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, 12 December 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 13th December, 2019.

I had a wonderful week.  It continued to be cool and mild so I was able to do a lot in the garden and get heaps done generally.  

Some of the ways I saved, furthered my pantry and got ahead were:

I made up my annual Coconut Ice.  It is delicious but I think the main reason I do it is small amounts are a big gift as it is very rich and it looks so pretty wrapped up.


I added pink ribbon and dried rosebuds.  This tray went into town to ladies I know who work in an office.  The reaction I got was so nice.  Then I went on to wrap about another ten pieces and they have been gifts given out this week and some next week.   It really is a very economical gift.  My friend Nerilie sent me a text that she saw smaller blocks of Coconut Ice for $15 each! 

My craft project has been to crochet wool lambs jumpers for the orphan newborn lambs in winter.  
I am working on a boys blue one now.


I am also working on crochet bottle holders so I can hang a warm bottle of milk on the gate and save my arms standing there holding them.  Once the lambs have learned to drink well they are good little drinkers.   This is one of my planned "easier ways" as I know I am needing to think of some short cuts.  In fact "easier ways" is going to be a subject on Bluebirds for 2020.

This week I was given a lot of free food.   I had sliced ham and roast meat, roast potatoes, bread rolls, small Christmas puddings, custard in containers and the biggest one by far,  a bucket of farm honey. 
I stayed up late that night to make the most of this.   I plated up the roast meats and roast potatoes into meals for two and froze them.    When I heat them I will just add whatever other veggies I have on hand.  The ham I stood and made up ham and cheese rolls and froze a heap of those.   Other items I worked into the weeks menu plan.

Now the honey!   I will begin to pour it into jars to store.  This bucket is so heavy it was hard to lift onto the counter!   I love honey and this gives me something that will last forever in my pantry.  I use a lot in my cooking and consider honey a very medicinal thing too. 

I have decided to learn canning.  Nope I have never canned.  I have always made relish, sauce, chutney, jams and pickles.  But none of these things need canning.  (not in Australia anyway)  Last year we had so much fruit.  Freezer space is better reserved for meat as when I am offered meat I want to be able to take it!   So the answer is dehydrating the fruit or canning.  I will dehydrate some.  But it is time to be canning.  
Friends are helping me and I am studying!   When I costed it out I found a basic kit is very inexpensive.  That is arriving today!  The more expensive part is the jars and lids.  Good jars can be reused but you need new lids.   So I put word out I am looking for canning jars and I began to watch FB Buy Swap and Sell... and I asked in the op shop.
Well this produced quick results!!   My friend Wendy told her parents and they offered me canning jars stored in their shed.  (happy dancing...)   Online I saw about a hundred bigger Fowler jars for 50c each.   I got them!   Well,  I am picking them up late this afternoon.   And in the op shop I asked... and the lady let me go out into the back work room and go through boxes and boxes of jars and bags of lids.  She also knew about canning.  She taught me how to tell if a lid is new and lots of other things.   I found several boxes of good jars and new lids to match.  AND I found lids for beautiful Agee jars I had at home all year that never had lids.   They are the most beautiful jars for pantry use.  The lids are no longer available.  And there they were in one of these bags!   It was just my day!
I will show all these jars next post.

With all this looking at FB Buy Swap and Sell I found two other things I have been really wanting.  I got a little table for Harper and Scarlett in solid wood for $10.  And a small cabinet for a space I have for $15.   I am thrilled.  I am saving painting these up for a hot day project.  On really hot days I like having things to do inside.  I set up a paint sheet on the floor and paint while in air conditioning!

Mum and I  had our day trip to see the girls.   It was a lovely day.  I did some weeding while I was there and came home with a huge basketful of thistles for the chooks and ducks.  They went crazy over them!  

The deck is all stained and put back together.   I love it.  We are eating out there again now.  We have a beautiful view and at the moment Cockatoos everywhere to watch.  We also watch the antics of the calves, lambs and Eddie the goat.  Believe me there re plenty of those.  The three I weaned last week cannot be separated. They are a gang.  One is a calf, one is a lamb and one is a goat. Doesn't matter they are inseparable.  At first Eddie escaped continually.  When finally I beat him the calf and lamb escaped and came to sit next to Eddie.  I have no idea how they did it but when I woke up and looked out there they were! 


The Christmas tree is up.  I have kept things very simple.  The tree has nothing but fairy lights and little birds.  The decorations are deer antlers,  pinecones and gum nuts. That is it.  I love it.

I planted a whole extra pumpkin patch!   We have the room so on top of a pile of sheep manure I dug a hole and planted pumpkins.   Then in another spot I planted zucchini and Rockmelons.   I am so excited to have all these going! 

I made up some Gluten Free Scones.



I went to see Mum and she gave me some bits and pieces out of the garden to transplant to mine.   I need to get them all planted out today.   I also collected pretty bell shaped gum nuts.   While doing this a tiny Grey Fantail was sitting on her nest right next to me!


Inside were three little eggs...


These are one of my favourite birds.   They are tiny!  Also very tame.  I will go back in a week and take another peek!

I cut Andy's hair.

I had lemons getting dangerously old so I stood and juiced them. They were so juicy.  I froze these.



My niece came over to dinner.   She knows of Fig and Mulberry trees I didn't know about.   She said when they are ripe she will let me know!   She now has Guinea Fowl.  We are doing a deal so I will helpfully be able to hatch some under a broody bantam.

I took Coconut Ice to my neighbour out the back.  She also has fruit trees and said I am welcome to pick Mulberries and I am not sure yet what the other trees even are!
See!  This is why I need to get canning! 

Wendy gave me Lillie bulbs and I now have my first flowers!  


It really was a week of opportunity.  If there is something you wish for or need put the word out!   A little networking is amazing!   
I heard a funny story.  When Allie gave me the baby goat later on I did some baking for her as a thank you.  Well word got out I gave her Lasagne for a goat.  Now I have heard there are two local guys that heard about this (love the grapevine!) and asked Luke what could they do for me that I would make them Lasagna!  Hahaha!   I said to Luke "Plenty!"  If my Lasagne is so famous and those boys want some jobs send them over!! 

I really hope you had a good week too with some opportunities that came your way.
How did you save, get ahead or build up your pantry?
Have a wonderful weekend.   I hope your Christmas plans are going well.  I feel good as I am on top of mine now.  This is because I started really early!

Later today Chloe and I are going to small Country Christmas Market.  Last year it was wonderful and so much fun!  And we are picking up my big lot of canning jars.  I am looking forward to it so much! xxx




40 comments:

  1. Hi Annabel, you probably already know that although expensive, the stainless steel vacola bottle lids are the best, and reusuable. Also what size pan do you use when making your coconut ice? I am about to make some on the weekend.

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    1. I am pleased to find there are reusable lids! This is really good so I will try and get those, thank you. Ok I normally do a big batch of coconut ice and I line my roasting pan with non stick baking paper and use that. It is pretty big, bigger than a lasagne dish. It will need a big one but if it is smaller well then the end result will be thicker so it doesnt matter too much. I hope it turns out well for you! xxx

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    2. Thank you Annabel. Check out the Fowler's site and guage from their prices what is a good deal when you find more lids and bottles.

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  2. What a busy week! You'll love preserving by bottling - it's so easy really, it's another thing we've been dumbed down about. Advertising is telling us we can't, it takes too long, it's too complicated, it isn't cost effective, it's dangerous to bottle food at home and somehow over the last 40 years we've come to believe it. I am so grateful my mother taught me to bottle and freeze and dehydrate (Mum used the sun or the hot oven after baking - no fancy dehydrator for her!) and then cook to use up what I've preserved. It's just another little step towards being self-sufficient that you've taken back from the supermarkets :) I've had an up and down week; things I thought would get done have had to be put on hold, other things came out of the blue and mucked up plans but right now at the end of the week we have a roof over our head, food for the table, a garden that's growing before our eyes and the bills are paid. We can't ask for more. Oh, and the Christmas tree is up and looks beautiful, and the lights of an evening are gorgeous. Have a lovely weekend - I think the heat is on it's way back here, so next week will most likely be early mornings and late evenings for outside work and then keeping busy inside, unless by some miracle I run out of things that need to be done :)

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    1. Dear Cath, Thank you. I agree with you... everything possible has been done to discourage people from being self sufficient in any way. I have heard of places you cant have a clothes line, chickens, grow veggies and many rules that I do not think are safety related so much as putting people off related. We are the opposite to this trend here we are trying to learn learn learn more and more all of these skills. It makes sense for me. Freezer space is important and I need it for meat.
      I hope the new week will be more settled for you. I was able to have a quieter day today and it was lovely. Like time to think and enjoy!
      We have heat coming too. I have loads of inside projects from sewing to painting especially saved up for those kinds of days. I still hate the heat however.
      Have a lovely Sunday and week! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  3. Your coconut ice is beautiful! So beautiful that I had to look up a recipe. I already have my list of goodies for Christmas, but thought it would make a nice gift for Mother's Day.

    Is desiccated coconut, dried shredded coconut? Also what type and size pan do you use to press it into? Are you willing to share your recipe? Using one I know is tried and true is better than a random off of the internet. Thank you!

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    1. Dear Wendi!!

      http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com/2013/11/coconut-ice.html

      Just to get you started, here’s a quick link to Annabel’s coconut ice recipe!

      Practising blog secretary,
      Rachel

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    2. Dear Wendy, Here is my recipe... it is very easy. I often multiply it a fair bit to make a lot. I use my baking dish, always lined with non stick baking paper.
      http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com/2013/11/coconut-ice.html
      The coconut used is desiccated. Some coconut ice takes copha which I dont like and some take raw eggs whites .... this has neither so that is how I came to this recipe. I love it. Hope this helps. With love Annabel.xxx

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  4. My mum used to use a Vacola bottling kit when we were young. I think she must have used the wood stove for it. No dramas as far as I can remember as it was just a normal routine for her. You are really on a roll, Annabel. I hope you are able to relax around Christmas and enjoy what you have achieved since you moved to the country. You do know you are amazing don't you? :-) I am sure all your readers would agree.

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    1. I agree! Ha h!

      Rachel

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    2. That is such a kind moment Nanna Chel. You have helped and inspired me many times with blogging and soap making and sour dough... I feel I truly know you well! Thank you so much. I have had a lot of ideas to learn more and more especially from your Toowoomba group. I really thought canning is the obvious next thing. My kit arrived today AND I picked up the big lot of jars. They are beautiful jars and some with the old greenish/aqua tinge to the glass. Gorgeous. I have really done most things ready for Christmas so I am enjoying it now. With love Annabel.xxx

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  5. I have never heard of coconut ice...they look beautiful!! Can you ever catch a picture of the three musketeers?? They sound like they keep you on your toes!! It is so satisfying to line up those jars filled with goodness you have canned...I love filling the shelves in my fruit room with my canned goodness!! I can't wait to see yours!

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    1. I will try and get a nice photo of the three little ratbags together! Farm Quilter is a good name and tells me a lot about you! I also see a row of preserves as a beautiful thing. I will be so excited and will certainly post pictures. I think the way things are shaping up that my first canned fruit will be apricots. Have a wonderful weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

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  6. Dear Annabel and bluebird friends, well it’s been a long time since I commented here and for that I do apologise sincerely.
    I may have told you ( my memory is shocking due to a health issue) but I had a fall about a month ago and that has really knocked me around.my pain levels have been terrible.
    Anyway I had a fairly good week savings wise, I neededanew stereo( I just wanted a radiowith a CD player ) .i told the salesman I was looking for something low cost and we looked and found this Sony brand CD player, with radio.it had a price ticket of $129 , I asked the young man “ what’s the best price you can give me please, “he scanned the price tag and said “ $88 , that was a lot bigger discount than I was expecting so I thanked him profusely and went to the checkout .i had a conceierge voucher for $20 sothe little stereo cost be $68. I was very happy. The concierge voucher is part of a program where you get gift vouchers if you pay extra when yo buy a product.i have had at least five vouchers so far. We had our family Christmas on Sunday , we went to breakfast at a lovely local cafe , my sister and BIL paid for us all which was very generous of them to do .my sisters family gave me a gift voucher to my favourite clothes shop for Christmas and the store had a $40 store wide sale . I got a dress which is usually $129.95 for$40, I paid usingmy voucher and I still have credit left on the voucher to put towards another purchase.I have been saving my coins for the last month or so and I have just about $100 now. I think I will keep adding to my savings and see what I want to do next year.
    I had a good savings week and the last few weeks have been the same .i got large bags of chips ( crisps) onlinefor $1 a pack instead of $3 a pack , I bought a few packs and bought other cheap chips and corn chips and donated 3 large bags to a local charity for Christmas.

    I think that’s about all for now. Annabel I just have to tell you that your blog brightens my life , I look forward to blog days . Thank you so much for all that you do.
    Love Barb W

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    1. Dear Barb!!

      I have been looking for you, and here you are!!

      Finding what you were looking for - the CD player - sounds wonderful! I’d love to see your new dress! Chips are so tasty, too!!

      My heart goes out to you with all your pain. I’d like to stop it once and for all!!

      Glad to hear from you!
      Rachel

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  7. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds!!

    We had rain, and this means an immense amount to me, besides receiving a free car wash!! More storms are about!!

    Rachel

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  8. Have enjoyed your posts Annabelle though I rarely comment. We are also starting to bottle/can and a friend recommended spending extra for stainless steel lids. We picked up our jars cheaply so I have invested those savings in lids.

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  9. I was also going to comment on stainless steel lids..a worthwhile investment.

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  10. That does sound like a lovely week Annabel! I love that you give coconut ice to so many people, I would love it too! It is so pretty and you make it even more beautiful with your packaging.

    Today was the last day of school, and I have done so much baking this week! I made shortbread, cookies with Christmas m&m's, strawberry jam, lemon curd, chocolate and sprinkles dipped marshmallows, granola, and chocolate truffles. It was really nice to be able to make up hampers with lots of variety. I have one more to drop off tomorrow and then I might actually bake for my own family!

    The craft market sounds like it will be lovely! I find visiting places like that really help build the excitement of Christmas up, I don't feel the same about a shopping mall!

    I hope you and Chloe have a lovely time,

    Jen in NZ

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  11. Dear Annabel, what a big week you had. Well done purchasing your preserver, I have one and enjoy it, it makes me feel so clever. I got a first in the local show for my pears probably four years ago and could never bring myself to eat that one. Its still in the pantry lol. I wish you lived closer, I just sold a big lot of my Fowler jars as I had collected too many for my smaller sized family (I am a bit like you with jars can not help it lol). You can still buy some sizes and accessories from the Vacola Fowlers shop in Melbourne online. I love your opp shop stories, I had great luck at an opp shop yesterday too. I have wanted a Kerosene lamp for a while as part of being prepared. I found the prettiest one I've ever seen, it is cream with flowers all over it for $25.00. It has Robert Gordan stamped on it which is a pottery in Melbourne so I don't think it would be very old but I love it. Also for $15.00 each I was able to buy two gorgeous oil painting prints by Edgar Hunt. It took me a lot of research last night to find the artists name, google him if you would like to see examples similar to the ones I got. Both paintings are of farm animals and are just so beautiful, just looking at them lowers my heart rate. I managed to post most of my Christmas cards yesterday. I still have a few things to do for Christmas but feel confident I'll get there. A little tip from me is I once hatched guinea fowl eggs under a lttle bantum hen - it is better to have the hen locked in a small area once they hatch because the keets (guinea fowl chicks), do not listen to their mothers calls for the first few days and will not run back to her and get under her when she calls which upsets her and unfortunately in my case caused a few fatalities as several chicks did not get back in nest at night. I solved this by using a screen off an old window and putting right up against the nest box so they couldn't wonder, I only had to do this for two or three nights - after that they listened to their little mother and behaved like regular chicken babies. I wrote this down incase I ever did it again. Love Clare

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    1. Dear Clare, Thanks so much on the tips for the Guinea Fowl. I will remember this. I heard the Guinea Fowl are terrible Mothers themselves so who knows how they survived this long! But I now have six bantams to go broody so am hopeful to hatch some!
      I am glad you got the lamp and the paintings sound beautiful. I will look up Edgar Hunt. They sound just lovely.
      My Mums sunflowers from your seeds look fantastic! She has a whole big patch planted. Not flowering yet but they look so healthy. Mine are good too but hers are in richer soil. It will be amazing when they flower!
      I will have to ask you more on your pears. We have two different types of pears. One type I picked still hard when they were coming off the tree very easily. Like you touched them and they were ready to fall. They ripened well inside. The other type stayed green and hard and never ripened. So I picked them too soon I guess. So I need to get it right this year and know when to pick. And also know when to can them i.e. when fully ripe or still a bit hard. So many questions! Maybe you should take a photo of your first prize jar! I think that is really something to win first prize. Well done! Thank you for your help! Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

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  12. Dear Annabel,

    I love everything about this post. I pictured it all in my mind as I was reading through. So many great things have blessed you this past week and I am looking forward to hearing of your canning adventures. We too have decided to use our vacola to preserve from now on to free up the freezers. Not that we have any fruit this season. We will be also be drying as usual.

    I like the sound of "easier ways" and it would make a great theme word (and action) for 2020.

    We have had a cool week this week, but next week will be a killer! All days above 40C and two days as high as 48C! That is going to test out my garden and the animals. I wonder how our bees will go? That is so hot for December. I have added extra shade over my veggies hoping to keep them alive, they are looking so good at the moment. I have been picking tomatoes, cucumbers (apple and Lebanese), zucchinis, silver-beet and celery. The capsicums are just starting to form fruit as is the eggplant, honey dew, round zucchinis and the wrinkled butternuts. The herbs are going beserk! I have planted more beetroot and silver-beet, also some basil.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Lots of love,
    Tania xxx

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  13. You did have a fantastic week. Your holiday decorations sound lovely.
    Glad you are venturing into canning. People here are funny about things - that you don't "can". They are like - you are trying to kill people - and in other countries it is just normal practice. It always amazes me. Good luck with your future canning.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

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  14. Annabel I am suffering from jar envy. I can picture how beautiful all these jars are going to look in your gorgeous big pantry. Well done on getting the lids for the big pantry jars you already had.
    We had a massive storm last night. The ground was so hydrophobic that the water just sat on top or drained off into the storm drains. My garden sucked up as much as it could manage and already looks greener. I guess this is just all the dust washed off.
    Now that all the palms are on the paved area outside of the veranda Bluey decided to move the furniture around. I wasn't too happy about this but went along with it. The veranda looks so much better and so much more spacious. I have to give Bluey credit for this.
    Today our Katie and her Jared met with the Celebrant here on the newly arranged veranda. The date has been set for June next year. The two of them then left to go and meet with a realtor who had two houses for them to look at. Exciting times for these two.
    Have a wonderful week. Life is hot and sweaty good.

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    1. Dear Jane, We should belong to some kind of jar enthusiasts group! I have always loved jars. Now I realise I have passed over so many canning jars in my life because of no lids. See me smacking myself in the face!!! But now I am on watch out. Letting everyone know I am looking for jars, the op shop, Buy Swap and Sell groups are woking for me. I now have about 150 jars! Well some are still coming but I will have that many! So now on to lids, clips, rings... I just ordered 10 kilos of apricots for $25. s far as buying fruit that is about the best I think I will see. Mostly I will have free fruit though. Andy loves apricots best so that is why I ordered these.
      Things are going wonderful for Katie and Jared! What a nice and exciting time. This is wonderful.
      Have a beautiful Sunday and new week! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  15. I decided a couple of years ago I'd done all I could to save money that could be done, UNLESS I learned new skills which built in still more savings. You are quite right to try to learn something new now, like canning. And freeing up the room in your freezer for what has highest value is smart. I was going back through some notes I keep for and I noted I'd said I wanted to learn to make bagels and English muffins. I learned to do both this year. Now to determine what will net me the greatest savings in the year ahead as I learn new things.

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    1. Dear Terri, It is fantastic you learned to make bagels and muffins. They would be just beautiful. What you have said would be a good blog post subject.... how to determine what skills or practices would save us the most money and be worth doing... very interesting subject! I think some of mine have been skills. Making something myself instead of buying it. Other have been investments in something that enable me to do something myself. Some have been producing something here i.e. chickens for eggs. Another one though has been completely different and that is networking and bartering. This is really developing for me and it is really exciting. I realise I have a few tradable assets now that people want. I have been able to do some good swaps! I definitely want to further this in 2020. It is exciting! Thank you for your comment! With love Annabel.xxx

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  16. Wow Annabel you certainly had a wonderful week full of lovely blessings :). The lily, bird nest and eggs are adorable and your coconut ice looks divine and packaged up so beautifully :).

    I didn't comment last week as we were heavily involved in welfare work with our church and ascertaining needs of many on properties running out of water and helping an elder neighbour clear her yard of felled trees. Many bush fires around us but none near us fortunately.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $206.23 in savings last week :).

    Here is what we got up to last week -

    Finances and listings -
    - Listed 10 items on a free eBay listing promotion saving $16.50 in usual listing fees.
    - Paid an extra part payment off our home mortgage and we are now 10.3 months ahead in our payments in the first year :).
    - Banked more into our 3 month living expenses emergency fund bringing us to 62.3 % of the way there.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a homemade cheesecake saving $12.78 over purchasing it.
    - Made a double batch of sultana and coconut biscuits saving $14.02 over purchasing them.

    Firewood & helping neighbours -
    - Cut another 1.2 cubic metres of firewood free from our neighbour's property saving $144 over buying it in. We also cleared a lot of fallen branches around the property and took them to the tip for her.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased a 4.54 kg leg of ham on special with a $10 off promotion and combined this with a further 5% off with our RACQ Wish Gift card to save $12.17 on usual prices. This brought down the price of the ham to $7.13 kg. We de-boned it and sliced it up and put it in meal sized portions for the freezer.
    - Bought on markdowns 3 x 600ml of thickened cream and 1.76 kg of capsicums saving $6.46 on usual prices. We froze the cream and chopped up the capsicums and put them in meal sized portions in the freezer.

    In the gardens -
    - Planted cucumber, lettuce, basil & capsicum seeds and a rosemary plant in the gardens.

    Did our usual with any water we could save from showers, dish rinsing and grey water and used it all to water or clean something with :). Joy of joys we had a little rain which probably put a little back into our rainwater tanks, happy dances :).

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna)

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    1. Dear Lorna, This morning I actually thought if I dont hear from you I will email you as I suddenly thought you might be impacted by fires. So I am really glad everything is ok. You really have been busy and it is so wonderful how your Church helps the community so much. The families running completely out of water... it is actually hard to imagine as water is everything.
      To have got so ahead in your home loan in a year is just wonderful. Such a good idea to have that buffer too. When Chloe had a home loan from day one I told her to get as far ahead in it as she could. She quickly got six weeks ahead. You know many people dont even think of this.
      Your firewood supplies would be looking very good. In Adelaide before we left we were seeing trailer loads of wood for $400.
      I am really hoping to get some hams on special. Ham is useful for so many meals and recipes. The best I have done so far is $8 a kilo. I am checking turkeys and hams every time I am in the supermarket... hopefully after Christmas some will be marked down.
      You had rain! I heard some places got giant hail and some had rain. Any rain is a help. Here is one for you ... on social media I saw a lady posted photo of the torrential rain they were having (Higgins Storm Chasing I think) and she said their tanks were all completely empty. Well it was hammering down with rain. They had not cleaned their gutters or the inlets to the tanks and they were completely blocked. Basically none of that rain went into their tanks. I thought well that is a lesson right there. What a waste I would have cried. And I am making sure gutters and down pipes are kept clean!
      I hope you have a lovely Sunday and good new week. With much love, Annabel.xxx

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  17. Annabel yes you are so right we have already gone around and cleaned out all the gutters, top tank filters and any pipework during the dry so we knew everything was clear and replaced leaf guards that were faulty in the tanks. The rain was flowing straight into our tanks which we consider ourselves to be truly blessed.

    A kind number of people in one of our Brisbane wards donated enough money to fill up all the rainwater tanks for Christmas of those in our ward who could not afford to do it who lived on properties. This involved DH and I traveling to properties to do welfare checks on a number of our friends and families and doing a lot of phone calls too. We have notified those who can arrange for that water to now be delivered to those in financial stress on those properties. Most were buying in bottled water for their everyday needs when they could least afford it.

    Bush fires have been 30 - 60 minutes away from us in two different directions so lots of smoke affected days here. We have cleared our property boundaries of all undergrowth and fallen branches to minimise the bush fire risk. Start of a State forest is 500 metres away from all sides of our village. We are truly blessed no fires have been too close but we pray for those who have lost their homes and or family members.

    Have a great week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

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  18. I must have misunderstood. When you say you beat Eddie the goat, you didn't actually beat him, right?

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    1. lol when I said beat him it was like I finally outwitted him! He is very loved and spoiled. But he is full of mischief!

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  19. Dear Annabel,

    Those little lambies will be fashionistas in those little coats! I love them! And your coconut ice looks beautiful, as usual...the little rosebuds just take the presentation over the top!

    Things are very busy here as we finish getting ready for Christmas and a birthday tomorrow. Hubby is also on holidays this week, so the routine is a little different each day than usual, but just a bit of baking, decorating, and cleaning is left on the list. Will you all go to your parents' place for Christmas day?

    We got a little snow today, plus some chilly temperatures, so it's really starting to feel Christmassy! (At least northern hemisphere Christmassy, ha ha!)

    Lots of love,

    Jen in Ns

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    1. Dear Jen,
      Yes we will be at Mum and Dads Christmas Day. I hope your week goes well and it is lovely to have your husband home now. While it is chilly there we are in the heat! So much so this delayed my reply to you sorry! Have a special few days now leading up to a wonderful Christmas, with love Annabel.xxx

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  20. Hello dear Annabel!
    You have had such a lovely week as usual :) It is getting colder in my neck of the woods, but that is the beauty of the seasons.

    How wonderful that you are learning to can! There is nothing quite like it. I think that you will enjoy it and once you get the hang of water bath canning, you are going to want to pressure can. That, to me, is the best. Being able to can the abundance of vegetables and even meat. Back before Thanksgiving I bought several turkeys for $0.39/lb. One I roasted for Thanksgiving, one is being saved for Christmas, and the other two I pressure cooked and then pressure canned. I got 7 quarts of turkey and each jar has about 2 pounds of turkey. lol. I love it! I am excited to hear all about your canning adventures.

    Lately I have been thinking about the new year and what goals I am going to set for myself. Most years plans go to the wayside, but I am feeling a strong sense of commitment and purpose that I've not had before and I'm confident that this coming year will be grand.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

    Jennilee

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    1. Dear Jennilee, Thank you for so much encouragement. My apricots arrived today so tomorrow is he day I will can my first thing! I am excited.
      I will be talking a lot about goals and the New Year. I think a new year and a new decade is perfect to set some goals. I feel we all will need to be prudent and busy. I am thinking on this a lot. While it is cold there we have just had a very hot day... I am glad it is over as it was 117! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxx

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  21. Hi! I've just recently begun expanding my knowledge of canning, freezing and dehydrating in order to give me the courage to just do it. I like that you freeze lemon juice - I recently was gifted several Meyer lemons and used a couple for Meyer Lemon Blender Pie, but would like to juice the remaining ones. Did you just juice, fill bottles, seal and freeze? Is there any danger of the bottles bursting in the freezer? (Visions of bottled drinks put in the freezer to quickly chill, then promptly forgotten and burst come to mind.) I'm guessing you fill the bottle to within an inch or two from the top to allow for expansion? Thank you so much for all you share here that is giving me the motivation to learn new homemaking skills - I'm also so enjoying your sweet critters and their antics!

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    1. Dear Carolyn, Thank you so much! The more ways we put up food the better. Do not put all your eggs in one basket as they say. I freeze in glass all the time. One in the picture needed some lemon juice used up but if you leave an inch or so space it will be fine. We are going to begin 2020 with a lot of focus on both preserving and homesteading skills. Have a very Happy New Year! With love Annabel.xxx

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I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for understanding.xxx

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