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 30 August 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 31st August, 2018.

Today is the last day of winter!  We have a spring move and a spring wedding!
This week was pretty much last week repeated!  Here at home I have been using up things from the freezer and packing up.

We did a lot of moving.   Andy hired a truck and we stacked that with the bulk of our things and headed off to the farm house.  The best days are the ones at the farm!

Chloe and Luke helped us unload.  Builders at the house also saw we had heavy things and they helped too!  It was wonderful!

We had our bed, BBQ, generators and all sorts.  The best thing was we slept our first night!   
First we went through the house to see how things are looking!   And they were looking good!
Andy has a large office with a wall of windows.   He loves it.  

Our bedroom has a wall of built in cupboards then an area like a large dressing table.  My biggest mirror which was my Nan's fitted perfectly.   So that was it's obvious home.  

So this is the bare bones of the bedroom.  No cupboard door handles yet!

I chose a craft room.  It has a similar unit with space for a chair to be my desk or my sewing table.

I want to make myself a huge inspiration board on that wall!

It was very exciting as we have two new air conditioners.   Hot summers are already on my mind with spring coming.   And a new combustion fire was installed in the lounge room.   This will heat the house,  burn our wood and I will have my dutch oven and kettle sitting on here through out winters!

My new fridge went in too.   I picked it for rows of shelves to set up my containers to keep fruit and veggies fresh in.   I wanted to take a photo but could only find a few of my containers! 

But next week we will be doing our first shop and stock up as we will be moving!  So I will show you how it looks then!
The bottom of the fridge is a freezer with drawers.

So this was all exciting!  

I had packed a picnic type dinner.   After a long day we sat on the deck and looked at the view and had our first meal.   When we travel I generally have a kind of picnic tea.  

This provided lunch the next day and snacks since.  So easy but really nice.  
We enjoyed the quiet, the birds.  

We did a lot of unpacking,  set up the bed,  worked through a lot of lists.   Next trip I need to clean that oven, do windows, set up the laundry...  well the list has a couple of hundred things on it!

To my amazement we got the internet working!   Next we need to figure out TV.  But Chloe helped and with a booster we could get the internet.  This is no small thing... it took Chloe months to get the internet! 

We had some savings.  I would say hiring a truck, packing ourselves, moving ourselves etc is a saving.   We have made the most of many things at the house rather than replace them i.e. the kitchen cupboards and natural floors etc.   One current one is the cupboard and drawer knobs....  I counted we need 94!    94 x anything is a lot and I found most knobs have been around $5.   Even on Ebay I was surprised by their cost.   I settled to buy new ones for the kitchen and recycle the rest.  Some just needed a clean like these old ones with little flowers...

I have brought a heap home to paint.  I just need to take them from creamy to white.

It was so nice sleeping at the farm!  It was so quiet.  So peaceful.  It felt like home. 

For the next few days we are back in the city,  focusing on getting this house ready to sell and aim to hand over the keys by the end of next week.  So now it is the last packing, last cleaning...  it is a lot!  
At the farm I felt so excited!   But last night I felt so daunted!  There is so much to do here!  I think I was definitely over tired and headachy when I went to bed.

I am glad to write my Friday post.   It helps me see how much we have achieved and how far we have come... also how close we are to moving!!   It also helps me let everyone know what we have been doing so that you do not think I am a bad friend who never writes!

I got a letter from Laine.  She said the most beautiful thing.   She said "I read about your Dad in Proverbs today.  A wise man leaves an inheritance  for his children's children.  I thought of your Dad and your move to the farm, so happy for your family."    I thought this was just the nicest thing to say.  

It is so true that we are working to provide for our families and to help those still to come.   The work we do now affects the generations.  There is a bigger picture!  

I need to grocery shop,  get to Kmart and IKEA for some shelving and odds and ends that we need.  I want to go see the girls!   Then I just need to get bits and pieces that are left packed up, tidied and clean.   I hope over the weekend I get all that done!

How was your week?  How did you get ahead,  build up your home, pantry, emergency supplies?
Do you notice how the things you do consistency really add up?  A week can be a long time and make a world of difference too!

Have a lovely weekend! xxx

Friday 24 August 2018

A letter from Laine. Dated August 24 2018.

Dear Sisters,
The early morning last Thursday started with this text to my family and friends:

"Please pray for me, my bladder is pretty bad today, already contacted my dr.  Please pray I don't go into a flare and can calm this down."

I have Interstitial Cystitis, a chronic, painful bladder condition.  Nothing is worse than a flare, which is likened to stage four cancer pain. My flares usually last two to three weeks.  I was at the beginning of that pay early Thursday morning. My Mom came over to talk to me and I was already having trouble talking. I hadn't had a flare in a year and a half, and as always, I was shocked at it's speed and severity.

I rarely eat out. My diet is limited.  I follow the Specific Carbohydrate diet but even that diet is more strict for me as I can't have dairy, honey, most fruit, certain spices, certain nuts, and the nightshades that are allowed on the diet.  I bring my food wherever I go.  I don't mind. I really love the food the LORD has given me to eat for the past four and a half years.  It's my "manna", and I am very thankful for it. It keeps me healthy and able to take care of my husband, my nine year old daughter, and help with my eight grandchildren.  (Two more grandchildren are coming, one and day now!)

So how did I get into this oncoming flare?  I got cross contaminated. Even to the best of my ability this can sometimes happen...even in my own kitchen. I know I have a small window of opportunity to ward off a flare, so I immediately emailed my doctor, asked family and friends for prayer, started eating all my safe foods and drank copious amounts of fresh ginger tea. Then I set to work on my house. It was 6 am and as I worked I kept thanking God for everything I could think of while praying over my body.  Thanking God that school hadn't started yet, so I wasn't homeschooling my daughter that day. Thanking Him I was not on a trip that we planned, which got cancelled. Thanking Him over and over for so many little things and so many big things He has done or is doing.

My Mom used to say "Laine, you can only have room for one thought at a time, make it a thankful thought."

I was thankful my routines were in place. I knew what to do next in my home without even thinking about it.  After I made my husband breakfast and saw him off to work, I tidied and dusted the living room, fed the cat and the dogs, headed to the bathroom next and cleaned the counter, mirror, and swished the sink and toilet.  I made my bed, put away any clothes, and dusted my room. I had vacuumed the house the day before, so I was happy to forgo that.  I checked two other rooms and made sure they were in order, then I headed to the kitchen.   I put away any clean dishes, washed our cups from the night before, tidied up anything on our table and desk, then quickly set about to making scrambled eggs, a vegetable soup that always calms my condition (I think I've shared that recipe before) and lentil bread with avocado on top.  I needed to eat everything  quickly to stave off this oncoming flare.  By that time my mom had come over and wanted to help, so she put on a load of laundry for me. I put a roast in the crockpot for dinner in the evening.  My little daughter, Lucy, watered all my potted plants and my garden for me and then tidied her room.  And my oldest daughter, Abbie, went food shopping for me as we had planned to do that together that day.

Between thanking God over and over and praying over my body as I worked, I also have a manta the the pain intensifies. "Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it!"

"My help comes from the LORD, which made Heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2

The rest of the day I ate a lot of my vegetable soup and ginger tea. My doctor emailed me back that morning, so I immediately started on the protocol she gave. It really helped a lot.

I am so thankful to say, I never went into a full flare. Thanks be to God!

"I was brought low, and he helped me." Psalm 116.6b

Our granddaughter is due and day now. I am so thankful to be able as I will be watching their three children while my son and his wife are in the hospital. I watched all their three kids for two and a half weeks while my son was away and my daughter-in-law was bedridden early on in her pregnancy. I didn't know if my routines would work with four children 8 years and under in the house, while homeschooling two of them, and of course, all the added mayhem of family life.  But they stood the test!
And, again, I was so thankful I had my routines in place to keep my home running smoothly.  It has taken me years honing them to the point that doing the routines in my home are like going for a walk. I don't think about it, I just walk.

"Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't thinks about it!"  Whether in pain, or with a bunch of kids in tow, I just keep waling by His great, great grace.

Love Laine.

Feather your Nest Friday, 24th August, 2018.

It is still Friday but very late in the day!  We came home from the farm this afternoon.
This week so much more was achieved!  I am tired but it is a good tired from getting lots done.

I have a few more photos as now the house looks less of a disaster zone and there are less sheets over everything.

We had a week of more packing, work on our home getting it ready to sell and lots of lists of things we need to do before we can move.
At the farmhouse  builders have been pulling up old carpets and sanding the wooden floors that are underneath.   And I am so happy to see lovely light coloured wooden floorboards... I want no stain just clear finish on them so the rooms will be as light as possible.

The kitchen cabinets have been undercoated and are being sprayed with some hard wearing paint and while we were there the old lino came up and the floor was sanded.  Straight away the room looked so much bigger!

The stove and sink are wrapped in plastic before the spray painting.   I love the floors!

Other rooms are up to about the same stage...

Inside painting is done and everything looks clean and fresh.  From where we started this is all a huge transformation.

Except the windows!  They haven't been cleaned in a long time.  We will get to those next week...

Because of sanding and mess we stayed at a little cabin near by.  It was just lovely.  We had a meal with Chloe and Luke and during the days I took a picnic to the house and a thermos each of tea and coffee.  We used the back of the van as a picnic table.  It was so sunny and beautiful so it was just gorgeous.  I thought over and over how making up a picnic and taking tea and coffee was the best investment of time ever.  It made the day so nice and when I thought I was so tired we had a break and then were ready to get going again.  You get so much more work done this way.

This was our front garden in the cottage we stayed in!  Full of birds too!  

During the day we worked on cleaning up another patch out the back.  You would call it fuel reduction for fire season.  We had a big fire going for seven hours and just kept piling stuff on.  

After we could see that between this and the last time we had made a difference.  We need to do this again each time we are there as fire season begins mid October then we can no longer burn anything.  Currently the ground is very damp, water is laying everywhere and it is safe to have a bonfire.

We saw there are a lot of rabbits around.  And I noticed a lot of the kinds of birds about including black cockatoos. 

At the end of the day Andy raked up around the fire so it would burn down and not escape.  Luke and Chloe arrived to see how we were going.  Luke came towards Andy and said "Andy don't move!"   Andy froze.  I looked... and there was a Huntsman spider the size of a small side plate on Andy's jumper.  Luke whacked it off!   Andy used to handle snakes as part of his job, isn't worried by lizards, mice, rats... but he hates spiders!  This was the largest spider I have ever seen!
That was time to call it a day! 

We have come home with a list of things we need, measurements and plans.  On the surface of it this list is daunting.  But if we tackle one thing at a time we will get through it!

At home I worked on my "use it up challenge" and used quite a bit more from the freezer.  This is helpful too as we have a lot of extra expenses for a while.  Next week, for instance, we need to hire a truck. 

I finished a rug which is for charity.  This took ages but it is very soft.  Mimi gave me this lovely sparkly yarn...

Thanks so much Mimi! This kept me busy for about eight weeks!

Now I have started working edges on some kitchen towels I got from Kmart.  They are gorgeous and at $3 each I thought I could do these as gifts.

I got a whole heap to do.  I will show them spread out when I have finished some.
Some are for the farmhouse too.  They are shades of grey with highland cows on them! 

We arrived home and I got started with the washing.  Tomorrow I need to go buy a fridge that will fit in the farmhouse kitchen.  Our current fridge will go too after this house is sold.  But as we will no longer weekly shop and need to go much longer we know we need a much larger fridge.  So I am hoping I can get a good deal and a fridge I really like.   Over the last months I have been investing in containers to keep fruit and veggies fresh.  Chloe has tested some different ones.  She loves the Debbie Meyer Green boxes the best of all.  She has also Tupperware Vent Smarts.  We looked into this a lot as with the price of food plus distance keeping things fresh as long as possible seems like a good investment.   I basically can't wait to have a fridge set up with these! 

So that is my week!  
How did you build up your nest, get ahead,  add to your pantry or preparedness?  
I hope it was a fruitful week for you.  I am thinking a lot about how the work we do adds up.  Things can seem enormous or impossible but little by little we get there.  Be encouraged and if you don't know what to do next "do the next thing."

Over the weekend we are going to hear from Laine.  I am blessed that she has shared something I can post for everyone to read.  I know many of you love it when we hear from Laine! xxx

Thursday 16 August 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 17th August, 2018.

I am in a strange time between two houses with lots of travel!  So this has been a long week!
I know it won't last forever but just now I have two houses that are a complete mess!
In the city we are packing up,  doing last minute renovations to get ready to sell in Spring. Even though we had done a lot and some areas look great such as the bathroom which we already renovated and all the painting I did there is still stuff to do to sell.  And loads of packing.
And at the farm house there has been enormous progress!  But that is a mess too with drop sheets and tins of paint everywhere,  old lighting pulled out, cupboard doors are off, carpet pulled up...
Actually at the farmhouse it is exciting!  As things are done I can see how beautiful it is.  For instance horrible old carpet hid beautiful wooden floorboards.  In the kitchen really old faded lino hid stunning natural wood flooring.  So it is kind of a process of peeling away things to reveal the treasure underneath!

Our week consisted of packing and a trip down to stay with Chloe and work at the house for a whole day on Monday.  That was a really good day!  Builders were there, lots of activity.  We worked on clearing around the house and I had a big bonfire as fire number one of a long series to get ready for summer.
Dad also came over to have a look.  He looked so happy!  He planned this for ages and here we were working and moving. So he was delighted.  We walked through the house together and I was pointing out so many things I love.

Andy was also helping Luke with some welding.  They were making fire pits out of old tractor disks.  For them this was also fun evidently as they seemed to having a great time!

Andy spent his first working years welding.  That was back when we went out when we were 16!

The fire pits look like giant sculptural flowers!

We met the cat.  Andy does not like cats.  They are right up there with goats on things he doesn't like.
However Herb worked on him for a fair while and possibly won him over a bit...

We needed to stay out of the way of builders so we worked in the yard.  There are a lot of dead trees and fallen branches and only about eight weeks until fire season begins.   So we cut wood, cragged branches and had a big bonfire.

At the end of the day we had cleaned up a couple of spots.  I think we have about thirty to go!  But it was good fun and we made an impact.

Out the front of the house it looks like this.  But out the back the scrub has come close to the house and that is where we need to do a lot of work.

Chloe looked after us for two nights.  She has the fire going and it is so nice. Soon we will be doing the same!   
I took down butter chicken and sides to help on the first night.  The second night Chloe did roast lamb and veggies and a cheesecake.

Now we are home pulling up carpet in one room that still has carpet over the top of floorboards.  This is going to take today and tomorrow I think.  And the mess....

I am just counting the hours until we can get back to the farm, see the progress and be working there. I think we have a few more days to go and we can head back. 

I know that I just have to hang on and it will only be two or so more weeks until I am out of this mess and we can actually move!  So each day that passes I am happy about!  

Amongst all this we had some savings.   Some were house related.  We have tried to recycle, re use and get ourselves set up in the best way possible.  I had some bargains too!   I stocked up on hair colour for an amazing 33c a box (vs the normal $19 a box) and I gave one of these bargain boxes to Chloe.   Well, she loved it and said can I get more?   She was in total shock it is 33c as it is superior to the one she was using for almost $20.  Yesterday I headed off thinking at this price I would be lucky to find more.  But there they were.  I bought a boot load.  When I got home I worked out we saved over $1,770.  Not bad! 

I really hope this time next week I can report loads of progress.  

How did you save, get ahead, build up your home or add to your pantry or preparedness this week?
It is amazing what a difference a week can make.  Take every opportunity and make hay while the sun shines!   Have a good weekend! xxx

Thursday 9 August 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 10 August, 2018.

I am happy to be able to write a Friday report!  I have been at the farm and got home later yesterday.
It was a big week!

Firstly there was packing and cooking meals and the usual stuff!
Then I was heading to the farm on Tuesday.  Before I left I made Mum some gluten free scones.

Mum really likes these!  😊  Dad said they looked so good and I told him they were gluten free then he lost interest. lol

This week we had so much rain.   A lot of Australia is in a terrible drought but we had a week of rain.  It rained all night before I left and at the farm it also rained heavily all night.
Much of the farm looked like a lake...

It was so wet Mum had Mountain Ducks on the front lawn.   When I was driving around I heard so much noise!  I thought what on earth is that?  I stopped and wound down the window....  the noise was just thousands of frogs!  

This trip I learned a lot. The first thing is I need to change my car to a four wheel drive.  The drive from Mum and Dad's to our house I cannot even attempt when it is wet like this in my little city car.
I went to see how our house is going in Mum's car.  After being used to a small car I felt like I was driving a monster!  

There was activity at our house.  A lot of activity!  Thanks to Dad and Mum I have a big help with this project.  There painters in there!  Having always painted myself and after I did this whole house a couple of years ago I am so thrilled at having help.   I do not have to paint it!!!!

This time I could look in all the cupboards and everything.  Old window treatments are down and I have a bare house.  It was amazing!   I went armed with measuring tape, note books and lists.
It was so much fun!  I have a lot of cupboards!   Most things were covered in paint drop cloths so I still didn't end up with many photos.  And things like windows have not been cleaned in YEARS.

However all the windows are big and gorgeous. 

I can see the old stone chimney from the spare room window.  I really like that chimney!

I took measurements in my pantry so I can plan my shelves!  This is one corner or the pantry...

This will be all fresh and white soon!

There are also great utility cupboards, two linen press cupboards, built in cupboards in all the rooms.  The garage is big too so if we wanted there is storage space in there.  And the laundry is ridiculous and I am going to think about that but I am going from a tiny laundry to a huge one!  

As the painters had undercoated almost everything things already were transformed and were beginning to look clean and fresh.  It was so exciting.   
Meanwhile back at home Andy went and got new tap ware and new vanities for the bathrooms. Next we have to shop for lighting. 

I chose paint colours and the kitchen cupboards were the biggest decision!   And in one of those cupboards was the original manual that came with the stove!!!

I timed the distance between Mum and Dad's and the house, between Chloe's and us etc.... it is seven minutes to get to Chloe's!   

There have been big storms and trees down.  Mum's friend Di brought a big box over for me.  Guess what was inside!? 

The hugest nest I have ever had!  It came down with a tree.  She knew I would love it!  And I have plans... you will see when I do my mantle piece!   Seriously, I told Di you could not give me a nicer gift! 

On the way home I called into a op shop.  (That was yesterday.)  I found Harper a book of Princess weddings!  She will love this.  We have been telling her about weddings a lot because of Chloe's wedding coming up.  Now she is a wedding enthusiast! 

Also I got a bargain!   I have never bought anything from Enjo because of the prices.  But there was a pile of Enjo cleaning cloths.  I asked the lady about the price.  She said how about $6 for the lot?

So I grabbed all five.  When I got home I googled the uses and prices.  I knew they were expensive but these are around $50 EACH!   They are in good condition and clean but I washed and disinfected them last night.  

We are heading back to the farm together to start working.  We have heaps to do.  Andy will start on understanding the water tanks and pumps, irrigation, cutting wood and fire preparedness.   I will start on scrubbing the giant kitchen sink,  steam cleaning the bathrooms and laundry and windows...

So that was my week!  

How did you save, get ahead,  improve your pantry or preparedness and build up your home?  I hope it was a good week for you.   It is good to take stock of what we achieved.  Rest, restore and plan some more!  Have a beautiful weekend! xxx

Thursday 2 August 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 3 August, 2018.

I hope you had a good week!  We have had lots of rain which is fantastic.  Lots of Australia in in drought and we had rain that has gone on for hours and hours and all night.

Things are not normal here with packing up, working on getting this house ready to sell and planning what to do first at the farm house.
I have boxes everywhere!  We are going back in a week and a bit so we will fill up Andy's van with things to take.

I did have a few savings.  I got $30 in Flybuy points which I will turn into $60 of groceries.  I am saving this for building up my new pantry.

I made yoghurt, baked custards and all the meals as usual.

I also worked on my use it up challenge and made a couple of meals from things in the fridge and freezer.   The freezer is gradually emptying out.

We have so many plans and so much to do!   I have a notebook just to keep track of moving.   While we are keeping the vintage kitchen and stove the counter tops need renewing so we are replacing those and I have been picking out what to have.  There are some other things to pick out i.e. new shower screen and paint colours.

I have so many lists!

The lady who was living in the house had a great collection of chickens...

These Silkies were white and grey.  I put in an order as Harper and Scarlett would love these! 
She told me that a nearby town has two chicken auctions per year where you can get all kinds of varieties of chooks.  So we are planning to go to that!   We will have to work out how many to get!  I think attending a country chicken auction has to be a fantastic day out! 

Other news is Chloe and Luke now have a cat.  First of all Chloe got chickens when she found out a neighbour had moved out and they left the chooks behind.  By the time knew what had happened  some had already died and she rescued the rest.  From this she got a great variety of chickens and also ended up being allowed to have the whole hen house, feed bins etc! 
This time.... people moved out of a house and left their cat behind.  Luke found out about this and started feeding the cat.  New people were moving in to this house and they said they hate cats and would shoot it.  So you can guess what happened next.  Now Chloe has a cat. 
This is ok... she has a large lawn around her house and all the birds are big ones like cockatoos.  The cat can keep down the mice and this will help with snakes.  So he has a job!

He seems to love Chloe.  We already save all bones and meat scraps for Sully (the dog) so now we will do the same for Herb. Yes, his name is Herb!

Last week I felt like we were waiting waiting to go see the house.  How time drags by when you are waiting!
Now I am waiting waiting to go back and get working! 

I want to share some photos...

The first is from Jen in NC.  She always has an amazing garden and inspires me with what I want at the farm...

Jen is bringing in veggies but she says the heat has hit the garden in recent days.   We will have this problem too Jen.  I put sheets over some things on the worst days.

And Vicky... she has worked so hard on her garden and is now harvesting too...

How beautiful the cabbages look!  The whole scene is gorgeous!  I dreamed of space like this and now I will have it! 

This is the time for them to be filling their shelves!  And for us it is the time in winter to be waiting to start.

I know soon my waiting time will turn into being so busy and getting ready for summer.   Summer will be the hardest time at the farm as fires are our main worry and it gets very hot.  Winter will be glorious with two fires going and an endless wood supply! 

How was your week?  How did you build up your home, save, get ahead, add to your pantry? 
I hope you have a lovely weekend! xxx