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 18 October 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 19 October, 2018.

Thank your all the kind comments regarding the wedding!  This week was really partly just recovering!  I was tired!  After the wedding we had a lot of rain and really it has continued to drizzle most of the time since.  This has really helped me with my new garden.  I had planted a lot of seeds and so many have come up!  Everything I have planted looks so happy and the things I had dug up with little root systems all look like they are off and running!  This was perfect weather to help get a new garden going.

So this week some of the ways I feathered my nest included:

We had a couple of use it up and bits and pieces meals. This was firstly tiredness.  But it was enough and very inexpensive.

I was given three dozen fresh eggs from my sister in law. I thought ok! it is time to make Christmas cakes as they take five eggs each.  So next week I will be baking a lot.

We came to the city as is usual for now.  I scheduled an extra day so that I could catch up with Hilde and also my Aunt.

Firstly Hilde...  As usual she gave a big bag of fresh lemons.  I haven't counted them I am guessing about thirty as they are huge ones.

Also she gave me lots of little plants of oregano, sage and thyme.  I can really fill up some spaces in my herb garden with these and they are all so useful.

Then I went on to my Aunts.  Her garden was a picture.  Loads of rain only added to it looking so beautiful.

For anyone who follows Bluebirds on Facebook or Instagram I posted a video of her front yard.  This yard began with just a lawn.  She soon got rid of that.  Many of you know my Aunt now from previous posts.   In her 80's she is smashing it.  She is an author,  one of her well known books is A Fig at the Gate.

Like my Nana she loves flowers, garden, fruit trees,  chooks, eggs, lemons...
Like my Nana she seems young and fit.  From them both I have concluded to wear a hat,  never retire, 
keep my hair colour, work outdoors and garden, be creative and busy.  Well, that is the plan! 

When I arrived she had a wheel barrow full of plants ready for me.  Potted plants, dug up bits with root systems, all sorts.  A vast area of things for my garden that she is so thrilled I have.  This was so lovely.   I never thought I would get it all into the car but we did it!  Oh... plus giant fruit cake for my Dad,  homemade jam and a book he will like.  In it all went! 

My Aunt mixes herbs and veggies in with flowers.  

She sows her seeds in a wheel barrow of soil so that the tiny seedlings grow without snails etc attacking them.  When she is happy she plants them out...

Also you can just wheel them to wherever you want...

Today I am heading home and will get right on to planting all my new bits and pieces.  It is a lot.  I will count as I plant.  I think I might have enough to be pretty close to filling my garden beds.   I have been working on one flowering plant per meter (or close enough to a yard) and hope things then fill up.

This trip took me past a number of good op shops, an amazing fruit and veggie place and a meat wholesaler.... so you guessed it!   Of course I always make the most of a trip and I got a big box of veggies to take home.   Some great bargains and I have so much!

I got a giant slab of steak... enough to have steaks for dinner then have a cook up and make a casserole, pies etc.   I know I can get a lot of meals from this.

In the op shops I found some true bargains including this book of David Austin roses...

I paid $5 and it has giant rose images that I am going to use to make an inspiration board in my craft room.  The smaller images will become cards and gift tags.  It has hundreds of pictures!

I did a big shop at Aldi to take home.   So when I get back first I will be planting then I will get cooking!   If I get the slow cooker going I can be cooking while planting!

My Flybuy statement came and I have saved up points so I now have $50 free groceries.  I will turn that into $100 by only using it on half price specials that I stock in my pantry.  This will be very handy with Christmas coming.   (Flybuys is a type of store rewards.)

That reminds me!   I can think about Christmas now!  I was too busy with the wedding but now the next thing is Christmas!  I do have a lot in my gift cupboard but I need to do a kind of stock take and work out what I do have and what I need.  Next week I will start working on that.

Today I am heading home.   I can't wait to get planting.  Chloe and I are going to a local farm this weekend... they are having an open day and selling preserves,  flowers and vegetable seedlings.   They put on morning tea as well.   I thought this would be beautiful to go to!

How did you build up your home, save, get ahead, increase your preparedness or pantry this week?

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Your Aunt's gardens are beautiful as is she!!!! She sure looks like a much younger lady.
    It sounds like you have had a great week. You need to get a little rest. Take a day or two to just enjoy life and breathe!

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you! Today Chloe and I went to the farm open day and drank coffee and ate strawberries. It was lovely. And it was so sunny too. So a quieter day today. It certainly has been go go go. I need to look in my diary and make a plan for the new week. I feel better when I can see my week out in front of me. I hope you have a lovely weekend! With love

  2. Oh Annabel your garden will beautiful if your aunts garden is anything to go by. I hope you don't mind me asking but are you living in the South or the Fleurieu peninsula? I came from SA and it all looks so familiar.

    1. Dear Barb, We are in the South East near Padthaway. I can imagine it looking familiar to you if you lived here. Today we drove to near Mundulla. It was just soo pretty and so green it was glorious.
      I have most of my plants in now. It will be quite similar to my Aunts garden as I just fill up bits that need filling, no straight lines lol
      Have a good weekend, with love

    2. Yes I do know it. Beautiful farming country. Good wine country too.Not often I miss SA but the sounds and the gardens have struck a chord.

  3. What a busy week! Your life is constant go, I am in awe of all you get done :) I've been making Christmas cakes this week too. Little ones this week, Texas muffin size, to go in the hampers. Big ones next week. And a triple recipe of triple choc brownies, because one recipe goes in one morning tea with my boys, and I'd like some for the card ladies tomorrow. I was blessed this week by a neighbour, who brought over the most delicious lemon sour cream cake, still warm from the oven, just because - wasn't that a lovely thing to do, it put joy in my heart last night. Praying the rain keeps up for you, we should get some more tomorrow, then it's dry again. Have a lovely weekend, Love, Cath xxx

    1. Dear Cath, Honestly I think cooking is one of the nicest gifts and making someone a cake is just lovely. Even more just for being kind and sharing that is beautiful.
      Yes the rain kept coming and I planted loads late yesterday and it was all rained on. Today (Saturday) is clear and fine though. I am starting my Christmas cakes tomorrow with soaking as first I am making my Mum some GF little cakes and pancakes. This reminds me I need to check that I have enough pineapple as I put a tin of pineapple in my fruit mix.
      The choice brownies sound so good! With much love

  4. Annabel, what a contentedly productive week after such a huge weekend with the wedding. You should be very proud of yourself! Your Aunts garden and her philosophy on life sound perfect. Love the idea of the wheelbarrow. I'll be planting that idea in Husbands head so he can regurgitate it as his own idea in six I must look out for your Aunts book too. I spent most of my week painting a faux tortoise shell finish on the top of my desk. I recently painted it satin black, and it looks very glamorous now. Even more so when Husband paints a super high gloss finish on the faux tortoise shell. It was a task and a half. Three hours every morning and afternoon for four days straight. If I'd realised how much work was involved, I possibly never would have started, but I'm so thrilled and proud of myself that I finished it. Other than that, work has commenced on my She Shed and I'm a bit excited. It's been raining and raining here too, so the garden is looking rather lush. I hope you are settling in well, and that Chloe and Luke enjoy their honeymoon. Much Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I saw the tortoiseshell and it looks real! Good job! If it looks real then its a massive success!
      Chloe and Luke are shearing! Monday was start of shearing and we are surrounded by shearers, thousands of sheep bleating and activity.
      I am on the look out now for old wheelbarrows as I need my main one as my "push up the hill to get manure barrow" as I keep getting more. Its paying off too stuff is really growing.
      I cant wait to see your shed! How exciting! With love

  5. Annabel I thought you were busy before but since you have moved your business has expanded exponentially!!! I am exhausted just reading about all you have been up to.
    I think your Aunt is marvellous. I am pretty sure she is the lady who rides her trike to the shops. This got me motivated and my trike is having an overhaul. I plan on doing a lot more riding. Using your Aunt as an example I think it is time to ditch my Bunnings straw hat and get something or make something a little nicer.
    This week, we too have had rain. Yesterday Bluey and I mowed and raked. It is the first time we have had to do this since April. It is so nice to have the house surrounded by green, rather than brown and crunchy.
    I have been saving money by saving my heirloom seeds, spreading out the self sown seedlings, repotting plants into rethought containers(think small drums), drying off my homegrown coffee beans(5 steps and we are up to step 4), harvesting sweet potato, carrot, cabbage, basil, mulberries, eggplant, lemon, lime, and red onion from my currently not so productive garden. We were gifted two pumpkins and have shared these with our daughter.
    I had a use it up bake up. I had 6 wrinkly apples in the fruit bowl and a half used tin of pie apple in the fridge. So apple pies, apple crumble and apple slice/cake were made. Some was frozen, some eaten and some given away.
    I have been sewing up little handbags and messenger bags for the little people in my life. These have gone in the gift cupboard for Christmas.
    Time to go and take a leaf out of your book and get busy.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, Yes this is the bike riding Aunt. She never has had a car. She rides to get her groceries etc.
      Her hat is stylish. Hat and pearls!
      The sunflowers are up! Plus beans! Looking good too!
      You grew coffee? This is interesting... I never thought of that!
      The baking is wonderful. I love this... how we can start with a few unexciting ingredients that dont seem like much and end up with beautiful things. Its wonderful really.
      I cant wait to see the little handbags! This would appeal to me as Harper is now into bags. What a good gift these would be.
      I need to seriously review my own Christmas cupboard. Will do this new week. Hope you enjoy a lovely weekend. With love

  6. Your aunt has such a lovely garden and what a blessing to receive all those beautiful plants. I love the wheelbarrow with the seedlings. Brilliant! I remember how tired I was after our daughter's wedding. I don't think I had ever been so tired before that week. Rest is good!

    We have spent the week cleaning up from the two remnants of hurricanes that blew through here so now the yard is clean and mowed. We paid our neighbor boys to help with all the cleanup. We worked on organizing all the pots of flowers on the deck and the ones that we winter over are on the roll around dollies and ready to be pulled into the garage at the first sign of frost. Lots of pots were emptied and stored for next year along with the big umbrellas and such. The camper van was winterized this week so that the pipes do not freeze. We are seeing a few yellow leaves on our hickory trees so fall is truly here. Patsy posted about preserving basil with salt so I cut all that I had and preserved it. I have enough to share with some friends so that will be a nice little something to give those dear to me when I see them.

    We are leaving for the lake house on Sunday and will stay for two weeks so everything must be caught up here. I have my menus and food lists made so that we can take food from here that was all bought at the best price instead of having to pay high prices while we are gone. Pears are really good this fall and Aldi had 3 pounds for 1.89. They will be welcome with our lunches while we are away. I will pull most main meals from my freezer stock so I can really have a break. I also baked cookies and tucked them away in the freezer to take along.

    All 200 plus bottles of essential oils will go along since colds and such are starting up here and we want to stay well. There is a scary polio like illness here in the US that is effecting children. I am praying a hedge of protection around our grandchildren.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, I was amazed how there could be one hurricane right on top of the other. I feel so sorry for the clean up and devastation.
      I heard about this polio like disease... I am not sure if it is actually polio or similar... but that is frightening. I have knows two polio sufferers all my life and how it affected their whole lives.
      I wont go anywhere without my oils either. I can figure out how I got by without them.
      Have a wonderful time away! Enjoy every minute! With much love

  7. Annabel you have done so well and all of those free plants will do wonders for your new gardens I can imagine you planting them all with such happiness :). I truly understand how you would have been tired after moving, cleaning another house and getting it ready to sell and a wedding too. You are a wonder woman to get that all accomplished.

    Fantastic news here is that we got our home loan from the bank and we will put down a 36.85% deposit on it from money we had saved. The owners had the home on the market for some time and then reduced the price by $50 000 as they had no lookers on it at all. Of course we jumped on it and organised an inspection straight away since similar properties in the area on slightly smaller 1 acre blocks of land were selling for $230 000. We paid under $200 000 for it and our home is on 1.21 acres of land so I have to say that it was a true steal at the price we purchased it for :). Our settlement is on the 10th of December and we will be moving soon afterwards into our forever home.

    As would be expected not a lot got done again this week with running backwards and forwards to solicitor's office, buying a new to us second car, organising surveyors and pest and building inspections.

    Our Vicky challenge last week added up to $7829.75 in savings :).

    General house buying madness -
    - Went happily crackers filling out lots of forms for the house, new car and getting quotes on house, contents and car insurance.

    Finances/ listings/car purchase/land surveying -
    - Listed 15 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $24.75 on usual listing fees.
    - Negotiated an offer to buy our home and saved $7000 on the listed purchase price.
    - DH did his negotiating and managed to save another $255 on land surveying and pest and building inspection previously quoted prices.
    - We purchased a new to us Ford Territory as we are going to be out of town on roads with kangaroos and for towing firewood and manures with. I negotiated the price down by $550 on the listed price in the car yard.

    Home organisation for moving -
    - Broke down the old falling apart wardrobes and took 3 shelving units and some heart swags I made to the Endeavour shop for a donation and took the broken down wardrobes to the tip for disposal. We had replaced the old shelves with new shelves a couple of weeks ago and this will give us less to move.

    In the gardens -
    - Weeded all the front garden beds, pruned grape vines and mulched all garden beds with saved dried grass clippings and dried leaves from the yard to save on Lucerne prices and to use up the lawn clippings here.
    - Picked lots of English lavender from the gardens to dry for sale on the internet and some for the home.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).


    1. congratulations on the house.

    2. Thank you Margaret for your encouragement :).


    3. Dear Sewingcreations, It was meant to be! Your deposit is such a significant percentage that is so excellent and a tribute to what you both have been doing for so long. Also the wonderful price you got it all for is amazing. You are blessed! Now it is so exciting to be getting ready to move.
      I really hope once you are there you will share some photos! I just can imagine how things will be after a year or so and you have all your gardens going there.
      Well done on the new car also. We had this issue... my city car not at all suitable for here, the roads etc.
      I hope there will be stacks you can transplant to your new garden?
      I have scored some bales of hay for mine which is a bonus on top of the plants!
      The beans you sent me are all up! So happy!
      Enjoy your weekend and reflecting on so many wonderful things!
      With much love,

    4. Annabel you are so right that we are truly blessed and it was meant to be indeed. I had been keeping an eye out on this particular property for 4 - 6 months but previously it was too dear. Many times I said to myself "well if the price comes down on that then I would love to look at it". Funny how you just know isn't it, when looking at something it just feels right.

      Fortunately we can still use our 4 cylinder smaller car but for being out of town to tow with we needed something a little more robust as we will be towing things far further.

      So glad all of the bean seeds came up for you and way to go on getting free bales of hay. The hay is getting expensive everywhere.

      I will definitely be sharing some photos with you about our journey. It will probably take us a while to get gardens things up and running again but this time it will be ours which will make it all the more special.


  8. Oh how I LOVE your aunts garden Annabel! I imagine yours is going to look the same when you get it all established. I love cottage style gardens, they are so pretty.

    We have had no rain, and today is hot and dusty. My veggie patch is getting a makeover so the budget wont be too good this week. Hubby and his mate are building the structure so we saved on paying for labour to put it up. Wont be long and the whole area will be covered and closed in. I have been waiting so long for this and finally the time has arrived. Unfortunately I have to start all over again with the vegetables because the barrels and baths need to be empty to move, not to worry...I will save all I can to pots :)

    That book of roses is something really special, I bet the pictures inside are beautiful.

    Have a great time with Chloe tomorrow.

    Lots of love,
    Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania,
      I am sorry about the rain. I know even north of here and Lameroo etc are very dry. I truly count every time it rains as such a blessing. I do not take it for granted thats for sure. I do hope you get some.
      My front garden will be very similar. I have a kind of rockery surround so I want things that will drape and fall down the rock wall. It is growing now as I have planted everything I came home with.
      I will be able to make so much with this giant book. Once I had an old fridge and I painted it and decoupaged it with giant roses. I loved it! I will do some giant pin up boards I think. I love roses... they make me happy!
      I am following your veggie patch makeover it is looking really good! With much love

  9. Annabel, your Aunt and her garden are amazing and a inspiration, just googled and she has written quiet a few books and had some great adventures. The wedding photos were beautiful, Chloe was a lovely fairytale bride, just gorgeous. Your garden will not only be beautiful but will have a history and story to tell of the origins of the plants and the people who gave them to you, do think about keeping a garden journal. I made up a large batch of strawberry jamm from the great $1 specials from a few weeks ago, my little freezer was bulging with berries, i kept some for smoothies. I then refilled the freezer with a big batch of pasta sauce and taco mince and chicken soup for nights im too tired or busy to cook. I love the rose book you found, i remember seeing those for about $100 in the book stores years ago, quiet a bargain, ive been very inspired by you Annabel, ive had a difficult year and your blog always cheers and encourages me to plod on and do something, things can only get better. Regards Cassandra

    1. Dear Cassandra, Thank you for the comments about Chloe! I am thinking about a journal... I do write down each day what I did and where things came from but just in my general planner.
      I am glad you did well out of the strawberry specials. I never saw any of the cheap prices at all and missed out completely!
      I am really sorry your year has been so hard. When you are going through hell keep going... things will get better. I have had some times like this. I thought it wouldnt ever end and things wouldnt get better but bit by bit life came back together. When nothing else was possible I did things like sit in the sun, get sleep, try to eat healthy etc. Then I tried to go out and be with uplifting friends that encouraged me. It was sort of an improvement to a better life in one tiny step at a time... so I hope whatever it is this can happen for you!
      With much love

  10. Annabel, I love your aunt's garden and that tip about planting in a wheelbarrow is pure genius! I would love to tour her garden and be able to glean from her wisdom. It sounds like you are well on your way to following in her footsteps, how wonderful!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      Thanks.... well I am on the watch out for extra wheel barrow now myself!
      The one I have I need for collecting loads of sheep manure! It is doing some miles too!
      My garden test will be getting it to survive summer. I dont think it is going to be easy. I cant wait to just get through to Autumn!
      I hope you have a back to more normal week! With love,

  11. So nice to see the beautiful wedding and garden photos. What blessings you have in your life. Thank you for sharing. Your Aunt has wonderful ideas with the wheelbarrow seedlings and the mix of flowers and foods. I have done green beans or tomatoes with flowers. Always seemed a shame to waste good soil on something I couldn't eat. Now they call it "Edible Landscaping." I may have to steal the wheel borrow idea. Our growing season here is short. Starting seeds like that I could pull it in on frosty nights or heavy rains. I can pull it out on nice days and soft rains. I am always learning things here.
    UP of Michigan USA

    1. Dear Sheila, I think you would say our growing period here is long. I read of in the USA people putting their garden to bed... we never do this here. Things slow down for sure but nothing dies over winter or rarely. We can have frosts.
      I love the whole idea of edible landscaping and it seems so wise to me yet still beautiful!
      I am on the look out for spare wheel barrows as I also want to use this side! Many thanks, have a wonderful week! Love

  12. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    What a gorgeous garden! I love seeing the pictures.

    We've just returned from Nationals with the horses - such fun! It is so strange to have been back to "real life" for a week. This is an expensive show, but we saved money by bringing lots of snacks and drinks from home, getting our own horses groomed/prepped for classes, and also eating at hospitality parties put on by the show committee. My husband also takes hundreds of pictures throughout the week - this saves a ton on professional photos (though I did buy two of my mare with a very special ribbon from a special class) and also makes wonderful gifts for barn family.

    Cooking & food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. I roasted a chicken, used my crockpot to make a pot roast with veggies, and cooked some brown rice. The chicken bones were saved for stock-making after the bird was carved.

    Household & gardening: Lots of laundry and vacuuming to recover from "horse show week". I also washed all the linens and my husband changed the HVAC filters.

    Shopping: We stayed out of the shops! But did spend $20 for fruits for lunches, milk, and paper towels/bath tissue.

    Education: I finished my advanced certificate for work!

    Crafts & gifts:
    I finished knitting one sock of a pair, and did some stitching on a fun superhero sampler.

    This past week was definitely themed with the "gift of time" - helping friends get ready, tack horses, last-minute grooming touchups before classes, bringing show clothes back to the fairgrounds to lead leadliners - and having friends do the same for us. Such a great community.
    We both volunteered to lead horses for the youth judging contest - definitely worth it to make sure the kids can have this experience. To my very great surprise, we were given gift certificates to the breed association booth and gift cards for amazon, afterward.

    Planning to do a big cooking session and restocking the freezer this weekend!

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, It sounds like you had a lot of enjoyment last week! It is great you had such a good time and did so well.
      The gift of help or time is a wonderful thing. I think we can get this going and it works both ways. This is one of the big benefits of a supportive community. Also people then tend to rally around when needed to help each other. Terribly important.
      I hope you did your big weekend cook up! I did some of the same! Have a good new week! With love,

  13. Dear Annabel,
    Your aunt is an amazing woman, for sure. Staying active, both mentally and physically, makes a huge difference in how we age.
    The garden plants were a sight to behold. What a lovely combination of colors and textures. Your garden will be just as lovely as it grows.
    We did our normal routine around here, plus defrosted a couple of freezers in the garage.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, A garden is so uplifting. She has a bird nesting in a hanging basket too which was lovely. I have been out planting planting planting and it is all in! Things are quite filled in now. I am amazed as when I began it was so daunting and empty!
      I hope you have a lovely weekend! With love and thanks,

  14. Dear Annabel,

    We have family visiting, so I am hardly on the computer, but I wanted to dash in and say that Chloe looked like Titania, the Fairy Queen at her wedding! How beautiful and personalized everything seemed...what a wonderful celebration! Also, your Aunt!!!!!! It is the folks that have so many lovely things going on that last the longest, as they are so interested and busy in life! I love her idea of the seedlings in the wheelbarrow...that is ingenious! You definitely have the magic touch for beauty running in your family genes on both sides!!

    Our dear neighbor two doors down just called me today in tears to tell me she has just been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. I am in shock and would love if any Bluebirders could pray for her. She is such a lovely woman, and her faith is strong, but she does need prayers for healing...her name is Janet. Thank you!!!!!!

    Love to all your family and all Bluebirders here.

    xx Jen in NS

    P.S. I forgot to take pictures of a 50th wedding anniversary fruitcake and embroidered monogrammed napkins we just sent off to my hubby's parents. I hope the cake makes it in one piece as we coated it in marzipan and then royal icing to make it fancy!!!! (Also, I should have taken pictures so I could show them what it looked like when we sent it, since it might be in crumbles when it gets there!!:)) I's finally time to start thinking about Christmas!!

    Love, Jen.

    1. Dear Jen, Thanks so much! Well done on such a beautiful gift for your parents law. Just wonderful and so personal. I am sure they will love everything. I have seen your napkins before so I can try to imagine but I would love to have seen how you did the cake!
      I have started on Christmas. I have fruit for cakes soaking in brandy! I am going through the gift cupboard now making lists of who I have gifts for and who I need to organise. Then I need some supplies that are still at the other house I just realised I have all my gift wrap still there. I know I have enough ribbons etc that I dont need to buy anything like that. I think my wrapping theme will be "use it up" lol
      Have a good new week. I will certainly pray for Janet. What an awful shock. But I have seen such amazing healing in recent years I will hold a lot of hope. With much love,

  15. Dear Annabel,
    I hardly know where to start. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous! I am so happy it all went well and the rain held off. The flowers were so beautiful, and to think you were able to just pick them rather than purchasing from a! You did a wonderful job arranging them! Harper is such a cutie. (Our oldest granddaughter has naturally curly hair, too.)

    Your gardens are really coming together. I'm glad you have been able to get so many plants. Your aunt's garden is lovely. It will be fun knowing that some of your plants came from your beautiful aunt and her garden.

    We have been working on a bit of a remodel or update in our kitchen. We found a new dishwasher and oven/glass cooktop for an unbelievable 75% off. They were both reduced because of small dents, but dents are in areas not visible in our kitchen. Although we didn't get quite such a fabulous deal on the refrigerator, we got a decent price and replaced it, too. Next, we have refinished the cupboards and will be painting. My husband has done most of the work, but I've helped where I could. We are both enjoying the new appliances and fresh look a lot!

    I've used quite a few good coupons and sales at the grocery stores and drugstores, such as $10 off $50 and several free items. My biggest savings there was accumulating $50 worth of points at the drugstore. I chose the day there was a 20% senior discount on regular prices to redeem my points and also bought sale items and used coupons to stretch that $50 as far as I could.

    Our plants are beginning to perk up now that we have cooler weather and have even had some good rains. I've been planting lettuce, spinach and tomato seeds and transplanting vinca and lettuce seedlings A couple pots have nasturtiums coming up from self-seeding. I found a pretty chrysanthemum plant with lots of buds on it reduced to $2 from $10. It's now in a pot sitting by the front door. I think it looks as pretty as some I saw at the nursery for $25. My sweet potato plants are blooming and provided pretty green vines throughout the heat of summer. Now, we're looking forward to harvesting some sweet potatoes.

    I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend and have been able to relax a bit.

    With love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, Thank you so much for your kind words. You did great on the appliances! Also with your husband doing so much that is a huge saving.
      I also use my coupons or vouchers like this... make them go much further and use them on specials etc. You can really do well this way!
      Elaine I just love autumn. I look forward to it so much as I know summer here will be the hardest season. And I love autumn anyway it has always been my favourite.
      Have a great new week! I am gardening too and doing some cooking. With love

  16. Dear Annabel,
    First, congratulations to Chloe and Luke! The wedding looked beautiful! And Luke and Chloe both looked so happy.
    Your Aunt (and her garden) look absolutely fabulous. I know your garden will be beautiful too. These past couple of week we added to our garden as well, but only about 50% of our seeds actually germinated. They are rather old so at least now we know what seeds to rotate and order for the spring. We are both just so happy about having a garden again. Does anyone know about storing seeds in the freezer? We also have had lots and lots of rain. This has been great for the garden but it has also resulted in the hatching of hoards of army worms. They have been destroying hay fields, yards, gardens, etc. So it has been a battle for us keeping things going. I go out and check several times a day to pull off worms and I keep it sprayed with an organic worm killer. I also keep it sprinkled with diatomaceous earth. And I pray!
    Well, we had a little incident with our brand new vehicle. We started down our driveway and didn't get far before the car filled with electrical smoke!! Of course I jumped out and grabbed John as fast as I could. None of us were hurt, thankfully. Apparently we got a lemon. The placed we purchased the vehicle from is letting us pick out a different vehicle. Now I'm just a little paranoid and have daydreams about bailing out of a smoking car. I don't like driving as it is and now I am dealing with trust issues.
    We had our first real cold spell, at least for our area. The rain and cold kept us inside for a few days, so I got some extra cleaning projects done. It was a little difficult keeping John occupied and happy as he is such an outdoor boy.
    I also ordered a few new craft supplies for the shop. I'll be adding recipe cards and food packaging very soon. I can't wait to get my things in the mail! I have also been educating myself more about the way Etsy works. I think about what you say about always learning new things. This has been fun but I have also learned so much.
    Thank you for sharing your adventures with us! Your posts are always so inspiring and full of beauty. Have a lovely week everyone!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Thank you! Well I wouldnt be surprised if some of your seeds still come up. I have found with mine some even in the same batch take days longer than others. So I hope more come up for you.
      In any instance it is wonderful you have a garden! Every little bit you do really adds up!
      I am glad the car did not catch fire with John in it, this is scary. It is very good the place you bought it will replace it. Thank goodness for that!
      I am watching your shop! I will be very very keen on the recipe cards!!! I am so excited about this! Everything is lovely... and this is so good for me as I can send USA gifts without all the terrible post costs!
      Kelsey you timed the shop well to be so well established in time for Christmas! You have already achieved many good things this year! With love

  17. Dear Annabel, The wedding looked amazing and how all your hard work is paying off in the garden. I have read a number of your aunt's books and "A Fig at the Gate' is my favourite. I lent it to another friend of mine to enjoy, as we both like to garden and we are your aunt's age.Thank you for sharing, Lyn

    1. Dear Lyn, Thank you re the wedding! It is lovely you have read my Aunts books. One of them ends with "Annabel" saying grace at the Christmas table. This is my moment of fame!
      I love gardening more and more. I think it is such a thing of beauty and also health. Physical and mental health! I feel so much better for being in the garden. I am loving this garden so much. It is so much fun. Many thanks! Love

  18. Annabel, I love most gardens, but a cottage garden is my favorite. Your aunt's garden is perfectly lovely, just the kind I admire. Looking forward to seeing your garden when you get it all in.
    You have the most energy! Wedding, moving, gardening, baking...and then sharing it all with us!


    1. Dear Phyllis, I have had very minimal neat garden but in no time I have turned them into cottage gardens even if I dont intend to as I always have to find room for this or that... and soon it is all over the place!! So now I just go for it and hope for the best. I never have the heart to pull anything out either!
      My fitness has improved a lot with all of this move etc. After the wedding tiredness hit me though!
      I hope your week is going well! I have a lot to report on Friday already! With much love


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