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 April 2017

Feather your Nest Friday. 7th April, 2017.

What a week! It wasn't all good.  To get the bad things out of the way first, Andy lost his job Tuesday. He went to work at 8 am and was home at 9:30.  He was upset.  Now,  it did not come as a huge surprise but we were shocked anyway.  Weeks ago we started seeing the writing on the wall and knew this company was not paying it's bills and it's supplier  stopped supplying them... and other obvious ominous signs.... but still it caught us off guard on Tuesday.
It is a blow and a problem but we do not have all our eggs in one basket and Andy has his drafting, designs and other skills and regular clients who use these.  So we just have to fill a gap.  
He is using his time well and when not applying for jobs he is getting on with what needs doing around the place which includes working on the bathroom.  On Saturday we pulled out the old spa bath in our bathroom as the first step to a big makeover.  With a giant hole in the bathroom we are kind of committed to continuing now.  

So as cheer up therapy here is my new bath...

It is sitting in the office right now! In fact we have a toilet in the lounge room, a vanity on order,  a shower in the van...    Tomorrow we get on to the next step which is levelling the floor space where we took out the spa.  This was old, not working and huge.  I am going to have space for a beautiful set of shelves or a cabinet for all my towels and bathroom things...  which will be lovely! 

Some of they ways I built up my home this week include:

Mum had given me bananas. I had frozen them and it was the boys fishing weekend so I defrosted them and made a big banana cake.

Everyone loves this cake. I make my cakes in giant slabs in my biggest baking pan.  That way I can cut it up and freeze a lot for work lunches etc.

I also made my sour dough into pizza bases and several pizzas.  This made dinner,  lunch box fillers, and accompanied the cake on the fishing trip. Pizza is still one of my best use-it-up recipes.  

This all worked out well as the boys returned with fish and Andy actually had fish and chips for dinner! 

Plus this day is a beautiful relaxing day that they enjoy and it all costs very little.

I finally cooked my Quinces. They start out hard with a whitish/yellowish colour flesh. They end up ruby pink.  I used some as stewed fruit and then I made three crumbles. I already had crumbs mixture in the fridge I made when I had peaches. It used up random cereals, crumbs, nuts etc. to make a big supply.
Well, it worked out to be yum! 

I made three so two will go in the freezer. 

One of the best things of the week was our local  Aldi opened!  I didn't go on the first day as I don't like crowds. But I went on the second day!  It is just a few minutes away and will now be my weekly supermarket.   I found that it is a really big store and it had extra special buys.  

This is a game changer for us!  Unless our other local supermarkets respond with some huge specials they won't be seeing me again. Thanks to Cath Armstrong from  The Cheapskates Club and Wendy I know how to cut my grocery bill in half with Aldi.  Best thing ever!  

I haven't figured out my Vicky Challenge savings yet but it will be a fairly reasonable amount so I am glad of that.

We hare having a burst of warm weather so the clothes line is covered in linen.  And Andy has made my new clothesline with he wrought iron corners and it is all painted.  Now it just has to be put up! It is going to be so beautiful!

I have to show you a picture. Chloe has been bottle feeding three lambs. They love her.  If she is on the phone in the house they can hear her talking and come to that window.  Or they wait for her at the back door...

Yep, she is loved! Her chooks are also laying and she can let them out and they put themselves back to bed at night. This means they have a huge area to free range in the day. They are having the best fun time!

 How did you build up your home, feather your nest and get ahead this week?
Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Oh Annabel I'm so sorry about Andy's job, that is awful news. You must be feeling very good about your efforts in preparedness. Still, preparedness is a bit like insurance, ideally you don't need to use them! I hope something comes up quickly for him.

    I love your bath, how exciting to be doing a bathroom makeover!

    Chloe must have a way with animals, how sweet :)

    Have a nice weekend

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you! Chloe's place is turning into Greenacres if you ever watched that show! Have a good weekend to you too... more bathroom work here. I will be so glad when we are finished! But I think a few weeks yet! With love

  2. Sorry to hear about Andy's job loss but as you said you will be ok and make do. Something will come up soon and while he is off the renovation will get done a lot quicker than if they are done in his spare time.
    Quinces cook up to a beautiful colour and are very popular now.
    Chloe is lucky to have lambs and chickens running round her backyard.
    Aldi is a huge savings and I know here when Aldi opened the other supermarkets had wonderful bargains but over the years have reverted back to dearer prices.
    The weather is slowly cooling off here now and I'm loving the autumn weather. I've been busy making baby cardigans and using up all the leftover balls of wool that I had here. I just need to find pretty buttons to go in them. I've also made a pram liner as Lisa was going to pay between $70-$100 for one which is ridiculous, I might go into making them to sell at that price .
    Hope everyone has had a productive week
    Debbie xx

    1. Thank you Debbie. Yes we are getting on with all kinds of things that are usually squeezed into spare time.
      So far the response to the new Aldi is that Coles have offered to open checkouts over the weekend! That was big of them! haha! I will watch out for actual amazing deals but to me this wasn't exactly exciting!
      I would really love to see your baby cardigans. I have seen the prices on param liners and also they come in very limited colours so I think they could really sell! I love the things you make, you could have a store for sure or supply stores.
      Thanks so much, have a good weekend! Love

  3. Annabel,
    So sorry about Andy's job loss. It's always an unsettling shock when that happens. Even if you may have had an idea it could happen. Sounds like he's putting his time to good use around the house. Your new bath is beautiful! It will be wonderful to enjoy a long soak at the end of the day and unwind. Glad to see you have an Aldi now. It will probably come in useful saving a bit at the grocery store. The lambs are so cute peeking in the door! I'm sure my housework would suffer as I would find it difficult to ignore them.

    1. Dear Sharla, Thank you! The lambs follow Chloe everywhere. They think she is their Mum so its true love!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  4. Dearest Annabel, so sorry to hear about Andy's job loss,but please he has other gifts he can use while he works out what next....Your positivity(is that a word lol) as usual keeps you both in good stead and preparedness will no doubt be a great help.
    Your banana slab looks yummy and Im sure Andy and his friends enjoy seeing your baking on their fishing trips.
    That is a beautiful bath, very suitable to one who loves her baths :-)
    And how cute are those lambs waiting for Chloe, as well as her very clever free ranging hens.
    Sending lots of good cheer to you and Andy and hope a suitable main job comes along very soon.
    Lots of love and hugs, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, Thank you... we have the cakes and feeding the family in common. It is kind of never ending but happy too, how much this all is appreciated and also disappears! I saw some areas in NZ had floods as a result of the last of the cyclone over here. It was one really nasty cyclone! I have concluded that full time jobs are becoming rarer and rarer... everyone has part time jobs and bits and pieces, things have changed. Also there is a lot of under employment... people have jobs but not enough hours etc.
      Have a good weekend and thank you! With love

  5. What a week you have had. I'm so sorry to hear about Andy's job. I'm glad he has other means though of work. You will love Aldi's -It looks bigger than ours! I find myself going to our supermarket for their specials and Aldi's for everything else. What a time and money saver it is. I can't say enough about it.

    1. Dear Vickie, I agree. Each time I go to Aldi I still learn something new. This time was they sell Stevia, which Andy uses, at a fraction of the price of the other supermarkets. This one thing will save me a lot. In the store there were a lot of people who clearly had never been before. I thought yes that was me a while back... and Im still discovering new things. I am giving Aldi chocolate blocks for easter gifts not eggs as it is beautiful chocolate and far better value than eggs. Big money saver right there!
      Many thanks Vicki, with love

  6. Oh Annabel I am so sorry to hear about Andys job loss. I will pray for your family. Good for you on the great job on being prepared for such emergency's our preparedness class was a great inspiration. Just as YOU are to all of us in the bluebird nation! Thank you got all your encouragement and now its our turn to be here for you... We are here for you all of us in this lovely forum you have binds us together across the oocean in friendship. Love Gaila in Washington USA. PS your banana cake looks scrumptious! !!

  7. Dear Annabel~
    So sorry about your Andy's job loss. I hope he finds something even better soon. Good thing you have your pantry stocked up, it's wonderful for times like these. I know we used ours and our deep freeze when my husband lost his job a few years ago.
    Take time to enjoy simple frugal treats. Take each other on a picnic or watch a comedy or romantic movie together on DVD. Or maybe just a bubble bath ;) We are all pulling for you and I hope we can support you with love as you have been so kind and encouraging to us.
    Much Love,
    Donna in TX xo

  8. That was quite a week, Annabel. You have such a great stockpile that I am sure that after the initial shock wears off you will take it in your stride as you are so prepared for any crisis. Thankfully Andy has some work to tide him over until something permanent arrives down the track. Your bathroom is going to be lovely I can tell. We have three ALDI in our city which is only a regional city not a capital city so we are really spoiled for choice.

  9. Annabel I'm glad to see the worst of the shock has worn off and you natural positivity is coming to the fore. I can see that gorgeous bath getting quite a lot of use. Your Bubble bath is going to get a work out. Maybe get that clever Andy to make an across the bath tray to house candles, your dried rose petals and an obligatory glass of crisp white wine. Oh heaven.
    Speaking of clever hubbies, mine has been pushing himself a bit of late to catch up with some household maintenance that has slipped whilst he was ill. For my 47th Birthday he bought home two beautifully shaped, disgusting mould covered tables, as my Birthday present. He proceeded to clean them up and reseal them. They were magnificent. These tables have seen a lot of use over the last 6 years and were looking a little worn. He has been working on them one at a time. I now have one completed beautiful, like new table again. The other is being sanded and prepared for sealing. Massive savings right here.
    I love our Aldi which is about 2kms away and has a bike path going right past it. It is much quieter than the original in town. I don't go on specials day and find that there is little I miss out on. Savings, savings, savings. Plus their cheap chocolate is to die for.
    Chloe's home is a home for all. This is such a lovely picture and says much about her beautiful nature.
    Life is good.

  10. Dear Annabel

    I am so sorry to here that Andy has lost his job. This happened to me two years ago and it is indeed a frightening experience. I know you will manage because you have the knowledge and the stock in place but still it really is an unpleasant position to be in and I pray it lifts soon for you.

    I know you will love Aldi and you will be surprised to see the difference between just a few stores. I have two within close distance to me but I have my favourite.

    For this week I did quite a few things to feather my rather busy nest.
    *I accepted 6 lemons from my son's mammoth lemon tree
    *I bought a large leg of pork on sale for $4.95kg for Easter Sunday and I have recipes ready for the left overs
    *I bought chicken pieces on sale for stocking the freezer
    *I have been eating the apples off my tree
    *I bought a few Christmas presents when I saw them on sale
    *I made all meals from home
    *I continue to follow the Osteoarthritis healthy weight for life program. I completed my first six weeks today with a weight loss of 11.1kg. I am looking forward to another twelve weeks of the program
    *I picked up two extra shifts for this fortnight
    *I have been menu planning and reducing food waste
    *I have been decluttering my room and clothing. Donated more than five bags of clothing and other goods
    I love the lambs they are just so sweet. I hope you have a good week ahead and look forward to reading your next post.
    God Bless

  11. Sorry to hear about Andy's job loss. Your preparedness will make things much easier until he finds another job. Love the bath, you will be able to enjoy luxury in your own home, especially if you use candles and rose petals as Jane suggests.

  12. Dear Annabel
    Sorry to hear about Andy's job - remember when one door closes another opens. Your stockpiling and preparations will hold you in good stead until that door opens. Your bathroom sounds wonderful, your cake looks delicious and so does the crumble! Great news about Aldi being closer now - many bargains to be had and dollars saved. Wish we had one!
    Your positive attitude is inspirational. Cheers Jo

  13. *hugs* and prayers for you and Andy. In the words of a beloved missionary, the late Nona Freeman, "Everything is going to be all right." We pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and start all over again.

    Blessings to you and your efforts on the bath. Looking marvelous so far! The gorgeous bath!


  14. Dear Annabel,

    That is truly terrible news for you and Andy, but I am so glad that you are the queen of preparedness! I hope that something truly wonderful turns up for Andy very soon. And thank goodness that Aldi is so close for couldn't have been better timing!

    I love your tub! It is gorgeous. Can't wait to see photos of the bathroom. Chloe's lambs are so cute. We will have some baby (goat) kids here in a couple of weeks. Our doe is huge, so we're hoping for triplets!

    The robins are back, it's rainy are warm, the crocuses (croci???) are up and ready to bloom, and I see 19 degrees (Celsius) and sun in the forecast for the beginning of next week!!! I think it's spring, knock on wood! Have a wonderful weekend and don't work yourselves too hard!

    Love, Jen in NS

  15. A few years back, Life happened. We had a very sick baby and spent a year in a children's hospital and endured 7 surgeries. Our child is now healthy and whole. However, insurance does not pay 100%, and consequently we lost everything. Broke. But, we started over, and I stayed home with our child. Life is drastically different now, and yet it is so much better. Joy is found in simplicity and thoughtful work. Take comfort, sweet Annabel and Andy. I have learned that such things in life are a pruning and the best fruits always follow. Be blessed.-revonda

    1. Bless your optimism and finding the silver lining from such a trial.

  16. The company I worked at for 10 years closed the office in my city without warning. This was right before what is know as the "mortgage meltdown." I had seen the writing on the wall, but it still came as a shock. Ten years later and I can see it was a huge blessing as it allowed me to become a stay at home wife/mom. Very sorry you and Andy have to go through this. I imagine that having your stockpile gives you some peace of mind.

    The lambs are adorable. I'm sure Chloe loves them just as much as they love her!

  17. Annabel, your crumbles always look so yummy! I am sorry to hear about your husband's job and thankful you have a pantry and a backup for income. I live in a farming community and things around here are very slow where I work. If it continues, I'm not sure how long my employer can keep 12 stores going. Only good thing for me is, I am old enough to start drawing Social Security, so I could fall back on that if I needed to. I love the picture of the baby lambs, you just want to love on them. Paula in Kansas

  18. So sorry to hear that your hubs lost his job. I am sure a better opportunity will come along.
    You will be fine, as you are so thrifty and creative.

    All your yummies sound so good.
    I LOVE Aldi. It is the best. So glad you now have one close to home!!


  19. I am so sorry about Andy's job! I know just how that feels and we have been there so I know how to pray for you both and will be. Your new bathroom will be so nice!

    We just got an Aldi close to home, too! I have not braved the crowds yet but I need to go and check it out.

  20. I am so sorry about Andy's job. I am sure that his side hustles can carry you through until he ends up wherever the Lord is sending him. This is exactly what all of your preparedness work has been for! Good thing you listened to that little small voice!

    Not much feathering here for us, but taking advantage of previous featherings. I fell and severely sprained my ankle and have been stuck on the couch for 4 days so far. Because I have a pantry, my dear husband who doesn't cook, was able to make spaghetti with canned green beans for dinner the first night, hamburgers and salad the second night, frozen pizza and salad the 3rd, and a neighbor is bringing dinner over tonight to give him a break ;) He has had a crash course in home management! We have 6 kids, so I have plenty of help to make lunch and fetch and carry, so he has just had to learn how to organize the troops! I have had lots of time to keep working on crocheting my plastic bags into a rug for our mudroom, so maybe some feathering in progress has been happening. Everyone have a good weekend!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Here's the link to the recipe I used for the un-corned beef. didn't have the juniper berries and I used a bottom round roast instead of a brisket. I also used dried thyme because I didn't have any fresh on hand. If you google "recipe for un-corned beef" lots of recipes will come up, including some from Martha Stewart. All looked good but I liked this one for it's simplicity. TWhile it was really fantastic the day it was cooked, letting it sit in the pan juices it was even better (which I thought wasn't possible) the next day. Hope you'll try it!! Blessings, Cookie

  21. Lots of prayers for Andy in finding another job. Times are a little tough right now. He is in God's hands. Beth Masontown Pennsylvania

  22. Dear Annabel,
    I LOVE your new tub! The goats are too cute and, seriously, I would be opening that door and letting them in for a cuddle promptly :). I can't refuse any animal, much less a baby animal.
    Your goodies that you bake always look delicious. I haven't baked this week and should have. We've had a lot going on.
    John finished up the upstairs sewing room closet redo. Now I have an upstairs sewing room and a downstairs sewing room. Having them divided up has really helped me relax when sewing. The upstairs is for clothing and the downstairs is for gifts/crafts/home decorating/totes/etc Since, at present, I am not going up and down the stairs a lot this has been a blessing for me.
    This week has been normal cleaning, grandchildren two days, deep cleaning in the kitchen, and doing some grinding of grains and vacuum sealing. I did spend one afternoon going through my clothes closet and folding things I don't wear and won't to give away. I have half of my study closet cleaned out and plan to finish that within the next week.
    It will soon be time here to work outside, so our goal is to get all the inside things done while our weather is still unsettled.
    I will continue in prayer for you and Andy and his job situation. Preparedness is such a blessing. You are helping so many to learn more about situations, "for such a time as this."
    Much love and hugs,

  23. So sorry to hear of andys job loss. A real shock for you both. Through your preparedness I'm sure you'll get through it. Id also encourage you to draw on the government we have here in Australia to help you financially in this time . No shame there.
    Love the bath ! And those gorgeous lambs !!! Also your new aldi. I try to plan my meals around the "7 day specials " usually meat, veg , and fruit. I can save lots that way. I'm getting more shifts at work. A full time job has come up I'm applying for. Also made a huge batch of soup for the week , and gratefully received a fridge my nana was throwing out but works wonderfully and keeps my veg for longer than my old one !! I filled the car with petrol on discount day, and ate all meals at home.
    Thinking of you both in this testing time. Love sonia. Sydney. Australia

  24. Dear Annabel, I am so sorry to hear the news about Andy's job and am sending you both love and big hugs! Andy is very talented and will find something soon. :) Annabel, you are very prepared and I know you will be fine, even in these uncertain circumstances.

    Your banana cake looks so yummy! I made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting this week, inspired by yours! :) Most of it was shared with co-workers. But it was yummy! I will be making cinnamon buns/sticky buns this weekend (most we will share also lol). I had no idea that quinces could be stewed and used in crumbles, sauces, etc. I only knew about jelly!

    I can't wait to see your new bathroom! The tub is lovely and you will need to do as Jane suggested! :) And those baby lambs are just darling! Chloe is such a lovely and kind person, just like her mama!! :) And what great news about an Aldi close to you! We don't have them but it sure sounds like a wonderful grocery store!

    Have a lovely weekend. Prayers coming your way! Love, Teri

  25. Annabel, So sorry to hear about Andy's job. We have experience with that recently too. My son was without and he landed a really great job that he loves.

    I envy you gals that have Aldi in your towns. Maybe someday I'll get to visit one!

  26. Dear Annabel,
    I was sorry to hear about Andy's job. And, like Cheryl, I'm believing that a better opportunity is coming along.

    Your bathroom project sounds very exciting and I love the tub. The banana cake looks delicious as does the crumbles. The little lambs at Chloe's door are so cute !!

    The new Aldi's in your area looks huge!! We have about 4 of them, each 25 miles in a different direction from our home, but definitely worth the trip.

    You may have heard some squeals of delight all the way to Australia this week as I made a recipe I'd been wanting to try called "un-corned" beef. It was so easy and an amazing clone of commercial corned beef. There was no brining involved, although it marinated in the spices overnight and then was cooked in the slow cooker the next day. I will never buy a corned beef again as this was so easy and tastes so authentic. I also made scones and bread to put into the freezer. More notecards got painted. It's been a quiet week. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

  27. Dear Annabel I can relate to having all of the bathroom fittings through out the house. Give it a couple of weeks and it will all be back to the way it usually is. Though like your kitchen you will no doubt find dust and bits and pieces for some time after the bathroom is finished.

    Not having too far to travel to get to an Aldi store will certainly change things for you. They do have mark downs but as in the other stores each to their own time frame. I have managed to get a couple of markdowns but generally have found that even getting there at 9 am I have been too late. Sometimes they have some fantastic specials that are great to put away as gifts.

    Isn't it horrible how companies can string along employees and then drop the shoe? Having gone through it 12 months ago I know how you are both are feeling. A suggestion for Andy - what about Bunnings? He is such an handy person and obviously has great people skills given that he put you in touch with Kath. - Just a thought.

    This week I have been trying not to catch whatever my husband has had. Our weather has cooled down quite a bit and it has caught a lot of people unawares. My husband has a habit of working up a sweat when doing something (last weekend it was trimming back the neighbours shrubs that had grown into our yard) and instead of putting something extra on he sits in his soaked clothes cooling off. Of course every time this happens he gets a chill and starts something off.

    Yesterday we purchased some kerosine for our heaters for winter and also a very sturdy shelving system for the shed. Getting the shelving system home was going to be fine - the store had a trailer - well of course they no longer have the trailer now . I eventually got that sorted out and it will be delivered on Monday.

    I found a dehydrator on sale but have left it for the time being. There is no where to store it in my kitchen. When the shelving unit goes up in the shed I should be getting some of the existing shelves for my pantry stores so then I will have space to store things that I have no room for in the house.

    Have a great weekend everyone


  28. Annabel,
    I am sorry to hear about Andy's job I know that has to be hard even if expected, we have been through it and your well stocked pantry and preparedness will keep you well trust me! As handy as Andy is I know he'll still be busy which is good.
    Your crumbles look so yum I have never had quince before, but they look pretty to me an I love your spa I can imagine the extra room you will have in your bathroom now how wonderful!
    The lambs at Chloe's are adorable that is such a sweet sight to see.
    After a few halts in the process we are back to the renovating and the savings I will add up at the end, but we have saved on paint, oak baseboards, flooring and of course the labor,
    The pipe under the sink broke and made a mess and we saved a $100 on not having a service call from a plumber, but what a mess!
    I cut the hubby's hair $10
    I received lots of goodies in the mail between samples and full sizes $25
    I made pizza at home instead of caving on take out $20
    I was blessed with a 50 pound bag of wheat flour, some all purpose flour, corn meal, brown sugar, baking cocoa and 2 small boxes of books. $100
    Feathering is still just organizing things and moving things around. It is such a mess when your redoing rooms ah but soon it will be all done! I can't wait!
    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

  29. Just a thought---Patsi at A Working Pantry has not posted on her blog in 2 weeks now. I am concerned for them.

    1. Patsi posted on her FB disaster class group on April 2nd. She didn't give any indication for concern on Sunday.

    2. Dear Lana,
      thank you for asking about Patsy... as Wendi said she did post recently but I spoke to her today and she has been quiet the last days as her husband has an injury and has needed medical help. She said she will post something and thank you for noticing! I am wanting to chime into the weekly check in as I got my goals for the week achieved!
      Thank you Wendi also! With love

    3. Annabel, Thank you for the reply. Now I know how to pray for them.

  30. Dear Annabel!!

    I love that new bath of yours, which is only superseded in loveliness by Chloe's lambs!! Thank you, Chloe, for sharing your lambs! I'd love to lamb-sit for you!!!!!

    Well, the week has had a few shocks in it! First, I was in minor shock to find early bird seedlings coming up in my rain-drenched, newly planted garden. Then I read of Andy's between jobs situation. Then I realised that my perception of age brackets must be all askew! Jane, you're a spring chicken!

    I pray, Annabel, that you and Andy will be some of those who can remember the wonderful works that our Redeemer has wrought for us, and that you will also remember the abundance of His steadfast love - that your path may be sure, and filled with pleasantness. One thing that we treasure is being able to spend our time working together. Just that can make life so much richer, and more worthwhile!

    It's about time that the tide started turning! Ha ha!! You have given to so many. May you be valued and inspired in return!!

    May we all thrive in trusting in the faithfulness of our Rock. May He lead us in His life-giving ways, and may His strength be made perfect in our weaknesses.

    Your friend,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel Bluey is more than a few years my senior. When we moved to Qld I decided that I wished to be semi retired rather than the full time corporate position I had previously held. I'm an unapologetic old fashioned Granny. Easy to think that I must be a quite a bit older than I am.


    2. I see the good sense in your Qld way of arranging things, Jane! It was the 47 part (that I now realise was six years ago!!) that hit me - only because I suddenly saw how much closer our comparative ages are! Ha ha!! You and Bluey are wonderful - a nice, old-fashioned couple! Ha ha!!

  31. Annabel I know that you were wise to build that emergency fund in that pantry and other items meant just for this time. It looks as though we shall be seeing some changes here. At the moment though it's all wait and watch and prepare, which is what I'm doing my best to do.

    1. Dear Terri,
      Yes I agree, wait, watch and prepare. Being watchful is always prudent. I hope you have a good week, you are always busy and productive! With love,

  32. Annabel, it has certainly been a stressful week for you both, and yet you still look to the bright side. You're definitely a 'glass half full person'. I have no doubt that your preparedness has eased the shock a little.
    Good luck with the bathroom renovations. Having gone through it last year, the end result is well worth waiting for.
    Gorgeous photos of the lambs.
    best wishes

    1. Dear Janine,
      It sounds like you can relate on the bathroom! We made some progress today. There seem to be a lot of steps to go through. Now are the messy steps. At the end hopefully it will come together quite quickly.
      Many thanks Janine, with love Annabelxxx

  33. Annabel you are the eternal optimist and I love reading your positive posts. Congrats on the Aldi so close to you, I can't imagine not being able to shop there - it has made a huge difference to being able to maintain our standard of living, especially last year with just our stockpile to live on. I think it wise to build a stockpile. I was listening to the world news this morning and I don't think I'm a panic merchant but some of what I heard had me mentally going through my lists and checking what may need to be built up, including things like batteries and medications, underwear (one of my greatest fears is not being able to have nice undies - silly I know, but I can't help it) and things like freezer bags and foil. I'll be taking some time this week to double-check inventories and making a list of what needs to be replenished/replaced. Nothing will go to waste and at the very least we'll be self-sufficient if needs be. Your bathroom sounds gorgeous and that bath is pure luxury - and I know you'll enjoy it :)

    1. Dear Cath,
      Thank you so much! You would have laughed at my happiness over this new Adli! It is such a good store! Like of all the ones I have been in (4) this is the best!
      I agree with what you are saying... over the weekend it is hard to find out anything but as far as I can see there is a Russian war ship on its way and now as well US ships heading towards the Korean peninsular given the worries there. So I have also been making mental checklists.
      Oh and I agree about undies. Also I feel this way about sheets. If I have clean sheets on the bed this makes things just better.
      Have a good new week. I will be keeping an eye on developments that is for sure. With love

    2. My household linen must have lots of thing is tea towels! I hate old, faded, stained tea towels, I put out a clean tea towel every morning and again before tea, plus if I'm cooking or baking I go through a few. When I see my favourite tea towels I buy them and stash them in the linen cupboard whether "I need them or not" as Wayne says :)

  34. I'm sorry about Andy's job. My husband lost his job in early March. Totally unexpected so it really slapped us across the face. I didn't eat for days because I couldn't swallow. I swore that was the lump of terror. We've been okay, but I look forward to this trial being over. I'm not at all an optimist so I know yours will be a great help. I pray that we'll both have good news soon.

    1. Dear Debby,
      I am so sorry for your stress and worry and your husbands job loss. We are seeing a lot of this and I guess it was our turn. What I am seeing here is a big reduction in full-time type jobs around and instead many people having to change their expectations of finding full time work. Instead there seems more success in finding a series of bits and pieces that make up something like full time work. Andy will fix things, garden, pressure clean stuff, tidy yards, paint, do welding... all kinds of stuff aside of his drafting and design work. If he cant find a full time job he will put all these together and advertise and put word around and hopefully all the bits add together. I am mentioning this as a lot of people don't think about it, they keep looking for a full time job. People seem to pay crazy prices to have hedges trimmed, lawns mowed and various things and if there is a skill like these then this can be a good earner. This week Andy picked up a welding job which was just fixing some gates, a gardening job for one afternoon... and a drafting job for about one day. This adds up to a big help. So this is how I look at it. I really hope your husband finds something and thank you so much for your kind words! With love

  35. Hello Annabel, you are such an incredible person. So positive! Even in tough and worrying times! I am sorry Andy lost his job. He sounds like an incredibly hard worker, intelligent and good at lots of things, so I hope this means he gets another job soon. I am glad he has other work to do. I think your saying of making hay while the sun shines is apt here, and getting the bathroom done would be such a massive saving, I'm sure it would work out his wage plus a lot more! I'll keep him in my prayers. I love your bath and agree with Jane about the tray! That's a great idea. How lovely to have a soak. I had a bath today and was given some bath soak and it was beautiful, I now want to make my own for gifts! I love the sound of Aldi, we don't have Aldi here, but we are making good use of the butcher. It is so much cheaper than the supermarkets. Especially if we just buy their big specials. Chloe sounds really happy and her place looks beautiful. I love her lambs! So cute!
    Sending you lots of love (and prayers), Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      There is always so much stuff around the place to do. We would also like to go to the farm and help Chloe for a few days. Like she had a storm last night and the chicken house roof blew off! She could really do with a couple of days of a handy man hoping out. Well, now might be the time to do it. So we will use this time to the max.
      Oh yes I plan to soak and love the tray idea! I think it is looking to be about two weeks to go before it is in with the floor work and drainage and all kinds of jobs that seem to be on the list first.
      Bath soak and products are lovely gifts for anyone who likes taking baths. Plus you could make yourself a supply. Epsom salts is a good ingredient as it is really good for you, not expensive and makes skin feel really good.
      Basically all the best spas in the world use epsom salts.
      It is really good you have found a butcher that is good! Weekly specials are the way to go. Have a good new week Bridge, and thank you! With love

  36. I'm sorry to hear about your husbands job. We will be praying for something even better to come along.

    I love the picture of the lambs at the door. How incredibly cute!

    My mom is improving a little bit. She says hello. I tried emailing twice but I must have the wrong email address or something.

    1. Dear Kristi, I hope we have fixed the problem now thank you!
      Thank you for keeping us up to date with your Mum. I am so glad there is improvement! We will pray that this continues and she makes a complete recovery soon. Waving to you Patti! With love

  37. Hi Annabel, so very sorry to hear of andys job situation. I love how you always find the positive !
    Can you please give me advice ? Almost 40. Working casually in hospitality but trained health educator. I'm trying to apply for as many of these jobs as I can. A real fear and worry about the sydney market where I was born and raised. Prices hours out of the city for a one bed unit exceeding 1.1 million ! I also have uni debt of 250,000k. I'm panicked about the future. I save what I can. I get extra work when I can. I shop at aldi and make menu plans and made a terrific soup from scratch yesterday. What else can I do ? Near break down. Had to go away down the coast today to escape Sydney and its craziness. I want to be a woman of some wealth so life isn't always "on struggle street!". And be wise. Please help ! Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia, I have known you are not happy with your situation for a while and I am so sorry about it and in fact Andy and I have talked about what we would do. We know if we sold our home here to re buy in Sydney we would go from a nice home to just abut nothing and be pretty badly off... where as here we have a good life! But when you have a family somewhere this is the hard bit. However with debt and the way things are going I feel fearful for you and think you must get out of this cycle and you must give yourself hope for a better future... and you know that and you are miserable now. I also know you would like to get married ...
      I used to live in a country town for many years. Women would come there from the city as teachers, nurses etc and do very well as the county towns needs theses skills.... and they would be married pretty fast too I noticed! Your best bet for a good income is in the field you have qualifications in. Cast your net wider to regional centre type towns and country towns. You will have a nice home for a much cheaper price and earn good money. You can plant veggies and have chickens! And cook! And be able to afford to travel to Sydney to see your family very often. This would be a new life! I know this would be a huge step. I love Sydney to visit but we could not live there... we would just get pourer and poorer. For those already there with homes well they are doing well as now they are sitting on gold mines but for those just starting out, wanting a home, it is no good.
      The country areas try to attract medical staff and have trouble getting them so you should have a very good chance to get a great job. Sonia it would be a new and bright future for you. If you get an opportunity take it. Grab it with both hands! You have great potential for a much better life and happiness and your dreams coming true. After a little while you will love your trips seeing your family but be so glad to go back to your good job and nice home!
      This is what I really think, I thought about it half the night! With my love

    2. Annabel and Sonia, I agree with Annabel's idea of country town living, instead of Sydney! We don't miss the 'rat race' one bit!

  38. Dear Annabel,
    A warm embrace for you. I'm so sorry to hear about the job loss but you are prepared for "such a time as this". You must know that people all over the world are praying for you, Bluebirders everywhere are lifting you up. I'm excited to see what new blessings are coming your way.
    With love, Ginger

  39. Dear Annabel ,I apologise for my late reply , it's been a tough few weeks .
    I am so sorry to hear about Andys job loss , it's great that you are so well prepared and also that Andy has many skills and talents.
    I will do a two week Vicky challenge next week if that is ok?. I have had a fairly good week though including discovering my orchid plant had sprouted a new plant off it , my Dad is going to pot it up for me .its special to me because this orchid was given to me by a cousin and his family after Rob passed away.
    .I don't mean to be picky but please check your title Annabel, instead of nest you have next !.
    Again I apologise for being late with my comment Annabel. I hope everyone has a great week .
    Love BarbW.

  40. Thank you so much everyone for being so encouraging and your kind words. I have run out of time to reply properly to everyone. We have used the weekend to get lots done and Andy has a couple of small jobs to do this week already (for pay) and otherwise we will keep doing things like working on the bathroom and other jobs and use the time for good things. He is also happier and ok where as before he was upset and worried. Thanks so


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