruit at great prices--cherries 97 cents a pound again and small watermelon 75 cents each.

    Have a beautiful weekend dreaming of your new home in the country!

    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Your day with your Grand daughter sounds so nice! How nice to bake together and spend that time.
      It was very good of your husband to spot a need. Sometimes there are needs right under our noses yet we dont know. I am so glad you could provide help there.
      It is wonderful to shop from what you have! Also that you can get seasonal things are fabulous prices and make the most of them.
      I am dreaming and imagining... and packing! With much love,

  14. Dearest Annabel, your excitement is tangible, even through a computer screen! I cannot express how happy I am for you, how much I am praising Father God for bringing your dream to life, for gathering your family close. Sending you the biggest hugs, Jenny xx

    1. Dear Jenny,
      There are a lot of miracles here. When I explain more you will see.... this will help you as you too will have your own home soon I am sure. There are bits I am dying to tell but want to be able to include photos and put the whole story together but it pertains to your situation also... So in regard to your home (I have been thinking about this since we last messaged) (alot!) make a mental or written list of the things you most would LOVE in your home. Truly the desires of your heat. Focus on that and praying. You can get back to me later on this!!!
      Thank you for sharing my excitement and I cant wait to share in yours. With love,

  15. How exciting yet daunting for you, Annabel. I can't wait to see what you do with your new home. All the best for a smooth transition.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I am admitting now (Tues) I am slightly daunted about seeing the house! Bit nervous! xxx

  16. Dear Annabel , all your baking looks as good as your usual. Thrilled for you that the farm move is getting closer and closer . So much for you to do towards this happy move. Lovely that you will at least be near Chloe and I hope Lucy and family in time. WE both spned a lot of time helping with our grandbabies, so I Know how you feel.
    Just back from our two weeks away and catching up on household chores,seeing family and minding two grandchildren as its the end of the school holidays.
    And I want to read and catchup on blog posts next. Have a lovely weekend Bluebirds, love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      I hope you felt refreshed from the holiday. There is nothing like the stepping back of a break completely away to make me think straight and see things differently sometimes. I often come home from holidays with a new perspective. After all this move etc we hope to get a break too which will do us good I think! With love

  17. Such a blessing Annabel, I'm so excited for you and Andy.
    XXX, Cath

  18. Wow, Annabel! That driveway looks makes the viewer wonder what IS around the bend??!! :)

    Your scones look feather light and I can just imagine them with lots of butter and strawberry jam!

    I am so excited for you all, and I am really looking forward to the whole process. I know, I vicariously means we get to see everything but not have to do any actual work! :)

    I am off to cut swiss chard and freeze it again today. My husband put up an electric fence around the garden about two weeks ago after the deer came in and chewed a bunch of the potato plant tops, etc., and so far, so good!!! Either they haven't been around since, or the fence is doing the trick so far! Now, we won't talk about bugs. :)

    I will try to remember to send you a couple of photos today of the garden in early stages.

    Lots of love, Jen in NS

    1. My thoughts exactly Jen re the driveway. It also has a sense of peace and serenity.

    2. Dear Jen, Thank you! I am excited and nervous now at his point! It is a bit of an adventure though!
      I hope the electric fence works! We have deer at the farm. Regular fences dont work as they can jump anything. Our next garden eating animals would be rabbits. I will have to figure this out! Then bugs of course...
      I cant wait to see photos! Have a good new week! With love

  19. Dear Annabel, Wow, I'm very excited and happy for you on your move! Looking forward to future posts on your new house.

    1. Thanks Laurie! I cannot wait to show you as we go along. It is an exciting journey! xxx

  20. How exciting about your house! I'm looking forward to learning what it's like inside as well, I love looking at houses. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

    All your baking looks wonderful! I love baking, even more than cooking, but mine never turns out quite so pretty. :)

    1. Dear Stephanie, I am excited and nervous about what we find inside! If its too much of a mess I probably will show afters not befores! But whatever we have to work with we will work on it and I know we can make something of it!
      Thank you too re the baking. Now until we move I am packing up so I will be in more survival mode ... now I am wondering what kind of kitchen I will have... or stove... Hopefully in a another week and a bit I will know! With love

  21. How wonderful on the home. That setting is beautiful. I agree at this time in history, I think being out further is best. I wish we could do that.
    Congrats to you.

    1. Dear Cheryl, I certainly see life down that driveway as getting away from it all... I know we cant really get away from it all but if I am choosy about tv and media we will be away to some extend from some of the things i see daily that I think are just terrible. And we can be more self reliant. So I am hoping it helps! Thank you for your encouragement! With love,

  22. Dear Annabel, that driveway is gorgeous! The curve in it hints makes you wonder what's around the bend. Can't wait to see your new home!
    I've never baked with GF flour since I've always heard it's challenging. All of your efforts turn out so well, Annabel!
    I am contemplating taking on yogurt-making, but I wonder how to use so much of it. Do you know if I can use it for replacing buttermilk in recipes? It's certainly thicker than buttermilk, but they both add that acid flavor. So many things to learn!
    Happy weekend everyone,

    1. Dear Phyllis, Thank you! I cant wait to show you what is around that bend either!
      There is just nothing to using gf flour except that you seem to mostly need more of it... so if you know the consistency the mix should be i.e. a dough then just make it about how you think... so far I have not had anything go wrong. Otherwise get GF packet mix cake etc they also have been amazingly good.
      Ok now for yoghurt! Phyllis I use so much! You can make Naan bread, 2 ingredient pizza base, muffins, cakes, tatziki dip, you can freeze it... I use in place of sour cream and also buttermilk. So it goes great in banana cakes, top potatoes, potato bake... then you can make soft cheeses by straining it. You can also simply make small batches so it doesnt get away from you too much. Somewhere I have a whole post on this...try googling the bluebirds are nesting things to do with yoghurt I think that will work... with much love,

  23. It looks to be an perfect setting just on the driveway alone! I'm so glad you are getting this opportunity in life and it will be a great for you to be in the country. Your baking looks so wonderful. I do wish that Aldi here carried gluten free flour. That would be wonderful! Have a great week-it looks to be a busy one!

    1. Dear Vickie,
      Thank you! I know it is such an opportunity. This year all the time I think of "take every opportunity" well this is a big one!
      Vickie I am so surprised they dont have gluten free flour! See if they have a gluten free section at all. Otherwise you can make up your won gf flour it is usually a mix of rice flour, potato flour... there are recipes online. Our major supermarkets all carry their own versions. Still more expensive than regular flour but Mum was thrilled with her scones! With love,

  24. Annabel, The driveway is enchanting! I am so excited for you. It kind of feels like all the bluebirds are moving with you. The area where our lake house is feels like home to us so I know what you mean. We continue to wait on God for the answer to our need to downsize.

    You and I are on the same scone/biscuit schedule. Every time you make a batch, I have too. We love to have them in the freezer ready to heat up and eat. Especially with the gravy we buy from the Amish restaurant and keep frozen.

    We celebrated our youngest grandchild's first birthday and he was so much fun. It was nice to see our son and his wife, too since they are 575 miles from us. We always appreciate it when they travel to us. Our daughter in law brought us produce from her garden. He is the son who worries about his Mom and Dad and always wants to be sure we are okay. If we were to locate near one of our children it would be him but he is in the Air Force and moves every four years.

    We have had one of those months where we have had a lot of extra expenditures such as needing new sheets and many other things that have just worn out so the budget is feeling it but I am thankful to have had the funds for the items that were needed.

    I will be praying for your move and for strength and clear thoughts about everything that needs to be done. Hope to hear from you again soon.

    Much love, Lana

    1. Dear Lana,
      Thank you! I somehow feel like we are all on a journey together. I know several Bluebirds in big transitions too and we are all waiting and progressing. So I hope and pray that your downsize also comes as you need it in a way that is wonderful for you.
      It is funny about our baking schedule! Mum really loves the scones. So she has a heap frozen also!
      I am so glad you had the occasion of the happy birthday. How nice your son worries about you and wants to look after you!
      I hope this has been a better week and your daughter is feeling better.
      Thank you for your prayers. I really appreciate them, we have lots of steps to accomplish yet. Today I am tired! exhausted even so I am having a slow afternoon. This time in a week we will be ready to see inside the house I am hoping! Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Thank you for remembering our daughter. She is doing better and largely because their five year old met a friend who speaks English and now he is so much happier. His unhappiness has really been hard for them all.

  25. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, how wonderful! The photo of the drive is just gorgeous, imagine coming home to that each time. I am so happy for you. Your cooking all looks fantastic as usual.

    Cooking and food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. I baked a double batch of banana bread with mini chocolate chips, made spaghetti sauce, and roasted a turkey breast with potatoes and veggies. We also harvested our first cucumber from the garden! The melons are still going strong, but as it is predicted to be 106F (oh my!) this weekend, I am a bit fearful for them.

    Household: My husband moved and edged both lawns. This saves us a bundle, and it always looks so nice when he is done. He also knows to leave my herbs and other plants be!

    Entertainment: We went to our town's Art Walk (2nd Friday of each month) and enjoyed seeing the works and listening to different kinds of music (free).

    Shopping: I found some wonderful things at our library's sale area: two sewing reference books, a book of cross-stitch patterns, a cozy mystery novel, a book of first aid and emergency techniques, and a pile of back issues of Cross Stitch & Needlework. Total cost: $5.10. Each sewing book was marked by the manufacturer at $29.95. One is full of great beginner projects, including placemats - I am taking this as a sign to get going on learning more about sewing!

    Crafts & gifts: Still working on those two cross-stitch pieces, and nearly finished knitting a pair of socks. Since we will likely be hiding indoors from the heat this weekend, I'm hoping to finish at least one thing (and take pictures!)

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, You are in for a hot weekend! When it is like that here I often throw old sheets over plants or umbrellas. The place looks a mess but many people do it and it can save things.
      Al your cooking sounds yum!
      The things you got from the library all sound so good! You will enjoy the beginner sewing projects I think.
      When it is so hot staying indoors and being busy on something is the best thing. I tend to then go out and water in the evening. It is the total opposite here, so cold and gloomy today! But same result, we are hiding indoors!
      Thank you for your kind works on the farm. I hope to have many more pictures to share in a week or so! Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  26. Dear Annabel,

    What a lovely and busy week you've had! I loved the picture of your driveway. It would indeed be awesome if Lucy and family would be moving to the farm as well. When we left the city we prayed prayed over the sale of our home and God saw fit to have
    A buyer for it as soon as it went on the market.

    I was wondering if you got my email with the recipe for the 5 ingredient flourless pumpkin brownies?

    For this week's feathering I made 3 dozen grain free chocolate chip scones, some pesto sauce with basil from the garden, mayonaise, cucumber salad dressing, dehydrated mushrooms, zucchini, and more peppers. I found a recipe online for bean free hummus.instead of chickpeas zucchini is used. It was fabulous and is yet another way to use our abundance of zucchini. We had all meals at home.

    I made birthday cards for some July birthdays. Worked in the garden and dried some more lavender. At present we're overrun with cucumbers​ and I made zoodles with some of them this week and served them cold with snow asian style dressing. That's it
    For me. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, I have replied now... thank you for that recipe!
      Your cooking sounds lovely. I love hummus so I am very interested... Also I love basil. Pesto is one of the best things of summer!
      I am praying now about selling. Here we are working away at getting ready but I need to pray about this! Thank you for that reminder. With much love

  27. Big changes are in store for you. How exciting. I hope Lucy and her family are able to move also. You will make it work no matter. You will make the house a home in no time. Everyone will pitch in and it will be amazing. I cannot wait to watch. Enjoy and good luck.

    1. Thank you so much! I cant wait to see and report what we have to start with. It is pretty exciting. Hopefully another week I will will know more. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  28. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Oh Annabel that photo of the driveway is like a glimpse into your future and a sign of so many possibilities for you and your family.

    My nest. Feathering / savings this week included :
    I received a $40 refund that I had given up on ,
    I had my usual subsidised centacare services saving $230 compared to hiring private services .
    I earnt $27 in fly buys points and was able to redeem $30 flybuys $$ so a saving of $30 .
    I gratefully received two meals from my parents , saving me $20 .
    Saved $40 on groceries. By buying reduced to clear items and items on special as part of my shop, one of my good savings was getting a queen size rose pink flat sheet for $5 reduced from $22 .another saving was getting an arcosteel knife block with four knives And a pair of kitchen scissors in a wooden block for $17.50 , they are really good knives and reduced from $32.50 .
    I had my hair cut and I only pay $15 because our friend who is a qualified hairdresser cuts our hair ( just Dad and mine) , so I think I saved at least $25 compared to getting my hair done at a salon because our friend thins my hairs out as I have very thick hair.
    I received free medication , saving me $40 and had a bulk billed appointment saving me $70.
    I received some free craft goodies $10 savings
    I got a discount of a case for my new phone $5 saving .
    We made some savoury muffins ( a dozen) using ingredients I had at home , saving me $40 approximately .
    I received car rides from my parents saving me $60 at least compared to taxi trips .
    A saving total of $610 this week.
    I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend and that the week to come is a great Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, I am glad you got your refund! Especially after giving up on it. It sounds like they really dragged their feet!
      It is great having a home hair dresser. Miles cheaper than a salon.
      Thank you for your encouraging words too! I cant wait to be able to show you more of the farm.
      The medial system help with prescriptions is such a saving too. I hear so much now of people who cannot afford their prescriptions or even in some places to be able to go to the doctor.
      I love how you are getting free craft goodies Barb! This gives you gifts too. With your nieces being a bit older now craft kits for presents would be perfect! Stuff to do in school holidays!
      With much love

  29. I am so very excited for you and yes, I have thought of how much you will miss the little girls. How lovely it would be if you could have them near by on the farm as well. I look forward to seeing and hearing of this new adventure in your life journey!

    1. Dear Terri, I have plan A and plan B... if the girls move they will be much closer. If not I will travel to Adelaide to see them, shop at Aldi and make Adelaide still our main destination for everything. The girls are my main issue that is for sure. I am hoping soon they can also have farm holidays and school holidays with us. thank you for your good wishes! love

  30. Oh Annabel, this is such an exciting time for you and your whole family unit!

    I can hardly wait to see and hear all about your new farm house :)

    Love Tania xxx

    1. Thank you Tania! It is exciting and I am nervous to see in this house too!
      I hope you are getting some of this rain today. It is freezing here (Monday) and black in the sky! xxx

  31. Hello Ladies, I'm late to the party! Annabelle that driveway looks beautiful. I can just picture driving down that path each day. You should have that picture framed.
    We have been busy getting our home ready and it seems to be never ending. We bought a fixer upper 7 yrs ago and I mean fixer upper. There was still pink shag carpeting in the bathrooms, gross.. We had to take everything down to the studs what a nightmare. We bought our home for location which was a smart thing on our part. We have 5 people wanted to buy our home included our local school district. ( our house sits directly behind a school) We're just repainting, changing things around and having one big yard sale next month. Since we're moving 400 miles north it's cheaper to buy new with furniture than move existing. I'm only keeping items that have meaning to us.
    I found out Friday that I will have to have surgery again before we move and we're looking around the holidays to do it. Not looking forward to it but it has to be done.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week, I've got to get back to painting just took a break and wanted to check in, XO Patti Ann.

    1. Dear Patti Ann,
      Pink shag carpet in the bathroom... well that is a good one! Ripping out carpet with be number one thing for me! It sounds like you came a long way in seven years! And your hard work will be paying off!
      I am sorry you are facing surgery again. I know you can plan around that at least you know it is coming up. Thank you for your encouraging words about the farm! I will get loads of photos at the end of the week! Plus it is mid winter so everything will be really lovely and green! With love,

  32. Dear Annabel and Blue birds I am excited for bluebird farms.
    It is beautiful and peaceful now wonderful to be going home.
    As far as feathering Kristi shopped at 4 stores to get the bargains. She continues to sort and clear out stuff and find treasure as she does. More food and summer clothes we had forgotten about. The clearing out makes the house easier to clean. As the whole house has to be vacumed,mopped and dusted e every day to try to get rid of these mites and also some kind of small almost microscopic worms. Yeah for for living on a canyon with wild life.They shared with me. They do not seem to bother Kristi much. I guess this normal they mark one person with feramones a d most!h bite them. We think it might be rat mites bird mites and a few others. When some of them bite of go into your skin I think the worms there is pain and bleeding. To answer your question Annabel he's K can feel them crawling on me it sounds like something out of a movie. I am learning about parasites. They are rea!y hard to get rid of:( ladies thank goodness for your prayers. The doctors in my country don't have much training in this area.I am hoping and praying for healing.If anyone has any idea of experience please chime in. They are starting to bother my poor kitties.
    Congratulations on the new house. I am so excited for you in this new season.
    Much love


    1. Hi Patti, it's Patti Ann from the U.S. Do you have a blog or are you willing to give me your e-mail address? Your problem is something we deal with on a daily basis and see this and many other issues in our lab. I'd be more than happy to help you out as much as I can. Mites and parasites can be damaging on so many levels. I just don't feel it's appropriate to take space on Annabel's blog and I'm sure you'll have other questions. xo Patti Ann

    2. Dear Patti,
      Kristi is a big blessing to you! Things I can think of... have someone look in your ceilings and make sure there is no dead rat or anything living up there that could bring bugs in with them. I read up a lot on mites etc when I had spider bites trying to find out what bit me and where I would have been bitten... but we never found out. So it is scary. I would try taking a high dose garlic capsule maybe. I would go on forums with others with the same problem as you can pool knowledge and maybe find a doctor who is better with this. I have been reading a bit and found a couple of people say doctors did not help them but that a product called Clean Green Free naturally worked. I hope you find success! Keep trying! I am praying! With love

    3. Thank you Annabel I will look into that. Thank you I will keep reading. With God all things are possible.
      Love Patti

    4. Dear Patti Ann that is dry kind of you. We are not making any head way here. It has been difficult this has effected my health so I have not been working. You a God send. My email is just_forkids@, it is an underscore between just and for.
      Thank you so much.
      Much love Patti

  33. How wonderful for you and Andy to be able to realise your dreams of moving back to the country. The setting is so picturesque (and lush).

    Can't wait to see the pictures - even the 'before' as we all know how beautiful it will be with your loving touch.

    I'm a 'can't bake a scone' person, but can make a pretty authentic Caribbean rum cake ;-).

    We've had our grandchildren (both pre-schoolers) for the past few days, such fun, but very tiring. My DSis-in-law calls it 'making memories' and I'm sure that is how it is with you and the girls.

    Best wishes,

    1. Dear Janine, I am wondering if I will be brave enough to post before photos? Depends on what I find I think!
      Yes the little kids are tiring! But the time is precious. Very precious. Harper had a whole day today with Nan Nan Pat (Great Grandma) I went over to see how they were getting on. Marvellously is all I can say! I am pretty sure Harper would be happy to stay over the night so maybe not too long and she can do that! Many thanks Janine! With love

  34. What a lovely entrance to your dream home! So happy for you and your husband. I have lived all my married life in a rural area in the Great Lakes area of Ontario, Canada and even though the amount of work (both inside and outside) is sometimes overwhelming, I wouldn't trade it for city life ever. I'm sure you will be so happy setting up your new place. Best wishes to you!

    1. Thank you so much Marie! When I think of Ontario I think of Neil Young but I dont even know if that is a correct association! When I think of the Great Lakes I think of beauty! What a beautiful life you must have! Truly that sounds heavenly to me! Thank you! xxx

  35. Dear Annabel,
    Almost a month ago I was preparing to go to the store when I felt stabbing pains in my temple followed by numbness in my face. After some discussion, my husband and I decided I needed to go the the hospital ER to be checked out. It turns out I did not have a stroke, but they found "incidentally" through the CT scan that I had a large brain aneurysm that needed to be taken care of. The doctors say they have absolutely no idea what caused the symptoms that brought me to the hospital (they resolved by that evening), but it was very fortunate the aneurysm was found for if it had ruptured I would not have survived it! My husband says that God tapped me in the head enough to convince me I needed to go to the hospital! :) So, now it is repaired! I wanted you to know that I've been following your posts, even though I've not been commenting. I am SO HAPPY and EXCITED for you and Andy! What a huge blessing indeed. I just know you will happily settle in right away. Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS to you sweetie. You give of yourself so freely, it's just wonderful to see you receive blessings in return. Much love, Carla

    1. Dear Carla, I am so glad you are ok! What a miracle really! Gosh!
      Thank you so much for commenting even after going through all of this!
      I am replying Thursday night our time. We are going to see the farmhouse and I will be able to report when I get back everything! Thank you for your kind words! Your story too means if you think something is wrong get it checked out! I am so pleased you are ok! With much love

  36. Your driveway to be is gorgeous. Although, I will admit the first thing I though of when I saw it, was I would hate to have to remove the snow from it. Since you don't have that problem, I am sure you will love it. I bet autumn will be gorgeous, when the leaves all change color.

    We have been harvesting from our garden, and freezing the excess. Snow peas, cauliflower and broccoli mostly. Picked a big batch of green beans yesterday, and a few sun sugar tomatoes and zucchini.

    Not a real frugal week, as my mother (she is 95 and still lives alone) was in the hospital a couple of days last week. I drove 150 miles each way to go to her follow up doctor appointment with her. I see much more of that in the future, unless I can convince her to move closer to us. I am happy that I am able to do it though.

    1. Dear Nancy, Rosanne said to me how where they live the snow would be a terrible problem i.e. keeping a long track snow free. But no we do not have any snow!
      I think in Spring this driveway will be yellow from Wattle. If so I will take pics!
      It sounds like your garden has been really productive! That is wonderful.
      I hope your Mum is doing well. I also hope she might move closer with you... especially if there is no one near her to help out. That would be a worry. You are a lovely daughter! With love,

    2. Nancy I hope your mother gets well soon. 95 ! Wow you have good genes. Annabel's drive is very nice I agree, I thought you might be interested to know the autumn colours don't happen with Australian native trees, the leaves look the same all year round. However like Annabel said wattles have lovely blossom, it looks pretty and smells great too.

  37. All the best to you and Andy in your new home,:)i cannot wait to see some pictures,i have been busy in the kitchen today, i made some Anzac biscuits to use the rest of the honey from the fridge,also i made a cottage pie,mayple syrup dumplings and iam about to make a stir fry using lest over cooked mince and 2 minute noodles with vegetables soy sauce,i have my lunch ready for tomorrow as the rush is on again for another full week all the best and have a wonderful week ahead for you and your family xo.

  38. Oh Annabel, how lovely! Any house that has wooden floors, a walk in pantry and a sunroom sounds good to me!

  39. Breathtaking Annabel, simply breathtaking, you will be in your element making it a beautiful home for yourself, Andy and your lovely family.
    In our week we've cooked all from stratch and tried to keep the broccoli harvest under contol haha soup, plus 20 packs that serve 3 as a veg part of the meal all frozen , quiche or frittata coming up tomorrow and veg lasange for over weekend then next week starting on freezer no2 to work our way through.
    Thankyou Annabel and Bluebirds I don't post much but read and smile all your posts you are all amazing and uplifting.
    Cheers Bevo xx

  40. So exciting Annabel! The road to your cottage looks beautiful.
    Your gluten free scones look delicious. I’m also gluten free as gluten makes me unwell and, like you makes my body extremely sore. It’s great when you can find a solution and gf food is not as terrible as lots of people think.


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