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 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. 


  1. I remember the work involved in moving and in setting up a new house, compelte with renovations. I am most impressed in what you have achieved. Enjoy the adventure. I hope that someone will walk in the door this weekend and fall in love with your Adelaide house and make an offer straight away.
    Bluey and I have been spending the past week getting the caravan unpacked and washing out all of the Birdsville dust. There were bucket loads of it. I took the doona, king size woollen crochet blanket and quilted mattress protector to the local laundromat and ran them through the industrial machines. The bed is made up and the van is now clean and ready to go under its cover and ready for visitors to stay in.
    Katie and I are heading off to Sydney next week. My son has his engagement party next weekend. For the next few days I will be busy sewing a few things for Tilly and Maddie. We are driving down and will be staying with family along the way. An esky and thermos will be packed so we can make up sandwiches and coffee as we go.
    I am making up lemon butter and strawberry jam to take as Thank you gifts for the relies that we stay with on the way. It will be fun road trip with my beautiful daughter.
    To all the Bluebirds in the path of the hurricane I am praying you come through safe and sound.
    Now that we are dust free and can breathe once more, life is very good.

    1. Dear Jane, Thank you! I hope the house sells too.
      Getting home from a trip and unpacking is a big task. It was a good idea washing everything bulky at the laundromat.
      How exciting about the engagement party! It will be lovely taking a trip with your daughter too.
      We have had a couple of days in the city and heading back to the farm today. We are just looking forward to getting back! And I have some plants to start my garden... being spring now is the time plus it is raining so if I get them in now this will be good. It is a start...
      Have a great trip to Sydney! With love

  2. Wonderfully productive week! Wow! I can see you are very happy, and why not? It is a great move for you all. Hope the weekend showing of the old house is successful.

    1. Thank you Earthmotherwithin, Yes it has been an amazing time. We have so many opportunities now. I just got the first plants for the new garden... it will be a long process but this is the beginning! Many thanks. Love

  3. Thank you for praying for those of us in the path of the hurricane. It will visit Patsy and then head our way but it will not be near the impact here. We are still watching to see which way it will go and that will determine what we see here. We have prepared for what ever we may get.

    It is wonderful to hear how much you love your new place. You pantry is wonderful and I love seeing your oils all organized and ready. Praying that your house in town will sell quickly and you can close that chapter and get really settled.

    1. Dear Lana,
      I have been watching the hurricane reports. I am worried about flooding!
      Thanks so much we hope the house sells too. I have come a long way with the oils. I made a bit more progress with my medical cabinet as I found a shelf I could add so now I have it much better. Its all progress! Also I want to learn more to address bites, allergic reactions and swelling... this bee bite was the worst I ever had! Glenda said Natures Sunshine Black ointment draws out bites and poisons but so far I can not find it to buy here or online. Amazing have it but wont ship to Australia. But there must be alternatives... so I thought I will ask you. Many thanks in advance Lana, with love,

    2. Hopewell's Lavender Hydrolat is amazing for bites. (and burns)
      My husband is so very allergic to bee or wasp stings so we keep the remedy for it from Get Well Stay Well.
      I do not know if they will ship to you but this is amazing for him. Also Cleansing from Hopewell is fantastic to clear the body of poisons and junk. Use it right on the area of the bite and if the body is really in duress, put it on the bottoms of your feet. My kinesiologist told me recently that if she were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one bottle of oil it would be Cleansing. I am going to order a second bottle so that I can be sure to have it when I need it.

      I am searching for better storage for my oils but I have over 200 bottles now and many larger bottles so I have not found the right thing yet. I also want to be able to keep them in a cabinet so they are protected from light so wall storage is not what I want to do. I am sure something will come along eventually.

      The flooding is very bad where Patsy lives. Our youngest son lives just south of her about an hour but they evacuated and we do not know the situation there yet.

    3. Dear Lana, I have made a screen shot of this (as I have done with many things you have told me so I dont lose the info!) and will see right away if I can get Get Wll Stay Well and I certainly know I can get Cleansing from Hopewell. So I will order that. I had not even heard of this. But with the bite and swelling I could see what I need is something to reduce the reaction, remove the toxins, calm the inflammation... Being at the farm I suspect bites are going to be something I have to be careful of. I am wearing gloves for all garden work as one thing I can do!
      Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it.
      I am hearing the flooding is terrible. And these people only recovered from the same two years ago. I dont know how anyone could endure so much. Just awful.
      Many thanks Lana, with love

    4. The Get Well Stay Well remedy has reduced my husband's reactions to bites because it is so effective at removing the built up toxins in the body. He had gotten so bad that if he got stung on his hand his arm would swell up huge all the way up into the shoulder. It was scary. Now we grab the remedy and use it right away and he has almost no reaction at all. I have him put three droppers full under his tongue and hold it for three minutes before swallowing. I hope they will ship it to you. Their Liquid Detox is also very helpful for removing any toxins from the body. You 5 years will see it over and over on their site. It is pricey but we have had one bottle for 5 or more years and still have not used it all up.

  4. Annabel your pantry looks amazing! What an incredible week, clearly very busy but I'm sure in the most satisfying way. All the best with the sale of your city house, it will be nice to have that sorted. And to have the rest of your furniture lol.

    I found a new op shop yesterday, it is amazing!! It is beautifully presented, and very well priced. I bought some cross stitch magazines that retail here for $15-$20 for 20 cents each! Also a game of memory for my daughter, a brand new cross stitch kit for 50 cents (still had the original price on it - $38!). But my absolute best find was a bag of fabric pieces that someone has clearly spent hours cutting. There are over 100 basted hexagons in different sizes ready to sew together. The whole lot was $2!! They are retro fabrics, and I am so excited to use them. My daughter has just spent the better part of an hour arranging the hexagons! I will definitely be going back there 😊

    Unfortunately I had to get the plumber back and he still can't find out why our tanks are not filling properly when it rains. We ran out this week and had to pay for a tanker full of water which is really frustrating given the time of year and how much rain we've had. So the next time it rains I will need to be out on top of the water tanks trying to work out which pipes are working and which aren't. Hopefully we can figure it out soon so that we can make the most of the Spring rain.

    Have a great weekend! Thinking of those people effected by the hurricane, I hope it is not as bad as they are expecting.

    Jen in NZ

    1. Hi Jen,

      Loved reading about your cross-stitch finds! Isn't that he best feeling.

      Happy stitching!

    2. Dear Jen,
      Yes it will be nice to have furniture sometime. We have joked there is no time to sit on a lounge anyway!
      I am thrilled for you about the op shop! A good op shop is such an asset. Especially I think for sewers and crafters!
      I wonder if something is blocking an inlet? That is really frustrating. Rain water will be such an issue for us now. The ground water is good and clear and ok for washing etc but we need rain water for drinking.
      I would love to see what you do with the hexagons. What a gorgeous find.
      Thanks for sharing your week Jen it was excellent! With love

  5. I am just so thrilled for you!!! How exciting that you are feathering a new nest!!! I can't imagine anything better! I hope and pray that your old home will sell quickly and you will be able to rest easier in your new home! Blessing and hugs to you and all the other bluebirds!

    1. Dear Holley,
      Thank you! Thank you for the prayers also I really appreciate them.
      While we wait there is so much we can do here and we are just getting on with it. But the sale will give us the funds to buy a ride on mower which we need and new rainwater tanks and a list of things we need to do. But meanwhile we will work on lots of other things! Have a great new week! With love

  6. Such an exciting time for you! I remember when we bought our fixer upper seventeen years ago. Oh, it was so much work, yet super rewarding.

    I've spent my week slowing our schedule so we are home more. It's amazing how much calmer you are and how much you get done when you are home!

    I made a trip to the grocery for potatoes and ended up picking up some canned goods that were on sale. Working slowly on stocking the pantry a little deeper.

    Hope your second week on the farm is just as fantastic!

    1. Dear Wendi, Renovating is so much work. And pretty stressful!
      I agree... when I am home more I get heaps done and am less stressed. Its a fine line to balance! Often I have been out to much then have to catch up. Here I think I will be home much more but days out are bigger days.
      We are off to a huge start on our second week! Thanks so much. Have a good new week there! With love

  7. Well done on your move. I'd love to move back home to the country, but as I moved around heaps as a child, I'm not quite sure where that home is! lol. congrats again.
    PS Still using the facial scrub and its still amazing.

    1. Dear Ahlyia, I love that scrub too. When I run out sometimes I stop for a while then I notice eww a bad difference lol and get back to using it! It is like having new skin!
      I hope you find your true home where you feel this is it. The country is just wonderful. I think much more about nature and beauty being here and much less about bad things and the media and the news etc. I am reaping the benefits already. Thanks so much, with love,

  8. Annabel, what a busy week you have had. Well done with all you have achieved. I am sure you are going to be very happy on the farm. I also am praying for Patsy. I have a friend who has a granddaughter in Wilmington so she is quite concerned about her but said this morning that the hurricane has been downgraded to a category 2 which won't cause quite as much damage.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I know some places are flooding now so I hope your friends Granddaughter is safe and sound. Patsy is doing well so far.
      Thanks so much! I adored seeing your cornflowers and now think I will be planting some! For beauty and for soap!
      Have a good new week! With love

  9. Dear Annabel, Congratulations on the first week at Bluebirds Farmhouse. You have done so well being so organised so quickly -
    all of the last week is testimony to every preparedness post you have shared with us. All the things you have done in the last couple of years has helped - even the $2 coin idea. And you are obviously a hard worker too. Thankyou for your inspiration - it is better to keep on preparing and being organised than try and start when something happens. Today I saw the sweetest Wily Wagtail couple building a nest on a ladys front verander in an old chandelier. I love Spring. Enjoy! Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      I am trying to look at the farm as a way to be much better prepared and more self reliant in every way. So I am using a lot of things I have been learning. As I plant, get laying hens and so on I think how it is all a help.
      I would love to see a nest in a chandelier! These are Willie Wagtails with style and class! haha! Wow. There are a lot of nests here. Each day I am exploring. I got up a ladder to look into a nest today and took photos! The east had blue twine in it so it was bright blue! I was so surprised! Have a good week Clare, with love,

  10. This is so wonderful to read, Annabel! So many things to discover, work to be done, new routines to be made! Can't wait to keep reading xx
    PS My aunt and uncle have alpacas, they are gorgeous animals :)
    Fiona xx

    1. Dear Fiona, My nephew is threatening to get Chloe a baby alpaca as a wedding present as he thinks that would be funny lol
      If an alpaca does turn up I will be thinking of spinning the wool. Already I am considering going back to spinning wool as I have spotted some brown sheep... I can spin, Nan taught me... if I can fit in one more thing!
      Have a good week. We are making progress! With love,

  11. Everything about your new farmhouse and property is gorgeous, but oh my, that pantry is a DREAM!!!

    What a lot of hard work you've done! I moved into my house three and a half years ago, and I'm STILL trying to get things together (granted, I had a baby who never, ever slept, and I was nearly out of my mind, literally, so that's why!). Making a home look like that after moving takes SO much work, and you should be very proud of yourself! Well done!

    1. Thanks Stephanie! I really love it. Each day I have worked on it a bit more.
      I do not have a baby so dont compare to me that is for sure. I remember sleepless nights. I was terrible. I am a person who need 9 hours a night or I dont know my own name. So that was a tough time. Thank you though for your encouragement. It is only Sunday evening now and we have done so much this weekend with help from my nephew. Im amazed. It is wonderful to feel like we are getting somewhere. Each week we will need to spend two days back in the city too, but I can show, see the girls, we get things we need to work on the house etc... so really we have five days here and 2 days there. But it is working out ok so far. Have a good new week! With love

  12. Hi Annabel and you did so well for the week and everything you have done in the farmhouse looks divine :). Saving those coins really will come in handy indeed for any little purchases you need to do. Great that your baskets all fitted in the shelves as well.

    Our savings added up to $407.35 this week :).

    Finances and listings -
    - Listed 15 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $24.75 over usual listing costs.

    - Earned $12.91 from the sale of 100 g of thyme picked and dried from the gardens.

    Purchases -
    - With money earned from the sale of handmade items and herbs I purchased off eBay 2 parts of the tightwad gazette saving $59.62 on new prices, 2 wrist guards saving $3.90 and 2 knee guards saving $1.42 on usual prices.

    Groceries -
    - Did our last part of our 3 monthly shop and ended up being $172.30 under our grocery budget for the 3 months yay !. Buying only when things are on special is paying off and our pantry stockpile is growing steadily :).
    - I saved a further $19.70 by buying specials over and above the $40 saved using our $240 for $200 Woolworths e-voucher.
    - We topped up above our usual stocks on 12 tins of mango slices, 11 bottles of sarsparilla, 12 pkts of baking chocolate chips, 1 container of cottage cheese, 1 carton of wet cat food and 2 pkts of dry cat food.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 29 bunches of silver beet and 2 kg of broccoli from the gardens saving $112.75 over purchasing them in the shops. We blanched and froze these giving us 23 more double meals of silver beet and 2 more double meals of broccoli. Our silver beet is likely going to bolt with the heat so we try and stock the freezer in the cooler months for summer.
    - Started white onion, carrot, cucumber and capsicum seeds in pots on the veranda and the onions, carrot and cucumber seeds are already sprouting :). We started them in pots as our frosts here are just over and this gives us a head start for the vegetable gardens.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).


    1. Hi Sewingcreations15,

      Well done on the gardening, and I love the Tightwad Gazette! So many helpful tips there.

      I wanted to drop you a quick note, too, and let you know that I followed your advice and my Spanish lavender survived and is getting huge! Next year I will plant some more. Thank you!!

      Hope you have a nice weekend,

    2. Hi Kathy I am so glad your lavender recovered :), and excited about reading the tightwad gazette too.

      Rather than buying more lavender you can propagate more lavender via cuttings from the plant you have (at least you can with French and English lavender) so worth a try. Also in autumn prune down your lavender by 1/4 to stop the lavender plant going woody and your plant will last a lot longer.

      In spring take a 6 - 8 " cutting off a non flowering stem, remove the lower leaves, dip stem in honey, plant in seed raising mix, water with a spray bottle a few times a day and keep covered with a plastic bag. You should have cuttings with roots in about 3 - 5 weeks you can plant out once they are big enough.

      Hope this helps and saves you buying more lavender plants, let me know if it works as I will be trying this shortly too.

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    3. Dear Sewingcreations, Thank you! Ok I cant get past 29 bunches of silver beat! oh wow!
      Im a bit slow but you know the area I picked for veggies and fruit trees? I suddenly realised it has rabbit proof fencing. This was what it was obviously meant for. It has taps, good fencing and shelter yet sun. I am so excited as I was worrying about rabbits. Mind you there are white cockatoos everywhere.... maybe I need to build a scare crow. I will dream about such productivity as yours!
      Well done on all your harvesting and additions to your pantry. What a good week. I planted three lavenders this weekend, three different ones plus two rosemary from bits at the old house that were leaning on the ground and had grown very good root systems so they were free. I will they and get some more next trip as I think I can find more if I look around a bit more.
      Have a really good new week! Well done. With much love,

  13. Happiness throughout this post, I loved reading every word Annabel :)

    Prayers for those affected by the hurricanes, hope everyone stays safe.

    I love looking up on a clear night to see the milky way, it glides ever so elegantly over our humble little place. I can imagine it is much the same for you.

    Looking forward to your next post,

    Much love,

    Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, Thank you! Yes so much happiness! We are star gazing every night. We see a lot of satellites too. The sky is beautiful. Andy has a telescope which he is setting up also.
      I hope that soon my garden will be producing like yours! With much love,

  14. what a lot of work you have accomplished. You do so much. The photos are so beautiful. You always enjoy everything you do. what an inspiration. Your house is lovely. Ann xx

    1. Dear Ann,
      Thank you so much! I am off to a good start this week with lots of photos I am so pleased with on my trusty iPhone lol. I hope you have a great new week! With much love,

  15. Annabel,
    So very Happy for you! It sounds so exciting to wake up everyday to such beauty. So much work but so rewarding.
    Oh to have the orchard, garden, livestock. You must be writing a new journal just for all of it.

    I am following you, we may close on new house this week, movers on the 26th and 27th, there is no way I can even lift 1/2 of my dining table let alone any other furniture unfortunately. We will both be celebrating the upcoming holidays in our new homes.

    I know your home in the city will sell quickly, it is to beautiful for anyone to pass up.

    May you have a wonderful time with the girls this weekend.
    I had to smile when you mentioned even the parrot loves their new home. It was meant to be.


    1. Dear Rosanne,
      It is beautiful waking up to birds and the sun coming up over the land. And the nights are just stars!
      Moving for you in only ten days! That is amazing! How wonderful we can plan Christmas in our new homes, you will have Thanksgiving also!
      Thank you for your prayers re the house. I hope we sell too as each week we have to drive 6 hours all up to keep looking after everything. But then I want to go to see the girls anyway!
      The chickens and parrot are very happy. Both have had serious accomodation upgrades lol!
      Have a good new week I know it will be so busy for you. With lots of love,

  16. It all looks so lovely. So glad you are moving in! I hope you get the water situation figured out soon. You know that would be my biggest problem I think making sure I remember to get everything at the nearest store. Lists -I would have to have lists for the groceries, hardware store, etc. Probably would have to keep them in my purse because I would forget them! Have a great day and enjoy your new house.

    1. Dear Vickie,
      Thanks so much! Its all about lists that is for sure. I have started many for next trip already! But so far so good.
      Have a good new week. We are off to a big start, we have help today, Sunday, from my nephew. So that was a bonus! With love,

  17. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, your pantry is gorgeous, and the property is beautiful! All of your plans and work are so inspiring. I hope you have fun with the girls, too.

    Cooking & food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. I cooked up some pork ribs in a tomato-y sauce in the slow cooker, pasta sauce with fresh garden herbs, banana bread, and another batch of "freezer oatmeal".
    We are already noticing big grocery savings from purchasing the beef side; it is well worth the bigger upfront expense and much healthier, too. I'd encourage anyone who wants to do this to give it a try if they have freezer space! (I also love that the money spent on the meat stays right in our local community and economy.)

    Household & gardening:
    My husband mowed & edged the front and back lawns. It looks so pretty now! (Saving $75 over having someone do it for us.)
    Something is nibbling on my raspberry canes, but we have a lot of berries starting to get ripe, as well as more melons!

    Shopping: I spent $46 to purchase a pair of work trousers that match one of my suit jackets and three nice tops (sale plus I had a 25% off coupon).
    Emily of New Moon Seasons 1-4, $1.99/season.
    Three large packages of cross-stitch magazines - I am loving the cross-stitch shopping finds lately! - for $3 a package.
    The thrift shop had a huge assortment of cross-stitch books - lovely hardcovers for $1.99 each. I bought several and am so thrilled with this find.

    Education: The semester has started again for my husband (he gets half his tuition paid by work, so an $800 savings), and I am doing an advanced certificate for my job, too. I really do think of this as investing in ourselves; the certificate is 7 courses and cost $550 as I got a discount through a professional organization.

    Entertainment: We enjoyed watching two musicals from our home dvd library (The Music Man, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and went for several rides with the horses.

    I'm not sure I should count this as savings, but my husband has decided to try western again after riding hunter seat for several years. After pricing tack for him (and gulping a lot), I remembered that I have a lovely western saddle & matching bridle etc. that I have kept safely stored as my mare would rather do dressage. After pulling it out of storage, he tried it out, and it fits him and his horse perfectly! It is a crazy savings of over $3000 since it is a show saddle set with beautiful silver trim and jeweler's bronze. So I suppose I have a horse pantry, also?

    Crafts & gifts:
    I did some knitting on a scarf (the Noro striped scarf, and some socks), and made progress on stitching (finished Black Hat Society and a Red Rose sampler which will be a Xmas gift, stitched on Ye Olde Chocolate Shoppe, and a Sue Hillis ornament).

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Wow Kathy you achieved heaps this week! And you also had some good luck on the cross stitch finds. I don't buy them new as they are so expensive and there are not always projects that I would make. But for 20 cents I don't mind if there's nothing that grabs me!
      Jen in NZ

    2. Dear Kathy, I think buying meat in bulk is a great tip. We are thinking ahead now about buying things we need from mowers to trailers for the farm and buying locally. Already we chose our wood fire and appliances that needed to be replace locally. We are starting to learn what is available and where.
      Adding to your education and qualifications is a good idea. It is a good investment.
      Well done on saving the saddle! It sound beautiful! At one time I rode horses too!
      Your cross stitch finds have been great! I am convinced knitting and stitching is good for the health and relaxation. It brings peace and calm and produces beautiful things as well. I am just working on crochet edgings at the moment but soon hope to be in the swing of more production!
      Have a good new week. Your last week was excellent! With much love,

  18. Great post, Annabel! I almost feel I am there experiencing all the excitement with you. (By the way, I have serious pantry envy!)

    We've had a very successful garden this year and, right now, I can hardly keep up with the green beans and okra. Lots of savings on the grocery bill. The fall garden is coming along, too. We've had so much rain this year - more than I can ever remember - and most people I've talked to have had garden failure because of our clay soil and all the rain. My husband insisted on lots of raised beds. I objected because it was so much work, but now I can appreciate his resolve, because our garden didn't drown like everyone else's. Weeding and planting are easier, too. We already have much of our cool weather garden in and it looks like we'll have plenty of winter veggies.

    I plan to plant pumpkin next spring. It will be a first for me. Looking forward to seeing more of your progress, Annabel. Such a beautiful area - you are truly blessed and I can't think of anyone more deserving.


    1. Dear Phyllis,
      Thank you! I am so glad your garden is going so well. I hope to be able to say the same soon! I am worried as I have a lot of white cockatoos and they are very destructive. I was also worried about rabbits but my veggie garden has a rabbit proof fence so that is a big bonus!
      I think the raised beds are good. I would like some myself if we can manage it.
      I just planted both pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seeds I saved. I will se how they go. Also I planted zucchini. I hope each week to plant more. Also I planted my first flowers. Week by week I will add.
      Thanks so much. Have a wonderful new week. With love,

  19. Annabel, your new home is lovely, your pantry is so enviable. I love the space, all the glass jars, and baskets to hide the cans. Just beautiful. And outside, sounds like a dream. Keep telling your hubby that you need goats to eat any poison ivy or oak that is in the area. And since goats are herd animals, you need at least two. Yes, Patsy is in the thick of the hurricane even as I type. And prayers are gratefully accepted on this side of the world for all in Hurricane Florence's path. I am south, in Florida, and we have been accepting transfers from both hospitals and nursing care facilities as well as opening shelters for people fleeing with no place to go. It is wonderful to know that we can help others who have, in the past, helped us when storms hit here. Know that you also, are in prayer for a continuing spirit of energy to "get-it-done". I am sure your house in Adelaide will sell quickly, it too is just beautiful.

    1. Dear Norma,
      Thank you! I love baskets for cans. I always struggles with cans but now I can look in my basket and see if I have a lot or a little of anything. It is much easier.
      It would be just terrible for people who have to evacuate that have no where to go. Awful. I have always been lucky that if something happened I have so many places to go. It is wonderful to hear when people are helping each other.
      Thank you re the house, I hope so!
      Have a wonderful new week. We are off to a good start! With much love,

  20. Dear Annabelle, It's all so lovely. So many things to plan, do and most of all enjoy. Remember to make time to visit those wonderful local Op Shops. (Hope to see you again one day.) Cheers, Jo

    1. Dear Jo, Thank you! I used to live in Kingston and they have a good op shop although I havent been in years I plan to start. Also I used to shop fortnightly in Naracoorte and they used to have three or four good op shops. I had great luck there. So now I have to discover where they are now and what they are like. But I will be checking them out! I hope to get over your way again too. We love that area and havent been in ages. Your op shop is one of the best we have found anywhere!
      Have a wonderful new week. Thanks Jo. Love

    2. Dear Annabelle, I am sure you will find some good Op much fun looking for them too! Look forward to seeing you when you visit ours again.
      Enjoy your adventures, Love Jo

  21. Congratulations on your new home and thank you for filling us in on your first week! Love the photos.

    1. Dear Hilogene, Thank you! It has been wonderful to post again. It gives me a better perspective to look over my week and think this is what we did. I can see it was a lot and very good. It makes me feel very blessed.
      Have a good new week! With much love,

  22. Dear Annabel,
    Oh I am just THRILLED for you!! I tried commenting on your last post but after two failed attempts I just gave up. I'm writing from the laptop now so hopefully it goes through.
    Reading your post I could just as well have been reading my own diary from two years ago. The excitement, the adventure, the dreams coming true! I remember even though we had a ton of work ahead of us, waking up each morning in the peaceful country was almost like we were on vacation. And nothing can rival those stars at night! I am thinking you have your work cut out, too, and so do we still after two years! But it is all worth it and so fun to see the progress and transformations. Two years from now you will be looking back too and seeing how much you've accomplished.
    Well, Colton's vacation went nothing like we had planned! The first week, we cleaned out the house to have a garage sale that Saturday. We finally let go of things we had in storage that worked at the other house but just don't have a place here. So it felt really good to declutter and we made a little over $200 in the process. That was good, but we had planned to go on a trip a couple of days after that and it still looked like a tornado had been through our house since we had so much pulled out during cleaning and sorting. That had me a bit stressed as I like to leave a clean house when we go somewhere.
    Then Monday Colton sprained his ankle! He was on crutches a few days and then our refrigerator/freezer went out! The repair people in our area said they couldn't come for at least another 5 days. Needless to say we ended up cancelling our trip. I am glad at least no food was wasted as we caught it in time. A friend told us about a website that tells you how to repair things and Colton ended up ordering the part we needed and fixed it himself. So big savings there.
    We also saved by purchasing some expensive dog food on clearance. We were happy about this! Until it rained and the wind blew the lid off our feed buckets and it all got soaked and ruined. And also the roof leaks around the chimney and we had water running down the fireplace walls. On the bright side, the land was nourished with 12 inches of much needed rain. And Colton's cow had her first calf! No complications, we were very relieved.
    Colton has gone back to work today. He says he is never taking vacation again and I can't say I blame him. The good news is that he can sell his vacation days back at the end of the year if he doesn't take them, so that is what we will do next time. We operate well on our schedule anyway, and this way we can get some extra savings.
    One really good thing is that I got 18 new chicks! They were on sale for 1.50 each and then .99 a few days later. Colton patched up the existing coop to make it functional and secure. I am tired of waiting on the coop of my dreams, and it seems like life circumstances just keep pushing it further and further away. I am learning that is the way things work. So I am completely content and super happy making do and now I have my birds again! Next is the garden! I'll look around and see what we can find to get a fence up to keep the rabbits out and get to work!
    I hope you will have a good week getting set up in your dream home! I am so happy for you! And I'm just drooling over your fabulous pantry!!!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Thank you for persisting with commenting as I love hearing from you!
      Well done to Colton for fixing that fridge! That was excellent. It sounds like that trip was not meant to be!
      Twelve inches is a huge rain. I cat even imagine that! Poor Colton I can see he must feel he went back to work for a holiday lol!
      How lovely to get chicks! 18 is a lot too! Soon you will have so many eggs!
      I have rabbits too. The area I picked out is already rabbit fenced! The original people here must have set it up for fruit and veggies. So that is a big help. But there are also white cockatoos and I think they will go for produce... so I might need netting or a scare crow!
      Thank you for all your nice comments! Have a wonderful new week! With much love,

  23. Dear Annabel, I have been happily following your posts on the progress toward your move to the farm. I can't believe how much you have accomplished in this short time frame! Amazing! The new Bluebird Farmhouse is just fabulous, like it was made for you and Andy. Everything is so bright and clean and cozy. The built in cabinetry, the sewing desk, and the pantry ... Oh my! I'm just so happy for you. Those pine cones are really something, love those.

    My sister in law raises alpacas and has for decades. She teaches spinning and weaving. We used to have llamas many years ago, when our children were young. They are good guard animals. We also had angora goats at that time, and the llamas "alarmed" at the sign of any intruder.

    Thank you so much for bringing all of us around the world along on your moving to the country adventure. I learn a lot from you and am inspired by you in many ways. -Carla

    1. Dear Carla, Thank you for commenting and telling me you are reading! I am really starting to think I should be spinning again. Nan loved it and she dyed wool with natural dyes as well. Angora would be another good option!
      We had a great weekend with lots of progress! It has been a good start to a new week and I wish the same for you! With love and thanks,

  24. How exciting for you all and how cathartic is a bonfire. I have my eye on a cupboard that would make the perfect bathroom vanity, so I pray when I get paid tomorrow it is still in the op shop. If it’s meant to be it will be. God has a way of providing what we need. Look at your lovely new home which has reconnected you with the earth.
    Hope our Bluebirds in the USA are safe and dry. Also I am praying we get an end to the drought effecting those in Northern Australia.
    Made some bread in the bread maker and also some lemon slice. Made my own condensed milk. So much nicer to the bought stuff. Will you be able to source your own milk on the farm?
    Hope you got an offer on the city home
    Cheers Janine

    1. Dear Janine, I am also looking for a cabinet in my bathroom! I need a kind of cupboard with shelves so I am looking out too! I hope you get yours!
      I love lemon slice. I need to try it out with gf biscuits Im sure that would work ok. Thanks for reminding me of this!!
      We dont have a milking cow. I would consider a milking goat... if Andy would agree!
      Thank you Janine, we are heading off to get the city house ready for inspections on Saturday! With much love

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  26. Absolutely beautiful, Annabel! I love your new habit of gathering pinecones, and of course you have some beautiful baskets to store them in! You two are so busy right's lots of fun for us to read about it without having to put in the work!! Ha, ha! I'm so glad it feels like home, and I am sure your city house will sell in a flash.

    It is busy harvesting season, here. I have been canning and freezing and pickling anything and everything! Beets, beans, peas, tomatoes, corn, digging name it! The kids and I also entered a few handcrafts and baking into the fall "exhibition" here, and we spent all day on Friday enjoying looking at all the veggies, flowers, animals, and crafts, as well as going on some of the rides. (I'm a coward and like the Ferris wheel, and not much else. :) I am so thankful for such a productive garden this year...and will also be glad when it's time to put away the canner. :) I think I counted 25 pumpkins outside, but I know there are many more hiding in the greenery, along with squash. Good thing we like pumpkin!

    I hope you have a wonderful week...sounds like you are making good progress on the burning!

    Lots of love,

    Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Luckily I do have a lot of baskets but now Im on the look out for wooden boxes and bigger ones! The pinecones are building up on me now!
      Well done on so much hard work Jen. Well done also on entering your wok into the exhibition!
      I planted my first pumpkins!!! If I get 25 I will be over the moon! I love pumpkin, it is so useful. I notice overseas it is more sweet in uses here it is more savoury. Soup and scones would be my two most often uses.
      I hope you have had a good week. Sorry I was slow to reply! With much love

  27. The happiness shines through Annabel. Its lovely to see your new home. We have moved our chickens closer to the house into their new shed a few months ago and so it's not as far as it used to be, I let the dogs mind them when I'm not outside, but like you I pick twigs and bits and bobs up on the way to my girls too and think that will be good to start the fire. We have been on parallel journeys, you and I, but luckily most of yours is done. I think the Adelaide home will go pretty quickly.
    Great photos, love the one of Andy throwing something on the fire, if you look closely his hand appears to be on fire, very artistic. Enjoy your wonderful new home. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fi, Sorry to be so slow to reply! We are having a huge week! Finally I am sitting down for a bit to reply.
      It is so nice to be outside. I have continued on my pinecones and sticks and we have had many fires and our woodpile is growing for next season. I love it!
      Yes we have been on similar journeys... I hope you get to your happy destination soon. It is wonderful. I hope things are progressing and also that the baby is doing very well. Send me an email when you have time! I will reply when I have good internet! With lots of love,

  28. Hi Annabel,
    It is awhile since I have commented but I have been reading all your posts and everyones comments. This beautiful blog continues to bring joy from your new home. I have to say your city home is my dream home. I think your new home will become my next dream home.
    I have settled into my new job which I am loving. I took a huge pay cut leaving my previous position but have no regrets. My health and wellbeing have been restored. Thanks to the way we live we can absorb the paycut and still thrive and save for the future. There is a possibility it could become a permanent position at the end of my 5 month contract, but I will just have to wait and see.
    It is so exciting to come on the blog and see the progress and adventures you and Andy are having. Thank you so much for sharing I look forward to each post.


    1. Dear Mandy, I am so glad you feel your health is restored and you feel so much better.
      It is not how much we earn but what we do with it. So I think you will do wonderfully well. I am so pleased to hear this!
      Thank you for your kind words too! With much love,


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