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 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


  1. Goodness Annabel. Nearly $2000 saved just on hair colour! Wowsers...well done you, I say. It's been a long time since I moved house, but I recall still, the feeling of chaos, both external and internal of self, that moving causes. You just have to tell yourself that things will settle, as you know they will. You'll get there, and it will all be so, so worth it in the end. It's daunting when you think you've done a lot in terms of renovations though, and then you look at the house through 'buyers eyes'. We've had a similar experience recently with our little holiday cabin. Like you, we'd done a lot, but when we came to put it on the market as part of our retirement plan, the estate agent told us we'd have to spend $150,000 on it to get it sale-worthy. What??? We won't of course. Someone will eventually come along who is happy with 'cozy', over 'glamorous'. Your Dad does look very content, and those firepits are going to be so pretty. Our fire pit, constructed last weekend, is truly just a rock-lined pit, so I'm in awe of the imagination required to leap from tractor wheel hub to flower fire pit! Apart from building a fire pit, Husband built our ageing doggie a new kennel, and it's quite a mansion. Three times the size of anything you can buy. I finally mastered a gluten free pastry (beef fat is the secret!), and we have eaten well for very little, with some concerted effort on my part. Meals have included Bacon and Egg Pie (not quiche..different), pasties, enchiladas, fried rice, souffles, and curry, and for treats I've baked macaroons (not macarons...again, different), a continental cheesecake slice, (a recipe I've looked for, for over two decades and finally found), and a Gateau Opera which is a very flash chocolate coffee layered cake with a chocolate ganache topping for my sons birthday. I have a 40th birthday celebration for my other son tomorrow and will be cooking up a storm for that too. We added to our Home Shop with some bargains, including lactose free cheese blocks for $2, ham hock meat in 500gm packs for $2, chicken wings for $2kg, avocadoes for $1 a kg, and tubs of diced mango for $6 for a carton of 24. I saved on a rug for my kitchen, by repurposing one from elsewhere in the house, and swapped around some pretty bowls and vases to freshen up our decor. All in all, a really good week. I hope everyone else had a great week too. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, We were in full home renovations today with carper pulling up. A big day!
      We get one of the fire pits for our garden and the flower sculpture look suits. Yes just tractor disks. They could just about sell these!
      The gf pastry is something I want to try. My ambition is to be able to make pies and sausage rolls with pastry I can eat. I will be wanting to try yours for sure.
      Your week was excellent. I hope the 40th birthday celebrations go well. I know they will with all your work and input and the food will be glorious! Many thanks Mimi, have a good weekend! With love,

  2. I am aghast at your savings on the hair coloring! That is possibly the best money-saving find I've ever seen!!! Well done!

    There's always a point in a big project of any sorts where things have to get messier before they get better, and you're just at that point now. Soon, the mess will be behind you and you'll be cozy and happy in your new farmhouse, you just have to put your head down and get through it! Herb looks like an absolute love. <3

    1. Dear Stephanie, LOl yes his was a good savings. We were dubious at first that at 33c there would be something wrong with it. But Chloe's hair looks amazing with this and she was desperate to get more. She has waist length hair too. Anyway we are set for years and the saving was just huge. It took me approx half an hour to go get it so that is good earnings for half an hour!
      I agree with you! every project or renovation, even cleaning out the wardrobe goes through a dreadful "will I ever get out of this mess?" stage!
      We made progress today so another day is done and dusted!
      Have a wonderful weekend and thank you. With love

  3. Sounds like a bust, but happily exciting, week you’ve had!
    As part of our decluttering, I returned materials/supplies that we bought that were leftover and not needed. That brought us $240!!! Amazing that we hadn’t done it sooner!!!
    A friend needed the new baseboards she was making for her house cut and angled to fit her rooms and her miter saw was on the fritz. She asked if anyone could do it in trade for a home cooked meal and dessert! Dave offered to and told her he would just do it as a friend but she insisted on making us a wonderful black bean chicken soup with chips, sour cream and cheese and a pan of brownies with caramel toffee through it!!! Definitely we feel like the winners in that bargain but she’s equally pleased to have her several boards sized and angled to fit so she can just install them in the morning!
    I love bartering!
    Speaking of bartering, a sweet online friend bought a quilt top at a yard sale for a few dollars and decided she wanted me to have it to quilt and to keep! I had told her about a book about planting fruit trees in small spaces that she was going to look for but instead, I sent her an extra copy I already had so another trade was born!!! If she’s half as happy about her gift as I am about mine, it was a terrific exchange!!
    I finished another baby quilt (out of scraps) for my gift cupboard and found a new website with ideas for using scraps of fabric! Of course, I was hooked! I found a little tote bag she made and made her next size larger! It was a fun way to use 80 scrappy little squares and so I posted a photo. I then made the squares 1/2” larger than the original pattern and got a larger bag made. I posted a photo of both of them on my regular Facebook page and I had a friend who asked if I would make any to sell. You know me- I said of course I would. She then ordered 2 small bags- pink/purple for her daughter and blue/green for her son and then 2 Aldi size shopping bags (which motivated me to make a pattern for that size too)! Almost immediately, another friend ordered a shopping size bag to carry books,etc on Sundays. So, with your encouragement, Annabel, I decided to try marketing these bags! Between these two friends, I have orders for 5 bags already! This weekend, we’ll start marketing them on our Facebook business page! So another possible stream of income!
    Our chickens continue to be a wonderful source of eggs- currently we have about 21 dozen eggs in our basement fridge after sending our schoolteacher daughter (with 3 teenagers!) home with 4 dozen eggs to make up a mega batch of breakfast burritos for the kids to have for easy school morning meals! Since she started teaching at in a new school district this year, it will be almost 6 weeks before her first paycheck, so she was able to “grocery shop” from our food storage to supplement what she already has! This is one of the reasons I still keep a well stocked pantry even though it’s only 3 of us! When a need arises, whether it’s at our house, our children’s or friend or even a stranger, we are able to respond and make/take a meal or send food out the door and be grateful that we’ve been blessed so abundantly!
    We are trying to finish up a few more landscaping projects outside before summer turns to autumn/winter! We are so grateful to have the strength and ability to work! Such a good feeling!
    Continued success with your move to your dream farm!!! Can’t wait to hear/see more about it as it progresses!!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, Well done on the returns. It is easy to put returns off somehow! It was great to help a friend and that she returned the favour with beautiful cooking! I love bartering too! And that was a good one with the quilt!
      I have been following your quilts! I am amazed how much you get done! Even with being so busy on canning, gardening, and all you are doing!
      Oh well I knew those bags would sell! I love them! In Australia you need shopping bags since plastic ones are not free. Well the shopping bags they try and sell you are downright UGLY! Jane made me a patchwork one which I love... hence I thought your bags would be a great hit! Bonus is that little bits of fabric left over from other things will make them!
      The eggs would be so helpful to your daughter trying to fill teenagers. There is just so much to make from eggs. I can make baked custard endlessly, pancakes, quiche etc.
      Pat I am thinking all the time... being able to do the work and be fit and healthy this is the biggest thing. Doing more seems to lend itself to doing more... doing less is a bad spiral down to NOT BEING ABLE anymore to do more. My parents have continued to do more and I notice others who refused to retire and do less that are amazing and doing so much. We must keep going. Keep our fitness up etc. This enables us to do so much!
      Thanks so much for your encouragement! We have a big week planned so I hope to have plenty to report on Friday! Have a good week there! With love

  4. What an amazing week you've all had, Annabel! Things are moving along at a rate of knots! It's so lovely to see (and hear)xx
    I know you've mentioned it before, but what brand hair colour do you use? And was this amazing price from The Reject Shop, or a secret local bargain spot??
    You are lucky to be able to get in your bonfires before bushfire season starts down there. The season has started already in many places here :( But a good bonfire, in the appropriate weather conditions as you have, is fantastic! So satisfying lol
    Love, Fiona xxx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      I use Loreal hair colour. I love it. Even if I didnt want to lighten my hair I would still use hair colour as my hair is fine. With he colour it is feels thicker and shinier. So I will always stick with it. This was from a cheap shop we have called Rite Price... more groceries. But overall I have had luck many times in cheap type shops with finding Loreal. They endlessly re package etc so off it goes to cheap shops. However usually it might be $3 or so never before 33c!
      I saw about fires already in NSW. In winter! I can hardly believe it. We have until about mid October then fire ban comes in. Hence we need to do a heap of cleaning up now. Otherwise if a fire is coming Id be terrified!
      Also a bonfire is great! Plus we are finding a place to begin an actual woodpile for next winter!
      Thanks Fiona, I am waiting to see how the book week costume turns out! With much love

  5. Dear Annabel and beautiful blue birds .
    Wow what a great saving the hair dye was Annabel , that's a brilliant price for hair dye.
    My week has included:
    Centacare services, a savings of $186 this week.
    I had a bulk billed appointment saving me $60.
    I received free medication, saving me $32.
    I had two appointments at the hospital bulk billed saving $150 approximately. While waiting for the appointments at the hospital we received cups of tea and biscuits free saving about $14 for two of us.
    I saved $35 on my groceries by including half price items in my shop and some reduced to clear items.
    I received a meal from my parents, saving me $10.i also received some grocery items from a friend saving me $10.
    I had transport from my Dad, saving me about $150this week as it included a trip to the hospital.
    So a savings total this week of approximately $647.
    Annabel I am so excited for you as you prepare to move, I hope things continue to go well. Have a great weekend everyone .love Barb W.

    1. Good going on your weekly savings, Barb! What a huge amount! You are very diligent and careful with your finances. You inspire me to keep a closer eye on my own finances. Love, Teresa

    2. Dear Barb,
      The bulk billing is a huge blessing. These appointments can be very costly. Also the help from your Mum and Dad with meals and transport that is excellent. Your savings added up so much! That is awesome!
      Week by week this is huge. Sorry to take so long to reply I have been back and forth to the farm and losing track of all time! Have a good new week Barb, many thanks with love,

    3. Dear Teresa,
      Thank you for your kind comment.I try really hard to manage my money , I sometimes have a budget blow out but not often . Take it day by day and you will get there. Thanks again .love Barb W.

  6. Dear Annabel, I am enjoying following along on your adventures as you discover more about the farmhouse and property. It sounds like it just keeps getting better. I can see there is a tremendous amount of work involved, too. Thank you for sharing the excitement with us. I enjoy and appreciate your posts and responses to our comments, but don't want you to wear yourself out trying to keep up with everything. Great bargains on the hair color! I'm glad Herb has found such a good home.
    We've finally received some nice rains which have even made for slightly cooler weather and have made it more pleasant doing a little upkeep on the garden and plants.
    I'm thankful for the excellent prices on fresh produce---peaches 3 pounds for $1, grapes 77 cents a pound, huge cantaloupe and small watermelons 75 cents each, green beans 99 cents a pound.
    With love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      I am so glad about your rains. We have been so blessed with rain ourselves. Just wonderful. They are wonderful prices! So many things have gone up dramatically so when there are good buys it is great.
      I am having a rest today (Sunday) and doing some planning. With my planner out I can see I have two weeks of mess to get through then I can concentrate mostly on the farm house. This week is hoping up to be very busy so hopefully this will help time fly! Also I know we are not the only ones working there are builders working and Im so lucky to have this help!
      Have a good new week! thanks so much Elaine! love

  7. Annabel, wow you are so busy. I can't wait to see the end product. We have kitchen and bathroom renos coming up but the tradies are doing that so I might take off and leave them to it. Not sure I can cope with being without a bathroom for two weeks as we only have one :-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, It was really hard when we did our bathroom! If you can go elsewhere then do! Renovations are a nightmare until they are over then the results are good. It is a hard process as it seems to affect the whole house. I hope you get great results that you love! With love

  8. Hi Annabel and oh so exciting about you doing up the farm house and I love natural wood floorboards too either polished or waxed look divine and oh so country :). You did so well on the saving for the hair dye you purchased for both Chloe and yourself too.

    I thought I would start off with a tip for everyone located in Australia is that Woolworths that have a shop on eBay under the seller name woolworthssupermarkets has $240 grocery e-vouchers for $200 until the 26th of this month giving you a 16.66 % discount on all groceries when purchased online and picked up from the store :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $764.12 last week :).

    Here is what we did to feather our nest and get ahead last week -

    Home organisation -
    - Deep cleaned the whole house from top to bottom ready for our rental inspection, due to dust storms because of the current drought here saving $200 + over hiring someone to do it for us.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 2.736 kg of magic mix to make white sauces and chocolate puddings with saving $83.71 over purchasing premade white sauce in the supermarkets.
    - Made a 3 kg quadruple batch of magic mix chocolate pudding from our magic mix saving us $16.50 over purchasing it in the local supermarket. This fed our 2 guests and us for dinner and the both of us for 2 more days for dessert.

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 27.65% of the way there.
    - DH banked his tax return money into the house deposit account.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 1 kg of organic Ceylon cinnamon powder on eBay for food storage saving $28.92 over buying it in the supermarket.
    - Bought 20 sets of sound deadening silicone ear plugs with cords on eBay saving $87.31 over purchasing them in the local hardware store.
    - Purchased 6 x $240 Woolworths supermarket e-vouchers on eBay for $200 each saving us $240 in grocery costs. As we need to use these we will couple this with any weekly specials we find for more savings.

    In the garden -
    - Picked 1.1 kg of cherry tomatoes and 2.165 kg of broccoli from the gardens saving $29.44 over purchasing in the supermarkets.
    - Separated out 239 g of rosemary picked and dried from the gardens saving $35.61 over purchasing it in the supermarkets.

    Hope everyone has a great week ahead.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, Thank you for the tip on Woolworths! $40 saving is a lot especially when it can also be used on specials!
      You had a fantastic Vicky Challenge! The grocery savings are huge! Brilliant!
      Your mixes and harvest both are great. Broccoli an d cherry tomatoes are both things I want to be growing. So good and useful. We eat broccoli almost every day.
      You will be enjoying how nice things are after the deep clean. A lot of work but nice results. I am sure your landlord is very happy with how you keep the place and the garden.
      What a good week. The tax refund going into the depot fund is very good too. I hope you have another great week this week! With much love,

  9. Annabel,
    Busy isn't the word for you of late, even running sounds way to slow. It had to feel so good seeing Dad's smiles over all on this last trip. You have made him so very happy.
    The firepits are going to look beautiful at the weeding and afterwards in everyone's gardens.

    I was fortunate this week to have the car one day, even the thunderstorms didn't stop me. I found a Goodwill Clearance Center in our travels and even though their wasn't much there I added 8 canning jars, one pillowcase, a 1 1/2 qt porcelain pot made in Poland and a Fenton Cranberry Glass Vase, the total came to $1.31 with tax.

    I also found a regular Goodwill and spent $11.65 there. I added the most beautiful king size crocheted coverlet to my linen pantry, 2 very large spools of black thread, 2 sets of 4 knitting needles, a homemade binder overflowing with embroidery floss, a small wicker basket that resembles a laundry basket, a William Sonoma cookbook (I swear was never opened) and 2 Christmas presents. I felt truly blessed.

    Yesterday we went to re-look at a house, one my husband was skeptical about due to large yard size and small deck and a lot smaller kitchen than ours now, but I explained to him he could turn a mud room into a butler pantry with extra ovens and cabinets, he can eventually add a larger deck. So by the time we made it home he had me call realtor to put a bid in on it, so prayers are needed for them to accept. I am overwhelmed with the work needing to be done to move though. Between purging and cleaning and packing.

    May your move and sale go smoothly.

    1. Dear Rosanne, You had a huge week! The Goodwill finds were wonderful! I love the sound of the king size crochet coverlet.
      So everyone knows CONGRATULATIONS on the house! How exciting! You are going to be busy doing just the same as me!
      Many thanks Rosanne! With love

  10. Wow, Annabel,

    It all sounds both so exhausting and exciting! It's probably so much harder to be working on your "old" house when you have already "let it go" in your heart, as opposed to the fun of setting up at your new place! I just love those fire pits the boys were inventive! And I just cracked up about the kitty cat and Andy.

    We haven't been nearly so busy nor productive here. The roofer came and seems to think this is likely a problem that can be fixed inexpensively by my hubby, so he's coming by today to set up some staging to make it easier and safer to work on the steep pitch. I am crossing my fingers that this will work, as it will save us THOUSANDS on roof repairs, and I am not keen on draining the emergency fund.

    It's also just the beginning of blueberry season here, so we were able to go and pick some this week from our farmer friend's place, and 3 big boxes I bought from a local church fundraiser are arriving this afternoon to go into the freezer. We've also been picking wild blackberries around our property to freeze and the apples are just starting, so I've made a couple of batches of crockpot applesauce. More swiss chard, beans and peas in the freezer, and I've picked a few cucumbers...there should be enough to start making pickles by next week. Also, my hubby just bottled a batch of Merlot, just in time to take to friends who have invited us for dinner tomorrow night. How has Andy's U-Brew venture been going?

    Other than that, it's housecleaning day today, so that's on my agenda.

    I am wishing you lots of energy for the daytime and great sleeps at night to re-energize you for all the activity again!!

    Lots of love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, I am hopeful the roof solution will work too! If that saves the emergency fund it will be wonderful.
      What a time of year for you! All those berries. Berries here sell for $4 to $6 for what you could only describe as a handful in a tiny container. They do freeze well. I think they are so healthy and go a long way i.e. a few on breakfast, some in a smoothie or muffins etc make a big impact.
      And apples are just the most versatile thing ever. You know I love baked apples!
      Your hubby made Merlot! OK Im telling Andy this he will be majorly impressed. His brewing is going good he loves it and he keeps experimenting.
      Thanks for the energy wishes. Today I am having a catch up day which I need. was getting so tired! But sleeping like a log!
      Thanks so much Jen, have a good new week. With love,

  11. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds, I am very excited about your move. Thank you for sharing it with us. It feels exciting! I can imagine how stressful, tiring and overwhelming, as well as exciting it all is. Imagine when you are finally in and sitting with those views, fire going and cup of tea in hand! Lovely! Chloe sounds like a wonderful person- just like you, making a lovely dinner and dessert too. Your Andy is so clever! I think they'd sell so well. How lovely that Luke and Andy were spending time together. I am loving hearing about all the progress and seeing the photos. I have got all the basics done, shopped the half price specials, and sold a few little things for $5 each on Gumtree. It all helps. Lots of love, Bridget

    1. Dear Bridge,
      Well done on your gum tree sales! Thanks for your encouragement on the move. Each day has seen more done... today though Im having a rest. So tired! Andy has taken a van load down and is driving straight back and we will go together during the week too. And we are finishing up work that needs doing here. I think we have about a week and a half of work here to go then it is just making things look pretty.
      Have a lovely Sunday and good new week! With lots of love,

  12. We truly made hay!!! We have dairy goats and a milk cow so this helps so much come winter! I made bread and canned the last fof the tomatoes. I knit a baby gift from yatn I bought on clearance and using old buttons. We packed water for the field work so we wouldn't have to buy any. An old fall wreath was reworked for this year at no cost. Hung clothes outside to dry. Ate from our pantry; so far our grocery bill this month is around $45..... been a good week!!!!

    1. Dear Matty, That is awesome! Thinking about actual hay... I need some for our chicken yard! the chicken yard is huge! And we need to get actual chickens too!
      Well done on making the baby gift! And the wreath!
      You are doing so well with the grocery bill! Wow! Well done! With much love

  13. You are sure keeping busy. What energy you have. It all sounds great. Oh my, what a huge moment in finding hardwood floors! Tremendous savings there.
    what a fantastic deal on the hair dye!!!!!

    Soon you will be in and settled - so happy for you.

    1. Dear Cheryl, My energy isn't so good at the moment! We had a big Saturday! But I am hoping for a restful Sunday ready for a big week!
      Yes the floors already polished is a big help! They look beautiful.
      Thanks so much! It is exciting and so much to do but in another couple of weeks we will be almost done! With love

  14. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, I am so excited for you and your move! The land looks beautiful.
    It has been a lighter week for us than usual, as we've had summer colds (nothing serious, but tiring) and I've been busy doing entries for the horses for state fair and nationals.

    Cooking & food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. I cooked up some chicken and a roast with veggies, and pulled baked goods from the freezer for snacking. We picked up our side of beef and re-arranged the inside and outside freezers for easy identification. It is going to be so nice to have this, and beef prices in our area have already increased, so I think it will end up being a wonderful savings. I also have some nice soup bones and my friend's dogs enjoyed the organ meat.

    Household & gardening: We harvested two cantaloupes from our garden, and some of my flower mix has produced flowers! We have our first zinnias, and I really like them. We've had a ton of rain - so much that the rain barrel overflowed!
    We have the plumber scheduled to come out on Monday and fix the sink at long last - it is covered under warranty, so won't cost anything, and it will be good to have everything finished in the kitchen.

    Shopping: I found a gorgeous cross stitch book at the thrift store ($1.99) and another at HalfPrice Books ($7.99). Retail for these two books is $50! Another thrift shop stop yielded several nice novels and a large bag of yarn for $14. I picked out the yarn I will keep (several skeins of nice sock yarn, three skeins of luxurious baby alpaca, two skeins of a nice wool) and will re-donate the rest. The retail prices for the yarn I am keeping added up to $115!

    Crafts & gifts:
    I finished knitting 1 sock of a pair, and made progress on stitching (finished Batty Bakery, stitched on Black Hat Society, and started a new piece).

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Thank you! As usual you had a very hard working and productive week, even with colds!
      A side of beef will be wonderful. Beef prices are high here also. Overall meat has gone up a lot.
      We had a ton of rain also! Good for the garden... I am hoping for flowers in spring myself.
      The yarn sounds so beautiful. How lucky to find that! I love finding yarn and planning what to do with it. My best yarn find was once at a garage sale... it was all expensive Italian yarns in blues. I was just lucky that day... but never so lucky with yarn since!
      I hope you are feeling better and have a lovely weekend and great new week.
      Andy is going to the farm and back tomorrow in one day with a load of things then we will go together during the week. So we are chipping away with the move. I am aiming for a restful Sunday as it has been so hectic I am really tired! I hope to have good stuff to report next Friday! With much love,

  15. So excited that you are in the progress of getting moved! The bonfires sound lovely on a cool day. Those fire pits are so creative. It looks like they could have a little side business there.

    My husband replaced a rotten screen door on our screen porch. It looks great and only cost $80 since he did the work himself. We had some great bargains at the grocery surplus store. We bought 6 one pound blocks of good mozzarella for only .79 each along with other great deals like sea salt and some wonderful organic pasta. The cheese went into the freezer to take out one by one. I need to restock my lasagnas in the freezer and now I have plenty of cheese to do it.

    I hope you get to put your feet up and rest for a bit over the weekend. Much love, Lana

    1. Dear Lana,
      At the farm our screen doors need repairs too. Screens are so important! That was great your husband could do himself.
      What a good deal you got on the cheese. Cheese lover here... :)
      Today has been full on (Saturday) but tomorrow I am hoping for a break. Andy is doing a run to the house with a load in the van. I am staying home for a quieter day... then the week will be big!
      I hope you are having a good weekend there... with lots of love,

  16. I've been busy sorting out the house...Lots of work that was meant for Spring had been postponed with family living here so now I am striking at a great bit of it while I can before it starts to turn off cold. Fortunately, we've a few months before that happens here but we've had loads of rain, so there is a hold up on outdoor works such as painting porches and sheds. However, the ground is perfect for ripping out weeds so I've done plenty of that and since the porch railings are wet anyway, I'm cleaning them in preparation for painting. Eventually a dry day will come along and I'll be home and painting will begin to happen! Cupboards cleared, another two pieces of furniture ready to go out the back door as I remove the ugly and broken and find storage for things I'd once stored in those areas. And decluttering goes on and on because I must make room for what must be kept. I'm glad that the rest day is nearly upon us!

    1. Dear Terri, I remember how you had family there while their house was being finished off. I would be the same having a big clean and re arrange now!
      The ground at the farm is the same... very wet and when I can get to it I think the weeds will pull up easily. I cant wait to be planting!
      You are busy and have achieved a lot! Have a good new week! Love

  17. Love the saying 'make hay while the sun shines'. I haven't heard that since my mother in law passed away. It brought back good memories, so thank you for that. Wishing you the best in your house moving, renovating efforts... lots of hard work I know.
    Take Care,

    1. Dear Kim, Thank you! Make hay while the sun shines is my motto. There are always good and bad times and taking very opportunity in good times is so wise. I think of it every day!
      We have made progress with yesterday completing a floor here in the city house and today loading the van to take to the farm house! Have a good new week! With love

  18. Dear Jen,
    Oh boy rain water is so important. We are just going through sorting ours out and we have had a lot of issues to fix. For instance rain water tanks full of bore water. So I feel your pain here. It is terrible about the blockage and I do hope you get some good downpours to catch back up. Do offer the plumber cash to see if there is a discount. This has saved me half on several bills. You never know its worth trying.
    I am glad you have a contingency fund. I hope you can keep it good or at least recover quickly.
    I see birthday baking and lots of cook ups which I know you do very well.
    I hope the rain hung around... we sill have some winter left and spring rains... it kept going here most of this week. So fingers crossed!
    With much love,

  19. Hi Annabel,
    Wow,wow,wow. It is all go for you and Andy. Although I have not commented in awhile I have been reading along. Your new home is sounding like a wonderful place and I have no doubt with your great eye for design and home making it will be every bit as beautiful as your city home.
    A lot has been happening in my world. It has taken some time to get a job that I think I will be happy in. I turned some down as the pay/hours were not enough. As the income earner this has quite an impact. My new position is only about a 10minute drive from home which is great. I am really looking forward to starting

    1. I am so glad you found your new job!!! So close to home!!! Thank you for commenting. The break you had was probably good for you and I hope this all goes very well! xxx

  20. Dear Annabel, my meals this week have been simple as I've fallen into a deep depression through lack of no work. Praying I get this job today for the disability scheme. I've been thinking more of the future and what the lord wants. Its either going to be nursing or ultrasound. I do want to get out of this rat race and have a farm with chickens, and vegetables and meet a man like that one Chloe has he's rather good looking in the picture !! I have been praying so long. You know when your spirit just feels like a dry dusty desert? That's how I feel. I can't just up and move without qualifications. My Dr says nursing may be too hard on my back since I had a car accident years ago I still get pain. Yet I am a strong nurturer. I love to look after people.
    I've been strongly praying for rain for the farmers. It just breaks my heart to see those baby lambs struggling to walk to their mother's!
    I love your idea of pulling back the layers of carpet. That's exactly what I feel the lord is doing with me . underneath there is treasure to be found.
    I'm so proud of your efforts and soon all that hard work would have paid off. !
    With love. Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia,
      I am so sorry for you feeling depressed. It was very hard for Chloe to decide to leave the city... especially as I am here plus her sister.... but she knew her dreams were not coming true here... she would never meet a country boy here... so she did it. And yes Luke is almost seven foot tall and her dream cute farmer! So dont give up at all just work towards your dream and plans. If you are a nurturer then there is such a need for carers of all kinds. I will pray!
      Yes what you say is true... underneath the raw material is the good stuff. Stick with it Sonia and dont give up! With much love,

  21. So exciting to hear of your progress on the new place, Annabel. Thanks Bluebirds for sharing your savings. Well done all.

    We saved allot in the McKinley home by picking wild grapes and apples in the city park! The grapes are yielding lots of jelly. While the apples promise to stock the freezer and pantry. Also I plan to dry some for snacks. God is so good!

    Have a blessed week!

    1. Dear Leslie,
      How I would like to be picking wild grapes and apples in the city park with you! That sounds so good. Both are so useful! Last year I found a peach tree in a public space. I got over 100 kilos of peaches from it. That is over 200 lbs! All free. It was so good. There is often opportunity right under our noses! We just have to keep our eyes open!
      So pleased for you. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! With love

  22. Hi Annabel,
    I am sorry. I posted earlier about starting my new job and it only being 10mins drive from home. Then for reasons only known to it's self my tablet froze and then published my comment before I could say who I was.



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