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, 6 August 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 7th August, 2020.

I can give a better report than last week!  That is something!
My Dad is doing better, thank you to everyone who has prayed for him.

There is so much going on it is hard to keep track of.  Everyone in Australia knows and anyone from overseas might have seen the Victorian situation in the news.   Things have pretty much got a bit worse daily.  This is our neighbouring state and my daughter lives just over the border.

We cannot go to Lucy's home, however, we could meet in her nearest town and so that is what we did. Chloe and I headed off loaded up with cooking and all kinds of things for the girls and the baby.
We had a little lunch together and made it seem like a little party for the girls.
I took cup cakes as usual!


Sidney is now a month old. Already!


So this was a good and beautiful day.

I went to Aldi but there was not much on the shelves.... 

We had news headlines forecasting likely food shortages nation wide.  Since they rarely admit such things this was interesting.   And you can see why.  The port of Melbourne is where most imports enter Australia.  The meat processing plants are operating at reduced rates and many industries are closed down altogether. 

I went into town to do a stock up.  I did things like fill every prescription,  buy Vitamin C, Zinc, cough medicine and so on.   One supermarket was quite well stocked.  The other was very low on meat and quite a lot of empty shelves.  

This town is around 20 minutes from the border.   I heard several reports of cars with Victorian number plates being attacked, scratched and notes left on them.  Now people are afraid of anyone coming over the border.   This is a pretty sleepy, nice little town normally.   It frightens me to see how quickly people become agitated and this becomes aggression.... actually it is a shock.   And a warning really as if things go too much further south then honestly you do not want to be out and about, you need to be home.

My stock up was considerable and I have still been putting away things this morning.  I think I have finally done it!  

For ladies in other states... the decline with Victoria been just a disaster to watch.  Things can happen quickly.  So please be very watchful.

I found some beautiful jars in the op shop plus brand new canning lids!  I will take some photos when I get the jars all washed up.

All week I have had the fire going... it is cold here!  At all times I have had something dehydrating.  Thanks to Patsy I joined an Instagram challenge called #everybitcountschallenge  and I have been dehydrating and storing up fresh things, things from the garden and frozen veggies as I need to clear some freezer room.  I have been learning a lot about dehydrating from Heidi at  Rain Country on You tube.  She is very helpful.  And inspiring! 



I have onions going today in one tray and peas in two others.   Then I will be slicing about some capsicum to do next.  I am amazed at the fresh bright colours and the small amount of space things reduce down to.   I write on each jar "one whole head of celery" so I remember as it looks like a small amount but to put it back in use I would use a small amount to add to a chicken soup.  



There have been times this week I felt a sense of panic and worry.  I try to reel that in but it isn't always easy.  However I have seen some answers to prayer and been very blessed. 
Sometimes you feel too upset and wonky to feel like you can pray.  Or that your wonky prayers are not good enough.  These are good times to ask someone to pray for you.  But just as it doesn't matter what language you pray in I don't think it matters if prayers are disjointed,  confused or all over the place.  Sometimes we don't even know WHAT to pray for.  We just know we need help.  Lord please help me is a perfectly fine prayer...
Anyway,  some of my prayers have been answered in wonderful ways.  This has made me feel so much better and reminded me to just keep praying!

On the weekend my brother rang me up and asked if I would be home and if I would like some good soil for my garden?   He turned up with his truck...



This is volcanic black soil with broken down manure mixed in.  It is beautiful!  It was the best gift ever.  I was so excited!   I have the raised garden beds to finish filling, bathtubs coming,  my pumpkin patches to build up,  the whole herb and veggie patch can get a few inches of this on top.  All the fruit trees and have some of this around them to form a little water holding moat and they will get the nutrients as I water.  I have begun moving it one barrow at a time!


I hope my Aunt is reading this.  She will be thrilled!

I was given more bags of shredded paper.  These went into chicken nesting boxes for nice fresh bedding.

I used two large pumpkins (from the pumpkins I grew) to make a big pot of soup.

In the sewing room I continued making bibs.  This second batch are larger ones...



We really really need rain.  It is meant to be on the way.  I really hope so. 

How did you manage to keep going,  add to your pantry, preparedness or garden?  I managed to do some work in all three of these areas.   There are the first signs Spring is not too far way.  I want my garden beds ready to plant by then! 

If you would like further reading this is a good article from Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker.  I like to read things that give you constructive things to do rather than just information to worry about.

I am hoping for a rainy weekend, warm meals (as the slow cooker is on) crochet and sewing.   We need some time to rest and plan.  Some time to think.  I think as well... now is a good time to put your health first and build up your families health.  Stress is really draining.  We probably need extra nutrition and good sleep.  These things are valuable too.xxx












Friday, 31 July 2020

A Ray of Sunshine.

It wouldn't surprise me if I am not the only one who has hit a spot of crisis fatigue.  Some days have been exhausting.  Some days my nerves have felt shot.  There must be many of us feeling the same.  Vicky and I were talking about this.  Vicky is a person who makes the best out of every situation and is always cheerful.  



Years ago I realised that circumstances and cheerfulness are not necessarily related.  We have all known people who have every blessing and resource yet they are always miserable and complaining. Not only that they do nothing to help others.  And we all know people who have it tough in life (or with their health)  yet are always cheerful and helping others.   So go figure...

I have spoken before about my Nan's good friends who taught me this.  One was Mrs. Smith who had Polio when she was young and lived her whole live on crutches.   She was so cheerful and sewed both my babies beautiful clothes and gifts.  She just did what she could to help everyone!  
And there was Mrs. Mann who was in a wheelchair with both legs amputated.   She was another happy and generous person.   She knitted stunning outfits for all the babies and I still have some she gave me to this day.   Both these ladies were rays of sunshine.   
There was also Mrs. Birze. She and her family escaped (in a dramatic and desperate way) from WW2 Europe and came to Australia.  They become Nan's neighbours.  The horrors they had been though...  They knew almost no English so Nan began to teach them and they became life long friends.  She was a person who was another absolute ray of sunshine.

So how do we overcome our worries and be like them?  And how do we nurture ourselves so that we keep up our own strength, spirits and faith?  

Well over to Vicky, this is what she wrote...


How do we feel at peace these days when it seems everyday is filled with something new that is bad news? A pandemic, riots, restrictions, job losses and shortages. Is this all temporary or is this the new norm? I have a feeling it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Annabel's conversation with the older gentleman and his saying there will be another depression struck a chord in so many of us. Could this actually happen? 
Many of us have had feelings that we need to prepare and are either starting or continuing in those efforts so that we can stay ahead and hopefully ride out anything coming, but I have also spoken to some who feel overwhelmed and panicked from the Covid virus and are really riding the edge of being depressed and just too stressed out from it. 
This got me thinking. I remember my great grandmother telling me that even though they had to work hard and had very little that some of her happiest times were coming home after church and just sitting on the porch with tea. 
The Bible says tribulation gives rise to patience and also "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer" 
I think we are all learning patience, but being of good cheer can be a bit harder when it's getting harder on us to navigate through what was our normal routines or something that should be easy like getting groceries or seeing the doctor. 
In times like these we need to embrace simplicity and the joy we can get from it, letting the small things fill our hearts with happiness as we go about our work of preparedness and stocking our pantries, trying to stay ahead and taking care of home and hearth. 
When my granddaughter comes to stay she reminds me to do this. That child finds so many things I take for granted delightful and wonderous! The things I have tucked away are brought out and enjoyed, from her little tea set and a small pitcher that is just her size so she can serve lemonade and small colander of strawberries she picked herself. 
We need to do this for ourselves as well. Do we really need a special occasion to use the things we may have tucked away and love? When the world is so chaotic it's easy to get pulled along with it, but if we strive for a bit more simplicity we can find  patience and good cheer both. Appreciate the small things as we go about our days and we are better able to deal with the big things that come our way. 
That being said here is what I have been up to:
I have been collecting pinecones to use for fire starts and decoration. They are so small this year!

I weeded under one of the pine trees to move some blueberry bushes under there for my granddaughter and found a raspberry bush start growing among the weeds. This makes me happy because I want lots of berries growing here and one day a bumper crop will give more options with food storage. 

We planted a Victory garden this year and I'm usually out there everyday tending to this and that. This week I pruned and tied up most of the tomato plants. It's coming along nicely and with around 200 tomato plants I am sure I'll have enough to can and share as well. 


And I started making little bags of fabric softener beads to use as gifts. I cut some brown paper into squares and glued on flowers I cut from a magazine and zipped them through my sewing machine. I'll fill them with store bought softener beads and glue them shut. I love taking just ordinary things and embellishing them a bit. They will just need to be torn open to use, but to me it's prettier than a plastic bottle and can be added into a basket with some clothes pegs, etc. for a nice little gift. 

XOXO
Vicky


Every day Vicky and I chat online.  Our conversations are always made up of some dumb thing we find hilarious, what we have been doing at home, the garden and the pantry...  and we encourage each other.   It reminds me of the verse in Luke where the woman finds her lost coin and calls her friends to tell them and celebrate!  We need that.  Someone to celebrate our small victories.   Someone to tell!

I try to make this a place like that as we might not have a neighbour or friend interested in our progress and achievements.   They might not see what we do as an achievement at all.
But each thing we do to build up our home, manage our economy and care for our family is an achievement!  

I am a person who needs some alone time and quiet time.  I need to be able to think.  I am better if I write things down.  I need sunshine and plenty of sleep.   The garden, nature and outdoors do me good.  I find crochet or stitching calming.  If I am nervous or worried I will clean and bake... and channel my nerves into action.
A cup of tea and climbing into my comfy bed with clean sheets, a bubble bath and a heat pack on my neck are my go dos when I need to feel better.

Happily many things that are just beautiful and nourishing for bodies and souls are easy and inexpensive.   There are ways to spread happiness and joy for ourselves and others that make a world of difference.

Vicky used old pyjamas that she cut up to make the prettiest cleaning cloths above.   I feel happy just looking at them!

I brought out a fresh chocolate cake from the oven for afternoon tea.  Same effect ...  a little ray of sunshine in the afternoon.

Sometimes I can pick free flowers and this works every time for me.  Playing with flowers is just beautiful.


Simple foods are a hit.  A bowl of soup and a toasted cheese sandwich is thrilling when you are hungry and tired.   I make a Bread and Butter Pudding from left over bread and jam.  it is so divine yet made of stuff many people throw out.  


Having your table set nicely is cheerful.  Things don't have to be fancy to be lovely.
For children an extra story at bedtime or time together is beautiful.  When I was little my Great Aunt used to brush and braid my hair for me.  I would sit there, at her feet,  for any amount of time as I loved the dreamy feeling of my hair being done.  She would plait it tightly and it would last ages.   
Nan would tuck me into my bed at her house.  Her sheets were crisp and you were tucked in so tightly your liver could barely function but it was somehow so nice and secure.  The sheets smelled of sunshine.  The bed had been warmed by a hot water bottle.
So you see many things that are nurturing cost nothing at all.   We need them for our families and ourselves.

What are some ways you can take care of yourself when under extra stress and worry? 
Do you have ideas or memories of things that are good for children or others in the household that make a difference?    
Something encouraging to me has been the number of times I have heard people say they grew up in hard times, the war, a family who had very little... just they never realised until much later!   They just never knew as life was good and happy!   

So that is what I am thinking on.  There is a lot to think about.  Today is a beautiful day and I have had some time to think and plan.  This helps me.     I am sure Vicky's words will help you tooxxx 


Thursday, 30 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 31 July, 2020

Where do I even start?  So much can happen in a week.   The gist of it is this was my second week of quarantine and Dad was very sick and hospitalised.  So it was all bad enough and I couldn't go to see him.  On top of that he had never seen Sidney and I thought maybe now he never would.

So now we start layering the "on top of that's"...

On top of that things in our neighbouring state got much much worse and lockdowns and restrictions increased again.  My daughters family are border community. They literally live right on the border.  We cannot go to see them but they can get to their town for school, doctor and so on.   Dad ended up in the hospital in this bigger town but Lucy was not allowed to go to the hospital either.  

On top of that Dad signed himself out of hospital when he was no better and he was determined to go home.  :(

There were good things...  Mum got to see Lucy and the girls (on our side of the border) and, for the first time,  hold Sidney.


And Lucy was determined.... so when Mum went to pick up Dad Lucy drove her car to the hospital car park and parked near Mum's car.  When Dad came out he was greeted by Lucy, the girls and Sidney. He was just delighted and this was very special.  I am so grateful for these moments.  I got to see photos so I could see what a success it was.

I could keep saying "on top of that" but I think you get the idea.  Some mornings bad news came so thick and fast I felt like I was going to panic.   At this moment Dad is doing ok but Lucy and family are fairly well cut off.

I know our situation is nothing compared to what some families are going through.  I have seen finance figures come in, here and overseas, and the commentary is very grim, mostly comparing the numbers to the Great Depression and in some instances worse.

Most days I tried to keep things as normal as possible.   And to keep busy.   I would go nuts if I didn't.
I added lots to my raised garden beds.  They are getting close to full now but as the hay etc breaks down I will need to keep adding.

I made an impossible pie to use up some eggs and garden herbs.


Also a double batch of Miracle Cleaner.    I save spray pumps from commercial products and match them to glass bottles.   Then I make up my dilution for surface cleaning. 


If you make your own cleaners you eliminate a lot of things you have to buy.  You also never need to buy scented sprays etc (most of which are very unhealthy) as your home truly smells so clean and fresh.   

Our local Facebook Buy Swap and Sell is really quite good.  I found three very old and very shabby white wooden chairs.  To me they are beautiful.   $5 each!   I couldn't pick them up but the lady was lovely and she delivered them for me to somewhere I can pick them up next week.  So pleased!  I was needing two but three is better!

I tried to continue to sew each day.  Even a short time each day produces more than you think!  I finished up 12 bandana style bibs. 



I enjoyed these so much!   They have a velcro fastening. Very easy.

Now I have moved on to a bigger style feeding bib.  

I made a chocolate cake.  It was mostly sliced and frozen and gave us a nice afternoon tea.



I was given some nice big juicy lemons.

We are needing rain now but the paddocks have been looking green and everyone has grown! 


Some time ago I put in an order for two miniature goats.   This week I had the chance to pick two from photos.   This is the little girl...


We get them in about a month.   I am so excited!   Name suggestions are welcome! 

Each day I did some weeding and gardening.   One thing I did was moved things that clearly were not doing well where they were.   A couple of things I rescued and potted up instead.  I hope this works.   I took cuttings and pruned and repotted two huge Fiddle Leaf Figs that out grew the house but they are not happy at all outside.   Over the week this amounted to a lot! 

Then I pressure cleaned the whole deck and patio areas as they were a mess.  And did the windows.  
I slept well those nights which is a good thing!    

For my pantry...  this week I cleared out more cupboards that can be part of my pantry.  I have two days of quarantine left so then I can get out and do some stocking. 

So that was my week.   I hope things are ok in your area and your family are doing well.   Most of us have had to adapt in some way.  In light of this Vicky and I have a special post this weekend. 

How did you manage to build up your home and get ahead with your pantry or garden?   I hope you had opportunities come your way.   I am glad I had routine and loads to do.   I planned to use my lockdown to get ahead at home and I have done that.  So the two weeks have gone really fast!   I am really thankful for a garden, animals and wide open spaces we have here.    I am hoping to have a bit of a restful weekend and work on my crochet blanket.  I hope you have a good weekend too.xxx

  






Thursday, 23 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 24 July, 2020.

Not an average week!   I headed down to help with the new baby, loaded up with home cooked meals and eggs.  I knew I would be going through a checkpoint where there are police and army personnel as Lucy lives a stones throw over the border.   When I grocery shop this town too is not far from the border however still in South Australia.
When I stopped to talk to the officers I was able to point to Lucy's house and say it is six paddocks "that way."   And they let me go on my way.  

 I had a lovely couple of days with the girls and the baby.  It was go, go, go but very good and so sweet!  I made dinner the nights I was there.   I took cup cakes filled with last weeks Lemon Butter.


On Monday it was time to head home.  This time I was heading into South Australia from Victoria which has a shocking virus outbreak.  So from the border I am now in quarantine for 14 days and need to have corona virus testing.   I did the first test on the way home.  So now I have a taste of what some people are going through.   I do not care at all about isolating except not seeing Lucy, the girls and the baby for over two weeks.    (And the prospect of it only being fortnightly and a life of quarantine each time I come back in.)  

At home I had a mountain of catching up to do and unpacking.    It had all been worth it and so I set about figuring out a new plan.  Sometimes you have to digest things a bit. 
 I decided to use my fourteen days to catch up here at home,  bake and put up as many meals as I can in the freezer and get into the sewing room.   I have continued to re arrange cupboards and make a lot more room for pantry extensions.    I am going to use this fortnight for all the good I can.

I began cutting out, using a purchased bandana bib as my template.   My first project is to make a series of these for Sidney. 


I have farm themed fabrics and I love them!     When these are done I will make a series of larger bibs  as well for early feeding days.  

So some of the ways I feathered my nest were:

I lined a whole drawer with lovely soaps.  Mel S told a story of how her Great Grandmother did this on the advice of her new Mother in Law at the end of WW1.  Well, her soaps helped the family through the Great Depression.  She had also stored fabrics and sugar.    I have already seen a time this year when NO SOAP of any kind was a available.   Suddenly, just like a hundred years ago, soap was so sought after. 

Next I made up a big batch of laundry liquid.   I love how it smells, I add a tiny amount of soap making colour to it, just for the joy. 


You can find the recipe here on How to beat rising prices in the laundry like Nana did.  Jane uses this recipe and that is how I got started.

While the soap making pot was out I made up two batches of soap in new moulds I have.   I got these on Ebay... also the same as Jane!!  Also I have found a few moulds in the op shops.   I have a bit of a collection now.  But I was so happy to try these new flower ones.   It was so much fun.  

The recipes I used were... the darker soap is Wendy's recipe and the lighter one is Nana Chel's recipe.  


Oops... my photo is only showing the lighter one.   Lots of photos will be up on Tuesday in The Tuesday Afternoon Club.

Both are excellent and simple recipes.   Soap making is easy and not intimidating at all.  Just follow the instructions!!    I have 23 of these pretty soaps drying.  I love them!! 
These will go into another drawer and be available for gifting or trading in the future.

I had several blessings... Mum gave me some beautiful pure wool yarn and some Arnica cream. 

I am attempting to strike basil cuttings in the window sill. 

Hay and manure have been added to the raised garden beds.  One bed is full to the top... the other two are getting there.

Each day the news seems to have been worse as our neighbouring state isn't doing well and the Prime Minister and Finance Minister announced budget figures and unemployment figures etc.   The Treasures said such things as "two world wars and a depression didn't bring Australia to it's knees and COVID won't either."   But the comparison is there... over and over the Great Depression is mentioned and compared to.   

And now this afternoon more news.   I will not be able to go see the girls even if I do quarantine for two weeks afterwards.  That is going to be out too.  As things get worse the rules change.  I don't think this will be improving for a long time.   The army guys and the police both seemed to expect to be at the border for a long time... like months.  One said to me it could be six months, they don't know.  

So as things unfold reality begins to hit.   I am thinking that I do have a way to send cooking in to the girls and the mail is also still running... time to get creative.  I am not complaining.  I know many are having a much, much harder time than this.  

How are things where you are located?  I hope you found ways to build up your home, pantry and garden.   I feel we need to think about spreading our eggs amongst many baskets.  And working to be self reliant in what we can and producing things too.    Where possible anticipate what is coming next in your area.  Not always easy though!   A year ago we would never have imagined any of this! 
Several times already this year I have found myself thinking "that escalated quickly."   I have been talking about preparedness for years now.   At this point I am pretty much reviewing everything but I am determined to use my time at home to do all I can. xxx






Thursday, 16 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 17th July, 2020.

It was a big week.  The biggest thing was  Lucy and Sidney came home from hospital and met the girls.  Because of the virus restrictions they were not allowed to go to the hospital.  So this was very exciting.   There were some truely gorgeous moments!   Anyway now they are old hands at babies and Scarlett thinks she is in charge.


From the start Scarlett was ready to run off with Sidney and I thought ok they are going to have to watch out! 

Harper is older and she asks first!  The expressions on their faces tell the story.


They are besotted with him and it is lovely.

Some of the things I have been making are in use now.  I made a heap of softest flannel wraps in cute prints.   Here Sidney is snug in a doggie one I made months ago.


I have lots of beautiful farm and baby farm animal fabrics lined up.  Now I need time to sew them! 

Most of the crafts and making is posted over on The Afternoon Club where we share what we are making, reusing, putting to good use, baking and so on.   This is a strictly uplifting place, which is what we all need right now...

So some of the ways I feathered my nest were:

I added heaps to the raised garden beds.  I am surprised how it adds up.  I was given more bags of shredded paper.  I squashed cardboard boxes, added chicken manure from the coop, crushed egg shells and coffee grinds. 

I participated in A Working Pantry Challenge which was to add free things to your pantry.  This caused me to focus on all my various free resources and harvest what I could.



It inspired me to start a note book and list resources.   Some are things that are around all the time. We have endless firewood, rabbits, pinecones etc.  Some are seasonal so I set up months of the year... like apples in March and April.   It really got me thinking.   I started then to list things I could do with those assets.  i.e. the wood we cut up... we use it for our fire.  We could sell or gift loads of wood.  We could save the hollow logs and sell to people with aviaries ....  and so on.   I am still thinking of things!

In the thrift store I found another Elsa dress for Harper.  Perfect condition and different!   The last one I bought her she has just lived in it.  To her it is a dress for all occasions, around the home, in the paddock,  to town.  When she is not wearing it she is wearing an older Frozen dress (as above) so now she will have another!

I also found a box of beautiful jars.  One is a vintage one that I particularly collect and keep my dry goods in.  Others are newer jars but good with lids.


There were 7 of the smaller jars.  Six of them are full now of Lemon Butter I made from the lemons and eggs I had. 


Some of this is filling cup cakes today.  Some jars went into the freezer. 

Andy invested in a wood splitter.   It is amazing.  It cuts through big stumps like butter, splitting them into useable bits.  Our woodpile has greatly increased because of this. 

I planted some garlic that sprouted. 

I dried some left over mushrooms near the fire and added them to a jar. 

This week I did a pretty decent pantry stock up.  The atmosphere in the supermarket was kind of frantic.  There were a lot of unavailable items but not restrictions on how many of each item you could buy.   Each day the news has got a bit worse not a bit better.  Today it is worse again.  This is mainly in the area of numbers of new infections and restrictions and lockdowns.  But they affect everything don't they... confidence, how hospitals are managing,  travel restrictions, supply chains....

I continued on my pantry work.  New shelves I added behind the pantry door are full now.  There were the right width for cartons of long life milk so as I filled them,  this made space and neatened up my actual pantry shelves.   Also some left over strawberries became jam.  

We had a good, full of garlic and goodness, chicken soup.   I keep everything on hand to make this.  Some chicken in the freezer, most everything else in the pantry.  As long as I have bay leaves, onion, garlic etc I am happy to use the veggies I have on hand.

The cottage progressed as now I have a double bed ensemble from Buy Swap and Sell in as new condition for $50.   Now I have all the beds needed.  

I feel pleased with the week.  It is a fine balance to keep the home a safe haven and sanctuary when there is a crisis outside.  I was discussing this with someone yesterday and how things are at home is so important.  I wrote a series (which is in the index) called "The world within your walls."   There is so much we can do to create a safe and cozy atmosphere.  Routine helps.   Having lovely projects to keep your mind busy helps.  I cannot sit and do nothing but think.  This is a bad formula for me.  I have a new blanket I am working on for Sidney.  In the evening I work on that.   Stitching (of any kind) is calming and peaceful.  Great contentment comes from putting your heart into something and keeping your hands busy.  And learning a new skill or new stitch is so much fun.   

On the other hand we don't want to be off with the fairies either.  We need to keep tabs with reality and where possible anticipate smartly and be ahead.  While ignorance is bliss is won't keep your family fed.  We really have the power very often to avert trouble.  "A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered. The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty."  Proverbs 22:3    It grieves me when it is the small children and Grandchildren of those who don't have their eyes open that suffer.  
In order to be prudent we need some knowledge of our local situation and the world more generally.  This group has helped me be ahead as many times the northern countries will experience something slightly before Australia... so this can be a handy tip off!  

I hope you found many ways to add to your pantry, preparedness and garden and many ways to bless your family this week.  Sharing your week with us is a big encouragement to others and all information and tips are welcome! xxx











Thursday, 9 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 10th July, 2020.

It was a big week!  Lucy and Kato welcomed a baby boy.  His name is Sidney and his second name is Thomas after Dad (Granddad and Great Granddad) and the joy in Dad's voice as I got to tell him!  ♡♡♡


He is also names after Kato's dear Grandpa.  So this is very special. 

I headed down to stay and look after the girls on Tuesday night.   Sidney was born Wednesday morning.   Well we think he is beautiful and the girls are so excited.  They are truly going to lose their minds when they see him.  There is no visiting for children now due to the corona virus.    So I think this will be tomorrow.  


So I was very lucky to be able to go in.   I am in love obviously!   

I took photos of the girls and said what do you think about having a baby brother?  I took a series but  I thought this one was a classic...


I showed the girls photos of Sidney.  Scarlett said "is that our baby?"   I said "yes that is your baby!" 

We did some normal things....  before Tuesday anyway.

I got 12 more chickens.  These ones are 18 months old x egg farm chickens.  I have bought these before.  They come a bit worn out looking.  However within weeks they look brand new.  It feels nice to rehabilitate chickens and give them a happy life.   And they lay for a long time.   It is also a very economical way to add to your flock.
I had to drive to a meeting point in a little town to pick them up.  I went with boxes and newspaper.    


Most of them have laid every day since.  I need to make some additional nesting boxes, hopefully next week.


A patch of garden was dug up as we are putting down a cement slab for a generator.  Andy salvaged a big lot of Agapanthus plants.  


The cottage is painted now.  I planted these around the outside in strategic spots to look lovely against the white paint.  Blue and green will look beautiful.  I think I planted about thirty out.   A big boost to the look of the outside.

I made scones. 

I was able to work on my pantry.  I now have behind the door shelves.  There are Rubbermaid brand over the back of a door shelving systems.  This blank space is now shelving!  I haven't had any time to actually fill them yet though.

I made up some essential oil gifts.

From the trip I came home with three big bags of chook food.  Household scraps,  thistles and bread.   They are getting stuck into that right now.  

The girls and I picked lemons.  There are old fruit trees on their farm.  I have lots of lemons to work on next week.

So what a week!  We are very blessed.   I was able to shop at a supermarket on the way home.  People are everywhere clearly buying up big time.  Our neighbour state (Victoria) has a huge virus outbreak. This is close by.  People are worried.  The little bit of the news I have seen is not good.    We need to think clearly and be really prudent.  This is hard when really tired!  
I fell into bed last night and slept in this morning.   Now I have a lot of catching up to do! 

How are things where you live?  Did you manage to build up your home, pantry, emergency fund or garden this week?  Take every opportunity!  

Pray for opportunities.  Pray for eyes to see opportunities and pray for the energy to make the most of them!  xxx





Thursday, 2 July 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 3 July, 2020.

This week has been cold and wet!  We now have had enough rain that water is laying in the paddocks and some places become wetlands. This is good!

Some of the ways I managed to get ahead and build up the pantry and garden were:

If the rain stopped I ran outside and did all I could.  I managed to add some wheelbarrows of hay into my raised garden beds in these times.

We had a working bee on the cottage.  It is painted outside now!!  Soon I will put up some before and after photos.   I made up morning tea and lunches.


To do the stuff I can't manage I hired three local young men.  They seemed to feel it was great fun and had a good day.  One of them had a spray painting set up so the outside of the house and the shed were painted so quickly.  It looked dumpy. Now it looks fresh and new.


I have cupboards to clean and a wooden floor to restore as it was covered in a nasty glue.  But we are really getting there on this project!

I continued to work on my pantry.   Over the last few weeks I have organised, re homed, added shelving and anything I can.  I turned some household cupboards into a pantry extension.  This week I added a little shelf in a blank space.  It is just right for all the cake decorating bits and pieces.  So now I also have a free basket for something else.   It will be cute as the girls will be able to stand on the steps and pick their sprinkles! 


The little shelf was from the cheap shop. Many things for my pantry have been from the op shop (thrift store) or the cheap shop.   Also I use free food grade buckets.  Many restaurants and cafes throw these away!

I made up some baked rice custard.  I worked out if I do it in smaller containers and fill them up with my cups... there is less hot water to splash around.  So this is how I do it now.


I like cinnamon as you can tell.  This is a great way to use up eggs, milk and left over cooked rice!  

I participated in The Working Pantry challenge for the week.  It was simply to add an extra or extras of anything we were buying.   So these were my extras.


I put as much into it as I could as getting ahead with my pantry is a big focus right now.   

I did find a few good deals at the stores including marked down apples and pears. 

There are a couple of ladies I look to for wisdom.  Most people are aware of their local situation.  Some people are aware of their countries situation.  Not many people are aware of the world situation.  I get strong feelings about what I need to be doing.   And I am glad that when a few years ago I felt to begin to stock up and LEARN that I did put it into action.   As 2019 went along I felt it with great urgency.  Several of these ladies told me they felt a great urgency to prepare around Christmas and New Year.  Well, they weren't wrong!  Now I am so thankful I had so much confirmation to get on with it.   Because of this we even added generators,  freezers, chickens... I can't even list all we have been doing.  Oh, lol, I should mention we actually felt to move out of the city and to the farm and we did that!  

So I was discussing with my trusted friends and older ladies the subject of where are we now and want to do next?!

One of my most trusted long term friends lives in California.  She wrote to me early in the week and she told me something that shocked me.  She said people she knows there feel that the first half of 2020 was "The CALM before the storm"   This is from the person I think most highly of.  mmm

I discussed this with another friend who said she believes this could be true.  So I prayed and prayed about this.  We can't know the future but we need to be watchful, prudent and do what is needed.  This is part of why the Proverbs 31 woman is not afraid of the future!    Apart from faith she has wisdom and action.  For a whole evening I prayed and though on it.
The next day I went into town.  I needed to go to the post office and I got there and the doors were shut!!   An old man was waiting and he told me it would re open in ten minutes.  He said "the world is upside down now, you know."  I said "yes I know!" 
I decided to wait.   He turned to me and said "I lived through the Great Depression you know, I've seen it all before."   This hit me like a bolt given my prayers the night before.   So we talked.  He said that he lived through the depression, actually in an area of our state where my Grandmothers family lived.  He said he believed we are going into a depression and he said "there will be no food you know."   I asked him how on earth do you know when you have gone from a recession to a depression?   Like where is that line?  He said "oh you know.  It is not a gradual thing.  It is a day.  One day you get up and everything is shut.  Everyone knows.  It is like a collapse."  And so I used this ten minutes to ask him everything I could think of remembering last night I had prayed for answers. 
As the Post Office re opened I thanked him so much for talking to me and sharing his knowledge and experience.  He was just lovely.  

Later I thought !!! I prayed for guidance. I got this!!

Still I doubt myself and wonder did God line him up for me to get the message through my thick head?

The next night I turned on the TV for the news.   There was our Prime Minister.  He looked pretty sombre.  He was making announcements and he said how the world is looking increasingly like the world looked in the 1930s.   He repeated the 1930's two or three times.  So here we go again.  
So by now I accept and believe that I can't get away from the same answer over and over.
If you are younger go read up on the 1930's.  

Our neighbouring state has a major outbreak of the virus and they seem to have gone from bad to worse.   This is all too close for comfort and Lucy has 5 days to go to "baby day!"   I feel it is a race against the clock.

When we have some information coming in, life seems upside down,  the news stations are not reliable and even try and inflame situations,  everyone has an opinion...  we just want things to go back to normal... it is very easy to get battle fatigue and switch off.  But I encourage you to be awake and watchful and to pray.   If I can find it I am going to re post a story from Mel who shared how her Grandmother listened to her mother in law and prepared.  It is the most wonderful story that is very motivating.  What we do now makes a difference. What we do now affects several generations! (at least!) 

How did your week go?  Were you able to add to your pantry or garden and build up your home?
What are you seeing in your state or town?  I am about to go into our town so I will soon find out.  I know restrictions are back on what you can buy.  

Please pray that Lucy and Kato's baby can arrive safely in a covid free hospital. xxx

I found Mel's family story.  I hope this blesses you. 

One story that I have shared with Annabel and would like to pass on to you. It sits with me because I needed to learn this lesson. I have often found it hard to take advice, on some fronts. As I have grown older I am eager to learn from others but as a young Mother I was prideful and did not always listen to others seeking not advice but wallowing in my ignorance. 
This is why I am so amazed by the actions taken by my grandmother when she was a young woman. As I have mentioned before both my grandparents were very frugal and did not spend unnecessarily. Despite their limited income they did put away for the rainy day. So as a young woman and new mother my Grandmother no doubt was caught up in daily life and not overly interested in current events but her Mother and Father in law had lived through WW1 and no doubt feared what was coming in the early 1930’s. My great Grandfather was an ANZAC and my great Grandmother had been home with young children on her own. 
When they feared the coming war my great Grandmother advised my Grandmother on what had become in short supply during WW1 and what to stock up on. Namely soap and other toiletries, sugar, fabric, wool, first aid goods and luxury items such as stockings etc. Now with plenty of other things to spend their money on my Grandparents took this advice. My mother tells me all their clothes were taken out of their drawers and a layer of cakes of soap was laid down and then their clothes put back on top. This happened in every room (this also deters moths). Then my grandmother bought a barrel of sugar and old jumpers second hand from the markets to unpick. She also stocked up on cottons and went into overdrive in canning her home grown goods.
There were other things they did like finish off everything needed doing in the house and prepare their garden. It is great to grow fruit trees but we all know they often take a few years to take off. Vegetable garden was increased and Golden syrup stocked up on. As well my Grandmother had a stockpile of sheets and towels. Now we know how helpful extra sheets used for fabric or bandages or many other uses can be but at her age it would not have been my first thought.
During the war my mother and her sister were always clean. Soap was grated to wash clothes, and for bathing. My Grandmother made pulled candy and all the local kids got a few pieces on their birthday during the war and when sugar was rationed. My grandmother was able to feed and clothe her family simply because she listened and took in this advice which I must say I might have shrugged off in her position. Six years is a long time to struggle thro ugh without many basics and also rationing went on for a while after simply because many things were in such short supply.
Today I read:
Proverbs 19:20
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.