The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Friday 28 September 2018

Another week and lots more done at the farmhouse.

It is so good for me to stop and consider what we have achieved in the last week rather than just look at my to do list!  This is good for all of us!  We really do need to think over and soak up the week.
Many of us had huge and special weeks such as Jenny who moved into her own home for the first time ever and Roseanne who is also moving into her dream home.  Both of these Bluebirds prayed long and hard for these outcomes and here we are!  Both are proof prayer does move mountains!

This week I started to feel the effects of being neighbours with both Mum and Dad and Chloe and Luke.  Also now my niece Allie also moved back to farm life. So another family member for a fairly close neighbour (by country measure at least...)
On Sunday Mum drove over and we headed off and picked up Chloe. There was a little Spring fair on at our nearest tiny town.  Now despite this town being so little (I think it has four buildings all up) the fair was beautiful!  I met locals and there were plants, essential oils, jewellery, sewing, linen, cooking, you name it.   It seems to me that all the locals have a side line /home industry of some sort. It was fantastic.  I came home with a tray of seedlings to add to my garden...

At the moment it is working out that each Friday/ Sat we go back to the city to tidy up the house for inspections on weekends.  Please pray our house sells.  I mean really please....  we so much need to buy rainwater tanks, a ride on lawn mover for the vast area we need to keep mowed, many things for here.  Selling means we will be able to.   
Anyway... each trip I get some more plants.  So my flower garden is progressing!   And I quickly planted the seedings from the fair to add to the garden beds.

This week we finally have clean sparkly windows. I cannot tell you how much difference this makes. Many were filthy and a hard job.  The transformation is massive.  I keep admiring how much better everything seems.  I am thinking from now on I will properly clean one window per week. If I rotate this way I will keep on top...

We also had some finishing off things around the house.  We finally have a shower screen!  And a dish washer!  And rain water in the house!   And my kitchen counter tops and splash backs were installed!!!

Ok I have no decor yet but I have counter tops and splash backs!

This all made the world of difference!

I kept the cupboards and sink and it still feels and looks like the original kitchen just better!

Sorry about all the kitchen pictures but if you saw it before you would be excited too! 

We also have lights ready to go in and we ordered a lounge.  We still have not sat down one evening except to eat and have no lounge or TV.  Mind you we will be in the city this weekend to watch the AFL Grand Final on Mums TV!

There was the usual big mess while things were installed.  But we noticed that everyone we have had in this house has been just wonderful and so nice to have around.  
The builders who painted also offered to clean my laundry sink up... I had tried and they said acid would bring it up like new and they did this plus acid washed my laundry floor. Again it involved mess of emptying the whole laundry but the sink and floor look great without replacing anything... this acid they use isn't like any cleaning product!   Bit like a miracle!

The opposite of this was I got started on cleaning the inside of the big oven.  I did have three lots of oven cleaner, gloves and a pile of steel wool and rags but it was no miracle. It was four hours of scrubbing and washing, soaking and carry on.  Others at the house that day came and went and came to see my progress offering advice and sympathy.   In the end I would say I got it to a reasonable state.  Not great but ok.  I feel like I am 3/4 there.  Next week I am going to re apply the cleaner (when I re stock) and repeat the process.  It will be easier and shorter this time!  Then I think I will call the oven clean.  I still felt pretty good about how it is going. 

Now that I have flowers in garden beds the main worries are 1. cockatoos.  They love chewing stuff!  We have a fake hawke that hangs in a tree and looks like it is flying in the breeze and we have Owlie...

His head moves in the wind, his eyes are reflective... we have to move him every couple of days from post to post so the cockies don't wake up to the fact that he is full of lentils haha!   You have to fill the owl with sand to make it heavy. I used lentils... so he is weighty and doesn't blow over.

Number 2 issue is sheep.  We are completely surrounded by paddocks of sheep and if any get into our yard they will go for the flowers first you can count on it.   My Mums friend Di is great at making gates, fences and handy stuff.  She came over and make us a "cockie fence" which is a fence you can lay down if needed and good for an area larger than a normal gate.

Then we needed a normal gate for our main entrance.   We found this gate unused against a fence...

It is really nice!  Better than average farm gate anyway...  Then we needed a large fence post.  So I went walking up around the big old shed and sure enough I found a huge old beautiful fence post.  So now we just need hinges and a chain.  Then in theory we should be able to keep sheep out of the garden!

Three nights this week we had bonfires and cleared more areas that need cleaning up.

We think we have two or three more weeks that it will be safe to do this.  So next week we will do as much as we can and have another area picked out.  But everyone that comes here now says "wow" at all we have done!  

As of Saturday it is two weeks until the wedding.  The next couple of weeks will have a lot of wedding related preparation.   Harper is so excited.  She has a "wedding dress" and she knew I was going with Chloe to pick up the dress on Saturday. She kept saying how she wanted to come, she wants to see the dress!!   

On Tuesday night Andy shouted "come out and see the moon!"  as I was inside cooking.  The moon was rising and was huge and deep orange.  It was so hard to capture but the next night Andy took this photo which was better than I managed..

It still was enormous and amazing!  This was the view from the front deck. I googles "what is up with the moon tonight?" and found out it was the Harvest Moon and people worldwide experienced it!  Chloe was messaging "Mum, look at the moon!!!"  

Really now I can see that a lot was achieved this week yet on Thursday I was feeling it wasn't enough.  This is one of the reasons we need to reflect!  It was a lot and it was all amazing!  
There were added things that I loved.  Being here Andy was able to help Luke with water tank and pump issues... he is really experienced with this kind of thing and there was a problem so he could help.  I loved seeing them work together for the good of the farm and that Luke can come to him now we are neighbours!   And we had major junk to cart away and Luke came over and gave Andy his trailer to use.  This was so helpful.

I am late in the day with posting as we travelled to the city today (Friday) to work on the house for open inspections tomorrow.  As we left it started to rain and I was so thankful as the garden and the farm were getting a drink.

So that was my week and we are really progressing.  I hope you also had a good week.  How did you build up your home, save, get ahead,  improve your pantry or preparedness?  

I am noticing that I am much more mindful of everything I use at the farm as if I run out of something it is too bad until the next trip to the city.   Nothing is wasted!  About every third or fourth night it is a use it up somehow inventive night! 

Tomorrow I hope to be able to add some plants to my collection and today I dug up some more ground covers and Rosemary to transplant.  Bit by bit I am filling in my garden beds.  Next week I will start on my herb garden.  I can't wait for that.  All the little bits add up! 

Have a lovely weekend!    xxxx

Thursday 20 September 2018

The second week at Bluebirds Farmhouse.

Our second week at the farmhouse has been as big as the first!  Every day is an adventure!
We started the week back in the city.  We had the house ready for inspections and then I had time with the girls and we did things like the grocery shop to ring back to the farm and I got my first flowering garden plants to begin the garden beds.  This was so much fun and I had made no really plans about colour scheme but I chose my first ten plants.  The colour scheme chose itself!

I thought everything looked glorious and even after travelling three hours home I had it all planted by evening!  Ok I am keen!  Then it rained so this was a wonderful start.

Sunday we knew was going to be a busy day. My nephew James said he would bring the tractor over to remove more dead trees and pull out the stumps in the ground.   He said he would arrive about 8 am.   I could hear the tractor coming along the road in the distance, chug chug chug.  Then I heard it alter course to come down our drive way.  I ran out to the gate to greet him!   I took photos as he drove up the driveway!  I was so excited!  I knew from experience with James that this day would mean an enormous amount would be achieved.
I was not wrong!

He proceeded to get rid of the famous bee tree and others that were way too close to the house for safety or comfort.  Then he made a pile in a neighbouring paddock which will end up a bon fire next Autumn.

He pulled out enormous tree stumps then filled them with nice dirt for my garden.

This is how the whole day went except I called "lunch!!" and put out ham and salad rolls and drinks and we all sat on the deck and had a break.

It was a fantastic day.  This work made us much safer in fire season. Provided wood to chop up for winter and our whole yard look much better.

We continued to have bon fires.  One of them was the biggest ever!  Again we have reduced rubbish and made our place much safer in summer.   Due to this we still have not once sat in a lounge chair, watched tv or spend evenings inside.

It has been raining but the next week is now meant to be clear.  So while we still can we have a fir like this every night.  Soon fire season will be declared and burning will be out.  Our opportunity to clean up will be over until autumn.  So we keep going.

Inside I worked on my linen cupboard.  It is a beautiful big space.  I made it smell lovely.  Baskets make it look really tidy!

I made progress on my emergency and medical cabinets as well.

I just started to get ahead with meals and started a list on the fridge.  I want to be at least thirty meals ahead so if we cannot go to town or shop then we have a month of meals easily to fall back on.  The pantry is well stocked.  This is building up the freezer.

In the lounge room on both sides of the fireplace there are cupboards and shelves.  They had yuk counter tops on them which were not too glorious.

I took action!  Chloe saw them and was full of praise saying they now look amazing.  She was confused how I did it.   Contact.  Good old stick on Contact.  I have to say it looks convincingly like marble.

To achieve this I watched online tutorials.  Past experience of covering school books with this stuff involved almost ripping out my own eyelashes and eye brows and did not go smoothly. lol  So now I know how to do it and it is easy!

I used a nest (with fake eggs) some deer antlers and gum nuts to decorate them.  A friend saved me this fallen nest.  It came down with a tree yet is prefect.  I just love it.

Out at the front of the property is a mail box.  It is a typical rusty tin.  Inside it has a canvas mail bag and this is where mail comes.  I added my little touch with a wren on each side.

He kind of fits in with the rustic theme.

Out the front the side of the road is lined with bright yellow.  It is a kind of low wattle I think.  It is everywhere!  Plus Wattle lines the driveway so everything is yellow! It is lovely.

On Tuesday Chloe came and picked me up.  We went over to the farm to have lunch with Mum.  It is so nice to be neighbours!  While I was there I dug up little bits of ground covers from the garden.  Mostly they are either white or purple flowering which will suit my garden.  I need lots of ground covers.  Because the ground was so wet it was really easy.
This is the little collection I came home with...

By evening I had them all planted then it rained all night!  The next morning they all looked perky so they are off to a good start and filled in a lot of gaps.  You can now see the beginnings of garden beds!   Since our house is white the colour in the garden will really stand out!

I planted pumpkins and zucchini.   The area I picked out for fruit tress and veggies has a rabbit proof fence.  It is so perfect!  Each night I dug a row over towards a veggie patch.  The pumpkin and zucchini are looking good.  The rain has helped a lot.   I have planted more as seeds.  Next week I hope to add actual rows of corn, sliver beet, tomatoes and beans.   I need to keep digging....

We saw Black Cockatoos right next to the house and there are white ones continuously out the front.  I think the only thing is they might like my veggie garden so I could need a scare crow or something...

I have one established fruit tree.  It is a fig and look!  It is covered in babies!!!
There are several mystery trees that I am sure are old fruit trees.  We are watching them.  They may not fruit but we will see and I am hopeful!

We noticed a little nest down quite low in a tree.  I grabbed the ladder and up I went!

The bird had used blue twine to edge her nest.  It had four babies.  I took so many photos!

You know how I love bartering.  Already farm life has led to lots of bartering!  We have allowed some guys to cut wood to sell.   In exchange they have helped us with areas we need cleaned up.

In fact the wood they are cutting helps us clean up the area and they cleared for us a messy spot.  This  was the next bonfire.

They are also cutting us some wood for our own woodpile.  So it is just a win win.   This has helped heaps get even more work done.

My little city car cannot even make it over to Mum and Dads.  I would literally have to be reduced if I even attempted it.  So I am selling that and buying Chloe's car.  Now she is getting married Luke has a giant four wheel drive.  So hers is no longer really needed.  So this is my new car...

I have only driven it twice so far but I really like it.  Now I can head off to Mum and Dads anytime. 
The first thing I did was put scissors and gloves in there plus a basket for collecting flowers.  Next I will add the first aid kit, wool blankets, water and other emergency stuff.  In fact I better make a note to do that next week.

Now we are back in the city!   Today is a big day... we are picking up Chloe's wedding dress!  Already the car if full of new plants to take back tomorrow!
So that was my week!  I was pretty exciting and exhausting but in a good way!

How did you feather your nest this week, get ahead, save, build up your pantry?
I hope you had a good week.   Every bit helps.  Goals are achieved one step at a time and each step makes a difference!  Be encouraged that your work is important.

And now before I head off...

Bluebird Kelsey has contributed to many show and tells here and everyone has always said she should start a shop!  This has been a dream of hers.
She wrote me this week....
"My ETSY shop is finally opened! I have wanted this for years but never would have started crafting again if not for your encouragement and the other Bluebirds. Thank you very much for helping me with my dreams."
This is so wonderful.

This is the link to the shop to see what Kelsey has made...

Kelsey has offered a coupon for us for the next week until September 28. It is BLUEBIRDS10 for a 10% discount.
There are many ways to support a new business.  Take a look and make it a favourite.   Share it to your fb page or with a friend,  if you purchase anything leave a review.

If you have a dream work towards it!  Make it happen as Kelsey has!

Thursday 13 September 2018

First week at Bluebirds Farmhouse.

We have moved!  So here we are at Bluebirds Farmhouse!  It is early days.

Last Friday was moving day.  I thought the day would never come.  There was so much to do in order to get our city house ready to sell.  There were plenty of times I thought it would take forever and so much to do I just never knew what to do next!  These times I just remembered to "do the next thing." When you don't know what to do honestly anything will help so just do SOMETHING. Sooner or later all the little bits add up.

Friday morning we got up early and I finished wiping things down and basically mopped the floor as we went out.  The van was full!  And we headed off with four chickens and a parrot!  That was some load I have to say. I doubt we could have fitted in a match at that point.

So off we went!  It was a BEAUTIFUL day.   The trip is three hours.  The closer we got to the farm the greener and more beautiful it was!  Ricky (the parrot) seemed to actually enjoy the ride.

As soon as we arrived we both felt we were home.  We were so excited!  And each day ever since has been an adventure!
It is so peaceful.   The birds and sounds are beautiful.

We got the van unpacked right away, bed set up and made. We had a picnic like dinner as we did last time.  I had shopped for a week and carefully put all the food away hoping I had not forgotten anything!  I have to get used to no close by shops.  You have to think of everything.

Saturday morning we hit the ground running.  We unpacked so much that day!  We have with us probably 80% of our stuff.  In the Adelaide house we have left some of the best things to make the house look lovely to sell.  So we have no table, chairs or lounge!  Or TV.   Well, we have a TV but it doesn't work.  And we have not once thought to sit down and watch it anyhow.   Each evening we have had a bonfire and a pretty early night.

The first day Luke came over to see us with his trailer.  He helped Andy load up three huge loads of rubbish around the place.  This was some stuff from renovations and general junk others had left behind. 

This was a big help and then Luke took Andy to find the dump... farms have their own dump and that is where you take your rubbish.  This isn't much as all scraps and organic things are fed to animals or compost, all burnable stuff is burned...

On Sunday Chloe came over and so did Mum.  Mum had not seen inside the house before.  So she got the royal tour.  She arrived with a bunch of fresh bay leaves for the pantry.

In earlier posts I explained we have a lot to clean up and fuel reduction to do before the summer fire season.  And only about a month before fire bans start.   Fires are our greatest worry really.  So behind the house there are too many dead trees and mess that needs cleaning up.  We started straight away.   Every night we have had a bonfire.  It has been hard work but I have loved it!   And we can see the difference!
My nephew James turned up.  He could see what needed doing.  Since he has come most nights after work and helped us.  

Andy and James have the chainsaws going.  So much for the serenity lol.  As you can see we are removing the absolute dead stuff.
We cut up the good firewood and stack it.  Then the scraps and unsuitable stuff becomes that nights bonfire.

With James helping some of them have been enormous!  We have one pile we are saving up for the biggest of them all maybe next week.   The next morning when I wash my hair I notice how smokey it smells! 

While outside at night I notice how incredible the stars and moon look.  The full sky with no lights from anywhere is amazing.  Most nights have been clear so we have really noticed this.

Another adventure.... there was a giant beehive in a tree literally three meters from the back door.  By large I mean huge huge, huge!   We would not use the back door that is for sure.   A beekeeper came and relocated them for us.

This was the view from the back window!  I have to say it was compelling viewing too.  The beekeeper had heavy metal music playing.  Not calming I wouldn't have thought...
The bees were NOT GRATEFUL for being re located.  The next two days the remainder attacked us all.  Andy got three bites, I got one and the builders who came back to finish some work outside all went home!  
Finally the bee problem is over!

I had a goal to unpack everything before we head back to Adelaide.  We need to water the Adelaide garden and tidy up for house inspections... plus of course see the girls.  So I gave myself five days to unpack.  And I did it!  Most things are some kind of work in progress but the kitchen, wardrobes, pantry and so on are unpacked.

I figure if I wait to show things when they are perfect it will never happen so this is my pantry to date.   I am really happy with it though.

By sheer luck (rather than good planning)  many of my baskets fit perfectly into the shelves.  The baskets are all labelled... tinned fruit, tinned soup, corn, packets, rice, pasta and so on. 

At this point I felt that finally I could see all the work I did before like washing and labelling all my jars,  stocking up loads etc all was paying off.  On day 5 I had a pretty well stocked pantry.

I also started working on my medical cupboard.  This has a way to go and needs labels but I have medical books at the top, bandages, ointments and disinfectant etc all in drawers.  Essential oils on top.   I need a shelf yet for medicines.  Over the counter things are in containers and stacked.

I will keep working on this but it is pretty well stocked.  I had a helper when Belle posted me so many supplies.

Next I started on an emergency preparedness cabinet.  That has a long way to go but it has candles, matches, torches, lanterns, gas cook tops, a fry pan that will run on the generator and so on.

I have started working on a new routine.  One thing is in the morning I walk up to the chicken house. This is quite a distance from the house.  I carry a basket with the chicken feed and household scraps.  On the way back I fill that basket with pinecones.  I don't know the type of pine tree but they are the largest pinecones I have ever seen.  They are literally the size of your head.  I am filling baskets with them for next years fire starters.   Some sit near the new fire as they look lovely.

I figure this part of my routine will keep us in kindling always!

Each day we make discoveries.  There is a small yard fully fenced.  It has a little shed like it could be a yard for a goat or sheep.  It has a tap in the middle and old trees that look like ancient fruit trees... we will see what they are soon.   This is the perfect place to plant my orchard! 

We started cleaning that up.  The tap in the middle is ground water and it drips.  There is a large dip there so I am going to plant pumpkins in that.  I have wanted a pumpkin patch for years.  So this weekend I am planting!   I think I will have to make a surround as there are rabbits....

I would like a goat but Andy isn't sold on this idea... yet.  Chloe would like an Alpaca but Luke ins't sold on that idea yet either!  🐐

Next week I might get some laying hens.  Chloe sent me a link to a local guy who is selling some point of lay red hens.  So maybe!  I need to find some nesting boxes... but one of the old sheds will have something I can use.

The main thing is every morning we wake up so excited for the day!  And every evening we fall into bed so pleased with what we achieved and happy and tired. 
There is a deck to the front.  Andy calls it the landing as that sounds posh lol  
This is where we discuss the day and plan the next.   
Even as I do dishes at the kitchen sink I can see fifty or sixty white cockatoos out the front eating something in the grass.   I have had Galah's sitting on the railing of the deck too.

So after almost a week this is where we are.  Without much furniture it is a bit like camping but we have our good new bed!  It is so comfy to get into after a long day. 

We saved money in a lot of ways.  I had saved $2 coins in a jar for a couple of years as I heard a coke bottle full of these adds up to $1000.  Not having a coke bottle I used a jar.  I thought now is the time to cash it in.  It was so heavy!  I went into the bank and it was $1500!  This has been really handy just now.
We moved ourselves and hired a truck which Andy drove.... plus about six trips in the van.
We kept the old stove and original kitchen. I have new counter tops and splash backs coming but otherwise we kept it all original.  Most we cleaned and stripped back the house (i.e. removing old carpets) rather than add things.  
We have increased our preparedness a lot!  Now we have ground water and rain water.  Wood fires that I can cook on and heat water.   Lots of fuel for them from all the dead trees we are cutting up.  We have plugs in the house so that if the power goes out we just turn our generator on and change plugs.  As we get more set up and get the veggies in, the laying hens, the pumpkin patch this all gets better and better! 
So it was really my biggest week of feathering our nest ever.  Starting a new nest!  

I intended to post as a new blog but just cannot get it to work so here we are in the same place!   And to everyone I normally email please accept this as my correspondence as I am unable to keep up with much else just now.  Also thank you to everyone who commented on Laine's Letter.  I have not been able to reply as I normally would, but thank you!

Now we have come back to Adelaide to get the house ready for inspections this weekend, water the garden, see the girls and do a grocery shop.  It is time to take a breath and consider our second week at the farmhouse.  I know we did a lot in one week!  It was a wonderful start!  As each thing comes together it is so nice! 

I hope you have had a good week. How did you get ahead, build up your home or save?

I will go back to posting Feather your Nest Fridays and some other posts I have in mind.

Many Bluebirds and millions of others are threatened right now by a hurricane.  I have heard especially from Pasty how they have been preparing.  They could really use prayers now. 

Sunday 9 September 2018

We have moved!

I was not able to post Feather your Nest Friday as that was actually our moving day!  It was huge!   Each day I have appreciated your prayers.  And each day I have written down big things that happened and taken photos.

Now at the farm we have internet MOSTLY.  We are still working out what works and what doesn't and we don't have any tv.  So I THINK I can blog at least on clear days!

Some things I will have to do any way I can make them work like this post.  Being unable to post myself you can imagine how I felt when I got this email yesterday from Laine.

I can't get my iPad to talk to my laptop and I can only get emails on my iPad!  So here is her letter to you via screen shots... I hope this works!

It is so good for me to read some of Laine's encouragement.  I hope you enjoy it too.

 So sorry this is such a bad way to post Laine's Letter, I hope you can read it.  But I know it is precious to everyone who has followed Laine for so long!

Now to test if this will actually post!  If it does then I am set to post about our new life at Bluebirds Farmhouse!

I truly hope everyone has had a great and productive week and will have a wonderful new week. xxx