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 20 September 2018

The second week at Bluebirds Farmhouse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He kind of fits in with the rustic theme.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now before I head off...

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

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

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

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


  1. Oh Annabel, it is so lovely to catch up with what you have been up to each week! Picking up Chloe's wedding dress - exciting!!! You are managing to get so much done each week, along with the travelling as well. You must be sleeping well!!

    I took a leaf out of your book this week. On Monday I received Cath's savings revolution email and the task this week was to declutter in fifteen minute bursts. I'm feeling a bit swamped by my 'to do' list currently, so I reminded myself that you get lots done and always say that little bits add up. So I started in the kitchen and filled a large box with things I don't use. Each day I've done more, and I've managed to get rid of some things that were taking up physical and mental space. I am hoping to get two more rooms done today. Yesterday I took five boxes of things to the op shop which was a good feeling.

    On Tuesday it was all looking worse than when I started! But I've just kept going and I can start to see the progress.

    Congratulations Kelsey!! I really hope it goes well for you. I've had a peek and your gift tags look absolutely beautiful.

    Have a great weekend everyone
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen,
      It is amazing how those 15 minute bursts get stuff done. Even five minute bursts do. It is a good challenge! Also once you get going you sort of seem to gain momentum or I do at least! I always think there is a worse mess before you see light at the end of the tunnel!
      I am off now for the wedding dress collection and sneak peak! Have a beautiful weekend! With much love

    2. Well done Jen, sounds like a great way to get things done :)


    3. Jen, I almost let myself get overwhelmed at a big job this week and said "If it gets done in bits it will still get done." So I started and before I'd known what was happening, I'd done half the big job! There's more to do but I've got a real good start on it.

  2. Dear Annabel,

    How exciting!! I love to read your updates on each week at Bluebirds Farmhouse! 😊
    I smiled at the little wrens you put on the mailbox. I must say, they look great! I still envy the amount of spaciousness in cupboards you have there. Everything looks fabulous and is progressing along at a rapid speed! The marble contact is genius and what a smooth finish. You are a marvel! 😊

    What provision and abundance you are enjoying! Thank you for taking the time to share your achievements with us. It can be such a crazy busy transitioning time and I continue praying for a quick sale.

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      Thank you! It turns out the key to smooth contact is windex. Yep windex! Who knew!?
      Kaye we are amazed by everything provided to us. Help, resources etc... amazing. We had a day getting ready in Adelaide for house inspections tomorrow. It looks lovely and the weather looks like it will be nice too. Heres hoping!
      Heading out the door to get the wedding dress! Exciting! Have a beautiful weekend! With much love

  3. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds ,
    Thank you for sharing your.. action packed second second week at the farmhouse.
    Annabel I love how you added your own touch to the letterbox by putting birdies on it , that's just lovely. I think you are making such a lovely home for yourselves and feathering your farmhouse beautifully.
    I haven't commented about my savings for weeks because I have had troubles with losing comments that I type on my phone, it's totally my fault Annabel I end up pressing a button and losing the whole comment, I am still getting used to my new phone. So today I am using my iPad which although the iPad is a bit had it it still works ( the screen is cracked and the home button is broken ) .
    Congratulations to Kelsey for achieving your dream and opening an etsy shop , I will definetley go and have a look very soon.
    Ok so now I will report in with my savings for the last few weeks.
    Over the last 3 weeks I have had about 16 hours of Centacare services which includes meal prep / cooking , social support where I get time to go out with a care worker and it also includes cleaning. So based on what I would have to pay a private company if I didn't get subsidised services I have saved $736 approximately for the last few weeks and this is just for Centacare services!.
    I have received 6 meals from my parents ( made by mum) over the last few weeks and mum also made a passion fruit cheesecake slice and gave me some and she also made me some chocolate chip cookies( biscuits) for my birthday .i estimate I have saved $100 on meals and the treats mum made ?
    I have received many birthday freebies from businesses/ shops / sporting and other clubs I am a member of ( including my local RSL ) . So far I have used $70worth of freebies and discounts and I have more to use !.
    I bought a blouse that I had wanted but didn't want to pay full price for , full price it was $80 approximately and it was reduced to $60 then yesterday I saw that sale items were re.duced a. Further 50% so I paid $30 saving $50 compared to full price.
    I bought some items that will go to charity at Christmas time and all the items I bought were reduced , I got an eyeshadow palette ( 4 or 5 colours in a little square container) for $1 each , I bought 2 , I bought 2 shower caps ( pretty ones ) for $1 each , I bought one blood orange face mask for $1 so for a total of $5 I got 5 beauty And toiletry items which will either go in handbags for a charity called share the dignity to be given out at Christmas time to women and young teen girls / young women in need or I will donate the items to the organisation I already donate to ( it's called knitting for Brisbanes needy but they travel all over QLD giving out donations of knitted and crocheted items , toiletries , toys, books etc etc) . I think I saved about $50 on these items compared to if I bought them from a beauty shop or counter in a high end department store .
    I saved about $250 on transport over the 3 weeks , includes a trip to a hospital 45 minutes drive away so an hour and a half round trip.
    I saved $50 on craft items as I was given a big bag of items from a friend.
    I received a parcel from a friend with some cards she had made for me to use plus a few other goodies, $25 savings approximately.
    I received a kind gift from a new friend $35 savings , this was for my birthday,
    I received birthday money, I won't count that but it was nice to be able to buy a few things I wanted and some things I needed.
    One thing I needed was a new electric toothbrush , I got a cross action one and it was $20 saving me $20 as it was half price .
    I saved $80on groceries in the last few weeks by buying half price items and reduce to clear products too.
    That's all I can remember Annabel!.so a total saving for 3 weeks is $1466, that's pretty good I think!..
    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.thank you again Annabel for sharing your farmhouse feathering with us.Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, Thank you for posting your savings, I love hearing your report. I have big troubles posting comments etc from my phone or iPad but easy on my lap top... I dont really know why but it seems a common thing.
      Your savings have really added up and you are thinking about Christmas too!
      Once we are settled in here plus we have had the wedding I think I will start working on Christmas. The wedding is only about three weeks now so that is taking up my attention. It is exciting!
      I hope you have another wonderful week only that you feel better as I know you have had it tough lately. With much love and thanks,

  4. Dear Annabel,
    You sound so happy which gladdens my heart immensely. I love the colors of your plants.
    It has been an unusually busy week here and I am behind on most things, but should catch up tomorrow. Hopefully, next week will be quieter.
    We had several areas of big savings this week, but I haven't managed to log them yet. One area was banking part of the change we threw into a drawer since the first of this year. John took bags of change to the bank today and the end was $470.90 banked in our checking account.
    Have a wonderful friday.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you so much! I got more plants yesterday while in the city. So I am sticking to blue, purple/lilac, white and pink. this all looks lovely together. I love it anyway!
      I also got some herbs and veggies and a rhubarb as Dad loves that.
      Change really adds up! My $2 coins amazed me it was so worth doing.
      We are home again now and the weather is glorious. While we were gone my counter tops and splash backs went in, not finished yet but they are amazing. I am guessing they will be back Monday morning to finish. This will transform the kitchen! Tonight I am going to get planting the new things.
      I hope you have a quieter new week! With much love,

  5. Dear Annabel,

    I loved reading your post, it sounds like you are really enjoying your new found life, and freedom. It also makes me miss my old farm life, I have always yearned to get back to the land. Maybe one day...

    Everything is looking lovely there, and all that rain, you are so lucky. We have had hardly any over this way and things are looking desperate for a decent drink of life giving rain. I wont be growing as many veggies this year because I will need to watch our water usage. This saddens me, but that is life when living in such an arid area.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Much love to you,


    1. Dear Tania, I didnt realise you had so much less rain this year. Logically I know it is an arid area but somehow I imagined you had some of what we have been getting. It is very hard with water shortage. Your Mum and Dads farm sounded gorgeous from what I can remember. What a lovely place to grow up.
      I have come back fro the city with groceries, seeds and plants so I will get going this evening!
      Have a great new week! With much love,

  6. Oops I don't think Kelsey's link is working. It might be my end, but thought I would let you know.

    Love Tania xxx

  7. Lovely to read about your new venture Annabel. I did click on the link to Kelsey's shop but it didn't work.

    1. Dear Barbara, I fixed it now, sorry about that! Thank you so much! Love

  8. Hmmmm...the link did not take me to Kelsey's page.

    I love the colors of your flowers. We are winding down into fall so it is fun to see you buying and planting flowers and doing all things Spring. Oh, the wedding dress! It is fun to have it home to admire.

    I found towels on clearance and bought 8 bath, 8 hand and 8 washcloths for only $25. We do not need them right away so they are put away for when the current towels need to be replaced. I mended underwear. Yes, I did and they can be worn for much longer now. I found ground round for a really good price and made meat sauce for pasta and put 8 containers into the freezer for later. We found out quite by accident this summer that white onions keep at least 3 times longer than yellow ones for us. I also think we like the taste of them better so a win all around since we were constantly battling sprouting onions. We rearranged our schedule to have a weekday for just running errands without any other chores to do. This will be a big help but we have to figure out which day is actually best. I found some great deals on gifts to put aside for Christmas so we have a start now. I used Amazon gift cards earned through Swagbucks to buy a meat slicer. It was on a special deal and I have been on the fence about buying one for a long time. Our surplus grocery store often has whole deli turkey breasts for $1.29 a pound so we can really save by slicing our own meats for sandwiches. It will be 10 pounds at a time so I will slice and freeze in one pound packages.

    I am happy to say that our son's home which was in an area effected by the hurricane is fine other than an ant infestation. The ants must have wanted to shelter away from the rain.

    Have a happy weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, I fixed the link now thank you!
      I have come home with more plants and more pink, lilac and blue. So excited to be adding more.
      What a good deal on towels! I would have got them too!
      My Christmas cupboard is looking quite good but as soon as the wedding is over I will get cracking again on Christmas. Wedding is taking up all concentration for the next few weeks. So exciting. And Lana... the dress... it is so gorgeous!
      I love turkey. It is my favourite meat by far but it is not that common here except at Christmas it is everywhere. I do get some turkey slices now and then. So I would love your find!
      I am so pleased about your sons home. Ants are not fun but as you say this is not so bad as flooding and worse. Thank goodness.
      I ordered the oils from Hopewell that you suggested but havent been able to get the other remedy. But I will be glad of those oils and cant wait for them to arrive. Thank you!
      Have a great new week! With much love,

    2. I'm glad your oils are on the way. Don't dilute the Cleansing. You need it full strength for anything you would need to combat.

  9. Annabel, thanks so much for the details on week #2! And congratulations on such a lovely new homestead. I love your blog, almost never comment, yet wanted to say hello and thank you for taking the time to share your adventures with us.

  10. Hi Annabel, awesome photos, that nest - gorgeous, gosh you've had a productive week. My husband and myself were ill so I didn't achieve very much. However I did manage to finish the brown crochet rug I have been working on, which I gave to my husband and he really likes it. I had, in poor taste been calling it the Plague blanket because I worked on it while sick (that is so bad). So I washed it up and dried it in the sun, now it is all snuggly. As that was the end of my wool wash bottle, I made up your receipe which smells great. I have a question though, is it supposed to go hard? As in a solid soap? Have I done something wrong or do you desolve a little bit in water before you use it? I was expecting it to stay in liquid form. Thanks, Clare

  11. What a wonderful week you've had, Annabel! Such progress! The plants look great and will make it even more 'yours' xx

    Just a note, the link you put to Kelsey's shop doesn't work. You need the au in it: Good on you, Kelsey, I've favourited your shop! Mine's

    How exciting to be collecting Chloe's wedding dress! The wedding will be getting close now!

    Love, Fiona xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      I fixed that link sorry! You are a great example as you have turned your creativity into a side line and you constantly update with new and gorgeous things and ideas. And you use your creativity too for other things like your sons birthdays and school costume days and so on and I really notice this it is beautiful. I need to come over to you shop and see the latest. I cant wait to show you the wedding it is a creative girls dream! With love

  12. I think I have fixed the link! Sorry about that. xxx

  13. Hi Annabel and fellow bluebirds :) .

    You have done so well in all that you have done to set up your new home :) and it all looks beautiful. You are sensible to clean up the yard before fire season starts and I am sure your gardens will look divine.

    I have some exciting news to share is that we are also now in the market to buy a property :), having checked out local prices around town and out of town (much lower than we thought in certain areas), with the deposit we have we can well buy a lower priced established property and do some minor renovations to make it suit us.

    This week we have seen 2 properties one acreage that didn't suit and was quite mountainous with not a lot of usable land and a residential property with a 3 bedroom house on a half an acre just on the outskirts of town. The second has promise so we are strongly considering that one and maybe putting in an offer after a second look next week. We are also waiting on a real estate agent to show us a property out of town on 2.4 acres of land which we are very interested in looking at. We will keep you updated :) .

    Needless to say not a lot got done this week apart from a steep learning curve on how to buy a property, expenses involved, ringing a solicitor for conveyancing/legal costs,comparing what other houses sold for recently in the areas we are interested in, quotes from garage companies and inquiring about the first home buyers grant.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $172.22 in savings last week :).

    Finances & internet listings -
    - Saved more money into our saving for our house deposit bringing us to 28.57% of the way there (in reality our house deposit for a ready built home in our area could well be closer to 50 - 60% yay ).
    - Listed 10 more items in my eBay store on a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual costs.

    Hair cuts -
    - DH cut my long hair short saving about $60 on the price of having it professionally done.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a 1.171 kg batch of chocolate walnut brownies (thank you Gardenpat for the recipe you gave the link to earlier) with buttercream icing for $12.28 saving $95.72 over buying it in local shops here. Didn't realise what a horrendous price they charge in the shops for 1 slice of this :o .

    Usual frugal things -
    - Hung washing on the line to dry, saved grey water to water the lawns with, used dish rinsing water to water seedlings and fruit pot plants on the veranda, only turned on our electric hot water system when water needed heating and heated our home with free firewood we cut from a friends farm.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, When we were moving we decided the highest priorities and they were water and fire season readiness. I am glad we realised to do this as we have gone really hard on both and if we keep going we will make it to fire season in reasonable shape but only just! So the things I would normally do inside the house have taken a back seat. But I know we had to do this.
      How exciting!!! This is earlier than I thought and if prices are right then yes! go for it! You have a significant deposit that grows weekly! How exciting! Look at everything and even a few things you wouldn't normally consider as you never know! If anything bigger has been on the market too for long then you never know they might take a lesser offer!
      Well done on your week and efforts. Please keep us posted on the properties you look at! This is so exciting... we will be on the same journey together!!! With much love,

    2. Thank you Annabel both for your encouragement and advice it is a steep learning curve when neither of us have ever purchased a home.

      The property we are interested in was one the real estate took us to on the way back from the first mountain :), so one we hadn't even thought of looking at ourselves that just went on the market a few weeks earlier. Nothing will be off the table except properties with land under 2000 sq m as we need room for growing our gardens.

      We will keep you updated on our progress and in the meantime we are taking cuttings from herbs and other plants to propagate to take with us to our new home to cut down on expenses there.

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  14. Dear Farmabel,


    And Kelsey’s work is ADORABLE!


  15. Daer Annabel, I really enjoyed reading about your second week on the farm so much enthusiasm :-) The letter box birdie is a lovely rustic touch and the nest with blue trim and real babies is soo sweet .
    I showed your new plants to DGD and she said "they look like your garden grandma" well not at the moment!But I like those colours a lot , and she remembers (she is 5).
    I love your linen cupboard the baskets look just right and the roses add a touch of glamour. You have given me some ideas;-)
    Your nephew sounds a darling and you must be his favourite aunty.
    Hope all went well with the wedding dress .
    MY week has had a few changes to the usual routine ,In the end I just went with the flow. Did some sewing jobs Id been procrastinating about.Visited my elderly inlaws twice and took donuts on one visit ,they liked that surprise. Had a lunch with a girlfriend who is recuperating from an op.And just kept up with the washing, Grandma duties and meals.Spring cleaning has been on hold this week, so far 3 bedrooms have been cleaned.
    At he beginning of the week I made 2 lots of chicken stock and 2 soups which did some lunches and the rest went into the freezer .

    Kelsey - your cards are just lovely , especially love the lace and pink roses ones. Congratulations on reaching your dream, and I wish you all the best for the future and lots of sales.
    Have a lovely weekend everyone, with love, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Thank you Maria! I love these colours and am sticking to blue, laic/purple, white and pink. And in the city yesterday I got another ten. Also I have planted them already! Things are looking good.
      I used the roses as a place to dab the essential oils so they look pretty and now have a good use!
      I know you have been so busy. I think everything you do is absorbed by the little ones and they remember it all. It is amazing.
      The stock sounds wonderful. We probably even underestimate the goodness in something like this. It is so nutritious.
      Have a wonderful new week. Yes the wedding dress is gorgeous ... you will love it when you see! With much love,

  16. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you so much for sharing my Etsy store with the Bluebirds! It means so much and I'm very grateful to all of you!
    I love what you are doing at the farm! It reminds me of things we've done and are doing. I had to smile about your city car. Our road leading up to the house is terrible! It is tearing up Colton's car that he drives to work in the city. He is a country man and has always owned trucks and it is driving him crazy! So we are looking for something else for him.
    And the mail box! Ours is nearly a mile from our house and we are talking of putting a large chest of some sort down there for the mail lady to put our packages in. My neighbor left some eggs in our mailbox the other day and teased us for having such a small box. It worked just fine in town, I told her lol!
    This week after all of our rain, our yard was a jungle. Colton has been mowing, weed eating, trimming trees, etc. We have piles burning as well, as do our neighbors since it is now safe to do so. Colton patched up the chicken coop and I cleaned it out, letting my new chicks out of their hutch and onto the ground in the coop. They are very happy.
    We went to the nursery and I bought some mint to plant in my window boxes. It seems hard to find the shade tolerant flowers I need, so I thought I'd plant something to do double duty! Pulling the mint out of the nursery pots, I broke some pieces off to pot and hopefully start new plants. I'm thinking I might plant mint in my front flower beds. Maybe this will keep bugs and snakes away.
    This week I also got some housecleaning done that needed doing. Our hectic "vacation" had things a bit untidy plus tracking in mud from rains, etc. I am happy to be on top of things again. We saved on groceries this week by simply having a well-stocked pantry and freezer. We did a top up shop and that was it. I also cleaned up some second-hand toys for John.
    I think that is it besides getting the shop up and running!
    I am so happy you are at the farm. Thank you for sharing your progress with us. I see you are making things pretty! And the birds with the blue in their nest! You are right at home!
    Lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, It sounds like the car, road and mailbox issues are very similar for us both. Our mail box needs to be big enough for parcels and all sorts. It is really handy to have it though. Oh it needs to be weather proof.
      I just got back from Adelaide... I will email you but I will do my orders and have you post many things later for Christmas... anyway I will email you this week to line things up.
      I am glad your chicks are doing well. My niece told me today her class at school are raising chicks then they sell them. This is a kind of educational thing plus fund raiser for the school. So I ordered some! I think it is about a month before we get them.
      When you plant mint keep it in a container of some kind as the roots invade and choke other stuff. But I love to grow mint and use it a lot.
      Well done on getting your shop launched! This reminds me I will post it across fb! Have a good new week! With much love

    2. Kelsey, our mailbox is about 1/2 mile from the house. Our drive is much better than it used to be but at one time we were more than happy to have our four wheel drive truck! Like Annabel we have a larger mailbox. Still not quite big enough but the mail lady is lovely and drives up to the house to deliver bigger packages and drops off mail too if we're home.

  17. Your property is so beautiful and I love not only seeing pictures of it but hearing the joy in your writing voice when you talk about it! That counter top looks fantastic!!!

    It's been a busy week around here, but not much out of the ordinary. I did pick up five butternut squash to roast and put in the freezer for soup this winter, but that'll have to wait for a day when I'm home and can do all that. We've been on the go all week. :)

    1. Dear Stephanie,
      Thank you! Butternuts are so beautiful roasted. I like them in soup but also filled with pepper and cheese and baked... yum!
      I hope you have a great new week! With love and thanks,

  18. Annabel, you are such an inspiration! I'm busy cleaning and fluffing and generally making things look fresh and new again because of all that you're accomplishing. Love that you've already started your garden. I have a white house also, and I love pastel dianthus, artemisia, lamb's ears and peach colored roses among other lovelies to set it off. It's a misty look that reminds me of an impressionist painting.
    Isn't it astonishing how much gets done if the TV isn't turned on? You'll have earned your rest when you get all this initial work done!
    Thrilled to learn the contact paper trick - I've already got several projects in mind.
    I thought your blog was perfect before, but now it's even better, getting to share in your adventure.


    1. Dear Phyllis,
      Being spring I felt if I dont get the garden straight in I will have to go all through summer with no garden. It would drive me batty. So in it goes. I probably will have a lot of watering to do in the heat but at least in three more months what I have planted will have root systems and be easier to keep alive.
      I love lambs ears! They are going in! I love impressionism actually and the dreamy blending colours...
      Thank you for your kind words! I do feel on a bit of an adventure... it is as if the last few years were getting me ready for it. I am having a wonderful time! Many thanks and have a good new week! With love,

  19. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Those flowers in purple shades are gorgeous! Your linen closet looks so lovely, and fresh figs will be heavenly.

    Cooking & food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. For my husband's birthday, I baked a mint chocolate cake (chocolate cake with peppermint buttercream and dark mint chocolate ganache - $40 at the store) and made lamb chops, crispy roast potatoes, and veggies. Oats and chicken are on special this week, so this weekend will have a small grocery trip to replenish stocks.

    Household & gardening: Lots of zinnias and even more cantaloupes this week.
    I did lots of laundry and organized my desk and rubber-stamping/cardmaking stuff, using a big rectangular tin that I already had to store the wooden-backed stamps.

    Shopping: The thrift shop was good to us this week! I found a lovely Riolis cross-stitch kit (with floss, fabric, pattern, and specialty floss) for $3.94 - retail is around $60 - a big bag of very nice rubber stamps for $9 (these will be so nice for cardmaking), and three pretty tops for $4 each.

    Education: Week 2 of my advanced certificate program is finished, and my husband turned in his first quarter assignments for his master's degree. $700 saved on workplace tuition reimbursement!

    Entertainment: We enjoyed a movie from our home library and another from the library. I also checked out two new books from the library.

    Crafts & gifts: I stitched a bit on a new sampler and finished knitting a pair of socks. There is a scarf on the needles, and a shawl that needs to be ripped back and restarted (apparently I am not meant to watch a movie and knit lace at the same time!).

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, Thank you! I added quite a few more plants so far this week sticking to mac colour scheme!
      That chocolate cake sounds just sensational! Yum! I am betting he loved it.
      All your cooking sounds beautiful actually.
      Your thrift shop finds are great! I love that. Finding time to get to the thrift store can really pay off plus be a lot of fun!
      You had great savings especially the $700 reimbursement.
      I cannot knit patterns to save my life... so unpicking is familiar to me lol ! I hope you dont have to go too far back!
      Have a good new week! With much love,

  20. Annabel,
    Prayers the house in the city sells quickly for you.
    How exciting that you are getting to see all the wedding dresses, it makes things so real and in no time the wedding will be here.

    I love the color choices of your flower garden, you make me envious of all the planting, I will need to wait till Spring up here. Your house will just pop out with all the color.

    We are closing on our home next Monday and moving on Wednesday and Thursday, our first night there will be Wednesday, it feels so surreal. I will finally get to turn the key on it after closing Monday, I let my husband know I want to go directly there after closing. Just to walk through and feel the "it's ours" feeling. We close on our present home on the 12th and our Daughter's baby shower on the 13th, so the next couple of weeks here are going to be frantic.

    I feel blessed I have had you as a sounding board and a moving sister. Prayers all continues to go well for you and your home sale happens soon.
    Love, Rosanne

    1. Dear Rosanne,
      I am stressing a bot about the house selling. Prayers are very appreciated thank you.
      We are very lucky as what I plant will go on and on we dont have to start again after snow. I would find that quite hard. So almost all I plant is a perennial.
      I know you are so busy getting ready to move! That all seemed to happen so fast after waiting so long! How exciting!
      As you unpack get things just as you want them. This is a wonderful time.
      Yes we have been moving sisters and now also Jenny! I hope your week goes so well! With much love

  21. What a busy bee you have been! I love your flowers - they are my favourite colours for a garden.
    Aren't the baby birds sweet? I found a nest that had blown out of a tree and it, too, was rimmed in blue and the inside was so incredibly soft. Mama birds want a cozy bed for their babies too.
    We are entering the fall season here in Ontario, so we are finishing up the garden and looking forward to getting some pears and apples soon. Our area is a big apple-producing area so we are spoiled for choice.
    The freezers are pretty full. I'm not nearly as organized as you seem to be Annabel, but I keep on trying.
    Now, it seems like the countdown to the wedding must be on if you're picking up the dress. Blessings to you and your family as you continue to work on your home and prepare for Luke and Chloe's big day.

    1. Dear Marie,
      I love birds and am amazed how creative they are using what they have! Well I think we can be inspired by that.
      It would be beautiful living in an apple area. Apples are one of the most useful fruits ever I think as they can be sweet or savoury.
      The wedding is three weeks! This next few weeks I will be doing less farmhouse stuff and more wedding things for a while but I will share all the photos!
      Thank you so much! With love

  22. How wonderful to be creating your beautiful farm!! Your touches really make it sparkle!! So exciting to see one of your major goals coming to fruition !!
    And, well done, Kelsey, as well! What a wonderful artist you are to create such lovely papercraft!! I must admit that I have absolutely no talent in that area of crafting!
    One of my main goals this past week has been to get my fabric stash under control by paring down! To that end, I’ve tried a few scrappy fabric projects and asked for my daughters’ and others candid opinions about their marketability! I have been grateful for honest opinions and using those opinions, I started making what I have named “Scrappy Bags”. The original online tutorial made a very small bag so I kept playing with different sizes/ patterns, etc and have now started selling 6”, 8”, 10” and Big Maxx sizes. Some are random patchwork, some are a cascading pattern and some have a denim center. But since I started making them about 10 days ago, I’ve sold 19 of them in various sizes! Some may suggest that I’m not charging enough to get a decent hourly wage, but for me, the purpose was to recycle and reduce my fabric stash! The money brought in is a nice added perk that I will put into savings! So it’s been fun and supposedly, my stash should diminish even though it doesn’t seem like it has yet! You can see them on
    Glad you liked the brownies, Lorna!! They are an easy go-to! That’s what I love about having dry mixes made up in my pantry!! I had to make up cookies in a hurry and was grateful t have cookie mix already made up!!
    Well done to all of you bluebirds!
    If you’re working on building up your food storage into a workable 3 month supply and then a long term storage too, check out my blog! I started it to get my notebook into a printable version for anyone to make a free copy of to help you along!

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, I started following the ant or the grasshopper... I am finding it so good and love the practical advice along with the spiritual part and the recipes and use it up type part. Well I love it.
      Also your own home business is amazing. It is really wonderful what you do and you achieve so much in a day let alone a week!
      This week I am really getting going with my herb and veggie gardens. These will eventually really help my three month food supply. I am adding fruit trees as we can afford them too.
      I will also be printing the notebook asap.... Andy has his printer going down here now! With much love and thanks,

  23. The farm is really coming along. I love the linen closet. It looks so pretty with all of the baskets.

    I have been busy with all of my garden produce. I have been making sauce, relish, salsa, pickles and sun dried tomatoes this week. So grateful for all of the food I have been able to store. My full week is here:

    1. What a good week you had! This is great. We need to 100% make the most of the season we are in. I love this!
      I think your relish looks just beautiful! Thank you for sharing your very good week! xxx

  24. Annabel, I though I had replied when I read your post but I must have read it on my phone which I find impossible to use to post a reply. You have achieved so very much. I have loved keeping up with you moving to the farm and also Jenny's move to her new house in Townsville. I can just imagine how beautiful you will both make your new homes.

    1. Thank you so much Nanna Chel. I am so thrilled for Jenny. She has waited and waited and now has her own home to make beautiful. And I know she will. We prayed for each other along the way. Roseanne is another doing the same as us at the same time and praying also. It has been so exciting. Have a good new week! We are back from Adelaide with more plants and a few things for the house. Progress! xxx

  25. Love the pictures of what you're doing at your new home. I've never seen contact paper look better. And what a wonderful season to be moving into a new house!
    Love the nest with the blue twine. That bird has a real eye for design.

    1. Thank you! I thought the bird had done a good job of this nest. When the babies are grown I am going to save the nest! Its gorgeous!
      Have a wonderful new week! xxx

  26. We sometimes see little electric cars in the nearest big town to us. We always laugh and say how we could never even make it to the town without needing a charge and where would you charge it? Every place we go is usually at least 35-40 miles and that's going nearest places of any size to buy the usual things. Love all you've done and how lovely it looks. My Katie uses contact paper as backsplash in all her homes because she can tear it out when she's tired of it and not have a mess to clear up. It's rental friendly. Adore the colors of flowers you're using!

    1. Dear Terri, What a good idea in the rental kitchens to make things look as you wish! So many applications! Thank you re the flowers... I got a heap more planted... all pink, blue, lilac and white. It is starting to look like I have a garden! With much love

  27. I'm a bit late to the party Annabel but I wanted to comment anyway. You have achieved so much in such a short amount of time. I am very envious of the rain that you have been getting. I know it was much needed in your area but it is also in need here. Many people in the rural area are having to have water trucked in as their tanks are empty. One day we will get good rain.
    Katie and I had a quick road trip to Sydney for Frankie and Jo's engagement. I was able to have a good chat with our boy re his Dad's health. Frankie immediently rang his Commanding Officer and was able to arrange some compassionate leave. He, Jo, Tilly and Madi all arrived on Tuesday night and Bluey was surprised and so happy to see them. He had been quite unwell on Tuesday and has improved overnight.
    We are enjoying the visit.
    Life is good.


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