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 4 October 2018

Feather your Nest Friday from the farmhouse.

Last weekend we were in the city tidying our house that is for sale, watering and mowing the lawn etc.  Each time we find some last things to bring back with us.  We also came home with more plants for the garden and a lot of these were things from my old garden and family and friends.  I had seven Lambs Ears plants with nice little root systems in a container of water...

I was so pleased with these!  I also had some plants from the nursery including some beautiful Lavenders...

Also lots of herbs and veggies!  Finally I started my herb and kitchen garden.   This area was the worst of the garden, a mess.   We have a deck leading into the entrance and kitchen which is a kind of U shape.  When we came here this was basically full of rubbish.   Now it is becoming the kitchen garden.  Most things are tiny but I have a lot started! 

As soon as we got home I started planting and kept going most of the next day.  Since then it has rained twice which has helped a lot. Things all look really good.  
Up the hill from the house there is a shearing shed.  I have started pushing the wheel barrow up the hill and filling it with sheep manure.   This is a daily job now.   The first day I filled the barrow right up but then when I went to move it I realised it was too heavy to push.  I had to reduce the load somewhat.   Still when I got it home Andy was amazed I could push that so far as it was heavy for him!  The next day I about halved the size of my load!   But it is still a lot and it is rich dark compost/manure for the garden.   At the nursery one small bag of this stuff is $10.
In the chook shed there was a great pile of dried up chicken manure as well.  So I took my metal bucket up with me and a spade and filled that.  This bucket is now known as the poo bucket lol.
So all this went on to the veggie and herb patch.  Like anything doing a bit each day soon adds up!

Last week I had spent hours cleaning the oven.  This week I had another go and used the steam cleaner on it as well.  Finally I think it is clean.  In fact it really looks brand new!  It sparkles! 

By Tuesday I had nothing left to plant and nothing to unpack.... plus a clean oven!  So I began to bake again! 
The very first thing I made was an old fashioned Sultana Cake for Dad.  I had told him this would be the first thing I cook in this oven.  First I have had to print out a chart to convert Celsius back to Fahrenheit as the oven being old is still in the old measurements.   Andy printed this out for me and I stuck it inside my cupboard closest to the stove.  Anything I need to look at often I print and stick inside a cupboard door...   I always remember that Laine kept her most often used recipes inside the cupboard doors.  You don't have to look for them you just open the door!

The oven is wonderful.  This cake was cooked on very low for two hours.  It worked out perfectly...

Before we moved I had baked six fruit cakes.  These cakes have been so so useful.  Everyone who has helped or worked here I have offered a slice and a tea or coffee.  I have used a lot of that cake.  Always I wish I could have some but never do.   So this week I made up the same recipe using gluten free flour.

They worked out just fine and you wouldn't even know the difference.

Luckily these keep a long time (like a year) as I have a big supply.  But it is so nice!

My Vax stick vac wasn't working properly.  I know how to clean all the filters etc and still no... so we had it repaired.  Now it is as good as new for a fraction of the price of a new one.

I cut Andy's hair.

On the way to Chloe's I found this gorgeous bush of flowers...

I picked armfuls and used a big bucket as a vase.    When I was picking these a little Echidna walked past!  I really wanted a good photo but he just hid his face in the sand each time so I gave up on that.  

Andy achieved a lot. He pressure cleaned the back courtyard. This had been filthy.  Now it looks so good.   He got sprinklers and played with water lines and pumps so now we have good pressure and can have sprinklers running on the lawn right around the house.   In the heat or summer or if there was a fire we can drench things fast. 

Chloe gave me a chicken feeder. You can hang it up and mice or rats can't get the feed but the chooks can.  This is a win win! 

Before we moved I was influenced by Lynette to get a pie maker.  I wondered why anyone would buy one when you can just make pies in any dish in the oven and I very often do.  I even joined a pie maker Facebook group!  Soon I was converted due to really small amounts of left overs can become a meal when maybe you wouldn't normally feel bothered to turn on the oven to bake one tiny pie.  And I can now have a tray of pies cooked before I could even have had the oven pre warmed.   So I moved here with my trusty K mart pie maker ready to go.  
This week I made a beef casserole in the slow cooker.   We had this with rice that night.  
Then I thickened the left overs with gravy and used it to make beef and veggie pies.   The next day I made a dozen of these and placed them on a tray for Chloe and Luke.  I slightly under browned them so when Chloe re heated them they would finish off nicely.

Chloe was really pleased.  Later that night I got a message from Luke.... "yummy pies, keep them coming!"  So I guess he liked them! 

Then I went to make the rest up for us.  I tried Maggie Beer's Gluten Free Pastry recipe.  At first I was doubtful.  But it worked out so well and was delicious.  Like the cake I would not have ever guessed it was not ordinary pastry.  

This was before it was wrapped in the fridge.

After it was cold and kneaded again it was smooth as silk and rolled out perfectly.  Winner!  I got another 15 pies made!  
I noticed in the bakery pies were $5 to $5.50 each.  That is $135 in pies!   So I love this pie maker and next week it will be chicken pies then bacon and egg and so on with whatever left overs might be lurking. 

I have to show you... this is a Grey Shrike Thrush on Mum and Dad's back veranda.  I can't wait to see the babies! 

This bird is very friendly and sings all day.  So lovely!

Lastly I made a carrot cake for the girls as we are heading back to Adelaide again today.  I keep a big tin of cake related things.  I found some little icing roses and sparkles to make it look sweet as Harper is cake mad.  So this is on a tray for the trip.

I loved this week as it was a bit more like normal life.  We are fairly settled in.  I started baking.  My day is developing a routine.  I mix up the day so that I do the heavy exercise parts mixed with quieter parts and I take tea breaks and a lunch break.  If we treat our work like a paid job and take our breaks we really get so much more done.  Mid afternoon I often feel really tired.  A half hour break, a cup of tea and then I feel ok well I can just get this, this and this done before I start on dinner...
I know each day I am getting fitter and stronger!  If health is part of preparedness this all is very good.

We are now ONE WEEK until the wedding!  I am praying for a reasonable day weather wise.  We have a very busy week coming up and much of it will be wedding related.  It is so exciting.   The little girls are beside themselves counting down the days.  

How did you build up your home, save,  add to your pantry or get ahead this week?   
Have a beautiful weekend!  xxx


  1. That cake is so charming. I love reading about your new start. And how perfect that a bird is getting cozy nearby!

    1. Thank you Katie! The cake was yum and Mum could eat it too being gluten free and Harper loved the yellow roses. It also survived the trip!
      Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  2. You've been a baking machine this week! All your baking looks really lovely. Mine never looks that nice, but it tastes good, so I'm not worried. ;)

    I found baking cocoa and frozen green beans at Costco, both at a great price (the beans were close in price to what I pay at Aldi, and I love green beans, so that was a nice find). I also added some boxes of brand name macaroni and cheese to my pantry from the clearance section. I don't serve that to my kids very often, but my son enjoys it when he's been sick, so if I don't have to pay full price when he asks for it, I'm all for that!

    I've been in a little bit of a slump when it comes to cooking. Nothing sounds good, nothing seems like what I want to make. I'm pushing through it and cooking anyway, but it's no fun! I'll be glad when I'm back to my normal COOK ALL THE THINGS!!! mindset. :)

    Enjoy your weekend!!!

    1. Dear Stephanie, I was so happy to get back to cooking!
      Well done on building up your pantry at good prices! Maybe you need some new cooking challenges! Now and then I really need to try new things and do something different. But then there are times when I think we are just tired! One thing though is if you work out what you save and compare your items to bought it is AMAZING. Next week I know I am going to do a chicken casserole then chicken pies... and sausage rolls. I will add up my savings as I am up on the bakery prices and wow they are expensive! So this gives me a lift to think of the huge savings! I also love the feeling of being able to help the girls like hand a tray of pies to Chloe last week and I know she had two nights off cooking which with the wedding was a help to her. So it felt good!
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love,

  3. Annabel, you have been so very productive this week. I love all the baking you have done. Harper will love the cake too. So exciting with the wedding coming up. Enjoy the preparations.

    1. Thank you Nanna Chel! The cake was a hit! As it was GF Mum loved it too as we were all at Lucys in the afternoon. Harper loved the little yellow roses. So everyone ate that cake. Have a beautiful weekend! xxx

  4. Thanks so much for sharing about your lovely, productive week Annabelle. I am proud of myself for doing a big kitchen clean up, which included throwing out the ugly and rarely used items in the cupboards, which were all wiped clean of marks on the shelves etc. I feel good for having done this! I hope the week leading up to the wedding goes well for you. E

    1. Hi Earthmotherwithin, I agree these jobs done make you feel really good. Thank you, I hope the week runs smoothly and I keep checking the weather reports! Have a lovely weekend, with love

  5. Dear Annabel,

    I have been AWOL as it is full swing canning and harvest season here...but I am loving seeing all you have been accomplishing! It spurs me on to keep going, even though I am ready (mentally) to get that canner packed away! This week I have canned peaches and plums, salsa, peach salsa, plum sauce, tomato soup...can't remember what else, though I know there's something! We've had a frost that killed the beans, so I've done my final picking. The pumpkin vines also died, so I've picked and washed all the orange ones (27, including some HUGE ones), which are now on the porch curing. I've left the green ones in the garden to see if they'll orange up a bit faster than by picking them. I've managed to keep the tomatoes alive, so we're still picking those and roasting batch after batch of cherry tomatoes to put in the freezer. The sauerkraut I started the week before, so it's smelling the house up quite nicely. :) We have company coming for dinner Saturday night and I've moved the sauerkraut upstairs to try to hide the aroma...hope it works! And my hubby just finished bottling a white zinfandel, which we tried tonight and is divine! Things are busy, but good. I did have to visit the dentist today as I have been having a very sensitive front bottom tooth and found out I need a dreaded root canal. So that's the only "bummer" for this week. I don't think my chores are making me as fit as you, but this is a priority for me this fall, so I'm on it!!

    I do love how your place is coming together and that you are able to swap tasks with your family neighbors!! Very best wishes to Chloe and Luke!!!

    Lots of love,

    Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, I think the end of harvesting and preserving time is exhausting. But it is really a time where stuff ends up being put away or wasted. So you will be glad of all you did! Think of the ants!
      Everything you have made sounds beautiful.
      I daresay you are fitter than me already. But Im improving! Helped by daily wheel barrows over a fair distance and I have done mine today already!
      Today I started a mint patch and got more herbs planted.
      I hope you have a very good week. As things wind down you will be able to knit more and can less! With much love

  6. Only a week til your baby gets married. That’s so awesome. I know we are all busting to see photos of the bride and the rest of you.
    You have achieved plenty at the new place and the new veggie/herb bed sounds great.
    I hope the Adelaide house sells fast for you.
    Have a great weekend Annabel. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fi, Thank you! Yes we are counting down now. I cant wait to show you photos! You will love them... thats all I can say!
      I am so pleased with how the garden is going. Each day I basically add something. We are getting really well set up. Each week seems to make a lot of progress.
      I hope you are beginning to feel much better. Rest, rest, rest and restore. I hope your plans are coming along too... an exciting project is a lot of fun and like a new lease on life. And being near the Grandbaby would be so good for you! Have a good new week, with love,

  7. Can you please share a picture of your pie maker? I googled "pie maker" and many options came up. I can see how it would be super useful!

    1. Dear Wendi, Yes I will, this week I will be using it a lot. I am feeding everyone a lot this week to be helpful while everyone is busy with wedding stuff. Tomorrow I am starting a chicken casserole for pie making Tuesday and I will take a heap of photos. I am planning sweet pies from my frown stewed fruits plus egg and bacon pies next. Seems to be such a hit!
      Have a good new week! With love,

  8. One week!!! I hope it is a wonderful week for you all and a beautiful day!

    It must be nice to be doing some baking as well as the settling in jobs. The carrot cake looks amazing.

    We have had lots of visitors this week, our first week of holidays. We also have some tomorrow. It has been so nice catching up with people and quite exhausting as well! I did a lot of bulk cooking and it was disappearing as quickly as I could make it!

    We managed to have a night of leftovers for dinner one night when it was just us, so it was nice to have a night off!

    We changed all of the childrens bedrooms around and I think (hope!) that the new arrangement will work better! One of our room sharing combinations was a disaster, two very headstrong children!! So fingers crossed we will see an improvement lol.

    I've been doing a little bit of knitting, just some facecloths for Christmas. I am making plans for food gifts so I can start buying the extra ingredients.

    All the very best for the wedding! What a lovely celebration for your whole family.

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, I love left overs. Honestly a night off is lovely!
      A room change around is fabulous... the whole process equals a deep clean and re organise. My girls loved this! It had many benefits! I hope the new arrangement works well for you all!
      I hope to hear about your food gifts. It is really good accumulating the stuff you need when you see it on specials. Kaye keeps a box especially of goodies she builds up for Christmas cooking. I love this idea! Like a Christmas Glory Box.
      Thank you re the wedding. I am so excited and slightly nervous I think excuse it is here at the farm! Cant wait to show you photos! With love,

  9. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Thank you for sharing another lovely week from the farmhouse with us Annabel.
    I have a pie maker too and should really use it more often,like you I love that you can use up little bits of leftovers and make a yummy new meal.
    I didn't report in last week so today I will tell you my savings for two weeks.
    Centacare savings$ 406 approximately compared to a private company ( for 11 hours service over the. Two weeks) .
    Grocery savings $60 approximately, I bought my teabags half price so saved $22 on four boxes ) , I also bought some reduced to clear items and other half price specials.
    I saved $90 by getting free medication
    I received three meals from my parents $30 saving .
    I bought my nieces some small stocking filler gifts for Christmas and saved $20 .
    I saved $40 on transport by getting rides with my Dad .
    I resisted takeaway( delivered) pizza one night and threw together a meal saving me at least $25 .
    I think that's it Annabel, it's all I can remember for now anyway !.
    So a total savings for two weeks of $693 approximately .

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend .Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, I am giving the pie maker lots of work to do this week making chicken pies first. I found making gf pasty very easy too so I dont miss out. So handy!
      You had lots of excellent savings and you are doing well with Christmas too! After the wedding I will be going straight on to Christmas! I do have a fair bit put away though.
      I hope you have another very good week. Thank you for your report. I am glad you are well stocked with tea, I also got my tea on a good deal while in Adelaide. I cannot run out of tea! With lots of love,

  10. Annabel I can hear your excitement in your writing. How wonderful that everything is falling into place. I am praying that Chloe and Luke have beautiful weather and a magical day for their Wedding.
    We said goodbye to our son and his little family this week. It is so peaceful and quiet. We had so much fun in the time they were here. I got to know Miss Madi, who is such a happy little chubby bubby. Tilly is her Father all over and full of continuous energy. She only wanted Granny to take her to the beach. So I spent a lot of time walking to and from and paddling at the beach. So much fun and wonderful memories were being made. Our son is off to the US for training in two weeks. He wont be home until early December. He has spent more time OS than at home this year. He is hoping to be able to bring the family back in January.
    Bluey loved every moment but has been left completely exhausted. The past few days he has sat in his chair in the shed and not much else has happened. He did go specials shopping and bought a big tin of Nescafe Coffee home for $9, three loaves of 7seed bread for free, packet cake mixes for 50c. He is such great specials hunter.
    I have made two little bucket hats and a large button up bag. One bucket hat was for Tilly. I made it with ties so the wind didnt blow it off. She loved it and would not wear her old hat that had cost her Mother quite a few dollars. The second hat is for her little cousin who turns 2 next month. I made this one out of an old doona cover. The large button up bag was made from another old doona cover. Jo bought a Wedding Dress from Vinnies and wanted a cover to protect the beautiful beading as well as keep it from view. I placed the dress in the material bag and then placed this in a zip up plastic bag that pillows came in.
    Enjoy your week and have a beautiful Wedding day.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      How nice you had that time with your son and Grand daughters!
      I love the hats you make. They are lovely! Thank you for the prayers for the wedding day! Each day they change the weather report!
      This will be a big week! I hope I can share a ton of photos next week!
      With lots of love,

  11. Dear Annabel,

    Your farmhouse garden is looking amazing already. It is good you have been able to bring plants and move around resources like manure! You will be building up some impressive muscles with all the work you are doing. So pleased you had such great results with the oven after all your hard work. Your cakes turned out amazing! You have really been baking up a storm with everything looking just mouthwatering! 😋

    Cannot believe the wedding is only a week away!! How very exciting for you all. Xo

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      Thank you! I have to say this all isn't doing my fitness any harm!
      This oven is so good. It will cook low and steady which is perfect for fruit cakes etc. They turned out so well. I cant believe I can have two going!
      We are on the count down now to the wedding on Saturday. I am so excited I dont know how I will sleep!
      Have a wonderful new week, with lots of love,

  12. Your farmhouse photos are so inviting!! Lambs ear has always been a favorite of mine and did I notice some thriving rhubarb in your kitchen garden photo? It’s looking so wonderful!

    This has been a terrific week! Facebook had made changes to the way they process things on business pages and we found that not only could people not order more than one thing per order, but they changed their payment system from PayPal to Stripe and it was taking almost 2 weeks to be deposited into our bank! It also didn’t give the option for local pickup without shipping charge and would hold the money taken in. So our customer would pay, pickup and we wouldn’t get the money!

    So we still have the page up so we can do Facebook publishing of new items for sale, but we do the actual sales on our website: and that has worked out really well!
    We decided While praying over our fields (garden and fruit trees and bushes), flocks (our chickens and koi) and our business to be specific about them and this week has been phenomenal in response to those prayers!! All unsolicited “windfalls”? Nope- blessings!!
    1. Fields- A friend called and asked if she could give us 2 extra “Pink Lemonade” blueberry bushes. She bought too many and didn’t feel like returning them to the store (although she delivered them to our house)!

    2. Flocks- Dave was in Lowe’s for something else and noticed that the fish food he uses was clearanced by over 50% in the big bags so he was able to buy a supply that will last a year! The exp codes will still be good even then!

    3. Flocks- a sweet couple that we met from a craigslist ad for koi that we bought from them this summer called us yesterday out of the blue! They live 88miles away but wondered if we would like (free) a stock tank full of koi because they are downsizing. We went out and he and my hubs emptied the 113 koi and brought them home! We gave 3 to our blueberry bush friend and she’s thrilled. We will overwinter the rest and come Spring, sell some (which our koi friends said was fine with them with us keeping the sales money!) that many fish at the sizes they are,even selling at bargain prices represent over $2000 !!!

    4.Business- a friend came over for some free bread and bagels we were distributing and reminded us of last year’s Softies” that we sold- 2 ply flannel Kleenex substitutes and said we should start actively marketing those again because we are going in to cold season. We took his advise and within 5 minutes of posting them online, we had 3 orders!

    So we feel that the Lord has blessed us beyond measure!

    We ate all of our meals from our pantry. I got 3 ten pound bags of potatoes for $1/bag so we will eat some and shred and dehydrate a lot because we were just running low in our dehydrated hash browns!

    Took dinner to 2 families just using food from our pantry/freezer. So grateful to be able to share!
    Enjoyed quiet time in the evening with a fire in the fire pit and we let chickens out to free range! Best date night ever as we talked about goals and challenges! Priceless time but didn’t spend a dime for it!!

    What a wonderful life filled with opportunities for us to learn and share!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, I saw your fish on Facebook! I was amazed! I LOVE fish! Wow what a big blessing there. Also I saw the hankies... this was a wise tip to start selling now as the cold and flu season comes in. Good thinking! Good marketing!
      I think ok I will start praying over our garden. We need to build up our flocks so I will start praying over that.
      You had a wonderful week. It is so happy and inspiring to read! I hope you have more of the same this week! With much love


  13. Where in Australia do you live, I have forgotten. Our country of study for Homemakers club this year is Australia. We just had a luncheon and speaker on it. She had lived there for a time. I have a map and would love to pinpoint where you live.

    1. Dear Gram, Ok get out your maps! We are in the South East of South Australia. I love it because it is very pretty and gently hilly. We are half an hour from the sea.... so we can go to the beach when its hot. If you see Kingston on the coast I used to live there. Now we are between Willalooka and Padthaway. They are not really hardly on the map! I like that we are about as far south as people can live, well almost so the air is pure and fresh. I hope you have fun finding our area. I feel very blessed to live here. Have a good new week, with love

    2. Thanks bunches for your location. No time now to pour over the maps as we are packing for our two week holiday with our daughter.

  14. Annabel, you've had such a busy week, and everything looks lovely. Is that rhubarb in your garden? Guard it, in the fruit shop it is $5.99 for 5 stringy looking stalks! Hannah has a Kmart pie maker and for the price it is amazing. She uses filo instead of puff or shortcrust, or stale bread slices to make her pies for work lunches, GF bread may be another option for you. Stewed fruit makes great pies, or a little bit of custard and a dollop of jam or fruit and Wayne thinks he's in pie heaven :) Have a lovely weekend, can't wait for next week's installment. xxx Cath

    1. Dear Cath, Thank you as you just made me realise... I have a ton of stewed fruit in the freezer. So I can be making sweet pies! Thank you! Also for the tips to use filo or even bread. I think the pie maker was $29? it was very reasonable and it will be getting a lot of use this week. Chicken pies for starters!
      Have a beautiful new week. I hope to be able to share wedding pics next week! With much love,

  15. So glad that life at the farm is beginning to settle down for you Annabel. Soon you will be able to just relax and enjoy. What a fun busy time you will have this week. Hope the weather is beautiful for the big day :)

    Those pies look delicious as does all the baking you have been doing. I bet it feels great to be using your new to you oven.

    I am looking forward to seeing some lovely wedding photos.

    Lots of love,

    Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania, Thank you! Yes I will be glad when I can do some sewing, knitting etc. as well and make a good routine. I have been doing so much to establish the garden before the heat. This week of course it is all wedding! I hope next week I can share loads of photos!
      Have a good new week! With much love

  16. Dear Annabel I never get to comment but I'm just so pleased for you and your move. It sounds like you're in the right place ☺ I'm in a busy state of life when four children at home, homeschool and the youngest just a baby. However I know I'll get where you are. So I'm choosing not and to be content. Babies grow up... Much love and blessing's to you from Pennsylvania, Jesse

    1. Dear Jesse, Oh yes you would be busy! Jesse I say live full in the season you are in. Laines Letters really helped me with this. Now I am in the Titus 2 stage and this is different to the young Mother stage. I wrote a post on that stage for me here called Your Time...
      This stage is wieid as it seems long then later it seems like it was fleeting. This is the most precious time and you are laying foundation! Be encouraged! With love,

  17. Annabel- I would love to see a picture of your pie maker! Even if it is on IG :) You have been very busy, but it is a good kind of busy! I know your farm is looking wonderful. I'm looking forward to seeing wedding pictures! Have a fabulous week!

    1. Dear Jenn, Ok next post I will share pics as it will be getting a work out this week! I am glad you follow on instagram! Thank you!
      This is one huge and busy week. I cant wait to be able to share pictures hopefully next week of the wedding. So exciting I dont know how I will sleep! Have a wonderful week, with love,

  18. Hello Annabel and everyone :).

    Annabel that little bird nesting is adorable and doesn't seem to be the least bit bothered at being watched and photographed. I laughed at your description of overloading your wheelbarrow, many a time I have done that (try 4 wheel wheel barrows with handles you just pull along they are brilliant and no lifting) and I admit it is good exercise.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $152 in savings last week.

    - Listed 32 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $99.50 on usual listing fees.
    - Saved more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 28.99% of the way there for a new build or 42.17 % of the way there for an established home.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 1kg of broad beans, 500 g of snow peas and 23 bunches of silver beet from the gardens saving $99.50 over purchasing them in the shops.
    - Planted 75 heirloom sweet corn seeds in the gardens and then it rained to water them in :).

    Other frugal things -
    - Replaced 2 old falling apart wardrobes in the garage with 2 x 4 shelf stainless steel ones we purchased. I also saved the vintage handles off the wardrobes to sell.
    - Saved dish rinsing & blanching & cooling water to water fruit tree pot plants and newly planted vegetable seeds in the gardens.
    - Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the house paddock lawns with.
    - Washed out and dried plastic zip lock freezer bags to reuse for other items.

    We put in an offer on the house I mentioned but was knocked back. The seller had an unrealistic price on it and compared with other similar properties in that area that sold it is overpriced by about $70 000. Never mind we know the property prices are going to go down so we will continue to save.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).


    1. I thought of you this week when a house came on the market here with garden beds, fruit trees, grape vines and a rain water cistern already in place here in South Carolina, USA. I am thinking it over before looking as the house needs some renovation and is not in as quiet an area as we would like.

    2. Hi Lana and just remember all purchase prices on houses are negotiable and take the approx cost of renovations and or any faults off the price and put an offer in for that. There is always room to negotiate backwards and forwards with the owners if you put in an offer and put the word negotiable in afterwards.

      Funny you should mention grapevines as we are looking at a property next week in our price range on just over an acre of land.

      Wishing you luck in your property buying pursuits too :).

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    3. Dear Sewingcreations, I did not know about four wheeled wheelbarrows! I am dreaming of a trailer on behind our (not yet purchased) ride on lawn mower. Then I can be off picking up loads bigger than I can currently manage! The shearing shed is a fair distance from the house. Luke saw the wheel barrow tracks up around there and wondered what on earth!? He thought I am either nuts or very keen to be pushing a wheel barrow that far! haha!
      32 is a great amount of listings in one week well done.
      Also your garden is producing so well! I had saved seeds you sent me.. several types of beans... they are being planted tomorrow! I have nice neat rows lined up to plant!
      The shelves will be great. We need to do the same. And saving the hardware is brilliant, I am aware now how much fittings, handles etc all cost now!
      I am sorry your offer was not accepted. Something else may come up but also... wait a while and if that property is still for sale down the track try making them another offer. If they still have not sold they might be willing to go lower by then. I am praying that you get what is just ideal for you both.
      I think of you a lot while in my garden and building up my soil. Your gardening has inspired me enormously and I love I have seeds from your garden too! Many thanks! With love

    4. Annabel, You need a trailer for your riding mower because grandchildren love to go for rides in it!

    5. Sewingcreations that is wonderful news that a house of your own is so close to happening. How wonderful that you will soon have your own home to add value to with all your creative endeavours. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and prayers for a home that is just right for you.

    6. Thank you Jane for your encouragement :), we are so excited.

      Our offer has been accepted on the house we saw today and there were 3 more prospective buyers booked into see the home tomorrow. Now just to apply for the housing loan with the bank. Our repayments will be less than what we are currently paying in rent so we are elated about that :).


    7. Annabel I am so happy to hear that our saved seeds will be planted in your gardens and I hope that they grow big and strong for you.

      If you search on eBay you will find the 4 wheel wheel barrows under garden carts or trolleys and they are quite cheap too.

      Speaking on reducing prices of properties on the market we found the one that our offer has been accepted on was reduced by $50 000 and been on the market for 6 months. I had looked at this home many times before on the internet and thought it would be perfect for us but too expensive before. I was so happy to see the price reduced into our price range and we jumped quickly to see it as soon as we saw the massive price reduction and we went armed with a offer today.


    8. Oh Sewingcreations15, I am so happy that you have found your forever home and that your offer has been accepted.

  19. How wonderful to be feel more settled and normal. What a blessing to have all the poo! I will be praying for good weather for the wedding and for the next week to go off without any problems. Today is our oldest daughter's 11th anniversary. It seems like yesterday that we were in that final week before her wedding. Enjoy!!

    We continue to work on our finances and are working on a line of credit to allow us to move much more easily. That was a ton of paperwork and more to go but it will be worth doing. My husband painted half of the back of the house and we are working to get ready to have the house appraised so we know how much money we can borrow for our move. We had a lovely breakfast picnic at the nearby lakeside park this week. We were able to help a neighbor with a meal since Mom was sick and their dog got bitten by a poisonous snake. Our well stocked pantry and freezer had all the ingredients we needed and we did not have to run out to the store. We got some great deals at the grocery stores this week. Cans of vegetables were 19 cents each and frozen turkey burgers were only 1.99 for a 2 pound box. These are great for quick meals. It is still hot here in the southern USA and records are being broken for high temps. We are ready for Fall!

    I am looking forward to the wedding pictures. Have a lovely wedding week. Much love, Lana

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you! The old arrived from Hopewell today for my bite treatments. I am very pleased. I read what you said about not diluting also thank you.
      It is good you continue things to make moving easier. The day will come when you will be so glad of everything you did ahead of time! This was just how our move happened.
      It was lovely you could help your neighbour that way! Being prepared not only helps us but our family, friends, neighbours...
      Thank you for the prayers... this is going to be one busy week! I cant wait to share it all! With much love,

  20. Dear Annabel
    I love these looks into your new life - so glad that you found the pie maker useful, I remembered discussions about using a slow cooker years ago and how economical it was and thought that you would find the pie maker just as economical.

    I tested mine out making a packet gluten free cake mix up - worked a treat.

    Love rhubarb but never buy it up here, did grow it in Melbourne when we lived there but I was the only one eating it as my husband didn't like the look of it. Growing up in Queensland he had never come across it before yet my grandfather had a massive patch that also housed the worm farm for fishing - a simple affair, just a couple of hessian bags down on the ground that he kept really moist and he would lift them to feed the worms tea leaves - that was in the days when the only around was loose leaf.

    I know I have been quiet but we have been working on a huge project that, until last Friday we never thought would get approval.

    We are able to do our extension - this came as a complete surprise to us because everyone we had spoken to since we moved the house in kept telling us that we would never be able to do it due to Council regulations relating to various problems associated with tidal surge.

    So we are in for a busy couple of months getting things organised and signed off by the council.

    We do not trust them until we actually have documentation saying it is all OK.

    We have a meeting with the draftsman this coming Thursday and my husband wants to keep a meeting that was set up with the area covering our request that was organised for Friday.

    We were so certain that we would not get approval I had started looking at open houses and my husband was putting together a list of things needing finishing off so that we could sell the house.

    I was also working out a 'use it up' list so that the pantry could be downsized.

    So we have a busy weekend - need to finalize our ideas for the extension so that we do not have any road blocks with the draftsman on Thursday.

    I know that you are going to be really busy this coming week and look forward to seeing more photos of the farm and also the wedding.


    1. Dear Lynette, You are wise to get everything is writing! Very good idea. It is wonderful now you can do what you hoped!
      This week I am making a chicken casserole and then chicken pies. Also sausage rolls later so that everyone has easy meals pre wedding. I am also checking the weather report about every five minutes. Lots of people are asking what kind of pie maker and to see it please so this week I will take photos as I go along. A heap of pies in the freezer seem a very good idea for emergency meals. The GF dough was lovely. Perfectly normal in taste really too.
      We have had our Adelaide days and ready to go home in the morning... with some new plants too!
      Thanks for nudging me on with the pies... its awesome!
      With much love,

    2. You are welcome Annabel - good to have easy meals for this week, especially ones that you don't need to think about.

      We have done our version of the plans ready for the draftsman and I have been playing with my yarn collection - needed to reorganize the 8 ply and have the yarn that is 'just enough' for a garment at hand.

      Will have to locate Maggie's recipe and print it off so that when the kitchen is done I can find it. Will be good to have plenty of room to cook.

      Hope today's open went well.


  21. You and Andy are work horses. You are getting so much done everyday. I cannot wait to see all of the finished pictures. All of the food looks so good. I'm sure Harper loved her cake. Enjoy every minute of the wedding. I can't wait to hear all about it. I will be praying that it is a beautiful day.

    1. Dear Making Cents of it All, Thank you! The weather forecast keeps on changing so we dont know what to expect but I am praying too. I cant wait to share pics as it is going to be gorgeous and so much handmade factor in this wedding! Have a good week! With love,

  22. Annabel. I love the farmhouse so much and you are doing a great job of getting it perfect for you. You must feel right at home and so content now. That is the perfect spot for a herb garden and all the composted poo will be great for the soil.
    I have still been reading your blog but haven't commented much as I have been so busy with working fulltime and Glenn has got what is called Charcot foot and has to go to the hospital weekly.
    Love to read all your achievements for the week and to see what new things you have done. Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie, Yes you would be busy. I havent heard of this foot condition but I will look it up... usually anything with the feet is awful. I hope this is not a long lasting thing and gets better soon.
      Thank you so much! This week is going well, we are off to a good start so far. I have planted a mint patch this morning and lots more herbs.
      Have a wonderful week, with love,

  23. Annabel, I just wanted to say I am thinking of you and your family for the upcoming wedding! What an exciting and joyful week!! Sending you all love and prayers X Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Thanks so much Bridge! Your prayers are most appreciated! xxx

  24. Dear Annabel,

    You are amazing! And so lucky - I actually have to pay for poop for my garden! It sounds like a joke, but the $$ add up. Our dirt (red clay) is so poor, we can't keep up by making compost so we also have to buy some garden soil. Let me tell you, "dirt cheap" is a misnomer!

    Sometime later when you have more time, I'd love to hear more about the mini pies. Is the pie maker a type of press? Would love to know more. They look so professional.

    Looking forward to seeing wedding pix.


    1. Dear Phyllis, Well I look i the hardware store and nursery at the prices of little bags of compost, manure etc... it is really expensive. I have mountains of it for free so this is good and exercise pushing my wheel barrow and all the shovelling! I have been making more pies and I have taken photos of the process and the machine... yes it is a lot like a sandwich press only pie shaped. Honestly it is so fast and handy! In Fridays post I will show more.
      I hope you are having a good week. Very busy here with lead up to wedding. Phyllis you will like this wedding..... a lot of handmade and inventiveness! I cant wait to show you! With much love

  25. Annabel so many WONDERFUL changes for you all. So much achieved, so much to look forward to. You must be very excited. Prayers for perfect weather this weekend! Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Thank you Mimi! Many of us are having big changes! Upwards and onwards I say! It is exciting! Thank you for your good wishes... we are hopeful the weather is clearing after days and days of rain. The up side is things are so green! With much love

  26. Dear Annabel , Im later replying her than I meant to be,and like others above Ive also been quiet due to helping a lot more with my grandchildren.Ive loved reading about your move and transition to the farm, you and Andy and helpers have worked very hard getting this far ahead , on top of the imminent wedding this weekend.
    That little thrush is so sweet , happy little mum to be hehe .
    After seeing your pies ..well I googled Kmart and searched pie maker and voila there it was! Then I checked availability , yep , so next day I bought one. I did take me time to find out where as it was over by the breakfast appliances rather than the frypans etc.
    I made my own pastry which is Alison Holst's easy Flaky Pastry recipe, and used that top and bottom. My first batch of 4 were a bit flat looking so I piled up the filling in the second lot and they looked much better . With leftover pastry I made the peaches and cream cheese filling and we had that with ice cream and pouring cream, so yummy .Thanks for telling us and also Lynette for recommending to you, in the first place.
    Hope the wedding goes off beautifully and you all have a wonderful day , will be thinking of you , lots of love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Wow you wasted no time on the pie maker! Maria for the little ones they can have anything from egg and bacon pies for breakfast to whatever meat and veg you have. Now I am doing Calzones.... instead of pastry using bread dough or even sliced bread rolled out with a rolling pin... fill with pizza stuff... cheese, ham, capsicum, tomato.... anything like that... thesis are really good too! then there are sweet pies... apple, apricot etc. Your pies sound delicious! I also find to fill them up and I rub a stick of butter on the top part of the pie maker and close then they go so nice and brown. I am building up a pie supply in the freezer too.
      Thank you for you wishes for the wedding... nearly there now! With much love (and hoping your week is going well) Love

  27. Hi Annabel,I love your flower arrangement,from the wild flowers and your pies look delish also,i have been busy lately recently buying a new second hand card iam very happy with it i have been back and forth also to the doc and having exrays on my hip so hopefully it will come good.
    All the best for the comming Wedding xox

    1. Dear Melissa, It is great about your car! I have a new second hand car too and I love it!
      I hope your hip is ok. Hip pain is bad! I had it when I needed a new mattress and now and then I get it. So I hope it is all ok.
      Many thanks, I hope you are having a good week! With love

  28. Dear Annabel,
    You have been so busy! Getting the garden going is a good thing. We got ours in this week and have had rain too! Colton and I are so excited to have this going, plus our chickens. I smiled at your manure gathering. No gym membership required out in the country :)
    I am late reporting and it is late in the evening here, so I will save the rest for next week. I just wanted to say hello and how exciting to have the wedding coming up in a few days!
    I hope everyone is having a lovely week.
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, I am so glad about your garden and the rain! Keeping at the garden a little each day really works. This is a nice time too and good for John to be outside running around. I feel happy and peaceful after some time in the garden. And yes you are right it is hard work and I am building muscles on my muscles especially pushing the wheel barrow up the hill!
      We are nearly there now to wedding day! I hope your week is going well! With lots of love,


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