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


  1. Oh your little country fair sounds delightful. I love that the locals have side industries. Your sheep sound like our deer. We tried everything here including a owl but we haven't yet put in a big fence like you. I think that's going to be your best defense against all the animals. We put netting on top of our blackberries and that helps with the birds otherwise we wouldn't have had a berry to eat! I just ordered guards for our apple and peach trees (the deer love to eat the bark in the winter). I have tried different types of plants that the deer hate but none of them have really worked. It's work but so worth it!

    1. Dear Vickie, It is gorgeous to see such talent and hard work around. I am inspired that is for sure. We have deer, rabbits, cockatoos and kangaroos as our main likely plant eaters! Deer are the toughest I think... Mum has a lot of trouble with them! It will be an experiment seeing how we go! Fruit trees are a worry since they are pretty expensive to buy! Have a good new week! We have a long weekend here, with lots of love,

  2. Every week you are getting so much done and I am so glad you get to be in the country. I will be praying your house sells quickly! Paula in Kansas

    1. Dear Paula, Thank you so much! We have the house looking so nice. The garden is all in flower. We are praying for a buyer! Have a lovely new week! With love

  3. You have been doing an amazing job! The house and grounds are really taking shape and soon you will be able to take a breath and just enjoy the results of your labors! Glad you had the harvest moon to refresh your souls!

    We have been keeping track of what we have here at home in our storage/reservesso that we are not wasting anything and not buying anything if we can use something we already have!

    To that end, I’ve been n the grocery stores less and less! Today I did go to my produce market to see what treasures I could find and bout 3 ten pound bags of Russet potatoes for $1/bag (10 cents/pound) I will shred some and dehydrate them because my stock of dehydrated hash brown potato shreds is down to the last can! So this is perfect timing!
    My Use-it-Up project (motivated by Wendy’ s My Abundant Life challenge a while back) has been, for the last 3 weeks, to declutter my sewing room by using up the huge amount of fabric scraps I have that don’t even fit into my regular shoeboxes or drawers! With that in mind, I tried one little scrappy project after another! The first two were okay, but my daughters and a few friends who I asked to be totally candid,were not impressed! (Thank goodness for friends and family that can be so honest!!)
    However, the third project they liked and “Scrappy Bags” were born! In this past 3 weeks, I’ve made and sold over 40 of them in various sizes and styles! And yet, my fabric stash doesn’t seem to have dismissed! So Scrappy Bags will continue on for a while until I can see more floor space in my sewing room where bins of extra scraps had been!!
    Our weather has turned chilly and it’s a good reminder to me to evaluate our preparations for winter!
    We have been thoroughly enjoying our City life on our little “urban homestead” and, like you, get excited about future projects we want to make in the future to become even more self reliant! Dave will retire at the end of May and we are getting really excited about that, even as we working hard to squirrel away things that will make his retirement even better!
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful new farm and we are praying that your home sale goes well and without any slow-downs along the way!

    1. So productive, gardenpat!
      I’ve never thought of dehydrating potatoes! Do you soak them to reconstitute them? Thanks, Deb

    2. Dear Gardenpat, You are turning your stash into cash! I knew they would be a good seller! They are useful!
      From seeing your garden and pantry I feel you really do have a true homestead in the city! You use all your space so well too. This is very encouraging for everyone.
      Thank you for your prayers re the house. I am trying to pray and not be stressed about it. Thanks so much. Have another good week with more bags made! With lots of love,

  4. Annabel, That big kitchen sink with the drain boards is marvelous! My grandmother had a big white sink like that and my sister and I washed a lot of dishes in that sink. Your kitchen will be a real joy to work in for years to come and a really wonderful gathering place for your family. The best days are when grandchildren are underfoot in the kitchen. I love that you have been able to find what you need by looking around and that gate is so nice. I am praying for your house to sell. We continue to look for the right house and to ask God when and where. Meanwhile we are working on projects to be ready to sell our current home. We have to paint the back before cold weather but it just keeps raining and raining.

    Ever since my husband retired we have struggled to fit in the errands we need to run each week so two weeks ago we rearranged our week. Now we have Wednesday to just run errands and then we don't have to worry about it the rest of the week. I am wondering to myself why we did not figure this out sooner.

    Enjoy your time with Chloe and working on the wedding. It is such a special time for Moms and daughters.

    Much love, Lana

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you! The sink does span a mile! I loved hearing about your Grandmothers sink!
      Getting ready to sell and doing what you can now really helps. We did a lot of this while we were wondering and waiting to see IF it would ever happen. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other in the right direction. This is stepping out in belief! Now we do need a buyer. I really appreciate the prayers on this and I am trying to pray rather than stress. It is hard, we need so much here and have no furniture!
      One errand day can be a very good idea. Also in some cases I am learning to eliminate the errand with doing things online... this works for looking for things, shopping for things, paying certain bills and more.... I am so over shopping lol I have had many wasted trips and days looking for things I cannot find!
      We are back at the farm now. There will be lots of things to do this week and next in the lead up to the wedding!!! I am praying the weather will be ok...
      Have a wonderful new week. I will pray about you fining the ideal home in the best location too! With love,

  5. I am rather envious of all that wonderful counter space in your kitchen! All that space will come in very handy when your garden starts producing and you wonder where you'll put everything :-)
    I am so enjoying reading about setting up your home and am also looking forward to seeing how Jenny cozies up her new place. You sound as though you are fitting right in to your local community.May God continue to pour out His blessings on you.

    1. Thanks so much Marie. I am loving the counter space although I havent done too much cooking yet. When I conquer the oven the baking will begin!
      Jenny is already unpacked and has things looking so lovely. Her instagram was hacked again so be sure to go to her website and fb. What a time she has had! It is wonderful to see and hear of homes being established and also established ones being built up! Thank you so much! With love

  6. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Ananbel, the kitchen is looking gorgeous! Your windows are spotless - I really need to clean mine before winter. We have been very busy getting ready for a horse show, but did make some efforts to DIY and save money.

    Cooking & food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. I roasted some chicken parts, made potatoes to go with, and thawed pumpkin bread from the freezer for snacking.

    Household & gardening: My husband mowed and edged the front lawn, saving $45 over having someone do it for us. My aloe plants had lots of baby aloes developing, so after repotting I had eight new aloe plants! Some of these were gifts for work colleagues/friends. The zinnias and melons are still going - I'm hoping the remaining melons are able to ripen before it gets cold.

    Shopping: Mostly, I stayed out of the shops! Pork loin was $1.99/pound and oats were 69 cents/pound, so I did stock up on those. I always forget to mention that our store gives us money back for bringing our own bags - not a lot, but 5 cents a bag does add up over time.

    Our veterinarian saved us $800 by telling us to go purchase generic "human" omeprazole instead of the equine version and giving us the dosage for a horse with a sick tummy. (She is feeling much better now.)

    Education: Week 3 of my certificate is done - one more to go!

    Crafts & gifts: I gave a friend a hunt seat show coat that doesn't fit (boo) but is still lovely - saved her $150 over buying one, and it makes me so happy that it will continue to be used.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, You have reminded me I must plant Aloe in my herb and kitchen garden. I am starting that garden today!
      The vet was good to tell you that. What a saving and now you know that information for future use also.
      I am sure your gift to your friend will come back to you in some form too and that was a wonderful help to her!
      The windows were so bad. Some you nearly couldnt see through! It has made such a difference. We had been waiting until the painting was done and the paint on the glass scraped off. It is so nice now!
      We have a holiday Monday here. It is sunny and lovely. I will be outside planting and digging! Have a great new week! With much love

  7. I cannot believe the wedding is only 2 weeks away. That is so exciting. So many last minute details to get to. My oldest daughter is home this weekend because she is a bridesmaid in a childhood friend's wedding on Saturday. We are all going. I love when we can all get together for happy reasons.

    The kitchen looks great and you will make it a home in no time. Don't over due with the wedding so close.

    1. Dear Making Cents of it All,
      Yes a wedding and everyone getting together is wonderful. It is really nice you can go too and see your daughter as a bridesmaid.
      Tiredness hit me this weekend so I have had more sleep and slower mornings. I dont want to be a wreck for the wedding!
      Have a good new week! With love

  8. What a gorgeous kitchen!!! It doesn't even need decoration of any kind for me to love it. I'm envious of all that beautiful counter space. I was making a pie crush this week and had rolled it out between two squares of wax paper, but when it came time for me to pour the apples into the bottom crust in the pan, I had nowhere to put the top crust in the wax paper, because I have so little counter space! The wax paper crust had to sit on the floor for a minute, which was absolutely not my first choice, but it was literally my only option! So enjoy every inch of that counterspace and be glad you're not using the floor for your pie crust! ;)

    I realize the cockatoos are a nuisance for you, but it sounds so fascinating when you talk about them, because they're solely something we see in pet shops here in the US. :)

    1. Dear Stephanie,
      Laine said about having nothing on the bench tops and I have started out with nothing! I know what you meant about bench space as my last kitchen didnt have much. I would open a drawer and put a large chopping board across it, this would give me additional places to sit things. And I had a large board which I think was from IKEA that covered the sink and it made big surface. That was good. Also I had a butchers block on wheels and I could wheel that in where I was working. That helped many times.
      Mainly I do like the cockatoos. We have pink ones, white and yellow and black and yellow. Then there are much smaller parrots in red, blue, green... in their thousands. But the cockies are really big. And noisy! They remind me of gangs as they mess around, are naughty and loud and they seem to be having a good time getting into all kinds of trouble. As we have a pet one we know they are super smart. So they are entertaining! I will try and get some photos and videos! When they fly over sometimes it is several hundred at once!
      I love the sound of your pie crust by the way! Once I am satisfied with the oven I will start making pies!
      Have a really good new week!
      With love,

  9. Thank you for another lovely post. I am really enjoying your journey. I know the excitement of moving onto the land. The joy of waking up each morning to open fields and birdsong. Watch out for those kangaroos too, you just might need a hot wire around your garden. Not to hurt them of course but just to deter them from munching on your plants. Blessings G.

    1. Dear Gail,
      It is funny that we havent seen kangaroos here. Over at Mums and at Chloes they both have Kangaroos. So I guess we will get them too. I will like to see them as long as its not eating my flowers!
      I do love the mornings and evenings, the birds, sounds, sunsets and sunrise and the sky at night is amazing. It is glorious really.
      Thank you so much! With love

  10. Lovely post today, thank you. I live in Arizona so seeing the photos and hearing about the area is very interesting! Your progress really is amazing, so much to do, yet you are steaming right through it. Congratulations again on moving to a lovely home so near to family.

    1. Dear Hilogene,
      Thank you so much! Today I am starting on my herb garden! It is really fun to be progressing along and seeing so much difference!
      I am loving being near Mum and Dad and Chloe and Luke. I will love it more when Lucy and the girls are nearer too!
      Thank you! Have a good new week! With love

  11. Praying for a quick and easy sale for your city home, Annabel and Andy. You are selling at a good time. When I was selling mum’s house, I went through every room and committed it to the Lord and walked the boundary committing it (actually did a bit of a “Jericho” walk )πŸ˜‰

    Wonderful news that other bluebirds are nesting as well!

    I love your enthusiasm and joy, you never grizzle that you have too much on your plate, God must find it so easy to Bless you because you are so thankful and attentive.


    1. Dear Deb, I was really blessed by your comment. Firstly yes I will do that with the old house. God arranged so many incredible things to get us this far so I know he will arrange this too. And thank you for the kind words... I do complain or worry sometimes but I try not to as we are so blessed and quite often I cannot believe how much!
      We achieved good things today (Monday) and I got a lot of my herb and kitchen garden started and Andy did a massive clean up with the pressure cleaner or our back courtyard. These two areas were the worst of all. So seeing them coming good is a big boost! Have a wonderful new week. Thank you Deb.xxxx Love

    2. Deb you have a reply down below re dehydrating potatoes...xx

  12. Thank you for the update Annabel. I enjoy reading what you have been getting up to.

    I love clean windows! I think cleaning one each week would be a great idea. I have eleven windows and after cleaning three, I lose motivation. They are huge windows with those annoying little squares that are a pain to clean.

    Have a fantastic week!

    God Bless,


    1. Dear Tania,
      Windows can be daunting. I cheat on outside ones or I used to... this was to wash with dish detergent, water and finish dish washer rinse aid then just rinse them with the hose. This works pretty well! Inside is more painful...
      The little squares are a challenge I agree as I had those once years ago!
      I hope you have a great new week too! And that you had a good holiday Monday! With much love

  13. Jenny, what a busy week. Watch out for those cockies. They get in our macadamia and pecan nut trees and make a mess and I I believe they can even chew on the wood on wooden houses although thankfully that hasn't happened. You probably know all that anyway. All the best with the wedding preparations. I can't wait to see some photos eventually.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I have heard of cockies ripping up peoples window frames etc! We havent had that problem so far...
      I will post so many wedding photos you will be sick of it haha but I am so excited! Lots to do this week and next!
      Have a lovely new week! With love

  14. It is incredible how quickly time has gotten away! It seemed to be August and now it us practically October and the wedding is so close now! Your kitchen is looking fabulous Annabel. So many cupboards and benchtops. I do not envy you the oven cleaning job but am sure you will get it to just how you want eventually. It must be so much cleaner already with all that scrubbing. Continuing to pray for a sale of your city home. Am loving these updates on all you are achieving at the Farmhouse. Xo

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye, Thank you so much! I did finally get the oven reasonably clean. It is pretty good and today I baked my first item which is a sultana cake for Dad. It looks really good and I used the big side of the oven. I have never had two ovens before! I cant fathom having two sides to cook with!
      I need a step ladder to get to my top cupboards but in any instance they are all empty as I dont have that much stuff to fill them! This is a change from our last house!
      Thank you for praying. We are waiting and hoping. And praying also!
      We have already achieved a fair bit this week. All the travel back and forth is taking up a lot of time. But I now have a lot of my kitchen and herb garden planted. It is looking much better as this was a bad area and untidy.
      I hope you have a good week! With much love,

  15. I so enjoy the updates on your new home! How exciting! Are you finding it easy or difficult to stock up on enough groceries to last between trips to the city? We are a year in to a similar move, and I still find it hard to get used to. My teen boys are just starting swim team season right now, I cannot stretch a meal like I used to be able too. It is exciting and stressful at the same time! Blessings to you and your family, I’m praying your house in the city will sell soon, and that God will continue to provide for your needs in your new home. -Amy

    1. Hi Amy, I am fining it ok as for now I can do weekly shopping. But I do not have teenage boys! I remember my friend who had five boys all teenagers when I knew them. She timed the bread maker to be ready at breakfast and after school. She made huge biscuits (cookies) four to a tray, she did giant baked potatoes to go with meat and veg meals plus bread rolls. It was basically a full time job feeding them! With planning you will be ok. Get your handmaidens going so the slow cooker, the bread maker etc are all working hard for you.
      Thank you for your prayers. We are waiting and trying to be patient!
      Thanks so much! With much love

  16. Belated congratulations on your move to the farm Annabel. It looks like a glorious spot to live and how green and lush are your paddocks. I'm loving reading every bit about the farm and how much you and Andy and family have accomplished in such a short time. Your windows are spotless, it does make such a difference to view the world through!
    Your kitchen is a dream and Huge and what a beautiful view out of your kitchen window.
    What a busy stage of life you are in ATM. The wedding, selling your home and moving to the farm!!! I'm so loving seeing all your gorgeous posts, thank you Annabel.πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’

    1. Thank you so much! Yes it sure has been busy. The nest two weeks will be so busy! But it is an exciting time! I am going to bed so early so keep up with it.
      Thank you for your kindness and encouragement, have a wonderful new week! xxxx

  17. Annabel the house is looking beautiful as are the gardens and surrounds. I can see what a difference you have all made with yard clean ups and in the house too.

    Been a busy week for us here as we have seen 4 houses for sale from old churches on acreage to residential to rural. The old church sadly had seen better days with both wood rot and termite damage but oh what a magnificent 15 square home with vaulted ceilings. Probably suitable for a builder or tradie to repair and restore (you would need deep pockets to fix it properly). We went back and saw the home on half an acre in town here but it too has issues with the house sinking and needing restumping. The favourite so far is a house on 2.4 acres that is good with lovely wooden floorboards and 3 bedrooms but the soil is rather rocky for gardens but could be amended. We shall keep you updated on our continuing buying our home adventure :).

    Our time at home has been limited this week but we have achieved a little.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to - $234.72 in savings last week.

    Finances & listings -
    - Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 28.58 % of the way there for a new home build or 41.57% of the way there for buying an existing home on land.
    - Listed 18 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $29.70 on usual listing costs.

    Earnings -
    - Made $21.51 from the sale of a homemade 5 layer cotton eye mask in my eBay store.

    Grocery savings -
    - Used another $240 for $200 grocery e-voucher and with weekly specials on items we use regularly saved an additional $53.40 on usual prices.
    - We stocked up above our usual stocking levels on 10 x cocoa powder, 8 tins of spam, 24 tins of smoked oysters and 1 x 32 pk of toilet paper.

    In the gardens -
    - Took 18 cuttings of English lavender we potted up and 10 cuttings of rosemary we have sitting in water until they develop roots saving $151.62 over buying the plants in the local plant nurseries.

    Usual frugalities -
    - Watered the house lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine, watered fruit tree pot plants and vegetables with dish rinsing and shower warm up water, hung washing on the clothes line to dry and washed all laundry on a cold water cycle.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).


    1. Hi Sewingcreations15, I can't remember if you are in Queensland or not, but if you are I would recommend checking out any properties that are of interest to you on Queensland Globe. It might take a little practice to work your way around the app but you will be able to see the lot boundaries (to make sure there are no encroachments of one lot to another - it happens more often that people realise) and features of the property. Another tip is that many councils have interactive mapping features available on their websites and you can look up the lots you are interested in to see if they are in a flood area, fire area etc, - these type of features on a property can also affect insurance premiums.

    2. Thanks Sherri Mac yes we are in Qld . We will check out the sites you have recommended too.

      Have a great week :).


    3. Dear Sewingcreations, Enjoy the looking and considering.... this can be kind of fun and you just do not know what you might come across tomorrow. There is a lot to consider! But the right place will appear for sure. And you will know!
      Thank you Sherri for making helpful suggestions to Sewingcreations.
      I need to get good at striking lavender as you do. If there is some trick to it do tell me as I have little success. Rosemary I am ok at but I will find a bit with a root system already and pull that up and off it goes!
      I am amazed at the difference of how far your deposit will go if you buy an existing house vs building. It sounds like a well built and good condition home could be a huge saver. It might be the biggest Vicky Challenge savings of all time!
      Have a good new week and I am dying to hear if you find your place! With much love

    4. Hi Annabel and thank you for your encouragement :). We are going to see the house on 2.4 acres again this week and if it all pans out we will put in an offer then too. There are tenants in place that have a lease until April next year so it could be a bit tricky as we are after vacant possession to do works to it.

      I thought I would put the link we are using on how to propagate lavender as it seems to work well. We have new growth on the cuttings which shows the roots are growing :).

      I hope this helps.


    5. Dear Sewingcreations, thank you! Mum has two varieties so I will be trying it out thanks so much! xxx

    6. Most welcome Annabel :).


  18. Annabel, thank you so much for your beautiful post. Your blog is such a treasure and a real delight to read! It is soul- restoring! I LOVE your beautiful views, those clean windows....all that natural light. I adore your kitchen and all that cupboard space- amazing! I think I could wash up all day with a view like that, how lovely it must be to cook in that kitchen. It must be so nice being closer to the family. I can just imagine how peaceful it is, I bet you are sleeping well. I love country fairs. I just wanted to say I had a look at Kelsey's Etsy shop and it is amazing! Kelsey, you really do make absolutely beautiful things! There are so many gorgeous things, I love the packs of cards. The card would be a gift in itself to give someone. They are beautiful. I often feel like I am not getting ahead either. But I think that is the season I am in. I need to review the week and think if the housework, cooking, and washing got done, plus I played with my children, then that is going well. I said to DH I'd really like to get stuck into the garden next year, even bit by bit. We have lots of tree stumps to remove and then mounds of old dirt, then I can plant some fruit trees :) Lots of love to you and to the Bluebirds. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you! You are in a busy time with two young boys. You are right that if you are keeping on top, everyone is fed and happy then that is success!
      We have been pulling out stumps thanks to James and the tractor. This is a big job, a bobcat can do up to a certain size... but as for gardening I am a big believer in a little bit often adds up to an amazing result. It would be beautiful to have fruit trees!
      Thank you for encouraging Kelsey! Oh and yes I am sleeping well, I am going to bed so early and sleeping like a log as it is a long day here and a lot of heavy work and digging etc. I am definitely gaining fitness from all of this!
      I hope you have a good new week! With love

  19. Annabel, your farmhouse is coming together beautifully and it sounds like the outside grounds are getting a complete make-over. I look forward to pictures of your finished work both inside and out!

    1. Dear Patsy, Thank you for commenting when I know what a time you have had and how busy you are. I hope things are improving and settling down. You must be exhausted! Many thanks, with love

  20. Hi Annabel, Love the photos of your kitchen. Re the purchase of a ride on mower - my husband is of the opinion that a ride on mower with a pressed deck is useful for areas up to about 1.5 acres, anything over that he considers that a ride on mower needs a commercial deck; but he often says that most areas of around 3+ acres would need a tractor and slasher, or tractor and finishing mower. However he says that also depends on the type of country being mown - eg whether there is a lot of trees or open paddocks etc.

    1. Dear Sherri, Possibly we need a slasher but there are quite a few trees. But we dont have anything to pull it.... our actual yard which is fenced is a few acres. Beyond that the drive way and around the sheds etc is much more but the sheep can be let in to eat all those areas down quite regularly and they do a very good job. The land is up and down hill and there are a few tree stumps etc. We need somethings soon but we need to sell the house to finance it. We might need to lend something in the meantime or we will have dangerously high grass... think snakes etc! Thank you for your thoughts on this and husbands advice. We definitely need something up to the job and it will be used a lot! With much love

    2. It often takes a little time to be able to purchase the equipment needed. For the first few weeks after buying our acreage we didn't even have a ride on mower just a push mower. We hired someone to come with a tractor and slasher. During the afternoon his tractor became hopelessly bogged on our property and had to get rescued by someone who had an earth moving bushiness. I was really quite stressed about it at the time but it makes for a good story now.

    3. Sherri I can totally see something like this happening here!

  21. Deb- for dehydrating potatoes for hash browns, I peel them , then shred them with my kitchenaid mixer attachment. Then blanch them in boiling water so they won’t discolor. Then spread on dehydrator trays. Easy peasy!
    To rehydrate, 1-1/2 cups of dried potato shreds into 2 cups of hot water. Put lid over bowl/pot and wait 10 minutes. Then drain remaining water off and they are ready to use!!

    1. Thank you for this tip and helping Deb!

  22. Dear Annabel,
    What a huge kitchen! I know it must be such a pleasure to cook in it. If you lay paper towels on the oven surface and soak them with Windex (or ammonia) for a few hours, it really helps lift cooked on grease. I do this regularly even though I have a self cleaning oven (all that heat sort of scares me, so I go old-school). It might not work so well if the crud is really thick, but it's a great way to maintain a relatively clean oven.

    I do pray that your city home sells soon. It's so lovely, it's the answer to some other homemaker's prayers.

    Everything - the wedding, the new garden, the house updates, the small town festival - all seems so idyllic. You're putting in a lot of work, but it's obvious you are enjoying it to the full. Nothing lifts the spirits like accomplishment and you're so wise to stop and reflect on it each week. All of us eagerly await the next installment of Blueberry Farm, so we're cheering you on.

    Will you eventually sell some of your crafts at the small town festivals? You make such beautiful and useful things that I know they'd be in demand.


    1. Dear Phyllis,
      I did my first actual baking today. I made Dad an old fashioned sultana cake as he loves them. It went so well! I am happy with it being clean enough now.
      Thanks for the tip re the Windex. I will be trying that from now on.
      Thanks also for the prayers. We need to sell so much. We are praying too, thank you.
      I dream of getting time again for crafts and Im sure I will. I am thinking if Chloe has her way there will be babies on the way and I will be flat our making new baby things, cooking, gardening etc. I think my crafts will be gifts and maybe some bartering.
      We have made a lot of progress this week with the kitchen and herb garden well underway. I should have a decent report by Friday!
      Have a very good week! With love

  23. So excited for all of you. Love the "new" kitchen. We plan to paint the kitchen cabinets in our new abode white or cream. I already lived with oak cabinetry growing up. :)


    1. Dear Leslie,
      Thank you! As soon as my floors were light and my walls and cupboards white everything looked twice the size, light, clean, fresh, hygienic... I love it.
      I am so pleased I have both new and old too... the cupboards are awesome so now I have the best of both worlds!
      Have a good new week! With love

  24. Dear Annabel,
    I think the comment I wrote a couple of days ago went off to cyberspace or something. I won't rewrite it, but do want you to know I am really enjoying the photos and learning about your new farmhouse! It's so exciting and lovely. Enjoy the upcoming wedding! I'll be praying for a quick and smooth sale of the house.
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Thank you for trying again! I am finding this a really exciting time and enjoying every day. It feels like kind of an adventure!
      Thank you for your prayers. We really need to sell. Thank you. With much love

  25. Dear Annabel,
    First I want to thank you and the ladies for all of your help with sharing my Etsy shop, making purchases, and favoriting my shop! I had a really good first week and it is very exciting! I have had huge amounts of traffic. Now family and friends are seeing what I do and requesting things as well! Thank you so much!
    It must have been window washing week. I have decided to work on one side of the house at a time, and so far I have done all the front windows and screens. We've had some cooler weather and soon it will be nice enough to have the windows open.
    Colton tilled up our garden spot but it rained the same night and I hadn't gotten anything planted. It's tilled again and tomorrow we will get some things in the ground.
    I sewed up some pillowcases using Pasty's tutorial for some fabric I bought months ago. They are for a little girl's birthday in themes she likes.
    Remember last week discussing our vehicle woes? Well, Friday we traded in Colton's little car for a new vehicle for me. It is a mom vehicle and just perfect. Now Colton drives my old SUV and it is perfect because he can fit all of his fire gear in it, drive around the ranch, pull a trailer, etc. It put us back in debt but our good credit got us 0% interest for 60 months. We will have it paid off by then, so that saves thousands. Plus we got thousands in rebates and it actually ended up being a better deal than a used vehicle. A tip from a car dealer friend: dealerships have to sell a certain amount of vehicles per month and if they have not met that number, they will be almost desperate for a sale at the end of the month, so that is the time to potentially get a lower price.
    That is about it here. Oh! John took his first step! He is not walking yet but it surely won't be long now.
    I am so happy to see you loving the farm. The kitchen looks wonderful! All that storage too! The cabinetry reminds me fondly of my grandma's house.
    It really is nice to be around family. Besides the company, we are able to help each other and share equipment. And don't you just love finding things you need like your gate? We always look around the ranch before buying things because, whatever it is, there is bound to be something around here that will do the trick.
    I am praying your house sells soon. I know how that can be. I hope you have another good week with lots of lovely progress at the farm!
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, I am so glad you are off to a wonderful start!
      Pillowcases are a beautiful gift I think. I remember when I was little having special pillowcases and I loved that!
      It sounds like a good deal on the vehicles and a sensible solution!
      If John took a step then he will be off and running very soon. Get ready this is when you will be kept on your toes!
      With old sheds and dumps we will be looking around for all kinds of things we need. I will probably find things I dont need but can do something inventive with!
      Thank you for your prayers re the house.
      I hope you have a very good new week and more sales! With much love,


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