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.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Feather your nest Friday, 3rd April, 2020.

It was a busy week and when I am home on the farm the world seems almost normal.  I never have the TV on in the day and mostly I am sewing, cooking, in the garden... and life seems just lovely.   Sunshine, things to work on, and plan really help.   So being my Friday post I am going to focus on the good things from the week and ways we were able to build up our home.

The only outing was delivering food to the girls and Harper came home with me.   Next week is Scarlett's turn.

This was lovely. And busy.  Harper declares that she loves everything I have and everything I do and that we like the same things.  "We are the same!" she says.  Which I think is true.  She gets me and I get her.

We did so many things.  Mainly I did the jobs I do everyday and she helped.   In between we made cards,  did writing and make cupcakes.  Harper can crack an egg and I taught her how you can get a whole extra cupcake if you use a spatular.

So off we went to collect the eggs...





We collected the eggs first then baked. This is so she knows that the eggs allow us to do some cooking.  This is the reason we keep the chickens! 

We fed the chooks and ducks.   We gave the sheep and cows biscuits.  (many times!)


The front yard runs down to this gate where the cows and sheep gather waiting to be fed. 
So there was endless running down the hill to call "Laffie Laffie!"



Mum and Harper having a chat before the next running down the hill session....





For variety we went to visit Chloe next door.  Harper got to collect the eggs there as well.


Then we visited the Alpacas.  This was really fun.  Paddy just wanted to kiss Harper.




The new Alpaca was shy but gradually warmed up.  Not Paddy though, he was all over everyone. 


So you can see this was all fun and I thought I would share it as we all need nice and happy things!    

I picked apples again!  Big pink ones!

I made two Sultana Cakes. One for Dad and a gluten free one.


And I used up eggs and cream in an impossible pie.  It was delicious but it was nicknamed The Exploding Pie. 


Each meal has been a matter of what we have that needs using first.  Then something from the freezer to go with something else that is fresh and needs using.   I am staying out of stores.

I still had figs so I made Fig Paste and this will last a year to go with cheese and crackers etc.

I did a little sewing each day making masks, pillowcases and cleaning cloths.
Some gardening everyday... weeding,  tidying, planting etc. The sunshine is good.
Also I am on a cleaning and organising challenge and each day I do a drawer or cupboard.  As in empty it completely, clean, re line and start again.   The biggest so far was the laundry cupboard.    How that got to be such a mess I don't know!  But one thing leads to another and the whole laundry is getting a make over.   Each day I can see results!   We can use our home time for many good things!  

How was your week?  What did you do to give some sense of normality and goodness? 
We can't control the outside world but we can do a lot to set the tone inside the home.  We need to nature everyone and make sure this includes ourselves.   We need to check on the elderly neighbours and offer help.  And while many things are not possible now we still have the phone, mail an internet!  Keep in touch with the lonely.  As far as I can see everyone in a nursing home must be lonely...

A little bit of extra kindness and help adds a lot of joy too.
xxx












68 comments:

  1. What lovely pictures. I agree Annabel being outside in the sunshine is good for us inside and out. I have been cleaning and organizing like you. The days seem to be speeding by even though we have a stay at home order till May 1st. Our mayor just announced a order starting at midnight tonight everyone must have their face covered when in public. Thankfully, we have a few masks and scarves. I am not planning on leaving our property this month. Other than to check on an elderly neighbor down the road. Blessings to you and the Bluebirds.

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  2. Thank you for the lovely photos Annabel. It is such a good thing to be able to see positive things happening even in the midst of difficult times. This week I have done quite a bit of sewing. I have made some masks but mostly I have been working on Christmas presents for my grandchildren. They love things that Grammie has made especially for them and I have many years worth of projects in my fabric stash! I also am tidying and organizing bit by bit. I have several bags/boxes of good usable items in my garage for when donations are being accepted again. I am having fun trying some new recipes and using substitutions. I have quite a bit of lentils and dried beans stored so am using them in creative ways. I have made a delicious "depression" chocolate cake with no eggs, butter or milk. Because of my age and immune system issues I am staying at home but our area has a delivery system from the grocery store, albeit with limited items, so I am fine for food basics and certainly able to entertain myself. I am very lucky to be able to telephone and skype all of my family, most of whom are scattered around the country (and even in Australia!) Life might be a bit strange right now but we can deal with it in either a positive or negative way and I choose to be positive.

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  3. I don't comment often, but I always read here! This is a delightful post and I'm glad that your Harper got to come and stay with you. The change of scenery is good for the kids.

    I'm thankful for our chickens giving us eggs, too. We are cooking a lot more, and we almost always cook from scratch anyway.

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  4. How wonderful to have Harper there for the week! Here we are not even able to see the grandchildren. Locally we cannot be in more than a group of two unless it is immediate family and we are encouraged to call the police if we see a group. Your home and property are so beautiful. All those acres must be like a balm to the soul and a comfort in these times.

    This week flew by even though we were home except for one trip out to the grocery store. What I saw was that people are terrified. You can see it in their eyes. We had a list of what we needed and I was surprised that we were able to get all of it. We were able to purchase a large ham for 95 cents a pound, two large whole chickens and even two types of fish which we were completely out of. Produce was really cheap for some reason. Red grapes were 39 cents a pound and 5 pound bags of oranges were a crazy 69 cents each. All other produce prices were much lower than we are used to paying. We will not shop again for at least two weeks. We too are paying attention to every crumb and being sure to use it up before it goes bad and not waste. We have been enjoying a lot of delicious meals since there is not much to do but cook and eat! It is warming up here and we can definitely see signs of Spring now with the trees putting on their leaves and flowers beginning to bloom. Getting out side is good medicine for us and we try to be out there everyday for something even if only to sit on the porch swing. We pray daily for an end to this virus. No one but God has the power to put an end to it. Have a good weekend and stay safe!

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    1. I think one thing that really bothers me is the encouragement by the powers that be to turn in your neighbors! I understand following the rules, but the reporting on others is fueling a "fear of others" and a lot of nastiness here. Very sad. You are right, though...no one but God has the power to put an end to it! All the best to you and yours from NS

      Jen

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    2. I agree with you Jen on the comment of notifying police. Next will be turning in neighbors because they were prudent enough to prepare for an emergency--any emergency, not just for this virus. People who planned and saved for years will be seen as 'hoarders' who are expected to give up their supplies and food for 'the good of the country'. After all, "we are all in this together"-- the industrious ant along with the grasshopper who danced.

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    3. I believe that the turn in your neighbors edict is mainly because teenagers have been congregating in parking lots. If my teen was out there in a large group and I did not know it I would be glad it was reported but other than that I would not do it.

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    4. Joy, it only has to do with people congregating out in public. This has a been a big problem on our entire coast line of beaches and many other public places. People are still coming from out of state to our beaches when they should just be staying home. This has nothing to do with what people are doing in their own homes and property unless they decide to have a gathering which once again is happening at the beaches.

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  5. Dear Annabel
    What a lovely week! How special for Harper to have spent it with you. She looks like she had a wonderful time. I agree that when at home you can feel blissfully unaware of what's going on. We are 9 days into a minimum 28 day country-wide lockdown. We have spent our days playing games, baking, drawing, building Lego, having special afternoon teas, playing outside and watching movies.

    I started a crochet baby blanket this week, using up some yarn that has been sitting there for ages. I just need to do the last round of the border and it will be done. It will go into the present cupboard.

    I also went through a large pile of cross stitch magazines I bought from the op shop last year and have put 18 aside to donate back when that's an option. So a bit of room has been made in the craft box. I'm working on cross stitch as well, I've found some great patterns for family members for Christmas so have made a start on that.

    I made an apple and sultana cake with caramel glaze icing, I will email the recipe to you. It has apples mixed through and on top.

    Thank you for your uplifting post, I agree that it's important to see the lovely things going on as well.

    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy your next little house guest next week!

    Jen (NZ)

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    1. Dear Jen, that apple/sultana cake with the caramel glaze icing sounds divine!!! Is it possible you could post the recipe in the comments?

      xx Jen in NS

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  6. Your week sounds absolutely lovely. Oh my goodness, Harper is such a precious girl - just beautiful. I love "we are the same". How sweet.
    Blessings to you and yours. Thank you for such an upbeat post!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. "We are the same" melted me too. It is funny how unique people are and yet when someones sees and likes the same things as you do it is so nice! I hope we both have good new week and many blessings! With love Annabel.xxx

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  7. thanks so much, I really enjoy your posts. Good things are still happening and I have taken up some UFO (unvinished objects) anyway I have been crocheting a floor rug and the other is to finish my embroidery on a t- towel. So keep up those good posts and hope all is well. Hugs from Kentucky, USA

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    1. I would love to see your floor rug when you are finished! I am so glad you have great projects to work on! Thank you so much! With love Annabel.xxx

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  8. Such beautiful pictures and granddaughter.
    I love this site, and it has protected me and my family with the pandemic. We were stocked up enough ,that we could help others.

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    1. Well done and thank you so much! This is what preparedness does... it helps our family but then we can also help others! Thank you! xxx

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  9. My Mum is in a care home (UK) and she has been quite distressed because I can't visit her. I ring and speak to her, facilitated by one of the lovely staff and the home is setting up Skype so residents will be able to see their relatives. Both my daughter's have written her letters and I will send an Easter card and keep sending things through the post for her to read. It's a very difficult time for elderly residents but so far the home have kept the virus out so it's worth the effort.
    I love the pictures of your week - we all need some happy pictures of cute animals and children.

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    1. Dear Penny, What a worrying time with your poor Mum. So many are going through this. I am glad the staff are helpful with communication. Mail will be nice. It would be reassuring for you both overtime you can Skype too!
      Thanks you so much! Hope you all stay well, especially Mum. With love Annabel.xxx

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  10. Annabel,
    You had such a lovely and productive week. So happy that Harper was able to spend time alone with you, she looks so happy.

    My week was filled with "Virus" Cleaning, cabinets, closets, rooms, you name it. I did a lot of little things that needed catching up. I have been amazed how drawers also got dirty, in kitchen really how did crumbs end up in pot holder drawer.

    I find that keeping busy has helped here and also helped my house. It looks so nice after a cleaning and smells so nice. I've been using a lemon cleaner.

    Prayers for a Safe week for you and your family.

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    1. Dear Rosanne, I have been cleaning up a storm too! Today was stay cleaning the laundry! eek!
      You stay safe too. This next week looks like a time to be especially careful. We are seeing a lot of your state on the news including a lot tonight. I am glad they are encouraging masks now. This is good. With much love Annabel.xxx

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  11. What sweet photos of Harper enjoying the farm animals and collecting eggs. I'm so glad we have 3 chickens and get eggs everyday which helps with baking. Stay safe. Regards Kathy, Brisbane

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    1. Kathy chickens are wonderful. What a help and so nice to have fresh eggs. Thanks so much for your kind comment! With love Annabel.xxx

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  12. Dear Annabel,
    What a joy to see Harper having fun.All of your cooking looks beautiful.

    Like many places our state has been mandated to stay home. I,ve been sewing masks for family and friends this week and bartering by mail with friends with sewing supplies. I baked 2 dozen gluten free carrot cake muffins, made cards to send out since the family won't be able to be together for the holidays, and did all the usual fluffing and dusting. Stay safe everyone. B!Essings, Cookie

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    1. Dear Cookie, Today I saw now the recommendation is everyone is encouraged to wear cloth masks! So suddenly everyone will want them! Demand will go crazy. We are dragging our feet on this however I have read up and we will be using them. The carrot cake muffins sound yum. I am doing A LOT of fluffing and dusting! Stay well! With love Annabel.xxx

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  13. You are an inspiration with all the things you do and make! It’s early spring, here in the Pacific Northwest part of the USA and I’m waiting for it to warm up so we can start planting our garden. I started tomato seeds and they are sprouting. I So loved your photos of your darling little granddaughter! Our little grandson, who’s almost three, loves to help us in our garden! He will soon have a baby sister, as our daughter is expecting a baby girl next month! We are beyond excited, but what a time to be having a baby! Trusting God will take care of her and the baby, etc! She will be using cloth diapers for the first time! (I used cloth diapers for both my kids) She’s also getting hand-me-downs from friends, so that will really help! I wish I was a sewer like my mom was! I am embroidering on some plain white onesies I picked up before we knew what she was having, so that’s fun. We are stocked up on groceries for now, so are doing well. This current situation with the corona virus sure has changed our perspective on things! You have been so wise to keep your pantry well- stocked and make so much of what you need and use! We will need to learn the art of bartering! Hoping our garden produces well! Take care and God Bless!
    Laura (from Washington state, USA)

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    1. Dear Laura, I am so happy to hear of your little Grandson and on the way baby Granddaughter!
      We will both be praying for our pregnant daughters and new babies. I am glad to hear also of your little tomato plants. And nice weather! I hope your garden does produce a lot this is a great help! Thanks so much! With love Annabel.xxx

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  14. Hi Annabel,
    As always a lovely post. I have been busy admiring Harper's beautiful head of hair. As someone with fine short hair, I always covet beautiful hair, Now I just enjoy seeing others gorgeous hair.
    Your baking looks soooo good. This week I made Mr M and I chocolate self-saucing pudding. I make two as I am gluten free. The recipe I use is from the Destitute Gourmet. For my gf recipe I sprinkle a teaspoon of cornflour over the last measure of cocoa and brown sugar, before adding the boiling water and putting it into the oven. This gives it a wonderful fudgy sauce. We enjoyed this over a number of evenings, with icecream.
    As we are in lock down and i am unable to work I have been busy in my garden. We have had some lovely autumn temperatures of around 19C, blue skies and sunshine. I have been busy dividing plants and redesigning my garden. I will get a few new plants when our lock down is over, whenever that will be. In the meantime I have many projects to keep me going.
    I was thinking about the discussion around bartering earlier in the week. I thought I don't really have any skills that I can use in this. Then I realise I often do this between my family members. These have included out door chairs to my brother we no longer wanted and pavers for us from him, veges from my dad/baking from mum to us and researching products on line for them. It's just we don't think of it as such.
    I think your Friday post is just what is needed. I feel really fortunate here in NZ as we are not facing some of the dire food issues many other places are. My partner noted when he did the weekly shop today that paper towels have increased $1.30 in a week.
    If anyone would like the self saucing recipe just say and I will put in on. I would imagine it is much the same as many others. I like these because they are delicious, easy to make and cheap,

    Stay safe and well everyone.

    Mandy (NZ)

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    1. Hi Mandy
      I would love the DG chocolate self saucing recipe please. Have looked for it but no luck in my DG books! We used the Edmonds recipe last week but would love the fudgy sauce you mentioned!
      I have been busy as I am working from home but not sure how long my paid employment will last,
      Have also been busy finding local suppliers who do home deliveries as the big supermarkets have suspended deliveries except to the elderly, vulnerable or those on mandatory self isolation. I wholeheartedly support this and believe Woollies are working hard on social capital. However not wanting to Go out myself I've spent quite some time researching options. Have tried a fruit and veg box which was seasonal so no choice of it's contents. We didn't find it very good value so next week will try the local fruit and veg shop which we have found is offering free local delivery and they also have milk, eggs and yoghurt. The milk is almost double the supermarket price but I'm willing to pay that to avoid the supermarket and having to Go out. I have also bought a few things from Catch of the Day online. Every day they have different specials but it's quite tempting to Go a little overboard so I have cancelled everything in my cart after the first order which included liquid hand soap, dishwasher tabs and a couple of personal items. I have also found a local supplier who does free local delivery of artisan cheese, Italian groceries, locally made deli meats, milk and even flour. I have ordered some lovely things from them this week but didn't go overboard. I'm enjoying the opportunity to support some local businesses in this time so that these wonderful services continue to be available for our locals.

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    2. Dear Mandy, Chocolate self saucing pudding would be good medicine for anything! I also very much like the Destitute Gourmet! Thank you for the tip!
      Your lock down time sounds similar to my own. Today I was planting and moving things around... in between rain shows... and I made apple crumbles... because I have endless apples!
      See you do bater! Honestly baking and gardening skills would be amongst the best you could have for bartering!
      I think in a family or extended family give and take and sharing is so normal but this is how the system works and it is wonderful! What blesses on helps another! Have a good new week and stay healthy! Love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds!!

    I know how therapeutic it is to spend time with my chooks, so this post is beautiful! Annabel, I love Harper’s dress .... her whole outfit, really! When she grows out of it, think of me!! Ha ha!! I love your house, too!

    Since I am helping to provide supplies for my parents, it was good to be able to visit them! Here in Queensland, they are allowed to have one visitor. I have also been communicating with people online, and this has been very positive, as we share this difficult time together.

    Being home most of the time, I find that I am getting busier and busier - doing things that are meaningful to me. Once the more pressing tasks are done, I hope to use some of the time to work on craft projects, which I have been waiting for so long to do! There is mint, thyme, basil and oregano growing in the house!!

    In the new week will be Passover. This is a normal part of my calendar, so this is also reassuring that the Almighty is in control.

    Most late afternoons, I watch the chooks and sheep out grazing together, guarding them. This is very soothing, too!

    Rachel

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    1. Dear Rachel,
      Well it should be said Harper picked her clothes. But she wears boots outside on her own farm which is good so it is always boots. She liked her outfit so much I washed and dried it to repeat the next day.
      We are blessed to have space, animals and still the internet! These all help so much day to day. Thanks so much Rachel, with love Annabel.xxx

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  16. Dear Annabel,

    Truly, this was an inspired post! Just what we needed to see and hear! I almost had tears in my eyes, looking at Harper's hair...running down the hill! My girls had hair just like that at that age, and it brought back so many good memories! You are so lucky to have those littles with you!!!

    This week I am veering back and forth between "normal and cheery" and "distraught and worried" about all the craziness. But I do know that God is in control...and more than once he has said "Fear not", so I check myself and find peace and go back to "normal and cheery". So, this week I have...made red currant jelly from some currants I froze last summer, and finished off (not as in, drank the last of it, but as in, added the sugar and bottled it) some currant liqueur. :) I also transplanted some more plants and got some tomato seeds started. I sewed and sewed, cutting out and sewing a jumper (dress) out of corduroy for my youngest from a 25 cent thrift store pattern, cleaned house, made sourdough bread and English muffins, went to town once to shop for elderly/ill neighbors, walked, planned activities with the girls, knitted on a sweater for myself ad finished knitting a toque for charity...and I don't know what else. Tried to keep cheerful and keep life "normal" and productive! I am trying to limit my news consumption, because it's all about drama and digging up bad news stories.

    Thank you again for the grandkid photos!!

    Lots of love to you and all the Bluebirders!

    Jen in NS

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    1. Dear Jen,
      I think how you feel is completely normal! I go into a bad feeling and panic and it will be late at night. I really have to pray then and try and calm down. But your thoughts can get away and I think partly our nervous system gets overloaded.
      Yes... through this we need the WHOLE ARMOUR of GOD. This helps me...
      Cooking and home keeping and a routine... they all help greatly not just us but the family. Even when kids are bigger like yours I think they really pick up worry and home life is ever more important. Our work is on many levels! Thank you for your kind words Jen! I am also homemaking my little heart out and then having Scarlett next week for a couple of days. With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. I do the same thing Annabel, panic vs calmness. Reading and listening to alarmist headlines vs reviewing Bible verses promising God's love and care. I noticed neighbors around here are decorating their front windows with messages of hope and happiness--mostly the children are behind these projects, but yesterday I saw our neighbors across the street painting a Bible verse on their front window and it gave me such peace! It is Philippians 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God". (their version was a tad different). But here I am adding the next verse: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." AMEN! I so needed to hear, see and read these verses because of my fearful and anxious heart and mind... God prompted these neighbors to write His words on their front window--for all to see! I then had the thought, 'what if all Christians were this bold? To write God's word on the front of their homes for all the world to see? I believe it could be life-changing. I'll send you the photos, Annabel.

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  17. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds , thankyou for your optimistic cheery post .You got a lot done as usual , and I know that takes hard work and motivating oneself at times when the outside world is trying to pull us another way .It is lovely to see that you and Harper are on the same wave length , you have a buddy for life :-)
    My great aunt (maternal Grandma's sister) was that to me and we were great friends until she passed at 95 .
    Walking with two grandchildren most days keeps us out in the fresh air and healthy, we pass their father's place and great grandparents and call out and wave as we pass by to let them know we are thinking of them.This week Ive tidied spare pantry stocks which Ive had to store in our bedroom, it is not a lot given we are 7 here , and next to many of you but IM aware I need to keep on top of things with only one family member working and 2 high risk members healthwise . After dinner in the evenings I crochet the King single throw IM making for my daughter in law who was away form home at unit i until the virus had us isolating plus we cancelled travel plans to see her and our youngest son in Australia as many have had to do .So pleased I bought more yarn to make a throw for our youngest , although I could only get half the yarn and have the other on order which is frozen for now until busness resumes as usual . Yesterday we planted seeds in little plantable (is that a word lol?)tubs, and eagerly look forward to see them sprout before we plant into pots outside . Areas outside need to be tidied up so the pots can be put out of reach of our 16 monthold grandson whi is into everything, very observant and a climber , yet is an angel of a child in many ways and we all love him to bits with his dark curls and blue eyes .
    Off to do some banana baking now hehe , take care everyone and thankyou so much Annabel for continuuing posting for us and keeping us motivated, lots of love Maria xxx

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    1. Dear Maria, I hope I can make it to 95 like your Great Aunt. If I can help the girls up until then I will.
      I am sorry you dont get to see your son. I hope you can talk to him often.
      This worries me... when things aren't in stores and we can go to stores but also mail order ends. This is happening a lot now and increasing I think. Hence we got kids winter clothes early... hard to think of everything though.
      I think your nice walks out are a great thing for health, routine, variety and sanity! Have a good weekend Maria! With love Annabel.xxx

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  18. Hi Annabel,i only had one job this morning in a way i was glad as i have been so busy doing extra time through this week,i just came home made a cuppa and come on to read your blog as always i injoy reading all you do and what a lovely home you have made,On way home today i did drop into the local nursery and i bought some broccoli plants little and they have been planted as i write this and i bought a blueberry plant so hopefully we will see them grow :} take care x

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    1. Well done on finding the plants. Anything edible is hard to find here. Those plants will pay dividends. Lots of love, Bridge

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  19. wonderful post, thanks a lot. Nice to read some uplifting things

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  20. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds
    I don't know who is the cutest - Harper or Paddy. Interesting that he took a liking to Harper.

    Like you I have been using up what we have here - for me it is the freezer. Last night my husband turned left over beef in plum sauce into pies. What would have been enough for another meal ended up being 4 pies - one is now in the freezer for when my husband feels like a pie for lunch.

    I have been scouring my recipe books and the internet in order to avoid waste as much as possible. We got a box from our fruit and veg shop last Saturday that contained some things that needed using up quickly and some that would last - we are now down to the items that will last apart from the spinach. Tomorrow I am making a sweet potato and spinach frittata for Monday nights evening meal. With my husband working from home and set up in the family room which is the one huge room that also houses the kitchen I find I am having to really think ahead when it comes to being in the kitchen. He is on business calls most of the days starting at 8 in the morning so it really impacts on what I can get done.

    Late yesterday I finally got to try out a new recipe for Cream Cheese Banana Bread - I felt it didn't have a lot of flavour but my husband was happy because he could slather butter on something.

    Wait until there is no butter left and he will be really upset.

    Looking ahead and working on my knits for the shops is helping a lot I had a surprise sale at the Caboolture one and am waiting for the cheque from Montville. I am keeping busy setting up the spare bedroom as my craft space (with spare bed) and working out what knitting patterns I want to test.

    My husband is picking up what is needed because I am not allowed out unless for medical reasons. This week he has an appointment with the skin clinic and I have realized that there is a nursery nearby so he will be sent off with a list. Just a few things because we still cannot get the raised garden beds set up in the backyard due to needing to remove some overgrown plants and fixing the pump that we need for when the backyard floods.

    He has been busy replacing broken panels of glass in our antique window that we reused in the bedroom.

    The rescued lemon tree and the blueberry plant are doing well. Not sure for how much longer given that the possum that plays on our roof has got himself a girlfriend.

    They are going to be my next challenge. How to keep them off anything I try to grow for us to eat.

    My brother and his wife were attending the hospital in Melbourne where they have had 3 deaths in the cancer unit - my sister in law was having a stem cell collection done and my brother is in remission from leukemia so both are extremely high risk.

    I am tired of the constant news reports - it seems like all of the reporters can only find the doom and gloom. I have a couple of FB pages I am on where I get to see 'happy'.

    It is so important to remember that there is so much else happening in the world.

    Love to all

    Lynette
    XXXX

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    1. Dear Lynette, It is harder when working around someone on the phone and working from home. That is for sure. But the fact he is home so greatly limits your own exposure to the virus too. I am glad you saw staying home. Absolute best thing.
      If you have any possum problems on your fruit tree or veg garden set up a sensor light. If they approach it will go off... they will move off. They will try it over and over but eventually they kind of learn it is a waste of time.
      I am sorry for your brother and SIL. I hope they are so careful and avoid the virus but it is a worry. I laughed about as long as there is something to slather butter on! I have a fair bit of butter in the freezer but not sure how long this will last us either. Have a good Sunday and safe week! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Before I went to bed last night I purchased a shade house and two more raised garden beds - Aldi had them this week but I couldn't go and OZ sale has them at the moment so I jumped right in. I also saw yesterday that when you cut a banana tree down that you can use it to plant in (similar to using guttering) - just drill a decent sized hole and pop some soil in it, plant your seedlings and voila - banana trunks have lots of moisture in them and rot down as they are growing things so it is not a long term idea but useful to reuse the trunks.

      Amazing what can come your way when you ponder and pray on things.

      Lynette
      XXXX

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  21. I've done a lot of sleeping! I am normally a very poor sleeper, but I slept for almost 48 hours last weekend! I 'd sleep, wake up, have a bit of something to eat and knit or read for a little while and then repeat. I have to say I felt wonderful for it. I think I 'allowed' my body to do what it needed, there's no pressure to do anything, nowhere to rush to and most things are on hold, so it was the ideal thing to do.
    Apart from that I have still been working, buses are now down to 1 an hour, so there's a fair bit of walking involved. The seeds I ordered have arrived, so sowing those is on the cards this weekend.I made yogurt and banana bread and finished knitting a little scarf to wear around the house in winter. I also remilled some soap and am looking at recipes to make my own from scratch.
    I did venture into town for a few bits I needed, the first time I have been out proper since lockdown, it was a depressing and frustrating experience. There were more security guards than shoppers, each shop had its own, different, restrictions and several entrances to the shopping centre were closed so that you had to walk miles around to get into it in the first place. It's not an experience I wish to repeat in a hurry, but I shouldn't need to for quite some time.
    Chin up everyone, we can do this.

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    1. Dear Su, I remember once I more or less slept for three days. I would wake to go to the toilet, drink something then just go back to sleep. Like I have no choice in it. It did me good too! So I glad you could do it!
      I am glad your seeds arrived! Suddenly seeds are another hard to get thing.
      There are soap making recipes here... several methods. Wendy on My Abundant life has a very easy wonderful and perfect one.
      I also have found shopping has become basically traumatic and I havent been back since. I hope we can hold out now as long as possible. Have a good new week Su, with love Annabel.xxx

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  22. Annabel what a beautiful post and it looks like Harper is having a ball staying in your home. So glad you are passing on wonderful skills to her with cooking, using eggs and other things. Your baking looks divine :).

    Finances -
    - We paid an extra part payment off our mortgage.
    - Banked a fair bit more into our 3 month living expenses emergency fund bringing us to almost halfway there :).

    Haircuts -
    - I had my haircut in a home based locals hair salon and only paid $20 for a wash, cut and blowdry. I think this saved around $73 according to what prices I can find on the internet.

    Purchases -
    - From IGA on specials we purchased watermelon, 6 tins of Campbells soup and Old Gold Chocolate saving $13.97 on usual prices.
    - Online on eBay I purchased a no flat wheelbarrow tyre and rim saving $16 over buying it locally even with delivery.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made a lemon cheesecake from items we had saving us $7.29 over buying it.

    Deep cleaning and decluttering -
    - Deep cleaned, decluttered and organised the sewing/craft room and it looks much better.

    In the gardens -
    - Topped up 1 garden bed with soil, planted silverbeet and added lime and fertiliser and watered it in. The rain has since been giving it a good water too :).

    Have a wonderfully productive week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

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    1. Lorna can you tell me more about the wheelbarrow tyre and rim please we are in need of a new tyre for our wheelbarrow and Len has had trouble sourcing one.

      Lynette

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    2. Dear Lorna, I am the same as Lynette and want to know about the no flat wheelbarrow tire!
      You just made me realise I have all the ingredients for a cheesecake!!! How did I know think of this!?
      I love your garden progress and that fact that even now you managed to get further ahead with your mortgage and emergency fund. That is doing extremely well! With love Annabel.xxx

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    3. Annabel so glad you have the ingredients for a cheesecake and thank you for your encouragement on our savings and loan repayments.

      Annabel and Lynette with the wheelbarrow flat free tyres are a solid tyre with no inner tube so cannot get punctures. We chose a wider wheel for ours to make it easier to push and give us more stability when it is loaded. We got the whole rim and tyre as our wheel was plastic and disintegrating.

      It is important you get the bore size of your wheelbarrow wheel and tyre to get the right size, you can go by the writing on the tyre for the tyre size. 8" is standard large wheelbarrow tyre size, should have -8 written on the tyre but yours may differ.

      Just search for flat free wheelbarrow tyre on the front page of eBay and it will bring them all up for you.

      This is the one we chose - https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/16-x6-5-8-SOLID-TYRE-WHEEL-WHEELBARROW-WHEELS-FLAT-FREE-PUNCTURE-PROOF-HD-6-5-8/161882553946?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 .

      I hope this helps you both. They are initially more expensive but with the rate of us replacing inner tubes and tyres it will pay for itself over time we think.

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

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    4. Thank you Lorna, I will pass the information onto my husband for him to have a look at.

      Lynette

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    5. Most welcome Lynette :).

      Amazing how many different things you can buy on eBay that are cheaper at least in our country area where prices are quite high.

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

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  23. Thank you as always for the blog post and lovely pictures. I confess to being rather mesmerized by Harpers’s hair. Mine was that long at her age, but was nearly always kept in braids for the first several years of my childhood—how on earth do you keep it so tidy?

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    1. Thank you! Harper's hair is usually braided or tied up somehow. I washed her hair the night before. I did a loose plait to sleep. But then brushed it in the morning and off she went. I loved it blowing in the breeze. Thank you so much! Love Annabel.xxx

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  24. Thank you for the lovely post - Harper brought a ray of sunshine to us all :)
    We are gardening, mainly planting seeds at the moment. Than we took time out for a long walk through a bit of woodland near our place, which I saw first signs of Bluebells.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Heidi xx

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    1. Dear Heidi, Oh Bluebells are just gorgeous!! How nice! Thank you! YEs we need these little rays of sunshine and joy! With love Annabel.xxx

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  25. What a normal happy day you had with your lovely guest. I bet she is having the best time with you. Nice to hear normal life is ongoing and that people are having some good times again. A real sunshine day!

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    1. Dear Dots, Yes it is lovely and we need to keep things as normal as we an even if it is a new normal. The animals and sunshine etc all just so beneficial. There is beauty everywhere and we need to focus on that. Literally like a ray of sunshine at this time! With love Annabel.xxx

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  26. I felt my own heartstrings were tugged with Harper's "We're the same..." I can well imagine your own were! I am very fortunate to have four of my 12 grandchildren nearby and we all seem to manage to get a few moments together one way or another. I shall be helping homeschool the oldest of the grandchildren that lives nearest me. He's going to walk over the field (not as big as it sounds lol) to come to my house two mornings each week. Our hopes is to make this seem fun and like an adventure of sorts for him.

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    1. Dear Terri, I think it is wonderful you are helping to homeschool your Grandson! You will be a good teacher and he will always remember what you taught him. This is fantastic. It is amazing you have 12 Grandchildren! I am hoping to have 4 by the end of the year! So nice. With much love Annabel.xxx

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  27. Thank you for sharing your lovely week, Annabel! I have spent some time this last week trying my hand at gluten-free/dairy-free baking with some success. My daughter and I also made French bread with the high-gluten flour we were blessed with. I had never used that kind of flour but assumed it was good for baking, and it is! Since I can't eat gluten breads, I am looking for others to bless with some of the flour and also making the French bread loaves to gift to anyone who wants it :)

    I have done a lot of cleaning and just daily homemaking. My husband is out of work currently as no one has called to start the projects he bid on (he is a self-employed carpenter). We are choosing to not fret and worry and trust that God will provide both the work to come and any needs in the meantime.

    We are excited for Sunday this weekend as our small church is trying services by sitting in our cars in the parking lot. I think it sounds fun as I loved going to the drive-in movie theater as a child. We must look on the bright side and find the joys as we can!

    My 14yo daughter and I will be trying our hands at making some masks this upcoming week. We are very novice sewers, but we keep trying and have fairly good success, at least good enough to use.

    Hoping everyone has a blessed week, and thank you, Annabel, for your inspiring posts!

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    1. Dear Jenny, I love to make GR pancakes, scones (Biscuits in US) and cakes etc. Mostly I dont use special recipes just switch the flour. Mostly it works! If I eat wheat I ache all over and it lasts about a week. But baking for others the regular stuff is a great gift!
      I love the drive in movies style church! Good idea!! That is pretty smart! Mum and Dad took us to the movies when we were little and I thought it was so awesome.
      Jenny making the masks with your daughter is great. Good for her skills too but also to show her how to take a problem and make something to help... and now the USA and many countries are declaring to wear cloth masks in public then everyone wants and needs them. I am doing many to gift after I have the family all covered. Have a lovely Sunday and new week! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Oh Jenny ps.... I forgot to say as your husband is a carpenter...if he has supplies some things he might be able to make to fill a need would be small chicken houses and enclosures.... suddenly everyone wants/needs chickens. Another is garden bed boxes on wheels... suddenly everyone wants to grow herbs and veggies... xxx

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    3. Annabel, thank you for the ideas for products for my husband! I am looking up ideas to share with him now :) With love, Jenny

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  28. Dear Annabel, what a posiitve and uplifting post. How lovely that you had Harper come and stay with you. What a treat! It sounds like such a wonderful time. I agree- sometimes during the day when I am home things just feel normal and then it is when I step out that things feel different. It is the small things that make a difference now, a hot cuppa, some gardening, a walk in the sunshine. I feel that if I watch too much news/ read about it on the internet I feel sick. So I have to try and stay away as much as possible. I need to get some stamps this week so I can post mail. Lots of love, Bridge

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    1. Dear Bridge,
      The kids pick up the stress very easily. The more normal things seem the better and the little household routines help. Also this pottering at home and in the garden is the best and safest thing we can be doing. The kids burn off some energy too. At Scarletts kindy they set up a little obstacle course and planks to walk a long and climb over. It was all normal stuff like drums, planks, boxes and so on. But they love it. Something like this could be endlessly entertaining for your two. And it can be changed now and then for bigger challenges. Maybe the dog would do it too! How cute it would be... and cost free also. And oh yes... R could have access to all kinds of things to build it and even a fort or cubby! Get him thinking on this! Maybe while he is at it ask for a chook house!! :) With much love Annabel.xxx

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  29. oops, well, I thought i had your email address, but I don't so I don't know how to get in touch with you to send you the photos. Sorry!

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    1. Dear Joy, It is brinkzi21@hotmail.com or you can PM message me on the bluebirds are nesting face book page or the Tuesday Club also. Love to see photos! xxx

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